- Название: Hex Hall
- Автор: Rachel Hawkins
Table of Contents
SIMON AND SCHUSTER
First published in Great Britain in 2010 by Simon and Schuster UK Ltd
A CBS COMPANY.
First published in the United States of America in 2010 by Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group, 114 Fifth
Avenue, New York, New York, 10011-5690
Copyright © 2010 Rachel Hawkins
This book is copyright under the Berne Convention.
No reproduction without permission.
All rights reserved.
The right of Rachel Hawkins to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with
sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act, 1988.
Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
222 Gray’s Inn Road,
London WC1X 8HB
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination
or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
eBook ISBN 978-1-84738-989-3
Printed by CPI Cox & Wyman, Reading, Berkshire RG1 8EX
For Mama and Daddy,
For John and Will,
For everything …
My mother says I must not pass
Too near the glass;
She is afraid that I will see
A little witch that looks like me;
With a red, red mouth to whisper low,
The very thing I should not know!
—Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
Felicia Miller was crying in the bathroom. Again.
I knew it was her because in the three months I’d been going to Green Mountain High,
I’d already seen Felicia crying in the bathroom twice. She had a really distinctive sob,
high and breathy like a little kid’s, even though Felicia was eighteen, two years older than
I’d left her alone before, figuring that it was every girl’s right to cry in a public
bathroom from time to time.
But tonight was prom night, and there was something really sad about sobbing in formal
wear. Besides, I’d developed a soft spot for Felicia. There was a girl just like her at every
school I’d ever been to (nineteen and counting). And while I may have been a weirdo,
people weren’t mean to me; they mostly just ignored me. Felicia, on the other hand, was
the class punching bag. For her, school had been nothing but a constant parade of stolen
lunch money and nasty remarks.
I peeked under the stall door and saw a pair of feet in strappy yellow sandals. “Felicia?”
I called, rapping softly on the door. “What’s wrong?”
She opened the door and looked up at me with angry, bloodshot eyes. “What’s wrong?
Well, let’s see, Sophie, it’s prom night of my senior year and do you see a date anywhere
“Um … no. But you are in the ladies’ room, so I thought—”
“What?” she asked as she stood up and wiped her nose with a huge wad of toilet paper.
“That my date’s out there waiting for me?” She snorted. “Please. I lied to my parents and
said I had a date. So they bought me this dress”—she slapped at the yellow taffeta like it
was a bug she was trying to kill—“and I told them my date was meeting me here, so they
dropped me off. I just … I couldn’t tell them I didn’t get invited to my senior prom. It
would have broken their hearts.” She rolled her eyes. “How pathetic is that?”
“It’s not that pathetic,” I said. “Lots of girls come to prom alone.”
She glared at me. “Do you have a date?”
I did have a date. Sure, it was Ryan Hellerman, who might have been the only person at
Green Mountain High less popular than I was, but it was still a date. And my mom had
been so excited that someone had asked me. She saw it as my finally making an attempt at
Fitting In was really important to my mom.
I watched Felicia standing there in her yellow dress, wiping at her nose, and before I
could stop myself, I said something totally stupid: “I can help.”
Felicia looked up at me through puffy eyes. “How?”
I looped my arm through hers, pulling her to her feet. “We have to go outside.”
We made our way out of the bathroom and through the crowded gym. Felicia seemed
wary as I led her through the big double doors and out into the parking lot.
“If this is some sort of prank, I have pepper spray in my purse,” she said, holding her
little yellow clutch close to her chest.
“Relax.” I looked around to make sure the parking lot was deserted.
Even though it was late April, there was still a chill in the air, and both of us shivered in
our dresses. “Okay,” I said, turning back to her. “If you could have anyone as your prom
date, who would it be?”
“Are you trying to torture me?” she asked.
“Just answer the question.”
Staring at her yellow shoes, she mumbled, “Kevin Bridges?”
I wasn’t surprised. SGA president, football captain, all-around hottie … Kevin Bridges
was the guy almost any girl would pick to be her prom date.
“Okay, then. Kevin it is,” I muttered, cracking my knuckles. Lifting my hands to the
sky, I closed my eyes and pictured Felicia in Kevin’s arms, her in her bright yellow dress,
him in a tux. After just a few seconds of focusing on that image, I started to feel a slight
tremor under my feet and a feeling like water rushing all the way up to my outspread
hands. My hair started to float from my shoulders, and then I heard Felicia gasp.
When I opened my eyes, I saw exactly what I’d hoped. Overhead, a huge dark cloud
was swirling, sparks of purplish light flashing inside of it. I kept concentrating, and as I
did, the cloud swirled faster until it was a perfect circle with a hole in the center.
The Magic Doughnut, as I’d dubbed it the first time I’d created one on my twelfth
Felicia cowered between two cars, her arms raised over her head. But it was too late to
The hole in the center of the cloud filled with bright green light. Focusing on that light
and the image of Kevin and Felicia, I flexed my fingers and watched as a bolt of green
lightning shot out of the cloud and raced across the sky. It disappeared behind some trees.
The cloud vanished, and Felicia stood up on shaky legs. “W-what was that?” She turned
to me, wide-eyed. “Are you like a witch or something?”
I shrugged, still feeling pleasantly buzzed by the power I’d just unleashed. Magic
drunk, Mom always calls it. “It was nothing,” I said. “Now let’s go inside.”
Ryan was hanging out by the punch table when I came back inside.
“What was that about?” he asked, nodding toward Felicia. She looked dazed as she
stood on tiptoes, scanning the dance floor.
“Oh, she just needed some air,” I said, picking up a glass of punch. My heart was still
racing, and my hands were shaking.
“Cool,” Ryan said, bouncing his head in time with the music. “Wanna dance?”
Before I could answer, Felicia ran up and grabbed my arm. “He’s not even here,” she
said. “Didn’t that … that thing you did make him my prom date?”
“Shhh! Yes it did, but you’ll have to be patient. As soon as Kevin gets here, he’ll find
you, trust me.”
We didn’t have to wait long.
Ryan and I were only halfway through our first dance when a huge crash echoed
through the gym.
There was a rapid succession of loud pops, almost like gunshots, that sent kids
screaming and diving under the refreshment table. I watched the punch bowl plummet to
the floor, splashing red liquid everywhere.
But it wasn’t a gun that had made the popping sounds; it was balloons. Hundreds of
them. Whatever had happened had sent the huge balloon arch swooping to the ground. I
watched as one white balloon escaped the carnage and rose into the rafters of the gym.
I looked over and saw several of the teachers running for the doors.
Which weren’t there anymore.
That was because a silver Land Rover had crashed through them.
Kevin Bridges staggered out of the driver’s seat. He’d cut both his forehead and his
hand, and was bleeding on the shiny hardwood as he bellowed, “Felicia! FELICIA!”
“Holy crap,” Ryan murmured.
Kevin’s date, Caroline Reed, scrambled out of the passenger side. She was sobbing.
“He’s crazy!” she shrieked. “He was fine, and then there was this light and … and …” She
broke off into more hysterics, and I felt sick to my stomach.
“FELICIA!” Kevin continued to scream, wildly searching the gym. I looked around and
saw Felicia hiding under one of the tables, her eyes huge.
I was careful this time, I thought. I’m better at this now!
Kevin found Felicia and yanked her out from under the table. “Felicia!” He smiled
broadly, his whole face lit up, which, what with the blood and all, was terrifying. I didn’t
blame Felicia for screaming her head off.
One of the chaperones, Coach Henry, sprinted over to help, grabbing Kevin’s arm.
But Kevin just turned, one hand still clutching Felicia, and backhanded Coach Henry
across the face. The coach, who was six foot two and easily over two hundred pounds,
went flying backward.
And then all hell broke loose.
People were stampeding for the doors, more teachers were swarming Kevin, and
Felicia’s screams had taken on a desperate, keening edge. Only Ryan seemed unfazed.
“Awesome!” he enthused as two girls scrambled over the Land Rover and out of the
gym. “Carrie prom!”
Kevin was still holding one of Felicia’s hands, and by now he was on one knee. I
couldn’t be sure, thanks to all the screaming, but I think he was singing to her.
Felicia wasn’t screeching anymore, but she was fishing in her handbag for something.
“Oh no,” I groaned. I started running toward them, but I slipped and fell in the punch.
Felicia whipped out a small red can and sprayed the contents in Kevin’s face.
His song broke off in a garbled cry of pain. He dropped her hand to claw at his eyes,
and Felicia ran.
“It’s okay, baby!” he shouted after her. “I don’t need eyes to see you! I see you with the
eyes of my heart, Felicia! My HEART!”
Great. Not only was my spell too strong, it was also lame.
I sat in the pool of punch while the chaos I’d created raged around me. A lone white
balloon bobbed by my elbow, and Mrs. Davison, my algebra teacher, stumbled past,
shouting into her cell phone, “I said Green Mountain High! Um … I don’t know, an
ambulance? A SWAT team? Just send somebody!”
Then I heard a shriek. “It was her! Sophie Mercer!”
Felicia was pointing at me, her whole body shaking.
Even over all the noise, Felicia’s words echoed in the cavernous gym. “She’s … she’s a
I sighed. “Not again.”
I stepped out of the car and into the hot thick heat of August in Georgia.
“Awesome,” I murmured, sliding my sunglasses on top of my head. Thanks to the
humidity, my hair felt like it had tripled in size. I could feel it trying to devour my
sunglasses like some sort of carnivorous jungle plant. “I always wondered what it would
be like to live in somebody’s mouth.”
In front of me loomed Hecate Hall, which, according to the brochure clutched in my
sweaty hand, was “the premier reformatory institution for Prodigium adolescents.”
Prodigium. Just a fancy Latin word for monsters. And that’s what everyone at Hecate
That’s what I was.
I’d already read the brochure four times on the plane from Vermont to Georgia, twice on
the ferry ride to Graymalkin Island, just off the coast of Georgia (where, I learned, Hecate
had been built in 1854), and once as our rental car had rattled over the shell and gravel
driveway that led from the shore to the school’s parking lot. So I should have had it
memorized, but I kept holding on to it and compulsively reading it, like it was my wubby
The purpose of Hecate Hall is to protect and instruct shapeshifter, witch, and fae
children who have risked exposure of their abilities, and therefore imperiled Prodigium
society as a whole.
“I still don’t see how helping one girl find a date imperiled other witches,” I said,
squinting at my mom as we reached into the trunk for my stuff. The thought had been
bugging me since the first time I’d read the brochure, but I hadn’t had a chance to bring it
up. Mom had spent most of the flight pretending to be asleep, probably to avoid looking at
my sullen expression.
“It wasn’t just that one girl, Soph, and you know it. It was that boy with the broken arm
in Delaware, and that teacher you tried to make forget about a test in Arizona… .”
“He got his memory back eventually,” I said. “Well, most of it.”
Mom just sighed and pulled out the beat-up trunk we’d bought at The Salvation Army.
“Your father and I both warned you that there were consequences for using your powers. I
don’t like this any more than you do, but at least here you’ll be with … with other kids
“You mean total screwups.” I pulled my tote bag onto my shoulder.
Mom pushed her own sunglasses up and looked at me. She seemed tired and there were
heavy lines around her mouth, lines I’d never seen before. My mom was almost forty, but
she could usually pass for ten years younger.
“You’re not a screwup, Sophie.” We hefted the trunk between us. “You’ve just made
Had I ever. Being a witch had definitely not been as awesome as I’d hoped it would be.
For one thing, I didn’t get to fly around on a broomstick. (I asked my mom about that
when I first came into my powers, and she said no, I had to keep riding the bus like
everyone else.) I don’t have spell books or a talking cat (I’m allergic), and I wouldn’t even
know where to get a hold of something like eye of newt.
But I can perform magic. I’ve been able to ever since I was twelve, which, according to
sweaty brochure, is the age all Prodigium come into their powers. Something to do with
puberty, I guess.
“Besides, this is a good school,” Mom said as we approached the building.
But it didn’t look like a school. It looked like a cross between something out of an old
horror movie and Disney World’s Haunted Mansion. For starters, it was obviously almost
two hundred years old. It was three stories tall, and the third story perched like the top tier
of a wedding cake. The house may have been white once, but now it was just sort of a
faded gray, almost the same color as the shell and gravel drive, which made it look less
like a house and more like some sort of natural outcrop of the island.
“Huh,” Mom said. We dropped the trunk, and she walked around the side of the
building. “Would you look at that?”
I followed her and immediately saw what she meant. The brochure said Hecate had
made “extensive additions to the original structure” over the years. Turns out, that meant
they’d lopped off the back of the house and stuck another one onto it. The grayish wood
ended after sixty feet or so and gave way to pink stucco that extended all the way to the
For something that had clearly been done with magic—there were no seams where the
two houses met, no line of mortar—you would’ve thought it would have turned out a little
more elegantly. Instead it looked like two houses that had been glued together by a crazy
A crazy person with really bad taste.
Huge oak trees in the front yard dripped with Spanish moss, shading the house. In fact,
there seemed to be plants everywhere. Two ferns in dusty pots bracketed the front door,
looking like big green spiders, and some sort of vine with purple flowers had taken over
an entire wall. It was almost like the house was being slowly absorbed by the forest just
I tugged at the hem of my brand-new Hecate Hall– issue blue plaid skirt (kilt? Some
sort of bizarre skirt/ kilt hybrid? A skilt?) and wondered why a school in the middle of the
Deep South would have wool uniforms. Still, as I stared at the school, I fought off a
shiver. I wondered how anyone could ever look at this place and not suspect its students
were a bunch of freaks.
“It’s pretty,” Mom said in her best “Let’s be perky and look on the bright side” voice.
I, however, was not feeling so perky.
“Yeah, it’s beautiful. For a prison.”
My mom shook her head. “Drop the insolent-teenager thing, Soph. It’s hardly a prison.”
But that’s what it felt like.
“This really is the best place for you,” she said as we picked up the trunk.
“I guess,” I mumbled.
It’s for your own good seemed to be the mantra as far as me and Hecate were concerned.
Two days after prom we’d gotten an e-mail from my dad that basically said I’d blown all
my chances, and that the Council was sentencing me to Hecate until my eighteenth
The Council was this group of old people who made all the rules for Prodigium.
I know, a council that calls themselves “the Council.” So original.
Anyway, Dad worked for them, so they let him break the bad news. “Hopefully,” he had
said in his e-mail, “this will teach you to use your powers with considerably more
E-mail and the occasional phone call were pretty much the only contact I had with my
dad. He and Mom split up before I was born. Turns out he hadn’t told my mom about him
being a warlock (that’s the preferred term for boy witches) until they’d been together for
nearly a year. Mom hadn’t taken the news well. She wrote him off as a nut job and ran
back to her family. But then she found out she was pregnant with me, and she go