(1938-12-11) Fortifications and Re-Jenny-Rations
Details for Fortifications and Re-Jenny-Rations
Summary: An Esther wracked with self-doubt finally emerges into the Common Room, and appeals to the girl she had sought friendship from not so long ago. After a moment of humiliation, and a good long look in the mirror, Esther realises where she's gone wrong, and how to move forward. The girls share a snack, an armchair, and leave to get a proper meal just as Alphard and Emily arrive. Alphard's best efforts to provoke his cousin are sadly ineffective.
Date: 1938-12-11
Location: Slytherin Common Rooms - Hogwarts Castle
Related: The Letter for Alphard/Esther Lines on the Battlefield A Declaration of War

It's mid-afternoon, and Esther has emerged from the bedroom for the second time since she and Alphard had their rather… Public… Dispute. The girl hasn't been crying - At least, there's no evidence of red-rimming around her eyes - But she does look pale, even for her. One hand is up, at the centre of her chest, curled into a fist. She bites her lower lip as she descends into the commons. In the snake pit, she never looked vulnerable. Not until now. But she seems to be making a beeline for the kettle, trying to avoid her housemates.

Gossip is slow to reach Jenny on occasion, mostly because sometimes she has better things to do. Like attempt to study. Where she'd holed off to actually crunch down proper with some books. With the grey devilcat flittering about her feet, the tall chaser slipped into the common room and for a moment, didn't seem to notice Esther, until she did. The why's of course, took a few minutes to settle, even for her, before she caught up with why she ought to be surprised. "I take it this means you're not going to come to his party then, huh?"

Esther looks up when she's spoken to, and bites her lower lip. "… I don't know." A pause. There's a letter in her other hand, but it's not opened. Just held tight. "… For all I know, yeah." She slowly adds coffee, sugar, water, cream. A sip, and a sigh, as life begins to slowly fill her. A little bit of color. "… I really don't know right now."

"Care to talk about it?" Jenny offers, as she falls sideways into one of the chairs and drapes her legs up over the arm of it. Adjusting her robes so's not to smother herself while also plucking one of the scones left over from lunch from her pocket. The choclate center had cooled but it was still good! It was what she was nibbling on too, as she watched the other girl.

… "… No…" Esther finally admits, with a heavy sigh. She walks to sit near to Jenny, looking at the ground. "Have I changed…? Since we started speaking?" She asks quietly, one hand in her lap holding a coffee, her other still at her side, holding that letter. Wracked with self-doubt, poor girl.

"I unno, have you? If you're having to ask if you have, then the answer is probably yes or you wouldn't be asking in the first place and well, I've only spoken to you once or twice so I don't have a particularly solid foundation upon which to base any kind of answer." Nom nom nom. Nibble nibble, on the scone. "What's your deal with Black, anyway? It kinda seemed like you went out of your way to get an invite to the party only to…make it explode in your face."

Esther bites her lower lip again. She had promised to be honest to the girl, which was something that was working against her now. But she's a creature of her word. "… I wanted Alphard on side. I didn't want him working against me…" She sighs. "… I wanted to make things better. That's not going to happen, anymore…" Her use of the term 'better' is mildly questionable. "… I'll never forgive him for what he did and who he is." She admits.

In her chair, Genevieve blinks, staring with a rather perplexed expression at Esther. "Better? What was wrong with them to begin with and what's he done now that you'll never forgive him for?" The look of perplexion shifting to something a little more curious now. "I feel like I'm missing rather a lot, you know. There's all sorts of blanks."

"My cousin is a thug." Esther answers, her mouth drawing a grim line. Her voice is quiet, so she's not overheard. "He's a relic from an uneducated era. Not noble, not educated… Just relentlessly controlling, a sadist, bigoted by fear and not by knowledge." She shakes her head sadly. "… I can't tell if I hate him, or pity him… I just… I want him to stop." Such honesty is pushing her out far past where she wants to be. It doesn't serve her cause at all. She sighs. Heartfelt.

"You're a very confusing girl, Esther," Jenny ventures, at length before taking another bite of her scone. "You think an awful lot about him though. More, I would wager, than you do your lessons or how you might deal with your mother in regards to your relationship with your cousin. It's a kind of obsession, I think. Which, I can understand, because you're all artsy, but at the same time, you are all artsy which is why I am struggling to understand just why it is you insist in seeing the world in nothing but black and white. You think he's bad? Stand there and tell me that you do not sound just as narrow minded and judgmental in your own opinion."

Esther puts her cup down. Half finished. She slowly gets to her feet, still holding her letter tightly. There's too much there to handle. Eventually, she chooses her response. "… That's what I'm afraid of." There's the first signs of tears in her eyes. Being just as bad as her cousin. Monster. She turns away from Genevieve, and walks back towards the girls dorm without a further word.

"You know, for such a clever girl, sometimes you can be an idiot. There's more to you than just one thing or another, just like there's more to him than your simply labeling him a thug. Yes, he's got an occasionally…blunt personality, but he stands up for his beliefs and he's loyal, almost to a fault and while it might not be something that you understand, he's got a moral code. A thoughtful side along with it. But you spend so much time making yourself colorblind that you fail to see it and instead of trying to? You just look for more faults," Jenny replies. There's no heat in her tone; no harsh weight of judgment. It's casual, much as her observation is and Jenny is…smiling. As if she's just solved a mystery that'd been bothering her and that smile, threatens to turn into a grin. "But you've just helped me with something, whether you realized it or not and for that? I thank you."

Esther seems… "If I could take it all back, Jenny…" She sighs, looking down again. "If I knew what I know now… I'd never have started this." Morose? Repentant? Condemned? "… There's no going back from here though. Not with him…" She returns to returning to the room.

"Well, that's the way to get things done," Jenny cheers and there's a touch of…sarcastic playfulness in the tone. "Just lay down and take it. You're only sixteen after all. Right here at Hogwarts, the world has ended, nothing else is left. You have reached the end. I don't know what I'd do in your shoes, knowing that the sun wasn't going to rise tomorrow and that when I went to sleep it would be for the very last time. I wouldn't worry about Myrus either, I'm sure that some other girl will be glad to take him. He's handsome enough and not bad at Quidditch. I mean, if you're just going to mope around like a ghost because you've made some bad decisions, I'm sure he can find someone else to help bring a little warmth and sunshine to his life. He's not half bad when he's having fun, you know. Nice smile." Jenny rambles on, her pose a causal one for all that she's still watching Esther out of the corner of her eye.

That… That puts the fire back into her in a heartbeat. The defeat is gone, a long, stiff inhale straightens her back, and her stare turns from floor to Jenny. There's anger. A moment of it. "I'm /not/ feeling sorry for myself." She speaks, her voice straighter. Clearer. Her mind engages, a moment later. "Anymore." There's a way forward. Always is. Even if she has to forge it… She has the best reason in the world to do so. She stalks back across the room, to stand before Genevieve, looking at the seated Quidditch player. "I'm finished acting like a child now." She states simply. "… Thank you."

The grin is slow in coming, like a sunrise until it's twisted up and made the corners of her lips into sharp little points. "Ah, now. There. See, there is my girl. Head up, eyes forward, shoulders back. That's a posture with strength. That's a look with reason, of a woman grown, not a little girl who's world ends because of one bad day. I knew you had it in you," a little nod then, as she admires the girl, before giving a lazy pat to her thighs. It's an invitation to sit, if Esther wants it; though obvious perhaps that the chaser isn't about to move from her comfortable sprawl. "And you're welcome." Jen is sincere in that. "And I shall even tell you something that might help make you feel better in general, too. A secret that's as plain as the nose on your face, one you'll grin over, when you realize the truth of it. This year? Is halfway through. Almost over. Soon to be done. And then, we'll have a new one, but do you know the funny thing, about the new year? All the seventh years will be gone and oddly enough, most of his friends. Life's rather funny, like that."

Esther actually manages to smile, despite a gentle heat in her cheeks at the kind words. "… I'm glad." It might have taken a verbal slap in the face to bring her back to sensibility. She doesn't really see any alternative to sitting on Jen's thighs, so that's where she sits - Suprisingly light. "I know it's nearly over. 'Rus and I talk about that all the time…" A gentle smirk, "I mean… Myrus, don't call him 'that'." It's her name for him. And it wouldn't have slipped out were she fully in her right mind. "Haven't even finished my plan yet… I guess I just want to get my OWLs out of the way."

"I won't," Jenny promises, in regards to calling Myrus 'Rus. "But you should focus on your OWLs. Your time with him. And stop worrying so much about Black." A playful bounce is offered the girl as she sits, but her hands are kept to herself. Except one. One is attempting to try and tame a particularly wild lock of Esther's hair. "Patience. Patience is a virtue, or some such, but occasionally it pays off. Just give it some time and we'll see, hm? But try not to fret so much in general. Worry more about you instead of them."

Esther smiles, settling into the older, taller girls lap. It's an odd sensation but it's comfortable for her. "Words to live by." She nods, "I have to reorganise my priorities." She agrees, "And put me and mine on the top of the list." She turns to face the girl directly, looking down at her - Trying not to have her head jerked about too much. "It'll just go back that way, Jenny. So… I guess I never got a chance to ask you previously, despite some of the promises I may have made. Are you part of me and mine? There's no obligations… Aside from enduring me."

Despite the way Esther's hair can be…worrisome, Jenny is remarkably gentle about it. "You should. Why not? It's not as if you plan to live on your cousin's doorstep your entire life and it should be your life, not his." Though the fifth years wriggling proves just how boney she can be, the chaser doesn't protest. Snatches her scone, to keep it from falling prey to the girl's movements but, otherwise that's it. "Bah. Fine." And with a grin, Genevieve let her hair go. "I don't make it a habit to help people I have no care for, I hope you realize. It's hard work, putting you back together!" She teases.

"Sometimes I break." Esther answers simply, "But… I need someone who knows how to do it. Someone who can be there for me, when the only other person who can isn't here." The girl looks down with a bit of a sheepish smile, hiding behind a bouncing, bountiful curtain of hair. It's a bashful look, "'Course, I don't know what I've got that's fair payment for such a request. I'll find something, though, k?" She smiles. She's less boney now. Tom is making her eat, remember. As if to prove a point, she tries to snatch the soone back. "Like this!"

"Well when you do," Jenny vetures, offering Esther a bright smile, "I'll be around to help pick up the pieces." With absolutely no promise for how they go back together. "And you don't have to offer 'payment' for it either. That's just silly. Your friendship, your loyalty, just you, sweetie. That's more than enough for me." The look in her eyes, the curl of her smile, both suggested that it was meant. But then that scone disappears again and Jenny chuckles; the action one that jostles her frame. "I was going to eat that, minx!"

Esther brushes enough of her hair curtain back that she can be seen to smirk from underneath it. "You have my loyalty, Jenny. For that, you can have it 'til the end of the earth." She confirms. Of course, the scone suffers a horrible fate from being stolen, torn in two, and one half of it given back to Jenny. "… Loyalty isn't going to stop me being playful." She smile continues. "Besides. Technically it's sharing." She bites gently into it. The first thing she's eaten all day, unbeknownst to Jenny. Fooood.

"Just don't go throwing my name in with any of those hard lines of yours. Tis the only thing I request. I don't have a side, really. I have a me. The same me that's accepting you regardless of your opinions. Or your blatant thievery of my scone. Which, I should point out, is only sharing if it's offered not stolen." Wink. "But I forgive you for it. I've an orange too, if you want one?" Jenny always had food in the pockets of her robes, honestly it was a wonder, with how she ate that she wasn't as big as a house.

Esther nods, "I wouldn't put you into a position, Jenny. I told you… No games." She blushes faintly. "…. Yes please…." She seems muted, in her request for food, as she polishes the scone off. "I… I might have felt a little too sorry for myself to eat." After cleaning her fingers as neatly as she can, she gathers her hair and pushes it back over her shoulders, unconsciously settling in on Jenny's lap.

"..too sorry to eat?" The notion appears to baffle the Chaser, who's more apt to be late for a class than she is to refrain from eating. Her had disp into the pocket of her robes then; where they're draped off the front of the chair and when it returns, there's an orange in her palm, along with a chocolate frog. Both of them were offered up to Esther. "Food is your friend. You should never feel too sorry to eat. You'll waste away into nothing that way, not," another little wiggle of her thighs, jostling Esther, "that you aren't close enough as is."

"Shush." Esther mutters playfully, when she's teased about her weight. "… I've been trying to eat more…" She shakes her head with a bit of a pout, taking both chocolate frog and orange into hand. The frog is first, the case opened, frog pinned beneath her thumb, snapped in half and then popped into her mouth. While she chews, the card is presented to Jenny, a muffled, "Your prize." Is offered. The second half of the frog follows pace not long after. Her self-consciousness about her weight is probably why she's normally quite robed.

A young girl steps in from the maze outside, carrying a very fluffy white kitty in both arms, hands tucked under the belly. Her cheeks are bright pink as she walks into the commons, as from exertion. "Now we won't be doing /any/ such thing like that again, won't we, Snowflake? That is just /terrible/. You do that kind of thing in /private/." The child seems extremely aghast at what happened. She gives the cat a little toss towards the dormitory, a lazy meow escaping the fluffy cat as he stares simply at his owner. Another low meow, and he simply hops up onto a chair to perch comfortably.

When Emily glances around, she shoots her hazel eyes towards the two older students, flailing a hand towards her cat. "Ack! Can you believe it? A /mouse/ is not a good present. Ick." Her tongue sticks out as she scrunches up her face, shaking her head fervently. "Gross. It was terrible." A hand comes to rest on her hip. "This is what I get for bringing a cat to school."

"Poor lil froggy. Never going to hop again," Jenny sighs, her tone one that's both pining and playful all at once. Jenny's lounged in a chair, back against one arm, legs across the other with Esther on her lap. "Mmmm," it's a considerate sound, as she reaches for the card, looking over the image before looking beyond it at Esther herself. "You're right. I suppose it'll do." The cheeky grin, the eye contact, it seemed to be aimed more Esther rather than the card. "Now, let's go find you something a little more nourishing to eat, shall we? Before I've a study session to attend." Which, had her swatting lightly at Esther's flank, in an attempt to put her to moving so that she could get up. Her eyes flicking towards Emily and in turn, her cat.
"Sounds like it's doing it's job. They bring you gifts, because they appreciate you and are trying to help take care of you, much as we take care of them. I'd not grump about the cat over it."

Esther chuckles, looking at her orange. "There is really no nice way to eat this, anyway." Not without casting some spells that might get her in trouble. "And yes, Jenny, I owe you a frog. Hell, I'll buy you two." The swat convinces her to get up slowly, smoothing out her robe, depositing the orange, and a sealed letter, into her pockets. "I should make up today's study, anyway." A hand is offered to Jenny, to pull her out of her comfortable position.

Accepting Esther's hand, Jenny rises up from her seat; giving an absent swat to her own robes to see them made straight and as organized as she can manage or cares to worry about. "Mmm, that's okay. We've talked about payments." Grin. "Besides, I like those little brandy bonbons better." Hint hint! Once on her feet though, she aims to loop an arm across Esther's shoulders, so that they can make their way on towards the maze. "It's settled then. We'll both get food and you can study across from me, that way I can put you back on track, when your mind wanders." Grin.

"The cat was just being friendly," Alphard murmured as he appeared behind Emily. "Imagine the most wonderful thing you can have to eat. Wouldn't you want to share it with your most favorite person in the world? Take it as a compliment." Then he peered past the firstie at Esther and Genevieve. "Hey Jenny." As for Esther, he didn't greet her so much as just say: "I got a letter. Don't worry, your wand will be perfectly safe with me. I've a track record with these things." His smile was deceptively mild.

"Hopefully they use an age line, or I'm screwed." Esther turns to look at Alphard, who enters and attacks her sanity with a sledgehammer. Her han, still holding Jenny's, grips tightly. She forcibly smiles at him though, and turns to look at Jenny with a somewhat awkward. "… That would be a yes. Shall we away?" A yes to what? Well, that's going to be their little secret. It does reveal that her letter says exactly what she thought it would. Perhaps she /would/ burn without reading it.

"We shall!" Jenny replies, offering an upnod in Alphard's direction and a smile and a Look, for all that she gives Esther's hand a squeeze in response and promptly set's about escorting her out. "See you on the pitch later, Alphard!" And away they go!

Her tongue sticks out again as she shakes her head again, face scrunched. "Ick!" Her hazel eyes watch the two on the couch before she spins to look up to the source of the voice. "Oh, you," she says with a bit of 'tch' of disapproval. "The not-so-very heroic boy in the library." She shakes her head.

"You were crawling all over my leg," Alphard told Emily. "For no bloody reason. If there had actually been anything to be heroic about, I'd have dealt with it. You were all acting like loonies about shadows. Not everybody is interested in playing bloody make-belief games, you know. It's a library. It's meant to be quiet."

Emily rolls her eyes, a hand lifting and spreading her fingers as she holds up her palm. "Whatever," she says, as if to hush him. As she shakes her head, her two braids whip around behind her. With a little hop, she bounces over to where the fluffy cat is perching on the chair. "You," she says to the cat. "Need a good grooming." And a very low meow of protest escapes him, but her arms wrap around the cat's belly before he can hop off the chair. She turns to glance up to Alphard again. "Surprised you don't hit the ceiling. Anyway, Mister 'Whatever Your Name is', I suppose you want to go be boring with your age appropriate friends."

"That attitude isn't going to get you very far, tiny," Alphard told Emily with an eyeroll. Still, she was Slytherin. The boy could put up with some sass from his own. "And ask around. Everybody knows who I am." And yes, he was infact going to head out to be boring with his age appropriate friends. Firsties were too far beneath him to really be interesting company. He shrugged, then headed for the exit.

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