(1937-09-04) Watch Your Head
Details for Watch Your Head
Summary: Some students nearly become victims of a Hufflepuff's transfiguration experiment gone wrong.
Date: September 4, 1937
Location: Rooftop, Hogwarts
Related: None

Roof, Hogwarts Castle

The ramparts of Hogwarts Castle are massive and provide an uninterrupted pathway all along the outside of the castle as well as giving any visitor an amazing view of the surrounding grounds, Hogwarts Lake, the Forbidden Forest and even Hogsmeade. The view is only interrupted by some of the taller towers of the castle like the Astronomy Tower or the Owlery. The ramparts themselves have chest height walls to either side creating a six foot wide corridor. Every two feet or so crenellations rise up another three feet making the walls almost eight feet tall at those points. Strong winds tend to blow along the ramparts frequently making it a particularly uncomfortable place to be at during the winter but making it nice and cool during the hottest days of summer.

Cullaine steps out onto the ramparts of the castle, looking out over the grounds sprawled below. He closes his eyes, raises his arms from his sides, and closes his eyes, smiling weakly as the wind blows against his body. He rolls his neck around, and relaxes his shoulders, letting the breeze carry away his worries.

"Yes yes, I just got here," a girl's voice sounds from the stairway as she climbs it. And in a few minutes, Ria can be seen coming onto the roof of the castle, eyes taking in the view of the school grounds until they stop on Cullaine. "Give me a moment will you?" she says into the compact mirror she holds in her hand. Seems like she was communicating with someone. "Evening McCray. Didn't expect anyone else to be up hear," she doesn't sound to joyed but she doesn't sound like she minds either. And then she eyes his red tie remembering the house he was recently sorted into, "Your commons are near here arent they?"

Cullaine spins, opening his eyes to take in Ria, then closes his eyes and continues back around to face outward over the grounds. "Hello Miss Ria," he says, happily. "The commons are somewhere around here." He points downward with one outstretched hand. "I'd imagine yours are an even further drop." He sighs, and turns around, opening his eyes. "I imagine you're up here, inspecting the grounds, doing very important prefect work? Making sure no one is out after curfew, and whatnot?"

Ria nods in reply and strives her hide the fact that she's slightly out of breath, "Yes, the Slytherin commons are quite a ways down from here." But when he mentions curfew she hmms, checks her wrist watch and shakes her head, "Actually you've got about an hour or so until curfew so I don't think I'm on duty just yet. Now that you mention it this would be a good place to spy over the school grounds." She ponders the strategy ideas over in her head. "No actually, I'm here helping a friend test out a project for his transfiguration class. He should be standing somewhere…over…there." Her finger points to the lake edge, "Ernie send me up a signal or something so I know where you are." She says this part into the mirror. "What brings you up here, then?"

Cullaine leans back against a battlement, and looks over at Ria. "I'm not used to being around other kids this much," he says, drawing his words out. "Sharing a room with someone to sleep… it's so… common." He sighs, and shakes his head. "I'm sure my father would tell me it builds character." He looks at the mirror in Ria's hand, and then over at the lake. "So, is it a visual or sound device then?"

Ria snorts, clearly amused at Cullaine's comment of communal life. "That fairly accurate I'd say," she nods resting her elbows against her own battlement. "And some of them are so filthy, its absolutely appalling." Her nose scrunches recalling her own first years but then adds, "You get used to it I suppose. Find the valuable ones. Keep away from the trash. You picked a good spot for some solitude though. The boathouses are a bit closer to my end, but they're an option if you're ever down there."
And then a small flare quietly bursts in the distance where the lake ends. "Ahh there it is. I see you Ernie," she says and then pulls out her own wand to send a matching signal into the air. It looks like a firework, but it explodes silently so as to not disturb anyone. "Its both. Say hello to Ernie on the other end." And then she offers the compact over to Cullaine to hold and talk to. He'll see the freckled face of Ernie in the glass.

Cullaine looks upward, watching the silent firework with muted interest. Looking down at the compact, he doesn't take it with his hand, but waves weakly towards Ernie. "I assume he's one of the valuable ones," he says through his teeth.

"Hullo," Ernie says briefly and casually to the waving Cullaine through his side of the mirror. "Ria, I'll be launching it in a few minutes. I'll give you a heads up." And then Ria holds the mirror up to herself to say, "Roger that." After looking down by the lake one more time she says to Cullaine, "Hmmm valuable yes, but I think it'd be more accurate to say useful. Gryffindor's nothing to impressive - no offense - (total offense), but there should be one or two of use there. You're not completely doomed," she assures him, and then peers over to tilt her head and look at him curiously, "How're you liking it in that house anyway? Was expecting you to be placed elsewhere."
Its evening, about an hour to curfew. Ria and Cullaine are leaning on battlements and talking as Ria helps someone with a project.

Cullaine shrugs, and twirls on the battlements. "It's fine," he says, softly. "Everyone is very nice… I don't know that I trust that." He chuckles a bit before continuing. "I don't really find Slytherin to be that impressive, no offense. I would've thought a house renowned for it's pure heritage would be more… spectacular."

Ria's eyes narrow and frown at that sentiment. "Yes, well that reputation has be contaminated as of late," there's a bit of venom behind those words, but she doesn't further comment on it seeing as it might not be the right place or time. "Anyhow, there are useful folks in all houses. Ernie for example is in Hufflepuff, and though he isn't the brightest, he can get his hands on some fun things that are a bit hard to come by." There's a slight smirk to that. "Anyhow, its fine to keep a wary eye, but don't put the walls up too high. Not your first year. You'll miss out on some decent opportunities," she says. What? Ria advising Cullaine to make friends?? "Had you gotten to choose, which house would you have picked?"
Watching the minutes pass on her watch, she taps her perfectly shined oxfords and looks over the grounds to see if she can spot Ernie's progress. "Merlin, I don't have all day. How long is he going to take?"

Cullaine scratches his chin with the back of his hand. "If I had gotten to choose a house," he says, drawing out the words. "I'd not be at Hogwarts, would I?" He looks away, and out over the lake. "So, what exactly are you waiting for," he says, leaning forward over the ramparts.

Lucian pads up the steps to the roof, not trying especially hard to be stealthy, but he isn't prone to making a lot of noise when he moves. The wind immediately tousles his golden-blonde locks, and his eyes squint against it. "Ria? There you are. Dorea was looking for you. Wondering if you had her rouge or something. Something girly, anyhow." The moment his eyes fall upon Cullaine, his lips twitch into a hint of a smirk.

Amelia appears at the top of the stairs long enough after Lucian to make it unlikely she was intentionally following him. She has the wide eyed, slightly terrified look common to lost firstie which fades when she realizes the route she took brought her to the roof. "This," she says, hands on her hips and lips in a flat line of displeasure, "is where I wanted to go."

"Indeed you wouldn't, though that doesn't answer the question," Ria smirks at Cullaine, though it doesn't seem like she'll force an answer out of him. Instead she tiptoes as she leans against her battlement as she waits and says, "You'll see in a few minutes. Its really nothing spectacular, but knowing Ernie it'll certainly be a treat." The voice of the newcomer doesn't cause her to shift her gaze over at all. In fact she's highly familiar with who it is. "Rouge? You mean you didn't let her borrow any of your own?" she teases him with a snicker. "Knowing Dorea Black she'll be digging through my things with or without my permission." Sigh, communal living.
And then seeing Lucian's look to Cullaine she introduces, "This is Cullaine McCray, you should know his family. They litter Mungo's after all." Or did she mean to say their litter crowds Mungo's? No one will truly know. "Cullain, this is Lucian…of the Proudmores." The last part is said with some uncertainty.

Cullaine tosses a quick wave at Lucian. "Charmed, I'm sure," he says, dryly. "I'm sure your family doesn't litter anything. I'm sure they're too proud to throw garbage around." He pushes off the battlement with his shoulders, and cracks his neck.

Lucian smirks at Ria's teasing, but his attention is taken up by the Firstie, who he slowly approaches. "Oh, no. My family is more than happy to throw away whatever offends their delicate stomachs. McCray, huh? You going to be a healer someday, too? Make the family proud of their ickle Gryffindor?"

The next arrival on the roof looks a subtly different flavor of confused: not lost like Amelia might be, more lost as in 'why are all these /other people/ up here?'. He usually comes up here when he's looking for a quiet moment to himself.
"Then it's a good thing that this is where you are, isn't it?" he offers to Amelia, while he tries to work out a guess. There are a couple familiar faces on display, but why all these people in particular…

Cullaine clucks his tongue, smiling thinly at Lucian. "Throw away what offends them, huh," he asks, with an edge in his voice. "Well, I suppose boarding school can be viewed in a variety of different ways, Miss-ter Proudmore." He slides slightly behind the battlement.

Lucian gives Cullaine what should be a friendly look, but his eyes are chilly and anything but cordial. "Too right, Firstie. For some people, it's freedom. But I hear that for some, it's like their own personal Azkaban." Suddenly he looks cheery, a hand coming up to pat Cullaine on the arm. "But I'm sure you'll figure out how things work around here soon, Firstie."

Amelia looks at Llewellyn when he addresses her with a slightly furrowed brow, processing what he said. "There's worse places to end up," she says slowly. Then, stronger, "I'm looking for the Gryffindor common room."

Something brings the Ravenclaw out onto the roof, probably just trying to get away somewhere. So as he comes out, carrying a book with him, Gage scowls as he notices the other students already here. He stands by the entrance without a word, staring as if they'd disappear just by thinking about it.

Llewellyn blinks, studying Amelia's expression. Something just got lost in translation there; he's not sure what. At least her latest comment seems to make enough sense. "That's it down there," he replies, peering over one of the ramparts and pointing straight downward. Isn't he helpful? A faint smirk crosses his lips as he overhears Cullaine being verbally piled on.

Ria has been off to the side talking into her compact mirror, delegating something when the new ones arrive. "Right, well then this one can probably help you here," she says to Amelia and pointing to Cullaine since he is the 'this one' she speaks of. "Evening Mr. Blishwick, you don't look too happy to see us," she greet Llewellyn. Upon returning to the conversation between Lucian and Cullaine she simply looks on in amusement. But between their light insults to each other, she can't tell if they're hitting it off or not. "Oh my well isn't this just…lovely," she says dryly.

Then suddenly the sound of wings violently flapping through the air come within hearing distance. And the figure its coming from comes into view through the air, but what exactly it is isn't clear until the group realizes its coming a little too fast. A small wooden chest that's about a foot long zips violently through the air sideways heading straight for Gage, Amelia and Llewellyn. Its wings look rather out of control.

Cullaine opens his mouth to say something, when the sound of… something rustles through the air. "Oh, well, this should be interesting," he says, and leans back against the wall of the roof, watching the chest fly towards the trio. "Good Luck," he musters, loudly.

Lucian whirls at the sudden sound, hand moving to his wand with practiced reflexes. Though out of the path of the projectile, he is ready to act…until he notes Llewellyn reaching for his own wand, and he pauses, waiting to see what the younger boy can do.

Amelia is not startled by the sound of wings - there are nearly as many owls flying about the castle as people, by her reckon - but the sight of a box flying towards her head is surprising. Her body is quicker than her mind, luckily, and she jerks out of the flight path with barely room to spare.

Llewellyn is just about to answer Ria when he catches sight of the Flying Luggage out of the corner of his eye. Pleasantries later; for now, he ducks away in the opposite direction from Ames, pulling out his wand in mid-step for good measure and pointing it toward the noise. "Repello lignium!"

Well, making people disappear just by looking doesn't work. Suppose he can sit by the far wall and read - he turns and starts to take a couple steps, quietly so no one notices him. Then there's the sound of wings and Gage stops, interest drawing his attention around the roof. Unfortunately he doesn't notice the source until it actually smacks him in the back, and the boy whips around in confusion and surprise. Seeing what hit him, he blows out a long, relieved breath of air.

After smacking poor gage in the back, Llewellyn's repello seems to work just fine, only it powerfully blasts the flying chest in the direction of Ria, Lucian and Cullaine. Ria herself ducks, and narrowly manages to get out of the way like Amelia. And while she's keeping low she grumbles into the mirror. "Ernie, you idiot. You calibrated all wrong. It's way too fast. You almost killed a first-year, and some Ravenclaw got hit," she says to the boy.

Cullaine tucks his shoulder low, and rolls away from the chest, standing up behind Lucian. He coughs politely, and says, "I am not to proud to use a human shield."

Lucian stands his ground, a cocky smirk forming on his lips. Those that have seen him perform in Dueling Club know how formiddable he can be, this chest is no Expelliarmus spell. "Protego!" he incants, slashing his wand in a parrying motion to summon the Shield Charm, casting a field of protection over himself and Cullaine — though how intentional the latter was is unclear.

What is that thing? And Ria's friend Ernie lobbed it here? Llewellyn will have words if he ever meets the fellow, but for now he has some others. "Look out!" he calls to Gage: a moment too late to actually be useful, but hey, he tried. And it's not like he got knocked over the edge without a broom, is it?

Amelia's little muggle brain is still trying to piece together how a piece of luggage managed to have wings. After dodging out of the way, she's forward on her toes with knees bent, a wary posture in case that was just the first of a flock.

The chest bumps off of Lucian's strong shield and its wings flap a bit more to regain its steady flight. But before it goes away any further Ria points out her wand and says in a clear voice, "Accio chest." And with a little bit of a fight, the magically enhanced object makes its way into her hands. Though she has a bit of trouble holding it still, seeing as it keeps flapping and trying to fly away. "I could use an extra hand to hold this down," she says to no one in particular and yet to everyone who is around. Meanwhile she looks to Amelia and Gage (Cullaine is safe and snug with Lucian), "Is everyone all right? Any one hurt?" Typical prefect questions. Though its unsure if she really cares.

Gage disregards getting hit for the most part, his gaze trying to follow the chest. He's too busy trying to keep an eye on it to really be of help. Once it's in someone's hand, Gage suddenly realizes that his book isn't in hand. He glances down and around, and then lowers to pick it up. He shoots a look back over to Ria and the chest, biting his lip contemplatively. Eventually he says in an Irish accent, voice low, "It needs spider legs. And a scorpion a tail."

Cullaine raises his wand, and points it towards the book and Ria. Tilting his head, he shakes it quickly, and lowers the wands, striding over to grasp onto the chest with both hands. "Hell of an extracur… extracuric… extra credit project," he says, to no one in particular.

Lucian sheathes his wand and steps over to lend Ria a hand, gripping the chest firmly so she can manipulate it as necessary. "What is this, Sykes?"

The situation coming well in hand to the older students, Amelia starts to relax. Her eyes remain wary. She walks closer to get a better look at the chest, curious but not feeling the need to vocalize such things.

Hearing Gage's words, Ernie's voice comes out tiny from the mirror, "Ree, who said that? I think that's a brilliant idea!" But Ria cuts him off before scolding, "Not until you get these bloody wings right, first. I'll work on it with you later. Just send Malcolm up to retrieve this thing before it flies away again." And the compact mirror is put neatly away into her pocket. After she gives out thank yous for those helping hold down the chest she explains, "Well Cullaine has it pretty dead on. It's extra credit for Ernie's transfiguration class. But he's also looking to make it into a business someday. Says it could replace owls in the next couple of decades if it works right. Though I highly doubt it, I told you before that he's not too bright of a fellow." With her wand, she taps the chest three times before the wings slowly flutter and deactivate. And then with a smirk to Amelia she asks the girl, "Glad you ended up on the roof now?"

"It's a menace, is what it is. You have a small talent for—" Llewellyn adds, looking to the mirror, but leaving off when Ria shuts it again; instead, he walks over to help grab the chest and keep it still. "Mmm. Imagine if you turned it invisible first? Of course, you could still hear it… And I was just trying to figure out what you lot were doing," he adds, finally getting back to her earlier comment. "That's /that/ question answered."

Lucian arches a skeptical eyebrow at the flying chest. "At least owls can think. It would take someone with a lot more brains than Ernie to replace them."

Cullaine lowers his hands off of the chest, and steps back from the cluster of bodies around the box. "This idea is still a little HuffleRuff," he says, shaking his head. "You might want to badger your friend to work on a better control spell."

Amelia peers at the box through Ria explanation. "Oh, to carry things!" she says, realizing the reasoning behind the contraption. "Probably couldn't go very far, with short stubby wings like that. Something like, um, an albatross would be better. For distance, any way." She grins suddenly. "It's still pretty cool."

Gage doesn't approach any closer, but with everyone else helping his would just be unnecessary. He holds onto his book with a tight grip and stares at the chest. There are other suggestions that come to mind, but none of them are stated. For several seconds he's quiet, staring at the group and thinking, until he says lowly, "Make something an owl can pull." He shifts uncomfortably, stepping backwards and holding his book tighter.

Cullaine glances over at Gage. "So," he says conversationally. "Read any good books lately." He gestures with one hand towards the book in Gage's hands.

Ria opens her mouth to reply to Llewellyn until all of them chime in with their own additional suggestions. And with some irritation she rolls her eyes and says, "Yes yes, I'll make sure Ernie hears your requests. Though trust me when I say to save your breath." A smirk goes to Cullaine's former pun, "Very clever McCray though unfortunately I can't give out points for good puns."

Llewellyn eyes Cullaine, wincing and pressing fingers to his temples. "Can you take points away?" he asks Ria, shaking his head before looking up again and returning his attention to Amelia. "See, now you wouldn't get to see /this/ down in your common room. Or maybe you would. How reckless /is/ your class, anyway?" Like she'd know after all of a few days in attendance.

Cullaine glances over at Ria. "I'm going to call it a night before your friend comes up with a messenger ottoman," he says, walking towards the door. "Goodnight all… better get in before curfew."

"The ickle lion cub is right." Lucian moves to start ushering people. "Best get back to your rooms. If Pringle catches you in the halls after curfews, he'll have you in stocks 'til morning…if you're lucky."

In response to Cullaine, Gage stares back wordlessly. His eyebrows crease as he frowns, turning his head to look toward the wall.

Amelia says, "Gryffindor Tower hasn't crumbled down yet," without a trace of irony. "But it's not even the weekend yet." She lets herself be shuffled off with Cullaine.

"I could, but then that would be dumb," Ria smirks to Llewellyn and with all the curfew talk she checks her clock with a grimace. "Merlin, it really is time," she then looks to Lucian and asks, "Are you on patrol with me tonight, darling?" The darling has a casual tone about it, as if it were simply something Slytherin prefects called each other.

Lucian puts a hand to his chest and gives Ria a chivalrous bow at the waist in response to her question. "After you." He gestures to the stairwell with a wink.

Llewellyn offers Amelia a faint smile. "It's not even curfew yet," echoing her and Ria alike. "If you have to be another ickle lion cub, at least you know what you're getting into." And he's off as well, though not so fast as the others; let the lovebirds have a little space to themselves first.

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