Feb 27, 2020 9:45 PM
Graysons in Quintessence
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Katherine jumps slightly when the door opens, but is ready with a passable imitation of a smile by the time she turns around. "Katherine Dyer. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." 

After a second, the rest of Meghan's words register. "You know Temperance already?" she asks timidly.

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"Yes, we have the same dad," Meghan says this watching for Katherine's reaction.

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"...oh."

That sure is something that would get a reaction if Katherine's emotions were working properly right now. As it is, by the time she's processed the implications enough to have a reaction, the vague flicker of emotion has died.

"Are you in Nightshade as well?"

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"Yes, two rooms down. Haven't met my roommate yet."

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"That's nice for you, then." The smile is a little more genuine, this time. "It's good that you'll be able to see each other." 

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"Well, how about you? Any family here?"

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Katherine shakes her head. "I'm the first mage in my family for...I don't know how many generations." She's probably descended from some mages, through their descendants marrying into the family, but the Dyer line is clear back to the Turning, and they don't marry anyone with a mage parent or grandparent. 

"I must make do with friends, instead. The roommate system seems like an excellent way to start with at least one, don't you think?" She smiles at Temperance.

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"Absolutely!"

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"Yeah, dad said it's going to be good to have more mage friends."

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"Well, I...can't promise that I'll be an especially great mage," Katherine admits, "but I can try to be a good friend. I've had more practice with the second, after all," she adds, with a hint of an actual smile. 

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"Well, this is the place to learn on how to become great mages."

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"I suppose it is," she concedes, without much enthusiasm. 

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The next day, the rest of the student body arrives, and classes begin. Before that, all the new students are gathered in the Great Hall and officially welcomed by the headmaster. 

Even though they have different affinities, and will be expected to specialise later, all the first-year students have at least some of the same classes. The major difference is that there are hardly any boys in their practical magic lessons; male students spend the first three years getting a rounded education in other subjects instead. 

Katherine and Meghan have their first class of the year together. It's a mixed-gender subject, History of Magic. Aside from splitting the classroom down the middle, with girls on one side and boys on the other, the teacher does not assign seats. 

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Meghan sits in the second roll in the middle (a boy to one side), if Katherine wants to sit by her other side she is free to do so.

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Why yes, Katherine would like to sit next to the only person she knows in this class! 

She's wearing black again, but seems to be in a slightly better frame of mind this morning, and is capable of striking up a reasonably animated conversation with the girl on her other side before the lesson begins. 

They are starting, the teacher explains, not with the history of magic itself, but with the earliest known writing about magic, beginning in Late Classical Greece in the 5th century BC. Katherine takes diligent notes in beautiful handwriting.

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Meghan's handwriting is not elaborate but it is precise and readable.

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That will be useful if Katherine ever needs to borrow Meghan's notes, which does not seem likely. 

The lesson goes by, covering Ancient Greece and Rome and the fruitless speculation of academics on why there was such interest in magic between Rome's rise and its fall, but not in the centuries before or after.

Does anyone have any questions?

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Meghan politely asks if people know anything about magic before 5th century BC.

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No, is the short answer. Everything before that point which refers to magic-sounding events or actions is always attributed to deities or monsters, not to humans. But around that time, one starts seeing references to works of magic performed by otherwise-ordinary individuals, not blessed by the gods, and within two hundred years Aristotle is formulating his theory of the elements (which they will be taught later!) and there are accounts of the great thinkers teaching magic along with philosophy. 

One theory, which is rather outlandish and not taken very seriously, is that 500 BC was an earlier Turning, at which point magic started to become available, and that at some point around the start of the Dark Ages, it retreated again until the fifteenth century.

But that's far too advanced for first-years to be worrying about, are there any questions on the material covered in the lesson?

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Well, not from Meghan. Thank you.

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Then they can go. 

Katherine and Meghan are in different classes for the next hour; Katherine is in Magical Theory with Temperance, and Meghan has her first meditation lesson. 

"Hello, Temperance. May I sit with you?"

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"Of course! Golly, I am so excited for this class."

Temperance said this about every class. Multiple times.

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Katherine finds this both adorable and highly amusing.Temperance is so enthusiastic about magic!

She's not so excitable, but settles in happily enough to learning about the way magic is divided into elements. She freezes up again when the teacher wants them all to say their elemental affinity if they know it.

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Temperance is quite eager to say that she has an elemental affinity for ice!

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