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Welcome Tallygarunga is an 18+ post-Potter non-canon forum RPG set in Australia, featuring Australia's only public wizarding school Tallygarunga.

Setting
Location: Rural Victoria, Australia
Current time: January 2018
Term One: January 30th-March 29th

House Points
Flinders: 0
Sturt: 0
Bourke: 0
Spencer: 0
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THE AUSTRALIAN HOME OF MAGIC
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Alan Burdett

First Impressions (Dec. 24, '17)

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Alan's door was open. That was how he liked it, and unless he was in the middle of a meeting, intense air-guitar session, or needed to keep Tavi in one spot, he rarely shut his office door. It also meant that Audrey could easily look in and make sure he was doing his work.


Octavia sat in a chair opposite his desk, swinging her legs to make the chair spin around. She could make it go very fast. This made Alan proud, and also wary that she may soon project her lunch across his desk. Or the carpet. Or whatever she happened to be pointed at when it Happened. Alas, there was no time for that---and definitely no time for the clean up that would follow.

"Tavi," he said, reaching across his desk to grab the chair and halt its movement. "Gotta get off now, I need this chair."

The four-year-old turned and scowled at him. "But it's mine!" she protested.

"Come sit over here." Alan pointed to another (admittedly, less spinny) chair on his side of the desk. "You can help me." Alan rummaged around his desk, producing a paper, pen and clipboard. "Audrey would be very upset if we didn't take notes on this meeting. Think you can handle that?"

Alan rarely did admission interviews. He liked to get to know the kids properly, out on the school grounds---but this one he felt there would be some benefit in talking to before the school year started. Get a bit of an idea of what they were in for.

What he knew so far was... interesting. Alan was a bit intrigued to see what the kid himself was actually like.

"You're welcome to come on in, mate." he said, a little louder, his Headmaster-senses tingling. Someone was a-waiting to enter. Alan gestured to the set that Tavi had just vacated, the young girl sat beside her father and stared intensely forward.

"Have a seat. Thirsty?" Alan pointed to a jug of water that served almost no purpose on his desk. "Relax. Tell me a bit about yourself.

(Alan)

Edited by Kaitore

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Alexander had been scheduled for an interview with the Headmaster of Tallygarunga which in truth shocked the young man for several reasons. The first being that he wasn't sure how much he had managed to piece together about his 'story' or the lack there of given to the school by his Father. People in education always seemed to have access to the rumors that spread from one Instructor to the next and who knew what the heads of those institutions would really know. 'It's cool, Alex. . . Just relax it'll be no big deal. Right?'

The call that reached out towards him beckoned for his appearance as he gave a brief sigh outwards to calm his nerves. He usually didn't get the shaken nerves but he also wasn't sure what he was walking into exactly. As he transitioned his way from the waiting area to the office his eyes glazed over the environment while his right hand slipped under the strap that connected to his acoustic guitar.

"Hi and thanks, sir." Was that too casual? Well, it was too late now the words already pushed through the air and the only thing he could do was work with what he had given himself. In a careful motion the guitar's entirety had been lifted up from his back and the strap looped over his head so that he could grasp the neck of the instrument and set it down carefully on the floor. That was his child of sorts after all - speaking of children!

It couldn't be helped that his blue eyes shifted from the Headmaster to the young girl who seemed to be quite young still with a snap to her step. He offered up a small smile towards her a slight wave though not out of shyness it was just that his body started to ache a bit. "Hey there, Kiddo."

Finally, he had sat down able to comfort himself a bit by the firmness of the chair. "Honestly? Yea, haven't had a drink in the last few hours!" He blinked a few times as he scanned the Jug. "Any, uh, cups?" If there wasn't it was fine but he certainly didn't want to risk getting the jug all messy.

Alex dreaded the next question that seemed to emerge and while it was the obvious and most likely one to be asked part of him hoped it'd be skimmed over. Where to even start about himself? "That's. . . One question to hit me with that will be a bit of a doozy to answer! Hehehe" He tried to laugh it off awkwardly or more so to try and buy himself just a quick few seconds to think.

"Well I am a musician! Playing the guitar and singing helps me to think stuff through and it's pretty fun as a hobby. I just recently came from a Private School - I didn't really like the intense structure there so I kind of pushed my Pops to put me in a more free feeling school." To go from a truth to a partially blatant lie wasn't easy but the urge to not risk being tossed out before even starting the year grew.

"Oh and I'm an only child which is fine considering. . ." Eyelid's shut briefly in thought how was he to word it? A sickness? Yea, that seemed to work perfectly. As the lids slid back open he continued on. "I am usually always sick. Doc's don't really know what's up but it's something that gets in the way sometimes." Sometimes? All the times

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Right... bugger. Cups. He had those somewhere, right?

As Alan searched through his desk drawers for some sort of cup-like contraption, Tavi giggled at the elder boy. She held her clipboard up to hide her face, playing peek-a-boo and making herself giggle in the process. The noise caused Alan to wince a little, finally finding a dusty old coffee cup (since when did Alan drink coffee?), sanitising it with a quick spell.

"Sorry 'bout her," he nodded back to Octavia. He poured Alex a drink from the jug, nudging it to the edge of the desk. "I don't like to keep her in care too much, so she helps me out here. Don't you bub?" Alan's face broke into a grin, looking back at his youngest, who was now solemnly waving her clipboard.

"I'm taking notes!" she declared.

Alan kicked back a little as Alex introduced himself. The kid had a guitar, and that he liked. He wondered whether the kid knew any AC/DC, or if he was going to have to educate the boy properly. But as Alex began to dodge around the topic of his previous school, Alan put both his hands up.

"Mate, you were kicked out." He said, seeing no point in being delicate about it. "Don't---it's fine, you're far from the first kid to come here after something like that. Can't say I wasn't tempted to set some of my own professors on fire, can't say I didn't do things myself at your age that would have got me kicked out of a place like that." Alan grinned. He was a true Spencer. He had stories.

"What I want to know---why I asked you in here---is why." Alan's serious face returned. "You don't seem like a destructive kid. And... to be honest, your practical grades aren't great. But somehow you started a full-scale fire from dead air. So..." Alan tapped at the desk, musing a moment.

"I need to know how to help you." He said. "I've got in my notes that you're possibly quite behind your own year level due to being sick. Usually poor grades combined with an excellent demonstration of pyromancy suggests a kid that's bored with classroom work, or catastrophic issues with controlling higher-level magic. Wand incompatibility... that sort of thing. Quite a few reasons, to be honest."

Alan shrugged.

"Depends on who you are, and how you want to tackle it. If you wanna learn, I'm willing to stand here and get set on fire until we make it work. If you don't wanna learn, I'm just as happy to help you find a way to a future that suits you." Alan glanced down at the file on his desk briefly before looking back up at Alex.

"But mate, I think you're at a point where we need to do something. I'm not gonna let you leave this school without a plan."

(Alan)

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In awe and perhaps even a twinge of jealousy. . . Alex watched as a swift spell swept the mug clean of any dust that cluttered its surfaces. Magic was really so easy for people? Sure he was a Headmaster! But it was almost as quick as thought itself it seemed with how well it flowed on the other hand he still couldn't manage a single base spell without massive complications.

"It's cool!" The giggling as well as the hide and seek play from Octavia brought more a smile towards his face and pushed back the recent thoughts that had started to clot in his mind. "They say train em' young! Looks like she's having more fun with it too." The energy and playful nature of kids always seemed to be a good way to lessen a tension in the room. Perhaps in this case. . . To lessen and then smack him hard with the 'Tension Tree'.

The moment the 'true nature' of his reasoning for being at Tallygrunga had surfaced his expression shifted to one of disbelief. Probably shouldn't have been considering it was one of his considering fears but all the same his mind remained stunned trying to find the next words he needed to speak. Lie? Truth? Either way he'd have been caught and trying to play it off any further would only cause more issues in the long run.

Lips parted as a deep exhale pushes forth and his right hand lingered at the front of his locks to push through the strands. It served as a buffer to catch both his mental composition and his actual expression to not look like a deer in headlights on a dark night.

"W-Well. . . First to say I DIDN'T intend to actually set the man on fire!" Both hands rose up but only the index fingers extended skyward to try and set more emphasis on his plight. "The sick part isn't a lie though I've always been really bad with my immune system since a babe. Easy to get sick coughing fits, sometimes blood with the coughing fits." The last being more recent and often than he'd probably like.

A finger looped around the mug to lift it up and bring its edge to his lips just to take in a bit of water. Parched throat being a bad situation to have if he wanted to avoid setting off the fits. "I also don't really know the 'why' or the 'how' is just kind of happens. Maybe the spell works but more often than not it actually just blows up in my face by being set on fire. It's happened to a few guitar's without a wand. . . It's kind of like I'd think 'Okay clean this mug!' and something else in me says 'Naaaah, I'm gonna torch it like a bonfire!'"

Alex started to frown a bit at the thought of losing and paying for yet another guitar. It wasn't a cheap instrument for how he needed it to be configured. "I've tried different wands too the results were the same well. . . Except that one time when the wand actually wasn't fit for me. A professor caught blaze." He tried to laugh it off, what? It was pretty funny considering that's some of the risks of changing Wands to find the issue.

Once the offer to be 'set on fire until they make it work' came up his words stalled. Someone was willing to be the next human marshmallow? That's a switch. . . He was more used to the negative responses in the past he wasn't prepared for the possibility that someone would actually be willing. But it was true - something needed to be done and he needed to make a decision on how he wished to proceed. Would he try his best to learn or find an alternative in life that could make do with a new answer?

"Well. . . I've come this far kind of bumbling about I may as well see it through to the end!" A nod was offered as his gaze shifted to his guitar that sat in place on the floor. Even with all of the issues determination pushed him forward to learn and practice, why should magic be any different?

"I want to learn. This fire is just too unpredictable for my liking." Alex lifted his eyes back to Alan. Wandering fingers rested on his chin as he rubbed it in thought. "But what's the starting point?"

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Alan listened, taking in all Alex had to say with a few slow nods. He tapped his pen as he processed the information, but on his face remained an easy smile and relaxed posture that gave away a little of what he was thinking. He liked the kid. When the application had reached enrollments, with a note from previous teachers to "ideally homeschool", Alan had disregarded the note completely. Over the years he'd found there was very little to gain actually listening to educators in the private system.

Not that he would ever admit that to Kate.

"Where you've come from, they don't deal with imperfect very well." Alan assured Alex. "Here, it's a bit different. Long as you're motivated to learn, we're willing to teach. You're not the first kid I've had with a bit of unpredictable magic, and I doubt you'll be the last."

After all, Alan himself had struggled in his school years. Partly due to his own arrogance, impatience, and desire to show off. Potions had come naturally to him (he did enjoy exploding things), but the rest... not so much. He hadn't been especially gifted, or even engaged in his schooling until that very last year when the real world loomed ahead and he figured he'd better study.

His professors had done their part to see him through, and for that he had always been grateful. At a place like Greyheme he knew he would have been cast out and written off as "trouble" (which wasn't untrue), there would have been no second, third, or fourth chances for Alan. Now Alan had been teaching for more than half his life, and Headmaster for nearly two decades---helping kids like Alex was what made it all the more worthwhile.

"Well, first---I think you're going to need some one-to-one attention. See where the gaps are in your education, what we need to catch you up on, and see if we can't work out the cause of the unpredictability."

Finding out why was the first key. From there, everything was much easier to work out.

"I'd like to see how you go with wandless magic, too. It's usually something we keep for more advanced students, but if you've had issues with every wand you've tried---it's something to think about. Musiciary as well. We've got a few old guitars in the classroom with basic cores built in." Alan grinned.

"I say old, what I mean is my brothers decided when they were at school they wanted to play---and gave up, so there's no loss if they get destroyed. Mum brought them over here to get them out of her house. Baz and Steve probably don't even remember they exist."

(Alan)

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"Tell me about it. . ." Alex's eyes shifted as if to recall some of the more 'fonder' memories dealing with the private sector of education. His hand rose up to brush at the back of his neck to comfort and relax his own nerves that those memories and possibly, more hopefully, that such things would be way in the past for him with this next step forward. "Well, if you have others that are popping out sudden fires, probably want to keep us apart. I don't think we want a bonfire, yet. .. . I mean, unless it's for a school trip or something then that'd just be a bad thing happening for a good moment."

Honestly, he had to laugh at himself often enough to keep his spirits. Self barbs in a joking twist? That came easily and simply enough.

His head seemed to tilt soon after with lips parted to parrot. "One-on-one?" Not that he was foreign to that kind of a concept, it was how he got by in learning how to play the guitar and sing so there wouldn't be a need for time to get acclimated. But to think a school would offer something like that to someone in his position? A school that actually cared. . . "I won't have to worry too much then, right? I mean I don't want to make it a habit of setting professors on fire. Homework I don't mind too much getting torched." That was a joke, partially a joke. Okay, Only like 1/4 of that was a joke.

The thought of being apart of a Wandless Magic class had it's own section of intimidation. He was under subpar with a wand most days, as if something inside of his chose which day would be a 'good' day to use magic and which days it'd be nice for marshmallows. If advanced students took to that class what would his levels of testing in its practical use actually be? It was a thought that almost drove deeper until the word 'Musciary' and the talk of guitars caused his eyes to light up and his attention to snap even more towards Alan.

"Seriously!? Man, that'd be awesome if I can spear Sapphire here some torch and pain." 'Sapphire' was what he named his guitar, his 'Baby', he was perhaps maybe too bonded but when something gives you a way out of the depression and the pain? It deserves to be named and taken care of with the utmost care in mind. "Of course, she'll be the only one playing in actual performances in my hands. " A brief idea flashed in his mind as he envisioned himself in a large enough room to garner attention by any means necessary and just. . . Putting the works to Sapphire's strings.

Alexander's head shook lightly as if to not make light of the plight Old instruments have to go through. "They missed out big time! So much you can play out through instruments and the sound that rocks out from them is just profound. I'm definitely going to do what that old school forbade me. . . And set some music to these halls. " He had started to go a bit off topic didn't he? AH! THE FIRES OF YOUTH!

Finally he allowed the smile that had grown on his face like a chesire cat to dim, mostly to not look crazy as his blue eyes shifted between Tavi and then to Alan again as he nodded. He at least wanted to be a good role model if a kid was just sitting there right in his face, especially the Headmaster's kid. "I'm definitely game for this plan, I guess I should probably meet the teacher's before hand so that they aren't entirely 'surprised' by the freak show? Hehehe."
 

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A slow grin crept across Alan's face as the kid talked about music. Alan didn't have any musical talent to speak of (his children had banned him from singing in the shower), but he loved the sound of a heavy guitar. In his own mind, he was a very accomplished air-guitarist, and so long as he never picked up an actual guitar (disasters had happened in the past) his kids were keen to join the fun.

"Alright. I'm gonna suggest you seek out Professor Wilmington, and Professor Buckley. Explain to them your situation like you did to me just now, don't sugar-coat anything. They know when you're extending the truth. See what their ideas are, and we'll go from there, yeah?"

Of course, Alan could have gone and talked to Kasey and Wyatt himself and set up a plan for Alex, but what did that teach the kid about confronting his issues productively? Nothing. He would talk to them as well, and help develop some ideas, but it was equally important that Alex take charge of his path here at Tallygarunga.

At the mention of the "freakshow", Alan shivered a little. Freakshow. Freaks. Blue---oh that was it. The eerie feeling that had been lurking in the back of his mind made itself known. Alex's eyes were... unnatural to say the least. But a level of unnatural that Alan knew too well. The blue-eyed freaks, the not-especially nice nickname given to Adele and family.

Poor kid. Imagine being lumped in with that lot for having eerily similar eye colour.

Octavia slid down from her chair, and moved across to pull herself up onto Alan's knee. She was getting big---and he winced a little as she hefted her bony bum to a comfortable seat. Once settled, she cuddled in, and he instantly forgot the bruise that was surely already forming on his thigh.

"Daddy, is the boy going to play music?" she asked, pointing toward "Sapphire".

"I don't know, sweetheart." Alan answered, before looking up at Alex again. "Is he?"

(Alan)

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"Professor Wilmington. . . and Buckley. . . Alright!" Don't sugar coat. . . Could he even managed to do something like that? It's happened so much, so often. When ideas and words became second nature the lie starts to form into a warped truth no matter how aware of the facts that you are. And yet, maybe telling the truth in all of its 'gory details' may opt for the temperance that is necessary to control what is wild and raging inside.

Alexander gave a compliant nod towards Alan. "Yea, yea - you're right if I held back it wouldn't be any good for me." On many levels now that he reflected on it, that would be telling them he didn't truly want training unless he was exposed. He understood that the Headmaster was giving him an opportunity that most institutions would ignore, the door would be shut right in his face and he'd have no chance to see the truth of himself. That was something that he didn't want to occur which meant being honest about everything.

At least his medical record was an opened book for the school so he wouldn't need to go into too depth of discussion with his health and heritage, right? Not that he knew enough about his mother to hazard a guess. Suddenly, a pain in his chest started to pulsate with a cough that rattled its way through his esophagus. Almost as if in a trained motion his hand reached into his pants to pull out a white cloth that was stained in crimson and followed after a coughing fit newer red blotches clung to the rag. The corner is used to gently wipe at the corners of his mouth to make sure he left not a drop of blood behind on his face.

"S-Sorry. . ." What else could he say? He felt as if he needed to apologize for being such a slob, for essentially being a 'Bubble boy' as many would joke about it back in school. Yet, there was no clue on what was causing such volatile responses coincidentally much like his magic.

The movement of Ocatvia shifting towards her father and leaping on his lap pushed a smile on Alex's lips. It was enough to inspire him to push through the pain especially once she asked if music would be played. "That he is!" Tone in his voice was strained and as his hands reached to grip the neck of 'Sapphire' it could easily be told his fingers trembled slightly as he started to align the digits after it nestled on his lap.

"Now lets see. . ." He cooed out in a low breath, what would be appropriate for a child with her father sitting there? Nothing -too- awkward for sure but nothing too childish. No, he could tell instantly she was a young girl who was quite intelligent. A song comes to mind, it was also pretty easy on his focus at the moment.

Sapphire's strings strummed and resonated in the air in a melodic vibration. After testing each chord separately and then a quick strum of all at once, Alex pressed his back into the chair and cuddled the guitar a bit closer to his torso. Lingered right hand settled at its based and pressed the strings lightly with what seemed to be a brown pick.

Gravity's tune started to build up in the guitar's composition. Considering it was simply the guitar a lot of it depended on him knowing the notes but also adding the shift that it would cause not having other instruments back him up. "I'm so lost, without love with no rhythm or rhyme~. . . " His voice despite the coughing held much of his power and strength to keep a harmony and fluctuation with minor breaking, after all blood is a bad way to warm up ones throat!

Once the song commenced a bead of sweat glistened at his brow with the back of the right hand wiping at it gingerly. "My bad about that. . . I promise to give a better show." He winked confidently as best as he could, anyways. He'll need a plan to make up for his health ruining much of the performance in his opinion.

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At the sight of blood, Alan frowned. That was normal? The kid didn't seem too distressed, which was telling. He was apologetic. Alan waved a hand, dismissing the worry.

"Don't be sorry," he murmured, deeply troubled by this. A kid shouldn't be that used to coughing up blood. He made a mental note to seek out some medical attention for the kid, see if they couldn't find a cause. Maybe he wasn't going to find anything that hadn't been covered already, but it was worth a try, right?

As Alex began to play, Tavi grinned broadly, delighted by this show. The softer, accoustic sound wasn't Alan's usual jam, but he could appreciate the level of talent that went with it. His knee bounced with the beat, and he rocked Tavi from side to side with the music.

The little girl stared at Alex in brown-eye wonder and hero-worship. Alan knew that he would now have a battle on his hands to stop the girl from following Alex around the school.

His kids loved music. Alan was so proud of that.

"You aren't half bad at all!" Alan grinned at the end of the song, which was his very-Alan way of saying he'd enjoyed it (even if it wasn't by AC/DC). Octavia clapped her hands and beamed.

"Does he know the Wiggles, Daddy?" she asked, ever hopeful. Alan laughed and shook his head.

"Maybe another time, sweetheart." he said, hoping to give the poor kid a chance to settle in before the kids commanded him for daily concerts. He looked back up at Alex.

"Any questions about what we've talked about?"

(Alan)

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Normal. . . It was his every day life and it was marked as the less painful of his days within his mind. Waking up with burning joints, even far stretching into the ball joints where damage could be done if it were some form of active parasitic beast. The increase in heartbeat and blood pressure that would occur as if his body was trying to keep life within itself during the morning hours. All of this still was some how secondary in comparison to the deeper feeling that two things were trying to rip through his body neither keeping dominance but neither making themselves truly known. The enigma within that he could never truly explain not from lack of trying but lack of proof and way to describe it.

"Force of habit at this point, Hehe." Alexander tried to laugh it off, almost as if it were something everyone dealt with in their life. How far has he pulled the wool over his own eyes to normalize such a thing? Even if the doctors found nothing there was one obvious realization is that such acts could eventually lead to death. Something he wasn't keen on keeping within thought.

Regardless, Octavia's request to play music came on time as it gave him the necessary cushion to pull his mind back together. To fuel all the pain and discomfort into the song and take control of his otherwise unpredictable body. It had to be the one thing he could actually control within his life.

As the compliment swam out he could only chuckle weakly with an offered shrug. "Well, you know. . . I try! I'm not as good as my idol yet but I'll make sure I get there one way or another!" A nod of determination shook from him, self inspiration was important in this business of music.

Wait the -WIGGLES?!- If he had a penny every time a parent asked if he'd play a song from them. Kids seemed to go nutty for the 'Big Red Car' song, that and Fruit Salad. But at the same time he felt guilty about letting a little tike down if they had expectations. "How about next time I'll give you a full soundtrack worth of Wiggles songs." What. The. Hell. did he just agree to!? Weakness? Kids. Check. Other weaknesses? Who knows, hopefully not overly pretty girls or he'd be done.

Oh, right, questions. . . His blue eyes traced back to Alan while he let his lips twist a bit in thought. The music always seemed to set him off course with things he probably should have been considering instead of running away from them. "None that come to mind, nah, knowing me I'll probably walk out go two blocks home and think 'Oh, crap, I should have asked THAT!'." A smirk played on his lips at the prospect of that happening. No way in Hades would he walk all the way back to ask, he'd just wait for another day with a list on a paper.

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Alan nodded, trying not to give away the deep concern that was niggling at him. There was something very... odd about the kid. And yet familiar. He just couldn't place it. It was clear though, that Alex was a good kid that didn't mean anyone harm--and so he would have a solid and supportive place at Tally. Alan hoped that this would be where the kid thrived, and hopefully they could help sort out a few of the issues that plagued him.

Octavia squealed with unabashed delight at the offer of the concert, which Alan had to laugh at. Tavi forgot nothing. Alex would be forced to come through with the goods, or face an extremely unhappy fournager. Alan just hoped he was in another state if it came to that.

"Alright, well," he began to finish up. "You know where my office is if you ever need to chat---if I'm not here, Audrey usually knows where you can find me. You're officially a student here now, and even though the year hasn't started yet---you're free to make use of the facilities whenever you like."

He gave Alex an easy smile, glad he'd taken the time for this meeting. It was in things like this that Alan really found the reward in his work. Much as he hated the paperwork, the politics, and the other nonsense, he was an excellent educator that ran a good school.

(Alan)

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What else could he do but promise the kiddo that he'd do a performance? Though he knew that it wouldn't be so easy with classes and whatever other school activities he'd need to get involved within as a priority to keep his powers contained, trained, and just overall find out what the big hub was about them. Yet he had this nagging feeling he wouldn't be left to forget about this promise at all.

The blue-eyed male ran his fingers loosely along his chin in consideration of how he'd be able to really sell a good show. Ah, well, he will just need to make sure he let the Headmaster know he was ready to perform his 'Hit series of Wiggle songs' while inwardly protesting every single note that'd press passed his lips.

"Audrey?" It seemed he'll need to take a quick course on who the Teacher's and administrators were of the school. Better to know who to avoid or not avoid when it came time for him getting comfortable with side shen-on-agains. "Then I'll just move in! Safer that way and I think I need to give my pops a break on fires being sparked. That and my constant music practice in the early mornings." My mornings he really meant late at night but hey, same difference.

His hands fixed the straps of his guitar so that he could sling it over his shoulder once more as he started to stand up. "Thanks for the time!" A slight wave his given while his body shifted to walk back out of the door.

A surprising but enlightening meaning, at least he knew he'd get the necessary help here. Better than taking his chances with another place that wouldn't consider him some major threat right from the start.

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