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      How to get sorted   05/13/2017

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Rowan Allard

hoping for the best just hoping nothing happens

15 posts in this topic

There was not a single place in the castle that could provide privacy. Not the common room, not the dorm rooms, and she refused to approach a bathroom on her own. Every place she found herself, she was bombarded with forlorn looks and quiet whispers. Yes, she'd been attacked - the new scar that ran the length of her right leg was the tell of that. That didn't mean she'd gone blind and deaf.

 

She'd given up her typical hiding spot - a quiet corner in the astronomy tower - in favor of somewhere closer to the ground with less possibilities of rouge birds: the library. Sure, Madam Carter probably wasn't too keen on her (or any of the first years) but it was the one place big enough that she could feel like the small fish in the big pond that she was.

 

A spot in the midst of the books about flowers and foliage was her new safe space. The old, worn, oak table she'd found a seat at had different things scratched into the top of it. Names, pictures, one very interesting 's'. She ran her finger over the indents, caught up in her own mind, thankful for the quiet the library provided.

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Fern wandered through the seemingly endless rows of books, tracing her fingers across the spines of them absent-mindedly. She found herself here somewhat often, but she wasn't always reading. In fact, she preferred to do most of her reading in the Ravenclaw common room, particularly in that one extra squishy chair under the windows. Usually when she was in the library, she was drawing or painting, or maybe doing an assignment or two (besides that one time half her year set howlers in here, that is) but usually not reading. There were plenty of long, usually empty tables this place had to offer that provided her plenty of space to spread out all of her art supplies.

 

Just because she wasn't here to read didn't mean she wasn't going to pick up some light reading first, though. The witch paused as a title caught her blue eyes, this one about flowers. Magical flowers? It seemed like they were always learning about dangerous plants, maybe she would actually learn about some that didn't have negativity associated with them. Judging by the stack of books in her arms, Fern figured that was probably enough for today. She hummed to herself as she rounded the corner, thinking about how much she missed her laptop and listening to music, and just the internet in general. Art was always a hobby of hers, but even more so now that she didn't have the technology she had grown up with.

 

As she rounded the corner, she was surprised to see someone was already sitting at the table.The brunette paused for a moment, before shrugging and walking towards the table anyways. Carrying an armload of books while trying to balance a bag across the library didn't sound like a good idea, from experience. She stepped closer and realized the 'someone' was Rowan. They'd first met in Diagon Alley this summer and the Puff wasn't phased in the slightest when Fern dropped her ink and it splattered all over her tights. She didn't see her as much now that they were at Hogwarts since they dwelled in literal opposite ends of the castle, but Rowan was always so lovely towards her. Fern had head whispers about how she'd gotten hurt when the Death Eaters attacked the castle and couldn't blame the girl for wanting peace and quiet.

 

"Hey, Rowan.." she started in airy voice. "Mind if I join you? I'll leave you be if you'd like, I'm just looking to draw or paint.." a tube of paint fell out of her overflowing bag onto the table on cue. Maybe one day she would stop overfilling her bag but today was apparently not the day.

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There was an expectation that there would be other students in the library; it was seldom empty - save for when it was closed for the night. There was also an expectation that said students would leave her be. It was a rule, after all, that there was no talking in the library. Or at least no talking above a whisper, but she was not going to argue semantics.

 

She was half gone, lost in a day dream, when Fern approached. The sudden loud noise created by her books smacking the table cause Rowan to jump, and shocked her out of her thoughts. Not that she minded the interruption as her mind had been a chaotic and hazardous place to be recently. There had been a moment where Rowan had been ready to yell at whoever had decided to startle her, but upon recognizing the face that accompanied the noise she stopped.

 

"Hi Fern." She spoke just above a whisper, giving her fellow first year a friendly smile (something that had been very sparse recently), "Of course I don't mind. The table is big enough for the both of us." Honestly, she welcomed the distraction. While she wanted to get away from everyone, she did not want to be alone. It was a conundrum where she didn't like the attention brought with crowd but feared her thoughts when left to her own devices. Having a friendly face nearby would be a nice way to satisfy needing space and needing a helping hand. "I didn't know you painted."

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She smiled back at Rowan and set her stack of books down on the table with a dull thud, then swung her bag off of her shoulders, being careful not to let anything else fall out again. The last thing she needed right now was a tube of paint to spill or something, she was about to make her own mess as it was. She started unpacking her supplies and responded to the badger in a soft voice, "I've always loved art, especially painting. I like to draw too.." her voice trailed off as she got distracted by the parchment she was pulling out of her bag, being careful to not bend it.

 

She scanned her workspace in front of her- paints, brushes and cleanser, pencils, quills. She pulled out a glitter ink and color changing ink- now that she thought about it, she had picked up this ink with Row their first encounter. Fern still thought the color-changing one suited her well. ".. I feel like ever since I've been at Hogwarts I've been making art more than ever though." she finished her initial thought. Her eyes found the other witch's and she raised her eye brows and motioned to the art supplies in front of them. "You're welcome to join, if you'd like."

 

It was true that the Ravenclaw had always been a creative one, but before she came to Hogwarts she mostly made her art at school in class, and only sometimes at home, mostly when the mood struck. At home she had television, and internet, and a laptop. She could watch videos and interact with people and to be honest the muggleborn never really realized how much of her time she was using technology of some sort. It would be a lie to say she didn't miss it- who wouldn't? She was convinced that being muggleborn might just be the best of both worlds because you got all the cool stuff like internet but also all the magical perks of being a witch. Here it was as if she stepped into medieval times, which was cool but also.. well, dare she say, at a place with just so much to do.. boring sometimes?

 

"To be honest, I used to spend alot of time on the internet back at home, but now that I'm here this is kind of turning into my thing.." she admitted to Rowan, unsure of whether she even knew what the internet was.

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Drawing had been a passion of Rowan's as well; not that she had ever expressed that to anyone save Fe Fletwock who had dashed her hopes and dreams with a simple horse sketch. She watched Fern unpack her items; each one had been well loved, you could tell from the flecks of paint left on the brushes and the indents in the tubes. She gently ran a finger over one of the ink bottles - she'd remembered this one from when they bought it together back in Diagon Alley. Was it the same one or did it just look like the same one?

 

Fern's offer was an enticing one; there was something about the kindness of others that always made things a little bit easier to deal with. She was all kindness - all light and easy in ways that Rowan missed feeling on a more consistent basis. It was nice to be here with Fern, to not be asked about what had happened; to be able to forget everything for a brief moment.

 

She was in the midst of looking over the items, trying to decide if she wanted to draw something or if she just wanted to watch Fern and her process, when the other girl brought up the internet. She froze, shocked that someone else remembered that there were actual things outside of Hogwarts. She felt like she'd been taking crazy pills with all these people who acted like cellphones weren't a thing.

 

"You know what I really miss," She asked, pulling her feet up underneath her, "Food network."

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Fern selected a few tubes of paint to dab onto her palette and ran her fingers across the variety of brushes, deciding which one would be just perfect today. She glanced up at Rowan again to see her making herself more comfortable and mentioned Food Network. Relief filled her; it was comforting to finally meet someone who missed the Muggle technology too. Sure, she'd met other muggleborns, but it was as if the older they got the less they cared about that kinda stuff. Would they end up that way too, as they got older and more immersed into Hogwarts?

 

"My mum used to have that channel on constantly!" she exclaimed. For as long as she could remember cooking shows were often on the telly at the Blackburn household. "My mum is a baker, and her parents were too. So they're kind of obsessed with food and cooking." she explained as she dabbed her paint brush into the black and adding a dot of it to the green, making her own custom shade, concentrating on the task before her for a moment. The silence between the two witches was a comfortable one, peaceful, rather than awkward. "I miss it too." she said quietly. No one ever told her how hard it would be, being away from her family and everything she knew. She was convinced coming to Hogwarts was much easier for those that weren't muggleborn, it just had to be.

 

She hummed to herself for a moment, as she stroked the dark, foresty green on the yellow parchment, frowning at how the paper made the shade appear darker than she'd wanted. It was even hard getting used to this old fashioned, not-white paper. "You know what else I miss?" she piped up enthusiastically. "Youtube."

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Reminiscing about her life B.M (before magic) was something that she'd seldom found herself doing. Rowan had relished in the relief that came with leaving Brighton behind her. She had very few good memories there and the only people who had ever been kind to her - Lydia and Ollie - were coming with her. Sometimes on warm days when a breeze blew off the lake she found herself missing the boardwalk and the beach. People had spoken of missing their parents, about writing letters to them weekly to talk of their exploits at school; that felt like a foreign concept to her.

 

She pushed thoughts of her home from her mind, focusing instead on what Fern was doing. Row had never been very good at any art that required substantial focus. It was why she only drew - you didn't have to stare too long at your subject, and if you were lucky a poorly sketched portrait could be done in less than ten minutes. Actual painting took so much longer. Mixing colours, priming the canvas. It was an intricate process. Watching someone else do it was calming; it made the small hairs on the back of her neck bristle as it sent a chill down her spine.

 

She was entranced with the green being mixed when a word pulled her back into reality. Youtube. She slumped her shoulders, heaving a heavy sigh. "I don't even want to think about all the viral videos I've missed," She exclaimed. "If there is a new cat video I've missed I'll never forgive myself."

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She should have just brought her water colors instead. That style of painting was meant to be abstract and if the color didn't come out exactly how she expected it was okay, but acrylic on the other hand.. She added a dot of white to lighten up the shade she was using when Rowan sighed before mentioning viral videos. Viral videos, how could she have forgotten so quickly? Maybe she didn't miss technology as much as she thought, or maybe she was just getting used to it. Either way, she knew that her little brother Harvey would bring her back to speed when she was home next week.

 

"Viral videos! Isn't it funny how those go in waves, they're huge for a bit then completely irrelevant again?" she asked as she tested out the new shade of green. Much better. "And here, it seems like everything stays the same.. forever." She stroked her brush across the parchment again, making abstract lines that would eventually be something.. eventually.

The comfortable silence fell over the table again for a few moments and Fern got lost in her thoughts again, for the first time, really thinking in-depth about her life. Or two different lives, depending on how you looked at it. "Except some of these videos are like fifty years old and they're still huge" she added after a few minutes, unaware if her comment was even relevant again. She caught Rowan's eye and motioned to the art supplies once more, offering to share them once again if she was up to it.

 

"You think Hogwarts will ever allow internet here? It's like, been around forever now in the Muggle world!" the answer was probably no. Maybe life would be easier to have some muggle amenities here, maybe it wouldn't. Fern was starting to realize maybe the reason she'd had a hard time adjusting was because she felt like she didn't really belong in either world, maybe. She was always kind of dreamy and quirky and had a few close friends before Hogwarts, and now that she was here she felt like she had even less friends. Like she was the outsider of some big joke and didn't get the punchline. Sometimes she felt like she was the only muggleborn in this entire castle. Her blue eyes shifted towards Rowan again and she felt grateful to have run into her today, not realizing that maybe she had needed the simple company just as much.


Edited by Fern Blackburn

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The second offer of art supplies was all Rowan needed to happily grab at the pencils. She still wasn't confident enough in her skill to work in something as concrete as paint - she'd end up with more on her than on whatever surface she decided to mark on. She slid a piece of white printer paper out of her bag. It was a bit bent up on the corners, but not too badly damaged. Bringing "muggle" school supplies with her had been one of the best decisions she'd ever made; how people used quills she'd never know.

 

She tapped one of the pencils lightly against her chin as she contemplated what to draw, letting Fern's words sink in. There was a comfort in the fact that someone shared her longing; apparently you didn't know what you had until it was gone. All those nail art videos and toy reviews she'd taken for granted. Never again. Or at least not until she got caught up on all those videos she'd missed out on.

 

"I think they are worried about security or something." She made sure to add an extra touch of sarcasm to the word security. Rowan had come to the conclusion that the wizard committee that ran Hogwarts was apparently afraid that the students would divulge the school's secrets via snapchat. Apparently they were too busy worrying about that to actually worry about the real threats to the school like death eaters who decided to show up and maim children on a whim.

 

"I would live to be able to see any video though. Even to get Rick Rolled." Her voice was thick with a daydream-esque quality; she was running through her head all the things she'd missed out on. There had probably been a whole other series of The Great British Bake Off she'd missed. She stared down at her blank paper, sighing quietly as she placed the pencil to it and proceeded to begin drawing a cake. Art therapy was truly needed at this moment.

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Fern snorted at Rowan's comment about security. Neither of them needed to confirm out loud what the Hufflepuff meant by that comment. The school can just be infiltrated by Death Eaters, but they can't have internet. The Ravenclaw wondered if whoever was in charge of this decision knew that you can have internet and censor some things. Her muggle school did it. Like, maybe compromise and no cell phones, but laptops are allowed and only certain sites can be accessed. As long as youtube is one of them. The brunette smiled at the thought of how purebloods would react to such things, remembering how Selena had never even heard of a cell phone before and they were e v e r y w h e r e.

 

She swirled her paintbrush upwards, the outwards, creating a geometrical kind of design, inspired by the succulents she kept in her window at home. Rick Rolled. Fern's ears perked up by that comment, something she had almost forgotten about by now.. almost. Rick Rolling was one of those things that never seemed to quite go away. Even Fern's mum used to Rick Roll her mates when she was her age. Yet she had a feeling that despite its fame, her peers who come from wizarding homes had never been Rick Rolled before.

 

Fern's blue eyes shifted over to Rowan. "Hey Row, what's the opposite of 'always?' she asked lightheartedly, her eyes sparkling. This was the oldest trick in the book- she was certain her muggleborn friend would also catch on.

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Gosh, how nice would it be to be able to Skype with her nan out on the grounds. Or to show Sonny those cute cat videos she'd been collecting over the week before school had official began. Also, having new knitting patterns for Lydia would provide her grump of a friend with something else to occupy her time than the ribbing she'd been doing recently - like Rowan really wanted a cable knit jumper, okay!

 

Fern's comment made her giggle; she had to cover her mouth with her free hand to keep from being too loud. Was her friend honestly trying to prompt her to do her best Rick impression, because Rowan would happily oblige. Plus, the librarian really needed to have another reason to not like her.

 

"I have to tell you something, Fern." She responded, dramatically sitting down her pencil, "I am no stranger to love."

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She was glad Rowan caught on to her reference, but to be honest, growing up in the muggle world and getting rick rolled like a million times, it was probably hard to miss it. But when the Hufflepuff stated she had to tell her something, Fern's smile vanished and she looked at her inquisitively, pausing her brushstrokes. She was empathetic and also maybe a bit gullible, because Row had her worried for a second.. until she opened her mouth again. She giggled at her statement, also trying to keep her voice down. She'd managed to fly under the radar since the howler incident and the last thing she needed was Madam Carter shooing her out of her quiet art space.

 

Two could play at this game, though. "Well, Rowan." she grinned, looking back down at her parchment and casually filling in the plant she was painting. "You know the rules then, and so do I." She sang the last three words in the tune of the song. Thank goodness music didn't sound like this anymore- the Ravenclaw had no idea how her gran actually enjoyed this kind of stuff in her time, it was just too ridiculous. Really though, if only cameras of some sort were allowed in Hogwarts.. they would have the funniest Rick Roll video of all time, because her peers might be the only people alive who hadn't been victims of the prank.

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It was impossible to contain the giggle that bubbled up inside of her at Fern's rendition of the song. It had been so long since she'd heard anything that reminded her so much of her muggle life. Next thing you know they'd be re-enacting Big Brother or holding their very own Euro-vision. She had small, sad pangs in her chest but they were greatly overshadowed by the unbridled joy being with someone who got it.

 

She retrieved her pencil from the table and had continued her terrible sketch - why was it so dang hard make icing look cool in graphite? Man, cake would be really good right now. She glanced over at the Fern's painting and then towards the front of the library where the evil librarian sat. Honestly, kicking kids out for having fun, how lame.

 

Then it clicked in her brain. "Fern. Howlers." She said, reaching across the table with her free hand to grab the other girl's arm.

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Fern was grateful for this moment, to feel like she was back at home, even for just a second. It'd been tough adjusting to life at Hogwarts (fun, exciting.. sure, but also tough) and she felt like she fit in now more than ever. It was like it was taboo to mention you were muggleborn or something, so the Ravenclaw had gotten used to just not talking too much about her old life.

 

She started to mix shades of blues and teals on her palette now, humming the rhythm to the song blissfully. She knew it would be stuck in her head for like, a week now, but the first year figured it was a fair trade for a good afternoon. She wondered if there was such a thing as colour changing paint, since there was colour changing ink. Would that be carried at Flourish & Blotts? If there was a magical art supply store in Diagon Alley, Fern would kick herself for overlooking it. Maybe Rowan would know?

Fern didn't even jump when she felt a sudden hand on her arm. She looked across the table at the Hufflepuff, her blue eyes sparkling. Howlers. That Rick Roll'd people. She set her paintbrush down, completely uninterested in her art for the time being. "You know," she started, a grin on her face. "That's the best idea I'ver heard all day. No wait.. all week!" Where did Ollie get all those howlers at the beginning of term, anyways, though?

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Having someone who understood her was important. She would not have pegged Fern as that person the first time they met in Diagon Alley. It had seemed like a fleeting moment between the two. This interaction was showing her that perhaps it was, in fact, something more. Maybe they were like destined to meet specifically to introduce Rick Rolling to the wizard world.

 

The sparkle in Fern's eyes probably matched the shine in Rowan's. Mirror images of each other; partners in crime. Wait, not crime. Partners in... memes? Maybe? She would could up with a name for it later. Right now all that mattered was setting the situation in motion. Had she been talking to Ollie, she would have asked her where to get howlers. Now, she had to actually do proper research.

 

"If I get them over break, do you think we could do it at the start of term?" She asked, finally releasing Fern's arm from her grip.

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