HoH Garen Tennant
Head of House speech, T25
Tue Jan 10, 2017 20:36

Lyra’s House colors, seafoam green and dark brown, were reflected respectively in the carpeting and wall paneling. The large fireplace opposite the entryway had a large mural painted above it. It was common knowledge the painter was a Lyra alumnus, but no one could read the chickenscratch name in the bottom right corner, and none of the staff (even Samuel, who claimed to have been at RMI “forever”) had been there long enough to remember the student.

On either side of the fireplace were two windows. Garen drew the seafoam green curtains back with a flick of his spruce wand, revealing the scene of a gray-green ocean on a cloudy day. 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.

The doors on the left and right walls of the Lyra Common Room led 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 “Try to Remember,” 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 the Quidditch sign-up sheet and flyers for other clubs.

When the students were situated, Garen began his familiar speech. “So! Like I said in the Diner, my name is Garen Tennant. I’m the counselor, so I’m here to help if you want to talk about grades, classes, jobs, family, or anything else that might be troubling you. I’ve been at RMI forrrrr…” He decided against saying the number. It made him feel quite a bit older than forty-seven. “Longer than anyone else on staff.” Unless Samuel actually was as old as the wind. “I was the Deputy Headmaster for nine years, in addition to the titles I currently hold. If there’s anything else you need to know about me, you’re welcome to ask after the speech.”

On to the mandatory topics. Garen indicated the staircases on either side of the entry passage. “The staircase 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 Bonilla’s office, with a bonus trip to detention. I really don’t recommend trying it.

“Oh—and if your rooming arrangements aren’t consistent with your gender identity, don’t hesitate to let me know. We’ll get everything sorted out.” As far as Garen knew, this had only happened once in RMI history, and the student in question had made arrangements before coming to school. Still, he wanted to make sure the first-years knew they had options.

Garen gave a brief overview of RMI’s various clubs, including the Drama Club, Quidditch, and the school newspaper Rocky Voices. The policy on Muggle appliances was the same as always, and he told it to the students quickly: such devices didn’t work in a magical environment, but they could be enchanted by any member of the staff to be compatible with magic. Garen specialized in adapting cameras, battery-powered tuners, and electric musical instruments, although he was fairly sure that he could do more complicated things like digital watches. Aaron and Lorraine Taylor, the new Magical Sciences professor, were the best at enchanting things.

He was getting close to the end of the speech. “What else? Do your best at schoolwork, first-year curfew is at ten, don’t get caught if you break rules—” as a father of two, he realized there was no point in telling children 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.” If the students were quick, he would hopefully get back to their family suite before Madeleine nodded off. Drew was old enough now that he did bedtime on his own, but Madeleine still liked to be tucked in. “Welcome to RMI!”

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