A/n: Bonjour, my friends. I have here another installment of the "Chronicles of a Social Outcast'. As usual, it is out-of-character, but not too horribly so, I don't think. It comes somewhere around the 'Stacey's Mom' chapter; either before or after. Whatever; it's up to you all. It also is NOT in the same storyline as 'Final Pains', so don't get them confused, y'hear:) Please enjoy, perhaps take your mind off some of the stuff happening in the big bad real world.
Also, the other chapters have been reorganized so they're kind of in chronological order (though with Havelock, in canon and in fic, chronological order is strictly optional). Just a heads-up.
Disclaimer: Ahaha. Yeah, I got nothin'.
Havelock tried not to sigh when Downey grabbed him by the shirt-collar. He suceeded, but only just. Bullying was all well and good, but could Downey honestly not get by the physical part of it? Mental torture was so much more fun, though Havelock suspected Downey was unable to grasp that. Pity, really.
"Looking forward to graduation, Dog-botherer?" Downey asked. Havelock could tell by his voice that the other boy was sneering.
"I suppose," he said neutrally. He felt Downey try to pull him backwards, without much affect. Gone were the days of Downey being the biggest boy in their year; Havelock had finally grown into himself and while Downey was still built more substantially, Havelock had at least three inches on him and what Havelock lacked in bulk, he made up for in wiry strength and unnerving quickness. Deciding he would much rather face his assailant, he turned to Downey, eyebrow carefully raised.
"Amazing you passed your classes," Downey said, chuckling ruefully. His arms were crossed across his broad chest and his red hair was neatly and carefully styled, so as to look fabulous. "I beat you in class rank, though. Pity."
"Did you?" Havelock asked politely. It was false and he knew it; he had the paper in his hand to prove it. Over the past few years he'd slowly started to ace his classes. Carefully though, so as not to arouse suspicion. First he would go from a C to a B and then, much more slowly, to an A. He hadn't had a grade lower than 95 seventh year, which he was personally very impressed with. His teachers had been too, though they'd simply written it off as hard work and the boy maturing a little. They didn't know that Havelock had been testing the system -- seeing if it were possible for a student to be sub-standard the first four years of classes and then pull off number 1 in the class over the last three. It was.
"Of course," Downey scoffed. "I've never failed a class, Dog-botherer. You've never passed one."
Downey began to realize, on an uncharacteristically observant level of his conscience, that something was up. "Well, you have, just not with very good marks," he said firmly, though his confidence was wavering. He wasn't used to his victims questioning him.
"So what is your rank, Downey?" Vetinari asked, mostly for his own amusement. He knew it wasn't higher than his; that was impossible.
"Fifth," Downey said, puffing his chest out a little. Havelock blinked, though he managed to finesse it. Fifth was good. He would have been satisfied with fifth. Clearly, there was more to Downey than met the eye. "What'd you get? Last?"
"No," Havelock said, turning around and heading the opposite direction down the corridor. He realized that if Downey heard his actual rank, he would most certainly get the beat-down of his life.
"So what is it?" Downey asked, sneering. He was suddenly at Havelock's shoulder. Havelock realized with some measure of relief that he was not with his gang. Deciding there was nothing for it, he plowed on.
"First," he said. And he kept walking, careful to keep his face immobile. Downey actually froze in his tracks, only to come running up beside the taller boy a few seconds later.
"You're lying," the older boy growled. "Two years ago you were barely getting ninety percents. I know; I looked."
"I know you looked," Havelock said. "But you didn't look in all of my classes, nor did you look over the past two years." He shrugged. "You stopped worrying about it."
"I wasn't worried," Downey spat. "As if I'd be worried about you. You never even showed up for stealthy movement fourth year."
"I never saw you."
Havelock merely grinned and kept walking. Downey snarled.
"You're a disgrace," he growled. "Noble Assassin, bah. Your mom bribed Folly, didn't she?"
Havelock had been expecting something like this. It was utter falsity, but he still felt a snappy comeback was necessary. "I imagine she did," he said slowly, as Downey grinned, "though it would have been quite difficult, her being dead and all." He hid his smirk as Downey's face fell.
"No one can start passing like that in fifth year," Downey growled. "It's almost impossible!"
Havelock raised a thin finger, planning to say something along the lines of 'Ah but Mr. Downey, almost is the key word there'. He was therefore shocked at himself when, completely spontaneously, he blurted out "Your mom's almost impossible, but I managed that too."
Downey's jaw dropped. Slowly, the color began to rise in his face and his teeth started to clench. "I'll . . . I'll . . ." He was angry beyond words. Havelock, having developed a sterling sense of self-preservation over his years at the Guild, noticed the clenching fists and decided that now was a good time to leave. Thinking minimally this time, he took off at a dead run to his dorm, not stopping until the door was closed and the key had been turned in the lock. He leaned against the door and panted.
Wayne Broquelin, partner-in-crime to Vetinari, looked up from his piano, eyebrows raised. "What's your problem?"
Vetinari looked horrified with himself. "I have 'Your Mom Terrets'," he gasped.
"Whatever," Wayne said, and turned back to his piano.