“Just two more,” Sophie told herself weakly, a mumble under her breath not dissimilar to that of a crazy person. She was the mother of two toddlers who were still raging through their terrible twos (with their likely equally terrible threes on the horizon) after all, so maybe she was a crazy person. Her life was busy, and while she couldn’t imagine herself happy any other way, it could be a bit much, especially since now their babysitter varied by day. As glad as she was that Serapes was well enough to return to his employment, she certainly missed his reliability.
Today the boys were actually at Sonora, dropped off at Juliet’s quarters bright and early before the first class of the day (“You owe me for this one,” she had kindly pointed out, her eager smile a solid indication of her sarcasm), and Sophie could only imagine what kind of trouble they were getting into. She trusted her cousin completely, but if Juliet let either of those small boys on a broomstick, blood was going to be spilled.
With an exasperated sigh--it was Friday at least, but she had two more classes before her weekend could begin--Sophie slid down in her chair, invisible behind the desk. But a moment later, she heard the first of her beginners arriving, and she rocketed up, banging her thighs into the wood. “Ouch!” she cried involuntarily before making eye contact with the first arrival. “I mean, uh, hey there. How’s your day going?”
Luckily, there wasn’t too terribly much time of awkward Let’s-Pretend-I’m-A-Better-Adult-Than-I-Am conversation with the individual, since the rest of the class flowed in not terribly later. “Hello, everybody,” the small blonde grinned. “Hopefully since we’re finishing up our first week back, you’re all feeling back into the swing of things.”
“For that reason--and don’t hate me--we’re going to have a pretty big assignment. Remember,” she added quickly, her hand raised, “how I didn’t give you any work over break or any homework this week.” Her eyebrow raised as if quietly asking, am I wrong? “Right, so we’re going to do a research essay. I know, I know,” she talked over any groans, “those are boring and not fun, but they’re important. Honest. You’re each going to pick a Potion and write me an essay on its origin. Who invented it, why, what it does, anything relevant that you can find.”
“A lot of that is going to be in your textbooks, but there’s also a stack of other helpful and appropriate resources on the counter by the extra ingredients,” Sophie continued with a gesture. The counter was occupied by not only its usual organized smattering but a cluster of books, all varying in size, color, and apparent age. “This will be due a week from Monday, so that gives you two weekends to work on it. We’re going to get started looking through books during class today, and before class is over, I’m going to pass around a sheet for you to all tell me which potion you’re researching. It’s perfectly fine if people choose the same one; I just want to know what to expect.”
“You’re also welcome to work together on research, but each of you has to turn in your own essay. If they’re exactly identical, it will hurt your grades. Two feet of parchment.” The Pecari alumna glanced around for any looks of confusion, choosing to ignore any of disgust. “Right, so unless you guys have any specific questions right off the bat, let’s get cracking.”
OOC: This (scroll to "curriculum" and pick something from any year's lessons) may be a helpful resource if you want to specify what potion your character is selecting. Have fun!
12Professor Sophie O'MalleyGetting write down to it. [Years I-II]34Professor Sophie O'Malley15
Arianna stifled a groan when the Potions assignment was announced as she was certainly not going to show a strong emotional reaction to anything in public, both because it was not proper and because she didn't want to let anyone see what they could consider a weakness to exploit. Although she wouldn't consider it one. After all, who liked doing research papers? Even Uncle Evan wasn't that weird.
And it wasn't as if she was stupid or incapable. Really, the Crotalus considered herself to be quite intelligent. It was just that she had much better things to do with her time. Like observe her classmates to see whom was worth befriending so she could start up an exclusive club of girls, a sorority of sorts. As it wasn't blood purity that was the basis of being included-right now Arianna was more likely to include her roommate Eliza, not to mention Aunt Holly's daughter Jasmine when she came to Sonora than say someone from a good family who was a total tomboy-or excluded, and she didn't intend for it to be an official school club, she was sure it would be fine.
Still, not showing emotions was about control and power. Arianna was never going to give anyone power over her, especially not an inferior. It was important to her to take her rightful place, on the top of the social heap. Acting childishly emotional would not help her. She had to dominate, not academically because that was rather nerdy but where it mattered. After all, even though it was okay to do well in school because certainly one didn't want to be stupid, she was not going to need good grades to get into college since she was going to be socialite, not a career woman-never mind society's expectations, she wasn't going to work for anyone and have them bossing her around! Therefore Arianna's time and energy was better spent elsewhere.
Not to mention, even the practical parts of Potions were dull. Not to mention gross. Still, learning to brew a potion was more beneficial than doing research, even if the first year would prefer to buy her potions rather than make them herself. There were some potions out there that were actually useful, in particular beauty or cosmetic ones-even though Arianna would prefer a charm for such things-or ones that might be useful against an enemy. Research papers had no place in her life, as she was certainly not going to be an academic . She couldn't imagine anything drearier.
Still, she had to do the paper whether she liked it or not. Arianna suppressed a sigh and was about to set out to find someone acceptable to chat with while they worked , when someone approached her.
11Arianna Tate, CrotalusI'd really rather not.353Arianna Tate, Crotalus05
Everything sucked. Midterm had been awful, with the discovery that her dad was as much a visitor in their house as she was, having moved out shortly after she’d left for school. Her parents had done their best to smooth it over - the D word had not been mentioned yet, but they were saying things like ‘sometimes grown ups need time apart’ and that they ‘had a lot of thinking to do’ and she really couldn’t see how it was going to get better rather than worse. This had been heavily reinforced by the arguments she’d heard after her bedtime, the terse whispers often escalating to be easily audible, even if she hadn’t been creeping out to listen. Her mum was angry that her dad had ruined Christmas for her. He wasn’t going to have that pinned on him - just because she’d walked in on him in the spare room, it didn’t make it more his fault - in fact, this whole thing….
Since she had returned to Sonora, Georgia had kept to herself. She didn’t want to do the cheery chit-chat about how midterm had been because she didn’t know how to tell anyone how awful hers was. She didn’t particularly want to. She wasn’t that close to anyone here and it was hard to know how to confide in people. She had always been the cheerful, easy going kind, and the biggest problems she’d had had been with the cliquey girls in her year. She’d always talked to her mom or dad when that bothered her. Her lack of close friends here made it easy enough to keep a low profile - she probably wasn’t enough on anyone’s radar for them to notice that she wasn’t being very sociable. She liked Farrah and Killian well enough, and in her first term had tried to say ‘hi’ and had joined them for meals a couple of times when she saw them, but she didn’t think they really counted as friends. Juniper was easy enough to not really talk to, as she never did much of that anyway. She was still polite to her room-mate, but it wasn’t as if they’d been sharing secrets before, or like Juniper was likely to ask prying questions now.
There were a few times Georgia had shown up to class with puffy eyes, and this Potion class was amongst them. Lunch time made her feel lonely and gave her space to think, neither of which was particularly welcome right now. She had a slight frozen-bunny-in-headlights moment when, as she walked into Potions, Professor O’Malley looked her right in the eyes and asked her, personally, how her day was going.
“Um, fine thanks Mis- Professor,” she mumbled, self-conscious at the over-attention and wondering whether it was super obvious she’d been crying, or whether she was just feeling paranoid. She took a seat in the middle, hoping to blend in, although she hated the feeling that every person behind her was staring at her.
Potions was usually a pretty good class for her at the moment, in that in needed absolute concentration. That was true of all magic really, but if your mind was elsewhere in Transfiguration it just tended not to work. Charms could get a bit out of hand. But in Defence and Potions, a momentary lapse in attention could mean being flipped on your back or having something blow up. Usually the fear of that was enough of a mental slap in the face to get her to pull herself together. Today though, it seemed she would not be so lucky. Today, they would be working on essays. Which meant her mind was free to wander… What if her dad didn’t come back? He was leaving because of The Whole Magic Thing, as far as she could tell. What if he didn’t want to see her any more? Did she even want to see him, if he basically hated everything about her now? A lump rose in her throat. She couldn’t imagine not wanting to see her dad, however much it felt like it couldn’t work right now, but what if he didn’t feel the same..?
The scrape of chairs brought her back to the present, and she went to get a book. None of the potions they’d studied so far exactly riveted her… She couldn’t imagine writing two feet (an amount which at first had been totally meaningless but she had come to equate to roughly half her own height - which sounded like a lot. Why couldn’t they set homework in something less threatening, like pages?) about any of them. She flicked through a book, deciding to find the potion that had the longest entry, in the hopes that would give her a lot to work with. Am. Or. Ten. See-uh.. The word was an incomprehensible blur the first time her eyes landed on it but with a deep breath she was able to sound it out in her head. She was finding a lot of words in this world to be like that - long and intimidating looking, but at least following some sort of pronunciation logic if you just took care. Apparently it was love potion… That seemed potentially not totally boring, and the book she was looking in had a good few pages about it. Most of it might not be relevant to what Professor O’Malley had set them (she had to check the board to confirm what this, exactly, was - luckily it seemed pretty broad, and to just be everything they could find out). She was perfectly prepared to get stuck into her work (admittedly, alternating with daydreaming or the nightmare equivalent thereof - but her intention was to distract herself with her work) - when her neighbour decided to strike up a conversation…
13Georgia Kirkly, TeppenpawNot the distraction I was hoping for346Georgia Kirkly, Teppenpaw05
For Joe, the end of the first week was not when he started feeling back in the swing of things. It was when, after the initial interest of hearing how everyone else’s breaks had gone and seeing a lot of people who weren’t his brothers and sister was past, he first started really, really wishing he was back on holiday again. His calendar informed him that Easter wasn’t particularly late this year, but the days off associated with it seemed like they were an eternity away.
Somehow, the thought of writing a report on the origins of a potion did not do much to make them seem any closer. Joe thought that even the Aladrens would dislike this one, though admittedly maybe not for the same reasons as others – some of that sort liked writing, but he doubted this was exactly the kind of writing that kind of Aladren liked. This one sounded like it had been designed to ensure equal opportunity dullness, which wasn’t really a goal Joe thought was worth striving for….
Oh, well. At least he could go a class period using minimal brain power, just flipping through a book or two so he could decide which potion sounded most interesting and then ask John about it – or maybe, better yet, talk John around the issue by framing it as CATS review – so he got the right resources without having to skim through ten books that weren’t helpful for every one that gave him something he could use. The power of connections; he could understand why the purebloods liked it so much, though he doubted they typically used theirs to only cut down on the amount of pre-work they had to do on boring assignments they didn’t really want to do at all. Alas, Joe’s power of that sort began and ended with access to his brother’s knowledge of the library's contents and how to pick a good source; he thought he would have to be really in a jam, not just disinterested, to persuade John to actually do his homework for him, especially this year. John still insisted that he was as mildly annoyed and completely unconcerned about taking the CATS as he had been in August, but Joe had noticed that he had been ‘busy’ a lot since September and had the looks to back the label up, showing up in the dining hall a lot of mornings visibly sleep-deprived and sometimes even, at least by their household standards for such things, a bit disheveled. He was kind of surprised, even knowing Aladrens, that the older prefects in his House didn’t seem to have had a word with him about that yet…
He tried to think about work and properly about work. There had to be a reason (an at least half-good reason, that was; there had to be some excuse other than ‘we’re literally just trying to keep you busy and/or punish you’ on the books for things, didn’t there?) they had been given this work. Were they supposed to get an idea of how potion-creation worked by studying how one had been made? Was talking about that the way to go from an A or an E to an O on the paper? He’d have to do actual work for that, not just copying facts and slightly rewording them, but he guessed that was kind of support for the idea that it was the way to a good grade instead of just an adequate one....
“Actual work it is,” he muttered under his breath, flipping through his textbook for some ideas. Now that he had thought of it, he had to try it. Unfortunately, their textbook really was not very inspiring, or at least wasn’t inspiring in the right ways. He looked up and around and found his neighbor doing the same thing. Joe grinned ruefully.
“This should be fun,” he commented. He assumed that even the most socially obtuse Aladren or Crotalus, or most sincere of his fellow Teppenpaws, would notice a certain lack of sincerity on his part. “Though I guess it could be interesting to find out why someone invented the hair-raising potion,” he allowed on second thought as the function of the first potion that had popped into his head came into his head as well. Why would someone ever think one day ‘oh, hey, what the world really needs is a hair-raising potion’? Joe could imagine something like that happening if John and Clark got bored, partook of certain substances, and made a bet on who could come up with the most useless thing possible, but he doubted something created that way would end up in a potions book at a respectable school. That meant it had probably been invented for some other reason, and Joe couldn’t help but be curious what it had been, though he didn’t know yet if he was curious enough about it to dedicate his paper to it. He needed to do more flipping through the book to evaluate his options first.
Ben and Gabe were hosting their first Sports Club meeting tomorrow. He'd done all the preparation he could think of for it, but as the number of hours between 'now' than 'then' drew close to a mere twenty-four, he grew more and more anxious that he was forgetting something important and his upcoming meeting was taking more and more of his attention.
In a likely vain attempt to be able to focus a little bit on his schoolwork instead of discussing tiny pointless details to death (either about club in general, tomorrow's meeting from an organizational standpoint, or the more esoteric rules of the game of volleyball that may or may not even come up), Ben intentionally chose not to sit next to either Valenti during class today. Instead, he found himself sitting beside Joe Umland, who Ben knew mostly as (a) the guy who somehow won best flier in last year's yearbook, (b) one if the names on the Teppenpaw team roster this year, and (c) not an Aladren. These three traits together gave Ben the idea that Joe was a decent person who wouldn't get too angry at Ben if he messed up a potion by accident.
This consideration soon proved to be moot, however, and the Professor revealed they would be starting a research paper today instead of brewing something. This was both good and bad. The good news was that he wouldn't blow up himself and possibly Joe as a result of his club-related distraction. The bad news was that (1) it was a really big essay and Ben hated essays, and (2) he definitely wasn't going to be working on this weekend, between Sports club and Liliana's post-midterm get-back-in-shape regiment. At least there was going to be another weekend (which naturally included Ben's first Quidditch match) to write the whole thing Sunday night when hopefully Liliana was still basking in the glow of victory and let them all have a night off to catch up with schoolwork. Ben guessed he wouldn't being scheduling the Sports Club's second meeting that night after all.
He collected a book from the professor's collection and idly began flipping through it to see if anything stood out as a good topic. Nothing had so far when Joe made a comment.
Ben blinked, not having been expecting to be addressed, and took a moment to process what had just been said. "What? Oh, yeah. Total fun," he agreed, matching Joe's lack of enthusiasm and sincerity and dropping them further.
Joe continued, and Ben gave him a stare that fell somewhere between the realms of incredulity and intrigue. "That," he said after a moment, "is actually something I never thought about before and might actually find interesting." He looked down at his book for a moment then back to Joe, shrugging, "At least, more interesting than anything I've skimmed over so far." Not a hard task, truthfully, given that his skimming had been so minimal he couldn't recall a single potion on the pages he'd been absently turning. "I might steal that idea, if you don't mind."
1Ben "Hippo" Pierce, PecariThat's the write attitude!339Ben "Hippo" Pierce, Pecari05
Farrah really needed to make friends. Like real, legit, talk all night and giggle for no reason at all, sort of friend. She missed her friends back home and after spending her holiday free time with them, she came to realize that she didn’t really have a set group of friends or even on really good friend that she felt close to here at Sonora. Killian was cool and she enjoyed her time with him, but he was a boy and Farrah wasn’t always going to be comfortable talking to him about stuff. Plus, she had seen him around with other people, so she couldn’t very well assume he felt the same way about their friendship as she did. Farrah definitely was not friends with her roommates, although Madeleine might have been okay, Farrah really hadn’t spent much time with her. She just knew that Arianna was too much like the mean girls back home for her to ever feel comfortable with. But there was Georgia, whom Farrah had met their first week at Sonora. Farrah felt that they had things in their life that was similar and that they could relate to.
The problem was that Farrah didn’t really see Georgia often unless they happened to be eating at the same time. She saw her in class, but hadn’t had an opportunity to really work with her. This didn’t really worry Farrah too much until one day when she was close enough to Georgia to happen to see her puffy eyes. Farrah had her fair share of cries in her lifetime and could easily spot the familiar look. She really hoped no one was giving Georgia a difficult time here. Of course, it could be something more simple than that, like Georgia was homesick or something. Farrah had bouts of that from time to time. It had been a difficult adjustment for her to be away from her mom, but going to the MARS Water Room to ice skate really helped her with that. Maybe Georgia didn’t have any way to help cope for moments like that?
Farrah wanted to talk to her about it, but since they weren’t close and still managing to be more acquaintance than good friend, she didn’t really think it was her place to bring it up. Or rather, know what to say in order to bring it up. And who was to say that Georgia wanted that at all? These were the types of issues that Farrah needed her mother’s advice on. She wanted to be better friends with Georgia. She wanted to have that friend that she could trust and who could trust her too. Being away from home and put into a world that she had only just learned was real a couple of years ago was so difficult and she was doing it alone, which made it all the more scary and complicated. Having someone to whom she was able to talk about it with would make it so much easier.
At least, that’s what she was hoping.
She took her seat and pulled her long reddish brown hair up into a low ponytail as she did with every Potion lessons. She wasn’t quite sure how she liked this class. It reminded her of a weird mix of Chemistry and Baking, both of which she was okay with but not an expert so she was uncertain to the day to day of it all. Much like every other lesson she was currently taking. But reading and practicing was at least helping with the other ones. Potions she was just sort of stuck doing the day of the classes and hoping she was doing them correctly.
At the lesson though, Farrah almost sighed with relief. As boring as writing a research paper was, it was familiar and therefore, something she could work out without feeling out of her depths. Although, two feet seemed like a long length to write (and why did Magical being choose this method instead of just saying five pages? Or even just saying 500 words? Why were they writing on parchment and not in notebooks? She didn’t understand why the materials themselves were so different between the Magic and the Non-Magic). Farrah went and grabbed some materials to start her paper on. It was hard to decide what was the best potion for her to work on because there were so few that she really knew about. She thought though that she might try her hand at writing about the sleeping draught if she could find enough information on it.
Before she got too involved in it, Farrah turned to ask Georgia what she might be working on and then chewed on her lower lip for a moment as she thought if it was okay to do so or not. Other people were chatting and Farrah wanted to believe that Georgia wouldn’t be too mad at her for interrupting her. “Hey Georgia.” Farrah whispered, giving her a friendly smile. “Any idea on what potion you think will give you two feet of scroll?” She asked to get the conversation rolling.
6Farrah Welsh, AladrenMaybe I can be a better one?344Farrah Welsh, Aladren05
One should always try to do the write thing.
Ben Pierce had an odd look on his face, and Joe devoutly hoped that his mother had not invented the hair-raising potion. If she had, though, he proved that he was also clueless about what had inspired her to do it a moment later, so all was well.
“Yeah, sure, go ahead,” he said when Ben asked to steal the idea. Joe had not meant the example seriously at all and wasn’t sure it was even a good one, but anything could work. “Let me know if you find out anything other than ‘somebody just wanted to make somebody’s hair stand on end,’” he added. “Because that’s really all I can think of, other than someone doing it by accident or on a bet.”
It being an accident was another possibility, possibly even the most likely one. Maybe some guy had meant to make something else and had just ended up with something that raised hair and had found it so amusing he’d replicated it – weirder things happened all the time when people Did Science. All the unforeseen outcomes he’d read about when his mom had given him his primary education were part of why he was kind of wary of the whole business. Some of those unforeseen outcomes had been good things, but when it went bad, it often seemed to go really, really bad.
For ‘whys’, he thought he would be best off with something like the Girding Potion – between it being useful and having an old-fashioned name, there had to be a good story there, something he could use to fill up a good hundred words or so. “If that one is something like that,” he added, mentally returning to the hair-raising potion for a moment, “you might be able to get in a paragraph or two about how to make up for there not being much of a why.” Joe’s favorite papers to write were the ones that asked for a certain number of feet or scrolls, but even on ones like this, where it was vaguer, it was possible to make something look more impressive than it was. It was kind of like a resource distribution game, kind of, if not quite as much fun or given to providing quite as many bragging rights.
16JoeOne should always try to do the write thing.329Joe05
Georgia smiled a little, as she found it was Farrah who was sitting next to her. She’d enjoyed their chat in the MARS room, and even opened up a little to her about how things were really going for her with school and home, and the tension there was between them. It was sort of the same for Farrah, which had helped, although her parents seemed to have got over the issues of one of them keeping the existence of the magical world from the other…
“Um, maybe this one?” she suggested, showing Farrah the page with Amortentia on it. She was sure Libby would have teased her for choosing a Love Potion. She would probably say it was the only way Georgia could get someone to like her. But Farrah wasn’t Libby. She had, in fact, seemed very un-Libby-like in their interactions so far, and Georgia found she wasn’t too worried - she couldn’t image Farrah’s nice, smiley mouth turning up in a sneer at her. “It seemed like there was quite a lot of information about it, so I figured that was a good one to choose,” she explained. Just cos Farrah (probably) wasn’t going to make fun of her, she didn’t want her to get the wrong idea about why she was interested in this potion. Although she could see it coming in handy… If she could slip her dad some maybe he’d fall in love with her mom again… Even though it was what she most wanted, she couldn’t help but feel her stomach squirming at the idea. It wouldn’t be real. It would be her tricking him with magic - the very thing he now hated. She didn’t know a lot about magical ethics but that didn’t sound very right to her.
“How about you?” she asked, glad for now to be sticking to the safe subject of their classwork. Even if it wasn’t the kind of conversation that they were going to bond for life over, it was safe. And Farrah hadn’t mentioned her eyes at all, so perhaps they didn’t look as bad as she had feared.
If you were to ask Anthony and Patrizia Valenti what they thought when their daughter returned from her first semester of magical boarding school, they’d tell you they were pleasantly surprised. They’d tell you she’d been sorted into the intelligent house - surely the gifted house - and that despite some bumps in the road as she adjusted to an entirely new curriculum, her grades were already proving that she would be a success. Her Accomplishments did not stop there, of course, as she was branching out to various clubs, and had even joined the Quidditch team. They were not quite sure what Quidditch was, exactly, but it was a Sport, and her team had won a game. Therefore, it must be an Accomplishment, and worthy of her future college resume. Naturally, they would have to provide her with a non-magical curriculum during her summers, to ensure she was on track in Math and English, and all the standard subjects. But all things considered, Sonora Academy, far away from her old middle school clique, appeared just to be the thing their elder daughter needed to put her right on the back track.
And at home, surrounded by family and friends, Arianna was pleased. She enjoyed listening at Christmas dinner, as her parents (carefully) bragged about her academic and extracurricular pursuits - censored for non-magical family ears, of course. She enjoyed that she returned home not to the usual yelling and arguing about her behavior, but to praise. To celebrate Arianna’s success, Mamma had even taken out Arianna and Elisa for mother-daughters mani-pedis, something they usually did only for Arianna’s February birthday. And she certainly loved delighting her younger sister, Elisa, with tales of the magical school, and all that she did there. The now fourth-grader would turn out to be a witch one day, Arianna was sure of it. Elisa had to be. As much as she loved her cousin, she couldn’t imagine six more years of listening to him drone on about Quidditch tactics the entire ride from New York to Arizona.
But then she returned, and Sonora wasn’t just a cute brooch of honor to wear or a story to tell anymore. It was real. It was ugly robes, and weird potion ingredients. It was being the Other - not just because of lack of wealth, like at her old school, but because she'd grown up without magic. It was distracting herself with learning new hairstyles, like the waterfall braid half-up, half-down look she was sporting in class today. It was spending minimal time with her roommates, and a surprising amount of time with her dorky cousin, helping him plan his Sports club. It was throwing herself into every club, every sport, every class she could get her hands on, in the hopes of outrunning her feelings of being alone.
She’d met Interesting people in her classes, like John and Sebastian. And there were mysteries to solve with her roommates - like why Farrah would wear weird t-shirts when she clearly had super cute dresses, and why there were so many French students in Arizona. And there was her independent research, something she discussed with nobody but her cousin, who was much less enthusiastic than he ought to have been. But nothing, no person or pursuit, had replaced the feeling of belonging she once had in her old school. Of course, she had caught up with Abby, Maddie, Emily and the rest over the break. Still, catching up on a semester’s worth of gossip was nowhere near as fun as actually experiencing it together.
Arianna examined her light blue - the polish bottle had said “Limpet Shell” although she didn’t know what a limpet was - nails as the Professor started off. It was pretty weird that she was being so apologetic, this was her class. At Arianna’s old school, the teachers would have just noted all of the essays in the weekly agenda, and be done with it. If you had a problem with it, your family better be donating significant contributions to The Hobart School. In Arianna’s case, her family worked at the school. So she was expected to relish the opportunity to write such essays at all. That was something she didn’t miss so much from her old school, being a vice principal’s daughter.
Anyway, the written work was a welcome break from practical work - the soon-to-be twelve year-old would hate for her manicure to be chipped while handling some weird ingredients. She much preferred wand-based magic to manual labor. Some of the things they worked with were totally gross, but an essay, while also undesirable was something she knew she could manage. Pulling her textbook out onto her desk, she accidentally grabbed a magical fashion magazine she’d picked up while in the magical part of New York replenishing some school supplies over break. She smirked - some of the potions in there were pretty absurd. And if they were going to get to choose their own topic, she could at least make it interesting. Potions on its own was kind of dull, it could be funny to write about something ridiculous, instead.
She turned to the girl next to her, who she knew from roll call was the other Arianna in the class, and who looked like she could be interesting, and smiled, “Hi, do you want to work together?”
0Arianna Valenti, AladrenMaking things interesting343Arianna Valenti, Aladren05
Professor O’Malley was right, Finn decided. He hadn’t previously thought too much about it, but on reflection he actually was feeling back in the swing of things. A week had been enough time to readjust to life at Sonora, especially things like having to be up at a set time (not that he was normally a late sleeper) and, more difficultly, going to lessons again. Finn had enjoyed the break from schoolwork over the holidays, and he mentally groaned as the potions professor announced the classwork for today. It wasn’t that Finn was stupid – he was actually fairly intelligent, he just didn’t have that much of an enthusiasm for academics. And he’d much rather attempt to make a potion than write about one.
Still, there wasn’t anything he could do to avoid it, so Finn started flicking through the textbook. The Wiggenweld Potion was the first that struck him as interesting, or at least as a useful potion that he wouldn’t mind knowing about, so he put one of his quills in the page to mark it as he continued his search. However, a few seconds more was enough to bore him, and he turned to his neighbour in the hope that partnering up might relieve the tedium.
“Hey, do you want to work together?” he asked, slightly nervously but with a friendly smile. Finn had learnt long ago that, in order to actually do anything, he had to overcome his shyness. Besides, you didn’t make any friends by never talking to people, and Finn liked making new friends. He didn’t really have enough at Sonora yet, he’d decided, and so his plan was to make even more of an effort to talk to people. “I don’t think I can cope with the boredom if I work alone,” he added, grimacing.
9Finn Scott, TeppenpawStruggling to find enthusiasm347Finn Scott, Teppenpaw05
Well, she smiled, sort of. Farrah took that to mean that she wasn’t upset that Farrah decided to sit and chat with her. Farrah wasn’t sure if she would have taken it personally if Georgia had snubbed her or not since she knew that sometimes when she wasn’t feeling her best, she didn’t really like to be bothered. But she also didn’t like to see someone who she considered a friend seem in distress over anything either. It could sometimes become quite the dilemma for the first year.
Farrah glanced down at the potion that Georgia indicated. A love potion? THose things were real? Farrah didn’t think anything scandalous about Georgia picking the topic for her to feel like she needed to explain herself further,but rather, Farrah found the fact that such a thing existed to be scandalous. Like, did they make people really love other people or was it like fake love? Farrah was starting to believe that the vast majority of magic was fake. Not magic itself, obviously spells and things existed, but the effects of it. Like, Transfiguration was just switching items from one place to another and Charms wore off, and potions created false emotions. At least, that was how it was beginning to feel to Farrah.
“That does seem to have quite a bit of information on it. Seems like such a strange potion to make, doesn’t it?” Farrah asked. “Not that mine is better.” She added. “I was going to do it on the sleeping potion, but now that I’m looking, it seems like Draught of Living Death has more information on it. That’s such a terrible name for a potion though.” She observed. “LIke, people actually say ‘I’ll take Draught of Living Death, please’.” Farrah joked, donning a fake accent as she did so knowing that she would sound silly, but hoping that maybe it would get a bigger smile out of Georgia.
Farrah leaned in closer to Georgia and began to whisper to her, making sure her voice was low so that others couldn’t hear what she was asking. She didn’t want to upset Georgia and perhaps asking was going to ruin any potential friendship but Farrah hoped it would show that she cared. “Are you okay?” She asked. “You just look so sad lately. Are you homesick?” Farrah asked since it seemed to have happened once she had returned from midterm. “You don’t have to tell me, I’m not trying to pry, I just want to help you feel better.” Farrah admitted. “It’s really hard and confusing here and I was feeling really out of place for awhile, but then you and I started talking and you were like me, so it made me feel better.”
Jozua was indeed back into the swing of things. It actually wasn't too bad once you got used to the great number of people around. At least school work ended here when you weren't in class or actively doing homework. Mom made everything into a lesson, including eating dinner and clothes shopping (which was bad enough finding a fancy robe for the ball, but did he really need an economics lesson along with the horrendous duds?)
He was normally a fairly early riser (not crack of dawn early, of course, but early enough that he didn't need an alarm to make it to breakfast), a trait he felt fortunate Finn shared as he would have hated to either need to sneak around silently in the dark or risk waking his roommate, so that was no trouble, and it only took a couple of days for his class schedule to become routine again.
He often sat with Lily during classes, as she was one of the few people he had clicked with perfectly, but today he had chosen to sit beside his roommate because he'd just gotten a letter from his mother asking him if he'd asked anyone to the ball yet and he didn't really want to have that discussion at all never-mind in potions class, so he was sort of, kind of avoiding the only girl that ever came to mind when the topic of the ball came up. It probably wouldn't kill him to improve his relationship with his roommate anyway. Not that it was in bad straits or anything, he got on fine with Finn, he just liked Lily more and therefore tended to spend his time with her, sometimes to the exclusion of Finn. And that wasn't really fair to Jozua's only guy-friend at the school.
So when the assignment of a week-plus research assignment came up, he was actually kind of glad he was next to Finn instead of Lily. Lily - as wonderful a person as she was - wasn't exactly the academic type, and he was pretty sure he didn't want to work on a long thesis paper with her. He got particular with his research projects and he didn't want to get mad at her if she wasn't doing it right.
Finn, on the other hand, Jozua figured he could work with. He was already kind of used to doing homework in the other boy's vicinity anyway, and was pretty sure he didn't have any habits that would peeve him. Plus it might be fun to have someone to bounce ideas around with after lights-out (the best time for brain-storming, in Jozua's opinion).
First, though, he needed a topic, so he grabbed a book and started flipping through it, looking for one that sounded interesting.
"Sure," he said, looking up, without any hesitation when Finn asked if they wanted to work together. "We'd probably end up asking each other to proof-read anyway. It can be a roommate bonding project . . . with way too much library time. We'll need to match every research hour with something fun, though, or we may go mad."
He glanced back down at his book, then back to Finn. "Any ideas yet? So far, I'm leaning toward Invigoration Draught, but I am not sure that'll be . . . invigorating enough to study." He winced a little and eyed Finn to see how well his joke was received. He generally assumed most of his attempts at humor would be met with groans, but there was a vast difference between a groan that meant the joke was understood as intended and groans that meant the joke was actually horrible instead of just humorously horrible.
1Jozua SparksThe struggle is real348Jozua Sparks05
Cassandra was happy to be back at Sonora. Though the break had been pleasant enough and being able to see Claire and her parents again was more therapeutic than she anticipated, she couldn’t wait to get back to class. Specifically the girls in her class. Maybe it was the fact that Cassandra had hit puberty early (a common occurrence in her family), or that she was part Veela, but Cass was convinced her appreciation for the fairer sex arose out of necessity. Some of the boys her age were friendly, some were even downright tolerable, but generally boys grew up to become disgusting, lecherous losers. Lecherous losers’ attentions were simply not flattering enough, nor were they sincere enough in Cassandra’s opinion. Girls really deserved much more praise than the vermin were capable of giving. She felt it her almost duty to make up for their lack of attention, and took it upon herself to dish out praises and compliments, an occasional helping hand, and the ever appreciative eyeing to the girls who so surely deserved it.
Her spirits not yet dimmed, she entered Potions and took a moment to appreciate the view before her. Two beauties- the jet-raven haired, sharp eyed Aladren and the Crotalus minx- sat near each other. So neither Arianna was available to stare at today, that was a shame. The cuties of her class, the bubble-cheeked Teppenpaw, Georgia, and the cherubic/angelic (she couldn’t decide) Farrah were also sitting next to each other. . . No other girls had entered the room yet either. Dejected, Cassandra took a spot at an empty table. Maybe Jocelyn would sit next to her now that one of her roommates was already working with someone else. . . She wouldn’t hold her breath. Jocelyn had two other roommates- one of which, the Carey girl, was another cherubic/angelic creature.
The class started while she was still thinking of all the girls from the various houses and whose proximity she would most prefer to be in. When the teacher stressed how little homework she had assigned Cassandra’s head picked up. Suspicion overcame her; it was never good when a teacher reminded you how good they’d been to you. Her suspicion was validated as the research essay was assigned, and she groaned outwardly. Jocelyn, who had taken a seat diagonally in front of her, looked back almost imperceptibly and gave her a quick frown with slightly narrowed eyes, before returning her attention to the front of the class. "Goody, goody” Cass thought, noticeably pouting. Jocelyn, though, wasn’t the only one who must have noticed her rather loud display of dismay. She turned her eyes toward the classmate seated next to her who had just tried to catch her attention. “Sorry, what?” was all she got out.
7Cassandra King, PecariNot in the write state of mind for that yet355Cassandra King, Pecari05
Sometimes she worried that it might mean she wasn’t feminine enough to win everyone’s good opinions – from what everyone told her, being a girl was the hardest thing in the world – but Cecilia enjoyed Potions lessons. The guts and dried up things didn’t bother her – sometimes they even fascinated her – and she found the precision of the directions made it so much easier than some of her classes. In Charms she was always afraid she was going to mispronounce a syllable at the worst possible moment, in Transfiguration she got distracted trying to hold pictures in her head, and in DADA sometimes she was a little afraid, but in Potions, she could check and double-check her measurements and get things right.
She was in a good mood as she went into Potions even though she only just got there and into a seat on time, but frowned just a tiny bit when Professor O’Malley said they had to write essays instead of brewing something new and useful. She knew writing was very important – her brother Jay had made her take lessons with two separate tutors for it before she came to Sonora, one to teach her how words went together while another taught her how essays worked and made her do penmanship exercises over and over and over again until her hand cramped up – but that just made her want to do it even less. Professor O’Malley was right to ask their forgiveness, though Cecilia didn’t know how many of them were going to give it to her. She guessed that depended on how hard it was to find an interesting potion just to read about, or at least an easy one to write about….
Cecilia tried to remember what the simplest, most straightforward potion they had done all year was, but she didn’t have a good memory of the ones she had already done. That, Jay had told her severely over midterm, was a problem, one she had to fix before her exams. Maybe this would give her a chance to work on that. She reached for her book and flipped through her book and looked over the Forgetfulness Potion and the Sleeping Draught, biting her lip for a second before she remembered not to do that and stopped herself. Instead, she looked up at her neighbor with a smile.
“Excuse me,” she said, “Would you mind if I asked whether you thought the Forgetfulness Potion or the Sleeping Draught we’ve learned was more difficult?”
0Cecilia Carey, CrotalusThis isn't write up my alley.349Cecilia Carey, Crotalus05
Gabe wandered into the Potions classroom, his feet on autopilot today as his brain was focused on more immediate challenges, like keeping his eyes open. There had been so many exciting real life things to think about last night - the first meeting of Sports Club, playing in his first ever Quidditch game, discovering that Dad had packed an extra tin of cookies in his suitcase - that his brain apparently had not been in need of dream adventures. The thoughts of sports and sweets were really all the second year needed to keep him happy. By the time his brain had finally started to consider that this was not the wisest use of his time, the sun was already coming up, and Gabe had places to be.
In the absence of sleep, he looked to breakfast to provide him with the energy he needed, downing a stack of pancakes, an omelet, some hashbrowns and bacon. Lots of bacon. This of course, had only succeeded in making him feel uncomfortably full, and very much ready for a food coma. He absent-mindedly ran a hand through his as usual mussed hair. Maybe it might be a better idea to skip his usual after-school flying practice, and head straight to bed instead. Well, after picking up dinner, of course. And dessert. He wasn’t a mad man.
The professor greeted them, and all of the sudden there was a pang in Gabe’s stomach and he felt very suddenly awake. Was he supposed to have done work over the break for this class? The Teppenpaw honestly couldn’t remember. He’d worked on some of his winter break projects with his cousin, but they had not covered Potions. Maybe Ari had worked on it on her own? He shot his cousin a sleepy but concerned look. Gabe never expected to earn top grades in school, but he would have felt awful to miss an assignment completely.
He breathed a sigh of relief when Professor O’Malley reminded them that she had not assigned any winter break work, for the moment ignoring the gigantic assignment she promised them now. His grades were okay, but he wasn’t sure if they could handle a missed essay. It would be completely lame to be this close to his first Quidditch game and then not get to play over something as silly as a boring old Potions essay. Not that Potions was boring, there was always cool, weird ingredients to handle and the possibility of explosions and bubbling stuff. It was more that all essays were boring. They required way too much sitting still.
Luckily though, today’s assignment wasn’t actually due today, so he could pretty much phone it in. It could be fun to find a gross or otherwise hilarious potion to write about, or maybe something really cool, that involved dragons, or something. Fiery, awesome dragons, flying away…
He felt a jolt of adrenaline as his dark eyes shot open to find his face just inches from the deck. Startled, he jerked his neck back up. It would be pretty embarrassing to just straight up fall asleep in the middle of class like that. No, he was going to need to be more sneaky.
Reaching for his battle-weary backpack (luckily for it, Gabe had forgotten his Magical Creatures book in his dorm today, his pillows left alone to defend the territory from the vicious beast) he hastily unzipped the bag all the way. Grabbing every book he could fit in his arms, he hoisted them all up on his desk. And then grabbed some more. Maybe it would be a good idea to go grab some books from around the classroom, too. Then he would look really studious.
Sitting at his desk, he began to arrange his books around the perimeter of the desk. Potions-related or not, they all had their use today. As far as Gabe was concerned, their size was the most valuable thing they had to offer, whatever their content.
“Yeah,” Georgia agreed when Farrah noted the weirdness of her potion choice. Whilst it was one of those classic fairy tale things, and therefore a part of the wizarding world that struck her as familiar (like flying a broomstick), her own thoughts had just been wandering down the path of how right it could actually be to use one, so she knew what the other girl meant. “Amortensia does not create real love, just obsession” she read, the line catching her eye. “I guess calling it ‘Obsession Potion’ seemed less appealing though. Or made it sound like a perfume,” she added, actually finding herself wanting to giggle a little at that. It was nice being around Farrah in that way. She was just… easy to talk to. People like Jozua weren’t unkind to her but their backgrounds were so different.. She felt like they’d spent most of their first conversation explaining things to each other, rather than really talking.
“Yikes,” she pulled a face at the name of Farrah’s potion, although she had to laugh a little at the voice the other girl did. “I hope not. Why…” she trailed off, not really wanting to get into why someone would want that either for themselves or something else. The whole notion seemed way too creepy. “I mean… Is it really that extreme? Or are they… exaggerating with the name?” she asked. She knew from Defence Against the Dark Arts that there was crazy stuff out there that had no purpose other than to hurt her. But so far it had mostly been in the form of spells or animals. Big, flashy things that you could see coming. The idea of someone slipping dangerous potions into her drink hadn’t really occurred to her and it wasn’t a very pleasant thought.
And then the conversation turned all serious… Farrah was whispering, checking in that she was ok. And although Georgia had been really afraid of people noticing, she found she didn’t actually mind that Farrah had. She seemed to be someone she could talk to, at least… relate to, about the fun stuff and, as Farrah had pointed out, they’d sort of talked through the more serious things, the strangeness of this all for them before. It was nice to be checked on too. Her parents had tried to do it but she was just so angry with them, didn’t want any reminder from them about the situation. It was different when someone outside the problem cared.
“I’m glad I helped,” she smiled, “And no, it’s not that… I mean, I still feel that sometimes but it’s mostly ok. My midterm… wasn’t very good. My parents…” she paused, her trying not to cry right in the middle of class. She knew the words… ‘split up’ or ‘aren’t speaking’ were the right ones but they just got stuck. Just made her mouth twist, like it was determined not to let those words out because it knew they would trigger her tears. “Things aren’t really getting better,” she managed, at least Farrah knew the context, so that would make sense to her. “Worse, actually,” she added. The word ‘worse’ had just about got out but, she felt her mouth shaking as it did, like it had got out but shouldn’t have. Like if she had caught it in time, it would have got stuck, but now the words seemed to have decided that they wanted to keep going, regardless of the consequences. “I… I really think they’re going to split up,” she admitted. And then the tears were flowing down her face, right in the middle of potions class, and that was embarrassing as all hell but right now she didn’t care, because it felt good to stop keeping it to herself and to tell someone. To tell… a friend.
Working with Jozua really was one of the best-case scenarios that Finn could come up with. The two hadn’t spent loads of time together, but Finn thought they’d been getting on well as roommates. He was enjoying the company of sharing a room – Finn was a strange mix of shy yet also sociable, and he felt quite confident in Jozua’s company after having shared a room with him for a term. Room-sharing seemed to be going very well.
Finn’s decision to work with Jozua was definitely justified when the other boy suggested doing fun things as well as researching. Hours spent doing nothing but work would definitely be guaranteed to send Finn over the edge, but Jozua was sure to make things interesting. He had plenty of cool hobbies and would no doubt be able to come up with incentives to do the necessary work. Not that Finn really did need incentives to write a two foot long essay. Lessons with a tutor before Sonora had taught him that it really wasn’t a good idea to skimp on work, as that often led to exclusion from fun activities. Still, Finn would be more than happy with anything that could make essay-writing more bearable.
Finn rolled his eyes at Jozua’s joke, smiling though because whilst puns led to the most awful attempts at humour, the result were usually also amusing, and this was no exception. “I found the Wiggenweld potion,” he replied, after deciding that no, there was absolutely no way he could think of a pun that would work with that potion. “It’s not the coolest sounding, but it probably has a lot of information on it as it seems to be used for healing. Or we could find a poison or poison antidote, those could have some stories that’d be fun to write about.”
OOC-Just for clarification, I'm going to refer to my character as Arianna and yours as Arianna V. in this post. You are totally allowed to reverse it for your response. :)
BIC: Arianna appraised the girl before her, the other Arianna in their class. She noted the other girl's manicure, thinking of how it looked nice but would get totally ruined playing Quidditch and in Sports club. She knew Arianna V. to be involved in an awful lot of clubs. Arianna personally found it a bit geeky to be involved for the sake of being involved and had nothing but contempt for the kind of girls who played sports aside from a few approved ones such as gymnastics and figure skating.
Then again, Arianna knew the Valentis not to be a pureblood family, so that meant different, most likely messed up values. (Aunt Holly, of course not being the norm, in a good way) A Muggle influence. If this girl had potential at all, Arianna had to get on it and fix it. After all, Arianna V. was in the magical world now, and it was best to adapt to it's values. It's far superior values.
As far as Arianna was concerned, people who were Muggleborns and half-bloods were lucky to be given the gift of magic. The Muggle world, from what the Crotalus understood, was a life of manual labor-which couldn't be helped because they didn't have magic- and a devaluing of what was feminine. Magic made their lives easier and just plain better. Therefore, they needed to immerse themselves in the magical world and forget their old lives. (Not that she was advocating abandoning one's family but besides that, they needed to accept their new abilities and leave everything else behind)
So, it was possible that Arianna V. was being forced to play Quidditch-the only school sport offered-and join every club. Merlin, how awful! If that was the case, Arianna couldn't help but feel a little sorry for her same named classmate. It was also possible that she was supporting her brother or whatever by joining the Sports club since he ran it. Arianna couldn't understand that for the life of her. She certainly would not be helping Beau with anything he started if it was something she didn't enjoy. The Crotalus would leave him to succeed or fail-more likely fail-on his own. Of course, on the other hand, Arianna might help Jasmine with something she was interested in and Jasmine wasn't even her real cousin. Of course, Jasmine was more likely to do things Arianna was interested in than Beau was.
Of course, to judge the potential of this girl-and guide her in the right direction, correcting mistakes made in her upbringing-Arianna would have to spend time with her. "Certainly." She agreed, hoping this would not end up being a waste of her valuable time. It wasn't as if she wasn't stuck in Potions anyway, she might as well do something useful while doing the boring assignment.
Jozua grinned a little as Finn rolled his eyes in response to his pun. That was positive reaction to his joke, good. He relaxed a little, satisfied that his humor was, if not appreciated, then at least not unwelcome.
Finn's choice of potion for his essay lacked both pun potential and any appeal to Jozua. Having plenty of source materials did not make up for a boring subject in Jozua's opinion, but Finn's next remark - which sound almost like a throw-away rhetorical comment- did spark his interest.
"Oh," Jozua said, "that could be fun, if we did a potion/counter-potion pair of essays. Come at the same effect from opposite directions, like one of us can do Swelling Solution and the other can do Shrinking Potion. Or some other pair of opposing potions, whatever your favorites are. Then we're doing different things, but they're kind of related, so it's a little more like a group project instead of two individual essays, and we can talk about if the discovery of one influenced the discovery of the other."
He bit his lip and tried to think of other examples or paired potions. "So poison/antidote, swelling/shrinking, um, aging/de-aging, what else? Any of those strike your fancy?"
“Your potion doesn’t even end up creating love?” Farrah asked, feeling and probably looking completely dubious about the whole thing. How crazy must a person be to create or buy a potion that would result in an obsession for someone else? Farrah thought that would be a terribly devious thing for someone to do with a person that they didn’t like at all. “I guess if you really didn’t like a person, you could slip them this potion and make a fool of them as they obsess over someone they hate? Excluding yourself, of course.” She added. That would be a terrible slip up.
Farrah quickly scanned the page on the potion she was reviewing to confirm what it was that the potion actually did. “It makes you fall into a deep sleep.” Farrah said, frowning. That didn’t seem bad, but she still didn’t like the name of it. “I wonder if that’s just a nice way of saying that it puts you into a coma?” she suggested with a face that showed she really had no idea what to make of it. Farrah had always felt like a coma was basically a person who didn’t know that they were dead yet. Farrah could remember going with her dad to visit her mom while she was working on a new ward in the hospital. Her mom had told her most of the patients were forever sleeping. Farrah understood that no to mean a deep coma that they weren’t likely to ever wake up from. Maybe she didn’t want to do this potion anymore. “I might keep looking to see if there is another potion that doesn’t seem as creepy.”
Farrah was expecting Georgia to tell her something sad, but she hadn’t expected to hear that about her parents. Her brows curled in concern as Georgia struggled to keep herself together, but it hadn’t lasted long because as soon as she admitted to Farrah what was happening and what she feared, tears sprang from her eyes. Farrah moved in closer to her friend and started to rub her back in comfort, something her mom and dad did whenever she was upset. “I’m so sorry, Georgia!” Farrah said quietly, feeling lost in what to say to make her feel better. “Maybe they just need some more time to figure it out?” She suggested, trying to be helpful.
Farrah was aware of how similar her home life was to Georgia’s and how her parents had managed to work it out, but it had been a long process. Of course, Aunt Zoey as a witch helped and all of Daddy’s family knew about the magic and helped Mom understand the reason for the secrecy. Perhaps Georgia’s parents didn’t have that support? “It took my mom a really long time to get over my dad’s omission. Sometimes, I think she isn’t completely over it. It is a lot to handle. But maybe your dad is just trying to figure things out? You know?” Farrah commented.
“In some ways, I think I’d be more weirded out if it did,” Georgia commented, when Farrah seemed shocked that the potion didn’t even create love. “I mean…. Either way, this is really messing with people.
“Yikes,” she added, as Farrah explained that the one she had found was basically coma-potion. She couldn’t think of any reason why anyone would want to put themselves into a coma. Which again, suggested the more dark and dangerous side of things. She decided not to ask whether there was an antidote, fully supporting Farrah’s idea of looking for something way less creepy.
“Th-thanks,” she sniffled, as Farrah said she was sorry to hear about what was going on at home, “And…. m-maybe,” she nodded, trying to take Farrah’s positive view of things, even though she didn’t really believe it. It was something she had been telling herself too, from time to time, although she wasn’t even sure that trying to stay positive was the best idea, as it left for so much room to be disappointed. But she couldn’t help but find herself hoping that might happen (and crossing her fingers and touching wood every time she dared to - she did this as surreptitiously as she could now, on the side of the stool away from Farrah).
“H-he… moved out,” she explained. “For now,” she added. “They keep saying things like… thinking it over. Taking some time…” she wiped her eyes although she was still crying. It felt good to cry sometimes. Sometimes she held back and then, when she was somewhere more private, found she couldn’t let go. And it didn’t feel like the feelings had gone but like they’d been pushed down inside, where they could sit in a big knot in her stomach. Crying let them out, although she hoped not too many people in class had noticed.
With all due respect to Professor O'Malley, Potions was not a favorite class of Angelique's. She found the brewing process entirely tedious and she had to touch icky things. Not to mention probably ruinous to the manicure she'd gotten over the holidays. Mother had always encouraged her girly nature and that included many trips to places like the spa and the salon over break. Besides, naturally, Angelique had attended many balls that were thrown and needed to look good for them. Next year, Mother had said she could even have one of her own that was seperate from the one her parents were holding. She couldn't wait. Not only did she love balls, but this one would basically be able to replace the birthday parties that Angelique had had as a child that she was not able to have any more based on the fact that she was at school during her birthday.
Hopefully she'd have some people to invite from Sonora. Honestly, she was starting not to like school very much. The Crotalus had never been even slightly interested in academics, there were few people in her class that she had much in common with-though Angelique did like her roommate fine and some of the first years seemed like they might be interesting to get to know-between school uniforms, Potions classes that ruined her nails, Herbology which involved dirt, and last year's Challenges, there always seemed to be an assault on her ability to look cute.
However, Angelique could not say that she was happy to hear that they'd be doing a research project. Yes, she'd keep her nails looking nice a little longer-though they'd likely get ruined during Herbology lessons anyway-but research was so boring . She envisioned herself digging through old, crumbling books in the library, herself coated in a fine layer of dust and gave an involuntary shudder.
“Would you mind if I asked whether you thought the Forgetfulness Potion or the Sleeping Draught we’ve learned was more difficult?”
Angelique pushed all thoughts of dreary mundane out of her head and focused on the girl next to her, Miss Cecilia Carey, one of the first years that she'd like to get to know better. Maybe they could end up being friends. "Well, I think the Sleeping Draught is harder because it has more steps to it." The older girl replied.
Let's go to the one with boutiques instead
Cecilia considered Miss Brockert’s thoughts about the Sleeping Potion and thought that her reasoning made sense. Now just to figure out what to do about the thing she hadn’t thought of before she’d asked the question, which was whether or not she should admit she was now looking more seriously at the Forgetfulness Potion just because that implied it would make the writing easier to complete. It might, after all, make her sound a little stupid, and since Miss Brockert wasn’t a boy, even Diana, who didn’t think much of men, couldn’t really argue that there would be any profit in that….
She thanked goodness it had been The North Carolina Girl – they only, it seemed, had one, but they had two boys, which was a bad combination in Cecilia’s opinion. From her lessons in history, both big history and the ones Jay gave her about their family, lots of girls meant an heir with good connections while lots of boys meant inheritance disputes, which was why it was such a pity that her cousin Anthony, who just had two brothers who were practically completely useless because they were a pair of twins and therefore ineligible to inherit anything, was the heir instead of her brother Jay – who had married one of the Brockerts instead of one of Cecilia’s many siblings. Jay would be displeased with her if she messed up this conversation, or even if he just heard she’d implied she was stupid whether Miss Brockert approved of that or not – he didn’t share Diana’s opinions there, but then, he was both an Aladren and proof that not all wizards liked stupid girls. He smiled when other people mentioned Miss Wolseithcrafte, sometimes; Cecilia didn’t even think he knew he did it. It was actually kind of cute, and Cecilia wanted him and Miss Wolseithcrafte to get married so maybe he’d be happy more often and so less interested in giving Cecilia and Peter serious lectures about how important it was to be serious – but surely Mrs. North Carolina Brockert had better things to do than tell Jay about it even if her in-laws here wrote to her husband the way Cecilia and Diana wrote to their brother. Cecilia had never liked it when Diana laughed and said that what Jay didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him, but right now, she could see some of her sister’s point of view.
“Thank you, Miss Brockert,” she said. “That does make sense.” She turned a page in her book. “There are so many potions – I don’t know where to start,” she said. “What kinds of things are you looking for in a potion to research?” Maybe she could get a better idea of what was expected from a second year, someone who she assumed had more experience in pleasing the teachers here than Cecilia did.
0CeciliaLet's go to the one with boutiques instead349Cecilia05
OOC - Apologies for the delay, but that works for me! I'll just be going with last names.
BIC: Verbose, Tate was not. But she had agreed to work with Arianna, which the latter assumed to be a positive sign. In any case, she needed to take every opportunity she got to socialize with worthwhile girls at Sonora, as they seemed to be in limited supply. Ever since the first day of school, Arianna and her roommates had had a weird dynamic. Arianna had never had an issue sharing a room before, although that experience consisted mostly of growing up sharing a room with her little sister, or sleepovers with her friends from home.
Her sister, Elisa, was perfect of course, and it could not be expected that any other girl could live up to the precedent she had set. The only people Arianna knew who came close were her old middle school friends. If her girl crew from back home were here, they would easily rule this school. As far as confidence and style went, there seemed to be little in the way of competition. Tate seemed closest to fitting that description, and maybe also Eliza. This was why the Aladren was certain she needed to make an effort to befriend the girls of Crotalus. It was easier to rule when you had numbers on your side. Right now, she was just one.
“Did you have a particular potion in mind?” she asked smoothly, ”We could do one of the standard ones, but,” she smirked, passing the fashion magazine to her classmate, “You have to read some of these, they’re totally ridiculous. Flobberworm mucus for a face mask? No thanks.” Though she did better in her written Potions work than the practical, she was actually getting pretty decent grades in Potions. She could afford to write a silly paper with little risk to the report card her parents would meticulously examine at the end of the year. And anything was possible, perhaps the professor would be entertained by a more satirical take on today’s assignment. It was probably super boring to read a bunch of Beginners’ takes on the more traditional (and almost certainly more effective) ones.
Family matters kept Kellen from starting school with the rest of his class. That was the abridged version anyway. In reality, he had two families. Two very different families with two very diverse lifestyles. His mother was a vegan, apothecary owning witch, and his father was a muggle eye doctor who knew nothing about the wizard world, let alone that his son was one. Kellen’s folks never married, let alone dated, and somehow they needed to find common ground on which to raise a son. This made for some really interesting and uncomfortable situations, including custody battles and fights about which schools the boy would and wouldn't be attending.
The first part of the school year, Kellen found himself mostly in the library, and frequently in the nurse's office. It wasn't until an accidental act of magic bloodied his half brother's lip (and awarded Kellen with a black eye), that his father decided it was best to and the boy away to Sonora, under the premise that it was a boarding school of course. That was his mother's idea.
Kellen was both excited and nervous to finally be able to hone is magic sills. He'd spent many a restless night worrying about his future without magical training, so thankfully that was over and done with. Now he had to worry about catching up to the level of skill already acquired by the other first years. Luckily, he'd spent his whole life in an apothecary, so he imagined potions class was going to be a breeze.
Dressed in his brand new robes, Kellen found the potions classroom with relative ease. He'd spent what felt like forever trying to get his hair to lie flat in an attempt to make a good impression, but this proved to be futile. He paused in the doorway and scanned the room for an empty table, preferably one near the back with no other occupants. The Aladren first year felt a jolt of adrenaline as he realized he was out of luck-- he'd have to share a table with someone.
To avoid standing out any longer than necessary he made his way to the first empty seat he could find, next to a Pecari girl whose attention didn't seem to be on the lesson at hand. As professor O’Malley explained they'd be doing a research assignment it felt as though the whole room groaned. Admittedly, Kellen was a little dismayed about it as well. He'd been ready to display his potion making prowess, and there'd be no practical application at all.
A small frown crossed the boy's lips as he began rummaging through his bag for quill and parchment. He set out his ink and parchment neatly in front of him, but his mind was running through the list of possibly essay topics and he didn't notice that he'd tipped the ink over as he plopped his text book onto the table. Upon retrieving his quill, Kellen noticed the pool of black liquid inching toward his table mate.
“Oh no...look out!” He said, righting the bottle and attempting to sop up as much as he could with his parchment. That seemed to catch the girl's attention, and he was both glad for it and humiliated.
“I inked.” Was all he managed to say as the Pecari asked him what he'd said. He'd only managed to make things worse by smearing the ink rather than cleaning it up. His large ears felt like they were on fire. “I'm sorry, I didn't mean…” Kellen stammered as he fished his wand out of his pocket, only to spread more black ink across his clothing. “Oh Merlin.” The Aladren pointed his wand at the mess of ink and parchment, trying to exactly recall the spell he was about to cast. He'd seen his mother do it a million times.
“Tergeo!” He said with conviction,not entirely sure the spell would even work. If you looked really hard, maybe you could see the smallest amount of ink disappearing from the tabletop. Kellen’s stomach was in knots, but he decided to try again. “TERGEO.” He repeated firmly. Still little progress. Defeated, he shoved his wand back into his robes and took the inky wad of parchment, cleaning as much ink from the tabletop as possibly and placed it absent mindedly into his book bag.
He knew right away which potion he'd be researching and flipped open his book, now mottled in black ink, to the section on the draught of peace. He could definitely use some. Kellen took a deep breath and tried to gather himself. Should he try and make conversation with the girl he'd nearly spilt ink on? She probably thought he was a complete loser, not that he'd blame her.
“H-have you picked a potion yet?” He offered meekly.
5Kellen Mormont, AladrenI'm bad at puns, and people341Kellen Mormont, Aladren05
When she turned to the boy she was met with the top of a head. It was distinctly male –unfortunately- and she could see the tops of her new table mate’s ears turn a very alarming shade of red. “I inked” was the first thing she heard the boy say. ‘Funny,’ she thought to herself, ‘I only say that when it’s that time of the month.’ Cassandra hadn’t any idea that there was ink on the table, or that it was getting quite close to the sleeve of her robe.
The boy proceeded to . . . apologize? Finally noticing the puddle of ink, she retracted her arm, her sleeve coming away a bit damp. She paid it no mind as the boy’s obvious distress was much more captivating. As a first year, she hadn’t practiced the majority of spells that were considered common place and necessary in one’s everyday life but she had definitely been more familiar with them than the Aladren next to her seemed to be.
“Curious,” she said aloud, ‘maybe he’s muggleborn?’ Luckily the boy had been too busy mopping the ink around the desk –it was laughable, but charming, oh if only he were a cute girl- when she decided to interfere. By now the ink was no longer just a liquid in need of siphoning but a stain. “Scourgify” she said flicking her wrist in a much practiced ‘S’ shape. The boy either didn’t notice or didn’t comment as he returned to his book after disposing of the dirtied parchment. He did, however speak to her again.
“H-have you picked a potion yet?”
Cassandra, not having looked away from the curious specimen except to use the charm, met her classmate’s eyes for the first time. With a narrowing of her own eyes, a whimsical twitch of her nose, and the quickest positioning of her lips in a mild smirk, she nodded. “I’m thinking of amortentia. Have you heard of it? It’s a love potion that smells incredible apparently, and smells different to everyone based on what they find attractive. It would be much more fun to actually make it but,” here she shrugged, giving the boy only a second before she continued on. “Have you decided?” She bit her tongue before she asked him if he knew of any, coming to the conclusion that an Aladren incapable of a simple spell had to be raised with muggles. ‘Jocelyn won’t approve of him if he is. Which is fine, he can be my friend then.’ She wasn’t making headway with any girls so why not?
“So,” she drawled, realizing she hadn’t yet cleaned her sleeve and righted it quickly, “want to work together?”
Kellen sighed, almost visibly relieved that the girl next to him wasn’t upset with him at all. In fact, she seemed nice? He wasn’t quite sure what he was expecting, but he was surprised that he wasn’t being shouted at. He noticed that the ink was completely gone, and was a little surprised by it. He’d been so flustered that either he didn’t notice that his spell worked, or she’d done some cleaning up also. The young Aladren would make a point to practice his wand work as soon as he had a chance.
He listened as she explained that she was considering amortentia. Was she flirting with him? It was kind of hard to tell, but he couldn’t imagine that anything he’d done thus far would be inspiring of any sorts of affectionate. She was kind of cute when she twitched her nose those. Having grown up in an apothecary, he wasn’t a stranger to potions, and that one was pretty popular despite having potentially awful consequences.
“I have. My mom runs the apothecary back home, so potions I’m great with. Wand work....not so much, yet anyway. Amortentia is one of the more advanced ones, but maybe we’ll make it some day.” He said with an optimistic shrug. He could have gone into detail about it, but decided to hold off. He didn’t want to seem like an insufferable know-it-all.
“I was thinking about the draught of peace. I’m all too familiar with that one. It helps with anxiety.” Kellen rubbed the back of his neck and let his grey-blue eyes settle on his tablemate. “Yeah, sure, I mean, if you want to work together, we can, no problem.” He stumbled a little as he spoke. There was just something about her that he couldn’t quite place, but if she wanted to work with him, he wasn’t going to say no.
“I’m Kellen, by the way. Mormont. Sorry about the mess.”
Me too! See, we already have so much in common!
The boy wasn’t muggleborn. Huh. Cassandra’s eyes widened briefly at the information that his mother ran an apothecary but shock faded almost instantly and she went back to regarding the boy as curious, eyes half lidded. So he wasn’t inept (mostly, he admitted to thinking himself pretty bad with wands) so maybe he was just frazzled. That was much less intriguing but not any less welcome. He was pleasant and really that’s all Cassandra wanted in a tablemate. The fact that they could maybe brew amortentia at some point wasn’t even swaying her opinion of him (though that was a tempting idea.) She didn’t want to give it to anyone, but if she wore it as perfume (would that be safe? Dermal transmission wasn’t possible, right?) maybe she’d get some of her Goddesses’ attention?
As her classmate began to admit to a familiarity with the draught of peace, she smiled, a real, non-smirking smile. Eyes no longer evaluating, she tried to convey a look of understanding. He’d agreed –unwillingly?- to be her partner but after he introduced himself she inclined her head. “I’m Cassandra. Cassandra King. And,” here she couldn’t stop the uptwitch of her mouth, “no problem. It happens.”
It wasn’t very long after they started that Cassandra asked if he suffered from anxiety a lot. In return for asking the intrusive question she told him that her sister Claire often got anxiety when it was related to school, and though her mind was admittedly always elsewhere engaged the draught of peace wasn’t entirely unreasonable for her to use either. She didn’t elaborate.
“Anyway, what do you like to do?” It was late in the year but this boy was still talking and working with her. Maybe they could find some common interests.
7CassandraMe too! See, we already have so much in common!355Cassandra05
Kellen almost had said ‘I'm a mess’ instead, but that implied a certain level of self loathing that he hadn't quite reached yet. “Nice to meet you. Do you prefer Cassandra, or something else?” He asked. He supposed that she likely would have introduced herself using her preferred nomenclature, but the question was already posed.
He paused for a moment, considering how to answer her question about his anxiety. Sometimes talking about it with new people would cause it to flare up. He was used to being made fun of at home for being a little different, but he didn't want that to transfer to Sonora. It did help a little when Cassandra revealed her sister suffered from it as well. Maybe she understood.
“It comes and goes. Mine is largely social, so I don't often do well in crowds, around new people, or in competitive settings. School is ok for me, usually, because I like learning and generally do well, but sometimes the dumbest little things will set me off. I've had panic attacks before, and worry a lot. The potion helps drown out the noise and helps me focus on what's real, instead of all the what if’s. With anything, you have to mind the dosage though or it can make you tired. Too much and you just, never wake up.”
He was pretty pleased with himself and how calmly he was able to explain his anxiety brain, but wasn't upset when Cassandra asked about his hobbies and changed the subject. “I'm afraid I'm a little on the boring side. I read, often, I like everything from history books to comics. I really enjoy Muggle pop culture, particularly science fiction and fantasy. I like games and things that are mentally stimulating. Basically, I'm a nerd.”
The last sentence he said with a hint of pride in his voice. At home, he spent a lot of time in the comic book store when he wasn't helping his mom at the shop, or in Salem with his other ‘family'. It was owned by Scott and Rebecca Bjornson, otherwise known as Scooter and Bex. They introduced him to Star Trek, Doctor Who, and the magical world of Marvel Comics. He felt like they really got him.
“How about you? Do you have any other siblings, or just the one sister?” He tried not to assume too much, because he wasn't a fan of people jumping to conclusions about him, but he couldn't help but doubt that they'd end up with too much in common. Cassandra was a Pecari girl, after all, and that house had a reputation for being adventurous, thrill seekers. She was probably into snorkeling and skydiving with male models. Things that all made Kellen's blood pressure rise, well, not the models anyway. She was nice though, and he didn't have many friends to begin with. Plus, he'd read enough books to know that sometimes even the weird guy gets the girl.