The Winter Garden (Melody)

Anaxas' oldest and most prestigious University of Sorcery, the de facto cultural capital of the kingdom and a city in its own right.
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Location: Ireland
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Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:25 pm

Intas 18, 2719 | Lunch Break
The East Garden, Brunnhold
It was warmer than it had been, hardly a difficult feat given how ridiculously cold this winter had been. Of course, it was still unbearably frigid, the gentlest breeze picking up the chill from the snow that still clung to the ground, spreading almost painful cold with each icy gust. Even with the air still, it was hardly suitable weather for a person to be out in. Those students and faculty who were out and about did so at a swift walk, almost jogging along salted paths in their haste to return to the warm embrace of the buildings. It was the kind of day where passives were a more common sight, the poor unfortunates sent forth to brave the harsh Intas weather in the stead of the galdori. The dears didn't deserve that sort of treatment, Niamh thought as she watched the uniformed servants hurry back and forth. At least they'd been provided with clothing to cut the cold - coats and gloves and hats - but they weren't of exceptionally high quality, not as good as what she was bundled up in but then what she was wearing probably cost more than what several of the passives combined were wearing.

Not being an orphan certainly helped in that regard, as did the fact that she couldn't be allowed to make a show of her family by wearing sub-standard items. Niamh didn't like to wear the sort of clothing that was purchased for her, outside of her uniform because it was honestly too fancy, too much for her to wear on her downtime. Niamh usually preferred to buy some simple items for herself but right now, she needed the quality that her family's wealth afforded her; it was too bloody cold to have principles. Not that she had to be outside of course so she couldn't really complain because it was all her own fault.

The young woman wanted some peace and on a day like today, the best way to achieve it - to guarantee it in fact - was to go outside. There wouldn't be any galdori to bother her out here, the cold and the hour more or less guaranteeing that. Her brother and his friends wouldn't happen upon her to torment her. Rina Salifa with all her good intentions couldn't invite her to lunch with her and her friends and the eldest Madden wouldn't have to sit there being all awkward and feeling as if she didn't belong, as if she interrupted the natural camaraderie between them due to her presence.

It was the last day of classes for the week but she still felt the need to decompress and have some time to herself to think before she could face the rest of the day, especially as she was due to have a shift with Harper later. Being near the professor was still a point of awkwardness for her and while he'd done his best to soothe her worries about her behaviour on Clock's Eve, she was still embarrassed and found that she needed to have a bit more control while she was around him. Especially as now that she'd had a taste of him - drunken, brief and clumsy though it may have been - the student was worried that she was more inclined to throw herself at him if she let her guard down.

Walking outside gave her a chance to ground herself quite a bit and think as she shivered away. The Living Conversationalist had thought that she might risk sitting in the East Garden because it was even less likely to have people courtesy of that creepy maze but now that she was out...

The student walked briskly, gloved hands buried in the folds of her fur-lined, dark blue coat as she headed for her original destination all the same. Maybe an Ignite spell in the right place to get a little fire going, or some magical friction to warm the air around her would make the garden bearable. Then again, numbness might take over as the warmth left her extremities to nestle in her core instead so that the cold didn't bother her anyway. It wouldn't be for long and she had been studying the effects of hypothermia in her medicine classes given the season that was in it so she knew what to watch out for in any case. Hop about from foot to foot, use magic if necessary and keep her exposure time short, that was all she needed to remember.

When she reached the garden in question, she found that snow crunched under her boots, no salt here because visitors weren't expected in these frigid times. It was eerily silent here, as if the powder itself was absorbing all sound, sucking and empty, the white flattening the landscape into something seemingly lifeless. A bird appeared out of nowhere, flapping madly as it shot out from under a bench and went careening past her head. She could have sworn that she felt the wind of its wings stirring the red hair strands. It didn't do wonders for her nerves; this place gave her the willies. She headed towards the bench that the avian had flown out from under, drawing her field closer as she prepared to cast the simple Static spell.

Static magic certainly wasn't her forte but an Ignite spell was so insanely simple that a child could cast it - literally! She couldn't do the kind of magic that a true Static Conversationist could but she still understood basic things. She'd never been good with Static or Physical but she knew that Ignite worked by friction like what you got by rubbing things together really fast, except it was the air itself or rather molecules in it. It could make a spark, which could make a flame and while it wouldn't be spectacular, it could be effective if it was used right. Other people with better Static abilities could do a better job, hell Physical Conversationists like her brother could do more with the physical world than she could. They could warm the air and heat the stone and all that stuff; Niamh was more than a little fuzzy on the details of how they worked though. She knew what she could do with Living: adjust her body temperature. But none of those could follow the noble uses in this case except for the Ignite which was so tiny and insignificant that the mona didn't care.

Now she just needed something to burn so that she didn't freeze out here in her temporary solitude.

Turning her head to look for something that could be dried out to serve as kindling, she discovered that she wasn't alone after all.

"Oh hello. I... didn't think that anyone would be here," she commented to the darker haired girl she'd spotted, apparently gathering things in the snow. The researcher freed a hand from her coat to offer an awkward wave. "I was just... going to see about starting a little fire while I was out here. A bit impractical, I know but... it should be doable. I can go and leave you to your uh... collecting?"

There was a hopeful note to the voice as if the prospect of being banished was a wished for outcome. Even as she said it, the redhead took a step back, angling her body in preparation to go.
word count: 1288

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