The new kid’s a werewolf, and Jean can prove it.
“The new kid’s a werewolf,” Jean announced as she sat down at the table with her two friends. Neither of them looked up at her.
“No, he isn’t,” Ryan told her, carefully picking tomatoes off his sandwich and putting them on Delta’s tray beside him.
“Just because you can see the future doesn’t mean you know everything.”
“Nothing to do with my powers, just common sense,” Ryan said. “You don’t need to be a seer.”
“How can you say you know if it isn’t because of your powers?” Jean demanded, opening her little carton of milk. “Did you ask him?”
“Obviously not. I have fifth period with him.”
“Ryan has gym fifth period,” Delta said, pausing in her careful inspection of her apple to look up at Leo and Helen as they approached and sat.
“Yes, so I can say with some certainty that new kid is not a werewolf,” Ryan said, now reassembling his sandwich. “He is not furry enough anywhere to qualify.”
“Okay first, ew,” Jean said, noticing that Leo was chuckling at that and wondering what was wrong with boys. “And second, you perving on him in the shower doesn’t prove anything except that you’re a pervert.”
“You probably don’t need to use ‘perving’ and ‘pervert’ in the same sentence,” Helen said, earning a glare. “It’s a bit redundant.”
“Also, looking at other guys in the shower is super normal,” Leo added. “Everyone does it and there’s nothing wrong with it.”
“You’re only saying that so that nobody will think it’s weird that you’re always checking everyone out,” Ryan teased, around a mouthful of bacon and lettuce.
“You’re just jealous that it’s not you I’m checking out,” Jean wished that Leo would just ask Ryan out and put them all out of their misery. Ryan liked girls but everyone knew that he would make an exception for Leo.
“Anyway, back to new kid.”
“I don’t think he is,” Delta said, nibbling Ryan’s tomatoes. “I don’t get a shifter vibe from him.”
“There’s no such thing as a shifter vibe,” Helen said.
“What, because you’re the expert on shapeshifters here?”
“Yes, and also because even if there was, werewolves aren’t classified as shapeshifters. So even if there was a psychic connection or some secret signal, he wouldn’t necessarily know it or give it off.”
“What makes you think he’s a werewolf?” Ryan asked. “If his lack of fuzz isn’t evidence against, what’s the evidence for?”
“He won’t eat chocolate,” Jean said, glad that finally someone had asked. “Someone offered him some and he said he couldn’t have chocolate the other day.”
“So dogs can’t eat chocolate! It makes them sick,” Jean was particularly proud of that bit of deduction.
“Did you consider that he might just be a vegan or something?” Leo asked. “My cousins don’t eat chocolate and that’s why.”
“He’s also allergic to Tylenol. I heard him mention it to someone in class yesterday.”
“I’m allergic to silver,” Helen reminded her. “Am I a secret werewolf too?”
“No,” Jean said, pointing at Helen and preparing to deliver the coup de grace. “Because you don’t always show up to school exhausted the day after the full moon.”
“Always?” Ryan frowned, talking with his mouth full. “He’s been here for a month.”
“Five weeks, and there have been two full moons in that time, and both times he’s shown up to homeroom the next day basically a zombie…”
“Maybe he’s an actual zombie?”
“As if he hadn’t slept all night!” Jean finished dramatically, barreling right over Leo.
“Hm,” Helen said, toying with her hair. “Werewolf is a possibility, I suppose.”
“He might also just be a teenager,” Leo suggested.
“And can we consider the possibility that Jean is just super into him and is using this as an excuse to stalk him?” Ryan asked.
“I’m not stalking him, I just pay attention to people, and you don’t get to talk about embarrassing crushes. The point is, we need to add him to the Supernatural Student Club,” Jean said firmly.
“So that he can what, solve crimes with us?” Delta asked.
“Also, do we have to call ourselves that? Please don’t try to make that stick.” Helen looking around the table as if to assess how much support the name had.
“We need to come up with a strategy for how to get him to tell us he’s a werewolf without freaking him out if we’re wrong and without telling him too much,” Jean said, finally drawing them all around to the point of this conversation.
“Leave that to me,” Leo said, nodding over at the door where new kid had just come into the lunch room. “Hey, new kid! Come sit with us!”
“He has a name, you know,” Delta said, rolling her eyes. “It has been five weeks and he’s in your math class, surely that’s enough time for you to learn it.”
“His name’s Peter,” Ryan said, wiping crumbs off his shirt.
“Did you ask him that before or after you checked out his junk?” Ryan just gave Leo the finger and finished his sandwich.
Peter the new kid was tall for his age and freckly, and he walked over to their table warily. “Hi,” he offered.
“Hey,” Leo said to him. “I’m Leo. Jean’s been stalking you, Ryan checks you out in the shower, Delta trying to get psychic vibes from you and Helen commiserates with your allergies. The point being that we all want to know if you’re a werewolf. Want to sit with us?”
“What?” Peter said, looking around at the five of them as if they might attack him. “Um, sorry, what?”
“Don’t listen to Leo, he’s a nutjob,” Jean said, embarrassment colouring her face and neck. Stupid Leo. “We were just wondering if you’d like to sit with us.”
“We want to add you to our team of supernatural kids,” Delta told him.
“Oh. So, you’re all, like, magic?” He seemed more interested than weirded out, but that still left the possibility that he was crazy.
“I’m not.” Helen raised her hand. “My parents are paranormal investigators. But we’ve got a seer, a shapeshifter, a sorceress and a demon.”
“Sorcerer,” Jean corrected, because unnecessarily gendered nouns were stupid.
“Half-demon,” Leo said as he waved Peter down into an empty seat. “I haven’t sold my soul yet.”
“O…okay,” Peter said and started opening his lunch. “Hi. I’m not a werewolf, though.”
“I know,” Ryan said, peering over at Peter’s tray to see if he had anything good and settling for stealing Leo’s granola bar. “No fur. We’ve been over this part already.”
“Sure you are,” Jean told him, flashing a look at Ryan. “You’re tired after the full moon, you don’t eat chocolate and you’re allergic to Tylenol. It’s okay, we’re not going to judge you or anything.”
Peter looked at her for a second and giggled, unwrapping what looked like a bean salad. “I feel bad telling you this, but I’m actually a druid. There are full moon rituals. I’m lactose intolerant and Tylenol makes me throw up. I’m also allergic to dog hair and I use all kinds of silver tools and stuff for magic, so definitely not a werewolf.”
“Well.” Jean pretended not to notice that several people were giggling now. “That was an easy enough mistake to make. The point being that I was right about you being supernatural.”
Peter smiled at her. “So, do you guys just collect supernatural people?”
“The easier to solve crimes,” Delta muttered.
“There aren’t very many of us,” Ryan said around a mouthful of stolen granola. “I’m sure you must know how hard it is to hang out with people who don’t know what you get up to on the weekends.”
“Yeah, I guess I do.” Peter leaned in a little. “Although I mostly just play video games on the weekends, to be honest.”
“I knew we’d have a lot in common,” Jean said, and Peter laughed. “So do you have awesome druid robes?”
“Actually yes. Makes Halloween super easy. Do you have a huge spellbook and a cauldron?”
“Yes, and they take up so much space in my attic. I’m transcribing all of our spells onto the computer so that we don’t need to carry the book around all the time. My parents tell me that’s lazy but they’re secretly grateful.”
“Okay, but,” Helen interrupted. “Peter, I need you to tell me the truth about Stonehenge.”
Jean smiled. Okay, she’d technically been wrong, but that didn’t mean she hadn’t also been right, at least a little bit. As to the part that mattered, at least. So she congratulated herself, because druids were cooler than werewolves anyway.