Chapter Two

Karina stood outside the headmaster's study for a long time before compelling herself to actually knock. She swallowed and squared her shoulders when the voice inside told her to come in.

"Hello Karina," Roger said in greeting, his smile wide, his eyes amused. He had known she was out there; they both knew it. She tried not to drown in the embarrassment of that fact, and instead murmured a greeting before taking a seat in one of the comfortable high-backed chairs on the other side of the desk he sat at.

"Are you nervous? Dear girl, don't be, I'm not angry."

She released a breath she had not realized she was holding, and slowly unclenched her jaws, looking up from the folder she held tightly in her lap, to meet his eyes.

"Why is she in my class, Roger? She can't even read!"

"She can read, just not Mythran. Yet. We can amend that, she's very bright, Miss September."

"Is she?"

"Do you doubt me?" There was a dangerous edge to that question, and she bit back the retort she had ready.

"She just seems…so spacey…"

"She doesn't realize just how bright she is, and she likely needs some discipline."

"Am I to provide that, then?"

"You are. Amongst other things. She is Iverson September's daughter, you know."


"Indeed," he confirmed with a smile. The most brilliant mind of the century was well known to all of them. Doctor September had vanished a decade ago, presumably in the midst of an experiment, but he had left behind a daughter. A daughter who was unaware of the magnitude of her mind, but one who Roger had watched master three languages in a week. She had not spoken Mythran when he had first contacted her mother, asking what that woman's plans were for her daughter's education. Eva had learned by watching a few videos. She had had no Mythran books to recognize the words, but her knowledge had fooled an excellent teacher into believing she was as good as a native.

"I…I would be honored to teach her," Karina said, finally, understanding the responsibility of having Eva as a student.

"I'm glad to hear it. Now, come over here and hold out your hand."

Karina felt her folder slip out of her hands unto the thick rug.

"But…Roger…you said you weren't angry."

"I'm not angry, Karina. I will be, however, if you dawdle in that seat any longer. And if I become angry, I will put you over my knee. I can promise that will be significantly more unpleasant."

She bit her lip deciding quickly that she might as well get up. Trips over Roger's knee were certainly very unpleasant. For her. She stood and walked around to his side, but almost faltered when he picked up a metal ruler from amongst the papers on his desk.

"Do you understand why I'm punishing you, Karina?"

She nodded feeling her throat tighten and holding out a shaking hand.

"Tell me."

"I…I was rude earlier in the classroom…I knew you wanted me to be quiet." She paused at the single brow that rose following these words. "I didn't even realize Miss September could not read Mythran."

"That is not your failure on your part, Karina," George countered in a soft voice. Hie eyes still looked so kind and she almost started openly crying. Maybe he would hold her afterward. "Come, you knew how it would be." She had.


The cafeteria was abuzz with students releasing pent up energy from a morning of classes, and it was loud to say the least. Loud until the five walked into the large hall. A hush fell over the room as they walked in, Timothy Nobel, still with an arm around the new girl, Eva September, flanked by Caspian Thread and Martin Asher on the left, and George Kitt on the right. As they walked in, Timothy bent his head and seemed to whisper something in Eva's ear. Several young hearts shattered in that moment.

"Look at them stare," Timothy had said, because it amused him to see his school in such an uproar over their antics. George looked bored, while Caspian and Martin held matching looks of supreme indifference to the effect they were having on, particularly, their female classmates. Eva was fascinated by the attention, having been almost completely ignored in the week she had been at Crispenwood School. They made their way to an empty table by the window, their designated spot, now with a new addition.

George snapped a finger in the air as soon as they sat, and a harried looking staff member arrived, and began taking orders. Timothy was busy ensuring – apparently – that Eva was comfortable. He ordered something for both of them, before she had a chance to answer and though she gave that same pouty-frown that had so bothered George, she made no additional comment.

"So, September, any relation to Iverson?" Timothy's direct question seemed to catch Eva off guard because she blinked several times before swallowing and answering quietly.

"My father."

Timothy exchanged a look with George that said, 'this is why your uncle brought her here.' George frowned but made no comment.

"I'm sure you hear this all the time…"

"I don't know where he is, or what he was working on…I was fo-five at the time." She snapped her response and looked down at her hands.

"Eva, may I call you Eva? I have no wish to pry. I only meant to say that you bear a striking resemblance to him."

"Oh! Yes, you may call me Eva…if I might call you Timothy?"

"Naturally," the boy replied with a slow smile and a wink. George made a sound that might have been mistaken for a growl. Timothy cast him a lazy grin. While George Woodward Kitt was something of a public figure in Crispenwood, with some girls even considering him inaccessible to anyone, Timothy Nobel had no such restrictions, and he enjoyed it.

"Well, I appreciate it, it has been very awkward here, with not knowing anyone and with everyone calling me September. I'm not used to it, you see, and I never wanted to come here, of course, which made it much worse."

"Never wanted to come here?" Martin chimed in, curiosity propelling him.

"Nothing against the school! I just…I was just at home, I was used to doing as I pleased always, and then to be told that I would have to come to a school and obey all these rules and wear this uniform…it was a lot."

George succumbed to an eyeroll at this speech, immediately deciding that whatever Eva September was, she had been spoiled beyond belief before arriving at Crispenwood. Caspian was amused, but was more curious about Timothy's interest in the girl. Martin had not decided what he thought of Miss September, and Timothy, whatever his feelings might have been, adopted an expression of concern, and urged Eva to continue her catharsis. He was familiar enough with the outside world to know who Iverson September was, and knew that Roger T. Kitt had obviously brought his daughter here for some purpose. It was impossible that she did not possess some of her father's brains if she was in the Sixth Form at fourteen. Or fifteen. He would eventually pin that down. What had the 'Roux planned for her? And what the devil was George's interest? While he did find her attractive himself, he would stand aside if his best friend had made a prior stake.

Their food arrived before he could ask any more questions and he watched Eva eat about half her meal, and play around with the other half before pushing it away. No wonder she was so small, he thought with a little amusement.

"Do you have classes this afternoon? The Sixth usually has Fridays off."

"I don't have any other classes, no, but I suppose I must meet with Miss Rhodes…" She replied, trailing off and directing a dark look at her half empty plate.

"See Rhodes, but do come by our study after you're done. We tend to spend our time unwinding on Fridays."

"Nobes!" George's angry warning was ignored, with a laugh from Timothy. The former was wondering why Timothy would invite a stranger to their sanctuary – the largest study room in Crispenwood – especially knowing that there was nothing academic about their pursuits in that private space.

"Really? I'd love to! I just…it's been so…burdensome…with all these rules and…I would like that!"

She looked too excited for Timothy to withdraw the offer, even despite George's look of irritation or the puzzled expressions of Martin and Caspian. The two were thinking about the plans they had for the evening, and wondering why Timothy would invite a girl to disrupt it all. Tim shook his head, subtly, promising to explain when Eva left.


Eva arrived at Miss Rhodes' office after lunch and knocked quietly at the door. A voice from inside that had been whispering, grew quiet. Another voice, higher pitched, invited her into the office. It was a large room that was more a staff room than a private office and held many large desks for each of the teachers. Miss Rhodes sat at the one furthest from the door and another woman, who had been standing over her, now nodded to Eva and walked away.

"Hello Miss September," her teacher said, with what seemed a forced smile. "Thank you for coming to see me."

"I assumed I had no choice in the matter," Eva replied, bluntly, as was her way. Karina sniffed but said nothing to that. To Eva's eyes, the older woman's eyes looked wet and slightly bloodshot.

"Well, I wanted to provide some…books, to help with your transition here. I understand you learned Mythran from watching some videos?"

"Yes, the usual way," Eva replied, with a shrug. Karina couldn't resist a frown.

"In…in ah a week?"

"I hadn't heard of it before, or it could have been faster," the girl snapped, defensively.

"That is…that is quite…especially fast, for anyone. Anyone."

"Oh?" Eva was determined not to ask the woman too many questions, deciding that she didn't trust her. Karina Rhodes cleared her throat, and opened her desk drawer, saying no more.

She silently pulled a few thick volumes from the drawer and handing them to Eva. The girl took them, and allowed a puzzled frown to cross her features.

"Is this homework?"

Her teacher nodded, managed what might have been an encouraging smile. Eva's pout was her only response, but she forced herself to nod and excuse herself from the teachers' room.

She knew now where the Kitt and company would be – they'd described the directions to their study – so she decided to head over there.


"Did you really need to invite her, Nobes? We're supposed to be going to the fountain today."

A knock sounded in the room.

"Come in," Timothy said, before the others could react, and Eva walked into the room.

She entered a cozy but somehow also spacious room, with thick maroon carpeting, well-stuffed leather armchairs and couches, and lighting from tall windows that seemed to fill the room with an almost unnatural sunlight. Her eyes went from Timothy, who lounged in one of the chairs with a small bottle of some amber liquid poised at his lips, to George, who held a jade pipe between his fingers, to Caspian and Martin who sat between a large glass device from which smoky bubbles were escaping.

"Did I interrupt?"

"Hardly, he expected your arrival at so…inopportune a moment. Am I right?" George's question was directed at the smirking Timothy, but his eyes were focused on Eva. Neither responded.

"What are those?" Caspian asked, to break the silence, nodding toward the stack of tomes in Eva's hands.

"I think it's so I learn Mythran words," she replied with a shrug, walking further into the room.

The boys exchanged glances, and Timothy, with a raised brow, asked the question they were all curious about.

"How do you speak Mythran so well, without knowing how to read it?"

"Oh, well…your uncle brought some videos to my home," she said, walking over to one of the couches, and gingerly sitting on the edge. "I watched them, to learn the language…as well as some others."

"My uncle?"

"How many languages do you speak?"

"How long did that take?"

Eva paused, to absorb the questions, and placed her books beside her, before answering.

"Yes, your uncle, I speak six now, counting Mythran, and it was about a week, but only because I'd not heard the language before."

"A genius," Martin whispered.

"Or a god's child?" George had sat forward as she spoke and now pierced her with a curious look.

Eva's eyes widened and she let out a gasp.

A/N: Let me know what you think! Please R&R!