(1939-01-07) By Firelight
Details for By Firelight
Summary: Esther, Gresham and Lucretia all suffer from a little insomnia. The friendship between Lu and Esther grows, just a little. (Party would be in the past at the time of this log!)
Date: 1939-01-07
Location: Slytherin Common Room

The snake pit is warm once again. Esther has made the token gestures of being polite that one expects - Even helping with assembling a 'welcome back' for the students that had spent Christmas with their families, with the few Slytherin's that had remained at school. Many students stayed up late talking, catching up, doing this, that or the other thing. Few would stay up as late as Esther, wrapped in a blanket and dressed in her grey woolen jersey, and long black leggings. Paints away, brushes away, a heavy copy of Advanced Charms sits in her lap, the girl reading over it slowly, in the flickering firelight.
Esther is glad they're all back. There's warmth, life in here again. It's been a lonely two weeks, even with Myrus here.

Lu's been unable to settle, her bed not quite so comfortable as she remembered it, the chatter in the dorm a little louder than the quiet of her own room back home. Thus, giving up on the idea of sleep for the time being, she comes back down to the common room, snugged up warm within her familiar over-sized dressing gown. "Hello, Esther…" The greeting is given through a small yawn, a hand coming to cover her mouth as she goes immediately over to where the older girl is and looks down at her. Looking rather like a mussed up little kitten, dark hair tangled and framing the delicate angles of her face, she smiles. "I missed you in London. You should have come. I'm sure we could have found a room for you somewhere in the house."

Gresham has been in the Slytherin Boys' Dorm, tucked away under the covers of his bunk, nose securely fixed betwixt the pages of one of half a dozen different textbooks at any given time. As with the ever-popular depiction of the groundhog, the ever-elusive Gresham peeks out of his hidey-hole, pale as a ghost, apparently having not left the castle for a good long while. He follows his ears, drawn by the sounds of conversation. His hair is a-poof'd, a veritable coxcomb coiffure.

Gresham's appearance has Lu looking his way, distracting her momentarily from Esther. There's a smile given and she tidies away some of her hair behind one ear, sliding herself to perch on the arm of the older girl's chair. She swings a slippered foot. "Ollivander. Hello. You couldn't sleep either?" Lifting her shoulders a little so that the soft plaid of her dressing gown settles around her ears, she blows on her fingers. Unlike Esther, she's not been in the Slytherin common room through the Christmas break, so to her it still feels a little cold. "I was going to make some cocoa. Would you like some?"

Gresham shakes his head. "All of the night's partying, noise, and what-have-you, has my proverbial clock all wibbly-wobbly." He explains, wiggling his fingers for effect. "Cocoa? Oh, splendid. Do you have any marshmallows? Mother always sprinkled marshmallows into my cocoa.." He finds himself a seat and reminisces.

There's another small yawn from Lu as she peels herself off the arm of Esther's seat. "I'm not sure. I've not looked since getting back, I think there usually are though. And chocolate wands. You want a chocolate wand too?" Padding in slippered feet over to where the supplies are all kept, she takes down three mugs, presuming that Esther won't want to miss out on a Lu special, and sets about making the delicious chocolate drink. "Did you go home for Christmas too?"

Gresham shakes his head. "I stayed. Wanted to see if I could get a leg-up on the year's coursework. I figure that'll look good on my transcript for when I apply to become an Auror." He pauses. "My father's busy working on some big secret project, I figure it's best to leave him to his own devices." He makes a show of swishy-flicking his wand around.

"I don't think I'd have wanted to miss going home for anything," Lu says, sprinkling some of the requested marshmallows into the top of the cocoa before adding a chocolate wand and a dollop of whipped up cream to each. Thirteen years old, and the girl knows how to make a fabulous drink! With Esther having perhaps just closed her eyes for a moment, she picks up two of the mugs and takes one over to Gresham, handling them carefully since they're so terribly hot. "Secret project? Does your father work for the Ministry? I forget."

Gresham gingerly accepts the cup, blowing gently upon it to cool it just a touch. He rolls his shoulders in a shrug. "I recall him saying he worked for the Ministry once upon a time. That's all. He hasn't said much else about it, lately." He sips at the drink, and a shiver courses through his body. "Mm. I think my mother has a challenge for 'best cocoa'.." He remarks, with a subtle grin, chuckling.

Lucretia crinkles a smile and carries her own mug back over to where Esther's sitting. Lowering herself carefully so as not to disturb the older girl overly much, she tucks herself into the curve of her side and flicks the edge of the blanket over her legs, a small shiver given as warmth settles about her. "Esther makes better cocoa than me, but the chocolate wands are my own particular twist." So saying that, she twizzles the stick through her drink, letting it melt a little before lifting it to her mouth, a healthy suck given.

Lucretia takes small sips of her cocoa, alternating the sipping with long sucks on her chocolate wand. Snugged in alongside Esther, the smaller girl looks to have no inclination to move, not even when Gresham gets up and retreats back to the boys' dorms once his own mug is finished. Slipping her slippers off her feet, she curls her toes comfortably into the cushions and leans more heavily against Esther, and though the older girl might not be exactly fully awake, she's probably conscious enough that Lu's whispering might just cause her to surface. "Esther. Esther! You should go to bed if you're tired!"

Esther drifted off with a charms textbook on her lap, and woke up with a Lu nestled into her. Drowsy, the girl rises to hear her name, shifting a little bit and smiling at the closeness. "Mn. Hey you…" She greets affectionately, before her eyes even have a chance to open - She presumes it's 'Rus, but when her eyes open, and find instead young Lucretia cuddled in, she doesn't seem to mind. "Mn.. No, it's been a long day, but I don't need bed. How're you, Lucretia?" A shuffle, as some of her blanket is shared across.

"I made you a cocoa, do you want it? Gresham was here too, but he's gone back to the dorms." There's a small shifting of Lu's position so that she can look up at Esther and she reiterates for the older girl, in case she'd not caught it in her semi-comatose state earlier; "I did miss you. You should have come to London. You really should." Hands clasped about her mug, she barely looks old enough to be a first year here, let alone a third. "Did you get anything nice for Christmas? I got such a lot. I got a really nice present from Eibon too, but shhhh."

Esther nods slowly, reaching out with her non-Lu hand to grasp the mug, and pull it in nice and close. A slow sip, and a warm smile. "Thank you. And I missed you too - But I had nowhere to go, this time around. Next year, I'll have my own home, but this one…" She shakes her head sadly. "This year I could not leave. And I got a few nice things for Christmas. A few… Unexpected gifts, as well." Jenny, in particular. Once again, it left Esther unable to know just /what/ to think about that situation. "Perhaps if I'd had more time to work on the situation with Alphard, there would have been a safe alternative." A faint blush. "Myrus stayed though. So we got to spend a lot of time together."
A teasing small. "So what did Eibon get you?"

Lucretia actually blushes a little herself. "It was a necklace; gold and crystal. Actually terribly pretty and I wore it to his party. Its not something a boy could have chosen though, so I expect he got his mother or some other girl to pick it out." A small sucking in of her breath is given and she glances up to Esther. "I think he likes me, you know, in the way that boys like girls? Waste of his time really though, because I don't have time for that kind of thing." A gentle stretch is given of her shoulders and she curls back in against Esther's side. "Did you get a chance to do any work on your house? You and Myrus? Or weren't you able to leave school grounds."

"Not allowed to leave. I managed a few supply orders from here, but there's little else I could have done." Esther pauses, looking down at Lucretia. "It does seem like the thought was there. I don't want to seem… Well, corrupting, but I thought much the same until I kissed…" The pause is fleeting, "Myrus. From there… Well, I didn't feel like I had a choice but to make time. Love… Well, Love found me, whether or not I cared for it." The warm flush sits on her cheeks, at the memories. And more than a little sadness, too. "Did you get anything else special?"

Lucretia huffs into her mug, then tilts it to get the last dribbles from the bottom into her mouth. "Mmmhm. I got some new robes, a book on charms that I was wanting, tickets to watch the Chudley Cannons and some new clothes too. Its funny, I never really liked getting clothes before, but you should see them. They're stunning. I look like dark princess in them." There's a grin with that, the girl burrowing herself deeper under Esther's blanket. "What did Myrus get you?"

Esther offers her own as a replacement. "It's lovely, but I /need/ a coffee right now. Take it." She offers with a smile. "Myrus… Got me some clothing, that was nice… And we had a romantic evening." Almost crimson for a moment, "Maybe sometime we should both dress up - If only there was due cause more often." Most people haven't seen Esther dressed up, after all. Either like this… OR in her uniform. Or a nightie. "So, first Hogsmeade weekend, I need to go hunting for late-presents for people I missed.

Lucretia giggles a little, taking the mug from Esther to replace her now empty one. "Romantic evening, huh? That's nice, if you're into that sort of thing, I think I'm glad I'm not though." Carefully she shifts a little to the left so that Esther can get up to go and make herself the coffee she so desperately needs and her mug gets balanced carefully on her knees. "Do you suppose that you will marry Myrus then? I mean, when you're finished with school. Do you family like him?"

Esther actually laughs, the girl finding it amazing that the question would be asked. "Lucretia… My family don't even like /me/. I've stepped back from my parents. My grandparents are my guardians now. They, and my uncle and aunt are much fonder of me than Wilheminia will ever be." She pulls herself from the couch, and adds. "Save my spot." Wandering over to the kettle, she begins to prepare herself a coffee. Musing while she works. "We want to get married. Start a family… But we're still here, first and foremost. Much as I'd love to run away, or leave at the end of this year, we're still aware that we have to make a future together."

"And you think that you and your parents will never make up?" Lucretia says, twisting around so she can watch Esther still while they talk. "Never is a terribly long time. I mean, its forever." Adjusting the blanket over her legs, she pulls a cushion up against her side to create more of a nest for herself upon the couch. "I'm going to stay here at Hogwarts right the way through to the end of my N.E.W.Ts. You have to get those if you want to be be anything after school." She doesn't say just what she wants to be herself, perhaps she doesn't even know yet."

"I want to be a healer." Esther confides. She returns, with her coffee, and gestures for Lu to move. She wants her old spot back.

Lucretia scooches over, dragging cushions and blanket with her. But not all the blanket. She curls in a warm little huddle and waits for Esther to retake her place, flipping the remainder of the blanket back over her when she does. "Really? Healer? You'll be able to stay here in Hogsmeade then, work with St Mungo's, yes?"

Esther settles back into her corner, taking the bit of blanket - And opening her side up again, should Lu want to cuddle back in there. "I don't mind apparating in to work. If that doesn't work, I could always open an apothecary." Luckily, there's money on her side. Nowhere near as much as, say, the Blacks, but still. Some. "Either which way, I'm not moving our home. So you can come visit whenever you want. Have you thought about your career?"

Lucretia shakes her head. "Not really, that seems a terribly long way off still and there's so many interesting things that I could do." She gives a small yawn, the cocoa and the snuggling presumably catching up on her. "I'd like to come visit though, I'll be able to come see you on Hogsmeade weekends, it'll be odd when you've left school and are there instead." Closing her eyes, she snugs her mug in close to herself, it'd not do to spill it should she drift off whilst staying up so late.

No snuggles? Fine. Esther smiles, sippingg at her coffee and sighing sweetly. "It won't be so odd, Lucretia. You'll be older. Prettier. Have boys on your mind. And I'll have a nice mug of cocoa waiting for you." Her legs draw up underneath her, again. "Otherwise it'll be much the same. I'll always have a friendly ear for you."

Lucretia pulls a face, though the effect of it might be lost as she rests her cheek against Esther's shoulder. "Mmm. Thank you. Cocoa and ears are always good." And with another yawn punctuating that she closes her eyes and doesn't open them again. The long trip back finally takes its toll, and with one last sleepy blink of her eyes, she drifts. Might be a few minutes only, might be longer, bt at some point she'll pull herself to her feet and wander back to her bed.

Esther seems happy enough to have Lu snuggled into her. The older girl sip her coffee, free hand opening the textbook beside her back to her old page. Reading peacefully, while the younger Slytherin sleeps.

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