(1938-10-31) How's About Them Apples?
Details for How's About Them Apples?
Summary: Fiona tries to get Alphard back for messing with Grace.
Date: 31 October 1938
Location: Great Hall
Related: Cake and Apples

Breakfast time. The usual noise level of conversation rising above the clinking of cutlery and plates, cups and glasses, the sounds of hundreds of students and a dozen or so staff eating. When Alphard Black arrives to sit at his usual place surrounded by his usual cronies there before him is a small basket of…purple apples. Not too far away, just the next table over, a tiny little first year nibbles on a piece of toast and watches, waiting for the boy's arrival. Hopefully he won't look too closely at the apples, or maybe it won't matter if he does, for the purple isn't uniform but mottled in places. Some apples are very bright lavender while others more a darker violet.

Alphard was in a good mood as he breezed down the Slytherin table, grinning while trading talk about yesterday's transfiguration class when the Lionpig had attacked and Alphard had been the hero of the story. At least as far as he and his goons were concerned. He was so occupied with chatting that he barely noticed the basket at first, having turned to talk to his side companion the moment he'd dumped himself down. It was someone nudging him that eventually drew his attention. "What the?!" He asked, frowning as he eyed those apples. "Who put this down here?" He asked those Slytherins who'd been around for a while.

It had required getting up very early and being the first student in the Great Hall but Fiona grins, giggles even behind her toast. When the other first years around her start to look at the Donnelly girl funny she ducks her head and eats some of her eggs. Nothing to see here. Nothing to see.

One of Alphard's mates, a fellow quidditch lover and tripper of younger students shrugs as he resumes shovelling bacon into his mouth. "Was here when I got here," he grunts more than says. Another boy looks at the apples, and just as if to prove how gullible some of Alphard's own friends are says, "I've never seen a purple apple before. Are they French?" He reaches for one then pulls his hand back, those are Black's apples after all.

"Yeah, Tom. They're bloody french.." Alphard replied. When said Tom wasn't looking, he did a 'can you be this stupid?!' roll of his eyes. Surrounding himself with less intelligent goons had its benefits. Like having someone to put all the blame on if things went wrong, or to keep watch for faculty or prefects while wedging mudbloods. But on the flip side.. sometimes.. sometimes he had to wonder if it was worth it. "Have one. Tell me what you think of them?"

Twisting in her seat Fiona looks over her shoulder towards the table furthest away from her, the Hufflepuff table, she's searching for a mop of blond curls on a rather tallish chubby frame. But Grace is too busy eating to notice her. Nevermind, Fiona will regale her with her glorious tale later. There is more spying to do!

Having been given the go ahead Tom reaches for one of the purple apples and bites into it. He chews thoughtfully as if trying to compare the flavour to non-purple English apples. "Apples must be sweeter in France." He turns the apple and takes another bite and another, eating more of the mottled purplish skin and unknowingly transferring some of the poorly executed transfiguration spell to his lips; lips which are now a marbled purple.

"You like them? You should keep them, then," Alphard said in a good ol' buddy tone of voice. "After the apples Ria keeps pushing on me, I think I'm good for a while." Even if his hand mved forward towards the 'gift', not quite touching, just looking like he was almost about to. And that was when he started surveying the rest of the Great Hall. Subtly looking for anyone who was paying a bit too much attention to him right now. If anyone knew how hard it was to avoid gloating in a moment of prank success, it was him.

Hungry as well as curious about the prank Fiona adds more food to her plate and just so happens to look over at the Slytherin table in time to see Tom's purple mouth become the point of derision of some of the other Slytherin. Fiona might be eleven but she's been pranking older boys since leaving nappies. Being a sneaky little sister who gets away with everything has given her skills. Mad skills. It is just a shame for Tom that her skills lie more in the realm of sneaky acting and having a honeyed tongue than transfiguration. Fiona laughs and nudges the boy next to her, pointing over at the Slytherin table.

Tom looks confused when the boy across from him starts to snigger and after nudging the girl next to him she laughs and points. Nothing escalates faster than the ability to mock one of your peers.

"I'm not sure your chances of snogging someone at the dance has gone up with lips like that," Alphard murmured drolly. His hand withdrew languidly. "Though if it had been me who just got pranked.. I think I'd want some revenge. Like perhaps make the maker eat every last apple she made. Ravenclaw table, first year, right now pointing at you like you're.. well.." a bored sigh passed his lips as he asked a nearby Slytherin girl: "Who was it we were laughing at earlier today?" The Hufflepuff she mentioned drifted by Alphard completely, forgotten the very moment the name was spoken. "That's the one. But anyway.. that's just what I would do. What you do is up to you." Completely independent action, not at all enforced by all those Slytherin looks pouring peer pressure down Tom's throat.

Poor Tom all those people laughing at him and pointing and he can't quite figure out why. He looks at his hands but there is nothing on them, nothing on his uniform either. It isn't until Polly Parkinson shows him using her little compact mirror that he howls with indignity and hurls the offending apple down the table. Unfortunately for Tom the apple hits a big bulky seventh year boy better known for his skills in pugilism than his wit. From the distance he can't quite hear the knuckles cracking, not really, but in his head her hears them all the same. Alphard's words just start to register, "Shite, I hit The Beast." Tom looks at Alphard and then follows his gaze over to the laughing first year Ravenclaws. "Which one?"

As Fiona and her friends laugh and point some of the other students begin to notice too, it is easy to do with the Slytherin and Ravenclaw tables being next to one another. When the apple goes flying there are loud guffaws at the top end of the Ravenclaw table and a particularly nasty half-blood calls over to Tom, "Better watch out for The Beast!" Unware of having been spotted Fiona grins and looking down at her plate, sticking some bacon and egg between two half bits of toast, she bites into her little breakfast sandwich.

"He's not that tough. I'm sure you can handle him," Alphard told Tom with fake encouragement. There was a malicious glint of humor in his dark eyes, growing by the second. "Polly..? You agree, don't you? Tom can take the Beast easily. Well, perhaps not easily, but he can take him, right?" His gaze locked with several other Slytherins, too, drawing out their encouragements:

"Yeah! You can take him, Tom!"

"Don't be afraid, Tom!"

"Show him that brawn doesn't equal skill!"

"One-two, alright! It's all about the one-two, and the movement. Oh, and ducking! Don't forget to duck!"

"Yeah, that's real important, ducking. You don't want him to actually hit you, or he'll knock all your teeth out."

"You go, Tom!"

Alphard let the rest of the table dig into the matter with greedy hands, his own attentions wandering again. Locking down on the Ravenclaw table. Looking straight at Fiona with a cruel half smirk on his lips. "That one," he told Tom. Not Fiona, no, he described her companion. It was a thing of random impulse, a curiosity about how she'd handle it if her friend - well, he assumed it was a friend - took the blame for her antics. Knowing Tom, it wouldn't be pleasant.. at all.

Tom glares at the boy next to Fiona, planning horrible things to do to him, things involving underpants going unpleasant places and sticking charms. "I'm going to get that little -" he doesn't finish his sentence as a prefect walks by.

The boy next to Fiona, a sickly bookish thing gulps as he spies the malevolent look that Tom is sending his way. He knocks over his juice spilling it purposefully on himself, an old escape from the bully trick. "Oh no…I need to go change my robes." Fiona looks up then at the boy, "Uhm, sure." She looks around, wondering what has startled him so, almost missing the taunts from the Gryffindor, "Looks like Smythe wet himself." Fiona turns and glares at the Gryffindor behind her. "Stop it! He just spilled juice is all." She pats poor Smythe on the arm just before he races out, none the wiser as to what scared him in the first place.

Alphard waited until the Prefect was out of earshot before he nodded. His voice continud to be a cruel and quiet stream of 'helpful' advice: "Of course you are. And don't listen to any of his protests, right? They always try to blame someone else when you're giving them what they deserve. Look at him run. He wet himself in guilt. I bet if you hurry you can dodge both The Beast and catch him hiding in the bathrooms." Alphard scratched his cheek a couple of times, considering the plan and then surveying his troops. "Actually, why don't you two go with him? Distract any nearby faculty or Prefects so Tom doesn't get in trouble." While he.. he stayed exactly where he was, ignoring the remaining apples so he could start scooping up a proper breakfast. Lots of it, too. He was a growing teenage boy; there really wasn't any limit to how much he could shove into his mouth if he had enough time.

With a snigger Tom gets to his feet, the marbled purple lips only made him look paler and meaner. "You're right, Black." Because of course Black was always right and even when he wasn't Tom was too dim to figure that out. The other boys shove the last of their breakfast in their mouths and head off with Tom, hoping to catch the scrawny Ravenclaw before he makes it upstairs to the tower.

Fiona might be young and awful at transfiguring colours onto things but she knows a posse when she sees one. The tiny Irish girl swallows around the lump in her throat and knows just knows she is going to have to pay the piper. Throwing her napkin down she gets to her feet and puffs her flat little chest out then marches over to Alphard and does the unthinkable of dropping onto Tom's discarded space. Unable to pass it up a boy across from them sniggers, "I thought you liked them older, Black, not still in nappies." Fiona picks up one of the purple apples and looks set to throw it at the taunting boy but then glances at Alphard, this is his table and these are his friends.

"The only way to be successful in life is to plan ahead," Alphard replied with a crooked grin. This was his table, this was his hometurf, and he was completely relaxed and at ease. His voice remained calm, just like his eyes retained that malevolent glint of before. "In nappies today.. but who knows? She might be drool worthy ten years from now when I'm feeling lonely one evening. You know all about being lonely, so you aught to sympathize. When was the last time you had anyone even semi-attractive pay you a compliment? Oh, I remember: Never."

Finally he looked towards Fiona with reproach. "Next time you sit down, ask. Once I can forgive due to ignorance. Twice and the consequences will be entirely self inflicted, yeah? So. What can do for you?"

Fiona sets the apple in the basket, deciding throwing it at Alphard's friend is a bad idea. She can't help but check her hand to see if it is purple now, seeing it is not she looks up at the Black boy. "It was only meant to be funny, not to do that. I'm not very good at the spell. Can you ask your thugs to lay off of Nigel Smythe. He has asthma." Which explains the boy's pallid and sickly complexion.

"I could do that," Alphard agreed with a shrug. He had a piece of loaf in front of him that he was lathering over with butter, then salad, then some cheese, then a whole mountain of meat that dwarfed everything that had come before. Until it was mostly just meat with extra. He took a gargantuan chew out of the open sandwich, then spent the next long while chewing. When he was done, when he'd finally swallowed, he added: "But I won't. Call it lesson in picking your targets. Anyway.. If you really, really care that much about what happens to him, you can always run after them and try to convince them it was all you. They probably wont believe you, of course. They'll think you were just trying to defend your friend, and in the end they'd run riot on both of you. But perhaps Tom'd feel compassion. Perhaps you being a girl and a first year might actually matter to him." But from his tone of voice, he obviously didn't think Tom would care.

Her little shoulders slump. Even though she suspected he wouldn't call them off Fiona still had to try. "It's worth a try." She gets to her feet, barely reaching head high with him sitting down. "At least it was funny before your friend became a tosser." Swear word thrown out the first year girl takes off before Alphard can catch her, running for the door and undoubtedly a nice fist in the face or a kick to the kidneys.

"Don't be stupid!" Alphard called after her exasperatedly. "All you're going to earn yourself is your face in the toilet! It never struck me as a pleasant experience. Why don't-" and then she was gone out of the reach of Alphard's voice. He didn't go after her. If she wanted to get herself the Tom treatment, then she could learn just how experienced a bully got after six years of hard training in the art.

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