The students were all tucked away in their rooms where they should be and Jean was doing her rounds during the middle of the night. She didn't hate it, it was one of the times that Jean could be alone, sort out the days events by herself without the demands of students or staff to deal with. The light was dim, just enough so that anyone who needed to use the hall during the night would not be left blindly searching in the dark and all was silent except for the small sounds an old house settling usually made. Nearing the end of the second to last hall she needed to walk down was when she saw it. A shadow scuttled around the corner and she assumed it was a student--It was about the right size. As she picked up speed to go check on them herself, it was not out of the question that a student would be in the hall at this hour, they were not prevented from going to the bathroom past curfew but she should check on them all the same, a whisper so soft she almost didn't recognize the voice.
Her steps halted immediately and she felt her heart stop--It was impossible. She slowly turned her head, half expecting that she would see her former mentor. It had been his voice. "Charles?" She asked, her throat tight enough that it came out as a harsh whisper. Her head snapped in the opposite direction when a shadow appeared across the floor at the end of the hall. It was a figure moving down the hall and she saw it grow, the shadow creeping across the floor and up the wall. She tried to identify who it could possibly be, wondering what was bothering her so much about it. It took only a second longer--As the massive shadow almost engulfed the entire corner where the halls met, she realized that from the way it was moving, it's size alone, she should certainly be hearing footsteps at this point.
Snapping out of the moment of inexplicable dread, she steeled herself, her mind reaching out to try and sense if this was another teacher, though she was the only one scheduled for the night shift. It felt cold, dark, unidentifiable and she finally willed her feet to move forward. "Who's there?" She demanded, her voice taking on the authoritative tone she used when students had crossed a line. Stepping into the shadow she looked to see who was around the corner and was confronted with...Nothing.
Blinking twice, she stared in confusion, looking down at the ground where she was standing in the dim light cast by the lights that lined the walls.
"Jean." Again she heard his voice, more distant and coming from the same direction she'd been heading down. She looked up the hall she had just come down and everything seemed in order. She drew in a deep breath, rationalizing. Her head dropped and she reached up to touch her forehead, rubbing it in frustration. It must be grief, she knew the professor was gone, it wasn't so long ago that she didn't still feel the loss quite viscerally.
The moment was interrupted by the lights flickering out of the corner of her eyes and her head lifted but before she could drop her hand completely it was a different voice she heard. Where the sound of Xavier had been soothing in life, this was the exact opposite. It came from the hall she had her side to and made her feel like ice water was gently rolling down her spine. "I'm so close, Jean." As she began to lower her hand and took towards the sound of the voice, it warned her. "Don't look! If you it will surely mean your end." It was a warning she took to heart--She didn't know why or how, but she knew that the warning was true.
Once again she reached out with her mind, searching for the source of this voice. Aside from the students, something was there. Something she couldn't focus on, something awful.
"I'm right here. Oh, Jean. I can just reach out and--"
The words were cut off by the short scream that escaped Jean's throat. She felt it! Cold fingers coiling around the back of her neck. As she cried out in sudden fear she jerked towards whatever was there, arm swatting at the the invisible intruder. Now she stared down the empty hall she had been warned not to look down. She saw nothing out of the ordinary. Her head jerked in each direction as she searched for the source of the sudden fear, but whatever oppressive force she'd been feeling was gone.
She was left feeling silly and a little big embarrassed as a few tired students poked their head out of their rooms. "You okay, Mrs. Gray?" One of them asked.
Flashing them a sheepish smile she nodded. "Yes, sorry. Go back to sleep." She looked up. "All of you." She said and the students turned back to their rooms.