The next morning, Elena woke to find Damon gone, his blanket folded neatly at the foot of her bed. Meredith was dressing for a morning workout, sleepy-eyed and silent, and she only nodded as Elena passed her; Elena had learned long ago that Meredith was useless for conversation before she'd had her first cup of coffee. Bonnie, who didn't have class until that afternoon, was only a lump under her covers. Surely Meredith would have said something if she had noticed Damon on the floor, Elena thought as she dropped in at the cafeteria to grab a muffin before class. Maybe Damon hadn't stayed. Elena bit her lip, thinking about that, kicking little stones on her way to class. She had thought he would stay, that he would want to try and keep her safe. Was it right that she liked that and that she felt more than a twinge of hurt at the idea that he had left? She didn't want Damon to be in love with her, did she? Wasn't part of the reason she put her romance with Stefan on hold so that she and Damon could get each other out of their systems? Butâ€¦ I am a lousy person, she realized. Musing on her own lousiness took Elena al the way into her History of the South class, where she was doodling sadly in her notebook when Professor Campbel â€“ James â€“ came in. Clearing his throat loudly, he walked to the front of the class, and Elena reluctantly pul ed her attention away from her own problems to pay attention to him. James looked different. Unsure of himself, Elena realized. His eyes didn't seem quite as bright as usual, and he appeared to be somehow smal er. â€œThere's been another disappearance,â€ he said quietly. An anxious babble rose up from the rest of the class, and he held up his hand. â€œThe victim this time â€“ and I think we can say at this point that we're talking about victims, not students simply leaving campus â€“ is, unfortunately, a student in this class. Courtney Brooks is missing; she was last seen walking back to her dorm from a party last night.â€ Scanning the class, Elena tried to remember who Courtney Brooks was. A tal , quiet girl with caramel-colored hair, she thought, and spotted the girl's empty seat. James raised his hand again to quel the rising clamor of frightened and excited voices. â€œBecause of this,â€ he said slowly, â€œI think that today we must postpone continuing our discussion of the colonial period so that I can tel you a little bit about the history of Dalcrest Col ege.â€ He looked around at the confused faces of the class. â€œThis is not, you see, the first time unusual things have happened on this campus.â€ Elena frowned and, looking at her classmates, saw her confusion mirrored on their faces. â€œDalcrest, as many of you doubtlessly know, was founded in 1889 by Simon Dalcrest with the aim of educating the wealthy sons of the postwar Southern aristocracy. He said that he wanted Dalcrest to be considered the â€˜Harvard of the South' and that he and his family would be at the forefront of intel ectualism and academia in the soon-to-begin new century. This much is frequently featured in the official campus histories. â€œIt's less Wellknown that Simon's hopes were dashed in 1895 when his wild twenty-year-old son, Wil iam Dalcrest, was found dead with three others in the tunnels underneath the school. It was what appeared to be a suicide pact. Certain materials and symbols found in the tunnels with the bodies suggested some ties to black magic. Two years later Simon's wife, Julia Dalcrest, was brutal y murdered in what is now the administration building; the mystery surrounding her death was never solved.â€ Elena glanced around at her classmates. Had they known about this? The col ege brochures mentioned when the school was founded and by who, but nothing about suicides and murders. Tunnels underneath the school? â€œJulia Dalcrest is one of at least three distinct ghosts who are rumored to haunt the campus. The other ghosts are those of a seventeen-year-old girl who drowned, again under mysterious circumstances, when visiting for a weekend dance in 1929. She is said to wander wailing through the hal s of McClel an House, leaving dripping pools of water behind her. The third is a twenty-one-year-old boy who vanished in 1953 and whose body was found three years later in the library basement. His ghost has reportedly been seen coming in and out of offices in the library, running and looking backward in terror, as if he is being pursued. â€œThere are also rumors of several other mysterious occurrences: a student in 1963 disappeared for four days and reappeared, saying he had been kidnapped by elves.â€ A nervous giggle ran through the class, and James waved a reproving finger at his audience. He seemed to be perking up, sWelling back to his usual self under the influence of the class's attention. â€œThe point is,â€ he said, â€œthat Dalcrest is an unusual place. Beyond elves and ghosts, there has been a plethora of documented unusual occurrences, and rumors and legends of far more spring up around campus every year. Mysterious deaths. Secret societies. Tales of monsters.â€ He paused dramatical y and looked around at them. â€œI beg you, do not become part of the legend. Be smart, be safe, and stick together. Class dismissed.â€ The students glanced at one another uneasily, startled by this abrupt dismissal with stil more than half an hour left in the class. Regardless, they started to gather their possessions together and trickle out of the room in twos and threes. Elena grabbed her bag and hurried to the front of the room. â€œProfessor,â€ she said. â€œJames.â€ â€œAh, Elena,â€ James said. â€œI hope you were paying attention today. It is important that you young girls be on your guard. The young men, too, real y. Whatever affects this campus does not seem to discriminate.â€ Up close, he looked pale and worried, older than he had at the beginning of the semester. â€œI was very interested in what you said about the history of Dalcrest,â€ Elena said. â€œBut you didn't talk about what's happening now. What do you think is going on here?â€ Professor Campbel â€˜s face creased into even grimmer lines, and his bright eyes gazed past her. â€œWell, my dear,â€ he said, â€œit's hard to say. Yes, very hard.â€ He licked his lips nervously. â€œI've spent a lot of time at this school, you know, years and years. There's not a lot I wouldn't believe at this point. But I just don't know,â€ he said softly, as if he was talking to himself. â€œThere was something else I wanted to ask you,â€ Elena said, and he looked at her attentively. â€œI went to see the picture you told me about. The one of you and my parents when you were students here. You were al wearing the same pin in the picture. It was blue and in the shape of a V.â€ She was close enough to James that she felt his whole body jolt with surprise. His face lost its grim thoughtfulness and went blank. â€œOh, yes?â€ he said. â€œI can't imagine what it was, I'm afraid. Probably something Elizabeth made. She was always very creative. Now, my dear, I real y must run.â€ He slipped past Elena and made his escape, hurrying out of the classroom despite a few other students' trying to stop him with questions. Elena watched him go, feeling her own eyebrows going up in surprise. James knew more than he was saying, that was for sure. If he wouldn't tel her â€“ and she wasn't giving up on him just yet â€“ she'd find out somewhere else. Those pins were significant, his reaction proved that. What kind of mystery could be tied to a pin? Had James said something about secret societies? â€œAfter my parents died,â€ Samantha told Meredith, â€œI went to live with my aunt. She came from a hunter family, too, but she didn't know anything about it. She didn't seem to want to know. I kept on doing martial arts and everything I could learn by myself, but I didn't have anyone to train me.â€ Meredith shone her flashlight into the dark bushes over by the music building and waved the beam around. Nothing to see except plants. â€œYou did a good job teaching yourself,â€ she told Samantha. â€œYou're smart and strong and careful. You just need to keep trusting your instincts.â€ It had been Samantha's idea to patrol the campus together after sundown, to check out the places where the missing girl, Courtney, had been spotted last night, to see if they could find anything. Meredith had felt powerful at the beginning of the evening, poised to fight, with her sister hunter beside her. But now, even though it was interesting to patrol with Samantha, to see the hunter life through her eyes, it was starting to feel like they were just wandering around at random. â€œThe police found her sweater somewhere over here,â€ Samantha said. â€œWe should look around for clues.â€ â€œOkay.â€ Meredith restrained herself from saying that the police had already been through here with dogs, looking for clues themselves, and there was a good chance they had found anything there was to find. She scanned the flashlight over the grass and path. â€œMaybe we'd be better off doing this during the day, when we can see better.â€ â€œI guess you're right,â€ Samantha said, flicking her own flashlight on and off. â€œIt's good that we're out here at night, though, don't you think? If we're patrol ing, we can protect people. Keep things from getting out of control. We walked Bonnie home last night and kept her safe.â€ Meredith felt a flicker of anxiety. What if they hadn't come along? Could Bonnie have been the one who disappeared, instead of Courtney? Samantha looked at Meredith, a little smile curling up the corners of her mouth. â€œIt's our destiny, right? What we were born for.â€ Meredith grinned back at her, forgetting her momentary anxiety. She loved Samantha's enthusiasm for the hunt, her constant striving to get better, to fight the darkness. â€œOur destiny,â€ she agreed. Off across the quad, someone screamed. Snapping into action without even thinking about it, Meredith began running. Samantha was a few steps behind her, already struggling to keep up. She needs to work on her speed, cool y commented the part of Meredith that was always taking notes. The scream, shril and frightened, came again, a bit to the left. Meredith changed direction and sped toward it. Where? She was close now, but she couldn't see anything. She scanned her flashlight over the ground, searching. There. On the ground nearby, two dark figures lay, one pinning the other to the ground. Everyone froze for a moment, and then Meredith was racing toward them, shouting â€œStop it! Get off! Get off!â€ and a second later, the figure that had been pinning the other down was up and running into the darkness. Black hoodie, black jeans, the note taker said calmly. Can't tell if it's a guy or a girl. The person who'd been pinned was a girl, and she flinched and screamed as Meredith ran past her, but Meredith couldn't stop. Samantha was behind her so she could help the girl. Meredith had to catch the fleeing figure. Her long strides ate up the ground, but she wasn't fast enough. Even though she was going as fast as she could, the person in black was faster. There was a glimpse of paleness as the person looked back at her and then melted into the darkness. Meredith ran on, searching, but there was nothing to be found. Final y, she halted. Panting, trying to catch her breath, she swept the beam of the flashlight over the ground, looking for some clue. She couldn't believe she had failed, that she had let the attacker get away. Nothing. No trace. They had gotten so close, and stil , al she knew was that the person who attacked this girl owned black clothes and was an insanely fast runner. Meredith swore and kicked at the ground, then pul ed herself back together. Approximating calmness, she headed back toward the victim. While Meredith was chasing the attacker, Samantha had helped the girl to her feet, and now the girl was huddled close to Samantha's side, wiping her eyes with a tissue. Shaking her head at Meredith, Samantha said, â€œShe didn't see anything. She thinks it was a man, but she didn't see his face.â€ Meredith clenched her fists. â€œDammit. I didn't see anything either. He was so fastâ€¦â€ Her voice trailed off as a thought struck her. â€œWhat is it?â€ Samantha asked. â€œNothing,â€ Meredith said. â€œHe got away.â€ In her mind, she replayed that momentary glimpse of pale hair she had seen as the attacker looked back at her. That shade of pale â€“ she had seen it somewhere very recently. She remembered Zander, his face turned toward Bonnie's. His white-blond hair was that same unusual shade. It wasn't enough to go on, not enough to tel anyone. A momentary impression of a color didn't mean anything. Meredith pushed the thought away, but, as she gazed off into the darkness again, she wrapped her arms around herself, suddenly cold.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.