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Raine Collindale, Teppenpaw
Thinking happy thoughts
Tue May 22, 2018 08:51

Sometimes, a new teacher was a good thing. Raine’s first year had probably been the worst of her academic career, as she adjusted to the strange variety of rules and expectations that formal schooling brought with it. Prior to attending Sonora, she had been homeschooled (in the very loosest sense of the term ‘schooled’) and it had been a big adjustment. She had been quite glad when professors who had seen that side of her were replaced with people upon whom she could make a fresh, not quite so terrible impression. But now… She knew she wasn’t a model student, not by far, but most of the existing professors knew how hard she’d worked to get where she was. She found it hard to shake her doubts that they disliked her, or found her irritatingly stupid, or wished they didn’t have to struggle through marking her poorly written essays or - worst of all - just wished she would ‘try harder,’ assuming that that would sort it all out, when she was already constantly trying to the maximum degree she was capable of. But…. but they knew her. They knew she had worked her way up to this point. And now there was a new person, and what was she going to see? She was going to see the badly spelled homework. She would only see Raine as the girl with the lowest grade in the class. If she bothered to look into Raine’s file, she might see that she had got an ‘Acceptable’ on her Defence Against the Dark Arts CATS, just squeaking a pass into this class. Assuming that this teacher accepted ‘acceptable’. What if she didn’t? New, at this stage, was not good. New was scary. However unintimidating Professor Hawthorne looked as a person, Raine couldn’t help but worry.

She listened to the lecture, though some of the words sounded technical and hard to spell. What was non-kore-por-real? The fact that Professor Hawthorne explained it in simple terms didn’t make the word less intimidating because someone was bound to expect her to remember it and spell it right in an essay at some point. It wasn’t fair - even if you knew things, and could explain them good, it didn’t ever seem to matter unless you used the fancy words for them. She seemed to be the only one who thought it mattered more that you could explain it good and clear so that people understood you. Everyone else wanted to know that you knew the name for it.

As the practical part of the class began, the furniture began moving around, and Raine took the time that the room was arranging itself to try to do the same with her thoughts. At least it was a practical class. She was quite good at practical classes (actually, she often excelled at them, but when it came to school work, Raine was rarely willing to award herself anything above ‘quite good’). She might manage to do okay at the spell. It was definitely better than theory. And it relied on emotional intelligence, in a sense, which she knew she had. But it relied on happiness… If she had been asked to pick who, out of her and her twin, would do better with a spell that required a person to be in tune with their emotions, she would easily have picked herself over Kyte. He was - much as she loved him - basically useless at that. Everything slid off him like water off a duck’s back, and he never understood how other people were feeling (particularly when that person was her, and she was embarrassed or shy about something). But he was a happy person. He laughed easily, he was almost always in a good mood.

She shuffled her feet, looking at her shoes and trying to think. It seemed like a deep focus kind of class, and so hopefully giving herself some thinking time wasn’t going to be marked down as too odd. Happy times. She was happy when she was performing with her family’s circus, but she wasn’t sure she could think of anything specific. It was more… a general warm sort of fuzziness that she felt when she thought about home. There had been her first boyfriend, Dallas. He had definitely made her happy but in ways she wasn’t entirely comfortable thinking about in the middle of class. And anyway, they’d broken up at the end of that summer… It had always been what they’d agreed, but still, it had made her sad to have to leave him… There was the moment when she had got her CATS results. And when she’d told Professor Xavier about them. It was funny… She wouldn’t have thought school would be the place she looked for her happiest memory, but that was probably the biggest achievement of her life. She tried to push aside how she thought the new professor might feel about her and just think about that moment, when it had felt like there was a big balloon inside her chest, and that it was swelling up so big that it would burst unless she could share how she was feeling with someone else. But not just anyone. It had to be someone special, who would understand the full power of what she was feeling. And she had had been able to share it with Professor Xavier - she had been able to trust him with the special balloon feeling, which was so big that it had to be shared but which couldn’t just be let out anywhere, because he really, really understood just how important it was and what it meant to her. And she thought about Professor Xavier, and how he had said ‘I’m so proud of you, Raine. She could play it back, in his voice, exactly how he had said it. Those words were etched on her memory forever. ‘I’m so proud of you, Raine.

“Expecto Patronum,” she cast. A little ripple of silver emitted from her wand, hanging in the air for a second before falling away. She glanced around to see how her classmates were doing, and whether that was good or not.

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    • Thinking happy thoughts — Raine Collindale, Teppenpaw, Tue May 22 08:51
      • I hope I don’t stink at thisBen Pierce, Thu May 31 10:37
        Ben Pierce entered the Defense room with seconds to spare before he would have official earned the title ‘late’. He slipped into the nearest empty seat, still breathing a little hard from running the ... more
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