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A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

With a breath of relief, Maisy plucked up a few books at a time and began to divvy them out to the others. As she worked, she couldn't help but reflect on just how many there were, once again, and when she had finished, she still managed to have quite the armful, but a manageable one, at least. Looking to John, she smiled at his exclamation.

"These... these aren't for classes, actually." She admitted, a little sheepishly, "It's just, well... This is all rather new to me, and I'm trying to learn as much as I can. Hasn't been anyone in my family with magic for a while, now... save my Uncle, but he... well, he wasn't very good, and never made it into Hogwarts. Anyway, I guess I just don't want to be behind everyone else."

In lieu of her fingernails, which were currently trapped beneath several volumes about famous wizards of the current century, she chewed on the edge of her lip, "I don't suppose... How many of your families are... Are you all from big... what's the term they use... pure blood families? Most of the people in Slytherin are. Or at least, that's what I hear, and I guess that makes sense. But I hadn't realized it was so important, you know?"

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

As the group followed after Khris, John could have sworn Liz was saying something behind his back a bit earlier. She was muttering so low, he couldn't make out what she was saying. She then went back to talking to the others, which confused John. Was she shy, but only around him? How strange...

Shortly after, John discovered that Maisy was more of a kindred spirit than he thought. She was new to this world too!

"Hey, I'm new at this too!" John exclaimed at Maisy. "No one in my family mentioned anything about magic stuff ever. Maybe I'll find some caveman wizard with the last name of Johns in one of these history books. What do you think the chances of that are?"

John's imagination briefly detoured to images of a bare-chested caveman version of himself, reciting "Ooga Booga" magic. The image brought a bigger smile to his face as he continued.

"It's great to learn new things, but I don't know if I'd want to do it all at once. After all, if you make all the discoveries in one day, what's gonna be left? I hear we have seven or so years. Plenty of time to figure it all out!"

Speaking of learning something new, Maisy just introduced a concept he was not familiar with: families and their...blood...type? He tilted his head inquisitively, trying to figure out what that meant.

"What does pure blood mean?" John asked. "My mom once told me that I was 'too pure for this world'. Does that count?"

John Johns
STAMINA: 6, AGILITY: 4, STRENGTH: 5, CONTROL: 6, ARCANE POWER: 4, ACCURACY: 5

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

Khris couldn't help the quiet puff of laughter that escaped at John's words, the Hufflepuff's innocent question pairing perfectly with his mother's opinion of him.

John truly was too pure for this world it seemed.

Babbling at a joyful million miles an hour and gesturing grandly with a cheerful grin never leaving his face, John Johns seemed really rather like the kind of lad that couldn't hate anybody if he tried. It was true the constant chatter was occasionally a bit much but all of it was meant in playful comradery and general kindness or curiosity and really, he couldn't fault the boy for being brave enough to be himself around them.

Khris cast a small smile over his shoulder at the Hufflepuff before letting his eyes drift to the two girls as well, smile still firmly in place.

They had been kind as well.

He had listened carefully as Maisy spoke both of her family's link to the wizarding world as well as her attempts to learn all she could about it and he made mental note to offer a word of encouragement in the future if he saw her studying. New places were difficult enough to deal with, none the less a whole world you barely knew about suddenly opening up to you. She was doing rather well considering.

She asked you all a question. You should answer, it's only polite...

Go on, then.

Khris turned around so as to walk backwards as they turned down another corridor.

Liz' words of encouragement when he had spoken earlier had been a rather wonderful boost of confidence and though his heart was still beating a tap dance in his chest, Khris felt that perhaps this unusual little group was safe enough to speak in.

John chuckled at something random and Khris shook his head in mild fondness.

Yeah, these three were pretty safe indeed.

"My father's pure-blood." His voice echoed faintly in the domed room they were walking through and he hurriedly quieted it to a whisper, his steps still carefully measured and backwards so as to face the little group. "Um... His family has a rather long line but it's not really as well known now. There was a bit of a mess up ever since he- When father married my mum. She's a Muggle, see. My Nan and Grandfather are good with it now but before... hmm..." He paused and a wrinkle formed across his brow as he thought out his words carefully. "I'm a half-blood which is half muggle and half wizard or witch, John. Where as my father is a pureblood because none of his family line has ever had a muggle in it before." This time he turned towards Maisy, his shoulders hunched a bit and lips pressed into a nervous smile. "Does that kind of answer your question?"

"Don't ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, or my kindness for weakness." -Unknown

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

Elizabeth felt herself tense up as the group began to talk about their families and backgrounds, freezing where she was. Family was a sore subject for her, considering hers was an absolute mess. Where was she even supposed to start? The mother she had never even met, or the famous father that hated her. Liz had avoided making any friends because she didn’t want to have to go through a whole ordeal, or receive pity. Pity was the worst thing in the world, she found, because it made her feel weaker. But as she listened to Khris explain his family heritage, she felt a surge of bravery. You’re in Gryffindor for God’s sake. If Khris, the boy who seemed to be shyer than anyone she had ever met, managed to speak to them honestly about his family, then so should she.

“I am too. Half-blood, that is. Well,” she paused, thinking for a moment. “I think I am. My dad said me mum was a witch, but I never got to meet her. She left when I was just a wee little thing.” She said with a shrug, putting one last book on top of her pile. “My dad kinda raised me on his own, with my step-mum,” She finished, standing up with a pile of Maisy’s books in her hands.

Do not assume that because I am small that I am weak; I have the heart and strength of a lion.

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

She'd never quite met anyone like John Johns.. Or John Three (she still wasn't entirely sure how many it was), but she was glad to have run into him, all the same. He was dizzying with his chattering and most of it nonsense, but there was a happiness to him that she missed from home... Far too many students at Hogwarts seemed to bear a sort of melancholic nature to them. They were kids, and it didn't seem right. Not at all.

Khris felt like a balance, really, in a lot of ways and as he spoke she felt a twinge of sympathy for what he had to say. Elizabeth, too, it appeared, came with something of a full set of baggage, and neither of them much older than Maisy herself. Was the another surprise to the wizarding world? Children honed for far too mature circumstances before they had any right to be ready for them? The worst thing she'd faced thus far was being told she couldn't attend her friend Stephanie's birthday party after she'd been marked poorly on a spelling test.

Frowning gingerly, Maisy shook her head, "You two must be awfully brave..." She said finally, and without a trace of pity or irony, neither of which seemed very useful or welcome in most people, "I'm not so sure I could handle all of that at our age. Anyway, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's not exactly used to this sort of place. Maybe I won't even need all these books. Especially seeing how we'll have homework enough as is. What do you make of it? All these classes. I'm rather excited, but it is a bit overwhelming."

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

John was getting a full-on lesson in the basics of bloodlines. Pure-bloods, half-bloods, all representing some combination on wizard and non-wizard parents. There didn't seem to be any other difference between them, other than parentage. No one was growing pointy ears because they had mixed parents (though that certainly would have contributed to the fantasy atmosphere John was feeling). Yet, Khris made it sound like it was a big deal in his family. Liz too didn't come from a traditional family. John seemed to have a pretty easy life. Two loving parents, nice home, comfortable living conditions, the whole package. The only thing that had ever uprooted his life was when an owl came through his door with a letter.

As for his own blood status, John simply assumed he was Pure-blood. Pure-blood Muggle, that is.

Topics changed to something they could all relate to: studies. John had a particularly hard time getting used to all the wizard terms. He was glad he had a room here: the boy couldn't imagine having to commute back and forth.

"Boy, I'll say," John replied to Maisy. "Hard to learn new things here when everything is new. But it's never dull. Can't fall asleep when the teacher is trying to show you how to cast fire from a magic stick. And my house is really nice to everyone, so they're willing to help out. How about you guys? You like your houses so far?"

John Johns
STAMINA: 6, AGILITY: 4, STRENGTH: 5, CONTROL: 6, ARCANE POWER: 4, ACCURACY: 5

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

Khris offered a kind and what he hoped to be encouraging smile to Liz, a faint nod of understanding causing his curls to shuffle about his ears.

In a way he knew what it was like. Not the separated parents. No, his parents had always been together, a loving family united through their care for one another. But he understood being from two different worlds and not really knowing which one to call home.

He turned to view all three of them more clearly.

Actually, all of them where doing so very well considering. Maisy and John bring muggle born and raised and yet accepting all of... this. Khris glanced around at the ghosts floating through the walls and the paintings hopping from one frame to the next to visit. He had grown up with magic a big part of his family, his father and grandparents using spells and charms all the time and still it was a big deal to see all of the peculiarities going on. The fact that they were so accepting of it was an admirable feat indeed.

Khris chuckled quietly at John's question and ducked his head shyly.

It was a topic he knew would come up sooner or later and he had thought long and hard about his answer.

"I am happy. With my house that is. I don't want to complain." He licked his lips, brow furrowing as he considered his next words carefully. "I- I don't want to say anything against Slytherin because some of the people are quite nice and I really do like quite of few of them." Khris turned towards Maisy quickly. "Like you. And- and some of the blokes I've met. But really... if I'm honest. I don't really feel like I belong. My dad was Slytherin, so was his father and mother, and his grandparents so in a way I'm not surprised and yet..." Khris let out a long, slow breath of air, an apologetic and slightly embarrassed grin cast towards the three. "I kind of feel like I'm not good enough. Don't realy have the important qualities. Oh. Sorry. For talking so much..."

"Don't ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, or my kindness for weakness." -Unknown

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

"You two must be awfully brave..."

Liz's ears turned red at this and she shook her head quickly. She didn't think of herself as brave, quite the opposite actually. She found that the only bravery she had was her honesty, and that wasn't always a good thing. She saw the smile Khris sent her way and offered a small one back, before averting her eyes back to the ground. She never really enjoyed talking about family, which was why she was ecstatic when Maisy switched the conversation to classes.

Elizabeth stayed quiet as the others spoke, nodding along to the words they said, not feeling the need to join into the conversation, until Khris mentioned that he didn't feel like he belonged in his house. She looked up again, watching him as he spoke and the way he seemed like he was holding himself back from continuing on. "You don't have to apologize." She said with a genuine smile this time. "I think everyone feels as if they're not in the right house. I mean, I definitely don't. I'm not brave or chivalrous, but the hat put us in these houses for a reason," she paused, glancing at the other two with a sheepish grin. "And, well, whether that be to mess with us or to help us find our true potential, we'll find out, I guess."

Do not assume that because I am small that I am weak; I have the heart and strength of a lion.

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

"It's funny... I thought the same thing when I was first sorted. That first night here, I cried so many times, just thinking about it. Then I met my dorm mate, Fiona, and you know what? She thought the same thing. It's just like Liz says... I don't think any of us are really ready for the house we're sorted into. But maybe that's why the hat puts us there. Not because it sees what we are right now, but cause it sees our... what's that word Professor Blackburn talked about in Charms... potential?"

Chuckling, she shrugged, "Fiona and me, we're not like many Slytherins... and Khris, you don't sound like you are, either. But we kinda decided that was okay, cause all it means is maybe we were picked because Slytherin has such a bad reputation, and the hat's looking to change that, you know? It put us there because we can be ambitious and cunning... but maybe in a better way."

With a shrug, she looked to Elizabeth, "And maybe your bravery and your courage are in being able to admit you're not so sure you have those things. You'll grow into them, sure, but right now? Maybe it's more brave to admit you're scared.... And John..." Turning to the Hufflepuff, she opened her mouth to speak, because a laugh bubbled out, instead, "Well... I think we can all agree John is definitely a Hufflepuff..."

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

"Yup," John agreed with Maisy's assessment on the hat's choice of house for John. "I may not be particularly smart or brave and sometimes lazy, but dangit I'll be your friend!" He laughed at the bit of self-deprecating humor.

It was a bit sad hearing how all the others felt mismatched in their houses. He wasn't sure how he would have reacted if he were put in any other house other than Hufflepuff. He was the kind of kid that would have made the most of his situation. Ravenclaw? He would have been surrounded by tutors 24/7! Gryffindor? He bet they had all the daring adventures. Slytherin? Being friends with those of big dreams would surely pay off once those dreams were achieved. John could have gotten something out of any of the houses. It didn't particularly matter to someone from the outside of this world.

"Still," John pointed out, "does the house thing really matter? I mean, we're all going to the same school, right? We're probably making friends with different houses anyways."

Eventually, the group came across the biggest obstacle in their path: stairs. They were bound to show up in their journey to the basement. John peeked over his stack of books to see the winding staircase that led into the depths of the castle.

"Hey Maisy," John asked, "if we weren't here, what was your plan on going downstairs?"

John Johns
STAMINA: 6, AGILITY: 4, STRENGTH: 5, CONTROL: 6, ARCANE POWER: 4, ACCURACY: 5

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

A grateful smile was cast towards the young Slytherin girl as they continued their way forward.

Maisy was right and her words had been wise. Perhaps they didn't quite fit into what their expectation of the houses should be like but it didn't mean they didn't belong in them altogether either. Most of the Ravenclaws he'd met were nothing like the geniuses he had expected but rather crazed students staying up till the early hours playing games to let their minds rest from frantic studying. The Gryffindors -though filled with bravado in speech and independence in nature- often walked the halls in packs relying on one another to verify if ideas were sound before going through with them.

As for the Hufflepuffs...

Well, Khris rather agreed with both John and Maisy on that one. He'd not met a Hufflepuff he hadn't liked but there were plenty of shy ones too, ones that didn't quite fit in the outgoing and friendly nature the house was known for. Ones not quite like John. Oh they were kind to be sure, it just took a bit longer to see it.

"Ambition can come in many different forms..." Khris mused. The stairs stood before them, shifting and spinning, daunting in their abrupt halts and lack of guard rails at the ends. He turned towards his fellow housemate with a bemused expression. "Like this. It was awful ambitious of you to think you could haul all those books down these stairs by yourself."

"Don't ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, or my kindness for weakness." -Unknown

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

"I'm not so sure they really matter all that much, John..." Maisy agreed. It seemed to her that the more people she met outside of her house, the more comfortable she was at school. Granted, they couldn't spend as much time together as they might be able to if they were housemates, but it didn't stop her from enjoying them, all the same. It intrigued her, frankly, the people who seemed to stick by their house as if it were meant to be some sort of segregation... They were all Wizards, after all.

As they neared the stairs, Maisy paused and stopped, blinking slowly while taking in John John's question. It was, to put it mildly, a pretty good point and with Khris's addition, she laughed softly, and gave her head a shake, "Gosh... Usually I don't make it that far, and just end up tripping down them. The books end up at the bottom and I just walk the rest of the way to pick them up. It's a miracle I haven't killed myself, yet, to be honest."

It would be nice, then, to have help for once, "Good thing you guys came along. It would figure that the biggest obstacle I face all year 'round are a bunch of staircases..."

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

John's jaw dropped after hearing Maisy's traditional method of going down stairs. Now, every time he ever encountered stairs, wizarding world or otherwise, he would have to check to make sure Maisy's prone body wasn't waiting at the bottom. He was an upbeat kid; he didn't need that kind of trauma. He may have still been a novice, but John was pretty sure no one was coming back from the dead.

Still, the stairs were a concern. Even with the amount of books spread among them, navigating such a long staircase would be a challenge without a hand on the railing. They would have to come up with a plan to get everything (and everyone) down in one piece.

"OK, How about Maisy goes down without any books?" John suggested. "I think the rest of us can handle carrying a few books down. We'll leave some up here and make a few trips? Yeah, that sounds like a plan."

John sounded hesitant on the plan, even though it was of his own making. He really wished he could have magic'ed something up.

"Though, I feel like there should be a magic solution to this. Like make the books fly down or turn them to birds or something. I mean, I can set things on fire, probably, but I don't think that'll help us here. I bet this isn't a problem for second years."

John Johns
STAMINA: 6, AGILITY: 4, STRENGTH: 5, CONTROL: 6, ARCANE POWER: 4, ACCURACY: 5

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

"Gosh... Usually I don't make it that far, and just end up tripping down them. The books end up at the bottom and I just walk the rest of the way to pick them up. It's a miracle I haven't killed myself, yet, to be honest."
Khris blinked in surprise before turning to John with a shocked expression matching the young Hufflepuff's. The thought of Maisy tripping down any stairs with a heavy pile of books tumbling after her was a concerning thought, but down these stairs with their sudden movements and drop offs!? It was downright frightening!

He made sure to say as much, his tone grave and blonde eyebrows pulled together in extreme concern.

It wasn't that he thought Maisy was incapable. Far from it. He found this kindhearted housemate of his to be fascinating and one of the nicest people he'd met at the school.

It's just that he'd like her to stay in one piece as she traversed these steps from now on.
"OK, How about Maisy goes down without any books? I think the rest of us can handle carrying a few books down. We'll leave some up here and make a few trips? Yeah, that sounds like a plan. Though, I feel like there should be a magic solution to this. Like make the books fly down or turn them to birds or something. I mean, I can set things on fire, probably, but I don't think that'll help us here. I bet this isn't a problem for second years."
A quiet chuckle escaped Khris but he nodded at the Hufflepuff's words. "I think John's right..." He murmured, eye's meeting John's for a second before turning to Maisy with a small shrug. "I'm not too fond of the thought of you trying to carry a big pile of books down these." He gestured to the currently rotating section before him. "And especially not without help. I'm sure you could handle a few but maybe- maybe so as to avoid any tripping you could go ahead of us and tell us where to step rather than all of us trying to maneuver and carry books down?"

A bright smile was offered to John. "As for magic, yeah. There should be a way. I mean, I know we could float them down but I'm not entirely sure how well they can be controlled and I'd rather not drop them half way and have them tumbling down the steps. That is..." He glanced between the two of them as his head cocked in question. "Unless you think we can do that."

"Don't ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, or my kindness for weakness." -Unknown

A Quiet Place to Read  Open 

Their concern was touching, if not a little embarrassing. Maisy knew that she wasn't exactly blessed with inordinate amounts of coordination, but she should have been able to walk down with at least a few books in hand. The steps, though, were quite steep, and she hadn't had time to get the end of her robe hemmed up so that it didn't drag when she walked... It was, altogether, a pretty risky setup, and given her history...

"Hm..." Looking to the stack in her arms, she chuckled softly and shrugged, "What about that spell Elizabeth did... What was it again..." Setting her pile down at the top of the stairs, Maisy reached into her robes and found her wand, pulling it free. Gingerly, she pointed it at the books and gave a sweep of her arm, then a pointed flick forward, "Wingardium Leviosa..."

The books rose, and with a small squeal of delight, Maisy grinned, "There we have it! Maybe I'm not so bad at all this magic stuff." Yvaine had told her the things that made up her wand were pretty powerful, and if she managed to concentrate...

"I think I can manage with this stack, now... If you two did the same?"
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