Russell Drew [4th year, Cetus]
I don't mind the mess
Thu Jan 12, 2017 19:07

Back home in California, Defense Against the Dark Arts had fallen under the category of subjects that Russell found interesting but thought would be infinitely more so when it wasn't just himself and his private tutor. They'd made the odd government- (and parental-) approved excursion to check out minorly dangerous critters, and had of course practiced all the required incantatems plus a handful of others. But working with the same man every day, though helpful for improving his spellcasting confidence, surely wasn't anything like working with different students.

So he had woken up feeling kind of excited for class. Until he heard the news.

They had to go outside? On the first day?

Russell felt his anxiety build up just thinking about it. He'd of course had a lot of practice detecting that sort of thing, but even if he hadn't, he would have felt it. Pretty hard to ignore when his heart was rattling around that loudly.

He had grumpily (and a little shakily) dug out an old pair of cargo shorts and a v-neck shirt, both appropriate shades of mid-to-heavy rusted-nail-grey, which he interpreted to mean probably brown but possibly orange. He proceeded to grumpily (and a little shakily) follow his housemate Steven to the outdoor classroom where the Intermediates were to meet. He had made a grumpy attempt to pull his hair back, the tangled strands slowly forming something resembling half a ponytail and half a bun. He had then very grumpily (and more shakily) taken off his sunglasses and added them to Professor Rasnick's pile; he didn't open his eyes again until they were safely behind a pair of dark-lensed goggles. Glasses couldn't be trusted to stay put, but the goggles' elastic band left no room for error.

They also snagged a little too tightly at his hair and made him all the grumpier. Russell wasn't by nature a grumpy type of person, but when he was given a moderately pleasant tour of indoor lecture halls and padded classrooms only to then be redirected outside on the first day -- well, that wasn't exactly a welcome surprise. Grumpiness was a totally acceptable reaction, in his opinion.

His status as reluctant participant was immediately obvious when Professor Rasnick released them; the tall fourth-year kicked off his sandals (grass was much nicer underfoot) and walked at an almost lazy pace to the first obstacle, although any close observers would surely have noticed the tenseness of his frame.

"Wingardium Leviosa."

The first attempt didn't do much more than make the log shudder slightly. Russell shuddered, too. Dang it, come on, this was a charm he was good at! Taking a deep breath, he let his eyelids fall to a half-closed position. The sun was more easily ignored when peering through his dark lashes. Once his heartbeat had slowed to something resembling normal, he swish-and-flicked again and got the log floating without any problem.

A ginger prod and the resulting slimy-but-gritty texture between his fingers told him that the next obstacle, a not-quite-midnight-grey pit, was full of mud. Carefully angling his log, he lowered it into the mud and, after a moment's thought, began using a series of light Knockback Jinxes to push it ahead of him. Being a large pit, it couldn't clear his path entirely, but its momentum did push some of the mud away and made it easier for Russell to wade through behind it. Bare toes squelching, he was startled when someone addressed him and might have jumped a tad, but he stayed focused.

"Flipendo! Um, no, I didn't," he responded, green eyes darting up only briefly before locking back on his log. Ironically, his ears caught a weird noise almost immediately after, and his footsteps slowed. "No, er, actually never mind, I think I just heard... laughing? But, um, evil laughing," he clarified. "Cackle-y." Craning his neck around to survey his surrounding greyscape, Russell caught a glance of the student beside him and paused a moment to register the seated position she he um he couldn't really tell and that was the first time that had happened, but the student was sitting on the log. "That's smart," he commented before hearing another round of cackles. "Professor... er, Rasnick... wouldn't laugh at us like that, right? I hope?"

  • But let’s not get dirty - Holland Keene [Lyra 5th Year], Thu Jan 12 13:44
    To put it lightly, Holland was less than thrilled to discover that the intermediates were starting with gym class. Wizarding school was supposed to drop fabricated subjects like physical education... more
    • I don't mind the mess - Russell Drew [4th year, Cetus], Thu Jan 12 19:07
      • Then you’re welcome to stay in it - Holland, Thu Jan 12 21:06
        Holland thought they knew everyone in their year, and most of the fourth-years as well, but they were certain they’d never seen this boy before. The goggles made it hard to tell, but the only... more
        • "Oh... right," Russell muttered by means of acknowledgement, feeling a bit dumb. He had seen Professor Rasnick fly off ahead of them. But having multiple professors was in itself a very new... more
          • That’s one way to look at it - Holland, Fri Jan 13 13:59
            The transfer’s full name was two first names, which was a thing Holland had always found suspicious, but they answered his question anyway. “Fifth-year. Lyra,” in case the hair wasn’t a giveaway.... more
            • It's a practical approach - Russell, Fri Jan 13 19:17
              Holland, who was not new, was apparently game to work together, or at least game enough to have taken the plunge first into the tunnel. Russell found himself vaguely wishing that he had gone in... more
              • I’m more theoretical - Holland, Sat Jan 14 14:49
                Mostly using their arms, Holland pulled themself through the mud under the tarp and decided they would love to never do this again. It was a good thing Frankie wasn’t here—Holland’s Quidditch captain ... more
                • I'm kind of symmetrical - Russell , Sat Jan 14 17:52
                  As it turned out, Russell wasn't entirely the odd one out because Holland's education had almost gone the same way that his had. That was interesting. More interesting was hearing that Holland's dad... more
                  • I’m mostly apocryphal - Holland, Sun Jan 15 17:44
                    Russell’s water charm came out with all the strength of a fire hose, which startled Holland a bit but got the job done. Their own (more restrained) spell was a controlled stream that they used to... more
                    • And a little existential - Russell, Mon Jan 16 02:04
                      He nodded and flicked his wand in a tight spiral with a mutter. This charm was one Russell had practiced a lot. California was basically all summer; avoiding the sun was inconvenient, but more so was ... more
                      • But you’re less hypothetical - Holland, Tue Jan 17 15:14
                        Russell’s spell worked exactly as he said it would, and Holland did their best to commit his wand movement and incantation to memory. He sort of mumbled it, so they would likely ask later. It could... more
                        • That's canonical - Russell , Wed Jan 18 19:13
                          "Oh, really?" was his reply as he tried not to look too relieved. He thought Holland was a little shorter than him, maybe - it was hard to tell accurately since he was still barefoot and that might... more
                          • And not allegorical - Holland, Mon Jan 23 14:13
                            “It’s just mud,” they said, not flinching as Russell stepped into their hand. Obviously they’d prefer not getting muddy, but it was a lost cause at this point in the obstacle course. The mud would... more
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