Old and New by Minim
Summary:

Rewrite of Past and Future, where the Maynard triplets were orphaned very young.


Categories: Ste Therese's House Characters: Daisy Venables, Emerence Hope, Jem Russell, Madge (Bettany) Russell, Margot Venables, Robin Humphries
School Period: None
School Name: Chalet School
Genre: Alternate Universe
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 7 Completed: No Word count: 6884 Read: 14957 Published: 14 Feb 2012 Updated: 19 Mar 2013

1. Prologue by Minim

2. Chapter 1 - Start of School by Minim

3. Chapter 2 - First Day by Minim

4. Chapter 3 by Minim

5. Chapter 4 by Minim

6. Chapter 5 by Minim

7. Chapter 6 by Minim

Prologue by Minim
The three little redheads lay in their cots. Madge viewed them with a feeling of grief. These three little girls would never know their mother. Their incredible (if annoying and immature at times) mother. They didn't even look like her, and hadn't even been named. After days of feeling so bad, so, so bad, she had to do something, one last thing, for her little sister. To look after her children.

She looked at each of them, and then took the first one into her arms. “Hello, little one,” she smiled, blinking back the tears that came when she looked in the baby's eyes, which had a Joey-like look. She knew what to call this little one now. “Hello, Josephine,”

She knew her sister wouldn't have liked to call her baby after herself, but she, Madge, felt it would be nice to have one named, in Jo's honour.

“Rob, what are you doing here?” she asked, out of the blue, for Robin Humphries was there, in the doorway.

“I've been coming to see the babies ever since, you know,” Robin said, the tiniest smile on her face. “They're too sweet to resist,”

“What do you think...” stumbled Madge. “What do you think, Jo, would have called them?”

“I'd have thought she'd have named them in honour of her three greatest friends,” Robin said. “Frieda, Marie, and Simone,”

“I'd like to call this one Josephine,” Madge was still cradling the baby in her arms.

“She could be...” Rob thought for a second. “Josephine Frieda. But then, what should we call the others?”

“I'd think... I'd think she'd name one... after you,” faltered Madge. “Cecilia Simone,”

Robin blushed. “And the third one, I have a feeling she'd be called after another old school friend,”

The pair thought for a minute before saying, in unison, “Elizaveta!”

And so forth the little young triplets were to be known as Josephine Frieda, or Joey, Cecilia Simone, or Cecily, and Elizaveta Marie, or Lizzie. They slept soundly in their cots, little knowing of the world around them, the grief they had caused, or the fact that their mother was buried in a little graveyard, there to rest in peace.
Chapter 1 - Start of School by Minim
Author's Notes:

Thanks for all of the comments! Moving to the Trips now, and you might want to know I've changed a couple more things in this timeline than I probably needed to!

“Josette, tell us about the Chalet School,” said Lizzie.

“What's the magic word?”

“Pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaassssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” said Lizzie and Joey in unison.

It was the night before the Triplets were due to start at the Chalet School, and as Lizzie and Joey pleaded with Josette for her to tell them about the Chalet School, the curious ear of Cecily twitched. She hunted around for some sort of bookmark, and slit a hair ribbon in the pages of the book before joining her triplets in seeking out for more information on the Chalet School.

“I'll tell you about the Chalet School, then,” Josette said. “What do you want to know?”

“What happens at school?” asked Joey.

“Well, we'll be walking there with Mum at the beginning,” said Josette. “We go to Prayers, then lessons start. Then break time, then more lessons, then Lunchtime. After that, we have things like games and that sort of thing, then we go home with Mum and do our Prep at home,”

“What are the mistresses like?” asked Lizzie. “What are all the staff like?”

“Well, you three will be with Miss Phipps,” Josette said. A wicked idea struck her. “She's evil. She'll lock you in the cupboard if you misbehave, or get something wrong,”

“Really?” asked Joey.

“The headmistress is even worse,” said Josette. “No-one ever knows what goes on in her office, no-one ever says, but it is believed that torture goes on in her office,”

“Really?” asked Lizzie.

Josette nodded solemnly. “And whatever you do, don't get on the wrong side of the Prefects. They turned a girl into a slave because she went on their wrong side,”

“Daisy is one, isn't she?” asked Cecily. “She wouldn't be mean, would she?”

“All people turn mean when they become Prefects,” Josette said.

“I hope I never become one,” and Lizzie shivered.

“You won't have any choice,” said Josette.

“What will we do in lessons?” asked Joey.

“Different subjects, like Maths, Science, English, History, Geography, French, German, so on, so forth,” Josette said.

“What's the library like?” asked Cecily.

“We're only allowed to access the Junior library at the moment,” Josette smiled. “But there are plenty of books there,”

“Good,” said Cecily. “I've almost finished all mine,”

“It is time for you triplets to be in bed,” said Rosa, coming in through the doorway.

“But Rosa,” Joey and Lizzie whined.

“It is a big day for you tomorrow,” said Rosa. “You'll need to be rested,”

“Please? Pretty pretty pretty please?”

But Rosa was firm on her point. Joey and Lizzie grumbled and groaned about it, but almost as soon as they were in their beds they were fast asleep. Cecily, who had obeyed without complaint, stayed awake, thinking about all she had heard. “It won't be that bad,” she told herself. “It can't be, she's making it up,”

And with that, she fell into a deep sleep and knew no more until the morning.

***

Morning came.

Everyone was at breakfast. The girls, apart from 3-year-old Ailie, were all dressed in a brown school uniform. In addition, Sybil had with her a trunk – she had asked to be a weekly boarder and Madge had, rather reluctantly, agreed that she could if she wanted to.

David also had his trunk. Today he'd be going back to his boarding school and a dominantly male area. He enjoyed his time at boarding school, but he also enjoyed some of the time he had at home. However, he was too fixated on school to ever admit homesickness, however light it may be. Jem was to take him to the station.

The females, including Ailie, headed for the Chalet School. It wasn't a very long one, but it wasn't a very short one either. Lizzie, Joey, and Josette ran ahead. Sybil walked on as well. Cecily clung to Madge's hand as they walked.

“Don't worry Cecily, it won't be horrible,” Madge said. “Your triplets will be there, and Josette and Sybil, and Primula and Daisy too. There will be some people you know,”

“The mistresses won't lock us up, will they?” asked Cecily.

“Of course not,” said Madge. “Any punishments will be because you deserve them, just like at home,”

“And Matey isn't called Matey because she was once a pirate?”

“No, and that reminds me,” said Madge. “You must promise me that if you feel even the slightest bit poorly you will go to Matey immediately. We don't want you to have any more serious illnesses,”

“I promise, Auntie Madge,” said Cecily.

“Good, so we don't need to worry about that,” said Madge. “You three, slow down,”

Josette, Joey and Lizzie slowed down. It was just as well, for in their haste they could have knocked Daisy Venables down. Daisy had been waiting for her sister to come so they could go on their way.

“Come on Primula, Auntie Madge and the cousins are coming!” Daisy yelled through the house.

It wasn't very long later that Primula was being led out by Margot Humphries, once Venables, once Russell.

“And are the both of you sure you've got absolutely everything?” she asked.

“Yes, mum,” they said in unison.

“Well, have a good term, keep your noses clean,” said Margot. “And don't fall into trouble,”

“Bye, Mum,” said Daisy.

“Goodbye,” said Primula.

“Bye girls,” Margot said.

Daisy and Primula joined the Russells and Maynards in the walk to the Chalet School. The walk wasn't too bad, and soon the rather large group arrived at the school gates.

“Bye girls,” said Madge. “Josette, Joey, Cecily, and Lizzie, I'll be picking you up just after Tea,”

“Bye Mum,”

“Bye Auntie Madge!”

The younger ones dashed in to the school, the elders going at a more sedate pace. Cecily still clung to Madge's hand.

“Go on dear,” said Madge, lowering herself to Cecily's level. “You should enjoy it,”

Cecily smiled wanly, then walked into the Chalet School grounds. Madge watched with a sigh.

“Come on Ailie,” she said. “Time to go home,”
Chapter 2 - First Day by Minim
Author's Notes:

It seems I've been lax updating SDL. Sorry.

It was break time of the first day of term. After the girls had gobbled down their milk and biscuits they'd been allowed outside to play, although a couple of mistresses had taken to supervising the Juniors.

 

Cecily looked at the past few hours in a blur. Miss Phipps had met the girls, directing the older girls to unknown domains, she herself had noticed one cheeky-looking girl named Mary-Lou, who was about two or three years older than she was. Miss Phipps had gathered the ten or so girls of her form, all of whom were too shy to talk to each other, even Joey not being able to pluck up the courage to say anything. Miss Phipps had called a register, of which they'd all had to reply 'Yes, Miss' when their name was said. After that, she'd got them in that order, and taken them to the Hall.

 

They had all been amazed at the Hall, it was so large. At the front of the room was one of Auntie Madge's Important Visitors. Her name had been something like Miss Amesley, or Annsley. Something like that, anyway.

 

She, Cecily, had tried to listen to every word, but she couldn't remember exactly everything. One thing that did stick out was that they would have to speak in the language of the day from now on, and if they didn't, they'd be fined. The elder girls were treated differently to them, though, they got let off the first 9 mistakes they made. Then they went to their form-room.

 

It was a pretty little room, with two rows of 5 desks each at the back, but with a space at the front. Miss Phipps had had them introduce themselves to the class. Early on, a girl - Francie Wilford - had been called to do something. She'd returned a while later.

 

Miss Phipps had then assigned them desks. Fortunately, she had decided that for now, the triplets may sit together, although she had warned them that if they were to misbehave, she'd separate them. When that had been done she had given them all test papers, to see where they all were. Cecily had worked diligently at them, even after several minutes when Joey, next to her, had started to wriggle energetically. Cecily had seen that Joey had finished already, but ploughed on diligently, after all, she herself wasn't finished. On her other side, Lizzie was also working steadily through the test.

 

After everybody had finished and paper collected in, exercise books were given out. Each girl had to label the book with her name, the subject, and the form. They then were shown their locker space and were told that they'd have to keep it tidy, order marks the punishment for not doing so, although, had they known it, there was some leniency towards this point.

 

It was after this that it was break-time. Cecily had wanted to stick with her sisters, but they'd had other ideas, going along with Francie Wilford and Cathy Farman. After milk and biscuits had been consumed they had dashed out of sight. Cecily had followed them outside, but there they were nowhere to be seen.

 

Instead of tracking them down she hung around the area, feeling shy and awkward. She thought of the books she'd read, and imagined herself with Lizzie and Joey there to protect her from the evil forces in boats that surrounded their oasis of hope, a small island, and the only way that they'd be freed from the evil forces was to get to the mainlands where their parents were but there was little way of getting there. She wanted to write this all down but there were no pens or pieces of paper about. She sighed and carried on to the island story. But just as she got to a really interesting part, the bell cut through all of her imaginings. She sighed, but went on to lessons.

 

This side of break, as everything was sorted, Miss Phipps decided to give them a numeracy lesson. Cecily and Lizzie concentrated through the lesson, which is more than could be said for Joey. When they got to the work Joey only spent half of the time allocated doing it. Cecily saw that Joey had completed the work, and instantaneously wished that she could be that fast. She ploughed through the rest of the exercise, though, instead of copying her sister's answers.

 

Then came Mittagessen. Each of Lower II had a specific place to sit - The triplets still remaining together. One one side of Cecily was Joey, but on the other side was another girl - Myra Davidson. Grace was said and the meal started.

 

Joey and Lizzie chatted between themselves and Cathy, who was seated next to Lizzie. Cecily ate her meal complacently, not wanting to discuss what the other two and Cathy were, and feeling too shy to talk to Myra.

 

In some ways, this was a pity. Myra was a bit of an attention seeker, it was true, and she hated it when she wasn't given any. And at that point, she wasn't being given any, for the girl on her other side, Francie, seemed very down. Everyone thought it was homesickness, after all, she was Lower II's only full-time boarder. While Myra couldn't blame her for being down in the dumps she could blame Cecily for not talking to her. This was to cause many eruptions later on; even Myra was not to know the greater extent as to where it went.

 

After Mittagessen was over the two Second forms had Games together. They were fitted out with kit and then had a game of Rounders. The supervising mistresses had split them into four teams. Cecily watched it with a sigh. Uncle Jem had said that for the near future, Cecily wasn't to do anything too active, and Games was considered too active at present. Instead, one of the mistresses had asked if Cecily wanted anything, and now, Cecily was busy writing about the island she had created in her mind.

 

While the bad nasty men tried to keep the three girls on the island and keep them away from their home and their parents, the three girls looked for a way out. They knew that if they were to sail out, the bad men would be able to capture them.

 

Cecily looked up. She didn't want to give her trio the same names as they, the triplets, had, so what to call them?

 

"How do we brake free from here?" said the eldest girl who was called Helena.

 

"You've asked that a gazillion times now." said the youngest girl who was called Margaret.

 

"We can't go by boat because the bad men will get us." said the middle girl who was called Constance. "And we can't go by airoplane because there are no airoplanes here."

 

"Could we go by car?" said Helena.

 

"Wouldn't it sink?" said Margaret. "Lighter things like pebbles sink."

 

"Then why don't boats sink?" said Helena.

 

"Some weird reason." said Constance. "There are no cars here anyway."

 

"We could make one." said Margaret. "How hard can it be?

 

Neither Helena or Constance had a reply to this. They remained silent.

 

After Games came needlework. Seeing as they were all young and inexperienced with needles their mistress decided it would be best showing them the very basics. In fact, the lesson was practically 'How to Thread a Needle'. Most of the girls, including Joey, struggled with this. They were all glad when the dong came to announce Kaffee und Kuchen.

 

The class went to the Splasheries to 'freshen themselves up' and wash their hands before entering the dining-room. Cecily observed the room. Josette was talking to the girl next to her, a conversation that brought on a lot of giggles. The prefects were going around giving out drinks. Most people were taking coffee but the odd one here and there had gone for hot milk.

 

Sybil was one of these. When she had been younger, she had disobeyed an order after taking a kettle off the heat, and had spilt the contents in front of her, only a small amount splashing on to her. It was enough to cause pain and misery for the girl, and ever since she wouldn't take a drink that had been made with hot water. Madge had only been thankful that nobody else had been with Sybil at the time, or else they might have been seriously hurt by the scalding water.

 

The triplets took their coffee and proceeded to their food. It was unwritten practice that every girl was to have two slices of bread before having any treats, and if one girl were to take any treat first, she would be thought of as greedy, and would be sent to Coventry for the rest of the day.

 

After downing the bread, Joey and Lizzie went straight for the cakes. As it was the first day back, they were a glorious collection. Cecily, however, decided to try some of the other things. There were some fancy bread twists which were all right, but what she loved was the greengage jam. However, she had less than she would have done, in fear she would be perceived as greedy if she had any more.

 

Chapter 3 by Minim

Auntie Madge was there to collect them as promised, and they had a nice, pleasant, uneventful walk back home. After they got back there were told to do any prep needed to be done. The triplets only had numeracy prep to do, and Joey was finished first. After showing Auntie Madge that she had done it, she went to play, and soon, Lizzie, Cecily, and Josette followed her. Afterwards, it was supper, and bed.

 

Friday still had the Juniors not totally settled. Cecily found that she was enjoying literacy, enjoying it a lot. This was partially because of the many books she had devoured from her time in the San.

 

After some lessons came Break. Cecily grabbed her pen and paper as she walked outside. She found a perch under a tree in the grounds, and wrote some more of her story.

 

Another girl soon found herself on the island. Her name was Felicity, and she was blonde and had blue eyes. It was to be admitted that she was a fun person, but Constance was shy of her. Helena and Margaret liked to play tag with her, but Constance knew she shouldn't. However, she found it hard to get on with her plans without the support of her sisters.

 

"Oh, look at what's under this tree," said a girl, recognised as Myra Davidson. "And what grand masterpiece are you writing?"

 

Her two compatriots laughed. "Not her," said one of them. "I doubt this is half as good as I could do,"

 

"Probably a load of rubbish," said Myra. "Why don't I just... rip it up?"

 

Cecily held it close to her chest, not saying anything, just watching the girl carefully.

 

"Oh look, she's hugging it," said Myra. "Just as my stupid younger brother would a teddy bear,"

 

They laughed. "Pass it to me," Myra said. "I said, pass it,"

 

Cecily put forward her little tale.

 

"I wonder what would happen if I did this," Myra said, about to rip it down the middle. "What would you do, you little ratbag?"

 

"What - are - you - doing?"

 

The yell reached all the group's ears. Lizzie was stood right behind them, literally crackling with electricity. They stepped back, clearly afraid.

 

"N-N-Nothing," said Myra.

 

"Really?" said Lizzie.

 

"I d-didn't m-mean anything," said Myra.

 

"Liar!" said Lizzie.

 

The slap echoed around the area as Myra was flung to the ground.

 

"I heard every word," Lizzie whispered. "Give that back to my sister,"

 

Myra handed the paper back to Cecily. Cecily accepted it, keeping all of her eyes on what was there.

 

"If - you - ever - treat - my - sister - like - that - again," said Lizzie. "You'll get more than a slap. Understood?"

 

Myra stared at Lizzie, silent.

 

"Is - that - understood?" said Lizzie.

 

Myra nodded frantically, and Lizzie dragged Cecily out of their reach. As they left the area, Cecily heard the words "I'll make them pay for this, just you wait,"

 

"You all right?" asked Lizzie.

 

Cecily nodded. The bell rang just at that point, and the two sisters walked to their formroom.

 

***

 

Mitagessen had the form dining again, and the girls ate their food and drunk their drink. Cecily for the most part ignored Myra, instead addressing any "Could you pass that please?" questions to Francie Wilford. Francie, who had for the most part been miserable, smiled at Cecily after the third time. Cecily found herself smiling back, and when afternoon Art came, the two girls were found to be sitting next to each other. They talked about the sort of thing young school girls did, while drawing pretty much the same. In fact, they found themselves good company. When the end of the school day, and, indeed, week came, while Joey and Lizzie yelled goodbye when Cathy was collected, she herself said goodbye to Francie when Auntie Madge, flustered and a little out of breath, came.

 

Coming home, it was very much like last night, with prep, play, supper, and bed. Then it was Saturday.

 

Cecily was the first to wake up. She got up quietly, being very very careful not to wake her snoozing sisters.

 

Coming down, she found that neither Josette or Sybil were up yet. She looked around, but only Madge, Rosa and Anna were up, and they were all adults. She got her paper and pen and started writing again.

 

Getting on with her plans proved unsatisfactory to Constance, so she wondered around the island, looking at the bad men that surrounded them. The island could shield them from the bad men, but anyone else was fair game, including people that the bad men sent.

 

Phillippa was one of these. She came and tried to rip up all of their plans. Constance tried to hide them so she couldn't, but she managed to get her hands on them anyway. She was prepared to wreck them totally so they couldn't be read, but Margaret stopped her in her tracks, and demanded them back. She was reluctant, but very, very scared of Margaret, who was crackling with electric anger, and who leaked electricity from every corner.

 

Then another girl came along. Marie-Claire was seemingly moody at first, but as time wore on she seemed nice, on the inside. She and Constance got on quite well, although maybe not as brilliantly as the others as of yet. But they were friendly for the moment.

 

 

Chapter 4 by Minim

The girls enjoyed the weekend; they didn't do anything special, but spent it relaxing and chatting. Cecily didn't spend much time writing more of her story, but instead spent some of it with her fellow beings, playing with the doll's house, and the rest of it reading her last few unread books. She hoped that their library would open soon so that she could read and read and read.

 

They went back on Monday refreshed and ready to start a new week of school. Spending a morning on lessons, they then spent the afternoon on an introduction to using the library, or the fiction part of the library, at any rate. As of yet the non-fiction library was out of bounds to them, seeing as they weren't likely to need them and some of the books weren't wanted in the hands of 7 and 8 year old girls.

 

After the introduction, the girls were all allowed to visit the Junior library and take out books as required. Cecily soon spent all of her breaktime in the library, reading. Francie often went along with her, and they shared interesting books, and warned each other off of books the other would have hated.

 

Through the week, Myra did not say or do anything to the Maynard three. She still had remembered the incident, though, and was prepared to 'accidentally' bump into any of the trio, even though Joey and Cecily hadn't done anything to her.

 

Joey herself got a bit more mischievous. She had played some small tricks in class instead of doing any work, which Miss Phipps did not like. She was careful not to give too much of a punishment, but felt that Joey could do the work, if she could be bothered to look at it. She was limited in what she could do, though, seeing as she couldn't teach four pupils one thing, three pupils another thing and the last few another. She'd put Joey up a form, but Joey's marks did not match her intelligence levels, seeing as she messed around all of the time, and the school would only authorize a promotion if Joey's marks were excellent each and every time - which they weren't. She wanted to split the class into those who needed more help, those who were average, and those who wanted more of a challenge seeing as they were intelligent, but it just couldn't happen with the resources available.

 

Cecily herself found during the course of the week that her best - and favourite - subject was Literacy, with History as another interesting subject. She disliked Science, but felt neutral towards Numeracy - if she put her mind to it, she could do it, and so she put her mind to it. She enjoyed Art, but was not brilliant at it, and as she wasn't allowed to take part in Games, she felt a bit left out where that came, but at least it meant that she could get on with writing.

 

Dark-head Constance, with her brown eyes, surveyed the others with a sweep of her eyes. Helena, with her violet eyes and chestnut hair, looked back, but red-blonde blue-eyed Margaret was looking away. Phillippa, with red hair and brown eyes, was at the waterbank, ignoring the rest of them totally. They didn't mind. Marie-Claire had similar colouring to Constance. Felicity, as mentioned before, had blonde hair and blue eyes.

 

Of course, it was practically impossible to get to the main-land, but still they lived in hope. Constance remembered her school, all that knowledge so useless when stranded on an island. However, there was a building on this island, although they only slept there - it was too spooky and dark, not to mention the cobwebs! Helena and Margaret had decided they weren't scared, that it wouldn't scare them.

 

It scared them so much they never spoke of it again.

 

While Constance and Margaret tried to carry on with the plans, Helena had decided not to. She found it boring, and preferred to run around the island playing Tag with Felicity. However, Marie-Claire did help.

 

Friday came again. Madge had been slightly late in her timings that morning and it was only by racing that the triplets got to school on time. Added to the fact that Miss Phipps was evidently not in a good mood, they marched to Prayers and assembly in complete silence. After this, Miss Phipps walked them back and quickly berated them, because a couple of them had whispered to each other during the assembly. This was all in German, and most of them were still at a loss where languages were concerned, although they tended on the whole to be worse at French.

 

Literacy followed this in short shrift. However, only a few members of the form managed to get their head around the work set, having been taught in German. This was very annoying to Miss Phipps, apparently, and she ripped into them like a savage, only not literally.

 

The other lessons went on a similar line, and it created a lot of tension in the class. It was a relief for all when the breaktime gong rang through the school and they could get some fresh air. Instead of going to read in the library, Cecily and Francie walked around the grounds.

 

As soon as they were outside, Francie let rip of how she felt about Miss Phipp's mood, and spent a couple of minutes talking loudly about how unfair it was etc. Cecily said very little. If Francie had noticed her friend's pale face, she'd have instantly latched onto it, but she, Francie, was too het up to notice it that day.

 

Meanwhile...

 

"Oh, look, it's a Maynard," said Myra.

 

She had been reading a book when Joey, who hadn't heard about the happenings between Lizzie, Cecily, and Myra herself, approached her.

 

"I just wondered if you'd like to join in a game of tag," said Joey. "You seemed to be feeling lonely,"

 

"Well, I'm not, so go away,"

 

"Come on," said Joey. "You'll enjoy it. I saw you playing with those two girls the other day," she added.

 

"Well, I don't want to, especially not with a Maynard,"

 

"What's wrong with a Maynard?" Joey looked up a bit.

 

"You're a load of scumbags, that's what,"

 

Joey ignored the insult. "Well, if you don't want to, I won't make you," she said. "But if you change your mind, you're welcome to join us,"

 

"Why would I want to join a load of idiots like you?" Myra yelled at the retreating Joey.

 

Joey stopped and turned. Lizzie appeared beside her and muttered something to her, Joey muttered something back, then said to Myra,

 

"It's your own choice," she said simply. "I was only trying to be nice,"

 

"Trying to be nice indeed, a group of nitwits and airheads like you?"

 

"Shut your big fat gob, Myra Davidson!"

 

"No, Elizabeth, you shut yours!"

 

"That is not my name," Lizzie said, dangerously.

 

"Then what is Lizzie short for?" Myra yelled back.

 

Lizzie glowered, not replying to Myra.

 

"Stupid old Elizabeth, she doesn't even know her own name!" chanted Myra, gleefully.

 

"Right, that is it!"

 

Lizzie ran at Myra, punching her for all it was worth. Myra fought back and soon the pair were rolling on the floor, while a crowd of girls watched, yelling "Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!"

 

"What is going on?" asked one of the supervising mistresses, surveying the scene. "Elizaveta Marie Maynard, Myra Georgina Davidson!"

 

The two girls were pulled apart with ease. The mistress said nothing, but thought. Miss Annersley and Miss Phipps would need to know, and whilst Hilda would do her old trick of tempering justice with mercy, Miss Phipps was like a bear with a sore paw.

 

Chapter 5 by Minim

When the end of break came Lower II trundled into class, with the two exceptions of Lizzie and Myra. Miss Phipps told the class in no uncertain tones what she thought of girls who fought each other, then moved on to Science.

 

After all of the explanations she shortly dished out work. Joey had been keeping her head down and her mouth shut since the beginning of the day, seeing Miss Phipps in a bad bad mood, but looking at her sister's face, she raised her hand.

 

"What is it?" Miss Phipps snapped.

 

"I would like to speak to Matron," Joey used the most formal tones as she stood herself up.

 

"Why?"

 

"On a matter of urgency,"

 

"It can't be that urgent," said Miss Phipps. "Or is this another of your foolish games?"

 

"It's not a game," said Joey, quietly.

 

"Just sit down, and get on with your work," Miss Phipps said.

 

Joey pulled a face, but sat down and worked. While she was truly concerned, she knew that Miss Phipps wouldn't allow Joey to go to Matey, and Cecily wouldn't ask to go, not with Miss Phipps's mood, anyway. Joey sighed, and got on with her work quietly.

 

As always, Joey was finished first. She looked around, looking at the two rows of girls heads bent over their work. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. She looked round to her sister, and saw with a heavy heart that she had hardly done any of the work, and the answers she had were all wrong. She considered letting Cecily copy her answers, but Miss Phipps would get suspicious if they both came up with the same answers. She let her mind wander to the upcoming weekend instead, and what was for supper today.

 

Miss Phipps surveyed the room with a glance. Mostly the class had their heads down with pens in hand, but one member was just staring at her work, as if expecting it to do itself, and the girl next to her seemed to be relaxing; not doing her work.

 

"You two, get on with your work," said Miss Phipps.

 

"I've already finished mine," Joey replied back.

 

Miss Phipps walked to the spot right in front of Joey. "Show me,"

 

Joey passed her work over. Miss Phipps looked down the page, but could find no fault with it. Instead, she turned to Cecily and requested her work from her. Cecily reluctantly handed it over, and Miss Phipps could find lots of fault with it.

 

"This is abominable," she said. "Dreadful. I would have expected better from you, but evidently not. And staring at it never does anything, because you need to use your brain at school, it's not all fun and games. A four year old could have done better work than this,"

 

Cecily stared at her blankly, a solitary tear creeping down her face like a robber in the night.

 

"You are not here to play the fool. As far as I can see, you thought you and your sister could have some fun when you're supposed to be working. Therefore, I cannot trust that you will work when next to your sister. You will swap seats and count yourself lucky it's not a detention. Do I make myself clear?"

 

"Miss, it's not..." Joey started.

 

"Keep your mouth shut, Josephine, if I wanted your input, I'd have asked for it," Miss Phipps said. "Cecilia, you will move to the place Myra Davidson normally sits,"

 

"But..." Cecily started weakly.

 

"No ifs, no buts, move," said Miss Phipps, then added, "Now!"

 

Cecily stood up quickly, too quickly, for when she rose, the world turned black...

 

***

 

The lights were on, the sounds were clear, a woman was writing furiously at her desk, trying to get one last thing done.

 

"Up late again, Hilda?"

 

The woman, Hilda, looked up from her work.

 

"You know me well enough, Nell," Hilda said. "I was just hoping to finish one last thing for tonight,"

 

"How has today gone, then?" asked Nell.

 

"Not excellently, Nell," said Hilda. "Two Juniors decided to have a fight,"

 

"Which ones?" asked Nell.

 

"Lizzie Maynard and Myra Davidson," said Hilda. "Both Lizzie and Myra admitted to have started it,"

 

"I hope you told them off for the good of their souls," Nell said.

 

"Of course," said Hilda, and added, "Using The Voice,"

 

"I'd hate to have been in their shoes," said Nell, shivering at the thought. "So what did you do with them then?"

 

"I told them that for the foreseeable future they'd both be heavily supervised since I couldn't trust them to behave sensibly with only minimal supervision," said Hilda. "In different phrasing so that they'd understand,"

 

"Of course," said Nell. Then, with an innocent expression, "I don't know why you needed to add that last bit,"

 

"Stop trying to look angelic," Hilda replied. "You'd look much better with red horns. And more believable too,"

 

"Hilda! As if I'd tell nothing but the truth," Nell said. "But do go on,"

 

"I sent the two girls to Matey," Hilda said. "They had some scrapes that needed to be attended to,"

 

"They had been fighting," said Nell. "What did May have to say about it?"

 

"She blamed herself when we discussed the matter," said Hilda. "She said that all of the problems in the Junior community were her fault and her fault only, and that she should be sacked immediately,"

 

"What?!?" exclaimed Nell.

 

"It is the truth," said Hilda. "She said that she was evidently unsuitable for the role, and would be better off looking after her brother's house, even if that meant losing her salary,"

Chapter 6 by Minim

Life had gone on as normal. Myra was still 'a nasty cow,' according to Lizzie. Lizzie herself was glad to finally be free of heavy supervision. Miss Edwards was admired by her students. Cecily was alright and was still friends with Francie. Joey was still being a nuisance in class, but even she'd settled a little.

Another Monday morning came, and Sybil, Josette, Joey, Lizzie and Cecily walked by themselves. They were going to be met by Primula Venables, who'd decided to go home for a bit and had ended up staying overnight.

"Hello," Primula said, perched on a sign.

"Hi Prim," the Russells said.

"Where's Auntie Margot?" asked Joey.

"Upstairs, retching into the toilet," Primula replied. "She says hello, and that thankfully it's not catching, whatever's causing her to vomit. I don't know how she knows that, though,"

"Probably ate something dodgy," Sybil said. "Nothing to worry about, anyhow,"

Primula accepted this as the likely solution to the problem for now, however, when talking to Daisy later, Daisy had said "I think I can guess what Mum and Step-Dad have been getting up to," with a disgusted face. This was not reassuring.

Arriving at school the girls split up to their separate classes, and register was taken before the girls went down to morning assembly as normal. After Assembly lessons came as normal before Break started.

Cecily was perched under her favourite tree as usual, with Francie, and they talked happily. Near the end of break was when something unusual happened. All of the staff went inside and the Prefects hung around.

"I wonder what's going on," said Francie.

They went up to Daisy Venables, who was nearest, and asked about it.

"Break's going to be extended today," Daisy said. "The time will be taken off of Lunch, though. Francie, didn't you notice that you had a letter? It's still on the table,"

"Oh, that," Francie sounded unenthusiastic. "Might as well get it, I suppose,"

"Be quick," Daisy advised. "You're not supposed to be there at this time,"

"I shall," Francie said. "See you later, Cecily,"

"See you," Cecily replied.

Cecily ambled back to the tree, and took out her story.

Some news from the mainland had arrived for Marie-Claire. But Marie-Claire didn't really want to hear it. It was curious to Constance, who longed for news from the mainland all of the time.

"Back on our masterpiece, are we?"

Cecily looked up at Myra, and put her story back in her bag.

"That's right, hide it, ugly," Myra said.

Myra snatched the bag. She and her two friends chucked it to each other while Cecily watched. Suddenly, Myra felt herself being shaken violently.

"I thought I told you to leave my sister alone. Give her bag back," Lizzie said.

"Or what?" Myra smirked. "What could a ratbag Maynard do to me? Just a triad of pathetic imbeciles,"

"YOU TAKE THAT BACK!" Lizzie yelled, giving Myra a well-aimed punch.

"Give the bag back," Myra said, glowering at Lizzie. "You think you're so perfect, but you're just an ugly cow,"

Myra and her cronies left, one of them chucking the bag back at Cecily, who caught it.

"One of these days, I'm going to throttle her," Lizzie said.

Break ended and the sisters walked into class. The desks were arranged into three tables, which obviously had been done during break. Miss Edwards directed everyone to her seat. Cathy and Myra's two cronies were admittedly duds, and they were at one table. Cecily, Lizzie, Francie and Myra were in the centre desk, and Joey and two other students were at the third.

"Before we start with the lesson, I have to announce something," Miss Edwards said. "I don't believe that any of you did this, but it might be that one of you knows something. This morning, someone has completely wrecked Gwensi Howell's cubicle, destroying a photograph that was very valuable to her. If anyone knows anything about it, then could you please tell me, or indeed any of the staff. And now, onto other less serious business, please have your prep ready to hand in,"

 

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