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Friends? Introductions? Human Interaction? No, BOOKS.; *open*
Topic Started: May 14 2018, 04:36 AM (228 Views)
Tiberius Bethell
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English HS Transfer | Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome | Walks with cane and braces

[justify]It was as though Tiberius had never left Hogwarts Scotland, and that was completely boring. There hadn't been any tearful goodbyes for the then-second year, just some handshakes and a 'Good luck!' or two. Tibby supposed his father had opted for as seamless a transition as possible, but really, it had been too seamless. Apart from the accents (and a little of the food), he may as well have never left England, or so he'd decided within twenty-four hours of arriving at Hogwarts New Zealand. Wrapped up warmly in his new robes though it was only September, the new third year made the long trek up from the Slytherin dungeons, heedless of the interested glances towards his cane and silver finger braces, and went straight to The Safe Zone. Tibby imagined that it was smaller, possibly, and a little more open-plan, but that suited him no better or worse than anything else. He had many other braces that weren't visible from beneath his robes- one on each elbow, one on each knee, a set of wrist straps and two large ones bracing his hips. There weren't readily apparent, but he was privately grateful that he ran cold and could justify the long, closed robes. There was no need to confuse people further.

Four flights, plus one from the dungeons to the ground floor, was quite taxing, and the Slytherin boy fair melted into the nearest seat and wore an expression like he was in the midst of a very good dream. The only thing that could make that moment of comfort better was tea, and he suspected that the rules here were just the same as they were back home. Worse yet, some books would scream in fear at the barest hint of a liquid, even though he was sure most of them had been charmed impervious, and Tibby could do without the headache. Overeager, he summoned the first book he could see, and opened it to reveal a bloody account of a centaur war. That would do. He'd already speed-read the first five chapters of each of his new textbooks, so he should've been ahead of the curve for when classes began. The book, irritatingly, was large enough to reach both arms of the chair, and big enough to eat him if it became sentient, but Tibby had only heard of that happening once, and he wasn't convinced that it wasn't just a rumour. The boy settled in and read lazily, soaking up the sunshine from the nearby window and finally feeling at peace after the chaos of the move.
[/justify]
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Mervyn Strangewayes
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Amoral | Friendly | Slightly Mad Dervish & Bange's Assistant

If Mervyn was really going to take every single class this semester, as Leda had somehow persuaded him (he still insisted he'd felt feverish when he'd accepted), and do well, then he needed to get studying - fast. The sooner he got stuck in, the better; before long, they would have Transfiguration assignments piled up to their ears, and finding a spare moment in which to read about runic symbols would require several consecutive miracles. At least Mervyn had something to do. The only thing that could turn him crazier than all this studying was sitting around and thinking about Sapphire.

Several other students had clearly had the same idea; for when Mervyn arrived at the library, he passed at least half a dozen of them bent over books at their tables. He headed toward what he hoped might be the runes section - failing that, something on Muggle Studies would suffice instead. As he rounded the corner of the shelf, however, a curious sight caught and held his attention. The Gryffindor rolled up onto tip-toes, trying to get a better look at the boy whose face was half-shielded by the enormous book in his lap. It looked like it was about to crush him. "Oi," he said, in hushed tones, so as not to invite any disapproving looks. "You're new, int you?" Mervyn smiled, excited by this revelation. "Woss your name?"
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Tiberius Bethell
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English HS Transfer | Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome | Walks with cane and braces

[justify]Tiberius paused as a voice addressed him, and he slowly exhaled, closed his eyes, and opened them again to force himself to be personable. "Yes, hello," he replied in a slightly harried way, using his forearm to close the book to take the strain off his fingers and pulling out his wand again to levitate it off his lap. When he could finally see his aggressor (or rather, a pleasant young man who just wanted to say hello), he realised that he had another third year on his hands, or around abouts. Tibby stuck out his silver-braced hand and said "Tiberius Bethell, but Tibby, if you like; and yours? Gently, please," he warned him about the handshake. "I'm hearing a lot of familiar accents, here. Maybe there's something in the water that makes it attractive to Englishmen. Probably tea."[/justify]
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Mervyn Strangewayes
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Mervyn's entire face brightened as he heard Tibby speak. Though his accent was about as different to Mervyn's as could be, there was no mistaking it as English. Pulling up a chair, Mervyn sat down and leaned on the arm of it, oblivious that he might have interrupted his acquaintance. He took Tibby's hand, registering the warning just in time to control the strength of his grip. He hadn't noticed the strange silver brace until then; to his uneducated eye, it looked a little like jewellery. He decided not to ask. "I ain't got no clue," he said. "I'm just 'ere cos me granddad fort I'd be better off. Mervyn Strangewayes, by the way. 'Ow comes you moved 'ere, then? 'N wot year yoo in?"
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Tiberius Bethell
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English HS Transfer | Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome | Walks with cane and braces

[justify]Ah, the usual questions. That was fine. 'Mervyn' would get bored and wander off eventually, and Tibby would be left in peace. "We moved to escape political persecution," said the boy casually, indulging in a rare streak of mischief. "The Ministry follows my father's work closely, and he was getting too close to the truth about werewolves; he's a magizoologist, you see. They took us all in, my muggle mother included, and put trackers on us so that they would always know where we are." Tibby lifted his sleeve and reveal the black brace on his left wrist, which was nothing more than a joint support. "The magic has a limit, though, so Father took us off to the furthest corner of the globe that was the closest to being like home. They can't get me here,", whispered Tibby, looking either side of them and then glaring at his brace like it was a snake coiled around his wrist. "But anyway, I'm in third year. What about you?" he said, deadpan.[/justify]
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Mervyn Strangewayes
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Mervyn's jaw dropped. For a good few seconds, Tibby had him entirely fooled; it was only when the Slytherin whispered that they couldn't get him here that Mervyn began to have suspicions. "Nah," he said, torn between believing him or not. "You're muggin' me off. You are, ain't you?" But what other explanation was there for the tracker-thingy on his arm? "You better not be. You fink I'm stupid?" Mervyn didn't like being shown up - especially not by a new boy, who probably ought to have been trying to make friends, not enemies. Who did he think he was?!
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Tiberius Bethell
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English HS Transfer | Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome | Walks with cane and braces

[justify]Tibby's lips curved up slowly, oblivious to the other boy's genuine agitation. "Of course not. You've worked it out for yourself, haven't you?". He was never known to be a tease, and his sense of humour was generally morose and self-deprecating, so perhaps he'd blundered in the forays of teasing, but he'd gotten the reaction he wanted, anyhow. "It's a joint brace," he said finally, "As are these." Tibby twinkled his finger braces at Mervyn like he was waving toodle-oo at him. "And all the other ones I've got. I'm not a fugitive, jut an invalid. You didn't say what year you were in, though?"[/justify]
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Mervyn Strangewayes
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Mervyn's look turned from irritated to bemused, and then finally to guilty. He always felt guilty when he had something somebody else didn't, and in this case, it was the ability to sit in the library and read without joint braces. He didn't dare pry further into the boy's condition - if that was what it was; he'd already said more than enough. "Third year," Mervyn said weakly, slightly dazed. He blinked a few times to shake himself out of it. "I fink they look pretty cool, them braces. Don't it stop you movin' around, though?" So much for not prying. Mervyn bit his lip, waiting with wide-eyes for a response.
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Tiberius Bethell
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[justify]"Quite the opposite," Tibby assured him. It wasn't often that people asked about his braces, and honestly, he wasn't sure if it made him feel comforted or uncomfortable. It was awkward to feel people's questions hanging in the air around you, never to be asked. "Without them, everything tends to fall out of place." Faced with the other boy's naked curiosity, and suddenly feeling a little bit bad about the genuine dismay on his face, Tibby peeled back the other layer of his robes to show Mervyn his knee braces. "Two here, two on the elbows, wrists, around the fingers, and some on my hips. You don't have to look so downcast," he assured him. "They're a good thing. With them, and this," Tibby leaned over slightly in his chair and hefted his cane, the handle of which was resting on the chair arm, concealed by his elbow, "I practically fly around." Well, he was clearly exaggerating, but it was either that, or he'd have to summon a Pepper-Up for Mervyn. "So I suppose all that red and gold makes you a Gryffindor?" he sighed as though it mattered a whit to him. "I guess that means we're to develop a natural hatred of each other, or some such- or has Hogwarts New Zealand mostly free of those petty rivalries? That might tip NZ on the scale from 'exactly the same' to 'slightly better'."[/justify]
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Mervyn Strangewayes
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Mervyn tried not to grimace as he imagined what 'everything falling out of place' looked like. He watched with curiosity as Tibby showed him the braces on his knees, and described the ones on his elbows, wrists, and hips. It all sounded extremely uncomfortable. Mervyn hadn't spotted the cane until Tibby pointed it out, and he took a moment to appreciate the boy's optimism, not realising it might be for his sake. "Yeah, a Gryffindor, I am," he confirmed. Tibby enunciated so clearly that Mervyn started feeling embarrassed about his accent all over again. "Nah - we don' really 'ave that kind o' fing. Fank Merlin. Well - I don't, anyway. Dunno 'bout no-one else. Me china's in Slyv'rin, an' she's a right laugh, know wot I mean? 'Ere, you migh' 'ave met 'er - Leda Layton. Anyway, don't worry 'yer 'ead about it. You got one friend already, ain'tcha?"
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Tiberius Bethell
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English HS Transfer | Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome | Walks with cane and braces

[justify]"No, I haven't met anyone, really," Tibby began, but he blinked and got a little flustered at what came next. A friend? Mervyn? He'd only just met the boy. This was all a bit sudden. "Yes, I suppose I have," he muttered, embarrassed, and tried to think desperately of what a friend would say next. He'd have to get to know Mervyn, and he wasn't entirely sure if that was a good idea, since the other boy seemed to think that anyone wearing braces came from another planet. He knew it wasn't exactly common amongst wizards, as most all ailments could be cured with a touch of magic, but there was no magicking away genetics. They'd have to replace an alarming percentage of his body tissue to fix what ailed him, and then he'd just go and make more of the faulty stuff. Tibby supposed he was a bit of an alien, to a wizard, especially to a young wizard. "So ... So what do you like to do around here?" asked the Slytherin uncertainly, suddenly not so smooth a converser as before.[/justify]
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Mervyn Strangewayes
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Mervyn beamed, glad Tibby understood, and even more glad that he didn't try to reject or deny it. He had to think for a moment about what he liked to do. There were plenty of things, but most of them involved Leda, and he didn't want to give Tibby the impression he couldn't do anything by himself. "Well, when I ain't studyin', or 'angin' out wiv Leda, I, er... well, I get up to all sor's o' stuff, I tell yer: makin' potions, explorin' the forbidden forest - I'm mates wiv all the centaurs, an' all." All right, he might have been exaggerating. But how else would he convince Tibby he was cool? "'Choo lot do in Scotland for fun?"
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Tiberius Bethell
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[justify]Friends with the centaurs; hm. Tibby found that hard to believe. His father's (official) expertise was centaur physiology and behavioural patterns. Only the foals would be curious enough to hang about with humans, and they were usually kept far, far away from muggle and wizardkind, alike. The thirteen year old rather thought Mervyn was fibbing, but not to tease like he had, himself, earlier. He genuinely wanted Tibby to think he was friends with centaurs. The Slytherin couldn't think why; nor could he imagine what it would take for someone to admit so easily that they broke one of the more serious school rules. It wasn't called 'The Forest of Free-For-All'.
"That sounds very exciting," he said, trying to find the middle ground between 'That's nice, dear,' and 'You're talking utter drivel'. There really wasn't one. Tibby was fighting a losing battle. Now he was sweating, trying to think of anything that he did that would remotely interest Mervyn or potentially have in common with him.
"I read, mostly," said Tibby, trying to nonchalance. "Study, practice my spellwork. I suppose I ... haven't found my niche," he explained, though truthfully, he hadn't really tried. "So who's this 'Leda' character? I'm hearing a lot about ... her, is it? And she's a Slytherin?" Oh, great. Something else Tibby knew even less about. Girls.
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Mervyn Strangewayes
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Mervyn nodded vigorously in agreement. It was very exciting - it was just a shame none of it was true. Tibby didn't seem to suspect a thing, though - or if he did, Mervyn was too happy to notice. He exhaled with relief when Tibby told him he liked to read. He'd been hoping the boy wasn't too adventurous, and wouldn't ask him to introduce him to all his non-existent centaur friends. "Not 'alf," Mervyn replied. "She's sly as a fox, that one - yoo be'er keep an eye out. Kicked up a righ' shindy last year, kneed a prefect in 'is orchestras. Nah - she's a right laugh - if you're on 'er good side. Wot classes you takin'?"
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Tiberius Bethell
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[justify]Oh, great. Another cookie-cutter Slytherin stereotype to avoid. "I'm sorry- did I hear you say she knee'd a prefect?" Mervyn had actually managed to shock Tibby, which was quite impressive, as the third year prided himself on being shocked by absolutely nothing. He was far too English not to react to that, though. "What on Earth did the prefect do? Step on her puffskein?". All girls had puffskeins, he was sure. That is, every time he'd seen a puffskein, or a pygmy puff, it was being cradled in the hands of a cooing girl. He was glad to move on, and informed Mervyn that he was taking all the classes available this semester, "-Save Muggle Studies. My mother's a muggle, you see. It's all likely to be rot, anyway. Wizards don't know half of what muggles can do without magic. What about yourself? Not Care of Magical Creatures, I'm sure. Centaurs are very knowledgeable about such things. I'm sure they've imparted much wisdom to you on the subject." Of course, centaurs were far more likely to impart valuable knowledge about Divination, but Tibby couldn't resist a little dig. Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.[/justify]
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