My Sister the Vampire Book 3: Re-Vamped! (Chapter 3)

Standing on the front steps of Franklin Grove Middle School, Ivy flipped open her fuzzy black spider watch and tapped it with a black fingernail.

If it was really 8:10 on Wednesday morning, where were all the people? The steps should have been packed. What if my watch is wrong and I'm late for class? she thought.

As Ivy rushed toward the huge oak doors, she could hear a commotion inside. Stepping out of the cold December sunshine, she found herself engulfed in a chattering crowd of people.

Looking around, Ivy realized she was at the end of a huge, disorganized line that led to the tables where the school newspaper was distributed. A pimply sixth-grader, who was coming the other way, walked right into her, his eyes glued to the front page of the paper in his hands. "Sorry," he mumbled. Then, glancing up, his mouth dropped open. "It's you!" he cried. "Or is it her?" he added suspiciously.

Ivy looked down at the paper he was holding and saw the towering headline, LONG-LOST TWINS FIND EACH OTHER! over huge, side-by-side photographs of Ivy and Olivia's faces. So much for no one reading the article, she thought with a grimace.

She put her head down, letting a curtain of dark hair conceal her face, and started elbowing her way through the crowd. Being the center of attention was hazardous to Ivy's health; it was like lying out in a bikini without any sunblock.

Luckily Ivy succeeded in plunging through the fray without anybody else recognizing her.

Emerging at the edge of the crowd, she noticed another throng of people squeezing into a classroom up ahead. She skulked over and, balancing on the tips of her steel-toed boots, peered over everyone's heads.

Olivia was trapped in front of the whiteboard, still in her coat. She was flanked by Toby Decker, who had written the article for the school paper, and her friend Camilla Edmunson who was wearing a blue hoodie that said THE PAST WAS THE FUTURE on it. Camilla was seriously into sci-fi. People were shouting questions.

"Can you read each other's minds?"

"Were you surgically separated at birth?"

"Have you ever met the Olsen twins?"

Olivia was trying to answer, but people kept interrupting.

"Did you always know you had a twin?" a girl in a red beret shouted.

Sort of, Ivy thought. Looking back, she had always felt like something was missing in her life, but she had never known what it was until the day she found Olivia.

In the middle of the classroom, greasy-haired Garrick Stephens, probably the lamest vampire in the whole school, got up on top of a desk. "Does anybody have any questions about when I climbed out of a coffin during a funeral?" he called. Garrick and his boneheaded friends – aka the Beasts – had recently sparked a witch hunt on national TV that had almost revealed the existence of vampires. Now he was clearly jealous that someone else was getting all the attention.

Somebody threw an eraser at his head, and he lost his balance and fell off the desk. Ivy couldn't keep from laughing, and a girl in front of her looked around and gasped.

"It's Ivy! The twin!" she gasped.

The words "Ivy" and "twin" rippled through the crowd. People turned their heads to look. Uh-oh, thought Ivy.

"When one of you gets hurt, does the other one feel it?"

"Why don't you have the same color eyes?"

"Do you have any matching birthmarks?"

Soon everyone was shouting and talking and crowding around Ivy as well as Olivia. Instead of attempting to answer anyone's question, Ivy focused on trying not to fall over in the stampede. Suddenly an earsplitting whistle rang out.

Immediately, the crowd hushed. At the front of the room, Camilla was standing with one hand in the air authoritatively, the other to her lips. She looked like a traffic cop.

"Everyone stand still!" she commanded. Then Camilla jumped off the desk and pushed through the crowd. Grabbing Ivy's hand, she dragged her back to stand next to Olivia.

The sisters exchanged nervous looks. "You said nobody was going to read the article!" Ivy whispered.

"Oops." Olivia shrugged.

The room lit up with flashes from camera phones as people took pictures of the sisters side by side. "Ivy and Olivia can only answer one question at a time!" Camilla announced. "If you have a question, raise your hand." Scores of hands shot into the air.

Camilla was about to choose one, when a familiar high-pitched voice screeched, "Get out of my way!" The crowd parted, and Charlotte Brown – neighbor, nemesis, and cheerleading captain – shoved her way to the front. She looked from Ivy to Olivia with narrowed eyes. As her sidekicks, Katie and Allison, appeared behind her, she nodded.

"This explains a lot," Charlotte told her friends, as if Ivy and Olivia couldn't hear her from five feet away.

Then Charlotte plastered an insincere look of sympathy on her face. "Don't worry, Olivia," she said loudly, "the cheerleading squad will stand by you no matter what."

All at once, Ivy's embarrassment gave way to annoyance. She trained her death squint on Charlotte Brown and was about to unleash an acid comeback when the bell rang.

Charlotte spun on her heel and headed for the door, her minions in tow. The rest of the crowd also started pouring out of the room.

Toby Decker, clearly delighted with the attention his story was receiving, patted Olivia and Ivy encouragingly on their backs as he squeezed past. "Maybe we shouldn't have told anyone," Ivy said under her breath to her sister.

Olivia nodded and then grinned. "But, since we did, maybe we should have worn matching outfits!"

As she made her way among the tables at lunch, people Olivia didn't even know kept inviting her to sit with them. Luckily, she spotted Ivy's pale hand waving at her from a table near the window, where she was hiding behind Brendan. Olivia hurried over.

"Craziness!" Olivia sang, setting down her tray across from her sister.

"Brendan has heard that somebody is selling pictures of us on eBay," Ivy said wryly.

"Bidding's already up to ten bucks," Brendan announced.

Ivy's best friend, Sophia, put her tray down next to Ivy's, her camera hanging around her neck. "Ten bucks for what?" she asked.

"Somebody's selling pictures of Ivy and me on eBay," Olivia told her.

Sophia looked embarrassed.

Ivy stared at her in disbelief. "Please tell me you did not post pictures of us on eBay, Sophia."

"Sorry." Sophia gulped guiltily.

"Wow," Olivia teased. "Sold out by your own best friend!"

"I was going to split the money with you!" Sophia offered desperately.

"Oh," Ivy said, her face relaxing into a grin.

"That's okay, then!"

They all laughed, but a second later, Olivia realized she was the only one still chuckling. Her sister's eyes were fixed over her shoulder.

"Hi,Vera," Ivy said cautiously.

Olivia turned to find a Goth girl with a streak of white hair standing behind her. She knew Vera from the All Hallows' Ball committee meetings, where Olivia had impersonated Ivy.

"Last time I checked,"Vera said, with a pointed glance at Olivia, "oil and water don't mix." Then she stuck her nose in the air and stalked off.

"What was that about?" Olivia asked when Vera was out of earshot.

Ivy lowered her voice. "Some vampires are a little . . . extreme in their views about mixing with bunnies – humans, I mean."

"But why?" Olivia wanted to know. "Aren't we supposed to be scared of you?"

"Not really," answered Sophia. "Your kind has a habit of breaking out the wooden stake first and asking questions later."

Ivy rolled her eyes. "As if that's happened this century."

"Either way," Brendan said diplomatically, "it's hard to have relationships with nonvamps when you're bound by a strict code of secrecy and have a weird diet."

"True," Ivy admitted. "It's easier with you because you know," she added to Olivia.

"Could that be why our parents split us up?" Olivia wondered aloud. She and her sister had been trying to figure out how a vampire and a human could be twins – and why their parents had separated them – for almost the whole time they'd known each other. "Maybe they were worried that if a vampire and a human grew up together, the vampire secret wouldn't be safe?" Olivia suggested.

Ivy grimaced. "Well, I certainly proved them right." She sighed. She'd broken the First Law of the Night by telling Olivia the truth about vampires, when bad scratches on her arm had healed before Olivia's eyes.

"You know I'd never tell," Olivia reassured her. "Yes, and luckily," said Ivy, "no one beyond this table knows that you know, except for my dad, and he would never tell."

A question sprang into Olivia's mind. "But aren't all your friends going to guess that I know now, since it's out that we're sisters?"

Ivy stopped mid-sip of pink lemonade. "How come none of us thought of that?" she said to Sophia and Brendan.

The two of them shrugged worriedly in response.

Ivy bent to lightly bang her head against the table. "We're so dead," she said. "By the end of the day, every vamp in Franklin Grove is going to know we're sisters, and everyone's going to guess there's been a violation of the First Law."

"I suppose we could just deny it," Olivia whispered. "Our community doesn't let things go that easily," Brendan said.

Ivy nodded in agreement. "We have no choice. We'll have to show everyone that you have a right to know."

"But how?" Sophia asked.

"By proving that one of our parents was a vampire, so Olivia's at least part vampire, too."

Olivia got goosebumps. It was weird to think of vampire blood coursing through her veins. Maybe I should try eating more steak, she thought, but the idea made her stomach turn.

"The problem," Brendan said, "is that most people don't think it's possible for a human and a vamp to have normal kids."

"Well, they're wrong," Ivy said flatly. She turned to Olivia. "If we can locate our biological parents," she said, "and prove without a doubt that one of them was a vampire, then no one will be able to object to your knowing the secret."

"I'm game," Olivia said immediately. She'd give up her poms to know the truth about their parents anyway. "But what can we do? We already tried the adoption agency route, and that was a dead end."

"What about the VVV?" Sophia suggested.

"The what?" Olivia asked.

"The Vorld Vide Veb," Sophia said, sounding like the bloodsucking bride in an old vampire movie.

Olivia's jaw dropped. "Don't tell me vampires have their own Internet!"

"It was a vampire who invented the Internet," Brendan told her with a grin.

"You could try searching references to humanvampire relationships," Sophia suggested.

"And we should definitely look up Owl Creek, where we were born," Ivy added. "Olivia, can you come to my house after school? Then we can go online."

"Sure," Olivia agreed. "Maybe we can even find out something about what happens when vampires –  Ow!" She broke off as somebody kicked her hard under the table.

"Hello, Camilla," Sophia said brightly, fixing her eyes on Olivia with a meaningful stare.

Olivia turned as Camilla sank down on the bench next to her, laying her thick, dog-eared paperback next to Olivia's tray.

"Hi," Camilla greeted everyone. "How are the star twins of Franklin Grove?"

"Awesome," Olivia blurted, while Ivy croaked, "Killer."

"How about you?" Olivia asked Camilla, with a sheepish smile as she reached under the table to rub her aching ankle. Now that was close! she thought.