Young Jhudora and Queen Fyora: Part six
Jhudora bolted upright as she heard the banging on the door. Each bang was louder and more authoritative than the last. She stood up as quickly as she could and threw her weight against the door to open it.
A group of earth faeries giggled as she tumbled onto the cold, marble floor. She slowly stood up, blushing.
The Earth Elder smirked as she crossed her arms over her chest. "Good morning, dark faerie."
Jhudora rubbed her head and stared at the Elder. She glanced back at the door and sighed.
"First thing is that we eat breakfast. Then it’s nothing but classes," the Elder shrugged, "We could get you all of the scrolls and the books, but what’s the fun in that?"
"Oh, Elder!" Illusen stepped forward, her voice cloyingly sweet, "I got the dark faerie a backpack with all of the books she’d need!"
The Elder smiled softly at Illusen, "Oh, Illusen, you are such a sweetheart!"
Illusen threw the heavy messenger bag style backpack filled with books at Jhudora. She smirked when Jhudora stumbled as she caught it.
Jhudora opened the backpack and glanced inside. It was filled to the brim with books and scrolls. She quickly stashed her doll inside and closed it back up.
The Elder began to lead the faeries to the dining hall. Jhudora bit her lip as she realized exactly how many faeries there were around her. All of the faeries filed into the dining hall at the same time for breakfast, and there were a great deal of them. Jhudora filed into the line to get her food. Following along with the faeries ahead of her, she grabbed a tray.
She began to nervously chew on her lip as she approached the counter. She stared longingly at the food displayed through the glass protective barrier. There were pastries, fluffy omelets, and fruit that was a rare treat in her old home. It all looked delicious, and her mouth began to water at the sight of it.
She watched as the workers behind the counter handed plates to the young faeries. Whenever the lunch lady handed over a pastry, she gave a knowing smile and a wink. Jhudora took a deep breath and smiled. She was finally going to taste Faerieland food that wasn’t smuggled in the unsanitary talons of a bartamus!
When she finally made her way to the front of the like, the worker snarled at her and threw a bowl of poorly cooked oats onto her tray. Jhudora stopped in her tracks and stared at the worker. The worker hissed and Jhudora hurried off to find a table.
Jhudora stopped and studied the room. Every table already had a group of faeries at it. Whenever a faerie saw Jhudora looking at them, she either threw her backpack down on the seat beside her or put their feet in the adjacent chair. Jhudora sighed and studied the room. She noticed some faeries making their way into a room in the corner of the dining hall. She rushed to that room, not exactly sure what she was going to find.
Once she was inside, she was greeted by the same marble interior as when she had her hair washed with shampoo for the first time. She noticed stalls and pushed her way into an open one.
She glanced down at the white contraption in front of her. She knew that toilets were a thing, but dark faeries were relegated to outhouses. She sat down on the toilet and sighed. She looked down at her food and realized she had no spoon. She pulled the bowl up to her nose and sniffed it. Plain oats. This was the kind of food that she had in her old home.
Knowing that faeries could survive long stretches of time without eating, she simply put the bowl on the floor and pulled her legs up onto the seat so that she could hug her legs close to her. She looked up at the ornate ceiling and took a deep breath.
At first when she couldn’t understand the faeries around her, she could imagine that they weren’t treating her differently because she was a dark faerie. Now, she realized how clear it was that she wasn’t wanted there. However, she refused to cry to Fyora. She didn’t want to trouble the queen with petty bullying.
Jhudora simply waited, hugging her legs, until she heard a booming voice shout out, "Breakfast is over! Put your trays on the rack and head to class!"
Jhudora picked up her tray and made her way towards the exit, looking for the racks the voice had mentioned. Once she found it, she shoved her uneaten food onto it and followed the gaggle of green uniforms to the first class.
She was the last to file into the classroom. It was almost identical to the Earth Magic room, save for a few posters that she couldn’t read.
Jhudora took the first empty desk she saw, all the way in the back of the classroom. She slouched down as far as she could as the teacher stood from her desk.
All of the young earth faeries called out, "Good morning Miss Reading!"
The teacher smiled softly as she held out her arms and spun about, "Good morning, dear students!" She laughed softly, her light blue eyes catching the light.
Jhudora sat up slightly. Miss Reading was an older looking air faerie with laugh lines etched into her face. Surely, a faerie who looked as kind as her had to be kind!
"Pull out your books and let’s get started!" Miss Reading slowly sat down behind her desk and pulled out a blue book.
Jhudora looked around and noticed everyone pulling out a blue book. She rifled through her bag to find the book that was the same color and size. Guessing, as she couldn’t read the spines, she pulled out the correct book.
Jhudora opened it to a random page and cursed under her breath. While Fyora had placed a spell on her to understand and speak New Fae, she hadn’t placed a spell on her to be able to read it.
She studied the words on the page as closely as she could. New Fae and Dark Fae used completely different systems of writing. There were a few letters she could almost make out, but the light flowing nature of written New Fae was in stark contrast with the blocky, resolute letters of Dark Fae. She slumped down in her chair and hoped that Miss Reading wouldn’t call on her.
"Dark faerie girl," Miss Reading classed out, her jovial smile replaced with a knowing smirk, "Read page 142 for us."
Jhudora’s eyes widened as she searched for the page. She muttered another curse under her breath when she realized that New Fae used a different system of numbers. She couldn’t even find the correct page before Miss Reading made her way to the back of the room and turned to the correct page for Jhudora.
Blushing, Jhudora looked down at the page and began to stammer.
"Oh, what’s the problem, dark faerie girl?" Miss Reading snorted, "You can’t read?"
Jhudora looked up at the woman with pure frustration in her eyes. She felt like it was a perfect time to pretend she couldn’t speak New Fae. She rattled off some gibberish in Dark Fae. Miss Reading laughed loudly and turned to go back to the front of the class.
As Miss Reading began to call on students to read passages, Jhudora leaned back in her chair and stared at the ceiling. She knew that the best thing to do would be to read along and try and memorizing what sound each letter made. However, she was beyond discouraged. She understood why the Dark Elder never taught her New Fae. It was useless for a dark faerie to speak to someone who only wished to demean them.
Jhudora simply stared at the ceiling, tuning out the voices of the earth faeries around her. She simply sat still, staring at the ceiling until it was time to switch classes.
Once the class was over, she threw her book into her backpack and followed the earth faeries to their next class. She simply did the same thing she did before. She waited until all of the faeries found their desks and then hid in the back row.
"Good morning Miss Rithmetic!" All of the earth faeries beamed at the fire faerie at the front of the classroom. The fire faerie smiled back.
"Dear class, lets open our math books to page 200 and get started on our next lesson!" Miss Rithmetic turned to the blackboard behind her and began to write. Jhudora simply rested her head on the desk. She already knew she couldn’t read New Fae numbers.
Illusen stood up and cleared her throat. Miss Rithmetic flinched, knowing that upsetting Illusen meant upsetting the Earth Elder.
"The dark faerie can’t read," Illusen smirked, "So maybe you should ask her some questions." Illusen crossed her arms over her chest, sure that she would humiliate Jhudora thoroughly.
Miss Rithmetic smirked and called out, "Dark Faerie, what is sixteen times nineteen?"
"Three hundred and four," Jhudora mumbled, just loudly enough for the teacher to hear.
The fire faerie blushed as she tried to think of a way to confuse Jhudora. "If you have twenty-three apples and seven friends, how many apples does each friend get?"
"Three apples per friend, with a remainder of two," Jhudora’s head remained planted firmly on her desk.
"How did you come up with the answer so quickly?!" Illusen shouted out, "You can’t read!"
Jhudora slowly glanced up at Illusen. Jhudora spent her life shadowing the Dark Elder. Quickly solving equations was one of the Dark Elder’s most important jobs. She needed to calculate how to best spend every resource and every second to allow the dark faeries to thrive as well as they could. Even if the Elder hadn’t sat her down and helped Jhudora study, Jhudora still would have learned a great deal of math just by watching The Elder.
"You must be cheating," Illusen rolled her eyes.
"Yes," Jhudora murmured as she pressed her forehead against the cool desk, "I am clearly cheating."
Illusen smirked again, "Send her to the office for cheating, Miss Rithmetic!"
Miss Rithmetic stared at Illusen. If Illusen was any other faerie, she would condescendingly explain sarcasm to her. However, this was the Earth Elder’s pet. She cleared her throat and called out, "Dark faerie! Go sit in the hall and think about what you did!"
Jhudora picked up her backpack and made her way out of the classroom. She sat down against the wall and stared at the ceiling. She yawned and glanced around the empty, silent hall. Somehow, the wall was more comfortable than the mattress in the supply closet. She closed her eyes and began to doze off.
"Wake up you dark faerie scum!"
Jhudora’s eyes shot open as she heard the shrill shriek. She attempted to scramble back further against the wall as she realized that the Earth Elder’s eyes were drilling into hers. She waited for the Earth Elder to move back slightly before scrambling to her feet. The Earth Elder pointed towards a giant door with ornate stained glass windows. "Your flying lesson is out there. You’re worthless in class, so just go to your flying lesson and then lock yourself in your room. Tomorrow is Saturday, so there’s no class. So you can stay in your room and be worthless there."
Jhudora nodded and ran towards the door. Once she pushed her way through the door, she smiled brightly. The beautiful green grass in the courtyard was enough to lift her spirit. She spun around, taking in the beauty of the towering stone columns contrasting against the blue sky.
"Hey there, silly wings!"
Jhudora turned around and blushed as she saw the instructor. She was a thin earth faerie with windblown hair and thick goggles. Jhudora made her way to the group of children gathered before her.
Jhudora gasped slightly as she realized that the faeries taking this lesson were seemingly half her age. They ran around, their wings flapping wildly.
"You’re a little old, silly wings!" The instructor laughed, "But no worries, we all start somewhere!"
Jhudora smiled softly. This was the nicest she had been treated by any of the staff at The Academy, discounting Luma and the faerie that washed her hair. She finally extended her wings out to her full wingspan and stretched. It felt amazing to finally feel the sun on every inch of her wings again.
The instructor gasped at the sight of Jhudora’s wings. "Oh." The instructor looked down at the children running around before her. Their wings barely reached their fingertips when they stood with their arms out, but Jhudora’s wings were wider than she was tall.
"Well, line up, and give silly wings space," The instructor nervously laughed.
Jhudora looked down at the innocent children lining up beside her. They were staring at her with awe and not contempt. They were innocent. Jhudora smiled softly as she realized that they were too young to understand that the Elders wanted them to hate her because she was different.
"Well, I don’t know if anyone has told you," The instructor began to pace, "But your wings aren’t what make you fly! They’re just decoration! What makes you fly is magic."
Jhudora furrowed her brow, unsure of what the instructor was going on about.
"Your wings are itsy-bitsy, and no matter how hard you flap them, they won’t make you fly," The instructor paused and glanced back at Jhudora. The instructor had never personally seen a dark faerie’s wings, and she certainly had never seen a dark faerie fly.
The instructor continued on, "So, everyone, let’s close our eyes and think really hard about flying!"
While the children were closing their eyes, Jhudora was too confused to follow along. She had never heard that kind of advice. She pulled her hand up to her mouth in shock as the children began to lift off of the ground, their wings perfectly still.
There was shocked giggling as the young faeries began to feebly fly around the courtyard. Jhudora glanced at the instructor and bit her lip.
"Now, come down my little butterflies!" The instructor gave a nervous laugh, dreading what she was about to ask.
As the children came down to the ground, the instructor cleared her throat. She looked over at Jhudora and asked softly, "Can you take off?"
Jhudora nodded and began to flap her wings. With each flap, the movements became more and more forceful. Once they were beating at full strength, she began to run a few feet before jumping into the air and taking flight.
The beating of her wings drowned out the sobbing children on the ground as she raced to towards the sky. However, her wings quickly began to cramp. She did her best to land, but she ended up collapsing to the ground as if she were a ragdoll.
Jhudora looked up from the ground, confused about the crying. Before her, all of the children had fallen to the ground. Some of them had scrapes on their skin from the force of their fall.
The instructor took a deep breath. She made her way to Jhudora and held out her hand to help her up. Jhudora slowly stood and avoided eye contact.
"Please don’t come back," The instructor hissed, "You’re dangerous."
Jhudora took a deep breath before quickly making her way back to the entrance to the grand hall. Once she was inside, she slowly trudged to her supply closet.
Once she was at the door to the supply closet, she abruptly pushed the door open and made her way in. She slammed it behind her and sat down on the mattress.
She took a deep breath and whispered to herself, "Thank Fyora it’s Friday."
To be continued…