(1937-10-21) Compassionate Fishing
Details for Compassionate Fishing
Summary: Gabriel goes fishing and makes a new aquaintance.
Date: 1937-10-21
Location: Lake Shore, Hogwarts
Related: None.

Gabriel is quietly sitting out on the rocks with a little bucket next to him and a fishing pole in his hands. He's found a spot where he can sit on one rock and lean on a taller one behind him so he can close his eyes while he waits for a bite.

While most others from her year are still whooping it up in Hogsmeade, Nicki saw no reason to stay in town just because she could. She'd done her shopping, had a butterbeer… what else is there to do, really? So she came back to the grounds early, and decided to detour to the lake shore before going back to the dungeons. They're so gloomy. Having been off the grounds, she wears no identification of her house. She spies Gabriel, noting the boy's closed eyes and the fishing pole. She doesn't want to sneak up on him, and doesn't want to startle him by calling out suddenly, and her dilemma brings a light frown to her lips as she pauses.

The tip of Gabriel's rod shivers and shakes a few times the solidly tugs down. With a start Gabriel opens his eyes and sits straight up. A second later he starts pulls on the rod and reeling in whatever is on the end of his line.

Well, now that he's alert, Nicki's problem is solved. Her smile surfaces and she makes her way toward the fisherman, calling out with a spectacular grasp of the obvious, "You've got one!"

Gabriel whips his head around to see who's talking to him, grins once and then goes back to his pole. Tug, reel, tug, reel, tug, reel. Finally he stands up and gives one more big tug, making a smallish trout pop out of the water, flip-flopping on the line,"Haha! Gotcha." Putting the pole down on the rocks he starts working on getting the fish off the line and talking to the newcomer over his shoulder,"Hi. How are you? Nice day, isn't it?"

Nicki stops a bit away from Gabriel, letting him have more than ample room to land his catch. When he gets it in she watches curiously, responding to his questions. "If it doesn't rain," she comments, looking toward the grayish sky and then back to the boy. "What are you going to do with it?" They have all the food they need at the castle, and a pet trout is a bit unusual.

Gabriel takes another quick glance at the girl near him, smiles in a tad evil way then turns back to the trout he now has firmly held in both hands. Looking at it for a moment he then smooches it, "Thanks for the fun!" and tosses it back in the lack before reclaiming his seat. "Its not about the catch, its about the struggle." He's now engaged in putting a little blob of something on the end of his line.

One eyebrow lifts slightly at the boy's actions, but Nicki doesn't call them into question. She doesn't wait for an invitation, either, but moves to sit on a rock nearby, still giving him ample room for his sport. "Did you ever wonder if the hook hurts them?" she asks, no implication in her voice of either approval or condemnation.

Gabriel holds up the end of the line showing a little blob of what looks like scrunched up seaweed,"What hook? I found a charm to make it so that any fish that bites on these little balls of seaweed just get stuck to it. Using hooks is mean unless you're doing it for food." For the first time he actually turns to look at the girl next to him and now that he's taking a moment to really look he face goes a little slack then a little red then he's suddenly very focused on his line again.

With her eyes on the seaweed, Nicki misses the look that passes across Gabriel's face. Her smile has blossomed again, and she looks quite pleased. "That's very clever!" She reaches over and gives the little blob a squeeze, testing it. It doesn't feel very sticky, but she's not a fish, either. "I'm glad you aren't hurting them."

Gabriel checks the little weight that's attached on the line right above the blob of seaweed then makes another cast, still looking down instead of at his sudden companion. But he topples backward as he misjudges the cast and gets his weight caught between two rocks behind him."Erk… Oh! Yes, I'm glad you're glad. I'm Gabriel. How do you do? Nice day isn't it?" All this is said while he scrambles up and starts trying to extricate the stuck weight.

His overbalance backwards brings a surprised "Oh!" from Nicki, and she moves, twisting and holding her hand out to help him if he'd care to take it. "Careful! You could hit your head and then I'd have to get you up to the infirmary, and I don't much fancy having to do that." Not a fan of the infirmary, this one. His cluster of words gets a soft laugh. "I'm Nicki, and I'm pleased to meet you, Gabriel." Another glance to the sky, "It's still a passing fair day." Her smile is friendly as she looks to him once more.

Gabriel finally frees his line and goes back to his seat. This time he very, very carefully casts his line, making for a very short cast but the important part is achieved, it plops in the water. "So why are you out and about on the lake shore when its a Hogsmeade weekend? I don't think your a firstie, I haven't seen you in any of my classes…"

Since he's got himself all sorted without her intervention, Nicki withdraws her offered hand and instead, bending her knees, wraps her arms around her legs, tucking her skirt in modestly. She watches the line in the water as she talks to Gabriel. "I was there for a while, but I got bored." Her shoulders shrug lightly. "There's only so much to do, really. I'm a fourth year," she adds, addressing his speculation, and her head turns so she can regard him. "You're in first then?"

Gabriel's eyes are finally starting to leave the tip of his rod, sliding sideways from time to time to look at Nicki out of the far corner. And his cheeks are still a little red for some reason,"Well, yes, I am. If not wouldn't I be at Hogsmeade? Well, maybe not if there isn't really all that much to do… But I could probably spend a whole day in the candy shop… Is it true they have candy that makes you float? And bubble gum that blows colored bubbles? And exploding bon-bons?"

Nicki looks over at Gabriel openly, surprise on her face. "You mean no one's brought you back any? There's all of that and more! Hard candy that turns your face different shades as the flavor changes, and little candies with fizzy centers… but those make me sneeze." She really looks amazed that he's had no treats brought back by his older housemates. Sometimes the ones that can go just don't think to look after the ones that can't yet.

Gabriel shrugs a tiny little bit and says,"I haven't asked for any. Too many sweets are bad for you and I'm holding on for the Hallowe'en Ball so I can have as many as I want then. Are you going with anyone?"

Nicki huffs out a breath, "You shouldn't have to ask." Then a soft laugh comes and she chides him gently, "Well, you don't have to eat everything you get all at once, Gabriel. The Hallowe'en Ball? Oh no, I'm not going." It's said lightly enough that there doesn't to seem to be any actual disappointment behind that fact that she's trying to cover.

Gabriel finally turns to look at Nicki directly, with an expression of disbelief on his face, before whipping his head back to focus on the tip of his fishing rod,"Ummm… Ok… Why not? It sounds like it'll be a lot of fun. And besides, if you don't go then anything interesting that happens you'll have to learn about from other people instead of having a chance to see it personally."

"And if nothing interesting happens, I'll have gone for nothing," Nicki replies lightly, flashing Gabe another smile. A voice calls out, and the girl's head turns to see some other girls standing a bit away from them, waving. "Oh, those are my housemates!" She stands, brushing her skirt off and pushing her hair back over her shoulder. "I've got a study date with them, there's going to be an exam tomorrow for us in charms. Maybe I can come fishing with you again sometime. Have fun, Gabriel!" With a little wave she turns and jogs off to meet up with the girls and head into the castle.

Gabriel watches Nicki leave, looking a little befuddled until another tug on his line pulls him back to fishing with a little jerk of surprise.

Later Saturday night, one of Gabriel's older housemates hands him a small paper sack. Inside is an assortment of several different kinds of sweets, one each, from the candy shop in Hogsmeade. An unsigned note says "Don't eat them all at once!" in a girlish swirl.

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