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MARCH 2021
A convergence approaches. Forces in opposition begin their final journey toward impact. The world tilts and there is no hope to stop it now. Brace for collision. Watch these boundaries shatter.
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» 03 March 2021 || Punching In the Wind, Open
Nicolette Babineaux
 Posted: Jul 2 2017, 08:18 PM
QUOTE     
Kris is Offline
285
posts
38 years old

Divination Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


It was past the time for banding together, past the time for proactive action, but that was the consequence of scattered energy and they were only just gathering their feet under them once more--she would ensure they made such action count regardless of their delay. Nicolette sat patiently behind the Headmistress' desk, an item of furniture she still could not quite manage to think of as her own, not when it had known Helena's imposing height and Bulgraham's discernment. She'd known it first and foremost as his and then adjusted herself to the peculiarity of its shift in ownership, and adapting yet again to embrace it as hers felt far too much to ask. She would guard it resolutely, protect its secrets and hold it safe until the time came to pass it on, but the possibility that it would ever fully belong to her was hardly a possibility at all. When had she ever been one to hold ownership of material objects? Those she'd invested herself in had vanished; her wand snapped, the Eye taken from her--it was folly for her to play at possession.

Today, however, it made no difference. The space she'd borrowed would hold steady and nest them in security, and it would not judge them for their meekness, not when they'd begun to fight so hard to make themselves strong. It was fitting that the portraits of former Headmasters should look in on them as they discussed, though Bulgraham and Helena's images were not among them. Nicolette did not know if it was right of her to place them there, but they'd earned the seat far more than she and she would discharge her newfound duty to see them memorialized there as soon as she was able--if she was wrong, her successor could correct the mistake. Regardless, there were plenty of faces for her to cast her eyes across now, students and professors alike congregating in the office, sitting in those few chairs available and the rest standing. The door remained open behind them, and the Gargoyle statue at the bottom of her staircase obediently stood aside to allow free access to anyone who wished to join them. She'd called the meeting for leaders of Hogwarts, adults and prefects alike, but in truth if those among the younger crowd wished to help in some capacity, she would not turn them away. There was always space for more because the world did not intend on granting them their peace any time soon and even then it would take as soon as give.

"Welcome," she said the moment her clock struck four, filling the room with a brief and delicate tinkling of ringing silver bells that seemed, in her mind, like a fluttering cluster of Jacob's Ladders tittering into the wind. She took a moment to lift a quill from the surface of her desk and set it upright against a piece of parchment. It remained standing as she removed her fingers, hovering there motionless until she began to speak and then darting across the paper, capturing her words. "And zank you to everyone who 'as chosen to invest your free time into ze school in zis manner. We are a community 'ere, just as much as we are an institution. It is time for us to act like one, non? We will begin by passing a roster around for all of you to sign, and discuss what sorts of responsibilities your volunteering will entail. We will also engage in free discussion, although I beg all of you to please be respectful of one another and not all talk at once. We are ever so slightly crowded in today, let us keep zings calm and orderly in ze interest of everyone."

"You will see zere are several sections on zis sign-in sheet zat you may indicate your interest in. Just check in ze appropriate column beside your name what sorts of tasks you are interested in taking on, and we will expand as we go. First zere is ze matter of escort duty. All underage students will require adult escorts to leave ze grounds, so it may be best to organize small groups of students and departure times from ze castle. Ze more you stay together ze safer everyone will be. It will also be of benefit to 'ave eyes on ze path and grounds. We should be watching who is coming and going, in case anyone gets it into zeir 'ead to sneak off on zeir own. Of course, ze possibility of a stranger coming up ze path remains a real one, and we must watch for zat as well. In such an event, you are to alert a professor as quickly as possible, provided you are able. I know you are all competent and zat is why you are 'ere, but we are dealing with forces zat are unpredictable. Let us not take undue risk to ourselves or others, oui? We will also, of course, need to keep an eye on ze movements of magical creatures, in particular ze centaurs, and patrol ze 'alls in ze evenings to ensure everyone 'as returned to zeir common rooms. It is no small list, and yet I feel we could expand it even more. I would 'ear suggestions, if anyone 'as zem? What can we add and 'ow can we manage it all? I know zere are some creative problem solvers among you." She cast a gentle smile over the students assembled, leaning back in her chair.

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Emily Dawson
 Posted: Jul 3 2017, 07:25 AM
QUOTE     
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40
posts
51 years old

Herbology Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


Emily reached down to rub at her aching knees, the motion slow as though to be as inconspicuous as possible. It rankled her to show any weakness, however mild, but years of kneeling and digging in the dirt had taken their toll, and her joints had finally begun to betray her. It brought with it an insidious, low-frequency panic, that her mortal body was beginning to crumble and decay like a dessicated flower. She was not ready to acknowledge her age in such a way, to surrender to the slow descent into decrepitude that she had watched her own mother take, withering away beneath wrinkled skin into a tiny, hunched figure, but what could she do? Time would wait for no man, nor woman, as she had witnessed often in her years at the school. Albus Dumbledore had seemed to defy it for a time, enduring through her own years at Hogwarts with a quiet but certain survival, but death had come for him in the end as it would for them all. Some sooner than others, she thought, eyeing the youthful complexion of the woman seated behind what had previously been Helena’s desk. At least Helstrom seemed to have earned the place with years of experience under her belt, authoritative wrinkles at the corners of her eyes and a sternness about the set of her mouth that matched her intimidating stature. Nicolette seemed a mere child in comparison. It brought about a stubbornness in Emily, a refusal to bow and scrape to someone perhaps twenty years her junior; but she could not let show just how much she coveted the heady position, and so she fixed a pleasant, placeholder smile over the top of the bitter twist that her mouth wished to take, folding her hands in her lap and settling to listen to Nicolette’s speech.

The roster began on the opposite side of the room, and so Emily stood, eager to claim her responsibilities before they were ticked off by some pushy snot-nosed brat. She felt quite infantilised, sitting before the headmistress alongside such children, but again she could not let it show. She must be the picture of tolerance, of acceptance; and so she smiled around the room before beginning to speak. ”I would like to volunteer myself and Otaktay to monitor the centaurs. We spend a great majority of our time out in the grounds regardless, and it would make sense to use that to our advantage, no?” Her gaze fell upon Nicolette and she managed a brief, almost sickly smile before dropping her line of sight back to the students sitting before her, to her peers beside her. ”We can patrol the Forest edge, keep an eye out for errant students and keep track of any movement of magical creatures out into the grounds.” Her piece said, she seated herself again, busying her hands with a stubborn button on her cardigan. She dared not look at Nicolette again lest her defiance shine out through her expression; she did not trust the girl not to deny Emily her dominance over the grounds, what she had come to see as her territory within Hogwarts. Otaktay had been successfully subjugated, and so she had accepted his presence, but she would not suffer students to take over the patrol of the grassy expanse beyond her greenhouses, at least not entirely.


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Sienna Shikra
 Posted: Jul 3 2017, 07:53 AM
QUOTE     
Froggy is Offline
42
posts
16 years old

6th Year Student

Hogwarts
Ravenclaw


Sienna took her seat among the other students, eyes flickering around the headmistress’s office, taking in the portraits of all those who had come before Babineaux. She realised, with a start, that Greavish and Helstrom’s portraits were conspicuously absent, and in fact had probably not yet come into existence, so tumultuous were the circumstances under which each of them had seen their reign over Hogwarts come to an end. Perhaps, now, they would be able to keep some semblance of calm and continuity, rather than the erratic leadership that the students had had to suffer over the past few months. Sienna trusted Babineaux; the Divination professor had a quiet responsibility about her, giving rise to a feeling that she would not so easily abandon her pupils. No, they would be safe under her authority.

She pulled a small notepad and her favourite self-inking quill from a pocket within the lining of her robes, flicking it open and sitting poised with the quill above the paper, the book resting on her knee. As Professor Babineaux spoke, Sienna watched her with the eye of a hawk, intent on garnering every scrap of information that could be gathered from the headmistress. Every few seconds, she scratched another note onto the page before her. Underaged escorted from grounds. Patrol corridors. The ink disappeared smoothly into the page as soon as she had written each letter, leaving the white surface of the notepad seemingly untouched, to be revealed later at the tap of a wand and the utterance of a password. Perhaps the contents of this meeting were not so secret, but Sienna kept all of her thoughts hidden within this book, and she didn’t like the idea of someone reading her innermost musings over her shoulder.

She waited for the headmistress to finish, frowning slightly, and raised her hand to put forwards a question. Professor Dawson stood to speak, and so she waited patiently for the woman to finish before rising in turn and addressing Nicolette directly. ”Are underaged Prefects still required to be escorted by an older student?” she inquired, shifting her weight from one foot to another. It seemed wrong that they should be exempt from the rule, yet at once it felt meaningless to wear the badge if they could not represent the most responsible of students. ”Can we still take part in patrols of the corridors?” Internally, she cursed her July birthdate, wishing that the question did not apply to her, but a summer child she had always been and so she stood to wait for the answer, holding her notepad in front of her, ready to scribble down whatever Nicolette decided.


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Dylan Illingworth
 Posted: Jul 3 2017, 02:35 PM
QUOTE     
Natalie is Offline
257
posts
18 years old

7th Year Student

Hogwarts
Head Boy


The moment he had entered the room, he knew that it was not enough to hold all of those who had volunteered and even then, Dylan was astonished by the number of people who had turned up and he could not help but feel relieved that the prefects were keeping true to their duties. It was not compulsory for them to turn up, in spite of their title, since no one seemed to take them seriously anymore but yet, here they were.

Although he was a little taken aback at Lewis' presence, considering his expression spoke volumes about how he felt about his prefectorial duties, it was unable to compare to the surprise he felt when his eyes landed on an all too familiar blonde-haired girl. Once he had gotten over the initial shock, he couldn't help but let the hint of a smile tug at the corner of his lips.

He slid into the empty seat next to Dominique Weasley and, with a heart full of gratitude – also partially because he was a little touched by her dedication to her previous role – he made quick conversation for her with whatever spare time they had before the meeting officially started. "Really glad to see you here," he whispered. She had no obligation to her role whatsoever but by volunteering herself willingly, it was clear to Dylan that she was still loyal to her duties. If being a prefect was just like wearing a dress, then he could say for sure that Dominique wore it well.

A light tinkling of bells resounded throughout the room, signifying that it was time to start. Dylan took a quick glance around the new Headmistress' office, knowing that the process of calling Professor Babineaux as Headmistress Babineaux was going to be a strange transition period. After all, she had been around ever since his first year. The topic of the meeting was going to be a serious, stagnant one but it was something to look forward to. Ever since Finley and Sawyer's deaths, the whole school had been in a slump and each time he walked down the corridors, he could feel the tension in the air sizzling, threatening to burst any moment. He had a feeling that all it needed to take was just another attack — everything will explode right in their faces. The situation was delicate enough as it is and with the students on edge, if something else happened once more...

Dylan shuddered. If the barrier was not going to go down anytime soon and should another incident like this happen again, he was not entirely sure whether he could handle it or even hold himself together. His eyes lingered on Sienna for a brief moment as she wrote something in her book. Quickly gathering his wits together, the Head Boy took out his own notebook, filled with school-related notes and began to be his own secretary.


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Isaac Doyle
 Posted: Jul 4 2017, 06:43 PM
QUOTE     
Jill is Offline
7
posts
41 years old

Muggle Studies Prof

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


It was with a heavy heart that Isaac made his way to the meeting about securing the castle and the students that resided in it. He wished that it would only be teachers and staff present, that students had not been required. He didn't want them to be forced to grow up too quickly, not like he and so many of the other students in his class had. It seemed like his entire Hogwarts career had been wrought with danger, more danger than most faced. It started when Potter ended up facing off and defeating Professor Quirrell in their first year and culminated in the death of his friends and classmates in his seventh year during the battle of Hogwarts. The magical community had seemed to calm down since, and he had hoped that his return this year would show him what his Hogwarts career should have been like.

Instead, everything seemed to go to hell from the moment he arrived. His class had faced dangers that were almost identical to those that these students were now facing. Imperioused students, werewolf attacks, dangers in Hogsmeade, and an uprising of sorts in the school. He constantly feared that other things - worse things - would follow.

However, Isaac did not want to challenge the newly crowned headmistress so early in her tenure despite the fact it felt as though she were inviting these children to take unnecessary risks. He would do his best to protect the students, though it would be a heck of a lot easier of the children didn't volunteer to put themselves in danger. Bright blue eyes looked at each student present, and he barely suppressed a sigh. Merlin, he wondered if this was how his professors had felt when he and the others had stayed to fight when Voldemort was trying to overrun the school.

"I don't mean to be paranoid, but watching who is coming and going may require extra care, even if it seems like they are our friends. Maybe dark magic detectors or some sort of password, considering what happened at the Ministry a few months ago," he suggested from where he was leaning casually against the door frame. If Aurors had been tricked by Polyjuice Potion, how could they expect students to properly vet who was entering the grounds? Or if someone was Imperiused? "Naturally, I will assist if that is where me body is needed, but I fear we may require extra vigilance in this area for everyone there." What had the Mad-Eye impersonator always shouted at them? Constant vigilance. He didn't know if the real Mad-Eye said that, but their sociopath professor impersonator had been correct on that count.

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This post has been edited by Isaac Doyle: Jul 4 2017, 06:44 PM
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Alexander Lewis
 Posted: Jul 4 2017, 06:59 PM
QUOTE     
Jill is Offline
96
posts
16 years old

5th Year Student

Hogwarts
Ravenclaw


Xander would not deny that recent events had him on edge. He would never admit it, of course, but it was impossible not to be worried. However, despite the necessary need of increased security (no, he wasn't so oblivious as to ignore that recent events required them to step up), he wished Professor - or was it Headmistress now? - Babineaux had come up with a different solution.

Not only were additional duties unofficially required (yeah, Babineaux made it seem optional, but what else was expected of a prefect?) right as he need to hunker down in studying for O.W.L.s and additional studying required for the ability to defend himself, but other students were invited in the additional duties. It was like people just kept spitting on prefects. First Morrigan had let students run amok and practically eliminate all perks, and now this? He'd worked hard for the badge, and now every of age student was invited to do the same jobs. What next? Were they going to be invited to use his bathroom? Because Xander had worked hard and kissed a lot of ass to get the badge and the perks despite the additional duties, and he didn't like the idea of sharing those perks.

Not to mention the fact Professor Babineaux had seemed to suggest that, despite being a prefect, he needed a babysitter to go to Hogsmeade. In six months, he'd be considered an adult in this world and they still weren't trusted? The sentiment had been on the tip of his tongue, but Sienna had beat him to it. Despite apparently agreeing on the thought, he couldn't help the way his eyes narrowed into a scowl as she spoke.

He waited for the answer, though, because there was no way to tell what he would be expected to do - what he was able to do - if they insisted on treating him like a child.

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Lucy Weasley
 Posted: Jul 5 2017, 03:47 PM
QUOTE     
Logan is Offline
63
posts
15 years old

6th Year Student

Hogwarts
Gryffindor


Lucy could still picture Greavish standing behind the desk. It was only a few months gone now, but it felt like ages since the beginning of the year. Their third Head.

How things changed.

When September had rolled around, she was worried about the jump between O.W.L. courses and N.E.W.T.s. Now, she was concerned with the defence of the school itself, trapped under a barrier with classmates no longer with them. Something had to be done, it was true, but what? Patience had been the key when Morrigan had taken over, but she was gone now. They had waited her out, and now they had to ensure she didn't return.

Then again, Hogwarts was supposed to be a school, not a military barracks. They were not soldiers, they were students. The professors were talented witches wizards, yes, but they weren't Aurors.

Lucy agreed with Sienna with a nod about the patrols. That had been something she had been concerned about as well. She had only turned sixteen in November, and didn't want to be pulled out of her patrols because of a simple matter of age. The next suggestion though sounded wrong. It was from a professor though, lounging in the doorframe.

It was difficult to question anyone - a fellow student, let alone professor It had to be done though. Just as she had two months earlier, she spoke up in response, turning her head back to face the Muggle Studies professor.

"Professor Doyle," Lucy started, her voice was soft, uncertain, but she forced it a little louder as she continued. "I don't wish to sound naive, but how far does that go? Passwords can be found out, dark magic detectors tricked."

If they had worked, then events such as this would never happen in the first place. She turned her head back to the room in general, before settling onto Babineaux.

She had to look somewhere.

"I'm not saying we should do nothing. I will do whatever I'm asked to do to help make the castle safe." It was her duty, no matter her objections. No matter her feelings.

"But like you said - Headmistress," She only paused a bit over the unfamiliar title, "We are a community. If we constantly look at everyone around us as potential enemies ." Lucy trailed off again, looking around the room again.

Fear bred fear.

"Then we won't be united any longer."


Lucy gently lowered herself down, realizing she had moved up almost onto her tippy-toes to address the crowd. Her face tinged red a bit, but it matched her hair. She had said what she needed to say, and there was nothing more to give.


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Riordan Blue
 Posted: Jul 5 2017, 06:59 PM
QUOTE     
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7
posts
17 years old

7th Year Student

Hogwarts
Slytherin


Rio was watching those around him discuss the logistics of the plans. Normally he would have piped up by now, but others were easily taking the lead, listing his points before he could recall them. There were a few people scattered about the room with notepads. That would have been a good idea, he had had so much to say before. The idea of passwords was a good one, a crucial one if anyone was able to penetrate the barrier or there were enemies inside of it. Of course, there was always the chance that people in this very room were their enemies, but there were always risks to be taken, and in their case, if they wanted to be prepared at all they had to trust.

As the Red-haired girl who had been quick to point out faults sat down, Rio stood up. "Passwords can be compromised, but it's safer to have one than to not. Maybe we could have a fail-safe for possible intruders. Say... we all give a specific word to headmistress Babineaux, that way if anyone is acting suspiciously we can ask for their word. Just an idea," he finished, sitting back down.

The sheet came his way and he snagged it, pulling his quill out from inside his bag and putting down his name. Next to it, he checked off to be an escort for those younger than him to Hogsmeade. It would be a good way to meet the younger levels, and the walks would be nice.

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Dominique Weasley
 Posted: Jul 6 2017, 09:28 PM
QUOTE     
Jess is Offline
328
posts
18 years old

7th Year Student

Hogwarts
Slytherin


Dominique had entered the headmaster’s––headmistress’ now––office with trepidation. She’d never had the fortune or misfortune to be summoned here prior to the calling of this particular meeting, even as a Prefect. That they should be gathered here now made it all the clearer that Hogwarts was, as they’d grown to know over the events of the entire school year, no longer safe. When a call for volunteers had gone out, Dominique hadn’t paused even to consider. When she’d handed in her badge, she’d made a promise that, badge or no badge, she would continue to serve the school in whatever capacity she was able. At eighteen and as, at least in her opinion, a more than competent witch, she considered herself obligated to step up and join the ranks in defending her fellow students. Perhaps she’d failed on Halloween, but she didn’t intend to make the same mistakes again.

Waiting for the meeting to start, she watched as students and faculty began to trickle in, crowding into the tight space. She was one of the few present who didn’t have a Prefect badge pinned to her robes, which she found a bit surprising, but didn’t think much of it until she heard someone speak up next to her. Turning her head, her eyes met Dylan’s. His words of praise were unexpected but certainly not unwelcome. She smiled thinly at him in response. “Thank you,” she whispered back, her spine subtly straightening with pride. He was right, of course. She had no official responsibilities to the school, but she was here, and surely that counted for something. For all his talk about being overlooked for Prefecture and leadership, Nox wasn’t among those who’d volunteered. It was a swift kick to the gut to understand so suddenly how wrong she’d been about him, about his potential and ambition. He’d never been quiet about his opinion that student leadership was a farce, that the school heads did nothing to protect their students, but here was a chance––a real chance––to be a line of defense for the student body, and he was noticeably absent. The thought settled like lead into the pit of her stomach as the room began to quiet.

She fell silent again as Headmistress Babineaux addressed the gathered group. For the first time, it seemed that proper precautions would be taken. It was honestly a relief to hear a clear course of action––that Babineaux was willing to take suggestions from the students who were, at this point, willing to place their lives on the line. Prefecture no longer seemed like such an honorary adornment. Students had died and continued to die at Hogwarts. The threat was incredibly real. Perhaps the fear of that consequence was why there weren’t more bodies pressed into this room.

Out of respect, Dominique remained quiet while the others spoke in turn. Lucy spoke up, and Dominique felt a swell of pride in her chest. She was thinking beyond her line of duty, applying critical thought to the situation at hand––both of which were admirable qualities when it came to leadership. Lucy was only a sixth year, but Dominique privately thought she had a good shot at following in her sister’s footsteps and donning the Head Girl badge next year. When Blue finished with the sign-up sheet, she took it from him and added her name with a decisive flourish to the list of escorts and patrols. Even though she told herself she was doing this for the good of the school, there was a part of her that was unabashedly thrilled at the notion of patrolling the halls again. It settled and grounded her, and doing so in an official capacity would alleviate some of her hesitance to roam the corridors in an extracurricular fashion as she had been.

“I like the idea of passwords,” she spoke up, “but it could be dangerous––for everyone, but especially for students. If we encounter someone suspicious, demand a password and they get it wrong, we’ll know it, but so would they. It might put us at risk to be faced with a potential conflict. Would Sneakoscopes be of use? It seems ordinary, and they can be fooled or disabled, of course, but they could be replicated...” She trailed off, uncharacteristically uncertain of where her thought had been headed, but another came to mind. She circled around again to a point Sienna had brought up.

“At any rate, I think younger Prefects should be escorted by someone of age on patrols. I know you’re capable, but unfortunately there are just spells you just haven’t been taught yet.” She was speaking less to Sienna and more to the younger ones in the room, like Lewis. “If it does come to trading spells–– It’s safer that way.”

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James Potter
 Posted: Jul 7 2017, 01:41 PM
QUOTE     
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16
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16 years old

6th Year Student

Hogwarts
Gryffindor


He really wasn’t meant to be there. Was he seventeen? Not quite, not yet (and not for another seven months). Was he a Prefect? Absolutely not. In that, like in so many other things, James took after his father. And Dad could go on all he liked about Dumbledore not having made him a Prefect because he thought he had ‘enough responsibility to be going on with’ – the fact was, he hadn’t been a Prefect, and James privately thought that had been one of Dumbledore’s more sensible decisions. Which wasn’t saying much, given that the man cancelled exams more often than he sneezed and somehow managed to pull just enough points out of his arse at the end of each year to hand Gryffindor the House Cup. Albus Dumbledore had hardly been the poster child for sensible decisions.

And James wasn’t shaping up to be much better, what with lurking in the doorway of the Headmistress’ office at four o’clock on the dot. Coming early had been entirely out of the question – partly because he’d taken a nap just before and couldn’t quite manage it, but mostly because he wanted to remain as anonymous and unnoticed as possible. He wasn’t completely sure why he was there…yet. The Headmistress had asked for people to help and James had just thought ‘well, Dad would help.’ He was exactly like his father in all the bad ways; maybe he could be like him in some of the good ones, too. While he was neither spectacular nor particularly precise, he could hold his own in a duel, and he knew most of the castle’s hidden cracks and corners (thanks Dad…and Grandad, Sirius, Remus and…Wormtail, whoever that was). This was probably a terrible idea – where did he expect to find the time to man the boundaries of Hogwarts while his D.A.D.A. marks languished day after day? Although, Aasen really should consider this extra credit. Maybe I’ll mention it to him. Or…not, since I’m not technically allowed to be here. I wonder if Babineaux knows I’m not seventeen? Can she…read it? Oh Merlin’s blue eyebrow, that’s not how Sight works. I think. Then again, how would he know? James could barely see past the bridge of his own nose in the mornings, let alone into someone else’s head.

Still, no-one had kicked him out just yet; he’d remained carefully out of Dominique’s line of sight, since Slithery Cousin would likely be the very first to send him sternly off to think about what he’d done…or planned to do, as the case may be. By the time Babineaux started talking, James had just about begun to believe that he might actually pull this thing off. The mention of a roster threw him a little, but again: assuming his insights into the Sight (a terrible pun, and he was disappointed in himself for even thinking it) were correct, how would anyone know? They might very well give him a job to do and then find that he was indispensable before they ever realised that he wasn’t supposed to be there. Not that that was very likely. James tended to not be indispensable – case in point, Quidditch captaincy.

And yet, as he listened to the Headmistress’ speech, he thought that there may be certain specific things that no-one else could do – not because no-one else had his abilities (most people had those, and more besides), but because no-one else had his resources. Thanks again, Dad and Grandad and Sirius and Remus and…seriously, who the dragon-egged Merlin are you, Wormtail? He fidgeted a little as people took turns to speak, trying to find the nerve to reveal himself (particularly with Dominique in the room, Merlin help him). Eventually, however, he couldn’t not say anything. This was a problem he could solve, for once in all his sixteen years. Hesitantly, he cleared his throat. “Uh. Hi. Hey. James…Pott-…errr you know that. Right.” Pausing, he threw both his cousins a guilty glance (obviously Lucy was there too, to report his wrongdoings right back to Uncle Percy). “So er…Headmistress.” He turned to Babineaux, adopting his most solemn expression. “I have a…thing…that...might be useful.” At the last second, he’d decided it was probably best not to tell half the student body about what was potentially a highly perilous magical item in the wrong hands. The next part was going to be much harder, mostly because his father would murder him if he lost that buggering map. “I mean…I’ll give it – lend it - to you if you want, but…I’d rather help out…myself. Um. I was born two weeks overdue so I’m two weeks closer to seventeen than my birthday suggests if…that makes a difference.” Even if she couldn't See how old he was in his head, James would bet his entire inheritance she could See all that guilt.

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Nicolette Babineaux
 Posted: Jul 13 2017, 09:03 PM
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Kris is Offline
285
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38 years old

Divination Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


Activity began almost immediately, an eager ripple moving through the space as the roster began its journey through the room, but it was Emily Dawson who stood first to speak. Nicolette turned her eyes on the woman's pleasant expression--a smile which, to her, seemed anything but inviting. There was a resentment hanging heavy around Emily's shoulders, a deep cloud of bitterness that sank low toward the floor, but Nicolette did not let her eyes linger on it, sweeping only briefly across the other woman's form before offering her a smile and a nod of recognition. For all the openness and generosity in her tone, there was a definite sensation of rejection from the other professor, a forceful energy that seemed intent to repel her, reflected in fidgeting hands and glances left brief. It was nothing she could fault the other woman for, but it did not make Nicolette feel overly secure, a guilt turning in her stomach at the thought of her new post. It was not necessarily that she believed Professor Dawson deserved the position--age was such a relative factor she hardly considered it, and the woman had not even voiced an interest--but the thought that perhaps there were those among her peers who found her qualifications lacking was not a comfort. She'd only just begun, she did not want the others losing faith in her so soon.

She did not dwell on it overly long, turning back to the room as students began to rise and voice their questions and taking a moment to consider each, but conversation seemed to have adopted a spirit of its own. She held up one finger to Sienna in apology, listening carefully to the minor debate that broke out, taking into account Dominique Weasley's additions to both threads of thought, and finally sitting up with interest and a raised eyebrow as James Potter spoke from the back of the room.

"I see, Monsieur Potter," she said, amusement ringing in her tone. "I appreciate ze offer. Were you zinking you might tell us more about zis...zing you 'ave to contribute? Or would you care to stay after? We may certainly discuss your role further. Which brings me to another matter I 'ad 'oped we might discuss. Mam'selle Shikra, and Mam'selle Weasley as well, to return to your earlier train of t'ought; zere is a matter of liability where underage students are concerned. It is why I will not permit students to leave ze grounds without adult accompaniment, even if zose adults are among your peers. In addition, encouraging students to band together when travelling off campus can not be undervalued. Where patrols inside ze castle are concerned...I should not zink zat Prefects will require escort. You are to remain within ze castle walls, and I would like a log of who is patrolling when and where to 'elp us better coordinate. Zat said, I do not believe zere is 'arm in inviting some of our older students to take on ze extra responsibility of patrolling ze corridors, if zey believe zey can 'andle ze task with all due maturity. Neither do I believe we should exclude ze efforts of our younger volunteers, if zey are eager. Perhaps, of ze necessary tasks before us, we could devise what might be well-suited and appropriate for zose not yet of age."

"As far as ze matter of guarding our borders against intruders," she continued, first turning her eyes to Lucy, "I understand ze inspiration behind your words, Mam'selle. Now is not ze time to open up our doors, but neither would it be wise to lose trust in each other. Our responsibility is to zose who reside within zis castle. No one will be permitted to enter zese grounds who is not a current resident of 'Ogwarts. Dark detectors would not go amiss, Professor Doyle, zank you for ze suggestion. We must also not forget ze excellent resource zat is our Defense Against ze Dark Arts professor. Professor Aasen, I believe we spoke briefly regarding ze potential of a ward to discriminate. Perhaps you could shed a little more light on zis plan."

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Ashley Aasen
 Posted: Jul 15 2017, 12:09 AM
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Cassandra is Offline
173
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41 years old

DADA Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


Ash had been no older than Dominique or Dylan when he had fought the battle against Voldemort's forces alongside his classmates, and he wondered if he had seemed so very small to his professors at the time. It was then that he had learned that not everyone could be safe, or saved, and the experience had shaped his entire life. Not everyone could be kept safe, but it was his responsibility to give each and every student that passed through his classroom their best chance. Sitting here among the students and with those of his colleagues who had volunteered their time, Ash tugged at the hem of his sleeve, twisting the fabric between his fingers while he waited for the roster to make its rounds.

It was difficult to keep from checking at his scar around others, but even he was aware that it would have been incredibly impolite to do so. Instead he had busied his hands with tracing the spiraled rowan of his wand, and fixed his stare on his friend. Nicolette had the burden of Headmistress weighing now on her slender shoulders, but Ash believed she was equal to the task. The woman possessed a rare insight that allowed her to make judgements more quickly than others would have, in her position. She had endured personal attacks, failure, and even the loss of her wand and come out stronger for it. Improbably, he had managed to befriend her, and it was for these many reasons that she had his deep respect.

He listened in silence through the first, most prominent voices, aware that his gentle tone would be overtaken if he spoke too soon. Patience was familiar to him, and he would have time to say what he meant to. It wasn't until Nicolette called attention to him that Ash nodded, taking a moment to speak to those who had gathered. "Thank you, Headmistress Babineaux. Yes. Well, em, first I should say that Sneakoscopes and perhaps some Probity Probes would do us well. Secrecy Sensors tend not to work especially well in the castle." He paused, tapping his index finger in a quick little rhythm against his wand. "As for the wards…"

While he believed that the students would benefit from knowing exactly how much damage Morrigan had done to them while she was here, Ash hesitated. He had not spoken with Nicolette about the possibility of informing them of what she had done to Hogwarts' defenses, and he did not want to highlight how she had bypassed them in the first place. Here he could only help to improve upon what was already in place. "There is a way to attune a ward such as the ones around the castle to recognize those passing through. I believe I can add a qualifier to our protections that will alert me if someone passes through that is outside of the categories I impose. It's similar to wards designed to keep muggles out, but more flexible. If we gather everyone in the castle for the evening, I'll mark us all as free to pass back and forth." Tightening his hands and relaxing them in turn, he continued. "The alert is fairly simple. I won't be able to tell who is attempting to pass, but any alert will allow us time to respond and protect our school."

Taking a second to breathe after what seemed an awful lot of talking from himself, Ash gave a little nod to add one last thing before he finished speaking. "I also wanted to emphasize that should any of you find that you would like to improve your personal defenses, my door is open. I would be happy to assist, and I'll be running some extra workshops during free periods and weekends to supplement dueling and defense techniques." With that he fell silent, tired. He was, like many of them, exhausted from the tragedies they had already faced but still, solidly unwilling to falter.

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Domhnall Delaney
 Posted: Jul 15 2017, 08:56 PM
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Adam is Offline
71
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40 years old

Potions Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


It seemed almost wrong to involve students in the defense of the castle, but Domhnall had to concede that there were more of them than there were professors, and more eyes were always better. The students who were of age could make this choice themselves, he supposed. And if they could help keep the younger ones safe, he would go along with it. Plus, his attitude had changed a lot since the latest attacks on Hogwarts students. He had gone from being mired in grief and depression to embracing his anger, ready to defend the castle and the people within at any cost. Seeing that so many were ready to defend alongside him was actually somehow invigorating.

It was also good to see Ash up and about, involved in the goings on of the castle again. Domhnall lingered close to the man, still consistently on edge about his health and wellbeing, though less so than he'd been in weeks past. For the beginning of the meeting, Domhnall stayed quiet, his eyes roving over each speaker in turn, listening to what they had to say. He felt the need to be here, as Deputy Headmaster, but he was too internally conflicted at the moment to know quite where he should put his voice. The general sentiment of 'we should keep everyone safe' more or less went without saying.

It was natural, it seemed, to resist changes like this. Lucy's words were ostensibly pessimistic, but they had value as a reminder that nothing was infallible. This was a difficult time for all of them, but doing nothing wasn't an option. If nothing else, he remembered that lesson from the Second Wizarding War. Inaction was fatal; letting a healthy dose of pessimism overtake the need for security would cause more damage in the long run, as opposed to some temporary measures designed to ensure their survival, but perhaps cause inconveniences in the short term.

Fortunately, it seemed that Nicolette was on the same page as him on that regard. Such a response only reinforced his belief that she had been the top choice for Headmistress, though he still didn't believe himself cut out for the job of her Deputy. Still, that was beside the point of the present meeting. Ash spoke next, and Domhnall's brow furrowed in reflexive concern at how tired he seemed. "I can help you with those if you need, Professor Aasen," he said, referring to the extra workshops. He wasn't on Ash's level in terms of defensive skill, but he could maybe shoulder some of the burden to help. It didn't hurt to offer, in any case.

"Nothing we do is going to be a perfect solution, but it will be good to make a show of being ready to defend ourselves against any potential intruders. The grounds have been where most of the violence has happened, at least so far. Professor Dawson, what aid could we provide to you? Would the ward on the castle extend to the grounds, too? We have the advantage in the castle, but the grounds are vulnerable." He settled back into silence, his fingers worrying a frayed edge of his sleeve as he worked through his thoughts. The castle seemed safe, and the grounds... well, that was another story. "And Hogsmeade... that's outside our control, but it being so close, things could happen. Should we take any precautions there?"

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Barnaby Teague
 Posted: Jul 16 2017, 02:38 AM
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Pepper is Offline
14
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63 years old

Charms Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


Barnaby had remained quiet for most of the meeting thus far. He knew that he was dedicated to keeping this castle and its inhabitants safe, no matter the cost, but it was touching to see the students more than willing to step up and help. Some were technically still children, but some were also of age and, as far as most things went, technically adults in their own rights now. They may still have been learning at the castle, but those that had already turned eighteen were just as much adults as some of the gathered professors. The only difference was experience, but then they brought other skills to the table to make up for that, namely the fact that they could patrol and escort, alleviating the need for the staff to do quite so much and allowing them to focus on the deeper, more advanced options involved in protecting their castle. It was good delegation, made only better by the student’s eagerness to be given something to do to help rather than being forced into it.

He couldn’t help but marvel in just how young everyone in the room was, for a moment. Not just the students, but the bulk of the staff also crammed into the Headmistress’ office. It was no slight against them, of course, but the thought struck him nonetheless as he cast an eye over his colleagues, all ready and willing to defend. It’d been a good few years since the last true wizarding war, but long enough that he was sure that they remembered it, if not experienced it first hand in the cases of those that were students of the school at the time. With such threats outside their door that they were attempting to protect from, he wondered whether Hogwarts would become the location of yet another battle, this one more likely to be against a pack of wolves than He Who Must Not Be Named.

As Emily offered her assistance by way of patrolling the forest edge, he couldn’t help but throw her a slightly worried glance. She was his closest friend on the staff, a fellow 'older one' surrounded by younger staff, and while he knew she was a perfectly competent witch, he couldn’t help but worry. The forest edge was surely one of the most dangerous areas to patrol, considering how much of the damage so far caused to them had come from within it. But she’d mentioned bringing Otaktay along, and the two of them probably had better knowledge of that patrol route than the rest of them, anyway. Regardless, he forced down the urge to volunteer his help to her and instead waited to offer his aid where his skills would be more useful.

He didn’t speak up until after a few others had said their pieces, and looked across at Ashley and Dohmnall before speaking. “I would also happily offer my assistance to you, Professor Aasen. Both with the workshops and with the ward, should you need it.” He had no doubt that Ash was capable in himself in both things, but a workshop potentially between the three of them would cover a greater pool of students and spells, and two heads were better than one, sometimes, with defensive magic. It often bounced between their fields of teaching; the backbone of the spell itself lying in his own remit while the majority of the application of such spells fell firmly in Ash’s. At the very least, he could offer his help to Ashley and sign himself up for a few other things. Anything to prevent another incident or attack like what had happened to Ashley or the students and Tak on the night of the 27th. “Professor Delaney, you may have a point about Hogsmeade. The attack a few nights ago was not even aimed at students and many were caught up in it. The new rules make it safer of course, especially stopping students being there after nightfall, but we are still allowing students to go outside of regularly scheduled visits. I don’t think that’s a problem in itself; in times such as these, everyone needs a bit of something positive to focus on. But it is an element that anyone from the castle can visit and unless we make our wards as large as this barrier, there’s no safeguarding against those that they could come across.”

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