Margaret Peregrine is a high school sophomore. Most of the time, she's either at school, at the school robotics club, at the school chess club, or doing schoolwork. Today, she's cleaning out her late great-grandmother's attic.
"Some humans know. If they have a critter kid or something."
"I honestly don't know why anyone wouldn't think it was awesome. Even without the bonus magic, the shapeshifting is just super cool."
"My dad doesn't want to be a critter," Bella says. "He's probably not the only one in all the world."
"True. But it will be cool if we can figure out how to give people the option. Anyway, Michael, anything else you want to know before you make a decision?"
"I think that should be okay. We're already expecting different people to study different things, so it won't be like a normal class where you end up stuck if you fall behind."
"And the field's so new it's not like we have years of curriculum already prepped right now."
"Good to have you aboard."
Over the next few weeks, Bella and Margaret interview more students. A few of them sign on; others decline for various reasons (scared of runecasting, schedule incompatibility, wary of getting drawn into critter politics), but soon they have what feels like a reasonable class size.
They have dates that turn into curriculum planning meetings and curriculum planning meetings that turn into dates. They fix up the house and get it furnished with everything they expect to need.
Margaret makes a bunch of fruit flies unaging; by the end of the summer she'll know if it worked. She starts selling power strips that don't need a wall outlet and cell phone battery packs that look perfectly ordinary but last forever.
And then they start classes, because magic is awesome and everyone should get to enjoy it.