A multi chapter AU take on Book One/Series One Episodes 1-3. Only Harvey is Immune to the Headmaster, so SPLAT doesn't exist in this version. No Harvey/Ingrid romance, no positive outcomes. Just a more outspoken and braver Harvey struggling on his own. Fun.
Harvey stared at the grey building before him, the lump in his throat heavy. He was frightened about every single aspect of starting school. Other pupils, what if he couldn't make friends with them? Teachers, what if they thought of him as 'naughty'? And the Headmaster… he already didn't like the man, and he had never officially met him!
He had been dragged along to his brother's parents evenings when he was younger, and staring up at the Headmaster as the man made a speech always unnerved him. Everyone always seemed to be on tenterhooks when he spoke, leaning in to listen to his every word, but Harvey continuously fidgeted in his chair, his eyes darting round the hall. Now he had to see the man every day, and he could think of nothing worse!
His brother's parents evenings had been some of the strangest situations he had ever found himself in. Every pupil was so well-behaved and silence seemed to be spread amongst both children and parents whilst waiting to see the teachers. When his parents spoke to a teacher, Lloyd standing proudly behind his father's chair, he had played on his Gameboy device, wanting to escape into his game. He was dreading his first ever Parents Evening. There would be no Gameboy to play during the meeting with his teachers.
Harvey fiddled with his tie, hating the way his uniform felt, when hands suddenly plunged into his trousers.
"Hey, get off!"
The hands belonging to his older brother tucked the shirt more into the trousers, before being withdrawn, Lloyd wrinkling his face in annoyance.
"You need to be dressed properly, Harvey. You are having your meeting with the Headmaster this morning. You don't want to make a bad first impression, do you?"
"No… Do I have to go and see him? He's weird!"
The phrase that Lloyd uttered inches away from his face, was one that Harvey was accustomed to hearing.
"The Headmaster is a marvellous man and this is the best school I have ever been to. Now, behave."
Harvey rolled his eyes, and allowed himself to be dragged into the playground, where he was left to look after himself as his brother slunk off to one of the circles filled with chanting children. He quickly glanced round, his eyes settling anxiously onto the rest of his year and wondering if they would soon be chanting as well. He didn't want to chant and be a robot like everyone else at the school, but then he didn't want to be labelled as 'bad', especially if the word was coming from his own brother's mouth. The people in his brother's group were nothing special to look at, although he did recognise Ian and Mandy, Lloyd's classmates and 'acquaintances' who he hung round with after school. The two of them were chanting and Harvey averted his gaze, feeling even more creeped out. One girl amongst the new group that would be in his year caught his eye, and he felt his cheeks burn with blood at the sight of her. She was small, but fierce looking and he hoped to make friends with her before the end of the day.
'Maybe we could chant together?'
His thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of the Prefects, making his mood decline into one of bad temperament. He disliked the Prefects, having witnessed their bullying behaviour at the numerous parents evenings he had been forced to attend. In particular, the redheaded Prefect was a menace, and he always tried to stay out of his way during those evenings, just in case he was pushed around again.
Harvey noticed how quiet the circles seemed to go when the Prefects stood in a row, but he didn't have time to dwell on the fact as the Head girl, (Harvey remembered she had a flower name), barked at everyone to get into their lines. He quickly moved with everyone else into lines, all the new pupils forming one, Harvey situated near the middle.
The Prefects surveyed the lines to make sure that everyone was in perfect order before the Head Girl stepped forwards and addressed the crowd.
"Attention! For all the new students, my name is Rose and I am Head Prefect of this school. The plan for your first day is that you will all be going into the hall, where you shall wait to be called for your meeting with the Headmaster. When your name is called, you will be escorted to the Headmaster's office, where you shall meet with the Headmaster himself and discuss your potential at this school." Rose twitched her head. "Never before has anyone not lived up to their potential." Her eyes seemed to linger on Harvey. "Do not let yourself be the one to break that cycle."
The youngest Hunter shuddered at the Prefect's words. Trust him to be the one to break the cycle!
"Now, lead in!"
His line was the last to enter the school, and entering it felt similar to if he had stepped into another dimension. The impending meeting with the Headmaster played on his mind, but grey wall after grey wall, marching footsteps and the overbearing expectations laid out by the Prefects was creeping in on Harvey fast, and he felt suffocated by the pressure.
Following the person in front of him into the hall, Harvey looked round in dismay. Yet again, grey walls stared back at him and imagining the Headmaster standing up on stage behind the podium, lecturing all of the students, chilled him to the bone. The man was so intimidating. How would anyone be able to listen to him without shaking in their seat?!
Rows upon rows of chairs were set out in the hall, and as Harvey sunk into his, he tried to pick out the girl he had seen earlier. She looked like good fun, and he wouldn't be ashamed of admitting to himself that he had a crush on her. He stopped his head turning when the Prefects marched up onto the stage, Rose holding a sheet of paper. She stepped forward, rolling the first name off of her tongue, then proceeded to watch the scared small girl jump out of her seat and scuttle after one of her colleagues.
Harvey felt bad for the girl, knowing that when the time came for him to be called to the Headmaster's office, he would be a nervous wreck.
"Sit still and face the front, all of you! No talking!"
Folding his hands in his lap, Harvey sighed. Great, he already hated school.
He stood up, hitching his bag up over his shoulders and followed the Prefect assigned to him out of the hall and down the corridor. The Prefect, Peter or Pavlov, Harvey wasn't sure of the name, led the youngest Hunter to an oak door near the end of the corridor. The bronze plaque proclaimed that the door belonged to the Headmaster, and Harvey shoved his hands into the pockets of his blazer. This was the Headmaster's office and he was about to meet the man himself.
"Take your hands out of your pockets, Hunter. You are about to meet the Headmaster!"
His hands flying free from his pockets, Harvey muttered: "Sorry, just nervous."
"You'll be fine. The Headmaster is a marvellous man."
The Prefect knocked on the door, and once he had received permission to enter, twisted the handle down and opened the door, guiding Harvey in with a sharp push. Harvey stumbled over his feet, attempting to regain his balance.
"Why'd you push me for?!"
The older boy stared at him, seemingly in shock for being called out on his actions. "Excuse me?"
Narrowing his eyes, Harvey growled: "You pushed me into the room! Why? There was no need to push me, Pavlova or whatever your name is."
"My name is Peter." He smirked. "Did you get my name confused with a type of cake because you stuff your fat face with them? You are a fat little boy, after all."
Cheeks burning, Harvey clicked his tongue. "I'm not fat, Peter, now leave me alone! Or you'll regret it!"
Peter stepped back into the corridor, grabbing hold of the handle. He snorted. "What could you possibly do to me?" He raised his eye line. "He's all yours, Sir."
The door shut and Harvey spun round, only to see the formidable figure of the Headmaster. The man was tall and looked to be almost skeletal, were it not for the flowing gown that he wore. The gown broadened his shoulders and the hem of the gown skimmed his polished black shoes, a tailored pair of black trousers barely visible under the gown. Harvey managed to spot the man's waistcoat underneath the gown and wondered if he had a gold pocket watch, like everyone did back in the 19th century. His facial features were sharp and cold, he didn't look like a friendly man at all. His grey hair was combed neatly and his lips were drawn into a disapproving frown. But the glasses covering his eyes were the most horrifying aspect. The glass lens were so dark, you couldn't even see his eyes, and Harvey had a feeling he didn't want to see his eyes ever.
The Headmaster looked, or most likely glared, at him and snapped in a cold tone:
"Sit down, boy and stop making a racket!"
His voice was sharp and emotionless. 'Almost like a killer robot about to take over the world.' Harvey thought as he slipped into the chair facing the desk. The desk was scarce of ornaments, but before Harvey could examine them properly, the Headmaster was speaking again.
"Your name, boy."
He hadn't meant to stammer over pronouncing his name, but the Headmaster was so intimidating, he left him shaking in his seat!
The Headmaster folded himself into the seat behind his desk and pulled open the top drawer of his desk. He pulled out a sheet of paper and placed it front of the boy opposite him.
"Complete this sheet. It is to test your academic abilities."
Harvey quickly glanced over the sheet, shrugging his bag off of his shoulders and letting it drop to the floor, not witnessing the Headmaster's glower at his careless action. His heart sunk at the sight of equations, and they looked difficult. Harvey sucked at maths and he really didn't want to do them.
Raising his eyes from the paper, he patted his blazer pockets. "Haven't got a pen. Can I borrow one please?"
The Headmaster made a tutting noise, sliding a pen across the desk. "You are at school now, boy. You should have started your first day fully equipped."
The youngest Hunter picked up the pen and smiled. "My name isn't boy, it's Harvey."
The Headmaster's brow wrinkled and his body seemed to stiffen, but his tone did not change in the slightest.
"Do not be so petulant with me, boy. I am Headmaster of this school, so you obey my authority. Now, complete the sheet."
Wondering what on earth 'petulant' meant, Harvey bent his head and started working on the sheet, wary of the fact that the Headmaster was continuing to stare at him. When he briefly used his fingers to help count, there was a snort from opposite. Even though he was on high alert with nerves, Harvey still shot a petulant look across at the man. He was only eleven, he couldn't help it if he needed to use his fingers for one question!
Once he had completed the sheet, he put the pen down and shifted in his seat.
Snatching up the piece of paper, the Headmaster sneered: "You are done."
"My goodness, boy, didn't anyone teach you any manners?" The Headmaster put aside the paper after skimming his eyes over it, then settled his concealed vision onto Harvey.
"Do not worry, we can change that."
The man smiled, and Harvey shuddered in horror. The guy needed to put his dentures away, stat!
"So, Harvey… You have a sibling in this school?"
"Yeah, a brother."
"Ah, Lloyd Hunter!" The smile widened, and Harvey leant back in astonishment. "Your older brother has above average intelligence and is very well-behaved. I wonder, will you be as well?"
Suddenly, the Headmaster's fingers were moving towards his glasses and a pair of surreal green eyes were revealed. They were so vibrant that Harvey was entranced by them, but when the Headmaster smirked and began to croon, the entrancement faded.
"Look into my eyes… You are very tired. That test really took the energy out of you. Sit back and close your eyes. Sleep, Harvey, you are so very tired."
Harvey sat glued to his chair, eyes darting around the room. The man was freaking him out, majorly, and unsure of whether this was a prank or not, Harvey simply stared into the man's eyes, mind swirling with thoughts.
'He's gone crazy. Am I supposed to be falling for this? Should I close my eyes and try to sleep? I don't FEEL sleepy. Is this a test for all the new kids? Did he do this to Lloyd?'
Breaking out of his internal conflict, Harvey blinked. "Yeah?..."
The Headmaster was staring at him in a strange manner, like something was wrong, as when he spoke his next few words, there was urgency in his tone.
"Go to sleep. Now."
"But I'm not tired."
He shifted in his seat, clutching the sides of his chair. "I'm not tired, Sir."
"Not at all?"
"No." Harvey shook his head. "Should I be?"
The man opposite him sat back abruptly and covered his eyes with his glasses. He surveyed the boy with confusion and shock, muttering: "Impossible," under his breath. Harvey suspected that he had failed the test or whatever it was and was not going to live up to the same expectations that were put onto Lloyd.
'Typical. I'm the black sheep and Lloyd's the golden boy.'
A minute ticked by without a single word, until Harvey shattered the silence.
"Er… Sir? Do you want me to go?..."
Bad timing. The Headmaster abruptly clenched his fists and snarled:
"You do not speak unless you are spoken to, boy. Get out."
Harvey pulled his hands away from the sides of the chair and bolted to his feet, bending to pick up his bag. He held the straps in one hand, his left digits twitching.
"Do I go to the hall after lunch? That's what Lloyd said-"
"Your brother is wrong. You are not going to the hall after lunch. You will be going to the library, where a Prefect will watch over you, so that you will not cause trouble. Go to your form room, your tutor is Mrs Brooks. She is in room 8F. Now, leave my sight!"
Harvey flinched back at the exclamation and fled from the door, not even stopping to shut the door properly. He sprinted down the corridor, adrenaline coursing through him. That was such a strange experience. Lloyd had obviously lied to him about the first meeting with the Headmaster. The man was not marvellous at all!
Watching the boy run down the corridor, a rule broken within the first hour of schooling, the Headmaster closed the door to his office and returned to sit behind his desk. Never in all his planning did he think an Immune child would turn up to this school. His plans were great and he had everything under control. Each child every year visited him, and went out into the corridor a different person. All thoughts of misbehaving and free will sucked out of them to be replaced by obedience and order.
But this boy, Harvey Hunter, was of a rare kind. His own brother was susceptible to his hypnosis, so how was the younger one Immune? All of his planning could potentially be corrupted by the boy, but if he kept the boy under his own special brand of control, then his plans would not be affected. There would be adjustments, he would have to deploy one of his Prefects to library duty every afternoon. There was no chance the boy would be allowed into assemblies. Not that anyone would believe him about the hypnotism, but it was safer to keep him out. To isolate him.
Immune children were nasty little buggers, but this one could be straightened out, and the Headmaster was hoping that the Hunter child was the only one of this year.