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 Great Hall Entrance
Deputy HM Zoe Benfield
 Posted: Jun 19 2017, 07:49 PM
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Oryn Yarwood
 Posted: Jun 19 2017, 11:33 PM
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Oryn sighed as he got read to go to the EHC Ball. Really, after that Pre-Task, he wanted nothing more than to lay in his bed and recover from his ordeal, but as a newly-minted House Champion, he was expected to make an appearance at the Ball. He put on his new suit, the one that his grandfather had had made for him. Boy, you always have to have a nice suit. And a sharp hat never hurts. Ladies always appreciate a sharp dressed man with a nice hat. That was what his grandfather liked telling him...well, one of the things. The suit was actually pretty nice, Oryn had to admit. And it fit him better than anything else he'd had. Nicely done, pop, he thought to himself as he looked at his reflection in the mirror. He put the hat on his head, and then made his way to the Great Hall.

Once there, he stood just inside the open doors, looking out over the large room. It looked like a huge garden, with flowers, trees, and shrubbery places all around, and a paved path winding it's way through. He hesitated, a little unsure about heading into the maze of plants after his last experience. Maybe I'll just wait here for someone else to show up, he thought, leaning against the door frame to wait.

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Penelope James
 Posted: Jun 20 2017, 06:27 AM
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Penny subconsciously wrapped her blonde curls around her finger as she left the girls dorm to head toward the Great Hall. She had put her wariness about the Pre-Task behind her and was determined to keep it there. The next task loomed in her mind though and for that reason, she hadn't been sleeping all that well. Her bright eyes and youthful face seemed to automatically hide her exhaustion, which worked out nicely because tonight, she was determined to have a good time, regardless of everything else.

All thoughts about future tasks vanished as she spotted the garden room, which was completely unrecognizable as the Great Hall. There was someone leaning against the frame of the door, partially blocking her view of it. Since she could only see his back, she had no idea that it was Oryn. She paused, still a few steps behind him to compose herself before going forward. Slowly, she walked through the doorway and into the room.

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Oryn Yarwood
 Posted: Jun 23 2017, 01:22 AM
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Oryn was leaning against the door frame, just kind of looking around the room, taking it all in, when a blonde girl in a red dress swept past him into the room. Penny, he thought to himself, recognizing her instantly, even though she hadn't turned to look at him. Immediately, his heart found it's way into his throat. His mouth went dry, and he could feel butterflies fluttering around in his stomach. This was a new development that had just started this year, and Oryn found that he was strangely addicted to the sensation; he sought her out as much as possible, just to feel the butterflies again and again. He had even taken dance class, just because she had.

He approached her quietly, not wanting to disturb her thoughts. He ran over several different things to say to her, but discarded each just as quickly, as none of them seemed quite good enough. This is ridiculous, he thought to himself. It's just Penny. We've been friends since first year. He decided the best thing to do was to act normal. He tapped her lightly on the shoulder, and smiled. "Hey Penny," he said, greeting her simply.

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Penelope James
 Posted: Jun 23 2017, 06:48 AM
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Feeling the tap on her shoulder made her jump slightly, but the calm greeting brought her back to her senses. She had been a bit more on edge since her trip to the forest and found that she had become a little jumpy. Turning around, her eyes widened slightly as she realized that the person leaning against the door frame had actually been Oryn. She'd never seen him in a hat before, which had thrown her off. "Oryn, hi!" She returned his smile before she began fidgeting with one of the flowers on her dress.

Oryn had been acting strangely around her and she wasn't sure what to make of it. Sometimes, it felt like he was avoiding her and she couldn't make sense of why, or if that's actually what he was doing. She pushed those thoughts away and stopped fiddling with her dress, giving him her full attention. He was wearing a handsome suit and the hat really tied it all together quite nicely. "You look...good," she said, somewhat awkwardly. Realizing how weird she had just sounded, she added, "I've never seen you in a hat before, it suits you."

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Oryn Yarwood
 Posted: Jun 23 2017, 02:24 PM
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When she jumped, Oryn immediately regretted sneaking up on her the way that he had. After the ordeal that they had both been through during the Pre-Task, nerves were probably a little raw, and it hadn't been his best decision. "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you," he said with a nervous chuckle. He noticed her start to play with one of the flowers on her dress, and actually saw the sress for the first time. It was beautiful. He could feel the butterflies in his stomach increase their fluttering, and tried his best to ignore it. It was just Penny, his friend; there was no reason to be feeling so ridiculous.

He was lost in his own thoughts when he heard her compliment him. He could feel his face grow a little warmer, and knew from experience that his cheeks would be tinged red after her comment. He gave a little smile as she pressed on. "Thanks. Yeah, pop likes hats, so since he bought me the suit, he said it had to have one. I'm not too sure about it." He looked down at his shoes for a minute, and noticed, almost surprised, that he was kicking at the stone floor with his foot. He looked back up at Penny, ignoring the nervous habit, and said quietly "You look good too...your dress I mean...I mean, you do too..." His voice trailed off. Merlin's beard, but he was awkward. He took the hat off and looked at it, absent-mindedly scratching at his head. He looked off to the side, a little nervous to look back at her after that horribly awkward compliment.

A change in the subject might be helpful, he decided. He glanced around the hall, taking in the outdoorsy look. "I'm not sure a forest-themed ball was the best choice, what do you think?" he asked her, looking back at her with a wry smile. His experience in the forest still bothered him...largely because it made him feel like a failure. But there was nothing he could do about it now. He decided he'd do his best to bury that until later, and do his best to enjoy the night.

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Penelope James
 Posted: Jun 23 2017, 09:53 PM
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Penny looked away after complimenting him, missing the sight of the blush that had made its way to his face. When she was brave enough to turn back to him, she noted that Oryn seemed nervous. Normally, this was something she would have asked him about but she found that she was also feeling nervous and realized that she really didn't want to draw attention to that fact, so she pretended not to notice. She watched him as he shuffled his feet and as if in response to seeing it, she brought her hands back up to fiddle with her dress again. She could hardly stand the discomfort between them. Oryn had always been so easy to be around, but something had changed between them, she could feel it like an electric pulse zinging through the air.

"I think your grandfather was right about the hat," she said, noticing that her voice was an octave higher than normal. She cleared her throat to attempt to fix whatever was causing it. A smiled spread across her face as he complimented her dress, or her, or both? She let out a nervous laugh. "Thanks, I was worried that it might have been a little much...the dress I mean." She began chewing on her lower lip as she watched him remove his hat.

At the change in subject, she exhaled the breath she didn't realize she'd been holding. Apparently, she was going to need to remind herself to breath tonight. "Yeah, I could do without forests for a while, personally. If this one is full of baboons who throw their poop at me, I'll be much less understanding." she smiled at him as her nerves began to settle and her voice had thankfully returned to normal. "Do you want to go in?" she asked, inclining her head in the direction of the Great Hall.


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Oryn Yarwood
 Posted: Jun 25 2017, 02:40 PM
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He was looking down at the floor after commenting on the hat, but when she said that she agreed with his grandfather, he smiled to himself. Huh, the thought to himself, good job Pop, looks like you do know what you're talking about. He looked back up at her and stammered his way through a compliment, but seeing her smile at his pathetic attempt made the butterflies calm down just a little bit. "It's not too much," he said earnestly. "I think it's perfect." As soon as he said it, he blushed hard again. He took his hat off to distract himself from the awkwardness of the conversation.

He smiled at her comment about the baboons, glad that things seemed to more comfortable at the subject change. "I didn't get to watch your task, but I've heard a few people talking about it. They said you handled it really well," he said with a smile. He hadn't handled his own as well, but that was okay...there was always next time. "But if there's baboons in here, we'll handle them together." She asked him if he wanted to go into the Great Hall, and he glanced in that direction again. "I suppose we should, instead of just standing in the doorway all night, yeah?" he said with a chuckle. "Can I escort you in?" he asked, offering his arm to her the way his grandfather had told him to.


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Penelope James
 Posted: Jun 26 2017, 02:24 AM
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Penny gave Oryn a shy smile as he reassured her that her dress wasn't too much, but that it was actually perfect. "Thank you...are you alright?" she stopped mid-sentence to ask, noticing that his face was flushed. "You look overheated, do you need to sit down?" Both of Penny's parents were healers, so this type of reaction was sort of ingrained in her, she could also just be a bit dense when it came to things like this, she was only thirteen after all.

Baboon poop...the feel of it on her face and the smell of it would hopefully be forgotten over time. Hearing that people had been saying that she handled the situation well brought another smile to her face. She wouldn't likely admit it out loud, but the desire to prove herself had been one of the driving factors while she was navigating through the Pre-Task, and to find out that people had been saying she had done well was really nice to hear. Also, handling baboons with Oryn beside her sounded like a much better thing than by herself, he made her feel more brave. "Wow, I didn't know that people had said that. And you're right, together we can probably take them," she added with a determined edge to her voice. As he offered her his arm, she curtsied, that shy smile planted across her face again. "Certainly," she said, before linking her arm through his and letting him guide her into the room. She pushed away the urge to reach for the comfort of her wand as she entered the brightly colored forest.

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Oryn Yarwood
 Posted: Jun 26 2017, 11:40 PM
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Oryn was feeling the heat in his face as his cheeks flushed crimson. He hoped that Penny wouldn't notice, but then she asked him if he was alright. Of course she noticed, he thought to himself. "Um...no, I'm okay. Just a little nervous I guess," he said, punctuating his reply with a nervous chuckle. He hoped that she wouldn't follow that up with another question...he wasn't sure if he'd be able to answer her if she asked what was causing his nerves; he wasn't entirely sure himself.

Oryn saw her smile as he mentioned the talk of her performance in the pre-task, and he felt some of the tension between them begin to fade. "Yeah, well definitely take them," he said with a smile. Then he offered her his arm to escort her into the Great Hall. She curtsied, smiling at him, and he felt the butterflies come back in force. She slid her arm into his, and his heartbeat drummed in his ears. He was certain that she'd hear it standing this close. He swallowed hard, and then fixed a smile on his face. "Well, then right this way," he said, setting off into the hall at a relaxed pace.

He escorted her down the walkway, his eyes were scanning the various plants and shrubs, looking for any sign of garden gnomes. But, always, his eyes kept coming back to Penny. "So...um...this is much better than that forest, don't you think?" he asked her, trying to fill the silence. Reminding her of the forest probably wasn't the best idea at the moment though, all things considered. As they continued walking, nearing the center of the Great Hall, gentle music could be heard drifting towards them from up ahead.

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Penelope James
 Posted: Jun 27 2017, 11:16 PM
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Penny echoed his nervous laugh with her own, "Yeah, me too actually." She watched Oryn closely for a moment before deciding not to press the issue. They both had a lot going on right now and she sensed that he didn't want to discuss it. She reminded herself that tonight was about having fun and so when he changed the subject, she was relieved.

The plants that filled the Great Hall were pretty and really, nothing at all like what she'd seem in the forest. Everything seemed to sparkle as they passed by, heading deeper into the room. She looked away from the decorations and over to Oryn as he asked her a question about the forest, laughing lightly before giving him an answer. "Yes, much better. It seems that we wont have to worry about anything jumping out at us here, which is nice." She paused for a second before adding, "I heard about all those garden gnomes you had to fight off. " She had been hearing all about the other participants and what they had been up against in the Pre-Task. It was all that anyone seemed to talk about these days. "Did all those bites heal okay?" Baboon poop was gross but a simple cleaning spell had taken care of it once she'd run far enough away from the angry creatures. Bites from angry gnomes seemed like a much worse fate to her. Penny could hear the music but let it fade to the background, her focus completely on Oryn.

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Oryn Yarwood
 Posted: Jun 28 2017, 12:24 AM
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He looked away for a moment as she mentioned hearing about the garden gnomes. He hadn't exactly fought them off...he'd dropped his wand, and it wasn't until something else had scared the gnomes back into the brush that he had managed to get back to his feet. He knew it hadn't been his best moment. She pressed on, and he looked back at her. He couldn't detect any amusement or mockery in her expression, just a hint of concern as she asked him about the scores of bites he'd suffered. "Um...yeah, they seem to have healed okay. I think a few of them may have left a bit of a mark, but nothing too bad." He looked down at the path in front of them for a second. "I didn't...I didn't really fight them off," he said, before looking up and meeting her eyes again. "They swarmed me, dozens of them, maybe a hundred, I don't know. They knocked me to the ground, and I dropped my wand." He could see the scene unfolding in his mind just as clearly now as when it had happened. "They only left when something else scared them off." He looked back down at his feet, ashamed that he hadn't handled the situation better. But he couldn't stand the thought of her thinking something about him that wasn't true either.

They continued walking until they reached what seemed to be the center of the Hall. The path that they had been walking on opened up into a large square area, clear of any of the trees or shrubs that lined the perimeter. The music that they'd heard as they walked was louder here; not overwhelmingly so, but definitely louder. He looked around the area...it seemed to be a dance floor. A thought came fully-formed into his mind, and he looked over at Penny. She wouldn't, right? They'd never done anything like that before, there was no reason to think she'd want to...but the idea had grabbed him and wouldn't let him go. And they were both in the dancing class together. "So..." he began, his voice cracking slightly with the nerves. He cleared his throat and tried again. "So Penny...want to dance?" He immediately blushed bright red and looked to the floor, afraid to look in her direction in case it caused her to laugh.

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Penelope James
 Posted: Jun 28 2017, 05:52 PM
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Penny smiled when Oryn said that his bites had seemed to heal, but it vanished from her face once he began to explain what had really happened to him in the arena. What he was describing sounded awful and her eyebrows stitched together in concern as she listened. "Oh no, I didn't know all of that." Seeing the look of shame on his face snapped her into action. She didn’t think that were was any reason to be feeling badly about how things had happened. "Oryn?" she said gently, trying to catch his eye. "It sounds like you did the best that you could, given the situation. Garden gnomes are small and easy to handle but not when there are even as many as three to fend off at once." She thought back to when they were clearing out garden gnomes from one of the greenhouses with the other Hufflepuffs. "Do you remember when we were assigned to remove garden gnomes from that greenhouse last year? I had three come at me at once and if it weren't for you, I would have gotten bit for sure. That was only three. If you had dozens attacking you at once...let's just say I'd be shocked if any other student would have been able to handle it better."

As the dance floor came into view, her eyes focused on the dancers that were already swaying to the music. A comfortable silence had fallen between her and Oryn as they both took in the new sight. Rather suddenly though, she could feel a nervous energy coming off of him and she turned her face in his direction. After studying him closely for a few moments, she turned away quickly to look back at the people on the dance floor. She realized that she'd been staring. Once he began to speak, she turned back to him, a shy smile on her face at his question. Of all the formal school events like this they'd been to, Oryn had never asked her to dance before, it was unexpected but she found that she was more than happy to agree. She tried to catch his eye but he seemed determined to look at the floor. "Yeah...I'll dance with you,” she said, her voice sounding oddly timid.

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David Beaux
 Posted: Jun 28 2017, 10:37 PM
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David had felt so horrible. He hadn't seen Jai Cobe during the Halloween Ball, and he hadn't talked to her about what had gone on in his pre-task. He wanted to talk to her about what the next task might be. He needed her. The thought struck him as odd for a moment. Then a sad smile crossed his face. He had been getting along so well with Theresa Rubel as well.

It was always a bit odd with Theresa. She was a Slytherin, and for some reason he always felt like it wasn't allowed. Though to be honest, that was also some of her allure. David shook his head to clear the image of her as a white witch. His eyes were turning a brilliant shade of emerald green when he was finally able to get on a different train of thought.

Silently cursing himself, David called himself every cowardly name he could imagine. He had sent his owl, Huey to do his dirty work. He had asked Jai to the Champion's Ball in a letter. It had been very apologetic and sincere, but those were feelings you could really only convey in person.

Standing there in his suit. David tugged at his Hufflepuff tie that he had sewn 'EHC' into with a vibrant green with a thin black outline. Shifting his weight from foot to foot, the teen could only hope that Jai showed up before Theresa. That would be fun to explain....

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Jai Cobe
 Posted: Jun 29 2017, 08:20 PM
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Jai had gotten something from Huey. The owl was so sweet, it wasn't his fault that David did what she felt he did. So she took the letter, gave him a treat and sent him on his way after petting his head. She watched, with tears in her eyes, as Huey flew away. 'Probably the last time I'll ever see him' she thought to herself. Sighing loudly, the longer she looked at the letter, the angrier she got. She could feel her insides boiling! She raised the letter to eye level, and with a growl she ripped the letter to shreds without reading it and threw the pieces across the room. With the audible sound of disgust, she thought she'd show him. She knew he'd go to the ball. He had to, he was a participant, right? So she decided to get dressed and go anyway - date or no date.

She entered the Great Hall.. looking for David, but not looking for him at the same time. She had every intention of not giving him any attention at all. She was quite curious though, to see who the witch was..

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