(1938-12-17) Monsters Can't Make Cocoa
Details for Monsters Can't Make Cocoa
Summary: Esther has just 'finished' with her journal for the night, when Lucretia comes down the stairs. Not the person she was expecting, Esther nonetheless makes coffee, and talks about being talked about. Finally, she admits her intention to offer an apology to Alphard, and the girl who deserves the credit for it.
Date: 1938-12-17
Location: Slytherin Common Room, Hogwarts Castle.

Late is an understatement. Esther is up, standing infront of the fire. The rippling flames make her plain nightie a beautiful wash of oranges, reds and yellows, she's close enough to feel the warmth burning at her skin, as she watches a piece of parchment flicker, burn and turn to ash. The poker is in one hand, and it's used to turn the ash slowly, folding it in with the rest of the fire… Before she steps back, hot to the touch. She almost steams in the cool common room, as she turns to the Kettle, to prepare herself a soothing cup of coffee.

Its just as the final part of that parchment turns to ash that Lulu comes out of the girls' dorm, the heavy dressing gown she favours wrapped firmly about her tiny frame. She yawns, her hand failing to make it to her mouth and thus making it an inelegant, if slightly endearing thing. "Hi Esther." This simple greeting also gets punctuated by a yawn and, pushing hair from her face, Lu continues across the common room to where the older girl stands and leans heavily against the counter. "What time is it?"

"Past time for you to be awake." Esther notes quietly, looking over at Lucretia. Not the midnight companion she'd been expecting. Or dreading. She doesn't know anymore. She busies herself pouring cocoa and coffee both, adding hot water, cream, sugar and stirring. The spoon is tapped on the rim of each cup, no more and no less than three times. "You should be asleep, Lucretia. What's on your mind?" Her smile is calm. Kind. It's been destroyed. No-ones, but hers and the fires. The cocoa is offered to the young girl, as she collects the coffee for herself.

Lucretia smiles at Esther as she accepts the cocoa; its a sleepy sort of a smile and one without art or guile. "Thank you. I love cocoa the way that you make it." Hands wrapped around the heavy mug she retreats to stand before the fire, the juvenile angles of her face just limned by the gold of the dying flames. "On my mind? Oh nothing really. I think I've upset a couple of people and, I can't quite put my finger on it, not yet, but you know that feeling when things just aren't quite right?" There's a small shrug of her shoulders. "Or maybe I'm just imagining it. Who knows."

"Lucretia… Well, I like you. You're sweet. So I'll let you in on a little secret." Esther returns to the couch where her blanket lays discarded, and a book rests on a end table. "Things are never quite right. I've learned that, after years. My advice is to disregard the whispers of others. Learn the people you can trust to tell you the truth, and only listen to them. Otherwise you'll end up paranoid, afraid, and alone." She smiles sadly. "I've heard whispers. People who are calling me insane, out of my mind. The same who call you all kinds of things. But I don't let it affect me… I know exactly who and what I am." A sip of her coffee. "Which reminds me. If you do see Alphard before me, can you tell him I would appreciate a moment of his time? Publicly." A slight blush. Not too much control.

"So I'm not imagining it then? Well that's not so bad I suppose, at least my intuition hasn't deserted me." A cautious sip is taken of her cocoa and Lucretia folds herself down to sit on the rug in front of the fire, basking in its warmth. "Not that I can help who I am or mould my opinions and view to fit those of others. I'm loyal to my family first, to those I like second, and I give respect to those that earn it. I'll tell Alphard you would like to meet with him, of course I will if that's what you want. It has to be public though? I'm sure that whatever it is you want to tell him will soon be public enough knowledge. The very walls of Hogwarts have ears, you know. Or didn't they tell you that?" She grins at the older girl over the top of her cocoa with that, because heck yes, nothing's ever a secret in the school. Nothing.

"I talk less and less within her every day." Esther mentions of the castle. "But the castle must hear. I won't risk her growing deaf. I owe our dear cousin my surrender. Genevieve Solomons has seen to that." The name is said clearly. Annunciated. Let there be no doubt. Esther sips her coffee again, and admits. "I respect you, Lucretia. You're one of few people I can honestly say that about." Quite sad, really. "I stand for, and sacrifice for, my beliefs. If you watch closely, you'll see that tomorrow. One of them is owning my mistakes, and holding others liable for theirs - If not at the same time."

Lulu lowers her mug, licking chocolate from the rim where her lips have left their mark. "I respect you too, Esther. I honestly and truly don't know what horrible problems there have been between you and Alphard, and I don't need to know either. You are both important people to me though. There's too many here that just run with the pack, sacrificing themselves just to be popular with the 'shinies'." She doesn't quite explain what she means when she coins that phrase, it just sort of slips out. "Owning mistakes is a hard thing to do. Look for me in the crowd tomorrow, I'll be there."

"… Sometimes, Lucretia, people can be too different to ever get along. To ever even pretend to get along. I may hate Alphard, to the core of my being… But I want you to know, I'd never risk his life." Not again. Esther looks into her coffee, and sighs. "No matter how mad I may get. No matter the tongue and cheek remarks I might make. I've tried, and I've failed, and I cannot be a monster." The girl draws her legs up, covering herself up with a blanket. She withdraws into the couch, and adds. "I'll be up early tomorrow… But I promise I'll tender my surrender before school breaks." The Hair looks a little small, as she draws her heavy book back into her lap, balancing with her coffee. "You sleep well, Lucretia. Ignore the whispers. They lack the confidence to bring it to your face." Of course she knows what's going on. It's what she is going to do with that information that's going to keep her mind occupied.

At Esther's bid for her to sleep well, there's another yawn from Lu. She gets to her feet and walks over to Esther, mug still in hand. "I believe you're right. You sleep well too." Surprisingly, the dark slip of a girl bends and gives the older one a quick hug, her right cheek just coming to rest atop Esther's head for a moment before she steps away. "You're not a monster Esther, monsters could never make cocoa this good." Another smile plays a moment over Lu's face, then she's turning and heading back to the dorms, hoping for another hour or so of sleep before dawn cracks the sky.

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