(1938-10-23) Talking of the Dead
Details for Talking of the Dead
Summary: A change encounter between Gage and Xander leads to talk of spirits and the dead.
Date: 23 October, 1938
Location: Hogwarts Library

As evening draws near Gage has been in the library for a while now. He had skipped out on the latter bit of his last class, after overhearing a few whispers from the students near him. Angry, he had left, not caring to look back even when the professor addressed him. The boy had gone to the library then, moving all the way to back of the shelves. Now though, Gage has been busy reading, books sprawled out underneath a table with a few opened, but which were now ignored. Even the one he was flipping through currently was losing his attention as his stomach began to ache for food. Looking up, he peers out from underneath the table, wondering just how close to dinner they now were.

Among the other students in the library is Xander Tully, Seventh Year Hufflepuff. The lanky boy appears at Gage's table with his own stack of books, most bearing titles like 'The Death Cycle,' 'Ghosts and Geists,' and 'Hauntings and You: A Guide to Spiritual Communion.' He offers the younger boy a friendly smile as he sits, whispering, "I'm not bothering you, am I? I can shove off." He gestures to a number of empty spaces he could move to.

Gage is about to draw himself back under the table without a word to the seventh year, but he stops mid action. His dark blue eyes lock on Xander as his eyebrows furrow, a distant, confused look of someone trying to remember. Then he tenses when he does, grimacing and nervously biting his lower lip. Gage shakes his head in answer to him, quickly, and ducks back under the table. He shuffled the books underneath together, stacking them hurriedly before he crawls out, standing up tall. At a glance to the table before he scurries off, however, halts him, and the youth ends up just standing there staring curiously down at Xander's books.

Xander shrugs as Gage seems spooked off. For a few moments, he doesn't seem to notice that the lad is still lingering, until the hairs start to prickle on the back of his neck. He glances up from his open copy of 'Why I Didn't Die When the Augurey Cried' by Gulliver Pokeby. "Oh, hullo. Still here?" he says in quiet 'library-voice'.

Gage shifts uneasily on his feet, still chewing on his bottom lip. His dark eyes lift from the books briefly, glancing up to Xander, and then once again lower. He frowns as thoughts flood his mind, and he finds himself wishing that Arevan were here. She's always so good at talking to people. Gage sets the stack of his books in his arms down onto the table, still getting his words in order for a good minute before he mutters nervously, "Are yer done wi' dat one?" His eyes shift to the book with 'spiritual communion' in it, nodding at it. His eyes lift back to stare warily at Xander with lowered brows.

Xander shrugs, sliding the book toward Gage. "I haven't really started on it yet. But you're free to have a look if you stick around." He tilts his head curiously. "Got a project on spirits? I could probably suggest a few good books."

Gage drops a hand down onto the cover of the book when it reaches him. He stares down at its cover for a good minute or so before he opens it to the first page. "T'anks," Gage suddenly utters out nervously as his head snaps up, as if realizing he hadn't said so yet. He plops down into a seat as he flips a page, and rests his arms onto the edge of the table as he leans his head. "Naw, Oi-" He starts automatically while keeping his gaze focused on the book, but cuts off suddenly as he grimaces. "Sure, a project." His one personal one, maybe. Slowly his head comes up again, staring silently at Xander as he thinks. "Can yer?"

Xander gives the blond-haired boy a lopsided smile. "Course. If you're on about spirits, you're talking to the right bloke. What are you researching? I've checked out every book here on spirits and death at some point or another." Truly, the check-out history of those books shows the name 'Alexander Tully' over and over throughout the last six years.

Gage narrows his eyes suspiciously as his eyebrows crease. He seems to be thinking for a good moment as he guardedly watches the seventh year. Looking down to the book, he just stares at the pages without reading, thinking. Can he trust someone whose girlfriend is a bloody prefect? Gage glowers down at the pages of the book, biting his lip a little too hard that he winces and whispers an 'ow' under his breath. "Spirits," he utters quietly. "'Oy do yer draw one back," he questions in a low voice that could have just been meant to him, "as if ter give 'er… it," he corrects, shifting his eyes off the text and to the side, "…a message."

Xander freezes up for a moment, staring back at Gage. His friendly demeanour takes a step back, getting a bit more distant. But he nods slowly, wetting his lips. "Draw one back. You mean the spirits of the dead," he says grimly. There is a sadness behind his eyes as he says softly, "Are you talking about a ghost that still lingers? If it's a ghost…there are ways to try to contact them."

"Naw," Gage's answer comes out too quickly after Xander asks about one that still lingers. More quickly than he really had time to think about it, really. He frowns and eyes the surface of the table, shaking his head slowly and almost unconsciously. Then a wave of weariness suddenly hits him and he blinks, squinting his eyes through the lenses of his glasses as he props an elbow against the table to rest his head in his hand. The boy shakes his head again, as if this time he was trying to knock the sleepiness away, and his dark blue eyes lift to Xander again. Sliding back the chair Gage stands, but asks the seventh year, "Can Oi take de book once yer done wi' it?" Damn - he hasn't even had dinner and he's already bloody tired.

Xander sighs, nodding. "Go ahead and take it. I've read it twice already. Listen…I've studied this. A lot. The afterlife…it's beyond our reach." He rubs at his cheek, his gaze drifting away. What else is there to say? He knows the look in Gage's eyes. It's all too familiar. He gives the younger boy a half-hearted smile to send him on his way.

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