The nicest thing about graduation, Bea thinks, is that in the brief window after breakfast and before the flames burn through, most of the mals are migrating down to the graduation hall. So it's possible to let one's guard down slightly more than usual and not feel too bad about it. And if you go two to a room instead of separately to wait for the cleansing to finish... it's not like curfew's being enforced.
Dani, meanwhile, is trying to make friends with Shinta!
This is... Difficult. Shinta is not a friendly person.
She must have interests, though?
...Some. Like not dying.
Well hey. Dani doesn't want to her to die either. Common ground!
Her lips twitch into a small smile despite herself. "Normally friendship is more than that."
"From small acorns grow mighty oaks," she intones solemnly.
"What are your interests then, other than not dying?"
"Rock music, flashy magic, pretty people. Love poems, adventure stories. I followed football and basketball outside."
"...I used to hike and camp a lot, and to hunt - both archery and rifles, and shot competitively with both. Though guns are harder to find good youth programs for, everyone at them's obnoxious, and nearly everyone's a sore loser. So, I didn't really keep up with that. But..."
"I was turning 15 Induction year; my birthday's in December. And I'd qualified for the Cadet bracket in the World Archery Youth Championships; the year you turn 15's the youngest you can really go international. Competition was going to be in August. My coach thought I had a pretty good chance at gold. Was planning on Archery World Cup or Youth Summer Olympics - or both - the year after."
"It's hard to have a lot of other interests when you're going for the Olympics. So I guess that prepared me for the Scholomance pretty well."
"...Not something you did. And this shit's been good practice, if nothing else."
"Still. It's a chance you won't get back, and that sucks."
It's taboo to mention what you'll do after graduation, which Shinta thinks is silly and only goes along with to avoid getting hissed at. But.
"I'll still qualify for the Junior bracket in the Championships when we get out of here - and I'll be eighteen. That's enough for the full Olympics."
"I hope you make it."
"I will. The only question is what medals I take home. ...And how much of a pain in the ass returning will be."
"I could hook up some new documentation, if you wanted? Or reinforcement for a cover story?"
"...My disappearance hit the news; so did Luisa's - I asked the new freshmen in sophomore year about that."
"And I'm not... Leaving Luisa's family without any closure."
"Well, if absurd amounts of money or political influence can help, don't hesitate to ask."
"I'll probably just blame Jacky for everything; I think part of how she got Luisa to trust her is the three of us all happened to live within a few hours of each other. But - police'll want a crime scene. And I dunno how to give them one."
"...I probably have a usable sample of Jacky's DNA."
"...I kind of grabbed her trophies when we knew she was dead. And earlier - I grabbed a lot of Luisa's stuff after she vanished."
"I imagine that's quite a bit to work with."
"Guess I could use help faking - recreating - the crime scene, then."