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A Delicious Bite To Start The Day-Breakfast (Open)
Professor

27 Posts
2 Threads
Registered: Dec 2021


All Accounts Posts: 115
#1
Astrid exhaled a small breath then raised a steaming cup to her lips for a drink of the warm liquid inside, an herbal tea to pair alongside her breakfast and just what she needed to jump start the day. This morning she was seated calmly up at the head table assigned for the teachers and school staff dressed in a pale teal colored dress with altered sleeves so they stopped just above her elbows, and slightly loose around her figure for comfort. It was a plain enough dress and would suit her needs just find up in the infirmary thanks to the adjustments she had made herself. As far as her hair she had her golden locks hanging down loosely behind her back, a small braid of her hair circled around the top of her head like a crown and for the most part it kept her hair from falling forward. 

She had been up a bit early this morning, making a quick trip down to the trading post to check in on her siblings before making it back just in time for breakfast. She was rather grateful for it too despite the feast she had enjoyed perhaps a little too much last night her stomach had grumbled in hunger this morning for more of the kitchen and Helga's delicious food. Well it would be fuel to get her through the morning and depending on what sort of work awaited her today. Truth be told she had gone down to see her siblings last night too just before to got too late, a little worried about them now that a lot of her time would be directed up at the school. It wasn't like they couldn't look after themselves and each other, they could very well in fact but she couldn't easily let go of her role as their protector, wanting to be sure the darker parts of life she knew existed and had even experienced a few didn't get within reach of them. Eventually she would find the strength to pull back and let them experience both sides of life but for now she would remain their protector and guardian, checking in to make sure they were good and more importantly safe and unbothered by anyone trying to give them trouble. 

Astrid decided to make a change of topic in her mind and look up at the enchanted ceiling, if she thought any more on the subject of her siblings she was bound to go down there again and check on them before midday. Last night she had found it tricky not to look up at the night sky as they all enjoyed the evening feast. Something about it just gave her a warm brush of air, like a summer breeze through her mind and spirit. It reminded her of nights spent out at sea, watching them and falling asleep under them each night. It was a good feeling to embrace at the start of the day, giving her a hopeful feeling it would stay that way until it came to an end hours from now. Astrid wasn't sure what sort of work would be awaiting her today but with this feeling it was at least starting out on a good note. She smiled lightly and took another drink of her herbal tea, taking a moment to glance around the grand room as she held her cup between her hands.
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Professor

65 Posts
3 Threads
Registered: Dec 2021


All Accounts Posts: 168
#2
Gwen had been awake for most of the night. It hadn't been her intention, at all. She'd planned on a long night of sleep to prepare for her first class today, held right after breakfast. While she had never planned on having the first class of the year, it was necessary for her to assess the students and their abilities to read and write and since that was her area of expertise...

So of course, Lora decided that last night was the perfect night to spend the night screaming. Both Gwen and the house elf who had been helping her had been at their wits end. The house elf had offered to take the child so that Gwen might sleep but it hadn't felt right, just abandoning her baby to someone else's care when there was something wrong. It wasn't until a half hour ago that Lora had followed into a fitful sleep. Another elf had arrived to take over the baby's care while Gwen had breakfast and class.

She had wanted to refuse breakfast, wanting to stay that little bit longer in case her child woke but the house elf insisted she go. Had even threatened to send for her brother to drag her down, which would be a very good image for her first day as a teacher that these students needed to respect. She needed to accept that things like this was going to come up and sometimes, she was just going to have to keep going and trust others to take care of Lora in her place.

Still broke her heart to think about it.


Dressing quickly in a dark green dress, one not quite as elegant as she usually preferred but certainly nice enough to set a good example, Gwen checked in once more on Lora before heading downstairs to join the other staff members at the head table to break her fast. A few were already there, including her brother who shot her a look of concern. She gave the slightest shake of her head at him before heading towards one of the remaining empty seats. It just happened to be next to the new healer.

Forcing a pleasant smile on her face, she may have looked a little strained but she greeted Astrid with what she hoped was a cheerful, "Good morning," before reaching for a nearby pitcher of cider, hoping the bite of the apples would do something to wake her up a little more. Once her goblet was filled nearly to the brim, she looked around the table to see what the house elfs had prepared for this first morning.

She tried not to grimace at the parritch on the table. Despite having lived here for a few months, she'd yet to adjust to the typical Scottish breakfast. Rowena had explained a number of times the nutritional value of what Gwen had equated to mortar. Fortunately, there was honey as well as an array of local fruits to go with it. At least that would give it a bit of taste, even if the Scottish who saw her adding anything more than salt to it would be horrified.

Another forced smile as she filled her bowl half-full and then added plenty of the juicy strawberries. No reason to give the students the suspicion that they had room to complain if they didn't like the food. Maybe this was a little lacking in comparison to the previous evening but they were going to need all the fuel they could get today to get them through to lunch.

Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed her neighbor watching the ceiling for the longest time while drinking from her cup. This smile was more sincere. It seemed Merrick's addition to the castle had been a massive success, which was good. He'd been so nervous but as she'd assured him, it had been perfect and the random glances up by various occupants in the room all night and then again today just proved it.

"A masterpiece, is it not?" Gwen asked, prolonging the inevitable before she had to take a bite of the parritch.
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Professor

27 Posts
2 Threads
Registered: Dec 2021


All Accounts Posts: 115
#3
Astrid was pulled away from her mild daydream partly down memory lane when she heard someone say good morning. She blinked then lowered her gaze to look on either side of her along the long head table until she saw Gwen seated beside her. At the moment she seemed to be looking over the options along the table so she postponed returning the morning greeting to give her the chance to collect something to fill her stomach.

She looked down at her own plate, contemplating whether or not to grab a few extra biscuits or several pieces of fruit to make sure she had enough to last until lunch. Unlike her neighbor Astrid had gone down the picky route when it came to selecting her breakfast. It wasn't anything against the scottish dishes or the hard working hands that had prepared it, it was just that she preferred a lighter meal in the morning. Out of habit and one of several she had made during her years of travel, it was one of the more stubborn that had been more challenging to break.

When it seemed like Gwen had settled in better with something to eat she heard her mention the ceiling. Astrid turned to look at her, glancing away for a moment to take in the view of the ceiling before returning her focus to the woman beside her. "Good Morning Lady Moore. It is indeed. Sir Raine really did an amazing job with it, I can hardly pull myself from looking at it and not find my mind recalling the nights I spent looking up at the real night sky" she replied, offering a warm friendly smile as she set down her mug. "I'm a bit grateful last night I wasn't so easily noticed nor the only one staring up at it for a long time."

Astrid took note of Gwen's choice of meal, feeling a bit guilty that she hadn't given it a chance but perhaps for lunch she could remedy it by eating a bit more than she typically did. She glanced at the remaining half of biscuit on her plate, lightly glazed with a few drops of honey. She really aught to finish it but maybe after a little chat, their was still plenty of time and she wasn't in an immediate need to rush back to the infirmary. By the look of it, Gwen seemed hesitant to jump in on her breakfast anyway so a few minutes of conversation wouldn't do any harm. 

"It is a bit on the heavy side as far as options are for the first meal of the day" she said, hinting at the breakfast dishes around them on the table. "I mean no disrespect to Lady Hufflepuff and the house elves that worked hard to make it but I couldn't think to eat very much this morning after that enjoyable feast last night. I just hope they won't be too upset with me for picking a lighter option at least for breakfast. I'll be sure to make it up to them at lunch though with a bit more on my plate."
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Professor

65 Posts
3 Threads
Registered: Dec 2021


All Accounts Posts: 168
#4
Gwen smiled, nodding when Astrid expressed the gratitude that she wasn't the only one caught looking last night and then again this morning. Though there were a few less faces upturned from where she sat, there were enough for her to reassure Merrick...Sir Raine that his students would certainly be interested in his field of study. If they had beauty like that to look at every class period, how could one resist.

The stars! The starry nights were beautiful, she said firmly in her head, convincing herself that that was what she had meant the whole time.

When the nurse went on about the breakfast, Gwen looked back down at the semi-lumpy mixture. To be fair, this was house elf cooking so it couldn't really be that bad. And she had doctored it a bit that it might taste decent. It just wasn't really her thing.

"Apparently, from what I understand, lunch is to be a lighter affair, which is why the parritch. The oats are supposed to be good, slow burning fuel to keep the children sustained for the long day ahead." It was also inexpensive to mass produce. Not that the Founders were hurting for money but when they had plans of this place lasting longer than a few months, that meant it had to be cost effective for future generations to sustain. Gwen tittered, realizing...

"Of course you knew that. Healer and all, you probably know all about this stuff." She sighed, feeling rather foolish for dictating to the healer who'd probably consulted with Helga on all the food choices for the betterment of their students. Wanting to hide the blush in her cheeks for her error, Gwen lowered her head while digging her spoon into the parritch and taking a bite. It took every bit of those lady-lessons her mother had given her to keep a smile on her face. Casually, she grabbed some more honey and practically doused the bowl. "I need a bit more sugar this morning to get me going, I'm afraid. It's been a very long night." She set the honey pot down before taking another bite. This time, between the berries and the honey, it was more than palatable.
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Professor

27 Posts
2 Threads
Registered: Dec 2021


All Accounts Posts: 115
#5
Astrid smiled, internally chuckling at Gwen to not insult the woman as her response."It is a rather good and smart choice to make when it comes to the first meal of the day. While I do know a bit about the good properties of such a hearty meal as parritch, mostly not because I'm a healer but that I learned that its a good cost effective food that lasts a good amount of time, especially with eight or so mouths to feed. I think knowing she had a lot of mouths to feed and the potential for the students to have a busy day ahead of them, Lady Hufflepuff and the house elves must have decided to make sure it was present front and center this morning. Shes rather knowledgeable when it comes to the properties of ingredients she uses for cooking, whats good and when. I look forward to asking her for some advice in what foods I can pass on to my siblings to start cooking at home so they can all continue to grow strong and healthy even while I am at work here" she explained calmly. Once she was finished, Astrid raised her cup up and finished the last of the tea that was inside.

She took a moment to look over the dishes available for breakfast, the largest and obvious one meant to draw in to it was the parritch but thankfully she had been able to withstand its call. With a lighter breakfast she would feel more able to focus on keeping herself busy somehow while she toiled away in the infirmary. While she was glad so far she had yet to have any patients, well save one she was helping to keep secret from his friends it did make her job a bit boring. It would be tempting to go down to the village to check on her siblings again but what if someone came by while she was away? She had been hired here to help look after the residents with their medical needs and part of that meant having to stay here just about all the time. No matter how much the separation from her siblings was poking lightly at the inside of her mind, since their mother passed she had tried to be home most of the time but this job paid well and it would give her the chance to make sure her family was well taken care of. Not to mention if any of them came of age and had magic she could afford to send them here to learn from the best in the world. This opportunity wouldn't come again so she had to make sure she did her job and kept her nose out of trouble as much as she could.

"It's not so bad once you add some fruit or honey to give it a lighter flavor, the parritch that is. Still, as much as I know its good for keeping the stomach full and the body fueled with energy to get one through a good part of the day I just can't bring myself to eat it more often than every now and then. I mean no offence to Lady Hufflepuff and the house elves, it smells wonderful and the sides they have out to add to it will help it fit to any taste bud. I just don't personally prefer to eat it myself, at least not all the time." Astrid said, her smile giving a few guilty hints of her not being a big fan of the thick heavy cook oats. 

She knew better than to be picky about food, growing up how she had you didn't always have a choice of what you ate especially on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Not that that was what she assumed was happening here but not wanting to turn any of the new students away from the meal the house elves and lady Hufflepuff had planned and prepared for this morning, she had come as early as she could to breakfast after checking in with her siblings and then ate while there had been lack of attention on her choice of her morning meal. It wouldn't work every time nor would she dismiss the carefully selected main option made by Lady Hufflepuff and the kitchen house elves but every once in a while didn't seem like it would be a terrible idea.

Astrid glanced at Gwen as she mentioned having a long night before tucking in to her breakfast a bit. A very long night apparently and she couldn't help look a little closer at the other woman's face just a bit more. She took note of the darker color skin tone around her eyes and while she seemed awake enough, there didn't seem to be any energy evidence in her facial motions or expressions to back up having had a good nights sleep. "You had a rough night last night I presume?" Aside asked a little more quietly so they wouldn't be overheard as easily as before, just in case this was something Gwen didn't want to get around. "Is there anything I could do to help? If you think you might have another tough night tonight as far as sleeping I could look into getting you something that will help you sleep soundly through the night."
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Professor

65 Posts
3 Threads
Registered: Dec 2021


All Accounts Posts: 168
#6
Gwen nodded as the healer explained where her knowledge came from, again not wanting to criticize Lady Hufflepuff but simply feeling that the lighter breakfast was a better option. And after the feast last night (what a meal!), it made sense for many to choose the lesser options. Plus, to be honest, parritch was mostly a commoner food. Likely many of the higher class students sitting down to it would be a little insulted by the common fare.

However, she was fairly sure after a few weeks of it being present and one of their often morning meals, they would adjust. Or they would go without breaking their fast. Pride could be a powerful thing.

When Astrid asked about her having a rough night, Gwen nodded in agreement. "While I would love to take a sleeping draught - it would be unfair to my daughter. The last few days, she's been rather fussy - sometimes stretching long into the night and - like last night - the whole night through. I'm not sure if there's something wrong with her or her schedule being offset has thrown her into a tizzy. It's really hard to say when they're only a year and unable to talk much," she said sadly, feeling like a bad mother for not only failing to soothe her child but also now complaining about it. So many women lost their children that she should be grateful to have Lora at all.
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Professor

27 Posts
2 Threads
Registered: Dec 2021


All Accounts Posts: 115
#7
Astrid listened closely as Gwen explained her rough night, taking note of a few familiar signs as well as the downcast look and tone of the other woman as she spoke. This was a common problem she had come across herself quite a few times both as a healer and parental figure. Her siblings at home, not her new additions but the ones that had traveled with her from their previous home. They had some similar issues adjusting to a new life and new routine they often had trouble sleep and that also impacted her and her mother's sleep as they tried to help and console them. It wasn't to say her younger siblings hadn't had to ever experience this, on the contrary they had when their mother passed away and the youngest found their normal person they looked up to and bonded strongly with first suddenly gone. Astrid had just managed to get them back to a calmly more productive sleep schedule before coming to the school but still worried every night that they might become stressed again with her not around as much as she used to be.

She reached out and gently gave Gwen's hand a small soft pat offering a comforting smile. "Its a concern and worry I understand, I went through a little of it while I was caring for and raising my youngest siblings. From the sound of it, it might just be her being fussy and upset with her schedule being adjusted. Routine is important to young children and they often don't know how to adjust well to changes and can't express that frustration any other way than becoming upset causing you to then be worried and overly exhausted no doubt. If I could be a bit forward and make a suggestion to try I think it might be of some help. It greatly helped my siblings out as well as myself in getting some sleep when we needed it and it has no side effects or harmful downsides. You can even use it on yourself if you'd like, its essentially a light mixture of chamomile and lavender oil or I have it in a dry leaf form to make a stewed tea with instead if that is more to your taste." Astrid said. It was just an offer and she wouldn't be insulted or hurt if it was refused. Things were still a little rocky with everyone trusting her thanks to her minor viking background and it wasn't always an immediate ok for some people in taking her help or advice. Not that she would blame any of them, she didn't fully endorse some of the things she had witnessed and heard while they had lived at sea with them but they had come to help her and her family in their dire time of need so they couldn't be fully terrible as people liked to claim.
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Professor

65 Posts
3 Threads
Registered: Dec 2021


All Accounts Posts: 168
#8
Gwen listened with rapture about the importance of a routine. She had been told that once or twice in the past but she'd just been so busy with her charity work and helping Godric and her own hobbies to implement something like that. But if she was going to be here full time and get the sleep she needed to teach, then all-night sessions walking Lora would have to come to an end. She didn't want to let Godric down; the faith he had in her to teach these children to read and write was vital to their studies and she needed to take it seriously.

But her daughter was important as well so she would just have to make both of them work. She now understood why Lady Hufflepuff's children were staying with her sister instead of being here. It must be hell on Helga but maybe it was for the best, just until things settled here.

Then Astrid went on to mention something she could use to soothe Lora, an ointment of some sort with calming properties. That could be amazing, if it worked. And the woman said she'd used it on her own siblings and it had helped. At this point, Gwen would take any sort of help she could get.

"Lavender and chamomile? If you say it works and it won't harm her...I'll gladly try that. And work on implementing a schedule as best as I can." Might be a bit difficult with having classes at different times of the day while still breast feeding but she'd make it work. At least they had started the long process of weaning Lora onto regular milk so Gwen wasn't needed quite so often. While she had loved the closeness they had shared while she had fed her daughter, it was really starting to hurt now that the babe's milk teeth had started coming in.

"And you say I can get it from you? Or will I need to go down to the apothecary for it?" If she had to run down and get it today, it would be cutting things close but she'd make time somehow. This was important.
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Professor

27 Posts
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Registered: Dec 2021


All Accounts Posts: 115
#9
"You both have shaken up what your used to before coming here and having to get used to a completely new environment and people as well as you taking up teaching a class or two so its a new and stressful time for you and your daughter. It will be rough for the first few days for the both of you as you try to figure out the best and less stressful routine for the both of you and once you do I'm sure you both will be sleeping a little better. Until then how ever I can be of help feel free to let me know. I've had a hand at helping to raise my seven younger siblings, the eldest being fifteen just this year so I've got some experience with tending to children of various ages should you need someone to look after your daughter even for just a few minutes while you take some time for yourself. Your health and well being is just as important as hers but sometimes its easy to overlook ourselves while they are so small and in need of so much care and love" Astrid explained with a reassuring tone. While she had a feeling some of the employed house elves must already be helping Gwen out she still wanted to extend the offer of help just in case.

She tried not to chuckle as Gwen asked about the oil and tea, not knowing if the other woman was aware of the owners of the shops down in the trade post just yet or if she was still learning them. "It would be me either way, my family runs the apothecary down in the trading post as well as a small healing clinic. Currently the eldest of my younger siblings are running the store and I check in time to time when I have a moment. If it won't be too late I could have both to you by the mid day meal. I should have no trouble making both of them here and have them done quickly should nothing come up to pull me away from it." Astrid replied with a smile. She wouldn't fault Gwen if she didn't know, not many really did unless they had been in the trading post for a while and had the chance to stop in to the apothecary. Even then it was a toss up in connecting her to her siblings, with two different fathers between the large number they looked alike but not fully unless you took the time to look carefully enough.
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Professor

65 Posts
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Registered: Dec 2021


All Accounts Posts: 168
#10
Gwen nodded politely in agreement when the healer offered assistance with helping out with Lora. While it was very kind, she had the feeling with Ric teaching classes, Astrid may very well be too busy patching up his students to aid with a single little girl. Still, it was sweet of her. And if the woman had experience - seven siblings would do that.

When Astrid went on to explain that her family ran the apothecary down at the trading post, Gwen's pale cheeks turned a bright cherry red that clashed horribly with her orange hair. "I see." She said weakly, feeling (yet again) the fool putting their foot in their mouth yet again. "I am afraid Sir Gryffindor is a little restrictive about my travels. He promised our eldest brother that he would take good care of me if entrusted with both myself and my child.

"Thus, he prefers to collect the things I need in my stead, thus my ignorance in this matter." She explained. "If you could bring me some of the ointment, that would be a wonderful start. As for the herbal mixture..." Gwen was hesitant. "Is it very bitter? Most of the mixtures that are referred to as herbals are rather bitter...maybe best to see how Lora reacts first before working on me."
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