(1939-01-09) The Hardest Art
Details for The Hardest Art
Summary: Cousins Rowle have a talk, and the Head Girl joins in.
Date: 1939-01-09
Location: Ravenclaw Common Room
Related: A discussion relating to events in Holiday Horror.

Ah, the Ravenclaw common room. Warm and cozy it was, even with those awfully big windows that gave every student lucky enough to be a Ravenclaw a wonderful view of the outside world. Andromena was situated comfortably within a plush chair, but was not, surprisingly, reading. Instead, she was waiting for her cousin Anthony, whom she had asked to meet her here for a bit of a private talk while most others would be away.

Anthony strolls on in. He's much changed. Instead of the head down scurry, he's strolling, hands in pockets, head up, shoulders back. "Andy!" The voice has a little more intonation to it, but not much."

At least he hasn't taken to calling her by her full name - which is actually an awful thing to consider since Andromena rather liked her name! (Especially when compared to Andy or Meanie). The young woman regarded Anthony for a moment, then motioned for him to sit across from her. "How are you feeling today?" A question she personally felt was pointless, because she had already gauged the answer he was likely to give, but one that she would nevertheless ask because he was family. "We haven't had much chance to just talk since coming back to school. And I wanted…" A very brief pause as her eyes darted to some vague spot beside Anthony's face. "I guess just to reiterate that you know you can always come talk to me if you need to. I'm a good listener, if nothing else!" Yes, wrap it up with a little humor.

Anthony ponders this, giving a little smile, "You always have been, Andy. One of your many good points." The smile maybe reaches the eyes as well as the lips. He sinks into a chair, "I'd like to say, incidentally, I'm sorry. I appreciate I have perhaps not been as supportive as you and Alphard as I might have been." A beat, "I was jealous. You're my 'twin'. It felt strange to lose you to someone who would be closer than I." The tone is analytical, "I looked at myself, and found various things wanting."

Talk about out of left field. Andromena knew that Anthony was not confessing a romantic interest in her, but neither had it ever crossed her mind that he would have felt, well, betrayed. Andromena's expression first lit up with surprise before flickering to chagrin for having been so oblivious. She lowered her eyes for a moment, hands in her lap.

"I never…oh, Tony. I never felt you weren't being supportive. Nor was I aware I left you feeling abandoned. It wasn't my intent." Certainly not! Though that was a bit of the way love worked, wasn't it? Selfish, caring only for itself and all others be damned!? Not that she was in love, mind, but one gets the point. "I am sorry, too. For not noticing. For what it's worth, you'll never really lose me."

Anthony gives a small nod, "I realise that, now. As I said to Lizzy, one of the good things about being Cruciated is that it does tend to burn away a lot of illusions." He waves a hand, "I was being ridiculous about Morgana. I see that now."

If Andromena had bothered to lift her head, Anthony may have seen how her expression fell further. Though she had no reason to, Andromena felt guilty. Anthony hadn't deserved to be hurt like that…no, none of them did, but forgive a soul for narrowing their scope of concern! "Not every person you happen to develop a crush on will be a good match," she says, twiddling her thumbs. "I mean, there were a few boys that mooned after me and I was very cold to them. In retrospect I probably very well stomped on their feelings." Nothing for any boys she may have liked over the years, or for how long she may have pined! "I'm glad that things between you and Morgana…that they didn't become more serious, only to see one or both of you hurt."

Anthony's lips quirk, "Well, better to see clearly late, than never." Philosophical is the wrong term for how he sounds about it. That would imply he was actually feeling anything. Or at least, letting on about feeling.

Andromena at last lifts her gaze back to Anthony, though she still appears mildly ill-at-ease. Her hands in her lap remain clasped together, as if she needs to keep them otherwise occupied. "Yes," she agrees. How can she not? His words are correct even if the Tony she knows does not seem to be there behind them. A shame that the wizarding world likely doesn't have grief counsellors in this day and age!

"So, I was thinking," time to change the subject - perhaps lure her cousin out with a topic he might find interesting! "Since you're beginning to study Hieroglyphics, maybe this summer we could convince the family to go to Egypt."

Anthony looks up, "Well, that does sound like it has possibilities." He sounds thoughtful. Not enthusiastic. Not disparaging. Just… stating a fact about the idea of a trip to Egypt, "But I do not know what will happen with Internships. I may be working for IMC by then."

"O-oh, right," Andromena says. Sounds as if someone wasn't thinking about their own internship this coming summer! Who really wanted to work anyway?

Anthony suggests, more practically, "Maybe for Easter, though? I mean, do we really want to be in Egypt for the hot season?"

"Fair enough," Andromena replies, looking thoughtful. Yeah…who wanted to go to a desert in the middle of summer - what had she been thinking!? "I'll write uncle Siegfried. You know he loves to talk about his time in Egypt." And Turkey, and Greece, and that time he spent the winter months sheltering with that Mongol family on the Steppe…Why was she becoming a Healer again, exactly?

Anthony gives a slight nod, as thought something were confirmed, then says, "Penny for your thoughts, Andy." And yes, he digs out a knut.

"Hm, what for?" And oh heavens, that was something of the Tony she knew! Which did not stop her from protesting. Holding up her hands, Andromena gives a small laugh. "Put that knut away. I don't charge family, as you know." Nor, apparently, did she demand a fee for her wisdom on New Years day. Remember that, Weasley!

Where has the Head Girl been? Busy of course, but it seems Morgana has been keeping herself away from the common room. Than again she hasn't spent a lot of time in here so far this year, she's been more scarce again. However she slips in now, carrying her satchel over her shoulder and giving the room a once over. Spotting the Rowels, she'll hesitate a moment before she raises her hand in greeting. Not wanting to interrupt on important cousin conversations, she goes to her favorite corner in the room and settles in.

Anthony tucks the coin away, and raises his hand in greeting, "Morgana." There's a little nod of the head. Cool, and courteous. A bit more friendly than the 'Rashley' she had left to. But still lacking in any intonation, of any other kind. On the plus side, he's the same to his cousin, "Well then, thoughts for free?"

They are known for their important cousin conversations, aren't they? Andromena spies Morgana and returns her wave with a smile. Just because she and Anthony weren't a love-match did not mean she would be out-and-out rude to the Head Girl! Now, if there had been some sort of nasty fall out, that would be different. The ties of blood would demand that Andromena turn into a snooty brat; just like Anthony had needed to make sure Alphard intended to treat his cousin with care.

"Of course- go ahead and ask, before curiosity starts to get to me!" A light tease.

Anthony nods, "Please tell me yours, then!" That is, after all, what he was offering the knut for. And then he adds, "Although I could hazard guesses, I probably should not. It doesn't aid me, if I'm right."

"Anthony, Andromena, good to see you." Morgana says quietly as she pulls out a bit of parchment and that large over-sized quill she's been using since they've gotten back. "Please don't let me interrupt, I can easily entertain myself over here." She doesn't look to be listening into any conversations, because that would be rude.

Andromena blinks. Oh, right. Sometimes…Well, no matter. "Thoughts on what?" She asks, just before nodding to Morgana. If the Head Girl wanted some relative peace and quiet, she'd give it to her. She wasn't concerned about Morgana Rashley, of all people, to be eavesdropping. Besides, it was just her and Tony!

"I mean, I have a lot of them. Often at the same time. I was thinking that you don't seem yourself - but what right of mine is it to attempt to coerce or manipulate you into the semblance of what I think is the 'normal' Anthony? And I was hoping maybe this would pass, this fugue you seem to be in. Then I wonder…if I am so poor at being able to discern the hurts of my closest kin, how could I ever be any good as a Healer?" She's saying an awful lot, but her words aren't rushed. They are measured, carefully considered. "I even think it's wrong that so many of my thoughts should turn back to me, like now. Am I just seeking attention?" She wasn't, not really. But the notion was there, all the same.

"I have more, if you're still interested." Thoughts, that is!

Anthony gives a thoughtful nod, "Actually, yes. Yes, I am. Very interested." Okay, the curiosity is still there, even if he's not showing it in anything other than his words. "And I don't think it odd at all that you should wonder about it… I would say I believe that healing the mind is the hardest of arts… even if the mind has anything wrong with it. To heal one that is fine is… even harder!"

Morgana quietly works on her homework, knowing that she'll have trouble getting it done later. She can't help but over hear the conversation, and has noticed the same things that Mena has as well. For a moment she isn't going to but in, waiting to see what the other girl has to say as well.

Andromena wanted to shout, 'See, but you are not fine!' Yet did not. Giving a rueful shake of her head, Andromena offered Anthony something of a grin. "Maybe this is just a clever excuse to begin learning the arts of Legilimency and Occlumency," said with a pointed look his way, just before the grin came back. "Wouldn't that be just awful, though, skimming the thoughts of other people? Some things ought to remain secret. All the same, neither of those really aid the mind now, do they?" She grew momentarily silent. "Wouldn't that be something, though? Not only to create a new spell, but one that could benefit countless others. I should like such historical notoriety…not that I think I'm the witch for the job." Where would one even begin?

"Besides, the mind and feelings…they aren't the same, are they?"

Anthony ponders, "Aren't they? But the mind is the seat of emotion, as much as of reason." He gives a thoughtful nod, "Actually, why not? Why would you not be the right Witch?"

"I thought about learning Occulmency myself, in my spare time but… lessons for that are very expensive, and time consuming." Morgana says with a frown. "I don't know if I would want Legilimency however, the thought of invading others minds, while lucrative, could be abused." Perhaps that is her reasoning for learning the former. "Also Anthony. You are not fine." It seems Morgana finally just decided to let it out, but again, says it like she is commenting on the weather.

"I am not sure where I would begin," Andromena says, hand to her chin. "At any rate, emotions are tricky. Why do we have 'gut feelings' or 'heart aches'? And if emotions are ruled solely by our minds, why can't we simply control them?" Rather than let anger run away with you, or become obsessed, or love someone that hurts you - things of that nature! Andromena looks Morgana's way when she speaks, a bit surprised.

"Morgana has a point, insofar as experiencing what you have…it's not fine. It's not okay. However, I respect your desire to not be…constantly bothered about it."

Anthony says, surprisingly placidly, "No… no, you're not bothering me about it. Honestly, you aren't. I shall not deny that it changed me. Of course, how could it not?" A hand gestures, "The butterfly is not the caterpillar, nor the Dragon the Egg. This does not mean the change is bad." He extends a hand, gesturing, rather than pointing, towards Morgana, "Ana, I hurt, without meaning. My mind was not clear. I lusted, without clear analysis. I wished to see things which were, perhaps, not there, or no more than hinted at. As I say, I greatly regret my lack of insight." The words are calm. Soft spoken. "And what analysis I did correctly make was perhaps not something she wished, or was ready, to hear." He turns towards Andromena, "And I've already confessed my errors in regard to Alphard. So… I _am_ now fine. It is not to say that the experience to become so was fine, for it was not."

"I suppose it depends on who you talk to, when it comes to gut feelings." Morgana says to Mena. "Some would say that it is a form of divination, warning you of what is to come. I feel that it is perhaps a forgotten memory, trying to claw its way to the surface during a current situation. However I have not had much time to reflect on this before." Morgana says thoughtfully.

She'll listen to what Tony has to say, and when he's finished, she'll shake her head at him. "Perhaps your analysis to lean toward thinking about what you say, before you say it. I believe that is what gets you the most in trouble." There is a frown on her lips, especially when he uses her family name again. "However, I do not believe you understand what we mean by fine, Anthony."

Andromena looks between the pair of them, a thoughtful frown on her face. Anthony was saying things that, on their surface, were logical and correct. His cousin could not help but wonder if that was the shield he was using in order to cope with the experience he had ensured. Perhaps Morgana was on to something when she spoke of Divination and feelings…but Andromena hadn't ever given that particular field much consideration before.

"It's only natural that others would express their concern for you," those that cared, at any rate. "But like I said: who am I to decide how you should behave?"

Anthony nods, seriously, "I do expect it, Andy. And it _is_ appreciated. But there were others worse off than me, and at least I am taking something positive from it." For others that would be an exclamation. Here it's a simple statement of fact. Morgana gets a nod, also. "Yes. Yes, you are right, of course. My inability to avoid speaking rendered anything that we did have stillborn. And I wonder whether gut feelings are simply unconscious analyses of data points which we are not even aware we have."

"Your phrasing is a bit off." Morgana says, shaking her head at Tony. "And just because others have it worse off than you, does not make your pain any less. I did say the other day that it was not going to be wise to discuss our situation, but what is done is done." Moranan finally sets down her quill and shakes her head. "Either way, it isn't anything we should dwell on now."

"Yes," Andromena tells Anthony. "To be hurt…is to be hurt." A slight bow of her head as Andromena gets to her feet, finally abandoning her comfy seat. "Still, if you feel as though you've gained something from it all, then that's nothing I can turn my nose up at. I would rather you find what positive aspects you can, rather than dwell on it." Wouldn't she try to do the same? For now, there's nothing said about the situation (she assumes), between Morgana and Anthony. It's their business, even if it's already come to its close.

"I ought to get to class now, though." A smile for the both of them, and then she makes for the door.

Anthony nods, gravely, "Yes. Yes, I do. It is not a method to it I would choose again, but perhaps it will prove to be for the best." His tone is very flat still, "Andy, it was… enjoyable to see you again. We will talk again after class?"

"Of course!" Andromena says by way of departure.

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