Theon kicked at the sand, sullen and silent. The anger emanating from his father kept his mouth shut. Squinting in the bright sunlight, he watched as the seagulls swooped over the waves. The water looked like a silky blue blanket rippling, deep blue interrupted only by the gold lines that would appear as if to lure a person forward. Theon felt a sudden urge to just run down the beach, throw himself into the sea, swim until he cannot and let the ocean do as it will. Closing his eyes, taking a deep breath of salty air, he imagined how wonderful the cool caress of water would be on his aching, hot skin. For a brief second, Theon tensed all his muscles, ready to run for the ocean when he heard his father shift.
"The van is here. Last chance, Theon. Do you fucking HEAR me, boy? Stupid, worthless piece of shit and do you know how much I am paying for this fancy damned school? Last chance. I don't care what your mother or sister think, do you hear? If you fuck up here, it's over. I will cut you lose from our family." Theon smirked and swallowed his terror to meet his father's eyes. "Gee, Dad. I'll miss you too." Theon may not be thrilled about the new school but his true complaint was that the school was still too close to his home. Theon would have preferred leaving the state at least. This island was only a bridge or boat ride away from Pyke.
One good thing was parents aren't encouraged to pop in and Theon's family certainly wasn't a close one anyway. It was the only thing Theon could say he liked about his family. They wouldn't visit him or call or write unless they had to. That alone was worth this new boarding school forced upon him. The van roared to a stop and Theon was shoved by his father at it. Ignoring any further lectures, Theon hurried onto the bright red rumbling vehicle. The driver sneered at him from a face that seemed to just explode with hair a few shades lighter than the van. Beady amused eyes peered at him from eyebrows large and fuzzy like caterpillars.
Giving a wink, the man greeted the new student. "Mister Theon Greyjoy, I presume? I'm Tormund. Thank you kindly for joining us! Now get your fancy ass into a seat or Styr is going to PUT you into a seat. There's a good lad!" As Theon stumbled to find a seat, a large bald man loomed over him, grinning with far too many large teeth. Swallowing hard, Theon opened his mouth. "Styr, right? I...I am finding a seat." With a cheerful nod, Styr grabbed Theon and lifted him up. Theon felt humiliation and fear as the large man seemed to catapult him hard into a seat. He cringed, expecting to hear laughter and flinched as it happened.
Styr smirked as if he could tell exactly how Theon felt in that moment. "Did you think your daddy was sending you to a cushy, pretty castle where you just play tennis and swim? Talk to a therapist about how mean daddy is? Oh no, sweetheart. You are going to Dragonstone and we don't play that, darling." Moving away from Theon, Styr stood tall and made sure his eyes landed on each of the scattered students.
"All of you, tender little beasts, this is a private rich school but it's rather special. This is a school for rich little children with problems that make messes for mommies and daddies. We are going to try and help you with your troubles, sweet children. Some of you are already used to a bit of tough love, I can see that. Like you, boy. Pathetic child under daddy's drunken fists, I see it written all over your face." Theon flushed angrily and clenched his fists, he looked down at his sandy sneakers.
"Don't worry, we have many methods of helping you. Tough love is only a small part of what we do to pull your heads out of your asses."
The students stared at Styr with stony hatred and fear that seemed to feed him. Satisfied for the moment, the man swung into the front to speak to the driver as they sped down a long curve, the only view was water on both sides. A girl with curly red hair and a handful of freckles thrown upon her puggish nose grinned at him. With an eye upon the driver, Theon slipped into the seat next to the girl, nearly squishing another student he didn't notice before. Laughing, the girl hushed the yelp from the startled boy who had been asleep.
"I'm Ross. The kid you just sat on is Gendry. I heard the giants, how couldn't I, yeah? It's Theon, right? Let me guess, rich angry daddy sending you to be hidden, beaten into the right shape? Gendry is like, half that, I think. He has a poor fucked up mommy and a rich daddy that doesn't like him or his mommy. Since mommy lost control, rich daddy has to toss Gendry somewhere. And me? I'm one of those sad, special cases you hear about. Poor no good parents, trailer trash but since I'm pretty, I can be a poster board child for them all! My story was in the papers because my trailer trash drug dealer parents were prostituting me to get money for drugs. The sting was huge and I was the pretty sad girl everyone wanted to save. Like a puppy from some abuse commercial. They can clean me up and the cunts at some charity did PAPERWORK and a FUNDRAISER, the lovely dried up dears and here I am! They send off the whore trailer trash prodigy to be hidden, transformed into a real girl!"
Theon and Gendry just blinked at the amount of words and how the girl's hair and arms flowed continually. And though neither would admit it, they had trouble not staring at the heaving bosom that strained courageously against a thin white v neck tank top. Cracking gum, Ross took a moment to breathe and both boys smiled politely at each other. Gendry shrugged as he leaned against the rattling tinted window. Theon sat between him and Ross.
Gendry spoke in an easy husky way. "My step-cunt said she don't care if my mom is in detox, I can't stay with them cause I have a record. When the frigging social worker dragged me to Kings Landing anyway, step-cunt looked right at me and the woman. She said I don't match the furniture and slammed the door in our faces. So my father said this school is the best place for a trouble maker like me. He said if I do a year here, then step cunt will let me stay over there for holidays. Who knows if my mum will be around, sober or not. Here's a fucked up bit of information for you guys, the person who runs Dragonstone is my uncle. I mean, I never really ever saw or spoke with him much, my father and uncle don't really hang or talk much. But I don't think being related is going to give me any favors. It never has before. My cousin Shireen lives here, goes to school here and she has never done a single thing wrong that I know of. She is a bit younger than me, I think. Haven't seen her much either. She has a skin condition, psoriasis on the left side of her face. Always pulling her hair over her face or wearing hoods to hide it, poor kid. I won't mind seeing her again but I wish I'd be leaving after the small visit. Fuck this place. Fuck my step cunt and my fucking father."
Theon and Ross heartily agreed and the three of them named a very long detailed list of fucks. After snorting, Gendry muttered, "Hell, half of my family are already at the damned school anyway so it's not a real big deal. Step-cunt works there, her golden little brat goes to school there. Won't that be nice? And he's a fucking SENIOR year student. In this school, the senior year classes are in charge of the younger grades. I swear to god, if Joff tries to make me eat shit or crawl, I'll knock his teeth out. Ah, fuck, there it is. Doesn't it look cozy?"
Ross grabbed their hands and neither of them would ever admit how much it was needed. All of them stared at the huge crags of rocks that formed up, far up until it began a point. Seeming to balance upon the rocky point was a near fortress. As it came out of dark outline, out of the shadows, it began to look more like a crumbling old castle. The car went around a long road that circled and climbed, the sea always to their right. A widow's peak, iron wrought gates that rose high into the sky in peaks. A chimney, peaks and windows, some stained glass, some not, all these things peeked at them as the van drove endlessly in swoops.
After a bit, Styr leaned over to Tormund, "Alright enough. It's funny, yeah, but I'm starting to feel sick now. Hurry up and get us there. Next time use the regular road if I'm on the van, yeah? Asshole." With a chuckle, the larger and hairier man sped up and laughed more when he heard a few moans from the back of the van. "Just making sure they get the right experience for Dragonstone. If they are already miserable when they get there, think how much happier they will feel when they get to our school! Just making sure they have the right school spirit! Doing my job, you should try it sometime, buddy."