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Demetrio Magallón

"My grandma used... oh am I getting off topic again?"

0 · 469 views · located in Magus Grex School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

a character in “Magus Grex School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”, as played by lom.conor


Demetrio Magallón
Prefect Cervi



Basic Info

Nombre: Demetrio José Guadalupe Magallón Mugica

Años: 15

Género: Efebo machísimo (Manly youth)

Casa: Cervus “I’m deeply loyal to my ancestral bonds, and at my sorting ceremony, everyone saw I could easily excel in Cervus house.”

Origen: Sierra Pelona Mountains, Los Angeles County, California

Fecha de Nacimiento: 7 de Diciembre

Signo: Sagitario

  • Comedy movies
  • Western Swing
  • Frivolous conversation
  • Old books!!! ‘Specially the leathery kind with extra old book smell!
  • Psychedelics…
  • Herbology
  • Care of Magical Creatures
  • Prefecting

  • Arithmancy (Sooo many numbers!)
  • Potions (Um… yuck)
  • Astronomy (…)
  • Howlers
  • Flirting


With others

Demetrio is usually a very warm person, with a pension for friendly humor and amicable teasing. He tends to avoid elaborate pranks, being that he lacks the creativity or commitment to come up with anything original, but receives a heavy load of genuine attention by making fun of himself. Of course, this often leads to others viewing him as nothing more than a character in their own more elaborate plots, but he has no quarrel with this. He doesn’t desire to have a central role in their lives, because that would require he reveal his inner self.

His inner self.

This brings up a good point. Another reason why most take Demetrio for granted is that he never reveals anything heavily personal. Granted, many have seen his frivolous games with authority, and his sarcastic air when performing magic. But that’s in front of other witches and wizards. They cannot see his real self, much less his genuine magic. Being one of only few Chicano wizards at Magus Grex, perhaps even in the general wizarding world (a fact which is due to Mexican wizards’ apprehension with anything non-Mexican), he is quick to hide his often overly ceremonial, serious and spiritual-based magic.

But those who catch him off-guard, forcing him into serious conversations, will find him to be an enigmatic soul, filled with pain, optimism and a passion for honesty. He has a warm spot for almost anybody, regardless of blood status or house. He is frivolous and hidden because he cannot view himself ever being worthy of intimacy with anyone. Indeed, he often finds himself infatuated with all the brilliant individuals around him and molesting his own peace with the utter dissatisfaction.

He does not lack confidence - indeed many would describe him as benevolently narcissistic – and to say he simply has a mere bravado about him would be a betrayal. He is ever-expansive in his social interaction, simply because he feasts off others’ smiles.

Especially during lunch, one will probably not see him sit for any extensive amount of time, often moving from one area to another, even daring to converse with some of the teachers. He even claimed to have made Rockwell give a half-smile once, though no one was paying attention to give accurate testimony. He is known for his opening phrase, “Wha’s ‘appenin?” followed by a small chuckle and a little goofy dance. His humor is not seductive or intellectual… he will proudly proclaim his humor is childish and harmless.

Demetrio is not a sexual person, for very specific reasons. He does not identify as either gay nor straight, nor any label. Romance is not a concern, but he knows he would love anyone wherever love was to be found.

With himself

Demetrio often views himself with a passionate hate, gazing in the mirror for long periods of time and analyzing every physical flaw he can come up with, some true but most farcical. Gazing into his own eyes, he reminds himself, “You idiot!” He tends to shy from interaction with his roommates, fearing intimacy, and often feels left out and regrets his anxiety.

Faith in…

Although tending to avoid any discussion of it, Demetrio is a content Roman Catholic, having been raised into the faith from birth in the Mexican tradition. He has an old school view on doctrine and practice, but occasionally he finds himself being cynical. Refusing to publically proclaim his faith in his savior, he views religion as a very personal and unbendingly personal choice. To simply speak of it as if its like one’s hobby would make Demetrio flinch. His priest, whom he meets with whenever he is free to leave, often questions if he feels he has the vocation. Apprehension and insecurity, as well as the secrecy of being a wizard, leads him to avoid the question as far as possible.

Magical style

Demetrio has two styles of magic. One is his public persona, the magic he uses in school lectures, especially in the D.A.D.A. class. It is sarcastic, often finding himself second-guessing. He is an amateur in this persona. His magic is frivolous and naïve, so to speak. Flicks of the wrist and his incantations are not sincere.

But alone, especially in the forest, his magic is elegant and elaborate. His incantations are sung. He invokes divinity, swiftly sailing his arms along the edges of the wind and breathing deeply. His feet, bare and naked, clutch to the ground with pure safety. His pet, Dieguito, joins him silent prayer. He closes his eyes and feels everything around him, from the sweat on his back to the cool breeze against his lips. This is his most personal time, truly away and at peace. If anyone were to see this, surely he would be crushed and recess away from the world.

His grandmother long taught him the ancient ways of curandería, being from a long line of independent Mexican witches; he is more at tune with herbology and healing spells than other students. This has influenced his intimate magic, forcing him to think ritualistically and religiously as opposed to the generic study of magic.



Early childhood

Demetrio José Guadalupe Magallón Mugica was born to Pepé Magallón and Veronica Mugica on December 7th 15 years ago in the Sierra Pelona Mountains of Southern California. He was born in an old, hacienda-style home, with beautiful walls and vines and rich trees across the mountainside.


The Magallón family is of a dying breed – old timey Californios who can trace their heritage in California since the earliest days of Spanish occupation. Perhaps protected from time by both magic and mountain, the Magallón family benevolently lorded over a small agricultural region of Los Angeles encompassing where the Sierra Pelona meets the Antelope Valley.

Both a magical and traditional-Catholic family, Demetrio was raised early on to believe things that were often irrational to “Muggle” (or as his family called them, “débires”), including miracles, spells, divine intervention, et cetera. His family was decently large, with his father, Don Pepé Magallón and DoñaVeronica Mugica de Magallón, his 4 older brothers, his 5 older sisters, his two aunts, his two sets of grandparents, and his mother’s grandmother, “Yoya”. All the females in his family were practicing witches, though the males were not. The witchcraft in the family had been descended from many years, having been curanderas and brujas since at least the fall of the Aztec Empire.

Enjoying his time away from the house, Demetrio, the baby of the family, would often climb up the mountain side, spending all hours of the day just enjoying his natural surroundings. He learned which waters were safe to walk near, the ones that were not infested with as many mosquitos, and he learned how to avoid the wrath of the mountain lions. He would hug the big oaks and pine trees all across Green Valley, and quite enjoyed meandering into Lake Elizabeth Town to catch a bite to eat. On particularly breezy mornings, he would enjoy a hike up to Burnt Creak and bask in the sun and listen to the songs of the wind.

He attended Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth United School, investing quite some time in the “Muggle” studies of elementary school. He spoke of the magic his family performed in religious terms, allowing him to be merely shrugged off as the “weirdo catholic kid.” Wondering why he didn’t have power and all his sisters did, he sat around wondering what power females had.


Ricardo, a 16 year old farmhand, noticed him laying on the fields one day and asked, “Hey kid, what are you thinking about?” To which Demetrio enthusiastically replied, “I’m wondering what it would be like to be a girl!”

“I can show you,” Ricardo smiled.

“Really?” Demetrio shot up like a dog waiting to be let out.

“Sure, but you have to promise never to tell anyone,” Ricardo said.


“Because girls don’t like little boys pretending to be girls.”

“I won’t tell.”

Although Ricardo successfully molested Demetrio, during the horrible sin and crime, Demetrio screamed “DURO!” attempting to tell Ricardo he was hurting him. No movement. Demetrio was shocked to find Ricardo had turned entirely to stone. Needless to say, Demetrio was traumatized by the whole incident, and in later years, the whole event would continually haunt him. However sorrowful, Demetrio’s family was overjoyed to see the “diablo marícon” turned to stone(and eventually bashed into powder), and exuberant to see Demetrio was indeed a magic sensitive.

Yoya’s training

Yoya, an honorific shortname for Eulalia, was the uncontested and unquestionable matriarch of the entire clan, and indeed held sway over the entire Sierra Pelonas. Brought to Yoya, Demetrio was analyzed and probed as to whether or not he was eligible to become a curandero. Originally skeptical, Yoya soon became convinced Demetrio was eligible when he showed healing prowess.

Thus, Yoya trained Demetrio in the ancient art of curandería, learning to heal with eggs, tobacco smoke and spells which had been transferred down generations. It was through Yoya’s trainings and meditations that Demetrio met his coyote, Dieguito, and then later became initiated into the family “aquelarre”(coven).


In the summer after Demetrio’s 11th birthday, he received a beautiful letter explaining his invitation to the ”Magus Grex School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”. Bringing it to his father, he asked what it was about, and his father explained how each of his sisters were invited but they refused (having been apprehensive and anxious of anything different). Demetrio felt obliged to go, and counseled with Yoya, asking permission to go. Believing it was the wrong choice, Yoya refused at first, but the next morning changed her mind.

“Por qué cambió su opinion, usted?” Demetrio asked. (Why did you change your mind, ma’am?)

She replied, “Tonanztin(the Virgin Mary) gave me a dream.” She smiled at Demetrio, caressing his boyish cheeks. “She said to me that you would be taken care, and you will learn powers far beyond any of ours…” Then she gazed up over her balcony and said, “She also said you will find a boy…” Then, abruptly left her rocking chair, moved to her dresser and pulled a wooden box from the dresser.

“Take this, mijo,” she said, opening it to reveal his wand, “it was made just for you.”

Pondering her words, Demetrio left to Magus Grex and quite enjoyed his first four years. He was sorted into Cervus house, which he was utterly ignorant of, but soon realized there was no other choice. Amazed at all the boys and girls who were magical, and vexed by the rich history of witchcraft and wizardry of the world that he was never aware of, Demetrio felt homesick for awhile. Although he never quite found an intimate friend, he found solace in Herbology class and Care for Magical Creatures where he felt at home, in his own element. Arithmancy proved to be his most difficult subject, with its rigidity and lack of warmth. In the Summer before this year, Headmaster Rockwell invited him to be a prefect for his house.

Amigo animal: Young coyote named Dieguito, who is often found at Demetrio’s foot or resting in his lap.

Varita: 15 1/3’, California Black Oak, Unicorn hair, Adamant
*self drawn*

His wand is larger than most, thick at the base and ornamented at the end, paralleling the enigma of his personality and his dramatic style of magic.

The wand wood is California Black Oak, cut from an ancient specimen near where Demetrio was born. Like her cousin the English Oak, California Black Oak can grow in any soil; but unlike English Oak, she especially strives in dry, otherwise barren soil, penetrating the Mountainous bedrock of the Pacific coast. Wildfire actually fosters California Black Oak growth in areas, refreshing and reawakening otherwise dormant specimens. California Black Oak’s magical properties have yet to manifest due to its unusual use, however it should be safely assumed that the use of black oak is not far off from English Oak.

Unicorn hair generally produces the most consistent magic, and is least subject to fluctuations and blockages. Wands with unicorn cores are generally the most difficult to turn to the Dark Arts. They are the most faithful of all wands, and usually remain strongly attached to their first owner, irrespective of whether he or she was an accomplished witch or wizard.

Demetrio’s wand was thoroughly crafted for the sole use of Demetrio’s hand, and therefore it is adamant and will refuse at any cost to be used by another.

Patronus: A muscly coyote with three, thick tails.


Do you know much about the Harry Potter Universe?: I have seen all of the movies, several times in fact. I’ve never been able to get through all the books, however, so I apologize deeply about that. But I am very well-read in herbalism, mysticism and neo-paganism, so maybe that might make up a teeny weeny bit?
How often do you get online?: I am online all the time!
How often can we expect you to be able to post?: Depends on my other RPs and if I have personal time, but at least once every two days I’m thinking.
Password: Copper Cauldron

So begins...

Demetrio Magallón's Story

Demetrio’s Perspective

Eying all the students in the hall, Demetrio nervously chewed through a few cookies before sipping at a glass of tea. Bleh, magically brewed tea was never as satisfying as Yoya’s homebrewed Sun tea, but beggars should not be choosers. Watching Justin Hardy play with silverware, and then move from table to table like a slut, Demetrio remembered what he once heard about him: Justin was gay. Feeling no fast issue to believe Justin was gay or straight, having never heard either from Justin's mouth, Demetrio made no quarrel about it. Though he couldn’t help but wonder. Back home in the Sierra Pelonas, the concept of gay or straight was very thin and undeveloped; Demetrio was reared into only one thing: act and behave and think like a man, and everything else will be natural. But gringos had a different way of viewing the world.

A few of Demetrio’s fellow Cervus house students were conversing near, though he had no inclination to engage in conversation just yet. Too soon was the school year, indeed only the first, for him to simply ease into his pigeonholed niche of the boyish jester. A few nervous jokes here, a few faint smiles there. But nothing serious. As for the other tables, students from every year were joyously dancing, metaphorically speaking, with the exuberance of a new school year; at least most everybody. Vance Abernathy seemed solemn and cordially cold, as usual, though he was bothering Felix for some odd reason. Justin seemed to have vanished sometime on. Almost all of the Ferre kids, except perhaps Felix, were never really interesting. Interesting enough, however, Finn had followed a Vulpes girl, Teiver, whom Demetrio admired yet knew she was a tad bit prejudiced, after Headmaster Rockwell's speech.

Uninterested, Demetrio finished his tea and lifted himself from his bench, unsurprisingly not startling anyone around him. For years, Demetrio had earned the reputation of the somewhat annoying Cervus kid who’d go around and share inside jokes with just about everyone, apparently even the teachers. On a few rare occasions, he was able to make Mr. Wicks smile, and Prof. Dahlin seemed to quite enjoy private tutoring with him. For years, Demetrio had attempted to build a relationship with Headmaster Rockwell, though such endeavors were hopelessly fruitless.

Walking through the halls to the bathroom, he spotted Justin at the end of the corridor go off towards the Astronomy tower, apparently needing some sort of astronomical data to eat his food. The halls were quite ornate, embellished with the carvings of Northern California’s natural environment. Large, stone Sequoias lurched over careless bears and peaceful hippies. Yes, Northern California was the antithesis to Demetrio’s Southern California, where the largest trees were fat but not terribly tall, mountain lions shepherded over the various valleys and passes, and the dry yet softly salty air cascaded down over your eyes in the beautiful harmony of ugly and beauty.

Demetrio, washing his hands, heard somebody stride into the large bathroom, with such hurried pace and irritated breath. The stranger, though obscured by the various walls of the bathroom, seemed to have taken care of his business and began to leave, to which Demetrio shouted, “Wait! Are you not going to wash your hands?!” Flustered and hurried, Rockwell came around to the sinks and took the one next to his. “So, Demetrio, ready for this year?” he asked, cold and vaguely uninterested.

“Never, sir” Demetrio replied.

“And why not?” Rockwell asked, magically twisting the nobs of the sink and shutting off the water (lazy!). He looked up at Demetrio and waited patiently, somewhat unusual.

“And why aren’t you ever ready?”

“What makes you think I am not ready?”

“For four, now five years I have noticed this same fact: on the first day of school you come rushing to the bathroom to ‘take care of your business’, though I know you just want an excuse to escape one last time before the year starts up.”

Oddly enough, Rockwell nodded his head, reached his hand over to touch Demetrio’s shoulder, and patted him. Now, amicably speaking, he said, “Well said, Demetrio. Cute, but well said.” And Demetrio knew Rockwell, not being a man to smile or laugh, found it humorous in the best way he could. Demetrio took silent pride in this. Rockwell reminded him of his uncle whom was killed by a pack of wild mutts; Tio Marín was cold and bittered from life, perhaps never seeming to enjoy anything, though Demetrio knew he loved everyone and took pride in the simple tasks that fell upon him. Rockwell seemed to be the same way, bittered by so many years, though generally benevolent and loving(in his own odd, distant way) to the years of students.

“Well, sir, you best be getting back to the table,” Demetrio smiled, “you wouldn’t people to start spreading rumors about us.” Smiling, Demetrio gave a small chuckle to an apparently annoyed Rockwell. The Headmaster replied, “Demetrio, I’m not sure anyone could ever envision you shacking up with anyone, let alone a Headmaster,” gave a small twitch of his mouth(a smile?), and then continued, “Don’t stay out there too long, today, okay? There’s been a nasty endemic of beach troll this Summer, and we wouldn’t want our star healer to be out there on his own in a fight.” And just like that, having surprised and terrified Demetrio with his semblance of omniscience, Headmaster Rockwell rushed out.

Demetrio NEVER spoke a word to anyone of his penchant for healing, not even Prof. Dahlin, whom he loved and admired very much. Rockwell was a mage of uncertain power, that was certainly certain. But what’s more, Demetrio was a bit crushed that Rockwell knew of his times out by the beach. Nobody know of that. Nobody. So how? Demetrio pushed it out his mind and left for the beach, handing a smuggled cookie to Mr. Wicks, who graciously let him walk right out the front door, past the stabled horses, past the special garage where Headmaster Rockwell’s grand carriage was hidden, past Prof. Dahlin’s personal flower garden, past the entrance columns, and out towards the beach. It was about a 20-minute walk from the school to the beach, though Demetrio never minded such a small walk. Back in the Sierra Pelonas, he would often find himself on the other side of the Mountain Ridge by noon and back by midnight.

Finally finding his sacred spot, a small, hidden nook where the beach meets the forest, and the fog rolls over just perfectly to produce a nice little pocket between air, earth and water. Demetrio sat down and attempted to pull of his black cowboy boots, the only reason why he dreaded his boots(nasty little things always seemed to love his feet).

“Yap!” Dieguito was on his way to Demetrio. Having let Dieguito go off into the forest early in the morning to have some fun, Demetrio was quite glad to see his best friend back. The little coyote bolted out from the forest and hopped right on Demetrio’s back, who responded by grabbing his friend and rolling in the sand.

“Dieguito, que pasó?” to which Dieguito yapped, yipped and barked his response to his human friend. Dieguito was more than a pet, he was a life-long companion, with whom Demetrio shared his most inner thoughts. Dieguito, having be named for San Juan Diego, the humble native man who saw the Virgin of Guadalupe, had long been a trusted friend of the Magallón family. The coyote was the symbol of both sides of the family, and most every family witch had been accompanied by a coyote from the same family.

Demetrio couldn’t help but feel he was being watched, as if he wasn’t alone, or some distant eye gazed at him. But regardless, he needed to have this time now. “Ready?” he whispered to Dieguito. Jumping up, gently removed his yellow-lined Cervus uniform, and threw it to the sand near his boots. Dieguito reared his head up and gave a short, squeaky howl, and waited in anticipation for Demetrio.

Pulling out his large, black oak wand, Demetrio still felt like he was watched, but didn’t pay much attention to it. Founding his feet into the sand, he slowly silenced his thoughts. Centering focus from the cold, Northern California environment to the warm, diamond-hard heart within, Demetrio slowly began to let his body form and shift to the push of the wind and the sound of the cold Pacific waves. His hands loosened up and followed in sync to his deep breathing. Tongue to roof, breath through nose, belly expand. With his wand, he helped move the air in and out his lungs; as he breathed in, his hand and wand gently glided to close to his nose, and as he exhaled his hand and wand reached out to follow his blowing out.

Now dancing in a ecstatic dancing of breath and prayer, Demetrio had forgotten everything around. He felt only the sunshine of the Sierra Pelonas, the sweet wind of the mountains, and the peace of his childhood. Silently, Demetrio cast various spells for the year, hoping to improve his health and focus and confidence.

Demetrio heard a snap, jolted from his peace.

“Oh shi…” he had little else to say, seeing the ugly mug of a beach troll…

Demetrio’s Perspective

“Dieguito, pasale al Señor Wicks, por favor,” Demetrio whispered to Dieguito, the ever-faithful coyote, who, upon the end of his friend’s request, darted off into the distance of the castle. The coyote’s now-bristled tail solid and narrow so as to hone in on Dieguito’s aerodynamics.

Rearing his own head back, shaking his shivers off, he pointed to his boots and smiled at the troll. Such a nasty beast, with jagged teeth and ugly snarl, a furry mane, and sand-caked legs… Trolls were Demetrio’s least favorite monster. The greenish flesh of trolls alone was enough to incite emetic convulsions and all else. Spoiled and rotten, trolls’ flesh was perhaps even worse to smell than even to see, having a distinctly ‘yodel’ of the most disgusting notes ever in the sympathy of gross scents. Indeed, the salt of troll sweat, though worth more than 30 galleons, was poisonous to both head and heart. Fortunately for Demetrio, however, this particular troll was covered in sand and lacked the distinct scent of most trolls.

“Boots?” Demetrio asked him(or her, Demetrio wasn’t sure?), to which the troll nodded. Surprisingly semi-intelligent, as some trolls were. And so Demetrio slowly moved to grab his robe and boots, and nervously put them on his person. The robe, made of fine spider silk, was specially woven by his ‘aquelarre’ back home, his ‘coven’ of curanderas, brujas and encantadoras, blessed by both Yoya and the family priest, and emblazoned with his most cherished award – his prefect badge. The prefect badge had been personally awarded to him by Professor Kass upon the request of Professor Dahlin and the approval of Headmaster Rockwell, and was uniform to all other prefect badges (being the House badge boldly crowned with a large “P”).

Prefect badge!

“Oh shi…” Demetrio exclaimed, running his hand through his soft hair (a product of constant herbal baths), realizing he had to be back at the Great Hall soon to take the first years to the commons. This troll had to come at the worst of times, evidently ‘to troll’. Demetrio’s exclamation seemed to have peaked the troll’s interest, who lightly leaned against his driftwood club.

“Can we leave this for another time, Señor Troll?” he asked. Demetrio didn’t want to waste time, he had less than an hour to fulfill his duties, and he didn’t want to risk failing his responsibilities. He would certainly lose his prefecture.

The troll shook his head. Of course the troll wouldn’t simply allow Demetrio to just pass. Demetrio was a fine piece of Mexican meat, a delicious looking burrito, and no troll would pass up Mexican for dinner.


The troll shook his head, laughing lowly.

“Fine,” Demetrio replied, grabbing his wand and ceremonially gliding it from forehead to his right side – being that he was right handed – and waited for the troll’s first move. Señor Troll lifted his drift-wood club, which he had rested in the sand while waiting for Demetrio’s boot-wearing and badge whining.

“You are a very intelligent troll, friend,” Demetrio smiled, twirled in place, shifting his body to the right and sliding his wand in a complete circle. As his point of inertia, though slowed by the traction of the sand, met the cross of the troll, Demetrio firmly shouted, “Ventus!” surprising the nasty looking troll and shockwaving him back a few foot. The troll had been spun around and landed on his engorged, warty belly. “Ew…” Demetrio whispered to himself as he sat the surprisingly grosser side of the troll.

“Have you no decency, troll!” Demetrio shouted, shortly thereafter realizing his opportunity and darting off to the castle. Discomforted by the sand in his boots and the general displeasure of a troll’s presence, Demetrio struggled to march out of the sand into safety. He seemed close to making it to the grass field before feeling a sudden tug on his right waist.


“Oh shi…!” the troll grabbed Demetrio’s foot and pulled him down on the sand. Grabbing his driftwood club, he raised it up with anger and frustration, and smashed it on down Demetrio’s leg. “AHHHH fuh!” (OOC: I don’t even… I just. Ahh!) All he could hear was a sudden crack and the loudest snap ever! Losing feeling to both his leg and his head, Demetrio lost all effort against an imperious headache. Slowly, he blacked out.

Dieguito’s Perspective

Meanwhile, Dieguito rushed as fast as he could across the grassy boughs and bluffs that kept his friend away from the academy, taking no more than 15 minutes to reach the front gate, passing by the Naire kid with his owl. Three years ago, Dieguito would have stopped to snatch up the bird, but Demetrio had been trying to get Dieguito vegetarian(as well himself). The caretaker had to be found, where was Mr. Wicks?

Dieguito found Mr. Wicks in a corridor yelling at some kids to get moving. Yapping and yipping, Mr. Wicks’s slow mind was at first flustered… until he asked, “Where’s your owner?”


“Oh…” and with that Mr. Wicks rushed with Dieguito to the front gate, stopping to find a horse.

Lee’s Perspective

“’ey! Somebody wanna t’y dese beignets!” Lee shouted to his fellows at the Arietem table. Munching down on his single most favorite desert of all time and slowly sipping at his du Monde-imitation coffee, Lee was quite content. He wasn’t sure why, but he always felt that Magus Grex beignets were superior to Café Du Monde’s, blasphemy which would usually erupt in a terrible fight back home.

Gregory Abbots shouted back from the other side of the table, near the seventh-years, “Hey, speak normal, you idiot!” Oh shit! He did not just tell that to no Beauregard!

“Who seyd dat?” Lee yelled, “Where’s y’at!?”

“It was Greg,” whispered a fourth-year.

Striding over to Greg, he made sure to finish swallowing his final beignet, wrapped around the table, and then proceeded to stand behind his ‘house-fellow (who happened to have been sitting three seats away from the edge). Reaching out to touch the boy’s collar, he ran his soft fingers gently down his spine. “Now, eide’ ya wanna bang dis, or ya gonna le’rn up some good dat nobody insulds a Beau’gawd.”

“The hell are you even saying?” Greg was quite flustered and red, embarrassed by Lee’s incessant flirtations (this time not being the first) and simultaneous threats. Gregory Abbot usually was never too threaten of course, having been from some big shot family in Minnesota, and never seemed to care if some ‘fag’ of a long-dead family threaten him with sex. Greg, of course, was straight, and had no intention to sleep with a fifth year, man or no; though he would never admit to having fooled around last year a bit…

“Hod dyam, I can’t help id if’n I spend some time dis Summuh back in Nola and den I speak like I do.”

“Dude, get the dick out your mouth!” Greg knew from first-hand experiences about dicks in Lee’s mouth. (OOC: O Lord/zebras please forgive me but the nasty talk seems to fit the situation too well!)

“Hmm… you’re cute,” he winked at Greg, “as always.” Answering with a forceful push on Lee’s hips (much to Lee’s surprising pleasure) away from his face, Greg’s face went crimson red when Lee continued to slap his own ass in a taunting matter.

“Mmmm… that’s the spot, eh?” Lee winked at Greg.

“Whoa man, I’m gonna report you to the Headmast-“

Just then, Professor Chambers’s cold voice was heard from behind Lee, “Master Beauregard, please see me in my office…” and just as quickly, Chambers left.

“Dur Gawd!”

“So, Master Beauregard,” Chambers spoke up, still mixing his tea as he rigidly sat in his red-velvet and oak seat, “I overheard your pathetic little excha-“

Lee piped up, “Bud he sta’ded id!” Chambers’s hands stopped, surprised and flustered. His face was middle-aged, halfway between old and young, and obviously very stressed, very frustrated… all the time.

“Beauregard or no, I don’t think your father would have approved of interrupting your betters,” growled Chambers. Clearing his throat and then taking a small sip of tea, he continued, “Now I heard your pathetic little…” lifting his eyebrow, “…exchange.” He sipped at his tea once more. “I don’t appreciate infighting in my house,” once again sipping at his tea, each time, naturally keeping his eyes on Lee, “but what’s more is that you are going around and basically begging your fellow students… for sex.” The word ‘sex’ fell out of his mouth as if it was a nasty, grimey piece of clay when he intended to bit into a rich ham.

“Do you like making Arietem,” sipping at his tea, “nothing more than a cheap whore ‘house’; a gay whore house at that?” Chambers’s eyes never twitched, and Lee forgot the last time he saw Chambers’s blinked today. Lee shook his head ‘no’. Lee was ALMOST tempted to shout for joy, “YES!”, but it probably would not have gone over with Chambers too well.

“Eh?” Chambers raised his eyebrow, “as a Beauregard, I know you have better manors than that.” Chamebrs occasionally alluded to having known Lee’s pappy, Monseigneur Thomas Beauregard, though most witches and wizards were well-versed the Beauregard family name. The Beauregards had long been an esteemed foundation of American witchcraft, General Beauregard being the very first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Magic shortly before and again-after the Civil War.

“No professuh, suh, I would nod like to make Ariedem a gay whore house… suh.”

“Much better,” Chambers grinned, “ya know, you’d shine a lot more if you would act more like the family you came from.” Lee grit his teeth; Lee breathed deeply…

“What am I going to do with you?”

“I do nod know, suh.”

“You’re a prefect… and you’re in Alchemy, quite advanced for your age,” Professor Chambers just revealed his hand, “quite honestly, you shouldn’t even be in Alchemy. Royal Flush, Beauregard just lost a pretty pot. “How did you get into it?” he contined, “Did you sleep your way into that class? Was it a final brandishing of the faded glory your family once possessed?”

“My fam’ly’s glery nevuh gonna fade!” Lee shouted, though not startling Chambers.

“So which shall it be? Taking Alchemy or being a prefect?”

“I do nod know…”

“I do,” sipping at his tea, “you actually seem to be good at alchemy,” he smiled, though it was still a serious and cold smile.


“…so I think I’m going to keep you as prefect,” Chambers said, then took his final sip of tea.

Lee grit his teeth.



Îrem’s Perspective

As Priscilla hugged Îrem, she said “Hey girl!”, to which Îrem couldn’t help but give a light giggle. She acknowledge Zack as she sat down and smiled, pretending to not mind Zack’s presence, though really, Îrem could sense that Prissy wanted to say “I do” right there. Îrem didn’t quite know what to think. The trouble with being part of such a large group of friends, especially a House who’s bonds are thicker than thieves, is that oftentimes doves cry so to speak.

“Prissy, how was your summer?” Îrem asked. Prissy had been a name Îrem had used since her first year at Magus Grex, perhaps one of the few ever to use a shortened form of her girl friend’s name. Îrem, although partially robed in the dark green uniform of house Arietem, flaunted her body with her color, orange! Orange dresses, orange leggings, orange shoes, orange shawls… and when she was feeling mighty religious, orange hijabs. But she hadn’t worn one since at least her third year, a promise to herself that she would show of her own beauty until she was married or ugly.

She gave Zack an understanding wink as Prissy looked away for a quick moment, watching Lee proposition Greg Abbots for sex. Ah Lee, Îrem’s other Arietm girlfriend. That boy was adorable (although he denies he is; he also denies to be feminine, cute, sexy, or campy, all of which most girls and some guys claim he is). Poor Lee, always getting himself in trouble.

"Hey there, Arietem scum," Felix said as he played with Zack’s hair and sat down next to him. Awww how cute, Îrem thought, imagining Felix and Zack being cute little brothers. "Îrem, Priscilla,” he said, acknowledging Îrem and Prissy, “You two are both looking as lovely and noble as ever. I trust your Summers were divine. Don't tell me... Aspen? No... Cabo? No, wait... Paris? Somewhere expensive I would imagine. How have you all been?" Har har, how funny, thought Îrem.

“Haha, none of those, Feliz,” Îrem always had problems pronouncing “cks” and “x” sounds. “I went to Montana,” she giggled, knowing their surprise. “My father has a business associate who has a ranch there, we went for the Summer to get in touch with our… simple sides.” The truth is that Îrem quite enjoyed Montana, its rolling plains and all the nicest people. She enjoyed visiting the horses and the solace from the city.”

Lee’s Perspective

As Lee walked back into the Great Hall, he noticed Priscilla, Îrem, Zack, and Felix talking at the end of the Arietem table. Priscilla seemed a little uncomfortable, Zack was shining like a little school girl, Felix was grinning like a punk, and Îrem… Îrem was always a sight to see. Lee had ten minutes before he had to carry the first years to the dormitory. He decided to go sit next Îrem and make Zack, Priscilla and Felix uncomfortable.

He could see some of the third and fourth year boys brighten as he passed by; the lowerclassmen thought that he was hot shit, the upperclassmen wanted to stomp him. He cared for neither, honestly. A particularly ”enthusiastic” fourth year was sitting next to Îrem; he was a cute boy, so Lee decided to squeeze his tiny body between the two on the pretense he was going to flirt with the boy and not intrude on the others conversation.

”Hello preddy ladez; Îrem ya are so gawge’us, ya are da only wom’n who can make me straight!” Lee exclaimed. He bowed his head to the two larger boys, “Gentlemen.” Then he continued on a particularly superficial conversation with the pretty boy next to him.

Seeing Vance close to leaving the Great Hall, however, Lee shot up, startling Îrem(who was quite enjoying a particularly strong and hot batch of Turkish tea) and causing her to spill tea all over Felix(she never let herself spill anything on herself, how silly!)

"Vanz! Wait fo' me!" Lee screamed, allowing almost everyone in the room to chuckle at the young queen.

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…

#, as written by throne
Lyle Brightham – Up and Attem!

There were a few fringe benefits to being a never-ending and spastic source of energy, chief among them the ability to rise before the sun and get a start on his day. Lyle had slept well, and sleep had washed away the misgivings of the prior evening. He was smiling as he crept about the room so as not to wake anyone, collecting his things and then heading to the washroom to take care of showering, brushing his teeth, and getting dressed in a pair of cargo shorts, a t-shirt with a monkey on it, and then of course his robes to top it all off. He’d of course forgotten his notepad, which was akin to forgetting his left arm, and scampered back up to the dorm to retrieve it. Thinking better of it, he scribbled off a note, which he left on Vin’s nightstand.

Feeling better, thanks so much. I’ll see you at class! – Lyle

As if the near-illegible hand-writing could have been anyone else’s. It was a wonder even he could read it, and it wasn’t at all by design, though people often remarked that he probably did it so that no one could make any sense of his notes and poach his stories.

He stopped by the ferret cage as well, peering into it. Skip was sleeping, but Scamp scurried up the felt-covered scaffolding. Lyle poked his nose into one of the gaps in the thin metal bars, grinning as the ferret nuzzled its own small wet nose against his. "Sorry buddy," he whispered. "But you've gotta stay put for now. I'll be back after lunch."

His stories. That was what had him bouncing down the stairs two and three at a time into the common room. He nearly plowed into a third year boy whose nose was all bandaged up. Just managing to pull up short of a collision, Lyle furrowed up his features in a strange combination of worry and fascination. ”Hey Tommy, what happened to you?” The sleepy looking boy frowned, struggling to keep up with Lyle’s rapid patter. ”Oh, I tripped on my way up the stairs before. Slept in the infirmary, need to get cleaned up before breakfast. But did you hear about that Demetrio guy?”

Demetrius was a friend, but then, almost everyone was a friend in Lyle’s mind. He really did like the Mexican wizard though, he was kind of solemn but intensely interesting. ”No, I didn’t hear anything at all, what happened? Is he okay?”

Tommy shrugged his small shoulders. ”Dunno really, but, I heard the nurse say something about stupid little boys trying to wrestle with trolls, so, I guess it probably has to do with trolls. Anyway, nice to see you Lyle.” The younger boy smiled tiredly and wandered off, leaving Lyle wild-eyed in anticipation. Trolls! He’d never actually seen one, only read about them or learned about them in class, and he’d never heard about them being anywhere near the school. If Demetrio had encountered one, that would definitely be newsworthy. Oh, and his friend was hurt, and he should probably check in on him and wish him well. Yes, definitely!

Bolts of lightning would have been shamed by Lyle’s exit from the Ferre student dorms. His sneaker-clad feet made a rapid pounding on the stone of the corridor floor as he zipped off at a dead run toward the infirmary. It was quite a sight, except that most people were still asleep, so no one saw it… well, maybe someone did, but Lyle was far too intent on getting the scoop (and checking in on Demetrio!) to notice anyone, save for Old Wicks, whose shouted invective against running in the halls was only answered by a quickly piped, high-pitched ”Sorry!” before Lyle rounded the corner and ran on.

He was quite disheveled and thoroughly out of breath when he finally made it to the infirmary. He puffed out a good-morning to the witch who was far more interested in her morning coffee than Lyle’s unexpected appearance and then scurried on in search of Demetrio. When he found the other boy’s bed, he heaved a bit of a sigh of relief, and then grabbed a chair and dragged it to his bedside as quietly as he could… which admittedly, in his mixture of exhaustion and excitement, was not nearly as quiet as it could be.

Brimming with anticipation as he was, he couldn’t bring himself to wake poor Demetrio up. Instead, he plunked himself down in the chair, got his notepad and quill out, and set to work on the beginnings of his House Elf Interview article. It was still in the very formative stages, so he was really just putting down ideas, shuffling them around, working out a really smashing title (because a smashing headline was key to the success of any news story, any junior journalist knew that). There he’d be when Demetrio awoke, scrawling away and waiting for him to come to.

Vance Abernathy – Arietem House

Vance awakened slowly. The laziness of Southern summer was still upon him; it would be a few days before his body adjusted to the very different routine of school. Even after the incident, which was how his family had taken to mentioning what had happened to Nevaeh, his mornings at home had been slow-moving and sun-dappled. He hadn’t been sleeping well, and so when he did finally achieve some fitful version of rest, it was late enough that he didn’t roll out of bed before ten o’clock in the morning. He’d take his coffee out onto the porch, letting the eastern sun bathe him as he the porch-swing rocked, and then he’d perform his ablutions before joining his grandmother and possibly his mother for brunch, where he’d still be waking up as he absorbed the latest gossip and helped himself to princely portions of the buttermilk pancakes, grits, sausage, and bacon that the house elves had painstakingly prepared.

Thankfully, he’d managed to nod off early the night before. There was a discombobulated moment where he laid there in bed, snug and warm beneath the duvet, and wasn’t even sure how much of the prior evening had actually occurred. Bellona’s foolishness, Lee’s impertinence, his grandfather’s machinations, so clumsy that he knew there had to be something more to them. Dimly he became aware that it had been reality rather than dream, and so it was that he wrestled his way out from under the covers with an undignified groan.

The chair he’d rested against the door was undisturbed, and his wand was still beneath his pillow. He donned his glove, slipped into a changing robe (tucking his wand into the sash after he cinched it), and then set off for the shower. There were a pair of Quodpot players, theoretical friends of his, teammates and house-mates at the very least, who were apparently washing up after a crack-of-dawn practice session. Any other year, he would have commended them on their initiative and deigned to engage in some small talk about the coming season. Instead, he banished them with a few gruff words, and when they were gone he secured the door to the lavatories. While Vance did embrace modesty and was in the grips of some mild paranoia, neither of those motivations had anything to do with the privacy he required.

He started the shower spray and took care of his oral hygiene, studying his sleep-slackened features in the mirror as he did. It would take a moment for the water to hit the scalding level he preferred, hot enough that it was more like sanitization than simple cleanliness. He disrobed, and then, still watching himself, removed the glove as well.

The glimmering metal of his prosthesis caught the unflattering fluorescent lighting of the boy’s bathroom, throwing a glare into the mirror, which had begun to fog up. Vance used his fleshly hand to wipe the steam away. There was one ritual he’d developed that he couldn’t dispense with, not even here at school. Slowly, very slowly, he brought his left hand to the point where his elbow met the goblin-made arm. He settled his fingers in just the right places, swallowed, and then squeezed gently. He was rewarded with a click, and then the sound of clockwork. The clamps and mechanisms that held it on, that somehow transmitted his will into the device, began to release. When at last they all had, he pulled the thing away and placed it carefully in the sink basin.

It couldn’t be called anything but a stump. The curse Nevaeh had used on him had made a remarkably clean cut, and Vance had of course had the best medical care available with the discretion required. The stump was slightly rounded, magically regrown flesh settled around the ball-like joint in his elbow that had been spared. His eyes fixed on the reflection of it, studying it intently. He couldn’t help but grit his teeth, and turned his emerald eyes on his reflection as a whole.

His broad shoulders. His smooth, sculpted chest. His perfect, tapering abdomen. His features, aristocratic, noble. His hair, golden-blond with just the right amount of curl. And his stump. An unspeakable blemish, something he would allow no one to see, but that he had to see. He had to remind himself what had been taken from him, had to stoke the forge of his own fury.

This is what you are now, Vance Abernathy. You will never again be whole. You will never again be beautiful. And these are the people who will pay for your suffering and the suffering of your sister…

It was a short list, but it would grow. His grandfather. A few other of his cohorts whom Vance had recognized either by voice or a glimpse beneath their cowls. He shuddered when the ache that wasn’t an ache at all came. How could there be pain where there was no arm? It was dull, seemingly radiating through empty air below the stump, but it was real. Phantom sensation. The healers had warned him about it, and it was easy to ignore with prosthetic on, but without it, the feeling turned his stomach.

He immersed himself in the painful heat of the shower, let the driving water sting his skin. His new arm was quite immune to water, but the stump still needed to be washed. It still sweated, and he’d learned the hard way that the resulting smell could be incredibly unpleasant. Showering one handed had presented a few challenges at first, but he was an expert now, quick and methodical, brisk and efficient. He dried the stump first, so that he could reattach his arm and towel off more effectively. Then he re-gloved, re-robed, and returned to his room to get dressed for the day. Black slacks, a crisp white shirt, a matching vest and a brilliant silver tie. Navy and brown were out of the question now that everything needed to be matched to the dragon skin glove. His eyes found a mirror, and he smiled. To the rest of the world, he was still whole. There were two Vance Abernathy’s now, and one of them only existed for a few moments while he showered.

The final touch was his school robes. He slipped his wand, his new wand, still somewhat mysterious and unknown, into the usual pocket and set out. He needed to deal with Lee before breakfast. Appearances needed to be normal, and they wouldn’t if the boy was still hoping for the kiss he’d tried to ransom.

Vance wasn’t about to pimp himself for followers, he’d decided. Kissing Lee would have meant as much to him as any other detestable form of affection, regardless of the gender involved. It would, however, set a dangerous precedent. What else would Lee imagine to ask of him? He was perfectly fine with the school knowing of Lee’s affection for him, but for them to have confirmation of any reciprocation would be a disaster. Lee wouldn’t be able to keep his mouth shut, not about that… so he was in for an early morning dose of the truth.

His confident gait brought him to Lee’s door, and with his real hand, he knocked hard upon it. If he didn’t get an answer, he’d wait a slow count of five before doing it again. After that, Lee’s sluggishness would forfeit his right to mannerly conduct, and Vance would simply enter.

Demetrio’s Perspective

Infirmaries are tricky places. It’s always a nice place to have, but it’s always a nasty place to need. Most muggle hospitals came bridled with all the whirling germs of death and decay which seemed to fester deep within the bowels of every muggle. Filled with lascerations, bites, bullet wounds, cancer and arrows to the knee, hospitals were certainly a place to dread.

Magus Grex’s infirmary was just that, except married with pixie-scratchs, centaur-stompings, giant hugs, Thestral trippings and boneless wizard wings arms. Most of the cots had been in service since at least the Civil War (though often cleaned with a particularly nasty brew of bleach and basilisk teeth), the sinks continuously rusted out (which wasn’t so much an issue as more a nuisance, being that the sinks generally shook off rust like a dog shaking off water every 5 or so minutes), and little old ladies came to and fro from one cot to another, inspecting their patients, smoking (Weasley Cigar Co. in particular) and attempting to remove wands from certain nether regions.

Demetrio had woken up in a terrible sweat, beads of human perspiration running down his forehead, back and legs, as he hung from his bed, swinging in perfectly knotted bed sheets. Blood had rushed to his head, and smoke filled his lungs, causing spins and cough fits (respectively) as he pulled himself up onto the bed, resting what little strength he could muster. How pleasant that nobody stayed with him long enough to see him wake up. Not surprising, and Demetrio didn’t expect anything more or less.


Why was he even in the infirmary in the first place. Searching his mind, rubbing his chest (and attempting to avoid any communication between hand and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Touched), little came back. He remembered a sharp pain in his leg, a snap? He threw off his sheet and gazed down at perfectly healed legs… odd. Must mean he can leave, right? No need for discharge?

“Well… where are my clothes?” he whispered to himself as he pulled his body up to sit up straight. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught movement. Lyle!? Lyle had been sitting there the whole time, quietly to the side.

“Uh… What are you doing here, Lyle?” Demetrio asked.

Îrem’s Perspective

Îrem was enjoying an absolutely wonderful cup of Türk Kahvesi (Turkish coffee), a gritty brew of her own hands. Magic or no magic, her father would say, kahve must be made by hand. Her family had to deal with her witchiness, something they were not use to, in a fresh way. Her father, a Muslim man, and her mother, a Christian woman, had religious hesitance at first, but their love for their daughter was much stronger than any fear.

Îrem always enjoyed every morning rather early. She was up and awake by 5 o’ clock, making sure to pray and then thinking for awhile in her suite for a few hours. At 7, she would descend down the staircase, elegantly stepping ever so slightly so as not to wake the others. Thankfully, there were always other early birds.

Îrem’ bee hummingbird had woken from her pocket and came buzzing around her head. “Hello, Baba,” Îrem greeted the 2-inch companion.

Now to wait for classes, or for somebody to come and flirt.

Lee’s Perspective

Lee was startled awake by Vance’s knocking. Throwing off the sheets, Lee realized he couldn’t possibly open the door yet. Lee always slept naked.

“W’ed jus’ a minude!” Lee yelled out. Jumping from his bed, he did his morning greeting of all the generals, as he hurriedly grabbed a pair of boxers. They were solid white, tight and semi-transparent. Normally, Lee would have no problem being so salacious, but he was feeling particularly guilty this morning. He wanted to apologize to Vance.

Grabbing his school robe, he partially covered himself to open the door, “Come on in!” he yelled, perhaps startling Vance.

As he left the door open, Lee turned his back to the door, forgetting to cover his backside with his robe (still hanging in his hand against his waist). Poor Vance. Had to see Lee’s near-bare naked ass… (OOC: smh).

“I wanna say I’m sor’uh, Vance,” Lee said, staring at the ornate portrait of Stonewall (the general, not the puppy wow-wow), nervously hoping that Vance wasn’t behind him with a garrote wire. “I shuld’a been a bedduh fr’en’, and I’a still wanna help, ya’ll don’ hafda kiss me or tell me wha’s wrong. I’m a’ways y’er huck’aberry, nameen?” He waited patiently for Vance’s reply.

#, as written by throne
Justin Hardy – Cervus for the day!

”Diffindo,” he said evenly, almost as if in reply to Teiver as he cocked an eyebrow at her. Somewhere in his facial expression was scrawled the word amateur. It accompanied some slight readjustment of his wand, but the Severing Charm made quick work of his shoe-laces, simply slicing through them and freeing him from an admittedly unconventional use of the tongue-tying curse. ”I’ll send you a bill for those,” he added, saluting her with his wand. Victor got a tidy little smirk, before Justin turned his attention on Finn. The Ferre do-gooder seemed more focused on Teiver and Victor, which Justin derived immense amusement from, so Justin just shrugged and grinned a goofy grin at him, as if he had nothing whatsoever to do with no less than six wands being drawn.

He rolled his eyes, noting that he’d lost Felix to Rose. Heaven forbid he should ever be under an actual attack when there was a pretty girl around. ”Just can’t rely on those straight boys,” he remarked to Emerson with a chuckle. He made a mental note to check in with Felix on the status of his lupine cycle. If he needed a potion soon, Justin would have to get to work on it by the end of the day. It was just another one of the many nice things he did that people tended to forget in the wake of his childish antics. Ah well.

Emerson’s non-chalant indication that there was something to talk about derailed his plotting of retaliatory pranks to play on Teiver quite thoroughly. Justin’s head sort of jerked a bit as he regarded the other boy, and he certainly noticed the way that Emerson was carefully avoiding eye-contact. That meant it was almost assuredly bad news. But what kind of bad news would Emerson have to discuss with him at the breakfast table? Usually that kind of thing would be relegated to semi-private hallway discussions, or a walk outside, or…

Maybe he was reading into it too much. But then again, maybe he wasn’t. What if Emerson was seeing someone? He’d been gone all summer, he had plenty of wizarding friends in New York. And maybe he would choose to tell Justin in a public place, hoping to avoid some sort of histrionic-laden freak-out (which Justin would readily admit would probably be his first response to that sort of news).

As all of that went buzzing through his head, he simply nodded, moving to take the seat beside Em at the table. He was about to inquire, casually of course, what they had to talk about, but it only took one look at the Cervus to realize he’d fallen into one of his weird food trances. That warranted another roll of his eyes, but his lips told a different story. They’d pursed into an amused, affectionate smile, and he might have just sat there, watching Em eat, had his mail not arrived.

The owl swooped over the Vulpes table, but, not finding Justin there, winged off over toward him at the other center table. Screeching, it seemed a bit heavily laden by its cargo, which it dropped with precision onto the table before Justin before taking off. There were a few magazines, two newspapers, and a very long, somewhat thin box wrapped in parcel paper. The latter-most triggered a blink, and he quickly pulled it to the side Em wasn’t sitting at, leaning it against the table.

He spared another glance at his friend, and realizing that there’d be a few more minutes of chewing and swallowing, opened up one of his newspapers to wait him out. One of the more diligent house-elves had made a carafe of black coffee appear in front of him, and Justin gladly filled his mug. He helped himself to some bacon, a bagel, and a muffin, and proceeded to pick at all three while sipping bitter coffee and skimming the headlines.

Lyle Brightham – Ace Reporter!

So, you lot have all heard me go on and on about house elf liberation. For this week’s editorial, I’ll be doing more of that, but this time, I’ll be sharing my experiences with an actual free house elf. I met him this summer, and it made me realize that a lot of why people don’t care about house elf freedoms exists because the house elves themselves seem so happy to be enslaved. It’s something that’s existed for centuries and centuries, and many house elves don’t even know that things were different once.

So I’m going to introduce you to Sprogget, and tell his story. And maybe then-

”… and maybe then…” he mumbled to himself, his eyes intently focused on what he’d written thus far. Between when he’d arrived and now, he’d transformed the small section of the infirmary between his chair and Demetrio’s bed into a mess of parchment and ink. His notes were scattered around on the floor in a seemingly disorganized fashion, but in actuality, the order he’d put them in made perfect sense to him. It was the best way to tell Sprogget’s story- he just needed to finish the introduction before he could dive into it, but he was a bit stuck.

He heard Demetrio speak and looked up suddenly. Wait, was Demetrio naked? Lyle clapped a hand over his eyes, then peeked through a slit between two fingers. No, he was in a gown. That made waaaaay more sense, and was way less embarrassing for both boys. He carefully stood up, collecting his notes and then setting them in a semi-neat stack before he started snooping about to find Demetrio’s missing garments. He grinned at the other boy brightly. ”Mornin’ sleepyhead!” Lyle’s pre-breakfast enthusiasm could sometimes be terrifying. He poked around a bit, then found a pile of neatly folded and spell-laundered clothes sitting on a nearby bed. ”This must be them! Here you are.” He scooped up the clothes and then bounded over to Demetrio to present them.

”And, well, I’m here because I heard about the troll-attack! That must have been really scary, but you look like you’re okay, so maybe it wasn’t that scary, haha. But, you’re okay, right? Because…” He sort of trailed off, a little self-conscious as he got to the point. ”Well, I was hoping you might do an interview about it? I don’t think there’s ever been a troll attack at the school before, not for years anyway, so, yeah, um, I’d really be grateful.” Another pause. ”OH! You probably want to change.” He clapped both hands over his eyes this time. ”But, yeah, what do you say Demetrio? Maybe your story can help other people avoid getting hurt, and just think, you survived a troll! That’s awesome!”

Forgetting that Demetrio was probably changing, he peeked to see if it seemed like the other boy was going to consent to an interview. If Demetrio was in a state of undress… well, Lyle wouldn’t really be able to help peeking for just a few seconds. Harmless curiosity. Once he realized he was doing it, he’d be hopelessly embarrassed and awkward. He really just wanted to check Demetrio’s reaction to his interview pitch.

Vance Abernathy – At Wit’s End

The sad fact was that Vance was being genuine. At least, his version of genuine. At its depths, the motion to parley was rooted in selfishness, self-preservation. Priscilla could be a valuable ally, or if not, shuffling her into the more neutral ‘not an enemy’ column would be a bit of relief. The arrangement was mutually beneficial. If she wanted Nevaeh’s place in the pecking order, she’d have it. Better her than Bellona after her threats and bungling. With his backing, which would require only a modicum of effort on his part- acknowledgment at dinner tonight, a few words to the faceless girls who were already jockeying for it- she’d have no one to worry about.

Irritation flared when she appeared to be dismissing his entreaty, but they didn’t have the chance to exchange another verbal salvo. The door was open, and while Lee had complied with his prayers to a degree… it simply wasn’t enough. He’d never expended any thought on the subject, but he no longer needed to imagine what Lee’s rear end looked like. Neither did Priscilla, who seemed to be having some sort of dainty fit at the sight. To make matters worse, the boy started babbling an apology that would, under other circumstances, have pleased him immensely. He would have forgiven Lee. Probably would have told him something much closer to the truth than he’d been planning, as reward for a display of humility and loyalty befitting a noble wizarding family and an associate of an Abernathy.

The circumstances were as they were, though. Priscilla, of course, pounced on the opportunity. He could hardly blame her; he’d have done the same in her situation. It was rare that an opportunity to catch Vance in indignity arose. It was more than that, though. He was feeling the hints of betrayal. Lee in particularly, but Priscilla’s rejection of his truce compounded the matter.

”Lee,” he said abruptly, to get the boy’s attention. Clue him in, perhaps, to the fact that someone else was there if he hadn’t sussed it out already. ”Wait.” Priscilla had ordered him to get dressed, but Vance wasn’t going to miss this chance to shame Lee while using his nigh-nudity to continue discomfiting her. When it came to orders, he knew whose would be obeyed. ”Turn around, won’t you? Presenting your back is hardly fitting for a conversation.” The polite request and etiquette reminder had something of an edge to it. This is not me asking, that edge conveyed. This is me telling.

He smiled at Priscilla. She should thank him for this little lesson in the finer points of poise and humiliation. ”If you must know, Lee here was under the impression that he might be able to ransom some affection out of me when I asked him to do me a favor. Obviously, he’s seen the error of his ways. Isn’t that interesting? I evince disdain and apathy stippled with cordiality, and he’s willing to risk my wrath for the sake of a kiss, then beg my forgiveness when he realizes how wrong it was. Meanwhile, you primp and posture, use those wiles of yours that everyone is always going on about… and all you have is a flock of harpies who wouldn’t spit on you if you caught fire.”

He tilted his head, and then glanced to Lee. ”You asked for the truth. That is the only truth that matters, isn’t it? As long as there’s even a fleeting chance…” He smiled gently. ”You’re mine. Not that you’re any great prize. You have your merits, surely, but I get the feeling Priscilla was about to retort something about your desperation not being anything worth writing home about?” They… might be starting to worry. Vance was never this transparent, not with fellow Arietem. He’d verbally eviscerated plenty of other students, but never his house-mates. There was a strange intensity to his voice, as if he were slowly building up to something… volatile. His gloved hand was clenched into a fist.

He looked to her for confirmation, and continued whether he got it or not. ”But she can’t even get the boy she actually likes to notice her. It’s sad, really. Like a barker at a bazaar who can’t unload even a single vial of snake-oil. And when presented with a chance to make a formidable ally, what does she do? She lashes that serpent’s tongue yet again, makes intimations about the two of us, ludicrous though the thought might be.” He shook his head as he continued watching Priscilla. Watching wasn’t quite the right word for it. If she weren’t so spirited, she might feel very much like a mouse awaiting the strike of a poised serpent.

All at once, he was suddenly aware of what he’d said, the fact that he’d gone too far. His brow furrowed as he looked between them, replaying his own words through his mind. ”So what am I to do?” he asked. His tone had changed. He’d lost that unstable momentum he’d been gathering. ”I’m not interested in trading jests.” He shook his head, and regarded Priscilla much more normally. ”I yield. I’m done. I have much more important things to attend to, so by all means, tell everyone who will listen to you that I’m sodomizing Lee every chance I get, tell them I hurt your feelings, tell them whatever you like.” He sucked in a breath, and laughed jaggedly. ”That actually felt… good.”

There’d be a brief bit of silence after that, where either of them might have responded. If they didn’t take advantage of it, he’d be off, striding toward the common room, curling and uncurling the fingers of his mechanical hand without even realizing he was doing it.

Demetrio’s Perspective

”And, well, I’m here because I heard about the troll-attack!” Lyle said, smiling excitedly like a little boy. “That must have been really scary, but you look like you’re okay, so maybe it wasn’t that scary. But, you’re okay, right? Because…” He sort of trailed off, seeming a little nervous, though Demetrio couldn’t quite place why. Lyle always seemed to be confident, at least to Demetrio. But Demetrio was always far and distant from anybody, so he never gave much merit to his own perception. ”Well, I was hoping you might do an interview about it? I don’t think there’s ever been a troll attack at the school before, not for years anyway, so, yeah, um, I’d really be grateful.” Demetrio smiled blankly, but in reality he was a little irritated. All Lyle ever wanted was an interview. Demetrio bit his lip. Why couldn’t Lyle understand that Demetrio didn’t talk about things like that? Why couldn’t he just joke around and accept that Demetrio would never be close to anyone?

”OH! You probably want to change,” Lyle said, nervously covering his eyes with both of his hands. Demetrio honestly gave no thought to getting dressed. The funny thing was: Demetrio wished he could walk around naked all day. As hidden as he was about his insides, he’d much rather never be hidden about his outsides. But alas, he lived amongst other people, and therefore had to follow conventions. The animals would have never asked something so ridiculous as to wear clothes. Demetrio turned his back to Lyle, though he didn’t care if Lyle was staring or not. But nobody would stare at Demetrio anyway, so it didn’t matter. He practically tore off his gown, bending over to position his feet in the holes of his boxers. Had anyone else been in the infirmary, it would have appeared to be a rather scandalous scene: Demetrio’s bare bottom facing a giddy Lyle. But Demetrio didn’t care. Demetrio was ugly, at least in his mind, and nothing scandalous could ever happen to him.

”But, yeah, what do you say Demetrio? Maybe your story can help other people avoid getting hurt, and just think, you survived a troll! That’s awesome!” Demetrio barely even remembered the troll. He just remembered that it was his fault. He should have waited or something. He should have just listened to Headmaster Rockwell. The sound of his leg cracking and falling to black... what a nightmare.

”Lyle, I just don’t know,” Demetrio said, placing his hand on Lyle’s shoulder to alert him that it was quite safe to look. ”It’s not that I don’t appreciate your interest in my health, I do, but I just don’t remember a whole lot about it. And I’m just not a big talker…”[b] Demetrio felt a little guilty. Lyle was the only soul in the entire school who consistently made an effort to get deeper. Feeling partially obligated, he sighed and pressed against Lyle’s shoulder. He pointed his face towards the door and said, “We should go eat breakfast, I’m starving. We can talk about it on the way or something. Does that sound okay? I mean, I know I’m not the prettiest girl to walk to the Main Hall, but give me a break!” Demetrio smiled and winked, attempting to pull Lyle towards the hall.

[b]Îrem’s Perspective

Unfortunately, Îrem was only half way out the commons as the drama up the stairs ensued. She was pretty darn sure it had something to do with Lee and Vance. It was best for her to check up and make sure everyone was fine.

She noticed Prissy near Lee’s door, cracking up… until of course Vance began to berate her. Îrem couldn’t quite discern Prissy’s face, but he could hear Lee start to sniffle. Vance was less tense after his little rant, stretching his hand and breathing heavily.

Getting closer, Îrem grab hold of Prissy’s arm: primarily to comfort her, and secondarily to hold her back from ripping Vance’s manly bits apart. She would have gone into Lee’s room, but she wouldn’t dare risk Vance swatting at her.

It didn’t matter, though, because Lee was speaking up anyway.

Lee’s Perspective

Lee was quite unsure of what just happened. Should he dart to find some clothes, or should he just stand and wait for Vance’s further mandates? He heard the shuffle outside the door as Îrem probably silently aided Prissy, and he watched as Vance waited for somebody to speak up, his shoulders tense and unsteady. All this... tension, to say the least, sort of reminded him of the storm. All the waiting, the chugging of events, the crackdowns. It made him deathly nervous. He didn't like it. He hated Vance for causing all this stress. He hated himself for causing all the stress. He hated Vance for being unhappy, for being so cold. It was the reason why he loved Vance so doggone much.

Just as it seemed Vance would leave, Lee barked up, “Vanz, come on in, podna. Just’a calm down, and talk about whachu ne’d me’a do. No funny bidness, from here on out. Just trus’ me and come on in. Please. I’ll ged ya a whole dozen beignets if’n ya’ll jus’ come in. Whatya say?” He needed to wait and see what Vance would say or do to make another move. He reached out his hand at Vance, attempting to lightly grab Vance's, and with the other preparing to shut the door behind them both.

#, as written by throne
Lyle Brightham – Still Sort of Confused

Lyle wasn’t sure what to think, when he peeked. Demetrio had donned his boxer shorts by then, so it wasn’t as if he was seeing anything scandalous, but the Cervus boy looked… upset? He wasn’t sure. It was too subtle an expression for Lyle to really get a grasp on. The basic ones, the smiles and frowns, those were easy enough (except when they weren’t- Lyle didn’t quite understand why anyone might smile when they weren’t happy or frown when they were, but people did it all the time). Not being terribly complex himself, he had trouble interpreting complexity, especially in social situations. He was the sort to get upset when others were fighting and then erupt with Why can’t everyone just get along?, because he simply didn’t get why they couldn’t.

He recovered his eyes, thinking hard about what Demetrio might be thinking. He’d asked Demetrio for interviews before, and been turned down, but that had been about Demetrio. He’d been hoping to learn more about the only Mexican wizard he’d ever met, about his beliefs and where he’d grown up, but he’d accepted it when he’d been denied. It was private stuff. Like if someone walked up to him and asked him to talk about his mum. The realization hadn’t come easy, but it had eventually come, and he’d never asked again.

This was different though. It was a troll attack, not anything about feelings or junk. To Lyle, a troll attack was a little piece of adventure that had somehow gotten tangled up in the daily school routine. It was exciting, it was dangerous, it was news-worthy. He had no idea that Demetrio wouldn’t want to talk about it. Maybe it was him. Maybe Demetrio just didn’t want to talk to him. It was a sobering thought, but fortunately, not one he had to endure for very long.

He felt Demetrio’s hand on his shoulder and startled. He’d gotten so wrapped up in his ineffectual thinking that he’d sort of forgotten the guy was still standing there. His hands flew away from his face, replacing a view of his fingers and palms with the sight of a very-much-clothed Demetrio. ”Haha, you scared me,” he informed the other boy, his voice a little higher in pitch than usual. His boyish features were lit up by a wide grin when Demetrio agreed to talk to him, and they could have breakfast! He’d almost forgotten about breakfast.

He looked a bit puzzled as Demetrio said something about not being the prettiest girl. Lyle was about to announce his confusion, point out that Demetrio was, in fact, a boy, but then Demetrio was pulling him toward the exit. ”Wait, my notes!” He wriggled away, dashing to the chair where he’d left his effects and quickly sorting through them, shuffling pages, stuffing the lot of it in his bag once he’d made sure that the cap was firmly set on the ink bottle. He forgot to do that a lot, and had ruined quite a few bags and story drafts as a result. Hanging the bag off his shoulder, he bounded to rejoin Demetrio.

”Okay, I’m ready now. And thanks for doing this. I really am really glad you’re okay. So, um, wait. You said you don’t really remember what happened? Did the troll hit you on the head?” He juked a step closer to Demetrio, ducking his own head around as he tried to inspect the Cervus’ noggin for any obvious bumps. Not finding any, he crossed behind him to Demetrio’s other side without missing a step. ”Maybe just… talking about it will help bring it back?”

Justin Hardy – Time is of the Essence

Emerson would notice that Justin really didn’t seem all that interested in whatever he was reading. His expression was more thoughtful than anything, far too thoughtful to have anything to do with an article (it could barely be called an article; it was practically an advertisement, given how biased it was toward a particular brand of magical solvents that Justin knew full well to be inferior) about cleaning products. He was chewing on a few different things. The whole debacle with Teiver and Calza, whatever it was Emerson was killing him with suspense over, when exactly he’d be able to slip off and tend to his potions. He caught a glimpse of Flint joining the Cervus table as well, a ways down. Well, at least he’d made it out of bed. That meant Justin wouldn’t have to return to their room and drag his ass out of bed before class began.

That was when he realized Em was watching him read. Sort of strange, that. Rather than catch him in it and trigger embarrassment, he pretended as if he hadn’t noticed anything until he heard him clear his throat. He ruffled the paper a bit, glancing over at Em as if he hadn’t been running through a mental database of possibly gay or bi- guys who might have stolen Emerson out from under him. Turning to face him, he couldn’t help but notice Flint with Rose, Other Felix, and Delilah.

”What’s up, Emersonian?” He reached over, grabbing a grape from a nearby bunch of them, and with a deft flick of his wrist sent it sailing through the air in a ballistic arc. It’d pass right over the Cervus students between them, probably bouncing off the side of Flint’s head unless he moved. It was Justin’s version of good morning, and his way of getting the other boy’s attention. He had to fill him in on the Teiver and Victor thing, but then again, maybe not, since Flint had joined in his defection from the Vulpes breakfast table.

”I’m listening, I promise,” he put in quickly, grinning to Emerson. He planted an elbow on the table, using the attached hand to hold up his chin as the gift was described. He couldn’t help sparing what he hoped was a discreet glance at the wrapped parcel that was leaning beside him before returning his attention to his hopeless crush.

The goofy grin that spread like kudzu across Justin’s face was really all the proof anyone would need to convict him of falling hard for Emerson. If anyone else had launched into an animated account of the cuckoo clock they planned on giving him, Justin would have been staring at them blankly. What the Hell would I do with a clock?, he’d be thinking, probably even saying. Instead, he looked delighted, really lit up. Instead, he was thinking about Emerson hunched over a clock, probably taking several deliberate hours to do the work he’d mentioned in such an off-handed fashion.

”It sounds awesome. Really. I can’t wait to see it.” He laughed, and it sounded… well, relieved. ”The way you were making me wait, I was just getting…” He paused, waggling his eyebrows, a clear indication that a terrible pun was soon to follow. ”All wound up about it.” Again, his gaze strayed to the oddly-shaped box that had been delivered. ”I um, actually have something for you, too. But it’s not ready yet.” He sat up, regarding Em once more. ”You know, that was some pitch you gave. I especially liked the part about being… what was it? ‘Chirped into consciousness by the sounds of nature.’ You should think about a career in advertising.” He just wanted to… hug him. It was so damn cute, how enthusiastic he got about a clock.

”So when do I get this cuckoo alarm clock, hmmm?”

Demetrio’s Perspective

Ignoring Lyle’s confusion at Demetrio’s obviously poorly worded humor, Demetrio wrapped his arm around Lyle’s shoulders as the other boy returned with an amalgamation of papers and things. Demetrio never quite understood Lyle’s interest in gossip and such. In Demetrio’s culture, that is Californio (a distinct subset of Mexican), only women dabbled in chismes and men stood stoically as the women made fools of themselves. A follower of machismo, Demetrio made sure never to speak intimately of anyone unless it was absolutely integral, and he certainly spoke less of himself. Sometimes, he felt disingenuine, but it provided for him an advantageous serenity; his grades were perhaps one of the best in his house (not considering arithmancy of course) and most teachers valued his refreshing yet rare additions to class conversation.

The honest truth, however, was that Demetrio did very much want to share something with Lyle, or with anyone about anything. He wanted to tell Lyle everything there was to say about Mexican witchcraft and wizardry, he wanted to share personal stories, he wanted to offer it all up. But his fears precluded that. Yes, he was more afraid of not being a man than actually proving he was a man. This was probably the number one reason he was cast into Cervus and not Ferre; he was not courageous or honorable, he was too sentimental for Vulpes, and lacked the drive of Arietem. His own internal struggles meant he was uncompromisingly accepting and distantly affectionate towards anyone as long as they stayed from his heart, and his shadows.

But Lyle had determination, Demetrio gave him that. He did have a point, however. A troll attack wasn’t necessarily personal, and would be good to warn students of such a danger. But it was still attention that Demetrio didn’t necessarily want. Demetrio would hate to be on the other end of pity or cynicism, and honestly he was ashamed to have been bested. But mostly, he was afraid it would be revealed as to why he was even there out there in the first place. ¡Ay mamá! Demetrio would never be able to come up with a decent excuse, and he certainly could never tell the truth, even if Rockwell already knew.

”Lyle, I appreciate you wanting to know,” Demetrio finally said as the two were passing a particularly favorite tree of his, a Manzanita with a specifically red tint to it. He continued, ”And I do intend to help you, because you have always been friendly, and I appreciate that you are the only person ever wanting to know anything of me. But you must understand that I am hard pressed to speak of myself, and I… as we say, am muy macho cuando quiero estar callado de mis cosas. But you do have a point that it would benefit other students. If you ask me specific questions, I will be more inclined to share with you my story. Just do not ask of me the entire story in bulk, I am not… how we say un rey de palabras. Um… a master of words, so to speak.” With that he stopped them both at the side door of the Great Hall, and stared at him in the eyes. With his left hand still on Lyle’s shoulder, he took his right hand and gently ‘slapped’ Lyle’s check affectionately; an old fashioned Californio sign of trust. ”What do you say, amigo?”

Waiting for Lyle’s answer, he couldn’t help but feel… safe. Safe. In a long time, it seemed he never felt that way. Even after years of being a student at Magus Grex, even during Summers with Yoya, his tartarabuela, and all of his family… he never felt safe. Not since his innocence traversing the mountains. But Lyle didn’t threaten his safety. He wanted nothing more than to… know him.

Before Lyle could answer to his face, he turned his head to the left, pretending to gaze up at the towers, and a single tear escaped his eye. Hoping that Lyle wouldn’t catch sight, he attempted to his best to hide his eyes; but still he waited for Lyle’s answer.

Lee’s Perspective

Lee waited in his room, silently sitting in his chair, a housewarming gift from his Aunt Leona. He was still near-naked, cold and… empty. Ever since he lost his parents, he always felt like a different person. He always felt as though he had lost something integral to himself. He had attempted to steal it back through various exploits: academic advance, carnal pleasure, etc. Lee was a douchebag through and through, however. No matter what he tried, he simply delved deeper into his… emptiness. Aunt Leona never helped with that. As much as she loved him, she seemed to have been the officiator of his ruination. It was her influence that made him a purist, that made him racist, and that made him unbendingly bitchy.

For the life of Lee, he never quite understood why he was asked to be a prefect. He never was much for responsibility, and besides his academic achievement, he was never charismatic enough to be a leader of any sorts. His father once explained to him his namesake: Lee, for that noble General whose leadership was the sole catalyst for Southern unification, Thomas, for the Stonewall whose fortitude rallied all behind him, Pierre, for the patron of the dynasty and the general who was both initiator and first driving force of the rebellion. Lee never felt much like he obliged any of those names quite well. Lee was neither noble, brave nor driven. In fact, he was ambitious and ambitious alone.

Now he sat, just at the window of his room. Thinking. Here he was, on the first official day of classes in the fifth year of his scholastic career, and he was sitting in a chair. Now, what had he expected from Vance? He wasn’t sure anymore. He probably had expected some sweeping Romantic scene in which Vance finally revealed his everlasting love and the two would ride off together to bring world fame and renewed glory to both their houses. Fantasy. Lee knew so, but his… bitchiness allowed him such tomfoolery. Idiot, Lee thought. Pure fucking idiot. After Vance stormed off, demonstrating his dissatisfaction to say the least, Lee immediately shut his doors and sat in anger.

Lee was determined to skip all classes entirely today. He didn’t care if he was reprimanded, and he certainly was NOT interested in keeping his prefecture (more of a punishment to him than a privilege). He didn’t care that Îrem was knocking unceasingly on his door, he had magically locked it anyhow.

#, as written by throne
Lyle Brightham – Elated!

So, well, really, Lyle had no idea what Demetrio was saying for the longest time. Parts of it were in Spanish, a language that his knowledge of was more or less expressed in the words taco and burrito, for starters. Then there was the fact that Demetrio seemed to be saying more than he was actually saying. Lyle was really just looking for a yes or no, and there were so many lines to read between. Finally, there was the fact that for what was possibly the first time ever, Demetrio was touching someone, and that someone happened to be him. Lyle was no stranger to affection. In fact, his ambush-hugs were legendary, and more than a few of his “bromances” got occasionally awkward when he forgot about that pesky personal space thing people were always going on about.

As far as he could remember, though, Demetrio had always shirked from contact, even high-fives or fist bumps or the like. It wasn’t bad or anything. Lyle had a rudimentary understanding that some people didn’t like to be touched. It was one of those things he really didn’t get- he never could have actually explained why someone might not like it- but that he abided by anyway, like the fact that the sky was blue because of nitrogen. He couldn’t help but wonder what had changed between all the times Demetrio had left him hanging and now, but really, he didn’t mind. It was nice. Friendly. Maybe a little unprofessional, given their interviewer and interviewee status, but, hey. They were just kids.

Then Demetrio slapped him. Lyle’s eyes grew very wide. It hadn’t hurt at all of course, but, well, he’d slapped him. Demetrio didn’t seem angry though, or even upset. In fact, he seemed pretty happy. His mouth opened to question the action, but at that exact instant, it occurred to him that the meandering dual-language response was, in essence, a yes. And he’d called Lyle amigo! He knew that one, it meant friend!

”I say that you’re the best, Demetrio! And, um, yeah, that’s a good idea! The asking question things. I was gonna do that anyway, but, I’m glad you um, like it. Haha.” He beamed, and almost wrapped the poor Cervus in one of his fierce little hugs. He managed to restrain himself, though, if only because he’d so recently been considering the other boy’s aversion to touch. He was so excited he didn’t notice the tear at all. In fact, he might not have noticed if Demetrio had grown a reptilian tail and used it to juggle cats. He was already thinking up questions!

”So, oh, we have class soon, we better get in and eat real fast. But um, for starters, can you describe the troll for me? I really want a good picture in my head for when I write about it. It’s too bad Naire wasn’t there, he could have gotten a picture!” And probably wound up in the infirmary; this did not occur to Lyle, though. He started a Sorkin-walk into the dining area, leading Demetrio to the Cervus table, because that, apparently, was where everyone was going to wind up this morning.

Justin Hardy – Pretty Fly for a Jedi

Justin narrowed his eyes on Emerson when he wondered if the long parcel might be his gift, pretty much confirming, of course, that it was. It was mostly playful. The eye-narrowing, that is. He didn’t figure Emerson for the sort to go and ruin a present, but it did annoy him mildly that he’d mentioned it when it was sitting right there. With anyone else, he wouldn’t have said anything, but for some reason his usual cunning seemed to run in spurts around Em. It worked fine when he was flattering, flirting, or joking… but try as he might, his ability to lie or even bend the truth with him was just pathetic. It was a minor miracle that he’d managed to convince the goofball that he didn’t still think about him naked at least twenty times a day. He wasn’t even sure he had convinced him, and Emerson was just being nice and ignoring it.

He lifted a hand, waving it in front of Em’s face. ”These are not the gifts you are looking for. You don’t need to see my identification.”* Grinning in a manner that he hoped was impish, he secretly melted a little inside at the nudging and then looked down the table at Flint when Emerson mentioned the Betterbeer. ”Ah, yeah. We had a little soirée. You know. Stupid stuff. I’m pretty sure I mooned an owl. Definitely a success, though. But you know what they say. What happens in the sixth year Vulpes boy’s dorm stays in the sixth year Vulpes boy’s down.” He shrugged non-committal, keeping a straight face despite the obvious fact that no one had ever compared the bookish House’s tower to Las Vegas, ever, before that very moment.

He nodded understanding when Em explained his gift wasn’t ready. Even if he was capable at being mad at the boy, it would have been downright hypocritical, given the finishing touches he still needed to put on the parcel leaning to his left. ”Ah, I understand only too well.” He shook a fist in the air (believe it or not, in more or less the same direction as the American Ministry’s offices), contorting his features into an expression of profound anguish. ”Damn you, Trace!” It was no secret that Justin had spent an inordinate amount of time the past three summers trying to work out a way to shake the magical monitoring spell that had been ruining his life since the day he realized he could make a profit doing magic. He’d worked out an arrangement with a local wizard of somewhat shady repute back in Salem, wherein Justin would instruct him and supervise him in some moderate Potions work so he didn’t fall too far behind in his production schedule, but really, it was the principle of the thing that bothered him. That and the many, many Galleons he was wasting paying the guy off for wand-work he could easily have been doing himself.

He cocked an eyebrow when Lyle and Demetrio passed them, and in doing so noticed something… what was the pure unadulterated evil version of “auspicious”, again? Calamitous? Dastardly? He wasn’t sure. He probably could have filled an entire parchment roll with ill-omen words relating to what he was watching. Vance Abernathy and Victor Calza. Talking. In what seemed to be a friendly way.

”Nothing good can come of this,” he muttered. It probably seemed to come out of nowhere, at least to Emerson, but he’d probably figure out what his friend was referring to when he noticed Justin trying to either murder them with his eyes or eavesdrop over the breakfast din. Maybe he was attempting to read lips? Anything was possible. Whatever the case, he’d have to keep an eye on that particular unholy alliance, especially after the altercation earlier.

He noticed Felix across the room as well, and frowned. It didn’t take much more than a glimpse to tell something was amiss. Probably not the ideal time to ask him to help him win Em’s undying love, but, he’d have to hook up with him later anyway and see what was up. Something about his utter disconnection with the room around him led Justin to believe that he wasn’t quite ready to spill about whatever it was just yet. Maybe by lunch time.

He returned his attention to Emerson, favoring him with an apologetic smile for his lapse in attention. He quickly ran through the last few lines of their conversation, then resumed it. ”You always were inexplicably good with Charms, so I’m guessing it will turn out great. I bet my roommates will find it perfectly annoying… and really, there’s no greater gift you could give me than that.”

*Reason #214 that Justin is madly in love with Emerson- Even though he’s from a Wizarding family, he gets most of his pop culture references.

Vance Abernathy - <insert Game of Thrones opening music here>

For the first time in months, something was actually going right. Vance did well to conceal his surprised gratitude when Victor simply welcomed him, complimented him, even indicated an interest in discussion. He nodded sympathetically at the mention of family matters. The Vulpes’ final sentence seemed to ring in his ears. I’d hoped to speak with you about how things have changed this year. Victor didn’t know the half of it. Though of course, perhaps, he did. He had half a mind to ask him if he’d received any missives from his grandfather, but Victor would have just lied adeptly, tired though he seemed. It would gain him nothing and expose more than he dared. He really needed to give some earnest thought toward obtaining some Veritaserum.

There coming together was interrupted by an owl, dropping off a note for Victor. Vance would simply stand by if he decided to read it; again, his respect for the other seventh year extended far enough that he didn’t expect the abject deference he’d once garnered from his lesser. Or if Victor simply stowed it for later perusal, more the better.

”That’s what I was hoping to speak with you about as well,” he replied once they were underway. His trained strides would of course bring him a half-pace ahead of Victor, which meant that he’d now be able to get a very good look at the dragon-skin glove encasing his artificial right hand. ”I hope you’ll forgive me a somewhat awkward question, but it’s been a trying morning already and I haven’t the patience for anything more clever.”

A glance about the hallway. Who was in earshot? Were any of his grandfather’s puppets keeping tabs on him? Did it even matter, when he was engaged in a fairly intimate tete-a-tete with someone who very well might be one of those puppets, right now? Satisfied at least that Victor was the only one he needed to worry about presently, he continued.

”How much can I trust you, Calza?” He turned his head, looking back at his fellow pureblood. ”It occurs to me that I really have no idea what you want, and by that token, no idea what I can expect from you. It’s an unusual experience for me, I assure you.” It was utterly devoid of pretense; the same blunt honesty he’d exhibited in his own common area earlier, motivated by the same disinterest in intrigue that had led to his casting off of his Quodpot robes. ”You might say that I’m reorganizing my priorities this year, and that I’ll require the aid of a certain caliber of student.” No pleasantries. No talk of their summers. He wasn’t interested, and didn’t want the shrewd Vulpes becoming interested in his. Not yet, anyway.