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Joe Umland, Teppenpaw
Certified awkward person here.
Sun Feb 25, 2018 22:00

Joe was not going to have a dangerous occupation. Joe was not going to have an occupation that involved world travel, dangerous personalities, outside, dangerous substances, or anything like that. He didn’t know what kind of occupation he was going to have, but he knew it was not going to involve any of those things. Why, then, was he in Advanced Herbology?

It was so easy, he thought, to just keep checking off little boxes when signing up for classes. To say ‘well, I’ve always taken this, so where’s the harm?’ It was only now, with the stack of syllabi rising in size by the hour, that he began to realize how truly foolish he had been. Five advanced exams wasn’t unheard of, especially at larger schools, but nor was it anything a sane, average Joe (pun emphatically intended) had any business taking on. John did things like this, and Joe, sad or glad to say, simply wasn’t him.

It was a little too late to do the right thing now, though – quitting wasn’t an option. He was an Umland. He was John Umland’s blood brother. He had to finish these courses in good standing or die trying, because he could otherwise never look John and Paul and probably Mom as well in the eye again. So he took the syllabus Professor Xavier handed him and tried to look enthusiastic.

The first assignment of the year was at least not horrendous. Plant seeds. Gloves would make his hands a little clumsier, but better than that unspecified irritation. Later, he assumed a lot of this would involve dodging around and firing off spells to control the plants, which would be good exercise to relieve stress from his other classes, too – another win. For now, though, there were seeds, and also Raine.

Joe was still not sure where they stood after last year. Last year had been weird in so many ways, but the topper had no doubt been when Raine’s brother had been bizarrely casual about the idea that Joe might be – that she and Joe might have – well. Now it was increasingly hard not to think about – that – whenever he thought about Raine, which was…a problem for so many reasons, and then on top of that, it was a Ball year. How did he have two fairly good female friends and reasons not to ask either of them? Raine a) might dislike him intensely after last year and b) might not want the center of attention that came with that dance, and Tasha, well, Tasha was out of the question. Nevaeh was cool, assuming they could figure out how to dance with Scout underfoot, but did Raine or Georgia – who he barely knew, but was a Teppenpaw prefect now and so in the same boat – expect him to ask them, opening up the door to hurt feelings if he did not? Why did this all have to be so complicated, and why did he have to have such a strong feeling that the scenery wouldn’t involve any humanoid figures this year that would have allowed him to pull a John in the worst-case scenario?

“I bet these are going to be a pain to keep alive,” said Joe casually, dropping a Pritcher’s Porritch seed in a pot. “Being, uh, rare and all – they probably die easy, I guess. So, uh, have a good summer?”

That was it. He was officially lamer than John. He had not even known that was physically possible before this moment, but if there had been any doubt, there wasn’t now, not after that last sentence. He contemplated finding a larger Devil’s Snare and sticking his head in.

  • Fully accredited CATS passer right here - Raine Collindale, Teppenpaw, Fri Feb 16 22:08
    Raine took her seat proudly in Herbology. Her sixth year studies were composed of the two full courses - Herbology and Defence - in which she’d actually achieved passing CATS grades, plus a few other ... more
    • Certified awkward person here. - Joe Umland, Teppenpaw , Sun Feb 25 22:00
      • Make that two - Raine, Tue Feb 27 06:24
        Raine’s spirits dropped slightly as Joe pointed out how likely to die all their plants were. She supposed it made sense… If something was rare… Perhaps? But there were lots of things that were... more
        • The more the...merrier? - Joe, Tue Feb 27 13:06
          “That’s a good point,” said Joe when Raine pointed out that it might not be the Pritcher’s Porritch’s own fault it was not very good at being alive, at least in the wild. John was always ranting... more
          • Yay - Raine, Fri Mar 2 08:42
            Good point. Joe had just told her that she had made a good point. Raine smiled into her plant pots. “Sounds nice,” she commented cheerily, when he talked about having vacation. She spent most of her... more
            • And now I look foolish. - Joe, Mon Mar 5 21:26
              Oh, dear. Now he had to either sound like a jetsetter or lie. Lying was bad when unnecessary. “My sister’s husband decided to take her to France for their anniversary, and Julian decided to invite me ... more
              • Been there, done that - Raine, Tue Mar 6 06:42
                “Wow, your sister’s husband sounds fancy,” Raine commented, entirely neutrally. She had never thought much about whether Joe’s family had money. She suspected they had more than hers because most... more
                • It's not a club I wanted to join. - Joe, Wed Mar 7 14:34
                  Joe shrugged at the assessment of William, glad that he had apparently successfully been able to deflect blame from his family and onto his brother-in-law. “Yeah,” said Joe. “He works for the... more
                  • Raine wasn’t quite sure what to make of Joe’s assessment of William. Firstly, she wasn’t sure that working for the government and having no self-esteem issues led automatically to being rich enough... more
                    • Oh? Well, that was helpful. In that vein, he also had some oceanfront property here in Arizona…. “With this ball thing coming up,” he elaborated. “I thought for sure they would cancel the prefect’s... more
                      • “Oh. Right. I’d forgotten about that from last time,” Raine smiled sympathetically when Joe mentioned having to do the prefect dance. “It doesn’t seem like a lot of fun,” she added. She couldn’t... more
                        • What about putting both feet in it? - Joe, Wed Mar 21 21:58
                          Well, that was clear enough. I’d die of embarrassment if that was me. No room for ambiguity, anyway. Joe supposed that was a good thing. Ambiguity had been the source of some of the awkwardness last... more
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