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Dismal Dinner - Etiquette Years 1 & 2
October 15th, 1890 — The Great Hall, Hogwarts

"Miss VonTeppin, you delicately sip the soup from the edge of your spoon. You do not slurp it as if you were my Uncle Albert's Spaniel." Deanna tutted as she moved about the food laden tables in the Great Hall. An early dinner had been set-up for today's lesson. After observing mealtimes in abject horror, she had decided that the children of Hogwarts, particularly the youngest, needed a refresher (or daresay introduction) to the simple art of table manners.

However, the lesson was proving to be a bit more complicated, particularly for those of the lesser class.

After the soup disasters were cleared away, the main course appeared on the table consisting of a roast, vegetables, bread, dressing, and a few other small side dishes to test the students on their skills with cutlery and polite eating. Conversation had been allowed, but she had warned the students to keep it to casual, appropriate small talk.

"Mr. Beardsley, your sleeve was nearly soiled. One must never reach across the table with such reckless abandon." Deanna stifled an exasperated sigh and glided down the table, inspecting each student she passed.

@Crispin Picardy @Hesper Gamp
@Annie Moneypenny  @Sunday Fudge @Bertie Diggory @Archie Diggory
@Andy Vainart @James Fletcher @Mateo Zavala @Yuri Podsnapper @Anne Moony @Linnet Umbernauld @Phoenix Wright @Alina MacRae @Billie Farrow

This will be a little different from most classes! This is your average Hogwarts dinner, not a formal dinner party or a feast. The last few etiquette classes have been in lecture form where Deanna has droned on about the proper ways to sit, dine, and politely speak to others at meals. There have been incredibly awkward roleplays with pretend food. This is the culmination of such a lesson. Careful, or she may decide you need remedial lessons!

The following is just for me to get a general idea of how harsh her commentary should be, along with the content of your posts:

[b]Social Class:[/b] Working, Middle, Upper
[b]General Grasp of Etiquette:[/b] Uncultured Little Gremlin, Eti-what?, Okay, Generally Well-Mannered, Great Aunt Mildred Would Be Proud
[b]Confidence in Social Situations:[/b] nononono, meh, average, fairly confident, "I am a rolemodel."

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Social Class: Working
General Grasp of Etiquette: Uncultured Little Gremlin
Confidence in Social Situations: meh

In the past, eating for Yuri had been about conveying food to his mouth as quickly as possible - sating the gnawing in his stomach had been the aim, not impressing people with your manners - especially since more often than not eating for Yuri had involved wolfing down food from the butchers pig pens before the shop boy could chase him away with a broom. Since he had started school the speed with which he ate had slowed, there was less competition for the victuls on the laden tables and no shortage that necessitated the sort of speed eating of his past.

Yuri was in fact trying in this class- although his fork was currently held like a spear and his knife poised as he would hold a pen - a spoon having been the only implement he had ever attempted to use before the first day of this class.

[Image: 4umj-W0-A-1.png]
Look what MJ did!
Social Class: Working
General Grasp of Etiquette: Great Aunt Mildred Would Be Proud
Confidence in Social Situations: average

Andy enjoyed etiquette class because his Mama had already taught him many of these skills at home. She had been raised in good, middle-class society so, in spite of her current financial status, she held herself with grace and dignity. She thought it was important Andy was a proper gentleman and Andy's biggest goal in life was making his mother proud. Other than that, it was enjoyable to get to eat in class.

He was sitting with a tall, straight back, to the point that his diligence to posture brought him discomfort. He held his silverware with care and ate slowly. More slowly than he would if he wasn't being watched. Overall, even though he was following etiquette to a T, there was a stiffness to his ways which took points from gracefulness.
Jimmy was teaching himself his own lesson today. On the surface, he was pretending to be putting a great deal of effort in to being prim and proper as if he’d grown up in on a tottering Wellingtonshire street and ate nothing but soufflés. Mostly he was copying the actions of a classmate across the table, because he had paid next to no attention to any of Mrs. Benwick’s other lessons.

He was pretending this because it might come in handy one day, to rub shoulders with people like that and get away with it. But, admittedly, also because he found it all tremendously funny. They were allowed for some appropriate talk, and Jimmy had taken it upon himself, amongst some of the classmates who looked uncomfortable or mystified by this whole affair, to talk some absolute nonsense. “That soup was just splendorous, wasn’t it?” He proclaimed in an especially nasal tone - not too loudly, either - and giving his posh gentleman a pretend monocle to adjust from time to time, just to make it more entertaining. “Usually I only eat two dozen lambs and jelly for breakfast, and then - unicorn for dinner! Pass the gravy, won’t you, old chum?” He asked someone nearby, and then - in an undertone, when the professor wouldn’t hear him - “psst, how many potatoes can ya fit in your mouth at once?”

He bet he could manage more.
Social Class: Working
General Grasp of Etiquette: Eti-what?
Confidence in Social Situations: "I am a rolemodel."
The following 3 users Like James Fletcher's post:
   Billie Farrow, Greta Gillenwater, Ruby Urquart

This was the class Alina dreaded the most. Even with the etiquette lessons from the Binns governess, she couldn't stand the subject. Possibly this was the class she was going to struggle with the most. But despite hating it utterly, she had to try.

Then again, the boy nearby was rather amusing. What, with the ridiculous accent and all. "Very good, sir. I myself prefer just a hint of unicorn in my morning stew." She said in a pompous tone. She thought for a moment. "Not sure, you?" She whispered back.

Social Class: Working
General Grasp of Etiquette: Okay
Confidence in Social Situations: Fairly confident

Magic by Lady!
Greta tried to recall everything that the teacher had drummed into them over the last few lessons as she watched the next course appear on the table and was fervently trying to ignore the boy who sat across from her at the table.


She of course knew why. Jimmy was... How to even describe him? She had decided he needed constant supervision because he was chaos incarnate. She had hoped that at least being nearby would reign him in though that was never going to be a thing but...

She just hoped that Mrs. Benswick wouldn't deduct points for his... his- his everything. She was sure her eye was twitching fiercely from the urge to scold him and to tell him to take this whole thing seriously. Did he want to loose Gryffindor points?

"Shhhh." She hissed, and then for good measure added: "Behave Fletcher. Mrs. Benswick could hear you! You aren't even holding your fork right and don't you dare stuff those potatoes in your mouth. "

Social Class: Middle
General Grasp of Etiquette:  She thinks Great Aunt Mildred Would Be Proud but she's probably Generally Well-Mannered.
Confidence in Social Situations:"I am a rolemodel."

I'm not invited? Am I still allowed to play?
The following 1 user Likes Greta Gillenwater's post:
   James Fletcher

[Image: Greta-sig.png]
Etiquette was a bore therefore it had yet to retain Mateos interest. Oh, he was okay enough when it came to etiquette thanks to having a mother who thought that kind of stuff to be important for young boys to learn. But he wasn't about to make anyones Aunt Mildred proud anytime soon. Sitting close enough to hear his dormmates words, he chuckled, causing a bit of food to fall out of his mouth as Jimmy asked McRae how many potatoes she could fit into her mouth.

Social Class: Working
General Grasp of Etiquette: Okay
Confidence in Social Situations: "I am a rolemodel."

This class was not Hesper's favorite. It was technically easy for her, yes, but she was either incredibly bored or decidedly uncomfortable. Today was the latter. Great Aunt Jessamine had seen to it that she'd been instilled with flawless etiquette from the day she'd arrived on her doorstep. She'd picked her apart on her posture, her table manners, her tidiness of dress, her tone of voice, her gait... She'd believed Hesper's formative years in the household of her decidedly middle class nephew had been so damaging that she had to overcompensate at every possible opportunity. Consequently she held more tension in her shoulders than a marble statue.

Being surrounded by so many ill-mannered children was distressing, she couldn't stop herself from mentally picking up on every infraction and thinking of how horrified her great aunt would be. Worse still, how was she supposed to continue associating with them when she'd be replaying their embarrassing faux-pas in her head next time she spoke to them? Not that was judging them exactly, rather she had Great Aunt Jessamine's judgmental voice in her head and it wouldn't shut up. She'd much rather have been spared seeing her less refined cohorts in this way.

Hesper held her knife and fork as daintily as she could and felt heat rise to her cheeks as she cut a bite-sized piece of meat. "Have you tried the vegetables yet?" she asked her neighbor. She was trying desperately to ignore the food falling out of a nearby student's mouth.

Social Class: Upper
General Grasp of Etiquette: Great Aunt Mildred Would Be Proud
Confidence in Social Situations: "I am a rolemodel"
The following 2 users Like Hesper Gamp's post:
   Jacques Michaud, Marianne Finch

Unlike most of her social class, Linnet had been instructed in manners though for a different reason than most. Even if she didn't use them all the time, she did in fact know enough to get by. She just tended to cater her behavior to those around her.

She'd been sat between a couple others of her house, though she could still see Fletcher making a fool of himself a few seats down. She turned to the girl who'd spoken to her, asking about the vegetables. Was society talk really that boring? Sure there were appropriate things to talk about that wasn't if she'd tried the vegetables. She was glad she wasn't born to the upper elchons of society. It would be dreadfully boring.

"Not yet," she started, still eyeing the Gryffindor out of the corner of her eye. He wasn't in her house and therefore not her problem. "How have you found the food at Hogwarts to be in comparison to home?" Minnet asked Miss Gamp.

Social Class: Working
General Grasp of Etiquette: Generally Well-Mannered
Confidence in Social Situations: "I am a rolemodel."

speaks with an isle of skye (scottish) accent.
Miss MacRae had given him the perfect opening to try for himself instead of challenging them to it, and Jimmy was happy to oblige.

Even with Miss Gillenwater glaring at him with beady eyes. He half-expected her to start frothing at the mouth in fury, if only that wasn’t also a danger of drawing Mrs. Benwick’s ire. With a shit-eating grin in response, Jimmy slowly corrected his grasp on his fork, just for her, and then grinned even wider.

It was always nice to have an audience.

“Watch this, Greta,” he whispered, pushing down the rising urge to break into a laugh as he checked hastily over his shoulder for the etiquette professor. Satisfied by his opportunity, Jimmy elegantly speared a bit of potato and stuck it in his mouth. Instead of chewing and swallowing - and shooting a smug, conspiratorial look at MacRae and Mateo - he popped another potato in, and then another, and another, until he had squirrelled away enough for his mouth to be bursting. “I fink that’s mmf, seven, isn’t it?” He mumbled through his stuffed mouth, shooting Greta a particular open-mouthed potatoey smile in the vague hope it would make her shriek.
The following 2 users Like James Fletcher's post:
   Greta Gillenwater, Roberto Devine

Yuri sniggered at his year mates japes, especially Jimmies mockery of the more refined children's ability and manners and the disgusting sight of the half chewed potatoes in his maw.

'Yes, the unicorn reminds me o'the one I had a few years ago in Paris. Personally, I prefer my unicorn a little less well done.' he scoffed under his breath trying to sound like a toff - wanting in equal measures to be 'one of the group' but also rather desperate for the approval of the professor.

The following 1 user Likes Yuri Podsnapper's post:
   Greta Gillenwater

[Image: 4umj-W0-A-1.png]
Look what MJ did!
Etiquette was more than a waste of time, at this point, it was criminal. While Anne had mastered arriving seconds before she could be considered late to avoid fussy Mistress Benwick's attention, the promise of early dinner brought her to the Great Hall without much complaint.

Somehow, mid-soup, Anne almost lost her appetite watching Yuri Podsnapper struggle with a knife of all things. Anne was couldn't help but stare in confusion. This wasn't OWLs, for Merlin's sake. Watching - and listening - for their professor's nagging tone to pass, Anne nudged Yuri with her foot. Hoping she had his attention, she took pains to pick up her cutlery and place it down again a few times. Her strange show of silverware "wizard see, wizard do" came to a halt when Greta couldn't help but jump in henpeck the table. Anne's eyes rolled so hard, it nearly pained her.

"You realize, Greta, that he's twice the clown when you get all fussy?" Anne punctuated her statement by popping a piece of the roast into her mouth. She smirked as she chewed, enjoying the show with her meal.
WC: 185

Social Class: Working
General Grasp of Etiquette: Generally Well-Mannered
Confidence in Social Situations: Average

[Image: FisiMf.png]
MJ about made me cry with this one!
She glared and screwed up her nose in disgust at Jimmy, who contrary to her warning and scolding was currently stuffing his face with potatoes - though at least he'd fixed his hold on his fork and tried to ignore Yuri's sniggering. If him choking on them hadn't had the risk of attracting their etiquette teacher who would definitely find out that he was mucking around and deduct the points that she was trying to very much save she would have wished he'd choke.

His open-mouthed potatoey smile really was the icing on the cake and to stop herself shrieking because that's probably exactly what Jimmy wanted afterall he was doing this just to spite her. She tried to think of something witty or cutting to say in response to his show... maybe that that she hoped that he could swallow all of those potatoes. It would be a shame to waste the food. But Anne's rather cutting remark beat her to it.

Her face flushed in response to what she knew was the truth in Anne's words - but unwilling to admit that her own actions that had likely caused Jimmy to make a show of things she turned her attention to the Slytherin and stuck out her chin stubbornly. The upside now being that she didn't have to watch Jimmy's open mouthed deliberate chewing. Anne should not have butted in afterall it didn't concern her.  The Slytherin's as a general rule seemed to be better at the etiquette and if James Fletcher got in trouble it wasn't her house after all that would loose points but Greta's. She should've just kept her mouth shut - all she'd done was just made Greta feel like a fool.

"You're only saying that Anne because it's not your points that'll he'll lose if he gets caught." She hissed - trying and probably failing to hold her annoyance in because despite the fact she was annoyed at her scolding she still wanted to get along with Anne, if not only because of their brothers friendship.

[Image: Greta-sig.png]
Social Class: Working
General Grasp of Etiquette: Eti-What? (Thanks to Gideon)
Confidence in Social Situations: fairly confident

For Gideon's sake, Billie had really been trying in etiquette class. At least with the things that made sense to her. He'd already taught her how to use cutlery and to chew with her mouth closed. Thanks to him, she also no longer sat on her chair like a gargoyle, looming over the food. However, even with such basic skills, it was clear her grasp of manners left much to be desired. At least, she no longer squirreled away food in her pockets or crammed bites into her mouth with such speed that she looked near to bursting.

She had strategically placed herself near Yuri since he understood what it was to find himself suddenly among middle class society with barely 'thank you' under one's belt. He was likely not to poke fun at her, and she was likely not to threaten to stab him. Unlike Jimmy whom she shot daggers at, a few seats down.

Her gaze constantly flicked to Anne, trying to copy what she was doing. While Miss Gamp really should be who she should concentrate on, Billie was a bit nervous that the Slytherin would think she was some weirdo who liked to stare. She hoped Anne wouldn't think the same, but, since they were already friends, she thought she might be more forgiving.

Jimmy's potato stuffing had her nearly choking on the food the was eating. In order to stop, she actually reached down and pretended to use her napkin, of all things, to conceal her laughter.

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Awesome signature by MJ!  Thank yoooou!
@Hesper Gamp, @Billie Farrow, @Yuri Podsnapper

Miss Gamp was a star pupil. Of course, she would need to be to represent purebloods respectfully. Her attempts at engaging a lesser peer in polite conversation didn't go unnoticed. "Five points to Slytherin, Miss Gamp. Observe, Miss Farrow and Mr. Podsnapper. See how she holds her knife perfectly and cuts with grace. You aren't to butcher your meat, merely slice it." Deanna smiled down at Hesper and awarded her with a fond, "Well done."

@Linnet Umbernauld

"Good effort, Miss Umbernauld. Five points to Slytherin," she commented with a smile. Her response to Miss Gamp had been polite, and she followed it up with an appropriate question of her own. Her general table manners were also deemed acceptable.

@Mateo Zavala

Glancing across the table, Deanna frowned, watching as food toppled from the boy's mouth, not yet catching on to the challenge that was brewing a few seats down. "I do not know what is so humorous, but it is unsightly to allow food to fall from your mouth like a common pig. Five points from Gryffindor for such a disgusting display."

@Anne Moony

From her pointed glance, it seemed Miss Moony had been attempting to assist a classmate with their cutting abilities. Her own skills were a bit better than most of the others around the table, so it was with a tilt of her head and slight reservation that she decided to award points. "You are doing well, Miss Moony, five points."

@James Fletcher

It was then that her gaze fixed on Jimmy whose mouth was full to bursting with potatoes. Deanna's eyes narrowed as she took in the Gryffindor, her arms slowly folding across her chest. "Mr. Fletcher," she spat out, sharply, her gaze leveling with his. "If your aim was to embarrass yourself, you have succeeded. I will not allow you to make a mockery of this lesson that your classmates are trying their best to succeed at. You will stand up and leave this hall, immediately. Ten points will be taken from Gryffindor, and I believe remedial etiquette lessons shall be in your future." She tapped her foot thrice before whirling on the students who were left.

@Greta Gillenwater and @Alina MacRae

Deanna's gaze drifted over Greta and Alina whom she thought were doing passable jobs, but they had seemed to be in conversation with Mr. Fletcher and therefore weren't awarded points this round.

@Andy Vainart

Once she spotted Andy, however, her expression softened. "Mr. Vainart, thank you for taking this lesson so seriously. Five points to Hufflepuff."

"We shall be moving on to our final course. Do try not to be an embarrassment to yourselves like Mr. Fletcher. There isn't a limit to remedial etiquette attendees." Whether Jimmy made his exit or not, Deanna tapped the table, making the dinner course disappear and make way for pudding. A variety of fruits, cakes, and trifle appeared on the table, as well as coffee, tea, and sweet wine.

Try not to screw up the dessert course! This thread will remain open until the end of December. At that time, I'll award/take away points again and then close the thread. Sorry, Jimmy!

Also, because I'm a dork, I made a seating chart based on where you said your character was in relation to the others.  It made my life a little easier for order of commentary.  haha.  I randomly assigned Annie and Crispin.

[Image: Seating.png]
The following 4 users Like Deanna Benwick's post:
   Acacia Ruskin, Anne Moony, Elias Grimstone, Greta Gillenwater

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Andy's heart started beating faster when his classmate was expelled from the lesson for his poor behavior. Part of him was envious of how funny and confident James Fletcher was, even if he found his antics embarrassing.

He flushed when the professor awarded him points.

His mouth watered when the dessert appeared. He didn't get to eat enough of it at home. He picked one of the trifles as his choice of dessert.

"The cooks have truly outdone themselves!" Andy commented shyly. Part of being well mannered was the ability to hold a polite conversation. It wouldn't do to be quiet and standoffish. He felt embarrassed for his inability to say something more interesting than a mere observation of the quality of the food. He was so boring! He was nowhere near as confident and knowledgable as, say, Miss Gillenwater who sat beside him!

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