Professor Aaron McKindy
Come along, Ceti
Fri Jan 19, 2018 09:26

Even though Aaron McKindy was wearing his robes - crimson, with a silver dragon that slid across the fabric at a leisurely pace - he was uncomfortable. That was not unusual; Aaron didn’t particularly like being in crowded places with a lot of fuss going on, and the opening feast at RMI was always mildly crowded with quite a bit of fuss. It wasn’t helped by the appearance of the new Headmaster, Tobias Morgan. Toby had been Headmaster before, but it had been during the period of time that Aaron had not been employed at RMI. Aaron considered himself fortunate to have been absent for that time: everything about Toby echoed some aspect of Aaron’s idea of hell.

The new Headmaster was peppy. He literally bounced, at times, in fact. He tended to shout with enthusiasm. In fact, he tended to do everything with enthusiasm. He encouraged chaos. He was the embodiement of chaos. And somehow, although Aaron held no personal complaint against the Welsh, his accent somehow made it all worse.

But Aaron’s penchant for skipping opening feasts had been thwarted by the combination of Madeleine and Garen several years ago, so he would have been at the feast even if he hadn’t been obligated to be at the feast for professional reasons.

Rey Bonilla had grown on Aaron with time; it helped that the former Headmaster was a spellwork buff. It had taken some easing into, but the two men had developed a sort of quiet camaraderie that involved debating some of the finer points of wandwork and charms theory, two of Aaron’s favourite topics. But despite Aaron’s tentative appreciation for their friendship, he would be the first to admit that Rey did not always think things through. Case in point: appointing Aaron to be the Head of House for the House into which his stepson had been Sorted. It wasn’t Aaron’s first time being Head of House - he had managed it twice before this, once at RMI and once at another school - but being Drew’s Head of House was different than being, generically, Head of House.

Given that Drew was a relatively calm boy, particularly as compared to his cousin Kit, Aaron hadn’t expected there to be trouble, but in a profoundly excellent example of Murphy’s Law, not three months into Aaron’s tenure as Cetus Head of House, he had been summoned to break up a fistfight between Drew and an older boy, Connor Farnon. As it happened, Drew had (in Aaron’s opinion) been perfectly justified in punching Connor, and although Aaron had given both boys an in-school suspension and docked House points, Drew’s suspension had been served with Rob Hier while Connor had been placed with Estelle Blair. Aaron hadn’t asked about the details of Drew’s suspension, but knowing Rob, he suspected that it hadn’t been quite the punishment Connor’s had. And in what was perhaps an even more ultimate example of his bias in the issue at hand, upon Connor leaving the room, Aaron had both hugged Drew and taken him out to Pearl Street for some ice cream. Shortly after, he had begun teaching Drew some magical self-defense; they hadn’t specified to Garen what kind of spellwork Drew was getting help on from Aaron, and Aaron was fairly certain that they should keep it that way.

Aaron had grown up in a pureblood family with more than a passing knowledge of the Dark Arts. Garen was largely opposed to violence. It wasn’t like Aaron was about to teach Drew how to use the Cruciatus Curse, but a curse that was essentially the wizarding version of pepper spray (more long-lasting and painful, because that was the way questionable magic usually worked) or a jinx that loosened joints in a way likely to result in painful dislocation was on the table, as far as he was concerned. It was better that Garen not know the details.

Aaron’s customary practise of looking as inconspicuous as possible during the opening feast and thereby avoiding conversation had not worked out well this time around; Lorraine Taylor had some sort of pressing question about sticking charms and had cornered him before Toby even began his speech. Aaron didn’t like Lorraine. Apparently she had been his successor as charms professor at one of the schools he had taught at, but he found Lorraine’s strict demeanor intimidating and off-putting and avoided talking to her as much as possible.

It was, consequently, a relief when it was time to extract himself from the conversation to collect the Cetus first years.
“Cetus first years and transfers, over here!” Aaron called after a quick Sonorus to amplify his voice. “Cetus first years and transfers!”
Once the small gaggle of students had appeared in front of Aaron (Cetus was always one of the smaller Houses), he smiled at them all welcomingly. Despite the awkward logistics of being Drew’s Head of House, Aaron did enjoy the title. One of the reasons he had stayed in education for nearly thirty years was that he did enjoy working with children and young adults. He was good at it, and interacting with his students was always infinitely better than interacting with the staff.

Finite,” he said, canceling the charm that had amplified his voice. “Welcome to RMI, again!” Aaron added, looking around to make sure that he hadn’t missed anyone. “My name is Professor McKindy and I’ll be your Head of House - so the first person you come to if you have any problems outside of class. If you’re struggling with your coursework I can help you find an older student to tutor you, or if you’re having roommate problems I can help you solve them. That sort of thing.

“I’m going to show you how to get to the Cetus commonroom. Only Ceti have access to the Cetus commonroom, so it’s a place where you can spend time with your Housemates. The dorms are also attached to the commons. All right, everyone ready?” At the indication that everyone was, Aaron moved forward with the new Ceti.

Along the route, Aaron pointed out helpful landmarks that would be useful when the new students were trying to navigate around the school. The most significant of those landmarks on the way to the Cetus commonroom was the library.

After some time, the group arrived at a portrait of a young woman, sitting serenely on a rock and gazing into a pool of water while painted birds flew past on the canvas. Aaron stopped, then turned to face the students.

“This is the entrance to your House,” Aaron said. “Only students in Cetus should know where the House entrance is. It’s guarded by a password, which will change periodically. Anyone who gives out the password to a member of another House will be in serious trouble, so I suggest you don’t,” the ‘serious trouble’ was clearly not a threat; Aaron was not good at making threats. “Petû,” he said to the portrait. The young woman smiled and the portrait swung open and the wall morphed, revealing a door that was large enough for even Aaron - who was more than six foot - to go through without ducking. “The password will change occasionally, but the new password will be posted in the commons for several days beforehand, so you’ll have the chance to write it down or memorize it.

“Let’s all step into the commonroom and I’ll continue from there,” he suggested.

This thread is continued in the Cetus commonroom, where Aaron will take your characters’ questions! And don’t worry - the Opening Feast isn’t over yet. Feel free to continue your threads there, but you are now permitted to post in other places too.

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