Dobry Hall – Royal
Morning was always a good time.
All right, usually.
The boom of the fist on the dorm room door jolted the occupants of the two-person room awake, if their alarm clocks seemingly had not. The voice from behind the door was imperious but not unkind. “Up! Let’s go! Get up, get up! You’re going to be late!”
“I swear she’s worse than Hope sometimes…” grumbled the athletic girl with masses of curly blond ringlets lying facedown on the bed. “I can’t do this, Allison. You get up.”
“You cannot not get up, it’s assembly, and we can’t be late,” drowsy brunette with the green eyes said. She was wearing nothing but a large men’s shirt and her underwear. She hauled herself off the bed and flopped to the carpeted floor.
“Nice,” snorted the blonde.
“Allie! Liz! Let’s go!” barked the voice from the door, a little less kindly this time.
“This isn’t military school!” Elizabeth Dunning yelled back. “We keep reminding you, you never listen!”
Silence at the other side of the door. Allison Seymour got scared—that was never a good sign when the speaker went quiet—and got up. “We’re up! Please don’t hurt us!” She fumbled for her glasses.
“Be down in five.” Sound of footsteps going down stairs. The two in the room breathed a little easier.
“Seriously,” Liz said, sighing as she flopped back on her bed, staring at the ceiling. The buxom blonde was clearly of rather athletic build. “What are her panties in a knot for…?”
“Oh you know…” Allison said, shedding her clothes and quickly rooting through her closet for her uniform. “…she’s just wound tight. Assembly, big responsibility, something about the Spring Mixer…”
“Ah yes.” Liz rolled over and smirked, picking at her pink nail polish. “Of course Royal needs to score it again for the second year in a row.”
“And Sydney does have Terpsichore practice early on Mondays.”
“Hell, why do we have to be involved…?” Lix checked the clock with yawn. “Not even I have to be in cheerleading for a while.”
“When Sydney’s up, Royal is up.” Allison disappeared into the bathroom naked. Liz rolled her eyes. Of course the Dorm Leader’s words are Law.
Downstairs, the tall and very good-looking brunette who had been banging the doors of Royal arrived to see two of the girls having breakfast. She was already dressed in the blue uniform—fitting her body to devastating effect—and she glowered at the very thin black-haired girl at one end of the table wearing dark tights. “You are not just eating those carrots for breakfast, N.”
Nadia Cohen only glared at her, her tights contrasting sharply on her pale skin. “I’m watching my weight.”
“I’m watching you starve yourself,” Sydney Willis replied, raising an eyebrow. She looked at the girl with the messy bun of hair next to the dancer. “Alex?”
“No—no, don’t—!” Nadia groaned as Alexandra Linnet shoved a pile of eggs onto Nadia’s empty plate. “Syd—”
“No. I understand that you have to watch yourself as a dancer, but I don’t think emaciating yourself with help either.” Sydney sat down to her own toast. Alex went back to her own breakfast, quickly scribbling down the answers to the Physics homework for third period.
Nadia grumbled and started eating. “I have to be perfect.”
“You’re not the Swan Queen,” the other girls at the table chorused without looking up, and Nadia made a face at them. Presently, Allison and Liz descended from the staircase—Liz only half dressed, Allie more so. The bespectacled girl sat next to Alex who looked up at her and smiled. “Morning!”
“Good morning,” Liz said with a big grin, stealing some toast from Sydney, who gasped. As she crunched into it, she smirked at Nadia. “So. I heard that Kathy’s coming back.”
Nadia, who was drinking water, managed to spray it all over the table. The other girls winced. “Oooh…” Allison looked disgusted and threw her friend a napkin.
“She’s what?” Nadia demanded, lips still dripping.
“I thought you would’ve heard,” Liz shrugged. “But it’s true. Katherine’s out of the hospital. She’s coming back to Dobry, they said.”
“I just lost my appetite,” Nadia shoved away her plate, but Alex pushed it back. “Eat,” she commanded, and then turned back to physics.
“Well I’m glad to hear it,” Sydney said, nodding in approval. “Has her boyfriend said anything? Is she all right?”
“Well David said that she’s still…well, she’s not in the clear.” Liz glowered at Nadia’s raised eyebrow. She turned back to Sydney. “But she does want to go back to Dobry. I guess she just really likes being in school.”
“That’s good,” Sydney nodded, looking around the table. “We’ll hold a little welcome back party for our estranged sister.”
“Sounds good,” said Allison, grinning as she leaned over . “Should we tell her friends from Prima?”
“Not a bad idea.”
“Oh come on, now!” Nadia glowered. “If it’s just us, okay—but Prima too? What are we, welcoming a Prom Queen here?”
“Katherine is not coming back here to rain all over your parade, N,” Sydney said, exasperated. “Get over it. She’s not even competing with you!”
“Well I’m sorry if I’ve got the lead dancer’s spot for the first time in months, thanks.”
“She’s got a heart condition, N, what’s wrong with you?” Allison asked, staring.
“Nothing!” Nadia got up and stalked off, tights hissing as she walked. “Apparently, absolutely nothing. And yet it’s still never enough.” And she swept upstairs.
Alex looked up now and frowned. “She really has to sort out her priorities.”
“Some people are obsessed,” Sydney replied calmly. “She’ll come around. She always does.” She looked at Liz. “So when? So we can plan for it and I can ask Hope to bring the others over.”
“Ugh, don’t let Hope plan it, it’ll end up being this charming white-kid-gloves soiree.” Liz plopped into Nadia’s abandoned chair. “Let’s give Kathy a real party. A real hey-you-kicked-death-in-the-balls-for-now—let’s-party! kind of party.”
“Got to agree…” Alex murmured without looking up.
“Alex!” Allison stared at her.
“S’true.” She continued to eat and do homework at the same time. Allison just rolled her eyes and stroked her hair. “Could’ve put it a little better.”
“Maybe call in some Dalton boys to help?” Liz said hopefully.
“No,” Sydney answered, frowning.
“Oh come on, Syd!” Liz protested. “Bring a little life in, will you? I’m sure some Hanover boys would love to come over.”
Sydney laughed hollowly. “So not calling in my brother to bring in a fleet of Hanover boys in here even if we could.”
“So call some Windsors.”
“Double no. Let’s keep the party strictly Dobry.”