(1939-01-12) On The Edge
Details for On The Edge
Summary: Gerald's run on the grounds becomes a potential powder keg.
Date: January 12th, 1939
Location: Entry Courtyard
Related: Holiday Horror

It is a winter night. The weather is cool and overcast.

A path leads from the Gates through to the huge bridge that travels across the lake towards the Hogwarts entry hall from here. The otherwise green hill isn't very steep, however, almost like it was designed for long walks and for the carriages. Another, steeper and well-trodden, path leads down to the lake shore and the groundskeeper's cabin, in a roundabout way to the west, while the lake itself is visible over cliffs hundreds of feet tall to the South.
Across the bridge and just outside the entry hall is the courtyard itself, a large rectangular area with roofed walkways along the outside, with benches to sit and arched open-air windows to give a view over the lake. Inside these walkways is a central open square just outside the doors to the castle, with a couple of larger benches to give students a place to sit.

Later in the afternoon, after classes have released and the rest of the day is left to the roaming feet of the masses and the roaming tongues of the schools gossip mongers. And my how they have much to tell.
Some students clutter along the schools corridors, while others, like Gerald have sought out the chill of outdoors.
Coming to a running stop just inside the gates, Gerald hunches forward to catch his breath. He's sweaty despite the cool evening air, though his attire explains it all. Cotton pants and a cotton shirt, worn by the more athletic individuals (and apparently not something often seen in the wizarding community).
Taking a small breath he stands again, his steps starting back toward the school as he reaches to wipe his brow with the hem of his shirt.

With the latest upset spreading through the school, and the Ravenclaw tower, Elizabeth is swift to slip outside for moments of solidarity. Even if it's still freezing cold outside. Her heeled mary janes quickly crunch the soft ground with each step, her pale eyes trained on the ground ahead of her while her breath is visible with every faint exhale. Luckily, she has a thermos of something hot tucked away, in case. Approaching one of the benches, she glances up to spy Gerald, blinking when she sees him running, coming to an eventual stop and hunching over, out of breath. The young woman blinks again, and when he stands to start heading towards the castle again, meeting her eyes. Elizabeth smiles hesitantly, flustered. "Gerald." she nods to him. "Is there some sort of game coming up soon that I'm not aware of?"

Eibhlin was thinking much along the same lines as Elizabeth in heading outside. She's later in making her appearance, having made a few stops along the way to the courtyard. Stepping outside into the chilly air the redhead pulls her robes a bit closer about her before the sound of another voice catches her ear and turns her steps in the direction of Elizabeth and Gerald.

Anthony steps down outside. His hair is wet, as if he'd just bathed, which he's probably going to regret in the cold air. Eibhlin is greeted with a broad smile, and Lizzy with a nod and a smile. He then looks around to see the source of the kerfuffle.

Perhaps not exactly the source of any excitement, but Gerald does pause as he hears his name, his steps slowing before he sends a glance toward the dark haired Ravenclaw. "Oy, Library girl." He heads her way, though as he nears a small snap of his fingers draws a small chuckle, "I mean Elizabeth." He's hesitates as he speaks the name, "Right. I'm awful with names. Don't be insulted. Aint that right Shine?" Yeah, he sees the approaching red head, and even goes so far as to reach and wrap a sweaty arm around her to give her a squeeze. "How's my favorite two know-it-alls?" Anthony is invisible for the moment, since he /didn't/ use the word 'kerfuffle' aloud.

The corners of her lips twitch with an instinctive smile as she teaks a few more steps towards Gerald, a little flustered from the unexpected nickname. "I suppose it's better than 'kitten thief'." Elizabeth murmurs. Her steps eventually slow and fall short though as she glances up at Anthony and Eibhlin, spying them, but not as quickly as Gerald as he nears Eibhlin and gives her a one-armed embrace. Her pale eyes blink at this. "That… I would imagine to be a little bit smelly." She murmurs to herself. What's with Hogwarts boys suddenly working out all of a sudden?

"He's terrible at names," Eibhlin agrees with that statement of Gerald's, turning a subtle quirk of a smile towards him before he wraps that arm around her. The sight of him working out wasn't nearly as surprising as the seeing Anthony earlier, but that aside she does wrinkle her nose a little. "You could do with a bath," she points out following Elizabeth's comment, but there is a mild teasing quality to it. And given she doesn't try to duck out from under his arm she must not mind too much. "Doing well enough I suppose."

Anthony laughs, "Do you say that to _all_ boys, Eibhlin, or just those who actually do some exercise?" He's actually in rather a good mood, his wet hair not yet icing over. And perhaps he's the other boy who's had a bath.

Gerald says, "Hey….hard work stinks." He teases gently, "Anyway, we're used to my stink. I think she secretly likes it." He doesn't however force it on the redhead, he simply leans and lets his arm drop some. All the better to slip is hand into her pockets in search of something. For the moment Elizabeth gets a grin, "It really completely slipped by me that you two were in the same house. Evie, I invited Elizabeth to pub crawl with us this coming weekend." This much is mentioned before a new voice draws his attention, summoning Gerald attention to Anthony. "Oy Rowle, you're gonna freeze to death like that. Even I have more sense than that." Says the slowly cooling boy next to Evie."

The sharp click of heels, isn't that a sound Anthony knows oh so very well. They belong to the ever fashionable Lea, who's dress fits precisely as its supposed to; complimented by those stockings. One who shuns heavy robes for the weather in favor a well placed charm for the cold. Yet, something does tickle against her ears and the Ravenclaw's steps slow as she nears the group. A polite smile curling her lips, though it was sharp at the corners. "Oh, I shouldn't worry. No one would miss that one if it should happen." Ah, well. That settled it then. Lea had arrived.

Color touches her cheeks and Elizabeth instinctively reaches up a free hand to cover her mouth, if only to remain polite, though a small chuckle does escapes her. "Only in certain instances." she does allow, without further elaboration. There isn't any need. And the mention of the pub craw draws an even warmer smile from Elizabeth. She's sincerely looking forward to it, and it's obvious. Whatever reply she may have had, it's interrupted as Lea approaches, heals clicking with each precise step. "I suppose the drying spell is in order…"

There's a roll of her eyes for Gerald's commentary on his own stink however as he sets to digging in Eibhlin's pocket, "Other pocket," she notes sounding like she clearly knows what he's after and not so much minding. "It should be interesting at least," she remarks on the pub crawl to Elizabeth with a smile before sending a look after Anthony again. She shakes her head, "I believe your cousin mentioned the bath for you," she replies to him, "And he does have a point… " About being out wet such as he is.

Anthony turns towards Lea, and gives a faint bow, "My dear Lady Disdain, are you yet living?" It sounds like a quote. God alone knows from what. He is, at least, nicely scented, and in neat and clean clothes.

"You can thank Merlin and my cold blood for that," Lea replied, with a smile that was just as chilly as her words. Her eyes left him then, however and slipped towards the others in the assembled; assessment behind her gaze. "Still, inviting a bunch of half bloods for a pub crawl. That…well, that sounds like the sort of thing one ought to be careful with. After all, the masses are not entirely happy with the treatment those of us faced with the recent attack and a bunch of drunk children…sounds like the perfect receipe for disaster."

Variel comes in from the clock tower, apparently having had business of sort up top the castle and having chosen a less traveled path to the ground floor. Finding the mass of students gives him some pause, as he arrives to see Gerald rooting about the redhead's pockets, Anthony quoting Shakespeare at Lea and said Rashley retorting without deigning to follow suit. He comes to stand near the assembled, nearest Lea, a belted stack of Charms and rune books slung over his shoulder.
"I'm inclined to agree with Rashley. Taking a bunch of children inherently disposed to drawing negative attention and then plying them with alcohol and removing the inhibitions that might otherwise serve them well doesn't seem at all a wise decision." The only people he goes out of his way to greet with a nod are Lea and Anthony.

Anthony looks a bit disappointed, for some reason, and with a slight bow he says, "Ah well, clearly, just need the right Virgil, to guide the Dreamer past that circuit of Ice, Rashley. And if you'll pardon me, I have warmer places to be."

Gerald chuckles, though the newly arrived blond has earned a good deal of his attention. "It's just two." He counters easily, "And you're assumptions are amusing. You clearly have no idea how we do this." He rolls his eyes, finding whatever it was he was searching for in the red heads pocket. For the nosey sorts, it's candy. "It doesn't involve alcohol for the little ones. Though after talking to Malfoy earlier I had been reconsidering. I on a trip when everything started. I'm only just now really getting to the root of the event." He shrugs, popping the piece of candy into his mouth. If he seems unconcerned with the masses, it's likely because he is.

Elziabeth feels her jaw tighten as she narrows her eyes on Lea. "Right now, you're the only one here that has a problem with us going. We were invited. Also, it's rather presumptuous of you to think that those underage will be drinking. Butterbeers are hardly worth worrying about." Her pale eyes flick to Variel as he approaches, her expression becoming stone. "And no one said you have to be subjugated to our presence. You can leave." Elizabeth flicks her gaze towards Gerald and Eibhlin, pausing a longer moment so that she doesn't accidentally lash out to those that really didn't deserve it. "If it's really a big issue to you, Gerald," she says softly, pointedly. "you can uninvite me. I don't mind. But I also think it's your choice and no one else's to make." As he talks though, her expression subtly changes again, becoming thoughtful. Somehow he's able to be much more cool in the situation than she was. Than she could ever be.

Eibhlin's attention turns more fully towards the arrival of Lea and Variel once Gerald's found his candy. About to say something in return about their pub crawl she's beaten out by both Gerald and Elizabeth. "Like they said," she agrees simply, "No one said anything about alcohol. And on one said you had to join us." She sends a slight smile towards Anthony however as he excuses himself, "Later Rowle."

"Sorry to miss you, Rowle- like to talk with you later, when you've some free time. Let me know," Variel quips before Anthony darts off.

"Amazing the level of hostility," Lea murmured, but there wasn't even the faintest sign of offense in her tone. "A pub crawl typically involves drinking, for one. For another, I did not presume to be invited, for another. For a third, I merely expressed a concern towards the safety of those involved. So my advice would be that you listen before you render your judgments, Dweedle for I am not aware of having gone out of my way to cause you offense yourself nor insulting your being. I might jab at Rowle, but our barbs are for each other and in taste. Should I apologize that someone's confounded your wits and interfered with your ability to listen? The last time I checked, I was not running around and suggesting that half bloods be thrown out of the school, but rather educated properly and fully immersed into the Wizarding world."

Variel isn't looking at Elizabeth when her face goes cold; it's not clear if he's noticed or not. He's watching Gerald as he speaks. "Well, to be fair, if you're holding a pub crawl without drinking? You'd be right, that's nothing like how I've heard anyone run a pub crawl before. Does change things a bit, but just because you lot aren't drinking doesn't touch on the other patrons. There's a lot of angry and hurt people, both of which have a tendency to turn to drink for solace- might not be a very welcoming environment, some pubs. But good of you to be reconsidering in light of recent events." Variel's tone is a touch flat, but lacks malice or any affront to his own person. "And I'd noticed, Rashley. Awful lot of ensuring we know we're not invited over trying to counsel against something might turn dangerous."

"OKAY!!!" Gerald's voice is loud, though he falls short of a yell. "THE PUB CRAWL.." he allows, pausing to send the group a glance, "Means /I/ get belligerent and they laugh at me." He sighs though a chuckle colors his tone. "So everybody take a breath. Lea in her own, weird pseudo-bitchy way was trying to point out that now is not a good time to drop ones guard, especially in town where the environment is so uncontrolled. She has a valid point and amazing boobs so..good call Lea and you're beautiful." Variel's words hold Gerald silent a moment, and he gets a nod. "Right. Like I said, when the plans were made I wasn't fully aware of the state if local affairs. Elizabeth's right to be edgy about things. So re you, Variel. But neither if you are the threat so..everyone find a happy thought. The teen angst level here's getting obnoxiously high."

"I am merely pointing out the holes in your observations, considering you are intent to comment on an established subject that you know nothing about." Elizabeth murmurs evenly as she flicks her gaze from Lea and Variel. "And you're also making the leap in assuming there's going to be trouble. But even if there is, if I let recent events dictate how I live my life, then I truly will be the victim of terrorism." Whatever else she might have said is cut off as she glances to Gerald, who takes control of the situation very well. Taking in a longer breath through her nose, Elizabeth closes her eyes and turns so that her back is towards the group, dipping her chin lower.

Eibhlin blinks towards Gerald. Its not often she hears him raise his voice like that, but she does nod with his statement until he gets to the part about Lea which earns him a bit of a stare and a shake of her head. Boys. "I'm sorry," she offers Lea and Variel, "It wasn't explained well," and since Gerald has already explained all that she leaves it alone. "And your intentions may not have been fully understood," she adds apologetically. "You may not be," she adds to Lea, "but there are those who would, and I think everyone is a little on edge lately. And," she adds towards Variel, "I can understand about there being angry and hurt people with it."

There was a flicker of annoyance in Lea's gaze when Gerald actually yelled, but it eased when he at least saw some measure of reason. The compliment about attempting to be logical she took in stride but that rather blunt faced remark about her person…that one earned a blink. Two of them in fact. It was perhaps that distraction that kept her moderated long enough not to think without replying first. "It is alright." She hasn't even managed to look at Gerald again yet. At all. Instead she addressed Eibhlin first. "And you are correct. I daresay, if you had been subject to that particular Unforgivable, you would have different thoughts on the matter as well." There. Calm. Level headed. Polite. But Lea hadn't forgotten about Elizabeth, either. "Forgive me if I do not trust the judgments nor rational of someone who goes to the hospital wing over heartbreak. And while I realize that victim is a role that you prefer to broadcast to the masses, theatrics are best kept to the arts club, you know." Clipped, precise and finally, Lea managed to look at Gerald again.
"I would very much like a word with you. In private, if you would be so kind."

Variel… seems to have even less of an idea of how to respond to Gerald's blatant verbal ogling than Lea herself did. Had Douglas been present, he'd have recognized the reaction as roughly the same as that he'd managed when MacMillan had begun to extoll the mammarian virtues of muggle girls. As such, it's about all he can do to accept Eibhlin's comments with a gracious nod and try to figure out a way to respond without entangling himself in Gerald's comments. In the end, he decides that he likes gold and, as silence is often said to be so, he clings to it and just keeps quiet.

Gerald chuckles. It was/almost/ a success, though Lea's words to Elizabeth earns a frown. "That is not a happy thought." He snaps lightly. He also sends the blond a nod before turning to send Liz and Evie a sigh. "Alas, it's time to go be clobbered with her shoe, but I'll be back in a little. You three try and play nice, yeah?" He's at least still well trained, and follows the blond easily enough.

Her back may be towards the group, but her shoulders still visibly, subtly tense as Lea comments towards her. "Throwing that in my face is unnecessary, nor is it a bases for rationality. If I truly wanted to act like a victim, I wouldn't leave the Ravenclaw tower at all. I wouldn't put myself out in public where I know there's a target. But evidently, I also believe that the person is worth the heartbreak, even if you don't." Silent for another moment, Elizabeth turns to glance over her shoulder to narrow her gaze on Variel. "And you. Don't speak to me again."

Eibhlin inclines her head in a slight nod to Lea. "If I had I'm sure I'd see it all in a different light," she agrees, "I certainly don't wish it on anyone." She's also not about to turn it into an argument by pointing out that some of her friends were greatly impacted by that night's events. What exactly the others are talking about when it comes to the younger Ravenclaw she's really not sure so can only look between them. "Later Gerald," she sends after the Gryffindor as he follows the blonde.

The frown knits at her brow as she turns further, narrowing her eyes on Variel. "'Slandering'? What are you talking about? The only person I've even talked about you towards is Madeline and Adam, and both of them were worried about you. I tried to comfort them the best to my abilities. Where as you have been talking about me in the Gryffindor Commons. And telling Lea about me being in the hospital wing? The only reason why she would know that is through you. And Lea is the worse possible decision. So who is calling the kettle black?" Elizabeth's jaw firms lightly again. "That's the only reason I don't want you talking to me anymore. Because you told Lea about something very personal about me. I trusted you."

Eibhlin lifts a shoulder in a slight shrug as if to say 'think nothing of it'. "I can't say I understand the rivalry completely," she admits, because that's what it seems to be to her at least. A rivalry of sorts between pure-blooded wizards and those who aren't. "But I have been on the other side of it, though by no means near what happened at the Sykes. I did have friends effected by that though." She falls silent at Elizabeth's return to the boy however, a glance of blue eyes sent between the two. "I think I best leave the two of you to work this out.."

"I'm not going to say anything I wouldn't say in front of someone else. If you feel uncomfortable, it's fine if you'd like to leave, Shine." Variel turns towards Elizabeth, his own lips a pair of pressed white lines. "Elizabeth, you were telling Hart that I was too ashamed to be seen with you before I even left the hospital room, after we'd spent an hour talking about how I made my decisions because I wanted to do everything I could to keep a target off your back. I was furious and bloody hurt, Elizabeth. Yes, I talked to Lea, she's one of like five people I actually confide in. She asked me why you were even in the hospital wing and I told her what you told me. It's not like I ran to her snickering with the latest report of 'Things You Can Rag Dweedle Over.' And to top it off? Even after hearing your friends admit there might be something to be worried about, you're still treating -me- like a pariah for trying to protect -you.-"

"Don't worry about it, Eibhlin, there's nothing to work out." Elizabeth says softly, even though her gaze still narrows further on Variel. "I told him that because I thought that's what you wanted. You wouldn't accept 'get well' flowers because of how it would look to others, right? And I already told you… I don't want to be protected. Is that really too much to ask for? And yes, you should have at least thought twice about talking to Lea about a personal moment." Her jaw firms again, and she says in a lower voice. "Madeline and Adam are your friends too, last I knew." Elizabeth tears her eyes away from him and glances to Eibhlin, "If you want, we can still socialize. I'm not sure if Gerald is intending to return."

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