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There is no such thing at Elsewhere University as taking a casual interest in the Good Neighbours. Those who take an interest in the Gentry tend to find they take an interest in return, and none more so than those unfortunate, unlucky souls who pursue the Forbidden Major. No one should take that course without good reason, and luckily the RA’s have a cautionary tale to illustrate the fact. A story of a girl who went looking without good reason, who signed up without knowing, and who paid the price for it.

Her chosen name was Sigourney, and she was in a mess. Between a hectic schedule, too little sleep, and the mental and social fall-out of an unfortunate falling-out (thank you, Hiram), her coursework had fallen through the cracks and nothing short of a miracle could save her now. She calculated and re-calculated her percentages, made educated guesses about how lenient her markers could be, but no matter how much she cajoled and nudged her marks until 46.8% looked like 48.9%, she could tell she was doomed without immediate action.

Her exams only counted for a small part of her degree, so it wasn’t like she could hope to pull her grades up at the last minute. Asking favours from the Philosophy department was a no-go after the palaver she had put them through getting her last essay remarked, and her Literature professor had stated in no uncertain terms that any more begging would earn her a citation against her academic record.

“Just retake the year,” replied Nouvelle, a rotund third-year, and the only friend Sig had left after the Hiram débâcle.

“Can’t. My finance expires next year whether I graduate or not, and there’s no way I’m getting signed off on another year. Not after this disaster,” said Sig, slouched on her bed after another day unsuccessfully trying to revive her academic career.

“Choose new courses for spring term? Stuff you know you can do, or exam heavy stuff.”

“The deadline’s passed,” she said. “Plus, Timetabling wants my head for non-attendance.”

Nouvelle grimaced, tracing circles in the spill of salt near the door. “You know, if you’re desperate, you could always take a course in the Forbidden Major.”

Sig rolled her eyes. “Oh, I hear it’s really coursework heavy, plus the teaching isn’t great, and, oh yeah, the forbidden major is a campus fairy tale, Nouvelle. You think I should leave milk and cream on my windowsill next to a pile of unfinished essay questions too?”

Nouvelle snorted. “There’s worse ideas. I’m just saying, it’s an option.”

“Oh, so it’s an option, right?” said Sig, leaning up in bed, grinning. “So, hypothetically, if I really was desperate enough to take a non-existent course, which professor would I need to talk to?”

Nouvelle sighed and smiled. “Okay, I can only tell you what a postgrad told me. He told me he’d never done the Forbidden Major, but he’d heard from a kid who was a third year when he was a fresher, whose friend-”

“Come on, come on,” Sig said. “I don’t need the family history.”

“Well alright,” said Nouvelle, leaning back against the wall. “He told me, on the first night of Winter you take a cup of wassail and an iron poker, hold it under the horse skull that hangs over the south entrance to the Students Union, and you say these words; ‘Here I come, here I come, to beg your leave, to beg your leave, Mari Llwyd, Mari Llwyd’, and then you ask the skull if you can join the course.”

“What, and you get an email the next day from Timetabling saying if it’s been approved or not?”

“Signed with blood, no less,” said Nouvelle.

“You are full of it,” said Sig, sighing and lying back. “This Uni is full of it. What even is Wassail?”

“Booze, I think,” said Nouvelle, glancing out of the window. “And I take your point. My first choice was Mercer.”

They dropped the topic, and spent the rest of the night discussing what a dick Hiram had been. Sig didn’t give the idea of the Forbidden Major much thought until a few weeks later. She had stuck around on campus after term ended, unwilling to go home to parents who had expected better of her, and prayed day and night that she could avoid the conversation over Christmas dinner about her grades, or what the hell she intended to do next year.

In this state of mind, she had decided to forget her troubles on a trip to the Students Union bar on the 21st of December. To her surprise, it was stuffed to the gills with students. They lounged around the tables, laughing and smiling with perfect teeth and flashing eyes, dressed for the beach despite the thin snow falling outside. Sig felt like an outcast among the sheer amount of West-Coast style on show, and for their part, they gave her a wide berth, dressed as she was in a three day old shirt and one-week old jeans.

Unable to face the hubbub inside, she took her drink and slipped out the south door and stood in the cold, arms wrapped tight around herself under the horse skull. Remembering Nouvelle’s words, she reached into her pocket and took a tiny iron nail in her fist. It wasn’t much of a poker and her rum and coke made a pretty poor wassail, but then again, she wasn’t much of a student.

With her glass in one hand and nail in the other (and making very sure no one was watching), she spoke to the skull.

“Here I come, here I come, to beg your leave, to beg your leave, Mari Llwyd, Mari Llwyd,” she muttered. “Please? I need another course to bring my grade up. I’m desperate.”

“TRUST ME,” said the skull, it’s teeth clacking together, snow slipping from its jaws. “YOU ARE NOT DESPERATE ENOUGH.”

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Dinner with the Whitethorns

Guys. I wrote fanfiction.
So I remember that scene in Queen of Shadows where Aelin says she’d like to see 16 year old Aelin meet 16 year old Rowan. And so would I, so I figured I’d write something quick.
This is my first fanfic ever so go easy on my writing!!

“I’d rather give up chocolate for a year than have this dinner,” said 16 year old Aelin as she slumped onto her bed like a sack of potatoes.

Her mother frowned disapprovingly by her door. “It’s only one evening, Fireheart, and besides, you might like the Whitethorns.”

She sighed in exasperation. “No, they’re boring entitled idiots.”

“Aelin, you need to grow up. Perhaps you should start by being the sweet, kind, respectful princess of Terrasen for a few hours tonight.”


“No buts, you’re coming to this dinner, or no books or chocolates for a month.”

Aelin groaned into her pillow as her mother left, shutting the door behind her.

End of conversation.


The time came to sit through the three course meal with boring family “friends”, and so Aelin, being the rebel princess she was, decided she may as well make an appearance. Her way, of course.

The doorbell rang just as Aelin added the finishing touches to her makeup.

Her mother’s footsteps sounded as she walked to open the door, her voice coming from downstairs, “Aelin! The guests are here!”

“Coming!” She yelled back.

She checked herself in the mirror one last time, making sure that every hair was in place, and that there were no wrinkles in her dress. She smiled at herself with the smile she used whenever it was time to have some fun. With cunning and mischief and the slightest hint of a smirk.

Indeed. Perhaps her mother was right. She was going to enjoy this dinner.

Greetings halted and jaws dropped as she walked down the curved staircase.

Her mother’s gawk sounded across the room, the Whitethorn family beside her. An older woman with shining silver hair, a man with bright green eyes and a boy around her age who was a mixture of both all froze as they watched her.

The sight of them made her raise her chin higher and smile wider.

She made sure to add the slightest swish of her hips as she stepped down the staircase in her skintight, deep red dress that matched her lips. It wasn’t by all means short, but it clung to every curve, just as she intended. Her hair was curled messily—she didn’t like the perfect goldy-lock look. She lined her eyes with some brown khol and smudged it out the slightest bit, but besides that, that’s all she did to her face.

And it must’ve been all she needed, because the hungry look in the boy’s green eyes told her that she was going to have some fun tonight.

Her mother took a moment to gather herself, shooting her daughter a look promising that she was in trouble.

She cleared her throat. “Please–let me introduce you to my daughter—”

“Aelin,” she interrupted. “Princess Aelin Ashyver Galathynius, pleasure to meet you,” she greeted sweetly and smiled.

Mr. and Mrs. Whithorn stared at her, perplexed. The son however, managed to recover and looked her eyes as he spoke, “Rowan. Prince Rowan Whitethorn.”

Aelin held out her hand so that Rowan could kiss it, the entire time, his pine green eyes never leaving hers.

It was the best dinner she’d ever had.

ACOMAF: a summary
  • Ending of one chapter: oh, how perfect! Feyre and Rhysand are starting to fall for each other, and they're so happy! Ooh, pretty starfall! Look at them together, how cute! New OTP!