I think that Nell's home would be the school because that's where she's comfortable, where the memories are and where she's happiest. The cottage could be perfectly nice and contain lots of pictures of family/her less precious things from her personal belongings but it wouldn't be home because it isn't where her life is, I guess.
I'm beginning to realise that people see 'home' as somewhere invested with emotional attachment, and that if a dwelling has no emotional attachment, it's not 'home'. For me it's much more practical than that. It's a physical place that means one isn't homeless (and so on the streets). If the worst came to the worst and Nell was sacked from the CS, she'd have a home to go to, to live in - she wouldn't be dependent on friends to house her, or have to go into a boarding house. So - to say
'she had no home of her own except a little cottage in the wilds of Dartmore'
doesn't make sense to me, because she does
What do people make of how Lavender is handled in the Great Classroom Fight? Lavender wanted to sit in the place that belonged to the Form Prefect. This is how the story develops:
Miss Slater is told that Lavender and Bride quarrelled.
Mollie tells Miss S that Lavender had thrown Bride's glasses onto the floor.
She then reports that Lavender went for Bride, and then Bride for Lavender, but that Lavender started it.
Mollie claims part of the fault - because Lavender had tried to take her place and she had told Lavender that she couldn't have it.
Bride went to pull (Mollie's word) Lavender to another seat.
Lavender hit Bride and grabbed her glasses and threw them on the floor.
Bride went for Lavender.
Bride says that she took Lavender's arm to get her to another desk.
Miss Slater tells Bride to try not to be rough in the future and Lavender not to take offence.
What do people think of Bride's actions towards Lavender? Elinor excuses Bride's rough treatment by saying that shes too young to be able to control her muscles and so is inadvertantly rough towards Lavender. Does
this hold water, I wonder? Should Bride have attempted to physically remove Lavender from the Form Prefect's seat at all? See, I think that here, the first fault is Bride's. Mollie has no part in blame (in my eyes) and Lavender was wrong to react as she did to Bride's treatment of her, but if Bride hadn't touched her it probably wouldn't have happened.