Garen Tennant had been worried that he would spend the entire opening feast anxiously staring at his son at the Cetus bonfire, but in actuality he spent a good portion of it trying not to glare at the Lyra bonfire. The fact that Iolanthe was not-so-gently encouraging him to adopt a glistering orchid throughout most of the event only helped so much.
It was infuriating that Darlene Knight was allowed to return to RMI after poisoning Garen’s son. But since the board was stacked with people beholden to the Knights, and since Drew had ruled out the courts and the press, there was nowhere Garen could escalate this. It marked the first time since his years in New York that he’d thought about leaving Rocky Mountain International. But this was the Tennant-McKindys’ home, they were all finally stable in it, and no jilted teenager was going to chase them out. Garen had briefly considered putting the kids in another school, but Drew was a seventh year and Madeleine would never forgive him, so that idea was a nonstarter too. He’d gently suggested that Drew take a year abroad, but Drew said he didn’t want to leave RMI like that. Garen got it.
He got it. He was also going to keep a close eye on Darlene Knight.
When the magizoobotany professor had wrested a promise that Garen would visit her orchid greenhouse some time in the next week, Garen made his excuses and approached the seafoam green Lyra bonfire. Well, Lyras-plus-one. “Welcome and welcome back,” he greeted his students, deliberately avoiding looking at Darlene. She was nominally still a Lyra, but not his jurisdiction anymore, and she wouldn’t be coming back to the common room anyway. “My name is Garen Tennant, I’m the head of Lyra, the school counselor, and the theater director. If you’ve never been to the Lyra Common Room, please follow me now—I know it’s tempting to take food for the road but I promise there will be plenty to eat tomorrow.” After breakfast, the prefects and head students—including Drew this year—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 weren’t used to seeing an underground indoor forest.
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 mug of cocoa; 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 those who aren’t welcome in our common room.”
With that disclaimer, Garen turned to the wall and sang the first few lines of “Not While I’m Around” from Sweeney Todd. It was a classic. 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 followed.
[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.]