Well. She doesn't have to take her House seriously. She determines quickly that her year mates are- not ideal, but at least mostly tolerable; older students are to be avoided. Carefully. She stays out of their way, and they ignore her. She approves of this setup all around.
Her first day does not get off to a good start. Binns is still teaching History of Magic (and how long has he been doing that? Alli's pretty sure her grandparents were in his class) and she cannot for the life of her summon the energy to care. He's not teaching her anything witches don't learn around the age they learn to talk, not yet. She slumps on her desk and ignores him. He ignores her right back. Small blessings, she supposes.
She arrives in Charms class not terribly optimistic. Ravenclaws are smart, they want to be good at everything. Sharing a class with them is not hardly going to make her look good. Oh well. Maybe there will be Ravenclaws who are more bearable than her housemates, that would at least improve her day.
She tromps over to a desk and slouches down to wait for class to start. Her books are in something of a careless pile, but they are at least all present (unlike a couple of the other Slytherins). The others do not quite avoid her, but there's a good number of empty desks near her. She hasn't bothered to join any of the budding cliques, and they don't really know what to do with her.
"Lucky. My mom just sends her owl. All the letter writing, none of the owl owning."
"Renée has an owl but he's always busy sending letters to her friends, and now some of her friends are in Australia, so she thought I had better have my own."
"I'm 'not old enough to take care of an owl yet'," Emma says, looking slightly sour around the air quotes. "Because I have such a long history of forgetting things. Not."
"It's not that hard, Amber mostly hunts for herself. I just visit her most days so she remembers she's my owl, and I give her treats when she handles letters."
"Yep. I could totally not handle any of that. Way too complicated." Eye roll.
"I don't know what kind of owl I will want when I'm out of Hogwarts."
"I didn't pick a kind, I just picked a specific owl that seemed to like me."
"What kinds are there? Are there differences?" asks Jenny. She briefly morphs her eyes into owl eyes to smile at Miranda, but shifts them back pretty quickly; it feels weird.
"There's all kinds of species of owls. Native ones and foreign captive-bred kinds. Some people get other birds to carry letters but mostly it's various owls. Barns are a pretty common kind."
"Mostly the only reason to get a fancy foreign owl is to show off," Alli puts in. "There are, of course, a bunch in Slytherin."
"That and recognizability. I think barred owls are the prettiest," volunteers Karen. "I just don't know if they have nice personalities as owls go."
"I'm sure it depends on the owl, anyway," Jenny says. "Cats and dogs do! So owls probably do too."
"Different breeds of cats and dogs still have different temperaments," says Miranda, "I think, so different species of owls ought to even more."
"I've never had a pet, I'll just trust you," Emma says.
"I can pretend!" Jenny offers. Her face sprouts whiskers. This is faster than some of her previous changes; she maaaay have had some practice. "Look, now you have a cat!"
"Can you purr?"
"...I can purr like this?" And Jenny human-purrs. "I don't know what I'd have to change to do cat-purrs, and I don't want to screw up!"
"Do you think you'd wind up hurting yourself or something?"
"I don't think I can really hurt myself," Jenny says thoughtfully. "I tried to do a fish once, and the gills didn't make me suffocate or anything. But I also don't really want to find out?"
"That would be a great conversation with Pomfrey though," Alli snorts. "Hi, sorry, grew gills, now I'm stuck in the lake, fix it please."
"Well, I mean, I think you ought to be able to change back no matter what you do to yourself - maybe not if you were hexed but if you did it yourself in the first place I think you can. But maybe I'm wrong? Is there a 'what you really look like' or do you just look the same most of the time because you like that face?"
Jenny giggles. "This is what I look like! I have to think about it at least a little. Practice makes it easier though." She turns her hair unicorn silver. "I could probably hold this most of the day if I wanted to." She grins. "I practice it a lot."
"Yes, yes she does."
"So I don't think there would ever be much reason to involve Madam Pomfrey, unless you - got gills and inhaled a lot of water and then un-got the gills, then she'd maybe be useful."
Jenny shudders. "Ugh, lungs full of water, no thank you. I'll stick to unicorn hair. Eeeaugh." Shaking her head, she takes a determined bite of her food. Distraction via sugar!