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Caden Wahl


Caden Wahl


Basic Info

Name: Caden Wahl
Age: 16
Gender: Male
House: Arietem
Pet: Couldn't keep one alive
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts

  • Books
  • Potions
  • Charms
  • Solitude
  • Himself

  • Wasting Time
  • Fools that can't take anything seriously
  • Judging others based on blood-purity
  • People who make unnecessary noise
  • unnecessary noise
  • The Dark Arts

Caden is most happy when left alone to concentrate on his school work and when he does run out of things to do or is already adequately studied, he reads for pleasure or roams the castle grounds alone. He isn't shy, he just prefers to remain outside of the spotlight's glow. Caden loves being at Magus Grex where he can achieve his true potential, although he isn't brilliant on his own he has a potent sort of magic and studies hard to supplement his lack of genius. He is highly ambitious and wants to work for the Ministry of Magic someday as a director of the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes.He takes school very seriously and many of the other students call him mechanical and unfeeling because of his lack of interest in 'normal' forms of entertainment such as Quodpot.

Unlike much of his family and house he doesn't judge people based on the purity of their blood. He prefers to think that people make themselves not their bloodline.


The Wahl family has been in Massachusetts since the early 19th century when a young wealthy German wizard was looking to start an empire in America. He succeeded with subversive tactics, wormed himself into elite circles and snuck his way into greater wealth and power. Since then, generation after generation has followed suit, they have largely been employed at the Ministry of Magic in often powerful but behind the scenes positions. The family has no real notoriety to the general public but they have great influence and wealth to make up for the showiness that other ancient families seem to love. They say that their magical prowess is a result of their most pure blood. The Wahl family and its offshoots have spread their influence over three continents and have amassed a great fortune.

Caden was born into this proud family, and was raised in one of the many ancient and opulent houses belonging to the Wahl clan. Portraits of accomplished ancestors line the halls and offer commentary on the day to day. Caden's youth was rather magical as his family sported their abilities around the house or doing favors but never to boast. His youth was uneventful and he hardly saw his parents but it became obvious to him from a very young age that he had great power and he planned to use it. His parents left him to a governess, a plump old witch, who peaked his interest for knowledge very young and he devoured books of all sorts. When he turned 11 he knew he would be sorted into the Arietem House because of his ambition and potential for greatness, his pure blood helped but he never cared about that anyway.

Once in school he consumed knowledge ravenously, he was certainly not brilliant in his own right but was always dedicated choosing books and studying over goofing off ten times out of ten. Besides, even if he did have time for friends, he didn't really like too many of his housemates as they acted stuck up and superior to everyone. He valued the way they stuck together but their posh conversation and derogatory gossip struck Caden as asinine. He had made of few acquaintances throughout the school, but nothing one could call friendship. To them he was a huge snore.

Over the past five years he has excelled in his studies and is quite the adroit young wizard, he scored well on his O.W.L.s and plans to do just as well on his N.E.W.T.s. With the year of interim and seeing that he'll have no problem with this year's work, Caden would like to finally branch out and make some friends. He hopes that his serious demeanor and lack of social experience will not greatly hinder his attempts.


Do you know much about the Harry Potter Universe?: PLenty
How often do you get online?: several times a day
How often can we expect you to be able to post?:as often as is necessary
Password: Copper Cauldron

So begins...

Caden Wahl's Story

Caden Wahl

After the headmaster's speech Caden grabbed a few bits of this and that before leaving the din of the Great Hall for the solace of the Arietem common room. The castle was empty, silent as he meandered through the corridors, his footsteps echoing off the walls. Once in the common room he retrieved this year's Charms book and flipped through the last few pages, making sure he had already read up on the material before classes started. He found his favorite chair, pushed back in a lonely corner, and that's where he stayed while one by one or sometimes in twos, threes or fours, his housemates filed into the common room. When Bellona entered he was a bit startled at first by her vicious treatment of the few other kids in the room but he stayed put, outside of her view. Something was up and he wanted to see it unfold.

It was when Vance and Lee came into the room that she put on a smug look, one that definitely meant trouble and possibly a show. Caden was pretty familiar with that look, Bellona often made trouble in the middle of the common room and often they were public affairs. Besides Caden always watched his housemates warily, while they claimed to look out for one another, he preferred to watch out for what they might do next. From his vantage point he could see very little and though he usually wouldn't care for this sort of senseless drama, this was a new year and besides even Bellona seemed more excited than usual with her tidbit of knowledge.

The way they spoke, all three of them, was painful to hear. Lee's accent always immediately reminded him of a trip down south, the murky sulfuric swamps supposedly filled with old magic fit perfectly with Lee's backwoods drawl. The other two, however; their pretentious banter could drive anyone mad they wasted so many words beating around the bush and shuffling through pleasantries. She insisted, in her stupidly polite way, that Lee should not hang around for whatever she had to say to Vance, all the more reason for Caden to stick around. He was already pretty comfortable and had every right as an Arietem to remain in the common room. He wordlessly cast a concealment charm around the chair, it was weak of course, but if they weren't looking for him he wouldn't be found.

#, as written by throne
Lyle Brightham – So Confused!

Lyle nodded profusely. Naire did like taking pictures, and Lyle couldn’t really get upset about how inaccessible it made him sometimes. After all, a lot of those pictures wound up in The Scrivener, and Lyle was well aware of how crucial pictures were to the success of a paper. People needed them to break up all the columns of letters and words, especially him!

He listened to her recount her summer, grinning incessantly. ”Oh, really? Where did you guys go? I don’t think I’ve ever really been hiking before. Not on purpose anyways. There was that time I got lost outside my grandpa’s house, and wound up wandering in circles for hours, but I don’t think that counts, haha!”

His eyes lit up when he spotted Vin waving, and he practically threw his arm out of socket returning the gesture. Skip and Scamp, not so fond of the mini-earthquake that his exuberance had subjected them to, made him aware of their displeasure by digging their claws in a bit, almost simultaneously. ”Yeow!” He did an awkward little dance in the aftermath of it as they scurried about, repositioning. It didn’t hurt so much as it surprised him. What had Lloyd said? Oh!

His brow knit up, lending him a bit of a resemblance to his ferret’s as suspicion showed itself on his features. Did she really think he’d go and print something secret she told him? No, she couldn’t think that, he would never! He decided she was joking, and relaxed a bit, but then she made her fairly hasty exit, barely giving him time to say good-bye himself. Huh. It didn’t make much sense. It wasn’t like she didn’t get along with Naire or his sister or Vin, as far as he knew. His tongue poked out from between his lips, a sure sign that he was thinking hard about the conundrum of his friend’s behavior.

With his teaspoon-sized attention span, Lyle didn’t have much of a chance of figuring it out with two of his best friends approaching, along with Myra, who Lyle actually found sort of intimidating, what with her being smart, and better than him at Quodpot, and a girl. ”Ohheyguys!” He said the words so fast that they sort of bled together, and even though they were nearly upon him, he darted forward to meet them, beaming. ”I was looking for you!” he exclaimed to Naire. Fortunately, they were outdoors… otherwise someone might have had to tell him to use his indoors voice. His eyes flicked from Naire to Myra to Vin, and his cheeks grew just a bit scarlet. Skip and Scamp poked their heads out of his sleeves, sensing something was up, but then quickly engaged in a tactical withdrawal when they spotted Kaplan.

Justin Hardy – Totally Not a Jerk

”Well, you are the most complicated guy I know,” he replied to Flint with a brand of scathing dryness that the other boy would have no trouble interpreting. More or less, it said this: You’re getting off easy, boy-o, because I’m actually a little irked about the sudden cancellation and tonight's disappearing but I know you would only do it for good reason, and if you don’t want me to ruin you in front of these two girls, you’d very much better come clean before we go to bed. In a nutshell. Bliss and Summer would likely be unaware of the subtext of the tone of voice; he was a snarky bastard almost constantly, but rarely employed it with Flint. It would also probably show that Justin, in his own contrived way, was somewhat hurt by the secrecy.

Just like that, the bit of subtle moodiness passed, and he was grinning, nodding in reply to Summer, offering the Betterbeers. To Teek, he extended his free arm, offering it as a perch if the owl was so inclined. He wasn’t nearly as good at reading animals as he was people, but Cougar tended to do the same thing when he wanted to roost on the Vulpes bean-pole.

When Garrett went to quaff his vial all at once, Justin reached out and slapped him on the hand. ”Ep ep ep ep. Not the intended mode of use.” He shook his head. ”Three drops in anything but milk or orange soda; four if you’re feeling adventurous. I call it Betterbeer.” He quickly glanced between the two of them, always curious about how his branding was working out. He wasn’t about to let Flint drink it all and turn into some kind of werewolf for who-knew-how-long, but he had no qualms at all letting him grow some mutton chops. Flint could take a joke, he knew well. ”You know, you’re entirely too trusting about drinking stuff I give you. For all you know, that was magical date-rape juice.” He grinned enigmatically as he continued. ”Mmm, the musical number went well. The needs-to-get-laid club didn’t seem to approve, but overall, it was a success.”

He spotted Bliss coming towards them and upnodded to her. The plot thickens! His eyes wound up bulging as she bear-hugged him, and if Teek had alit on his arm, he would somehow manage to keep it extended so that the owl didn’t get crushed in the process. ”Woah there, She-Hulk. Happy to see you too.” He returned the embrace, one-armed and not nearly as fearsomely, and then offered her a vial of Betterbeer as well, repeating his instructions, less the four drops part. ”And I don’t know what place you’re referring to. I was out picking flowers.” He said this, of course, despite the conspicuous absence of any flowers.

He eagerly drank in the slight awkwardness of her greeting Flint and then realizing her sister was there. ”Mmmmhmm. Heading back to the common rooms,” he agreed. Again, Flint would no doubt catch the fact that Justin hadn’t mentioned anything about his just happening upon the two of them exiting the library together. ”Oh, Bliss, how was your summer? Not her,” he added, jerking a thumb towards Summer. ”You know. Your break.”

Vance Abernathy – Not Amused

The desire to physically strike Lee was almost overwhelming when he noticed a certain protuberance, but Vance had the sneaking suspicion that physical violence would have the opposite of its intended effect. Pointedly looking anywhere but at Lee, he did his best to maintain a thin smile. Bellona was particularly smug, so he had a feeling no good could come of whatever this was. A gift, she’d said in the hall. She certainly wasn’t being remotely pleasant, so it couldn’t be a token of affection that he’d have to suffer through accepting graciously. He almost wished it was. It would have been an amusing diversion to see Lee and Bellona claw at each other for a while. When she spoke so dismissively of the Beauregard, he thought his wish might very well come true.

Of course, that was before he noticed the rectangular bit of paper in her hand. An envelope. With his family’s seal. His expression didn’t change in the slightest, even as he ground his teeth together. A missive from Nevaeh, most likely, before her… accident. Even more likely, it contained some tidbit of information that didn’t gel with the story he was selling. It was the only possibility he could think of that he actively needed to worry about, but if it was indeed that…

His attention turned to Lee, in the wake of his whisper and her “request” for privacy. ”I need you to await me in my room, please, since apparently discretion abounds tonight.” His tone could scarcely have been drier, on the final phrase. Being dismissed would surely irk the saucy boy, but then of course, Vance had dismissed him to his bedchamber. He put a mental image of Lee rifling through his undergarments aside, pressing his lips into an even tighter smile. ”This shouldn’t take overly long, and then we’ll be able to speak.”

He hadn’t noticed Wahl even before the Concealing Charm; the boy might as well have been furniture, so far as Vance was concerned. With the spell in place, it would have taken a parade of acromantulas streaming toward the dumpy boy’s seat to call Vance’s attention to him. He was waiting now; waiting to see if Lee would go without a fight, and without upsetting Bellona, whom he did not want too upset at the moment. Just enough, actually, to suit his purposes.

His eyes slipped to the potentially dangerous witch. ”You know,” he drawled, slight amusement flickering in his eyes. ”The common room is an interesting choice for a private conversation. They do call it common for a reason.” Let her think he didn’t suspect anything, for now; after her haughtiness, he had to at least make a semblance of putting her in her place, lest he weaken his position if it came to a negotiation. Plus, it would go a long way towards smoothing things over with Lee for him to witness Vance returning a bit of her trademark bitchiness.

If anyone would think that Bellona was a stupid fool, they should think twice. The ambience between the Abernathy boy and the Venator girl was heavy and thick with malicious glints in eye and smirks. Somehow, Bellona couldn't quite figure why Lee had to even be asked to go away when he wasn't invited in the first place.
"You know,” he drawled, slight amusement flickering in his eyes. ”The common room is an interesting choice for a private conversation. They do call it common for a reason.”

Bellona sat up straighter, her chest proud and her chin lifted as if she was going to sing an opera. Fidus on the other hand jumped off the velvet couch and stretched, it let out a small yawr and rubbed its body on her legs until it decided to pass by Lee like a hunter and roamed off around the common room. It hopped and caught a spider and pounced it with it's small paws and continued to roam, finding something else to entertain her when it heard a small squeak, a mouse hole just right beside where Caden Wahl was supposedly hidden with a charm. It sneaked and waited for it's prey to come out of the hole.

Bellona continued to toy with the letter when a sly smile escaped her lips, You wound me feelings Vance, did you really think that I'm that easy to fool?" She stood up and brought out her wand, perfectly lined and symmetrical made as if it was a machete made for hunting yet as cold looking as hard steel. She then swished it and spoke, "Muffliato!" And without even bothering of Lee was still there she kept her wand and brought out the letter. She trusts that only Vance could see what was written.

Bellona took her seat once again, this time not caring if anyone else would walk in even if they are having a conversation. She had read the contents of the letter more than 10 times already yet every time she does it again, goosebumps fill her skin and makes her throat parched.

It read:

"Dearest Bellona Venator,

It has been a few months since we saw each other. It would be well if you send me greetings to your parents and mention that I miss your father's jokes but all the more you mother's cooking.

But I shall keep this letter short and simple my dear,
You see I've seen some good potential in your talents as a Pure Blooded Arietem.
One could not deny that you are truly a Venator. "

At that point, Bellona could have thought that Neveah had bothered writing her a letter over the summer. But as she continued to read the letter, anyone who would read the letter would be surprised.

"You see- there is so little time left in my life young girl,
It seems to be that old age doesn't come easy, especially when it comes to physical things like Dueling.
Yes I do know a list of charms that you kids would dream knowing
But I believe some tasks are left for younger people like you.
You must be wondering why I'm writing to you- when I have two grand children.
Neveah however is- not with us right now while Vance- well the boy I think spends too much time under his mother's skirt.
If you are further interested in what I have to say- send me an owl.
But do not speak of this to anyone.
I'd appreciate if you would burn this after you have made your decision."

Then it was signed with simply with the Abernathy patriarch's initials, Vance's and Neveah's grand father, then was sealed with wax and mounted with the Abernathy Sigil.

She waited and watched to see how Vance would react. She remembered how the hair on her nape had all stood as she read and re read the letter. Why would their grandfather want to meet with her? Perhaps Vance has the answer.

Just then her concentration was interrupted when Fidus yelped and started scratching the wall. It was like it was trying to get at something. Bellona stared but couldn't quite know what has happened to her fox. "Fidus?" She called but the Fennec fox continued to scratch the old wooden wall, leaving marks.

Savant kept on circling the gem he had drawn, trying to figure what it was that he saw earlier when his thoughts were interrupted by a gasp. The boy, quick as a threatened snail, closed his sketch book and looked to see who was peaking. When he saw that it was Emerson, he opened it again and gave off a sigh of relief. "Man, you've gotta stop sneaking up on people. It's creepy!" His voice, though soft, was clear and crisp as the fire crackling by the common room of Cervus.

He continued to sketch but then paused and looked at his friend and spoke, "I saw something peculiar earlier. I'm not sure if it was there all along or the couple took it from somewhere." He was obviously referring to the subject of his sketches. "What or how do you think they looked like?" he asked, doing another probable face sketch for the woman. It was the woman in the painting that he barely had a look at, even if it stood sideways. It was always that a part of her picnic hat had obscured the viewers from looking at her face and it was always the man who spoke to the students (with his back facing them) while she just giggles, or whispers to the man or even ate.

"Come to think of it, I haven't heard her say one word to us," he brought up the thought even if it was silly to spend so much time thinking about such things.

Lee’s Perspective

"Must you bring a stranger? I'm thinking you wouldn't want anyone to see my small gift. It isn't really something to be shared to other people." Bellona said, her sarcastic, cold words rolling off without any remorse or regret or want for more warmth. "Really Vance, this isn't a matter for the little boys and girls, I suppose you ought to grant this meeting some more privacy than what we have right now," She said. She played with the letter envelope with her fingers, edging the sides one by one and exposing the broken wax with the Abernathy's sigil on it. "Though if you want him to know what's in store then I guess I can't really do anything- But do you?" She asked coldly and continued to pet Fidus' small head while the Fennec fox stared at Lee with it's sharp eyes.

The truth was that Lee had no problem getting up and leaving. He would just as easily go to his own dorm, cuddle up between Stonewall and Longstreet (his wolves, not the generals), and sleep until he forgot about all the hardships of the day. But he felt an immense responsibility to Vance, and he would only move if Vance wished it.

Lee had long noticed Caden in the back, since he walked in, but that was no stupendous feat. Lee noticed boys. It was what he did. Oftentimes, friends would stop and shake their head (half in amazement) as Lee would point out otherwise unnoticeable and not-so-astonishing young men. Even after Caden’s concealment spell, Lee wondered why Bellona (the queen of mean and complete anal-retentiveness it seemed) and Vance (the snobby, paranoid prince of perfect) couldn’t notice Caden. Caden was a cute boy, but Lee knew that Caden didn’t like Lee, so he tended to avoid Caden. Lee hated internal-Arietem conflict, and there was enough of that these days.

”I need you to await me in my room, please, since apparently discretion abounds tonight. This shouldn’t take overly long, and then we’ll be able to speak,” Vance said to Lee, with a slight smile on his face and a spark in his eyes. Lee could tell that Vance was up on the ready. Lee, having been overly stoked by the chance of going to Vance’s bedchamber (a feature – single suites - of the Arietem dormitory that exemplified Arietem esteem and prestige), felt as though his dreams were finally coming to light. He had only been in Vance’s bedchamber once, and that was to bring Vance a piece of candy he had taken from a Ferre kid. Vance’s bedchamber was at the top of the tower, and probably the most ornate and lavish of all the bedchambers, with gold and silver heavily gracing every corner of suite. Now, Lee could go up there and wait in Vance’s bed, maybe Vance was finally going to declare his undying love!

The Beauregard, the unofficial head of his own family, bowed his head in obeisance to Vance and said, “Yessuh, Vanz.” With that he rushed off to the staircase. At the foot of the stairs, he heard Vance say, ”The common room is an interesting choice for a private conversation. They do call it common for a reason.” Hmm… Lee could tell that was Vance’s way of apologizing, and Lee took in his heart that Vance – at the root of his black, mysterious heart – held some amount of affection for Lee.

Stopping off at his bedchamber first, Lee opened the door (never caring to lock it – if somebody wanted to steal something, oh well he didn’t own shit, and if somebody wanted to rape him during the night while he slept, haha they better be good) and meandered on through his suite. It was simple and plain, something that most everyone would be startled at, having experienced the Beauregard’s high regard for himself and his family. The only things up on the walls were pictures of famous Beauregards, especially Pappy and Mama and General Beauregard, and various Southern heroes, and of course the Confederate flag. Above his plain bed was a crucifix, a gift from his Mama one day back in New Orleans. If it weren’t a gift, Lee would have long thrown it away, having accepted that Catholicism or any religion were just falsehoods. Lee was perhaps Arietem’s most outspoken atheist, something that pissed off many such as Îrem, and certainly had even gotten Demetrio to flare up a bit.

Gathering Stonewall and Longstreet, Lee left his room and walked up the spiral stair all the way to the top, finally reaching the golden doors with the Abernathy seal emblazoned upon them. Truly beautiful and unmistakably Vance. Lee attempted to open the door, but no budge. He tried a few spells to unlock it. No budge. Finally, he said, “Open!” to which the doors obeyed and revealed the lavishness of the Abernathy suite. There were papers and books thrown across everywhere, perhaps in Vance’s midnight frustrations, but they could never take away from the richness. Lee truly envied and admired Vance. Granted, Lee couldn’t hope to be rich when the entirety of his inheritance AND the two that held on to it were completely destroyed.

Vance’s bed, near the back, was the classical feudal lord’s bed, with rich silk sheets and velvet curtains. Pulling back some of the curtains, Lee hopped in Vance’s bed, resting the three heads of him and his two dogs upon a small pillow. Lee realized how large the bed was then. Lee had hoped all of this meant what he thought it meant…

Caden Wahl

With the Beauregard boy gone, things began to look serious and Bellona was as vicious as ever. She clearly had something that gave her some kind of power over or against Vance. Not that he didn't deserve to be knocked down a few pegs but this whole situation appeared to be, at least from where he sat, a matter between the house of Abernathy and Venator. All useless bickering amongst prominent families, the air of superiority they all took over others, his own family included, annoyed Caden.

That matter was clearly private as Bellona addressed Vance's concern by placing an unfamiliar charm around their chairs. A soft buzzing filled the room but Bellona continued to speak outside of Caden's ability to hear. Not that anyone could see but he furrowed his brow, he was certain that this was no spell in any book he'd ever read but it didn't surprise him to see the likes of Bellona delving into shifty magic. He was always terrible at reading body language or lips so he quickly grew bored, but this fox of Bellona's presented a problem. He wasn't sure if the animal could tell if he was there or not but if could somehow alert its master of his presence, he might find himself on the wrong end of a nasty hex. He tested the water, dropping a hand close to the fox as it scratched beside his seat, the fox didn't seem to notice his fingers dangled in front of his snout. Caden slowly crept from the chair making sure to maintain the charm around himself, and the chair for safety's sake, a new chair suddenly becoming visible could possibly alert somebody to his attempted eavesdropping.

The fox brought Bellona's attention to where Caden stood, he froze. The spell worked best when the caster was absolutely still, allowing himself to completely blend in with the surroundings. He didn't dare move until she returned to her conversation.

#, as written by throne
Lyle Brightham – Even More Confused!

”Hullo, Myra!” He beamed at her a little shyly, which was… sort of interesting to behold.

Vin’s presence always had an effect on Lyle. Sometimes, most of the time actually, it was almost calming. The other boy’s very zen attitude helped to balance out Lyle’s often overbearing spunkiness. Tonight, though, after months of not seeing his friend, he couldn’t be anything but wildly enthused. ”Yeah actually, I did! I got to meet a free House Elf named Sprogget, and he even let me interview him. It was so interesting, and I’m definitely running it. Maybe I’ll send a copy to Monika if we start writing each other, I’d like that.” That was Lyle; already friends with a girl he’d probably never meet.

He absolutely perked up at the mention of a potential story. ”Oh yeah?” A team of destriers could not have dragged Lyle’s attention away from them at that moment. It was the one loophole in what was probably an undiagnosed case of ADHD; if it involved a story or a cause, Lyle’s latched on like a pitbull, refusing to let go. His eyes darted between Melvin and Naire as he waited for one or the other to spill.

Instead, Naire wound up taking what he said the wrong way, only Lyle was pretty sure that he was only kidding (behavioral cues sometimes eluded him, when they were subtle), then wound up wishing him a goodnight. ”I… just wanted to say hi because I missed you at dinner,” he said softly, sounding rather crestfallen, in fact. ”Good night Naire. Good night Myra.”

Alright. Being mostly brushed off by Lloyd, he could handle. After all, she was a girl, and girls were mysterious and sort of scary sometimes, and he seldom found that anything they did made sense. But when the same thing pretty much happened with Naire, who he thought of as his best mate… well… Lyle wasn’t at all sure what to make of it. Had he done something wrong? Was there something gross stuck in his teeth? He discretely wormed his tongue along them, except it wasn’t really so discrete and probably just wound up looking very strange to anyone who happened to notice it. He didn’t find anything, so he was at a bit of a loss to figure out what exactly was going on.

He looked to Vin for guidance. Vin was good for that. The uncertainty in Lyle’s young eyes was plain to see. ”Did I… do something wrong?” he asked, on the verge of being actually upset. Of course, Vin didn’t know that Lloyd had sped off as well, so it might not make much sense that Lyle was taking it so seriously. He was probably overreacting anyway, but then again, Lyle wasn’t so good at just reacting. His energy usually wound up undeniably optimistic, but when he did find himself moving toward despair, the results were no less manic. Worrying his lip, he waited for the advice he knew would set everything aright once more.

Vance Abernathy – He May In Fact Have a Soul

Vance was indescribably relieved when Lee left without a fight. That left him to focus every mote of his self-control on not laughing at Bellona while he slowly strangled the life out of her. Could she really be this inept? I’ve been overestimating this girl for years. It was everything he could do not to simply stare at her slack-jawed while she enacted her buzzing spell. An appropriate lecture regarding discretion immediately wrote itself up in his mind. People might not know what was being said, but they did know that something was, and that it was either important or incriminating since it was being hidden away beyond a curtain of white noise. With the number of nosey meddlers running around the school, almost anyone bearing witness to this little scene meant that by breakfast half the student body would be aware of a clandestine conversation that had occurred between Vance and Bellona.

Then, impossibly, it got even worse. He recognized his grandfather’s handwriting straight off. His gloved hand curled into a fist reflexively, and his eyes danced across the parchment as he quickly read the missive. When he was through, he released a breath that had somehow become pent up in his lungs. Bellona was looking at him, almost eagerly, and she would likely be disappointed by the reaction she’d been waiting for. Aside from his initial tension, he didn’t even look startled, and it wasn’t even because he was forcing himself to remain composed. The instant he’d read the flattery, and particularly after reading the end of it, he knew he had very little to fear from Bellona or this letter.

It was little more than his grandfather making a threat, proving a point. If he was capable of communicating with Bellona, he was just as capable of communicating with more savvy followers who were already in place at the school. He’d likely only chosen Bellona because he didn’t want to reveal any of those operatives… and if he were indeed planning to recruit Bellona, he could gladly have her after this display, and Vance wouldn’t even break a sweat. No doubt he’d expected exactly what she’d gone and done, which was exactly what he’d wanted: for her to show the letter to Vance.

He shifted on his overstuffed chair, leaning forward a bit and making direct eye contact with her. His movements were obvious, intended to highlight how very serious he was about to be.

”Bellona,” he intoned. His voice was a glacial river, smooth and cold. It was a tone that he seldom used, so seldom that it might well be the actual timbre of his voice, the one that came naturally when he wasn’t maintaining his courtliness. ”We are not friends, but imagine for the duration of what I am about to say that we are, and heed my advice.” He gave her a half-second to consider that before continuing. With his leaning forward, he’d adjusted his arms a bit, bringing his mechanical hand close to his wand. Just in case.

”This letter was a test which you have failed. It instructs you not to speak of it, and yet here we are. It even expresses doubt in me, and yet, I am the one you’re sharing it with. If you hope to become my grandfather’s pawn, you’ll need to work on your obedience.” He wasn’t done.

”Furthermore, in the event that you are ever again contacted by a powerful individual who you have little knowledge of and you aren’t sure what to make of it… take that as a sign that you are not ready to move in such circles. Or perhaps I’m wrong, and you’re merely excited and eager to share the prestige of being written by a doddering old man who happens to share my surname. I’m afraid that’s even worse, even more indicative of how unprepared you are for what replying to that letter would entail.”

He sat back again, to signify that he was for the most part finished, and also to bright his hand right atop the pocket his wand was concealed in. ”Burn the letter and forget that you ever read it, Bellona. If I were your friend, that is what I would tell you. I do not particularly care if I’m being cruel, but I don’t mean to be. You have little reason to trust me, but if you become more involved with this than you already are, I’m afraid that I can’t be bothered to offer you any more protection than this warning.”

He rose to his full height smoothly, drawing his wand but doing nothing with it, just yet. ”Burn the letter, Bellona. That instruction you should very much follow.”

Just as Bellona was about to remove the spell over the two of them, Vance has shook her with his words. ”Burn the letter, Bellona. That instruction you should very much follow.”

Bellona's thoughts were right, there was something about the letter than a simple invitation, but what it is- she does not have any idea. "Abernathy... Yes, the same last name as the man who wrote me this letter. I wouldn't be coming up to you if I would have known the right thing to do and obviously burning the letter isn't an option." She stared coldly into his eyes and continued, "Or rather an option that I do not choose because I fear that there is more to this than what meets my eyes. I approached you because you are involved- whether you liked the idea or not. I know... that you know," She continued to meet his stare. Not backing down. The buzzing still covered their conversation while the very few students instantly bolt out of the room once they see the tension building up between the Venator girl and Abernathy boy.

She stood up and slowly knelt in front of Vance, gently taking his arm out of his robes and revealing the metal hand. She softly caressed it as she removed whatever material that Vance used to conceal it. She then looked up to him and gave him a serious look once more, "I am not stupid as the other girls Vance. We all know that, whatever it is- I'm going to uncover it." She placed his hand back to his lap and stood up gracefully then pulled out her wand and removed the charm.

She walked away from the seats but paused and spoke without facing Vance, "I will Abernathy, but I don't when or how." She then continued to walk towards her bedroom, she stopped by to pick Fidus up when she noticed a piece of gum on the floor. She picked it up and looked at it, Muggle brand. Bellona knew it wasn't there earlier when she heard Fidus scratching for something. To whom it belong, she'll find out sooner but at the mean time she placed it on top of one of the side tables and continued to walk away.

#, as written by throne
Lyle Brightham – Now Feeling Silly

Sometimes, Lyle felt like he didn’t appreciate Vin enough, which led to spurts of him appreciating him too much, and then the whole cycle would just start anew. Vin was always there for him- helping him understand when Naire was only joking, for instance, or providing a calm sounding board for some of his more frenetic and discombobulated ideas. Right about then, he couldn’t appreciate the other teenager more.

Even the ferrets liked Vin. They were fickle creatures, often torturing Lyle for what seemed like the sheer ferrety joy of it, but even if it was furtive, they always seemed to come out to play when he was around. Scamp ducked back into Lyle’s robes shortly after the scritching. For his part, Lyle shuffled along after Vin toward the common room. It really was best to just call it a night.

Both ferrets scurried lower when a pair of hands were suddenly resting on Lyle’s shoulders, helping to ground him. He slowly looked up at his friend, since they were basically face-to-face, and listened to the other boy. Alright, slow that mind down. It wasn’t until he heard the words that he consciously realized how all over the place his thoughts were. It was a little like people who existed in a perpetual state of messiness but knew, somehow, where everything was. The difference was that Lyle didn’t quite know where everything was. He had to stumble around a bit, dishevel things even further, in order to find the thoughts he was looking for sometimes amidst the dross.

Vin was right, of course. Well, not about Lloyd taking medicine, at least he didn’t know if she did. Maybe that was the secret she might have alluded to earlier? He had to force himself back on track. People did kind of consider Lloyd odd, but to Lyle, she was just Lloyd. He had no right to go around calling anyone odd, strange, or weird after all. And he was even more right about Naire. At least, Lyle hopes he was. If anyone other than Vin had said it, he’d still be worried, but then…

Well, it was really hard to worry when Vin slung an arm around his narrow shoulders. Lyle felt better immediately. ”I dig,” he replied. He’d had a hard time understanding Vin for a while, but he had most of the surfer dialect under his belt by now. He sort of relaxed against Vin until the instant he realized he was doing it, then straightened up abruptly in the way that fifteen year old boys often do when they realize they’re taking comfort in the physical proximity of close male friends. ”Everything will look brighter in the morning,” he added, reaching up to rub at his neck.

His thoughts still turned to Lloyd and Naire and Myra, but his fears of somehow disappointing or upsetting them were mostly allayed. When his mind turned to Myra again, his head suddenly whipped around so that he could look at Vin as they marched toward the dorms. ”Say, do you think your sister might help me practice for Quodpot try-outs? I’m trying out this year, and she’s so good, I’d be a shoe-in if she helped me. Could you maybe ask her? I’d owe you ten.” It was something of a catch-phrase for the boy, similar to I’d owe you one only ten times more significant. If anyone ever decided to cash in on those easily offered favors, Lyle would probably spend the rest of his life fulfilling the hundreds or thousands that he’d agreed to owe his friends over the last few years.

Vance Abernathy – Marshaling the Troops

No one could say he hadn’t tried. Well, thanks to her sonic obfuscation, everyone could, actually, but more likely they’d be much more interested in gossiping and theorizing over what the conversation had entailed. Did Bellona really think she had what it took to uncover a conspiracy? Vance didn’t, but more power to her if she did. She’d think he was on his grandfather’s side most likely, or even if she sussed out that he wasn’t, she obviously had no idea what to do. He could only hope that the girl had enough sense not to start pawing around for the truth in the open. He didn’t need more savvy players joining the game just yet, at least, not on terms that he hadn’t dictated.

A curious expression came to Vance’s features when Bellona drew close and lifted his arm, removing the dragon-skin glove to reveal the gleaming mechanical hand. It was fantastic, really. As much as he hated the thing, hated being an amputee, it really was an incredible device. Bands of metal provided a tight skeleton, holding in a plethora of gears and clockwork that made the contraption act very convincingly like a hand. It was stronger than any normal hand had a right to be, and he found himself wondering exactly how long it would take to crimp Bellona’s windpipe like a plastic drinking straw with the shiny apparatus.

The only reason he didn’t strike her was the fact that he wasn’t prepared to explain why he had, or to make her disappear utterly. A sickly smile curled to life on his lips as she touched him. At least it was only on the metal. If it had been his actual skin, he might begin wretching. Bellona had sank so immeasurably in his eyes tonight that he couldn’t even begin to wonder how many other idiocies he had overlooked due to her family name over the years.

”You’re right of course, Bellona. You’re not as stupid as the other girls.” Let her think he was paying her a compliment; in truth, she’d just proven to him she was vastly stupider than the worst of them. ”Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” She dispelled the aura of buzzing and then stalked off. Vance tucked his glove under his left arm and raised his wand.

”Accio letter,” he said simply, lazily, the tip of his wand directed at Bellona. When the parchment bearing his family seal soared toward him, he snatched it neatly from the air and took a few strides toward the fireplace. He balled it up and tossed it directly into the flames, turning to regard Bellona with the most pleasant manufactured smile he could come up with. Yes, he’d wanted her to forget it all and burn it… but more than anything, he’d wanted that bit of physical evidence that something was afoot here at Magus Grex destroyed.

With that, he turned and made his way to his quarters to deal with Lee. He pulled his glove back on as he went, turning his mind toward what he’d say to the younger Arietem. His internal speech-writing was swiftly silenced when he came upon the scene in his bedchamber.

The mess was not Vance’s doing. He was reasonably sure that if Lee was going to rifle through his things, he would have set everything right afterward to avoid Vance’s inevitable wrath. His eyes slipped here and there, registering the results of what seemed to be a small whirlwind centered on his personal effects.

Another message from his grandfather? Or had the culprit actually been looking for something? Perhaps his grandfather had managed to stash some artifact or direction in his luggage, letting him smuggle it into the school for one of his followers. It had to be someone in Arietem, or possibly someone an Arietem was willing to share the password with. He tried to call to mind the faces at the table over dinner, to determine who had been missing, but he hadn’t been paying enough attention to the banal chit-chat. Stupid, he told himself. He’d be more careful now. Much more careful.

”Get your animals off my bed,” he said curtly. Vance had experienced a twinge of helplessness, beholding the disarray in the room, and it quickly transformed into cold rage. There was a reason Vance had no pet of his own; he could care less for creatures, magical or otherwise, and the idea of the dogs musking up his bed was only compounding his momentary anger.

He didn’t clean up just yet. Once Lee was gone, he’d go over the mess like it was a crime scene, looking for clues of who might be behind it. For now, he had to regain control so that he could set Lee to purpose. The boy would likely have worked out by then that Vance was surprised by the state of his room, but Vance forestalled any questions by folding his arms over his chest and regarding Lee thoughtfully.

”What I need from you, Lee,” he quietly said, continuing the earlier conversation as if there hadn’t been an intermission where Bellona attempted to wring the truth from him. ”Is loyalty. I need unfailing loyalty. I need a second set of eyes in this school to keep an eye on me. To notice jf someone stares too long, or is following me in a dark corridor, or anything else out of the ordinary.” He drew closer, and provided that the dogs were in fact off the bed, sat on the edge of it angled to face Lee.

”Can I trust you in that fashion, Lee? I know that you’ll be wondering why, but I can’t tell you more until I know more. Suffice it to say that I am in danger, and know that agreeing to help me may endanger you as well.” He took a deliberate pause, simply letting his gaze bore into Lee. ”I don’t command this of you, but I ask it, because I have to know that you’ll do everything that you can to aid me in the coming year.”

He left it at that, watching Lee carefully. He was taking a risk, he knew, but a small one. Lee’s infatuation was as much a tool as a wand. If he wielded it correctly, he could accomplish much.

Caden Wahl

A moan escaped the curtains surrounding Caden's bed.

His room's close proximity to Beauregard's room had always frustrated him, but on their first day back Lee had to remind him why. Often he heard Lee through the -rather thick- wall, the boy would often stay up late talking to 'the generals' whether they were the creepy portraits he hung on the wall or the two mangy dogs he kept around, Caden didn't care. However less frequent, but most annoying, were the scenes that the Child of the Bayou created and held out in the hall. Clearly, one was going on right now.

Sitting up, he threw his legs over the bed and moved slowly to the door. With a flick of his wrist his clothes and shower caddy floated neatly into the air as he opened the door expecting to have to carefully maneuver through several people. They were all right there, outside his door, an unusual group hanging around Lee's door and what appeared to be a tense situation. He rolled his eyes, sure that he did not want to know what caused Priscilla to run off in tears. As Vance too stormed off Caden walked passed the remaining few and bade Îrem, Zackariah and even Lee a good morning and a small bow of the head as he walked passed their surprised and hurt faces to the dormitory showers.