(1937-12-06) Find Your Five Percent
Details for Find Your Five Percent
Summary: Breakfast in the Three Broomsticks has Kiefer and Gabrielle discussing the art of fitting in. Or lack there of. Kiefer gives sage advice regarding friendship and trust.
Date: December 6, 1937
Location: Three Broomsticks
Related: Fizzling Females

It's a new crisp day. The rain from yesterday has left mud and puddles, though luckily for now the sky seems to be holding off on pouring any more, and there are even breaks between the clouds that's allowing the morning sun to shine through at times. Kiefer has woken early and left the castle for a new adventure: Breakfast at the Broomsticks. He's just arrived here and pulls off his cap, giving his heard of curls a slight shake as if to shake off the chill. At this hour, the pub is not as crowded as it will be in a few hours, when a majority of the Hogwarts population is awake and out of bed. He smirks to himself as he slides into an available table, immediately eyeing the breakfast menu, stomach grumbling.

Gabrielle walks in, bundled up the same as yesterday. She'll stand there for a moment, looking nervous and trying to catch the eye of the inn keeper. Being that they're slow though, it seems that no one notices. she'll huff slightly and start to unwrap herself some.

Ah, decisions, decisions! Kiefer's stomach growls in complaint as he eyes the different food choices and smells that waft from the kitchens. Yumyum. He glances up as a waitress zeroes in on him, and he smiles kindly. "A tea for now, please. Can't quite make up my mind on anything else. I may need your help," to which the woman grins and nods, moving off to get the drink. Kiefer sits back in his seat, glancing through the menu again, though he pauses long enough to pull off his jacket, eyes sweeping around the pub out of habit. Not many people here, some familiar. Like Gabrielle's over there, whom he eyes.

Gabrielle shuffles from one foot to another as she unwraps her scarf. When she pulls her hat off, her hair pulls out of her pony tail as well, and falls down into her eyes. She'll make a furrowed brow and try to get in back under control as the waitress walks up to her. She'll talk in hushed tone for a moment, and the waitress just shrugs her shoulders and motions to the room. She'll give Gabby an apologetic smile , pat her shoulder and walk away. Gabby's shoulders drop when the waitress turns away and she'll take a deep breath before looking around the room again.

Kiefer watches her a moment longer, though soon looks to the waitress who returns with a cup on a saucer and teapot in hand. The steaming tea is poured. "Here ya go, darlin'," he says, straightening once the cup is full. "And I'd go with the full breakfast. Never fails, y'know!" Kiefer grins and nods to her. "Who am I to argue?" he says in return, closing the menu and handing it back to her. "I'll take it, thanks." And the woman is off again, leaving Kiefer to relax at his table, drizzling honey in his drink to stir. "You know, there aren't many people here," he says, raising his voice to be heard. "Are you looking for a seat, or looking for someone?"

Gabrielle flinches slightly….of all people, Kiefer had to be here. She'll smile softly and walk over to the table, " neither really…."she'll shuffle her scarf and hat to her right arm. "Getting breakfast? I heard it's really good here." Her cheeks flush slightly with some kinda of embarrassment. "Sorry I rushed out yesterday…."

"Same," answers Kiefer. "Which is why I came. The house elves won't mind I'm sure, if I skipped out on their meal just this once." He hopes, anyway! He watches her a moment, considering her apology, then gestures to the chair opposite of him. A wordless invitation to join him if she wishes.

Gabrielle glances to the chair, then bites her lip, "Uh….sure." Her cheeks stay flushed, although that could be she still has her coat on. She'll smile and start unlayering herself. She seems to make up for the thin jacket by wearing 2 sweaters. By the time she's done, Gabby looks like she's went down about 4 sizes. she'll pile the extras in a seat and sit opposite of Kiefer.

Kiefer continues to make his tea the way he likes it. He adds more honey. Then a spoonful of sugar. He claims a bit of cinnamon to sprinkle it in and stirs. He takes a tentative sip, pausing to consider the taste. Then, he adds a bit more cinnamon and honey. By this time, Gabrielle has settled with her unlayering, and his brown eyes turn to her once she's seated. "Are you alright? I think I ask this question of you a lot, but every time seems to be a necessary time to ask."

Gabrielle settles down in her chair and her left and immediately starts playing with the hem of her right sleeve. She'll look up to Kiefer when he asks her, and then lowers her eyes, almost ashamed, "I'm alright….I just tried to talk to Eibhlin yesterday and, well….that didn't work out."she'll shrug, still not looking up. "No matter what people say, I don't like to make people uncomfortable….so I left."

Kiefer smirks a little at that and vaguely tilts his head to the side. "I always felt that I was awkward around people here. It wasn't this way before. Before Hogwarts, I mean. Here, it's not as if I don't fit in … it's more that I don't wish to. It sounds odd, probably, but's how I feel, and I'm ok with not being a part of any group. But you? You have troubles, don't you? You wish to be one of them, whoever "them" may be. But, the more you try…the less it works?"

Gabrielle chews on the inside of her cheek for a moment then looks up to Kiefer, "I miss before Hogwarts. things were so much….better. Her left hand stops fussing, but doesn't move away, "I didn't talk to anyone for four years, not really, just watched. And this year, everyone wanted me to come out of my box and talk to them…and now that I have…it feels like they're all wanting to shove me back in, to not have to deal with me." She'll shrug and give him a half smile, "You and I are different…people /like/ you….It's like, everything i say gets twisted, and no one actually /hears/ what I say, just what they want me to say so they can be upset at me….I told Eibhlin I wasn't mad at her, and her response? She told me I was always mad , at everyone, and that no one actually wanted to talk to me….how am I supposed to react to that?" She's still smiling, but it's forced.

"Mmm. I wouldn't say people like me," remarks Kiefer in a thoughtful way. "I'd say some tolerate me. Maybe thirty percent of the Hogwarts population. Five percent are friends. I can likely count on one hand alone the people I'd consider a friend," he says, lifting up a hand and wiggling his fingers. "And to me, that's good. I'd rather have a few close friends that I get along with and trust than try keeping up with a horde of them. I observe enough to see what happens when one has too many "friends" in their lives." He stirs his tea, pausing to sip. "The rest of them, the other sixty five percent? I don't deal with. I couldn't care less how they feel about me and don't care enough to feel any certain way about them. Maybe that's what you should do," he suggests. "Find your five percent and focus your energy on them. Eibhlin and whoever else are probably not part of that percentage you should be worrying about."

Gabrielle nods wondering what part of Kiefer's math equation she falls in as the Waitress walks up and asks if Gabby wants anything. Gabby will think and then answer, "A tea, please."When questioned if she'd be wanting Breakfast, Gabby will shake her head , "No thank you, I already had breakfast." Which is odd, because it's rather early. Gabby will turn back to Kiefer, "5, huh…well, I guess that would make the day go easier." She'll inhale and hold it for a moment, like she's trying to decide on something. And then she chuckles lightly, "I have the weirdest 5% ever." She'll smile fondly down to her hands.

Speaking of breakfasts, here comes Kiefer's! A plate of scrambled eggs, sliced ham, a biscuit, flat slices of bacon… the works! It looks like a lot, but for a fifteen year old boy, this will probably hold him over a couple of hours before he gets hungry again. "Already ate?" he says to Gabrielle, beginning to sprinkle salt upon his eggs. "You must be an early riser. And it doesn't matter who is in your five percent. The wonderful thing about it is that it's yours. No one can judge you or think you're weird, because really it's no one else's business who you choose to care for." He grins at her and begins to pull his biscuit apart, halving it so he can spread strawberry preserves in the middle.

Gabrielle sighs softly, wondering if she's really that good of a liar, or if Kiefer's just that oblivious. Smiling, "Yeah, I guess your right. It's just weird. I keep thinking that it's weird the closest thing I have to a girlfriend is Ria." She'll start playing with the hem of her sleeve again. "At least I made that right." She'll glance at the biscuit and smile, "Do you make /everything/ sweet?"

Consider Kiefer oblivious! Life is so much easier that way at times. "Girls are over rated," he says matter of factly, a bit of a grin showing itself on his face. "You'll get along fine without them, trust me. Maybe even better without them than with! They're such fickle creatures, and you never know what they're going to do at any given moment. They're something like … ticking time bombs, I imagine. Never know when they'll explode." At the comment of sweetness, he pauses and eyes his biscuit, then laughs. "I guess I do, don't I? I haven't paid attention. Everything is better with sweetness. Have you had bacon with honey?" Yum!

Again, Gabby will just stare at Kiefer. And blink. "You /do/ realize I'm a girl…right?" Maybe he doesn't? Maybe she's really that invisible to him? She'll sigh again, but gives him a small smile, "Yeah, During the summer holiday, sometimes I go gather honey. Aunt Erma Loves it."

Kiefer raises both eyebrows and stares at her with a look of shock on his face, jaw opening and hanging like that for a few seconds. "No. You're a girl? All this time, I thought you were a house elf!" He's joking of course, and the grin on his face would be a good indication of that. He puts a slice of bacon between his now sweet biscuit, then scoops some eggs in there as well, making a sort of .. egg, bacon, and jelly biscuit sandwich. He takes a bite. Bliss! "Speaking of holiday.." he says after swallowing. "Are you going home for them?"

Gabrielle is about done trying.she'll smile, but it's a giving up kind of smile. And then her tea comes, "Oh!Thank you." she sounds relieved to have something other then her sleeve for her hands to hold on to. She'll start adding sugar and honey as well. She'll not look up and she stirs, "No….Cillian's family is fighting or something, "she'll make a confused face, as she doesn't really understand, "So he's stuck here alone. I told him I'd stay, so he'd have someone to celebrate with." She'll shrug and look up, "I just told my aunts a bunch of us were staying. Made them happy, and saves on presents." She'll take a sip of her tea, "Are you going home?"

Not surprisingly, Kiefer doesn't know Cillian, but he doesn't ask, being able to glean he's a student of some house in some year. He raises a brow. "You get to decide that on your own? Whether you stay or not?" he says. "My family would have a cow if I told them I decided to stay here for the holidays. Not that I would," he adds with a headshake. "I think everyone deserves a break from Hogwarts to remind themselves that there is more to life than school life and the incidences that happen here. With the difficult time you're having, I think it'd be best for you to take the break away from school." He smiles a bit. "But it's kind of you to stay back to keep someone company."

Gabrielle 's tea must be interesting, as she's watching it rather intently, "They're just so happy that I have friends this year, I"m pretty sure I could ask for the moon, an they'd try to get it. I thought they were going to send me letters twice a day when I told them about the dance." She'll made a grimicy face. the dance. ugh. Then she'll laugh slightly, "With everyone gone, I don't think Hogwarts will be so bad. maybe I'll even be able to get over this artist block." She'll shrug, "Cillian's a good kid. He shouldn't be alone for the Holiday. He's family's being stupid. He shouldn't have to suffer."

Oh, the dance. Kiefer hadn't asked her about it, and with the amount of time that has passed it's likely it isn't something he had planned on doing. But he can only assume she had a good time. That's the point of those social events, isn't it? He continues to eat as he listens to her, chewing with polite quietness and nodding when necessary. "An empty Hogwarts sounds lonely, but with company I'm sure it'll be fun. Enjoy it, then. And if you're having artist's block, you should try drawing a winter's tree. Have you ever really looked at one before? Closely? They're beautiful. In one way sad and lonely, with bare branches and snow. But in another, grand because they withstand the winter's elements and return to life in the spring."

Gabrielle will smirk and mutter into her mug, "If it snows, I'll try it." She'll look over her drink at Kiefer as he talks, cheeks flush some again. She really needs to stop this.It only makes it worse. Different topic. "I was actually hoping to maybe get a small job somewhere here in Hogsmeade's for the break."She'll shrug, "I figured if I was here, it couldn't hurt to ask….but no one seems to be able to answer that. Owners are never in, it seems." She'll smirk, "I guess I'll just be forced to figure out my next subject to try to not fail….Maybe I'll focus on Herbology."

"It'll definitely snow. And if you try, I want to see it," says Kiefer, grinning now. "I may not know much about art, but I do know a thing or two about plants and can tell you how realistic it looks. He caught that light coloring of her cheeks, and he raises his brows a little. Blushing? Certainly she's not still cold! He watches her curiously and takes a breath to ask.. but she speaks before he can. That probably is a good thing! "Oh, that's a grand idea," he agrees with a nod. "Making some galleons while the rest of us are spending them all. Have you tried leaving behind a note for the owners? That may be your best option, since I figure they're busy people, especially on Hogsmeade weekends." He sits up a little straighter at the mentioning of Herbology. "Lucky you, you know someone who is a near expert at it. I could always be your tutor."

Gabby smiles, "Well, I"ve never known it to /not/ snow at least once over yule break, so I'll have to go exploring for the right tree." she'll nod to the note idea, "Yeah…that may be my best option….Maybe if I can get enough, I can pay Ripley back some, and have enough to actually get butter beer at some point." She'll freeze , realizing she just prolly said too much, and quickly goes into the next topic, "I do? Who? Do you really think Pheobe would tutor me?…" she'll be smiling and there's an obvious teasing tone to her voice. "I'm not failing….but I'd love to pass more than 2 OWLs this year….If you're serious about tutoring, I'd love that." Again, her cheeks flush a bit, and she'll glance back down at her tea.

Paying back Ripley? Kiefer arches a brow a little, fixing her with a curious look. Ah but this time, even as she trudges on to a different topic, when he speaks, he questions her about the first. "You owe Ripley money? For what?" he asks more than a little curiously. So much so that her tease regarding Phoebe goes unanswered. He doesn't really know Ripley, but what reason would any student have to owe another student coinage? Especially if that student is a Slytherin.

Gabrielle blinks, she told him….didn't she? She'll nervously respond, "Ripley's the one who paid for my wand…" She'll tuck a lock of hair behind her ear, and look to Keifer. She's almost positive she told him. She'll take a deep breath, "I need to try to find some way of getting money to start paying him back….I thought a job while everyone was away would be a good start." ….maybe telling Kiefer wasn't such a good idea.

He did? Cue another brow arch. "That was awfully kind of him," he says, if not sounding slightly skeptical. When has a Slytherin and kindness ever been used in the same breath? "Did he ask to be paid back? Even if he didn't, I understand why you want to anyway. You'd feel in debt to him if you didn't, wouldn't you?" If Gabrielle is expecting some sort of blow up for whatever reason, she's going to be sadly disappointed. "Hopefully it didn't cost too much. I wish ya luck finding a job, especially since you need one for good reason."

Gabrielle will arch an eyebrow of her own, "It /was/ very kind of him. He helped me when no one else even noticed." She sounds almost defensive of him. "He told me I didn't need to pay him back, but…"She'll shake her head, "I mean, it's not like I could ever /really/ pay him back, but I need to try." She'll glance down at her now cooling tea and run a finger around the rim of the cup, "It cost enough that I'm not going to be able to pay him back for a long time." She sounds upset at this.

Kiefer is quiet for a time, watching her with an expression on his face that's difficult to decipher. Eventually though, he exhales a breath and pushes the remnants on his plate away an inch. "I'm going to give you advice, Gabrielle, and I hope you take it for what it is. Advice, not an attack. If you wish for people to get along with you more easily, stop playing the victim. Rather, don't make everyone else out to the bad guy. No one noticed you needed help because you didn't want us to know. How many times had you and I been together and I asked what was wrong? You lied to me and gave me a half truth about your burns. I helped you with what I thought was the problem by making you salves. If you had been honest, as you apparently were with Ripley, I or anyone else probably would've been able to help you too. Please don't make it seem as if the world ignored you."

Gabrielle freezes, finger on the rim of her glass. She'll work her jaw for a minute, trying to decide what words to use, "Kiefer…"She'll lick her lips, "I've never….I never /wanted/ to lie…about anything. To you…or anyone else. I've been so scared, for /so/ long….and to me, anyway, it felt like….people didn't notice, or did, and never pursued it…me. I lied for so long, trying to protect my mother's wand, that it was just..second nature. Riley's the only one who pushed. He's the only one who didn't just….buy the lies." She'll pause for a moment, lower lip trembling until she bites it, "I'm /trying/ to be better, to not…cover everything up….but everything is so complicated, and I'm very lost." Her cheeks are flushed again, but it doesn't seem to be the same as before.

"Not everyone is pushy. Some people, like myself, don't assume that others are being dishonest." Kiefer waves a hand. "But anyway, the point is, it's not you against the world, Gabrielle. If that is how you look at life, you're going to fail. There are too many people in the world for you to fight off and carry things all on your own. If you trust in people a little more, they'll begin to trust in you too. I don't mean to tell your life story and spill every little secret in your heart. But … find your five percent," he advises as he rises to stand, situating his cap on his head and pulling on his coat. "Start there." He offers a light smile as he leaves enough coins on the table to cover his meal, tea, and her tea as well. "I've to go. Take care, ok? Oh, and I'd give Eibhlin a bit of space before attempting to smooth things over with her, alright?"

Gabrielle winces at his jab at being dishonest. She /is/ trying. She'll just nod some at his mention of Eibhlin, not sure how she messed that up…. "Kiefer…/are/ we friends?" She sounds almost worried, like she messed something up.

Kiefer pauses at her question, brows faintly furrowing in thought. "I don't know how to answer. We're friends, sometimes. Other times it feels like we're not. I wouldn't say we're enemies," he concludes, shaking his head decisively. "We're not enemies. But I think we're still trying to figure each other out, and it's taking a long time I think because we are complicated people and the moment one of us thinks we have the other figured out, something happens that changes the way we think." He smirks a little. "I don't think that's bad, though. We have … a challenging friendship." And who doesn't enjoy a challenge?

Gabrielle face drops, and her eyes go down to her hands, "Oh….ok." She'll nod, obviously not happy with that answer, but knowing she's not getting anything else. She'll just swallow and nervously say, "I guess I'll see you in the GreenHouse then."

Kiefer nods to her. "Most likely." And then he turns and heads out.

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