Gabriel nodded towards the headmaster and took a step back.
‘Well,’ said the head, ‘that was most inspiring. Now anyone got any questions?’
Ararnia put her hand up. Gabriel nodded towards her.
‘Sir, do we all get silver outfits like yours?’
‘I’m going to speak to the head,’ said Normal as the rest of the school began to file out of the hall.
‘Why?’ asked Tiberius, ‘you in trouble?’
‘Just something I want to ask him about,’ said Normal.
‘What?’ asked Tiberius.
Normal shuffled off quickly leaving his big friend staring after him with his mouth moving but no words coming out.
‘What’s up with you?’ asked Ararnia, pushing Tiberius’s chin up and clamping his flapping mouth shut.
‘S’not me, it’s him. Normal. He’s acting weird.’
Ararnia shrugged. Ocacia stepped up and narrowed her eyes. She removed her red glasses and cleaned them.
‘I think I know what it’s about,’ she said quietly and she replaced her glasses.
Ararnia and Tiberius watched her walk away.
Both of them opened their mouths to speak now, but nothing came out.
The headmaster opened his study door and looked at Normal. He was a big barrel of a man and beyond him his study was a big barrel of a room. The walls and ceiling were made of curved, polished planks of wood. The headmaster twiddled the ends of his large handlebar moustache as he studied Normal and tried to recall his name. His broad flattened nose twitched a couple of times.
‘Sir, can I ask you about something please?’ Normal said.
The headmaster was a big, solid figure, but not in any way frightening, like say Christina the Invisible.
‘Hmmm,’ the headmaster stepped back to allow Normal into his room.
There was some music playing in the background. Someone singing raucously about anarchy. The headmaster looked a little embarrassed.
‘Just listening to a little bit of er… punk rock,’ he muttered. ‘Rather like it. Bit noisy but good protest songs, you know. Some of them. Speaking up for things not being right.’