Thankfully, as a member of staff Estelle was allowed a chair at the Opening Feast. Not that she wouldn’t have found a chair regardless - and she would happily admit there was a certain joy in criticizing a certain Deputy Head for things his stickler-for-details attitude should have caught and would therefore aggravate him to be criticized about, like workplace safety and ergonomic standards. But having a chair already waiting for her upon arrival at the school saved her some energy that was better spent trying to convince now five-year-old Dustin that he could sit with his dad and not on his very pregnant mum’s lap.
This was now the second time that the petite Australian witch had been pregnant during the Opening Feast, and she was determined it would be her last. She was getting too old for this. Also having an extra ten kilos of diameter, sweat, and cravings for tinned sardines during the summer was just generally not a fun time. (She didn’t even like sardines. Why couldn’t this fetus make her crave something tasty for once?)
When it was time, Estelle heaved herself upright, using her husband’s shoulder as a crutch. “Sorry love,” she apologized with a grin, pecking Liam’s cheek, “but that’s the price.” As per usual, their oldest son Theo was permitted to join her, although he was now self-aware enough to decide that holding her hand wasn’t in his best interests as they walked around the staff bonfire to the edge of the raised dais.
“New Dracos!” the brunette called, wandlessly conjuring her Patronus. It was noisy in the Diner, so the students might not have heard her, but the large semi-transparent octopus unfurling its tentacles overhead would not be easily ignored. “Pick yourselves up, now. My name is Professor Blair-West, and I’m your Head of House and Cultural Studies professor - at least for the next couple months. Come along, and don’t loiter.” Estelle had no worries about the first-years falling behind: between her son’s short legs and her big belly, they moved at a slower speed down the halls. Her octopus swam lazily in the air above them as they turned a corner and halted in front of a large, three-paned window, looking out on a colourful sunset over the Rocky Mountains.
“This window is your secret entrance to Draco House,” she informed them. “The password for this month is mesozoic.” (She did enjoy having the power to choose their passwords. There was never a bad time for science facts.) “What you do is speak the password, then step through the window. It will seem like you’re climbing right out into open air, but there’s a stairwell on the other side, and you just follow the stairs down into Draco House. Right then, onwards we go - mesozoic!” Helping Theo over the windowsill, Estelle stepped over herself, and both of them vanished into the sunset.
| OOC: this post is continued on the Draco board!