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Writing. Cosplay. Musical theater. Smiling. Sunshine. Classic horror.

Give me witty banter or give me death.

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C a n v a s
A h k t a r -
S t e r l i n g





Dining Room


Canvas carefully un-arranged a few of the strands of dark hair he'd just finished combing into place, so that it wouldn't look like he spent twenty minutes on it. Even though he had.

Jogging into the hall for breakfast, he spotted his roommate and cut into line with him. "Ey, Nolan," he said, like they were just meeting for the day, like they hadn't just been silently doing their own respective thing in the same room. Canvas was not a morning person. It took walking out the door, like some kind of magical gateway, to jump start him into his usual, talkative self. He was glad his roommate didn't feel obligated to talk to him every second, and they could just....chill.

"Any big free day plans? Theaters to visit? Stuff to buy? Outdoorsing to outdoors? Oh wait. We're in the middle of nowhere and we can't leave." He paused, thoughtful. "I wonder if we could throw a pool party without Kovalenko putting our asses in detention," he mused.

Canvas liked Nolan. He'd lucked out in terms of getting another necromancer, and getting one who was friendly and normal-ish, and getting one who didn't even practice corporeal, so that he didn't have to bite back remarks when it grated on the values of his upbringing. Because ugh. Nobody wanted to hear about his damn values. What fun was that?






T a t i a F a l e





Courtyard


The breeze rustled Tatia's short chiffon skirt and licked her hair as she poised her bow to the violin strings. It probably looked charming but it was just a little too cold for that, and distracting. So she made it stop, erecting a pocket of still air around her. If she closed her eyes, she could imagine she was in a practice room at her old high school, minus the smell of old carpet.

Tatia had been getting the hang of the whole magic thing. Well, not skill-wise. She was still pretty mediocre. But the culture shock had more or less worn off, and she only had to blink blankly at people every once in a while, now.

But she had still fallen out of her rhythm, and so she had woken up a little early, grabbed her violin case, and slipped outside to a corner od the courtyard, to do something normal.

"Long time no see," said Tatia, angling her jaw into the chinrest.

She began to play one of her many memorized pieces. Vitali's Chaconne.

The first clear, loud note sang across the courtyard, followed by a sharp melody, each note flowing to a crisp vibratto, punctuated by moments of two-string harmony, and extra, unexpected runs...she liked to season songs to her own taste.

It was obvious she had spent a lot more hours in her life practicing music than she had practicing magic.

There was no sense of wonder visible on her face. A very small smile was all. She looked almost bored. But she wasn't. That was just her face.


Carmina and Tatia can do duets.
S p i r e S c h i p p e r s




Spire's lips curved into a smile as he looked around, amused, for whoever had made the peanut gallery comment. He found him. Another face he vaguely remembered. Something with a negative connotation. Santora? Or the Lucshen, maybe? Nothing he'd had a personal connection to, so he hadn't made much note.

"You're right. And I'm guessing their families would want them to respect their generous donation, smartass," he said, chuckling.

The Sterling kid's response was expected. Little sycophant, putting on an aquamancy show and offering the handshake to Kora that Spire had said he didn't care happened.

The Norrevinter's response, however, was not. In fact, Spire frowned at her for a second, puzzled. That was mild, if her reaction to the Sterling kid said anything about her temper. Either she didn't recognize him, she had a surprising respect for his post as a teacher, or...Hilda had deliberately withheld information, and kept her from the rumors.

Interesting.

Professor Grayson's interruption brought him out of his brief reverie. He groaned under his breath, rolling his eyes, and grabbed Grayson's arm, leading him as far out of earshot of any students as he could before he explained with as much patience as he could manage. "If by small things, you mean students, what they are is already a massive pain. I'm Spire Schippers, I'm a last minute stand in for the terramancy professor position. Which is also what you're doing here, if you'll recall, only it wasn't last minute for you and you're not a terramancer, so here's hoping you've had enough lucid moments to come up with some lesson plans. The term's starting. Nice to see you out of your office."






T a t i a F a l e





Tatia started slightly at Apple's scream, but composed herself as quickly as she could manage. She cracked another wry smile at the talk of magical food fights. "Tell you what. If we don't get to witness a real magical food fight by the end of the year, I'll start one with you guys on the last day," she said. "I'm sure I can make enough enemies by then to find someone who deserves to have some of this ... truly, bizarrely, exceptionally awesome food in their hair," she said, almost trailing off at the end there. Somehow it would have sounded more of a punishment if this was run of the mill cafeteria food instead of whatever this ambrosia was that some damn house elves must be making in the kitchens.

"I'm an aeromancer," she said, glad she remembered the correct term since she usually thought of it as just windy-powers in her head. Somehow the idea of necromancy and runic magic shifted her perspective. Controlling wind, water, fire, earth, levitating things all seemed somehow more manageable in her mind, like super power stuff that she could easily set against the urban/suburban world she knew. Necromancy and runic magic. That, and "blood magic," which she'd spotted on the list of possible secondaries to choose from, made it all seem inescapably...arcane.

But Mitch and Nolan didn't seem arcane, or even that weird.
Other than the cockroach guide dog.
That was weird.

What she said out loud was, "So do you full on Frankenstein it or is it a bit more subtle than that?" she asked, hoping the question didn't betray too much ignorance. "And runes - how does that work? Do you just get to kind of jack-of-all-trades it but you have to say the rune, or write them, or...." Okay that one definitely betrayed some ignorance.






T o b y S c h i p p e r s





When he didn't get a verbal response from the girl, Toby fiddled awkwardly. Was she mute? Or just quiet? Or just really pissed at him? She nodded. He thought that might have been a thank you. "You're, uh..." he started, but didn't say "welcome" in case he was wrong, and just nodded back, still red to his ears. Her yellow eyes made him squirm. Confusing social situations were his worst nightmare. He already knew his stutter was going to be out of control all day.

Toby wanted to shrink a little as he saw Spire breaking up the fight. It wasn't that he was ashamed of his brother. They were close. He was sort of glad that Spire was here. It was just ... he didn't want to have to go there or talk about that with anybody yet. He knew he didn't need to worry. It wasn't like Spire was going to have the bad tact to come over and throw his arm around him and call him little bro and announce it to the world.

Fortunately, Caius didn't seem to notice that Spire was, well, Spire Schippers, and just seemed glad that an adult was intervening, so Toby wouldn't even have to navigate any gossip about him at that moment. If the gas mask girl noticed, she sure didn't seem to be very chatty about it. He felt his shoulders relaxing. Vaius. He hadn't been swimming in magical society much lately, but he knew the name. A respectable family. Healers. Defenders. Good people.

"I'm Toby Schippers," he said, giving his last name even though he didn't want to, because he remembered his mother telling him it was shockingly impolite in magical society not to give your last name if the other person did so first. He liked how Caius said "defense major," like this was just college. It normalized the whole affair. "I'm a runecaster," he said.

He tried to turn his body to include the mute girl in the conversation. Though he wasn't sure she wanted to be included. Maybe she could talk, and just didn't want to talk to him. He could not read her. And it stressed him out. Caius was easier. His fear about the guy hating him off the bat had dissolved.

"Have you t--two picked your secondaries?" he asked, hoping to find something in common.
S p i r e S c h i p p e r s





Whether Dawn's presence would have done the trick to break up the fight, or whether Kora would have shoved past her to get glorious retribution for the juice in her hair, would remain a mystery. A decorative potted devil's ivy on a brass-legged marble end table in the corner suddenly came alive with furious speed, lengthening and thickening to thread into a wide wall of organic bars that blocked them from each other, appearing just behind Dawn so that she stood on Larke's side of the divider. It happened in about a second, accompanied by a subtle trembling underfoot, like a freighter had just rumbled by.

"Is this really how we're starting the year? Really?" His voice was cool and silky, but intoned with a lazy kind of drawl, an effect that somehow perfectly paralleled the appearance of the voice's owner: A tall, dark haired man in his thirties; dressed in a slim, tailored gray blazer and navy button up; evidently couldn't be bothered to shave in the last week or so; one hand lifted in a relaxed pose like he was showing someone a watch, the other in his pocket.

He regarded the three students currently in the fray. He'd previously studied the student photo roster for people of interest, but he would have recognized Kora Norrevinter anyway. She looked like her father, and her aunt. But then, all Norrevinters came spat out of a copy machine, down to the way the ink seemed to be getting streaky and damaged each generation.

The other was a Sterling kid. If nothing else, the context of this fight gave it away.

And the intervening girl...was the Memoli. That he knew from the roster.
Memolis were people to keep an eye on. Especially with his history.

His smile at her wasn't especially warm. "Thanks for being a peacemaker, kid. You can sit now." He then turned pale gray eyes from Kora to Larke and back, but he spoke up for the entire room to hear. "I'm not gonna give you some bullshit speech about how this is a safe place and we need to leave our family feuds at the door, okay? But this isn't how things are going to go, either. Anyone is welcome to hate each other's guts from across the room. You don't have to hug it out. I really don't care. But can we draw a line at throwing people into school property? The only fighting on this campus is going to be in combat class, got it?" He gave a pointed look at the mess Larke and Kora had made. Juice, bits of egg, and a couple of pancakes had made it onto the floor."And you two can clean this up."

With a small, easy rotation of Spire's hand, the plant retracted back over its pot, groaning in complaint as its stalks coiled to roughly fit the space it once occupied. It now looked more like a misshapen piece of modern art, especially since many of the yellow and green ribbed leaves had crackled and dried out, sapped of moisture. The once tender green ones on the ends now bore that hollowed grayish spiderweb look. The expenditure of energy for the unnatural growth had clearly caused some damage, and the posture of the twisted knot of stems made it look as if it felt ashamed to have been used so roughly.

Spire waited, folding his arms and watching them with half-lidded eyes and a dry smile, as though daring them to see what would happen if they took another swing at each other.
T a t i a F a l e





Tatia met Nolan's infectious, glowing smile with a smile of her own, though one of about a tenth the intensity. She turned the same smile on Mitch, then quickly stopped, because that was a lot of effort to waste on someone who evidently could not see it. "Well, thanks for allowing my trespassing on your plot, then. I'm Tatia. Fale," she said, pealing a tangerine, spritzing the air with pleasant bursts of citrus oil that made her nose twitch. "F-A-L-E, not F-A-I-L, but...yeah. It's still kind of unfortunate."

She didn't really have the scope to measure what actually made a last name unfortunate around here.

She looked over her shoulder at the fight... which she hadn't bothered to glance at before, so she could give Mitch a little more detail. "Massive ginger girl and some fuckboy appear to be having a food fight. Now he's doing some uhhhhhh water magic shit. Nolan's concept of having something handled is somewhat debatable, but, you know. I do think we're out of the splash zone, so there's that," she said rather tonelessly, and turned back to her tangerine.






T o b y S c h i p p e r s





"Oh, yeah, I'm fine," he said. He could tell Caius was frustrated, but at least he was being polite about it. Of course, Toby didn't notice the genuineness of the concern, since he only expected the annoyance part. Eager to seem helpful, not wanting to make an enemy, he responded to the boy's cry for a teacher with, "I, ahm, think I saw Maeve--Byrne, Professor Byrne somewhere over... " He gestured vaguely, but couldn't spot her, scooting out of the way surreptitiously so that Caius could see the fight better. Toby didn't really want to watch. He felt like he might be watching his future, except you'd have to replace what looked like a quick-thinking aquamancer with his dopey self, and that really couldn't improve the odds. He looked to the girl who was wearing a gas mask for no discernible reason instead, trying not to let his face show how unsettling it was to look at a girl who was, you know, wearing a gas mask for no discernible reason.

"Sorry," he repeated lamely, still proffering a napkin to her.
C a n v a s A h k t a r - S t e r l i n g





Like many others, Canvas scrambled straight over to the the towering mounds of breakfast food. The boy walked with a literal skip in every other step, with an easygoing disposition and a certain mischievous je ne sais quoi etched permanently into his face. He didn't bother to take his seat before he dug into the syrup-drenched pancakes (he'd used roughly a full cup of the stuff), instead eating on his feet near the food table as he scanned the room for faces he recognized. He recognized a few from Sterling parties, a few more Ahktar acquaintances, and a number of pretty girls that he'd probably flirt with later once he'd gotten a bit of confidence in this space and maybe his wingman.

And speak of the devil, Canvas spotted him, chatting with a Pelacour, a Memoli, and a pretty girl with shockingly dyed hair. "Ey, Larke," he said, remembering at the last moment to swallow his food before speaking. He set down his fork to grab and down a glass of orange juice, somehow managing not to spill as he jogged over to the table to sit with his cousin and his present company.

However, that was when something tall and ginger plowed into Larke like a bulldozer.

Canvas stood still, startled, not quite sure if he should intervene, as he was holding a half-eaten but still sizeable stack of soggy pancakes, and he didn't want to make a bigger fight out of it.

So Canvas simply watched with mild concern, drinking some of the orange juice in case Larke turned out to be in mortal peril and he had to drop it.






T a t i a F a l e





Tatia knew exactly 0 people in the room.

That didn't especially surprise her. She thought it statistically unlikely that she would just run into Carrie from 3rd grade and be like, "Oh, so you happen to be a friggin' wizard too, do ya?" But unsurprised or not, it did create an awkward moment as the lanky girl stood with her tray, looking for empty seats. In the end she simply eenie-meenie-mynie-mowed and headed for an empty seat next to a slim, blond boy and a slight, mousy haired girl cuddling a ...

Good lord, what was that.

Her face settled into its default pose of impassive, bordering on condescending, calm. It was a safety mechanism. It was a safety mechanism she needed REAL badly right now, considering that Tatia Anne Fale had never met another magic user, excluding her 95 year old Nan, and knew nothing about other branches of magic, and only marginally more than nothing about her own.

As she approached, she noticed the abomination was wearing a service animal vest.
Cool.
So it would be polite if she just ignored it until prompted otherwise.

"Hey, what's up," deadpanned Tatia, sliding into a chair near them. "Mind if I join you?" There was no sense of wonder visible on her face. She looked bored.

She was not bored.

Ha.

She was definitely not bored.

@Prosaic@ScoundrelQueen






T o b y S c h i p p e r s





As another trickle of students entered the eclectic room, one of them seemed to be making a concentrated effort to stay as near to the back of the pack as possible. Toby felt sick with nerves and didn't feel like eating much, but he made his way to get in line for breakfast because he figured he'd blend in more if he had food in front of him. If he didn't draw attention to himself, he could probably avoid talking family politics, or meeting anyone who would, you know, want to erase his family from the face of the earth. He knew he'd have to face it all eventually, but there was enough going on today without the frightening social gymnastics.

And then...

"TYYYYYYYYYR!'

It was like his worst nightmare in corporeal form. All of his fears about coming to this school were realized in the form of a tall young woman, rushing straight for him, no doubt to slay him for the supposed wrongs of Spire Schippers against her family.

Gut churning horror flooded his system as he saw the unmistakable Norrevinter barreling toward him, righteous fury burning on her face. He didn't have much time, but the adrenaline gave him just enough of a boost to step out of her path before she could trample him. Or more, throw himself out of the way so that he knocked into a table of students.

Breathing almost to the point of hyperventilation, he righted himself. Relief cooled his panic like ice water as he realized he was not the object of her rage. He pitied the boy who was. Norrevinter probably didn't even recognize Toby. But the relief didn't last long.

"I'm so sorry," he said, mortified, realizing he had caused something of a domino effect when he hit the rather formally dressed youth, causing other nearby students and ... knocking over a pitcher of juice onto the boy's jacket. Why did he have to be wearing white? "I'm sorry, I d--didn't see you. I thought --- the Norrevinter g-- girl was..." He skittered to pick up napkins and offer them to the boy, and the surrounding students, including a girl with a gas mask.

@chocomog333 @theWindel









Thankee.

Aaaaaand two more.





-slides in-


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