House Mysteries and Convoluted Apprenticeship

Can any (Hermetic) character just pick Mystery House virtues at character creation at the regular cost?

I've got a player with the following character concept: He started out as an Ex Miscellanea in the Witches of Thessaly tradition, then moved with his parens to Irencillia where they converted to House Merinita to study the deeper secrets of the Faerie. So he wants to pick up Faerie Magic as a Minor Virtue during his apprenticeship. Is that a no-brainer or is it normally not allowed during character generation?

I'm pretty sure that isn't technically allowed. However I believe House Criamon has mechanics for obtaining their house mystery even if you belong to another house, perhaps they can be applied to Merinita as well if you want the Ex Miscellanea mechanics even though the character is joining Merinita.

In this specific case, it's perfectly admissible. There's nothing restricting Faerie Magic to only members of House Merinita; there are canon examples of magi from other houses having it. The same would go with Enigmatic Wisdom.

Switching houses in this manner is usually done post-Gauntlet, or in-game. If he switched Houses in the middle of his apprenticeship, I'd say that you can create him as a Merinitia and allow him only some partial access to the Witches' defining V&F - perhaps even just a trace through an Hermetic virtue or flaw. But, it's a YSMV thing.

/agree with YR7