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Private/Closed Hogwarts Rises Again

Discussion in 'General Role Play' started by Tailon, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Tailon

    Tailon Gryffindork

    The Hogwarts Express was leaving on a balmy Thursday morning that year, 11 A.M. sharp, as it had every September 1st for centuries. The years of the famous Harry Potter and the Second Wizarding War were long past, and the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry could expect a banner year of education and exactly zero Dark Lords under Headmistress McGonagall.

    As the train's familiar whistle rang through the station, smoke billowing from her chimney, a fifth year girl with cocoa brown skin and long, wavy, black hair hung from the window of her compartment, waving goodbye to her parents as she had since she was 11. Being from a wizarding family, she had arrived via Floo, already clad in the characteristic blue trimmed robes of Ravenclaw House. As the train pulled out of the station, the girl, whose name was Lena, dropped back into her seat, closing the window behind her. Lena shared the compartment with only three other occupants, another Ravenclaw girl who she knew was named Amelia but otherwise didn't know very well, her owl, and Lena's own pet, a large and fluffy Norwegian Forest Cat named Nylah, who jumped up into Lena's lap and curled up for the rest of the trip as Lena opened a book and disappeared into it for the entire trip.

    Lena snapped her book shut on the last page just as the whistle indicated they were arriving in Hogsmeade; this year she had gotten the timing exactly right, and she was rather proud of herself. Lena exited the train into the cool evening air, making her way to the carriages pulled by the great, leather-winged Thestrals. The ride was uneventful, as it had been for 4 years, and Lena sat silently, petting Nylah and thinking back to that day,

    -4 years ago-

    She had been 11 years old. A tiny little girl clutching a wand she had received from Mr. Olivander just a few months before of Redwood and Unicorn hair, too long for her small hand. She had been nervous and alone for the first time, and even the comforting smile of the enormous groundskeeper as they left the boat and the similarly nervous Deputy Headmaster did little to still her anxiety.

    The first years filed into the Great Hall, dazzled by the floating candles and the vast, colorful banners. They shuffled in place as the Sorting Hat was brought out and sang its song, and then the Deputy Headmaster raised the list, and spoke, only the slightest quiver in his voice as he read, "Andrés, Lena."

    Lena walked to the chair, shaking like a leaf on the wind, and sat. The young man placed the hat on her head, and everything faded, leaving only her and the magic of the hat. In her ear, as if someone whispering, she heard its voice, "Nervous one, aren't you? But still, clever, a mind for stories...better be...," and then the voice was loud, booming through the Great Hall, " RAVENCLAW!"

    -4 years later-
    That night, Lena went to bed in high spirits, full from the first day feast,excited to return to her lessons, and more importantly, her precious library.
     
  2. Shiny Pyxis

    Shiny Pyxis 2016 Singles Football

    September 1st, first day of school for the 5th year in a row. While she was now used to running through a wall to get to her platform and hearing the hoots and meows and croaks of the various animals around her, Laura never felt comfortable around so many people. Her dad was busy doting on her older brother, Ricky, who was in his last year, and her mom was busy making sure her younger brother, Roland, didn't run off by himself. She tried to grab her parents' attention, but her voice couldn't carry far enough to reach them in the cacophony of noises around them. When they continued to ignore her, she decided to just quietly board the train without saying good-bye. It wasn't like she was going to be gone forever, though it still hurt a little that her family didn't pay much attention to her.

    She thought back to the first time she'd boarded this very train. She could remember how excited she was to finally be going to the same school as her older brother, and Ricky had made sure she'd felt comfortable on the train ride there. As Laura put her luggage down next to her, she recalled how Ricky had bought her a large stash of chocolate frogs and winked at her as he stowed them into her suitcase. "Don't tell Mum, she'll have my head if she knew I got these for you," he had said to her. She opened her suitcase now, though the only thing inside was the sandwich she'd packed for herself earlier that morning.

    Thankfully, Laura was broken out of her memories as she heard someone call out her name. Looking up, she saw a couple of her fellow Quidditch teammates walking into the compartment. She waved at them and gave her best attempt at a smile. They chatted a bit before the train finally left the platform, and once again, Laura felt that excitement she'd felt back then as she and everyone else on the train drew ever closer to Hogwarts.

    A long train ride and a short carriage trip later, Laura found herself at the foot of the large castle she'd come to accept as her second, if not first, home. As she walked in, she couldn't help thinking back to the time she'd first stepped foot into the school, and how awed she was by its gothic beauty and magnificence. The ghosts still creeped her out, but she was on pretty good terms with the Fat Friar so they didn't bother her as much as they did back then. When she sat at her usual place in the Great Hall, she almost instinctively started staring at the chair at the front of the room, where an old, raggedy black hat had been placed. She watched the first years one-by-one try on the hat, and Professor Longbottom, as always, read through the list of names, nervous but resolute to make sure he did his best. He always was one of her favorite professors.

    As the line of first years dwindled, Laura couldn't help but think about the time she'd been sorted in that very room, on that very chair, four years ago. Her name was towards the end of the alphabet, and with each passing moment, she'd gotten more and more nervous to the point where she quite literally tripped over her own feet getting to the Hat. She'd only just felt the soft fabric of the hat touch her head when she heard a quiet whispering in her ear.

    She couldn't quiet remember how long their silent conversation had been, nor could she remember the details of what they'd said. She could, however, clearly remember how loudly it'd proclaimed "HUFFLEPUFF!", and even more clearly, she could remember the proud yet disappointed expression Ricky had on his face as he watched his little sister take a seat at a table that was not his.

    Shaking her head to rid herself of the memory, Laura forced herself to participate in the festivities, eating as much as she could before heading to bed in her common room. It's a new year, she told herself. It'll be a good year, and at the very least, you have Quidditch to look forward to, right? Laura grinned to herself as she imagined zooming through the air on her broom at night, dreaming of the matches she'd won and the matches to come.
     
  3. Mr.RMA

    Mr.RMA Magearna before it was cool

    "Just show them the real you, Brodie, don't be afraid, alright? You're a Gryffindor, you wouldn't be otherwise if you didn't have that courage deep down. Treat it like the Quidditch field," Lynn said to her younger brother as he prepared to board the train, for the first time without her accompaniment.

    "Pitch..." Brodie quickly corrected her.

    "Right, right, pitch, sorry, you know how it is, been hanging around Mum for too long again," she said with an embarrassed sort of chuckle.

    "Yeah, that makes two of us," he remarked, smiling a little at that as well. "Still, my teammates will knock that out of me I'm sure, like usual," he added as he gave Lynn a hug goodbye before making his way to the train.

    "This is the year, little bro, show those O.W.L.s what you're made of!" Lynn made sure to yell out to him before he was out of sight. Oh she had to remind him about that... Lovely thing, those O.W.L. exams constantly looming over a student's fifth year, and much of their fourth year of course. Still, they had to be done, lest a wizard expected to enjoy their life of petty odd jobs. Waving to Lynn one last time, Brodie tried to push the exams out of his mind as he shuffled his way into the cabin where all his remaining Quidditch teammates were gathering. He relaxed a little as they all caught up with each other over their respective Summers. Of course his were of the more ordinary sort, but, funny thing about being a muggle-born, kids of the more tolerant magical families sometimes found that lifestyle fascinating, especially when it countered what they "learned" in Muggle Studies. In any case, the ride was a charming one all around, far more relaxing than that first trip, when he'd spoken to absolutely no one, merely staring out the window, antsy to experience this legendary Hogwarts for the first time.

    Upon arriving at Hogsmeade, he boarded a carriage pulled by those fortunately still-invisible Thestrals, and this ride, though technically shorter, always felt like a longer one as they rode to the iconic castle in the distance. It gave him time to sort out the buzzing thoughts in his head, and inevitably, there would come the burned-in memories of that first year again, particularly the vivid recollection of that sorting ceremony... If he was going to remember anything about his time at Hogwarts, beyond Quidditch, beyond turning animals into cups, and certainly beyond the stressful assignments, it was going to be that one particular moment.

    ---

    Brodie had been staring blankly at a passing ghost as the group of first years were explained the sorting ceremony's function and purpose, though he quickly sprung to attention once the hat itself sang the difference between the houses. Ravenclaw's description certainly suited Lynn, he could see why she had been selected, but he had little confidence regarding where he was going to be sent off to. Hufflepuff seemed most likely, being considered fair and open-minded and such, but then Slytherin awarded ambition and determination, which he certainly felt in his desire to show magical abilities... and if his sister got into Ravenclaw, maybe there'd be a family connection that somehow strung him along. Those three houses seemed to bounce around in his head, the fourth he only briefly humored. Bravery and chivalry... as if he truly exhibited any of that.

    When his name was called out, he could definitely sense some of the Ravenclaws' eyes particularly focused in on him, his sister definitely among that lot. Yet as he sat down and awaited the hat's decision, his mind had gone completely blank. He had no idea how long he actually waited there, falling into a self-inflicted trance-like state. Perhaps he'd spoken to the hat, perhaps it got all it needed from his subconsciousness alone, but no matter what had happened in that duration of time, he was shaken out of it by the most unexpected sound: "GRYFFINDOR!"

    ---

    Four years brought plenty of changes, Brodie definitely couldn't deny that. He still couldn't understand the hat's reasoning for placing him in Gryffindor, especially after he read up on some of the notable alumni. Of course, he was just as continually perplexed that he was the team's seeker, even after such a successful previous year. Yet, here he was for the fifth time, once again in the tower draped in red and gold, looking as warm as the fireplace made it feel, and still with the trusty, venerable Nimbus 2001 in his possession. Once again he'd somehow zoned out of most of the ceremony it seemed... but his thoughts tended to do that to him, and the other Gryffindors seemed to just leave him be when that happened.

    It really was funny how he could have so much yet feel it amounted to little. He'd have to get over that eventually. Perhaps this year would be the year. Nothing wrong with the occasional optimism. Especially when he was in such a wondrous place as this.

    "Just like the Quidditch pitch, Brodie... It's all a big game when you come right down to it," he quietly said to himself as he went to arrange his bed.
     
  4. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    The start of a new school year was always somewhat of a bittersweet time for Amelia Kay Harper, and she often wondered how many wizards and witches like her, living on the border between the muggle world and the wizarding world, felt the same way.

    On one hand, she loved her magical studies - and couldn't wait to get back to being able to actually do magic again - for all its necessity, the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery was an absolute thorn in her side a good chunk of the time, especially when her mind threw a creative idea or theory at her and she could do nothing to test it, or when she wanted to imbue one of the scenes she would draw with a little something extra and had to actively keep herself from doing so, even unintentionally. Oh, she could do similar things using, say, animation software on her computer - but somehow the results never felt quite as satisfying to her or quite lived up to the things she could pull out of her mind directly. Still - it was something, and this something led very neatly into the "on the other hand" of the argument.

    That being, of course, that the disconnection from her more muggle pastimes due to the maddening tendency of magic to interfere with electronics was fairly grating - and particularly the disconnection from a lot of the music she liked to use as inspiration. It was 2017, for $deity's sake, you'd think that magical theory would advance enough to develop some kind of wards against that sort of thing - or that some genius would figure out a way to magic-proof, at the very least, an MP3 player. But then, most of the wizarding world seemed adamant on being stuck in the nineteenth century, to put it generously. A magical nineteenth century where things regularly turned into other things and many things had magical alternatives - but the nineteenth century nonetheless.

    But oh well, at least at Hogwarts she could make her art come to life in a way she couldn't anywhere else, and have a lot of lovely scenery for inspiration - and should she need to take her mind off things, she could fly - though if she were to be perfectly honest with herself, she didn't think she'd have too much time for that sort of thing this year - Year 5 was O.W.L. year and she would need to spend a great deal of time studying if she intended to attain N.E.W.T-level classes in her fields of particular interest in the two years to come after - if only for the more advanced levels of magic that would be involved in such. Transfiguration and Charms were her particular interests, and if nothing else, she wanted to excel in those. She actually spent quite a bit of time leafing through her textbooks for the year - partially in preparation for what was going to be a difficult one - but more out of curiosity for what was in store and what the new information could be used for.

    She thought back to her first year - an overwhelmed, bespectacled, red-headed child attending a new school that was unlike anything she's ever experienced before - excited and terrified in equal measures. She remembered the train ride - in which she captured a window seat and managed to somehow pass her entire trip alternately gazing at the view and drawing, and maybe having a few brief and awkward conversations. She remembered the groundskeeper - an intimidating-looking man that she has later come to know was an absolute sweetheart - calling the new first years over for the traditional crossing of the lake - made even more memorable to her by her first sighting of the giant squid. She remembered the stunning spellcraft of the great hall with its enchanted ceiling - and she remembered that in spite of being surrounded virtually everywhere by new things and new people - her mind was already working overtime wondering exactly what made the magic woven into the ceiling tick and how could she learn to do that - or to control that power that sometimes flowed into her drawings and made them come to life and interact with each other.

    And the sorting hat - she heard stories of the sorting ceremonies from the wizards in her family, of course, so she more or less knew what to expect - though she had no preferences as for which house she would end up in. But it was a whole different thing to hear the stories about the battered old hat bursting into songs that changed each year and witnessing it for herself. As she waited for her name to be called by Professor Longbottom, her mind was filled with wonder - what manner of enchantments were placed upon this object, that not only it could look into the hearts and minds of those who wore it and respond to them, but could also speak and sing and craft songs as though it was a living, creative mind of its own - to say nothing of the more outlandish tales she has heard about it? And perhaps it was, a self-learning, self-evolving neural-network-like awareness seeded with the qualities the four founders of Hogwarts thought most important and refined its knowledge and nuance over years of looking into minds? She briefly thought that if the hat WAS alive her degree of interest in its inner workings might be considered rude - but she couldn't help it - it was a giant puzzle.... and Amelia Kay Harper absolutely loved puzzles.

    It would come to no surprise to anyone who knew Amelia that the hat barely needed to touch her head before loudly proclaiming her as a Ravenclaw. It would come as a great surprise to Amelia that when she joined the others at her new house table, the previously-black rims of her glasses were blue. She didn't even realize she did it.

    ~*~

    And there she was again - four years older, and in her now very familiar Ravenclaw robes - on the Hogwarts Express, waiting for the rather impressive magical steam engine to get itself moving on its way to another year of the great puzzle that never seemed to get any less complicated with every new piece. The compartment she inhabited at the moment was empty - save for herself and Gemini, the northern white-faced owl that was her nearly-constant companion through her Hogwarts years, which was peacefully snoozing at the moment. She has only recently settled in herself, and already pulled out a sketchbook and a ballpoint pen (She may have had to use parchments and quills like some bloody medieval scribe in class, but pens were so much more convenient for everyday use!) from the small bag she carried with her onto the train and was already sketching up something or other when another Ravenclaw fifth-year - and her particularly large and fuzzy cat - came into the compartment and took a seat, aforementioned cat hopping up to the other student's lap and curling up on it. Gemini's eyes opened briefly to regard the newcomers and then narrowed as the bird contracted itself into a thin, tree-branch like position in an instinctual response to the feline's presence, only to settle down after Amelia nodded at the new arrivals in greeting and comfortingly petted the owl until it relaxed into its more regular stance - before returning to her sketches, occasionally gazing out the train window once the thing began its journey. She had to admit it - she never could get tired of that view. The girl with the cat - Lena, if she recalled correctly - was already lost in a book, which seemed about right for her from what she knew of her.... which was not much. In all honesty, she did not know much about most of her housemates - four years or not, she mostly kept to herself and doing her own thing - being friendly enough to those that interacted with her, but not really forming any particularly meaningful friendships. This would have probably been a lonely existence to some - but Amelia liked her peace and quiet.

    Eventually the train reached Hogsmeade Station, where the carriages to Hogwarts awaited. As she took her place in the carriage and it took off towards the castle, seemingly drawn by nothing at all, she couldn't help but fiddle with her necklace - a silver pendant shaped like the ancient rune for the number seven, also representing the unknown - ironically enough, to get her mind off the unknown sight of the creatures she knew were drawing the carriage. Unknown, and perhaps even unknowable to her - as the creatures were invisible to all but those who have seen a death in person. Oh, she has seen artists' interpretations of these so-called Thestrals from descriptions given by those who have seen them - black, nearly-skeletal equines with leathery wings, which gave off a sense of foreboding and yet an odd allure. And even though a rational part of her mind was glad that she did not have an experience that would allow her to see the beasts for herself, the fact that she was likely to never have anything but second-hand descriptions and images of the beasts couldn't help but slightly nag at her.

    Nag. Of course her mind would go to an awful horse pun.

    ~*~

    Another crop of new students, another feast in the great hall, another riddle by the knocker of Ravenclaw Tower, and another bout of unpacking and arranging and getting into bed. Before sleep took her, she briefly entertained the notion of a story of a wizard whose parents were killed in front of his eyes as a child, saw a Thestral for the first time shortly after, and grew up to be a dark wizard-fighting vigilante, modeling himself after the creatures - complete with an invisibility cloak and a special potion that made his voice sound like he gargled pebbles and glass shards in the morning without actually having to hurt his throat to do so. Amusing as it was, she quickly dismissed the notion as the parody would be lost on wizards who did not know the source material and grounds for copyright infringement AND violation of the statute of secrecy for muggles.

    But she made a private note to herself to doodle this anyway later on. It was not the hero that her sketchbook needed, but definitely the one it deserved.
     
    #4 StellarWind Elsydeon, Apr 20, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  5. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    Justice walked onto Platform Nine-and-three-quarters for the fifth time, her mother standing with her. The yellow and black scarf Justice wore was a stark contrast to her mother's own blue and bronze- her mother did love to show off that she had been in Ravenclaw. Nonetheless, the younger girl hugged her mother and headed toward the train, only to be stopped. Red hair filled her vision, an older woman with one scarred eye holding her arms out with a smirk.

    “Scarlet!” exclaimed Justice, excitedly hugging her older sister. It wasn't very often that she saw the Auror home from work, but it was still a nice surprise. “What are you doing here?”

    “Seeing you off,” replied Scarlet, ruffling the younger girls hair. “Plus, this is where I'm supposed to give you the standard sibling speech about doing well on your OWLs... so. Insert lecture here.” They both had a good chuckle at that, and Scarlet hugged her younger sister again briefly.

    “I'll do my best, I promise,” said Justice, with a smile as she went to get on the train. She sat with most of her other roommates, but even though she got on with them well enough, she couldn't really say she had many close friends. The only person she really knew about to some degree was that Laura girl, but they never hung out because Laura was a Quidditch person and Justice wasn't.

    Waving to her sister out the window reminded her of the first year at school, when Scarlet had just graduated the year before. She still wore her Gryffindor scarf and was trying to get a job with the ministry. A nervous eleven year old, Justice wondered if she would be placed in Ravenclaw like her mother, or if she would be more like her sister and placed in Gryffindor instead. Of course, she did wonder what it would have been like if her father had been a wizard, and whether that would have made any difference.

    “Dellacott, Justice.” It was called relatively early on in the sorting, which made it somewhat nerve-wracking. Nervously she sat under the hat, and it hummed on her head softly. I see you have some intelligence, said the hat. In some situations, you could probably match your sister's bravery... but these aren't the things most important to you are they? She could definitely admit that she didn't particularly aspire to either of those things more strongly than the others.

    I see a friendly heart that wants to help others, am I right? The voice asked, and she felt herself nod slightly. Not to mention that Justice seems an apt name... I know just where you belong... “HUFFLEPUFF!” The hat shouted, as it has shouted the other house names thus far. She moved to the clapping house full of yellow and black stripes, but what she had noticed the most were the warm, welcoming smiles.

    Of course, she had still followed in her mothers footsteps and done pretty well in Potions class, but she was also particularly good with protective charms after a while, probably because her sister would help to teach her over the holidays sometimes. Secretly, Justice wanted to find a friend as nice as her sister, but... she hadn't had any luck. After four years, it was time to lower her standards of what could be a good friend and actually branch out a bit, to accept others for who they were instead of holding them up to an unrealistic ideal.

    I promise, thought Justice to herself, as she rode up towards the castle in the carriage. I will find some good friends this year.
     
    #5 Dwayna DragonFire, May 17, 2017
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  6. Tailon

    Tailon Gryffindork

    Two weeks later the fifth years were knee deep in the most advanced classes of their lives. It was mid-September now, and, predictably, Lena found herself in a dark corner of the school library, accompanied only by the occasional spider and a pile of books high enough to hide behind. She had originally come to the library during the lunch period but, even more predictably, had amassed too many books to finish before her next class (Potions) without realizing it. Of course, being a teenager, Lena had never invested in a timepiece and had no idea that she had now missed half of her class. That is, until the vulture-like head of Madam Pince appeared without warning over her book pile, already yelling at Lena and startling her quite badly.

    Fleeing the library under the verbal assault, Lena found herself in the cavernous halls of Hogwarts, too late for class to shown up without a dressing down and a major loss of House Points. Shrugging, she began to wander the halls, heading vaguely back toward the Ravenclaw Common Room, mentally running through potential excuses and considering whether she should make use of one of the Fever Fudge sweets squirreled away in the bottom of her trunk so early in the year. After all, the first visit to Hogsmeade wouldn't be until Halloween.

    In her wanderings, Lena approached the now famous patch of swamp that had been immortalized once as an act of defiance, now as a tribute to the Weasley family's contribution and sacrifice in the Battle of Hogwarts. Of course, that had been nearly two decades ago, long before Lena was born, and she was largely unaware of its history save that it had something to do with the nice, redheaded brothers who ran the joke shop in Hogsmeade.

    Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, Lena spotted something, flickering like a flame for just a moment before rounding a corner. Intrigued, Lena turned the corner as well, only to spot the light already turning another corner. Lena thought that following this light was probably a bad idea. However, she was also a Ravenclaw, and turned the corner.
     
  7. Mr.RMA

    Mr.RMA Magearna before it was cool

    Brodie tended to pick just one day in the year where he'd simply not attend his classes, what was commonly referred to as a "mental health day" among the muggle crowd. It was a fairly new sort of thing from the non-magical world that he of course, being pretty much a muggle in all but name and magic, picked up on. It tended to be on those days where classes either lacked any homework to turn in, or the amount was so minuscule it wouldn't matter in the long run, days where his lack of presence would hopefully seem the least glaringly obvious. When he planned it well, everything would continue the next day as if nothing had happened... but that wasn't to say he hadn't lost a few housepoints when he didn't time things properly. Ah well, what were a few of those points in the longrun anyway? Always plenty of ways to get those points back, and a good Quidditch display was one such method.

    While it was still up in the air whether today had been the best day schedule-wise, it had become dreadfully evident to Brodie that he himself couldn't just sit in the common room doing nothing, it was definitely a bad day to attempt that. But he couldn't just start going back to classes either, that would look far more embarrassing than just not showing up entirely... Oh well, he was already playing with danger a bit doing this, might as well make it a little more thrilling and see what the halls were like when everyone was occupied. It'd be like a sort of game, dodging prefects and seeing how far he could get before the rest of his fellow students filled the hallways once more. Now if that wasn't a productive way to spend a day off, he had no idea what was.

    Slipping out of Gryffindor Tower, into the echoey chambers of the magical, antiquated castle, Brodie took the time to admire the portraits lining the walls that he'd otherwise ignored rushing from one room to another. The small solo tour didn't really last very long though, as some of the portraits made a point to admonish him for his truancy, so, he decided to pay them little more mind and simply stroll along the halls... but wait... was that a prefect? It was certainly someone else walking through the halls. Oh dear, and here he was out in the open too... He needed to get out of sight before the person in the distance could notice. Maybe a spell? No, that would likely just draw attention, especially if he made a mistake... and then he'd probably get scolded at for incompetence as much as skipping. Looking about, he blindly dove into the nearest intersecting hallway, taking a risk that there wasn't anyone watching in that direction as well. It all seemed clear, but then he smelled something a bit off... and then he noticed the distinctly mossy appearance of the place. Oh no... this was that bloody portable swamp... He'd heard about this, a permanent part of the school as a memorial to the actions of the Weasley twins during the lead-up to the Battle of Hogwarts, or something of that variety. A heartwarming legend perhaps, but now it was proving a terrible inconvenience... He couldn't risk going back, but to traverse a swamp? There was very little fun to be had in such a murky mess, even for one as small as this. Grumbling quietly to himself, he tried to hitch his robes up a bit as he started his way forward, only to detect the brief presence of a light of some kind... A flame? It certainly seemed like it, and it appeared to be almost beckoning the way it was floating around the corner. Brodie briefly trailed it, though he hesitated for a moment.

    "What am I doing? Following strange fireballs in the air in an indoor swamp? Seems kind of daft for even a Hogwarts experience..." he thought aloud to himself, though it was then that he noticed another figure up ahead, following something similar. What was this? Someone getting lured in by some malevolent spirit or something? Or maybe they were just curious... He was afraid of getting caught, but something just didn't feel right with this whole scene. This was something he felt he ought to get to the bottom of, at least while he was in the midst of this swampy inconvenience. As he followed after the student, and the suspicious guiding flame as well, he started to think this would be anything but a benefit for his mental health.
     
  8. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    "Well, that escalated quickly." Amelia grumbled as a staircase appeared to whoosh upwards from the deep and casually connected itself to the corridor she was currently walking down.

    And she had every reason to grumble. The castle always picked the most uncomfortable times imaginable to reconfigure its staircases in exciting new ways - and when one is attempting to make their way from the seventh floor of the castle to a class that takes place in the dungeons, the stairs playing Silly Buggers with your already-befuddled sense of direction can almost feel like a personal insult. The girl glowered at the offending staircase, the frames of her glasses shifting their hue to a dangerous red. The staircase, for its part, retorted with its best impression of having always been there, what are you talking about? - or so it seemed to her. Five years. Five years she's been in this school. One would think she would be used to its shenanigans by now. Sometimes she thought just jumping down would be quicker and less painful. But then again, this was hardly the time to experiment with feather-fall charms.

    If only one was allowed to fly their broom indoors. But no, the professors put their foot down on that. Time and place for everything. Damnit, Oak.

    Unfortunately, the staircase that she DID want to take seems to have elected, on that particular moment, to be elsewhere - possibly in Tibet. Rolling her eyes, she made her way down the new flight of stairs, which seemed to have decided to shift again while she was still on it, disconnecting from whatever floor it led to and connecting to a completely different staircase leading only deities know where. The Castle was being particularly obstinate that day - and she was silently thankful that she already informed Professor Adelind in advance that she was going to be late to that day's Potions class as she had a meeting scheduled with Professor Flitwick set up and this was the only available time. She preferred to make the delay as short as she could, but clearly this ancient pile of rocks she called a school had other ideas.

    Has she already mentioned that she was stressed? She didn't think so. Two weeks in and she barely found any time to unwind. Even the classes that came naturally for her before suddenly spiked in difficulty, and she honestly did not want to make things even more complicated for herself by missing out too much of a core class. Where was she now? Looked like the second floor if she wasn't much mistaken, although where was a good question. If she needed the stairs to the first floor, she should look for the Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher's office - there should be a patch of random swamp nearby, something something Weasley Tribute, Why do all these corridors have to look so samey -

    Hold that thought. Someone just turned the corner into the corridor she was in - and unless she was very much mistaken, that someone might have been in a similar predicament.

    "Uh, hey." she said, waving at the incoming figure, her glasses shifting to a friendly purple "Lena, right? You trying to find the right set of stairs too?"
     
  9. Shiny Pyxis

    Shiny Pyxis 2016 Singles Football

    Laura had never been particularly great at anything other than flying, so it was only natural she'd ask for some help for her classes. On this particular day, Laura found herself practicing various spells before Charms in the warm and homey Hufflepuff Common Room with one of her roommates, Justice Dellacott. She'd finally managed to master the Summoning Charm, which she was supposed to have learned last year but failed to do so at the time, and was working on the Banishing Charm when she and Justice realized they were late for class.

    And so, the two girls were now running down the halls (speed-walking, she didn't want Filch to catch her being out of class), going up and down the moving staircases as they tried desperately to find their way to Professor Flitwick's class. Laura actually didn't have much of a clue where they were, but she guessed they were going in the right general direction.

    Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw something flickering in the distance. She turned to look, but only saw the weird swamp area before her. But she was so sure there had been something there- ah, there it was again! Maybe it was a lost first year signalling for help?

    "Hey, Justice, I'm gonna just go over there and check out that light in the swamp," she said. Without really bothering to see if her housemate had heard her, Laura started making her way towards the light, completely unaware of anything else around her.
     
    #9 Shiny Pyxis, May 31, 2017
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  10. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    It was hard to believe that Laura of all people would ask her to help, but Justice was hardly one to deny someone if they wanted to learn, especially a fellow housemate. She actually ended up having a lot of fun teaching Laura about the Banishing Charm, and how it just banished objects that were directly in front of the wand rather than banishing something far away. The saying 'time flies when you're having fun' was apparently true, as they checked the time and saw that they were late for Charms.

    Justice followed Laura in the rush to try to find where Flitwick's class was, perhaps a bit befuddled by the fact that she was late for the first time ever. That's when they spotted it - a strange, glowing orb towards the infamous swamp area some Gryffindors had left behind. Her older sister had mentioned the Weasley twins' claim to fame before, but she had never seen it in person.

    Without so much as some consultation, Laura had decided to go off and see what the whole light thing was about. There were probably a few bits of magic that could accomplish such a thing, but following strange lights into a swamp? It probably wasn't the best idea. Part of her really didn't want to be late to class, but the more rational thoughts of wanting to protect a housemate - a friend, perhaps - was all the more clear to her. With a bit of a sigh and perhaps a swear under her breath, Justice reluctantly followed Laura, her wand at the ready.
     
  11. Tailon

    Tailon Gryffindork

    As Lena rounded the corner, she found herself at the top of one of Hogwarts' infamous flights of stairs. Lena hesitated at the top, self preservation and logic taking the reins away from her natural curiosity momentarily, after all, this situation was unusual and Hogwarts could be a dangerous place on its own. Before she could turn back, however, she heard a voice further down the hall.

    Turning to look, Lena saw Amelia, the girl who had shared her train compartment on the Express. The other girl waved, and said "Uh, hey. Lena, right? You trying to find the right set of stairs too?"

    "Yeah, Amelia, isn't it?" Lena answered, "No, I was actually...following something, which I'm slowly realizing sounds kind of like a dumb-" Before she could finish her thought, a familiar sound echoed up the stairs. Turning quickly, Lena spotted the flickering light again, passing through a door, this time followed by an unmistakable eyeshine and feline silhouette. Lena started descending the stairs immediately, calling, "Nylah! Nonono, how did you get out again..."
     
  12. Mr.RMA

    Mr.RMA Magearna before it was cool

    Briefly, the student up ahead disappeared around the corner, leaving Brodie hesitant once more to continue. He'd heard plenty of stories and various warnings regarding wandering about the halls like this in such an aimless fashion. It was a risky situation, delving deeper into these confines, without a clue where each one led. Nevertheless, he fought off the uncertainties, intent on finding out why another student was out here on their own in the midst of classes.

    He hadn't expected to see two students as he rounded the corner, yet there they were, he must've not been paying attention to have another person just completely slip past his detection... well, that or she came from another direction perhaps. These two seemed to know each other, and from the shortened distance, Brodie could make out the distinctive blue lining on their robes. Two Ravenclaws, how lovely... Oh sure, it wasn't their fault that they were part of the house that tended to make him so particularly anxious, but it just seemed like the worst kind of coincidence, stumbling upon two of them in this scenario. He just couldn't seem to get away from his sister's former faction.

    Despite these insecurities, Brodie went to approach the duo in blue to ask what was going on, but then one of them suddenly shouted about something that had "gotten out again" and ran down a flight of those infamous staircases.

    'The hell is she thinking?' he thought to himself, flabbergasted for a moment, before finding himself following her down the steps. He needed to see this through now, something strange was definitely starting to transpire... well, that or, judging by context, this girl's pet just got loose.
     
  13. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    It was always cats, wasn't it.

    No sooner than the two Ravenclaws met, the girl known as Lena bolted off down a staircase in pursuit of a "Nylah" who apparently "Got out again" - and judging by the feline silhouette that appeared to be chasing... something shiny... on the first-floor corridor the staircase in question led to, Amelia could only assume that Lena thought this was her cat - the same cat that she had with her on the train. Amelia, however, was not so quick to assume.

    There was more than one fluffy white cat prowling Hogwarts, after all, and not all of them were friendly.

    And what on Earth was that shiny thing? Lena mentioned she was following something, but didn't get to go into any details before she ran off. Glowing magical lights wandering the halls? There were so many possible causes for something like that, and none of them were particularly appealing.

    ... And then there was the rather imposing-looking boy that just appeared down the corridor from behind them, seemingly out of no where, and started following Lena down the stairs. He wasn't a Ravenclaw - the red trim of his robes suggested Gryffindor - and he definitely wasn't a ghost. What was he doing out in the halls, and why was he following them? What was his deal?

    For that matter, what was everyone's that day?

    "Oh for frell's sake." she grumbled, taking off on a run following Lena and overtaking the boy as she did, preparing to draw her wand, just in case. The Gryffindor was probably not a threat, but there was safety in numbers - and the shiny thing, or whatever caused it, might have been. Besides, though running down the corridors was rarely a wise idea, if that cat was the cat she thought it was... they would have to do a lot more running soon.
     
    #13 StellarWind Elsydeon, Jun 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  14. Shiny Pyxis

    Shiny Pyxis 2016 Singles Football

    Laura really hadn't been paying attention to where she was going, but her quick reflexes, small stature, and natural agility had somehow managed to get her through the swamp and avoid getting sucked into the mud. By the time she arrived at the place where she thought she'd seen the light, there appeared to be nothing there. She frowned and looked around, before spotting it again a bit further down by a set of staircases. She dashed forward as quickly as she could. As she drew closer to the light, she could make out three very humanoid figures by the stairs, all of them taller than any first year that she knew. Well, to be fair, most first years were also taller than her, but one of the figures looked to be six feet tall at least. The shortest of the three seemed to run downstairs, yelling out something she couldn't quite catch. As she approached the remaining two figures, she realized she recognized the taller one who'd stayed behind. Messy brown hair, Gryffindor robes... yep, definitely someone she'd met before, and on the Quidditch pitch at that.

    She was about to call out to him, only for him to disappear down the flight of stairs as well. The last of the three followed after him, and Laura stopped at the top of the stairwell as she watched the three of them chase after... something, the shape was too far away for her to make out clearly. Running would be too slow, she decided, especially for someone with legs as short as hers. So she did the next best thing.

    Laura took a couple steps back, and sprinted forward before launching herself into the air. She made sure to angle herself just right so that she could land on the wall and push off again, before tackling the small figure the group had appeared to be chasing to the ground, rolling down the rest of the stairs to limit any risk of hurting herself. It still hurt, but much at least she didn't break any bones. She really didn't want to go to the Hospital Wing and explain to Madame Pomfrey that she'd decided to parkour downstairs instead of being sensible and walking like a normal human being.

    As she landed, she heard an audible meowing from her arms, and realized the thing she'd grabbed was a cat. Laura looked up and waved at the people on the stairs, a sheepish smile on her face. "Hey, um, is this yours?"
     
  15. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    Justice didn't trust this situation one bit. Why did Laura feel so immediately tempted to follow this strange light? For that matter, what was that light in the first place? There were spells to create light and spells to make things float, but to create a floating light that seems to lure people in? Dark magic could be happening... especially since it now seemed that they weren't alone in this endeavor. Three other shadows that she didn't recognize were ahead of them, all heading in seemingly the same direction.

    She didn't have much longer to think about the strangeness of the situation when Laura suddenly leapt forward down the stairs. Justice found herself rushing forward to see what had happened, stopping herself short of bumping into the cloak of a tall boy with famliar red and gold colors. She took a moment to survey her surroundings, seeing that the other two people appeared to have blue lining their robes. It was an interesting coincidence that her life seemed to be surrounded with Ravenclaws and Gryffindors... and she found it all the more curious as to how there weren't any Slytherins in their midst. Perhaps this whole stunt had been put up by someone from that house?

    "Excuse me," she said, pushing herself through some of the people to see her fellow housemate clutching a cat, of all things. Justice pinched the bridge of her nose and fought back the lecture she could feel rising in the back of her throat. Instead, she took a deep breath to compose herself. After a moment, she felt ready to speak again.

    "Are you hurt, Laura?" she asked, thinking back to healing magic they had studied. A spell could probably help some, but there were a great deal more potions that were of use in this sort of situation. However, that would involve going to the dungeons to brew one, and she was already in enough trouble as it was. A spell would have to do, since Justice doubted Laura would be one to go to the hospital wing after hurting herself in such a spectacularly silly fashion.
     
    #15 Dwayna DragonFire, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  16. Shiny Pyxis

    Shiny Pyxis 2016 Singles Football

    The sudden realization that she'd probably just made a fool of herself in front of so many people was starting to finally settle into Laura's thoughts, and she felt herself freeze up. What had she been thinking, doing something so stupid? And not only that, she'd somehow left Justice behind, only for the other girl to catch up and worry if she'd somehow hurt herself.

    "I-I'm fine!" she stammered out, eyes darting away in shame. "I'm used to- used to falling like this, so it should be, I mean, maybe bruises?" She felt her face turn red, and she pulled the hood of her robe over her face as she slowly stood back up. Not like it did much, considering how tiny she was amidst everyone else around her. "We should leave before- before the professors catch us."
     
  17. Tailon

    Tailon Gryffindork

    The next few seconds were a flurry of action as several people were now focused on Lena and the cat. Most of the ran down the stairs, but one girl in yellow trim decided to execute a mad jumping maneuver, landing hard but managing to catch the cat. As the girl stood, evidently embarassed, Lena could only look on in horror as the cat in the girl's arms meowed and Lena realized that the cat's coat was, in fact white, and that a tiny pink bow sat atop her head.

    "It's Miss Norris!" she cried as the vile cat scrambled and fought to escape, making a break for the nearest dark room.

    Before anyone could chase after her though, another sound came from behind them, a familiar jingling of tiny hat bells. It was of course, Peeves, in his loud, colorful outift, arms laden with a comical number of tomatoes probably pilfered from the house elves and a massive grin on his face.

    "Well, well, seems we have a wee gaggle of fifth years in a whole mess of trouble," he said, grinning ever wider and raising a tomato over his head.
     
  18. Mr.RMA

    Mr.RMA Magearna before it was cool

    Brodie hadn't expected this to be some kind of hectic chase. In fact, he'd hoped to avoid something so noisy and attention-grabbing, but it appeared the rest of these students had other plans, running past him, performing stunts as they dove after cats... and that wasn't just any showoff, that was Laura. Oh he recognized her immediately, it was tough not to recognize one of his rivals, and after last year, with images of that match burned so vividly in his mind, she stuck out among this little crowd.

    He didn't have any time to address the one person he recognized, or affirm the good idea to bail before they got caught, because indeed, that cat she'd gone for was the absolute worst one to leap at. Worse off, that damned feline was up and running out of sight before they could all even realize the level of trouble they were in. How lucky a certain poltergeist dropped by to make it clear...

    "I see you're in as cheerful a mood as ever, Peeves... Lovely bunch of tomatoes too," he said, calmly keeping his wand at his side. He didn't want to telegraph his planned defense too early, or else the spectral prankster would likely be inclined to try something else even more nefarious. Still, he wasn't planning on just taking the hits either, those tomatoes from the looks of it, were quite ripe. Those were gonna cause a few bruises, beyond just the washable stains. Peeves had one raised, ready for the throwing... Brodie had the shield charm at the tip of his tongue, just waiting for it.
     
  19. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    As if her cat-chasing housemate and the random Gryffindor weren't enough, a Hufflepuff from no where seemed to pick a perfect time to demonstrate her fearsome parkour skills - to the visible chagrin of one of her housemates who was not far behind. Clearly, now all they needed was a random Slytherin and they'd have a complete set. In all honesty, she almost wished there was one in the group - if only because she had a feeling that if this trainwreck inevitably exploded and every single house in this school would lose points except for the snakes, you wouldn't be able to wipe the smug grins off of their faces for weeks - even moreso than usual. Amelia wasn't a competitive type and honestly could not care less about the house cup - but if she were, she would have probably entertained the entertained the notion that maybe that was the whole point and some Slytherin had the notion of messing with the other houses under the assumption that they were too sneaky to get caught. Some people took this game the Great Founders put in place way too seriously.

    And seriously is the degree that the entire group was probably screwed if they weren't to high-tail it out of there soon enough - as in the most cartoonish way possible, it turned out that her hunch about the entire cat situation - her gut feline, if you will - was correct after all. Of course it would be Miss Bloody Norris. And where Miss Norris was, Argus Filch was sure to be not far behind - and the last thing Amelia - or any of the rest of them - needed was an encounter with the bitter old caretaker.

    And to make matters worse, the bells started. Peeves. Of course. When it rains, it pours. And today, he brought tomatoes (she had a sinking feeling that the awful pun her mind spawned just a few seconds earlier may have had some effect on the coincidental aethers of the universe). Any other possible miscreant armed with a fruit - and she would simply Arresto Momentum the fruit then transfigure it into something irritable that would be then sent to chase the would-be assailant. This was Peeves though - that would only make things worse somehow. Only way to really deal with Peeves is keep a Protego at hand and go elsewhere as soon as possible. How on Earth was she going to explain the entire situation to the professors?

    "Escape plan now, excuses later." she thought, scanning the area for possible egress routes - preferably ones that will take her closer to the class she was supposed to be in - while keeping her wand-holding hand in the fold of her robe, just in case.

    Clearly, this was going to be one of those days.
     
  20. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    Once she knew her housemate was fine from the fall, it turned out that the cat Laura had foolishly dived after was in fact Miss Norris, as one of the Ravenclaws was so kind to point out. How could this possibly get any worse? she thought, only to have her fears answered not moments after. The notorious poltergeist Peeves had found them, armed with a tomato of all things.

    Justice took a deep breath and thought back to her Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons. Of course, there were protective charms or other magics to deal with the tomato, but how to deal with Peeves? She thought back to what her sister had always tried to impress upon her. Be brave in the face of odds being against you. But it was difficult to do so, when she was too busy trying to remember the lessons they had about ghosts. But Peeves is a poltergeist, so that would be a different sort of problem, right?

    "That's it!" She exclaimed, in sudden epiphany of the moment. "Poltergeists are different from ghosts! They can be affected by hexes!" Satisfied with telling the others this information, she thought of a more defensive plan for herself. The Shielding Charm was a good standby, but her earlier lessons with Laura filtered back into her mind. The Banishing Charm could easily knock away the tomato if it came within range, so she readied that instead and waited for the volley.
     
  21. Shiny Pyxis

    Shiny Pyxis 2016 Singles Football

    Well, that was a nice thing to discover. One of the Ravenclaw girls exclaimed that the cat in Laura's arms was actually Miss Norris. Just her luck. As the cat scrambled out of her grasp, scratching her some but not enough to draw blood, Laura realized she was going to be in even worse trouble now that the friendly neighborhood poltergeist had appeared. She froze in terror, unsure of what to do. She heard Justice yelling something about hexes, and realized that everyone else around her were in defensive or otherwise combat-ready stances, which she was just standing around like a confused first-year. But what could she even do? She'd only barely mastered a few charms now, and her Protego shield never really worked as well as she'd liked it to. But she readied her wand just in case, though her stance suggested she was probably going to start running at the first sign of trouble instead of actually engaging in... whatever hi-jinks Peeves was preparing for them.
     

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