Professor Robert Hier
Flock here, Aquilas
Fri Jul 13, 2018 18:50

Although Rob usually did his best to go to the Opening Feast despite the fact that he couldn’t actually eat at the Opening Feast, this year was different because this year, Steven was too busy throwing up to allow Rob to do much of anything. He’d told Celia to go ahead with the rest of the kids to the Feast while he nursed Steven through a rainbow of vomiting. A literal rainbow - from the appearance of the messes Rob found himself cleaning up, it looked like Steven had swallowed some potion he definitely was not supposed to swallow and was having a very adverse reaction. Rob had no idea what it was that Steven had gotten into, but he suspected Julia was behind it. He would have been more concerned if the kid was showing symptoms other than an upset stomach, but so far that seemed to be the extent of it.

When the Feast was just about done, Celia came back to the apartment with the other three kids, who looked messy but entertained. Julia was babbling about how “the plant man” had promised her a Chinese Chomping Cabbage, and Rob exchanged a glance with Celia, internally making the note to tell Arthur Bennett that he was absolutely not permitted to give Rob’s niece any sort of anything with the word “chomping” in its name. Or “cabbage”, just to be safe. Rob was all for a bout of good fun, but with Steven’s herps taking up more of the bedroom he shared with Julia than he did, plus the two dogs, plus Jude and Adrianne, there absolutely positively was not a single space left in the apartment for anything that could cause messes, mayhem, or headaches. Wizard space could do a lot, but even wizard space had its limits.

Rob had wheeled out of the staff corridor and toward the Finer Diner with his service dog Lapis at his side, humming to himself, and had turned the corner into entrance hall when he realised there was a swish and a pitter-patter behind him, and he saw that Julia had followed him. He stopped and looked at the girl, who was dressed up in one of the dresses she only ever described as a “princess dress”. She didn’t have shoes on, so the little white-gold butterflies flitting across the toes of her lavender socks were visible. Rob looked at Julia. Julia looked at Rob. Rob looked at Julia. Julia scrunched her face up and put her thumb in her mouth, a good indicator that there was an incoming tantrum.

“Fine,” the Aquila alumnus said with a sigh. “But if you get lost and Aunt Celia murders me, it’s all your fault.”

Julia just looked at him and Rob took that as agreement, choosing to wheel dramatically into the Finer Diner, giving himself one final push so that he could enter the dining hall with his arms in a victory pose. He drifted to a half approximately an inch and a half away from the shins of someone who looked short and unfamiliar enough to be a first year. He grinned at the kid as Julia followed behind him, sucking her thumb and holding on to the skirt of her princess dress. Lapis sat down next to him, tail thumping back and forth.

“Aquilas!” bellowed Rob as loud as he could, paying no mind to the first year just in front of him. “Aquilas, this-a-way! Firsties only, thanks,” he added, just in case any other students decided to unexpectedly follow directions. Rob was pretty sure that he could spot at least one of his Aquilas at another House’s fire, which surprised him not in the slightest. He repeated his bellowing until he had acquired what seemed to be all of the first years. If he had left any behind, they could manage themselves. Old enough for magic school, old enough to not follow directions, old enough to figure things out on their own - that was Rob’s school of thought. Admittedly, he had been an independent eleven-year-old. He tapped the black-and-red flickering flames painted on his wheel covers. Over the summer, he had re-painted his covers with some new paint that he and Celia had whipped up, and Rob was quite pleased with the results.

“The Feast survivors, I see,” Rob said. His words were slightly slurred, which would be readily apparent to anyone paying much attention at all. The students standing on his left would also be able to see the tan hearing aid in his ear. The slur had gotten worse and he had added the hearing aid to help him understand people with strong accents after his third stroke. It also helped clarify day-to-day conversations when his brain was really acting up. “I’m your resident genius Potionsmaster and heroic Head of House. My name is Rob - you can call me Professor Rob if you want to be all official, but Professor Hier makes me feel like I’m impersonating my wife.

“This,” he gestured behind him at his niece, “is my niece Julia. She’s short for a first year, but she’ll be able to keep up I’m sure.” Julia looked at him and blinked, uncharacteristically quiet. Rob would have felt bad because it seemed like the older kids were intimidating her, but she had decided to follow him out of the apartment to begin with so it was really her own fault. “So let’s wheel on over to the Aquila commons, shall we?”

Rob made sure to wheel himself slowly, backwards, so that the first-years could keep up. Walkies were always slow, and these ones were short on top of that. Not that Rob was tall - he’d be about 5’8” standing - but wheels were just an objectively more efficient way of getting around. He kept up a line of chatter as he wheeled with the the firsties, Lapis at his side and Julia keeping close to Lapis. She knew better than to touch the chocolate lab when the dog was wearing a service vest, but it looked like she wanted to grab on to the service vest. Rob nearly sighed. Kids. How had he ended up with so many of them?

He made sure to drop in the nugget of information that he had been Aquila Quidditch Captain in his time at RMI. It was one of Rob’s favorite things to do, because plenty of people assumed that his wheelchair use meant that he wasn’t a bad-ass Quidditch player. He liked jarring people out of their comfortable assumptions. In addition to his personal bragging, Rob did make sure to point out important landmarks, like the hallways to the library and the Quidditch Pitch. They passed the hallway to the Admin Quarters, (“You’ll probably spend a lot of time there,” was the comment the man had made on that topic) and then turned into a hallway that seemed to end in a dead end. Rolling over to a wall, Rob tapped on it - and a giant hole opened in the floor.

“Whoopeee!” he yelled, shoving himself backwards into the hole. With any luck the kids would figure out that they should jump in after him.

Welcome to RMI! This thread is continued in the Cetus common room, where Rob will take your characters’ questions. The Opening Feast isn’t over though, so feel free to continue your threads there if you so desire.

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