“Found a buddy yet?”
A lot was happening in disney High, it seemed, Belle reflected. The Summer concierto was coming up; before that would be a school dance. And today it was the día they went on their Historical Field Trip.

“I can’t wait!” gushed Rapunzel as they all lined up to get on the bus. “A real castle!”

“Chill, blondie!” laughed Flynn. “It’s just a ruined building with a history behind it.”

“Oh, come on, Flynn!” she said, tugging at his sleeve. “You know I don’t get out much when I’m at home. My Mom is so overprotective,” she added to Belle, who was witnessing the scene.

Belle smiled. “My Papa can get like that too.”

“Ok, everyone, buddy up!” called Mr Thatch, who was standing at the head of the line. “Find a partner and stick to them this trip, ok? We don’t want anyone getting lost – again!” He looked meaningfully at Linguini, who blushed. Merrida laughed and patted his shoulder. “Come on, Chef,” she said, which was her special nickname for him due to his amor for cooking, “you stick with me and you’ll be fine!”

Belle glanced around as her friends began to “buddy up.” Oh, I’m not stuck with you, am I?” groaned Flynn to Rapunzel, in jest.

She pouted. “Why, Flynn Rider? Would tu rather be stuck with one of the other pretty girls instead?”

Flynn laughed and put an arm around her. “Joking, Punzy!”

“I should hope so, because I know where Cook keeps the frying pan!”

“Have tu got a buddy?” asked Phoebus, sidling up to Belle.

“No, I might as well be stuck with you,” she teased.

“Ah, no, I’m with Esme.”

“Oh.”

“Hey.” That was Adam and she turned to him in relief. He was alone.

“Hey!” Phoebus greeted him. “Found a buddy yet?”

“Not yet,” replied Adam, nervously. If truth was told, he wanted to ask Belle; if only to get her alone to ask her to the school dance.

“Neither has Belle!” Phoebus gave her a gentle, teasing nudge forwards. “Hey, maybe tu two should pair up.”

Belle flushed and flapped at him before looking at Adam. “Do tu want to?”

“Yes,” he replied, hoping he didn’t sound too eager. “I don’t mind doing that,” he added.

“Well, there you, Belle,” grinned Phoebus, getting ready to hop on the bus. “That worked out nicely for you.”

Belle wondered whether she ought to laugh it off o else just hit him. At any rate, she couldn’t reach him, so she tried to laugh it off instead. “I was worrying about who I could pair up with,” she stammered, reddening.

“You know something?” Adam leaned forwards to mutter it. “Me too.”

She smiled. “Well, then, I think we’ll both be alright.”

“Ladies first,” he said, motioning for her to get on the bus first.

Belle had never actually been on a bus before. It felt somewhat cramped and crowded but as she slid into a seat, she found it to be actually quite comfortable. Adam slid onto the asiento beside her with a smile. “Are tu looking forwards to this?”

“I am,” she gushed. “I’ve just been lectura the most wonderful story set in a castle!”

“What’s it about?”

“It’s called I Capture the Castle; it’s all about a girl named Cassandra who lives in a rented castillo with her father, who’s a writer suffering from writer’s block; her stepmother, who’s an ex-artist’s model; her older sister Rose, who hates living in a castillo and wants to marry a rich man; her young brother Thomas; who’s something of a geek and they also have a cat and a dog. And Stephen, the son of their late cook also lives with them and he falls in amor with Cassandra, but she loves him like a brother; and then the American brothers who own the castillo turn up and Rose plans to marry the oldest, Simon, but then Cassandra falls in amor with him too and in the end-”

“Whoa, whoa!” Adam held up his hand. “Don’t spoil it for me! I might read it!”

“Oh, tu should!” Belle smiled, realising that it was the first time she had ever told someone she had read a wonderful book and they had been genuinely interested in what it was about. It was very refreshing.

The bus set off and the bus was quickly filled with the usual noisy chatter of students. aladdín and John, ever the jokers, decided to throw some paper planes around, until Mr Thatch stopped them when one almost hit him in the eye. It was quite companionable, Belle found, and sitting beside Adam, she felt quite happy.

“We’re here!” announced Mr Thatch, finally. Belle looked up at the towering grandeur of the castillo ahead. It was quite breathtaking.

“Wow!” breathed Rapunzel, clinging to Flynn in excitement. She clung to him so much that he had to wriggle away from her in order to breathe properly. “Isn’t this exciting?” gushed Rapunzel.

“Now, I hope tu all take notes on this,” Mr Thatch smiled. “There’ll be a examen on this tomorrow!”

“Aww!” everyone groaned.

“Typical,” Meg grinned as they climbed off the bus. “We can’t even relax for one day, can we? Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a cigarette right now!”

“You should give up!” Snow White said, in a condescending motherly tone.

“Don’t be daft!” joked Flynn, grinning. “If Meg gave up smoking, the world might come to an end!”

“Oh, shut up, Rider,” she said, giving him a shove. “Cigarettes are the only things in my life that make sense!”

“I’m sure that’s not true, Meg,” dicho Hercules, seriously. “Maybe tu should get yourself a man?”

“Why; are tu volunteering?” she teased.

“Maybe.”

Belle smiled. Everyone seemed to match up in disney High, she noticed. Ariel was clearly stuck on John and he seemed to like her. Rapunzel and Flynn had a teasing relationship. Merrida seemed to have a thing for Linguini, although he didn’t seem to have noticed it yet. jazmín and aladdín fitted together well. And Meg liked Hercules. Phoebus had Esme and she herself loved Adam. But what about Snow White and Aurora? They didn’t seem to have men. Maybe they needed to get some más boys into disney High.

The tour began. Their tour guide was a white haired man named Rogers, who seemed very upright and knowledgeable.

“Welcome,” he dicho to Mr Thatch and his students. “Now, this castillo is over seven hundred years old...”

The tour was very interesting, although part of Belle wished they could just explore the castillo on their own. Mr Rogers showed them the grand banqueting hall and taught them all about medieval cooking, which interested Linguini a great deal; and then the nursery (“How sweet!” exclaimed Snow White) and then the several bedrooms. Aurora was very interested in these, although her offer to “test the beds” was declined por Rogers. Belle’s favourite room por far was the library.

“I can’t believe it,” she whispered to Adam as they stared up at all the libros on the shelves. “I’ve never seen so many libros in my whole life!”

“I know,” Adam agreed. “It is pretty amazing.”

“Whoa!” exclaimed Flynn as they were shown the room where the jewels were kept and the walls were made of beaten oro leaf; actual gold! “I could get used to this if I lived here!”

“It’s so beautiful!” gushed Rapunzel.

They were then shown the armoury where the armour and various weapons were kept. Merrida loved this. “Look at these longbows!” she exclaimed.

“Do tu shoot, Miss?” asked Mr Rogers, in surprise.

“Oh, yes! I amor archery!”

That did it. Mr Rogers immediately went into detail about bows and arrows and archery in medieval times and Merrida hung on his every word. The boys also enjoyed the weapons, Gaston in particular. Belle, on the other hand, wished she could go back to the library.

“And finally,” announced Mr Rogers, leading them downstairs. “The dungeons!”

“Ooh!” Meg grinned. “Is it true that they used to hang people upside down por their ankles?”

“It is!” Mr Rogers smiled. “In fact,” he pointed upwards, “there are some shackles right there for just that purpose.”

“Ooh!” Snow White clutched Aurora’s sleeve.

“I know, right?” she muttered back.

Belle wasn’t sure she liked the dungeon much. It was dark, not so dark that tu couldn’t see anything, but dark enough to be spooky and it eperlano damp. Something dripped nearby. The place must surely get flooded in the rain?

aladdín shot up his hand. “Sir, is this place haunted?”

Mr Rogers laughed. “By the spirits of the dead prisoners, tu mean? Well, I’ve never seen any ghosts down here and I doubt we ever will.”

“Are tu sure?” Belle glanced around. “It’s quite spooky down here.”

“I can understand how tu feel that way, Miss,” dicho Mr Rogers, kindly, “but rest assured; this place is perfectly safe. Now, over here...”

As he walked away and most of the others followed him towards a strange looking cage hanging down por the opposite wall, Gaston put an arm around Belle’s shoulders. She jumped. “Don’t worry, Belle,” he teased with a sneer. “I’m here!”

“Get off me!” she hissed, wriggling free and backing into the wall. Her hand brushed against something wet and she jumped again with a cry. It looked like blood, fresh blood on the walls.

“Ah!” exclaimed Rapunzel, turning and seeing the walls. She ducked behind Flynn. “It’s blood!”

“Belle?” Adam came up to her. “You ok?”

She frowned at her hand. “It’s not blood. It’s clear, like water.”

Mr Rogers laughed. “It is water, Miss. That isn’t blood on the walls, not really; although sometimes we do use it to frighten the tourists. It’s just iron ore in the walls. When they get damp from condensation, it looks like blood, but it’s really just ordinary water and rust in the iron ore.”

He passed Belle a paper handkerchief to dry her hand on. “That’s so weird,” aladdín said, “but cool. For a dungeon, I mean.”

“Well, that just about concludes our tour,” dicho Mr Rogers. “Are there any questions?”

No one had any questions, and so Mr Thatch dicho “Well, I think our tour guide deserves a round of applause and our thanks, don’t you, class?”

Everyone clapped for Mr Rogers, who took a little bow of modesty. “And now, as an extra treat, we’ll be having té in the banqueting hall.”

“Not a real medieval banquet, I hope?” dicho Linguini as they all filed out of the dungeons. “They ate some weird things in those days!”

The cena was good, but Belle felt embarrassed at being so scared over something so silly. After the dinner, they were allowed to explore with their partners for a little while, so she and Adam wandered back to the library. The large stained glass window that overlooked the ground showed a woman holding a rose. Belle wondered if it was from a story o something.

“Belle, are tu ok?” asked Adam, in concern.

They were alone in the biblioteca so Belle didn’t feel too stupid telling him. Even so, she blushed as she did so. “I just feel silly for getting worked up when I touched the muro in the dungeon. For screaming like that, I mean.”

“Belle, it’s alright,” Adam smiled. “A lot of us were spooked down there; I was too.”

“Were you?” Belle felt somewhat relieved.

“Yeah. And tu saw the way Rapunzel acted when she saw the walls too. It wasn’t just you.”

She smiled. “Thanks, Adam.”

Adam hesitated. “Belle, there was something I wanted to ask you.”

“Yes, Adam?”

He took a deep breath. Her corazón leapt. “I was wondering...if you’re going to the dance with anyone?”

“No!” she said, quickly. “That is....no one’s asked me yet...”

“Oh. Because I was wondering if you’d like to...go with me.”

It took her a few segundos to remember she could talk. “I-I’d amor to, Adam.”

He smiled, relieved. “Great.”

“Great,” she agreed, hugging her book to her chest. It was going to be great...

“I was wondering...if you’re going to the dance with anyone?”