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 Introductions (Serenity)

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Clara Goldstein
Ravenclaw Third Year
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Birthday : 2008-10-16
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PostSubject: Introductions (Serenity)   Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:34 am

Clara stood stock still in front of the door to the Ravenclaw common room, a faraway look in her eyes. She held several books in her arms, having gone to the library before heading off to bed. Unfortunately, she had not anticipated such a difficult riddle, and her exhaustion-addled mind was having trouble concentrating on it. She gazed thoughtfully at a point on the wall, just above the knocker.

He who makes it does not want it, he who buys it does not use it, he who uses it does not know it. What is it?

She was normally quite good at riddles, but she really was very tired, and her mind was currently on other things. She had read until the librarian kicked her out, and she had taken the books with her so she could continue her research on the fundamentals of potion-making before going to sleep. After all, according to the information-processing and activation-synthesis theories of dreaming, the brain continued to work while a person slept, meaning she could very likely have a sudden epiphany upon waking up the next morning because her unconscious mind had reorganized the information (something called "insight learning", theorized by Wolfgang Kohler). In any case, she was not entirely focused on deciphering the riddle, because she simultaneously trying to figure out how she would go about creating a potion for, say, turning the drinker's hair blue.

Unfortunately, nobody else was around to answer the riddle for her, so she would need to un-distract herself if she ever wanted to get to bed. She yawned.
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Serenity Newman
Ravenclaw Third Year
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PostSubject: Re: Introductions (Serenity)   Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:14 pm

Head down as always, Serenity nagivated the hallway to her common room, Tammie right beside her. She'd stayed later than usual with Oliver, and while it wasn't past curfew yet, it was going to be soon, and she made her way down the empty corridors. As she neared, though, she noted she wasn't the only one there.

She recognised the girl as being older, and already a light frown touched Serenity's features. If someone older couldn't answer the question, how did she expect to be able to? Nevertheless, she stepped over to the door, looking towards the eagle with a half-smile, not looking at the other Ravenclaw; Serenity was focused too much on entering.

He who makes it does not want it, he who buys it does not use it, he who uses it does not know it. What is it?

Her frown deepened as she turned to her house-elf. "Any ideas, Tammie?" she murmured.

What did people make? Money, she thought. But that wasn't something that could be bought... What did people use unknowingly?

"Oh!" she said, suddenly, looking back at the door knocker. "Poison. People who make it don't want it, those that buy it wouldn't use it -- not normally, anyway -- and those that use it, drink it, don't know." There was a "nice answer" and then the knocker fell silent and the door opened.

Turning to the other girl, but making sure to keep her eyes on the floor, Serenity smiled. "Let's go in?" she suggested.


[[OOC: Sorry this is so short. I have to go to bed now. xD]]

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Clara Goldstein
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PostSubject: Re: Introductions (Serenity)   Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:53 pm

Clara vaguely registered that one of her housemates had approached. She turned to look, and saw another girl around her age, maybe younger, that she recognized as a girl from her own year. The girl's name was eluding her, but she remembered having seen the girl before at some point--after all, the house elf by her side was certainly a notable feature that she wouldn't forget. Clara had never spoken to her, but then, Clara didn't speak to many people, and that wasn't entirely uncommon among Ravenclaws anyway. The girl answered the riddle within seconds.

"Oh," Clara murmured. "Duh. I was thinking a coffin, but I wasn't entirely sure because technically, you can buy your own coffin before you die. But I guess you could also buy your own poison, so maybe the knocker isn't big on loopholes."

She clutched her books to her chest and followed the other girl into the common room. A thought struck her then, as she turned toward the 3rd year girls' dorms.

"You're a third year, right? Why don't you sleep in the dormitory with everyone else?"

[[OOC The real answer to the riddle actually is a coffin, but I like your answer better.]]
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Serenity Newman
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PostSubject: Re: Introductions (Serenity)   Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:36 am

A smile touched her features as she heard the suggestion of the other female. Coffin hadn't been something she thought about, although now that the answer had been provided, she saw it fit all the categories. That was what she liked about riddles, though; as long as the answer was logical, it technically could be anything.

She lifted her shoulder in a shrug. "There are always loopholes to everything," she said, softly, "if you look hard enough." She paused, then added, "The question is flawed. It assumes that everyone falls into a particular category which they don't. There are always outliers to everything."

Entering the common room, she noted the lack of people and smiled. She would be able to stay up late without anyone questioning her, but as she headed towards one of the seats the question from the other girl caught her attention and she half-turned, facing her without looking up. It was only now she realised her earlier mistake; the girl was not, in fact, older, but in her dorm.

Serenity did not mix around enough, that much she already knew, and she paused at the question. Automatically, she glanced over at Tammie, an unasked question written on her face. Were there any ministry rules about how she answered? Were there things she was not supposed to say?

Tammie's reply was a smile, indicating that Serenity was free to say anything she wanted, and she ran the words over in her mind a few times before giving up on trying to explain and simply saying, "Nightmares."


[[OOC: I'm sorry, she doesn't talk much.]]

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Clara Goldstein
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PostSubject: Re: Introductions (Serenity)   Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:02 pm

Clara actually rather liked this girl. She'd spoken four times already, and not said anything stupid or irritating. In fact, her last statement about outliers had been something Clara herself thought on a regular basis. I suppose that's why the riddle said "he who" and not "all who."

The girl took a little while to answer her question, and Clara noticed her glance toward her house elf as if in askance. That in itself was interesting. Was it a secret? Did she have a medical condition?

"Nightmares," the girl said, looking at the floor.

Clara couldn't help herself. "Nightmares, or night terrors? Do you scream? If you scream, it's probably a night terror. Do you remember what you dream about? Technically, you're not supposed to remember night terrors because they occur in the 4th stage of sleep, which is deep sleep, but it's more likely to be able to remember a night terror than it would be to scream during a regular nightmare. Nightmares are just dreams, which occur during REM, and in REM, you're whole body is paralyzed, so you physically can't scream. But, like you said, there are outliers to everything, it's possible to dream in other stages of sleep, just rather unlikely." After a pause, she realized she might be being rude. She'd been trying to work on that--especially since this girl had done nothing to deserve it. "Um...sorry. If that was rude. I was just curious."
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Serenity Newman
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PostSubject: Re: Introductions (Serenity)   Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:00 am

The questions and the information given made Serenity pause as she took them in and went through them slowly, sorting them and trying to comprehend them. It wasn't that she was embarassed about sharing or that she was afraid of the reprecussions; she wasn't. She was beyond caring what anyone said or thought of her, and if they hated her then they hated her. Why should it matter what anyone else thought if she herself couldn't accept it?

Absentmindedly, Serenity waved away the apology, but didn't yet speak. She was still thinking.

Did she remember what she dreamed about? Most times, yes. Even if not fully, in flashes. What was scarier, what made her scream, was not what she saw, but what she felt. Most of the time, she could feel what the people in the dream felt. Smelt what they smelt. Saw what they saw... It was like she was witnesing things from their point of view, and that was always terrifying -- mostly because she was never certain if they'd happened yet or not.

Some were just dreams, yes, but most of the time, they were visions, either of things that already happened or things that were to happen. She was still trying to learn the slight differences that would distinguish between those she recorded and those she didn't.

"Dreams," she said, then, correcting her previous statement. "Dreams of real nightmares. I didn't mean nightmares as in bad dreams; I mean the kind you live. The other definition: a terrifying ordeal."

She paused, glancing over at Tammie again subconsciously. The house elf was the only one who was ever fully there for her, who lived with her and therefore understood each aspect of her. Yes, Oliver was a best friend and yes, Florrie was too, but they didn't live with her. Didn't see the worst parts of what she went through. And when it came to telling someone new, she always found comfort in knowing that Tammie would be there should they react negatively.

Serenity looked back at the girl. "Yes. I scream. I'm sure you heard me. I woke everyone in the house up the first time; that's why the ministry wrote to the headmaster and asked if I could have a private soundproof room until I've learnt to block them out. It was either that or Tammie takes me somewhere each night and returns me in the morning. But I like it here."

Shrugging, Serenity added, "We're all curious. How else do you learn if you don't ask?"

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Clara Goldstein
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PostSubject: Re: Introductions (Serenity)   Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:37 pm

"But that's--hm..." Clara stopped herself before she asked a stupid question. Her parents had always stressed the importance of, not only asking questions, but asking the right questions. Truth be told, it took her a moment to actually process the implications of what the girl just said. Her nightmares aren't dreams, she dreams of nightmares. Which doesn't make sense, unless...what she sees in her dreams is real? She witnesses actual nightmares while she sleeps? But that would mean...

"You're a seer?"

Clara's mind caught up to the other thing the girl had said. Now that she thought about it, she did remember that incident a few months ago. She'd only just fallen asleep herself, when the sound of something like a teakettle magnified a hundred times invaded her own dream and woke her with a start. It was near the beginning of this year, and she'd nearly fallen off the bed she was so disoriented. By the time she had gathered herself, the screaming stopped abruptly, and left the confused and excited whispers of the other third year girls in its wake. She didn't remember much after that, she assumed she must have fallen asleep again at some point, but she did remember some of the mutterings she'd overheard over the following weeks. Clara had never really paid much attention to who else was in her dorm--she was too busy taking in the rest of the strange magical world, and she usually went off by herself to do research--but she remembered hearing the other third years whispering about a girl named Serenity after the incident. That must be her. That's her name--'Serenity'. How ironic.
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Serenity Newman
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PostSubject: Re: Introductions (Serenity)   Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:07 am

The question was a simple one but a loaded one; it was also one Serenity was used to answering. So, without hesitation or much falter, she nodded once. "I am." Her tone was calm, giving nothing away. Internally, though, she was as worried as always, whenever she told someone the truth. She hated that part about her -- always had -- and admitting it to someone was like telling them she had two heads, or she hated puppies, or something equally awful.

But outwardly, as always, she kept a smile on her face. It was one she perfected from her time at the ministry; how could she tell those around her that she hated being there? That she hated who she was, when she was just like them? No, she couldn't -- wouldn't -- and so she had mastered the art of pretending to be alright when she wasn't.

Forcing her mind away from these thoughts, Serenity turned her attention to the current situation at hand, glancing over at Tammie to shake her head slightly. I'm alright. Don't intervine, she was saying; it was a pre-arranged signal. If she'd nodded, Tammie would have taken Serenity and left for the Ministry at once.

For a moment, Serenity debated switching topic, moving on from what was just said -- but before she could, she wanted to know how the female reacted. If she was okay with it, then perhaps introductions could be made and conversation struck. If not, the shake would turn to a nod and Tammie would take over.

So far, Serenity had never needed to nod, and part of her was truly afraid of what would happen if she did; she wasn't entirely sure herself. All she knew was that they would be taken care of.

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Clara Goldstein
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PostSubject: Re: Introductions (Serenity)   Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:54 am

Clara nodded thoughtfully at the girl's confirmation. It didn't surprise her--after all, she'd made a guess based on evidence; she would have been more surprised if Serenity had said no. She was satisfied with the new information, solely because she liked knowing things, and she now knew something that she hadn't known before. It didn't really matter to her whether the other girl was a seer or not--it was just a fact that happened to be true. It wouldn't change her opinion of Serenity any more than the fact that her hair was red, or her eyes were grey. It was stupid to judge people based on things they couldn't control. That was the reason her parents had always told her that racism was stupid, and the same reason blood purism didn't make sense. Clara knew there were probably some people out there who would look down on Serenity for being a seer. She also knew there were people who would look down on herself for being muggleborn. Those people were idiots.

"So, do you think maybe a Potion for Dreamless Sleep would help with the nightmares, or have you already tried that? I suppose since they're more like visions than dreams, it's likely that they'd be an exception to a lot of the typical remedies for nightmares. If I had access to the equipment, I'd suggest hooking you up to an EEG while you sleep so we could monitor your brain activity, or better yet, get a PET scan to see exactly which parts of your brain light up during your nightmares. That way we would have a better understanding of the nature of your dreams, and know where to focus our attention when coming up with a solution. Then again, since they're probably magical in origin, that might mess up the equipment. I've actually been wanting to get a PET scan myself, while doing magic, just to see what would happen--I would very much like to know which part of the brain is responsible for magic. But I digress."

She tended to ramble when pondering aloud, and she knew she should probably shut up if she wanted someone else to answer her questions. Or if she just wanted to prevent them from getting terribly confused.
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