[[ Open ]]It had been a long day. Thursdays always were. They began with classes for which Mihail held little interest, spending the lessons leaning back in his seat, drumming his brightly-painted fingernails and tapping his pen on the top of his desk as he waited for his professors to finish drawling on about whatever it was they had to say. Every so often, he might languidly raise a hand, offering a half-hearted yet typically correct answer to a query, a gentle half-smile smugly quirking onto his lips each time he heard a comment of approval.His afternoon was spent dipping between those various clubs and meetings he regularly attended: philosophy society was always first and favoured, followed by a usual debate practice. There were myriad duties to complete as befitted his awarded titles, and, once all this was done, he was finally allowed to retire to his academic home.When the Toussaint returned to Winchester House, he tended to depart almost immediately to his bedroom, relishing the brief moment of solitude. It was dull and quiet, the overwhelming silence oddly comforting. His room was plain and empty, with no real effort made to decorate it otherwise. The bed sat neatly made each morning, for he could not stand it otherwise, although Mihail had grown irritated at the covers and torn them away in frustration to lie solely upon the mattress only two days after he had first occupied the room. His walls were undecorated. The only signs he allowed that he might have inhabited the room were the constant presence of his pretty viper, and the elaborate wall of shoeboxes he had designed to hold his collection. Everything else was tidied excessively.On this particular Thursday, however, he had changed his usual habits. After briefly directing himself up the stairway to his personal chamber to deposit the messenger bag he had carried around his lessons all day, and gently lifting his snake into his arms, curling Draco around his neck to match his tattoo (it seemed the serpent enjoyed nestling in the soft fur of his jacket) in a rare show of affection, Mihail had turned into the sitting room, stretching his arms out before him as he scanned the seating with the intention of selecting the ideal place. There were a few occupied chairs, and it seemed the navy blue armchair towards which he sauntered was no exception, a mousey first-year settled into its cushions. Mihail gave him the kind of expression which made no effort to mask his potential cruelty, a smooth action to have the eleven-year-old rush from the seat into which he now dropped, one leg crossed over the other.A loud yet uninteresting documentary played on the television, the background noise a nuisance Mihail did not desire, and he leaned across a side table to take the currently un-commandeered remote, switching the screen from showing some nonsense about mountain-climbers of the twentieth-century to an empty black screen. There was a murmur of complaint, but he was master of the control now, and Princess wouldn't be giving it up any time soon, making some offhand comment as to their being academics, and how they should be taking the time to read or have some intellectual discussion instead. Besides: "Draco doesn't like the sound," he informed them, as if that were a reasonable statement, though the viper hissed as if in agreement.Now the room was comfortable - as much as it could be, at least, for Mihail was dying for a smoke - he reached for the one book he had saved from his bag, the Nietzsche they had been examining in his philosophy class that same day. Hopefully, he would be able to enjoy the hefty tome sans interruption, though that often seemed unlikely, given the apparently endless duties and cries for help he was forced to aid. At least he had the comfort of power.
Mihail was what one might call a 'good reader'. He could read in most places, and quickly submerge himself in a novel without a care for the outside world. That said, when he held any control over his environment, as he did at Farrow Academy, there was a preference for silence, and the current lack of sound was more than appealing. Once the few complaints as to the unfairness of the quiet - and there was always some insolent soul who complained - had died down, the sitting room had become a veritable hushed paradise. Mihail was well settled into The Gay Science, happily distracted by Nietzsche's considerations of the eternal recurrence, when it seemed the room lit up with sound once more, a thousand irritating sighs ringing out around them.Lowering his book momentarily, the page number memorised as he set it on the table beside him, Mihail tilted his head to one side, a hand reaching absentmindedly upwards to rub his forefinger gently on the dark blotch on the back of Draco's head as the snake appeared to mirror his actions. He was tired, and the state of semi-exhaustion did little to improve the sullen mood that had overcome him as he was momentarily forced to abandon his reading. "Is silent reading such a difficulty?" he demanded, glancing around the room in noticeable irritation, genuinely uncertain as to why the rest of the students seemed to think such noise was acceptable.His gaze landed on the only new inhabitant of the room, assuming that she was the reason for such sudden distraction. "Xena Tregard," he commented, always having been of the mind that a Head Student should know the names of all other students, as well as finding that it added a degree of superiority to his words. She seemed to be reading - or, at least, looking at her phone in quiet - and he appreciated the knowledge that someone was doing as he had requested of them. "How are you settling?"
"Yes, well, you bear a striking resemblance to one of our dearly departed," Mihail replied, as if her likeness to the Farrow twins did not bother him in the slightest. It was no lie: he was unconcerned by the way she looked as if Dawn had stepped out of her grave to join the rest of them in life once more, for he knew that the girl was dead, and unless the girl sat beside him was an unlikely ghost, there was nothing about which to be concerned. "Despite being members of the allegedly most intellectual house here, it seems some of our classmates assume you cannot solely resemble them."He had raised his voice on these final words, as if announcing to the rest of the house that he thought them idiotic, and that they should leave their new member in peace. Once he had spoken, Mihail turned to look back at Xena. "I hope that shall sort the situation for you at least somewhat. There is no need for you to abandon your chair." The man shifted his body as if to make himself more comfortable in the chair, an indication that he did not plan to leave, and stroked the snake's head lightly once more. "Draco does not mind you either. Now, aside from the rest of Winchester House, I hope you have been enjoying your time here thus far? I assure you the rest of the school is far less idiotic - to a degree."
Mihail nodded in response to her thanks, wholeheartedly believing that he had quite the knack for dealing with tricky situations like the one at hand. People could often be controlled with little trouble so long as one knew what they were doing, and he liked to claim he always knew his exact intentions. "The students are easily managed. Besides, I do not care for loud gossip when I am attempting to read in peace, and that is just what I imagine such loud sighs shall become."A lack of desire to be amongst others was no surprise to Mihail. He too preferred solitude, and if he had shared a resemblance with someone passed, then that preference for time alone would likely have doubled. "As Head Boy, I do attempt to form some degree of familiarity with students, so, allow me to assure you, if you are ever in need of someone with which to speak, then you might as well come to me. I would be glad to converse with someone who seems to display intelligence." It felt a rare trait nowadays, even within his assigned house.
"Oh, there are plenty of subjects which half the room would not comprehend," Mihail replied, uninterested in whether this was deemed rude by those who might have been listening to them. "I like to wonder how they can call themselves members of this house when they seem to fail such basic instructions at times." He shrugged, then tilted his head thoughtfully. "Do you like philosophy?"
"I imagine most think it dull, and not an entirely practical subject." This much, Mihail knew to be a truth. Even his own siblings had commented on the dullness of the subject in the past, and his youngest brother had often attempted to steal his books away when he had been a smaller child. "I prefer Nietzsche, though I also prefer his work in the German, else I find people wish to converse when I am reading, and the foreign language often gives the impression that I am less capable of speaking with them." He held up the book he had been reading before she arrived, though his expression did not imply he was against her presence. "And yourself?"
"Yes, well, I find very little interest in pondering about how he might view the present day, as it was not a part of his reality, and I am not interested in uncertainties of that kind." Mihail shrugged, although his words were entirely genuine, and he had never found much use in thinking about that which he did not know. "I would rather people avoided that which they do not understand. It removes stupidity, and I appreciate that dearly. I have no time for idiocy." He did not have time for plenty of things, in truth, but it was better not to dwell on them either. Anything which wasted time was unnecessary. "When did you arrive?"
Three days was not a long time, although Mihail supposed the short period made sense. People did not seem to have made much of an impression of Xena outside of the superficial notice that she resembled Elizabeth's dead sister. "No, I should be the one apologising in such regard. I am Head Boy, and yet I have neglected to introduce myself before." It felt rude and, although Mihail did not always care for being kind to others, he did take his role rather seriously. "Welcome, more formally."
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