(1939-01-04) What Lies In Her Eyes?
Details for What Lies In Her Eyes?
Summary: Esther and Gresham finally spend some time together, after being at Hogwarts alone all Winter Break. Esther's new 'Scholar Club' is a topic discussed, but more importantly than that, the way he feels about her are topics at hand. Unfortunately she's required to step on his feelings.
Date: 1939-01-04
Location: Slytherin Common Room, Hogwarts Castle

It's midnight. Esther spends her days with Myrus, or studying (With the exception of Friday, where she was unable to be found for love or money), and her nights with her affects spread ALL OVER the common room. Tonight is no exception. Her easel sits not too far from the fireplace, the beginnings of a painting visible - Two figures, embracing. The table infront of the fire has four books opened on it - Wizarding Bloodlines, Advanced Charms. Construction Principles. Ancient Runes - A Beginners Guide. Each book as a sheet of parchment with details in Esther's neat handwriting scribed down. Although right now, rather than deal with her eclectic study, Esther stands beside the fireplace, woolen jersey and long black leggings. One hand warmed by a cup of coffee, while her other gently teases her phoenix quill back and forth.

Into the Slytherin commons wanders one Gresham Ollivander, followed closely behind by a chest full of books, parchment, and various coursework-related items. He leads it over to one of the tables scattered about, and sets it down, before tucking his wand away and relocating several textbooks and scrolls to the table, along with a quill and inkwell. He then sets the quill to work scribing notes as he reads through his textbooks. He wanders about the room for a bit— and then finally notices Esther. He blinks in surprise, and composes himself, offering a quiet nod of acknowledgment, and a subtle smile.

"Gresham." Esther smiles for him. She still remembers throwing spells at eachother across a quiet classroom. "You're a studying machine." She comments, sounding almost as if she admires it. From her efforts, clearly she feels mostly the same. Although perhaps with a wider interest. "So. I had a kinda weird idea. But I thought it might appeal to your inner scholar." She speaks, wandering over towards the kettle slowly. The girl must be obsessed with hot drinks. She gestures to it, as if he might want one.

Gresham smiles, turning toward Esther. "—I'd love one, thank you." He pauses. "An idea? Do go on. You have my full attention." The quill continues writing, albeit increasingly less elegantly as Gresham's concentration is taken elsewhere.

Esther had expected that kind of reaction. "… I wanted to start a study group. A group dedicated to knowledge, to learning, and… Well, damn anything else." She frowns a little bit, as she begins making coffee. She's having trouble expressing herself, it seems. "Where students can work together. Ask questions. About /anything/. Without fear of social backlash." A pause. She stirs, and then taps the spoon three times. Exactly three. "Where people can congregate to increase their own knowledge. Their own strength. And in doing so, make themselves, the school… Hell, maybe the world, better?" She offers the cup to him.

Gresham accepts the cup with a smile, and a polite 'thank you', setting it off to one side so it doesn't accidentally spill and ruin his work. "That sounds like a fun club. I'd certainly join that. What would it be called?" He inquires. The quill gradually returns to its earlier fluidity as his concentration resumes.

"I hadn't decided. I was thinking of calling it the 'Scholars Club' - And I thought that maybe, to encourage people to share fully. Openly. Honestly. We make it completely anonymous. So no-one knows that Esther Lowe is a member. So that the girl in the badger mask who was asking about Basilisk Venom is never identified. So the fourth year who doesn't know what the killing curse is doesn't feel humiliated." Esther seems quite passionate about the idea. "So that people who are enemies by the light of day can meet by the candle, and work together towards a better, more enlightened tomorrow." It does all sound rather magical. "Hey… Gresham, did you take Ancient Runes?"

Gresham nods. "Third and fourth years, yes." He tucks his coursework away and sips at the cup of coffee. His eyes very briefly cross as a curious taste slithers over his palate. He finds it enjoyable, and resumes drinking.

Hopefully Gresham has had coffee before. Or this will be a long night they'll be spending together. "… I had a curiousity. That sparked my idea for a club. But… I have no mask to wear, right now. So you'll /know/ that this is Esther Lowe." She states softly. Biting her lower lip - The nervousness, exactly what she's trying to defeat for everyone.

Gresham rolls his shoulders. "If you'd prefer I play unawares, I can most certainly oblige," he responds, between sips, becoming more and more accustomed to the taste of the coffee.

"Most people don't know that I aim to become a healer." Esther points out, taking a slow sip of her drink. "It's… Something I don't like to share. I was preparing for… Something painful, I might have had to do. Trying to find a potion, or a charm, that would reduce my ability to perceive pain. Someone suggested runic magic… And then the thought occured. Rather than carry a temporary rune… Why not make a permanent mark, upon the skin…" Esther's bright red, but she forces herself to continue. "A mark that might, just might self-sustain. A mark that could ensure that an Auror is /always/ protected. That someone who suffers a lifetime injury can be free of potions and poultices…"
Her mind leapt to flesh, when she first thought of it. But a tattoo might do.

Gresham nods. "An Auror could certainly use such a rune. It would definitely help in the fulfillment of one's duties." Gresham picks the quill up, balances it on his index fingertip, tosses it into the air, transfigures it into a coin, makes a closed fist, and proceeds to cause the coin to dance across his knuckles, back and forth.

Esthers nods. "But… It is not a subject that would be well received by the teachers. Neither would the little… Game… That you and I played, a few months ago." She shakes her head, and sighs. "I… I want to be brighter. Better. Stronger. And I want a group that will help me - And anyone else who wants the same - To get there. So… If I can find a place and time, might I see you there?"

Gresham nods. "I'll do my best to make the time. Who knows, someone from this little group may end up my partner as an Auror." He offers a gentle, rolling shrug.

Esther nods. "Auror seems to be a popular dream." The girl mentions. Another sip of her coffee, as she decides to play little-miss-nosey, and lean in over Gresham's work. "So. What're you doing, if it's not rude?"

Gresham moves his work closer to Esther so she can take a proper look at it. "An assignment for 'History of Magic'. I never took the Goblin Wars for such an active time. I was wrong.. History of Magic.. the subjects are nearly endless." He says, clearly impressed.
Gresham blinks at himself, sips s'more from his coffee. "Giant Wars, rather."

"Anything worth writing about, Gresham, is worth studying." Esther slowly leans in, beginning to read his work while sipping on her coffee. It was supposed to be a glance of curiousity, but now it's become academic. "To be honest, I'm suprised that the Giant Wars came to an end as it did. Savage creatures." She continues to read, her scientific mind getting the best of her.

Gresham nods. "Indeed. One never knows when one's knowledge may be of use. I enjoy learning… the more I learn, the more things I have at my disposal, the better I can perform my given duties, whether in the classroom, the office, or the field."

"Exactly." Esther smiles kindly. "Knowledge is my shield and sword." She finally tears her eyes away from the parchment, resolving to look over it later. "I truly never expected to find kindred spirits in this castle. I should have learned to speak sooner." 'Speak' in this case, means 'loud enough to be heard'.

Gresham raises an eyebrow. "I love the way you phrase that. "Knowledge is my shield and sword." May I use that, someday?"

Esther giggles softly, behind her coffee. "With my blessing." The girl smiles at him. "It's so true. It's one of those defining truths of life… That I'm finding mean more and more. But be careful, Gresham… Because as much as the encompass, they /consume/."

Gresham gazes Esther-ward. "My father told me, once, when he first looked my mother in the eyes, he could tell all about her, that she was the right woman for him. Her eyes were wide-open windows into her very soul." The ambience of the room must be getting to him. Or he's somehow become drunk. Or something. "You're the very image of my mother, when my father and she first met. Beautiful, through and through. Especially the eyes." He almost blushes, though overall maintains his composure. In a way. Kind of. He's a guy in the room with a girl, and the atmosphere is not conducive to studying.

Esther's vision grows a little troubled as Gresham's compliment continues, the hand holding her coffee cup stiffens just a little bit. She's had a few compliments, sure, but this is just… There are so many problems with what he's said. So many problems with what it may mean. And the flickering firelight, the dark room, the air of friendship between them. "I…" She begins. Blushing, her eyes gaze down into her coffee for a few seconds. "… Gresham, you're sweet, cute, smart… But we can't be more than friends." She doesn't say 'why'. "And even if we could… There're things of me that I couldn't share, wouldn't want to share with you. Thing's that hide behind the eyes."

And so the rose-tinted spectacles of Gresham Ollivander are snapped in twain, like a small twig beneath the heel of reality. Gresham does his best to keep a stiff upper lip, nodding solemnly, as the remnants of what might have blossomed into a boy-crush are tossed from his mind. One can practically see the crudely drawn image of Gresham and Esther holding hands fly out of his ear, and fade before the image hits the ground. "I understand." He offers a weak smile, and returns to his studies.

Esther bites her lower lip. The girl slowly takes a step towards him, putting down her drink, and placing a hand over one of his. "… Gresham, I'm /honored/ that you'd think that of me. It's… One of the most beautiful sentiments I've /ever/ heard. But I'm blessed enough to be in love already… And I can only hope that one day, the beautiful heart of yours will find someone who is in a position to appreciate it." She's trying to be nice. Soothe the hurt. And be honest.

Gresham places a hand over Esther's, gently holding it. "I can only pray that woman is as stunning, intelligent, and kind, as you, though I doubt I shall ever meet another such woman for the rest of my days." He says, looking her dead-on in the eyes.

Curse him. Gresham seems to know exactly what to say, to make Esther feel week in the knees. He attacks all of the areas that she's proud of, and and so well. "… I…" She feels his hands surrounding hers. The blush rises in her cheeks. "I.. Gresham, I /never/ thought I'd find love… I committed myself to being alone." She bites her bottom lip, as if considering telling him something… But it's not forthcoming. Instead, she speaks. "… Myrus kissed me. And I'd found it…" There's a sudden blush. She remembers how Myrus and her started. And it would be more inspiring to Gresham that she would want it to be.

Gresham closes his eyes, clears his head, re-opens his eyes, and speaks: "You deserve to be happy. If you aren't happy, find a way to be happy. You live your life the way you want to." Another pause. "I'd never think of committing to a life of being alone with me, myself, and I. I've become tired of having to listen to myself. I'd love to have someone else to listen to, for a change.."

Esther bites her lower lip. And then she says it, clearly. "… I'm happy, Gresham." But still, the slender girl leans forward, and wraps her fellow student in a hug. Gentle. Friendzoney. "I'm happy. And I'm beyond flattered. I wish I could be that person for you…"

Gresham would probably spit-take, had he just drank something and forgotten to swallow at that point. Having nothing to spit-take, he simply takes the Houston-we-have-made-contact-with-GIRL win, and enjoys the hug, period.

Esther keeps her arms around Gresham for several long seconds, opening them and sighing sweetly. "Damnit. You're really, really going to make some girl absolutely /wrapt." She admits, getting to her feet slowly. Her cup is reclaimed, and solace is taken in a mouthful of coffee.

Gresham returns to his own cup, using a simple finger-twirling enchantment motion to stir in a spoonful of vanilla cream before sipping it. Perhaps he'll channel this newfound emotion and write a book in his off-study time.. "Dr. Madlove; or: How I Learned to Man Up and Stomp Death-Eaters." Yeah, that's a good title.

Esther takes a step back, when she realises that the conversation is over… And turns, to walk back to the area infront of the fireplace. Dominated by all her affects, (And her blanket, on the couch, for when she finally falls asleep) Esther takes her brush and palette in hand. The slender, wild-haired girl frowning a little at her work.

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