Long Way Home by Cycy Smith

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The house loomed before him, dark and imposing. With its grey stone walls and its sheer size the house would have been intimidating even to a full-grown man. Logan was not a full grown man, he was only fifteen and the house scared him shitless. What scared him even more was the thought of the, as yet unknown, family who lived inside. Beside him his social worker, a little daunted herself, shifted uncertainly and reluctantly started up the drive to the huge door. Logan hesitated and then shouldered his backpack and followed her, berating himself for feeling so nervous.

He had been surprised by this placement, surprised at being offered any placement at all. Foster homes usually wanted to take in small cute toddlers whose personalities were not yet fully formed, who had a chance to forget whatever their parents had done that had landed them in care in the first place and could begin a new life. Logan was definitely not a toddler and no one would dare call him cute. He had been twelve when he was first taken into care, when the cruelty and torture inflicted upon him by his parents became so apparent that even the exhausted, jaded teachers at his school could no longer ignore it. In his first year he had had two foster placements, arranged by the children's home. Neither had gone well. The first had lasted two months, the second only a week. Both families had returned him to the home with no explanation except vague mutterings about his ‘strangeness'. Since then he had lived only at the home...until now. The home had stopped trying to find him a foster family after the second fell apart and so this offer must have come from the family themselves. This was strange enough, especially from a family who already had two children of their own. What was even stranger was the fact that they had offered their home without even meeting him, and that he still hadn't met them even though he would shortly be living with them.

It was an odd situation, but Logan didn't hold out much hope that this would be any better than the first two places he's stayed. The reality was the vague complaints of ‘strangeness' were true, he was strange. Not just because he was emotionally vulnerable because of his parents' treatment of him but also because he was just plain different. Neither of his foster families had been able to identify what it was about him that bothered them but at an instinctive level they had been disturbed by him. The reason for this was very simple, although they would never had guessed at it; Logan was not human.

He looked like a human, acted like a human, spoke, ate, slept like a human but was not human. Logan was a warlock, the son of a witch, and no human would ever be completely comfortable in his presence, though few would know why. That was why his foster families had rejected him, why he had never made friends with the other children at the home, and why his all too human father had tried for twelve years to break his spirit with both physical and mental cruelty. Even a child who could perform amazing magicks was dependent on the adults around him and by the time he had finally been rescued by social services Logan had been beaten into submission to such an extent that he never used his power, never admitted to anyone what he was, and never had the courage to seek out others of his own kind.

He still didn't understand what had made his father, his own flesh and blood, turn against him so viciously.

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