(1939-01-16) An Offering of Lessons
Details for An Even Exchange
Summary: Cousins Tarquin and Ilsa catch up and exchange offers of lessons
Date: January 16, 1939
Location: Entry Courtyard, Hogwarts

It's early in the evening, after classes, but curfew is still a few hours away. Students can be seen making their way across the courtyard. Some sit at the benches, others lean against columns. Most avoid the floor, as it is a little chilly out today.
Sitting on a bench is Tarquin, and in his hands a book. He reads with interest, and every now and then, he looks up, glancing at those walking by. Eyes always go back to that book, though, and hints of a smile touch his otherwise serious face.

Ilsa drifts across the courtyard, her head bowed over a sketchbook held in the crook of one arm. She appears to be doodling as she walks, miraculously managing to maneuver her way around any people or belongings in her path. She glances up briefly, pausing as her gaze alights upon a familiar face. "What're you reading, Tarquin?" she calls out, redirecting her steps toward her cousin.

"Ah, Ilsa," Tarquin greets, smiling although he doesn't look up at first. He does scoot over, so that she can join him if so she wishes. It's then that he looks at her, and nods, taking a moment to study it. "A novel. One of my adventure books," he shares, holding it up for her to see. The Adventures of Jebediah Thorne, book twenty one. Setting the book aside, he looks at the sketchbook.
"What about you? You look… busy."

Lips curving into a smile in return, Ilsa settles onto the bench beside Tarquin. She crosses her ankles, shifting sideways to spare a glance toward the book. "Sounds interesting. Mystery and danger and evil wizards to be defeated?" she questions. She glances down to the page of her drawings, holding the sketchbook out for Tarquin's perusal. "Just doodling," she answers, although the page is filled with elaborate sketches of various scenes - Hogwarts, two duelling wizards, a scrawny owl.

"Something like that. More like tombs, and dungeons and curses to be defeated," Tarquin, the curse-breaker junkie. "Doodling, hmm?" Tarquin notes as she holds out the sketchbook. "Some say, that doodling is a way to exercise the brain—" He pauses, eyes inspecting the work. A flash of something crosses his face. He looks, impressed and Tarquin is not easy to impress
"That, my dear Ilsa, is more than just doodling," he smiles at her. "That's quite a bit more than doodling. That's also very good. Remind me, are you in the Arts Club?"

A quiet laugh escapes Ilsa's lips and filters across the courtyard, an airy musical sound. Even so, there is no trace of mockery in her tone, certainly no making light of her cousin's interests. "Curses to be defeated and the like. I should have guessed it, shouldn't I?" Catching sight of the title, she adds questioningly: "How many more in the series?" Following his gaze back toward her drawings, she lowers the sketchbook to her lap. "You truly think so? I imagine it is good mental exercise. I don't imagine it's made me fiercely intelligent, but it does help to clear my mind. And yes, I'm part of the Arts Club. I couldn't resist."

The laughter causes Tarquin to purse his lips, and amusement crosses his features. "You should have indeed," he smiles at her. "But I'll forgive you. This time," he goes on to tell her, the smile still there. "There are thirty total. It's a good series, at least I think so." He adjusts his robes. Something she says causes him to look curious.

"How are you doing in your classes? Any thoughts to what you'll be focusing on for your N.E.W.T.s?" He asks and then exhales. "I think mother was hoping I'd join the Arts Club this year. Not sure what talent she thinks I have that I should join for. But I guess it's the Selwyn in her," he shrugs.

Ilsa presses a hand to her chest in a gesture of relief. "Good. I'd hate for you to be cross with me for any amount of time. Thirty? You're nearly there then."
A thoughtful pause ensues as she lets out a breath. "I'm doing well enough. Except for potions. I think Professor Slughorn wanted to throttle me the other day when I mixed the wrong ingredients - the third time in a row. I just can't wrap my mind around what's what. As for my N.E.W.T.s, I'll have to really start focusing if I want to become an Auror. If I ever really manage it." She brightens considerably, casting Tarquin an encouraging look. "You should join. Your mother would be inordinately pleased, but more than that, perhaps you might find you've a skill for the arts that you never knew about before?"

"That I am," Tarquin agrees, regarding his books. There is just a tinge of sadness in his expression and he smiles. "I'll miss good old Jebediah when I'm done, although I suppose I can always go back, whenever I want." He looks at Ilsa, amused. "You're far too sweet for me to be cross with you for long anyway, cousin."
He considers for a moment. "I could tutor you in Potions if you want. I'm by no means an expert, but I get by," he tells her. There's a little shake of his head then. "I've no such skill, and even if I did… I have no time for it. The Duelling Club is good enough a distraction, and my class load keep me busy the rest of the time," he pauses. "When I'm not reading a novel, that is."

"Like an old friend," Ilsa answers matter-of-factly, gesturing toward the book. "One you already know everything about - so no surprises. But fun to revisit all the same." She grins, leaning in to bump her shoulder against Tarquin's in a brief companionable silence. His offer of help draws a hopeful look. "You really wouldn't mind? I'd be ever so grateful, and I'll find some way to pay you back for the favor. Just you wait and see!"
She smiles then, a touch wryly. "Are you sure? I could teach you to dance in exchange for your Potions help," she cajoles, blue eyes clear and bright. "Though I wouldn't want to distract you from all the other things that keep you so busy. You're focusing on several N.E.W.T.s, aren't you?"

The little bump causes Tarquin to smile. "Of course I wouldn't mind. You are not only a member of the same House, but family," and if there is something that Tarquin puts above all, is family. "There's no need to pay me back," he assures her.

But as she mentions the dance lessons, he considers it for a moment. "I could use a lesson or two, I suppose. So that at least I'm not that horrible at all the parties," he smirks, amused. "I couldn't do a second club, but, I think I can handle a dance lesson or two," he decides. "And I am. The ones required to become a curse-breaker," he shares. "You'll have your share too, if you want to become an Auror," he reminds her.

"Anything for family," Ilsa agrees sincerely, having a penchant for loyalty herself. When he agrees to dance lessons, she claps her hands together delightedly. "It's settled then! I'll accept your kind offer of help in Potions if you'll allow me to teach you how to dance. It'll make the parties that much more enjoyable," she promises, quirking a grin.
Brushing unruly curls back from her face, she nods solemnly. "It sounds like quite the workload, but I know you can do it, Tarquin. I guess I should start mentally preparing for it as well."

Her enthusiasm is infectious and Tarquin smiles in response to her words. "I'm not sure that I'll ever make a great dancer, but perhaps I can make an adequate one," he muses, with a bit of a shrug. "But, very well. It's a deal," he decides on their little agreement.
He offers a solemn nod at the rest of her words. "You should. It isn't easy, but I'm sure you'll do fine, if you apply yourself."

"Adequate is better than nothing," Ilsa remarks in a sing-songy tone. Rising fluidly to her feet, she casts her cousin another quick smile. "Speaking of applying myself, I should go do that now. See you soon, Tarquin." With a wave of her hand, she tucks her sketchbook under her arm and meanders off toward the entry hall.

"Take care, Ilsa," Tarquin offers, with a nod of his head as he reaches for his novel again. He watches her leave, smiling as he returns to his reading, finding the page and losing himself in that world of adventure.

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