(1938-11-02) Racing Raindrops
Details for Racing Raindrops
Summary: Grace is dim. Alphard is snide. Fiona is calculating.
Date: 2 November 1938
Location: Clock Tower

Grace stands over by the massive doors, one hand resting up on one of them while the other thumb rests comfortably in her mouth. Her attention is rapt, watching raindrops slowly race each other down the panels of the door.

Alphard was taking the shortcut to the cliffs through the Clock Tower. He wasn't moving particularly quick, and he had his nose buried in his notebook. That leather bound old keeper of secrets and whatever else Alphard's mind could conjure up. As he walked he crunched on an apple. It wasn't a purple apple. It was a boring green one, the real sour kind.

Unaware of all the tittering her politeness to Cillian caused after she left the small people party last night, Fiona skips along the third floor corridor, heading towards the tower. When one of the more dour portrait inhabitants on the corridor shouts, "STOP THAT!" the girl skids to a stop and walks the rest of the way to the door. A little breathless she grins seeing her favourite mop of blonde curls, "Morning Grace."

Grace holds her hand up, staring at the raindrops for a while longer, then turns, beaming. "Mine won!" she announces happily. "Fee! It's raining! I don't want to go out if it's raining." And then she giggles as Alphard squishes a piece of apple, giving him a wave, to which he is no doubt oblivious. "Hello! Mr. Apple Man! Hello!"

"Of course it did," Fiona says as if she has a clue what Grace is on about, which she doesn't. Frowning as she peers out at the rain she hrms, trying to think of something else they can do that is fun since they can't go to Hogsmeade. Having not got very far with her ideas she turns and looks, hearing Alphard's approach and Grace's greeting. "Black." And if there is a little softening of her features well that's merely coincidental and not at all related to his having saved her from bullies. Twice. Torn between not wanting to exclude Grace and pointing out her recent membership of the Magijugend Fiona opts for silence hoping the pendant on her chest will give it away anyhow. "We could act out a story," she suggests to Grace it being their stand by rainy day activity.

Alphard was indeed oblivious until the little Hufflepuff started clamoring for his attention. At which point he lifted his eyes up from the book and started to sneer: "Get out of the way, fa-" but wait. His forward momentum slowed down as the gears behind his eyes started turning, slowly but steadily, matching the whizz of the clocktower's own. "You're the cake girl." Slowly his head tilted sideways, like a raptor considering a chubby little mouse. Fiona distracted him, briefly. His eyes running over the girl until his attentions came to rest on her pendant. "Huh," he uttered, then offered Fiona a genuine smile. "Congratulations!"

"My name's Grace Thurkell," Grace tells Alphard solemnly. "And it's Thurkell with a 'th' sound, not circle with a 's' sound." She beams a smile up at him. "Yes! I like cakes." And then he's congratulating Fiona, and so Grace feels, naturally, that she ought to join in. It's her friend, after all. "Congratulations, Fee," she adds, enthusiastic if somewhat confused. "What did you do?"

Fiona side steps so she is closer to Grace. "Grace and I are best friends," she explains to Alphard, hoping he gets the idea that maybe Grace is a good one to have around. "Uhm…I joined this club Headmaster Flint has. I talked to him about you joining too, Gracie." She toys with her silver plated pendant then releases it and looks up at Alphard, "Your costume was really clever. I knew you would win. Did you wear the tree bit to the dance too?"

He didn't feel the need to know every firstie's name, and so waved Grace's away with a dismissive flick of his wrist. "Yeah. Cake girl," with an emphsis. Looking between them, he recalled Fiona having talked about her as her friend before. "Always munching cake, full of crumbs.. All those Hufflepuff beds being messed with?" He put on his best fake smile. "Very well done!" Like he already knew, and wasn't just fishing. "Whose idea was that?"
"Naw. It would've just gotten in the way. Plus it takes effort to keep the tree from wandering away all the time."

Grace points to Fiona. "It was Fiona's idea," she explains earnestly. "I wouldn't have thought of it. She's really clever, and that's why she's a Ravenclaw, I think. Oo, can I join the special club with you?"

When Grace grasses her up Fiona sighs and covers her face with her hand briefly. Since it is out there now and she knows Grace well enough to know that despite having the purest of blood she doesn't have the sharpest of brains there is no point in trying to concoct an elaborate counter story. Lifting her head or lowering her hand Fiona's face is visible again. "Thank you. It took some clever planning and organising of participants." Eager to change topics she asks, "Why aren't you in Hogsmeade? If we could go to Hogsmeade we'd be there eating cakes right now."

That Alphard hadn't known was obvious the moment Grace spilled the beams, and he snorted with a smug look of victory. "Hah. I knew it." Well, the Grace part if not the Fiona being the mastermind of it. That made him take a second look at the little Ravenclaw. "You know they're blaming us for that." Us as in the Slytherins. "Which is fine with me. Though you might want to think about teaching your pet to keep her mouth shut if you're gonna include her in your pranks."
"Not really your business, is it? I might go later."

"If I could go to Hogsmeade," Grace adds, rocking back and forth as she speaks, "I wouldn't leave until I'd eaten all the cakes in the world! Oo, Fee! Have you got a talking pet? Is it a cat? I like cats. They're fluffy! But sometimes they scratch you if you pull their tails so you shouldn't pull their tails. Even if they're asleep."

"I don't really know many Slytherin and I wouldn't have wanted the wrong people's beds to be messed with," Fiona tries to worm her way out of trouble by giving Alphard a compliment. His bed would have been too important to short change of course! Her head falls back and she looks up, up at the high ceiling and then at Grace. "I have my owl, remember. Only he doesn't talk and he doesn't have a tail so I'm okay so long as I don't ruffle his feathers too much."

Some of Alphard's friends weren't the brightest bulbs in the drawer. He'd learned to just tune out the noise of their wagging tongues at will. This was what he was doing to Grace right now. "Smart choice. I wasn't complaining, anyway. If people want to believe we can mess with everybody else's dormitories at will, what's wrong with that?" He looked towards the rainy outside with a small grimace, then stuffed his book inside his robes and pulled up his hood. "I'd get to work with the training part." And then he started to move on.

Grace shoves a hand in her pocket, coming up with a slightly fluffy, abandoned sweet from earlier. Naturally, she first offers it to Fiona. "That's why you're the clever one," she decides firmly, then looks back at Alphard. "You're really nice! He's really nice," she tells Fiona.

Fiona shakes her head at the offer of the sweet, "You go right ahead, Grace." She looks after Alphard as he leaves, "He is nice but I don't think he likes people knowing he's nice, so it's a secret. Like that one time in the bathroom when we didn't tell that mean girl she had loo roll stuck out the back of her skirt."

Grace giggles as she pops the sweet in her mouth. "She had a tail like a cat! That was funny!" She nods solemnly. "I won't tell anyone he's nice, then. If it's a secret." She leans back against the door, swinging her arms. "I want to join your club," she whines. "We always do everything together!"

"I want you to join too, Gracie. I've just got to think about how to tell the headmaster how great you are." Fiona worries her bottom lip for a moment then realises this is a problem that will require serious thinking and she doesn't want to do serious thinking right now. "Gracie, do you want to go do some painting with the arts club things?"

Grace hugs herself, then nods eagerly. "We can paint pictures of a talking owl with a tail like a cat. And a massive cake with hundreds of cherries on it. I like cakes with cherries, but you have to get a slice from the bottom because they all fall down in the oven."

Not knowing much about baking Fiona looks away from the rainy vista to ask, "Why do they fall to the bottom? Can't you have a cake tin that has a lid so you can flip it over part way through?"

Grace thinks about this for a long time. Tick. Tick. Tick. "I think the cake might fall out," she eventually concludes. "And then there would be cake everywhere."

"Oh, well that would be bad. And messy." Fiona thinks of another question, more of an observation really. "Why does cake before you bake it taste even more amazing than it does after you bake it? What makes it change?"

"I think it's food magic," Grace decides, reaching for her friend's hand and beaming her a huge smile. "Food magic is the best magic."

Fiona grins, "I think you're right." She lifts their joined hands as if they were dancing so that Grace can do a twirl, even if the height difference requires Fiona to go up on her tip toes. "We should make up a story to go with our pictures."

Grace thumps round in a graceless circle. "Whee!" she exhorts, squeezing Fiona's hand as she manages to get back round. "Can we do that story with the giant again?"

"The one about the Causeway?" Fiona nods, "It is one of my favourites." She peers down the hallway, still holding Grace's hand. "Wouldn't it be neat if the hallways were all filled with ice and we could skate on them? You'd never be late for class unless you fell down." She frowns as a flaw in her plan presents itself, "And stairs would be tricky on skates."

"I'd be late all the time," Grace tells her solemnly. "I'm not very good at skating." SURPRISE!

Somehow Fiona isn't surprised, "But I bet you are very good at falling," she says kindly trying to find a silver lining in the ever present cloud of Grace's lack of…grace. "Come on, let's see if we can find my brother. Eniri can be the wife."

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