I picture a prefect, monitoring girls in the library as they do their prep. He notices one of their number slipping a note to a friend. “Bring that here!” he commands.
She hesitates. “Now!”
She still hesitates. “Then you have a detention, to serve on Saturday, even before I’ve read the note.”
Tears come to her eyes: she’s not the type to be in trouble. Slowly, she stands, and takes the note back from its recipient. She brings it to the front, and hands it to him, blushing and avoiding his eyes.
He opens it. A sketch, clearly depicting him. A note: “Don’t you think he’s cute?”
“I’m not sure whether to be complimented or slightly mortified, Miss Watson, much as I am impressed with your artistic talent. Now, back to your seat, and back to your work.” It’s his turn to blush.
Five minutes later: a whispered conversation between the two girls. He walks to the back of the room, stands behind her, whispering softly: “Last warning, Miss Watson. Don’t push your luck.”
And then the next note. How could she have been so careless? “I’ll see you in the prefects’ room after prep.”
Being made to stand outside, waiting, for an eternity. Her heart pounding. Her heart pounding still faster when he finally emerges and calls her in.
Taking in the room. Five, six of the prefects – reading; in conversation. Falling silent as she entered.
Watching as he takes a cane from the rack. “Go and bend over the table in the corner, and lift your skirt.” No negotiation; no room for persuasion; the sentence inevitable.
All eyes on them, as he positions himself behind her and to her side. “I would have expected better from you, Miss Watson. You’re not the sort of girl we expect to see in here. You’ve let yourself down rather badly.”
Tears in her eyes, even before he confirms: “Six strokes.”
She does not take the caning well.
He dismisses her – sending her back, in shame, to the world outside and the prying questions and teasing taunts. Is that sympathy in his voice? “I’m sorry to have had to do that, Miss Watson. Let that be the last time.”
And later… does her heart pound again as she mounts the stairs to his study-bedroom, in her regulation pyjamas and dressing gown, shortly before lights-out. As she knocks on his door. Takes in his surprise as he sees her standing there. “I… I just wanted to apologise for my behaviour earlier.”
Does he invite her in? Does he hold her, as she sobs?
Does he lift her face gently to his? Does he kiss her?
Does he lead her to his bed?