(1937-10-13) Poor Gabriel
Details for Poor Gabriel
Summary: Gabriel learns that all girls are barking mad.
Date: October 13, 1937
Location: Ravenclaw Common Room
Related: Happily Ever Afters

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.

There a few bodies filling the common room this evening, making the most of the end of the day before it's lights out. Among them is Warren, who seems to be busy doing several different things. He's got an assortment of books piled in front of him like a little fortress, a few spread open, notes scattered on them. It's mostly to hide his other business, which seems to be his new bookie business. Occasionally he'll glance up or flag people over, and he's on alert for any staff that might drop in, but when it's just Ravenclaw his security seems somewhat more lax.

Gareth has claimed a small corner (do round towers have corners?) of the room for his own, personal study area, and the small table is stacked high with books, with more stacked on the floor beside the armchair. Right now, the subject of study appears to be Potions, as he has an Intermediate Potions text open, and he's scribbling teeny-tiny notes in the margins. There's a tap at the window behind him, and after he's jumped in surprise, he reaches over to open the latch. In flies a medium-sized tawny own clutching a small leather sack. "High time, Blod," Gareth grumbles to the bird, taking the tiny burden. The owl lets out a hooting snort, pecks at his hand, then flaps back into the night sky. Gareth shuts the window again, muttering a soft thanks.

Claire enters the common room from the corridor, two books under her arm and a third held open to read as she walks. Just inside the tower she stops suddenly and lets the book fall to her side, thumb marking the page she's on. She stares off into space with a vapid look on her face.

Gabriel answers the weekly riddle and walks into the Ravenclaw common room. He's carrying what looks like an extra long Beater's club slung over his shoulder and there is a bulge in one of his pockets that's clearly his ever present baseball. By the looks of his pants he's been doing something outside since he has mud splatters all the way up to his knees and he squelches as he walks. Until the other Ravenclaws he doesn't have a single book on his person.

There is a bird about. Warren's eyes peek up from over his stack of books, the boy's head riding from the wall of leather and parchment like a submarine emerging from sea. He chirps in Gareth's direction: "Careful, don't let a draft in. Did you get anything-" Then there's Claire, dropping books. Not the books! The humanity! "You alright, Cameron?" Business is, for the moment, set aside.

Gareth marks his place in the book and remembers to stopper his ink, before moving toward Warren and Claire. He does stop to give Gabriel a small grin though. "Been out playing with your crickets again?" he asks, clearly having no idea what baseball is. He turns to Warren then, holding out one hand. "Bennett," he whispers, eyes darting to Claire, the back. "Ten sickles on Cameron in the next match, and a galleon she wins overall."

Gabriel continues on his way to the boy's room. As he walks he tosses over his shoulder in a friendly, off-hand way,"Baseball. Cricket bats are wide and flat. And, Warren, I'll match Gareth. Be right back with the money but I have to change out of this wet stuff before I catch a chill." Disapearing into the dormitory he comes back five minutes later in a new outfit.

"Hmm? What? Oh, no, just thinking." Claire says. She raises the book she was reading from her side. "I'm doing some research for the tournament. The next round it going to be /way/ harder." She join Warren at his table. "That's flattering, but it will be Lucian that takes it. No question."

Gabrielle will come in, looking like she just dodges a bullet. she'll even sigh in relief as the door closes on whatever is behind her. Her brow will furrow slightly at Warren's not subtle set up. she'll shake her head and start for the Girl Dorm.

Warren reaches to snag what Gareth has to offer, flashing a quick grin at the other boy. "Done." He scribbles something down behind his shield of books, making the appropriate notes, pointing at Gabriel. "Also done." When Claire plops down he makes a little room amidst his junk, chiming, "Point wand, shoot magic. Research done." A pause, and his lips quirk into a catlike grin at the girl. "Would you like to wager on that?"

"Proudmore?" Gareth says, with just a hint of distaste in his voice. "Don't even think it. The whole House is counting on you, Cameron, not to mention supporting you. Naturally, you'll win." He nods briefly, as if to punctuate his positive attitude, then retreats again to his study-corner. "Bennett, when are you taking bets on who the Goblet will choose?"

"Haha, no, bad luck to bet against yourself. But if I want to have a chance, I need to find a better spell. I wouldn't put it past him to be able to cast silently." Claire leans back in her chair, fingers laced behind her head. "Christmas is the only other one I'm worried about. He battled a first year, so I don't have a good read on him."

Gabriel comes back from the Boys Dormitory, already talking a mile-a-minute,"I was using one of the castle walls as an alternate shortstop to practice my batting and just my luck Pringle was cleaning the room that wall belonged to. So he comes out of the castle howling at the top of his lung and I take off running before he sees me…" And the whole diatribe grinds to a stop as he catch sight of Gabrielle. Which makes him just stop and look at her as if he doesn't know if he should run away again or not.

Gabrielle turns to listen for a moment to Claire, for the first time interested in the conversation. But when Gabby sees Gabriel her face goes blank and she turns to go up the stairs with her sketchbook.

Warren's brows furrow at Gareth. "Could you come over here, if we're going to have this conversation?" Warren at least tries. "If I were doing such a thing, I would say no. The pool is-" He pauses. "Larger? Maybe for which House. Unless you have the inside scoop?" For Claire he offers, "If you win, we'll pitch in and get something for you. I suppose if you lose we'll shun you or something. If it helps, I bet on you." A bright smile, and he turns his attention to Gabriel after that. "Shortwhat? Batter? Gabby!" She's not getting away that easily. "I have a question for you!"
You paged Gabriel with 'Uh oh…Eeep, Gareth needs to step in?'

Gareth quirks a brow when he sees the way Gabrielle and Gabriel behave at the sight of each other. "Curious," he says under his breath, standing again to move toward Warren. "Bennett, everyone knows what you're doing, including the teachers. Besides, we're in our own common room, what could go wrong. As for an inside scoop, I'm willing to wager ten galleons on…anyone but me being chosen." Finally he turns to the two Gs. "Oi, Evans, Ward. What're you two about?"

"House would make sense for the Triwozard Tournament. Otherwise you'd have to compute odds for every eligible student in the school, there's no way of knowing who put their name in." She stands up from the table and heads for the bookshelves along the wall. "Actually, that might be interesting from an arithmancy standpoint…"

Gabriel shuffles over to the table everyone is sitting at and picks a chair where Warren's book ramparts can cover his face. But he doesn't completely hide, instead he peeks over the top of it and watches Gabby warily, muttering something to Gareth. But for once he's not rattling off words like a little vocabulary machine gun.
Gabriel pages: Girls are weird. First she runs away from a perfectly good conversation and now she's been avoiding me. I don't know how to act around her anymore.

Gabrielle sighs and will turn back around. she'll stay near the stairs, "What Warren?" She'll glance to Warren, "/Oi/? Really? You were there."

"That's not entirely true," Warren contests briefly, adding, "Mostly." He peers down at Gabriel for a second, head cocking quizzically at the boy before he turns back to Gabby. "Are you as good at painting as you are at drawing?"

"I'm serious," Gareth says to Warren. "Ten galleons on anyone but me." He pauses for a moment, then nods. "And a galleon on Ravenclaw, of course." He leans to hear Gabriel's whisper, brows rising as he looks toward Gabrielle again. "Ah. Ah ha. Yes, I see what you mean. It sounds as though you are suffering from quite a malady: Girlitis. You should see the school nurse at once." He tries really hard to deliver the line as deadpan as he can, but a grin tickles the corners of his lips at the end, his eyes sparkling with humor.

Claire returns to the table with a slim book on odds and probablilities. "There's, let's say a hundred students per year, over four years- wait no half of those aren't going to get permission from their parents, and that's generous…" She summons a roll of parchment from the girl's dorms. "You should probably just talk to her. Half the plot comes from misunderstandings," she says to Gabriel.

Gabrielle starts to tell Warren, "honestly? No, but that's because paint is expensive. But I could-"And then she'll turn to glare at Gareth, "Don't encourage him!" Lastly, she'll turn to Claire and give her a look.

Warren considers Gabrielle's response, nods after. "Alright." That's that, and he sees to Gareth after, "I'm not going to start a pool against one person. I'll take it for Ravenclaw, though. Only out of House pride." Warren puffs up when he says this, as if to show how much spirit fills his body at the thought of his House. As an aside, he mentions to Gabriel, "Never talk to girls."

Gabriel's eyes widen at Gareth's mention of girlitis then get wider still when Claire suggests just talking to her. At this point the whites of his eyes are clearly visible all around his eyes and he's definitely panicky, Which might explain why he suddenly goes,"What? Talk with her!? That's what started the whole thing! She's been avoiding me for days just because I asked a perfectly reasonable question given the conversation we where having at the time. All I asked was…" At this point he needs to take a deep breath…

Gareth digs another galleon out of the small sack his owl dropped off earlier, tossing it in Warren's direction. "Done and done. Though you should think about taking bets against me. Just think how much you'd make if, by some fluke, I were chosen." He said it as a jest, but once the words leave his lips, their meaning catches up to him, and he suddenly pales. "On second thought…." He turns to Gabriel then, changing the subject. "Now Ward, you helped me last night, so it's only fair that I return the favor. In fact, I rather insist upon it. Evans, Ward is under the impression that you've been avoiding him. Would you be so kind as to tell him that isn't the case?"

Claire says, "You all are idiots," Claire pronounces. She has little patience for drama. But much for maths, by the look of the equations she is working out."

Elspeth enters quietly from the outside door, and leans against it for a moment. She watches the by-play around Gabriel and the 'Evans/Ward' conversation being mediated. She almost smiles, and waits to see the answer and reactions from both. Her arms cross around her sketchpad holding it to her chest, and switches the lozenge in her mouth from one side to the other.

Gabrielle will slowly turn back towards Gabriel and Gareth, eyes narrowing. "The two of you had me sit in possible the most awkward conversation I've /ever/ been in. And I've dealt with Ria and Kaiden! You,"And she points to Gabriel, "Shouldn't talk to girls that way.And you," she points to Gareth, "Are being an awful friend."She'll inhale still upset, "I'm not going to talk to /either/ of you till I calm down, understood?" And with that she'll turn and start walking towards the door.

Warren peers over at Claire, complaining, "What did I do?" And, after, "Oh, did you decide on that thing we talked about?" No comment on the other situation, but he does sneak a hand out to take Gareth's money.

Gabriel is stopped mid sentence by Gabrielle… tirade, yes, tirade. After he blinks a couple of times he lets his head fall to the table hard enough that most of the books on it jump, towers threatening to go down as he moans,"Girls are /weird/… I still don't understand what I did…"

Gareth's eyes widen in surprise, and he gapes after Gabrielle for a long moment, before understanding finally dawns on him. "Ah! Ah ha. I see the problem here." He leans over faceplanted Gabriel, whispering something. Then he sits back again, calling, "For what it's worth, Evans, I didn't bring the subject up in the first place, nor did I have any desire to ask … that question." For whatever that might be worth.
Long distance to Gabriel: Gareth whispers, "You embarrassed her yesterday when you asked if she'd been snogging and with whom. Bennett might be right, you shouldn't talk to girls. They're weird."

Claire looks wistful for a second. "No," she says. "The risks outweigh the benefits." She looks at Gabrielle, rather baffled. When the other girl finishes, she turns to Gabriel. "What did you /say/ to her?" she asks, equally appalled and curious.

Elspeth blinks at the response from Gabrielle, and hastily steps out of the way, not wanting to be between the older student and the door. She watches her go, and edges towards the two boys. "What is this question being?" she asks quietly, at almost the same time as Claire, just not as well heard, perhaps.

Gabrielle back clearly stiffens as Gareth calls after her, but she does not turn around.

Gabriel looks up and opens his mouth, stops for a second, then shuts it again. He might be a lot stupid when it comes to how to interact with women but he is, after all, a Ravenclaw. There are brains hidden in there somewhere and they're telling him right now the best thing he can do is shut up and let Gabrielle leave. So with another thump he drops his head back to the table and blindly hands Warren the money for the dueling tournament bet.

"Oh well." Warren seems fairly indifferent to the answer, the boy snatching up his papers and stuffing them into books before he starts stacking things into a pile. It's all scooped up in short order. "Well, I think I'll avoid this mess. Nobody start trouble, you know my rule." He does snatch up Gabriel's money, nudging the boy's shoulder once. "Cheer up!" He even waves to Elspeth as he heads for the Boy's Tower.

Gareth reaches to pat Gabriel's shoulder. "I think the wisest course of action right now would be to wait for Evans to calm a tad, then sincerely apologize for what was, after all, a simple misunderstanding. It's only natural to be curious about such things, but for some reason, when the subject comes up, some girls become simply barking mad."

Elspeth waves a hand to the prefect, and then gives a tiny sigh as it appears no answer is forthcoming on the subject of Gabby. She sinks down into a chair and lays her sketchbook on the table, pulling the strap of her bookbag over her head and flopping that down, too.

Claire watches her yearmates go, and turns the spotlights full on Gabriel. "What did you do? Did you ask her to the dance or something?" Her tone isn't a judging one so much as intensely curious.

Gabriel tilts his head sideways so that he can look at both Claire and Elspeth without lifting it from the table. After a moments worried thought he says,"You have to promise, promise, /promise/ you won't do the same thing she's doing if I tell you what happened…" Then just waits for the promise without even looking at Gareth, worried that his expression might show him just ow big a mistake he's making.

Elspeth looking to Claire, and then Gabriel, she gives a nod. "Of course, I will not being storming out of the room."

"I'm not going to storm out of the room, but I will tell you if you're being a prat." Claire lays her quill down and crosses her arms across her chest.

Gareth sighs and shakes his head, saying very softly, "Two words, Ward. Barking. Mad." And that's all he plans to contribute for the moment.

Gabriel sighs and sits back up only to slump so far down in his chair half his body is now under the table,"Well, OK. I think that's just what I need, someone that thinks like a girl to explain what I did wrong." Little known fact: Gabriel's favorite dish these days seems to be foot. "So we were talking about the ball and how most of the upper classmen chose who they invite by who they want to snog. And I was explaining that my cousin had told me over the summer that a kiss isn't just touching lips but…" Here he slows down and his eye start to flit from one girl to the other before he entirely changes what he was going to say to,"That a kiss is a lot grosser than that and I explained how. And since the only way to know if any information you've gotten is to find corroborating sources I asked Gabrielle if she had ever snogged someone. So that she could tell me if the process my cousin explain was really true. But I didn't get the chance because she got really red, yelled at me, and then just kind of ran away." As his story finishes he sinks a little lower into his chair, waiting for the explosion.

Elspeth does turn a little red, but not as red as Gabrielle. "Well, uh, I am thinking that nice girls are being told that it is not nice to kiss and tell. Maybe she thinks that you are not thinking she is a nice girl if you are asking her to tell you about it." Her voice is quiet, but it looks more like she wants to laugh than yell.

Well, yes, the point of a dance is to snog someone at the end of the night. Claire is following the story up to this point. Then her eyes widen and she grips the table hard with both hands. She is literally biting her lip. She starts shaking with silent laughter and squeezes her eyes shut. Tears spring out at the corners. "Gabriel… Gabriel," she chokes out. "I can't even fault your methodology. You shouldn't have done it, but it wasn't wrong…" She falls back into half-silent, half-wheezing laughter.

Gareth frowns then, brows drawing together. "That's the silliest thing I think I've ever heard. How are…is Ward supposed to learn about such matters if not by asking questions and receiving frank answers? It isn't as though he'd asked her to demonstrate…." He falls silent for a long moment, staring off until his eyes light with inspiration. "That's it! Cameron, you're brilliant. Gabriel, you must ask her to the Hallowe'en ball. Don't you see? It will solve all of your problems. First, you apologize for what was, apparently, an inappropriate line of questioning, and in so doing, you explain that it was a result of your nervousness, as you had been working up your nerve to ask her to the dance. Naturally, she'll forgive you and accept your invitation, so that will patch things up between you. And you'll have an upperclassman to attend the ball with, -and- there's a slim chance you'll get to experience kissing firsthand. It's brilliant!"

Gabriel throws his hands up into the air, letting out a little growl of frustration,"That's what I'm saying!" before turning to Elspeth,"Well, I promised to help her with… bookworms. And I like keeping my promises so I need to figure out how to fix this. You really think that's why she's so mad? Should I apologize for making her think I thought she wasn't a nice girl? What does being a nice girl have anything to do with snogging anyway?" His eyes start to bug out again as he listens to Gareth suggestion and he gets out of his chair so fast he stumbles over it as he retreats away from the table waving both hands in the air,"Oh nononono! We've established the amount of microbes and bacteria involved in the process is absolutely gross! What if it does work!? Then /I'll/ need the King Arthur costume to fend her off and then she'll get mad at me for /not/ wanting to snog her! Are you trying to get me killed? I thought we were friends!"

Elspeth shakes her head "No, I am thinking that Glyndwr is being right. It is best not to be saying anything at all." At the young one's response to Gareth's suggestion, she shrugs. "I think that she is already going with someone to the ball. It is not a worry for you, Ward. And for the idea of learning about snogging… I am thinking it is one of those things that one must be learning by doing. When it is time to be doing. There are some things that reading a book or asking questions are not asnwering."

"Because people are stupid," Claire says, in the affectionate tone one uses for sweet but useless animals. Claire rests her face in a hand, and takes a deep breath. "Gabriel. You can't." She wipes away a year and, with effort, regains most of her composure. Enough to work with, any way. "This is what you need to do. Apologize to Gabrielle." Claire holds up her index finger. "Tell her you didn't know what you were talking about. I know, I know, it doesn't make any sense. People are stupid. Leave off this line of questioning for at least the rest of the year." She raises a second finger, and a third. "When you see your cousin, throw your baseball at his eye."

Gabriel puts both his hands on his knees as he bends over and tries to control his breathing. Quick shallow breaths slowly start becoming deep gasping one and he finally looks up, waggling a silent finger at random towars the table until he can actually speak,"Her. Her. She's got the right of it. And Elspeth does too. You, you're just crazy Gareth, nice, I love you like a brother already but crazy." Letting himself drop to a seating position right in the middle of the floor he puts his head between his knees and from there mumbles,"So how do I do this Clair? In person or letter. Pleeeeeeaaaaaase, say letter." Dramatic, isn't he?

Gareth gives his eyes a small roll. "Relax, Ward. If Miss Rosen is correct, and Evans already has a date, then she wouldn't accept your invitation, would she? And even if, by some miracle, she did, I very seriously doubt she'd expect you to snog with her. But I do agree with Cameron: apologize. Actually, take her something, like flowers or a box of sweets. Friendly flowers, not romantic ones. If you have any doubt, I believe I have an herbology book that will help you choose the right posies. But a gift of some sort is essential to a good apology. It shows sincerity." He pauses a moment, then adds, "In person, of course. A letter is too impersonal."

Elspeth grins. "I am thinking the ball in the face is best being done in person," she says quietly. But the smile she bestows sideways to Cameron has something close to admiration in it.

Claire smiles sympathetically. "You're going to have to see her sooner or later. The castle might be that big but Ravenclaw Tower isn't." She nods at Gareth. "Flowers are good. No chocolate, I would think. That can be read too romantically."

Gabriel's shoulders stay plastered to his knees but his head cranes up to look at the table with eyes starting to go a little wild again,"Now I know this is a joke… Even I know flowers are soppy, gooey, romancy kind of gifts. HOw can I apologize with flowers and not make it worse. She'll get all the wrong ideas. She'll /kick/ me!"

"I would suggest white tulips, as they are a plea for forgiveness," Gareth says, tapping his chin. "Avoid red tulips, and red roses, for that matter. Actually, avoid any red flowers, just to be safe. Different flowers carry different meanings, you know. They aren't all soppy, gooey, romancy kinds of gifts. Now that I think of it, if you did unintentionally call her niceness into question, you might want to add Queen Anne's Lace to the bouquet, as they symbolize delicate femininity. It would be a way of asserting that you believe she is, in fact, a nice girl. All of this reminds me, I need to find some daffodils before teatime…."

"You play cricket, right? Run fast," is Claire's advice. She picks up her quill and goes back to crunching some numbers. Periodically, she pauses and shakes her head, chuckling to herself.

Gabriel almost laughs at Claire's suggestion before giving Gareth a look of surprise,"Who are you and what did you do with Gareth? When did you learn all this stuff about flower and their uses to send a message?"

Gareth quirks a brow in Claire's direction. "What would crickets have to do with running?" he asks, standing and crossing the room to the little corner he had been studying in earlier. "They're more hoppers, aren't they? Now where did I put that…?" He pokes around in his stacks of books until he finds an old, battered volume entitled 'Blooming Expressions, the Magical Art of Floriography', but Madame Tussie Mussie. "Oi, Ward," he says, tossing the book in his direction. "If you'd read now and again, instead of playing with your bats and crickets, you might learn all this stuff, too."

Ophelia comes down the stairs from the girls fifth year rooms, taking the steps two at a time. She's wearing a simple pale peach colored dress, and her hair has somehow been rolled into loose curls and pinned back from her face with a pair of small combs. She's carrying a stack of parchment sheets, on top of which balance a number of flowers in different sizes and shapes. Some of these look real, others look like they were folded from the parchment, and one of them actually looks like it was made of glass, with hints of purple at the tips of the petals. Hearing the tail end of the converstaion, she looks up with a bright smile, "Are you talking about flowers? Fantastic!"

Gabriel catches the book with ease and stats looking it over when he hears steps coming down from the girl's dormitory. With a sudden scramble he gets off the floor and dashes over to Gareth's 'corner' of the tower, curling up in a chair. But then he realizes that its not Gabby and lets out a sigh of relief,"Kind of, yes." And looking at Gareth he hold up the book and asks him,"Whya re you studying this anyway? I thought Idrissa was going to lend you a few Muggle bedtime story books?"

"Em, well, yes, that's what I meant. Hopping. Well, he'd dodge it either way. That's the point I'm making." Claire looks like she was caught in a lie, and doesn't look at Gareth

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