(1939-01-19) Madeline and the Pure-Blood Picnic
Details for Madeline and the Pure-Blood Picnic
Summary: A quiet evening on the shore of a snowy lake turns into a serious talk of blood status.
Date: 1939-01-19
Location: Hogwarts Lake Shore
Related: Art Club, Book Club, Fight Club

It's mid day, just after lunch, and hardly the type of weather that normal folks would be out in. But then again, this is Hogwarts. The blustery snowfall isn't much of a concern with a magically heated blanket set on the ground, the warmth emanating from it enough to keep Silas and the ground near him free from snow.

Silas is currently laid on his side, satchel closed and poised at the edge of the blanket, a cane with a ferret's head atop it laid out next to it. The apparent inspiration for the cane head is currently snuggled up on his chest under his winter robes, her head the only part sneaking out from over his collar. A thick paperback book is in hand, and what he's currently focused on as he faces the black waters of the lake.

After a long morning trapped inside, Madeline is eager to get out /no matter/ the weather. She lumbers through the freshly falling snow, periodically scooping some up to fling at a tree, intent on making her way to the lakeshore. Maybe she'll see a merperson poke their head out of the water! Or maybe she'll just have a chance to chuck some stones. Coming closer, though, she sees someone stretched out on a blanket - and then she sees who it is. Looking around to see if anyone else is nearby (no one /seems/ to be), she calls out cheerfully, "Silas! Hello!"

Calista is heading towards the lake wrapped in a thick cloak and carrying a book bag with her. She pauses frowning slightly as she sees a girl throwing snow. She settles down not far from Silas at the base of a tree and opens her bag pulling out a book on charms. She cracks the book open to read. Her housemate gets a faint nod and smile if he looks over at her Madeline however is ignored minus a slight scowl as she approaches Silas. Golden brown eyes watch the pair carefully now the book laying in her lap forgotten for the moment.

The sudden, added presence of two others in the area certainly catches Silas' attention, but as Calista doesn't actually seem to be engaging him, he thinks little of it as she takes a spot nearby. Instead, after the nod of recognition is returned, his attention go to the little Muggle-born girl approaching him. A smile is offered at the familiarity of the greeting, and as he turns to return it, a little furry, white head peeks out from under his chin, sniffing the air, before diving back under his robe.

"Well met, Madeline," He offers, mindful of the housemate nearby. With a slight shift, and the book he was reading set down, he pats a now open spot on the blanket, "Come. Sit. Staying out of trouble, I hope?"

As soon as she spouts it out, of course, another Slytherin comes into view, and Madeline's forced to give the older boy an apologetic look. "Of course I am," she says brightly, as she moves to sit on the blanket. Her eyes widen as the glimpse of the furry face, and she lets out a quiet, "Awwww. Is that your ferret? The one you were drawing yesterday? That's why you want to start the farm, right?"

Silas grins widely at the first year as she points out Adelaide, nodding, although he does go a bit pink at the mention of the farm in front of one of his classmates. Thankfully, it seems that either seeing her housemate greet and be friendly to a Muggle-born is enough to upset her, because the girl seems to change her mind and walk off a moment later.

A quizzical gaze follows Calista as she leaves for a moment, before he goes back to Madeline. His hand idly scritches at Adelaide through his robes. "Yes it is. Adelaide's been insistent on being with me… but she hates the cold. So… thus."

"Oh, then I'm not very likely to see her come out then, I imagine." Madeline sounds a little disappointed. "I wish I could bring Sally to school - she's my dog. She's at home with my parents, and the kids from Germany. But even if I could - I couldn't. Because my parents told me no pets until they see my first year marks. At least there's lots of friendly cats in the dormitories."

"Not have a pet your first year?" It almost seems scandalous to him, although Silas had certainly known enough who went without. "I had a toad my first year, Alistrophalus. We didn't get along well, though. My parents picked him out for me and it wasn't a good match. I got Adelaide the year after."

He smiles at the memory, but mention of both the farm and animals brings up another subject. And Silas is not one to beat around the bush, "Been meaning to talk to you. Since yesterday. I hope you understood why I yelled at you. It's not something I do often."

Madeline looks down at the blanket, biting her lip before answering. "Because if I'd used the tickling jinx on Black he'd stick my head in the toilet every day until he graduates," the girl mumbles quietly. "Just like Peele." Then she looks up at Silas as she adds, "But I couldn't just let him punch Selwyn on the face! I mean - I know Selwyn /started/ it, but…"

Silas nods at this, twisting to face the girl directly, "It was also to spare you. Remember… he was one of the ones who was there at the Gala attack… where muggle-borns and mixed-bloods attacked pure-bloods without hesitation or distinction. And you pulled a wand on him when he was angry." He looks over at her, and reached out a hand to lay on her shoulder.

"One day, Madeline, you're going to be a powerful Witch, and you'll be able to protect yourself and everyone else around you. But sometimes, even when the reasons are just, pulling out your wand is the very last thing you should do. It's like…" he searches for the thought.

"Those metal wands that spit lightning that Muggles like so much. Like a wand, but shaped all wrong. I can't remember what you call them… but I do know they work like an Unforgivable Curse. Use them once, and someone dies. Jumping to magic for immediate defense can be like that too."

Madeline wrinkles her brow in confusion, trying to puzzle out Silas's words before- "Oh! A /gun/?" she asks. What a strange way to describe it. "I would /never/ use a gun on a per-" she starts, before the point he's trying to make sinks in. She's supposed to think about using her /wand/ on someone as being the same as using a /gun/ on someone? "But a gun can /only/ kill. A wand can do all… loads of things," she protests weakly.

Then she asks quietly, "Was he tortured? Like Variel was?"

"A wand is just a piece of wood. And a… gun…" Silas tries the word, it feeling somewhat oblong and /wrong/ on his lips, "is just a piece of metal. But in the end, what it can do is very important. But more important is how it's used."

"I don't know exactly what happened to him. I wasn't there. But I know that it has impacted ALL of us with pure blood to one degree or another. And some, well… who were already prone to violence, it hasn't made things better."

He chuckles, "My point, though, is that you shouldn't just depend on your wand, or magic, to defend yourself. Because first is can be dangerous. But two you also can't be sure it will always be available to you. But there's something that is… something you should always reach for, before your wand." And with that, he reaches out and taps her forehead. "Right up in here, if you've got the patience to learn how to wield it."

"Well, I don't think it's just impacted the pure-bloods. It's impacted everyone. Those wizards who did it were right stupid if they thought doing something so /horrible/ would do anything other than make things /worse/." Madeline seems deeply unhappy about the whole mess. How could she not be?

"You know, Variel- I mean, /Weasley/, he thinks… he seems to think that just Muggle-borns and half-bloods being friends with pure-bloods right now can be dangerous. But it seems to me… /not/ being friends now, well, it just makes room for more hate, doesn't it? It leaves an empty spot for hate to grow." She looks up at Silas, to see what /he/ thinks of it.

Silas offers a short nod, listening before responding fully, "I'm out here talking to you, aren't I? And when appropriate, call you Maddie. Right?" He smiles, sighing a bit, "I focused on pure-bloods more because of its association with the incident in the art club and Black, not because I discount the impact it's had on everyone."

He looks back over the lake now, "But to answer your question, I fear Weasley has allowed his pain to twist him, and has taken an entirely wrong lesson from this. Friendships between bloodlines will be dangerous, yes, but they'll also be necessary. Because no matter how people like it, a study of history shows that hatreds in the end always self-destruct."

Madeline nods, and stares down at the blanket. "I don't know how to help him," she admits quietly. "I don't think he /wants/ me to help him. I'm just a first year. And a Muggle-born, too. Everyone just assumes I don't get things, I think, because I'm too little, and they don't think I'm a 'proper' witch yet." Or that she never can be.

"I doubt he's ready for help at this point," Silas offers, honestly. "And it would be difficult, not having been in the situation he was. Sometimes the best you can do is simply keep being a friend to them, whether they want it or not, and not let them push you away."

Then there's a pause, and with a slight smirk, he adds, "Everybody, eh?"

Madeline looks up at Silas out of the top corner of her eyes, her smile managing to look /shy/ for once. "Almost everyone?" she corrects. She lets out a sigh, then adds, "I guess I can try still being his friend. But I think he wants me to stop. At least - I don't think he wants me to call him Variel anymore."

"Then don't. Call him Weasley. And only make changes he specifically asks for. Otherwise… simply be madeline. Don't tell him what to do, or how he needs to change… but be his friend." Silas looks back over the lake once more, sighing, "When they're hurt, when the wounds are raw, people tend to push you away. It's instinct. And a bit of cowardice, I think. But you can't let them push you away. Not if you care about them. Not if they're important to you. In the end, they'll see that they can't shake you… and they'll come around."

Personal experience much? Perhaps.

Madeline nods her head quietly. She considers Silas's words before offering, "You know. I was coming into the Gryffindor common room one night, when I heard Avery /joking/ about what happened to Variel. And Variel was standing right there - he heard the whole thing! I was just… it was such a horrible thing to say. And then he joked about Rousseau's and Chastity's /mothers/." The ones who /died/.

She frowns fiercely in silence for a moment before adding, "I kicked him. Right in the shin. As hard as I could. I'd never done that before - kicked anybody."

Silas' lips twist into a grimace at the story, "I'm not one for using physical violence, but that just seems utterly distasteful. And Variel took it?" Another pause, "And it was Avery, you said? Cedric Avery?" Considering what other thing she knew, protection of a different friend may be in order now.

"Yeah, Cedric Avery. Variel snapped at him and stormed off," Madeline answers. "I was just so shocked I stood there gaping a minute. You know, before I kicked him. I'm pretty sure my parents and my Uncle would be cross with me if I told them."

Silas nods for a moment, actually laughing. "I'm sure they would. And again, sometimes it's better to use our brains in those situations… but I guess I can't fault you too much." Something to lock away at least and bring up the next time he speaks to his friend.

He smiles, and just shakes his head once more, "Just be careful what shins you kick, Maddie. Some might one day kick back."

"Well. I don't think I'll ever kick Alphard Black's shins if I can avoid it," Madeline offers 'helpfully.' "And sometimes I kick Adam - but never hard, because I'm just joking. But my mum is always telling me - when someone's mean to us, we should be nice right back at them at least two times. She says that's the sort of stuff we should be spreading around, instead."

Elric is heard before he is actually seen. The blonde boy is skipping through the snow humming an upbeat tune before he starts singing a song in an impassioned and playful voice. He slows his skipping spinning around as his cheerful voice carries the tune with near perfect rhythm.

"Oh I'm bad…yes I am
I don't care what the people say
I'm gonna do things my way
From running around
To actin a fool
I don't care I'm gonna break the rules!"

He spins around and is now facing the pair on the blankets smiling brightly at them as he continues.

"Cause its so good when your not good
I never act the way I should
I always give it every thing I have
I love….to be bad!"

"Sounds to me like your Mum is a right smart gal. And if she's as nice as your Uncle, I think she and I could conspire to fill your head with wisdom until it explodes," Silas offers, the grin back in full force, "And as to Adam, well, that's an entirely different beast entirely. That's being friends… and let me tell you this… THAT sort of thing is important. Far more than all the other stuff we've talked about."

And then the singing voice comes along, and Silas actually can't help but laugh again, especially upon seeing Elric. Clearly, there was a boy whose spirit couldn't be dampened, even if the sentiments of the song suggested a lesson unlearned. A wave is offered to the boy, a beckoning, if he wanted to join the two.

Madeline looks up at the sound of the singing, but her attention returns to Silas. "She's pretty great, my mum. But… Well. I've been /trying/ that with Lucretia Black. I even made her a Christmas card and a New Years one too. And I tried telling her I don't want to fight, and we don't have to be friends, but can't we just get along? But she's still pretty hostile to me. It's like she's done anything /to/ me, but isn't there anything I can do to get her stop acting so nasty around me?" She hopes the older student has good ideas - because she's sure got none.

She looks up with Elric gets closer, smiling at him in greeting.

Elric pauses his singing at the end of that verse and drops into an exaggerated bow before skipping the rest of the way over to join them. "Hello. I remember both of you but I don't think I got your names…anyway I'm Elric Selwyn incase you didn't know. I hope I'm not interrupting? I was just practicing my singing as the seventh year boys chased me out of the club room…again. Apparently they are jealous because they sound like screeching cats when they try to sing." Elric grins playfully and settles down onto the blanket with them.

"Some people won't let you reach them, no matter how much kindness you give them. Doesn't mean you should stop," Silas offers in response to Madeline, "But it does mean that sometime's you'd fighting a campaign of kindness simply because it's the proper thing to do."

"Silas Meliflua," the older boy offers, and then he motions over to Maddie, "and Madeline Evans." He grins, "I'm a friend of your sister, Dora's." And the same year, and a few classes to boot. He peers at the boy again, "And you /are/ Elric, right? I don't think I've ever actually seen your brother spin. Ever." He offers a light chuckle, which is answered by a cluckling sound from the lump on his chest, that twists a bit in response "And if you make it a habit of antagonizing seventh years, how is it that you're able to still walk on your own these days, much less sing?" The tone seems to be teasing, and not unkindly.

Madeline sighs. "So just keep doing the same thing and hope she gives up on it?" Darn. She was hoping for an actual /answer/. "Okay," she agrees a bit disheartenedly. What else can she do?

She then turns to beam at Elric brightly, adding, "I think Adorabella's just great! She gave me antlers for a day - until Madame Spleen took 'em off me. And took a picture of me with 'em on, so I could send it to my mum and da'! I'm really looking forward to the book club."


The rush of water dragged into the air by a fast, low-flying broom reaches the trio before the sight of Leoric zipping right across the surface of the water is visible. He's moving extremely fast, using the advantage of the lake's lack of landscape to go at top speed. A light mist drifts over the three, but no actual droplets, as he banks and comes back, aiming to set down on the beach itself now that he's noticed people.

Elric smiles happily and nods at the mention of his sister. He laughs merrily as Silas asks him if he is really Elric. He puts on his best serious face. "No…I -am- Leoric I'm just in really good mood to..Leoric!" Elric forgets his act and waves happily to his brother. He turns back to the other two and blushes. "Sorry I am Elric I was just teasing…beside everyone knows -I- am the fun twin! And no I don't make a habit of antagonizing anyone I was minding my own business singing and dancing when they kicked me out into the hall. I really didn't want to hear them try and sing anyway though…"

"You don't do it for a reward, or even for the hope of change, Maddie." Despite the additional people joining, he doesn't change formality at all. "You do it because it's the right thing to do. Because if you don't who will? You do it because you have no other choice, because being otherwise compromises who you are."

A grin then goes back to Elric as Leoric speeds over them, the mist and snow combining into a bit of ice that thankfully still melts once the enchanted blanket's protection keeps them dry. He chuckles, "Well that's good. I was worried that this was some sort of habit of yours."

"Well. Yeah, I guess," Madeline responds, not sounding entirely convinced. "But I'm /still/ gonna hope she changes. Or maybe not her but someone else. Right? Someone else who sees and thinks it's all pretty silly."

She flops back onto her back suddenly - just in time to see Leoric circle over them, and then go in for a landing, prompting a little giggle. "Wow. Moments like that, I just think… 'I'm at /magic/ school.'" The girl beams broadly. "I love Hogwarts."

It takes Leoric a moment to recall that Maddie's muggle-born- until he does, he looks just as confused as any schoolkid would be to hear some other child marvel that they're at SCHOOL, o golly. But, remember he does, and he nods to her with a small smile. "That you are, Evans. And, presuming things don't go south around here, you can expect to be for years to come- unless you do something horrid and get expelled." He eyes her suspiciously and utterly over the top- it's not at all serious.

Trudging through the snow while his nose is buried in a heavy book Andrew looks completely lost in whatever he happens to be reading. He is bundled up tight in layers and even then appears to be shivering slightly. He sinks onto the ground near the lake by a small tree not too far from the group on their blanket. He props his legs up and rests the book on his knees not taking his eyes off it for a second. The boy finally blinks as he hears voices nearby and looks up at the group somewhat nervously.

"Exactly, Maddie. It may not be easy, but in the end the right thing is exactly that, and in the end it has its own reward, no matter how small." A look of recognition goes to Leoric as he approaches, and not just because of the similarity to Elric. A second goes to Andrew, as he sits apart from the others.

Madeline nods to Silas, but then fixes her eyes on Leoric. She doesn't worry about getting expelled - what could she possibly do that's /that/ bad? No, it's the other thought. "Things going south? You think they could go sour enough they'd close the school? Or…" Here she hesitates before whispering, "Or make the Muggle-borns leave?" That thought had never occurred to her!

"There was a note in the Ravenclaw dormitories calling for just that. I don't… THINK… it'll happen. It'd cause more trouble than not. Untrained wizards fling magic when they get upset, and that's far more troublesome for wizarding society than having some people that could be considered distasteful wandering around campus learning how NOT to breach secrecy. Regardless of however disadvantaged one might be due to one's birth, refusing one such training endangers all of wizarding society. Even a muggleborn dedicated to getting their way with ruthless bloodshed would undermine themselves by exposing our society- and short of that, the possible damage that could be done is, simply, minuscule in scale by comparison." … well, it's an awfully dispassionate and unsympathetic way to look at things, but it's well thought out, and supports her staying in school…

… and besides, it's all said by Leoric, so that counts for something.

Elric can't sit still very long and the five minute mark has apparently passed. He springs to his feet and smiles brightly. "I need to go for now…thing to do you know…" He winks and then bounces off humming happily and giving them a merry goodbye wave as he goes.

Andrew blinks at the older Slytherin as the other boy nods in his direction. He looks surprised and a bit skittish too. Still he smiles shyly and returns the nod his cheeks coloring slightly with embarrassment. He looks back to his book but isn't as focused on it now apparently distracted. He looks up eyes studying those gathered nearby with a shy yet assessing gaze. As one of the twins bounces off he blinks again following the blondes departure with his eyes. "How does he manage to sustain that much energy at once?" Its a question to himself mostly.

"Obscene amounts of candy." Leoric would know. They're twins, after all.

Silas purses his lips at the talk of exclusion. It's something of a hot button topic in his house, and one he likes to stay well out of, "I don't think it would happen either. That would require a Ministry decision that would create quite an uproar," he states. There. No opinion needed. Instead, he looks back at Leoric as Elric departs, "I worry, he doesn't hold the harsher words I said to him last night, does he? He doesn't seem to be one to do so, but not everyone is your sister." A smile offered there.

The Slytherin boy looks back at Andrew, and chuckles, his white-haired ferret poking its head out from under his collar again, "You know… it'd probably be a bit warmer over here than over there," he motions to the enchanted blanket below him.

Madeline looks between to the older students, uncertainty on her features, before she nods and relaxes. "I hope you're both right. It'd just be horrible if they didn't let me finish school. It wouldn't be fair at all."

Andrew's surprise shows at the offer from Silas. He smiles shyly a bit nervous but marks his page and rises brushing the snow off himself and making his way over to the blanket. Settling down on it he lets out a sigh of relief and its easy to see he was cold as his shivering starts to lessen. He looks to the older boy with a shy yet very grateful smile. "Thank you…this is much better. I'm Andrew…Andrew Shacklebolt. Nice to meet you." He nods to each of them and blushes slightly before he ducks his head.

"Oh, I imagine they'd be just as likely to try to send you home to protect you as to get rid of you. Whichever way they spun it, it'd be more about trying to keep people safe than worrying about what's fair. Which is to your advantage, Evans- it's safer for everyone if the muggleborn and halfbloods know how to keep their heads down." Leoric moves to take his twin's spot on the blanket- or at least to come near. "Mind if I've a seat?" To answer Silas, he shakes his head. "He holds grudges against bullies, not for giving advice."

As more and more people arrive, Adelaide's curiosity overrides some fo the need for warmth, and so she now puts her head completely out of the top buttons of his winter robes, the ferret peering and sniffing at everyone. Oddly enough, her head is an exact match for the one topping the wooden cane set next to Silas' satchel next to him.

A look goes to Leoric, "That's a surprisingly pessimistic look at things, from my standpoint. 'Keeping their heads down'? While some discretion is certainly called for, it's hardly going to be helpful if they simply try to hide themselves." He shakes his head again, and and shifts making more room on the blanket as well, "Please do, though. You're more than welcome."

Then, finally, Silas looks back to the defrosting Andrew, "I'm sure I've seen you around the halls. Silas Meliflua, if you weren't aware."

Steps, slow and methodical take Tarquin to the vicinity of the lake. Wrapped in winter robes, he looks up at the falling snow with curious expression. A faint smile touches his lips as he walks. When he spots the gathered group, he can't help but arch an eyebrow. He slows down. Each step slower until he reaches the group and comes to a full stop.

"I wasn't aware there was a party scheduled out here today," he notes, offering a faint smile to the familiar faces he sees. "Good day, everyone."

As more arrive, Madeline sits up - to make sure there's room for everyone on the blanket. She looks around at the other wizards around her, /none/ of them Muggle-born, and siddles just a bit closer to Silas.

To make more room. Of course.

As the ferret peeks out, she brights thought, beaming at the little creature. "Hi Adelaide! It'd be okay if you came and hid in my robes, you know. I wouldn't mind."

Tarquin's arrival is met with an uncertain look - she remembers his words from the day before. /Fighting like Muggle-borns/, he'd said. "Hello," she girl answers, a little more subdued than usual.

"Eh? I didn't mean hide from us. I meant hide from muggles. Did it come across the other way? I didn't mean that." Leoric looks concerned at how his words may have come off worse than he intended. He's fine if his opinions are abrasive, but he's no interest in antagonizing for the sake of being antagonistic. "I just meant that we all benefit when a wizard of any blood knows how to keep us all secretive." He moves to sit.

Andrew nods to Silas and watches quietly as another arrives. He ducks his head looking flustered and not used to being around so many people. He opens his book again and tries to read some more but Madeline's words to the ferret has him looking up and spotting the small animal. His head tilts to one side as he watches the creature. "You are very cute." He declares and then goes back to his book once more with a faint nod to the newcomer as he says hello.

Leoric does in fact seem concerned enough with sounding more opinionated than he is to have missed his cousin's approach.

Silas looks back at Leoric, and then nods, "I'll admit I misinterpreted it. Yes… I am in agreement there. The Statute protects us as much as it protects them. Apologies for my assumptions, then." And the smile he returns the younger man is genuine.

When Madeline talks to the ferret, there is reaction, but mostly just curiosity. Silas pats the ferret's head. "She's curious, but this many people makes her a wee bit anxious. She'll feel safer right here, but I'm sure she appreciates the thought, Maddie."

And then there was Tarquin. Another smile is offered up, and he motions to the ever-crowded blanket, and the magicked heat it's providing them, "No party… just a gathering of random souls. Feel free to join us!"

"Evans, is it not?" Tarquin asks the girl, noting her uncertain look. He offers a small smile and a polite nod to her. "Hello," he says, friendly enough. Glancing over at Leoric, he seems curious at his words, then glances at the rest. "Wizards of any lineage should know better than to go blabbering about our secrets to muggles, without permission," he notes, deciding to jump on what seems to be the topic of conversation.

He waits, however, until Silas makes his invitation to go join in and sit down. "Thank you," ever polite, he offers the words to the Slytherin. Glancing at Leoric, he smiles in his direction. "Cousin," he greets.

His fears assuaged, Leoric returns Silas' smile, then Tarquin's. "Hello, Tarquin. How's the evening find you? I was out for a fly and encountered these fine folks." Ah, that explains the broom he had nearby.

Andrew remains quietly reading while the others talk. He is quickly getting absorbed into the book on Runes once more. His head is bowed and he seems facinated by the book completely forgetting he is with other people for once. Apparently he is unused to so much company and this is how he deals with it.

Madeline nods as the ferret turns down her offer, but she nods understandingly. "Freckles - the cat I gave Adam? - she doesn't trust /anyone/ she doesn't know. She gets really, /really/ nervous." The girl looks back up at Tarquin as he says her name, and nods. "Madeline," she adds softly.

Silas offers Tarquin a simple nod, even as he finally joins the rest of them, "Exactly. I don't say lightly that I dislike any part of our world trying to push its way into theirs. Lessons learned from the past, and all that." For the most part, Muggle stuff doesn't interest him. He knows a little bit, but the world itself just bores him.

Satisfied she's identified all the newcomers, the ferret burrows herself back into the inner pocket in Silas' robe that he's created just for her, a little light chuckling sound coming from her, "I know, sweetheart," the boy offers her with a light pat. Then he looks back at Maddie, "She does better one on one. Especially if you have something fun to play with."

"Uneventful so far, which might be a good thing, considering things last night," Tarquin replies to Leoric, eyes finding the broom. He nods. "I was out for a walk," he says, "And found myself here."

He looks over at Madeline, his smile a little indulgent now, but still friendly. "Well met, Madeline. I'm Tarquin Bulstrode," he introduces himself to the girl.

He nods to Silas and like him, he has little interest in muggle affairs.

"What does she like to play with?" Madeline asks curiously, before Tarquin earns her attention again.

"It's nice to meet you, Bulstrode," she offers, opting for the much safer /last/ name. She watches the man a moment longer, biting the inside of her lip, then looks down and away without offering another word.

Leoric looks between the older fellows and Madeline. "I feel as though there's something I'm missing. I can tell you're put off, Evans, but not quite why. Would you share with us, perhaps? I don't believe anyone's intended to slight you."

Silas looks back to Tarquin, "That's good to hear. Apparently your cousin managed to get himself kicked out of the Club Room yet again… this time for singing when some seventh years wanted to use it, but he didn't seem the worse for the wear. I still think he should be find as long as he stays out of Black's radar." He pauses, "I hope Dora's evening was similarly uneventful. That was not a pleasant experience for anyone."

To Madeline he replies, "For the most part, just about anything… but her favorites are anything resembling a tube, anything she can crawl in or around, or mufti-colored socks.

Finally, he looks between Leoric and Madeline. He doesn't interject, however… Maddie can stick up for herself if need be. And now it's time to see if she listened at all.

Tarquin doesn't seem bothered by Madeline using his family name, if anything he offers a genuine smile to her. Still, he studies her. "What's on your mind, Evans?" his tone is more curious than anything, certainly not confrontational. He nods to Leoric's words, offering his agreement with his cousin.

Then he looks at Silas and shakes his head. "Your brother is going to be the death of us all," he says to Leoric, but there is no real sting in his words. "He should be smart enough to do that," stay out of Black's radar, or so Tarquin hopes. And then, it's look at Madeline time! So, he looks over at Madeline again.

Madeline bites her lip, looking between the three older students. She doesn't really feel like putting her foot in it tonight, and they're all older than her, and pure-bloods, and /boys/, and not a one of them Gryffindors but - well. One of them /is/ Silas.

"I didn't like it yesterday when you said he was fighting like a Muggle-born," the girl admits quietly. "Muggle-borns don't fight any more or any less than anyone else.

"Now, hold on. From what I caught, and it's hearsay, I THINK he was referring to Black's use of his fists. Is that what was meant?" Leoric looks between the others boys for clarification.

With something of an approving nod, Silas actually puts a protective arm around Maddie's shoulders next, as she made the source of her disquiet known. He may not care about Muggles, but a wizard is a wizard. And Maddie one of the ones he considers 'his' firsties.

"It's all in the intimation of the statement. A suggestion of inferiority." He explains to Leoric.

"Ah," Tarquin says, remembering the comment in question. "Tell me, how did Black react when I said that?" He asks, arching a brow and glancing at Silas. "In part, I said that for very specific reasons. Black is a very proud person. Proud of his heritage, and to be fair, so am I. So I was fairly certain that my words would shock him into stopping. Like he said, muggles don't have the monopoly on fists, but as wizards, we do solve problems in other ways. Ways that are, well, more civilized, as far as our culture sees it." He pauses.

"It is true, however, that muggles don't use magic or wands when solving a conflict, is it not? It stands to reason that a muggle-born first instinct, at least a young one with little experience, would be to fall back to their muggle upbringing under stress," he raises a hand. "In any case. I didn't say that to make you feel bad. It wasn't my intention to be cruel to you," he notes. "Mostly, I was trying to save my cousin from a beating," he faintly smiles. "But, I'm not going to lie to you about my own feelings on the subject. If you have questions about them, I'll more than happily answer them."

He nods to Leoric. "I was and it was." He glances at Silas and nods again. "That was the intention," he doesn't shy away from his beliefs, but his tone remains friendly.

Madeline glances back at Silas as his arm goes around her, her expression grateful, before giving Leoric and Tarquin more uncertain looks. "I'm a Muggle-born, and a young one, too. And I drew /my/ wand. Though Si- I mean, Meliflua says I oughtn't have." She bites her lip again before adding, "It's just- maybe you're saying it to get a reaction out of him, but it's also- it's saying that reaction's okay, isn't it? You used it like and insult. That it's insulting to be like a Muggle-born, and it's okay for people to think that's insulting, but it's /not/." She can't quite manage to meet the older student's gaze as she talks, and at one point she reaches up to brush the back of one hand over her eyes. She's supposed to be more grown up than this!

"Hey. Relax, Evans." Leoric's voice is soft, meant to comfort. It's been practiced with his sister, a tender one by all accounts. Calm and gentle and rational. "I think it only feels insulting because it's silly. I mean, it'd be the same sort of reaction if a muggle with one of their metal wands got angry and decided they wanted to hurt someone- but instead of pulling out their much more effective weapon, they just run at someone, fists swinging. It's a stinging comment because it reminds him that one's wand is pretty much universally a better option- whether you want to inflict actual harm or just embarrass someone. If I wanted to make the same point- calling someone silly for resorting to their fists instead of an obvious, effective choice for harmful AND nonviolent solutions, I'd use the same term- not because it's inherently insulting, but because it's the easiest way to say "acting like someone without a wand." Does that make sense?"

"I mean, like you said. We're at MAGIC school. Who tries to get in a fist fight at MAGIC school?"

A gentle squeeze is given to the younger girl's shoulder, and Silas looks back at the other two boys with his trademark smile still out there in the open, "This is the world we live in, Maddie. I doubt Bulstrode here meant you, or yours specifically, and now he understands your source of upset. And I'm certain he'll take that into consideration for the future."

He pauses, "But you also need to remember, just as you get to feel the way you do, he does as well. Right or wrong, it's a part of him, and consider how he's treating you right this moment. Beyond that, as he says, it did stop Black from continuing. Because it hit on the core of HIS beliefs. And sometimes, you have to say something like that to get a point across. Because he did, Elric walked away, rather than getting hurt."

"Remember what I said, sometimes the right thing isn't always the easiest. It applies here, too."

"You, drew your wand. You're an individual, and Meliflua is right, it was rather foolish to get involved, but, your loyalty to your friends is commendable," Tarquin tells her. "I'm talking about generalizations and as painful as those can be, they exist, and they won't be going anywhere any time soon. Just like half bloods and muggle-born aren't going anywhere, no matter how much the more extremist purebloods would wish it to be."

There's a deep breath then. "I did. Because to some purebloods, it is an insult," he notes. "Is it fair? Perhaps it isn't. But it is the way it is. Pretending it isn't, doesn't change the reality. I'll give you the same advice, I indirectly gave your friend, Irving. Prove me wrong. Prove us wrong," he narrow his eyes, but the smile he offers does remain friendly. "Irving… is a muggle-born boy with many dreams, perhaps too many," he smiles a little. "But he is a sweet boy. You seem like a sweet girl. So, prove the rest of the world. But don't think you don't have to do that, because well, you do. And not because you need to prove anything to me in particular…" His words trail off and he shrugs. "It's the time we live in."

He listens to Leoric then, and doesn't interrupt the other boy, curious as he looks to see how Madeline reacts to his words. He listens to Silas then, and looks down for a moment, then back at Madeline. "I'm a Bulstrode. I'm a pureblood and I admit, that if I were to be release in your muggle world? With no guidance, I'd be completely lost. I don't understand it. And to be honest, I don't feel I need to dive too deeply into it. Why should I? You, are muggle-born. You want to be a wizard, that is commendable. But it's easy to forget sometimes, that our world," he gestures to her and himself. "Is very different from the muggle world. Do you not see then, why some purebloods fear the way they do? You're coming into our world, with very little knowledge of it." He pauses. "Prove us wrong, Evans, that's the best advice I can give you."

Madeline shakes her head at Leoric, looking at him directly now. "That's not why he said it. He /said/ why he said it. It's because Black thinks it's insult." She looks at Tarquin next before adding, "And he wasn't my friend. Still isn't. I'd only met him just then. And I know he was /wrong/ to get Black mad like that - but Black was wrong to try to hurt him, too, and I'm not just gonna let someone get hurt." Even if it means standing up to a sixth year. Even if it means standing up to Alphard Black.

Her gaze drops now - even though her chin doesn't, and she worries her hands together as she tries to think of the words she wants. "I know I have to prove it. I wish I didn't have to, but I do. But don't you see? Even /nice/ people think it's okay if Muggle and Muggle-born is used to insult people. So why would it ever change? Maybe you don't mean to hurt me, or Adam, or Bran or anyone else… but you do."

Leoric's face falls as he hears Madeline's response. He sees more and more of his sister in the girl, and it worries him. He clears his throat, trying to think. "… well, I suppose you're right. I was trying to offer a way to spin the idea, approach it from another angle, I suppose. A way to steal the power from it. But it doesn't change the fact that others see it as an insult, you're right." It's hard to think .The back of his head is all red and fury. What he wants to do is brood on the sudden realization that Alphard must have tried to HIT his brother. Somehow this infuriates even more than a wand pointed at him.

The hand on Madeline's shoulder squeezes again, and this time, Silas sighs, "You've made your point, Madeline. Both of them get it. And neither of them intend or hold malice toward you." A look up at the sky, and the position of the sun, and he sighs, "It's almost time for dinner, anyhow… how about we table this, for now. Everyone think on it, and I can be the big, bad Slytherin who walks a Muggle-Born firstie into the Hall, huh?" A bit of a smile, and an attempt at distraction, sure. And it's not like it will tarnish his reputation any more than it already is.

A pleading look is given to the other two boys.

Tarquin lightly shrugs. "Your fellow student then. You still came to the defense of a fellow student, and that is commendable, even though it was also quite foolish." There is a flash of sympathy in Tarquin's expression at Madeline's words, but it's quickly replaced by his usual stoicism.

"Evans… People like me, won't change it. People like you," his words trail off. "Change won't come easily, not to my people. But it can come, over time. I wish, I could sit here and tell you, that is the best outcome. I can't. I… don't know. You have to decide, how much of a fight you want to make it, and how you'll fight. After all, you are surrounded by three purebloods that I'm pretty sure aren't thinking you're out to kill them." He smiles a little a this, then grows more serious. "You're right. It's not my intention to hurt you. That you were, that you are, is well, an unfortunate result of it all."

Glancing over at Silas, he nods after a moment. "Of course," ever polite, he offers those words. He looks between Silas and Madeline. "You should appreciate him," he says to her, regarding Silas. "More than he'll let you, or tell you." To Silas he adds. "You are a surprising Slytherin, Meliflua." He stands up, stretches, and nods to the group, ready to head back.

"But you can," Madeline insists promptly. "You can change it, too. If you just stood up to it."

She looks back at Silas as he speaks though, and nods her head, her expression still solemn.

She looks back Tarquin with a small smile, adding, "I do. That's why he's Silas the Stupendous." Yup. She's still Madeline.

She climbs to her feet, waiting for Silas to gather his blanket so they can go. But it's still at the back of her mind - as nice as Tarquin is being… he didn't apologize. He doesn't think he did /anything/ wrong. Maybe neither do the other two.

Leoric stays quiet. He can pick up Madeline's frustration and defensiveness, and he doesn't know how to handle it, not with the burning in the back of his thoughts. So, he lifts a hand for a quick goodbye to the others and makes a quick departure on his broom. He has something to think about.

As everyone starts getting up, Silas waits for them to get off the blanket, and starts folding it up. The nice thing about enchanted blankets? They don't have to be large, and this one folds small enough that it just barely fills the satchel as long as it's empty. Then his cane is grabbed.

He looks at Tarquin, and smiles, "Thank you. I'm quite proud of my house, but I also have found that I must be my own person. It works well enough, most of the time." He then grins to Madeline, and inclines his head, even as Adelaide sticks her head out of his robes again, "I need to make a quick stop by the Dungeons, and then we'll go eat. Okay?" And with that, he tries to lead her along with him.

Tarquin is about to open his mouth to reply to Madeline, but remembering Silas' previous looks, he closes it. He watches his cousin leave, concerned, before his attention turns back to the Slytherin, arching an eyebrow at his thanks. He simply offers a small smile, though and as he walks away, trying to lead Madeline, Tarquin turns back and sits where he was, this time without the blanket. He brings his legs to his chest, hugs them and just watches the snow.

Madeline nods to Silas, and turns to walk with him. "If it's okay… I'll just go straight to the Great Hall. See if Adam's there already. I want to talk to him." It's a subdued Madeline that walks with Silas back to the castle, kicking at the snow as she goes.

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