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The list was up.

The main part had gone to Len Maynard, with Rachel Berry as understudy. To everyone’s surprise, Rachel accepted this without comment, gracefully congratulating Len. Of course, some girls were disappointed, but they had no cause for complaint. They had, after all, had their chance.

So now the hard work began. Every spare minute was suddenly given over to Play rehearsal. Scenes were repeated until everyone was reciting them in their sleep. Artie had appointed himself assistant to the two directors, and was constantly suggesting tweaks and improvements, some of which were implemented, others not. His suggestion that Lucia ought to appear in a flimsy nightdress, for example, was shot down by both teachers.

The Glee clubbers found themselves working every bit as hard as before Nationals, and they weren’t even going to appear onstage and share in the glory.

And they were still expected to attend class, participate fully, complete every scrap of prep, mend clothes (something none of them had ever done before, with interesting results), and occasionally go on long walks in the mountains, which wasn’t as bad as some had expected. When they were shown the Echoes for the first time, they stood there for some time singing Bohemian Rhapsody into the Auberge.

“We should have the Play up here,” said Tina, getting carried away, but nobody supported her; for one thing, it had been impossible for Artie to join the ramble.
Brittany was singing something to do with kings of England as they made their way back, and when Santana asked her what it was, she replied that it was a magic song taught to her by an elf.

“Elf?” several voices repeated curiously.

Brittany explained how, due to her extremely low performance in classes, she had to spend one period a day with “the elf” – a beautiful lady with a soft Irish brogue who had helped Brittany to understand something about history for the first time in her life. Brittany was therefore convinced, and nothing could dissuade her, that the mistress was a magical creature. The songs she made up in the sessions made it possible for Brittany to remember information – facts that she had already related to the girl in simple but compelling terms. Not only history, but other subjects as well were covered, and Brittany was well on her way to scraping her first ever pass.

“If I keep singing these magic songs, the elf says I’ll be brainy. Then I can graduate.”

“That’s Miss O’Ryan, you goop,” someone said, laughing. “There’s no such thing as elves!”

“You can say what you want.” Brittany walked on serenely. “I know what’s true.”

Santana whispered, “Britt, you thought the toilet on the second floor was telling you to drink vodka.”

“OK, so I admit I was wrong about that. But now I know that no school toilet would advocate teen drinking. It was obviously saying drink orange juice.”

Santana just rolled her eyes and said no more.

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