Rory took a deep breath before pulling open the door to the lecture hall at Harvard. It was her first day at Harvard Law School, her first day as being Leigh Hayden instead of plain old Rory Gilmore. She took a look around the room before settling on a section in the middle of empty seats, not too close to look like a suck up, and not so far back she couldn't hear. Once she was seated she took a good look around, now she was ready for her first lecture the room looked just the same as all the lecture halls had at Yale, this helped with her nerves. The familiar is much easier to deal with.
Rory had spent four years as an undergrad at Yale, she was a journalism major, with a minor in pre-law. Most people didn't realise that she had completed all the pre-law courses, thanks to her Grandpa Hayden she had done a lot online or under the radar, she had asked for a few normal years before fully embracing her part in the dynastic plan. She wasn't resentful of the plan, she actually agreed with it and was looking forward to it, but one thing Rory had never liked was sycophants who were only nice to you for their own gains. So Rory had explained to both sets of grandparents before she switched to Chilton that she wanted the chance to make real friends, trustworthy people, that she knew only liked her for her, not for money or connections. Therefore the plan was born, she would spend her teenage years as Rory Gilmore never fully stepping into society, much to Emily's chagrin, then when she went to Law School she would go by her full name. Every good lawyer knows that intimidation tactics, and contacts start in Law School, so she needed to use the full power of the Hayden Legacy.
Rory had been so busy daydreaming that she only became aware of how full the room had become when someone dropped into the seat beside her, jarring her from her daydreams.
"Welcome to Legal Methods, my name is Professor Cullen. Now throughout this course we will cover the processes and the skills you will need for the professional use of case law, and to the development of American legal institutions. By the time the course ends, then, you will have acquired skills essential to your work in other law school classes, an appreciation for the changing styles of legal analysis that American jurists have brought to their work over time, and an awareness of current disputes about the modern role of judges. Other goals I have are to encourage you to work collaboratively in a comfortable atmosphere for learning, and to offer chances for small-scale informal interchange. Now as part of this class, take a look at the person to your left, this will be your partner for the duration of this course. We will have multiple debates and projects that will require you to work together. There will be no changing of partners, my TA has been writing down all the partnerships since they arrived. Now for today…"
Rory took the opportunity to look to her left for the first time as she had only just realized that someone had sat down beside her. Now she was able to see it was a guy, he had dark brown short cropped hair, what looked like blue eyes, he looked like he was maybe a year or two older than her. He was wearing a plain white v-neck t-shirt with a no collar chocolate brown leather jacket over top. His clothes screamed money, potentially society, but unlike most society boys which Rory tended to hate automatically, there was something about him that drew her in.
Damn it, trust me to get my first crush in years on someone that I will have to work with twice a week for a year, Rory thought. The guy glanced at her, which was enough for Rory to remember that she was still in class, so she started paying attention to the lecturer at the front of the room.
At the end of the lecture the guy next to Rory turned to her and offered his hand to shake.
"Hi, seeing as we are apparently going to be spending quite a bit of time together this year, I thought I'd better introduce myself. Colin McCrae."
"Nice to meet you Colin, I'm Leigh Hayden." Rory said, shaking his hand, pretending that she didn't see him trying to subtly check her out.
"Hayden? As in House of Hayden?" Colin asked, curious about the brunette in front of him. She seemed familiar but also he knew if he had met her before he would have remembered those eyes.
"Yes. McCrae as in McCrae and Son?"
"Guilty," Colin said, raising his hand. "Do you want to go and get a coffee? We will have to exchange information if we have to work together, and I don't know about you but I'm willing to admit I don't know that many people around here yet."
"Well Colin, you are in luck, I never turn down coffee. There is a coffee cart just down the way. Did you want to try there, then we can just find a seat somewhere in the quad?"
"Sounds like a plan, lead on." Colin responded, gesturing to her with his arm to lead the way.
Once they were seated on a bench overlooking the quad and its surrounding law buildings. Colin spoke. "So Leigh we might as well get the basics out of the way. Where did you get your undergrad degree?"
"Yale, what about you?" Rory asked as she took a sip of her caramel macchiato.
"No way, I went to Yale, I can't believe we didn't cross paths. Did you just graduate this year? I did but I did take a gap year with some friends to attempt to sail around the world, so I should have finished it earlier."
"Yep, just in spring, I was in Branford. I was a journalism major, minor in pre-law." Rory said preempting the question.
"I was in Berkeley. I was a business major, pre-law minor." Colin said, looking at Rory before taking a gulp of his americano.
"Ah, I'm doing a minor in business now, so I didn't get to escape that part."
"If you need any help with that let me know and I will try."
"So you said you don't know many people around here yet, did all your friends go to different grad schools?" Rory asked Colin, she was enjoying this relaxed conversation while people watching.
"Actually my two best friends both went to work this year, one has gone to London to start his part of the dynastic plan." Colin said, mimicking the air quotes as he said dynastic plan.
"Oh thank God, I didn't think anyone but my parents and I said a dynastic plan in such a mocking manner."
"Nope, pretty much everyone I went to Yale with spoke of their plans in a scornful manner. So no to answer your question, I don't know anyone in Boston so far. What about you?"
"Well my Dad lives here, so there is always some family around. My best friend and roommate from Yale is actually at Harvard Med, so I am living with her and her boyfriend this year."
"That's good that you have a good friend here," Colin said, wistfully.
"Oh you haven't met Paris, life with her is never easy. She is extremely high maintenance. I may have already killed her this week but because I own our place, she has had to back down from a few arguments." Rory said, thinking back to how Paris had tried to take the master bedroom when she moved in.
"Paris? That's not a very common name, you don't mean Paris Gellar?" Colin asked, with spark of a memory forming.
"Yep, I see yet again her reputation precedes her." Rory said with a half laugh.
"I seem to remember hearing that she was the student on vacation with Professor Fleming when he kicked the bucket, and then she threw him a wake when she got back to school?" Colin half asked, half stated as he reached past Rory to throw his coffee cup in the garbage can at her end of the bench.
"True story, she made me hang posters everywhere for that wake. People thought it was me who had been sleeping with him after that." Rory said scornfully.
Colin didn't even attempt to hold in his guffaw of laughter. "Oh my god, that's awful and hilarious all at the same time."
"That is life with Paris. Remind me at some point to tell you about the CSPAN incident."
"Oh I will, it sounds like you might have a few stories that I would find amusing."
"That is probably an understatement," Rory said. Just as she was about to continue talking her cell rang, looking down at the caller id, she waved it at Colin. "Speak of the devil. Hi Paris."
"No Paris I didn't forget that we have dinner plans."
"Okay, I'll see you at home in twenty."
"Bye." Rory hung up with a sigh, glancing over at Colin, who to his credit was attempting to look like he hadn't been eavesdropping on her call.
"So that was Paris, we have dinner plans, and she was worried I had forgotten her because I'm not home yet. I have to go, do you have torts tomorrow morning?"
"Yes I do at 10am?"
"I'll see you there. It was nice to meet you Colin, hope you have a good evening." Rory said, getting up to walk away.
"Yes, nice to meet you." Colin said to Rory's back. He took the opportunity to survey her figure as she walked away, thinking about how her jeans clung to her body perfectly. It had been a long time since, if ever, that Colin had had such a relaxed and intelligent conversation with a girl. Most of the girls he met were vapid bimbos, admittedly he had never tried looking for more, but he could already tell this girl was going to be different.