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Which is why, the next day, she simply walks up behind Proserpina, grabs a fistful of her hair, and hauls sideways. Proserpina bites back a yelp and lets the taller girl pull her off the dining hall chair.

“I’ve read the boarding school stories too,” Radiane says, trembling. “I’m not going to be your little victim, you understand? I know how to handle a bully.”

She cautiously lets go. Proserpina wipes tears from her eyes. “You know how to stand up to me, you say?”

“Y-yes,” snaps Radiane.

“Good,” breathes Proserpina, and proceeds to break Radiane’s nose and two ribs.