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Something to Think About

Early morning classes were not Lily’s favorite, but she supposed the subject of study made it difficult to get a room at better hours. Practical Alchemy wasn’t exactly a ‘normal’ class by the usual standards and it was not something she expected to sign up for… But she didn’t expect the University of Towsen to be so weird either. In fact, it seemed to be so similar to what her mother was trying to accomplish with Oracle, that Lily almost expected to find a secret military, a weapons vault, or perhaps even hordes of undead.

She hadn’t found anything like that yet, but so many odd things happened at Towsen that there was bound to be something.

That something wasn’t in Practical Alchemy this morning, though. Lily sat on a stool fussing with a formula on the table while Eugene was trying to convince her to join his ‘club’.

“We’ll give you your own plasma pack AND Harold will show you the ghost traps!” he said peeking up from behind the table with his best begging expression. Lily though he looked a bit like Leon when he was begging her mother for more steaks.

“It’s not a good idea. ..and I really don’t know anything about ghosts.” she replied, crushing up a bit of the powder to mix in the… stuff… they were working on. How was this practical?

“Sure you do! You and Conrad were in the library that day Priss was taken away by those weird guys in the battle gear! We’ve seen you looking in to everything. You have to join, you just have to!”

Lily opened her mouth to refuse again when a pair of arms pounced her from behind! Powder scattered all over the table as the girlish voice behind her giggled. “Sorry I’m late! How is my favorite super heroine of all time? And where’s Conrad? I didn’t see him in the hall when I snuck in.” Coppery red hair and brown eyes hopped on to the stool next to Lily. Her name was Hannah and she was that very unfortunate girl Michael tried to grab in the courtyard that day. Since then she seemed to think Lily and Conrad were her heroes and Lily couldn’t seem to convince her otherwise. She was still surprised Hannah bounced back so quickly from the experience.

“Getting breakfast, most likely. We had to wake up so early to get here on time.” Lily responded, handing her the bowl she had been working on and was now trying to sweep up the spilled powder.

“Hannah!” Eugene popped up from behind the table, suddenly standing straight as a board and looking a bit pale. It took him a moment to clear his throat and smooth out his expression to speak again. “C-could you tell Lily that she should join the Paranormal Investigations club?”

Hannah blinked, taking a moment to debate on whether or not she thought it was a good idea. “Well… I do think it would be a good idea. You and Conrad saved me from that monster and I hate to admit it, but crazy stuff always seems to happened here at Towsen. It’s gotten a lot worse lately too. Hey! I’ll join too! We’d be like… ghost busters!”

With that Eugene broke in to a big smile, leaning forward on the table looking nearly smitten! “Exactly! You’re a beautiful genius Hannah!” His grin suddenly disappeared as he realized what he said out loud and started backing away quickly. “I – I mean. Just think about it!” Coughing as he bumped in to the table behind him, Eugene and his lab partner scurried back to their own table.

Lily rolled her eyes at Eugene, flipping the pages of her book to get back on track with their project again. “I really wish you wouldn’t make such a big deal about that. We really didn’t do anything special.”

Hannah shook her head as she organized the ingredients on the table. “You’re waaaay too modest. Everyone else was running and screaming, but you both came out to save me. He was calling for YOU after all. That had to be horrifying! I thought you had a bodyguard because of crazy stalkers or reporters or something, not vicious monsters! And I knoooow you said you didn’t kill him yourselves, but it’s still totally amazing!” she sighed dreamily! “Bonus points that Conrad so gorgeous and you get to hang out with him all the time. He doesn’t have a girlfriend does he? Do you think I can ask him out on his next off day?”

“Off day…?” Lily was so busy trying to tune out all the mentioning about Michael that it took her a moment to realized Hannah changed the subject. “He hasn’t really had an off day. He’s never asked for one.”

A gasp! “Oh my god, really? Lily, jeeze! He’s got to have friends and stuff. You’re the boss, you’re supposed to tell him when to go! It’s not like he can hang around you forever. I mean don’t YOU want be alone sometimes or do something without some guy always following you around? …Besides, I really really want to ask him out of a date, so you’ve gotta give him a day off!”

Lily paused and frowned. She never really thought about any of that before. She sort of assumed Conrad was always going to be around. But, that couldn’t be fair… “I suppose he really does need time off…” she started slowly.

“Aie! Awesome! What about this weekend? Do you think he’ll say yes? Oh, don’t look so grim. We could totally have a double date if you want! I can find you a date an- Bad idea, huh? You’re right, it’s time to cut the cord and get some time for yourself.” Hannah stopped and looked over at Eugene. “You could always join Eugene’s club.”

Lily laughed at that, giving Hannah a slight grin. “He might pass out if I said yes. We’ll be studying Practical First Aid instead…” Both girls snickered.

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