HoH Garen Tennant
Head of House speech, T18
Tue Apr 29, 2014 14:57

Lyra’s House colors, seafoam green and dark brown, were reflected in the carpeting and wall paneling, respectively. The large fireplace opposite the entryway had a large mural painted above it. Everyone knew that the painter was a Lyra graduate of RMI, but no one could read the illegibly-signed name in one of the bottom corners, and no one on staff had been there long enough to remember the student. On either side of the fireplace was two windows; the curtains, which matched the carpet in color, hung in front of the windows. Garen drew the curtains back with a flick of his spruce wood wand, revealing the scene of an ocean at noon. Seeing as the school was underground and it was nighttime, this was, of course, an illusion, but Garen liked the view; he thought it helped the students feel somewhat less claustrophobic.

On either wall of the Lyra Common Room was a door leading to a long hallway that wrapped around the distal end of the room; several soundproof booths, art studios, and photography darkrooms were accessible from this passage. The students were free to use these at any time, and Garen certainly encouraged them to do so. Lyra being the “artsy” House, the director did like to see his students express themselves creatively. The students could also practice on the grand piano, which was in the far left corner of the room—it was something of a luxury to have, since none of the other Commons were similarly equipped, and even the theater only had an upright piano.

The whole room was lit with multicolored paper lanterns, which gave it a cozy feeling and illuminated the couches and chairs grouped tastefully throughout the room. In the lanternlight, the students could see the music for Madness’ “Our House,” which was tacked to the bulletin board on the left of the door they had just entered through. The sheet music was the only thing hanging on the board, although Garen knew that any blank space would soon be taken up by other notices, like sign-up sheets for Quidditch and other clubs.

Speaking of which, information about those should be mentioned in his speech. Which should be starting about now. The brown-eyed man cleared his throat. “Since this is my speech and you have to listen and I might say something you want to know, I’m going to talk about myself a little before I talk about relevant stuff. So! My name is Garen Tennant—I’m the counselor, so I’m the person you can totally go to if you have a question about grades, classes, jobs, or anything else that might be troubling you.

“This is my first year back, but I’m not really new here; I was counselor, director, Lyra Head, and Deputy Headmaster here for nine years. I took a five-year break from RMI to do theater and stuff, but, ah—I’m back now.” He smiled. “I have a son, Andrew, who’s turning four soon. I’m sure you’ll all see him around. I also have a blue and yellow parrot named Caliban, but you shouldn’t see much of him unless he figures out how to undo the unlocking charm on my door. If there’s anything else you need to know about me, you’re welcome to ask after the speech.” On to the mandatory topics.

“So the first thing you probably want to know about is where you’ll be sleeping and stuff. If you turn around, you’ll see the staircases on either side of the door you just walked through.” He waited for the students to do so before continuing. “The staircase that is now on your left leads to the girls’ dorms. The staircase on the right leads to the boys’. If you try to go into the dorm of the opposite sex, you get an immediate vacation to Headmaster Warren’s office, with a bonus trip to detention. I really don’t recommend trying it.”

Garen thought that extracurricular activities were a much more interesting topic than “things that can get you in trouble”—although, to be honest, he was pretty sure the students could turn anything into something that could get them in trouble. “RMI has a decent Quidditch program—I believe last year ended with a tie between Draco and Aquila, but I hope some of you can put Lyra back on the map. Keep in mind that if you want to try out, you have to attend both the Flying Lesson and the Quidditch Lesson. Riley Finn—he’s usually found in the theater or in one of our practice rooms—is the Lyra Quidditch Captain. He’ll probably have the sign-up sheet posted on the bulletin board fairly soon, and he’s a great person to go to if you have questions about anything.

“Other clubs! Addi Leppit, who’s a Lyra alum, runs the the drama club here at RMI. I’m not sure what we’re doing this year, but I’ll be helping with choreography and stuff, so you should all try out.” Per the schedule he’d set during his time at RMI, this ought to be a Talent Show year, but he and Addi had both agreed that they wanted something a little more special for his triumphant return. Garen was considering Footloose. “We’ll need musicians and crew as well as dancers, so if you want to do the show in any way, there’ll be a sign-up list in the theater soon.”

The policy on Muggle appliances was the same as always, and he told it to the students quickly; Muggle appliances didn’t work around magic, but they could be enchanted by any member of the staff to be compatible with magic. Whoever taught Magical Sciences now was obviously the best at enchanting things. Garen specialized in enchanting cameras, battery-powered tuners, and electric musical instruments, although he was fairly sure that he could do more complicated things like digital watches.

It would probably be best to do a little House pride boosting. “Oh, and there’s also a potions club run by Professor Gallico and a Dueling Club run by Professor de Villiers. They’ll know more about it than I do, but I’ll try to help if you have any questions.” He exhaled slowly, gearing up toward the end of his speech. “What else? Do your best at schoolwork, don’t get caught if you break rules—” there didn’t seem much of a point in telling people not to break rules at all—“and we won’t have any problems, promise. If you have questions, you can ask me.

“That’s about all I have to say. I’ll stay around here for a few minutes to answer your questions, but if you want to find me some other time, I’m usually in my office in the Administrative Quarters or in the theater. Welcome to RMI!”

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