THE DEMON HEADMASTER'S REAL NAME IS?
Harvey Hunter and boredom did not mix well.
For one, he always fell into a mood which ended up making Ingrid cackle with glee, Ian and Mandy shake their heads at each other, the former attempting to stifle his giggles and Lloyd, irritated beyond belief.
And second, he always ended up getting himself and the rest of SPLAT at times, into trouble. Fortunately whenever these moods did occur, the majority of the time, the group were outside of the school, free from being punished by the Prefects or even worse, the Headmaster.
However, no matter how many times Lloyd drilled it into his brain, Harvey could not help lapsing into these hated moods and was unable to pick the times they occurred. Which was unfortunate as at that precise moment, where he fell into the 'mood of boredom', Harvey was strolling out of the bathroom situated near the maths corridor. In school.
Checking his watch, Harvey hummed to himself. He was meant to be marching out to break in five minutes along with the rest of the school where he would converse with the rest of SPLAT on the edge of the playground, wary gazes shifting round, realisation pounding their five brains every minute that they were outcasts.
Ian had suggested that they be proud of the fact. Ingrid had snorted, calling the rest of the student body, 'moronic drones'. Mandy had assured them that they had each other at the end of the day. And Lloyd had muttered angrily under his breath about the fact that the spy had only been living with them for a couple of weeks and already she was accepted into the school, better than they were.
"Because she is one of them. One of the goody goods. One of the drones. One of the Headmaster's slaves."
Lloyd had received an earful from Mandy for being so cruel in the terms he had called the other children, but Harvey had noticed that Mandy had a look about her that seemed to suggest that she agreed with his older brother and Harvey felt a pang of remorse for the other pupils.
Surely, it wasn't their fault that they were drones? Harvey was sure it had something to do with the Headmaster and he intended to do some investigating at a later point, thus disregarding his brother's protests to lay low.
Harvey suddenly halted in his tracks at the sight of the Headmaster. The man had just emerged from one of the storage cupboards without double checking, so Harvey was safe from his analysing, and was now striding down the corridor, cane in hand.
Harvey smirked. The Headmaster was heading towards his office and the small boy decided to follow him. Even if he got into heaps of trouble, Harvey didn't mind. The rush of adrenaline pumping through his veins at sneaking after the Headmaster was enough to brighten up his school day and would leave him buzzing for days.
The Headmaster held his cane in front of him, his gown billowing out around him as the cane skimmed the surface of the floor. Noticing this, Harvey began to imitate the man's stride, pointing an imaginary cane at the floor and striding along with an impassive mask of a face. He also added in his own style, waggling his hips as he tracked the Headmaster, part of him praying that the man did not turn round whilst the other half did, just so he could see the Headmaster's reaction to being mocked.
Alas, Harvey's imitation did not last long as the Headmaster rounded the corner into the corridor that housed his office. Harvey crept up to the corner, peeking his head round in time to view the Headmaster entering his office. Not caring that he would be late for break and that one, if not all of the Prefects could catch him, Harvey slunk up to the office door, pressing his ear against it.
He heard the sound of rummaging and was instantly intrigued. It seemed as if the Headmaster was... going somewhere. Excitement built within Harvey as he thought:
'So, the Head's skipping out on the school… Mmh, this calls for some mischief!'
Boredom now intensified, Harvey was dead set on living up to SPLAT's anointed titles of being 'troublemakers.' However before he could cause any mischief, he had to scramble back down the corridor upon hearing heavy footsteps striding towards the office door. Harvey flattened his back to the wall around the corner, fortunately waiting long enough for the Headmaster to miss him. The Headmaster closed his office door, concealed gaze centred on the head of the corridor. He was sure that someone had been outside of his office but if they had been, they had high tailed it out of there. Smirking slightly, the Headmaster was so caught up in his thoughts and his plans for that day that he forgot to lock his office door. A big mistake, one that was humungous to the man who never missed any crucial details, however minuscule.
Once the sound of footsteps had faded away, Harvey peered around the corner, rejoicing at the fact that the corridor was empty. Hastily taking advantage of this, he scurried towards the Headmaster's office, grinning when the door swung open. Harvey shut the door behind him, chocolate brown orbs scanning the scene before him. It was rare that he set foot in this room.
And apart from this occasion, Harvey wanted his visits to the Headmaster's office to stay rare.
The office was neat. Clinically neat. No item was out of place and Harvey shivered at the precision of it and the fact that all the Headmaster had to do with the blinds was prise them apart with his fingers and he would be able to view the entire playground.
'Watch his little drones... And his little troublemakers.'
Harvey giggled, wandering over to the Headmaster's chair behind the desk. He flopped into it, stubby legs dangling. Scooting back, he gripped the arms, mimicking the Headmaster's pursed lips and crooning:
"I am a big old bat..."
Finding this hysterical, Harvey burst into peals of laughter, but abruptly quietened when he heard voices drifting outside in the corridor. Harvey huddled against the chair, slapping a hand over his mouth. Hopefully whoever was there would NOT want to come in. He was screwed if they did!
In the corridor, Simon Neal and Sue Winters slowed their pace. They both wanted to discuss the Headmaster's orders for that day, but were aware that conversing about them outside his office could prove to be unwise.
Simon murmured: "We should check to see if the Headmaster is still in his office before we speak."
Sue nodded and rapped on the office door with firm knuckles. Inside the office, Harvey muffled his squeak. If the Prefects heard him now, then he would be confronted by them and Harvey did not want to go up against them. Though not as high positions as Rose or Jeff or even Sarah, Harvey was still afraid of Simon and Sue, particularly the latter as Sue's size was intimidating enough without the harsh tone of her voice.
'And not to mention her face...'
Harvey's efforts re-doubled as in the corridor, Sue turned to look at Simon.
"Not in there, so the Headmaster shall be back soon?"
"Correct." Replied Simon. "In precisely two hours."
Sue nodded, wanting to affirm that Rose had provided them with the right orders. It would be dire if their Head Prefect had relayed incorrect information as opposed to the specific orders that the Headmaster had given to her.
"He has gone to the bank?"
"Correct again. In the meantime, the Headmaster wants us to have a Prefect's meeting instead of fulfilling our usual duties."
"What a good idea. We should go there now before Rose reprimands us for being late."
Beginning to stride down the corridor once again, Simon commented: "The Headmaster always has good ideas."
Inside the office, Harvey scoffed behind his hand. 'Yeah right… and I'm top of my class when it comes to Maths!'
Over the moon that the two Prefects had gone, Harvey took his hand away from his mouth and stretched his legs out, placing them on top of the desk and crossing his ankles. Half an hour later, when everyone else would be back in lessons, and humming happily, Harvey's gaze roamed the desk. One item caught his attention and he leant forwards slightly in order to press the button.
Once the button was clicked, a noise was made, indicating that he was everywhere. And by everywhere, Harvey was able to speak to the occupants of any corridors or classrooms which had speakers in them.
'So literally everywhere then... Ooh time for some FUN!'
Smirking, Harvey started to imitate the Headmaster's cold voice as he snapped out into the tannoy system.
"This is the Headmaster speaking and I have a few announcements. Yes, my Prefects, I know what you are wondering. How can I be here when I left the school to go to the bank? Well, I came back earlier than scheduled."
The Prefects, all in a circle together, shared looks. So their leader had not wasted time? That was exemplary.
In each occupied classroom, the teachers commanded their pupils to stop working and to listen to the Headmaster. No repeated orders were needed. The rest of SPLAT sighed and craned their head up to their classroom's speaker, resigned to another one of the Headmaster's speeches. However what the Headmaster barked next blew their minds away.
"First of all, Jeff Morgan is a prick. And a slimy one at that. Due to this, I am demoting him from his position as Deputy Head Prefect and providing him with a new one. From now on, Jeff, you shall be the cleaner of toilets."
SPLAT promptly began guffawing with laughter, Mandy's and Lloyd's own bout quieter than Ian's and Ingrid's. Their teachers instantly shushed them, incensed that the troublemakers in their classes were making so much unnecessary noise.
In the Prefect's room, Jeff was speechless. He glanced at Peter, who was aghast. How could the Headmaster DEMOTE HIM?! HIM, JEFF MORGAN! THE BEST PREFECT OF THEM ALL! Simon and Sue did not react at all as both viewed Jeff's demotion as being necessary due to how out of control he could be. Sarah smiled slightly, pleased that Jeff would no longer be able to torment Harvey Hunter so much. Though the little boy was a troublemaker, Sarah felt that even he did not deserve such cruel treatment. Rose lounged back in her chair, smirking. At last, Jeff Morgan had been shown the error of his ways. For too long, he had deemed himself better than he truly was and Rose was grateful to the Headmaster for demoting Jeff before his plans went into action and for demoting him publicly.
Harvey sniggered out of aim of the speakers and once he had recovered, put on a perfect representation of the Headmaster's voice again, stating into the microphone.
"My next announcement is that tomorrow shall be non-uniform day. All pupils except for the remaining Prefects must come in casual clothing. Whatever you feel like wearing, then wear it."
Harvey smirked, snapping: "Prefects, I expect you to come to school tomorrow in these specific costumes. Rose, you must come as a toilet."
'Cause shit falls out of your mouth...'
"Sue, you must come as a transvestite. Simon, a leprechaun. Sarah…"
Harvey paused, wanting to give Sarah a costume that she could cope with fairly well. "Sarah, as you are my best Prefect, I will let you off more than the others. You must come as a banana for tomorrow. And Peter…"
Harvey's smirk widened. "A condom."
All of SPLAT, in their separate classrooms, fell about laughing. Dinah too, but her laughter was more subtle and she was wary of how angry Mr Venables seemed to be getting. She also guessed that the voice on the speaker was not the Headmaster, even though it sounded like he was speaking.
Even though she had not been at St Champions for very long and did not know much about the Headmaster, Dinah could tell that someone was playing a practical prank and winced. She could rule out Lloyd and the majority of the other pupils. Yet Mandy, Harvey, Ingrid and Ian were unaccounted for.
Dinah swallowed down the lump in her throat. Hopefully whoever it was, would not be caught.
In the Prefect's room, all of the Prefects were now fuming, though Sarah had to begrudgingly respect the Headmaster for providing her with an apparently less embarrassing costume. Rose scowled, snapping:
"Why would the Headmaster do that?! We are his Prefects! We are meant to be the best representations of his school!" She shot a glare at Sarah. "Imagine calling YOU, his BEST Prefect! I am above all of you, it should be me!"
Before an argument could erupt between all of them over who was the best, Peter piped up:
"Seems a bit odd, the Headmaster saying all of that. It sounded like him, but was it really him?"
At this, the others stopped, Rose hissing: "Maybe you're right, Peter." A smirk played on her lips. "Maybe we should go and talk to the Headmaster, right now."
The others nodded and stood up. However, Jeff was left fuming even more when Rose shook her head at him.
"Not you, Jeff. You have been demoted."
Jeff snarled back: "But that most likely was not the Headmaster! So if we are correct and no doubt, we are, then that demotion was false! I still am a Prefect!"
Rose bristled, retorting: "Fine. Hurry up then!"
Jeff scowled but lapsed into silence, the six Prefects ready to leave their room when another command filtered out of the speakers.
"My last announcement is that school is now officially finished for today. That's right... You all may go home, pupils and teachers."
The Prefects were now convinced that someone was impersonating the Headmaster and were half way out of the door when the voice over the speakers barked menacingly:
"And if you do not clear out of here within five minutes, then I shall be hunting each and every straggler down and you shall receive a whacking from my cane! NOW LEAVE!"
Terrified, the teachers snapped at their pupils to pack up and leave. As the pupils obeyed, SPLAT were rejoicing, the four of them hugging each other as soon as they were together in the corridor. Dinah slipped past them, smiling sadly. She wished she could join with them, but tensions were rife between her and her older foster brother so she decided to head towards the library.
Meanwhile, the Prefects had abandoned their original plan and were now collecting their belongings and racing towards the entrance. Though they were still suspicious, their conditioning had forced them to obey all of the Headmaster's commands so any possibility now of disobeying them and seeking their leader out would be asking for a death wish.
The main doors burst open, a horde of teachers and pupils swarming out into the playground. SPLAT ran ahead, Ingrid screeching to a halt when she noticed that an important someone was missing. Glancing around in desperation, she shouted at Mandy:
Mandy's gaze roamed around the crowded playground for a few moments before she directed a frown at Ingrid. "I don't know…"
Noticing that Ingrid was near panic, Mandy rushed to reassure her, calling back:
"I'm sure Harvey was the first one out! He's probably waiting for us down the road!"
Grinning once again, Ingrid skipped over to Mandy and linked arms with her, the two girls hurrying to catch up with Lloyd and Ian. Whilst the rest of the Prefects, teachers and pupils surged towards the gates, the clock apparently ticking down the time they had left to vacate the premises, Rose and Jeff halted, both eyes widened.
Jeff turned to gawp at Rose, who said breathlessly:
"Did you hear that? Harvey Hunter hasn't been seen by his group."
Jeff closed his mouth slightly, replying: "You don't think…?"
Suddenly, Rose narrowed her eyes, hissing dangerously: "Oh I think, Hunter has a lot to answer for." Raising her voice, she cried: "Mr Brown! Come here!"
Stationed by his car, Mr Brown dropped his briefcase to the floor and strode over to the two highest Prefects, muttering nervously:
"Was Harvey Hunter in your lesson just now?"
Mr Brown frowned, then shook his head. "Well… he was in the maths lesson before break, but left early to go to the bathroom. I had to let him go, the stupid boy would not have stopped whining if I hadn't let him go."
Jeff sneered, the weakling was so distracting in lessons! Rose snapped:
"What about the lesson after break?"
"Come to think of it… No."
Rose and Jeff shared a look, both of them utterly furious. They now knew who was in the Headmaster's office, imitating him and they could not wait to reveal themselves to Hunter and punish him as harshly as they were allowed.
Rose gestured for Mr Brown to go on his way with a muttered thank you before barking at Jeff.
"We need to confront Hunter before he gets away!"
Jeff nodded and they went to head back into the school when a cold, brisk voice snapped them out of their mission.
The Prefects wheeled round in time to see Mr Brown driving past the Headmaster, who had just emerged from his large, silver car, shock and anger scrawled across his stern face.
Both children winced as the Headmaster slammed his car door shut and strode over to them, Rose replying hastily at the Headmaster's flick of his cane in her direction.
The Headmaster glowered, hissing: "How comes when I was driving back to the school that I noticed my pupils wandering down the streets during school hours?!"
Jeff intercepted quickly, shivering at Rose's glare and the Headmaster's flick of his cane. "The reason why Sir, is because you dismissed them."
At the Headmaster's look of confusion, Jeff explained:
"During the lesson that is meant to take place now, you announced over the tannoy system a number of announcements. Firstly, you demoted me and stated that I shall now be working as a cleaner in the school. Then you stated that Rose, Simon, Sue, Peter and Sarah each had to wear specific costumes for school tomorrow and that everyone else was allowed to come in casual clothing. Then…"
He took a deep breath, wincing. "You dismissed everyone for the day and threatened any stragglers that they would feel the wrath of your cane!"
Both he and Rose flinched as the Headmaster's nostrils flared, the man hissing:
"And you believed this… impersonator?"
Rose shook her head frantically. "Of course not, Sir! At first, we thought that it was you, but as the orders went on, we realised that it was not you and that someone else was dishing out these commands! Now this confirms that you were still at the bank, instead of returning early like the imposter stated!"
The Headmaster clenched his jaw. "Someone must have overheard my orders to you… and impersonated me effectively to fool even the most intelligent of my pupils."
Rose shifted her feet as Jeff exclaimed: "We believe it was Harvey Hunter, Sir! Before you returned, we questioned Mr Brown and he informed us that Hunter skipped out on the current lesson and we overheard those troublemakers confirming that they hadn't seen Wheezy at all!"
Rose piped up a slice of information as well. "I remember Harvey and Ian practicing imitating people's voices! And Hunter seemed quite good at it!"
Jeff sneered. "For once." Rose sneered too, but they lost their sneers when the Headmaster suddenly darted around them and delivered two solidary smacks to their backsides with his cane. The two Prefects cried out at the abrupt pain and rubbed their backsides, both whimpering as the Headmaster hissed:
"Follow me, you foolish children! Hunter must be dealt with!
Not even attempting to muster a smirk due to how much pain they were now in, Rose and Jeff followed the Headmaster towards his office. In the office, Harvey was flicking through reports, oblivious to the fact that he had been caught and was about to be sprung on. All he knew was that everyone had gone and soon enough, so was he.
Harvey chuckled as he flung the report he had in his hands down. 'The big old bat will come back and no one will be here! Hee hee!"
Yet within a matter of seconds, Harvey received the shock of his life. The office door burst open, smashing against the wall. The Headmaster (the real one to Harvey's utter horror) barged in, Rose and Jeff flanking him. Harvey gulped as he eyed the two Prefects. Though both were rubbing their backsides, they were sneering at him, wicked glee alighting their eyes.
Harvey giggled weakly as the Headmaster hissed menacingly: "So… it seems that you have been very busy today."
The small boy sputtered: "I-I-I-I can e-explain-"
"Slimy prick, am I? Just wait until I finish with you, WHEEZY!"
Harvey flinched, as Rose snapped: "You are dead, Hunter!"
The Headmaster slammed his cane down onto the desk, snarling: "Your… FUN is over."
A humorous thought came to Harvey and he snickered suddenly, smoothing his fair hair back with one hand. Knowing that he was practically dead, Harvey put on an irritating squeaky voice, chirping:
"Harvey Hunter here! Personal secretary to the Headmaster! How may I take your calls?!"
Jeff snarled: "You can shove them up your arse!"
The Headmaster snapped: "Jeff! Do not use such disgusting language!"
Harvey continued with the voice, clambering onto the table, backpack over his shoulders.
"I'm sorry, I have decided to resign! I expect my gift of a fruit bowl for all my hard years of service, in the post sooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnn!"
With that exaggerated portion of the exclamation baffling his opponents, Harvey leapt forwards into the lynch mob that wanted his guts to spill.
And oh boy, did those guts spill!