This is the part where the movie plays in extra-slow slow-motion.
She had it all planned out. She calculated the exact position of her envelope on the table based on the position of her name in the alphabet relative to the other students. She would make a beeline for that spot, swiftly take what was hers, and hide.
Not a person in the world would be able to tell anything from her reaction, but she wouldn't take the chance.
Later she would find that everyone knew that she would succeed. Everyone but herself, of course.
Doubt was just another of those little things that crept into her mind without her consent; invading her brain and modifying her thoughts at will.
Finding a secluded spot, she hastily opened the envelope. Her breathing evened out as she scanned the paper in her trembling hand.
Her gaze fixated on a single 'B'.
In a physical sense, it was heavily outnumbered by better grades, but it was the only one she really concentrated upon. She flicked over the page to the percentages, a glutton for punishment seeking to know the distance by which she had missed her target.
Half a percent. Half. A. Percent.
The disappointment was considerably slight; after all, the set of grades would be far better than many other witches. And good is only good if it's compared to something bad.
She glanced around sharply, startled by the raucous sounds of others obnoxiously celebrating their own achievements. Sighing, she neatly folded her paper and musingly fiddled with it for a moment.
They never felt like achievements to Constance, only pointless facts; meaningless scribbles on headed paper.
Taking another deep breath, she decided to re-enter the Hall, for the sole reason that she was at a loss for anything else to do. For weeks, her thoughts had focused purely on this day, and this day alone. Now, it was barely 10am and 'the day' was over. There was momentarily nothing to worry about. Of course, she would soon have to worry about the next part of her future, but she could ignore that for now.
With those results, this was the time for being happy and celebrating, although Constance would settle for a brief sense of relief and contentment, her equivalent to happiness – something that others could never understand. Not that they would try.
She drifted like a ghost amongst the people she should've known well; the people that could've been her friends had she the courage to trust them. As she stifled a smirk at the tears of a failing witch who had once hurt her, she knew in her heart that her isolation was not solely due to her own deficiency. Her thoughts may be a bit nasty, some would say pessimistic, even cynical, but they were certainly not irrational.
Why should I be expected to trust those who are not trustworthy?
Pausing for a moment, she glanced around the Hall for what would probably be the final time.
A familiar voice spoke; one of crisp, clear articulation; one that, in a just world, would have been filled with pride on that day.
Constance turned slightly to her tutor – her now former tutor – and dared to show a particularly unnoticeable smile.
"Well, Constance, I must say that that was rather disappointing, wasn't it?"
With that, she disappeared, leaving Constance with the crushing feeling of despair she always worked so hard to avoid.
In her mind, she would lash out and finally speak her mind. In reality, she would dig her fingernails into her own hands, walk away and let it slide.
She says horrid things, but at least she speaks the truth.
She would let it slide because that old witch was all she had.
She would be the one who vowed to protect her, to help her, to still be there when she returned.
And though Constance would know that those vows would be lies, she would not cut her ties. Just in case there was an improbable chance that this time, for the first time, a truthful person would not turn out to be a liar in disguise.
Of course, Constance's intrusive, instinctive thought processes would still be as rational as they had learnt to be to survive. She would know. She would spot the lies a mile away, but she would pretend otherwise.
Right down to the moment she fell to the bottom of an endless chasm, she would reach out a hand, despite knowing that nobody would be there to rescue her.
I walk alone, I walk a line.
Lost in silent thought as she walked away from the college, she realised the most important thing that she had learnt was to make sure she would never fall from her tightrope.
Confidence and control.