(1938-12-07) Distracting Dreams
Details for Distracting Dreams
Summary: Introducing, Lucretia. Suffering from an unpleasant dream, Lucretia meets the House Insomniac and they discuss Boys and Dreams.
Date: 1938-12-07
Location: Slytherin Common Room - Hogwarts Castle

Esther is up early again. It's to be expected, really, the girl hardly sleeps - Vicious rumours from partial zombification to potions use used to circulate to explain it, although they've thankfully fallen silent. The girl once known as 'the hair' has been up for hours, pre-dawn finding her sitting infront of the fire, dressed for comfort (And Hogsmeade) in a tight grey woolen sweater and long black pants. A roll of parchment rests against her leg, the girl catching up on an assignment in the wee hours of the morning, her distinctive, bright quill in one hand, scratching repeatedly as she fills the parchment with neat calligraphy.

"What are you writing?" A very precise and almost disconnected voice cuts the air just behind Esther's right shoulder. Its Lulu. Wearing brushed flannel pyjama's that are overwrapped by a large cosy dressing gown, the third year Black drops into one of the free armchairs, one leg draped over the arm. She yawns after asking the question, her hand barely making it to cover her mouth before she flicks her eyes back to the parchment on which Esther writes. "Is must be terribly interesting to have you up at this time of the morning, or are you just late with your homework? I don't think I've -ever- handed homework in late myself. At least not yet."

The noise fails to shock. After this long burning the midnight oil, sudden noises have become almost expected. It's not like it's a beastial roar or a seditious whisper. She turns her head to follow the Black girl, as she takes one of the other armchairs. The third year has escaped Esther's rather myopic view of the school prior to her fifth year. Black; of course. Esther settles for a neutral smile. "I find this hour most useful for working. Very little disturbs me." The unusual girl taps her quill out into her inkpot, and places the assignment aside. "I don't know why people would allow their homework to run late. It only makes it seem more difficult. Forgive me, I'm having trouble with your name…"

Lucretia, it seems, is more intent on settling herself more comfortably in her seat than on instantly replying to Esther. She wriggles herself into the cushions and hooks her other leg to join the first, the pair now canted over one arm so she's cradled by the cushions. The chair is, in fact, so squishy and squashy that the daintily framed young girl looks to be in danger of being swallowed entirely by the upholstery. Eventually satisfied, she offers Esther a bright smile, or bright for this time of the morning. "Lucretia. Lucretia Black. Third year?" A tug is given her dressing gown and she flops the loose edge of it over her knees, slippers dangling precariously from the tips of her toes. "I know who you are though. I know everyone. You're Esther. You can call me Lulu if you like."

"I try to know everyone; I get confused, sometimes." Esther admits, stifling the urge to yawn. Her expressions aren't so bright, but that's more likely because of her nature. There are, as I'm sure you're aware, far too many of us." It's good to hear more people calling her Esther; Lowe makes her a little irritated. And Hair… Well, if that continues, someone /will/ be jinxed. "So, I know why I'm awake at this ridiculous hour; but I can't fathom what would bring you out of bed so early. If you're up for good, I could make some coffee. Failing that a hot cocoa never goes amiss."

"You can make cocoa?" It might appear that Esther has found Lu's weak spot with that offer, the girl's expression brightening further so that dimples press her cheeks. "I don't think I've had anyone make me cocoa since coming back this term." She drops an elbow onto the chair's arm and rests her chin on folded knuckles, watching the older girl for a moment, her nose crinkling in what might be considered the girl's trademark 'scrunch'. A telltale sign if ever there were one that cogs are grinding in her head. "I was dreaming…" she says, then falters. A breath. "And I didn't like the dream so decided to wake. I'm glad I did though, because it means I get to have a cocoa."

"It's a habit." Esther answers with a simple smile. "And good manners, to prepare a hot beverage for company." She rises from her chair slowly, withdrawing her wand. It's pressed against the kettle, and she goes about preparing two mugs of cocoa while she speaks. "I've found, Lulu, that like a boggart, bad dreams become easier to face when you're not alone. Why don't you tell me what made you so wary of sleeping you'd wake during my time?" 'My time'. How unusual of her. Cream, sugar, and then the hot cocoa is done, offered to the Black girl carefully. "Be warned. It's hot."

"Its a nice habit. Thank you." Taking the cocoa from Esther, Lulu is nothing if not polite and she curves her hands protectively around the circumference of the thick pottery mug. Consideration is given the other girl's question and there's a shake given of her head. Unlike Esther's hair, hers is terribly well behaved; falling in thick glossy waves to frame her face where by rights it should be sleep-mussed and resembling a bird's nest. She pulls a face. "I wasn't wary of sleeping at all. In fact, I -was- sleeping and then I wasn't. Dreams can be quite real at times, don't you think?"

"Far too real." Esther empathises, taking her own drink to her earlier chair. Her hair is always a beautiful, untamable tumble. It's actually a little endearing, once you get to know her. "Some of us have waking nightmares." Like the girl speaking right now. "But whatever you dreamed, it was enough to discourage you from attempting to sleep once again. Are you sure you don't wish to share it, and see if it still holds sway?"

"I don't think its really the sharing sort of a dream," Lucretia says, her cheeks colouring slightly as she lifts her mug and blows a thin stream of air across its surface. It might well be the heat from the drink that has that effect on the young Black, or it might be something else entirely. Whatever it is, though, her mouth clamps the lip of the mug and the sipping of the cocoa prevents any further answering of questions. At least for now. Now, however, is a finite measure of time, thus her mug does eventually lower and the mouthful of chocolate gets swallowed. "I think," she says, "That the only waking nightmare I can imagine would be to fail a subject." And she actually shudders.

"Ah. One of /those/ dreams." Esther smirks a little bit, finding it amusing, but not cruelly so. "You have my promise not to gossip, if you share. I don't feel the need to bring others down for my own pleasure." She wraps both hands around her cocoa, and sips. "Trust me, Lulu. There are greater and darker things out there than failing. I should know." They're both related to one of them. "Of course, with an attitude like that I can only imagine that failing is an unfounded fear."

"I'm sure I don't know what you mean when you say one of -those- dreams." Is that a slight edge to Lulu's voice? Her lower lip pushes into the smallest of pouts before she schools it away and takes another mouthful of her chocolate. "Also, gossiping is horrible. Perfectly beastly. I'm glad you don't do it. The school, the world, would be a much nicer place if people didn't gossip. Its the stupidest thing ever and achieves nothing. If you're going to hurt someone, hurt them to their face and not behind their back." Steam curls from her drink as she takes another sip from it, the heat misting her lashes enough to cause a lowering of them through which she observes Lucretia. Its a long moment before she speaks again. "Failing just isn't an option. I would rather -die- than fail."

"Agreed. Those dreams, the dreams that embarass you and bring rise to the cheeks. Typically either a fear that's humiliating, or…" Esther draws a finger around the rim of her glass. "Boy/girl problems. Although I think you have the right of it with that philosophy, Lulu. Unless you have no other choice, you should never hurt anyone in any other way than to their face, direct. It's just disrespectful otherwise." A turned phrase, Esther smiling as she sips her cocoa. "I've always thought of failing as a step towards success, even at it's worse. It's even possible, I've found, to plan for failure; which in many ways is a success of it's own." Wordplay. One of her favourites.

Lucretia almost chokes on her cocoa. "Ugh. Boys. They're just distractions from what's important. And distractions mean failure and failure means -death-…!" The girl is, perhaps, a little over-dramatic in her vehemence on that subject, or perhaps she just protests too much. She twirls a finger in the air to indicate a horrible cycle of failure and death then catches a length of her hair with the same, twisting it round and about before tugging it lightly, regarding Esther over the rim of her mug. "Plan for failure? -Plan-? No. Oh no. That would be the worst thing ever," she replies, looking mildly horrified.

"Boys /are/ a distraction, and as a girl, it's your job to manage them. If you're dreaming of boys, then you're already distracted, and perhaps the best way to manage it is to investigate the boy/girl thing for a little while." A pause. "Or the girl/girl thing. Whatever your preference." Esther allows herself a soft little yawn, and adds. "The sad truth is that you'll fail, at least once, while you're at Hogwarts. In some way. And you'll have the mental fortitude, and the support," A gesture to the house i ngeneral. "To get yhou through."

"Manage them?" There's a real query in Lucretia's voice at -that- advice, together with another crinkling of her nose. "I'm not sure that I want to. I mean, why bother? I mean its awfully nice when they offer you chocolates or nice things, but its so much easier to just buy them yourself. At least you know then that nobody's put a charm on them to make your hair turn green or your nose swell so large that you look like an elephant." The smallest twitch tics one side of her mouth into a smile, as if her words have just brought back a particularly vivid memory of just such a thing, though with the gesture given Esther to their surroundings she quickly nods her head. "Oh yes. I do agree with that. I'm so proud to be a Slytherin and will, I'm sure, be a noted member of it. Eventually."

Esther smiles gently. "I hadn't agreed to any of it, Lucretia, but it came after me this year harder than I had thought possible. I lacked the experience to deal with it." A warm glow settles on her cheek. Fond, albiet mildly embarassing memories. "The fact of the matter is that sometimes the dizzying highs are worth the dismal lows. And sometimes, it's more rewarding to be in the arms of someone you care about than in the good graces of our professors. Much as I try for the best of both worlds."

"I'm not too sure what you mean," Lucretia says, the girl looking about ten years old as she lowers her mug to reveal a chocolate moustache. "I'm not too sure what you mean. What came after you? A boy?" Pure confusion battles her expression before a sweep of her tongue rights the moustache problem and her focus is fully back on the older girl. "You're blushing. Were you aware?"

"Boys." Esther smiles kindly over her hot cocoa, sipping at it gently. "I am. I still do not know well, how to handle others. I can't trust their intentions at the best of times." She looks at Lucretia, reminded of herself just a little bit. "I'm unsure of what use I can be to you, Lulu, but… If you do ever need me, the least I can offer you is a sympathetic ear.

"Oh. I see. Well that's awfully kind of you Esther. Thank you." Lu offers the other Slytherin a genuine smile and pulls her finger from her hair, letting a temporary ringlet bounce at the side of her cheek. A pause. "And of course the same offer would be extended you. Of my ear, that is." She speaks with such confidence that its hard to believe that the younger girl -wouldn't- have any subject on which she's bound to be expert. Except, of course, she's not.

Esther finishes a mouthful of her cocoa, and nods. "If you want, Lulu, you could curl up on the couch and catch some sleep? I'm awake for the day, at this point, so I'll chase away any bad dreams that pester. I've learned if anything, they don't like the fire." The last line is said with an eery seriousness.

"I'm awake now, but thank you. I'll probably find a book and do some reading. I really don't wish to sleep again now." Lucretia offers Esther a small smile and takes another slow sip of her cocoa. "You do make good cocoa though, this is really nice." Despite her protestations, there -is- a look of sleepyness that lingers in the edges of her expression and a very definite stifling of a yawn as she flips her slippers off her feet and pulls them back into the chair, curling them under her rump. "Is that true about dreams though? Them not liking fire? I didn't know that." This said with a small pout, as if it really ought to have been something of which she were aware.

Esther nods slowly, and looks to her parchment. "You're welcome. It's something I learned over the years. It works for me; although I suppose if you fear fire, it wouldn't help." She draws teh roll back into her lap, dipping her quill into ink and smiling to herself. "I must finish this, Lulu. If you do end up sleeping, I'll ensure you're safe - Otherwise, pleasant readings;."
There's a nod to Esther as she returns to her writing. "Perhaps I'll see you soon." A small stretch is given and the Black girl gets to her feet, uncurling slowly, rather like a sleepy kitten. Rounding the other girl's chair, its not immediately obvious to where she heads, it could be out or it could be back up to bed.

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