(1937-10-13) Tea, Wands, and Knights
Details for Tea, Wands, and Knights
Summary: Two Ravenclaws discuss wandlore, while another two have tea and discuss knighthood.
Date: October 13, 1937
Location: Ravenclaw Common Room
Related: Poor Gabriel
Characters
GabrielClaireAjaxOpheliaGarethHephaesta

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.


As if on cue, that's when the common room door opens to admit Ajax, who comes inside carrying a large carton, draped with a plain blue cloth. He spies the others, flashes a grin, and then announces, "Make a spot! I need to put this down." He makes a beeline for the table, aiming to set his parcel down, and once this is done, he produces his wand, pointing it carefully at the parcel. "All right! I've been practicing. Let's see if I can manage it!" He glances at all the others, grinning widely, as he awaits their responses before casting his spell.

Gareth's cheeks suddenly color, and he begins to stammer a bit. "Oh, er…That is…As I was saying, I need to find some daffodils before tea, and I wanted to be sure they'd convey the correct message. National symbol of Wales, you know, but it also represents chivalry in general." Yes, that should answer all Gabriel's questions. Gareth's cheeks redden further still when Ajax makes his boisterous entrance, eyes brightening considerably. Quickly, he moves some of Warren's abandoned books, making room for the blue-draped package, then stepping back to see what happens next.

"Are you studying Muggle stories?" Ophelia walks, nearly skipping, to the table and finds herself an empty chair to pull up, dropping carefully her stack of parchment before she sits. But then Ajax is arriving! Grinning, she scoots her stack to the far corner of the table so that her best friend has enough room, rolling onto the balls of her feet to counce in anticipation for whatever he has in store. "Oooh, what is it?"

Oho! Distractions at last. Gabriel bounces out of the chair he was occupying and follows Gareth back to the table, standing between him and Ophelia to make sure that Ajax has space to work,"Please do tell. What's in the box?"

Claire takes her books - three on duelling and one on probabilities - into her lap and slides her chair back. Just as precaution. "Is it supposed to explode? If you mess up is it likely to explode?"

"Well, honestly," Ajax admits, "I was expecting to find only Gareth, but — well, this can be a practice run, I suppose." He pulls away the cloth, dramatically revealing — the top of the carton. He tosses the cloth playfully to Ophelia, winks at Gareth, and then clears his throat gently but ceremoniously. "All right. Been practicing this—hope I'm impressive enough!" He glances to Claire, adding as an aside, "No exploding, I hope. Not at all the purpose. Well, here we go, then!" He gives a careful, graceful flourish of his wand, aiming at the carton, and pronounces, "Evanesco!"

Gareth swallows audibly, his eyes widening. "This is…for me?" he asks in a small voice, adjusting his glasses. "I'm…I don't know what I am. Flattered?" Still bright red, he turns his attention to the carton, anxiously awaiting the results of Ajax's charm.

The carton vanishes gracefully, revealing within it a gleamingly polished silver tea service, still steaming a bit, with a few flowering mustard greens in a small vase for effect.

The flowers have, of course, been transfigured blue instead of yellow.

Giggling, Ophelia reaches out to catch the cloth, which she then tucks over her arm. She glances at Gareth as Ajaxs makes his admission, her eyebrows rising briefly. But the box presents a more immediate entertainment for now. So she just grins and looks back to the… place where the box was a moment ago. "Bravo!" She claps, beaming.

Gabriel grins and claps,"Very nice! So what other uses does that spell have? Oooo, does it work on people? It would be great! It would be like having a cloak of invisibility without the cloak!"

Gareth's eyes brighten, a grin spreading over his face. "Jax, that was brilliant! And with an OWL-level charm, no less." He leans in to inhale the tea's steam, glancing at Ajax once or twice. "You really do underestimate your own abilities, you know. This was very well done. I don't think I could have pulled it off with such ease."

Claire exhales when the carton is vanished - not before! "Ah, well done! I've only been able to make things go mostly translucent."

Dropping into her chair again, Ophelia folds the cloth over one shoulder and pulls her stack of parchment back over. "Its very useful for cleaning." She notes, "And he /is/ rather brilliant, of course. Is there enough to share? Or shall I get us another pot?" She glances at her flowers, picking one up to consider it, and then drops it atop the others again, shaking her head.

Grinning, and to be honest blushing a bit, Ajax says, "Well, I've worked hard on it, and charms has always been my best subject. I'm not half so good at the others—especially potions! I always seem to get distracted and make a huge mess. No explosions, recently, at least." He snags one of the flowers from the vase, offering it gallantly to Gareth, and says, "I hope you don't mind Earl Grey? I'm afraid I inherited my mum's taste for it, and I didn't stop to wonder if you'd prefer another sort." There are also, of course, plates of biscuits, finger sandwiches, and so forth. Clearly, Ajax called in some favors from the kitchen.

Belatedly, to Gabriel, Ajax adds, "I wouldn't try that. It's a VANISHING spell, not invisibility. Might not end well."

Gareth blushes once again, bringing the flower to his nose with a smile. "Earl Grey is perfect," he says, darting quick glances to the others. "And this was really a very lovely surprise. I can't believe you put in such effort for…well, for me. Um. Shall we invite everyone to join us, or…?" He begins to stammer a bit, searching for the right excuse, but only coming up with: "…should I help you with some potions studying?"

"Don't worry about my spot," Claire says, standing up and pushing her chair in. "No slight to you of course, but," she shrugs and holds forward the stack of books, "I have some snakes and lions to hex."

Gabriel looks back and forth between Gareth and Ajax a few times then his mouth drops open in a little "Oh…" followed by a slowly widening smile of pleasure for his friend. "Ophelia! I just remembered Maeve said you were the person to talk with if I needed someone to interpret my wand for me. I have a ton of questions but I don't want everyone hearing about it in case there something bad you have to tell me. Come over here with me, please?" He gives her the ol' puppy dog eyes to add some extra oomph to the plea.

"Good luck!" Ophelia calls to Claire, grinning at the girl. And then she, too, stands and starts gathering her things. "Perhaps… I should take this back to my room. It, ah, looks like the pair of you might have some- eh?" Breaking off to turn to Gabriel, she chuckles, "Oh, sure of course. I can't promise I'll be able to divine your future or anything. But I'll do what I can." She looks back just long enough to give Ajax a pointed look, then gathers her things and steps around to join Gabriel, "Where to?"

Ajax is about to answer Gareth when suddenly everyone up and leaves! This gets those blue eyebrows to pop up in surprise, but then Ajax drops into a seat, grinning, and says, "Apparently, we're being given their blessing to enjoy the tea privately. Good thing, too. I don't think I could conjure teacups that would last long." He sets a cup and saucer in front of Gareth, then one in front of himself, and proceeds to begin serving the light meal and pouring out. He does pause to ask, of course, "Do you take anything in it? Some like a bit of lemon or honey, I'm told, but I usually drink it just as it is."

"Just a cube of sugar," Gareth says, draping a napkin over one thigh, as he glances to the fleeing others. "Oh. It seems the cat has escaped the proverbial bag. Not that I mind, of course. This really is very thoughtful, Jax. Much more private than the Great Hall, where we'd have the whole school gawking at us…rather than just a few fellow Ravenclaws." He glances toward Gabriel and Ophelia to see just what they're up to over there.

Gabriel really does have questions about his wand so he guides Ophelia over to a far section of the tower where to only available chairs are set up with their back to the table that Ajax and Gareth are sitting at. Pulling out his wand he says,"Mr. Olivander made this wand but he didn't answer too many questions about it. I think it was because his store was really busy that day but I think it might have been the same even on a slow day. What does the wood stand for? And the core? What kind of spells do you think it'll be best for? Is it any good for dueling? What does it say about me, since the wand chooses the wizard… Or so I've heard."

Ophelia follows Gabriel, dropping her stack on the floor and herself onto the chair next to the stack. Pulling her bare feet up and tucking them underneath herself, she leans forward to get a good look at the wand. "It does." She nods, "Since Mr. Ollivander revolutionized everything, wands and wizards find greater matches these days. The wand choosing the wizard is a large part of that magic. May I?" She holds out her hands, looking up to guage his reaction to the possibility of her touching the wand.

Ajax gently drops one cube of sugar into Gareth's cup, nodding, and once everything is served and sorted, he takes up his own cup. "Well, we wanted to have tea, and I'm not really keen on having an audience to distract us when the whole point is getting to know one another better." He grins a bit. "Of course, now I'll admit that I'm miserably bad at this kind of thing. My whole approach to social situation is firmly rooted in a lack of planning, so I've written myself into a blind alley this time."

Gareth can't help but chuckle softly, lifting his cup. "You think I'm any better at this? I spend all my time in books, and I doubt the ancient tenants of courtly love would be appropriate in a situation like this. I mean, it isn't as though you're about to go off questing, leaving me to pine away for days, awaiting your triumphant return. Oh, that reminds me, I meant to find some…Doesn't matter, I'll remember next time. The point, though, is that we're both new at this, so it's likely all right if we're miserably bad at it. We can be miserably bad together."

Gabriel, Muggle-born that he is, has only had his wand for a month or so. He doesn't think twice before giving over his wand,"Of course. Lets see, if I remember right its dogwood with a unicorn hair core…" He watches expectantly for Ophelia's reaction, keeping half an ear on the conversation happening on the other side of the tower.

Accepting the wand with a grin, Ophelia turns it over in her hands carefully, as though it is quite fragile. Her eyes shine with admiration, for a moment, and a tiny sigh escapes her, before she snaps back to reality, nodding, "Ah, yes. Dogwood, lets see… well, you shan't be doing any non-verbal spells, I should think. At least, its rather unlikely. And… excitement. Dogwood likes excitement, so you probably like to have a bit of fun, yes?"

Ajax laughs a little, shaking his head. "I promise I have no plans to go and slay giants, ogres, or questing beasts at any point. If I DID find a questing beast, I think I'd ask it to tea rather than slay it. That's my only real objection to the knights' tales, you know: all that slaying! Couldn't they figure out any other way to solve their problems than by thrusting spears into each other?"

Gareth nods then, eyes alight. "Obviously, the problem is that not enough Ravenclaws become knights. Sir Nicholas is a knight, and look where it got him: nearly beheaded! Actually, I think the questing beast would be absolutely fascinating to study. It's never really explained why it makes the sound of thirty couple of hounds on quest. What causes that? And just what is the beast's place in the local ecology? Surely it doesn't exist only for knights to follow around for decades." He takes a small sip of tea. "Of course, there's something rather romantic about two knights tilting one another over someone's favor, whether that someone be a fair maiden or…well, or a wizard standing by with healing potions for the victor."

Gabriel nods in response to Ophelia's question,"Maybe a little too much? I almost got in trouble with Pringle again today. Thank fully I outrun him." He seems to be about to continue but the he stops as if he'd realized if he's talking he can't learn whatever Ophelia has to teach him or hear anything going on behind him.

Ophelia raises her brows in question, then grins. "Well, that's alright. Its what Dogwoods tend to like, anyway. So it means the wand is likely quite happy with you. And so you'll probably be able to perform some rather spectacular magic together someday, possibly. Unicorn hair, of course, isn't quite as powerful as dragon heartstring, but if you make the wand happy then I think you'll do quite well. Are you in the dueling tournament? Is that why you ask?"

Ajax grins, laughing a bit. "I always suspected many windpipes. Maybe it had a widely differentiated respiratory system." He gestures a bit, leaping between topics. "I just sometimes wonder if maybe the limitations of their society didn't contribute to misplaced aggression! Otherwise, maybe they'd have had more constructive methods. Of course, I admit I'd be more willing to risk life and limb if I knew a comely wizard awaited me with healing draughts to soothe my weary limbs and assuage my dolorous wounds." He drowns a snicker in his teacup, then picks up a biscuit. "Besides, riddle games are a classic strategy that doesn't involve violence!"
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Gareth takes a small biscuit, placing it on a dainty plate. "Ah, but riddle games can be just as dangerous. Sphinxes are notorious for devouring those who fail to answer their riddles, and there are stories about Northern Dwarves who spend hours trading riddles with unwary passersby, and should one fail to correctly guess the answer…." He draws a finger across his throat dramatically. "I think you would do very well as clever knight. Yes, Sir Ajax, the Blue Knight, riding forth to solve the cleverest puzzles and conundrums. Now if you could only solve the greatest riddle of them all: why are girls so utterly mad?" He steals a glance toward the two who are engaged in wand discusion across the room, taking another sip of his tea.

Gabriel proves he deserves to be a Ravenclaw with his next comment,"Its not all about power, the way you use the power you have is more important than the raw power itself. I was in the tournament. I almost beat Ria! But she got me at the last second. Do you know if this is a good wand for a healer? I really want to be a Healer, maybe figure out a way to combine Muggle and wizardly healing techniques to make the best healing system ever. And Transfiguration? I really like transfiguration…" Lowering his voice a little bit, as if he was imparting a huge secret he adds,"I want to learn to be an animagus."

Ophelia grins proudly at Gabriel, like a teacher looking at a favorite pupil. "Excellent." She nods, beaming as he reveals his secret. "Don't worry, you'll do fine together. Dogwood performs well under pressure, its why I asked about the tournament. I think it should do well for healing."

Ajax can't help grinning at the discussion of riddle-games and blue knights, and he adds, "I promise, the Blue Knight would be a great deal less likely to lop off heads than the green one." As to the question about girls, he exhales sharply, sets down his tea cup, and admits, "I've no idea! I suppose I try to associate with the saner sort, much as I do with wizards, but—well, it probably has to do with different physiology, right? That, or perhaps we're all mad, and we're just easier at spotting madness that's different from our own."

Gareth ponders this for a few moments, softly crunching a nibble of biscuit. "Yes, you could be right at that. I suppose we are all mad, in a way. I know I've been having some very peculiar thoughts lately, things I'd never dreamed of before." His eyes widen a touch when he realizes he's speaking aloud, and he gives a sheepish sort of grin. "I suppose that happens to everyone from time to time. I believe the Muggles even have a word for it. Let me see if I can remember it. Booberty?"

Gabriel leans over to look around the back of his chair at Ajax and Gareth,"Ummmm… I think the word you're looking for is puberty. Its when horomones make your body start changing into the body you'll have as an adult. And lots of… weird things happen during that time." Ah, the beauties of having a pediatrician for a father. Some conversations happen extra early and in all sorts of scientific terms. As he thinks of the weird things Gabe blushes and turns back to Ophelia,"So its a good wand then? At least it likes to have fun!"

Ophelia blinks, looking up confusedly at Gabriel. But oh, he's talking to Ajax and Gareth! Turning, she glances at the two over her shoulder. She offers the pair an encouraging smile, missing completely just /what/ Gabriel is saying to them, then turns back to grin at Gabriel again. "It /is/ a good wand. I remember once, when I was doing my annual visit, him saying something about Dogwood being so fun… "

Ajax shakes his head a bit, smirking, and finishes off his cup of tea. "Booberty, puberty—it's just a word for 'coming of age.' Of course our minds and bodies change. That's the whole point. But, I don't think it really makes us crazy. It just… maybe feels that way." He shrugs a little, then adds, "Besides, you think unusual hair growth patterns are odd? Imagine it BLUE." He rubs his chin slightly to make sure it's clear he's not trying to be improper, of course.

Gareth's eyes are drawn to Ajax's chin, but they start to lose focus, and suddenly he's blushing darkly. Clearly, he's having those very improper thoughts! "I can only imagine. Or. Well, try to imagine. I mean! Try -not- to imagine. I'm not trying to imagine…anything!" He quickly refills his teacup, hand shaking just a bit. 'Coming of age' isn't easy! "M-more tea?"

Gabriel grins at Ophelia,"Thank you very much for this. Especially since I now know next time I duel I have to be really careful about not getting caught by anything that'll stop me from speaking. And isn't casting without speaking one of the hardest things /ever/? I heard its really difficult to do, even for really good wizards. Can /you/ do it?" Apparently right now anyone that's over third year is 'a really good wizard'.

Ophelia just shrugs, "I haven't tried many yet. And admittedly, I've not had great success. I'd like to work on it more, of course. But I just don't have the time lately." She sighs, then, and points to her hair, "This took up nearly my whole /morning/." And having her hair all curled and styled is an unusual thing for the ginger, who usually simply lets it hang straight and plainly.

The Common Room is not quite as busy as it was earlier in the evening but there are still a few people around. Most notably Ajax and Gareth are sitting at a table havig a quiet conversation over a nice looking tea set, including a little vase with flowers. Gabriel and Ophelia are bent over a wand talking about wandcraft and spellcraft.

Hephaesta comes down the stairs from the Girls' Dormitories with a familiar click-whirrr sound. Spotting Ajax and Ophelia brings a bright smile to her face, not that she isn't happy to see her other fellow Ravenclaws. But, naturally, it is the ginger girl that draws Phae near.

Before Ajax can properly respond to Gareth, he's called away to do something perfect-erly on the other side of the castle, leaving blushing Gareth to sip his tea and continue -not- picturing anything impure. Because Missus Glyndwr nee Yvor raised her son properly! Patting his lips with the napkin and leaving it folded neatly on the table, he gets his blushing under control before turning toward the others. "Well, that was pleasant, wasn't it? I do so like a good spot of tea before bed. Oh, hello, Mulciber. All right then? Ward, Summerbee, all right?"

Gabriel flips himself around so he's kneeling on the chair's cushion chin proped on the chair back as he frowns at Gareth,"You didn't say anything! when did all…. /that/ happen? You /better/ bring me the biggest bag of sweets /ever/ from the Hallowe'en Ball!" Spining back around he plops back in his chair, assumptions made.

Hearing Gareth say 'Mulciber,' Ophelia turns quickly. She also reaches up in an attempt to cover the fancy curls she's made of her hair, as if she suddenly doesn't want them to be seen. But its too late for that. So she smiles, pulls her hands back down, and gestures for Hephaesta to join her in the nearest chair. "All right." She nods to Gareth, "So you and Ajax, then? Nice to see him showing an interest in someone… with a brain."

Hephaesta gives Gareth a friendly wave at the greeting. But when she comes up to Ophelia, she blinks in surprise, seeing Ophelia's hair in curls. "Oh…wow. What…why are you covering up, Ophie?" She nibbles at her lip.

Gareth blushes all over again, and he's really getting quite good at it. See, no effort at all! "I -did- say something," he sputters to Gabriel. "This morning at breakfast, I tried to talk to you, but you were busy going on and on about your bases-ball, and I didn't want to interrupt. And as far as I know, I'm still taking -you- to the ball. That was the plan, wasn't it? Maybe I can get Jax to ask an underclassman, and then we'll…we'll see what happens." His blush continues when he looks to Ophelia, one brow arching. "Why, was he showing an interest in someone less…brainy? Oh. You mean that Slytherin chaser, no doubt. I have noticed Jax…looking at him from time to time." Not that Gareth hasn't looked as well, but best not to mention that.

Aaaand flip! Gabriel sits there for a few moments tapping his chin with a finger as he thinks back to breakfast then leans sideways to look at Gareth by poking his head out along the side of the chairback,"You're right, I was talking a lot about /baseball/ this morning. I'm sorry I didn't let you speak. You should know better than to worry about interrupting me at this point. I know! Ajax can invite Idressa. And if the two of them" at this point he motions to Ophelia and Hephaesta,"want to help with our plan one of them can invite Arian, since it seems Idrissa wanted to go with him and then someone else can invite Maeve or Josie… But that means we need at least one more person…" Looking over at the closest clock he lets out a little gasp pops out of his chair,"Its almost time for lights out. And I already almost got in trouble with Pringle once today! I'm going to bed. Good job Gareth. Thanks Ophelia. Bye Hephaesta!" With that he grabs his wand from Ophelia's hands his bat from where its spent most of the night on the floor and dashes off.

Ophelia gives a sheepish smile, "Oh I just… wanted it to be a surprise. For the dance." Blushing, she glances at Gareth, her smile fading a little. "Oh, yes. But really, its just… I mean I happen to know Ajax doesn't really care for quidditch much." She frowns, looking curiously at Gabriel as he speaks. She starts to ask him something, but then he's off and leaving. "But.. I thought Arian was already taking Idrissa… and I'm already taking Hephaesta… "

Hephaesta covers her eyes. "Then I saw nothing!" She giggles. But when the talk of taking other dates to the dance comes up, she lowers her hands and frowns worriedly, nodding along with Ophelia. She moves over to put her hands in Ophelia's.

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