Fic: Best

Aug. 18th, 2017 12:24 am
afra_schatz: Made by wizzicons on LJ (Default)
[personal profile] afra_schatz



Orlando returns from the trip to the Czech Republic with what he considers a little too detailed insight into Karl's and Beth's sex life and a lot too much knowledge about Karl's body's reaction to food poisoning (because Karl insists it was the kebab he ate, not his bath in cow-piss-river that made him vomit his guts out). He also returns with a newly discovered fondness of Pilsener and a renewed envy of German Autobahns.

Orlando returns to find quite a few of his kids back in Mirkwood House already, all of them reporting back to him that Sean wasn't a total disgrace in terms of substituting as head of house.

In the evening, Orlando makes himself a cup of tea in the common kitchen before he climbs the stairs to the library. He finds Marsha Silverton, Jeremy and Natasha Needham, Peter Colinsworth, Lionel Gaultier, and Maria Porter on the sofas and armchairs in the reading corner. At first they don't notice him because they are too engaged in their debate of whatever, and Orlando watches, smirking to himself when it quickly becomes clear that Jeremy, albeit by far the youngest of them, dominates the conversation.

'Oh, hi Mr Bloom,' Lionel finally greets him.

Instantly Natasha and Peter remove their sock-clad feet from the coffee table, and all five of the others repeat Lionel's greeting. Maria vacates the armchair and flops down half on top of a giggling Natasha when Orlando crosses the room.

Orlando sits down, noticing the deep frown that remains on Jeremy's forehead.

'Everything all right?'

He receives four variations of 'Yeah, course', but Jeremy asks,

'Mr Bloom, have you heard what Arnor House and Wellesley Hall are doing?'

Natasha rolls her eyes at her little brother's question, but the others look at Orlando expectantly.

'Care to be a bit more specific?' Orlando asks back.

'They are having a competition,' Maria explains. 'Whichever house received the most postcards at the end of the holidays wins.'

'Have you heard about that?' Marsha asks.

Of course Orlando heard about that. He wrote Sean two cards out of Prague alone, though mostly so he could balance out the score a bit and to tell Sean about people dramatically throwing themselves out of windows.

'What about it?'

'And Erebor Manor and Palm House,' Jeremy says instead of answering Orlando's question. 'They have, like, a rallye through the forest against one another next week, right?'

'To see who is best,' adds Natasha.

'What about it?' Orlando repeats.

Looks are exchanged. Possibly they are supposed to be conspiratorial but since senders and recipients are teenagers, it looks mostly awkward.

'We were wondering, Mr Bloom,' Marsha says, then seem to look for the rest of her sentence on the ceiling.

'Why don't we take part in something like that?' Jeremy finishes for her.

'Like, ever?' adds his sister.

'To prove that we are superior?' adds Lionel, mouth twisting in irony but eyes serious.

All six look at Orlando. Orlando sips from his tea.

'Anyone able to remind me what Mendelsohn said about superiority?' he asks.

The question is directed at the older kids from his AS and A-level, but it's Marsha who replies.

'One must profit as much from the folly of others and of his own superiority as he can.'

'Which is totally my point,' Jeremy says with renewed fervor.

'Yeah, but that's totally not what that means,' says Lionel. 'That's not about, like, rivalry, but about advancements in, like, science and stuff, right, Mr Bloom?'

Orlando doesn't answer because Maria is already weighing in, instantly opposed by Peter (no surprise there), and for the next couple of minutes they argue about not pulling punches in scientific discoveries (and about Peter, according to Maria and Natasha, deserving some punches to the face). Jeremy's eyes go back and forth between them like he was watching a particularly aggressive ping pong match. When the debate has momentarily died down (Maria and Lionel reached a truce and she and Natasha still agree on the size of Peter's punchability), Lionel looks at Orlando again.

'So, Mr Bloom, what are we gonna do about this competition thing?'

Orlando sips from his tea.

'Nothing.'

Six faces frown at him. Orlando sips from his tea..

'The Arnorians and Wellies want to waste the rest of their holidays writing silly postcards?' he says then. 'Erebor and Palm want to rob through the woods on their bellies?'

He pauses and raises a shoulder in a shrug.

'By all means, let them.'

He gets up from his armchair, but before he turns towards the door, he finishes with a minute smile,

'Somehow the poor mugs gotta suss out which house is JC's second best, don't they?'

on 2017-08-18 06:31 am (UTC)
Posted by [personal profile] openidwouldwork
Coming to think of it, I rather think Mirkwood House would do well in racing through forests... and the Wellies do well in the mud...

But team!Orlando!

on 2017-08-18 08:56 am (UTC)
noalinnea: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] noalinnea
And isn't this self-confidence attractive! I think I know someone who's glad Orlando and his attitude are back, and who is neither Sean nor Boris ;) (Boris is of course happy that Growl brought back Karl safe and sound)

on 2017-08-18 05:57 pm (UTC)
gattodoro: (Legolas)
Posted by [personal profile] gattodoro
I do hope this self confidence isn't going to get out of hand - we wouldn't want Mirkwood to become the Slytherin of JC!

I do hope 'Growl's' next stop is to meet Richard.

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