(1938-12-13) Not Making Friends
Details for Not Making Friends
Summary: Lulu offers Madeline a little advice, but Alphard was so right about mudbloods. So. Right…
Date: 1938-12-13
Location: Entry Hall, Hogwart's Castle.

Madeline looks surprised, then relieved, then just a liiiiittle disappointed as Zayn invites Cory to join him for Christmas. Man, all those letters… all that hard work… She quickly shrugs it off, though.
"Oh, I always find a way to keep busy," the girl responds with undiminished enthusiasm. "I'll figure something out."
Alphard's talk of a girl and her loyalties as certainly earned Maddie's attention, though, as she looks at the older student curiously. "Yeah, who?"

Cory nods. "Thanks for the offer, I'll keep it in mind and just see how things go, we still have a few days right?"

Zayn tilts his head curiously, clearly thinking for a moment, "Well I wouldn't call it to the rescue, Cory is family is all." he says with a small nod, looking between Cory, Alphard and Madeline, now wondering if he has done something to upset the balance of the world. "Well to be honest, it is just like every other day. Father of course gives the works the days off, but mainly he handles business and such." he says with a small shrug, looking at Madeline he gives her an apologetic look, clearly feeling a bit bad about all this now.

Speaking of loyalties, here's one with bucket-loads of it. Dark hair swept back from her face so it falls in deep waves down her back, Lucretia arrives from the direction of the Slytherin maze. Naturally its Alphard she spots first as he does tend to rather dominate any group in which he stands, and an instant smile melts across her face. Oh here we go. Adjusting the trajectory of her feet so that its the small group he's in she's now heading for, she hitches the heavy book carried beneath one arm and comes to a halt kind of centre-left of the group. But near her cousin. "Hello Alphard." The greeting is simply made before eyes move over the rest of the group; some of whom she knows, and some she doesn't

Alphard gave Niles and then Madeline a look, considering. "Another time." He slapped Zayn on the shoulder. "Don't worry about her. I'm sure she can find herself another lost puppy to dote on. That kind always does. You should know, since you're one of said softies." If there was a bit of playful mockery there, then at least the malice wasn't too thick.
"Hey Lulu."

Niles looks disappointed at Alphard's answer, but he quickly wipes the expression off his face. "So do you not celebrate anything then?" he asks Zayn, finding that quite strange. "You just sit around at home?" He looks around at the arrival of another Slytherin, and his face goes a bit pink. "Hello, Lucretia," he says, oddly formal.

Lucretia allows her eyes to linger a moment on Niles, her smile deepening to something altogether delicious when the pinkness in his cheeks is spotted. Ignoring the others for a moment, she leans just close enough to whisper something quietly to him, one hand lifting to cup around his ear thus keeping it private.

Lucretia whispers, "Find your your scales yet?" to Niles.

Madeline shrugs off Zayn's apologetic look, and answers it with a bright smile. It doesn't much matter, she tells herself. Really. She's just glad that Cory has somewhere to go for Christmas. … sure.
"Oh, I probably will," she agrees with Alphard easily, not in the least bit offended. "Possibly before I go to bed tonight!"

"I suppose we are simplistic." Zayn says with a small shrug, "We are thankful for what we have everyday." he continues with a small nod. He watches the interaction between the two other Slytherins for a moment curiously, but doesn't say anything. He chuckles softly at Alphard's comment, the smile still on his face, he has never been bothered by such comments, "Like I said, Always helping." he says to Alphard with a smile, his hand moves up running through his hair now.

Alphard too watched Lucretia lean in against Niles to whisper. "Aw, isn't that cute." The bemused murmur he delivered to Zayn was pitched just loud enough that it was sure to carry. "Anyway, I've got some studies to do. You keep up making the world a better place, Shafiq. And do try to put some spine into him, eh?" The him in question being Cory. With that he started to disengage from the group.

Cory nods. "I have to go too, need to get my books I left in the common room and return them to the library." and with that Cory jumps down the stairs and off.

Somewhat alarmed when Lucretia leans in to whisper something to him, Niles glances at the two older Slytherins before jerking his head at her in an awkward nod. But when he hears Alphard's words he freezes, and for several seconds he seems unable to speak. With some effort he mutters, "Yes. In the cupboard, like you said," and then he fixes his eyes on the hourglasses and becomes very interested in the current House standings.

Lu hears just enough of what Alphard says, as was intended, for her to turn and scowl at him. "Seriously…" The mutter is delivered with a small hitch of her shoulders and a shift of her book from beneath one arm to the other. It really is heavy it would seem, though the chances of her allowing it out of her grip are zero to none. She's a tenacious thing and has the steel of Black blood running in her veins, so with her chin walnutting just a degree with the forward jut of her lower lip, she gives a simple nod of approval back to Niles. "Good."

"Goodbye, Travers! Goodluck!" Madeline says brightly, ignoring the whispering the Alphard's attempts at being /catty/. The comment about the cupboard does catch her attention - what's in the cupboard?! - but she doesn't press. They're /whispering/, it's not like they would tell.

Zayn nods to Alphard with a smile, "I will continue to do my best." he gives Alphard a mock salute, with a smirk and wink. "Best of luck with your studies." he says nodding, knowing he has the same course load as Alphard and what all is happening in class, "Oh? What is happening in the Cupboard?" he asks the two curious, looking at the hourglass, "Nothing that will cost points, I certainly hope." he says clicking his tongue against his cheek, before looking at Madeline, waiting for Cory to depart, "I am sure the cards will still mean a great deal to him." he says warmly with a smile to her.

Niles tears his gaze away from the hourglasses and faces the others again, though he avoids looking any of them in the eye. "Nothing is happening in the cupboard," he says in a clipped tone, scowling at nothing. "And no, I won't be losing any points. You can thank Lucretia for that." His eyes flick sideways to her and then away again.

Lucretia watches her cousin's departure for a moment, then looks back to Zayn, allowing the full warmth of her smile to descend on him, along with her attention. "Hello Zayn. The cupboard? Oh Niles will explain, won't you Niles." A bump of her shoulder is given the younger boy, though it might be a slightly heftier one than intended since she's not actually concentrating on him, eyes firmly on her House Prefect still. That Niles doesn't go on to explain does cause her smile to skew just slightly, and she exhales a slow breath. "Its fine to say Niles. People lose things all the time." A pause, a shift of her attention back to Niles before it travels through Madeline and back to Zayn. "He lost his scales."

"Yeah, I know. But I had this whole /plan/," Madeline tells Zayn. "I was going to leave all the cards with Professor Dumbledore. And Cory would have gotten just one card the last day of school, then two the next day, then four, then eight, then sixteen - the numbers get /really big/, really fast if you do that. But since he won't be here, I can't have Pro-" The girls eyes widen, and she bounces up onto her toes, reaching out to take Zayn's arm with one hand, while the other clutches her books. "I could give the cards to /you/!" she says eagerly. "Then it'd still work! That'd be /perfect/!" She'd clap her hands, if her arms weren't ladden.
She drops Zayn's arm as abruptly as it was grabbed, and bounces on her toes eagerly - though she does spare a little attention for Niles and Lucretia. "Lost your scales? Oh no!"

Zayn nods slowly looking between the two, a brow still arched but the smile still on his face, "Best keep better security on your personal belongings." he says nodding, slowly. "Need those for class, would hate to see you doing poorly in a class because you misplaced something." he says his hand moving and running through his hair, "Though if you do loose something you need for class, let me know I have a few spares of things to help out in case such situations arise." he says looking between the two, a wry look in his eyes, "However if I find out that, is not the full or true story, I will be rather cross." he says clicking his tongue against his cheek again.
His attention goes back to Madeline a smile on his face, "I would be more then happy to do that, even if he comes for the Holiday, I feel that perhaps my family my be a bit to…" he says rubbing his chin slowly, "Boring for the Holidays, since we do not do anything special." he says with a chuckle, "I am sure it will mean a lot to Cory, he is a good Lad, just a bit easy to get down." he says nodding slowly, putting his hand ontop of Madeline's head softly, "You are a good Lass too it seems." he says nodding.

"He's a prefect!" Niles hisses to Lucretia in shock. He risks a glance up at Zayn and is relieved to see that the older boy is smiling. "It's the truth," he says quickly, "but I've already found them. In the cupboard like I said. And Professor Slughorn said he would only take points off if I showed up to class without them again, so I haven't lost any yet. You don't have to worry." He says all this in a rush as though he wants to get it over with as quickly as possible. "Anyway," he adds hastily, "I'm supposed to meet someone. So! Goodbye then." He flashes the three of them an awkward smile and dashes off up the stairs.

"That's what I told him," Lucretia states, her brows still drawn into a slight knit above the bridge of her nose. And she really might have done that, or she might not have, but it'd be the obvious thing for her to have told him had she thought of it. Then the younger boy's lighting out of the hall like a bat out of hell and after watching his sudden flight, she turns back to Madeline and Zayn. "How can any family be boring at Christmas? There's so much that's wonderful about it all; parties and presents and oh… just everything! We're having the traditional Christmas Eve gathering at home and then the Eibon's are having their traditional New Year's Eve party. Angelus invited me personally."

"I try to be. I mean - my mum and da always raised me to do what's right." And helping people is /always/ right. Madeline smiles brightly, offering Niles a cheery, "Goodbye!" as he rushes off. And then she's nodding eagerly in agreement with Lucretia.
"Mum wrote to tell me we're going to Grandma and Grandpa Evans' this year. And my Uncle Perry is going to be there, too! Well. All my Aunts and Uncles and cousins - but mostly I want to see my parents and Uncle Perry. I've never been away from home for this long in row, /ever/. I just can't wait to see them all!"

Zayn rubs his chin slowly pondering the situation, "Okay like I said if you need something track me down and ask, glad no points have been lost." he says still smiling waving his hand a bit with a chuckle, "You behave now." he says with a nod, his attention moves back to Lucretia, tilting his head curious he ponders for a moment, "Well we do not celebrate." he says simply with a shrug, "So it is like any other day, so no presents or parties, though sometimes if business calls for it, Father and Mother attend a social event around that time." he continues with a small shrug, he smiles at Madeline, "It is always good to pay things forward, often times that will benefit you in ways you don't yet see." he says nodding.

Lucretia's nose crinkles a degree, its quite cute, in a crinkly sort of way. "But you can still go to parties. That's good. You should go to the Eibon's as its celebrating New Year, not Christmas. Or don't you celebrate that either?" A small pursing of her lips is made to huff away a curl of hair that flops to drape her nose and she does add to Madeline, almost kindly, "I was horribly homesick my first year here. You'll get used to it."

"I'm not sure that's any better - getting used to being away from my family," the girl makes a face. "And Sally." But what's the alternative - keeping that miserable feeling in the pit of her stomach?
"I'm practically counting the /hours/ until the term ends."

"I actually prefer the quiet, gives me time to work on my art." Zayn says with a small shrug and nod, "Any way I need to be going, I have to check on a few things before curfew." he says with a chuckle and a smile, "You to take care." he says offering them both a small wave, before he starts to head back up the stairs.

Lulu smiles brightly at Zayn. "Oh. Curfew…" There's a small glance around, as if the durn thing is creeping up faster than it should, but there's still other students wandering and so she relaxes her shoulders back down, pulls one hand free and gives a small wiggle of her fingers in the older boy's direction. "I won't be late back!" she calls, then turns back to Madeline. "Soon it'll be that you're counting the hours until you can come back here again. That's the way it was, and is, for me."

"Art?" Madeline muses quietly, curiousity in her tone - but she makes no move to stop Zayn. Her attention turns to Lucretia, and she offers a shrug and an amused smile. "Yeah I guess - probably. I mean, I was eager enough to come in the first place. And I've liked studying magic. I just /hate/ that I can't show my family what I've learned while I've been here - but I know there's reasons and it's important and everything."

"There's rules for reasons and reasons for rules," Lucretia says. "Plus you've the misfortune of being muggle-born." A breath. "Maybe you'll never get over the feeling of sickness. Again — not really your fault, its the weakness of your blood and there's not much you can do about that. You should join that little club that they have here for people like you." Oddly, Lulu's not even trying to be mean to Madeline right now, in fact, she's being rather nice. Perhaps its her Christmas spirit.

Madeline bites her lip. Oh - she knew. And she thought she'd been so careful with her words! But at least Lucretia didn't seem bothe- oh, no. There it was. She frowns, her jaw clenching and her arms tightening about her books. "I'm not weak, and neither is my blood. And my parents are some of the best, kindest, and bravest people you'd ever know. My father fought in the Great War, you know. He didn't even flinch to do it."

Lulu's eyebrows lift behind the silken fall of her fringe, eyes locking momentarily upon Madeline's. "I'm sure he did. There were many brave and heroic people in the Great War. I'm sure you know that I'm not referring to courage and bravery however when I speak of blood purity." A shake of her head, a small sigh of exasperation that just filters from her lips. "You really should get over your touchiness about being muggle-born, you'll find yourself singled out and picked on if not. Just, you know…" and she makes an expansive gesture of her arm to the hall, as if to indicate the whole school. "You're very lucky to be here."

"Yeah, then what's /weak/ about my family?" Madeline asks her eyes rolling. "Bravery, and character, and intelligence isn't enough? And of /course/ I'm lucky to be here - we're all lucky to be here."

"No. Its not." Lucretia says, referring to bravery, characer and intelligence with just a hint of disbelief at Madeline's obvious ignorance showing in the tone of her voice. "Golly. I can't believe that you acually said that. Is it just because you're a homesick Firstie, or do you really believe that?"

"Do you even have any /notion/ of how rude, dismissive, and /insulting/ you sound?" Madeline responds, shifting her weight, as she feels a bubbling of all the words she /wants/ to say pressing up against the back of her teeth. Mum would be cross with her if she lost her temper, though. "I'm collecting Christmas cards for Cory Travers - not that he knows it - because his perfectly wonderful and not weak at all family wants to kick him out, just because he didn't get into some silly club. If you want to help out, you can give the cards to me, or Professor Dumbledore, umm, or Zayn Shafiq, I guess. Only don't tell Travers, because it's a secret."
She turns and starts climbing the stairs, but turns her head to shoot back, "If that's what it takes to be 'strong', then I don't want it. There's lots worse things than being 'weak.'"

"You really need to learn how to take advice. Alphard is so right when he says that its useless trying to help people like you. No gratitude whatsoever." Feet planted squarely on the floor, there's no remorse or embarrassment in Lucretia at the accusations hurled her way by the younger girl. "And…" she calls after her, "… I doubt that Cory needs your sympathy. What he needs is to pick himself up and prove he's worthy of his blood. More than anything else, you'll just embarrass him with that sort of attention."

Madeline lets out a snort, but simply keeps climbing. No heart, that one. Geeze. At least Zayn seemed perfectly nice - she'd rather liked him. She'd been /told/ not to hang about with Slytherins - but still. She couldn't bring herself to dislike someone just because they had a green and silver scarf.
…now, if they were being jerks, that was another matter entirely.

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