‘You mean we have to hold our breath to stay invisible, miss?’ said Ararnia, putting her hand up after she’d spoken.
‘Invisibility is vital to the things you’ll be doing, Miss Mist, but not easily attained. You will learn as you go. And please put your hand up before you call out.’
‘Yes miss,’ Ararnia said. ‘I don’t think I’ll manage it.’
‘What? Putting your hand up before you speak in class or being invisible?’ asked Miss Astonishing.
‘Both,’ Tiberius muttered and the others laughed.
‘200 lines from you Mr Sky. No, a 500 word essay on the advantages of being invisible. Should be very interesting. By tomorrow.’
‘Coming exploring?’ Normal asked as he and Tiberius rushed back into their dorm after the last lesson. ‘I want to check out the basement. Could be treasure down there.’
Tiberius sighed and collapsed on his bunk.
‘Yea, sure I’ll come – at midnight.’
‘My essay – remember? I gotta write about being invisible.’ His face brightened. ‘Hey, you could help me, let’s make a list.’
‘Yea, all the things you could do being invisible. No 1. Escape from school. 2. Get a second and third helping at lunch time. 3. Work as a spy. 4. Fall asleep in Miss Astonishing’s invisibility lessons.’
‘I don’t think that will go down well,’ said Normal.
‘Might make her laugh,’ said Tiberius. ‘Makes me laugh.’
‘Yea, might get you another 500 word essay. Why it’s not good to make jokes in Miss Astonishing’s lessons.’
‘Who’s been making jokes in Lady Astonishing’s lessons?’
It was Podium, he and Wagget appeared in the doorway and slouched either side of the frame.
‘Tut, tut,’ said Podium, ‘getting essays already eh? For a little fee we could help with that.’
Podium rubbed his fingers and thumb together. Wagget just nodded and scowled.
‘No thanks, we can manage,’ said Normal.
‘Anything else you’re missing then?’ asked Podium. He took a long look at Tiberius, stretched out on his ample stomach as he scribbled in his notebook on the lower bunk. ‘Some snacks maybe? We got access to the kitchen. You need fuel for writing 500 word essays.’
Tiberius looked up hopefully.
‘We can manage thanks,’ said normal.
‘Can we?’ said Tiberius. ‘My mum’s snacks are running thin. She may not send another parcel for a while.’
‘We can manage,’ repeated Normal. ‘Don’t you two have any homework to do?’
Podium laughed. ‘This is our homework, helping the new cadets.’
‘What year are you in again?’ Normal asked.
Podium shrugged. ‘Every year,’ he said, ‘come on Wagget, I’m sure we can find some other needy students.’
‘Avoiding Podium and Wagget,’ Tiberius said as they sauntered away down the corridor.
‘That’s another advantage to being invisible.’