(1939-01-15) Some Wounds Heal Slowly
Details for Some Wounds Heal Slowly
Summary: Fresh from a rather nasty and painful breakup, Silas has retreated from everyone… trying to find himself again. Adorabella, on the other hand, seems intent on making the boy smile.
Date: January 15, 1939
Location: Care of Magical Creatures Class, Hogwarts

The class was nearly over. Sy, while typically quiet in class normally, has been even more so today. The biggest giveaway, however, has been in his lips and eyes. No smile. Not even a fake one. Just… blank. He's cordial, polite, but speech has been at a premium, and where he's not been overtly anti-social, he's not made any attempts to speak to anyone unless approached… and that is different. Even for the boy who has blossomed so much socially.
Today, the class is helping with the feeding of a clutch of little of Mokes, lizards known for being able to shrink at will. Silas is currently giving his quite a bit of attention, although it seems to be feeding off of whatever negative emotions he's giving off, as the thing seems to shy away from him, and has even bitten him once. An oddity for the boy who is normally quite gifted with them.

Dora's an observant sort, when she's not observing her own little world through the rose colored glasses that she seems to forever wear. And while she doesn't generally, consider it a protective defense, go out of her way to talk to the other Slytherin's who happen to be in the class, she can't help but notice that today, one of them is looking particularly sad.
So it started…well, it started about halfway through, after Mister Bubbles tried to like her Moke, who then decided to take up a perch on Penseverus' head. The pair seem to be croaking and shrinking in time. When the toad swells up and croaks out a bubble, the Moke shrinks and when the toad itself is smaller, the Moke grows. It's an odd sort of harmony, but every now and again, it makes Dora giggle.
It's usually when she giggles, that Dora looks towards the sad boy and at first, she'd just stare and offer a polite little smile but when that failed to garner a result, a polite smile became a wink and then a wink became her sticking out her tongue and then that became her trying once, to lick her nose and always, always she'd give him a smile after. Soft. Sweet. Polite.
Of course, eventually this too, had tumbled into something else entirely and Dora had slipped out her wand and all but whispered, "Multicorfors." And the girl's tumble down locks of auburn had become a rather startling shade of…pink and she cast him a grin with it. The kind of hopeful almost imploring little look that was just begging him to find the humor in the situation. A few of the students nearest snickered at her too, though the good thing about class being nearly over? Was that the Professor had stepped out to leave them with the clean up.

Silas is observant as well, and although he knew Dora from six years of school together, she was one of those whom he'd never really done much other than be causally polite to during their shared classes. That was likely one of the things, though, that would be noticed.
At first her little antics draw little more than a raised brow from him, when he actually catches her looking. And with those first few attempts, he does little more than that, looking back at his project, and hissing inward when the then actually jumps at his right hand, landing atop the back of his knuckles, the portion wrapped in the slightly pink-tinged cloth.
He gingerly takes the creature off with his other hand, setting it back on the table as the teacher leaves. It's about the time that he turns to take it back to be with the rest of its clutch, and sees Dora's hair change color. At this he pauses, his head twisting slightly off-center, trying to figure out why she was still staring at him.
Then he gets it. She was doing it for him, for his attention. Strange… . And a little silly. While he can't understand why, it does earn the slightest ghost of a smile, a twitch of the lip on one side, as he shakes his head and returns his Moke to its nest.

She'd done it! The look of absolute accomplishment on her face absolutely lit the girl up from head to toe. One could pratically see her glowing with the look of accomplishment as she caught her bottom lip between her teeth and then toed bashfully at the ground when he smiled.
Of course, Dora's smile stayed with her, even as she peered down at the little Moke, it's belly swollen in contentment and it's size varying by croak. She felt guilty for having to disturb it, but she coaxed it down into her palm regardless and ignored the displeased look that Mister Bubbles gave her as she hurried across the room to catch up with the boy at the nesting clutch.
"Did it hurt?" She whispered, rising up on her tiptoes so she could peek around his arm and up at his face; those big ole doe eyes full of curiosity.

And there she was again. Silas looks down at the peering face, even that ghost of a smile banished again as his face remains impassive. He sets the moke down in the nest, next to its siblings, and actually gives it a gentle caress along the back of its head. No hard feelings there. He knew he agitated it as much as it frustrated him.
It's only then that he answered. "Yes. It did. But it was self-inflicted, so I guess you could say I deserved it."

"Really?" The girl looks shocked, those big eyes gone too wide as she had such a worried expression on her face. It's intense, the way she peers at him. So very very full of concern as she eases up by his side to slip the little Moke in with the rest of its friends. "Because…I've never met anyone who said it hurt to smile before. I think you're probably the first." It ended with an impish grin and that same little hopeful smile.

That same twitch hits him again, and he nods, "I assumed you meant the injury. Because that would be the obvious course of inquiry." His tone is nearly flat, although he can't help but mix just a bit of teasing into it. It's in his nature. However, once he realizes he's in the way, he steps to the side.
"But… smiling /can/ hurt, some times." Especially when it's what comes naturally to you most of the time.

"You're sad, aren't you?" Dora surmises, with a teensy hint of a frown. "It's going around mostly I think. But, you are in luck, because your injury has obviously been tended but the sadness has not. Which, makes this your lucky day because I should tell you," again her voice drops to an almost stage whisper, "I'm incredibly terrifying when it comes to sadness. Just ask anyone!" Except that most people wouldn't know her name or pick on her, which happened often enough.
"So. What's your favorite thing about waking up in the morning? Thing thing, not a person."

"It shows that clearly, does it?" Silas offers back, moving away from the table now. He has a feeling she's going to follow him at this point, so he's at least kind enough to not simply bolt. "The holidays have a way of setting one's expectations high, and then when reality sets in, we discover that things simply don't have those silver linings anymore. I'm certain there are studies to prove it to be a regular thing."
He heads toward the door, after collecting his knapsack. He looks back at her after she asks her question, and sighs, "You're being quite kind, Selwyn, and I appreciate the gesture… but I need to be honest with you. You really don't want to be nice to me, or even talk to me. I'm toxic. I won't even mean to… but I'll just hurt you for your troubles. So thank you, but…" The blank expression becomes a frown, and he turns away, opening the door to leave.

"I…notice things." It's an almost meek defense and it's easy to see the hint of retreat in the way her gaze falls to the ground rather than at him. Why should it be surprising? She was slight and quiet and easily overlooked. The kind of girl who often saw many things in the lives of those around her, but lived her own on a scale that was almost invisible.
"I don't..I don't think the holidays are to blame though. The days are exactly the same now as they are then, as they were before. But…maybe you're right." Her tone says she doesn't really believe it. That it's just, well it's something to be said, while he politely blows her off.
"It's okay." In the wake of his words, her voice is quieter. "I understand. I'm sorry to have bothered you and if anyone asks, you can just," her fingers worked against the pleats in her skirt. "Just tell them I was confused or silly or being childish. But..," only she was struggling to find anything else to follow with it. So instead her little head fell forward until her chin was almost in against her chest and she began to make her way back to her table to collect her things.

And oh, how that stings. Even in trying to just protect someone from hurt, again, he does it. His eyes close and he pauses, not exiting. And hoping she's still close enough to hear him, he answers her question."Dawn. I wake up every morning at dawn if I can. Even though it comes through the portholes in our dorms through the greenish black of the lake… it's beautiful. And then I go outside. And just run. Run, and feel the sun on my skin and…."
He pauses,and looks back at her, "I'm sorry. You were trying to be nice. I've got my fangs out right now, but…" He breathes again, "This is my only class for the day. I was going to go have a bit of a sulk by the lake." It seems an invitation. Or at least an opening.

There were no hard feelings. Dora's incapable of them. Her forgiveness like her desire to see people at ease, to see them happy knows no bounds. "I bet it's pretty, getting to see the green dance like it's alive and on fire. There's something so beautiful about how the water moves, how some of its own its own and how some of it's because of all the little people living in its depths. Maybe I could loan you my camera and you can take a picture of it for me one day. I'd like that." Her smile is hopeful, if muted. Her bottom lip pinched between her teeth and that dreadfully pink hair just glistening in the firelight. Goodness knows how it's going to look outside.
"But..I think that you're confused again Silas," ah there it was, the shortest Selwyn's dreadful informality. "Because I wasn't 'trying' to be nice. I was." Around them, the other students had been leaving, even if they hadn't quite made it to the door yet and with a glance towards the table where Mister Bubbles waited and then, another one, this time longer at the boy…Dora stepped closer and did one of the things that no doubt all of her 'protectors' tended to hate about her very nature.
Dora hugged him. It was a squishy kind of hug, like it could stamp out all of the sadness in one go.
"The sun still rises every morning," she murmured, encouraging. "You still get to run but after that there's breakfast. What's your favorite food? The one thing that always makes you so happy to see it on the table? And when you've thought of that, then I want you to think of your favorite thing about your first class and then, your second one. Because each and every one of those things is still there and they're little keys to happiness and smiles and fighting away the sad and those are things that are things that no one can take away from us if they're not there, because it's not people. There's always something there that can make you smile you just, you just have to remember it." And wasn't that easy for the little authority on happiness without people? Probably because Dora's closest friend was her toad. One learned how to find the reasons when there weren't others there to create them.

"It is," Silas offers in agreement, "You can see the little motes dancing in the sunlight like little green fireflies, and every movement and shadow plays against it… dark, eerie, and yet alive." There's a touch of a grin there, then, before he remembers he's not supposed to be happy, but even still the joke bubbles out of him "And I'm sure you're just wanting to be the first Hufflepuff to know what a Slytherin boy's dorm looks like."
Then she hugged him. A relative stranger. Someone with no real connection to him, no preamble at all to it. This was just some short little girl… no, young woman, who felt the need to hug him. And it hurts. He's tense at first… not certain how to react… until it escapes him. A shuddering sigh, as he simply accepts it, a little something of what's been building up in him over the past two days finally released. He doesn't hug back… but he takes some comfort in it anyhow.
"The sun always rises. I know." But what if you're the problem, the thing that's wrong?

"Oh is it in the—-Oh." Dora blinked and half squeaked and turned just a little bit pink around the edges to match her hair, …all the way up to her ears. "That wasn't…I mean, I never thought…I was just…and no one'd ever said and I didn't know but…ohmygoodness, I'm very sorry." So sorry, in fact that she was all but tripping all over her tongue.
It added a certain sense of awkward to the hug, at least for her. Particularly if he thought she meant…something she clearly didn't. "I just meant of the water, I swear." She continues and while she can hear that sigh and feel that tension and she had retreated, it wasn't complete, because she caught his hand in her own and squeezed.
"I know you know, everybody knows but..you're not listening. So…," So what? Dora stepped back enough to make the boy stretch, because she certainly wasn't going to let go, and plucked up Penseverus to drop into the front pocket of her robes. "So you're just going to have to remember. And there's going to be a lesson and it's going to have a report and you're going to have to make one each and every day." What is she babbling on about? And more, where is she tugging him to?
"Come with me."

Silas allows himself to be pulled along, curious as to what she was intending, but curiosity was a weakness for him, and he was compelled to see this through now. However, "I was jesting, Adorabella, I know you meant nothing untoward by it" Hey… if she can use his full name, so can he. And at least he knows it!
"Of course now you're talking in riddles."

"Oh you can call me Dora, or Bella, or Ellie or you know, it twists a lot of different ways. I'm honestly not sure what my mother was thinking." Dora admitted, but it was easy to hear the humor in her tone and in her case, to feel the excitement as she hauled him through halls hanging onto his hand, rushing in some places where there happened to be no Prefects about to yell and simply walking slowly in others.
"And I can call you…Si? Lis? Lala? Sal? Although that last one makes me think of pirates. Sisi?" Her nose wrinkled. "Too much French poodle. What's your middle name? Oh! Oh oh oh. And uhm, do you trust me? If you do, take off your tie and give it over."

Wow… this one talked fast. He had to admit, a part of him was distracted, for once, from his own circuitous thoughts of self-pity and self-loathing. And there was something to be said for simply going with the flow. "Dora, for now, I think. It's simple, and fits." He continues to follow with her. "The only nickname I've ever had was Sy. Or Si." There's a subtle difference in the pronunciation.
"And… my middle name? Adrian. But… my tie?" He's all sorts of confused now. What the hell is she dragging him in to? There's a hesitation now, but also a remonstration part of his faults was his confining people. Having to know everything. Having to understand everything. He didn't know much about her, but frankly she wasn't of his house. It stood to reason it might be something innocent. So… looking around for a moment, he does just that… handing the tie over.

"I like Dora," the girl admitted, coming to a stop before a door. That was when she let go of his hand but also? Collected his tie. Though, her nose wrinkled just a little bit over his middle name too. "Rain? You don't look like a rain and you'd use it as an excuse to be sad, I bet. Okay." Breath. Mister Bubbles croaked softly in her pocket, the kind of rumbling little wet blurp that said he was glad the running had stopped.
And then? Well, Dora walked around behind him and rocked up on her tiptoes, "Close your eyes." She ventured, "It's going to be okay, I promise." And then? Well, then she aimed to cover his eyes with his tie, tying it against the back of his head in a single, easily undone very basic knot.

This just kept getting weirder and weirder. Silas tenses, a little bit, as the makeshift blindfold goes over his eyes. There's no way she could have planned something ahead of time. Unless Rowena. Oh Merlin… don't let this be some sort of Hufflepuff revenge. Despite her own chattiness, Silas can't help but remain silent and follow along, and hope against hope that this wasn't some sort of trick.

Once she's got the blindfold in place and he doesn't seem about to back out or run away, Dora eases back around to the boy's side and takes his hand, gently leading him forward and offering a step by step play by play so that he doesn't bump into anything. It's apparent that she's leading him to a door and then, through a door and for a moment, there's a pause as the door closes. But then? She's leading him forward again.
"Okay…it's dark, right? It's so dark you can't see. But…that's kind of what it feels like to be sad too, isn't it?"

"Sometimes," he answers, his voice small. "Sometimes. It's… being alone. Knowing you put yourself there. In the dark. And the worse because you knew you once were okay with it… but now you can't stand it." His head falls a bit, even as he lets her lead him. The frown is already sneaking back.

He can hear her moving, the soft rustle of parchment, the riiiiiip scritch. Riiiiiip scritch of what sounds like parchment then being shredded. He can hear too, perhaps the sound of her muttering 'multicorfors' over and over and over again. But she talks while she works, too.
"So…" occasionally, he might feel something light and hardly there brush against him, but it sounds like it's falling all over the room, to be honest and he can hear the sound of her footsteps. "Being in the dark, is like being alone. And then, all you can think about is how you're always going to be alone, because no one ever really sees you." That last bit, well, that might have been Dora projecting.
But then, the girl was murmuring again, this time not quite loud enough to be heard and all around them, there was rustling. "Sometimes it even feels like you're in the middle of a storm, I bet. Ohbutnotrememberkeepontheblindfold!"

That he's nervous, perhaps even a bit fearful, is obvious. In his state, the ripping and tearing sounds ominous, even with the little charm she quotes over and over. And when she talks, he hears it, although some of it seems wrong. "Or they can see you… but you've driven them away. You've failed them, and…" He shakes his head, stopping himself again.
The sensations confuse him, as well, and he finds himself slowly focusing on that, trying to identify what it is he's feeling.

"And then you're standing in the dark again, in the middle of a storm." Did it sound stormy? It sounded thunderous, that was for certain. And the noises were getting louder too, as they seemed to focus in on the boy but never touching. "And you're sad. But you know what the best part is?" Her tone had taken a decidedly happier beat just then.
"The best part, is that you don't have to stay in the dark," like he didn't have to stay sad. "You just..," her voice came from behind him then and while she's short, it's still entirely possible to feel her presence. "Have to take the blinders off and when you do.." At that point, Dora undid the knot, letting the boy's tie slip away from his eyes.
"Then you can remember that there's magic all around you. Because the sun still comes up every day, to paint the world in green fire."
Or in this particular instance, orange and red and green and yellow and gold and purple and blue and white and pink and there were….birds. Little paper birds. Hundreds of them, all different colors and all different sizes, all doing their very best to circle the boy in the middle of the empty room. With the light from outdoors pouring in the windows that framed three sides of it.

And how could he not smile at that? Sure, it simplified things, it ignored the emptiness that still gnawed at him from within, and it didn't touch on the feelings of failure or the like… but it helped. It certainly brought back the smile he's known best for… the one that reaches fully into his eyes, and lies there, burning.
It's not just the birds, either. Or the magic. Or the words. The simple kindness of it. The attempt at empathy. He grabs the tie as it falls, holding on to it with his wounded hand, and just smiles.
"It's going to get better, I know it will." A sigh, but the smile doesn't fade. He reaches out, gently plucking one of the paper birds out of the air, watching it flap its wings, and if there's a little bit of moisture at the edges of his eyes, we can just ignore that, right? "I see."

But that was Dora's world. It was simple and it was honest and it was, perhaps, filled with the kind of distractions that made it full of light and wonder, because if you forgot about them then you had time to realize that you were alone. That people looked past you and through you. That the people who were supposed to love you never did and the people who had to take care of you, had so very much stolen from them in turn.
She could have told him that magic was kept her from feeling lonely if he'd but said it. That there were enough distractions in the world to make it possible to play pretend. To make it possible to forget that the people she helped never seemed to remember her name or what she'd done and only that she'd been responsible for them getting in trouble aftwards. Dora could have told him rather a lot of things, but in the end? There were just paper birds, catching the light in such a fashion as to make the thin parchment seem to glow like stained glass while they fluttered about in circles.
"Your task, should you choose to accept it is to find five new things, every day, that make you smile. The trick," Adorabella continued, coming to stand by his side with a smile that was quiet and peaceful all at once. "Is that once you start looking for them, you won't want to stop at five. You'll just keep going."

Silas listens, but the smile alters just a little as he thinks. Observes. And then he speaks, at the same time putting a hand lightly on Dora's shoulder. "It's something I do already. I was… I am sad because I lost something very important to me. And in losing it, hurt that same person. And I'm afraid I've driven them away. And that it's because I'm somehow broken. That I'll continue to do it again and again… and I can't be that person anymore. I can't just be on the sidelines anymore. And I'm babbling to someone who doesn't even know me."
Odd, because his tone isn't sad. Nor is he just stating facts. "It's not that I can't see the sun… although this was excellent." And the smile widens again, playing contrast to his words, "It's just that I'm afraid that no one will enjoy it with me… if that makes sense."

"Sometimes, when I bring home an animal that's hurt, it bites me," Dora ventures, for all that he'd made her feel rather like a little kid with the way his hand settled on her shoulder. She knew he probably didn't mean it. "But I still take care of it anyway. Only, when they get better, you have to let them go and sometimes, they don't come round for a while because they're so happy to be back free again but then when the new wears off they'll remember me and come back and I can see them in the yard. It's not the same but..," he could feel as much as see her shrug. It was the best she had to offer.
"And you can babble, if you want too. It's okay. I won't tell anybody. And I'm glad that you enjoyed the birds. S'funny thing about birds, I suppose. I can be just as happy watching them all by myself." But then of course, Dora looked up at him.
"I'm sorry that you're worried about being alone. Though…I don't think you should be. People see you," the girl smiled. "Sometimes you just have to open your eyes and see them back."

He's quiet for a bit… thinking, and then in the end, just comes out with it. "Like I bit you earlier. I told you… I'm toxic. Or that's at least how I feel right now." He chews on the inside of his cheek for a moment, "You… you didn't need to be nice to me. But you were. And you've given me a bit of sunshine for my day, or at least reminded me to look at it. I need people like that around me."
THe then clears his throat. "Okay, here's more babble. I'll warn you, I'm often brutally honest, while also being horribly unaware of social cues. I do things that belittle without knowing or meaning to. I hurt people… not with intent… but by not knowing how my words will impact them."
"I try to spare people from things they'd rather face, because I fear them as well. I'm not an easy friend to stick by, because I don't realize until too late how things I think of as natural impact others. I'm Slytherin, and I play the games our house is known for. I over analyze everything because I need to understand."
A sigh, "If you think you could deal with all of that, knowing up front the kind of person I am… I could use a friend right about now. As silly as I'm sure that sounds."

"D'you think you're toxic because you're green?" Dora replies and makes no attempt to keep the teasing from her tone.. For all that the boy had looked fraught with his talking and the rather lengthy babbling the short little Selwyn stood right there. "Because it could be the green. I've seen snakes that color that were toxic and frogs. And they bite. Of course, they don't have teeth, either. You do," she continues, looking up at him.
"Only I didn't really feel them when you 'bit' me and if you actually bit me well, that might be strange. My family wouldn't appreciate it very much either and if it's like being bitten by a weasel, I don't think I would. Of course, I'm sort of little to begin with, in case you haven't noticed and I fix people." At that, she couldn't help but smile.
"Only I do it on purpose. And I don't really think about it either and sometimes I don't really care how things work. Only that they do. I'm a Snifflepuff, you see." Dora continued, using the slang that his house often did for her kind. "But I'm the worst sort," she continued, voice dropping an octive until it was a stage whisper. "Because I actually mean it. And I like games. I don't always understand them, but…I like them. Like chess, but I warn you I'm terrible. Ooo and I like to read. And I play in the dirt a lot." Sage nod. "But I think it's fun, so I don't really care too much."

Silas actually chuckles… although her response just… doesn't fit into anything he can categorize. It's a lot to process. He'd almost expected to see anger… or at least some sort of negative response from her. But he smiles again, genuinely smiles, and the offhand comment he makes is, "I think I understand why your mother named you as she did. I assume she had top marks in divination?"
"I don't bite with my teeth… at least not often. I just…" He shakes his head again, "I tend to speak straight from the brain, or the heart, without weighing the consequences. At least when I'm… being myself. And I've hurt people." Someone.
He goes silent again, watching Dora for a moment, "Regardless of what your answer is, I'd really like to actually give you that hug back that you gave me, properly. I was sort of caught unawares by it… and that sort of thing should be done properly."

"You know," Dora looks thoughtful, "I have…never thought to ask her. She doesn't…well, Mother doesn't talk very much." Not anymore and Dora wondered, some days if what was wrong with her wasn't in her mind, instead. But that wasn't an issue right now.
Of course, when the boy mentioned he didn't use his teeth -often-, Dora turned two different shades of pink and demurred her gaze, so that when she did look up at him again, it was peeking through her lashes. "I tend to speak…from my mouth. I don't stop to ask where the words come from." How sweetly tragically true. "But I've seen you…always. You don't hurt people. Even if you are green. Now maybe something happened but…don't suddenly decide that one little knock has done away with six years of good, because that would just be silly and unworthy of you."
But then she smiles, and looks up again, a little higher this time, when he says that he'll actually take the hug and does just that.

Silas watched her reaction, and when he made her blush again, there was a bit of an understanding now, why someone else might have liked seeing that in him. But she continues, and he nods, "I think too much. Far too much." And he'll let the rest just hit home… because it's true, even if he still doesn't want to believe it himself yet.
Instead, when she offers that second hug, he returns it, gentle, not afraid to break her, but simply more an attempt to not cling. It's a good one, though… he's had his share of practice. "Thank you." is offered after that.

"That's okay," the girl replied. "But…maybe you ought to start thinking about happier things." Though, even as she said it, she reached out to pluck at one of the little birds, a pink one, that she very carefully pressed flat in against his palm. "Maybe this'll help you remember." It also happened to match her hair, at current.
Whether he clings or not, Dora still makes sure it's a squishy hug. The big kind. The sort to help chase away all the hurts and then, she pushes up on her tippietoes and pressed a little kiss to his cheek. "You're welcome, Syly. You really are going to be okay."

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