(1938-11-21) Frights and Sacrifices
Details for Frights and Sacrifices
Summary: A bit of studying in the library, conversations, and scares.
Date: November 21, 1938
Location: Library, Hogwarts

"My father said it wasn't anything more than a sobfest for those mourning the Unity movement's failure to do anything productive," Ria says quietly to Alphard, explaining news from the community forum. A pile of books surround them, along with a pile of candy. Because if anyone knows what folks want at a study session, it's Ria! "But professor Merrythought very strongly implied that 'For the Greater' good was nothing but a violent Dark Arts fest. Utterly disappointing really, to think that I loved her class so much and that she couldn't see the truth this whole time." There indeed is a frown of dissapointment on her face. There are a few others that join them in the study session, but luckily the rain is pounding so hard against the windows this evening that the sound muffles their conversation from others.

"I heard Brad Moody's show got trashed, too," Alphard casually replied as he looked down at his Defense Against The Dark Arts books. "Though to be honest I sort of thought his show was crap, anyway. No class to it." Which was as important to Alphard as the message. It was no great secred that DADA had always been his favorite subject of them all, and by extension he'd harbored more than a little fondness for Merrythought. The whole thing rather bothered him, truth be told. He put words to it: "Kind of like a betrayal, you know? Puts a different colour to a lot of fond memories. But.. it could just be that she's getting old. I think she even had my grandfather in DADA." He sighed.

The mention of Cauldron Talk's cancellation, make Ria look up from her textbook for scowl at Alphard, "You're kidding." With a sigh, she shakes her head, "No class for sure, but it addressed a perspective not covered enough in wizarding society. You've got tons of content that's telling us how this whole movement is nothing but bollocks, and yet no one considers there are a good many of us who actually find a lot of good in it." Irritation is dripping in her voice and she adds, "You know what, I'll follow up with Flint about your letter tomorrow. The sooner something is published from us, the better. We can't just be silent on this." Her scribbling sounds angry. After a few extra moments of quiet reading and writing she pauses to look over at the boy, "Hey Alphard, might if I ask you something candidly?"
ooc An OOC note to supplement that, when SC is on later I can bug him about what flint would say to Alph's letter.

I'm not kidding!" Alphard protested, sending her a sideways frown to answer her scowl. "I don't like his style." With a sniff he went back to looking at his books. "I wish there was someone distinguished who'd hold.. I don't know.. public lectures or something on it. On the WWN or.. just a series of articles in the Prophet. You know, someone with the right pedigree and background, rather than a Circus act." This from Alphard whose first response to Julian's petition had been a frothing-at-the-mouth rant.
"Hrmm?" He tilted his head sideways, dark eyes peering at her quizzically. "Sure.. I guess?" There was even a note of sincerity there.

Ria snickers lightly at Alphard's complaints and offers, "Alphard, do you like anyone's style other than your own?" But his latter words, make her pause and her eyes look as if a light bulb just turn on in her head. "Why don't we do it? A regular column perhaps, send it out to the Prophet every now and then. Doesn't have to be just you and I. It could be anyone contributing from the Magijugend. Just so that we can remind people that we're not senseless brutes, but young people who actually have a concern for the future of wizard-kind." Well, Ria's not a senseless brute at least. Convincing others that Alphard isn't one either is a bit of a tougher challenge. "Your letter wasn't a bad start."
Ahh yes! Her candid question. A smile curves her lips, making the corners of her mouth crinkle. "You and Rowle - collectively I mean. Is that a thing that's happening now?"

"Yours is usually not so bad," Alphard replied with a wry smile. "Though I could give you a few pointers to improve." Absently the boy swept his fingers along his brow, gathering up stray tresses of black hair and sweeping them sideways out of his vision. His mouth pursed in thought. "I'm not really a philosopher," he admitted in the end. "I'm more hands-on." Like hands-on breaking people's bones, or hands-on punching people's nose bloody, or hands-on stuffing mudbloods' heads in the toilet, or hands-on using the leviosa spell to give kids vicious magical wedgies. Senseless brute, who?! "But we could do that. Perhaps if we did it as a group thing, it would be easier."
"Why do you ask?" The question was briefly deflected, before he admitted: "Yes."
Ria rolls her eyes at Alphard before blandly saying, "Thank you. I'll be sure to seek your advice if I'm ever going for the curmudgeon look." But she frowns at his lack of initiative when he's the one who came up with idea in the first place, "Fine. I'll see if I can get a group thing going. Otherwise, I'll do it myself." She smirks at his answer to her latter question though and says, "Well thank Merlin, you've finally made a sensible choice for once! I'm asking because I want to know if you actually like this one (this one being Andromena) rather than it being your usual ego pursuit." As Medusa approaches, Ria can hear her footsteps, and she looks over her should as the girl rises up to a bookshelf and then grounds herself again. "Oh hey Medusa. There's some candy if you'd like to partake." Ria gestures to a pile of candy on table. It's not poisonous considering there is a number of empty wrappers set neatly next to Ria.

"I wasn't saying I wouldn't help you, Ria," Alphard told her with mild exasperation. "Just that you should organize it. And if you can't put together a group, I'll sit down with you myself. How about that?" But he wasn't going to do all that work on his own.

"Hey Medusa. Thanks! Ria's taking it to Flint before I'll send it out." Her climb on his chair was ignored unless it involved breast-bouncing against the back of his head or something. That would probably catch his notice. "Wait.. also.. Rashley?" Because a certain rumor had slipped by him, and he was too much of a teenage boy not to find the whole concept worth thinking about.

"And.. I don't know what you're talking about, Ria. I always make sensible choices.. and besides; ego pursuits? Please. I'll have you know I'm a perfect gentleman."

Medusa drops onto an empty chair at their table and sets the three books she is holding down. "That's a good idea, I have always had the sense that Flint had a distinct vision for the Magijugend." Whatever that vision might be. Her shoulder rises in a shrug when Alphard brings up Morgana. "She's one of my best friends. We were just talking, but you know how people are. Sometimes it is hard to find a place where people can't overhear you." Her gaze drifts lazily over Ria as if looking for something and then returns to Alphard. "What's this about helping organise?"

Two boys have been browsing the books in the stacks, speaking in low voices, one far more cheerful than the other. While Gage apparently can’t be bothered to find a seat while he opens a book, Kyte shakes his head as he suggests.

“Let’s go sit down. Come on,” says the Hufflepuff twin. Gage agrees with a silent nod, looking up above his book as he follows his brother out and starts for a table. At least until he freezes, suddenly shifting nervously on his feet as he glances towards the table of Slytherins. The idea of passing doesn’t sit well with the boy, and he bites his lower lip, starting to turn back to the stacks.

“Oh, come on, Gage,” Kyte says, looking back to the Ravenclaw. He glances around, shrugging at the table, and looking back to his brother. “We’re in the library.” He gestures around himself.

Ria nods in agreement with Medusa, "Figured it was important to get input before publishing it." But she snickers, scribbling away at her parchment before commenting, "The broom closet I'm sure does a good job of that. But then again, so does an empty classroom with a good muffling charm." The advice sounds like it comes from experience. "Yes Alphard, but even gentlemen mind their own interests. Also, gentlemen don't need to point themselves out so much." she smiles to him briefly," she gives a nod to the boy. "Now that Moody's program is supposedly sacked from the WWN, Alphard mentioned that there needs to be a more rational voice speaking on behalf the Truth on a regular basis. I'm thinking perhaps a Magijugend column in the Prophet regularly or something along those lines."

Alphard's Slytherin tie was as always perfectly neat and tidy around his throat. Which was how he generally liked it. All abruptly he was putting a finger down between it and his throat, though, as well as loosening up the upper button. Some fresh air (read: dry old library air) felt good. "Like Ria said, if all you wanted was a private conversation, sneaking into the Broom closet seems a stretch. Unless you were looking for exactly those kind of rumors. But whatever.."

At some point Alphard became aware of the two younger boys' presence, lurking on the side of things. His derisive gaze cut straight at Gage, while his earlier half-smile took on a very cruel note. Then his attentions wandered on again, like nothing.

Medusa just grins but doesn't respond to further discussion of her time in the broom closet with the Head Girl. Situated as she is, Medusa can see the nervous half of the twins and blows Gage a kiss as if she were some film star then turns back to her housemates. "Moody got sacked? Aww. I liked reading the transcripts of his kooky show. Wasn't he supposed to be doing some big quiz show soon?" Settling in her chair she crosses her long legs at the knee and drapes an arm over the back of the chair. "What about that writer we met, Alphard? Astoria Bletchley? She comes in the Broomsticks sometimes."

The Library. That was where Andromena would go to find her answers, because if it was anywhere in Hogwarts it was there. The Ravenclaw looked, strangely enough, a fierce mix between determined and indignant as she stalked up and down various aisles. No answer. Andromena Rowle had had no answer. To be caught so off guard, to be singled out before the rest of the class…It was a travesty! Never mind that absolutely no one else had been able to answer the question, either. She was not everyone else.

At some point during her trek through the library in search of: one could only guess, she's a Ravenclaw, so what does it matter? Andromena happens to spy, through an opening in dusty old tomes, three Slytherins she actually feels confident enough to approach. Slipping around the corner so that she doesn't do something stupid (like try to shout hello through the books), Andromena throws a wave before coming to stand before the trio. As yet, she has not noticed the two younger students.

As Alphard and Medusa look over, Gage returns a deep scowl even as he shifts nervously on his feet. He snorts, but even though he pretends he’s not bothered by the presence of those pendant wearers, his shoulders tense. He shifts his gaze onto his brother, jaw setting as he mutters lowly, “Up ter sometin’…” His low voice is said in a much thicker Irish accent than that of his brother’s.

“Probably,” Kyte answers as he shrugs, catching Gage’s arm after shifting his books under his arm. He gestures towards a table. “Let’s sit over there.”

"Bletchley?" Ria searches her memory banks, the name sounds so familiar. And then an Aha! "Our 'voice' would have to be rather spotless for the most part…" Like her housemates, her eyes go to Gage and tilting her head curiously, those green eyes stare unapologetically at him. "That's the one that got his Hogsmeade privileges revoke, isn't it? He's in your house isn't he Rowle?" She automatically knows of Andromena's presence and makes a space for her, gesturing to the pile of candy, "Sugar for your mind, Mena?"

"Hey Meanie," Alphard greeted Andromena with a lazy little grin, his eyes oh so casually wandering over the Ravenclaw girl for a second, before settling on her face. Must've.. been appreciating her outfit. Or something. "Joining us? Hrm. Don't you have a cousin who works at the Daily Prophet?" He thought he remembered one of their journalists having a Rowle name.

"Anyway, yeah. I heard Moody got taken off the air. Though I won't miss him. Really, like I told Ria.. he might mean well, but he sounds like a froth-at-the-mouth lunatic. Not exactly the message we want to be sending, is it?"

The Malfoy girl leans over to whisper to Alphard and then rises to her feet. "She is a writer for the prophet, still, but in any case I don't know if such a series of articles would matter. People will believe what they wish, even if there is no evidence." Taking her three books the leggy blonde saunters over to the twins and smiles down at them, particularly at Gage. It is a sweet, doe-eyed kind of smile, "Mind if I sit with you? It's getting a bit crowded over there." Without waiting for an answer she drops down into a chair just a wee bit close to the bespectacled Ravenclaw. "You're the boy who likes animals, right?"

Myrus Lowe enters the LIbrary. What a day.

He had a small smile on his face today though, as a visit to Spleen this afternoon, and was given the go-ahead to take his bandages off, and treat his hand like normal! The last round of healing magic took a good turn!

He was about to comment on Alphard's words when he came in, but just decides to walk past them to the next booth, giving a greeting to Gage, "Evening, Gage," and tactlessly no one else. No glances to any of the Slytherin there, or Andromena for that matter. To the next table he goes on the other side of a shelf of books, across the aisle, even, so as not to be just a single bookshelf away from them, but a little further cross-corner from them, as well. He cracks open his book he brought with him, and tries to continue reading it.

Andromena's dark eyes swing 'round to pin Gage down. "Oh, yes," she agrees with Ria. "Hart." But more than that she does not know, because she and Gage hardly ever spoke. What do fourth year boys have to say to older girls anyway? Seating herself beside Ria, Andromena searches out a candy that looks pleasing to her. "Hey everybody," she says before popping said candy into mouth. But Medusa does not remain long, which was sort of a shame, but she must have something that needed doing with Gage - who was Andromena to say?

Finally, she looks to Alphard. Or, at him, rather, because from the moment she'd caught sight of his back through the books she had grinned like an idiot. Said grin carefully stowed away before she made her appearance, of course. "Yeah, like she said," Medusa, "My cousin does write for the Prophet. What's this all about?" She was woefully behind the gos- discussion.

Just then, she saw Myrus Lowe, and her hand began to lift into a wave. Except that little brat just ignored the lot of them! Acted like she was not even there. That hand of hers never made it beyond the candy pile, but she did toss a greatly exaggerated eye roll to both Alphard and Ria.

Ria gives Alphard a look when he describes Moody. "I'm starting to question whether I'd like your help," she smirks and shuts her book to stand. Candy wrappers are smushed neatly into her fist so that she can throw them in the bin. "If she's going to go hunting for innocent game," she gestures to Medusa approaching game, "I'm going to actually get some studying done." A nod is given to Andromena, "Sorry to run when you just arrived. I'll catch you around later." And as she walks away she'll give the couple a wink and a smirk over her shoulder, which almost causes her to run into Myrus. The near-impact makes Ria pause and give the boy a cold look of appraisal - down and then up before she smirks, "Nice hand, Lowe." And out of the library she goes!

Alphard gave Medusa a little bemused shake of the head as she pursued Gage, but stayed exactly where he was. If anything he just got more comfortable, stretching out there at the library table, his arms folding behind his head. The books in front of him hadn't actually been looked at for a while. Defense Against The Dark Arts, on some advanced topics. "Bye, Ria. See you later."

"We were just talking about providing the Daily Prophet with some articles about the Greater Good. You know, some factual and intellectual debate instead of all this hyperbole. Which is, you know, terribly entertaining, but hardly has a lot style." It was said in his most snobbish of tones. "What were you looking for, anyway?" Since she had to have a reason to be in the Library besides hunting him, right? Wait. No. She didn't. Alphard was cause enough for anyone to go searching.

Myrus moved around Ria, even given the 'backhanded compliment' (pun intended) from her, he just smoothly steps around her and moves to that table over there, giving at least a glance to Medusa sitting with the twins. But, oddly out of character as of late, he looks down at his book and just.. reads. No spectacle, no challenges. No one called out for being crooks and swindlers.

"Bye Ria." It would appear that Andromena would be forever just catching the other girl. C'est la vie. Once Sykes was out of sight, she turned her attention back to Alphard as he settled himself in. "I'm researching veritaserum," said with just the tinsiest little bit of annoyance. "There is supposed to be an antidote for it." She had to know. Not because she was fearful of being force-fed the stuff for any random occasion, but because that was how the Ravenclaw was. She hated not knowing. However, if Alphard wanted to believe that what she said was a load of rubbish and she was really just seeking him out he was welcome to do so.

Everyone has a right to their own thoughts, after all.

Gage follows his brother over to the table he chose, setting down his books on spirits while Kyte looks at them. “Are you ever going to give that up?” Gage responds with a sharp look and a snort. “Nae until Oi fend de answer.” And no sooner does he sit down, shooting another nervous and wary look over at the Slytherin’s table, he nearly flops off his chair when Medusa approaches, because in his start the chair tips back onto two legs before falling onto all fours. He’s definitely afraid, a shudder running down his back as he flicks his gaze to her pendant, but he scowls silently at her in response to her question.

The twin that does speak up, however, offers an ever so friendly smile and a wave. “Yea, we do. We’ve got a load to study for,” Kyte announces, gives Gage a quick look, and then shrugs.

"Oh look he speaks for you." Medusa grins at Kyte as he seems to be the voice for Gage. Looking back and forth between them she settles on seeing if that trick works again and addresses her question to Gage. "I want to get a nice something for Mr Fizzy. He's my cat. Only he is old now so he doesn't do much and he's been a bit unhappy lately because my sister had a baby and the baby is a tad bit noisy." She cants her head towards Gage and lowers her voice to a conversational whisper level, "As all babies are." Returning to her normal tone of speaking she gets to the point, as it were. "What kind fo thing would you suggest? As you've got a cat and my poor Mr Fizzy, well he's grown old living at home. Professor Dumbledore didn't let me bring him back after my second year."

Esther enters the library with a rather peaceful expression on her face. After the day she's had, it's a nice break to curl up with a book - Although first, she has to return the one she's just finished - A heavy, incredibly dull tome about conditions of the mind. The slender girl is, as always, fully robed - And although flecks of paint seem to have somehow made it onto her face, none contaminate her clothing. Her book is placed with the other 'returns', before she begins to wander the aisles. Does she know what she's looking for? Possibly.

Alphard frowned, his arms swinging back down so he could scratch at his cheek thoughtfully. "I don't know," he admitted. "Didn't Slughorn ask that question in class yestereday?" Of course like everybody else he had been unable to provide an answer. Unlike Andromena, though, the boy hadn't been chewing on the question ever since. It was an item of curiosity, nothing more. For the time being his attentions were focused on Meanie in front of him, and he was ignoring Myrus.. and even Esther. Mostly ignoring them, anyway. At some point his smile had been cold and cruel, and his eyes flickered in Esther's direction in particular. But then the moment was gone and he was back to smiling rather charmingly at Meanie instead.

Everyone else was fine minding their own business. Myrus was too, today. Mutual ignorance of one another between himself and Alphard, and apparently everyone else in that group. Esther on the other hand, gets his attention as she's perusing the aisles. If she were to over at him, he'd give a wave, and then wave her over, once she finds her book if it's not checked out by someone who came here before her and got the only copy the library had since the 1880s because the other one burned in a fire…. or at least his waving of hands might have said that, trying to gesture out to come sit with him after she finds her book. He's nearly laughing at himself at how he did that, but doggonit it was his right hand. All healed up!

"Yes," she confirmed. There was a quick flapping of her hands in his direction. Andromena knew he had only been vaguely interested - if she hadn't known any better he could have been doodling in his notebook during class. But it did bother her. She wanted to know - whether there was or wasn't, that part wasn't important. "It just irks me. I'd like to know." Said in such a way that she could survive if not, though the three books she has brought with her to the table say otherwise.

Like Alphard, Andromena has more or less ignored Myrus, and missed Esther's entrance entirely. For all she knew, Lowe (boy Lowe), was having a bad day or something and just wanted time to himself. Andromena knew all about wanting time to oneself. So she couldn't blame him for not even saying hello. Much. Her chin rested atop her folded hands as she looked to Alphard. "So are you really determined to see a column up in the Prophet?"

Alphard earns a /very/ rare look. That being said, someone could probably hear the 'clunk' as her expression goes from neutral to a smile. That's clearly honest. She even lifts a slender hand to offer a wave, before trying to briefly tame her wild hair, all while wandering - And obviously that doesn't work either. Myrus is noted, with a tiny smile - Seems like the Lowes aren't so pissed at each other anymore. But she still occupies herself with the shelves. Searching for something that, it would seem, must have been 'checked out by someone who came here before her and got the only copy the library had since the 1880s because the other one burned in a fire.'

"I'll help you." Nonchalantly Alphard stretched an arm across the table and picked up one of the books Andromena had collected for her research. It flopped open in front of him, with a finger running along the index to see if there was anything that immediately stood out. "Since you're not going to be able to do anything until you figure it out. Personally I think it's a bit loopy.." but he was willing to ignore her eccentricities. At least this one.

"What? No, not really. I mean.. yes, it was my idea, but I think Ria's the one who is most interested. I figure I’ll just help her along with it. It's what friends do, right?" Occasionally he threw Medusa and her play a glance. Just so he didn't miss it if things went bad.

Medusa is sitting quietly speaking to the twins; the one who speaks normally and is a Hufflepuff and the other, the Ravenclaw that sounds like a leprechaun with marbles in its mouth.

Andromena Rowle did not have 'eccentricities'! Just like Alphard Pollux Black did not deserve to be labelled anything other than a nice boy. Still, as his arm snaked out across the table to take one of the books, she could not help but smile; murmuring a thanks despite his belief that it was all loopy. She too, opened up a book to see what, if anything, called to her attention. "I'd be able to do other things," insisted somewhat lamely. Had she even thought about anything else since that class? Aside from, it must be noted, her other classes?

Oh right, Alphard.

"In any case, concerning…" Another lazy hand wave. "The column or what have you, I'll be happy to help out, too." Hm, hm. Talking about school work was actually rather boring. At least, it suddenly became boring now that Alphard was before her. Andromena suppressed a heavy sigh at that thought; all she needed was to look like some sort of moonstruck calf. Which she was not. Most certainly not.

The Lowe boy goes back to his book, continuing reading until Esther is able to find what she was looking for, or realizes his hand was right on the mark. Maybe he should take Arithmancy next year… hmm.

The Lowe Girl pulls a heavy tome from a higher shelf, a soft noise complimenting the amount of effort it takes to get it down without allowing it to fall. Her hands carefully obscure the title, as she drags the thick volume towards Myrus' table. Nothing else to do but research, it seems. So much for books being out. It's put down on the desk beside him, and the older of the Lowe's opens it and sits beside her cousin. In silence.

His bemused snort suggested differently, but at least he didn't say it aloud. Down the row of keywords went his finger, before he started flipping to the appropriate pages when he thought he saw a somewhat decent lead. There was nothing so far. Finally, with disgust, he threw it aside and started a new with one of her other books.

"Oh? Starting to see the point in what we're doing?" His eyes lifted up to meet with Andromena's questioningly. He had been dropping the occasional hints that she should join the Magijugend, after all, even if she had resisted his efforts so far. "No matter. I'm sure any help you'll give'll be nice."

Gage turns his scowl down to the table and his books, and as he closes a hand over top of the said book it gives a shake. He peers across the table towards his brother as he slowly starts to sink out of his chair. He opens his mouth, and starts by muttering, “Mist l-l- uh- loikes…” He closes his mouth as he starts to stutter, instead he draws out a small, soft, toy ball that he sets on top of the table. But sinks further in his chair, very much wishing that he was invisible.

Kyte’s smiles in concern as he watches his brother, but he’s quiet since Gage is speaking up.

Myrus offers a smile when Esther gets to the table. Not complete silence at first, as he greets her, "Evening, Em." And with that, it was a while that they would sit in silence before he would look at her book, and curiosity got the better of him, reaching to lift the corner of the book to see the title, without question or warning. And with the size of the words on that page, losing and finding one's spot looked like a chore.. and an Eyesore.

Even further distractions. "You have some ink on you," He says after looking up at her and moving a hand to wiggle at a spot on his own face that mirrored her own vaguely where she had a couple spots of inkblotch on her features.

Medusa listens rapturously, or at least that is how it appears, as Gage speaks. She then eyes the soft cat toy he withdraws from his pocket. "Oh, yes, I see. Thank you I believe I will look for one during the next Hogsmeade weekend." She pats the stuttering boy's shoulder then rises to her feet, giving his brother a wink.

'The Magical Cognitive Mind' - It certainly looks like the sort of book someone would use to put themselves to sleep. Or beat a student with. Esther doesn't seem to mind her cousin nosing about, looking up to see exactly /where/ the spots are. "S'paint." She answers in one combined demi-word. "I told you earlier," A faint blush of embarrassment, "That I was going to go paint a little." Coincidentally for someone in this very room.

She's used to Myrus enough that her finger replaces where her eyes were on the paper, when she turns to look at him. "Hope Elizabeth was alright with me keeping you some."

Had he been dropping hints? If so, Andromena proved to be decidedly dense. Then again, Alphard had proved to be good at never really asking and just sort of stating things. Not looking up from her book, her frown growing by the minute, Andromena eventually folds in closed with a huff of disgust. The Ravenclaw looks to the remaining text, but as yet leaves it alone.

"Any help I'd give will be more than nice," her tone was a touch imperious. Really, Alphard. "As for the Magijugend, I understood it well enough before." Before Andromena had begun talking to Black. "I just never thought about it, really." With another sigh, this one more of the defeated nature, Andromena restacked her books upon the table. Not even going to bother checking them out any longer. "I'm done here. If only to prove to you that I can go without knowing." For now.

Myrus chuckles, and looks back down at his book. "She shouldn't. Why do you think I've had this smile on my face all day?" It was true, maybe that kept him from talking to anyone today, just keep to himself because he had a.. good evening yesterday. In any case, he looks back down at his book, maybe a little embarrassed? Yeah, some red in his cheeks.

"Aw. Giving up so quickly?" Alphard playfully mocked Andromena. "Where is the notorious obsessiveness of the Ravenclaws?" Then with a bit of a flourish he turned towards the book he had just picked up. It was held out, open on a page where in lay the key to her journey to the library in the first place. "A gift from me to you, straight from the heart. Or is it brain in this case?" With a smirk he dropped the thing into her lap, then pushed to his feet.

"Quite done here, anyway. If you're able to leave without actually reading the answer, that'll prove something." Wink. He let the books he'd been reading join the floating fellows that drifted all about the Library, just picking up his notebook and writing utensils, while his robe he neatly folded over his arm.

"Good." Esther responds simply, returning to her book. It's probably going to take her to curfew, or at least until the canvas is dry enough for her to return to. There is precisely /no way/ that she's taking this heavy thing all the way back to Slytherin. If it requires a wand to move it, she doesn't require it.

Gage swallows nervously, and his breath escapes him in a wheeze. He flinches as her hand touches his shoulder, shrugging back his shoulders instantly as if her touch could paralyze. His hand slides his book across the table and he slips off his chair, and he crawls underneath the table.

Kyte only smiles to Medusa, warm and polite, but then he frowns worriedly as he looks to Gage. “Gage,” he says softly. He sighs when he hides underneath the table, drops down on the other side of the table. “Calm down. It’s all right,” he says comfortingly.

Andromena held out her hands, making overtly playful grabbing motions with her fingers towards the book. Did he see just how pleased he had made her just then? Why, her features fairly glowed as her eyes darted from the book to Alphard. "Heart, brain, you need both to be of any use to me," said rather matter-of-factly as Andromena retrieved the book from her lap to tuck under one arm. To her feet it was, because so help her if Alphard started off with his long legs before she was properly prepared to keep up.

"Do I get something for not reading it?" Asked with an upwards lift of one brow as she joined him. Then, before Alphard could give her any sort of answer, would her solemn expression crack and Andromena let loose a low laugh of amusement. "I'll save it for tonight. Something to look forward to." Because that was just the sort of thing a young woman got really excited over: Potions.

Whistling to herself Medusa makes her way towards the checkout desk. She exchanges pleasantries with Mrs Patil as she checks out her books, then with a warm smile to the librarian the seventh year saunters out of the library, evidently leaving a strange stuttering Ravenclaw curled up on the floor under a table. Her work here is done.

Myrus stands, and puts a hand on Esther's shoulder after he grabs up his book, ready to take it with him, patting once before he heads out wordlessly other than, "Bye, Em."

Alphard laughed; a cruel mocking laugh as Gage dropped to vanish beneath the table. It was just loud enough to earn him a bit of a hushed: "Shush!" Which he promptly complied with. For some reason he added a meaningful look towards Esther when he passed his cousin by. But it only lasted for a second.

"I'm sure I could come up with some small reward," he murmured to Meanie as they headed after Medusa towards the exit. He'd wait long enough for her to check her books out before he was going to lead them on their way out of the Library.

Gage. Right. Esther seems to know that's what Alphard is hinting at, but she's… Well, she's ignoring him. It's probably not the best way to treat a bully, but there are more important things on her mind right now. Like this; a study on how a rare fungus convinced a man that the world was physically rotting. Fascinating.

Check them out Andromena does. Gage earns a rather curious look from the older Ravenclaw, and maybe even a little look of sympathy - but it would be understandable if he didn't notice it, being where he was. The two Lowes are passed over. They're just reading quietly, minding their own business anyway. Why would she care? Books procured, Andromena follows obediently after Alphard.

Several minutes pass in silence. Esther finally closes her book, with a heavy, heartfelt sigh. The girl is known for being odd, certainly, but her behaviour today is truly odd. She gets up, and wanders over to where Medusa sat… Joining Gage, without asking for permission or even acknowledging him. Eventually, she speaks. "… How did you annoy Alphard Black?" Hi. I'm Esther. How are you?

“Calm down,” Kyte says again to his brother, peering under the table. “She’s gone. She didn’t do anything.” And the Hufflepuff glances at the exit before looking back under the table.

Gone, yes, but Gage is still trying to calm his beating heart, trying to let out a calmer breath as opposed to the wheezing ones. He nods his head slowly, acknowledging his brother.

Kyte eventually starts talking about Shadow Mist and asking questions about his Ravenclaw friend, Idrissa, Gage answers slowly and, without thinking about it, more calmly, until he’s back into normal breathing.

So by the time Esther sits down and speaks, Gage is no longer stressed out. In fact, he’s crawling out from underneath the table when Esther sits down, and he bites his bottom lip nervously. Kyte, who has straightened at the table now, offers a wave to Esther and a friendly smile. “Howdy.”

But Gage snorts in response, his shoulders lifting. “Seems loike ‘is permanent state.”

"It is. The man is a fucking monster." Esther's voice is so laden with bitterness that it almost makes one pucker up just to hear it. "I should know." A pause. "I've been left with no choice but to humiliate you, to suit his pleasure." It's as strange as her lack of greeting. "And I mean no choice. So… What do we do, Gage?" She seems so unhappy about what she's just said. But she lacks the ability to just… Do this.

The first statement brings out a curve of Gage’s lips, and he almost laughs. Almost. The short sound is cut off quickly out of his nervousness. But the boy barely crawls out from under the table when he’s suddenly scowling up at Esther at the next words. “Shit,” he mutters, dropping his head.

Kyte frowns and walks around the table. “Well you could just not do it,” he suggests with optimism.

Gage snorts, his head resting in one of his hands. “If yer nehd ter use me ter git ‘im aff yer back, do it,” he decides.

Kyte sighs heavily. “/Gage/.”

Esther looks.. If anything, saddened by how well Gage reacts to the news. Her next words are… Inspirational, perhaps. "You're a brave lad." She smiles, placing a hand upon his shoulder. It's fortifying. "I… I mean no malice by it. And I swear, that it's all in the cause of that bastard getting what he richly deserves." That's right. There's revenge at play here too. "… I can only hope that you've less love for him than for me afterwards." She slowly begins to get to her feet.

Brave? Gage snorts, shaking his head slowly. If only he was, he wouldn’t have let Julian get taken by Pringle. Of course, that might fall in the lines of brave /and/ stupid, but anyway. The boy lifts his shoulders simply, lowers his hand away from his head to shift his dark blue eyes on Esther, staring at her in silence. “If it ‘elps…” he mutters and is looking back down to the floor.

Kyte lowers to a single knee beside his brother, whispering something into his ear. Gage shrugs his shoulders and snorts. “Oi knu,” he says in response to his brother’s whisper.

"It had better." Esther sets her mouth in a grim line. She's prepared to become a monster to defeat this one. "Steel yourself." Her hand leaves his shoulder, and the slender fifth year leaves the library as well.

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