“Tomato, luv?” Pulling a slice out of her burger, she offered it to the baby on her lap. Cambrian was only a few months down the path of solid foods and already had a remarkable hankering for all kinds of fruits and vegetables. She grabbed at the tomato slice with chubby fingers and stuffed it in, juice leaking all over her bib from her mouth-wide-open chewing. Estelle snorted, unconcerned about the mess - cleaning charms existed for a reason - and readjusted her grip on both burger and baby so that she could take a bite. Of the burger, not the baby.
Glancing ‘round the Diner as she munched, it suddenly occurred to the forty-something witch that... well, (a) she was in her early forties, a fact that didn’t bother her but also didn’t seem real, and (b) this year’s Opening Feast had the highest ratio of Blairs (or Blair-Wests) to date. Between herself, her husband Liam, their three kids, and her niece and nephew, there were officially more of them than there were Hiers. This was not a milestone she had ever specifically sought, but still Estelle felt chuffed at the revelation and made sure to joke about it to Celia when she found a lull in the conversation.
Inevitably she had to stand up, handing over Cam to Liam. Their oldest son, Theo (whose age also didn’t seem real to her, now a whopping eight-going-on-nineteen) traditionally accompanied her on her walk to Draco House and seemed happy to do so again, jumping to his feet and racing to the edge of the podium ahead of her. When she caught up, she ruffled his hair affectionately and raised her voice. “New Dracos, over here!” In case the students didn’t hear her shout, she wandlessly conjured her octopus Patronus to swim over to the red fire and lure them over.
Once the new students had come forward, she started leading them out of the Diner, introducing herself as they went. “My name is Professor Blair, and I’m both your Head of House and Cultural Studies professor. Now, pay attention here…” Estelle pointed out a few landmarks along the way, such as paintings, statues, and the odd interesting-shaped ceiling beam that would hopefully help them remember the route. Her Patronus rolled lazily in the air above them as they turned a corner and stopped in front of a large, three-paned window, looking out on a colourful sunset over the Rocky Mountains.
“This window is the entrance to Draco House,” she informed them. “The password this month is sesamoid.” (She did enjoy having the power to choose passwords. There was never a bad time for science facts.) “What you do is speak the password, then step through the window. It’ll seem like you’re climbing right out into open air, but there’s a stairwell on the other side, and you just walk down the steps into Draco. Right then, onwards we go - sesamoid!” 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!