A/N Pretty new to all this, so go easy on me!
Disclaimer: I have never, do not, and will never own Wicked, or the characters that feature in it. The only thing that's mine is the plot.
It was the coldest day since records had begun when a troop of eager new students collected at the gates of Shiz University. Many stood in groups, chattering to try and keep warm, bashing their hands together occasionally in a somewhat futile attempt to increase circulation to their stiff fingers.
Others, the ones who had come to Shiz with the hopes of making new friends, lingered awkwardly, slightly away from the main huddle of budding scholars, eyeing the companionships with a fair amount of jealousy.
Porters bustled about frantically, pushing great trolleys of luggage towards the sprawling building that was Shiz, the most prestigious University in all of Oz. Perhaps, then, that was why the students were so excited. Much studying and hard work had been carried out in order for them to get there and, indeed, they all felt as if they deserved a place.
The air was heavy with the threat of snow, and people were beginning to wonder just why it was taking such a long time for everything to be finalised. They had been promised the finest service there was at a place of education, and many of the snootier students began to declare, rather loudly, that there would be trouble if things did not move along presently.
Their chagrin was, however, interrupted by the arrival of a grand carriage that, judging by the copious amounts of golden swirls on the luxurious purple exterior, was probably from Gillikin. Their perception was confirmed when an extremely tall man, dressed in the tails and top-hat of a carriage driver, stepped down, unclipped the bolt on the door and opened it up.
An audible gasp rushed through the crowd as a tiny, gloved hand appeared from inside and was taken by the driver in order to assist its owner down the steps. Incidentally, the owner of the hand was far more beautiful than anyone could have ever imagined. The more arrogant males looked at each other with a sort of anticipation, raising their eyebrows and licking their lips. Every girl stood transfixed with open mouths, far too shocked by the offending beauty of this new-comer to care about their own appearances. One lad, a tallish munchkin named Boq even promptly fainted and was ignored as he lay on the floor, unconscious through overwhelming arousal.
The girl herself could tell that everyone's eyes were on her and, quite frankly, that was just the way she liked it. Her pale features suited the icy day perfectly, but had it been in the middle of a scorching summer, she would have appeared just as angelic. Her rather unnatural looking blonde hair, curled to perfection, glowed in what little sunlight there was, giving her an ethereal glow. Blue eyes gazed out excitedly between two perfect cheekbones that mirrored each other exactly. Her nose was small; cutely so, and suited her face well. But it was the mouth that caused such a stir within the male, and indeed, some of the female, novices. The lips were pink and full, entirely kissable. When the girl opened her mouth to shine her new fans a dazzling smile, her teeth were especially white in contrast to her lips, and straight too, as if they had been drawn by a perfectionist artist.
Her entire being, it seemed, was a masterpiece. Even with the presence of a thick travelling cloak and scarf, her body too was a model of perfection, with curves in all the right places, and a painfully thin waist, accentuated by the latest fashion and a helpful corset.
As if that wasn't enough, when she spoke, it was like nothing any of the students had ever heard. Her voice, though artificially high in pitch, was soothing and flowed with the noble tones of someone of importance.
"I am Galinda Upland of the Arduenna Clan of the Upper Uplands in Frottica, and it is a pleasure to meet all of you." She grinned, happy to have made the correct first impression, and stepped carefully onto the ground, sighing loudly when she felt the squelch of mud under her white-satin-shoed feet.
She turned towards the carriage, fluttering her fingers in a sort-of-goodbye gesture. Everybody assumed it was her parents inside, but no one could tell for sure, as the door was shut abruptly and the driver set about clicking his fingers at a flushed looking porter, in order to gain his assistance with Galinda's copious amounts of luggage.
The twenty Oz-note tip did not go unnoticed by many of the spectators. Many of them felt it was an amount unworthy of the task that the poor porter now had to carry out. In total, Galinda Upland had twelve large suitcases, three smaller bags, two handbags and a leather holdall devoted solely to make-up.
She looked expectantly at the young lad, who had an expression of pure terror on his teenage face and quickly dashed off to find help. Galinda whirled around to her driver and stamped her foot on the ground.
"Well, that was rather rude. Doesn't he know he's not supposed to take the money if he hasn't done anything? I'll see to it that he's fired at once." She was not pleased.
The driver said nothing; he was used to her arrogant outbursts and inwardly smiled smugly when the porter returned with three of his friends, each wielding a separate trolley.
"Well, Miss Galinda, this is where I leave you. I do hope your first term here at Shiz is most informative. Your parents will write to you in one week, and will expect a reply detailing everything that has happened. Do you understand?"
"Yes, of course I do." Galinda looked at him almost disbelievingly. She was not an imbecile. Despite knowing that she could have obtained a place at Shiz based purely on her charm and beauty, she had submitted an entrance essay like everybody else. So, she thought, she was capable of understanding a simple task.
Slightly irritated, she smiled a smile which never quite reached her bright eyes, and didn't watch the carriage drive away. Instead, she spoke to the porter who had taken her family's money.
"This luggage is to be taken to private suite number two. Do you think you can manage that?" The astounding level of condescension in her voice made the boy blush furiously, nod and pick up the first suitcase, which just so happened to be about a foot taller than him.
Galinda made sure her voice was kept hushed when she spoke with such arrogance; it was all very well for the commoners to know that to disobey orders from someone as superior as her would be suicidal, but for her equals and, dare she say it, her betters to think that she was snobbish just wouldn't do.
Scanning the crowd, she attempted to ascertain who were the wealthiest. There were two girls, dressed in fine gowns, standing together, looking down on almost everyone else in the crowd; Galinda decided to investigate. Taking care not to slip on the icy ground, she walked with ease, even in her six inch heels, a skill which had been acquired through years of practice. When she was a few feet away from her destination, the two girls stopped nattering to each other and turned to look at Galinda, who outwardly remained her confident demeanour, yet inside wavered slightly at their harsh stares.
"Hello girls, I am Galinda Upland of the..."
"Yes yes, we know who you are Miss Galinda." The taller girl, who had a short black bob and piercing grey eyes, spoke first, voice just as cold and bleak as the weather. The material of her dress and abundance of jewels on her coat told Galinda that this girl was probably of noble heritage, and was a definite friendship possibility.
"We do love your shoes, Miss Galinda. They're simply gorgeous." The other girl addressed Galinda next. Her hair was bright red and wavy, kept in place with a diamond encrusted clip, signalling that she also was wealthy, and a good candidate for a close acquaintance.
"Oh thank you, you're too kind. They're made from the finest Gillikin silk, of course. Who would ever settle for less?" She laughed haughtily and the other girls joined in, but simultaneously rolled their eyes. To them, this new, blonde arrival was nothing but a bimbo who would serve as funding for parties and as a rung on the social ladder they hoped to climb.
"Sorry, I didn't catch your names." Galinda smiled at them sweetly, eyes quivering with the effort of looking genuinely chirpy, and waited in anticipation.
"I am Pfannee Drant of the Gloriana clan of the Perth Hills and this is..."
The red haired girl cut in, seemingly unabashed that Pfannee had obviously taken the lead in their newfound 'friendship'.
"I'm Shenshen Cross of Big Appleton in Munchkinland, but we do own a holiday home in the Upper Uplands, a beautiful cottage called Whorlock Place. Such a wonderful..."
She was cut off by an incessant giggling of sorts, coming from behind Galinda who, in her bid to be absolutely focused on what her new acquaintances were saying, did not notice the blush on the person's cheeks. Galinda slowly turned on her heel, in a rather sinister fashion, and plastered her biggest, brightest smile on her face, ready to greet the new girl who obviously wanted to be a part of their little posse. She would have to undergo strict inspection first, of course, but Galinda was a positive person, and could see the good in most people.
She was shocked, however, when she found the person to be of the male gender. What was perhaps even more appalling to Galinda, was the fact that the boy's height was not much more than her own. He was dressed in a navy and white striped suit, with cut off trousers and a short jacket, which really did not help his height problem, thought Galinda. His shirt was lime green and his tie was made from an assortment of materials, all pink, and all disgusting. His head was adorned with a woollen hat the colour of an excitable child's vomit, and his bright green eyes shone out beneath two thick, black eyebrows which looked a little like caterpillars. In short, this boy was not the type of person that Galinda envisaged marrying, and that made him quite useless to her.
"Good morning to you, Miss Galinda!" He squealed, waving so hard his entire body shook with the force of it.
Galinda winced at the shrill tone his voice possessed, his harsh Munchkinland accent making her brain confusified. For once in her life, Galinda couldn't think of anything to say, so she waved regally at the boy, smiled, and turned back round to face her friends.
The Munchkin, Boq, had since recovered from his early spell of dizziness at the sight of Galinda, and had decided to say hello to the new love of his life. It hadn't gone quite as well as he had hoped, yet he still felt warm and fuzzy at the smile she had offered him. Returning to his baggage, he seemed to glide and, in a haze of sorts, he missed the commotion occurring over the other side of the courtyard.
A tall, painfully thin girl with hair as black as night and skin as green as sin was being grabbed round the top of her arm by a man who might have been her father, but it was unable to be sure, as his skin tone didn't match hers. Still, this girl seemed like an anomaly; nobody had ever seen or even heard of a green person before. Her very presence seemed to cause the earth to shift, and a sudden icy wind whipped up, earning curses and tighter huddling from the students.
The girl herself was dressed in a navy blue dress and matching jacket, both of which swamped her. Her feet were clad in practical boots, with large scuff marks and ragged laces, and her hands were adorned with fingerless gloves, the tops of ten digits breaking free from their constraints like fragile, moss covered twigs. Her glasses were round and plain, and her thick, glossy hair was tied back into a harsh braid. Still, though she was not classically beautiful, there was something of an exotic quality to her, what with that skin and the strange way her dark, shadowy eyes seemed to dart around quicker than seemed possible, analysing her surroundings and the people that inhabited it. A fixed scowl marred her face, however, and her eyes remained narrow as the scene played out.
The man stuck his face close to hers, and she visibly flinched as flecks of spit hit her on her straight nose. She looked a little put out, but didn't seem to notice the crushing hand encircling her arm. The man pushed her away from him violently, and then proceeded to stalk off back to his carriage, helping a beautiful, brown haired girl with no arms down the steps.
The green girl picked up her suitcase and looked down at her hands, which were turning a pale, sickly colour because of the cold. Tiny snowflakes had begun to fall and she looked faintly terrified. She could feel dozens of pairs of eyes piercing her skin that was the cause of such hatred in so many. The abuse she got from her father was manageable; the revulsion she elicited from everyone who laid eyes on her was too much to think about. But she wouldn't cry, not in front of these imbeciles, anyway.
Galinda, noticing that her two new friends weren't paying her the slightest bit of attention to her rant about inefficient servants, whipped her head round expecting to see some gorgeous specimen of a man, but instead was stunned at seeing some froggy girl who was wearing clothes from what Galinda called 'the olden days'.
"Sweet Oz!" She muttered to herself, slightly entranced by the bizarre sight in front of her. Every single other student had their eyes fixed to the girl, similar expressions of disgust and intrigue washing over their cold faces.
"Well, Elphaba...are you going to help your sister or not?" The silence hung uncomfortably as a booming voice rang out through the courtyard, making Galinda jump a little. Hoping to the Unnamed God that no one had noticed, she nudged Pfannee, who was still staring, open-mouthed at this Elphaba creature.
Elphaba herself rolled her eyes and turned on her heel, heading over to help the tragic looking girl who was apparently her sister. Placing a guiding hand at the younger girl's waist, she led her to a wheelchair that had been set up for her by a helpful porter. The two girls exchanged a knowing smile tinged with sadness, and Elphaba stood beside her sister protectively.
"Take care of your sister. If I hear of just one example of your insolence, you'll no longer be welcome at home." The accent was decidedly Munchkinland. Her father's threat seemed sinister enough but Elphaba stood resolutely and stared at her feet. Those nearest to her may have heard her release her breath heavily, as her father walked away, and seen her shoulders loosen up as she rolled her neck. She stopped suddenly, remembering that she was holding the attention of hundreds of young people, and made herself busy, securing her sister into her wheelchair.
"Are you alright, Nessa?" Her tone was motherly, but not patronising, as she wrapped her sister's shawl around her shoulders a little tighter.
"As alright as I'll ever be I suppose," came the bitter reply. Elphaba could only nod and look at her fidgety fingers sheepishly.
The crowd was still transfixed at the odd, albeit beautiful green skin she possessed and Elphaba could feel herself growing hot at their stares, even in the sub zero conditions. She pushed her glasses up her nose in a rather self conscious manner and started to twirl the end of her braided hair round her finger.
Meanwhile, Galinda's eyes were glued to the girl. Her expression was a mixture of horror, wonder and fascination. She turned to Pfannee and Shenshen, both of whom looked completely revolted, and clicked her fingers in front of their faces a few times.
"Are you seeing what I'm seeing?" She asked, sounding slightly crazed. Here she was, having just met these two girls, sounding deranged and looking incompetent. She mentally pulled herself together.
"Yes. We. Are." Pfannee said rather devilishly with an evil smile on her face, before pushing past Galinda and making her way over to Elphaba.
Elphaba herself noticed the girl walking over to her and raised a single, perfectly black eyebrow and sucked on her bottom lip in confusion. Her hands dropped to her sides, clenched into fists, just in case.
"Can I help you?" She spoke defensively with a scowl plastered across her mouth.
"Oh my sweet Oz. It talks!" Pfannee exclaimed delightedly, earning several loud snorts from those closest to her. Elphaba's nostrils flared with contempt and, had Nessa not been on hand to kick her in the shin, she would have surely shut Pfannee up with a firm slap.
"Elphaba, stop it. You're behaving like a child. A manly child!" Nessa hissed at her sister, appalled that she should react so violently.
Pfannee made her way back to Galinda and Shenshen, the latter of who was giggling wildly at her friend's wonderful prank. Galinda, however, was lost in thought. She could understand why people would stare at Elphaba and be intrigued by her undeniably odd skin, but she could not fathom why anyone would want to bully and abuse her, as Pfannee had just done, based on the colour of her skin. Galinda was not perfect, she herself could admit that, and to ridicule someone because of something that was out of their control seemed pathetic to her. She was arrogant, yes, but she was not prejudiced.
"Galinda? Are you there?" Shenshen cackled at Pfannee's latest attempt at humour, and Galinda sighed inwardly.
"Awfully sorry girls. I think she's using her strange, Munchkinland powers to entrance me. How very dare she!" Galinda wasn't entirely sure why she said it, but the snickers from Pfannee and Shenshen made her feel good.
Suddenly, the gates to the university creaked open and a solid cheer ran throughout the crowds. An ancient looking, white-haired, rather plump woman, dressed in what resembled a ghastly set of maroon curtains was walking towards the students, and many physically recoiled at her fishy face. Her hair was scraped back into a vicious looking bun, which acted as a rather effective face lift.
Her voice was nothing short of a boom, and Elphaba winced at the din that seemed to coincide with the fishy woman's lip movements.
"Welcome, welcome, new students! I am Madame Morrible, Head Shiztress here at Shiz University." She turned to her right, where a trusty looking companion stood, eager to please. In her hands was a clipboard; Madame Morrible snatched it with her own arthritic claws.
"Now, you have all been placed in rooms with a student of the same sex, and there will be no shuffling around once I have read out the room allocations. Is that understood?" Her eyes darted around and scared everyone into nodding their heads fervently. Even some of the more muscular, hardy boys looked uncomfortable. Madame Morrible sniffed smugly and looked over the top of the tiny glasses perched on her nose.
"Master Crope will room with Master Tibbett in room forty four." Two boys high-fived each other and began to roll their cases towards the magnificent building, looking pleased with themselves.
"Miss Pfannee will room with Miss Shenshen." Galinda's new friends sighed in relief and followed their male classmates, two porters pushing their copious amount of luggage on trolleys.
The rooming ordeal carried on for about ten minutes until the only people left were Galinda, Elphaba and Nessa, all of whom were looking decidedly put out at having been stuck out in the cold for the longest. The green one of the group wheeled her sister towards Madame Morrible, who was scrubbing at a liver spot on the back of her gnarled hand, apparently believing that enough spit and scouring would get rid of the thing. Clearing her throat loudly and purposefully, Elphaba stood steadfast in front of the older woman who, when she looked up, gave a shriek of horror at the offending skin.
"Well, I'll be Ozdamned, there's a green girl here!" She chuckled, as if it was the only way to get over the shock of her new verdant student. Still clutching her chest, Morrible shook her head quickly from side to side and smiled a smile that never quite reached her watery eyes.
"We haven't received our room allocations, Madame Morrible," her voice tinged with just a hint of irritation, Elphaba clenched her jaw as her Head Shiztress seemed to look into her very soul, as if she was measuring how much trouble this young, seemingly headstrong, girl was going to be.
Galinda, meanwhile, was feeling exasperated. She was from the Upper Uplands, and this frog girl and her disabled sister were from Munchkinland. This just was not right; she should have been dealt with first! She had to say something. Rushing forward as fast as her heeled feet would carry her, Galinda barged in front of Elphaba and her sister, and plastered a huge, obviously fake smile on her face for Madame Morrible.
"Madame Morrible, excuse me for interrupting, but I have already been assigned a private suite." She didn't sound sorry at all. Elphaba was flabbergasted that somebody could be so rude.
Morrible seemed not to care much for the petty dispute about to happen, and instead placed a hand heavily on Galinda's shoulder and looked her deep in the eye, with the same state Elphaba had been victim to mere minutes before.
"Yes deary, about that. There's been some sort of confusion with Miss Thropp's room and..."
"Madame Morrible, my father explicitly asked you to prepare a room suitable for my sister, and he will not be best pleased if his requirements are not met!" Elphaba was, quite frankly, exasperated and her words exploded out of her rather like lava out of a volcano as it erupts. Galinda was shocked.
"So rude..." she muttered under her breath, earning a look full of disdain from Elphaba. Galinda didn't care much.
"Yes, Miss Elphaba, if you'd just let me finish, I was about to say that your sister's room is ready and waiting for her. It's right next door to mine, so I am able to assist her. It is your room that is the problem."
"But I've always looked after my sister, and I promised my father." Her voice trailed off as she spoke of her father; his effect on her was clear.
Galinda was intrigued, never mind being irritated, by this girl's past. But, she supposed, she'd never know the ins and outs. Shame.
"I'm afraid your father isn't here, Miss Elphaba. Perhaps you should attempt to look at the positives of this situation."
Elphaba was shocked that a woman in such a position could be so offensive to a new student's family but, she realised, Morrible had a point.
"I suppose, if I'm allowed to visit her every day, then this could work."
Suddenly, Nessa spoke up.
"But where will you stay, Fabala?" Her voice was dripping with arrogance and Galinda was a little shocked, but said nothing, and awkwardly traced patterns in the dust with the toe of her shoe, head pointed firmly down towards the ground.
It seemed as if Elphaba didn't have an answer to that. She could feel tears of betrayal spring to her eyes, but Madame Morrible was quick to save the situation.
"Why, Miss Elphaba will share with Miss Galinda!" She looked very happy with herself; the two girls in question were horrified.
"Madame, I honestly don't think that will be appropriate. I mean, look at us, we are not the sort of people that share a dorm room! Please, Madame Morrible." Galinda was one step away from getting down on her knees and begging.
The older woman merely shook her head, guffawing as she did.
"Did I not say, that there was to be no altering the rooming arrangements? Room twenty two. I suggest you get settled, dinner is at seven o clock." With that, she grabbed the handles of Nessa's wheelchair and made her way inside, her assistant hurrying after her with the young girl's baggage.
Elphaba was fuming. She grabbed her single suitcase with a ferocity that made Galinda jump. Elphaba rolled her eyes, tutted, and stalked off towards the University. With everybody else gone inside, there was no one to help Galinda transport her luggage to her room. She stomped her foot and huffed four times before Elphaba turned on her heel, a wild look on her angular face, threw her own suitcase on top and proceeded to push the huge trolley inside. Galinda stood, transfixed at the scene playing out before her, unable to move, mouth hung open like a fish on a hook.
"Well, are you coming?" Elphaba spat, viciously. This seemed to wake Galinda up from whatever trance she was in, and she trotted along to catch up with her new roommate, still taken aback by her strange actions.
Elphaba picked up two sets of room keys from reception, pocketed one, and threw the other to a startled Galinda. When they finally made it to Galinda's now not-so private suite, there was a note stuck to the door with tape. It read;
'To Miss Galinda Upland, of the Upper Uplands,
We hope you find this room satisfactory. We love you very much. Good luck with your first term at Shiz; we are so proud of you! Write to us soon.
All our love,
Mumsy and Popsicle xxx'
Elphaba sniggered and thrust the note in Galinda's face; the blonde promptly blushed and stuffed the offending paper in the pocket of her jacket furiously. It only made Elphaba laugh harder.
Once inside, Elphaba herself was a little taken aback at how luxurious the room was. It was pretty much like a five star hotel, and she couldn't help but wonder what she'd done to deserve such good fortune. The floor was carpeted in a luscious cream, and the walls were very pink, as was the ceiling. It took Elphaba a moment to realise just how pink the room was. She was rather appalled when, in her haste to escape the pink, she found herself surrounded by even more of the hue in the bathroom. Even the toilet was pink.
One thing had become very clear; Galinda had her parents wrapped round her little finger. Oh, and she liked pink.
A problem soon arose, and Galinda shrieked from the adjoining room. Elphaba rushed out from the bathroom, expecting to see some sort of horrendous scene involving lots of blood and guts, preferably belonging to Galinda.
"What is it? What's wrong with you?"
"There's only one bed! Madame Morrible was awfully silly to have roomed you with me; where will you sleep?" The look on her face was nothing short of smug, and Galinda folded her arms, white-satined toe tapping gently, expectantly on the plush carpet.
Elphaba, instead of breaking down and crying, and promising to leave immediately as Galinda had hoped, walked forward and stuck her face very close to the shorter girl's.
"Miss Galinda, do you honestly believe that I am that much of an imbecile, that I can't see your little scheme? I understand you don't want to room with me, but rest assured the feelings are mutual. Don't worry, my skin isn't contagious but, if you touch any of my things, or if you interrupt my studying, I will make your life a living hell. Is that understood?" Warm breath blew onto Galinda's face, and she felt a little shudder run up her spine. She was slightly terrified, and could actually feel her hands shaking, despite them still being in gloves.
"I'll take that as a yes." Elphaba said, sounding very full of herself. She turned, unloaded her suitcase from the trolley and stalked into the bathroom, slamming the door a little wildly.
"Well, I do hope you're not planning on sleeping in the bath; that would be most inconvenient."
A/N Love it? Hate it? Want me to go jump off a cliff? Let me know.