The Color Yellow: Part Four
Yellow, Zani, Forest and Willy were hanging out in the twin's dorm room. Yellow had unrolled his sleeping bag and was lying on top of it, doing the worksheet Ms. Rofay, the Grey Faerie Critical Thinking teacher, had assigned.
"What did Mr. Edelstein have you do in Moltaran History?" he asked Zani, who was busy writing a neomail to his owner.
"Mostly everyone asked questions about the Water Tower and how come no one ever realized it was a scientist's workshop. It was kinda boring," Zani said, finishing the neomail and holding it out the window for a weewoo to take hold of. Yellow watched the weewoo fly away and wondered if he should send a neomail to his owner as well.
It was his first night at Faerieland Central School, the acclaimed private boarding school just outside of Faerie City. He was there for preview weekend and was trying to decide whether or not he wanted to transfer middle schools.
"Yeah, Moltaran History got a lot more popular ever since the whole event about the Coincidence happened," Willy said. "Mr. Edelstein was bombarded with students trying to switch history classes. I think he liked all the attention, though."
Yellow looked back down at the worksheet; he didn't have to finish it, really, but he thought it set a good precedent of doing school work on time, especially if he did decide to come here. It was a list of anagrams – he already had done most of them:
1) Dear An Life
5) Hula Gross
8) Loch So
Forest looked over his shoulder. "Most of those aren't bad. Ms. Rofay always throws in a few weird ones, though. Hula Gross? How is anyone supposed to get Hourglass from that?" He shook his head. "I liked it better when Headmistress Safelila was the Critical Thinking teacher."
Yellow started. "But wasn't that a long time ago?"
"No," Willy answered. "She only became Headmistress recently. Almost a year ago, now. When Queen Fyora left."
Zani gasped. "Queen Fyora was your old headmistress?!"
"Yeah." Forest sat down on his bed. "It was pretty cool, actually. She left the school last year when it became too much to run a school and a land at the same time. And then she appointed Headmistress Safelila, and Safelila hired Ms. Rofay."
"Wow," Zani said. "To think we were this close," he put his fingers centimeters apart, "to going to a school run by the Faerie Queen herself."
Yellow couldn't believe it either. But Headmistress Safelila seemed nice enough. And who knows, perhaps the Queen would come and visit her old school.
Willy picked up the sheet Yellow was working on. "Yup, Ms. Rofay did it to this paper too."
"She bolded the numbers to certain questions. See?"
The numbers one, three, five, seven, eight and nine were all darker than the others. "I didn't notice that," Yellow admitted.
"She does strange things like that sometimes. I think it might be part of a larger puzzle she's not telling us about. I've tried looking at the questions that are highlighted all different ways, even connecting them to other worksheets, but I just keep on getting more and more confused."
Forest shook his head. "You're better at critical thinking than I am. That's why Ms. Rofay likes you better than me."
Willy handed the paper back to Yellow. "You'd be just as good if you studied harder."
While the Fire Blumaroo twins argued, Yellow tried rearranging the words in the bolded questions to form a sentence, but everything he got looked like nonsense. It was getting dark outside, and he was getting tired. Zani had already fallen asleep next to him.
Willy and Forest gave up their fight, and Yellow wearily put the worksheet back in his folder. He got into his sleeping bag and fell asleep.
The next morning, Yellow woke up last. He yawned and hurried to comb his fur and brush his teeth. Forest was grumbling.
"We never have to wake up this early on a weekend."
"Yeah," Willy said, "but this is a preview weekend. We need to be there for our kids."
"We're not your kids!" Zani protested.
"Yes, you are," Willy argued. "We're practically your parents."
Forest took to this idea immediately, and started pressuring both Yellow and Zani to call him Dad. This continued over breakfast; Yellow simply acquiesced to make things easier, but Zani was adamant that he was not calling Forest "Dad."
"Fine, whatever you say," Forest finally said. "But Yellow's my favorite. So, what do you have to do at school today, Son?"
Yellow rolled his eyes. "It looks like, Dad," he said, sarcastically stretching out the word Dad, "that I have two more preview classes, an information panel, and an official tour of the campus."
"Ah, the official tour," Forest said. "I remember, back when I was your age, going on my first official tour of Faerieland Central."
Yellow rolled his eyes again. "It looks like that's the first thing on the list." He looked at the information on the schedule. "And what do you know, Ms. Rofay is the one giving the tour."
Forest snorted. "Good luck. She'll probably make it all really boring."
"Anyway, it looks like the official tour will start soon," Zani said. "And I'll have Edelstein for my tour. I guess they're keeping us with the teachers from yesterday. We're supposed to start and finish in their classrooms."
"Perfect," Forest said to Yellow. "Then I'll come get you when you're done. You are my favorite, after all."
"Oh shut up," Zani groaned.
Ms. Rofay was sitting at her desk, grading papers, when Yellow walked into her classroom. She smiled when she saw him.
"Oh, hello, Yellow. It's good to see you again."
"Hello, Ms. Rofay." Yellow opened his folder and pulled out the worksheet. "I finished the work you assigned."
Ms. Rofay took it and looked it over, her eyebrows pulling together in a slight frown as she read his answers. "Very good," she said, handing it back. "You should keep it."
"Uh... okay," Yellow said, taking the paper back. "Oh, and why are some of the numbers bolded? I wasn't able to figure that out."
Ms. Rofay smiled, smoothing out the frown. "Oh, it's nothing. Sometimes I just write a little too hard, that's all."
"Oh. Okay," Yellow answered, still confused. Another student walked in then, the Cybunny from yesterday, and Yellow went to take a seat.
"There seems to be fewer students today than yesterday," Ms. Rofay said once they'd waited five minutes after they were supposed to leave. Her voice lowered as she said it.
"Is there a reason for that?" one of the students piped up.
Ms. Rofay smiled. "Most likely it's because of our headmistress. Not many people are fond of the fact that she's a Dark Faerie. I had to work with several owners who pulled their preview students yesterday once they found out."
"What about the fact that you're a Grey Faerie?" the same student asked. "What element were you before your wings were stolen?"
Yellow was shocked that the student would ask such a bold question; the group of students held their breath, waiting to see if the teacher would answer.
Ms. Rofay merely smiled again. "If you will follow me, we can begin our tour."
The class let out a collective sigh of disappointment; she wasn't going to tell them after all.
She led them through the school building and showed them a few places they'd already been to, such as the cafeteria, and several that they haven't, such as the library and the gymnasium. Her feet were heavy against the ground, and this fact was emphasized by the few Faerie students and teachers that zoomed through the air.
After they were finished with the tour, they headed back to the classroom. Several host students stood waiting for their preview students, but Yellow didn't see Forest there. He waited in the classroom with Ms. Rofay while the other students left.
"What did you think of my class?" she asked him, sitting back down to grade papers.
"I liked it," Yellow answered. "The anagrams were fun."
"Yes, well..." Ms. Rofay paused. "You'll never know when such a skill could come in useful."
Yellow stared at her, trying to decipher what she meant.
"Sorry," Forest said, bursting in. "Sorry, I almost forgot."
"That's quite all right. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Yellow."
"Thanks. See you later, Ms. Rofay."
Yellow pondered over her statement while Forest jabbered on about something irrelevant. Yellow's next preview class was English, and Forest dropped him off at the right classroom.
The English lesson was rather boring; the Striped Aisha teacher droned on and on about the proper use of the semicolon. Yellow discreetly took out the anagram worksheet in order to prevent his eyes from looking glazed.
Something wasn't right about Ms. Rofay; he felt like she was trying to tell him something. He underlined the words that had their numbers bolded, hoping that somehow the answer would become clear: Faerieland, Wand, Hourglass, Evil, School, Brake.
Was the school evil? Was she trying to warn him to stay away? But Forest and Willy went to school here; they didn't seem evil. Nobody here seemed evil, really.
Was the fact that the school was in Faerieland important? Yellow remembered seeing Ms. Rofay's old wand on her desk; or, at least, he assumed it had belonged to Ms. Rofay. Perhaps he should ask her about it?
Yellow's name was written on the top of the paper, and for fun he tried to find a few anagrams he could make from it: Yell Ow, Well Yo, Ell Yow...
Ms. Rofay's name was next to his on the heading. Absentmindedly, he started doing anagrams for her too: Far Yo, Foray, Ray Of, Fyora...
He stiffened, then double checked his letters, but there was nothing wrong with them. He was right. Rofay was an anagram for Fyora.
To be continued...