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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

The Adhara Academy Chronicles 1


‘He’s not a statue exactly,’ Ambrose said. Primrose could tell that he was trying his best not to stare at the hat she was wearing. It was a two-foot high black henin with the epitaph, ‘The Fugly’ emblazoned on it in gold writing, to match the colour scheme of the Adhara Academy uniform. The hat had been given to Primrose by her first cousin once removed, Hughard, King of The Kingdom of Sanguinaria as punishment for what had happened to him at the hospital after the recent Fugly Girl trial.

Hughard had attacked Primrose’s mother during an argument and consequently had been turned back into a humanoid and arrested. No sooner had the monarch been released from jail the next day, than he had gone to a milliner on Adhara’s Electric Avenue, and had the hat specially made. Hughard had then presented himself at the school and spoken to the headmistress directly, pleading with her and finally paying for Primrose to be forced to wear the humiliating hat for the remainder of her time at the institution.

The large cone hat would have been problem enough, but the flashing gold writing was something else entirely. There was absolutely no way to avoid the attention it caused as Primrose walked through the halls, and she was facing enough unwanted attention as it was. The Fugly Girl Incident had caused so much damage at the school that people were bemoaning their cursed fate of birth into interesting times.

Dozens of students had, had their reputations ruined, history had been made in more than once instance and worse of all, Primrose had discovered too late that Bishop, the boy she had liked, had returned her feelings. Unfortunately, the little stunt she had pulled hoping to delay Bishop’s arranged engagement being finalised, meant that though his family had once considered her as a potential marriage partner, a second wife perhaps, that was now completely out of the question. Instead, after her mother had nearly been choked to death by a cloud, Primrose had learned that her engagement had been fixed with an Olmnian prince who apparently was a statue, and of course, had come to his younger brother Ambrose to find out exactly what that meant.

‘My brother has a condition called Petrification,’ Ambrose explained, looking past Primrose rather than at her.

‘What exactly does that mean?’ the girl asked desperately. She knew of the process of petrification of course but she had never heard of any such medical condition.

Primrose had approached Tuppence ‘Tuppy’ Bobbinson after morning assembly and asked to speak with her and Ambrose in private. If Primrose had learned one thing from the Fugly Girl Incident, it was the dire consequences that could arise if one were foolish enough to approach a betrothed young man so though she had been desperate for answers since being informed of her betrothal, she had not dared to seek out Ambrose and instead kept her henin adorned head down as much as she could until at last Tuppy had sought her out. Now the trio were sitting in the living room of the dormitory loggings Tuppy shared with her friend Rose and Primrose might at last get the information she sought.

‘Petrifaction is a bit like a mixture of hibernation and catatonia, but the sufferers also take on the appearance and texture of stone,’ Tuppy explained, simplifying the explanation she had received about a year previously when her grandfather had married into the Olmnian royal family.

‘So, he’s alive then?’ Primrose asked hesitantly.

‘Of course, he’s alive,’ Ambrose replied, sharing a glance with his fiancée, ‘If my brother weren’t alive, how could your marriage to him have been arranged?’

Primrose breathed a sigh of relief. Ever since she had been informed that her marriage to Prince Athanasius had been arranged, she had worried that she would spend the rest of her life married to a lifeless statue, but if Petrifaction were a medical condition, perhaps it could be cured. Her next question was exactly that, ‘Can Petrifaction be reversed?’

Ambrose and Tuppy looked at each other again and Primrose thought she saw the faint trace of a smile pass over their lips. ‘Yes, it can be cured,’ said Ambrose in his usual, grave manner.

‘That’s where you come in!’ said Tuppy, and this time it was clear that she was laughing.


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