A new girl, Scarlett Ronaldson, ends up at the English branch of the Chalet School as it is today, to learn how the girls there get the best results in the country. Will she succeed, and will she settle at the Chalet School?
St Clare's House Characters:
Joan Baker, OC
Scar at the Chalet School
31 May 2011 Updated:
31 May 2011
1. Prologue by Minim
2. Chapter 1 - Trains by Minim
3. Chapter 2 - The first night and day by Minim
4. Chapter 3 - A Modern Girl by Minim
5. Chapter 4 - An Ofsted Inspection by Minim
6. Chapter 5 - The Battle with Miss Parker by Minim
7. Chapter 6 - Letters by Minim
8. Chapter 7 - An argument and a Play by Minim
"Hmm..." said the random examiner, looking at a History test paper.
He then marked it and put it in a box.
"This year's results are quite good, for History, anyhow," remarked his friend.
"This'll be another record-breaking year," said an older man.
"Yes. Well, I've made up this list. Time to put it in the file for the school," the first one said.
"This one is awful! All they know is stuff that's not worth knowing. This one is a U, for certain," the second one said.
"This'll be another record-breaking year," repeated the third.
"Is that all he says?" asked a young woman.
"Yes," chorused the two men.
"This'll be another record-breaking year," repeated the third.
"Well, can I have the files you've added to? Only, the Geography lot want some soon,"
"Here they are," chorused the first two, and the woman recieved a pile from all three men at that desk.
"This'll be another record-breaking year," repeated the third.
The woman went and shoved the files to a desk from the Geography department, then went for more files from other History desks.
They finished their marking and then all the piles passed to the Geography department, and they could have a break from all the marking.
Then the marking process continued, and then all the lists dealt with, and the personal lists and school percentages done.
One of the people was exited to point out a school that achieved 100% 5 A*-Cs and the "Big Boss" as he was known smiled.
"Good attempt. But, unfortunately, they cannot beat the Chalet School," "Big Boss" said.
The guy sighed. "They have achieved..."
"Again, 100% passes in every subject they attempted. I'm starting to get suspicious. It's like... there's something there that isn't... isn't right, isn't normal,"
"But, how do we learn how they're doing it? Ofsted inspections are always the highest that are there, and apart from the smallest things that really don't matter, they don't have any comments or complaints. They do think that there is something weird about the school, but cannot put a finger on it. So what do we do about it, find out what's different?"
"I can hear what you're saying," said the woman mentioned earlier. "My daughter is 14, and so I can apply for her to go to this school, and tell her to find out what it's like there and see what the odd thing is. She can report to us regularly and we can note everything down,"
"Good idea. The address is Glendower House, wait, it's this one,"
"Yep. I'll just try to get Scarlett into the Chalet School, and I'll do all the things I have to do with her. She'll understand,"
"Good luck, Caroline,"
Chapter 1 - Trains by Minim
Scarlett Ronaldson stared around the platform. She listened to her mother going on about the task.
"I'll be okay, Mum. I will do the task and see what's so different about this school. I'll write every detail in my notebook and send it on to you. Honestly, I can and will do this. I hope you told them I'm allergic to cheese," Scar said.
"Yes dear. Scar, don't forget your bag. It's got everything you need. Your night bag, your magazines and books, your purse with the tickets in-"
"Mum! I know what's inside it!" Scar complained, and got a notebook and pen out of it. Putting the bag on her back, she smiled.
"Bye, Mum. Tell Bill she's an idiot from me!"
"Scarlett Chelsea Angela Ronaldson! Bye, dearie,"
"Yeah, see ya,"
And Scar boarded the train. Unsure on what to do next, she travelled down the train until she found a compartment with a couple of other Chalet School girls. She was about to open the door when it was opened from the inside. The girl who opened it called to the others.
"We've got a new girl, people!"
"Well, invite her in, then," one of the others said.
"Come in," the first one said.
Scar went in, and sat down where offered.
"What's your name?" asked the first.
"Scarlett, Scarlett Ronaldson," Scar said.
"Okay. I'm Laura Andrews, this is Jack Baynard, short for Jacynth. That's Lind Moss, that's short for Belinda. This is Melody Parsons, and this is George, short for Georgina,"
Scar noted "Fashion for nicknames,"
"Here comes Anne," George said.
Anne entered the compartment and sat down.
"Hi everyone!" Anne said.
"Hi Anne. How come Georgina is here as well? She doesn't usually come by this train," said Jack.
The atmosphere suddenly turned very chilling.
"Oh, she stayed with us over the hols," Anne said.
Lind, who was closest, muttered to Scarlett "There's a feud between George and Jack. They're both tomboys, and both hate others like themselves. If they have to mention each other, they'll always use the full name. I think it's time for them to stop bickering and grow up!"
Anne, now settled next to Scarlett, gave another mutter.
"George is my cousin," she muttered simply.
"George," said Laura. "Have you got Timmy with you?"
"Yes, he's just here," George replied. "Timmy!"
A dog descended on the group. George smiled at him.
"This is Timmy," said George. "I'm glad that he can come this year, now they've re-instated the Pets Club. It's a bonus of Glendower House,"
Scarlett was confused by this. She noted some more things.
"I don't think she knows," said Melody. "This is just a branch of the Chalet School. The main branch is in Austria, ever since the hydro-electric company moved somewhere and sold us the old building. There's also a finishing branch in Switzerland, we call it St. Mildred's. And there's also what we call the Babes branch for younger pupils, on or near the Welsh border. Why are you taking notes?"
"Because I want to know as much about the school as possible, and my memory isn't that good," Scarlett made up quickly, she was not allowed to tell anyone about it, but didn't have the faintest idea why.
"Yes, well, the Babes House is for under 11s,"
"Yep, got that bit,"
The train stopped and the girls went through to the CS train, and settled down. Jack vanished and two others joined them.
"Jacks not really friends with us," explained Laura. "This is Amy, and this is Nemone,"
"Hi," said Nemone. "Have a good holiday?"
"And who is this?" asked Amy. "Seen Amelia anywhere, I can't find her,"
"I thought you were Amelia, Ameris," remarked Anne.
"Twins," murmured Lind.
Another girl, exactly the same as Ameris, entered the compartment.
"Anyone seen Amelia, I can't find her," the girl said.
"Which one's which?" asked Scarlett.
"No-one knows," returned a murmur.
"Why does everyone mutter, not whisper?" asked Scarlett.
"EBD says it's better. She said whispers carry further,"
"This is Scarlett," Laura was saying to the triad.
"Do you prefer to be called Scarlett or do you like a certain nick?" asked Nemone.
"I prefer to be called Scar if possible. Why'd you ask?"
"Oh, it's just the way EBD would have wanted," Nemone said, and settled down with the twins.
Chapter 2 - The first night and day by Minim
The first night and day were very interesting to Scarlett. When they got off the main CS line, the girls went to the school coaches. Scarlett sat next to Lind, who was the brains of the group, apparently.
"Amelia and Ameris, twins all over. Even the teachers haven't a clue which way round they are. Not very EBD, I'm afraid, but then, after the main moved to Switzerland she wasn't bothered about us, so we developed differently. We don't always have to keep to her lines, for example, midnights aren't frowned apon, and no-one gets seriously ill when we do have them,"
"Oh," was all Scar could find to say.
"But when it comes to health and exams, it's different. We always get record results, just like EBD would have wanted,"
Scar noted this down quickly.
When the coaches stopped, everyone got their possessions together and left them. Scar and Lind joined with Laura, Melody, George, Anne, Timmy, two black and white cats, Amelia, Ameris and Nemone.
Sally Cherry, a future prefect, checked the coach for any missing belongings.
"Whose umbrellas are these?" asked Sally.
Amelia and Ameris went to get them. Ameris took Amelia's so Amelia took Ameris's.
"They're the cheeky pair of us. Always pretending to be each other. Laura is the leader. Melody's very good at music, funnily enough. Nemone is the peace keeper. Any arguments and she's there, stopping the fight. Anne and George are the other pair. Anne's going to become a secretary, and George is a good investigator apart from bias. They're always having adventures in the holidays,"
Then they went to the middles splashery.
"The shoe lockers are for shoes, and the shelf above them is used for other bits. There is a peg above there, and each persons peg has their initials above them. Lets find yours," Nemone said.
Nemone took Scar to find her peg. She looked very curiously. The label read SCAR.
"Yep, that's mine. They seriously are my initials,"
"What's your full name?" asked the girl next to Scar.
"That's Elsie the curious," murmured Nemone.
"My full name is Scarlett Chelsea Angela Ronaldson, and I'm Scar for short,"
"Scarlett Chelsea Angela Ronaldson? That's some kind of long name,"
"Well, what's yours?" asked Scar. "Your initials are ELSIE,"
No-one had asked this before.
"Elsie Lanna Sarah Ivy Edwards. You don't know about me. I always say Or Elsie,"
"Why?" asked Scar.
"Oh, Scarlett Chelsea Angela, there is so much I must teach you. Tee hee hee,"
"Don't call me the whole thing,"
"Why not, Scarlett Chelsea Angela?"
The gong went for supper and they went there. Scar wondered out loud where the loos were.
"What's a loo?" asked Elsie.
On the first day there were the new girl tests, and Scar tried her best at them, trying to look normal. She looked at Miss Baker, the secretary, who always assisted the smaller tests, which were taken in Room 16, which was a very lonely room, it had to be said.
"I did okay at most things, I think," answering "Elsie" question. "My French and German were horrible, though. I chose to do Spanish for a language at my old school, so Miss Baker is arranging it so I can do Spanish instead of Art, because I can't even draw a circle without messing it up somehow. Except with a pair of compasses, I suppose,"
"Pair of compasses?" asked Elsie. "What he hell are they? And answer the loo question when you can,"
"A loo is often called a toilet and its proper name is a Lavatory. It's where your pi- sh- faeces go. Then you push a handle or pull a chain and it's forced away with water,"
Elsie looked confused still.
"What you get in the ru- Splasheries!" Scar said.
"What - basins?"
"No, those cubicles,"
"Oh, them," Elsie said.
"Don't you have a name for them?" asked Scar.
"Never mind..." Scar said.
"Okay, Scarlett Chelsea Angela,"
"I never liked the name Angela, ever since I saw Outnumbered,"
"What's Outnumbered? A play or a film?"
"It's a TV programme. Funny one, too,"
"What's a TV programme?"
"You know what a television is, right? Well, if you don't know of them I cannot help you,"
"Say something in Spanish," requested Lind.
“Hola, me llamo Scarlett. Tengo una hermana y dos hermanos. Tengo catorce años,” Scar said.
“Okay, and what’s that in English?” asked Melody.
“Hello, My name is Scarlett. I have one sister and two brothers. I am 14 years old,”
“A literal translation is I have 14 years, but you wouldn’t say that in English,” said Scar.
“Right,” said Melody.
Scar suddenly thought of home, then her thoughts meddled.
How was she supposed to report to the boss? What if she was caught, with that item that was not allowed in this school?
Chapter 3 - A Modern Girl by Minim
Scar hid. How long it was she didn't know. The dressing cupboard was rather small, and often smelled weird. She knew she was supposed to be in the common-room, talking or playing games or something. But the task was more important in her fore mind.
"Hello?" Scar muttered, carefully.
The person on the other line spoke.
"It's very... different to my old school. The girls seem to take work seriously, and seem to vaguely stick to some Elinor Mary Brent-Dyer person. Ever heard of her?"
The person on the other side checked some records or something, and reported that the person wasn't in the records.
"And they mustn't talk on the stairs or in the cloakroom places they call Splasheries. And two days a week you have to speak German, another two French, and another 1 and a half English. The rest of the time you may speak whatever language you please,"
"Right, and most lessons are taken in form rooms, except the domestic sciences, geography, Gym and games, anything needed to do in the science labs. that sort of thing. We have to take a long walk in the morning, and have to have a cold or lukewarm bath every morning. At night there are hot baths, and you take one every other day, or third day, depending on yourself,"
Scar explained everything, then the other side hung up. Scar hid her mobile where no-one could get at it unless they wanted it and knew it was there.
"And that's the end of that for a while," she said out loud, then the bell rang for middles bedtime.
Scar went to the door labelled "Oak" and went in to her dormy.
There was another new girl in there, but Scar had never spoke to her, she didn't even know who she was. Her initials were AMBER, and Scar had to admit, she had never heard the girl known as anything else.
Scar had always had a bit of trouble sleeping, especially now when she didn't have a Harry Potter Audiotape to listen to. She looked for more of her possessions which were banned by the school.
She had left them in her trunk, which meant she couldn't get at them until the end of term.
She let her thoughts pivot to that sign: If the Help desk think your question is stupid, they will set you on fire.
But Jim was recovered by now, she thought.
She finally said out loud "I've just lost the game,"
She then swore a lot, since she wasn't allowed to do in this school.
Then she drifted finally into sleep.
Scar loved the modern world. She was very good with computers, and had made many graphics with ease. She loved looking at graphics. She kept up to date with the latest games, and was saving every penny of her pocket money because Portal 2 was to be released next year. She had looked at the trailers with interest, and had got the original Portal free legitimately.
She used the internet often, and had found that sign on a funny site. She had accurately re modelled it and printed it out, then had put it near a help desk. The help desk staff had taken it for granted that their boss had put it there, so carried it out on Jim Melville, who was rather thick.
Her mother had told her about the game: if you think about it at all you had to say "I've lost the game,"
Scar also was a watcher of Mock the Week, Have I Got News For You, QI and most importantly to her, Outnumbered. She also listened to the radio from 6.30 to 7 on a Monday, and the News Quiz on Friday.
Chapter 4 - An Ofsted Inspection by Minim
Term had got on a bit. Amber and Elsie were in a massive argument, and Scar didn't really get on with either of them. Elsie was too inquisitive, and Scar had slipped up near her too many times. Elsie was asking her what an iPod was now.
If Matey was at the Glendower branch, she would have a match in Amber. Amber was unsquashable, and the staff had masses of trouble with her, because you could never truly account for where she was unless you locked her up. She also loved hurting people, and took a hatred very quickly.
The George and Jack arguments were part of every day life. Anne had tried to stop George from arguing with Jack, but it was to no use.
Lind, Melody, Laura, George, Anne, Scar, Nemone and the two Amys were one group in the form. Jack and some of the others made a second, and there was also a third group, obsessed with boys and make-up. Then there was Elsie, who asked way too many questions, Amber, who no-one really liked because she was too stubborn and so on, and Edith, who loved to sing, but couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, and thought herself beautiful, but wasn't anywhere near it.
The Ofsted inspection was near, and most people were nervous about it, whether they were staff or pupils. Scar and Amber were the only ones in the form that weren't bothered at all. Most of the form put it into the background and tried not to think about it, and only one of the form panicked about it.
Scar was stuck in her spying, with all those lessons and food and whatever. She still had trouble sleeping; this was when she decided to start spying.
She decided that Miss Felgate's office should do for a start, and went there. Unfortunately it was locked. However, Scar had bothered her older brother to teach her lock-picking, so she learnt it from him. She picked Miss Felgate's office door and looked inside.
She went in, softly closing the door behind her.
"Where to look?" she asked aloud, then saw a door.
She slipped through it and found herself in Miss Bakers office, the secretary.
"Open Filing cabinet," she murmured. "Look through it,"
She saw the names of the Middles there, without much enthusiasm. Then she stopped.
There wasn't a Middle named Ambrose, was there?
She looked at the file front cover, with the basic details and a photo of Amber.
"Ambers first name is Ambrose?" she questioned openly.
"Name: Ambrose Maisie Barbie Elisaveta Roper. Age: 14. Birthday: 25 December."
Scar read on, through parents details and so on until she spotted something at the bottom of the page.
Flower Primary (expelled)
Chocolate Juniors (expelled)
Peanut Primary (expelled)
Stopsley High (expelled)
Denbigh High - Denbigh, Wales (expelled)"
She looked through the school reports, and saw an extra one that should be mentioned on the front, but wasn't. She looked at another persons record who had gone to this same school. She found her file and looked, but on the front, again, no sign of ever going to that school. She looked at the old reports and saw a report from that school. This was very strange to Scar.
She searched all of the files for information, or any other schools that had reports but no mention of it on the front page. There were quite a few, the top ones behind the Chalet School, which was at the top, as always.
There was another unlocked drawer, of planned trips and so on. A lot of them circulated around the Seniors in summer, just before exams and all of that.
There were all of the timetables, for both girls and staff. There was a map of the school, lots of correspondence, all the usual things, and nothing seemed to be unusual, except reports, but they weren't much anyway. So Scar searched Miss Felgate's office properly. Scar couldn't find anything unusual there, either.
Scar, now suited to this spying business, now wished to read someone's diary to see what was going on.
But she couldn't just burst into Miss Felgate's room and read her diary. Miss Felgate would wake up. But maybe later she could slip away, unnoticed.
Ofsted day arrived, and all of the new and bad girls were taken out for a trip around. Apparently there hadn't been much of a chance before.
"Poppycock!" muttered Alicia to Betty. "They did this last year. Just because we play tricks and stuff, doesn't mean we'll play up on Ofsted day,"
"Well, it means we don't have to work. But I wish that George and Jack had been split apart for this trip. George had to come because of Timmy, who creates too much chaos, but Jack is generally well behaved,"
"Have you forgotten when she threw water bombs at some visitors?" asked Alicia.
"Yes," Betty replied.
The trip was quite enjoyable, even if George and Jack argued, and Amber slapped an older girl around the face for no reason that Scar could put her finger on.
Chapter 5 - The Battle with Miss Parker by Minim
Half-term dawned like any other day. Scar talked to her mother and her sister Violet, who was too young to go to school yet. They did what they wanted, while those who remained at school went on daily trips and so on, yadda yadda, etc. etc.
Half term finished and soon it was normal routine and all of that.
Miss Parker, the maths mistress, was in a horrible mood after half-term. Everyone worked harder than ever, because of the temper.
On a ramble, Scar somehow ricked her ankle, like in the books. It was okay, but she had to rest it up all day anyway.
Maths was about surds, which they had to learn, and with energy they learnt them (for once).
The next day was when Scar went back into school, and there was a maths test on that day.
Scar did her best with the test (which wasn't much, as quite a bit was surdy).
Then there was all of the rest of the lessons, all the nasty needlework, Prep and everything else.
They got the tests back next day. Most of the class started comparing their mark automatically. Scar didn't. She didn't want anyone to see that small 4/50. As only 6 questions had nothing to do with surds, she felt she'd done okay, considering.
"What did you get?" asked Elsie, who sat next to Scar in Maths.
"4" came the reply.
"Surds not your thing, eh?"
"I cannot do a thing with them. How on earth do you simplify r40?"
"Well, what does 40 divide into?" asked Elsie.
"5x8, 2x20, 4x10,"
"Which of those numbers are square?"
"So what you do from r40 is-"
"That's enough discussion for now," Miss Parker said. "I am glad with most of you for the high marks you got. But, some of you got less than satisfactory. If you got less than 15, I would like to see you at break. But now, onto our work for today,"
Miss Parker looked at the 8 pupils who got less than 15: Scarlett, Amelia and Ameris, Georgina, Ambrose, Josie, Clara and Hannah.
Miss Parker put 3 surds questions on the whiteboard, and told them to get on with it, while she marked some work from Upper VIa.
Most of them did get on with it, but Scar shoved her hand up, not knowing how to do these surds. Miss Parker ignored her.
Scar looked at "Simplify r125," and wondered how the hell she was to do it.
Miss Parker finished her work and looked round at the class. Scar had her hand in the air.
"Put your hand down, Scarlett Chelsea Angela Ronaldson, and get on with your work," Miss Parker said.
Scar put her hand down and chewed her pencil, thoughtfully.
Miss Parker took a walk around the classroom, looking at each persons work. She let the twins out quickly. They'd finished the work set.
No-one else had finished. She went round to Scars table and looked at the pretty much blank paper.
"Why haven't you done anything, foolish girl? You have not even tried. Don't you ever listen? Do you ever use your brains? In my day if I'd done as badly as this I'd have been marched straight to the headmistress. Why are you being so lazy? You'll be an ignorant, selfish, lazy, useless warthog that'll be of no use to anyone if you go on like this. Do not glare at me like that, missy, this is your fault. I'm not the one who goes around not trying to do something I have to. If you had listened on Monday, incompetent fool, then you would never have had to be here,"
"And how am I supposed to listen to you if I am in a different room altogether, miss?" said Scar.
"What has that got to do with Monday? You were here Monday, like everyone else,"
"I wasn't! Ask Matron!" Scar yelled.
"You will call me Miss at all times,"
"Sorry, sir," Scar replied.
"Right! To Miss Felgate!" and Miss Parker marched Scar out of the room.
Miss Felgate wasn't in. Miss Parker then swore. Scar saved the word in her memory.
"Well, until Miss Felgate is back you will remain in isolation," Miss Parker sneered.
Scar used the word she had just heard Miss Parker use.
Scar had to spend the rest of the morning in Miss Parkers office.
At lunch Scar had to eat at the punishment table, with some juniors. She wasn't supposed to talk to them, but had done anyway, telling them a story of the evil witch Parkella.
Unfortunately for Scar, when Miss Felgate returned, she supported Miss Parker, partially because Miss Parker had phrased very carefully and because she hadn't been around school recently and knew nothing of the ankle-ricking.
So a miserable Scar had to move her desk to the back of a classroom and stay in isolation.
If Miss Parker thought it would have any effect, it wasn't the effect she would have wanted.
Thursday dawned. Scar still had to eat at the punishment table, where she entertained the Juniors with tales about Parkella and her opposition, Saphire.
Scar still worked hard at most of her lessons. Maths was straight after break, which she took in Miss Bakers office.
Miss Baker had gone somewhere and Miss Felgate was preoccupied with outside business. Scar took her chance and searched as much of Miss Felgates office as she hadn't prehand. There wasn't anything interesting.
In maths Scar behaved worse than the worst pupil that had been at the school: not getting on with her work, throwing paper planes around, ignoring Miss Parkers orders completely, speaking out of turn, and all of the rest of it. When she was told to get out of the classroom, she just sat there and complained about it.
Scar had now spent more time in the heads office in one term than most of the girls had been in their whole lives. She was deep in disgrace and now was relegated as a Junior - where she told more stories of Parkella and Saphire.
She actually enjoyed being a Junior - even if she had an early bedtime and so on. She still made no effort to be polite to Miss Parker, and because the Juniors had delegated her as a hero of theirs, they had started to be bad in Maths as well.
When this had started to get worse, Miss Parker decided total isolation. She did not consult Miss Felgate - Miss Felgate had to get some suspicions that not all was like Miss Parker had said.
Miss Parker still did not realise about the being away thing.
Scar enjoyed complete isolation - she could actually be alone and that was more of a privilege than a punishment.
Miss Parker was actually trying to give the girl a hard time rather then punish her for what she had done.
The Juniors were all now opposing Miss Parker, but in between their games of tag and the odd fight out of nothing, hardly any of them had discussed anything.
Tales for the Juniors had recently appeared everyday - more of Parkella and Saphire. One or two of them had decided to have a go at their own, and one of the others, who had a very good memory, had written all of the others that she had heard - some of which had not circulated around the Junior common-room as of yet, since this Junior was a very messy eater.
This girl had requested for the teacher in charge of needlework to read this story aloud instead of the one they had been listening to, which was very boring to both Teacher and Pupils. She consented, and the Juniors started to enjoy Needlework for a change.
The teacher compiled the stories for the Juniors, and made a copy for the staffroom, which soon had red markings where there were spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Scar started to behave again, but still with a war against Miss Parker.
She started to write more Parkella and Saphire, where she now had got Saphire locked into a room by Parkella.
"What are you writing?" asked Elsie.
"A story," replied Scar.
"Can I read it?" questioned Elsie.
"Is it possible for you to read?" asked Scar.
"Yes, but ca- may I read that?"
"Not yet," Scar replied coldly.
She looked at the time, and went to the Junior common-room. She went there everyday to tell the stories.
"Yes, I'm reading it. Budge up," said Scar. "Right,"
The Juniors enjoyed the tale, and two teachers passing by caught some of the story.
"And the wicked Parkella, fed up with Saphire's happiness, locked the girl in a tiny room with no window..."
They carried on with their business.
The bell rang for Junior bedtime, and Scar left the room with the Juniors, but slipped into the Middle common-room where she talked with her friends before their bedtime.
That night, Scar reported to the boss for the second time since term had started.
The boss was very tired at the end of a long day. Scar just said she'd write everything down in a book instead and when it was full she'd send it on.
Miss Parker found the Parkella/Saphire stories one day, and didn't like them.
Scar was listening to stories about Miss Parker by her mates.
"No-one likes her, in or out of school. There was once a girl who went fully against her, but she was called to Miss Parkers office. She was never seen after that," Melody said.
"We all thought she'd been expelled or something, but no, Miss Felgate reported her missing after she had discovered that she hadn't appeared in the school for a certain amount of time," Lind carried on.
"So no-one tries to battle her much. It's likely to happen to the next person,"
"Me," Scar said. "I'm in a full-scale war against her already,"
"Well, keep to her good side and a full-scale war need not happen," Lind suggested.
"Yes, but how do I keep to her good side?" Scar asked. "It's not like we could ever be best buddies,"
"Try your hardest," said Anne. "Maths might seem a bit pointless, but try at them and Parkella will pick on someone else,"
"Parkella?" asked the twins, in unison. "Who's that?"
"You're being a bit dull on that point. It's obviously Miss Parker. I was talking to the Juniors and they've got piles of stories about her, and some girl called Saphire, with only one p,"
The middles now had got into a war with Miss Parker. That is to say, some of them had.
Amber disliked the teacher because she always called the girl Ambrose, which not even Elsie dared do. Scar had a hatred over the surd situation, joined with George and Josie. Clara, Hannah, Jack and Elsie found that the mistress was too hard and nasty into the bargain.
Amber, who never wanted company, poked Scar in the back one boring walk, and Scar ignored it, too intent on discussing Miss Parker with George.
Amber poked again, but Scar still ignored it.
Amber slipped a hand in her pocket, and got out a notebook she carried around. She wrote a quick note and slipped it into Scars pocket.
Scar was still talking with George about Miss Parker. She didn't notice the note at all.
Amber tried to talk to her partner, Anne, but Anne didn't speak to her. Hardly anyone did, only teachers ever seemed to take any notice of her ever. It wasn't as if no-one knew her. They often saw and spoke to her, but when they didn't it seemed to be as if she didn't exist.
It was Hobbies Club, firmly dedicated to the Easter Term Sale, and Scar was borededly sitting in the corner, doing nothing. All of her needlework was awful, she didn't fancy any of the woodwork or art available, and she thought scrapbooks were childish things. She had to go, unfortunately for her. If she could do something like Electronics or something she would leap at it, but there wasn't anything available. When the Hobbies Prefect came along and asked if Scar had any hobbies, Scar replied "No," and when the prefect carried on, Scar replied truthfully, and the Pree gave it up as a bad job.
Amber sidled up to Scar, and gave a shy "Hi,". Scar gave one back.
They talked about the modern world and how ignorant everyone seemed to be about it. Elsie joined them and responded to the discussion.
"Nah, we're not ignorant of the modern world, but items of it are not allowed in the school, and no-one speaks about them, of course. But we really shouldn't think about it, with Parkella on the loose,"
"Yeah, we really should do something about her," said Amber.
"Parkella is a mean unfair old bat!" Scar said.
"Yes, she is," Elsie said, ignoring Ambers comment.
"We ought to do something about her," Amber said again.
Elsie did not hear.
"She had better tread her windmill carefully, or Elsie!" Elsie stated.
"We must do something about her!" Amber said again.
"Hmmm," agreed Scar.
"What were you going 'hmmm' at, Scarlett Chelsea Angela?" asked Elsie.
"We must do something about Parkella. Who dislikes Parkella enough to form a league against her?"
"That Amber character. She's supposed to be here, why isn't she?"
Scar looked at Amber, who was clearly visible. What the hell?
Chapter 6 - Letters by Minim
Thanks for the letter you sent. It was nice to hear about my old friends.
The Chalet School is great, if a little old-fashioned. There's not much that is weird here, apart from the fact that good contenders for the school are not mentioned, but that's not that unusual.
There is another new girl in my form called Amber. She's alright, but there is something really unusual about her. There are periods where she seems to disappear completely, but I can see her. So can the Prefects and mistresses.
Have you ever heard of this happening?
I would like to write more, but I'm writing to both dad and Ellie, so I need to crack on with that.
Hopes everything is okay and so on.
P.S. You forgot to tell Bill she's an idiot.
I'm glad you're having a good time at the Chalet School, and that you're going to write to Ellie. She's your friend and is a bit upset that you haven't written to her as of yet.
This girl Amber is coming all invisible, you say? This happened to one of my classmates at my school, when I was there. She said that she was invisible on and off all of her life. But the only person in the class who could see her is now a teacher of the Tirol branch of the school you are at.
But do not let this get in the way of your task.
As for the trip on Ofsted you wrote about two letters ago, do any of your teachers watch Outnumbered? Because in one of the episodes Ben's headmaster says he's a bit peaky and perhaps he should take a couple of days off, on Ofsted inspection week.
As for me, some of my friends are coming round here and we're having a comedy afternoon, with DVDs of The Goodies, 'Allo 'Allo and The Inbetweeners. Meryl said she might get A Town Called Eureka, but she probably won't.
As for Amber, only those with responsibility over her or are generally responsible in their duties are ever going to see her in her invisible phase. At home you're very responsible, looking after your brothers and helping me with your sister.
Don't flap about it, I'm sure it's nothing.
P.S. If you need Bill telling she's an idiot, do it yourself.
P.P.S. Don't get into a war with Miss Parker, it's not worth it.
P.P.P.S. Mary is going to go to your Chalet School next term, apparently.
P.P.P.P.S. £10 is being forwarded to you. Take care of it.
I hate Miss Parker. What's worse, Emil from your workplace or her from my workplace?
[Omitted for *lack of* murderous thoughts]
What's a mobile phone, a PSP, Cystic Fibrosis, Harry Potter, George Bush, Barack Obama, Winston Churchill, the Nazis, Hitler (Who has only one ball apparently, was it a football, a netball, a tennis ball, a volleyball, a ping-pong ball, a disco ball, [Omitted because author doesn't want to be here forever]?), a privy, a little girls room, pregnancy [5 pages omitted] and sarcasm?
There's 2 new girls, Scarlett Chelsea Angela Robertson and Ambrose something or other. Scarlett Chelsea Angela has mentioned most of the above to me and I'm wondering if her head's on the right way round. Ambrose seems to disappear into thin air all the time and her initials are AMBER.
Scarlett Chelsea Angela is in a full-scale war with Miss Parker, over some surds problems, which, incidentally, she seems to think I was away for the first lesson. I told her I wasn't but she wasn't listening.
Hope the 26-lets are okay. Are they coming next term?
Oh, and, BTW, what's a portal? and what's Portal 2?
Ruddy Scarlett Chelsea Angela.
Yours sincerely/faithfully/here/Killer snail
Elsie, your only singleton.
P.S. What's the rubber duck doing in your private bit?
P.P.S. Sorry for the P.S. I was writing 3 letters at the same time. What's asexual breeding?
I loved your letter to me sent on that date. To reply, [15 pages omitted due to boringness] And I missed the internet, ask a mechanic or someone.
The surd thing bother about as much as possible, see if someone else was away.
The 26-lets are okay, but they aren't even old enough to go to a kindergarten. We're calling them Anika, Bethany, Candice, Delta, Edna, Felicity, Gillian, Harriette, Ioanna, Jennifer, Karma, Louise, Marina, Nancy, Orit, Pansy, Questa, Rhoda, Sally, Tanya, Uberta, Veronica, Warda, Ximena, Ysanne, and Zerlinda.
This is you - ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
????????????????????????????????????????????????????? multiplied by 999999999.
But if you want to find anything more out don't ask me as I'm too preoccupied with the 26-lets. They will go to your school as soon as they're old enough. But Christine, Carlotta, Constance and Clare are going next year.
Smile, because things could be a lot worse.
So it's good moaning to you.
p.p.p.p.p.p.s Chocolate is the best thin in this world
Oh, no, not now! Please say it's a joke, a laugh. My common sense says it's true but I cannot believe it.
If you want me there to look after Tom, Dick and Harry, you only have to write to the school or phone them. If you hadn't sent me to boarding school I'd be with you already. It's so weird here, there are periods when I seem to disappear and only teachers, prefects and Scar seem to see me, or hear me. I swore once and no-one looked at me with wide eyes.
If you need me, you know where to find me.
All the best,
I don't know about looking after Tom, Dick and Harry, but we'll certainly need you here. I have contacted your school and I am going to collect you as soon as possible. In the meantime, keep your chin up, and keep your mind on other things if possible. We never know what's going to happen exactly, try to look on the bright side.
I'll get you this week some point, or if I don't have the time I'll get Angel from next door to get you.
Optimism, not pessimism.
Chapter 7 - An argument and a Play by Minim
"Amber! The head wants you in the study!" called Anne, who then, her duty done, want and started playing tiddlywinks with Melody.
Exit Amber, quite pale.
"I wonder what's happened with Amber," said Elsie.
"It's not of your business, Elsie Lanna Sarah Ivy," Scar said, knowing that a) Elsie didn't like being called this, and b) she was supposed to be one of quads anyway.
"I thought I told you not to call me that, Scarlett Chelsea Angela," Elsies eyes flashed.
"Oh, because I don't get a say in what people call me, but you do? You're so annoying, and nosy, and stupid!" Scar shouted.
The room went silent. Scar didn't notice this.
"Why do you have to be so inquisitive? You ask and ask and ask, you don't reply if anyone asks you something. If you want to know what something is, that any normal person knows, you have to ask. Ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, ask! Is that all you can do?"
It went deadly quiet. Elsie was paper-white. Scar was scarlet-red. No-one moved.
"So I marched them away, for you to deal with,"
"And they were the cause of the rabble?" Miss Felgate asked.
"Yes. They're right outside, for you to deal with,"
"It is right of you to report, but I thought you'd be able to deal with a couple of arguing middles,"
"Well, one was arguing, the other just sat there,"
"Well, the you can put the arguing in isolation or something until they calm down, or can't you even do that? Sometimes you can take action before reporting to me, you know. It just has to be appropriate action, and not just rashly dealt with, like many times before. You could be a success if you could deal with these situations properly. And never judge a student on the past, present or future."
"Yes, Miss Felgate."
"You learn to deal with these happenings that occur in any good school. It happens anywhere. And think - what could have happened to make the girl angry? You haven't given me any names,"
Miss Parker mumbled something.
"I don't really care about the names. Think, get behind the causes. Is it in or out of character for 1 to get angry, when provoked?"
Miss Parker had realised that she had jumped straight to conclusions in many cases.
"And how provoking is 2?" asked Miss Felgate.
"So, conclusion. 1 and 2 are likely to argue."
"Yes, Miss Felgate,"
Miss Felgate had the pair in the study the next morning.
"I don't care what the argument was about or all of that," she said. "Or anything about it. I just want you to apologise and put the whole thing behind you."
Scar quietly put her hands behind her back. She didn't really want to apologise, but she quietly murmured something that could be an apology, but Elsie was not submitting quietly. In fact, she was becoming a parrot.
"It was her fault! She did... She did... It was her who..."
"Silence. Go and look it up in the dictionary and copy it 50 times."
Elsie resigned to silence.
"There are two sides to every story," said Miss Felgate. "No-one loses their temper for nothing, even if others think it is nothing. Do your bit and we don't really bother about it too much,"
"Sorry!" said Elsie, with so much attitude in her voice the room was fitting the dictionary definition of silence.
But after a glare from Miss Felgate, she mumbled a less attitude apology and resigned into a shadow.
"Right. But you are to go and apologise to your form as well, they're being let down. Elsie, you can be very provoking sometimes, so you will get viewed negatively. Scarlett, if you get annoyed with someone, shouting at them isn't a good idea. You may leave,"
"Don't apologise, it was very entertaining!" said Hannah, right after Scar and Elsie had done what the head told them to do.
"A good laugh to watch," agreed Pearl.
Elsie beckoned to her group and flounced off, accidentally on purpose walking into Scar.
"Oh, what an irritating idiot," said Delta Ovid.
"Alliteration," remarked Clara.
"Don't say that, or you'll find yourself in Elsies gang," said Delta.
"Oh anyway, The Christmas Plays audition is tomorrow. Melody is joining the Orchestra for that, and I'm doing some of the scenery arty work. I'm not going to do any of the acting part, but since you're not doing anything as part already, you're likely to be picked over people doing special effects. No-one is left out, so it's either this, doing the refreshments, handing out programmes, or doing some kind of money collection," Nemone said.
"I don't think I'm that good at acting," replied Scar.
"You can't be worse than Lind,"
Scar decided to have a go, just to see if she'd be good enough for a part.
They were all going to act a scene from the play, and parts were given out with some people in big parts, and some in little parts.
Ameris and Amelia explained the audition process set at the school.
"They randomly put us in parts in the first half. A break is after that and then they swap the roles around. Those who got small parts first time get big parts second time round, and vice versa. We're split into two groups for that because there are too many people for that. And not everyone gets picked,"
"Well, I think I might be more suited to lighting or special effects, but I was told I should have a go, so I did. Still, no-one's been chosen for special effects yet, so I think I'd love to do that. I'm not that good at acting,"
"Well, you can't be worse than Lind,"
And as the twins moved somewhere else, Scar wondered whether it was Amelia or Ameris speaking to her.
Auditions went badly for Scar, which meant that the saying of "You can't be worse than Lind," changed quite dramatically. But Scar got to do what she wanted, with lighting, and special effects.
Amber came back two weeks after the auditions. Scar met her someplace to talk to her.
"What actually happened?" asked Scar.
"Car crash." said Amber shortly.
Scar didn't take the topic further. There was silence.
"The auditions for the Christmas play were 2 weeks ago. I'm doing lighting and special effects. They're going to include everyone, so you'll be stuck with the other job sort of thing,"
"Don't really care,"
Scar gave it a miss and looked at Amber, wondering what had happened. It wasn't very good, Scar was sure.
That night, Scar was aroused by a prickly feeling that all was not well. She went the rounds to see if anything was wrong. Amber wasn't in her bed. Scar went to look around.
She tried classrooms, but no-one was in them. Then, seeing Matron, she slipped into a nearby classroom and listened at the door.
Matron passed by, and Scar stood and looked around to see a tear-stained face in the moonlight.
"Amber?" whispered Scar. "What's happened?"
Amber shoved by Scar and went away. Scab tried to follow her, but she lost track and decided to return to her dormy.
Scar was seen by Matron, which resulted in her telling Matron about what was happening.
"Let her alone for now. She has had a bad time and something happened to her mother. I'm not saying any more on the topic, except if she wants to be alone, let her be. She just needs space to grieve and time to heal the wound. Trying to make someone talk never helps them. Remember that,"
Scar nodded and went back to her dormitory, running Matrons advice through her mind.
Instead of bothering Amber, Scar chose to keep her mind on doing the Christmas play. Working under Miss Parker next to Elsie wasn't that fun, but Miss Parker had nothing to criticize about Scar's lighting and was watching her own step anyway, and Elsie was ignoring Scar, which was marginally better than being waylaid with millions of questions.
Time quickly passed, and soon it was the fiasco of the final dress rehearsal, where everything went wrong.
Half the actors forgot their parts and got shouted at by an irate English Teacher. The Special Effects went off at the wrong moments, and the lighting was out of control.
Then advice was given out and all that sort of thing, then the whole thing was performed in front of a massive load of doting parents, thinking their child the best on stage.
The play was okay, and the plot was okay.
Cutting the boring details that EBD left in, the play was about love and friendship and unity.
Scar went home the next day, happy and contented, although in mind she was wondering if she would come back to the Chalet School ever, and if the stuff she had written was good enough for the exam board peoples.
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