Allison follows her godson into the laundry, David checks one room first but it's dark before walking down the hall to the other. The room is filled with commercial washers and Josette is busy shaking out sheets and throwing them into the machines in front of her. She turns around when she hears somebody behind her, smiling as David and his godmother walk across the room.
"You guys need something?" she asks after shaking out the last sheet, adding bleach and detergent before starting the machine.
Allison is stunned, she's sending out the magical version of 'hello' but Josette isn't responding at all. But she can feel the magic rolling off her now, how could the girl have ever thought she wasn't magical? Walking over she touches her gently on the cheek and starts a magical scan going, Josette's standing still allowing her to work, she obviously knows what the other woman is doing.
"Josette, I don't know who told you that you're not magical, but they were wrong. You reek of magic, I don't know how somebody hasn't seen it before now."
"Are you sure?" Josette asks quietly, she isn't sure whether finding out she's magical is a dream come true. . .or a nightmare. If she is magical, her father's family might want something to do with her finally, but then again they might not.
"I'm the leader of the magical community in my home town so yes, I am positive. I don't know if somebody blocked your magic or if they were just incompetent, but you are most definitely magical. . .and you need some training. I don't know how you haven't had a magical accident before now."
"Could her magic have been latent, losing her virginity activating it?" David asks.
"I've heard stories of that happening. . ." Allison says slowly.
"So have I, but you and Alan broke me in over a year ago, I've had Samhein as long as I can remember. . .while Shadow appeared just about a month ago." Josette says.
"And David says you got the kitten yesterday." Allison says. "What are you plans this summer?"
"I'd planned on doing my internship so I could apply for early admittance to graduate school." Allison looks at her and she ducks her head. "I took so many AP classes while I attended school here that I entered the University as a third year student." She tosses the towels into the washers, starts them running and leads them down the hall to the other room so they can all take a seat around the table.
"What program are you in?"
"Library science, the school wants me to take over the library here when I graduate. Right now we have teachers and students covering the library when they're not in class, with me taking it over we'll have a full-time employee there. I might eventually go back and get a second bachelors in information technology since both degrees are useful at the school."
"That makes sense." Allison says slowly. "You're planning on coming home for Christmas, right?" she asks her godson.
"Maybe not much before Christmas itself since we're also going to visit Anna, Abby, and Alan's family, but yeah. Since we have a month off before we start the spring semester we have time to visit both families."
"When you come home to Eureka, I'm going to test your magic Josette, that way we can figure out how nobody realized you were magical, where your strengths lie, and I'll get you set up with a set of beginner texts." She giggles as David moans and Josette looks interested. "If I can't find a teacher for you here, I believe that I can arrange for you to do your internship in Eureka, you'd get the library training you need, get paid for it, and you could get magical training."
David puts his hand over Josette's mouth before she can say a word. "The rest of us are going to be off next summer, some of us working on the boys new dorm. That's why Principal Madison wants to talk to Jennifer, he wants to see if she'd use her power to clear out what's left in the boys dorm before we absorb the building into ours. The girls can do the school laundry while you're gone, you can take over the job when you get back, and you'll all be making some money."
Josette gets up to check the washers, tossing the first load into the dryers before starting the second loads of sheets and towels, Allison and David giving her hugs before heading back to the dorm.
"Josette's been working there for four years?" Allison asks.
"Yeah, each floor sends their sheets and towels down the laundry chute a certain day, Josette washes these and sends them back to the dorms. Since we were running errands for the school after classes yesterday, she's got two days of laundry to do tonight. She works nights four days a week and picked up a daytime shift Sundays starting her senior year."
Allison just shakes her head. "If I arranged to have her loan paid off and paid for the rest of her schooling, do you think she'd stop working there?"
"Not unless there was somebody else to take over the work. That's why she's still working there, the student who had the job before her graduated and nobody's stepped up to take over the position. She doesn't like leaving the school in the lurch, that's why she's so insistent on graduating early so she can take over the library, the teachers have wanted her there ever since they realized that her mutation meant she'd instantly know where to find something when a student asked."
"Yes, I can see that application of her abilities." Allison says slowly as they walk into the dorm, David locking the outside doors behind them. "The dorm monitor rooms have an outside door, Josette uses that when she comes back from her job." he says at her look.
"Is there someplace quiet, maybe off campus, we can talk?"
"Just you and me or you, me, and everybody else?"
"All of us."
"Yeah, we can head for the island Friday morning, get back to school Sunday morning in time for Josette's shift at the laundry."
"The island?" she looks at him.
"Yeah, we got an island that we take to whenever we can, have been for a couple of years now." David rubs the back of his head. "We never missed classes or neglected our duties as dorm monitors, we'd go after shutting the dorm down for the night, during our vacations when we only had a week off, or if the school was shut down because of the weather. That's where the garden supplies are going, we had a garden there last winter, we're late starting one this year because of university."
"And where exactly is this island?" why does Allison think she's not going to like David's answer.
"Somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle?"
Allison just looks at him, willing him to say he's joking. She shakes her head. "I am going to tell your father and Grandpa Nathan to beat you. What if you got hurt there?"
"We have a friend who has a place on a nearby island, its close enough that we can get help if we need it, but far enough away to ensure both our privacy. He gave us devices that we could contact him if somebody got hurt."
Allison just sighs. "How long do you stay on the island?
"Usually only a couple of days, the longest we stayed was four days last fall when we first planted the garden. . .and took Josette's virginity. Most of us go naked or only wear minimal clothes since its so warm compared to Massachusetts in the fall." he chuckles. "There's a hot spring on a nearby island that we use for soaking, usually after sex."
"I hope you've made sure its safe for soaking after sex."
"Yes, there's nothing in the water that can hurt anybody, most of us have soaked there after our first times." He rubs the back of his head with a hand. . ."And Susan has talked about delivering there when we start having children."
The next morning finds Allison and Jennifer sitting at the table with the kids at breakfast. "I'm going to be looking over the building while you're in class today, is there anything you need right away?" she asks.
"A generator." everybody says in unison.
"Is there something wrong with the generator you have now?" Jennifer asks her cousin.
"Yeah, we don't have one." David says. Allison and Jennifer stare at him. "The new girls dorm has one because the school had it incorporated into the plans, but the old girls dorm, the boys dorm, and a lot of the other buildings on campus don't have them."
"The school was without power for nearly a week last winter after a bad storm." Josette says. "But didn't Principal Madison say that the old wiring might not be able to handle a generator, that's why only a few buildings like the cafeteria and health center had electricity? Those that had work done since the school opened?"
David nods. "That's why I'm hoping to have somebody come in from the company and look over the wiring. Once I found out that we were being given the building, I invested in some oil lamps and candles for when we lose power, and the school gives out a case of bottled water for drinking per person per day but we need a way to flush the toilets."
"Besides melting snow by the fireplaces." Susan says. "Or if we know there's going to be a storm filling tubs and using that."
"The stoves are gas, but we can use matches to light the burners." Anna says. "Josette and our room has light coming in during the day so we can see to cook. Unlike the basement kitchen."
"We're going to be heading to the island tomorrow." David says quietly. "Grammy asked if we had a private place to talk and I need to take the supplies for the garden out."
The kids look up as Principal Madison comes over to their table.
"The apartment building has been released by the fire department?" Josette asks before he can even say a word.
"Yes," he rubs the back of his head. "I'll get started on their laundry after I get back from class, have everything put in the room with the commercial washers, I'll work in there while students are using the other washers, after dinner I'll move out into the other room too."
"Thank you Josette, once again you are a life saver." he says, walking back to the head table.
"Give me your check and deposit slip when we get back." Anna tells Josette. "I'll run it in and deposit it at the bank for you. Give me your telephone bill too, I'll get a money order while I'm in town and drop it in the mail."
"I need stamps."
"I'll get you a book of stamps while I'm at the store." Anna says. The grocery store they use most often has a mail center at the service center, she can get the money order, stamps, and mail it all at the same time. "The usual groceries for the island?" she asks quietly. "Yeah." David says.
"And I'll order pizzas and get some pop for us." Alan says. "If we're all going to be up tonight, we'll need the food."
Josette just looks at him. "What, you thought we'd let you do all that by yourself? You've got a lot more than two apartments of stuff to wash tonight. And you'll have your regular laundry to run." Susan snorts.
"We're going to have to do something for the others, they just told Josette they'd be helping her do laundry tonight." Druid smiles as she leans close to Jolt.
"Good, I was afraid Josette would try to do it all by herself like she did Monday night. I'll have Joyce give them checks with the same hours Josette's working tonight." he makes a note of that on his iphone. "And I want to give the kids a bonus for everything they did for the school Tuesday." That's written down as well. "Otherwise it feels like we're taking advantage of them."
"I'll call the company after I talk to your Principal Madison and see how soon somebody can come out to check the wiring." Jennifer says. "It should only be a couple of days, maybe next weekend at the latest. And I'll call my brother and our partner, see if we can do some of the inside work this winter."
"That's what I'd hoped." David says.
"What do you plan on doing first?"
"Tear out some walls between dorm rooms to expand them on the second floor for our bedrooms, I don't know about Michael and Alex, but I want my bed back. Taking the last four rooms up there and making them one large bedroom, putting up a wall between the entry and the inner rooms for privacy, put benches along the wall where the table is now for storage, and expanding the girls dorm monitor rooms out by taking out the first set of rooms by them. Unfortunately we can't join the bathrooms, they're too far away, so we'll have to build new ones for the girls. The second wave will include tearing out the remaining dorm rooms in the front of the building to make a living room and maybe redoing the kitchens The third wave will be after the other building is incorprated in ours and will include removing the roof, adding two more floors, painting or wallpaper on the inside rooms, getting rid of those small windows the rooms have now and putting bigger windows in. . ." Jennifer and Allison nod, the small windows don't let in much light or ventilation and have to make the rooms feel even smaller than they are and doing something with the outside."
"Give me your drawings and I'll have the others look at them." She tells him.
He nods. "I'll zip the files and e-mail them to you."
"Do you plan on sending the windows to the salvage yard after you remove them?" Allison asks. Global Dynamics and the construction firm David's family owns has a good relationship with the owner of a salvage yard a couple hours away from Eureka by truck.
"Yes, along with the doors we're taking down, and bathroom fixtures we're removing." David nods. "I'm going to take one of the door locks to William next week and see if he wants them."
Principal Madison takes Jennifer to his office after breakfast while Allison follows the kids back to the dorm, watching them grab their school bags and head outside so David can take them to school. When they're gone she starts investigating the dorm building from top to bottom, making notes of what needs replacing on her I-Pad.
She's sitting in the first floor lounge, somebody had tried to tidy up in there but it's still filled with boxes of university textbooks, making a list of what she thinks David will have to do to turn the dorm into the home he'd drawn up when voices from downstairs tell her and Jennifer that the others have arrived back from school.
"How was classes?" she asks with a smile as she comes down the stairs.
"Good, next week the last of the assignments and any papers assigned are due, then reviews and finals our last class period. Signup for spring semester is going to be after Christmas, we've all decided what classes we're taking, we just have to sit down and decide if its going to be day classes or night classes, unless there's a class that we can't take any other time, we decided last year to try to schedule all our classes together."
Josette opens her mailbox, opening and signing the back of her check before handing it, a filled deposit slip, and her telephone bill to Anna. She takes the key to the boys van and heads into town to run errands as Josette drops everything on her table, checks to see the cats have food and water, then heads for the laundry. Abby and Alan take their dogs for a walk while David, Michael, and Alex talk to Allison about recent orders of their 'products' for the store in Eureka and what David has planned for the dorm.
Josette signs in and moans when she sees bags, totes, laundry baskets, boxes, and anything that will hold something filling the room. Thankfully somebody had taken the time to sort things and write what belongs to who and how many containers it is on the top of them. Mentally rolling up her sleeves she grabs the first container, shaking items out and throwing them into the machine. Soap and dry bleach is added and she starts filling a second machine, figuring it will take three or four machines to wash one teachers whole pile. Once its washed, and she sees if she'll need to run it through the machine again if it still reeks of smoke, she'll move the clean laundry out into the hallway.
"Holy. . .bleep." A voice calls from the doorway and Josette looks over her shoulder. "Charity, what can I do for you?"
"I hate to bother you, I know you're busy washing the teachers clothes." She looks at the piles of containers that fill a very large room. "But the supply dispenser is out in the other room and so's the closet."
"And only I have the key to the other closet." Josette says.
"Yeah," she rubs the back of her head.
Josette weaves her way through the clothes, pulling her keys out of her pocket. "I really hate to bother you," the student running the other room says. "I looked in the other room, so I know how many loads of laundry you're going to be doing."
"Ahh, can't do anything until this first load is finished and I see if I need to do it again, I don't want to start mixing up teachers clothes." Josette says, opening the dispenser and then the supply closet, Charity and the other girl grab the boxes she pulls out and Josette locks it again. "The dispenser and the closet don't normally run out this early in the week."
"Everybody's doing laundry, with teachers in the dorms they're afraid to run around in grungy clothes like they normally do." Charity chuckles, dropping the box by the dispenser. It's quickly filled and the closet as well, students who were waiting for something getting what they need and starting their laundry. The other girl starts breaking down the empty cartons as Josette heads back to the other room.
There's eight commercial washers in the other room, Josette grabs another teacher's laundry and starts filling machines from the other end, folding bags and stacking containers together in front of them with the teachers list on top. There's one machine empty between the two loads and Josette leaves it empty so there's no chance of mixing the two loads, settling on the stool behind the counter until the first load is finished. Opening the first machine she wrinkles her nose at the lingering smell of smoke and starts the machine washing again, this time adding something to take out the smell. Each machine gets the same treatment and after the second wash, she starts loading the now clean laundry into dryers.
"Josette, come to dinner." A voice from the doorway says and she turns around to see Principal Madison standing in the doorway. Looking at the clock she blinks when she sees she's been working for three hours. Shrugging she clocks out for an hour and follows him into the cafeteria, loading up her tray and almost inhaling the contents before she fills it again. The others smile as they watch her.
"Your receipts and stamps are on your desk, we're heading back to the laundry with you after you finish eating, Alan's going to be ordering the pizzas and getting some pop in a couple of hours." Anna tells her.
"Your godmother?" she asks David, seeing neither of the two visitors is at the table.
"She and Jennifer ate already and are on the phone and computer with people back home." David assures her. The tray is filled a third time and she belches softly as she puts it on the conveyer to send to the kitchen to be cleaned. She leads the others back to the laundry and punches back in.
"Holy Fuck!" Alan says, looking around at the clothes piled everywhere as they enter the room. "Where do you want us to start?"
"Somebody go check the machines in the other room and make sure they're ready to be used, if there's anything left in a machine, toss it in the lost and found box by the front door." Josette orders as she checks the stuff she'd set drying for twenty minutes before she'd left. It's still a tiny bit damp so she turns the dryer back on for another ten minutes. "I've got the override key so nobody will be charged for the laundry."
Susan goes to do that, coming back to say everything's ready for them.
"Every bag has a list on top telling you which teacher it belongs to, how many containers it is and what it is, each teacher's laundry should take a row of top loaders, front loaders, or all three commercial machines. Sort it out by colored, whites, sheets and towels. Make sure you don't mix loads up."
Alan, Michael, and David start dragging one teachers bags out into the other room. "Come back in when you got the machines filled." She calls after them. Ten minutes later she's pulling the now dry laundry out of the dryers when they come back. Grabbing a new bottle of detergent, a new box of dry bleach, and a new bottle of the liquid that takes out odors she heads into the other room.
"Okay, you wash the clothes like you'd do your own laundry," Josette says as she unlocks the machines. "Each machine gets a capful of detergent and a shot of dry bleach, you're going to have to run each load twice, the second time don't add detergent unless it's still dirty instead add a capful of this stuff to the machine, it will get rid of the smoke smell." Josette says. Susan starts each machine running and the boys bring in another load of laundry, filling the second row of machines.
Josette unlocks the dryers too and heads back into the other room, finding Anna and Abby folding the clothes from the dryers. "If it's done, put it out in the hallway so we have room to move."
"Is this other load ready to dry?"
"Yes, put it in for twenty minutes, if it's still damp put it in for another ten minutes." Josette calls, filling the commercial washers on the other end as Susan starts pulling the clothes from the other machines. Abby and Anna join her after they take the clean laundry out of the room and soon another two loads of laundry is running.
"Alan, its nine-thirty." Anna calls, looking at the clock when they start folding the second load of dry clothes.
"Going," he calls as he and David leave the other room. Michael and Alexander come in and get a third load of laundry for the commercial washers. "If you want something to listen to, there's a radio behind the counter." Josette calls. "There's also the tv in the corner of the room, some of the local channels are on all night."
"And you know this how?" Michael asks.
"I watched tv while I was waiting for the machines to finish running Monday night."
An hour later the other two boys return and they leave the machines running, going into the other room and sitting down to eat. Principal Madison smiles at them as he comes in to see how they're doing, seeing all the machines in the room running.
"Is the laundry out in the hallway clean?"
"Yes, we're moving it out there as it's done to give us some room." Josette says. A machine beeps and Alexander gets up, adding the liquid to remove odors and starts the machines running again.
"I'll leave you kids to it then." he leaves the building, knowing everything is in good hands.
The kids eat a couple pieces of pizza and fill glasses with pop before heading back to their machines, coming back in every so often and grabbing a piece of pizza or refilling their glasses.
The pile of clean laundry in the hallway continues to grow as the other room begins emptying out, around five the last loads of teachers laundry are put in the machines, leaving only the boys sheets and towels yet to run. Anna drops onto the floor by the counter, slowly stretching each muscle as the others do the same. Josette rolls her neck on her shoulders, everybody wincing as they hear it cracking and popping. Josette gets up to add the odor remover when the machines beep they're done, waiting until all the machines are running again before sitting back down on the floor. The others moan when the machines beep again that they're finished, emptying the machines and throwing it in the dryers. Once the washers are empty, Josette starts shaking out the sheets, the other girls moaning but helping shake out sheets and towels and throwing them into the machines, adding soap and liquid bleach and starting them running one last time.
Josette heads down the hall to the other room, locking down the machines after the last load of laundry has run through them, cleaning the machines and then locking and cleaning the dryers when the last load has been taken out of them.
"How do you do this all by yourself every night?" Susan asks as she starts putting sheets in the machine to iron and fold them, the twins at the other end putting them in piles as the boys put together sets of sheets and towels, wrapping them in plastic and putting them in the cart.
"Practice, I start a sheet folding, walk over to the other side so I can catch it when its done, put it in the pile and do it again, then wrap everything in plastic." The last of the sheets and towels are put in the cart as Principal Madison looks in the room. "Punch out, go get breakfast, and get some sleep." he tells them. "I'll take the boys laundry back to the dorm." Grabbing the cart, he starts heading back out the door.
Josette punches out, they pull on their jackets, then head to the cafeteria. Allison shaking her head as she looks at them when they arrive back at the dorm after breakfast. "Please don't tell me you were up all night."
"Yup." Josette says as she heads for her room.
"Are you sure you're going to want to go to the island?"
"Oh yeah, warm sand and hot sun." Josette says. "As soon as we change clothes, Alan puts the garden stuff and our food into subspace, and we grab the animals, we're going." David says.
Fifteen minutes later David opens the tesseract, the kids heading through while David pulls his godmother and cousin through before shutting it. Allison looks around, almost not believing she's actually on an island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle.Jennifer wipes a bead of sweat off her forehead, suddenly too warm in her long sleeved shirt and pants. "Do you mind if..." her voice trails off as a flash of white skin reveals Josette pulling her shirt off over her head, unfastening her bra and pulling off her shoes, underwear, and pants before running naked and diving off the small cliff into the water, the other girls a moment behind her. "I take off my shirt?" she says quietly.
"Nope, most of us run around naked here." Alan says as he start pulling boxes and bags out of subspace once they walk into the main building, Allison looking around at the hut. It looks quaint, but a quick rap of her knuckles tells her there's steel under the wood.
"How do you keep food from going bad?
"We have a small stasis unit, we keep stuff in it that can go bad. We have a cistern on the roof that provides us with water in the kitchen and bathroom." David says. "The water is warmed by the sun, perfect for bathing. It goes into a tank after running through filters, we use it on the garden when it needs more than rain water."
"How often does it rain here?"
"Usually every couple of days." Alan says as he slits open boxes and starts pulling out packages of seeds. He sorts them out on the table as David strips down to a speedo and work shoes and Allison can hear a rototiller running somewhere nearby in a couple of minutes. The girls come in carrying their clothes, grabbing towels and drying themselves off before feeding the pets and walking down the hall to their huts. They return a few minutes later in various states of clothing. The rest of the boxes and bags are soon empty and put up, Alan and the twins sorting out packages of seeds for the garden they'll start later today.
A bottle of sunscreen is passed around, Jennifer has slipped off her shirt and pants, leaving her wearing just her underwear while Allison has stripped completely. She takes Josette by the hand and they talk quietly, Allison showing her a few simple exercises. For the first time Josette can see her magic dancing around her skin. At Allison's quiet word, David comes over and pulls Josette into his lap, Josette closing her eyes and concentrating on her magic like Allison had told her as David's hands spreads her legs to finger her vagina.
"Sex is a very large part of magick," Allison says calmly. "That is why major workings always have a sexual component, the act of intercourse is a major form of power raising. . .and there is a ritual devoted solely to the act of the loss of virginity by a young girl. . .or boy for that matter in every major form of magic still practiced today. The act of 'sacrificing' the innocence of your body to another often results in an extreme burst of magical power, often the newly initiated will find themselves growing more powerful."
"The same thing happens to mutants," David says as Josette shudders from her orgasm in his arms. "That's often how the teachers know that the student is sexually active, their powers are stronger than they were before. The teachers know that teenagers are horny little buggers, that's why the girls are put on birth control by the school unless their parents or guardians object."
"Hormonal birth control?" Allison quickly asks.
David nods. "I'll have to look at them when we get back to your home, some forms of birth control may interfere with magick." Josette moans as David's fingers pull from her vagina, replaced seconds later by the head of his cock. In this position, sitting on his lap with her eyes closed, he seems impossibly huge and Allison's arms tip her forward, she ends up with her face buried in the other woman's breasts as David puts his hands on her hips and starts fucking her.
Josette had always enjoyed sex, being on the receiving end herself or just reveling in the sensations as her friends made love around her. Now she realizes why she enjoyed sex so much, the magic had been picking up the sensations and amplifying them for her. Her hands find her breasts and she plays with her nipples, the sex that more intense by the simple act of closing her eyes.
Later that afternoon Allison watches as the twins, Alan, and David work on planting the seeds she'd brought with her. Michael and Alexander had went out in the boat and caught some fish while Josette and Susan were busy harvesting some native plants and a very good dinner is fixed from the food they'd brought with them and what the others had gathered. The cats enjoy the fresh fish Alexander had caught for them, Josette dicing it up and mixing it in with dry food as the dogs got treats after their meal and went for a walk. Alan cleans up behind them, carefully bagging the doggie doo-doo for getting rid of back at the school while Josette buries the fish bones.
"Hot springs?" Josette asks after the dishes had been scraped, rinsed, and put in the box.
"Hot springs." the others agree and Alison gasps when they walk through David's tesseract into a grotto that looks like it just came out of an Arabian fantasy novel. A large pool sits in the center of the stone room, with ledges around all sides. The girls slide into the water, Jennifer taking off her underwear and settling into the water with Allison as the boys light a couple of oil lamps they put up on shelves before sliding into the water.
"This. . .is nice." Jennifer says.
"We try to come at least once when we're on the island." Josette says. "We came every night when the school was without power after we'd settled the kids in the dorms, it was the only way we could get warm."
"And everything was ripening in the garden." David chuckles. "I came out every day and picked bags of produce, everybody got one and we had some extra that we anonymously passed on to Principal Madison and Professor Druid."
"We waited until after the power was back on and they were actually in their apartments. There's a few telekinetics at the school so they can't come right out and say, 'Abby, I know it was you that put the bags in front of our apartments and rang the doorbells.'" Abby snickers.
"Yeah, but there was a note on my outside door the next day when I came back to my room, telling me that next time we should add a little more nitrogen to the soil." David snickers. "The note suggested compost, that adding too much foreign fertilizer might upset the natural balance of the soil."
"Did you take her advice?"
"Oh yes, we'd already started a compost pile, when the garden was finished we tilled the mulch and plants into the garden. We picked up a lot about how to plan the garden from working in the school's garden during the summer."
"So you already know to rotate plants so the soil doesn't get wore out or depleted of nutrients?"
"Yup, we've moved stuff all around this year, and when the garden is finished this year we'll throw everything into the compost pile for next year."
"You are thinking ahead." Allison says.
"This is our home, just as much as the dorm." Josette says. "We don't want to ruin it."
The others nod agreement.
"Do you mind if I ask a botanist to come and look at the plants and soil once the garden in growing?" Allison asks.
The kids look at each other. "I don't see why not, we'd thought about asking Professor Druid to come and check it out. Now that we're not her students anymore, she can't yell at us for doing stupid stuff."
"Wanna bet?" Susan smirks.
"The Professor is. . .?" Allison asks.
"In charge of the school's garden during the summer and greenhouse during the winter. She's the science teacher and has a mutation that involves plant growth." David says. "When we first started the garden, we had her check out the soil and tell us what was needed to plant a garden that could reasonably sustain eight people and I sent a soil sample to the botanists at GD and got the same results."
"What did you tell your teacher?" the others snicker as Alan moans. "Professor Druid assigns a project every semester, I told her I had been watching too many Gilligan's Island episodes, they'd had to have some kind of sustainable garden." Allison chuckles. "I'm still looking for the magical clothing tree they have to have found on the island, because except for Ginger they all only had one set of clothes that never seemed to get wore out or damaged." Jennifer giggles this time.
"So did you actually turn in an assignment about Gilligan's Island?"
"Nope, she knew that I would have a story about coming to my senses and picking something else when it was time to turn it in." Alan chuckles. "why did we come up with such a lame story anyway?"
"It was Gilligan's Island or Lost and Lost was a lot more realistic about being stranded on an island." David says.
"That and everybody died." Josette snorts. "Gilligan's Island they went around having happy little lives, Gilligan got into scrapes, Mary Anne went around making every meal with coconuts, the Professor went around inventing everything they needed yet couldn't figure a way to get off the island, The Howells counted their trunks of money, and Ginger had trunks of clothes."
It's only nine o'clock but everybody is yawning when Alan picks up the lamp and blows it out, a tesseract taking them back to their huts. There's pallets on the floor and hammocks in corners for the visitors and soon everybody is settled down and sleeping. Josette wakes up the next morning to find the kitten sitting on her chest and patting her nose.
"Pest." she says fondly, picking him up and putting him on the floor before heading down the hall to the bathroom, turning the handle on the composting toilet after using it. The cats run out into the kitchen before her, she mixes up food for them and puts it down, walking outside she sees Jennifer has gotten over her shyness and is lying out in the sun naked. Allison is over by the garden with David and Alexander, they're going over the compost pile and looking at the area where Josette buries the fish scraps. Josette takes care not to bury them in the same area, not wanting to add too much nutrients to the soil when they decompose.
The sky starts darkening and everybody heads inside when the rain starts falling. Allison nods, if the island routinely gets this amount of rain every few days, between it and the warm weather they will have an excellent garden this year.
"Stay or head back to the dorm?" Alan asks when the storm shows no signs of letting up. Allison had sat all of them down on the beach after Josette's first magick lesson, talking about what each other them had planned for the future, what they wanted out of life. . .which included children sometime in the future, what grades they'd gotten in school and how they'd been paying for their high school. . .and now university classes. She'd chuckled when Susan had admitted she played the ponies during school breaks to get money for her classes, shaking her head when she found out the twins and Alan had scholarship loans they were looking at paying off themselves sometime in the future. The news that Alan wanted to go to medical school had gotten him a hug, Allison telling him that there were never enough doctors in the world. David knows his godmother, she's probably already planning a way to get him to Global Dynamics for an internship and finding a way to pay for his schooling. Susan plans on attending Law School, while Anna and Abby are interested in education, they also had a dream of opening a store on campus for the students. Like Josette, they wanted to eventually go back to university and get a second degree, this time in business.
Alexander and Michael have flourishing art careers, putting money into careful investments after they'd paid for their education. They were going for dual degrees in art and business, that way they could keep an eye on their investments and make sure their agent and business manager wasn't up to any funny business. Allison had made arrangements for a delivery of a good sized load of steel and wood for another shipment of their dildos.
David of course was going for a business degree with the idea of taking a position in his family's business, with his mutation he'd be able to live on the school campus and commute to the offices.
"Stay, the storms never last long." David says. "And I want to show Grammy and Jennifer the sunset from the waterfall."
The others nod, settling in spots along the wall of the main room or heading down the hallways linking the huts to one of the other buildings. Jennifer settles down with David talking over plans for the dorm while Allison pulls Anna and Abby over to her to ask about plants they might have found on the island.
Like David has said, the rain stops after a couple of hours, a breeze coming in off the ocean that keeps it from getting too muggy. The afternoon passes quickly, Susan making sure everything is locked down in containers or taken back to the dorm with them in the morning after dinner. The sunset is everything that David had said it would be and Allison sighs as the last of the colors vanish from the sky.
"You can't see that back home in Eureka."
"No you can't, that's why we come out to the island every time we can. . .to remind ourselves of what's really important." Alan says. "The moon will be coming up in a couple of hours, the best spot to see that is the cliff where we first arrived."
The next morning they arrive early back at the dorm, Josette heading to her room and showering quickly. A tap on the door has her sticking her head around the bathroom door, finding Allison in her room. Wrapping a towel around her hair she reaches into the medicine cabinet and pulls out the new box of birth control pills she'll be starting in about two weeks. She comes out and hands it over to Allison before she reaches into her dresser for clean clothes.
"Yes, if you have been on this for a while, it could have interfered with your magic." Allison says, handing it back over. "When I get back to Eureka, I'll send you a list of birth control options that shouldn't interfere with your magic. I don't think you're ready for children yet."
"No, not yet." Josette finishes dressing, putting down food for the cats before going to eat before heading for her shift at the laundry. The others eat with her before heading in different directions when Jolt and Druid approach the table.
"Well since all the kids. . .and their animals were gone the last two days, and you two were nowhere to be found either I take it the kids took you to their little getaway spot that we're not supposed to know they have?" Druid smiles.
Allison looks around to make sure nobody else is around and nods. "Yes, we left shortly after the kids got out of the laundry Friday."
"Can I ask if they took my suggestions about the garden?"
Allison nods. "They did, they tilled the plants and mulch into the garden last year after everything was done, this year they plan on pulling everything and putting it in the compost pile for next year."
"Good, good." Druid nods. "Since you brought a lot of stuff with you, I take it they just planted it this weekend?"
"Yes, they said they were late this year because of of starting school. And who do I have to talk to about the twins, Alan, and Josette's loans?"
"That would be the bank in town." Druid says. "Do we want to know where they take off to? We knew they have a secret spot somewhere."
"You did not hear it from me, but the group have their own private island somewhere in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle." Allison says. Jolt and Druid just blink.
"I think it's actually more than one island, Dr. Blake." Jennifer grins. "I don't think the hot springs are on the same island as the cliff the kids dive off of to go swimming in the lagoon or the waterfall."
Allison thinks a minute. "Yes, I remember now he said it was on another island."
"The.Bermuda.Triangle." Jolt says slowly.
"Mm hmm," Allison makes a noise of agreement.
"The Bermuda Triangle?" he squeaks.
This time its Jennifer that makes the noise of affirmation.
Druid sighs. "I was right, we didn't want to know where they take off to."
Josette punches in and checks the machines, shaking her head when she finds the supply dispenser empty again, the kids were going to wear their clothes out washing them rather than wearing them. Filling it again, she makes a note of what is running low, checking the closet in the other room to see if anything there needs ordering before sending it the the office then opening the doors.
With most of the students already having done their laundry, the morning is quiet with only the others coming in and doing loads of laundry. Anna tells her that David had borrowed the boys van to take Dr. Blake and his cousin to the airport, if they hadn't flown in on a private jet David would have just opened a tesseract and took them home.
The other boys were busy sorting through boxes in the rooms they'd shoved stuff in when they'd had to move unexpectedly, trying to find more than the couple changes of clothes they'd been wearing all week. Principal Madison had already told them that if they couldn't find their clothes, he'd take them into town after lunch to buy them some more clothes since it was their unexpected move that had misplaced them.
"So what's the latest on getting the teachers back into their apartments?"
"It's going to take a couple weeks yet, they're cleaning the apartments right now. They've got all the windows open trying to get the smoke smell out of the rooms since the febreze just covered up the smell of smoke. Then they're going to go in and clean the carpets and furniture, finally it's painting and replacing any appliances that were damaged. They hope to be back in their apartments by the end of the semester."
Josette just shakes her head. "That's a lot of work."
"David's company has a crew that comes in after fires and cleans stuff up, David passed along the number for the head of the crew to Principal Madison, if the school doesn't hire them they can at least give him a good idea of what needs to be done. Right now they're just working from what the fire department and insurance company said needed to be done before the teachers could move back in."
A teacher comes in so Josette can get lunch, she detours to the dorm to grab her bag of clothes and bedding before heading back to the laundry, with everything that's been going on she hasn't had the chance to do her own laundry for nearly a week. Shaking and sorting out her clothes she fills two front loaders and a commercial washer, starting them running before settling back on the stool.
The afternoon brings students coming in to do laundry for the week, Josette shoos the last of them off a little after the laundry should have closed, but he'd had a load in the dryer that they'd had to wait on. Josette drops her laundry off, finding the boys setting bags from the local superstore on their beds and they head to dinner.
"Are you guys going to leave your books in the lounges?" Anna asks.
"Yeah, if it wasn't so late in the semester we'd put them in our rooms, but since we only have a week of class left before finals, it's easier to just leave them there. We'll box them up after finals. When we sign up for spring classes, we'll get our desks together."
Abby nods. "Let me know if you need any help moving boxes."
"Tell us that when we start moving boxes out of rooms the teachers started shoving things into." Alan snorts. "I think we got three rooms stuffed full of boxes and containers full of who knows what that belongs to who knows? And another four full of furniture we moved from the hallway. Then there's the boxes of stuff I brought over, but that at least is marked with our names and what's in it."
Josette checks her mail when they come back from dinner, finding her mailbox stuffed once again. "I've got more mail this semester than I did the four years I was in school." she complains, detouring to her room to get her key and open the box.
"What the hell?" She opens a letter from the university. "Is this some fucking sick joke?"
"What is it?" Anna asks.
"A letter saying I'm in danger of failing this semester because I failed three tests in a class I'm not taking?" Josette hands over the letter.
"There's another letter from the school, see what it says." David says, patting her on the shoulder.
"It's a letter from the school, their servers have been hacked and letters sent out to students filled with false information. If you receive a letter that you think is false, bring it to the office." Alan says, waving his own letter. "Lets see what I've supposed to be doing." He opens the letter. "Huh, didn't know I'd lost my football scholarship for testing positive for drugs."
"Okay, let's see what I've supposed to done." Anna opens her letter. "Huh, I've been warned numerous times about noise late at night, now the school is asking me to leave the dorm."
"Told you you snored." Abby sniggers.
The girl behind the desk moans as the door opens and a group of students comes into the room, it looks like another group of students received letters over the weekend.
"I take it this is about letters you may have received from the school?" A dark haired young woman moves to the front of the group, obviously the spokesman.
"Yes, I got a letter saying I'm supposed to have failed three tests in a class I never signed up for, Alan got a letter saying that he was losing his football scholarship because of a positive drug test. . ., Anna got a letter saying that she was being asked to leave the dorm because of disruptive behavior. . ."
"Well that's a new one." She sighs. "Let me see your letters please."
Josette hands hers over and the girl behind the counter pulls up her class schedule. "No you're definitely not on academic probation, in fact it looks like you're going to be on the President's List this semester." she makes a note on the file about the false letter that had been sent to her and a blond boy steps up, a blonde girl obviously a relative standing next to him, both have letters in their hands.
The teacher looks up as the door opens and one of her best students enters the room. "Sorry Professor, I had to stop at the office and take care of a letter I'd received from the school." Josette takes her seat.
"Letter?" the woman raises an eyebrow.
"Some idiot with too much time on his hands, too little common sense, or both decided to cause trouble for the school." One of the other students says. "We received e-mails from the school saying that if we received letters that we thought were errors, to bring them to the office. What did you get?"
"A letter saying that I'd failed three tests in a class that I didn't sign up for, a friend got a letter saying that he was losing his football scholarship because of a positive drug test. . . "
"The school doesn't have a football team." the teacher says.
"Yup, and Alan is a scrawny little shit who barely stands five eleven and if he weighs one sixty it's because he's got something in his pockets to give him a couple extra pounds." Josette snorts. "His sister got a letter saying that she was being kicked out of the dorm for 'disruptive behavior', none of us live on campus. Our other friends are pouting because they didn't get letters too."
"Give the idiot time." the other student snorts. "The school alerted students a while ago, the teachers should have received an e-mail as well."
"I'll have to check my computer after class." the teacher sighs. "If you have any assignments or papers to turn in, please hand them up now. We're going to be reviewing the rest of the week."
After classes are over the kids troop home. Josette's almost afraid to look in her mailbox but all that's there is a letter from the school telling her that she'd be eligible for benefits in six months. Josette looks over as Abby starts cackling. "What?"
"I'm being suspended for nudity in my dorm room."
"How are you supposed to take a shower then?" Michael asks. "Oh gee, my student loan is in default, I can't attend classes until I'm caught up. Oh, and look a letter 'supposedly' from the teacher telling me I have no talent in art, I'm wasting his and the rest of the class's time, and I should find another major."
"The school had better find out who is doing this and soon before they get hit with a lawsuit, a good lawyer would consider that libel." David says.
"And a bad lawyer would be in front of the camera, waving the letter and calling this an outrage." Alex smirks. "I can't believe the school isn't doing anything about this other than sending a letter to students asking to bring the letters to the office, talk about having your head in the sand."
"And somebody is going to sneak up behind them, kicking them in the ass because they weren't doing anything to protect themselves." Josette snorts. "I hope this is straightened out before next semester begins."
"Hope the hacker doesn't get into the grades."
"If the teachers are smart, they've encrypted the data. Something the school itself can't be bothered to do." Michael snorts. "I'm going to copy this for our lawyer and agent, in case the school tries to sweep it under the rug." A note from Jennifer on the office stationery says she'd tried to contact him, his phone was off so he must have been in class, an electrical engineer would be flying in Wednesday to inspect the dorm's wiring.
The next morning brings the news that somebody had leaked the nasty letter they'd received. . .again supposedly from their teacher to the media and the news is on all the early shows. The University can no longer keep the news under wrap and an independent commission has been formed to look into the matter. Students are told to bring letters they have received to an office at the school and the gang drops them off before class, scheduling a time to talk to the authorities after classes. National news stringers are clustered on the grounds and one of the reporters recognizes Michael, capturing him for an interview. Josette chuckles at the hangdog look on his face 'sucks to be a famous artist, doesn't it?'.
"What?" One of the other newspeople asks.
"Google the names Madison and Jalex in the art community." Somebody else says. "They only made, what forty million from their last art show this year? Each?"
The kids finally make it home in time for Josette to quickly eat and punch into the laundry. The silence of the building is soothing after all the stories going around the university about what's been happening and Josette quickly loses herself in the work of shaking out sheets and throwing them in the machines.
The next day finds many more news media on the university, trying to find Alex or Michael for interviews. The school is at turns proud to have two well-known artists attending classes at their school and stunned that they had been there for nearly four months and nobody had recognized them, least of all their teacher who was supposed to a hotshot expert on modern art. The news that the two artists are always with some other young people had quickly sent the news media into a frenzy, they'd tried to corner the others for interviews but David had quickly gotten them off the campus.
Arriving back at the school, they find the electrical engineer pulling into the parking lot. "I'm going to need to shut down the power to inspect the wiring, and I might need to open up some walls. I'll try to do that in rooms that aren't occupied, do you mind? It shouldn't take more than a few hours, but it might turn a little cold in here." It's late November, and though there's been a few snow flurries, they haven't stayed on the ground more than a day.
"Not at all." David assures him. "We can go to the library or one of the other buildings on campus if we need to do something. I hope you aren't allergic, we have dogs and cats in the building."
"No, I'm fine." he says and heads down to the basement to start checking out the circuit panel.
Josette goes to her room, petting the meowing monsters begging for her attention as Anna, Abby, and Alan take their dogs for a walk. They return a little while later.
"We're on the news." Anna says. Josette just looks at her, "There's news crews parked outside the main gate, they appear to have tracked us down by our school records and are asking for interviews."
Josette says something very rude that she'd learned from Wolverine. David chuckles as he leans in the doorway.
An hour later Josette heads to the cafeteria, finding Principal Madison and an instantly recognizable news anchor heading up the walkway to the front of the dorm.
"Oh good Josette, this is. . ."
"Diane Sawyer," Josette says, nodding slightly.
"I hate to do this, but can you and the others give an interview?"
"All of us?" Josette asks.
Principal Madison sighs. "I'm afraid so, the news that all of you were victims of the hackers attack on the university servers has hit the media like a ton of bricks. I've agreed to allow one person to come interview you kids, the others will pick it up and broadcast it on their networks. But you'll probably get requests for more interviews."
Josette sighs and once again says something rude she'd picked up from Wolverine. Principal Madison's lips twitch. "It will be in the auditorium after dinner and both Katrina and I will be there." he tells her. "I'm giving you the night off from the laundry, you can do both sets of laundry tomorrow night."
"I'll tell the others."
"Thank you Josette." he leads the news anchor off and Josette walks back into the building.
"Principal Madison is allowing one interview with the news, tonight after dinner in the auditorium." she yells down the hall. Doors open and the others stare at her from their rooms. "No, I'm not joking, he was just here with Diane Sawyer of all people. She's going to be the one interviewing us, he and Druid will be there with us."
"Diane Sawyer? Damn, we hit the big time." Susan shakes her head.
"The news that Alex and Michael were victims of the idiot hacker kicked it up a few degrees, it's one thing to have kids receiving letters because the university screwed up is one thing, having two famous artists affected is another."