Daria was pleased with being back at school, but getting around was not as easy as she thought. Polina helped by carrying her books and helping with doors, but Daria was stubborn and demanded more. One fortunate thing was that Daria did not have to climb up and down stairs to get around. Everything she needed was on the same level and the buildings connected. However, Daria's flute playing disrupted her neighbors on her floor and that was not good.
The day Daria arrived back at school, Marcia and Naomi spent dinner with the headmaster. The end of the normal school year approached with final exams happening in three weeks. Marcia felt a little anxious when she discovered Daria played the flute because she missed playing the piano to relax and focus her thoughts. She had a piano in her home in New Jersey and never thought to ask if there was one at the school.
As she sat eating her dinner and talking with the headmaster she asked, "Does the school have a music room where students can gather to play?"
The headmaster looked at Marcia with a twinkle in his eye and thought for a moment, "There is an old music room in the school. The school shut it down because the students showed no interest in learning music, but that may have been the wrong approach. Would you like to open up the room and use it? There is a beautiful piano there, which I would love to hear you play. There is a small collection of instruments there too."
Naomi sat listening and piped up, "Is there a violin or guitar in the room? I miss playing too. I used to play just for fun and was part of a couple of musical groups. I would love to do that again with Marcia and maybe Daria."
The headmaster smiled, as he listened to the girls chatter about music and playing. He wondered if he should tell them where the room was or let them discover it on their journey around the school. He reasoned, if they found it on their own, the discovery would mean a lot more and they would use it more often because it was their room. He would give them a few clues to help them find the room, help clean it and make it ready for use. He decided to tell them the general area where the room was.
"If I remember correctly, the room was in the wing on the same floor where Hans found you two wandering." Marcia and Naomi looked surprised at that revelation, but the headmaster continued, "Yes girls, Hans told me about your wandering around the closed classrooms. The room you were in was about four rooms away from the old music room. You are welcome to go explore there and when you are ready, I will have the room cleaned and made available."
"That sounds like a fun thing for us to do Naomi. This will be an interesting thing to do, we can learn more about the school and have some fun playing together. Daria can join us and give her neighbors some quiet at night. What do you think?"
"Marcia, it sounds good, but I am not sure if Daria will go along with us in playing. She does want to be the center of attention all the time and can be mean when it does not go her way. Why don't we find the room, set it up and use it, then show it to her later?"
The headmaster took over and talked about what they would do in summer school. Marcia sat quietly deep in thought because making bombs and assassination were not her favorite classes. She excelled in them and was at the top of both classes, but she hoped never to rely on those skills. Naomi on the other hand sat on the edge of her chair hanging on the headmaster's every word. She was second in both classes, but felt more comfortable making and designing bombs than killing people. She wanted to make a real bomb and blow up something and summer school was the ideal time for it.
After they spent two hours with the headmaster eating, talking about summer school and reviewing the first year special classes, Marcia and Naomi walked out of his office. They felt a little overwhelmed by what the future held, but Marcia had a different idea. She wanted to take a detour to their room to find that mysterious abandoned music room. Naomi agreed to look with her, just to keep peace between them. As they walked the hallways, Marcia observed all the different offices. She did not know that there were so many classes held at the Bard school.
They approached the room that directly overlooked the chapel entrance and looked in to check on the room. There was a dark shadow of a person reflected in the window, which scared Marcia and Naomi. The shadow moved quickly to capture the girls, but stopped when he saw them. Stefan removed his dark ski mask to greet the girls and calm their over beating hearts. Marcia punched his arm as punishment for scaring them.
"Why are you sitting here in the dark, things are quiet in the chapel for now right?" Marcia asked softly.
"Every night people come and go into the chapel. It looks though that they are not staying in the chapel. That seems very strange." Stefan responded, "Why are you down here?"
Naomi jumped in, "We are looking for a music room. Have you seen such a place near here? The headmaster told us about it tonight at dinner and we decided to search on our way back to our room."
"Yeah, I saw the room, it is three doors down, but it is in need of a good cleaning and there is a big piano there along with other instruments. Why are you looking for a music room? Don't tell me you are trying to help Daria?"
Marcia slowly answered after thinking a bit, "Yes, I used to play piano and miss it. Naomi plays guitar and violin and we thought it might be nice to relax by playing together. I miss my piano."
Stefan walked out of the room signaling the girls to follow him down the hallway. He opened a door and flicked on the lights in the room. The room was a mess with the piano covered in a protective tarp, but music and chairs lay strewn all over the floor. There was a wall of shelves inside the door, which contained an assortment of musical instruments. Marcia went to the piano, lifted the tarp and ran her fingers on the keys playing random notes. As she played, a bigger smile grew on her face, which made her relax.
Naomi found a violin and a guitar on the shelves and took them down. She righted a chair and took the violin out of its case. She held it under her chin and fingered the strings as she took the bow in her other hand. She ran a musical riff testing the tuning of the instrument. She like Marcia developed a growing smile on her face. She relaxed and felt better than she had since before her parents died. She carefully put the violin away, picked up the guitar and performed the same riff and the smile remained on her face.
Stefan wandered the shelf looking for an instrument, which he could play with the girls. He found a clarinet in a brand new case and took it out. After wetting the reed, he ran some scales and was happy with what he found. Soon the three friends played a few tunes together, the sounds of which drifted down the hallways of the castle. The music sounded wonderful to all who heard it, including Daria who wished she were playing too.
After thirty minutes playing, Hans appeared in the doorway watching the happy students. He felt badly that he had to stop the music for the night, but it was late and there was school the next day. Reluctantly the trio left the room, but Hans promised that in the next few days the room would be put in order and ready for use. The girls were so happy they skipped down the halls to their room. They fell asleep quickly and felt very happy with their new way to spend time together.
Naomi woke up before Marcia, as the sun shone brightly into their room. The happiness she felt the night before still flooded her mind, which had her up dressed quietly and quickly. Rather than wait for Marcia to dress, she went to the dining room to sit with Daria and Polina. Polina noticed that Naomi was in a very happy mood and wondered why.
Naomi sat with them and said, "Marcia and I discovered a place last night that we can use whenever we want. There is an old unused music room near where we watched the chapel entrance. It has a piano, shelves with assorted musical instruments and plenty of sheet music to use. The headmaster will have the room cleaned up and organized in the next few days for us to use."
Polina smiled and looked at Daria for her reaction to the announcement. Naomi watched as Polina's face registered pleasure with the news, but Daria still sat stone-faced with a sort of perplexed look growing. Daria finally smiled, but the look she gave Naomi signaled a growing problem on the horizon.
Daria perked up and told Naomi, "We have some free time later today, why don't we meet up to play music?"
Naomi quickly agreed, "That sounds like a good thing. We can try playing together and find some music we like. Polina, do you play an instrument? Come and join us later."
"I don't know... uhm Do you think they have a Concertina there? I played that instrument at our family gatherings and around the village. I was popular, but I gave up playing when I left home to come here. I do miss it very much. Maybe next time or later today I will be there. I need to study for final exams." Polina softly replied.
Daria looked at Polina, but paused for a long while, before she scolded her. "You can't study all the time. You need to relax and do something fun, let go. I learned that, playing the flute. I was angry, sad and lonely, when I was in the hospital. Music took everything away and gave me a reason to smile and be happy. Come on over later, you will see."
Daria sat quietly after talking with a faraway look on her face deep in thought. Her mind worked hard to stifle the anger she felt towards her friends because of the accident. Revenge plagued her mind to punish each person who was there when she fell. Stefan was a big target for ignoring her and making her jealous of Naomi. Naomi was the new girl who was Marcia's best friend before this school. Polina was her best friend from the village where they grew up and supported Daria's views. Daria's mind pushed all those friends aside as she thought. The main focus of Daria's wrath and hatred became Marcia. She reasoned that, if Marcia were not as strong a person, none of this would have happened.
Daria drifted back into the conversation. She mentally vowed to attack Marcia and unseat her position of superiority. Daria wanted revenge and nothing would stop her. She looked around the table and her eyes halted when she saw Naomi. A small sly smile curled Daria's lips, as she decided that Naomi would be her unwitting helper. She thought, now began the campaign to take Marcia and her power away from the school.