“All right.” Rose looked at their list of potential clubs. “So Shang first. And then we’re going to have to start fishing around for people who can sing. Maybe start singing in the hallways? That might get some attention.”
“Mmm.” Zdenka wasn’t sure it would get the right attention. “I’ll ask Shang. Maybe he knows someone else.”
Asking Shang proved to be a bit of a challenge; he didn’t want to be caught alone. Once, he went so far as to walk right past Zdenka when she had just managed to get him in his pod common room with nobody else around.
After two days, she finally walked up to him in the lunch room.
“Not interested.” He put up his hands. “I don’t care about the rules of this school, I do not want a freshman girlfriend.”
“Good. I don’t want a junior boyfriend. But you can sing.”
“… I’m not singing you a love ballad. Ask Kyle. He can sing, too.”
“No, no, we’re starting a club-”
“I’m in. Stop right there, does it involve music?”
“Glee club. Singing.”
“I’m in. Who else?” He leaned forward. “There’s Kyle. Yona, he’s a sophomore. Dama- no. Not her. Maybe Aleron or Miryam. You really got a Glee Club past the Dictatress?
“Rose did. Rose and Professor Kairos. I’m just along for the ride.”
The look he gave her made Zdenka think that maybe he hadn’t been completely truthful about not wanting a freshman girlfriend. “Okay. So, when are we meeting?”
Zdenka smiled. We. He really was in. “Wednesday nights, in the music classroom. Between magic classes and dinner.”
“Oh, good. I’ll be there. And I’ll see if I can get Kyle for you. Good luck with the rest. How many more do you need?”
“After you, me, and Rose-”
“Wait, Rose? The really, really pushy one? The one who acts like she owns the place?”
Zdenka’s heart sank. “…Yeah. She’s my friend…”
“Well, it’s still a music club. All right. You, Rose, me-”
“We need two others just to have the club, and three more after that to compete.”
“I’ll see what I can do.” And he was gone, like he hadn’t been there.
Zdenka was still not used to being in a magical school. She went off in search of Yona, hoping he might be easier to talk to than Shang.
Yona’s look was, if anything, the opposite of Shang’s.
Zdenka was not used to people looking at her with interest; she was the plain friend next to friends like Rose and, before Rose, back at her old school, Carrie and Tammy. People didn’t look at her like she was about to ask them for a date.
Of course, people back home weren’t covered in soft white feathers, either.
At least he didn’t sound like he was sizing up how she’d look naked next to him in bed. “You’re a first year, right? What can I help you with? Need a guide for the library?”
“What? no, the Librarian is really helpful. No, we’re starting a Glee club.” Some perverse urge made her add, “and I’m starting a combat singing club, too. Want to join?”
“Join which? I mean, what’s a combat singing club? What’s a Glee club, for that matter? And we have clubs here?” He raised his eyebrows at her. “This is more fun than tours of the library. Well, in theory.”
“I hope so! We have clubs because we decided we wanted some.” We, Rose, same difference. “And a Glee Club is a singing club that does competitions.”
“That leaves combat singing.”
She picked a pitch she knew she could sing and sang “Idu Kwxe beta diádromos thermótita” to the tune of Angels We Have Heard on High.
Yona looked unimpressed. “Singing your Workings?”
“Singing Workings together. I think you can work a harmony sort of thing to lace together different people’s specialties. I’m still working out the details, but it could be really good support for a combat group.”
“Count me out of that, but I’ll come check out Glee Club. I need something to do with my time besides pace the halls, after all.”