I got detention.

My very first day, my very first class, and I got detention. Not for coming late, though. No, I got detention for my hat. Yes, you heard right. I got detention for my harmless, beautiful, beloved, wonderful hat.

Stupid Ms. Alvarez. I wouldn't expect anything less from a teacher of Biology. Stupid subject. I had dropped it back in the ninth grade at my old school, but they were forcing me to take it here, because of some credits nonsense or something. It's probably a conspiracy against me.

I stepped into the classroom a good fifteen minutes late, as I had gotten a bit lost on the way and had to ask for directions thrice. I'm not really very good with directions. When I entered, she started to greet me quite politely, probably because I was the new kid, and she wanted to cut me some slack. For that split second, I was quite prepared to put aside my biology prejudices and almost decided she was nice. Then that split second ended as she took in my hat.

This is where the slack stopped being cut, and she trailed off in the middle of her 'hello', so it sounded like "hell.."

I almost told her not to say bad words in front of a classroom full of impressionable children, but I managed to stop myself just in time.

However, somebody else said it for me instead.

"You really shouldn't swear in front of the class, Ms. Alvarez. What would the principal say?"

I whirled around to face the classroom, to see Cody smirking up at the teacher, titling lazily back in his chair. I wanted to tell him that it was dangerous and he would fall, but I was a little bit afraid of the teacher at the moment, so I kept my mouth shut.

"Detention, today after school, Mr. Parker," she said, her eyes narrowed towards him. When I peered at her more closely, I realized that her right eye was twitching.

Cody just nodded at her and started doodling on the edge of his notebook.

I jumped a little when she suddenly turned to me. "And you, too."

"What did I do?" I hoped I hadn't said what I had been thinking out loud. That would have been disastrous.

"Your hat is just not appropriate school attire. It is against the dress code." Phew, that was close. She wouldn't have been happy hearing me analyze her in my head. Wait, what?

"No it's not. I went through the dress code several times before I enrolled here. There's no rule against wearing hats in class. It's one of the main reasons I decided to come here."

"Be that as it may, young lady, but I'm afraid that hat is too… extravagant for the classroom. There is a rule that specifically states that students may not wear anything overly extravagant or expensive to class."

I thought it was a bit strange that she called me young lady, seeing as she was hardly ten years older than me. Unless she had Botox done or something. I got the feeling she wanted to look older, like she was in authority, if her dark hair pulled back in a severe bun, and grey suit were anything to go by.

"But what's so extravagant about a couple of plastic spoons?"

"Do you really want to argue about this and get another detention?

I promptly pressed my lips together to prevent any unwanted words from coming out.

"I thought so," She said smugly. "Now, go take your seat."

I don't like smug teachers.

There were three empty seats in the room. Two were right at the front, under Ms. Alvarez's nose, and one was right at the back, right next to Cody's seat. Normally, I loved sitting in front, but I really did not want to make it easier for her to pick on me, so I scrambled to the back and plopped down on the seat.

I caught Cody's eye as I was looking around, and he winked at me. I wasn't quite sure what etiquette called for in this situation, so I gave him my best over-the-top, exaggerated wink back.

He looked amused, and raised an eyebrow at me. I raised both my eyebrows at him. Hah! Beat that!

He opened his mouth to say something, but just then, Ms. Alvarez called for the class's attention and started droning on about cells and chromosomes or something. I wasn't really paying attention.

I had only two more classes before lunch, which thankfully went by uneventfully as I had -unwillingly- dropped my hat in my locker after biology. I couldn't afford two detentions on my first day.

I felt exposed and unhappy without the hat as I had to stand in front of the class to introduce myself, but managed to stammer my way through it. I don't think I was very well understood, but oh well. I was extremely glad my English teacher forgot that there was a new student today.

A couple of people smiled at me, but I was too grumpy to notice.

As soon as the lunch bell rang, I ran over to my locker to retrieve the hat, and sighed a happy sigh as I settled it over my nest of hair.

I looked at the clock hanging on the wall. I had exactly forty five minutes to run over to the next building where the dorms were, find another, understated hat, come running back, and gorge down my lunch. Yes, this was a boarding school, but I had made sure it was one with no dress code. I really couldn't be in a place where hats weren't allowed. My parents were happy with my choice, too, seeing as it was one of the top boarding schools in the United States.

Stuffing my Ben Ten backpack into my locker, I ran like the headless chicken towards the dormitories, passing a bemused Cody at the cafeteria. My room was on the fourth floor, which meant I had to run up four flights of stairs, what with me being deathly afraid of elevators.

As I reached the door labeled 4X (the rooms were numbered alphabetically, with twenty six rooms to a floor) I fumbled with my key, trying to put it in the lock, and missing several times in my hurry, the door opened. Just as I was about to jump for joy at having finally discovered my magical powers, I saw a tall, gorgeous, Hispanic girl, with long, shiny black hair that reached down to her waist, standing on the other side of the door.

"Who are you?" we asked, at exactly the same time. She raised her eyebrows while I furrowed mine.

"This is my room." Again in chorus. This was creepy. Wait, her room? That means…

"You're my roommate!" I exclaimed happily, and held out my hand for her to shake. "I'm Sofia."

Her eyebrows went back to their regular position and she smiled at me as she shook my hand. "Carmen. I like your hat," she said, laughing a little.

"Thanks," I beamed and followed her as she went inside, and flopped down on my Ben Ten sheets covered bed. (I admit, I had a teensy bit of a crush on him.)

"I thought I was gonna have the room to myself this year, and then they told me I was going to get a new roommate. I had to clear out my stuff as fast as possible from your cupboards, hence the mess on my side of the room," she said, waving her hand around the little bit of clutter around her bed.

"Sorry, and it's really not so messy. You should have seen my room back home. My mum threatened to give all my stuff away every week if I didn't clean. It just always got cluttered up again. Like magic."

She laughed. "Its okay, I like sharing a room and you seem fun, as long as you keep your mess to your side." She warned.

I nodded seriously in acknowledgement to the latter part of her statement.

She sat down on her bed, adorned with flower patterned sheets. "So when did you get here?"

"Last night. I only just had time to put a couple of important things away, hence the boxes. Hey, where were you?"

"I went home to visit family for the weekend, which is why I didn't have much time to clear out your cupboard before I left."

"You're lucky you live near enough to go visiting every weekend. I wish I could," I said wistfully.

"Where are you from?" she asked, pulling her legs up under her.

"Well, originally from Pakistan till I was ten, then Minnesota till I was thirteen, then Pakistan again, and now here."

"Wow, that's a lot of moving around."

"Not really, my dad had some kind of job there, so he moved the whole family to the states. And then we moved back. I went to the same school, as we have one school for all grades, so I had the same friends, even if they did grow kind of distant over the years."

"Why'd you come back to America then?"

"That's a super long story, but basically, my dad had some work in the states again which would take at least a couple of years. My mum and sister didn't want to come because my mum had her own work there and my sister didn't wanna leave her friends. I did want to go, however. But in the end, my dad didn't get his visa and I did, and they decided to send me to a boarding school, cuz they had noticed my grades were much better in the American school system than back home. So here I am." I finished with a dramatic exhale, and spread out my arms.

She blinked at me, then giggled. "That's some fast talking."

"It's a gift." I shrugged.

"What are you doing here anyway? Isn't it lunch break right now?"

I looked up at the clock. Seven minutes till my next class. I jumped up as if I had been sitting on hot coals, grabbed Carmen's hand and pulled her over to my side of the room.

"I don't have time! Quick, you have to help me choose something understated and not extravagant!"


"I got a detention because of my hat, so now I need you to help me pick something suitable to wear to class." I said in one breath, getting jumbled up over words.

"Why don't you just not wear a hat?"

I stopped mid-hyperventilation and stared at her like she was mad. "I can't not wear a hat." I said slowly.

"Okay, okay." She said, putting her hands up in the air in surrender. "So, what are the choices?"

I grinned at her, and flung open my cupboard, which I had spent the entire night setting up. I had arranged all of my hats according to colour, size, and awesomeness.

I looked at her to see her gaping at my collection in shock, mouth opening and closing like a fish.

"They're gorgeous, aren't they?" I said as I looked at them fondly.

"Yeah," Carmen said, recovering, "But, Sofia, where are your clothes?"

I blinked, why would she worry about clothes when my beautiful hats were right in front of her? I pulled out the box full of clothing that I had unceremoniously shoved in the corner.

"Where are you gonna put them?"

"I was just gonna leave 'em there. It's easier to pull out clothes in the morning that way."

"What if they don't match?"

I shrugged. "All my clothes just consist of jeans and t-shirts. They always match."

She sighed. I looked up at the clock.

"Carmen! I only have two minutes! Quick, help me pick out a hat!"

She moved forward to examine them as I picked out a bright yellow, floppy hat. It wasn't too loud, I thought. Just one big orange bow in the center. Carmen, however, took one look at it and put it back in its place. I pouted.

"I think we can effectively rule out everything from the large side," she said.

"But that's where the majority of the awesome section is!" I whined. She gave me a look, and I shut up.

"Here, what about this?" she pulled out a blue fez with a green tassel.

I smiled and nodded my assent, putting it on my head, and started to dash out the door. I stopped when I noticed she wasn't following me.

"Aren't you coming?"

"Nope," she said, lying back down on her bed with some magazine. "I just got here, so I'm excused from classes for the whole day."

"Lucky Mallard." I said, grumbling, as I glanced up at the clock.

One minute. I ran as fast as my size six feet would take me, not bothering to say goodbye. I was going to be late again.

A/N: So whatdya think? Drop a review :)

And thank you to all my wonderful reviewers of the last chapter! I love you all. 3