Sure enough, when they reached the West corridor, Marinia and Valda were standing next to each other in the small group of students who had already assembled in the entrance hall. Apart from the colour of their dresses - they were reflections of each other. They were wearing short, chiffon dresses - Marinia's was red and Valda's was pale pink, and they wore matching lipstick. They saw the four of them and made their way over, smiling menacingly. As they moved, Will saw that underneath their skirts were leather thigh holsters concealing their wands as if they would whip them out suddenly like knives. Their wavy ebony hair was gleaming and brushed to perfection.
'So you guys turned up after all,' said Valda,
'Camping will be soo much fun,' Marinia added derisively,
'Wait, camping?' asked Sayara,
'Didn't you hear, Dirtface? We have the joy of staying in tents for a weekend. Somehow Paradam makes it seem like that's better than sleeping in a castle.'
Tayna stepped forward, her eyes darkening, 'don't call her that.'
Marinia stiffened in fear but made it look like confidence, 'I'm not afraid of you, Tayna.'
'Really?' Tayna flourished her hand in Marinia's direction, she squeaked and threw her arms over her face, making the others laugh when nothing happened. Marinia straightened and glared at them, just as the entrance hall began to fear with more students, and Bosrold appeared holding a long register scroll. He was wearing robes which appeared black but glistened vine green in the light, his cloak made of thick velvet which could have doubled as a blanket.
'Gather around, hooligans,' he said, sounding unhappy and clearly reluctant to be going on the trip. 'I want you all to report to me to have your names ticked off. Failure to do so means the Blinking pendant will falter and you will not be granted access out of the Sanctuary.' Knowing this, the students assembled around him to show their faces and be accounted for.
Then, Blinking onto the staircase next to him came Principal Paradam and Anala - wearing dress clothes of matching colours - black and red. Paradam was wearing a white shirt and a red waistcoat, but his trousers were squares of red and black like a checker board, accompanied by a red cloak and shining black shoes. Anala saw the Elementals at the back of the crowd and waved ostentatiously, whispering to her uncle where she was going and pushing through the crowd. They mostly parted for her, whispering 'show-off'and 'spoilt' to themselves, whether she didn't hear or ignored them was unclear as she raced over to Will and his friends.
'You girls look so pretty,' she grinned, purposely not looking at the Twins.
'So do you,' smiled Sayara. Anala looked like she wanted to take on the big cities in her outfit. On top of a white cotton shirt she was wearing a matching flared skirt and blazer. The blazer was cut at the waist and the pattern matched the skirt in stripes of bright red, black and scarlet. Her lipstick was bright red but her hair was black, flamboyant curls put into a side ponytail. Her outfit was finished with black boots and a hat with a plume of black feathers.
'Oh, this?' she gestured to herself, 'I just threw this on, no big deal.' Sayara and Tayna looked at each other with the shared thoughts that her outfit looked like it had cost hundreds of arixel, and that Anala was showing off, for reasons they couldn't understand.