Just then a small red-headed boy poked his head into the room. “Hey, bro. There’s a fire. Oh, hi Mr. Ramus. You better get outside. This isn’t a drill.”
Shayde answered, finally standing up. “I know. I set it. This asshole was about to call security on me. I was curious if he’d leave me behind when the fire was licking at the door. You kind of ruined the moment.”
“Oh, sorry. I can go…” Hooligan said, not seeming the bit fazed with anything his friend had just said as if it was normal conversation.
“Nah, the moment’s lost. Let’s go,” Shayde said in reply, heading out of the classroom in a casual manner without bothering to look to see if the teacher was following or not; not caring one way or the other. As in a short while it really wouldn’t matter.”
Remus followed, a bit dazed with everything that was happening–the fire, his burned hand, the two boys’ casual attitudes toward a real fire. Even he could smell the smoke now, and that realization snapped him out of his daze. “Hurry up, boys. I can smell the smoke. We need to get outside.”
Both boys spoke over their shoulders simultaneously. “You need to get outside. We’re not worried about the fire. We’re fireproof.” Both boys then laughed together.
Hooligan then asked his friend, “Why was he calling security on you? What did you do?” Shayde shrugged. “Was staring out of the window instead of at the back of Remus’ head. Then I answered his questions correctly to prove that I was listening, and his ego was hurt.”
“You were told to leave the classroom,” Remus said in response.
“Oh yeah, that too,” Shayde admitted, which made Hooligan laugh.
“So, what’s wrong with your hand, Mr. Remus?” Hooligan asked as they finally reached the nearest exit and noticed the man cradling his right hand.”
Remus stared at his hand. “I… I don’t know.”
Shayde answered for him. “He burned it grabbing my arm when I hadn’t cooled down yet. You know how hot I get when I start fires.”
Hooligan nodded and spoke to the teacher. “Yeah, you don’t want to touch him when he flames up like that, unless you’re fireproof, which apparently you’re not. Just a friendly word of advice, for future reference. Obviously, it does no good for you this time around, but next time, try to remember that.”
Remus didn’t respond because he really didn’t know what to say. It was impossible that Shayde had set the fire unless he somehow did it with a timing-mechanism because he had been in class the entire time, without leaving. And even if he did set it with a timer, that didn’t explain how his hand had been burned simply by touching him. He didn’t for a moment believe anything Hooligan had just said about them being fireproof and Shayde ‘flaming up’, whatever that meant. Everyone knew Hooligan wasn’t right in the head.
So, when he went to speak to the firemen Remus lied and said he had burned his hand on a hot doorknob when asked if he was alright. He then told him that a boy in his class had claimed to have set the fire but had been in the classroom the entire time, so he speculated that perhaps a timer of some sort might have been used if it were true. Remus then pointed Shayde out and left the investigation in the hands of the authorities.