"Ah." said Spook, scratching the back of her neck awkwardly. "About those... well, I've been somewhat entangled in revision, 'specially as we have two more GCSEs this term, so I've been keeping my commitments to a minimum so's I don't get so distracted. Besides, Protagonize only unblocks after 6:00 in the evening, so I don't exactly get much time! But I'll try soon, honest!"

Spook's soliloquoy was interrupted by an ear-splitting beeping.

"That would be supper." said Pip, already making her way down the corridoor, the others in pursuit.

As they wound their way down the narrow staircase at the far left end of the house, Spook and Del found themselves joined by members from all the year groups of Dun Holme. Much to Spook's irritation, all the Lower Fifth were taller than them - some even taller than Spook herself, who wasn't all that small to begin with. Finally they joined the queue outside the dining hall, the smell of food wafting in from beyond.

"Chicken kievs tonight," said Spook, licking her lips enthusiastically. "Yummy."

"What's the food like here?" asked Del.

"Can't say that much, they don't let me eat half of it. Nut allergies you see, that and the sesame seeds. Netty here's the same." said Spook, gesturing to the curly-haired girl at the front of the line. "Still, most of it's pretty good. As school food goes anyway."

Several minutes later, having collected their trays of food and taken their seats in their usual table at the back of the hall, Spook swallowed the last of her kiev and said to Del:

"So, we have a bit more free time before prep now. What do you want to do?"

The End

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