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Ginger Pierce & Clark Dill
Math, Science, History, that started with a Big Bang!
Thu Jul 2, 2015 20:28

Ginger Pierce was walking down the hall, taking a different route than normal just for fun and discovery. It wasn’t far off the beaten path, though, just a different hallway of classrooms parallel to the hallway of classrooms she usually walked, so it barely counted as new territory. Still, she walked slower than normal, peeking into each room as she passed it, trying to guess what subject was, or used to be, taught in each of them. The old muggle studies room was pretty easy to pick out, and the crystal balls on the shelf of another room gave away the identity of the former Divination classroom. Other were much more anonymous, with just rows of desks and chairs and a chalkboard at the front of the room.

In truth, it was kind of creepy, walking down this aisle of elective classrooms that hadn’t been used in years. Not in the dust and spidery cobwebs sort of way - the elves and Mr. Xavier were too on top of their jobs for the place to look neglected - but in that abandoned disused sort of way. It just felt like this was the area where most of the school’s ghosts spent the majority of their time getting away from the bustle of the living.

So she wasn’t terribly surprised to find movement in one of the next classrooms she peeked into. What did surprise her was that it wasn't a ghostly drifting figure, but . . . stars.

Intrigued, she pushed the door open quietly and slipped inside to get a better look. The cosmos surrounded her, swirling about in slow moving rotations, and she moved further inside the room, staring at it all in amazement, almost holding her breath, afraid to break the ancient spell that still enchanted the place.

Then she shrieked like a banshee when she turned and found herself face to face with a large solid man-thing she hadn’t expected to find right there.

Clark Dill screamed, too, having thought he was alone in the old Astronomy classroom.

They both stumbled away from each other, still yelling, and clutching their chests and barely preventing themselves from tripping over classroom furniture and falling unceremoniously to the floor. After a few seconds though, they both realized how ridiculous they must look and stopped shrieking.

Gathering her wits, Ginger slowly began to realize the other person was not a man-thing but still boy, not terribly much older than her, though his height had initially given the impression of greater age. After another moment, she even recognized him as Clark Dill, the Aladren Seeker.

At roughly the same time, Clark gathered his composure enough to process that the intruder was not a teacher come to yell at him for using the old Astronomy equipment but a little girl, and in fact was the tiny thing Teppalus had put in front of their goals last year. He saw her clutching the desk she’d almost tripped over and realized his own position half sprawled over one of the chairs wasn’t any less absurd, and started to laugh.

The nerves and adrenaline had to go somewhere and when Ginger heard Clark laughing, she immediately broke down in giggles of her own. Soon they were both sitting hunched over on the floor, laughing like they hadn’t in weeks, even months.

“Oh, gosh,” Ginger gasped out after a while, “I thought you were some kind of zombie or something.”

“I thought you were a professor,” Clark admitted, and his laughter that was just beginning to ease picked up again at the idea that the bitty little twelve year old he now saw clearly in front of him might have been a teacher. That set Ginger off again, too.

After another minute or two, the hysteria finally began to wear off. “So what are you doing here?” Ginger asked, curiously, “If you’re so afraid of teachers?”

Clark flushed a little, “Well, nothing bad. Astronomy is my independent study, so I was looking through the stuff the last professor of that left behind. But I don’t exactly have permission to be here or anything.” Then he gave her a pointed look, “And I doubt you do either, so what are you doing here?”

She shrugged. “Just exploring the hallways. I looked in and saw the stars. I was curious, so I came in for a closer look.”

Looking up at the enchantment still filling the room with a realistic model of the galaxy, Clark smiled warmly, “Yeah, it’s pretty amazing, huh? You’re not quite an intermediate yet, but do you want to take an Astronomy lesson anyway?”

Her eyes widened, “Oh, wow, really? You’d teach me?”

“Sure,” he agreed readily, “I’ve been studying by myself for over a year. It’ll help to have someone to talk to about it, bounce ideas around with, especially someone who isn’t as into all the math as me and my dad, so I can get a different perspective on it.”

“Well, I can promise I won’t give you math discussions,” Ginger swore solemnly.

Clark laughed, a normal laugh this time, and gestured widely, “Well, this is the Milky Way, our solar system…”

“You should totally start an Astronomy Club,” Ginger interrupted him a few minutes into his lecture. “You’re really good at this.”

Clark blinked in surprise, the idea having never occurred to him. He’d looked for study partners before, but the idea of making a club and sharing it with people who were interested in learning about the universe for fun just hadn’t crossed his mind. “Huh,” he said. “Maybe I will.”

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