Chapter 4: The Meeting

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Her eyes scanned around the room, darting and estimating the number of students that should've been present. She had the urge to frown, but restrained herself from expressing any readable emotion. She tilted her chair gently in Draven's direction, "How many seniors from last year graduated?"

He glanced at the roster on the clipboard, "Seems like 5 left. So, now, there's 15 members total."

She did some quick math: 15 members, 3 officers including herself. 12 should be in the audience, then. She counted, lips pursed, "We're missing one."

Draven glanced briefly at the closed door of the isolated storage room, then back at his roster, "Griffin should come in soon enough."

She shrugged. He was probably just getting back from track practice. No matter. She was here, Winston was here, and Draven was here. That was what mattered most. After all, what was an Inquisitors meeting without its officers?

"We don't need a role call?"

"No, we don't," she quickly dismissed Draven's question.

Suddenly, a loud and hideous scraping noise came from the far corner of the dim-lit room. Looking up from her personal desk, Winston dragged his chair through the agonizing silence, the metal tips of the legs screeching against the concrete floor. For once, she wished the room wasn't utterly quiet. He placed his chair six feet from her desk and slumped into it.

As soon as Winston's ear-torturing show had been over, eleven chattering mouths began to spew words to fill the silence, a few curses flinging within ear shot. Let them talk. Let them make noise for a few more seconds. When the seconds were over, Ravenna lifted her hand into the air. Silence swept across the room like a power outage. The edges of her lips curled in satisfaction, before she set her hand down. At the corner of her eye, she saw Winston's disgusted, but envious gaze.

That made her smile even wider. "Good afternoon," she addressed to the crowd in general, where several of the boys had responded with a mutter echoing her own words.

"So," she folded her hands together on her desk, feeling a heightening tension twisting in her chest from the excitement. She held the silence. Let it linger. Let it drag. Allowing the tension to become tangible, heightening in the room until the silence was unbearable. The feeling was like a sweet dose of chocolate. The feeling of power, of control, the tension adjusted by her and her alone, her ability to make them sweat, make them anxious. It was a glorious feeling that she couldn't describe through words, no matter how easily words came to her.

She smiled and straightened her back, allowing her words to finally break the tension, "You're all probably wondering why I've called you call here today. Well, it's simple, really. You see, I had a talk. With him."

Him. She allowed that to linger for a moment, let them ponder, let them figure it out. To drive them extra crazy, she went on, no explanation, "He's quite more lenient than the rest had been before him. Thank God for that. That makes our lives easier, doesn't it, Winston?"

At the mention of his name, his head shot up at her, grey-green eyes cold and hard with defiance. Just when she thought he was going to open his mouth to spit venom, the door swung open.

Her head shot in that direction, a brief moment of internal panic, fearing who was at the door. Her contained breath was finally released when a familiar mop of lovely auburn hair appeared by the doorway. Griffin closed the door behind him solemnly. "Sorry," he muttered, looking at no one in particular.

Ravenna had expected him to explain why he was late, but when he just walked on, she didn't have a choice, "You're rather late, Griffin."

His solemn face, a look that seemed very odd for someone like him, turned around to meet her eye. He broke into an empty smile, but for once, Ravenna had no desire to smile back. Weird.

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