(1939-01-06) Aftermath on the Hogwarts Express
Details for Aftermath on the Hogwarts Express
Summary: Winter holiday of over, and the young wizards and witches go back to Hogwarts in the aftermath of the Sykes Family Gala.
Date: 1939-01-06
Location: The Hogwarts Express
Related: Holiday Horror

Angus is in a compartment with Variel, who is craddling a snoring Lucretia. Adam, alas, got evicted to a compartment of firsties.

Variel shakes his head with a faint, insincere smile. "I'll have a piece. Thanks, Angus. " He reaches over to accept a piece. "I'll get you a pecan roll or something next hogsmeade weekend. thanks for keeping hold of Black."

Angus gives a faint smile, "Och, she's no bad fur a Slytherin Quine, aye?" A suspicious glance towards the sleeping girl, "Dinnae tell her Ah said so, aye?"

The door slides open. Gus stands there, dressed in his robes already, but with a black armband of mourning on his left sleeve. He stares at the occupants for a moment, and then when he realizes that there are two seats available he comes in and sits down, all without saying a word. He turns his head toward the door as if expecting someone to follow him in.

Eibhlin isn't far behind Augustin. Apparently she'd been looking for him given that when the door slides open the redhead sends a quick glance about the cabin before dropping into the remain seat, beside the sixth year Hufflepuff. The others are acknowledged with a brief nod, though most of her attention shifts to the boy beside her. "Are you okay?"

Though he'd been escorted from their compartment not long ago, Adam returns now. He's still in his old Muggle clothes, and he hesitates outside for a moment before sticking his head in. "Um, hello," he says, his voice quiet and subdued. "Sorry to, er, bother you again." The first-year Hufflepuff pauses when he notices the two new arrivals and recognizes Augustin as being in his house, but then goes on. "It's just that, I think I dropped something in here."

Angus looks up, and just breaks off a bit more frog, and devours it. Nom. Nom. Nom.

Variel looks up as Gus enters. In all technicality, Lucretia Black is here, too, curled up against Variel's chest, having rather obviously cried herself to sleep, but that girl is tiny and he doubts Angus minds squishing into what's left of her seat. Variel's face has that sort of shell shocked blankness that only arises once the pressure's off. Still, Gus' arrival wakes a faint something in the back of his eyes and he holds Gus' stare with a faint nod. Acknowledgment, and nothing much more. That's all he'd want, anyway.

Gus reaches for Eibhlin's hand as soon as she's close enough, grasping it before she's quite seated, even. "Not… really," he murmurs quietly to her. He glances up at the others, and then looks down at his and Eibhlin's hands. He glances up at Adam, gives him a rather blank-faced nod, and looks away again. He meets Variel's eyes, nods back, and then looks at his girl. "I am glad to see you, though," he tells her. "Somehow you make it…" his voice breaks a bit, and he catches his breath, but then he stops himself and looks down again.

Eibhlin gives Augustin's hand a reassuring squeeze when he finds her hand. She glances up as the door opens again, turning a faint smile towards the first year who enters before she looks back to Gus. "Its okay," she tries to offer assurance not quite certain what else to do at the moment.
Angus has disconnected.

Adam wouldn't have been surprised if all of them had ignored him, but he's relieved when at least the newcomers acknowledge him. When he realizes that he had been holding his breath waiting for their answer, he lets it out in a nervous rush. "Right," he murmurs. "Thanks." He gives Eibhlin an uncertain smile in return and then squeezes past them to get to the seat near the window where he was sitting earlier. But on the way past he trips over someone's foot or luggage or something, loses his balance, and ends up sprawled on the floor.

Variel listens quietly as the other students talk. Adam's return doesn't draw any sort of negative response; he seems mostly occupied with keeping the Black girl from waking up. He looks at the sprawled Adam after he topples, then down at Black in his arms. His hands are full. He glances to Eibhlin. "Could you give him a hand?"

Gus watches Adam fall down without any real change in his expression. Then he sighs, leans forward, and offers the boy a hand up. "Careful," he tells him. "You alright?"

"Careful," Eibhlin starts, catching Adam beginning to fall out the corer of her eye, but too late to really do anything about it. About to offer him a hand she instead leans back as Augustin offers his assistance to the younger boy. "You alright?" she echoes Gus' question to the boy however.

Adam accepts the hand up from Gus and climbs back to his feet, his face flushed with embarrassment. "Yes, thanks," he mutters, keeping his voice down because of the mood in the room. And because Lucretia is still sleeping. "I'm fine. Sorry." His eyes linger on the black band around Gus's left arm. Before he can put two and two together, he quietly blurts out, "What's that for?"

Variel lets out a sudden, almost violently exasperated sigh. "I'm not going to give you advice in the future if you're going to ignore it. Get what you came for and leave before Black attacks you in her sleep for making the same mistake twice."

Gus goes back to holding Eibhlin's hand and watches as Adam sits down. His eyebrows go straight up at the young boy's forward question, but before he can even think of how to answer it, Variel's being all exasperated. "Don't… don't worry about it, mate," he tells the Weasley boy. "How's he supposed to know?" Grasping his girlfriend's hand very tightly, he turns back to Adam. "My mother just died," he says, his voice monotone.

"And," Gus adds. "I don't particularly want to talk about it."

"Give him a break," Eibhlin comments towards Variel following his remark to the younger boy. A slight smile is offered Adam even as she gives Gus' hand another squeeze, her other hand moving to rest over his.

Adam realizes his mistake just after he asks the question, but it's too late. He shakes his head, furious with himself. "Sorry," he murmurs when Variel berates him, but then Gus explains why he's wearing that band, and his mouth drops open, aghast. He stares at the older Hufflepuff in horror, not knowing how to even begin to respond to that. He just nods his head weakly when Gus tells him he doesn't want to talk about it.

"We did," Variel remarks simply to Eibhlin's comment, his tone acrid. A moment later, however, he presses his lips together harder, and shakes his head. "No. You're right. I didn't name names when I explained. Not yours or anyone else, Rosseau. I owe him an apology." Variel slowly, carefully, extricates himself from beneath the snoozing Lucretia and stands. "… Irving. Right. I apologize. It wasn't fair for me to get cross over something I didn't tell you. You'll have to excuse me," he continues after the apology, turning to open the door and make his escape.

"Weasley," Gus says before Variel can make his escape. He looks up at the boy. "Your friends… did they… make it out alright?" he asks. As for Adam, he tries to ignore the look of horror, pretend he doesn't see it, giving the younger boy time to recover himself. He squeezes Eibhlin's hand in appreciation for her silent support.

A single piece of baggage is taken from her to be placed in the baggage car among everyone else's, leaving Elizabeth with a cloth knapsack, hidden under the folds of her robes. Exhaling a breath, she shrugs off the slight chill of winter, grateful to be indoors once more, as she begins her search for an empty or nearly empty car.

Variel hesitates at the door, just short of opening it, turning towards the others. "… yeah, thank you, they did. I saw Rowle at hospital, he's fine," murmurs Variel, "And you probably heard Lea's speech with us out front. We'll be alright. Just… an awfully rude awakening. Don't think it's all hit me yet." He turns towards Adam and shakes his head. "… of course you didn't, Irving. You're a good kid." He starts to turn again, then pauses. "… so's Evans. You can tell her I said that." Now he grasps the door and opens it to leave.

"Speech?" Gus asks. He shakes his head. "No, no, I… we were… making arrangements." Funeral arrangements, presumably. "I wasn't even going to come to school today but Father made me." He shakes his head at Adam. "Don't beat yourself up, kid."

Adam looks up at Variel, and he seems almost afraid that the Gryffindor boy is going to change his mind and berate him again. Relieved when Variel doesn't, he gives him a small smile and nods his head. "I'll tell her," he says quietly. He glances sideways at Augustin and shifts in his seat, but nods to him as well. "Can, er… Is there anything I can do?"

Elizabeth has to come to an abrupt stop to avoid colliding with the person just now exiting one of the occupied cars, giving her a fraction of a second to regain her balance. She blinks up at Variel and visibly pauses, her eyes holding so many emotions, though she hesitates. "Um, sorry about that." If he doesn't step aside, she does, trying to give him room.

Variel takes the step to the side he's given when Elizabeth makes room for him. He pauses, just for a moment, but fails to say anything. He turns and walks towards the rear of the train without saying another word.

There's a long moment where nothing is said, before Variel turns away to move to the rear of the train. Firming her jaw, Elizabeth looks to the inside of the car he'd just emerged from. "Pardon me." she excuses herself quietly, and dipping her chin she begins to follow Variel. Intent.

Eibhlin watches quietly as Variel takes his leave. As Elizabeth enters she sends a wry smile in the other girl's direction, a silent greeting. "Maybe its for the best," she comments to Gus then. "I mean, going back to school, being with your friends…" Having those people around is certainly more comforting than making arrangements with his father.

Gus nods at Eibhlin. "That's what he said," he tells her quietly. He, Eibhlin, and Adam are in a train car. Lucretia Black is asleep sitting in her corner seat, so conversation is somewhat hushed. He nods at Elizabeth, who only popped in, but followed Variel out as the Weasley was leaving.

Adam cringes when Gus doesn't answer him, remembering that he didn't want to talk about it. He falls into an uncomfortable silence and stares out of the window for a moment, and then realizes that he had come back to this compartment for a very specific reason. Twisting about in his seat, he starts digging about between the cushions in search of something.

An opening door and quiet footsteps herald Bran's entrance into the car, a sturdy boy with lackluster robes and a Hufflepuff tie. He has a copy of the Prophet tucked under one arm, its blazen headline half obscured by sleeve. He shoots those already present a polite nod, moving to settle into an empty seat.

"Thank you for offering," Eibhlin replies to Adam when Gus doesn't, feeling a bit helpless in the situation herself.

Gus watches Adam digging around in the seats, merely because the boy is sitting across from him, and there's either that or his lap to look down at. There isn't much expression on his face - he's rather blank, today. Bran's entrance makes three Hufflepuffs in the car, and though the 5th-year comes in nonchalantly, Gus tenses up at the sight of his newspaper. He and Eibhlin are sitting together, holding hands, and Gus is wearing a black mourning band on his left arm. Adam is sitting across from them, and Lucretia Black is asleep, slumped in her corner seat. There is room for more to squeeze in. Bran has just entered as well, and has sat down with a newspaper, emblazoned with a headline half obscured by his sleeve.

Adam stops his search of his seat when Bran walks in, recognizing the older boy as being in his House. He gives him a quick wave but doesn't say anything. He's already had enough people upset at him for one day, and he doesn't want to say the wrong thing yet again. He offers Eibhlin a brief, uncertain smile, but it fades when he notices the headline on Bran's paper. His seat is next to the window, and there's an open one across from him.

Roaming the cars - looking a little harassed - Madeline peeks into a car and is /more than relieved/ to find one that contains both Adam /and/ Bran. She slips in, beaming brightly at the two, even taking a moment to /hug/ Adam, asking in a quietly concerned voice, "You doing okay?" Of course the mudblood insults have been flying fast and furious all train ride. She's pretty sure no one of less than pure blood has avoided.

Eibhlin and Gus she's less familiar with - but she smiles at the both of them politely, wondering at Augustin's somber expression. "Mind if I sit here?" she asks them, indicating the empty seat.

"Hey, mate." Gus being a Housemate (and only a year older, at that), Bran naturally greets him first, with a low key teenage boy sort of nod to accompany it. There's a touch of sympathy in his expression, but awkward, and cautious, because what on earth do you say? Spotting the reactions to the newspaper, he shuffles it hastily out of sight - with a little more good will than subtlety. There's also a nod for the less familiar Eibhlin, and a brief smile for Adam - and Madeline, too, since she's come in as well.

Eibhlin's blue eyes follow Gus' gaze, catching sight of the newspaper briefly before Bran tucks it away. A slight nod of greeting is sent his way as she gives Gus' hand another light squeeze. A second nod following to Madeline.

Gus shakes his head dully at Madeline's question, indicating that she can indeed sit. "Hey," he says to Bran. After the silence stretches a bit he says, "Someone please start talking about something." He squeezes Eibhlin's hand back, and glances at her.

Adam looks incredibly relieved to see Madeline, though he's rather surprised when she hugs him. "I'm fine," he says, his voice low and solemn, as though he's afraid to even talk about anything being wrong. But he shoots Lucretia an unsettled look before turning back to Madeline. When he notices his friend looking at Gus, he stands up abruptly as though shocked, and whispers something in her ear, afraid she might make the same mistake he did. He sits down again, glancing at Gus nervously. But he can't think of anything to say right now.

Madeline's eyes widen at the words whispered in her ears, her mouth turning into a silent 'oh' of surprise and horror. It's enough to derail her from /immediately/ launching into a barrage of words. She looks at Gus, and then promptly away again, not seeming to know where to look, and finally settling on the floor, as she sits.

But. Well. He asked them to talk, and she's /good/ at that. "I met Joc-" she starts, before stopping herself. Sykes. Oh. Right. Wrong topic. Okay. Ummm…

"OH! I met a second year - Eilona, she's in Ravenclaw - she was super nice! She took me out with her and her family with my Uncle and everything into the country and we set of /magic/ /fireworks/. And one of them blew up /really/ close to the ground, and it was like little fireflies dancing all around us, in so many different colors, and I've never even seen fireflies before, but I imagine that's what it would be like, and you could catch it in your hand, and hold it, and it wouldn't burn. It was /so/ neat!" There.

Casual chitchat is not really Bran's forte. (Not in English, anyway.) But with a bit of an effort he summons up a smile at Madeline's chatter, hands folded neatly in his lap. "Magical fireworks -" you can SEE the sudden pause on the word 'fire', because OH RIGHT, and suddenly he is little awkward. "… Are real nice, they are."

A skinny fourth-year Hufflepuff with hazel eyes slips open the compartment door and steps in. He catches a few snatches of the conversation before he enters (magical fireworks certainly sound interesting) but he says nothing. He merely smiles and waves to Bran and Madeline, who he knows by name. A friendly glance around the room suggests that he's curious about everyone else.

"That sounds.. interesting," Eibhlin comments to Madeline's story of fireworks. That said however she turns a look back to Augustin, "I do need to go check on a few things though.." she notes, the look she sends him questioning. "I'll catch up with you again later though," she assures as she slips her hand from his to stand. Sending touch of a smile to the others she silently excuses herself before stepping out of the compartment.

The first years are probably about as subtle as a skunk-blessed polka-dotted itchy rhino in Fenwick department store. Gus rubs his eyes with his free hand and sighs. "I'm… gonna find the… dining car, or something," he mumbles, and stands up, keen on following Eibhlin out of the train car. "That sounds very interesting," he tells Madeline politely. He stands aside for the skinny 4th-year Hufflepuff, and then leaves.

"Wow, really?" Adam says when Madeline relates her fireworks story, unable to keep the awe out of his voice despite the solemn mood in the compartment. "I didn't know there were magic fireworks." The first-year boy gives Ilyan a friendly smile and a wave, recognizing him as a fellow Hufflepuff. He knows both Ilyan and Bran by sight, though he has never really spoken to either of them before. Biting his lip, he gives a tentative wave to Eibhlin and Augustin as they leave, and then turns back to Madeline. "Why didn't you bring me!" he asks with mock outrage.

Madeline bites her lip as Augustin gets up regardless and looks at Adam. She /tried/, is what that look says to him. "Goodbye!" she calls after Eibhlin and Augustin. "Umm- take care!" she adds. That's a good thing to say, right, in these circumstances? It's not /talking/ about it, it's just- well.

She's silent a moment, kicking her feet and frowning at the floor, before she smiles back up at Adam. "Well, you weren't /there/. It was real spur of the moment. Eilona does it every year, she said. Maybe she'll invite you next year?"

As Ilyan joins them as well, she smiles cheerfully at the other boy. Even in the somber circumstances - she's feeling pretty relaxed now that she's found a receptive and friendly car to hide in.

Lucretia is going to spit-take if she wakes up and finds out she's in the muggle lovers car all of a sudden. Not that Bran is thinking overmuch about potential Slytherin reactions: he simply nods a mild farewell to Augustin and Eibhlin.
Once they're out of immediate earshot, though - "We best be doing something for him, as a House," the Fifth Year tells Ilyan and Adam, expression solemn. (Sorry, Madeline, but you're a Lion.) "Poor lad. I don't know what Wizards do for them as is in mourning, though."

Ilyan sits down, looking around, and his untroubled expression suggests that he hasn't read the Daily Prophet yet today. (In fact, he has spent his entire trip on the Hogwarts Express dealing with various toilet-related issues. He rushed to the train station, determine to make it on time, feeling confident he could use the lavatory on the train. He was rather upset to find that he couldn't, at first. It took quite a while, and a lot of hopping in place, to resolve that.)

In response to Bran's suggestion, he leans forward without hesitation. "I'm all for it. What happened? What can we do for him?"

"Hope so," Adam tells Madeline, a hint of his usual grin appearing on his face. "Sounds like it was fun." The grin fades as he turns to Bran. "Dunno," he says. "What can we even do?" He glances at Ilyan and shifts in his seat, not wanting to answer his question himself. "I know he's wearing that black armband. Is that a wizard thing?"

"You haven't seen people wearing armbands before?" Madeline asks, wrinkling her brow. "People do it in the Muggle world, too. In rememberance of someone. I didn't really think of it - until I saw people with them getting on the train. I asked my Uncle to send me one. It's just /awful/ what happened and… and I just wish there was something…"

She grits her teeth,a nd then looks at Bran, "I know I'm Gryffindor," who doesn't? "but I wanna help to. I'll make him a card, and maybe put together a bouquet or something. I'd over to help him go over his work - but I'm just a first year, and I don't think it'd do any good."

"Armsbands." Bran gives this careful consideration. "Not a bad idea, is it?" He nods solemnly at Adam. "Simple, and he don't have to acknowledge it if he don't want to. Best not overwhelm him. Though a few flowers -" this is said to Madeline, "- aren't a bad idea. Lilies?" After a moment, he adds, slowly: "And - there's Proudmores in your House, aren't there? They lost their mam."

As for Ilyan's question - well. Bran retrieves the Prophet from where he had it squirreled away, and mutely offers it. The blazing headline SYKES GALA ATTACKED can't be missed.

Ilyan takes the prophet, and as he reads, his eyes widen. He looks angry—no, indignant. Offended. "Since when do Muggle-borns use the Cruciatus Curse just to get their point across? That doesn't help anything! Are they really that stupid?" And then he reaches the part about deaths, and he gets quiet. "Oh." He nods quietly. "I'll wear an armband." He looks around fiercely. "I can order a few armbands as soon as we get to Hogwarts, to share with other students. Let's encourage people to wear them. Show everyone that the victims are not alone."

Adam shakes his head at Madeline. "No," he says. "I didn't know. And I already upset everyone by asking about it earlier." He sighs, wishing he could go back in time and change that. He nods his head eagerly at Bran's and Ilyan's suggestion that they wear armbands. "I want to do something too. I'll wear an armband if it'll help. And I can help with a card or flowers or… something." Then he remembers something, and he adds, "Oh, Maddie. Variel said to tell you that you're a good kid."

"Proud-" Madeline's eyes widen. "Oh, gosh, no! That was Chastity's mom?! Her brother's a prefect!" Her voice is soft, but there's force and emotion behind the words. Tears well up in the girl's eyes, and she balls her hands into fist. "This whole thing is awful. I just don't understand why people have to be so /terrible/. Poor Chastity! I- what do I say to her?"

And then her eyes fix on Adam, one hand reaching up to wipe at her eyes. "He did?" There's something distinctly hopeful in her voice.

(If anyone has the rest of the log, please add it here! Thanks!)

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