(1938-05-27) After Dreadful News
Details for Terrible News
Summary: The effects the announcement earlier had.
Date: May 27, 1938
Location: Courtyard
Related: Explanations of Durmstrang

Gage had no desire to stay in the Great Hall after the news, nor would he return to the commons. The boy is pretty good at finding places to hide, so the tree that he's leaning against is out of the way while he's on the side facing away from the castle. Now and then a foot is kicked backwards with a growl, hitting the ball of his foot against the trunk. If it isn't a foot, it's the side of his fist which swings backward to smack the tree. He doesn't seem to care that his left, dominant hand is already turning raw. Shadow Mist is there, as always, but she's not being shown much attention right now. She hunched down by a root, an eye on the boy with ears laid back and tail twitching occasionally.

Neko had been left in the girls' tower when Elspeth went down to the Great Hall, and the Ravenclaw didn't go back up. She simply walked out and across the grounds without really looking until she came to a little hollow in a hill that she could curl up in. Although she occasionally heard muttering and smacking against a tree not far from her, she didn't have the will or inclination to get up and inspect. She remains where she sat down, her arms wrapped around her knees as she stares straight ahead, hardly seeing the lake that her little spot overlooks.

It's been left up to the little tawny cat to find her way out of the tower room and go looking across the grounds for her human. She passes Gage, but doesn't stop, sending him a golden eyed glance that seems, for a moment, all knowing, before continuing on, unerringly, towards that little hollow in the hill.

In the time since the announcement was made in the great hall, Lan has made a subtle change to his clothing. The green bandana warn around his upper arm has been turned inside out, to hide his crest, and had a black strip added to it. Simply adding a black armband to the traditional school uniform would be very difficult to notice. The addition more a sign of commemoration of a comrade than a sign of morning, but it's there. His path through the campus grounds takes him past the abused tree. Being Lan, he can't help but comment as he moves past, "I'm not sure a Dryad is a good sparring partner. Does explain your fighting style though." He continues past, but keeps Gage in the corner of his eye in case he wants to upgrade his opponent.

Gage doesn't notice the passing feline, occasionally letting out his frustration on the tree behind him. But Shadow Mist does notice. Her ears perk and twitch as she tilts her head, letting out a meow as her eyes trail after Neko. She starts to follow her. It doesn't take Gage too long to notice the grey kitten moving off, especially since he casts dark blue eyes, which have a particular shimmer to them, down to the meow. He moves around the tree, if not leaving it, to stare after her and only will start after her when she gets too far. There is one more smack and kick against the tree before he does move away, but that's when Lan's remark is heard. A low curse escapes him as his hand lifts to the wand around his neck, but it simply just holds onto it there. Instead, his head turns back to stare after Shadow Mist. When Gage starts after her again, he will try to swing a fist at Lan's shoulder in passing.

Neko goes around the hollow, and gives a loud 'meow!' to her human, before butting her head against Elspeth's leg, and nudging along under her arms while curling around her legs. It takes a moment before the girl realizes she's being 'assaulted' by the feline, but then a hand comes down. "How is that you are being here, Neko?" she asks. Her head tips as she hears Lan's voice, and then lifts a little as she debates getting up to see him, or staying put and letting him go on wherever he was headed.

The fist connects with Lan's shoulder, but, expecting it, it seems to encounter almost no resistance as he rolls with the punch, pivoting on the ball of his outside foot to slip away, "Hey now, do I look like an innocent inanimate object to you? I think that piece of masonry over there gave you a cross look. Why don't you go be self-destructive at it." Blast, Elspeth is here, the thinks to himself, hearing her speak to her cat.

Shadow Mist arrives near the girl shortly after Neko. Her maw parts to let out a loud meow, gaze flicking from the tawny kitten to Elspeth. Her head tilts as a weaker mew escapes her. Then she pounces with a, 'Prreow,' tail whipping out behind her, flopping onto the ground next to Elspeth before nosing her muzzle against her. Gage is really itching for a fight there, Lan, so antagonizing him isn't helpful. He spins around to face the older boy. His wand isn't pulled off from around his neck, but he does flick it around where it is. "Trinus sursum," he snarls. A warning to piss off. But he, too, hears the female voice along with more meows. The boy growls, shooting Lan a furious glare. "Shut yisser feckin gob." He walks backwards a ways, and when he turns spies Elspeth and the kittens and freezes where he is, shifting on his feet.

Between the insistent meows, and the voices that seem to insist on breaking into her thoughts, Elspeth finally pushes to her feet. "Has not there been enough violence being done already?" she asks the pair quietly. Stooping down, she scoops up her cat, and holds her on arms crossed over chest, letting Neko paw at her cheek, but far from being consoled.

The Trip Jinx doesn't have much effect on the stationary Lan, just shifting him momentarily off balance and forcing him to move a foot to study himself. He does now reach for the wand in his sleeve, not wanting to be left defenseless if Gage continues. Rather than snipe back again, he waits to see what sort of calming effect Elspeth’s words might have, "No worries, violence has yet to be done." The word incompetence jumps to Lan's tongue, but bites it back; a brawl would be such a pain. "Well, except for that fight with the tree that Gage was losing."

Gage shifts on his feet again, keeping his gaze away from Lan and staring silently at Elspeth. He bites his bottom lip as he looks ashamed after she speaks, and the tears in his eyes seem to pool more before he quickly looks away. He swallows heavily and moves his hands to down by his sides, both clenching around the material. Shadow Mist lets out another soft mew, knocking a paw lightly against Elspeth's foot. Gage shifts his weight again, and when he brings his gaze back onto Elspeth, stares at her for several seconds before frowning deeply. He steps forward, closer to the girl, and reaches out tentatively to touch her shoulder comfortingly.

"It is being better that Gage is hitting a tree instead of another person," Elspeth says quietly, dipping her cheek to nuzzle her cat, her own eyes a little bright. "Shadow Mist, shush. You should be going to your human." Neko glances down from her superior height as if to say, 'my human, get your own', before nudging at Elspeth once again.

The hand on her shoulder draws a hesitant quirk of her lips, but then a furrowed brow of concern. "You have been hurting your hand, Gage. You should be having someone take care of it so it is not getting infected."

Actually, it isn't better for him. Hitting, or trying to hit Lan is unlikely to scrape skin or break bones. "If you say so, I've heard there are some trees that can hit back, or employ guardians to do the hitting for them." The boy returns his wand to its resting place and places hands in his pockets. He opens his mouth, but shuts it again when he realizes he was going to say some version of 'I told you so'. "'May you live in interesting times'. I'd always thought that was the lesser of the three great curses, but the times we're living in feel like they are about to get very 'interesting' soon."

A squeaky meow escapes the grey kitten as her paw retracts, hunching down in the grass as her tail flips around to her side. When Gage's feet step closer to Elspeth, that's when Shadow Mist pushes her body up against his leg and settles. The feline's position at his legs makes him nervous to move his feet anymore, wary of stepping or tripping over her. Gage swallows again, but he remains wordless and instead inwardly hisses a silent insult at himself to not having anything proper to say. He ignores her concern altogether because it isn't important, but does shoot a hostile look at Lan. His hand tremours on Elspeth's shoulder and he utters in a voice that only Elspeth can hear.


"This is being how it starts," Elspeth says quietly in answer to Lan's words. Her gaze withdraws into herself again. "Start with the young, who are being impressionable and strong. They are also being the most stubborn once they are believing they are sure about something." Gage's question brings her part way back, and she shifts her gaze slightly towards him. She almost smiles. "I am being all right. It is sad to be seeing that nothing is being different among wizards than it is being among muggles. You need to be taking care of yourself." She reaches up to pat at his wrist, because she doesn't want to hurt his hand any worse than it is, before she gently steps out from under it towards Lan. "I was hoping," she admits to the Slytherin.

Noalan sighs and adds, "And stupid, don't forget stupid." Really, when they talked about it on the train the whole thing followed the only course that was really possible, "Feelings run hot, neither side is willing to back down, and when the irresistible force hits the immovable object something the one thing you're certain to get is an enormous crash. It's the competition that sent the two at each other. Then Durmstrang’s stupid refusal, followed by the stupider petition accelerating things, and you got the contestants stranded in the middle… I can sympathize with that position." He seems to find the grass very interesting, scuffing a toe into it, "I've heard people call it a paradox, it isn't, the meeting of the two will always result in the destruction of both."

Gage stares after Elspeth when she steps over to the Slytherin. He bites his lower lip, looking away and shuffling over the ground. He mutters inaudibly and bends down, picking up the grey kitten at his feet. As he turns away he kicks out at the ground with a growl, tearing up a few blades of grass. He's so damn helpless! Shadow Mist nuzzles into the boy's arms now that she's held, starting to purr. Gage takes a couple of steps, but slows and looks back. His eyebrows lower and eyes narrow, his hand coming up to adjust his glasses, as if it were the lenses making it difficult to see and not the blur. "Eibon," he utters between clenched teeth. "Do yer nu 'oy ter shut yer bake?" He won't move from where he is, his gaze flicking between Lan and Elspeth.

Elspeth nods slowly. "It is being like the muggle Olympics, although they were not becoming violent. It was not working with the muggles, and now it is not working with the wizards." She tips her head as she considers Lan for a long moment. "It is being hard caught in the middle," she agrees with a murmur. As Gage aims another verbal shot to Lan, a wince narrows her eyes before she turns towards him, now being caught in the middle of the two boys. "It can be good talking about things," she offers quietly. "It is sometimes making things easier if they can be talked out. Maybe it is not being for everyone, but it is being good for me, at least."

"Nope." Is Lan's only response to Gage, contradicting himself immediately by then going quiet. He scuffs the earth once more. He seems to be thinking about that before smirking, "That's me, good for lancing the boil and draining the puss." A dark part of him starts working on these new events and projecting out. Bugger divinations, all you need to know the future is an understanding of human nature, and the willingness to turn ones cynicism up to 11. "This is going to sound bad." He says, thinking that it's probably better not to continue a sentence you have to qualify with 'this is going to sound bad', so he changes what he was going to say, "Anyone know how to cast an Apathy spell powerful enough to blast a continent?"

Gage looks first at Elspeth again, but then is looking down as he lifts his arms. His gaze on the ground, but his mouth against the feline, kissing her. He shifts on his feet and stays silent, giving no response to what is said. "What can yer do?" he utters in a low and unclear voice (with Shadow Mist covering his mouth). "Yer canny lay down an' let dem walk al' over yer. But yer don't want millin'." The latter is said softer. He rests his chin over top of the kittens head. Shadow Mist nuzzles and purrs. He shifts again on his feet.

"I don't know what there is to be doing," Elspeth says quietly in response to Gage. "I am thinking that apathy is being the problem. People are not caring what neighbors are doing to neighbors, as long as it is not hurting them." Neko climbs up to her shoulders, and wraps around like a living scarf of comfort, as Elspeth takes another step closer to Lan. Sighing softly, she reaches up a hand to the feline for a moment, then lets it fall to clasp her other hand in front of her. "I am thinking I should be studying harder in my Defense class. I do not think I will be able to be avoiding fighting."

Noalan shrugs, "It's a problem all right, but here's the thing. What was the point of the Tri Wizard tournament? If, as it is advertised, is to promote magical understanding between governments then there should have been action taken to avoid this issue from the start. It's not nice, but if THAT was the purpose then they should have limited it to only pure blood contestants, because doing anything else would cause this conflict with Durmstrang. No, the PURPOSE, of this was for each government to show off, and grandstand, fighting a proxy war with each other using children. In that case, Durmstrang just took it to the next logical level." Lan says sounding bitter. The blasted glory and money involved enticing students to enter, or cause families to push students to enter. "One tends not to bother ones neighbors in the first place if they don't care. 'Not caring' if the person is muggle born or half blood, is exactly what you want isn't it? The worse you can say about the people keeping their heads down is that they're not contributing to the heated emotions. Before you wish for them to care more, you might want to make sure which side of that 'caring' they will come down on. What you are actually wishing for, I think, is for more people to think like you do, which is what everyone wishes." Hence why he predicted this exact situation before the year started, and why he suspects what is coming next. "Just wait, soon it'll be people thinking like that demanding to know what side everyone's on, demanding they choose, demanding they care. The headmaster’s alleged betrayal will see to that, and soon they'll be forcing people, who never thought of supporting Grindelwald before, over to his side." Now Lan does look up, his eyes hot, "And it all plays to their hand anyways. If left alone, the bloodlines would slowly mix anyways. In a century 'Pure-bloods' may no longer exist and the whole point would be moot, but now the offended are pushing us to war."

As Lan speaks, Elspeth turns first fiery red, then pales whiter than white. On her shoulders, the feline draws herself up, and balances all four paws on one shoulder, back arched and tail straight up in the air. The tail bristles and Neko's ears lay flat back on her head as she hisses at the boy, her eyes dark and staring.

"If you are thinking that I am thinking that everyone should be thinking like me, or wanting everyone to be thinking like me, then you are not knowing me very well," Elspeth begins quietly when he finally finishes his tirade, then she pauses. "No," she corrects, reaching up to take her irate cat from her shoulder and hold her in arms crossed over her chest again. "You are not knowing me at all." As her arms wrap around to soothe the angry cat, it seems she's also trying hug herself for comfort. Her eyes are bright with unshed tears at the sting of the accusation. Gage's presence has been pushed into the background in the face of this attack. "If I am thinking that all people should be thinking like me, I am being just as bad as the pure bloods who are wanting everyone to be thinking that I am unworthy of being in Wizard Society. People should not be being told what they should be thinking, and I am not wanting people to be telling anyone what they should be thinking."

She lowers her head to rest her chin on Neko's head and takes a couple of steps towards the castle. She stops and turns back to look at Lan. "You are being wrong, you know. People who are, how you say, 'keeping their heads down' /are/ adding to the heated emotions because they are not doing anything to slow them down. Hatred is a force that is gaining in power when it is not meeting resistance. It is being like an avalanche going downhill, it is growing stronger the longer that people are doing nothing to stop it. It is not these unnamed people that you are talking about that will be forcing people to be making a choice. Grindelwald is already doing that. He is already saying that if you are not being pure blood, you are not being good enough to live in the world with those of us who are. /Grindelwald/ is already pushing us to war because it is being the only thing that will stop him. He is being afraid that what you were just saying will be happening. He is afraid that if he is not moving, then there will be being no more purebloods. If he is not being stopped, then there will be being no more muggle borns." She pauses, her face bleak. "Wenn er nicht gestoppt wird, werden seine Leute fr mich kommen."

Burying her face in the soft fur in her arms once more, she turns and resumes her walk towards the castle.

Gage keeps his eyes down as he shuffles over the ground apprehensively. He only thinks about what he would do, given the chance, or capability, but how can he say that? He frowns deeply as his eyebrows crease, swallowing heavily. When he blinks a couple tears manages to escape, dripping to the ground, and he hopes that no one’s looking his way to notice. He’s too afraid to say what he wants in response to Elspeth, until her last words are said. His head shoots up suddenly, surprise covering his expression as he glances to her. “Naw,” he declares suddenly before he could think about it. He swallows back a wave of nausea. “What ye tinkin’, Stars?” He moves two or more steps after her. “Dare are people who ‘ill scrap for yer so dat yer don’t ‘av ter.” He swallows, shifting Shadow Mist to one arm so that he can pick up a twig lying in the grass, whipping it through the air as if it were a sword and, at the end of its arc, throws it through the air, as if in silent proclamation that he’d be one to fight for her. He turns to focus his gaze on her, until the Slytherin starts talking. “Damn it, Eibon!” Instead of a low muttering tone, the strained, exasperated tone rises and his voice cracks. He steps toward him, arms lowering as he bends a bit so that Shadow Mist can jump out of his arms before standing straight again. His actions look as if he’s about to lunge at the older boy, but he glances out at his side to Elspeth and he just completely freezes.

As he stands there, looking between the fourth years, his eyebrows lower and draw together. His eyes follow Elspeth as she starts to walk away and his mouth opens, a hand reaching out after her. But as his hand waves in the air touching nothing but air, his mouth closes, and instead he turns to face the Slytherin fully. He is so NOT getting away with that, promise or not. Gage pulls his wand from around his neck and whips it around to point it at Noalan. “Everte Statum!” Right afterwards he lunges forward, a hand reaching out, trying to snag the front of the older boy’s shirt.

A rumbling growl, merging into a meow escapes from the grey kitten. Shadow Mist tears off, ears lying back against her head, running off to seek out a place to hide.

Noalan shakes his head, a little stunned at the counter attack, "There's nothing wrong with wanting people to think you like you do. That's what conflict resolution and debating is all about after all, but there are ways to do it. The violence, or petition forcing isn't the right way to go."

His eyebrows knit together and his mouth falls open slightly in shock, "I thought so, but then you go and say that 'People who are keeping their heads down /are/ adding to the heated emotions because they are not doing anything to slow them down'? You essentially just said that 'if I'm not with you, I'm against you' because my inability to pick a side is 'adding to heated emotions'. Trying to shame me into joining you? Well I think your side is right but the unmovable nature of both sides means this will have to come down to a fight, and I can't fight either side." He extends his arms out in a hopeless 'what am I to do?' kind of way and lets them fall back to his side. He moves after her slowly, letting her gain distance from him. "If one meets those of his own opinion it will grow, sure, but if he encounters a person with equally fierce convictions in the other direction it will cause both to flare up. Someone opposing your view point doesn't slow you down, it makes you flair up, creates outrage and anger and hurt feelings and can be a driving force."

Lan points a finger after her, "Look at what's happening RIGHT NOW. Has my expressing a slightly different view point to yours 'slowed you down'? Has it made you change your mind? Or are you more upset now than you were before? I imagine you're going to go find a sympathetic view point now and talk about this conversation, and that will enflame the one or ones you talk to. The ones who will calm you down are those whom aren't as emotionally invested."

He glances at Gage, but clearly there's not going to be a calming force there. As it turns out, that glance turns out to be fortuitous because he sees Gage's wand move. Lan has his wand out of his sleeve and begins summoning a shield almost immediately, but is still too slow to keep the spell from landing. His body convulses once and he hisses through his clenched teeth in pain. Lan stumbles, drops to a knee and defensively casts a shield always. "Protego Totalum." Creating a small shield around himself. "Yes, it's really only Grindelwald who is pushing us to war."

Through the complicated disagreement between Noalan and Elspeth, one thing is clear to Gage. The Slytherin is being very offensive and his friend is being hurt by it. Gage will have to apologize to Elspeth for breaking his promise, though he’s sure she’ll be pretty pissed off at him. As his already injured hand swings in against the sturdy shield with a growl instead of the intended target, he doubles back as he withdraws his hand. His wand nearly falls out of his hand, but he re-tightens his grip to aim it at the Noalan, or his shield at least. “Everte Statum!” As the same spell is snarled out again, Gage’s voice cracks. “Everte Statum.” The second cast is a reckless wave of his hand, and instead it backfires and causes the third year to stagger, falling onto his bottom.


Of course, there's always someone about and wandering the grounds. Having taken to the grounds to search his own thoughts this evening under the guise of a patrol, Aidan comes just over the hill in time to not only see the shield, but the fact that Gage is attempting to cast… something… at the other boy. But it goes wide, and zips right by his head, prompting the yell out.

"Just what do you think you two blighters call y'selves doing?!" he growls out, immediately bustling toward them both, wand quickly taken out. The Irish lilt in his voice is thick. His Prefect badge hangs from his sweater vest, having shirked the over-robe for the walk. He wears a band of mourning around his arm… a sign of respect. "Lower your wands! T'both of you! NOW!"

Noalan's shield is unable to hold up to Gage's spell and it shoots through, the shield falling apart behind it. Again the older boy flinches and trembles as the spell hits him, eyes narrowed against it. He scrambles back a few steps using his knees and one hand, not wanting to grapple with Gage if he can help it. His wand comes up and starts the defensive motion of another shield spell when his attention is broken by the Prefect. His reflexive distrust of Gryffindor's keeps him from complying with the demand, but he doesn't continue the spell either. "Just a bit of a disagreement, nothing to worry about."

Gage’s wand does fall from his hand, but only stops its descent when the string on its end is seized, lacing between the Ravenclaw’s fingers. Gage scrambles to pick himself up, crawling on his knees until he gets his feet under him enough to lunge, what with the lack of shield and all. The shout from the Prefect is barely even heard as the boy again reaches out for a chance to snag the front of the Slytherin’s robes.

"I said lower y'wands!"

Of course, the warning had gone on deaf ears toward Noalan, and Gage was going to continue with his physical assault. Okay, then. Aidan raises his wand, and calls out, "Depulso!" He aims at a point between the two boys - and the spell should be enough to put several steps between them. As he carries on, he moves between them, looking to both of the boys. "D'you think this is doin' anyone any good?!" he asks them both, staring between them as he frowns. "D'you really think that this is the way to be in a time when this school - its students - should be comin' together?! Fightin' on the grounds like a couple of heathens!"

He looks to Noalan. "I ought t'have a word with Slughorn about you," he remarks, frowning still, "and I ought to run you in to Mopsus, too," he states, turning his head then toward Gage. "D'either of y'have any sense?"

The Banishing charm sends Lan skidding across the ground, the added distance from Gage being much appreciated. "What," he says, "is it about these events do you think would bring the school together?" He scrambles to get to his feet, his cynical side not believing Gage will stop now that he's gotten started. "More than the teachers I should think. Not only do they drop a bomb on the students with this announcement, but drop it right on an existing fault line. On top of that, rather than give us something constructive to do, or time to think about it, they set us loose and give us extra free time. Brilliant. How was this NOT going to come to a head?"

Once again Gage never makes it fully to Lan. When Aidan’s spell knocks him back and he stumbles onto his rear again, it knocks some awareness back into him. His palms touch the ground on either side of him as he looks around, showing no acknowledgment to the upperclassman as he searches for the feline. “Feck,” he swears in his Irish accented tone. As he picks himself up in haste, due to his unbalance he nearly falls right back again, but once he’s on his feet both hands lift to seize his hair in fists as he spins. Damn it! Where did she go?

Blinking at the tears in her eyes, Elspeth steadfastly walks away as Lan's words push her further away. It isn't until she hears the raised voices demanding that wands be put down that she pauses. Brushing at her eyes, she turns in time to see Shadow Mist pelting towards her, and stoops down, holding her hands out to Neko's sister. "Shadow Mist, come here," she coaxes, soothing the cat to join her sibling in her arms. Holding both small cats, she finally looks back to the two boys, and notes a prefect talking with them. Her steps carry her slowly back in that direction.

"No doubt it's a dark time, Eibon. It's a heavy moment for us all," Aidan begins toward Noalan, frowning still. "But because they give us the free time to reflect and think, and collect ourselves, doesn't give us the authority or the right t'take it out on each other. If anything, we should be trying to help one another, instead of turning on each other." He breathes in, reaching up to rub his eyes for a moment, before shaking his head. He looks toward Gage as he watches him begin to tantrum, and he shakes his head. He looks back toward Noalan, then, "Back t'your dormitory," he tells him. "I'll be sendin' word to Slughorn 'bout this." He then begins to move toward Gage, moving to try and take the boy by the shoulders to shake him a little.

"Hart. Hart!" He shakes the boy two or three times by the shoulders, trying to get his attention - or at least his patial focus. "Come with me, and I will help you back to your dorm," he remarks quietly, still frowning. "But don't think you're off scott free, either. I'll be speaking to Professor Mopsus… s'really… really unbecoming behavior…"

Noalan just shrugs, "Ya, sure, but you can't be surprised. Had to stop any other row yet? I'm sure we all are 'collecting ourselves' into little groups based on who we support. If it hadn't been a pure-blood…" Well that muddles the sides, pure-bloodists killing a pure-blood. "Anyways, I didn't turn on anyone, I just spoke my mind and got attacked for it." Lan shoves both hands in his pocket and scowls hatefully at the ground, "Ya, I'm going." He says, turning towards the castle. He catches sight of Elspeth, his expression un-readable, he heads inside. Out of the fire, and into the snake den, great.

Since Gage’s moist eyes are darting about the grounds, searching for where Shadow Mist got to, he notices Elspeth – and the two kittens she’s carrying. The heavy breath escapes him in relief around the same time the hands on his shoulders shake him. He ceases all movement, waiting until the hands are removed or he’s directed to start walking before he ducks to the ground to pick up the wand he had left on the ground after the Depulso, and pulls the string over his head. His gaze will keep to the ground, but he does utter quietly, “Eibon speaks de truth. Oi wus 'eadin' after 'im.”

Elspeth doesn't watch Lan leave, or when he passes close to her. She continues on her way towards Gage with the boy's cat. She gives polite nod to the prefect, but she doesn't seem to be in a speaking mood at present. When she's close enough, she turns her side towards her housemate so that he can take his pet back.

"Yeh. I saw that much," Aidan remarks quietly, shaking his head and quietly leading the younger student along by the shoulder. He just shakes his head as he continues on. "You know, for being a Ravenclaw, I would've given you a bit more credit, Hart," he tells the young boy, sighing some… And when Elspeth makes her appearance, coming up toward them, he pauses for a moment, tilting his head. "Rosen," he remarks quietly, coming to a pause and letting his hand fall from Gage's shoulder. "I would like t'trust you to see Mr. Hart back to your common room, if I could trouble you t'do so. I need to go speak with Professors Slughorn and Mopsus."

He then looks to Gage for a moment, frowning slightly… "I did say I would. And I intend to." He then looks back to Els as he does, tilting his head. "Will you, then?"

The other pair of feet that arrive near him makes him bring his head up to find Elspeth there. He stares at her for several seconds while Aidan speaks to her, and when he finally reaches out to take the grey kitten, utters, “Tanks.” His gaze returns to the ground as he hugs the feline close, falling silent. He may hear Aidan, but there isn’t a reply, he just starts walking back to the castle. He mutters something quietly for Elspeth. “Oi’m sorry.”

Elspeth looks at the Prefect almost blankly as she's being entrusted with taking Gage back to the castle, and nods numbly. She's careful to make sure none of Shadow Mist's claws catch on her clothing as the kitten is transferred, then settles Neko more comfortably. When Aiden checks to be sure that she is going to go back to Ravenclaw with her housemate, she nods again, and forces her voice into yes. "Yes. I will." She doesn't urge Gage physically, since she really doesn't need to do so. She simply falls in step beside him. Her eyes turn blankly to him when he apologizes.

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