At 6:00 A.M., Harry forced himself out of bed and quickly got dressed; in about an hour and a half, he would be walking through the dreaded doorways of Warthogpox High School.
To describe the school, it had the appearance of a once-great school and like some movie stars who didn't age very well, Warthogpox High was quickly sinking into a deluge that couldn't be solved with a quick solution, not even if President Obarrio could have a hand in trying to solve the problem. Jill Roseberry was correct when she said that not only did the school suck, but also the students and teachers were even worse. On the contrary, she did warn Harry against "rocking the boat", which meant that he shouldn't disrupt the status quo that was prevalent at Warthogpox.
Within a few minutes, Harry forced himself out of the house and walked to the bus stop. When he got there, he saw what appeared to be a Japanese family loading themselves onto the bus stop. That family was the Teasley family, and they had been that way since World War P, when the city of Wyvernwing was attacked by Baillern Bindywart, a political madman who would make Appod Hiffer look like a harmless garter snake. Nalus Teasley refused to fight in a seemingly pointless political war, and so, his entire family paid the price for his cowardice by being labeled as "useless idiots" by the media and shunned by society.
Harry walked closer and he could see them all: there was Nalus's son Harper, Harper's wife Naggy, and their children Dill, Marley, Hershey, Kred, Morge, Marcia, Pandora, Lara, Sean, Pun, and Fanny. They had the Japanese look of tan skin, brown eyes, and brown hair that some of them had dyed in weird colors, such as desert brown, sea green, and superbright pink.
Mrs. Teasley noticed him and said, "You must be Harry Moffer." Harry nodded. "Fanny has been talking non-stop about you since she read the Larry Dobber books. Her fondest wish is to go on an adventure with Larry himself and to marry him."
On cue, Fanny, the youngest member of the Teasley family, began acting like a complete fangirl who just saw her favorite movie star at the mall.
"Mom, you know that Larry Dobber isn't real," Pun, the second youngest member of the Teasley family, cried out. He had brown eyes and brown hair, but his skin was worse than an acne-ridden adolescent. He was very short, a bit pudgy, and wore a lot of 'nerdy' clothing. "Cut that out, Fanny," he turned to his sister. "It's never going to happen. You really need to grow up and get a real boyfriend."
"You shut your lying mouth, Pun!" Fanny stomped her feet and then began the attack known as the butt-spank, in which the victim is whacked repeatedly on their rear end by their attacker. Pun screamed and tried to escape, but Fanny knocked him to the ground and began smacking his rear end so hard that he wouldn't be able to properly sit in a soft chair for a month.
"Fanora Teasley," Naggy shouted at Fanny. Fanny stopped hitting her brother and faced her mother. "You do NOT hit your brother at all, young lady. No Larry Dobber for a month!" Fanny stared down at the ground, feeling ashamed of herself. "And as for you, Pun," Naggy's voice was on him now, "how can you not stand up to your sister?"
"You're not supposed to hit girls," Pun mumbled. "You always said so."
Well, to take you away from all this unnecessary drama regarding the Teasley family, a girl named Hildegarde Lamer showed up at the bus stop. She had hazel eyes, brown skin, and wavy dark brown hair worn loose about the shoulders. She was short, pudgy, and dressed conservatively. Hildegarde tended to fancy herself as a genius, but in reality, she wasn't very bright. She lived with her parents and younger sister at the edge of town.
She stared at Harry and said, "Aren't you Larry Dobber?"
"No, I'm Harry Moffer," said Harry. "Larry was just some made-up loser that some talentless hack wrote about just to make a quick buck."
"But you look like him," Hildegarde insisted. "You have his glasses and his scar."
"Do you have rocks for brains?" Harry snapped at her. "I am NOT Larry Dobber! I am not even remotely related to that guy! Get it through that thick skull of yours!"
"Well, excuse me, Mr. I'm-Too-Good-For-Regular-People, but you need to stop acting like a merklace," Hildegarde snapped right back at him.
"And you need to stop assuming that I'm some kind of hero," said Harry. "I'm just a regular old ploke. When will people stop assuming that I'm Larry Dobber?"
"Are you talking about Larry Dobber?" another boy said as he approached them. He had green eyes, an olive skin tone, and curly dull blond hair. He was short though he was heavy. "My name is Neramill Flatbutton and I think that the Larry Dobber books are the biggest pile of crap that the world has ever been pained to read. Even the Innovation Chain books are better than what K. P. Tipling could come up with, and even those books suck."
"Finally, someone who speaks some proper English and hates Larry Dobber," Harry said as he stared at Neramill. "You and I are gonna get along great."
"Hey, what about me?" yelled a boy, who was standing at the corner of the bus stop. He glared at the kids with sharp bright blue eyes. "I'm Domro Wilfy and I say that no one hangs out with Neramill except for me and my friends, Verman Glabe and Gergy Gomex," said Domro.
Harry turned to face Domro and his two goons. All three of them looked like they should be attending Dillon's private school. They were dressed in nice clothing, had clear white skin and nice blond hair. "Neramill has been teased ruthlessly by the other kids for years and we can't have him going near the commoners without a commotion, or can we?" Domro continued.
"You can't keep a boy like him isolated from his peers," Harry protested in anger. "There's no way that he can ever fit into your "Hicrie Hicr" world! I won't allow it!"
"So, what are you gonna do about that, Dobber?" Domro snapped at him. "Zap me with your lazer eyes?"
That did it. Harry reached out with his left hand and slapped the rude rich boy across his face. "For the last time, I'm not Larry Dobber, goddammit!" Domro gasped as he stared at Harry. Did that boy just...slap him? Surely, his father would hear of this.
Domro said, "You have just made yourself a fine enemy, Larry Dobber..."
"His name is Harry Moffer, ghastly hope," Jill snapped as she approached them. "Now go away and leave Neramill to me. It's my turn to babysit him this year. And be grateful that I came here when I did; lest you want your father to know of the stuff you and your friends have been doing when you think that he isn't looking..."
"Fine, but that Moffer boy is gonna be sorry," Domro snapped as he and his friends stormed away.
Jill glared at Harry, saying, "What did I say about rocking the boat?"
"Rock the boat, you get soaked," Harry mumbled. "But why?"
"Some people will do whatever it takes to keep to the status quo," said Jill. "They don't like those who try to change the status quo. You broke that rule, didn't you? No matter; they'll all hear about it soon. Come, Neramill." She turned away from Harry and left.
Neramill frowned as he followed Jill from Harry. Harry frowned as he watched them leave. Hildegarde and Pun frowned as they stared at Harry. Pun said, "Wow, Harry, you got lucky; no one slaps Domro Wilfy and gets away with it."
"Yeah," said Hildegarde, "what is he? Spoiled?"
They all laughed and Harry thought to himself we're going to be good friends, for better or for worse. Little did he know that he had the right of it, of course.
At 8:00 A.M., the bus pulled up in front of Warthogpox High School. Harry stared out the window and saw scores of students getting off the caravan of buses that lined the school parking lot. He knew that most of them didn't even want to set foot near that terrible school if it could be helped at all. He noticed that the teachers weren't exactly happy to be at Warthogpox either, from their blank faces to their snappish demeanor.
Harry saw Jill glaring at him, silently warning him not to "rock the boat", but he ignored her. He knew that like it or not, he would have to play the part of the hero sooner or later.
As soon as he got off the bus, Harry glanced at the school. It already looked intimidating enough, but the sheer size of it send his liver running for cover. It was larger than Leya and had more soot on it than the buildings in Lost Angels, Camifonria.
Jill caught his glare and said, "Told you this school was weird."
"I don't know why, but I can't be here," Harry said as he tried to retrieve his liver and put it back into his body. "What was I thinking when I went off with Tafrin when I could have stayed with my relatives?"
"You went out with Tafrin?" Jill glared at him even harder, his insides screamed and cowered in fear. "What are you, gay?"
"I'm not gay," said Harry. "I meant that Tafrin forced me to leave my relatives and come here."
"Indeed," said Jill, unconvinced. "I'll be watching you, Harry Moffer." At the same time, she made the hand signals for "I'm watching you". Harry was well aware that she was watching for other reasons as well.
Pun and Hildegarde joined him and they stared at the school that would be their future...