It was the first RMI Opening Feast in Rob’s recent memory - perhaps in his whole memory - that had actually gone...smoothly. None of the students had made anything explode, and his own kids had actually behaved themselves before and during the Feast. It was a very strange feeling, and exchanging glances with his wife throughout the meal, he was pretty sure Celia felt the same. Of course, the kids were growing up; it was only two years until Julia herself was sitting at the Feast as a first year, which was kind of a horrifying concept that Rob spent a fair amount of time distracting himself from.
As he usually did, Rob kept quiet during the feast. He had eaten earlier, because he hated eating in public - the risk of aspiration was too high. Rob had been keeping an eye on the other professors - Garen Tennant particularly - and when the three other Heads of House began to move towards their fires, he politely excused himself from the outskirts of a conversation Samuel Boot was having and wheeled toward the Aquila fire, his magical wheelchair handling the drop-off from the raised dais with ease..
“This way,” the brown-haired man called, using his best I-used-to-be-a-Quidditch-captain voice. Getting Aquilas to follow directions was often less effective than your average try at herding cats, and it took more than a few calls to get the students to come to him, and even then there were stragglers. It might have bothered Rob, except that very little bothered Rob and he figured that a first year left behind was a first year who’d figure out not to get left behind again. Rob was all about providing those valuable life experiences to those in need.
Once the students had gathered around him, Rob smiled at them. Sitting in a wheelchair put the first years more or less on par with him in height, but the cocky Potions professor was pretty sure it wouldn’t matter.
“Welcome to RMI again,” he said, his words slightly slurred. It would be apparent to the students standing on his left that he wore a magical hearing aid in that ear. Rob had gotten it after his third stroke, to help him understand people with strong accents. It also helped clarify normal conversations to his occasionally confused brain. “I’m your Head of House and resident Potions genius, and my name is Rob Hier. You can call me Rob or Professor Rob if you really want to stand on your manners, don’t call me Professor Hier. It sounds like I’m impersonating my wife.” He grinned at the group as they processed these directions. They’d probably never heard something similar from an adult before. Then again, Rob wasn’t quite sure how much of an adult he really was. “My guess is that you guys are anxious to get to the Commons and either head to bed or stay up all night chatting with your new roommates, so let’s get a move on!”
To what was probably the surprise of more than one person present, Rob led them out the doors of the Finer Diner and into the entrance hall by rolling backwards, touching on several important parts of RMI as he did so. He pointed out landmarks, showed them the hall to get to the library and the Admin wing, directed them to the Quidditch Pitch. For kicks, the wheelchair user let it slip that he’d been Aquila Quidditch Captain in his day, grinning as he caught the looks on the kids’ faces. Yep kiddos, the cripple can fly.
Just past the hallway to the Admin Quarters was another hallway that seemingly ended in a dead end. However, when Rob rolled over to the wall and tapped it, a large, gaping hole appeared in the floor. Again, he grinned cockily at his students.
“Last one in’s a rotten egg!” he said, then shoved himself wheels-first into the hole.
This speech has been posted but the Feast isn’t over! Feel free to continue your threads as long as you want, but you can now post on any of the other boards as well. You can reply to this post if you want to, but are not required to. Part II - and an additional surprise - will be posted in the Aquila Commons!