Welcome to my first attempt at a Malory Towers fanfic! Apologies for the massive introduction, I promise there's a story too. I've set this story in 2013, 55 years after Darrell and co left Malory Towers (Enid Blyton's books are clearly set in the 50s but no exact years are given so I made some up). Some of the characters are the grand daughters, great grand daughters, great nieces and great nieces of old girls. I've tried to make my story tie in with Blyton's but as I've never read the Felicity sequels it might totally contradict them.

I imagine that a school like Malory Towers would have had to expand and change considerably over the years and my story reflects this. I do understand how the system of strating and moving up the school in the books works, I can explain it if anyone wants to know – suffice to say it's the way most British boarding schools used to work. In my story first years all start in September, the following September they become second years (the standard British system, as seen in Harry Potter). Each year group has sixty girls divided into three forms of twenty, five girls from each form live in each tower (again a standard set up). All these extra girls couldn't fit in the original school building so it's now mostly used for accommodation although it also contains the dining hall (one for the school), library, assembly hall, san, head's rooms and various other facilities. Teaching takes place in modern blocks of classrooms. If anything is confusing you please say so, and I'll try to explain.

I've mostly opted for a normal story telling style but parts of the story are told as letters or emails between characters. The key student characters are all North Tower first years. There's Darrell's youngest granddaughter Sam, Felicity's oldest great granddaughter Lauren, Alicia's great niece Izzy plus Becky and Jenny.

The legal stuff – this story is based on the Malory Towers books by Enid Blyton and uses some of her characters and locations. I claim no credit for their development and no right to the copyright. It's also influenced by Anne Digby's Trebizon books. I am the sole author of this story and the sole creator of my original characters. I claim my rights in accordance.

26th August 2013

Dear Sam,

You're my youngest grandchild and now you're off to my old school. There's a lot of things I want to say to you and I've decided to say them in a letter so you can keep them to hand. Firstly, and selfishly, I'd like to hear what's going on at my old school – do send me lots of emails won't you.

More importantly Sam I want you to remember why you are being sent to Malory Towers. It's a fine school, you'll get an excellent education and meet people who will be your friends for life. Friends and educational achievement are important but the main thing is that you put as much into Malory Towers as you get out. If you do then you'll come out a smart, brave, trustworthy woman ready to take on the world. And I'll be even prouder of you than I am now.

Love Granny (Darrell Rivers, North Tower 1951-1958)

12th September 2013,

Dear Granny,

Well I promised I'd email you from Malory Towers and now I've been here a week it's a good time to start. I think things have changed a lot since you were here, we don't have any lessons in the main school building now, they're all in the new blocks spread round it. Luckily there are covered walkways so when it rains we won't get too wet! I'm in North Tower of course and so are Lauren and somebody called Izzy who says her great-aunt was your friend Alicia. Was that the one who was always playing tricks?

They're both in my dorm. Apart from them there's Jenny, Francois, Charlotte, Lucia and Becky. Charlotte comes from China and Lucia's from Brazil. We're dorm number 1. Next to us is dorm 2 (well durr) which has seven more first years. So that's sixty altogether in my year, 15 in each tower. It seems a lot. Luckily we're in three forms for classes, come the end of this term we have exams and then setting by ability. So I'd best try and be in the top English set so as not to disgrace you.

Love Sam

21st September 2013,

Dear Granny,

Thank you for all the stories about Alicia and June. We all had a good laugh about it, even Charlotte who says people in China work hard all the time and never play tricks on teachers. Jenny says she's sure she can come up with some good tricks, I can't wait. On the subject of old time Malory Towers, Francois says she has a great aunt who was a teacher here. How crazy is that? She's going to ask her mother for the details. Sadly the aunt is long dead so we won't be able to ask her about your terrible misdeeds.

Anyway enough gossip, I'd better tell you what I've been up to. Well we can't swim in the sea pool any more as the weather has got too cold. Luckily there's a nice pool in the sports centre so we go there once a week. Other week days we play lacrosse. Did you play? Apart from that it's just lessons though most of them are quite good. I've decided I really like science, it's so much more fun here as we get to do experiments and so on.

Love Sam

23rd September 2013,

Dear Sam,

Of course I played lacrosse my girl – you just look up the old records in the library and the sports centre. I wasn't as good as my friend Sally though, she was games captain of the school in the end. Then there was Amanda Chartelow – google her. Alicia was good too and so was June. Do you still get good teas after games? It used to be the best meal of the day. We'd come in cold and hungry and there would be cake and sandwiches and tea waiting for us. Well my love I'm out to lunch today so I must close now. I look forward to hearing from you when you have the time. (They used to make us write home every Sunday. Imagine it, sat in the common room with paper and pen trying to think what to write. You even had to show the sealed envelope to a prefect or a mistress before you posted it)

Love Gran

1st October 2013,

Dear Gran,

Seriously? That's sooo harsh. I'm glad they don't monitor our correspondence. Mind you we don't get games teas either, not unless we're in a match squad anyway. You get teas after matches. Speaking of which I'm in the junior lacrosse team! On the wing because I'm such a fast runner. Becky from my dorm is in the team too. Lauren and Izzy are in the second team. Do say you'll come to some of our matches, I'm attaching the fixture list. There's one at half term so you could come for that, it would give you a good excuse to have a nose around.

Francois' aunt was Mademoiselle Dupont. Do you remember her at all? Maybe she was after your time.

Love Sam.

"Come on Sam, we'll be late for dinner at this rate".

"No we won't, we've got five minutes til the bell goes. But don't worry. I'm coming".

Samantha Barrett, normally called Sam, clicked the shut down button on her laptop, closed the lid and shoved it into her locker which she closed firmly. All the first years kept their valuables in the lockers by their beds, it made sure that nothing could be stolen by any outsider sneaking in whilst they were at lessons or meals.

"Hurry up Sam, I'm starving" complained Sam's cousin Lauren.

"Somehow I doubt it" replied Sam, bouncing off her bed. "Anyway I'm ready now - race you!"

She took off, running light footed out of the dormitory, along the corridor, down the stairs and along the corridor which connected North Tower to the school dining room. Lauren tore after her laughing. The two skidded to a halt at the table reserved for North Tower first formers and took their seats. "See we aren't even last" Sam chided Lauren. "Jenny isn't here yet".

As the bell was ringing a few late comers strode into the dining room, if you weren't inside before the bell stopped you were late. And if you were late you got an order mark. Five order marks got you a detention. Sam had two, Lauren one. Jenny had already accumulated three in less than a month at Malory Towers. As the bell sounded its last note, Jenny sped through the doors. Pulling up in a hurry she walked nonchalantly to the table. "Jennifer Hawley" began Elizabeth Herbert, the prefect in charge of the table, "you were very nearly late".

"Only very nearly though" replied Jenny "I'm sorry Elizabeth. Shall I pour the juice for everyone"? Elizabeth nodded her consent and Jenny began to pour sixteen cups of orange juice from the big metal jug that stood at her end of the table. The others began to pass the food around. It was Friday evening and that meant chips, beans, peas and a choice of fried fish, chicken nuggets or vegetarian sausages. Everybody liked Friday night, normally Malory Towers meals were far more healthy!

"So then, which of you shrimps made it into the lacrosse team?" asked Elizabeth. She herself was not very interested in games but she did try to take a keen interest in the first years she was partly responsible for. "I did" Sam said proudly "so did Becky". Izzy finished her mouthful of fish and cleared her throat "Lauren and I are in the second team".

Elizabeth smiled "excellent. Normally the junior teams are mostly second years so you four have done very well. Of course it means you also get points for the house and form trophies. Two points for North Tower for every match you each play for the school and two for your forms."

"Brilliant" said Sam "we're all in the same form". Each year group at Malory Towers had sixty girls who were divided into three forms of twenty each, there were five girls from each form in every tower. The forms took the names of famous old heads of the school. Sam and co were in Grayling form, named after the longest serving Head of Malory Towers. There was also Tregoning form which was named after the first headmistress and Wilshire form which was named after the first headmaster. At the moment the twenty girls of Grayling form took all their lessons together but next term they would be mixed up with first years from the other forms for English, maths, science and foreign languages, the twenty girls best at each subject being taught together and so on. It was all rather confusing.