Dmitry really wasn’t sure what to make of their Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor. Professor Brooks seemed nice as a person, which to anyone else might be a good thing, but to him it just raised suspicions about whether she was right to be teaching this class. His tutor in protective magicks at home was much more serious - in fact, he didn’t think he had ever seen the man so much as raise an eyebrow, let alone stretch his face into a smile - and this was appropriate given how serious of a topic it was.
None of his tutors ever showed up with hair coloured any differently from regular hair colours, either. Green hair looked super unprofessional. He had come to Rocky Mountain International expecting to meet students from diverse lower backgrounds, but he had still assumed that the staff would be more in line with himself, in presentation if not blood or social status. Clearly this had been a wrong assumption. Even though they were well past the start of classes now, he still found it equally surprising and a bit unsettling every time he walked into the lab and found Professor Brooks greeting them with new rainbow hair colours.
The importance of both having protection and knowing how to protect yourself had been drilled into him from a very young age. No one had ever attempted to attack or kidnap him or do something even worse, at least as far as he was aware (the Kovalchuk-Rojkovsky family had a very strong security team so it was entirely possible that attempts had been made without his knowledge, but this thought had never crossed Dmitry’s mind before and was not about to cross it now). However, he knew that such an attempt had been made on his mother before. Her personal guard, Olek, had once told him this not to scare him, or so he claimed, but to make him take his lessons more seriously and accept the guard assigned to him when venturing around Vladivostok without complaint. Indeed, Dmitry had never complained again.
...At least, he never complained out loud. Inside his head it was a constant grumble. It was hard to meet other children or join in on games of street ball with Alyona Tsyvk following behind him all the time. She might be a girl, but she was still an adult, and dressed in full uniform like Olek including a long rapier partially concealed in the folds of her cloak, and while this was all charmed to be not-visible to anyone else except for them, the children in the wizarding sector of the city still usually took one look at her before walking away. Whatever they were seeing, it was intimidating. Which Dmitry guessed was kind of the point. But still. There was a reason why the only children he was anything close to friends with were the ones he met at events with his parents, and that was because all of them had security, too.
His disapproval of Professor Brooks didn’t prevent him from working hard and participating in class. He was here to learn, even if he wasn’t convinced she could properly teach them. At her question, Dmitry raised his right hand, waiting to be called on before answering. “Stupefy. It is a spell to be stunning your opponent.” It seemed like a useful one, at least as a distraction against an attacker. He couldn’t imagine it would continue to be useful throughout a longer struggle - if they were learning it as first-year students, it was obviously a very basic spell - but any initial confusion that you could cause at the very start could be helpful for getting an advantage.
Lowering his hand, he wrapped it around his left fist and resumed his original stance, standing tall and patiently while Professor Brooks explained what they would be doing today. He didn’t recognize the word she called it by, but sizing up the darkened entrance, through which he could already see a corner, he could take a guess that it was a secretive, twisting sort of thing. Interesting. Dmitry had built mazes for his streeler Artem before, although he had never walked through a human-sized maze… well, unless you counted the second time he ever visited the Ukrainian Bureau of Magical Affairs, went to look for a bathroom, got separated from the guide leading him through the narrow halls, and somehow wound up on a hedge-trimmed private courtyard on the roof even though he had not gone up a single flight of stairs. In retrospect, that may have been what started Alyona following him around.
Drawing his wand in preparation, fingers sliding comfortably around its black walnut handle, Dmitry walked over to the first student he saw who was not Ryonon. After the frustrating experience of working together in Spellwork at the start of term, he was keen to partner with anyone else. “Hallo,” he announced his arrival, offering a polite smile. “Vould you like to go in the la-bi-rint together? I ‘ave not done a maze in this way before, but I am good at the spells.”