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London Dawn Merlo

"Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't." ~Steve Maraboli

0 · 524 views · located in University of Diversity

a character in “Sponsor Me”, as played by Machubi-Uniki


London Dawn Merlo
”London-Fortress of the Moon”; Dawn-“Sunrise”; Merlo-“Blackbird”

“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Apple Inc.


Witch-Vampire Sponsor


High School Senior


|Physical Description|
London is about average height, standing at 5’5” and possessing an extremely slender build evident by her only weighing 112 lbs. She has waist length blond hair and her bangs are not only always long enough to cover her eyes but always do cover her eyes. Her only real defining trait is the beige hoodie she always wears to help cover her eyes. If you could see them, you would find her irises to be a striking sapphire color that some say seem to pierce your very soul.

Her clothing style is reserved in color as she only wears blacks, beiges, browns, and other wallflower shades. Her entire presence can easily go unnoticed as she carries herself with so little an existence.


|I can...|
Sing and dance (if no one is there), perform house chores, run fast, do schoolwork well, sympathize with others social misfortunes, make quick informed decisions, it should be noted that she is an extremely perceptive individual (perhaps a little too perceptive).

|But I can't...|
Play a single instrument, work a computer, stand in front of people, have a normal conversation, work in groups, do arts and crafts well, voice my opinion well, act on my decisions in social situations. Lets just say social relations in general aren’t her thing.

|Personality| Image
London is a girl fighting a constant internal battle. She suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder, “Social anxiety disorder or social anxiety is an excessive emotional discomfort, anxiety, fear or worry about social situations. The individual is exceptionally worried about social situations, being evaluated or scrutinized by other people - there is a heightened fear of interactions with others. Social anxiety disorder is sometimes referred to as social phobia. A phobia is an irrational fear of certain situations, objects or environments.” (Taken from Christian Nordqvist’s article What Is Social Anxiety Disorder? What Causes Social Anxiety Disorder?) Anyways, this phobia of sorts causes her to be socially awkward on extreme levels and has led to her isolation from society on many occasions; this is something she desires to change. Her entire goal in life is to be a performer that changes the world (to what she isn't sure) with her voice and dancing but to do this she knows she must change and is striving to do so. (It is to be noted that London is deeply envious of people who can freely speak their minds and thus is further driven to try and change herself into people like them. What she fails to realize, however, is that by trying to be more like someone else she grows to dislike who she actually is and ends up making things harder on herself.)

She is on a constant mission to see herself in a different light; however, her self-critical and self-defeating tendencies many times cause her to enter states of despondency and withdrawal. She’ll take two steps forward towards making friends and establishing relationships only to end up taking three steps backwards. This constant mission also works towards giving her constant mood swings. If you were to gaze upon her from afar you'd probably mistake her as having multiple personalities when in fact she doesn't. As her thoughts swing back and forth between positive and negative so do her emotions, and as her emotions flurry about so do her actions. One moment she could be standing before a crowd of people determined to say something and the next you'll find her crouched next to a tree coated in an aura of misery. So yes, London, despite her inability to speak or socialize, is an open book if there ever was one. (Of course, you can't take this too far since she can and will take a secret to her grave.)

Working against her is her impatience; she has a very hard time taking baby steps in any aspect of her life. This causes her to set goals she can’t reach (and also causes her to walk really fast all the time.). London possesses a stubborn streak, as well, seeing as she doesn't give up on anything easily ever (easily seen in the fact that she is so determined to change her anti-social nature.)

ImageDespite her apparent pessimism, London is actually optimistic about other people. She truly believes that everyone is deserving and capable of achieving happiness and she wants to go out of her way to help people achieve that happiness (she just doesn’t feel that she can). Her own plight has made it easier for her to sympathize with other people even if she can’t yet show that sympathy in face-to-face communication. Instead, she has taken to leaving others anonymous notes meant to encourage them. Of course, these notes can also be used to express her annoyance with people and their actions because despite her optimism about individuals and her social awkwardness she is relatively easy to enrage.

Speaking of her rage, this is a source of strength for London in many ways. When she does finally take huge steps in overcoming her disorder it is due to the build up of her anger. Unfortunately, there have been times when her anger and social disorder combined has caused her to act out in underhanded ways, but this is a very rare occurrence and if you can bring this not-so-sympathetic side out of her then you are talented.

Weirdly, despite her disorder, London doesn't respond to most forms of all. Now if you were to come at her in a crowd of people and bully her by forcing a conversation on her, it would be vastly affective. However, if you were to pour water on her head or purposely hit her with the ball in gym or even simply spread nasty rumors about her it would all fly right by her. London simply can't register the fact that she is being bullied.

Finally, London is highly perceptive. She is able to pick up on the smallest body language or tone of voice and make connections that most people may not be able to do. This is in part due to the fact that, because she doesn't interact with most people, she spends a lot of time observing people and thus she had to form other ways of 'getting to know' her peers. Things that would seem normal or be brushed aside as a part of someone's personality London can see as part of a much different picture. Unfortunately this sometimes causes her to see things or perceive things that aren't really there. For example, a small meaningless slip of the tongue or roll of the eyes can be understood by London as you absolutely and utterly despising her when, in fact, that is not the case.

|I like...|
To eat chicken teriyaki (oh and teriyaki flavored jerky), dancing and singing in places where no one can see or hear, to read in quiet corners, to stand in front of mirrors (alone) and practice for social interactions, animals.

|But I don't like...|
Social interaction such as standing in front of people or just interacting with others in general, pulling my hair out of my face and being without my hoodie, being alone, doing homework, eating ‘green’ food (vegetables in general).

None at the moment.

London has never in her life been to the city London. Though that is usually the first question she receives when she is introduced. She was homeschooled by her mother in a small town, Metaline, in the north of Washington State until she turned thirteen. Her mother was very overprotective and her father was never really around for one reason or another. By the time she was thirteen she was exposed to the public school system for the first time where she was met with constant bullying brought on by her severe anti-social behavior. This did not help matters when it came to her Social Anxiety Disorder.

She was diagnosed with the disorder at the age of sixteen and it was recommended that she try to combat the phobia by experiencing life without her mother hovering around her. Originally, she was to attend a school meant to help those with mental disorders, but through a series of misunderstandings about what the school was actually meant for, London was enrolled in the University of Diversity instead. However, she’s not going to let this unfortunate hiccup stop her from curing herself!

I created an opinions thread for this, why don't you go check that out instead. -_-

London has a secret desire to travel to London, England and write 'London was here' at the base of Big Ben.

What's on my iPod: Gravity - Sara Bareilles, I'm Scared - Duffy, Atomic - she, Hide and Seek - Imogen Heap, Make a Move - Icon for Hire, For Those Who Wait - Fireflight, Just A Little Girl - Trading Yesterday, I Need You to Love Me-Barlow Girl, You're Not Alone-Meredith Andrews. (Figured I'd do something useful in my break between exams... ^^)

|Theme Song| ”Who You Are” by Jessie J

I stare at my reflection in the mirror:
"Why am I doing this to myself?"
Losing my mind on a tiny error,
I nearly left the real me on the shelf.
No, no, no, no, no...

Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It's okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart.
Tears don't mean you're losing, everybody's bruising,
Just be true to who you are!
(who you are [x11])

Brushing my hair, do I look perfect?
I forgot what to do to fit the mold, yeah!
The more I try the less it's working, yeah
'Cause everything inside me screams
No, no, no, no, no...

Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It's okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart.
But tears don't mean you're losing, everybody's bruising,
There's nothing wrong with who you are!

Yes, no's, egos, fake shows, like WHOA!
Just go, and leave me alone!
Real talk, real life, good love, goodnight,
With a smile, that's my home!
That's my home, no...

No, no, no, no, no...
Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It's okay not to be okay...
Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart.
Tears don't mean you're losing, everybody's bruising,
Just be true to who you are!
Yeah yeah yeah


So begins...

London Dawn Merlo's Story

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Character Portrait: London Dawn Merlo
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London Dawn Merlo

So this was Iowa, it was certainly warmer than what London was used to and that made it a lot harder to wear her hoodie and be comfortable doing so. However, she’d be very uncomfortable not wearing it. Her hopes were high for this year, she could tell there were going to be changes, the menacing gloom that seemed to stalk after her told her that much. Of course, this ominous shroud didn’t necessarily doom her to a terrible year, no she was doing that to herself by hiding from the crowds and being completely and utterly unable to say hello to a single soul. It wasn’t that she hadn’t tried, she had. Simply put, she had tried and failed, quite miserably. By this point she was sitting behind a bush pondering what had gone wrong even after all the practice in the mirror.

Trying to initiate a conversation she discovered early on was a mission condemned to failure, however, her hopes were that if someone else said hello she could at least return the favor. However, when this opportunity arose, the people saying hello were not only strangers to her but also chose to do so in a group and she ended up having a panic attack that sent her into hiding. Now clutching her chest as she tried to remind herself to breathe properly she criticized her actions, what is wrong with you!? Lightly she smacked her cheek, they were being nice; they weren’t criticizing me! That could have gone so well but I ruined it! This is hopeless.

A spark of determination brought her to her feet as she reminded herself again of what she had to do, stop that! Pity never got anyone anywhere! I can’t change if I don’t think I can change! Which probably means I’ll never change, but yes I can. Her whirling change of opinions came in quick and sudden bursts as she clenched her fist before her, turned towards the school again, and faced the throng of people. In the end, however, her scarlet face led her towards the deserted part of the school where she found herself better able to calm down, or at least that’s what she thought for the moment.

“Pleasure meeting you here!” London nearly mentally died right then and there as an older man with round glasses took her hand and shook it so fiercely she was forced to meet his gaze. The result? Her entire body took to trembling and her already scarlet face turned green from nausea. “I take it you’re here for the sponsorship program! Splendid right this way no need to be shy! Follow me now.” Somehow she couldn’t help but feel a chill run down her spine as his final statement trended more towards a threat than a request.

Just what this sponsorship program was, London had no idea, she’d only just arrived at the school half an hour ago and she hadn’t even found her dorm building yet, or her bags for that matter seeing as they were lost on the flight from Washington to Iowa. “W-wait, sponsor, I do-” she begun.

“I’m so glad to see you are just so willing. Right this way, so many papers to sign so little time.” The man walked unusually fast and all but carried London into a building and office that didn’t inspire much confidence in a euphoric ending to this slight misadventure. The man then proceeded to shove London into a folding chair with such force she nearly fell backwards. Confused and beginning to feel light headed the blonde tried to piece together in her head what exactly she was so willing to do. For the life of her she couldn’t remember agreeing to anything and yet this man seemed convinced she had.

“B-but I did-” Again her thought was interrupted this time by a pile of papers being shoved into her lap.

“GREAT! Here’s a pen, just sign there,” he pointed to a line on the bottom of the page, “and you can be on your merry way. Or you could just sit here with me for as long as it takes for you to understand. We could have a nice long conversation about it or I can just fill you in while you sign and you can be gone in two seconds it’s up to you.” This man had completely lost London’s attention the moment he asked her to sign the document. Not because she wanted to leave as soon as possible (though she certainly did) but rather because of the mere fact he wanted to watch her fill out a document. Deeper confusion set in as she wondered where she had been taken and who he was and why she was here. What did I do wrong to end up here? I don’t remember what I did wrong! I must have done something. Who is he again?

“I’m the Sponsorship Club Director,” the man started to speak, well, that answers that question.. London looked up at the apparent mind reader, this would be the final straw before what little hold she had on her mental capacity to exist and operate shattered, because the moment she made eye contact with him for the second time her mind went blank. No longer did she register who he was or who she was, nor where she was, nor what she was doing. The man was talking but she couldn’t hear any of the words coming out of his mouth over the sound of her pounding heart. Nor could she hear the sound of scratching as her clammy, cold, trembling hands, scribbled her name on the paper, London Dawn Merlo.

She was completely unaware of what she had written or that she had even written anything at all. By this point, the chances that she had actually penned her name on the line were astronomical seeing as she was a mere shell of her former self. However, chance and the aligning of the stars would have it that the line was marked and the deed done. Even if London was blissfully unaware of the fact.

The form was removed from the still soulless girl and the four-eyed man smiled before tucking it away in a mass of papers. “Pleasure doing business with you Ms. Merlo. Uh…Ms. Merlo? Are you okay? London Merlo?” An awkward pause ensued as the man stared at the motionless girl with blank eyes. He coughed slightly and looked down at his wrist, searching for the invisible watch that might have told him that precious time was passing him by.

Finally, after the young lady still failed to stir, he stood and brushed himself off before circling around his desk and standing before the blonde. He waved his hand in front of her face then readjusted his glasses with a slight sigh. Firmly taking the girls shoulder he hoisted London to her feet and steadied her as she began to sway. After some experimentation he managed to ease the life sized doll into a march and escorted her out of the office, “Let me take you to your dorm room, you seem a little flustered at the moment and I worry you may be unable to find it on your own.”

More like he was worried she’d never leave his office if he didn’t take her to her room. However, he would never say such a thing to such a fragile girl. Of course, as she was now it was highly doubtful she’d even be aware he said a word to her.

The walk was rather slow paced as the man was currently guiding a weak jointed stringed puppet along a poorly kept path. On occasion London’s foot would catch on some obstruction and the man would have to hoist her back into an upright position. Her guide nearly rejoiced when they turned the final corner and he found his destination.

At the end of the path was a shoddy building that looked like it would collapse if you simply opened the front door with too much speed. However, considering all the trouble the Club Director went through to reach this building it appeared more to him like a light at the end of an obnoxiously long tunnel. He quickly led London inside and crossed the hallway before stopping at the staircase. This was the true puzzle. How would he manage to get the dead girl up the staircase.

Fortunately, by this time, London had started to regain her mental functions, and actually analyze her surroundings. What kind of dorm is this? It’s an accidental death waiting to happen. She shifted slightly away from the man’s grip and looked at his shoes. They were shiny and black, a stark difference to her old and dirty tennis shoes. The awkwardness and embarrassment she suddenly felt caused her to shuffle her feet awkwardly.

The director quickly picked up on her acquirement of motor functions and loosened his grip on her, he then motioned her up the stairs. “This way, your room is up this flight of stairs.” She followed the man’s guidance and was led to the end of the second floor hallway. They stopped in front of the last room on the left where the four eyed man pulled out a key, unlocked the door, opened it, and then placed the key in London’s still clammy hands. He then patted her shoulders, “well then make yourself at home. You’ll find a map of the campus on your bed but if you need me or a psychiatrist you know where to find me.”

That most certainly was not the case for London seeing as how she didn’t really remember much of anything at the moment. Still trembling she went to reach out for the man that was starting to leave, “a-a…”. Her throat was so dry her voice actually got stuck inside it, but that was nothing compared to how dry her mouth was. Before the man’s black, shiny feet (seeing as that was all she could see from beneath her bangs and hood) could disappear completely, however, he turned back around.

“Just in case you didn’t hear me before, you’re to look after the witch vampires; if you need any specific information on how to do this, I have some files in my office or you could always just ask them. Well then, bye.” Then he literally picked his feet up in a mad dash to get away from her.

London stood there; the nausea and dizziness made her feel like she was about to keel over then and there. However, even they weren’t enough to stop her next thought, what is he talking about?She turned towards her dorm room. It was dark inside and covered in cobwebs. There was wallpaper that was tearing away from the wall, and a broken light bulb on the ceiling as well as a single dirty window with chipped paint acted as her only light sources. This isn’t a room! This is a cave of shattered dreams and confusion! Even so, she still stepped into the self appointed cave. Careful to avoid any suspicious looking floor boards, she made her way to the bed and patted it. Dust exploded in all directions and London recoiled. She sighed feeling somewhat dejected, I think it’s safe to say that I have my work cut out for me if I’m planning on inhabiting this hole.

Well, an hour in to her first day and already London had shot herself in the face, metaphorically speaking of course. At least, she was pleasantly unaware of what she had done to deserve this. All in all, it is time to test the age-old proverb, “ignorance is bliss.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lilith Báthory Character Portrait: London Dawn Merlo Character Portrait: Kaiden McIlroy Character Portrait: Alizé Cecilia Ryder Character Portrait: Milly Thorne
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Standing on the outside of the University, with it's large arched wrought iron fence looming overhead, and looking inside made Lilith feel small somehow. Maybe it was the massive size of the campus, or maybe it was watching all the other students gather together in their circle of friends gushing on about how much they missed one another and telling all their exciting tales of summer fun had and summer loves made. Lilith had no such stories to tell as she had spent the summer with her parents. Even though they lived in town she only ever saw them on holidays and would spend some time, only three weeks, with them during the summer break. This allowed them to have a normal life; making friends, having dinner parties, being able to go out in public without the snide comments and the disdainful glares. It was a sacrifice she willingly made because their happiness meant so much to her.

Taking a deep breath while running a hand through her silver mane, she looked around once more relishing in the small amount of comfort granted to her by the fact that the other students were so caught up in themselves that they didn't pay her any mind. After the thrill of being reunited faded and the normal day to day routine of a student settled in she was sure that the common practice of openly staring and avoiding her would return. Though being ostracized in that was was preferable to being beaten and bullied. That hadn't happened in quite some time, her gift being the main reason for that.

Lifting a duffel bag full of clean clothes, bathroom products, and various forms of entertainment, which was far too large and heavy for any human to lift, in one hand and her violin case in the other. Lilith began the long and winding journey to her dorm room. The dorm was on the outskirts of the campus and had this been a normal type of campus the building wouldn't have been so hard to get too but the many renovations had turned this place into a labyrinth something akin to what you would find in Greek Mythology.

Lilith weaved in and out of crowds of students mingling around careful not to touch any of them, not physically anyways. As she passed each of them she would put out feelers that only she could see. These gold strands would reach deep into the soul of the student searching for the one emotion she needed to sustain herself; Envy. Once found the energy from the emotion would zip up the strands in a hew of pink and recharge her, she often wondered if the reason her eyes were magenta was because it was the same color of the energy that gave her life.

Getting a few decent sized hits from those who were jealous of their friends extraordinary vacations; Caribbean cruises, trips to Paris, Rome, Berlin, Moscow, meeting ones idol while in LA or New York, left her feeling completely recharged. Not that she could blame any of them for feeling envious, Lilith sure was. Now that she was partly fed, per-say, she hurried on to the dorm.

When she reached her building there were a few humans looking at the dorm as if they had come across a shanty tent town for the homeless. ”New Sponsors I suppose.” Golden strands snaked out from her and touched on each one of them. She was pleased to find that at least one of them harbored enough envy to keep her plenty energized. Lilith looked at the two females and then the male once again before she turned back to the dorm. Standing in front of it, yet still behind the humans, she had mixed feelings, this was her home for five years now and she had come to really love her little room. On the other hand the dilapidated state of the building was a testament of how low vampires were on the totem pole in society, they didn't even warrant simple repairs like leaky roofs or broken windows. She walked past the humans, stopping in front of the red haired man and briefly looking him over, before walking up the few stairs. As she opened the door and screeched in protest as if the act itself had cause it some sort of grievous pain. She made it up the creaky stairs to the second floor where she looked down both end of the hall to see if anyone else had made it back yet. She noticed a previously vacant room now stood open ”Huh another Sponsor? The club manager sure has been busy. Turning to her right she walked down to her room which was located at the end of the hall. Putting her key in she turned the knob and threw open the door.

It was just as she had left it. She had taken it upon herself to renovate her own room over the years with the help of her father. The old brick wall had still been mostly intact, the only flaws were hidden by the bookshelf and her bed. Oh her bed, it was the loveliest thing in the whole room and it had taken her father all of her first summer break to build it. She was only 13 at the time so she wasn't able to help much but she did what she could like sanding and staining the wood. The day before school started they had brought it in piece by piece and assembled it inside the room. He had even made a closet on the end of it for her since her room didn't have one and a book shelf on the inside. After she left the University she planned to take it with her wherever she went.

The other walls had many holes in them but that was easily fixed with some plaster and then painted over with a simple cream color. On the brick wall she had hung a mantle and placed a faux fireplace underneath to give the room a feel of comfort. Inside the closet, behind the back curtain, she had strung some white Christmas lights that were plugged into an outlet that was controlled by a light switch. The lamp inside her bed was actually battery operated though you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at it. While there was a top bunk it didn't get much use and was mostly there for decoration, though Lilith suspected that her father had done that in hopes that she would find some girl friend to have slumber parties with.

All in all this was her little slice of heaven, her sanctuary if you would. A small smile appeared on her face as walked in, leaving the door open behind her, and she set her bag down then opened the window before beginning to unpack her things. As much as she loved visiting with her parents she had missed being here.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: London Dawn Merlo Character Portrait: Kaiden McIlroy Character Portrait: Edmund Malkin Character Portrait: Alizé Cecilia Ryder Character Portrait: Milly Thorne
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#, as written by Flexar

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

A tall figure in a long, beige coat carrying as much as humanly possible and then some could be seen lumbering towards the university’s arched gateway. This was Edmund. If you could see his face, you would notice that it was twisted into an angry scowl, not at anyone in particular, but more at the university itself. The buildings, the students, the teachers; he hated them all. Every time he returned to the university, he had a sledgehammer of disappointment swung into his emotions. As he dragged himself through the arched gateway that loomed before him, in his mind the gates slammed loudly shut behind him, and stayed that way.

Now, you should remember that I said Edmund was carrying more than humanly possible. That may have been slightly exaggerated, but he still wasn’t travelling light. This could have been easily avoided if he wasn’t so passionate about his music. But he was, and there’s no use crying over spilled milk. His bass was slung over his back, his acoustic guitar was slung round his front, he carried a large guitar amp in his right hand and his electric guitar in his left. All of his guitars were in soft cases, so he needed to watch where he was going, lest he bash and damage them. As for the stuff that most people bring with them, he had made sure to leave a good supply of clothes and toiletries in his dorm. There was no way he would leave his guitars there; he wasn’t going to go an entire holiday without practice and quite frankly, he didn’t trust someone not to steal them. He could leave his clothes and toiletries there, nobody was going to nick his toothbrush, but they might well nick two thousand dollars’ worth of musical equipment.

In tow was Edmund’s faithful companion, the Eurasian Eagle Owl Malphas. Malphas was significantly less burdened than his master, and fluttering along beside him with ease. He usually perched himself on Edmund’s right shoulder, but Edmund’s guitars prevented him from perching comfortably. In his usual attempt to lighten Edmund’s mood, he spoke up:
“It’s such a glorious day. The sun is shining, there’s a cool breeze in the air and the birds are singing beautifully.”
“If only the birds would be quieter.” Edmund retorted.
Cheering Edmund up was not an easy feat, and in his current state even Malphas could do nothing to raise his spirits. Malphas was well aware of this, and so he didn't make any further attempts, as they would only rile Edmund up.

The pair progressed through the campus in silence paying no heed to the surrounding area that would surely startle any newcomers to the university. They had since grown used to the peculiar mishmash of architectural styles that bore the name “the University of Diversity”. Edmund often wondered if the diversity it spoke of was regarding the buildings, not the students. The students Edmund passed seemed to watch him with confusion in their eyes; why was he drowning in musical gear when he didn’t even have a suitcase? Ignoring their gazes, Edmund continued to drag himself through the campus towards the vampire dorm building.

Finally Edmund carefully removed all his luggage and laid it down carefully against the wall. He slumped down onto his bed and took a series of loud, deep breaths; he was tired out from having to shift his gear to the far edge of the campus, and the dorm building’s stairs didn't exactly help. He stared up at the dorm’s plain, brown ceiling for a while before sitting up and looking around the rest of the room. It wasn't huge, but Edmund made use of the space. Along the wall opposite the door there was a kitchen surface, some cupboards, a bread bin, a kettle, a microwave, a sink, a dishwasher and a fridge. Along the right wall was Edmund’s bed, his guitars, his amp and the door to his closet. His desk and chest of drawers were pressed against the room’s left wall. The room’s fourth wall had a large bookshelf on the right side of the door, put there as opposed to the left side to conceal a large strip of paint that was dangling off. The carpet was beige and fairly grubby, but this was normal for the vampire dorms. It wasn't pretty, but Edmund made do with what he had.

It was a minute or so before Edmund stood up. When he did, he walked over to sink, filled the kettle with water and turned it on. He simply stood and waited while the kettle boiled, and instantly poured out the water into a cup before dropping in a tea bag. He waited in the same silent, motionless fashion that he had waited before while the tea infused. After discarding the tea bag he slumped down into the wheelie chair by his desk, blew on his tea and took a sip. He smiled and took another sip; while no person could calm Edmund while he was in such a state, tea certainly could.
“You know, Malphas, perhaps you were right about it being a nice day outside.” Edmund apologised, “I think I’ll go outside once I've finished my tea.”
If Malphas had lips he would have smiled, but his expression still made it obvious that Edmund’s change of heart had pleased him.

Once Edmund had finished his tea he put his teacup to one side, sat up and stretched.
"I'll go and have a look to see who's back now." Edmund told Malphas as he walked towards the door, "Maybe see some new faces."
Malphas fluttered over to Edmund and perched in his usual spot on Edmund's right shoulder as Edmund unlocked the door and walked out again.

The first person Edmund saw upon leaving his dorm was a fairly normal looking girl with long, brown hair entering the room opposite his. She was human, as far as Edmund could tell, and if she was staying in the vampire dorm, that meant she was a sponsor. Edmund had never seen her before, and so assumed that she was new. However, Edmund rarely payed the humans much mind, so she could have been here for some time without Edmund noticing. He wondered if she had become a sponsor out of her own good will or had been fooled into it; unfortunately, with most sponsors it was because of the latter. Along the hall was another human girl, who was noticeably rather angry. Edmund didn't need to think about why she was here.

Upon climbing the stairs to the next floor Edmund was greeted by the sound of a loud, angry Scotsman. Turning his head, Edmund saw a man of about his height and age with long, red hair snapping at a man in a suit, a man Edmund recognised as a man who worked on the sponsorship program. The Scotsman was definitely new; Edmund would definitely remember someone so imposing.

Edmund made his way further down the hallway and wondered if any of the humans he had seen so far would be sponsoring him. His question was soon answered as he overheard a snippet of a conversation between a girl in a hoodie and an old man whom Edmund recognised as the Sponsorship Club's director.
"You're to look after the witch vampires."
Edmund's heart leaped; he had a sponsor! An expression of delight nearly escaped Edmund's lips, but he concealed the noise he did make with a cough. While he might have fooled any people in the surrounding area, he certainly hadn't fooled Malphas. All the gateways which had previously been tightly locked shut had suddenly swung open, simply because some girl had unwittingly agreed to sponsor him. Edmund decided that he ought to meet his new sponsor, so he briskly hurried over to the room which the girl had just entered, with the director hurrying past him at an even faster pace. Edmund found the door slightly ajar, so he rapped on it twice in quick succession with his knuckles and then proceeded to open the door and step inside, just over the threshold.
"Good morning." Edmund greeted the girl plainly but politely, I understand that you're sponsoring the witch vampires. My name is Edmund Malkin, and this is my familiar, Malphas. I'm one of the vampires you will be sponsoring."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: London Dawn Merlo Character Portrait: Edmund Malkin Character Portrait: Henri Leppards Character Portrait: Adwin Malir
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"Goooood morning, U of D!", a shout of pure elation sounded from the gates of the University. It's creator, a thin, black haired boy in a black button-up, white undershirt covered in paint stains, denim pants, and runner's shoes. Adwin was quite excited for his third year, and couldn't wait to meet everyone again.

Although, his greeting didn't elicit a positive reaction from most. The human cliques looked at him like he was the plague. "What's his deal?" "God, he looks weird."Isn't that Adwin? That painter vampire? I hear he drinks artist's blood." It was all the same, each year now. But hey, what could you do? Adwin certainly didn't care. No reason to let the fools drag him down.

After the initial murmurs, everyone went on with gushing about their perfect summer breaks. Adwin, not having much choice in where to go, had lived in the dorms the entirety of summer. It wasn't so bad, with no one around. He'd run from rooftop to rooftop, getting gorgeous views of the Iowa sunsets. If he did that now, he'd surely get suspended or something worse.

Casually walking towards his side of the University, Adwin took the time to see if anyone was feeling creative today. From his form emerged many tendril-like objects; Some were snakes, others were tentacles, maybe even bony arms. These all searched the crowds for the sweet nectar of mankind. The creativity that made engineers, artists, singers...anything, really. While it wasn't very great, Adwin got some sustenance off the liars: They were weaving some pretty creative falsities. Of course, it wasn't pure, and left a bad taste in Adwin's mouth. The arms and tentacles brought the bright rainbow-colored orbs to him, and Adwin kept going until he was satisfied.

The painter had arrived at the rundown palace he called home. He noticed the new kids, a few girls and a guy with blazing red hair that looked like he could snap Adwin in half. They were all in varying states of disgruntlement. The combination of these factors led to the conclusion that these fine folks were new Sponsors. Adwin felt his soul lift at the thought of having a Sponsor. Could one of them be representing the Empathics? The director probably swindled all of them into it, but hey, you take what you can get.

Nodding in greeting to each of them, and offering a quick, "Hey there, I'm Adwin, pleased to meet you." to each, Adwin made his way to his cozy slice of...

Opening the door, a horrid odor assailed him. The stink of tobacco smoke filled the room, and the prison where Adwin's rage was stored was going into emergency lock-down. Henri certainly wasn't calling it quits with the little death sticks. The walls had almost no insulation, and no buffer for that horrendous second-hand smoke to be caught in. A hundred times he would politely tell Henri to hold off on the cigarettes, yet not one would yield any hope. One of these days, he'd show Henri something so horrible...

No, no, no. Bad Adwin. He hit himself on the head. Can't be thinking mean thoughts, that had caused problems before. Like the one girl who thought she was burning alive. Yeah, it would have been nice to have a Sponsor then. Sitting down on his bed, Adwin took a look at his room, especially the walls. The paint was fine, thanks to Adwin's efforts, but there were tons of dents in the wall. An easel with a half-finished landscape sat by the tiny window on the wall opposite the door. A little stove, a large canister of water, and tons of instant noodles sat in the corner. Paints and artist's supplies sat on his desk, as well as Adwin's little radio. Paintings also adorned the walls, all of which were Adwin's. No stains from smoke, that was good.

Leaving his room, Adwin noticed Edmund go and talk to one of the newbies. Something about her being his Sponsor. That was good for him. And hey! She was Adwin's neighbor. Peeping in, he could see the new dorm was in dreadful condition. A little love could fix it, as always. Adwin definitely wanted to start off on the right foot, and decided to further his initial greeting. "Hey there Edmund. Hello again, new neighbor. Adwin Malir, artist and empathic vampire. Hope I'm not interrupting." Probably wouldn't matter if he was.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mara Lamia Character Portrait: Ruairi Vaduva Character Portrait: Lilith Báthory Character Portrait: London Dawn Merlo Character Portrait: Abram Maledetto Character Portrait: Edmund Malkin Character Portrait: Henri Leppards Character Portrait: Milly Thorne
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Mara wasn’t one to cling to her parents, but returning to school was never something she enjoyed or did by choice. She was so stubborn and reluctant to leave it took an 800 pound grizzly bear to remove her from her family home. Luckily Marcus was accustom to moving the stubborn Vampire around. He was also familiar with giving her ‘a ride’ around and in fact had to carry the stubborn Witch child all the way to her school gates before she agreed to move for herself. Mara sat upon his back the entire way with her arms folded crossly and her eyes firmly shut in disapproval.

“Mara we’re at the school gates. If you don’t move, I’ll toss you so hard through that gate you’ll get streak marks on your ass.”

Mara opened one golden eye and glanced down, at the back of Marcus’ huge head. He began to count to 10. She quickly slid down with a huff, ignoring the wide eyed looks she was receiving from the human students and the wide birth they were giving her and her familiar. She sniffed her armpits and grinned widely at Marcus.

“Was’ the matter with them eh? Do we smell or something?” She joked, only to receive a moody grunt from the almighty beast as he began to make his way into the school. Mara shrugged at him and hoisted her duffle bag higher up onto her shoulder. In truth she smelt strongly of bear, sawdust and something sweet but that’s how she always smelt, it’d be news to her if someone actually told her.

Making their way further into the compound the couple found it fairly easy to make their way through the crowds, after all people tended to move out of their way long before they came into sight. Word travelled fast when there was a bear on the scene and a girl who looked like she’d been hanging out with Tarzan for the summer holidays. Mara stretched as she cruised through the students, wearing a short black tank top, a pair of swayed red Indian shorts and sandals. Her hair was falling loose and wild all over the place, it was a surprise no nearby students had become entangled in it yet.

Coming up to the vampire dorm, Mara spotted that various individuals had already turned up to nest. Their dorm building really was a tragic little mishap of a building, but it was home for most of the year and she’d rather be cooped up with all the vampires here, than share a shiny, designer dorm room with the human populace where you couldn’t tell the difference between the sink and the toilet.

Striding into the building she hiked the stairs.

“Smells like we’ve got company.” Marcus rumbled behind her as he carefully mounted the stairs. It was a risky business having something as heavy as Marcus in the delicate building.

Mara glanced over her shoulder at him. “Probably Sponsers. They’re not for us and you know it.”

She ignored the first floor entirely wanting to avoid all the unsavoury characters that bedded there, like nutty Abrum, the annoying mouse kid and Edmund; a short blond girl stood blocking the stairwell though. Mara straightened up to her full height before shoving past the girl, sending her flying down the hall.

“Get outta the way DWEEB!
she snarled loudly before continuing up the stairs until she reached the second floor. She sighed in aspiration when she spotted Edmund up here instead already leaning into a bedroom that wasn’t usually used. New student. Next she spotted Henri. Her heart did a few erratic beats before she turned her attention to the girl he was chatting to. Lilth. She shot them both a loaded look before unlocking her bedroom door and tossing her bag straight in.

Marcus paused at the top of the stairs and gave a glance around. “A lot of new faces. Alright Everest?” The bear muttered, giving the leopard a brief nod with his huge head. "Are these humans snacks or sponsers?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mara Lamia Character Portrait: Ruairi Vaduva Character Portrait: Lilith Báthory Character Portrait: London Dawn Merlo Character Portrait: Abram Maledetto Character Portrait: Edmund Malkin Character Portrait: Henri Leppards Character Portrait: Reiding Dalton Character Portrait: Milly Thorne
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Sprawling, winding, bustling. An amalgam of decay and decadence. Like the Minotaur's labyrinth had been splattered with various styles from various times, such as Victorian, Greeco-Roman, or Medieval. It looked as though some insane, pack-rat architect tacked onto the structure piece after piece, never satisfied but unwilling to scrap anything.

Reid didn't know quite what to make of the place, this University of Diversity. "Well, gotta give them points for the rhyme scheme," he mumbled to himself. The straps of his bag dug into his hands impatiently. He let it rest on the ground, but absolutely refused to let go of it. Just because he'd yet to have a rock thrown at his head for being a vampire didn't mean he was ignorant of the fact it could happen. And bags were probably fair game for these humans.

"'These humans'," he scoffed under his breath. "Already you've started talking like a vamp."

He sighed again. Reaching into his breast pocket to pull out his pack of cigarettes and his lighter, Reid lit one up. Through the filter and past his lips, delicious smoke probed its seductive tendrils into his lungs. He held it for a moment before releasing it in the form of a smoke ring. Satisfied with his work, he then put away the rest of his stash, picked up his bag, and continued on his way. The map he'd shoved so carelessly in his back pocket was now a crumpled and torn mess, but it would still serve its function well enough. At least he hoped it would. As he stared more and more at the building he was supposed to be in, he began to feel slightly less sure of his map's accuracy.

It didn't look all that great. Home, even with those religious anti-vampire nuts roaming around, seemed like a far more appealing option. At least at home there was always hot water. This place looked like it lacked even running water. However, this had to be the place, because it kind of stood to reason that he wouldn't be hanging around in a penthouse or something, and on his map there was a note that marked this as the place. It was in a small font size and a footnote, not a proud, bold, and (possibly) embossed label like the others. The school wasn't proud of its vampire housing facility, that was for sure. They didn't want the vampires to be proud either, it seemed.

And so he entered, crossing the threshold with his back straight, cigarette hanging carelessly between his lips, his shoulders thrown back, and a broad grin on his face.

There was a stairwell in front of him, but he wasn't all too keen on going up just to return down, so he elected to take a short tour. After a quick once around he found to his slight but well hidden chagrin that the dorm he was looking for was obviously on the floor above him. Well, that at least means there has to be windows. But would anyone really notice another stench? Oh, but as soon as he went upstairs, passing by a poor girl who looked like someone'd tossed her aside like some sort of rag-doll, he caught a whiff of lingering cigarette smoke and he forgot all about her. Either someone had just lit one up, or there was someone who lived here and smoked often enough for a buildup of the smell. The possibility of both scenarios made him smile.

He breathed deeply before searching out his own dorm. This time he found it quickly, and along the way he'd seen a few interesting sights, rag-doll girl included. He whistled, "Animals, really! I didn't know they allowed pets." His thoughts revolved around the fact that so many of them had congregated together, as if debating the possibility of something interesting going on.

Well, curiosity killed the cat and all that. Even if he wasn't already dead, he wouldn't care. He crushed his burnt out cigarette under his foot, resolving to finagle a makeshift ashtray later, and walked down the hall. "Hey people," he called out.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celina Delmar Character Portrait: London Dawn Merlo Character Portrait: Edmund Malkin Character Portrait: Adwin Malir
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London Dawn Merlo
Adwin Malir

London sighed and immediately regretted doing so as the dust she inhaled sent her into a fit of coughs that brought tears to her eyes. Can’t…breath. By the time her coughs finally died back down she was standing up and backing away from the dust-bunny infested bed. While moving backwards was a relatively easy task normally, in the decrepit room with questionable floorboards it was not so intelligent an idea.

All was well, however; at least it was up until the point that a knocking fell upon her door and it opened. The already flustered London was not prepared to meet someone new as her mind was still spinning from her previous adventure with the spectacled man. She reacted rather chaotically, and cursed herself while she did so. The hooded blonde jumped and spun around to face the boy who was introducing himself. As she did so her heel caught on a crooked floorboard and she fell backwards landing on the sooty bed. The result? An explosion that made her once relatively clear room the site for a mini dust bowl that made it relatively impossible to see much of anything.

Immediately, London’s face flushed. In part due to embarrassment but also due to the fact that she had once again proceeded to cough up a lung. I can’t believe this!? This is a nightmare! He’s going to think I’m an idiot! I am an idiot! After a moment of hacking, London finally managed to speak, albeit in a small shaky voice, “I-I…cough…I’m sorry.”

The girl's reaction was hardly one that Edmund had expected. Instead of introducing herself, she sprang up and immediately caught her foot on an object Edmund didn't have the chance to see before the girl toppled over backwards onto her bed and unleashed an explosion of dust. The dust filled the room and Edmund's lungs, causing him to cough and splutter horribly into the crook of his arm, which he tried to use to stop more dust from getting in his eyes. He flung the door behind him open and advanced to the window which he opened as wide as it would go, but not without part of the frame splintering off and lodging itself painfully in his right thumb. Edmund first plucked the splinter from his thumb and licked away the blood before sticking his head out of the window and gulping in huge breaths of fresh air. Eager to stop the situation from worsening, Malphas did his best to blow out as much dust as possible with his wings.

Edmund, with his throat itching, his eyes stinging and his thumb bleeding, turned angrily towards the fragile girl, glaring as forcefully as he could without making his eyes hurt any more. The calming effects of the tea could only last for so long. He heard a small croak escape the girl's throat, but it was too quiet for him to understand what she was saying. Malphas could tell what was about to happen, and so fluttered out of the room for reasons that someone who knew Edmund well would know.
"What are you playing at?!" Edmund snapped, his anger once again bubbling to the surface, "Was a simple greeting not sufficient?! What is wrong with you?!"

Unsurprisingly, the boy reacted rather angrily and London could hardly blame him for doing so. Even so, London couldn’t stop her obvious flinch as he barked at her nor could she keep her already downcast head from leaning further away from him in her shame. Carefully, as not to disturb the settling dust any further she climbed out of her awkward position on the bed so that she could take his verbal reprimands in a more respectable manner.

She stood up and planted her feet firmly on the ground, all too aware of the possibility of this all occurring again should she move. She looked down at her hands, which were trembling far more than they usually did. At this realization, the heat from her face slowly began to move down her neck and up her ears and her heart fluttered uncontrollably. Stop shaking! Stop shaking! She repeated the mantra to herself in a desperate attempt to soothe herself, but the more she thought about it the worse it got. When the boy finally finished his rant she lifted her head slightly trying to think of something to say. “I-I was…w-what I mean is…i-it was an…accident. I really am s-sorry.” Her voice was becoming more and more unstable as her throat and mouth slowly dried.

She wanted desperately to make eye contact with the boy, to avoid the appearance of being rude, but the mere thought of having to go through that ordeal again made her blood pulse in her ears. She did manage however to unveil just enough of her eyes to see the boys thumb. Oh no, I hurt him…I actually managed to hurt someone already! I’m the worst! Twiddling her own thumbs she bit her lip, trying to think of what to say. Apparently, she was his sponsor (though she already was failing miserably in this aspect) so she should express some concern. Maybe? Would it be wrong to express concern? It had to hurt. “Y-your t-thumb…I h-have some Band-Aids in my-“ Oh crap, my bags never made it to Iowa. All I have is my photo-ID and wallet which is hanging around my neck. A cloud of depression slowly engulfed London as she came to realize just how dreadfully this first year was starting out.

The girl stood up to face Edmund's reprimands, but hardly in a dignified manner. Her long, blonde hair concealed most of her face, but the little skin that Edmund could see was flushed bright red, and her small frame was shaking uncontrollably.
“I-I was…w-what I mean is…i-it was an…accident. I really am s-sorry.”
Even the girl's voice was trembling as she stumbled to push the words out of her mouth, and she sounded as if she were about to cry. Cry... It suddenly hit Edmund square between the eyes; he was bullying this poor girl! His anger began to dissipate and was replaced with shame. He hadn't said anything before the girl spoke up again.
“Y-your t-thumb…I h-have some Band-Aids in my-”
Edmund had no idea why she didn't finish her sentence; perhaps she'd just remembered that her plasters weren't where she had thought they were.
"I'm fine." Edmund replied, "It's not bleeding that much. I've had much worse." Edmund paused for a while and took a deep breath before he continued, "I'm sorry for shouting at you. I've just been a bit on edge recently, and all it took was something like that to set me off. Once again: I'm sorry."
"Hey there Edmund. Hello again, new neighbor. Adwin Malir, artist and empathetic vampire. Hope I'm not interrupting."
Edmund twisted his head quickly to where the sound had come from. Adwin was stood in the doorway, looking at Edmund and his sponsor.
"Adwin, how long have you been stood there for?" Edmund asked, worried that Adwin had been watching the whole scenario.

London breathed a sigh of relief when the boy told her that his injury was not bad, a small awkward smile came to her face in response to that relief. When the boy began apologizing the relief faded somewhat, she didn’t really see the need for his apology. Falling over like she did was a very klutzy and stupid thing to have done. She tried to open her mouth to say it was fine but no sound came out of her very dry mouth.

Of course, even if she had been able to force something out of her mouth it would have been interrupted by the appearance of a newcomer. Immediately her social phobia began to kick into third gear. There were two strangers in her room and the reaction her body gave her was not a positive one. She felt a stabbing pain in her stomach and had to resist the urge to curl into a ball. London did however slowly and unnoticeably hug her abdomen. I need to calm down; I’m fine, there is nothing to be worried about. He’s just…my new neighbor. He’s being nice and introducing himself. I’m fine, everything is alright. London’s attempts at soothing herself however proved only slightly effective as her stomach pain did not decrease and her voice was still lost to her. She did however manage to attempt a nod of greeting to the new boy.

Adwin simply smiled. "Well, I just got here. But I could hear you through the walls. I'm glad you're apologizing." He turned to London. "I know, the first day can really screw with your nerves. Since you're a Sponsor now, things won't get easier for you. But don't let it get you down, alright? The Witch vampires are a good bunch, in my opinion. Well, unless you don't like smoking womanizers. Then you're going to have problems." Adwin mumbled, briefly thinking of Henri. "But there's only one of those. I'm sure you'll be just fine. And hey, if you want help painting your room, I'm always available." Adwin wanted to help calm the girl's nerves down. She seemed so nervous that she'd snap at any moment. To her credit, being stuck in this place was pretty terrifying.

Rather unsurprisingly, but disappointingly, the girl didn't respond to his apology, and instead wheezed slightly and then began to panic even more once she noticed Adwin.

"Well, I just got here. But I could hear you through the walls. I'm glad you're apologizing."
Goddammit! Edmund couldn't let someone find him apologising to someone for his actions, but he was glad that it was Adwin and not somebody else. Had Henri been there he would never have lived it down. Edmund couldn't think of a good response, so he simply remained silent. His face began to flush red slightly, so he turned away to go and get a chair. When he turned around and sat down his face was still slightly red, but the blood was fading from his face.

"The Witch vampires are a good bunch, in my opinion. Well, unless you don't like smoking womanizers. Then you're going to have problems. I'm sure you'll be just fine."
Edmund smirked at Adwin's comment, but the smirk soon faded as the idea of spending yet another year with Henri sank in.
"You'll be fine if you can act sternly." Edmund added, "Said smoking womanizer is another witch vampire called Henri. He's not the sharpest tool in the shed by any margin, and certainly won't make things easier for you. He'll almost certainly try to chat you up when you meet him, hell, if I put a skirt on a tree he would chat it up! He's also a heavy smoker, so don't let him anywhere where you don't want tar clinging to the walls. He's easy to recognise, he's a few inches taller than me, has dreadlocks and a snow leopard follows him everywhere. There's also Mara. She's fairly tall, has long, blonde hair, freckles, and a grizzly bear. You'll probably find her making cow eyes at Henri and snapping at people for no obvious reason. Fortunately she'll leave you alone if you leave her alone, which is more than I can say for Henri. And then there's me. Edmund paused for a while, all this talk about people made him realise that the girl hadn't told him her name yet, "I don't believe you've told us your name."

The new boy, Adwin, was so kind to London that she wanted nothing more than to fall to her knees and cry a thank you. Of course, that was not going to happen mainly because if she fell to her knees she probably wouldn’t be able to get back up. Plus, she had the itching feeling that the boy was trying to help calm her down and crying probably wasn’t the response he wanted. Instead she forced another awkward smile onto her face and nodded a little.

Admittedly, when they mentioned she was supposed to be sponsoring a smoking womanizer her lips twitched a little. London was not very good at dealing with those types of people; fortunately those types of guys usually avoided her…okay more like they simply didn’t notice the hooded girl. (Except for the few times they caught her in one of her dance costumes…those were always awkward, embarrassing, and torturous moments in time.)

Adwin continued to speak and mentioned that he’d help her paint her room if she wanted. London couldn’t believe how fortunate she was to have such a nice neighbor and in response she managed to utter soft, “thanks.” Although, she doubted anyone could hear her.

The other boy, Edmund, spoke up next. Her shoulders dropped and head dropped a little at the statement of her needing to act sternly. That would require a high degree of psychological training and some prescription drugs. Her mood would probably have darkened at the thought if Edmund hadn’t started talking about the ‘smoking womanizer’ once more. His original remark about him trying to talk her up was a little discouraging, however, it was overshadowed by his following statement about Henri attempting to ‘talk up a tree if you put a skirt on it.’ London’s nose scrunched a little and her hands flew up to her mouth as she tried to contain a giggle; she was not very successful. Somehow, I don’t think he likes this Henri much.

Unfortunately, the moment that Edmund mentioned that the other two vampires would be followed around by a leopard and grizzly bear she nearly fell over again. What the? They’re allowed to have a grizzly bear and leopard on campus- wait why are they even allowed to have a leopard and grizzly bear…at all? London would certainly have to take that old man up on his offer to give her papers about Witch-Vampires if she was going to be able to do this.

”I don’t believe you’ve told us your name.” London froze for a second before her head snapped up to look at the vampire that just spoke. She immediately regretted doing so and thus her head snapped back down into its original position. That was too close. Unfortunately, the mere nearness of making eye contact had set her to trembling all over again, damn it, just as I was starting to calm down a little, and now I’ve got to say my name.

London cleared her through a little, as she tried to bring out her voice once again. She wanted desperately to sound confident when she said her name (not that her first impression hasn’t already been screwed up completely). Admittedly, she started off awfully well, “I’m London M-Merlo.” Regrettably, she didn’t finish so well as her voice cracked on the ‘lo’ part of her last name. She bit her lip and blushed anew in response to her own folly and a little ‘oh’ escaped her lips as she voiced her own disappointment.

Adwin pondered for a bit. This girl, London, would be a tough nut to crack. It seemed like she had enough anxiety to be anxious for other people. Adwin knew, however, that they'd get her to talk eventually. At least getting her name was a start. "London. Lovely name, and city. I've only seen pictures, but I think I'd like to go there some day. That's going to be hard, being a vampire and all, but I'll sort it out." Adwin tried to look as encouraging as possible, but his focus on this faltered a bit as an idea for a painting began creeping it's way into his head. An image of a little girl, dressed in rags, emerging from a dark cave into the bright dawn came into focus. Adwin debated whether or not to ask her if he could use her as inspiration for a painting. That would be a little sudden and put of the blue.

If anything, he'd want to surprise her with it, as a "Welcome to the dump" present. A good painting would liven her room up, certainly. Adwin began to back out of the room. "Well, I'll let you guys get more acquainted. It's a pleasure to meet you, London. Hope you have a great year, here at the wondrous U of D." The word "wondrous" was accentuated by Adwin creating a rainbow with his power. The thin boy made his way back to his room, but not before seeing that the room across the hall from his was open. Wow. A whole bunch of people are coming in. It's occupant was a girl with black hair, and a pastel sun dress. She looked a bit exhausted. I'll have to talk to her in a bit. I have a painting to work on.

With that, Adwin stepped inside his room, leaving the door ajar, and went to work at his easel.

While the girl's emotions still seemed to be jumping around uncontrollably, they were slowing down and she no longer seemed quite as nervous as she had before. She even giggled slightly at his comment about Henri's romantic activities. While Edmund hadn't meant anything humorous by it, he still appreciated her response. Fortunately she had calmed down to the point to say her name, albeit shakily.
“I’m London M-Merlo.”
It was obvious that she was aware of how badly she'd said her surname, and Edmund could have sworn that he had a quiet sound of disappointment escape her lips.

"London. Lovely name, and city. I've only seen pictures, but I think I'd like to go there some day. That's going to be hard, being a vampire and all, but I'll sort it out. Well, I'll let you guys get more acquainted. It's a pleasure to meet you, London. Hope you have a great year, here at the wondrous U of D."
Edmund stared for a while at the rainbow of mist Adwin had made before leaving, not entirely sure what to make of it. While most people probably found Adwin's power impressive, Edmund found it rather unnerving. Edmund just wasn't a rainbows and unicorns sort of person. He turned his attention back to London, and began to fear that things would get awkward again now that Adwin had left. Determined not to let that happen, he spoke up again.
London... That's a nice name." Edmund began, "As you've probably guessed by my accent, I used to live in England. I've been to London a few times; it's a lovely city, providing you go to the right parts."

Malphas soon fluttered back into the room and assumed his usual position on Edmund's shoulder.
"How collateral the damage?" Edmund asked before bracing himself for the worst, which fortunately didn't come.
"Don't worry, it all went down the sink." Malphas reassured him.
"I need to get you a cage." Edmund groaned before returning his attention to London, "So, what made you become a sponsor?"

London’s new neighbor continued to be overly nice to her, something she was heavily grateful for. She smiled at the thought of being able to go to London herself, it’s always one of the first topics of conversation when she introduces herself so she always felt it would be cool to be able to go there one day.

When Adwin did leave London felt a little relieved, she never did handle crowds well so when one less person was present she couldn’t help but calm down a little. Although, she did get a little confused when her room was suddenly filled with rainbow mist. Her head flipped from side to side in an attempt to shake a way what London assumed to be a mental response to the sudden relief. It eventually faded and the blonde blinked a few times, weird….

There was a long silence that followed after the departure of Adwin. Feeling a little awkward London stole a glance at Edmund’s face. For the first time since he got there she actually realized he wasn’t as scary looking as she had originally pictured. Actually, he seemed rather normal…actually he had the appearance of rather kind looking person. While his black hair was a little messy and did an excellent job covering most of his face (not that London was one to talk) it couldn’t quite cover his unique eyes.

They were really pretty. If not a little strange. They were gold in color and even seemed to have the same kind of gleam. Actually, they seemed to remind her of a cat’s eyes. After a moment of staring awkwardly at his striking eyes her heart reminded her that she was in no condition to be making eye contact so she reverted back to hiding her face.

Finally the boy broke the silence. He commented on her name, calling it nice, and then of course spoke of the actual city. London immediately perked up when she heard he had actually been to London, England. Even more so, he was born in England. In her excitement she started to say the phrase, ‘I’m so jealous’ but managed to keep the sentence from escaping her mouth for fear of embarrassing herself.

Eventually, she heard some fluttering and a second voice. However, no matter where she looked she couldn’t find a second pair of feet. When Edmund made the comment that she needed to get the second voice a cage London’s head cocked a little. Who is he talking to? Again she moved her bangs to expose one of her eyes so that she could figure out where the second voice came from, but all she could find was the owl that Edmund had referred to as his familiar when she first met him.

Her thoughts were brought back to reality however when Edmund returned his attention to her and asked her a question. For a split moment she made eye contact with the boy and she froze before she started trembling again and her face flushed. She looked away again and started to make out a sentence, “The um…I w-was walking…g-glasses and the-the office…I-I d-don’t really…know? Honestly…?”

After a short moment, London felt the need to apologize. She was pretty sure that that wasn’t really what he was hoping for in a sponsor, “S-sorry…y-you got stuck with s-someone like me…”

“The um…I w-was walking…g-glasses and the-the office…I-I d-don’t really…know? Honestly…? S-sorry…y-you got stuck with s-someone like me…”
Edmund sighed quietly to himself; this girl was just one of the director's victims, not somebody who really cared about the rights of vampires. Nevertheless, she definitely didn't seem to be a bad person.
"There's no need to apologise." Edmund assured her, "I'm not exactly in a position to be picking a sponsor. Besides, I'm glad it's you who's sponsoring me and not one of the other sponsors I've seen so far. If it were somebody else sponsoring me, it would be an angry girl, a smaller girl throwing a tantrum, or some massive hulk of a man throwing an even louder tantrum." Before continuing, Edmund left his seat and went over to the window to look down at all the people below. There they were, normal human beings, scurrying back and forth throughout their bland, everyday lives. Now he could act like one of hem, but London couldn't. She'd basically sacrificed her humanity so that others could be human, "I'm assuming you don't know what your duties are as a sponsor. Now that you're a sponsor, you're responsible for a few vampires. That means you can tell us what to do, but if we want blood, you have to give it to us. I could tell you to hold out your arm for me to drink from, and you'd have to do it. Not that I'm going to! Fortunately for you, witch vampires don't actually need to drink blood. You also take credit or the blame for anything we do. I could discover a universal cure, and you'd get all the praise. On the other hand, I could bludgeon a child to death and you'd have to serve my sentence. You're also probably going to be looked down by other humans. And while you're being degraded, your vampires get basic human rights." Edmund paused again, wondering whether or not to say the last part of his explanation, but decided to in the end, "You have a period of three days where you can revoke your status as a sponsor. All you have to do is tell the director you've changed your mind, and you'll go back to being a normal human."

London couldn’t help feeling a little dejected when she heard the boy’s quiet sigh. Just as she had originally assumed she wasn’t what he had hoped for. Of course, in some ways that could apply to her as well. London had come to this school in hopes of being able to overcome her own disorder, but what she found here seemed to only be setting her up for failure. Even so, he was kind enough to say that he was happy that she was his sponsor rather than one of the others that had apparently been dragged into sponsorship as well.

She watched his feet shuffle over to the wall with the window before he stopped. London herself, in curiosity, leaned over a little to try and see what it was he was looking at but quickly straightened back up when he started speaking again.

London admittedly felt her heart began to beat irregularly at the thought of having her blood drank. It was a hard concept to come to terms with. While she could easily give her blood up to a needle, something about letting someone bite her seemed utterly…well…awkward and a little uncomfortable. Admittedly, not knowing the other vampires at all made the whole serving the punishment for their crimes a little unnerving, however, after having met Edmund she highly doubted she had anything to worry about when it comes to the risk of him bludgeoning a child.

The one thing that truly bothered her was the fact that she would be an outcast from the normal student population. Not that this was anything new…but her whole goal in coming here was to learn how to become a part of normal society.

This was why when he said that she had the opportunity to quit being a sponsor she felt a slight bit of relief. However, no sooner did she feel this relief did she start to feel a creeping nagging sensation pull on her heartstrings. What exactly did Edmund mean by ‘basic human rights?’ London had little knowledge of vampires. She had only ever seen one or two in her hometown and had never actually conversed with them before so she didn’t know much about their normal life. However, from what she could tell they seemed just as human as she despite their deferring and somewhat strange cuisine. However, that was like saying someone is less human just because his or her skin color is different, aka slavery, and wasn’t that outlawed already? What basic human rights would they be lacking?

London felt awfully stupid for asking a question that he would no doubt find silly and obvious but she wanted to know. She wanted to pursue her goals but she didn’t want to do so at someone else’s expense. It didn’t seem fair for her to give him hope and then take it away without knowing the full consequences and he had been helpful so far…

“U-um…w-what r-rights are y-you lacking?” Her voice was quivering and somewhat hoarse in response to her dry through and mouth and London could only stop her shaking lips by biting her bottom lip. She felt terribly embarrassed for knowing so little and suddenly felt the need to explain her apparent idiocy, “I-I’m s-sorry…I j-just haven’t spent m-much t-time w-with…anyone r-really, so I-I am pr-pretty s-stupid w-when it comes t-to s-society. A-Actually I t-think th-this is the l-longest c-conversation I’ve e-ever had…” London couldn’t help feeling shocked at her realization that this was, in fact, the single most longest conversation she had ever had with someone who wasn’t her mother. In response she felt herself swell with pride. A pride that diverted her attention from her original question. Wow! I can’t believe I’ve been talking to someone for this long and haven’t had a meltdown yet…I’ve come really close but I haven’t yet! This has to be some kind of record! Well…for me at least!

“U-um…w-what r-rights are y-you lacking? I-I’m s-sorry…I j-just haven’t spent m-much t-time w-with…anyone r-really, so I-I am pr-pretty s-stupid w-when it comes t-to s-society. A-Actually I t-think th-this is the l-longest c-conversation I've e-ever had…”
The longest conversation she'd ever had? Edmund had only been talking to her for a few minutes. Even if she hadn't made any friends, had she never spent much time talking to her parents? Despite this, Edmund felt rather proud of himself for helping this socially inept girl come out of her shell a bit.
"Ever?" Edmund asked, "I could tell you were shy, but I wasn't aware you spent so little time with other people. As for the rights vampires lack, we're pretty comparable to black people in the 19th century. We're not allowed to gather in large numbers, stay out past curfew, get involved in politics, enter human-exclusive buildings or defend ourselves against human attacks. But that's without a sponsor. With a sponsor we can almost be treated like humans, the only thing holding us back is that humans will still look down on us. But they'll leave me alone for now, at least."
Edmund leaned back against the wall and his eyes drifted up to the ceiling as he began to reminisce about his time in Pendle, where nobody had cared about his vampirism.
"It was never like this back in England," Edmund continued, "Nobody knew my family and I were vampires, they just thought we were a slightly queer family with hereditary abnormally pale skin, funny eyes and sharp canines. People didn't look down on us, people just didn't consider the possibility of us being vampires. It was supposed to better in Iowa; people were meant to know and not care. But they do."
Edmund raised his arm and held back his fringe, revealing the long, jagged scar that ran across his forehead. Edmund usually took the effort to hide it, as he was ashamed of having been so helpless when attacked, but he felt he didn't have anything to prove to London. He found that strange, but definitely not bad.

London had the sudden desire to crawl into a corner and die the moment the boy said the word ever. All that previously felt pride melted away and she wanted nothing more than to kick herself. I just had to say something so stupid, why is it when I do manage to say something it’s always something stupid. Ugh, I suck at this.

She listened intently to what the boy said about his rights. All of the limitations seemed utterly outrageous to London. Sure, technically they had different labels. London was human and Edmund was a vampire. That was an undeniable fact. However, he was obviously just as humane as London no matter what deferring title he was given. He was intelligent enough to know right from wrong and had human feelings. Some humans that received more rights than Edmund were probably less deserving of those rights and far less humane. Perhaps London was far too innocent to understand this part of society, however, even if that were the case, sometimes the innocent are far more accurate than the experienced.

London looked back up at the boy as he spoke of England; he was obviously fond of it. That fondness made London smile awkwardly again, which was no easy task considering the ferocity with which she was biting her bottom lip. One day she would be able to have a conversation with someone and not look like a shaking tomato with blue eyes. She just wasn’t sure when that day would come. For now though, she would be pleased with the fact that she wasn’t completely nauseous.

Actually, she found that her reaction to his presence had slowly become less severe. No doubt due to the fact that her mental state was growing slightly more accustomed to his presence. As long as she was careful and didn’t try anything too…interactive?...she should be alright.

Admittedly, when he spoke of what he had hoped for Iowa and how it had not met his expectations she could feel his pain. She looked down at her fingers as she fidgeted, not entirely sure how to respond. Honestly, she didn’t care that he was a vampire herself. He seemed nice to her and that’s really all she cared about.

She flinched a little when she caught sight of his scar. Not because of the scar itself but rather because she could imagine what it must have felt like to receive it. In her many years of dancing she had split her knees open as well as her hands and while it hurt it never really scarred. To have received a blow so devastating it scarred and to have received it on the face…she regretted imagining it. Perhaps, she could give this sponsor thing a go…at least try to. If she couldn’t do it she had three days to back out. At least they couldn’t say that she hadn’t tried.

“I…I don’t…c-care that is…um…I-I can give th-this sponsor thing m-my best sh-shot.” London smiled a less awkward smile. While she could honestly not guarantee anything since their was the slight issue of what her mother would say if she found out and lets not even mention London’s psyche…but…what her mother doesn’t know won’t kill her and it wasn’t like London hadn’t been bullied before. She could at least try.

London's reaction to his scar was hardly surprising, most people tended to react in a similar fashion. Despite the immense pain Edmund had felt when receiving it, the beating had caused more psychological damage than physical. Over time Edmund's desire for revenge had grown and grown, and now that he had a sponsor he had the chance to execute it. Not that he was going to use London as a tool to soak up punishments; Edmund had better plans.

“I…I don’t…c-care that is…um…I-I can give th-this sponsor thing m-my best sh-shot.”
Edmund was suddenly filled with relief as London confirmed that she would stay as a sponsor. Edmund hadn't expected any less of of her, but having confirmation was nice.
"Thanks." Edmund smiled, "You have no idea how much I appreciate this. I'm sure Henri and Mara will too, just don't expect them to admit it." Edmund walked over to the door to leave, but turned around before he left, "If you're looking for me I'll be in room 6 or somewhere quiet on campus. It was nice meeting you."
With that, Edmund opened the door and left. Malphas however fluttered off Edmund's shoulder and perched on London's' bed.
"Thank you for everything you've done." Malphas lauded her, “You've taken a huge weight off Edmund's shoulders. While there's no way he'll ever admit this to you, his mental health's been deteriorating ever since we came to America, and I think he was on the verge of doing something that could get him into unparalleled amounts of trouble. You've saved him from some horrible things, one of them being his hatred of people. Perhaps you two can help each other become less awkward."
Malphas then fluttered off after Edmund.

When Malphas caught up to Edmund he was in his room, sat on his bed and tuning his bass. Despite Malphas' quiet entrance, Edmund still noticed him.
"Nice of you to finally turn up." Edmund commented as he unplugged his tuner and wired his bass up to his amp, "What were you talking to London about?"
"I was just thanking her."
"I should hope that was the only thing you were doing."
Malphas didn't bother answering, he knew that Edmund could always tell when he was lying. Instead, he just remained silent and listened to Edmund play his bass.

London breathed a sigh of relief when Edmund began to leave. Finally, London had the opportunity to calm down. She had been craving the opportunity ever since she had first arrived. She managed a slight wave when he opened her door and walked out. Admittedly she recoiled a little when his owl unexpectedly fluttered to the bed she had been standing by this entire time.

Then he started talking. London stared at him wide-eyed for a moment. Was this owl really talking? Or had London lost all semblance of her sanity in the course of the conversation she had just had? It was one thing to hear a parrot talk but not an owl…and certainly not with such a high degree of intelligence. She shook her head up and down when the owl thanked her, being a little too shocked to really do anything else.

While she did manage to hear what the owl said afterwards it wouldn’t really register until a little later after the bird had left and she had time to consider what had just happened, as well as how her day had really gone thus far.

She closed her door behind the bird and turned around to lean against. Her weak legs didn’t offer her much support so she sunk to the ground in front of it as she stared blankly ahead. Despite being finally alone her heart was still on a rampage inside her chest and her cheeks still felt like two slow bake ovens. She felt the overwhelming need for water in order to sooth her cottonmouth and dry throat.

Needless to say she had not been expecting her day to turn out quite like this. First, she finds out her bags got lost somewhere on the flight between Washington and Iowa. Then she gets to campus only to end up hiding in the bushes when someone approaches her in a group. Then some man in glasses ambushes her and turns her in a sponsor for vampires that she ends up agreeing to being after she had a small dust bowl in her bedroom. Oh and let us not forget that she got to meet a talking owl.

Suddenly, she felt tired and a little overwhelmed. A nap would probably do her good but she would have to do something about that bed first. She lifted her hands from the floor, they were gray. Apparently the floor needed the same amount of help as her bed. Oh well, cleaning was one of the things she was relatively good at.