Chapter One

Welcome to Hell


"Mum, I don't even want to go here! Why can't I just stay at Armidale High, where I was happy?" I said, stressing the last word.

"Cody Rose Miller! You will get out of the car right now! You are extremely privileged to be going here!" my mother cried, waiting impatiently for me outside the car.

I crossed my arms, scowled, but reluctantly pushed myself out of the car.

The beautiful colonnade rose before me as my lovely mum hurried me towards the office of Lakehart Academy.

Lakehart was one of the most expensive private schools in Sydney, not to mention it was one of the very few to be private and co-ed. That meant girls and boys at the same school.

Oh my dear god!!! Heaven on earth!

Notice the heavy sarcasm. I'd just come from a public school, so it would be almost the same here.

So why would I not want to go? I hear you ask.

One: they're all snobby, snuck-up brats, who care more about what fashion brand they're wearing than global war.

Two: I had a life and friends back in Armidale.

Of course, the rest of my family was ecstatic. Before, we had never had the money to afford more than the simplest of education. But now, my only brother, Riley, had been drafted into the New South Wales Waratahs Rugby Union team. My mother and I were on cloud nine about this. My brother was famous, and now we had enough money to send me to a private school to get a 'proper' education.

My ring tone blared out and I glanced at the caller ID.


"Hey prick," I greeted warmly, stopping my doomed trek to the office of hell.

"Hey bitch," Riley laughed.

"And to what do I owe this wonderful pleasure to? How did you find time in you're busy schedule as a superstar to call little old me?"

"Well, I just wanted to see how you were going," he huffed mockingly.

"I just can't wait till school starts tomorrow! I'm going to have such a ball!" I cried sarcastically, and mum sent me a disapproving look. I ignored her though, and listened to Riley.

His voice was suddenly serious, disapproving even. "Cody, I know you can make friends easily enough. You deserve a better education than what they have at Armidale High. You aced those classes easily. You should be thanking me!"

I sighed.

"But you know, Riley, how much I hate these uptight city-slickers," I whined.

"Cody," Riley warned.

I sighed, defeated.

"Fine. For you, I'll give this Lakehart Academy a chance. Just as long as you get me tickets to your next game in Sydney."

"Like I wasn't going to!" he snickered.

"Whatever. Mum's getting agro, so I gotta go," I said, seeing mum was getting agitated. "Cya, bro."

"Cya sis."

I disconnected the call, and followed mum up the steps of the colonnade to the office.

"Hi," she said, smiling at the secretary. "We're here to see Principal Noland. It's Sherry Miller with my daughter, Cody."

The secretary looked over my mum's shoulder, and spotted me sulking in the corner. "Cody! You're starting year twelve, yes? Oh how exciting! Sydney must very different from Armidale, yes?"

I forced a smile and didn't say anything, sitting down on one of the plush, velvet seats.

Armidale, where I lived, was a rural town. It was pretty big for an outback town, but everyone seemed to think we were all a bunch of country hick bogans. Which we, most definitely, were not.

Mum sat down next to me and hissed in my ear, "Be polite, Cody Rose! I don't want any reports of you being disrespectful or anything like that."

"Yes mum," I droned, rolling my eyes. She didn't notice as she picked up a magazine and started flipping through it, probably looking for the latest 'britney scandal'.

Mum always called me Cody Rose, never just Cody. She said it wasn't feminine enough or something like that, even though she was the one who chose it.

Whacked up, I know.

I regarded my mother, wishing I had inherited her good looks. Even though she was getting into her late forties, she still looked radiant with silky brown hair and bright blue eyes. Although she usually wore jeans and a flannel shirt, she bore it all with an air of grace.

While I, on the other hand, had dead straight brown hair, boring grey eyes and extremely pale. I lived in Armidale for god's sake! Everyone gets burnt and goes browner, except me. I went bright red, then pale white. No tan, no freckles. To sum it all up, I was pasty and uninteresting.

Riley had turned out alright I guess, with brown hair and hazel eyes. Everyone in our family was a brunette, except for dad. He was blonde with hazel eyes. Well, at least he was blonde the last time we saw him.

Probably the coolest thing about me was my hair. I loved my hair. As I said before, it was brown, but it had blonde streaks through it. All naturale!

The door opened to what I thought was the principal's office, and a middle-aged man stepped out.

"Miss Miller!" he boomed, and I jumped out of my seat.

"Um… h-h-"

"I'm Principal Noland. Would you like to follow me into my office? Oh, and Mrs. Miller! You're from Armidale I hear? Not too cold I hope!"

I followed the eccentric principal into the office with a confused expression on my face. He was preeeeeetty funny!

And people called me weird.

I awkwardly stood in the middle of the room, before the wooden desk, as mum gracefully sat down in one of the plush chairs.

"Take a seat, take a seat Miss Cody!" the principal cried.

I plonked into the chair next to mum, and jumped when mum elbowed me.

"Sit up straight!" she hissed, as the principal rummaged through a filing cabinet with his back to us.

I rolled my eyes, yet again. Mum was obsessed with manners. For example, if anyone put their elbows on the table at dinner, it was WHAM.

'Don't you put your elbows on the table!'

I jumped and blinked, as I was jolted out of my memories by the principal beginning to speak to me.

"I would personally like to welcome you to Lakehart Academy. I hope you find it…"

I tuned out as he gave the boring introductory speech. My gaze wondered to the pictures on the walls. I snorted mentally. They were all old men, and probably the founders of this conceited school.

I blinked when I realized Noland had stopped talking and was holding a piece of paper out to me.

I blinked again and slowly reached my hand out and took the paper. Ignoring my mum and the principal's chatter, I looked at the paper. It seemed to be a timetable of the classes I had, and some extra information down the bottom.

"What's… Croft?" I asked, breaking into their conversation. Mum glared at me, but the principal didn't seem flustered.

"Croft is the house you're in," he explained.

"Like… boarding house?" I asked slowly.

"Oh no. We just have one, huge boarding house that is separated into the boy's half and the girl's half. Croft is just the house you're in, like for sports. There's Croft, Jerem, and Ford."


We'd had a thing like that back at Armidale, but different names. I then proceeded to stare out the window. It was the beginning of the year, so I saw a multitude of people pulling up in the turning circle outside the colonnade and hauling a gargantuan amount of bags to a massive building. I took this castle-like building to be the 'huge boarding house'.

I watched in disgust as a pretty blonde hauled herself out of a black limousine. Actually, she was extremely pretty, but she still looked like a slut. She had on a pink dress that barely covered her arse. Actually, I bet it would just cover my arm.

I shoved the thoughts away, thinking that I shouldn't make assumptions of someone, just because of what they looked like.

Of course, my little mind feet promptly stamped all over that saintly idea as she ran, squealing I bet, towards a guy. He was too far away to see anything other than a muscular body and bed ruffled brown hair. She latched onto him, with her mouth and her arms.

In Armidale, there were no cliques. Everyone was a friend with everyone, as the year only had about forty kids. Whilst here, mum had told me there were about two hundred.

I'd heard about all these cliques. Well, watched movies… You know, like Mean Girls and John Tucker Must Die. So, I guess I was prepared.

In a way.

Principal Noland stood up suddenly, and I jumped to my feet with him. He leaned across the desk and smiled kindly at me, holding out his hand.

I shook his hand awkwardly and tried to smile, as he said, "Well, I hope you like it here Cody. You can come and see me any time you wish."

He shook mum's hand then escorted us out with a final farewell.

"Now what?" I asked slowly.

"First, we have to find the uniform shop and buy your new uniform. Then, we'll find your new room and unpack!"

"Er, shouldn't we do it the other way around?"

Mum raised her eyebrow at me.

"Or not, or not! That's cool," I said hastily. Mum smiled at me and we set off in search of the uniform shop.


With bundles of clothing and bags in my arms, I pushed the door to my room open and stumbled in. Over the top of the bundles of uniform, I surveyed the room. I was obviously sharing with someone, as there were two beds in there. It had one other doorway that I guessed led to a bathroom. There were four cupboards, two for each person.

My roommate had taken the side furthest from the door, and her stuff was absolutely everywhere. I dumped my stuff on my bed and turned to mum with a raised eyebrow.

"And you said I had a lot of stuff!" I scoffed.

Mum was about to answer, until I heard a voice from the bathroom.

"Ally is that you? You back already?"

The speaker threw open the door and stepped out, the smile freezing and her step faltering.

She blinked.

"Oh, hey!" I said. "I'm Cody."

She smiled at me.

"I'm Liz. Well, Elizabeth, but don't call me that. So you're the new girl?"

I nodded and looked her over. She was gorgeous; with blondey-brown hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a singlet and track pants, and I was glad to see she didn't seem like too vain, even though I automatically classed her in the snobby category. Seriously, she went to this school.

Mum and me were halfway through unpacking when a tall, dark brown haired girl bounced through the doorway.

"I'm back with the chocolate!" she sung, before she saw me and stopped mid-bounce.
"Who're you?" she asked, cocking her head and regarding me with inquisitive light green eyes.

"Cody. I'm new."

"Ooh! Well, I'm Ally."

To her complete surprise, the cute girl jumped up and hugged me.

"You'll have to excuse Ally," Liz said dryly. "She's a tad bit… affectionate."

Ally stuck her tongue out at Liz, surprising a laugh from me. These two didn't seem too stuck-up, even though I could see Ally was wearing extremely expensive clothing.

Ally and Liz sat on her bed and started scoffing down the chocolate, dissecting all the rumours they'd heard.

I finished my packing and strolled outside with mum to the car. The sun was starting to set, and we passed several students still coming into the boarding house with their bags.

I hugged mum tightly as we stood next to her car.

"I'll miss you mum," I whispered.

"Honey, you can call me whenever you want. You'll make friends here, don't worry," she soothed.

I pulled away and gave her a smile.

"Thanks mum."

"Just remember to be polite: don't judge people and remember your manners!"

"Yes mum."

She got in her car and drove away, waving to me as she passed through the gates. I gazed after mum's car mournfully.

She was leaving me here. Here. In the rich school for bratty kids.

God help me.