Term had not got off to the best start. She had had the advanced warning going into the year that Xavier was not going to be in a good place. Still, watching his song sheet burst into flames had not been encouraging. She had been standing at the time, as they all were for the school song, and had taken all of half a step towards him before the incident was over. She had debated whether it was enough to step in, but had decided against it, seeing as no one was in immediate danger. She could not hover over Xavier for every second of every day.
As she stepped away from the staff table at the end of the feast, she tried to keep him in the corner of her eye, though she wasn’t sure what she really expected to see. But for the past week and a half, he had been her responsibility. She had had to promise supervision by school personnel to get them to release him to her before school had started. After a week and a half of having him in her guest bedroom, of trying to balance empathy with tough love to get him through basic tasks like showering and eating, after administering dreamless sleep potions and noticing what the care facility had noticed - that he sometimes still talked in his sleep anyway - after all that, it was very hard to step away. She made a note to check up on him, sooner rather than later. Technically, it ought to be Isis’ responsibility, here at school, and she hoped they could gradually shift over both to her taking that on, and to Xavier needing less support, but right now, she was the one in the middle of it. It would be hard for him to start over completely, relying on someone who was coming in in the middle of the story.
Now though, it was time to turn her attention to her first years. One of whom was certainly attention-grabbing, given the hat she had been wearing on entering the hall.
“Hello, new first years over here please,” she called, gesturing for them to come when she got to the Crotalus table. “Hello, welcome,” she greeted them cheerfully. “Please follow me, we are now going to make our way to the Crotalus Common Room, which will be your home here at Sonora.”
She led the small group, along with any older students who had not yet got this year’s password, along the corridors, pointing out useful landmarks as they passed by. She paused, as was her habit, before they rounded the final corner.
“Around this corner is the entrance to the Crotalus Common Room. It is guarded by a rather unusual portrait, and one which some people find a little alarming. Gunther is an inferus, or a reanimated corpse. He is, however, only a picture of one, and whilst he can move about in his picture or between other pictures, he cannot do any more than that, and can in no way hurt you. He is responsible for guarding Crotalus, which he does very well, and I would ask that you treat him politely.” It was a request she always made, even though she wasn’t totally sure how much he could understand beyond the passwords, but basic politeness and tolerance seemed like good things to instill.
“The current password is ‘Gnomewart’,” she stated, as they rounded the corner, meaning that there was only a brief view of Gunther before he swung forward offering the much more welcoming view of Crotalus Common Room, which was richly draped in reds.
“Welcome to Crotalus. I am Professor Skies, your head of house, deputy headmistress and transfiguration teacher. You may come to me with any concerns you have whilst at Sonora, or to your prefects, who are Sadie Chalmers, Jezebel Reed-Fischer, Jessica Hayles.” She pointed out the older students as she spoke. “As you saw at the feast, Jessica has also been elected as one of our head students this year,” she added proudly. In a lot of ways, Jessica definitely fitted the idea of what Selina thought a head girl ought to be - she was thorough, studious, and ambitious. The type of person who others ought to look up to and try to emulate. At the same time, she knew that Jessica could be rather fragile and highly strung underneath all that, and had had a heck of a time adjusting to the magical world. She hoped the appointment was a sign that she had overcome some of that. And that anyone, no matter how rough their start, could end up thriving here. She made a mental note to check in with Jessica and congratulate her. “Though, of course you can also go to any adult or peer you feel comfortable with,” she informed the first years.
“Curfew is at ten. You are required to be back in the common room by then and to keep noise down after that time, preferably by being asleep. Notices about clubs, changes to your class schedule, passwords and any other useful information will be displayed on the notice board over there, so please check it regularly. The password changes every two weeks. Passwords and the location of the common room are not to be told to people outside of Crotalus house.
“We say your school house is like your family. Like any family, there are going to be different personalities, and not all of you will get along all the time. However, you need to learn to co-exist and co-operate, even when you come across people who are different to you. I expect all house members to treat each other with courtesy and respect. If you feel someone is not doing that, please come and discuss it with me.
“Your dormitory is to the left,” she informed Christopher, “And yours is to the right,” she informed Verdillia and Claire. “You cannot enter the corridor to the other dormitories – and I mean ‘cannot’ not ‘may not,’ as in it will forcibly expel you. Are there any questions?”
OOC: You do not have to reply to this post but may do so if your character has any questions.
You are now free to post on any board, except other common rooms and staff/prefect lounges.
You are free to set future posts at any point in the first half of the year.
You may be in multiple threads at once, so long as they are happening at different times from your character's perspective, and do not contradict each other (e.g. you may continue posting at Orientation, and the Opening Feast. Once classes go up, you may post in multiple classes at the same time - just take care to remember which happened first, so that what your character knows remains consistent)
The most proper of houses [tag new Crotalus friends!] by Verdillia Scurlock with Claire Osbrook
Verdillia stifled a yawn as she stood from the Crotalus table. It would never do to look impolite. Hopefully she could pass her sleepiness off as difficulty with the timezone adjustment, even though she’d really had a couple of weeks to adapt.
She followed Professor Skies to Crotalus, feeling that it only added to the reputation of the house to have the deputy headmistress in charge. Besides which, Transfiguration was one of the hardest branches of magic. Crotalus was clearly the best, with Aladren in a close second. Teppenpaw seemed nice. Pecari...also existed. It most certainly had not helped her estimation of it that one of its members had committed an act of incendiary vandalism against a perfectly innocent school song sheet at the feast. It’s colour being brown was possibly the best thing about it, and given that that particular shade rarely made anyone’s favourite colours list really said a lot about the quality of compliments Verdillia was able to find for it.
She did have to say, however, that Crotalus’ entrance came as both a shock and a disappointment. It was incredibly gruesome and she was sure mother would not have thought it age-appropriate. Still, on the other side, the rooms were very nice. If a little...snakey. She really hoped this house wasn’t associated with the dark arts in any way. That was the sort of beneath-the-surface reputation that didn’t make it into school literature. She would have to keep an ear out for any rumours to that effect.
It also wasn’t the kind of question one asked one’s head of house, so she kept her unease to herself, choosing not to ask anything so that she didn’t look ignorant. The more pressing matter was the fact that she had a roommate, and she was curious to get to know more about her. Though it seemed they were only a small group, and it didn’t seem nice to leave the boy out, as he’d be the only one if she did that. Once Professor Skies left them to themselves, she smiled at them both.
“Hello. I’m Verdillia. It looks like we’ll be sharing,” she smiled at the girl. “And that we’re all housemates,” she added, so as to include the boy. These few phrases were probably enough to mark her out as a foreigner, though they would have needed an exceptionally strong familiarity with accents to pick up that the answer to ‘Are you English or something else’ was, in fact, ‘both.’
13Verdillia ScurlockThe most proper of houses [tag new Crotalus friends!]154105
Claire liked to think that she was, at a bare minimum, more interesting than her brother, but it had not come as too much of a surprise anyway when she had drawn her badge out of the cauldron and found that it matched Graham's. She had been able to easily identify the correct table by spotting her brother, and had proceeded to carefully choose a seat as far from his as she thought she reasonably could without it seeming too obvious that she was...avoiding someone who it probably wasn't even that obvious she had any reason to know....
...It was late. She'd logic better, she decided, in the morning. For now, it was good enough just to know that she didn't want to run the slightest risk that her brother might take it into his head to be weird and big-brotherish before she even met the other girl she had seen join the table. That didn't seem like the kind of thing that would be great for her reputation here, and so she wanted to avoid it.
She glanced between that girl and the boy with them briefly as they were gathered up and escorted out of the Hall, but couldn't spend too much time on tht. For one thing, the Deputy Headmistress was showing them how to get from their new dining room to their bedrooms. This was a bit more important than people watching. For another, staring was another thing that wasn't likely to make a good impression, and despite her...weird...Orientation experience, she still hoped she had some chance of making one of those.
After the speech, the other girl - who had gorgeous dark hair and an obvious accent which marked her out as From Somewhere Else - took the lead between the three of them. Claire noted all this with mild interest, wondering where she was from and what it would look like when, probably inevitably, Verdillia (that was...a name and a half, as her aunt Mariah might say) met Tissena....
"Yes," she agreed with both statements. "I'm Claire." She tried not to think about how humorous she found the contrast between their names. "Nice to meet you both. Did - either of you - " 'y'all' was a very convenient word, much more convenient than trying to sort out singular-you versus plural-you in regular usage, but it wasn't a word to use with people she didn't know yet - "have a long way to ride the wagons?" she asked, figuring it was as good a conversation starter as any.