(1938-10-26) An Apple for Me, An Apple for You
Details for An Apple for Me, An Apple for You
Summary: After a brief catchup, Ria proposes a deal to Alphard, which turns into a challenge.
Date: October 26, 1938
Location: Slytherin Common Room

Slytherin Common Room Dungeons
Sat Oct 26, 1938 ((Sat Oct 26 22:52:34 2013)) (Hogwarts Castle)

It is a fall night. The weather is cool and drizzling.

The Slytherin commons room is a low-ceilinged, dungeon-like affair illuminated during the day by a multitude of greenish lamps and a roaring fire which also works to partially ward of the perpetual chill of the dungeons. The common room is filled with low-backed, black and dark green leather sofas and armchairs accented with buttons that create dimples deep in the upholstery. For the decorative carvings of the dark wood cupboards, the columns, the mantelpiece, and other architectural details of the room run strongly towards snakes and skulls motif. All these details combine to create a quite grand atmosphere with a touch of spooky and cold.
Day or night the enchanted windows are filled with an eerie green glow from the water on the other side. Occasionally the Giant Squid and other residents of the Black Lake will swim by the portals. Over all the common room has a sunken ship feel, though is oddly enough also gives a strange cozy sense as well.

The heart of lunch hour leaves the Slytherin common room sparse of occupants, with students instead choosing to stuff their hungry faces rather than lounge about. One of the few exceptions is Ria, who today chooses to settle on a couch with deep red apple in her hands. Her perfectly polished shoes are propped up on the coffee table in front of her as she holds open a folded up piece of parchment that is a letter from home. A brow furrows while she reads the words with utmost concentration.

With a muffled shuffle-shuffle-drag-drag of expensive silken slippers, Alphard zombie-walked his way out of the the Boys' Dormitories. He was still in his pajamas. Black and silken, tailored to fit his increasingly tall and athletic frame to the utmost comfort. The crest of the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black was prominent on his chest above his heart, while his monogram of APB was stylishly embellished on his collars. In his hand he had his leather bound notebook, though he held it so lethargically it was a wonder it didn't just slip straight out of his hands. Even if it was lunch hour, he barely looked conscious at all. Occasionally he made little moaning sounds, to underline the fact that life was unfair. Someone'd been awake too long the night before.

A crunchy bite is taken out of the apple while Ria's green eyes scan to and fro on the page. And as soon as she hears the arrival of another, her gaze peels itself away from the parchment and to the direction of the boy's dormitory. Dryly, the prefect greets him, "Good morning, darling." An up and down look of appraisal is give to Alphard, and with a quirked brow she asks, "As fashionable and stylish as you look, you're aware of the rule that you're supposed to be in uniform at all times." This is said very non-chalantly, seeing as she is still half peeking at the letter before her. If it's one thing the snakes shouldn't have to worry about, it's losing points at the hand of Ria Sykes. "Up late writing in your diary?" she casually gestures to the notebook taking another bite of the apple.

Blink, blink, and with a small wrinkle of his nose he glanced down as if surprised. "Uh.." he began eloquently, then sheepishly looked back up from his pajamas to meet her appraisal with his dark eyes. "Yeah. Rubbish rule, anyway. Aren't we supposed to be able to relax in our own common room?" Letting his tone suggest it had been intentional to walk around in his pajamas, as opposed to just the side effect of having been on complete auto pilot. His mind still somewhere far away in sleepy land. "Something like that. Surprised anyone's here. Isn't it.." he scratched his cheek. "Breakfast time already?"

Ria blinks. Is he hungover too? "Lunch," she corrects, and begins digging the pocket of her robes to procure an envelope of excellent paper quality with a wax seal that bears the crest of Black upon it. "Breakfast is where I acquired this fancy charm. It's addressed to you. From mummy, no doubt." And she holds the envelope up so that he may walk over to the couch and retrieve it from her. Curiously, she tilts her head and asks, "Does this mean you've also skipped out on your morning classes? Alphard, you're making my job of covering for you quite difficult."

"No classes this morning, Ria" Alphard countered with a ridiculously large yawn, wihch he tried very unsuccessfully to stifle. "Working on a group project, which I've already done the vast majority of the work of." He blinked, pauses, then added: "Only way group projects ever work. I swear I'm always partnered with some imbecile." His tone was tragic and pained, partnered with the deepest of sighs. The professors really had it in for him. With a -flop- he went down by where Ria was seated on the couch. He squinted at the letter for a second, before taking it and opening it up

"Oh isn't that how group project always end up. There's hardly anyone competent in my own year," Ria says with sympathetic disdain. By proximity alone, she bounces up and down on the cushion of her couch when he lands next to her. And out from her other pocket she also procures a red apple, same as her own offering it to the boy should he want it. "So if the rumors are correct you too have joined the Magijugend," she says finishing up that last words on her letter before folding it with her free hand and tucking it away in a breast pocket. "Not that it was ever a question, but I'm looking to get a feel for who is within the ranks and who isn't."

"It's really not my job to drag some lazy no good student by the ears to a good grade.. and if the Professors insist on saddling me with dead weight, at least I should get extra credit for it." As he talked he looked over the letter, more a glance really, while his lips moved subconsciously. At length he rolled his eyes and stuffed it away. "Thanks." Crunch, went the first bite, followed by a lull in the conversation as he chewed and swallowed. "Didn't even need to think about it. Someone needs to stand up for what's right." And Alphard was the hero to do it!

Idly Ria digs around in her pockets for once more, this time pulling out a small notebook of her own. "Is there anyone in particular who is giving you this bit of grief? I can see what I can do about it," she offers, using her equally polished fingers to flip swiftly through the pages. "Excellent, so then with you and Walburga that makes … seven, eight, nine … ten of us according to my count. It's good to finally see there's some movement happening on this matter. When the Mud Club started last year, I felt that no one understood how grave this mudblood hubris had become. Finally some balance in the world." Her notebooks shuts with a subtle clap and she slips it back into her pocket.

"Niko Denholm. He almost sunk my last transfiguration project on his own, the filthy Half-Blood. Don't get me wrong, there's some of them who are alright.. the ones who look to the right side of their heritage. But then there's gits like Denholm, who glory in their mud side to the point where they drag everybody else with them." There was cool derision in his voice as he spoke of the Gryffindor. "Anyway.. I've already repaid him." One of his shoulders rolled with a dismissive shrug. After a couple of more bites, he'd gotten all the juicy good parts of the apple, leaving just the center. He eyed it for a second, then looked towards the trash. A long walk. He looked at the core again, then drew out his wand. Up into the air went the apple core, casually thrown while he aimed his wand and went: "Evanesco." Poof. "Professor Viridian should be fired for sponsoring it."

"Denholm," Ria repeats, pondering over the name and turns over her shoulder to look at Alphard, "He's that halfy Janette got her knickers twisted over wasn't he? He's rather muddy, but he has a good face." She yawns and stretches out her toes. "I'm not surprised that someone as weak willed at Janette fell for it." She shrugs. What's in a face? At the mention of Viridian, she rolls her eyes and adds, "That man should be fired for his tacky sense of color. Anyhow, I'll keep an eye on Denholme for the future." Ria watches as the apple core soars upwards and disappears in midair. "I'd only like to ask a small favor of you."

"That'd be the one, yes. But then she gets her knickers in a bunch over every Gryffindor who bats his eyes in her direction. Honestly it seems to be thing among the Slytherin girls this year." His gaze was still fixed on the point where he had made the apple core vanish, silently congratulating himself on his aim and skill, oozing self entitled contentment. He flicked a look at her. "You're not planning on going that direction, too, are you?" As if that would just be the last straw when it came to the credibility of the female half of Slytherin. "Hrmm? What'd that be? I'm always happy to do you a favor. Small.. large.. Our kind has to stick together. Though.. so we're clear.. I can handle Denholm. So it's not a favor for a favor thing."

"How our integrity has fallen," Ria shrugs but then makes a snort at Alphard. "I'm not averse to a pure boy in another house, no. But don't you worry, dearest. I have no intention of going in any direction any time soon." She too finishes the rest of her apple and points her house mate too it before giving it a good, high toss in the air and letting the Black boy take care of the rest. "Fair enough," she nods at his clarification of his hold on Niko. "In that case, I ask that you come with me to the Halloween Dance." The offer is made plain and business-like, Ria looking at Alphard directly to show that she is entirely serious and there is no fluff involved.

"Yes.. but why always the Gryffindors? They're so.. self righteous about everything." His complain was made with a rueful chuckle. As her apple core lifted high up, Alphard's wand flicked again. There was a playful glint in his eye as he spoke the spell once more: "Evanesco." He hadn't quite reached the point where he could easily use the non verbal version, but there was nothing wrong with his wandwork. It was a good thing she asked after the apple went up into the air, or he might have fumbled. There was a moment of surprise as he blinked, then looked at her, before he managed to reclaim his usual confident nonchalance. "Well.." he started, somewhat reluctantly once the gears started turning again. "The thing is, I asked Beatrice Nott already. I try to keep my word. Which I'll add gets increasingly difficult the more she talks, but there it is. If she for any reason, any reason at all were to change her mind, I'd be my pleasure to take you. But.." he lifted his shoulders in a shrug, to say it was out of his hands.

Ria snorts once more and adds, "You're telling me? I've got a brother who's a damned lion. Was good boy too, but now that's he's starting to run around with them they're starting to taint him. Good thing father keeps a tight leash on him or else who knows what could happen." She once again watches the her apple core disappear in midair, and gives a nod of approval and appreciation. But once the name Beatrice Nott comes into play, Ria can't help but roll her eyes. "Nott? You're kidding me. I should have figured that way she slops on after you like a spineless cow with no self dignity. At least I can look you in the eye and ask. What bet did you lose that you have to now take her?" she smirks teasingly and then adds,"Is there anything that could perhaps change her mind."

"Well. She's cute. Plus.. there's nothing at all bad with being able and willing to listen," Alphard protested on Nott's behalf, before he was forced to add that: "It's just.. after a while you expected some more interesting responses than: 'that's wonderful', 'yes', and 'could you please explain that again?'" He rolled his eyes. Self entitled, self involved, notoriously arrogant, but even Alphard had his limit for how much of his own bullshit he could be fed back at him without anything new or interesting added to the mix. Having Beatrice around him all the time since he'd asked her out, had probably been an eye opener. The youth sprawled back against the couch languidly, his hand absently running through his hair to comb it into order. "Well. If someone else asked her out, and a 'friend' advised her that this someone actually liked her," as opposed to Alphard who had long gotten over it. He shrugged.

Right, well Ria could have warned Alphard of Beatrice Nott's adorable reverent vapidity, thus avoiding the match to begin with, and avoiding this annoying barrier she now finds herself having to cross. "A friend as in a certain Gryffindor-loving Malfoy cousin of hers, I'm assuming? Come now Alphard, I don't have patience for hidden meanings," she says. "If she were to change her mind then, and redirect her affections, would you definitely accompany me then? I'm not keen on going by myself, and having people who I could care little about bombard me with idle conversation just cause I'm alone."

Even Alphard had been aware of Nott's vapidity. He just hadn't ever thought it was something he would grow tired with so quickly. Who didn't appreciate someone hanging on one's every single spoken word?! Him, apparently. A shocking revelation. "Yeah. Like I said, I can't ditch her myself. I'm not a peasant, I'm a gentleman of my word." At least in letter, if obviously not at all in spirit. "I was going to tell her to to find someone else to bother as soon as we'd gotten through the dance."

"If you want to use your good manners as an excuse for a tad bit of cowardice, then that's out of my hands," Ria gives him a 'what a waste smile' before putting her feet back on the floor and rising delicately from the couch, "I must have been mistaken when I thought the great Alphard Pollux Black did as he chose, when he chose and didn't play to the whims and interests of others." Of course, she says this in an entirely light hearted and teasing manner. "Very well, then. If you need a woman's efforts to help get yourself out of this unfortunate arrangement then I shall see what I can do. I have very little time after all." Speaking of time, she checks her watch and says, "Anyhow I will see you later then. If you could remember your uniform that would be ideal. I can't save you if another authority catches you." And off she begins heading in the direction the exit so that she may join the rest of the student body in the Great Hall.

For a second it was all up in the air how Alphard was going to take her little tease, his eyes narrowing and his lips pursing into a thin hard line. Then abruptly he snorted. "Please," he told her, that thin line smeared out into a crookedly charming grin. When his nose wasn't all the way up into the air, he wasn't a bad looking boy. "Just because I'm not a complete beast doesn't make me a coward. I keep my commitments, Ria. At least when they're with someone of proper blood. Say what you want about her, but she's of a good family. I know everybody say I'm such a bully.." dramatic and suffering was his sigh, as if it was completely unjust. Despite the fact that he was a horror in hallways and in class, let alone the Quidditch field where he always seemed to enjoy bloodying up the opposition more than winning. "But honestly. I just treat people like they deserve. I'll see you around, Ria. Hopefully at the dance." With that, he let her go with a wave and a wry smile that bordered on a challenge.

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