(1938-12-04) About That...
Details for About That…
Summary: Esther finds Alphard and Jenny after a bit of practice and talk eventually rolls around to Alphard's party and once he's gone? Him.
Date: 1938-12-04
Location: Grassy Knoll

Esther made a quick departure after lunch - That young Slytherin Riddle having ensured that she ate enough to ENSURE she felt sick. But she's determined to make practice count. What was once a girl who couldn't handle a broom if her life depended on it, now comes in nice, low and fast onto the grassy knoll, touching down just a little bit awkwardly, unsteady on her feet. Her hair seems to have responded well to being windswept. Even when she's stopped moving, it's decided to stay that way.

Jenny, meanwhile, as a casual hair. She's in her flying robes, sweat staining that sun kissed auburn hair or just, transmogrification and there's a large mug of cold water in her hand; having retreated from the pitch for a walk to cool down. Her left cheek had a glowing bright bruise on it too, the kind that was still red and just tinting towards black, when suggested, since it wasn't there when Esther had seen her last night, that it was a recent addition. "When did you start taking to a broom?" The question was flung the distance in Esther's direction, along with a crooked smile for her new 'friend'.

Alphard came down from the heavens on his expensive broom, still wearing his Quidditch uniform. It wasn't often to find Alphard in a state of absolute unkept mess, but there he was. Sweaty, dirt stained, and with his uniform hilter-kilter. With insufferable grace the bastard just leaped off his broom before he'd even really touched down, landing smoothly right besides of Jenny. The broom he'd snatched and flipped up veritcal on the way, so it was now a perfect lean-to. Of course he might have been showing off a little. Just a little. But darn if he didn't look cool while doing it!
"You alright, Jenny? Not walking around in a daze, eh?"

Esther blushes faintly, allowing her broom to fall to the ground when she spies Genevieve's injury. "Hello Jenny; Since when did you start taking blows to the head?" She teases, refusing to answer directly, taking a few steps closer to the girl. Her bare hand comes up, as if she's going to mirror the touch from last night - But she thinks better of it at the last moment. Possibly because of the man who lands beside her, and the hatred that wells up within the small woman. Her smile 'clunks' into place though, as she beholds what is the most likely reason for the bruise. "Cousin. You're looking… Interesting." She uses the word with a bit of a chuckle behind it.

To her credit, Jenny laughed. The sound of good cheer driven up on account of the both of them, the wince came when her smile went from crooked, to shaping both of her cheeks. It was aimed mostly at Esther, with a faint slant of her eyes that suggested the touch would have been accepted, before it was gone and the idea of it never was, with Alphard's presence. Ah, but there was the devil himself and Jenny's crooked grin turned in his direction. "Not anymore. You fractured the bone. But he fixed that," her thumb jerked over her shoulder towards the changing rooms, "But my damn ears are still ringing something fierce. I thought you were going to knock me off my broom!" And she's grinning too, is probably the worse part. Like a proud little peacock. "But did you see that goal!"

"Quidditch is Quidditch," Alphard said. There was sardonic look to him that said he was much than aware what she found 'interesting'. He shrugged, then looked sideways at Jenny. "Can't play it if you're not gonna play it, right?" Which meant leaving behind his usual extreme dislike of looking out of sorts. Alphard had always been good at compartmentalizing, though. It was how he could go from smiling companionably to one person, to shoving the next with vicious malice, then just keep going on with a smile like nothing had happened.

"That was good work, staying on." Praise, from Alphard? It even sounded genuine. "I thought I'd brained you for sure. Do that in our next game, and we'll have another victory."

Esther stands, watching the two two professionals discuss Quidditch. Her recent confidence boost wouldn't stretch to a game like that. She's happy to remain silent for now, watching Jenny with some minor concern. Her gaze flicks to Alphard occasionally, hardening. The thought of braining him at least brings something genuine to her otherwise dishonest, slight smile.

"Exactly," Jenny murmured in absolute whole hearted agreement with Alphard. "You have to commit, completely to what you're going to do. All of it. Nothing else matters but your goal, when you're up there. Not what happens if you fall. Not how much it hurts when someone's pelting bludgers at your head two at a time, nothing. Just, scoring." Or well, she was talking about it from her particular standpoint, "And possibly, maybe, occasionally, a little DADA, because…," and there she looked to Alphard, grinning. "That was really clever how you kind of..mixed the lesson to something that made sense to me. Thank you. You're right though. I really do think we'll win the next one. I mean, I think we should practice more, but, I think we'll win." And like the polite girl she was, she offered to share her mug.

Alphard acknowledged Genevieve's gratitude with a wry and self-satisfied smile, before he waved it away. Just like he did her offer of the mug. He could get as dirty as he liked, but he was not drinking from someone else's mug, not ever. There were lines that he would not cross, not even when he was in a companionable Quidditch mood!
"So, what're you doing flying, anyway? I didn't think that'd be your sort of thing. Though.. I sort of always figured it should be everybody's sort of thing. Flying is one of the best feelings in the world."

It's amusing how her gaze changes between the two. Alphard gets her attention in a dedicated fashion. "… It's taken a long time for me to become comfortable with it." A pleasant memory flutters through her head. "… A good friend showed me just how liberating it could be to fly… Since then, I've wanted to learn how to do more on a broom than not crash." She tilted her head at her cousin. "I would have asked for your assistance, but you have been pre-occupied lately."

"Suit yourself," Jenny's voice sing-songed as she took another water and let it quench her thirst, before the cool mug was pressed in against her cheek. The swelling would go down and black would be blue-black and pea yellow in a few days and then, it'd be gone. "Alphard's a great flyer," the girl quipped, flashing the boy a companionable smile. "And a damn good beater." And he reminded her of someone, too, which also helped. At least when he played.

"You should have said it was something you wanted to learn last night, Esther. I'd have offered. It's one of the few things that I'm good at." Cheeky grin. Though her somewhat prideful, hand on the hip stance suggested she thought was a little more than just 'good'.

Of course Alphard was a great flier, it didn't even need to be said! None the less he did look even more smug where he leaned on his broom. A bit of stretch to his spine, face angled just so to make the most out of the light striking those pale planes.

"Good on you, Esther. And here you go, Jenny can show you. I am getting somewhat swamped with extra curricular activities. She really is bloody good."

"I know. Alphard is an incredibly talented, capable wizard. It's a shame," Esther lets the pause hang in the air for just a moment too long. She can't help it, there's just a bit too much spite. "That he is so occupied, all of the time. In fact, we have an arrangement that I need to speak him about at some point. Not that I intend to reneg, I just feel that he might find it amusing." She turns to smile at Jenny. "Perhaps you could give me some more tuition, then. I'm relatively certain I won't die, anymore."

"Whatcha need to talk to Alphard for that you can't talk to him now over?" Jenny inquired and it was innocently done, for all that it still somehow had the weight of, what happened to little miss honesty from last night? Without ever actually /saying/ it. And she might have preened a little harder in the pose she'd struck, for his compliment. "Though speaking of conversations, you never did answer my question," that, that was aimed at Black. Though in his defense, he'd rung her bells not long after she'd asked it with a bloody spectular hit!

"What? Oh. You can bring Meliflua if you like. Once the actual invites go out, there'll be a plus one attached to each of them," Alphard told Jenny casually. Absent mindedly he wiped his brow, which was sticky at the moment. The action dragged a bit of dirty smear sideways, like war paint across his forhead. "I'd invite you along, cousin, but sixth years and above. Plus, your mum doesn't let you go to parties, does she?"

A pointed look is given to Jenny. Alphard is clearly not on the same list that she is. She doesn't answer, though, at least not right now. The mention of Mother has her cheeks burning with shame, Esther biting her lower lip for a few seconds, drawing her teeth over it. The mention has caught her, for a moment, but she recovers well. "Mother… Does enjoy vetting my company, personally." She admits. It's one of her greater shames. "But thank you for thinking of me. If you don't mind, I'd rather speak of it later." Even the forced smile is gone. Her eyes are on the ground.

Bring? "He's a friend." There's something to the way she tests that word out, like a snake, tasting it on her tongue. "I've got my extra in mind though. And don't worry, it's not going to be anyone that'd embarass me." But since Medusa seems bent on treating her like hired help, she is somewhat determined to ensure that there is enough of an actually decent crowd to have a good time with. Alphard had promised it wasn't going to be a terrible party. She'd double checked. Of course, there was Esther's pointed look to deal with, blithly ignored as Jenny hadn't a clue what it meant and, the notion of having her company vetted, which, put Jenny to grinning for reasons she couldn't say. "Merlin's balls, Alphard, what've you done to her? She's staring at the ground like she's been hauled in before Flint for questioning. Pick your chin up, Esther. You're almost an adult." See. What a good friend Jenny is. Helpful as a sledge hammer.

"He's your friend, Jenny.. Oh fine. I suppose you'll nag me to death if I don't agree. He is Slytherin, and alright." By which he meant that the boy was of a good family with at least enough money not to be embarassing. Alphard was notoriously biased against poor people. Almost as much as he was against Muggle-Borns. "But parties need a gender balance. So he needs to bring someone.. appropriate." Rather than just another boy.
"What? I've not done anything. She's always been like this." Alphard sniffed. "But alright, Esther. We'll talk about it later."

It's a little known secret that Esther has a disarm button, named Wiheminia Lowe. She takes a deep, reinforcing breath, Jenny's words helping significantly more than Alphards. "It's fine, Jenny." She murmurs, shaking her head. Picking her stare up. "… It's not Alphard's fault, either. I just prefer not to discuss Mother, while here." It is entirely his fault. This has happpened before. She stares at him, for several long seconds. "I think you'll like it." She finishes.

"I wouldn't," Jenny protested, before she went quiet, with a look on her face that said she was obviously thinking. That she looked like she was thinking meant it was serious. "Well yes, he is." Her friend. "I have several friends." Not really. But she had a lot of associates who thought they were. Jenny had trust issues only a paranoid person could love. "Er, some of them which…are not in school, if..for some reason, one of them came, would that be alright?" Inquired, all the while watching Esther out of the corner of her eye. At least she'd picked her head up! And her eyes. And she was talking again. Lying, most likely, but talking. It was a start. So the smile she offered was encouraging, even if Alphard had the floor for questions and she didn't interrupt.

"I can't see why that would be a problem, Jenny. Unless it's some O.W.L dropout waste-of-magic idiot, feel free to invite an alumni." He would just have to trust that she wouldn't bring a mudblood. Half-Bloods he could stomach, most of the time, as long as they acted like wizards rather tham Muggles-With-Magic. "It'll be fun. I'm looking forward to the party already."

His eyes were still lingering on Esther. Watching her. Judging her. "If you were sixteen," he obviously didn't know whens he had her birthday. Why would he have cared before? "Perhaps I could have come by and talked to your mum for you. You know, convinced her to let you into my care. I always felt that your mum liked me, don't you agree? If she was ever going to let you out, surely she'd have let you out to come visit dear cousin Alphard."

It's the first time that Alphard has said something that doesn't involve pain that causes her eyes to brighten. "But I am, dear cousin. I definitely, definitely wouldn't mind if you spoke to her." Anything to get out of the impending threat of her mothers care. Besides, more time with Alphard means more time for research. Time to not be trapped in a small room with nothing to do. "I'd go so far as to say, please do, Alphard. If anyone could convince her, it would most like be you" She actually said 'please'. How nice.

"Hah. Brilliant. Thanks. I'll…," have to fucking think about who he wouldn't consider a waste of time and magic, who had the revenue and more, fit the blood status. "I'm looking forward to it too though, I mean, aside from Medusa giving me shit about being 'help' and you know, basically making it sound like it's going to be the dullest event of the year because 'champagne'," Jenny said the word with a hint of snobbery and even turned up her nose, just so she could look a little further down it, "And perhaps that fancy drink you enjoyed over the weekend, is going to be the only thing served. I mean, other than that, I'm sure it will be great and if it sucks? At least all the people who want to have a good time can leave and go somewhere to actually have one." Which would..make him look terrible, wouldn't it? Everyone finding his party droll and boring. Better talk to those planners!

She was? "But you're a fifth year.." So she must've had her birthday pretty recently. A part of him immediately regretted making that suggestion, but now he was stuck with it. "Oh, fine. I'll talk to her. You'll have to do without an invite.. but I'll come by at the start of the break and talk to your mum, and if she agrees you can come." There, wasn't he being superbly generous?! Even if he sounded like he was doing her the biggest favor in the world, and she would be forever in his debt.

"What?" His eyes fixed on Jenny with a frown. No, nobody was going to leave his party. It was going to be the party of the holidays, damn it! "Please. Everybody likes champagne. And.. well, perhaps some extra drinks. You knows drinks, just.. make a list, and they'll be there."

Disingenuous offers are her favourites to follow up on. Esther strikes a silent victory. Even if she's alone at the party, it's a chance to get out of her room and be able to speak to others. "I can't see her refusing you, Alphard." Considering that she suggested Alphard watch out for her. The idea of a group leaving Alphard's party makes her even happier though. Wouldn't that be a sight to witness!

There was a touch of amusement in Jenny's eyes when Alphard sounded so surprised by Esther. "Oh good, it'll be nice to have you there. Someone else to talk too." Jenny meant it too, even her smile was warm and then, Alphard panicked. "Everybody does, but at a party, where there's supposed to be fun…let's just say I've seen most of your party planners ideas of fun and…it isn't. So, yes, I'll make you a list. No problem." Cheeky grin.

"Oh good.." Did he sound completely enthusiastic? No. But he would stick by his promise, and even make a decent effort at convincing her mother. Besides, it might be fun to have Esther 'under his care'. He could imagine her Mother telling her to mind her older cousin. It was the sort of license he could abuse. Would abuse. He was Alphard, after all.

"They know what they're doing. Besides, I have ultimate control. Tell me, am I boring at parties?" She was not actually meant to answer that, which became immediately apparent when he left no room: "No! we had fun in the summer." Because, despite his usual nose in the air attitude, he did know to let loose.

"Besides," Esther adds in rather smoothly, joining in the oh-so-quiet dig. "I think it wouldn't be fair if Alphard would to rescue me, to not spend the time enjoying his party. He has at least one permanent guest." She doesn't normally get out to parties anyway. In fact, she barely gets out of the house during school breaks. A smile for Jenny. "It would be excellent. I'd be much more comfortable with you around anyway."

"You have a permanent guest?" Jenny asked, though her grin turned sideways as he mentioned the summer. "Yeah, we did have some good times." Some of which were a little foggy in her memory, because things tended to well, blur on occasion. But it really was a good thing that he told her not to answer, because she'd been drawing a breath that looked like she was about to answer him honestly regardless. It eased, of course and her smile won out. Just a little smug, a little superior and she winked. "I've always enjoyed you, Alphard." And that was a statement with a world of weight to it. Gone quick as it was given, her attention flicking back towards Esther. "I dunno why." For Esther being comfortable. "But I'll be there, at any rate. I've promised I would and I tend to stick to my word. Just, as he sticks to his. How's the swelling looking?" A question to the pair, when she finally lowered the mug down from her cheek.

"Like someone hit you in the face with a bludger," Alphard replied smoothly, grinning. He cast a look over his shoulder in the direction of the castle. Standing still had turned him cold, and all that sweat and grime was no longer comfortable so much as sticky and icky and generally making him itch. "But otherwise, as lovely as ever, Jenny. Anyway. I'm going to have myeslf a nice long soak, I think, and get into something comfortable. Perhaps I'll see you both later. Ta-ta." Fingerwaggle, before he leaped onto his broom. It was quicker than walking back.

"Like something hit you in the face." Esther replies in the exact same moment. She shares a curious glance with Alphard, and once her cousin has left, she slides up closer, and actually touches the girl's face. Affectionate, caring. "… It's swelling pretty well, Jenny. You're gonna be tender for a while." She murmurs, far more relaxed now that she's without Alphard. The monster in her closet is heading back to the common room.

"Well good, then everything's right on schedule." Jenny grinned, flashing them both a smile. Before her expression turned thoughtful at the mention of a soak. "That, is not a half bad idea Alphard. I'll see you later and don't forget that list!" The list was important. It defined a party! And then, there was Esther. "Nah. It'll be fine. Honestly, it's easy compared to most of it anyway. So, you want to explain what the muggle-in-disguise just went down between you and Black?"

Esther looks around just once, making sure no-one is around. "You really should. Soak up, and relax." She touches gently, then drops her hand back to her side, peering at the bruise. "I hate him. With every fiber of my being. He's a mad dog." She answers honestly, looking at Jenny with a sigh. "Let's not discuss Alphard?" She suggests… Although it's become clear who just one of the people on her enemies list is. Because there's nothing she wouldn't do.

While the muscles twitch just a little beneath Esther's light touch, Jenny doesn't do more than hiss softly between her teeth, still with that crooked little grin. There must be something wrong with this girl. Because she is proud of the darkening painkissed splotch of swelling on her face. It's a badge of honor, it is, being slammed with bludgers and still surviving to be awesome after the fact. Not all that long ago, she and Black were practicing up on the Quidditch field, but there'd been a little healing required when she'd taken a blow to the head, the bruise she's still wearing and they'd called a hault. On the walk aftwards, they'd come across Esther and it was the fifth year Slytherin girl to whom Jenny was still talking. "You know what they say about mad dogs," Jenny replies, twitching another grin. "I think we should discuss him but just, not here. So you gonna bring Myrus to the party?"

They need to be put down. The words are unspoken, but the sentiment is vehement. "Would be. Myrus is too young, and I would not be allowed a plus one. Even were I, he would take great pleasure in telling Mother… And I'd be lucky to return to Hogwarts." She blushes, biting her lip again. She speaks before any answer can be formed. "… I have to pass my OWLs before I can leave. And she…" A pause. "Mother would not approve of Myrus. In any capacity, much less the one he has." She's a little bit confused about the woman's reaction to the pain. She tries to avoid it, personally.

Donovan comes strolling across the Hogwart's grounds, as comfortable on the grassy hillocks as he is on the football pitch. The young man is whistling, a jaunty, Welsh folk tune that carries across to the two other teenagers long before they can see him cresting a nearby rise. Spotting company, the tall lad offers up a jaunty wave, but it's not until he's closer, able to see who it is, that he calls out, "Oi, Jenny!" The other girl takes a second longer, "Uhh.. hullo, Lowe!" It's a cheerful enough greeting, his mood seems bright. Come to a conversational distance, Don asks, "And how are y' both this fine evening?"

"So you plan on leaving them, as soon as you pass them?" It was something of a slight…surprise for Jenny to hear. Though, there was something about it that slotted neatly into her own plans that made it not such a horrible thing. Or maybe just a possible alternative. Though she wrinkled her face in sympathy, at hearing precisely how the girl's mother was and thanked her lucky starts, for her own. It's what she was thinking too, when the sound of that whistling caught her ears and her head snappd around towards the sound. "Gallagher." The greeting is tossed; though with the turn of her head, it's easy to see that shiner on her swelling cheekbone. "Wonderful and yourself?"

"I don't know what other options I have." Esther admits, in a quiet sigh. "I… I cannot tolerate being a prisoner, Jenny." It's a sentiment she almost never shares. When she said 'trust', she meant 'trust'. Trust that may completely undo all of her plans. "What will happen afterwards, I will make do." She hears a voice, and turns to look at it - Taking a half step back from the quidditch player, as the unfamiliar man walks towards her. Sure, she's seen him before, but… She picks up on the name when Jenny says it, and duplicates it without any hint that she has no idea who he is. "Gallagher." She nods.

Donovan is as boisterous as Esther seems subdued. Oddly enough, he absolutely beams at Genevieve, pointing to his own eye he asks: "You been practicing, huh?" The young man seems to take it as a given that the injury is the result of a quidditch session gone wrong. "Glad to hear you're good, missed seeing you." His words seem intentionally clipped, as if he's not saying something. Turning to Esther, who's face he recognizes and little else, Don tries to muster up some good manners. "Good to err.. see you too, Esther."

Donovan is clad in a uniform worn a little more casually than a Prefect might approve of, it seems he's on a mid-day constitutional.

"It'll all work out okay," hopeful, on Esther's behalf, before she looks towards Donovan and offers him a smile. "Naw, it went perfect. Take a beating and still score a point? That's kind of how you win, Blondie. But…I need a bath. I'm sticky and sweaty and dirty and there's that thing later. Maybe I'll see you both there?"

"Maybe. I'll see what I've got planned. I might join you." Esther slowly walks back to her fallen broom. She's never going to have the same ease with it that the professionals do. But she's not getting worse. That's a blessing. Much as she'd like a bath of her own, after a day in the sun, on her broom, the girl much prefers her bathing time to be solo.

Donovan watches the two women start to wander off, broad shoulders rolling in a shrug, "Good seein' the both of yeh." He taps his forehead, laughing to himself, "Carry on, then!" That said, the young man starts to amble on his way.

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