(REWORKED) CHAPTER ONE
The sharp rap of knuckles on the wooden door woke the small boy, named Harvey James Hunter.
Groaning, he rolled onto his stomach, burying his face in the pillow. There was a small squeak as the door opened, accompanied by a set of footsteps, which stopped at the foot of his bed. Twisting himself round, he was confronted with his mother's radiant smile, which Harvey returned with one of his own.
"Morning, Mum." He yawned.
"Morning, Harvey." She replied.
Sitting up, he trailed his fingers through his fair hair, before glancing at the clock. He sagged upon eyeing the time. Seven am on a Monday morning. His mother noticed his body language and sighed.
"Oh sweetie, I know you want to stay in bed but you've got school." Ignoring his groan, she continued.
"I'm dropping all three of you off today so be ready by ten past eight."
She turned and started to leave before pausing in the doorway.
"By the way, you did do your maths homework, didn't you?"
His mother smiled. "See, there was no point worrying about it was there?" With that, she left his bedroom and went downstairs.
Harvey sighed. He wished he could believe his mother. It was true that he had been thrilled when Dinah had agreed to help him with his homework. He had spent about an hour yesterday pacing around his room, trying to sum up the courage to ask her for help.
His parents hadn't been able to help him with it when he had brought it home that Friday. SPLAT had also not been able to offer help. Even Mandy, who was brilliant at maths, had raised her eyebrows in utter confusion at the sums.
Ian's jaw had dropped and Ingrid had exclaimed about the sums being impossible, and that only a genius could solve them. Her suggestion of Dinah was quickly shot down by an angry Lloyd.
Saturday had melted into Sunday and with each passing hour, Harvey's worry had increased. Until finally at eight pm, he had taken the plunge and asked her. Within ten minutes, Dinah had sought him out, producing the now completed sheet with a flourish.
He had flung himself at her, wrapping his arms around her slim frame in a quick hug. She had patted him awkwardly on the head with one hand. Harvey had pulled himself away, blushing furiously and thanking her with every breath he could manage.
No matter what Lloyd said, Dinah really wasn't that bad.
After showering and changing into his much hated uniform, Harvey descended the stairs and into the hallway, where he was greeted by his father.
"Morning –"He let out a yawn. "Dad."
Mr Hunter chuckled before ruffling his youngest son's hair. He glanced at his watch then picked up his briefcase.
"Enjoy school, son."
"I'll try too." Harvey replied with a weak smile. His father shaking his head in amusement as he left the house.
Wandering into the kitchen, the youngest Hunter wasn't surprised to see that the occupants were in total silence. Dinah was nibbling a piece of toast and had locked gazes with the table, whilst Lloyd was slurping his drink and sending glares towards the newest addition of their home. But, as Harvey padded over to the table, Lloyd's face lit up with a grin.
"Alright H? Ready for school?"
"I'm fine and no."
"Well that makes two of us." Lloyd chuckled.
Harvey glanced shyly at Dinah.
The girl raised her head, a hint of surprise spreading across her face.
"Morning, Harvey." She replied, her expression relaxing into a smile.
Lloyd narrowed her eyes at her. Even though she was friendly, she was still one of Them. He had spent almost half a decade keeping his younger brother out of trouble and Lloyd wanted to keep it the same this year.
Harvey sat himself down and began pouring the contents of the cereal box into a bowl. After adding milk and sipping some orange juice, he picked up his book, the Aeromodeller, and began to read.
At ten past eight, the four of them all piled into the car. Harvey sat in the back, his homework sheet securely tucked into his schoolbag. He didn't want to think of what punishment the Headmaster would have dished out if he had turned up to school with an unanswered sheet of paper.
A familiar sense of dread filled the young boy as Mrs Hunter pulled up outside of the school. The three children clambered out of the car, directing a quick wave towards Mrs Hunter before joining the throng of students marching into the school playground.
Spotting the rest of SPLAT, Lloyd and Harvey hurried over, huddling together with their friends. The latter had noticed that Dinah had detached herself from the group and now stood near the brick wall. He felt sorry for her and would have gone over to speak to her, but he knew that the others, especially Lloyd, would give him hell for it.
"Did you catch the Eddy Hair Show last night?" asked Ian.
All members of SPLAT nodded vigorously.
"Yeah, it was brilliant. Did you see the Great School Quiz?" Questioned Mandy.
"Of course." Ingrid snorted. "I got one of the questions right too!"
Harvey smiled at her. "That's great Ing."
She grinned back at him. "Thanks Harv."
Whilst the four of them had been discussing animatedly about their favourite show, Lloyd had remained silent. He was worried for Harvey. His little brother had been close to tears when he had unveiled the homework to SPLAT. Eventually, they had managed to calm him down (by telling him that his whole class had been given the homework as well) and changed their topic of discussion, in order to make Harvey, his usual happy self again.
Last night before they had gone to bed, Harvey had slipped into his room and proclaimed with a wide grin that the homework had been completed. Before Lloyd could speak, Harvey had exited the room, leaving the former scratching his head.
A sudden shout broke Lloyd out of his thoughts;
"School form lines!"
"Yes Rose." The rest of their fellow pupils immediately chanted.
Whipping his head round in time to spy the Prefects assembling in a row, Lloyd hissed at the others to 'look lively', and 'get moving!' As SPLAT moved, Rose and Jeff were scanning the playground for any stragglers, their lips curling whenever a member of SPLAT filled their vision.
Lloyd quickly joined his line, throwing his friends a brief glance. The other members caught his eye and nodded, alleviating his fears for them. However, Harvey was wringing his hands, his nervousness evident. Lloyd took the opportunity to step into his big brother role, and mouthed at him;
"School lead in!" The Deputy Head Prefect's voice boomed out across the playground.
Lloyd did not glimpse his younger brother's reply as he followed his line into the school.
For SPLAT, Day Six of Hell had commenced.