ILLESSA--

Nighttime at the academy was her favourite time. It's not that she hated the work, because she truly didn't. But after so long of keeping to herself, and keeping her secrets, it was strange to live in a place where who and what she was could be spoken of without fear of her life. Well, mostly. She knew that hunters still generally held the view that the only good witch was a dead witch. And, having had her own run in with the Grand Coven – back when it was actually something to be feared – she could understand the belief. Besides, she had skeletons in her own closet. Things that, if hunters ever discovered them– or even the rest of the residents of the academy – might just end up with her dead. So, yes, the break adjusting to the changes in her life and deflecting the distrust that still cropped up sometimes that the night stillness provided was a welcome one.


Despite the cold, she drifted through the woods surrounding the cabin and grounds proper that made up the academy. Moonlight silhouetted the bare branches of the assortment of trees – primarily maple and oak, with the occasional walnut, birch, and cedar – dappling the snow-covered ground with shadowy stripes. As she walked, her heavy cloak drifted over the snow and her fingers ghosted against tree trunks, purely for the added sensation. When she stopped in her wanderings, as she did occasionally, she would turn her face up to the moonlight, often pausing to follow the tracings of constellations with eyes as pale as the moonlight itself.


BRYAN KEIL--

Bryan was new to the academy, and wasn't quite sure what to expect here. Sam and Dean weren't exactly spilling the beans on their adventures. But, for now he was fixing his bed and bunk area. Nothing much, a few pictures of family and the other is a map of the US with lines drawn all across it, tracking something… obviously. Hunting down witches was his specialty. Of course, he's only killed a few… and it was tricky. But he usually was able to use surprise tactics to get the better of them. When he heard someone walking across the grounds next to his cabin, he pulls out his machete. It's just your regular brand, nothing special.

Stalking out the cabin, he watches the red cloaked figure. This was some kind of hunting academy, right? Why was she doing this? Only thing he could think of was one of the things that went bump in the night. Sam was a little more liberal with the information while Dean just gruffed it off as Sam being a nerd. Though, Bryan knew a witch when he saw one. (not really) So, someone skulking in the woods at night, wearing a red cape. It's a witch. There was no other way around it. Moving into the woods near her. He stays hidden, using what trees and cover of darkness to conceal himself.

If she doesn't notice him, he continues stalking towards her. Getting ready for the initial tackle.


ILLESSA--

Her lips twitch as she catches the crunch of snow under feet somewhere behind her. One of the children must be out playing. And, of course, by playing, she really meant out to make a mark for herself – or maybe himself – by taking out a resident 'monster.' Ignoring the way that thought rankled her, she rolled her eyes and moved onward through the wood, sure to keep her footsteps light and slow so her pursuer could easily keep pace, and so she could easily track his movements through the snow.


As she walked on, her hand, already concealed under cover of her cloak, reached into the pocket of the heavy jeans she wore. She grinned, being sure that her face was hidden by the hood of her cloak, as that hand closed around a tiny hex bag she kept just for times like this. The bag, despite still being called a 'hex' bag, wasn't actually dangerous. It was just a small bit of protection she'd adopted since she'd ended up in so much more frequent contact with hunters – or hunters-to-be, as the case may be. All she had to do was hold it and say a single word to relax the muscles of anyone not actually in contact with the bag within a few feet of her. It sounded silly, she knew. But, then, it was pretty hard to move when your muscles refused to respond, which made it very effective as protection without actually harming anyone effected.


BRYAN--

Well, when he attempted the tackle, nothing happened. Infact, his whole body seemed to shut down and betray him as he landed face first on the grass. She must've heard him, he wasn't quiet enough. He couldn't do anything but mumble to himself. All the muscles in his body were relaxed. Which included his mouth, or he'd be saying some very not very nice things right now to the witch girl. This wasn't how his life was supposed to go down. Usually, he got the surprise on the witch having killed a few successfully this way.

When she came to inspect her find. She'd see Bryan laying there unable to move. There'd be an obvious look of him trying to control his muscles again. Mind over matter, right? That's all magic was, the strength of the others will? He had no idea. Just taking a strong guess at the moment to push himself up and choke the life out of her. But, that wasn't happening. The more he fought, the more nothing happened and he was becoming increasingly frustrated. This wasn't how things needed to be.

If she listened carefully, she'd hear him trying to say 'Kill you' over and over. But… obviously, he couldn't.


ILLESSA--

The sound of a body hitting the ground behind her made her laugh. She just couldn't help it. Illessa turned and moved over to see who it was that had thought to make her his – or her – next trophy. She pulled her hands from her pockets, the he bag still gripped firmly in one hand, and crossed her arms over her chest as she looked down at the boy lying helplessly on the ground at her feet.


Ah, yes. She'd seen this one before, though she'd had no actual contact with him. Keil, or something like that, she recalled. “Easy, little boy,” she said, getting her laughter under control. He was making no movements, but she could well imagine it wasn't from a lack of trying. The witch really did just love this particular spell; it was so effective, and yet fairly safe. “Trying to attack one of the guides isn't the best way to make a good impression here, you know.”


She crouched down beside him, the cloak she wore pooling around her. “I'm going to touch you, and release you, and you're going to explain yourself to me. Be careful, it takes a few minutes to completely wear off. And if you try for me again, I will happily shut you down again.” As she spoke, she dangled the hex bag down here he could see it. “Let us see if the little boy has enough sense to do as he's told, then,” she said, reaching out and laying her index finger against the exposed skin of his neck and murmuring a single word under breath, releasing him.


BRYAN--

Guides?

When he feels his muscles coming back, he grumbles and slowly pushes himself up. Using the tree as support. There was a moment he thought about it. "I'm not a little boy, if you've noticed." saying as he stood up straight. Bryan stood nearly a foot taller than her. Turning slightly, he swings the machete into the tree, sinking the blade into the bark and meat of the tree. As a sign that he wasn't going to try anything funny. Though, there was a thought of finding the witch killer spell… but that took ingredients he didn't have access to.

"I have no idea what you mean by guide. I just got here a couple days ago, then you show up tramping around in the woods like a witch." waving his hand. "Maybe coming here was a bad idea. If this place is in bed with a witch, it's obviously not for me." grabbing the machete, he pulls it out of the tree, turns and starts to walk out of the forest. It wasn't his place to be, if this place was in bed with a witch then it was in a lot more trouble than it was worth. Maybe Dean and Sam should look into it and deem it unsafe. Maybe eradicate it. Ah, wouldn't that be amazing? A bunch of hunters gathering around making sure a place that harbors witches goes up in flame?

ILLESSA--

Illessa rose to stand after she'd released him from her spell, her movements practiced and graceful. She didn't even flinch when he buried the machete into the tree. If anything, she was relieved. She'd given about a fifty-fifty chance that he'd attack her again when he was able. And, despite her words, she wouldn't actually have been able to stop him if he'd come after her. Not for a few hours, anyway. It was a wonderful spell, but since it – like most of her spells, being a natural witch instead of one of those who did terrible deals with demons for their power – drew on her own life force, and it drew a lot of power, she was limited to how much she could work it.


She remained silent while he ranted, a little amused at his insistence that he wasn't a boy. He might be adult, but to her...well, sometimes a long life gave you a different perspective. Only when he yanked his machete back out of the tree and stomped off did she finally realize he wasn't going to stay and discuss this like an adult.


Hey. Keil! Wait just a bloody minute, will you?” She called out, even as she took off after him. That was a little more difficult than it sounded though, since her shorter stride covered less ground than he could. A little desperate to get him to do something to stop and face her since she wasn't likely to catch up to him, she took a wild guess came to a stop, calling out after him. “Who did she kill, Keil?”


BRYAN--

"She?" pausing as he turned around to face her. "It wasn't just one. It was a coven. My mothers coven. They slaughtered my entire family." explaining as he walked up to her, letting his height tower over her. "She had been with them before becoming pregnant with me. Apparently the story is that they were to use me as a sacrifice to bring up Gadriel, a Knight of Hell and control him." explaining as he watched her, looking down at her.

"Gadriel was one of the guards who was to keep Adam and Eve safe from influence by Lucifer. As you know, Lucifer got a hold of Eve. God was so furious that he smote Gadriel down into hell, tearing his wings off in the process, which then led Lucifer to corrupt him and turn him into a Knight of Hell who is hell bent on killing all of God's children. But the spell backfired and the coven was nearly slaughtered by Gadriel before being banished back to hell."

Shaking his head.

"The message spread that I was alive. It took them awhile to track down my mother. And when they did…" gesturing.

"The Coven had grown since, it was at one point the largest in Kansas. Now, I believe it’s the biggest in the northern midwest. I have to kill them all."


ILLESSA--

Well, she wasn't right in her guess...but unfortunately wasn't completely wrong, either. Illessa studied his face as he came to stand over her, well aware that he was trying to use his height to intimidate her, though it didn't really work at all. No, intimidation wasn't what she felt as she listened to the boy pour out his story; it was more like compassion and sorrow.


I'm sorry,” she said simply, that compassion lacing her voice, even though she suspected he wouldn't welcome it. “If the members of this coven are engaging with demons, if they're killing for their power... Yes, they should be killed. You won't get an argument from me over that.” Her eyes slid down to her hands, where the hex bag was still clutched. She slipped into the pocket in her jeans she'd originally taken it from, then just stared at her hands, finding herself unable to risk meeting his eyes again.


But,” Illessa continued, finally, “not all witches are like that. If you can't accept that...then you're right. This might not be the place for you.” She shifted, pulling her cloak around her against the cold, and out of habit to hide herself away. “But...if you really want to end this coven, there isn't a better place to find the help to do it than right here.”


BRYAN--

"How can I trust you?" asking with a lifted brow. "How can *I* trust that you're not one of them? That the word spread through the Covens that I'm responsible for the death of 26 Witches?" asking, his words intensifying. "I lost my family to you and your kind. I've already killed 4 of them. Three thanks to Dean and Sam. They showed me some kind of witch killing spell. I'm still trying to get the ingredients down." shrugging, he crosses his arms. "But, anyway. I don't have a fondness of any witch or warlock. In my eyes. They all need to die." gesturing to even her.

"No offense. So far, I haven't seem a good witch. Honestly. I thought you'd kill me out right at first." a shrug, it was honest. "Anyway. This is a strong Coven. One of the strongest there is, at least, that's what their literature says. And what they keep yelling at me when I engage them. With Sam and Dean's help, I was able to take down 3 in one fell swoop. But they dropped me here because now I have a target on my back." a shrug of his shoulder.

"Until I can trust you. I wouldn't suggest turning your back on me." telling her as he slowly turns around and starts walking away towards his cabin.

ILLESSA--

She accepted his anger, and his distrust. At least he had more reason than most to hate witches. But that didn't mean it didn't hurt a little. It always did when she encountered someone who had such hatred of witched; there was always that stab of hurt, and the tickle of guilt that was not always buried as well as she meant it to be.


She considered, during his tirade, pointing out to him that it was Sam and that angel friend of the Winchesters, Castiel, that had brought her here after she'd saved the hunters' lives while they were hunting a witch. Dean, of course, had refused to have anything to do with her, despite her help. She had accepted at the time his letting her go, letting her even live, was probably as close to acceptance as she was going to get from him. But she held her silence to the boy, realizing admitting none of this would actually make a difference to him.


She watched him turn, tempted to stop him. But she changed her mind, feeling trying to force an effort to change his view would only end badly. “I'll just have to find a way for you be able to trust me, then. Because I'm not one of them. And I'm not like them.” She sighed, shaking her head, and murmured, “not anymore.”