It was Elise’s favorite season.
Even after the magic of Christmas had long faded, January and February still held just as much magic for the appreciative girl. Scarves and innovative layers to personalize the repetitive academy outfit she and the rest of the girls at her private college had to wear. Hot chocolate and a warm fireplace after a brisk walk in the cold. And, most importantly, snow. While most adults in the north grew jaded due to shoveling and driving in the annual torment, Elise loved every second of it.
Today included. Fresh snow on the ground from the previous night’s precipitation encouraged Elise to take her favorite route after the last class of the day. On colder days, she would stay in and do homework or study her notes from that day’s lecture. But a walk through the park sounded all too great for her today. She needed to decompress, and walking at all times helped. The fresh snow was just an added bonus.
At just twenty years old, Elise was one of the youngest prefects at Edgewood Academy for Girls. She was mostly in charge of the high college students at the prep college just across the river, though her responsibilities sometimes extended to the school’s first-years when her peers were busy. Most of the time, Elise’s job was easy. She would help out however she was needed at the high college during her free period, and then make sure all the teenage girls were back in their dorms after curfew when she had an evening shift. Back at Edgewood, it was more or less a RA job. Ensure quiet hours were kept, confiscate contraband, and make sure the new students were adhering to the college’s strict dress code.
Every now and then, her job was difficult. Today was one such day. Two fifteen year old girls got into a nasty fight at lunch when she was helping out at the prep college. Elise had intervened immediately, and paid dearly for it. She got her own blonde hair pulled, a few noticeable scratches on her arms, and the sleeve of her blouse partially ripped. Thankfully, a teacher and an older prefect showed up before things got out of hand, but it was still enough of an ordeal that left her shaken afterwards.
Reliving the experience had distracted her throughout the rest of her classes, and a good portion of the walk so far. Standing at 5’5”, Elise wasn’t particularly short. However, her academic lifestyle didn’t help her much in terms of strength or muscle. Certainly not enough to stop a cat fight all on her own. The faintly sore scratches brought the memory back again and again. The screams of the girls, the jeering of the crowd of girls that did nothing to help the situation . . .
“Elise…? Elise? Elise!!” The yelling of her name snapped the distracted blonde out of the most recent iteration of the memory. Elise turned towards the voice, just now noticing three girls on the small bridge that she was about to cross.
“Oh, hey,” Elise gave a faint smile as she approached, realizing a bit too late who it was calling out her name. All three of the girls were in the year below her, and shouldn’t be using her name in such a casual way. “I would prefer ‘Miss Elise,’” she said. It wasn’t her favorite thing, especially for girls so close in age, but rules were rules. When a girl had the prefect badge on, she was an authority figure. Even for school first-years who were all legally adults at this point and less than enthusiastic about some of the academy’s rules.
“Oh, does that count when we’re off the school grounds?” one of the girls asked. A red haired first-year named Katie? Katherine? Elise couldn’t quite remember. “Miss Elise,” the girl corrected herself, “What’cha doin’ out here?”
“Just taking a walk.” Elise said, letting out a sigh of relief to herself. It was at all times a coin toss whether a girl would be respectful or disrespectful to prefects at Edgewood, especially those closest in age to the others. While prefects did have authority, it was easier for girls to act dismissively towards their peers compared to their teachers.
“Us too! We’re just taking a quick break,” the redhead said, “Do you want to join us? You can walk with us afterwards too!”
“Yeah, stick around, Elise!” The shorter of the two brunette girls behind her added. Elise was pretty sure her name was Anna.
Elise wanted to correct Anna too, but decided against it. These students seemed friendly enough, but taking them up on the offer would be a bad idea. When she became a prefect, Elise was warned about getting too close with any girl in a lower grade. It would make it more difficult to gain respect when needed, and often more difficult for the prefect to write up a girl she was friends with. And that wouldn’t be fair to everyone else.
“Sorry, girls.” Elise gave them a half smile. “I’d love to, but I have a lot of studying to do. I’ll be heading back to the academy in a second.” She felt bad for lying, but it sounded better than saying that spending time with them outside classes was strongly discouraged.
“That’s fine,” the first girl said, “Have a good rest of your walk!”
“You too!” Elise smiled. Rather than take the bridge, she turned back the way she came. It wasn’t her intended route, but it was the only way to turn her excuse into reality.
However, she only got one or two steps before the redhead called after her, “Wait, Elise?”
“Yes?” She turned back around. Once again catching the lack of her proper title a little bit too late.
“Where did you get your backpack? It has so many pockets!”
“Umm, I bought it online,” Elise replied. She just ordered it a few days ago, but couldn’t remember the exact brand or style off the top of her head, “I can give you the link later if you’d like?”
“Do you mind if I check it out? That would be better than a picture, right? I’ll be quick, I promise!”
“Oh, umm, sure.”
It seemed like an innocent enough request. After all, mailing something back that didn’t quite work out was at all times a bit of a chore.
Elise walked onto the bridge to join the girls. She let the backpack slide off her shoulders, deciding it was better to watch the girls instead of turning her back. Just in case. As she approached the redhead, Elise realized the first year was an inch or so taller than her. Not a gigantic deal, but she found it more difficult to be the voice of authority when she had to look up into a girl’s eyes. It’s why she often wore heels, but not when the paths outside could potentially be icy and lead to a nasty fall.
“Do you mind?” The girl asked, reaching out for the backpack. The two other girls were whispering about something, but Elise didn’t bother thinking about that. Girls would be girls.
“Just be careful with it, okay? It’s new.” Elise said. She reluctantly let the first-year take the bag.
“Let’s see…” the redhead unzipped the main pocket.
Elise wanted to protest, but she bit her tongue. It was mildly violating, but, at the same time, it wasn’t that big of a deal. The girl wanted to check out the backpack, and the inside of the pockets would be a factor if she decided to buy one for herself. That, and Elise didn’t have anything in her backpack that would cause alarm.
One by one, the girl unzipped every single pocket. Elise just watched, waiting patiently for her to finish her inspection.
“Anna?” The redhead glanced back to the girls behind her. Before Elise could realize what was happening, the shorter of the two brunettes quickly ran up and took the backpack out of the first girl’s hands. Anna then walked over to the edge of the bridge, holding the backpack over the running water beneath them.
“Hey!” Elise exclaimed with wide eyes. “What are you doing??”
She tried to get to her backpack, but the redhead was quick to block her path. “Ah, ah, ah, Elise,” she smiled, “One more step, and Anna will turn your backpack upside down!”
Elise froze. It hit her all at once. The fake curiosity about her backpack. The whispering. The unzipping of every pocket. But it was way too late.
“Anna, don’t!” Elise called to the shorter girl. “Please don’t!”
“Hush, Elise.” The slightly taller redhead smiled, now standing directly in front of her. “Don’t worry, Anna won’t drop your things. IF you do something fun for us to earn it back!
Any rational girl would walk away.
Especially a girl that was supposed to be in charge of first-years like these three under ordinary circumstances. She could explain the situation to the college. Replace the books, binders, and assignments. And let these mischievous girls be reprimanded by the academy’s administration.
But Elise had JUST lost her backpack last week. The wondered of asking her teachers for all the class materials a second time made her feel embarrassed and a little guilty. So she reluctantly decided to play along. Let these immature girls have their fun.
“What do I have to do . . .?” Elise asked.
“What do I have to do, *Miss Kaitlyn,*” the redhead was quick to reply, “See what it’s like for us, little prefect.”
Kaitlyn. That was her name.
Elise flushed at the nickname more than the demand that came with it. Kaitlyn was barely an inch taller than her, but the words ‘little prefect’ were still patronizing enough for Elise to cringe at the teasing disrespect.
“Fine.” Elise let out a heavy sigh. “What do I have to do, Miss Kaitlyn?”
It sounded wrong the moment Elise said it out loud. The worst part was, she only enforced the title for herself because it was academy policy. It wasn’t her favorite thing, and she wished she could somehow explain that now. Because these first-year girls seemed to think it was her power tripping or something.
The following silence was agonizing. In reality, it only lasted a few seconds. To the blonde prefect, however, it felt like an eternity.
“Hmm . . .” Kaitlyn finally broke the silence. She put one hand on her hip, and the other on her chin in mock concentration. “How about this?” Kaitlyn said. She lowered her hand and casually dropped her arm. “Flash us your bare chest.”
Elise was stunned, to say the least. “Excuse me?!”
The nerve of this girl! Elise had only played along with the teasing title because it seemed rather harmless. But this was not harmless. This was downright insulting.
“I think you heard me, Elise.” Kaitlyn smiled. “Well? What will it be? Yes or no?”
“No! And it’s ‘Miss Elise!’” she exclaimed. This had to stop. Now. “Kaitlyn, enough. I’m not doing that. Anna, give me my backpack.”
“It’s ‘Miss Kaitlyn.’ And you’re no fun, Elise. Oh well.” Kaitlyn shrugged. “Anna, dump out her backpack.”
“Okay!” The short brunette eagerly smiled. She started to tip the backpack over.
“STOP!! Anna, wait! I’ll do it, I’ll do it!” Elise gave in rather quickly when she saw her bag get close to the tipping point. The wondered of all her belongings falling into the frigid water below made her impulsively react before she could fully think it through.
Elise’s shrill voice seemed to be enough to at least give Anna pause, though the brunette was more looking at Kaitlyn for direction, rather than in response to Elise’s outburst. “You’ll do what, Elise?” Kaitlyn asked.
Another teasing way of turning the tables. It was common practice for prefects and teachers alike to make students say full thoughts out loud. If a student was late to class, and a teacher got on their case about it, they wouldn’t just say “Yes, ma’am” or “Yes, Mrs. XYZ.” It was at all times something like “Yes, ma’am. I won’t be late again.” One of many discipline practices Elise learned when she first became a prefect. This particular tactic was used so girls could internalize a responsible phrase said by themselves.
But most of the tricks she learned were for the high college students across the river. How did Kaitlyn even know about that? Or was the redhead just being condescending, and not realizing it paralleled something Elise often used herself? Either way, it didn’t feel good to be on the receiving side. And, at that, for something not responsible at all.
“I’ll…” Elise began, then hesitated.
Was this worth it?
It’s not like she hadn’t been topless in front of girls before. The private school’s locker room was used by girls of every year, and Elise changed before and after workouts at all times. Normally she’d wear athletic gear to and from the gym, but Edgewood’s uniform requirements made that impossible. Plus the locker room meant changing amidst a crowd of other girls, all of whom were keeping to themselves for the most part. If one of these girls had partially seen her in the past, it wouldn’t be that big of deal.
This was different. This was her actively displaying her body in a completely inappropriate way. Even if it was just to other girls, it was still wrong. Especially considering it was girls she was supposed to have authority over. Not to mention the fact that it would be cold in the chilly winter air.
“Well? I don’t have all day, Elise.” Kaitlyn crossed her arms.
“*Miss* Kaitlyn-” The persistent redhead corrected her.
“Miss Kaitlyn . . .” Elise mumbled. She wanted so badly to be firm with the girl before her. But that subtle height difference, the stern expression on Kaitlyn’s face, and the backpack still dangling over the edge of the bridge all affected her in one way or another.
“Better.” Kaitlyn smiled. “Now, were you going to say something, Elise?”
“You know what?” Elise said. “Fine. Drop my stuff.”
It would be painful to watch, but she would survive. And all three of these girls would get in trouble. Kaitlyn, Anna, and the other brunette. Elise didn’t know her name, but she’d be able to identify her later if she needed to. “I’m not doing that, Kaitlyn.”
“Miss Kaitlyn.” The redhead said. “And you’re no fun, Elise.” The casual use of Elise’s name right after the correction wasn’t lost on her. Kaitlyn turned back to the girls behind her, “Annaa. Caroline. Run back to the dorms. Hide her backpack. I’ll be back soon. Go on, run!”
At Kaitlyn’s order, the two girls were quick to do as they were told. Elise felt a fleeting relief as the backpack was brought back over dry land, but that feeling was short lived. The other two turned around and ran back along the path across the bridge.
“Wait! Anna!” Elise called after her, but to no avail. Kaitlyn took a quick sideways step and blocked Elise’s attempt to chase after them, and there was really nothing Elise could do about it. Short of shoving the girl apart or pushing her down, if she could even manage that, there was no way past the redhead. No proper girl would be rough with another girl. Even if she wasn’t a prefect, Elise wouldn’t do that.
Elise narrowed her eyes at Kaitlyn and tried to think of the best way to berate the girl, but Kaitlyn beat her to the punch. “New deal, Elise.” She crossed her arms, giving a confident smile to the blonde prefect. “Be at our dorm at 4 PM sharp. We’ll have to find another way you can earn your stuff back.”
Kaitlyn. Anna. Caroline.
Those were the names. Elise was already sick of this, and ready to pass this issue off to someone else. “Enough, Kaitlyn. I’m not earning anything. I’ll be there at four. You’ll hand me my backpack, or you’ll be in even worse trouble.”
“Miss Kaitlyn. And I’ve been in trouble before, Elise.” Kaitlyn rolled her eyes. “How about you? Do you want to explain how a prefect managed to lose her backpack to a group of younger students? And how those younger students read through all of her private prefect stuff after she let her belongings fall into their hands?”
Ugh. What was with this girl?!
But Kaitlyn had a point. Elise had only just recently become a prefect. This would look pretty bad from an outside perspective. Even if she was in the right. Now that Kaitlyn pointed it out, Elise realized that she would have preferred the backpack to be in the river. No one but prefects and teachers were supposed have access to her prefect materials, as there was a bunch of private information in there. Not to mention all the sensitive notes on the high college girls at the prep college. If Kaitlyn and her other unauthorized friends started pilfering through those things . . .
“Okay, fine.” Elise sighed. “I’ll be there at four. Just leave my stuff alone, okay?”
“And what, Kaitlyn?”
“Miss Kaitlyn.” She raised an expectant eyebrow. “If you can’t get my name right, we *will* go through your stuff, Elise.”
It took everything Elise had not to scream at the girl. She was still a prefect, and the older girl between the two of them. She wouldn’t lose her cool. “And what, *Miss Kaitlyn?”*
“And you’ll have to earn your stuff back.”
“Fine.” At this point, Elise just wanted to leave. Take some time to think things over before committing to Kaitlyn’s annoyingly persistent demands.
“The whole thing, Elise?”
Elise let out a frustrated sigh. It was just words, but it still irritated her. “I’ll be there at four. And I’ll have to earn my stuff back.”
“Don’t be rude, Elise. You forgot about my name. And four PM sharp, right?”
Just words. Just words. “I’ll be there at four PM sharp, Miss Kaitlyn.” Elise reluctantly repeated, “And I’ll have to earn my stuff back.”
“Good girl. Was that so hard?” Kaitlyn asked, not even attempting to hide her grin. Then she turned on her heel and strutted off in the same direction the two brunette girls had run, only pausing to glance back at the flustered blonde prefect one more time, “Be punctual, Elise!”
It was almost time.
Elise paced the hallway just around the corner from the door she was avoiding. It still wasn’t too late. She could call this whole thing off, and let the administration handle it. But Kaitlyn’s words rang true. It technically wasn’t her fault, but Elise still indirectly handed over a number of private materials. If she could just get those two binders back, the rest of her possessions didn’t matter.
She pulled out her phone for the hundredth time. Three minutes until 4 PM.
Elise would play along. If things got out of hand, she would bail. Whether they respected her authority or not, she was still a prefect. They wouldn’t get away with this. Two binders, and then straight to the academy’s office to pass off the discipline responsibility.
One more deep breath. Then she rounded the corner and strode to the looming entrance before she could talk herself out of her poorly constructed game plan. Out of habit, she knocked on the common room door, then opened it without waiting for a reply.
“Elise!” Of course, Kaitlyn was the first one to greet her. She and her two cohorts were waiting on the couches of the common area. All in uniforms that matched the one Elise wore, though none of them were wearing the blazer that went with the outfit like she did.
Two other first-years studying in the common room glanced up at Kaitlyn’s exclamation. Elise couldn’t tell if they were more curious about the presence of a prefect at this hour, or that the redhead had just addressed her so casually rather than following university policy. Perhaps both.
“Girls,” Elise nodded to the two that weren’t involved in this. Play the part. Play it cool. Then she turned her attention back to Kaitlyn, “You wanted to discuss something?”
They wouldn’t try anything here, would they? She was a prefect, and an upperclassman. Elise would absolutely not do anything that would further undermine her authority in front of more first-years. Surely Kaitlyn knew that.
“Let’s talk in private.” Kaitlyn said. Not a question, Elise noted. The red haired girl stood up and walked over to her room. She opened the door, and gestured for Elise to enter.
It was both relieving and unnerving all at the same time. Elise’s previous worry was alleviated. No one else would witness her being spoken to so disrespectfully. But at the same time, she would be hanging out in a first-year’s dorm room, rather than the common room. It would be frowned upon if anyone found out. But what choice did she have? Short of bailing right now, she really only had two options. Public or private.
“Sure.” Elise faked a smile.
Once the blonde prefect entered the room, the other two girls were quick to stand up from their cozy common room chairs and follow. Kaitlyn gave them both a knowing smile as they did. The stunt on the bridge was done on a whim, and adjusted on the fly. It hadn’t gone quite as well as the devious redhead hoped, but that was fine. It was enough to get the stuck-up prefect here. And this time, the girls had well over an hour to plan things out before Elise showed up.
The clueless, uptight prefect had no idea what was in store for her.
Elise did a quick once over as she entered. Also a prefect habit, as room inspections were part of her responsibilities. Save for a little clutter on the desk, the room was pretty clean.
Kaitlyn lived in a single room, which meant she was either lucky, or her parents were wealthy enough to pay extra to secure it. The first-year dorms were set up where ten girls would live together. A common room and six bedrooms. Four of the bedrooms were doubles, and two were singles. Singles tended to cost extra. If they weren’t all claimed and paid for, then any remaining girls who requested one would get it via luck of the draw.
“First things first, Elise.” Kaitlyn said. The two brunettes walked straight passed Elise, smiling at her as they did, then sat down next to each other on the bed. Kaitlyn shut the door behind her, taking a confident step into the room and towards Elise. “What do you call me?”
Arguing was pointless. It would just prolong this whole experience. “Miss Kaitlyn.” Elise reluctantly replied. She tried so hard to play it cool, but couldn’t help but lightly blush when the two girls on the bed started giggling.
“Good girl.” Kaitlyn repeated the same demeaning phrase she had casually used on the bridge earlier. The redhead walked past Elise to take the desk chair, making the flustered prefect the only one without a seat.
“Look, I’m here.” Elise said. She tried to push away all of her frustration. Being calm was the best way to deal with girls like this. “Please give me back my things.”
“Elise. A proper girl addresses the woman to whom she’s speaking.” Kaitlyn said. She sat back in her chair, echoing one of their teachers’ common phrases. Edgewood Academy wasn’t just for learning, like most colleges. It was also meant to groom young women into proper ladies.
“Please give me back my things, Miss Kaitlyn.” Elise flatly responded.
“Good girl.” Kaitlyn nodded. “So the girls and I have been talking, and here’s what we decided. We took a quick peek inside your bag. That’s okay with you, right?” Of course it wasn’t. But Kaitlyn continued without waiting for a reply. “We saw two books, two notebooks, two binders, and your wallet. Seven things.”
So much for privacy. The things Kaitlyn listed were what Elise had with her for the last two classes of the day, as well as her prefect materials. Had the girls looked any further than that?
“Miss Kaitlyn.” The girl cut Elise off. “Be a proper girl, Elise. Are you a proper girl, my little prefect?”
Elise wouldn’t let Kaitlyn get a rise out of her. Just words. Same as on the bridge. If she could play along, this would all be over soon. “Yes . . .” Elise muttered.
“Yes, Miss Kaitlyn.”
“The whole thing, Elise.” Kaitlyn leaned forward in her chair, staring the blonde prefect down, “If you can’t even get this right, you might as well leave.”
No. Absolutely not. This brat wouldn’t scare her off or send her away. Elise took a heavy inhale, trying to calm herself. “Yes, Miss Kaitlyn. I’m a proper girl.”
“Good girl, Elise.” Kaitlyn sat back. Content for now, apparently. “Now, you have to earn back seven things. So we decided you should do seven tasks for us. Sound fair?”
“What?! No!” Elise protested. “Kaitlyn, that’s too much. Just give me back my bag!”
“Elise!” Kaitlyn exclaimed. She almost sounded offended as she glared back, “You *just* said you were a proper girl.”
“I . . .” Elise hesitated. What was going on?? None of this was fair. “Miss Kaitlyn . . .” she corrected herself, losing her composure for a second. No, she could do this. “Miss Kaitlyn. That’s way too much. Please, just give me back my belongings.”
“I will,” Kaitlyn smiled, “*After* you do your tasks. What will it be, Elise? Do a few little tasks for us, or leave empty handed? Answer like a proper girl, okay?”
Elise was dumbfounded. This cocky redhead should NOT be talking to her like this. It wasn’t appropriate. It wasn’t respectful. But she was awkwardly standing in Kaitlyn’s unfamiliar room. All three girls had their eyes on her, waiting expectantly for an answer. It was a win for them either way. Either Elise would call this off and get in trouble for leaking private information, or she would play along and no doubt embarrass and demean herself in front of the girls she was supposed to have authority over.
“I’ll do seven little tasks for you, Miss Kaitlyn.” Elise begrudgingly replied. At least using Kaitlyn’s ‘little’ word against her. “But nothing like what you told me to do on the bridge.” She added. Elise had already demeaned herself a bit in front of these girls. She could manage a little bit more. Hopefully.
“Fine, I won’t have you flash us,” Kaitlyn rolled her eyes. “Well, Elise? Ready for your first task? Answer properly.”
Elise quietly sighed to herself.
She could do this. Worst case scenario, she could back out if the tasks were awful.
“What will it be, Elise?”
“Fine.” Elise muttered, “I’m ready for my first task, Miss Kaitlyn.”
Kaitlyn stood up, reminding Elise of their height difference all over again. The red haired girl confidently walked right up to the blonde prefect, giving her a teasingly sweet smile. Then she said those familiar words that made Elise inwardly cringe every single time.
“Good girl, Elise.”
The nerve of *all* of these girls. Kaitlyn, for being so disrespectful. The two brunettes, Anna and Caroline, for watching and giggling and not saying anything in her defense. If Elise weren’t so committed to getting her things back, she would have chewed these girls out the moment she arrived. But Kaitlyn had framed it in such a way that it seemed like she had no choice but to play along.
“Anna?” Kaitlyn turned to the girls on the bed. “Do you want to go first?”
“Sure!” The short brunette girl beamed. Anna hopped up from the bed and waltzed over to the door. There was a spare academy uniform hanging on the back, and Anna was quick to take it and join Kaitlyn and Elise in the middle of the room. “Here you go, Elise!” Anna smiled at the reluctant prefect. It was nearly as devious or arrogant as the expression Kaitlyn wore. The short girl just looked amused at all of this, and certainly didn’t mind calling Elise by name.
“I . . .” Elise took the outfit from the shorter girl’s hands. She didn’t know how to react, but Anna was holding it out expectantly, so it only made sense to take it from the girl. “What is this?” She didn’t know what else to say.
“It’s your first task, Elise.” Kaitlyn said. “This is one of Anna’s uniforms. Your current get-up is a little . . . stuck up? Prudish? Boring? What do you think, Caroline?”
“Hmm . . .” The other brunette sat up on the bed, looking Elise over. She was certainly the more quiet of the three, but Kaitlyn made a point to include her. “Stuck up,” Caroline decided, “She’s a prefect.”
“Exactly, Caroline.” The red haired leader smiled at her friend. “Elise is stuck up.”
“I am *not* stuck up!” Elise exclaimed. She crossed her arms, only just now realizing that she was letting these girls talk about her as if she wasn’t even there.
“Then prove it.” Kaitlyn said. Elise had unknowingly taken the bait. “Your first task is to change into Anna’s uniform. If you’re not a stuck up little prefect, it should be easy.”
Elise glanced down at the outfit in her hands, then glanced towards the short brunette still standing near her. “But-” She started to protest. Anna was at least three or four inches shorter than her. The girl’s outfit would be tight and awkward and uncomfortable on Elise.
“But what, Elise?” Kaitlyn asked. She mirrored Elise, crossing her own arms. “It should be an easy task for a girl who claims she’s not stuck up. Tell you what. We’ll even let you choose where you want to change. In here, or in the bathroom?”
Another difficult decision. Changing in Kaitlyn’s room meant stripping in front of these three girls. The bathroom was safe to change in, but a more public ordeal. She would have to walk past the girls in the common room twice, and pray they didn’t notice the awkwardness of her new uniform on the way back.
“I’m not stuck up,” Elise muttered. As if those words would change the preconceived notion these girls had of her. She went with her gut, answering Kaitlyn, “I’ll change in the bathroom.”
It was the better choice. No way would she strip off her current outfit in front of the three girls that were already having fun at her expense. Maybe the girls outside wouldn’t notice. Better yet, maybe the common room would be empty. Wishful thinking, considering classes were over for the day.
“Then hop to it, Elise.” Kaitlyn dismissively waved her off, “There’s only so much time until dinner, unless you’d rather continue this tonight?”
“Okay, okay! I’m going,” Elise groaned. She was already turning to leave before Kaitlyn spoke, but the patronizing words made her even more frustrated with this whole situation.
She was so close. So close to the door, but then she heard Kaitlyn’s familiar voice behind her. “Say it properly?”
“I’m going to change, Miss Kaitlyn.”
Elise rushed out the door. She didn’t want to argue or fight back against the rude girl. She just wanted to get these stupid tasks over with and get her things back. The flustered prefect stormed past the small group of girls in the common room, change of clothes in hand, paying no mind to their quizzical looks. All of them would know she was a prefect from one university activity or another, but she couldn’t worry about that familiarity right now. She was on a mission.
Each common room had a bathroom that connected to an adjoining hallway. Elise was quick to ‘escape’ the previous room, taking a minute to look around. No one at the sinks. All the stalls free. Thank goodness. Before her luck ran out, Elise slid into one of the stalls, not wanting one of the girls from the common room coming in to ask her anything.
Less than two hours until dinner.
After checking the time, Elise slid the phone into her dark gray blazer’s pocket, then shed the outer layer. Grateful for the hook on the back of the door, she carefully hung the blazer up, then got to work. The stall was a bit cramped for her taste, considering she could normally change in the comfort of her own dorm room, or at least in the spaciousness of a locker room. But what choice did she have?
The blonde prefect started with the most difficult part. She pulled off the dark red checkered skirt and balanced herself as she slipped the fabric past her black flats, careful not to let any part of the clothing touch the bathroom floor. Then she replaced it with Anna’s skirt, going through the same thorough process on the way back up. As expected, it was very short on her. Tight, too. Even without a mirror to reference, Elise could see how much of her thighs would be showing if it were spring time. She was beyond grateful that Edgewood allowed girls to wear leggings in the winter to go with their uniform.
Everything else was easier. She rested her own skirt over the stall door and made short work of stripping off the white top and replacing it with the short brunette’s identical one. It was only identical in color and style, of course. Elise’s height made the shirt almost impossible to tuck in, and the sleeves didn’t make it close to her wrists. Not to mention that Elise’s 34Bs made the already tight shirt a little tighter. Annaa had to be a 30, or 32 at best. The top button was uncomfortably snug, so Elise chose to keep it undone. She used the tie to cover up the casual nature of the partially undone top as best she could, then donned the dark gray blazer once more.
Finished with her task, Elise made quick work of hanging her skirt and top on the now empty hanger. She left the stall and paused at the mirror, wanting to know just how bad the smaller clothes looked on her.
‘*Not awful,*’ she wondered to herself. The girls in the common room might not notice. The tights, blazer, and tie all did a decent job of covering up the skin that would otherwise be more obvious. But that was the only silver lining to go with how tight and uncomfortable the small clothes felt. The blonde prefect fidgeted with Annaa’s clothes for a few seconds, adjusting what she could, then gave herself one last check in the mirror. Heading back towards the common room, she couldn’t help but dwell on a mildly concerning fact:
This was only the first task.
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