Lost to the Flames (On Hold)

Meet Rune Oakes: notoriously badly behaved, too smart for her own good, and the new fourth year at prestigious Borthwick Academy Boarding School.

But when you're told you're destined to be a murderer, how can you begin to fit in at a school for the best pupils in the country? And even worse, how can you stop yourself from getting close. As Rune tries to stop herself from getting too attached, she becomes caught up in a spiderweb of secrets, magic, and, perhaps most frighteningly of all, love. (Amazing cover is by @Infinite_Exho !)

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22. A Little Casting

For once, the school was actually efficient in posting the cast list for the musical. It had been announced early on Tuesday morning, at breakfast, that the list would be put up in the music corridor directly after breakfast, for students to check. The whole meal long, Avery buzzed in his seat next to Rune, who herself looked like she was about to pass out from exhaustion.

 

Avery was almost frightened to ask if she was okay.

 

Across the table, Suzanne was chattering on about the music and the show band, and whether or not she would be in it this year - an obvious answer was yes, of course - and how if she was, she really hoped that Eilidh Bowe wasn't singing this year, for her key was incredibly irritating to play in. While Rune dosed off into her meagre slice of toast, Avery nodded along with Laelia, trying not to laugh at the fact that Laelia had snuck two extra sachets of sugar into Suzanne's tea, and that it had some rather amusing effects on the girl.

 

"You know, Suzanne," Avery said with a laugh, "I really think you should stop eating all that jam. It's got so much sugar in it, it's making you rather excitable."

 

"What d'you mean?" Suzanne giggled. "I feel fine, Avery, you shouldn't worry. Besides, I'm just excited to see who all got into the cast for the show. Have you all been told what the panto is at Christmas yet? Miss McGregor told me they were thinking of either Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast, but I'm not sure which one - I suppose we'll just have to wait until we see the cast list, won't we? Do you think you'll be on the cast list, Rune?"

 

To Avery's surprise, Rune was actually awake, and she turned to look at Suzanne with a dazed look in her eye. "Well, ah hope so. Ah mean, it'd be great fun tae dae, but ah doubt ah'll actual get it. They prolly dinnae take new kids on sae much."

 

"I wouldn't be so sure, Rune. You're really good - I'd be surprised if your name isn't right up there for the main role.." He gave her what he hoped looked like a supportive grin, and she smiled back with gleaming eyes.

 

"You're too nice, Avery," she laughed. "But honestly, you're way maer likely tae get in than ah uhm, Ave. Besides, it doesnae matter tae much tae me if ah dinnae get in."

 

There was a sudden draught as another boy breezed past, a boy Avery recognised as in fifth year. "Hey, Laelia," the boy called over the table with a grin. Laelia rolled her eyes.

 

"Morning."

 

With a laugh, the boy carried on his way to speak to one of the guys in Avery's Chemistry class - Dylan - probably about some dumb football match that was coming up.

 

As the bell rang signalling the end of breakfast, Avery grabbed a hold of Rune's wrist and pulled her through the stampede of people all headed for the Drama and Music corridor, weaving their way in about the crowd until they caught sight of the paper pinned to the bulletin board, waving in the breeze as others shoved roughly past towards their classes. Rune almost tripped over into Avery as she stared up at the board.

 

'CASTING FOR CINDERELLA' it read.

'CINDERELLA'S FATHER - ROBERT JONES

'YOUNG CINDERELLA - LUCIA JOHNSTON' Lucia was a nice girl from the primary school, Avery knew. In primary six, he was fairly certain, as he had done some reading to her the year before.

'CINDERELLA - ALEISHA AUSTIN

'BUTTONS - MARCUS KNOWLES

'EVIL STEPMOTHER - EILIDH BOWE

'FAIRY GODMOTHER - RUNE OAKES' Beside him, Rune gasped a little, grabbing a hold of his arm like her life depended on it.

 

"That's me," she whispered, giddy excitement bubbling out of her. "I actually got a part. Avery, I got a part!"

 

'UGLY SISTERS - MAVIS TERRACE AND KATY KEITH

'PRINCE CHARMING - BLAIR MCCORMACK

'THE KING - AVERY THOMPSON' They turned to each other in the exact same moment, grinning.

 

"Well, my dear Rune," he laughed. "It looks like we both got in, doesn't it?"

 

"Sure does."

 

There were only a couple names left on the list, and though Avery was itching to get to double maths, Rune was still standing staring at the sheet, smiling contentedly. "Yi ken, it says we can get our scripts at break time fae Miss McGregor's room. But we have a wonderful lesson of double maths to get through before then."

 

"What exactly are you suggesting, Rune?" Avery asked with a low laugh. "That we skip class?"

 

"That we hurry up and get there sae we dinnae get held back. Come on."

 

Avery didn't want to argue with her about the logistics of her staring at a wall for ages and then wanting him to hurry up, but as she pulled him down the winding halls his smile dropped as a fluttering feeling grew inside his stomach. He wanted to growl at it, but Rune would probably think that a tad bit weird.

 

With much thanks, they arrived to the class on time, and though Mr Stanton raised an eyebrow at Rune's giggling, he said nothing as they took their seats, beginning the lesson. It was simply going over things today, for they had prematurely reached the end of their unit and Mr Stanton said he didn't want to rush his students into needless extra work. He thrummed his fingers on the desk, looking over his notes with a distracted mind as he presumed Rune had, too, just waiting for his chance to get to read the script.

 

Not so far into the lesson, Rune nudged his foot, grinning. "Yi thinking the same as me?" she asked, twisting in her chair to look at him. Mr Stanton didn't seem to care.

 

"Probably."

 

"Dae yi think he'd let us go now if we asked him right?"

 

"Probably not."

 

"Fabby."

 

Throughout the rest of the lesson Rune seemed to go into a bit of a daze, staring at Mr Stanton with an idle mind as she seemed to be leaning just that little inch closer to Avery every few minutes of painstaking boredom that passed. Her hair brushed against his shoulder and he felt his neck prickle at the contact, as he stretched out an arm to twist a lock of it around his finger. She jumped, turning around to him with a fire in her eyes. "What are you doing?" she hissed. His stomach dropped.

 

"Sorry," he winced. "I didn't mean to annoy you. It's just... Your hair's ... Cool."

 

She stared at him. "Oh. O - okay then. Sorry, I didn't mean to get annoyed. I just was a little surprised is all." She turned back around to the position they were in before, and Avery smiled as she leaned a little into his shoulder, his heart racing as he made out the corners of her mouth tuning up into a sweet smile. 

 

By the time the bell rang for the end of second period, he scooped all of his things up in one go and tossed them into his back, standing ready to go and get the scripts from Miss McGregor. Rune smirked; she had barely even made a move.

 

"Someone's eager," she laughed, gathering up her books. "But then again, you aren't really the only one." She winked and his heart thumped. "Come on."

 

He almost wished she had grabbed him by the wrist again, were it not for the fact that he didn't want his feelings to be made quite so clear by the thunderous booming of his heart. She led him out the door, breezing past an irritated looking Giselle.

 

Giselle tried to grab his hand, pulling him towards her. "Avery," she whispered, eyes wide. "Can we talk for a moment please?"
 

"Uh..." Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Avery tried to smile. From the annoyed expression on Giselle's face, it didn't work so well as he had hoped it might. "Well, I don't mean to be rude but you uh, I kind of..."

"Whit he means is--" Rune cut in with a sigh "that we have tae go meet Miss McGregor now, in Music. And we really dae need tae go right now, or we'll get intae trouble. Sorry, but we'll come tae see yi later if yo want. After dance, mibbe?" Avery was impressed by how she looked Giselle in the eye so sincerely as the girl smiled faintly, nodding. He would have been a mess by now.

"Yeah. Sorry, Giselle. Uh, bye."

Though he could tell Rune wanted to stay and say a few more words to Giselle, he led the way out of the classroom now and she followed, jogging a slight bit to catch up. "You were a bit short with her, Avery," she said, and it hurt him that she sounded disappointed. "She looks upset."

"And?"

"Just... A Ken she is ar the nicest ar lassies, Ave, but you arenas like her, and a con tell she is kindae hurt after your break up. Just... Go easy on her, okay? Ah'll can dae the talking."

He turned to stare at her, a ghost of a smile dancing on his lips. How did she always stay so warm like that, so open and kind to others, yet so hot and fiery and angry when anyone hurt friends. It was hard to figure her out, where which part of her thoughts on everybody else slotted into boxes of good and bad and their motives and their strengths and how on earth anything could make her so .. Her.

"You're amazing," he said before he could stop himself, and cringed at her shocked eyes.

A smirk crawled over her lips. "A ken. Now, come on. Ah wanna get oor scripts."

She broke into a sprint along the corridor and Avery followed, trying not to shout as they flung themselves around the corner, composing themselves before entering Miss McGregor's room. The other students were all gathered there already with scripts, and Avery gulped as their eyes turned to them. "Hello," Miss McGregor said with a smile. "Avery and Rune, isn't it?"

"That's us, miss."

"Great. I've got your scripts over here for you two. Fairy Godmother and the King, there we go." She handed them each there scripts with a dainty smile, and gestured for them to take a seat with the other students.

"Now," she said, smiling around at them all. "As I was saying, rehearsals will be Tuesdays after school for selected scenes, and Fridays after school for all cast. You may be asked to come for lunch time singing rehearsals also, and it is your job to learn lines and to get to know your fellow actors.

"The majority of costumes and props will be provided, but if you have anything in your rooms that you think will be of use please do let us know. The first after school rehearsal is today, though well just be doing run throughs of lines for act one. Now, go enjoy the rest of your break, and I'll see you all in here at the end of the day. Please don't be late.

As students filed out of the classroom, one boy came over to the pair of them - the boy Avery had seen earlier at breakfast. He leant down to say something to Rune and she frowned, shaking her head with a twinge of laughter. The boy smirked, threw Avery a loose smile, and left the room. "You alright?" Avery asked as they followed suit, Rune checking her phone for s text from Suzanne. She was in the show band, of course, and was to have a similar meeting at lunchtime, but for now she was with Laelia outside the dining hall, waiting for them.

"Yeah," Rune told him with a smile and flushed cheeks. It had been a bit warm in Miss McGregor's room, he supposed.

"What was that all about? With that guy?"

"Oh, Blair? He was just asking something - about a book her recommended." Though he wanted to, there was a part of Avery that didn't quite believe her, but there was no time to ask her any extra questions. Rune had noticed Suzanne and Laeli now, and they were both running towards them, grinning.

"Rune, you got a part! That's so awesome!" Laelia squealed, hugging her. "And Avery! I told you you should have auditioned all those other times."

"I'm so proud of you guys," Suzanne laughed, giving Rune a high five which she readily returned, grinning. "Both of you."

Rune smiled up at Avery, and his heart pounded as she slung an arm around his shoulder. "I'm pretty proud of us, too."

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