Mortimer Brockert

October 09, 2020 8:22 PM
Once the older students were assembled at their tables and the first years filed in, Mortimer cast Sonorous on himself and rose ."Welcome to Sonora for the new first years and welcome back for all older students. First years, you should have receieved a blank badge at the end of Orientation. You will dunk the badge in the Sorting Potion and it will turn the color representing your house which are blue for Aladren, yellow for Teppenpaw, red for Crotalus, and brown for Pecari. Afterwards, you may join your house table."

After the first years had been settled, Mortimer continued."Would Nathaniel Mordue and Caitlin Pierce please come up and get your Head Student badges." He continued. "In addition I'd like to call up Sophia Priory, Zara Jackson, Jessica Hayles and Hilda Hexenmeister to receive their prefect badges. Congratulations." Mortimer did not have quite as many strong opinions on this group as he'd had last year given that none of them were his grandchildren or their friends or enemies. He did have misgivings about Miss Jackson's ability to get along with the purebloods among the group, albeit not as many as he'd had-and still did-about Miss McLeod's, which included her fellow Teppenpaw prefects. Mortimer also had some doubts about Miss Hayles' mental stability but most of the other choices were worse. He didn't quite get the lack of enthusiasm for Mr. Crosby though. Yes, the Crotalus boy was reserved, but Mortimer thought that was a plus, a sign of maturity. Also, he wasn't violent or mentally unstable or both.

Once the new prefects and Head Students had returned to their tables, Mortimer continued, "Our Midsummer event this year will be the concert. We will be having a school-wide play with a folklore theme. Participation is optional." He had made sure of the latter. Some people were quieter and more introverted and neither wanted to be on stage or forced into interactions with peers. And some just plain didn't have talents or interests that translated to this sort of thing. Period.

He continued"In addition, Giselle Duell will be joining staff as our Divinations professor. Please treat her with respect." It made the most sense to tell them that rather than to tell them to treat her with the same respect they would show their other professors, given that some people did not show professors respect in general. Nor could Mortimer say that he trusted they would treat her with respect because that also was just plain not true. Still, they needed this reminder both based on the fact that respect did not come naturally to most children and the fact that Professor Duell was teaching a subject that was ninety-nine percent horse manure. "Meanwhile Professor Brooding-Hawthorne, our Defense Against the Dark Arts professor will be taking a sabbatical this fall, in order to further her research." Young people today! Mortimer could approve of both research and needing a break from the little monsters that inhabited Sonora but one needed to honor their commitments.

"Now we will sing the school song." Well, they would anyway. Mortimer did not sing . Lyric sheets were passed around and the song began.

Every day we strive
Learning to survive
Life’s hardships and to solve its mystery.
Learning to defend
Our honour and our friends,
Flying high to meet our destiny
We will stand and face those who want to harm us.
We won’t let the world transfigure, jinx or charm us
I won’t fight alone, as long as you are with me.
Sonora be my home, my tutor and my spirit
Vasita quoque floeat; Even the desert blooms.


That done, he dug into his steak and bourbon.
Subthreads:

Aladren
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Teppenpaw
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Crotalus
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Pecari
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Staff
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11 Mortimer Brockert Opening Feast 6 1 5


System

October 09, 2020 8:22 PM
0 System Aladren 0 System 0 5


System

October 09, 2020 8:22 PM
0 System Teppenpaw 0 System 0 5


System

October 09, 2020 8:22 PM
0 System Crotalus 0 System 0 5


System

October 09, 2020 8:22 PM
0 System Pecari 0 System 0 5


System

October 09, 2020 8:22 PM
0 System Staff 0 System 0 5

Oz Spellman

October 09, 2020 10:20 PM
The best part about orientation had definitely been the food. There had been plenty of it, and it had been surprisingly edible. He had made a fairly hefty meal of sandwiches and chips and cookies, and snuck several of the items he thought would last better into a napkin and into his pocket. Wizard robes, it turned out, were pretty good for that, and it wasn’t like it was his first time swiping from a sandwich buffet. It wasn’t stealing if the food was meant for you anyway. Even Mom thought so, and she brought them home cookies and stuff in her purse if she went anywhere with free food.

He had enjoyed looking around the school, and definitely thought the gardens and the sports room looked super cool (Henry’s eyes had, naturally, lit up when they’d been in the library even though it smelt like wet dogs and feet). Now it was time to get sorted. Literally, everyone was staring at them. What the heck? That was stupid. But whatever.

Oz dropped his shoulders, keeping his stride casual as he went up to the cauldron, like this didn’t even bother him. He dipped his badge and it came out brown. That was something he’d expected based on skim reading about the houses. It was a shame it had such a poop colour but there had been something in the Pecari one about landing on your feet. He didn’t know about any deep personality stuff or whatever but he did that literally a lot. He liked to jump off stuff. Usually he bounced. There had been one very, very notable time that he had not but he tried not to think about that as much as possible. He wasn’t sure if his bouncing was somewhat supernatural. When they’d got a knock on that door that summer, he’d started to think – well, okay, his first thought had been that they were getting the gas cut off again, or that he and Henry were getting busted for logging into their neighbours’ Netflix (with permission) and watching 18+ rated shows (definitely not with permission). But then Netflix Cop had explained about magic and about doing it by accident and Oz wondered whether maybe he had been stopping himself getting broken a lot – or whether Henry had.

Speaking of, he didn’t turn back as he made his way to his new ‘house’ but he kept an eye on his brother in his peripheral vision. Predictably, he was going a different way. He was going towards the red house, which was weird because Oz had been pretty sure the blue house was the nerd one. The red one had been something else. He couldn’t remember right now. He was pretty sure it had sounded super boring. He was sort of insulted on Henry’s behalf because he was a big pile of weird ass nerdery but he definitely wasn’t boring. But maybe it had just sounded boring to Oz, the same way collecting stupid Magic cards did, and that was interesting to Henry. So, whatever. The main thing was that they were not together. He had never expected that they would be. They were different. But it was a point he had been trying and trying to ram home over the last few years with different haircuts, and different friends (or, okay, him pushing Henry away from the friends they’d previously shared) but it was nice to have some back up from the universe, or magic, or whatever. There was no excuse for people assuming he and Henry were the same now – Oz was in the house of bouncy rubber people, and Henry was the red one, whatever that was. Probably something safe and quiet.

Then there were special awards (yawn, who were these people?) and announcements about a play (hard pass) and new teachers (he didn’t even know the old ones so whatever). Teachers really liked to talk a lot… Most of this was boring or unimportant and surely he’d find it out if/when it became relevant. There was one surprise in that the speech ended with singing. Well, with other people singing. How the heck was he supposed to sing a song he didn’t know? Also, some of the words weren’t even English. He chalked this up to ‘wizard stuff’ and let it kind of roll off him cos whatever. Apparently life was going to just be full of this sort of thing from now on.

He did, however, jump in surprise when the table filled with food. Like, really filled. Food everywhere – more than Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and whatever else combined. He was honestly still quite full of sandwiches. He had known there was allegedly dinner that evening, but he really hadn’t trusted a school to pull off two good meals in one day. Naturally, he and Henry had qualified for the lunch program at their old school. So many people did that that wasn’t even a thing you got made fun of for. He had become pretty skilled at choking down bone dry tater tots and not questioning what meat it was meant to be because some lunch was better than no lunch, but this stuff looked good. It smelled good. And there was so, so much of it. He wondered what mom was doing for dinner. He tried to remember what had been in the cupboards behind the pancake mix, and tried not to wish she was here, or that he and Henry and some of this food were back home instead of here because that made his lip come dangerously close to trembling and he was pretty sure that crying in front of all his new classmates was a way to make sure that his entire school life was hell.

“This is super weird,” he said, gesturing at the food, finding that there were just too many feelings about it and he had to let one of them out to relieve the pressure, and opting to voice his surprise instead of any of the others.

(OOC - godmodding [mentioning Henry's reaction to the library] approved by his author).
13 Oz Spellman Not the same 1514 0 5

Wally O'Malley

October 10, 2020 5:14 AM
While it was nice to be home with Mom and Dad again, Wally had, to his own surprise, missed Sonora quite a bit. The first few days of summer were a relief to be home - away from other people, which was pretty much his favorite place to be - and just among family in the peace. Or, well, relative peace, since Stanley also lived there. But other than that, it was calm. He missed his family. A lot of them were around Sonora with him, but it was so good to see Charlotte and Mom and Dad and Serapes. He was so glad to be home.

But then after a few weeks, he found himself missing school. Wally didn’t really have many friends, and the ones he had were… well, his relatives, so he saw them anyway, but he missed the people anyway. He missed his professors, and he missed seeing his classmates, and he missed…. A blush always found him when the thought occurred to him. There was a girl he found himself missing a surprising amount, even though they never spoke too much. But he saw her with Lavender sometimes and immediately felt his face flush. Wally had never felt like that about a girl before, but he just thought she was absolutely the cutest girl he had ever seen.

Now back at school, he did his best to control his breaths and keep his heart rate down. After parting ways with his brother and taking a seat at the Crotalus table, he swore to himself that he wouldn’t take too many glances over at the Teppenpaw table. Instead he just waited for the Headmaster to start talking, keeping his eyes focused squarely on the man up front.

Except then it was time for the Sorting, and he wanted to see where Tommy went, and of course guess which table he went to? Wally almost forgot to clap because his eyes were drawn away from the first years, but then he remembered when everyone else started clapping around him. Right. Wally had to be cool. What a joke.

The Headmaster talked about Head Students and the concert and that sort of stuff, but Wally somehow just sorta… missed all that. He wasn’t listening. He only managed to break his gaze from the Teppenpaw table as the transition from one man speaking to a bunch of people singing jarred him. Then, bright red, he turned back to the table in front of him. After the song ended, he thought he heard someone speak to him, but, still a bit foggy, he didn’t catch what was said. “Er, pardon?” he stumbled, his face growing ever redder with embarrassment. “Can you repeat that?”
12 Wally O'Malley Red on red at the red table 1492 0 5

Martin Crosby V

October 10, 2020 5:27 AM
Jessica Hayles? Martin almost gasped. How had she gotten Prefect over him?

Now, admittedly, Martin knew a surprisingly small amount about his peer, but that was purely by design. He was hardly interested in the petty lives of the children with whom he was forced to interact. So while her exact qualifications remained a mystery to him, Martin knew nothing better than his own, and he was absolutely perfect for the position. He was easily the most mature student in the entirety of the institute, perhaps in its entire history. Why would the school select such an inferior candidate when he was right there and completely eligible? Martin scoffed mentally at anyone who might have implied at any point in Sonora’s history that biases were at play in the selection process; he was the product of a union between two powerful families with Sonora ties for generations, and his mother was a Brockert for Merlin’s sake! If anything, he felt this had caused him not to be selected, to avoid presenting as a bias. There was an intrinsic value in maintaining appearances, but in this regard, he did not feel it appropriately applied.

To put it plainly, Martin was a little extra grumpy this evening. He found himself tuning out the rest of the Headmaster’s information, an uncharacteristically immature act, but his emotion was simply getting the better of him on this single occasion. He thought about refusing dinner in protest, but that sort of childness was below him even in such a state. So when the food appeared, and he laid eyes on a plate of mashed potatoes just down from him a bit, he instructed a neighbor, “Hand me that. Please,” he added as an afterthought, because he was not a barbarian.
12 Martin Crosby V Red, the blood of angry men 1439 0 5

Stanley O'Malley

October 10, 2020 6:20 AM
For as cool as Sonora was, Stanley found that while he was home, he didn’t spend too much time thinking about it or missing it. He didn’t especially feel like talking about it either, although he knew he had some eager ears waiting for his report. He wanted to give Tommy a good run-down on what to expect, although fortunately, he also had Theo and Wally for that. But mostly, he knew his parents would want to hear about it. Especially Mom. She was weird like that sometimes. So Stanley did his best to relay everything he liked, didn’t like, had fun doing, ate for dinner, etc. etc. etc. until his audiences were satisfied.

After that, the twelve year old just went about his normal, super fun summertime activities. He got to spend a lot of time with his friends, which was awesome. He pretty much saw everybody his age in the family at Sonora, but now there was less structure, which was far more fun in its freedom. Stanley wasn’t super in love with this whole “keeping a schedule” and “being on time for class” thing that the school required of him. He was getting used to it, but it just wasn’t exactly his favorite thing.

Still, it was pretty good to be back. The return process was different from the first arrival process, since they didn’t have to go to Orientation this time around, so there was some time to kill before the feast. This was both good and bad: good because, as previously mentioned, he liked his freedom, but bad because he was already hungry. Mom made him eat lunch before getting on the wagon, but he was already hungry again, so he was definitely looking forward to the Feast.

He rolled on over to the Pecari table when it was finally time, realizing a little too late that he should’ve tried to save a chair close to him for Theo. But that was okay, because both of them could talk to a brick wall and have a great time, so whoever Theo ended up beside, Stanley knew he’d be fine. He watched Tommy get Sorted - woefully, to a House where none of them were already, Teppenpaw - and noted, as he tracked his little uncle’s movements that way, that Valentine Duell was looking really cute this year. Maybe he’d ask her out or something, he thought absentmindedly. Twelve was old enough to date, right? If he asked Mom, she’d probably say he had to be like forty of something, but that was just Mom being Mom. Dad would probably have a more reasonable answer, or else just mention that he and Mom didn’t start dating until they were eighteen. But, as Stanley would gingerly remind them, his parents were awkward dorks. He would say this lovingly, of course, because he loved his parents a lot. But they were dorks all the same.

Stanley gave a far more mild cheer for the announced student leadership this year, a distant echo in comparison to the hoop and holler he had raised last time around when Aunt Peyton got Head Girl. He didn’t know any of these people super well, though, so he didn’t care this time. The rest of the introduction stuff only barely registered. A play didn’t really sound like his thing, although maybe Wally would want to be involved or something. And he wasn’t old enough to take Divinations, so he didn’t really care there, although he did hear that Professor Brooding-Hawthorne wasn’t back this year. It sounded temporary, though, which was good, because Stanley thought she was pretty cool. She and her wife both were.

He belted out the school song to the best of his ability, his eagerness increasing with every note as he knew it was the last barrier between himself and his dinner. And then, at last, it was done, and the food arrived. “This is super weird,” a new first year beside him commented. He must have meant the food appearing. Being from a magic family, Stanley hadn’t really given it much thought, but he supposed it probably was pretty weird. “You get used to it,” he answered. “Welcome to Sonora!” he added chipperly, having decided in the moment that he was now the official Pecari Welcoming Committee. “I’m Stanley. What’s your name?”
12 Stanley O'Malley Different can be fun! 1491 0 5

Katey Willow

October 10, 2020 8:52 AM
Potential CW warning: allusion to/mentions of death


Upon arrival, Katey had all but locked herself away in the infirmary to prepare for the upcoming school year, and also to hide away while she continued trying to lower her heart rate with some breathing exercises and distracting busywork. It had been a while, but the nightmares had found her again last night, causing her to wake up in a panic. The worst kind of nightmare, she had discovered, were the ones that were true, replaying real events with only slight modifications ad nauseum in the night. It had been two years now since losing Ethan, so the memories were less frequent now, but when they resurfaced, she would often hide away for days at a time. But this time, she didn’t have that luxury. Despite the image of a body burned into her mind, she had to press on. She pulled on her medical coat, a reminder to herself about who she had to be today.

It was a little odd here this year, though. She kept expecting Jean-Loup to come through the door and help her set up. She was excited for him - going to med school was exciting, and a great accomplishment - but she couldn’t help missing his company, even though she had never fully decided if he actually liked her or not. It was nice having someone to chat with (even if she did most of the chatting), or someone to take a couple shifts to give her some downtime. She would have to spend even more time alone in the infirmary this time around.

Katey didn’t get far enough for her liking into her pre-patient scrubbing-by-hand routine before it was time to head down to the Cascade Hall, but she did manage to quell her demons enough to feel vaguely functional. There was something calming about cleaning by hand, at least. It always felt a little more thorough and sterile, a little more personal. She would definitely be returning for some extra elbow grease after the feast to finish up, she told herself.

She took her place at the staff table and, completely accidentally and totally without thinking or paying attention, took a seat next to Killian. Katey had nothing against the guidance counselor. In fact, it was quite the opposite, which was why she had come to the conclusion that, based on her track record with men, maybe it was best to just avoid him. But he had that charm, and that smile… It was not an easy feat to keep her distance. As she sat down, she offered him a maybe too gooey smile.

When the Headmaster had finished the annual introductions, she turned to actually greet him, and immediately, she noticed a mark on his face. Now, Katey hardly wanted to admit to the degree to which she had memorized his face, but as a Healer, it was a distinct injury, hard not to notice. “Hey you, I- what happened?” she asked with no preface, switching modes instantly. She raised a hand toward the wound, healed slightly but not enough, but hesitated before actually making skin contact. “Did you get splinched? How recent is this?”
12 Katey Willow Let the doctor take a look [Killian] 1505 0 5

Lorena Abernathy

October 10, 2020 4:07 PM
Lorena happily took her place at the Aladren table. She didn’t know much about the different houses but the cauldron picked it for her and she was determined to make sure the cauldron was right in selecting her for this house. She wondered if she would be able to be herself here or if she would have to try to be less interested in school and books like she used to in her Muggle school. It hadn’t worked very well for her in the past no matter how hard she tried.

She had been nervous waiting for her name to be called for the sorting but it had actually been very simple. She had stepped forward and dipped the badge she had tightly clutched in her hand into the potion in the cauldron. It had immediately turned the beautiful of Aladren house. As blue was one of her favorite colors she decided that was a good sign. She wondered what house Augustine had been sorted into. She had lost track of him after they left the garden area earlier in the evening.

Lorena has listened to all of the opening comments, but some of them had no meaning to her because she wasn’t a prefect or a head student. She didn’t know Professor Brooding Hawthorne so she didn’t know if she should be sorry or joyful that the teacher was out this term.

She heard about a midsummer concert and was fleetingly sorry that she didn’t play any instrument. She had always wanted to learn an instrument but her mother had thought that lessons were frivolous waste of time o and money. She did have a passable singing voice though so maybe she would look into that when the time came. For now, she was just eager to see what came next.

Lorena didn’t have long to wait. Suddenly, the table was filled with food! They had said it was a feast but this was nothing she could or would have imagined. It seemed every inch of the table top was packed with food, things that were her favorites and things she had never seen before. Happily she filled her plate with food and thought things were going pretty well so far.
48 Lorena Abernathy Sorted and settled 1510 0 5

Quincy Wright

October 10, 2020 9:09 PM
Quincy's summer had been a lot better than he'd anticipated. Apparently one of the bigger cases on his mom's load had dropped the amount of work required of her over the spring and she was a lot more available to hang out with him. This happened sometimes when kids aged out of care, when foster families were stable enough that she didn't need to worry as much, or when family reunification was successful. Whatever had happened this time, it had apparently made her extra aware of how little time she actually spent with her kids, because she'd taken several weeks off - in pieces - throughout the summer. They'd even been able to make a trip out to Crater Lake one day, and they drove there which was super awesome because Quincy loved roadtrips. He knew it wouldn't last because as soon as one case closed, another one opened, but still; it was nice that this break coincided with his summer break.

Plus, Bertie got to visit, and Deidre wasn't mean to him, and Quincy's dad thought Bertie was a cool guy and let him pick out a bunch of stuff from the store. Since it was a bookstore, most of the options to choose from were books, but there were also puzzles, games, and some fun science kits that were mostly based on chemical reactions and stuff since wizard kids couldn't make the electrical ones work as well. Like, they could, but they didn't usually, and electronics got fuzzy around wizards. Quincy wasn't sure if his dad could have done anything better to make him seem like a cool kid to a fellow Aladren and was all smiles that day.

All in all, it had been a good time. By the time summer was wrapping up, Quincy was finding that he was almost sorry to go back to Sonora. It was a nice change of pace from what he'd expected for summer and he gave everyone big hugs - except Deidre who only gave him a small hug - before heading back out. Now that he was back at school, his bittersweetness was abandoned in favor of full out excitement. He was gonna learn so much more stuff soon, and eat some awesome food. He'd forgotten that there would be new people and he was pretty sure he wouldn't remember any of their names since he barely remembered his own year's names, but he'd give it a shot. One new girl sat down too far away to talk to anyway, so that was one person he wouldn't have to worry about remembering her name just yet.

As the rest of the speech stuff went on, Quincy found himself daydreaming. Even the singing barely brought him back to the moment since it was mostly terrible and he was much more interested in hypothesizing about the pH balance of the water that gave the room its name. Finally, food arrived and he really did focus on the present. It was delicious, as usual, and he loaded up especially on mashed potatoes and corn - foods he promptly mixed together - and fried chicken. Looking around for the final part of what he needed, he spotted it just out of arm's reach.

"Hey," he called to any of the students who were close enough to him not to be weirded out that he was shouting at them and close enough to his object of desire to be helpful. "Could you please pass that gravy boat?" he asked, pointing.
22 Quincy Wright Back to it! 1495 0 5

Felipe De Matteo

October 10, 2020 9:28 PM
There were a lot of reasons for Felipe to be happy to be back and two of them got shiny new badges tonight. He clapped uproariously - as uproariously as was appropriate of course, although he might have dipped into a little too excited for Teppenpaw in particular - as Zara and Jessica were made prefect. He had not been under any impression that he was probably even eligible at this point and had really only hoped it wouldn't go to Jeremy. He didn't really know Martin well but he knew Jessica and was not only happy for her but proud of her. This was a big win. Martin looked decidedly less happy but Felipe wasn't going to think about that right now, because as many reasons as there were to be happy, there were reasons to worry.

First, Jessica was a bit of a mess - in a way that he understood but still a mess - and this sort of added pressure couldn't be all sunshine and rainbows for her. He hoped her family was proud of her the way they should be though; that would make her feel better. Second, this meant that Zara and Jessica would be spending hours together however often their prefect duty put them on the same shift, and that didn't sound like a super great thing. A small part of him hoped that maybe it would be good for them and they'd come to some newfound understanding, but he couldn't quite say he believed that was likely. Third, when he glanced around the room, he couldn't help spotting Leonor giving him a very sour expression, eyebrow raised as she shook her head. It was quite clear that she thought he'd lost the badge because of his own poor choices, which might have been true but he didn't mind. Jessica was a good fit either way and Felipe didn't have half so much riding on school honors as he once had. Plus, Leonor was mean and rude and he doubted she'd get it even if she was the only choice for her House, which she wasn't.

In any case, Felipe was happy to be back where people would talk to him and acknowledge his existence. It was a low bar, but it had been set thoroughly by his family over the summer and it was nice to be at school. Plus this was his last year of intermediate lessons which meant he was going to learn some great information and then get to move into advanced lessons, where the real honing of his life would need to begin. This year would be his last year to explore, so he was going to do his very best to explore.

He was thinking about everything and nothing when food appeared and Martin broke his train of thought. "Sure," he agreed, passing the desired item to his roommate. "Good to be back?" he asked, noting with some surprise how casual his tone had become in the years since he's been at Sonora. He was pretty sure that made him a bad Crotalus, but if people like Jeremy were good Crotali, then he was happy to be a bad one. "It's always a bit bittersweet," he added politely, not wanting to pressure an answer either way.
22 Felipe De Matteo Red, the gold of beating hearts. 1434 0 5

Oz Spellman

October 10, 2020 10:46 PM
He would get used to it? There was always this much food? That seemed pretty ridiculous, but hey maybe wizards could magic it up from nothing. That would totally be cool! It had already seemed like winning the lottery to get told they could leave their dive of a school, even without knowing what they were getting into instead. He was sure there was sonething about exams and getting into univerisities and stuff that people used to judge schools but that was way more applicable to Henry than to him. If school fed them well, it was already a win in his book. If it taught them how to make food, so they never had to worry about budgets or grocery bills ever again... Wow. Oz definitely liked the thought of being a wizard. It was way better than doing algebra.

"Thanks," he replied, as the other boy welcomed him. Clearly he was older, as he hadn't been in their orientation group, but he didn't seem loads older. Also he seemed nice. That didn't mean he was, of course, and Oz was determined to keep his street smarts sharp and be on the look out for potential dangers, even if he had a solid track record of only noticing bad ideas once he was neck deep in them and needed help getting out. Still, seeming to be nice was better than seemingly hostile, even if Oz thought he probably needed to be careful with these tricksy wizard kids.

"I'm Oz," he answered, not bothering to specify that is was short for 'Oscar' because if he had wanted to be called that, he would have said it instead.

"How do you even decide what to eat?" he asked, and then promptly decided that lasagne was a good option because some of the food looked weird and unfamiliar but lasagne was always pretty great.
13 Oz Spellman Absolutely 1514 0 5

Henry Spellman

October 11, 2020 3:56 PM
Their journey to Sonora had been a wild one and Henry had thought the whole thing was basically designed to make them feel horrible before shoving sandwiches and information in their faces. Oz had been sure to keep an eye on him and it was a habit of his brother's that Henry wasn't sure whether he appreciated or resented. On the one hand, he appreciated that Oz cared enough to make sure Henry kept his cards safe, kept an eye out, etc., but on the other hand, it wasn't as if he really needed to be reminded. Sure, he was a little scattered and anxious at times, but he was generally the responsible one. And he wasn't the one telling his brother not to act a certain way, even though Oz was much more likely to act out than he was, and what was wrong with being a-- wimp? He thought that he was doing just fine, and when they did the tour of the school and he got to see the library, he thought he that he was going to keep doing just fine. Still, Oz didn't show that he cared that much and so if being a little overbearing in his protective instinct was how he showed that he knew they were on the same team, then that was fine with Henry.

He couldn't help worrying what being in different Houses would do for their team identity though. He wondered whether Oz predicted they'd be in different Houses as quickly as Henry had. As soon as Professor Wright - names were important and should be remembered, lest people come back to get you with them - explained a bit about the Houses, he was pretty sure he knew where he and his brother would both be going. He was surprised then to find himself not being sorted into Aladren but into Crotalus. Did the potion not think he was as smart as he thought he was? Was there something wrong with him? With the potion? What was going on? He didn't know what to think, especially when Oz was sorted into Pecari, exactly as he'd expected. If the potion wasn't wrong . . . then that meant he had been. Maybe he really wasn't that smart.

He took a seat with his new House and his red badge, feeling a bit deflated. More than a bit deflated. He'd finally gotten to go to a cool new school where they were going to learn cool new stuff and he was already not living up to his own self-expectations from day one. Of course . . . this did leave the possibility that he had potential. That wasn't something he usually credited himself with but he thought that maybe it was possible he was more complex than he thought, or he had a bigger personality than he thought, or that maybe he could fit in with people he didn't expect to fit in with and he really had a chance at a good time. Besides, if he was brainy enough that he could have possibly fit in with Aladren students, maybe he could make friends with them, and also take advantage of the proximity of students in Crotalus to make friends there. He was pretty sure Oz wasn't about to dip into either pool for his own circle of friends, so it was a safe strategy at least.

Henry comforted himself with this thought as singing commenced - WOW that was unpleasant - and food appeared. He started some at the suddenness of it all, triggering a sneeze. The boy next to him turned and . . . asked him to repeat it? "Achoo," he said, a little puzzled. Then he blushed as he realized what must have occurred. "Sorry," he said. "I sneezed. I didn't say anything."
22 Henry Spellman Red is a pretty alright color I guess. 1513 0 5

Freddie Zauberhexen

October 11, 2020 4:10 PM
Everyone all at the same time was reflecting on something. That was the weirdest part about big milestone feasts like this one. Everyone was thinking about summer and coming back to school and the new students and all that stuff. It was the best for language learners because you really couldn't ask for more context when picking up a conversation with somebody new. At the same time, language learning was hardly the thing on Freddie's mind when all those other things were also on his mind, at least as much as on everyone else's. So he would have to benefit only passively from context in this case, and didn't even realize he'd done so as he followed most of the Headmaster's speech and then food appeared. He dug in without even turning to see who was nearby, mostly just feeling good tonight.

He was going to get to see his friends again, he was going to get to be in classes and do stuff again, and he was going to have a great year. He'd already decided. Plus, summer had been better than most. Taking the time to be outside and be at home was always a perk, and getting as many cuddles as his parents would still grant him was great, but he'd also been able to talk more to Hana and they seemed to be on the same page again. Maybe different paragraphs, sure, but Freddie felt confident in saying that he had his big sister back. Plus, he'd taken a lot of time over the summer to work on English (ew) and to work on himself (yay) and now he was feeling pretty confident in general. He had discovered that as much as he liked the idea of makeup, it wasn't something he enjoyed for everyday wear. Tonight, he'd painted his nails and glimmering yellow-gold color, and a cheerful, retro style brown bowtie adorned his neck. He'd gelled his hair so it stayed in a pretty nice way, and that was it. He'd thought about adding fun eyeliner or something but it itched something fierce when he got excited and forgot about it and rubbed his eyes, so he opted out of it.

Freddie was his own man and he was pretty excited about who that man was. Or who he was going to be at least, because he was pretty sure that fourteen wasn't really a man yet. He loaded his plate with French fries and made a hamburger from the patties, buns, and toppings nearby, and then added some barbeque ribs and mac 'n' cheese just because American food was great and he'd missed it and also he was hungry all the time these days. Something about puberty probably. He was just digging into his burger - it was ridiculously good - when the student next to him piped up and he turned to look at them, the burger still in his mouth and his nose squished up against the bun.
22 Freddie Zauberhexen I want to be my best me. 1452 0 5

Killian Row

October 11, 2020 4:23 PM
In a lot of ways, Killian's summer had been a dream. It was just that fact which made him so angry that he'd gone and had it all spoiled the very last week before returning to campus and to work. He hadn't told Bonny of the conversation he'd had with her father, but she looked about as uncomfortable as he felt and they hadn't really talked much at all since she'd gotten back from Valentine's. He wasn't sure what to make of that, but if it meant he didn't have to tell her what he knew just yet, then that was all the better. He also hadn't told his parents. He hadn't told anybody. He didn't know who to tell or how to tell them. A letter he'd sent to Jean-Loup just before school began had indicated something was awry but not the details and he merely said he hoped that they could arrange a visit soon.

The fact that he was irritatingly sore and this his injuries were being annoyingly sore to heal didn't help either. He'd had to Apparate several more times since his initial splinching and while he hadn't done it again, every time did make him feel a bit as if the fading wounds were being pulled apart, and he still looked a bit a mess. It probably wasn't enough for any of the students to see from where they sat - the wounds certainly looked a week or more old between his application of dittany and the actual time that had passed - but he knew his fellow staff members could see, and when classes started and office hours resumed, students would see too. Bonny had seen and her eyes had been big and round and worried but he'd assured her it was going to heal. She hadn't asked where he'd gone and he wasn't upset that she hadn't.

The Headmaster was headmastery as ever and Killian applauded in the right places, welcoming the new students and the new professor with practiced zeal. His smile was in the right place and his eyes looked happy enough to pass for sincere. It was easy enough if he forced himself to think back a little further, to think of all the good things that had happened over the summer, but he just couldn't get his brother out of his head, or the resurfaced memories his encounter with his brother had caused. That, of course, was the real crux of it. He couldn't tell anyone what he'd found out because they would want to talk about it and if he started talking about it, he might not stop talking about it. That wasn't going to work for anyone. The only people who would already know were his parents, and they would be their own brand of mess in the face of this news, not to mention overly careful with Killian himself after hearing the details of it. He could, he supposed, tell them the parts and not the whole, but that seemed unfair and he wasn't sure he could separate his feelings about the parts and his feelings about the whole.

See? There he'd gone again, thinking about things he had no business thinking about. There was a feast in front of him, and that was his focus right now. He had colleagues to chat with - Katey had given him a big warm smile and seemed like friendly enough company, as she always did, although it felt like it had been a long time since he'd thought too much about that - and food to eat. The food looked amazing but he found he wasn't that hungry. He filled his glass with soda, thinking of the staff barbeque over the summer with a shadow of a smile, and scooped some potatoes onto his plate, turning that shadow into a real semblance of a smile. At the same time, Katey turned to speak to him and he looked up, his expression instantly changing as he recognized concern registering in her eyes.

His eyebrows came together in confusion and concern until she spoke, asking about the mark on his face. Ah. Not subtle then. He smiled a little sheepishly, even chuckling when she raised her hand as if to perform a medical examination right then and there. "Just a few days," he said with a nod to confirm the source of the injury. "It's not so bad now. They applied dittany and stuff. Apparating afterwards wasn't great but now I won't have to be doing that so it's just fine," he promised.
22 Killian Row Too little too late, I'm afraid. 1450 0 5

Katey Willow

October 11, 2020 4:54 PM
He chuckled a little, which reminded her how silly she was probably being, and Katey retracted her hand without making any skin contact. She looked away, a bit sheepish, and pushed back the strand of short brown hair threatening to fall forward. “Sorry,” she offered. “Force of habit?” It wasn’t meant to be a question, but the inflection came out in a manner more closely resembling one than a statement.

“I’ll try to switch out of doctor-mode,” she promised with a laugh of her own, mentally telling herself to be normal for like eight seconds. “Although you should let me take another look in a couple days, just to keep an eye on it. Will you please swing by the infirmary some evening? Or we could have dinner or something.”

WHAT?

Katelyn Annmarie Willow, WHAT?


Her face flushed, but she swallowed down any upcoming stream of babbled “that’s not what I meant”s or “that didn’t come out right”s, knowing fully well that, based on the stuttery form with which they would probably present herself, there was just no bouncing back from that. So she decided to press on. “A-anyway,” - strong start, she cursed herself - “how was the time off?” Hopefully she could pull this thing back on track, but it was unlikely. A more likely feat, she at least hoped no one else in their proximity was listening. The rest of the staff was probably having their own conversations, catching up like reasonable adults and whatall, but unfortunately, Katey was apparently not capable of this.
12 Katey Willow You should've called me. 1505 0 5

Billy Cobb

October 11, 2020 6:42 PM
Billy Cobb was sure he had seen it all. There'd been flyin' wagons, walls made outta trees, fancy rocks shootin' water up in the air, strange devices distributing water and other odd juices for drinking and plenty of others. That was just at the first meetin' thing, then they'd all gone on a tour of the building. It seemed to just keep going on and on and on and on, all inside. Billy'd been in some big buildings before, but they'd mostly been the big barn things at the state fair and they were small compared to this. How was he ever gunna learn his way around here? It wasn't like the forest back home where it was easy to navigate. He was just gunna have to do a lot of explorin'.

The last room on the tour was the biggest one yet. It just baffled him, they had waterfalls build into the walls! They must be underground and have run a river just right to pull that off.. or it was more of that magic again. Why would they do it... Ooooh.. 'course he'd figured it out now. Duh. This was where you came to do your washin' when you needed it. That was more convenient then going outside all the time, especially when it got cold. Funny though, you'd think they'd have each one screen off a bit. Maybe they didn't care if people ran about here in their birthday suits, but they'd been awful insistent on him wearing this weird dress. More'n likely they just took down those screens to make room for the tables that all the folk were sittin' at. That made sense.

The man had been talking about something or other, probably about the washin' procedures and such. He'd figure them out later, Ma had made him take a bath before he got on that wagon, so he was good for a while. He did follow along as they all lined up at the front of the room and an old man started talking. Oh! The badge thingy! Where had he put that? A few minutes of scrabbling around his pockets, he disturbed Archie just a bit in his search but eventually found the pocket he'd shoved it into. These dresses sure had a lot of pockets.

When his turn came, he dunked the badge into the Sorting Potion and it came out brown. He grinned, that reminded him of the dirt and tree trunks back home. neat. Another boy's badge had turned brown, so he followed along and found a seat at the same table. The old man talked some more, and Billy did his best to listen. It was just more names, and some more people getting badges. They didn't get to dunk them though. Apparently there was a concert planned that was going to be a play? That was weird, was there going to be music playing while the people on stage did stuff? More magic stuff probably. Then everyone started singing. Billy got a sheet of the music and did his best to sing along, but it wasn't like any tune they'd had back home.

Then one of the most amazing things yet happened! In the blink of an eye the tables were full of food! They'd just been empty and some of this even looked like real food! Everyone else seemed to be diggin' in, so he followed suit and quickly loaded his plate with whatever he could get his hands on that looked edible. He hoisted what sure looked like a turkey leg to his mouth and tore into it with a vengeance. Oh that was good, not like Ma's mind you, but good and he was hungry. After that trek here, nothing really to eat at the first gathering and then they trekked all over the school... Oh, Archie'd probably be hungry as well. He scanned the table and dropped a few small bits into his pocket.

A few bites later he was feeling better and spotted something a little farther down the table. "Hey," he asked the person next to him, "Can you pass them 'taters down here?"
2 Billy Cobb Wooo.. What's the occasion? 1519 0 5

Rosalynn Tellerman

October 11, 2020 6:47 PM
Rosalynn had enjoyed the tour of the school, but she was eager to find out what House she would be sorted into. Most of the people she knew had been Pecaris (Dad hadn't been, technically, since he was never a student here, but he'd done a brief stint as their Acting Head of House, so that was probably close enough to count), but Ginger had been a Teppenpaw, so her California Pierce blood on that side didn't absolutely guarantee that she'd wind up there. She didn't think she was more like Ginger than she was like Dad or Sully, though, and 'distant cousin' wasn't exactly the same immediacy as 'father' and 'half-brother'. Especially when it was Mom who was the parent she and Sully shared.

Chances were high, she figured, that she'd wind up in Pecari, just by family association. She knew she had some traits that went with that House, if only because she'd picked up some habits and biases that came with growing up around two other Pecaris. Rosalynn wasn't ready to guess which House Mom would have been in, if she'd been magical, but Pecari didn't seem outside the bounds for her either. You had to be adaptable and able to land on your feet if you were a single parent to two kids for most of their childhood. Especially when one of them turned out to be a wizard out of a clear muggle genealogy (presumably; to be honest, Rosalynn hadn't heard a whole lot of details about Sully and Karen's father except that he'd left them and Mom when Sullivan was still a baby). Rosalynn's Dad hadn't entered the story until Sully was eleven - Rosalynn's age now, which seemed kind of weird to her because Sully was so much older than her. She couldn't imagine Sullivan being her age. He'd been a grown-up for as long as she'd been alive. More like an uncle than a brother, really.

So, anyway, the biggest question of today was: were her inherited Pecari traits more dominant than the Aladren traits that belonged to just her? Was her enjoyment of a good biography enough to overcome the Pecari lurking in both sides of her lineage? Did preferring Bananagrams to Charades mean she earned a blue badge instead of a brown one? (Though, to be fair, Sully didn't like Charades either, so that was maybe a bad example.)

Soon enough, it was time to have those questions answered. She took a deep breath, then lowered her blank badge into the potion. (Sully had told her there was a potion that would determine your sorting by what color manifested, but she must have misunderstood the details, because she'd been under the impression you drank it and your skin changed colors.)

The badge came out blue. It came out blue! She was an Aladren! She grinned up at the teacher helping with the sortings, with more than a little relief, and then headed over to her new House table.

She sat next to another girl she had seen during orientation and smiled at her as well. If she had understood Sullivan correctly (which, after the sorting ceremony, was no longer a certain thing), she thought they'd be roommates together, so it was best to put her best face forward, and hope they didn't hate each other. She'd never had to share a room before, being effectively an only child with Sullivan and Karen already out of the house when she was born. She wasn't quite sure how good of roommate she'd be, and hoped she didn't suck at it.

At least she was usually pretty neat. That would probably help. To her knowledge, she neither snored or talked in her sleep, though she did not have independent confirmation of either claim.

"Hi," she said, after the rest of the announcements and the song (which she'd tried hard to sing along with, but she didn't know the melody, so that made it harder, and she'd definitely been off-tempo more than once). She looked over the spread of food, visibly impressed. "This is way better than McDonalds," she declared, then began to fill up her plate with both familiar favorites and things that she'd never seen before but thought looked or smelled good.

1 Rosalynn Tellerman Looks like we'll be roommates 1520 0 5

Stanley O'Malley

October 12, 2020 5:07 PM
Oz, huh? That was a cool name. Probably a nickname, but that made it even cooler. Stanley had kinda always wanted one. Wally got to be Wally instead of Wallace, and Tommy got to be Tommy instead of Thomas. Theo didn’t really have a nickname, but his name was Theo, so that already sounded like a nickname. Stanley’s only options were, like, “Stan”, which was an old man name and not a fun kid like him, or maaaaybe “Ley”, pronounced like “Lee”, but that was kinda weird. So he just had to be Stanley.

Stanley resisted the urge to laugh at Oz’s question, because he knew sometimes people - particularly new ones - didn’t like it when you laughed at them, even if you meant it nicely. How to decide what to eat? “Why decide?” Stanley posed in response. Immediately, he took quick helpings of all the plates within arm’s reach. Then at the conclusion, in triumph, he popped a chicken nugget in his mouth. Also, heck yeah, chicken nuggets. “I say just take it all!” he exclaimed, his words slightly squashed by the contents of his mouth.

Gulp! And there went chicken nugget #1. Stanly flashed a newly emptied smile. “What’d you think of the tour, Oz?” he asked conversationally, (mostly) between bites. “Super cool, right? There’s a ton of awesome places to explore around here. You like exploring, right?” Maybe it was a generality, but that seemed kinda like a Pecari thing, so he felt that, in his infinite second-year wisdom, it was probably a pretty safe bet.
12 Stanley O'Malley Glad to hear it! 1491 0 5

Wally O'Malley

October 12, 2020 5:14 PM
Oh gosh, this was humiliating.

First Wally had been embarrassed because he was getting side-tracked about a girl. Then he was embarrassed because he thought somebody spoke to him and he had to ask them to repeat it. But now - now - it was even worse because nobody was even talking to him! The first year who had sat down beside him wasn’t speaking, he had just sneezed, so Wally had just made everything super awkward and terrible.

“O-oh,” he fumbled weakly. “Um, sorry. I, uh… I’m Wally.” The only thing his weak little brain could come up with mid-short circuit was apparently an introduction, accompanied by an offered hand for a shake. Unfortunately, sitting at a dinner table was not an optimal time for that, and he knocked his water goblet over on the table. The waterflow managed not to soak any of the food in front of him, but the stream ran right off the edge of the table and directly into Wally’s lap.

“Eep!” he shrieked involuntarily. Then he ducked his head a little, just wanting to shrink until he was no longer visible. He hoped Valentine hadn’t seen that. He hoped she hadn’t heard that. For once, he was grateful for the clatter and chatter of a loud event like this, but what if she had noticed anyway? Oh, gosh. Oh, gosh.
12 Wally O'Malley I'm only getting redder 1492 0 5

Martin Crosby V

October 12, 2020 5:29 PM
Fortunately for Martin, Felipe had always been adequate company. His roommate did nothing to personally offend him - at least no more so than the average populous, and if anything, quite a bit less - and was generally tolerable, if not downright nearly likeable. Martin felt a twinge of guilt for snapping as he had, because outbursts of emotional distress were distasteful and all around unacceptable behavior, and thus he was glad when Felipe didn’t seem too put off by his request (although it was more of a demand). “Thank you,” he said, accepting the requested potatoes with both hands and offering a slight head nod, his tone a little more even, more under control.

Felipe asked if it was good to be back, and while Martin didn’t especially want to outright lie, he also didn’t feel like expressing his current qualms with their “home away from home” until December. Luckily he was offered an out, as Felipe expressed bittersweet sentiments. “Yes, bittersweet,” Martin agreed. He did much prefer being home; his parents were by far the most tolerable adults, and if there was anyone on this planet Martin actually liked, it was his little sister. Samara was only seven, but she was a precious little person and he would fight anyone for her honor.

Still, he begrudgingly admitted, there were some positives about Sonora. While the professors themselves got on his nerves with their antics, the materials at the core of their classes were valuable. Martin needed this education if he was to make something of himself. And of course, he was to do so, although he hadn’t settled on a career trajectory quite yet. His father was an apothecary, so there was always that route if he so chose. There were a lot of options to weigh yet, and this year would be vital progress along that path. “Are you looking forward to anything in particular this year?” he asked conversationally, although not especially interested in the response. Having scooped some of the mashed potatoes onto his own plate from the community dish while this went on, he now placed a spoonful on his waiting mouth. Delightful.
12 Martin Crosby V Red, the lyrics that I know. 1439 0 5

Henry Spellman

October 12, 2020 5:49 PM
Henry smiled a little at the boy - Wally - but couldn't introduce himself before water was suddenly everywhere. He grabbed at some nearby napkins and did his best to mop up the table and such as Wally looked like he was about to lose his mind. Henry resisted the urge to shush the older boy, recognizing that it was just his own habit of doing whatever was necessary to avoid attention and that it might come off badly if he tried to impose that tendency on someone else. Still, he hated to think anyone was looking, and he worked as swiftly as possible to clean up the mess, leaving Wally's lap to himself to clean up.

"It's fine. Hey, it's fine," Henry said firmly. When the opportunity presented itself again, Henry reached out and took the hand Wally had originally offered. "It's fine," he said again, a little more kindly. Timid as he was, he knew well that coddling and weakness were just openings to be exploited. Henry knew that, Oz knew that, their mother knew that . . . it was practically a way of life. Henry was the soft one of himself and his brother, but that wasn't to say he was necessarily actually soft. Where Oz was a jawbreaker, Henry was one of those old people candies that broke your teeth but had liquid caramel inside. "I'm Henry," he said with another small smile.

"I've never seen this much food in my life," he said, changing the subject to something tangentially related, as that usually gave less of a clue that it was indeed a subject change. "Is it always like this?"
22 Henry Spellman The year of the recko--reddening. 1513 0 5

Felipe De Matteo

October 12, 2020 6:07 PM
Felipe nodded at Martin's assessment, not reading into whether the boy took his out because it had been offered or because he really meant it. That wasn't the sort of thing you could safely guess about society people because they were as likely to do one as the other and either could be a lie. It was also a safe answer just because it didn't mean anything, and Felipe could get behind answers like that.

He took a moment to put some food on his own plate - something which he had learned was heinously called 'taco salad' but was actually pretty good anyway - and filled his cup with fruit punch. Martin asked about the rest of the year and Felipe smiled a bit, happy that his roommate seemed vaguely interested in talking to him at least. He considered, not sure how invested Martin really was in the answer, before continuing.

"It's CATS, and the last year before we pick a direction," he said with a shrug. "Bittersweet. I am looking forward to classes though," he finished a bit lamely. It was sort of a non-answer, but it would suffice. He took another bite, trying to leave as much empty space in the conversation as could be managed appropriately. "Are you looking forward to anything in particular?" he copied. "Other than potatoes," he said with a small smile, noticing Martin's almost content expression.
22 Felipe De Matteo Red, the hair of our new prefect. 1434 0 5

Giselle Duell

October 12, 2020 6:34 PM
She was ready for this. She was ready for this. If Giselle just repeated that a few more times to herself, she may eventually believe it. Her new living space here at the school was enormous compared to the small room that Lia had allowed her to use. It was going to take a little bit to get used to it, conveniently though it connected straight to her office. She had an office! How amazing was that? That connected to her classroom, which was as ready as she could make it for her new students. Her living area was still very sparsely decorated. She still didn't have very many things, the bed was covered with the quilt that Valentine had gotten for her at the fair. It had been a lovely surprise and her niece had been delighted.

Giselle had fixed herself up as much as she was able to for this grand opening feast. After she had gotten the job it seemed like Marissa and Valentine had taken her through every shop in the area to 'update her wardrobe' as they put it. It had been a fun, very confusing, whirlwind of a lovely time with her family again. She could get used to it. Andrew had even come along, 'for moral support' he said when she asked why. Halfway through she understood, Valentine had been a non-stop ball of gleeful energy, handing her things to feel and describing their colors and patterns, telling her what would go with what. Marissa was much more controlled, but she could tell her sister-in-law was having fun as well. Andrew helped her from being swept away by it all.

So, wearing the fanciest of her new dresses... she forgot what color Val had said it was, she tied the dark blue with silver moons and stars and tassels 'divination scarf' around her waist. Valentine had insisted she get it. Now she was ready, her hat was in place, she had her glasses, everything was fine. She would now go to her first official duty as a fully employed professor of divination at Sonora Academy. She was ready for this. She was ready for this.

One more deep breath, and then she opened the door and started to make her way towards the Cascade Hall. This school was a very nice school, it had a much different aesthetic than Delphi had, but that was hardly surprising. There were only so many places that could pull off columns and marble statues so well. She only got lost once on her way, and found the hall before it was to late. She took a seat at the staff table and reminded herself to breathe again. The noise in the room thankfully wasn't overwhelming, it was the familiar sound of conversations buzzing around a school gathering. It was actually strangely comforting, she smiled slightly. For most of her time there, school hadn't been good, but it was at least familiar.

Before long Headmaster Brockert began his speech. There was a color changing badge used for sorting? Thankfully Delphi hadn't used that process, they had simply been divined into their houses. The only name she recognized from the awards was Hilda Hexenmeister, she was on her list of students for this year. The announcement of the Midsummer event came as no surprise, however she also knew of one student who would be participating. She smiled nervously and waved gently when he introduced her. She was almost positively certain she'd heard a barely restrained squeal of delight come from somewhere in the direction of the students.

Giselle listened to the school's song. She hadn't heard it before, and the words hit her harder than she was expecting. Learning to survive life's hardships, stand and face those who want to harm us, We won't let the world transfigure, jinx, or charm us, I won't fight alone.... Breathing was suddenly harder than it had been, and there were unwanted tears stinging the corners of what used to be her eyes. Nonono... not here. She was fine, everything was fine. She was ready for this. She was ready for this.

She pushed the lyrics to a back corner of her mind. She could discuss them at her next session, they could wait until then. Attempting to steady her breathing again, she noticed that the air was filled with the aromas of food that had not been there a moment ago. Hunger was not a problem at the moment, but any distraction was a good one.

OOC: Marissa, Valentine, and Andrew actions all approved by their authors.
2 Giselle Duell New school, new start? 1517 0 5

Lorena Abernathy

October 12, 2020 6:37 PM
A pretty blonde haired girl approached the Aladren table and sat down next to her. “Hi!” Lorena responded to her greeting. “You know MacDonalds?” She exclaimed in response to the girl’s comment. “Are you from a Muggle family then?” She couldn’t imagine that there were magical world MacDonalds but then again, they seemed to be just about everywhere. “Do you believe this food?! I don’t want to eat like a pig but there’s so much here that I like or want to try!”

She was so pleased that the girl appeared friendly and willing to chat. It would be nice to make friends here. That was something she hadn’t had many of in the muggle world. “I’m Lorena, by the way,” she said as she debated the desserts she wanted to add to her plate. She had a real weakness for cheesecake and fruit tarts and brownies and, just so much of what was spread out before her. She decided to skip the brownie and take the smaller slice of cheesecake and a tart.

It was so nice to have the stress of the day mostly behind her and to be able to relax and visit with her neighbor. “Are you happy to be in Aladren? I don’t know all that much about the houses, but I think I’m happy with the cauldron’s choice. I am guessing you are into books and studying? I understand that’s one of the things Aladrens have in common.” Lorena didn’t want to talk too much or display her nerdiness in her first conversation so she turned her attention to her food, then exclaimed “Oh my gosh! This is delicious!”

Lorena thought about how happy she was to be here. Out from under her mother’s disapproval and control, away from her brother’s bullying and in a place where her differences would be embraced and encouraged and she could learn without being ashamed of it. She would miss her father terribly but she could write to him, by owl, no less! How amazing was that?

“I saw you waiting to be sorted. Were you nervous? I sure was. I had no idea what to expect, but it wasn’t bad at all.” It’s easy to be nervous when you have no idea at all what to expect. Her father had just told her that it was a ceremony to determine the house you would be in but didn’t want to say any more. He said it’s a ‘rite of passage’ and no more.
48 Lorena Abernathy Roommates and friends I hope 1510 0 5

Mary Brooding-Hawthorne

October 12, 2020 7:03 PM
Tabitha was away, studying and researching and adventuring and totally hopefully not forgetting about Mary. Zeus had been inconsolable the first few nights she'd been gone, convinced that a parent leaving meant that the parent had died, but then they'd gotten their first letter from Tabitha and everything seemed a little better. Mary had helped Zeus pick out a new plushie dragon toy and he slept with it every night. It seemed helpful and Mary was glad for the chance to try to sleep herself. It was the first time in years she'd had a bed to herself and she found that she hated it. More often than she was proud of, she ultimately put herself to sleep on the couch, curled up with Ailuros.

For all that she was sad that Tabitha was away, Mary was also very glad the woman was finally taking care of herself. It had been a trip she'd needed for a very long time and Mary had high hopes that when she came back - because she wouldn't let herself think it could be an 'if' - she would be better for it and more excited to teach again. She'd been passionate about that once, and maybe she could be again. For now, Mary needed to be a parent and a professor and not worry about Dorian or Tabitha or any other thing.

For now, it was the start of a new school year. Mary's hair had grown back out to past her hips - amazing the things consistent application of strong potions could do - and she wore a rich green gown for the occasion. Her hair was cascading as usual from beneath a too-large pointed hat and she smiled neutrally as Headmaster Brockert went on, clapping eagerly when students were given their awards.

There was a new professor, which was exciting. Mary turned to tell Tabitha that and then remembered and . . . well, she turned to the new professor instead. "Hi, I'm Mary," she said as she picked up her glass. She wasn't sure whether offering her hand to the woman would be clear as the glasses made her think the woman was likely blind, but she also didn't want to just deadarm it, so a glass of water gave her something to occupy her hands with instead. "I teach potions. It's great to have you here!"
22 Mary Brooding-Hawthorne New something. 1424 0 5

Leonor De Matteo

October 12, 2020 10:45 PM
CW: Implied reference to nonconsensual kissing.

Summer had been a bit more exciting than Leonor had expected, which was a low bar but still a nice one to clear. Felipe had basically been relegated to his own little life and Leonor had continued her studies without his presence, which was great. She'd also been able to spend time with Javier. At first, she'd felt a little guilty about that, especially now that she and Jeremy had done some kissing, but she he'd sort of talked her out of that and it had been good. She'd gotten to meet some of his friends too and they'd . . . well, they'd all been excited to get to meet her too. That was one part of summer that she hadn't been such a fan of and she'd left for school with mixed feelings about how much of her own decision-making had gone into her holiday activities. At first, it wasn't such a big deal, but she was getting less and less interested in visiting Ciudad de Matteo and by the time they were meant to head back to Sonora, she'd almost been willing to ask Felipe to come with her the next time she had to go visit. It hadn't come to that, which was great, and Leonor put those worries aside. She was thirteen, almost fourteen, and very mature, so she didn't need to worry. It made sense that people would want to kiss her and it was all good practice anyway.

Summer was summarily put aside in favor of thoughts about dinner tonight - she cheered vaguely for the new student leaders, except for the Crotalus one, when she gave Felipe a horrifically dirty look and cheered only politely for Jessica - and she was eager to get back to her room and sleep. She thought it would even be nice to see her roommate again. When a new student took a seat beside her, she worried he'd expect company. As they both began loading their plates though, he a bit more disastrously than she, Leonor was confident that she could get through the whole first evening without having to socialise at all. But that was short lived and . . . oh dear, this boy was an absolute mess.

Leonor grimaced some but nodded and passed the . . . "Wait, what did you want me to pass you?" she asked, forgetting for a moment to be polite. He didn't strike her as someone who deserved the effort anyway and she wouldn't want it to be wasted. She followed his gaze though and eyed a bowl of potatoes which she offered in case that's what he meant. It almost sounded like what he'd said anyway. "There. Eat up," she said, risking a little bit of effort in wasted sarcasm.
22 Leonor De Matteo Don't get too excited. 1471 0 5

Wally O'Malley

October 13, 2020 5:49 PM
Fervently, Wally swiped at his lap with his napkin, desperate to dry up the mess he had created and too frazzled to think to use a spell. He was mortified by the condition of the table as well, but fortunately, this first year had that under control. Wally offered him a weak but grateful smile, pausing from his drying just long enough to look up and make brief but genuine eye contact, a rare feat for Wallace O’Malley.

That last “it’s fine” resonated with him, the type of kindness he often needed, and also did his best to provide to others. The second year was a gentle spirit, easily shaken but surprisingly buoyant. This incident would definitely haunt him at random intervals, a midnight regret one night weeks or months from now, but in the moment, he found it easier to let go, at least a little, thanks to Henry’s kind demeanor. “Thanks,” Wally returned softly. He meant it.

And, providing further reason for his gratitude, Henry mercifully started talking about something else: the food. In this case, Wally felt a little more able to contribute without making a fool of himself. “Not quite this extravagant, but kinda,” he replied. “Feasts are a lot bigger production than just, like, dinner, but you can pretty much always get whatever you feel like having.” Wally smiled a little bigger, feeling his shoulders begin to relax and his jaw unclench just a touch. Had he somehow made a friend?
12 Wally O'Malley I think we've reached the maximum. 1492 0 5

Killian Row

October 13, 2020 7:28 PM
"That's alright," he smiled, taking a drink. "Whipping brochures out at people is a little harder to make into a habit but your tools are your hands, so that makes sense," he promised.

He was nodding in agreement to come by to get his stupid splinchy-self checked out when Katey . . . asked him out? And his eyebrows came up in more surprise than he meant to show. He also wasn't quite sure what to say. Normally, he would have been happy to. He would have been happy to now even. But there were boundaries to consider and people's feelings to consider and he wasn't sure how to navigate that. It seemed rude to assume she meant anything by it. At the same time, it seemed worse to assume she didn't mean anything by it and lead her on. At the same time still, he wasn't necessarily sure it was leading her on. But also, he was pretty sure.

Katey changed the subject quickly, probably not realizing she was leading herself into possibly more dangerous territory. "I'd be happy to come by," Killian said with a pleasant smile. "Always happy to get to know my colleagues better."

Oof. He felt like a jerk. He felt like he had a lot of things to say to a lot of people and couldn't figure any of them out. He'd practiced his answer to the next question but it suddenly didn't seem like the right answer, and he swallowed back most of the details. He'd also mostly practiced it before seeing Lorcan again, and then before arriving back to his office to find a very nice letter that reassured him the good parts of his summer weren't actually a dream. "Is there ever really such a thing as time off?" he asked playfully. "Yknow, figuring out people's futures, helping them get on track, that whole thing," he said in summary of his stupid brother. "I . . . started seeing someone actually," he added a little more lightly, both because it seemed sensitive then and because it was very dangerously on the line of putting too many commitment type words in Ema's mouth. He also generally frowned on people using relationships as an excuse not to date someone else because that was Not How That Worked and people needed to know it. "Sort of. A thing. It's a thing." He coughed and took another drink of water. "It's good. How was your break?"
22 Killian Row I wrote to the general a month a-- no, that's not what we're doing. 1450 0 5

Rosalynn Tellerman

October 14, 2020 10:07 AM
Rosalynn laughed. It seemed impossible to her for anyone not to know McDonalds, but equally, she knew such people did exist. Even the California Pierces, Dad's side of the family, were dubious at best about most fast food restaurants and half of them were muggles. They were also largely vegans, though, so she attributed most of their weird food habits to that moreso than their magical family members. "Nah, I'm half and half," she corrected the misconception. "Dad's a wizard. And a professional magician. But we live in a muggle part of Las Vegas, and Mom doesn't have any magic herself unless there's music playing. She's a really good dancer."

When the other girl exclaimed over the food, Rosalynn had to nod in agreement. "I know, right? Should we divide and conquer? I take some, you take some, and we report to each other what everything is like?"

She felt a bit embarrassed when Lorena introduced herself a bit belatedly and Rosalynn realized she hadn't thought to do so yet. "Right, sorry. I'm Rosalynn. Good to meet you. I'm looking forward to being in Aladren. I'm the first in my family to make it there, so that's exciting. And I'm definitely into books, and learning new things, but not quite so much with the studying. Maybe being in Aladren will help me get better about that."

Lorena set to testing out the foods she'd selected for her plate and found one of them to be really amazing, apparently. "Which one? If it's that good, I should get a sample."

Rosalynn shrugged, not sure she'd qualify her uncertainty leading up to her sorting as being truly nervous, but it was in that neighborhood. "'Nervous' is a bit strong. Any result would have been okay. I was just . . . kind of worried that having so many of my close family members being associated with Pecari, it might read my genes more than me and I'd get sorted where my family goes and not where I should go."
1 Rosalynn Tellerman That is the best case scenario 1520 0 5

Valentine Duell

October 14, 2020 5:09 PM
This was going to be fantastic!! Valentine could hardly sleep last night. Aunt Giselle was going to be teaching at school, she was going to see Bonabelle and Lavender and everyone again! There were going to be clubs and classes and her housemates again! More school! She was going to miss Mama and Papa again certainly, but she was going to see her friends again! She did hope everything was alright with Bonabelle. She had behaved a little strange after their tea party, and then she had to go home to finish school preparations. Tomorrow they would have their official 'morning after' feast breakfast and... well, hopefully things would be okay. If not, she'd have to figure out what she could do to help her friend.

She looked around the hall as the students were finding their tables and spotted Bonabelle. She waved and then gestured in a way that plainly meant 'Hi! Good to see you again! Enjoy the feast and I'll talk to you at breakfast tomorrow!" The headmaster hadn't started talking yet so she continued to scan the room, waves went out to Lavender, Alexander and Mab, Philippe, Sadie, Esme, Quincy, Wally and any one else whose eye she could catch before the Headmaster started his speech.

At which point she promptly sat down and paid attention. The new students were getting sorted! Two were sorted into Teppenpaw! She waved them over to her spot at the table ready to welcome them to the house! She didn't get much past a quick 'Hi' and 'Welcome to Teppenpaw!' before the headmaster was talking again. As the awards went out she cheered for Nathaniel and Caitlin. Nathaniel was a Teppenpaw, so that was fantastic and Caitlin seemed nice enough. She cheered again for the new prefects as well, a little more louder for Zara because, well... Teppenpaw.

As the Headmaster continued, she giggled at his announcement of the school's Midsummer event. Aunt Giselle had been right! She wondered if she was right about some of her other predictions.. Valentine looked about the room again, specifically paying attention to the boys. Did she really have admirers? Was Wally looking her way? Was Stanley? Was Philippe? What would she do if they were? She'd gotten the impression that Mama had thought it'd been cute, and Aunt Giselle had seen more than she was letting on...

Aunt Giselle! In all of her excitement she had nearly forgotten! Valentine spotted her Aunt sitting up at the head table next to Professor Brooding-Hawthorne.. only one of them? And let out a minor squeal of delight, completely missing whatever the Headmaster had just said. Oh, he'd been introducing Aunt Giselle, hooray! Aww, Professor Brooding-Hawthorne wasn't around this year? She supposed they would be seeing more of Professor Carter-Xavier... Ooo.. how was their baby doing? She was sure he was going to be as cute as anything!

Val sang along with the school song. She glanced again at Aunt Giselle, and thought her aunt looked a little uneasy? Hopefully she was okay, would she get a chance to talk to her yet tonight? She wasn't allowed to take Aunt Giselle's class for a whole year yet so she was going to have to find another time to talk with her. Stupid rules.

When the speech was over and the food appeared, she turned her attention back to the new Teppenpaws. "Hi!" she exclaimed more enthusiastically this time now that they were free to talk. "I'm Valentine Duell, and welcome to Teppenpaw!" She gestured at the laden table before them. "Eat, drink and be merry!" She began to load up her own plate, "I'm a second year now, so I was where you are now not long ago. Let me know if you have any questions." She put on her friendliest smile, "Oh, for official questions though," She began pointing out people as she mentioned their names, "Professor Xavier up there at the staff table is our Head of House, Nathaniel, Katerina, and now Zara are our Prefects. They can give you 'official' answers to questions, but I'll do my best and point you in the right direction if I need to." She just couldn't help but smiling, old friends and new friends... this was going to be a great year!
2 Valentine Duell New people! [Tag Tommy, Melanie and/or any other new Tepps] 1490 Valentine Duell 0 5

Katey Willow

October 14, 2020 5:34 PM
Stupid, stupid, stupid.

The voice that chided her was loud and clear in Katey’s mind, but it was not her own. It was the echo of a voice she hadn’t heard in so long now, a reminder of what Ethan used to tell her. For someone so smart, how could she be so dumb all the time? She really did have a knack for messing things up. Of course Killian was gentle in his rejection, but how stupid of her to so obviously and awkwardly suggest a night out.

Katey held firm to her smile, though, forcing up the corners of her mouth despite the heavy anchors that tried to pull them down. Also left over from her time with Ethan, she knew how to postpone a breakdown. She couldn’t cry when she had to be strong for him, so she had learned to push it down, to stall her emotions. “That’s… that’s great,” she said, hoping her waiving tone was subtle.

“Like you said, not much break for the likes of us, huh?” she replied, thankful for the switch in conversation, at least. “Did you hear from Jean-Loup much? I hope he settles in well at his new school.” Not knowing of Killian’s personal affairs, she assumed it was their now-former intern to whom he referred when he mentioned getting people on track. “The infirmary is already so weird without him. I’ll be spending a lot of quiet time there alone this year, I guess.” Not that she had ever gone anywhere else much - she tried to spend as much time as possible there, to be the most readily available in the event of an emergency - but she had been able to assign Jean-Loup some hours alone when she needed a break, and when she didn’t, he was often there with her. But maybe hiding out there by herself would be best for her this year. Katey was definitely looking forward to getting away from this feast tonight. She needed to get away from Killian Row.
12 Katey Willow You were right: too little, too late 1505 0 5

Billy Cobb

October 14, 2020 6:01 PM
Billy grinned at the girl as she passed him the bowl he'd asked for. "Thanks!" No, Ma said to be polite to folk here, "I mean, thank-you kindly miss. Most 'preciated." He dropped some of the potatoes on his plate and set the bowl back on the table. "I sure will," he continued after her 'Eat up' line. That was something he could agree with. He shoveled some more food into his mouth and looked at the girl again. She looked.. a bit different, and her words came out sounding a little strange as well. No one back home sounded quite like that, he wondered if he could get her to talk some more.

Swallowing the mouthful he'd been processing, he washed it down with some plain ol' water. Not that weird juice stuff that he an' Melanie'd been tryin' out in the tree-wall room. Hey, mebby that'd make a good topic of conversation. "Have you tried that pumpkin juice stuff?" He started off, then grimaced, "There was some of it over in that tree-wall room where we'd met up first and hoo-boy was it ever pow'ful stuff. If Miss Melanie ain't been there, I mighta beat Uncle Jayne's melon-seed spittin' record." He grinned his most friendliest smile.

Dangnabit, he'd plum forgot, Ma was gunna tan his hide when she got the teacher's reports back. "Sorry miss," He stuck out a hand in her direction, "I'd forgot to introduce myself. I'm Billy Cobb, from Kentucky." He tacked that on the end there in hopes of her doing likewise. He was beginning to suspect she may be from some far off foreign place. One of them places he'd seen pictured in Pa's atlas, California maybe.
2 Billy Cobb Naw.. it's all just, wierd. 1519 0 5

Philippe Delachene

October 14, 2020 6:40 PM
Philippe was eager to begin his second year at Sonora. He'd had a bit of a slow start getting going on his social life, but he was friends with Val, so that was, like, halfway to knowing the entire school. His goal this year was to close that distance. Well, he didn't need the entire school, but he could at least add a club or two to his schedule and maybe expand his friend circle by a few. Right now it was, well, Val and Jasper, the two people he knew by dint of being in the same House and year group, and while they were both perfectly good people, he could really do with diversifying a little bit.

He wasn't quite ready to take on a total stranger for his second year Opening Feast, but luckily there was an empty seat next to Freddie. They'd feasted together before last January, and he was Anya's friend, so Philippe wasn't at all intimidated by the older boy. Plus, he'd borrowed hair color from Freddie to get a blue streak in his curls last spring, and that had been fun. So they were very nearly friends already by Philippe's book. Once you started sharing hair color between guys, that had to be a sign of something, right?

"Hi, Freddie," he said as he sat down, trying to be careful with his enunciation without it being obvious that he was being careful with his enunciation. There wasn't much time between that greeting and the first years arriving, and had he looked that little last year? They looked little to him.

They got sorted, and Val seemed to have looking after the new Teppenpaws well in hand. Then older students were being called up, all of them too old for Philippe to have any personal opinions about any of them, though next year it would be Freddie and Anya's turn, and they presumably knew people one year older than them, so he was starting to edge into the circle of influence of prefect aged people. That seemed kind of weird.

Mostly because Anya wasn't supposed to be that old yet. Until she'd gotten sent off to Sonora two years before he did, he'd always seen her as more of a 'peer' than 'older', possibly because the age difference between him and Anya was a lot smaller than the age difference between Anya and Jasmine, or possibly just because Anya had never been especially mature for her age.

Further contemplation on that topic was overrun by the Headmaster declaring the midsummer concert would be taking on the form of play this year. Nice! Philippe could get into that. A nice bit part would be fun. He didn't need to be the lead or anything crazy like that.

Staff changes were announced and he felt just a tiny bit of relief at discovering that it was the DADA Brooding-Hawthorne who was taking the semester off. He didn't dislike her. He was just afraid she was reporting his every failure to his uncle since he knew they'd met each other during the change over from Uncle Daniel teaching the subject to her teaching it.

Then the school song was sung, and he did a better rendition of it this year than he had last year, and then there was food! As the hearty aromas entered his nostrils, Philippe became abruptly aware that he was starving. He filled up his plate, then grinned over at Freddie who was doing basically the same thing.

"Looking forward to the new year?" he asked, then winced as he realized Freddie had just bit into his burger. "Take your time and chew," he hurried to assure the older student. "No rush." Then he stuffed half a dinner roll into his own mouth to show he didn't mind a few minutes of just eating.



1 Philippe Delachene Fancy meeting you here, Best You 1489 0 5

Giselle Duell

October 14, 2020 7:17 PM
Oh, someone was talking to her. A woman, the voice gave it away first, but the name certainly confirmed it. She smiled in the direction of the voice. She nearly reached for her wand to get a 'look' at who was talking to her, but she stopped short. She hadn't had time to meet up with the rest of the staff and she didn't know how much of her situation the Deputy-Headmistress had told them. Pulling and waving her wand about right off the bat could look... threatening, or at the very least very strange. So for now, she would make do. "Hello, I'm Giselle.." she sort of waved in the direction of the Headmaster, and felt herself turn a little red, "But I guess you know that already."

"Thanks," she responded to Mary with just a slight, embarrassed grimace. "I.." she started, stopped, considered, sighed and plowed ahead anyway. "I was never very good at potions." Giselle tried a weak smile and gestured towards her face, "A lack of eyesight makes some parts of that difficult." That should work, if the deputy-headmistress already told them it wouldn't seem like an odd statement, and if she hadn't.. well now Mary knew. "Anyway," she continued to move the conversation along, "Have you been here long? Do you have any advice for a newcomer?"

Giselle debated asking if Mary knew Valentine, but if Val was taking potions, Mary would know her. this was Valentine. Perhaps she would come up in conversation, how many Duells could there be in the wizarding world? Instead, her nose reminded her that there was food on the table, and suddenly her stomach decided it did want something after all. "For example," she tried to smile again, "What's the best thing here to eat?"
2 Giselle Duell New things are good, right? 1517 0 5

Henry Spellman

October 14, 2020 9:46 PM
Henry bobbed his head in acknowledgment of Wally's thanks but didn't otherwise say anything. It was always a little weird to respond to gratitude. What were you supposed to say? You're welcome - I basically put myself in servitude for you temporarily so you better be thankful. Or else something like my pleasure which was better but generally not true. Except in this case, he supposed it was sort of true. He was happy to help his new Housemate. It had largely been a matter of self-preservation to avoid attention but still, it had been a pleasure he guessed. The moment had passed now though, so he went on with the conversation.

It took Henry a moment of looking around at everything to try to process the idea of having whatever you wanted. He was surprised to find that it made him feel a bit sick actually. Here was all this food - how much of it went to waste? - and yet his mom was at home, alone, probably eating a can of cold soup or something, if she'd even given herself time to eat after work. They'd spent years barely getting by, mostly 'feasting' on free meals from mom's work, and yet there was a magical school in the middle of nowhere that hosted feasts for children every night? It didn't seem fair. And it felt wrong to indulge when his mom wasn't going to get too, although he supposed she would tell him to eat as much as he could. Plus, with two fewer mouths to feed at home, she was probably going to be eating a little better the next several months. There was some good in this that way, for sure, but it was still hard to think about. She definitely wasn't going to get to eat something like--

"Is that... are those lamb shanks?" he asked, pointing at a dish he'd only ever seen on TV. His stomach gave a hungry lurch. There were mashed potatoes and mac'n'cheese with real cheese and a bunch of other stuff he'd only ever either seen on TV or eaten after a spin through the microwave. Guilt clawed at him but so did his salivating mouth as he shifted in his seat. "I can really have as much as I want?" he asked, resisting the urge to lick his lips as he swallowed hard. He glanced over to where Oz was sitting to make sure that his brother was at least eating something. He was also socialising which was good. He was also talking to a boy who looked a little older than they were, which was also good.
22 Henry Spellman Oh, I try to avoid that most of the time. 1513 Henry Spellman 0 5

Killian Row

October 14, 2020 10:05 PM
Killian really wanted to apologise, and point out that he would have once been more than happy to get dinner with Katey, and maybe point out that he might someday be happy to as well, but that didn't seem fair to her. He also wasn't totally sure if she was more in need of comfort or reassurance, since she may just be feeling bad that she'd asked him at all. And if she was, was he really the person she'd want that from anyway? He was pretty sure he knew sad eyes when he saw them, whatever a smile was doing, and he wanted to fix it. Most of the time in his line of work, he was absolutely capable of fixing things. This didn't seem like one of those times.

"A little," he agreed about Jean-Loup. "I was . . . " He wanted to say that he hadn't been home much, but that sounded a lot worse than he meant it after what he'd just said. At the same time, he didn't want to necessarily say more about the actual reasons he'd been gone. "I'm a bit hard to get letters to on breaks, just between traveling to Ireland and the States and everything. I'm never in one place for long when I'm not at Sonora." Merlin how he hoped that wasn't true forever. He sort of wanted to grab Katey's shoulders and shake her when she said she'd spend a lot of time alone though. That wasn't conducive to a healthy brain, and he knew that all too well. "I spent most of my time alone until Jean-Loup was here," he said softly. "Don't do that to yourself. I've always got new bread recipes to try on people, Mary's good company, Marsh is generally happy to show people something new and exciting, Gray's probably not going to be thrilled to have company but I always sort of enjoy the challenge in that. Don't spend too much time alone. Your brain gets filled up with old voices and they're hard to shake," he told her. And if his voice hesitated on Marsh' name, it didn't matter.
22 Killian Row Never say never. 1450 0 5

Leonor De Matteo

October 14, 2020 10:18 PM
Leonor didn't really bother resisting the urge to stare at this strange boy. He was very polite, but also very impolite, and she wasn't sure what to make of that. She was Jeremy's opposite it seemed - poor breeding, poor upbringing, sincere manners. Jeremy was a lot of things but sincere was hardly one of them. She thought that Felipe might not even be able to call himself that and he was at least more vulnerable than some of the other people she knew. But this strange boy, with his floppy hair and and floppy words, seemed sincere in his politeness. She doubted that it was any sort of understanding of etiquette if literally everything else about him was anything to judge by.

"De nada," Leonor said, mostly to herself as she turned to her own plate. Fascinating as this new creature was, watching him slam potatoes down his gullet was hardly a good show. He spoke up again though and he could've been speaking another language. Leonor spoke four of them and still could hardly understand. Also, they didn't have any teachers or anything named Melanie. Maybe this was a nanny or something from home? But that didn't seem right. "Miss Melanie?" she asked, since that was about the only bit she could get. The uncle with a lady's name was spitting melon seeds? But . . . no, that didn't make any sense to her. It was frustrating not being sure whether it was this strange boy or her own English proficiency that made it difficult, and she scowled softly in frustration. "I don't really know what you're saying, but yes, I've tried pumpkin juice. We have a lot of pumpkins at home and we make a lot out of them, including juice. It's better than what they have here," she added with a haughty sniff.

Leonor really didn't want to touch the hand that was offered to her. She wasn't strictly sure whether there was anything gross on his hand but it just seemed like there would be. 'Taters' or something. "Leonor De Matteo of the Mexico De Matteos," she replied, resigning herself to the inevitable handshake. She did, of course, know where Kentucky was, because a De Matteo heir(ess) knew where all the states were and a little bit about them. It was ridiculously important and she hated it, but there was only so much she could do about it, so she knew. That didn't mean she particularly cared though, and she wasn't about to ask about the weather or how far he lived from Frankfort or something. Instead, she merely gave a small grimace. "Pleasure," she managed.

Despite herself, she was a little curious. It was odd, because she was rarely curious. "I've never seen anyone with hair like yours," she said, cocking her head at him. She pointed at the newly appointed Crotalus prefect. "Hers is the closest. Is yours like that all year?"
22 Leonor De Matteo We agree there. 1471 0 5

Lorena Abernathy

October 15, 2020 5:53 PM
"I'm half and half too." Lorena commented as she worked her way through the plate of food in front of her. She thought that Rosalynn's idea of dividing and conquering the table full of food was a wonderful idea! "My Dad's a wizard and Mom's a Muggle. Mom doesn't approve of magic and so Dad doesn't use it much at all, and never when Mom's around. Until I got my letter from Sonora, I really didn't know much about it. I mean, I knew Dad was magic, but didn't know anything about the school or anything. Mom's definitely not happy that I'm here."

"Do you have family in Pecari this year? Why didn't you want to be with them?" Thinking about it, she was positive she wouldn't want to be in the same house with her brother, if he was going to school here! She was so relieved to be away from her brother and his teasing and nastiness. And couldn't really imagine him attending a school like this at all.

Lorena reached forward and picked up what she believed was probably pumpkin juice and took a sip. It had ice in it and decided it wasn't bad when it was very cold. She'd probably grow to like this drink.

"What are your favorite kinds of books to read? I read just about everything because I just enjoy reading." Lorena thought it was so nice that it seemed she really was in the right place after all. She was going to be living in a house with a group of people who enjoyed reading and learning, just like she did. Wouldn't that be a lovely change? "My Dad gave me some books about the magic world when I got my letter. I haven't read them yet, but I'm looking forward to learning about it."

She thought it would really be fun to be able to use your magic all the time. "Your father is a professional magician? Does he have a show in Vegas? Is your mother a professional dancer?" Lorena remembered going through Las Vegas a few times when her family would take trips together. Of course, she couldn't gamble and her parents didn't want to stay there and see shows or anything. She remembered it being crowded and noisy with lots of lights. "Do you love living there?"

"Would you hand me a piece of watermelon, please? Watermelon is one of my favorite foods."
48 Lorena Abernathy The best feast ever 1510 0 5

Freddie Zauberhexen

October 15, 2020 8:25 PM
Freddie was told not to rush, so he did just that, biting off his bite with a grin, and chewing it happily until it was time to swallow. Sonora did burgers right and he couldn't usually help grinning at meals like this. He took a drink of water to get it down and then looked at Philippe. "Ja," he said. "This year--" Oh. Oh. This year, his sister was up for prefect, and he hadn't even paid enough attention to see who got it and cheer appropriately. He wracked his brains, trying to remember who'd gotten it. The redhead girl who spoke a little German, Hilda, and . . . not Hana. It was her roommate, Zara, who'd gone up for it. "I think will have good," Freddie said with a bit more caution than he'd begun. "Hana is not prefect," he frowned. "But das ist OK."

He considered his burger for a moment, feeling bad for not having paid more attention now. What else had he missed? Well, there was one way to find out. "I not do listening when Headmaster talk," he said honestly. "What else say? Does this year have good?"

Freddie had, of course, made some decisions about some things he wanted to do and ways he wanted to be this year and he thought that maybe it would be a good year no matter what, but that was hard to say for sure when he didn't know what was going to happen. Maybe they were going to get to swim with sharks - that would be great! Maybe they were going to be fed to the sharks - that would not be great. There was a lot up in the air at this point, and you couldn't take too much safety for granted at a school for magic. "Are you excited?" Freddie added, wanting to get Philippe's personal take on this as much as anything.
22 Freddie Zauberhexen You're pretty little to make dad jokes aren't you? 1452 0 5

Mary Brooding-Hawthorne

October 15, 2020 8:37 PM
Mary smiled. "It's good to meet you nonetheless," she assured the young woman. Well, she seemed like a young woman at least. She was certainly younger than Mary had been when she'd started, and that was long enough ago that Mary might have had a decade or more on her now. How odd to be among the older staff now, although she thought that she may still be the youngest if Giselle wasn't being counted. One of them, at least. Ever since including Zeus in her life, she didn't feel very young.

The sunglasses made much more sense when Giselle went on to explain her lack of skill with potions, although Mary wasn't sure whether that was strictly an excuse. "I have full vision, but you wouldn't know it from the way I cut up ingredients sometimes," Mary said, not quite laughing because it certainly wasn't a thing to guffaw about, but giving a full enough chuckle to hopefully show that it was an attempt at lighthearted humor. "Well, if you ever need a potion, I'm happy to brew things for people. Just give me enough notice if it's something that takes more time of course," she said, smiling again. She was glad such things could be heard and not just seen, because she didn't really want to verbalize I look happy right now at Giselle. That seemed rude. She did wonder though whether smiles sounded as different as they looked, and whether it could be heard that her smile was polite and sincere, but not quite genuine at the root of her mood.

"It feels like I've been here a long time and not very long all at once. This is my sixth year," she said, laughing when Giselle asked about food. "I'm partial to pasta dishes and chocolate, so that's usually my go to. My wife - she usually is here to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts - is always giving me a hard time about it, but that's why she likes to run away from monsters and I like to cook with them," she said. "Lasagna is in front of your left hand, a little to the left, and there's a baked ziti or something ahead of it. There's a salad and mashed potatoes closer to your right hand, and sliced turkey straight ahead of you," she added with comfortable neutrality. Hopefully Giselle would tell her off if she didn't want that sort of information and Mary hated to impose if she wasn't the sort to be direct, but she also didn't want to be weird about things. "I won't do that again if you don't want," she added, just in case.

She was probably talking too much but that's what anxiety and extroversion did to people, so she went with it. "As far as more solid advice for a newcomer, I think the only thing is asking for help before you're desperate for it. Kids are hard, grading is hard, curriculum is hard, and it's all wonderful, but it's a lot. Find someone to have a nice casual chat with, enjoy getting to know others, and ask for support before you're hanging off the side of a cliff," she smiled. "What got you interested in Divination?"
22 Mary Brooding-Hawthorne Sometimes. 1424 0 5

Rosalynn Tellerman

October 16, 2020 12:28 PM
Rosalynn smiled as Lorena said she was half-and-half, too. That was good. Not that having a fully magical or fully muggle roommate would have been worse, but it was nice that they'd have a similar level of background knowledge. Though, as Lorena expanded upon her family dynamics, Rosalynn began to suspect she was the one with the greater magical familiarity. She couldn't imagine Mom not being happy for her. Of course, it probably helped that Sully had already paved the way.

When asked about current relatives in Pecari, she nodded. "Yeah, I have, like, a second cousin, maybe?" she guessed at Janis' precise relation to her. Janis was one of the easier ones though, since Rosalynn was 80% sure they were at least on the same generational tier. "My dad and hers are cousins, though I'm not sure if they're first cousins or second cousins. So whatever they are, we're one more out. I've met her, like, twice, I think?" Less than some of the other California cousins, because, like Rosalynn, Janis did not live with the main caravan of Pierces, so she only really saw Janis if they both happened to be visiting the bigger group at the same time. And that was a crazy enough situation without trying to track who was or wasn't around at any given time. Though this summer, after she'd gotten her letter, Dad had made sure to point out the ones who had been to Sonora before so she could ask questions if she'd had any. Janis had been the only one remotely close to her own age. "So I don't really have anything against Janis, but I don't really know her well enough to want to be with her, if that makes sense?"

"Oh, American Girls," Rosalynn answered immediately without needing to think too hard about her favorite things to read. "Biographies are good, too. If you ever need fun facts about the Muggle First Ladies, hit me up. They're some of my favorites. I was named after Rosalynn Carter, and my Mom was named after Abigail Adams."

Rosalynn nodded when asked about her dad and hometown. "Yeah, he's got an act at one of the casinos. Mom used to work there, too, as a dancer. That's how they met. He went on right after she did. I like living there. I mean, I've never lived anywhere else, so I don't have much to compare it to, but it's fine. The worst part was always that everyone at school knew my dad was a magician, so they asked about magic, and then I'd always have to lie about stuff. Like, 'Does your dad do magic at home?' and the real answer is 'yeah, he's a wizard. He can't tie his own shoe without using magic,' but I can't say that because they're muggles and the statute of secrecy makes that illegal."

Rosalynn readily passed over the watermelon when asked to do so, then asked, "So I guess your dad figured out how to tie his shoe the normal way?"
1 Rosalynn Tellerman Here's hoping! 1520 Rosalynn Tellerman 0 5

Philippe Delachene

October 17, 2020 10:52 AM
Philippe had forgotten Freddie's sister was up for prefect this year, and he made an appropriately sympathetic face as Freddie noted her loss. He expected Anya wouldn't face the same problem, but that was only because Anya didn't have any competition. "Jasmine didn't get it either," he said, mostly as an example of the lack of a badge not ruining a life. "She was disappointed but she was glad for her roommate and I don't think it bothered her too much. Hopefully, your sister will not be bothered too much either." He tried not to use too complex of a sentence structure for Freddie, even it if was a little repetitive and not how he would have phrased the sentiment with someone a little stronger in the English language. It was a bit of a run-on sentance though, he realized belatedly, and hoped Freddie could parse that all right.

He nodded when Freddie asked for a summary of the Headmaster's speech. The Headmaster was hardly the most wordy of individuals, but Philippe had lived with Anya long enough that he knew sometimes people just weren't listening no matter how concise you were being. "Yes, there is good stuff coming this year. Midsummer is a play! I'm excited. I hope I'll get a little part. Just few words would be fun and not too stressful, I think. Plus, I'd get a costume, and that would be cool. He said it's gonna be folklore, but not what story. It's Headmaster Brockert, so there weren't really a lot of details. I'd guess there's gonna be a poster in a few days with more information and chance to sign-up. Do you think you want to do that?"
1 Philippe Delachene You're never too young for dad jokes. 1489 0 5

Billy Cobb

October 17, 2020 7:43 PM
'De nada'? Billy wondered what that meant. She's said it quiet, so he'd just store it away in case it came up again sometime. Maybe it was some sort of secret message or something! Then she asked about Melanie, so he nodded vigorously and looked about the room until he spotted the first year girl at one of the other tables. "Yeah, Miss Melanie..." she'd said her last name and thought it was a strange one.. "Dusk!" He blurted out after he remembered what she had said while pointing her out to this new girl he was talking to. "I met her in the tree-room after we got off the wagons."

He smiled at this girl as she talked about her pumpkins at home. Her words sounded odd, like they were all straight to the point, almost sharp. Everyone back home talked like they had all the time in the world, it made him a little curious what made the difference. He did perk up at her pumpkin juice statement though, "Yers is better? Mebbe I should try some of that sometime. What makes it better though? You put diff'rent stuff in it? Ma makes some tonics and she's got all sorts of stuff fer makin' those."

Billy took the girl's hand and shook it firmly and properly. He was sorely tempted to give it a good and wild shake, but restrained himself. Something about her introduction made him think that she was more than just a girl here, she may darn well be a right proper lady. "Leonor De Matteo," He attempted to repeat back properly as well, committing the name to memory. "Of the Mexico..." he stopped then. "Mexico," he repeated his eyes growing a bit wide. "Yer from Mexico? That's not even from one of the States, right?" His grin widened, she was from somewhere real excitin'! "What's that like?" He couldn't help but ask with a gleam of eager anticipation in his eye. Oh, manners, right. "Iff'n you don't mind me askin' anyway."

Billy pulled some of his hair down in front of his eyes when Leonor asked about it. She hadn't seen hair like his? Horribly messy? That's what Ma always said about it. Occasionally she tried to tame it, but she rarely met with success. He looked over at the girl Leonor had indicated. Her hair wasn't a mess. Oh, she must mean the color. He started to answer, then paused a moment before actually replying. "You know, if yer talkin' about the color, I'm not rightly sure. I think it stays like this, but I can't say I really pay it much mind." Her question now made him curious, "Does yers change?" He didn't think Ma, Pa or Sis' changed, at least not that he'd ever noticed. Maybe that was a cool Mexico thing!
2 Billy Cobb Is that something to celebrate? 1519 0 5

Oz Spellman

October 17, 2020 9:18 PM
Just take it all. It wasn't like Oz hadn't already been considering that but it was still pretty mind blowing to think about having more than one thing in the same meal. He followed Stanley's example, spearing a chicken nugget or two. Lasagne with a side of chicken nuggets! That was ridiculous. But so, so good.

"The tour was pretty cool," he agreed, aiming for casual. The tour had almost been as mind blowing as the food. The school itself was like an antique or something (could buildings be an antique? I was really old and stuff) and it had fancy paintings everywhere. Who let kids run around a building like this? Well, wizards apparently. That seemed to be the answer to a lot of things lately. The only reason why Oz wasn't getting super emotive about the school was because, unlike food, that would be such a nerd thing to do. Stanley seemed to be being pretty positive about the place though, and it was clear they were talking about the cool stuff like outside and the sports rooms (those were like... whoa), so it was okay to give it a thumbs up. It wasn't like he was geeking out over the library or anything. Speaking of, he glanced over at Crotalus just in time to see Henry glancing back at him. For a second, they just connected eyes, and were in this weird ass place together in spite of the distance of the hall. But then Oz threw a 'whatcha staring at?' glare at his brother and returned his attention to Stanley.

"Yeah, exploring is cool," he grinned. "And I can't wait to play in the sports rooms." If they were allowed. Mr. Wright had said something about 'anyone' being allowed, but that of course required the older students to be willing to acknowledge that he was 'someone.' "How does that go down?" he asked Stanley, chancing it because he seemed friendly enough, and Oz didn't have any better option than hoping that was accurate. "Like, with the older kids and different groups and stuff."
13 Oz Spellman Woo 1514 0 5

Lorena Abernathy

October 18, 2020 1:07 PM
Lorena munched on her watermelon and thought this was a pretty special day and one she would definitely remember, even if she didn't write it all down as soon as she possibly could.

"I can't imagine what is would be like to grow up in a house that uses magic. Was it wonderful? I know we aren't allowed to use magic outside of school, but did you ever accidentally do something without trying?" She chuckled a little. "One time, when my brother was teasing me in front of his friends, I was so mad that I guess I made his teeth get all big and bucky. I didn't know how I did it so I couldn't undo it. Dad had to take him aside and fix them. Mom wasn't happy at all and said she guessed that means I have "it" too. My brother still pushed me around, but I think he tried not to make me that mad any more." Lorena couldn't be too sorry about it as it did make her brother leave her alone a bit. Unfortunately, any relationship she might have had with her mother got worse after that. Upsides and downsides, she supposed.

"What year is Janis?" Lorena asked. "Do you have any siblings? I only have my brother and he's quite a bit older, so I'm almost an only child."

"You were named after a president's wife?! That is so cool! I haven't read much about the presidents, although I picked up a book that looked good a month or so ago, and it was all about Garfield. It was pretty interesting. I like biographies too, and historic fiction. I've never read American Girls. Maybe you can lend me a book if you have any with you. I'll take good care of it." Lorena had a great deal of respect for books and always took good care of them, and never, ever, bent the corners down to hold her place.

"I never heard of the statute of secrecy." She said, thinking how official that sounded. But being raised basically as a Muggle, this sort of thing never came up.

She laughed at Rosalynn's question. "Yes, Dad can tie his shoes the normal way. He actually took a class in sailors knots because he found them so interesting. He will talk your ear off about it if you let him."

"What was it like for you at home? Did your dad do a lot of magic around the house? We had lots of things around our place that needed repair, but Mom wouldn't let Dad fix them with magic, so they just stayed broken. It really bothers Dad, but he tries to go along with Mom. Sometimes, he'll sneak downstairs at night and fix something and then pretend he didn't notice."

"I'm really looking forward to learning magic. I wonder what our 'house' is like." She pondered as she thought about whether to take another piece of cheesecake.
48 Lorena Abernathy A special day 1510 0 5

Giselle Duell

October 18, 2020 5:05 PM
Giselle smiled at the potions professor. "Cutting isn't great," she admitted, then paused just a moment, "The tricky part is usually when the recipe says to add the next ingredient when the mixture changes color." She gave a weak laugh, trying to match Mary's. "I haven't found a way around that problem yet." This seems like one of those conversations she would have had a bunch, but she really hadn't. She hadn't had anyone to have them with, it’s only been in the past few months that she’s talked to anyone other than… Giselle dismissed the thought quickly. No point in dwelling on the past now. Now was a time for the future.

Mary was being nice, offering to brew up potions for her, well for anyone from the sounds of it. Thankfully she couldn’t think of any potions that she needed at the moment, she didn’t want to plunge herself into debt with her new coworkers already. Maybe once she was somewhat established, and was capable of returning favors, then perhaps she could make some minor requests if they came up. “That’s very kind of you, thank-you. But, I can’t think of any that I need at the moment.”

Six years. In six years Valentine would be graduating. What would her own life be like by then? One year ago she couldn't have even begun to imagine where she was now. She smiled at the variable time sentiment that Mary expressed. Her smile froze, just a moment, when Mary said she had a wife. It was more from surprise than anything else, and not really from the idea that the woman next to her had a wife. It was the fact that she suddenly realized that she could, potentially have a relationship. She was free of her 'curse'. Would her peers want to interact with her? Might one of them think she was…? Suddenly it seemed warmer in here, she shook her head gently. 'Don't be silly girl. Who would see anything in you?' Lia's voice bubbled up through her other thoughts and she sighed.

"I'm sorry," she apologized meekly, "My mind wandered there for a moment. Your wife is the Defense teacher that is on sabbatical?" She wasn't quite sure what else to say on that topic, oh.. wait. "Deputy-Headmistress Skies asked if I would be interested in lending my… expertise." The deputy-headmistress had used that word, and it still didn't feel like the right one, but she was a teacher now so maybe it was? "She asked if I wanted to teach a Defense class…" Giselle's smile turned a little uncertain. "I gave her the answer any intimidated new hire would give their new boss. Since then, I've been trying to come up with a good lesson for it. " her smiled turned just a touch hopeful, "but maybe you might have some insight?" So much for not going into debt early.

She listened as Mary described the table layout, and sighed inwardly. Why did her simple existence have to make every else's life so difficult? Still, she smiled and thanked Mary. "It's fine," she added, "but I have learned a coping mechanism or two so far." She raised her wand and waved it at the table before her and an image of the table's contents appeared in her mind. Then she decided to take Mary's recommendation and transferred some of the pasta dishes to her own, in carefully defined locations.

Giselle took a bite as she listened to the potion professor's advice. Mary was right, the pasta was delicious. However, most her advice went in direct violation to everything Lia had taught her. She had to remind herself that Lia had not been a good person. 'You cant' rely on other people to solve your problems for you.' 'Get to the point, people don't care how you feel about things.' 'Don't trust people so readily, they may have ulterior motives.' She should have listened to that one better. Could Mary here have ulterior motives? The question she asked after giving her advice could be innocent enough, but it might not be. She had been offering her potions already, trying to get her into debt almost from the start. He face took on a more neutral expression.

Had she already said to much? She couldn't tell Mary that she was 'gifted' with The Sight, nor how her family had discovered that she had it. She could go with something safe though, Mary would need some sort of response. "Well..." she paused and though furiously before she finally came up with the obvious answer. "I lost my sight when I was about a year old, and I thought perhaps I could regain or learn a new way of seeing through it." She finished with her best 'I'm not at all trying to deceive you' smile. Maybe she was just being friendly, both the therapist and Marissa had helped her come to the conclusion that not everyone out in the world was like Lia, but that didn't mean that there wasn't any at all.
2 Giselle Duell Is this one of those times? 1517 0 5

Bertie Jackson

October 19, 2020 7:43 AM
Bertie made his way into Cascade Hall feeling pretty positive. He had had a very successful summer. He had visited Quincy, and that had been super fun, even though he had a sister. She hadn't been that annoying to Bertie, although he thought that was probably mostly down to her not being his sister. Sisters were just annoying things for whoever was the one afflicted with having them. As usual, it was the adults who were more interesting. Quincy's dad really was awesome cos he had a bookstore and it also had games and puzzles. His mom was less annoying than Bertie's own but he suspected that worked in a similar way to the sister thing. Mostly, he had just got to hang out and read books and play games with Quincy, which was a thing he liked doing a lot. He had also posted several books and pamphlets to Mara. She was interesting. He wasn't sure whether Mara had siblings because nothing that trivial had come up in their interactions but even if she was, he couldn't imagine that she would be an annoying sister. She was like...a girl, but she didn't suck. That was new. And her hair was really shiny.

Many of his dad's books were large university style textbooks which were ill-suited to both being mailed and being read by high schoolers, however much Bertie wanted to think he could handle them. However, there were a few pop anthropology books, and he had sent 'Beyond wands: ritual and ancient magic in non-white civilizations' along with copies of a couple of leaflets from exhibitions they had gone to, and of articles from journals, with the explanation that his dad kept a full set. He had stopped short of saying Mara would be welcome to come over and read some time but she totally would be welcome to and he thought he might ask her. Though if he did, he would have to face the possibility of his mom talking to her. He had managed to send her the reading material without having to tell mom about her, which was the best way for things to be.

He got to the Cascade Hall fairly early. He wasn't going to save Mara a seat or wave her over, he was going to play it a little cooler than that, but getting in whilst there were still plenty of chairs available seemed like a good way to keep his options open, and maybe she would come sit with him.

The announcements were borderline interesting in that his sister was made a prefect (which was pretty cool because even if she was annoying to him it was better than someone who wasn't his sister getting it). The theme of that year's concert was also promising, in that myths and folklore seemed to be a subject he and Mara could talk about.

All in all, he was feeling pretty good as the feast began.
13 Bertie Jackson Off to a good start 1497 0 5

Rosalynn Tellerman

October 19, 2020 1:29 PM
Rosalynn shrugged, not quite sure whether her house counted as 'wonderful' because one of the three people in it could do magic on purpose. "I mean, I guess it was good? I've never know how a home without any magic would work, so I don't really have anything to compare it to." She did not think Lorena's situation sounded ideal, but that was more because it sounded like her mom was a bit of a tyrant than because there was only very limited magic. She didn't think it would be polite to point that out, though. "I got mad at Candy Land once," Rosalynn admitted. "I drew the card that sent me back to the Gumdrop place at the beginning when I should have been able to win that turn. I changed all the pieces into gumdrops but Dad wouldn't let me eat them because of Gamp's Law - that means magic can't make food that is safe for people to eat out of things that are not food." She shrugged wryly. "We stopped play Candy Land after that, but I don't think anybody missed it."

"I have two siblings. Sullivan and Karen. But they're from my mom's first, um-" 'marriage' was the wrong word. Mom and the sperm donor of Sully and Karen (assuming they had the same sperm donor; Rosalynn was not clear on that; she just knew Mom had been a single parent for most of her siblings' childhoods) had never been married. Mom's marriage to Dad was her first and only one. "She had them before she met Dad. By the time I came around, they were already grown-ups. I am my dad's only child, though. So, yes, and no, and also 'almost', to your question."

"President Garfield was Lucretia Garfield's husband," Rosalynn stated, she hoped helpfully. "Did you know she established the first presidential library?" If Lorena's book had mostly focused on the president, it may not have mentioned that, since Lucretia did most of that effort after he had died.

"I can absolutely lend you some American Girl books," Rosalynn promised eagerly. "I only brought some of my favorites with me, but I can have Dad owl me the rest."

"The statute of secrecy is an international law that says wizards can't tell people without magic about magic, unless they are very closely related or married. Fortunately, Mom already knew about magic because Sullivan is a muggleborn, so Dad never had to lie to her about it." She wasn't sure Dad would have even if she hadn't already known, because Dad enjoyed flaunting the edges of that law, but they probably wouldn't have started dating in the first place if Mom hadn't asked the only magician she knew if magic school was a hoax when Sully got his Sonora letter. So there was that.

"I'd let him," Rosalynn declared, thinking a long discussion about sailor knots would be interesting, at least until he started repeating himself. Some people did that, and she wasn't sure if Lorena's dad was one of them. But the first time through, she'd definitely learn something because she didn't know a whole lot about sailors knots right now.

Rosalynn nodded in confirmation that her dad did indeed do quite a bit of magic at home. "See, the thing you need to understand about my dad, is that he's a showman. So he always does everything in the most dramatic way possible. So usually that way involves magic, even if it's just a flash of light or smoke for effect. And sometimes it's stage magic instead of real magic, but the point still stands. He does use reparo a lot when things get broken because he's not really handy in the non-magical way, and Mom would much rather have things that work than care about how he fixes things. But she likes magic, I think, or she wouldn't have married a magician."

Rosalynn shrugged to indicate her lack of knowledge about their new House. "Like I said, I'm the first Aladren, so I have no idea what it's like."
1 Rosalynn Tellerman Agreed 1520 0 5

Tommy Jamison

October 19, 2020 1:43 PM
Orientation was cool. There was something so interesting about seeing all the things he heard about and going Oh yeah, there it is! or So that’s what it looks like! It was both new and familiar all at once, and Tommy appreciated that he was probably one of few who were fortunate enough to experience the sensation.

Sophie said it used to be that they drank this Sorting potion, and he was glad that had changed somewhere along the line. Tommy had no fear of the potions ingredients or anything like that - quite the opposite, really, as he fancied himself something of a potioneer - but he didn’t really enjoy the idea of his skin turning funny colors. It was much less disconcerting to just watch his badge react to the potion instead. And speaking of, he took his turn bobbing his badge and held his breath while it changed color. Yellow! Teppenpaw it was! None of his friends were at that table, although he recognized a couple from extended family gatherings. His maybe-girlfriend Rosalynn headed off in a different direction, so that was a bit sad, but he figured they could catch up again later, so he took his place among his new Housemates without hesitation.

The names the Headmaster had to say didn’t really mean anything to him, but he thought the Miidsummer thing sounded pretty neat. Then there was singing, which was kinda weird, but whatever. He didn’t sing along since he didn’t know it, but he read along with the lyrics to try to get it in his brain.

When the food appeared, a girl next to him started eagerly telling him about the school. She asked if he had any questions, but Tommy felt bad and didn’t want to tell her that he probably knew everything he needed to know. There was basically no way to say he knew without coming off rude and pretentious, anyway. So he paused, trying to come up with a good question. “What’s your favorite class?” he asked genuinely. “And who’s the best professor? Also, hi, I'm Tommy Jamison!"
12 Tommy Jamison Yay, old people! Uh, I mean... 1518 Tommy Jamison 0 5

Wally O'Malley

October 19, 2020 3:51 PM
Wally picked up the dish Henry pointed at and offered it to him. “I think so, yeah,” he confirmed. Wally didn’t really eat stuff like that when he could help it. He wasn’t a vegetarian or anything, but he really didn’t like the idea of eating anything that was cute. At home, he tried to eat whatever Mom made because he didn’t want to be difficult, and he was also still a bit of a sucker for a good chicken nugget, but lamb was definitely out of his realm. More for Henry, then.

“I can really have as much as I want?”

The urge to frown tugged on Wallace’s cheeks, but he did his best to press his mouth at the very worst neutral. He even did one better, managing a kind smile. “Absolutely,” he said. He knew what that had to mean; obviously, Henry wasn’t from a wealthy family. Wally couldn’t imagine that because his family had all sorts of money, but he did his best to be compassionate. Sympathy, even if not empathy. Or whichever way that went. Either way, their experiences were most likely vastly different. Yet they ended up here together, at the same table, and it was a table that only ever grew longer. Henry didn’t have to worry anymore.

The younger boy glanced at a different table, and Wally followed his gaze out of idle curiosity. He was super surprised to see a boy who looked almost exactly like Henry sitting at the Pecari table, talking to no one else but Stanley! “Hey, is that your brother?” he asked somewhat incredulously. “Are you guys twins?”
12 Wally O'Malley We seem to have a lot in common 1492 0 5

Stanley O'Malley

October 19, 2020 3:59 PM
Stanley was glad to hear Oz had enjoyed himself thus far. Sonora was a pretty dang cool place, as far as schools went. He wasn’t super into, y’know, learning, but the place itself was awesome. So much cool stuff to explore! The Labyrinth Gardens, for example, and all the things the MARS rooms could do!

And speaking of, Oz mentioned the sports room, and Stanley grinned. He liked this kid. “Dude, the MARS rooms are so awesome,” he conveyed urgently. “That sports room can be, like, whatever you want. You walk in and you think to yourself, maybe I wanna play football today, and then boom, it’s football! Maybe you wanna play Quidditch, fire up the ol’ thinker, bam, ya got your own private pitch. And the water room’s cool for swimming too. Whatever body of water you want. Pool, stream, a specific lake you saw once. It’s so sweet.”

“There’s nothing you can’t do as an underclassman,” Stanley reassured. “We’re pretty free around here. And the different years take a lot of classes together - we’ll be in a bunch together because I’m only a second year. But then next year when I’m a third year, I’ll be in the Intermediate class with the fourth and fifth years.” That was the most Stanley had ever talked about classes when he wasn’t asking Wally for the answers to the Charms homework, so he decided that was quite enough of that. “You can play Quidditch if you want, too,” he added, diverting back to the sports topic. “Some schools don’t let first years play, but you can play here.”
12 Stanley O'Malley Wooooooo! 1491 0 5

Martin Crosby V

October 19, 2020 4:08 PM
Ah, yes. Martin had almost forgotten that it was indeed the year they would take the CATS exams. After this, he could drop any courses he chose not to pursue, which would then specify the chosen course for his future. That thought brought a sort of tightness to his chest. It really was beginning to press upon them, wasn’t it? Martin always considered himself sort of a miniature adult, but actual adulthood was rapidly approaching. He wasn’t hardly worried for the responsibility, certain he could handle any of that already, and in fact would have been able to manage years ago. It was just that question of a career that thus far eluded him. His father’s apothecary business wasn’t horrible uninteresting, but it was something Martin IV had gone into willingly and as the first, so there was no long-standing pressure to follow in his footsteps. Martin V had interest and a knack for Transfiguration, which in fact did run in the family, but also, Aunt Lilac used to teach Transfiguration, and he was loath to do anything like her.

For now, though the question had to be stalled. He scowled instinctively as Felipe gave a light jest about the potatoes. Martin had enjoyed something despite himself, and of course, now he had to suffer the social consequences of betraying one’s image. Potato happiness was entirely inappropriate, even if these potatoes were quite delicious. “It will be nice,” he said after a mighty swallow to clear his mouth, “to finish up these Intermediate years and select our classes next year. Hopefully the exams aren’t too rough.”
12 Martin Crosby V Red, the etc. etc. etc. 1439 0 5

Katey Willow

October 19, 2020 4:18 PM
“Don’t do that to yourself.”

Katey was mourning this interaction, lamenting all the stupid things she had said thus far into the conversation, replaying all the spots where she went wrong. She had pulled her gaze away, trying not to look at that face and those kind eyes, to look anywhere else, anywhere but him. But the way he spoke to her, she couldn’t stop herself. It felt slow, like a hypnotic impulse she could not resist, but in reality, her head turned to him quite sharply, large blue eyes wide with wonder and perhaps the ghost of tears she refused to cry here in front of the whole world.

But he spoke so kindly and so urgently, almost like she mattered, encouraging her to seek out people he clearly viewed as friends. And to seek him out. Bread that clearly wasn’t just about bread. Still, it was what followed that really struck her: “Don’t spend too much time alone. Your brain gets filled up with old voices and they're hard to shake.”

Katelyn felt her hands and maybe her lip tremble. What did he know about her? Had she said too much once and forgotten somehow? Her mind flashed to the past, to Ethan, to the memories, and then again to the nightmare she’d had the night before. “I-I…” Her voice caught on the lump forming in her throat. As she stood up from the table, she managed to choke out, “I have to go.” She walked quickly but reasonably until she had exited the Cascade Hall, then, out of view of the students, sprinted down the hallway. She would hide in the Infirmary and pray the medicines healed her soul by osmosis. Katey could have gone to her quarters, but the Infirmary was more functional. She could help someone there, maybe, if they needed her. She needed to be useful, to give back, to fix something. She could not fix herself.
12 Katey Willow Too speechless to say anything at all 1505 Katey Willow 0 5

Sadie-Lake Chalmers

October 20, 2020 7:31 AM
Sadie had to wonder if she was becoming some kind of nerd, because she was actually overjoyed to be back at school. This possibility was somewhat reinforced by the fact that the first thing she had done was seek out a teacher, although that was because he had her jackelbun. Jack-Jack might have started as a school project but now he was her buddy, and she had had a great time before the feast catching up on bunny snuggles, giving him treats and showing him all the exciting things she had got during the holidays. There were toys for 'enrichment' and a little clicker that she could use alongside treats to try to train him, and a leash so they could go for walks together.

The really weird thing though was that he wasn't the only friend she had to greet here. Jessica had been on the 'we're friends?' list for a while but that seemed firmly cemented now. There had been letters exchanged over the summer. The same with Mab. Sadie caught the other girl's eye across the hall and gave her a nod. It wasn't a big deal, or a big gesture but it felt nice to have someone to offer some recognition to, and be recognised by. Sadie was someone. She was also maybe someone with something to offer. She had kept up her flower crafting over the holidays and had carefully handmade wax scent blocks for both Jessica and Mab folded in between the clothes in her suitcase. They could put them in their drawers or hang them above their beds, and they would add a hint of floral fragrance to things, as well as looking pretty.

It really felt like she had a place here, which was super weird to think about as she was sure stepping up to intermediates was going to be really intimidating in terms of class content, but she wasn’t invisible any more. She was also visible without being Sadie-Lake. It was another reason she was glad to be back, because her mother was pushing that agenda hard again. She didn’t have the strength to argue that it just wasn’t her, but at least now that she was back she had the feeling that she was someone else, rather than the blank slate that she had been during her first few years in the absence of a clicking camera and an online persona.

She took a seat at Crotalus table, watching the first years getting sorted. For the first time, they looked kind of small. Was she a big person now? One of those people who, from the outside, looked stable and sure about things? She wasn’t quite sure her new found semi-confidence would carry her that far, but she definitely couldn’t say she felt the total isolating exposure of being new any more. The announcements were far more interesting than the sortings, and she applauded enthusiastically, her face a beaming smile as Jessica went up to collect her badge. She deserved it, and would be a brilliant prefect.

Feeling optimistic about the year ahead, she tucked into the feast.
13 Sadie-Lake Chalmers Not too red, not too blue 1480 0 5

Leonor De Matteo

October 20, 2020 8:04 PM
Leonor raised her eyebrow when 'Miss Melanie' was a girl Billy's age. Miss Dusk? Sure. Melanie? Sure. But Miss Melanie? That was the sort of thing children called their young tutors, not peers called each other. "The tree room," she said, focusing on something that had come up often enough to need correction, "is called a hedge maze. You were in Labyrinth Gardens. It's not a room. It's outside."

She blinked, not sure what to think of the fact that Billy's mom apparently made tonics at home. She wasn't entirely sure what that was all about. Perhaps Billy was from a magical family after all, but maybe it was one that was far enough removed from proper society that he couldn't know how to behave himself? But that didn't fit what she was seeing either. She left it, not really that interested. "Fresher, better pumpkin," she replied about her family's juice. "And we put different things in it. Spices and things." She couldn't help sounding a little proud. Much as Leonor herself would hardly do a De Matteo proud in terms of her affinity for agriculture, she was currently proud of the reverse, and her family's legacy as growers and cultivators was a beautiful one in a way. Besides, it was her legacy, and if she wasn't going to be proud of it, then who was?

Her name sounded wholly foreign to her when Billy said it but she supposed that was just the nature of things in this case. Everything he said sounded foreign to her, and not at all in the interesting, 'I speak another language,' sort of way. Whatever her expression had been before, it had managed to be mostly polite. That very nearly broke when Billy confirmed that Mexico was not in the States. Who on earth had she gotten stuck talking to? "No," she said shortly. "It's a country. You know? Like how 'the States' is a country? It's like that." She wondered whether she should spell it out for him further but decided not to. A sigh followed as she realized she would probably have to answer his next question, rather than just retorting that he probably didn't know what it was like to be from the United States either. "I live on a farm with lovely gardens," she said. "My family's subjects live in the town and we support them and they support us," she added. Javier had called her a princess and she'd hated it but she also recognized that it was sort of close to the truth if not for the fact that De Matteo claim was pretty small, geographically if nothing else. Still, she held herself with a royal bearing.

Leonor nodded, distinctly less interested in Billy's hair now. She could have explained that some people's hair changes in the sun, or that she was curious because red hair was unfamiliar to her, but she really didn't have it in her anymore, so she shook her head. "Ah," she said. "No, mine doesn't change." Then she took a bite of her food and chewed it slowly and politely so she had a good excuse not to say anything else about it.


OOC: I'm just so sorry for how awful Leonor is.
22 Leonor De Matteo Normally I'd be up for a party, but I'm just not feeling it now. 1471 0 5

Mary Brooding-Hawthorne

October 21, 2020 5:42 PM
Mary paused, not having considered that. "I suppose that's true," she said thoughtfully. She'd gone out of her way to make her classroom accessible for students of different linguistic backgrounds but she hadn't had to think much about different abilities or disabilities. That would be something to look into now, before she had to. Probably a good distraction in her new abundance of free time too . . .

Giselle seemed surprisingly easy to read and Mary watched as a number of thoughts seemed to run through her mind all at once after her revelation of having a wife on staff. She wasn't exactly sure what part of it was what made the young woman's mind whirl, but she didn't say anything negative about it so she suspected homophobia wasn't the source of it, which was points in the right direction in Mary's book. She chuckled softly at Giselle's explanation of how she got roped into teaching part of the course this Fall. "Yes, that sounds right. I'm sure you'll do amazingly, though. Tabitha would love to meet you I think," she added with a smile, imagining it. "She's especially interested in magical creatures but she's very much defense and safety oriented, so the position is a good fit. She'd probably love to pick your brain about self-defense without sight, when I know she relies so much on that herself. I don't think anything you bring to the class will be bad though," she promised. "And teaching gets a lot less scary as you work up to the point of revising your curriculum instead of building it."

Mary wasn't exactly sure what the spell did that Giselle used, but it seemed to help her make a food decision so it must've worked. That was fancy. It had always bothered her how often muggle born students and non-magical people who were associated with the magical world by marriage, etc., spoke of 'fixing' things with magic, as if the best thing that anyone could want to be was able bodied. Sure, there were benefits to that, but what if magic could tear down barriers and make all sorts of abilities and bodies perfectly functional without any of the concerns that plagued so many non-magical people. Of course, she supposed that if the best anyone had ever been able to offer her was a crutch, she'd jump at a healing potion before she'd jump at a ramp all the same.

"Oh, very interesting!" Mary said sincerely, surprised by the story, although she wasn't sure why. "I've only ever been okay at Divination, although Tabitha tells me it's because I don't drink enough tea. She's from London," she added, since the only good reason she'd ever found to drink tea was to be from a country that made you think leaf juice tasted good. She thought fondly and a little disappointedly of both her wife and Dorian in that way. Truth be told, part of why she wasn't good at Divination was because she didn't try. She had suspicions that Legilimency may go hand-in-hand with some of the mental practice required for the trade, and she wasn't sure she wanted to pursue those sorts of things. It wasn't like she ever used Legilimency but just knowing she could do so with great efficiency made her feel squirmy.

She opened her mouth to say something else when, on the other side of Giselle, next to Killian, Katey suddenly rose from her seat and left the room. The expression on her face suggested it wasn't because she was just too happy to stay for dessert. Mary instinctively backed herself out as well, putting the napkin that had been on her lap on the table instead.

Remembering herself, she put a hand on Giselle's shoulder briefly. "I'm so sorry, you'll have to excuse me. Our medic has just left the room and I'm worried she may need assistance. The guidance counselor, Killian Row, is on your other side and unoccupied now though. He makes for a great conversation partner and would be pleased to meet you, I'm sure."

She stood up. "We should definitely talk more, I'm always happy to make new friends, especially when we're all in this big school - sometimes you need another adult!" And then she followed Katey.
22 Mary Brooding-Hawthorne For us? I think so. For the crying medic on her way out of the room? Eh.... 1424 0 5

Lorena Abernathy

October 21, 2020 6:18 PM
Gamp's Law, Lorena thought. She'd never heard of that. She realized that there are so many things that most people from even half wizard families knew, but she didn't. She was going to have to put in extra time on some of these rules or she might make some horrible mistakes. "Gamp's Law? I'm glad you mentioned that. Not that I'm likely to turn anything into food that isn't, but you never know!" She said with a laugh. "I remember Candy Land. That was a favorite when I was younger."

Lorena was fascinated that Rosalynn seemed comfortable sharing her knowledge. Her own experience was that liking knowledge and trivia was considered "nerdy" and not acceptable. "I didn't know that about Lucretia Garfield. I knew there was a presidential library for most of the presidents, but didn't know she created the first. The book I read was about his election and then being shot and the horrible medical care he received that ultimately killed him. It was a really interesting book."

"I'd love to read an American Girl book! I only brought a couple of books with me because I didn't know what kind of space we would have and the books I brought are about famous witches and wizards that you probably know all about already."

Lorena wondered why she hadn't known anyone who talked about being magic before, but the statute of secrecy explained that. "Oh, that's why no one talks about being magic! I thought I just never heard much because Mom didn't really want magical people around. I think it must be hard on Dad sometimes, but he never complains about it."

It must have been fun to have a father doing magic on a regular basis and making it a normal thing instead of something that seemed a bit shameful as it was in her home. "My dad is pretty handy with Muggle tools, partly because of Mom, but also because he really enjoys figuring out how things work. Unfortunately, when he tries to fix things without magic, there seem to be lots of leftover pieces and sometimes it never works again." Lorena spoke fondly of her Dad, he was her pal and was the only person in the house who really seemed to understand her.

"Did you know that there are more than 100 knots that sailors use? My dad has memorized them all and practices them, even though he doesn't really need them for anything. It's pretty impressive though."

"Oh, I figured maybe all the houses were the same. I guess we will find out at the same time. Are non-students allowed into the houses? Like, did you ever visit Pecari? Have you ever been to the school at all before now?"
48 Lorena Abernathy Absolutely 1510 0 5

Valentine Duell

October 23, 2020 5:44 PM
Apparently the color changing aspect wasn't something Mary had thought of before. Her voice was thoughtful, as if she was trying to solve the problem as she acknowledged it. Giselle gave her a slightly bitter smile, "It's not to bad if you have a partner that can keep watch." She did not add that most of the time no one had wanted to partner with her, and when they did… well, she would have preferred to have been alone.

As Mary talked about her wife, Giselle smiled and nodded along. The woman seemed nice enough... how was she supposed to know who to trust? If she'd only had some time... no, she wouldn't have had any context and that would have been next to useless. Perhaps after getting to know them better, she could see what the future may hold. Until then... She was just going to have to trust her gut. Yeah, because that has never lead her astray before. In the end she decided there was only one way to go about this, she smiled. "Thank-you. If she is anything like you, I think meeting her would be a pleasant experience as well." Hmm... Mary may have also given her a glimmer of an idea for that class.

Yes, she was definitely warming up to the potions professor. She even let out a small, quiet titter of almost laughter at the tea comment. "Tea is okay," She responded with a genuine smile, "I generally only drink it for two reasons. One is obvious, and two..." she gestured out towards the students, "Is sitting out there somewhere, talking nearly non-stop I imagine." Valentine's parties had been a near constant thing before... and they started up again soon after they had reunited.

"London?" Giselle asked, mildly interested in the topic for no reason whatsoever, "So, I guess you met her here then?" Should she? She could, Mary seemed nice, she could ask. "Does.. does that sort of thing happen often?" The echo of 'silly girl' reverberated about her mind again and she instantly regretted asking. "Nevermin.." she began trying to cancel the question when suddenly Mary backed away from the table. What had she done? Had she crossed a line? Was Mary mad at her? Was she going to leave, just like all the others?

She felt a hand on her shoulder and Mary rattled off an excuse about the medic leaving. At least she was nice enough to say something. A medical emergency might need a potions professor to assist, but she though she would have heard more of a commotion if that had been the case. Mary stood, and there wasn't anything Giselle could do about it. She just nodded as the potions professor said some more things and left her.

Giselle poked at her food a little, suddenly not very hungry anymore. Mary had said that the guidance counselor was there and open for conversation, but if they didn't want to talk to her, she'd rather not have someone else run off on her as well. If this Killian Row actually wanted to talk to her, he could... Row? Guidance counselor? As in Valentine's friend Bonabelle Row's Uncle that worked at Sonora as a guidance counselor? Her mind drifted back over Bonabelle's summer visit. Their tea ceremony at the end stood out in her mind. She couldn't quite say what, but something had changed in Bonabelle after that party. If this was something that might affect Valentine, it was her duty to figure it out. Had it had anything to do with her fortune?

She turned to Mr. Row, "Tell me, does your niece have any brothers? What happened at the meadow?"
2 Valentine Duell Okay... but...? 1517 Valentine Duell 0 5