(1939-01-19) Between Friends
Details for Between Friends
Summary: Elizabeth and Gerald talk about disaster, the theory known as love, and what's really ailing Gerald.
Date: January 19, 1939
Location: Clock Tower and Cliffs — Hogwarts
Related: Refers to: Divined Valentine

It is a winter night. The weather is cold and flurrying.

Rough cliffs of dark gray and black basalt rear up almost straight up from the depths of the Black Lake to support the southern walls of Hogwarts Castle and the Clock Tower Entrance into the castle's Third Floor. The cliffs form a natural wall almost a hundred feet high with many a crevice and hole dotting its face. The lower ranges of the cliff are constantly wet thanks to condensation from the lake, the higher reaches on the other hand house a few scraggly scrub pines and varied bushes stubbornly in their home cracks clinging against the pull of the winds.

The day is bright despite the bitter cold that clings to the breeze. Students hurry to and from Hogsmeade, trying to make the most of their last day in town before the school week resumed, and consumes them once more.
Some students are.
Others, not unlike Gerald, are lingering about the campus just a bit. Some slinging along paths in small clusters while others can be found slumped against the wall near the cliffs, a book open and a quill in hand.
Gerald has been anything but talkative the past three days. Not withdrawn, just..silent, and otherwise distracted. For now the book is holding his attention though the occasional glance toward the cliffs draw his eyes.

It took a little bit of searching, but Elizabeth finally did find Gerald. Just not where she thought he might be. She quirks a slender brow as she watches him for a brief pause, pulling the warmth of her cloak a little closer, before she slips around him and bends her knees, taking a seat next to him. The few changes she's made to her appearance is visible, beneath her hood. Her raven locks have a loose wave to them, and her lips are stained with a rich cherry red, making her pale skin look even more so.

Gerald lifts his eyes as he feels a new presence. Spotting Elizabeth, he smiles, but he also continues to write. It's not until she's seated that he speaks, and when he does it's fairly raspy. Someone's spending too much time in the cold winter air. "Did you have fun in town the other day?" It's a simple question, though it's hardly a simple tone.

Elizabeth lifts a brow and turns her covered head to him, observing, listening. Her pale gaze narrowing subtly. "Entertaining, and rather uneventful." Nothing bad had happened to her after all. The corner of her lips tugs faintly, joking lightly. "Not even a thrown tomato." The small smile lasts for a moment or so before it fades. "How long have you been out here in the cold?"

Gerald shrugs, "I said I was worried, not that it would happen without any doubt." He looks away, closing the book and dropping the quill to rest on its cover. "A while…a few hours I guess." He allows after a moment. "I'm supposed to send a letter to Daphne, though I'm not positive on what it should say. I don't know her very well. It's going to make her visit dreadfully awkward.' Yes, he frowns rather deeply, not a common expression for him. "How has your day been? Are you done changing yourself?"

The young woman dips her chin in a nod, shrugging a shoulder. "They weren't unfounded worries." she agrees, but doesn't point out that ever since the Gala there hasn't been even a hint of a threat towards her. What bullying there has been isn't anything unusual from what she usually knows. But that doesn't matter now. Her expression softens and she shifts her weight so that she can nudge his arm, "Thank you for worrying though. You care enough to speak up."
A few hours… that makes Elizabeth frown with a little bit of worry. Reaching out, she touches a hand on his cheek to gauge just how cold he is. "Hm." Her small fingers pull away then to withdraw her wand, and with a smooth swish, she murmurs, "Flagrate."

Gerald nods easily, though he's quiet as she speaks, and tests his temperature. Something he seems to have been rather unconcerned with. That lack of concern leaves him instantly as she spots her wand and picks up on her intention. He cringes visible, jerking back against the wall as he closes his eyes tightly. Yup…waiting to erupt into flames at any second.

A foot or so in front of them, a fire materializes hovering just off of the stone floor, instantly emitting heat without the risk of being burned. Once Elizabeth is satisfied with this, she dips her chin with a small nod. "I'm not that bad at charms." she murmurs idly, arching a brow as she turns her head to give him a curious sideways glance. Obviously, she caught the cringe and the flinch. "And if your letter regards a person that you do not know very well, then you must start at the beginning."

Gerald relaxes seconds later, offering her an weak but apologetic smile. "Yes well..I've had bad experiences." He allows without much effort, his attention drifting toward the book and quill. "I suppose." he decides, though he clears his throat (and cringes at the sensation) a few breaths later. "So I suppose you're all excited about the divination thing, huh?" he laughs, "It's got all the girls fluttering around."

Elizabeth lifts a brow at him again. "Do I seem the type that would light a person on fire?" she asks, though an amused smile tugs at her crimson stained lips. "Maybe you don't know me all that well." Now that warmth is steadily radiating over each of them, she isn't as worried about Gerald catching a cold or falling ill. The topic of this girl, Daphne, is expertly avoided further as he shifts topics, Elizabeth notes this, with amusement again. The mention of the Divination project however, she merely rolls a slender shoulder. "It's an entertaining prospect I suppose, but you know as much as I do that love is one of the things that magic cannot control. It's why the Department of Mysteries has the Ever-locked room."

Gerald laughs, nodding to her as she speaks, though in regards to love, he merely shrugs. "I think love is a superficial expectation that we set on ourselves. We're pressured from a very young age to find that mythical perfect soul to spend out lives with. But really all it is, is a circus. Everyone dancing around trying to draw the attention of a perceived idea of perfection that really..is just very disappointing at the sum of it. Sometimes you pick someone that you can tolerate for life, but it's not love. It's just compatibility." He frowns, "I sound horrible don't I?" he even chuckles. "I should probably be ignored. I'm not feeling tip top today. I apologize, Elizabeth."

Elizabeth is quiet the whole while as she listens, just letting Gerald speak his piece. When he asks if he sounds horrible, she gently shrugs a slender shoulder. "I think it's too much to assume that in our young age, we know everything in life. That we have everything figured out. But what I do know are facts, and the fact is that wizards, much more experienced and older than ourselves, have the Ever-locked room for a reason. And, as a general rule, teenagers are rather fumbling creatures, trying to understand their place in this world and how to be accepted by others. Keeping this in mind, their displays or acts of romance are equally fumbling, awkward." Her expression softens as Elizabeth gives Gerald another gentle glance. "And I also think that you are generalizing what you see, because I for one do not believe there is any thing of a sort close to a perfect person. And if they were, wouldn't that be rather boring? Who would wish to be someone that isn't flawed or has no surprises?"

"Oh, I don't believe anyone is perfect. That's why I said mythical." He shrugs, "I just feel like it's pointless. Most of us have arranged marriages anyway, so it's just setting yourself up for failure or heartbreak anyway." He's quiet for a moment before he laughs. "I had a date last night. With Lillian Yaxley. It went very well." Hypocritical much?!

Elizabeth smirks. "Unicorns are mythical also, but they still exist." She gives him another nudge. "It's called a 'debate'." The smile fades subtly as she stares into the fire, silent for a moment. "I think an arranged marriage would be easier, in the long run. It would make sense, based on compatibility, other factors." Logical. "But being a quarter-blood, I think it's rather unlikely that I would be in such a position." The mention of the date wasn't surprising, but she arches a brow as she gives Gerald another glance. "Lillian? Not Lea?" she asks, almost surprised. "Huh. I guess I was a bit more on the ball than I realized. 'Mating rituals' indeed." she smirks.

Gerald shrugs, "It seemed like Lea and I were a very bad idea." He says simply, chuckling perhaps at the idea. "Lillian is very sweet and she needed a night out I think. I needed a distraction. It was of mutual benefit." He grins though, reaching to poke her. "Called it did you? How so? Am I so obvious?"

"With Lea, it was obvious, yes. I'm rather surprised there was even a date planned to begin with. But with Lillian…" Elizabeth smiles easily. "She enjoyed teasing you, I could tell. And when I called her out on it, she became easily flustered. If you know what to look for, it gets easier to spot. In other people. Or at least in other girls." She doesn't mind the poking, smirking a little even.

Gerald nods, "Unfortunately Lea and I have many things in common." This is not his happy voice either. "But, in the end I choose that Lillian was the better person to spend time with, and I'm positive Lea had things to keep herself busy. She was hardly disappointed." This earns a chuckle, but it's low. "Have you found a boy you like? It's really the only reason I can think for you to be trying to change things that are perfectly fine as they are. I remember when Beezie went through this. Of course I was very small but I distinctly remember it."

"Just because you have things in common with another person doesn't mean there fill be genuine interest or feelings." Elizabeth quietly shrugs. "And I agree. I may have met her the one time, but I think she may be one of the few Slytherins that I like." Which is saying something. The sudden question gives her pause for a moment, her eyes watching the fire as it continues to warm them. "Only Variel, but you know how that played out." She looks down at her hands in her lap. "I think you misunderstand. I didn't do this because of a boy. It's… because I wanted to feel better about myself. And it was a birthday present to myself."

Gerald nods, "Yes well, it is what it is." He smiles, though weakly. As for her makeover, he listens and nods, "I understand that, but you also said you were tired of being the little sister, which felt like an attack by the way," he adds that with a small snort, "And that you were tired of being 'fine'." He listens. "I think maybe you need to learn more about boys." This much is said with a grin. "Consider us a different race with a separate language."

"I am." Elizabeth murmurs softer. "Because I'm younger no one really… looks at me. Just the bookworm 'little sister'." She closes her eyes beneath her lashes, and she leans part of her weight against his arm as he snorts. "Fine. You write a boy to girl english dictionary and I'll happily read it." Elizabeth turns her head, giving him another glance. "What about you?" she asks. "Several hours out in the cold. And you said you needed a distraction? What's going on with you?"

Gerald ahs, nodding. "Yes well, maybe not the guys your looking at, but there are plenty of guys your age who will eventually appreciate you properly." He allows her to lean against him, and even drapes an arm around her shoulders. "You are very pretty, just the way you are. Just the way you dress. But you need to figure out what makes you feel better about you self. Don't worry about what I think or Andy thinks, or even what Variel thinks. Don't try to rush through your youth." Says the black pot. As she questions him about his reasons for slumping in the cold, he laughs. "I was…thinking." he allows thoughtfully seconds later. "About something Sunny said when we broke up. I was horrible to her. She was worried about me, and I was..fair heartless to her about it. I suppose I feel guilty."

Elizabeth is quiet, but she doesn't really pay any mind to his advice. He was trying to help in his own way, but he wasn't in her head. He didn't know what she felt or what thoughts she has. Her powder blue eyes merely watch him from behind her wire frames, before he admits the guilt he feels. She takes this in seriously. "What did you say exactly?" she asks, trying to be gentle in her questioning.

Gerald shrugs, "I don't know really. When I get angry..I don't always remember exactly what goes on. Either way I should have been a lot more understanding. I have issues when people try and tell me how to be." He forces a smile, but it hardly reaches his eyes for the moment. "She and I wont be together again. I just hate that things were left in such a bad state."

The young woman softly presses her lips together, and after a moment she dips her chin and glances back to the flames. "I know how that feels." Elizabeth murmurs lightly. "But you have a level head now, right? If you feel this bad though, I doubt you'll get over it anytime soon. It might be best if you write her a letter."

Gerald shrugs, "I'm usually levelheaded." He admits smugly, turning to watch her as he gives her shoulder a squeeze. "I dunno. I feel like letters are so informal." Which is why the one to Daphne is more or less blank. "Apologies should never be made in writing." He pauses, "AndI'm not sure that I want to apologize."

Elizabeth quirks a brow at him, "Then don't write a letter, and don't apologize, but you should in the very least talk to her. Choose your words carefully and make sure that she knows she's an important person. That even if you aren't together, that you want to work hard to ensure your friendship. And in the very least, agree with each other that you disagree. It'll help mend hurt feelings, and help you feel better." She gives him another nudge. "I don't like seeing you like this. Distant."

Gerald nods, though he also chuckles. "It's all a show, Lizzy." She may not like it, but she's earned a nickname. One she apparently doesn't approve of. "All the jokes and stuff. It makes people feel more comfortable around me. And it's fairly new. That's why I don't really know people. Till this year I've stayed hidden in books and out of sight." He grins, apparently at ease with this small bit of truth. "That's why I don't want you to change to suite people. It's exhausting."

And she promptly narrows her eyes on him. "Elizabeth." she murmurs. Only one person got away with calling her 'Lizzy'. Though pressing her lips together, she reaches for his closest hand and sandwiches it between her flat hands. "Then you and I are more alike than you realize." She gives him another reassuring nudge before she releases his hand. "If anything, don't try to worry about a facade around me. You're already my friend, I rather be a friend to a real person than a mask of one." Her expression softens subtly as she glances away, chuckling once. "Oh no, I couldn't do that. I don't care enough of their opinion of me to bother with the effort. Though it's probably because I'm a quarter blood and they'll try to look down on my anyways."

Gerald lets her take his free hand, nodding. "I wasn't sure I counted as a friend." He admits lowly. "Sorry, I have a very hard time knowing when I'm a friend or an acquaintance." He shrugs, allowing her words to settle, "And don't waste do much time on blood. One day it's not going to matter nearly as much. Anyway, blood doesn't stop someone from caring about another. I care very much for Ebi."

Elizabeth smirks easily. "Well I hang out with you enough that it I like to think so. But, yes. If you find it acceptable then we are friends." The smile she may have had fades, and she falls quiet as she glances away. "It's kinda hard not to when you're the one that's being discriminated against. When people think you will never amount of anything because of your blood. Or if it keeps you from being with the person you feel in love with." She quickly shakes her head to herself.

Gerald nods. "I agree with you. I'm a hypocrite because I allow my bloodline to dictate things, though not as harshly perhaps as my friends. My bloods not exactly sacred like the Malfoys and Blacks, but the Merryweathers are well thought of." He sighs, finally shifting to reach into his pocket before pulling free a small bag of candy. Peppermint judging by the scent. "So, enough sad talk. Tell me something that's not depressing."

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