(1939-01-15) Unexpected Conversations
Details for Unexpected Conversations
Summary: Variel makes an unexpected friend, even if it is a Hufflepuff. A continuation of the scene listed below.
Date: 1939-01-15
Location: Scattered through-out the halls.
Related: Fit To Be Fought

Dora blushed. It swept up her cheeks and touched her ears and for a moment, she rather sheepishly toes at the ground. "Actually I—," and there she cuts off, peering up at the thundering Prefect with large round eyes stepping politely back out of the way. She seems to stay there, too. Lingering on the other side of the door while the chaos ensues and glad in that moment to be sort, invisible and out of the way. A rather baffled look that became pointed offered to the toad riding in her front pocket. "And that is why you should always follow the rules, Mister Bubbles."

Variel peers at the small handful of out of order desks, but certainly isn't about to mouth off. He makes a bit of a grimace after they leave, though, to himself- not in distaste to the prefect. "You were saying, Selwyn? Seemed like you might have had a pretty fantastic photo recently, judging from the look on your face?" He keeps putzing about to straighten up.

At the sound of the Gryffindor still talking to her, Dora peeked in back around the door. "You don't…you don't have to be nice to me, you know. She's gone. I'm sorry I bothered you, too. I would have helped, if you wanted but she said…," Dora's nose wrinkled. "She's not..you should be careful, you know. She tried to attack her own cousin, I'm sure she probably didn't mean too but there's…," more toe scuffing. "Just be careful, is all. I'm sorry I bothered you."

"…" Variel's left looking a touch baffled. "… Selwyn, you were in all my classes from first year through last, and we've still got half the same classes. We're both in both halves of Art Club, and I've never so much as heard you say a cross word to anyone. Why would I -not- be nice to you?" He narrows his eyes theatrically, leaning in over the last desk as he straightens it. "Are you secretly sending owls to eat my pet snake or something I should know about??"

It's a little awkward, the way she stands there, wringing her hands together and half peering at the floor. "Lot's of people aren't. It's okay. I'm a snifflepuff and..," and short. And she had the kind of name that people often teased her over. She also looked absolutely horrified at the notion that he might think she'd do something so horrible. "I would never!! I love animals. All of them! Even snakes!"

Variel gets the last of a bit of dust wiped off the scuffed desks and steps towards the door, where Dora is half-hiding against the frame. "Well, I'm not lots of people. I'm me, and along with the things that I could maybe do without, I don't much feel like bullying you, Selwyn- and if you don't stop trying to talk me out of being nice, I'll pull your hair to make you feel more at ease." He offers her a grin and steps into the doorway, leaning on the door frame to get a better look at the little Hufflepuff.

Dora's smile is genuine, warm and it lends a softness to her eyes before her gaze demures, once more towards the floor. "Did you really like my pictures, Variel?" She's a terribly informal thing. Honestly he was lucky she hadn't twisted his name into something else, like Varvar. But at least she looks up again with the question and then, up a little more because really he was quite tall compared to her.

Damn if that didn't leave her peering through her lashes. Variel steps around her and gestures for Dora to come with, or take his arm, or some sort of vague accompaniment indicator, buying a couple seconds for the brilliant smile to wear off and let his freckles emerge on his cheeks once more. "I did, yeah- I mean, I haven't really got an eye for photographs, but the ones I saw all looked like you'd found something special to share."

"Who says you don't?" Dora questioned, lashes fluttering as she looked from his face to his arm to the way he couldn't seem to decide if she was supposed to take it or walk beside him. Which…left her confused too and biting on her lip. In the end, Dora fell in step beside him, offering a companionable smile as she reached down to scritch Penseverus' eye ridges. "I don't think I do either, not really," she admitted, voice soft, "But I just…I unno. I keep the ones I think look pretty? Even if nobody else does, that's okay. I guess just, it's something for me, anyway."

Variel says, "Really?" Variel seem a touch taken aback. "You're just taking those for yourself, in the end?" He seems legitimately impressed at that, watching her scritch at Mister Bubbles the Third, guiding them on a meandering path through the school halls, headed noplace in together. "It's just the composition and stuff- I can recognize a pretty picture, but finding one to take is beyond me.""

"Who else would I be taking them for?" Dora asked and seemed to sincerely mean it. The idea of taking pictures for someone else seemed, well, strange. But then she smiled, the kind of silly sweetly lopsided smile that was so incredibly her. "I like you. You're nice." Which earned the boy a bit of a one armed hug; arm through his to squeeze - rather than actually going around his body. "How come we never really talked before?"

"The club, your family, friends- there's plenty of people you might have been trying to impress." Variel smiled softly when she pressed close for a moment, charmed and clearly showing it. "I can't say. I don't rightly-" He pauses and snaps his fingers. "That was it! I think one of your little brothers gave me a hard time once. Never did find out why…"

Yet again, Variel says something to confuse her. "But…why would I want to impress anyone?" It earns him the same kind of wide eyed inquisitive question as the girl peers up at him from beneath her lashes. Though when he mentions her brothers, her expression shifts to thoughtful and considerate, for all that she seems to come up blank on a response. So instead, she settles with, "I'm very sorry that happened."

"Eh, it can't have been that bad," comes Variel's reply. "It obviously didn't stick. As for the rest, lots of people will treat you better if you impress them. Maybe there's a handsome fellow you'd want to snag with your gorgeous sunset shots over the Black Lake?" The redhead holds her gaze as it filters up at him through the soft feathering of her eyelashes. There's a bit of an unkind step, and he pauses, offering his hand for support on her descent, as it's a bit of a stretch even for him.

"I had a picture of a sunset?" It comes with an owlish blink, before she seems to remember and then, her face lights up. "Do you know, I was actually trying to take a picture of the grasshopper that was on the blade in the very front left corner of that picture." It came with an almost bashful grin, before she slipped her hand into his and hopped down. Literally. Skirts flounced and her balance wobbled along with it, the definate suggestion that she'd have likely lost it if he hadn't had a hold of her hand. "Oh thank you! Still, pictures are just pictures. It's not as beautiful as your music."

Variel slips a hand onto her waist as she wobbles to help steady her, smiling at the admission. "I didn't know, but I'll take the secret to my grave. And my music's okay. Best if you want to dance about or hear something sort of mournful. I've always thought my wooden flute sounded sort of sad, no matter what I played."

"I don't think so," Dora replied, offering him a hopeful kind of smile. "I think…I think it just matters what you want it to be. Like, it says what you don't, if that makes sense. Are you sad, Variel? Is that why you think your music sounds sad to you?"

Variel's left searching Dora's eyes quietly, struck mute for a moment by the rather poignant question. He doesn't have an answer, not one he's comfortable sharing, but the look in his eyes certainly hints at one. He gathers himself and deflects, just a touch, with the simple expedient of "Are you?"

"You shouldn't be sad." It's plainly stated and in the next breath, Dora hugs him. It's a big hug too. All skinny arms trying to cling tight and just huuuuuuuug away the sad. "You'll be happy again," the girl promises, tugging slightly on his robes even as she pushes up on her tiptoes to press a kiss to his cheek. "It's easy. What's your favorite thing about waking up in the morning?"

Variel is taken off guard again. The hug, he's pretty ready for, and he's already got his arms curled in around Dora when she tips up and presses warm, soft lips to his cheek. As she settles again, his hands slip with her movements, ending on her hips, resting there. "Ah-" He tries to get a touch of time while his thoughts catch up with a reaction, his cheeks already ahead of the game on that one. "- thank you, Dora, I… suppose it's the thought I might get to see a classmate or two of mine that I'm friends with. A tea or a study session with a friend can make or break a day."

Why's he pink? It's a little blink again, while Dora ponders it and then her nose wrinkles just a little bit at his answer. "No no. That's…that's other people. That's waiting on other people to make you happy. What do -you- like. Is it pancakes for breakfast or donuts? See," looking around, Dora made a show of stagewhispering as if confiding the most confidential of secrets. "I'll tell you my secret. I think about the little things. Like…," wide eyes looked around, thoughtful while she bit her bottom lip and smiled, "Chocolate chip pancakes! Or getting up early enough to watch all the owls flying back in from a night's hunting and by then, it's my first class and I think about all the little paper birdss that I learned how to make fly in Transfiguration and how fun it is to just, fill up a room of them when no one's watching. Or turning Mister Bubbles into a bird, when it doesn't matter if he has three legs or not. And just…like with potions, I think about how I learned how to mix the things necessary to help make my pictures move one day or how potions help people. Or Care of Magical Creatures, I mean, it's just so wonderful, all the different animals. And those are things that…nobody really has to share with me," because people clearly didn't. "But they're mine, you know? And…," she paused there, taking a deep breath, "I know that you had that really terrible thing happen to you but," she was gnawing on her lip again, a product of her nervousness, given the subject matter and not wanting to upset him. "But you still get to wake up every day and have all the little things that make each one special and magical to you and no one can take that away from you, unless you let them and I don't mean by force, I mean by sort of…making you forget about all the little wonderful things because of one bad one. Do you really want to let them win by stealing your happy thoughts?"

Variel stands, and listens, and completely forgets to remove his hands from the small girl's hips. His thumbs move, just a touch, while she speaks, while she explains, and he' simply… blown away. He watches her eyes as he speaks, watches the quiet little sadness that peeks through each time she names another thing she uses to keep it at bay, and the way her teeth pluck at her lower lip nervously.

"… I think… I can do that sometimes. It'll help some. Maybe a lot. But part of it's a decision, that I'd rather let some happy thoughts go so I can keep my eyes out and be ready to make sure that nobody else has their happy thoughts hurt like that. It's a sort of watchful you just don't know how to be if you haven't been hurt."

"No." It's a puzzled little look on the girl's face, but eventually, Dora shakes her head to go along with her words. "No. No I think that's wrong. I think that's how the sadness creeps inside, because you give it an excuse to be there and then it's just…one more thing not to be happy for. You can still be vigilant, just…," lips purse and she considers, oblivious really, to his hold because Dora just doesn't think about things like that. But what she does think about makes her beam.
"Just be watchful in a different way! Think of it like a class or a test and every day, find five new things that make you smile or grin or feel happy and while you're watching for the wonderful things, then you're still paying attention so you can see if something bad is coming too but…if you go looking for it, then you'll find it everywhere until that's all you see." She frowned though, for quietness that touched his tone and hugged him again.
"That's not how it works, silly. You're just thinking about the sad things again. Think about the happy ones!"

Variel lets his eyes rest on the ceaselessly happy girl in faint, appreciative wonder. He does smile gently again, and curls his arms around her when she dives in for another hug. She doesn't seem to mind being held, so he leaves his hands on her waist. "I used to be better at that. It's… harder. To keep an eye on the happy things, when you don't feel safe anymore. So I'm trying to get that back, and trying to make sure nobody else loses it."

"My Papa died," Dora ventures, very quietly. "At work. There wasn't some bad person to blame. It was just…life. You can point a finger at the bad thing in yours and watch for it. But…how do you watch for life? That's worse, I think. You get something to blame. Just…try to be happy, okay? And not let the sad get too big?" Implored, expression hopeful.

Variel thinks on it a few moments. "… I might be able to. But I could use reminders. Say, from someone who knows how to hold on to chocolate chip pancakes and owls coming home in the morning. Do you think maybe you know someone might like to try to help with that from time to time?"

"See!" Dora beams with a delighted giggle and all but bouncing on the balls of her feet. "Now you're thinking happy thoughts. I could help though. And…you can count that as one of five for today, if you want to. You made a new friend!"

Variel smiles wider at the sight of how excited that makes her. "Then that's what I'll do. Today, I made a new friend. And? I made her smile bunches." He states this with remarkable solemnity and a perfectly straight face.

When Dora smiles, it comes with a little coo of a sound that just seems to please her to no end. "See. You can do it. It just, it's harder sometimes to be happy when you surround yourself with people who aren't happy and only see dark things too." A little pensive look at that and then, Dora rocked back on her heels. "Will you play me a song, Varvar?"

Variel looks pained at that name. "Ahh. Can we stick to Varry, maybe?" He pushes a hand through his hair. "I, ah… I could get one of my flutes. Do you want to hear something on the tin whistle? Or the wooden flute?"

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