Her bedroom was twice the size of the room she had become a squatter in back in the heart of the city. Of course, there was a second bed, and she was told not to get too used to having the room to herself. Apparently there was another girl that was slated to be her roommate within the next couple of days.
Hazel tossed her backpack onto the single bed next to the window and dropped her suitcase by the door. She pursed her lips at the plain bureau of drawers, of the neutral tan walls, of the gray carpet. Within a few minutes, she had her pencils and an old sketchbook out of her backpack where she began to scribble.
By the time someone had knocked on her door, her walls had purple stripes running diagonally across them, her carpet was a rich red, and her bureau had golden polka dots. When she called him in, the navy haired young man that had entered her room gazed around with an expression that was a cross between impressed and exasperated.
“Didn’t take too long to redecorate,” he commented, bringing his blue gaze back down to her.
Hazel grinned up at him. “It doesn’t take me too long to do much with these.” She waved around her sketchbook and pencil.
That earned her a crooked smile from the man. “I’m Roy. Roy Kingsley.”
“Hazel White.” She gave him a mock salute. “Are you the official welcoming committee? I mean, after that Willow girl? ”
“Not usually,” was Roy’s response. Hazel grinned, liking the honesty. “I was picked to come get you for dinner, though. Shall we?”
“Sure.” Hazel abandoned her supplies, kicked her suitcase out of the way, and reached Roy’s side. “It’s nice to be escorted to dinner by such a handsome guy.”
Roy gave her smile that was only polite as he walked beside her down the long hallway. Nonetheless, Hazel grinned and asked, “So, what do you do? Everyone around here does something fancy, right?”
“I’m hydrokinetic,” Roy said. “I do stuff with water. Control it, turn into it, shape it…” He ended his simple explanation with a shrug.
“Willow explained how she has a rapport with animals and shapeshifts,” Hazel said, wanting to hear Roy talk some more. “I also met Alex, who said he doesn’t do anything… Is that true?”
“Supposedly,” Roy said, “but he’s one of the smartest guys here. A few of my old classmates thought he had super intelligence, but the other teachers say that’s just him rather than an activated mutant gene.”
“Well, he’s smart enough to hang around mutants.”
“He helped found this place,” Roy said. “It was actually almost all him while the other teachers played the role of assistants.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Hazel said, but Roy shook his head. “How can a human do all this for mutants?”
“His smarts and motivation,” was Roy’s response. “The other teachers are his best friends. More, in the case of Darrien. Did you meet anyone else yet besides Alex and Willow?”
“Just you.” Hazel gave him a playful nudge, to which he only gave her a crooked smile. It seemed that the physical familiarity that Hazel was giving him only made him uncomfortable. With that conclusion, she looped her arm around his. She ignored how he stiffened at the contact. “How many others are around here?”
“A fair amount,” Roy said, shoving his hands into his pockets, but allowing Hazel’s arm to remain where it was. “A few of my classmates have moved on, but some of them are still around to help out with your class.”
“Anyone special to you?” She smiled up at him as he raised an eyebrow down at her.
He gave her the unexpected, “Yes,” as the pair entered the dining room. The two were separated among the crowd as Hazel allowed herself to get swept up by a few teenagers closer to her age. She was shown the buffet-style dinner, going through the line to pick out what she liked to eat, before finding herself seated between a girl with hair that kept shifting length as it helped her grab condiments from down the table and a boy who was cutting up his meat with his elongated fingernails.
Hazel spotted Roy sitting in between Willow and another man about their age, and smiled as she began to eat. She could get used to a place like this.