(1937-09-28) Bad Advice
Details for Bad Advice
Summary: Ria gives Phae some questionable advice for her romantic pursuits.
Date: 28 September, 1937
Location: The Three Broomsticks
Related: Immediately following An Awkward Encounter

With an arm still around her cousin, Ria bring the both of them in out of the cold and into the jolly Three Broomsticks Pub. Lucky for them a quiet corner booth is empty and they immediately claim it by shuffling into the seats and taking their coats off. The snake gives her hair a maintenance pat for good measure and orders the two a cup of hot chocolate and a hot fudge brownie sundae. And when the waitress has gone away, she says to the young Ravenclaw, "Do you want to know something completely disgusting about me? I will only tell you if you promise to shut your mouth about it." There's a hint of a threat in there.

Hephaesta could never imagine her perfect cousin threatening her, and there is no hint that she's picked up on it now. She just stares wide-eyed and nods, too curious to decline. What could possibly be disgusting about Ria? She's the most elegant, pristine creature at Hogwarts.

"When I spent the night in the infirmary after Professor Slughorn took away my badge," Ria begins, organizing the table items like napkins and salt shakers as she speaks, "I begged Madame Spleen to have the house elves bring me chocolate. Chocolate cake, pudding, brownies, ice cream. Anything chocolate they had. And I spent that night crying as I stuffed myself with chocolate." She clears her throat and lifts her chin proudly in a dignified way, "So my point is, there should be something. Anything. That helps you bring you back to your normal rational state. Mine happens to chocolate. I figured maybe…it would help with you know…your 'broken heart'." She says the last making the quotation marks with her fingers.

Hephaesta shrugs noncommittally. "Chocolate won't let me be with Ophelia. But…thank you." She gives her cousin the best smile she is able (which isn't much). "And you're not disgusting. You're perfect."

Ria gives Phae a pleased pleased smile at the last compliment and she throws in a grateful 'thank you.' Though she nods and says, "Quite right. It won't. Chocolate will also not get me my badge back, but…it helps." And when the server comes back with their hot chocolate and obscene sundae, complete with banana peanuts and brownie chunks, Ria eyes the sight before her in an almost predatory way. "I don't think I've ever been in love Phae, so I won't pretend like I know what you're going through, but is Ophelia really worth losing your head over? Did she really mean that much to you?" She hands a spoon to her cousin.

Hephaesta takes the spoon, but only fingers it idly as she stares blankly at it. "She's amazing, Ria. She's so smart…she studies wandlore. Do you know how hard that is? She's kind, and sweet…and so beautiful." The sadness creeps back to her features, though the tears have stopped for now. "I didn't even…I didn't really realize it…that I love her. I just…I knew it hurt when she wasn't there. I can't stand not being with her. And now I think I've made her mad at me." She flops her head, face down, into her arm on the table. Muffled, she says, "My life is over."

Ria makes no ceremony of it and simply digs in, taking a piece of whipped cream at the top and shoveling it in with a scoop of ice cream from the bottom. "Wandlore is tough," she murmurs idly, covering her slightly full mouth when she speaks. "Phae, Kaiden isn't locking her up out of sight. You'll still get chances to see her and spend time with her. Is it because you have to share her attention now? Perhaps share her attention with someone you think is unworthy?" she asks, carefully chewing. Ria shakes her head though and says, "No. It's not over. Not until you had some of this sundae. It's -divine-. Good heavens this hogsmeade weekend couldn't have come at a more perfect time." Her eyes roll up when she says 'divine' and there's a ravenous way she nearly growls that last sentence out.

Hephaesta lifts her head, digging the spoon in, but again, just playing with it, twirling it in the ice cream. "Yes. I hate that he's her boyfriend. I…I didn't mean to say such mean things to him. But he isn't worthy of her. It was so gross the way he kept touching her all the time. She was going to tell him to stop. But then he talked her into being his girlfriend. It's not fair. I didn't even have a chance." She frowns, her little brow knitting.

Ria scrunches her nose understandingly, suddenly thinking of Kaiden's track record. "Yes well, he hasn't had the most wholesome of reputations with girls has he?" she hmms, sliding the spoon out of her mouth before going in for another dip. "If you're worried about how she's going to be treated … let me put it this way, I haven't seen Kaiden talk about a girl this way before. And I feel that he'd never commit himself to studying for just any girl. So maybe you won't have to worry too much about that part." But she takes a sip of her hot cocoa before looking back at Phae, "I do understand, however, the hurt of wanting something and never having even a chance at getting it. And I don't know a cure for it, Phae. Other than letting go…"

Hephaesta's face pinches up in pain. "I can't let her go. I can't. It will kill me. I don't want him to change for her. That's not fair. I want to…I don't know. Be with her. Maybe…be her girlfriend?" Obviously, she hasn't fully thought this out. "Please…Ria…what do I do? He's not right for her. She just thinks he's cute. Please help me," she begs pathetically.

Ria slams her hand on the table to silence Phae. "Hephaesta Aphrodilia Mulciber," she snaps, "You will -never- attract anyone when you sound like that. -Never- beg, do you understand?" She furrows her brow and simply continues picking on at the Sunday. "I don't know exactly what to do, okay? I've never chased after anyone before. Let alone someone who's already got a boyfriend…," she admits and thinks of some sort of plan. "From what I've noticed, all the blokes who get a girlfriend in my house usually treat the girl like dirt. They seem to flock to that sort of stuff…Maybe you should be a little Ophelia." She suggests with a shrug but then mutters, "Of course if she doesn't like other women I'm not sure what you can do about it…"

Hephaesta jerks upright at Ria's sudden admonishment. She swallows hard and nods in deference to the older girl. But the advice is taken with a grain of salt. "Be mean to her? I…I could never. No. It's Kaiden that doesn't treat her right. I want to show her I can be sweet to her. She…she even said that if I'd said something sooner, that maybe…" She trails off, letting Ria fill in the blanks.

"You don't have to be -mean- necessarily, just not be so nice," Ria says licking some hot fudge sauce off her lips. "If you treat her -too- well you make it too easy for her. She'll get bored knowing that you're so easily available to her. There's no challenge in it for a smart girl like Ophelia." Another spoonful is slipped in and prompty swallowed, "I mean, look at Kaiden. You said he didn't treat her like the jewel you feel she is. And he ended up snagging her…"

Hephaesta shakes her head. "I don't understand. I thought that people who love each do nice things for each other. I threw her a party. I made her a heart. I want her to be happy."

Ria rolls her eyes and explains, "Well of course they do, once they're together and everything's been settled. But when one of them is trying to win the other it's best to capture their appeal with mind games. -That's- how you make yourself stand out from all the other blokes who are doing nice things for her." As strange as the advice sounds, Ria seems perfectly sincere about giving it as if she actually believes this to be true. "Hey, I don't know much. It's up to you if you want to try it."

Hephaesta frowns in consideration. Ria is very smart, and obviously older and more experienced with these sorts of things (nevermind that she just said she isn't). "So…what kind of mind games?"

Ria takes a minute to ponder on a few examples. "Hmmm…I don't know. Do something nice to make it seem like everything's fine and then completely ignore her. Ditch her for your other friends. Pretend like you didn't hear her when she's saying something important. You know, puff her up and then do something to deflate her," she shrugs. "But then pick her up back again. Just give her a few ups and downs and up and downs. And when she's had enough, that's when you reel her in and tell her that you're serious about her."

Hephaesta listens carefully, taking notes in her head. "So…I'm making her feel uncertain about me? So…so she's be curious and want to know more!" Curiosity, the ultimate Ravenclaw weakness. Maybe Ria is on to something!

"Exaaaaactly," Ria's lips curve to another very pleased smile. And shovels in some more ice cream, this time in victory and pride rather than self pity. "You're a smart one Hephaesta," she adds, complimenting how well her cousin caught on.

Hephaesta smiles, pleased at the praise. Finally, she takes a bite of ice cream herself. Chocolate does make it a little better! "I suppose I can try. So…you're not mad that…um…that I'm trying to break up your brother and Ophelia?"

"Let's be clear Phae. I love Kaiden and care for his well-being. I think Ophelia might be good for him to straighten out, but I'm not -in love- with the two of them together that much that I want to fight to preserve them," Ria shrugs. "Furthermore, you're family as well. So it'd be wrong to not help you out too. Just see me as indifferent to the situation."

Hephaesta nods, taking a deep breath to prepare herself for the coming trials. "Alright. Thank you, Ria. You're the best." She gets up, and scoots around the table to give her cousin a warm embrace.

Ria was about to take in another spoon of sundae goodness until suddenly Phae comes around and hugs her. Her cousin's arms wrap around in just the right way where it makes it difficult for her to eat the ice cream, despite her one or two attempts to try it anyway. Her lips just can't seem to reach the spoon. And so with a sigh, she rolls her eyes, puts the spoon down and pets Phae on top of the head like a puppy. "I know, dearest. That's what I'm here for," she says to the young Ravenclaw.

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