(1938-12-08) Wandless, Not Defenseless
Details for Wandless, not Defenseless
Summary: Friendly hanging out in the library, where there's research to be had. Until it turns out a bit… unfriendly.
Date: December 8, 1938
Location: Library, Hogwarts

It's now nighttime. Has Esther moved? From 'Pragmatic Potions' to 'Oxygen-Sensitive Potions', now 'Advanced Potion Making' is her book of choice. The only real difference Gage might notice is that she's wearing a beaded bracelet around one wrist, as she taps her wand from side to side, and reads rapidly. Her parchment has become a mess of scribbles, unreadable to anyone but her.

Elizabeth has surprisingly few books to return to the Library this time around. One, actually. Tucked under an arm as a free hand pushes open one of the large doors. Still dressed in her casual clothes for Hogsmeade weekend, she appears to be in a relatively good mood. Great mood, actually. The bookworm approaches the front desk, slipping her book into the slot so that it can be checked in at a later time.

Okay, not having his wand? It’s been frustrating going through this day without it dangling around his neck, without having access to it. Despite this he doesn’t wear his usual glum expression. He returns to the library, stepping in with something in mind, something to look for, and he’s quite hopeful and excited to find a book. He is, after all, a Ravenclaw. He /does/ like to research and study, even if it doesn’t seem that way during class. Really? Doing something when you’re supposed to do it? Yea, right. As Gage enters, and he passes by Elizabeth, he pauses for a moment to regard the girl quietly before letting out a breath. One corner of his lips are tugged briefly into a slanted smile, and he greets her, “’Owaya?” He starts a step or two in, but then gestures to a table. “Sit wi’ me. Please.” Yea – he’s going to keep her close. When his eyes find Esther sitting at the table both eyebrows lift together. His mouth twitches in another smile, for however briefly, as a hand lifts to offer her a wave.

Elizabeth glances up to catch sight of Gage as he enters, the smile growing easily on her soft lips. "Good evening." she murmurs, friendly. The girl wanted to be on good terms with him after all, and he's still her friend. Though she has to admit, it's still a little bit of a surprise when he invites her to sit at a table with him. Dipping her chin lightly, she nears the table settles herself into one of the seats. Her bright eyes sparkle as Elizabeth leans forward, in Gage's direction. "You won't believe what happened." Obviously, she's excited.

Gage hesitates one nervous moment, left hand lifting as he looks down to it, and then flicking his gaze to Elizabeth. His mouth twitches lightly before he blows out a breath. He stops by the table and his dark blue eyes lock on Elizabeth, and he shifts on his feet as he thinks for a second, and then points into the stacks. “Oi… nehd ter… fend a book,” he explains. But one step takes him from the table and he hesitates, turning back to look at Elizabeth. His eyebrows furrow as his gaze lifts, eyes narrowing as he scans the library warily. First, he makes sure no one suspicious is around, then he looks to Elizabeth again. “Um.” He shifts on his feet. “Let me knu if yer nehd me.” He bites his lip as soon as the words are out, pulling his eyes away nervously.

Lucretia comes wandering into the library, a thick book tucked firmly under one arm. It’s difficult to see exactly what it is she carries since the way she holds it obscures both title and spine, but there's a friendly enough smile given Gage and Elizabeth when she spots the two near one of the tables. "Hello." Pausing briefly, and unsure as to whether either or both are leaving or staying, she drops herself into one of the vacant chairs there, flipping a finger through her fall of glossy dark hair before settling herself down for the duration. Study is something that Lulu's particularly good at.

Elizabeth blinks her pale eyes once behind her slender frames before frowning slightly, confused as Gage had just invited her to sit before abruptly deciding that he needed to find a book from one of the aisles. "Sure." she murmurs, shoulders dropping an inch as she leans back in her seat. Was she going to wait around for him? Probably. But not for long. Sitting in a Library without anything to read is silly after all. It wasn't long after that Lucretia enters, the Ravenclaw girl recognizes her as she's the Slytherin that had teased them just a day or two before. And a Black as well. Elizabeth dips her chin lightly to her. "Salutations."

Gage’s dark blue eyes regard Lucretia before he heads to the shelves. He just stares at her while he thinks, saying nothing as his eyebrows furrow. Sure, she completely flustered him out on the grounds the other day, but he isn’t going to hold that against her. It isn’t her fault that he’s so… ignorant? Dense? Gage chews on his lower lip as he considers, swallowing nervously as he thinks, before his lips tug out and he offers out a soft flicker over his lips to Lucretia. “Black,” he greets, struggling with against coming out of his shyness, and then turns and heads into the shelves.

Esther rises from her note taking and reading, flipping through the last page of Advanced Potions. She's actually managed to fleck a little bit of ink onto the tip of her nose with the pace of her notes, the parchment indecipherable. With company about, she discretely slides the bracelet off her wrist, and hides it in her leggings. A look up reveals the people around her, a gentle blush given. Liz, sitting alone. And not too far away, "Lulu." She greets her housemate with a smile. Perhaps not as put on as she would for a certain cousin who shall remain Alphardless. Two other books lay open, each on their last page. Someone has been studying potions hard.

Lucretia opens her book reverently at the place where a faded ribbon marks her place. Elbows perched either side of the tome, she rests the apex of her chin on her knuckles and offers each a smile; Elizabeth, Gage and his departing back, and finally Esther. Esther warrants a bit of a brighter smile and she adds a nod to the older Slytherin girl, sending a slew of dark hair tumbling over her cheeks. "Hello, Esther. You look to have been busy."

No-one out hairs the Hair. Esther slowly wipes her nose with the back of her hand, leaving a smudge on both, and a look of dissatisfaction that no doubt looks at least the littlest big amusing. "I've been researching potions… I had hoped the library might have a copy of 'Proactive Applications of Potions' but either it is out, or not here at all." She speaks softly, as she pulls each heavy tome to a close with a small cloud of dust. "How of yourself, Lucretia? Have you managed to mischief the day away?"

Lucretia and Esther begin conversing, their voices quiet inside of the Library (naturally). So for now Elizabeth simply waits, leaning back in her as she considers the events of the night. What ahs happened and what could happen. The corner of her lips tugs absently, but for the most part she's just quiet.

"I went to Hogsmeade and had a drink with Douglas," Lucretia says, twisting a degree so that it makes speaking with Esther a little easier. "I was going to walk in with Alphard, but I think he didn't get up again after going back to bed. At least, I think that's what happened." Scrunching her nose, she doesn't mention Douglas' alternative explanation to the no show as it’s apparently a lot less embarrassing to put faith in the overslept explanation. "Why are you researching potions? My mother has the best potion shop in London, perhaps she might be able to help with any questions you have on them."

"Surely our beloved cousin didn't mean to stand you up, Lulu. He woke early - Chances are he slept the day away." Esther smiles honestly at the mention of Douglas, though. "You've made good company out of today regardless. Douglas is… Well meaning, for all that he is a complete asshat." Such a fond use of the word 'asshat'. "I'm looking for extra-credit by researching potions that might make the imbiber immune, or more resistant to, pain for a prolonged period of time." One of her many goals, the lie blended with the truth so expertly it was hard for even her to tell where one began and the other ended. "Unfortunately, most potions that prevent pain protect from a source. They aren't as… Generic, as I would hope."

When Gage steps out of the stacks he does, indeed, come back with a book in his hands. He walks back to the table quietly, but his eyes do a take of the library. He stops, still a bit a ways from the table where Elizabeth is, and shifts on his feet as he chews on his lower lip. His eyebrows furrow as he glances over each person, regarding Elizabeth as he muses, over Lucretia as he shifts again, nervously, on his feet, and then towards Esther. For a moment Gage just stands there uncertainly, shifting his gaze as he divides his attention between the three, thinking. He blows out a breath as he begins walking again, his eyes briefly lingering over Esther’s table before he sets his book down where Elizabeth is. It’s a book about enchantments and magical items. His eyes stare silently at Lucretia for several seconds, an eyebrow twitching as he thinks, and then manages to say with a huge effort, “Um.. Uh.. Bl-Black. ‘Oy are yer doin’ wi’ yer O.W.L.s.” He drops into his seat, and turns his head to lock his gaze on Elizabeth. “S-Sorry. So… What ‘appened?”

Elizabeth lifts a brow at Gage as he approaches, apologizing. And is it just her or is he twitching a little bit more than usual? Her chair is pushed back slightly as she rises to her feet again, but the sparkle is in her pale eyes once more. "I was in Harkiss' Candy at Hogsmeade and I met, well, someone unbelievable." she murmurs, the excitement thinly veiled in her voice. "Chaucer Ollivander."

"Yes. Why would anyone stand me up," Lulu responds to Esther, her smile returning instantly, along with a healthy dose of self-confidence. "Douglas probably got it wrong, though you're right in that he seems good company. He walked me back to Hogwarts and shared some sweets with me. He has some interesting opinions too." Interesting probably doesn't exactly touch on the Gryffindor boy's outlook on things, but Lu's not apparently going to enlighten further and she turns towards Gage when he addresses her, not quite catching what he says, so prodding a bit for clarification. "I'm sorry?" This said just as Elizabeth mentions Ollivander, at which there's a surprised uplift of her brows and she simply repeats the other girl's words. "Chaucer Ollivander?"

A break. Attention is focused on the tale of Chaucer Ollivander Esther rises silently, her wand tapping each of the books with a whispered incantation. Swiftly, silently, she leaves the library before the conversation can go any further, with her. Chances are when Lucretia next turns around to talk to her housemate, she'll be staring at air, while the last of her books tuck themselves away. With the exception of one, hastily tucked under her arm. :)

Gage watches Elizabeth in silence, his eyebrows lowers as he’s quite obviously thinking about things. But he listens, and his eyebrows twitch as they knit together. “Who?” he suddenly asks. His eyes shift to look onto Lucretia, biting his lower lip as he considers, but he ends up just lifting his shoulders in response to her. He shakes his head and returns his gaze back onto Elizabeth. Turning to the book that he brought over, he opens its cover before he slides it over the surface of the table, and then inches his chair closer to Elizabeth’s.

"Garrick Ollivander's Grand uncle, and Gresham Ollivander's Grandfather." Elizabeth details further, not that it matters. It isn't the wandmaker Ollivander after all, but still. Same family. Her eyes continue to sparkle as her grin grows. "He prints books. All sorts of books. And when he found out I have an interest in Ancient Runes, he gave me his card! For specialty books! Can you imagine what sort of books he would have you can't find anywhere else?!" If ever she would have a fangirl moment, it would be now.

Lucretia perks a little more at that, and though it would seem that Elizabeth and Gage are now more closeted in a private conversation, she does lift her voice once more. "Is he opening a bookshop in Hogsmeade, did you say?" Not that she's such a bookworm as Elizabeth is, but that doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy her studies. And rare books? Definitely she's into those.

Gage drops his gaze to study the cover page of his book, or at least that’s what it appears. He’s listening to Elizabeth though, a tiny smile twitching against his lips. He lets out a breath and he bites down on his lip, giving his head a shake before he lifts his eyes to Elizabeth. He’s quiet, just staring at her with a goofy little smile on his face. “That makes yer ‘appy,” Gage says quietly, pleased. Then he quickly turns his eyes away, shifting uncomfortably in his chair as he clears his throat. When he shoots a glance towards the table that Esther was at a frown appears, his eyebrows creasing, but he sighs and shakes his head, turning his attention back to their table.

Lucretia sits at a table on her own, a heavy book opened before her. She's placed quite near the one where Elizabeth and Gage are talking, but for the most part their conversation is between themselves with Lu on the edge of it.

Elizabeth blinks at Lucretia, the question posed. "Oh. I'm not sure about that." she murmurs, reaching for the pocket in her cloak as she pulls it out. A business card. Proof that she actually met him. "I asked him several questions, but that one hadn't occurred to me." she admits. "He said that he was there visiting his Grandson, or attempted to at least." Elizabeth holds the card out for Gage to see. Her smile grows and a small chuckle escapes. "Can you imagine what sort of rare books he might have that no one else does?"

Alphard stalked into the library with the supremely arrogant elegance of a born aristocrat. Spine straight, shoulders back, nose in the air and a look his contemptuous gaze that said the vast majority of the students who entered his vision weren't worthy of being in his presence. Filthy, pathetic and grubby peasants the lot of them. He had some books under his arm that he was taking to the check in desk.

A grin tugs at his lips, and it warms his eyes as Gage locks his gaze on Elizabeth. He can really understand the excitement, watching her, eyes flicking down to the card. “If ‘e does…” Gage starts, “…set up a bookstore ‘ere… in Hogsmeade…” He lets out a sigh, wondering if he’d be able to make his way to Hogsmeade over the summer. Maybe? “Oi’d loike ter see it,” he finishes with a slow nod. His eyes shift, glancing towards Lucretia – she’s offered another slanted smile – then a glance towards the table again where Esther was. His eyes flick towards the stacks, and then towards the entrance. He isn’t even sure which way she left, but when he glances towards the door his mood suddenly darkens. Gage scowls as he eyes Alphard’s entrance, and his stomach is suddenly weighed down as he glances to Elizabeth with a frown. The boy slides his chair back from the table, a hand moving to his book to close the cover of it, and when he stands, he shifts behind Elizabeth. His hands, quite protectively, will fall on top of her upper arms. A warning glance is shot towards the sixth year.

"Hello Alphard." The tall Slytherin's arrival naturally draws his cousin's attention and the dainty dark-haired girl beams a warm smile in his direction. Whether or not he notices it is another matter given he's on his way to the librarian's desk, but it’s there anyway. As is a small straightening of Lucretia's posture and a brush of her hand to sweep her bangs from out of her eyes. Does she notice Gage's immediate response to Alphard's entrance? Probably. It’s hard to tell though, her eyes remaining locked on the latter rather than the former.

Elizabeth grips the business card in her hands excitedly, wrinkling it a little, but thankfully she's already memorized it. In the excitement she missed Alphard's entrance into the Library, but as Gage moves behind her, her pale eyes blink up at him, gaze following the boy as he steps behind her and places his hands on her arms. She blinks again, confused, though Lucretia greets her cousin and everything then makes sense. Or more sense rather, just not the full story. Like why Gage is hiding behind her. "Hm." Elizabeth shuffles her coveted business card into a pocket in her cloak.

Alphard acknowledged Lucretia's greeting with a benign nod of his head, and a genuinely friendly: "Lulu. You were gone when I woke!" Looking in that direction also brought Elizabeth and Gage into his vision, though. They got a different sort of reaction. A coolly considering stare, followed by a dismissive snort and a cruelly bemused smile once Gage went into heroic protector mode. He didn't let himself be derailed, continuing on to deliver his books for the librarian. They were all on time, in good shape, and so there was nothing for him to do once there but fold his arms over his chest and wait for him to get the a-ok. imperious, making it clear he thought the librarian should hurry on rather than waste his very important time.

Gage bites down on his lip as he considers, his dark blue eyes wandering around the library. He sucks in a breath, closes his eyes. “Elizabeth,” Gage says lowly after releasing his breath. He doesn’t say anything after her name, but he does lean forward as he bends and finds himself moving his arms to hug around the girl and the back of the chair snugly, even if there’s a twitch of nervousness. But then he withdraws after a second and he’s turning away from the table, eyebrows furrowing as he locks his gaze on Alphard. But he’s not going to approach while he’s at the desk.

"I was! You slept in late and I didn't want to miss too much of the last day of my pass to the village." Lucretia confirms, blissfully happy that Alphard's just confirmed the reason for his absence being a love of his bed and not the fitties as had been suggested to her by somebody nameless. About to launch into the lovely time she'd had with Douglas instead, she halts; probably because her cousin's attention flicks over in Gage and Elizabeth's direction. Not that she's aware of anything sinister in the older boy's expression when it does, because a smile is a smile is a smile after all, at least from the angle that Lulu observes it. The problem is, his attention is no longer on her, and so the moment to enlighten him further is lost.

Okay, Elizabeth is rather confused at the moment, considering. Her attention was becoming more and more focused on Gage as he says her name, only to then stun her utterly and completely as he embraces her from behind. It doesn't last long, but color touches her cheeks regardless. "Gage, are you okay?" Elizabeth asks, a little flustered but also concerned by his behavior. If he's been outside, maybe he has a fever? He doesn't look feverish though. She frowns faintly as she looks between him and Alphard, confused still. But them being in the same vicinity… it couldn't be good. Pushing her chair back, she rises to her feet. "Did you find the book you were looking for?"

"Thank you." It was said to the Librarian with a bit of sarcasm once everything was neat and orderly. The dark haired youth turned towards the bookshelves, searching for one in particular. The one containing books on Ancient Runes, even if it was a subject that Alphard himself had never bothered to take. He started to drift over, dodging one or two books along the way as they floated through the air. "This is your first year with access, isn't it?" It was asked of Lucretia as his path sort of meandered its way close enough to hold a conversation. A pleasant one, too. As if his lips weren’t usually caught in a sneer rather than a smile. "Stay out of the Hog's Head. Sure The Three Broomsticks has lost some of its charm, but at least there's not a rat problem there." His nose wrinkled. Keeping a filthy place was even worse than keeping a suspiciously Muggle-Themed place.

Gage returns his gaze to Elizabeth, stepping back slightly out of surprise when he finds that she’s now standing. “Uh-“ he utters. “Oi don’t knu,” he answers truthfully and flicks his gaze to the book on the table. He shifts nervously on his feet, biting his lip as he suddenly reaches out to lay a hand on the girl’s arm. “Oi’ve got ter read through it, but…” He pauses, thinks for a second, and then asks, “Can yer make sure Shadow Mist is al’ roigh’?” And his eyes drift off, glancing towards the desk as he scowls, his gaze trailing after Alphard. “Oi nehd sometin’…” he says lowly and then suddenly inches away from the table. He keeps his distance, surely, but he follows Alphard. Gage just thinks deeply for a few, considering, until the tall fourth year quickens his pace so that he approaches Lucretia. “Um.” He hesitates, but he manages a twitch at the corner of his lips. “’Tis noice ter see a Black who isn’t a bloody coward.” This is said hastily in his thick, Irish accent.

Lucretia's face warms with another smile when Alphard addresses her once more, a nod of complete and utter agreement given. "I didn't find the Hog's Head, but I'll absolutely steer well clear of there if it’s as you say it is. The Three Broomsticks was lovely anyway, and the company was good." A breath sucked in as she marks her place in her book with the pink ribbon glued within its spine, closing it carefully thereafter. That done, she addresses his other question, eyes crinkling at the corners as enthusiasm widens her smile. Blimey, can this girl smile! "Mhm. First year I've had access. I'm all grown up now." To be fair, she certainly has the bearing and confidence of someone at least a couple of years older, and what right now comes across as a healthy amount of precociousness will probably see her right in years to come. She's never going to be the shrinking violet. Ever. Hefting her book from the desk, she tucks it back beneath her arm and looks for all the world as if she's about to leave the library, when Gage addresses her. "Did you call me a coward?" Her smile melts away like snow in the sun and she simply stares at him, obviously either having misheard or misinterpreting what he said.

Elizabeth frowns to herself when Gage asks her to check up on his cat, pausing a long moment before dipping her chin with a small nod. Of course she would, even if the request is a little confusing. Her pale gaze follow him to Alphard again, as he clearly intends to follow the Slytherin boy to do… something. And the uttered words… Elizabeth quickly reaches up to tug at the crook of Gage's arm, her gaze narrowed with obvious disapproval. "Of course he didn't." she answers Lucretia. The girl hadn't done anything after all. She's innocent.

"Good company can make nearly any place bearable, can't it?" Alphard mused good naturedly. He snorted out a bastard child of a chuckle and a snort when she claimed that she was all grown up, though. "Hah. Perhaps wait until you've at least had your O.W.L.s done, eh?" And because she was family, he didn't also comment on the distinct lack of grown up female anatomy she was sporting.

If Lucretia's words had drawn a chuckle, Gage actually made him laugh outright. A cruel sound of malicious mirth that earned him a: "SHHHH!" With effort he muted himself. "No, no, Lulu. I'm fairly certain he was referring to me. I do believe the Animudblood," Gage's hurtful nickname that had been the talk of the school not too long ago, "is trying to instigate something. Perhaps he thinks that with the right combination of words he'll provoke me into exploring into mouth-frothiing fury, violently lashing out here in the library. Undoubtedly his daydream involved some way of using it as a pretext to emerge a hero. Or.. something. It's rather hard to take anything serious when it comes from a boy who cries everytime I see him, though."

"Oh. Well good. Because I'm far from a coward," Lucretia says, a small lift of her delicate chin given as she finally pushes her way to her feet. Hugging her book in close as if it were -the- most precious one in the library, she doesn't stop to watch what is likely to be an uncomfortable face-off between her cousin and Gage. Instead she turns on a neat heel and takes herself off down one of the aisles between two tall rows of bookcases, leaving them to sort it themselves.

Oh look, Gage doesn’t have to explain that he didn’t mean her. So he simply nods his agreement with Elizabeth and, well, Alphard. But his dark blue eyes shift onto Elizabeth when he feels her hand tug at his arm. “Sorry,” he mutters to her. After a quick glance to Lucretia, he locks a glower on Alphard. His jaw sets, and the fourth year boy is silent for several seconds as he tries to work out the nerves in his stomach. He takes just a moment while he remembers the words of his friends, and Gage snorts, his shoulders lifting an inch, pushing the nickname out of his mind. “’E’s nae clever enough ter come up wi’ ‘is own names. ‘As ter use someone who is far more intelligent and clever than ‘e is.” His shoulders shift and he raises them again. He swallows, lets out a breath, and speaks up again. “Oi jist want me bloody wand back. So ‘and it over.” His eyes narrow as he stares at the older student.

The hand at the crook of Gage's arm falls away, concern still in her eyes as she glances between him and Alphard. Lucretia may not be worried, but this seems serious. And the mention of his wand being taken? That sends up red flags if any there were. Elizabeth bites softly at her bottom lip, but remains quiet, pensive.

"How's this for cleverness: I can't help but notice that you seem to have an inordinately high opinion someone who is supposed to have hurt and humiliated you." Alphard mused thoughtfully. A bit of predatory cunning danced in his eyes. Rather than face Gage, he kept going towards the Ancient Runes section. "And why is it you never turned her in, hrmmm? And how, I wonder, did she learn you were wandless?" With his back to the younger student, he let his fingers slowly trail over the spines of the magical tomes. Alphard looked over his shoulder at Gage, trying to gauge his reactions. "And lastly, why did you blame me? Clever, eh? Heh. Go get lost. If you're missing a wand it's not my fault. If I were to guess where you'd find it, though.. I'd say broken and at the bottom of the cliffs. But that's just my guess. It's what happens when you lose your wand."

Gage’s scowl deepens as the weight in his stomach sinks further. Anger flashes in his eyes as his fists suddenly clenches. But his eyes widen a sudden moment as both his brows lift, fear and surprise suddenly flashing strongly across his face, until he’s back to narrowing his eyes and glaring. He swallows deeply, and he suddenly finds his hand reaching out for Elizabeth’s, reaching for her, intending to curl his fingers through hers. And he blows out a heavy breath. “Bloody eejit,” he snorts. Fear expands in his stomach, but he shakes his head. “Yer can’t bloody understand it.” His head turns to glance at Elizabeth, but then when he looks to the sixth year walking away, he takes a few steps after him (his hand slipping out from hers). “It takes a better person than yer that when someone bests yer at sometin’ an’ gets de upper ‘and, that yer can admit when dey did clever work.” Gage snorts, turning his head briefly to the side before shooting his glare back at Alphard’s back. “What do yer bloody expect me ter do? Go runnin’ ter a prefect or a professor that Oi got taken down? /Oi’m/ nae a feckin’ coward. Oi don’t ‘ide behind de authority.” The boy’s shoulders droop a little bit when he mentions the wand, and he glowers darkly. “Yer cudn’t give it back to me?” A snorted out chuckle escapes the boy, as forced as it sounds. “Al’ roigh’, Black. Al’ roigh’.” Gage sucks in a breath and releases it. “Let me show yer ‘oy someone can keep a secret even for an enemy. Oi /won’t/ go ‘round tellin’ everyone ‘oy yer afraid of a younger wizard who isn’t /pure/.” He turns his back on the Slytherin after a seething glare, setting his jaw to walk away.

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