Back when he was a first year, Drew had quickly learned that a good goal was to try not to work with Kit in classes. That was the best way to avoid your cauldron blowing up, or your venomous tentacula biting anyone, or not learning anything about the Goblin Rebellion of 1752 so that you failed the exam later. Sometimes he ended up working with Kit anyway, but Drew was pretty good at managing her now. When she worked with him it was more like a controlled burn than a raging forest fire.
Now that he was a fifth year and his little sister was a first year, he had a new goal for all-years classes: don’t work with Madeleine. Not for the same reason he didn’t want to work with Kit: Madeleine actually focused really really hard, and she was good at magic. Like, way too good for a first year. Drew knew Aaron had been teaching her magic this last year, but damn. Madeleine took to it like a lobalug to water. In fact she was such an overachiever (see, he knew she’d be a Draco) and so focused on schoolwork that she wasn’t much fun for Drew to work with. His approach was a whole lot more laid-back.
So Drew grabbed a seat next to Huburt that was not in the front row, where Madeleine usually sat. He saw plenty of his little sister anyway, because since becoming an RMI student she’d instituted a Family Dinner for everyone who was Tennant-McKindy adjacent. Honestly, Drew liked having dinner once a week with some combination of Dad, Aaron, Madeleine, Kit, Aunt Cindra, Rhubarb, and Sadie. Maybe they could smuggle Marissa in some time.
Aaron explained today’s lesson, which only reinforced Drew’s decision not to work with Madeleine. His little sister would be over the moon about getting to use her baking skills in class: making enchanted cookies with Aaron was one of her favorite parts of the holiday season (apart from “literally every other part.” Drew was fondly annoyed by how adorable Madeleine was). But she’d be a great partner for anyone who… oh, she was going to work with Leo? Huh. Drew did not see his ball-of-sunshine sister getting along very well with tall-dark-raincloud Leo, but stranger things had happened.
Huburt turned away to find another partner (he loved all-years classes because he got to dazzle a first year with how much he knew), so Drew prepared to search for someone else. He didn’t have to look long: the second year who’d run into the classroom right at the last second and plopped down on Drew’s other side piped up before Drew even really had a chance to move. “Uh, yeah,” Drew said with a laugh. “The professor’s my stepdad, so you could say I’ve done this before. I think we can basically do whatever we want as long as it’s magic. You guys learned color-changers or animation spells yet?” He couldn’t remember when he’d been taught those—after five years of Spellwork classes, the specific lessons started to blur together—but they sounded like things a beginner might know.