(1938-10-15) Egg On Your Face
Details for Egg on Your Face
Summary: Kimiko and Niko bump into each other after charms class, the day Janette and Niko's relationship ends.
Date: 1938-10-15
Location: Third Floor Corridor, Hogwarts
Related: Shortly After: Tears on the Stairs; Rain Dance, Duel Declined, After the Challenge, The Gorgon's Warning Goes Unheeded, Nothing Sweeter, Questions in the Wind, Unexpected Thank You, The Fountain and the Stars, Tears on the Stairs

Third Floor Corridor

Here the stairwell bears with it the weight of everything going on above it, and the depth of activity on the lower floors. The noise here might drive even stalwart Gryffindors to distraction, and much courage may be required to make sure one doesn't miss one's floor with the rush of activity going on in this level. Besides the twisting pathways of the stairs, there are waves of students from the floors above hurrying at various times to get down to the main floor, and the rushes of students hurrying upward toward their classes or research. This is a floor where traffic jams are not uncommon, though for the most part students will give way to civility - if a teacher or House Boy is close-by enough to earn good behavior.

Just down the hall from the Charms Classroom, Kimiko stands with her back to the wall, looking rather like she'd like to push right through it. Surrounding her, a gaggle of girls, giggling and jeering. Professor Viridian departed almost immediately after excusing class, so there seems little hope of the intimidating man coming to her rescue.

One girl begs the question, "So how did you fake the Howler?"

Another accuses, "You should have stayed out of it! They were happy!"

A third, sneers at Kimiko, "Bad enough that Janette was a blood traitor. But to be homewrecked by a Mudblood, of all things!"

In spite of Kimiko's repeated attempts to insist that she and Niko are just friends, the gang of girls will hear none of it, caught up as they are in the mob mentality.

Niko has been looking rather deflated all day, the normal warm smile that graces his lips done, replaced by a rather depressive frown. As he gets up to leave the room, he does so slowly, as if it is taking every bit of his energy to even move. As he steps out he catches the scene out of the corner of his eye, he stands there for a moment his gaze and look in his eyes dark. "What's all this?" he says gesturing to all of the girls, "Kimiko didn't do nothing." his town is flat, somewhat empty.

Sensing a new front forming, the girls immediately close ranks, turning on Niko with a new barrage of judgmental, and oft-contradictory, commentary. He was never good enough for Janette. He should have fought to stay with her. He shouldn't be associating with a Mudblood like Kimiko. If it wasn't for him, Janette would still be a Prefect. It's difficult to make out the individual jabs amidst the great, warbling mass of them.

The assault might have gone on much longer, had chance not intervened. Peeves the Poltergeist flies down the hall, conveniently carrying a bowl of uncooked eggs that he'd pinched from the kitchens. Unable to resist the gathered pack of victims, he dumps the whole of it over the top of them, cackling madly, and sending the girls screaming in every direction. Kimiko backpedals quickly, managing to avoid the worst of the splash of yolk and egg whites.

Niko doesn't say anything as the barrage of comments come towards, him. He just looks at all of them, letting them say what they need, then suddenly everyone starts to move, Niko is a bit to sluggish, his head tilts up just in time to catch an egg of his face, the whites and yolks, running down his face as he tries to slowly wipe it off, "Sorry Kimiko." he says slowly, turning around still trying to remove some of the egg from his face, that boy from his first two years at Hogwarts slowly returning.

Kimiko looks up from the yolk splatter on her skirt just in time to see that Niko caught a stray projectile. "Oh, Niko…" She carefully makes her way to him, stepping gingerly around the mess on the floor. "Bend down a bit," she says as she pulls a handkerchief from her robe pocket, ready to clean up his face.

Niko stops and looks at Kimiko, forcing a smile, "It's okay Kimiko…" he says slowly, "I will just wash up in the loo." he says with a small nod, "I'm glad you are okay…" he says slowly, before looking back down the hall and starting to walk away again, "You should stay away from me, before it gets worse." he says, the warmth in his tone still drained. "They are not going to let up you know." he says with a small wave of his hand.

Kimiko reaches out to snag hold of his sleeve, tugging at him. "Hey…don't do that. I don't care what anyone says. You're my friend, and I'm not going to stay away." She swallows, trying to gather her courage. "Niko…what did those girls mean? It sounded like they were saying that…that you and Janette…"

Niko looks at Kiniko for a moment, "Janette broke it off." he says with a small wave of his hand, "Was going to happen eventually, her parents didn't approve." he says slowly, looking back down the hall, "All I did was cause you problems in this mess, I know we are friends, but…" he starts shaking his head, "Thank you Kimiko…" he says flopping against the wall.

Kimiko reaches high to wipe at Niko's face with the kerchief, little thing that she is. "Niko…I'm so sorry. I never wanted any of this for you. She…she broke it off? Is there nothing you can say to change her mind? I…I realize her parents are angry. I heard the Howler this morning. But…if you two really love each other, that should be enough. Shouldn't it?"

Niko sighs slowly slumping to the ground, "Truth is Kimiko…" he says looking around the hall to make sure, the walls were not listening, his tone becomes hushed, "I broke it off…" he say slowly, looking down at the ground, "All I've done is cause her problems, I did it to protect her… she doesn't see it that way though… she see it as me just walking away, when things got hard." he continues, his head rolling back to look at Kimiko, "She hates me now, she doesn't see that I did this for her." he says slowly.

Kimiko blinks, tilting her head as if trying to roll the thoughts around to make them fall into proper order. "Just a moment. First you say she broke it off…now you say you did?" I'm sorry, I'm terribly confused." She kneels down on the floor, offering him the handkerchief.

Niko shakes his head, "I want people to think she broke it off Kimiko." he says pleadingly, "I want people to think she left me, so that all the anger and ridicule comes to me." he says shaking his head, "So that people leave her alone, I just want to protect her…" he says softly closing his eyes, "Sacrifice myself so she doesn't have to suffer, I can deal with it, I can deal with everyone saying cruel things to me, telling me how low I am, it was already bad enough for her because of me, I don't want it to get worse, that's why I broke it off, because I heard about the Howler, you should have seen the scene I made on the stairs…" he says shaking his head, "People are right, I am an idiot."

Kimiko purses her lips in a little frown. "Poppycock," she says firmly. "You're the most upright and excellent young man at this school." For a moment, she seems about to say more, but it deflates several moments of silence. With a sigh, she finally adds, "I cannot really offer much more on the matter. We must be realistic; I am not without bias."

Niko smiles at Kimiko, it still looks rather forced, "I think that is debatable, Kimiko." he sighs softly, "They are right you know, everything they said to me." he says nodding, "I deserve all of this, Janette hates me, I have managed to drag you into this and am causing you grief." he says slowly closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, "I could have tried to fight it all, but that would give Janette, two years of people calling her a Blood Traitor, two years of everyone trying to hurt her and undermine her, two years of howlers." he says with a small wave of his hand, "I care about her too much, to do that to her. Like I keep hearing, I am as muddy as they come." he says shaking his head.

Kimiko gives Niko's thigh a light slap. It would seem playful, if not for the gravity of the moment and the sad scowl on her face. "You stop that. You did nothing wrong. It's everyone else that has heads full of mud, if they cannot see that love is more important than any silly notions of blood purity. Niko…you've never done anything but follow your heart. That's what makes you better than them. You're giving up the girl you love to protect her. That's the stuff heroes are made of. So…no more of this nonsense about being muddy. You are wonderful, and I won't let you tell yourself otherwise."

Niko's head turns at the slap to the tight, he remains silent, not speaking, his letting his bluish green eyes stare down the hall, he listens to Kimiko, not saying anything at first. "Heroes are suppose to be proud of what they have done, all I feel is ashamed Kimiko." he says slowly, before looking back at her, "I care about you too, you should stay away before it gets worse for you. I don't like seeing you cry." he says slowly as he starts to push himself up.

Kimiko scrambles to her feet, putting her hands on her hips. "I'm not going anywhere. You should know me better than that, Nikolas Denholm. I don't care what slings and arrows may come. Even if we…if we're just friends…I'm not staying away. I am not letting you endure this alone."

Niko looks at Kimiko an actual does let out a real smile, "Kimiko you are a sweet person." he says reaching up running his hand through his hair, "Also cute when you get flustered." he says slowly, as he turns and starts walking down the hall, "Maybe when all this has died down, if you are still interested…" he starts, his tone still said, "I am just not ready and I don't know when I will be." he says shaking his head.

Kimiko moves to walk alongside him, clutching her books to her chest. "I know. I would never push you…and it wouldn't feel right, anyhow. I'm just…I'm just your friend. Right now, you need somebody to keep you walking upright and out of the darkness. That's me. Okay?" Ever unable to hide her true feelings, her eyes tell a different story, full of hope for something more. But she sets her jaw, standing by her words, regardless of what she feels.

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