Hey there! Welcome to Wizarding Realm! We are an Alternate Universe HP role-play set in the present day Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please register with a first and last name, properly capitalized.
The skin was coded and designed by Alice. All board images such as the pips, banner, etc. were created by Alice. Member images are credit to their respective creators. Sidebar coding is by Dana of RC&R. Mini Profile coding by Lauz. Do not steal. We will find you. We can promise you that.
As a general rule, Fiona preferred the hands-on sort of learning. It seemed like that was the easiest way for the fifth year to absorb information. Unfortunately, that wasn’t always possible with every subject, or even with every aspect of those that were, by nature, more hands-on. As much as the badger wished otherwise, there was no other way to write an essay except to spend a few hours in the library with books spread out in front of her. At least the essay was for Herbology. It was the girl’s favorite subject by far, and the one she was most likely to study on her own time, even going beyond what was necessary for day to day class work, just because there was so much she wanted to know. So, even if writing essays was just about the dullest activity the Hufflepuff could think of, at least it was on a subject she was unusually well-versed in. That didn’t stop her from piling as many books onto her table as possible, of course. It was almost certainly overkill, but it never hurt to be over-prepared.
The fifth year sat in a corner of the library, books stacked around her with the spines turned to face her so that it would be easy to pick out the right one when she needed it. Fiona had purposefully chosen a corner of the library far away from the windows to avoid distraction. It was a lovely day outside—picture perfect, even—the sort of day the girl had waited all winter for. If she gave herself a chance, the sixteen year old knew she’d be out on the lawns, distracting herself completely from the work she needed to finish. Oh, she’d try to do work, of course. The badger was sure that she’d make every effort to do her essay outside. It was just that she’d fail miserably as she did every time she tried it. It was very simple. The Hufflepuff simply could not be trusted outdoors when there was homework to be done. So, resolutely, she had removed the temptation by sitting in this musty corner of the library, sandwiched between two rows of History of Magic books. Even the books around the fifth year had to be ones that she wouldn’t find tempting.
Determined as she was, Fiona was making marvelous progress on her essay. The girl hadn’t even used all the parchment she’d brought along in case she made some sort of heinous error. The essay was nearly finished, just the conclusion, really, was left. The badger allowed herself to relax as she neared the end. Soon she could get out of this musty corner and go entertain herself however she liked. It was far too nice a day to spend it cooped up inside.
Transfiguration...why did it have to be transfiguration? Shiral pouted as she wandered through the library with Hibblespot sitting silently on her head. Transfiguration, next to defense against the dark arts, was easily one of her worst subjects. Now, she was being asked to write, not on the practical applications, which didn't make sense to the girl anyway; but on the theory of transfiguration. Theory?!? There was a theory to making things that which they were not? At the very least she understood defense against the dark arts. There was a real reason behind them. She couldn't argue that she would never use defense against the dark arts; though she hoped very much that she would never need to.
But transfiguration! Why would the girl ever need to explain the theory behind changing a pencil into a snake? The whole thing was silly. She knew that many witches and wizards used transfiguration to make life easier. She even knew that her parents had used it before on their travels. Still, she hoped to be better prepared. Perhaps, if she knew more on the theory of transfiguration she could transfigure her project out of one of the random books sitting on the shelves. Finding a book on transfiguration that the young Ravenclaw could really read; was just as hard as getting Hibblespot to go out in the winter...Her steps carried her through the library away from the section on transfiguration and through the many rows upon rows of books.
The redhead found her feet carrying her through the section on history of magic. Her eyes covered the spines of the books as she read the names. What people wouldn't do to make something like the history of magic more interesting. A smile floated onto her features. It wasn't as if the herbology lover hadn't used all sorts of story telling techniques to try and make the story of a plant more interesting. It wasn't too long ago that she had told the story of Asphodel by speaking of the romance between Persephone, greek bride of Hades and the pink-striped lilly that beckoned her to the verdant fields of spring. The eagle gave an audible sigh. It was only when Hibblespot gave a soft croak that she realized she had been encroaching on someone's studying. She had thought at first it was just a giant pile of books, but there was indeed a person behind it. Hazel eyes drank in the titles of some of the books. She was working on herbology! Shiral couldn't help herself, she spoke softly trying not to be rude.
"Are you studying herbology? May I ask what you're writing on?"
Fiona was just putting the finishing touches on her essay when she heard it. The girl blinked down at her parchment for a moment, as if the words there would make things clear to her. That hadn't actually been a toad's croak she'd heard, was it? The badger knew that people brought their pets around with them sometimes, had seen people with toads and rats and that one Slytherin boy who always seemed to have a kitten perched on his shoulder. It wasn't as if everyone went about this way, but it wasn't so unusual that the fifth year gave it much thought. It was just that, sitting here in this dusty corner of the library, it hadn't even crossed her mind that her solitude would be interrupted by an animal of the amphibious variety.
Fiona peered over--well, no, that wasn't quite right. She peered up, around--the stack of books in front of her to see a girl about her age. "Oh. Hi. I'm just finishing up an essay on Fanged Geraniums." The Hufflepuff offered the girl a smile, trying her best to look unperturbed. Not that she was bothered by being interrupted. Not really. She was nearly finished with her essay, and the usual feeling of relaxation that came with finishing an assignment was beginning to set in. It didn't matter how long she gave herself to work on something, the badger always felt better once she was in the home stretch. It was amazing how easily the tension drained out of her body. At any rate, if the fifth year was going to be interrupted, this was probably the best moment. She was feeling accomplished and relaxed, and her brain hadn't yet started on the next item of her to-do list.
Fiona's gaze drifted from the girl down to the books stacked in front of her, and she realized suddenly that she must be hogging a decent portion of the library's herbology section. The sixteen year old might have gone a little overboard. "Er... did you need one of these books? I don't mean to hog them all... I'm just about done with them." The Hufflepuff smiled sheepishly, nudging the stack in front of her. There were too many books for it too have much of an effect, but whatever. The meaning of the gesture was at least implied, hopefully. The fifth year didn't mean to be a book hog. She just... got carried away when she was in a studying mood. The girl rarely knew when to hold back.
Hibblespot gave a bit of a displeased rolling croak as he heard the words “fanged geranium.” Shiral's eyes, however, lit up with excitement just as they rolled and looked up toward her head.
“Oh hush Hibblespot, you just weren't paying attention when you hopped by it. Don't even begin to act as if it was the geranium's fault.”
She turned back to the Hufflepuff sitting before her. Fanged geraniums were certainly an interesting plant, particularly if one considered the history they may have influenced. Why was it that everything was romanticized in her mind regarding plants? She felt as if the plant had cunningly started the war with it's long sharp fangs and it's fluffy, slightly rolled hot pink petals. Perhaps it had acted as a sort of Helen of Troy, temping the two houses into their war. Or perhaps, it had bitten one of the houses and one wanted to destroy it, while the other wanted to preserve it. Now that she thought about it, she wasn't entirely sure why they had been fighting over the flower...
“Fanged Geraniums are a wonderful topic. Did you add anything in about the War of Roses between Lancaster and York? It's possibly one of the most interesting stories about the little biter...”
It was then that Shiral realized the Hufflepuff had said something to her...She really needed to start listening rather than reflecting on every plant name that was said.
“Oh...I'm...so, so sorry...you said something...Something about the books? My mind tends to wander when someone mentions plants. Ugh. I don't mean to be rude...”
Shiral could feel the blood rising to her cheeks. Her face felt hot and suddenly the library seemed much too small. Every bit of light seemed to drain from her vision and her body began to sink into itself. Her shoulders slumped inward and her head bowed slightly. The eagle's back curved, pulling in her stomach, and creating an overall “drawn in” look. Shiral lowered her eyes to stare at the books and bit her lower lip out of nervousness. There she was, being the “plant girl” again. Only this time she was being a pesky weed and she was surprised she hadn't been sprayed with spells as soon as she had interrupted the girl. What would happen now? She had essentially ignored her. She didn't even know the blonde in front of her yet, and she had already done something that may have insulted her. Why did she always have to do this?
It sort of amused Fiona to see someone openly talking to an animal, though she had the good sense not to show that. It was just that, much as the fifth year enjoyed the outdoors and subjects relating to it, she had a much easier time understanding the nuances of those parts of nature that didn’t move. Or, well, mostly didn’t move. The non-magical plants could usually be counted on to stay silently immobile when you needed to repot them, though that admittedly made them sort of boring. Still, at any rate, the Hufflepuff’s affinity for such things didn’t cross over into the realm of creatures. She tended to view them as interesting specimens she preferred to observe from afar if at all. That, and she was usually too busy to have any sort of pet. Best to keep a safe distance then, or she’d get attached and then end up being unintentionally cruel down the line, which just seemed worse somehow than being cruel outright.
In any case, even though the badger knew that people did it, she still thought it was at least a little funny to see someone carry on what looked to Fiona like a one-sided conversation. Still, most people didn’t like being laughed at—not that she meant any harm, really, but that didn’t usually matter—so the girl kept her mouth shut since the last thing she wanted to do was insult someone. Strange behavior rarely put her off, anyway. “Yeah, I’ve got a bit about that in here,” the fifth year replied, scanning her essay as she spoke to make sure she hadn’t just thought about adding it in. She really didn’t fancy the idea of having to rewrite her essay to make room for a paragraph that belonged somewhere in the middle, at least not when she was this close to the end.
Glancing up as the girl responded, the Hufflepuff took in her expression with complete bewilderment, and then panic. What? Had she said something stupid? Oh, hell, had she said that bit about talking to animals out loud? Fiona didn’t think so, but she hadn’t the faintest idea what had just occurred to make this other girl transform suddenly, to make her look so… down. Honestly, what stupid thing had the badger let slip now? Brilliant, Fi. Way to alienate people you don’t even know. “Er… it’s okay,” the fifth year said, grasping at the only thing she could think of. “I was just… asking if you needed one of… umm, these.” She patted the stack of books between them, then sat fidgeting with her quill, turning it over and over in her hands.
Shiral tried not to look so upset, she realized how uncomfortable that could make people...Of course as far as Shiral was concerned everything she did made people uncomfortable.
The ravenclaw reminded herself that to go into self-contemplation again might cause another problem identical to the one that had just occurred. Books...she was asking if she needed one of the books...
“Hmm? Oh. Books. No, I didn't really need any books on herbology. I was just interested in the essay you were writing. I'm particularly fond of herbology...my parents are both herbologists and I kind of grew up around it. Sort of a safety blanket you know? I'm actually looking for some literature on the theory of transfiguration. I guess I sort of wandered off from my subject matter...”
Shiral still didn't feel comfortable in her own skin but she tried to look more cheerful. The ravenclaw had obviously upset the studying girl with her reactions; though she certainly hadn't meant to. Why was it so hard to make friends? It wasn't that Shiral wasn't...friendly, at least she didn't think as much...She just didn't quite understand the dynamics behind making friends and talking to people...In fact, she decided to share her insight with the girl sitting before her. She seemed like a pleasant enough girl...
“You know...I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bother you. I'm really horrible at this...talking to people stuff. I never did quite get how to have a conversation without making the other person horrible uncomfortable. You should have seen the first person who really decided to talk to me here. I'm pretty sure I scared her right out of the greenhouse.”
A sigh bubbled up from the eagle's lips. This was supposed to be the year that she came out of the greenhouse and into the rest of Hogwarts. She was supposed to make friends...maybe even find someone who would go to the winter ball with her...
“I made a resolution this year...to make friends. I'm off to a great start aren't I?”
Anyone that knew Shiral would say that she was just being herself, but the girl with the toad on her head felt like she was failing horribly at this little friendship endeavor. Beyond that, she didn't even know how to start up a conversation. Every other friend she had made really came from someone else confronting her. Well, except for one, but that was to remain unmentioned as Shiral still felt bad for her reactions in that...particular situation. Still now, Shiral wanted to be small, wanted to be as small as Hibblespot so she could just crawl away and hide in an unknown corner of the library where nobody might ever find her again.
Fiona shifted uncomfortably, not entirely sure what to do. She glanced briefly down at her parchment, wondering if she should make some sort of excuse about needing to finish quickly. That seemed awfully rude, though, and not actually true. The badger just didn't like uncomfortable conversations. She'd much rather avoid them altogether, especially when she wasn't really sure how to make things better. Still... the essay was all but finished, she'd already said as much, and there was really nothing else to do but hope things got better--or that the other girl left on her own. The Hufflepuff nodded at the girl's response about the books, settling for making conversation. "It's pretty easy to get lost in here." Fiona offered what she hoped was a kind smile.
As the fifth year listened to the other girl talk, she forced herself to relax a bit. It wasn't that things suddenly became less awkward--if anything, the admission should have made it more desperately awkward--but as long as they didn't fall into silence, at least there was something Fi could work with. "It's okay. Honestly, you should hear some of things I say." Not exactly true. The Hufflepuff spent most of her time talking to people concentrating on not sounding like a complete idiot. The sixteen year old imagined that she probably failed at least eighty percent of the time, so she could at least sympathize. It wasn't like striking up a conversation with a complete stranger was the easiest thing to do.
In an effort to make her companion feel a little more at ease, Fiona gave the book pile between them a shove. It didn't move very far at all--it had probably been a stupid idea to stack ten books in one pile--but at least it gave some indication of what she was trying to do. "How about we try this again?" The badger held out her hand, still smiling brightly as though the whole exchange had been the most pleasant, normal introduction anyone could wish for. "I'm Fiona. And you are...?" The fifth year looked up expectantly, hoping the girl would take her efforts to heart.
The red-head could tell quite clearly that she was making the other student rather uncomfortable. Shiral watched the blonde's eyes trying to find an escape. It hurt, as it was bound to do. The ravenclaw was horrible at this. The biggest problem was to try and figure out what to say now that she had made an idiot out of herself. The blonde in front of her said words that even to Shiral sounded like a normal person trying to make a child feel better.
Still the girl seemed to be trying, she even offered a smile that just made Shiral feel worse. The sympathy poured out of this one like her mother when Shiral played in nettles as a girl. She seemed to be trying very hard to make Shiral feel better. Or at the very least to not leave the conversation with an awkward silent ending. Or one of them desperately looking for an escape to get away from the other. This was just sad...Why couldn't she have a normal conversation with someone that didn't include mentally berating herself?
Shiral watched the blonde try to shove the book stack. It was a rather amusing attempt. She took the top half of the stack and set it down on the other side, then, rearranging the stack, moved the bottom half on top. The girl stuck out her hand in what the ravenclaw assumed was the handshake she should accept. A couple of awkward seconds passed...
that you should accept...
Her thoughts smacked her back into reality and she held out her hand to the girl, gently grasping the blonde's digits and moving in an up and down motion once before releasing her. That wasn't so bad was it? She began to contemplate the origins of the handshake and how odd of a greeting mechanism it was. Perhaps it was the north west's balance between the over-abundance of touch and warmth that one found in the south, and the polite distance kept by the east...
PAY ATTENTION YOU DOLT!
“Shiral! oh..um...I mean...My name is Shiral. This is Hibblespot.”
The eagle pointed to the toad on her head.
“He's grumpy today...though I haven't the slightest as to why.”
There was one awful moment where Fiona was sure the other girl wasn't going to accept her hand. The Hufflepuff stood there awkwardly, her smile becoming strained as she wondered what on earth she was supposed to do if there was no reciprocation. Did she just pretend nothing happened? Did she leave? Did she ask the girl to leave? What was the usual way of handling this sort of thing? The fifth year didn't know, had never had to think about it before now, and now all she could do was stand there and hope something happened, and that she didn't end up looking like a total fool. Or, if she did, that this girl was someone the sixteen year old could easily avoid seeing.
Thankfully, the badger didn't have to put much thought into her escape plan because the girl held out her own hand. The two shook hands and, not sure what else to do at the moment, Fiona took her seat again, though she kept looking up at the other girl, intending to continue their interaction. Or at least try. This really wasn't going well at all. Fi had had plenty of uncomfortable conversations in her life--some really, really uncomfortable conversations. Like the time some boy made her lie down in the common room while other people walked around them--so really, the fifth year should have been pretty used to the phenomenon by this point. She managed more uncomfortable conversations on average than any other sort. How anyone could get through life with so much discomfort was a mystery, even to the Hufflepuff.
"Nice to meet you, Shiral. And, uh, Hibblespot." Fiona paused, not sure how to proceed. For one thing, she hadn't the slightest clue how one talked to toads, and for another... well, she just didn't know. Simple as that. Clearing her throat, the blonde said, "Do you maybe want help finding whatever you were looking for?" Fi gestured down at her parchment. "I've only got a few sentences left here. I could... help...? Maybe?" The witch's voice trailed off, sounding far less assured than she normally liked. She didn't know what else to do at this point that wasn't rude, and the last thing the badger ever wanted to be was rude. The sixteen year old couldn't understand how anyone ever found social interaction easy. How did you know what to say? How did you just start talking to someone new when there wasn't some sort of driving force, or an obvious topic to talk about? Was there some sort of vital skill set that she was missing? Was there some sort of class everyone else took that Fiona had somehow missed? Had she been sick that day?
Handshakes were such an odd form of greeting...Still she obliged the gesture and after returning it realized that she felt no more connected to the blonde. Shiral could feel that things were becoming strained. She liked this girl well enough, but perhaps it would be better if the interaction ended here. It simply meant that they might meet again later, under slightly better circumstances. Also, she was fairly certain from the uncomfortable shifting of the toad on her head, that they needed to head to the lawn..or the nearest planter. Time to test out her ability to say 'goodbye' without seeming like she was trying to run...
"Actually, I know where things are...I just positively hate the subject...I appreciate it though, Fiona."
The eagle had an odd habit of 'tasting' people's names on her tongue. She rolled them around for a bit before spitting them out shortly after hearing them. Fiona's name sounded like, despite it's short length...it was too long. As the ravenclaw wasn't any good at nicknames she simply used the full thing to address her. Still...if she did continue interaction with this girl, the witch thought it best to see how her other friends addressed her. Surely, not every addressed her by the full three syllable version of her name.
Sidetracked again Shiral...It's time to say goodbye.
Yes! She was supposed to be leaving this girl to her studies and continuing on her own! While the blonde in front of her may have been done with her paper, Shiral had yet to even begin on hers! She knew where the books were, at this point, she was simply stalling to get away from having to read them. Not that reading was anything bad...just the subject matter. With a soft sigh the red-head looked over at the sitting student again. She sort of hoped that they might see one another again, if only so Shiral could try to give a less formal...more..acquainted greeting.
"Actually...I should probably start studying. I quite dislike transfigurations, but if I don't start on the paper soon I'll stall myself right out of a grade on it. It has been lovely meeting you. Maybe I'll see you around the castle."
With that, and a carefully placed smile Shiral waved and started back off into the stacks. It wasn't until she was already a good forty feet away that she realized she hadn't even given the other girl a chance to say goodbye as well...Come to think of it, it was probably rather rude of her but she had already walked away and wasn't about to go back and start the whole awkward exchange all over again. She would try to act like it never happened the next time she saw Fiona. It would be....wave, smile, 'hi'. or...'hi Fiona'...something of the sort. She would have to try it on someone else first. Someone who didn't think she was a nutter...