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Setting

Date:
December, 2018
Season:
Summer
School Status:
Ending Term 4

House Points

Sturt
210
Flinders
140
Spencer
305
Bourke
285
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An AU non-canon Harry Potter-inspired forum roleplay set in Australia.

Adoptable Spotlight

THE AUSTRALIAN HOME OF MAGIC
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Katherine Belmont

Invite The Girl Who Didn't Belong (Dec. 30 2017)

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

She didn't need the tour. Of any prospective parent, Kate Belmont was the last person who needed a tour of the Whitlam Bilby Wing. She had all-but held Alan's hand while they drew out the plans and secured funding. 

The project had been a gamble, but it seemed to be paying off. Standing here in front of the finished buildings, she couldn't help but feel proud. Even if it had started as a drunken rant by Alan about the lack of wizarding education for younger children.

It had worked. So why hadn't she sent Hazel here earlier? Kate had been as much a part of the Whitlam Bilby's creation as the Tally staff themselves, and yet she'd sent Hazel to the same pre-Penrose program she had attended. The answer shamed her.

To keep Hazel close. Even though she knew this was a better place, and knew that Hazel was feeling suffocated in the stuffy elitist program, at least she was near home. 

Gods but she hated it when Stuart was right, and even more when Alan was right.

Kate herself was an image of Penrose perfection. Immaculate school staff uniform in pristine dark blue, pencil skirt and blazer over a crisp white shirt. Unlike the students, she was allowed to wear her hair down, and did---waves of chocolate brown sitting neat even in the hot wind. And, as always, high heels. There was nothing Kate could not do in heels. 

Including kicking a goal from thirty metres out, just to prove to Alan that she wasn't the fragile princess he thought she was. She could--and had--beaten the boys in running races, across Tallygarunga's rugged terrain without even getting a run in her stockings. Kate was a Penrose girl through and through.

And Hazel... would not be. Standing alone in the playground, Kate really wasn't sure how to feel about that. It was for the best, but... was it?

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

Boaz frequented most of the wing on a daily basis. Much like his students he struggled to sit still for very long, he often told others that was why he made such an effective teacher, neither he or the class could keep focus for too long and that made it easier to run a class. He smiled at the thought as he made his way around the playground now. Again, like his students this was one of his more favored locations. The man had to admit he liked watching his brilliant little humans as they were able to play with unfettered creativity with one another. It ws magical watching it… more so than the magic he was able to perform. 

He sometimes wondered if he should rethink his stance on kids, but he had several variables that seemed to count him out. For one, he was not always the most dependable in a relationship, he would get caught up and lose track of time… It was frustrating for those who needed his time. His sister had adapted she was smart enough to know that he needed to be kept on track if he was to be anywhere but school on time. So much of his life revolved around education. He valued it more than all the gold he had sitting in his bank vault. It was while he was contemplating gold that he spotted her. 

Any good teacher was observant, he could often predict a meltdown before it happened, and the woman was not one he had seen before. Though that didn’t really mean much. The taller man walked towards her with a warm smile. ”Hello.” He greeted her. He was well aware that he did not look the part of a teacher, but dressed like one he did seem more the teacher than your average indigent ne’er do well. ”Is there something I can help you with?” He asked as he stopped in front of her his hands clasped. ”Do you have a meeting with someone? Looking for one of the tiny humans?” he asked with a lopsided grin.

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

Kate turned slowly to face the advancing figure, her lips thinning as she appraised him. What was this? The janitor? In the context of Tallygarunga, he was well presented---Alan himself was known to frequent the grounds in stubby shorts and a singlet---but to Kate's critical eye he was scruffy. 

"Alan suggested I stop by and have a look at how the program has grown." Kate stressed Alan's first name, as if it somehow indicated that she knew him more closely than anyone else. Truth was, she did, but almost everyone called Alan by his first name. Half the students did. Alan often lamented the times that he wasreferred to as "headmaster" or (worse) "Mr Burdett". 

"My husband and I are considering sending our daughter here." Kate often forgot herself, forgot that Matt was someone who was known in the area, and his predicament was equally well known. That, and her Penrose uniform made it very clear who she was. The formiddable and only Katherine Belmont.

Best known these days for letting the Drunken Roo deteriorate, and keeping a vegetable alive.

Kate decided to be nice, at least.

"It must be tough work," she said to Boaz. "Maintaining the grounds in such weather. You've your work cut out for you for sure."

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

It was not the first time he had been mistaken for someone else. The woman in front of him had made the observation that he must be a janitor. That’s not to say that Boaz was immune to the things he had been called over the years. He was a minority and they often didn’t fair well when face to face with someone of apparent affluence. Sure he was not conventional but that did not quite give her the right to make an assumption about him. He was not sure if it was the color of his skin or his tattoos but either way he found himself in a situation he was too often put in. At least she had not referred to him as ‘boy’ or any of the other rather derogatory things he had ben called over the years. Some stung to a varying degree but he found that some of the most innocuous words made the most painful impressions. 

”Ah, well that is good to hear how old is she?” He said with a smile. Children had always been something he cared a great deal about, from coaching to teaching he quite honestly enjoyed the way they interacted with the world. ”Oh did you have a tour set up? Could I go find him for you?” He said. At least he could do something to offer some help to the woman in front of him. For a moment he considered leaving it at that. It was not really like him to confront someone but he also found that today, he had the time to go there. 

”I think Tane does a decent job in any weather.” He smoothed the front of his shirt. ”But thank you for the compliment I will pass it along.” Again. he was unsure of what her reasoning was for assuming he was the janitor and he didn’t think he wanted to know. People often made assumption and Boaz was not privy to their reasoning. Though if he had been privy to it, he felt he wouldn’t find himself as good natured towards others.”Boaz Izem” he held out his hand. ”I teach grade one.” He introduced himself. "And you are right, I do have my work cut out for me, but I am kept on my toes for sure." 

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

"Seven." Kate answered, wondering where all that time had gone. Hazel had been such a small thing when the accident happened, now she was a little person of her own, full of opinions and back-chat. She was a smart kid, but smart in ways Kate couldn't always grasp. Hazel was good with people, she was intuitive. She was even better with animals. Kate knew that, at some point, she was either going to have to cave and get a horse---or find some other way of satisfying Hazel's dream.

She shook her head at the offer of the tour.

"I helped Alan draw up the plans---I'm good." she said, her chest filling with more than a little pride. That air quickly escaped as he spoke again, and she realised her mistake.

"Grade one?" she repeated weakly. "Well that's... marvellous." Kate didn't know what else to say. She'd just insulted the man who was more than likely going to teach her daughter, which she was beginning to seriously reconsider on the basis of Boaz looking like a homeless.

Not that Kate had anything particular against homeless people, they were just... gross.

"I don't know if I could handle the younger ones. Teens are hard enough," she snorted after a moment. Kate could just about hear Alan in the back of her mind, frustrated in his demand that she get to know people before she judged them. Fine, mind-Alan, she thought: she would try and hold a conversation with the hobo.

"So... you would have Alan's boy, Cameron, in your class?" she asked. "Big responsibility, being trusted with that. Especially given, well. I wouldn't blame Alan if he never trusted anyone else with his kids."

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

He smiled. ”That is a good age. My sister’s daughter is seven going on thirty” He did enjoy spending time with his niece she was a funny kid. Not to mention she seemed to think she ran the house and honestly, she did. Both of her parents were wrapped around her finger, she would be very unhappy when she was told that she would be a big sister. Though he felt she would be a great big sister once she set her mind to it. He glanced at the woman who had helped design the wing he had been teaching in. Boaz was actually quite thrilled when the wing had opened. He had made peace with potentially teaching muggle children or moving to the states where they had more education options for younger children. 

”Then you know your way around.” Boaz suggested and he swallowed the offense at her reaction to the fact he was a teacher. The more he spoked to her the more he was fairly sure she did not like him very much. His jeans and plain black t-shirt seemed to be under scrutiny and he hoped that maybe she wouldn’t send her child here. ”Well I think so. They are always the most interesting conversationalists.” They also lacked some of the more saddening traits that adults have. 

”I like them, they are all tiny little geniuses and they lack the inhibition that keep adults bound from creativity. They also are extremely honest and I find that refreshing.” They also lacked bias and stereotyping which was always a beautiful thing to see. ”And once you get the rules established it is not too hard.” he really did enjoy teaching. 

The man nodded. ”It is a great responsibility to be trusted with anyone’s child.” He countered though he knew the story. ”Trust me I don’t take it lightly.” As much as he loved to teach he also knew the responsibility he took on. ”when I interned at Uni I realized the importance… people trust you with what they value over everything else.” That was huge. Period. "But I know what you are saying. I also don't take that lightly."

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

"Yes. Yes I do." Kate nodded. "Alan and I have been friends and colleagues for... decades." 

Now there was another word that stung. Decades. The days of being stupid kids running around making mistakes, where had they gone? She felt old. The last five years had been such a blur, time spent waiting. Hoping. Kate lifted a hand and ran the tip of her thumbnail against her lips, an anxious habit.

"Hazel has also been through enough." Kate said softly, to Boaz -- but more to herself. "She sees her father every other week, but has never held a conversation with him. Doesn't have a memory of his voice, or the way he would smile. I can't give her those things."

Kate had sunk now, into a deep and sorrowful state of reflection. It was as if Stuart's words had stirred the pot, caused it to simmer--and now it was bubbling over at this random stranger she didn't even like very much. Well, that was unfair. She didn't like the look of him. He wasn't polished.

Neither was Alan, she remembered.
Neither was Matthew.

"All I can give her is this. The school he grew up in." Kate gestured to the Tally grounds. "Well, not this exactly---this wasn't here, but..." the internal struggle was clear. "Tally... in general. Closer to Matt's family. The Burdetts." 

And further away from Kate, and the family she chose to ignore. Kate's mother had never even met Hazel.

"She needs that... more." Kate swallowed. More than me.

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

Boaz nodded. It was something to have a friendship that lasted that long. Boaz had few old friends, he was not that old himself but there was one or two he had grown up with and still kept in touch with. Kes was teaching in New Zealand, and Jacob was playing quidditch professionally. It was actually really cool to see him out there. ”I bet you have some stories not even we teachers have heard about our headmaster.” Boaz did not know Alan well, but he did rather like the man. He respected him. Even with the stories of antics… everyone had stories that others could tell about them. Boaz never liked to introduce his sister to anyone she ws a great story teller. 

It was truly amazing to him when the mood shifted. He was taken back, however he was not a man who could look the other way. Instead he felt himself melt a bit around the wall he had put up. ”Kids aren’t supposed to know that life is hard just yet.” He agreed with her. ”However, the truly miraculous thing about them is they are the most resilient little things.” He had seen children bounce back from some horrific things. It took time, it always took time but they were surprising and they beat the odds every time. 

Boaz didn’t really think what she was saying was true. He imagined that it had to be difficult to be a single parent with an ambiguous loss. Not that he knew the details, but people talked. ”I think you give all you can for her, and I think you don’t give yourself enough credit for it.” Something he commonly saw with some parents. However she was taking the time to make a difference for her. That was all any parent could do. 

”She needs you.” He assessed. Kids always needed their parents no matter how much of a deficit they believed they had. This was information he would be sure to keep in mind, it was vital to know these things about his students. ”Is there anything you want to know about the program?” he asked. Maybe it would ease her mind a little. ”Or can I get you a cuppa?” That always seemed to ease his mind when he found things stressful and it often provided a decent distraction as well.

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

"Oooh you don't want those stories," Kate said with half a smile. "And Alan doesn't want them told, either. He's calmed down a lot over the years. Hard as that is to believe." 

Kate fiddled with the collar of her shirt, letting Boaz's words wash over her. He was right--kids shouldn't know how hard life is yet, and Kate had never wanted to expose Hazel to the harsh level of reality that both herself and Matt had grown up with. And Hazel was resilient, yes, but that didn't make it okay. 

Things were not supposed to be this way. Hazel got out and she played and she laughed, but all Kate could seem to find was sadness and guilt. She couldn't remember the last time she'd gone out and enjoyed herself. It all felt like cheating. 

She needs you.

Boaz's comment hit her in the chest, disarmed her entirely. When she looked back up at him, it wasn't the haughty face of the Headmistress of Penrose that she wore. It was the average, tired, sad, and frightened face of a single mother. 

"You really think so?" the question slipped out before she could remind herself: he didn't know her, or Hazel, how could he possibly have an informed opinion? She put up a hand, dismissing the stupid question herself.

"Don't--no. Never mind that. No I---I know the program intimately." she added, which was true. Just to be sure, she'd studied up on it before she came up to the school. She had a list of notes for Alan. He was going to love that.

"... I would... like the cuppa. Though." 

For all her appearances, her pride was gone in this moment. She just couldn't pretend for another minute.

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

”I am nearly certain that we do, and just as certain that he doesn’t.” He said with a small, but genuine smile. Boaz had to admit there was so much legend in the halls of the school he taught at… it was amazing. ”I would believe it, it seems that most of us have in some way or another. Be it by wisdom or a necessity.” Necessity had its own sort of wisdom he supposed. He had never been an overly intense person. Though he had stories he would prefer his collogues not know. He ducked his head for a moment and indicated that she follow him to where he kept the things for a decent cuppa, even in the middle of a chaotic day. 

If there was something he considered a universal truth, it was that a decent cuppa could fix just about anything… he wondered sometimes if he had picked that up from granny. In those days when his mum was not so happy, and she cried most of the time, that always seemed her go to. Boaz had not known the reason for his mother’s sadness but he had come to learn that when granny showed up things got better and he believed it was the magic in the cuppa. ”I know so.” he said with a small nod. ”It doesn’t matter who, or what or why.” Even as an adult he still needed his parents, his mother had needed his granny. ”No one in the world knows her better than you do. That itself is something to be celebrated.” 

There were many parents who lacked the basic skill, Boaz had concerns about some student. Their parents didn’t care, they weren’t around. They lacked the ability to provide for their basic needs… Or worse they didn’t take the time to know their children, they had been raised by a staff and not their parents. ”Even if you don’t believe it now, and I am not taking away from the fact parenting is a tough job without sick or vacation days, and you would be surprised how many parents come in and don’t think they are good for their kids…” Boaz felt the need to normalize the fact that he had parents have several breakdowns in his office. Which was a classroom and not really an office. 

Turning a corned he paused and allowed her to enter the brightly decorated room first. Numbers and letters and magical creatures littered the wall. It was all neat and orderly though, contrary to what his company thought he was really very clean- obsessively so. He offered her the chair beside his desk as he pulled two insulated, biodegradable paper mugs out. ”My granny was not magical, but she did believe in the magic of a cuppa.” He said. ”Sugar?”

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

Boaz's claims were... reassuring. Kate wondered why she had spent so much time helping therapists buy boats and expensive houses, when apparently the sage advice was to be found from homeless people. 

No---she had to stop that. Kate mentally corrected herself. This man was likely to be Hazel's teacher, and even though Hazel would charm him as she charmed everyone, she didn't want to put the wrong foot forward on her daughter's behalf. Also, Matt would have given her the biggest lecture about looking down on homeless people. 

She followed to the classroom, which was lively and interesting---yes. Hazel would love it. Kate felt like a giant among the tiny chairs and tables, before finally coming to sit at the one adult sized desk. 

"My granny was magical, and she believed that mixing with students from Tallygarunga would put a pox on the family." Kate said with a rueful smile. "Maybe she was right. We've been pretty cursed lately." 

When it came to family, Kate claimed she didn't have one. Not outside of Matt and Hazel, and their close family friends in the Burdetts and Blairs. Once Daddy's golden girl, Kate had been officially shown the door when she married Matt. They tried on occasion to make contact with her again, desperate to meet Hazel. Meet her, fill her head full of lies about family loyalty, turn her into a McElhaney.

Not happening. Kate would never be desperate enough to go back to their "support". 

"Sugar, yes... uh. Four..." she added with a mite of shame. Screw it. Kate was tired of feeling miserable, and if she wanted four sugars in her cuppa, she was going to have four sugars in her cuppa.

"Sounds like you at least liked your granny. What brought you to Tally? You have family around here?"

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

Boaz was not homeless, nor was he unkempt or his hygiene lacking. Most people liked him, he didn’t rock the boat too much, he did take charge from time to time but sometimes someone had to be a leader. Boaz laughed, loudly. Louder than he had intended. So maybe that was it, she had sensed he was a muggle born? The vibe he had gotten was not the nicest one and she had made an assumption bout him based on appearance. Which he was used to. He was a minority with tattoos. ”I don’t know about a pox.” he said. ”I do know karma, and if you’ve been down you have to go back up. I believe in the balance of things.” He didn’t usually share his beliefs, they were never really relevant. 

However, they weren’t talking about the school, they weren’t talking about his job- they were just talking.”four.” He repeated as he slid them to her. He didn’t think there was anything wrong with a little sugar here and there. If she liked things sweet then she should have them sweet. ”I don’t know your situation totally, but I would say something will balance this out. Which I’m sure sounds like a load of shit.” He had been down and heard the same thing and thought the same thing. ”I hated hearing that nonsense- but magic is about balance in many ways and if I trust nothing else it’s magic.” He had studied the theory of magic before he had decided on teaching. He had loved it. 

”I think- and this is from my outside perspective on all of the household I have seen in this classroom so it is not perfect- but, I think you should give yourself a break once in a while. I say this more than you would think too.” He said with a shrug as he took a sip.

”I grew up in Victoria, it was a bit of a surprise when I got the letter saying I was magical. I went to tally, Bourke Alum.” He said proudly. ”I thought I wanted to be a professor but when I was taking the education classes, I sort of fell in love with the younger ages. They are innately inquisitive and bluntly honest.” His student had told him many times what they thought. Including one kid who had called him an alien one morning when he had been a little hungover.

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

Kate sighed softly. Perhaps he was right. If he was, there had to be a lot coming their way---a lot of good things that balanced out the sheer mess that had brought her down. It didn't even start with Matt's accident, it went way before that.

And then some days, Kate was convinced that all of these bad happenings were karma coming back at her, the price she paid for being who she was and still keeping the one precious thing she did have: Hazel.

"I don't know." Kate murmured. "I don't know if I honestly deserve anything more than I have now. I don't know if I deserve what I do have now." Kate was not, as people assumed, blind to her sins. Some were habits too hard to shake, instincts that had been bred in her. Things she sometimes tried to extinguish, and other days didn't have the energy to fight. Hazel was free of all that, fortunately.

Kate wasn't sure she ever would be. And she knew that in her climb to the top of Penrose, she had destroyed people in her ambition. She had stooped to lows that Matt would have been shamed of, but he would never really understand. When Kate looked at places like Tallygarunga, she saw freedom. A freedom she was never allowed. A freedom she didn't really know how to exist in.

So she made the same stupid mistakes and tried to learn from them, but she wasn't terribly good at that. Especially not without Matt to be her better conscience. 

"It's a good school." Kate said, and the comment was honest. It didn't have the prestige of Penrose or Greyheme---it had something else. Something better, if she was really being honest. Something she just couldn't get to happen within the confines of the private system. "Alan does a lot to make sure of it."

Kate took her cuppa, sipping at it with a frown.

"I didn't want to teach." she admitted. "I was going to follow my father's footsteps in law--or perhaps my grandfather in the ministry. Something with real... power. But... I messed up." Which seemed to be an on-going theme in her life. Any time she seemed to be headed toward good things: Kate messed up.

"Callinda passed, and I blamed Daddy for it. He blamed me. I dragged our name through the mud to hurt him, and by the time I was done---no respectable course would have me." A small smile returned to Kate's lips. "Alan suggested teaching. So.. here I am." 

Kate looked up at Boaz, and her expression contained both confusion and awe. How had he done this? Why was she telling him this? For just a split second, it was the same unabashed curiosity that Hazel displayed, the sweeter and more palatable side of Kate so rarely seen.

"Headmistress of Penrose." Kate tugged at her jacket. "The queen bitch."

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

”That is the great conundrum isn’t it?” He had a friend major in philosophy at a muggle Uni. ”Do we deserve what we have, we have it right so we must deserve it, or did we earn it on ill-gotten gains?” Not always the monetary gains either. He smiled. ”Personally, I just try not to think of it, and make what I can out of what I have.” He shrugged. Sometimes he thought about simply heading off to Nepal, or someplace in Tibet and living with monks for a little while. Understand the greater purpose of the universe. Or something. It was an amazing thing. 


”Oh I have a lot of respect for the headmaster.” Boaz did. He had to think he had a tough job. To have that much responsibility not just for the students but for his staff as well. Everyone to be kept safe. Many people to answer to. Somehow he maintained his spirit. That was amazing. He had to give props where they were due. He smiled. ”I imagine he has a lot of stress he doesn’t show all of us. Well I have had maybe one conversation with the man for real. I’m hardly anyone to say.” He was hardly anyone. He wasn’t sure the headmaster knew him as more than a name and position. Which didn’t bother him, that was the burden of leadership sometimes.

He felt for the woman. He didn’t know that kind of strife with his family. The worst was his sisters and his mother asking him when he would have kids, when he would marry. He was not sure either interested him much. Then again he had not really been looking for a relationship. ”I think that teaching is respectable. There is a subtle power to it.” he said with a shrug. ”You can change the world with one idea, with one child- you are shaping the future leaders, the future law students. It’s not as direct… but you have a better chance with kids than changing the mind of an adult.” He said with a small shrug. 

He missed the look as he was looking back at the window for a moment. Movement had caught his eyes but he returned to look at her with a smile. He had been told by many he was easy to talk to. He was not as imposing as some, and he liked to keep himself at an open state of mind. He did however laugh at her moniker for herself. ”That title doesn’t have to be one you adopt for yourself.” It made it easier for it to stick. ”Unless of course you like that title” He didn’t know her well enough to know if it was one she liked or one she would rather forget. ”If it is alright. I will simply call you Mrs. Belmont, or Hazel’s mom.”

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

"When you put it like that, it's almost romantic." Kate smiled. 

A far cry from the 'peasant job' her parents believed teaching to be. Even though she was the Headmistress of the most prestigious school for witches, they still shied away from her profession at dinner parties and said she was going through a 'teaching phase'. Boaz spoke of teaching the way that Alan did, with that same pure idealism that she'd found infectious.

She did enjoy it, and Kate did believe in her own work. She'd helped so many young girls overcome the prejudice and expectations their families put upon them, and given them control of their own destinies. That---that was why she stayed at Penrose. Alan didn't face the same challenges at Tally, and while Kate knew she would be given much more freedom herself at a place like this, she was slowly trying to correct the system that had crushed her.

Even so, when people asked her what she did for a living.. she felt a tiny lick of shame before she regained the pride in all she'd achieved. Such habits were hard to extinguish.

"I used to like it," Kate said, of her title. "It felt powerful. Now... it's more lonely. You don't make a whole lot of friends climbing the way I did. So it's probably a loneliness I deserve. Lucky for me, Matthew was stuck in his own loneliness, in just the right place at just the right time that we could see each other." 

Her face softened again.

"You can call me Kate... if you like."

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

”I have always found it romantic in a way.” He said with a smile. ”The ability to affect change in many ways… Its one of those things you don’t realize until you stand in front of a classroom and watch them catch onto something. I mean I teach such young ones… they are just forming their ideas and such but they are always catching onto something so maybe I am cheating a little.” he thought for a moment. Sometimes it did feel a bit like cheating. But he didn’t think he would have enjoyed teaching teenagers as much as he enjoyed the wonder that filled his classroom. ”I would say you have it a bit harder as well teenagers a wily individuals.” he said with a small smile. He was a skinny teen and he had struggled with all kinds of issues. 

He had to admit he was impressed with the woman in front of him. She may not have thought that teaching was noble to begin with but she had managed to make a career out of it. He was not sure if he would ever be the headmaster of anything and he really didn’t need to be- but he did want to have some growth. It may not always be at Tally, something he had known going into this. There were American schools that could benefit from his knowledge and he had fielded a few offers before he had decided on Tally. He smiled. 

”They do not say it’s lonely at the top because it’s a nice sounding platitude.” He offered. Something he had thought abut what that climb might be like. However it was romantic she found someone who seemed to have a similar loneliness. He would have offered that he found it lovely they had found one another but given the recent events he felt it was not the most sensitive thing to say. ”Then Kate it is.” he said with a smile as he took a sip. ”Have you thought about what sort of name you would rather have for yourself?” 

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

Kate could only nod in wry amusement as Boaz touched on the challenge that was teaching teenage girls. They were spiteful and catty, had enough knowledge to believe they knew everything but not enough life experience to appreciate how young they actually were. And then on other days, they were fragile, looking for guidance, sweet and willing to learn. They were wonderfully and frustratingly clever, each in their own way. 

But what of herself? What had Kate learned in her years at Penrose? By and large she'd been a good and dutiful student, an angel after the trouble that was her sister. She'd been a favourite of the teachers, envy of the students. Then Callinda had passed and everything went to hell, Kate had become trouble. It was a wonder they'd let her back in to teach, but then... Daddy's money had always been persuasive.

"Can you make a new name for yourself, this late in life?" Kate asked. A negative reputation was hard to break, and besides---wasn't it better to be feared in the society she lived in? Alan could afford to be liked. Kate knew that showing softness at a place like Penrose was asking to be replaced.

"I don't know. If it ever works out that we return to live here properly, then perhaps to have more people see the side of me that Alan knows. It would at least make his life easier, not having to constantly explain that I'm not so terrible as I appear." Kate snorted a soft laugh. "I forget when I am here, that there are not so many gunning for my position and power as there are at home."

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

Boaz liked the believe that you could. That didn’t mean that one could. He thought for a moment. He didn’t want to discuss what he didn’t know. He rubbed his beard for a moment. Buying himself time as he contemplated his answer. ”I suppose that depends on you.” He smiled for a moment. ”what you put in is what you get out…” The phrase he had heard a million times from his teachers. Letting out a snort he shook his head. ’I would think that you may have to work harder to make that happen Adults are not very open to changing how they think.” That was the trouble with getting older he supposed. 

”If you want to change it, I think you likely have the determination its just the right medium to do so, and well I suppose that knowing what you want to change it to.” he was not one who had developed any sort of reputation beyond being a teacher who didn’t look like a teacher. Though he didn’t mind that particular title.”I’ve collected a few I am not too fond of.” then again he had not really asked to be called things by others… they looked at him and made an assumption about him and what he was like. The names had hurt, and he had done nothing to earn them other than look the way he looked. Even without the tattoos. 

He nodded. ”I am sure that any good friend wouldn’t mind defending any of their friends.” he finished his cuppa and looked at her for a moment. ”A safe place was important to have.” That was something he truly believed. ”I believe that Tally is a safe place for many people… So you are in rather good company” 

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

"I don't know if Alan minds or not, but I wouldn't blame him for getting tired of explaining the same things repeatedly." That much she knew. The time she'd spent at Tally while developing the Bilby program had involved a lot of Alan stepping in to smooth over whatever horrible thing she'd said to offend someone who probably didn't deserve it.

But was it really Kate's fault if they had been going about things the exact wrong way? She'd just tried to correct people, albeit in her blunt and scathing way. Alan was equally blunt, but he was personable about it.

"Here, I guess I'm just Hazel's mother and Matt's wife." Kate mused. "Alan's former girlfriend. That... doesn't usually play well in my favour." And maybe that was it. Maybe her attitude wasn't the problem, her history was. No--they both were, and she knew it. For Hazel's sake she was going to have to work more on being relaxed and approachable. The last thing she wanted was parents not allowing their kids to befriend Hazel because they didn't like Kate.

"It seems you can make every mistake there is, damage yourself as much as you like. But once you've got children, those mistakes bite." Kate murmured. "Everything I do reflects on her too, and the sort of person people can expect her to become. Which... isn't fair. She'll be nothing like me. She's always been better than that."

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

Boaz didn’t know the headmaster well, but he didn’t think that he would mind all that much. Boaz would defend his friends to the grave. They had been something he knew they would do for them. Though not everyone was bonded that way he supposed. That and Boaz found he often stayed out of the way enough to not need defending. ”Maybe he does, but it’s not so much that, but if it stops.” That was the important thing. If he stopped defending her then she could potentially have a problem on his hands. 

”Hazel’s mom is probably the title you have worked the hardest for.” he said with a smile. ”I would say that around here that may make you someone many people might ant to corner for a story about our fearless leader. Though I will say, I like the ignorance the bliss thing. If I don’t know… then I cant be in trouble later if the story happens to get out.” he leaned back and laughed. ”I rather like Hazel’s mom, Kate.” He said as an afterthought. 

Letting out a small sigh he looked at her. ”I would imagine that when it comes to our children our mistakes always seem to be amplified.” He thought about what he might do had he any children. ”Transgressions are just that, they are transgressions and we can only move forward and learn. I find the only way to do so is honest reflection and you seem to be very capable of that.” She had been honest about herself since she stepped into the conversation with him. 

”I think that she will be just fine… She has a rather strong willed mother.” he smiled. 

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

Kate's smile wavered a little as Boaz brought up her "hard-earned" title of "Hazel's mother". For a moment it felt like he knew the struggle it had been, with all the complications, Matt's sheer terror at the concept of fatherhood, the sickness. Losing Rylea so soon after had made those years into the ordeal that nearly broke them, and if Kate had to be honest, she did wonder at times if the only reason she and Matt were still legally married was that he was literally unconscious and incapable of asking for a divorce.

Either way, she had fought tooth and claw for this. Something she'd never thought she wanted, never thought was even possible until it happened. Now she had H, her stubborn little Hazel, the girl who refused to just fade away. Kate was so proud of her. So grateful for her. Every day Kate thought she couldn't adore her daughter more, but that love seemed to grow impossibly day after day. 

How was it, she had asked herself so many times, if this was what parenthood felt like----how was it that her own parents never seemed to feel this? They'd certainly not adored her sister, and once Kate began to disobey their tolerance for her had also turned. How was it that Matt had ended up with the father he did? She couldn't understand. Kate truly couldn't understand a parent that didn't see their child as the most pure and precious gift.

"Ah, I think she's already stronger than I ever was or will be." Kate shook her head. "Hazel defied the odds simply being born, she's one miracle after another."

But it was nice to hear herself described as "strong" rather than "bitchy". Kate would take the compliment for sure.

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

 Though not a parent himself Boaz knew it was a very arduous challenge.  The books that were written on the subject were not helpful because the journey looked different for everyone.  That and he has seen the single mom life.  When his dad passed she had to raise him ad his sister on her own and Boaz offered many new challenges, like how to parent a kid who could cast spells on the pots in the kitchen.  That had been a very lovely thing to see the way his mother looked when she walked in and saw the dancing pots.  She on the other hand had not known what to do. 

”Then you are doing an excellent job.”  To have a confident kid says a lot about the parents you know.  I mean, honestly.  I can spot issues a mile away these days.  People often forget how much they affect their kids.  I think being aware is always the first step to not messing your kids up.”[/b]  He said with a smile.  It was hard still.  ”I am looking forward to having her in my class and getting to know both of you this year.”  he said with a smile.  It was something he had always enjoyed.  Getting to know the kids and the parents. It helped him teach the small humans better. 

He looked at her for a moment.  ”I do sense some apprehension about the coming school year- could I do something to help ease some of those worries for you?”  he asked.  It was not a bad idea, He figured while she was here she could ask what she needed to ask. 

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49 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

A genuine, warm, smile was spreading across Kate's lips. Maybe it was that Boaz looked like a homeless and everything that her father would hate, but Kate could feel herself beginning to like the guy. He was rugged, what she would call "dirty handsome", and in her younger years Kate would have been all over this. She could just imagine bringing him home to the disgust of both her parents. But it was more than just subverting the elitist expectations of her snobby society, he was nice to her. Boaz spoke with a belief in Kate that Kate didn't have. Only Alan and Stuart bothered to try and lift her up like that anymore.

And she certainly didn't deserve his niceness, either. Kate knew she'd been downright insulting, but he'd still taken the time to know her better. Maybe there was hope for her in Narrie after all. Maybe she could shake her bitchy reputation and become someone important around here. Important for all the right reasons. Like being a good person, and having friends, and not assuming that every person not wearing a suit was a homeless.

"I'm just... I don't know. I mean. Hazel is independent, she always has been. Having her here while I'm mostly in Melbourne..." Kate shook her head. It was dumb. It was so dumb. "I know I can be here at any time, and that she'll come home most nights, but... I don't... I don't know what I'm trying to say." 

Almost from the day Hazel was born Kate had dreaded the moment her daughter wouldn't need her. This felt like an enormous step in that direction.

"She's the last little bit of my happy world." Kate murmured. "I really... don't know how I'm going to bear the nights she's not home."

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Repository ☆ Bilby Grade one TeacherKay
2019 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ he/him

Boaz was used to being judged  He was a black man, and in his travels he had learned what that meant in other places.  Not to mention he looked like someone you should cross the street to avoid.  However he was not a man who would allow judgement by others to change who he was.  Boaz tried to live a good life.  To be a good person and not worry over the small things.  When he was a child, Boaz had been picked on, and his solution had been to invite the boy over and make friends with him.  He had always felt with some understanding that people would stop picking on him, but that had only worked for a bit.  Kids were mean and often times it was due to things that they had little control over.  Boaz didn’t know it then, but he had figured it out. 

It was one of the few things that made him stop class and address.  He didn’t want to allow that to manifest.  It made learning harder when you were worried about what your peers may do.  That and he had found his students were able to handle the conflict resolution.  He nodded.  This was also not unfamiliar to him.  Paretns who struggled with the transition.  He didn’t mind it, sometimes he just needed to be extra reassuring.  ”you are trying to say that this is a transition and they are hard, even when they are good.”  he said.  ”I get that way at the end of the year when I have to say my goodbyes.” It was hard for him…  

He didn’t know what to say, he had not lived through that.  He smiled at her still.  ”If you like I can always give you my contact information.  I don’t usually do it, I just… If it would help with transition.  I am not Hazel but I can tell you what she did all day.”  he didn’t think Kate was a woman who needed to be coddled and that was not his intention, He just wanted to help make this easier for her.  Given all the family had been through- It was not like he was doing something crazy.  ”Or we could get you a cat?  I just got one, she happens to make the nights a little less lonely.”  he said with a smile.  A

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