(1937-12-12) Baby Steps
Details for Baby Steps
Summary: Ripley tries to mend things with Theo. Theodore's stubborn.
Date: Dec. 12, 1937
Location: Muggle Studies Classroom

Muggle Studies Hogwarts Castle
Wed Dec 12, 1937 ((Thu Nov 15 02:46:57 2012)) (First Floor)

It is a fall night. The weather is cool and drizzling.

While instructional pictures lining a classroom's walls are commonplace in Hogwarts, there is something inherently different about this place. Unlike so many other classrooms, some of these pictures simply aren't moving - at all. These, students will soon learn, are muggle inventors … people who have created gadgets to help muggles make do in their world - a world without detectable magic at work. Other stationary pictures represent their creations. The general leading the charge of a muggle battle sits forever frozen in portrait on the back of a rearing horse in front of an army poised on the edge of demolition. Some of the pureblood students - unused to such things - may find it a little unnerving at first. The students' desks - two chairs each - are wide and battle-scrarred from years of experimentation - and, likely, failure - involving muggle appliances.

The bulky, odd little muggle film projector is set up in the room once again, and the lights are dim. It's after class, so no one is here but Theodore, who is standing near the screen. Flickering across the white surface is bright, colorful animation, drawn by hand, and simple, catchy music plays over the speakers. There's a cute whistling song as seven little cartoon dwarves march across a mountain path, all carrying tools. Then a voice speaking, announcing that the first full length animated motion picture in color is coming soon. It's a movie preview, for Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Theodore is close enough that part of the picture is projected across his backside. His head is tilted, and he seems completely enamored by what he's watching.

Ripley was walking down the hall to return and book to another classroom until he sees the flashes of light in the room. He stops and looks into the room, gazing curiously at the sight within. He stands at the doorway a little bit and just rests his head against the doorway as he watches Theo in the light. He finally steps into the room and moves to sit down at one of the desks and watch as well.

Theodore is so enthralled, he doesn't actually notice Ripley enter. The trailer ends, and the filmstrip comes off the reel and starts to flap around the projector as the receiving reel spins and the screen flickers bright white. Theodore quickly moves to the machine and begins swapping the full reel with the empty one and threading the filmstrip back through once more. He's rather familiar with the machine, and it only takes him a minute before the trailer begins playing once more, and he walks back over near the screen. His brow furrows, studying what he's seeing, and his lips move just slightly, saying every word spoken in the trailer quietly to himself along with the sound.

Ripley is just off to Theo's left as Theo rethreads the film and begins to watch again. He watches the other boy as he is so enamored with the film. He's quiet and watches Theo watch the trailer all the way through one whole time before he speaks, "It looks interesting." He speaks rather softly as he hopes to not scare Theo too badly.

The film strip once again begins to flip around the reel as it runs out, and then Ripley speaks. Theodore jumps a little, turning around, "Who-" and then he sees Ripley. He stares at him, and for a moment, his face furrows just a little, as if preparing to be mean, but instead, just walks over to the projector and begins removing the reels. "Yeah," he says flatly. Picking up a film cannister, he begins to put the filmstrip away.

"Sorry." Ripley says and looks to Theo. "It just looked really interesting." He keeps looking at Theo for a bit, "Theo… Is there any chance in the world that we could ever be friends again? Any chance?" He stays seated at the desk, "If you say no, I'll never bring it up again or bother you except with Quidditch."

Theodore stops what he's doing. He stares at the projector. Not moving. At least twenty seconds pass. Then he sighs. "I don't know." He grits his teeth, and then closes the film canister, and just stands there once more. "The worst part is you don't even fucking get it," he says, quietly. It's not even angry, almost just tired.

Ripley leans against the desk and looks to the man, "Then help me get it?"

Theodore scowls a little, the light from the projector lamp illuminating his face from below. He looks at Ripley. "Do you know who I am?"

Ripley lifts his brow, "Theodore. You have been my friend and buddy on the pitch. Remember the play against Gryffindor last year when you swept in just as the bludger came in and because it didn't knock me out of the way I was able to fly up and block the keeper from keeping that shot out of the goal. That was amazing!" He then calms and sighs, "You are strong, determined, and one hell of a player."

Theodore nods, still very serious. "Exactly." He says the next with no ego, it's more about who HE is and who others think he is than it is about the actual literal words he says, "I am Slytherin Quidditch." He shakes his head a little, and he shrugs, "That's it."

Ripley gives a little shrug and then looks at Theo, just as serious, "No… We are Slytherin Quidditch." He leans against the desk and thinks for a moment, "If it was just you… It'd just be you out there. Theodore. Alone. You can't be the team all by yourself Theodore. It's the team, together, that is Slytherin Quidditch. It's all of us."

Theodore makes a groan, and he rolls his eyes, mumbling, "You're dumber than people think I am…" He sighs, and then tries again. "Fine. Tell me something else about me."

"You believe that all there is is the Pitch." Ripley says and looks to Theo, "And your life depends on that. Why do you think I have gone in for captain every year and lost every year?"

Theodore mumbles, "Not EVERY year…" Then he nods, "Right. Again. I'm Slytherin Quidditch." His brow lifts, and he looks at Ripley, as if he thinks the other boy should be noticing the pattern. "That's it, Ripley. That's me. That's my life. I'm here because of quidditch. I'm not here for the O's on my NEWTS and OWLS. I'm not here to celebrate my brother the TriWizard. I'm not here to go to Dusseldorffinhurstwhatever to be an expert and give him advice - I was asked, then he decided to take someone else better. I'm not here for all the girls that seem to swoon over me. I'm not here for the politics. Hell, I'm not even here to be Slytherin." He sits the canister down. "I'm here because of quidditch. And three weeks ago, my entire team said, no thank you, Teddy. You aren't popular enough. You're not good enough. We'd rather have a beater as Captain." He shakes his head, "Captains are always chasers or seekers. But they picked a beater." He purses his lips, "You have the only thing that was mine in this school, Ripley. My father isn't even talking to me because of it. So… I don't know. I don't know if we can be friends. Hell, I don't even know if I wanna be on the team any more."

Ripley listens and takes all of this in, "Every year, Theo." He speaks and sighs, "So you are here for Quidditch and now you are just going to throw all that away." He shakes his head a little, "Why do you think I am here? Just to have people swoon over me and think I am cute? No. I am here for Quidditch. I'm here to make it on to some pro team when I get out." He shakes his head, "I always thought you would be out there with me in it all." He looks down to the desk and sighs a bit, "But I find it almost wrong to see you give up over this. I would think it would make you work harder. See, the Theo I know, the one I have played next to and held his hand in victory… He wouldn't give up just because of a C on his jersey. We are a team. A full team. Being a captain just means I throw the coin at the beginning. What matters is the team and how we play."

Theodore lifts his brow, "What matters is the team. And they turned their back on me." He sighs, and he turns the projector off, leaving them in a dimly lit room. He looks at the label on the canister, and then leans against the desk behind him. "I'm not giving up. I'm… waking up." He looks at Ripley again. "I don't think I wanna play pro anymore."

Ripley gives this revelation a little wide eyed stare. "What are you going to do?"

Theodore shakes his head and he stares off at the corner of the room, giving a weak little shrug. "I dunnow." He looks down at his sneakers, and shrugs again. "Father's a department head at the Ministry. Magical Creatures. I used to spend my summers with him in the field, picked up way more than they ever taught here." He looks at Ripley then, "Ranger maybe?"

Ripley gives a little frown and looks back down to the desk in front of him, "What about… Co-Captains?" He looks up to Theo, "Would that make a difference?"

Theodore furrows his brow, and he shakes his head. He even smirks, chuckling, "Heh… No." He's not offended, "I don't need a Ripley pitty-position. The team doesn't want me. They want you. Let it lie." He shrugs, "S'pose the Ministry's a lot more respectable than some sports team anyway, right?" He smiles, folding his arms over his chest. "Maybe you did me a favor."

Ripley tilts his head as he looks to Theo, "I don't mean putty. You have been Captain all these years… Just felt like you should be it." He shakes his head, "I totally thought I would lose, Theo. Totally was sure of it. Like every year I was used to disappointment." He then looks up, "Maybe…" He says and searches Theo's eyes in the dark. "I don't pity anyone, Theodore. I'd give it all up just to know you were still my friend, though."

Theodore shakes his head, "Look… you…" He sighs, as if for the first moment, this realization has actually hit him. "You didn't do it. They did," he says of the team, and he shrugs. "There's more to being captain than tossing a coin. Just… try to remember than." He gives a little nod, and then he turns to go.

Ripley gives a bit of a smile, "Exactly right. There is more to it than flipping a coin." He rises up and stands, "Just as much as there is more of it than just having the title of it." He steps closer a bit, "Theo. Take my hand. Don't let me lose someone that I admire over this." As he puts his hand out there to the other boy.

Theodore has the film canister in his hand, and he looks at Ripley's hand, before looking at the boy's face. "Don't push it." He nods once more then, neutral at least, and then heads once more for the door.

Theodore has the film canister in his hand, and he looks at Ripley's hand, before looking at the boy's face. "Don't push it." He nods once more then, neutral at least, and then heads once more for the door.

Ripley lets out a sigh and pulls the hand back. He doesn't say anything else as Theo walks out of the room.

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