(1937-09-08) A Sketchy Encounter
Details for A Sketchy Encounter
Summary: Ophelia and Hephaesta learn of the remarkable artistic abilities of Gabrielle.
Date: September 8, 1937
Location: Ravenclaw Common Room
Related: None

The Ravenclaw Common Room is one of the most airy rooms at Hogwarts. This wide, circular room's floor is covered in a deep, midnight blue carpet and the arched windows are hung with soft blue silk curtains. The high, domed ceiling carries a charm similar to the one in the Great Hall making stars glitter and move about on it reflecting the proper placements of the constellations according to the seasons. During the day, the Ravenclaw students have an excellent view of the surrounding mountains. The room is furnished with comfortable tables and chair upholstered in midnight blue with white pinstripes and bookcases stand along the walls.

Its the weekend! Time to… study more! At least that's the general plan in Ravenclaw tower. Students are scattered everywhere, some in groups and some on their own, surrounded by books and parchment. Originally Ophelia had been doing the same, but as the evening wears on she grows restless, and for a few minutes now has been fidgeting in her seat, playing around with small spells and generally looking bored.

Gabrielle is sitting near a window, watching everyone.she has a sketch book propped up on her knees, with black smudges on her hands, and across her nose.

Ophelia sighs the long-suffering sigh of boredom and lets her head fall to the side, looking around. She spots Gabrielle by the window, and as she takes in the sketch book gets a curious look. Hopping up and abandoning her books, she wanders to the window and tries to peek at the open page, "Any interesting subjects today?"

Gabrielle will dart her eyes up, then back down to her page, she's clearly doing sketches of everyone in the room, some more detailed , some more to capture the motion of what they were doing.It's all in graphite."No….I mean, none more than usual." She'll glance over to where Ophelia was, "what were you working on?"

Ophelia waves a hand dismissively, "Oh, just my essay for Professor Binns." Which isn't due for another three weeks. Looking around, she finds an epty chair and pulls it closer, "That looks pretty good. You should come by the arts club sometime."

Gabrielle will nod,"I know, I always mean too…." She'll crunchy brow and shift how she's sitting, as she shifts, several school books she had behind her tumble to the ground.Most are kind dingy, and have papers sticking out of them. One opens up as it falls and doodles can be seen along the margin.

Ophelia moves immediately to help, picking up a few books and giggling at the doodles, "Oh, that's cute!" She sits back up to glance over the different images, "Well, if you want, I can bring you along to the next meeting?"

Gabrielle will looked panicked for a moment, and then when Ophelia giggles, she'll relax,"Thanks…sorry.I don't know what's wrong with me…I've been a tripping over everything it seems lately." She'll take the books back with a shy smile,"I'd like to go…I just always forget."

Ophelia nods decisively, "Easy enough to do." She replies without concern. "Especially here. Though its not as bad as it is at home, where the amount of books is nearly dangerous in some rooms." Laughing a little, she sits back in her chair, "So how are you liking being a fifth year so far?"

Gabrielle smiles, but it doesn't quite reach her eyes, "Yeah, I can imagine." Gabby will place her books down on the window sill and carry her sketch book over to where Ophelia is sitting, "It's not really all that different, yet. I"m sure that will change after everyone settles in, but for now, besides none of my clothes fitting right, it's all the same."She'll tug uncomfortable at her shirt, smearing the graphite on the sides of her shirt in the process.It'd be obvious from last year that she's had a growth spirt over the summer break.

Ophelia nods, grinning in sympathy, "Yes! I had to be fitted for all new clothes over the summer." She shakes her head at the inconvenience, all that valuable study time wasted over clothes! "But I'll be old enough to put my name in for the tournament! I'll have a few months to spare, even. I just hope Ajax's birthday comes in time… "

Gabrielle will blink, like she's trying to figure out what Ophelia's referring to. "Oh! Yes! That IS this year….isn't it?" She'll again get a far away look,"I wonder who it'll be…"

Ophelia looks mischievous, "Could be anyone. Could be me. Could be you!" She wiggles her eyebrows in a jokingly enticing expression, then giggles again. "So, I've seen you drawing before but I've never asked. Are you planning to be a painter?"

Gabrielle looks down , and then inhales sharply and smiles, "yeah, I guess it could be anyone." She'll glance at her book, and then up to Ophelia, "I'd like to, I mean, it's what I want to do." She'll smile,"It's not like I'm qualified for anything else!"There's genuine mirth in her voice when she says this.

Ophelia scoffs. "Nonsense. You're a Ravenclaw!" She glances at the sketches again, "What do you want to paint? Ooh, you could do the portraits, the enchanted ones. I think… " She frowns and tries to remember, "Alcimus Latt's said his mom does those? Or was it… oh, I can't remember."

Gabrielle will raise her eyebrows, still smiling."I'd like to do enchanted portraits eventually. I think the idea of doing them, connecting the past to the future is inspiring, and , well, frankly," she'll roll her eyes at this,"needed. But I'd like to also study some muggle work as well. I have a theory that the muggle eye works differently than ours."

"LOOK OUT!" A cry goes out as there is a *SPROING* sound and something flaming arcs across the room, sticking firmly in the window curtains. The fourth year girl who had been tinkering with some strange device in the corner is suddenly on her feet, hurrying to follow the incendiary object. "Put it out! Quick!" Hephaesta calls in a panic.

"Really?" Ophelia leans forward, watching Gabrielle intently. "How so? Like, somethingah!" She jumps up as the whatsit flies to the curtains, pushing her chair back as she does so and hurrying to grab her wand. Several others do the same, but by vitrue of being closer to the window its Ophelia who first calls out "Aguamenti!" Water instantly shoots from her wand, shooting at the curtain and the object lodged firmly in the fabric.

Gabrielle pales , eyes going wide at the curtains( and her school books on the sill), she has her wand in one hand,sketch book in the other but does not move forward to help, in fact she'll be edging away. She'll make a soft whimpering sound .

With a sizzle, Ophelia's water spell extinguishes the flame. That was a close call! Hephaesta comes to a stumbling halt by the other girls. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Her wand is out and ready, so she does her part with a quick Summoning Charm, pointing at the object and incanting, "Accio actuator." As the blackened piece of metal flies to her hand, she hears Gabrielle's whimper, and winces. "I'm so sorry. It just…there was too much friction, and…" She kneels beside Gabrielle's seat, as if in supplication. "Are you alright? Did it burn you?"

Ophelia hurries to save the books from smoke and water damage, collecting them all into a pile and for the moment seeming to forget there is anyone else in the room. At all costs, the books must be saved!

Gabrielle will flinch slightly at object in Hephaesta's hand, and close her eyes, trying to calm herself,"What….what in Merlin's name are you trying to do?" She'll open her eyes, and there are obvious tears gathered, but not falling. She'll pull away some, "You could have really hurt someone!" She sounds angry, and that is not something that has been seen really since she's been at Hogwarts.

Hephaesta shrinks under Gabrielle's anger. "I'm…I'm sorry. I…I'm working on a….um…a n-new…wand buffer…" Her eyes go to Ophelia pleadingly. "I'm really, really sorry."

Ophelia is turning back toward the room, the saved books held triumphantly in her arms, when she realizes that not everyone is as relieved as she that the incident is over. Blinking, she drops the books on an empty (and dry) chair and steps forward. "The fire's gone, Evans." She says carefully, "And look! Your books are all ok too. Everything's fine." Confused, she glances at Phae and shrugs a little.

Gabrielle will glance at her books, and swallow,"Yeah…fine." her eyes will dart around the room some, before landing back on Hephaesta," Slow it down, it's better to wait longer, than have your wand explode." Her expression isn't angry as much as shaken.She'll look over at Ophelia and give a half hearted smile,"Thanks for grabbing my books"

"Oh, it's nowhere near ready to test on a…wand…" Hephaesta starts to get excited, but quickly realizes that, right now, Gabrielle probably couldn't care less about the invention that nearly set the room on fire. "Um…I'm Hephaesta Mulciber." She offers her hand, and a hopeful smile in an effort to smooth things over.

Ophelia's responce is a bright smile of her own. "Of course." Before sitting down, she hurries over to a group of first years, and with a quick confundus charm sneaks an unopened bottle of butterbeer from their table, which is offered to Gabrielle when she returns. "Here."

It takes Gabby a moment, but she'll shake Hephaesta's hand,"I know who you are.You're one of the few interesting people in your year to draw."She'll smile, it doesn't quite reach her eyes, but the "oh god oh god we're all gonna die" look is gone. She'll take the offered butterbeer, not noticing where it came from,"Thanks."And proceeds to sit down on top of her books.She doesn't quite fall, but will slide a little to the side, and rest her arm on the side of her books, almost like she meant to….but not really.

Hephaesta is relieved at the accepted hand, but gives an abashed smile at the compliment, her cheeks coloring a little. "You've…drawn me?" Who wouldn't be curious about that?

"Can we see?" Ophelia looks almost as interested as Phae, despite not being a subject herself. She starts to look for Gabby's sketchbook, but realizes after a minute that the book, as all the others, has just been sat on. Chuckling, she drops onto a cushion that had been knocked to the floor earlier. "When, ah, you're feeling better maybe?"

Gabrielle will blink,"I..uh…I don't think…" as she's reaching under herself to grab the book,"I don't think there's any in this one, I've mostly been sketching the 1st years….because, you know…their new" She'll finally grab her book and flip it open to a random page of the common room.

Hephaesta lifts up on her knees to look at the sketchbook. Her jaw drops in astonishment. "You're very good. I can barely manage to draw schematics." She leans close to peer at the details. "You're going to be a famous artist someday," she declares.

Ophelia nods with Phae as she stretches her feet out. "I was saying the same thing," She agrees, "She could paint the enchanted portraits, you know?" She tilts her head as a thought occurs to her, "Evans, have I asked to see your wand yet?"

Gabrielle will laugh softly at what Hephaesta said, "That's the plan". Gabby will turn towards Ophelia, and her brown will crease slightly, "Yeah, I think it was 3rd year?…Maybe second. You said something about it being really springy cause of the Vine."

Hephaesta just sighs in wonderment at the beautiful sketch. "Brilliant," she mumbles, looking eagerly to the older girl's face to see if she'll show them more.

Ophelia's eyes flash with the lightbulb of recognition, "Viiine, that's right." She is silent for a bit as she remembers, then with a shake she pulls herself back to the present and taps the open sketch book, "Can we see the rest?"

Gabrielle will actually hand over the book to whichever girl wants it. It's about half way filled, and it's obviously all from this year. There's pics from all 4 houses 1st years, and also from the great hall. she'll settle back into the chair, and then squirm around till the books are no longer underneath her, and just squished up against the arm of the chair.

Hephaesta scoots over beside Ophelia as she takes the book, holding it so both can look it over. Her eyes widen at each page, taken in by Gabrielle's work. "Brilliant," she repeats. "I wish I had half your talent."

Ophelia lets Phae take the book, frowning a little to herself. The frown is short-lived, though, and quickly replaced by a curious expression, "So do you do one for each year, then?" She nudges Hephaesta and grins at her, "You do, silly. Yours is just for building."

Gabrielle will glance down at the melted metal lump in Hephaesta's hands, "Everyone is good at something." and then look up at Ophelia,"Well, only sort of. I try to get everyone I've never seen before right away.In case, you know, something happens, and I never see them again.Everyone has such a unique face, that it would be a shame to not record them. So, that's usually what I start with….I'm hoping to be able to make this book last till my aunts can send me another."she'll smile, "Otherwise I'll have to dip into my parchment for classes!"

Hephaesta smiles inwardly. "Well…yes. Still, I would love to be able to draw like you. They're all so beautiful." She grins, pointing to one of the pictures, "Is that Josie Davies from Gryffindor? It looks like just her!"

"Hey, it does." Ophelia looks in and nods, leaning over curiously to look at the page, "And that looks like Cillian Peele… this is really fantastic." She smiles up at Gabrielle. "I can see why you want to do portraits. Maybe someday you can show us the ones you did of our faces?"

Gabrielle smiles, kinda proud, but kinda unused to the attention,"sure…I'll just need to find the books from last year."She'll pause for a moment, "Or, if you want, I can just draw new ones….I'm a ton better than I was last year.All I did this summer was art.Aunt Irene was always yelling at me to 'use my legs'….whatever that means."

Hephaesta's eyes go wide, and she grins excitedly. "Could you? I mean, would you? That would be lovely!" Already, Phae is rising awkwardly to her feet, struggling with the limitations of her leg brace. "Maybe together?" She gives Ophelia a warm smile.

Ophelia looks up, blinking. "Right now? Er, sure alright… " She stands as well, fidgeting awkwardly as she wonders whether or not she should offer the other girl any help. "Should we, ah, sit somewhere or something?"

Gabrielle will look surprised, "Oh, well….we can right now, or if you want, I can get my pastels, and do color tomorrow?…It's really whatever you'd prefer."
Ajax has connected.

Hephaesta lowers her head, trying to let her loose locks fall into cover her blush. Obviously, she got a bit overexcited. "Oh…um…sure, anything you like. I don't want to rush your process." That's one thing she might understand about being an artist.

Ophelia is already fiddling with her hair, grabbing at the locks and trying to pin them up with the window as a mirror. But she stops when it turns into a horrible mess, and with a scowl at the reflection pulls the pins out and re-pockets them. Turning back to the other two she looks at each, then reaches out and pulls Phae over to the window seat. "No time like the present, anyway." She says with an almost forcefully cheerful tone. "Will here work?"

Gabrielle tries to hide an amused smile,"Where ever you'll be most comfortable." She'll open up her sketch book and reach into her pocket.she'll frown as she looks at her broken pencil, and then shrug and use the sharp end. She'll wait to see what the two girls "pose" is…

Hephaesta hops along on her good leg as she is tugged over by Ophelia, giving a little squeak. She settles down on the seat, adjusting her skirt and whispering, "How is my hair?" She isn't normally one to be overly concerned about her appearance, but then she isn't normally posing for a drawing, either.

"Good, except… " Ophelia turns to pluck a bit of metal out of Phae's hair and offer it to her, "There. Perfect." She runs her fingers through her own a few more times as she settles onto the seat, sitting rigidly straight and looking directly at Gabriele. She tries to smile, but her nervousness makes the expression wobble.

"So…you both comfortable?" Gabby asks in a very disbelieving voice? She'll do a glance around the room, and then back to the two girls. The sketch book will be tilted in her lap so it can not be seen. and she'll put pencil to paper."What do you want to talk about?"

Hephaesta shifts her bad leg a bit, finding a comfortable position, then folds her hands in her lap. "Talk? Oh…well…I'm not sure. What sort of plant did you each collect for Professor Beery's assignment?" Her own choice for the Herbology professor's all-grades, year-long assignment to nurture and grow a plant could be missed by no one. With the help of Ravenclaw beater, Ellbert Winston, she potted and hauled back a small tree, which now sits proudly by the window in the Girls' Tower.

"You mean we get to talk?" Ophelia's relief is palpable. That is, until herbology is mentioned. Grimacing, she grumbles, "Dunnoyet. Something… hearty. And possibly that never needs water. Or sunlight. Or attention."

Gabrielle will nod at what is being said, but doesn't respond beyond an occasional grunt.She ends up with the broken end of the pencil in her mouth and another smear on her cheek.

Hephaesta does her best to stifle her giggle, trying not to change up her face too much. "I think the whole point is to pay it attention. You know, you should really focus in Herbology if you're going to make wands. Wood is sort of important to wandmaking, isn't it?"

"Well yes but not /growing/ it." Ophelia protests. "I don't need to be able to grow it to understand its properties." Disgruntled, she fiddles with her skirts and sighs. "And focusing in herbology would, you know, require at least a minimum of talent in that area. I'm about as good at herbology as Ajax is at blending in."

Gabrielle will smile through the pencil,"I like drawing Ajax."

Hephaesta giggles at Gabrielle's admission. "I'll bet you always draw him in color. I'll also bet Mr. Ollivander knows a lot about wandwood trees," Hephaesta taunts Ophelia playfully. "Don't you want to have a better understanding of why certain woods are better? If you know everything about the trees, you might even make some grand new discovery about wandlore. That's why I got my tree. I figure, if it's good enough for wands, it's good enough for brooms. I think I could make the greatest racing broom ever if I nurture it from sapling to harvest."

Ophelia slumps. "Perhaps you've missed my last four attempts to grow something that could survive me." She stares at her lap. "Really, its not about a lack of wanting. Its about lack of ability. Just like how everyone is good at something… " She lets the rest trail off suggestively.

Gabrielle will make a face at her drawing, almost like she's mad at it, and shake her head no,and again, around the pencil,"Sure …my first two years, but he's WAY more interesting in black n' white." she'll let the pencil piece fall from her mouth."Witches are not solitary creatures….as Aunt Erma says.That's why it's ok to be bad at stuff.Because someone else will be good at it."

Hephaesta sighs dramatically. "Nobody is good at anything until they learn how. There's a brilliant Muggle inventor that once said 'Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.' Just because you failed the first nine times doesn't mean you will on the tenth." It seems Phae has thought about this a lot.

More than anything, its Gabrielle's comment about Ajax that brings Ophelia's eyes back up. She regards the girl thoughtfully for a bit and sighs again, nodding, "I suppose its true that I shouldn't give up. But I am seriously doubtful that I'll ever be able to raise a tree without casting some sort of everlife charm on it."

Gabrielle shrugs and says almost like she's not really paying attention, "Well, just make sure you're trying to raise something you can use when you kill it. There's all kinds of dyes and inks and dried up stuff that can be useful…" She'll tilt her head and then flip the book upside down and keep drawing.

Hephaesta shrugs. "What's wrong with using charms to help it grow? I have every intention of seeing Professor Beery about learning some spells to help my broom tree grow into its right shape. You definitely shouldn't give up. That inventor also said," she lifts her hand, punctuating each quoted word with a wave of her finger, "'Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.' He was a very clever Muggle." Gabrielle's comment earns a nod of agreement. "That's what I'm trying to do."

Ophelia nods with Gabrielle thoughtfully. "Yes, excellent idea… " She's still nodding when Phae speaks up, and generally seems interested, if not all that excited, by the ideas presented. "Perhaps, then… " Leaning forward to rest her chin in her hand, she looks to teh side, imagining the different things she could still use if they died during the course of the year.

Gabrielle smiles almost predatorily and goes into a flurry of drawing, like something has clicked.

Hephaesta notes Gabrielle's sudden verve, and cranes her neck, though it is clear she would have no hope of seeing what is on the page. "Of course…I didn't mean I'd kill my tree early…I hope. Herbology has never been my best subject, either. But if we help each other, maybe we'll do better."

Gabrielle turns the drawing around, it's the two girls, although the window is clearly part of the design of the drawing. She's drawn Hephaesta doing air quotes (although her arms can also be seen lightly placed in her lap) and smiling wide. Her leg brace is delicately detailed. Her tree is shadowed in the window behind her. Ophelia is lightly drawn in the ridged pose, but the full bodied drawing is of her leaning forward with her chin in her hand, eyes bright.

Hephaesta stares in both wonder and puzzlement, tilting her head as her logical mind tries to make sense of the creative representation of herself and Ophelia.

Ophelia beams at the drawing, "Wow, that is truly fantastic!" She gets up and leans in close, her fingers reacing out to hover over the page and trace the lines of the window in amazement, "Amazing."

And that's when the clock on the mantle chimes, reminding the students still in the common room that curfew is just minutes away.

Gabrielle will tear it out and offer it to the two girls, "See you in the morning."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License