fry_sandhu: (age 6 techie)
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"It'll be fine." Fry says, going up the school drive with Coral. "We're only half way through the year, and I've run out of Mortal Enemies for Mr Irons to sit me with."

"Unless some of your mortal enemies from other schools moved here." Coral suggests.

"Well, he already sat me with a new kid once, he probably won't do it again." Fry says. "I've worked it out. He'll put me on the front row with the next person I least like, so probably Lucy."

Coral nods. Fry and Lucy have never liked each other, so she suspects his logic may be correct. However, Lucy generally has far better things to do than wind him up, so they don't often clash.

"Why does he keep sitting you in different places?" she asks. "It can't just be mortal enemies because most people don't have as many mortal enemies as you."

"He says it's to help us be in the 'best learning environment' because we're not talking to our friends through the class." Fry says.

In the playground, Coral goes off with her two new friends - Extremely Brian and Rong - where they busily talk about the sponsored mental maths quiz they're doing for charity week. Fry remembers suddenly that the Inter-Schools Maths Challenge results should be back, and slips into the school to look at the notice board.

The notice is there, with the different year groups. Not everyone took the challenge, and each year group's results are listed in order of marks for Gold Award, and all together for Silver and Bronze so that it isn't obvious who was bottom. His own year group is year 3 - however, his daily practice has long put him ahead of his class, and he had taken the year 6 paper given to 10-11 year olds, so that is the list he scrolls down.

Year 6 Challenge Gold Awards
1st. Rosie Sinclair - 100
2nd. Alexander Sandhu - 96
3rd. Xiao Wang - 95
4th. Brendon Jones - 92
5th. Georgina Runt - 90

All Gold Award Winners will be invited to take part in the regional second round. Details will be sent out shortly.

Fry frowns slightly. Damn Rosie Sinclair! He could have been top in the school!

Behind him and just above his head there is a groan. Fry looks around, and up, at the miserable expression on the girl's face.

"You're Alexander Sandhu? How old are you?" she asks.

"Seven." Fry says.

"My parents are going to go spare." the girl says, shaking her head. "I'm Xiao Wang. It's bad enough getting beaten by Rosie Sinclair, but at least she's older than me. Georgina Runt's in your class too, isn't she?"

"Yes." Fry says. "Don't worry about your parents." he adds, kindly. "It's not your fault I have a high IQ. Anyway, you might beat me at the regionals."

But not if he can help it.

A few others from his class filter in behind, as the bell has been called for the start of the day.

"Move your big head Fry, I can't see the board." Bradley complains, from his wheelchair. Fry moves, and looks back over at the Year 3 results. Bradley, who was acting out most of last term, looks disappointed to have picked up only a silver. Tommy, behind him, is whooping with joy to have got a bronze. Noah has got a gold, as has Mohammad, so they'll be joining them at the regionals in the Year 3 group.

Fry, feeling rather good about having outsmarted most of his year group by three years, goes into the classroom feeling he can face anything. And it turns out his seat is exactly where he predicted, so all is good...

He looks at the name on the next desk and groans. Ruby. Not a mortal enemy, but...

Ruby looks similarly disappointed as she takes her seat next to Fry. She sets out her horse pencil case and takes out her horse pencil, horse pen, horse rubber and horse ruler. She then gets out her maths book - decorated with horses.

It's not that Fry dislikes horses, but he doesn't think as much of them as Ruby.

In the course of the morning he hears Ruby banging on about her precious horse, Princess, eight times. He tries to get on with his work, but it's like she doesn't even notice how boring she is. He's been called boring before, plenty of times, but she seems to take it to a whole different league.

"Will you shut up?" he snaps eventually. "You're not going to do this all term are you?"

Ruby glares at him. "Don't be rude." She turns instead to talk about horses to Krishna on her other side.

Fry puts his head in his hands.

And that's when he makes the wish.

I wish I never had to hear about Ruby's horse again.

He didn't think about the wish to start with, at first. When Ruby was away the next day, he breathed a sign of relief.


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Alexander Jefry Sandhu (Fry)

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