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“Did you hear that a new student is supposed to start today?” Charlie plopped in her seat next to Dean. Her fiery red hair was piled high in a messy bun today with smoky glass sticks.

“What are those?” Dean reached out but Charlie smacked his hand away.

“Dean, this might be a messy bun but it took 45 minutes to get everything to hold perfectly. You touch it and I’ll singe your eyebrows off.” She smirked. “Again.”

Dean lurched backwards with a shudder. He tried to block the memory of those weeks without eyebrows as much as humanly possible. You had no game when you didn’t even have eyebrows.

Charlie smiled at his reaction. “For your information, they’re one of my new projects. I’ve been playing around with smoking glass.” She traced a small cut on her forearm. “You just have to be careful to not overheat it or it will explode.”

As more students walked into their homeroom, Charlie’s eyes widened. “I almost forgot. We’re getting a new student today.”
“And?” Dean tipped his chair back, wondering what they were going to do in earth magics class today. Winter was one of the worst times to have earth magic, especially if your speciality was growing things. The thick layer of snow on the ground outside meant they were probably going to be stuck doing theory today, his least favorite.

“He’s not just some random, Dean,” Charlie huffed. “Supposedly he’s Gabriel and Michael’s cousin. Someone said that his parents died and he had to come live with his aunt and uncle.”

“I’ll repeat myself,” Dean said, locking eyes with Charlie. “And? If he’s anything like his cousins, we won’t want anything to do with him anyway.” Dean winced thinking of how enthusiastically obnoxious Gabriel could be and how, for lack of a better word, creepy Michael could be. While Gabriel was an earth witch like Dean, Michael’s specialty was air. Dean knew that Michael’s ash blond hair and icy blue eyes were signs of his power but there was something about him that set Dean’s nerves on edge. He had this way of staring at Dean as if he wanted to own him or something. Needless to say, Dean avoiding the Milton brothers as much as possible.

“What’s important,” Charlie laid a hand on Dean’s arm, hot finger tips catching his attention, “is that there’s something off about him. I heard Principal Mills and Ms. Hanscum talking about it but I couldn’t quite catch what was supposed to be different.”

Before Dean could respond, a hush fell over the class. A boy stood in the doorway. He was dressed fairly normally but what had shocked the classroom was his hair. Pitch black and messy, it was probably his most striking feature in more ways than one. Most people were born with brown, blond or red hair depending on their magic. Dean had never met anyone with black hair before.

Everyone broke into excited whispers. Dean heard Lisa muttering about cursed powers and Benny saying how it reminded him of some of the bayou witches back in Louisiana. A part of Dean knew that something had to be off about this boy and that black hair couldn’t mean anything good but a larger part of him was distracted. His eyes roved over the boy, blatantly checking him out. Something about him drew Dean in and he couldn’t resist it. 

Damn I wonder what he looks like under the ridiculous coat , Dean thought.

Almost immediately, the boy’s eyes locked onto Dean’s. From this distance, Dean couldn’t tell the color but there was no mistaking the intensity.

“That would explain the difference,” Charlie softly murmured. Dean reluctantly drug his eyes away.

“Huh?” he said, blinking at Charlie.

She rolled her eyes. “He’s either non-magical or…” she trailed off.

“Or what?” Dean pushed. Please don’t let it be horrible , he thought, mentally crossing his fingers.

Charlie twisted one of her rings around and around her finger. “Black hair signals non-elemental powers. It could range from healing magic to future-telling to telekinesis. There’s really no telling.”

Dean nodded distractedly, still watching the boy standing at the front of the room talking to Ms. Hanscum. His mind was as far from magic as it could possibly be. Ms. Hanscum’s bubbly laugh carried across the room. Wanting to get closer to the new kid, Dean balled up a piece of paper and walked toward the trashcan.

“I’m sure we’ll be able to find something for you. We have some of the best instructors across the state,” she was telling the dark-haired boy.

“I’m not worried about that,” he said. Holy hell, Dean thought. That voice is.. His mind promptly fell into the gutter.

The boy’s mouth twitched into a smile. “I’m more concerned with fitting into the routines here. Being new is hard enough when you’re,” he paused, taking a deep breath. “When you’re normal. Most people don’t really warm up to people who are different.”

Ms. Hanscum gently smiled at the guy. “Don’t worry about that.” Her eyes drifted upwards and immediately settled on Dean. “Dean-o! Can you come over here?”

“Uh, sure,” Dean stuttered. “What’s up Ms. H?”

“Dean, this is Castiel Novak. Castiel, this is Dean Winchester. Dean, would you mind showing Castiel around some today? You both are taking the same classes. Since we don’t have Castiel slated for any magic classes today, he can join you in magical theory.”

Dean turned to face Castiel, holding his hand out to shake it and froze. Castiel’s eyes were a brilliant blue, like pieces of the summer sky were trapped in his irises. As Castiel took his hand, a liquid warmth flooded down Dean’s spine. It was like Christmas morning, fresh forest growth and the feeling of the Impala growling down the highway. 

A small knowing smirk crossed Castiel’s face but his eyes weren’t mocking. There was a warmth there that pulled Dean in.

“Well boys, I’m glad that’s settled. Castiel, how about you go sit with Dean and Charlie for the rest of homeroom and they can fill you in on the ins and outs of the school?” Ms. Hanscum didn’t wait for an answer before turning back to the large stack of essays on her desk.

Castiel followed Dean to the back of the room and gracefully sank into an empty desk. 

Charlie immediately pounced on Castiel, asking a million questions except for the most important one. Asking about someone’s magic right off the bat was considered rude and was one of the first etiquette lessons they were taught. Dean sat back and watched them interact. He was fascinated by the almost feline grace Cas possessed. 

Cas? he thought. I don’t even know him so why am i already giving him a nickname? He watched Cas throw his head back and laugh at one of Charlie’s jokes. But I want to know him. I could listen to him read the dictionary with that voice. I don’t even care what his powers are. There’s just something about him.

Cas froze and abruptly turned to Dean. Charlie’s eyebrows rose in surprise and she trailed off, midway through a sentence. 

“Do you really mean that?” Cas asked, eyes fixated on Dean.

“I didn’t say anything,” Dean said, eyes darting to Charlie.

“But you thought it,” Cas pressed. “I could be anything and you don’t even care?”

“Woah,” Charlie said breathlessly. “You’re psychic.”

Cas turned to face her, a small wistful smile crossing his face. “I’m an empath and telepath. Hence the black hair,” he said, running his fingers through said hair. “Black as the void.”

Dean’s face flushed as he thought back to everything he had thought over the last half hour. “Uh, so you heard all of that?”

Cas’ eyes twinkled as he studied Dean. “It was rather flattering Dean. I do hope it wasn’t all talk.”

Dean felt himself blush even more, if that was even possible. “Uhm,” he said. “Well if you’re…”

Suddenly the bell rang, interrupting him.

Cas bent to pick up his backpack when Dean mentally yelled at him. “ Yes!”

Cas shot up and crowded into Dean’s space. “Really?”

Dean nodded, thoughts racing uncontrollably.

Cas’ fingers snagged the front loop of Dean’s jeans, pulling the sandy-haired teen closer. “Today’s going to be fun.” He let Dean go before grabbing his bag. “And no, Dean this isn’t a game for me. Trust me, you wouldn’t think that if you could read my thoughts.”

As Cas sauntered out of the classroom, Dean sank into his desk chair. “Fuck,” he mumbled.

Cas peeked back in the classroom and called out, “I really hope so!”

Charlie laughed, tugging on Dean’s arm. “Come on Romeo. You don’t want to be in trouble with good ol’ Zach again. Plus,” she leaned closer, “you probably need to catch up with your man.”

“He’s not my man!” Dean spluttered. “At least not yet.”