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Lesson Three
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 The Joy of Communication (Elleon)

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Luca Morgan
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PostSubject: The Joy of Communication (Elleon)   Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:21 pm

Luca stood near the edge of the forest, sheers on one hand, wheelbarrow in the other. Sure, he could have used magic to do it, but it took a lot of energy out of him to perform non-verbal spells, and it was easier (at the end of the day) to do it the old fashioned way.

Work, so far, had been good. It was only day two, but he'd learnt the layout of the grounds fairly well; he still had to venture into the castle, but that would come with time. He didn't have reason to yet, and as such he focused on maintaining the grounds.

The last person hadn't done a very good job, and there was a lot to either mend or prune. It was physically demanding work, but it wasn't anything he wasn't used to, and he found the work almost theraphutic. It was difficult enough that he could pour his attention and effort into it, but not so difficult that it exhausted him entirely. At the end of the day, he still had the energy and time to go out for dinner or cook something if he wanted to.

Checking his watch, Luca noted it was midday, and decided that it was a good time as any to take a break for lunch. Setting down his things to the side, he retreived his lunch box (he'd packed it that morning, knowing it would be easier to eat on location instead of going back to his place) and found a comfortable position under a tree.

Back leaning against it, he took out his sandwhich and water bottle and began to eat, slowly, enjoying the day. He'd give himself an hour to rest, and then get back to work.

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Elleon Caverly
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PostSubject: Re: The Joy of Communication (Elleon)   Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:38 pm

Elleon couldn't take it anymore. He'd gone two weeks without art of any sort and not by choice either. He'd been swamped with homework and by the end of the day, he usually ended up with a headache from having to concentrate so much on reading lips. By the time all his assignments were complete, he just didn't have the energy or inspiration to paint or draw. The feeling of not creating something had been akin to torture and Elleon knew that he had to fix it somehow. He couldn't go on feeling so lifeless.

With his portable paint set and his trusty sketchbook, Elleon took advantage of his lunch break and exited the castle, one place in his mind. He wouldn't get inspiration sitting inside his room. Nature would help him as she always did. The Forbidden Forest was a place that Elleon had been two once or twice. One time, when he had nothing on his schedule, he'd sat in a tree for a couple of hours, waiting until a creature passed by. He'd take a picture and then sketch it out before filling in in later.

He didn't know if his lunch break would give him that luxury of sitting in a tree and waiting, but he could always paint the way the sun filtered through the leaves, leaving magical spots of light on the carpet of grass. He could paint the way dust particles floated through the air as if they didn't have a care in the world. And he could paint the way branches and vines twisted and turned as if in a complicated embrace. There was so much he could do.

But when he neared the entrance to the Forest, Elleon spotted an adult there. Oh, no. The Forbidden Forest was exactly what it was. Forbidden. He wasn't supposed to be there and but he knew that many students went in. As long as they weren't caught, it was alright. Elleon stopped in his tracks hoping that the man hadn't seen him. He couldn't turn back now; his movement would definitely alert the person to his presence. And he also couldn't stand there forever; the man was bound to look up some time. Unless by some stroke of luck, he wouldn't notice him at all. Holding his breath, Elleon waited to see what would happen.

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Luca Morgan
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PostSubject: Re: The Joy of Communication (Elleon)   Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:04 pm

He finished eating rather quickly, swallowing his last few bites of food and turning his attention to his surroundings instead. It was a peaceful day. The weather, too, was nice. A little chilly, but nothing he couldn't handle; he'd been to colder places during the course of his travels. He supposed that for those in the country, it might be considered cold, but in a t-shirt and shorts, he was mostly comfortable. Besides, moving around a lot meant that he kept warm.

Taking his flask, he opened it, allowing the steam to fill the air. Tea, as hot and as fresh as it had been when he first made it all those hours ago, and he sipped at it, enjoying the warmth it gave.

For a moment, he closed his eyes, taking in the breeze and the fresh air before opening them again and looking around -- only to find someone looking at him.

Luca sat up a bit straighter, smiling at the boy. It seemed to be a student, and momentarily he debated the rules. Technically speaking, students weren't allowed into the forest -- it was called forbidden for a reason, after all -- but technically, they weren't in the forest. They were skirting it, but he wasn't breaking any rules yet.

So, instead of doing anything, Luca merely smiled and waved, neither an invitation or a rejection. He wasn't quite sure how he related to the students just yet, especially considering he was Deaf. Not all kids were accepting, after all.

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Elleon Caverly
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PostSubject: Re: The Joy of Communication (Elleon)   Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:14 am

The inevitable happened as Elleon's eyes locked with the man. He hadn't been able to tell if it was a professor or someone else, but now that the man was looking directly at him he could tell that it wasn't any of the professors. In fact, he had no idea who the person was. His first instinct was to be worried that there was a strange man on the property but his senses kicked in as he reminded himself that Hogwarts was a secure place. No one could come in without permission.

The man smiled at him and Elleon let out his breath, instinctively knowing that he would not get in trouble for being at the Forest. True, he wasn't inside the Forest yet, but it wasn't hard to deduce that the man would have been telling him off by now or at least questioning his presence outside of the castle in the middle of the day if he were in trouble.

Walking closer, Elleon whipped out the marker pen he kept in his pocket and turned to a clean page in his sketchbook. In neat block letters so that they would be easily seen, he wrote: Who are you? Turning it over once he was done to show the man what he'd written.

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PostSubject: Re: The Joy of Communication (Elleon)   Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:39 am

Luca sat even straighter, smile widening, as the male walked closer, hand automatically moving to his pocket, where his phone was in case the boy tried to talk to him. Instead, however, he watched as he pulled out a marker, his eyes widening only slightly as the boy started to write something on a notebook.

Was it possible that the boy had heard of him and knew he was Deaf? How, Luca couldn't be sure; he hadn't met any students yet, and the only interaction he'd had with anyone so far was when he was doing work and people had smiled or nodded a hello at him. Nobody had yet tried to talk to him, so he couldn't have been sure that anyone knew he was Deaf. However, he also couldn't be sure that they didn't know.

As the note was shown to him, however, this idea was quicky written off. The question meant that the boy didn't know him, and therefore how could he have known he was Deaf?

Luca blinked at the note, then looked up at the boy. For a moment -- just a brief one -- his breath caught as a second possibility dawned on him. Was it possible...? Luca let out a slow, long breath, his smile now vaguely uncertain; he didn't want to offend anyone by getting it wrong. He could either play it safe and write a response, or take a chance and follow his intuition. It had never been particularly good -- after all, he hadn't suspected her of meaning him harm -- but it wasn't the worst, either.

He decided to take a chance.

Looking directly at the boy, Luca signed, Are you Deaf?

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Elleon Caverly
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PostSubject: Re: The Joy of Communication (Elleon)   Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:22 am

As Elleon held the book in his hand and waited for a response, he watched the guy's face, seeing the expression in his eyes and the uncertainty in his smile. Did he not know English? Maybe be spoke a different language and couldn't understand what Elleon had written. He looked like a Spaniard. Did he speak Spanish? Not sure what to do next, he waited.

Elleon didn't know what he was expecting the man to respond like, but it was definitely not this. He'd thought that maybe the guy was a someone hired to be on the staff somewhere. That was the only logical explanation. He hadn't expected the guy to speak his language. So surprised was the boy that he was silent for a moment. Then, the pen still in his right hand, he responded to the guy. "Yes, Deaf," he began, using ASL as the man had done. Although he wasn't as fluent in that as compared to BSL, he knew enough to have a proper conversation.

"You Deaf too?" he asked. It would be amazing if this guy - whoever he was - was also Deaf. So far, the only person who could communicate properly with him in his language was Amber. Professor Blake and Prim were alright, but they weren't as fluent and he always had to go slow and be patient. It was hard to talk like that and sometimes, Elleon wished he had more friends.

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PostSubject: Re: The Joy of Communication (Elleon)   Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:06 am

Finding himself actually holding his breath as he waited for a response, Luca ran through the situation mentally. The last thing he wanted was to assume, knowing that it was never pleasant or nice for others to have things assumed about them; he'd been on the receiving end of many of these, and he hated it. But there was no denying that all the signs pointed to the boy before him being Deaf. The small chance of Luca being wrong, however, was what made the anticipation rise.

Finally -- finally -- after what seemed like forever, the boy gave the single flick of a closed fist and Luca broke into an even wider grin. Only now was he realising, though, that he wasn't exactly in America anymore. What were the odds of meeting someone who knew ASL? To be fair, there were a handful of similar signs, but most, if not all, were vastly different.

It had taken Luca far too long to realise that the sign for Deaf in ASL was the same as the sign for Hearing in BSL, and it had taken him a few days of self-study before he became adjusted to their way of fingerspelling. It still felt clunky to use both hands instead of one, but slowly and surely he was adjusting.

Luca nodded, adding emphasis to his hand gesture. Yes, Deaf. He raised his eyebrows. You speak ASL? Pausing, he smiled again. My name is L-U-C-A. Sign name is Luca. Forming an 'L' with his right hand, he tapped it against his left shoulder twice; had he used his middle finger, it would have been the sign for 'model'. It was the nickname given to him by his friends from Gallaudet when they found out he was joining that industry, and it stuck. Your name what?


[[OOC: I've written some of the ASL in English grammar for ease, but mostly because I'm not sure what proper ASL grammar would be. For those that I do know, I've used the ASL grammar. Smile]]

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Elleon Caverly
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PostSubject: Re: The Joy of Communication (Elleon)   Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:17 am

It was always amazing to meet someone Deaf. Their community was so unlike the Hearing one where you weren't strangers even if you've never met. Elleon had found out that in the Hearing world, one had to make so much effort to make friends. You had to start from small talk and move on from there. But if a Deaf person were to meet another Deafie, there was an undeniable instant connection. It was one of the things he loved so much about being Deaf. You could be anywhere in the world and still have a friend.

So when the man answered him in the affirmative, a broad smile broke out on his face. "ASL, BSL, both," he responded. "There's a Deaf girl here, A-M-B-E-R Amber. She knows ASL too." As he spoke, Elleon was tremendously grateful that his parents made him attend ASL classes when he was in Muggle school. If not for that, he wouldn't have been able to communicate fluently with Amber or with this man.

Another thing he loved about being Deaf was their names. Each sign was unique with no two persons having the same sign even if their name was the same. A person from one area might have the same name sign as a person from another area but that was quite rare. The moment Luca introduced himself, Elleon knew a bit more about him. "Luca," he repeated with a smile, "I'm E-L-L-E-O-N." He followed up the spelling of his name with his name sign which was "art" but with an E.

He gestured to the spot beside Luca. "Don't mind I sit?" he questioned before making himself comfortable on the grass. "So you're a model?" he continued, wondering what a model was doing here at Hogwarts. He wouldn't ask that question though if he sensed that Luca didn't want to talk about it.


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