Grayson Wright

August 22, 2021 7:39 PM
As the wagons landed and began to unload, all but the tallest students were slightly overshadowed by an adult figure, a tall, dark-haired wizard in glasses. To most, he was a familiar figure – it was, he had been startled to realize at breakfast, his tenth year as a teacher, longer than any of the students had been here. It was to those who did not know him, though, that he repeatedly called out.

"Hello everyone," he said in a well-trained ‘teacher’ voice, projected just so, as students began to disembark from the wagons. "First years! First years gather here, please! Everyone leave your luggage with the wagons, thank you…."

He had mastered the trick of making himself heard over chattering crowds without damaging anyone's eardrums or his own throat too badly, but he still had, as usual, backed himself up with a large banner over the entrance to the Labyrinth Gardens: ‘Welcome to Sonora. 1st Year students here.’ The use of the numeral ‘1’ instead of the word was hopefully a clue to anyone who had difficulties reading English, and the size hopefully enough to attract the attention of even the most distractable of eleven-year-olds. He couldn’t say for sure that either made the task of gathering the first years any faster, but he was relatively sure that, at the very least, they didn’t hurt anything.

"Hello, again, everyone," he said once the majority of the student body had moved away from the wagon landing site, leaving him with the first years. He made the effort to smile, but the effect did little to prevent him from looking slightly anxious; 'slightly anxious' was one of his three general facial expressions, along with 'faintly amused' and 'as if the salt cellar directly in his line of sight had done him a personal wrong.' The first one was the most common."And welcome to Sonora Academy. My name is Professor Wright. I will guide you through your Orientation today. Follow me, please, thank you..."

Beneath the banner was a gap between two dense hedges, taller than any first year who didn’t happen to have a giant among their recent ancestors. A neatly gravelled path lay between them, and a short way along, it opened onto a hedge-walled courtyard, in which there was a central fountain and several stone benches which were permanent fixtures of the area and several long tables which were not. On one of these tables, there were a number of dark green folders, equal in number to the students present. On another, there was a sort of finger-and-snack-food buffet, with lightweight plates and paper napkins available so the students could gather a few refreshments in one trip if they wished. On the third, there were several large apparatuses, each topped with a clear (and unbreakable) glass bulb which showed the color of the drink within, though they were also distinguished by written labels on their sides above the spigots which, when turned, would dispense the contents into glasses: pumpkin juice, apple juice, grape juice, iced tea, and plain water. There was also a box of ice (charmed not to melt) with a scoop in it and a number of clear cups.

"Come in, everyone, and please take one folder," he instructed them. "I'm sure many of you will want some refreshments after your journey, but if you can give me your attention for a few minutes first..."

Once everyone had a folder and was more or less still and quiet, he began near-reciting the same introductory remarks he had given to each new set of first years for several years running now.

"Welcome to Sonora," he repeated. "As I said before, I am Professor Wright. I'll be one of your teachers for the next few years. Sonora is a seven-year school where you’ll be introduced to most of the major sections of magical theory and practice. Tomorrow morning, you will all start taking seven classes - Charms, Care of Magical Creatures, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, Potions, Transfiguration, and flying lessons. I'll be your Charms teacher. You can drop flying lessons in your second year and begin taking elective classes in your third year. In your fifth year, you’ll take your first set of major exams, the Critical Assessment of Talents and Skills, or CATS, as we usually call them – at least if it’s not in a setting where we’re likely to mix them up with anyone’s pets.” He didn’t really expect even solid chuckles from the children for that one, though he'd thought it had been funny when he'd come up with it the previous year. “After you take your CATS, you will be allowed to drop some subjects if you want to, so you can better focus on your strengths and the requirements for careers you're interested in, though you’ll need at least two classes to graduate and three if you want to pursue your education in the magical arts further after you leave Sonora.

“We know that you all had different educations before you arrived here today,” he said, because this was true. Some might have gone to Muggle elementary schools while others might have had one tutor, a series of tutors, or been taught by a parent, while a few might have very little formal education at all. “Your professors all have office hours when we can give you extra help in our subjects if you need it, and Professor Skies, our Deputy Headmistress and your Transfiguration teacher, runs special sessions for anyone who needs help with reading and writing English, or who needs other general academic support. You can see times for those sessions in the schedules inside your green folders.

“Outside of classes, you can choose between a few options for how you spend your time. We have several student-run clubs and a school-wide Quidditch team here, and you’ll see notices about meetings posted around the school when those groups are ready to start up for the year. Breakfast is from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m, lunch is from 11:00 to one, and supper is from five till seven, but you can find snacks and drinks in the Cascade Hall – our main dining area - between those times as well. Curfew is at ten p.m., and at that time, you’ll need to be inside your Houses – those are parts of the building where your dorms are. They're all attached to a common room you share with all the students from all seven years who were Sorted into the same group as you . Sonora has four Houses, and tonight, at the Welcoming Feast, you’ll be Sorted into one of them by dipping the blank badges you have now into a cauldron. If your badge turns blue, you’re an Aladren – the House that values learning and problem-solving.” He might have sounded a little proud there; he was a former Aladren as well as the current Head of the House. “If it turns red, you're in Crotalus, the House for people who like to be well-prepared for everything. Yellow means you’re a Teppenpaw, the House for our diplomats. And last but not least, if your badge turns brown, that means you’re a Pecari, the House for people who always land on their feet and are always willing to take a chance. All the Houses have other traits, though, so don’t worry if you don’t think any of those things sounds exactly like you – there’s a place for everyone here at Sonora.

“The four Houses each have a set of usually three prefects, a fifth year, a sixth year, and a seventh year, who can help you out in a lot of circumstances, and a Head of House, who is an adult and a staff member – I’m the Head of Aladren House, for instance. They’ll all look after you while you’re here – some people like to think of their Houses as an extended family. Your House can earn points based on things you do – excelling in class or in sports, or showing responsibility, or helping the school community in some way, or showing general leadership. The House with the most points at the end of the year earns the House Cup, and sometimes other privileges.

“If no-one has any questions about all of that, you can talk for a while and have some snacks until we begin our tour of the main building. If you do have any questions, feel free to come see me before we begin our tour – and welcome again to Sonora.”


OOC: OOC: Welcome first years to Sonora! You can post a reply here to ask staff questions or meet your new classmates. This thread is intended for first year students to have a chance to try out posting and get acclimated to the site before we throw you into the big Opening Feast, which is open to the entire school population and can be a bit overwhelming.

Now, go forth, new first years of Sonora! Post, enjoy, have fun! Everyone here is happy to help out, so if you've got a question, put it on the OOC board or try to catch somebody in the Chatzy and we'll try to get you an answer as quick as we can. Have fun and we’re glad you could join us!

[Credit to Nathan Xavier's author for the content of this OOC notice]
Subthreads:
16 Grayson Wright Orientation for First Years 113 1 5

Phillip Carson

August 22, 2021 10:22 PM
Phil Carson pinched himself and it hurt. His arm was covered with tiny red pinchmarks, because he kept doing it, and it kept hurting, but he was still having trouble believing that this was really real, and he kept needing to check again that he wasn't dreaming. If he was dreaming, it was going on for a really long time now, and he was probably in a coma or something. His arm hurt though, and it was just enough different than what he thought his brain would come up with for fevered ravings, that he was pretty sure this was the actual reality.

He had suspected for some years now that he might be a mutant, and had done a half-serious internet search to see if anyone really did have a school for gifted youngsters that Marvel had stolen the idea from, but being a magical wizard worked, too. (Maybe Sonora was even what Professor X's school was based on, they just changed it from magic users to mutants so they couldn't get sued.)

The flying wagon - flying wagon! - touched down at the edge of a huge hedge maze, and Phil hopped down, his grey eyes wide, trying to take in everything around him. He didn't miss the large sign and gathered with the other first years at the grown wizard's directions.

Soon they were brought deeper into the maze and Phil took his folder and flipped through it eagerly, before turning his attention to the wizard who had led them there. They were given a lot of information but somehow not nearly enough. Of course, he wasn't entirely sure what it was that he wanted to know or even if it was something a teacher could tell him. Some things you just needed to learn for yourself.

He turned to another kid after the speech was over and said the two words that summed up about everything his brain could make of the entire situation, "Wizards, yeah?"
1 Phillip Carson This is Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, right? 1536 0 5

Eben Sosna

August 24, 2021 3:31 PM
If I was dreaming, I wouldn’t have a splinter in my thumb. Who ever heard of dreaming about having splinters? I have a splinter in my thumb, so therefore, I am not dreaming all this.

Eben bit the inside of his cheek, trying to figure out if that line of thought made sense. One of the many books of interesting facts he’d read had mentioned some logic thing which went no men are angels – (X) is a man – therefore (X) is not an angel, but now that he thought about it, both that statement and his own thoughts about splinters were making a lot of assumptions. How, for instance, were you supposed to be sure no men were angels, especially considering how vague the word ‘angel’ was anyway? Even the people who made things that were supposed to look like angels couldn’t seem to agree if they were supposed to look more like grown men, grown women, or badly-dressed babies, and then sometimes on TV they were just made of Wrong Geometry. And how was he supposed to be sure that no-one had ever dreamed about having splinters, or at least heard of someone else who had dreamed about that? It wasn’t like he could sit everyone on earth down and ask them, was it, much less anything else. Even if he could design a translator watch that would deal with all the languages he didn’t speak, there would be someone who slipped through the cracks, or died before it was their turn to be asked. Even if he could work out time travel and cover that, there would always be someone who developed a resistance to the latest truth serum before another one could be developed. It was hard to say for sure that anything was impossible since he’d learned about wizards, but he was pretty sure that if anything was, it was asking everyone on earth one question and getting only true answers.

He was less sure what to make of Mr. Professor. On one hand, he was a middle aged guy who looked like he might be wearing the equivalent of a wizard suit, which meant he might be as frustratingly boring as the principal back at Eben’s old school, and he kept referring to Eben and the people he guessed were his classmates now as first graders, which was kind of annoying. On the other hand, though, his glasses were an acceptable shape and the fact he was here meant he was someone else who was Different, which meant he might be cool, at least compared to regular teachers. He’d have to gather more information to make a judgment, he decided.

One thing he did not think he needed any more information to determine, though, was that Mr. Professor was long-winded. Really, really long-winded. A lot of what he was saying also seemed like it wasn’t going to make much sense until after they had a chance to see the building and where and what things were, and that was before the bits that were about stuff five years in the future. Soon, inevitably, Eben found his attention wandering away from Mr. Professor and fixing instead on the task of studying the other kids around him.

So these are my people.

Immediately, he felt a flash of guilty discomfort. All wizards are my people – Euan is not a wizard – therefore, Euan isn’t my people. Except, of course, that that didn’t work at all, or make any sense. How, exactly, was his flipping twin supposed to suddenly stop being his people just because one of them had transferred to a different school? Obviously, that wasn’t what had happened. But…it was still hard not to be excited at the thought of meeting other people who weren’t just taking his word for it about things all the time. Euan was great, he had stopped acting like he thought Eben was lying or crazy years and years ago, but he was mostly just Another Weird Kid by association. These people had probably all spent their whole lives being The Weird Kid personally, like he had, because they could see what other people didn’t and knew that they weren’t crazy or dreaming it all….

With this thought in mind, he reminded himself he should probably try to be less suspicious about the intentions of anyone, like the nearest kid to him after the speech, who spoke to him here than he would be at school at home. “For real, dude,” he agreed with Kid’s assessment of the situation. “I’m E – eh, Ben.” He caught himself before he could say his real name, silently apologizing in his head to Euan for that. There was nothing he could do about his great-great-something grandparents not having the sense to pretend they had a family name Americans would find less funny than ‘Sosna’ when they’d immigrated from Czechoslovakia or wherever, but for the first time, he could shorten his name so that people didn’t pretend to think he was saying ‘Evan’ with a bad head cold, or a speech impediment or something, and so nobody would ever nickname him Scrooge again. Or at least, he could try it out, see if he could get used to it. “You’re…I guess kind of the second wizard I’ve ever met,” he added. “There were people in the stores and things when I went to buy stuff, but I didn’t really get to talk to them much. What about you?”
16 Eben Sosna Four out of five words check out, anyway. 1538 0 5

Claire Osbrook

August 24, 2021 10:15 PM
When the wagon landed, Claire pushed herself to her feet immediately, doing her best to ignore the way her mild motion sickness had just combined with a spinning, crushing mass of nervous jitters in her stomach. Before her brother could say or do anything, she had already forced a smile, said, "later, loser," and started hurrying toward the exit.

Part of her was tempted to invoke little sister privilege, but there were a couple of reasons Claire had decided before she ever left home that she was going to ditch Graham as quickly as possible today. For one thing, she didn't want to look like she needed someone to hold her hand on the first day of school in front of her new classmates, or for that matter in front of her new classmates. For another thing, deliberately talking to customers in the stationery shop both when her father and grandmother were around and when they were not had led her to the conclusion that even though it didn't really make a lot of sense, she was less nervous around strangers by herself than she was when her family was with her. And for a last thing, although she knew Graham would have been cool about it now, she was just as confident that he would have made fun of her later. It was their way, and then she would have had to find some way to knock him back down a peg in turn, and it would just have been a whole tedious thing. Definitely better to just storm the castle on her own today, at least, even if she did feel more than a little lonely as she joined the other first years for Orientation.

A lot of information was given to them, and it felt - wrong, somehow, not to take notes, even though there was honestly no practical way to do so out here right now. She settled for folding her hands behind her and keeping her eyes fixed on the professor as firmly as possible, so he'd know she was paying attention properly if he bothered to notice any of them (unlikely, but adults always saw the exact one thing you didn't want them to, so it was better to just avoid such things if there was one within eyeshot). She thought she did a pretty good job, on the whole, but still felt a flash of relief when they were dismissed to their own devices, at least until she remembered the context of those devices.

She had been around people all day now - Mom and Dad and her grandparents had been all clingy all morning since she was going away, and then she'd been on the wagon for what had felt like a lifetime. If she was to be honest, all she really wanted to do right now was find somewhere to sit down so she could read for a while. Unfortunately, she could practically hear her gran telling her to act like a little lady and be nice, and Dad reminding her that she'd only get one chance to make a good impression on most people. Neither Gran nor Dad was here, of course, but they still managed to have a point, which seemed unfair somehow. Fair or not, though, she steeled herself for the experience of joining a buffet line.

"Hi," she said to someone about halfway down it. "Do you think you know what kind of cookies those are?" she asked, pointing at random. She didn't actually care, but having a reason to say something made it easier to talk to people, too. At the shop, that was being-the-adorable-precocious-kid-asking-to-help-you; knowing that they saw her as something she more or less was not was strangely comforting, somehow. Here, it was...grabbing onto any excuse possible, she guessed, in this case cookies. In both cases, though, it definitely felt easier than even thinking too much about just marching up to someone and announcing who she was and just expecting them to respond with anything politer than so what?
16 Claire Osbrook Here goes nothing. 1540 0 5

Phillip Carson

August 24, 2021 11:03 PM
Phil’s fellow wizard kid called him a dude, and he chalked that up as another thing his subconscious would not come up with on its own, and he laughed a little in breaking tension. He was up to 91% sure this was not a coma induced by falling out of a tree and getting partially mauled by a mountain lion in Glacier National Park. “I’m Phil,” he returned Ben’s introduction easily.

“Same,” he returned, confirming an equally sparse number of wizards he had met prior to this moment, deciding to count only the muggleborn liasion guy who had come out to Montana to explain everything to him and his family (twice, because Phil’s parents were divorced). “And you’re the first one my own age,” he added, in case that wasn’t obvious. “Other than the kids on the wagon, I guess,” he added, qualifying his statement as Ben had done his. “But I was too busy goggling about a flying wagon and pinching myself to make sure it was real to really talk to anybody. There’s still a nine percent chance I’m in a coma back in Whitefish, Montana,” he added very seriously. “It doesn’t seem possible that this can be reality, but I don’t think I could come up with all these details on my own, either. There’d be more villains to fight and superpowers on both sides if this was from my brain. I mean, magic is a superpower, I guess, but there’s be more variety, you know?”
1 Phillip Carson Which one didn’t make the cut? 1536 0 5

Tissena Randall

August 25, 2021 12:04 AM
The ride to school put Tissena and Winston next to each other, which meant her most immediate company was boring at best and annoying at worst. While he anxioused (she was pretty sure being anxious was a verb for her older brother), Tissena kept occupied by sketching out her thoughts on how this flying wagon must be working if it were doing so mechanically, what couldn't be mechanical and must be magical, and what she would do if she were to change things up. Of course, since she'd grown up without any real knowledge of the muggle world, this was not terribly hard for her to do and didn't occupy her nearly as long as she would have liked. Still, it kept her hands busy and kept her mind from picking up on Winston's contagious anxiousing.

When they landed, she and Winston parted ways with only a tight smile on her part and a grimace on his. Needless to say, they were on as friendly terms as ever. Tissena followed the other students, got her folder, and tried really hard to listen to the professor but there was so much else to think about and look at and she really wished there was someplace easier for her to set her notebook against so she could take advantage of some blank space here and there to make some more diagrams. She also wanted to annotate the map she suspected was amidst the other papers in here. Still, she was supposed to be listening, so she did manage to catch most of the speech. Then there was food. Food was important because nutrition (whether it was the right nutrients in the right quantities or not) was important for brain functioning. With so much excitement pumping through her veins, Tissena doubted she really needed any sugar to keep her awake but she thought that it may help her sleep because she'd inevitably crash in a few hours.

Of course, she could stay up all night and get to know her roommates if she had any, and take over the walls with her ideas if she didn't. . . .

She blinked, having forgotten where she was for a moment when a blonde girl interrupted her to ask about cookies. Tissena picked one up, not caring that much what sugar she put in her body so much as that it was delicious and effective, and inspected it before taking a bite. Her eyebrows furrowed with surprise before she gave the universal, noncommittal shrug of 'meh, not bad'.

"I think it's like . . . pumpkin cranberry maybe? I've never had a cookie like this. Here." Without a thought about why it might be weird to do so, Tissena responded to this new person in her life the way she would have any of her siblings (except the one that she wasn't going to count and definitely hadn't looked around for as they landed) and shoved a piece of it into the girl's open mouth. "Not bad, right?" she said, licking a bit of cranberry off her finger when she pulled her hand back. "I'm Tissena."
22 Tissena Randall And everything. 1534 0 5

Eben Sosna

August 25, 2021 9:14 PM
Phil. A nice, ordinary, kinda old person name - unless, of course, it was short for, like, Philemon or something (he'd only ever seen that one written down, and that not often, so he could only guess that Phil was a reasonable nickname for it. More than 'Lemon,' anyway, which was the other word he could guess might come out of it, which...actually, 'Lemon' was so out there that Eben thought he could have a sense of humor about that one, though he could also understand why someone else might not). On the whole, though, it was probably more likely that he was just named after a grandpa or someone.

"Nice to meet you," he said.

He nodded to Phil's explanation of his evidence for 91% certainty this was real. "Yeah, superpowers...usually they seem more specific than what it sounds like we can do? I tried to ask the wand guy a lot of questions when I met him, but the agent who told us about all this wanted to keep moving. I think the wand guy did, too, honestly," he admitted. "But what was I supposed to do after someone said all the stuff he said on his own?" he added with a touch of indignation. The guy had looked like Eben had asked him personal questions just for asking how something worked and how wood could possibly have preferences, much less roughly predict his lifespan using broad, vague categories that gave it a high likelihood of getting it more or less right just by random guess.

"But yeah. A minute ago I was trying to figure out if there's any way I could find out for sure if anyone ever gets a splinter in a dream. I'm pretty sure it's not a dream, though. If I start wondering if this is a dream, then I have to wonder if I really saw a ghost when I was six, and I know I didn't dream that." He said the last part with a firmness that betrayed the many efforts people had made to tell him he must have been dreaming or making up a story or misinterpreting a sheet on a washline or something. He could remember exactly what the thing had looked like and could also remember details like Mom getting mad at Euan for playing with the things that made the car windows go up and down, and how much he'd disliked the smell of asphalt in the air. It had happened. He looked curiously at Phil. "Did you ever see anything?" he asked. "I - eh, really I didn't think so much that I had ESP as that nobody else paid attention the right way, but even my brother was so sure I was joking about stuff sometimes that I wondered sometimes."
16 Eben Sosna "Xavier's", kind of. Depends on if we mean "the school Xavier owns" or "the school Xavier attends" by the possessive I guess. 1538 0 5

Claire Osbrook

August 25, 2021 9:35 PM
Pumpkin and cranberry. That was an interesting combination, Claire thought. In her mind, 'pumpkin' actually meant 'all the spices that went into a pumpkin pie' rather than anything to do with gourds, so it made sense that it might be used as a cookie ingredient for autumn themed cookies, but she was equally used to cranberry being paired either with vanilla or with turkey, not pumpkin pie directly.

Not, of course, that it mattered much - not when it was just a pretext for saying something. Claire opened her mouth to thank the other girl for the information and then to introduce herself, but before she could get further than "tha - ", things were suddenly being shoved toward her face.

Caught off-guard, with her tongue totally in the wrong place for having a cookie in her mouth, she immediately raised her hands to cover her mouth while her face tried to remember what it was supposed to do with crumbly dry things that appeared unexpectedly. In the process, she dropped her plate and the quarter of a sandwich already on it, but she managed to catch her paper napkin before it could fall to the ground too. She coughed the piece of surprise cookie into the napkin and looked in consternation at Tissena.

"Yeah, not bad - from what I could taste while I was tryin' to process what just happened," she said, her slight southern twang a little more pronounced than it had been before. "I'm Claire. Please never do that again," she added pleasantly.
16 Claire Osbrook Goodness, I hope not. 1540 0 5

Verdillia Scurlock

August 27, 2021 11:49 PM
Verdillia took a step off the wagon, stifling a yawn. She had had a full week in America to adjust to the timezone, but it had been a fairly action-packed one as they bounced from site to site, taking in the highlights of her new home. She wasn’t sure whether it was exhaustion from her adventures, some kind of residual jetlag PORTKEY lag, or the fact that she hadn’t been able to sleep very well because she was nervous about her first day. And excited, of course. Not only would she be allowed to use her wand and do her very own magic, but this could be it, her stepping stone into magical high society. Maybe she’d room with someone from one of the old families, and they’d be absolute best friends like in the Mount Ivory books. Perhaps one of them would have a charming cousin who’d fall in love with her.

Maybe.

And maybe not. Sometimes the girls in her boarding school books were terribly mean, especially to outsiders. In terms of her accent and her country of birth, she was sure those would be an advantage. British accents were classy, although she wasn’t quite sure whether to play up her Welsh or her English side more, or whether they’d even really be able to tell the difference. The point was, Britain was where Old Magic came from, and that was respectable, and people ought to like it, even if she didn’t quite have the four magical grandparents to go with it. That was where she worried she might be the bad kind of outsider.

She could make up for that though. She had chosen an enchanted pair of earrings and a large witch’s hat for orientation, given that her head would be about the only part of her appearance that could be easily personalised. She wasn’t quite sure what the rules were on wearing hats. Not the school ones, but the social ones. People sometimes did, and sometimes didn’t. Some commentators said it was generational, others that it was a matter of personal taste, others still of fashion trends… In as much as there was any sort of general rule, hats did seem to be acceptable at special occasions, and starting school was special to Verdillia, so she sported a large green hat which matched her school robes, with a large bow in a slightly paler shade. Her earrings started out as simple studs, each shaped like a leaf, before growing to a dangling vine, then disappearing and repeating the process. She was sure her chosen accessories proved how dedicated she was to magical society, but there was a strong possibility that they screamed ‘tasteless nouveau riche’ to those around her.

She listened attentively to Professor Wright, even though his information sounded more like it was for Muggleborns, and ones who hadn’t even read the school literature properly. As she realised this, she tried to look slightly less attentive, adopting instead a patient smile. She neither meant to be rude to the professor, nor to the poor unfortunates who hadn’t grown up in magical households like she had. She just didn’t want to seem like she was hanging on the teacher’s every word like she was some kind of nerd, or worse still, one of them.

When they were dismissed, she took a folder as instructed, but only gave its contents a cursory glance. Socialising was much more important. She helped herself to some juice, and turned to look for someone to speak to. Seeing someone nearby who wasn’t already engaged in conversation, and who didn’t look like they’d ridden a broomstick backwards through a hedge, she made her way over.

“Hello. I’m Verdillia Scurlock. I come from Wales.” She knew that the proper Pureblood here introduced themselves as ‘of the Place Name So-and-Sos’ and had debated long and hard with herself whether to try and mimic that. She had concluded that it was best not to. She didn’t want to pretend to be Pureblood, because that lie was far too easy to catch her out in, and doing The Introduction might make people think that was what she was doing. Hopefully, if she behaved properly enough they might accept her. They could assume she was Pureblood all they liked so long as she never pretended or misinformed them, and perhaps if they thought she was, or at least considered her well-to-do, they’d write off things like the introduction as her being from a different culture instead. She wanted to say that the Scurlocks were an old and well-established magical family, but just dropping that in sounded sort of braggy, even if it was true. That was, she supposed, the convenience of The Introduction. It let everyone know that without saying it in a way that was tasteless. “The introduction was rather basic for anyone who knows anything about magical education, wasn’t it? Still, I suppose not everyone does.”
13 Verdillia Scurlock Ever so magical 1541 0 5

Liesl Brockert

August 28, 2021 5:04 AM
Liesl looked down at her robes and sighed. She was happy to come to Sonora as going off to school was always a monumental occasion for magical children-although she did wonder if her mother was glad to be rid of her though she was trying hard not to think about that-and she was excited to learn magic, but she was less than excited about wearing a uniform. Not because Liesl was the fashionista sort like her cousin Amethyst, but the way she dressed was one way that she liked to express herself. Having to cover it up and dress the same as everyone else in boring green robes was soul crushing.

It wasn't as if Liesl had chosen to be different, her life would be so much easier if she was able to conform. However, she just wasn't. She loved horror and Halloween and bats and snakes and eyeballs and skulls-and she enjoyed dressing in the elegant gothic lolita style, it made her feel like herself. To put a robe over it would be like denying that.

Still, Liesl would wear them whether she liked it or not. Nothing gave her the right to ignore school rules, even if having to do so absolutely killed her inside. She was not special, she was not better than everyone else and therefore, she had to, in this case, do what everyone else did. She did not want to look like an entitled brat.

Besides, not wearing robes when everyone else, even Amethyst, did would just single her out right off the bat. Liesl wasn't sure she wanted that. She did want to belong and be accepted. However, she also really wanted people to like her for who she was. She honestly could not be someone else.

She guessed for now she was going to have to settle for accessorizing. Liesl had a lovely collection of Halloween-themed earrings and today she was wearing one of her many pairs of skull earrings as well as a choker with a black rose. She also had on a black and white wrist strap that went with the outfit she had on under her robes.

As Professor Wright began to talk, Liesl tried to be respectful and pay attention, but honestly, he didn't seem to be saying anything that she didn't know already. After all, her entire family had gone here since the probably the beginning and her great-uncle was even the Headmaster. Still, she understood that wasn't the case for everyone. Even people from magical backgrounds might have family who'd all gone to other schools and be the first person to attend Sonora. Like, there was a Russian boy and a German boy in Amethyst's class although they both had older siblings who had attended Sonora but Uncle Cory had a friend who was the only person in his family to go to school here.

Still, it wasn't the most interesting thing ever, even though Liesl felt bad for thinking so. It wasn't very nice to Professor Wright to suggest he was being boring, even if she wasn't saying it out loud to him. She was sure he was trying his best to give people information that they needed, it wasn't his fault that she already knew it all already. Some people probably did.

Liesl did wonder about his House descriptions though. Mostly whether or not she was enough of a diplomat for Teppenpaw. The first year so wanted to be in that house. Not only were they nice-and she very much tried to be nice-it was also Uncle Cory's house and her uncle was really her role model. He'd always been super accepting of her as a person and as she got older, that had become more important to her than anything as others didn't always, especially not Mother, who didn't understand her at all. Liesl really wanted to be like Uncle Cory and be kind and accepting of others, especially those who were different and try to make them happy.

She supposed though that Aladren wouldn't be terrible either, but mostly because Isla was there. Liesl wasn't stupid-though some might find her a bit gullible-but nor were academics her focus. As for the others, Crotalus....well, she was pretty much not a Crotalus although she considered herself fairly well-mannered and she did follow rules. Even soul crushing ones that she hated. And Pecari, well, she really didn't think she'd fit in there at all. Liesl had very little interest in sports or adventures and she hated pranks because they were mean. And she wasn't all that sure she usually landed on her feet and didn't take the kind of risks that characterized Pecaris. So yeah, Teppenpaw was what she wanted.

Once the professor finished, Liesl headed over to the snack table. She got herself some cheese and crackers, deviled eggs and pumpkin juice and began to nibble on them when she was approached by the girl who had stuck out to her earlier because she was wearing a hat. Liesl swallowed and replied. "Nice to meet you, Miss Scurlock, I'm Liesl Brockert of the Western Brockerts. I'm from Oklahoma specifically. You may call me Liesl. There are way too many Miss Brockerts here and it gets confusing."

She nodded, considering what Verdillia was saying. Liesl didn't want to talk badly about someone, but nor did she want to alienate her classmate. She was honestly hoping that this girl would be her friend. Partially because she seemed sort of different too and Liesl hoped they'd be kindren spirits but in all honesty, she probably would have felt that way no matter who had approached her.

Maybe it was time to try that diplomacy thing she hoped that she possessed. "It kind of was." Which was true. " I mean, I know all that stuff. My family has always gone to school here. My cousins are here and the Headmaster is my great-uncle." Liesl realized that might not have come across right. "I'm sorry." She quickly apologized. "I'm not trying to brag, it's just...a fact." Of course, Verdillia would probably figure out that Liesl was somehow related to Uncle Mortimer, what with the fact that they had the same last name. And she probably already knew the name of the school headmaster too, given she seemed to know about Sonora.

"And you're right, some people do need it. Or at least parts of it. Even purebloods whose families primarily attended other schools might need information about Sonora specifically, even though they won't need to know about CATS. Still," Liesl continued. " it doesn't make it any more interesting to people who know all this already." There, she hoped she had been diplomatic enough. People couldn't help the background they came from and Professor Wright was just trying to help them, but also, she hoped that she hadn't offended her classmate and that they would end up being friends.


OOC: Liesl's necklace-https://www.lolitapopular.com/lolita-accessories/lolita-necklaces/black-cute-floral-lolita-necklace.html
Wrist strap-https://www.lolitapopular.com/lolita-accessories/lolita-wrist-straps/black-and-white-lace-retro-dance-party-girls-lolita-bracelet-and-ring-set.html
Outfit-https://www.lolitapopular.com/black-and-white-cotton-elegant-gothic-lolita-short-sleeves-dress.html
11 Liesl Brockert Ever so diplomatic and not pleased about wearing robes 1537 0 5

Phillip Carson

August 28, 2021 10:26 AM
Phil nodded in agreement that superheros tend to have a more focused ability than they had. "There are magic users in comic books though. Wanda's a witch. Zatanna's a sorceress. Loki's a mage. Dr. Stephen Strange is a sorcerer. Any of them could be as versatile as us."

He nodded along as Ben talked about trying to get more information out of the wandmaker he'd met, and Phil grimace in commiseration at the person's unwillingness to answer detailed questions. Almost absently, Phil pulled his own wand out of his pocket to look it over again (he'd been doing this about every 20 minutes since he got it, still amazed that he was a person who owned a magic wand, so he was pretty sure he already had every bit of it memorized and he could easily pick it out of a pile of similarly shaped wands). "My wand maker said mine is made of Cedar, which he said meant I had strength of character and loyalty, but that sounds more like the results of some random internet quiz, than something that can be so easily determined by what kind of wand you get. But apparently there's a part of a dragon inside it, so that's pretty cool."

When Ben talked about seeing a ghost when he was six, Phil raised his eyebrows in surprise but not disbelief. He had heard far too many seemingly impossible things this summer to think that ghosts were impossible. He shook his head when asked if he'd had any similar experiences. "Not ghosts, but I thought I might be a mutant, like in the X-Men," he admitted. "Not, like, superstrength or superspeed or anything really impressive, but just . . . there were little things that happened around me that didn't make sense. I thought I had a summoning power, maybe? Things tended to be where I needed them to be instead of where I left them. Like, one time I went hiking, and I was sure I didn't think to bring bandaids, but when I needed one, and looked in my backpack just in case, I had bandaids."
1 Phillip Carson Or 'the school Xavier teaches at' would work, too 1536 0 5

Eben Sosna

August 28, 2021 6:55 PM
"That's fair," Eben agreed upon hearing a list of specific comic people with broad abilities. "Though now I'm gonna wonder if there's people who really can only do one thing, or if that part's the made up one," he observed. "I don't...think it would be? I didn't have time to finish all the books, but it...seems kind of like the part where we say something and wave the wand around in a pattern, that's like closing the circuit was when we made potato batteries in science class. I just can't figure out if we're one of the nails or one of the wires or if we're the potatoes, but I think we're the potatoes, and that probably doesn't make a lot of room for only being able to do one thing? I don't know. I guess we'll find out sooner or later, huh. One more question for my very long list." At this point, he was becoming concerned that he could do nothing but ask questions for the rest of his apparently destined-to-be-long life and still not ever quite finish off the list...

"Heh, heh," he couldn't help but giggle at the comment about wand descriptions sounding more like internet quizzes than science. "That is cool, though." He took out his own magic wand to show off in turn. It did, he had to admit, seem to fit his hand very well for something that had been bought off a shelf which it had sat on for so long that there had been dust on the box... "Mine's pine, with unicorn hair in it." He frowned slightly, and not just because unicorns were a little less epic than dragons. "Which...seems kind of like it's missing the point of using a unicorn instead of just a regular horse, but whatever, I don't know. Maybe all of it's magic and that's why it's not a wrong horse instead. The guy said the wood part means I'm probably going to live a really long time, which is something it makes total sense to guess is going to happen because I own a piece of wood from a tree that rots really easily and gets chipped if you look at it too hard," he joked. "Plus it's supposed to 'enjoy' learning to do new things, which...I'm still trying to get used to the idea that a shiny stick has feelings, but I guess that's better than a wand that hates school, huh?"

He raised his eyebrows in turn, impressed, when Phil said he could either summon or materialize useful items sometimes. "Wow, that's neat. I...sometimes I thought it seemed like something I wanted ought to just jump off the shelf to me, but it never did, so that might not have had anything to do with all this." He shrugged. "I guess you were kinda right about being a mutant, though, when you think about it, since your family's like mine? My family's, like, completely normal - as far as not doing magic goes, anyway," he amended. Probably not best to say they were exactly normal in a so-broad-as-to-not-mean-anything sense. "My parents definitely don't believe in the supernatural - or, well, they didn't, anyway." He couldn't help but sound a little bit satisfied about that. "It's going to be so weird when I go home and they have to believe me about things for once."
16 Eben Sosna Fair. It's a surprisingly flexible term, huh? 1538 0 5

Verdillia Scurlock

August 28, 2021 10:05 PM
A Brockert! She knew there were a lot of them in the school, but it was still exciting that the very first person she met was one! This was off to a great start. Not only that, but Liesl wanted to be on first name terms. Admittedly, it sort of sounded like it was more to do with practicality, but still, Verdillia could now say she was on first name terms with a Brockert. She would have been able to say she had achieved that ‘within five minutes of arriving’ had Professor Wright not talked so much.

“Well, it’ll be a few years before there’s another Miss Scurlock here, but you may call me Verdillia in any case,” she smiled. It was friendly to return the offer, after all. She hoped that her accent made it obvious why there weren’t many of them here. Perhaps she should have led with ‘Well, there are a lot of Scurlocks in Wales but only one of us here so far…’ That would have been better. Rats. “I’m named after the Verdillius charm, for shooting green sparks,” she added. Mother had found the trend of using Charm-based names in a Victorian novel she had read, and had thought it would be a good way of showing how strongly connected to their magical culture they were. Verdillia definitely felt like it was paying off right now, in that absolutely no one could make a statement like that about their name and be mistaken for a Muggleborn! Clever Mother!

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Liesl. I like your jewel-lery,” she said, a very slight trip in the middle of the word as she moved from the pretty flower choker to the earrings. They were slightly more macabre but Verdillia supposed they were very witchy. She liked to be very witchy, hence the hat, and she certainly thought that if anyone knew what a witchy accessory looked like, it must be a Brockert girl. She vowed to get herself some skull earrings as soon as possible.

“I didn’t think you were,” she assured Liesl when she was worried she’d sounded like she was bragging. “Like you say, it is just a fact. Just like I could say there’s a long line of magical Scurlocks back in Wales, and it wouldn’t be bragging, it would just be true.” Even if she did want people to be impressed by it.

The topic of how the speech had been a little bit redundant seemed to be working out well, and Verdillia smiled, basking in the agreement and agreeability of her new acquaintance.

“Yes. Though a lot of it was also covered in the school literature. But I suppose some people don’t try too hard to prepare themselves.” A small frown creased her features at that idea. She couldn’t understand Muggleborns who found out they were magical and didn’t want to immediately know all about their new world. From everything her mother had said, this was the far better world to be in.
13 Verdillia Scurlock Oh yes. Um, those too. 1541 0 5

Tissena Randall

August 29, 2021 3:56 PM
Tissena had stooped to pick up the girl - Claire's - sandwich as it fell and was surprised to see The Look on her face. It was the look her mother gave her, and her mother was also named Claire. It was also the look Winston gave her, although he looked much less confident about it. She pushed the sandwich back into its owners hands and dipped her head.

"Yeah, I get that a lot. I think I must be sort of weird," she said with a shrug, pretty much accepting that as fact at this point in her life. "I won't do that again though. I'm adaptable," she grinned. "My mom's name is Claire. She doesn't talk like you though. Where are you from?"

A sudden idea struck her and she looked around to find her stuff so she could write it down real quick. It was on the ground, where she'd put it down to retrieve the sandwich, so she stooped again to pick it up, sitting on her knees since this way she had a hard surface to write on. She was drawing a picture of a globe (really, it was just a circle since she knew it was a sphere and didn't need to draw that detail and since she didn't know a map well enough to draw out all the countries), with little flags pinned into it. She thought it might be nice to have a sort of projection that students could tell where they were from and it would pin them on in the right place so they could all see where it was from. Maybe even get ideas about what those places were like. Now that she was going to properly be able to do magic, she should be able to make it work with some charms work . . . maybe potions to get some memories of places from the students?

She had entirely forgotten that she had asked Claire a question to spawn this whole thing, so she looked back up at her and asked again, curious as to her new friend's placement on this global map. "Where are you from?"
22 Tissena Randall Well, it's a start. 1534 0 5

Liesl Brockert

August 30, 2021 9:02 AM
Liesl grinned. She was glad that Verdillia was willing to be on first name terms. She had never really been a fan of calling people around her own age Miss and Mr. They were far too young to be so formal with each other, never mind the practical concerns. Including herself, there were six Miss Brockerts here,as well as two Mr. Brockerts and a Headmaster Brockert. Besides, being super formal did not seem like a way to make friends and that was really important to Liesl.

She nodded. "I have a younger brother and sister too. My brother is three years younger and my sister is six years younger, which is disappointing because we'll only be at school together for a year." Krisalyn simply adored Liesl and vice versa. Of course, the first year was sort of a sucker for anyone who seemed to like her at all. "The other Miss Brockerts that are here are like, my first cousins once removed and there's one that's even more distant than that." Liesl could never really figure it out beyond that. "I'm the oldest of my first cousin group. Which, I know is like,a weird thing to say, but like my family is so...large and complicated that it's how to keep track. I'm sorry if I went on about it too much. I'm sure you don't want to hear about how people in my family are connected." After all, Verdillia did seem to take issue with how long-winded Professor Wright had been and Liesl didn't want to put the other girl off.

"That's really cool." She said about the other first year's name. "I mean, my name doesn't really have any....meaning. I think my parents just liked it. Though my middle name is my grandmother's name." Which did have more meaning then her little sister's middle name,she supposed, since there weren't any Auroras in their family. Her brother Desmond's middle name was Alfred, for their father. When Liesl grew up, if she had a son, his middle name was going to be Cornelius, for Uncle Cory.

When Verdillia complimented her jewelry, Liesl positively beamed. If there was one thing that she was absolutely never complimented on, it was the way she dressed. "Thank you so much! I like yours too-and your hat." Okay so maybe they weren't her exact taste, but they were pretty nice. The important thing, as she knew full well, was that they made Verdillia happy and feel like herself. "Isn't it fairly awful that we have to wear robes?" Liesl really wanted to say that it sucked but that was not a word that was very ladylike and her classmate seemed rather proper.

She was relieved when Verdillia reassured her. "Thanks. I mean, some people might think I was. I mean, it's not like I'm trying to get special treatment from him or anything." That would not be fair and Liesl wouldn't really want special privileges that nobody else had. Take robes, for example, she didn't want to wear them but also wouldn't want others to have to if she didn't. "I mean, yes, it gives me an advantage as far as school knowledge but since my family all has gone here I'd have that anyway."

Liesl nodded. "True. I mean, I didn't feel the need to read most of it because of the knowledge I already had but if I didn't, I'd probably feel the need to." Verdillia seemed like she liked being prepared, so she'd probably get Crotalus. Which was unfortunate, because Liesl was hoping for Teppenpaw herself and then they wouldn't be roommates. And she really was worried about what kind of person or people she would have as a roommate, if she had one at all. She knew how it could go either way. Isla and Amethyst liked theirs but Topaz pretty much had wanted her roommate's head on a platter and Sapphire didn't think hers liked her much.

Of course, none of them were Teppenpaws and surely, in Tepp, they would all cooperate and get on and be friends, right? Jasper got on with his roommate, and Uncle Cory's former roommate, Neal, was one of his two best friends to this very day. Surely, if Liesl was a Tepp that would also happen. And she could still be friends with Verdillia too.
11 Liesl Brockert So you also hate wearing robes? 1537 0 5

Claire Osbrook

August 31, 2021 9:55 PM
There was no reason, Claire thought, to feel bad about apparently making Tissena the Cookie-Shover feel bad - but she did, almost as soon as she had finished telling Tissena that her behavior was unwelcome. She flushed, feeling as though she was the one who had done something bizarre and kind of inappropriate.

"It's - it's okay," she mumble-lied, dropping her brown eyes to a neutral spot over Tissena's shoulder. "Just...Yeah," she concluded lamely.

Tissena, she observed, seemed determined to prove her point about being adaptable, if by 'adaptable' she meant 'completely and utterly unpredictable.' She asked where Claire was from, which was reasonable enough, quite expected - and then promptly dropped to the ground to get out paper to draw on before Claire could answer. Bemused, Claire just watched this in silence for a moment before she remembered that she might pose an obstacle to someone else wanting over here and stepped to the side, just about the time Tissena elected to notice her again.

"Texas," said Claire, and then, slowly, she sat down on the ground, too, folding her legs up under her as she studied the other girl with a mix of wariness and interest. "East Texas, more specifically," she added. "My mom's from Louisiana, so I've spent a lot of time there, too. What about you?" she asked, hypothesizing both that Tissena's response would involve some kind of kinetic element and also have nothing whatsoever to do with what Claire had said.
16 Claire Osbrook Exactly, that's why we can't bet everything up front. 1540 0 5

Tissena Randall

August 31, 2021 11:08 PM
Tissena returned her gaze to her drawing after an appreciative smile at her new friend. It was nice that Claire sat down. Most people wouldn't have sat down. But now she'd also gone and said something interesting because Tissena hadn't accounted for the fact that where a person was 'from' wasn't necessarily where they were really from at all. Perhaps there would be a way to color-code things . . . or make different sizes maybe? Better yet, Winston had explained a little bit about the MARS rooms at Sonora; maybe they could just turn one of those into a life-size map exploration type game. Ooh, they could even fashion some trebuchets to stick giant pins into a giant map. Or catapults to launch the students themselves into the map! That would be a fun way to dive into each other's hometowns. Hmmm...

"No," Tissena mused, responding to Claire's question after what felt like a very long time but actually hadn't been at all. Time was funny that way, which was nice, because you could go adventuring and building and creating and still have time to experiment with all of it before it was dinner time or bed time or whatever. Adults always liked to do things on a schedule but Tissena was more interested in how watches worked and why time was even a thing at all. If you weren't tired yet, why go to bed? Just because everyone agreed that they should get up early the next day? That was silly. "I've never spent time in Louisiana."
22 Tissena Randall You want to be . . . careful? 1534 0 5

Antonia Guter

September 15, 2021 5:52 PM

These past few weeks since that mysterious letter on her birthday went by a blur. It wasn’t hard to say goodbye to her friends at school or in the orphanage. And to be honest, none of them she did consider her true friend. Maybe...except one. When given the news the little girl would be sent away to somewhere far for school, Mrs. Walkins, a sweet old lady who had always cared for Antonia during her stay at the Green Hill Orphanage, was very upset. The kind-hearted widow had become very dear to Tony in the past few years. She had cared for her in a way a parent would, and had taught her to be kind at heart even though the child wasn’t able to quite grasp what that meant.

Pressing her cheek against the cold glass window of the carriage, Antonia was deep in thought. She couldn’t help but get impressed by the barrenness of the desert. It was her first time seeing so much sand and she felt a wave of excitement washing over her. Everything was so different! Clutching her wand tightly, she sat back and smiled. She was always looking for an adventure, and this is the best one a 11 year old could ever ask for.

But her smile dropped when her thoughts flew back to the cold dreary town she had called home in the past 5 years of her life. Mrs. Walkins had her promised that she would be back for Christmas. It was surprising how much impact a kind heart has over another. Antonia was used to feeling detached and unconnected to many things, especially emotional ones. She remembered the tears she saw in Mrs. Walkins eyes the day she left, and felt a heavy weight on her chest. She had behaved awfully that day. She was too wrapped up by the magic and new adventures to even try to comfort Mrs. Walkins. She sighed, loosening her grip on the wand and let her hand dropped back in her laps. Her blurred reflection stared blankly at her through the dusty glass window. It was odd seeing herself in such a way. Antonia fumbled around in her left pocket and felt the lumpy cookies she had stuffed in her coat pocket earlier. Both the chocolate-chip cookies and the handkerchief wrapped around them were gifts from Mrs. Walkins, who worried that Tony might get hungry on her way and had insisted packing her cookies and a thermal of hot coco. The handkerchief was plain cotton, with her initials embroidered in pale green thread. Antonia was not hungry, but feeling the weight of the farewell gifts in her coat suddenly made everything more real.

A loud thumping noise brought her attention back to her surroundings. The wagon has stopped moving. Looks like they had arrived. There were already many students hurrying to get off and into the sand outside.

With a heavy sigh, Antonia warped her coat more tightly around her and joined them.

She was really on her own now.
56 Antonia Guter Leaving home ain't always easy 1542 0 5

Claire Osbrook

September 17, 2021 8:09 PM
...No? What was that supposed to -

Oh. Claire's mind stopped halfway through the process of speculating about funny little towns with peculiar words for names when Tissena elaborated a little further on that statement. She had not, it seemed, understood the question, which was an interesting thing to observe in and of itself. Claire would not have thought the question was easy to mistake the meaning of, but then, she had felt it was reasonable to assume Tissena might give an answer that was totally off-topic altogether. This, she thought, was almost perfectly in between an off-topic answer and a relevant answer, which was suspicious enough to make her wonder if the other girl had done it on purpose.

"Ah - I'm sorry," she excused herself, then contemplated again the knotty problems that would arise if Tissena somehow was as literal-minded as she seemed to be. "That I didn't ask that question correctly, I mean," she clarified. "Not that you haven't been to Louisiana before. I meant to ask, where are you from?"

Surely there was no ambiguity left at this point. No way to incorrectly answer the question while acknowledging its content at all. Therefore, she would soon have A Clue about whether or not Tissena was scatter-brained or if she was making fun of Claire for reasons unknown and, as far as Claire could tell, unfathomable. One Clue wasn't enough to decide on, but she supposed she had to start somewhere.
16 Claire Osbrook Something like that. 1540 0 5