Warning: this article is a full quote article, a fantastical delving into my mind as we explore the premise of the Salvatore Boarding School. It doesn’t read like my normal articles, so all ye who expected that, ye be warned!
Back when I was still a little Maddy I dreamed of one day getting my letter to Hogwarts. I prayed to Apollo every day that one day soon he would pester his sister Minerva to send an owl through my window, terrifying my Maddy family, and drop a letter with a fancy font into my hands. The letter that I would rip apart to read, hoping that my day had finally come to enter the supernatural world and take my rightful place as The Maddy. But alas, that dream never came to be. Worse, as I got older I realised that going to a boarding school isn’t all it’s cracked up to be: there’s no privacy, there’s very little food (that I have to share, mind you!), the teachers can get away with every naughty little thing,… I decided that I had dodged an Avada Malivore, a feeling that only got stronger when I decided to follow another popular boarding school story, namely Legacies. Because, my wonderful Legacy seekers, I have but one question: how does the Salvatore Boarding School work?
The Hogwarts of The Vampire Diaries
I can already imagine it! Getting a knock on my door and opening it to discover it is Alaric. Turns out I’ve been displaying signs of supernatural power. Something about draining everyone’s life force around me, eating everything in sight and terrifying people with my appearance. But worry not, because Alaric is here to save the day. For just a lot of money I get to enroll in his fancy boarding school, where I’ll learn to control my powers and live a life of tranquility. Sounds like a sweet deal to me! Analyze agrees, as he all but shoves me out the door to join Alaric, telling me he will take care of the financial aspect. This will be a fun adventure!
So I arrive at the boarding school, the gate opening, the aweful nature of the larger than I remember Salvatore House entering my very being. When the car stops two cute girls are waiting for me: Josette and Elizabeth Saltzman, two witches that have been going to school forever. They both take an arm of mine and gently, but firmly, drag me to all of the rooms of this school. I see a giant library, classrooms with cauldrons and spellbooks, a gym, a place to eat delicious food. But I’m missing something. Josie notices the puzzled look on my face and asks me what’s wrong. “Well,” I say, surely hoping to not be rude: “I think I’ve missed a part of your tour. You haven’t shown me where the normal human classes are. You know, classrooms for Maths, History, Psychology.”
“Oh those don’t exist, silly goose”, Elizabeth tells me. “We don’t have those boring classes. We get to learn all the fun things! Like potions! Defensive magic! Magical history (which is not at all like normal history)!… More defensive magic?!”
“But don’t we need to learn more about the human world?”
“Well, we do have a yearly football match with the other Mystic Falls high school.”
“Oh that’s great. Do we ha-”
“We’re forced to lose.”
“To hide our gifts. We couldn’t possibly show our gifts. Then we’d get ostracised immediately.”
“But then why do you play a football match?”
“To lose! We have to pretend to be normal, you see. We’re all very special here, but we can’t show that we’re special. We have to show that we’re normal and don’t have any gifts.”
“Oh, I get it”, I say, seeing the cleverness of that plan. “It’ so that we can live peacefully within human society and get a job, right?”
“Why would you need a job? Just ask your daddy to pay for you”, Lizzie says, a chuckle coming out of her mouth.
Money Needs to Flow, Dear Boy
Huh… Well that’s odd. But no matter! One good thing about this school is that I get to be around other supernatural beings. I get to learn from them, understand them, foster new friendships and learn to rely on others to have my back. Just as I will have theirs in their moment of need.
“Oh no no no, everyone stays well within their own cliques”, Josie says, after I tell her of my wonderful thought. “The werewolves all stay within their own pack, the witches within their own covens. And all our vampires just sleep in their coffins inside our big basement until we need them for something.”
“But what about me?”, I ask, pointing out that I’m none of these species.
“Oh, you just get to be all by yourself like our Hope. She’s a tribid, you see, and none of the other species want to interact with her. Maybe you can spend time with her!”, Lizzie says, a strange look on her face as her eyes scan my entire body. Including the tentacles.
“But I thought that the species were to learn how to live together?”, I ask.
“Oh they are. The school is committed to inclusiveness, but the species protest that by sticking with their own”, Josie says.
“But don’t the teachers organise events? Make sure people interact?”
“All the time, but we only do that to get drunk together”, a smile flashing on Josie’s face as she drags me to Salvatore Library/lounge/main scene for the show.
When I enter the room I see books. Lots and lots and lots of books! Also people. A lot of people. With their noses inside a book. While I gaze upon the sweat that’s dripping on the pages, another question enters my mind.
“So where did all these students come from? Don’t any of them have a family?”
“Oh no, these are all strays. Orphans. People who had no-one else. We rescued them all, because we’re givers!”, Lizzie answers.
“But how do they pay for boarding?”
“Oh, they pay. One way or another”, Josie says quickly.
“But I saw other kids hugging their parents goodbye when I arrived. Those can’t be orphans, can they?”
“Oh no, those witches come from covens, all those vampires have secret rich family members and all those werewolves had parents who broke the pack code, left their children here and allowed them to form packs here.”
“But couldn’t those parents or family members teach their children about magic and magical history then? Foster friendships between the species?”
Lizzie laughs. “Of course not silly. Parents can’t raise their kids. That’s what boarding schools are for, like ours.”
“But how can these families pay for it?
“They all have a lot of money saved up just for their children. Are you suggesting they don’t love their children?”, Josie asks quizically.
“No, but boarding schools are expensive. And not every human parent can afford to pay for it, surely? Nor could every werewolf parent, who mostly live in secluded areas. And what about the witches? Do readings and tourist shops make that much money?”
“Don’t worry too much about the details sweetie”, Lizzy says. “Our boarding school is well worth it, because we’re all about inclusiveness!”
Neck Snapping Out of It
“Oh great, that means at least we learn to control our darker impulses”, I say as I walk into the kitchen, noticing a vampire taking a blood bag to drain for sustenance.
“Of course! Here in the Salvatore Boarding School we pride ourselves on how we teach the seperate species to deal with their inner demons. For vampires there’s animal blood, the witches are never taught offensive or dark magic, it would be bad after all, and the werewolves just get chained up when it’s that time of the month.” Josie takes a moment to catch her breath.
“And that works?”
“Of course it does silly,” Lizzie says. The vampire that had drained the blood bag screamed, hunger in his eyes. They rest on me, as he dashes forward, his fangs revealed. Josie sighs, grabs my hand and snaps the vampire’s neck with a flick of her hand. I feel strangely weakened.
“What was that?”, I ask.
Lizzie smiles: “Oh, just another vampire that got hungry for more than rabbit blood. Daddy teaches us that when they snap we snap their neck. Hehehe, get it?” There is pleasure in her eyes.
“Will he be alright?”
“Oh yes, we’ll just lock him in a cell for a bit until he’s calmed down. That’s the go-to punishment for vampires wanting human blood”, Josie dutifully says.
“Wouldn’t it be better to teach them to control their bloodlust? Expose them to human blood, but in a way that the humans don’t die? Start with blood bags and teach them to stick to that? To not kill people?”
“Oh gosh no!”, Lizzie responds with horror in her eyes. “People are friends, not food.”
“But they are vampires. Their biggest dark impulse is to deal with bloodlust.”
“PEOPLE ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD!”, Lizzie screams. The room starts shaking, the plates start spinning. Josie and I can only stare as the the plates shatter before our eyes, the food is flung out of the fridge, blood spilling everywhere. The stove catches on fire, the pans of metal flinging towards us. Recalling Mister Piccolo’s lessons, I dodge them. It takes an hour or two for her to calm down. Alaric arrives within minutes, wrapping Lizzie inside her favourite blankie while he leads me to his office.
“What was that?”, I ask, the memory of her eyes going bright and white burned into my brains.
“Oh nothing. Every now and then she just explodes and destroys a portion of the house”, Alaric says, giving me a glass of bourbon. “We’ve just learned to let her fan out. We’ve got a great insurance plan, you see.”
“But shouldn’t she learn to control those dark impulses? Isn’t that the entire point of this school?”
“Oh no. That’s dark magic and we don’t do dark magic. We’re all about protecting our kids.”
“But they don’t learn how to control themselves, how to integrate inside human society. What’s the point of this boarding school if they don’t learn what they pay for?”
“Look, I’ll level with you,” Alaric says as he downs a bottle of bourbon, taking a second bottle. “This school, it’s here so my two daughters have some friends.” He opens the bottle, starts drinking from it.
“Have you seen them? My two lovely girls? They’re nuts! I can’t deal with them 24/7. I need to get away from them, you know.” He wipes his mouth, takes another gulp. “I made this school so they could have a safe upbringing. And I could get away from them for as long as possible.”
“But that’s fraud!”
“That’s love! Don’t you have anyone you love so much you’d do anything for?”
That gives me pause. “Yes, I do.” I say, sunk in my own thoughts. “But will these kids learn anything on their own?”
“Oh relax, the kids will be fun. Their parents teach them everything they need to know. They just come here for a vacation. To pretend to have a normal high school upbringing. We’ll just give them a little degree at the end of it and send them back to their parents. And hey, if a vampire goes wild, at least I get to do my job.” He opens a third bottle and starts drinking.
“Well, it sounds immoral…”, I say, looking at the crossbow. “But you know what? I understand. Love is an important thing! So I can’t wait start my classes tomorrow! :D”
“Actually, I’m here to tell you you’re expelled.”
“Your payment didn’t go through. Your friend gave me this instead.” He hands me a piece of paper. On it is written in crude lines: “this piece of paper is worth 1,000,000 dollars. Certified by Analyze.”
“Huh, there must be a mistake,” I say, my eyes still on the paper.
“There is no mistake. Get out of here before I stick my bolt inside your butt hole.”
And that was the end of my imaginary adventure. Odd that my ideal picture of the boarding school turned out so sad, but at least I get to go back to Analyze! 😀
Copyright: The images used in this article are screenshots taken from the episodes of the show. We are allowed to use them under section 107 of the US Copyright Act of 1976. Legacies belongs to the CW, Alloy Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television.