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"You're all coming to dinner tonight aren't you?"

Biana asked the group of friends at lunch. Della and Alden were hosting a dinner to celebrate the first month of Keefe and Fitz in the gold tower. It was their first weekend break and things had been a little quiet around Everglen since the boys had moved into the dormitory.

A chorus of yeses came from Dex, Tam, Linh, and Marella. The only one who was silent was Sophie.

"Earth to Sophie, are you there" Dex joked.

"Yeah, I'm here. I am going to try I just have so much homework and need to catch up this weekend, I don't know why but I just can't concentrate on my classes." Sophie said thinking back to what had happened a few months ago.

At the end of her 4th level finals she had been pulled out before the party started. The counselors called what Sophie had always dreaded in the Forbidden Cities, the parent-teacher conference. Only this one included all 12 counselors, all of her Foxfire mentors(except Sir. Astin who was still out mapping stars), Magnate Leto, Grady and Edaline. Sophie was left out in the hall waiting. She had either failed miserably or had passed too well. She couldn't decide which was worse. After what seemed like hours she was called into the very crowded room.

Magnate Leto spoke
"Sophie, you are a remarkable young lady and we have been discussing just how well you have done here at Foxfire these past 3 years. Unfortunately we are at a point we have never experienced. . ."

Sophie's stomach rolled in anticipation of what was coming next.

". . .You see Bronte has informed us he will be unable to continue your inflicting lessons as you have learned all that he can teach. Lady Cadence expressed similar sentiments with the exception of mimicking. . ."

The knot in Sophie's ribcage pulled hard.

". . .Which you have expressed quite forcefully that you will not be learning. Sir Astin has sent a scroll stating your knowledge of the stars is beyond what he can teach you. And we all know what happens in Alchemy. . ."

He paused a small chuckle went through the room.

". . .This is where the dilemma comes in. We feel you may get bored in your 5th and 6th level classes. The choice is yours, you always have a choice. But this is what we are proposing to you. Next year we cancel all of your ability classes and PE. . ."

Sophie's eyes widened in disbelief.

". . .and you take your 5th and 6th years concurrently so that you can enter the Gold tower a year early. We feel this will continue to challenge you academically and since you are technically 9 months older than we thought you were when you started it puts you where you probably would have ended up anyway given your aptitude."

Everyone turned to look at Sophie.

"What about telepathy and cognate training? This decision doesn't just affect me." She said quietly her thoughts of what she was going to tell Fitz.

Tiergan spoke up, "we have 2 options to present to you and Fitz if you choose to do this."

Sophie listened as he explained what she would call summer school or independent study. She wasn't sure what option he would choose or how he would feel about it. She asked if he could come to the meeting to explain what was happening and in turn Della and Alden were hailed and brought in as well. The room kept getting tighter and tighter.

After a couple telepathic conversations between Sophie and Fitz, Fitz and Alden, and then Sophie, Fitz, Tiergan and Magnate Leto. The announcement was made.

She would do it and it would be summer school and if needed some independent studies for her and Fitz.

So when she started back at school she was doing double time trying to do 5th level before midterms and 6th after. The council had wanted a special pink uniform mixing the white and the red but Edaline shot that idea down fast. Nope Sophie would wear red until midterms and then white after. They were one month into school and so far the workload had been intense but she was managing, kind of.

The friends finished lunch and were headed off to their afternoon sessions when Sophie pulled Biana aside.

"Tell your parents I will be there," Sophie said. She would just need to pull an all nighter but the thoughts of seeing Fitz again made her all giddy, she still had a massive crush on him but didn't want to ruin their telepathic and cognate relationship by telling him. The break would be nice and maybe it would help her clear her head a little.

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