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Steady as she goes

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#1 Linus Paddock

Linus Paddock

    Gryffindor 5th Year

  • Gryffindor Prefect
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  • Wizard Points:113

Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:26 AM

Following an extremely eventful Sorting Night where he had been at the mercy of this maniacal moving castle, Linus was not eager to tempt fate. For the remainder of the week, he traveled with herds of his classmates, sometimes even with those outside his year. He wagered that Hogwarts itself had a vendetta against him, that it wanted nothing more than to lead him astray at every opportunity. He thought that traveling in numbers would minimize these chances, while likely also giving him the advantage of being the fastest runner in most groups of students on the chance he needed to escape a crumbling hallway or a living suit of armor. 

 

But somehow he found himself in a classroom he had never seen before. 

 

"Damnit," he echoed into the empty room, dusty chairs and tables the only thing breaking up the space.

 

In truth, though, Linus was somewhat glad to be lost. These new Prefect duties were keeping him up longer these nights, all while he and Altair were busy trying to set up Quidditch tryouts. It had already been the busiest first week of term that he had ever experienced, so maybe traveling off the beaten path was exactly what he needed. Stepping over to one of the chairs, he shifted his wand and with a word polished it off. Taking a seat, he pulled his bag out and reached in till he felt the hard plastic of his camera.

 

Holding it up to eye level, he noticed that it, too, had accumulated a little dust. It had certainly been a while since he had taken it out throughout the grounds, but he was suddenly struck by an idea.

 

What if I took pictures around the castle? As a way to maybe... orient myself? Keep track of things?

 

It had never honestly occurred to him before, and he quickly set about making sure his camera had the proper settings in place and, more importantly, that it had film. Fixing his eye on the viewing piece, he propped his elbows up on the desk for stability. Moving from corner to corner of the room, he started clicking and adjust the focus in turn, trying to ensure that it didn't need any more tuning. But as he set his sights on the door he had come through, it swung open at the very moment his finger depressed on the shutter button, capturing the surprised expression of the person who'd just entered.

 

"Oh, uh, hi!"



#2 Columbia Greybridge

Columbia Greybridge

    Gryffindor

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:50 PM

Columbia was exhausted after staying up late joking around in the common room the previous night, and so, after her first class of the day, she decided to duck into one of Hogwarts' dusty empty classrooms, put her head on a desk, and nap away the rest of the afternoon. It would be quieter than the girl's dormitories, certainly, at this time of day. 

 

But as soon as she opened the door, she saw that the classroom wasn't so empty after all.

 

"What are you doing in here?" Columbia said immediately, her eyes flashing instantly to Linus's prefect badge. "I mean, should I not be in here? Is there a prefect... thing... going on?"

 

Linus surely was only a year older than her, but somehow the prefect badge changed things, and turned him into an authority figure. And Columbia was too pooped to deal with that at the moment. "Uh... I'll go..." she said, backing up. Then she stopped. "Oh, um. I didn't look too ugly in that picture, did I?" She hadn't posed or anything.



#3 Linus Paddock

Linus Paddock

    Gryffindor 5th Year

  • Gryffindor Prefect
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  • Wizard Points:113

Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:34 PM

"No, no, nothing like that. I was just..."

 

Stopping short after realizing who had just entered, Linus' shock wore off quickly. Columbia was from the year below his, just like Kaelyn and Briar. He didn't know know her personally, but he'd seen her around a few times in the Commons, or even around Kaelyn and her brood. He typically tried to steer clear of Kaelyn and all the rumors that swirled around her and hers, but somehow he had still gotten caught up with Briar.

 

Columbia seemed reasonable enough, and Linus hadn't even considered that it might look odd for a prefect to be hanging out in an empty classroom all alone. This new notoriety was like living in a new skin, one where people recognized you for accomplishments that were largely unearned. But Linus was beginning to learn that modesty wasn't his strong suit. 

 

"Oh, um, no. Not too ugly. I mean, you know. Not that ugly. Er, you looked fine. You looked good. But not too good! You looked... okay?"

 

And neither was polite conversation, it seemed.



#4 Columbia Greybridge

Columbia Greybridge

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:50 PM

Columbia tried to take that bizarre insult/compliment hybrid in.

"Well, I guess they can't all be good," she said, sighing. The boy's discomfort made Columbia uncomfortable too, and it struck her that if she left now, this prefect might think she was rude. Not that politeness was necessarily HIS strong suit, but...

"Do you like taking photos then?" Columbia asked, approaching him, looking at his camera. "I used to on my phone, when my parents lived in a Muggle town... but I'm not even sure I'd know how to use a real camera like that. So are you just waiting for people to come in so you can take pictures of them looking surprised?" That sounded kind of perverse, Columbia thought.

#5 Linus Paddock

Linus Paddock

    Gryffindor 5th Year

  • Gryffindor Prefect
  • 466 posts
  • Quidditch Points:440
  • Wizard Points:113

Posted 12 January 2017 - 11:07 PM

"No that's not what I mean, I swear..."

 

Linus stood up as Columbia looked like she was about to leave. But then she didn't, which was even more surprising. He was so used to hurling insults at Kaelyn that speaking to any person of the female persuasion could suddenly prove to be challenging. Hopefully he'd salvaged it as best he could, though. No sense making even more bad impressions whilst wearing the badge.

 

"Um, I guess you could say that. Haven't used it in ages, though. I was just, uh, how do I put this..."

 

Holding the camera in his hands, his gripped knotted against the worn leather, finding the metal frame cold to the touch. In trying to find his words, he most certainly looked foolish, almost pitiful. But that wasn't really the case. Not really.

 

"Well, you may have heard, I suppose. Sorting Night I was meant to lead the firsties on a tour with Darcy, yea? But I'm rubbish at getting from place to place in the castle and got lost. That's how I ended up here, actually? So I don't know, I just thought that maybe I'd take pictures of the castle and try to map it out. So I don't get lost anymore."

 

Okay, maybe he was pitiful.



#6 Columbia Greybridge

Columbia Greybridge

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 06:43 PM

Linus seemed embarrassed—shaken, even. For the first time, Columbia considered that being a prefect must have been kind of weird. Some people were natural leaders—for a time, Columbia had been one of them. But most people found a position of authority a difficult mantle to wear.

 

"I hadn't heard about the tour," Columbia admitted. "But it's not a big deal. No one really knows how to get around this place. It's magic, innit? You did the firsties a favor to show them that."

 

It had been a while since Columbia had attempted to cheer someone up, or do something actually nice for them. The realization made her feel weird, uncomfortable in her own body.

 

"Hey, um," Columbia said. "Can I try taking a picture?"



#7 Linus Paddock

Linus Paddock

    Gryffindor 5th Year

  • Gryffindor Prefect
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  • Quidditch Points:440
  • Wizard Points:113

Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:46 AM

Rather than confirming all that confidence that he had built up last year, the Prefect Badge seemed to do little else than make Linus question his credentials. In the back of his head his drew images of Professor Fjord speaking with Headmistress Flamel (a woman who certainly did not hold the Paddock name in much regard), and how that conversation went:

 

Fjord - "As it is written in the stars, Linus is a good choice for Prefect."

 

Flamel - "Blast you and your stars Kirsei, he's a fool and a louse, just like his father."

 

Fjord - "Well, he seems... to have a pulse?"

 

Flamel - "I guess that will do."

 

But Linus had dealt with such crippling self-doubt before, and it had only taken three years to overcome, so he had some hope at least. But perhaps this was all a bit distracting from his fellow Gryffindor who was trying to be... nice.

 

"Oh, uh, sure. Just um, here."

 

Waving Columbia over, he slid the neck strap off his own and, with a nod of consent, hooked it gently around hers.

 

"So this is the view finder. It's like a frame, and everything within its view ends up in the picture. When you have an image you want to capture, you press the release shutter, like this..."







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