Summary: Boarding school is all about survival of the fittest, as Ricky well knows. But is she taking it too far? And what's this business about a secret society? There is more to learn in boarding school than just biology.

Note: There is a bit of swearing in this. Nothing serious, but it is there.

AN: This chapter's changed a bit from the plan, as it took longer than I thought it would to write everything down, and to edit everything (the original was written many a year ago, and frankly, was quite crap). The next chapter will have the full explanation of the Black Alliance, and hospital. Hopefully.

Queen of the Castle

Chapter Two

The bed creaked as I rolled over, and landed painfully on the timber floor.

"Uurrh!" I yelled intelligently, wiping at the drool on my face. I cracked my eyes open, and stared at the small feet of Mousie.

"I would help you up," she said, way too shrilly for this time of the morning. "But . . . you know . . ."

I watched her annoying feet walk away, and heard a muffled, "She's still so pissed," from Zoe's direction of the room.

"Shut up," I said, just because I felt like it. "I whacked my head."

Zoe mumbled "Aspr" at me before closing her eyes again. I took this to mean Aspirin, and I forced myself up off the floor, and padded over to her dresser. I gulped down two of her aspirins, and stumbled into our bathroom, avoiding the black hair die stuff that had been left in there since yesterday night, and turned on the shower.

"Hurry up!" yelled Zoe through the door twenty minutes later. "Breakfast starts in ten! I need to shave, we're meeting the St Thomas's boys today!"

I hastily dried off and stepped into my uniform with the practised ease repetition brings. White shirt, black tie, black pinafore, white socks, black shoes. Zoe leapt into the bathroom before I had left, and I headed down to breakfast alone.

Despite not yet being seven o'clock in the morning, the dining hall was a flurry of activity. I hurried up to the line for watered down juice (which was actually orange cordial), and was just reaching for some cold toast when a huge screeching went up throughout the dining room.

"They're heeeeerrrrreeee!"

There was a huge stampede to the western windows, and I found myself being caught up in the crush, which the teachers tried to control in vain. I shoved my way to the window, and joy of joys, stared down at the St Thomas boys descending from two school buses. The St Thomas boys had green and white vertical striped blazers, and straw boater hats, which had the effect of expecting them to break out into The Candyman Song at any moment. But they were boys, and that was enough for me (for all of us). Besides, we all knew what it was like to be forced to wear horrible uniforms.

"Sit back down now!" roared a stressed out teacher, grabbing at her tufty hair. "You look like a bunch of desperadoes, the way you're behaving!"

"That's because we are," yelled out a bunch of seniors who appeared to be attempting to climb out of the window (and apparently forgetting that we were up on the third floor).

"SIT BACK DOWN!" That thunderous voice was Lord Hillsforth. His terrifying demeanour had the desired effect of the poor tufty haired teacher. We meekly went back to our tables. I heard protests from the St Thomas boys below, which brought a grin to my face. Today was going to be good, I just knew it.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, goes to show exactly how stupid I truly am.


This time it was the seniors and the year tens who would have the privilege of meeting with the St Thomas boys. We all received a number to stick on our fronts, and then we would begin the search for the boy with the same number. They would then tag along to our lessons for the day, and we would end with a debate (usually a battle of the sexes one, which the boys took very seriously) and dinner. I joined the throng of year ten and twelve girls and (thrill!) boys. My eyes darted from striped blazer to striped blazer, hunting for my number 72.

"Look," said Zoe, jumping in front of me. "I'm 99." She pointed to her sticker. "I've got to find 68."

I stared at her blankly.

"You know," she said, her smile slipping off her face. "Maxwell Smart? The Get Smart – never mind." She slid back into the crowd, searching for her partner.

I felt a tap on my shoulder, and I spun around. "Hi," grunted out a stocky boy with a hooknose, gorilla like arms (including the hair), and a monobrow. My eyes searched frantically for his number sticker, hoping against hope that this was not the guy I was to spend the day with.

"You 72?" he grunted again.

I wanted to cry. I know I didn't put make up on this morning, as many of the other girls had, and I had frizzy hair, but did I really deserve this? "Yes," I said slowly. "I'm 72."

We stood facing each other awkwardly for a moment. "Erm," I said. "Do you want me to show you 'round, or something?"

"Nah," he grunted. "Been here before."

"Oh. OK." I scratched my head, simply for something to do. I saw Christina pass through the press of people in the corner of my eye. "Oh, Chris, thank God! Come meet my guy."

Christina backed up a few steps, and rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Fine. Be quick. Me and Tim need to, like, go down to my locker."

I would have been quick, if it weren't for Tim. Tim was gorgeous. Tim was tall, and tanned, and not too hairy. He had a nice nose. He looked like he didn't grunt. I stared, my mouth clamped shut.

"Hey," he said, smiling charmingly. He held out his hand, and I snapped it up quickly.

"Hey," I responded, not letting his hand go. "I'm Ricky."

Christina shot me a quick glare that clearly said Back Off! "Who's that, there?" she said, peering over at my guy, her voice unnaturally sweet.

"Oh," I murmured, still shaking Tim's hand. He was starting to try to pull away, and I reluctantly let go. "That's 72." I gestured gracelessly to my monkey man.

"Ah, my name's Smithy," he grunted.

"Yeah," I agreed, still staring at Tim pointedly. "So, you in the debate?" I asked him. Christina clicked her tongue.

"Yeah,' he said. "First speaker. How 'bout you?"

"I was chair, but they took me off. Got caught wagging." I cringed as soon as that left my mouth. Way to impress, Ricky.

"That's great," rushed out Christina. She started tugging on Tim's blazer. "C'mon. I'll see you later, Ricky. Bye 72."

I turned reluctantly to face Smithy. "I've got IT now. You can play on the computer."


I carefully drew the yellow hair of Rapunzal on my flash movie, stoutly ignoring the sniggering coming from Smithy. He swung around on his chair, and started chatting to the guy next to him, who was apparently a mate of his, and they both burst out into loud laughter. I swiftly aimed a kick at the height lever on his chair, and he landed heavily with a thump, and bounced off onto the floor. The students on my row turned to stare.

"Oi!" he grunted, making his monobrow frown.

"Shut up!" I hissed at him and his stupid mate, who was guffawing at Smithy's fall. "Seriously, you'll get me into trouble!" I conviently failed to bring up the fact that what I had done was trouble material too, butI doubted he would pick up on that.

"Didn't think you'd care about that," Smithy said, climbing back up onto his chair, and readjusting the height.

"Excuse me?"

" 'Got caught wagging'?" he said.

"Therefore you should act like an idiot to get me into trouble at every possible opportunity?" I said, shooting him a sharp glare. "Good logic."

He murmured something sounding very much like 'psycho bitch', and rolled off on his chair to a spare computer to play games on the Internet.

I turned back to Rapanzal, my hands shaking. I flared up so easily these days. Last year I would have found Smithy and his mate funny. Now they were just a pain in the ass.

I started as a command prompt flashed up onto my computer. I glanced around the room, searching for the culprit. We'd send these to each other as jokes, pretending to be a teacher monitoring our activities on the computer, or for messages when we couldn't speak to each other. I couldn't see anyone grinning or looking suspicious, and I doubted that Smithy even knew how to do a command prompt. I faced my computer, and squinted at the small white writing on the black background.

We've been watching you.

I smiled, and played along. Not as much as I've been watching you. My hands hovered over the keyboard, trying to figure out what to say. At night, in the shower, when you're alone. I pressed enter, and mailed it along to sender computer. They were operating up in the library, according to the computer number. Zoe or Carla, then. Christina was in art.

Ditch the gorilla.

I bit my lip to stop myself from laughing. Haha. Gladly.

Meet in bomb shelter at lunch. Tell no one.

I frowned, hesitating. The bomb shelter was out of bounds, and was usually only haunted by scary seniors escaping teacher's eyes for a smoke. OK. What for?

Come alone. Tell any one, and you'll die.

I tired to send back, but the link was terminated.


I walked slowly down the ancient stone steps that led down the side of the chapel and down to the bomb shelter. The trees and shrubs were overgrown here, making it hard to move without tripping and being scratched. The silence surrounding me, this far from the main grounds of the school, was oppressive. I reached the large sliding door that opened to the bomb shelter, and wondered again if this was a good idea. Zoe and Carla had responded with blank looks when I winked at them ten minutes earlier. I had expected them to accompany me down, but they both had raced off to the dinning hall to grab lunch the minute the doors had been announced open.

I withdrew my hand from the door handle, deciding against it, and turned to go, but was immediately stopped. I wasfaced with a bunch of black clad people. Igasped before a thick, itchy woollen blanket was thrown over me. I yelled as I was grabbed roughly, held tightly within the blanket. I struggled and screamed. Whoever was playing this joke was so not funny. I stopped struggling, hearing dozens of pairs of feet around me. I coughed at the musty smell of the blanket.

"Get this off me," I said, my voice muffled. "I can't breathe!"

No one responded. Instead I was scooped up, the blanket still being held over me, and I was carried off further through the scrubby gardens.

I was dumped unceremoniously into a chair, and I felt my hands being roughly tied up behind me. The blanket was whipped off, and a gag immediately was stuffed and taped into my mouth. I blinked rapidly in the bright light after the smothering darkness of the blanket. I was trembling head to toe, and I could feel tears forming in my eyes that had nothing to do with the pain of the light. Who had I pissed off enough for this to happen? Who were these people?

Chapter three is almost finished, so it'll be up soon. Please review and I'd be only too happy to review your stuff in return!!