[personal profile] lilychick
...I lied.

No, I have no idea whether or not this ever happens in canon, and if so, when. Wouldn't be until at least 3rd year, I'd wager.

Also, I *really* need to get around to making a real character list. Like one with information on it.

They called it a substitute, but Alan knew, deep inside, that wasn't what they really meant. On his first day, the man had shown up with a box -- one that did not travel home with him when the school bell rang.

"Maybe you're reading too much into it," said Joseph, who was paid to read into things.

"Do you *really* think so, Joe?"

It took a moment, but Joe acknowledged this with a nod. "I think you're right, of course. Just wanted to ask."

Alan sighed, and tried not to glare daggers at the man across the room. He was better than that.

"How's Brian taking all this?"

"You know him," Alan replied gloomily. "It's all some grand adventure. I can't talk to him about it without hearing about the ACLU, and the Supreme Court --"

Joseph chuckled. "Yeah, sounds just like him."

"-- And he doesn't *get*," Alan complained, "that he's lucky they haven't tried to throw the *Patriot* Act at him. Tried to *deport* him."

"Do you think it's that bad?"

"Brian has a talent," he mused, "for making it that bad."

They mulled this over, while the substitute -- in a private act of defiance, they had yet to learn his name -- bought an orange, doing a skillful job of not looking complicit.

"If it came to that," Joseph asked, at last, "what would you do?"

Alan watched, stoically, as the man left the cafeteria. "It'd be up to them," he said, "to dig up one more replacement."
(And replacement, of course, was the word.)
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