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DH Skies
Well, you're not teaching Divination
Sat Aug 4, 2018 04:28

The jug of orange juice and sandwiches was something of a surprise. It was a sweet gesture though, and she couldn’t fault wanting to be considerate or wanting to make a good impression as traits in an employee, so she smiled and poured herself some juice.

“I see,” Selina smiled, when Mary explained her reasoning. Many years of teaching had had given her a diverse range of ways to drop these two little words into a conversation, to suit almost any purpose. These ranged from the ice cold ‘I see,’ implying exact understanding but absolute censure of whatever she had just been told - the kind of ‘I see’ that was deployed when a student admitted they had just wanted to find out what happened when you mixed a scoopful of ashwinder eggs into a hiccuping solution, and when the answer turned out to be that your lab partner needed their eyebrows to be reattached and you would be facing a solid month of detention. There was the moderate, professionally toned ‘I see,’ - the kind that said a person’s information had been received and would be considered. There was the warm and friendly ‘I see’ - the one that suggested that a situation had been explained to her satisfaction, and that she understood and accepted the reasons she had been given. It was this last type that Mary received now.

Selina did not see. But she was a seasoned professional. She had managed to maintain her poker face last year through being told that one of her students was a half veela, and so it didn’t slide a notch now, even though Mary’s remarks were altogether alien to her way of thinking, to the point that she almost had no idea what the woman was talking about. At first, she had merely seemed to be gushing a little, but seemed at least sincere in what she was saying, and Selina initially attributed the rather overly emotional and flowery language to something akin to nerves. Except it just kept going like that. She had left the feast because of feeling… too wonderful or some such? Overcome with emotion? Selina was generally a gentle person, and a nice one but she was also very pragmatic, and definitely believed that there could be such a thing as expressing too many feelings. Sensible people just… did not talk like this. When Selina had interviewed Mary, she had seemed practical and capable, and now she was coming out with all this. It was the sort of thing people said in dramatic novels, but did real people really think and feel that?

“I’m glad you think you’ll be happy here,” she added, because that at least seemed to be something positive - Mary had not run out on them due to any problem. Well, no immediate problem. Selina rather suspected more was going on than met the eye. Perhaps something had been occurring in Mary’s personal life to make her feel especially fragile. That, she could more readily understand. Life had its ups and downs, and when something major was going at home, it could make a person vulnerable.

The friendly but professional smile she had worn throughout the conversation twitched into something a little more genuine, though perhaps slightly amused, when Mary turned the question back on her.

“It said on your resume you were a Teppenpaw. And you really are, aren’t you?” she laughed but gently - not at Mary. The woman, for all Selina found her either a little confusing or perhaps even a little naive, was very genuinely sweet, and it was hard not to find her appealing, and to find that she had thought to ask, or to bring orange juice and sandwiches, rather touching. “I’m fine, thank you. Yes, busy, but…” she gave a small shrug, “that’s what I signed up for. You can help me by having a good week of classes,” she advised. Meaning, although she did not say it, not becoming so overcome with emotion that she ran out of the room. Hopefully, Mary would not show quite so much of her soft and vulnerable side to the students. Selina didn’t think they had many who would take advantage, but it only took one or two to turn a class quite literally upside down. “And let me know if you have any problems.”

OOC - as I hope comes across, this is just Selina’s way of thinking and not a judgement on how realistically you write Mary. Selina is just practical and middle-aged. Plus it is amongst my favourite thing ever to have our fictional characters talk about how people in stories vs real people like them behave.

  • I suppose I should've seen this comingMary Brooding, Fri Aug 3 23:18
    When the note came from the deputy headmistress, Mary had forgotten entirely to be nervous. Starting her first full day of work with a chat from the person who'd believed in her enough to give her... more
    • Well, you're not teaching Divination — DH Skies, Sat Aug 4 04:28
      • Thank Merlin for that!Mary Brooding, Sat Aug 4 22:12
        Selina seemed... something. Mary couldn't put her finger on it. Perhaps the woman was simply careful, a trait that probably served her well in her role at Sonora. Mary was not a particularly careful... more
        • That is... unexpectedDH Skies, Sun Aug 5 05:03
          (OOC - as is hopefully apparent in the text, Selina is written as being deliberately a little old fashioned in her views, and some of her comments and thoughts are not necessary appropriate to the... more
          • Thank you for tryingMary Brooding, Sun Aug 5 16:06
            Selina's reaction was reserved enough that Mary could tell she was trying, and the effort was quite sweet. It wasn't as if she was unused to such reactions, although she rarely knew anyone closely... more
            • Oh. Um. You're welcomeDH Skies, Mon Aug 6 08:53
              I would have hated for Ms. James to find out… and for you to find out that way. Selina tried not to think about the ways in which that situation might arise. There was of course, the good old rumour... more
              • Am I doing something wrong?Mary Brooding, Mon Aug 6 13:13
                The more Mary talked, the more she was starting to think that she was making a poor impression. She understood that Selina would have a thousand and one things on her mind and that, not knowing Mary, ... more
                • I don't think soDH Skies, Sun Aug 12 00:57
                  Mary had gone from being chatty, verging on rambling, to rather quiet, and Selina suspected she was feeling less at ease than when she had walked into the office. Which was a shame, but not something ... more
                  • I'm so glad!Mary Brooding, Sun Aug 12 01:48
                    Selina had smiled . What a relief! Mary was quite sure that this was a woman who, if nothing else, was honest. She was honest with her work and in her work, and she was honest with her staff. At the... more
                    • Me tooDH Skies, Sun Aug 12 03:09
                      That was better. Mary seemed to have got the message, and they were in some sort of middle ground now, whereby she would deal with the students’ issues as best she could, without going out of her way ... more
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