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Kaelyn Paddock

If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together

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Kaelyn Paddock

Kaelyn’s final year at Hogwarts was already off to a busy start, with her professors talking NEWTs and piling homework on them like they were set to write exams next week, but between the busyness and commotion, she still managed to find time for her new mentee.  The seventh year hadn’t gotten to know Kelby yet, other than finding out they were paired together, and hoped that would change after a nice picnic together by the lake.

 

The house elves had, as usual, generously provided her with all that she would need: sandwiches with the crusts cut off, sectioned off into tidy triangles; trays of fruit, cheese and delicious-looking cured meats; and bottles of butterbeer that clinked together merrily as Kaelyn set down the basket.  She threw a blanket down over a patch of grass and laid the spread out, glad to see some of the the warmer weather from the summer had decided to spill over into September. 

 

When she saw Kelby in the distance, Kaelyn put up an arm and waved.  “Oy, Kelby!  Over here!”

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Kelby Matos

Kelby was not too sure what the point of mentoring was, but when she watched the rest of her class sign up, she followed suit because it was the ‘proper thing to do’. The first year had been to a number of schools in her life, but she had never had someone appointed to guide her in all things. She usually received a tour, much like the one Ava gave her on sorting night, but that was pretty much the extent of the welcoming committee she received at each new place; the fact she needed a mentor to introduce her to Hogwarts baffled her.

Kelby wandered out to the lake as she was instructed for her mentor meeting when she heard her name being called in the distance. Walking towards it, she found her mentor, a delicious selection of treats, and a blanket on the ground? She didn’t even say hello before she began vocalizing her thoughts on the entire set up. “Uh, are you just sitting on the ground?” The first years’ eyes widened as she noted how thin the blanket and how little shield it would provide from the dirt and bugs that existed underneath it. “That’s…. gross. Can we do something else for this meeting?“

All she could imagine was the germs crawling over the food she was about to eat. Kelby didn’t mean to ruin all of Kaelyn’s plans, but she would not be able to participate in a picnic when there wasn’t ample sanitizer supplied.

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Kaelyn Paddock

Kaelyn had just been in the process of flouncing down on top of the blanket, legs tucked under her, when first Kelby spoke.  “Erm… yes?” She answered with a quizzical expression on her face, clearly not understanding at first why Kelby was asking that question - it was a picnic, picnics were supposed to take place on the ground, that was the whole point of one - when the first year clarified.

 

“That’s…. gross. Can we do something else for this meeting?“

 

“Oh,” replied Kaelyn, who had never thought of a picnic as gross before.  Fun, outdoorsy and even romantic were words that came to mind when describing a picnic, but not gross. Maybe Kelby just grew up in one of those homes where it was seen as barbaric to eat without a table and without multiple pieces of cutlery, who knew?  Kaelyn was just getting to know the girl, after all.

 

“Well, sure,” she said, deciding to be accommodating. This was her new mentee, and she did want the girl to like her.  “What do you want to do instead?  Maybe we can, um, fine a couple stumps in the forest to sit on instead?  Or… oh, I could try to conjure us a table instead?” 

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Kelby Matos

Kaelyn’s reaction to Kelby’s objection made the first year feel slightly bad, but she gave no explanation as to why she objected to the plan her mentor made for them. Every other person at Hogwarts who found out about her inane fear shamed her for it immediately, so she felt uncomfortable explaining to her mentor, who didn’t even know her, how much it affected her to be that close to the ground. Instead, she shrugged, helplessly, for she didn’t know how to handle the situation.

Maybe if she would have been more emotionally intelligent, she would not have gotten herself into the situations she did.

“No stumps,” the first year said quickly, eyes slightly wide at the suggestion and the idea how that would somehow be worse, much worse. “A table would be good, really good.” If Kelby would have been braver and said more, maybe she could have apologized and explained to Kaelyn that none of this was poor planning on her part. It was Kelby’s own quirks that led her to be this way, and those same quirks kept her from saying ‘I’m sorry’ like a normal person might have.

“The food looks good though,” she added when she felt awkward, as if the tension were thick, though it could have been her own nervous energy buzzing through the air.

Edited by Kelby Matos

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Kaelyn Paddock

“Okay, just... give me one sec,” Kaelyn agreed, and started pulling out her wand.  Fortunately conjuration spells were her specialty, although she hadn’t used them for anything as large as a table yet.  The question was what kind of table she should be conjuring up.  A picnic table came to mind, and they were simple enough, being made out of all one material and with a simple shape to the frame, but they were also big and chunky.  Maybe she should come up with something smaller...

 

The seventh year focused on mentally picturing of a small patio table, and when she could practically feel it present in front of her, finished casting the spell.  “There!” She said triumphantly, before realizing they would now need chairs too.  A minute later she’d managed to procure two, completing the set.  She looked pretty pleased with herself.

 

“And the food should be good since I didn’t make it,” Kaelyn added with a laugh.  “First rule of thumb: if you want cooking done right, ask a house elf.”

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Kelby Matos

Kelby watched in curious fascination as Kaelyn was able to conjure a full patio set right before their very eyes. Her mouth had slightly dropped open in awe as she saw the full extents of magic – how it could be used for more than just dueling and fighting. And while both of those things were extremely interesting for the first year, it blew her mind that magic such as this existed. Everything that she had known in the non-magical world was so wrong and backward. For not the first time, she pondered why wizards and witches got all the advantages while she grew up so different.

Anger coursed through her that the Ministry lied to her, kept the secret of who she was for eleven years. Maybe, if she had known, her life could have been different.

Instead, here she stood, staring in awe like an idiot who had never seen magic before. When she was finally able to collect herself, Kelby nodded to Kaelyn. “It’s good. Great.” Thank you. But she would not say this out loud because thank you meant owing someone, and Kelby let her fears overpower every decision she made. It’s not that she didn’t want to be brave, she just didn’t know how to be.

“House elf?” the first year echoed back. “I –“ Kelby thought better of it and stopped herself from explaining that she had never heard of a house elf. If she were to admit that, everyone would know she was muggleborn by nightfall. Then everyone would know she was weak – for less magic surely ran through her veins than those with two loving magical parents. Isn’t that way they told her at Pre-Hogwarts Primary? No, she would not let Hogwarts overpower her. Amending her question, she tried again. “Where would I find these house elves?”

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Kaelyn Paddock

“Great!” Kaelyn echoed back enthusiastically, happy that Kelby seemed to like the table.  The seventh year flounced down on one of the chairs, and placed the picnic basket on her lap to scoop out the boxes of food out (the table wasn’t big enough for the food and the basket). As she did so, she answered Kelby’s question in her usual, bubbly way.

 

“Oh, the kitchens, of course!  Didn’t you get to see it on the first night?  It was the first place I took the first years to when I was a new prefect.  It’s probably the best place there is to be at Hogwarts, other than out here, of course.  Oh and I guess I like the prefect’s bathroom too, and the towers, and there’s that one secret pass- oops!”

 

One of the containers fell out of Kaelyn’s hand, and as it hit the table, the lid flew open and little chunks of cheese and slices of cured meats landed everywhere - on the table, on the grass, even on them.  Kaelyn hurriedly scooped up the pieces on her and on the table back into the container, but left the ones on the grass alone (Kelby had called the ground gross, after all). 

 

“Hmm. Five second rule?”

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Majesty

He was on the hunt, and he was close.

 

Following his muzzle, Majesty knew there was a Niffler in the area.  Smelling the air, the ground, then the air one last time, then, a strange noise filled the air with a stronger familiar scent.

 

‘THERE!’  

 

Galloping to the sound with his best in show medallion clanking on his collar bone, the Thestral quickly halted.  Confusion swiped onto his elongated face as his cloudy grey eyes looked to the grass.  This was not what he knew a Niffler to look like, yet, it smelled like one.

 

Opening his mouth and quickly eating the mystery cube, Majesty scrunched what he could of his face and spat the substance back on to the ground.

 

This is not a Niffler,

 

The hunt continued.

 

________

 

Hello dearies, 

 

Just Trotting through, looking for Nifflers, normal Thestral things!

 

Please pm me if you’d like for me to delete this!  As a reminder, Thestrals can only be seen by people who have witnessed death in their life so far, so if your character has witnessed death, congrats!  You can see majesty!  If not, don’t worry!  Your other senses (besides sight,) can still feel, hear, and smell Majesty!

 

Edited by Majesty

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Kelby Matos

Kelby knew that Hogwarts was a big castle, but she wasn’t prepared for all of the locations that Kaelyn listed to her in quick succession. Kitchens, prefect’s bathroom, towers, and secret something? “Can you show me all those places?” the first year asked with a much lighter tone than she had for the entirety of their meeting so far. “We only saw the dueling chamber, the hospital wing, the for-“ she stopped herself here, not sure what type of prefect Kaelyn truly was. Would she go running and get Ava in trouble as soon as Kelby opened her mouth? “I mean, the trophy room. Which was boring. They tried to make us memorize dumb facts.”

Like dueling and quidditch trivia with names Kelby would have never known if her life depended on it. Nor did she want to.

Kelby was distracted from all of her thoughts when she felt the splatter of the food on her robes. The first year moved away from the table quickly as she peeled each piece of food off her. Did she get everything? Would this stain her clothes? She was almost maniac in her movements until she watched Kae scoop the food from the table back into the container.

Her eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets.

“That…. That is gross. How could you… I …” she was at a loss for words. “What is with all of your Gryffindors and being disgusting?” Though it was not intended that way, Kelby’s words came out more as a shout than a whisper. She didn’t mean to yell at her mentor, but every possible negative repercussion came to her mind. Food poisoning was now a real possibility, especially when it came to something as delicate as meat, and Kae was just going to wipe it back up? The first year was in between having a meltdown and stomping away to go take a shower (she could still feel the food on her even though she picked it off) when she heard a rustling behind her.

The dull sound of trotting as a piece of metal hit something over and over filled Kelby’s mind and ignited fear in her heart. This couldn’t be a ghost, for she has seen them many times in the Great Hall. Whipping her head back and forth, she realized she could not see whatever circling them. She felt trapped like a prey waiting for slaughter. Kelby was practically shrieking when she asked Kaelyn, “What is that?!”

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Kaelyn Paddock

“Sure I can,” Kaelyn replied, with a big smile on her face, but just as she was starting to make strides with the young girl, she took two big steps back.

 

“I- uh, what?” The prefect replied with disbelief as Kelby called her - or at least what she was doing - gross and disgusting.  Kaelyn couldn’t remember the last time anyone told her she was disgusting, other her brother who liked to let her know she was the one human being other people would least like to have around. (Although she liked to prove him wrong daily by having more friends than him - ha, in your face, Linus Paddock!)

 

“We’re not gross,” she protested, a little confused why Kelby was referencing their housemates that seemed to exclude her from the lot of them.  But there wasn’t time to discuss this further, because just then there came the pronounced swish of leathery wings coming to a close after a fast gallop across the lawn, and Kaelyn looked up from the food to see a thestral appearing right behind Kelby’s head.

 

“Oohhh, Kelby! Look who came to join us!” the seventh year squeaked excitedly (but quietly, so as not to startle the beast) as she gazed wide-eyed at the thestral who came near enough to the pair that its sharp, skeletal nose nearly brushed Kaelyn’s hand as it dropped to the ground to sniff at the food scraps littered around them.  Even before watching her grandpa pass away in his hospital bed nearly two years ago, Kaelyn had always loved thestrals, but now that she could see them she could never quite contain her excitement whenever one happened to appear.

 

The thestral nosed a cheese cube, tasted it, then discarded it only half-chewed.  “It’s a thestral!” Kaelyn exclaimed in response to her mentee’s question.  “Wait, can you see it too?  Ohh, it’s beautiful, isn’t it? I love it so much!”  Then she remembered not everyone was as comfortable around large winged, creatures as she was.  

 

“Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you… or at least it shouldn’t, anyway.”

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Kelby Matos

Kaelyn may have tried to protest Kelby’s statement, but it didn’t change the girl’s mind in the slightest. If anything, the statement just reaffirmed the first year’s assignment. No normal group of people thought it was okay to scoop food back up after it touched a dirty table. Kelby was tempted to question if her mentor had stepped foot inside the first year girl’s dormitory to understand her true implications (because she really did have the roommate from hell) when the commotion distracted her from voicing any of her rather terrible opinions on Gryffindors.

While Kelby was terrified for her life with the strange sounds, it seemed that Kaelyn was… excited? So this wasn’t a strange, magical monster who wanted to eat her? Cool, she totally knew that. Turning around in her seat quickly, she looked in the same direction that Kae was facing to find… nothing there?

“Uhhhh what are you talking about?” If the first year had grown up in a magical family, it would not have been such a stretch for her to figure out what creature had just joined them. But seeing as she entered the magical world less than six months ago, there was still a lot that she didn’t understand. Death ponies were at the top of her list. Kelby would never have fathomed a creature that required death in order to see it, so she was growing more and more paranoid as she kept searching for whatever Kae was staring at.

Finally, her mentor ‘clarified’ what the creature was, but Kelby was still just as lost as she was a few seconds ago. “What’s a thestral? And no, but why can’t I see it?” Walking forward a few steps, the first year ended up bumping into something solid which resulted in her eyes opening wider than she thought possible.

“Wow.” Based on Kaelyn’s response, it must have been amazing to see. Kelby closed her eyes and wished she could witness the scene, not understanding the implications required to be able to observe such a creature. “Can you, uh, describe it to me?”

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Kaelyn Paddock

The longer the thestral stayed, the more excited Kaelyn became.  The more excited that Kaelyn became, the higher her voice rose in pitch, until she was practically trilling out the description of the skeletal-looking horse like a seasoned soprano singer — well, okay, not that seasoned.  She sounded squeaky and off-tune.

 

“You can’t see it because you’ve never seen anyone die!” Kaelyn exclaimed in high-pitched, hushed tones, as if this was the most normal (but exciting) thing in the world, her eyes still bright and round as she fixed her gaze on the thestral.

 

“Okay, so, imagine like… a winged horse, right?  But now imagine like… a dragon!  And it’s like the dragon mated with the winged horse and the produced this amazing baby that’s like… horse-shaped, but with wings like dragons - or maybe bats - and their faces are like…” She opened and closed her hands wordlessly in the air as she searched for the right word.  “- soooo cute!  Like a giant, dried black prune!”

 

She sighed.  "I really wish you could see it, but I guess it's probably a good thing you can't.  It's one of those things I don't wish on anybody but I also wish everyone could see them, you know?"

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