Visit from School

First of two I want to write for [personal profile] inventrix‘s prompt “Pellinore.”

This Pellinore has appeared in June Again,, Boom, and referenced in Legacy.

As first referenced in Loose Ends and Tying Off (these two stories reference slavery and mistreatment), the Addergoole staff make visits to graduated students to check up on them.

Cynara wasn’t surprised when Professors Drake and Pelletier showed up at her doorstep. By now the staff had to have noticed what she was doing, and, while she had gotten good marks for being one of the more level-headed students in her year, she was, after all, part of Boom. If anyone merited looking-in-on, it was her and her crew.

Pellinore, on the other hand, seemed both startled and upset when he opened the door. “Profe…” He stopped, as if unsure if saying that was giving away some secret. “What?”

“May we come in?” Trust Professor Drake to look over Pellinore’s shoulder like he wasn’t even there and ask Cya. She was glad the kids were with Leo today. She wasn’t sure this wouldn’t get unpleasant.

“Professor Drake, Professor Pelletier. Come on in. Pellinore, take their coats, would you? Can I get you something to drink, Professors?” Pretend everything is normal. Pretend there’s nothing to see here.

The Professors were less interested in pretend than they had been when Cya had been in school. “No drink, thank you. Pellinore, how are you doing?”

He glanced at Cya, then back at the Professor. Cya managed not to roll her eyes. A basic precaution could cover most of what the Professors were looking for. But she had nothing to hide. “Be honest with the Professors, but don’t feel the need to tell them anything you don’t want to.” She headed into the kitchen to get water anyway, giving him the pretense of privacy.

She could still hear them. She listened over the sound of the faucet as Pellinore coughed. “I’m all right. I don’t… I didn’t like getting caught. She trapped me,” he added, more quietly. “Like I was back in school.”

Professor Drake chuckled dryly. “That is what school is supposed to teach you to avoid.”

“Feu Drake.” Professor Pelletier was far less amused. “Does she treat you well, Pellinore?”

“Well, I’m Kept.” She could picture his shrug. “But she’s not a bad sort. Her kids are kinda wild.” He hesitated, and then continued more slowly, “but, ya know, if I was gonna be Kept again… I can live with this.”

“Is that because you believe you have no choice in the matter?”

Cya chose her Mentor’s question as a cue to re-enter, carrying four glasses of water on a tray. It was an interesting question, but she didn’t want them to get comfortable quizzing him.

Pellinore looked at her over his water glass, then glanced back at their former professors. She smiled, but didn’t try to send him any messages.

He coughed. “Way I see it, sir, ma’am, there’s been nothing we’ve done since we were conceived we had much choice in. Cya might be another trap, but she’s a nice one, at least.” He looked over Cya’s shoulder at the adults. “If you see JohnWayne or Pepper-Potts in your ‘visits,’ tell them their daddy says hello.”

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