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Fflur Blevins [ Professor ]
262 Posts  •  33  •  she/her  •  played by cstine
these days [flitwick]
« on: December 05, 2020, 04:32:28 AM »
early december 2003

He had asked her to help with decorations, and she had agreed before she had really thought through what that meant. She didn’t have an eye for design, hardly decorated her own house for the holidays. But Fflur couldn’t say no; she didn’t think Professor Flitwick--she still couldn’t call him Filius--had asked many others to tag along.

She probably should have said no, considering how rubbish she was at any of the charms she needed to help. She glanced sidelong at Flitwick, happily trimming a tree, and looked back at hers, still rather barren. Could they revoke NEWTs fifteen years after the fact? She didn’t want to find out.

Fflur lifted another bauble onto the tree, her left hand already outstretched to catch it when, inevitably, it didn’t stick. She caught it a second later and exhaled through her nose; she tossed it straight up and caught it again a few more times before she attempted to stick it toward the top of the tree again.

“Is there something less--” she caught the bauble again, figuring this would be a bit more enjoyable if she could have started in on the Christmas brandy. “Is there popcorn that needs stringing? Or I can just do the bottom six feet of the trees.” She snorted softly as she laughed, glancing around at the more than a dozen trees that would take forever to decorate by hand. “Or provide moral support.”

@Filius Flitwick 

Filius Flitwick [ Professor ]
53 Posts  •  70  •  played by lianne
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2020, 10:23:28 PM »
Filius had already unearthed quite a few bowtruckles from one of the trees, and called Hagrid in to find them a new tree somewhere (they would have gotten on horribly with the fairies.) He was in high spirits -- every year he enjoyed the month leading up to the winter holidays a little bit more; though last year he’d opted to ask some of his N.E.W.T.s students to help him decorate, two of them had gotten into something of a wand-measuring contest and it had gone over rather disastrously (thank Merlin Filius had been there to repair the baubles and to remove antlers.)

This year, he’d thought to ask a colleague instead.

He didn’t truly need help decorating -- he was a skilled wizard in his own right and, usually, having help slowed him down -- but of late he had been sort of lonely. He supposed he missed having Pomona around fussing with the poinsettas.

Filius looked over his shoulder at Fflur’s tree -- though he was far more practiced at this, and could have had all the baubles perching themselves on the branches with a wave of his wand, he felt suddenly that it might be prudent not to show off too much, as she was going one bauble at a time. He twitched his wand to at least conjure some tinsel streamers, which fluttered lightly onto his tree, before he headed over to appraise her tree.

“You’re very welcome to simply supervise the fairies for a spell,” he said, and shot a glance over at the fairies he’d invited to spend December in the Great Hall rather than the Forest, where they were twittering en masse around a shiny platter on one of the tables, admiring their reflections. “I’m afraid they got into the eggnog last night. But moral support is welcome too.”
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 10:39:22 PM by Lianne »


I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn't sure whether or not I had the authority.

Fflur Blevins [ Professor ]
262 Posts  •  33  •  she/her  •  played by cstine
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2020, 02:00:20 AM »
Fflur slouched a little more when Flitwick came to take a look at her rather undecorated tree, looking as fresh and piney as it must have outside. (Slouching made her look cool which made her look like she wasn’t embarrassed she was having such a hard time with everything.) She gave herself a quick mental reminder that she wasn’t being graded, but it didn’t really help anything.

She glanced down at him before she followed his gaze to the fairies. “Tempting,” she said, deadpan, looking at them a little bemused. Would a herd--that probably wasn’t what a group of fairies was called, but Fflur couldn’t be bothered to find out--of fairies be more or less tedious to watch than a bunch of first years? She could laugh about the eggnog, though. She knew how they felt, anyway.

Turning back to the tree, she sighed. Moral support was allowed at least. “Well, you’re doing a great job.” As if Flitwick really needed the reassurance. But she wasn’t there to coach him (thank God), so she actually sounded a bit supportive, if nothing else.

“I can do this, though,” she said with a nod, adjusting her grip on her wand. She just had to complain a little about it all first. That out of the way, she supposed she could focus a little more. “What am I doing wrong?” He was a teacher that actually liked teaching, so she figured she might as well ask for help.

Filius Flitwick [ Professor ]
53 Posts  •  70  •  played by lianne
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2020, 12:59:28 AM »
A few of the fairies -- Filius assumed they must have sensed his and Fflur’s eyes on them -- started preening; Filius was grateful his bushy moustache hid most of his amused smile. Few of the Hogwarts had much love for them -- they were pests even without eggnog -- but he had always been fond of the creatures. And it helped that they were -- usually -- harmless; the same couldn’t be said of some of the animals some of his colleagues let roam the halls. He had never liked Mrs. Norris.

“Ah, thank you,” he said graciously, though he was frowning critically at his tree -- he twitched his wand to lift a cluster of streamers and let them resettle more evenly.

She raised her wand and Filius tapped his wand against his palm thoughtfully -- “It depends what spell you’ve been using, of course,” he said, “Hover or levitation charms are much less precise than mobility or locomotion charms -- but, of course, none of them are very useful at a distance… most of the ‘baubles’ I use are just colourful bubbles, and I put the real ones near the bottoms for appearances.” He tapped the side of his nose to signify that this was a secret, though -- he was sure -- it was an open one.

He raised his own wand, and moved it slowly so she could trace his movements more easily -- “Like this, see -- bulla bullesco --” a stream of large, shimmery bubbles bubbled out of the end of his wand, and he gave Fflur an encouraging nod.

Though the bubble charm wasn’t difficult technically, Filius had always found that most spellcasters’ weaknesses lay in visualisation; it was a skill he learned every year was nearly impossible to teach; his efforts to teach it had always made him wonder if this was what Minerva’s every class had been like. He wasn’t sure he would be able to coach Fflur through his elaborate Locomotor Baubles process.


I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn't sure whether or not I had the authority.

Fflur Blevins [ Professor ]
262 Posts  •  33  •  she/her  •  played by cstine
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2020, 01:48:35 AM »
“Right,” she said; of course it depended on what spell she had been using, and she thought she was doing a good job pretending like she had known that all along. (It was news to her, obviously.) She’d been trying a levitation charm, which was less precise, and Fflur sighed, tapping her wand against her thigh, as Flitwick went on explaining things. She probably should have been taking notes but that would take this too far away from a conversation between colleagues.

She grinned and looked down at him as he told her his secret. “I knew it.” She hadn’t; there had never been any reason to know it, having never concerned herself too much with the integrity of the decorations. She couldn’t remember how to make bubbles--the need had never arisen in her adult life--but ever the good teacher, Flitwick was explaining it before she could ask.

It took her a second to catch on that he was expecting her to give it a try (even though she had just asked him for help). “Right.” She looked at the bubbles he’d just made and nodded, then lifted her wand with every intention to do the same. She hesitated one more second before-- “Bulla bullesco.”

A few bubbles streamed out of her wand, the same color as Flitwick’s, though significantly more misshapen. They stuck to the tree, though, so that was one problem solved. She tilted her head to the side as she considered them. “I’ll get the hang of it by the time we work through all the trees here, at least.”

Filius Flitwick [ Professor ]
53 Posts  •  70  •  played by lianne
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2020, 01:22:31 AM »
Either Fflur had known already, or she was being facetious; Filius raised his eyebrows with good humour. “Yes,” he said gravely, “By now I have no secrets from most of Hogwarts… unless you still believe I’m this tall because I was grown in a cauldron, I suppose.” That had been his preferred fib in the eighties, after the father-hexed-in-the-groin one had gotten a pile of fourth years unwilling to practise in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Lack of privacy was a side effect of living at Hogwarts he’d had to make peace with fairly early -- frogspawn in the toilets was one he’d regrettably never adjust to.

Her bubbles weren’t so bad for a first attempt -- it was an effort Filius would have deemed admirable, in a classroom, but he categorically didn’t want to slip into treating this like a classroom. They were here to loaf and to decorate and to be amused by the fairies, not to teach, sorely tempted though he might have been. He flicked his wand to inflate the saddest-looking bubble and allowed himself a single professorial platitude, as a treat: “Of course, practise is the best way to learn.”

Now that they were working, in a sense, it seemed sensible to move on from discussion of it. Filius twirled his wand to produce more golden bubbles and said, “What do you think of this Secret Snidget thing? I thought it was odd at first -- obviously when I was at Hogwarts it was left to us to decide whether we would give gifts to anybody,” and as a halfblood and quarter-goblin, Filius hadn’t ever gotten many, “-- but it’s cleverly done.” He finished his tree with a flourish and stepped back to appraise it, then to glance upward at his colleague. “Anything that gets the students making friends in the other Houses is well-done in my book, at least -- I’ve seen it get rather rocky in my time here, I’m afraid. I think it’s a little better now.” Mind, he thought.


I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn't sure whether or not I had the authority.

Fflur Blevins [ Professor ]
262 Posts  •  33  •  she/her  •  played by cstine
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2021, 09:07:23 PM »
Fflur’s eyes went a little wide, and she swiftly looked back at the Christmas tree; she was pretty sure she was guilty of perpetuating that rumor once upon a time. She had tried on many different hats to fit in and be cool and thankfully that one hadn’t stuck (though quidditch and everything downstream of that minor career-ending debacle certainly weren’t better). But she didn’t mention any of that; she knew now more than ever that teachers knew more than they ever let on.

He told her to practice--or heavily hinted at it, anyway--and she nodded, smirking softly. “Of course.” She just hoped he didn’t mean for her to do it now. Or later, even; if he asked for decorating help next year, Fflur was anticipating being told again she needed to practice.

Flitwick made more gold bubbles, and Fflur made another attempt, going for red this time, a not so subtle hint toward Gryffindor’s colors. They were less wonky, at least. She tried again and she thought if she squinted, they looked closer to spheres. Close enough.

Secret Snidget was clever and it was meant to be cute, she knew--”Yeah,” she agreed--but it was nothing like the secret Santa exchanges she’d ever been a part of. They had one when she was living in Paris but it was much less wholesome, with bottles of wine and cartons of cigarettes, and that one battle of absinthe that was, without fail, finished before the night was over-- but that was  different sort of fairy to that lot. Regardless of that, she hadn’t had too many Christmas gifts while at Hogwarts, either; it might have been a different story if Christmas had lined up more with quidditch tryouts, but even then it probably would have been a stretch.

“You think?” She had never been very big on inter-house cooperation--it was hard to be, being quidditch captain--but she hadn’t really changed her thinking now, either. Her and Naz were so outnumbered on staff that it was an ongoing joke that if Naz left, Fflur would be a default Head of House, and she grimaced, realizing she should probably be trying a little harder to support it or some other We Are the World shit, but-- “I’m just keen to see what the fifth years get up to.” It was far easier to talk about that, and the fifth years certainly seemed to have the most drama this term. She only knew what she overheard in class or in the staff lounge because she didn’t want to seem to interested in students’ lives, of course, but gossip was perfectly acceptable.

Filius Flitwick [ Professor ]
53 Posts  •  70  •  played by lianne
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2021, 01:06:17 AM »
Fflur looked rather guilty discussing Filius’s purported caudron origins; he winked at her and decided not to admit that a good half of the rumours about it, he’d started himself. (Somebody in his first year teaching had posited that he might be half house-elf and he’d been eager to put that one down.)

He folded his arms as she tried again to deck her tree -- it looked rather like it belonged in Gryffindor tower, and not the Great Hall, but it was her first attempt, and he didn’t think Minerva of all people could raise objection -- there was a witch who loved Gryffindor House. A witch whose baubles would probably look more like baubles, too, but there was the rub: if Filius F. Flitwick was the last professor of his own generation, he supposed it was up to him to start training up the next.

And though Minerva was still around, it wasn’t the same when she was his superior -- he thought a certain amount of their friendship, and their friendships with Pomona, had been based around their feelings on whoever was really in charge of the castle. Fond bemusement (Albus, of course) or outrage (Dolores Umbridge) or betrayal (Severus.)

They had really gone through too much together for him to be expect anything like it with this new crop of teachers. He was really too old for them. Filius would rather be bored and retired than Headmaster, but he envied them the years they might all have together at Hogwarts. Hopefully they would be less unfortunate than his.

“I do think,” he said. She was less interested in the brewing house rivalries than in whatever rivalries were forming in fifth year, though, for which Filius couldn’t fault her: he, too, thought they would be in for an interesting few years before graduation. (Charms class, for some reason, was a particularly popular spot to gossip, but his hearing was not as good as it had been when he was young.) He made a face, half hidden behind his moustache. “I think my Ravenclaws are starting to have a falling-out with that gaggle of girls in your house. I’m not quite sure yet.”


I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn't sure whether or not I had the authority.

Fflur Blevins [ Professor ]
262 Posts  •  33  •  she/her  •  played by cstine
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2021, 10:30:15 PM »
Fflur gave another go at the baubles, making a few that look more like they were meant to (she thought, anyway). It was enough that she thought she might be able to take her new skill home, put up some decorations without much effort. They probably ought to get a tree first.

Flitwick thought things were better now, and Fflur nodded, not quite used to the idea of blatantly disagreeing with him (or asking for more reasoning because she didn’t have too much of an opinion on it in the first place). She laughed at Ravenclaw’s falling out with the gaggle of Gryffindor girls--gaggle was a funny word--and she glanced down; he looked a bit more serious, so she fixed her face, stopped laughing. She added another few baubles to the tree as she cleared her throat, nearly overloading the branches by this point.

It was hard not to think about how she could have been the subject of professor gossip, back in the day, amongst her current colleagues (or, just Flitwick and McGonagall). But the most gossip-worthy thing about her then was her crush on Robin, her now partner, and she had done such a good job keeping that a secret that he didn’t know until another decade had passed. Every other facet of schoolgirl-Fflur was fairly boring, un-gossipy. She was probably safe from all that, she reckoned.

She took a couple steps toward the next tree. “They’re a feisty gaggle,” she said after a minute. And she wasn’t mad about it-- they knew what they were about. Fflur wished she had been that confident when she was their age; it had taken a while (and a drinking problem) to really figure herself out. Most of the gaggle could probably avoid that. “Why the falling out, though? I thought they were alright.” She was so behind; she needed to stop going home for tea instead of taking it in the staff lounge.

Filius Flitwick [ Professor ]
53 Posts  •  70  •  played by lianne
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2021, 11:41:26 PM »
Fflur seemed more amused than concerned by the goings-on of fifth year; Filius wrinkled his forehead and tried to decide whether she was right to be. He worried often that he’d forgotten how it was to be young, that he lacked the necessary empathy to relate to or advise his students, but sometimes he thought that led him to  overcompensate in the other extreme. His mid-late teens had been characterised by the importance he assigned to everything in his life: his ambition, his schoolwork, the funny looks people gave him in the corridors.

He opted, after some thought, to be optimistic, and gave her tree a once-over – if he didn’t propose soon that they move onto another pair of trees, she would run out of baubles before they hit the end of the Great Hall, so he twitched his wand so that his stepping stool, still in position at his first tree, scuttled behind him as he trotted down to the next few pines: “Here,” he said cheerfully, “Next two, shall we say?”

They’re a feisty gaggle. “They are,” Filius agreed gravely, and climbed back onto the stool, raising his wand. As silver streamers began draping themselves over the branches, he glanced back at Fflur’s tree as she worked, and did his best to repress any pedagogical urges. “Well – they’re all still taking Charms, so I suppose I hear more than some might –” that, and the aforementioned inexplicable phenomenon of Charms gossip – “but I think there’s a bit of trouble brewing up around poor Mr. Heyward – he’s got something going on with both Miss Hawkins and Miss Reinhardt. I can’t tell what it is. I’m thinking I might have to start redoing my seating charts.”

Every year Filius tried valiantly not to outright dislike any of his students, but sometimes he had students that were difficult not to dislike: this was one such case, although he was doing his best not to seem biased. (He did tend to have favourites – he had long since stopped trying to cut that out – but he didn’t like having least favourites.)

Talking about Miss Reinhardt with another professor, then, he was pretty sure came close to least-favourite territory; he flicked his wand to rotate his entire tree about thirty degrees, to hide the large balding branch where he’d had to extricate those bowtruckles, and said, “Are you spending the holidays in Hogsmeade?”


I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn't sure whether or not I had the authority.

Fflur Blevins [ Professor ]
262 Posts  •  33  •  she/her  •  played by cstine
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2021, 10:29:20 PM »
Naturally, Flitwick had heard more. She wasn’t surprised the Charms classroom was still conducive to all of that. Fflur, on the other hand, barely heard anything. Of course, she was rather good at tuning her students out, or sending them flying so she didn’t need to talk with them, so she didn’t have anyone to blame but herself. That said, she liked drawing conclusions from what little drama she did hear. It was more fun that way.

But he had something to talk about, and Fflur offered him half a grin. Heyward--it was times like these that she was pleased to call everyone by their surnames; she didn’t think she could keep a straight face with Horus--was apparently two-timing some girls, and Fflur grimaced, her baubles warping accordingly. “What a--” clusterfuck-- “Mess.” Never mind there were no students around to overhear her; she couldn’t swear in front of Professor Flitwick.

He asked if she would be in Hogsmeade for the holidays, and Fflur nodded, lowering her wand hand a bit. “Mostly. Christmas dinner with Robin’s family. Otherwise, Hogsmeade.” They’d go to Cardiff for tea at some point, but she had to coordinate it so her sister wouldn’t also be there. New Year’s would definitely be at home, though-- they both knew they didn’t have too many good options for going out if they didn’t want to drink.

“Reckon I’ll be by the castle a time or two.” For the cooking, as usual, but there was a wreath in the corridor she had considered stealing before she had started helping Flitwick with the decorations. “You’ll be here?”

Filius Flitwick [ Professor ]
53 Posts  •  70  •  played by lianne
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2021, 06:57:18 AM »
What a mess, indeed, but Filius shrugged – when it came to teenage drama, he thought that so far, every year did very little to surpass the year before. Children were like that; they always thought they were the first ones to plumb the depths of adolescent betrayal and heartbreak, and then – invariably – the next year, so did the next fifth and sixth years. He was rather glad that he wasn’t the one responsible for teaching them offensive magic, although of course any magic could have been easily applied as such, with enough imagination.

“Ah,” he said, after a moment trying to place the name; often he forgot that any of the professors had significant others, as none of them had during most of the time he’d been working. He didn’t honestly remember the last time he’d seen his own parents for Christmas; since he was fifty they’d taken to spending their holidays abroad. “Lovely plans,” he said, “Tell him I say hello.” Robin, Robin, Robin… first names were always harder to place than surnames, particularly first names of students from back then (was this the late eighties?) but he thought he remembered a Robin around her age. Wrote a lot of lines, if he remembered.

He nodded – “I usually am,” he said, as though this were a secret and not something that the students in his house generally took for granted. “If you’d ever like to pop by for tea, I’ve often got a pot on. Believe it or not, it’s normally rather quiet around here during the holidays.” This time of year, the most social engagement he got was from the mailing list he subscribed to on experimental charm modifications.

By now his tree was sufficiently trimmed; he hopped off his stool and waved his wand, watched it scuttle further down the row. There were eight trees left to trim and though he liked Fflur’s company, he was not sure he liked Fflur’s decorative skill. He said, “Care to take a break? I’m sure the fairies left us some biscuits.” He would have to ask for another pot of tea from the kitchens, though.


I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn't sure whether or not I had the authority.

Fflur Blevins [ Professor ]
262 Posts  •  33  •  she/her  •  played by cstine
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2021, 08:27:30 PM »
Fflur smiled; lovely plans. They were, for the most part. She had established herself long ago as someone who didn’t go in for family holidays, and that made it easier now, spending it alone with Robin and the dogs. “Sure.” She wondered how that’d go over—Flitwick says hi—and if it’d be as funny as she thought it was.

She returned his nod, pleased that he would be around. (She enjoyed his company, or something very mature like that.) “Oh, I believe it.” She had popped into the castle the past two Christmases, too—again the cooking was better than anything she could provide at home—and seen it firsthand. She had attempted to spend a holiday here during her schooltime, too, wanting a break from her little sister, but she had never managed to be allowed. It was almost funny how she had managed to accomplish that now.

Flitwick moved his stool and Fflur turned to follow suit; there weren’t that many trees left and she thought she was getting better (her second attempt was better than the first, anyway). But he proposed a break, instead. Fflur nodded. “Yeah.” She would have preferred a cigarette over a biscuit, especially now that she was thinking about it, but she would manage.

The fairies had indeed left some biscuits; Fflur reached for a small shortbread as she considered sitting. (Was she allowed to sit at a student table? There were no students around and it was the right house, but still.) “Is this a tea break?” She hoped it was—the biscuit was dry and she appreciated not having idle hands, even if it meant she was simply holding a cup of tea—as she glanced around, wondering if they could abandon the decorations (for now) to stop by the kitchens. Flitwick said it was and Fflur smiled, brushing her hand free of crumbs on her robes as they headed that direction.

[out]

Filius Flitwick [ Professor ]
53 Posts  •  70  •  played by lianne
Re: these days [flitwick]
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2021, 10:51:21 AM »
Now he thought about it, Fflur had celebrated Christmas at Hogwarts at least once before; he was positive he’d pulled a cracker with her once, although by this point his ability to differentiate between Christmas memories had grown rather dubious. He was aging; though he had the thought very often these days, the more he noticed how his own thought processes had changed since he’d started teaching, it was not getting any easier to think about. Frankly very little had.

They drifted off to the Gryffindor table to pick over the biscuits; the fairies seemed to have tired themselves out, and were lounging around the platter (half of them still preening); he prodded a few of them aside with his little finger to get a napkin, and one buzzed irritably at him. It was not easy to be so small, he thought, not without some pity.

He worried that Fflur might have had enough of his company – particularly given that he’d slipped into teaching partway through – but that didn’t seem to be the case: she asked, roundabout, about having a cup of tea. “It is indeed,” Filus said – he but rarely took breaks that weren’t tea breaks – “There’s sure to be a pot on somewhere.” Fflur grinned, and so he trotted off in lead toward the kitchens.


OUT


I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn't sure whether or not I had the authority.

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