Jessica Hayles
I'll see my name in lights before it's done.
Mon Mar 4, 2019 18:39

Daddy, Jessica thought sadly as she looked over the newcomer, was not going to be very happy with her.

Professor Skies bringing backup was no real surprise, of course, so Daddy wouldn’t be too cross about Jessica accepting that. The problem, rather, was that Jessica did so without immediately demanding her own entourage of supporters. She should, she knew, stop the whole thing until such time as they agreed to allow her to consult privately with adult counsel, and only then march in with a lawyer and her father and a few professors from the School of Education at the university and, if absolutely necessary, a psychologist.

But that would be rude, and Mommy would disapprove, would say she was acting like some damn Yankee like her father.

And she hadn’t been able to get in touch with Daddy, who gatekept her access to those resources, anyway.

“Of course,” she said politely in her soft Southern accent instead. “It’s very nice to meet you, sir. I’m Jessica.”

She sat down, not quite suppressing a twist of distaste about the mouth as the voluminous sack-uniform settled around her.

Clothes make the woman. How many times had she heard that? You could tell so much about a girl by her shoes, her lipstick, the way she wore her hair. In this thing, though, she couldn’t even see her shoes without kicking her feet out ridiculously far – it was like she had joined a convent and they just hadn’t gotten to the part where they made her change her name yet.

She pressed her lips very slightly together, feeling the gloss on them. She had that advantage – that she got to see her name printed on the bottom of the tube every time she touched up her lips. And didn’t the shade of pink in her nail polish go as well as anything was going to with this green? Unable to do her hair properly, she had started letting her hair dry on foam rollers every night before bed (she couldn’t yet discipline herself to sleep on them) and so it hung in glamorous, vaguely Old Hollywood waves, held back on the right side with a faux-tortoiseshell side comb but falling freely down the left side of her face. This way, she could turn her head and hide her expression if she needed to; she had learned that trick from watching Mommy.

“Well, thank you,” said Jessica, still blandly polite, assuming they were making small talk and determined to say everything right and keep her composure this time. She had put it all in a box, chained the box shut, and put the box on a shelf in her head, and that was where it was going to stay.

In reality, the week lingered in memory as a waking nightmare. Her desk drawer was a heap of crumpled scraps of poems that hadn’t formed correctly, mostly about water and the dark. She picked at her food and struggled to sleep as much as she struggled to get consistent results from waving the stick and saying the magic words in classes. The only classes where she felt fairly stable were Herbology and Potions, where things at least could be interacted with directly, the tasks felt somewhat meaningful, and she didn’t flinch every time something went right. Charms and Defense Against the Dark Arts were horror shows; she was sure she had actually pulled a muscle in one shoulder from all the tensing up when there were bangs or flashes and the like from all directions.

“It’s interesting learning about the herbal properties I didn’t know about,” she continued, still smiling with her mouth to keep an artificial smile in her voice, figuring that a show of compliance might help lull the professor. “And I’ve enjoyed reading parts of the book for your class. I hope you’ve had a good week, too?”

  • Take Two (Tag Jessica and Killian)Professor Skies, Sun Mar 3 18:24
    "Good afternoon," Selina addressed Jessica. It was the end of the first week and, as per their arrangement, Jessica was back in her office to talk over their respective plans. "As we now have Mr. Row ... more
    • I'll see my name in lights before it's done. — Jessica Hayles, Mon Mar 4 18:39
      • Lumos will help with thatProfessor Skies, Wed Mar 6 22:28
        Things were not going as badly as they might have. It was true that Jessica did not yet seem relaxed or natural in using her wand, but that was often true of Muggleborn students - even some children... more
        • So far, this was not going too badly. Of course, Jessica had briefly thought that last time, and then the professor had turned on her, got her confused and overwhelmed. Jessica thought that the other ... more
          • Students require the most maintenance. Mr. Killian Row, Wed Mar 13 23:30
            Killian was more than a little nervous for his first serious meeting with Deputy Headmasters Skies and a student in need. His previous job had certainly given him experience in this area, but that... more
            • Jessica wondered if the magic stuff damaged people’s brains. She had explained her full objection to the course of study they wanted her to take during her first meeting with Skies. She had written... more
              • And yet the cracks are showingDH Skies, Tue Mar 19 07:49
                "I would recommend neither strangling anyone nor setting a pack of lawyers on them. Especially as that would involve trying to convince your lawyers that wizards are real,” Selina stated, the angle... more
                • There's nothing enough money can't fix.Jessica, Wed Mar 20 17:53
                  Jessica saw the look, then saw it was directed at her hand. She flushed and instinctively hid the hand behind her, though it was too late to undo the damage. There went another point. You keep losing ... more
Click here to receive daily updates