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Lee Beauregard

"I may not be a Southern belle, but you can ring me all night long!"

0 · 407 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


Lee Beauregard
Prefect Arietis



Basic Info

Name: Lee Pierre Thomas Beauregard IV

Age: 15

Gender: “Naught Boy ;)”

House: Arietem “…and proud!”

Pet: Two wolf pups, Stonewall and Longstreet


Birthplace: New Orleans, LA

Wand: 10’, Magnolia, Thestral tail Hair, Unyielding

Patronus: Pit bull

  • History of Magic class (mhm)
  • Advanced Alchemy class
  • Boys, boys, and more boys
  • Jazz music
  • “Did I say boys?”
  • “F’in beignets!!!”
  • Quodpot

  • Church “…no”
  • Girls…
  • Mud-bloods
  • Yankees
  • Oysters
  • Herbology (yawn…)


Lee Beauregard is an arrogant character, particularly bitter from death and destruction, and corrupted by purist mentality. He views anybody who is even a drop of “muddy” as an enemy, at least magically speaking. He will deride, he will destroy, he will insult and make you cry… unless you have something he wants, which usually includes your body. Yes, Lee is an openly homosexual(albeit non-campy) aristocrat from New Orleans. An agnostic/atheist at heart, and little child somewhere deep within.


If, however, by some miracle of God, one were to earn his trust, he would look beyond race or blood, beyond class, beyond anything, and absolutely love them. Why? Probably his parents’ upbringing before they died, one last gasp of the old world which his father and mother attempted to exemplify: pure, warm class.

Lee Beauregard has little ambition for magic per sé, but aspires to someday claim the title of Secretary of the Department of Magic, a title once held by his ancestor, General Pierre Beauregard.


“My fam’ly is de gre’t and esteemed Beau'egard durna'stuh of N’urlans, Loozianne. We ‘fawt’ in bo’ffa'da Revl’shuns, and are prurd descend’nts of Gen’el Beau'egard!” – Lee Beauregard when his Louisianne is showing!


Lee, having been raised in a pure-blood, once-aristocratic “dynasty”, grew up knowing exactly what he wanted from life. His father, Thomas Beauregard, and his mama, Lucille Beauregard neé Braggs, made certain sure that their oldest son would grow to be a fine, strong man. Thomas, in particular, tried to instill in him the great passion of chivalry, honor, and faith that was once distinctive of their family name. Lucille would spends hours lovingly teaching Lee about the importance of etiquette and gentlemanly behavior. Yes, Lee grew up idolizing the many Confederate heroes (especially his many-greats grandfather General Beauregard, who served as the first U.S. Secretary of the Department of Magic up until the Civil War), but was always taught that every man could be a Southern gentleman, no matter blood or race. The Beauregards were a God-fearing family, having been reared from a particularly traditional parish, and were also key allies of any Archbishop that came to New Orleans. Indeed, for generations, the Beauregards acted as benevolent archons to the wizards and witches of New Orleans.


That was until, of course, the catastrophic hurricane Katrina in the late Summer of 2005. The Hurricane not only damaged almost all areas of New Orleans (save for, of course the Beauregard palace), but left a terrible imprint of primeval survival in the hearts of New Orleanians. Shortly after the dissipation of the hurricane, thousands were dead, more were dying, and over $108 billion were lost to damages. Because the Domaines de Beauregard were rather pristine and luxurious, even after the storm, a terrible micro-riot ensued. Besieged by the hungry survivors of the storm, the Beauregard family feared for their lives. Though Thomas and Lucille Beauregard were both undeniably two of the most powerful wizards and witches in North America, their magic could only protect them long enough to ensure their children’s safety. Hiding Lee with his two brothers and sister deep in the safe, spell-hidden basement of the palace, Thomas and Lucille prepared to make a last-stand. And though they feared for their lives, they knew that many of the besiegers were only human, and so hesitated as the onslaught began. Thomas and Lucille died in each others’ arms, graceful and classy as how they lived.

Deeply disturbed and depressed, the Beauregard children escaped and went to stay with their Aunt Leona Braggs, a purist of Baton Rouge. Aunt Leona attempted to raise Lee like her, bitter and spiteful of any “Mudblood” or “Muggle”. Really, purism was only just a comfort for Lee, for in his heart, he knew his parents were absolutely right about class. Despite this, he went about life with a new attitude, one that was both dark and hateful.

In his eleventh year, he was invited to attend the prestigious Magus Grex School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, something no Beauregard had ever considered attending, having long attended Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. Aunt Leona, however purist, urged Lee in to attending Magus Grex, believing an American school was much more to what he needed than a French school. And so, Lee went to Magus Grex. In his first four years, he learned to master the sciences, even earning the right to join the Alchemy class(a strictly seventh-year class) for his 5th year. Oddly enough, he doesn’t dawdle or dabble with potions in his free-time, and truly only achieved entry in such a class when he proved his Arithmancy and Transfigurational abilities.


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...

Lee Beauregard's Story

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.



#, as written by throne
Vance Abernathy – Arietem House

The truth about Nevaeh. He’d have his measure of Fletcher yet. It would be interesting to watch what the boy did with the information Vance had promised. A part-truth was what he planned to deliver, and if the Ferre had even a shred of the conscience that he demonized others for lacking, he wouldn’t breathe a word of it. Perhaps he’d even take pity on Vance. A year ago, the very thought would have brought the taste of bile to his mouth, but now… now he needed every tool at his disposal. If he were capable of trust he might have taken a far more direct route in all this, but trust was a luxury that not even all the gold in the Abernathy vaults could buy him.

His eyebrows lifted slightly when Felix added a vague secondary term, but he hardly cared. The champion of the meek could easily have asked for more, and Vance would gladly have complied. Not playing Quodpot, pretending to care about the weak links scampering about the school, doing his damn homework; all of it came secondary to survival, which was only primary until he could get his revenge.

He’d been watching him all the while. He might not have been as predictive as he’d liked, but he’d achieved more or less the effect he’d desired. Fletcher was questioning his motives, then questioning his own questioning, and likely even questioning that as well. Vance’s unfailing commitment to the arrangement was truly shown when Felix slung an arm over his shoulders. Unlike mention of his sister, that little bit of incendiary failed to find any tinder.

He listened to the logistics. Was it some sort of trap? A clandestine meeting, alone? And why in the world would a dog be involved? He’d slowly chew on that for the remainder of the evening, ultimately deciding that it would be worth the risk. In the very least, if Fletcher was somehow a part of the conspiracy, he’d likely not expect Vance to be more than ready to use lethal force if need be. I already did once, he couldn’t help but think, and his stomach lurched. He found himself thankful that he hadn’t eaten too much.

As Felix walked off, he conjured a characteristic smirk and raised his gloved hand to lightly brush at his shoulders, as if the Ferre had left some tangible residue on his robes that needed to be returned. He smiled icily as he was given the finger, and then Felix was off. Statue of the dog, midnight. Now to see to the rest of it. A few Ferre students who were still feasting were sort of staring, likely freaked out by the fact that Vance and Felix somehow hadn’t come to blows after a conversation. A practiced baleful stare, approximately two seconds worth for each of the two boys and one girl, was enough to have them looking dutifully at their plates.

Clasping his hands behind his back once more, he strode off, his strides as long and full of purpose as ever. Fletcher was heading toward his table, which meant that he’d have to touch bases more definitively with Zachariah later, and Lee…

… where was Lee? The smitten Beauregard was one of the few he trusted to watch his back, if only because he was so literally invested in “watching his back”. You can take the Beauregard out of the swamp, he remembered his father saying once, But good luck taking the swamp out of the Beauregard.” More than likely he was off in the midst of some torrid interlude, something which Vance would spare no more thought than that. He hardly cared about the boy’s proclivities, only how vocal and crass he could be in satisfying them.

As he passed the table, he made sure to catch Zachariah’s eye, and offered an all but imperceptible nod as well.

A thought crossed his mind; more an image that he’d not deigned to process that suddenly had meaning. Quite uncharacteristically, he paused in place and glanced over his shoulder, taking a quick survey of the Vulpes table. The bulk of the school’s magical talent was concentrated in that House, and one in particular… but she wasn’t there. No matter. He’d find her when he was more sure of things.

It dawned on him that he’d simply been standing in place for several seconds, thinking. Alertness flooded his eyes once more, honing his gaze into something sharp and formidable, and he resumed his stride, headed for the Arietem common room.

Lyle Brightham – Ferre House

When the conversation finally tapered off a bit and Lyle was nice and full, it occurred to him that he hadn’t seen Naire yet, or Lloyd. He got up out of his seat as if someone had threatened to set him on fire, all flustered and grabbing at his bag and laughing. ”Yeah, I’ll see you lot back at the common room, “ was how he excused himself before, hugging his backpack to his chest, he scampered off at full tilt, piping a quick ”Sorry!” to a seventh year girl who was forced to sidestep to avoid the bundle of energy that was Lyle.

He charged up to the Vulpes table, skidding to a stop to seek out his best friend. He rocked on his heels, eyes darting about. Where was he? Probably outside, but there was a lot of outside that he could have gone to. He did find a few fellow fifth years and flashed them an antsy smile. ”Hey, did anyone see where Naire went? Did he say where he was going?” The questions were fired off one after another, a barrage of the rapid patter that passed for speech from Lyle. Heads were shaken, and he sighed exasperatedly but said ”Thanks anyway!” before wheeling off and skittering out of the hall. He looked over the Arietem table, too, but Gwen was gone already, probably off with her girlfriends or some guy or something.

* * *

He stopped off at his room to stow his bag and pick up Skip and Scamp. The ferrets were no longer allowed at meals after an incident the year before. Much like their owner, they had a tendency toward excitement, and well… the ferrets simply weren’t allowed anymore.

He opened the large cage they were cooped up in and thrust his arms in. In a flash, the creatures scurried up either sleeve of his robes, and Lyle wound up bursting into ticklish laughter as the climbed up his body to pop out his collar and take up perches on his shoulders; Skip, a soft gray, on the right, and Scamp, a healthy brown, on the left. He grabbed a notepad and a quill and set off in search of his friends.

He burst out of one of the castle’s many exits at a dead run, stopping briefly to catch his breath and get the lay of the land. He tilted his head a bit, listening, and would have sworn he heard soft strains of music in the distance. It took him a moment to get a sense of where it was coming from, and a grin slowly blossomed on his lips, followed by a pinkening of his cheeks as he bolted off toward the sound of a violin being skillfully played.

He slowed down once he caught sight of Lloyd perched on a large rock. He didn’t want to scare her, or interrupt her, or anything like that. He was still beaming as he approached, lifting an arm to flap it in an exaggerated wave (the ferrets were used to such actions, and scampered about on his body to stay put) to her. He just stood there, grinning idiotically, and waited for her to finish up. Of course, if it took toooo long he’d start getting fidgety, but even his feisty ferrets seemed to have calmed down to listen to Lloyd play.

Summer Turner

"That's all you've got to say about all of that!" Summer flew her arms in the air as she just leaned back in frustration. "You are my best friend! You are suppose to give me advice on what to freaking do, Bell! Oh my god." She had let the frustration get her a little too much as she just looked at her dark haired friend before letting her hands lift her up from the step she was at. It was like the night grew darker as her friend's words made it to Summer's ears. The breath died down with the seriousness of Bellona's tone. 'Summer...I can tell you anything right...Swear to me you won't tell anyone.' Sliding back down close to her friend, she brought her face close to Bellona's, touching her hand. "Of course, love. I am your best friend." She let her eyes shift to where she had carefully placed them along with Bellona's, giving the cluster of hands a tight squeeze. "I will never tell a soul anything we've spoken of."

Summer could see her friend fighting within on the next words she would say. She could tell Bellona was being very careful when she finally began to speak. 'I- I met a cute boy in Rome but I still think that- that- well over the summer my feelings kind of decided that- well, I really think Micah's cute.' What the bloody hell?! Here came the same frustration Bellona had just got through causing Summer to have. "What the-" 'Promise you won't tell anyone.' "Bellona! Don't you dare lie to me.." Feeling Bellona pull away and stand, Summer joined her to the level they were now at. She was just about to continue her thought of frustration when her friend spoke again, 'Oh gosh, what time do you think it is already? We should get going now. I'm not really in the mood to vex the Prefects if they caught us staying up late.'

Summer was stunned at the stunt her best friend was pulling on her. "So you're seriously going to just leave me with a lie?" Bellona completely blew off the question to say something about Fidus not eating. Summer just sat down to calm herself before she could get settled Bellona was already dragging her off somewhere else. She has so many thoughts going through her head before Bellona turned towards her as they had made their way through the Great Hall and now stood at the grand staircase. Feeling the arms of her friend surround her, Summer just wanted to trap her in the hug and force her to speak the truth in order to escape, but Bellona was too quick with the hug. 'Well I'll see you ever at breakfast okay? Goodnight porky.' She didn't even get out a word as Bellona scurried off towards what seemed like the Arietem common rooms.

Summer couldn't handle the idea of trying to socialize after the scene she just went through. Her own best friend couldn't even tell her what was on her mind. She quickened her pace deciding the way to avoid people was to get to her common room and shut herself off. She hadn't even seen her sister all night and for a second she was glad. She thought about finding her, but she knew she'd be around her friends. Hearing footsteps Summer let her eyes hit the ground to avoid having to actually make conversation until she felt the body of another against her's. "Watch ou-" She looked up meeting the eyes of Flint. "You've got to be kissing me." She said as she saw the owl on top of his head. "Oh my god, I meant kidding." The rose color that now filled her cheeks made her whole body fill with heat. "Hi." She tried to recover with a smile.

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.

#, as written by throne
Vance Abernathy – Arietem House

Hearing his name, or a familiarly butchered approximation thereof, Vance drew to an immediate halt. The young Beauregard’s way with words (he remembered Hardy once remarking that it was more like Lee had his way with words, rather than a way with them, and the very faintest of smiles twitched to life on his full lips) was unmistakable. He glanced over his shoulder, locking his pernicious green gaze on Lee, and then cocked his head in the direction of the exit he’d been about to take.

”Please join me, Lee. There’s something we must discuss.” As always, his tone was as chilled and aristocratic as wine in a Venator cellar. He didn’t wait any longer than that, instead simply facing forward once more and continuing his stride where he’d left off. Perhaps I should get a leash for him. His nose wrinkled just slightly. No doubt, Lee would take that brand of gift in utterly the wrong way. While he wasn’t moving particularly fast, he didn’t slow either, leaving it to Lee to catch up with him.

When Lee inevitably did draw up alongside him, he pressed his lips into a thin smile directed at the younger wizard. He’d grown a bit over the summer, but still looked decidedly boyish, Vance noted. That coupled with his behavior made Lee eminently hard to take seriously. He wasn’t aware of anyone who did, at any rate. It was exactly what he was counting on. That, and the sort of unswerving loyalty predicated upon teenage lust.

”How was your summer?” he asked breezily, still bound for the Arietem common room. They could dispense with pleasantries along the walk. The real purpose of their conversation could wait for a bit more privacy. His hands were still clasped behind his back, one pallid flesh, the other covered in gleaming black scale. If Lee gave Vance the same post-summer inspection he’d gotten, he’d likely note the same hint of sullenness that Myra had. Tricky though it was to see in the Abernathy’s aloof demeanor, something had changed in the interval between school years.

Lee’s Perspective

Luckly, Vance stopped near the massive doors of the Great Hall, giving Lee that gaze; the gaze that, in Lee’s third year, made him fall for Vance faster than a drunk Cajun on a bridge. He cocked his head in a particular fashion towards the doors, ornate with images of the first days of Magus Grex and magic of all sorts. ”Please join me, Lee. There’s something we must discuss,” Vance said, a very slight smile that only Lee could designate on his pristine, glorious face.

As Lee hurried closer, Vance continued out the Great Hall and gave little window for Lee to catch up to his… prince. ”How was your summer?” Vance finally said, giving Lee a slight smile. Of course, any sort of smile meant the world to Lee; in fact, Lee had probably catalogue every time Vance smiled at him, those moments Lee cherished most.

“Wellz, I dun wend down to N’aulins,” Lee said, winking at Vance, “as da usual iz. Sdayed wit’ Aunt Leona fo’ about a munt’, and den saw de resd of my kinfolk down in Uptown, bit of a ways from da the [French] Quarduh. My bruddahs and sizduh wend’a Beauxbatons, so id was gerd’a see ‘em.” Lee knew very well that most couldn’t understand his yat, but he liked it like that. In reality, Lee probably played it up a bit. But the thing that often worked against him in certain social groups was also the unique trait that distinguished himself for individuals with a particular liking for boy flesh.

”An’ju, how was ya’lls Summah, podna?” Lee asked, the man he loved just a few feet taller, and at least three times stronger… yes Lee, wanted Vance’s body… but Lee was more than just smitten. Lee wanted to be with Vance, he wanted to be Vance’s boyfriend, and maybe even settle down and influence the world together as a unified dynasty of both the Abernathys of Georgia and the Beauregards of Louisiana. A true Southern revival. Yes, Vance was the culminating cog in Lee’s ultimate goal: the restoration of his family’s power… but Vance was also Lee’s personal goal. Vance was Lee’s forbidden fruit, his Adam, his pristine king. And Lee would swear complete and utter fealty for Vance if only he asked. Funny how Vance had that effect on one of the most arrogant of creatures, but not surprising.

Zachariah Everett

Reposted his earlier post to actually flow with the other post

Zachariah found himself shoving through first and second year students as he tried to push through the wall of the young wizards that instead of moving, stared up at him. "Fucking young-lings." He whispered under his breath before finally making his way into the entrance of the Great Hall. He had somehow managed to be one of the last wizards to arrive at Magus Grex. He looked over himself before making his entrance into the Hall. Not bothering to speak when spoken to by members of other house's, Zach headed straight for his table of witch and wizards he could actually stand. He had noticed the lack of spots now available for the sixth year student to occupy, but the spot he found was more than perfect. He found himself across from Îrem with the rest of company being first and second year students. "Great choice." He mouthed to Îrem with a smirk on his face.

While the Headmaster spoke, Zach found himself looking up and down his table trying to spot the other members of Arietem her cared about; Vance and Priscilla. No luck as he heard final word from Headmaster Rockwell. "How is my dear, Îrem?" He spoke as he let her receive his full attention. 'Hey girl.' With the sound of her voice, Zach knew exactly who was now in the presence; Priscilla. He had managed to miss the glare he knew so well from Priscilla that had caused the first year to quickly run off to an unknown direction. He let an obvious smirk come across his face when she only acknowledge him by his name. "Priscilla." He leaned in toward the girl when he let the word out of his mouth, letting it hang for a second before leaning back into his original position. He knew she liked him, but he did enjoy her trying to hide it. He smirked at the wink he received from Îrem because he knew that she was well aware of Priscilla's crush on him.

Zach now caught himself in the middle of what would more than likely turn into a huge girl talk over the latest fashions and the boys they had met over the summer. He gave a dramatic cough before placing his hands on the table. "Seriously, do you both have to catch up on summer right now? Why not discuss more important things? Like Quodpot." He let his face fall into a very stern look before revealing his intentions. "I'm joking, ladies. Put the claws away." He laughed as he noticed the slight glare to two gave. Hearing a thump to his left, he only had time to catch a small glimpse of Felix before he felt his hair being tossed around on his head. "Thank god for more testosterone." He said as his Ferre friend placed himself next to him.

As the teasing continued from Felix, Zachariah caught sight of Vance passing the table with a nod in his direction. He didn't see any urgency in the expression on Vance's face, so Zach returned the nod before adding to the conversation. "I actually spent my entire summer at my parent's winter home alone." He hadn't had the desire to put up with his parent's parties with the other various pure-bloods, so he found his escape in the home that he knew his parents wouldn't get use out of until the middle of his school year. "It was a nice touch of solitude. Something I'm not used to.. I was close to putting together a pre-school party with everyone, but somehow I just couldn't force myself with the challenge to please that many people. Because you all know how I like to please." He said staring directly at Priscilla before laughing aloud.

Zach caught site of Lee before continuing his thoughts. "But speaking of summers, Felix. How was your's? Or should I say your's and that fiery redhead's from Vulpes?" Zach was pleased by the expression he got from Felix. "Bliss is her name, right?" Hearing Lee acknowledge him, he completely brushed it off before acting like he wasn't there. See Zach and Lee had this public dislike for each other, but considering how close they both were to Vance they became friends. They still didn't like the idea of people pinning them together as friends, so they stuck with the hate for each other in the eye's of the public.


Summer Turner

Summer hadn't planned on running into anyone on her way to the common rooms, and to run into Flint of all people made things so much harder. She successfully hide her frustration with Bellona so well that he hadn't even noticed her heavy breathing at the beginning of the conversation. Now she was leading him off from the common rooms to talk. Had she even really wanted to talk with him? Probably not because she doubted he knew about Bliss and Felix. It was only a few months and Bliss had already managed to be dating one of Flint's friends. She gave Flint's had another squeeze before glancing his way. When she looked at him, she didn't see the same Flint she did last year. It was an entirely new person who had emerged in the boy's body, and she didn't know if they was a good thing or a bad thing. She knew she would soon find out though.

She had yet to feel him give in to the offer to talk until she felt his body come up to her's. "We don't have to talk about everything. Just what's on your mind." She said giving him the faintest smile as she was still in the process of deciding where she was taking them. They seemed to be walking in a pointless direction until she knew exactly where they needed to go. She didn't bother voicing the spot because she knew Flint just wanted privacy at this point, so once she started walking she found her mind shut off from the actually person next to her. As they walked, Summer found herself mapping out the conversation once they got to the spot she knew would be perfect.

Do not bring up Bliss or Felix. Do not bring up Bliss or Felix. She repeated to herself because it seemed that subject was better for a later conversation where Flint appeared to be in a better mood. Hoot. Her eyes shot up at the owl flying ahead of them. She didn't realize she had actually been that much out of reality to jump at the small sound from the bird. She realized this was not the way she wanted their first real conversation to go; unspoken. Hearing no footsteps as the approached the library door, Summer opened it up and slipped inside. She knew most of the faculty had a meeting tonight, so no one should be in the library.

As she let go of Flint's hand, she sped up her pace just in case the librarian happened to stick back a little longer. Summer slipped in and out of shelves until she found herself in the farthest corner from the entrance. The book shelves seemed to swallow them up and it made her feel secure as she sat at the two person table against the wall. "Good enough?" She had ignored what he said so she quickly tried to come up with an answer. 'But you're gonna have to go first. I haven't gotten anything out of you, besides you wanting to date my owl, and your habit of reading lamps and tables. How are you, really?' That was right. He was asking about her. She felt herself sink into the seat before looking up at him. "I.. I'm pretty good." She lied. She never lied, not even to Flint. She placed her hands on her face before clearing her throat. "I'm awful, Flint."

She didn't know if telling him about Bliss was a good thing, but honesty was her best asset when it came to maintaining friends and what not. "Bliss and Felix are something. I don't know if it's actually considered dating yet, but they practically spent the entire summer together." Summer had revealed her crush on Felix to Flint while he was dating Bliss, so Flint knew the pain that she had to be going through. "But don't worry.. Those feelings have long passed." She looked down on her hands that she had just placed on the table. "And then Bellona is hiding something from me. Girl problems." She let out a soft laugh before smiling over at Flint. "Now it's your turn. My problems are very minor, and they have already been dealt with. Now.. What's on your mind?"

#, as written by throne
Lyle Brightham – Ferre House

At the sound of the screeching note that Lyle’s unintended stealth had resulted in, the boy winced and his pair of ferrets quickly scurried for cover. Two mobile lumps appeared on his shoulders as Skip and Scamp disappeared into his collar once more. Even with the sunlight faltering, Lloyd would easily be able to see the lumps scurrying in a spiral down his torso beneath his robe. Despite the fact that he felt really, really bad about interrupting her, he couldn’t help a bit of giggling as their little paws danced over him. Realizing how much worse that probably made things, he quickly stifled. His cheeks flushed red and he reached up with one hand to rub the back of his neck as well.

”Oh, um, I was actually looking for Naire but I heard you playing and couldn’t help but come over.” His mind caught up to his mouth a few seconds later, and he realized that he might have just insulted her, sort of. ”But I was hoping to see you too! We didn’t get to talk at dinner, haha, sorry, I got all wrapped up in stuff. Did you have a good summer? Mine was great. I’m really glad to be back, and oh! I’m going to try out for the Quodpot team this year, isn’t that something? I’ll have to find someone else to take over the sports column, because I’d probably be biased, but I’m really excited. So excited. This is going to be the best year yet, I can feel it, can’t you?”

He never quite seemed aware of how hard it could be for people to keep up with his rapid-fire manner of speaking. His father often remarked on how little he seemed to need to breath, if only when he was talking, which he almost always was. There was a brief pause, where she might have been able to get a word in, but probably not. Again, he only seemed to have digested what was said, this time by her, once he’d quieted a bit and had time to actually let the words bounce around his skull a few times. ”You’re right though, we should head in. I guess I won’t see Naire till tomorrow, that’s too bad.” His brow creased a bit. ”Should I have a question for you? Did something exciting happen?” His eyes were wide, eager, waiting. Quite reminiscent of a puppy, he scampered after her towards the school.

Vance Abernathy – Arietem House

He nearly flinched when Lee mentioned that his siblings were at the French wizarding school that Nevaeh would supposedly be attending. He’d nearly forgotten that little fact, forgotten it enough, at least, that he had to rapidly make several decisions. He had faith that he could convince Lee not to share anything that would disrupt the cover story, but very little faith that the boy would have the good sense to keep his mouth shut on the matter unless expressly told to. That meant he needed to tell the flamboyant younger man even more than he’d intended to, which didn’t sit well with him. This was the one area where he’d always trumped his sister. She’d ruled her flock of female friends and male admirers exclusively with fear, but he was much better at the game. It was his grandmother who had called it that, the concept of identifying people as pieces and maneuvering them across a metaphorical board. No doubt, if Nevaeh were in his shoes rather than the cold ground, she’d already have her wand to Lee’s throat, a threat ready to pour like poison from her lips.

”Very eventful, I must say.” He had taken a bit longer in coining his reply than was required, something that Lee would surely notice. ”But all in good time.” His fingers unwound, and he reached over with his remaining hand to give Lee’s shoulder a brief, Vance’s-version-of-friendly squeeze. ”This year will turn out to be just as eventful, I think.” That should have been sufficient to whet Lee’s appetite for secrets while satiating his appetite for affection, however brisk.

He lengthened his stride by a half-pace as they drew nearer to the entrance of the common room of Arietem House. ”Lordly lineage,” he whispered into a brazier by the door after a quick, surreptitious glance to ensure that no one was in range to eavesdrop. The heavy stone door slid aside, revealing the short flight of steps that led down into the common room proper, plushly appointed as it was in the greens of the house’s standard.

Normally, Vance relaxed ever so slightly upon entering the Arietem-only cloister of the school. In part, it was to convey a bit of trust that barely existed; it was also because maintaining poise could be laborious throughout an entire school day, even for him, particularly on a day where he had to deal with Fletcher. Not so, this year. This year, anyone could be an enemy.

He vaguely remembered Bellona mentioning something about a gift when he spied her by the fire. He offered her a courtly nod, then allowed himself to sink down into an overstuffed chair across from her. He was careful to choose one with another adjacent, so that Lee wouldn’t have to pout, or worse, make a show of dragging a seat closer to him. ”What a tiresome evening this has been,” he remarked earnestly. He’d sleep well tonight, if he didn’t dream of fire, green light, and cold, pale girls.

And then there’s Justin – Vulpes House

Normally, lazing about on a cot for a spell with nothing more intensive to do thank keep track of time would have been restive for Justin. He couldn’t keep unbidden scenes from the past from his mind, though. Two young boys, on a slender whip of a thing with spikey hair, the other a bit sturdier with a shaggy mane and a goofy grin. The former leaning heavy on the latter, practically clinging to him as he limped along toward a first-aid tent a stone’s throw from the cacophony of a Quodpot stadium teeming with fans.

That same spikey-haired boy never failing to notice when the shaggy-haired boy was about. They were both a little older than they had been, both a little more certain of what they wanted. A dozen or so instances of the two of them avoiding one another’s gaze or presence, the cloying desire to break their shared silence, the cold stare of another boy, indistinct in memory, who might ever be a wedge between them.

A kiss, the first and only kiss they’d shared, only they hadn’t really shared it. The formerly spikey-haired boy, who’d finally realized that gelling his hair into tines didn’t do all that much to make him look badass, had stolen it. The true punishment for his crime: the only chance he might have had stripped from him.

Justin’s dark brown eyes snapped open. He planted his feet on the ground and stood, using his wand to carefully levitate the boiling cauldron from the flames onto a rack, where it could cool. While it did, he busied himself with changing out the cartridges of sleeping gas in the hutch and restoring the protective enchantments he’d layered upon it. It was tedious, but he didn’t mind just them. The images from his reverie were hovering at the fringes of his mind and the task helped keep them at bay. He was nervous, he realized. This whole affair was a Hail Mary, an act of desperation, almost certainly doomed to fail.

Justin never wore insecurity well, and so he clamped down on those thoughts. Instead, he focused on a siphoning spell, drawing the brown liquid from the cauldron in a thin stream that he snaked through the air, passing it through a cheesecloth set up for just this purpose in order to filter the scum away. A bit like making consommé, really, he never failed to think. Maybe he could conspire a way to cook for Emerson. The boy loved food, and anyone who was successful at Potions was a worthy cook with his mind set for the task.

Something to think about later. When the Betterbeer had cooled enough, he began drawing up pipettes of it and transferring it into glass vials, which he stoppered with tiny corks and then threaded through loops of cloth he’d sewn into his messenger bag for the express purpose of carrying potions. The bag itself was ridiculously enchanted, Extended, of course, but it featured a few other Charms as well, similar in nature to the Breaking Charms used in broom-making. In the event that he took a tumble with his bag, the contents would remain relatively undisturbed. It was a necessary safety measures; there were times when his little bag held enough volatile potions to take down an entire hallway of the school, never mind any unforeseen reactions that some of his more interesting concoctions might have had with one another.

All that was left now was to ascend. He lit his wand, and once outside the chamber, brought it through the reverse of the motion he had used to open the titanic door in the first place. It groaned closed, and he stepped lightly over the sheet of wood covering the hole to take the stairs two at a time on his way up. He’d need to hurry, if he wanted to be back to the common room by curfew. Not that he was worried about being caught; it was more a matter of getting to socialize with the friends he’d missed in the Great Hall. Thank whoever that Bliss and Flint get along. It’d be Hell if the two of them ever decide to become those sorts of exes, particularly on me.

The clutter above the trapdoor silently arranged itself once more, and Justin clambered out as quietly as he could. He’d never been at all athletic, and actually hoisting his own body weight out of the circular aperture put more strain on him than he’d ever admit. Once the flooring and rug were back in place, he moved to the door, waving his wand a final time in order to restore the mess to its natural state of messiness. He extinguished his wand silently, then cupped a hand to the door to listen.

The long hallway was a perfect conductor for sound. Hearing no one, he quickly slipped out, simply flipping the switch on the knob to re-lock the door. No magic needed. Stuffing his hands into the pockets of his robes, he strolled on out of the Astronomy area and started for the small stretch of school that he thought of as home more than the house he’d been raised in.

Lee’s Perspective

”Very eventful, I must say,” Vance finally said to Lee, moments of waiting between Lee’s question and Vance’s answer. It had seemed so long, that Lee had almost forgotten he was missing his duties as a prefect. But Vance was a million times more important to Lee. Vance was Lee’s achille’s heel, and no amount of pressure from the Headmaster, from Chambers, from the whole house of Arietem, not even from the ghost of General Beauregard himself could pull Lee away from Vance. Lee knew Vance had a little… hate, to say the extreme, for Lee, simply because Lee was annoying. Lee knew that everybody hated him. He was the epitome of a “faggot”, a true and blue queer, just with a Confederate flag and not a Pride flag.

”But all in good time,” Vance continued, reaching over his hand to give Lee’s shoulder a brief, somewhat awkward squeeze. To Lee, it was almost short of a proposal. Lee soaked in this moment, relishing the soft touch that Vance somehow new to master. Vance somehow always knew how to apply the right amount of pressure, the right amount of warmth, however false it may have been. Lee suspected he was being played, but didn’t give a damn. The man he loved… he acted like he cared and that was enough. Lee, caught unawares, melted in Vance’s hand as he heard him say, ”This year will turn out to be just as eventful, I think.” Lee, attempting to hide an obvious party-invitation in his pants, gazed off in the distance and imagined Vance giving Lee a slight wink. Dammit, Lee thought, another cold shower tonight.

Lee noticed the lack of humanly twitches and reliefs that even Vance usually sported, though tonight was different. He was as a stiff as a gator in the bayou, and even the cold, refreshing homeliness of the Arietem commons provided Vance any semblance of relief. Now, Lee was worried. Now, Lee had forgotten any amount of his own emotions(despite still sporting quite an obvious erection), and inspected Vance as closely as possible. The boy of his dreams was… not necessarily bothered, but definitely different. Not as warm, even colder than normal Vance. It was odd.

Vance sat down across from Bellona, close enough to be warm, far enough to maintain some level of whispering between Lee and Vance. Luckly, there was a chair next to Vance that Lee immediately assumed. If Vance sat in a throne, Lee would proudly sit behind him (at least in Lee’s delusions). ”What a tiresome evening this has been,” Vance remarked, appearing drowsy and somewhat content, though still not at ease.

Lee whispered to Vance, ”Vanz, wad’ya ne’d me a’do?”

Myra Magaly

…but, he’s so small…” Myra slowed down a little as she heard Naire’s footsteps following her and Chopstick’s little hoots. How can an owl be so darn cute? She smiled softly to herself. Turning to Naire as he fell in step with her, “You know I’d never really ask you to burn a picture you’d taken, right? You’re too talented. It’d be a waste.” They entered Magus Rex and Myra enjoyed the quiet the building was taking on as students found their ways to their beds. This large building was so comforting to her, even with her bumpy start. It was like she knew she belonged.

As if he could hear her thoughts, Naire stated, “So sleep is soon to come. It’ll be nice to get back in the beds here. It’s always been a second home,” Myra nodded agreeably, “to everyone I’d say. At least sleep’ll come easy.

Myra had half a smile as she bumped him with her shoulder, “Yeah, one of the only things that comes easy living here. But you’re right, Near, I feel so safe here, especially because I have you…” She trailed off as she caught sight of Vance and Lee walking out of the great hall. Her chest got tight and her body tensed, momentarily stunned. Myra let the breath she hadn't known she'd been holding go as the boys didn't take notice of her or Naire. She shot a glance at Naire, to see if he'd seen her reaction. She hadn't shared her thoughts on Vance's new attitude yet, and wasn't sure if she should. She also wasn’t sure of exactly what emotion had coursed through her as she'd seen the two Arietem's, and she didn’t have time to think on it more because Kaplan had turned and started heading the direction they’d just come from. Not one for making noise, he uncharacteristically mewed happily as he trotted up to the jeaned pants of a very familiar figure. Although Kaplan adored Myra, he was very close to Vin as well. Myra turned and stopped, giving her brother a once over she tapped Naire’s shoulder and cocked a hip. With a smirk that announced victory she crossed her arms and simply stated, “Vin, I told you so.”

Vin Magaly

“Hey, thanks man!” Vin drawled casually, smiling as he gingerly stepped off the rickety boat that had brought him to the island. Caretaker Wicks gave him a steely-eyed glare as he pulled the small rowboat by it’s rope to the dock.

“This was no gift, Magaly. 10 points from Ferre and you just arrived,” Wicks barked at him, “You’ve missed the dinner. Head straight to your commons. I don’t want to see you out and about tonight, you hear?”

Woops… Finn’s not gonna be happy with me for that one. Vin thought of his pal and his insatiable urge to win house cup for a moment, then shrugged. “Alright then.” He grabbed his duffle bag with all his clothes in it. It wasn’t the first time Vin’d missed the cruise over, and it wouldn’t be the last, he knew. He didn’t understand why Wicks always came and picked him up though, he was willing to wait until it got dark and fly over. Vin may not have been as good at flying as Myra was, but he wasn’t inept. With a sly smile at Wicks he said, “I’m just gonna stop by the kitchen on my way up there, kay?” Before Wicks could reply, Vin had placed his headphones in and pressed play on his MP3 player. Give him all the magic in the world, Vin just couldn’t help but love technology and it’s ease of use. No remembering silly Latin words for things… then again, that did come in handy every now and then.

Vin pulled his hood up over his head and, sauntering up the hill towards the school, couldn’t help but bob his head the bass beat of the song in his ears. A little Soundgarden tonight, “The Day I Tried to Live.” He smiled and waved at random passerby, knowing full well they hadn’t noticed he was gone during the feast, but that they’d still be surprised that he wasn’t wearing his robes and was carrying his belongings. He shot a large wave to Lloyd and Lyle, then entered the huge front doors of Magus Rex. He noticed Naire and Myra walking up ahead and a lazy smile crossed his face. His sister had an “I told you so!” waiting for him for sure. She’d tried in her most non-confrontational way to get him to skip the beach and make it to the dock on time, but god those waves!!

The swell had been perfect and Derek, his best muggle friend, had promised to keep an eye on the time so that Vin wouldn’t be late to his “flight to boarding school.” An hour after the cruise had surely left him behind, Derek and Vin had finally called it a day and gotten some In ‘N’ Out burgers before heading to their respective homes. Good ol’ Mums and Daddy-o hadn’t been too pleased with him and sent an owl off right away. An hour after that Vin had found himself sitting face to face with an extremely grumpy and gruff caretaker as he had worked out the chords on his bass to a Black Sabbath song. Occasionally he’d paused to try and chat with Wicks, they’d had the long ride many times before and Vin had a soft spot in his heart for the angry-esque guy, if only because his constant scowl was amusing. Wicks had only ever grunted in response, … or was it that he was just over-exerting with the boat. Maybe I should have helped? Vin chuckled softly to himself then stooped to pet Kaplan firmly along his spine and tail. “Hey cat daddy!” He looked up as Myra smiled at him with that gleam in her eye, “Here it comes! ‘I told you so!’” he said simultaneously with her, removing his right head phone. “Hey Harth-man!” He held his hand up for a high-five. "How's the portfolio coming along for the year? I'm sure you've already captured all the drama-rama of the first feast." Vin let his voice get low and conspiratorial, a mischievous grin on his face, "Have you heard? Houses are intermingling." He looked at himself, then looked at the too Vulpes, "Wait! Aren't you two... Vulpes? Our friendship is doomed." He laughed softly to himself.

Fidus' ears began to shot up as a two pairs of footsteps approached the common room, the Fenec fox gnarled and stood it's ground as the two shadows approached them, "Down Fid'" She whispered and caressed its thick and velvety fur causing the small fox to calm yet it maintained it's hunting sense just like a real Venator. Bellona had not really expected Lee's presence, the meeting might not go the way she planned it will be.

What a tiresome evening this has been,” Vance sat across her while Lee took his seat like a faithful servant. Why does Vance have to act like a royalty? He must have known that their little rendezvous requires some privacy, the secret must not even reach Lee's ears despite or in spite the fidelity he has sworn to the Abernathy boy. Bellona stared in response to Vance's words and spoke as if the other boy was no where in sight. "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." She hinted some sarcasm and raised her left eyebrow coolly.

”Vanz, wad’ya ne’d me a’do?” A feeble yet audible whispered question came from the French boy as he leaned towards Vance and asked.

"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 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.

Caden Wahl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Justin Hardy – Totally Not a Jerk

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

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

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

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

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

Vance Abernathy – Not Amused

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It read:

"Dearest Bellona Venator,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lee’s Perspective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vance Abernathy – He May In Fact Have a Soul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lee’s Perspective

”What I need from you, Lee, is loyalty. I need unfailing loyalty. I need a second set of eyes in this school to keep an eye on me. To notice if someone stares too long, or is following me in a dark corridor, or anything else out of the ordinary. Can I trust you in that fashion, Lee? I know that you’ll be wondering why, but I can’t tell you more until I know more. Suffice it to say that I am in danger, and know that agreeing to help me may endanger you as well. I don’t command this of you, but I ask it, because I have to know that you’ll do everything that you can to aid me in the coming year.” That was a lot to take in from Vance. Granted, Lee was already a little thrown off guard, between his near falling asleep and his having to move his “puppy wow-wows” from the bed.

“I’m y’er huck’abu’y[huckleberry],” Lee said, cocking his head with a smile, “I mean I’m a’ways watchin’… er… out fo’ ya’ anyway.” He began to move towards the other end of the room, the door. “E’cepd, I do have one sdipulashun[stipulation]. Or radda’[rather] a chuss[choice] bedwe’n doo[two].” Turning his head ever so slightly towards Vance, he said, “Ya’ can eider dell me why ya’ll in danger and why you seem as sdiff and cold as a board, even moreso dan usual…” He giggled slightly, not expecting his second choice to be taken seriously, “or ya’ll can kiss me. Y’er choice. Eider one, I’ll give ya’ll unwavering fealdy. But tell me in the morning, godda catch some good ol’ ‘Z’s. But my door is always unlocked, if’n I don’d wake up, ya’ll can come in and tell me you what you decide. Na’mean?” With that, he popped out the door and carried himself down the stairs. On the way, he saw Îrem, as classy as always, step in through her door to sleep. As he passed by, he gave her the “I-just-took-a-chance-and-offered-my-lips-up-cuz-I’m-a-slut” face that only a girlfriend and a gayfriend could decipher. She giggled, raised her eyebrows and gave him the “Such-a-slut-but-I-love-you-anyways” face.

Lee had gotten in trouble for flirting(and defending his accent), was ripped out of alchemy class before the year even started, forgot his prefect duties, been rejected by Vance and Bellona, and now had just asked Vance for a kiss. Granted, he knew that Vance would probably choose telling Lee what was up. But either way, Lee would win. If Vance told him everything, Lee would be closer to Vance, and would have a social edge over others. If Vance decided to kiss him… well the advantage in that is obvious. The truth was, Lee didn’t really care if Vance did either, however, because Lee was gonna do it regardless. He loved Vance that much. But for now, he readied himself to dream of the lilacs and pecans back home.

#, 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.

#, as written by throne
Vance Abernathy – Making the Best of It

He was so ready to barge in on Lee when he heard a familiar voice that gave him pause. Priscilla. In his mind, she was the only girl in the house worthy to serve as Nevaeh’s understudy, at least in terms of providing a sun for which the lesser Arietem girls to revolve about- particularly after Bellona’s display the night before. How, he wondered, would Priscilla have reacted to such a letter? She wouldn’t have bandied it about. No doubt she’d be right where she was now, making the same japes, and he’d be none the wiser.

His initial response to her teasing was to spit her with a blank stare. ”Priscilla,” he drawled, twisting his lips into a gracious smile. ”Charming as always.” His green eyes surveyed her lazily, and he cocked an eyebrow almost imperceptibly. ”Looking a bit plain this morning, aren’t we? I’d have expected something a bit more impressive for the first day of classes.” A bit of a shrug; he hardly cared what she looked like, after all. ”And before you accuse me of deflection, your assertion was actually so ridiculous that it didn’t warrant a rebuttal.” He wasn’t about to explain to her that the thought of being intimate with anyone made him feel faintly nauseated.

His lips pressed together, a sign of thoughtfulness, before he tilted his head and regarded her plainly. ”You know, I understand why we do this when the proletariats are around, but why is it that we bother when there’s no audience?” He leaned against the doorframe, crossing his arms over his chest. As body language went, it was nearly deferential, something he’d avoid normally, but at the moment…

Well, he really didn’t need any more enemies than he had. Not that he considered Priscilla an enemy, but with the social order disrupted by his sister’s absence, she might wind up trying to denigrate him in order to chip away at Nevaeh’s legacy. Or worse. And she was well-connected. If she was an ally, she might be a valuable source of information. From what he could remember, she was no slouch in a duel, either.

”This is a new year, Priscilla. I don’t see why we can’t make an effort to be better to one another, do you?” Any worthy daughter of the Barsotti line would have poise enough to control her reaction, but Vance was well aware how… surprising this little extension of the proverbial olive branch might be. ”I think that Nevaeh was…threatened by you, but with her overseas, well, I really don’t need to care what Nevaeh thinks, do I?” That was, of course, a lie. Several lies, actually. Nevaeh had found Priscilla’s materialism and coquettishness incredibly banal.

He watched her, his expression carefully neutral, and prayed internally that Lee didn’t answer his door in the nude.