In the middle of an extended diatribe against artificial turf, Xan opens the door to Schuester Hall, which is... not the door to Schuester Hall.
Xan peers at it. "Are we being pranked or something? Has someone not been informed that I piss napalm?"
"You bleed napalm," notes Leo. "If you were pissing it we'd have a medical issue on our hands. Somebody could've thrown up an illusion, but I don't really see the point of replacing Schuester with... a bar? With some chick inside? Like, what, we're going to whip out our fake IDs and get in trouble? But Mom always says that if you can't see the point of a trap then whoever set it is smarter than you are. Let's go down the hall and take the south door."
"Jesus Christ," Xan mutters, hauling Leo in by the arm. "Let's avoid the cool-as-shit magic bar, he says. You're such a fucking girl."
Leo makes a noise of protest. "I'm working on that! And I object to your manhandling!"
They behold the bar. It's a very nice bar. It has a window to some exploding stars. "Huh. I'm... pretty sure that's magic of some kind," notes Leo.
"So am I, dipshit, we're both wizards."
"Just making conversation."
"Good call, Dickinson is full of bitches. I barely graduated from there without a body count. We've already got a full complement of secretariat, I'm afraid; scholarship jobs are mostly cleaning work. Sewer duty has the highest pay, and you get to kill monsters. Otherwise there's various janitorial jobs, landscaping, et cetera. And the lab boys are very professional, I assure you. Plus, they'll be absolutely terrified of you, so you'd be safe regardless."
"Okay, I bitch enough for entire dorm anyway. Maybe I take job to kill shit, it sound fun but I not sure about walking in shit while doing it. Why that problem you have anyway? Do you not have grates in this world or do lab techs keep dropping waste down there to mutate the rats?"
"Some chucklefuck decided to install a portal to Hell down there, and it leaks occasionally. But there are also horrible sewer mutants. More albino crocodiles than giant rats, though."
"Why the fuck would you do that? How the fuck would you do that?... also you want drink? I still have bottle from magic bar and your wrinkles tell me you need lots of alcohol."
"How: lots of magical unpleasantness and some human sacrifice. Why: probably to destroy the world, or something? I'd love a drink, but I've got brandy in my office, so you can keep your Chateau du Cat Piss with my blessing. Do you need food, or should I show you to Poe?"
"Take me to my room and then point me in the direction of the sweets." She takes the small bottle out and tosses it into a trash can behind her. "Does anyone give shit about alcohol rules here?"
She starts off briskly eastwards through the labyrinth of tunnels.
She smiles and puts out her blunt. She likes this woman more than she liked anyone in her old highschool. In her head she is memorizing the route, keeping time in her head for how long she needs to go down each corridor. "Whoever designed this place probably came from that portal, how you remember all of it?"
"Well, let's see. I have an eidetic memory... my mental processing speed is several dozen times that of a human... I have the ability to instinctually determine the best path to take at any time... I can read the future... I can see the power lines in the walls leading to Poe... the ley lines are aligned with the house of Venus... and I guess I've always just had kind of a knack for finding my way around."
"Not fair, I demand map or a phone app or something. You even have phones in this world? Actually what do you have in this world, that probably biggest question. I know there is weed and chocolate but what about less important shit?" Damara is slowly realizing that she might be taking this a little too calmly.
Her eyes glow with a bright, flickery light. After a few minutes of this, she closes her eyes and pops a Devisor-made headache pill. "Fuckering hell. Okay. So, you don't actually know most of the things unique to your world, but you'll be pleased to hear that we don't have the Wardens- those are the fuckers with the swords. Our world diverges from the public face of your world in around 1940, when folks started popping up with weird superpowers. Bare-bones on that: there are superheroes and supervillains, the morality on that is a damn sight greyer than it sounds like it should be, people are super fucking prejudiced against people with superpowers, who are called mutants. There have been literal torch-and-pitchfork mobs. For some reason our celebrities line up pretty well, but this verse's tech is way more advanced because we have mad scientists and they patent shit. Also, we have mad science drugs, which are cool. There's some geographical differences, there's an island in the Pacific made and owned by a supervillain and a lot of the former Soviet bloc is mutant-controlled. And Detroit got nuked a couple of years ago. That's the overview."
"I am going to try the shit out of those mad science drugs and no one will stop me." She smiles again, showing her gratefulness to Johanna in the most tactful way she is willing to do so, "Thank you for telling me all this old lady. As long as no assholes with swords are hunting me down I think I will stay. Do I have to worry too much about things in this school besides highschool bitches and mutant crocodiles?"
"We maintain a culture of bullying to inoculate our students against the harsh realities of life. You may want to get a protector of some kind; many of the bullies are more powerful than you are. Xan may serve, he's scared them off by setting them on fire enough times. Also, we occasionally have people trying to bring about some kind of apocalypse, but usually they're thwarted. Other than that I can't think of anything."
"I'll get myself enough minions, don't worry. Well maybe worry, I apologize for nothing that happens to anyone because of me. Otherwise give me a warm bed and lots of sweets and I am happy."
"You'll fit right in."
A thirtysomething-year-old man stands outside the entry to Poe! He is unreasonably tall. "Johanna. This the new student?"
She strides off to her headmistressly business.
"Hi. I'm Mr. Dresden, I'm housefather for Poe Cottage. I'm the one you should come to if you're having issues with something, and... yeah. Room?"
"[Of course, lead the way. A single sounds perfect unless you wish to occupy a double with me. I have nothing on me except these clothes and the valuable things they cover up]"
"Do you speak English? Because I don't speak- whatever language that was."
"[The important thing is that I speak whatever language causes your trousers to tent up.]" she says, leaning closer to him for the fun of it. She debates lighting a blunt so that she has something to blow into this man's face but there is a chance he would be less cool about such things then the headmistress. "Lead me to room now"
Harry leads her up the stairs uncomfortably. "Your room is 216, it's the only single available. It's the same floor as Xan and Leo, who you know already. Women's showers are over here, apparently they're much nicer than the men's. If you want the bed unlofted please ask me instead of just getting the nearest Exemplar to take it apart, that's hell on the insurance. I'll get you a standard-issue Whateley laptop too, for classwork and all that. Any questions?"
"Can I have extra clothes," Damara asks, laying down on the bed. "I've been stuck with this uniform for days." She takes off her red shirt, both to fluster Mr. Dresden for her own amusement and to see if the stripping would make him suddenly run out of the room.
"You can buy more clothes at the campus store? I'd rather you didn't take your clothes off in front of me?"
Damara laughs, "You need better tastes but okay. I'll shower and then go. Anytime you change your mind on me stripping just ask." She punctuates her statement with a wink.