Chapter Nine

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Author's Note - I've got another one at the end but I just want to say, if you make book covers, would you be interested in making a cover for me? I think the one I've got looks really... bland? Terrible? 

Yes. Every negative description possible. :'(

I was startled awake at six o’clock on-the-dot by the morning bell, which is apparently what the loud, incessant ringing noise was.

After being rudely awaken, I had opened my eyes to see the solemn face of my crazy roommate, Simona, leaning over me, wafting some kind of incense stick around.

She had claimed it was a well-known spell that guaranteed good concentration for the whole day.

I had warned her that I didn’t believe her, and just wanted her to promise me it wasn’t some kind of voodoo ritual thing – which she did, to my utter relief.

‘So, where’s the shower?’ I asked blearily.

‘There isn’t one; we’re all expected to use spells to wash ourselves clean.’

 ‘Actually, I know for a fact that there is a shower, I saw you leave the room earlier with a towel and some shower gel.’ I smirked, rolling my eyes at her.

‘Drat. Foiled again.’ She deadpanned, ‘Fine, there is one just down the corridor on the left. There are some signs anyway.’

‘Ok.’ I replied confidently. It felt like I’d been in Ivy Rowe Academy for a while now, despite only having arrived yesterday, and I feel like I could find the way to the showers on my own.

‘See you later!’ I called out, closing the door behind me with a click. I fingered my door key in my hand as I walked down the corridor. Sure enough, there was a sign nailed to the wall saying, ‘Girls’ shower and toilets.’ Followed by an arrow.

‘So far so good!’ I hummed to myself, pulling open the wide grey double doors.

Immediately, I was hit with a misty fog, and I squinted into the stuffiness. I seemed to be standing in an anteroom – there were several shower cubicles lined up on one side, and, much to my surprise, there seemed to be a crude doorway made from one large rock that led outside, judging by the beam of light that fell on the damp tiled floors.

Forgetting my need to shower, I cautiously walked over to the strange doorway and looked through, making sure to keep both of my feet planted on the tiled floor.

‘Oh my God...’ I muttered, dumbstruck. What I had originally thought was a doorway to outside, was actually an… indoor cave?

‘Cool isn’t it?’                                                                                                         

‘What?’ I jumped, clutching my heart in shock.

I turned around to see Ember grinning at me, wearing a pleated grey wool skirt, and a knitted grey cardigan with hints of a white shirt peeping from underneath.

‘I was like that the first time I saw it.’ She enthused, nodding her head towards the cave. ‘We’re the first school to have communal baths with artificial rain.’ She enthused. I was shocked to see her pulling off her uniform as she explained it to me.

‘Erm…’ 

‘Are you going to try it out?’ she asked me, a mischievous look in her eye. I was taken aback by the utter normalcy in which she was talking to me. The last time I had talked to her, she had seemed like a nervous wreck.

‘I think I’ll pass.’ I muttered, eyeing the empty cave with distrust.

Ember shrugged, and, I averted my eyes politely as she pulled off her last piece of clothing. ‘Well, bye!’ she called out, and wrapped her towel around herself as she ventured into the baths. As soon as she entered, a torrent of rain came down, causing steam to rise up from the small, clear ponds in misty tendrils.

I shook my head in awe, before making my way to the shower cubicle with my bath bag and some soap.

Ten minutes and a relaxing shower later, and I was ready to go to the breakfast table. Unfortunately, I’m not exactly sure I know the way to the canteen… We had passed it on the way to my dorm floor, but…

I looked around the corridors nervously, flinching as another drop of cold water dripped from my packed up hair and into my back.

Biting my lip, I decided to wing it. I treaded carefully towards the double doors at the end of the corridor, before changing my mind and heading towards the opposite doors.

‘I’m sure I came from there…’ I muttered when the doors opened up to a big lounge area.

I turned around again, and walked towards the doors I had initially planned to go through.

Suddenly, an idea struck me. ‘Alice.’ I almost shouted, ‘Alice, Alice, Alice, ALICE!’

A ‘pop’ resounded in the air around me, and suddenly, I was visually assaulted by five livid brunette girls, all dressed in the Ivy Rowe Uniform, and all shouting at me.

‘What is wrong with you?-’

‘Why would you-’

‘Have you got issues or something-?’

I shook my head, holding my hands out defensively, ‘Sorry, erm, I kind of only meant for one person… I mean… one Alice…

‘Ugh, whatever.’ The five annoyed Alices chimed. Four separate ‘pop’ sounds emitted from all around me, and suddenly, I was left with one angry faced, brunette ringlet-adorned Alice.

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