(1938-11-12) 99 Red Balloons
Details for 99 Red Balloons
Summary: Ria and Douglas try out a new, colourful toy for the Magijugend.
Date: 1938-11-12
Location: Club Room, then Training Grounds

No, Ria's not a member of the Domestics Club, but if she were, she'd be impeccable and likely dominate any and every member - because you know … winning is what the club is all about. This afternoon, however, she's borrowing one of their workstations. A cauldron of non-descript liquid is cooling down, it seems to have been poured into four separate bowls and dyed into four colors: blue, red, yellow green. And as the liquids finish cooling, Ria sits upon a stool, legs crossed and her humming fills the empty room as she reads the front page of the Daily Prophet.

Douglas backs in through the doors, pausing as he hears humming. "Sykes?" he greets, tone dubious. "Either you've taken up cooking and cleaning, or you're early for athletics. I'm not convinced by either."

Ria blinks and hears the presence of another. Looking up from her, reading she ahhhs, "Afternoon Douglas. Didn't expect someone to be here at this hour." She peeks at her wrist watch, the corner of her mouth crinkling when she smirks, "Not playing truant, are you?" Prefects have a way of knowing who to watch out for. With utter care, she neatly folds the newspaper and places it on the table - the front page image of spectators walking past the broken windows of Jewish-German businesses apparent to anyone who casually glances. "Are you sure? I always thought I came off as the active sort." Pfftt. She rolls up her sleeves. "No, no. I'm merely working on a project. Though it's convenient that you've stepped just now. What are you up to?"

Douglas thumbs his chest, the model of innocence. "Me? Skiving? I'm a reformed man, I'll have you know!" He grins faintly, heading over to her and absently taking up the paper. "I was about to get ready for athletics, but I've got a minute for a pretty face, as ever, Sykes. You know I can't help myself around you. What's up?"

"Hah," Ria snorts, allowing him to make the paper his if he wishes. "I'll see it when I believe it." There's a please smile that spreads across her mouth at the compliment. Sincere or not, she will never object to hearing that she has a good face. Currently, she has a smock on, which is made of burlap and looks absolutely ridiculous on her, but she'll never compromise when it comes to staying clean. "You play quidditch, right? Beater is it?" Her polished fingers open a small bag of balloons. "How good is your aim?" The bag of balloons is pushed forward, indicating that Douglas is welcome to fill them with the liquid contents should he want. An extra ugly smock is hanging on the wall next to them.

Douglas glances over the front page of the paper, before turning to the back and the sports pages with more interest. He looks to the balloons, then raises an eyebrow. "Water fight? Who's the target?"

Ria wiggles her fingers through a pair of gloves and get to it, delicately pouring the slightly warm concoction into the balloon. "Something like that. I need to test out some properties I worked into the mixture," she purses her lips in concentration. But when he asks who the target is, she pauses. "Hmm…well I suppose I didn't think of that. I figured we could just pick up a first-year on the way." On the way to where? "What say you Macmillan? In the mood for throwing things at an innocent young creature?"

Douglas rolls up the newspaper, giving a half smile. "You know I can't get caught, right?" he points out. "One more time in front of Flint and I'm out of here." He pauses to consider. "How about throwing them from above? We take up a broom or two, fly from the sun so they can't identify us? Bonus points if we hit one of those annoying little 'pirate' shits."

Ria groans remembering that her current company has a record. "And here I thought this would be a piece of cake," she sighs, and finishes the last balloon. The color of the balloons correspond to the color of the liquid. But she snickers, somewhat delighted at the idea. "If only, no? Should this work out that wouldn't be to terrible of a plan on our last day perhaps." Imagine the horrified look on the pirates faces just before they board the Express to go home. "No, I have a volunteer handy, and I'm also a prefect. You should be fairly safe under my care," she winks at Douglas and places the balloons in a bigger bowl. "If you would please follow me," she hands him the bowl as if expecting him to carry it for her all along. "And you'll likely want to bring your cloak since its a tad cold outside.

"Ah'm fae Aberdeen, quine," Douglas reminds her with a grin, laying the accent on thick even as he takes up the bowl. "Wi divnae feelit a caul. Go on, give me a clue, then? What's in it? What are we doing to this poor, innocent kid?"

Somewhere along the way, Ria stops just outside a classroom to wait a minute for Alexander Dragonfly to leave class. Unlike his name suggests, he is neither majestic or interesting to look at. Instead he's rather plain, wormy-eyed, and easily forgotten. But Ria remembers him, her snaky smile spreading on his face once he's stepped out. She bends down slightly to whisper something into the second-year Ravenclaw's ear. And with a look of utter reluctance and slight fear, he swallows and nods, looks anxiously over at Douglas. That's the Gryffindor beater, right?

She then leads them out to the training grounds, Alexander trailing carefully behind. "He owes me," Ria explains, walking alongside Douglas. "Help a Ravenclaw get out of detention once and it's like you own them." To answer the Gryffindor's question though she explains, "I'm working on props for a fun Magijugend … activity. It a harmless concoction that'll make his skin change colors for a short time, but I need to see how short and perhaps what will happen when the colors mix." Following instruction, Dragonfly stands about 15 feet away from the pair, against a stone wall like a Lamb to slaughter. "If you could pick one up - any color will do - and let him have it, that would be an excellent first step," her hands are held out to take the bowl from his hands once he's had a balloon.

"Y'know, I kind of feel bad not at least offering him a blindfold and a last meal," Douglas notes, even as he takes up a balloon and hefts it in his hand. "All right, let's try blue. Don't duck, kid," he warns, drawing his arm back and lobbing the balloon hard towards the 2nd year.

Ria ponders that offer for a second. "You hear that Alexander? He wants to offer you a blindfold and a last meal," she snickers over to the poor boy. Upon seeing Douglas' wind up, Dragonfly braces himself for the impact, but as a last second reaction, he does exactly what the Gryffindor tells him not to do, and dodges. But barely. The balloon grazes his leg, causing the object to burst, but all the dye gets onto the wall behind him. "Dammit," Ria cusses in a mutter and stomps forward to pull a handkerchief from her pocket. She really is going to blindfold him this time. "He told you not/ to duck," she hisses at the Ravenclaw as she covers his eyes. Stomping back next to Douglas she says, "Sorry about that. Proceed." Ria herself this time picks up a balloon - red in her case. "So confirm or deny something for me if you will. A little bird told me you and Malfoy are no more."

Douglas wipes his hands down his trousers to dry them, reaching for another balloon. "How are we supposed to test it if you don't stand still," he reasons, nodding once. His hand hovers over a yellow balloon, glancing to Ria for a moment. "Little birdies need to learn when to shut the fuck up."

"Come now, Douglas. That's the consequence of dating someone so high profile. Canaries will always sing." With Dragonfly secured into position, Ria hmms at Douglas' response. Tossing the red balloon in her left gloved hand a second before doing some pathetic sort of wind up. "So it's the truth then, you two really are done," she says not as a question. And then she lobs it at Alexander, giving quite possibly the most awkward and and ugliest-looking throw ever. I mean really, it makes one uncomfortable just looking at her. But splash! Low at behold, the red balloon hits Alexander right in the kisser. And the badger's skin begins to turn a rich shade of demon red.

"You throw like a 'puff," Douglas notes, eyeing her sidelong. "Look, it's hardly a surprise. I'm not stupid. I know nobody thought we'd last, so maybe I thought I'd shock everyone and actually live up to expectations. Besides, it clears the way for the next in line to throw herself at me, merlin knows there's a bloody queue right now." He nods towards the 2nd year. "That doing what you expect? Want me to try the yellow one?"

Ria grimaces slightly when he comments on her throwing technique, "I know, I know … I was hoping you wouldn't notice." Her hand is eager to wave away the topic, preferring to talk about something other than her flaws. Although she's admiring her own handiwork on Alexander's skin, there isn't a smile on that face. "Well not that it matters, but I'm sorry to hear it," she shrugs nonchalantly, "I like odd pairings. There's something sort of, I don't know, hopeful about things that bloom in adversity. But if you both believed this was for the best … I mean, who is anyone to say right?" Getting a thorough inspection of the red, she gives Douglas a thumbs up to get the yellow balloon going and with a smirk she says, "Already have another lined up then Macmillan? Going to woo her with your brogue?"

Douglas switches the balloon from hand to hand. "I honestly don't know," he admits, wrinkling his nose. "If I'm honest…" He pauses half way through the sentence to lob the yellow balloon at its poor, hapless target. "I'd give it another go. She's a complete bitch, sure, but… y'know."

"Do you mean to say that she sacked you then?" Ria raises her brow at the way Douglas says that and looks at him in surprise. The yellow balloon is chucked at Alexander with impressive strength that it causes the boy to 'UGH' when it impacts with his stomach. The prefect doesn't even notice the boy turn into a gradual yellow, the red fading away. "Here I thought you two had come to reach some sort of amiable conclusion. You both seemed like chums enough." She scratches her cheek looking for the words to say. "Should I really be surprised though? After that time…" she trails off as if wanting to say something and then shakes her head to go pick up another balloon, "Never mind."

Douglas holds up a thumb and forefinger. "We might have had a wee, tiny bit of a barney on," he admits, nose wrinkling. He shoots her a look at that last. "After what time?"

Ria snickers and shrugs, "I'd say a little more than a wee." And she purses her lips thinking of how to phrase her words accurately. There it goes again, another hideous throw of green. But it lands again, right in the face. Criticize her technique all you want, Ria Sykes gets the job done. "I admit that I don't know Medusa all that well, but over the years I've seen that she's the type that like to have control. Then again so do we all, but she's the queen of it," she shrugs at the shortcomings of her own house. "When I heard about what happened with Pringle, it seemed rather convenient for her to have you step in and take the hit." Poor Alexander Dragonfly, taking the hit with a gurgle and turning green. "I was convinced she was rather grateful of it when I heard she was boycotting the Halloween dance, only from what I heard she and Lucian and Rashley went off and had their own party anyway." Ria scratches her neck unsurely and shrugs, "Maybe it's just me but I can never tell if she actually likes me or if she's using me for some end. That's all. I always wonder when the day will come when she actually sacks me from her good graces too. Course I'll manage if she ever does, but one never knows where they stand with her."

Douglas rubs at the bridge of his nose. "Look, stepping in with Pringle was my idea. Not hers. She… eh, what does it matter anyway." He shrugs, shaking his head. "We done testing here? I need to go feed the owlets."

"Macmillan, you're a Gryffindor. If you didn't offer to step in anyone would have been shocked.," Ria gives him that at least. Those foolish, foolish heroic lions. Looking at Dragonfly who is now thoroughly green, she nods and says, "Yes. We're done. I dearly appreciate the help, maybe I can convince Flint to give you some points for it. This is magijugend business after all." What business they have with skin-color changing balloons is something she doesn't specify. But there's a tricky look in her smile. "Sorry if I pushed a sour topic. I'll promise only cheerful, mischievous things for the future.

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