Garen & Madeleine Tennant
Head of House Speech, T27
Fri Jan 19, 2018 09:30

Multicolored paper lanterns hung from the ceiling of the Lyra Common Room, illuminating the couches and chairs grouped cozily throughout it. The seafoam green carpeting and dark brown wooden wall paneling reflected the House’s colors. Opposite the entryway was a large, lit fireplace, over which hung a vivid mural. The mural’s painter was a Lyra alumnus, although the signature in the bottom right corner was illegible and no one on staff—even Garen—had been around long enough to know the artist personally.

The fireplace and its mural was framed by two windows. The seafoam green curtains were drawn back to reveal a misty moor with gray-green hills silhouetted in the background. Garen wasn’t sure if the scene was real or invented by the school’s magic, but he always liked seeing what the windows came up with. He thought the views helped the new students feel less claustrophobic as they adjusted to living underground.

A long hallway, accessible by doors on the left and right walls, wrapped around the far end of the room. Several soundproof booths, art studios, and photography darkrooms—available to the students at all hours of the day—budded off from the hallway. Lyra being the artsy House, many of the students like to express themselves creatively, and the studios enjoyed a good deal of use throughout term. The grand piano, which stood in the far left corner of the Common Room, was also available to students who wished to practice.

To the left of the entrance was a bulletin board, on which the music for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” was tacked. The sheet music was the only thing hanging on the board now, although any blank space would soon be taken up by the Quidditch sign-up sheet and flyers for other clubs.

Madeleine seemed to have the situation well in hand. Garen took a seat with the rest of the students for the next part of the speech. The Sonorus Charm was unnecessary in this size of room, so Garen cancelled it, restoring her voice to a normal volume. Madeleine spoke a little louder to compensate. “Welcome to Lyra! These are the girls’ stairs,” Madeleine pointed to the left staircase, “and those are the boys’ stairs,” she pointed to the right. “If you try to go up the wrong stairs, they turn into a slide and drop you in Headmaster Morgan’s office, and you’ll get in trouble. Oh, but!” Madeleine bounced on her tippy-toes. “If you’re not a boy or a girl and your room isn’t okay, or anything like that, then you should talk to someone on staff and they’ll make sure you get a room that’s in the right place and stuff. Um…”

She seemed to have run out of things to say. Garen made a quiet psst sound and Madeleine leaned closer to hear him. “Madeleine, how about you tell everyone about the clubs at RMI?”

“Oh! Okay so first of all, there’s the Drama Club. It’s the best and you should do it. We’re doing Little Shop of Horrors this year, which is about carnivorous alien plants. Speaking of plants, there’s also an Agriculture Club where they grow vegetables and stuff so that RMI is good for the environment. The president is in Lyra if you want to talk to her, her name is Myffi. We have a newspaper called Rocky Voices and if you want to write for it you can join. There’s a dueling club too if you want to practice dueling. Oh, and all the Houses have Quidditch teams. Danny is the Lyra captain and he’ll probably put a signup sheet up soon.”

Garen briefly interrupted to explain the school’s policy on Muggle appliances, which Madeleine wasn’t well-versed in. Such devices didn’t work in a magical environment, but some could be enchanted by the staff to be compatible with magic. Garen specialized in adapting cameras, battery-powered tuners, and electric musical instruments. He was fairly sure that he could do more complicated things like digital watches or alarm clocks, but no one had ever asked him. Lorraine Taylor and Aaron, as the Magical Sciences and Spellwork professors, were the best at enchanting things.

“That’s about it for our tour,” Garen announced. “The first year curfew—which is the time by which you need to be back in your common rooms—is ten o’clock in the evening. If you have questions, feel free to ask. We’ll stick around here for a few minutes, but if you want to find me some other time, that door,” he gestured, “leads to my office.” Against the constraints of physical space and RMI’s layout, the school had at some point noticed the need for students to have direct access to their Head of House and adjusted accordingly. “You can, of course, access my office from the Administrative Quarters, and if I’m not there, it’s usually a good idea to try the theater.”

“Welcome to RMI!” Madeleine cut in, bouncing again. “Everyone do a really good job at classes and not breaking rules so Lyra wins the House points competition again, got it? And don’t be scared to ask for help if you need it, everyone is really nice.”

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