Wow. How was Madeleine eleven? (“Eleven years and almost five months old,” Garen could practically hear her saying.) How was she striding off toward the Draco bonfire in student robes with a twirl of the dress Aaron had charmed for her and a smile flashed over her shoulder? Garen remembered bringing his newborn daughter home from the hospital like it was yesterday. Now she was an RMI student, with her own wand and robes and newly-reddened dreamcatcher.
Garen didn’t take his eyes off her until she sat down at the Draco bonfire with another flourish. Then he looked (a little mistily) at Aaron beside him. “We did good,” Garen said, patting his husband on the hand before dinner started in earnest.
As the opening feast wound down and the other heads of house began to leave their seats, Garen stood and approached the seafoam green bonfire around which the Lyras were seated. Madeleine gave him a little wave before skipping over to Estelle. Garen’s relief that his daughter was a Draco was nearly indescribable. They had had enough trouble with Drew being in Cetus that Garen was glad not to have her there or in Lyra, and Sondheim help them if she was even more exposed to Rob Hier’s creative problem-solving. Estelle was a much better influence.
“Welcome and welcome back,” he greeted his students. There weren’t very many of them this year. “My name is Garen Tennant, I’m the head of Lyra. For those of you who are new this year, it’s time to join me on a walk to the Lyra Common Room.” Tomorrow, the prefects and head students would help direct the first-years to their classes. RMI was not a small school, and the layout could be confusing, especially for those who were not used to the concept of an underground Quidditch Pitch.
Tonight, they received a tour of the route from the Finer Diner to the Lyra Commons, with Garen pointing out recognizable landmarks and helpful portraits along the way. The tour ended at an unremarkably blank bit of wall between two paintings. “As some of you may know, Lyra is known for being an artistic house, so the password into the common room is a song. You don’t have to sing if that’s not your cup of tea; humming, whistling, or reciting the lyrics will also grant you entry. The password changes every few weeks and will be posted on the bulletin board inside. I trust that all of you will keep the passwords secret from members of other houses.”
With that disclaimer, Garen turned to the wall and sang the first few lines of “When I Grow Up” from Matilda. The space between the paintings opened and widened to reveal the passage that led into the Lyra Common Room. The students could hear the next line of the melody coming from the doorway, as if played on a distant piano. “Go ahead in,” Garen said, and waited until the instruction had been followed to join them.
[OOC: Even though this speech has been posted, the Opening Feast isn’t over! Feel free to continue your threads at the feast. This speech just means that you can post on other boards, like the Lyra Commons, the Quidditch Pitch, the Theater, etc. You don’t need to reply to this post unless you really want to—it’ll be continued in the Lyra Common Room, where Garen will be taking any of your students’ new-to-school questions/comments/concerns.]