(1938-10-21) Ghost Crowd
Details for Ghost Crowd
Summary: Andromena comes across Alphard daydreaming of being a Quidditch star, and they talk about various things. Like hate, the future, and wet dreams of nursing Alphard.
Date: 1938-10-21
Location: Quidditch Pitch, Stands

Alphard was standing in the middle of the Quidditch field, his face tilted back, his arms spread out like wings, his expression one of undiluted pleasure. In his mind he could hear the approving roar of the multitudes, cheering him on for his wonderfulness. He was even supplying the sound: "arrrrrrrrr.." hushed rumbled in the back of his throat, mimicing the drone of a thousand voices all shouting at once. He had his beater's club in his hand, too, swerving this way and that. The old battered wood had been passed down two generations, and carried the scratches and nicks and spots of soaked up blood from years of smashing mudbloods' faces in. It was a beautiful fall day, if a bit chilly. But that had just meant he had buttoned up his wizards' robes.

Andromena saw him long before she was near enough to properly hail him. It had, of course, occurred to her to leave him be, but why should she? She had her robes firmly wrapped around her slender frame, a scarf snuggling her neck. "Alphard," she greeted, interrupting the mighty roaring crowd of his mind. Andromena made a conscious effort to stand just out of reach of his club - who knew if he might startle like a colt?

The thousands of adoring spectators were slow to recede from his mind, as was the image of a beaten and bloody mudblood seeker sprawled on the grass infnront of him, crying little cowardly and pathetic mudblood tears. Yet once his daydream was interrupted, nothing was going to get it back, no matter how hard he clawed at the frindges of its bliss. Dammit. With a long suffering sigh, he surrendered to the interruption of his moment, and turned his pale face in the Ravenclaw's direction. "Meanie." There was no startling, though he did briefly glance down at his club as if considering smashing her face in. "I didn't know you liked Quidditch." Because what other reason would anyone have to be here?

"I suspect there is much you do not know," Andromena said in a soft voice. The ever-so-brief pause might lead Alphard to think she was mocking him. But he was a Black! Surely no one would talk that way to him, especially not if they wanted so badly to be his friend. "About me." Neatly tied off, like a fancy bow. The young man could rest easy, she had not been mocking him…right?

"I just wanted to walk," she told Alphard. "I happened to see you, and thought I would say hello." Andromena appraised him thoughtfully, lips pursing ever so slightly.

"Real cute," Alphard told her with a roll of his eyes. "Is what what you do when everybody else thinks that you've got your nose stuck in a book? Think up all the cute things you *could* be saying instead?" His gaze met her thoughtful appraisal straight on, a cocky confident challenge, because a Black didn't back down from anything at all. Ever! So she got as good as she gave, while he closed the distance between them. He was a tall youth, with long legs that ate up ground in no time at all.

"But you're right. I don't really know that much about you, do I? So why don't you fill my ear with all the things that make little Meanie into little Meanie." With a sideways look and a mock-gentlemanly gesture, he offered his arm for stroll-time.

"If that is what you'd like to tell yourself," she sniffed. Really. Was everything out of his mouth a barb? Judging by his next utterance the answer was plain. Her head was forced to tilt upwards, because where Alphard was a tall youth Andromena feared she would never get much taller than she was now. In other words, she would remain a tiny little waif while everyone else around her grew into gianthood. Alas, the unfairness of life.

"That would be boastful," she intoned, chin up as she took his arm. "And boring. No one ever really wants to hear another person prattle on about themselves." But you could do it, couldn't you, mister Black? She was unable to restrain that particular thought, it left her grinning.

"Is there something specific that you would *like* to know?" Because there was something Andromena wanted to know, but refused to make it appear as if she actually cared.

"Well, you're not refuting it," Alphard murmured with a crooked little twist to his grin. The boy had some truly cruel smiles in his repetoire; the ones designed to make whoever it was he smiled at feel as small and pathetic as possible. This one wasnt one of those. Not to say it was particularly kind, but more playfully taunting than downright cruel. "So I suppose that's exactly what I'll have to go around thinking."

"Of course they do. If it's someone interesting with something interesting to say." Such as Alphard, who was always worth listening to when he started to drone on about himself, or his exploits, or the exploits of his family. Right? "You don't need to worry I'd feel obliged to let you prattle on once I got bored, anyway. I'd have let you know." His arm through hers was warm, lean musculared but giving the impression of strength.

"Oh," sigh, as he led her towards the stairs climbing up to the stands. "I don't know. Who do you hate the most in our year? What are you gonna do once you get out of this prison?" Read: Hogwarts. "How many times did you think about me since you saw me last?" The last so casually spoken in his most unassuming conversational tone.

Seeing that grin, Andromena could intuit that the young man at her side really could turn something so simple as a smile into something hurtful. It was not at the forefront of her mind, however, because she reactively smiled back. She was not bothered if Alphard thought of her as a nerdy girl with more friends in books than in people. Mostly because it was true. Perhaps Andromena was socially awkward, but she did not see it that way. Rather, she saw herself as simply not having enough time for people.

Her eyes rolled as Alphard began to tell her he most certainly let her know if she was boring him. How would he take it if someone interrupted him with a disenchanted yawn? Ah, but why bother thinking those things? They were supposed to be friends now. That was why he offered her his arm, nicely muscled limb that it was. Her own, not surprisingly, slim. But not scrawny! Andromena had grown out of being a twig.

"I…don't really hate anyone," she informed him after a moment's thought. "But father wants me to work at St. Mungo's once I graduate," came the next answer, dutiful in tone. "And I-" Her mouth snapped shut and Andromena fixed Alphard with a look that was both amused and flushed. So self-centered! She /only/ thought about him because she wanted to know what he accomplished in the library.

"I think you may have crossed my mind once or twice…" She recovered, reaching out to brush away an unseen speck of dust at her shoulder. I have just been so busy with my studies."

"Come on, Meanie, I don't believe that there's a single student in this whole school who doesn't have at least one person who drives them insane. Whose every actions grate on their nerves, who you'd just like to see drowned, or at the very least who you wouldn't mind it if he or she just sleepwalked off a cliff and died a broken bloody death. Don't be shy. I'll even go first, if that'll make you feel more comfortable." Because wasn't Alphard just nice like that. Always out to help people, always out to make them feel more at ease? "Niko Denholm. Everything about his passive-aggressive do-good mudloving personality drives me mad."

Her blush hadn't been missed, either. As she gave him that look, she'd find him staring right back, smugly content to have wrong footed her. "Did it involve daydreams of nursing me back to health? Don't worry, I'll not judge. Perfectly natural."

"Just because someone might annoy me does not mean I want them to DIE," Andromena informed Alphard. The truth of the matter was that she had very rarely been bothered by anyone. Keeping to yourself did not always mean that you had few friends; it could just as easily translate into having few enemies. But she wanted to give Alphard a bone. "Okay," she said, finger pointing straight into the air. "In my second year this older girl liked to pick on me. She was always trying to make me cry." Her little nose crinkled up with the memory. "But I found out her mother was just a muggle and afterward I just felt sorry for her." Because she would never be as good as someone like herself or Alphard.

"Nursing you…" Her eyes grew wide. The audacity of this guy! He probably imagined he was the hunky daydream of every girl. "If I have /any/ fantasies with you in them, we're not advanced enough in this ~beautiful~ thing," his own words! "We have going. More importantly, I believe you owe me something, hm?" She quirked a brow, indicating he ought to know of what she was speaking.

"Why not?" A languid shrug rolled off his shoulders. "Far as I can tell it's the most effective way of solving the problem. Someone dies, then they'll be completely unable to bother you any longer." It was all said very matter of factly, as if he wasn't even aware of how borderline sociopathic that statement was. "Unless of course they become a ghost. But there are ways of dealing with ghosts, too. Besides, who cares if the asshole ends up haunting some cliffs where he fell to his death? Who was that, anyway?" Names! "You do realize that by feeling sorry for her, you probably encouraged the jealous little bitch to keep bothering -other- nice purebloods? You might've spared -her-, but you probably passed on a heap of misery to others. Should've hexed her, humiliated her, and then left her with no doubt as to her place in life."

"Like I said, perfectly natural. No reason to be ashamed. Anyway, owe you? Don't know whatchu mean." They reached the start of some steep stairs. Alphard eyed them for a second, then started to climb.

"Death is indeed very final," Andromena agreed. "But I do not like violence." Inwardly she was cringing, instinctively aware that Alphard was probably going to give her some sort of speech about how wrong or silly she was. Hurriedly, she added, "It seems so very /base/." Purebloods such as themselves had duty to lead and to teach, of that there was no doubt. But for Andromena, the idea of having to resort to brute force felt wrong. Violence bred violence.

"Her name was Jane Woodard." To his comment about teasing other girls, Andromena could only shrug. "As far as I know after I confronted her that one time, she became something of a recluse." This coming from book-girl. The truth, strangely enough, was that Andromena had humiliated her. If Alphard were to ever ask around about the scene (where any to recall), little miss Mena had exuded a holier-than-thou air and quite the attitude to boot. Meanie indeed.

"And you do so know what I mean!" Andromena countered. She might have stopped her foot in exasperation but they were climbing some awfully steep stairs. "Not ashamed about anything," she stubbornly muttered under her breath.

"Violence is necessary. There's no way around the fact that some people respond to nothing but acts of force." While some people, like Alphard, excelled in delivering said acts of brutality. Anyone who had ever watched the dark haired youth unleashed on the Quidditch field knew that he delighted in smashing his opponents into mewling little balls of pain and humiliation. He wasn't that much nicer in the hallways of Hogwarts either, truth be told.

"Good, good. You shouldn't be." And from his smug tone he'd obviously taken her little stubborn protest to mean she'd admitted said earlier nurse fantasies. "And I dont know what you mean. Why don't you tell me what you think I owe you. Besides my company, which I'm graciously offering."

Luckily, for whom it does not matter, Andromena did not realize that Alphard had determined she had been mooning after him since they last saw one another. If she were a bolder girl, she may have asked if he had thought about her. Yet to ask meant she cared. More importantly, that she cared about his answer. How would she feel if he gave her some nonchalant shrug? One need not know Andromena personally to know the outcome; she was a teenage girl, after all.

"The /library/," she finally intoned, huffing it in such a way as if Alphard had forcefully pulled it out of her. She knew he was only playing ignorant. It was only the first time they had spoken outside of a classroom setting! Why did he have to be so difficult? With a deep breath, Andromena stopped, leaving the pair of them paused midway up those steep stairs - unless of course, Alphard kept walking, sans her arm looped through his own.

"As my friend, I don't expect you to owe me your glorious presence. It isn't meant to be a chore. If you don't want to tell me about what I /helped/ you with, that's fine." But oh, would she remember.

Alphard smirked at her expression. As she brought their climb to a halt he released her arm from his, opening up an empty wind-blown gap where warm human contact had been moments before. His dark eyes scanned the wooden benches on either side, wrinkling his nose with haughty disapproval. It took him half a minute of brushing the surface down with a hankerchief before he was satisfied with its condition. For all that muddy he got on the Quidditch field playing, he had some high standards of appearence outside of it. Very proper, he sank down.

"Of course I owe it to you, whether it's a chore or not. You don't think people always hang out just because they want to, do you? Sometimes," and here he sighed in his most dramatically suffering tone, SIGH "you must sacrifice a little time for your friends. Listen to and suffer through their petty little problems, or just be there. It's part of the package."

"Anyway. Fine… fine. I can see you've been gnawing on it ever since!" Eyeroll. "It had to do with the Sorting-Hat song."

It was plain Andromena did not wholly agree with Alphard's assessment of friendship…but was no going to argue the point simply because she sort of did see how it could be a chore. /He/ felt like a chore. Watching as he almost manically cleaned a space for himself to comfortably sit, Andromena snickered. "Not going to wipe down a place for a lady? Here I had you pegged for a gentleman." She was not offended, however. Mostly she just wondered if she herself should bother following suit. She chose to remain standing for the time being.

"The song, huh?" She pondered its importance to him, but could not readily come to any conclusions. She hid her hands within the sleeves of her robes, her gaze momentarily settling on Alphard before roaming across the vista unfurled before them, now that they were higher up. Obviously, now that she had grown quiet, it meant he was to supply more information.

"That assumes you're a lady," Alphard returned. For the first time he had the perspective of looking up at her, and took the oppertunity to let his stare linger for a couple of seconds. Thoughtful like. Considering whether she did infact count as one. "Besides, since you don't really take up all that much space.." he siddled sideways a little, then brought out his hankerchief again to do a quickly little scourge. There was technically room beside him, now, assuming she didn't mind sitting pretty close.

"Yes, the song. I know! Don't need to tell me how ridicilous it probably is. I'm suspecting some kind of prank on the part of the Hat. But, I've had a few.." public, including point reducing, "issues with faculty of late. If there are founders' artifacts that can be found by following the stupid puzzle.. then it might show them foolish they were not to take my word." He paused, considered. "How good are you at puzzles?"

She resisted the urge to scoff at him. As if there were any doubt as to her ladyship. She was elegant, graceful, well-dressed and well-mannered; she was of the right blood, too. So while he peered up at her, Andromena subconsciously struck a pose of ladylike superiority. As yet, Andromena had not backed down from any of Alphard's penetrating stares - undoubtedly because he had yet to turn that famed bad attitude on her. She considered his offer, noting the close proximity they'd be sharing should she take up his offer. Eventually Andromena settled comfortably at his side, warm and cozy-like. It's cold.

"I like to say I'm fairly good at them," she informed Alphard confidently. Her mind quickly summoned the song in question to the fore. "I do not think it's ridiculous…" She mused. "But I never really thought about it before now!" Where there really treasures to be found? How exciting. Like adventures in a book!

Alphard honestly wasn't that good at them, prefering direct solutions to tricky puzzles anyday. "I started to look, but I've gotten a bit late into the game. The leads I've pulled so far, have had people there already. I think some of them have been trying to cover up their tracks, too, making it more difficult." His features twisted into a petulant frown as he gazed off in the direction of Hogwarts. "Damn foul play." As if he wouldn't have done exactly the same thing. "Anyway, I suppose if you wanted to, I'd let you join me."

A smirk. Andromena took his 'let you join me' as 'I need your help.' Then her thoughts turned back to the Sorting Hat's song and the things Alphard had discovered thus far. It was no surprise to her that others might try to hide their tracks, or even evidence of the existence of the treasures all together! Though they were already sitting close, Andromena leaned in closer still to whisper (as if anyone was around to overhear!) "Do you think any of the faculty has anything to do with it?" Surely other students would make an attempt to follow these clues to their inevitable conclusion, but why not think adults had their interest piqued as well.

"I'd be happy to help. Two minds are better than one!" Usually…the other mind had to be intelligent as well.

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