(1938-12-21) Pulling Punches
Details for Pulling Punches
Summary: Mixed messages between Alphard and Anthony lead to threats of punches and Lucretia manages a surprise attack on her cousin.
Date: 1938-12-21
Location: Hogwart's Express

It must be an hour since the train pulled out of the station in Hogsmeade and train carriages have been claimed, belongings stowed overhead. Lucretia is in this particular compartment, a sleeping Angelus tucked into one corner and a couple of others besides. Gaston, Lu's large silver cat, is draped over the seat beside her and the young Black girl herself appears to be fussing over a rather expensive looking violin. Wedged with the saddle end in her lap, she makes minute adjustments to the pegs on which the strings are secured.

Anthony is working his way steadily down the train, making contact with various people for the last time before Christmas. And now he's passing your compartment.

Chucka-DUM. Chucka-DUM. Chucka-DUM.

The rhythm of the train is a regular thing, until it passes over a set of points. The carriage jerks a little, and its that which has Lu looking up just in time to see Anthony passing by the compartment. "Hi!" Her call to the older boy is immediate, friendly too, though he won't be able to actually hear her since the sliding door is shut and he's separated from her by both wood and glass. Just to reiterate her greeting however, she slides her hand free of her violin and gives an enthusiastic wave.

Anthony pushes it opening, "Sorry, I didn't hear! What did you say?" He's speaking quietly, in order to avoid disturbing the sleepers.

Lucretia giggles, pushing Gaston so he'll free up the seat. Its an invitation if ever there was one for him to sit. "I said hello," she says, cheeks dimpling slightly as she carefully presses the neck of her violin against her shoulder and filches the bag of chocolate fudge flies from Angelus' sleeping self. "Would you like one of these? They're really nice!" There's a hop onto her shoulder made by her cat, before he disappears into the overhead luggage rack.

Anthony gives a nod, sliding into the seat, "Thanks awfully!" He looks a little puzzled by something. Could it be a Slytherin making nice? Still, he doesn't mind taking one of the fudges (as opposed to one of the Fudges, cos that'd be _wrong_). "Looking forward to the holidays?"

Lucretia is sitting next to Angelus who's dozed off. Having just pinched his bag of chocolate fudge flies in order to offer one to Anthony, she takes one for herself then returns them to their owner. He'll never notice. In her lap is her most prized violin and Gaston, displaced from the seat now taken by Anthony, has taken up residence in the luggage rack overhead. "Of course," she says brightly to the Ravenclaw. "I imagine that Orion has missed me terribly and Malfoy gave me some of the leftover gingerbreads from her gifts that I helped her give out. I'm going to give him some. Also I can't wait to see what my parents are giving me this year, though it'd be hard to beat last Christmas!"

Anthony looks curious, "Oh? What was so special about last Christmas?" He gives a faint smile, "I'm hoping for some Incunabula. But Maman and Papa try and surprise me."

Alphard appeared in the hallway outside of their compartment, peering in as if he was looking for something, or someone. Neither Lulu, Anthony or Angelus seemed to fit the bill, but after a moment he none the less slid open the door and entered as if the train belong to him. "Rowle. Hey Lulu." Angelus just got an eye roll.

"A new broom. Not that I'm terribly good with it, but its a very good one." A glance up is given when Alphard walks in. "Alphard. Hello. Were you looking for Andromena? She's not here and I've not seen her since the train left Hogsmeade. Would you like a fudge fly?" Once more she pinches the bag of sweets from Angelus' lap and offers it up to her cousin. She's not shy with other people's things.

Anthony chuckles, and then says, very softly, "I'm fond of my favourite cousin, Black. I should hate for anything to upset her, especially in the next two important years."

"What? Oh. No. I wasn't looking for Meanie," and apparently he wasn't going to expand on who or what he had been looking for, either. Instead he flopped down into the available seat, then waved away the offered fudge. "I already gave her presents, anyway. You will have to wait for actual christmas." His lips quirked in a teasing wry grin.
"What?" Alphard frowned. His eyes narrowed in Anthony's direction. "Was that some sort of warning, Rowle? Because, while I appreciate and even applaud a man being protective of his family and blood. Really, it's a duty.." he leaned a little towards Anthony, eyes narrowed. "Don't push your luck."

Lucretia snags another fly for herself, letting it buzz its chocolatey wings against her mouth before sucking it in. "You too!" she says happily to Alphard, referring to presents and not the pushing of luck thing that he growls at Anthony. Careful not to get sticky fingers on her violin, she licks them clean then rubs them dry on a clean linen hanky which she pulls from her coat pocket, falling silent as the atmosphere drops a degree or two temperature-wise within the compartment. Lower lip jutting forward, she directs a breath upwards to riffle her fringe where it just touches her brows, eyes skipping from Alphard to Anthony. Interesting.

Anthony seems blithely unconcerned by threatening eye narrowing, or leaning. Instead he helps himself to another choc-fly. He says amiably, "You see, that was the _wrong_ answer, Black. The right answer would have been, 'I care deeply for your cousin, and would never intentionally hurt her, so you needn't worry your pretty little head, Rowle'." He shrugs, "But I'm always happy to help with homework, so if you'd care to reconsider your answer, I'll re-mark it." A faint smile, "Fair point?"

"How about this for an answer, Rowle?" Alphard asked as he leand back in his eat again, eying Anthony with a cool glint of malice. Still very much snake eyes. "Meanie and I are none of your business. And just becuase you're her cousin doesn't mean I won't break your nose and throw every last one of your precious books out the bloody window if you don't cut down your attitude to size. Because I'm not about to take a lecture from you."

"So the wise thing to do right now would be to nod and shut up." There was the bully everybody loved and cherished!

There's a faint plinking noise that punctuates the end of Alphard's offer to Anthony as Lulu thumbs one of her violin strings. Its the only sound in the train compartment where the level of chatter has severely dropped off in order to eavesdrop the exchange between Alphard and Anthony. Not in the least cowed or intimidated by the friction between the older students. In fact, she's probably picking up hints and tips for the future. Right here. Right now.

Anthony's tone is still one of sweet reason, "And I'm sure you're right. You could break my nose. Not sure about the books, since most of them are in my dorm, and most of the rest are at home, so it rather depends how much trouble you're wanting to be in with the MLE, as I'm fairly sure that breaking and entering and criminal damage _are_ against the law. But more importantly, I hope to you, are other consequences. Perhaps you might theorise the effect on your relationship _of_ you beating up Andy's favourite cousin, just because he's concerned for her well being. It might suggest you don't care for either her feelings, or for those who love their family." He gives a faintly apologetic smile, "Do you see? I shaln't get involved in your association, as long as you aren't hurting her. But if you hurt her, I suppose you're going to have to hurt me too." It's a resigned tone. He doesn't seem to be disagreeing with the concept that you could break his nose, but seems willing to have it done, if it's required.

Alphard sneered at the mention of the MLE. "I don't think I'd be in any trouble at all. Accidents happen. The train suddenly shifts, and little bookworm Ravenclaws never were good at keeping balance. Two words against one. Or perhaps we'll just say you attacked me, and I was defending myself. It seems to be a habit of Ravenclaws these days." Alphard pushed himself up to his full height, his hands folding together as he cracked his knuckles. "As for what Meanie might think? I suspect she'd wonder why the hell said favorite cousin was determined to act like a little shit. I think I could convince her you deserved it. Because I find the very suggestion I would harm Meanie bloody offensive. So, very last chance to back away from a colossal mistake, and the only reason you're getting it is because of Meanie."

Anthony waves a hand, remaining seated, "You misunderstand. I was talking about the books." Ah, clearly more important than his nose, "And _finally_ you give the correct answer. We agree neither of us want Andy hurt. So I am, in fact, an ally then!" It's very softly spoken, "So I'm forced to wonder why you're so determined to offer me violence that _everyone_ in the school knows I'm not really equipped to answer. Since we're in agreement, afterall." A hand is extended, "I trust no hard feelings, Black. I only want Andy to be happy. So, it appears do you, and therefore neither of us should have a problem with that outcome."

Lucretia reaches under her seat for her violin case, opens it and slips the instrument inside, shutting it afterwards with a neat click. Not that she thinks there will be physical violence or violence of any type whatsoever. She's just being prudent. The thing is worth thousands of pounds and to have someone jostle it out of her grip would be the most terrible thing in the world. More terrible even than Alphard allowing his temper to punch Anthony on the nose. Speaking of, she sits just a little straighter when Alphard stands up, leaning ever-so-slightly away from Anthony whom she's sitting next to, and ever-so-slightly a little in Angelus' direction instead.

"Just keep your bloody attitude in check," Alphard snarled, but apparently had taken Anthony's answer as close enough to backing down. Even if he really hadn't.. He did not take the hand, though. Instead he flopped back down into his seat. Angelus was given half a look. Still snoring after all of that? That earned a bit of an eyeroll. "You know what, I'll take some of that fudge. So what are your wishes for Christmas this year, Lulu?"

Anthony's hand remains hung out there, and he points out, "You know, in regard to attitude, I think Suetonius said it best." And he switches into Latin. «That's rather a case of the Pot calling the Cauldron Black.» And he gives the other sixth year an enquiring look.

Lucretia eases herself into a more comfortable position, flicking hair from her face with the practice swish of one hand. "I want everything, of course," she grins at Alphard, handing out the bag of fudge for him to take a handful. A sidelong look is given Anthony when he dips into Latin and there's thoughful drawing in of her brows. "Latin. I do love that." Did she understand what was said? Its difficult to know, a poker-face smile just tilting the edges of her mouth.

Alphard's brows knitted together with a frown. "What?" Because languages were not amongst his many talents, and certainly not something so dull and dry as Latin. He hadn't even bothered to learn Ancient Runes, and that subject had some actual serious practical-magical applications. This was a boy who only read if it was relevant to his studies. "Whatever. He can't have been that brilliant if he couldn't even speak in plain English!"

Anthony assumes his hand is still being ignored, and finally lowers it, "Well, at the time English wasn't really English, and anyway was a language for Barbarians. The cloest I speak are some of the Anglo-saxon ancient runic scripts, but they're rather _different_."

Lucretia is a linguist, and rather a good one. Unlike Alphard she takes a keen interest when Anthony speaks of languages. "I know a little Latin," she eventually confesses. "But I'd welcome the opportunity to learn it better. Perhaps, when we return to school, I might have some private study time with you. That is, if your nose isn't punched in by Alphard." A look to her cousin. "Alphard, you'd not mind if Anthony teaches me, would you? You're not going to break his arm, flatten his nose or push anything of his out of the window anymore, are you?" Lulu's being politically savvy here.

Alphard let out a suffering sigh. "I don't care, Rowle. You're boring me to absolute death with this stuff. Stutterus, and Latin, and whatever." His gaze went towards Lucretia as his cousin admitted her interest in it. His eyes rolled heavensforth, before he nudged her chin with his broad and somewhat teeth-scarred knuckles. Punching people sometimes hurt you more than the person who got hit. "Unless he sticks to acting like an ass in the future, I don't see any reason why I would." With another sigh he got to his feet. "I'm going to keep looking. I'll see you, Lulu."

Anthony says solemnly, "Boring to death. I shall bear that in mind for the future, Black. Thanks for letting me know." There's at least two meanings to that, and the tone doesn't give much away as to how it's meant. "You take care." And to Lucretia, he adds, "I should be delighted to give tuition. It's a beautiful language, although ancient Greek has better epic poems of heroism and adventure."

Lucretia unfolds from her seat and performs the unthinkable; a sneak hug on her cousin. Wrapping him in a sudden bear-hug she grins up at him, the daintily-framed girl surprisingly strong for her size. Hug. "Thank you, Alphard. And I hope you find whoever it is you're looking for and I hope you come over to Grimmauld Place soon so that I can give you your present and you can give me mine!"

Alphard looked sort of awkward at having Lucretia give him a huge hug infront of Anthony. Or really anyone. It was the sort of thing he was more likely to just tolerate when there were nobody around but other family members. In school he had a mean boy reputation to maintain, damn it! None the less, he gave her a sort of pat on the head and a grudging squeeze in return. "Don't worry. You'll have your present soon enough." Wink. Then he was gone out the door and with the compartment once more an Alphard Free Zone.

Anthony lets out a long exhalation, as of relief, "I do believe he was really planning on hitting me." It's said in a tone of complete bewilderment.

Lucretia looks terribly pleased with herself when Alphard departs. Sneak hugs are the only way to catch him, bonus that he didn't thump her for it. In awe of her cousin, and with perhaps a degree of hero-worship lodged somewhere in there too, she turns with a smile and reaches to pull Gaston down from the overhead storage. Hugging him close, she settles back into her seat, cat in lap. "Maybe I would like to learn Greek too. I love languages. Really I do."

Anthony nods, cheerfully, "I'd be delighted! It's a pleasure to find someone who's interested. And of course, it's said to be like having another soul."

Lucretia quirks a brow at Anthony? "It is? I hadn't heard that before, that's a truly beautiful thing to say, it really is. Does that only relate to Latin, or to every language? I speak Italian and Spanish too, and they're both terribly lovely when you hear them spoken; I think even moreso than French."

Anthony says, "Oh, all languages. I think it was," and he switches to French, «To have another language is to have another soul.». He flashes a smile, "I can't remember which philosopher said it. But it seems true to me. So many thoughts that really only work in one language. And I should _love_ to learn a bit of Italian and Spanish. My French is… " and he says, modestly, "a bit provincial, but I can struggle on through with it." Northern French accent. Probably French Flanders, maybe Picardy. Clearly learned it from someone who spoke it very well."

Lucretia flashes her warmest smile; its something of a trademark of hers. Its the one that dimples her cheeks and crinkles the tip of her nose. Cute. It'd be called cute. "«I shall remember that then and hold it dearly in my heart,»" she replies in her own flawless French. Unlike Anthony's its not tinged by any regional accent and has obviously been classically taught. "«And I would love teach you a little Spanish and Italian too, if you like. Clearly you've an ear for linguistics and so it'd be a pleasure. A pleasure too to have someone to practice with.»" And her smile turns to a grin.

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