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The Adhara Academy Chronicles 2

  Lorraine Leydon was the first person in the long illustrious history of the Academy to ever be removed as the Student Council President for any reason other than ill health or injury, and whilst her removal was just another of the many things Lorraine was fated to be remembered in history for, it created an issue for the other students. After the victory party at Rumpton Court Palace, Ta-Shra arrived back at the dormitory apartment she shared with Lorraine in the early hours of the morning. She had driven back to the school in one of Adhara’s self-driving cars with her brother and their friends, before parting company with them in the hall and heading off to her dormitory to make some pretence of going to sleep. Ta-Shra hadn’t expected to find Lorraine at home. Despite what Tiger-Lily had said about Lorraine being expelled, Ta-Shra couldn’t bring herself to believe the process had been that quick and thus had assumed Lorraine would either be in the hospital having her wrists healed o

Chapter Six: Conclusion


No sooner had the trial ended than Scully rose and left the stage. He hurried backstage to the dressing room he had been using for the duration of the trial and changing out of his judge’s attire, he quickly washed and changed into his street clothes. Scully left the Imperial Duatian Hall by a staff exit and hopped into the self-drive car he had instructed his valet to have waiting.

Scully drove directly to Adhara Academy where he showed his Blessed Ancestor’s pass and was admitted to the grounds. Usually, classes would have been over for the day, but Scully knew that Bishop’s trial meant that all the students would have been in their classrooms watching the proceedings instead of taking lessons. Given the explosive and sometimes vulgar revelations that had been made, the teachers would probably have felt the need to put everything into context and explain what it all meant, particularly to the younger students. In short, his grandson would still be in the building.

Scully alighted from the self-drive car at the entrance to the main building and walked into the school while the car went to park itself.

“I’m here to collect Seppen Golgotha,” Scully explained excitedly, ignoring the astonished expressions on the faces of the people in reception.

“Of course, Chief Golgotha,” one of the guards said and hurried off, apparently to personally bring the boy to his grandfather.

Scully sat down on one of the comfortable loveseats in the reception area and munched on the refreshments the staff brought out. After what seemed like an eternity, he heard the familiar pitter-patter of his grandson’s feet and standing up, he brushed himself off, rocking backwards and forwards with excitement as he watched his little Seppen strolling down the corridor accompanied by the guard.

“Grandpa!” Seppen yelled, a big smile spreading across his pale blue face as soon as he saw his favourite person in the world. His grandfather.

“My little snowflake!” Scully called, referring to the name his Inarian wife had given their grandson, Seppen which meant snowflake. Scully was so beside himself with happiness that forgetting all etiquette, he ran up to his grandson, picked him up and immediate flung the three-year-old into the air before catching him in his arms again. “Come on, I have so much to tell you.”

As soon as Scully had signed Seppen out, they hurried to the self-drive car and got on their way towards Rumpton Continent, where the Blessed Ancestor’s Club was located. It had all the best facilities for grandparents to play with and look after their grandchildren and besides, Rumpton was where the trial’s afterparty would be taking place.

“Did you watch the trial today?” Scully asked, nervously. Seppen was in the nursery so perhaps his class had not seen it after all.

“Yes,” Seppen nodded, looking at his grandfather. “We made a card for Bish, so he’ll get better.”

“Er…” Scully said not quite understanding what the boy was talking about, “Well, I’m sure Bishop will appreciate the sentiment.” Seppen beamed, the two little rosy patches on his cheeks, his Thothian birthmarks, shining.

“Did you see what happened to Lorraine?” Scully asked shyly.

“Yes. Roxy smacked her,” Seppen explained. His mother Princess Asta was the Head Keeper at Captain Roxzamora’s menagerie, so he was very familiar with the Captain and her family.

“And what do you think of that?” Scully asked, barely able to contain his excitement as the car pulled to a stop outside of The Grandfather’s Clubhouse.

“I think it’s good because Lorraine is mean and naughty!” Seppen said smiling, as his grandfather helped him out of the car.

“I made that happen,” Scully explained. “From the time you told me that Lorraine had made you cry, I decided to get revenge. Now that ole brute will never be able to get you or your friends again! Isn’t that great?”

Seppen’s eyes filled with wonder and admiration as he looked at his paternal grandfather, “Wow!” he gushed and then he and his grandfather ran off to frolic in the picturesque field of flowers that had been planted specifically to take memento photographs for grandparents’ scrapbooks.


“You wicked girl,” King Hughard screamed as he floated past the Duke and Duchess of Rosefinch, barging his way into Primrose’s hospital room. “I specifically asked you if Bishop had called you ugly and you assured me that he certainly had. How could you lie to me about something as serious as that?”

“I’m sorry your majesty,” Primrose apologised, clutching her bandaged arm. Her cousin Percival had started the healing process, but it would take about an hour for the bone to completely heal. Even though she had known it was coming, Primrose had been unprepared for the onslaught. Her head was still spinning from the events and revelations of the trial.

“Sorry?” Hughard asked incredulously. The portion of his cloud like body that was a face, reacted with surprise. “You’re sorry? What good is that going to do for me when you’ve not only ruined the reputation of our entire kingdom, but you’ve made me into a laughingstock? I’m the monarch of a kingdom on a first-tier planet, but none the less I went with your father and all but begged those second tiered Gondorians for Bishop’s hand in marriage. Do you know how hard it is for a cloud to beg, you ungrateful girl? Not only was the proposal not accepted, because apparently a connection with us wasn’t good enough, but you had to go and show yourself up as a thirsty piece, lusting after a boy whom you had no idea already liked you. I can’t believe this!” Hughard continued to rage as the rest of the family filed into the room behind him.

“If you hadn’t lied on Bishop and even insulted one of his little fanboys, something everyone seems to just gloss over by the way, I could probably have arranged for you to be his second wife! Even if that didn’t happen, when his family rejected our proposal, I told you that I had a nice Sanguinarian boy lined up for you. Why did you have to keep pushing for Bishop?”

“I liked him,” Primrose replied quietly when Hughard paused long enough for her to have a chance to speak. “I thought that he would like me too if I just had a chance to show him. I wasn’t wrong, he did like me.”

“He did like me,” Hughard mimicked, putting on a high-pitched mocking tone. “He doesn’t like you know, though does he?”

“Stop it,” Primrose’s mother, Foemina interrupted. “I’m not going to just stand here and let you speak to my daughter like that. Yes, Primrose did something that was wrong, but she’s been punished for it with the horrible title she’ll have to use for the rest of her life. Primrose has said that she’s sorry and that should be enough for you, after all if you want to talk about who it was that made you a laughingstock, wasn’t that your own son? You arranged a wonderful match for him with a noble woman from your kingdom, but instead of settling down, and marrying his betrothed, your son has been obsessing over some commoner who doesn’t even like him.”

“Are you insane?” Hughard asked, floating over to Foemina, “Do you realise that I am the King of the kingdom in which you live? Why are you dragging my son into the matter when the so called, ‘Fugly Girl Incident’ is entirely your daughter’s fault? She even dragged Little Branwen into it!”

Foemina rolled her eyes, “Primrose didn’t drag anyone into anything. Branwen went along with it willingly and if she had just stuck to the agreed story instead of betraying my daughter and slinging her to the gossip mongers to save herself, none of the embarrassment you’re somehow only feeling now, would be necessary. As for your son, I only mentioned him because his worthless, nasty-minded behaviour obviously influenced his younger cousins. If you need to admonish someone for why you’re a laughingstock, it should be Percival. You clearly didn’t raise him right but want to blame my daughter.”

“You demon!” Hughard screamed and before anyone knew what was happening, he had descended over Foemina and was apparently suffocating her by enveloping her head inside his body and filling her lungs with cloud.

“NO!” Primrose’s father, Everard shouted as he tried unsuccessfully to pull his wife away from his cousin. “Stop it!”

Most of the family rushed forward and tried to separate Hughard from his unfortunate victim, but in his gaseous form, no one could get hold of him. Meanwhile Branwen rushed off to find help. She had seen Captain Roxzamora in the hallway just a few minutes earlier when she entered Primrose’s room. “Please come quickly,” she called desperately as she ran up to the security officer whom she knew well. “My uncle is attacking Foemina Rosefinch, she’s going to die!”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Roxy ran back towards the room Branwen had come from. She had followed Lorraine and Primrose to the hospital to make sure that they were not harassed, and it was a good thing that she had done so, because when Roxy entered Primrose’s room, the scene in front of her was pure pandemonium. There were at least eleven people and a baby in the room, all of whom seemed to be in motion. The Ptahian woman Foemina, had been completely enveloped by the Sanguinarian king and though her body was only partially visible, she appeared to be unconscious.

“King Hughard, remove yourself from the duchess’ person at once,” Roxy ordered, causing all the motion around the antagonistic pair to stop.

“No!” Hughard screamed, manifesting arm like appendages and flailing them at Roxy. “This facety woman is my subject, and it is my right as her monarch to discipline her.”

“Not on this space station, it isn’t!” Roxy said and running up to the king, she partially dematerialised her hands, grabbed hold of him and flung Hughard against the wall with such energy that he changed back into a solid and crumpled, naked, to the floor.

The instant she was released, Primrose’s mother fell to the floor and lay there unconscious, apparently not breathing. Despite what Foemina had said about him, Percival ran up to her and began to render first aid as the rest of the family looked on with bated breath. In the meantime, Roxy raised Hughard off the floor and began to drag him away. In his humanoid form the king was considerably taller than her and his legs trailed behind him as he was pulled along.

Just as they neared the door, Hughard regained consciousness and began flailing around, trying to escape the security officer’s grasp. “Let go of me Roxy!” Hughard demanded, trying with all of his might to get away. “I did nothing wrong, so you have no right to arrest me.”

“You were attempting to kill your in-law,” Roxy said matter-of-factly as she pulled Hughard out of the room into the corridor where a crowd, attracted by the sounds of the struggle, had started to assemble.

“No, I wasn’t,” Hughard insisted. “What you saw was self-defence. She attacked me first!”

Roxy let go of Hughard and allowed him to get to his feet before asking, “How were you attacked?” Roxy already knew that he had to be lying. In his cloud form it was impossible for a humanoid Sanguinarian to impact the gases that made up the king’s body, let alone a Ptahian elf. There was simply no way that Foemina Rosefinch had caused any harm even if she had tried to attack.

Hughard sniffled and tried to look sympathetic, “She hurt my feelings!”

“I see,” Roxy replied. It was a noncommittal answer that merely acknowledged that what was said had been heard, but to some seemed to be a confirmation of agreement.

Taking Roxy’s response as evidence that she believed him, Hughard continued. “I rushed to the hospital to see if Primrose was all right and to speak to her about her inappropriate behaviour, but I hadn’t said more than two words to the girl, when her mother turned on me, effing and blinding. Roxy…,” Hughard paused for dramatic effect as he fluttered his eyelids and pretended to fan away tears with his hands, “She even cussed out my son and implied that I don’t know how to raise children!”

“And that was when you decided that suffocating her would be the best course of action, was it?” Roxy asked. She was conscious of the crowd of onlookers but if Hughard did not mind, she had no objection to more witnesses to his confession.

Hughard shook his head, “No. I’m an I-Am fearing clou… I mean man,” he said looking down at his naked body and seeming to acknowledge it for the first time, though he did nothing to cover himself. “I didn’t decide anything. I just acted automatically in self-defence. I was… temporarily insane, if you were.”

Roxy nodded, “I see. Well, I’m still going to have to take you down to headquarters.”

Hughard stopped his presence at crying and in a low voice said, “Roxy, you know this really is very wicked of you. I never once complained when you and your sister’s fighting caused the destruction of a good section of this space station last year. If you recollect, I never once said anything against you or asked for any compensation when my daughter had to spend part of her school year on that subpar space-station Cygni. Don’t you feel even a little bit guilty that you and your sister inconvenienced almost all of the noble families in the Alliance and got away with only a small fine? If you don’t have to be punished for that, why do I have to be punished for merely having a little spat with my in-law? Don’t you think the fair thing to do would be to let me go?

Roxy showed no signs of emotion as she looked at Hughard. Seeing the lack of a reaction the king of the Sanguinarians turned around and made as if to enter the room he had just been dragged out of, but before he could get his foot through the door, Roxy pulled him hard by the arm and dragged him away screaming.

Inside the room Hughard’s wife sighed, she had waited for years for her husband to revert to a solid, but this was definitely not the way she had imagined that happening. “Now that’s over with, let’s get on with the business at hand,” she said glaring at Foemina who was now lying unconscious, but breathing steadily on the bed Primrose had vacated. “Before we arrived, I received a phone call from the Queen of Olm with a direct request for the hand of Primrose, the Fugly in marriage. The boy she offers is a close relative of hers apparently, so Primrose will be marrying into the Olmnian royal family.”

Gasps of surprise went around the room, but it was Primrose’s father who spoke first. “But Olm is a fourth-tier planet that only joined the Alliance last year!” he said incredulously. “How can my daughter be expected to marry so far beneath herself? Besides, those humans that caused all that trouble in the Alliance are associated with Olm, aren’t they? I’m sure you refused the offer!”

The queen of Sanguinaria’s red eyes shone as she looked at her cousin-in-law, “Actually, I accepted it. And before you say anything that will annoy me and cause you to end up in a hospital bed just like your dear wife, let me finish! The Olmnians only officially joined the Alliance last year, but they have been our allies for over 2000 years so they’re actually a third-tier planet, not fourth. In addition to this, the Olmnian royal family is excessively wealthy and well connected. It’s a better match than a girl with the epitaph, “The Fugly” really has a right to expect. It’s fortunate for us that the Olmnians took a liking to that name and decided it would help their cause.”

“Your majesty!” Primrose cut in quickly before her father could speak, “Thank you for arranging such a good match for me. If I may be so bold, can I ask the boy’s name? There’s only one Olmnian boy at Adhara Academy and he’s already betrothed.”

“Of course, you would be curious about your future husband,” Hughard’s wife replied, making it plain that the matter was closed to any objections. “His name is Athanasius and he is the older brother of your classmate Ambrose. The queen sent along a picture of him for me to appraise, but you may have a look at it,” she said, holding out her Com-D so that Primrose could look at a picture on the screen.

The image was of the marble statue of a handsome young man who did not appear to be much older than Primrose herself. The statue showed his fine features and long hair. If Primrose was honest, the statue appeared to be just a little bit better looking than Bishop. “I wonder what he looks like in real life,” Primrose asked, feeling a little bit excited despite herself.

“What do you mean?” Hughard’s wife asked, “This is him in life. Your husband to be is a statue.”

Bishop and Ta-Shra

The celebrations at Rumpton Court went on late into the night as everyone decompressed after the exhausting events of the day and the sensational trial that had been even more exciting than anyone could have hoped. Reputations had been ruined and gossip was flowing freely adding to the festive mood in the air.

“I hope I never see that horrid girl again!” Ta-Shra said sliding into the empty seat next to her boyfriend.

Arata was sitting with Bishop, and the rest of Foundation in a glass gazebo located in a secluded part of one of the ornamental gardens of Rumpton Court Palace. “You mean Primrose?” Arata asked, “Why, did she do something at the hospital?”

Ta-Shra rolled her eyes and looked at Arata with slight annoyance. “No. I was talking about Lorraine.”

“Oh…” Arata replied, looking at his best friend Bishop who was, understandably, being uncharacteristically silent.

“You don’t have to worry about her,” Tiger-Lily said, handing Ta-Shra a cup of freshly poured tea. “We heard Headmistress Wholia saying that Lorraine has been expelled from the school. Apparently, the teachers and parent governors decided unanimously right after the trial.”

“You should have heard Chief Golgotha laughing when he heard,” Sa-Ankh chuckled. “The expression on his face was really nasty. I think he had something personal against Lorraine.”

“Maybe,” Ta-Shra shrugged. “I think she made Seppen cry once, but I don’t know exactly what happened.”

“I thought Lorraine was just upset with Bishop, but it seems she has something against small children too,” Arata said shaking his head.

“What do you mean?” Bishop’s older brother Duke asked.

“Well earlier, Lorraine called Munchie ugly in front of everyone that was at the trial,” Arata explained. “You know, when she complained that Ta-Shra’s ugly brother hadn’t helped set her up with Bishop?”

“She was clearly talking about Sa-Ankh!” Ta-Shra snapped, glaring at Arata.

Arata shook his head, “That’s impossible. Sa-Ankh isn’t ugly so she couldn’t have meant him.”

“But you’re saying that my little brother is?” Ta-Shra asked getting more and more annoyed. The day had been a long, exhausting rollercoaster ride of emotion. After she had taken Primrose to the hospital to have her arm healed, Ta-Shra had left Primrose in the care of her older cousin, a doctor by the name of Perceval Spinks. She had then made her way from the hospital to Rumpton, knowing that everyone would be congregating there after the trial. After the excitement of the day, she had hoped to quietly celebrate Bishop’s victory but instead Arata was busy insulting her little brother.

Arata’s eyes opened wide as he realised that his girlfriend did not like what he was saying. “I’m not saying that Munchie is ugly,” Arata explained carefully. “I’m just pointing out that he’s the least best looking of your brothers.”

Ta-Shra felt the annoyance building up inside of her. After all of the insults she and her family had taken, she did not want to hear her boyfriend insulting her three-year-old brother. She was just about to tell Arata exactly this when the familiar sound of Bishop’s laughter caught her of guard. “Least best looking? Really Bro?” Bishop asked, laughing breathlessly. “How can you say that about Munchie? He’s only three years old, you can’t compare him to his brother who is 15 years older! It doesn’t make sense. Sa-Ankh’s my friend and we’re in a band together. Any way you look at it, Lorraine was talking about Sa-Ankh.”

Arata chuckled, “Are you out of your stupor now?”

“Yeah,” Bishop answered, exhaling whilst wiping a tear from his eye. “I was just in shock about everything that was revealed today. I can’t believe năinai just told all of my business like that without a care in the world. She even overstated the matter.”

Ta-Shra felt a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. She had suggested the match between her niece Lavender and Bishop and been genuinely happy when it was proposed and accepted. Perhaps if she not involved herself in matchmaking for others, none of this would have happened. “I’m really sorry Bishop,” Ta-Shra apologised sincerely. “This is all my fault. I wouldn’t have suggested a match between you and Lavender if I had known that you liked Primrose, but I had no idea that you liked her or anyone. I didn’t even know that Lorraine liked you. How am I so oblivious?”

“I don’t know, how are you?” her brother interrupted before Bishop had a chance to accept the apology. “We all knew that Lorraine fancied Bishop. She made it pretty obvious.”

“To be fair,” Tiger-Lily cut in, “None of us realised that was the only reason why she was friends with you.”

“That’s true,” Duke confirmed. “I knew Lorraine had a crush on my brother, but I thought she was genuinely friends with you and Panilla. The three of you were friends for so many years. It’s hard to believe it was all fake.

“I didn’t know anything about this,” Arata said quickly, before Ta-Shra had a chance to get upset with him for not sharing the information.

“Neither did I!” Bishop added incredulously, looking at Tiger-Lily, Sa-Ankh and Duke in turn. “Today was the very first time I found out that Lorraine fancied me. I had absolutely no idea. I mean to say, she poured hot tea down my trousers a few months ago! Trying to scald my genitals doesn’t usually make me think that a girl likes me.”

Tiger-Lily chuckled mirthlessly, “And you still haven’t worked out why she did that?”

“No,” Bishop shrugged, his eyes opening wide as he remembered the incident. “All I did was ask Lorraine if she needed any help carrying a tray of drinks, she was taking back to that temporary council chamber. She didn’t say a word, but she handed me the tray. Before I knew what was happening, Lorraine took one of the cups of tea, pulled open my trousers and poured the hot tea over my groin. Then she took back the tray of teas and walked off. Later she acted as if nothing had happened.”

“Wait! Hold on a minute! What?!” Ta-Shra exclaimed, “I’ve never heard of this. When did it happen?”

“Oh, this was when we were on Cygni,” Bishop explained. “Do you remember the day when I was about 45 minutes late for the council meeting? It happened then.”

Bishop was not surprised that Ta-Shra did not know about what had happened. The way Lorraine had behaved afterwards, as if no such thing had ever happened, had almost convinced him that he was mistaken. It was only the fact that he had gone back to the room he shared with Arata to change his clothes, and his best friend had seen the stains, that he knew he was not imagining it. Thankfully Bishop’s clothing was top of the range, resistant to heat or cold and other adverse conditions, otherwise he might not have been able to get married at all.

Ta-Shra shivered as she remembered the day in question. In the previous academic year, the students of Adhara Academy had been forced to relocate to Cygni Space Station for several months because of the destruction of several parts of Adhara. One day, not too long before they got word that they could go home, the school council had held a rather unusual meeting. The meeting was unusual because, Bishop, the third chair and treasurer had turned up 45 minutes late. This was the only time Bishop had ever been late to a meeting since his tenure on the student council began. Bishop had never provided an explanation for why he was so late and, Lorraine had behaved as if she had no idea what was going on.

“So why do you think she did it?” Arata asked, looking at Tiger-Lily.

“She overheard you and Bishop talking,” Tiger-Lily explained. “The day Lorraine poured tea on Bishop; we had a practice session just before the council meeting Bishop was supposed to go to. As we were walking over to the room, you were teasing Bishop about Primrose and saying that he should ask her to date him. I saw Lorraine and she looked annoyed. I honestly didn’t think anything of it until I heard what Lorraine had done to Bishop. That’s when I realised two things, Lorraine probably fancied Bishop and she’s a psycho.”

Bishop and Arata both looked at Tiger-Lily with open mouthed surprise. “Why didn’t you say anything to me about this?” Bishop asked at last.

Tiger Lily shrugged. “What would the point of that be? You didn’t fancy her and she’s clearly a dangerous person if she could attack you over something like that and then behave as if nothing had happened. We thought it would be best if you didn’t know.”

Ta-Shra watched as Bishop looked in shock at each person at the table. When his eyes met hers she said, “I really hope we never meet Lorraine.”


It was late in the evening by the time the self-drive cab containing Lorraine and her adoptive mother Lady Charlotte pulled up outside of Lampriform Manor, Lorraine’s parental home on Adhara Space station.

“I’ll speak to you tomorrow, my dear,” Lady Charlotte said as Lorraine climbed out of the cab. Her mother no longer lived in the family home having been forced to move out when her deceptions were uncovered by her husband. “I’m sure we’ll be able fix this. So long as you’re sill alive it’s never too late.”

Lorraine sighed and was about to express her doubt at her mother’s optimistic attitude, when a servant who had come out to greet the vehicle interrupted before she could speak. “Excuse me Lady Leydon,” the man said politely, “The Baron has asked to see you inside. There is a matter of the upmost urgency that he wishes to discuss with you.”

Lady Charlotte raised an eyebrow and the corner of her mouth curled into a smile. As she had just told her daughter, “So long as you’re alive it’s never too late,” or to put it another way, “Where there’s life, there’s hope”. Perhaps her husband had changed his mind and wanted her to move back in. After all she would always be his legal wife, there was no such thing as divorce in The Alliance. The only way to dissolve a marriage was through death.

Lady Charlotte hopped daintily from the car and walked around to where Lorraine was standing. “Come on,” she said, taking hold of Lorraine’s recently repaired hand. “We’ll face your father together.”

Lorraine nodded, if there was one person, she knew who would always be on her side it was her adoptive mother Lady Charlotte. Sometimes it almost seemed as if her mother loved her more than her own biological children. Lorraine’s biological mother had died when she was a baby and her father had remarried not too long afterwards. Even with her own twin daughters to care for, Lady Charlotte had still found a special place in her heart for her Lorraine. “Let’s go,” she said feeling a bit more confident now that her mother would be joining her. With that the mother and daughter pair walked hand-in-hand into the house.

No sooner had Lorraine and Charlotte walked into the manor house’s entrance hall than they were met with an assemblage of furniture, suitcases and moving boxes with the stamp of the Academy prominently displayed on them. Lorraine released her mother’s hand and rushed over to the items gathered haphazardly in the centre of the hall. “These are my things from school,” she exclaimed breathlessly.

Lady Charlotte’s mouth opened with surprise, but she shut it quickly before Lorraine had a chance to notice. Although Charlotte had been aware that both the jury at Bishop’s trial and Princess Lavender had asked for Lorraine to be expelled from the Academy, she had assumed that it would take some time for the faculty and school governors to come to a decision. She had planned to use that time to do any and everything it took to make sure that her daughter wasn’t expelled. Now it seemed that it was too late. Unless of course her husband had thought of something. Perhaps that was the reason he had asked her in.

Before Lorraine could say anything else the servant who was waiting to show them to the Baron politely interrupted, Excuse me your ladyship, but the Baron awaits. Lady Charlotte shook her head as if to clear her mind and then nodding to the servant she said, “Very well, lead on. Come Lorraine.”

The servant lead Lady Charlotte and Lorraine to Baron Leydon’s private study and knocking on the door, showed them in as soon as the invitation to enter was issued.

Lady Charlotte and Lorraine walked into the large study where Laurence Leydon and was sitting behind his desk. Four other people were assembled in the room. Three men and a woman, all of whom were Rodenians. Charlotte’s face remained passive even as her mood soured. She was aware that her three former lovers, Tobias, Vincenzo and Mattias had moved in with her husband and children after she had been thrown out, but she had not expected to see them sitting here, obviously having been chatting happily whilst she, the lady of the house was unceremoniously summoned.

“Ah Charlotte, thank you for coming,” Lord Laurence said, looking directly into her eyes.

“Thank you for inviting me,” Lady Charlotte replied meekly. “I take it the urgent matter you wished to discuss was Lorraine’s situation.”

Lord Laurence nodded and asking his daughter to sit down he said, “Lorraine, as I’m sure you noticed when you entered the house, your things have been sent home. You’ve been expelled.”

“I see,” Lady Charlotte said sorrowfully squeezing Lorraine’s hand. “I had hoped that wasn’t the case, but I see those brutes will have no mercy on the poor girl.”

A tut of displeasure escaped the female Rodenian’s lips and she glared at Lady Charlotte not bothering to hide her contempt, “Much like the lack of mercy you showed my infant son when you told me that his father was dead so you could keep him for yourself then isn’t it?”

Lady Charlotte’s beautiful face showed no change of expression, but Lorraine could feel that her mother was getting angry. She knew exactly what the Rodenian woman, Carmen, was talking about. Everyone did. The Rodenians’ planet had experienced a catastrophic series of natural disasters that had made it uninhabitable. Most of the population had been killed and families had been separated. During the turmoil Carmen had lost contact with her fiancé Tobias and when she finally managed to track him down, Charlotte had lied to Carmen, convincing her that Tobias was dead. Carmen had gone away to raise their young son Thaddeus alone and only realised that she had been tricked when Tobias contacted her years later when he finally got released from prison.

“Madam, I did what I had to do to ensure my daughters had the best possible futures. It was nothing personal against you or your son. I simply did what any mother would do. Don’t pretend you wouldn’t have done the same in my situation. My dear little Lorraine’s situation is completely different. How dare you compare it?” Charlotte asked haughtily.

“She dares because she is my particular friend and, in your absence, has been a better mother to your children than you have ever been,” Lord Laurence snapped angrily. He had promised himself and his Rodenian friends that he would not allow his wife to rile him up, but he just could not help it. His wife’s lies had destroyed the lives of everyone in that room including Lorraine’s, but he still needed her help to make things right.

“Don’t speak to Mummy like that!” Lorraine screamed, “She’s the only person that’s ever been completely on my side. She’s the only person who has always been there for me. You weren’t even there today when I was humiliated.”

“Actually, I was there,” Laurence replied toning his voice down a notch, despite his growing anger. “I just wasn’t sitting with your mother. When the trial ended, I immediately went to plead with Princess Wholia not to kick you out of the school but as you can see, she didn’t listen to anything I had to say and that’s hardly surprising, given how you were behaving.”

“There was nothing wrong with my behaviour,” Lorraine shrugged. “And I’m glad I’ve been kicked out of that stupid school. I didn’t want to go back.”

Laurence and Charlotte spoke at the same time:

“Are you insane?”

“Please Lorraine, don’t say that!”

Laurence Leydon glared at Charlotte and spoke quickly before she had a chance to, “Lorraine are you insane? Graduating from Adhara Academy is not only a family tradition but also the most desirable educational outcome for anyone in the Alliance. You only have a year a half to go until you graduate. Why would you want to throw away all the years of hard work?”

“You mean throw away all the money you paid in school fees, don’t you?” Lorraine smirked. “You must think I’m stupid if you think I don’t know that.”

“What the Duat is this rudeness?” Laurence Leydon asked incredulously, looking around at his friends as if to confirm that they had heard the same thing as him. “The only reason you don’t want to go back to the Academy is because you can’t marry Bishop. Everyone who saw your performance at that trial today knows that. But let me tell you something miss madam, even if I have to lick between Princess Wholia’s toes until they’re new-born fresh, I’ll make sure that you get back into that school and stay here until you graduate.

“Please Lorraine, think about your future,” Charlotte pleaded. “I know you’re upset about Bishop and that’s perfectly understandable, but there will be other opportunities for you to be happy.”

“Exactly!” Lorraine’s father said, clearly missing the careful way in which his wife had worded her statement. “So long as you get back into Adhara Academy, you’ll still be able to live a very good life in the Alliance. That’s why I’ve called your mother here today. I propose that your mother and I take all the blame for your wicked behaviour.”

Lorraine paused for a moment and narrowed her eyes as she looked at her father. For the first time that day she was lost for words. Realising was not going to backchat him this time, Laurance smiled to himself and said, “Your mother will have to move back into the family home. That’s the reason I’ve asked everyone to be here with me whilst I speak with you. For the sake of you and your siblings, we adults are all going to have to forget about the past and live together,” Laurence explained, looking at each person in turn to make sure they were taking him seriously. “Your mother and I will put on a united front and explain to your headmistress that you were only acting out because you couldn’t handle the breakdown of our marriage. I don’t know if that’s exactly true or not, but since that’s what I’ll be telling the headmistress, that’s what you’re to say if anyone asks you.”

Lorraine listened in silence as her father laid out his plan to get her back into Adhara Academy, but in her heart, Lorraine did not want to go back, she could not stand seeing Bishop and Lavender together. Lorraine had known Bishop since they had started nursery at the age of two and because she had always liked him, she had expected that one day they would get married just as Princess Sugar had decided at the age of four, that she was going to marry Prince Love-Lies-Bleeding and now she was his official fiancée, but then Lorraine had discovered that Bishop fancied Primrose and not long after that he had become betrothed to Lavender, a girl he barely knew. Lorraine’s outrage at being robbed, had caused her to go off the rails in her pursuit of revenge. She had ruined her valuable friendship with Ta-Shra, lost her place as the President of the Student Council, the most powerful position a student could hold, and she had angered a lot of very dangerous people. The situation would be impossible, but what was the point of saying anything, her father was determined and at least her mother would get to move back into the family home, so she just kept quiet and listened.

Laurence Leydon’s lecture had gone on for about half an hour before he finally dismissed his wife and daughter explaining that he had already arranged for Charlotte’s things to be brought from her Electric Avenue apartment to Lampriform Manor the next morning so she might as well stay. With that he had politely indicated that they should leave his study, but no sooner had the mother and daughter risen to go, than Laurance and his four Rodenian friends had fallen into a heated debate, apparently oblivious to their continued presence in the room. “Come on!” Charlotte said, apparently unconcerned. “I’ll help you get ready for bed. Your wrists have only just been healed, there’s no need to strain them.”

Mentioning her bed made Lorraine yawn involuntarily. A lot had happened in one day and she was more tired than she had realised, but even in her tired state Lorraine realised that her mother must be making an excuse to talk with her privately. Usually Lorraine’s nanny-bot would have helped her to get ready for bed so there was no reason to fear that she might strain her wrists.

When they reached Lorraine’s room, Charlotte did a quick check to make sure they were quite alone and then sent Lorraine into her bathroom to wash herself off. She helped her daughter to change into her nightclothes and then seating her at her dressing table, she began to brush Lorraine’s long blue and red hair. At last Charlotte asked, “Lorraine, do you remember earlier when I said that there would be other opportunities for you to be happy?”

“Yes,” Lorraine replied sleepily. The gentle motion of her mother brushing her hair was very comforting after the long, hard day. “But I know you only said that to make me feel better. If I can’t have Bishop, there’s no way I’ll ever be happy.”

“I know,” Charlotte agreed, putting her hands softly on Lorraine’s shoulders and looking at her own beautiful reflection in the mirror. “That’s why we have to put everything we can into this one last attempt to get him.”

“What do you mean?” Lorraine asked, no longer feeling tired. “What last attempt?”

“This one of course. Your father obviously wants you to get back into the school so that you can have another chance to win Bishop over. He admitted as much himself earlier. Your father couldn’t say it plainly in front of Carmen and the others, but it was clear what he meant,” Lady Charlotte explained, matter-of-factly.

Lorraine thought back to the talk in the study. When her mother had said that she would have other chances to be happy, her father’s response had been, “Exactly”. He agreed. “So, what is this chance I’ll have?” Lorraine asked excitedly turning around to face her mother.

“It’s simple,” Charlotte replied, with a grave expression on her face. “Bishop’s engagement to Lavender can’t be made official until Cupid’s Day next year, so all you have to do in the meantime is get pregnant by Bishop. Once you have his child, his family won’t be able to refuse your request to marry into the family.”

Lorraine’s shoulder’s slumped and she turned away from her mother. If getting pregnant by Bishop was easy, she would have already done it. “So, there’s no chance at all then,” Lorraine said sulkily.

“Yes, there is!” Charlotte said forcefully as she pulled Lorraine around to face her. “You’re a beautiful girl Lorraine and it baffles my mind that silly boy would prefer anyone over you. Primrose probably used some kind of Sanguinarian ability to attract Bishop, and we all know that Lavender only got close to him through nepotism and her amazing social connections. That’s why it’s perfectly fair for you to even the playing field as well.”

“And how am I supposed to do that?” Lorraine asked, starting to get annoyed as she remembered the way Queen Pearl and Scully had spoken about her mother.

“With an aphrodisiac,” Charlotte explained. “I know of a way to get my hands on the same one that Princess Aqua used to get married to Prince Golding.”

Lorraine exhaled slowly trying to restrain her excitement. It was common knowledge in Alliance High Society gossip circles that Prince Golding of Faunus had been in a long-term relationship with Princess Selene of Lilit and had planned to marry her and her best friend Theophane as sister wives, but about four years ago something strange had happened. Somehow, Theophane had died, Golding had married Aqua and Selene, the woman he had been in love with for years was left in the dust, with nothing but the shame of being the only succubus to ever have her man stolen to remember Golding by. If Lorraine could get hold of some of the same aphrodisiac that Aqua had used, she would be married to Bishop before the next Cupid’s Day arrived. “Ok,” Lorraine said, her eyes twinkling with hope. “Tell me everything I have to do.”

Previous Chapter: Chapter Five: Verdict
Read Next: The Adhara Academy Chronicles: Chapter One (Coming Soon)


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