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1
Dumbledore heard the professor's tale of upbringing, of close-minded parents who would do anything to prevent 'the new ways' getting into their son's mind, and he found it hard to resist sighing at it - such a thing was all too common, even now, even as the Muggles demonstrate their own open-mindednesses, broadening their horizons in science and making great strides in pushing back the lines of bigotry.

He realised he was being given an insight few people normally saw, into a person deeply scarred by their journey - it's not about the number of years, it's what you do with them, it's always the choices you make - and how they came to cope with what had befallen them, and simply said nothing as the man before him began to play in the most curious of ways.

Pianos were majestic instruments at the best of times, but few enough could make them sing. Plucking at the strings in the manner one might a harp? Bizarre but somehow entrancing. But the most curious was the hair woven through the strings, that could be muted and caused to resonate and sound like a cello. Dumbledore had seen many unusual affectations that produced music, but modifying a piano thusly was something he truly hadn't expected.

At the end of the performance, he found himself unsure whether to politely smile - this was a rare and private performance not intended for an audience - or to applaud, even enthusiastically at this unexpected performance, because it was beautiful and moving.

He settled in the middle, and after the music faded away, he politely smiled and said, "That was a truly remarkable performance, thank you for sharing it with me. My only regret is that it must be kept a secret otherwise the magic would be lost."

He paused for a moment. "And on that note - if you'll pardon the expression - I really should trouble you no more for the evening."
2
The reaction from Helene caught Talia somewhat off guard. "I'm alright, really!" She appreciated the concern and gave a turn so Helene could inspect her. "Th-thank you!" She muttered feeling a little self conscious, wondering what the older woman meant by the second half of her compliment. How could she possibly appear to be decent at all in work clothes? Her cheeks flushed a deeper shade of red as she averted her gaze across the room to Odhrán.

"Oh, good." A sigh escaped her at the mention of his arm. That had been such a nasty wound. Nodding thoughtfully at what Séverin had given as the next task, she shook her head and gave Helene a look. Of course he was giving her a hard time with that. So stubborn... There seemed to be more on her mind but Talia couldn't really tell what and wasn't prepared to push her to say. Though she would by lying if she said it didn't trigger a small flicker of worry. Hopefully it wasn't related to anything too dire. "I'll see what I can do." She flashed Helene a reassuring smile. He really should be expending some of his energy instead of letting it get wound up again.

Oh!? Was she actually giving them some unsupervised time together? Bless her... "Please," Although a shred of that was out of selfishness, she knew Odhrán might be more willing to be open about how he was feeling and not as tense if they weren't being supervised. Maybe she could get him to do some casting. "I will! Thank you again. Be sure to get some rest yourself." The promise of some alone time was making her feel a lot less exhausted from the day. Gearing up to say goodbye to Helene, she heard Odhrán moving and felt a flutter in her chest as he drew closer. He looked much more like himself, bright eyed with that smile of his.

Heart hammering against her chest and ears, she returned the slight hug and reluctantly took a step back. Brown eyes nervously flicked from Odhrán to Helene and back. It was strange, she almost felt like a teenager being chaperoned while a boy came to visit. That had only happened all of once and it had been the most awkward day at her parent's home in Orton. The poor boy had only come over at the request of his mother while she helped Talia's mother with some sort of project. The two of them had been given strict instructions to stay within earshot and eyesight which led to the boy being too nervous to even look at in direction much less speak to her the entire afternoon.

"School was alright, students are all settled finally." She gave a tired, half smile. "A few of the first years were already quite teary over having to return and leave their family behind. Mostly all Muggleborns that seemed to be having a hard time still transitioning." Lia felt for them honestly. It had to be hard not only learning that you were so very different from your own family but then being sent away for most of the year, tossed into a world with their peers who knew much more than they did. How frustrating and scary that had to be. A piece of her admired that about them though, so many Muggleborns were really resilient, far more than she felt the wizarding community gave them credit for.

"What sort of torture was everyone putting you through today?" She teased, having to keep herself from wanting to reach out and take his hand in hers. Not yet, not until it was just the two of them. Even if it was much harder than she anticipated having to hold herself back.
3
Helene was on her feet the moment Talia entered the room. "Are you alright?" She asked carefully, having heard the ruckus that had been made upstairs. "It sounded like you may have hurt yourself." She looked Talia over from head to toe, but couldn't find anything obviously amiss. All her arms and legs were still attached and a healthy glow of pink was spreading across her cheeks. Then her dress registered in Helene's brain and the Alchemy Professor gave a soft chuckle. "You look very pretty today," she said in a whisper. "Which means I should probably leave you two alone. I think hell be even more smitten with you now."

Odhrán, sitting at the table by the window, craned his neck, trying to catch what was being said. He was too far away to hear the whispered parts of the conversation.

Helene meanwhile continued talking to Talia. "The patient seems to be on the mend. I treated that mess on his arm earlier and it's looking better. Otherwise Séverin says he should practise his magic and get used to using it again. I've been trying to coax him all day, but he's been very restrained about it. Maybe, you can talk him into loosening up. He's not..." Helene paused finding it suddenly quite uncomfortable to go on. She'd been about to say that he hadn't been speaking at all, but of course the meant that their minds hadn't touched since that night in St Mungo's. it was unusual for the two of them to go so long without contact.

"Anyway, I'll pop back home to Lausanne if you two want some time. Just floo me if there's anything and I'll be right back?" She knew better than wanting to be alone in a room with a loved up couple who only had eyes for each other. It would be awkward and uncomfortable.

Wanting to wait no longer, Odhrán got up from his chair and walked towards the door to greet Talia. A happy little smile settled into his features as he took her in. She looked absolutely breathtaking tonight. He'd not quite seen her like this before. He felt his heart beat a little faster and awkwardly moved to pull her into a light hug. He didn't dare to be any more affectionate while they still had company.

"Glad you're here. I missed you. How was school?"
5
News / Discord Notifications
Last post by Arantor - July 23, 2021, 09:32:35 pm
Just as a quick heads-up, we've upgraded our Discord notifications so we not only get the usual in-character topics/replies notifications, but staff can also post updates to the main announcements boards which will also now post to Discord too.

Also please note: there is a small delay between you posting to the forum and it being posted to Discord, this is to allow for you to reattribute the character if you posted with the wrong character, before it lands in Discord. So if it doesn't appear for a couple of minutes, that'll be why.

As ever, any problems please PM me, or shout on Discord and I'll take a look.
6
Trying his best not to react too outwardly to Ophi's comments, he turned to the younger student who seemed to be having trouble.

He wasn't sure how much she'd really picked up already - and she seemed concerned that she hadn't heard all the details so he figured he'd quickly start a couple of steps back up. "So, these plants are shrivelfigs, good for making several different potions. Shrinking solutions mostly, I think. Anyway, we need to find the ones that are purple, squeeze them gently to see if they're ripe, and peel them. Like any fruit, we need to check also that there's no wriggly things in them."

He frowned, rooting around in his pot again. "I'd show you one but I can't seem to find one." Looking up and across at Ophi, he asked, "How about you, Ophi? Found any in your pot?"

She'd been right though, there wasn't much of anything purple in this one, though he furrowed in and found a small one lurking under all the leaves... there were a lot of leaves to his plant. It wasn't the one Ophi had pointed at, though.

Giving it a slight squeeze, it felt pretty solid with only the tiniest give, but it didn't seem purple enough.

Putting his hand up, he looked over to the professor. "Professor Bryce?" He just wanted her to take a look at it because he didn't feel confident enough about whether this was ready or not... it just seemed the slightest bit unripe.

He had noticed that Ophi hadn't put any gloves on at this point - and the mildly snide comment about having heard the instructions wasn't worth the response.
7
Xavier smiled, "A study session! Light on the 'study'" He said and hugged Suzy back, boy she squeezed tightly! He felt like all the air was being pushed out of him but once they stepped away to greet other guests, he was still all smiles. "Eh. Early, on time, late, doesn't matter! Snacks and drinks are over there on that table, games are on the other and we DO have books and school supplies so if anyone DOES feel like being a nerd and studying they can! This IS a 'study' party" He said, making air quotes and exaggerating his words.

Then, Lillian showed up! One of his favorite underclassmen so far. "Ah! I'd hoped you come! If we study, we study! If we don't....we don't. We just can't get too rowdy or the Professors will never trust me to throw another study session again!" he said and scurried over to the snack table, "And you brought more snacks! Perfect!" He didn't plan on studying for a while, maybe not at all! He smiled as he eyed the stack of games, "Some are new, some are old....I'm interesting in the forest maze game myself. I want to see exactly what happens to the pieces when they fall into the traps. But for now..." He made himself comfortable on a beanbag chair and sighed "Let's play a quick round of Truth or Dare while we're waiting for others to show shall we?"
8
Xavier nodded and began sketching right away, humming a song he'd been working on for many months now, it was almost complete, he just needed to perfect the lyrics. He paused every now and then to make a comment, "I'm think we won't go full on .....manly? You know? More like.....a power suit! Like a power tie! Except....a suit! Pink will be  the main color and there should be a design that keeps it from being....PINK like...slap you in the face with it!"

He seemed to be in his comfort zone right here, sitting in the chair, drawing away and talking about fashion, "As for shoes...you could do with a little height! But not too much! I can put enchantments on the shoes so that no matter the shape, your feet will be as comfortable as if you're a pair of every day shoes! Since you'll be wearing pants, I think we'll go with a pair of basic pumps. You'll have to have someone else do your hair though. I'm no hair dresser!" he added "But in this house, you'll find no shortage of help in that department!"

He went back to humming and sketching, using colored pencils and his thumb to smooth them and make them look as good as they could before moving on to another section. It took about a half hour, with him pausing every so often to talk about his cat, or to assure her that while she couldn't look until it was done, that he wouldn't be happy with it until SHE was happy.

Finally, he set his pencil down "Alright. Let's see what you think! I can change anything! These are just suggestions." And he showed her his concept art without another word, letting her take it in and process it.
9
When Lillian saw something about a study session, she started to walk right past it. She had half a kind to crumble the paper.. But then she actually read it. Thank god she didn't walk past it and throw it out. Anything that included snacks, for one , was bound to be fun. Suddenly gratefully for the chocolates and pastries her mother sent back to Hogwarts with her (from the holidays) Lillian went to her dorm to retrieve it. thank you mom!

Then she made her way to the "study session". She was in such a good mood about this whole thing, that she gave peeves a cheery wave as he blew raspberries in her ears. The shocked look on his face only made her happier and added a bounce in her step.

She came into the classroom and saw three other people there, all of them were older than her. Other students might feel self conscious around older kids, but Lillian felt nothing at all as she held up her box of snacks. "Where do I put- Oop never mind got it!" She walked over to where the rest of the snacks were and opened the box and placed it with the rest.

She turned around, as if suddenly remembering something. "Also, hi everyone, I'm Lillian!" She said with a cheerful wave. She took this time to look at the decorations. It was a bit much for a study session, some would say, but Lillian loved it. "Nice decorations, I'm impressed." She said, and she was.

She turned just as the other girl had done to look for more students.
10
Lillian beamed at Xavier. Then she shrugged as he claimed she shouldn't just offer that. "I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you really needed somewhere to stay." She said, picking at one of her nails. But she laughed anyways at Xavier's humor. "what's for dinner" was exactly what her dad said when he came home from work. But playfully of course.

Lillian nodded as Xavier agreed, she wanted to joke.. because it was a hit tense, but she knew it wasn't the time. Laughing made her feel better, so she laughed when he said he would never wear a dress.. "I'm not a huge fan of dresses, either." She said, as if a boy would wear a dress any day.

She couldn't help but grin as Xavier seemed happy again. "Pink, I think it would go nicely, you know? I think I want.. a tuxedo. But make it have a. Girly, you know? Maybe a slight boot at the shoulders... something like that." She said. "But I want to help either way, you know." She said, looking at all the supplies than back at Xavier.
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