(1938-12-16) The Other Party
Details for The Other Party
Summary: Andromena and Anthony find themselves joined by Elizabeth and Variel, and talk turns to party-planning.
Date: 1938-12-16
Location: Clock Tower

The noonday sun slants through the window of the clock tower, but the light is weak and feeble, as is so often the case during the deep winter season. That it was not utterly clouded over was perhaps something of a surprise, since the Divinations professor was touting a heavy snow was coming. Lots of snow. In fact, Andromena had heard it said a veritable blizzard was blowing their way! She'd wait to hear what the Arithmancy professor had to say about the matter before putting much more thought into it. The room, filled with ticking and tocking, gears turning, twisting, clicking and clanking, was cold.

Despite her thicker layers, Andromena occasionally shivered where she sat, making her pause in her writing - hand lifting with her quill - so that she'd not muck up her work with errant splashes of ink. It was a personal exercise in Glamers, and she had come to the clock tower specifically for its nature because she believed it would help her to think, to understand, the nature of the problem she was attempting to unravel. Had anyone come to look for her here, well it was probably because her younger brother had told them where she might be found.

Anthony emerges from behind a pendulum that probably inspired Edgar Allen Poe, barely managing to dodge it, and ambles towards the girl, swathed in a thick overcoat, gloves, and a scarf. He's also got a fedora, probably whilst last in London. But he's polite enough to wait for a pause in her studies before interrupting.

Andromena looks up when she hears the sound of his footsteps, and a smile alights upon her face; one that was pale, but the cold has made her cheeks rosy. "Oh, Tony. Don't you look smashing in that new cap." She pats the spot beside her in invitation for him to sit. "I've just been doing some research on the Scrolls of Brici." Gesturing with her quill to her work. Of course, the actual Scrolls of Brici weren't even in Hogwarts, but there was a very fine translation of them in the library.

Anthony slides down onto the cold stone, "How are you not freezing?" He glances at it, "Okay, so, why Brici? I mean, they're interesting and all…?"

"I am freezing," Andromena admits with a laugh that quickly became the chattering of teeth. Everyone knows girls have colder blood than men. That's why they're always complaining of the chill! "And Brici because there's some fascinating talk about the implementation and use of Glamers…not my strongest subject. I read it once before, and a thought always niggled at me. When I realized what it was, I came here." Andromena explained further, "Like Runes, or Arithmancy, I strongly suspect this is rooted in mathematical formula." Or something of that nature, as opposed to willy-nilly feelings. "I think that's why it escaped me before."

Anthony ponders, "Well, this place _is_ centred in mathemagic. The Arithromancy classes often come out here."

Andromena nodded. "I don't think I gave Arithmancy the proper credit it perhaps deserves," she admits. "I was speaking to this older gent - which reminds me, I've something for you." Andromena reached int her robe and fished out a card. "Uhm. To finish my thought first - after you left with Morgana last night, I stayed behind and met this fellow, Chaucer. He's the book-binder at Lima Press, really very interesting." The person, that was. Andromena passed Anthony the card, which had Chaucer's information on it.

"I'm…not sure what plans you have for over the summer, but he mentioned needing apprentices to help correct spelling and grammatical errors and the like," she offered a tentative smile. "I just thought it might be something you'd enjoy doing."

Anthony takes the card with a smile, "Honestly? I haven't a clue what to do! I've only had a couple of thoughts about what to do when I finish here." He gives a rueful smile, "And I doubt moving from Student to staff directly is going to happen, and the other place doesn't take apprentices."

"What other place?" Asked curiously. "And…I didn't mean for this to sound like a career path thing. I just thought, well, it'd be something to do. You could work with books, and not be pestered. Sometimes I think I'd like to deal with books over people." Andromena laughed then, and gave a rueful shake of her head

Anthony laughs, "There's something to that thought." He pauses, and says slowly, "I like mysteries. I like ancient inscriptions. I like digging away in old libraries. I sort of wondered about being an Unspeakable."

"You know father," her father that was, Anthony's uncle. "Tried to become an Unspeakable," said in a lowered voice. Like the man could possibly overhear them. "I think that…desire? runs in the family." She certainly saw the allure. As for why father was instead just some regular old Ministry worker? Well…he never really talked about it. "I'd say I think you could do it, but I don't want to come off as flippant. I don't even know how they go about recruiting people."

Anthony says, "Neither do I. I think they pick who they want. So… I guess it won't happen." He shrugs, "But learning for its own sake isn't the worst thing in the world. I'm not badly off."

"Now there's no reason to be a negative nancy," Andromena chided lightly. "There is no harm in learning for its own sake, but neither is there harm in holding out some hope." The reasonable amount, naturally. Not so much that when it became clear the dream would never be reality a person was utterly crushed. "Short of becoming an Unspeakable, there's always the chance to become an evil genius. You'll have the requisite anger - being spurned of your career choice!"

Anthony laughs, "Do you really think so? I'm not sure I have the evil part in me… even if you believe in the other half!"

"No," answered easily enough. "But then, that's how the most nefarious evil sorts always begin: innocently." A sly grin. "For what it's worth, I hope it never comes to pass. I'd never be able to invite you to social gatherings or chat comfortably with you alone. Anyway, how is that book coming along?" He'd know the one of which she spoke, or she'd hope he would!

Anthony says, "Mopsus is avoiding me, I swear it. Every time I go to catch up with him, he's hauled off somewhere else. It's practically burning a hole in my book chest! I mean, frankly, do you _want_ to know which bit of intestine probably fictional Gods like burned in their honour?"

"You know, I've had that same impression regarding Mopsus myself…maybe he's just being kept very occupied as the break draws nigh. Among other things." Andromena shook her head, bringing her hand to her chin. "I'll bet the intestines they want burned are the same intestines you're meant to divine the future with…Well, wait. Animal or human?" Because this was just the sort of question your typical girl would ask!

Anthony says morosely, "It's the Dark Arts. What do _you_ think?" He shakes his head, "If I dreamt much, I'd probably be having such bad dreams at the moment!"

"You have a point," Andromena conceded. "And we always dream, Tony. You just need to practice remembering them. That's why I keep a dream journal." Andromena had very fascinating dreams. At least, in her opinion they were often just that. "More, even bad dreams aren't necessarily bad…I think they're still just the brain's way of trying to work things out. Maybe, anyway. I read about it once. Now when you have dreams that stop you from breathing, or make you break out in cold sweats - those are different. Those are scary."

Anthony laughs, "Like what? Realizing you've turned up to Care of Magical Creatures naked, for an exam you haven't studied for?"

"No, no…those are just your average slightly bad but not so terrible once you're awake dreams. I was thinking more along the lines of…" Her feather tap-tapped against her lips and chin. "The sort of nightmare you can't exactly remember when you awake, but the feeling of sheer dread lingers. The nightmare that has you trying to call out for help but you can't." The sort of nightmare where all you could remember was that you had been about to meet your end. "I think they're called Old Hag dreams, or something of a similar nature."

Anthony gives a faint little nod. Okay, it looks like he knows precisely what you're talking about with THOSE ones. After a moment, he says, "It was nice seeing you in Hogsmeade."

Andromena returns the smile. The subject of awful nightmares is dropped for a more pleasant subject. "You as well, coz! I've started taking more trips there than I ever have before." In her previous years, Andromena almost never did much in the way of socializing. Trips to Hogsmeade were scarce. "While I still enjoy spending a quiet hour or two," more like several. "In the library, I've begun to realize I can enjoy myself just as much by getting out now and again."

Anthony gives a faint nod, "I kind of came to the realisation…" Well, okay, someone told him he was taking the easy way out, "… that some learning happens out in the world as well as the library."

"Hey! I was sort of told the same thing…maybe someone has a vested interest in seeing us Rowles succeed." Andromena chuckled, then did her best to adjust her scarf so it was snug as possible about her neck. "It does make sense. You can never become very good with magic just by reading the theory part. You have to perform it as well. No reason that can't apply elsewhere in life."

Anthony makes a little face, "Is it stupid? But I rather feel sometimes that one pollutes magic somewhat by taking it off the page, where it can exist in abstract beauty, and making it work, and get its hands dirty. Does that make sense at all?"

Her own expression screws up as she tries to understand what he means, in the end, she shakes her head. "I'm afraid I don't follow. Are you saying you prefer a spell as seen in its…purest form?" Where it existed on page it was, technically, perfect. There was no one or nothing around to attempt to bring it into being and perhaps botch it in the attempt.

Anthony nods, "I mean, haven't you ever.." The two are sitting up on the stone, looking out over the (daytime. honest. Daytime) snowy landscape. "…. looked at a spell on a page, and thought, 'That's Genius! It's perfect!'? And yet when you actually try and cast it, it's so unimpressive."

"Huh….yes, yes I see what you mean, actually. Life is a little like that, too," said with an obvious grump. Andromena got to her feet. "I guess you need the let downs and unimpressive moments to better appreciate those times when things are good and exciting. But if you'll excuse me a moment, I really need to use the ladies room." And off Andromena went!

It was sheer coincidence that Andromena passes by her, making Elizabeth blink once and glance back over her shoulder at the other girl's retreat. "Hm." Under her cloak she holds the book against her, held in her arms as she turns her gaze back forward again, taking only a few steps to see Anthony siting nearby. "Oh, um, greetings." Elizabeth smiles lightly.

Anthony looks up, and flashes a smile from where he's swathed in an overcoat, and scarf, and gloves, and a fedora, as well as his robes. Cos… brrrrrr. "Hello there! Come to join us in the fresh, and invigorating outside fresh air?"

Her smile instinctively grows at him, and she quirks a slender brow curiously. "'Us'?" she asks curiously, almost teasing. Andromena had already left, so was there someone out here as well? She only momentarily ponders this before Elizabeth takes a few steps, closing the distance and smoothly taking a seat beside him, suppressing a small shiver. Indeed it's cold. "'Invigorating' is one word for it." she chuckles.

Anthony gestures, "Andy will be back once she's sorted her powder. Or lipstick. Or whatever it was." He spies the shiver, and starts to remove his coat, "Are you warm enough?"

Anthony is sitting on the stone, looking out over the edge, but seems to be getting to his feet, and pulling his overcoat off. Oh, and it's daytime, regardless of what +time says.

Behind her wire frames, Elizabeth blinks her pale eyes up at him, "Oh, uh—" Whatever objections she might have though are for naught as he removes his coat and places it over her shoulders, the color in her cheeks perhaps mistaken from the cold. "Thanks…" she says quieter. It was a nice gesture considering she was wearing a warm winter cloak as well. "Winter isn't my favorite season, but the stillness outside is… rather tranquil."

Variel is on the prowl. A book of advanced charms is under his arm, and his wand is tucked into his other hand, albeit reversed to avoid being threatening. He pauses when he catches sight of Elizabeth, the thought.of witnessee apparently giving him second thoughts.

Anthony grits his teeth. He's just in winter robes now. "Yes. It's… bracing, certainly." Well, at least he's still got the gloves and fedora.

Elizabeth pauses for a moment before glancing away, her hands emerging to reach up for the coat on her shoulders, intending to return it to him. She couldn't stand the thought of him suffering through the cold because of her. "So, as bracing as it is, what are you doing out here? Or why, rather." Variel is unnoticed at the moment, her attention on the boy in front of her.

Anthony waves for her to keep the coat. Yep. Chivalry in full flow. He does shove his gloved hands into his robes pockets, "Oh, chatting with Andy. Books, and the future, and things, I suppose." He leans over to whisper, loudly, "She sees me with a career as an evil genius."

Andromena returns to find her cousin is now joined by not one, but two students! He's becoming a popular lad, isn't he? "Hey, Elizabeth, Variel," dropping the use of his last name was easy enough for Andromena. She gave away his lurking by virtue of coming up from behind him on her return to the clock tower.

"Sorry for the delay, Tony," she says, explaining her absence. "On the way back I saw Thaddeus Cornfoot and we got to chatting."

A goofy drawing of a warm fireplace etches itself in the air before Anthony and Elizabeth. Easily recognizable as a Flagrate spell, Andromena catches Variel rewarding Anthony's chivalry with a picture of warmth. Made of fire. That is actually warming but not burning hot. Comfy! And maybe a mite impressive since it wasn't cast aloud. He grins at Andromena. "He's being so generous, thought it was worth a bit of a reward."

Elizabeth may hesitate, but she returns the coat to her shoulders, since Anthony had insisted. His reply earns another quirked brow and a growing smile. "Genius certainly, but evil? I haven't seen evidence of that thus far." The sound of her name pulls her gaze towards Andromena, her smile growing. "Greetings." Liz is certainly in a good mood. The sudden, goofy drawing of a fireplace, emitting heat no less, makes the bookworm blink with some surprise. Elizabeth glances to Variel, pale eyes flicking back to Anthony once more as she flushes.

Anthony turns around, and brings the gloved hands back out of his pockets, to clap them together, "Very nice. Very nicely done indeed. Barely felt anything, until the heat." It's approvingly toned. "Not necessary, but thank you all the same!"

Andromena returns Variel's grin. So much for being an evil genius if he's practicing such chivalry! The red headed boy is given a playful thwap upon his shoulder as Andromena exclaims, "You've deceived us all. Pretending as though you're no good at Charms, yet here you've just wordlessly cast this clever little spell." The young woman began to draw near it, because she had no problem stealing warmth when and where she could. Elizabeth's fluster is mistakenly marked as cheeks reddened by the cold.

"Speak for yourself, coz," more teasing, it would seem. Andromena made a show of holding her hands up to the image and rubbing them together. "How are you two today?" This for Elizabeth and Variel.

Variel says, "Now, I never said I was NO good! I managed an E in my OWL, didn't I?!" Variel harrumphs goodnaturedly and moves with the others, pausing near the edge of the radiant warmth. "Besides. I caved. I've got Rashley tutoring me, with some practical help from Carrow. Though just between me and the wind, can't say I'm sure it's me he's there for."

The familiar interaction between everyone is so comfortable, it puts Elizabeth at ease, her smile emerging easily while everyone chats about lessons and charms. She turns her gaze to Andromena when the question is asked, a slender shoulder shrugged. "I'm doing well enough." Truth be told, as well as everything has been going she's reluctant to go home, but things are the way they're meant to be. A thought occurs to her. "I wonder if I should have a party, during the break I mean."

Anthony pauses. He's not really the one to ask about parties, and as this particular question doesn't seem to have been specifically aimed at him, he makes a noncommittal noise, followed by, "Are you not going home for Christmas?"

"Which Rashley is that, by the by? You mentioned it the other day but I forgot to ask." Andromena looks to Variel, her hands still held up. As for Carrow, a shrug. What did anybody really know about him? She'd heard it said he was the silent, moody type.

"You could, Elizabeth," Andromena replies to the younger girl. Anthony was technically invited to Alphard's coming party, and likely the Sykes one as well, but Andromena hadn't yet broached the subject on if he wanted to go. "You'll just have to get all the invitations sent out soon…and plan all the other stuff, like food and drinks, really quickly. If it wasn't for Medusa helping," read: doing all of the work. "With Alphard's thing, I'd be lost. There's a lot more to it than I realized." However, this was a high society event! Altogether different from your average gatherings of friends.

Variel says, "That'd be Lea. Duellist extraordinaire and master of looking great and somehow being utterly indfferent to the fact." Variel flips open his book and glances through it as he speaks. "Rashley mentioned Black's party too. Can't say as I've been invited, but Lucretia is about the only Black I've seen lately. I bet my owl just got blown off course." He grins."

Elizabeth considers this for a moment or so before shaking her raven head to herself. "It's probably too short notice. Not to mention it's such a busy season." She doubts that anyone would be even able to attend because of that, but would it really be that difficult to have a casual gathering? In the end, she doesn't have the confidence to put on such a thing. Exhaling a breath, Elizabeth glances to Variel and tries to smile. "His party seems to be the talk of the castle. I'm sure my owl was blown off course also." They all knew better.

Anthony's lips quirk, "No. I've not had an invite. So, I was assuming I wasn't invited to the party either. So, it looks like a batch of invitations have gone astray between, say, the Slytherin common room and us."

"Uhm," Andromena bit at her lower lip. "Truthfully…I don't think we've sent the invitations out yet." And maybe that was partly her fault, but she didn't intend to own up to it yet. It was just whenever she talked to Alphard about it, he just blew it off…that or she just didn't bring it up at all because other, more important topics came up. Andromena looks at her feet.

"Elizabeth, I'm afraid you won't be receiving an invite, however. It was decided that only students of the sixth year and above would attend." And since she was only a fourth year, Elizabeth was skipped over, as was everyone else, so it truly was nothing personal.

"You want to go, Tony?" She perked up at this, maybe just a little surprised. It would be nice if he did! At least no owls were blown off course. Or, if they were, her owl had been, too.

Variel says, "I could go maybe, if the invite suvived my siblings. I have a formal pattern I've been looking for an excuse to whip up. Plus I fully intend to be better dressed than Rashley at some point soon. I don't need a store to be a right clever tailor." He seemed a touch grumpy."

An idea strikes her! Elizabeth claps her hands together with a bright smile and a sparkle in her eyes. "That's it." she murmurs, her gaze flickering to the others. "We should have a get together. Everyone that hadn't been invited to Black's party can attend. We don't have to do anything fancy, but it can still be fun. Perhaps… in the Leaky Cauldron or maybe Rosa Lee Teabag? Somewhere in Diagon Alley perhaps." A small chuckle escapes her.

Anthony laughs, then points out, "Well, if invites haven't gone out yet, Elizabeth, that's going to be… well, everyone! But it'd be nicer to have another party for friends back in London during the holiday, maybe. I mean, Winchester isn't _that_ far away, by train, at least."

"If you're worried about your siblings, Variel, I could just hand deliver your invite," Andromena offered cheerfully. "But that sounds like a good idea, Elizabeth. There are still plenty of people that aren't going to Alphard's party that would likely love to hang out with friends over break." She wondered if some fifth years were feeling put out. Oh well!

Elizabeth is counting on the fact that there are more people that aren't invited, rather than those that are. Exclusive lists are like that after all. Trying to make those that aren't invited bad about themselves. She dips her chin to herself with a thoughtful nod. "Hm. I think the Leaky Cauldron would be the best option. I know some students aren't minors." Not that she suggesting anything of course. "Alright. I'm going to ask people personally if they'll be invited. Make a list, and send out invites myself." Her pale eyes look back up to Anthony and Andromena, glittering again with quiet amusement and mischief. "You're both invited naturally, but my feelings won't be hurt if you don't attend either."

Anthony gives a terse little nod, "Thanks, Elizabeth." A beat, "But are you sure it's a good idea to make it a rivalry? I mean, you know… It'll put some people in tricky spots."

Andromena is following the same lines as Anthony, so she nods as well. "Even if he does not perceive it as such because you're inviting others he would not, you've invited Anthony and I." And she would not be able to attend Elizabeth's little get-together because of that, as she would likely not be leaving the Black home at all that day. Andromena isn't turning her nose up, however. More, Elizabeth said she wouldn't be hurt. This was just a simple stating of facts.

"Actually, I would advise against making it the same day, even if neither yourself or Alphard see it as rivalry, there could be others that try to spin it as such." Because, let's face it, there were those in the world that just lived for those sorts of things, spinning webs of words like spiders. Andromena gave a shrug of her shoulders then, because in the end it was all down to Elizabeth and what she chose to do.

Anthony warms his hands briefly in front of the "fire". Exactly. But I'd love to go to both. Although frankly, I'm not going for Black, but for Andy!" He flashes a smile, and then adds, "Drop the coat off in the common room, Lizzy? I'm going to make a run for it, but no reason for you to need to do the same!"

Elizabeth thoughtfully lifts a brow to herself and leans back into the nearest pillar, quiet for a moment. "I would never force you two to ever choose between one party or another. However, I also believe that it's unfair for those that want to attend a party to be left out. And honestly, this isn't about him." Under her coat, she loosely crosses her arms and glances back up at her friends. Her expression serious as she listens to their advice. And Andromena has a point. Even if she doesn't see it as a rivalry, that doesn't mean others wouldn't as well. "I'll take that into consideration." Her bright eyes blink up at Anthony, the flush quick to return to her cheeks as she quickly nods. "Um, okay…"

Variel says, "Not could. Not would. Will. Thing about ambition is that by definition its a drive not to succeed but exceed. Means it has to be a competition. and if it isn't, it will be made to be. The Slytherins are about being the best, which is admirable but they're so used to seeing competition everywhere that a party the same day will look a challenge to most of them."

Andromena bids farewell to her cousin as he departs, turning to both Variel and Elizabeth after to say, "I need his moral support, you see." Her smile is as broad as it is genuine. She's not exactly a social butterfly, though there are several individuals attending that she would be quite happy to see and spend further time with, so it was not as bad as Andromena might make it out to appear.

"Variel is right," she gives him a knowing look. Perhaps his own ambition has given him such a reliable insight. "And, unfortunately, depending those you invite, there will probably be someone to say it's a 'Mudblood versus pure-blood' event as well. I understand that such would not be your intent at all, Elizabeth, but I would hate to see you unduly harried by others, or caught up in something with which you may otherwise prefer to be indifferent to."

Elizabeth shakes her head lightly, trying to clear her thoughts as she looks back to Variel and Andromena. "Slytherin will always view it as that, a competition. That doesn't mean I will play back to it in return. And the 'mudblood versus pureblood' will always be an issue, regardless what I do. However, it would be inaccurate because all years would be invited, regardless of blood. But to avoid a party just because I'm afraid of the repercussions would mean I'm all that much more a victim." Her arms are still loosely crossed against her chest as she focuses her pale gaze on Andromena. "I suppose you can talk to Alphard, tell him before anything happens. His reaction would be a large variable on how this could play out."

Variel looks as though the conversation has taken a turn he's not a huge fan of- it's not disgust, but discomfort. He peers up the clock tower a few moments. "… later'n I though. I gotta finish studying before Rashley catches up with me." His gaze drops back down to the two here. "Look, ah… whatever you decide to do, just make it -different- than what Black's doing. And I'm with Andromena on the whole "do it some other day" thing. Because it's not about what you think. It's not even about what HE thinks. It's about what THEY think, as rotten as it sounds. THEY have the ability and will to take what should just be two parties for different people and they -will- turn it into "the upstart half-blood trying to upstage a fine upstanding pure-blooded upperclassman." Don't get me wrong. I don't -care.- Wizards ought to be measured by their potence, not their pedigree, and I know plenty of pure-bloods too stupid or lazy to be worth their names. But you're opening yourself up to more hell than you think if you're seriously considering this on the grounds of "but it's not what I want." It's what they want. Drama, conflict, derision of inferior blood and proof of the decline of the wizarding community to see unqualified wizards trying to steal the spotlight."

Andromena, 'huhs' at Elizabeth's suggestion. It was true, she could pull Alphard aside and tell him Elizabeth was not trying to make it into any of those things. The older girl even commended her desire to do things as she pleased despite potential consequences because she wouldn't allow herself to be compartmentalized as a victim. Andromena wondered if she would have the same sort of courage if it were her in the other Raveclaw's place.

"I'll mention it to him, yes," she agrees. It would only make sense for her to do so; he'd likely be greatly affronted if she neglected to make it known and he found out by another means. It had to do with the whole boyfriend-girlfriend trust thing, keeping one another informed and all that. Variel's outburst is…listened to with a slightly arched brow. Whatever opinion Andromena has on the matter is kept to herself. Mostly because she really did not feel like getting into that tired argument.

"Best not to disappoint the lady, eh?" Andromena asks lightly. She would let him depart without a fuss.

Elizabeth allows the quiet to stretch for a moment or so, arms loosely crossed against her chest and fingers softly curled at the hem of the borrowed coat. "Look." she says softly to Variel. "If I invited only half-bloods or mixed bloods, that would be different. I can understand how that would be seen as a huge deal and grounds for lots of rumors. But if we do this smart, we can avoid any misunderstandings. Slytherins are competitive, and Ravenclaws are intelligent. So we use our strengths to our advantage. We do what we can so that to intercept any misunderstandings, and accept the fact that there are some things we can't avoid or can't contain."

Behind her glasses, Elizabeth looks to Andromena. "And the reason why I suggest that she be the one to approach the subject with Alphard, is because she's the one that will most likely have the best reception. He won't take the news the same way from me as he would from her." She exhales a longer breath. "I also believe that being up-front and straight-forward means there is less chance of a conflict." Much like Andromena, she's tired about this 'pureblood/mudblood' thing.

"If I'm wrong and I'm shortselling the Slytherin ability to avoid capitalizing on an opportunity, or the Ravenclaw ability to plan and manage tense variables, then I'm happy to be wrong. Just… had some kinda sobering exposure to prejudice recently that I didn't enjoy, and it wasn't even aimed at me. I thought it'd be a disservice to encourage you to do something that might leave you in the line of fire- but you're right, it probably sounded pretty lousy towards you guys and your own abilities. So I'm sorry, and I hope things go even smoother than you're expecting. Better overprepared than under, after all." He closed his charms book and settled it under his arm. "Good luck. If I catch someone saying this is something it isn't, I'll correct them- and I'll keep my mouth shut until you guys have a chance to clear things with Alphard, too. But for now, I've gotta take off- you two stay warm and take care."

"I didn't think you were short-selling anyone's abilities here, Variel," Andromena said, tone completely at ease. She had no desire to let him walk away thinking he had inadvertently nettled either herself or Elizabeth. "You're as concerned as myself or Anthony, and I'm sure like me, Elizabeth appreciates that." And if Elizabeth was like her in this other regard, then she appreciated simply hearing what others had to say as well. Talk about spiders and their webs; Andromena was setting pretty in one.

"Take it easy, Variel. Likely catch you at dinner tonight." If not, then there was always class on the morrow!

Elizabeth exhales a slow breath through her nose as she closes her eyes, lifting a hand to free it from the front of her robes and gently rub at her temple. "Alright, your concern is noted." she murmurs. "Take care." She doesn't watch him as Variel turns to leave, her gaze looking out into the distance instead for several more moments. "You know, this would be less of a big deal if I was a pure-blood." Again, it comes down to blood. Or rather, society's view on those they view as less than pure.

"It would be," Andromena readily agrees. Her eyes slide toward the younger student, contemplative. "Half-blooded witches and wizards have it hard, to be sure," said with little elaboration. Andromena believed that they ought to stick with pure-bloods over any others, because it was their duty to wipe clean the stain of their wayward ancestors. She had a suspicion regarding the nature of blood, but was as yet unwilling to speak of it because she had no concrete evidence or proof.

"I have to return this book before my next class starts. You are welcome to walk with me, Elizabeth." Andromena grabbed the item in question from there floor where she had been previously seated with Anthony. She was ready to be done with the cold, besides.

The corner of her lips tugs lightly. "Then if that's the case, then everything I will ever do in life will always be under scrutiny. And that's all the more reason not to 'tippy toe', as it were." Elizabeth gives Andromena a small nod, agreeing to walk with her back inside without meeting the other girl's eyes. "New Years. I'm going to set it for then." she murmurs softly to herself. Then as the silence stretch, walking together until the warmth of the castle brushes over her face. "Hey Andromena… How does your family feel about half-bloods?" she asks softly. "I mean, I don't know anything about your family history, or their point of view on this sort of thing. When… when Myrus was interested in me, he got a letter from his parents… discouraging him from pursuing anything deeper with me. Because of my flawed bloodline."

That was the crux of the matter, wasn't it? They needed to get with pure-bloods, but what pure-blood wanted to have them? As the pair walked toward the library, Andromena watched Elizabeth with a critical eye. "We Rowles…well, we tend to be a quiet bunch." It was hardly an answer at all However, she was part of the Sacred Twenty-Eight, and that was no small thing. "I cannot think of any relative of mine not wed to another pure-blood witch or wizard from the top of my head. I'd venture to say someone like, Edwards, for example," who was fifty-fifty. "Would not be a welcome addition to the family." Her tone was simple, understated even, with no harshness or malice. As though she were speaking of the weather.

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