Table of Contents
OUT WITH THE OLD
There was another brief silence before Mallory shrugged again. “It's okay. Sit there.”
Phoebe sat. She examined her class schedule as if it were riveting reading. But she also stayed aware of Mallory, who continued to stand and look out the window.
Phoebe could feel the amazed stare not only of Colette Williams-White, but of her other satellites Emma Parry and Jacklyn Ivy Lurvey and Hanna Simons.
Good, she thought. Watch me befriend Mallory Tolliver. And think twice about targeting her, because you'll have to do it to me, too. And you won't.
Without rushing, Phoebe cupped her chin in her hand and held Colette's dangerous gaze. She felt herself breathing easily and deeply. Then she smiled.
I am a Rothschild, Phoebe thought, and as she watched Colette coolly, she knew Colette was thinking it too; that Colette never forgot it; that Phoebe's amazing, storied family history, wealth, and power was the only reason that borderline dorky Phoebe had ever been a desirable friend for Colette in the first place. Now, Phoebe realized, it would also get her free.
Why had she not realized this before? Why had she only felt it was a burden, being a Rothschild? Why had she wished to be ordinary?
ALSO BY NANCY WERLIN
Are You Alone on Purpose?
The Killer's Cousin
The Rules of Survival
Published by the Penguin Group
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Registered Offices: Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published in the United States of America by Dial Books,
an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2010
Published by Speak, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2011
Copyright Â© 2010, Nancy Werlin
All rights reserved
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE DIAL BOOKS EDITION AS FOLLOWS:
Extraordinary / Nancy Werlin.
Summary: Phoebe, a member of the wealthy Rothschild family befriends Mallory, an awkward new girl in school, and the two become as close as sisters, but Phoebe does not know that Mallory is a faerie, sent to the human world to trap the human girl into fulfilling a promise made by her ancestor Mayer to the queen of the faeries.
ISBN : 978-1-101-57596-3
[1. FairiesâFiction. 2. SecretsâFiction. 3. Best friendsâFiction. 4. FriendshipâFiction.
5. Self-esteemâFiction. 6. JewsâUnited StatesâFiction.]
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
With joy and wonder
CONVERSATION WITH THE FAERIE QUEEN, 1
“You are ready for your mission, then, little one?”
“Yes. Except that I am somewhatâI am sorry, Your Majesty. Yes, I am ready.”
“You are anxious. Naturally. It is a great deal of responsibility. But remember, your way has been prepared. The Tolliver woman will believe you to be her own human daughter, miraculously restored to her. Grief, depression, and loneliness have caused her to lose herself, so she will gratefully accept your guidance in all things, young though you are. Managing her will be easy for you; you will give her certain human medications to keep her under your influence, and you will use her money for all your needs in the human realm.”
“I understand. And the Rothschild girl?”
“The girl is of course your main focus. You will observe her at school. I need not tell you again that everythingâ
âdepends on her.”
“The stakes are high.”
“Frighteningly high, at this point. It is useless to deny it.”
“Thank you for your trust and confidence, Your Majesty. I am humbled by it.”
“Rise to your feet, child. Bid farewell to the court and, especially, to your older brother. He is proud of you for having been chosenâand he is jealous too. Ah, I see by the flare in his eyes that I am correct. But you shall show him and all our people that I have not made an error in placing our trust in his little sister.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. Perhaps I will be home again, successful, in just a few human weeks.”
“Even if it takes longer, we will manage. We have three or four years left, by human count.”
“I will succeed with the girl long, long before that!”
“Good. You were ever a ferocious sprout.”
Phoebe Gutle Rothschild met Mallory Tolliver in seventh grade, during the second week of the new school year, in homeroom. Phoebe had had one of her horrific asthma attacks and couldn't start school on time, but her so-called friend had kept her in the loop about Mallory. She couldn't wait to talk about the peculiar new girl.
It was her clothing that marked Mallory out. “Every day,” Colette Williams-White said to Phoebe, “she wears something weirder than the day before. Yesterday, she had on this huge old T-shirt, like she thought it was a dress. But she had it on backward, with the tag sticking out at her throat. I mean, who wouldn't notice they'd done that? And, you know what? It smelled. Or maybe that was her. Also, with it? High heels.”
“Is she maybe, you know . . .” Phoebe paused, delicately. “Challenged?”
“She's in regular classes, andâno. Just no.”
“Maybe she can't afford decent clothes?”
Colette shook her head decisively. “The shoes were Christian Louboutin, in this marigold color, with ankle straps. Flowers on the toes, whichâI know!âsounds like too much, but trust me, it wasn't.”
“Could she just be expressingâ”
“Stop it, Phoebe, okay? Because, frankly? Not only are you wrong, but it's also really bitchy of you to keep arguing when I've met her and you haven't. Actually? It's bitchy
Phoebe shut up.
Colette continued. “Mallory Tolliver is
making her own unique fashion statement. She just doesn't care. It's as if she throws on the first thing she finds every morning, in, like, somebody else's closet.” Colette rolled her eyes. “And that somebody else, who owns the closet? Hate to say it? They're really screwed up.”
Looking at the new girl now, Phoebe couldn't help herself. She exchanged a quick, incredulous glance with Colette, who had been right. Then Phoebe's gaze returned, compelled, to Mallory Tolliver.
Mallory stood at the back of the room between the windows and the last row of seats, in profile to Phoebe, looking outside toward the cars passing in the street below. She was under medium height, with long straw-colored hair that was desperately in need of a good conditioner, and she was plump, with a curiously pale face. She would have seemed perfectly ordinary, even forgettable, if not for her clothes. Today she was wearing something that looked scarily like a Disney Princess costume.
Phoebe's brow furrowed, because Mallory's outfit got stranger the longer you looked at it. It was in fact not what Phoebe had thought at first glance; not a pretty, poufy, Disney Princess dress. The costume was flimsy and crude; it tied in back with strings and had obviously been intended to be worn on top of other, sturdier clothes. Possibly on Halloween. At first it had looked similar to Belle's fabulous tiered yellow ball gown, but on closer examination, its color and shape were off. Also, the dress had a small pair of wings hanging down drearily in back. These feathery wings made it a
princess costume. A generic, tacky, cheap fairy princess.
Princess Mallory Markdown.
Phoebe caught herself a split second before she said the catty name out loud to Colette, who was gripping Phoebe's arm with one hand and had the heel of the other clapped to her mouth, her eyes alive with characteristic sharp malice. If she said the words to Colette, Phoebe knew, they would stick, and the new girl was in bad enough trouble already. The other girls were like a pack of circling wolves.