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Gary Harper
Harper's Quest III: A Welcomed Escape
Sat Jul 28, 2018 06:56
74.99.150.205

Gary was glad to be back at Sonora. He took a seat at the Aladren table and watched/participated in the opening ceremony festivities as one would expect. He cheered for Kir as he accepted his prefect badge, filed the Quidditch news under 'not applicable', thought the fair sounded like it could be fun, and sang along with the school song. All in all, it was a welcomed relief to be back at school again. He was looking forward to getting together with the group again, see how their summers went and start gaming again. There had been a severe lack of it over the summer.

The summer hadn't been 'bad' per say, but it had been chaotic and crazy. Dad had gotten remarried. June was a nice enough lady, and she and Dad liked each other well enough. She had some strange ideas about getting Dad out of the basement and into more 'adult' social interactions. She wasn't much of a gamer. They had certainly played some games over the summer, she knew how and didn't hate them, but apparently she considered them an occasional past time, not something that should dominate an entire day every week or more. Crazy talk.

Since the wedding hadn't come until late in the summer, as far as he knew, she still didn't know that Gary was a wizard. He was still just going off to a special school somewhere. Dad was going to bring her up to speed sometime soon. He wasn't sure how well that would go, but it couldn't be helped. Her kids were another story. In that same moment that changed so much around home, he'd also went from being an only child to having an older brother and sister.

Jeremy and Sasha were, as far as he could tell, stereotypical teenagers of their appropriate genders. They were obsessed with sports, shopping, friends, movies, and the opposite gender. Gary had nothing in common with them, and so interactions with them were strained and awkward at best. Dad and June had encouraged them to spend time together to help overcome some of that, but it hadn't really worked. Dad tried to run a game for the whole new family, but Jeremy and Sasha sat staring at their phones with minimal involvement the whole time. June had drug them out on a mini vacation filled with minigolf, movies and swimming pools. There still wasn't much interaction. In the end, the three of them seemed to just agree on avoided each other for the time being. Going back to school was the best way to avoid them that he could think of, so he was enjoying the return.

Once the food appeared, he filled up his plate. Then, in a completely unprecedented move, without any planning or ulterior motives he turned to whoever was sitting near him, smiled and asked, "So, how'd your summer go? Glad to be back?"

  • Opening FeastHeadmaster Brockert, Fri Jul 27 20:25
    So far the year was off to a decent start. No student altercations, no complaining parents and they even had a solution to their Quidditch "problem". (As far as Mortimer was concerned, there was no... more
    • Get out clauses (tag Joe)Kir McLeod, Wed Aug 8 08:12
      Kir was excited for fifth year. He had major exams to sit which he was enough of a weirdo to be kind of looking forward to. Kir was bright, and he tested well. He was sure he wouldn’t feel quite so... more
      • If you aim at the sibling, you best not miss.Joe Umland, Thu Aug 9 21:21
        As he approached the doors of the Cascade Hall, Joe found himself, to his surprise, hesitating slightly before taking the step into the room. This, he thought, was it. Last first time. It was his... more
        • Duly notedKir, Mon Aug 13 06:21
          Joe’s reply was certainly… unusual. It took Kir a moment to process, to work out what exactly Joe was implying and to connect it- “Wait, that story’s true?! And about you?!” he asked. He remembered... more
          • Well done padawan.Joe, Mon Aug 13 21:03
            “You can ask,” said Joe, slightly amused despite himself at Kir’s reaction to realizing Joe was apparently infamous – something Joe had not really fully realized himself, but which seemed to be the... more
            • I try my bestKir, Wed Aug 15 08:53
              “Sort of,” Kir agreed with Joe’s assessment. A lot of the things Joe was saying were true of Ness too, although he couldn’t actually imagining wanting to literally punch her. Sometimes he just wished ... more
              • Do or do not. There is no try.Joe, Wed Aug 15 15:47
                “Naturally,” agreed Joe, straight-faced, when Kir proclaimed that his family would find murder more acceptable than punching, grateful to have that awkward bit of the conversation end in a joke.... more
    • The wanderer returnsJehan Callahan, Fri Aug 3 07:47
      Returning to Sonora was, for Jehan, like returning to a dearly-loved but forgotten friend. After his discovery of the bookshop in Muggle New York, sneaking out of his house to spend hours there had... more
      • SharksHeinrich Hexenmeister, Thu Aug 9 13:14
        Heinrich had a terrible summer. It opened with the bad news his uncle hadn’t wanted to send by owl, and it never got better. His parents’ trial had concluded late last Spring with a conviction. They... more
        • HaiJehan, Sun Aug 12 11:52
          ”What is Shark?” Well. What a question. There were so many ways one could start to answer that. To begin with, sharks as simple creatures were, actually, fascinating. Jehan had stumbled upon a book... more
          • EnteHeinrich, Thu Sep 6 09:21
            “Danke, thank you,” Heinrich said after Jehan explained what a shark was. The German word always slipped out first when he tried to thank people, but after a year in Sonora, the English followed so... more
    • Of brides and bribery, mostly.Tatiana Vorontsova, Wed Aug 1 15:55
      Tatiana Vorontsova was not, to put it mildly, best known for her subtle approaches to color and adornment, but she was aware that she was probably going a bit beyond the norm even for her for the... more
    • It's an outrage (tag Ben)Kyte Collindale, Tue Jul 31 08:06
      Kyte dropped into his habitual seat next to Ben at the feast. He usually didn’t pay much attention to the announcements because they were a lot less interesting that imagining his classmates naked.... more
      • I will survive Ben Pierce, Thu Aug 16 11:59
        “Hey, Kyte,” Ben greeted his roommate cheerfully as the other joined him at the Pecari table, quickly fell quiet as the first years started to get sorted. He held little personal interest in the... more
    • All back to not as before.Grayson Wright, Sun Jul 29 19:54
      They had been reasonably cooperative during their social time in the Gardens and their guided tour of the school, but Gray was still deeply grateful when the time came to hand off the first years to... more
      • Should we panic?Tarquin Fox-Reynolds, Wed Aug 1 07:13
        Summer had been very enjoyable. For the first time in a long time, he and Danny had had a holiday that was just the two of them. In spite of both their children being adults, they had still tended to ... more
        • If you think it'll help, sure.Grayson Wright, Wed Aug 1 19:16
          How was your summer was, Gray thought, a somewhat complicated question, at least if one did not simply say ‘fine’ and drop the subject. Since there was little else to discuss on the first day of... more
          • I fear change. And sexy vampires.Tarquin Fox-Reynolds, Sun Aug 12 05:36
            “Oh, very much so. Thank you,” Tarquin smiled. He was not given to overly animated facial expressions but he did both look and sound very genuinely pleased and excited at the fact that not only had... more
            • Change is...not my favorite thing, either.Grayson Wright, Tue Aug 14 12:47
              “Somewhat,” said Gray, shrugging a tad indifferently, on the subject of whether or not it had been productive as well as interesting. “I’m trying to get used to working in prose, there were some... more
    • I think we should be friends [Tag Zevalyn]Ness McLeod, Sun Jul 29 08:34
      Ness was feeling pretty pumped. Elementary school had been sucky, and full of really immature people. Whilst the few months separating it from a school like Sonora might not have seemed like a huge... more
      • That can probably be arrangedZevalyn, Wed Aug 15 11:00
        Zevalyn arrived at Sonora feeling glad she only had to ride the wagon here from Phoenix. How some people managed to cross the country on them and not have back problems baffled her. She got out,... more
        • ExcellentNess, Sun Aug 19 06:17
          Ness gave a slight giggle at Zevalyn’s comment about staring at Kir during prefect meetings, not quite sure whether that was meant as a joke or not. On the one hand, presumably Zevalyn did think Kir... more
    • Is it too late?Tabitha Hawthorne, Sat Jul 28 14:31
      Tabitha had almost been late to the feast. If she hadn't laid out her more formal dress robes earlier, she was sure that she would have arrived after all the students and that would have created a... more
      • Only if you leave without me.Mary Brooding, Sat Jul 28 17:41
        If Mary hadn't felt like she stood out before, she certainly did now. It wasn't in the positive, 'Wow, you look great in olive!' sort of stand out, but the, 'Wow, you have beautiful friends!' way. As ... more
        • Why would I do a thing like that?Tabitha Hawthorne, Sat Jul 28 18:09
          Tabitha let out a slow sigh, trying to calm her nerves. She wouldn't be able to eat until she did calm down otherwise, all she'd end up with would be indigestion and a bad stomach. The side-hug from... more
          • It wouldn't be the strangest thingMary Brooding, Sat Jul 28 18:22
            A calm, confident, and happy woman, both in reality and in self-perception, Mary was unaccustomed to the nerves that rumbled through her belly. She took a moment to cut a piece of jello in half with... more
            • I won't leave you behindTabitha Hawthorne, Sat Jul 28 18:48
              Tabitha grew worried when Mary didn't reply to her for a time and, for a second, a shot of fear went straight through her. Maybe Mary had changed her mind and didn't want to travel with her anymore?... more
              • But what if I fall?Mary Brooding, Sat Jul 28 19:01
                The reminder that Tabitha was also brilliant was welcome. Mary suddenly was drawn into the intrigues of international travel, and spoke eagerly about the differences in dangers between Muggle... more
                • Then I'll pick you up. Tabitha Hawthorne, Sat Jul 28 19:38
                  Tabitha couldn't help but laugh as Mary embarked on an 'ethics' dissection again but it was nice to discuss something normal and not awkward and, actually, very interesting. There was no doubt that... more
                  • Lift from the knees, not from the back.Mary Brooding, Sat Jul 28 19:52
                    This wasn't the first time Mary had considered such questions, but certainly one of the first times she'd had someone else to consider them with. Sitting among crystal chandeliers in the hall of a... more
                    • I'll be careful, don't worry.Tabitha Hawthorne, Sat Jul 28 20:21
                      Tabitha felt that if the intensity within Mary's eyes could manifest into something physical, it would become a raging fire that would burn her. The Defence professor found that she couldn't tear her ... more
    • Let's try this socializing thing again.Katerina Vorontsov, Sat Jul 28 12:42
      Sonora, Tatiana had warned her, was a very western place. It was not as stark as the average American location, but it was still noticeably lacking in beauty. There were fewer colors, more earth... more
      • No one can make you feel inferior without your consentDorian Montoir, Sun Jul 29 01:03
        Dorian took his seat at the Teppenpaw table feeling blissfully happy. His summer had been wonderful. The weeks spent in China had been perfect - great food, beautifully scenery, and plenty of time... more
        • A pretty thought.Katerina, Sun Jul 29 15:04
          Dark blue-grey eyes widened in surprise when Dorian began speaking Russian, even saying her name correctly. Tatya had said she had tried to teach her friends some Russian, but after all the English... more
          • And trueDorian Montoir, Mon Jul 30 08:53
            He assumed that was good staring. Katerina was looking at him all wide eyed, in what he hoped was pleased surprise and not incomprehension at the jabber of syllables he had just produced. He had... more
            • “Oui,” said Katya, glowing with pride at all these compliments. “J’ai étudié un peu l’allemand.” Katya was also good at and enjoyed her lessons – less formal ones than what she learned with Anton... more
              • Katerina seemed to be relaxing - she looked happier and more animated. He did not attribute anywhere near as much of this to himself as he probably should have done. Certainly, he assumed he was... more
                • Very well, then, I allow it.Katerina, Tue Jul 31 22:41
                  Katya shared in the conspiratorial smile, thinking that this was very like Tatya – Katya wouldn’t think of ordering someone here to study Russian, but that was Tatiana. Her sister wanted what she... more
                  • Glad to hear itDorian, Thu Aug 2 07:31
                    Mozhesh and mogu were so very different sounding that it was hard to recognise that they were conjugations of the same verb. But, as often happened, there was enough meaning in the words he did get... more
                    • I will try to return the favor.Katerina, Thu Aug 2 20:51
                      The next sequence of French had unfamiliar vocabulary in it, but concentrating, and picking out words she did know, Katya thought she got most of the gist of it – that Dorian knew that Byzantiya was... more
    • What's the point?Julius Astley, Crotalus, Sat Jul 28 12:03
      Julius was no more excited at being at Sonora than he had been at orientation. That is, he wasn't excited at all. He still resented the very fact that he'd been sent to the school in the first place... more
      • Food?Cleo James, Fri Aug 3 06:29
        Cleo’s summer had actually really been quite good. The quarantine last year had possibly helped with that in some ways. At Midterm, she had still been mixed up, confused and angry over the fact that... more
        • Food is about the only thing worth thinking about here.Julius Astley, Crotalus, Fri Aug 3 12:17
          Julius eyed the blonde girl who had felt it necessary to speak to him. For a moment, he thought he saw her frown and mentally prepared himself for another time-wasting argument. He was surprised when ... more
          • Gee, thanksCleo, Sat Aug 4 13:28
            Well, her tablemate for the evening seemed quite the little ray of sunshine. What a fun dinner she seemed to be in for. In general, Cleo wasn’t the most outgoing person, she could kind of take or... more
            • You're welcome.Julius Astley, Crotalus, Wed Aug 8 13:48
              Before Julius answered Cleo's question, he reached for the jug of water that was sitting just to his right and filled his goblet. It also bought him some time as he chewed and swallowed his mouthful... more
    • Harper's Quest III: A Welcomed Escape — Gary Harper, Sat Jul 28 06:56
      • Layne's Reprise: A Tolerable Return.Amelia Layne, Sun Jul 29 17:12
        Summer had begun, as expected, in an uneventful fashion. Amelia had spent her time reading, dutifully looking at the CATS prep books it had seemed everyone in the family had seen fit to buy her,... more
        • The saga continues to continueGary Harper, Tue Jul 31 20:51
          "You got to work in a lab? That had to be cool. What all did you get to do?" Gary's mind was naturally filled with bunson burners, bubbling chemicals, jacob's ladders, arcing electricity and giant... more
          • I suppose that beats the alternative.Amelia, Mon Aug 13 22:39
            “Not much, really,” said Amelia regretfully when Gary asked what she had gotten to do in a lab over the summer. “My uncle made me learn more lists than I want to think about by heart before I was... more
            • Indeed, nowhere to go but up. I hope.Gary, Sat Aug 18 10:01
              "Well, that shouldn't be a problem," Gary responded to Ameilia's comment about getting an O+, "You just need to get all the answers correct. That's the point of coming to the school, right? Learn how ... more
    • Well, it was nice while it lasted.Evelyn Stones, Fri Jul 27 21:24
      From the cauldron of potion to her seat at the Pecari table, Evelyn could hardly breathe. It had taken her a long time to start the walk and it wasn't until someone-- she didn't even see who--... more
      • The way I see it, it's only just begun.Malikhi Hill, Pecari, Sat Jul 28 06:29
        Malikhi had had no preference in terms of houses when he walked into the hall for the sorting and subsequent feast. His only hope that the house that he did end up in was with people who were... more
        • Is everybody here...nice?Evelyn Stones, Sat Jul 28 10:59
          Evelyn stared back at the boy with nerves drawn into his expression. His reply had surprised her and she could feel her brain processing this information, slowly, as if it weren't willing to accept... more
          • Well, I don't know about everyone... but I think I am?Malikhi Hill, Pecari, Sat Jul 28 11:13
            Malikhi was absolutely convinced that girls were some kind of different species to his own gender. The girl next to him had done a complete u-turn in her emotions and had now managed to compose... more
            • I really don't know if I am, but I'll try!Evelyn Stones, Sat Jul 28 11:28
              Evelyn smiled and copied her new friend by shoveling mashed potatoes and roast onto her plate. She did cast one furtive glance around the room to see if she could spot Ness at the Alandren table, but ... more
              • Trying is all that anyone asks for. Malikhi Hill, Pecari, Sat Jul 28 12:20
                Malikhi was amused by Evelyn. She seemed to be rather eccentric, not that he hadn't already guessed that when he'd seen her in the gardens with the bright orange lipstick. He felt that on anyone... more
                • That's not true, sometimes they ask for halfsies.Evelyn Stones, Pecari, Sat Jul 28 12:47
                  Dessert sounded wonderful. "I'm a sucker for brownies. Honestly, a good brownie is totally unbeatable. But I'd take profiteroles and ice cream, too!" Evelyn admitted. She smiled, doing her best to... more
                  • I'll share mine, if you share yours...Malikhi Hill, Pecari, Sat Jul 28 13:07
                    Malikhi agreed enthusiastically with Evelyn. Anything that even remotely involved chocolate was delicious - profiteroles, brownies, chocolate cake, chocolate biscuits, chocolate mousse... Oh, he was... more
                    • That sounds fair.Evelyn Stones, Sat Jul 28 14:14
                      Evelyn wrinkled her nose at the thought of tasting a spell, but decided the idea wasn't the worst she'd heard. She still preferred to let Malikhi try it first, though. He looked so excited that she'd ... more
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