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Author Topic:  [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}  (Read 1269 times)

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Minerva McGonagall [ Professor ]
2071 Posts  •  66
[BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« on: February 10, 2019, 07:59:32 PM »
Sunday, September 1, 2002
‘For Merlin’s sake… not again!’

The last time the Welcoming Feast had been delayed, the castle had turned on itself and the entire Hogwarts community had been trapped within an impenetrable dome for four months. Though that was exceptionally unlikely to happen again, of course, Minerva was still wary. That memory would never fade, and those students could never be returned to them. She closed her eyes briefly, trying to push aside the visions of lapping flames, to block out the screams and crumbling stone. Not again. Not on her watch. She resolutely ignored the fact that there was nothing more she could have done.

Thin-lipped with apprehension nonetheless, Minerva made her way briskly to the Entrance Hall, robes billowing in her wake. Word had quickly reached her that the boats that usually ferried the First Years across the lake were – for the first time in recent memory, and quite possibly ever – refusing to cooperate. Fortunately the Thestrals were as dependable as ever, and after a bit of troubleshooting the First Years were slated to arrive via carriage a year ahead of schedule. However, also this meant they would be trickling through in sequential groups of four to six instead of arriving all at once. They were wee things, though… perhaps she ought to tell Hagrid to send them eight to a carriage.

As the newest young minds arrived, standing nervously before her, Minerva found herself reflecting. How was it already the first of September once again? She was certainly old enough to know that the school year did tend to come annually, thank  you very much – but she could have sworn it was only last week that she had lurked at the periphery of the Great Hall, her heart full as she watched the students laugh and dance and enjoy themselves. And the best part was, she’d barely needed to intervene for inappropriate behavior: on all occasions except one, a simple stern look from her corner was sufficient to break things up nicely.

Within a half-hour, the appearance of Hagrid’s massive frame through the heavy oak doors was her signal that all were present and accounted for. She gave a nod of thanks, adjusted her square-rimmed spectacles ever so slightly, and turned to address the group. Her speech was so deeply ingrained in her memory as to be automatic – except for the second part of the second sentence, because even after four years she still had to actively remember to introduce herself as Headmistress.

“Good evening and welcome to Hogwarts. I am Professor McGonagall, Headmistress of the school. The Start-of-Term banquet will begin shortly – but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be Sorted into your Houses…”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The moment the Hat had declared the final student’s placement, Minerva had her scroll of names rolled-up and was at the podium in seconds. She could feel the buzz of curiosity among the student body nearly as well as she could hear it. No doubt they were wondering the reason for the hour-long delay, and they likely felt the same apprehensions that she herself did, if not worse – some of them had lost close friends, family members. The head table was just as perturbed; nearly half the staff was leaning forward, worried-appearing and engaged in close discussion. Again, Minerva pressed her lips into a thin line.

They had to keep moving forward.
She looked out over the sea of faces and cleared her throat, and an expectant silence fell almost immediately. Minerva did her best to ensure her facial expression was no more stern-appearing than her usual. She would not withhold information from them; most of them had done a lot of growing up in the past few years, and while Minerva would not alarm them or give them more information than was appropriate, she certainly was not about to keep them in the dark either.

“Students, welcome back. Thank you for your patience this evening. In the interest of full disclosure, we experienced a delay in transporting our First Years to the castle because the boats would not cooperate. Consequently, we arranged for the First Years to arrive via carriage as the rest of you have – which, as we know, may take some time. As of yet we are not certain why this happened, but you may rest assured that we shall look into this with the utmost diligence and provide updates accordingly.”
She paused then, surveying each House table for a few heartbeats. As expected there were a range of expressions, from visibly concerned to completely unfazed.
“Now – I am quite certain everyone is more than ready for dinner. We shall reconvene in fifteen minutes to address the remaining Start-of-Term announcements. Until then: tuck in!”

Minerva had to hide the hint of a smile as an audible sigh of relief swept through the Great Hall, followed by a smattering of applause, at no longer being denied their dinner. The Scottish witch took her seat at the head table, only half-attending to the murmurings of her colleagues. With any luck, this would be an isolated incident. Merlin knew Hogwarts had experienced more than its fill of excitement over the past few years.

Feel free to post in this open thread and/or start your own spin-off threads. Please contact @Laura, @Olivia, or @Sioban with questions!
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 09:28:34 PM by Olivia »

Tallulah Rook [ Hufflepuff ]
8 Posts  •  12  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Tallulah Rook
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Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 09:24:39 PM »
Tallulah ran her hand nervously flattening down her skirt, feeling the soft yet scratchy pull of the fabric. Her Hufflepuff robe seemed to weigh a thousand pounds on her shoulders as she waited patiently to step out of the train. The hustle and bustle of friends coming together after time apart, luggage being guided to their next traveling destinations, the low haze that always seemed to cling to the train platform, it was all ringing through Tallulah’s head in one giant cacophony of sound. Tilly momentarily lost her focus, and her foot lost it’s footing on the last metal step. Her foot came down hard, as though the ground was a surprise. An “oof” escaped her as she clung to her leather bag, determined not to drop it. She was sure she would have been hopelessly trampled in her efforts to pick it back up. The momentum sent her running forward, like a bull ready to charge. She bumped into a taller student who stopped her from her head forward topple. Tilly squeaked an apology and disappeared into the crowd of students clambering in the direction of the castle.

Tilly’s mother had tried to prepare her for the next stage of her journey toward the castle. Last year, as a first year, the boats had almost completely over whelmed Tilly. The cold and damp journey had felt as though they would never reach their destination and by the time they had reached the Great Hall, Tilly hadn’t completely reformed her grasp on reality. To her relief she would not have to brave that crossing again. However now, her mother had told her of the beasts that She would encounter, or not encounter as her mother had explained, the large and imposing Thestrals. Tilly had never personally seen anyone die, and therefore, the carriages would seem as though they were self-driven toward the castle. Tilly had almost wished that her mother had never told her that the beasts existed at all. Tilly had never had the best luck with any being from the animal world. They seemed to smell every ounce of anxiety on Tilly and she could swear they all had a vendetta against her. Therefore, although there was nothing at all to worry about, Tilly spent the entire journey up to the castle imagining that the invisible beast that she knew was before her was getting ready to turn and gobble her up.

Before she knew it, she was walking through the doors of the Great Hall. The warm and familiar glow mixed in with the sweet smell she knew as Hogwarts; slightly old and musty, but bright with the buzzed excitement that now filled the hall. Tilly took the first empty seat she found, not being the first Hufflepuff to find there way to the great wooden benches and not wanting to walk too far down only to have make the embarrassing about face to find a seat. Her feet swung just inches above the floor as she settled in and made herself comfortable. Maybe by the end of the year she would be able to plant her toes firmly on the ground as she ate and she wouldn’t feel like such a little girl all the time.

Tilly’s eyes darted from one place to the next. Her large eyes took in everything around her, and though her face was blank, she inwardly smiled at the sight of old friends catching up and falling right back into their old antics. She inwardly smiled at the number of Ravenclaws who had already buried their nose in books taking advantage of the free time before the sorting began. Despite the previous weeks of brooding panic at the thought of returning, she had missed Hogwarts and this was going to be the year that Tallulah Rook vowed to do SOMETHING interesting.

Yet here she was content to blend into the background yet wishing someone would take the seat next to her and then, actually talk to her. What would she say back? Well, that depends on what I was asked, if I was asked a question. I might have to come up with  witty remark to an off handed comment. What if nothing comes to me, or at least nothing interesting, or nothing comes out at all and…

She had been so consumed in her own mind that Tilly was just realizing that the Headmistress had begun her greeting and was already calling last names into the C’s. The first years did not look much different then Tilly and looking at them reminder her of the apprehension she felt while waiting through the alphabet that never seemed so long. Tilly pushed away the fog of old anxiety and clapped gently when Hufflepuff rang joyously throughout the hall.

Finally, the echoes of applause as the last student happily joined his house’s table faded and the Headmistress once again spoke.

There had been trouble and the first years hadn’t been able to take the boats. Tilly’s face sunk as she wished that this problem had arisen the year before and she herself would have been spared that trip. She suddenly felt very jealous of the first years that had just taken their new spots among the houses. They had not experienced the sight of the castle looming in the distance, the light simmering into the lake as the water swells. As terrified as Tilly had been, she also remembered peeking out, her hooded eyes gazing upon the castle blending in the darkness around. She was frightening, yet memorized, electrified. Then another slight swell hit her boat and she ducked inside her robe once again until they reached the shore. She had emerged out of the lake shaking and pale, but she had emerged. They little feat of triumph that she shared with all the other years surged in her momentarily.

She was distracted away from the thought as the new realization of how intensely hungry she was washed over her. Luckily, just as her stomach rumbled it protests, the table in front of her sprang to color with mounds of delicious treats. Tilly waited until she was sure those around her were done taking their helpings as she reached across to an enormous pile of savory meat pies.

[[sorry OCC: This is my first post soooooo, just wanted to leave it open for any comments of critiques or whatevs, feel free to PM me! <3 ]]

Henry Murphy [ Gryffindor ]
845 Posts  •  18  •  Bisexual  •  played by Emily
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 07:54:46 AM »
Henry had been a student of Minerva McGonagall for enough years, and through enough hardship, to know when she was worried. After the Sorting she faced them with her mouth in a tight line, her posture tense. The first years had been late due to a problem with the boats, she told them. No need to worry. Henry believed it as much as it seemed McGonagall did.

He switched from bouncing his left leg to his right under the Gryffindor table. “How do the boats stop working?” he whispered urgently to Gene at his side. “They’re boats!” Had they sunk? Gone the wrong direction? The magic that propelled the little fleet was hardly as intricate and as fallible as the magic that made up the ceiling of the Great Hall—or for that matter, probably the magic that kept half this castle together. Surely someone should have been able to get them under control? Henry felt guilty suddenly for his next thought: surely Hagrid wasn’t the wisest choice to guide a hundred nervous children across a freezing lake alone if he couldn’t perform emergency magic? The thestrals, absolutely. But... There was so much that could go wrong, and he couldn’t believe it had never worried him before.

Every little thing at Hogwarts worried him once he’d get to thinking on them.

Hogwarts had never been for Henry what it was for his father, or his grandparents. It wasn’t a safe and supportive happy memory. Oh, it had tried its best, of course. Last year hadn’t been bad, almost all of his first year was brilliant. But Henry still felt too much trepidation about the castle to love it. Hogwarts was the place he’d been tortured, seen war, seen death, been isolated and hunted and lived in fear. He’d do his best for his school, that was for certain. But he couldn’t claim to have any faith in it.

All he had was hope, or at least desperation. “Nothing can happen this year,” he muttered to Gene, fiddling with the back pin of his badge under his robe lapel. “It can’t— I can’t—“

Meredith Howell [ Hufflepuff ]
125 Posts  •  17  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Louise
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 12:00:07 PM »
This is my year.

Meredith was feeling particularly good about herself.  Her uniform was spotless and fit her well, specially tailored in a way that complimented her figure.  She was also having an exceptionally good hair day, with her golden tresses flowing over her shoulders in shining waves.  Over the Summer she had succeeded in regaining her tan so now her skin practically glowed.  All in all, Meredith was very satisfied with the appearance she was able to put forward for the start of term.  She felt confident that when her peers laid eyes on her, all of her past embarrassments would be forgotten. 

Then something suddenly collided with her back, sending Mere stumbling forward with her arms flailing in the most undignified way.  Indignant, the seventeen-year-old spun around to confront whoever had been so rude.  Spotting the young girl who appeared to be responsible, she was on the verge of going on a tirade about watching where one was going, but she caught herself at the last second.  Yelling at a kid was just the kind of thing that people were sure to consider nasty behaviour.  So Mere adopted a pleasant smile even though she was a bit annoyed.  "That's alright-" She started to say but the girl had already disappeared into the crowd.  Drat.  Now Meredith wouldn’t be able to get credit for handling the situation graciously. 

Still there were sure to be more opportunities for her to practice being a nicer person, especially now that she'd been made Head Girl.  The appointment had been a pleasant surprise.  Of course it was obvious to Meredith that she was the best candidate but still, it was reassuring to know that her years of diligence and hard work had not been ruined by that one silly little incident last year.  Mere was determined that this year was going to go flawlessly.  By the time she slid into a seat at the Hufflepuff table she had completely forgotten about the incident at the train station. 

Mere's nostrils flared a little at the Headmistress' mention of the mishap with the boats.  She was looking forward to a perfect year at Hogwarts and was not going to tolerate any malfunctions.  Hopefully it was an isolated incident.  Turning her attention to the feast, the blonde flicked her hair over her shoulder , incidentally making the gleaming badge pinned to her lapel clearly visible.  As she helped herself to some salad her hazel eyes made a cursory scan of the hall, mildly curious about who had the privilege of being her male counterpart. 

Gene Horowitz [ Gryffindor ]
53 Posts  •  17  •  gay  •  played by nan
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 04:23:23 PM »
The boats not working wasn't something that should have necessarily terrified them, but Gene thought Henry was sort of right to worry anyway. The last time they'd had something seemingly magically infallible break down on them, they'd had the fires and then the dome, so Gene was mildly on the verge of panic as well. But it didn't look great for the Head Boy to be jittering at Gryffindor Table like this, so he said in his kindest, most soothing tone "They worked it out. It's alright."

Even though they hadn't, and as far as he knew, it wasn't. At least the Hogwarts Express had managed to eventually work again. The boats had needed to be replaced with carriages. He tried valiantly to think of anything-- anything-- that would make reassuring or distracting conversation, but he'd read the paper this morning and probably the current news would do more harm than good. Sure, it'd been worrying for awhile. Gene remembered feeling sick all day when Gaius Purcell had been released from Azkaban; he'd read all the papers back in 1998, even after the details had gotten so graphic that his parents had told him not to keep up.

And it wasn't just that Purcell was released, even. The paper had been so bloody complimentary that thinking about it was making him nauseous again. And it wasn't even just Purcell-- everything happening in Sweden, too? Bloody insane to think about.

He caught himself breathing shallowly; he took a deep breath and focused carefully on his hands, which he'd already had a go at this morning as he read the paper, and put his yet unbothered little finger in his mouth to chew, and glanced surreptitiously around the hall for anything at all to point out to Henry as a distraction. As he did, he spotted from one corner a little gleam; had @Meredith Howell gotten Prefect this year? Surely it wasn't for Quidditch.

On a second glance it was the Head Girl badge, and Gene, caught between immediate indignation and utter amusement, nudged his knee against Henry's. "Oh God, guess who's Head Girl."

screw you. i'm hilarious

Nazreen Ajay [ Professor ]
2032 Posts  •  32  •  pansexual  •  played by Samm
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 04:41:56 PM »
"Oh dear..." She mumbled under her breath, standing at the window behind the head table and staring out into the black night. Nazreen was worried about the little ones, they were so small and they didn't know an ounce of magic yet, and she hoped they arrived safely. She had full faith in Hagrid, and their Headmistress, but it wouldn't be the first time Hogwarts threw them all for a loop. She silently prayed to the universe that they would arrive safe and warm and soon enough her prayers were answered. As the first of the students began trickling into the Great Hall Nazreen smiled at them and took her seat at the table. Sitting quietly her gaze moved back and forth between the students arriving and the bewitched ceiling of the hall. It wasn't until then that she realized Fflur wasn't sitting next to her, as she usually was, during these meals. She took a moment, staring at the empty seat and trying to remember if there was something she was supposed to remember. Had the other professor told her she would be late? Did Nazreen know where she was? She couldn't recall... She then turned to the teacher on the other side of her and whispered.

"Do you know where Fflur is?" She asked them, wondering if they knew something she did not. Nazreen was pretty sure Fflur shouldn't of been delayed on account of the boats. Professors didn't take the boats typically, and if they could, Nazreen was going to have to make sure she took the boats next year. As long as they were working again of course. Thinking about a magical night ride on the boats made her smile and then reminded her that the poor, poor incoming first years were denied that wonderful experience. It was something that was quintessential to the Hogwarts story. A pit formed in her stomach of sorrow as she started to wonder how they could make it up to them and quickly forgot about her search for the Flying professor. More and more students entered and when one of them tripped on their entirely too long brand new robe and nearly fell Nazreen moved to stand up and help them. Hagrid caught the little wizard, saved the day as always, and Nazreen relaxed back in her seat. She tried to remind herself to remember later to ask the house elves to mend the young man's robes. They were too long this term but surely he'd grow into them by next year, young wizards typically did.

Sitting back in her seat with her stomach beginning to rumble the Herbology professor was about to ask Fflur about her summer when she realized the professor wasn't there. She tilted her head to the side, wondering where the other witch could be, and then turned to ask the professor next to her again.

Jari Trickett [ Hufflepuff ]
189 Posts  •  14  •  played by Samm
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 05:55:17 PM »
Jari was excited to start another wonderful year at Hogwarts and the smile on his face gave that away fairly quickly. Taking a seat next to @Aase Trickett-Cassoway and @Abigail Lawson like he had so many times before the young Hufflepuff sat quietly and listened to the Headmistress. It was always something, every year, and he couldn't help but steal concerned glances at his cousin and best friend. Gauging how they were feeling, hoping they weren't too worried, made it easier for him to avoid worrying too. The first years would be okay, the Headmistress didn't seem too concerned, but he remembered the night of the fires. He remembered they told them it wasn't a big deal that the train was late and dinner was cancelled and then all hell broke loose. Looking around at the faces of other students near by one thing was remarkably clear: they all remembered.

Setting his elbows on the table he let his chin rest on top of his hands and waited patiently. Jari started to wonder if maybe it was some how connected to the recent UFO sightings in northern Scotland. He wondered if they had finally returned and some how their technology was messing with the magic that propelled the little boats forward. It made sense to him, naturally. Magic and technology never really got along and it was safe to assume that alien technology would be that much more powerful. He reached down under the table and reassured himself that his trusty tin foil hat was still packed securely in his pocket, just in case. When the door to the Great Hall opened and a handful of little witches and wizards followed Hagrid in Jari relaxed a little bit more. His stomach grumbled as he realized that was only a few of them. This was going to take all night and he was already hungry. Chatting with his house mates to try and pass the time he felt like he could eat a whole cow by the time they were finally all there and ready.

Sorting began and he clapped and welcomed new students to his house as they came until he heard a familiar name. "PATIENCE!" He yelled out, clapping loudly and waving for her to join them at their table. "Knew you'd be a Hufflepuff! Welcome!" He motioned for her to sit as he scooted down just a little so she would have room. He was excited to have a new friend in Hufflepuff but he was especially happy that she was in the best house. He knew she was kind of scared and nervous and there wasn't a rotten Hufflepuff in the bunch so she would be taken care of. "This is Aase and this is Abby." He said quickly motioning to the both of them and then smiling back at Patience. "Man you're going to love the food here, just wait."

Patience Blackstone [ Hufflepuff ]
47 Posts  •  11  •  Straight  •  played by Livvy
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 06:37:39 PM »
Today was just not her day!

First, Patience nearly missed her train. Her mother had been taking a long time in a business meeting and she was left to wait for her. Her sister had stayed with some friends the past few days and went off to school with them. @Parker Blackstone had graduated and was taking his first steps in his career. Though her father wanted to send her off to school, he had a meetings going all day about his record label business. So she was left with her mother. Before they had left, her mother assured her she would only have gone inside for a few moments to get a couple items to take home, but Patience found herself growing more and more anxious. By the time her mother emerged, they had only minutes to get to the train. It wasn't her mother's fault. She couldn't be mad at her. Patience had made it in time and was able to board the train so that was somewhat of a relief, but it hadn't been as grand as she had dreamt her first day leaving for school should have been.

Then she found that the money her mother had given her for the snack trolley on the ride to Hogwarts had vanished. Patience had looked in every nook and cranny in her seating area and couldn't find it. She couldn't spot her sister Abby either when she went looking for her up and down the train. It was as if she too had disappeared. An older student had been kind enough to split a chocolate bar with her, but that was all she had to eat that morning. Her earlier delay had also caused them to miss breakfast. She had decided to take a nap on the train to help time pass by faster. Soon enough, she managed to sleep up until the moment when the girl shook her awake.

Frantically, she had gathered her belongings and wandered off the train to where a big burly man stood. So this was Hagrid. Her brother had described the man's appearance to her so she knew just what to look for. The only thing was, she hadn't expected him to be so BIG. She huddled around with the other first years who looked just as scared and nervous as she felt. Patty watched as the older students went on their way to the school drawn by horseless carriages while the first years were lead to the boats. They had all sat in them, ready to go when for some reason, they wouldn't move. She could hear the curly-haired man mumble something to himself under his breath and she watched with wide eyes as he moved about trying to figure out what was stalling their departure. Overwhelmed, tired, hungry, homesick, and scared, Patience couldn't hold back the wave of tears she had been on the verge of all day. Her hands gripped her robes tightly as she tried to keep her face hidden. Patience felt so ashamed for crying, but on top of everything that had happened to her today, their delay was the straw that broke the camel's back for her.

A couple of the students around her tried to help her feel better. Meanwhile she could hear some others groan and call her a crybaby because the boats wouldn't move. Yes, she was a rather emotional child, but under normal circumstances, she usually kept her cool and rarely began to cry. While patience felt bad for the groundskeeper, she was only wallowed in her self pity more. There had been so many plans for today and none of them worked out like they were supposed to. The groundskeeper, he had only been trying to do his duty to get the kids to school, but when the boats stopped working, Patience's emotions became another stress to the situation.Today was just not her day.

Once they had made it to the school, she had calmed down a little bit so she was at a point where soft sighs and sniffles came from her as she wiped at her eyes and nose. There was a lovely brunette that was so kind to her the whole ride to the school. She'd tried distracting Patience and helping her feel better. The swarm of students in the Great Hall made her freeze in her steps as she inhaled sharply. Her eyes scanned the crowd hoping that she'd be able to identify who Jari was, but she had no luck. She did find the Hufflepuff table, but then her attention was stolen by the enchanted ceiling and she smiled at the sight of it. Now that she was here, she was feeling just a little bit better.

The sorting had been alright. The large hat had slipped right over her head when it was her turn. She could hear the hat whisper in her ear about the assortment of houses her family members went to. Parker was a gryffindor, her cousin @Vivienne Awning was in Ravenclaw, the same house her older sister went to. She sat there quietly as she waited, too scared to think. As she lifted the rim of the hat over her eyes to see out into the crowd, a smile pulled at the corners of her lips when she heard the hat declare her house. As she wandered down the steps to the table, she had looked out in the crowd for her cousin and sister. For a brief moment, before she got lost in the crowds, she thought she had spotted them together. Then she heard her name and she couldn't help but jump as she saw a friendly boy calling out to her and waving her over.

Patience went up to him and smiled a little more. Nervously, she tucked her hair behind her ear as she looked at all of the other Hufflepuffs around him."How'd you know I was going to be a Hufflepuff?" She asked, hesitating a moment before she slipped in beside him where he had made space for her. So this must have been Jari. She waved shyly at his friends. "I'm Patty," she introduced herself to them. Food sounded like the best thing she could have at the moment. Her head was throbbing and she couldn't decide if it was from hunger, exhaustion, or the crying. Her eyes were still slightly red and puffy, but as she looked at her new friend beside her and those around her, she knew that this was where she was meant to be. "I can't wait to eat. I'm starving!" If she had been in better spirits, she would have immediately started conversing with those around her and eagerly making efforts to get to know them. Patience didn't have the energy though and she couldn't wait for dinner so she sat quietly while Jari talked with his friends and more and more students were called.

Oighrig Jardine [ Inactive Character ]
66 Posts  •  18  •  Pansexual  •  played by Axel/Alice
  • Imagine if we obsessed about the things we loved about ourselves
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  • Trophy Closet Participated at the Academy Anansi July/August 2001 Awarded for Participation in the Gauntlet 1: The Labyrinth Trials. Spenny's FPP 2016 Sapphire Reward
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2019, 12:18:57 AM »
This wasn’t going to be a very good year for Oighrig was it? She knew that when the papers came out saying a known death eater had been released thing were going to go south for this muggleborn witch. Frankly she wasn’t even sure if she was going to be returning to Hogwarts for her final year because of his release. The papers even gave him an interview and despite trying to read the interview Oighrig just couldn’t finish it and ended up crinkling her copy of the daily prophet and throwing it in the fire. She couldn’t stand the man and she wasn’t ready to go on the run again because of the possibility of muggleborn execution again. She just wanted to forget the events of the war and live in peace and not remember the pain of her parent’s death. The images were still so clear in her mind when she returned from on the run.

Despite this here she was making an attempt to finish her schooling for her parent’s sake. If they could see her now she knows they would have been proud of her for at least completing her education even if she still didn’t know what she wanted to do. Any ideas of working for the ministry now was dashed in her mind due to recent events and she felt she couldn’t handle the stress of being a professor. Originally she thought about working in an apothecary or making potions for a living, but unless she had a decent clientele she knew she would have a rough time doing this at first. Her dreams were now dashed and she needed an escape so she was going to travel somewhere far away from this land. She thought maybe she would move to America to escape the ministry and the possible decline of their country. Oighrig needed to prepare and to do that she need money. She didn’t have her potion supplies with her at this moment, but she decided she would make as many potions as she could muster and sell them off to the students this year to fund her way to a new home in a different country.

Looking around the great hall she saw many familiar faces and many unknowns. She wondered if she would miss them or not. She saw Henry at the Gryffindor table looking rather nervous. Oighrig even crossed her own arms at this site. He had enough sadness in his life he didn’t need more torture and pain in his life. She felt bad for him and even wished she was in the same house as him so she could try and comfort him. Though they might have not been that close she was close to another of his past so she felt she could at least care for him too. She wanted to reach out for him and just stared at him with a mournful glance. Nothing she could do right now being in a different house so hopefully someone else could cheer him up and bring a smile to his face. That being said Oighrig needed someone herself as she needed someone to keep her from making a rash decision. If only she had someone she was close enough to that could help bring her back to reality and stop her fear of being hunted from appearing yet again.

Donna Russell [ Gryffindor ]
65 Posts  •  15  •  Lesbian  •  played by nan
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2019, 02:52:46 AM »
She’d spent all her time on the Hogwarts Express babysitting. Never mind that Kimmy had friends. Never mind that Kimmy’s friends were closer to Martin’s age. No-- he wanted to hang out with Donna, so she’d had to juggle her eleven-year-old brother’s attention and her far more important conversations with Lenny and Prefect things.

He was a Hufflepuff-- thank Merlin, since Donna didn’t have time to chaperone him around on top of whatever else the Prefects had to do tonight-- and as she was obediently heaping her plate with food she puffed her chest out just a little self-importantly. Being a Prefect was sure to be a NIGHTMARE but it was also something to be very proud of. Probably.

Having already decided not to pry, she hadn’t asked Lenny anything about his summer after the cursory So how was it! right when she’d first seen him, and was instead prattling about hers. Quidditch camp, Chloe’s new job and Joey's lack thereof, Quidditch camp again, the World Cup, wasn’t it crazy that Viktor Krum had quit?, and Prefect things. Prefect things, at the moment, occupied most of her thoughts-- she both revelled in them and dreaded them, and wasn’t quite sure what to make of that.

There wasn’t that much to say about her summer, not enough to keep Lenny entertained for the rest of dinner, so by the time she’d finished most of her food she’d moved onto the drearier topic for this year: OWLs. “You know, some of the kids at Quidditch camp said theirs weren’t ‘til sixth year. I think that’d be preferable, don’t you?”

Not that she relished the thought of tough exams twice in a row, but: “At least I’d get a year to get used to this--” she patted her badge-- “before I had to start revising. But-- I guess they’ve only got four each year stuck doing that. No-- eight.”
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 02:26:34 AM by Donna Russell »

what's a girl gotta do to get in a proper brawl around here?

Fflur Blevins [ Professor ]
183 Posts  •  32  •  played by christine
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2019, 03:55:56 AM »
Why couldn’t she remember where the side door was? Fflur supposed she could just skip the feast altogether, maybe just grab something from the kitchen directly, but she honestly didn’t have the energy to think about anything more than eating whatever was placed directly in front of her. There was a definite possibility she was still a little drunk. Slightly. Not really. No, she was hungover. Yes, that.

The wedding yesterday had been obviously celebratory, but also obviously in a different timezone. Her four o’clock bedtime was more like noon in Scotland and those few hours of sleep before her multi-portkey trip had done absolutely nothing. She had stuffed a pair of robes into her bag to slip on after she had arrived, but she hadn’t bothered on the walk up from Hogsmeade to try to rid herself of any wrinkles. The portkey had made her sick, but she had bothered to clear up that evidence form the road. Yeah, that hangover potion would have worked, she supposed, if she had made it to the point of the hangover.

The doors to the Great Hall were propped open and Fflur slipped inside, happy that the feast was well underway and everyone had plenty of things to focus on besides her. She followed the perimeter of the room up the the head table and rolled her eyes as she met Naz’s gaze. “Don’t ask.” She attempted a bit of a grin as she slipped into her seat, pulling a bowl of something toward her before pushing it back after she caught a whiff of it. She leaned back in her chair and slouched down. “What’d I miss?”

Reina Satou [ Slytherin ]
58 Posts  •  13  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Mimi
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2019, 11:51:05 AM »
This time, Reina went to King’s Cross Station with her nicer grandparents. As usual, she spent the summer at her grandparents’ but because her family were still travelling and would only return after her departure (her sister would be missing the first few days of school), the task of sending her to the station fell on her grandparents. While yes, they were still spry for their age, she wouldn’t be able to forgive herself if she let her grandparents drive her from their house in Buckhurst Hill all the way to King’s Cross Station when they used the public transportations themselves (or their neighbours and her parents drove them) so she tried to convince them to let her take the public transportation herself.

The neighbour who often drove them around (despite their protests) overheard their argument one day and offered to send her to the station and eventually, they reluctantly accepted the offer. Both Reina and her grandparents didn’t want to inconvenience the neighbour any more than they should but at least this was safer than letting her go on her own. Plus, they could send her off too! However, when they arrived at the station, Reina insisted that she would be fine and they should leave. They didn’t argue as much as they did about her transportation to the station but it still took a considerable amount of time to convince them that she would be fine. She didn’t want them to come with because she was not sure about how much they knew. Better be safe than risk it. She was still uncertain about what would happen if someone found out about her magical abilities.

The trip to Hogwarts was thankfully uneventful (except for her compartment mates who’d rather chatter their heads off than admiring the scenery yet they hogged the window seats!) and it didn’t take long for Reina to seat herself amongst her housemate. She was ready for the sorting to start and be over so that she can eat the roast beef that she had been eyeing but after hearing Professor McGonagall’s words, she couldn’t help but to groan. At least the firsties this year had it easy and didn’t have to face the scary lake. She wondered how she even managed to stay on the boat without having a panic attack… or maybe she did but she blocked it out of her mind. No one knows except for those who were on the same boat as her… and she was not well-acquainted with any of them.

Regardless, as Reina sulked about not being able to eat yet, she heard her neighbour speculating with his buddy about another repeat of the dome incident in hushed whispers – at least, he tried to. She’d give him B for effort. She tried to dismiss it as pure speculation but his words were already firmly planted in her mind by now and she linked the two together. During the dome incident, the Hogwarts Express wouldn’t move so maybe there were some truths to it? She visibly paled and could see her hands start to shake a little. “… I’m not hungry anymore,” she grumbled to no one in particular after Professor McGonagall began the feast and almost everyone around her started to eat.

Deirdre Coltrane [ Slytherin ]
39 Posts  •  17  •  heterosexual  •  played by Inga
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2019, 06:55:21 PM »
It was September 1st again. Deirdre had taken the time of the train ride to finish a novel she had been reading during the last days of her holidays. It was the kind of book that would make most girls blush or giggle but Deirdre's face had not shown any embarrassment. She basically read it for 'academic' purposes as she was determined to toy with some Gryffindor boys and break their hearts this year. It was her last year of magical education, after all. It was now or never.

Her seventh and last year at Hogwarts… It felt strange to know that this was her last beginning of term. Deirdre walked into the Great Hall and looked around. The first years hadn't arrived yet and the Slytherin table did not look very appealing with only very few older students being seated already.

The Scottish girl looked at the other tables curiously. She briefly considered taking a seat at the Gryffindor table but decided against it as she was not going to fight against a bunch of immature lions who thought that she had no right to spoil their red and gold unity with her green and silver robes.

So she sat down at the Slytherin table, nodding at the students that were already seated as a kind of recognition of their presence. She did not intend to engage in a conversation. Not yet anyway. Instead she provokingly pulled out the adult material novel and started to read while still staying observant of everything that went on around her.

In the meantime the sorting ceremony had started and Deirdre glanced over the top of her book every now or then to see how far it had progressed. Minerva McGonagall's speech was not too capturing. In fact, Deirdre found that the novel was more interesting which was rather shocking, really. Besides the headmistress might hope that the boats not working had little meaning and that they'd find out the reason for this problem, in the end though it was clear that once again Hogwarts was out of control and that there was drama coming up. Each and every year during her schooling Deirdre had experienced that the school authorities wanted to make the students feel safe when they weren't; that things would be better this year than last, but they never really had been better.

If there was one thing the seventh year had learned it was that one should never say that things couldn't get worse anymore – they could always get worse or simply bad in a different way than before. There was no shadow without light though and, therefore, Deirdre was not too worried. They had gone through a lot already and they'd find out soon enough what the future had in store for them this time.

Leonard Hardy [ Gryffindor ]
38 Posts  •  15  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Louise
Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2019, 01:58:10 AM »
Summer holidays were over and it was time to get back to school.  Some kids looked forward to the new term while others bemoaned the end to their break.  Lenny himself was not too sure how to feel about it, aside from numb.  The situation with his gran was becoming more serious by the day and he didn’t think he was going to be able to keep up the charade much longer…  He just needed more time to figure things out.  Every day he wished that he were older, stronger, and smarter so that he would be able to do something about it.  But he was just a fifteen-year-old boy and unequipped for the job of provider and caregiver. 

It was a relief to get away from that house and away from his gran.  Seeing the shell that she had become – his powerful, impressive guardian turned into an incoherent and infirm old lady – was very hard on his heart.  His gran was the only person who had every truly been there for him, so he owed it to be there for her…  but the way she looked at him so blankly, as though he were a stranger, made him feel completely hopeless.  It was like living with a Dementor that fed upon every happy feeling and left him cold and empty.  Such thoughts were truly horrible of him though and left Lenny wracked with guilt.  It was wrong of him to resent his grandmother.  It wasn’t her fault she was sick – it was his.

At least seeing his best friend, @Donna Russell, again was somewhat of a balm on his heart.  To his significant relief she hadn’t pressed to hear about his holidays and had accepted his non-committal comment that the summer always passed too quickly.  He was sure she knew that things weren’t going well for him but he appreciated that she didn’t pry.  If she were to ask him directly about his troubles, he didn’t know how he would keep from breaking down.  She regaled him with stories about her break instead which he happily listened to.  The revelation that his friend had been made Prefect actually made him genuinely glad and he managed to muster a sincerely enthusiastic response to the news.  He knew that she had some concerns about the extra pressure and responsibility of such a prominent student position, but he was confident that Donna would do a great job.

As he made his way into the Great Hall with the other students, Lenny was nervous.  He’d grown a bit over the break and now his school robes, which were already a few years old, were rather short.  Though they still hung loosely on his thin frame, a little too much trouser leg was visible.  Together with Toph, their house elf, he’d tried to lengthen the robes but the result was noticeably raggedy and threadbare.  There hadn’t been much money left in the house and Lenny had been too afraid to take his gran out in public to withdraw more from Gringotts.  His attempts to find a summer job had also met with dismal failure and rejection.  The only way the Fifth Year Gryffindor had been able to afford his school supplies was by selling a few of his short stories.  It had been lucky that anyone had wanted to publish them and, under other circumstances, it should have meant something to him but Lenny hadn't done it because he had been brave or ready to put them out there...  He’d done it because he’d been desperate.  Even then he’d barely managed to afford what he needed by scrounging the bottom of second-hand bins and making do with the bare minimum.  He had been too afraid to come to school without the required textbooks though, as it would surely draw too many questions.  As such he was stuck with school robes that were more than a little worse for wear and he was sure that at any moment someone would notice and demand to speak with his gran.

Anxiously focused on blending in with the crowd as much as possible, Lenny finally slid into a seat at the Gryffindor tower next to Donna.  He cheered and clapped with her as her younger brother was sorted into Hufflepuff.  There had been a bit of a delay with the whole thing, apparently because the usual boats weren’t working.  Lenny barely reacted to that announcement – all of his worrying energy was already focused internally and at that moment he didn’t have anything to spare for Hogwarts malfunctions.  Then it was finally time for the feast and the food that appeared on the tables before them was the usual superb spread.  Unfortunately, despite the fact that it was far better fare than he’d seen in weeks, Lenny found himself lacking a substantial appetite.  He diligently loaded up a plate with meats and vegetables but mostly pushed the food around on his plate with a fork to give the illusion of eating.  Despite his internal misery, he tried to be as cheerful as possible for Donna’s sake.  It wasn’t actually too hard, since he was very glad to see her again and interested to hear about everything that had happened to her while they’d been apart.  He was content to listen as she spoke, just enjoying the sound of her voice and occasionally making encouraging noises or comments to keep things going.

Eventually Donna wound around to the subject of their O.W.L. examinations.  He made a non-committal sound in response to her remark that some kids didn’t have to do them until Sixth Year and stuck a piece of steak in his mouth to release himself from any obligation to comment further.  Although Lenny was a notorious worrier, he wasn’t actually too concerned about the exams.  In comparison to all of the problems he was facing, being tested on his ability to be a wizard wasn’t his most pressing concern.  He was sure to find it more nerve-racking closer to the time, but right now it was just one more thing to get through.  As he chewed his food indifferently, Donna continued on with the conversation.  When he observed the little pat she gave the shiny badge on her lapel, Lenny realised he should try to rally a bit more as her friend.  Swallowing his food, he said “Really, you’re going to do great.  You don’t need an extra year.  Exams, being a Prefect…  I know you can do this!”  He summoned his brightest smile for further reassurance. 

Graeme Becker [ Professor ]
42 Posts  •  30  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Louise
  • I am my own worst critic. As in I am not good at criticising myself. I am fantastic. Well done me.
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Re: [BoT 2002] starling sign {open}
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2019, 03:12:39 AM »
The farewell Beck had received that morning had been mixed.  Jessica seemed torn between being proud of him and annoyed that he hadn't taken the opportunity to make his book compulsory reading.  As his Literary Publicist but also his sister, she'd taken it as a bit of a personal slight.  Regardless of her mood, he'd given his nieces some big hugs before heading off.  The eleven-year-old twin girls would be making their own way on the train, since both he and Jessica wanted them to have all of the traditional Hogwarts experiences.  Just because their uncle was a Professor, that didn't mean they would get special treatment...  Or at least that's what he said when their mother was in ear shot.  They burst into fits of giggles when he winked conspiratorially at them behind Jessica's back.

About mid-morning Beck apparated to Hogsmeade and proceeded to wander around the village for a time, peering curiously into the shops as he went.  After partaking of a pleasant pub lunch in the Three Broomsticks, the 30-year-old finally started to make his way over to the school.  He took a meandering path across the grounds, as he was under no particular time constraint until the students arrived in the evening.  It amused him to observe what had changed - and what hadn't - since his own school years.  It was strange to think on how the young Graeme who had explored these grounds as a student would never have expected to come back as a Professor.  In any case, it was sure to be an interesting experience.

There had been a brief induction with the Headmistress last week, so he already knew where to find his quarters, his office and his classroom.  Upon entering the castle, however, he didn't head to one of those areas but instead started on a casual tour of the school.  Beck was (inappropriately) interested in the recent history of the site.  Some significant events had taken place here and, to Beck’s delight, the evidence of those difficult times had still not been completely erased.  It entertained him to pause and consider those lingering traces, trying to interpret what specific circumstances had caused each mark.  He trailed his fingers along the old stone walls, wishing they could tell him their secrets.  Hopefully during his tenure here he'd be able to find someone willing to talk about their experiences during the Dome.

His exploration of the school went largely uninterrupted except for bumping into the groundskeeper, Hagrid.  Beck was sure that the friendly slap the large man had given him on the back had somehow rearranged the vertebrae in his spine.  He was still nursing a backache when an owl caught up with him later.

Hey doofus,
You forgot to take your trunk.
I'm sending it along on the train with the girls.
Love, Sis
P.S. Try not to embarrass us.

He read the note with wry amusement and then tossed it aside before unashamedly continuing his survey of the castle.

Before long it was time to head down to the Great Hall.  A number of students were already seated at the long house tables when he moseyed in.  He thought he saw some faces turn to stare at him – possibly because he was new (though maybe also because he was wearing green pin-striped robes with a clashing orange undershirt).  He looked over the kids with a curious eye as he walked towards the staff table.  He wondered where they all came from and if he'd ever met their parents.  Beck couldn't see little Sarah or Hannah anywhere yet, which meant he was on time for the sorting ceremony.  There were some familiar faces around, but most of the other Professors were still strangers to him – something he looked forward to rectifying over the coming weeks.

Sitting down at the staff table, he watched the hall fill up and waited for the First Year students to arrive.  He had expected them to be along shortly but the time seemed to stretch on and on.  Did it normally take this long?  He cast his mind back and tried to remember what it had been like when he’d been a student.  Surely not this long?  Beck didn’t know if he should be worried but he hadn’t made a name for himself in the security industry by being complacent.  A look of deep concentration came over his features as he scanned the area with his eyes and other senses, collecting information on the situation.  There was a sense of unease and tension in some of those around him that confirmed that the delay was not expected.  His instincts told him something was wrong.

Beck started to stand, intending to find the Headmistress and offer his assistance with whatever the problem was but then he spotted her enter with the First Years in tow.  He was pleased to see Sarah and Hannah among them, looking unperturbed.  The sorting ceremony progressed quickly after that and without any further hitch.  His nieces were two of the last to be sorted.  Hannah was placed into Hufflepuff and the Sarah was too.  He sighed in relief and gave them both a thumbs up of encouragement.  Beck knew the girls had been desperate not to be separated, especially given that their parents’ divorce hadn't been that long ago.

The Headmistress then caught his attention as she proceeded to openly disclose the nature of the delay.  The circumstances piqued his interest and Beck decided he would have to personally look into the incident.  He recalled reading about the similar glitches that had occurred in 2000, just prior to the disastrous collapse of portions of the school.  It had been fascinating to hear about the powerful and ancient defences that were awoken inside the castle.  Beck had been hoping to learn more about those matters and now grinned with unabashed excitement at this opportunity to investigate.  He beamed around happily at everyone, not comprehending their looks of concern and fear.  There were so many questions he had for the Headmistress!  Unfortunately she was too far down the table to speak to directly right now.  No matter, the feast was underway and he could catch up with her later.  "I love a good mystery." He murmured to no one in particular while tucking into a pie filled with steak and - "Mushroom! Urgh." He pushed his plate away and took a large gulp from his goblet to wash away the unpleasant taste. 

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