(1938-12-10) A Declaration of War (Short)
Details for A Declaration of War (Short)
Summary: Gage has cracked, and Esther's true nature is revealed to her cousin. As this information is revealed, she must change faces again, from loyal family to deadly enemy. Has she overstated her position?
Date: 1938-12-10
Location: Slytherin Common Room - Hogwarts Castle
Related: Esther's Journal Entry, 1938-12-10 - No log from Alphard/Gage.

Alphard was leaning over a game of wizard's chess, one he was playing with himself rather than against an actual opponent. While he could hardly be said to be a prodigy at the game, the truth was that he wasn't horrible. Just good enough to be decent without being superbly impressive. A couple of members of his 'pack' were sitting around him, playing gobstones. "UGH!" came from one of them when he lost, and got squired in the face. Alphard ignored them. Gobstones. Such a juvenile game. Wizard chess was much more interesting, plus he always enjoyed watching the pieces hack each other into bits.

It was late in the evening, close to bed time.

Esther slinks into the common room, rather than out of the dormitories, this late at night. It's abberant behavious - So is the lack of the book that she'd been carrying around earlier. There's a warmth in her cheeks that could only be from cold or embarassment. Alphard playing chess by himself seems to draw a smile from the girl, who has found her confidence in the time away. She pauses by the kettle to make herself a cup of coffee, and notes with a teasing smile. "No-one is willing to play with you, and you're guaranteed to lose. What a shame." She murmurs, while stirring.

"I had a talk with Hart the other day," Alphard murmured as he continued to look at the board infront of him. Ponder, ponder, ponder. Now that he had signed up for a chess club, he really wanted to polish up on his skills. Finally a white bishop went forward to club the pawn to death with its stick. He was unable to help his grin as he watched the savage violence. "He's not a very good actor when pushed. The two of you should've played your roles better."

Gage. Esther pauses for a moment, her grip on her cup tightening. She doesn't do him the decency of turning to face him, however. "Gage is a pawn. Numerous in nature, easy to manipulate. They can lead a hostile piece anywhere you need it." She sips her coffee, and adjusts it with a bit of cream. Stirring it in, and tapping her spoon three times. "Of course, he's compromised now. I'll take him off the board." She steps away from the table, and begins to head towards the dormitory.

"Don't blame it all on Hart, now. For a while you almost had me going, but you just didn't have the discipline to stick to your role. If you're going to do something, Esther, you have to commit to it." He turned the table around so he could play from the other side. "Don't think this is over, though. You just made a very big mistake."

"Alphard, I'll forgive you not understand just how 'manipulation' works without the use of a wand and a fist." Esther sighs, finally degrading herself by turning to look at him. It's unveiled, at last. She's stopped playing nice. Hate. "You claim to be the better of us. But for all of your use of the rod, Gage would do anything for me." A soft, sweet chuckle. "And anything to your detriment. He's just thick enough to consider me a friend." Her course is set. "See, Alphard, you've made more mistakes than me. And far more enemies. So you've got a year, a wand, and a few simpletons. And I've got an army of students who can't wait to see what I'll do to you." The telltale sign of a smirk. "Sleep well, dear cousin."

"Look at me, shaking in terror." Alphard mocked her with open contempt. Their little exchange was drawing some stares, but he was indifferent to that. "OoooOooh. The fear I have of you and your pathetic 'army'. I'll sleep just fine, you need have no doubt of that."

"I know, Alphard. You can sleep an entire night away." Esther sips her coffee, and chuckles to herself. "I prefer to spend my time thinking. I guess we're done with the pleasantries, cousin." A soft, sweet sigh. "I was /so/ looking forward to burying the knife in your back. Metaphorically speaking of course. But that is the nature of the mad dog." She begins to wander towards the dorm again, her hands cradling the cup. "That man ruins everything…"

"The last time a snake pitted herself against me, she lost her prefectship and rumor is she's now got a private room in the crazy section of St Mungos. Keep that in mind." Alphard tossed after her. LAST WORD WAS HIS.

"Last time someone with intelligence pitted themselves against you, you ran to a Prefect." Esther calls out sweetly. "I trust you'll be a big, brave boy this time." Revenge.

This war is MINE.

Alphard sneered. A part of him still wasn't comfortable with how that had gone down, even after all this time to reevaluate events and cast them in the best possible light. "I played him like the fool he was. Every step of the way. What does it matter what tools I used? I won. In the end, that's all that matters."

He's talking to an empty corridor.

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