guppy_sandhu: (unbreakmyheart)
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[oom: After this.]

After school, Guppy gets called into the classroom by Mr Irons, Fry's teacher.

"I asked the children to draw their islands of personality." Mr Irons says. "The things that make them who they are." He hands over the picture. "The fact that he completed the task is in itself an achievement, though he did find it very hard to express what his islands might look like."

Guppy looks at the picture. Family, friends, those are heartening to see. Fry's drawn his family and friends, that part was obviously easy. Then there's the biggest island in the middle with a trophy and a triangle on. A little to the right looks like it's made of piano keys and music. The one furthest right looks like it's probably made from minecraft blocks.

"What's this middle one?" he asks, getting the feeling that the biggest one, which was obviously something more abstract he found difficult to draw, was in Fry's opinion most important.

"He said it was about 'being good at things like maths'." Mr Irons says. "He got a letter today."

"What letter?" Guppy asks.

"Inviting him to national final of that maths challenge, but in the group closer to his age level." Mr Irons says. "I think I may have advised you badly." he adds quietly. "It looks like it's really important to him. And this turn of events puts a different spin on things, it could open a lot of doors for him."

"It could?" Guppy asks. He knows Fran wasn't keen on Fry doing any more of these intense competitions.

"He might not have stood much chance against the top ten to eleven year olds, but he certainly stands a good chance among the other children his age." Mr Irons says. "And if we could put a number on it - say find out he was top ten in the country - that might help with getting him into a mainstream secondary school. Aside from the fact that he seems to be taking interest in other children with the same target."

Guppy looks at the picture.

"Oh... bother." he says. "We've got this wrong, haven't we?"

"Maybe." Mr Irons admits. "We were worried about him being one-sided, about him getting too far ahead; but if he'd been super talented at sports or piano or anything else we would have done everything in our power to launch him forward."

"Instead we only thought about the problems later." Guppy says, sighing. "I'll talk to his mum."

"Talk to him." Mr Irons says, gently, pinning the picture on the wall with the others.

Guppy heads out into the playground, feeling somewhat guilty. Fry is in one corner, spinning round in circles. Before Guppy can go over, he is rugby-tackled and almost falls over.

"Careful Brooke!" He scoops the three-year-old up. "Did you have a good day?"

"Yeh!" Brooke says. "Me and Evie put broggly up our nose and it was like big bogies."

"Oh Brooke, you mustn't do that, it's dirty and rude." Guppy says gently. "Broccoli is for eating."

"We ate it after." Brooke says.

Guppy rolls his eyes and goes to collect Coral from the other side of the playground, where she appears to be pretending to be either a seed or a pokemon with her friends. Then he rounds up Fry, and they head back to the car.

"I hear you got invited to the finals." he says. "Good job!"

Fry sits in his seat and does up his seat belt.

"Mum said no more extra maths. That means I can't go."

"That was before you got through to the final." Guppy says. "Do you want to go really badly?"

"Yes." Fry says, flashing him a cautious look.

"Well if we let you do it, and we let you go all out, you have to keep some promises." Guppy says. "You have to promise not to do maths at sleep time. You have to promise to stop practicing if a grown up tells you that you did enough today. And you have to do your other homework first. If you promise those things, we'll let you do it, and we'll help you too."

"Really?" Fry asks.

"Yes really. We'll get you books and everything." Guppy says.

"Then I promise." Fry doesn't smile, because he often doesn't, but Guppy sees a happy little look in his eyes, and he flaps his hands a couple of times happily.

And as he drives back, he marvels in the forgiveness of kids when he doesn't know, or gets it wrong.
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