(1938-10-26) Stars and Fears
Details for Stars and Fears
Summary: Alphard and Andromena talk about stars and fears.
Date: 1938-10-26
Location: Training Fields

Andromena had felt she needed fresh air. Abandoning her books, the young woman through on her over-robes and eventually made her way to the training grounds for a second time that week. The evening air was beyond crisp, and Andromena found that even with her robes she was still chilly. Meandering toward the center of the grassy field, she hugged herself tightly, gazing up at the stars. Cold and black, without answers and yet…how many had done the same as she was doing now? How many more would do the same? A total load of existential bullshit.

"Do you know Alphard? That's the one right there; the Heart of the Serpent." The Slytherin boy approached on the crunch of grass given over to the first taste of frost. He was pointing up towards the constellation Hydra, and the only real bright star in it. The center. His namesake. Like Andromena he had dressed for the change in weather, though unlike her he wasn't hugging himself, but rather walking around like he was quite comfortable. There was a cocky swagger to his movements.

Turning towards him with something of a smile, Andromena nodded. "Of course I do," said with the off-handed smugness of a know-it-all. "What brings you out here?" Because his answer would likely prove more interesting than her own, and she wanted to be the first to start off what seemed to be their ongoing game of questions. Andromena peered at Alphard inquisitively, gauging his attitude by that swagger he so proudly displays.

"Got no reason," Alphard replied nonchalantly. So much for having an interesting reason. "Just didn't want to be cooped up inside. How about you?" His hands were stuffed into his pockets, giving them a bit of extra heat. The scarf around his neck wore all the slytherin colours, and breezed behind him as he walked.

"About the same," she answered with a shrug. "Sometimes the other girls just…" Andromena did not want to say got on her nerves, because that would be rather mean. "They talk a lot, and sometimes I just want some peace and quiet." Now one might argue that she got plenty of that, but between lectures and the general noise of Hogwarts itself, Andromena would say otherwise. "I'd rather walk through a park or something - you know, some nice flowers, trees…but this is where I came."

"Nice flowers and trees?" Alphard didn't even try to hide the way he shook his head in wry bemusement. His quiet little chuckle shook itself free of his chest, and it couldn't help but be teasing. "And pretty little things to look at? How storybook of you. But instead you're here, hrmm?" Eventually he reached her, grinning. "But instead you're here at the training grounds. Perhaps hoping someone boys were playing a game so you could oggle a different kind of pretty?"

"I don't see why it's so wrong to be storybook," Andromena very nearly sighed. Yet she accepted his teasing with a good nature, and even laughed when he proposed that she might have wanted to spy on something a little different from flowers. "As you can see," she gestured to the empty field. "I was quite disappointed in that regard. Not a single boy in sight…" Her dark brown eyes alighted upon Alphard, suddenly bright with -dare it be admitted?- mischief. "Until you came along."

"It's the duty of the hero of the story to come to the poor maiden's rescue, isn't it? So ta-da! So here I am, the boy of your dreams, come to rescue you from disappointment." He met her michivious look with a cocky one of his own, his grin lopsided and all too smug.

"Hah!" Andromena's laughter was genuine, so it was hard to determine if she was mocking his self-assessment as hero. His execution could have been a little better, but it also could have been much worse. She pretended to swoon, dipping backwards while throwing a dainty hand up to her pale forehead. "At last," she exclaimed, pitching her voice slightly higher than normal.

When Andromena straightened, she beckoned Alphard to follow her. "Walk with me?" Her features lit up, causing her grin to remain. "To keep me safe from whatever dangers lurk about in the dark of night." To be sure, dangers did lurk, but it was ever the way of youths to assume it would never find them.

Since he didn't have anything better to do, he answered her summons with shrug. Even if his aristocratic arrogance made it clear that he still considered to be in charge of the moment. "Well. I suppose it's my heroic duty. Though if you turn out to be too much of a bore I'll still ditch you." Sauntering up next to her, he'd boldly seek to take her slender arm and thread it through his. "So what are you afraid of? Werewolves? Vampires? Dementors? Ugly little muggles?"

"So I'm free to do the same if you become a bore?" She queried, sidling perhaps a little closer than might be expected using Alphard for his extra warmth with a shameless disregard for propriety! At his question, Andromena's brows drew together in thought; what frightened her? "Let's see…bugs are disgusting, and…Hey," she peered up at Alphard, faintly concerned. "If I tell you something that I think is frightening, will you share one with me? And don't tell me nothing scares you!" Their feet crunched upon the grass, the only other sound to fill the field besides their voices.

Alphard gave Andromena a flat look. Him ever being a bore? The thought was absolutely inconcievable. He almost paused when she sidled up close enough for their bodies to brush side by side, and for her to steal the heat of his body. For a second he might have considered shoving her away. But then again.. he was a boy of sixteen. So he allowed it. "Disgusting, yes. Scary? No." They were wandering westward, slowly trailing away from the training field. "You can't be brave if you can't be afraid. That's just being stupid. I'm not stupid. So.. fine."

And that was naturally why she had said it. Did he not think she wasn't going to test the boundaries of Alphard Black? The flat look was reciprocated by the young woman herself; Andromena /could/ be quite the ice queen! But then the moment passed, if only by chance and hormones rather than any sense of friendship on Alphard's part. His admission inspired some confidence within the slender girl, who, it must be said, worried her companion would use her fears against her in the unknown future.

"Alright, I know it will sound silly, but sometimes I have these…nightmares," she took a deep breath. "I can never remember them once I fully awake, but it always ends with this shadowy figure trying to kill me. I can't breathe or call for help." It wasn't scary to talk about it, but when it was happening it was certainly terrifying. "I don't know," she said with a shrug. "I' sure I would be scared if a werewolf jumped out at us right now - but just talking about it? Nah, those things don't scare me."

"You know what? I remembered I had to go do.. something." Real specific there, wasn't he? With a sudden shift he pulled away from the Ravenclaw. "I'll see you around. Be sure you're ready for the desk-to-pig transfiguration on Monday." Abrupt and with no apologies the Black kid turned away and walked briskly back towards Hogwarts. Then once he had bit of distance between them he called out over his shoulder: "I really don't fucking like the pitch black. But that's why we wands." And.. gone.

"So I was boring," she said glumly, too low to be heard. Andromena would finish her late-evening wanderings.

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