Jan 18, 2020 6:07 PM
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Miranda waves back, smiling, relieved. She didn't really relish the conversation with her mum about wanting to storm off to Australia, even if she thought she could finesse it.

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The start of term banquet carries on. It is a reasonably cheerful affair, though much subdued compared to previous years. The Hall itself has been repaired but damage is still visible from a few of the windows, and many students were fighting here not long ago. It's not quite back to being just Hogwarts yet. But there are newly Sorted students to welcome, old friends to greet and food and drink aplenty; there's still plenty of smiles going around.

Eventually, the Headmistress stands for a welcome speech and the room quiets.

"Welcome to Hogwarts, all of you. It is our pleasure both to see new faces and to welcome back old ones. A moment of silence first, if you will, for those who will not be returning and for their courage in the Battle of Hogwarts."

This she receives instantly. Towards the end, a couple of students start to cry quietly; all are immediately converged upon by concerned friends with hugs.

"Madam Pomfrey will of course be available to all those who wish to talk. Now, for the announcements. First, Professor Vector will be taking over as Head of Gryffindor House." This receives somewhat scattered applause; Professor Vector is respected, if not necessarily liked, due to her reputation for strictness. "Professor Fisher and Professor Reed are both joining us from Texarcana in the United States. Professor Fisher will be taking over the Transfiguration classroom-"
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He stands and waves, then sits back down.

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"-while Professor Reed will be taking the post of Defense against the Dark Arts teacher."

That causes a bit of a stir: there's that legendary jinx, after all. A few students whisper, "They had to go all the way to America to find someone?"
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Ignoring the whispers, Professor Reed follows her colleague's lead: stand, wave, sit. Her smile's rather more enigmatic than his, but at least she doesn't look threatening (at least she's not Umbridge) (at least she's not a Carrow).

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"Please welcome them both. And now, I'll let you return to your meals. A very good night night to all of you," McGonagall finishes.

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Miranda sets about collecting details on what she missed from her vantage point in Australia about recent events in wizarding Britain, and what she missed by being as young as she is and therefore not having encountered either Umbridge or Carrow. Also eating, she does that too. And she writes down the teachers' names that she has, so she won't forget them, and receives her class schedule from a prefect, and tucks that into her notebook, and fields questions about her duplicate wand, and generally integrates herself as best she can into her new House, because she had to threaten a hat to get it and she had better like it.

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Emma and Jenny are guided back to Hufflepuff by their prefects not long after the speech ends. Jenny spends most of the evening bouncing excitedly at Emma that "they get to be roommates isn't that the best!" The rest of the time she spends exploring her new House and exclaiming over everything, much to the amusement of all the nearby students. When she returns to the room, Emma stops by her bed with an extra copy of a first year class schedule, a raised eyebrow and a smile; Jenny just grins at her unrepentantly, gives her a hug and a thank you for the schedule, and flops back onto her bed.

She's here she's here she gets to learn magic! Classes are going to be wonderful.
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