As many of them did, despite his efforts, but still he tried and, as a result, a number of them had taken more of his courses and were choosing professions in the field of history. That small success was gratifying in its own way — not because they had been inspired by his teaching (which wasn’t as smooth or particularly practiced as his peers’ were, he could admit) but that they had found their way, in some small part, because of him. This was no arrogance on his part, who often thought himself rather forgettable in the general course of things, but a fact that was still difficult to believe despite the stack of reference letters he wrote every semester and the trickle of former students who kept on touch with him even after their education was complete.
As a scrawny, clumsy kid with more stubbornness than brains, Hektor had never seen himself as someone’s — anyone’s — mentor. He’d had so much to learn himself and dreams bigger than anyone could feasibly hold without collapsing from the weight. All except a demigod with super strength trying to make it back to Olympus. Hardheaded and more willful than an angry old goat (both figuratively and literally, as he’d been put through his paces by a mordant Satyr with a fondness for wood nymphs), he had needed the guidance of his own mentor far more than he had been ready to admit back then. A mistake that had cost him a friend. But hindsight, as was its wont, had made him much more open and willing to accept it when it had come again. Regret was a bitter thing, only softened by the sad sweetness of growing into who he was now. No, he never saw himself as a teacher of any sort but, now that he had become one, it suited him more than he thought it would.
The former hero was pondering these things when he ought to have been paying more attention to his lecture notes for his next class. In the gap between them, he’d returned to his office rather than hang around the lecture hall. Typical of such institutions as the university, his office was situated inexplicably in an entirely different wing from where the history classes actually took place. Though his was an individual one, there was a mix of his colleagues on this hall from both the History and English departments and even a couple from Languages. It usually made for an eclectic crowd of students flowing in and around the hall at any given time but usually never a loud one. That made him pause and look up from his computer screen. As usual, his door had been left open while he’d been passing the time and he went to it now, leaning his head out into the hall. Blue eyes widened at the sight of the gathering crowd and the whooping and hollering they were making. Turning his head, he caught sight of another professor similarly leaning out of his office.
”What’s going on?” He asked his colleague, expression bewildered. The man’s face was more grim than perplexed as Hektor knew his own must have been.
”Some sort of ruckus between some students, I imagine,” the man responded with a tired sigh. ”Miriam’s got campus police on the phone already but it’s probably one of those protesters again.” Hektor frowned as the man continued to watch the display a moment more before returning inside. Unable to help himself, he pushed away from his office door and started into the crowd. It was with a mixture of curiosity and concern that he pushed his way through the students — an easier feat than it sounded given his height and general bulk. His eyes widened further at the flurry of violent movement when the circle of students opened enough. The tableau before him was a blur of hair and limbs, only serving to deepen his frown. The noise of the gathered rabble had softened to whispers with his appearance and he announced that the police were on their way. Though he had no idea whether that was true or not, it served the purpose of dispersing the young adults who should have known better but had been drawn in by the ready entertainment.
Hektor didn’t particularly want to step into an apparent fistfight but that was exactly what he did. ”Enough,” he attempted. First using the advantage of his size in blocking their fists from doing any further damage to each other, he felt a mild sort of surprise in realizing he was breaking up a fight between young women. His mouth was practically an exaggeration of a stereotypical frown by the time he caught them both by the nape, dragging them to their feet and hold them away at arm’s length by the shoulders. ”Stop,” he huffed, glancing between the two of them. The redhead caught his attention most — whether from the angry expression or the damage he saw in her eyes, he wasn’t sure, but it caught him off guard and his fingers tightened firmly into her shoulder as if to hold her in place. Eyes slanting towards the other one, he jerked his head and released her. ”Go on, get out of here before I make you both stay and explain yourselves to the campus police.” The girl took her cue readily enough and Hektor loosed a breath as he turned fully toward the redhead, his frown only easing a little.