Lena pondered the rest of that day the following morning before she needed to get up.
The main talk in the staff room had been April Bennett's lack of appearance. Attempts to contact her parents had been fruitless, and she did not put in an appearance all through the rest of the day. Concerns were rising fairly quickly, and they were not diminished at all by the very brief message by Mrs Bennett that they were 'delayed.'
Dining with the girls had been a new experience. Firstly, the girls had just been allowed to sit which ever way they liked, as long as they were at their form's table. There were about fifteen girls per form, as the girls dined in their own houses, and the two lowest forms had supervision from the mistresses. The rest of the hall had only the supervision of the mistresses at the staff table, and they were keeping only a small amount of their focus on the girls. The Prefects themselves helped to serve the rest of the students. There were two dishes available, one with meat and one without, and while everyone was allowed a choice of water, juice, or milk, only the older girls and the staff were permitted tea. Lena took the tea, but in her heart she longed for the milky coffee of her own school days.
When everyone was served the most senior mistress in the room - Signora Armani, who was head of the languages department - signalled to the girls for quiet. Most of the girls took this as a cue to recite their prayers, and Lena followed the lead of the mistress next to her. However, she could clearly see that some of the girls were staring at their food, twiddling their thumbs, or twirling their hair in their fingers. The idea that some people just didn't say prayers at mealtime had not escaped her in these past few years and she was now completely fine with it, but she would have expected that in a school mealtime prayers would be part of the bill for everyone, whether it was one person speaking for the room or everyone putting their hands together. But there was no point making a fuss of it, clearly it was a part of this school's culture.
Back to the present, and Lena now was getting along with the morning routine she was so accustomed to. It never took her very long to get up, and it gave her time in the morning to breathe a little. She giggled at the thought of what May had had to say about getting up in the morning - it was clear that she was not a fan by any means.
After a good Breakfast and a quick assembly, the girls were all sent back to their houses to complete their unpacking. Lena supervised the two third form dormitories of Noether house, keeping an eye out for any trouble, and so on. She was just helping with one of the slower girls when one of the Prefects approached her.
"Miss Maynard, Miss Ashley says she'd like to see you in her study," the Prefect said. "Shall I take over while you go over?" she added.
It took Lena a few short seconds to realise who 'Miss Maynard' was. "Thank you...?"
"Geraldine Foster," Geraldine said.
"Thank you, Geraldine," Lena said. "It would be very helpful of you,"
She smiled before starting a brisk walk to the Head's Office. She found herself with the same sense of anticipation and nervousness of going to said office as she did when she was a pupil. Reminding herself that she was a grown woman and teacher didn't really help, and it was a long time after she had left the dormitory that she found herself knocking on said door.
"Come in," Miss Ashley's clear voice called.
Lena entered the room to find Miss Ashley sitting on one side of the desk, and a schoolgirl on the other. "Ahh, Miss Maynard," Miss Ashley said. "April, this is Miss Maynard, who will be your form tutor for the year. Miss Maynard, this is April Bennett, who will be in you form. April, dear, would you mind stepping outside while Miss Maynard and I talk business? Miss Maynard will take you for unpacking once we're done,"
April left the room, and Lena moved closer to the desk.
"Helena, I would like you, please, to keep a good eye on April," Miss Ashley said. "I have a feeling she might be a troublesome pupil, although in which way she is troublesome, is yet to be seen. It might be nothing, but I'd prefer to take a precaution, nonetheless,"
"Very well, Miss Ashley, I shall keep an eye on April," Lena replied.
"Please, call me Sarah," Miss Ashley smiled.
"And I'm Lena," Lena responded automatically.
"Very well, Lena, now, don't you have a pupil waiting?"
Miss Ashley smiled as Lena left the room, before turning her mind to the masses of paperwork she had to deal with.
Author's Chapter Notes:
And more! :)