A/N: So sorry it's been a while! Thanks for bearing with me everyone! You really are incredible! :) I've been up to my eyeballs in homework and revision for the past half-term and I've been up until 3am every morning doing my work, and it's killing me...so I've hardly had time to sleep, let alone write! Also, my computer keeps crashing, so I always lose my new chapters! So, to make it up to you all, tonight I've been up all night (slightly ironic XD) to finish this new chapter – I hope you all like it?
Fighter: Even Heroes Bleed
Chapter Seven: Detention
"This morning we only covered motion spells, and you know how simple those are, Maria!" snapped Flynn, glaring at the young witch out of his narrowed eyes. She shook her head in agitation, and leant forwards in her chair.
"Alcaeus, it's not my fault. I agree with you, but Phineas insists that there is nothing more that we can do!" she replied desperately, her eyes wide and pleading. The glower on Flynn's face softened just a little; he knew that it wasn't her fault really. She, and the other members of the council, were trying their best. He sighed in frustration. If only their best was good enough!
"How was your lesson, anyhow?" Maria asked, trying to brighten the subject matter.
"We made good use of the time. The very short space of time." Flynn replied, shrugging his shoulders. He put emphasis on the words very short, unwilling to let it go. He was still very angry. Maria smiled through gritted teeth.
"I'm glad to hear it." She remarked, choosing to ignore the malice in Flynn's voice "And the girl?"
"Little has changed from last night." he answered evenly, wondering whether Maria had forgotten how little a time had passed since their last encounter.
"Is she a good student?" She asked, looking interested. That was something that couldn't have been discussed the night before. Flynn stared at her thoughtfully, as he began to consider his answer.
"Like I said, they are simple spells." he replied rather sharply, but then in a gentler tone, he added "But yes, I suppose she picks them up rather quickly."
"Good. Perhaps she will be ready after all then." Maria smiled brightly, looking instantly more cheerful. Flynn frowned. He wasn't sure how well Maria actually understood the situation. There was never going to be enough time for Amelia to learn everything she needed to, not unless Phineas could conjure up an extra five years of wizardry lessons, which Flynn very much doubted.
"Quickly, but not that quickly." He sighed dejectedly, resting his head on the palm of his hand. Maria opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted by a knock on the door.
"ENTER!" called Flynn very loudly, so that whoever was on the other side of the door would hear him. There was a moment's hesitation, and then Amelia's face peered around the door, looking small and almost frightened.
"Good evening Sir, I'm here for my detention." she said hesitantly, watching Flynn's face cautiously. He didn't know what Amelia was expecting, but he noticed that she looked rather relieved when he beckoned for her to come in.
"I'm terribly sorry to interrupt you." Amelia began, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear, and shooting an apologetic smile in the direction of Flynn and Maria.
"Not at all. In fact, Maria was just leaving." Flynn replied, with a meaningful glance at Maria, who got the message and began to clear her things away into her bag.
"Yes I am, although it was a pleasure to meet you, Amelia." She added, throwing her bag over her one shoulder and rushing over to shake Amelia's hand. Flynn watched the bemused expression on Amelia's face with interest.
"Goodbye Alcaeus." Maria smiled, turning around to face Flynn.
"Amelia, I hope we shall meet again soon." She added, beaming brightly at the younger witch. Then with a flick of her wand, she dissolved from the room, leaving Amelia staring at the floor in astonishment.
"Who was that, Professor?" asked Amelia curiously, taking a seat opposite Flynn and staring at him inquisitively. He shook his head and didn't reply.
"Was she your girlfriend?" she persisted, so Flynn put down his quill pen and glared at his student in frustration.
"No." he answered curtly, going back to his work whilst he wondered wondering why Amelia was such an impertinent child.
"Would you like her to be?" she asked, completely unperturbed. Flynn didn't even bother looking up to glare at her this time.
"Miss Thorn, unless you would like to receive yet another hour of detention, I highly suggest that you stop asking such nonsensical and intrusive questions." he said, in a strict tone. Amelia shook her head meekly, and Flynn nodded, pleased.
"You will be writing lines for the first hour, Miss Thorn. I expect at least 200, finish them for homework if you don't finish this session." he instructed, barely even looking at her. Amelia's mouth dropped open. However, before she could protest, Flynn continued "Then, for the second hour, I thought that you could clean out the fireplace."
"That's hardly fair, Professor!" She groaned, scowling angrily at Flynn. He shrugged his shoulders.
"Few things in life are fair, Amelia, it would do you well to learn that." Flynn replied, looking utterly impassive. He could feel Amelia's eyes boring into his head, but ignored them completely.
"Why are you punishing me? Thomas was also misbehaving! Why is he not here too?" She exclaimed, and then clapped her hands over her mouth as she realised that she had gone far beyond the line. Amelia sank lower in her seat, rather sheepishly, awaiting Flynn's response. He whipped around to face her, his eyes almost angry.
"Because I expected more from you! I have higher standards for you than for Mister Parker!" Flynn growled, and he meant it. He had high standards for his student because he felt that she deserved them. Amelia, however, didn't seem to agree.
"And when I don't meet those standards?" She enquired, a firm frown set upon her face.
"More severe punishment, yes." Flynn finished off for her. She glowered wordlessly at him, not needing to say anything because the silence that had just fallen in the room was deafening enough.
"I expect you to meet those standards Amelia," Flynn sighed, in a much quieter and calmer tone of voice "I wouldn't set them so high if I didn't think you capable." Amelia gazed at him in bewilderment. Flynn supposed that he hadn't responded quite as she had expected, but continued regardless.
"Those lines are not going to write themselves, Miss Thorn, now carry on with your work!" he said briskly, pointing towards the piece of paper lying on her desk. She nodded her head, and put her pen to paper.
For the next hour, the two sat in complete silence, whilst Amelia wrote out her lines and Flynn marked fourth-years essays on the correct way to descale a dragon limb, whilst the creature is still alive. He scowled as he wrote a large U at the top of yet another essay. U was the worst mark possible – it meant Unmarkable – which many of the fourth-year essays were. He sighed heavily.
"Professor Flynn, it is nearly 7 o'clock now. Should I get started on the fireplace?" asked Amelia suddenly. Flynn looked up from the unmarkable essay in surprise; he'd forgotten that Amelia was in detention! She'd been so quiet! Flynn shook his head.
"No, go back to your dormitory. Forget the second hour." he said wearily, feeling surprisingly kind-hearted for a change – it was probably only due to his tiredness, he supposed. Amelia looked up from her writing and stared at him in pure disbelief!
"Actually, Professor, I'd rather not." she whispered, looking suddenly fearful again. Now it was Flynn's turn to stare at her in amazement; she was declining his offer to escape detention! That was a very rare occurrence at Gravestone!
"The other girls in my dormitory don't seem to like me very much." Amelia sighed sadly, resting her head on her desk. She looked up at Flynn and added, "So, the less time I spend there, the better."
"Also, it must be pretty lonely for you to mark essays the entire evening on your own. Perhaps you'd appreciate some company?" She smiled, trying to cheer up a little bit. Flynn continued to stare at her, almost touched by the girl's offer. She was really rather sweet, he thought. No other student would be so considerate to the feelings of a professor, but Amelia seemed to empathise with him. He shook his head.
"Very well, stay if you must." Flynn sighed, almost as though she was a burden. Amelia nodded cheerfully, and sank to her knees besides the fireplace as Flynn got back to his marking. He looked up.
"I warn you, though, that dragoncoal fireplace is incredibly filthy, Amelia." Flynn added, nodding towards the fireplace, thick with dragoncoal, ash and firewood. Amelia grinned back at him.
"I think I can manage sir!" she said brightly, and began to pull out several thick black lumps of dragoncoal with her fingers. The black dust from the dragoncoal stained her fingers, leaving a thick, dark and slightly sticky residue along her fingertips.
"I told you so." Flynn remarked, glancing up from his work "There's a cloth in the cupboard to your right."
Amelia nodded, and quickly found the cloth he was talking about. She used it frequently, to clean her hands, before she covered them in dragoncoal remnants all over again.
After a while, Flynn could hear her singing quietly to herself, and forgot his work almost entirely to look up and gaze at her. He had never seen anyone enjoy the task of cleaning a dragoncoal fireplace before, but Amelia was smiling to herself, and singing quietly along to a song.
"You can leave now, Amelia?"Flynn offered, after he checked the clock. It was half past eight, half an hour after her detention should have finished. Amelia shook her head.
"I'm not leaving early. I want to get this finished!" she exclaimed, pointing towards the fireplace. Flynn shook his head. She'd clearly lost track of the time.
"It's half past eight. You're actually late leaving." Flynn explained, nodding towards the clock, as though he needed evidence to prove his point.
"Thank-you though, you did an excellent job." He added, before Amelia had any time to protest, which she seemed to quite enjoy doing. At the sudden compliment, her cheeks went bright pink and her gaze dropped to the floor as she muttered a quiet "Thank-you Sir."
"I'll see you tomorrow morning for Wizardry Training." Flynn said, walking over towards the door, and holding it open for her. Amelia slung her bag over her shoulder, and swiftly followed him. She cautiously stepped out into the courtyard outside, and then turned around to face him.
"I look forward to it." She smiled, before turning around and heading back towards her dormitory.
"Strangely enough, me too." Flynn murmured to himself, as he watched the girl disappear across the courtyard and into the shadows. He watched until she had been engulfed by the darkness, before retreating back into the comfort of his study, feeling oddly content.