Kašpar Szyszko

Nov. 11, 2019, 10:21 p.m.

Calling Aquilas to attention

Bellamy’s plans to polish off a good American steak and turn in for a quiet evening in his office with the Financial Times were not to happen tonight. On one hand, he had returned from his summer holiday in Ghent to find his magazine library out of order, as well as other strange changes to the size and shape and, disturbingly, smell, of his office furniture, which did not make it a comfortable setting to browse global banking news. On the other, Robert Heir was apparently unavailable for the Opening Feast; as they had already been down one Head of House, Bellamy could not foist this second mishap off on their limited remaining staff, and had been required to step in himself. (These two hands were likely tied. He lacked proof, for now, but fully believed Robert was also to blame for the current distressing state of his office.)

He was not pleased with having to do the Aquila House orientation. He was less pleased that it was Robert he was covering for. As the youngest member of their faculty, Robert surely was aware of the pressure to live up to his responsibilities... or so Bellamy had tried to convince himself last year when observing how the man spent half his time poisoning students (both literally and in the moral sense) and the other half rolling around in a tackily decorated wheelchair (racing stripes? Really? This was a workplace, not a children’s carnival). Robert’s absence may have been attributed to any of his multiple children and/or medical conditions; he had not cared enough to retain the so-called “reason” that Tobias had nonchalantly informed him of before the Feast began. The Opening Feast might be blown out of proportion, but it was still a pivotal event, as it was literally the start to RMI’s academic year, and there was no reason to miss it that could possibly be valid.

When the time came, the mustachioed man moved towards the grey bonfire. He would never understand why all the Houses except Aquila were represented with unnecessarily extravagant colours - although in fairness, there were a number of unnecessary extravagances at RMI that could be done without, and he had made recommendations to that effect when preparing for the upcoming IWCE institutional budget reviews. But that was a thought process to continue later, when he was not interacting with the students. “Good evening, Aquilas,” he greeted them stiffly. “I am Deputy Headmaster Fell. In the absence of your Head of House tonight, I will be providing an introduction to Aquila House. Those new to RMI, please follow me.” Prudently, Bellamy remained standing in place for five seconds or so, to allow them time to set their dishes aside and join him, and then he left the dining hall.

Leading them down the adjoining corridor, he paused periodically to note over his shoulder things such as “That doorway leads to your professor’s offices”, or “This portrait depicts one of Rocky Mountain International’s founders”. These were important things for them to be aware of, but he had little faith they would retain any of it, so hoped the interjections would be enough to at least keep them focused on the walk to their House. Children had such fickle attention spans. At last, they rounded a corner and came upon a dead-end. Bellamy continued leading them down the hall, pausing several feet away from the wall at the end, and pointed at the gaping hole in the floor. The pointing was unnecessary, but unlike so many other things, it was neither extravagant nor could be claimed as a financial expense. “We are going down there. If you are afraid, I recommend simply closing your eyes and taking a few steps forward.”

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T30 Head of House Speeches - Ophelia Harper || November 11
Calling Aquilas to attention - Kašpar Szyszko || November 11