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Jul 11, 2020 8:44 PM
Pendragons and Blues go to high school

"Ugh," says Yvette, fastening her seatbelt and looking sulkily out the window, at the house she'd much rather be staying in. Why so early. Why this.

"Ooh, we're hitting the teenage angst phase! Are you going to go goth, dye your hair purple, wear lots of eyeliner, join me in the all black ensemble?" wonders her brother, beside her.


Damn, that didn't get the banter started. Morning banter helped her with the awful slog that was dragging oneself to high school. Noel will just have to try again, won't he.

"You sure? It's starting to get colder, it'll be really great in the winter. Stand out dramatically against the snow, absorb all colors on the light spectrum..."

"Because clearly I should dress for efficiency of light absorption," she says, but she's smiling anyway.

"Obviously! It's what I do!"

"I thought your excuse was that it was so no one could see the blood after the murders."

"That too. Black is a multipurpose color. It giveth much. Hail. Hail."

Something in his tone causes his sister to giggle, and Noel smiles. There. Now they're on track.


"Have a good day in Hell," says Yvette, after they're parked in the student parking lot.

"You too."

And so begins the day.

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For another pair of siblings, this is their first day at a new school. 

'I'll be fine,' Isobel remembers telling her parents this morning. 'You don't need to worry about me.'

Maybe they're not, but she's worried about herself. It was hard enough making friends at their last school a year ago, when everyone else was new as well. Now, they're coming into a new school two months into their sophomore year. She sticks close to her brother as they walk in.


Elliot brushes his hand against Isobel's, their private code for 'I'd hug you but we're in public.' He tries to send soothing thoughts in her direction, let her borrow some of his confidence.

His smile says, 'Don't worry, I'm here. I'll handle the scary parts.'

Speaking of which, they need to find the secretary's office, and it's not as obvious as it should be. Talking to people is definitely his job; he looks around until he spots a reasonably friendly-looking person, and aims a smile in their direction.

"Excuse me? I'm looking for the office, could you point me in the right direction?"


"Yeah, sure," says the reasonably friendly-looking person, smiling back. "It's just inside the main building, first door on your right -" he glances at Isobel, notes her body language, and smoothly adds, "- but there's a side entrance I can show you that's just as quick if you'd rather avoid, uh." He waves a hand at the large crowd of socializing students, just outside of the front door. "That."


His smile widens from polite to genuine. It's always a pleasure to find someone both competent at people and inclined to use it well.

"That'd be great, thanks."

He follows the helpful - senior? Probably a senior. Might be smart to get on this person's good side, he seems like the sort who would be useful to have as a friend and dangerous as an enemy.


"Happy to help. I'm Noel, nice to meet you," he says, sounding sincere. "Just moved here?"

The side entrance is smaller than the main entrance, but as promised, isn't too out of the way, and definitely isn't as crowded.


"Yup," he confirms. "Nice to meet you too, Noel."

A trick he learned a long time ago: it's much easier to remember someone's name if you repeat it back to them, and people like it when you remember their names. 

"I'm Elliot, this is my sister Isobel." 


"I hope you like it here. Anything I can do to help you settle in?"


"I think we can take it from here," Elliot says. 

And it looks like this is where they need to be.

"Thanks for your help."


He'd meant to give them a chance to talk to someone personable instead of bureaucratic, but Noel can take a dismissal. They seem very insular, and they're probably going to get very sick of being the novelty that everyone wants to show around. Wanting space where they can get it is perfectly understandable, and he'd rather not get in the way in some misplaced sense of responsibility. He nods.

"Anytime. Have a good first day."

Then he waves and departs.


Elliot and Isobel sign forms and are officially registered on databases and collect their schedules. 

Isobel checks hers, and is relieved to find that her first class is the same as Elliot's, Honors English. It's one of the few classes they have together. 

Accordingly, she lets him do the talking again to find someone who can show them where to go. Their last school was smaller. 


The someone is so thrilled to have them here! Where are they from, are they enjoying the town so far, hopefully the move wasn't too stressful, it really sucks that they had to move mid-year, what classes do they have, are they both in all of the same ones...?

Luckily, the distance between the office and their first class isn't infinite. They are free with only minimal amounts of cheery babbling.


There are a few seats open near the front, with only a redhead reviewing notes that look to be meticulously color coded.


And a few seats open near the middle, complete with at least one person that's already bored and doodling in a notebook.


Isobel is immediately drawn to the color-coding person, sensing a kindred spirit of some flavor. 

But she doesn't like sitting at the front of the room, where she's too visible both to the teacher and to the rest of the class. Elliot doesn't like it either, because he likes seeing what other people are doing and interacting with them, and because he says it looks bad and that's why everyone avoids the front row.

On the other hand, the front row is, therefore, empty, and they wouldn't have to be surrounded by people. She could have Elliot on one side and maybe an empty seat on the other, and no-one would bother them. But Elliot would be annoyed at missing out on meeting someone new...


He sighs, recognizing the signs that his sister is trying to overthink a decision, and tugs Isobel towards the seats in the middle row.

He tries his best to get her an aisle or window seat where she doesn't have to sit next to anyone else, but will stop short of actually asking anyone to swap seats with the new people who've just invaded their class. 


There's one window seat available, behind kid-that-doodles. There's another empty seat beside it. It should do fine for the siblings.

Kid-that-doodles glances up from his doodling, quirks his eyebrows slightly, and then promptly resumes making gorgeous and abstract drawings on lined notebook paper. Apparently he's not feeling social.


Elliot steers Isobel towards the window seat and slides in next to her, leaning forward slightly to get a better look at the guy in front of them. 

"Hey, cool drawings," he says casually as he sits down. 


"They're more to pass the time, than anything else," says kid-that-doodles. "... But thank you."


"Even more impressive, then." 

But they should probably stop talking - and probably doodling - now, because it looks like the teacher is here, and he doesn't really want to get into trouble on his first day. 


Kid-that-doodles flips the page to a set of sparse and utilitarian notes that... also have doodles on them. Which he then proceeds to expand upon. While looking tremendously bored.


Good for him.

Elliot would quite like to do the same, but he should probably pay attention to the lesson instead. He takes notes, attempting to preserve the structure of the class and the key points rather than blindly copying one sentence at a time. 

He starts an abstract doodle on a separate page, adding to it a line or so at a time during lulls. He'll tear it out later and put it somewhere safe.


Isobel doesn't notice, too focused on the teacher, but would tell him to stop it if she did. She takes copious notes in small, dense writing, covering about the same amount of paper as Elliot but with twice as many words. 

She isn't going to pay attention to what anyone else does during class unless they physically interact with her, or block her view of the teacher or the board. 


The teenager in front of her barely takes any notes, but he takes some.

Once, the teacher calls on him to answer a question. He answers well and without hesitation, just as if he were paying rapt attention, and then goes right back to drawing all over his notes, uncaring.


Color-coder up front stays reasonably engaged in the class material, taking notes and usually using lulls to go back and add corroborating information to what she already has. She's a bit of a nerd. (She likes English.)


She seems reasonably non-threatening, and also looks likely to be in other Honors classes. 

At the end of English, with only a little nudging from Elliot, Isobel meets the color-coder on the way out of the classroom.

"Hi. Um, do you know where I go for Honors Biology?"

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