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Author Topic:  [BoT '03] from now on {open}  (Read 830 times)

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Minerva McGonagall [ Professor ]
2080 Posts  •  66  •  played by MH Admin
[BoT '03] from now on {open}
« on: August 18, 2020, 02:42:49 AM »
Monday, September 1, 2003
Minerva McGonagall was quite pleased, if she did say so herself.

She always looked forward to the beginning of term; even after transitioning to Headmistress, she’d insisted on continuing to meet the First Years in the Entrance Hall after their boat ride and conducting the Sorting Ceremony herself, as she’d done for the past Merlin-knew-how-many years.
But this year, perhaps the more exciting piece was that the response rate for S.N.A.I.L. had exceeded even her expectations which were – as usual – loftily set and not easily achieved, let alone surpassed. She was intensely proud of her students, and – while she rarely showed it outwardly – was profoundly moved by their eagerness to volunteer their time to help a schoolmate. It gave her hope for the years still ahead.

As the called out the new names one-by-one, she took a moment to appreciate the range of the First Years’ facial expressions (from anxious to eager to wary to terrified) and offer the faintest hint of a smile. At each Sorting Ceremony she always liked to muse about what sorts of witches and wizards the new students would grow to become – who would proclaim themselves as the studious ones, the practical jokesters, the friends-to-anyone… there were so many possibilities and potential permeations.
And (not for the first time) Minerva reflected on a discussion she’d had with Albus (on more than one occasion), and how one comment of his in particular had left a lasting impression: ‘I sometimes think we Sort too soon.’ Once, Minerva had not completely bought-into the idea, myopically convinced as she was that – one way or another – the Sorting Hat’s reasoning would come out in the wash. What she regrettably underestimated was the degree to which having a pre-selected House could bias and mold an impressionable eleven-year-old just as much as it could provide a sense of belonging. In the not-too-distant past, Hogwarts and Britain at large had seen both the strengths and the downfalls – and she realized she owed her students far more. She needed to do more.

Now settled at the podium, the Sorting complete, the Scottish witch held up a hand and the dull roar of chatter began to ebb.

“Good evening. Before we proceed with the usual start-of-term announcements, I would like to address the recent addition to your school letters this summer. As you have doubtless noticed, we are trialing something new this year: a program we have ever-so-affectionately nicknamed ‘S.N.A.I.L.’.”
There were a few titters at this but she continued on, unfazed.
“I will defer the full details to the contents of the letter, but for the sake of brevity: I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to those who have signed up, especially as mentors but also as mentees. As a great Headmaster once said: ‘Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.’
The moment the words had left her lips, it occurred to her very suddenly that – with perhaps one or two individual exceptions – none of the current students had been here while Albus was Headmaster; the current Seventh Years had started school less than three months after his death. The overwhelming majority had never known him, and that was a difficult milestone for the stoic yet resilient witch. As always, she recovered herself and continued on.

“To our First Years: today you begin the next phase of your lives. Over the next seven years you will make friends, and perhaps even rivals; you will have easier times, and more difficult ones; you will succeed, and you will make mistakes. But today…”
She paused; the Hall remained silent. In her peripheral vision she noted a few heads nodding along in what she hoped was agreement.
“Today, you become part of a larger family – larger than that of your blood-and-legal relatives, larger than that of the Houses that you have just joined. A community of current students and alumni, one that is stronger united. To our returning students: we hope you carry this sense of community with you when you leave us in just a few short months, and that you continually work to improve the system for those that come after you. But for now – welcome home, one and all.”

Merlin, she was getting more sentimental with each passing year…

“Now, then. A few final items…”
The Headmistress ran through the remainder of the announcements quickly, and with a brief gesture she signaled the feast to begin.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2020, 02:51:09 AM by Olivia »

Pixie Clarke-Trickett [ Gryffindor ]
173 Posts  •  15
  • "All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust."
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  • Trophy Closet Beware of Glitter Little book of magic This character participated in an AU thread during the 2020 Anniversary celebrations! Participated at the Stowe Arts & Sciences Camp July/August 2003 Your pumpkin from the Pumpkin Patch gave you a trick! "crest" -- Vee's 2019-2020 FPP Diamond 2 Award "To Plant A Garden" -- This character participated in the 2002-2003 Herbology lessons This character has written an article for The Daily Prophet! Thread of the Month Winner Registered a wand from Ollivanders or the British Isles Sapphire Unicorn Georgia Awarded for Participation in the Gauntlet 1: The Labyrinth Trials.
Re: [BoT '03] from now on {open}
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2020, 04:40:31 PM »
Despite her less-than-stellar work ethic, Pixie was excited to be back at Hogwarts. She was particularly excited to be starting her fourth year, given that it felt like she'd been a third year forever (technically only two years, but it felt like a long time regardless). She was less excited about the increasing workload and the fact that this time next year would be her OWL year - and she had absolutely zero idea of what she might want to do when she left school - but getting to see her friends again outweighed that. As usual, she had cheered and whooped through the Sorting every time a new Gryffindor was announced. Now one of the new first years was sitting next to her and she was determined to be as helpful and welcoming as possible. Already she had described three secret passages and explained how to get down to the kitchens without getting spotted by any professors.

"Snail" - whatever it was - had sounded less exciting, and it was for first years as far as Pixie had bothered to find out, but even so she'd managed not to snort when the name was mentioned. The train ride seemed ages away and her stomach was rumbling, and as far as the Gryffindor was concerned it was definitely time for the speech to be over now. She wiggled her toes inside her shoes and resisted the urge to start humming as the usual notices were read out...

"Don't go into the Forbidden Forest without an adult present...Don't try to jump from one moving staircase to another...Uniform is not to be modified in any way...Don't hex others' cauldrons so they grow a hopping foot..."

Pixie sat up straight, eyes wide and innocent and trying to convey the thought that she'd absolutely, definitely, never even thought of doing something like that. It wasn't as if the foot had been very loud anyway and it hadn't really kept many people awake half the night until someone had figured out how to reverse the hex. Besides, it was a good bit of magic, even some of the fifth years had admitted that.

Keeping her hands neatly folded in her lap and her innocent expression firmly in place, Pixie wasn't even the first person to reach for the food when it finally materialised. Instead, she waited a respectful two and a half seconds before reaching for a large helping of shepherds pie, a cornish pasty, several sausages and, as an afterthought, a couple of peas. Vegetables were healthy, right?

"You okay up there Kai?" she called to her younger brother who waved back merrily, mouth too full to talk. Pixie's was much the same a second later, and she sensibly swallowed her first mouthful of food before asking "So, how was your summer?" to the general population of the table around her.

p i x i e   c l a r k e - t r i c k e t t
f a i t h ,  t r u s t ,  &  p i x i e  d u s t

Mavis Nandamuri [ Gryffindor ]
97 Posts  •  16  •  *:・゚✧ glitter ✧゚・:*  •  played by Samm
Re: [BoT '03] from now on {open}
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2020, 06:58:41 PM »
Mavis smiled brightly when the S.N.A.I.L. program came up in the Headmistress' speech. While she wasn't eager to broadcast just how excited she was to have a mentee, the Gryffindor bounced a little at the mention. Mavis loved learning and teaching (mainly because it meant she knew more than the other person), but she was also a little shy when it came to announcing she was a bit of a nerd. All of her close friends knew it, but she hoped the rest of the student population thought she was a fun, flirty, Gryffindor witch. The sort with a devil may care attitude; rebelliousness was so in season. The kind that liked to hang out on Hogsmeade weekends and turn papers in at the last minute (gasp! she would never).

Snuggled in beside her besties, Mavis reached for a heaping amount of food when the time came for dinner. She had started piling it up on her plate, before realizing that wasn't chic, and then stopped short of the pie. Sure the witch pretended like she had confidence for days, but underneath, Mavis was always second-guessing her decisions. Wondering if the cute boy a few down from them had noticed how much she was eating. And then beating herself up for even considering it. Being a teenager was hard!

"It was brilliant! And yours?" She replied to Pixie when she asked, offering her a smile too. Following the faces down that side of the table to see who Pixie talked to, Mavis turned back. Leaning forward, she giggled a little, before a friendly question popped out. "Honestly, how many Tricketts are there?" Did anyone even know anymore?

Benny Rivera [ Gryffindor ]
226 Posts  •  12  •  played by Samm
Re: [BoT '03] from now on {open}
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 12:11:24 AM »
Benny bounced where he was sitting, his shoulder knocking into the person next to him way too many times, as the sorting ceremony continued. He remembered his time last September, remembered the train ride, the nerves, standing in the front group, but it was such a different feeling being on this side of the Great Hall. Being at the Gryffindor table, clad in his red and gold, it was such a great feeling. The second-year watched, clapping and shouting, as the new first years were sorted. Hollering a little bit louder each time, there was a new lion announced.

Finally, the ceremony ended, there were some opening announcements from the Headmistress, and then the next best part would begin. Benny shot Tomie a knowing look, and then searched for JR across the Great Hall, knowing the food was coming next. Bouncing, he smiled brightly when it started to appear in front of them in wide varieties and entirely too tall stacks. Benny reached for the juice first, filling up his cup, and then piled up his plate. Turning to the person next to him, he grinned, "Do you know when Quidditch try-outs will be?"