The first thing the students saw on entering the Lyra Common Room was the large fireplace on the wall opposite the entryway. The fire in the grate and the multicolored paper lanterns that hung from the ceiling illuminated the room’s seafoam green carpeting and brown wooden wall paneling. Above the fireplace hung a vivid mural, painted by a long-since-graduated Lyra who had signed their artwork illegibly in the bottom right corner.
Two windows framed the fireplace and the mural, their seafoam green curtains drawn back. Out the windows was a view of a snowy hillside at night, with the aurora borealis filtering cool light down on grey-green trees. Garen wasn’t sure if the scene was real or invented by the school’s magic, but he always liked seeing what the windows came up with, and he thought it helped the students who weren’t used to living underground yet.
Doors on the left and right walls led to a long hallway, which wrapped around the far end of the room and provided access to several soundproof booths, art studios, and photography darkrooms. Lyra being the artsy House, many of the students like to express themselves creatively, and the all-hours studios enjoyed a good deal of use throughout term. Students who wished to take advantage of the grand piano that stood in the far left corner of the Common Room were able to do so, but only the best players usually did.
A bulletin board hung to the left of the entrance. Garen had tacked the sheet music to “Not While I’m Around” on it, and he was sure that the rest of the space would soon be taken up by the Quidditch sign-up sheet and flyers for other clubs. As the students looked around, Garen invited them to take seats on the chairs and couches grouped cozily throughout the room.
“Welcome to your home for the next seven years,” Garen said with a smile. “The boys’ dorms are up the stairs to the right of the entrance; the girls’ dorms are up the stairs on the left side.” Each dorm had a full bathroom attached. “Please do not try to go to the dorms that do not align with your gender identity, or you will quickly find yourself in Headmaster Morgan’s office and then detention. If you have any concerns about your housing, feel free to approach me or another staff member about it.
“We have several clubs at RMI, which I hope you’ll consider participating in.” He gave brief descriptions of the Quidditch program, the Drama Club, Rocky Voices newspaper, dueling club, and Agriculture Club, which he assumed was still happening. He also explained the school’s policy on Muggle appliances. Such devices didn’t work in a magical environment, but some could be enchanted by the staff to be compatible with magic. Garen specialized in adapting cameras, battery-powered tuners, and electric musical instruments. He was fairly sure that he could do more complicated things like digital watches or alarm clocks, but no one had ever asked him. Lorraine Taylor and Aaron, as the Magical Sciences and Spellwork professors, were the best at enchanting things.
“That’s about it for our tour. The first year curfew—which is the time by which you need to be back in your common rooms—is ten o’clock in the evening. If you ever need quick access to my office from here, this door,” he indicated a door between the entrance and the boys’ stairs, which illogically connected to one in his office, “will take you there. I’ll stick around for a few more minutes to answer any questions.”
[OOC: If your character has any questions, write a post responding to this and put [Tag: Garen] in the title! If you have any questions, head over to the RMI Author Cafe and we’ll be able to help you out.]