A / N: I do not own Magical Diary, go buy it from Hanako Games!
When the first person had suggested that Professor Hieronymous Grabiner was perhaps biased, his class had a few grumbles. He had glared and given the naysayer 10 demerits for such an accusation, and threatened detention. Had he not already been an overbearing and overtly strict man they might have taken it the wrong way, but they knew he just wouldn't stand for disrespect. Or that's what it was at first.
Professor Grabiner's wife was a student. She had been both a student and his wife since she was 16 years old. Now she was nearly 19, and nearing the end of her final year at Iris Academy. She was most certainly two things, bright, and beautiful. Everything else, she seemed to lack. She was elected her first year as Treasurer because people liked her and believed she would do a good job. She was only re-elected because she'd done a good job. What this resulted in was unfortunate for her. You see, a beautiful girl with good grades is one thing. A beautiful girl with good grades who supposedly spends all her time with the Professor she typically attends the classes of is another thing. Despite that it wasn't true, it was assumed to be the case. And with very few friends, being her long term room mates and the President that had been elected every year with the same swiftness as the Treasurer, there were very few people to say how untrue all of these things were. Which, they were, drastically so.
The most unfortunate thing for her however, was that she had married halfway into her freshman year. So most people who would be naysayers merely assumed that she was flirting her way into Grabiner's pocket from the beginning. What had stopped the talking for a year was the word that it was to maintain an oath. People gave her the benefit of the doubt, and there was not much talk of favoritism. Then, a year passed. And she was asked by a boy to the ball, and she had promptly refused. When asked why, she said she was married, and would not accept due to this fact. And since then, the seeds of doubt had been planted. Why else would a pretty girl marry a much older, and grumpier man, but for grades? The students barely believed he stayed married to her for those reasons, nonetheless the idea that perhaps he actually enjoyed her company.
And that was how Neela Peya-Grabiner ended up on the recieving end of a speech, a speech she didn't like at all. The freshman and sophmore from this year (the freshman being the main culprits) didn't remember the first year of school for Neela. They didn't remember she was lanky (something she still was) and doe eyed. They didn't remember she had always been clumsy, spoke out of turn, or that she was extremely naive. They didn't remember because all those things had changed before they'd met her. And while Minnie, Ellen, and Virginia (and even Donald, who tried to keep up their friendship despite it ruining his terrible reputation) could tell anyone she was just like them from experience, they couldn't. To everyone of the students, she was a silent and softspoken girl with very good grades. They never saw her spend time with her grumpy husband because the two of them were not very open about those sorts of things, and so they assumed it was a marriage solely for carnal benefits and grade advancements, respectively. But to her, the clumsy loudmouth girl she still was inside was still there, just hidden behind the grown up layers a marriage to a man who could be your father would do to a teenage girl.
They also didn't know that her grades were not something she got handed. Oh no, on the contrary, she studied day and night and took her studies so seriously it got her sick sometimes. Her husband was hard to please in anything, and if she studied well and did everything right then he might just be a little more inclined to invite her for tea in his room. She was like a blushing school girl, just like any of them, but her young love did not want kisses or candies or notes. He was a grown man and to appeal to him, she had to grow up just a little faster. But she had enjoyed learning more about life. She had enjoyed his company, his knowledge, and the occasions in which he shared his life with her. Which was why now, sitting in front of Professor Potsdam and her husband, she was shocked to hear she would have to divorce her husband.
After being married to him for over two years. After working up the nerve to nearly beg to stay married to him, to make him understand that she felt more rewarded from his forms of affection than she ever could from someone her own age. To make him understand that well- she was serious about that young love business! And, most of all, after she had decided to give up her wildseed family after another week with them at the end of the year. To be a witch. To study the magical philosophies Ellen wanted to, and more, to apply it all, to learn more and more just like her husband. And...to stay with her husband. Even if she could no longer sit in his classes and take notes on everything he said and sometimes even take a moment to glance at him a little longer than necessary. She had decided it all. And now here it was.
"It's not what I want either," Professor Potsdam said sadly but all too eagerly. "But we finally decided to bring you into the conversation because it became more and more apparent that our little Freshman have...grown too hardheaded." Potsdam spoke unusually solemn, like she did whenever you did something wrong. But without too many metaphors and with just enough seriousness to know you couldn't doubt her. How long had this possibility been discussed without her? Neela was doing her best to be composed and elegant. "Isn't the entire purpose of this school to weed out such students who would refuse to cooperate based solely on rumors and gossip?" She was sure her husband would be proud, but she could not gage his reaction, as he was standing in the middle of Neela and Potsdam and turned just enough that looking at him was not subtle, and she didn't feel like losing her composure by seeing if she was losing through her husband.
But then he spoke. "That's correct. Unfortunately, this has stemmed into far more than gossip," his voice was actually ..rehearsed. Like he'd known he'd have to say all this. Like she was a child and not his wife who should be respected and protected. She almost choked on her words at that. 'No,' she thought bitterly, 'I guess it would protect me to shield me from knowledge that is apparently so frightening that it would force both the most fierce Professor in the entire school and the most set in her ways one as well into ...this' Neela lost a bit of composure for a moment and then looked at him. It was a mistake, she knew, because he seemed like he had for a long time. Like he did when he was in his own world that he did not consider her a part of. Not the face she understood and saw when they were alone. "Elaborate for me then," she smiled weakly.
She knew she'd lost the discussion before it was four sentences in. It had been one thing when students were supposing, but when the Professor's wife was a top honors student in the student Government and yet never seen with him? She was not displayed even with a token of affection from him. Potsdam had even interjected that the only reason they had not been allowed to use talk of children against them was because students were not permitted to carry children. Parents had started to complain. And then it went beyond that, to notions that perhaps Iris Academy needed to be scoped out and made sure to be official. That perhaps they needed one or two more Professors of choice decided by parents. A lot of things, a lot of rules, and all of them would destroy the intended place of the academy. To protect and teach every student from Wildseed to magic born.
And it was all because of Neela.
She supposed she would have been upset either way. Well, because she loved her husband. She didn't say that, she knew the reaction she'd get, but she loved him dearly. Sitting there knowing the truth, that she would need to divorce him and that it would need to be public knowledge, unsettled her. But it was worse to hear it in an office. To hear from her husband and her professor together in the most uncaring and incompassionate way ever that she would be divorced was the kick in the stomach she needed to feel very hurt.
Then there was an awkward silence. What could anyone say? All her husband could say is, ...well something snarky she knew she wouldn't like. Or maybe something caring, but that would hurt more. And Potsdam would just give that sad look she always did when she could do nothing and then say everything she just did but more harshly. And all Neela would say is, No, I don't want this. And then she'd be weak to everyone and she wanted *that* least of all. Then Professor Potsdam spoke.
"If you'll be a dear and come in now," she said gently but loud enough that she could be heard outside the door, "We need you." Neela turned to look and there was Minnie Cochran with her elegant long brown hair and her matching chocolate brown eyes. If people thought Neela was beautiful then Minnie was radiant. But she looked sad, just like she had at Neela's wedding. And then she realized in horror that she was going to have a divorce right that second and *Minnie* would be the witness. Neela stood.
"Well," she said with a smile. "I guess we'd better get it over with." The smile was seethrough. So seethrough she knew they all caught her intention, but respected they could not pry. But she didn't crack until her soon to be ex-husband stood beside her. "I'm sorry, Neela. It was wrong of me to withhold this from you, and to spring it on you so suddenly. I was doing my best to protect you," he stated delicately. So unlike him. So...completely unlike him. Neela laughed and everyone in the room turned to her.
"Our marriage really was filled with too many apologies," she said sadly.
It had all happened so suddenly, and becoming divorced was just as quick. Just like her wedding. But not her marriage, that had been so deceptively long. So nice, too. When the words were said and witnessed and done, she was just Neela Peya again. Professor Potsdam looked at her with a sad smile, and *Professor* Grabiner was very hard to read. "Just so you know, this only has to apply while you are a student, Neela,"
Neela froze. Why would she even say that? Her ex husband hadn't cared enough to share with her, had not warned her, had never even really said he loved her after two years, and she was supposed to think maybe just MAYBE he'd do all of the things he hated again? Maybe it wouldn't have to be in a dungeon this time. Maybe it could be in a swamp, or a dumpster. How *lovely*. "Petunia. You're not giving the intention you think you are. If you'd please be QUIET and let me-" But the words had already sunken in. The realization of two lost years trying to impress someone who didn't seem to care much at all. Tears sprung from her eyes and she moved her hand quickly to stifle a sob. She accidentally made the mistake of looking at Hieronymous Grabiner and seeing the oddest most perplexing look of ..guilt? Maybe even sadness? On his face. And yet she had to leave, she didn't have time to look or dissect anything. She ran crying out of the room.
Professor Potsdam got a deathglare from her co worker. "Well, that would have been a perfect opportunity to propose marriage.. in a few months! Afterall, there's no way she can fail now!" Minnie Cochran noticed the look on Professor Grabiner's face was not actually of disgust at the idea, but anger that Potsdam had said what she did. "You insufferable-" and then Minnie left too, not wanting to get involved. But she did catch "As if I would allow you to view me in such a moment you ridiculous -" and the last word she chose to ignore.
Neela was halfway back to her room when she was stopped by Ellen, who had just returned from the mall. "Neela, are you alright?" she said with extreme concern. She'd never really seen her cry before, maybe once or twice. "no.." she said with some strain. When she refused to answer Ellen took her back to the room. "Tell me, Neela..."
Neela looked up with red eyes and tears still pouring from her face.