(1938-10-04) Skillful Manouvers
Details for Skillful Manouvers
Summary: Medusa puts her new note-taking style to use and produces an excellent potion thanks to Gerald's help. Alphard is jealous and tries some leaning tactics which end up with him getting a bump on the head.
Date: 4 October 1938
Location: Potion's Classroom, Hogwarts
Related: Final Year, New Game, Another Playing Piece

Medusa sent a note to Gerald via a younger student asking him to meet her after lessons in the potions class room. After the incident the day before she has had to promise to clean a few cauldrons in order to get Slughorn to allow her to do some extra studying. Once she has done that she begins setting out the ingredients. Every now and then she looks back to her puzzle notes and fetches a new bottle or jar from a shelf. The classroom is empty otherwise.

Always on time, never early or late, Gerald makes himself known by clearing his throat as he enters. He spots the girl as she works, his brows arching upward, though he does offer a small chuckle to the room. "Look at you all dedicated and serious." He teases gently as he nears her. He also casts a glance toward the table and supplies, scanning them critically before his smile broadens. "Wow..this looks good." Impressed, he drops into a seat, "I hear you blew up Douglas." Nope, no beating around the bush. "That's a very very extreme way to flirt, Medusa. A note works much better."

Medusa looks up from reading a label and sets a bottle on the workbench. "I actually like potions. When I am doing things I am a quite good student. My trouble comes when having to write out exam answers. I was thinking about what you said, about replaying it in my head as if I were going through the steps." She dusts her hands off and then wrinkles her nose. "I do not flirt with Douglas Macmillan. He is a thorn in my side that is very much alive. Our potion blew up not us."

Gerald chuckles, nodding. "You're smart. I'm pretty sure no one will argue that. Happy to see you doing it though." He watches her, though her words about Douglas earn a laugh, "I think you two would make a great..if not destructive couple. He can argue back at you with the same venom and you can destroy his delusions of….Well everything." Doug IS rather full of himself, but it seems to amuse Gerald more than anything. "Maybe you should make him take you to the festival." Yup, he ignored her!

When he agrees that she is smart Medusa looks pleased, it likely isn't a compliment she often receives. But then he goes and ruins it by suggesting she and Douglas would make a good couple. "I am going to ignore that Gerald Cornfoot and you won't mention it again or I will tell that dippy girl Janette Abbott how much you adore her." She picks up her notes again and then says, "Where I go wrong is the theory. If it is practical I can do it."

Gerald chokes back a second laugh, but he does nod. "I'm sorry, I'm not being serious." He doesn't seem bothered though, something he's good at. "But there's a flaw in your threat. I'm pretty sure Janette doesn't have a clue that I even exist. You're threats have no power over me." He does send her a teasing wink, but seconds later his head lowers as he looks down over the table, and just like that, he's serious again. "Well…I had the same problem last year. I just started thinking about everything in a practical nature. But..I think that's just bad wiring in my head." That he can do that at all, rather.

"Really? But you are such a good student. Top grades." Medusa hasn't chosen just anybody to be her knights in studious armour this year, she did research first. The idea that he might be wired like her seems strange, as if she never thought anybody was like her. "And these tricks you told me about helped you get better?" She looks rather happy at this news as if Gerald might have given her an early Christmas present.

"Yes well…that my dear can be chalked up to a rather large dose of absolutely zero social interest." It's true! Gerald has no social life. In fact, outside the classrooms Gerald is rather non-existent. "But yeah, the tricks work like a charm. I'm better at things that have a more personal connection to me. So, attacking things I need to remember to people I know, makes it easier to remember steps and stuff."

Medusa nods. She can well believe Gerald has no social life, he's too quiet and not a braggart. "I can help with that in exchange for your help," she states mater-of-factly. Looking back at her notes she adjusts the heat beneath the cauldron she is using and then sits back, waiting for it to boil so she can distill it. The pair of them are alone in the potions classroom, working at a workbench about midway into the room. From the body language it appears, shocking as it is, that they're friends but not too friendly, just appropriately so. Medusa doesn't appear to be using her usual feminine wiles on Gerald for whatever reason.

"I'm honored." Gerald chuckles, bending to have a glance at her notes, "You don't owe me anything though. I'm doing this because you needed the help. And you asked. I don't need much more than that."

Tucked under Alphard's arm were both his potions book and his notebooks. The former was a pristine example, brand new for the year. The latter contained not only his own thoughts, but that of earlier Blacks who had frequented Hogwarts. One of the benefits of an ancient lineage was the accumulation of knowledge and traditions. He brought with him thunderclouds to the potions room. A brooding storm of dark humors. Someone or something had gotten on his nerves, and it had so preoccupied him that he barely noticed that he wasn't alone in the potions room until he was halfway to where Medusa and Gerald sat. Blink, blink. "Cornfoot? Malfoy? What're -you- doing here?" And together, too?

Turning her pale head Medusa looks over at Alphard. "Hello Alphard." Her mouth forms a pouty moue "You did not send me word, shame on you. I thought you decided you were too busy for me." She smooths out her too short uniform skirt and crosses her legs as she sits on the stool near her workbench. Lifting a hand Medusa gestures to the copper cauldron. "We are doing potions work. Gerald has been kind enough to offer me some tricks on how to improve my work."

Gerald shifts to send the entering Alphard a glance, though the boys words earn a small quirk of his brow. "We're…working on potions." His own words echo Medua's more verbose answer, though his own is doused with a faint smirk of amusement. He offers the other male a small nod in greeting, though his attention shifts rather easily back to the fairer in the room. "Ya know…I'm starting to feel like a sideshow exhibit. I think people forgot I actually do talk." Which, whatever Alphard meant by his words, far be it from Gerald not to make a small, mutter of a joke. The crossing of Medusa's legs however have Gerald's attention drifting to a new topic. Her skirt, which earns an equally dubious quirk of his brow as the newly entered Slytherin. "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Medua, but I think something's eaten half your skirt."

"I went looking for you!" Alhard protested, abruptly caught wrong footed by her accusation. With a sigh he dumped his books down onto a table next to them, a loud -thud-. He looked like a martyr just gone through a horrible session of torture. "Oh?" To what they were doing. "I guess Cornfoot is good enough. Soleil keeps showing him all her tricks." Comradely enough he met Gerald's upnod with one of his own. After five years and counting of nearly all the same classes, some familiarity existed. His eyes drew towards Medusa's short skirt, and more noticeably; what wasn't covered. He coughed out a little chuckle, unable to help himself.

Medusa rolls her eyes. "There is nothing wrong with my skirt, Gerald. It is fashion." She looks up at Alphard, "You like my skirt don't you?" The look she gives him is innocent enough as if she were actually checking to make sure he liked her skirt. Maybe he doesn't! Her attention is briefly diverted by her potion. It looks ready and she switches the heat off then stands.

"Huh-huh." Gerald teases her as she speaks, though he does shift his gaze as she requests Alphard's opinion. He himself is quiet, though he does offer a faint chuckle..one that falls flat as she switches off the heat and moves to stand. He may duck just a little. After all, she DID blow up Douglas.

"Weeeeeeeeeeell.." Alphard drawled, drawing it out as if he really had to think hard and long about whether or not that skirt really -was- appealing. When he really wanted to be a bastard, he could play the role easily enough. For a moment his nose wrinkled as if he was going to come with some cutting remark. Cool arrogance all over. It -was- really short. But then at the last moment he cracked out a wry smile. "A bit risky…" pause. "But then sometimes a bit of risk is the only way you can really get the big reward. Don't need to change it on my account, Medusa." He noticed Gerald's wariness of the potion cauldron. After a moment he decided perhaps he should shift his seat to one table further away. "This is a new shirt."

She did not blow up Douglas! But she might be tempted to do so now were he present. Medusa pretends she cannot see their tense reactions. She focuses on carefully distilling her potion instead, watching with baited breath until the liquid comes out at the other end of the copper tubing and fills the bottle she places there. When it works Medusa's breath rushes out. "It worked! It really worked!" She coughs and quickly calms down again. But it is easy to see by the glittering twinkle in those icy blue eyes that Medusa is pleased with herself.

Gerald chuckles, relaxing as he spots the potion, and how perfectly is has come out. He also notices her reaction, which draws a wide grin to his lips. He even reaches to give her arm a small thump. It's a touch of approval! "Perfect." He allows after a breath (and a laugh sent over toward Alphard). "See, I told you it was just a matter of finding your method."

"Is that an O, Professor Cornfoot?" Alphard asked with a snort as he took in the joy of Medusa coupled with Gerald's approval. He rolled his eyes. A sudden thought struck him all of a sudden. It would probably never have occurred to him on his own, but seeing the two of them… well. "How many 'professors' do you have, Medusa? Well. At least you didn't ask Niko Denholm for help." He made a suffering sound. "I can't believe Slughorn matched us together for this project. You know how people who are assholes all the time can be -really- annoying?" And no hint of irony at the question, even if Alphard wasn't exactly a saint in class. "Fake niceness is worse." Eyeroll.

"As if I would ask a half-blood for anything," says Medusa with disgust. She corks the bottle and writes her name and the date on the label along with the type of potion it is. "Professors?" Medusa looks over at Alphard. "Same as anybody, well I suppose I am taking a few more subjects at NEWTs than some." She cants her head and grins saucily at Alphard, "Jealous? You need not be." Motioning to Gerald she states, "Tell him Gerald, how I came to have your help."

Gerald listens, though he does roll his head back to watch Alphard as he speaks, and it earns a slow glare. One that doesn't touch his lips. Lucky him, Medusa manages to draw his attention, and her own version of the glare. "Be nice." He mutters toward her, though he spends very little time trying to undo the years of prejudice. It's not his fight, after all. There are limits to even his honor. "Yes it is an O." He then adds back toward Alphard, "And she asked. Simple as that." After nearly knocking him out of a window.

"Jealous?" Alphard asked with a small eyeroll that said he would never have ever considered the thought! "Please." Whether his sniff was because he couldn't possibly ever get jealous, or because he didn't consider Gerald appropriate competition was hard to tell. Blithely he ignored Gerald's glare, too. Getting glares was something Alphard was so used to they just didn't have much effect on him. "Asked? I read something about asking once." He frowned, trying to recall. "How few things are more powerful, etc, etc, because everybody likes to feel needed." His dark eyes blinked once, before he shook his head with wry humor. "Utter bullshit, of course." Demanding, that was how you got things done!

Medusa sets the bottle down on her workbench and says rather cooly to Alphard, as if perhaps something in his tone displeased her, "If you would rather not spend time with me Alphard just say so." She doesn't say it but implies she might be a little hurt by his coolness towards her. It is all in the voice. Intonation is a wonderful manipul-er-communication tool. "I think I have had enough studying for today. Thank you Gerald, your advice clearly helped." She starts to put things away, it doesn't do well to anger your head of house two days in a row.

Gerald chuckles, nodding. He also senses the weight in the room, and that alone is enough to begin his exit. "No problem, Medusa." He allows with a small laugh, "Good work though." He offers her a small wave as he stands, beginning the slow trudge toward the door, "Later Alphard." Nope, he's not hanging around for the angst, and he certainly isn't carrying any of it with him. "Keep it loose."

Caught completely wrongfooted, Alphard struggled to understand what had just happened. With insurmountable eloquence he said: "Uh." And then looked towards Gerald questioningly, as if needing some support and acknowledgement that girls were the most unpredictable crazy that the world had ever spewed out. Wait, he was -leaving-? The illoyality! "Later.." An unfamiliar need to smooth things over warred with that long ingrained belief that he could do no wrong, and so should never apologize for anything. Ever. Grudging, very grudging, he muttered out a: "Wait." Damn it.

As Gerald leaves Medusa nods her goodbyes rather than verbalise them. She turns her head slightly and looks at Alphard out of the corner of those cool blue eyes. "Yes?" The single word is crisp as if she were waiting for her fellow housemate to offer some kind of answer as to his behaviour towards her. Even so she still picks up her things having now gathered them into a pile. Normally she would never carry anything but they are quite close to the Slytherin common room.

His eyes narrowed at the sharpness of Medusa's voice, and a stubborn belligerence clawed its way out of the back of his mind at the sense of -demands- being put on him. For a second it all hung in a balance. He took a deep breath. "Listen, obviously we.. I mean, some sort of misunderstanding here." It wasn't exactly an apology, and he just couldn't help but add under his breath: "I don't really see -how-." "As I said before, I really did look for you."

The tilt of her head and the way she looks at Alphard out of the corner of her eyes show that Medusa is listening. "I forgive you." See all is well! She turns and walks over towards him, he is on the way to the door but she doesn't make it look like that is why she is walking that way. As Medusa nears Alphard she smiles sweetly up at him. "And I believe you. Perhaps tomorrow? I don't want to take you away from quidditch however. It is important we have a good team."

All was well. Exactly what 'all' constituted was still up in the air of course, but the worries in the back of his head eased noticeably. "I don't really see why you have to -forgive- me.." he protested, but his voice lacked its usual acid flavor. He watched the older girl approach, straightening up a little. Making himself look bigger and more confident, all subconsciously. "Yeah.. tomorrow. After last class the club room should be free again.. if the weather stays miserable."

"And if it doesn't we will go outside," says Medusa. She looks down at Alphard's books. "I should let you study. I know how much it means to you to become an auror. I will be writing that letter to my sister this week." That letter in which she plans to mention him.

"Not so much studying as just double checking the project I made with Denholm. I lost my temper with him and forgot to really make sure everything was proper. Can't trust a half-blood to have gotten his part right.." Alphard's voice trailed off, a shrug rolling over his shoulders. His chair scraped back with a wooden screech, making more room. "There's not really -that- big of a rush. I got some time."

Medusa eyes the work and lowers herself to sit near Alphard. "Work. I will watch. I still need to relearn things from last year." She sets her books on the workbench. "I am surprised with you, working with a half-blood like that. Did the professor make you?" There is of course just the right amount of disdain when speaking of dirty half-bloods. The shame they bring into good families.

"Yes.. a co-project. It was supposed to be random allocations, but I think the Professor just thought Denholm needed some proper guidance. Not that he was willing to take it, mind. All the would go on about was the pride he had for his muggle family." Alphard rolled his eyes in between watching her slip in close. "He's even in the Mud Club. I just hope the Headmaster gets around to expel the lot of them already. Anyway.. Potions!" Because she hadn't sat down to hear about him complain about the state of the school. He could be considerate! The books spread out, with his notebook the most prominent. It was full of little details and explanations taken from former Blacks who had taken potions before him. It was really the only way he kept ahead in class.

"This book is amazing Alphard. May I see it?" Without waiting for his reply Medusa lifts the book and begins to flip through it. "I should ask if we have something like this. My youngest brother left school ages ago but maybe he kept a copy of his notes. Then again Cassius would most likely tell me to do it myself. He is stubborn." She holds the book back out to Alphard and takes out a quill and parchment. "I might copy some of the notations down, however."

"Hey there!" Alphard protested, though there was more playful humor than aggression in his voice as he snatched back his notebook. Or at least made to snap it shut. A little drift in his body posture brought him closer to the Malfoy, his dark eyes gleaming as he looked at her. "This is a -Black- notebook. What makes you think I'm going to share its secrets with you?" Closer still, this time with a coy addendum breathed out: "At least for free."

Medusa laughs throatily. "Why Alphard Black, what are you hoping I might trade?" She props her chin on her upturned hand. "I am already here with you, giving you my undivided attention." For as long as that lasts, which with her isn't terribly long. "Is that not enough?" She gives him a coy little look from under her lashes. "What family did your mother come from? Mine is a Nott."

"I was thinking we're all alone, and you -are- giving me your undivided attention," which of course was nothing less than what a principle player like Alphard deserved. Boldly he reached out with long pale fingers and made to caress a lock of blondish hair back behind the curve of the girl's ear. "And if I really ever thought what I had was enough.. I'd just be living on my name like Macmillian." So there he was, going for the kiss, ignoring the fact she was a seventh year and famous for her baleful looks. After all, those -were- some coy looks she was sending him under her eyelashes. And who could resist Alphard, anyhow?! He was a -Black-. "Crabbe."

Clearly talking about mothers didn't damper Alphard's mood but Medusa didn't get this far with being so easy to catch. At a most inopportune time she reaches up a hand between them and nods her head forward making her forehead lightly smack into Alphard's as she sneezes delicately into her hand. No really. Honest. Sneeze. She even has the grace to look embarrassed as she ducks her head back and away. "I did not hurt you did I?" Her other hand goes up to lightly touch his forehead, checking for bumps.

"Ow.." Alphard muttered as she knocked into him, more out of the shock of the moment than out of actual pain. He blinked, frowned, looking at her with the sort of look you gave someone who had just spoiled the most perfect of moments! "Uh.." and now he was too busy rubbing his forehead to think about making a second move. At least there was no suspicion in his eyes. "Don't worry about it. It.. happens." Clumsy Malfoy girl. No wonder she had horrible transfiguration grades if she kept sneezing at the worst of moments.

Seemingly embarrassed Medusa gets to her feet. "I will leave you to your studies. See you tomorrow, Alphard." She collects her things and makes her way out, using the feigned embarrassment to slip away.

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