(1938-11-20) Proud-roar Scares the Queen
Details for Proud-roar Scares the Queen
Summary: Lucian's anger boils and is released in a torrent that frightens Medusa.
Date: 20 November 1939
Location: Classroom 2

Transfiguration has never been Medusa's best subject, although it was not her worst either. That would be Astronomy during five years of which she learned only how to erect a telescope. Not a useful skill truth be told, but she did get the giggles over the word 'erect' by the time she was sitting her OWLs in the subject. Lucian, ever the drawer of short straws, is still her transfiguration tutor and so they are holed up in an empty classroom working on the half-term's homework that Dumbledore assigned while the rest of the world, at least in Medusa's imagination, relaxes after dinner on Wednesday. "Why is this so hard?"

Lucian isn't nearly the harsh taskmaster he warned he would be. He does demand excellence, but he is remarkably patient and encouraging in order to help his students achieve that excellence. "Because Vanishment is a more advanced concept than other Transfiguration," he explains. It's more of a Fifth Year concept, but vanishing a feather isn't nearly as complex as vanishing a mouse from inside a cage. "Alright, you know how, when changing one thing into another, you have to understand the essence of the property you're going to change? Like, a mouse to bottle. Normally, you'd have to find what is similar, and what is different, and envision changing only the properties that aren't the same?"

Her pale head dips and rises in a nod. Medusa does get the basics. She just forgets things. "Do you ever wonder where the things go? I mean…it is one thing to make an apple disappear but an mouse is a living thing. It seems cruel." Medusa eyes the little cage with the tiny mouse in it, even leans down closer to the desk to peer at the trembling creature. "What did all these poor mice ever do to us? That perfectly good mouse could become food for Hector." Then because she remembers she is meant to be cross with Lucian for something that she is not meant to know about Medusa throws him a glare before looking back at her text book to review the theory of the spell.

"Well, that's the thing," Lucian muses aloud. "Nobody knows for sure, but I believe that nonexistence isn't quite the oblivion we think it is. There are examples of conjuring things back from Vanishment. So, given that this operates on the same principles as all Transfiguration, I believe that we're not literally removing the mouse from existence. We're altering the most fundamental property of the mouse, from 'real' to 'not real'." He looks to her to see if she's getting this, but catches a hint of that glare, earning a frown from him. "What was that for?"

"Hmmm?" Engrossed in the theory it takes Medusa moment to look up from the book. "Do you think, given enough skill and perhaps a wand that was vastly better at transfiguration, you could perhaps transfigure a person? I mean it isn't a far stretch from a living mouse to a human being is it?" Her own blackthorn wand with its Magijugend iron band is somewhat atypical of wands in that it has a slight curvy end to it and an almost prickly point near that bend. "Do you think Flint might see through Ria doing your interview and not me and decide to turn you down?"

Lucian's frown deepens when Medusa avoids answering him. He just rolls his eyes and continues. "Transfiguring a person is easy. Well…not easy, but it can be done, of course. Where do you think Animagi learn to do it? But Vanishing a person? No, it's impossible. The sentient mind simply can't be made unreal." At her question about Flint, he tilts his head curiously. "What do you mean by 'see through' it? She's an Overseer, just like you. What's to see through?"

"Camilla made it sound as if animals had sentience. Is sentience a word?" Medusa ponders that briefly. "See through as in, suspect that you are only joining because you want to get into old man Sykes' good graces and his daughter's knickers." She looks at the little mouse in its cage and asks, "What is the incantation for this spell again?"

Lucian crosses his arms, his brow furrowing into a disapproving scowl. The lesson is set aside in his mind. "Go ahead. Say it. Whatever he hell has got you in a twist, just say it and get it over with. But don't you dare accuse me of trying to 'get into Ria's knickers'. You know damn well it is so much more than that."

Rather thankful he hasn't picked up on her accidental mentioning of Camilla Falwey, a woman who Medusa has supposedly never met she shrugs and says, "I mean at it's most basic that's part of it. You're seventeen, Lucian. Just because she wears nighties that go from here," Medusa holds a hand up to just under her chin, "to the floor doesn't mean you don't fancy getting at what is under there." Her and is set down, the mouse given a temporary reprieve. "I get that you love her, I mean she's the only girl who's ever likely kissed you. I doubt it's gone anywhere beyond that, though. Not with how prudish she is. Funny considering the trashy books she reads. You should see some of the stuff that is in them."

"Stop it. Effing hell, just stop." Lucian scowls at her. "Firstly, you're dead wrong. I've kissed plenty of girls, and more. This is not about the challenge of getting under Ria's nightie. Why are you doing this? What the hell has you suddenly against me? Not a few weeks ago you were trying to help me get her back."

"Plenty and more?" Medusa cannot help but be amused by that. "So this niggling doubt that's been forming in the back of my head which tells me you're only chasing her because you're scared nobody else will ever love you is wrong?" She turns on her chair and reaches over to take his hand in her own. "I…I feel like I'm responsible for you, to a point. I'm part of the reason you were driven towards Ria. Part of the reason you've felt so alone while here." A heavy sigh escapes her and she looks away trying to hide the expression of guilt she is wearing.

"Well you're right. You were part of the reason I felt so alone." Maybe he's just saying it because his ire is up. But Lucian has never been known as a liar. "But I never blamed you for it, just as I'm not blaming Ria for what happened with her father. But you're wrong about one thing. I was never 'driven' toward Ria. She was my first and only real friend for a long time. She was there for me before you broke up with me, and she was there for me after. Hades, I wish people would stop acting like this is some puppy love that just sprung up out of nowhere. This is not some crush. What Ria and I have is built on years of trust and friendship."

Medusa releases his hand and turns back to her book. "If you're sure. If you want her to exclusion of all others. If nobody else even crosses your mind. Not even a teensy weensy niggle of desire for someone else." Her gaze drifts towards him and she watches Lucian out of the corner of her eye. "Well," lifting a shoulder in a shrug, "then who am I to protest. It isn't as if you question my relationships after all."

Lucian sets his jaw, staring straight at Medusa. In fact, he's staring very, very deliberately at her. A suspicious person might think he's trying to avoid letting his eyes wander. "What are you getting at? Just be out with it. Remember when we started talking again this year, and we said how nice it was that we could just talk? You lost that somewhere along the way. So get it back. Tell me what the hell has you in such a crap mood."

"I'm not in a crap mood," protests Medusa. "I'm…I'm just worried about you. This…things are getting more dangerous and I worry that you will have to do those things we talked about before. I worry that five years from now I'll open the newspaper and read about you lying dead somewhere because you were willing to do anything to be with Ria again and that anything backfired horribly." She pulls her robes more tightly around herself. "I didn't like Leander much but I didn't want him to die. I like you an awful lot more and…the thought of you dying scares me." She looks at him, glaring. "Happy now? Happy I said that I worry that being with a Sykes will get you killed?"

Lucian should perhaps be touched at her concern. But he's been pushed far, and not entirely be Medusa alone. But here she is to face the brunt of his frustration. "It always comes back to that. How many fucking times must I repeat myself? This isn't. All. About. RIA!" He roars her name, his chest heaving with angry breaths as he takes a step closer to Medusa. "I doesn't matter what I say. Nor how much research I do. I fucking burned an effigy of myself at that bloody bonfire as a symbol of me letting go of things I can't change. I'm trying to improve myself and find some fucking direction. But all anyone can see is that I'm some lovesick puppy chasing after her! You see? Nothing changes. No matter what I do, I'm assumed to be the stupid bastard that can't get by without someone telling me what to do with my life." Closer and closer, his anger boiling over. "I'm done with that. This isn't me succumbing to the Sykeses. This is me taking control of my own fucking life! You, of all people, should get that!"

As he towers over and shouts down at her Medusa shrinks back. This is Lucian, her first ever beau, but she knows things…things which make a faint flicker of fear flash through her eyes. Rather than shout back at him Medusa speaks quietly, holding her woolen winter over robe tightly around herself. "If this is about you making a stand on your own, a path for yourself then why does every step take you closer to her? I thought that she is what you wanted? Why doesn't it instead let you stand on your own and learn to value yourself so that she comes to you, so that she is the one making the sacrifices and the effort for a change?" She shakes her head quickly, that fear returning to her face as his ire swells. "I'm not telling you what to do, Lucian. I'm telling you that I am worried about you. You are going to do whatever it is you want to do. I know that. I just want you to be safe."

"Bull!" Lucian has never directed such rage at Medusa. There is something truly animal about him when he gets like this. Finally, he backs off, but only to stalk back and forth, like a predator studying its cornered prey. "If you were so worried about me, you'd have just talked to me, instead pulling this manipulative crap you try on everyone. I'm supposed to be the exception to that, 'Dusa!" He stops his pacing, and just stares at her, his shoulders heaving. His voice drops, no longer yelling, but now full of cold anger. "I am moving closer to Ria because I want to be with her. I agonised for weeks over whether I could really follow the path that would bring me to her. It's been tearing me apart, and I still don't know for sure what the future will bring. But I can't do nothing. All I do know is that things are screwed up, and I've found a way to try to fix things instead of standing by watching the world go by, and I get a chance to be with Ria, too. Maybe it'll get me killed. But it won't be because I was with Ria. It will be because I chose to stand for something."

Fear of violence is anathema to Medusa. She is a Malfoy and in this school, in the world they live in that means something. Rarely ever a target for malevolence she finds herself now wishing the door were closer to her than it were to Lucian. Her blue eyes wide she looks between him and the exit, half nodding, half listening to what he is saying. Suddenly she feels like that poor mouse in the cage. The change in the octave of his voice registers and she looks at him, pleading in a whisper, "Let me go. Please. I'll never speak of it again. Please, Lucian, please just let me go."

That is all it takes, and suddenly Lucian is yanked free of his rage, the anger melting away into wide-eyed concern. "Oh stars, Medusa…I'd never hurt you." He shakes his head insistently, but obligingly backs away from her. "I was…angry. But I would never hurt you. I'd break my own hand before I raised it to you."

Taking the chance at freedom when it presents itself, Medusa grabs at her things, shoving parchment and quill into her book with a trembling hand while shoving her wand away with her other. Head bowed, much like those who often flee from her waspish tongue or bullying form of social exclusion, she rushes for the door.

Lucian doesn't move to stop her. Surely, it would only make things worse. He sadly watches her go. His hand falls to his pocket, his brow crinkling in concern when he feels the triangular shape of the silver Eye of Truth tucked away there.

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