A Learning Experience: Chapter 1, Turn 6 (Part 2)

As Bela and Val make their way to the library, Crystal Logan, the blonde girl from the hallway, makes her way over to the pair, accompanied by two other girls. Judging from the way they're dressed, they're likely some of her friends. "Why, Valerie -- hello, dear!" Her voice carries the faint hint of a drawl. Her gaze takes in Val's T-shirt and jeans. "What a positively adorable outfit. It's just so...plebeian." She titters; the sound is echoed by her two cronies.

"Get bent," Val mutters under her breath. Then, louder, "Hi, Crystal, Mandy, Sandra."

Crystal and her cronies look Bela over. "You're new here, aren't you? What's your name?" asks Crystal, giving Bela a hundred-watt smile.

Bela replaces the frown that was on her face with a rather plastic polite smile, "Yes I'm new, Bela Katwaroo. You must be Crystal Logan."

Crystal preens under the attention. "Yes, you're right." Her smile is flawless, showing teeth too white and perfect to be entirely natural. "You're new; you probably don't know that a lot of people here might judge you by the company you keep." She looks pointedly at Val, who gives her a tight little smile that's actually closer to a baring of teeth.

Apparently oblivious, Crystal nods to Bela. "Well, I'm sure you have interesting things to do." She and her entourage continue on their way. "So long, Bela," the blonde calls over her shoulder.

"Twit," Val mutters. She sighs. "I'm sorry you had to go through that." She continues down the hall.

"I'm sure we are all judged, but I thought your name was Logan not Malfoy. Oh well."

Before Crystal is out of earshot Bela smiles at Val, "I am quiet surprised she knows the word plebeian, I didn't know beauty magazines bothered 3 syllable words. And you shouldn't have to apologize for her. She wouldn't want your help, or deserve it."

Val smiles. "Guess you're right." She holds open the library door for Bela. "Here we are."

The school library is a large room, its wooden bookcases filled almost to bursting with everything from old leather-bound volumes to new paperbacks. In one corner is a pile of large overstuffed pillows and a reading lamp; near the center of the room are the more usual tables and chairs.

In the corner opposite the pile of pillows is a desk of dark wood; behind it sits the school librarian, Miss Elspeth Danvers. She's a rather small woman -- only about five feet two inches tall -- and slender, with dark hair worn pulled back from her face. Her eyes are wide-set in a face with delicate features, and a deep brown. She wears a lacy white blouse fastened at the throat with a cameo pin, and a skirt of a soft dove gray.

To kithain eyes, Elzbieta is pale and gaunt, her large dark eyes sunken in a face the color of pale clay. Her fingers move across the book on her desk in a manner reminiscent of a spider's legs, and a cloud of raven-black hair shot through with strands of almost glowing silver falls to her hips. Her voile is an intricate Victorian gown of dark velvet; a brooch cast in the shape of a jeweled spider glimmers at her throat.

"Hello, girls," she says in a soft voice. "Do you need something?"

Bela smiles and lowers her voice out of respect for the place and its keeper, "Yes please, I wanted to look up any local Native American legends or other local lore."

Elzbieta purses her lips thoughtfully. "Well, that would be in the Ps. Come, I'll show you." She turns back to Val for a moment. "And did you need something as well?"

Val seems to think for a moment. "Actually, yes. Do you have any journals on folklore and mythology?"

"The journals are in that section," the sluagh returns, gesturing to a section of shelves.

"Thank you, Miss Danvers," Val responds, then, with a quick wave at Bela, heads for the stacks.

Bela picks up the Librarian's name from Val's gratuity, "Thank you Miss Danvers." Then skims the books looking at the titles on the spins. She selected a few that looked older than the rest and took them to a table. She writes down the title, author, and date on a separate page for each book and began to read starting by skimming tables of contents and any indexes and references in the back.

After about fifteen minutes of the girls researching, Val comes over to where Bela is sitting. She has a notebook with her; Bela is able to see that a number of pages are full.

"I don't want to interrupt, but lunch is almost over -- find anything interesting?" Her voice is pitched low in deference to their location.

Bela picks up her stuff, "I think so, stories that seem to link to Emmet's. Lets see if we can take these out." Bela's voice slightly louder, with enthusiasm.

"Cool," Val says with a grin at Bela. She holds up her notebook. "I've been taking notes on some of Sir Dariun-" she catches herself, "Mr. Ravenscroft's articles in those journals."

Elzbieta glides over to the table. "Yes, you may take those out if you wish," she says with what passes for a smile.

Bela quickly checks out the books before saying goodbye to the librarian and checking to see what her next class is. "When do you think we can compare notes with the others?" Bela asks Val.

"I'm not sure -- maybe Monday?" Val responds. "Emmet and I are going to talk to Mr. Ravenscroft after school today, and I don't know what Trevor, Niko and Layla want to do, but I think we can all get together at lunch again on Monday." She frowns. "I'll see my Aunt Janna this weekend -- do you think I should talk to her about Mr. Ravenscroft?" She lowers her voice so that only Bela is able to hear. "Like I said at lunch, she is the ranking member of our family in the area -- maybe she knows something more about him."

Bela nods with a slight bit of impatience and disappointment, "I guess I'll see you Monday if I don't run into you latter." Then she runs off to her next class.


The class periods after lunch pass without incident. At the end of the last period, the final bell rings and the students head for their lockers and from there, out of the school building.

Trevor stops by Miss K's office. Assuming she's in, Trevor asks her, "If I'm interested in the fencing team, do I just have to show up Monday? Also, if I'm on the team could I please tutor a friend - who's also student here - with school equipment? He's just learning." Trevor smiles hopefully at her.

Miss Kapatelis flashes Trevor a smile. "In answer to your first question, yes, all you have to do is show up." She pauses and seems to consider what he's said. "As for your second question, even if you're on the team, we can't let you and another student use the equipment alone -- too much of a safety risk." She winks at him then. "But you could practice with your friend as long as Mr. Ravenscroft, Mr. Griffith or I were here."

Her smile broadens. "You might even try asking some of the other team members to help you out; I'm sure that if you ask them as nicely as you did me, they'd be happy to help you."

Trevor gives her another smile. "Thanks a lot. I'll see you Monday then. I'm going to look for my friend now. Oh, and thanks for the advice."

Trevor heads off to look for Niko. He'll happily hook up with Layla if he runs into her first, though he'll still want to find Niko.


Niko attempts to get to Aidan last class to catch him before he leaves, if that fails he'll find Layla.


ok, Layla does a couple of things. first she writes a long rambling note to Mr ravensfeather about joining the fencing team and puts it either on his desk or his mailbox (usually located in the main office, she'd try there first). second she hunts down either Trevor or Niko (whomever she runs int first) for her update.


Bela heads for the 9th grade English teacher to see about the paper. She also posts that she is willing to tutor Spanish.

Miss Ohara's room is on the first floor; through the open door, Bela can see a number of students clustered by the three computers against one wall.

Miss Ohara stands nearby, supervising the students at the computers. A female satyr turns to look at her, asking, "Miss Ohara, do you think we should put the picture here," she gestures to the screen, "or down lower?"

Miss Ohara, a demure Asian woman in her twenties with her dark hair in an elaborate knot, and deep brown eyes, looks at the screen for a few moments and then advises, "A bit lower might be better, Sally."

Then she seems to notice Bela. "Oh, hello. What can I do for you?" Her voice is soft and pleasant, carrying the suggestion of music.

To fae eyes, she is a graceful kithain clad in a deep green kimono with flowing sleeves; the hem is adorned with an eastern dragon. Her blue-black hair is arranged in a style reminiscent of a geisha's elaborate coiffure, and her complexion gains a faintly golden tint. Her eshu heritage is evident in her fathomless dark eyes, which seem to sparkle with the ageless yet wise quality common to the wandering kith.

Bela's smile beams like snow on dark rich earth. "My name is Bela Katwaroo and I was considering joining the paper."

Miss Ohara returns the smile. "Certainly. New staff members would be particularly welcome -- we've lost four staffers to graduation." She gestures to one of the desks in the classroom. "Please, come in and sit down. I'm Miss Ohara, and these are Sally," the satyr, "Anduin," a short, slim girl with flaming red hair and unusual black eyes with silver and green flecks in them, "Ben," a youth with glasses, close-clipped dark hair and a light beard, "and Lydia." Lydia is a slender, serious-looking girl with a long braid of dark hair and glasses partially concealing her blue eyes.

Miss Ohara sits opposite Bela. "Is there anything in particular you would like to write, Bela?"

Bela smiles at all of the staffers, then takes a seat, "I'm not sure yet, I should start with reading some back issues, I'm not much of reporter, I like writing fables, stories with a meaning, that teach something."

"Hey, cool!" Sally bursts out. "We could really use a fiction section -- people might want to contribute more, then!" She bounces up and down in her chair excitedly. "Don't you think it's a good idea, Miss Ohara?" She looks at the teacher with a winning smile and hopeful "puppy" eyes.

"The idea does have merit," Miss Ohara muses, just audibly enough for the rest of the people in the room to hear.

Lydia rises from her seat and comes over, shyly extending a hand to Bela. "I like to write that sort of stuff, too," she says softly. "Maybe we could work on it together?"

Bela enjoys Sally's energy, it can be seen by the fae by the star and moon dust in her dark eyes. Bela gives Lydia a warm smile and not to firm hand shake that lingers a minute, "That sounds great! You know the intended audience, I'm sure we could come up with a story that would be interesting and 'enlightening'."

Anduin looks up from the story she's typing. "I agree with Sally, Miss Ohara. A Fiction Writing Section would be an attention getter and seems to be an original idea compared to most highschool newspapers that I've seen. Plus it could be fun."

Ben looks up from the computer where he's editing a photo. "I think it's a good idea, too, Miss Ohara."

"See, Miss O?" Sally chirps happily. "Everyone thinks it's a good idea -- can we please do it?" She clasps her hands under her chin and gives the teacher an eager smile that reveals a dimple in one cheek.

Miss Ohara laughs; the sound carries the suggestion of chiming bells. "Since you all seem in favor of it, and since I think it's a good idea, why not?" She smiles warmly at Bela and Lydia. "It seems the two of you have your first assignment." She gestures to Ben. "Could you hand me the binder over there when you get a chance, Ben? Thank you."

The binder contains a number of back issues of the Gryphon from the previous year; it's mostly standard high school newspaper fare, though there is a poetry page and a column on the "Beagle," the campus' alternative lifestyles group.

Bela takes the binder as it works its way to her and skims through it quickly, "So what sort of problems does this school have, what would be helpful for the students to learn...

"My brother says some of them need to be more tolerant of other people's choices," says Lydia quietly. "As a matter of fact, he's been saying that for the past two years."

Anduin goes back to typing "There is also the case of the social ladder. Who you can hang out with who you can't. I mean that seems to be a problem in every school, but there are some really bad people here."

"A tolerant open mind is always good. How are the members of Beagle treated.

"We can talk to my brother," says Lydia. "He's sort of the driving force behind it." She grins, pointing to the byline of the column.

Bela smiles, "That sounds great." Bela wrote down her phone number, "If you could ask him, I'd be happy to meet him any time that is good for him."

"Sure," says Lydia with a grin. "He's always willing to talk to people about his projects."

Lydia grins at Bela as she scoops up her schoolbag, a red nylon tote bag with "READ" embroidered boldly on it in white, and a smaller "ALA" logo in one corner. "I think maybe we can kill two birds with one stone. Do you want a ride home? My brother's driving, so you can talk to him then, too."

Bela packs up her things and looks towards the teacher, "That sounds great, let me call my folks and let them know. May I borrow the binder over the weekend?"

Bela makes a quick stop at her locker to collect her stuff and then a stop at the payphone, on which she has quick conversation in a foreign language, (some of the sounds.... Amma, baDi, vidyaarthini, and illu)


Niko puts on his headphones and tuns on the Fellowship CD. He sings softly to himself, as he goes to search for Layla or Trevor.

Trevor finds Niko, but does not interrupt his singing. Trevor listens to Niko until his singing stops, and then asks, "What was that?" Trevor looks almost blissfully amazed."

A slight blush tints Niko's cheeks, "Umm Tolkien. Actually It's the soundtrack to The Fellowship of The Ring."

Trevor seems to miss Niko's slight blush. Rather, Trevor looks amazed. "They made a move out of it? Wow." Trevor grins at Niko, "Well, I don't know how the movie was, but it sounds good when you sing it."

"Thanks. It was actually a very good movie. Can't wait for the second half. I mean with the scenes and the music..." At this point I figure they're walking to find Layla, and Niko is taking an eshu like mode of describing the movie, "So yeah maybe as soon as we solve this I'll take you to see it."

Trevor looks happy at the offer. "Thanks, I'd like that. And It sounds pretty good." Trevor waits until Niko winds down a bit. "Hey Niko, would you make a drawing of me? And I can teach you fencing. I even got permission to do it here at school." Trevor looks hopefully at Niko.

He smiles "Sure when and where. I appreciate the lessons, it could come in handy" Trevor spontaneously hugs Niko. Letting go, he says, "My room's pretty big - it's the attic. Or wherever you're comfortable. How about this weekend?"

"You house if fine. Do you mind if I just stay the night, that way I don't have to rush in sketching. I doubt my parents will mind."

Trevor looks pleased. "I wasn't sure if you'd want to. I'd be happy to have you stay - It'll be a lot of fun. And I'm sure my parents won't mind." Trevor grins. "It's not like you're noisy."

"There you guys aren't! I just started looking for you!"

(Layla gives both of them big hugs spinning them each around in a circle at least once before letting go)

Trevor's kilt swirls around (and rises noticeably) as Layla spins him.

"So how's about my update, anything interesting?"

(She falls into step between them with an arm around each of their waists and a hand on their hip)

Trevor puts an arm around Layla.

"Well..." Niko would proceed to tell Layla what's up in a quick but informative manner.

Trevor would add anything Niko missed - though that probably wouldn't be too much at all. Trevor seems rather oblivious to his surroundings, his attention focused on his two friends.

Okay, I got it, it think, maybe, I could be wrong, that happens now and then...

(voice trails of and she winks at Niko)

so anywhoo, are either of you trying out for the fencing team??? (as she waits for the answer the two boys start to see her courage cracking, like she's trying very hard to not be effected by her close proximity to the Sidhe and Sluagh, but she obviously realizes something and is miraculously okay again)

Oh yea and by the way... umm, here...

(hands the boys each a couple of really good black and white photo's of themselves, almost professional seeming in quality)

they aren't very good, in fact they are absolutely horribible (

Niko accepts the Pictures, "wow these are really good. Yeah Trevor's trying out for the team, and teaching me." He attempts to lean over Trevor's shoulder and looks at his photo's. " when are you going to let me draw you?" He says looking at Layla.

Trevor takes the picture with his free hand. "Wow, that's really good. I like it. Thanks. If you ever need a model, I'd be happy to help you out." Trevor glances at Niko, then back to Layla. "Though Niko's got first dibs." He continues, "I'm trying out for the fencing team, and when I get on, I'm going to start teaching Niko." Trevor says this matter-of-factly. "What about you?"

"Umm, well, yea I'm never free... umm... " (she seems to lose her voice for a moment due to Niko having to be really close to her to peek over Trevor's shoulder since she's in between them) "If you could pick a time I guess I could spare a moment or so." (rolls her eyes playfully) "well, umm, here. "

(stops and pulls a notebook and pen out of her bag and writes down both her home number and that of the store [conveniently switching which is which] and give a copy to both of them)

"You are capable of dialing the phone right?"

"Nope forgot how. But I can read and find addresses." Niko smiles as he says this.

well well, I guess I should probably accommodate such a dehabilitating weakness then! (looking at Niko first and then at the both of them), but I just might have a small request before I do so. Dost thou think you could return the favor dear sirs and bestow upon this poor and wretched maiden the mystical numbers of telaphonyness or the location of the manses you dwell within?

"No Problem, Give Me your hand." Assuming she gives Niko her hand he takes out a pen and writes his phone and address on it.

Niko puts the pen back in his pocket. "How long till you guys have to go home. I was thinking Val and the Nocker didn't seem to get far in the basement. Maybe we should try. I mean if I was a thing that looked a little like Gollum, that's where I'd hang out."

Trevor will hold his picture so Niko can get a good look at it.

Trevor pulls on a notepad - the sort used for writing down assignments - and pen out of his belt. The notepad is blank. He writes down his phone number and address, twice and gives one copy to Layla and one to Niko. He passes the notepad to Niko when he's done. "You can use this..."

Niko writes down his address and phone number for both of his companions and then passes the notebook back to Trevor

Trevor looks at Niko, apparently concerned. "Not without some weapons. It could be dangerous."

"That's the thrill of it, I agree we need weapons though."

Trevor laughs. "You're as bad as I am!" His face gets a bit more serious and he says, "All right, I'm game. I should go down first though."

Niko's face get's that "Not Again" look to it. "Unless we have flashlights or any sorta light I should go first. My eyes will be more used to darkness then yours."

Trevor looks distinctly unhappy at this. "But what if you get attacked?" "Then I'll have a warrior sidhe to jump to my aid. On the opposite side, what if you get attacked?"

Trevor give Niko a wry grin. "Point to you." He shrugs, apparently unconcerned by the thought of being attacked. "I'll defend myself."

"But the same can be said for me. But if it makes you feel better we'll let Layla decide and if she can't then Paper, Rock, Scissors." He pats Trevor on the shoulder and turns toward Layla, "Okay Layla, who do you think should go down first."

Well well, the big tough men can't make a simple decision then? well firstly, I'm sure there are absolutely no flashlights to be found on school grounds, maintenance must never ever have to deal with such major disasters as a sputter gasp, power outage! but anyway, if the big tough men cant do it, I'll have to. Its not like I'm brave enough to go first or anything.

Trevor looks at Niko. "I think she's got us. Either we agree or..." Trevor looks at Layla. "With all due respect, I don't want to see my favorite bunny pooka in the clutches of a pack of giant rats. How does this sound to the two of you: if is dark, Niko goes first, but if we have light I go first."

Nope! nothing doing! (shines a penlight that appears from out of now here in their eyes)

Mine, ya can't have it, ya can't have it!

(Hands it to Trevor.)

"That means you go first. Layla second and I'll go in last. Now let's see about weapons."

Niko raises his arm and points in the direction of the gym, "Let's us away to the gym." Dropping his arm, he then loops his arms with Layla's and Trevor's, "We're off to see the gym teacher the wonderful gym teacher of Oz...Well not really." He let's go of their arms, "Sorry."

(dances in front of them, skirts swirling out)

"really now? 'Tis surely frabjous, this trip of ours to see the vast an gracious lady of the gym, let us make light of the occasion!"

(grabs their hands and starts to skip off hoping they will keep up)

Trevor smiles at Niko. "Don't be sorry, that was fun. You might as well enjoy life while you can. Be daring, peek under girl's skirts." He grins at Layla, "I guess in you're case you'll have to find a guy in a kilt." He winks at her.

Niko keeps up with Layla and as stealthy as possible, tries to peek up her skirt. If caught he points to Trevor, "He said to. Plus you did it to him, so it's uhhh mutual payback. Yeah that's it."

blushes a beet red so deep as to seem impossible in someone normally so pale drops your hand and stops dead in her tracks.

you might notice the beginnings of tears if you were watching closely, she gives a shaky laugh and seems to compose herself relatively quickly grabbing your hand again and using it to twirl with,

"I guess so..."

Noticing the tears beginning, Niko stops. "You okay?" His face becomes real serious, "Look I didn't mean anything by it. I'm sorry." He embraces her and if any tears fall, he makes sure to stop them before they reach her cheeks."

Trevor looks concerned. He wraps his arms around the other two. "Hey Layla," he says softly, "If it'll make you feel better, you can peek under mine."

(sniff, sniffle)

I'm not okay, I mean,yea it's (rubs her eyes with the back of her hand leaving that cute red and puffy look) absolutely atrociously bad and all but I'm wonderful, okay?

(kind of begrudgingly lets go of the hug)

"Look, since I did that to you , I will allow you to do anything to me, as retribution and I won't complain." He smiles, as various thoughts run through his mind, not all good.

"Damn," whispers Trevor. "I think I'm jealous..."

Trevor looks at Niko, apparently confused by Layla's statement. "Um..."

Layla just gives a big wickedly mysterious smile

(which by the way is strangely attractive)

"Okay," Niko claps his hands, "how bout those weapons?" By now a blush has crept onto his pale cheeks.

Layla grabs their hands and starts walking

"o frabjous day, caloh calay he chortled in his joy..."

Niko shakes his head, causing loose strands of hair to fall, "I'm so fucked," he mumbles to himself.

"Weapons?" Trevor is started into motion by Layla. "Oh, yah, um, weapons." Trevor's mind is obviously on some other subject.

Niko's word's apparently catch Trevor's attention. "Really?" he says with obvious interest.

Niko shakes his head again and then puts a few of the dark strands of hair behind his ear. As the full effect of the comment hits him, he let's out a slight almost inaudible whimper.

"Niko?" Trevor looks at Niko and his eyes grow wide. "Oh, shit."

By now, Niko, Trevor and Layla are coming up on the gym.

A slim girl with shoulder-length auburn hair held back with a hairband, wearing a Revolution Girl Utena T-shirt, passes the three going in the opposite direction. "If you're looking for Miss K. or Mr. Griffith, don't bother -- they aren't here," she says in an offhand manner.

Niko gives a Trevor a reassuring smile. "Sure." After hearing the girl's comment. "Okay now what?"

"Well, if we wait to try the basement until Tuesday, I should be on the fencing team and Miss K has already said I could teach Niko how to fence, so it shouldn't be a problem to get a hold of weapons then. We could even see if some of the others would come down with us." Trevor grins. "Or I could suggest you two let me go down by myself and see how Niko reacts."

Niko smiles a sly grin "I'm to curious to wait till Tuesday. Let's go. Unless anyone truly objects." He starts walking towards the basement.

(sounding more and more near hysterical as she goes along, Layla keeps talking even if someone tries to interrupt, its punctuated by dramatic hand movements rolls of eyes and the like as well)

"This really is too good of an idea to pass up and all, just love getting eaten by rats after school, couldn't think of a better way to spend my time! After all, I'm sure the nurse would love having to come up with an excuse for the mauling we're not going to end up with. Now, I don't know about you to Iceheads but I'm obviously in the mood for pain today. Then again I suppose we could always talk our way through a horde of rabid vampire rats . That's it! We'll just ask nicely and they will part the way, like Moses and the red sea, that kind of thing right? I really thought you two were stupid but this just takes the cake, It's the smartest thing you two are able to come up with! Lets rush into a late grave and charge, unarmed into something that, to your mind obviously is no danger at all. I mean that couldn't have been blood on the knockers foil could it, nah, we'll be fine down there... Ad nauseum

(when she's done and or calmed down whichever comes first)

Now if you two don't mind I'm going forward to be my normal impulsive self and do what I do best.

Niko stops walking after seeing his normally cheerful pooka turn angry. "If you that worried about our safety, then we won't go. We're not completely defenseless though, I'm not that stupid or suicidal. But I'm not afraid either. What if the rats aren't there all the time? Or they're just part of the weirdness. Than we're down a day and if that creatures down there, it can attack a defenseless changeling again. Maybe it is my curiosity or my utter stupidity as you called it that makes me want to go now, but I don't like waiting around." He gives a slight smile to show that he's not angry, "But I also don't want my friends worrying about safety so we will have to wait."

Trevor seems surprised and confused by Layla's outburst. He tries to say something to her once or twice, but fails miserably.

Trevor looks relived after Niko's speech. "Niko..." A grin spreads across Trevor's face. "You're just as bad as I am. I'd have gone down there all by myself if I really cared what was in the basement." He quickly adds, "I'm NOT suggesting anyone do that. I don't want either of you getting hurt." He flushes and mutters, "Or Layla getting mad again."

"Besides, I should go home and clean my room up."

Time: 3:10 pm, Friday, September 6, 2002
Current weather: Partly cloudy. Expected weather: Partly cloudy
This web site copyright 2001 by Midori Hirtzel-Church.
This page first posted -- January 9, 2003
First uploaded to mirror site -- January 10, 2003

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