The first meeting of Glee club had at least three times the number of people Zdenka thought they’d invited, but from the looks of things, more than half of them were just there to see what this was all about.
There were a whole five people from their year, and then another five from the year before them – “tenth cohort” – including the very distracting Aleron and, miracle of miracles, Yona.
Timora had made it; Shang was in the front row, nearly bouncing. She didn’t recognize all of the 8th Cohort who were there, but she knew Porter, standing in the back with Belfreja, connected at the hip as always, and Arundel, hovering near Timora.
“So.” That was an older student that she didn’t know. “What is this thing about, anyway? Are we going to sing?” He was handsome, his blonde hair looking out-of-place on him, like a mane rather than hair, shaggy and sandy and making some small animal part of Zen want to run away quickly.
Rose had none of that fear. Rose, it seemed, had no fear at all. She stood up on a box to better get to the center of attention. “We’re going to sing. We’re going to start with auditions. How about, hrrm…” She named a popular song on the radio, one that had been out for a couple of years. “And we’re just going to start at one side of the room, sing two, three lines, and move on. Shang found the karaoke track for us, so we’ll have the music. Speaking of, if anyone plays an instrument or, ah, knows how to do things like that with magic, that would be really useful.”
“That would be Shang,” someone else commented, and a giggle went through the upperclassmen. Rose looked at Zen. Zen shrugged.
“All right. Shang, hit it.”
Shang hit it. Rose started with three lines herself , then pointed at the first person on their left.
There was a range involved, that was for sure. A couple of people clearly weren’t even trying. A few looked like they were trying for something that had nothing at all to do with music, wiggling and shimmying and waggling eyebrows.
Aleron could really sing. So could his tiny friend – “friend?” – Miryam, although not with nearly as much, uh, oomph. Shang’s voice was a miracle. Yona was pretty impressive. Bel’s voice was untrained but somehow still made everyone stop and pay attention.
And forward, and forward. Some of them weren’t impressive, but they could be trained. Some were just fooling around. Then Rose pointed at Zen.
Zen suddenly had something to prove. She stepped forward and she belted out her line, full church style, as if she was singing for Jesus himself.
She saw Shang’s eyebrows shoot up. She saw Rose almost frown. Oops.
And then Rose went at her lines with a flourish at the end to make Mariah Carey jealous – and she bowed.
People clapped. Zen didn’t think they were clapping so much for Rose as they were for everyone, but Rose took it like it was her due, bowing again.
“All right,” she managed, when the applause had subsided. “If you’re not here to sing, now’s the time to leave. If you want to be part of this, now’s the time to start talking about performances. Got it?”