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John Umland
Nap time in the prefects' lounge.
Wed Nov 9, 2016 19:14

John’s head was throbbing steadily as he shuffled toward the prefects’ lounge, alternating between rubbing his left temple and pinching the bridge of his nose with the hand not encumbered with his bag. He had taken a potion to ease the headache, but it had not helped. He supposed he shouldn’t be surprised, not on a day when caffeine seemed to have stopped working….

He mumbled the password, then had to do it again when the door appeared not to understand him. Equal parts relieved and annoyed, he pulled the door shut, then realized he had not gone through it yet. He swore, then repeated the password a third time and finally, at long last, gained admittance to a space where he was reasonably sure no-one was going to speak to him for any reason. Clark and Jack were, after all, the only ones among the prefects likely to approach him outside of class or an official capacity, and he thought Clark was off with Lena. That almost seemed like a good thing as John slumped into a chair, stretched his feet out, leaned his head back, and closed his eyes.

Silence. Thank you God.

It had been a long day.

The previous day had not been bad, for the most part. John had shuffled through his routine, then at curfew had started decoding his latest set of birding notes, that being the one project he could really work on in his room now that he had a roommate. It had only been just about the time he had gotten the impression Jax wished to go to bed that John had remembered he had an exam in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Studying for him was usually just rereading his notes, but he had already been tired, the sheer volume of homework had begun getting to him a bit just as Jax came back from being away for a week again….

There was something about that, he thought dimly, squeezing his eyebrows down toward his nose against a throb of his headache. What ailed Donovan, anyway? How had he even spent enough time in his old dorm to make an enemy of Barnaby? It had to have been an affair gone wrong...maybe now he was sneaking off to cuddle with his new boyfriend, except John had heard something about Joella Curtis -

Not relevant. Not interesting. For whatever reason, John had been tired, it had taken him too long to read his notes, he had gotten distracted, and then he had remembered a forgotten bit of homework and had had to do that. The words had been dancing on the page in class, and he was reasonably sure he had dozed off for at least five minutes. He suspected he had written something at least right enough on the paper, but was less sure about whether Pye would be able to read a word of it. His handwriting, normally, if he did say so himself, rather good, had been spiky and uneven. That, more than anything, was bothering him; Mom had always put so much emphasis on the importance of a good hand….

This chair was surprisingly comfortable. He adjusted the way his head was lying slightly. Mom would not be happy with him, he thought. She kept saying he should pay more attention to his formal studies, not just get the answers right and then go back to studying what interested him. Why were there playing cards standing up and drawing swords over there….?

Aunt Katie was just explaining that her paper had just owled her and said that they weren’t paying for her, John, and a five-year-old he was sure was Julian to go on a month-long vacation to China after all when John started awake. The ceiling tilted alarmingly and he didn’t know where he was, how he had gotten there, how long he’d been there, why Julian was five, where five-year-old Julian had gone, or where his aunt had gone. He sat up all at once with a squawk, his heart thrumming much faster than usual, and only then noticed that someone was near him and had just said something.

“What?” gasped John, blinking rapidly and trying to get his bearings.

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