Percival Academy was located several miles from the closest town, called Walla Walla, in the state of Washington. Technically, it was also part of Walla Walla, but most people who lived there didn't even know that the school existed.
It had been formed somewhere around the time the state of Washington was founded, only about a hundred years prior. The building itself definitely looked a hundred years old, and it had been built in the old European style of baroque. Ivy vines grew over its walls, and it was hard to tell where the building became the trees that grew against its walls. In fact, it was a hard building, even when looking directly at it, to spot.
The Academy didn't look exactly like a military fort, nor did it look exactly like a castle, but something in between. It was very large, and divided into two buildings, the right wing and the left wing. The two wings were connected by a large circular section, which looked like a cathedral on the outside, but worked like an auditorium on the inside.
As the Brown family car came rocking into the cleared off land that was used primarily for parking, they paused to let their daughter get out.
Some parents came inside with their children on their first day, but after the first time they had entered the building, Mr. and Mrs. Brown felt more comfortable just sitting in the car and waiting to see their daughter disappear inside the premises.
Izzie said good-bye to them, giving both a kiss on the cheek, and waved off any half-hearted offer they made to help her carry her bags inside.
As soon as her shoe touched the earth surrounded the school, Izzie felt like she was returning home after a very long trip abroad. It was funny how the Academy had become more familiar to her in her four years there than her childhood home had ever been. But Izzie only took that as a good omen that she was doing something right, and trudged on up to the front steps, where the first familiar face greeted her.
It was Lady Morrigan, Izzie's favorite teacher.
"Welcome back home, Izzie," the tall hippogriff woman greeted her student, laying her golden arm upon Izzie's shoulder.