(1937-11-06) Carpe Piscem
Details for Carpe Piscem
Summary: Gareth tries to show Ajax how to "seize the fish," but ends up losing points for Ravenclaw House — and it was all for naught anyway, because Ajax had already tried seizing the fish earlier! Meanwhile, Theodore and Ripley are clueless.
Date: November 6, 1937
Location: Boys Tower, Ravenclaw
Related: Frankenstein and Do-Overs, Forgettable Flunkies

Boys Tower Hogwarts Castle

In a turret off of the main Ravenclaw Tower is another tower for the Boy's Dormitory. Of all the towers in the castle those of the Ravenclaw House are the most 'out there' so to speak so there is a soft and constant whistle of wind through the shingles and cracks in the windows and doors. 'Rowena's Lullaby' is what the wind has affectionately been named by those sorted into her house. Bronze four poster bedframes are outfited with a lamp in the head board so that night reading can be done with ease. Each bed also comes with a 'back rest' pillow to also keep the studying student comfortable. Sky blue silk is the fabric and colour that drapes each student bed. Between each bed there is a large desk with a bookshelf in the wall above it. Also a small low dresser doubles as a night stand on the other side of each bed from the desk.

Gareth storms into the turret, tossing his armload of books on his bed with a small snarl, his face red with rage. "Flunk out? Me? That lousy…Slytherin!"

Ajax was just peacefully reclining on his bed, working out some ideas for a charm spell he wants to create. Then, Gareth burst in. The bed curtains part, and Ajax pokes his head out. "Er—all right, Gareth?" he asks uncertainly.

Gareth huffs and spins in Ajax's direction. "No, I'm not all right! Do you know what that…that…that Chaser said? He said he thought he remembered that I'd flunked out last year. Flunked out! Of all the nerve. Why, I have half a mind to cast a…." He pauses, eyes going distant at first, then lighting with an idea. "Are you dressed in there?"

Ajax cocks an eyebrow, sliding the curtain open a bit farther to reveal that he's wearing full pyjamas. "I'm hardly going to sleep in something scandalous at school," he admonishes. Then, "What chaser? What happened? And the notion of you flunking out is so silly it's hardly even worth noticing, let alone getting upset over."

Gareth's eyes do a quick up-down, just making sure Ajax isn't, in fact, scandalous. "It'll do," he says, reaching to take Ajax by the hand, unless he pulls away. "Come on, it's time. Past time, really. Let's go do this, strike while the iron is hot." He pauses. "Bring your wand."

Ajax is pulled out of bed, largely by virtue of being totally puzzled. He snatches his dressing gown from where it hangs on the corner of his bed, shrugging into it and hop-stepping into his slippers as they go. "Wait—what? What's all this about?"

"You'll see!" Gareth says, tugging at Ajax with an uncharacteristic determination. "We're going to get this done, once and for all, and then things will finally be the way they're supposed to. Got your wand?" He throws open the door to the stairs, ready to head down.

"I've always got my wand," Ajax answers, producing it with a small flourish, "Now would you slow down a moment and tell me what in Merlin's blasted petticoats you're talking about?!" He's beginning to resist being dragged now, just slightly—partly so he can try to tie his robe with a flick of his wand, and partly because he wants to know what gives.

Gareth shakes his head, starting down the stairs. "No time to explain! Just go along with it, all right? Trust me, it's for the best. Carpe piscem! Or whatever the expression is. Seize the fish!" And he's off down to the common room.

(one mad dash down the stairs later)

Great Hall Hogwarts Castle
Braziers that hang by chains from the beaks of griffin gargoyles that line the walls where they meet the high vaulted enchanted ceiling offer warm illuminating blazes. Four long tables are evenly spaced with the heads of the table at the north and south of the room. Each table has a cloth runner down the center and a plush rug underneath of the different House colors indicating to which house the table belongs.
The most westerly table is the Slytherin table. Beside them is the Ravenclaw table. The Gryffindor table is then between the Ravenclaw table to the west and the Hufflepuff table which is the most easterly table. One other table along the northern wall up on a dais for the Professors to sit at and look over all four of the other tables. Also on the dais is one lectern gilded in gold with an owl spreading it's wings at the top of the lectern. Candles line the tops of the owl's wings to illuminate anyone speaking at the lectern. A stool like protrusion comes out of the lectern as well as that's where the first years sit when they are sorted.
There are three sets of doors in the Great Hall. The main exit and entrance that leads to the Entry Hall is a large set of double wooden doors carved with vines and flanked by high stone pedestals each set with a small brazier above the stony 'H' carved in the pedestal. On the eastern wall is a much smaller door just next to the dais that's attached to the antechamber the first years come up from the lake through. Lastly one other door is set into the northwest corner behind the High Table.
As always high above within the obscured stone and wood cathedral like buttresses and crockets the outside weather is reflected in an illusion with all the sound and visuals of the weather, just without the actual effects of it.

"Gotta be around here somewhere," Gareth mutters, more to himself than Ajax, whom he's dragging along by one hand. Though Gareth is still dressed as before, he's lost all his books, and the half-dead look on his face has been replaced by grim determination.

Theodore is sitting at one of the tables. It's still just a hair prior to curfew, so after changing into his sweats and Tshirt for bed, he's slipped into the Great Hall and had one of the elves grab him a snack. He's eating a bowl of grapes, looking kind of bored.

As the two burst into the great hall, Ajax pulls back and declares in annoyance, "Gareth, what are you DOING? There can't be anything in the Great Hall that you need to seize—fishy or otherwise!" The blue-haired Ravenclaw prefect is wearing a dressing gown and slippers, clearly ready for bed, though he's holding his wand in his right hand.

"Ah ha!" Gareth shouts, whipping out his own wand and aiming it at Theodore. "There you are, Dupont. I've come to make you answer for the grave insult you hurled my way earlier! I challenge you to a duel!" Aiming, but not firing. Still, it's likely a more aggressive stance than anyone at the school has ever seen from Gareth.

Theodore reacts as any student should when someone draws a wand aggressively against them, and he hops to his feet, backing away carefully. "Whoah… Easy there… What… What are you even talking about…?"

Ajax struggles to get away from Gareth, but apparently the other is too determined. Finally, Ajax just levels his wand at Gareth, glaring in frustration. "Merlin's KNICKERS, Gareth! Don't make me disarm you! This is NOT appropriate, and I'm a bloody prefect! Quit acting the arse and explain what the blasted hell you're on about!"

Gareth glances to Ajax, but keeps his wand leveled on Theodore. "You know perfectly well what this is about, Dupont. A Ravenclaw, failing out in his Fourth year? The very notion! No, you've insulted me, and I demand retribution. Name the time and choose your second." He gives a tug on Ajax's arm. "Selwyn here will stand as my second." He finally looks to Ajax, lowering his voice. "Unless there's something you'd like to say?"

Theodore stops his retreat, and he shakes his head, "Uh, no." He suddenly seems almost amused by this whole thing. "I'm not going to duel you. It's not my fault you aren't exactly memorable, pal. This is ridiculous." He takes a step towards Gareth then, and points at the wand, nearing it, "Put your stick away before someone gets hurt."

Ajax is becoming visibly annoyed by this point. "Theo, don't make it worse! Look, Gareth, he declined. He's not going to duel you—and NOBODY is going to duel in the Great Hall just before curfew! If you want to duel, you'll do it the proper way with teacher supervision. Now don't make me report you both. I've had a crummy enough night as it is!"

Gareth casts a scowl at Ajax, slowly lowering his wand. "Say something," he hisses between his teeth, eyes darting toward Theodore, then back to the Blue-Haired One. "Say something /now/. You'll never get a better opportunity." What the devil is he on about now? Has someone been spiking his pumpkin juice with loco-potions?

Theodore just looks confused. He speaks first to Ajax, "Report us both?" He seems a little insulted, "I haven't DONE anything?" Then he looks at Gareth. "Put your wand away. I'm going to bed." And then he just moves to step around Gareth and head back towards the dungeons.

Vindictus Viridian, Professor of Charms, is on duty in the Great Hall at this time. He has been seated at the head table, and oddly enough, has not intervened thus far, simply stroking his goatee and watching the little drama unfold. But at last he rises, adjusting his pointed hat and stepping forward. He gives a casual flick of his wand, a lazy, murmured "Expelliarmus," and a tendril of green light arcs through the air toward Gareth's wand. "Hold there, Mister Dupont," he commands in his dry, drawling voice.

As Professor Viridian makes his appearance, Ajax is very quick to sheathe his wand inside his dressing gown. He actually flashes an apologetic look to Theodore, hoping to catch his eye as he leaves—but then the disarming spell is cast, and so Ajax gives the professor his undivided attention. "Sir," he greets politely, waiting to hear what will happen next.

Gareth starts to step aside for Theodore without thinking, so he is caught completely unprepared, his wand flying from his hand, his hand jerking backward. "Wha—?" He looks around, eyes popping wide when he realizes a professor has just disarmed him so casually. Oops. His face reddens at once, eyes dropping to the floor, and he mumbles something too low to be understood, but it's likely some sort of apology. Or possibly an attempt at a wandless invisibility spell.

Theodore slows to a top. Drats. He turns back around, sighs, and then steps back over to face the professor with the other two boys. He glances at Ajax, and then waits for the Professor.

Viridian's penetrating gaze falls upon each of the three boys. He does not. Look. Amused. "I had hoped that this was some sort of demonstration of wand technique, or an amusement between friends. Clearly, I expected too much. Prefect Selwyn. Explain." His eyes finally settle on Ajax, brow lifting expectantly.

Ajax straightens up, folding his hands behind his back, giving a crisp nod (somewhat spoiled by his flushed complexion) to the professor. He explains in his most prefecty voice, "Sir, Carrow came to me in quite a state. He led me here, explaining that he felt he'd been wronged. He then proceeded to challenge Dupont to a duel. I told them I would intervene if they attempted to cast anything at one another, but apart from Carrow having his wand out and despite my concerns in advance of the fact, I don't have any reason to believe either of them had any intention of casting magic at this time, sir."

Gareth risks the barest peek up at the professor, then quickly lowers his eyes again, nodding and mumbling something incoherent. He throws a quick, longing glance toward he wand, but otherwise remains rather still, all his bravado melted like a sad ice sculpture.

Theodore slowly turns and looks at Ajax. "Really?" He sighs, shaking his head a little and then looks back at the Professor, simply waiting.

Professor Viridian's brow lowers, somehow managing to look even less amused than Not Amused. "A wand is aimed at another student, and you have no reason to believe there was intent to cast? Despite this, you drew your own wand as a precaution. Mr. Selwyn, your initial instinct was the correct one." His gaze then shifts to Gareth, his chin lifting imperiously. "I don't like bullies, Mr. Carrow. Nor do I care for aggressive displays of bravado. Did you have some reason to believe that Mr. Dupont was an immediate threat to you?"

Gareth suddenly begins babbling, and as he does, the look in his eyes is one of pure frustration, as though he can't seem to figure out how to stop himself from going on and on. "It was in the book, sir. I'm not part of the Dueling Club, so I had to go with what I'd read in a book, and in it, when a knight challenges another knight, he draws his sword, and of course, I don't have a sword, so I drew my wand, and I see now how that gesture could easily be misconstrued, but I never meant to appear threatening in any way." His lips finally stop, as if he's suddenly realized that, if he were standing on the shoulders of a mountain troll, which itself was straddling the back of a dragon, Gareth still wouldn't appear very threatening to anyone with half a brain. He looks at the professor, biting his lower lip. "That's why I had my wand out, sir. I never, ever would have cast magic in the Great Hall without the express permission of a professor, and certainly not on another student."

Ajax grimaces faintly, but he nods to the professor's declaration, saying nothing since he wasn't asked to contribute anything further. When Gareth speaks, Ajax fairly twitches in response, biting his lip a bit to keep from speaking out of turn.

Theodore just continues to chew on his lower lip, annoyed he's still here. He watches the exchange closely, but says nothing, since he's been asked nothing.

When Vindictus Viridian gets his ire up, even that dragon with the mountain troll on its back might balk at the man's presence. It is the subtlest of shifts, the tiniest twitch of his lips, the barest widening of his eyes. But it is enough for him to exude raw, intimidating displeasure. He holds out his own wand, angle sideways for Gareth's inspection. "Do you know what this is, Mr. Carrow?" His voice is soft, but there is a hint of menace to it. "It is a tool, capable of a great many wondrous things. Not the least of which is significant harm and destruction. Wizards have the right to carry a wand, but only if they can learn to use it responsibly. Have you never used magic unintentionally? Has a spell never gone awry? You will never draw your wand against somoene unless in defense of yourself or another. Do. I. Make. Myself. Clear?"

Ajax, despite not being the immediate target of Professor Viridian's ire, flinches slightly with each of those last syllables, not quite managing to stifle an expression of pure mortification—pure, save for being liberally seasoned with legitimate fear.

Gareth's eyes bug wide again, showing almost more white than iris, and he nods very quickly and adamantly. "Yes, sir, absolutely, sir, never again, sir," he stammers, looking positively terrified. That wand, wielded by the talented Charms professor, could easily reduce him to cinders. Or worse, strike a Dreadful or Troll on his next report card.

<OOC> Ajax says, "Thank gods you've got your priorities back in order."

Theodore looks up at the professor in that moment. He swallows, almost a gulp. Yeah. Everyone's intimidated here by that man.

Viridian eyes each of them in uncomfortable silence before making his pronouncement. "Thirty points from Ravenclaw for Carrow's callous disregard for safety." His eyes flick to Ajax, "Mr. Selwyn has earned a five point reprieve, for his acts of defense…which would have been more significant if not for attempting to downplay these events." Finally, he looks to Theodore. "Ten points to Slytherin, Mr. Dupont, for keeping a cool head and not making a bad situation worse. Mr. Selwyn, you will escort Mr. Carrow back to Ravenclaw Tower, and inform Professor Mopsus of this transgression." With a sharp nod of his head, his sheathes his wand, gathers up the sleeves of his robes, and whirls around to march back to the head table. Verdict served!

Gareth's shoulders suddenly sag, a small, barely audible wimper escaping him. He just cost the House its lead over the much-hated Slytherins. That's almost as bad as a Dreadful on a test. Once the professor has turned away, Gareth slinks over to retrieve his wand, stuffing it into his robe pocket, then shoots a glare at Theodore. This is all his fault, somehow. All his fault! He shuffles over to Ajax's side, prepared to be escorted upstairs to his inevitable doom.

Ajax flinches visibly at this, even though he's been awarded points rather than having them taken away—the loss was enough, but the admonishment made it even worse. He manages a meek, "Yes sir," and once the professor has left, he sighs deeply. He looks over to Theodore, says quietly, "Sorry… sorry about this." Then he reaches out to lightly take Gareth's arm and lead him from the room, headed back to Ravenclaw tower.

Theodore simply nods at the proclamation, receiving points from a situation like this doesn't bring him any pleasure. It's unfortunate. He looks at Ajax for a moment, and then simply turns to head back to the dungeon.

Gareth waits until Theodore isn't looking, then elbows Jax, whispering, "Why didn't you say something to him? Why do you think I did all this in the first place?"

Ajax doesn't respond until they're alone in a corridor. Then, he abruptly turns, pushing Gareth back gently but firmly up against the wall, and gives him a very pointed, frustrated look. "You did… all this nonsense… just to get me to tell Theodore that I fancy him?" He sighs in exasperation, glowering for a moment, and then drops his head a bit. "You absolute prat. I told him I fancy him earlier tonight. It didn't even occur to you to ask me about this?"

Gareth lets out a small yelp, then his expression slowly changes from surprise to confusion. "You…told him? Finally? Why didn't you say anything?! I lost us thirty points for nothing! Wait. What did /he/ say?"

Ajax closes his eyes for a moment, sighing, and says, "Nothing much. He — he went in, after. He didn't exactly announce his returned interest. Nothing's ever going to come of it, I think." Staring at Gareth, he asks more quietly, "You really dragged me out of bed, down here, and challenged Theo to a duel — all JUST to try to get me to tell him I fancied him?"

"What?!" Gareth shouts, spinning to look in the direction Theodore vanished. "Why that arrogant…Slytherin! How could he…?" He turns back to Ajax. "Did you do it right? I mean, did you ask him to translate The Paramour of Lady Chatterley from Welsh for you, then admit you've never been kissed before?" Seriously, what /has/ he been secretly brewing when no one's watching?

"Of course not," Ajax sighs. "You tremendous twit." He then abruptly leans in to give Gareth a swift, chaste kiss on the cheek. "Do us a favor? Don't do anything sweetly gallant but hideously, even Gryffindorily stupid ever again. All right?" He gestures toward the stairs. "Anyhow, let's go. I'm to escort you back to the dormitory."

A room must always replace one Slitherin with another and almost as soon as Theodore is gone, Ripley appears. He's quiet and stands at the doorway and watches the two boys talk amongst their selves.

Gareth blushes at the kiss, however chaste it may be, his anger at Theodore melting away again. "All right," he says, giving a sheepish grin. "I suppose it wasn't really the best strategy, but I didn't really have time to think it through. Carpe Piscem, and all that. I guess the fish just wasn't meant to be seized." He glances left and right, then adds, "And you really can do so much better anyway. Arrogant prat." Uh oh, and there's Ripley, and after an initial flash of excitement in Gareth's eyes, there's a longer glimmer of fear. "Um."

Ajax just shakes his head, then, saying, "Come on, like I said, let's get back." And then he notices Ripley. Stiffening a bit, he says quietly, "I don't think tonight is a good time to defy Professor Viridian, Gareth. Tell your beau that you've been instructed to bed. I'll wait, but just for a moment." He steps back, folding his arms across his chest.

Ripley gives a smile to Ajax, "Jax." He notes and looks to Gareth, "So you have professors calling you to bed now? Good. You stay up too late anyway." HE chuckles and looks to Jax, "Thanks for making sure he minds."

Gareth swallows hard, glancing between Ajax and Ripley, nodding slowly. "Yes, I don't want to lose any more points, so…." He steps up to Ripley, giving him a very, very quick peck on the cheek, muttering, "Good night, Mister Fox." My, so formal. "I need to go upstairs now." He nods his head sideways toward the grand staircase, giving Rip a hard, significant look. "Upstairs now, I need to go. Viridian's orders. Upstairs."

Ajax stands by expectantly, waiting for Gareth to finish up with his good-nights. Ripley does get a polite nod, but otherwise Ajax remains fairly aloof.

Ripley looks to Gareth and gives the boy a nod, "Upstairs. I understand." He gives a little grin to Gareth and shakes his head while he laughs before he leans in and places a quick kiss on the lips of the other boy.

Gareth's color darkens yet again, and he suddenly rails at Ripley. "And you! I expect you to hound that prat Dupont until he realizes what an /idiot/ he's being for turning down a wonderful, thoughtful, kindhearted, and talented wizard like Jax. He's /your/ Housemate, after all, and on /your/ Quiddich team." Huffing, he leans in for one more kiss, which is somehow vengeful and adoring at once, then spins toward the staircase, stomping off. "Come along, Jax. You're escorting me, remember?"

Ajax's expression has gone downright stony by this point. He gives Ripley a curt nod, and then he turns and resumes walking beside Gareth to escort him up to bed. He remains quite silent, however.

Ripley just stand there and looks as completely confused as he should look with what just happened. He blinks, blinks again and then slowly shakes his head. "Um." He answers, "Okay." He looks to Ajax and gives a little scratch to his head.

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