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Story Notes:

This is also an alternative version of Ariel/ChubbyMonkey's 'Her Responsibility', posted on the CBB.


Boredom, thought Len. Where was the glitter? Where was the sparkle?

Actually, rephrase that.

School, thought Len. Where was the glitter? And sparkle – hah! The only thing in the Chalet School that was sparkly was Miss Wilmot’s purple bikini, and the only person who ever got to see that was – well, not Len.

She leaned on the windowsill of the prefects’ room and stared out at the playing fields. They were brown and mushy, not even a rabbit ramping about to relieve the boredom (which was mainly because Bruno had eaten them all).

Her sisters were there, doing something constructive, no doubt. They were like that, such good little girls. Even Margot had decided to become a nun. Which could, Len admitted, be an interesting idea, but she suspected Margot hadn’t thought of it in quite that way. Even though she had spent an entire year more than Len and Con in Canada, she was still surprisingly innocent.

Len sighed.

She thought about lederhosen for a while. There had to be some advantages to living in Switzerland, after all. And alpenhorns just weren’t her thing.

She looked at the mud again, but it was really rather dull.

Then it became more interesting.

Someone was walking across it. A male person. He was tall and muscular, striding across the playing field with cat-like grace. His hair was rumpled, sandy, and he wore a leather vest and carried a hammer. Len watched him intently, so close to the window that her breath misted the glass.

“Gaudenz,” she whispered.

“What?” said Con, looking up from her sewing, her soft brown eyes startled.

“Gaudenz,” said Len again, and a smile drifted across her delicate features. “There’s something I need to talk to him about.”

She left the room and headed for the stairs. Then a thought struck her, and instead of descending, she hastened to her bedroom which, owing to her role as Head Girl, was her own. Dragging up a floorboard, she extracted a spangled mini-skirt – which Nancy Wilmot had helped her find on an excursion during the previous Christmas holidays – and matching top. She looked at them rather doubtfully. After all, she didn’t want Gaudenz to think she was – well, whatever it was her mother meant when she stopped and blushed.

Ah well, it was no good letting such a – whatever you were supposed to call them – get away by dressing modestly. He was probably bored of the schoolgirl thing by now. Though from what Nancy had told her, it took a long time for that to become tedious. Still, no harm in ringing the changes. Ten minutes later, she had caught up with Gaudenz, who was just entering the garden shed.

Len had never supposed that garden sheds could be so entertaining.

Or that such interesting things could be done with garden tools.

On the whole, though she thought it best to draw a veil over what happened during the next half hour. And the half hour after that.

And, indeed, the next three half hours.

In fact, she thought as she sat at the table during Abendessen, Gaudenz with his fertile – imagination – would probably enjoy thinking of new ways of using a veil. Nancy would probably lend her one.

After she had consumed three helpings of the delicious meat and potato stew that Karen had conjured from three small spuds and a bag of chickpeas, she realised that the third form, whose table she was supervising, was staring at her in awe.

“You do seem hungry, Len,” observed one Angelica Blanc with wide eyes. “Have you been working hard this afternoon?”

“I saw you coming in from the garden,” said little Purina Sentt. “Had you been helping Gaudenz with sowing his seeds?”

Len blushed rosily and admitted that she had indeed been engaged in this activity during the afternoon.

“Well,” said Purina approvingly, “I heard someone saying he’s got lots of seeds, so you two should keep it up.”

Len blinked and hastily filled her mouth so that she didn’t have to answer.


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