"Why on earth did you think it was a good idea for us to walk to school together again, darling?"
"I dunno, I figured it'd be a bonding experience or something." Ursula shrugged dismissively. "I was kind of assuming you wouldn't immediately get to antagonizing everyone, though."
"I have done nothing of the sort," Erin hissed in response.
"Guys," Vienna interjected. "We're, like, a five minute walk from school. Can you guys please keep it in your pants until we get there?"
"She started it!"
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Erin replied cooly.
"Come on, please?"
Viola cringed internally. This wasn't a particularly unusual exchange, if she was honest with herself. But that just made it worse. "Um," she interjected, her voice soft and nervous.
"What's up, sis?"
"Did you have something to add, Viola?"
Suddenly all eyes were on her, and Viola responded by cringing externally. "U-um. I've been working on a new trick and I think it's ready to show off now? I was thinking maybe before class..." she trailed off into silence. It was a terrible idea, of course, but it was the only thing she could think of. Desperately drown out any attempts at actual interaction by being the centre of attention. She typically wasn't a big fan of being the centre of attention, but if she was doing magic it was okay. She could live.
There was a moment of silence, and then Erin sighed wearily. "That sounds lovely, darling," she said, smiling softly. That caught Viola off guard – she had expected at best to be ignored and at worst to be outright brushed off. She especially hadn't expected Erin of all people to be the first one to agree.
Ursula shrugged again. "Eh, sure, sounds fun. Your magic tricks are cool."
"Aw, what, you were working on a new trick? You shoulda told me, I could have helped!"
"I wanted to surprise you," Viola replied, smiling slightly. For a moment, just a moment, she felt something akin to hope. Maybe things would start getting better soon.
"Of course," Erin said, a familiar expression of cool disdain settling on her face as she crossed her arms under her ample chest. "We need to be careful to make sure someone doesn't drop the cards. Again."
"Hey, that was one fucking time."
"Oh for fuck's sake, guys, not again."
The fleeting hope vanished succintly. Viola sighed, and brushed her ear out of her face. Hopefully her trick would, at least, distract them long enough for math class to start, but that would have to wait until they got to school. They couldn't keep going like this, she realized. Something had to change, and she wished dearly that it would do so soon.
A wish that she would come to dearly regret in a few short days.