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Blackwell, Grace & Orion
Sun Aug 9, 2015 02:07

Grace was just outside the study room door when Blackwell returned. Ri looked at Grace expectantly. Much to her frustration, Grace was pointedly not looking at her. Like she wasn’t there. Like she didn’t exist. The two followed Blackwell silently back to her offices and Grace took her usual seat.

“Now, let’s start from the beginning shall we?” Professor Blackwell stated curtly, leaving her two students in no doubt that it was their only option. “There was an incident, a little over an hour ago, involving explosive objects in the vicinity of the third floor girl’s bathroom.”

Here she peered up, over the rim of her spectacles and fixed her eyes on the second year. “The same bathroom that Heather found herself trapped in last year, if I remember correctly?”

The small sound of shuffling feet from under the table confirmed that she was right, as if she was ever anything else.

“I have statements here from three separate students that claim they were ‘viciously assaulted with fireworks.’”

The Professor paused expectantly, waiting for a barrage of excuses. None came. She sighed and leaned closer.

“Would you be so kind as to explain to me why all three of these students claim that you are in some way connected to this business?”

She let the question hang in the air. Grace toyed with the idea of outright lying and Blackwell must have read her mind, because she added, “Bearing in mind that they are not the only witnesses.”

Instead, the twelve year old ran her tongue along the back of each tooth, counting as she thought. Outright lying to Blackwell never did anyone any good. But she couldn’t give Ri up. She’d promised their stupid brothers. Schulers didn’t break promises.

“Tried to flush some,” she said at last. “Thought they were duds.”

“You thought that the fireworks, which you are well aware are classed as contraband, were…defective? And you considered this sufficient reason to increase the work load of the staff and attempt to dispose of them by means of the plumbing? Is that the story you are sticking with?”

Grace turned the words over in her mind. There were a lot of big ones in there that she had to unpack. “If they weren’t duds and I had just thrown ‘em up, they would have blown up.”

“They did blow up,” Blackwell reminded her.

“But I didn’t know! Water stops fire, everyone knows that!” Under her breath, she added a grumble. “It’s not like they got hurt.”

“Oh. I think Miss Hutton’s hair would disagree with you,” the Professor countered.

Orion had been sitting quietly, or as quietly as she could possibly manage for any length of the time. Eventually the talk of bathrooms and fireworks had gotten boring and her attention had drifted off and back again.

“Do you need me?” she asked, suddenly. “Or can I…y'know…go?”

“Miss Hardy. Before you get ahead of yourself is there something you like to say?”

“I like your bird,” Ri nodded in the direction of Juju’s cage.

“About the incident?”

“Oh,” she bit her lip. “No. Not really.”

Professor Blackwell leaned backwards in her chair and studied the first year’s expression intently for a few moments. There was a good chance that the younger Hardy was innocent, certainly the vacant stare she received in return suggested as much, and perhaps she had just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course, there was an equally good chance that Grace Schuler’s new room mate was as ‘typically Reym’ (as Professor Rose would say) as she was.

“You may go,” she said stiffly.

Orion wasted no time in scraping the legs of her chair backwards against the grain of the carpet and hurrying out of the door, without so much as a backwards glance at her room mate.

Grace watched Ri leave, then turned back to Blackwell. As the head of Reym turned her eyes to her, she gave a hopeful little tail wag of a smile. "So...a week scrubbing statues?" She tried.

"Oh yes," Myrrh replied dryly. "Destruction of school property, setting another student's hair on fire and forcing me to deal with a very, and I mean very, irate warden can all be made better with a little elbow grease."

"Great," Grace began rising from her seat. "So, I'll start tomorrow?" The chair slid forward, bumping into her knees to force her back into her seat.

Professor Blackwell sighed. "Grace, this has to stop. Your behaviour is inexcusable for a Reym student and we both know that this is not your first offence." She pursed her lips as she decided the second year's fate. "I have no choice but to put you in detention for no less than one month. You will report to Minister Sundbee’s office every afternoon after classes finish and will not leave until lights out, am I understood?"

The hopeful look melted into one of slack jawed disbelief. "A month?!" she squeaked. "But she..." she pointed to the door Ri had left by. "No one even got hurt. Hair grows back. And it wasn't on purpose even."

"Another word from you and I'll make it two," the Headmistress promised. "And while we're on the subject of your room mate...I would consider it a personal favour if you refrained from leading first years into trouble."

Her mouth opened, but all that came out was a huff. She slammed her back against the back of the chair and kicked one of chairs with her heel for good measure. She cast a side glare at the door. One thing was absolutely certain; this was all Orion's fault.

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