(1938-01-14) In Between Two Snakes
Details for In Between Two Snakes
Summary: Gabby finds herself in between Ripley and Theodore….and then in a very surprising conversation with one.
Date: Jan 14,1938

Ripley is standing in one of the windows of the owl tower area and is looking out and down the side of the building.

Gabrielle , hoping to not run into anyone else today, sneaks into the tower, as quietly as she can. She's got a letter in her hands, and is dressed in her gardening clothes(meaning crappier than her normal clothes!). Her hair's pulled back messily, and she'll start climbing the stairs, looking for the nearest owl. When she sees Rip, she pauses, and slightly worried look comes over her, before she shakes it off and will wait to see if he sees her or not. IF not, she'll just slip out after sending the letter.

Ripley hears the noise behind him and turns to see who comes in. He looks to Gabby for a long moment before he speaks, "Want to tell me what happened?"

Gabrielle looks at him for a moment, and then sighs, "With?" She's hoping he's maybe referring to the sickles she gave him. It is a lot to get over one break. She'll fidget with the letter in her hand.

Ripley shakes his head, "When I saw you yesterday… You had been crying."

Gabrielle looks down at the letter in her hand, "…no…I don't want to tell you. I've had enough people yell at me for the 'Poor Gabby Act." I get it." She'll shrug, "I'm ok now. It's done and over and I just want to move on."

Ripley lifts a brow and stares at her, "See. That right there will get the poor Gabby from me. You know me. Talk to me."

Gabrielle takes another deep breathe, "Why is it so hard for people to believe that I don't want to talk about what's wrong?" she'll look up from the letter, she sounds exhausted, "Fine. Jackson broke up with me after telling me all the things he loved about me, then was horrible and Teddy punched him and now Jackson has basically threatened to hurt anyone who goes after him because of me. Which means I don't get to be upset, because if Cillian or Gabriel think I’m hurting, they'll try something. And if he hurts them….I'll hurt him. And I don't want to hurt him." she'll hold up her letter, "And now I get to go owl my aunts to tell them they were right about Jack." She'll force a smile, "So, there you go." Her right hand twitches a few times as she talks, unconsciously.

Ripley wrinkles up his nose a bit and nods, "Okay. First off…" As he walks over to her and just pulls her into a warm hug if she lets him. "I think you need this." He speaks and then continues, "Second, you don't have to tell anyone they were right or wrong. Who knows what comes around the corner?"

Gabrielle stands there, clearly confused by the hug. There's a few tremors that go through her, but it's probably from the cold. She'll look down at the letter, "Well..I know Jackson's not around the corner." She'll take a deep breathe, and puff her cheeks for a moment, trying to clear her head some, "What are you doing out here?" She'll glance towards the window he was at.

Ripley shrugs his shoulders, "Just like to look out the window sometimes." He shrugs. "So not Jackson, someone though. Some day. Yes?"

Gabrielle smirks, "Owl Tower have the best window or something?" The smirk drops when he brings up the future, "No. I'm not….no."She'll look down, her voice going a bit raw, "I'm not ever doing that again. No one is getting that from me again."

Ripley lifts a brow to her, "Nobody?" He then smiles a little bit and shakes his head, "Now, none of that. You will find someone some day and settle down and have a wonderful life. This I promise. A girl with a smile and eyes like that… Would be a shame to lose that to nobody."

Gabrielle chuckles, but there's not real humor to it, "Right. Because my track records so great. I'd have to go find a muggle, just so they don't hate me automatically." she'll shake her head as she looks at the letter, "Don't make promises." She'll wrinkle her nose and give him a small glare, wondering what he is playing at, "It doesn't matter, it's at the bottom of the lake…hopefully cracked in half. No one's ever getting that piece of me again.Ever."

Ripley shakes his head again, "Of all the people I know, adults and kids, I have never known anyone who said that that didn't end up married or with someone and happy." He smirks to her, "And I don't know of anyone who hates you automatically." He chuckles a bit and rubs her arm a touch. "This next Hogwarts weekend. Let me buy you a butterbeer?"

When he rubs her arm, Rip can feel a pretty big difference. She's been rather active since they last really…touched. And while her clothes don't really allow for it to show, she's buffed up a bit(fighting x2). She'll roll her eyes, but not respond to his decoration of everyone ends up happy. Gabby'll study him for a moment, "I work…and I'm being tutored….so it'll depend on what my hours are…..Are you ok?" She'll tilt her head, trying o figure out what's wrong.

Ripley gives her a little smile, "Nothing. Worried about my brother and about Gareth." He shrugs a bit, "Worried about you."

Gabrielle tilts her head, a bit of a frown, "What's wrong with Leander? Is it the Tournament stuff?" She'll pause a moment, "And what's wrong with Gareth?" She'll wrinkle her nose again, "Really, part of my problem is people are worried about me. If everyone would just stop, I’d be better off."

Ripley chuckles a bit. "Leander is just all busy with the tourney… Gareth is off and on his own a lot." Ripley shugs, "Just getting used to being alone, I guess."

Gabrielle shakes her head, "So…Leander's doing what he needs to do, nothing's wrong? good. " she'll not comment on Gareth, cause , what's there to say? "Being alone isn't always bad. You definitely get more things done. I used to have several sketchbooks filled by this time of year."

Ripley gives a laugh, "I miss having someone to snog and being able to talk to my brother as it is." He rests on the rail of the stairs and smiles to her, "Getting things done is fine… Being lonely isn't."

There's some noise as the heavy wooden door at the base of the stairs is swung open. Then the scuffling of shoes on the stone echoes through the small staircase until Theodore climbs into view. He's carrying a small wooden box and is still dressed in his school clothes. He looks upward ahead of him on the stairs and sees the other two. "Oh. Um… Hey?"

Gabrielle bites her tongue….he'd just not get it, if she yelled at him anyway. Instead she'll shake her head, "well, can't you help Leander?" She'll start to say something else, the Theo walks in. Gabby's face goes from her normal smile for Teddy, it a frown. Like she's not sure how to feel about seeing Theodore. "Theo."

Ripley looks to Theo and gives a little nod to the other boy. It's cordial at the most before he looks to Gabby and shakes his head to her, "Just… Don't give up, okay?"

Theodore pauses, looking between them, and then lingers on Gabrielle for a moment. "I told you, Artie," he smiles, "I hate that. Teddy, if you're gonna shorten it. Please." He looks back at Ripley, then sort of at the floor. "I'm gonna slip past you two, then…" And he begins to push around them to head up to the top of the tower. A few steps behind him bounds a grey and black ferret, which stops to sniff Gabby's feet, then follows Theo.

Gabrielle outright ignores Ripley, instead she'll give Theo a glare, "No, you never told me. I assumed from your letter." She keep glaring as he tries to squeeze past. She'll slap him in the arm loud enough to make a noise, "And don't/ hit anyone else for me. What's the point of teaching me? If I wanted Jackson to bleed, I'd do it myself." She starts off strong with the slap, but her voice is a bit warbly at the end.

Ripley sighs as he looks to Theo and Gabby and overhears what they speak of. He shakes his head and begins to head down the stairs.

Theodore stops again, looking at Gabby, "I didn't hit him for you. He hurt my friend. I hit him because he deserved it." He shakes his head, "And anyway, you don't wanna know how he acted about it." He looks at Gabrielle, rather caring. "You're better off without him, hun. I'm sorry." He looks at the departing Ripley, "You don't have to run off. Hang with Artie. If I was gonna punch you, I'd have done it a long time ago. Twice."

Gabrielle looks off to the side, and starts to say something, but stops and shakes her head. She'll sniff once, not wanting to start crying again, and will look over to Ripley. She'll roll her eyes a bit at Theo.

Ripley lifts a brow, "I should have punched you a long time ago." As he looks to Theo.

Theodore furrows his brow, and looks at Ripley, "Don't bother. You've already done worse." Back at Gabby, he gives her a small grin, "You'll be alright, Artie. I promise." Then he turns and starts up the stairs once more.

"Worse? Really?" As Ripley stares at Theo, "Oh right. Not like abandoning your team because you are a little rat." He says out and then shakes his head, "Nevermind. I don't need to be here." As he storms off down the stairs.

Gabrielle grimaces. And then will sigh, but it's not clear to which boy she's sighing about. She'll stand there by herself for a moment, not really wanting to follow either boy.

Theodore looks down the stairs at the other departing boy. "Sure. I'm a rat." He sighs, and nods a little, "But don't convince yourself the team lost because of me. I'm not the only player out there. Never was. Giving them excuses just makes them angry. It doesn't make them better." Then he waves his hand, and turns to climb the stairs again.

Ripley stops and looks up, "But they had two star players… You and me. The backbone. Too bad it broke because someone felt like they weren't liked anymore." He flashes a hand out to dismiss the other boy and shakes his head.

Gabrielle looks down at the stairs, "…please don't do this…" Again, it's hard to decipher who she's talking to. She'll start messing with the cuff of her right sleeve.

Theodore shakes his head, looking back at Ripley. "No team is only one player, Ripley." He looks at Gabby, and he nods, "I'd rather not, as well." And again, he turns, stepping up into the owl loft.

Ripley just sighs and flops down on the stair he is on.

Gabrielle will look between the two and then will sigh, she'll take a few steps down to where Ripely is. she's really not angry sounding, more tired, "Is that really going to help anything?" She'll glance up, to make sure Theo's not near enough to see or over hear.

Ripley shrugs, "He let us all down, Gabby." Ripley shakes his head, "He and I both let them down. I have tried every year for captain and he got it every year until this one. No idea why either." He shakes his head, "I always just did it for the competition of it."

Gabrielle looks around, like she's trying to find a suitable place to sit or lean against, and finally gives up and just stands there, "Sometimes doing something just for a challenge isn't always the right reason." She kinda sounds like she's repeating something. "This really messed him up…more than just Quidditch games and Slytherin's winning streak .His dad won't talk to him. Like, hasn't spoken to him since he lost Captain. It's something that he's having to deal with, and if he can't handle being on the team…." She'll give a small half smile. She knows this is hard, for both sides.

Ripley just rubs at his face, "Yeah. And that is all my fault." Ripley says and sighs deeply as he pulls his hands away. "I never meant to cause such a problem. I still can't believe he just walked away."

Gabrielle will wrap her arms around herself….it's getting cold, "I don't think he blames you…at least not any more than he blames the rest of the team. the whole team voted him off, not just you." She'll shrug a bit, looking down at the letter in her hand, "Sometimes, you need to get away from what's hurting you." she'll then tuck the letter in her robe so she can curl her hands into her sleeves.

Ripley turns and looks at Gabby, "Gabby… I didn't vote." He looks at her for a long time before he reaches out and puts his arm around her and pulls her close to him if she allows. When he realizes she is standing he looks up to her, "Come here…"

Gabrielle nods at the voting…she wasn't sure how that worked. She'll tilt her head and sigh softly, a little exasperated. But she will sit down next to him on the stairs. She's not turned towards him though, it's more a shoulder to shoulder thing. "You need to just give him some space. He'll never come back if you and every Griffindor that runs into him are insulting him over it."

Ripley shakes his head, "He let me down, Gabby. When I first met him… He said we were all brothers. That we looked after each other. We would all stick together and do what need to be done. Brothers, Gabby. What brother walks away?"

Gabrielle will shrug slightly,"Ripley…if you honestly want him back, then listen to what I'm saying. This is not the way. And if you don't want him back on the team, why are you even bothering to provoke him, other than your own ego?" She'll turn to look at Rip, "I"m not going to pretend I understand what it's like to be a team. Or even what it's like to have a brother. But I'm guessing feeling like your brothers betrayed you,whether they did or not, would hurt more than anything else."

Ripley sighs. "It's mutual." He speaks and then leans over to put his head on her shoulder. "I was fine with him doing whatever until we lost and the team was so out there. He wouldn't help me. Just went, 'You are the captain.' and walked away."

Gabrielle lets him lean his head, but kinda looks down at him, confused. "If it's mutual, then be sympathetic. You keep saying you want to prove that you're above stereotypes. Who cares about the winning and losing, if it's what Teddy needs, let him go make movies and be happy….I can talk to him. Try to get him to explain to you how to direct the team. You need to be the bigger man here though." She'll hesitate for a moment, then reach over and give his hand a squeeze, trying to be supportive.

"I have tried that Gabby. I did. He just shoved it back in my face." Ripley shakes his head as he lays on her shoulder, "Always the bigger man, Gabby. Someone should maybe just come to me for once." As he takes her hand and holds it in his. He lifts it and places a little kiss on the back of it. "You are a good person, Gabby."

Gabrielle rolls her eyes, "So, this is just about antagonizing him then?….Should we turn this into the poor Ripley show now? " there's a small teasing tone to her voice. she'll smile and start to say something, then he's kissing the back of her hand and she freezes, "What are you doing?"

Ripley turns to look at her, "Thanking you?" He says and keeps hold of her hand.

Gabrielle sighs and shakes her head, "This is what you did last time, and it ended up hurting me. You can't kiss on people and not expect them to react." She doesn't seem mad, like last time, more like she's explaining. She's clearly thinking he's just not understanding what his actions mean, or how the affect people.

Ripley draws in a breath and sighs a little bit, "Gabby. You are a good person and I was thanking you." He keeps hold of her hand and looks to it. he becomes quite quiet for a bit and then looks to her.

As Ripley is looking at her hand, Gabby laughs softly, "I wish people would make up there minds. I'm a good person, I'm a bad person. I deserve to be happy, I deserve to have awful things happen to me. This school is confusing." She'll look down at their hands for a moment too and sigh sadly.

Ripley looks back to her and smiles, "I think it is more up to what you believe you are, Gabby." As he looks into her eyes for a long moment and sighs as well.

"Well then. I'm screwed." Gabby'll laugh again, and then tilt her head, "Are you sure you're ok? That's just you missing Leander and Gareth?"

Ripley looks at her another long moment, "Yeah. Just got something on my mind."

Gabrielle will just raise her eyebrows in a questioning manner.

Ripley bites his lip a bit, "That day that I tried to kiss you…"

Gabrielle rolls her eyes, "Yeah…not our best day…" She'll look down and give his hand a squeeze."I'm sorry…I shouldn't have …hurt you. I could have just stepped away…"

Ripley looks to his hand and nods to her, "I am really sorry about that." He speaks and then looks to her, "I was wondering…"

Gabrielle nods, and then will look up, waiting for him to continue. Her expression is a bit curious, as she really has no idea where he's going with this.

"I was wondering…" And Ripley looks to her, "If you would do me a favor?"

Gabrielle eyebrows pull together, and she'll glance up to the top of the tower is. Where ever theo may be. "Sure?" she'll look back to him.

"Can I kiss you?" Ripley says finally.

Gabrielle blinks."What?" She couldn't have heard that right.

Ripley gives a little bit of a blush, "Just… I want to kiss you."

Gabrielle turns her head away to look at the stairs, "No…you want to snog someone….not me.And you miss Gareth." She'll start to pull at her right sleeve some , unconsciously. "You should really find him…it's him you're wanting, and that's not fair to him to do that to." She'll look back, and that sadness is back in her eyes, "It's ok. I'm not mad. I just….you don't need to mess things up with Gareth…or if you do, not because of me."

Ripley looks to her and shakes his head, "No. I want to snog you." He speaks and smiles to her, "Yes, I miss Gareth but if he's going to be off all on his own and doesn't need me…" He breaks off and looks towards the stairs himself. "Never mind."

Gabrielle 'll sigh, "Ripley…" She'll give his hand another squeeze,proubably a little longer than she should in this situation, "I'm not…good at that kind of thing…You need to either be with Gareth or not. It's really not fair to either of you if you're in limbo." She'll smile softly, "I'm flattered, really….but I'm not what you need. I'm very broken….you don't want that…trust me."

Ripley draws in a breath and nods a bit, "Yeah…" He says and keeps looking away, "Gabby. When I tried to kiss you I wanted to know. To know you. I… Then things started with Gareth and all and you got in with other people and I… I was wondering."

Gabrielle makes a thinking face, "Kissing me won't make you know me any better…at least in my experience. It makes you closer, but not….it doesn't make you understand any better." She'll smile sadly before turning towards him and gives a small chuckle, "even with all our issues, I think you still know me better than most. At least, out of everyone who really knows me, I think you're least likely to ever betray me. Leave me, ignore me…maybe. but not betray."

Ripley shakes his head, "I wouldn't." He draws in a deep breath and sighs again. "The whole thing with Gareth just snowballed into something huge and the world crashed down." He looks back to her and smiles a little, "When I hurt you… It hit me like a ton of bricks and I saw what I had done. I'm sorry for that but I need you to know… I like you."

Gabrielle nods, "I know. I trust you." She'll give him a smile, and then nods again, "the world seems to do that." She has a bit of a far away look in her eyes for a moment. She then shakes it off and looks back to him, "I don't really blame you anymore. I was being naive. I didn't really understand how any of that worked. Books are surprisingly not helpful on the subject of romance…." And then he's telling her he likes her.

Gabby blinks, "…as friends.right?" she just sounds confused at this point.

Ripley looks to Gabby, "Well, unless I got to know you better…"

Maybe it's because she's had such an emotionally draining week, but it literally just hits Gabby now. Her cheeks turn pink, and she looks down to their hands, "That's…no."she'll shake her head , "You're with Gareth and you didn't want me…and that's ok." He can feel a slight tremor in her hand.

Ripley shakes his head, "No. I mean… I mean I… Shit." He sighs a bit and holds her hand a little harder, "I mean… The best people together are friends first, yes? I don't mean sex, Gabby. I think you take me wrong. I mean… I like you, a lot. I'd like to know you better. I… I sound like an idiot. What I mean is, if Gareth doesn't want this anymore and I will talk to him about it… Do you think you could consider… Well, me?"

Gabrielle stares at their hands as he talks, Rip can see her swallow. "I..I don't know, Ripley. this is kinda….I never thought…..I'm..I'm really broken right now. Jackson, he…" She'll close her eyes,tears starting to form, "I don't know what I'm feeling….much less saying anymore…" She'll inhale and hold it for a moment, before looking up at Ripley, "I don't know.I know that's a horrible answer…and I'm sorry." She's not crying per say, but a tear does escape down one cheek.

Ripley reaches up and brushes that tear away with his thumb, "You aren't broken, Gabby. You are just hurt and confused." His hand cups her cheek as he looks to her and smiles softly. "Just tell me whatever you feel, Gabby. Just… Tell me you do think you will have someone one day?"

Gabrielle will sniff a bit, and while this probably doesn't make any sense, "I threw my heart away into the lake so I wouldn't have too."

Ripley looks to her and raises a brow, "You did what?"

Her lower lip is starting to tremble now, "I made Jackson a pendant that had my heartbeat when he said my name…because he didn't want to leave me over break…so I would always be near him," There's a few more tears that escape down her cheeks, "and he gave it back….So I threw it into the lake…"

Ripley looks sad at this as well, "But that wasn't your real heart." He says as his thumb brushes her cheek. "You still have that." He smiles to her a bit and leans in a little more, "You will be all right."

Gabrielle shakes her head softly, it's not enough to shake Rip's hand. "It feels like it was." She'll close her eyes as he brushes the tears away,unconsciously leaning into his touch some.

Ripley keeps his hand there and smiles to her, "I know. It always feels like that." He leans in closer now and reaches to kiss her forehead before his eyes come back to hers. "It feels like hell. I know."

Gabrielle whimpers slightly as he kisses her forehead, and he tears are pretty free flowing now. She'll look back at him for a moment, before closing her eyes and leaning into his hand. She'll not say anything.

Ripley wipes them from her cheek once more and smiles to her. He just sits there and keeps his hand on her cheek, gently caressing her.

Eventually Gabby snaps out of it enough to pull back some, "I'm sorry…I just can't seem to stop crying." She'll take a few shaky breaths, "I think I"m going to dehydrate myself, if I keep this up." She'll laugh softly, but it's hollow.

Ripley pulls his hand back to him and nods a bit. "Sorry." He speaks softly and looks to her. "You really are great."

Gabrielle laughs again, and will put her hand to her mouth. She'll then slide it down to her neck, "I don't know if great is the right word…maybe a mess would be more accurate." She'll give him a shaky smile, "I'm sorry…" What she's apologizing for, who knows.

Ripley chuckles a little more, "Don't be." He says softly.

Gabrielle huffs softly, "I feel like all I've done is apologize for the past week….I wish it was doing any good." She' shiver a bit, and bring her free arm around herself some.

Ripley looks to the free arm and ponders a bit before he decides to not take her hand again.

Gabrielle will sit there and calm herself down some. And then she'll blush a little bit, at the whole situation. And then she'll start to giggle a bit, and rub her face, trying to wipe away any excess moisture. "I think I need to go think…this is…alot." She'll give him a small smile.

Ripley looks to her and nods, "Just keep it to yourself for now. I wouldn't want to get the whole place upset again, you know?"

Gabrielle nods, she knows.Not that she has anyone to tell it to now, so, that makes it way easier. She'll stand up, "I'll talk to you later?" and she'll start making her way down the stairs.

Ripley gets to his feet and nods, "Okay." As he takes in a deep breath and sighs it out.

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