The last fortnight of the holiday was amazing, they spent a whole fortnight camping, wading in rivers, and going fishing and then cooking the fish over the campfire. Athene had never had so much fun in her life!
But the last day of the holidays had to come, and here they all were back in their uniforms with their luggage in the hallway.
“Ok there’s too many of you to fit in the Rover with all the luggage,” said Mr Pennington, “so, the Fforbes Hamilton’s have agreed to take Mark and all his luggage, they’re going to be following straight after us.”
“Right you know the drill, let’s get going!”
They managed to load the six sets of trunks and assorted luggage into the two cars. Just when they were about to get in the car, then Celia came running down the drive.
Celia was a day girl at a closer school, so although she also started back tomorrow, she didn’t have to be dropped off.
“Simon!” she called as she pelted down the gravel.
“I thought I was going to miss you!” she said breathlessly as she stopped running.
“I was never going to leave you without saying goodbye,” said Simon looking into her eyes.
“We said goodbye yesterday,” she laughed.
“I just wanted to see you one last time!”
“I know,” chuckled Simon.
“Promise to write every day?”
“Promise,” he nodded.
Celia’s face lit up as Simon pulled her in for a long kiss.
“Ok Romeo, Juliet,” said Mark.
“I’m afraid our fond lovers most be parted by a great distance of several counties,” said Mark dramatically.
“Shall they ever meet again?” asked Julie.
“Tune in next week and find out,” smirked Anthony.
Simon broke apart from Celia and looked like he was about to was about to say some very choice words to his siblings when Celia put a finger to his lips.
“I’ll see at Christmas Simon,” she said smiling at him.
Simon gave her one last kiss, before getting into the front of the car.
Celia chased the two cars down the driveway and waved them away with tears in her eyes.
When they pulled up at the school there were already half a dozen families dropping off their children, including the Mackenzie’s.
“Julie!” Charlie screamed rushing to open the door before the car even stopped properly.
“Mark!” she exclaimed as they both pulled her in for a hug.
“Am I the only one who hasn’t grown this Summer,” sighed Athene disappointed.
It seemed she was destined to remain the short member of the group forevermore.
“Don’t worry you’ll catch up,” said Anthony putting his arm around her.
“Besides if you grew too much,” said Mr Davies, “you couldn’t be my favourite flyhalf.”
“Thank you, sir,” she laughed as they pulled their trunks up to their rooms.
It felt really weird not being the youngest anymore, they were now the in the rooms that were the second furthest down the corridor.
“Harry!” said Mark noticing Harry in the dorm who was unpacking his trunk.
“And so the gang were back together,” beamed Mark as they all had a group hug.
“Hey Rusty, see you haven’t grown yet.”
“It means I can squeeze into places you lot can’t,” she pointed out.
They all split up to unpack. Athene was just unfolding her photographs from her quilt, and putting her quilt on top of the bed when there was a soft knock on the already open door.
The five girls turned around and saw that five bright shining faces were looking at them from the doorway.
“Oh ye gods, there’s more of them,” sighed Mark, who had been playing his guitar on Julie’s bed.
“You lot must be the new first years,” said Charlie looking at them curiously.
The girls nodded.
“I thought this school already had enough girls,” grumbled Mark.
“Go away Fred,” said Julie simply.
“See you later Ginger,” said Mark kissing Julie on the cheek as he and his guitar left the room.
“Ignore him,” said Charlie, “Mark’s a prat!”
“Am not!” called Mark from across the corridor.
“He is!” mouthed Julie.
“Are you lot excited about starting school then?” asked Lizzie.
They all nodded eagerly.
“Is it true we get to play rugby?” asked a girl with a ginger ponytail.
“You’d better believe it,” beamed Athene.
“Cool,” breathed another girl.
“Isn’t it a bit weird there being so many boys and so few girls though?” asked a girl with blonde plaits.
“You get used to it,” said Lucy.
“Besides can you think of another school where girls can play rugby and join the military cadets?” asked Charlie.
“We can join the cadets?” asked the girl with the ginger ponytail.
“Of course, you bloody can,” said Charlie, “anything boys can do, we can do better!”
The five girls seemed significantly less nervous about starting at their new school and went back to their own dorm.
“Hey guess what?” asked Charlie as they kept unpacking.
“What?” chuckled Athene.
“The Dragon is going to let us start shooting practise this term.”
“Do you think we’d best warn matron?” asked Julie.
“Warn her about what?” asked Charlie deeply offended.
“Oh, we’re not worried about you,” said Athene, “but if Graham trips again but he’s holding a gun!”
Charlie looked terrified at the thought of clumsy Graham setting of a loaded gun, accidentally.
“I’ll make sure he’s only given blanks,” chuckled Charlie.