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 Errand  If I was a Flag...  PV Aaron 

@Aaron Jones
1st October
Errands. Suddenly there were more of them, providing that sort of distraction Opeila wanted so badly. Life had to go on, even if it was this... this strange life that so much didn't feel like... well, hers. The Slytherin knew exactly what her father would say if he was there to hear her thoughts. Change it, love it or leave it. Opeila couldn't change it. What she went through was nothing she had chosen for herself. Her mother's mistakes. And Opeila had hated her and blamed her so long, laying awake in her bed, silent angry tears streaming down her face, while she wispered everything she wanted to tell her.

Opeila needed to move on, or she would break under it.
That of course didn't just happen, but well, that was what the errands were great for. And school in general. The only thing that was still deep down on the bottom of her trunk, was her finnish vocabulary and books. She had not touched them once since their return to Hogwarts and she had avoided Airlia as well. Not that the Hufflepuff was bad company, but here she just represented all the memories Opeila so badly wanted to push away.

Sometime in the afternoon, after her classes, Opeila went up to the first floor to the Muggle Studies Classroom. The Slytherin had never been in this classroom, she didn't really know Professor Galim either. In summer camp, before the terrifying events on their last day, Opeila had participated in the trip to London, which Professor Galim had organized. On that day, the woman made a good impression on Opeila, the little girl had very much enjoyed it, especially the trip to the museum. Opeila had the feeling that she would like muggle studies when she could finally take it next year.

Multiple long tables were placed through the classroom- Opeila strongly assumed that those were only there for the errands, or did muggle studies lessons happen on grouptables? A few students were already there, chatting and creating their flags. All unfamiliar faces to Opeila. A little unsure, she made her way over to an empty table and took one of the papers.
She stared at the rectangular square that they were supposed to draw their flags into. Something that represented her. Something that she felt connected to. What represented her though? The only thing coming to her mind was a big black hole, that made her want to giggle. It was more sad than funny but... Maybe it was Opeila's subconscious that made sad and funny blur together. Or maybe she was actually going crazy, who knew.

She took a pencil and let it spin between her fingers. Hell, she had no idea what to do with this paper. Opeila had never been an artist, if she had to, she could be a decent writer, but that was it. She was an acoustical artist, not a visible one. Her talent layed within the strings of the violin that was in it's case, carefully placed between her clothes, probably near her finnish vocabulary. The violin had been a present of her mother. Nothing she could bear again so soon.
WC: 529 Words

~Opeila Winters~
2nd Year | Slytherin | P.U.R.E. Secretary | Duellist

 Errand  If I was a Flag...  PV Aaron 

Aaron Jones was constantly on the lookout for errands this year. Since he had spent every sickle of last year's errands on his brooms (and even then, his parents had to chip in to help him get them), he needed to rebuild his wealth! Although he had made the difficult decision to step down from Quidditch Co-Captainship, he was still on the team and needed to save up and continue upgrading his broom. With how expensive they were, he had definitely learned the value of a sickle lately.

Flag decorating was an errand that would be giving out six sickles (and two house points!), so as soon as he heard about it, he had rushed off to do it. Muggle Studies was a class he didn't think he would ever need to take - being a Muggle-born and everything - but it was interesting that there was a whole class dedicated to them! Did Muggles really live that differently from wizardkind? Of course there were the obvious differences in their transportation and things like cleaning - but who knew wizards would even want to learn the boring way that Muggles did things?

As Aaron entered the Muggle Studies classroom for the first (and probably only) time, he was happy to see all of the arts and crafts materials laid out on the tables. He had never been particularly artsy like his mother and sister, but he knew how to build a popsicle tower, and that had to count for something!

Aaron was a simple kid when it came to arts and crafts. His premise for today would be to combine his two heritages, Korean and Welsh, into a single flag. And maybe add a little something to represent the magic that he possessed. A wand or a broom maybe. Surely making a flag couldn't be too hard! As he looked around the room for a familiar face, his brown eyes landed on a girl sitting by herself at one of the round tables. Opeila, one of the girls who helped him plan the Secret Blossom Ball. Sean - his former best friend - had introduced her to the group, and she had been really helpful in being mischievous about the whole thing.

They had not talked much since the Secret Blossom Ball last year - maybe it was Aaron's fault since he had pretty much avoided everyone after that whole thing. Or maybe it had been a subconscious effort on both of their parts - avoiding each other and any reminder of the ball. Or maybe Opeila was just a busy girl, and she had more important things to worry about. After all, she had some sort of secret agenda going on during the whole thing that Aaron never got the full details of. Either way, Aaron was genuinely happy to see her and hoped that she would be too. Seeing each other in the halls was much different than sitting down and actually having a conversation.

Aaron made his way over to her with his usually bright smile plastered on his face, "Hello, Opeila! Mind if I join you?" If she agreed, he would take the seat across from her.
Word Count: 524/1000
Flag Decorating errand
@Opeila Winters

 Errand  If I was a Flag...  PV Aaron 

@Aaron Jones

Opeila looked at her square of paper again. Her head was only held by the palm of her left hand, the pencil still spinning between the fingers of her right.
"How is this so hard, who even am I?", she murmured to herself- just in the moment the pencil slipped through her fingers, flew through the classroom and hit the back of a first year's head. Her head shot up, following the pencil's flight with the eyes. Wincing she raised her hand, an apologetical expression on her face.
Alright, she thought, turning to her paper again, no pencil then.

The Slytherin closed her eyes. Maybe there was something else she could try. Music was her world, the violin her tool, not the pen, but who was to say that music couldn't have colours? If she imagine the music, the songs she liked to play, what were the colours she saw? There had to be some visual association, right? She concentrated. Concentrated harder. Green. A little blue maybe. Mainly black though.

Opeila got off her chair and walked through the classroom to get back her pencil, which was still under the kid's chair, who got hit on the head.
She returned to her table and started to sketch. Green sparks. She rubbed her first try off the paper and started again. After a minute she was so focused, she didn't even notice the boy, who now approached her with a wide smile, first. "Aaron!", she said surprised, when she looked up. "Sure, join me! It's been months, how are you?" Last time at the disastrous blossom ball to be exact. A memory Opeila preferred to repress. Everything, the secret interrogation plan as well as the ball itself had gone completely wrong. Nonetheless, she was actually happy to see him, she noticed surprised.

Most of the time, Opeila was just numb, seeking distraction where she hoped to find some. Realizing that she felt a real emotion simply overwhemed her sometimes, especially as she connected a bad memory with Aaron, no matter that it was not his fault. "I'm so happy that there are errands again, I really need the money." She drew a few more lines on her sheet. "And of course the activities are kinda fun most of the times.", she added quickly.

The second year had become talkative in the past weeks. Eventually she had realized, that spending time with people and being cheerful kept questions away more effectively than pulling away, focusing on not showing pain and fear on the outside. It was better not to focus on the pain and fear at all. For that she had the night, undoubtedly they would come and haunt her in the hour she waited for her dormmates to fall asleep so she could light a candle.

Opeila put down the pencil and reached for a green pen. Yes, this would look... Well, not spectacular maybe, but good.

Opeila's Flag:Image

WC: 529+486=1015 Words
Errand Complete!

~Opeila Winters~
2nd Year | Slytherin | P.U.R.E. Secretary | Duellist

 Errand  If I was a Flag...  PV Aaron 

Opeila seemed happy to see him, so Aaron gladly took the spot across from her. A glance at her page revealed that she was already drawing and erasing on her paper. He grabbed one of the flag outlines for himself, sliding it in front of him so he could start on his own. He already had the premise decided, and just needed to figure out how to combine the flags.

"It has definitely been a while," Aaron agreed, smiling in her direction. "Things have been good - better than back then anyway. I'm on the Quidditch team now! Maybe you already knew that since I think I saw you around at summer camp - in the game against Durmstrang, we came out on top!" he said, proud to boast of the team that he had been co-captain of at the time. He wouldn't go into any sort of detail why he had taken a step back from that role, since she most likely didn't even know he had been co-captain at one point. "And going back home was really great. I missed my family," he added, his eyes now turning to the crafting supplies around them. He grabbed a pack of markers and opened it up, removing the black, red, blue and green. Those were all the colors he thought he would need. "And now being back at school has been fun! I hear that we're supposed to be welcoming some foreign students soon, and that sounds really cool."

Aaron had begun to outline a circle in the center of his flag, then split it into two. Combining two flags wouldn't be too hard, but he wanted to include all the elements from each, so it meant he needed to make sure the outline was good. He would incorporate the red-and-blue circle in the center of the flag, and the four trigrams surrounding it. From the Welsh flag, he would take the white and green background colors, as well as incorporate the dragon somehow. He wasn't the most artistic of children, but he could at least draw a basic outline of one. He placed the red dragon above the circle in the center.

"Me too," he said, when Opeila expressed her happiness about having errands that paid money again. "I got a new broom just before school started, but I've gotta keep investing for the next best one," he said with a nod, continuing to draw on his flag sheet. He had finished the basics of the creation, and now he wanted to incorporate Quidditch somehow. He grabbed a set of crayons and took out the colors most like broomsticks and quaffles, adding those details to both sides of the flag. "Are you saving up for anything special?" he wondered, his eyes finally lifting away from the page so he could give Opeila his proper attention.
Word Count: 524 + 485 = 1009/1000

Image

 Errand  If I was a Flag...  PV Aaron 

@Aaron Jones

Aaron excitedly told her how things were better than back then now. That he was on the Quidditch team now. Opeila smiled. She did know that, she had been on the stands for the game... Though she had not been able to pay attention really. Two former third years had been distracting her, a housemate she had already known about that she was a little crazy at the very least, and a Hufflepuff dhampir, Howard. Erin sat down on her and suggested that Howard could drink Opeila's blood. It had been a weird afternoon for sure.

"Yes, I was there! Congrats! It was a good game. Hogwarts remains undefeated!", she said, grinning. The grin faded a little when he said that it was good to go home, that he had been missing his family. She was missing them so much. Sometimes she thought her heart would burst with pain since they were gone. "I've missed Hogwarts a lot, to be honest. This feels like my real home now. I don't really seem to fit into the muggle world anymore. Second thoughts... I never did really, so I guess I've just found my place here." Oh yes, she really had missed Hogwarts. She couldn't wait to leave Finland, to get back to a place where she could understand what people were saying.

Aaron said that there were foreign students coming soon. Opeila nodded. "Sometimes it seems so surreal that magic is a thing all over the world. I mean, I grew up under muggle circumstances, my Dad used to insist on me living a 'normal' childhood until I turned eleven, so magic in general is a little surreal sometimes, but... I find it so hard to imagine! I'd really love to visit other wizard schools at some point. That would just be amazing.", she answered. Sadly she didn't really get to talk to a foreign student in summer camp- Or actually... well, indirectly. She got pranked with a donut filled with hot sauce. That didn't really count.

Opeila watched Aaron drawing his Flag, while he told her about the broom he bought before school and the one he was saving up for. "What brooms are those? I don't know too much about brooms to be honest. Only that they are like... really expensive."
He asked if Opeila was saving up for anything special.
Difficult question. Was it a yes? Or a yes and no? After all she wasn't quite sure where it would be useful in the end. Opeila was in a complicated situation and she didn't doubt that at some point the Winter family would expect her to do things for them. If there was one thing Opeila didn't want, it was being tied to a powerful family because of debts she was trapped in but didn't cause.
"I'm saving up for independence. Freedom.", was all she answered.

~Opeila Winters~
2nd Year | Slytherin | P.U.R.E. Secretary | Duellist

 Errand  If I was a Flag...  PV Aaron 

"Thank you!" Aaron said, pride laced in his voice as he accepted Opeila's congratulations of the win against Durmstrang. He continued to grin and work on his flag as Opeila told him that Hogwarts felt more like home to her. He nodded at the sentiment, agreeing to an extent. "Yeah, I mean, it was nice being back home, but if this is what it will be like for the next seven - or six, now - years, us only being home for a month or two but being at Hogwarts for ten months, I bet Hogwarts might start to feel like home to me, too," he reasoned. "For everyone."

His brown eyes lifted to Opeila as she spoke of her upbringing in the muggle world. He nodded a bit more enthusiastically this time, agreeing even more with her words. "Yeah, magic is insane! Did I ever tell you the story of my first magic? My homework literally caught on fire because I was so annoyed with it. No one in my family believed me!" Aaron was smiling at this story, as it was always very humorous to him. "Finding out there's a whole magical world - that Hogwarts isn't even the only magic school - is wild," he agreed. He recalled meeting a Durmstrang girl over the summer - the same girl who turned out to be a beast of a Chaser on the Quidditch Pitch - Greta. She had certainly left an impression on him.

As Aaron was finishing his flag and speaking of his broom, Opeila asked a follow-up question regarding it. He was always happy to speak more on his broom, especially since finding out about its history. "So just before the school year started, my parents gifted me with a broom called a Moontrimmer - it's called that because it's meant to fly higher than any other broom! Don't tell anyone, but I've been testing that a bit just to see how high I can go. I bet it could really reach the moon if someone wanted to!" Aaron's face was practically beaming in excitement at the idea. He had been talking occasionally with a Ravenclaw boy - Sylvain Indarys - about the possibilities of moon travel, and it was probably the first time Aaron was actively researching something that he didn't have to do for school. "Right now I'm not sure what broom I would get in future - you're right, they are really expensive and I probably won't have enough for a new broom until next year anyway, even if I sold my current broom - but for now I'm really happy with the Moontrimmer."

Aaron finished his flag just as Opeila answered what she was saving up for. Freedom. Independence. Such odd answers. He wanted to know more, but the way she had answered made him hesitate to do so. The answer seemed oddly serious. He looked over at her and saw that her flag was done as well.

"Wanna go turn these in and collect our rewards then? For brooms and freedom?" he asked with a grin, grabbing his flag paper and getting to his feet. "We can go eat lunch together if you want, and keep catching up? Or I could show you my broom. Do you like flying?" he was speaking as they headed for the professor with their flags.

@Opeila Winters