(1937-10-04) Role Reversal
Details for Role Reversal
Summary: With Kaiden having stepped aside to give Hephaesta a chance with Ophelia, their roles have reversed. Knowing his pain, Phae tries to make amends with her cousin.
Date: 4 October, 1937
Location: {$location}
Related: Love Hurts, Love Hopes

Special Appearance by


The Great Hall is quieter than one finds it during meal times. The house tables are sparsely populated with students, mostly sitting alone and poring over tomes, practicing assigned spells, and occasionally engaging in quiet conversation. There are an inordinate number of boys studying during this period, no doubt due to the fact that Professor Palancher is acting as study hall monitor today. Presently, she sits at the head table, correcting papers. She demands a certain amount of decorum, but is otherwise tolerant of socializing as long as it doesn't interfere with the studies of those hitting the books.

Hephaesta is usually one of those dedicated students. Like a good Ravenclaw, the contents of her books are far more interesting than chatting with friends. But today she isn't so focused. Every few seconds, she is looking up from her book (which has been on the same page for about twenty minutes) toward the door, expectantly. She was certain he'd be here today! Where is he?

Kaiden has been feeling a little better. Well, maybe not better, but he's at least been getting a little bit of sleep. That has to count for something. He's also looking a little more composed than as of late. He shoots a smile at Palancher and walks over to have a seat at one of the tables, setting his book down and eventually just laying his head down with a sigh.

And there he is. A knot immediately forms in Hephaesta's stomach. This was a terrible idea! What was she thinking? But…it has to be done. After about six false starts, she manages to rise. The close she moves to the Hufflepuff table, the more her limbs turn to jelly, and she gives serious consideration to turning the other direction and making for the doors. But then she's there. Too late! "Um…Kaiden?" Her meek voice is barely audible.

Kaiden just gives a grunt as he recognizes the voice, but he's Kaiden so he decides to look up from the tiny head-cozy that he's made with his arms and look at Hephaesta, asking, "What? What do you want?"

Hephaesta winces visibly. Ouch. She gestures to the bench beside him. "C-can I sit?"

Kaiden shrugs at her and gestures to across the table, "Yeah, sure. Go ahead." He looks down and flips his book open, sighing as he starts to try and read through it.

Hephaesta doesn't seem to get the hint, and lowers herself to the bench beside him. She worries at her lower lip, gathering the courage to speak. "I've been horrible to you. I wanted to blame you for how I was feeling, and it wasn't your fault. I was mean." She swallows that gathering lump in her throat. "I'm sorry, Kaiden."

Kaiden looks up from his book and across to Hephaesta, saying, "Oh, no, it's fine. Next time you want to insult me and go out of your way prove that you deserve my girlfriend more than I do, don't even hesitate. Just go ahead and do it."

Hephaesta lowers her head, flinching at his retort. "I…I deserve that." She shakes her head, "I know I can't take back what I said. I just wanted to apologize. I hope maybe you'll forgive me someday. But…I understand if you can't right now."

Kaiden shakes his head and sighs, saying, "No…I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. Im just…well, I'm angry. And I miss her." He lays his head back down in the book, saying, "You deserve her, though."

Hephaesta's voice comes out in a whispered squeak, "Thank you." She starts to reach toward him to put a hand on his arm. But she hesitates — maybe not just yet. She lets her arm rest on the table. "Kaiden…I don't think I've ever said it. But…you're my cousin, and I love you. I thought…well…I know Ophelia still wants to help you study. If you'll let me, I'd like to help, too. I know I'm a couple of years behind you, but I know some great studying techniques. What do you say?"

Kaiden looks up from his book, "Well, that sure is nice of you. I think I'll just stick to studying to Ophelia and Ria, though. Don't want to keep you from your own studies. You've got OWLs in a year, don't you?

Hephaesta nods, eyes lowering again. "Yes…but I don't think it will be a problem. Maybe helping you could even help me get ahead. Are…are you sure? I'd really like to help." She lifts her gaze, her eyes pleading.

Kaiden shrugs and looks over at Hephaesta, saying, "I really couldn't care less. It's not like studying's gonna change anything. I'll always be just second best to everyone else."

Hephaesta frowns, a little knit forming in her brow. "That's not true. You just need to apply yourself. We can help you. Just…please care. You have to have something you're passionate about…right?"

Kaiden stands up from the table and picks his book, smirking at Hephaesta, "I do care. But apparently when I get passionate about something, someone else comes along and decides to claim it as their own." He flashes a bit of a sarcastic smile at her and begins walking out.

Hephaesta reaches after him, but too late to touch him. "Kaiden, please wait!"

Professor Palancher looks up from her papers. "Miss Mulciber, keep it down, please."

Hephaesta gives the Muggle Studies professor an apologetic wince, then rises to limp after Kaiden. "Kaiden!" she whispers loudly. "Please don't walk away. I…I have to try to make things better between us. Please."

Kaiden turns to face her and in a very controlled, though not at all happy whisper, he says, "There is nothing you could ever do to make this up to me, Phae. You're gonna have to live with it, and I'm gonna have to live with it. I propose we do that very, very far away from each other." After he's finished he turns around…but then turns right back around, saying, "Look, I'm sorry. That's not true. I'm just so tired and hurt right now and I don't think being around you will help that."

Hephaesta feels an invisible wall forming between them. Though she might batter at it, she simply hasn't the strength or skill to penetrate it. There is just this tiny hole through which she can speak to him. "But I…" It's no use. She knows exactly the pain he's talking about. So she offers the only thing she possibly can, whatever bittersweet comfort it may give him. "I promise I'll be good to her…if she lets me."

Kaiden looks down at the floor and slides his hand free hand into his pocket. He sighs and returns his eyes to her, saying, "You'd better." With that, Kaiden turns around and walks out on his way to find a quieter place to study.

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