(1938-09-15) Handle With Care
Details for Handle with Care
Summary: After a happenstance meeting in the entry courtyard results in a bit of talk, and more -bludgers, treasure, the Pirates, and the so-called Captain- Ahnaliese's tongue gets the better of her and a discussion ensues.
Date: September 15, 1938
Location: Entry 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.

It's after lunch and a lot of students with study time have migrated outside into the warm weather. Everything being just comfortable enough that excessive layers are unnecessary and the sun shine is interrupted by only an occasional cloud. Amongst those outside enjoying the fresh air is Virgil Goshawk, bundled up like its the middle of the winter, his scarf drawn high across his face so that only his eyes show. In his lap he has a book unfolded, and at hand he has a half-eaten apple.

Lillian marches out into the courtyard with her bat in hand and several younger Slytherin boys, mostly second and third years that are carrying what looks like a pair of deactivated bludgers. Lillian stops in an out of the way corner and stretches slightly one of the boys throws the ball at her. With a crack of her bat she send the ball flying back at him hitting him in the stomach. "Not yet. I need to warm up first." She snapps and starts going the a collection of arm stretches before she readies her bat once more. "Now. Throw and fetch." Both balls are thrown at her and one is dodged while the other goes sailing across the yard with a second year Slytherin chasing behind it. Lillian smirks and tosses her hair back getting ready to strike again.

About this time, smiling and out of breath, Ahnaliese comes running along the bridge into the entry courtyard, chasing another student. They're both laughing, but it's only the clap-clap-clap of Ahnaliese's boots that stop- she's too out of breath from laughing.

The other girl runs on, leaving Ahnaliese to catch her breath by herself. Crouching, she balances by placing her hands upon the courtyard stones- she really must be quite exhausted.

Coughing violently several times, Virgil watches the Slytherin beater go to work on the bludgers. His eyes going wide and a smile dancing across his features. He has no reason not to admire good form, and he knows a well played Quidditch strike when he sees one. Despite that admiration, he does make sure he is able to dodge if he has to, as he can't really take a hit like a normal child due to his illness. Seeing Ahnaliese then, he raises one of those spidery hands and waves at her.

Catching sight of the first year watching Lillian smirks at him just before she spins garcefully around sending a bludge that was throw at her from behind flying far out onto the grounds. Another spin and crack of her bat and she settles to wait while the balls are fetched once more. She offers the first year a dazzling smile and incline of her head before her eyes sweep over the courtyard to see who is here.

"Hi Goshawk!" Ahnaliese gasps between weary breathes, still smiling. She looks about to run on, after her former compatriot again, but as she stands she pauses. "I'm so tired!" she complains. She laughs a little, and her eyes stray to Lillian and her bludger practice. Too tired to think perhaps, she just stands there and observes -maybe she finds Lillian remarkably pretty today?

"Who is that? She's really pretty," Virgil says quietly, and conspiratorially, as Ahnaliese gets close enough for such whispering. Patting the spot next to him with one of those pale hands, he then pulls it back up to fold around his book. "So, did I tell you about how I'm hunting for treasure?" he asks, this time a bit more conversationally.

Gabrielle's got her sketchbook and is humming to herself as she slowly makes her way into the courtyard. her right sleeve is already smudged with charcoal. Her eyes go up, looking at everyone there. A small smile forms on her lips as she moves towards a bench. her satchel looks heavy on her shoulder

Once the boys return with the bludgers huffing and puffing and looking generally worn out Lillian grins. "Break for now, while you boys catch you breath." With that said she heads for a bench to settle down on propping her bat beside her. The grateful looking younger ones scatter to different parts of the courtyard to speak with friends or terrorize people…whatever boys do at that age. Lillian smoothes out her skirt and glances around overhearing Virgil speak about treasure. She looks at him curiously for a moment considering if she should speak or not.

“Treasure hunting?” Ahnaliese asks curiously, grabbing the sides of her dress and swishing the fabric about idly, as if they were squid wings. She takes an overly dramatic step forward, excusable for the antics of a first-year perhaps, turns, and plops down next to Virgil, where she whispers softly, and with a likewise conspiratorial smile, “That's … D…no, Yaxley I think?” That's two sets of eyes continuing to peer at Lillian, until something draws Ahnaliese's attention to Gabrielle, and her sketchbook.

"That doesn't sound like a girl's name," Virgil concludes and glances at Lillian once before he looks back towards Ahnaliese. Then realizes it was probably a last name, but doesn't correct himself. Instead, the boy coughs heavily against that scarf that wraps his face and lifts the tail of the scarf to mop some of that feverish sweat from his brow. "Yeah, you know how the hat said to look? I'm looking, and I've been talking to others about it. You know, for ideas.."

Gabrielle sits down near the group, smoothing out her skirt. It's worn and clearly a hand me down. Her satchel is droped carefully at her feet and she'll reach down to rummage into the bag. After a moment she'll pull out custard colored ball of fur that's making a purring noise, "Now be good, Nibs…No wandering off." The literal ball of her squeaks and scurries of her lap onto the bench.

Lillian blinks as the first years stare at her. Is she really that interesting? Still she tilts her head to the side sunny blonde hair falling over one should as she smiles at them and with a brief wave turns to watch the people around her. Shifting a bit her hand rests on the bat that sits beside her. Her eyes are sharp catching one of her Slytherin boys harassing a Hufflepuff first year. With frown she rises bat in hand and goes to give the second year a talking to. A few minute later the boy is pale faced and heads inside while Lillian goes back to her bench with a wicked smile.

"The pretty girls like you!" Ahnaliese teases Virgil in a coy sing-song whisper, and a laugh, though she does a poor job of whispering only to Virgil, as she's watching the custard-colored ball of fur that Gabrielle has called 'Nibs'.

"Is that a mouse?" Ahnaliese asks Gabrielle in her normal tone, already completely distracted from the treasure talk for the moment- maybe she needs to be nudged to remember that it's important?

"Of course they do, the scarf brings out the blue in my eyes," Virgil jokes, aware that he is a rather sickly looking boy, even if his face might not be considered unattractive— he'll probably never be handsome. Following Ahnaliese's gaze he looks at the ball of fur. "It's a puffskien," he answers Ahnaliese, even if the question was directed at Gabrielle.

Gabrielle looks up smiling, "Nibbler? Oh, no. He's is a puffskien, you're right. Best pet ever." The sixth year looks rather proud, as the ball of fur starts rooting around for food. She'll look to the two younger students, "How's it going?"

Lillian settles back onto her bench and spots Gabrielle nearby. The girl gets a faint smile but then the blonde spots the ball of fur and smiles. "That has to be one of the cutest things I've seen." She smiles softly at the little creature and looks to Gabrielle. "You have excellent taste in pets. I wish father would let me get one…but it would likely be miserable in that house during the summer so maybe its better this way." She smiles sadly and studies the creature once more.

Ahnaliese continues watching Nibs for a few moments, glancing occasionally between Lillian and Gabrielle. "We're talking about the treasure the Sorting Hat mentioned," she informs at large. "I remember that it said one was already found, but that the…finder didn't peep about it." She fixes Lillian with a keen look, as if she's the most likely culprit to know something about this- she is older and Slytherin after all.

Coughing violently, Virgil actually shakes a little and takes a moment to pull down his scarf and check to make sure there is no blood on his lips or inside his scarf. Pulling it back up, he folds his hands once again around his book. "That the hat knows, but the finder hasn't said anything creates an interesting bit of logical deduction," he tells them, though his words are slightly muffled by the scarf.

Gabrielle laughs softly and will pick up the puffskien, "Yes…he's pretty aces. I think he's just perfect.Teddy have him to me for my birthday last year." She'll shrug her shoulders before toss the ball of fur at Lillian. As he soars throughout eh air, the pet makes a very happy noise. Glancing to the two younger students,gabby offers, "well…the hat says a lot. I'd suggest looking into past things the hat has said. Might give you a place to start."

Lillian catches the small ball of fur gently. Studying the creature she runs her hands over the soft coat and smiles gently petting the creature. She looks to the treasure seeking first years. "Also if you can find any history on the founders themselves and thier personalities that might help you find out where they hid it. Did they have a favorite place in the school or that kind of thing.." Lillian shrugs lightly and continues her puffskien petting.

"Are you okay?" Ahnaliese asks Virgil, watching him uncertainly and shifting a little to get a better angle toward him. "Maybe I should find out what I should do in case you- in case you ever do need help," she murmurs, delaying treasure talk for the moment.

"Same thing you'd do if anyone else needed help, get a healer, and in particular Professor Slughorn so that I can get a potion, he'd know which one," Virgil answers without pause, having given the answer on several occasions before. He is a bit unaccustomed to people being unfamiliar with his illness, but he takes it in stride. "The things the hat said in the past," he mirrors that sentiment, saying it to himself a few times, trying to work out how to do it. "Someone must have been recording it, I'll look into it."

Gabrielle frowns at her housemate's sickness, but won't comment. She may ask Slughorn, just in case, about the potion though. She'll nod about the treasure talk, "Yup. Find out as much info as you can. see if yo can find someone who did leg work last year with it." She's not gonna give them all the answers. She'll flip open her sketchbook to a blank page. She's still looking at the group though, she doesn't seem in a rush to get Sir Nibbler back from the slytherin just yet.

Lillian sits on a bench with her bat next to her petting Gabrielle's pet puffskien. She rises after amoment bat in one hand furry creature in the other and after putting the creature down next to the other girl she whisles sharply a she heads for an out of the way corner of the courtyard. "Boys bring the balls practice is back on!" With those words the second year and third year slytherins who came out with her gather up and bring the uncharmed bludgers over. One tosses the ball at Lillian's head and it flies hitting him in the knee. He winces picks it up and the fun begins again.

"Do you think someone actually records everything the Sorting Hat says?" Ahnaliese asks skeptically, watching as Lillian heads back to her sport. "Because I could hardly remember the start as soon as it was done. I was nervous though," she allows.

Still watching Lillian, Ahnaliese asks, "Do you think those boys volunteered to help Yaxley, or is she forcing them? And I guess I'll start by looking through the library for some history books. I bet the best ones are already taken though."

"The best ones are taken," Virgil replies and tilts his head sadly in Ahnaliese's direction. The scarf covering the lower half of his face shifting a little as he emotes. Leaning in closer to the girl at his side, he then stage whispers, "By me." Then he feigns an even more theatrical evil laugh, which turns into a fit of coughing. "But yeah, someone should have been recording it. It has magic, and insight, it knows things," he tells her. "It seems like it might be able to see the future."

The puffskien starts moving around looking for crumbs, gabby smiles down at him a moment before looking back to the other students, "Oh course it's recorded." She'll glance around and her pencil starts on the paper, "There are other students who have started the search…find them. that's gonna be your best first route." her pencil seems to be all over the page as she does some kind of motion sketch, "If you can figure out what questions to ask, Divinations may help. At least when thinking about the Sorting Hat."

Ahnaliese laughs when Virgil baits her, and still a little when his coughing fit begins- it's one thing to get used to when Virgil just starts coughing in a class; it's another thing to be his friend, and sitting right next to him while he's doing the same thing. She's getting used to it though.

"I don't know your name," Ahnaliese says to Gabrielle, as a way of addressing her, "but do you know of anyone that is searching for them already?"

"And have /you/ looked through those records?" Virgil asks Gabrielle, wondering if that certainty comes from personal experience. Flipping a few pages through the book in his lap, he skims and then looks up at Ahnaliese. It occurs to him then that he doesn't know the older girl's name, "I'm Virgil Goshawk, this is Ahnaliese," he makes the introduction.

Gabrielle looks over, "I'm Gabrielle Evans. 6th year Ravenclaw. It's nice to meet you, Virgil, Ahnaliese." She'll look between the two. "Not personally. I've had other things to deal with. But I know people have. Talk to some of the second years. The Pirates. if they didn't, they'll know who did." She'll give them both a warm smile.

"The Pirates," Ahnaliese repeats, nodding. "Thanks Evans," she says. Turning aside to Virgil she whispers, "Should we trust other people? I kind of don't want to. I'm glad you got those books, because maybe we can horde them." Ahnaliese's smile affects her voice and she laughs. "But maybe we can learn some things from them."

Did someone mention the Pirates? Well not all of them are present right now but there is one entering into courtyard. Cathal's got his nose in a book and not paying too much attention to where he's going. Idly the second year taps a finger on the spine.

The late-lunch hour has become the early afternoon and Virgil sits next to Ahnaliese, while Gabrielle sits next to her puffskien. Others in the area are doing various things, like swatting at uncharmed bludgers. "More than one set of eyes can be important," Virgil replies softly to Ahnaliese, and says nothing of the Pirates. The boy coughs a few times against his scarf and dabs some of the sweat from his face. "But maybe we can do it with just the two of us," he admits.

Gabrielle frowns slightly,and then warns, "Don't try to double cross them…it'll end poorly for you." Gabby will then look back down to her sketchbook and starts working on her drawing.

Ahnaliese flinches at another crack of a bat and bludger following Gabrielle's warning and finds herself looking across the courtyard and beyond, through one of the arched, open-air windows as Cathal passes through her vision- it serves to reset her thoughts to the present, from wherever they've wandered.

Something has dawned on Ahnaliese and she mentions it, saying aside to Virgil, "Did the Sorting Hat say something about what each one was, like a hint? I seem to remember that, like clues to what they were, but I cannot think of the verses."

And with Gabrielle's words on her mind, Ahnaliese also adds, "And I guess we have to decide if we want them to know about us. They're bound to find out eventually, but- well, there's advantages and disadvantages to both, I think."

"Who is thinking of doublecrossing someone?" Cathal asks without looking up from his book, but stopping near Gabrielle and Ahnaliese and Virgil,"Also, if that cough sticks around you may want to pay a visit to the Nurse. She's got quite a few potions that might help you out depending on the cause." That's when he finally closes the book. His voice is as emotionless as his face appears to be. "Hello Lady Gabrielle, have you seen Cillian lately?"

"They know who I am, and that I'm looking, Captain Cillian invited me to join the crew," Virgil replies honestly, but doesn't respond to Gabrielle's comment about double-crossing. The thought had never crossed his mind. Pressing at the edge of the scarf to push it up a bit more securely across his face, he then interlaces his arms near his waist and leans his weight forward. ONly when the question about who is thinking of double-crossing comes up does he say, "Nobody is thinking of it. I think she was just being pre-emptive, for no reason. My illness is incurable and non-contagious."

Virgil whispers, "I'll tell you what I remember later, maybe we should keep this stuff quiet."

Gabrielle looks up, smiling to Cathal. She definitely seems happier than last year. "No, I haven't seen the Captain recently, sorry. How are you doing, Cathal?" Gabby's eyebrows raise, but will shake her head. No reason, indeed.

Ahnaliese glances aside at Virgil after a moment before glancing up at Cathal, keeping quiet. She scowls a little bit, and gives the older boy a good look-over. When she looks about to say or ask something she refrains briefly, and then asks anyway, “Why did you call Evans Lady Gabrielle?” This puzzle seems to be the source of her scowl.

"Interesting." Cathal says looking at Virgil for just a moment, before he looks at Gabrielle again, "My health is doing quite well. I haven't spoken to him in a couple days outside of class. Things are rather busy at the moment." There's a pause as he looks at Ahnaliese with his emotionless expression,"She is Lady Gabrielle because the Captain calls her a Lady, that means that in terms of what we think, she is a lady. It is not because of any claim to the title of the Muggle variety. Do you require a more indepth explanation of Pirates and Ladies in order to comprehend this?" He asks tilting his head just a bit.

"If you say so," Virgil replies, as to the interest of his illness. The scarf across the lower half of his face shifting a bit as he turns his head to look at Ahnaliese from time to time. "The rules behind naming conventions among pirate-wizards are quite exhaustive, no doubt," he adds as solemn as an undertaker.

Gabrielle tries to not smirk at Cathal's explanations. It always makes her smile, it's cute. She'll nod to Cathal, "Good, I'm glad things are going well." She'll glacne down and add a few quick lines to the sketch in her book.

"Yes," Ahnaliese mumbles to Virgil, having mentally counted the number of questions Cathal's explanation elicits as they occur to her. She finds herself glaring and not feeling very kind. "No, I don't need a more comprehensive explanation," she replies moodily. "I get that whoever Captain is, he or she's the loopy one sporting with people's intelligence with his or her make-believe vagaries." Whoops! It came out.

"You are allowing an emotion to cloud rational judgment. If I were to guess, you were behaving in a manner that is consistent with someone who is jealous of another." Cathal says without so much as batting an eye at the glaring,"The rules are not vast, they are quite finite but they're quite clear." He takes a pause before he says,"Captain Cillian is a male, and he is in Gryffindor House. An insult to him is most inadvisable. There are members of the pirates who do not hold to logical behavior and will react in a highly emotional state."

"She was behaving in a manner that is consistent with someone who has been spoken to in a condescending manner," Virgil helps with the retort, not sure where this is coming from. "I know they're not vast, I was being facetious. Where is the logic in passing along words spoken out of anger? And since when do Gryffindors or the Pirates, go around beating up first years? Is that what you're about? Being condescending to younger students and then beating them up when they react?" he questions, not the least bit caring at the answer. Hopping to his feet, he folds the book he had in his lap up under his arm and tells Ahnaliese, "Let's go. This isn't helpful."

Gabrielle frowns, what just happened, "Merlin! Woah!" She'll glance between the three, "No one is threatening anyone!" She'll let out a sigh, "The pirates are good folk. They're not going to beating up anyone. I thought you would want friends, is all. Friends are important now a days." She's trying to be helpful, honestly.

Ahnaliese scowls more than glares now, and stands up with Virgil- Virgil's attempt to disengage doing a great deal to curb everything else she might have said. "It sounded like a threat to me," she mumbles, looking from Cathal to Gabrielle, "and probably why they chose the name." She waits for Virgil to gather his things and begins to walk away.

"You are being illogical." Cathal says looking at Virgil now, "There are those who defend the honor of their friends without viewing things logically. If you take something as condescending then you utilizing an emotional response to something that has no emotions connected to it." He says shaking his head a bit. "You're both very emotional people. I think that you have even Harper beat for emotional response. The point was more that insulting Captain Cillian, or actually insulting anyone can cause emotional responses that are quite unpredictable from those who are loyal to him that allow themselves to have an emotional response to such things."

"No, I'm not. I never questioned the logic of their actions, only your illogical characterization of their predicted behaviors. Their behavior which logically goes against your assumptions— something which your Lady Gabrielle just confirmed. You were condescending, asking someone if they require more explanation after a simple answer to a simple question, is condescending nearly by definition," Virgil replies as evenly as can be. His face mostly hidden but his expressive eyebrows working a little as he talks. Turning slightly with the book folded under his arm, he finds himself standing beside Ahnaliese.

Gabrielle clenches her jaw, unsure if she wants to get in the middle of this, or let them figure it out(or not) themselves. closing her sketchbook, "Look, Cillian would never hurt anyone. I think last year he threatened to hug someone who was begin mean to others. They're good kids. I swear." She'll look to Cathal and then back to the other two, "Cathal is very, very, logical. If he asked, its because he honestly was asking if you needed it clarified, he wasn't being condescending. It did sound condescending though, but I'm sure he didn't' mean it that way. He just inflects , well, doesn't, differently than most people talk." She'll stand up, gathering her bag and puffskien, "I think maybe everyone should just calm down and re-approach this tomorrow." Or not, she tried, but gabby's not a peace maker. She usually is the one hitting people.

Ahnaliese finds her retreat halted beside Virgil and herself watching Cathal and Gabrielle each in turn; to each her eyes narrow- not in glaring but in analysis, but that may not be obvious to them. "So the Pirates are volatile, and they're brilliant, and I shouldn't offend them, because they might hurt me; but they won't; they'll only try to hug me. Can I go now?" Not needing permission obviously, Ahnaliese turns and begins back toward Hogwarts again.

The sickly boy snorts, which turns into a cough. "Being condescending is not about being emotional. Logical people often have poorly formed social skills, as is your case. Pointing out that someone is fat, stupid and a poor wizard, because you perceive them that way may seem logical to you; however, that does not mean it is not insulting. The same goes with being condescending. You should take our perceptions of your behavior to mind, and imbibe it logically to tailor your reactions in the future. If you are as logical as you claim, this won't happen again, and I may still consider joining the merry band."

With a shrug, Virgil adjusts his scarf to better cover his nose and makes off, book in hand. "Wait up Ahnaliese!"

Gabrielle stands there, suddenly alone. With a shake of her head, she'll sit back down and open her book, muttering softly to the puffskien in her lap, "This is gonna be such fun year." She doesn't quite sound like she believes herself.

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