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Catherine Smith for Percival Adlard Jr..
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This would have been very disturbing anyway but then Pet's eye popped out and started rolling along the bottom of the boat. Great. Maybe she would be so fortunate as to have a kraken surface nearby and pluck her off the ship with one of its tentacles and kindly drown her. Petra Sleptova in Land, Ho!
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Panic Station
#1
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29th November, 1889 — The Great Hall, Breakfast
If Nelson could’ve sworn aloud, he might have by now. Instead, he read the note the Charms professor had sent again just to be sure he’d not missed anything.

There was not much to miss. Professor Ruskin wanted to have a conversation about his future. Was he imagining the ominousness here? Suddenly Nelson was worried - more worried than he had been in the last five years as he fell further and further behind - that his future was coming to a swift and violent end. A trainwreck of a school career, one could say.

He hadn’t even had time to fail his OWLs yet, and professors were already about to kick him out of their classes? That must be a record.

Well-practised as he was at hiding his emotions in a neutral expression, Nelson’s mouth had dipped into a frown, his face creased with foreboding. He could feel someone’s eyes settle on him, could feel their curiosity. Helpless to explain the raincloud that had just passed over him (despite the morning’s crisp, dry sky above) other than like this, Nelson shot them a wide-eyed look and passed the note across for a second opinion.
Open to a student/s Nelson would at least be vaguely friendly with!


#2
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Professor Ruskin’s handwriting certainly didn’t hold the same fear for Helixa and she cast her eyes over the note Nelson had handed her with her usual thoroughness and calm. As far as she could tell there wasn’t anything too distressing about the epistle but nevertheless he was clearly upset about something and she was reluctant to dismiss his concerns too soon.

“It doesn’t sound that bad,” she said reassuringly. “He’s not that much of an ogre.”
#3
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Nelson liked having a group of stupidly smart friends, usually. They were all a little eccentric in their own ways, yes, but they were all intelligent, all easily made to be on the same page in most regards.

They didn’t often make him feel different, as people sometimes did when they stared at him just a little too long, so impatiently, so expectantly, as if by doing so they could will him into answering them aloud. But Nelson’s difference was going to catch up to him one day, even with his friends, and they would eventually have to leave him all behind.

He smiled faintly at Helixa’s calm reassurance - she was right, he wasn’t an ogre, and she should not have been worried to receive a note like that; it would probably be an accolade, in her case - but dug out the blackboard-and-chalk from his bag to elaborate. Wouldn’t be so bad for you, he explained, shifting the board at the table’s edge so hopefully she could see it and no one else, you’re not three years behind in his class.



#4
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Lix titled her head to read the words and tilted it back towards Nelson with a small smile. People in their house seldom had any trouble with academia, or if they did they kept it very quiet indeed, so the fact that he was sharing at all was a testament to how concerned he must really be.

“If anything I’m three years ahead,” she quipped, though of course she was not. One at most. Syna was better at the subject than she was and she put her own comparative lack of advancement down to the fact that they were separated. Ignoring that for the moment she grinned at the boy, hoping he took her jest in the spirit it was intended and didn’t think she was mocking him. “He might be offering to help? Or he wants you to help teach us all nonverbal spells?”


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