(1937-10-09) Promises
Details for Promises
Summary: Ripley confronts Leander with what he's learned.
Date: 9 October, 1937
Location: Grassy Knolls, Hogwarts
Related: How It Ends

Grassy Knolls Hogwarts
Tue Oct 09, 1937 ((Tue Oct 09 05:50:10 2012)) (G,4)

It is a fall morning. The weather is freezing and fair.

The Hogwarts Campus grounds are expansive and just how much so becomes very clear in this area where grassy knolls spread out for over a square mile. Just vibrant green groomed grass densely covers the small hillocks and spans of flat areas. When the weather is right many a picnic blanket - often sporting House Colors - can be found spread out here and there for picnics, studying, socializing or simply rest and relaxation watching the sky above.

Ripley comes out to certain places when he needs to think and this is one of those times. He's standing there with his eyes looking out towards the Quidditch pitch. He's been standing and looking that direction for a long, long time by now.

In the distance, two figures can be seen strolling arm-in-arm. After a while, they come into closer view; one is Leander. He's giving his usual brief replies to the Gryffindor girl he's with, but probably a good deal more awkwardly so. "Oh," he says, looking over at Lois. "I heard there were supposed to be costumes for the Dance. What should we —" It's at this point that he notices his twin standing not too far off. He raises his free hand for a moment, along with his voice. "Hey, Rip."

"Well, I s'pose it depends, really. Do we want to do fancy dress as a couple, or just not have costumes that don't horribly clash?" Out in the open air (and away from irrational-jealousy-provoking relatives), Lois has relaxed considerably, and shows every sign of enjoying herself. The more talkative half of the pair, she's about to say something else when Ripley comes to her attention. The Gryffindor raises a hand in a tentative wave.

Ripley turns and looks towards the voices and looks to the waves from the two. He looks to them and says in a very even tone, "Leander. Lois." His arms go across his chest and he looks right at Leander, "I do hope you two are getting along quite well. All lovey dovey and all. Looks like it. I wouldn't want to see you two have any problems with anything."

"Er," Leander says. He's slowed his pace down to the point where he's almost stopped in place. His dark eyes suddenly narrow, but quickly return to normal. Perhaps he's dismissed whatever thought was going through his mind. Ripley /has/ been rather morose lately. "We're doing just fine, Rip. Lois is perfect." He makes the comment as easily as he would any other plain-faced figure of speech - he fails to notice his own romantic overtures just as often as he does others'. After he says this, he looks over at the Gryffindor Prefect briefly, then back to his brother. "We just finished watching a dueling demonstration. What are you doing out here?"

"You haven't seen me try to use Madam Patel's sock darning charm," demurs Lois, though she unsubtly brightens at the compliment. Still leaning serenely into one twin's arm, she turns her attention towards the other. "You missed Dumbledore turning an Auror into a finch. It was brilliant." Her current contentment must be throwing off her usual meddler's instincts: the smile she turns on Ripley is unusually warm - and completely oblivious.

The face of Ripley doesn't change as he looks between Lois and Leander before he continues without really hearing what the other two say as his own track of thought is taking over, "Suppose that some time you might even take a vow to be together. A vow. The kind of thing that one takes to make a promise." Ripley speaks and gives a rather cruel laugh, "A vow. A promise. Something that you might even have with a family member, even a brother. No… Wait. Not with a brother." And his eyes alight with flame and his voice with venom, "AGAINST your own brother." As he slowly begins to walk toward Leander with each word punctuating a step, "But you would never do that. You'd never double cross me. You'd never get between me and a girl that I wanted… Because I would never do that to you. Would I, Lea? Would I EVER do that to you?"

At the word 'vow', Leander's eyes widen. His face suddenly falls from its carefully maintained mask of non-emotion to a look of pale dread. Each word that Ripley says further only causes the expression to deepen. "Lois, step back." Even as he's saying this, he's moving away from the girl, his arms going deferentially to his sides. His gaze is pinned on his brother's, and he waits until his twin is finished speaking - for the moment - to interject anything. "I did it because I knew she was dangerous, Rip. I didn't think you'd fall for her, or that she'd play with your emotions. I saw her doing… something she shouldn't have been." In fact, he thought it was a lot /worse/ originally, but that's not the point.

Ripley comes up to to toe with Leander and growls it out, "I would have never done it!!!" He says, voice rising in volume. He pulls back a fist and swings at his brother in his rage.

Somehow, miraculously, Leander manages to dodge the impending blow. Perhaps it's years of being playfully punched by his brother that have finally kicked in. He steps back, ducking just under the swing, and nearly loses his balance for a moment before righting himself. "Rip. I know. But I did it to protect you. I don't trust her."

"What the bloody hell, Ripley!" The instant the punch is thrown, Lois's brain goes from 'puzzled bystander' to - well, she's trying for prefect. What actually happens is that her authoritative "STOP!" comes out more as a horrified squeak, hands grasping at nothing in distress.

Ripley keeps advancing on Leander and doesn't hear any of the words from Lois, unfortunately. He advances again on Leander and bares into the man's eyes. "It was not your decision to make, Lea. It was mine. Why can't you see that? It was because of that bullshit that she doesn't want me. We were fine without your hand in it. Now… She's with Lucian. You ruined it!" And then he comes in with a solid as hell punch aimed right for his right cheekbone.

This time, Leander doesn't make any move to dodge the blow. He barely flinches the moment before it lands, but otherwise remains stolidly in place. The dull flesh-on-flesh thwack sound echoes across the knoll, and the Sixth Year falls bodily to the ground with an even duller thud. "Urngh…" After several seconds, surprisingly enough, he pushes himself up, and stands again. "She… would have just played with you anyway, Ripley." He spits bloodily into the grass.

Lois, for a few seconds, watches all this happen before her in dumb silence, mouth slack and hands fluttering. And then she tries using her brain. "Ripley!" Without thought to the natural dangers of wandering straight into the crossfire of a brother vs. brother feud, the girl marches towards the pair, gathering her dignity about her. "Stop this instant, d'y'hear! Do you want me to go to the Headmaster? Slytherin's far back enough in the points race already!"

"MY decision." Ripley speaks and shakes his head, "My decision…" As he stands there and shakes with as angry as he is even though he doesn't move to punch his brother again. It's the words that come now from Lois and sink into his head turns as he looks to her, "Don't care." He says, body shaking for a little bit more before he begins to calm. He moves towards Lois, "He doesn't deserve you." Ripley speaks and shakes his head, "He made Ria promise to not date me, Lois. HE did that. What should I care about points at all when I can't even trust my brother?"

Leander might be acting tough, but the guilt is written plainly on his face. It still hasn't lost its unusually pale cast. "I'm sorry, Rip." It doesn't seem sufficient, since it isn't, really - but then again, Leander's not the apologetic type. His lips thin out into a sharp line again and he composes himself. "I'll find a way to break it." As usual, actions are better than words, as far as Leander's concerned, and he's not going to elaborate much. He shoots a pained expession at Lois, and raises a hand to wipe blood from his lips. "Lois, I'm sorry. You shouldn't have to see this."

Lois takes a deep, calming breath, one hand reaching up to rub at her temples as she mentally rehearses her words. Wits collected, she looks back up, staring Ripley full-on in the face. Her expression is sympathetic and gentle - but also subtly determined. "If he did that, he was wrong, and he's an idiot." A lightning-quick stare is shot Leander's way: you are in so much shit with her right now! "But what do you think punching him will solve, Ripley? It's a short-term thrill - it's not a fix! Both of you - I know it's hard for boys, but how about you try talking to each other, like reasonable people?" The girl takes another deep breath, then compresses her lips. "Is there any reason I shouldn't speak to a professor about this?"

"Tell him that. Tell him to TALK to me about my life before he goes meddling in it." Ripley shoots Leander a look, "I am reasonable. He's not. I don't know what he is thinking with but it sure isn't his brain." He points to himself, "I have been reasonable. I gave a Gryffindor a chance to date my brother because he wanted it. I did what I could to give him the courage to get what he wanted…" Ripley swallows hard now, sucking in a deep breath. "All I wanted was a chance at what… At what he has with you."

"Lois," Leander says slowly, glancing over at his brother only for a split second, and then back at the Gryffindor. "There's no reason to make Ripley suffer further because of me." He's wavering a bit on his feet - his twin packs a pretty good punch, evidently - but manages to look her in the eye as he speaks. "I don't care about the points, or if I get into trouble. But please, leave him out of it."

"Leander," Lois says, bluntly, "I can't do that. It sounds like he was provoked, but he just punched you on school grounds, in front of a prefect. It's for a professor to decide." The girl takes another slow breath, and then turns her full attention back to Ripley. (Her gaze, notably, is much more sympathetic at this point.) "There'll be other girls, but you've only one brother. Nincompoop though he might be." Shaking her head, she gives a single sharp clap of her hands. "Listen, I've no actual authority over the two of you, but if I may make a suggestion - Leander, go to Spleen, get that jaw looked at. I assume you two have a common dorm room, so perhaps it would be best if you gave your brother space by sleeping in the infirmary? I will be speaking to someone about this - you understand that it's my responsibility - but I'd like for all three of us to be calm enough to handle it reasonably, so I'll be doing it tomorrow." Her mouth compresses as she looks Leander square in the eye. "I also need to think seriously about some other things." Other, 'date-to-Halloween-Feast' things, her face says. "I know I don't have the full story here, and not being in your House I suppose I'm not entitled to it - but I know enough to be bloody well concerned."

Ripley looks to Lois and just shakes his head as he laughs, "See. You pull your wand all over the place, even after Clark and she still sides with you. I punch you after totally messing with my life and I get in trouble." He looks between Lois and Leander, "I am beginning to see what my lot in life is." His head shakes from side to side before he looks to Lois, "You do whatever you think you need to do… Maybe I need to go talk to a professor myself? About wands being pulled all over the place, about secrets that I know, about being totally screwed over with a vow from my brother… No. I don't. I know when to keep my mouth shut and trust my friends." Then he laughs again, "Wait. I don't have those anymore…" And sighs as he turns to walk away.

Leander listens to everything Lois has to say stoically. He manages to keep most of the pained-look from his face, but it's Ripley's words that break the act. "Rip - wait." He reaches up with both hands to press his palms against his face, then turns to the Gryffindor. He seems to be at a complete loss of words. "I'll understand whatever you feel you need to do, but please reconsider. For Ripley's sake," is what he eventually manages. He looks as if he wants to go after his twin, but (probably wisely) doesn't think this would be the ideal time.

Lois's mouth, again, compresses to a thin line: Ripley's accusation hit its target. "I'm not siding with him. And I'll be ratting myself out," the prefect says, with bruised dignity, "about Clark, and my failure to do my duty there. I probably deserve to be stripped of my badge for that. As for the rest of it…" A furrow forms between her brows. "If you know something, say something, Ripley - to a professor! That's what they're there for!" Since the actual teaching part seems to only give their students better means to cause trouble. She watches Ripley's departing back with a faint scowl: that didn't go very well. "You're in no position to be making requests," is all she tells Leander, before she herself turns to go.

Ripley turns and looks back at the two, "I can't." He looks to Leander and then back to Lois, "I made a promise."

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