(1938-09-12) An Unexpected Friendship
Details for An Unexpected Friendship
Summary: Following the events of (1938-09-12) Busy In The Courtyard, two stragglers continue to talk and begin down the path of friendship, using the traditional method of sharing interests and vulnerabilities.
Date: September 12, 1938
Location: Entry Courtyard
Related: (1938-09-12) Busy In The Courtyard

Entry Courtyard - Hogwarts

A path leads from the Gates through to the huge bridge that travels across the lake towards the Hogwarts entry hall from here. The otherwise green hill isn't very steep, however, almost like it was designed for long walks and for the carriages. Another, steeper and well-trodden, path leads down to the lake shore and the groundskeeper's cabin, in a roundabout way to the west, while the lake itself is visible over cliffs hundreds of feet tall to the South.
Across the bridge and just outside the entry hall is the courtyard itself, a large rectangular area with roofed walkways along the outside, with benches to sit and arched open-air windows to give a view over the lake. Inside these walkways is a central open square just outside the doors to the castle, with a couple of larger benches to give students a place to sit.

Frowning briefly, Ahnaliese asks, "And are you really sick?" For all that she could ask Virgil, and all that she has observed, this is all that comes out.

"Yes, all my life," Virgil replies and moves over to take a seat next to Ahnaliese, carrying his book with him. Folding his legs up underneath him again he hunches over and draws his hands in again. "It isn't contagious or anything though," he tells her and extends his neck so that he can smile over the edge of the scarf again. It is one of his most familiar behaviors, since he always wears the thing.

Ahnaliese smiles a little sadly and shifts to face Virgil a little more, as he sits down next to her.

"Are you going to die from it?" Ahnaliese asks, seeming to trust that he isn't contagious. "And how does the scarf help?" she asks, looking at it. "Does it help keep the air you breath warm, and the rest of you too, or does it have a charm on it?"

"It helps with the coughing, so that I don't cough on people," Virgil replies and pulls it away from his face enough that he can be seen fully. Folding his hands again, he thinks about the question about whether he'll die and answers honestly, "Maybe. If I live long enough, the cumulative negative effects on my health might add up, but really, I'd like to perfect a philosopher's stone before then."

Ahnaliese observes Virgil's face for a bit— she's seen him about in various places with the face cloth before, and now she gets to see his face up close without it. She takes her time to look at it, perhaps even too long.

"Wait," she says at last, "isn't the philosopher's stone what you change things to gold with?" Her eyes narrow as she reasons this out. "So you're going to become ridiculously wealthy and then pay people to try and figure out what's wrong with you?"

"The stone has a lot of uses, it's the key to a lot of incredible alchemy, but the one I'd want it for is to live forever," Virgil replies coyly and waggles his eyebrows at the girl. Considering how sickly he is, he clearly knows his dream is far-fetched, but it gives him some hope at a long life. "Who needs money, anyway? I just need enough to eat, and then books, lots of books, and you know, ingredients and such," he explains slightly roughly as a cough wracks him mid-sentence.

"It helps you live forever!?" Ahnaliese exclaims as Virgil reveals this. The rest of his words have her smiling by the end. "Books? Books! Ravenclaws and books." She grins. "My dad wants money. He's always raving about every possible crazy way to get rich fast, and we're always poor anyway. He's not so brilliant at figuring it out."

Ahnaliese laughs a little after a moment, but there's consternation on her face too in the wake, and that is altered by a touch of concern as well. "If you need anything, you can ask me if you want. Maybe I can help you sometimes. I like to do experiments and figure things out."

"The Elixir of Life does, yeah." The small sickly boy laughs and when Virgil speaks, he speaks softly, "Well, if you're still of a pliable mind in twenty years, I'll come find you. It'll take years to get to the point where I can even begin to pull the pieces together," he admits and shrugs, but seems happy about it all the same. "But there are always things to learn between here and there, experiments." His eyes dance with an inner delight as he speaks and he pulls back up his scarf in time to catch another deep cough.

The shared interest in experiments has Ahnaliese saying, timed after the boy's cough, "We should try to figure things out together sometimes."

Ahnaliese's face twists a little. "Sometimes my experiments aren't too brilliant, though, like when I wanted to figure out how the bookshelf-sorting charm worked in the library. I dropped a book by a shelf to see if the bookshelf would acquire it, but I was being watched. And I got hauled out for mistreating books!" It's only now that Ahnaliese recalls the boy's fascination with books, and likely respect—bad idea to share that experiment!

"It wouldn't. The charm would be on the shelves, the start and end point is at the shelves," Virgil surmises thoughtfully and digs at the toe of one of his shoes with his fingernail before flipping a page in his book, he glances down a few times at the new page but for the most part pays attention to Ahnaliese. "If they let it go beyond that, you'd sit down with a book at a table, or walk by a shelf, and it'd snatch it away. Wouldn't that be annoying?" he tells her conspiratorially. "I mean, that's how I'd guess it works. My mom enchants our closets with something similar. Everything is arranged according to how warm it is. Since she doesn't want me to catch a cold."

"That's what I figured, but you have to try all possibilities to test it," Ahnaliese says, as if she would know. "So I had to try with the crazy ideas first, like— like getting in trouble first. Who knows! Maybe there's lots of charms working together in odd ways? And maybe even a charm to let the librarian know when a book is being mishandled?"

"If I was afraid of my things being mishandled, I would put those kind of charms on them," Ahnaliese admits.

"I don't know," Virgil admits and rubs at his knee a few times. "How do you define mishandling? And if it's too sensitive, it'd go off every time someone put a bag in a bookbag," he muses softly and coughs into his scarf again. "What do you like to do, besides experiments of a sort?" he asks.

"A drop of two-or-more feet is how I would define it," Ahnaliese says, "or of a certain amount of force. But it'd be tricky to figure out." She shrugs, as if not entirely wrapped up in the prospects of figuring this out.

"I like spiders, and the stars, and singing, and playing cello, and sewing, and baking things. I knit too. I like clothes most of all: wearing them, making them, colorful clothes—but I wish I was cute, so I could wear cuter things. What about you? Do you like anything other than trying to get smarter?"

"I can do other things. I'm familiar with astronomy too, I play the piano, chess, read some non-fiction, follow quidditch teams, even though I can't play," Virgil replies gently and smiles. Sliding his book closed, he wonders, "How long have you been playing cello?"

"The piano!?" Ahnaliese exclaims. "I like the piano. I play it too, a little, but not as good as the cello." She shifts a little and begins kicking her feet back and forth. The recent polish of her oxford booties is apparent.

"It's been a few years since I've been able to play the cello," she explains. "I used to play it before we had to sell all of our nice stuff. I started when I was very young, I think when I was four or five." Ahnaliese smiles at the memory. "At first I had a mini-cello."

"I have plans to make charmed scores for the piano, and any other instrument. I'll use even muggle works, and just rechart them with the right ink, once I've figured out the how. It'll make the piano play itself," Virgil explains, this time even more conspiratorially than ever. He has no need for such secrecy, but he seems to enjoy pretending that everything he says is somehow a state secret. For country. "I'm hoping it'll make me enough to make it so I don't have to work the first few years out of Hogwarts," he goes on.

Ahnaliese smiles at the thought. "You should make a whole orchestra of instruments and be their Chief Conductor," she suggests. The thought makes Ahnaliese consider the sickly boy next to her, and once again she lapses into silence. Her parchment of doodles, with Kaiden's excellent sketch of Briar, is entirely neglected.

"Is it scary having to visit the healers a lot? And do they do wierd things to you?"

The boy grins. "That's the spirit, but the idea is to let people at home listen to the piano without having to play it themselves. Not to entertain concert halls," Virgil explains as quickly as he can, trying to make the picture clearer. "No, I don't visit the healers that often. I can get a potion made, if it's really bad, otherwise there isn't anything they can do, or so they say," he admits and snuggles his face into the scarf.

“O-h-hh! I see,” Ahnaliese says. “Yeah, people would pay for that. We don't have anything like that at our house.” More and more Ahnaliese lapses into quiet though, and she does again, this time more noticably. Virgil's situation and ideas have her contemplative, and her ease at being quiet around him speaks perhaps of her quickly-established comfort with him.

Ahnaliese only now begins to realize that less and less people have been passing through and enjoying the sun that still warms the both of them.

"I think people will like it, we'll see, it won't cost much to make them. I don't think, they'll just be paper and the right tricks," Virgil tells her and puts his book back into his bag. Sliding the buckle into place, he sets it aside at his hip and watches a few distant stragglers. "What are you going to do when you finish at Hogwarts? Have you thought that far ahead? I guess we're all just guessing at eleven."

"I don't know yet," Ahnaliese admits, peering up at the sunny sky without squinting. After a bit she adds, "I want to get a cello again." When her legs stop swinging she crosses one under her knee again and shifts her shoulders, resting her head against the wall behind her.

"I want to be smart, and capable, but I don't know at what," she says distantly -her eyes narrow- "and there's other things I want, but someone told me trying to alter your body was dark arts, so I can't learn about that here. I don't know if it is, but I'm afraid to ask now."

"What do you mean alter your body? What's wrong with your body?" Virgil asks.

"The having wings thing," Ahnaliese says, as if Virgil should know—and yet she isn't sure if he was nearby when she was telling Kaiden about that a little while earlier. She leans forward off the wall and looks down at her parchment, flipping to a page of her doodles, one with little stick-figure girls, most with wings.

"Anyway," Ahnaliese says, smiling a little foolishly, and turning the page again so Virgil cannot look too long. She laughs a little lamely and looks away.

"Why wings? Wings would get in the way, you can use a broom, or a carpet, or learn to become an Animagus and if you're lucky, you might be a bird," Virgil suggests, trying to give her some possibilities. He doesn't seem to think she wants them for a fashion statement, but because she wants to fly. Flight for Witches is not that difficult. "I imagine you might even find some other ways to fly without all of those, if you worked at it," he added as he slid off the bench and held out a hand to her to help her to her feet. "It's time for supper."

"Yeah, but they're not wings!" Ahnaliese protests with a smile. "And I want to feel the wind in wings!" Her smile is still rather foolish, if sincere, but she takes Virgil's hand and stands. "Let's go then," she agrees.

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