The Salem Witches' Institute

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The Salem Witches' Institute

Welcome to the Salem Witches' Institute, the premiere American school of magic located within the World of Harry Potter. An original role play for creative minds.

SWI is officially open. Registration is ongoing for all incoming 1st Years.
Current Role Play Date: 14 October, 2011. Day: Friday. Time: 9:00 AM. Weather: Mid 50's with a slight breeze from the east.
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    In a Circle of Flame

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    Keith Domingo
    1st Year Student
    1st Year Student

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Character Age : 17
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    In a Circle of Flame

    Post  Keith Domingo on Wed May 11, 2011 9:03 am

    Keith’s stepdad had given him a cursory overview of The Sorting. “When you get there, you’re going to wait until your name is called, stand in a circle and talk with a spirit who will sort you into your coven. I was in Åsgårdsreia myself, but you’ll find a good crowd as long as you’re honest.”

    As he sat in the Great Hall listening to students names being called, Keith fidgeted in his seat. At first he had been nervous about talking with a genuine disembodied spirit at the front of a room full of people. He wished he had at least talked to someone on the train instead of ruminating on the implications of being a wizard and staring out the window the entire time.

    After witnessing the first few sorts, the flames that erupted from the circle shocked him. After seeing a few more, he became fascinated with the change that showed on each person’s face as they emerged. In the last few minutes before his name was called, a girl to his right told him to calm down because his breathing became rapid and shallow.

    “Domingo, Keith!” a voice called. His breath stopped and his heart thudded heavily in the ensuing echo and silence.

    He hurried to the front and tried not to look at the multitude of faces that felt like they were locked onto his. "He's so short," he heard someone whisper. A knot worked its way into his gut as he forced himself to take that last few strides into the center.
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    The Phoenix Flames
    The Flames of Sorting
    The Flames of Sorting

    Posts : 51
    Join date : 2011-05-04
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  The Phoenix Flames on Wed May 11, 2011 9:58 am

    The moment Keith stepped into the circle the room vanished in a huge explosion of dark blue flames that leapt 10 meters overhead. The images beyond the fire were, to say the least, a bit freaky: the void beyond took on the aspect of a swirling prismatic fog, softly reflecting primary colors everywhere but into the circle itself.

    If not for the cold luminescence of the blue flames, it would have been as if one had stepped into a kaleidoscope.

    Keith shivered. He'd been told about how hot it would be inside the Flames, but it wasn't happening. It felt more like a bracing Maine spring morning, with patches of snow still littering the ground.

    "I was wondering when you'd show," came a voice from behind him. Keith quickly spun and found the spirit woman known as the Phoenix standing behind him, naked, dull orange flame licking all over her body, her black-orbed eyes staring through him as if he were little more than one of the mist forms beyond the circle. "Come to take your first steps into hell, I see--"


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    Keith Domingo
    1st Year Student
    1st Year Student

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Character Age : 17
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  Keith Domingo on Wed May 11, 2011 3:37 pm

    Keith's eyes widened at her words. He was rooted in place by the fear that she might mean them literally.

    His mind raced. As a spirit, what did she already know about him? Could she read his mind? Steve had explained that the evils of magic that Keith learned in Sunday school weren't necessarily true, but he didn't want to go to Hell if this part of it was.

    Dread sank its hands into his chest. If this was a test from God to reject magic, he had already failed. Did she know about the pack of Mentos he stole from a convenience store when he was seven? What about the naughty thing he did with Ellen Foster back in the first grade when he was in Catholic school? The guilt he kept buried regarding those events rose to the surface.

    He tried to speak, but he didn't know what to say. The shallow, nervous breaths he drew from the chilled air yielded only half-formed words that lacked meaning.

    His eyes darted between the Phoenix and the images beyond. He averted his gaze from her eyes and body and instead stared at the ground. "I... I'm here for sorting," he murmured, finally discovering something to say. He was unsure whether or not he still believed it.
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    The Phoenix Flames
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    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  The Phoenix Flames on Wed May 11, 2011 4:03 pm

    The Phoenix tisked, tapping the corner of her lips with a finger as she set her gaze upon the small boy. "Oh, sorting? Really? I'm disappointed: I was hoping we could peruse the vast litany of sins you've built over the years instead."

    Her voice turned hard as the air within the flames seemed to grow colder. "Put aside your former upbringing, young Keith; I'm here to judge, but I'm not here to damn you . . . well, maybe a little." The faint smile that seemed to play over her face since she'd appeared became more evident. "But I'm not here to take away your magic or send you off to hell.

    "You'll find you're quite able to do that all alone, child."

    The Phoenix sat back on a non-existent chair and crossed her flaming legs. "I'm sure step-daddy has told you a lot. I'd put that out of your head for now, 'cause he has no idea what's happening in the here and now. This is only you and I and whatever else you've preconceived--it's crap. Pure crap. The only thing that matters is us." She sat back, as if on a throne, and relaxed. "What sort of coven fodder are you, Spanky? Tell me now and tell me true."


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    Keith Domingo
    1st Year Student
    1st Year Student

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Character Age : 17
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  Keith Domingo on Wed May 11, 2011 9:59 pm

    Though his fear ebbed as the Phoenix relaxed, another tense pause ensued as Keith could not be sure of any specific answer to the her question. Heeding her last comment, he chose his words carefully and decided to speak as honestly as he could.

    "I want to learn how to help people." he said. He looked up from the floor and into her strange eyes for emphasis. "I want to learn as much as I can about magic so that I can use it the right way, for the right reasons and stuff like that." he finished awkwardly. Another pause. His eyes returned to the floor between himself and the Phoenix.

    "Bloeddewedd." Keith said, remembering the pronunciation. "I want to join Bloeddewedd."
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    The Phoenix Flames
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    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  The Phoenix Flames on Wed May 11, 2011 10:21 pm

    "Interesting choice." There was a protracted pause while it seemed the spirit was deep in thought. "Ol' Flower Face was all about screwing people over and murder--did you know that? She was hardly the nice person that she's been made out to be."

    The Phoenix shifted in her invisible throne and repositioned herself, giving the visual of someone with their arm slung over the chair back. "People worry about Bloeddewedd all the time. When the coven was first put together it was filled with a bunch of Little Miss Stab-Your-Backs, and after a couple of decades it was almost disbanded." The Phoenix examined her flaming nails. "If not for Miss Rhiannon going into the Coven Hall one night and personally killing a couple of the worst troublemakers, the other Founders would have shut them down."

    As her eyes turned a sparkly, electric blue, the air around the Phoenix appeared to take on a near solidity. "I always worry when someone wants to be a Flower Face, 'cause I have to wonder--are they going to really feed their mind and walk the path of knowledge, or are they gonna turn Hannibal Lector on everyone and eat their girlfriend's livers with fava beans on their way to getting a Ph.D.?

    "So why should I think you might not be any different? What sort of secrets are you hiding in your blood, Keith? Shall I cut you open and find out?"


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    Keith Domingo
    1st Year Student
    1st Year Student

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Character Age : 17
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  Keith Domingo on Wed May 11, 2011 11:16 pm

    "N-n-no," he stammered. "I... ...think that if they learned how to not be that way, they're probably right. I mean, doing the right thing, I mean."

    Keith quickly regained the confidence that he had lost only seconds ago. The boy was no longer shaking purely from fear. It was coupled with an odd, alien sense of conviction. He reflexively took a deep breath and the coolness of the air steadied him.

    "We should be able to not do wrong if we learn how to do right." he said. It wasn't the best way to word it, but it was the most he could do. Keith's hands clenched into fists at his sides and he stood up straight. He wasn't sure if the Phoenix would really cut him open, but he braced himself for it and looked straight into her frightening eyes.
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    The Phoenix Flames
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    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  The Phoenix Flames on Wed May 11, 2011 11:41 pm

    Sitting forward on her throne of imagination, the Phoenix ran a freezing nail down the center of Keith's torso. Frost vapors wafted off her flaming nails, but there was no smell of roasting flesh this time. It was, instead, the crackling of something extremely frigid releasing the vapors of warm, moist flesh.

    "Oh, you want to learn, don't you?" Her voice never wavered from the soft monotone she'd adopted at the beginning of their conversation. "I could perform vivisection all night long and I don't think I'd learn an eighth as much from that as I would from listing to you tell me of your guilt and sins." She flicked her fingers upward and took Keith's neck in her freezing, gripping hand. "What sort of treachery did you inherit from your father, young one? Do you have the genetic need to drive women away from you like he did your mother? Or to lose your temper and 'accidentally' cause a few bruises? Or something worse, perhaps?

    "Tell me your mother's pain, Keith. Tell me what you know, and maybe I won't force you to live though it--again."


    Last edited by The Phoenix Flames on Thu May 12, 2011 12:31 am; edited 1 time in total


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    "If you ask if I'm a god, do you really want to know?"
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    Keith Domingo
    1st Year Student
    1st Year Student

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Character Age : 17
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  Keith Domingo on Thu May 12, 2011 12:24 am

    Keith's hands remained at his sides out of fear for what the Phoenix might do if he moved them. His eyes were wide with terror, but they softened into despair as he recalled what happened two years ago. Her fingers were like icicles of dry ice on his throat. They began to sting, but he ignored the pain. His mind was elsewhere.

    "No," he wheezed between shallow breaths. "Dad didn't... ...do anything." He took a long, ragged gasp and said, "Mom screamed at him, she threw things. They shouted at each other in Laotian. She told me it was about money. I don't know. I don't care... ...it was my birthday. It-" he could say no more.

    It wasn't fair, he finished in his head.

    He didn't want to cry in front of this lady, even if she was a spirit. He tried to steady his breathing and blinked back what he could as he locked his sight on her glowing eyes. Despite his best efforts, tears rolled down Keith's face. They crackled and froze on his neck and her fingers. It stung, but the pain was vague. His skin had already gone numb.
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    The Phoenix Flames
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    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  The Phoenix Flames on Thu May 12, 2011 12:41 am

    There was a great silence in that frozen room, one that was only broken by the crackling of ice as it solidified on Keith's cheeks. The Phoenix released her grip and flick the shards away, leaving raw wounds where the ice had formed.

    "Yes, life isn't fair, is it?" She seemed almost consolatory in her question. "It wasn't fair to the girls who were killed by the Headmistress all those years ago, but it was something that needed to be done. Because if they hadn't died, then the Coven of the Owl would be no more. Just as I know what happened to you had to happen. Because if it hadn't, then would you have found your way to me? No. You'd be somewhere else.

    "Or maybe dead, along with you mother." She stepped back and shrugged. "That is the way of humans." She shook her head, never allowing her gaze to leave Keith. "It's sometimes our way, too--the way we on this side are."

    She took two steps as if to walk away, then stopped and slowly turned. "What I don't understand, though, is why you didn't want Åsgårdsreia. You're not a deep thinking, though you might think you are." She hovered over him once more. "What is it that keeps you away from there? Because if there is anyone who signifies change and unrest tonight, it's you, Spanky."


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    "If you ask if I'm a god, do you really want to know?"
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    Keith Domingo
    1st Year Student
    1st Year Student

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Character Age : 17
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  Keith Domingo on Thu May 12, 2011 1:31 am

    "I don't want those things," said Keith as he gingerly wiped the remaining moisture from around his eyes with his sleeves.

    He sniffed and continued, "I hate them." This was true. The last two years of his short life were long for him, but they proved it. He still wasn't used to the weather or the classmates he had during his last years of elementary school. No one understood him.

    With that thought, Keith felt that he found the right words to say. "I want to know why. I know all those things had to happen to get to now, but I don't even know why they happened in the first place or if I could've done anything about it." He blinked to rein in his sadness before going on.

    When it passed, he felt a moment of clarity. "If I'm not a deep thinker now, it's going to be because I'll be more of one later, right? It's only my first year here."
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    The Phoenix Flames
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    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  The Phoenix Flames on Thu May 12, 2011 7:49 am

    She hummed deep in her throat. "Yes, I can see that," she said, and for the first time there was something in her voice that didn't sound of boredom and complacent. "But being a deep thinker isn't always the hallmark of the intellecia." She giggled, and almost girl-like thing that seemed completely out of place. "But, if you're smart, you'll learn that."

    She turned her back upon Keith once more. Before moving, though, she said over her shoulder, "Or, you'll find yourself getting Miss Rhiannon's lesson."

    She walked into the wall of frozen fire, her voice rising to a crescendo. "I am through this one; I PRONOUNCE HIM BLOEDDEWEDD!"

    The flames evaporated; the light returned.

    Keith found himself standing in the circle, at the front of the Dinning Hall, feeling as if a life time had passed.


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    "If you ask if I'm a god, do you really want to know?"
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    Keith Domingo
    1st Year Student
    1st Year Student

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Character Age : 17
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  Keith Domingo on Thu May 12, 2011 1:28 pm

    Stunned by the sudden silence and return of warmth in the room, Keith was startled to see that most of the eyes in the room were on him. With an insecure huff, he stepped out of the circle while looking hesitantly from the mass of students to the nearby professors.
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    Madeline Palmescoff
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    Character Age : 41
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  Madeline Palmescoff on Thu May 12, 2011 2:34 pm

    Walking up to boy I hold out my hand. "You can come sit with us now, Keith," I say, leading him to our tables. "Relax, we're almost done tonight. Then we'll be off to the towers and we'll get to set up in your bed." I smile warming, patting his back. "At least there's no school tomorrow. You can rest and look around the campus."

    And as a last I tell him, "We're proud to have you with us in Coven Bloeddewedd."
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    Keith Domingo
    1st Year Student
    1st Year Student

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2011-05-09
    Character Age : 17
    Location : Salem Witches' Institute

    Re: In a Circle of Flame

    Post  Keith Domingo on Fri May 13, 2011 1:36 pm

    Sitting down at an empty spot on the table, Keith looked up at Professor Palmescoff and said, "Thank you."

    A student sitting beside him pat him on the back and smiled before turning to watch the next first-year enter the flame. Keith smiled back and did the same.

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