(1938-12-12) Chess and Chit-chat
Details for Chess and Chit-chat
Summary: Several Ravenclaws converge in their common room and two distinct conversation groups form.
Date: 12 December 1938
Location: Ravenclaw Common Room

Anthony is deep in an armchair. In front of him is a chess board, with pieces already deployed.

Chess? Yes! Fiona loves chess. It is not her favourite thing but it is in her top ten of favourite things, behind sweets, climbing, story telling, playing her piccolo, Gaelic dancing and finding ancient artefacts. She siddles up to Anthony, coming to a stop near his elbow. "Are you sure you want to move that?" As he wasn't part of the Dragonites or Julian's fiasco, the small first year must consider him safe to be so bold as to speak to him in the common room like this.

Anthony looks up from regarding his chess board, and says, "I haven't decided yet. I have a fiendishly cunning opponent."

Dinner having concluded, and winter being what it is beyond the walls of the castle, it's time to settle in and get comfy for the evening. Homework finished (naturally), Elizabeth is resting comfortably in one of the high-backed chairs near the fireplace, slender legs tucked beneath her to one side. While she reads her worn out, personal copy of Advanced Rune Translation nestled in her lap, she uses a small hand to idly work through the raven braid, undoing it with her fingers. Her pale eyes behind wire frames steadily reading across the page all the while.

Myrus comes down the stairs from the boys dormitories, stopping at the foot of the stairs and looking at who was currently present. A small noise made from his throat as he heads over to one of the bookcases there, checking to see if that book was still th- Aha, there it is! He didn't even have to go to the library this evening. Good thing, too. He moves to flop and snuggle into a couch, looking like he more wanted to be swallowed whole by the furniture than just sit on it, and he cracks open the book about dragons, and begins at a previously placed bookmark. Elizabeth is given a nod in greeting. As well as the two with the chessboard. He's been far less talkative lately. (Myrus Con't)

Fiona moves around to see the board from the opponent's side. The small girl leans over so that she is eye level with the board. "A man who plays against himself is a man who only knows how to win," she says, her words lilting with that Ulster accent.

Anthony smiles faintly, "Actually, I _had_ been working on a puzzle, but I solved it, and nobody was around to play against, so…" He gives a faint smile, "How was the rest of dinner?"

Andromena enters the Common Room shortly after dinner came to its full close. She hadn't been there for very long, which was not all that unusual, since the sixth year would often hurriedly consume her meals in order to cram in more time to study. Tonight even more so, only grabbing a few bites before she pushed her plate away claiming a lack of appetite and then disappearing until this moment. Books secured in the little bag slung over her shoulder, Andromena greets her fellow Ravenclaws with a cheery wave before deciding to amble over to where Anthony and Fiona are. "Who's clobbering who?" Asked with a grin in regards to the chess board.

Every once in a while Elizabeth idly glances up from her book, giving her surroundings a small glance before returning her attention to the text in front of her. Though as Myrus plops into a seat nearby, she barely glances up and lifts a slender brow, taking a peek at the book he selected to read for the evening. "How are things?" she asks, friendly. It's been some time since the last time they've spoken after all. It's at that moment that Andromena enters, the older girl's attention on the chess game it seems. Still, Elizabeth lifts a hand to wave lightly in her direction.

Elizabeth's nonchalant greeting while reading was the next thing to grab Myrus' attention. He looks up, and in the same fashion he looks back down to his book before answering. "Things are okay, I would venture to guess." The rumors about Esther and Medusa and a lack of protection from bullying were eating at him inside. "Just.. a few things bothering me, but all in all, I-" a brief pause, looking up from the book at the wall, then a nod and back down to the book, "-I could complain, but it wouldn't make much difference. Yourself?" Andromena gets a look, and a polite nod, "Andromena. I would like to talk to you when you have a few minutes. Privately." Not creepy, just 'hey, want to talk to you about something'. At which point, he finishes the paragraph he'd been reading and moves his bookmark in case she was available right now.

Elizabeth's nod of recognition is watched warily by Fiona. She stays close to Anthony and seems to relax even further when Andromena joins them. "Hello." The first year looks at the board, "He's playing with himself," she informs Andromena. "I don't think he is making a good move." Remembering Anthony's question the girl answers, "Dinner would have been better if that pushy Hufflepuff prefect would stop making me sit at the Ravenclaw table."

Anthony pauses, and makes the move which Fiona had been looking doubtfully at. Or at least, similarly. He leans back, and then says, "What bullying?"

Andromena must go visit her cousin, one must understand! After her younger brother, he is her closest family. And since her younger brother is well…younger, and a brother, Anthony is viewed in a more favorable light when it comes to the serious business of 'hanging out.' Never the less, Elizabeth's wave is not missed, and is indeed returned with a pleasant, "Elizabeth." "Sure thing, Myrus. Any time," said shortly thereafter. The two were seated so closely together, only someone purposely ignoring one or the other would have been able to avoid saying anything! Her attentions swings back around to Anythony and Fiona, Andromena gives the board a more careful inspection, and then shrugs helplessly. "Anthony is a better player than I," a squint to Fiona. "And I don't doubt you are, too." But she appreciated the game, and liked learning and improving her skills. "Where do you prefer to sit, Fiona?" She, too, had been forced to stick to her own table when at times she would have liked to move about.

Elizabeth listens quietly, politely to Myrus as he seems to stop and start again, faintly lifting a curious brow at the boy again before he dismisses his train of thought completely. "Been better." she idly shrugs a slender shoulder, not going into details. This wasn't the time or place for it after all, and she isn't the type that would complain either. But that seems to solve itself as Myrus swiftly shifts his attention to Andromena "Hm."

Musidora slips quietly into the common room with a murmured hello to whomever she passes, finding the nearest available and empty seat. Though her journal and quill are in hand she makes no immediate move to open it. Over the last several days the sixth year had been increasingly scarce, but now it seems that the tension has unraveled enough for her to venture out again.

"I'd prefer to sit with the Hufflepuffs," says Fiona as she pulls her hand back from moving an opposing piece, stopping short of just doing it. "Two of my best friends are Hufflepuffs. But you're supposed to eat with your own house more often than other houses, or that's what the pushy girl says." She twists her mouth into a disapproving frown. "I bet if I went to sit with my cousin she couldn't say anything, but I don't like to do that. He's kin, not some kind of way to make myself be more important. Family is not for abusing."

Myrus nods when Andromena says that any time is good. He was currently in his regular wear, black slacks and white dress shirt with black vest over top of that and black leather shoes. He closes his book with a quiet whump and stands up, replacing it on the shelf before turning and giving Elizabeth a farewell while passing her, "Have a good evening, Elizabeth," he states calmly.
He moves over to the group with the chessboard, seeing Musidora come in, he ponders to meander over and ask how she's been, being that she'd been rarely visible around since certain.. things happened. But he stays his course and stops a couple steps from Andromena, Fiona and Anthony. "Well, if now is as good a time as any, would you mind walking with me while we talk, please?" A nod given to Fiona and Anthony, "Hello."

Elizabeth watches Myrus and Andromena for a brief moment longer before her attention shifts to Musidora as the girl settles herself into a seat nearby, her expression softening with a pleasant smile. "Good evening. How are you today?" she asks. It's been some time since she's last seen Musi! Where has she and Julian been sneaking off to to snog anyways?

Anthony makes another quiet little move, this time with the black. He seems almost to be fading into the background, merging with the colour of the seat- metaphorically, at least.

Unable to stop herself this time, Fiona does pick up a piece. She plays white. "I was thinking of joining your chess club," she tells Anthony.

Andromena gives Fiona an understanding nod. There would always be someone in the world that was an abject stickler for rules, and the pushy prefe-puff sounded like she could be one such individual. Even if Andromena's basis for that gloriously broad description came from one young girl's single utterance. It should be noted that people as a whole possessed a remarkable ability to categorize and generalize without much deep thought. Andromena was not such a special snowflake that she was above it, either. "Don't let Tony deceive you," a good-natured warning for Fiona as she steps away to stand nearer to Myrus. He would be allowed to choose their destination for the desired talk, to wherever he felt most comfortable. A wink for her cousin, even if he was doing his best to camouflage himself within his seat. "Lead on, good sir Lowe," she then announces.

Myrus leads on into the corridor.

From Muse, Elizabeth manages to coax a faint smile simply by the other girl's level of enthusiasm; the stress from Julian's punishments (yes, plural) plus the ever present sword of Damocles /was/ affecting her just a bit, naturally. "I suppose I am well in body, though considerably rumpled in spirit," is the soft return followed by a chuckle. "Yourself?"

She gives the retreating pair another small wave, but Elizabeth soon shifts her attention towards Musi again, the small smile that may have been fading subtly as she listens. A small frown forms in her delicate brow as she glances over the other girl's shoulder at Fiona and Anthony, wondering just how much they're listening to, if at all. "I suppose the same, in a sense, though I must admit I'm a little curious about your own trials." Elizabeth tries to offer a sympathetic smile.

Anthony chuckles, and starts to quietly reset the board back to their starting positions, "Fair enough. It's good to meet people." A grave little nods, and the sixth year extends a hand seriously to the girl, "Tony Rowle."

Elizabeth's wave makes Fiona nervous and she sits down in the chair across from Anthony, shaking his hand almost reflexively. "Fiona Donnelly." Of those we're-so-pure-and-Irish-our-wands-sproud-shamrocks Donnellys. From across the common room she cannot hear what the two girls are saying when speaking quietly, nor does she look all that interested, especially now that the chess board has been reset. "Some people are good to meet. Others can be a bit worrying."

Musidora's lips thin for a moment but there's a twitch of a smile at the corner. Elizabeth may regret asking. "I'm afraid that my trials would be of little interest. I am doing what I can to finish out this school year… though I /am/ considering leaving once term is complete." With a sigh she leans back and thumb-fidgets at the corner of her journal. "I try to remind myself, 'what we must bear in mind is that all these trials and tribulations that pop up in our lives serve a very useful purpose: they build character.' But I'm…" finally, there's a very defeated shrug. "I'm so very confused."

Anthony considers this, "Well, I don't think there's anyone here I really think I should dislike." He gives a little shrug, "I mean, they probably dislike me, don't they?"

The small girl looks over at Anthony. "I don't know," she says as she plays her opening gambit. "You are big at least, so when they come at you with fists you can hit back." Fiona's feet dangle a foot above the floor, even with her toes pointed downwards. "I'm a first year," in case he wasn't aware, "this is my only frame of reference for how things are in the house. I've not been terribly impressed. What with all the assumption making and name calling and fist shaking. My brother said we're meant to have some sense of community. It doesn't feel that way; not when a small group of people jeopardise things for the majority. Chess is much easier than people. It is logical."

Elizabeth blinks her pale eyes behind her wire frames as she listens to Musi, the small frown deepening in confusion. Leaving the school? "That… doesn't sound like a decision made lightly." she murmurs softly. "Nor does it seem like it would be of little interest. We would miss you. How could it not matter?" She pauses for a longer moment before calmly closing the book in her lap, thoughtful. "True. We learn through trial and experiences to constantly evolve as the people we are, but that does not mean that we must do so alone. If there is a burden, it can be shared." Maybe it doesn't seem like it, but Elizabeth is very fond of those that she considers friends. And if Musi hasn't figured out by now, very loyal. "If there is anything I can do to help, even if it's just lending an ear…"

Anthony makes a countermove. Very conventional. "Well, the thing about a House…. about anything, I suppose is…. first you design what you think it _should_ be like. And then you work out why it is not thus. And then you work out what you need to do to change it to what it should be." He leans back, "You may be a first year now, but one day you will be a seventh year. Maybe the Head Girl. So." He flushes a bit, "Sorry, that sounded a bit much like a pep talk, didn't it?"

"It isn't," Muse replies, some of the frustration easing with Elizabeth's quiet commentary. Maybe it wouldn't be too bad of an idea to lighten the subject. "Thank you. The only person I've really spoken to is Ward but it's nice to have a /girl/ to talk to. My interests have simply changed, that's all and I think I'd rather work with my father than attempt to get a job at the Ministry. But what about you?" she is genuinely interested, "Future plans?"

Anthony's words give Fiona pause and she pulls her hand back away from the board, resting it beside it. "There should be rules everyone follows. No individual being more important than the whole. Nor should their opinions of themselves or others." She chews on her bottom lip revealing her that she's not quite grown into her grown up teeth yet. "Where would you start?" Throwing the ball into his court she makes her play, moving one of her knights out.

Anthony echoes, developing one of his knights too, "So, you want a more collegiate feel? With rules everyone follows?" He ponders this, "There are two choices, I suppose. Reward and punishment. And of course group punishment makes a peer group pressure for the individual to act as part of the group." He leans back again, "Or have some reward for people who do play by the rules."

Her expression softens subtly, but Elizabeth decides to let the conversation shift if only so Musi would be comfortable with the topic. She dips her chin lightly, "I can understand that. Just make sure that regardless of the decision, it's one you know you'll not regret." The question catches her off guard, making the bookworm pause since this is the first time anyone's ever asked her that. "I've been considering a position at the Department of Mysteries. I'm fond of ancient runes, though I suspect that my father will want me to take care of the business one day as well."

"Rewards need to be worthwhile," says Fiona. "I'm not sure house points feel that way. We lost loads and what did it do? Nothing. Nobody seems to care." She looks at the board, frowning as she moves a pawn.

Anthony flicks his other knight out, "Alright. So, what do we have that everyone wants access to? What could you use to reward good behaviour. Or would you just make it socially unacceptable?"

Almost instantly Muse's eyes glitter in answer to her smile. "I should think it would be terribly interesting to run a book store. Surrounded by scrolls and tomes… ages of wisdom and tales of daring, far off places… freedom found in literature." She tucks the journal and quill to the side, now, and dusts off her lap before lacing her fingers together. "I fancy having a husband and children too, though, not just a career." Her lips twitch even as her cheeks flush ever-so-faintly. "Do you suppose that's odd?"

"Food would be cruel," says Fiona as she works through possibilities. "Knowledge would be easiest. Everyone requires it to pass their exams in year five and sixth form. Mind you, some students are lazy so may not mind overly much if they are forbidden to use the library or study areas." She moves another pawn.

Anthony slides out a bishop. Methodical development of the position. Very structured. "What's wrong with food? I mean, not starving them, but you can do a lot of persuading by putting someone on gruel. Afterall, if they don't want to act like part of the Ravenclaw, then why should they be fed like them?"

"It is. Reading everything at your fingertips tend to be rather engrossing." A small chuckle escapes Elizabeth. "I don't want to be so involved in just books though that human interaction falls away." Something must have changed in her for her to think like that, she considers. And after a moment, her pale eyes return to Musidora. After a moment of listening, a small smile touches her lips and color subtly rises in her cheeks as well. "I think it's natural to feel like that." Elizabeth admits. "I wish I was a little more experienced with the whole 'courting' process though."

"I was thinking denial of sustenance, but I can see your point." Fiona hmms and moves her knight out of the line of fire from Anthony's bishop. "Perhaps public humiliation would help too. Since pride seems to be a sin so many around here suffer from."

Anthony nods, and moves a pawn forward in turn. Lots of fencing at long range here, "So, that's the stick. What about a carrot?"

Head tilting at a curious angle, Muse's own blue eyes consider the girl for the moment. "What I learned was from books, though I have seen… too often a distinct lack of etiquette about it. I don't believe it's proper form to go off snogging a different person each week," she says it without a hint of derision, "but I am unfamiliar with the actual logistics of it myself beyond what I have experienced with Julian." Ahem. "Perhaps we should research it?" That is, if she translated Elizabeth's comment correctly. It's not really sight unseen that Musidora can be something of a cloudhead.

The firstie frowns as Fiona realises she can't quite make the move she wants and has to adapt her plan of attack, moving a pawn into a sacrificial space. "The carrot…acceptance. Social glory. Worthwhile glory, something you can win which few can. Something that can help you get a better job or a place at a uni."

Anthony ponders the sacrificial offer for a long while. "So, you have a basic plan for when you're in charge." He flashes a shy smile, "Who would you bring that idea to sooner than when you're in charge?" Then after much consideration, he declines the taking of the pawn, and instead nudges a knight forward to threaten a fork of king and rook. " Less the brutal 'street brawler' type of chess player as the caster of the elegant long distance spell. "Because whilst you'll doubtless be a prefect in the long term, that's a little way off."

Elizabeth exhales a small breath, "Unfortunately, the accumulation of what I know comes from books as well, but I'm starting to believe that just reading it isn't enough." She reaches up to lightly brush her bangs from her face, gaze looking back up to Musidora. "I think you've already made it to the crucial step, since you've found someone with mutual interest in perusing a romantic engagement." It's more than she's had. The suggestion however quirks Elizabeth's brow. "How are we supposed to conduct that kind of research?"

"I could go to Con," Fiona muses. "But it's not a Hufflepuff problem." Fiona shifts on her chair, tucking her feet beneath her. "I like Eibhlin. She doesn't care that I'm in the Magijugend, she just treats me like a person." With one hand she tucks hair behind her ear while the other slides her knight into position to take his bishop.

Anthony's brow lifts, and he nudges his knight forward, taking a pawn, and says, "So, how does that group compare with… say… wanting to have people display loyalty to Ravenclaw, rather than anything else?" The tone is polite, but there's just an air of unease to the way he asks it. Then he adds, "Oh, and check."

Well. It's clear that she really hadn't thought that far, but Musidora's face takes on a resolute sort of expression as she keeps her tones low and and almost conspiratorial. "Have you no one that you may have considered in matters of the heart? Someone for whom there may be tender stirrings?" Almost absently one hand drifts down to pat and make sure her journal is still there.
"You don't have to say who. To be perfectly honest I'm not even sure how /I/ luck- ended up where I am, but I think that was probably a starting point. And a /lot/," she emphasizes with an almost wry smile, "of patience." SO MUCH PATIENCE.

Myrus walks through, followed by a handful of other Ravenclaws that were just coming back from the final closing minutes of what was left of evening meal (and snacks afterward or something) and without a word, looking a bit perturbed and concerned, Myrus, not connected to the newcoming of Ravenclaws, heads up to the boys dormitory. The rest of the small gaggle scatter off to do their thing.

Elizabeth blinks her bright eyes at Musidora for a pregnant moment before glancing away, the color in her cheeks deepening though a sad frown tugs at her delicate brow. "Yes, but he doesn't feel the same. And it's only recently that I've started to realize that I'm inconveniencing him because of it." she murmurs quietly. "Mostly… it just hurts."

"It's rather boring really. We don't do anything. Everyone has this whole," Fiona lifts her hands up and wiggles her fingers, "oooh they're evil and sacrifice bunnies attitude about the Magijugend." Down go the hands. Normal hands. "We had that party on Bonfire Night and that's all we've done. It is nice to know if someone bullies me that I have people who will protect me. Especially since that crazy boy with the glasses likes to shake his fists at me. I can understand the pikey Irish better than I can him and he's suppose to be Irish too. I think he talks as if he has marbles in his mouth."

Anthony says seriously, "Who's bullying Ravenclaw firsties?" He's big, but not especially muscular. But he is a 6th year. "I don't think that's acceptable. At all."

The previously studious look is replaced by one of commiseration as Musidora reaches out to put a comforting hand on Elizabeth's shoulder. "Neither did he," she comments, "and it hurt every day for two years." It's the most that she's really discussed with anyone outside of the two boys she spends the majority of her time with off-panel. "Then we just went for a walk one day and… something had changed. I'd like to hope it could be the same way for you, so if /you/ ever need anything, you can feel free to come to me." There's a pause and a chuckle then. "At least yours doesn't have a genius for trouble."

Fiona flips her king over, conceding victory to Anthony. "Her boyfriend," she says nodding towards Elizabeth, unaware that poor Dweedle isn't in fact tongue twisting of the physical sort with Gage, but somehow translating the tongues he speaks in instead. "Pardon me. I need to go…go," she says getting to her feet. "Nice meeting you Anthony Rowle." With as much decorum as possible Fiona walks slowly away but as she nears the girl's dorm it becomes more of a potty dance until she is out of sight.

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