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 Errand  Origin Stories  PV Kit Paine   Reopened 

Jake didn't like October.

He had used to like it...back when he was home. Autumn was a season of cool breezes and light jackets, apple cider and colorful leaves. It was a great time to play outside, and to look around at a beautiful world.

At Hogwarts it was a good time to get your pants scared off by all kinds of magical beasties. Halloween decorations were scary enough in the MUGGLE world, but magic opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Even jack-o-lanterns could be scary when they turned to watch you as you walked by. Pretty much all the decorations could move by themselves if they wanted to, and they made Jake jump just about once a day. Then he sometimes got laughed at, and that was as bad as the scares.

That wasn't even the worst part. Halloween decorations may have been scary, but they didn't really hurt you. There was a ball coming up... A halloween ball. Jake still remembered the mask-erade that he had come wrongly dressed to the year before, but it wasn't just because of the embarrassing costume mistake. The nightmares that had followed were of fire and giants, and the time of year made him remember that first terrifying experience he'd had in this very school. Another ball was coming, just weeks away, and Jake was sure something bad was gonna happen. Something even worse. Flint, the worry-eater that Alan had gotten him for his 12th birthday, was very full. Right now, Freddie and Flint were keeping each other company in his backpack. Close at hand, even if they were where nobody could see them.

A fun activity would really come in handy right now.

Flag-making seemed like a great choice. It did have art in it. And making a flag just seemed fun. They always had flags at Quidditch games. At first Jake had been really excited. He could make a flag to wave for Alan! Alan's first quidditch game was coming soon, and Jake was both worried and excited to see it. Alan was so brave, and even though you might not know it when you first looked at him he was truly a Gryffindor lion. Now he was a Quidditch player and Jake wanted to cheer him on! But then he found out that they couldn't make just any flag. No, this task was more specific than that.

They had to make a flag about their origins.

Jake knew what origins meant. It was where you came from. What he didn't know was how to make a flag about his origin.

What did that even mean...? Sure, Jake knew what country he came from: England. But lots of the kids came from there. That was everybody, not just him. He knew what country his mum had come from, and his dad, but that didn't really mean anything to him. It was just a place they came from. They were from there, he wasn't. It wasn't his origin, it was theirs.

Jake looked down thoughtfully at the blank canvas. A blank page could be so many things...he knew that well. Over the summer, he had been relieved to find that his ability to draw had begun to return after months away, his head plagued by frightening images. A light had seemed to come back into the world after his birthday party, and then he had drawn and drawn - making up for lost months.

The flag could be anything, but Jake just didn't know WHAT.

Maybe his house was his origin. Or his bedroom. When he thought about where he came from, that was what he thought of first. Or maybe it was Wiltshire. It was where he'd spent his whole life, after all. Wiltshire, which felt so far away from here. Jake would often watch the owls fly and try to imagine just how far away it was - how long it would take them, flapping and flapping all the way back to that land where there were no balls that could hurt you, no fires, no mosps, and no danger. Feeling a little bit homesick, Jake thought of grass and trees and parks.

As Jake took some art supplies - crayons or colored pencils would be best, because it was what he was best with - he pondered the question some more. The more he thought about it the more he knew. He wasn't quite sure how, but sometimes you had to just feel things.

His origin was Wiltshire, but it wasn't just. His origin was a life before magic, before castles, before friends. It was everything Wiltshire was - everything he was. Everything he used to be. He remembered what everything had felt like then. It was then that the picture popped into his mind. And then the boy began to draw.

Flags weren't just like any drawings, flags had to look like flags. With an image in his head, Jake got a green crayon and a blue one. Brown, black....that would do it. He liked colors a lot, but he had never seen more than four colors on a flag.

As he drew, Jake didn't look up to see what anybody else was drawing. Normally that would interest him, but his attention had been captured. The world around him faded away until it was just him and the rhythmic motions of his crayon. Slowly, he let the picture in his head become real.

It took him a long time, and he was careful. The little Hufflepuff sat focused on his paper, putting a knuckle to his lip as he stared down. He was moving more slowly than many of the other kids, but he wouldn't rush. Rushing would ruin the whole thing. He didn't want to ruin it. At first it had just been a flag - a fun thing to draw and wave around. Now it felt like a whole lot more. Now it felt like a piece of himself. Maybe he did have an origin, after all.
WC: 1004/1000

Jake's Flag:

 Errand  Origin Stories  PV Kit Paine   Reopened 

Though Jake seemed blissfully unaware, he came to have an audience of at least one person. A pair of bright blue, curious eyes watched the Hufflepuff take a crayon that was fairly close to their hue of color. The girl followed the artist with her gaze as he put the utencil to his paper and set to work. A blank sheet of paper meant for the flag errand was held in her hand at her side, forgotten for the moment while she observed the one being worked on. Silently, she stood and stared, seemingly as oblivious to how rude her actions might have been as the boy was to her presence.

Eventually, the girl carefully and quietly took a seat beside the boy, careful not to touch him or make much noise so as not to bump, disturb, or distract him until he was finished. Not that she need have worried; he seemed almost completely enveloped in his own world. As she watched the flag begin to resemble a window to the boy's soul - at least that's what she was starting to like to think of it as - she discovered she found his choices of bright blue and green pleasing. They were so vivid and reminded her of happiness and life. Furthermore, the more she watched, the more the girl was becoming fairly sure that the blue represented the wide, open sky and the green symbolized an expansive area of fresh, healthy grass.

While she watched, it seemed that the girl drew nearer and nearer, whether unconsciously or not. By the time Jake had finished, she was very much in what might have, in polite company, been known as personal space. The child didn't seem to realize this, however. Instead, she turned to the artist once she understood he was finished with his work and one corner of her mouth turned up slightly.

"Pretty," she told him in a quiet but clear voice. Her index finger moved to hover over the single black shape on the flag. "Is that you?" the girl wondered aloud. "What are you doing?"
@Jake Morris

As caretaker and a staff member at Hogwarts, I'm fairly laid back.
However, I have three pet peeves. So go ahead. Try my patience.
Remember always: things are seldom ever what they seem.

 Errand  Origin Stories  PV Kit Paine   Reopened 

@Kit Paine

With a small gasp, the little Hufflepuff looked up at the girl who had approached him so quietly he hadn't even know she was there. Startled, Jake nearly tumbled back, catching himself on his elbows. For a moment, Jake stayed leaning backwards, looking up at the girl. He had been focused so intently on his drawing for so long that it was like waking up from a dream, only this time with an unexpected intruder in your bedroom. It took him a moment to come back to reality - just to realize that he didn't know who the girl was, or what she wanted. Maybe she just wanted to borrow some crayons. Or maybe she had come to make fun of his picture...

Nervously, Jake's eyes took her in as he waited for what she was going to do. It took a moment before he even realized what she had said. She had called his drawing pretty, as she asked whether the black figure on his flag was himself.

"Um, mhm," he mumbled, looking into her eyes to see if they were going to have that shark-like gleam in them that he saw in the eyes of those who would bully him, but instead he just saw a quiet curiosity regarding him.

Cautiously, the young boy sat up and looked down again at his flag.

"That's my home in Wiltshire,"
he mumbled shyly, cautiously tilting the flag her way. "I'm readin' a book at the park. Before I knew what magic was." A silence for a moment. "It's my origin," he added, the word a little bit new on his tongue, the kind of word you might read in books but never say out loud.

Jake stared at her eyes, which were a shade of blue that he had never seen before. Actually, he couldn't remember seeing this girl EVER before. Maybe she was...a first year...? But something seemed wrong to him...something that he couldn't quite place that gave him an eerie feeling. But what...?

"Um...D-Did you make a flag too....?" he asked back awkwardly. He had been learning to talk to the other kids, and he had gotten better than he had been in his first year. You weren't supposed to just answer questions but sometimes you had to ask questions too. He knew that, but it was still a challenge when he met new people. It always felt like he was doing something wrong, or at any moment they might begin to laugh at him.

 Errand  Origin Stories  PV Kit Paine   Reopened 

When the boy tumbled back onto his elbows, staring at her, the girl simply stared back, waiting patiently for him to respond. She watched him with her hands clutching her own paper lightly at her back, listening as he eventually registered her words and managed to come up with a verbal response to answer her questions.

"Wiltshire?" she repeated. "Ohh...that's really cool! Do you like books? What kind?" She studied the flag some more as he angled it so she could see it better. "Hmm...what about reading a book in a park before knowing about magic make it your origin?" The girl blinked. "Origin of...who you are? Right now? Did books make you this way?"

Along with trying to understand the boy before her, she simultaneously wanted to try to get a grip on what was expected by the project itself. It seemed a fascinating notion, but she still wasn't quite sure how flexible the interpertation of the term 'origin' had been meant to be by the errand's creator. Maybe this boy knew? Or her perhaps he was just interperting it as best he could. He hadn't seemed to need to give it too much thought before starting, which she admired. Perhaps the term was simply meant to mean whatever the people participating in the errand made it out to be. Hopefully there wasn't a wrong way to interpert it, was there...? As long as it was a true attempt at an interpertation.

Just then, she realized the boy had asked her a question of his own. She blinked abruptly out of her trance, having been lost in thought, and looked back at the flag's creator. When she understood his inquiry, she beamed.

"Not yet!" She pulled out her blank sheet of paper from behind her back before setting it down next to the boy's and looking around. "If you're done with this, I'm going to borrow it," she told him, reaching out to pick up the bright blue and green crayons that had been used for the boy's drawing. Then she collected a few other colors and utencils, including some colored pencils, markers, paints, and pastels from elsewhere that had seemed to have been provided specifically for the purpose of this project. Once she had everything, she got to work.

"I'm Tymiko," she told the boy as she began to draw. "People call me 'Ty' for short, though. What's your name?"

Tymiko sketched out a vague, organic shape in the center of her paper with practiced ease as if she had drawn the picture she was intending to make many times before. She sketched in the outlines and filled in areas with light colors to distinguish them from others before coloring harder for a more vivid effect using more satuarted colors. She reveled in the various kinds of greens and especially the blues, it seemed, her face almost seeming to glow with happiness as the picture before her reflected the blue of her own eyes. Eventually, she finished and sat back to examine her work with a satisfied nod.
Tymiko's flag:
@Jake Morris

As caretaker and a staff member at Hogwarts, I'm fairly laid back.
However, I have three pet peeves. So go ahead. Try my patience.
Remember always: things are seldom ever what they seem.