A&A&A Boarding School
34. Epilogues and Ending
The cast had taken their bows, their second bows, their encores, and were now standing in the house, receiving roses from weeping fans and congratulations from impressed seniors. It was hard to say which were better received.
"Arwen," said Satine with all sincerity, "you are absolutely amazing, and we are glad to have you with us."
"It's an honour," answered Arwen, curtseying prettily.
"It was a really great show," added Christian appraisingly.
"Nearly as good as a Drama Club production," supplied the marquis, which got stares from the other two. "What? It can't be as good, fellows. Nothing's as good as a Drama Club production."
"Well, that's the best you'll get from him," said Christian ruefully.
Behind them, Jack was being drowned in roses and telling those who wanted to know how he had done the final disappearing act enigmatically that, well, a magician never reveals the tricks of his trade. Will, who definitely wasn't getting as many roses, wanted to tell him to stop granting the female fans kisses, it really wasn't becoming, but decided not to, because Jack was clearly having the time of his life.
Arwen, bidding her seniors goodnight, turned and went to find Aragorn. He was looking for her. People had been showering him with roses too.
"Thank goodness," he said, "it's a madhouse in here. Come on, there's a post-production-party."
"Where?" asked Arwen, trying to get a grip on her bouquets.
"My goodness!" exclaimed Arwen. "Is that legal?"
Aragorn shrugged. "Galadriel's turning a blind eye. Anyway, your dorm isn't big enough. Come on."
They dragged Jack away from his admirers, and the three of them managed to elude more as they escaped through a side door and headed for the dormitories.
Cheering met them as they entered the party venue. The hobbits had speedily procured a vast amount of repast, which the cast and crew were generously partaking of. A number of beds had been pushed to one side to make space for a food table, acquired from somewhere. Grantaire was bartending, even though they hadn't been able to obtain any alcohol.
Elizabeth, holding a cup of grape juice in one hand, came up to Arwen. "You were wonderful," she said simply. "You were the best of us all."
Arwen laughed and hugged her, grape juice and all.
Artemis was wallflowering again. He was watching the celebrations from the sidelines when Holly and Hermione came up to him.
"Hey, Fowl," said Holly offhandedly, "great job with the orchestra."
Artemis looked down at her. "Thank you," he said formally.
"Oh, stuff it," said Hermione, "come on and join the fun."
Artemis opened his mouth to protest, but he was seized by both wrists and dragged into the crowd, where the French Revolution and Harry and Ron tried to get him drunk on Coke, and he somehow ended up reciting the periodic table backwards. If you shut your eyes and ignored the demands of dignity, it was sort of fun.
Anna went over to where Van Helsing was sitting on his bed. "Well," she said, "that wasn't so bad."
"Yes, it was," disagreed Van Helsing. "I'm glad it's over."
They stared at each other for a long time. Then Van Helsing said, "You know what we need?"
"Yes," said Anna. "A radio."
Van Helsing jumped up. "You get the radio. I've Franz Ferdinand somewhere."
"No," countered Anna, "you get the radio. I want Yeah Yeah Yeahs."
"Do you even have the Yeah Yeah Yeahs?"
"Yes, I do! Now go get it, you moron!"
Van Helsing covered his face with his hat. "Oh god, are we starting again?"
"Can't live without it, can we?" smirked Anna. "Now, are you going to get that damn radio or not?"
Éowyn was sitting cross-legged on the floor. Faramir came over and handed her a cup of fruit punch.
"Thanks," said Éowyn, and downed it. Faramir sat next to her, and they watched the post-performance festivities progress around them.
"I don't want this night to end," said Éowyn finally. "I've never felt so – together. I never thought I'd ever get used to this class, but now I think I love it. Somehow."
She looked down at her fruit punch, and then up at her classmates. "I don't want it ever to end."
"Well," said Faramir gently, "we have four years."
Éowyn looked up at him, and smiled. "Yes. We do."
Faramir put down his cup, and extended a hand. "Want to dance?"
"As a matter of fact," said she, "I do."
Éowyn laughed, and he pulled her to her feet, and they plunged again into the throng of their classmates, laughing and celebrating together as a class. It had taken a week to build a spirit that would last for four years. And perhaps even beyond that.
But at the moment, all that mattered was now. Because they were together, were a class, and that was all of it, really.Epilogue:
They did stay together for four years. Some of them maintained till the end that it was the best time of their lives.
Aragorn and Arwen remained Screen Couple of the Century for those four years, and beyond. Aragorn became the premature head of ODAC in his third year, and Arwen took over the reign of Drama Club after Jack Driscoll resigned from the position. They were both prefects, and later Aragorn ascended to the exalted position of Head Prefect. No one was very surprised.
Andromache and Hector became prefects too, prompting Achilles to remark that prefects came in pairs. Achilles himself remained a classic jock for the rest of his school days, the only uncharacteristic attribute of his being his extraordinary weakness for Briseis. Like jocks do, he became captain of the school soccer team, and consistently flunked History for four years.
Anna and Van Helsing led a turbulent love-hate relationship that fluctuated so much that they could only be officially declared as going out in their fourth year. One telling fact was that Anna took to wearing a hat as well. They were both converts to the punk art rock movement, and religiously DJ-ed every class party, often arguing over choice of soundtracks and resorting to childish solutions like stone-paper-scissors.
Éowyn and Faramir became a couple to rival Aragorn and Arwen in affection, except that while the latter preferred romantic garden settings, Éowyn tended to like dragging Faramir out on long hikes or engaging him in fencing sessions. With her encouragement, Faramir decided to master in psychology, thus astounding both Boromir and his father, and making him the unofficial class counsellor – not the most pleasant duty, but someone had to do it.
When in her third year, Holly bought herself a motorbike and rode it out on weekends, when she wasn't pumping bullets in the Firearms range. Despite her height, she earned a reputation with her juniors that almost equalled that of previous luminaries like Lara Croft. She did stay out of trouble – or at least, no one ever did catch her.
Elizabeth became second-in-command after Arwen in their fourth year of Drama Club, although it was clear that she had talents in which she was second to none – for example, screaming. Everybody took it for granted that she would be with Will, which she was. Nobody asked Will what he thought about it, but he clearly wasn't complaining.
Marius and Cosette were an established couple before the term was up. This upset Eponine for the rest of the school year, and she spent it angsting about unrequited love, which she considered herself quite an expert on. She never went out with anyone else, and moped a lot. Occasionally she went out with Grantaire and got drunk, and then Gavroche had to drag her back to school.
The Company of Heroines stuck together, even though three of them had boyfriends. By the end of four years they were inseparable, and remained lifelong friends.
Suffice to say that the Short Alliance did not get any taller. Mulch went on eating and being vulgar, and Gimli went on putting up with him. Merry and Pippin stayed the class clowns. Frodo got used to people calling him cute and ruffling his hair, and occasionally tried writing short pieces of bathos which he submitted to Tribune – they got published, if only because Hermione could not gainsay him. Under the tutelage of Lady Galadriel, Sam became the most remarkable plant mage to ever emerge in any academy; however, he refused several scholarships and chose instead to go into simple gardening. No one had really expected him to choose anything else.
Harry, Ron and Hermione stayed a trio. Hermione got smarter, and bossier, especially after she became a prefect, which suited her to the bone. The competition between her and Artemis stayed tense for the whole of their school days, with Artemis taking top in all the subjects for science and Hermione in all the subjects for humanities – although neither could wrest Top of Literature/Quenya from Arwen, or Top of Chinese from Holly. They put the former down to nepotism and the latter down to unfair racial advantage, and tried not to think about it too much.
Artemis's mental powers never reached the equal of Jean Grey's or Galadriel's, but he was certainly more intelligent than either. In his third year he got bored and held several bank robberies, which were fortunately never traced back to the school. Holly never stopped teasing him, and he never stopped countering her with cool comebacks. When she bought a motorbike, he bought a car, and drove it with a false license until he was of age. Holly often contemplated blowing it up, but never got around to doing it.
Draco Malfoy got quite sick of the whole set-up after two years, and at the end of the second year, he left A&A&A for an elite boarding school in the Highlands. He wasn't missed, except perhaps by Haldir.
Legolas remained pretty much a loner, although over half of his female juniors had a crush on him. He ignored Paris and Helen, and talked less and stalked more. On occasion his classmates suspected him of writing poetry, but they could never find enough evidence to base a confrontation on.
Nothing much happened to Chix and Lili Frond. She did get twenty-three handphones confiscated over the years, but apart from that, everyone else got used to her being 'the bimbo', and even stopped rolling their eyes at her regular invocations of God.
The French Revolution soon settled down and stopped being a revolution, especially after Enjolras was elected to prefecthood and decided that maybe overthrowing the prefectorial board wasn't such a good idea after all, since he was now part of it. People stopped calling them the French Revolution, and simply termed them 'those French boys'. Once they stopped singing revolutionary songs, their dorm-mates condescended to say that they actually sounded quite nice. They still met for weekends to discuss politics over coffee (or in Grantaire's case, spirits) Sometimes Eponine joined them; it was nice to have a girl's point-of-view, said Enjolras. Several times one of them would try to ask her out, but they were consistently rebuffed. They held a hate-hate relationship with Javert for all eternity, especially since after what Enjolras did, nobody took CLE seriously again.
And Jack – Jack remained Jack. He took part in no theatrical productions after the Phantom of the Opera, although his classmates often begged him to. Instead he became Head of the Sailing Club. Oddly enough, in his four years of transgression, he was never ever given detention. He flew in and out of relationships that never lasted longer than a week (the shortest being two hours) but nevertheless, everyone loved him.
And after four years, they left. Where they went, what they did, who they lived with – is another story altogether, and it is not meant for us to tell. For it is here we end our tale, their tale, their lives – the tale of this school and its students.
School. Battleground. Lifelong journey.
A&A&A.End of the End
Authoresses' Final Note:
……and after two long years of tears and bloodshed and stress and late nights of sneaking online and thinking it would never end –
– it's over.
We could cry.
This is the second major epic we have written in fanfiction, and it will be the last. We're sorry to say we've outgrown fanfic, and that now we're both striking out on our own, individually. Lydia now lives on Fictionpress under the same penname, and after A&A&A she plans to write more chaptered tales. Since this commitment is over, she can now concentrate on her own original fic 'Regimental Blues' and begin her second one, 'Legacy of the Lark'. If you like, you can visit. If not, you won't see her again.
Rukuelle is going to find her catalyst, or rather, wait for it to come around. In the meantime she will take an important exam, and after that she will consider doing something literary.
We have many people we'd like to thank, who have helped us and supported us through the course of this fic – and was it a long one.
Lydia would like to thank the No. 1 fan of A&A&A, Manveri Mirkiel: who has been loyal, who has reviewed (nearly all) the chapters (four of them thrice) and faithfully fangirled everything. Also Asha Ice; the two of them have stood by Legolas, no matter what horrors were perpetrated upon his person, and their allegiance is touching, if incomprehensible.
Then there is Reicheru, and Lintong, and Sam, and lately Claire – who didn't review, but who said all that needed to be said between classes and such. Lydia loves her classmates, although some of them are classmates no more, and if they were her only fans she would still write for them alone.
These are the people who have brought the review count up to a whopping 543 (which also happens to be consecutive in descending order) and who wrote constructive, funny, touching, beautiful reviews, and stuck with us through two years and all thirty-four chapters.
Sapphire/Garnetian Dragon, who has admired what we do on many counts, sometimes inexplicably, and been very kind. Katatonia, who has been around for almost as long, and who still kept reviewing even after she left for boarding school for a long time. Cerse Liminara, who is by far the oldest reviewer around, who has been skeptical about nearly everything, but in a good way. And Zareen; we confess we find it hard to believe that a single review can be so long, let alone every review that she writes. It is indeed remarkable.
People who have been reviewing nearly every chapter, or been reviewing since the beginning of time: L-X-R, gavvie, Mizamour, disneyluver, EvilExpressions, BlueDove, Lee, Elenhin, Akwyn, Ex Igne, Joou Himeko Dah, phylitr, etc.
We would also like to thank our parents, who have refrained from commenting about us wasting time on this. And lastly, we'd like to thank each other. Which is something that should go unsaid, us being sisters, but sometimes it's best to make sure the other one knows.
Well, it's been great. It's been fun, it's been wonderful, and possibly it's been life-changing.
And now, goodbye.