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In an overgrown jungle of a room lay the occupant, dutifully humming away to himself as he gathered a small handful of dirt from a pot, between his fingers, and let a few random sprouts grow from it. This had been his home for the past 6 years, and almost nothing changed about him, or the small abode he made for himself. He was one of the older students here, and had been since he was 16. Damn near everyone knew he was, and he only took a complimentary 3 months each year to journey away from the Academy and even beyond the City, each time he came back missing the Academy more and more, so much so that it was almost like an illness would pass over him whenever he thought about returning on his travels. It was something of a permanent home, but he couldn't help but think that it was similar to a child never wanting to leave it's mother, part of him felt a little guilty for not crafting his own life by now. I mean, he was what? 22 now? One of the oldest students? Most people left around the age of 19, there were valuable things to be learnt here, and the chance to make your divine parent proud of your accomplishments was nothing short of breathtaking, or at least that was what he had heard, communication between him and his divine mother had been rather strained, if not almost nonexistent. Demeter was much like himself though, he would note later after actually meeting her, her voice relaxed, and her gentleness glaring right through, the few times they had seen each other Dresden was inherently elated to know that he gained something from her, something they could both relate to. When he first came here he was nothing short of your average human, with only the few random spurts of power here and there, 6 years later, his power inheritances became clear, and were used quite often, seeing as how he didn't meet many of his siblings. He would have arguably quipped that he was probably the strongest of them all, but for him that was too audacious, and he wasn't one to brag, at least not like Joaquin.
That reminded him, they were supposed to meet later, the two had grown up in the same neighborhood, but Joaquin's situation called for him to remain at the side of his family when Dresden was given the invitation to attend Atreus, JJ (as he would affectionately refer to Joaquin), was in no shape to waste time back then, so much had been demanded of him, that is until that was taken away from him. Jail would change Joaquin more than Dresden would know. When his vacation would commence he'd be tasked to find as many recruits into the Academy as possible, a large majority of them having no clue of their parentage, or no clue of what to do upon discovering it. Joaquin's case was different, being a child of Hermes gave him the expertise to steal, but like he'd say "I never did a crime I ain't have to do". stealing became a primary source of income for not only him, but the remnants of his family, somehow, by some unlucky stroke of chance, or maybe he pissed off a descendant of Apollo, he was apparently caught and jailed. Dresden, being a friend as always, requested permission to bail him out and in turn have him serve the rest of his term at the Academy. Oh, Joaquin was not having it, but realizing the situation, he wouldn't have a choice but to comply. Dresden tried to cheer up his old childhood friend, but he seemed to only anger him more, it had been a whole week since Joaquin even uttered a word to anyone. As always, this year would be filled with intriguing conflict, but of course, Dresden felt he was at fault for some of this, and had tried some sympathizing with him. So far that had pretty much failed, He had recruited Joaquin just in time too, today would be the grand opening, he would need to be out front, greeting other students, directing them wherever they needed to be. It had been that way since his second year here, Mama Evans (another nickname that would slip from his lips every once in a while), liked Dresden's personality enough to give him the privilege. From then on, he was a common, and unforgettable face within the Academy, that's what he adored about this place, as long as you were able to get yourself out there, the connections were easy to pick up on. The curly haired man, looked outside the window of his dorm, which was currently overgrown with vines, except for a few small strands of light that could still peer through the room, he had almost forgotten that someone else would be rooming with him like always, and he was pretty sure they would have minded all the flora around them, after all, it hardly looked like a room, it looked more like some kind of fantastical environment from Jumanji, minus the animals, and crazy, sporadic traps here and there. He suddenly hoped his roommate hadn't gotten the chance to watch the film before coming here, that wouldn't do. He walked a little further towards the entrance of the room and looked around, motioning his hand around to decrease the size of the vines and small shrubbery that wrapped around the structure of the room, luckily none of it took root, so the infrastructure of it was protected enough that nothing was inherently damaged, at least nothing that Dresden could see.
Slowly, the plants receded all into one point, the small pot he'd been gathering dirt from earlier, and instead a small tulip bloomed in place of the previously massive jungle from before. Dresden breathed out in relief, last time, the entire room almost broke apart because he didn't look after the growth. He was a bit lazy, and with that came some negligence, he was always lucky that people were there to fix his mistakes, but it didn't necessarily make him happy, in fact it kinda fueled a bit of helplessness in him, which he didn't need. From there, he would hear the faint but brisk knock on his door, and would then go to open it and find a rather disheveled Joaquin, or at least he seemed to look like the morning bore much more pain than usual. It wouldn't take Dresden very long to find out that Joaquin's internal clock was not used to the likes of the foreign Atreus. So far, his presence here was a one of a kind accomplishment since he got here. Dresden smiled warmly at the younger boy. "Are you finally ready to talk?" The Afro-Cuban squinted his hazel eyes for a moment, rubbing the pain of an early morning wake up from them, he looked angry, but calm, Dresden noted this rather nervously in his head. He blinked hard for a moment, then addressed him. "Today's the first day right? I wanna meet some people, I wanna lay on something other than bed, y'know what I mean?"
"Of course, you don't even need to ask, we'll stand together at the front-" The Demi-God grasped at Joaquin's hoodie and brought him closer as he led both of them out of the room and into the hallway, where anyone who was currently residing could probably hear him. "We'll meet at many people as we can, and as many girls, or guys? as you can flirt with."
Joaquin crossed his arms for a moment, then went on to listen to Dresden ramble about how it was his 'authority' to lead the lost first year souls that would wander through here, like he hadn't noticed he had one currently tucked under his arm as they continued to the hallway, sometimes Dresden never noticed that he could be a bit full of himself, or take certain things too seriously, at least for Joaquin's tastes. "Yeah, that's good and shit, but where the cafeteria? I'm hungry as fuck..." Dresden stopped his rambling for a moment then looked at his friend. "You should know by now...you've been here for a good two weeks."
"Yeah, I'd just follow other kids there..."
"You're hopeless JJ, you really are."
He let go of the younger boy as they made it down to the main entrance, which was crafted with melded marble and other minerals. A descendants of Hephaestus interested in stoneworks would have been jealous, but proud to know that the school was designed and build by their father, his seal right above the multiple doorways, a signature of his architecture. Joaquin Gawked at it for a moment, sniffed, and then walked away to where he could smell food, thereby abandoning Dresden. Before the boy could notice it, a few new students had wandered in, and he would station himself wherever applicable to greet them and guide them. All the while JJ snatched a few fruits like it was nothing off a cart, and then a couple more items. Technically it was stealing to take anymore items than needed, but just before he could snatch one of the items you actually had to pay for, his wrist was clutched in a rather gentle but foreboding grip. "I'm hoping that you'll pay for this, correct?. Joaquin stopped dead in his tracks, nobody had the gall to catch him, he could swear his hand was so quick that it'd be impossible to spot unless one was a descendant of Hermes themselves. Chersei took little time to scrutinize the boy, and then that same warm smile she's usually have spread on her lips, she squeezed JJ's nose between her fingers in an almost mocking manner, and then was prompt in lifting his hoodie, and letting the rest of the stolen items fall. "You live up to your heritage quite well, but while I'm here, we can't have people making an example out of you on The first day."
Joaquin slowly bent down to pick up the rest of the items while eyeing whom he didn't realize was the Headmistress warily. "She's a teacher right?" Chersei patted the curls atop Joaquin head. "Good boy." and turned promptly on her heel out into the doors of the main entrance, she spotted the ever familiar Dresden, and waved at him, and he back. She would make her way to the teacher's lounge, where most if not all the staff would be located for the usual beginning of the year speech, though they wouldn't realize just how different things would be this year....