“I didn’t mean to…” Krešimir winced ruefully at the hallway. It was sopping wet, but only because Mirembe had summoned up a storm. Under the water, it was charred, the panelling falling off the walls where it wasn’t just gone. “I really didn’t.”
“Come on.” Luke’s hand was firm on Krešo’s shoulder and he had started to walk away. Krešo didn’t really have a lot of choice except to follow the gym teacher-slash-security officer — or lose his shoulder, which didn’t seem like a lot of fun.
He trotted along, although he couldn’t help but look back at the wreckage he’d made every few moments. “I’ll help fix it. I can pay for the damages, maybe? Get a job at the Store? I didn’t mean to make a mess, that’s all. I just…”
“Akatil will fix it.” Luke pulled Krešo down into a hallway he’d never seen before, tucked between the Director’s office and the dining hall. It was dark down here, cramped-feeling. Krešo swallowed nervously.
“I, um. I can really help?”
“Look, kid.” Luke pushed a door open that hadn’t been there a moment ago. Sunlight streamed inside. “It’s a fire power. Being sorry for it is like being sorry that you’re breathing. It’s self-defeating and ridiculous.”
“So… you’re not mad?”
“I’m angry. I’m not mad at you. Come on.” His hand seemed gentler now as he steered Krešo out into a wide meadow. “You need to get control of your powers.”
“I know, I know! I keep trying, but then every time someone spooks me…” He stopped. Luke was smiling. He was the scariest thing Krešo had seen — either in or out of school — and he was smiling. “…What?”
“I saw what happened when she ‘spooked’ you. I’d say she deserved it, wouldn’t you?”
Krešo swallowed. “I mean… Professor Pelletier….”
“Professor Pelletier didn’t see the whole thing. I did. It’s fine to… ha… let off steam when someone is being an ass. You’ve just got to learn to do it intentionally. Here.” He gestured at a stretch of grass with a couple scraggly-looking trees. “Let loose.”
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