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Hades Academy: Second Semester
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Hades Academy: Second Semester


  Hades Academy: Second Semester

  Hades Academy, Volume 2

  Abbie Lyons

  Published by Abbie Lyons, 2019.

  This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.

  HADES ACADEMY: SECOND SEMESTER

  First edition. August 28, 2019.

  Copyright © 2019 Abbie Lyons.

  Written by Abbie Lyons.

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Free prequel

  Afterword

  Chapter One

  I felt like I was on my period times a million.

  In no particular order, here are just a few of the emotions I’d experienced in the last two weeks: anger, sadness, relief, guilt, excitement, fear, and a touch of horniness.

  All those at the same time is one thing—not knowing exactly which of them is actually yours is another story entirely.

  “Nova?” Teddy prompted. “It’s your turn.”

  He was sitting across from me, with a game of what basically amounted to demon chess sitting between us. Most of the other students had returned home for the break between semesters, so we had the common room all to ourselves. Teddy was doing his best at trying to teach me how to play, but given all the super intense feelings coursing through me, I wasn’t having the easiest time catching on.

  “Yeah, yeah,” I muttered. “Just give me a sec. I’m trying to come up with my next move.”

  I suppose that wasn’t a lie. Although I wasn’t preoccupied with what to do next in the game so much as I was with what was next for me here at Hades Academy. It’s not very often that you bind your soul with a boy who shuffles off just a few days later to go spend the winter solstice with his family.

  On more than a few nights during the break so far, I shot awake in a cold sweat with a sense of overwhelming panic. But was it me who was panicking, or was it Raines? If he were nearby, maybe it would’ve been a bit easier to sort out which individual feelings originated from each of us. But with him being off wherever he was, it was impossible to determine.

  Here’s to dealing with shit like this until my last dying breath.

  “We don’t actually have to play if you don’t want to,” Teddy said. “There’re lots of other fun things we can do!”

  “Like what?” I asked skeptically. There were plenty of words I could use to describe the last few weeks, but “fun” definitely wasn’t one of them.

  “Hmmm.” He seemed just as stumped as I was. “We could...eat snacks?”

  I gagged. “All we’ve done this break is eat. I feel like I’m gonna explode.”

  Teddy and I had been hitting the vending machines in the common room hard. When there was no studying to be done, sometimes the only obvious thing to do was lounge around, eat demon Cheez-Its, and talk nonsense for hours at a time.

  And while I absolutely adored Teddy, who was probably the single most lovable person on the planet, talking to just one person was beginning to make me a little stir crazy. Especially when most of those conversations centered around Teddy’s favorite topics, like feats of engineering or the joys of bird-watching—I swear, sometimes he had the hobbies of a human dad going through a midlife crisis after a divorce.

  “We can play twenty questions,” Teddy suggested.

  “Sure,” I said in a monotone. “Animal, mineral, or vegetable?”

  “Animal!”

  I leaned back in my recliner and stretched out my legs. “Is it a giraffe?”

  He stared at me in amazement. “How did you know?”

  “You’ve already mentioned giraffes a few times this week, buddy.”

  “They’re incredible!” He couldn’t help but smile just thinking about them. Okay, so when his interests veered from those of a divorced dad, they were more like those of an overexcitable ten-year-old. You had to love it. “They eat 75 pounds of food a day! And they’re not even a little bit magic.”

  The truth was that I was still worried about the kid. Being possessed with the very essence of Chaos and putting the entire school on high alert—not to mention nearly murdering my roommate Morgan and me—surely had taken more of a toll than he was letting on. Teddy was always cheerful, but ever since then he was acting just a little too cheerful. It couldn’t have felt great being imbued with forces that powerful. So far, all he’d said was that he didn’t really feel anything while it was happening.

  And that was always the end of the conversation. Because as someone who’d been through my own share of shit in life, I respected someone who didn’t want to revisit trauma just because someone else was curious. That, and let’s be honest: fuzzy heart-to-hearts had never been my strength. Feelings were for girls who had luxuries like regular meals and non-hand-me-down socks.

  Ironic, then, that now I was getting double the emotion.

  Still, when it came to the whole Chaos thing, I was just as confused as I was concerned. Teddy’s possession and the little taste of Chaos we’d all gotten left me with more questions than ever. Were we still in serious danger? And why was Teddy the one unlucky enough to be chosen? Was there something about his pureness of heart that made him especially susceptible?

  Plus, something just felt fishy to me. And as I recently learned, the intuition I’ve always had—which I’d previously just attributed to a knack for reading situations that I gained after years in the foster care system—was actually something much more. It was one of my innate demon powers. And despite all the reassurances from the faculty that things here at Hades would soon be back to normal, I believed my power was telling me there was much more to the story that the students weren’t yet privy to.

  Was there somebody here at the school who’d invited Chaos in? I couldn’t help but feel that something like that, as frightening as it sounded, was more than possible.

  “What’s on your mind?” Teddy asked. “You just keep staring off into space like you’ve got a million different thoughts racing around in your head.”

  “I do have a million different thoughts racing around in my head,” I replied sarcastically.

  “Okay, so tell me about some of them! You know I’m always happy to listen.”

  I would’ve loved to just let it all out and blurt something like, “well, Raines and I had no choice but to bind souls, so now I’m feeling a ton of different emotions, which is making it even harder for me to sort through all the other complicated shit going on here at the school.” It would’ve been a gigantic weight off my shoulders.

  It wasn’t a decision either of us had made lightly. Soul binding with another demon links you for life, and gives you both greater power and this whole emotion-sharing thing. Raines needed protection now that his secret heritage was on the line, and I needed as much extra power as I could get so that I didn’t get bounced out of Hades for not having any actual demon abilities.

  But I couldn’t blow that secret.
That would require me to spill the beans about Raines being half-guardian—guardian as in angel, complete with wings. And I could only imagine the ribbing Morgan would give me if she ever found out about the soul binding.

  “You chose to remain linked to him for the rest of your miserable life?” she’d ask with equal parts fascination and horror. “Seriously, him?”

  But, by far, the person I most feared might learn about the soul binding was Wilder. Stupid, sexy Wilder who—maybe, just maybe—was fully prepared to sacrifice me to Chaos only a couple of weeks ago. Presumably, I wouldn’t have class again with him this semester, which was a small relief, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t miss staring at him every day.

  Hell of a way to think about a guy who might want you dead.

  But there were still two exetasis sessions, the test that was going to determine my powers and my future at Hades and that Wilder was responsible for, left to go. If he were ever going to discover the truth about me and Raines, it would be during one of those. I was hell-bent on doing anything I could to prevent that. It was best to be as cautious as possible around Wilder, at least for now.

  “I’m nervous about classes, mostly,” I lied.

  At this point, academics were the least of my worries. I was still total shit at using most of the demon powers I was supposed to have, but my confidence was growing. I believed I was capable of great abilities even though I hadn’t really begun to manifest them yet. It might take time, but I’d get there.

  Plus, I’d pretty much aced my first semester finals. Professor Lattimore even wrote a little note on my Survey of Human History essay about the connection between demons and Robespierre’s Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. “Extremely insightful and thought-provoking! Best in the class!” he noted at the top of my paper underneath a bold red A+.

  “At least we’re done with Latin,” Teddy said. “I don’t know how much more of Professor Stultior’s snoring I could take.”

  I laughed. “What, you’re not gonna miss all our quality time together?” I teased.

  “I didn’t mean it that way!” he said defensively, his face blushing red. “It was great having a class just the two of us. Honestly.”

  Getting him all flustered was way too easy. Maybe that’s why Chaos chose him as a target.

  “I’m just messing with you, pal,” I said. “Learning to transmorph or do other spooky demon stuff is way more appealing than more of a dead language. Plus, we’re making up for all that lost quality time together this break.”

  It hit me that I wasn’t sure why Teddy didn’t go home for the solstice. Most of the people staying at Hades Academy had legit reasons for sticking around, like, you know, not having an actual family to go back to. Although I had to admit the idea of me going back to my old three-card monte scam just for two weeks just for old time’s sake was hilarious.

  But from all I’d learned, Teddy has a pretty normal family life. Sure, there was the whole thing where he was almost sent to Elysium, the school for guardians, which might have created a whole big ordeal in a demon household, but he’d not once mentioned any animosity from his parents. But if there was trouble back at home, would he even mention it? This was the same guy who was cheerily brushing off literally being possessed.

  Okay, so maybe I could be a bit better at knowing the intimate details of my friends’ lives. Right now, though, I was feeling dead tired. I’d been feeling tired in general, recently. Was that a side effect of the soul binding or just the result of two weeks of lazing around? No idea.

  “I’m pooped,” I said, rising from my recliner. “I promise I’ll learn to play this game properly sometime...maybe.”

  “And I’ll be happy to teach you more!” he said. “It’s such a great game—simple, yet with layers and layers of complexity. So many strategic moves to consider.”

  I yawned. “The only strategic move I could ever possibly consider right now is moving my ass into bed. Goodnight!”

  From what I understood, students would start trickling back to school tomorrow. I hoped Morgan would be one of them. I’d never been the type to say stupid shit like “I just need some girl time!” but holy hell, I needed some girl time.

  Second semester was going to be a hell of a ride.

  Chapter Two

  “Nova Donovan, you magnificent bitch, get on up out of bed and give me a hug!”

  Who needed an alarm clock when you had Morgan St. Germain as your roommate?

  As much as I would’ve liked to keep sleeping, I knew that Morgan would expect me to dutifully follow her command. I climbed out of bed in my fancy Hades Academy PJs, my hair still a knotty mess, and before I could even take a single step I was wrapped in Morgan’s arms.

  “Did ya miss me?” she asked.

  “More than I’ve ever missed anybody,” I told her.

  And I meant that. Sure, I missed my mother too, but given that I didn’t even know who she was, I missed the idea of her more than I missed her as a person. Morgan was the closest thing I’d ever had to a best friend. Hell, she and Teddy were practically my first real friends—a little pathetic, maybe, but making lasting relationships wasn’t easy for a girl with a bad attitude shuffling between schools and foster homes.

  “Feel free to let go of me at any time, though,” I said after what felt like a whole minute had passed.

  “What’s that line Rose says in Titanic?” she said. “I’ll never let go!”

  Ah, yes, one of Morgan’s favorite pop culture references.

  “After which, she does let him go,” I reminded her.

  “True enough.” She pulled back and gave me a once-over. “You look ill.”

  I’d missed that Morgan bluntness, too. She was right—I looked pale and sickly, probably owing to the stress of carrying the emotional burden of an entire other person.

  I bet Raines looks like shit right now, too.

  I gave her a little punch. “And you look perfect, as always.”

  “Of course I do,” she said. “I refuse to make my return to Hades in anything less than my absolute best.”

  She was wearing a dramatic, midnight-blue blouse with bell sleeves that fell to the tips of her fingers and a daringly plunging V-neck that framed six individual pewter pendants on thin chains.

  “How’s our boy?” Morgan asked, taking a seat on her bed. “I trust you’ve been keeping an eye on him?”

  Morgan might’ve had an even bigger soft spot for Teddy than I did. I got the feeling that there weren’t many Teddy types in the upper crust of British demon society, so it made sense why she would find his earnestness so damn endearing.

  “Well, he’s acting all bright and cheery as if everything is fine,” I told her. “But there’s no way he’s one-hundred percent okay after all that bullshit. Right?”

  “Hm, dunno.” She considered for a half-second. “If anyone’s going to bounce back quickly, it’d be Teddy, right? Oh! Look here.”

  Morgan was already unloading all her luggage into her wardrobe—she’d clearly come back with more than she left with.

  “Solstice gifts,” she explained, as if reading my mind. “My family knows me all too well. Clothes, clothes, and more clothes.”

  Gifts—those were another thing I didn’t have much experience with. The homes I lived in growing up weren’t exactly the holly jolly types.

  “Okay, so stupid question,” I started, “but winter solstice is basically demon Christmas, right?”

  Morgan burst into laughter. “Oh, love, sometimes I forget how much you still have to learn. Winter solstice is nice, but we don’t take it nearly as seriously as the fall equinox...know, balance and all. That’s why school here starts so late in September—most demons enjoy spending the autumn equinox with their families.”

  “So what about the summer solstice?”

  “That one’s a bit different,” she said as she hung up one of her new sweaters. “Some people might go home for it, but otherwise we’ll just have the day off from school and
probably do some hardcore partying. Hellwater and barbecuing and such. It’ll be aces!”

  “And what—”

  “I’m afraid I have to to cut you off right there,” Morgan said. “I’m dying to get out and about. What do you say you freshen up a bit while I unpack? Then we’ll go off to the common room?” She tossed me some clothes. “Here’s a little something I brought back with me that I thought you’d look ravishing in! Give them a try, will you?”

  MORGAN WAS RIGHT—I did look ravishing. Since school wasn’t officially back in session, we were free to wear outfits other than uniforms, giving us a rare opportunity to really show off. The black skater dress she’d gifted me flared out from my waist, revealing just a hint of silvery lining when I walked, and the matching fishnet tights kept it from being too little-black-dress-y, which I appreciated. We made quite the duo as we strolled into the common room. Honestly, we were hot shit, and heads were turning.

  We look fucking goooood, I thought.

  “I think we might be developing a bit of a reputation,” Morgan whispered to me as we made our way to the exit.

  I knew exactly what she meant. It felt like a million years had passed since I was that awkward girl sitting alone in the common room before accidentally getting myself into a fight with Camilla, self-appointed Queen Bee of the first-year students at Hades. Not that I was popular—far from it—but I certainly wasn’t just some girl who was fading into the background. Part of the credit for that was due to Morgan. It was impossible to be unknown when you were best friends with the chick who had her nose in every bit of gossip at the school.

  Judging by the crowd in the common room, it looked as though a sizable chunk of students had already returned. People were laughing and milling about, presumably trading stories about how their uncle got too drunk during the solstice or how gross the traditional demon food their grandmother made was.

  Suddenly and without warning, I felt nauseous, as if I were nervous about something.

 
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