I felt like writing this, so I did. Year four was pretty awful for everyone.
End of Year Four of the Addergoole School
The students had all walked across the stage, had all been given their names and released from one set of obligations and oaths into another. Various bonds and promises had broken. The students milled around now in the Village, waiting for parents to pick them up, waiting for Luke’s Jeep to take them to the airport.
Regine watched them from a distance, accompanied by Mike and Shira Pelletier. They bounced about, nervous energy making them louder than they normally would be. Students who had spent four years ignoring each other talked now, bonded by the feeling of “us against the world.”
There was a chance they’d need it. Mike cleared his throat. “Well, there goes the First Cohort.”
“Indeed.” Regine’s lip twitched. It wasn’t a smile, not as normal people smiled. Mike wasn’t even sure it counted as an expression for Regine.
“How do you think they’ll do?” He snuck a look at Shira, but she was ignoring him. “Do you think they’ll be okay, out in the world?”
“We gave them everything we could, every educational tool we had at our disposal.” Regine’s eyes tracked them coldly. Shadrach, who Mike had failed so badly. Dita, who had chosen her road and nailed herself to it with her stiletto heels. Isra. Lavanya. Linden had Named four Students as Adults today, and he wasn’t entirely certain he’d done well for any of them.
“We educated them.” Shira spoke slowly, thoughtfully. Her Students were all Third Cohort or younger. She had no horse in this race, as it were. “We taught them about being fae. We taught them about fighting, and we taught them history and science, literature and so on. But did we equip them for the end?”
Mike felt as if someone had dropped a truckload of rocks on his chest. The end. There were few scarier words than those, from a seer’s lips.
Regine cleared her throat. “We’ve followed the plan. If you believe the plan needs changing, Shira, then perhaps we should discuss it with the entire staff.”
If she expected the Skin-Taker to back down, she was barking up the wrong tree. Shira raised her perfect eyebrows and smirked.
“Why don’t we do that, then. Michel?” She made Mike’s name sound lovely in French. “What do you think?”
Mike watched Shadrach and Meshach hop into Luke’s Jeep. He cleared his throat and nodded.
“Yeah. Yeah, I think we ought to look at the plan again.”
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