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The Way You Looked That Night  PV Alaric 

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{ PV to @Alaric Equinox }
Hjørdis sighed softly. So much had happened in the past months. Her job had changed, time and time again. More recently, she had started taking on flying lessons, which was utterly irritating to her. She could not fathom why anyone thought she would be suitable for such a role, given how she did not actually enjoy flying. However, she liked being outdoors and exercising. Her classes were mostly exercising focused and less actual flying focused these days. Previously, she had been busy covering a large number of patrols. However, with the new class schedule, there had been a change.

Though she would never actually admit it, she could tell the mood of the whole school had dropped. People's mental health was suffering just as much, if not more, than their physical health these days. She was doing everything she could to protect their physical health - patrolling when she could, trying to uncover the secrets behind the attacks, brewing more healing potions and doing a ton more research. But in the recent weeks, she had paused to think about everyone's feelings. People were hurting. Even after they had been cured of their physical ailments, they were suffering. She saw it daily.

She would never admit it to another soul, of course. However, she could not stop herself from running more self-care activities to help try and lift people's moods a little. Hjørdis was one woman and there was no way she could actually sit down and talk to every student for hours on end. But hopefully, these sessions would help. The letter writing session seemed to have gone well for the most part. At least a few people felt a little better after it - and she was sure others did after they received the letters. That was enough for her. In the coming weeks, there would be more and more events. Any time she had free time - especially once they had found new professors to fill the team - she would try and do something for others. Though... she was still not going to tell them that.

Today on her list was Alaric Equinox, the Head of Ravenclaw. She did not know him nearly as well as she knew the other Heads but she had seen him in action. She had seen the vulnerability on his face as he broke down that day, six months ago. Hjørdis might have been the only one in the room that was not crying, but that did not mean she was not affected. It had bothered her for some time but with all of the work, there was just no time to do anything about it.

Armed with a small cloth bag and her cat following on her heels, Hjørdis knocked on the door of Alaric's office. She had checked to make sure he was not in class or on the patrol schedule but honestly, she would not be surprised if he was far too busy to see her at the moment. Most of them were overworked. But that was precisely why this was important.

Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects, and discovering other people's weaknesses.

The Way You Looked That Night  PV Alaric 

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The end of the year was coming up, and soon after that, his year anniversary of working at Hogwarts would come to pass as well. He hadn’t realized that taking on a position teaching Astronomy here would have been so exciting. Everything started off smoothly with working on classes and helping the students adjust to their sleeping schedules and come to terms with what he was. All while reassuring them that he had absolutely no interest in eating them.

Then came the ever fateful Masquerade ball on Halloween. It was something he hadn’t even planned to attend but was convinced by a friend to go and integrate. It was a good thing he did because he had found a child in dire need of assistance. A childlike him who was being baited by blood, and before he knew it, he had put himself in the middle of the altercation and made himself the young boy’s target. Not before long, the flying professor, the child, the head of Slytherin, and himself were in the infirmary. The whole ordeal had made his past rush back to him painfully. A time where he was race baited into attacking another student because they purposefully cut their hand. It brought back the memories of them, pulling him into the sunlight to watch his skin burn. That night those three saw him in a very emotionally compromised state, and he vowed that he would do anything and everything to protect them even if it meant his own life.

The incident came and went just as the last autumn leaves fell from the trees. December rolled around, and he applied and got Ravenclaw Head of House. He felt if he wanted to do everything he could for the children, he would need to be in a position that held more authority. He couldn’t waste time teaching and planning lessons anymore; he needed to spend his time on more important things. Especially after the death of Shauna Starr. His very first night of being their HoH and a student died. It had been fate that he saw the red sparks in the air that night, and he ran as fast as he could ready to tear whatever the enemy was apart with his bare hands and teeth if he had to. Yet, the enemy was death… How did you fight death? Death was faster, far more cunning, and took what it wanted ruthlessly.

He worked himself tirelessly to try and make sure that this would never happen again. Taking extra patrols whenever he got the opportunity or filling in for someone else in case they couldn’t. He sometimes wondered if his co-workers noticed his lack of sleep because he was always working. Then again, he was a dhampir, perhaps, he just wasn’t as affected by lack of sleep than his human counterparts. Then a few days ago, he got a letter for the Slytherin Head of House, Nora. He had meant to write her back and was going to tonight since this was his first night off. Yet, it would seem that effort was going to be interrupted as he got a knock at his door. Who could be knocking right now? He ran his slightly clawed hand through his hair, pushing it back from his face. “Come in!” He called out from his desk his dark vermillion eyes watching the door now curiously only to arch a brow when he would see who came through the door.

Parchment would be scattered across his desk in a manner that was typically not accustomed to the tidy professor. He would start to straighten out his stacks of paper when she inevitably came into his office. “Please make yourself comfortable.” He would join her wherever she chooses to sit unless she sat across from him at his desk, and then he would just stay put.

✴Astronomy, as nothing else can do, teaches men humility ✴
Sta|9| Eva|20| Str|20| Wis| 2 | Arc| 2 | Acc|12|

The Way You Looked That Night  PV Alaric 

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Turning the handle, Hjørdis pushed open the door and stepped inside after being invited in, "Professor Equinox, evening, may I bother you if you had a few moments?" She greeted him as she entered, keeping things a little polite. They had not actually become close over the months that he was here - mostly due to the lack of time, rather than anything else. Equinox was one of the few people she actually had respect for, after the whole incident with Mister Deathmote during the halloween disaster. Assuming he said it was fine, she would close the door behind her and enter.

Her eyes scanned the room. She had not actually been there before. It was rather stunning, far nicer than her own office, to be honest. Hers was very... practical. But it lacked personality. The sheer amount of books around this room made her rather happy to see, to be honest. And the soft shades of blue, the large amounts of light, they were all very easy on the eyes. It kind of inspired her to decorate her own office a little but she also did not want to. Her office matched her personality well. It was rather private, like she was. There were a few items dotted around that told a story about her personality or history but that was far more than she had ever imagined putting in there.

In all honesty, when she first started, there was no personal books on the bookshelf, no open displays of her tea collection, no shelf full of personal items. There was not even a cat or the bed in the corner. It was a very hollow shell of a room, with the bare minimum. No one had complained about it but in the past year and a half, she started adding more things to it. Personal items. It was actually very telling of her personality and the changes she was going through. Hjørdis was opening up, whether or not she believed that.

Not wanting to bother him too much, she made her way over to the desk as she took in the appearance of the room. His desk was a little messy but it was simply due to parchment. That was a mess that she understood far too well. There were a lot of things to read on her desk constantly in the recent times. It was irritating but also necessary. At least Alaric's desk showed no signs of being unclean. She could tolerate a slightly messy desk due to working hard. She could not tolerate grossness. Luckily, Alaric was not one of those people from the looks of it.

She sat down opposite his desk, "I hope you got my letter?" She asked, unsure of how to actually approach the whole thing. In reality, what she was doing was a little uncharacteristic of her. It was the sort of thing she normally did anonymously or a bit more privately, rather than openly. But she figured that sending him random gifts anonymously would probably freak him out a little or make him highly suspicious. She would definitely not keep anything sent anonymously.

Hjørdis pulled out a box from the top of the bag and placed it on the desk. She rested the bag by the leg of her chair, "Oh, also, I brought some lemon drizzle cake - and tea, if you would like some?" She asked, offering the two. The box on the desk contained cake. It was a lemon drizzle cake, but she had honestly no idea what his preference was. The tea was still in her bag, she decided not to take it out unless he accepted. He likely had his own choice of drinks in his office. Most people seemed to, anyway, "And... Jeger, who seems curious about your office. I hope you don't mind." She added as she glanced back to the Bengal cat.

Jeger had followed her in, but immediately started to look around the new office. He could be seen staring at one of the bookcases, looking it up and down before walking underneath one of the armchairs. His movements were slow but he looked around quite a bit, clearly curious about the new environment. Though he had learned to not touch things after Hjørdis scolded him a few times - mostly because he was trying to touch a boiling hot cauldron whilst she was brewing potions.

Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects, and discovering other people's weaknesses.

The Way You Looked That Night  PV Alaric 

“Please, you can call me Alaric. I do not see much use in formalities here.” Normally he would get a typical American response to something like that except for the fact that he did use formalities when they were necessary and sometimes when they were not, but he felt here between two people who have worked in together for almost a year there didn’t need to be. He neatly stacked up his papers, making room on his desk for her to set her things down if she so desired.

If she looked around more, she would be able to notice the bronze perch next to his desk, which typically held his great white owl, Zurie. Near the fireplace on the other side of the room was a small antique table that held his tea set and an assortment of tea tins. On top of the mantle were two photos, each of a woman who looked drastically different. One looked more like Alaric with her red eyes but hair white as the driven snow and pale skin to match. The other woman had long, curly, raven hair with each eye a different color. The woman's left eye a honey brown and her right ice blue. A crystal lead vase filled with chrysanthemums sat on the outer side of the dhampir woman’s photo and a matching vase filled with red carnations sat by the human woman's photo, both garnished with baby’s breath. They would look fresh as if they were replaced every couple of days.

Behind him, there were a few astronomy curios, a box of 40 different metallic inks, and a few fancy quills on display. Though the one on his desk that he had been using looked like it was hand made from a black feather. Nora asked about her letter, and he internally sighed, knowing he had forgotten to do something. “I did, I am terribly sorry that I have not responded yet. Things have just been… crazy, to say the least. Unfortunately, I have not heard from Mr. Deathmote again, but I also have not heard anything bad either. So I suppose no news is good news.” He hoped anyway, but this was Hogwarts after all, and nothing was for certain ever. “I would adore some tea and cakes. I have not eaten real food yet today.”

She mentioned Jager, and his eyes immediately saw the little kitten slowly poking his way around the office, and it brought a genuine smile to the man’s face. “Oh my not at all. He is too adorable! He can poke around where ever he pleases. There is nothing he can reach that could harm him here. I am sure Zurie will make her appearance at some point, but she won’t give him any trouble. A fright maybe but she won’t attack him. So, what do I owe the pleasure of your company?”
He had a feeling there was more than just her letter that brought her all the way up the west tower from the dungeons.

✴Astronomy, as nothing else can do, teaches men humility ✴
Sta|9| Eva|20| Str|20| Wis| 2 | Arc| 2 | Acc|12|

The Way You Looked That Night  PV Alaric 

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Hjørdis nodded, "Very well, Alaric it is," She accepted the invitation to call him Alaric, seeing no reason to disagree. Here, there were no students. It was not really required for her to be so formal. She noticed the photos, silently wondering who the two women were. One could easily be his mother, or a close relative, based on the similarities. It was rather nice to see photos of his loved ones around. It added a personal touch to the whole office. That was the main thing her own office lacked. There were no photos. There would never be any photos. Her private life was kept that way. But it made her office lack a personal feel.

She shook her head at his words, feeling there was no need to respond to the letter in the first place. They had all been very busy as of late. They were all taking on extra responsibilities, doing additional tasks on top of their every day work. Things were getting busier on a daily basis and the constant threats that existed did not help the situation. Hjørdis was rather pleased to hear that there was no news. For the first time, no news was most likely good news, indeed. Recently, news was always bad. It was exhausting. She was finally learning to appreciate the calm, the quiet and the silence again. The lack of chaos was pleasant. "No need to apologise," She replied, waving it off with a small smile on her face to show she was completely fine without a response.

Her eyebrow quirked a little as he mentioned the lack of food. If only she knew that earlier... Next time, she was showing up with a proper meal. A full meal, not just cake or tea. ". . . Alaric . . ." Her tone of voice clearly serious as though she was sending him a warning. Her eyes narrowed at him to show that she was clearly not impressed. Time might be short, yes. But nutrition was very important. Without proper food, everything else became so much harder, "Perhaps we should move this to the kitchens instead then..." She wondered out aloud, more to herself to be honest, kind of regretting that she had not anticipated this moment and brought food in advance.

She paused for a moment, wondering if they could move before they ate cake. But food would take a while to prepare. She pulled out a tin of loose leaf tea, as well as some equipment she had brought along - such as a teapot. Opening the teapot, she poured water from a water bottle into it and set it to boil with a flick of her finger. As her mind wondered about the concept of feeding the man in front of her, she prepared the tea and opened the box of cake, placing a small knife on the table too so he could cut himself a piece.

Glancing over her shoulder, she shot a look at Jeger. He was sniffing the curtains, poking his head behind it to see if there was anything there. "Oh? I think he might need a little scare. He's been getting too curious, too bold and far too adventurous lately!" Hjørdis replied, half jokingly. She was slightly worried that someone would leave the door open, he would leave her office one day and venture down into the dungeons, getting hurt. But so could a student. Jeger was, however, taking after the younger version of herself. She recognised his qualities. Perhaps she would take him travelling next time she had a day off.

Snapping her attention back to the Head of Ravenclaw, ah yes. The reason she was here. Ahem. She cleared her mind as she glanced at him, trying to focus on the situation at hand. It was slightly an awkward one. Hjørdis was a strange lady. The weirdest things made her awkward. Being nice made her awkward. Actually reaching out to someone, attempting to see if they were okay and bringing up such an important - and personal - conversation was awkward for her. "Well... It's a little overdue but I found a few things that... I think might be good for you? Call them recommendations, I guess. Or tips. You don't have to use them, by any means but I found them and thought of you so... I thought I'd bring them..." She explained, rambling a little more than she usually would to explain the awkward situation.

Oh right. She forgot to actually explain what she was even talking about. Good job, Hjørdis. An absolute genius. "Makeup, that is." Yes. Smooth. So smooth. Why did she even bother to talk to people? Why was it far easier to just be rude with people than to actually be nice?

Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects, and discovering other people's weaknesses.

The Way You Looked That Night  PV Alaric 

Alaric waved her off when she suggested going to the kitchens “No, no. I planned on getting one of the elves to get me some meatloaf sandwiches and fruit later. Consider this a nice snack with a friend.” Friend may have been a bit of a strong word considering they hardly knew one another, but the dhampir used it none the less. While Caradoc and Artemis were his actual best friends, he could easily see Nora being adopted into the fold, at least on his end, since he didn’t know her relationship with the rest of their colleagues.

With a loud fluttering of wings, a great white owl appeared in the window above Jager. Her yellow eyes looking down at him curiously, almost as if deciding if the small kitten was friend or food. “Zurie, Jager is a guest, and you will treat him as such because I won’t stop whatever wrath follows if you don’t.” The warning to the owl was clear as day if Zurie killed her cat; he was not going to stop Nora from exacting revenge. Zurie looked at Alaric and seemed to give him an “I do what I want” hoot before her eyes settled on Nora. “Warning or not, I do assure you, your little one is fine. She just likes to be sassy. I’m sure if I could acquire a crown that would stay on her head, she would wear it every day.”

He chuckled softly, returning his attention to Nora fully confident the owl would not harm her kitten. His eyes landed on the cake and lit up with a smile. He would pick up the knife and cut both himself and Nora a piece of cake rough the same size, offering her a slice first before acquiring his own as she started to answer his question about why she was here.

“Oh, Lovely! When I was back home in Vermont, it didn’t rain as much as it does here, and I’ve meant to look for a sealant or some other foundation to combat the weather. Unfortunately, time has just not been on my side. So I am more than happy for your recommendations. I’m sure Victoria would love them as well. It's really thoughtful of you.” He nonchalantly brought up his caretaker as if he was used to speaking about her so candidly. It was true; most conversations he usually had were with his friends, so it completely slipped his mind that she would have no idea who the woman was at all.

✴Astronomy, as nothing else can do, teaches men humility ✴
Sta|9| Eva|20| Str|20| Wis| 2 | Arc| 2 | Acc|12|

The Way You Looked That Night  PV Alaric 

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She frowned a little, not quite liking the idea that the head of Ravenclaw would postpone his meal until later. However, since he insisted, she made no objections. Mostly because they did not know each other well enough for her to object or force him to go get food now. He was old enough to make the decision for himself - and likely smart enough, though that was based entirely on a short time of knowing him. Hjørdis blinked a little at the use of friend. They barely knew each other. It was still odd for her to actually call him Alaric. The use of someone's first name often took her a little while to get used to. She would do it out of politeness, when they requested her to do so, but it did not come easily without a bit of practice. Call it a force of habit. However, she made no comment on it, simply nodding in return to his words. "Very well then," She replied, passing over the friend comment.

Whilst she did not know him well enough to consider him a friend, he somehow was still one of the few people she actually respected in the school. This was not something he gained by sheer position but rather from their brief encounter and the overall attitude he seemed to have. Hjørdis would not mind getting to know him better - which was most certainly the reason she had wound up here in the first place.

Her silvery blue eyes fell on the sound of the newest entrant of the room. A beautiful great white owl, perched at the window. The bird was certainly larger than the bengal in size, without even spreading her large wings. Hjørdis watched them carefully, listening to Alaric's warnings. She was partially curious to see how the owl - Zurie, from the sounds of it - responded to the man's words. The reaction sometimes told you about their relationship. But she was also watching for Jeger's own safety. He did need to learn how to stop being so curious but she did not actually want him to get hurt. Glancing back towards the rather handsome fellow in front of her when he spoke, she laughed softly - slightly relieved by his words, "She sounds like my kind of woman," Hjørdis replied.

With a nod, she accepted the offer of cake and graciously thanked him as she picked up one of clean forks from the box too. Despite her awkward response, the man seemed to be pleased to hear it. She blinked as she listened to him, suddenly learning a lot more information than she had anticipated to learn. He was far more open than she was used to. Then again, she knew Caradoc... People who rambled out so much information was something she ought to be used to by now. It was still a little unexpected, however. "Victoria...?" She asked, wondering if she missed who Victoria was. Zurie was his owl. Victoria was... his sister? His mother? His partner? Hjørdis had no idea.

She nodded before rooting through the bag, "I am sure we can find some foundation in here or some more waterproof make up," She offered as she pulled out a box of different products and placed them on the table between them so he could rummage through too, "These are the ones I tend to use for daily wear," Hjørdis explained. A lot of her products were aimed at things she could use daily or would last all day so there was bound to be things in there that would work for him too.

His complexion was likely different to her own, however, so she was not sure if they would be able to get the exact colour he required from there. But they could find a product he liked and then buy that product in the right shade when they worked out what he wanted. "Ah, this spray might also work..." She mumbled, more to herself as she sound a setting spray in the kit that could be used over the make up to help it to last longer.

Hjørdis took a bite of the cake before busying herself in checking the different products and putting aside a few that might work. For the base, there was some primers, concealers, foundations, moisturisers that she used.

Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects, and discovering other people's weaknesses.