"Ms. Kuro Hayashi."
Kuro almost pinched herself to check if she was dreaming but, being invited inside, walked into the large office, savouring the smell of books. The room was filled with shelf upon shelf of novels, some fat and others slim. Tapestries decorated the high walls, a Victorian feel to the decor. Kuro glanced guiltily at the window, staring out at a perfect view of the gardens.
"As you know, I am your headmistress, Kadae Moto." the woman sitting behind the large table said, looking up from a book, "What can I do for you today?"
Kuro scooped Dai up and stroked him in her arms, trying to alleviate some of her stress.
“I was caught running in the halls." she said quietly, the words filling her with humiliation.
“Running?" the headmistress asked, an amused smile reaching her blue eyes.
"Yes." Kuro said through gritted teeth, mortified.
"Let's see." Moto started, pulling out a long wand and waving it at a large book on a pedestal, waiting as the pages flipped rapidly, "Hayashi. Third year student. No lates, no absences. Stellar record, really."
She looked at Kuro, cocking her head to the side and sending her golden hair spilling over her shoulder.
"Who sent you to me?"
"The hall monitor. Mrs. Pumpernickel."
Kadae chuckled, returning the book with a flick of her wrist.
"Give her my regards. Go back to your class, Ms. Hayashi."
"What...what about my punishment?" Kuro asked, flinching as she said the words.
The headmistress passed her a slip of paper.
"Show this to your teacher. I think you've already learned your lesson."
Kuro bowed slightly, before moving towards the door.
"Thank you, Ms. Moto."
"It was the least I could do for a top student." she smiled, "Keep up the good work, Ms. Hayashi."
"I'll try, Headmistress." Kuro croaked before slipping out of the office.
She let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. That had been the most stressful five minutes of her life.
Kuro quickly got to her second-period class, answering questions and copying the notes from her missed class from a fellow student at the same time. She was focused, and she was learning, but a certain bit inside her was screaming and thrashing about, hidden deep under her expressionless features. Called to the office. Because she'd been busy spying on someone she could only describe as her sworn enemy.
It was humiliating, to say the least.