Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 90,556,131 Issue: 162 | 15th day of Collecting, Y6
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Family Bond

by mashimaro_angie923


The group of three students at Neopets' Elementary Neoschool gathered together at Break at their usual table. All six were good friends, as you can guess. But they were not only friends. They were sisters. The eldest, Gloria the Blue Acara; second in the family; Angie the Yellow Kacheek; and the youngest, yet the biggest and the most tomboyish, Braveheart the Blue Lupe.

     As always, all three met and ate and chatted together, about tests, different teachers, gossiping about their classmates, and discussing the most recent news in school. All the usual, sisterly stuff. Then, a voice rang out over the already noisy canteen.

     "Hey, Braveheart..." called Roxanne the green Wocky, seated at a table beside the sisters' with her gang of female Wockies. "Come and join us."

     Braveheart finished her food quickly and raced over immediately, not even looking back at Gloria and Angie. They stared, not because Braveheart never went off without them, but because Roxanne and her gang were the most stuck-up kids in school, and Braveheart always said she couldn't stand stuck-up people.

     "Here," said Roxanne to Braveheart. "For you." She took out an expensive set of Faerie stationary, like all-type Faerie pens and erasers, all arranged carefully in a beautiful jewellery box.

     "Wah..." Braveheart gasped. Although she was a tomboy, she liked pretty things too like these. "F-for me? It must have cost a fortune!"

     "Hey," said Roxanne. "You're a cool pet you know. D'you want to join us?"

     "Sure!" said Braveheart enthusiastically, completely forgetting about her sisters, who were gaping open-mouthed at the sight of Braveheart joking and laughing with Roxanne and her gang like old friends.

      * * * * *

     "Where is that Braveheart?" grumbled Angie. "Why is she so late?"

     It was a hot Saturday afternoon. Angie and Gloria were waiting for their younger sister under a large tree. They had arranged to go swimming with their owner, Jessica just the day before. However, Braveheart was nowhere to be found, and Angie was in no mood to wait in hot weather for latecomers.

     "Relax, I'm sure Braveheart will have a perfectly good reason for being late," said Gloria calmly.

     "Well, she better have or - " Angie began to snarl, but was cut off when she caught sight of Braveheart strolling over to them. Gloria gave her a look that warned her not to say anything until Braveheart gave an explanation.

     "Oh, hi guys. Tell Jess I won't be going for swimming today. Byee..." Braveheart said and walked off in another direction, as though she did not have a care for anything in the world, relaxed as anything.

     "What?" Gloria blinked, totally taken aback by Braveheart's attitude. "B-but where are you going?"

     "Oh, I'm meeting Roxanne and her gang for lunch today. See you later," Braveheart replied smoothly, and sped off before Angie and Gloria could say anything else.

     "You see?!" Angie burst out angrily. "Can you believe that inconsiderate dolt?"

     Gloria was annoyed too but Braveheart's rudeness and inconsideration. They had to do something before she got too far. "Come on," she said to Angie. "Jessica must be waiting for us now. Maybe she can help us out with this problem."

      * * * * *

     "Let me get this straight," said Jessica, frowning. "Do you mean to say that Braveheart's been hanging out with this Roxanne?"

     Jessica, the Pets' owner, and Angie and Gloria and just finished their swim at the beach. It had felt weird without their youngest sister around, and they were having lunch at the nearby foodcourt. Angie and Gloria had also just finished telling their owner about Braveheart's 180 degree change in behaviour.

     "Yeah! She knew we were supposed to go swimming together today, but she was late, and when she DID turn up, she just said she wasn't joining us but meeting that stupid Roxanne, and walked off like that!" Angie puffed furiously.

     "Yes, that was so rude of her," Gloria agreed.

     Jessica, felt worried about what her Neopets had told her. Had Braveheart really changed that much? Suddenly, she caught sight of a familiar figure. "Isn't that Braveheart?"

     Angie and Gloria whipped around. Sure enough, Braveheart was playing in the sea near shore - with Roxanne and her gang of Wockies.

     Both sisters felt disgusted. Braveheart couldn't meet them for swimming but could go off with that dumb, stuck-up Roxanne!

     "I think we better talk to her," Jessica decided. "Braveheart! Over here!"

     Braveheart turned and saw Jessica and her sisters. She looked awkward, muttered something to Roxanne, got out of the water and went over to her family. "What is it?" She didn't even say hello first. It was as if she was annoyed they were just there.

     "We need to talk, Braveheart," Jessica replied coolly, ignoring Braveheart's rude tone. "Your sisters have been telling me about your - your recent attitude towards them - "

     "Yeah, you didn't even consider us -" Angie began, but shut up after Gloria gave her a warning look.

     "Is it true you just walked off and was late when you were supposed to meet your sisters?" Jessica continued.

     Angie and Gloria expected Braveheart to look embarrassed and mumble something. But she didn't. She rolled her eyes.

     "Gee, Jess, you don't really expect me to be on time when I wasn't going with you guys right? I mean, what's the point?"

     The rest of her family gasped. Even Jessica looked hurt. "Braveheart," she tried again. "Your sisters had to wait for you in hot weather and you didn't only not apologize, you just strolled off to meet - what's her name - Roxanne - "

     But Jessica didn't get to finish her sentence. Braveheart narrowed her eyes, and burst out. "My sisters, my sisters!" she said angrily. "You only care about them, not me! You never buy us things! And yet look what Roxanne gave me! A WHOLE SET of Faerie stationary, and plenty of other things besides, like books and even bottled faeries! You have a whole lot of Neopoints stored in your bank, I know, and you never buy me ANYTHING nice! You just want to save, save , save, all for your own use and Angie and Gloria's use! And I'm going on hanging out with Roxanne, because I'm sick to death of this - this AUTOCRATIC family!"

     But Angie and Gloria had heard enough. They were loyal towards Jessica, and were not going to stand ANYONE insulting their owner. "How dare you!" Angie raged.

     "Since when has Jessica been unfair to you?" Gloria demanded. She too was getting extremely fed up. "She just wants you to know that she cares about you! And all about this nonsense of not buying you things! She's working so hard to save Neopoints so that she can take us on a tour or so, and give us a good life later! You still have a house and food to eat, don't you? You - " Before she could finish, Braveheart stomped off back to Roxanne's gang.

     Jessica stared after Braveheart sadly. She could not remember ever being unfair to her. There was no doubt about it. Braveheart had gone completely over to Roxanne's side.

      * * * * *

     School was going to end for the day soon. The whole classroom was quiet. The female Lenny teacher was at her desk marking papers. Angie, Gloria, Braveheart and the other students were doing their homework or just reading. Some were talking in very low voices. Like Braveheart and Roxanne. She had sat with Roxanne that day instead of her usual seat beside her sisters. Angie and Gloria exchanged sad and angry looks before going back to their reading.

     Suddenly, there was a loud and somewhat commanding knock at the classroom door. In entered a yellow Eyrie, the school principal, with several school prefects trailing behind him.

     "Principal, may I ask what..." the teacher asked, confused. The principal muttered something to her, then spoke to the whole class.

     "There has been a recent spate of thefts lately, and the prefects are going to check your bags now. I would like to add - "

     "Principal!" one of the prefects suddenly called out. "I think we've found her." The prefect pulled a shiny set of Faerie stationary out of one of the school bags.

     "Braveheart..?" the whole class gasped. "Braveheart, I'm shocked," said Roxanne. "You're a thief!"

     "Miss Braveheart, would you please follow me down to my office now," said the principal, looking very stern and grave.

     "NO!" Braveheart exclaimed in horror. "Roxanne and her gang gave it to me..." The prefects hauled her out of her seat and marched toward the door before she could finish protesting.

     As soon Braveheart, the teacher, principal and the prefects disappeared out of the class, the pupils began talking at top speed about the "thief".

     Angie and Gloria were totally shocked. They knew that their hot-headed sister had changed a lot lately, but they could not believe she could be a thief.

     "No," said Angie, shaking her head. "I know her. We've been siblings for years. Braveheart might have been very stuck-up and arrogant recently, but she can't be a thief."

     "Yeah, " Gloria agreed. "I'm sure Roxanne framed Braveheart..."

     "But how can we prove it?" wailed Angie.

     "Don't panic. Let's get home after the bell rings. Then we can talk it out with Jessica."

      * * * * *

     "Angie! Gloria! The school Neomailed me today to say that Braveheart stole from someone else! Is that true?" Jessica demanded as soon as they stepped into their Neohome, looking very agitated.

     "Yes, but it's not what you think," said Angie. Quickly, Angie and Gloria filled Jessica in on their Roxanne theory.

     Jessica frowned, looking disturbed. True, it was usually Braveheart who got into scrapes, but none so serious as this. "Where IS she anyway?"

     "Still being detained. She has to be questioned in the Neopets' Detention Centre," Gloria replied gloomily. The Centre was where Neopets suspected of committing crime had to be interrogated.

     The threesome sat on their white leather sofa and thought hard, until Jessica suddenly sat up, a smile on her face. "Guys, I think I know of a way..." The Pets leant forward and listened eagerly while Jessica told them her plan. After she finished, Angie gave a whoop. "Hurray!" she exclaimed. "Let's get down to it NOW!" Then they rushed out of the house to the school.

      * * * * *

     "There!" said Gloria, as they caught sight of a green Wocky. "Just like Roxanne. Always wanting to hang around the school, strutting around and giggling with her tiresome friends."

     "Roxanne! We want to talk to you!" shouted Jessica fiercely, as she approached the gang of female Wockies with her Pets.

     Roxanne turned. "Yes?" she replied smoothly.

     "Let's get straight to the point then. We know you stole the stuff," Angie accused.

     "Stuff? What stuff? Oh, you mean the stuff BRAVEHEART stole... How could you accuse us like that?" said Roxanne, pretending to look hurt.

     "You know jolly well our sister didn't steal anything!" Gloria said angrily. "How could you let her take the blame for something you did?"

     "Ha ha ha..." laughed Roxanne, tossing back her hair. "So I, Roxanne, and my gang stole the things and gave some of it to Braveheart to make like she stole it, SO WHAT? You don't have any proof." She stuck her chin out.

     "I think, you just said it," smiled Jessica, then she, Gloria and Angie dashed away to the Detention Centre.

      * * * * *

     Meanwhile, in the Centre, Braveheart was very depressed. She remembered her awful behaviour and the terrible things she said to her sisters and Jessica. Especially Jessica. How could she have done a thing like that? And her new friends...well, they seemed more like fiends then friends.

     The School principal sat opposite her, looking grave. "I've Neomailed your owner, and she will come down here tomorrow morning. I'm disappointed, Braveheart, I never thought you'd do a thing like that."

     "But it wasn't me, it was Roxanne..." said Braveheart desperately.

     The principal did not believe her. "Now, Braveheart, don't add lying to..." His words were cut off when Jessica, Angie and Gloria burst into the room.

     "Sir! It's not what you think," Gloria panted. "Listen..."

     Angie held up a small tape recorder and played it. "So I, Roxanne, and my gang stole the things and gave some of it to Braveheart to make like she stole it, SO WHAT? You don't have any proof." Roxanne's boastful voice sounded throughout the entire room.

     Braveheart's heart lifted in joy. Her owner! Her sisters! They had come to rescue her.

     "Well," said the principal at last. "I guess we know who the real thief is now. I must say you have a caring family Braveheart. Now excuse me I need to go back to the school and alert Roxanne's parents..." With that, he swept out of the room.

     A brief silence fell. Then Braveheart spoke in a shaky voice. "Jessica, Angie, Gloria, I'm sorry for all the terrible things I've said. I - " Her family did not let her finish, but hugged her tight.

     "All right then," said Jessica, when they finally let go. "I guess that's that then. Do you think I should write a story on this?" Jessica was a writer, and often wrote for the Neopian Times.

     "DEFINITELY!" the three sisters yelled together, and all of them burst into laughter.

The End

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