Jo eyed the prefect sitting across from her carefully. He was friendly, clearly confident in himself judging by the ease that he sat by the fire. Jo wondered if the confidence was warranted. Beyond that, there was something familiar about him—Was it his eyes? His hair?—that had Jo thinking she (or more likely, her mother) might know someone in his family. He seemed to be the type of overly-cheerful authority figure who liked to enforce the spirit of the rules rather than the letter. She had no doubt he was the type of person who would perhaps let her break curfew or read from the restricted section if it taught her a valuable lesson about trust or friendship or some similar type of malarkey.
‘Malarkey?’ Jo thought to herself in disgust. ‘Has a single weekend with in my father’s presence reduced me to using the language of a smarmy court fool?’
As she thought about the odds of having stored clown makeup stored in her bag to complete the look, she realized that the prefect was still waiting for her to reply.
“I’m Josephina Archer,” she said. Surely he’d recognize her name. “I prefer to be called Jo. And I am new to this school.”
She wondered if he would offer to show her around, or if there was some kind of tour scheduled for first years. No one had explained much of anything about the school yet, and Jo wasn’t sure if this would be considered her fault for not showing more of an interest in the eyes of her peers. Well, what was she supposed to do? It’s not like she’d been planning on coming to RMI in the first place. Who were they, to judge her for being caught so thoroughly off guard?
Jo watched the prefect’s reactions carefully, doing her best to school her features in case he was anything other than perfectly polite. There wasn’t anything he could say that would take her by surprise, she was sure of it.