(1939-01-17) Relationship Advice
Details for Relationship Advice
Summary: Lucretia and Esther sit down to talk about boys and love. Jenny briefly interrupts.
Date: 1939-01-17
Location: Slytherin Common Room, Hogwarts

Dinner is over and the clock would inform anyone interested that its seven-thirty in the evening. The Slytherin common room is active; students split off into groups that cluster around tables or collections of sofas. There's talk and chatter and the occasional heated word that might rise, but on the whole it would seem that people are settling in and winding down. At one of the tables a dark-haired witch sits, a sheet of paper before her and a quill in her hand. A wireless is also on the table and during the occasional lull in the general noise level within the room, the orchestral strains of music can be heard coming from the device. It would appear that Lu is listening to a concerto coming over the wizarding wireless and that she's lost within her own small world.

Esther would call this bedtime, most of the time. Stealing into the common room with the same cautious glance, trying to keep an eye out for a certain few people. One of the positive ones is found, easily, and Esther disturbs Lucretia's world with a gentle touch of her shoulder. "Lucretia." She greets, placing a smile on her face. Hiding the turmoil the slender young woman feels within these walls, right now.

"Esther." There's a lifting of Lu's attention towards the older girl and she sets her quill down on the paper. A few notes have been placed on the staves its marked up with, but nothing that would suggest she's had a flash of inspiration whilst listening to the radio. She pushes her work to one side. "I've missed our time together; either I've been busy or you have, I'm not sure which." A small smile just ghosts the younger girl's face and she looks to the free seats around the table. Oddly, none of her friends are clustered about her this evening, perhaps because when she's in a mood such as she's been today, they know to allow her her solitude.

"Both of us." Esther smiles a little more genuinely. "I've been… Having trouble sleeping, and waking, and being. Too much going on inside my head. If you have time for a hot cocoa, I might pause for a coffee before bed - Maybe we can catch up?" The Hair touches the back of one of the vacant, chairs, marking it as hers in her head, even if she wanders away to make drinks.

Lucretia adjusts the volume of the wireless with a small twist of her fingers and nods to the offer of cocoa. "That'd be nice. Thank you." An adjustment is made of her sleeve cuff where it just kisses the knuckles of her right hand, she waits for Esther to return, a distant look just floating behind her expression. Unusually for her, she doesn't keep up a constant stream of chatter across the breadth of the room as Esther deals with the drinks.

Esther nods, and departs. There's the familiar sounds and smells of her making hot drinks. And then the distinct, three taps, that comes for every drink she makes. When she returns, it's with two mugs, and she slides into the seat she'd marked. "Knut for your thoughts, Lucretia?" She offers, along with the cocoa. As promised, she'll listen.

"My thoughts? My thoughts aren't really worth much, let alone a knut," Lu says, a soft pink just marking her cheeks. A curl of her hand about her mug and she pulls it towards herself, just letting it rest between the palms of her hands for a moment. The wireless plays, steam rises from her drink and she seems to inhale the two with a slow and measured cadence to her breathing. Eventually her eyes do open just a fraction, enough that she can slant a look in Esther's direction. "I bet your own are worth a lot more. A sickle at least."

"I'd pay anything to be free of them." Esther admits, slowly wrapping her hands around her coffee and sipping it gently. "Maybe I'll be free with what's dominating my mind, if you tell me what you're hiding in yours?" The girl suggests a trade. One that she feels is far more dangerous for her… But she trusts Lucretia, after all this time.

Lucretia pulls her eyes from Esther. "Its nothing. Not really. I'm just… I don't know." The vagueness of her expression turns to a frown as she pokes the tip of a finger into the heat of her cocoa, scooping some of the froth from the top which she transfers to her mouth. She sucks it clean. "Someone likes me." She says it quickly, as if by doing so it'll get it out there and then it won't seem so awkward. Except somehow it still must if the deepening colour in her cheeks is a barometer of her feelings. It hovers on the edge of deep pink and red and the frown on her forehead deepens to a scowl.

Esther's smile is sudden. Bright. She's known it would happen eventually. "Ooh. Someone has fallen for dear Lucretia? I've been waiting for this day since we first met, y'know. So why does it fluster you so? You're smart, sweet, physically appealing, so I don't think it's modesty." It's VERY similar to her problem, but there might be enough here to keep her from mentioning it…

Lucretia exhales, something approaching a sigh escaping her. Lu never sighs. "I don't want someone liking me," she grumbles, a mouthful of cocoa swallowed to allow herself time to think. And think she does. "I know who I'm going to marry so what's the point?" And there's the problem, or so one would assume. The admirer isn't Ignatius. Another mouthful of cocoa and another pause before she adds in a quieter voice. "I think I like this person too. And I shouldn't."

"Lucretia, you can't expect yourself to live life as an island, marry the man you're promised to and live happily ever after." Esther slowly sips at her coffee, and blushes faintly. "I think… I think you owe it to yourself to understand your feelings, Lucretia, while you're still in a position to become familiar with them. Assuming you're not rebelling against your arrangement." The girls are sitting in an island of quiet in the busy common room, the wireless quietly playing music while they speak privately. "… Are you going to spill who it is?" She teases.

Jenny ambled in from the great outdoors, in the wake of the races she'd organized before the event spiraled and she'd slipped away, while there was still time to slip away with. Tousled hair, rosey cheeks and an entirely crooked smile on her face, while she stared at the dry block of oak she was turning over in her hands, examining the grooves from each and every angle, the cut of the three inch by three inch square of wood. Distracted. Humming.

"I'm not rebelling," Lucretia says, concentration now centred upon her mug of cocoa. Its as if the chocolate drink is suddenly the most important thing in the world and a thin breath of air escapes the purse of her lips, shifting the froth that decorates its top. "Its so unwanted right now. And unecessary. I don't want to like him, but I do. I have my studies and O.W.Ls to think about and in a way it feels almost disloyal to Ignatius. And yes, I know, I'm aware that he's had girlfriends throughout school, but this is just different somehow." There's a shift of her weight in the chair, and as Genevieve wanders past their table, she lowers her voice still further, unwilling to share anything that might be overheard and spread in tattle-tales around the Common Room, or worse yet, the whole school.

"Disloyal? Do you believe that now you're older he'll show you the same loyalty?" Esther asks quietly. Genuine, not teasing or cruel. "… Believe me when I say that I hadn't needed or wanted many of the problems and trials I've experienced this year… But, looking back on it, I wouldn't trade any of them. Maybe it didn't help my OWLs, but I've grown as a person…" The shifting in her weight causes Esther to turn, and look at Jenny. The stiffening from the Esther is a little more noticable. Her voice dropping, too.

"Evening," it came with a distracted wave, but the smile didn't waver; not even with the descending silence, nor Esther's tensing. Instead, the girl continued onward towards the hearth, dropping down into the nearest chair, one that provided the best lighting, as her satchel hit the floor at her feet and she pulled a rather short but sturdy looking knife from her robe pocket. Once again, peering at the wood.

The tiniest of nods is given of Lucretia's head when Esther speaks, and after allowing her attention to follow Genevieve over to the chairs, she looks back to her friend. "But my studies are so terribly important. Don't you regret that you lost your focus? Even a little?" Frown still pinned uncomfortably upon her face she lifts her mug and closes her eyes, breathing in the smell of chocolate-laced steam. "As for Iggy, I don't really care what he does or with whom. It really doesn't matter in the least." And that view is probably something garnered from the state of her own parents' marriage, one that was sensible and well-matched, rather than anything else.

"I'm still with the top of my class." Esther admits, trying not to look boastful as she admits that. "Although I have nearly been expelled for my trouble… Burned bridges might not best have been burned." The girl fights the faint blush. "It shouldn't matter so much to you either, Lucretia. Fact is that the heights of emotion are well worth the lows, and the loss of focus is more like… Developing the parts of you that're also going to be needed in the real world." A glance is shot at Jenny. The real reason Esther looks around before she enters the common room, these days.

"Wrong light, I think," Jenny murmured to no one in particular and rose again, taking her satchel with her; knife carried between her teeth so's she could properly juggle. She was humming again, by the time she set her first foot onto the stairs. The amusing truth? Jenny's neither cared, nor thought of Esther since before school let out for the holidays, sans the day that mask arrived. Life, as they say, goes on. And so does Jenny.

Lucretia scrunches up her face. "I suppose you're right, maybe I just feel this way because I've not ever actually felt like this before." A touch of wryness twists her lips and, making sure that nobody can overhear, she leans a little closer to Esther and imparts the name that Esther had prodded her for. "Leoric Selwyn. He's… really nice." With that admission, her cheeks flame a little brighter. (repose)

"It's unlikely you're going to fall truly, madly, deeply in love the first time you fall." Esther reassures kindly, although she does blush a little when she says it. "… And there's nothing wrong with enjoying the company of those who're nice to you. So as long as your final destination isn't going to change, might as well you enjoy everything you can about the journey? It's the worthier part, after all." She smiles. "And trust me, fighting this is gonna hurt your focus and grades FAR more than giving in.

"Oh golly, I'm not going to fall in love," Lucretia says hurriedly. "I just quite like spending time with him. He's different. He listens to me and he knows heaps about the stars." Is that a squirm that's brought on by that admission? Assuredly there's a shifting of Lu's position once more and she picks her quill up then places it down again. "If I tell you something, you promise that you won't laugh?"

Esther pulls a face, and has a sip of coffee. "I'll ask you to give me the same kindness come time to tell my story." She promises. "But I don't laugh /at/ you, Lucretia. You know that."

Lucretia scrunches up her face at Esther, though there's a smile that's evident in the turn of her lips. "He likes to hold my hand," she confesses. There, she's said it, and with that admission comes a shift of her eyes towards her friend to gauge her reaction. Its not a big admission, certainly, but since she'd mocked Gage and Elizabeth for doing what she now admits to herself, its an obvious concern for her. Or so it would seem.

"You'll find that's true of a lot of guys, that you like. As friends, and more. Holding hands, being close. Hugging. Kissing." Esther explains the progression, slowly. "What you're not saying though, is that you like it too?" Not laughing, although she does seem to find it worthy of a secret little smile. She hides it in her coffee again.

"I. Well. I suppose that its quite nice," Lucretia admits, swirling her cocoa in her mug. "The thing is, I don't know why its nice. It just is." A lift of her mug, a breath to cool it and another mouthful taken before she speaks again, dark eyes half-closing as she reaches for something else to say about her feelings. "Is that how it was for you? I don't mean Myrus though. You're going to marry him and you're in love. I mean with the very first boy you liked."

Esther nods slowly. "… Every time I was close to him, it felt like there were butterflies in my stomach. Sometimes, he'd turn around, smile at me, and I'd feel my heart skip a beat. I was… Convinced we were in love. That it would conquer all." The girl smiles sadly. "…'nd I was wrong. That's… That's the worst thing about the good feelings. Sometimes they don't end the way we'd like. And it's worth it; it is, but…. When we're wrong, is sucks. So much that we're like to scream."

"I don't get butterflies," Lucretia says, a small hint of relief just evident in the tone of her words. "So that's probably a good thing. I don't want to feel that way, not about anyone. Not really. I mean, I suppose, it'd be nice if sometime I were to feel that way about Iggy, but he's just so old and I've known him forever. He doesn't think like I do either. He's…" And she brings herself up short there, loyalty to the boy she's betrothed to preventing her saying anything further. "How can you feel bad for your first boyfriend not being 'the one' though? If he had been, you'd not have had the chance to fall in love with Myrus."

Esther blushes bright red. "I… I always thought they were the one. Something new…. Something I'd never felt before. First, the closeness, the empathy, the kiss… And then Myrus, with a kiss that brought me to my knees. And now, even spending a minute with…" Her voice fades out. If Esther could turn crimson, she would. Instead, Miss Lowe lifts her coffee cup and averts her eyes, as if she's trying to hide behind the ceramic vessel.

Lucretia catches that faltering in Esther's step. That, coupled with the blushing, captures her completely. "Wait. Its not Myrus anymore? You said 'and then Myrus… and now,' as if there's someone else." Teeth just catch the lower edge of her lip and she draws it in, her breath a faint thing as she dips her head, just a little, to catch Esther's eyes with hers. "Who?" But even as she asks that, realisation dawns in the younger witch's eyes, and she answers that for herself. "Shafiq?"

That smokey grey is filled with… Doubt? Esther holds Lucretia's gaze for a few seconds, drawing her lower lip in and teething about it. "I… I don't know about Zayn. Myrus is still… Everything, to me." She answers honestly, closing her eyes. A long, slow inhale. "… But when I'm alone with Zayn, I feel…" The girl blushes. "… I don't know how I feel. It's indescribable… I don't… I don't feel like I owe him anything more than being myself."

"Oh." One word only is offered in reply as Lucretia looks intently at the older girl. Eventually her focus lessens and she simply reaches out a hand and gives Esther a comforting pat on the arm. "It must be really difficult to feel that way. It'll work out, I suppose. Nngh. I wish I could offer advice, but I can't. I haven't felt like that about even one boy, let alone two." Silence descends for a moment, the younger girl simply at a loss for words of advice, because truly she has none. This is something beyond her experience.

"… Medusa and Douglas have given me advice. I still don't know how I'm going to proceed though." Esther blushes again, and shakes her head. "So that's a sickle for you. My advice is the same, though. The joy, and the lessons you'll learn from exploring how you feel significantly outweight the costs.But be careful who y

"… Medusa and Douglas have given me advice. I still don't know how I'm going to proceed though." Esther blushes again, and shakes her head. "So that's a sickle for you. My advice is the same, though. The joy, and the lessons you'll learn from exploring how you feel significantly outweight the costs. But be careful who you fall for, and moreso who you tell.

"I trust you Esther," Lucretia says, a small press of her hand to the older girl's arm before she pulls it back and curves it around the circumferance of her mug. "I don't think you would go gossipping about things I tell you, just as I wouldn't about anything you say to me. Sometimes, friends are needed." The tiniest of grins quickly follows that however, and she flicks one finger against the top of the table. "You went to Douglas for advice? I never thought of him as the sort to involve himself in girl stuff like that. Was he helpful?"

"… Not really." Esther admits, with a gentle smile. "Douglas is like… The big brother I wished I had. Kinda creepy at times, but… He has my best interests at heart, even if he's a crass, rude prick about them." She locks her eyes with Lucretia again, and adds. "… I trust you too, Lucretia. And it's hard for me to trust people. Because sometimes, people don't give a shit about what your trust means," A glance is given at where Jenny was sitting, "… And most people only ever give a shit about themselves anyway."

There's a twitch of Lu's lips when she notes where Esther looks. "I suppose that they do," she says, sliding herself a little lower in her seat. "Not that I truly blame them, I'm sure there are a lot that would accuse me of that myself. I'm only ever loyal to my family and those that have earned it. I'd like to say that that weren't the case, but if it weren't then I'm sure that I'd be a lot weaker than I am. And being weak isn't something I'd want to be. People take advantage and then they hurt you." She pauses, worries at the inside of her cheek for a moment and then offers a nonchalent shrug of her shoulders. "Its lucky I've a thick skin, or 'they' might think they've won at times."

"I'm… I'm loyal to what I believe, and those I trust." Esther sighs. "And there's little I wouldn't do for someone I trust… Even if it's at the cost of our relationship." That's the best way to explain how /that/ sad state of affairs went down. "But unlike you, I /am/ weak - I fight so hard to seem strong, bu I'm so vulnerable beneath it all." She doesn't like to admit it. "Please don't break my trust, Lucretia."

"Esther, I'm not going to break your trust," Lucretia says. "Ever. I'm a Black." She lays emphasis on that last, like it should mean something and it very likely does, even if Esther doesn't know that as yet. Given past tussles with her cousin however, she probably does. "I don't flip and flop between friendships, picking who will serve a purpose for a brief time only to drop them in favour of another." A faint crinkling of her brow and she brushes fingers through her hair, smoothing it out and settling it back behind her shoulders. "You're not weak though, I think you're stronger than you admit, even to yourself."

"Determined. Resourceful. Tenacious. None of those make me strong, Lucretia." The Black family names means nothing to Esther. Just a reminder of her own cousin, and lingering sociopathic tendencies towards him. The girl sighs, heartfelt, placing her coffee down to run both hands through her glorious mane, "I don't either. I pick my friends and I remain loyal."

Lucretia nods. "I am glad you trust me and consider me a friend, moreso after your telling me that." A tilt of her mug to drain the last of her cocoa and after setting it back on the table she collects the paper she'd been working on, along with her quill. "I'm going to bed now. I'm tired. Thank you for the advice on, you know…" A vague drift of her fingers flutters through the air, and another slight darkening of her cheeks would indicate what 'you know' means precisely.

Esther nods. There's more she'd say, but for now, it's kept to herself. "I'll join you. I've painting to do in a few hours, so I should sleep while I can." The woman finishes her coffee, the caffeine having almost no affect on her these days. "And you know if you ever need me, I'm never too hard to find."

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