Harry sat timidly in his seat. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see a small group of girls looking at him and giggling like twelve-year-olds. He blushed, horribly embarrassed. Couldn’t he just be treated normally for once? Thinking this made him recall last night, and Elle. Just the thought of her put him at ease. SHE treated him normally; she liked him for who he was, Harry, not His Royal Highness Prince Harry blah, blah, blah. Although he didn’t like to deceive her, Harry was glad he hadn’t told her who he was. It gave him a chance to get to know the real her, not someone who’s guarding everything they say as not to offend or bore royalty. But in a sense he had told her who he was, he WAS Harry so he hadn’t actually lied to her. Suddenly, as if on cue, he saw her. Elle rushed through the door, cheeks rosy from the slight chill outside and looking winded. She looked beautiful wearing a dark gray cardigan, which offset her bright auburn locks that tumbled around her shoulders; her dark denim pants were just long enough for her lengthy legs but clung perfectly to her body. Elle had a backpack that bulged with books slung over one shoulder. She certainly turned the heads of almost every guy in the room. Elle searched for a seat with a troubled expression on her face; however, as soon as she spotted Harry, that look dissolved and was replaced by pure delight. Harry beamed at her and motioned for her to come over. She smiled brilliantly and walked up to him.
"Hey! What a coincidence, huh?!"
"Yeah! But I must confess, I was hoping to have a class with you." Harry said with a warm smile. Elle blushed and smiled back.
"Me too." Just then, the professor walked in. He was a kind, but stern looking man, with salt and pepper hair and beard, and silver framed glasses pushed high on the bridge of his nose. Everyone began to take his or her seats.
"Have a seat." Harry said motioning to the desk right across from him. Elle went to set her backpack down, but before she could a short, brunette slammed her books on the desktop.
"Sorry love, this seat’s taken." She said with a smug smile.
"Now hold on; she was there first!" Harry said irritably.
"It’s ok! First come first serve!" Elle said sarcastically giving the girl a burning glance. She returned it and Elle took the seat in front of her instead.
"I saw that! That was right nasty of her if ya’ ask me!" Said the stunning redhead girl across from her with a thick Irish accent.
"Yeah well, I decided to be mature about it if she wants to be petty." Elle said, sounding undisturbed.
"Well, you certainly were. I don’t know if I could keep me temper in check! Name’s Shannon, Shannon Christie." She said kindly, offering Elle her hand.
"I’m Elle, Elle Wilson." She said with a smile taking Shannon’s hand and shaking it.
"Ah, a fellow ginger! Glad ta meetcha’, Elle." Shannon had barely finished before the professor began to speak.
"Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Modern Literature in Modern Poetries in English. I’m Professor Neil Corcoran, head of the English School. I trust that you’ll treat me with the same respect I’ll treat you. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, and all that." There was a quiet murmur of laughter in the room and the professor looked around. "I see a lot of promising faces." His gaze settled on Harry who made a disengaging motion with his hand, a pleading look on his face. Professor Corcoran understood right away and gave him a slight nod. ‘So the prince doesn’t want to be singled out;’ he thought, ‘understandable.’
The professor went on about the beauty and expression of literature, how each composition can have a deeper meaning rooted in it’s every word. Elle was really interested in what he had to say, but she couldn’t help the feeling of longing to look back at Harry. She could feel his presence behind her; he was so close. Once in a while she and Shannon would cast a smiling glimpse at each other, or Shannon would make a gesture to the cruel girl behind her and roll her eyes; Elle had a tough time not laughing, it seemed she’d made a new friend. Soon, the lecture turned to poetry.
"Can anyone tell me what it takes to make a good poet?" Professor Corcoran asked, scoring the room with his eyes; they settled just behind Elle. "Yes, you. What is your name?"
"Lady Victoria Wellington, daughter to the Earl and Countess of Anglesea." Replied the brunette behind her haughtily.
"Right," he said slowly, "and what is your opinion?"
"Well, Professor Corcoran, I think that rhyme scheme is utterly vital; you must remain consistent or your poem will simply not make sense. I do believe that anyone with good rhyming ability is capable of being a good poet." Victoria said, very satisfied with herself.
"I see." The professor said tersely. "Does anyone have a different view?" Victoria looked around, as if daring anyone to contradict her.
"I do." All eyes focused on Elle and she became a bit intimidated and began to lower the hand she had raised.
"Ah yes; what is your name, young lady?"
"Um, Elle Wilson." Victoria let out a loud, judgmental scoff at Elle’s meager sounding name. ‘Of course, what an underprivileged name; what breeding must she have? Well she’s American, after all. What else can I expect?’
"By all means." Professor Corcoran said, making an encouraging wave with his hand.
"Well…" Elle said hesitantly. "I think that, although what Miss Wellington," She emphasized Victoria’s name curtly, there were snickers throughout the room, "said was true, rhyme scheme IS very important, I don’t believe it determines the skill of a poet." She paused.
"Go on." He urged.
"Well, I mean, someone could go on and on rhyming things like try and sky, and maintain consistent rhyming scheme and phrasing. But that doesn’t make it make sense, or make it good poetry. What I believe makes a good poet is someone who puts everything they have, everything they are inside, into what they’re composing."
Harry sat there lulled with understanding and agreement by Elle’s words. He noticed some people sitting around him were nodding their heads, totally transfixed by what Elle was saying.
"I mean, isn’t that what poetry is, feelings on paper? I believe it’s an expression of what we feel, but cannot say aloud. So we write it down, our innermost thoughts of happiness, sorrow, recognition of beauty, anger, love, even boredom. I think that whoever writes what they feel…is a good poet." Elle finished bravely.
"Very good, Miss Wilson. That understanding sometimes takes years to achieve. Well done. However, I AM the teacher and you ARE my students; I’ll do the teaching around here. Is that alright with you?"
"Yes." Elle barely whispered, blushing from head to toe, terribly embarrassed she’d made a spectacle of herself on her first day.
"That was amazin’." Shannon whispered, Elle smiled meekly in return and refocused her attention on Professor Corcoran, who had now continued with his lecture. Little did she know, Victoria was wearing holes into Elle’s back with her eyes. She sat there, fuming with jealousy and humiliation. Victoria looked over at Harry; he was staring lovingly at that witch as if she were the only person in the room! What had she done to him?! ‘How DARE she act smarter than me?! I’ve gone to the most prestigious schools in Britain and she comes along with her big words, her "deep feelings", and humiliates me in font of Harry! No matter though, I’ll be keeping my eye on this one. I saw the way she was fawning all over MY prince like a lovesick teenager. I didn’t beg father to pay my way into this school and get into most of Harry’s classes for nothing! I am MADE to be QUEEN! And no trashy little American tramp is going to get in my way after I’ve come so far, the little gold-digger. Watch your back, darling; one misstep, and you’re history!’