Thus far RMI was satisfactory. Rhiannon had no real complaints about her roommate, although it was fairly uncomfortable to have a roommate after an entire lifetime of not even having a friend your age. The most awkward part had been changing clothes - she understood that many public school students changed out for physical education, but since the benefits of homeschooling included skipping P.E. - although Rhia did like a good hike - she had never actually changed in front of anyone. She’d avoided it so far using free moments when Paola was showering or brushing her teeth, but Rhia had no idea what she was going to do long-term. There had to be some sort of protocol for this, but she neither knew it nor knew where to find it. There wasn’t really anyone to ask about it; her Head of House seemed to be a competent person, but it was an embarrassing question that didn’t need to be anyone’s real first impression of her, in her opinion.
Having successfully changed from a pyjama set to a t-shirt and cargo pants (with her book still in her pocket), Rhia grabbed her bookbag and went out the door of their room. She was incredibly early for class, but better early than late and it gave her a chance to check out her surroundings. On the way out, she noticed the sign-up sheets on the bulletin board advertising clubs and Quidditch. Rhia knew what Quidditch was, like any wizarding kid, but had never followed it, played it, or felt any inclination to play it. Still, she was tempted to sign up. If what she had read about boarding schools was correct - and she had only consulted reputable sources, of course - the culture of the school tended to revolve around sports of this variety. Although things were promising in terms of shared interests with Paola, Rhia was certain she wanted the full RMI experience. Now that she could ask an older student for advice on.
Breakfast was oatmeal with fruit and nuts, providing both fiber and protein for the start of the day. It was tasty too, which was not true of all breakfast foods. Rhia’s aunt never purchased any cereal with more than 2g of sugar per serving, and although Rhia was fairly sure she would not have enjoyed a cloyingly sweet cereal, she was also fairly sure that there was some spectrum of cereal wherein there fell some cereals with less sugar than a can of pop. Perhaps that was something that she could explore on a weekend at RMI. Assuming the school even bought boxed cereal? Suddenly Rhia became very curious about the supply chain involved at RMI. They had house-elves, as was obvious from the night prior, but where exactly did the food come from? It wasn’t as though an underground school could have a delivery truck back up to a loading dock with boxes of produce.
But she could explore that later. Now it was time for Spellwork, a class that Rhiannon had read combined Charms and Transfigurations, which were two separate classes at many other schools. It seemed as though RMI enjoyed combining classes, as Care of Magical Creatures and Herbology had also been combined into Magizoobotany. Rhia would have to wait to see the efficacy of these combinations.
One of the first people to arrive at the Practical Lab and settle herself on the stool at a two-person table, Rhia pulled out her book. She noted with distinct pleasure that the professor also had a book on the table and presumably one he was not teaching out of, since it didn’t match the textbook she had been told to purchase, which was in her bag. Of course, Rhia’s opinion of the professor would fall dramatically if the man elected to just read from them out of the textbook - it was one of the reasons that she had not quite fit in at public school.
As it turned out, Professor McKindy, as he introduced himself once he got the class started (late, Rhia noted with a glance toward the red plastic watch on her left wrist), did not teach out of the book. He also wasn’t teaching them magic on this first day of Spellwork which Rhiannon found disappointing, but she could appreciate that the professor wanted them to take the time and learn about the tools they were going to be using for presumably the rest of their lives. It seemed like a worthwhile opportunity, although Rhia wasn’t sure if she really needed to take some time for self-analysis with a stranger when she could just learn about the components of her wand without the pre-work. The man who had sold it to her in the wand shop in Ft. Collins had looked a little surprised when she had resonated with the wand she had taken home, but he hadn’t said anything. Rhiannon had wondered in passing what that look might have meant, but she hadn’t had the time to read all the way through her Spellwork textbook before school started and therefore had not gotten to the appendices; Rhia had been planning to look up her wand in the school library once she had a free moment. It hadn’t occurred to her that information might be in her Spellwork book.
Whilst taking notes, Rhia had been paying attention to the boy who had seated himself on her right. He looked approximately her age, which made it quite interesting that he was taking notes in Russian. As part of living with a cultural anthropologist, Rhiannon had spent some time studying linguistics. Linguistics and foreign languages were not the same, but knowledge of the former often led to recognition of the latter, even if one could not actually understand the writing. Once the boy started talking to her and introduced himself as Dmitry, Rhia realized that he was very definitely not speaking English as his first language. Or if he was, the person or people who had surrounded him as a young child had not been.
In between her analysis, Rhia agreed to being partners and introduced herself as Rhiannon Taren because she could see no real reason not to, although she frowned when Dmitry started questioning the assignment before even beginning it. To her, it made sense that wands were a major part of magic.
“Wandless magic is not uncommon for everyday spells,” she said, pulling her long, dark braid over her shoulder and tugging it a little. “But major works of magic are never done without wands. And there are some witches and wizards who can’t perform magic wandlessly at all. I would argue that many people do need wands, and that your observation bias makes you think otherwise. I don’t know the specific numbers, but I would suspect that statistically, you are incorrect in your assertion.”