Hey guys!

Okay, so I will come back to this chapter in order to edit typos and stuff but it's currently almost 3 AM and I still need to continue studying. I don't have time to do much this days and I wanted you guys to have the update as soon as possible lol.

It's been so fun developing some of the plotlines I have in mind for this fic and I hope you guys will like them too! Chapter 3 will see our beloved couple reunited, Bash and Dellie, while Diana and Jerry might be reuniting. Won't spoil anything else but guys, it will cover the months of November and December so who knows how long it's going to be lol.

Again, remember that the dates before the letters, unless specified otherwise, is the one in which it is received. Therefore, the letter has been written and sent five days before that.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything.

Please fav, follow and review! Cheers for reading!

P.S. Read the author's note by the bottom as I explain some of the decisions I made in this chapter!

Chapter 3. Part II. "A Relentless Thorn."

October, 16th, 1899.

If Anne had to choose a feeling with which to describe her life at Queens, it would definitely be the one she had whenever she entered a class.

And it wasn't only the large, wooden classrooms with its descending rows and the platform by the end of the class from which the professors gave their lectures, a sight that still continued to astound her whenever she compared it to the quaint school she had attended in Avonlea. It was a feeling of grandiosity, not only for the higher education she was now being subject to, but pride for the fact that she had gotten there.

It is a universally acknowledged fact that Anne Shirley Cuthbert relished on her limitless scope for the imagination. Training it since she understood enough about her life to know that wasn't what she wanted, Anne had dreamed. She had dreamed of a life in which she was happy and loved. She dreamed of people who loved and understood her in spite of her hideous red hair and boisterous attitude. She dreamed of a family who would accompany, and love her unconditionally...a family that would fulfill the void her previous family had left with their departure.

As she developed her life in Avonlea, her dreams changed, in such a slow, methodical pace that she didn't really notice until the change was completed. Or maybe they hadn't so much changed as they had expanded, the new possibilities in her life adding up to her dreams. Anne would never cease to dream, for it was while she dreamed that she felt most invincible, most capable of doing anything she wanted in a world configured to restrain her in every step of her way. But, as she slowly accepted that her life was exponentially better than the one she had while in the orphanage or with the Hammonds, her dreams began to add the expectations she had in her life, and the goals she set for herself as she realized that - while the world didn't work in the female's favour - it didn't mean she would stop at anything to construct her life in the way she desired.

The classrooms of Queens were the embodiment of the feeling of victory she'd experienced ever since she heard she'd tied first with Gilbert in their exams' scores. The feeling of victory that came with years of battle, in which she had to deal with bullies, with her own negative thoughts, with the fact that she entered a proper society for the first time in her life with no idea of how to behave. Realizing teaching was her calling came after, but she always knew she wanted to get her education so one day, she could gain her entrance in a world where people were as cultured as her and therefore, where prejudice - for once - wasn't king.

Still, this feeling of victory wasn't one she discussed with anybody, not even Diana. Not that Anne was one to hide her thoughts or feelings - if only, she had grown especially proud of the intensity of her own personality, being one to believe that life was there to be felt as much as possible - but she knew no one would understand.

Well, except Gilbert. Anne knew that only a soul who had gone through so much as him could understand but she hadn't mentioned it to him yet. She intended to, of course, because after so many misunderstandings she intended to leave nothing unsaid but she hadn't had the chance yet. There was so much to be said, asked and declared, yet so little space the small sheets of paper left.

Though it had already been a few weeks since the beginning of class, Anne sat in her usual seat, arranged her skirts in a faux primly manner, and looked around with a barely held sense of excitement. As it was Monday and the beginning of the only class she had on her own without any friends, it is quite incomprehensible - for any fellow student - to understand why wasn't her mood deterred in favour of the melancholy attached to her being on her own.

And Anne might have not understood either, if it wasn't for the fact that she was waiting for Professor Hamilton to begin the English Literature Class. And Anne had just placed her worn notebook and pencil on the small desk attached to her chair when the man in question entered the room.

To be honest, Anne would have usually preferred to have a female professor. Though she loved the education she was obtaining at Queens so far, she still remembered the days in which she sat before Miss Stacy and listened with rapture to her lessons on all aspects of the world with a fond sense of nostalgia. More than being her favorite teacher, Miss Stacy would always be her role model in the sense that she had inspired her to be a teacher because of the change she wanted to do in the world but, most of all, for the creativity and imagination it allowed her to promote.

Anne Shirley Cuthbert, above everything, would always be a woman who stood against what the world instructed her to be. Maybe she would get to be a wife and even a mother - though those possibilities were beyond anything she'd imagined for herself - but if she got to be either of those things it would be because she was ready to be so and, most of all, she would make her own life first. She would get to work and she would get to change the world for those around her who needed it, just like her role models had changed it for her when she needed it.

Anne had once told Gilbert she intended to be a relentless thorn in the side of those who refused to amend the status quo. And she was excited to get on with her promise.

As Professor Hamilton left his books on the desk by the left end of the platform and turned towards his class, Anne straightened, snapping out of her musings forcefully before she was forced to do so in a most embarrassing of ways.

Professor Hamilton was a senior Professor at Queens. A man well over sixty, he resembled a particularly kind Santa Claus with his wavy, silver hair that reached his shoulders and his beard. Dressed with an old, brown suit and matching tie, Hamilton commanded respect not out of fear, but out of the knowledge and experience anyone could sense in him. As he stood before his students, the classroom fell into silence almost immediately, as they knew that once Professor Hamilton was ready to begin their lesson, one had to be ready to listen.

"Good morning, class," Professor Hamilton called. His voice was as warm and comforting as a cup of tea during a rainy afternoon and, as the responding chorus of greetings echoed through the hall, the elderly man crossed his arms with satisfaction.

"I am extremely glad that this class hasn't suffered any losses so far," Professor Hamilton continued with animation as he grabbed the papers his students had turned over the class before. He gave it to the student nearest to him and climbed up to the platform again. "English Literature, though seemingly whimsical in comparison to other subjects, is of paramount importance in order to gain a better understanding of the world to live in. You may have enrolled into Queens to comply with your family's expectations or to gain a degree that will allow you to practice a certain profession. Regardless of your course, one of the things you will obtain through this higher education is a better scope of the world we live in and of your roles in it. What you do with that knowledge, that is up to you."

As Anne took her paper from the student who had been passing them, frowning imperceptibly as she took in the below perfect score marked by the right corner of the sheet, Professor Hamilton continued.

"I like to wait after you have delivered the first assignment in order to address a few aspects that differ from the education you may have gotten back home," the man continued, startling Anne out of her racing thoughts as if he were addressing her directly. "Here, you will realize that the workload given from a university is much more strict than the one you are used to expecting. Not only in quantity but also, in quality. When it comes to my class, I'd rather have assignments written with simple vocabulary and that meet the instructions when it comes to length."

Anne raised her hand almost without thought, her temper flared as she heard such outrageous speech from her beloved professor.

"Yes, Miss Shirley-Cuthbert?" Professor Hamilton addressed her calmly.

"I'm sorry, Professor but I don't understand," Anne began, her brows furrowed as she stared at her professor with aggravation. "In a class such as this one, isn't it better to display the length at which we can use the English language?"

"That is a good question, Miss Shirley-Cuthbert," Professor Hamilton acknowledged with a nod. The whispers that had begun with Anne's question were quickly quietened by the professor's answer. "And one I'm glad you did. While the English language is rich and can describe the most powerful of messages, the objective is not to use the words itself, but for the message to be understood. Is that something you could agree with, Miss?"

Anne nodded, remembering all the times Miss Stacy had told her to edit the articles she wrote for the newspaper in order to erase the most flowery and extravagant expressions. "I suppose so, Sir."

"Good. Class, please remember what I am about to say," Professor continued, turning from Anne to look at the class. "Do not write a word for a low or unworthy motive, but always cling to the highest of ideals. Always remember the goal of your writing, which is the message to be delivered. Are there any questions?"

Anne nodded begrudgingly, mulling his professor's words carefully. She supposed it made sense, for words were meant to be understood, after all. If she looked back to her time before moving to Avonlea, she wouldn't have understood half the words she knew now. And in any case, it didn't mean Anne could make use of the whole extent of the vocabulary she knew while speaking so it wasn't the worst sacrifice she would have to endure.

"Very well. Now that I've covered what I expect from you during this course, we will now move on to another subject I would like to address now that you've become acquainted with life in university," Professor Hamilton continued, his eyes glimmering with a hidden message. "I would like to discuss the Avery scholarship for all of you, meant to allow two of the students pursuing a class licence the opportunity to further their education in Redmond College."

At that, Anne looked up from her notes, her clear eyes unknowingly glimmering at the excitement of the challenge while her heart began to beat rapidly, overcome with the thrill of achieving yet another recognition.


October, 20th, 1899.

Waiting until his next class with Dr. Oak was torture.

Of course, the few days he had between Anne's letter and his Mental Diseases' class were useful in the way that he could think things through and plan what to say to his mentor, who he admired and was intimidated by in an equal manner.

Not for the first time, Fred Wright was a welcome addition in his life during those days. Sure, now that he knew the extent of the misunderstandings between him and Anne, meant it didn't go one day without him being the object of his friend's remarks but still, they meant a distraction. More than that, the friendly banter reminded him of Bash and of home and it gave him a sense of comfort in a world he did not know, even though he was pursuing the career he loved.

So, the time moved in what seemed like a snail's pace. Yet, it moved.

And, at last, Friday dawned particularly sunnier than what was expected for mid- October, and it was time for his Mental Diseases' lecture.

As soon as Dr. Oak let them go, Gilbert stood from his chair, told Fred that he would meet him back in their dorm, bypassed Roy as he climbed the stairs towards the exit with his mouth twisted into a scowl and at last stood just before the platform.

Dr. Oak straightened with a nod when she noticed the raven-haired' young man looking at her nervously. "Mr. Blythe, did you have a question about the current techniques of research we discussed in class?"

"Not yet, Dr. Oak," Gilbert replied rapidly, resembling his sweetheart as he fidgeted in his place, hiding his hands behind his back as they began to tremble. "I was actually wondering if you could help me with something, Dr. Oak."

The young woman frowned as she studied the way the usual calm Gilbert Blythe twitched nervously before gesturing to the chair behind her chair, which she barely used. "Take a seat, Mr. Blythe. I admit I am quite interested in learning what's got one of my students so flustered."

Gilbert snorted against his will and followed his professor's direction, playing with the hem of his shirt as he told Dr. Oak about Anne's friend and what he knew about the Mi'kmaq people. His thoughts, however, wandered over to the reason why he was so nervous.

Was he afraid to ask his mentor for help? Or was he afraid to learn what Dr. Oak thought of the Mi'kmaq community? What would he do, if he ended up disappointed by the one he had begun to see as a mentor and kindred spirit, as he beloved Anne liked to call them?

Emily Oak listened attentively, frowning deeper as the story continued. She soon forgot to put her books back in her portfolio and, once Gilbert was done, she crossed her arms with a severe look in her face. "And that is the last you've heard of this situation?"

Gilbert shook his head almost miserably. He would give anything to receive more frequent letters from Anne. "I am afraid I haven't, Dr. Oak. Anne is currently attending Queens University in Charlottetown."

Dr. Oak nodded before cocking her head thoughtfully. "That is a most regrettable situation, Mr. Blythe, and I truly wish the best for Miss Shirley-Cuthbert as she helps her friend. However, I do not see how I could help in this matter and, frankly, I do not see why you are so bent on helping them."

Gilbert looked up from his shirt, his eyebrows dancing in his forehead as he was struck with shock. "As I said, Dr., Anne was intending on contacting different newspapers to see if any of them would be willing to publish a story on the residential schools and its many deficiencies. While I am more than happy to contact the newspapers in Toronto myself if I have to, I wanted to speak to you as you know the city better than I do, and therefore could be able to direct me to Anne's best chance of being heard."

Dr. Oak nodded thoughtfully before looking at Gilbert once more. "What about you?"

Gilbert raised his eyebrows almost in outrage, yet forced himself to remain polite. Was he really so wrong about his mentor? "Excuse me?"

Dr. Oak continued to put her things away. "I am asking why you are helping. Do you intend to help your friend? Or do you have another objective in this enterprise?"

Gilbert was aghast for a second, frowning as he mulled that over. During the past few days, he had only thought of helping Anne, of staying by her side while she continued to be the force she'd always been. Other than the injustice of the situation, he hadn't really considered Ka'kwet or the Mi'kmaq community.

Then, he remembered the elder woman who attended to Moody when he fell from a branch during a field trip with Miss Stacy. It seemed almost an eternity ago, but he could see the moment so clearly, almost as if it was right before his eyes. Gilbert remembered the calm, elder woman and a recipient with honey.

When he focused on Dr. Oak again, he did so with a sense of purpose he hadn't had when he started this conversation.

"Back in Avonlea, a friend of mine injured himself during a field trip with Miss Stacy," Gilbert began, ignoring the way Dr. Oak's eyes shone with interest as she heard the name of her friend. "While I was tending to him, we ran into two members of the Mi'kmaq, one of them being an elder with extensive knowledge of healing. She used honey to clean the wound, as it has proven to have antibacterial properties."

nodded with interest. "I wasn't aware of it, if I'm being honest."

Gilbert shook his head. "Neither did I. But that's my point, Dr. Oak. We take their knowledge and their culture as a heathen one and we force them to adapt to our world, but if we shared with each other what we know in a peaceful manner, if we shared...we could so much more, we could save so many more lives."

Gilbert remembered Mary, and the wound he had deemed as being cleaned. He remembered the illness that had taken her from her family so promptly and the way it could have been so easily avoided had the world been more equal. Swallowing down the emotion clogging his throat, Gilbert stared at Dr. Oak almost stubbornly. "What is being done to the Mi'kmaq and to the other native communities is atrocious. It is a crime against humanity itself and it is foolish, because a different culture isn't a heathen one. It's just different. And if we learned from each other, there's no use to the extent in which we could change the whole face of modern medicine. So no, I'm not doing this only to help my friend."

Gilbert held his breath with expectation as Dr. Oak nodded, her eyes staring into thin air as she seemingly processed things over. The young woman took a few steps away from the desk, heading towards the edge of the platform with her arms crossed before her chest.

Then, she turned towards Gilbert with the first smile that had ever graced her lips in the young man's presence. "Good answer, Mr. Blythe."

Gilbert, who had been waiting for a lecture from his mentor, looked up with astonishment. "Pardon?"

"If I am to aid a student with something beyond what concerns us, I want it to be because of the right reasons," Dr. Oak explained easily, as if she hadn't frightened her student utterly with her dead silence a few moments before. "You speak with passion for our science. Medicine is a science that knows no borders, regardless of their kind. The fact that you understand that is a sign that you are on the right path to succeed in this career."

Gilbert stood, not sure what to expect of his professor. "Thank you, Dr. Oak. What should I tell Anne, then?"

Dr. Oak nodded before opening a small notebook that stood out from the other, bigger books. "How long does it take for you to receive a letter from Miss Shirley-Cuthbert?"

"Ten days," Gilbert replied instantly, having memorized the length of the period in which he dealt with the agonizing wait for word from his beau.

Dr. Oak opened her notebook on a particular page and tapped what was scribbled on it twice. "Mr. Blythe, what I am about to share with you is something I do not share with my students, mainly because I don't share anything about my personal life with them. I am trusting in your character in order to be calm that this discussion will not be shared."

When Gilbert nodded without hesitation, Dr. Oak nodded in return, her eyes on Gilbert's as she continued. "I am a member of an organization that is involved in activism in pro of achieving equity of gender, amongst other humanitarian causes. Tell your friend to write a draft of that article and bring it to me. Once I read it, we will talk more about it."

Gilbert nodded and, knowing himself to be excused, shook hands with Dr. Oak. "Thank you, Dr. Oak. I will be sure to deliver the message to Anne straight away."

It wasn't until he had climbed down the platform, already thinking of what he would write to Anne, when something registered in his mind.

"Dr. Oak?" Gilbert asked as he turned towards the professor with a confused frown dancing above his features.

Dr. Oak grabbed her portfolio and looked at Gilbert with polite attention. "Yes, Mr. Blythe?"

"How did you know Anne's complete name?" Gilbert asked. "I do not think I have ever referred to her as anything but 'Anne' in your presence."

To his surprise, Dr. Oak for a moment seemed to struggle hiding a snort. "Mr. Blythe, when Muriel wrote to me about you, do you really think she failed to tell me about the girl who tied with you for first place in your exam's scores?"


October, 22nd, 1899.

"I suppose that's Rachel," Miss Stacy said as a rapid, impatient knock resonated against the beaten white, front door of Green Gables. "Do you want me to let her in, Marilla?"

"It's quite alright, Muriel," Marilla replied with a roll of eyes as she walked towards the stove to heat water for the afternoon tea. Just then, a blur of skirts and vivid mannerisms made its way into the kitchen. "She'll let herself in."

"I would thank you not to paint me as some rude creature, Marilla," Rachel quipped as she left a basket filled with groceries on the floor. She then took a seat exhaling an exhausted sigh. "It is the force of custom, not a lack of politeness, which allows me to enter your home without invitation."

"That's quite enough, Rachel," Marilla replied drily as she carried a tray with three cups of tea and a plate filled with plum puffs. She left the tray on the table between them and looked towards Miss Stacy with a small side smirk. "I suppose you now know how to avoid this sort of...interruptions, Muriel."

As the younger woman laughed, Mrs Lynde scoffed impatiently as she grabbed a plum puff and a steaming cup of tea. "Oh, hush. You would be completely isolated from the world if it weren't for my visits. Shall we get on with the reason for this meeting?"

Marilla hummed as she grabbed a cup herself. "Very well, then. Do we have any updates on the conditions that will be placed in order for the press to be reintroduced?"

Mrs Lynde sighed with exasperation. "Reverend Allan is as closed-lip as ever. Of course, the final details are to be discussed in the next meeting but as for the specific requirements, the remaining members of the council must be discussing it amongst themselves in order to make sure they aren't overruled."

"I see," Marilla replied grimly. "In a way, we are no better off than we were a few months ago, then. We must still convince them to allow us to put the press."

"While I understand your concern, Marilla, I do not share it." The gleam in Miss Stacy's eyes was reminiscent of the one Anne had when she was ready to defend her posture. "After all, what are we if not proficient in convincing men that we are right? Our case is a strong one. More than that, they cannot argue with the opportunities working with the press will give the kids of Avonlea when the time comes for them to get a higher form of education."

"Not with the idea per se," Rachel argued almost reluctantly. "But they will have previous experiences to support their points."

Marilla scoffed. "Anne has done nothing but show how reluctant the men of this town are to open up to even the slightest of changes. She's done nothing to support them."

"Change is uncomfortable," Miss Stacy mused almost thoughtfully. She rested her empty cup on the small plate and fidgeted with her hat as she leaned back on her seat. "But it has to be welcomed. Our job right now is to make sure there are no complaints we cannot solve immediately, hence we will weaken their argument in this way."

As if suddenly remembering something, Mrs Lynde hummed loudly and dropped her cup on the table drastically. "Oh, heavens! Thank goodness you reminded me, Muriel, I almost forgot I overheard something related to this matter!"

"Please, do tell then!" Marilla snapped, flustered due to Rachel's outburst.

"I am about to, Marilla," Rachel snapped in response. She grabbed a plum puff and huffed with exasperation. "And it's one outrageous piece of news. I cannot fathom how I could have forgotten about this but, apparently, the school must take care of the fundings for the new press, as it is the school the one who will be using it."

Muriel gasped in anger before raising from her chair, too aghast and furious to say anything coherent for a few minutes.

"Muriel?" Rachel asked slowly after a long silence, her eyebrows raising with concern the longer Muriel paced from one end to the other of the small kitchen, muttering to herself as she did.

Meanwhile, Marilla chose to remain silent, taking a small sip from her cup to hide a fond smile. For the glimpse of a moment, she could see each time Anne had come back from school huffing and puffing about Gilbert or whatever was the cause of her outrage as if it was happening all over again.

"This is preposterous!" Muriel finally exclaimed, her cheeks colouring more intensely the longer her agitation continued. "How is it that the school is the only one who will use it when the other elders will be sure to control the topics promoten through the newspaper? How can they have the nerve to make us pay for something they are going to control thoroughly!?"

"It is a regrettable situation," Marilla shook her head with shame towards the absent members of the council. "How could we even gather enough funds?"

"And the school is months away from being completed," Muriel moaned miserably as she slumped on her seat again. "How am I supposed to gather enough funds for everything?"

"We need to organize collects and all kinds of activities to gather funds. Maybe even have the support of other families with kids in school," Mrs Lynde intervened. "The Barrys, for example, have their youngest still in school. They would for sure be willing-."

"We will not take charity," Marilla cut her friend off categorically. "Regardless of how hard this enterprise might be, we need to solve this by ourselves. We cannot consider ourselves serious members of the Council if we are ready to take any opportunity to relief ourselves from our responsibilities."

"The Council is not only integrated by us. There are three other members who must also help in gathering enough funds for the completion of the school. Especially if we consider the role those respectable men took in the destruction of the previous school," Miss Stacy argued, her eyes glaring holes into her cup. "I can understand if they won't offer any help with the funds for the press but I will not agree with them ignoring the consequences of what they have caused."

"In that case, we should address the matter in the next meeting," Marilla nodded. Her heart began to beat quicker as she remembered the grief in Anne's little face when she went to Bash's to tell her and Rachel about the school. "What about the press?"

Muriel nodded to herself before smiling at Marilla. "I understand that you do not care for charity, Marilla, but I hope you will accept help from a friend."

Marilla frowned with trepidation while Rachel leaned forward in utter interest. "A friend?"

Muriel's eyes were gleaming with excitement again. "Have I told you that Gilbert Blythe is being taught by a dear friend of mind at the U of T?"


October, 23rd, 1899.

If Josie was to be honest, which she was hardly - and especially to herself -, the most curious thing about what happened to her was that she realized how wrong it was because of how wrong it made her feel.

She didn't really understand what her parents had said about it. She understood what a reputation was and she understood that, as a party involved in what happened, she would be judged.

But, why was it her fault when she was the one who felt so horrible? Why was it her fault when the one who had actually done the action walked around in peace, knowing the law and the society stood by him?

She had said no. Why was she still the one who was ruined and not him?

Why had her father been so adamant in marrying her off to the boy who wronged her? Why had her mother told her it was her fault? Why were the rumours directed at her? Why was she given nothing but torment, when she should have been given support and understanding?

Before she consciously realized what she was doing, Josie had distanced herself from the people around her. She merely replied to the letters that arrived from home, never giving out any details other than the ones necessary to assure her family she was behaving like a proper lady. She had distanced herself from Jane and even Tilly, instead orbiting towards more empathetic souls - though still as annoying as ever - like Anne or even Diana.

Josie had learned to count the small blessings, though. Billy hadn't tried to contact her. God knows what she would have done if he did.

If her life was to be described by her, it would have been done as an uncertainty. She had no idea whether her father would take further retaliations against her in the form of an arranged marriage. She did not know what awaited her when she made it back to Avonlea for Christmas break. She had no idea what she would do with her life once she obtained the Second Class Licence.

The thing was that throughout her entire life, she had reckoned she would marry at the earliest convenience and therefore, every decision of hers would be discussed with her husband.

Now? Now marriage was the last thing she felt like pursuing.

She was currently walking through the campus, heading towards her next class. Usually, she would have been completely bored by the idea of going to class, preferring the idea of gossiping or hanging out with her friends much. Now, for the first time, she could understand the drive Anne had shown since she'd met her. Of course, Anne would always be obnoxious in her attempt to be the best at everything but now, Josie could relatively say she understood. It was a liberating feeling, spending her time in something she enjoyed and that was actually productive for her.

A sudden melodious cry snapped her out of her thoughts just as a yellowish pamphlet was thrown onto her face.

"Do you mind?" Josie snapped moodily, her hand unconsciously grabbing the paper anyways.

The young lady who stood before her, slightly tanned and with her brunette mane styled into a stylish bun, smiled unapologetically.

"Hello, miss. My name is Philippa Gordon and I am a law student at Redmond College. I'm here to talk to you about the Avery Scholarship, provided by Queens, which could allow you to further your education and become one of the few female lawyers in Canada," Philippa spoke in an animated manner, so fast that Josie had trouble keeping up with her, unused as she was to someone like Philippa. "Is that something you'd be interested with?"

"I-," Josie stammered, trying her best to order her thoughts in order to reply. Just then, what had been said to her was processed, and her confusion was deepened. "Excuse me, law school? Are women allowed to be lawyers?"

Philippa sighed. "It's been a recent development but it is permitted for us, yes."

Josie could feel herself gaping most unladylike but there was just too much awe coursing through her veins for her to reign herself. She didn't even want to reign herself. She had been waiting for something, anything, that would give her a surge of inspiration, of interest.

And it was that welcomed, blissful feeling of utter liberation that made Josie smile tentatively at the slightly older woman before her.

"When is the lecture?"


October, 25th, 1899.

My Anne with An E,

If I could somehow transport myself in a second to Charlottetown, don't doubt that I would. I dream of seeing you again every day but alas, school here has only been getting more hectic. I can only hope that Christmas will arrive before we notice and therefore, we will at last be together again.

And, once again, you are completely right. I enjoyed the challenge a great deal.

I am so glad that you liked the charm but, regretfully, I must disagree. I am the one blessed enough to count with your love, even after all the mistakes I've made. I can only hope that one day, I'll hope to be deserving of you. Hey, at last we are in disagreement!

Attached to this letter, you will find the requested copy of the letter in which I admitted my feelings for you and I hereby proclaim it as the original copy. However, Carrots, I ask that you not worry. I will never cease to write you love letters from now on, if that is agreeable with you.

My dearest Anne, are you actually doubting my faith in you? I have known of your proficiency in school ever since you beat me at that first spelling bee (and I ask that you note that I haven't missed the 'E' ever since. Not unless I've meant to, of course.) As you've been gracious enough to entertain with tales of your distraction at Queens, I will retaliate - speaking of 'fair and square' - with what Fred calls my 'enamoured face', which I apparently have every time I read a letter of yours. So, Anne, you must be comforted by the knowledge that our suffering is equal and hence, that our competition shall remain alive. I propose we take daily long walks in the cold Avonlea so we study the depth of our distractions thoroughly.

As per when I will be able to make it back home, I have yet to receive confirmation but I should be able to leave Toronto on the night of December, 15th at the earliest; morning of the 16th at the latest. If you are done with school by then, I could maybe make a stop at Charlottetown so we can make the remaining journey together?

I agree with your request wholeheartedly and I'm eager to see your reaction to the busy, active city that is Toronto. I do think that a city as animated as this will be agreeable to a spirited soul such as yours but I will say no more, and withhold my tongue until you can see it for yourself. I long to be able to introduce you to Fred and Dr. Oak and I am sure they will like you more than they could ever like me.

While I must ask you to take care of yourself - for my own mental health if nothing else - I understand that sometimes, the hours or the day are not nearly enough to do everything our hearts desire. Moreover, I cannot quite warn you to be careful when my own sleeping schedule is erratic at best, so I won't even presume to try. I understand what you meant when you speak of the feeling of discussing an important matter. It's part of having obtained what we've worked for, right? We've studied and went through so much and now, the new world around us is terrifying, yet is one we've earned by ourselves. I am so proud of you Anne, and I cannot wait to see everything you accomplish in the world.

You asked me about my new mentor, Dr. Oak, and I left my answer for the end as it relates to the sad news related to Ka'kwet. I hope you won't be too cross, dearest Anne, but I told my professor of this matter with the hopes that she could give us more information on which Toronto' newspapers could accept your story. After all, Dr. Oak knows the city much better than I ever could, so I assumed it couldn't be detrimental for you or your friend if I told her about this.

Fortunately, I was right. You are right, Carrots, Emily Oak is one intimidating professor, but she is one who cares, and a doctor I look up to. What she requested is for you to send a draft of your article at your earliest convenience, so she can look it over and see if her organization will publish it. While I have yet to learn any specifics on the organization she belongs to, I do know it is one related to humanitarian causes and to working towards equity of gender. While I must admit, most regretfully, that I am no expert in the matter, I do think it is an admirable cause, and one I dare to believe you would enthusiastically agree with. If it's okay with you, send a draft of the article with your reply and I will show it to Dr. Oak. If the proposal is not agreeable to you, please forget I ever mentioned it.

I do hope you were able to comfort your friend and that she will now be able to find peace. I know you aren't after praise, Anne, but I find myself in awe of your willingness to help and I vow to do my best to help from here. Please tell me of the outcome of your visit to Green Gables and send my best to Miss and Mr. Cuthbert.

My classes are as interesting as ever. Though my schedule has been completely overwhelmed with papers and assignments the more the exams get closer, while I am also dealing with extra research for Dr. Oak's class - which hopefully will earn me the internship after Christmas - it is a sort of exhaustion I don't mind, because it is related to the career I love. As of late, I've begun to remember the infinite afternoons I spent with my father, busying myself with some medical journal while my father slept. We've even discussed the several discoveries I read about but those were quite short, for my father tended to grow bored from the subject.

And I refuse to tell you about Fred. I am more than aware of the teasing that awaits me when you two meet and I am petrified for that day.

I love you completely, Carrots, and I cannot wait to hear from you again.


P.S. While I'm honoured by the offer, I must decline. Truthfully, Anne, wouldn't you rather yell at me yourself?

Anne was laughing to herself when Diana and Cole joined her around the table she had claimed as soon as she entered the same coffeehouse she'd gone to with Gilbert an eternity ago.

"Our apologies for the delay, my beloved friend." Diana hugged Anne tightly before taking off her coat and sitting to the ginger's right. "It took longer than usual to get our mail from the post office."

Cole, meanwhile, scoffed as he recognized the name scribbled by the bottom of the letter Anne was holding. "Diana, please. Look at her face. Anne could have sat on her own for hours on end and wouldn't have minded."

"You may think you are hilarious but I certainly do not appreciate your jokes," Anne scowled and for a second, she and Cole ensued a stare competition. The long moment of silence was broken by the proper lady jumping from her seat and hugging her friend tightly. "But I've missed you most ardently nonetheless."

"Indeed, my dearest Anne." Cole replied with a beam as he sat again. He looked at Diana, who was busy ordering their tea, before looking at Anne. "How is it that we are once again in the same town, yet we haven't reunited until now?"

"I suppose it will be easier to get together now that Anne and I have gotten used to Queens," Diana replied easily before smiling beatifically. "Unless our Anne here is completely besotted with her new sweetheart of course."

"Am I really meant to sit here while you two enjoy yourselves at my expense?" Anne questioned with shock, her cheeks a deeper red the longer Cole guffawed in his seat.

Cole eventually calmed himself down and as he wiped the tears that'd fallen down his cheeks with his hand, he looked at Anne with mirth. "Anne, please. You may have suffered from all those misunderstandings between you and Gilbert but we've all suffered too from your denial-."

"And his," Diana intervened, her eyes on her nails.

Cole nodded. "And his. It's only fair that you give us time to heal."

"Please, you did not suffer as much as you claim to." Anne was on the verge of crossing her arms sullenly but, remembering where she was with resignation, contented herself with clenching her fists on her lap.

Cole raised an eyebrow. "Do you remember when we came to Charlottetown to help Miss Stacy and I told you Gilbert had a crush on you? Did you believe me?"

Anne rested her back against her seat with defeat. "I cannot say I did."

"Or when he wrote to you from the steamship and you refused to give the letter to Ruby?" Diana intervened, her eyes glimmering excitedly as Anne began to fidget in her seat.

"Okay, that doesn't count! It was a letter from a friend, why would I want to give it to Ruby?"

"Or when you two danced together and chose to run away rather than facing your feelings?" Cole was positively beaming by now.

Anne scoffed in outrage. "You weren't even there!"

"Your point?" Cole retaliated hotly. Besides him, Diana smiled innocently.

"I learned to tell stories from the best."

Anne huffed with exasperation. "Look, I get it. We were exasperating. Can we move on already? I'm sure you have enough material to tease me with for years on end."

Cole considered the request carefully before turning towards his ally. "Miss Barry, what do you think?"

"I must I have no complaints, Mr. Mackenzie," Diana replied with gravity. "As long as we find the time to tease Mr. Blythe once we have the chance."

"I'm sure we can find the time," Cole smiled mischievously and turned towards Anne before she could protest. "So, what did your beau have to say?"

Anne thought about giving the letter to her friends but instead kept it safely on her lap. Some things, some things were too treasured to even be shown to her kindred spirits. "He is helping me get an article on the residential schools published. He is talking to his mentor, Dr. Oak, who might know of an organization that could be interested in publishing. I need to send them the article as soon as I'm able and my mind is already buzzing with ideas! It is so exciting, being able to fight for something good, wouldn't you agree?"

"It does sound better than the future planned for me," Diana quipped. She raised her eyebrows in resignation as she handed Anne a neatly folded letter. "My mother is already insisting that 'we' begin selecting possible suitors as soon as the New Year begins. As if I didn't know for a fact that this decision will be taken without any consideration towards what I want."

Anne read the letter with barely held fury. "But, dearest Diana, how are you going to avoid this? I know this was one of the conditions your parents set to allow you to come to Queens."

Diana shrugged sadly. "I don't know if I can avoid it. I guess the best I can aim for is for a companion that will not restrain me from what I want to achieve in life."

Cole exchanged a look with Diana before leaning forward in his seat. "Diana, what about-?"

Diana shook her head instantly. "Don't. I haven't the slightest idea of what to do with him and I don't want to deal with it until I'm sure. I've made that mistake before and I'm not interested in repeating it."

Anne remembered the time she made that mistake alright. It was one time in which she had been conflicted as to who to side with. Diana was her bosom friend and the one who'd stood with her through everything but Jerry, he had done nothing to deserve such treatment. Of course, in that situation she was the last person anyone had to think about but the situation she'd been put in, nevertheless, had been uncomfortable to say the least. She had no interest in recollecting that particular memory.

So, as efficient as ever, she changed the subject. "You will, Diana. You deserve to find someone who is your equal in every way and, especially, someone who is ready to treat you as such."

Cole smirked. "Is this the time when you gloat about the excellent companion you've found?"

Anne, who had actually taken a sip from her tea, choked from the shock. After a few moments in which she struggled to regain her breath, she managed to splutter hoarsely. "Of course not!"

Welcoming the distraction, Diana sighed blissfully. "It must be quite the relief, having a beau like Gilbert."

Anne smiled slightly at that and reached almost thoughtlessly towards the plate filled with biscuits. As she began to nibble at it bashfully, she took notice of her friends staring at her and sighed. "Well, there is something I need to discuss with him that I don't know how he will take. There is this scholarship Professor Hamilton told us about, the Avery Scholarship, that takes the two best students that are pursuing a teaching career and allows them to further their education in Redmond College."

Diana, who had heard about this already, nodded understandingly. "I understand that it is difficult to talk about these things with Gilbert but in any case, you'd be done with Queens earlier, right? Don't you have to complete the entire coursework and get a First Class Licence in one year instead of two in order to qualify?"

Anne nodded with a small laugh. "Isn't it preposterous that I keep finding new ways to complicate myself? Of course, life is all about adventures so I should be excited to do as much as I can but at the same time, there isn't just me I have to think about, right? And even that, I don't even understand how courtship works! Do I need to decide this with Gilbert? Do I wait until I see him?"

"I never thought I'd see the day in which you talked about courting. I'm so proud," Cole proclaimed, pretending to wipe a tear from his eye and raised his hands in surrender when Anne glared at him. "Look, I'm sorry, but I'm going to tease you. That's just who I am. For now though, what have you been able to decide with Gilbert? About your plans for the future, I mean. Have you managed to talk about anything?"

Anne blanched completely, beginning to panic as her mind fell into a complete, dark void.

For the first time in a long while - which she suspected went all the way back to when Gilbert talked to her when they were at the ruins - she was at a complete loss for words.

And she hated that feeling.

"It's okay, Anne." Diana squeezed her hand, her gaze telling Anne she knew exactly what she was thinking. "You guys had no time to speak before he had to leave for Toronto. Wait until he comes back for Winter Break and speak to him then, in person. Without a chance to cause misunderstandings with each other."

Cole coughed. "Are you sure about that?"

"Cole!" Diana exclaimed, her gaze growing vengeful as she turned towards the boy who was just having the best time teasing his friend. "Tell Anne what you were telling me about Aunt Jo."

Cole immediately paled. "How dare you, Diana Barry."

As Diana merely smiled serenely, Anne turned towards Cole with a frown. "What is it?"

"It's nothing-" Cole began, huffing when Diana coughed loudly. "Goodness, Diana, cut it out. It's just Aunt Jo."

Anne looked between her two friends, not understanding much still. "What about her?"

"She's been acting...rather strange," Cole replied, his gaze growing somber as he rested his chin on a slender, pale hand. "You know how she's always been unafraid to voice her opinions or engage in a conversation with anyone around her but now, she's been secretive, quiet...even to me."

Anne turned to Diana. She didn't want to think about what this could mean for her kindred spirit, who she owed so much. Josephine Barry had not only supported when not even Diana had but also, she had been there to clear her racing thoughts and anxieties when she needed it the most, giving her advice that led her to realize her feelings for one Gilbert Blythe. "Have your parents said anything about this?"

"Nothing," Diana shook her head sadly. "I don't think it's anything too serious, for otherwise my parents would know and they would let me know as well but I still worried for my dear Aunt Jo. We should go and visit her as soon as we can, Anne."

"That is a most excellent idea, dearest." Anne smiled and squeezed the hands of her friends. Aunt Jo was her kindred spirit but she had also saved her friends in other, entirely different ways. She had convinced Diana to take the exams, therefore giving her a future that she wouldn't have acquired otherwise. And Cole...she had given him a home, allowing him to be himself without fear of judgement for once.

Anne wanted to cry as she thought of her beloved friend. They couldn't lose Jo, they just couldn't.

"Do you think it'll be alright?" Cole asked her friends, his voice betraying the fear he felt.

Diana nodded enthusiastically. "Of course. It has to be. Aunt Jo is a strong woman, she has to be okay."

"We will deal with it together," Anne intervened as well. "No matter what."

Cole nodded slowly, his eyes speaking of the relief he didn't want to voice for fear of breaking down.

Then, he gestured towards the counter with interest. "What do you say we order more biscuits?"


October, 30th, 1899.

If it had been any other day, Gilbert would have made it back from the post office to immediately lock himself in his room and refuse to exit it until he had read his beloved's letter several times.

Each time a letter from Anne reached him, Gilbert was reminded of how little time he had actually had with her. The fact that he had only been able to kiss her before departing her was preposterous. Of course, he wouldn't have changed that moment for anything but he often dreamed of what it would be like to be able to talk with Anne for hours on end.

There was one particular image that came to his mind mostly during the few moments in which he allowed himself to be vulnerable, like when he was about to fall asleep. He imagined himself and Anne by the part of the orchard that had been left unused by him and Bash. He imagined picking Anne up from Green Gables with a basket filled with food, offering his arm as they walked down the road. He imagined them eating as much as they could, laughing breathlessly as they talked about all topics under the sun. He imagined Anne laying down on the blanket as soon as she was full, her ginger hair glowing as if it was fire while her eyes followed the dance the clouds performed above them. He imagined them being able to take a nap, without any concerns of being deemed improper.

He liked to leave these sort of daydreams for when he was about to sleep. After all, it increased his chances of dreaming with her and a dream in which she was pictured was a most perfect dream.

This time however, he only had time to realize the letter was heavier than usual before he was off.

He took off through the busy streets of Toronto, ignoring the colorful crowd gathered and doing his best to avoid crashing into anybody.

He raced towards U of T, running through the campus breathlessly, wanting to scoff at the bewildered glances of his peers.

He walked as fast as he could through the empty, silent halls of the University, adamant not to disturb the class on either side of him.

And, at last, after what seemed like an eternity, Gilbert knocked against one beaten door in particular, sighing in relief when he was allowed to come in.

"Mr. Blythe," Dr. Oak exclaimed with surprise as she raised from her chair. Having no classes that day, she had chosen to wear more informal, and therefore comfortable clothes. Her hair was half loose, half pinned to the back of her hair. "To what do I owe this visit?"

"I have it, Dr. Oak." Gilbert left the article on the desk, put the letter carefully in the pocket of his jacket and sat down in front of his mentor as he panted slightly. Apparently, all that studying was an obvious sign of how much he had forgotten about his exercise. "Anne sent me the draft of the article."

Dr. Oak didn't bother replying but instead took the article, standing up as she began to read. Gilbert was mostly focused on regaining his breath, but he still couldn't help but follow his tutor anxiously, eager to hear what she thought of his Anne's incredible writing.

Silence seemed to drag on as Dr. Oak read, pacing or leaning against some piece of furniture as she did. At last, she lowered the piece of paper and headed towards the window, seemingly looking out peacefully while Gilbert's anxiety grew and grew.

At last, he could not hold it any longer. "Dr. Oak, what do you think?"

Dr. Oak turned slowly, her gaze expressionless as it fell on her young student. "The organization I belong to is the National Council of Women of Canada, which began six years ago. We have been looking for articles that will shed light on current issues for our anniversary issue."

"And is Anne's article a candidate?" Gilbert asked, his eyebrows furrowing tightly as always when he was nervous.

Dr. Oak smiled as she crossed her arms. "I think that with a few edits, it could very much be. Still, I will need to show it to my fellow comrades in order for it to be approved."

Gilbert nodded slowly. "And then you will let me know?"

Dr. Oak cocked her head thoughtfully as she considered the proposition. Then, she sighed and shook her head. "As I've told you before, Muriel described her two best students in detail. I've known of Miss Shirley-Cuthbert's passion for a while, but it is a rare pleasure to encounter it on a first-hand experience. I now see what Muriel meant when she spoke of the two of you and I think that it would be much better if you gave the news to Miss Shirley-Cuthbert rather than her receive them from a stranger."

Gilbert frowned even deeper. "How could I give the news to her? I would have to be in your meeting."

Dr. Oak remained silent, looking at Gilbert with expectation.

And, after a long moment, Gilbert understood.

His eyebrows constricted even more sharply. "How can I even get in? Am I even allowed in there?"

Dr. Oak smiled with barely hidden amusement. "Let me worry about that, Mr. Blythe."


October, 31st, 1899.

Charlottetown had succumbed into the familiar celebratory mood related to Halloween as Diana and Anne made it down the sidewalk towards Aunt Jo's house.

"Wouldn't it be just delightful, being able to be kids again?" Anne wondered with an enchanted smile gracing her lips. She turned as a pair of little kids ran past them in excitement and laughed at the joy of it all.

Besides her, Diana wasn't nearly as happy. "I agree with you, dearest, as always. If only I could avoid being married off as if I was some object."

Anne sighed, interlocking Diana's arm with her own. "If everything else fails, I will get Gilbert to sneak us into some magnificent steamship. Oh, wouldn't it be wonderful, sweetest Diana? Being able to discover the infinite mysteries hidden away around the world for us to discover and marvel at?"

Diana smiled despite herself. "That sounds like quite the journey. Would you be willing to do that for me though?"

Anne looked at her friend, unsure of whether she was really asking.

After a split moment, she realized she didn't actually care.

The answer was still the same.

"Of course," Anne replied. "You are my bosom friend."

Diana opened her mouth to reply, her eyes already filling up with tears, when the door to Aunt Jo's mansion opened unceremoniously and Cole raced down the stairs.

Anne froze in her step, her voice heightening with alarm. "Cole?"

"I saw you walk up the entry," Cole said hurriedly as he grabbed each of the girls by an arm. He then half-dragged them behind a big tree just besides the stairs that led into the house. "I need to talk to you."

"What's going on?" Anne demanded.

"Is Aunt Jo alright?" Diana asked fearfully.

Cole scoffed. "Of course she isn't. She has finally lost her mind. The last thing I want to do is disrespect the woman who welcomed me into this house but, Diana, she's lost it. She's truly insane."

Diana widened her eyes in alarm. " Cole Mackenzie! Stop it right now before you frighten me utterly. What has happened?"

Cole closed his eyes, struggling to slow his breath.

Without opening them, he managed to hiss through his teeth.

"She wants to talk to my parents because she wants to adopt me officially. We have to go to Avonlea during the WInter Break in order to request permission from my legal guardians. I have to see my parents again."

As Diana and Anne both gasped, Cole opened his eyes and laughed humorlessly.

"Happy Halloween, huh?"

Guys, there are some thoughts I need to discuss with you.

I want to mention that in the first scene between Gilbert and Dr. Oak, I decided to make Emily vague about the organization she's a member of because, the way I see it, women were judged and critiqued because of the activism they performed or the organizations they belonged to. Feminists are judged nowadays, so I don't really want to imagine what it was like for women then. So, when talking to Gilbert - though he is a sweetheart - I still imagined she would be cautious about oversharing.

Related to this, the NCWC is an actual organization that was founded in 1893. I wanted to pick an actual organization from that time in order to make it more realistic and to be able to shed some light onto the suffragette movement. Now, I spent a lot of time researching about the Canadian' female organizations and I ended up picking up this one because of the organization's goals, which will be able to interact with my ideas for this story flawlessly. Now, I do guess I won't be able to portray the organization 100% accurately so I ask that you check the author's note by the end of each chapter from now on.

I also feel I need to talk about Cole's character. I am well aware that he is much different to what I've shown here but in all the fanfics I've read, I love how Cole is so sassy and cunning and it is something I quite see in the character as well, so I felt it would be entertaining to alter his personality slightly.

Also, there was a scene in which the girls were going to get together and discuss the recent developments. While I do think the dynamic of that scene will be interesting, I just couldn't find the inspiration to make the scene as good as I wanted it to be. It will appear in chapter 3 instead so I can give it another focus.

And, since I'm here, question: Do you ship Bash with Miss Stacy? Or does he deserve his time to heal after Mary? What do you guys think? That is one thing I'm undecided on how to develop so I wouldn't mind writing the idea you guys prefer!

Thank you so much for reading and for the support! It is so so welcomed! Stay tuned for chapter 3!