(1939-01-21) Almost Birds and Bees
Details for Almost Birds and Bees
Summary: Medusa invites Lucretia to the 7th Year Girls' Dormitory for a sisterly talk about boys.
Date: 1939-01-21
Location: 7th Year Slytherin Girls' Dormitory

For a few days now, perhaps longer, Medusa has been keen to speak quietly with Lucretia to set her own mind to rest if nothing else. She sends a note to the girl, watching it get passed down the dining table at dinner on Tuesday. The note requests Lucretia to come to the Year 7 girl's dormitory at around eight that evening and speak with Medusa.

Medusa's bed is the one nearest the door so she can easily see who is coming in, the seventh year dorm is the one on the highest level of the dungeons, the first year the furthest down. As such there are windows here which look out into the lake. At present, because it is night the curtains are shut obscuring the porthole windows. Medusa's own bed is covered with the prerequisite black and green bedding, but there are personal touches too. She has a framed photograph of her niece Circe and one of Douglas on her bedside table. There are her silver silk pyjamas folded and sitting at the end of her bed, waiting for her to use them later. At present she is still in her uniform and flipping through a magazine. There is a fire in the hearth making the otherwise empty room cosy.

Its a minute or two before eight when Lucretia presents herself in the seventh year dormitory. Not knowing quite what to expect, she's already changed into her pyjamas, presumably in case whatever it is that Medusa wants to speak to her about will run a little late. And thus, with skin still glowing slightly from an early bath and with an overly large woollen dressing gown wrapped around herself, she approaches Medusa. Hair damp and braided over one shoulder and with a somewhat tentative smile just making its presence known, she greets the older Slytherin. "Hello, Medusa. You wanted to see me?"

When Lucretia arrives looking as she does Medusa cannot help but grin, "I did." She pats her bed. "Come and sit, I've been meaning to speak to you since the holidays. I know you are the eldest and that Alphard is a boy, so I hope you do not mind me putting myself in the role of big sister just a little."

Whatever it was that Lu was expecting, it probably wasn't that. "You've wanted to talk with me? About what?" A small line etches her brow, the precursor of a frown, and she kicks her slippers off before clambering onto the bed and folding her feet Indian style in front of her. Tugging and pulling at her dressing gown until its draped warmly over her legs, she knots her hands in her lap. "I'm not in trouble over anything, am I? Because I did apologise for the itching powder at Alphard's party and I absolutely promise that any pranks in the future will very definitely not be played on you."

Twisting, Medusa reaches into her bedside cabinet and withdraws a small box which she sets down in between them. Lifting the lid off the box she reveals it to be full of chocolates. "You are not in trouble, don't worry. I wanted to answer any questions you might have about boys and also to offer some advice." She smiles sweetly, "As well as chocolates."

Lucretia leans and helps herself to a chocolate; the one that's heart-shaped with a pink bow on top. "I love these, but my mother usually doesn't let anyone else have them whenever she's a box. Thank you." Turning it over once in her fingers, she drags her tongue across the top, licking the bow off before popping it in and pushing it to one side so it immediately fills her cheek. Which doesn't do her many favours, not with the way the sudden flush of colour to her face is accented by that action. "Boys?" Its a bit of a squeak.

Medusa selects a chocolate for herself and nods as she bites into it. "Boys. I know you have your pre-arranged marriage, but that does not mean you aren't interested in boys. It is only natural to start feeling that way at your age. To notice them and notice them noticing you."

Lu clears her throat. "Oh right. Boys. I was talking to Esther about boys just a few days ago. She's very much in love, you know." Its a deflection technique, something the young Black girl is learning quite quickly this term, and there's a small giveaway squint at Medusa from beneath the heavy cut of her fringe. "I sort of think its lovely, but sort of worry. It must be difficult to think you've met 'the one' when you're only sixteen."

The deflection earns Lucretia a little laugh. "I know far enough about Esther. What I do not know is about you." Becoming serious again she says, "I can be dangerous if a young girl has misinformation. Girls can end up in difficult and unpleasant situations because they were given bad advice by friends or believed the nonsense boys tell them."

Lucretia scrunches her nose up. "Difficult like… having a boy want to shove his hand up my jumper?" she asks, rubbing a chocolate stain off her finger in a long wipe along her thigh. Good thing the dressing gown is old and battered, also tartan, the stain just blending into the fabric with everything else. "Because honestly Medusa, I'd probably punch a boy if they tried that."

"If any boy tries that with you at thirteen you tell me and I will find a way to hex them," says Medusa quite firmly. "At your age that's not appropriate. Being thirteen is about holding hands and maybe a little kissing. Any boy who does that to you without asking first, asking when you are older like seventeen, does not respect you and you should knee him in the groin and walk away while he's on the ground."

Lucretia shakes her head quickly. "Oh no. Nobody's tried that. I'm just saying that if someone did, that I'd punch them." A brief pause as she swallows her chocolate and brushes her fringe to one side, eyes firmly on the girl opposite. "I do like someone though," she says, her voice dropping to a whisper as a nervous pluck is given the edge of her dressing gown. "We've held hands."

When Lucretia admits nobody has tried to grope her Medusa relaxes a little. "You are allowed to have friends, even boyfriends before your marriage. Nobody expects you to hide away from life simply because your final destination is already laid out."

A small nod of Lu's head is given. "Yes. I mean, its not as if I expect Iggy not to have had girlfriends. I expect he has one right now, though I'm not sure for certain. It does feel a bit odd though, because where it didn't really matter before and I didn't even think about boys or boyfriends, now I do. And, I wonder if he would mind." A lift of her shoulders. "Probably he won't but I just don't know. He asked me the other day if things were alright for me here at school, or if anything was difficult for me and he's never really shown any interest before. Not like that."

"He is not an unkind boy, so of course he cares that you are having an enjoyable time at school. I cannot imagine that he would mind you having boyfriends. He is older afterall and not unpleasant to look at." Medusa shifts on the bed, tucking her feet beside her. "Perhaps spending time with him might help you learn more about him. If you two discuss it you might be able to set boundaries for one another. Has your mother told you at what age you are to marry him?"

Lucretia shakes her head. "No, not yet. I'm still her 'little girl' I think and she probably wants to let me grow up a bit more before letting me go." A quick grin follows that statement, likely because she's so doted upon, and she wraps her fingers over her toes, pulling her feet in closer so she's almost in a yoga position. "Its not Iggy that I want to spend time with though. Not really. He just seems so terribly old, and, you know, it probably pains him to be seen in the company of a third year."

"He is only a fifth year so I doubt it pains him all that much," says Medusa, her mouth twitching with humour. "You should have fun and enjoy holding hands. I still like holding hands with Douglas. Sometimes we sit and hold hands while talking. But I also want you to know that if you have questions about other things boys and girls do together, when they're older and both wish to, that I am here for you."

"Perhaps it doesn't pain him that mu—.." Lucretia starts to say, then halts herself. Chiefly because the rest of Medusa's words knock her train of thought from what she was saying. "Oh. Oh I. I don't. I'm not sure that, you know, I'll be kissing anyone anytime soon. Or. I might. I'm not saying I never will, because, I nearly did. Or nearly wanted to." A pause, and then she rushes on, getting it all out in the following breath. "But then I didn't and it was just so horribly embarrassing and I blushed and he blushed and then I told him I had to go, which I didn't, and now… what if he doesn't even like me anymore?"

Medusa takes another chocolate from the box as she listens to Lucretia open up about her near-kissing-experience. "Your first kiss will stay with you forever, so you don't want to rush into it. When you are ready you will know and you won't hesitate." She smiles at the younger girl. "I highly doubt he will change so quickly, if he liked you before he will be patient and wait for you. Especially if he is thirteen, as it means he's likely never kissed anyone either."

"He's fifteen," Lu says, a small sigh filtering through the words as if a couple of years makes all the difference. "I told him that I needed to think about some things, which I do. But really what I needed to think about was what Meanie said about Dweedle in the study room the other day. Is it so terrible to suddenly find that you like a boy when you're thirteen?"

"No, that isn't terrible at all. I had my first boyfriend at thirteen. Lucian Proudmore." It isn't exactly a state secret that the uptight prefect and Medusa were an item in the distant past. "I also know Douglas had his first girlfriend at thirteen." Mainly because he recently told her. "Dweedle seems to flit from boy to boy, but that's not necessarily a bad thing either it depends on how one goes about it."

Lucretia leans forward a touch, her mouth pressed into a tight line and eyes locked upon Medusa's. The tightness doesn't last terribly long however, her lips purse then unpurse, she chews the lower one, her face scrunches and then she finally blurts, "Did you kiss?"

"We did yes, but not the kind of snogging that Douglas and I do. I dated another boy later in the year and he was the first boy I properly kissed or snogged. He's still my friend. He was trying to pretend he wasn't gay by dating me but he knew afterwards that he was gay." Medusa thinks about how that sounds and says, "I'm sure that your boy won't turn gay. That's rare."

Lucretia blinks. "I'm sorry. That must have been terrible. Not terrible being gay, terrible that you must have liked him and he was simply acting." Another chocolate gets picked from the box and she licks it in much the same manner as the first until its thinned enough that she can poke her way right through to the soft caramel centre which she tips and lets drip into her mouth. It keeps her occupied long enough that she has time to think of what else she can ask of Medusa, and she finally comes out with, "You did mean kissing when you said about other things that girls and boys do, didn't you? Also, what's the difference between kissing and snogging? Isn't it the same thing?"

"At the time I was a bit angry and then hurt and then sad because he felt he had to lie when really he didn't. He's lovely and one of my best friends. Maybe sometime I'll introduce you to him, he'd like you." Medusa reaches back to pull her hair around and forward over one shoulder. "At thirteen the only thing boys and girls should be doing is kissing. Later, when they are older they might like to try other things up to and including sex but not at thirteen." Her long slender fingers begin weaving her pale silvery hair into a plait. "Snogging is just kissing with tongue."

"Sex…" Lu says, turning another shade of pink. "Right." She swallows hard and picks at the chocolate shell she's left with, not too sure quite how to respond to that. Sex education hasn't yet made Hogwarts curriculum perhaps. "Do you like it?" This last asked with a sudden intensity, eyes darkening where she peers at the girl opposite.

Medusa, with her fair colouring blushes a bright shade of red. "It can be highly enjoyable if you are with someone who you care about and who cares about you." She shifts a little on the bed, clearly being willing to be frank doesn't mean she isn't a bit embarrassed about the topic of conversation. "But it isn't something to enter into lightly. There are consequences, not just the possiblity of pregnancy," her own sister recently discovered this, "but emotional ones too. It is very intimate. You're years and years away from that. It might be something you decide to only do after marriage, many people do."

Lucretia looks mortified. "I meant kissing," she says, sucking in her lower lip over her teeth. "Do you enjoy kissing…"

"OH!" Medusa's face stays that bright colour. She quietly clears her throat, "Yes. I like kissing. It feels nice to have somebody hold you that close. If it weren't nice people wouldn't write sonnets and songs about it." Thankful to not be discussing sex anymore she seems to relax some. "But again, only do things you feel ready for."

"I think," Lu says, trying hard not to notice the blushing, "… that I might be ready to try a kiss. I mean, I almost did. It was lovely the way he looked at me and I know he wanted to too. I just hope he still wants to." Another look back to Medusa, and she can't help it, a small giggle bubbles through. "I think I'll leave the snogging and the sex for now though; that'd just be yucky."

Medusa reaches over and gives Lucretia a little push. "You're too clever for me," she says laughing. "But yes, just do what you feel ready for Lulu. And as embarrassed as I might be, if you ever want to ask me about those yucky things when you're older I'll make time for you."

Lucretia grins at the push, nicking another chocolate from the box before sliding her feet onto the floor to search for her slippers. "Thank you, Medusa. I'll remember that. And thank you too for telling me that it'll be alright if I do decide to kiss, because Meanie made it sound like it'd be a really nasty thing to do at my age." She wraps her dressing gown around herself, the thing potentially an heirloom judging by its age. It covers her completely head to toe and drags on the ground at her heels. "You're… nice."

"Never let someone else give you a low opinion of yourself, Lucretia. Andromena is a different girl with different life experiences." Medusa grins, "Besides, she fancies Alphard so clearly she must be a bit batty." She puts the lid on the box and puts it away again. "Good luck with your boy. If he gets too fresh with you because he's fifteen you let me know and I'll see to his getting firmly aquainted with Douglas' fists."

Lucretia crosses her arms around her waist, hugging herself. "Alphard's not so bad, and thank you. For the good luck and the advice." A smile dimples her cheeks and she turns and heads back out of the dormitory with a lightness to her step that wasn't there when she walked in. What a difference a bit of advice makes!

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