(1938-11-25) Tears of the Wolf
Details for Tears of the Wolf
Summary: After hearing a rumor involving Gage, Elise tries to cheer him up. Things do not go as planned.
Date: 1938-11-25
Location: Ravenclaw Common Room, Pristine Corridor

Hogwarts Rumor:
Were-Gage Found Bound In Castle
Although some versions of the story tell of a werewolf Gage stalking the castle, until a brave soul immobilised him, the truth isn't hard to find out.

Quite simply put? Gage - The young Ravenclaw mudblood - Was found in the corridors, wrapped in thick, magical restraints, and covered with a decent amount of hair that he otherwise wouldn't have, unable to stand. A piece of parchment fluttering around him, that lingered for hours, resisting attempts to catch it, or otherwise keep it from haunting the young man. "Animudblood."

It hardly helps the lineage-based tension that dominates the school, and there are whispers as to who could be responsible for such cruelty. Alphard is the prime suspect, and so far Were-Gage has remained tight lipped about it. Other whispers are almost incredulous - Alphard's supporters state the lack of finesse, of subtlety reflects his innocent. The only thing that is known is that surely some evil Pure-Blood has it out for the mudbloods of the school.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

There's a little bag next to Elise, full of who-knows-what. She's currently the only student in the room, everyone else being at breakfast or still in their towers, and she's curled up on a couch in front of the fire. From the way she's glancing up from her book, one would think she's expecting someone. Someone coming from the Boy's Tower, perhaps?

Myrus had slept in his robes. And oh what a dream he had. He comes down the stairs rubbing his eyes, looking sleepy as one could look. He stops at the bottom of the stairs, spying the young Elise, nose deep in a book.

"G'morn'n," he mumbles, catching his foot hard and out of place on the bottom stair, he nearly tumbles. Catching himself, he before disaster, sitting down on the couch couldn't be faster, as he lays his head back, and eyes close in a snap. "What are you reading?" He's still really tired.

When Myrus exits the tower at first Elise perks up, but as soon as she recognizes him, she relaxes again. "Good morning," she greets him. She looks down at her book and then back up with him. "Just my Herbology book," she says. "Is Gage up there? I heard a rumor that he had a nasty run-in with some bullies, earlier." She reaches over to pat the bag next to her. "I've got him some chocolate."

Myrus shrugs, turning his head to get more comfy, wanting to go back to sleep to get just another minute of that dream he had back. "I didn't see h-" yawn, "-im up there. We aren't in the same room though." He adjusts his head again. Maybe this way is more comfortable. Cross arms over chest, see how that works.

Elise stands up and moves to stand right in front of Myrus. "Don't go back to sleep!" she orders him, and then she'll reach out and slap him right across the face. Not hard, she won't leave a mark, and it doesn't even sting that bad. But it'll startle him, and that's all she wants. "Stay awake! Fight it!" Her little face is very pale, making the dark circles under her eyes all the more prominent.

Myrus' eyes snap open like he was already back asleep, looking at the young girl standing in front of him. "What in bloody hell was that for?!" He says, holding a hand over a side of his face. "I said he's not up there that I saw!" Apparently he didn't hear her say to wake up. Or it didn't process through the shock of being smacked.

"You were sleeping," Elise says. "Don't. Stay awake as much as you can. Don't go there until you absolutely must." She steps back and gestures for him to stand. "Come on, do a few calisthenics, that'll get your blood pumping." She does a couple of jumping jacks, herself.

Myrus kinda reels back when she starts telling him all this stuff. Don't sleep? Don't go there unless you /must/? Almost as if it were a real pla- Oh yeah, the shadows. Such an imagination might turn it real!

Myrus stands up, shaking his head at her and pointing at his cheek, "I think I'm good." And he would now definitely be awake, even though he looks like death warmed over because he literally rolled out of bed and walked downstairs. So back up he would have to go to get his things. But for now, he sits on the couch calmly, serenely again, flopping back and sprawling out. His eyes open watching Elise, making sure she doesn't slap him again.

Elise sits back down, very prim and ladylike. "I've been dealing with this for a long time," she sighs. "You should tell your roommates not to let you sleep in. Tell them to do what it takes to wake you up. When you do go to sleep, make sure you only get about six hours, if you can. Minimize the damage, you know." She rubs her eyes. "And no naps, no matter how much you want one, yeah?"

Myrus sighs, reaching up to rub his eyes again, which were already red from him rubbing them after he woke up. Through his hands he asks, "Anything else?" He wondered how long this would last. "Any idea if this tired feeling ever goes away?"

"I've told Madame Spleen that I've been having nightmares," Elise says. "Sometimes she gives me a dreamless sleeping potion." She sighs again. "You can't take those every night, though. It's not healthy."

Myrus breathes, and blinks slowly. Sloooowllyyyy~ His eyes snap open and he stands up. "I gotta go eat something, maybe a banana… something cinnamon-y." He looks at Elise, and then the bag. "So," he looks at her with narrowing eyes, breakfast can wait just a moment. "You were waiting on Gage, eh? What's in the bag?" He asks inquisitively.

It's a smallish bag. Elise holds it up. "Chocolate," she says to Myrus. "I heard a rumor that someone waylaid him in the corridor, hexed him so he'd look like a werewolf, bound him in magical restraints, and…" she looks positively ill to be describing this. "And wrote a note that said… well, it said something absolutely horrid." She shakes her head. "Poor chap. I thought a bit of chocolate might cheer him up. And I'm rather hoping he might join the Pirates. Seems like he could use friends who will have his back." But then she pulls a banana out of her pocket and hands it to Myrus. "Here, you can have this. I had a muffin, and I'm full."

Myrus starts to listen to her, but his look becomes more and more grim as she goes on about how he was treated. Well that isn't very nice. He peels the banana and eats it pensively. "Thanks for this," he says through a mouthful of banana. "But that's just terrible… about Gage, that is. But a nice thing you are giving him something I'm sure he'll enjoy."

While the prefect that was supposed to escort the boy is already down in the Great Hall, Gage has taken that opportunity to sleep - or, well, he'd like to still be asleep. However, night terrors has led to another nightmare, and it wakes him up too early for his liking. He's hardly wake as he descends the stairs from the boys' tower - in fact he stumbles near the bottom. Lacking the reflex to stop it, he flops onto his hands and knees before he winces. A brief, wearily thought word in his head - 'ow' - that barely registered it. Groan. He's too tired to stand up. He curls…and rests his head on his arms. Morning is soooo not fun.

"You're welcome," Elise says politely to Myrus. She nods in agreement. "Just awful, that someone would be so mean to him - and for such a stupid reason." For the second time this morning a boy has stumbled coming out of the tower. Elise looks over to see who it is, and then rushes to his side. "Are you alright?" she asks, concern in her voice.

Myrus as well nods, agreeing with Elise agreeing with him. Or was it the other way around? He couldn't tell at this point. But for now he moves to Gage's side and would try to help him up. "You alright chap?" Banana in his mouth, and the rest of the banana in one hand, his free hand moving under Gage's shoulder to lift.

Voices? It takes a good moment to realize that, duh, he's in the common room - and it takes another to realize that they're speaking to him. Gage grunts out a drowsy reply, shrugging at Myrus' contact, groaning. But slowly he sits up, muttering quietly, "A-Aye." His eyes are barely even open as they stare down at the floor.

Elise will try to grab a hold of Gage's arm and pull him up. "Come on," she says. "Walk around a bit, that'll wake you up. Did you even sleep, last night?" she asks. And as soon as she can reach it, she'll grab a piece of chocolate from her bag and hand it to him. "Have some of this, it'll help."

Myrus looks at the time on the clock above the mantle. Breakfast was already probably in full swing. Ugh. He helps Gage to his feet, "There you go, Gage. Wake up," he says, yawning himself. Great help, Myrus. And from there, he would wave a hand with a banana peel in it to them, toss it on the floor and says, "Evanesco," and amazingly, the thing disappears when he does point his wand at it. He returns his wand to his robe sleeve after a few failed attempts, having to look at his sleeve to get it in there. "I'm still hungry.. I have to go eat.." with another yawn, he's leaving the common room with a wave to both of them.

Again, Gage shrugs and pulls his arm free as it's now Elise who reaches for his arm. "'Tis al' roi," he mutters. "Waking…" He shakes his head slowly before dropping his head into his hand, fingers on his forehead. His head remains in his head, but he turns it so that he can peek at what she's offering, and he lets out a snort. He shakes his head again again. He doesn't take the chocolate, but he does utter a low, "Tanks," anyway. He squints, eyeing Elise curiously. His eyes shift onto Myrus, and he does give a nod to the older boy, and the corner of his mouth twitches briefly, but then he's looking back to Elise as Myrus departs.

Elise puts the chocolate back in the bag, and then presents the entire bag to him. There must be ten or twelve chocolate things in there - chocolate bars, chocolate biscuits, chocolate kisses - even chocolate biscuits sandwiching a white, creamy center. "This is for you," Elise says. "I heard about what happened to you yesterday, and I felt bad. I wanted you to have this, so you'll cheer up. And most importantly, so you'll know that I think what was done to you is rotten, and wrong." She gives him an encouraging little smile. "There are others who think the same," she tells him.

Gage just stares at the bag uncertainly, shifting uncomfortably over the floor as he bites down on his lower lip nervously. When he stands, he's taller than a fourth year. He shakes his head slowly. "Yer shud keep it," he decides in his heavy Irish accent. "Sorry," he mutters, biting down on his lip and closing his eyes, turning his head away. His fingers curl into a fist as he lets out a breath, feeling bad that she went through the trouble. He utters lowly when he comes to a thought, "Kyte wud love anytin' wi' chocolate." But not him. His eyes open as he turns his gaze back onto Elise, and he lifts his shoulders simply. He bites his lip as he considers her, and then after blowing out a breath, says, "Don't worry aboyt it." He pauses, thinks a second, and adds in, "Tanks." And his stomach grumbles as his body realizes that he's awake and that he hasn't eaten breakfast yet.

"Oi'm nae an innocent," he adds in a mutter.

Elise blinks. She looks from him to the bag and back again. "But… don't you like chocolate?" she asks, as if the thought of him not liking it never even occurred to her. "After all, it's chocolate." But when he refuses, she lowers the bag, the wind taken out of her sails a bit. "Well… is there anything I can do to make you feel better?" she asks. His last add-on has her a bit confused. "What do you mean?"

Giving her a look, Gage slowly shakes his head in response to her first question. He grimaces at it and lets out a snort. But as he stares at her for a silent, expressionless moment, he finally mutters, "Makes me feel sick," he explains before biting his lip and turning his gaze down to the floor. A couple steps are taken to cross the floor, but he stops. He doesn't turn to face her, simply answering with a raise of his shoulders. "Oi 'ad it comin'," he replies lowly, closing his eyes as he bows his head. After a good moment, he says, "'Yer shud git ter breakfast."

Elise gets the most sympathetic expression on her face. She follows him and lays a hand on his shoulder. "No one had that coming," she says softly. "If you're afraid to talk about it because those bullies have threatened worse for you… or for someone you love, then please tell me. I can help. I have friends, a lot of friends, and we protect each other. We can protect you, too."

Gage just freezes for a minute, scowling down to the floor as he shakes his head just slightly. He shifts uncomfortably on his feet, but he says nothing for a long while, just thinking, biting his lip. He lets out a breath and drops his head into his hand. "Leave it alone," he finally mutters. He lets out another breath and lifts his head, turning now to look at her. "It 'appened…'tis al' roi…leave it at dat." The dark, warning look he gives her is intense, almost begging her to listen to him.

Elise gives Gage all the time he needs to think his deep thoughts. When he asks her to leave it alone, she blinks at him. "No," she says calmly. "I will not leave it alone."

Gage's jaw sets as he shakes his head. He looks around the common room. At least no one is really around, what with breakfast. His eyes become distant as he momentarily remembers back to something previously. He frowns and grimaces before he brings his gaze back down to Elise. He reaches out to take hold of her wrist and manages to speak in solid, if low voice, "Oi don't want 'e…" He falters, and pauses for a second before stating, "'em…" and he continues on, "ter git into any trouble." He explains truthfully and then sighs as he lets go and turns from her. "Sorry."

"Well, why not?" Elise asks when he has her wrist in his grip. "You're a Ravenclaw, boy, use your brains. Someone did something horrible to you. Just awful. Do you think that's the only time they're ever going to do that? No, of course not. If they get away with it, they'll just keep doing nasty things to others, because you're letting them! What if next time it's worse? What if it's me? Or someone you like?"

"Yer don't knu de situashun," Gage interjects quickly as he frowns. But then, as he inches towards the back of a sofa, he leans against it with his arms over the back. "Ah, feck," he mutters as he rests his forehead on top of the sofa. His next words are mumbled against the top fabric of the sofa, and not very coherent. He keeps his head against the back of the sofa for moments, but when he lifts his head he keeps his eyes down on the furniture. "Yer don't 'av anytin' ter fear from 'em," he insists lowly. "Oi started it an' lost."

"Started what?" Elise asks. She leans on the same couch he's leaning on and tilts her head.

Gage closes his eyes tightly so that the bridge of his nose wrinkles. He lets out a breath, swallows heavily with a grimace as he sucks his breath in, and then blows it out. "Yer shud be mad…" he states, scowling at the top of the sofa. "…at me," he adds. "'Cause when de staff fend oyt that Oi started de foight dey'll take points away." As he lifts his head, shooting a quick glance at her, his dark blue eyes are gleaming mistily. But he doesn't keep his gaze on her long enough for her to have a good look. "So dare," he mutters, "yer 'av nathin' ter fear if yer don't go 'roun' startin' foights." And he turns from the sofa, stalking across the room.

Elise follows like a little puppy. "Who did you start the fight with?" she asks. "And why? What was it about?"

Gage snorts, and shoots the words back over his shoulder. "Oi wus jist bein' stupid," he says with a growl and stops by the exit of the commons. He scowls and lifts his hand to bring his hand up to his eyes, sticking two fingers underneath his glasses to rub his eyes fiercely, growling. Then, adjusting his glasses off-handedly turns to face Elise. "/Everyone/," he answers. "Oi jist got angry." He starts to slip out of the common room.

"You're being stupid now," Elise says matter-of-factly. "By not confiding in me when I so obviously want to help you." She follows him right out of the room. "You can't have picked a fight with everyone," she tells him. "So who was it with?"

Gage doesn't get far from where he comes out of the commons before he stops. He doesn't turn around, locking his gaze on the floor as he snorts. He's actually really good at starting fights with people. He blows out a breath, swearing out as he closes his eyes briefly. His eyes lift to scan the corridor - no one's around, but he does eye the portraits on the wall warily and he swears again. So when he turns back to Elise, he's speaking lowly, even leans close to her to minimize the chance of being heard. He squints, trying to keep his misty eyes from dropping any tears. "Al' roi, listen," he starts. "Yer don't 'av anytin' ter worry aboyt. Someone 'ad a /personal/ issue wi' /jist me/. Dis… person…" he shakes his head slowly, "…doesn't deserve ter be in trouble for anytin'. An' if Oi told, yer knu de staff wud. Oi'm nae jeopardizing dis person's safety."

Elise squints. "Did they have an issue with you being Muggle-born?" she asks. "Because the note made it seem like they did. And if that's the case, then I have a problem with them."

Gage and Elise are not far from the exit of the Ravenclaw common room. He's leaning close to her, keeping his voice even lower than usual to minimize anyone overhearing him. But he pauses to think when she asks her question, and he frowns, his eyebrows furrowing. "Oi don't knu," he answers truthfully. He bites his lip and whispers. Then he draws away and turns from the girl, shaking his head slowly.

Gage whispers, "Dey're a good person. Trust me."

Elise shakes her head, looking stubborn, but more than that, worried. "Perhaps, but why would a good person say that?" she asks him. "It's just so awful. And what… just… why?" she asks. "Why did you do it? How did it start?"

Alphard appeared from around a corner - alone rather than joined by any of his 'friends' - and was casually moving towards the Grand Staircase. Whatever he had been up to, well, he looked his usual arrogant and smug self. There was an apple in his hand which he was casually bouncing quite innocently as he walked. Of course 'innocent' and Alphard didn't ever really go well together. It just made him look like he was plotting something. Or had just carried out something nasty. Perhaps a 'prank' on a Ravenclaw, considering where he was.

"ArrhooOOoOooo!" A faux werewolf call came up once he spotted Gage.

Gage reaches his hand and lowers his head to rest it on his forehead. "'Cause 'tis easier ter jist foight," he mutters in a finalizing tone. And then the wolf call causes him to freeze, scowling, as he makes the mistake to glance towards the direction with his mist clouded eyes. "Feck," he swears fiercely. His hands curl into fists as an anger surges, a couple steps taking him closer to the staircases without even thinking about it, as if he were to run after the sixth year. Lucky enough that Gage isn't really that close to the staircases. So he suffices with growling, "Bloody coward."

The werewolf call makes Elise swivel her head toward Alphard, and her eyes narrow. She heard the rumors and knows that he's the prime suspect for the way Gage was found. And then Gage makes like he's going to stalk over there and murder Black, and she tries to grab his arm to stop him. Murder bad. "What?" she asks.

Who's a bloody coward? Andromena can be seen riding one slowly swinging stairwell well on its way to depositing her within the corridor that would lead to the Ravenclaw Common Room. Her arms are free from any books for once, and they rest idly atop balustrade. A light breeze, from the moving stairs, stirs the edge of her robe as well as the long locks of her hair. Alphard's wolf howl had echoed beautifully, and it causes several other students in various states of motion to pick up the call as well. Andromena might be ignorant of the spreading rumor regarding Gage, but many were not.


"AaaoooooWoooo!" On and on, it would seem, until a final howl is heard, faintly, at the bottom of the stairs.

Andromena, now safe upon stable ground, spots Alphard with a happy grin, and calls out to him. Utterly unaware of Gage or Elise.

"What was that? Were you talking to me?" Alphard's voice was full of cruel and mocking laughter as he turned a look in Gage's direction. "You'll have to speak up. I couldn't quite pick it up. Your oh so primitive growls drowned out any semblance of civilized speech." His contemptuous look passed from Gage, to Elise, then back to Gage again. "Do repeat yourself, though. I'm dying to hear what thoughts lurk in the mind of the world's only Animudblood."

Andromena would find Alphard having been halted on his way towards the Grand Staircase. The tall sixth year was looking his usual smugly superior self. In fact even more than usual now that he had been halted by Gage. An apple was still bouncing in his palm.

"Oh hey there, Meanie. I was looking for you. Sort of. Alright, it wasn't the real reason I was up here, but I did hope I'd bump into you as well."

Whatever fear that roots Gage to the spot usually when seeing a member of the Magijugend is forgotten. This brings out the stupid, braver (or so he's been told) side. His jaw sets as his fists clench, and if he wasn't so aware of the portraits' gaze he might very well remove his wand from his neck. He turns his head to look down at Elise when she grabs her hand, his eyebrows creasing together, and Gage blows out a breath. "A bloody coward," Gage obliges Alphard and repeats, his voice actually carrying rather than his usual low mutter. "If yer 'av issues wi' me, take it oyt on me yerself." He snorts, swallows heavily before adding in, "Cud it be yer 'idin' behind de fact yer nae smart or clever enough ter come up wi' it yerself." While he says his words, he instinctively steps in front of Elise. If he antagonizes the Slytherin, he won't have her be put in the way of any backlash.

Elise cringes at all the howling. "Stop it!" she says, sounding very small and upset. "That's mean!" She gasps outright at Alphard's words. "Alphard Black, that's a cruel thing to say! Why on Earth would you say that?" Andromena's arrival catches attention, of course. "Gage, stop! Just please stop it!" She is starting to put together a picture of what may have actually happened last night, and it isn't pretty. When he steps around her, she steps right back around him, placing herself squarely between the two boys. "Listen, why don't we all just sit down and have a talk, eh? Andromena and I can mediate. We'll get this straightened out. I have enough chocolate for everyone," she coaxes, holding up a bag full of candy bars and biscuits.

"Is that so?" Andromena asked as she came to stand beside Alphard, at last taking notice of the two younger students, both of whom were Ravenclaws. She can't help but hear all that passes between the two boys, and a concerned look plasters itself across her fair features. At least Elise tries to speak sense, which earns the younger girl a brief smile. Then it's back to Alphard, to see his reaction, and whether or not he was really out to mock the boy.

"Elise, I'm not certain…" Oh, how to word it? She was absolutely positive it would not help. "Here's a thought: what is the problem here? Gage," she peers behind Elise, who had put herself before the other boy despite his best efforts to be the protective one. "Has Alphard actually done something to you?" Because it sounded as if he…actually hadn't.

"I don't have any idea what you're talking about," Alphard murmured with a satisfied grin curling his lips back and baring his pearly white teeth. "You're a nobody and a nothing. Just a Were-Mud looking for trouble. Quite honestly you're beneath my notice, though I am flattered that once more it seems I'm attributed as some sort of Master of the Universe. Whenever some filthy spawn of Muggles cowers in the corners, or cries themselves to sleep, it seems I must be the cause."

He was ignoring Elise completely, though he did slide an appraising look at Andromena when the girl slid up next to him. His smile lost some of its malevolent nature, becoming almost.. normal.

"What's going on here is the little Were-Mud is trying to provoke me in the hope I'll draw my wand and put him in his place. Thus satisfying his kind's perpetual need of victimhood."

Gage's fists tremble down by his side as he squeezes. The glaze in his eyes really can't be helped. It's not Alphard's words that has him taking a stand right now, but more than that. "Feck no," he growls in response to Elise, refusing a chance at a civilized talk. "De only ting 'e deserves is ter be stabbed in de back. His eyes shift, suddenly shooting a concerned glance toward the portraits, but is then bring furious dark blue eyes back onto the Slytherin. Looking down to Elise, he drops his voice back into a mutter, "Go ter breakfast before dare's nathin' left." He glances towards the staircases. If breakfast was completely over there'd be a prefect coming up to escort him to class right now. The boy steps towards the staircases, or at least, close enough before he stops, not too keen on passing Alphard so he's kind of stuck until he moves. Oh, the urge to fight is soooo strong.

"There's no call for that kind of name-calling," Elise says, her voice rising, sounding upset. "It's incredibly mean, and besides that there are ladies present," meaning herself and Andromena, of course. "I think you should apologize." She looks up at Gage. "Both of you, really." She looks up at Andromena pleadingly. "That wolf-how was mean," she explains. "Because yesterday Gage was hexed by someone to look like a werewolf and left magically bound in the corridor with a note calling him an Animudblood." Her face colors at having to say the word. "So Alphard howling like that when he saw Gage… that started it, just now. But Gage," she turns to the boy. "You shouldn't have called him a coward, that's just throwing oil into the flames." And of course Andromena was witness to the latest round of insults. "Both of you, please, calm down and apologize."

Hands on hips, Andromena keeps her eyes on Gage. Surely he was not a were-anything! It explained the howling, and that pile of dog biscuits somebody had left outside the door to the Ravenclaw Common Room this morning. Well, it was only to be expected then that Alphard would have something to say about it. But if he wasn't the source, then it wasn't right for Gage to focus his anger on him. It was really just plain unwise. Why wake taunt the dragon when you could leave it sleeping?

"Woah, Gage, no need for talk like that," she scolds the younger student, though her voice is raised with concern, there's little anger in it. "One should never contemplate that sort of violence to be done unto another."

Her eyes drop to Elise, brows crimping together. The girl only wanted to help her friend, and shouldn't be punished for it. "Sometimes, Elise," she began, laying a hand upon the younger girls shoulder. "Apologies only go so far. Perhaps Alphard was only trying to help Gage overcome his hurt?" Ha. Hahah, hahaaahahaaa! "Words are only as hurtful as you make them. But threats are dangerous, and should never be uttered so lightly." There's a look to the two younger kids, one that said: leave while you still can.

Rather than answer Gage's words with like hopes for violence, Alphard actually threw his head back and laughed. "There. You all heard it, all over an innocent sound" his eyes flickered to the portraits as well, taking them in as witnesses. "The little nobody just threatened to stab me in the back. There's a good little Muggle-born. Show your true colours, now. Show everybody what sort of uncivilized and cowardly garbage they let into Hogwarts these days. That's the sort of murderous talk that get students expelled from Hogwarts, isn't it?" His eyes danced with malice.

"Though.. you know, I understand that your kind just doesn't understand how things work. So.. I'll give you a chance. You can apologize and tell me you didn't mean it, or we're all just going to have to find ourselves a prefect, or a faculty member, to take us all the way to Professor Flint. I think this is serious enough that he should handle it himself, don't you?" Leaning towards Gage caused Alphard's shiny Magijugend pendant to twirl around, catching the light.

"Make it a real apology, though. The one where you're down on your knees, groveling."

The knobless door begins to slide open on its own as Elizabeth shifts the books in her arm, rolling her shoulder to ensure the cloth knapsack there stays in place as she takes that first step into the hallway. Only to abruptly stop.

Behind her wire frames, her pale eyes blink when she's suddenly met by a group of people, just gathered here of all places. She blinks again as she takes in the scene before a mild frown forms. The bookworm pauses for a moment longer before taking a step, nearing Gage and freeing a hand so that she can gently touch him on the shoulder. "What's going on?" Elizabeth asks softly, looking from him to Alphard.

Gage is really good at making things worse for himself. That's probably why he doesn't usually speak all that much. His eyes shift to the staircases longingly, feeling trapped. Does he pass the Slytherin? The angrier he gets the more he has to resist flailing at the older boy. Gage is clearly not apologizing, but he does flinch at the mention of Flint. Yea, he's probably already doomed. His hand lifts to his chest, but it isn't the wand that he grips, but the silver chain that's tucked behind his shirt. "Oi'd rather…" He cuts off when the hand touches his shoulder and he suddenly draws back in shock, turning suddenly to face Elizabeth fully as his eyes widen and he shifts uncomfortably on his feet. For several seconds he'll stare at her while his mind thinks, and then the first few tears fall from his eyes like a baby. "Oi- Oi'm sorry. Oi wusn't usin' me 'ead."

Elise gives Andromena an incredulous, almost hurt look. "How can you honestly believe that?" she asks. She rounds on Alphard, and all of a sudden any calmness evaporates. "What HATEFUL, spiteful things! How can you hate so much?" Her eyes brim with tears. "There's no reason for it! Just stop it, won't you?" She starts to honestly cry, now. "You started it, Alphard Black! You started it with that howl, you were making fun of him! Admit it! And now you're egging him on because you hate him and it's all so ugly and sad! If you really were the better person like you think you are you'd just stop it! JUST STOP IT, PLEASE!" Her shriek is loud enough to cause other students, even students as far away as the moving staircase, to look around curiously. To be fair, Andromena and any other girl Ravenclaws present would be aware that Elise hasn't been sleeping well for… oh… a little more than five weeks. She has clearly reached the limit of what she can handle. "IT'S NOT FAIR!" Total meltdown. 50 years ago, when corsets were de rigeur, she would have fainted. She flings herself at Andromena and clings to her, sobbing inconsolably.

Andromena, fearful that the situation was pretty much going beyond her sphere of influence, leans in to whisper into Alphard's ear. The sixth year looks outright aghast that there are tears in the younger boy's eyes, and feels incredibly guilty…even if she was hardly the cause for it. Call her a big softie, but she hates to see others cry. Especially little kids. And ye gods, there goes Elise! Wrapping her hands around the girl, Andromena pets her hair in a soothing manner.

"Come now, Elise," she said gently. "Alphard does not hate anybody. I'm sure things have just…just gotten out of hand." No one had ever cried on her before, let alone sought her out as a source of comfort. Andromena really hoped she was doing a good job of it. "How about I take Alphard and you take Gage…and we'll all," herself, Gage, and Elise that is. "Talk about it later when we're feeling more level-headed. Does that sound good?" Pet pet of Elise's hair, all the while looking toward Elizabeth, hoping she could be a similar calming factor. As for Alphard? Well…he'd already heard her suggestion.

Alphard's eyes were full of dark satisfaction as he wrung tears from everybody involved. Just when he was about to open his mouth, though, there was Andromena whispering in his ear. His handsome pale features twisted through a sequence of expressions: Pleasure, annoyance, then finally resignation. With a languid little wave of his hand, he dismissed Gage. "No you weren't, but.. very well." Apology was apparently accepted, and whatever his initial reaction was, it was for now being buried.

If Elise got a vaguely disgusted look for her complete melt down, then he kept his comments on that to himself, too. Instead he took a couple of steps away from the group, folded his arms over his chest, and then waited for Meanie to extract herself. AT some point he finally acknowledged Elizabeth, too, but just with a casual look.

Elizabeth blinks with mild surprise at the reaction as tears start falling from Gage's eyes, apologizing for what she isn't sure, but the other Ravenclaw girl Elise abruptly flings herself at Andromena in a fitful of tears. Just what is going on around here?

She frowns at Elise for a pause before looking back at Gage, her expression softening. With a small sigh, she sets down her books on the floor and reaches for the boy, pulling him into a hug. As if he were a little boy that just had a nightmare. The usually stern librarian wannabe comforting him, if he lets her. Over his shoulder, Elizabeth meets Alphard's gaze, without hesitation and without fear. While there may be many tears shed right now, she wasn't going to be one of them. She knew that he was the source of all of this grief, though she isn't sure how. She gives Gage a small squeeze before pulling away from Gage, her attention shifting to him again. "Just focus your eyes on me, alright? Right now, nothing else matters."

Elise clings to Andromena, sobbing, while the older girl comforts her. Mena's words do get through to her, though. She sniffles, wipes her face on a lacy hankie, and nods. "S—sorry, Mena," she says, her voice rough with all the crying. "I'm just so tired." And anyone who's given even a passing glance at her face lately would be able to see the circles under her eyes and notice all the yawning she's been doing for weeks, now. Black should apologize for all those names he called Gage," she half-whispers to Andromena. "He said them. It wasn't nice." She gives the girl her best Puss-In-Boots eyes.

So long as Elise was content to let Andromena pull free, then the older girl would do so. There was a quick whisper as Andromena lowered her face towards the top of the girl's head. No doubt a quick word of encouragement to help boost Elise's flailing morality. She would have to talk with her later, perhaps with the other girls, in order to discern of further help needed to be sought in order to get Elise a proper night's sleep. Before she does attempt to extricate herself, however, she gets shot with the sad-eyes.

"I'll talk to him." It was the most she could offer, knowing full well Alphard would never consent to such a thing. "And I'll see if there's anything I can do about these sleepless nights you've been having." Lightly, Andromena drifts apart from Elise, making her way over to Black.

Gage is…pulled into a hug and he's surprised, tensing. He doesn't pull away from her, but he doesn't make any other movement, either. He doesn't look to Alphard anymore - that wouldn't help /anything/ - and furrows his brows as he stares at Elizabeth for a moment longer. His mind works, thinking, and he ends up nodding his head at a portion of his thoughts. His eyes turn away from her, casting his eyes down to the floor. "Tanks," he mutters. His stomach grumbles and he flinches. Has he possibly missed breakfast? Because as he glances towards the staircases there's a prefect coming up from the rotating the staircases, coming up to escort him to morning classes.

While he waited for Andromena to extract himself, he'd taken to leaning against the nearby wall, his arms still crossed, his whole bearing one of nonchalant arrogance. There was a smirk on his lips the whole time, knowing, bemused, cruel.

"Didn't realize you Ravenclaws were so emotional," he murmured once Andromena reached him. With a languid roll of motion he pealed himself off the wall and put his hands into his robes' pockets instead. He didn't look back as he headed for the Grand Stairway, finally, meaning to make it this time without any further interruptions. The apple? It went crunch, finally.

Elise nods and uses her hankie again. "Thank you, Mena," she says, still a bit weepy. And then she'll turn back into the Ravenclaw common room to grab her things and make her way to class.

After the hug, she can feels there being a little bit of awkwardness between herself and Gage still, while everyone else scatters. Leaving them alone together. He meets her eyes for a moment before nodding, then habitually glancing away. She tries to smile gently, though feels a little disheartened if only for a moment. "You're welcome." Elizabeth says softly, however, his stomach grumbles and she blinks. "Oh." Shifting the bag on her shoulder, she kneels down on the floor and digs through it, searching briefly. When she emerges, she offers a banana and an orange she got especially early this morning. "Here. You can use this more than me right now. Growing boys are suppose to eat more or something like that." She glances past him at the prefect approaching, hesitating.

Gage lifts his hands to tuck his fingers underneath his glasses, wiping at tears as he scolds himself silently. He draws in a deep breath and lets it out, trying to think with a level head as he pulls away from the fury he has for the Slytherin. It obviously helps when everyone departs, and the corner of his mouth slants upward if only for a second. “Tanks,” he mutters again. He lifts his hand to accept the banana as he pulls his gaze back to her, his fingers brushing hers so that he pauses before taking it. But then there’s a clearing of one’s throat and Gage frowns, lifting his head to look towards the prefect.

The prefect is impatient to get started, even commenting that they should go because she doesn’t want to be late for her own class. So Gage grudgingly walks towards the prefect.

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