Closed Been Hearing All These Things About You

Celia Vuong

all the world's a stage
OOC First Name
Blood Status
Half Blood
Relationship Status
Curly 11.5'' Sturdy Elm Wand with Meteorite Dust Core
Celia only knew two things about Professor Alcott-Ward: 1) He had been the upper-years History of Magic professor for 14 years and 2) He was Louis' uncle. The first fact didn't give her much information, especially since she'd never had him a professor. The length of his tenure did suggest that he wasn't completely incompetent, but that wasn't a guarantee. Professor Alicastell didn't exactly have the best track record when it came to hiring.

The second fact was a lot more concerning. Louis had once speculated that his uncle would give him easy E's before backtracking. At the time, Celia had accepted the comment as a joke. But after seeing the prefect badge pinned to Louis' robes, she wasn't so sure anymore. What made Louis' selection as prefect even more baffling was the fact that Bern was in the same house. Kita aside, Celia wasn't sure she'd ever met a greater teacher's pet than Bern, and she had assumed he would be a shoo-in for the prefect position.

Was nepotism at play? Celia didn't know, but she planned on finding out. She'd gathered a large stack of old yearbooks and newspapers and planned to spend the afternoon doing some research into the new headmaster. It was unfortunate she didn't have access to the internet, but hopefully with some digging, she would be able to find everything she needed. After making sure her quill was freshly inked, Celia opened up an old Monthly from 2043 and began to read.
Rhys often liked to come to the monthly room just because it was a quiet place to get in some studying. Sure, he could use the library like a completely normal person, but there were usually more people around and it was hard to get a good table out of the way. The monthly rooms, on the other hand, was only available to the staff, and there were certainly a lot less than them than there were people looking to use the library space.

He had been planning on getting some extra potions work in, bringing along his new textbook to flick through. But he had also brought along his notebook, just in case of inspiration happened to strike for a new article. But when he arrived, he had a feeling that inspiration was not going to come when he saw Celia already sitting there flicking through some old editions of the monthly. Usually, he would prefer to avoid the girl, but his curiosity as to what she was doing was piqued, so he moved closer. "Hoping to find inspiration in old articles?"
Celia didn't bother looking up when someone else entered the newsroom. She didn't have much respect for most of the members on staff. Last year's meeting had proven that none of them were interested in actual journalism and writing about stuff that mattered. Every issue was just a series of puff pieces and articles about things that no one cared about.

Unfortunately, the intruder decided to speak to her, and Celia looked up, resisting the urge to roll her eyes when she saw it was Rhys. "No, I'm doing research," she said simply, looking back down at the old Monthly open in front of her. "You should try it sometime," she said in an almost bored tone. "It would help your writing." His last article on the Dueling Tournament had been a travesty. Not only had he failed to describe any of her duels, but he'd also somehow neglected to mention that it was the first time in history when all the winners were girls. That was information that should've been in the headline.

Celia continued to flip through the Monthly, occasionally taking notes. So far she'd discovered that Alicastell and Alcott-Ward had been hired the same year. It was an interesting coincidence. She was tempted to just ignore Rhys' presence, but it occurred to her that he might also have information. "Have you heard anything about the new headmaster?" she asked, still not bothering to look up.
Maybe he shouldn't have been surprised when one of the first things out of Celia's mouth was a snide comment about his writing. She always seemed to have something to say about whatever he happened to write. Either before it painted her in a bad light or because he didn't mention her. Surprisingly, the world did not revolve around Celia Vuong no matter how much she might like to think it did. "I do plenty of research," he snipped back, "I do more for my articles than just slapping down my own personal opinion on things that no one cares about." And he was pretty sure that he had told her as much in the past. That wasn't journalism, that was just shoving your opinions on other people whether they wanted it or not.

But he was not going to be put off by the girl in the room, stubbornly taking a seat for himself and pulling out some of his textbooks. Though he did glance up from what he was doing when she brought up the new Headmaster. "No, not really. Don't know much about him, I never took any of his classes."
Celia rolled her eyes though she kept her gaze on the newspaper in front of her. "Your article on the Dueling Tournament suggests otherwise." She flipped another page. "Or maybe you just didn't think it was worth mentioning the fact that last year's tournament was the first in which all the champions were girls?" she asked, finally giving him a pointed look. Celia returned her attention to her newspaper. "I write about the things people should care about." That was the point of her column — to draw attention to Hogwarts' many failings. If people didn't care about things like the Ministry's influence over the school or the lack of opportunities for self-expression at Hogwarts, well, she'd make them care. It was certainly more important work than recapping club events or providing recipes.

It took all of Celia's willpower not to roll her eyes again when Rhys said he'd never taken one of Professor Alcott-Ward's classes. "Well, duh. He taught upper levels History." She pushed the newspaper she was reading to the side and opened another one. "It's weird that he was picked to be headmaster. There's, like, no past coverage of him. He seems utterly unremarkable." Celia supposed she couldn't rule out the possibility that previous Monthly staff had been incompetent, and that's why the paper had failed to write about him.
Rhys huffed somewhat. "No, I didn't," he simply drawled with a roll of his eyes. "I hardly think it matters if the winners are male or female. It's not a competition to see what gender is better." It was a competition to see people's magical prowess. Mentioning that for once all the winners were girls wasn't news. The only thing that would do was start some kind of stupid gender war, which he certainly wasn't going to be responsible for. "Yes, but people don't care. Your whole column is just where you take the time to complain about things you don't like. That's not journalism." Maybe they should rename her stupid column to a complaint column.

Celia pointed out the obvious and Rhys just gave her a look. "Exactly. How would I know anything about a Professor I've never really met before?" The older students would probably know more, so why didn't she just go and ask one of them? Though he supposed he was a little interested himself, using a finger to pull one of the monthly articles towards him, glancing through it all. "Maybe the selection process doesn't include how 'remarkable' someone is, just how capable someone is."
Of course Rhys wouldn't understand why it mattered. Celia expected nothing less from a boy who, judging by his comments during the Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson on werewolves, had zero understanding of how prejudice worked. "If you think that's what it's about, then you're an even bigger idiot than I thought," she said simply. She didn't particularly feel like giving him a lecture about gender stereotypes and expectations, so she decided to leave it at that. "Journalism is about holding power to account," she said borrowing the classic journalism cliche. "Exposing the school's flaws falls under that. It's more valuable than whatever you'd call the stuff you're doing," she said dismissively.

It was baffling how Rhys could call himself a journalist when it was clear he had zero curiosity. "Well maybe you heard something about him," Celia said, returning the look he gave her. She was about to dismiss Rhys' next comment when she realized that he might have a point. "So he was the safe choice," Celia mused. "They didn't want anyone who would transform the school. They just wanted a boring option who would continue the status quo." She frowned. She wasn't sure she could handle another three years of Alicastell 2.0. "Still, there's nothing in here proving he was even capable. He hasn't even won an Accio superlative, as far as I can tell," she said, gesturing towards the spread of open yearbooks. The superlatives were just a popularity contest, but she thought it telling that Professor Alcott-Ward had never made a strong impression on his students.
I apologize for taking so long!

Being Headmaster at Hogwarts made Matt realize just how few places at the castle he really frequented.
He used to spend his days in his office or classroom, heading to the Great Hall for meals and for the library for books. Besides that, he mostly kept to himself. That had been alright as History teacher, but as Headmaster he felt a responsibility to talk to different students and staff members, let himself be seen more. While Matt had always admired Katherine, he could admit he had always found her slightly intimidating. He could only imagine how much worse it would be for some students. So he had vowed to be approachable, as much as he kind of wanted to hide himself in his office. He had passed the Hogwarts Monthly club room countless times, but now realized he had never been inside. He knew the club was run by a bright Hufflepuff student, and he figured he could step in and ask if she needed any help. It was quite incredible how students entirely ran the paper, but maybe there was something staff could do to support them.

As he stepped inside, he realized the room was mostly empty. There were just two students who seemed to be arguing about something. Matt didn't want to interrupt and he wondered if he should turn around. But then he heard the girl talk about someone being a safe choice and then about transforming the school. He blinked a few times as he realized what, or rather, who they were likely discussing. He couldn't quite help the small chuckle as the girl, Celia Vuong, he remembered, went on to talk about Accio superlatives. "Well, I don't know if that was taken into consideration alongside my application." He said, smiling in amusement as he stepped into the room. Celia's words had been kind of harsh, but Matt wasn't bothered. Having students that cared this much was a blessing, as far as he was concerned. In his own youth, he had never put a lot of thought into who was running things and who had made decisions. "I admit, it did bug me I never seem to win any of those." He added lightly, gesturing to the yearbook. He mostly said it to show he wasn't angry or upset, he figured a light joke would do the job. "I apologize for interrupting, I was just looking for your club leader." He added.
Celia Vuong really did think the world revolved around her and that she was always right about things. And it irritated Rhys to no end. "Oh, then please, explain what it is about then. Because I'm pretty sure it's a competition for students to show off their dueling prowess and test themselves against their classmates. Not a competition to prove that girls are just as good as boys or anything rubbish like that. I don't think that was ever even in doubt. Girls have been getting good results and victories in the tournament since its inception. Multiple times there have been more female winners in a year than boys. It just happens last year all the winners happened to be girls. So what? What's more impressive is someone winning six years in a row."

"Yes, complaining about school uniform is really 'holding power to account,"
He did have to mutter with a roll of his eyes as he flicked through the old copy of the monthly in front of him. What he was doing was far more important than just moaning about stupid things like that. "Well, I haven't heard anything," he responded rather flatly. He would have thought he made that obvious. He did open his mouth to respond that he didn't quite think Accio superlatives didn't actually prove anything, but he was cut off by a rather familiar voice. Turning in his seat, his eyes did widen just a little seeing the man they were talking about behind his back just... standing there. "Oh, um Professor," he fumbled over his words just a little, almost making an attempt to sweep some of the papers out of the way as if that was going to cover up the fact they had been snooping. "Estella? She's not around at the moment."
Celia rolled her eyes. "Just because you can't imagine it ever being in doubt doesn't mean it's not." It was almost astonishing how self-centered Rhys could be. Did he really think that just because he'd never had to deal with people using his gender or appearance to make assumptions about his abilities that no one else had to either? "Stereotypes aren't based on facts. It doesn't matter if girls have done well in past tournaments. There are still people who think girls are inherently weaker. So yes, it is significant when all the winners are girls." It didn't bother Celia that Rhys didn't understand this. It bothered her that he claimed to be a better writer than her when he was so blind. "And if winning six times in a row is so impressive, why did you bury that information at the very end of the article?"

"If you read the entire piece, you would know it's not just about school uniforms," Celia said dismissively. The uniforms were a symptom of a bigger problem, a point that would have been clear to anyone who had basic reading comprehension skills. She supposed this was what happened when an entire society decided that eleven-year-olds no longer needed English lessons. Celia was about to make another observation when a new voice entered the conversation. The blood drained from her face when she realized who it was. "I— Professor— um," she stammered, mentally replaying her words. How much had he heard? Could she spin any of it? Why couldn't the ground just open up and swallow her whole?

Rhys made a little sweeping motion, and Celia's stomach sank even further as she realized that there were at least nine different yearbooks open on the table, all of them turned to the page with Professor Alcott-Ward's photo. And that didn't even include all the newspapers. "Professor— I— I'm so sorry." Not for doing research into him, but for her comments. Even as she said this, it occurred to Celia that if anyone should be apologizing, it was him. He was the one eavesdropping on a private conversation. But now was not the time to be right; it was the time for damage control. "We can pass along a message to her if you want," she added, trying to be helpful.
Matt wondered if he had done the right thing, approaching these kids. He hadn’t wanted to scare or intimidate them, and he had hoped joking a bit would have put them at ease. That didn’t seem to be the case, at least for the girl. He held up his hands a bit. “No need to apologize. I should say sorry, I didn’t mean to overhear.” He said. “I’ll come back later for Estelle, but if you want to know anything about me you could ask me now. I’m here anyway.” He said, a bit of a question in his tone, he wasn't sure if they would want to. “I think I can tell you more than those yearbooks can.” He said, glancing at them again. There were a few older ones in there, he could tell by the lack of wrinkles. They were really doing their research.

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