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C H A P T E R  O N E 

PROSCENIUM -- plane of space in a theatre


August, 2022



Dancing is passion. 

Dancing is fire. 

Dancing is love. 

Dancing is friendship.

Dancing is music. 

Dancing is rhythm. 

Dancing is teamwork. 

Dancing is beauty. 

Dancing is grace.


Moving away from London had been a real change. The United States was so much bigger, so much fuller, so much more lively. Lucienne's parents had thought it was a good, big change. Lucienne did not, in any way, agree with them. She had just finished her 12th year in high school in London, and as soon as she did, the plane stood ready for them at the airport. And now, she was supposed to start her 13th year in high school, but not in London, not with her friends, not with the people she loved. She had pleaded - and eventually even begged - her parents to let her stay in London. She could stay with Kimberley, she had said. She could stay there, finish her last year and start at the City Academy in London. But her parents refused. Her mother simply stated that she didn't want to leave her only child alone in London. Her father had put it a different way. "We can't miss you for that long Lucienne, you need to understand that. But, if you still want to go back to London after your senior year, we will let you go. I promise you that." Lucienne was very sure that after finishing her senior year, she would go back to London. For now, she'd have to be happy with her transferred dance school: Ballet Academy East. According to her private tutor, this academy was one of the best in the United States. She figured that for now, she could try and make the best out of her current situation. 

Norwich Free Academy was a beautiful building - several ones, actually - with a lot of colourful trees and flowers. Lucienne found herself standing on a path made entirely out of marble, next to her father, who was wearing a suit - his first one in four months. "So, this is it." He said in a soft voice. "It looks beautiful father." Lucienne noted, looking around. There were a few students outside, some sitting on the grass under the trees in the shadows. "Your mother and I saw the pictures on internet, and we figured this would be the perfect school for our daughter." He ruffled her hair and Lucienne chuckled. "So far, I think it's perfect." "Alright. You go in and go to your first classes, and I'll pick you up this afternoon. Just text me the time, okay?" He pressed a kiss on her forehead and started walking away. Lucienne sighed and looked at the buildings once more. "Well, here goes nothing." She muttered. 

The lady at the reception was quite nice, and helped her sign all the papers she needed to sign. "So darling, this is your first time in Connecticut?" A door opened and closed as the woman smiled at her. Lucienne nodded. "But, Marie, she's not a real Nutmegger yet." A voice sounded and the woman laughed. Lucienne turned around, to meet a pair of blue eyes. "Hi! You must be Lucienne Zabini, the new student. I'm Caroline, but my friends call me Caro." The girl extended her hand, and Lucienne shook it. "It's nice to meet you Caroline." She said politely. Caroline laughed. "Call me Caro, Lucienne. Come on, I'll show you around." 

"And lastly, the football field." Caro showed off the huge green field, on which there were a two groups training; a group of girls in red and white skirts and shirts, and guys in red and white football clothes. "I don't know if you are interested in becoming a cheerleader, but try-outs are this Friday at noon, over here." Caro explained as she waved at the girls. One of them parted from the group and ran towards them. "Lucienne, meet Kenna." Kenna was a tall girl with brown hair and honey-brown eyes. She smiled. "Kenna, this is Lucienne, the new students." Kenna laughed and extended her hand. "Welcome, newbie. So, Caro, what do you think about having lunch outside today?" "I'm in, as long as Lucienne can join us." "I would love to." Lucienne said with a small smile. "Great! I'll see you then!" Kenna turned around and ran towards the cheerleaders again, joining them in their rhythmical routine.

"She seems nice." Lucienne pondered on the way back inside. Caro smiled. "Kenna is really nice. She's eighteen, so together with Milan she's the oldest in our friend group. You'll meet all of them in three hours. I'll show you your class, and then I'll see you later. We have the third hour together." Caro winked and Lucienne smiled. 

Her first hour mainly consisted of boring information that Lucienne had already passed through last year in biology. She had a free block next, and not knowing what to do, she went outside, where she met Kenna. "Hi Lucienne! Over here!" The girl yelled and Lucienne walked towards her and the two boys next to her. "Guys, this is Lucienne, the new student," Kenna said as Lucienne sat next to her. "Lucienne, this is my little brother, Scorpius, and this is Alexander." Scorpius had white-blond hair and striking grey eyes. He looked a little like Kenna. Alexander had dark brown hair and brown eyes as well. His hand covered Kenna's, so Lucienne figured that they were a couple. "Kenna has told us about you. She was right, you are very pretty." Scorpius said with big, innocent eyes. Lucienne blushed and laughed. "Why, thank you Scorpius." Kenna interrupted their small conversation. "So, Lucienne, are you a dancer?" "I've been dancing since I could walk." Lucienne said, her eyes trailing over the heads of the other students. "I mostly dance ballet, but I did hip-hop a few years ago. Not my thing." Kenna smiled. "Are you willing to try out for the cheerleader team?" Lucienne bit her bottom lip. "I don't think so. I have my own lessons on Friday." "Shame. You would have been a nice addition to our team." 

History was spent giggling with Caro. Their teacher didn't really like it, but he didn't send them out. Caro and Lucienne left the room an hour later, still laughing. "Alright, so what are you in the mood for? They have a lot of food in the cafeteria." Lucienne shook her head. "I don't eat the food they make here. I follow a strict diet, so I brought my own food." Caro pouted. "Now you'll never taste the wonderful spaghetti they make here." Lucienne laughed. "Maybe one day I can make an exception." 

After they got lunch, they went outside together to meet Caro's other friends. Their friend group consisted of none less than twelve people, excluding Luciana and Caro. "So, Lucienne, this is Milan, Alexanders older brother. Milan, this is Lucienne." Kenna introduced them. Milan looked a lot like his brother, but with curly hair and dark green eyes. "Next, we have Amelia." Amelia was a girl with dark blonde hair and light blue eyes. She had a tanned skin and a big smile plastered on her face. "This is Amelia's girlfriend, Anne-Rose." Anne-Rose and Lucienne shook hands. Anne-Rose had auburn coloured curls which she wore in a high ponytail, and big, blue eyes. "I am Connor." A boy with sandy hair introduced himself. He had grey eyes, and definitely had an Asian background, judging on his facial structure. "These are June, Amy and Coral, triplets. They're also in the cheerleader team and they're the younger sisters of Connor." Caro explained. The three girls smiled at her. They were identical, with long black hair and brown eyes. "This is Cheyenne." Kenna pointed out a small girl with short brown hair and grey-blue eyes. "She's the youngest, at fifteen years old. Cousin of Caroline. And this is Victor." A muscular boy got up from the bench, extending his hand for Lucienne to shake. She did so. "Not everyone's here," Caro explained with a smile. "We miss Kathryn, Janell and Adam. Kathryn is sick, and Janell and Adam have this project they're working on. Normally, my sister would be here, but she graduated last year. She said she'll stop by sometimes." "You have a huge group of friends," Lucienne noted. Caro laughed. "Most of our parents are friends with each other, so we've known each other for a very long time. I'm a Finnigan, and so is my sister Jessica. We arrived later, but for example Kenna and Scor, who are Malfoys, they have known Milan, Alex and Vic since they were in diapers. And Amelia, Anne-Rose, Connor and the triplets are in the same situation. Amelia, Kathryn and Cheyenne grew up together, and Janell and Adam live in the house next to me. And now we have a new addition to our group, you, a Zabini." "Malfoys, huh?" Lucienne pondered. She thought she heard her parents talk about them sometime. "I think my parents know them." Caro shot her a smile. "Come on, eat. We only have ten minutes left before class starts."

The rest of her day was spent laughing with the girls - and boys, Lucienne reminded herself. During the second break, they were joined by Kathryn Bell, a girl with black hair and violet coloured eyes, Jessica, Caro's older sister, a girl who looked a lot like her a sister, only with a little darker hair and Janell and Adam, twins with dark-coloured skin and curly black hair and dark eyes. The last two hours were calculus, and after thirty minutes, Lucienne felt as if she was going to die of boredom. She was doodling on a paper, while Kenna and Caro were whispering. 

Her father picked her up from school at four-thirty. He arrived in a black motorcycle suit, on his brand new Harley Davidson. "Oh my god." Kenna said with big eyes. "I can't believe your dad has a Harley!" Amelia shrieked. Lucienne smiled. "My dad likes to arrive in style. He's a bit arrogant, you see." Her father walked up to her, hugging her tight. "Good afternoon darling. I hope your day was okay?" "My day was great, father. I've met a lot of new people." Blaise's eyes drifted over to the six teenagers standing behind his daughter. He raised his eyebrows. "And these are your friends, I presume?" Lucienne nodded. "Well, say your goodbyes to them. We need to go home." Lucienne nodded again and turned around while her father walked back to his Harley, pulling out another helmet. "Well, it was great to meet you all. I'll see you tomorrow." They all smiled. "We'll see you tomorrow." They repeated. Then Lucienne turned around and walked towards her father, who gave her the blue helmet. "What's for dinner?" She asked as she climbed on the motorcycle. Blaise smiled. "A salad with tomatoes and beans. Your mother says it's a new recipe." Lucienne nodded. "Alright. Hold on tight." She did as she was told and pressed herself against her father. The motor roared, and then the Harley drove away. 

Their new home was rather big. It stood in a large street, with other big houses. Her father parked the Harley in their garage, and from there, the two walked upstairs to the living room. "Amor! You're home!" A tanned woman with long red hair walked into the living room, kissing Lucienne on the cheek and then kissing her husband on the lips. "How was your day?" Blaise motioned for Lucienne to start talking. Lucienne pulled her fiery red curls into a bun, and followed her mother to the kitchen. "It started out easy enough. This girl, named Caroline Finnigan, showed me around the school. My first class was biology, then I had a free block and my third hour was history. During the break I met all of Caro's friends. The rest of the day was just school, you know. How was yours?" Her mother turned around, with her back towards the stove and smiled. "My day was just fine amor. I read a book, and I wrote a new chapter." Elena Rossi-Zabini was a writer. "Are you hungry?" Lucienne shook her head. "I'm not, mama." "Do you have a lot of homework?" "An essay due Friday, and some homework for calculus, but I practically finished that at school." Her mother nodded. "Right. Then I'll serve you a little bit. Remember to take your medicines." Lucienne nodded. "I won't. Should I put plates on the table?" "I'll do that Lucy. You go clean yourself up a little." Lucienne nodded and ran upstairs. 

Her room was similar to her one back in London. Her walls were white, and her floor was made of marble, just like the path at school. There was a beautiful Chinese carpet draped across the floor, under her king-size bed. Her covers were light blue, and her pillows varied from white, to grey, blue and purple. She had a big desk in her room, on which stood a laptop and an iPad. Her parents gave her a television as well, but Lucienne didn't use it much. She also had her own bathroom. It was simple, it had a bathtub, a shower, a sink and a toilet. Her walk-in closet was still in progress, so for now she used the drawers from an old cupboard. She took out her silk yellow pyjamas and pulled her white dress off. She brushed her hair quickly, putting it up in a bun again, and then she walked downstairs, where her dinner was waiting.