2 –Accidental Outing
"So I see you managed to choose a fag in the time span of a day, Violet. You aren't to fickle are you?" Redmond commented. I saw Cheslock clench his fists tight at his sides.
"Don't disrespect him from that simple run in we had this morning. He proved himself a much more worldly and interesting person than I thought." I said, focusing on a drawing of Cheslock, I had decided to draw him with an air of darkness but at the same time glowing light. He's got the potential to go flying in either direction on the spectrum.
"Well then… You've surely gotten Violet's approval." Redmond said smiling. "I am the prefect of Scarlet Fox, Edgar Redmond, it is a pleasure to meet you on better terms, Cheslock."
Cheslock nods. "I suppose it is to."
Redmond gave Cheslock a look, before glancing back at me. "He's not entirely the friendly type is he?"
"Not really." I said. "He says he's super competitive, so I guess that probably means he isn't too fond of the other dormitories."
"He seems rather trustworthy, a man who knows who he is, is the type of man to trust and respect." Greenhill speak up looking at Cheslock. "I am the prefect of Green Lion, Herman Greenhill."
Cheslock looks at him. "I an honored to have your respect." I chuckled. So Cheslock does know how to treat others well only if they deserve his respect. Greenhill is a respectable man.
"You seem like a friendly enough person, when one is on your good side that is." Bluer says. "I am the prefect of Sapphire Owl, Lawrence Bluer, I have also chosen my fag today as well."
A rather condescending looking student in the same year a Cheslock most likely, stepped forward.
"I am Clayton." He briefly introduced himself before stepping back again. He seems like an annoying type of person.
"A student has been acting strangely in Scarlet Fox." Redmond said out of the blue. He looked at me specifically.
"I set him to the infirmary but I think he will soon want to drop out and then he'll vanish just like the others." He continued.
"I think this is more a subject that we should discuss some other time among us two, as it seems so far the Blue and Green Houses aren't affected by this matter." I said.
"Afraid we'll look down on you?" Clayton spoke up. Bluer shot him a glare over the shoulder and he shut up immediately.
"This is a matter that affects the entire school, and while it may not be students under our direct responsibility we were chosen to ensure the safety of students around the entire school." Bluer says.
"I had done my own looking around and nothing seems out of the ordinary in the Green House, although the dormitory warden seems to be hiding something." Greenhill said.
"As with the Blue House as well." Bluer said closing his book and adjusting his glasses.
"I haven't had the chance to speak with the Purple House warden yet." I said. "I hadn't had the opportunity, I cannot find him anywhere."
"The dormitory warden of Scarlet Fox told me he didn't have the time and to ask him after school, he said he was expected in Mr. Agares office." Redmond said.
"I suppose it will simply have to wait until opportunity shows itself." I said.
"I saw a lot of students that were acting weird coming out of the dormitory warden's room. I noticed that most of the students that disappear are the ones that go often to the warden for study help." Cheslock said. Both Redmond and I looked at him.
"I hadn't thought to look into any common ground between the students, I thought that the purple house and red house connections was enough." Redmond pondered.
"I was going to look into after I got a precise list of students from the warden, I feel the list I made myself wasn't sufficient." I said, pulling a paper out of my sketch pad.
"That's quite the list." Bluer said looking it over. "These are only Purple House students though."
"I was going to request Redmond get a list as well during this meeting now actually." I said.
"I'll try, but it seems the warden has many other things on his mind."
"Ah! Edgar Redmond, I'm glad to have caught you!" A voice echoed through the flowers towards us. Cheslock and I looked over our shoulders to see a man of above average height approaching, high heels clicking under him; to be expected of the warden of Scarlet Fox, a house completely decided on nobility.
"Ah, Mr. Sutcliff!" Redmond shouted back standing. "I'm happy you remember my question."
Mr. Sutcliff brushed his incredibly long hair back, it was tied in a red ribbon much like Edgar's was. Red glasses balanced themselves on his nose and he wore the brightest red coat over a much darker red suit. His red and white striped tie was even tied in a bow just like the way I tie mine. It's not what I expected from the Scarlet Fox, but with the amount of red worn it fits perfectly. Although the green of the eyes is more suited to the Green house… the most unique eyes I've ever seen. They seem familiar somehow.
"Ah, yes, I compiled that list of students who have dropped out recently for you, as you requested." Mr. Sutcliff said, handing an envelope to Redmond. Redmond graciously accepted it.
"It is very weird, students don't normally drop out of Scarlet Fox like they do in Violet Wolf." Mr. Sutcliff pondered. He looked around admiring the flowers.
"I haven't been to this area of the school before; I must say it is marvelous!" He said cheerily. He looked at his watch and I noticed the black gloves he wore. Black gloves are peculiar for school ground.
Now I recall were I've seen eyes like that before!
"Mr. Sutcliff." I said. Mr. Sutcliff looked at me.
"Would you happen to be related to the dormitory warden of the Purple House? You both have the same eyes, and they aren't of a very common color. A rather mesmerizing gold mixed with green…" I said. Cheslock perked up, he probably noticed it now as well.
"Ah, no we aren't related. Although he is my kohai, we attended school together and he just can't get out of the habit of calling me sempai." Mr. Sutcliff said.
"Sempai!" A familiar voice shouted from a distance.
"Ah, there he is now. What is it you need Ronald?!"Mr. Sutcliff shouted back.
"I found you." Ronald says taking a breath. He looked over.
"Oh all of you good! There is a fire in the school building!" He shouted.
The Prefects all immediately looked for the school building and stood up rushing for the building. I saw Cheslock and Clayton on our heels. The school was burning up in a horrible fire. The courtyard crowded with students.
"Spread out! You have permission to stand on the lawn!" Greenhill shouted. I noticed a blonde green house student talking charge in our absence. I immediately turned to the purple house students.
"Do not stand around! Get water and put the flames out!" I shouted to everyone.
"You heard him! Put the fire out!" Cheslock shouted from behind me. Students and staff rushed around for pails of water.
"I really do hope I never have to deal with a fire again…." I grumbled. Smoke started flowing out of the buildings as Mr. Knox and Mr. Sutcliff rushed in and out completely unaffected by the smoke.
"Those two are like superhuman…" Cheslock murmured behind me.
"Redmond! Are you ok?!" Maurice Cole shouted as he ran up to Redmond.
"I'm fine; I wasn't even in the school building at the time." Redmond said smiling. Maurice looked at him with utter adoration.
"Everyone is present from the blue house." Bluer said.
"Everyone accounted for in the green house as well." A boy with shorts spiky hair said, saluting to us as if we were in a military school. He wears the Green Lion crest, is he the Midford boy Herman mentioned?
"Ah, great work Midford! You beat me to it." Greenhill said smiling and gave Midford a pat on the back.
"Perhaps you could become my fag?" Greenhill said.
"Of course sir!" Midford shouted in excitement.
"This isn't exactly the time for such business." I mumbled. They looked at me and nodded. I looked at Cheslock.
"We do need to go through the actual ceremony for you to be my fag though. You technically aren't right now." I said to him. He looked at me.
"Does that mean I broke the rules by going to the Swan Gazebo?" He asked back, pointing in the direction of the elaborate garden.
"No. I gave you permission, and you never seemed like the type to care." I joked. He looked at me a shook his head vigorously.
"I don't disobey all the rules! Some are just stupid." He said looking away and crossing his arms.
"You surely are interesting." I commented and he completely turned around.
"I can still see your neck flush." I said. He immediately flailed in a slight panic and threw his hood on.
"At least I know I was right, you are entertaining." I said and he just looked over his shoulder.
"Everyone is accounted for correct?!" The vice principals voice echoed, directed at us.
"Yes, all students are present. Staff members are currently putting the fire out." Redmond reported. To my surprise, Mr. Agares didn't fall down on his way to us.
"That's good then. I happily won't have to call the Undertaker." Mr. Agares took a deep breath of relief. I looked over, noticing none of the dormitories were touched by the fire, nor was the lawn or the garden.
"The fire was concentrated in the chapel, could an accident could have started it there?" I asked.
"There is the possibility of arson." Bluer said looking over. "An accidental fire would have been put out before it could have gotten that large, one would assume that is."
"I don't think there is any source of flames in the chapel that could have caused an accident." Agares pondered. He turned around and looked closely and the scarcely burnt building.
"Well it isn't too much damage…" He grumbled. Both Mr. Sutcliff and Mr. Knox stepped outside of the building.
"We've completely repaired all the damage to the inside of the building and will do so to the outside once classes are over for the day." They said in practical unison. Something seems incredibly suspicious about those two to me. It's almost as if they're putting up a façade for us.
"I think that the classes should be canceled until further notice while the campus is inspected" Cheslock said.
"I agree." I said.
"It's probably for the best." Redmond says shrugging. "In the meantime perhaps we could arrange for the fag ceremony, all four of us have decided but yet to have made it official."
"I need to purchase more art supplies, perhaps you'd like to accompany me, Cheslock?" I said.
"Everyone, while an investigation is conducted, all students are given a free day. Do whatever you wish, but return to the dormitories by 7 o'clock. The Prefects will be conducting a role call at 7:15." Mr. Agares announced.
"I'll go with you." Cheslock says. It surprised me and I nodded.
"All right then, let's go. We will be back at 6:30." I said to the other prefects.
"Actually allow me to join you!" Redmond shouted." I'd love to go on a shopping day!"
"Oh could I join you as well?" Maurice asked.
"Why the more the merrier!" Redmond shouted. "And off campus you can refer to me by my first name."
"Let's go Cheslock, before anyone else signs themselves up to go with us." I said.
"You really don't like people, huh Violet?" Cheslock said, walking behind me.
"I don't dislike everyone. Redmond is pleasant in small doses, and Bluer is a good conversation partner. You're the first person I've generally enjoyed the company of in a long time." I said. He looked at me surprised.
"I-I'm honored Violet." He said as we left the gates of the school.
"We have left campus now Cheslock, you may refer to me as Gregory if you'd like." I said, giving him a slight smile.
"Ah… uh…" Cheslock says.
"A blush suits you well Cheslock, it's rather nice to see a more friendly side of you." Edgar commented, popping up from behind Cheslock.
"Ah, fuck off." Cheslock retorted.
"Don't treat Redmond that way!" Cole shouted joining the chaos.
"You can call me Edgar here, as I already said." Edgar said.
"Oh sorry Edgar." Maurice said, acting like a Japanese Geisha with polite girlish acts.
"Why exactly have we opted for walking?" I mumbled. I looked to the street on my left and held up a cloaked arm. A horse drawn taxi stopped before me.
"Bring us to Main Street." I said, grabbing Cheslock by the cloak and pulling him into the carriage. I waved bye to Redmond and Cole who were still obliviously flattering one another on the side of the road. The reins snapped and the carriage began moving.
"That is much better, a nice silence." I said as I adjusting my hood as Cheslock adjusted himself on the bench.
The carriage turns a corner as I stared at the blank page on my drawing pad.
"Do you have a block? Can't think of anything?" Cheslock asked.
"No, I have great inspiration but I am debating if it is worth dealing with motion sickness." I said.
"That must be hard." Cheslock commented. "I do wish I had brought my violin I would have played the new song I memorized for you. I was going to play it tomorrow during break, just before fag time, but you should hear it first."
"How nice." I said. "You do play the violin lovely… do you play anything else?" I asked, closing my sketch pad and turning to face him.
"I can play anything with a little time, it's a gift." Cheslock said rubbing the back of his head.
I chuckled. "Then I'd love to hear you play a piece on the piano."
The carriage abruptly stopped and the car jerked wildly to the right side, swerving wildly. I flew out of my seat onto Cheslock's lap. My sketch pad flying onto the floor and my hood down.
"Ugh…" I grumbled, picking myself up before even noticing I was on top of Cheslock.
"What's the big idea!?" Cheslock shouted pounding on the wall.
"I'm very sorry sirs; I will give you a discount on the price for that incident. No one is hurt?" The driver said from the front of the cart.
"We're fine, just a little jostled around." I grumbled. I looked up after gathering the book and drawing utensils that scattered to see Cheslock's face right there. I felt my face burn up at how close we were.
"Oh… sorry… I-I didn't realize I was atop of you." I said, throwing my hood on and returning to the other side of the carriage.
"I never noticed how perfect your skin looked before. It's like a doll's." Cheslock said, propping on all fours to look at me closer.
"You only wear eye makeup and lipstick right?" He asked.
"Wha-What? This is my natural skin tone…" I said a little taken aback. He's gotten rather comfortable with me despite such an awkward situation.
"It's pure white, like snow." He said. I felt his hand touch my cheek and I felt myself flush even further.
"Sorry for the delay, we have arrived at Main Street." The driver said. The door on my side opened and I exited, giving the driver the money as he held the door open for Cheslock. I gathered my breath and tried to make sense of the emotions I was feeling, stuff that is new to me.
"Sorry… Gregory. I didn't mean to make it awkward…" Cheslock apologized bowing to me.
"It's nothing really." I said frantically. "I'm not quite used to interaction. I've lived a very sheltered life."
"That explains why your skin's so untouched by the sun." He said, leaning closer again. "And it was soft to."
There was a moment of awkward silence.
"Do you have some sort of fetish, Cheslock?" I asked and he was visibly surprised.
"What! No! What makes you think that…" He spoke in a whiny voice.
"That are quite a lot of sides to you Cheslock." I said. I turned into the arts shop and immediately zoned in on the products I needed and exited again. Cheslock had gone. I looked around and noticed him across the street admiring instruments through a window.
"Again, quite a lot of sides to your personality, although I won't ever quite understand your hatred of the other dorms." I commented as I walked over to him.
He looked at me and then back in the room.
"That is my old violin in the shop. My father sold it, saying that I wouldn't have time for music when I took over the family business and became the head." Cheslock said sighing. I looked at it.
"Is that an Amati? Why would your father rid of such a priceless instrument?" I asked, looking at the perfect violin in the shop, its embroidered leather case lying beside it.
"Yes it was. It sold for quite a lot, I would have thought it would have been gone by now." Cheslock said. He mumbled on sadly as I entered the shop.
"Hello, how much does this violin cost here?" I asked, pointing towards the Amati Violin that was previously Cheslock's.
"Are you sure you'd like that one? It's an Amati, quite expensive." The shop keep said, eyeing me suspiciously.
"It is fine, I can afford it. I am of the Violet Family."
The man's eyes widened as he heard that a nodded. I heard Cheslock shout at me from behind.
"Do you know how long I keep talking before I realized you were in the shop?!" He yelled at me. I looked at him and the shopkeeper returned with the violin, gently placing it into the case.
"Take it as a gift to the Violet family; they have helped my own family stay in business for a long time!" The shopkeeper gleefully announced as he handed the violin to me.
"Thank you, I will remember this in the future." I said, turning to leave.
"Cheslock, let's go." I said, Cheslock stood staring at me with his mouth agape. I looked at him from the shop door.
"Do you want to stay here? I'll admit it's better than the outside sun, but we do have a time limit to work with." I said, turning and walking outside. I hailed another cab. I heard Cheslock come up behind me. I turned and handed him the violin in its case.
"Here, I can't have my fag unhappy when there's something I can do about it. It is a brotherly bond after all." I mumbled to him and he nodded taking the violin.
"You are a real weirdo…" Cheslock says. "But I your one of the most respectful people I've ever met." He said, bowing to me again as I entered the cab.
"Then let's go then, you could play me that song you talked about as we ride back to the campus." I said. He nodded and entered the school. The carriage set off as he played the lovely melody.
"You composed this?" I asked as he finished. He nodded proudly.
"It was beautiful. It's hard to believe a father wouldn't be proud of ability like that." I said, fiddling with the supplies I had purchased for myself.
"I'm not sure…" Cheslock said.
"Don't worry. I'm sure you'll think of something." I mumbled. I looked outside and pulled my hood down further.
"The sun shouldn't be this strong at this hour…"
The carriage pulled up at the college and Cheslock insisted he pay the cab fare. He had begun treating me with complete and utter respect, as if I was his idol.
"Why hello there, would you like to explain why we were abandoned?" Redmond shouted with a fake hurt in his voice as he rushed up to us from another carriage. I looked over and Cheslock seemed to tense up. He has the same opinion as I do, Redmond is a nice man but I can only handle small doses a day of him.
"We were in a rush and you and Cole were too busy complimenting each other." I said bluntly.
"You don't have a problem with that do you?" Cheslock snapped. Redmond sighed.
"I suppose not, we did happen to get distracted." Redmond said. Cole came up behind him carry a few bags.
"Ah, is that an Amati Violin? Its case is beautiful, I could never mistake the engravings." Cole said. Cheslock nodded proudly.
"I've missed it." Cheslock said.
"Isn't that the violin I saw in that shops window the other day? Did you just purchase it?" Redmond asked as we entered the college grounds.
"He had owned it previously, but lost it to the shop. I simply bought it back for him." I said and continued walking.
"My, my," Redmond said. "He doesn't do that for much anyone, you must be special to him Cheslock."
"Huh wha?" I heard the conversation last a few seconds longer before Cheslock rushed to my side again.
"It actually feels kind of inappropriate to go shopping after a fire in the school." Cheslock said.
"It looks as if there was never a fire." I said, looking over the buildings.
"Those buildings that were previously burning look as if they were just built. Something is off." I said. I looked over, noticing Mr. Sutcliff and Mr. Knox amiably conversing.
"Something is off with the school. I do wonder if those two have anything to do with the disappearances as of late…"