(1937-10-02) Slytherin Downtime
Details for Slytherin Downtime
Summary: Dryden and Nicki pass some amiable time in the Slytherin common room.
Date: October 2, 1937
Location: Slytherin Common Room
Related: None

Common Room Hogwarts Castle
Tue Oct 02, 1937 ((Tue Oct 02 23:48:36 2012)) (Slytherin House)

It is a fall night. The weather is freezing and clear.

The Slytherin commons room is a low-ceilinged, dungeon-like affair illuminated during the day by a multitude of greenish lamps and a roaring fire which also works to partially ward of the perpetual chill of the dungeons. The common room is filled with low-backed, black and dark green leather sofas and armchairs accented with buttons that create dimples deep in the upholstery. For the decorative carvings of the dark wood cupboards, the columns, the mantelpiece, and other architectural details of the room run strongly towards snakes and skulls motif. All these details combine to create a quite grand atmosphere with a touch of spooky and cold.
Day or night the enchanted windows are filled with an eerie green glow from the water on the other side. Occasionally the Giant Squid and other residents of the Black Lake will swim by the portals. Over all the common room has a sunken ship feel, though is oddly enough also gives a strange cozy sense as well.

The timeless quality of the subdued, green light of the common room leaves half of Dryden's features in shadow as he lounges in one of the chairs, slouched a bit. There is a text book on his lap and a smaller notebook to hand as he transcribes something in the relative quiet and peace of the space, apparently sometime between rushes of activity. The upperclassman is intent but there is a faint smile on his face as he works and he hums tunelessly.

A voice can be heard before a person can be seen, and it drifts from the girl's dormitory. "Ninety-four. Ninety-five. Ninety-six." And in walks Nicki, brush in hand, counting as she runs it in sweeping pulls through her long brown hair. "Ninety-seven, hello Dryden, ninety-eight, how are you tonight?, ninety-nine, one hundred." The brushing stops there, and she looks to the older boy.

Dryden blinks at the counting and he stops writing. His eyebrow quirks up and he nods fractionally, seeming remote but not particularly standoffish. "I'm well, Nicki." And then, a moment later, "Why haven't you ever worked up a spell to do that for you? It would seem to be a waste of time, when you can just enchant a brush and do something else. Read, perhaps."

Perching on the arm of one of the upholstered chairs, Nicki taps the brush lightly against her leg as she regards Dryden. "I like to do it myself," she answers simply. "Mother says that a pretty head of hair is a girl's crowning glory, so why would I trust that to an enchanted brush?" It's not that she's vain, she's just… a girl. "Are you studying?" A girl with a keen grasp of the obvious, perhaps.

Closing his notebook, Dryden smiles faintly. "I would think a brain is a girl's crowning glory, but I guess hair is close enough. At least geographically." He holds up the book and says, "And I'm studying the anatomy and habits of the Whomping Willow. I'm thinking of trying to domesticate a strain of them for guard hedges." He shrugs. "Or hybridizing them with something else nasty to get a more effective version."

"Mother says there are more important things than brains." Mother seems to be stuck in the 1800s. Still, Nicki smiles, brush still taptaptapping. "Really? That sounds interesting. And highly effective, I should think." She leans over suddenly, flipping her hair over as she bends, holding her perch on the chair arm, and she begins to brush her hair again. From her scalp almost down to the floor, the long strokes aren't rushed, and she's off and softly counting again. "One, two, three, do you think people would buy them?, four, five…"

Both eyebrows raising, the older boy says, "Perhaps for 'Mother' that's true. There are many paths to wealth and power, I suppose. But for me, brains are the best tool I have." He watches the hair brushing, shaking his head once. "Yes, entirely too time consuming. I'd cut most of that off, if I were you. And yes, I expect people would buy them." His faint smile turns a bit nasty, "Everybody likes a little extra bite in their personal protection."

In this somewhat awkward position, Nicki's voice is slightly muffled. "I don't have to worry about that, things are already arranged for me." At his comments about cutting it off, Nicki raises her head, the brush strokes pausing with her arm poised. Her hair all but covers her face, but there might be a glimpse of her nose wrinkling. "Cut it off? Clearly you've gone mad." Her head drops, the brushing resumes, and again her muffled voice floats out from under the mass of brown strands. "Bite? Were you thinking to cross them with a flesh eating plant then?"

Dryden laughs quietly. "You wouldn't be the first to say it. But consider this: how much of your life is lost to taking care of that hair? How much more productively could you be using that time? And oh yes, I should think so. Something like a fanged geranium, I think. That way it would be both decorative and deadly. Be a bit of a pity for anyone who leans in to smell the flowers though." There is a hint of laughter in his voice at that.

"Seventeen, eighteen, nineteen…" The hushed counting stops although the strokes of the brush do not. "I like to take care of it," she says simply. "It's not like I'm not productive. I do all my work and marks in my classes have been fine." Not a top percentage, but she's running a little above the middle of her peers. "Twenty-five, twenty-six… and I do extra work at the greenhouses and with the animals." Her tone isn't defensive, just factual. "Thirty… I think that would be rather pretty. I quite like fanged geraniums. Of course, there's always the plants that don't bite but just make noise. You might not fancy anything that moves, that could get dangerous for the owner as well. Thirty-eight, thirty-nine…"

Stacking the books on his lap, lining up the edges neatly, Dryden watches the brushing with some amusement. "Fine is … not the best. You're shortchanging yourself. But that's your choice, I suppose." He pauses a moment at the thought of a less dangerous solution and then says, thoughtfully, "Well, I suppose an owner who is dumb enough to get caught in his own traps rather deserves what happens to him, don't you? I mean, it's not exactly a loss for the rest of us."

"Fifty-three, fifty-four, I'm good enough for me, fifty-five, and good enough for the animals that I'll care for at the estate." Again the counting is whispered for a few seconds before Nicki's voice raises, "If a guard bush is wandering one's land, and one is caught out, would that be them being dumb? I think it would just be a spot of very bad luck. Sixty-four, sixty-five.."

Dryden shakes his head. "I suppose it must be nice to able to be 'good enough.'" He sighs faintly at that and then nods, considering Nicki's words. "You might have a point. I might have to train them to ignore a certain symbol or scent." He opens his notebook and unscrews his pen lid, making another note. "Thank you. That's useful. You see, better things to do with your time."

The brushing stops at once and Nicki straightens, flipping her hair up and over her head carelessly. She looks pleasantly surprised, "I helped? Brilliant." The younger witch looks quite pleased with herself, being helpful to one of her older housemates. "And you'll notice that I helped while I was brushing my hair, so perhaps it's not that useless." There's a slightly teasing note to her words, and then she bends at the waist again, picking up where she left off. "Eighty-one…"

Dryden grins faintly at that surprised look. "I wouldn't quite so far, but yes, you did help." He considers the jibe and shrugs, "And imagine how much better you could do without the distraction. But yes, 'good enough'." He caps his pen again and taps it against the books, thoughtfully. "Hm. Perhaps with some species of strangling vine. That would be lovely." For certain values of lovely.

"Ninety, ninety-one, ninety-two, of course, you could always make several different cross-breeds, and corner the market from those who want intruders merely trapped to those who like more extreme measures." Perhaps Nicki does some of her best thinking with all the blood rushing to her head. "One hundred." Again, she straightens quickly, hair settling back with the help of gravity and a smoothing from her free hand.

Stretching and still grinning faintly, "Well, for somebody satisfied with 'good enough', you have some ideas." He stands, watching Nicki finish this round of brushing her hair and says, "Or I could focus my energy on making self-brushing hair." He ponders that one a moment and then shakes his head once. "No, I can see a few things going wrong there. In any case, I should get some things done. I trust you'll have a good evening?"

Dryden is now favored with a warm smile, and Nicki can't help but laugh at his speculation. "If a short haired boy starts making hair brushes, I'll know beyond a doubt you've gone mad." The brush starts tapping absently again, and the young witch nods, "Thank you, Dryden, and you as well." For good measure, she starts brushing again, and in the rhythm and repetition her brain churns over the last lesson for herbology.

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