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Jan 27, 2022 6:04 AM
I decided that he needed to get some sense knocked into his head
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"Great!" Fenris says, taking a moment to focus on an apparently important step of his class assignment.

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Scorpius laughs and shakes his head. "Thibaut is not gonna believe -" he starts, and then he remembers, and his words die in his throat, his hands frozen in place where they were mixing something in the cauldron in front of him, eyes staring fixedly at the concoction. His fingers tremble a bit as he clears his throat and says, "Uh, never mind."

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Fenris stays quiet for a long moment. In part because he was already at a delicate part, but once the solution starts forming distinct layers of opaque and clear parts, he looks over. "I am sorry for your loss."

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Scorpius waves a hand vaguely, not looking at Fenris. "Thanks, but it's, you know, fine. We, we gotta get used to this kind of stuff. In here. And I only met him here, not like there was a lot of time for us to really be friends or anything."

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Fenris looks at him quizzically.

"Please, tell me if I am not picking up on hints that you want me to back off of your personal business, I am terrible at both noticing and caring about those. But that sounds like a terrible attitude to nurture, even here."

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"Any given person you meet here, fifty-fifty chance they'll die before graduation, and then another fifty-fity at graduation," Scorpius sighs, still not looking up. "That's averages, of course. Enclavers like you, something like four in five chance you survive," and people like me, he doesn't say, will just straight up survive because mals flee from me rather than the other way around, "but people like Luisa three doors down one flight of stairs up from my dorm who didn't even know magic existed before they came here, they're going to die by the end of the year. And that's not getting into politics, I'm son and heir to Magistra Rhys of New York and everything I do matters." He does not sound bitter, but only because he has grown ever-more-toneless as he kept talking, something Fenris himself might be familiar with. "And you know all that, of course, so I'm not really sure where you are getting this idealism."

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"I had heard that there was a mundane born this year, but not much more concrete details than that." Fenris notes down where her room is. "Additionally, four in five chance means that there is a 59% chance that my parents will mourn at least one child." He takes a deep breath, which only makes his previous tonelessness more prominent. "I am not the best person to talk to about this, and might actually need a moment to think. And I believe you should add the saponified oil at this moment of the process, but consult your recipe first."

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He does consult it, and adds said oil with a, "Thanks." Then he chews on his lower lip and says, "Sorry about being a downer like that. Kind of a crazy day."

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"I am not myself a cheerful person, so don't worry. And, yes, it was a crazy day."

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"It's not even lunchtime yet, I feel like such a meme," he says, shaking his head to himself.

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Scorpius takes a second to notice Fenris's face and asks, "What?"

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"I'm really not sure if describing your current self as a 'meme' counts as another instance of your apparent downplaying of your own emotional state, or just something people say because the average human is more likely to cope by joking than I do."

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"Yes," Scorpius says confidently as he stirs and pours a tiny bit of mana into his potion.

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"Very mathematically correct of you," Fenris deadpans.

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"Well, to be fair, it could be that there is something you haven't thought of that should be in that list, too."

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"I am aware. And will accept constructive criticism."

He is at a part of the process where he needs to separate the elements of the solution into small vials and label them.

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"Maybe after our fifteenth conversation. You need to level up in friendship before unlocking my tragic backstory and innermost feelings."

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"You and Trevor will get along wonderfully."

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"I got that feeling, yeah. He's incantations? Is Felix rounding you guys out with artificing?"

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"The other way around. Felix is much better at languages than either of us, and Trevor wants to build shields and armor."

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"Ah, of course. His affinity lends itself to that, too, then?"

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"Correct, and it even rounds us off, as you put it. Has the downside that we are less able to cover for each other's classes, but that shouldn't be a problem either."

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"I've been told at some point my alchemy assignments will start throwing more in-affinity things but these 'generally useful' intro things are cramping my style. But I wonder to what extent the school considers things generally useful."

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"I think that is kind of a complicated question similar to how it assigns grades. People all seem to agree that you need some amount of effort to get what you want. I guess you'd want physical enhancing potions?"

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