“So tell me,” Miss Call-me-Samantha Milligan asked Audrey, over tea on what was becoming their regular Tuesday tea date, “do you know how Smokey Knoll came to be? The neighborhood around it, the Retibya Heights, is a, ah…”
“It’s an affluent upper-class human neighborhood, yes,” Audrey answered easily. “Many of your richest students come from that neighborhood. From all of the Heights, Miss Milligan, which does actually answer your question quite tidily.”
“I’m sorry…?” she blinked uncertainly.
“When… I believe, since I was still in school at the time, that it was not dragons but a family of harpies, actually, and a grouping of centaurs. The Paints… a nice group. They came to the city, as many of the non-humans were beginning to to. They may be primarily magic and not tech users themselves, but they tend to like the conveniences of human technology.”
“Back then,” Miss Milligan mused, “it must have been very hard. Everything was so segregated. There was no accessibility at all – I took a class on that in college,” she added defensively. “These days, the classes beginning to get integrated, especially in the cities, and you have to learn how to teach to all sorts of students.”
“Exactly,” Aud answered soothingly. “They ran into all those problems. Bigotry. Lack of suitable housing. Lack of suitable anything. So, being of two of the most practical races, the Paints and, ah, yes, the harpies were the Rednesses. Their great-grandchildren live down the block from me. The Paints and the Rednesses found a neighborhood where builders were beginning to expand, creating upper-class housing. And they bought a large portion of it.
“Through agents, of course,” she added, smirking. “Through a very nice actor Dweomer who still lives down the street. They thought he was planning a stables and a mews, and thought his tastes were merely eccentric.”
“But when others found out,” Miss Milligan whispered in horror.
“Ah, yes. There were certainly… complaints. But by then the Paints and the Rednesses had pulled in other non-human investors, and they simply bought out anyone who complained. Democratic of the wallet.” She smirked. “It’s a lovely neighborhood. You should visit sometime.”
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