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Snippet #2481662

located in Gaol Academy, a part of Gaol Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry, one of the many universes on RPG.

Gaol Academy

None

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Liam Madsen Character Portrait: Max Avarus Character Portrait: Eric Lee Greene Character Portrait: Aurora Nickson Character Portrait: Thomas Erener Character Portrait: Benjamin "Benji" Fox Character Portrait: Eden Madsen Character Portrait: Sophie Alvar Character Portrait: Jim Malloy Character Portrait: Thomas Decius Character Portrait: Claudia Gardner Character Portrait: Flavia Gardner
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For the first time in his entire magical schooling career at Gaol Academy, Benjamin "Benji" Fox did not board the ship to school at the Georgia port, the closest stop to his home state of Tennessee. That was bizarre in of itself given that for the past four years, Benji's presence in the eleventh compartment from the end of the ship had been an undeniable truth like how two plus two always equals four or that owls were wonderful for package deliveries if you remembered to tip them with their rodent of choice. However, the oddest thing about it was where Benji actually was; Baltimore, Maryland, standing in the middle of the Alvar family rare book shop next to a port key in the shape of a bookmark, and listening to the Alvar children squabble tirelessly as he had for the past four days.

When Sophie Alvar had let it slip to her parents about the nice boy a few years ahead of her that had helped her with class, she had clearly underestimated how enthusiastic her parents would be to meet said nice boy. In a whirl of excitement(for her parents) and dread(for Sophie), an invitation had promptly been sent via owl to the Fox household with an invitation to have them stay in Baltimore for the last few days of Summer vacation. To say that those days had been difficult would be an understatement; the parents, once the Alvars had realized that they didn't need to tiptoe around the issue of squibs and muggles, and grandparents(because there was no way Randall or Miriam were missing a chance to be around other members of the magical community) had gotten along famously, and the children, well, less so. At first, the amount of sibling discourse had been a little disorienting for Benji given that he was an only child, but, unfortunately, he'd gotten used to it, letting the brothers' endless teases and their sister's cutting retorts become the soundtrack for his little visit. At least, he decided, she was talking to him again- Sophie had refused to even make eye contact for the first two days of his visit when Allan, the only Alvar boy still living at home, had jokingly insisted that Benji was his sister's boyfriend.

"You both have everything?" Gregory Alvar asked one last time, eying the two as they shifted on their feet, luggage topped with owl cages, the birds blessedly silent, gripped tightly. They'd already said their goodbyes and, honestly, they'd made sure that they'd had everything at least five times now, but parents do have a tendency to worry about these things.

"Yes, daddy," Sophie huffed, looking more than anxious to go.

"Alright then. It's about time, go ahead and put your hands on the port key-" The instruction was cut off in a short manner by Allan who apparently couldn't risk a parting shot at his baby sister.

"Remember to hold hands, Fi-Fi!" He cooed, despite his mother's prompt glare. Sophie, as she always did, colored a violent scarlet color and was about to round on her brother with a verbal assault to violent that it might have left a bruise or two. However Benji, who'd had more than enough of this by now, was too quick, grabbing her hand and tugging it down with his just as the hour struck and, quite suddenly, the middle of the rare book shop in Baltimore, Maryland, was missing two people leaving behind a guffawing older brother, a scolding mother, and several proud relatives.




They were unceremoniously dropped off in an out of the way part of Rhiamon Way, closer to the docks than to the shops. Sophie landed uneasily before smoothing down her uniform skirt, grumbling something about the perfect use of a bat-bogey hex, while Benji simply straightened back up- he would never get used to port keys- and started off towards the ship. Hopefully his usual compartment wouldn't be occupied- well, at least by someone he didn't know. If it was someone like Thomas then he'd-

"Benji." He stopped in his tracks and turned around to see Sophie looking just as red-faced as before.

"What is it?"

"I forgot my charms book." Before he could even reply, she charged on quickly, "But it's not my fault- Allan was talking when I was packing and he distracted me, so…" She huffed. "I need to get a new one."

"It's fine, Sophie," Benji said, cutting off any further rants. "We'll just drop our stuff off and I'll go with you, okay? We still have a little bit of time." When handling Sophie, especially when she was upset, it was best to use kid gloves, a lesson Benji had quickly learned last year after his first disastrous tutoring attempt.

Sophie nodded and quick as could be they dropped off their luggage and still sleeping owls before heading towards the shops.




It was lucky that Benji knew his way around Rhiamon Way because Sophie was completely out of her element. She was used to her parents buying everything for her and just staying put in the ship every time it stopped. The crowds buffeting her on all sides, most of them children around her own age, were frustrating and she couldn't help but press in a little closer to Benji just to make sure she didn't get lost- not that she'd ever admit it because she was just fine on her own, thanks very much.

They managed to fight their way through the crowds and into the Madsen family bookstore where Sophie vanished, presumably to find her charms book, and Benji was left to idly look around, fidgeting slightly with the shiny new Exemplar badge adorning his shirt. It would be a lie to say that he wasn't disproportionately proud of it and it would be a complete fib to say that he'd maybe cheered quite loudly the moment the badge and letter had arrived at his home.

It was only after Sophie had returned, dragging him resolutely to the counter so that she could pay for what was most certainly not a charms book(not that he could tell since she was hiding the cover resolutely from him) that Benji recognized the fact that, oh, hey, his classmates were here. And were also leaving. The bad thing, he supposed, about having friends was that, inevitably with him, they had other friends they were closer to, usually being people you didn't know all that well. That was the case with Aurora and her menagerie of friends that had swept out the door, excited about some broom or another, or Claudia, his own housemate who still lingered inside with Liam and some first years he was sure he'd never met before. He liked them sure enough, but he couldn't possibly just push himself into their group.

Sophie, whose self-esteem issues revealed themselves in a much different way than the doubt that constantly washed over Benji's mind, had no such issue. As exasperated as she may have gotten with Claudia, a familiar face was still a familiar face, and she was one of the closest things Sophie had to a friend, which was a bit sad, really.

"Hey, Claudia," She said, waving towards the girl and, given the general social obligation, Benji was about to call out a similar greeting when instead an explosion resounded within the shop. Well, not so much an explosion as an entirely too powerful light show. Sophie let out a shriek of surprise, stumbling backwards, and Benji had to shield his eyes before something more concerning than a firework gone wrong caught his sight. A boy- he didn't know him, so possibly a first year- has been propelled backwards in the explosion.

With all of the responsibility granted to him by the Exemplar badge and the general morality that he quite hoped most people had but knew from experience that they didn't, Benji hurried over to the toppled over boy, even as Zeke called out a not so sheepish apology.

"Are you okay?" He asked, almost immediately kneeling down next to him. If he was a first year, well, his life at Gaol had just gotten off to a rocky start.