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Grounds Have a case of cabin fever? Then go see the groundskeeper, hang out by the lake, or explore the expansive school grounds.

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Old 05-18-2022, 03:46 AM
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Default Animagus Training Course

It was a mild Wednesday afternoon in mid-October, the perfect weather for outdoor activities! Which was fortunate, as that was exactly what Professor Carton had planned for today’s little get-together. He had chosen the middle of the week to hold this activity for a reason. It gave them time to get over the Monday doldrums without running too close to any weekend excitement that might distract them. They would need their focus for what he had planned!

A looming obstacle course took up most of the grounds. There was a tire run, followed by a series of hurdles. Farther along the course was a balance beam stretched over a shallow kiddie pool. Then came a tall climbing wall with ropes attached and finally, a zip line going from the top of the wall to a platform marked “Finish”.

The professor stood at the starting line, dressed in sweatpants and a faded MACUSA sweatshirt. A silver whistle dangled from a chain around his neck. His blue-green scanned the area for approaching students as he waited to greet the arrivals.
Old 05-25-2022, 01:16 PM   #26 (permalink)
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He smirked at Sable's reaction to his partially-eaten chocolate frog offer. "Suit yourself," he said with a shrug. It just meant that there was more frog for him to enjoy, and he also had the leverage of saying she couldn't say he wasn't nice because he did offer, even though he wasn't planning on sharing at all. Sharing chocolate frogs like that would be like kissing, which was gross.

The Gryffindor's attention jumped from those who had gathered (his cousins got waves and 'sup' nods) before returning to the professor. The first thing that the blond noted was that he hadn't said anything about his loudness, so he was definitely going to keep that up as long as this meeting occurred. As for the part about about putting the chocolate frog away, it caused the boy to look from the professor to the frog and back to the professor again. He opened his mouth as if he were about to say something ... he quickly popped the rest of the frog right into his mouth. Technically the man didn't say where the frog was to go, so it was only natural for Logan to do the first thing that came into his mind.

Not particularly listening, he had been chewing his frog when Professor Carton transformed right before their very eyes. Seeing dog-professor made him swallow his chocolate frog probably a little too soon. "That was WICKED, professor!" Was he shouting? No. Was he being loud? Yes. Was he internally debating if they could pet dog-professor? Certainly. He wondered if it would be considered rude to ask...

Soon enough the man returned to his human form and started to lecture about the whole Animagus process. At first Logan was paying attention, he truly was. But after doing some stretching his mind started to wander and he found himself distracted by all of the things that were happening outside. Suddenly he was being dragged away. Seeing Sable darted toward the obstacle course, he bolted right after. He wasn't going to let her beat him to the starting line.
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Old 05-25-2022, 11:35 PM   #27 (permalink)



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Violet was definitely interested in attending a training course in becoming an Animagus. If it was challenging and difficult (and especially if not many people could do it), Violet was all on it. And she had the "O" she needed on her Transfiguration O.W.L., so she felt confident. But listening to all the instructions and warnings, Violet's confidence began waning, until by the end of Carton's lecture, she was wondering if she dared attempt this at all. Even the very first thing--holding a mandrake leaf in your mouth for a whole month! How would that work with eating, and talking? Violet felt quite confident in her ability to make the potion, but there were a lot of other areas she had grave doubts about. Especially being able to keep a vial in a private place in the middle of a dorm full of very nosy Slytherins, not to mention a thieving pet magpie who would be more than happy to investigate a nice, shiny vial. And--how were you supposed to jump up during a storm and run out to find a space to do the ritual, if you were in your dorm at night, or in the middle of a class or something?

Still, she was already here and it would be embarrassing to chicken out in front of everyone else. And she might as well get through the preliminaries and learn as much as possible; she could always consider it in private later and make a decision. So she stepped up to the starting line of (her very favorite thing, NOT) the obstacle course and waited to see what would happen next.
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Old 05-26-2022, 10:17 PM   #28 (permalink)





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Apollo wasn't fully certain about becoming an animagus. He never really considered it, but when Professor Carton had posted the announcement about it, he figured he may as well check it out to determine the fuss. Was it even worthwhile? He didn't even know what he wanted to do with his life after Hogwarts. Seeing Bella there, the fifth year sidled up next to the bestie, as his eyes focused on the Professor explaining the process. Have a mandrake leaf in your mouth for a FULL MONTH???? Could they eat?? He looked over to Lisa when she asked that question because yes, how exactly would the mandrake affect eating. He was a growing boy who needed nourishment. The obstacle course sounded fun though. He had was good with endurance, having practice from quidditch training the last couple years, so even if he didn't further pursue animagus training, he'd at the very least get extra quidditch training. As far as questions, he had none, except for the one Lisa had asked.



Professor Mancini was here for two reasons. One being that as the school healer, she felt it prudent to be present because if injuries occurred - which were likely - she knew being at the scene was important to react quickly. The other reason was that while she herself never pursued becoming an animagus for various reasons, her daughter was in fact a registered animagus. And even though she had signed the permission form, because she had never been the type of parent to deny her children from their desires, she was curious to know the actual procedures involved. Who knew? Perhaps she would complete the procedures. Because as far as she knew, there was no age limit of when one could learn. She hung in the back, mostly just surveying who was present particularly of her gryffindors. And it did not escape her notice that two of the gryffindors present were first years; a bit young but the ambition was pleasing (assuming that was what it was)
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Old 05-27-2022, 12:01 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Norman watched as most of the students (Jude, Daniel, Lucia, Sable, Logan, Violet, and Apollo) made their way to the starting line. As expected, there were a few who still had questions. He couldn’t blame them. Becoming an animagus was a long and complicated process. The more information they had about it, the better!

Noticing a hand in the air, he turned to Miss Nam. Ah, he was wondering when that particular question would come up! “Excellent questions!” he replied with a slight smile. “You have to keep the mandrake leaf in your mouth even while eating, but there’s a trick to it. If you keep it under your tongue, it’s less likely to interfere with things like eating and talking.” The other part of her question made him think. He didn’t recall the mandrake leaf changing his sense of flavor when he went through the process. “If you do the under the tongue trick, it shouldn’t change the flavor.”

Then came another good question, courtesy of Miss Anders. Norman thought of all the other animagi he’d known over the years,,, his former transfiguration professor, people he knew at MACUSA and the transfiguration department at WU Edinburgh, students he’d trained at the university level, his nightmare ex-sister-in-law who could fittingly turn into a shrew… Some turned into animals that matched their patronus; some didn’t. So he couldn’t definitively say which was more common, but it was a logical conclusion. “It stands to reason that it would be,” he said.

Seeing no more hands in the air, he turned his attention to the group at the starting line. As he did so, he noticed Leann out of the corner of his eye and gave her a polite nod in greeting. Hopefully her healer services would not be required on the obstacle course! Speaking of which, he held up a hand for quiet, waiting for the students’ attention to turn to him before explaining the course rules.

“And now comes the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the obstacle course!” he said. “In this course, just like in the animagus training process, diligence and perseverance are more important than being first. It’s not a race; it’s about completing the goal without making mistakes. If you do make a mistake on the course, the same as in the animagus process, you’ll have to start over.” Was that clear so far? Good, moving on…

“You’ll start with the tire run,” he continued. “As the name suggests, you have to run through the tires. If you trip, if you step outside the tires, if you accidentally dislodge one of the tires, you come back to the starting line and try again. Make it through the tires, and the next obstacle is the hurdles. If you fall, miss your target, or knock a hurdle down, you start over from the beginning. From the hurdles, you go on to the climbing wall. Fall, backslide, or miss your footing, and - you guessed it! Start over. Once you make it to the top of the wall, you’re in the clear. All you have to do is zipline down to the finish line on the platform below.”

“Remember, it’s not about who finishes first. It’s about following directions and not giving up. Ready? On your mark, get set, GO! And with that, he held the whistle to his lips and gave one shrill blast to mark the start of the course.

OOC: Thanks for sticking with me so far! We’ve made it to the fun part of the RP. Feel free to interact and have fun with the obstacle course. Norman gave some examples of what might cause your character to have to start over, but you’re welcome to get creative and make up your own reasons too. All I ask is that you make it clear in your post when/if your character is starting over.
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Old 05-27-2022, 10:33 PM   #30 (permalink)



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“You’ll start with the tire run,” he continued. “As the name suggests, you have to run through the tires. If you trip, if you step outside the tires, if you accidentally dislodge one of the tires, you come back to the starting line and try again.
Violet sighed inwardly--this was starting to remind her uncomfortably of some of former Professor Trent's DADA classes. And athletics had never been one of her interests (or strengths). But she knew what this was really about--it was a test of their persistence, to see if they had what it took to go through the grueling and difficult process of becoming an animagus. And Violet may not excell at sports, but one thing she DID excel at was ... stubbornness! (at least, judging by what her family and governess all said...constantly...). So at the start of the whistle, she launched herself with determination into the tire run...and promptly tripped on the second tire and fell on her face.

Okay, too much energy, slow down, take deep breaths, don't get excited. Violet said all this to herself while returning back to the start of the course, not looking up to see if anyone else was watching her (and maybe...laughing). She started again, less speed and more technique, picking up her feet as she went. And it was working--she nearly made it to the finish, until at the very last tire she dislodged it slightly out of place. But...close apparently also counts in tire running, because she had to replace the tire and start over...again.

Feeling a bit winded by now (and with her legs starting to ache), Violet doggedly began the (blasted) tire run once again.
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Old 05-28-2022, 12:54 AM   #31 (permalink)

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Professor Carton replied to her question and she nodded. Underneath the tongue. Got it.

Lisa chuckled quietly at Daniel’s sigh and made her eyes EVEN BIGGER. He was always so dramatic in his own way- it was endearing. Based on his sigh, she prepared himself to say no; however, his counter offer for her to carry his book bag for a day seemed reasonable. She smirked back at him and then nodded. “Deal.” There was some sort spell to aid, yes?

She joined her peers at the starting line and waited for the next set of instructions.

Tire run first… Then hurdles. And zip line.

Merlin. Jasper and Serena would have rocked this obstacle course.

She looked to Daniel one last time and gave him a salute before charging forward. Small she may be but she wouldn’t let that say she couldn’t master this. “see you on the other side?

With that, she sprinted forward to the tires and slowed down a little, watching for her foot placement.
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Old 05-28-2022, 01:22 PM   #32 (permalink)



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Apollo wasn't fully certain about becoming an animagus. He never really considered it, but when Professor Carton had posted the announcement about it, he figured he may as well check it out to determine the fuss. Was it even worthwhile? He didn't even know what he wanted to do with his life after Hogwarts. Seeing Bella there, the fifth year sidled up next to the bestie, as his eyes focused on the Professor explaining the process. Have a mandrake leaf in your mouth for a FULL MONTH???? Could they eat?? He looked over to Lisa when she asked that question because yes, how exactly would the mandrake affect eating. He was a growing boy who needed nourishment. The obstacle course sounded fun though. He had was good with endurance, having practice from quidditch training the last couple years, so even if he didn't further pursue animagus training, he'd at the very least get extra quidditch training. As far as questions, he had none, except for the one Lisa had asked.
Bella was done with her stretches and was listening to Professor Carton explaining the animagus process when Apollo sidled up next to her at the starting line. She instantly reached out to give his hand a quick push in silent greeting. To become an animagus sounded VERY hard and required a determination and a will she didn't know if she had. To have a mandrake leaf in your mouth for a whole month sounded creepy. What if you choked on it while you slept? Bella tried to refocus on the fun obstacle course they were going to do in a moment. She didn't need to decide anything today about whether or not she wanted to pursue animagus training or not.

Glancing over at her bestie after Professor Carton had explained the rules of the course Bella asked. "Apollo, can we do the obstacle course together? Or at least do it side by side so we can help each other if one of us trips or injures themselves?"
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Old 05-28-2022, 09:02 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Keigh had a question; an important one at that. Without asking the reasoning behind it, Jude knew she was thinking of their cousin, Hady. Then Carton was agreeing with her. That meant now that he and the baby sister could now be on their way to the starting line. Keigh was right: they WERE going to have some fun. Jude was determined to do that much.

The course was not a race. Even if it was, Jude knew he wasn’t in the right mindframe to get his competitiveness on. He was just here to do his best, and without mistakes apparently. This would require his utmost focus. He’d hate to have to start right over. And he’d hate the same for Keigh, but if she needed to, the older Hufflepuff knew that he would return to the beginning of the course with her.

“Tire run,’’ Jude repeated after Carton had finished giving them the rundown. It shouldn’t be that difficult, right? “I’ll go first, yeah?” And so he did, putting as much focus into the process as he went. Unfortunately, upset happened and in this case, Jude happened to dislodge one of the tires - and almost sent himself flying. He kicked at the ground in mild annoyance before heading back to the start. Had Keigh been more successful?
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Old 05-29-2022, 01:48 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Keighley smiled when Jude remained at her side rather than move towards the course while she waited for an answer to her question. Not that she had expected anything different from him. They were a team after all. And the answer she had received from Professor Carton was somewhat what she had expected anyhow. With a firm nod of her head and a smile aimed at the man she stored that information away for later. Right now there was an obstacle course to complete.

"Uh-huh." She nodded. Bright blue eyes watched Jude as he made his way through the tire run only to nearly send himself flying when a tire seemed to come loose. "Jude! Are you alright?!" That's all that mattered to this third year and she wouldn't even start the course until she knew for sure that he was. Upon getting some sort of confirmation from him that she should take her turn she moved to the start of it.

Taking a breath she readied herself and just went for it. One foot at a time all the way to the end or well.. Almost. Somehow her sneaker got caught, maybe she didn't lift her foot high enough or at the exact moment she should have... And down she went.

Right back to the starting line she would be going.
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Old 05-29-2022, 08:38 PM   #35 (permalink)



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Make it through the tires, and the next obstacle is the hurdles. If you fall, miss your target, or knock a hurdle down, you start over from the beginning.
Well, the third time really was the charm, at least for the tire run. Having learned from her (sometimes embarrassing) mistakes, Violet finally managed to make it to the end without messing anything up. Her elation evaporated quickly, however, as she looked down the hurdle course and tried to estimate just how many times it would take her to do it (probably quite a lot, was her guess). And now she was getting tired from the tire-running. Violet bent over, hands on her thighs just above the knees, and took a few minutes to catch her breath and center her mind again. Then she doggedly stepped to the beginning of the hurdle course.

The first hurdle was not that high and Violet managed to clear it without mishap. The second one was a bit higher and her back foot clipped it slightly, making it teeter slightly back and forth, but in the end it righted itself without going down. Violet chanced a quick glance behind her to check that she'd made it, but that glance, however brief, threw her off rhythm ever so slightly, so that she mis-timed her third takeoff and hit the third hurdle squarely with her right foot, causing both hurdle and Violet to go down. "Ouch," Violet said glumly, picking herself and then the hurdle back up and heading grimly back to the starting line...
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Old 05-30-2022, 10:31 PM   #36 (permalink)
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“I’m alright,’’ Jude reassured the little sister. The last thing he needed was for her to be more concerned for him more than she had been since last summer. As if his words were not enough, he gave her a reassuring smile. Before he knew it, it was his turn to be concerned. Then again, when is a big brother never concerned for the younger sibling? “You’re okay, yeah?’’ Jude eyed her over as though making an attempt to find any cuts or bruises.

It soon came his turn to start the course again. The fifth year was still determined to get through the tire run. For some reason, he was more motivated than ever. He took off once more, his gaze focused down on the tires and doing his best to step in them. Then it hit him: this was just like dancing where his feet placement needed to be precise, especially when he was doing lifts and there was that risk of dropping his partner. This was it then; he’d pretend that this was some twist on a dance. Step, step, step, step… and… he made it!

Jude was proud of himself. He turned to look behind him for Keigh. Fingers crossed that she was successful too so that they could move on together.
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Old 05-31-2022, 10:08 PM   #37 (permalink)





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Bella was done with her stretches and was listening to Professor Carton explaining the animagus process when Apollo sidled up next to her at the starting line. She instantly reached out to give his hand a quick push in silent greeting. To become an animagus sounded VERY hard and required a determination and a will she didn't know if she had. To have a mandrake leaf in your mouth for a whole month sounded creepy. What if you choked on it while you slept? Bella tried to refocus on the fun obstacle course they were going to do in a moment. She didn't need to decide anything today about whether or not she wanted to pursue animagus training or not.

Glancing over at her bestie after Professor Carton had explained the rules of the course Bella asked. "Apollo, can we do the obstacle course together? Or at least do it side by side so we can help each other if one of us trips or injures themselves?"
Apollo was listening to Professor Carton as he explained the trick to keeping the mandrake leaf under his tongue which honestly sounded more challenging. Was it worth all this trouble to become an animagus? What were the benefits of being able to change into an animagus anyway? Though he supposed he didn't need to decide at that moment whether it was a track he wanted to pursue. Definitely would at the very least wait until he took his Transfiguration OWL.

He turned over to look at Bella, frowning. "Wouldn't that make it difficult ... Oh..." he smiled when she suggested an alternative. "I don't think we'll really be able to help each other, but sure, we'll do it alongside each other." He did feel grateful for his growth spurt and long legs, feeling confident that the tire run would be easy enough task.
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Old 06-03-2022, 01:52 PM   #38 (permalink)
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There was no need to worry, Jude. Keighley flashed her brother a smile and a thumbs up to prove that she was uninjured and he could go about taking his turn. The two of them needed to complete this tire-run so that they could move on to the next activity.

Returning to the beginning of the tire-run, the Hufflepuff watched her older brother silently cheering him on. Come on, Jude, come on! When he had made it to the other side she clapped happily. "Great job!" Now it was her turn. All she had to do was make it across without falling over again.

"Here I come!" she took a deep breath and started making her way across the tire-run. One, two.. one-two. This time she made sure to life her feet high enough out of the tires. One, two.. one-two. All the way across. "Yes! I did it!" She beamed brightly at Jude grabbing his hand in hers and hurrying along to the next part of the course. "Come on, lets keep going!"
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Norman stood to one side of the starting line, his blue-green eyes locked on the obstacle course. He smiled slightly, watching Miss Nam sprint off toward the tire run. Elsewhere, he overheard Connolly and Adara-Stark’s conversation about doing the course together, though neither of them appeared to have started yet. They’d better get on it! He glanced at the pair with a slight eyebrow raise but said nothing for the time being.

Turning his attention back to the course, he saw that the Anders siblings were also partnered up and taking on the tire run. He watched Jude’s first attempt end with a dislodged tire and a kick at the ground, but before he could offer any words of encouragement, the boy was off again. A look of mild concern crossed his face as he saw Keighley go down near the end of the tire run, but he supposed she hadn’t been too hurt, as she too started again. Norman smiled as he watched the Anderses complete the tire run, one after the other, and his smile grew when he overheard Keighley. “Well done, you two!” he said, beaming at the pair.

Norman saw Blackthorne also working diligently at the tire run. That trip on the first run got a slightly concerned look, though he chose not to draw attention to it since she didn’t seem to be hurt. He thought she was going to make it on the second attempt, only to watch her dislodge a tire at the last minute. Merlin, that had to be frustrating! He had to give her credit for not giving up, and he was pleased to see her succeed on the third attempt. He watched as she moved on to the hurdles and cleared the first two. He had high hopes for the third one, but… Ooh, that looked like it hurt! “Alright there, Miss Blackthorne?” he asked as she made her way back to the start. He cast a subtle side glance at Leann, lest the girl need medical attention.

Momentarily tearing his eyes away from the course, Norman glanced at his watch. Was it that time already? They’d need to wrap up soon! “You have about fifteen minutes left for the obstacle course!” he called.


OOC: Sorry for the delay,,, crazy week! Anyway, we’ll start wrapping up in a couple of days. Until then, keep doing what you’re doing!
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He watched as she moved on to the hurdles and cleared the first two. He had high hopes for the third one, but… Ooh, that looked like it hurt! “Alright there, Miss Blackthorne?” he asked as she made her way back to the start.
"Yes sir, I'm all right.....just aggravated," Violet responded, muttering those last two words under her breath as she made her way back to the beginning. Was she hurt? She didn't feel she was, at least not too badly. But now she was bound and determined to get through this thing, even it if killed her!

It was not so easy getting through the course now, because Violet was getting rather tired from all the unaccustomed physical exertion. When she reached the hurdles, she was careful not to get distracted and to take it slow (but not too slow, because then you'd lose momentum). After all, this wasn't a race, she just had to get through it. Miraculously, on the second time through Violet managed to clear all the hurdles without tipping any of them over, though she did cause a few to wobble and shake. Violet sternly didn't allow herself to worry about that or to look back, but just kept going doggedly on, until all at once she found herself at the end of the course. Looking back, she was overjoyed to see all the hurdles still standing. She'd done it!

The next task, the balance beam stretching over the kiddie pool. went by like magic (pardon the expression). Violet had just focused her mind and planted one foot in front of the other and she was across! And it had seemed to go by in no time at all--maybe that had been that "Zone" that sports types were always going on about. Though Violet had always had good balance, she thought to herself--probably from all those years of sneaking around her house and grounds growing up, trying to see what everyone was doing and saying without being noticed.

Shrugging, Violet put it out of her mind as she headed toward the next task, the climbing wall. And Violet had been dreading this one, because if she were very, very honest with herself, she was just the tiniest bit afraid of heights. Okay, maybe more than just a bit. And she would have denied this vigorously to anyone who ever suggested this to her. She stood looking up at the wall for several minutes, trying to figure out the best way to get up it. "So, you're just supposed to grab hold of the rope and walk up the wall?" she told herself. Kind of like bungee-jumping in reverse, she supposed. Violet was not at all confident about her upper body strength, but she had not gone through all this and come so far to give up now, so she resolutely grabbed hold of a rope and began to pull herself up, one foot in front of the other.


OOC: Just want to clarify--when Norman says "Start over", he means start at the very beginning of the course again? (ie, at the tire?) Or just at the beginning of the part you messed up on?
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The biggest cheerleader in this life was Keighley. Jude could almost hear her in his head cheering him on until he came to the end of the tire run. He was proud of himself for having completed it because it showed him he still had it in him to focus and get things done. This should be the energy he took for the things to come… Hand on his hips, he watched Keigh have another go. Under his breath, he kept saying ‘you got this, you got this’. And she did have it! “Way to go, Keigh!” Super proud big brother here? You bet! “Thanks, professor!’’ the older Hufflepuff had time to call before Keigh was grabbing his hand and pulling him towards the next challenge: the hurdles and the balance beam with the kiddie pool. Jude was pretty confident of the beam but the hurdles…

Here went nothing!

He gave Keigh’s hand squeeze. “See you on the flip side?” He pushed his hair from his face before taking off at a run. The first hurdle was approached quickly and Jude timed it just right until it was time to jump… and success! One down. If only he could just repeat the exact process for the remainder…

Second hurdle… jump.

Third hurdle… jump.

And so it went until he passed them all.

Now for the balance beam.

But first, he’d pause to watch Keigh tackle the hurdles.
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Violet had fallen backward about of a third of the way up the wall and had to start over, again. Then she'd been so tired that she tipped over one of the hurdles when she got to that part. Going through the tires this time, she barely had the energy to run, but wound up slogging through them in a kind of dogged, jumpy walk. Then, standing before the hurdles, she felt a sense of futility. She was just not athletic, even at the best of times, and now, after--how many attempts at this course had she made? she had lost count--after knocking herself out for what seemed like hours, she was so worn out that she didn't even have the energy to do her usual mediocre best. She felt like giving up. This wasn't counting as a grade, was it? Would this be on her DADA N.E.W.T.? What harm would there be in calling it a day; after all, she'd given it her best try...

No, Violet Blackthorne does NOT give in! Ever. She may not be beautiful or graceful or athletic, but she was certainly stubborn; it was her best (or worst, depending on who you asked) quality. So, having caught her breath, Violet backed up a few steps to get a running start and headed over the hurdles once again.
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He turned over to look at Bella, frowning. "Wouldn't that make it difficult ... Oh..." he smiled when she suggested an alternative. "I don't think we'll really be able to help each other, but sure, we'll do it alongside each other." He did feel grateful for his growth spurt and long legs, feeling confident that the tire run would be easy enough task.
"Thanks!" she murmured as she turned to face the course ahead of them. "Let's see who can finish the tire run first! Ready? Go Apollo!" Bella cheered her bestie on as she herself set off down the tire run expecting Apollo to keep up with her pace. It was like a two step-dance where you had to watch your footing in the tires. One wrong step and you had to start at the beginning again. Keeping her pace up Bella came to the end of the tire, slightly winded, sweaty and glad to not have stumbled like she had seen many of her firends do.

Th next up was the hurdles and balance beam which got a long glance from Bella while she took a small break and waited for her bestie. Looking over at Apollo she mumbled "Me and my lousy balance. That beam won't be easy." Not waiting for any cheering on from the bestie Bella took a breath and then set off at a run. She jumped over the hurdles without carshing into any of them which was a small success. Standing in front of the balance beam Bella tried to focus before she gave walking across the beam an attempt. She was not going to give up.
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"Thanks, Jude!" The motivation to keep going and do her best from her big brother was the greatest thing ever. It was all she really needed. That didn't mean she overlooked or didn't hear the professor because she did! And that got a huge thumbs up from her and a wide smile! "Thank you, Professor!" It was all about the will to keep pushing forward and never give up, right?

As they reached the second task, the hurdles, Keighley once more smiled at her brother. "Of course you will! You got this, Jude!" And Merlin he sure did! Look at her brother took those hurdles on like they were nothing at all! "Whoa! That's how you do it!" She clapped for him once he had made it all the way across.

Now it was her turn. Taking a deep breath Keigh backed up and then ran for the first hurdle leaping over it. One down! Another jump. Two!

Each jump she made sure she lifted her legs high enough not to kick the hurdle down. At the final one she she throw her arms around Jude for a celebratory hug. "Time for the balance beam?"
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Jude couldn’t help it; he was grinning big time. Not because of the success at the course so far but because of Keighley. She made him so happy with the enthusiastic way she was cheering him on. This served as the perfect distraction to him. “Come on, Keigh!” the older Hufflepuff shouted after cupping his hands around his mouth. Shortly after, he crossed his fingers because he wanted his sister to succeed too. But if they had to start all over again, that would be fine too because he simply lived for moments like these when they got to do fun activities.

The boy hugged Keighly back happily the moment she put her arms around him. Truly, there was no sister better than this ball of sunshine and flowers! “Knew you could do it!” he told her, squishing her tightly. Just as he knew she could handle the balance beam as well. “Yep. This one’s going to be the easiest.” For obvious reasons.

Releasing Keigh, he stepped towards the beam that was over the kiddie pool and soon enough he stood on it. His arms were stretched out slightly on either side of him but being a dancer, grace and balance was something that came easily to him. One foot in front of the other repeatedly took him further along the beam. And you know what? Jude was enjoying every moment of it.

Before long, he came to the end and jumped off, landing neatly and gracefully on both feet. Another part of the course was complete. “Your turn, Keigh!”
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Violet stood before the climbing wall for the third time (Merlin! When she'd said 'third time's the charm', she hadn't thought it would be three times for everything. She was so tired from running, leaping, and balancing that her legs were shaking, and she really didn't think there was any way she would make it through this course, but she was determined to keep trying until Professor Carton called 'time' or she collapsed, whichever came first (and she was betting on the latter).

Grimly putting one hand over then other, Violet painfully began hauling herself once again up the climbing wall, trying to pretend she was a Muggle super-hero to distract her mind from how sore she felt.
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Seeing such a huge grin on her older brothers face made her heart burst with joy. It had been awhile since she had seen him this happy. She missed it a lot. This was what they needed more of. Carefree days to just be kids, have fun but also to learn and grow while doing so. This was everything right here.

"We're amazing!" Nothing could stop them now! Unless one of them fell or something but it was okay if they did. No matter what happened they were in this together. A team. A duo.

As she watched Jude take his turn, she stood in silence cheering him on in head. This time she didn't want to distract him and cause him to topple into the kiddie pool of water. When he reached the other side without any trouble at all she clapped her hands. "Way to go, Jude! I knew you wouldn't have any trouble at all with that one!" He was so talented. It was no wonder she looked up to him the way that she did.

It was her turn now. Stepping up onto the balance beam, Keigh slowly raised her arms out to each side. All of her MMA training that she's done for years so help her with this. It all took a lot of focus and balance. One foot in front of the other. Nice and steady. No need to rush. With every step taken, she felt more and more confident. Before the third year knew it she was at the end of the balance beam. "Jude! Catch me!" With that warning shout, she jumped at her brother to be caught, knowing he wouldn't drop her.
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Having given the fifteen minute warning, Norman turned his attention back to the obstacle course. He was glad to hear Blackthorne was alright after that fall; her words got a slight nod in reply. He wasn’t deaf to the words she muttered under her breath, but he saw no reason to comment. Being aggravated in this situation was normal; what mattered was what she did with that aggravation. He watched as she kept trying, keeping quiet so as not to break her concentration. Instead he offered her a silent thumbs-up. If she could make it up the wall, she’d be pretty much home free!

Elsewhere, he saw the Anders kids make short work of the hurdles and then the balance beam. He had to admit he was impressed with their teamwork as much as their athleticism! He waited until they both had crossed the balance beam to say anything, so as not to startle them. Seeing them make it to the other side, he said, “Keep up the good work!”

Norman’s blue-green eyes scanned the course, and he noticed Connolly wasn’t far behind. Overhearing her words, he offered some encouragement, “You can do it, Miss Connolly,” he said with a slight smile. “Remember, it’s not a race.” In other words, take it slow.


When Norman glanced at his watch again, he saw that the fifteen minutes allotted had passed. Holding the whistle to his lips, he gave one shrill blast. “Time's up!” he called. “If you’re at the top of the wall, go ahead and zipline down. Otherwise, come back.” He waved a hand, motioning for the students to gather around him.

After allowing a few moments for them to return before continuing, “Great job, everyone! Consider today your first step on the path to becoming an animagus. If you’d like to continue training, drop by my office sometime. This obstacle course will be available for use in the transfiguration corridor, starting tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your day!”

OOC: Thanks so much for playing! This has been fun. I’ll leave this thread open until tomorrow evening for anyone who wishes to finish up and/or rp their character leaving.
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When Norman glanced at his watch again, he saw that the fifteen minutes allotted had passed. Holding the whistle to his lips, he gave one shrill blast. “Time's up!” he called. “If you’re at the top of the wall, go ahead and zipline down. Otherwise, come back.” He waved a hand, motioning for the students to gather around him.

After allowing a few moments for them to return before continuing, “Great job, everyone! Consider today your first step on the path to becoming an animagus. If you’d like to continue training, drop by my office sometime. This obstacle course will be available for use in the transfiguration corridor, starting tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your day!”
When she heard Professor Carton give the fifteen minute warning, Violet was halfway up the wall and might have been distracted, but the sound of the whistle just made her that much more determined. Her arms were shaky with fatigue and she nearly slipped a couple more times, but by some miracle or burst of stubborness, she actually reached the top just as Carton blew the final whistle that meant the exercise was over. Violet was relieved to hear him say they could still zipline down if they were at the top of the wall--she really would have hated to have finally made it and then have it be for nothing. But realistically, there wasn't really a good way back down the wall other than the grand finish. Hoping she wouldn't fall off, Violet grabbed the zipline in turn and felt a thrill of exhilaration as she sped down to the bottom (Was it exhilaration or fear? Violet wasn't sure, but was going for the former, because she was now in an optimistic mood).

Violet was about to mention to Professor Carton on the way out that yes, she was interested when she heard him mention the obstacle course would be staying up. Was running an obstacle course really training for becoming an Animagus? Violet had thought it was just an exercise to test their determination, but now was not so sure she understood what was involved. She made a mental note to review all her notes later just to be sure. "Goodbye, Professor Carton. I'd...I'd like to come by and talk about becoming an Animagus some time, to make sure I understand everything completely," she said to him when there was an opening, and then began gathering her things and preparing to leave. She was thinking that she might be tempted to take a dip in the Great Lake on her way back to the castle, she thought she had never felt so hot and tired in her life.
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Keigh would be right: this was exactly the sort of thing they needed more. Not that he didn’t have a good time whenever they hung out together. Aside from Davet, she was the only person who had helped him smile recently. “You bet we are! Best sibling team EVER!” Hogwarts never had such an iconic duo in their history until now and there would never be another. “It’d be a tragedy if I failed at that one,’’ he agreed with a laugh. Not because he was likely to get wet if he fell into the pool but because he’d feel as though he let all his years of dance training down. A thumbs was flashed in Carton’s direction. They really appreciated the encouragement, Professor!

Did MMA training come in useful for this round? Jude wasn’t sure but he watched his sister do her thing, and what she did was AWESOME!!! Not even Reagan could top that! “GoooOOoo, Keigh!” He applauded then grinned even broader. Oh? Keigh wanted to be caught? The boy readied himself just as he would when catching his dance partner - whomever he, she or they may be. He never took his eyes off of his sister as she moved through the air. Jude caught her easily and securely. “Got ya! My. You’re getting heavier.” Chuckling, Keigh was set to her feet.

So… what next?

The wall and zipline! “Here I go,’’ he happily told Keigh. Climbing should be a breeze too since the muscles in his arms were developed. Both hands gripped at the rope before he pulled himself up, curling his feet around the rope as he did so. One hand went higher and then the other, his feet following along. The steps were easily repeated. He could do this all day! Soon enough he was finishing up. There came the zip line and grinning to himself, Jude hurtled himself in sheer delight through the air to the platform that signaled the end of the course.

“That was fun!’’ The Hufflepuff went back to his sister’s side, putting a hand on her shoulder as he reached her. “Ready? You’re going to rock this!”
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