(1938-12-19) Goodnight, Lucretia.
Details for Goodnight, Lucretia
Summary: Esther is lying in the dorms, one of the only girls in Slytherin who isn't going home. Lucretia comes to talk, and ends up going to bed instead.
Date: 1938-12-29
Location: Slytherin Girls Dormitory, Hogwarts Castle

It's the last night in Slytherin for many of the girls. Tomorrow, many of them will see their own beds. Some of them are far too excited to sleep, spending time in the common room, or talking loudly, until the wee hours of the morning. Unusually, the one bed that's almost always unoccupied at this hour has someone lying in it. The Hair. Sleeping. At night time? It's unlikely.

"Yes! I know! You too!" There's a lot of laughter and not a little noise as Lulu hugs one of her fellow Slytherins just outside the dorms before walking in, her cat draped heavily over one shoulder. Cheeks bright with the sheer excitement of what the morning will bring, it looks like she's just returned from the bathroom. Hair hangs wet, if neatly combed, down the back of her dressing gown and there's a washbag in her hand. "Okay Gaston. Off." This to her pet as she dips one shoulder towards her bed, encouraging him to jump. Its then that she spots Esther lying there on her bed, and with a small sucking in of her lower lip she chucks her bag on her bed and heads towards the older girl. Mindful of how she was when she last saw her in the library, she hesitates briefly before speaking. "Esther? Are you alright?"

The response comes immediately. It's not the kind one might hear from someone who had just been woken. "I'm fine, Lucretia. How're things." Esther's lantern is extinguished, and her bed fails to move when she speaks. The girl seems to be happiest (If one could say that) all wrapped up inside of her blankets.

"Oh. You know. Things are good," Lu says softly, the tone of her voice dropping a little as she pulls her dressing gown snugly about herself and sits down on the edge of Esther's bed. "I'm glad that things have been patched between you and Alphard, but even though that's been mended you seem sad still. Is it because you're staying at Hogwarts over Christmas? I heard that its not so bad, you know. There's a certain spirit between those that remain."

Esther sighs softly, "I'd rather be anywhere." The slender woman admits. "… Even if I were just in Hogsmeade, working on my house." She sighs again. The girl finally moves, to turn her head to face Lucretia. Her hair helps act as a pillow, which is nice. "I don't want to bring you down, Lucretia. This is the last night you'll spend with many of your friends. Enjoy iy."

"I doubt that anyone will be going to bed for hours yet and there'll be plenty of time to share with them. Besides. You're my friend too, I think?" Kicking slippers from her feet, Lulu tucks her legs up beneath her, sitting cross-legged with her hands curled over the ends of her toes. "You said that you'd listen to me whenever I needed it, well I'll listen to you too. I know I'm only thirteen, and most fifth-years won't even speak to me let alone share secrets or worries. I can go if you like, but I'd rather stay and talk."

"Friend?" Esther pauses. And considers the word for a few long seconds. "I suppose we are." She concedes. "I'm always hesitant about making friends." Moreso after Jenny. The girl that Esther now kept an eye open for. That's one thing she wouldn't miss. Dodging Jenny Solomons. She slowly rolls onto her back, and pushes herself until she sits up. "Forgive me. I find trusting others… Difficult." Impossible, these days. Medusa only managed it by attacking her heart with a sledgehammer. A smile, nonetheless.

"We don't have to call it friends if it makes you uneasy," Lulu says, wriggling around on the bed so she's angled more towards facing the older girl. "Acquaintences, if that feels better. Whatever, you've always been decent to me and not treated me like something to be stepped over or swept to one side. I don't expect you to trust me either, I'm Alphard's cousin and a Black after all and that's a lot to deal with."

"… I think I'd be happier with 'friend', Lucretia." Esther thinks, after a few more moments. "… As long as you act like one. Trade on it at your own peril." The girl notes, reaching out a hand for the young girl. "But I mean what I say. You shouldn't be stepped over, or swept aside. And it shouldn't be something you do, either. People… Even people like Alphard… Should be improved. Not broken down, or pushed aside."

Lucretia chews on the inside of her cheek a moment, her hand slipping easily and comfortably into Esther's. "I treat as I find," she says, her brows beetling low for a moment, her forehead pulling into a frown. "I'll give most anyone a chance if they deserve it, and once they have my respect they'll probably have it forever." A beat. "Not mudbloods though. I find them irritating to the extreme. I might find a tiny bit of respect for some that have worked hard and found a place for themselves in our world, but I could never be friends with or trust one. In that, I suppose, I'm very much a product of my birth."

Esther smiles sadly. "I… I don't know how I feel on the subject. I would like to think that a Wizard is anyone who would walk in our world, and live in our ways. Whatever else they might have been is in the past. It shouldn't matter," There's a difference in belief. A squeeze. "… But even I struggle with mudbloods. With what they represent. With their ways. With the ones who don't realise that to us, they're the foreigners - The intruders. Who think it's their right to be here."
The nightie-clad Esther retrieves her hand, and gathers them into her lap. "But if they call themselves Wizard, then they are required to be act as fits such."

Esther's views on muggle-borns doesn't draw an amicable nod of agreement from Lu. "But we shouldn't talk about them now. Not tonight. Not when everyone is preparing for the Christmas holidays. Have you any fri— acquaintences that are staying here too? Will you have someone to spend the day itself with? I can't even pretend to know how you might be feeling, but if your face in the library was anything to go by, not terribly good. Would it really have been so bad to go spend the holidays with Alphard? Now that you've both made up, that is."

"I wouldn't risk it." Esther shakes her head slowly. "Not with how charged things have been lately. Plus… That would have meant going home. And that's… No. I'm building a new home. I'm not going back there." The girl defends her own decision. "I think I'll be without friends here. But I have the library. Much to research. More to read." She smiles. "Tom will be around though. He's… Interesting company. I like him."

"He is? I'd not realised," Lu says, a small yawn just breaching her defences. Fluffing fingers through her still damp hair, she pulls a cushion from the foot of Esther's bed and places it beneath her head as she lies down, eyes fixed on the canopy overhead. "I did hear something about you and Lowe, people do like to gossip still. You're going to live in Hogsmeade with him?"

"Tom? Oh yes." Esther shifts back on the bed, and pats her pillow. It's big and soft enough for two, provided they're kind enough to keep distance. . There's nothing wrong with sharing with friends. "… I bought a plot of land there this month. We'll build a house there this year… And hopefully when school breaks, I'll have my own four walls to go home to." The girl blushes softly. "… We decided that we'd rather build it ourselves, though. Keep costs down… Learn something new. I thought it'd be nice, if the walls that kept me warm weren't put up by strangers." She has a sweet side, after all.

Lucretia rolls her head to the left so she can look at Esther, cheek pressing the pillow. "I would really like to come and see what you're doing after we come back in January. The next Hogsmeade weekend perhaps. You must be very excited to be having a place of your own." A small smile is given, and whilst she might not be under the blankets and wrapped up warm like Esther is, she does seem rather comfortable lying on top of them, her thick dressing gown offering her all the insulation she needs against the chill of the dormitory. "Will you be leaving Hogwarts after this year then? Taking a job and working?"

"If you get cold, tell me." Esther speaks plainly. "I'll not have you with a chill because of some prudish nonsense." Prudish. Esther's figure is still 'relatively' boyish, even with the new eating regime that's left het at least on the edge of 'thin', not well over it. Still, she nods. "I… I can't wait. Right now it's little more than an empty lot. I don't think I'm ready to leave yet… But we'll let the events of the year be the judge. I'm prone to stupid decisions. I may yet make one that makes staying here… Hard."

"I'm not cold," Lu says, stifling another yawn as she snuggles deeper into the warmth of Esther's bed. Despite her words, she does reach out to flick the uppermost blanket over herself, toes scrunching in delight at the immediate comfort that brings. "People do say that you act first think later. I think that you are now thinking first." Whilst that might seem so from Lu's limited knowledge on what the older girl's actions have been both past and present, it might also be completely wrong. Lu's just young enough right now to accept things at face value however.

Esther doesn't mind. Girls like her don't get accused of such things. Well, there was once, with Douglas. "I do what I feel I must, Lucretia." She speaks kindly, nestled as she is under layers of blankets. "Sometimes that means acting rashly. And sometimes it means that I have to make apologies. Sometimes it means that I'll make mistakes. But I'd rather be able to claim I had the best intentions, than to pretend that I was nothing more than a coward, waiting to see which way the wind blew."

"That's what they call sitting on the fence, isn't it?" Lu says to Esther, eyes blinking owlishly in the half-light of the dorm. "I think that the risk of a wrong decision is infinitely preferable to the terror of indecision. Only those who will risk going to far, will ever know how far they can go." She nuzzles deeper into the pillow, eyes fogging with sleep. "I know you're not a coward. Cowards turn tail and run. You could have run from all this, but you didn't."

"No fear, Lucretia. You're a Witch." Esther's voice is soothing, Peaceful, even. "We practice knowledge, not fear. I won't run. I'll be pushed back, beaten down… And I'll rise again." Esthers slowly slides beneath her own covers again, so she can lie face to face with the young Black girl. "You won't run either. You're stronger than any of them. Goodnight, Lucretia. Sleep well." It's unusual, but Esther leans up, and places a gentle kiss on the girls forehead. Sweet… But unusual.

"Night, Esther." Its a sleepy response that's pulled from Lu, the girl already half on her way to sleep. At some point, when she rouses, she'll abandon the older girl's bed and find her way back to her own. But for now, its altogether far too comfortable and pleasant to even think of that, the young girl snuggled beneath the blanket, her tummy full of hot chocolate, head full of home.

When Lucretia rises, Esther is unusually asleep. She looks eerily peaceful, though.

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