(1939-01-23) Balcony Dramatics
Details for Balcony Dramatics
Summary: Teenagers. Angst. Running and fear. All pretty much make for a typical Thursday evening.
Date: 23 January, 1939
Location: Balcony, Hogwarts Castle
Related: Time's Up

Variel sent a second letter by owl later in the day, this one pretty simple- it laid out a time after classes and a location- this one, the balcony on the 4th floor of the castle. As Adorabella approaches, she catches sight of an odd, almost unique sight- Variel, in clashing colors. He's wearing his lovely white cloak, which, in the blowing breezes, looks like a fantastic representation of a snowstorm, and… a scarf. It's a peculiar scarf, sewn of two kinds of fabric, one sheer, the other opaque. There's a couple tiny sleeves in the scarf for thin- and replaceable- little dowels to give them a touch of structure, and blowing in the wind? They look like nothing less than fluttering faerie wings.

Forboding letters were not fun. But it helped that they had names on them. Of course, names don't always help and so Dora was..well, she was cautious. Her head poked around corners before the rest of her did as if she were double-checking something. She was. Okay. Okay. Everything was okay. Safe.
Safe was good. It had Dora straightening a little taller and falling back into humming beneath her breath as she bounded along, a curious look given Variel when she caught sight of, "My wings!" And from there, the sweetest little Hufflepuff the world had ever known, went skipping in the boy's direction. "You made them! You really really made them! Oh Varry, they're so beautiful!" Dora clapped, "Spin! Spin! Oh I'm never going to take them off!"

Myrus woke up happy this morning. The day went as usual. Classes, saying hello to those he knows, even those that he might be at odds with. And those that were closer to him got invariably a better reception upon sight. Classes were now over, and Myrus made his way out to the fourth floor balcony to get a view of the grounds. He didn't need the view to be happy today. Everything was just going well in life. It had been what… not a few weeks since he and Esther were public, and that lifted such a great weight off of his shoulders.
So today is a good day. Well, other than that encounter in the library the other day. Zayn and Esther. Did she always play the middle-man? Or did she take his side in confrontations like that? Myrus couldn't remember. It just.. sat uneasy with him. Okay, maybe not the best day ever. But still a good day.
Then again, someone did mention to him about the dance the other evening. And how close Esther and Zayn were getting. Didn't she take him as well? And not the other way around? He hadn't had a chance to get with her and ask her directly about that yet.
Alright, so this day just got terrible, quick.
Myrus' face showed the very sudden change of thought as he was able to contemplate the day without the distraction of the humdrum of school doings today. And his own mind was a dangerous place to be. His half smile was now an unconcious and contemplative frown with a furrow of the brow. He didn't even give a greeting to the others that were on the balcony, so lost in his own deep thought as he leans against the stone railing and rests his chin on his forearms.

Today is a good day. It's usually a very good day. Only one class to go to, and that already well over. A good lunch, and frankly Silas wasjust in an overall good mood. Perhaps that's what made him come out to the balcony. No serious artwork with him… just a quill and notebook, a ferret draped over his shoulders, and a grin.
And so he comes onto the balcony shortly after Myrus, but from the other direction, hearing a certain voice that cranks that smile up even more. You can't help it, really. Curious, he walks closer, to look at the source of the excitement, but is careful not to interrupt the girl in her glee. Instead, the smile is directed at Variel.

Variel was attempting to look majestic with the pastel-blue and sheer aqua wings fluttering behind him. Truth be told, the design was clearly for a girl, and one a great bit smaller than he. So, he's actually rather relieved when Dora runs up squeeing enthusiastically. Variel smiles at the pint-sized Hufflepuff, unwrapping the scarf from his shoulders and holding it out to her. "Oh, no- first twirl privileges belong solely to the little pixie whose wings I found. Would you care to do the honors, Adorabella?" He returns Silas' smile with a wink, but his expression fades as he notes Myrus wandering over, his expression saying more than Variel wished he could understand. While the Ravenclaw is thankfully distracted, the redhead's expression becomes conflicted as he tries to decide how to handle this, the evening light gleaming off the pendant on his chest.

Wings. Wings. Wings. Wings. WINGS! "Oh they're beautiful!" Dora is..Dora. Actually, she's a Dora distracted but the wings have certainly perked up her evening. Evening. Where had the day gone and why couldn't she have it back? She was ticking out of time and what happened at the end? What…Nope. No! Not going to think about it. Not at all. No thinking about it, not when, "Just lookit!" Came the squeal as the girl carefully took the beautifully done bit of craftsmenship and admired it, running her fingers against the silky material before carefully winding it in around her neck. "Will you help me get it settled proper?" She asked, turning to give her back to the boy and in the process, catching sight of the other two.
"I have wings! Syly! Look!" Bounce bounce bounce, on the balls of her feet. Which probably didn't make Variel's job any easier and then, there was a boy she'd not talked to much, which, let's face it, lent a hint of color to Dora's cheeks so that she tried to dampen down her excitement just a little so's to not ruin it for others.
"He doesn't look happy," the lack of whisper on that whisper was atrocious, but Dora was now staring at Myrus with an all too intent expression. "Do you want a hug?" The sad part here, is that she's serious. Dora is a known hugger. "Hugs make everything better. So does chocolate, uhm, and…AWWW! Look!" She'd just noticed Adel..the ferret. I can't spell.

Myrus was still trudging through the muck and mud of his own foray of thought when someone was squealing and getting all excited. He lifts his head almost like a small animal when something falls out of a tree. Some timid curiosity.
Then, the squealer talks to him.. him? Myrus actually looks /behind/ himself to see if there was anyone there that she was actually talking to. "Me? I don't need a hug.." A lie. Hugs were- Oh, look, she's already on to something else. So we're all forest animals. Cautious deer, now the squirrel on adrenaline is in the picture, bouncing on her toes and squeaking about some wings. A flying squirrel.
And there's Variel. Myrus stands up straight, looking at the redheaded Gryffindor with what might be considered a scowl, but he was still just thinking, and Variel was one person Esther told him was talking to her before. But it wasn't the carrot-haired carouser that was the real threat, right?
Myrus just goes back to leaning on the rail with his elbows, scratching at a few flakes of stone that were there in front of him on the railing, trying to distract himself from the inevitable fear he's been fostering in his stomach. He can feel it start to knot up and he drops his forehead onto the cool stone between his forearms.

Silas offers a warm smile to Dora as she turns around to face him, clasping his hands together for a moment, "Une princesse de conte virtuel," coming from him. "They're perfect, Dora… they suit you." And then a look to Variel, "You made these? I'm duly impressed!"
The ferret around his neck is in a severe state of laze, shifting her gaze when Dora draws attention to her, and offers a toothy yawn before snuggling her head under part of Silas' collar.:)

A distant shout: the thunder of rapid footsteps. Something just happened out in the corridor, and it sounds like someone (make that multiple someones) is not terribly thrilled about it. And suddenly, Shazi Shafiq! Who comes with a clatter out onto the balcony, smelling strongly of pepper, and grinning hugely.
"Oh!" People are out here! "Hello! I'm not here!" the Gryffindor chirps, beaming wholeheartedly at those assembled. (She also sidles away from the corridor doorway, staying out of sight of the windows.)
And then: "What are you doing - oh golly Selwyn I love your SCARF!"

Variel sets himself to work on settling Dora's wings properly, his eyes flicking from place to place on the small one with the practiced eye of a tailor. Finally, he balances the scarf, and thus the wings. "There. Absolutely lovely. You look like the little pixie I always figured you were, Adorabella." The tone of his voice hollows partway through as he catches Myrus' look. He glances to Silas and forces a smile, replying, "I did, at that. I thought it'd suit her- I hope I wasn't wrong?"
His mind is working. The glare means… well, he'd probably talked to Esther. Which makes sense. But he's cross. Not very cross. Not sad. Just… cross. That doesn't fit what he knows about Lowe. Not if-
Oh. Well, that would make sense. But how in the world had he heard enough to be cross with Variel without…
Bloody hell. The thought, just those words, is clear on his face, and Variel turns to peer off the balcony a moment. It's a good ways down… even if Myrus gets bloody furious, there's time to charm his fall.

Guess who's oblivious to all the guy's making faces at each other? This girl, this girl right here. The one who's twirling on the ball of her foot once Variel stops his adjusting and looking over her shoulder like a puppy chasing it's tail.
"Oh just look," the girl gushes and for a moment, the proverbial timer over her head is chased a little further away. She has wings and the wings are beautiful and she would hug Variel if the look on his face wasn't so…awkward. Wait. She's almost noticing the strangeness and then..there's a Shazi!
"Isn't it lovely!" Was Shazi being sarcastic? Not in Dora's world. "Varry made it! It's just the most beautiful thing I've ever seen! Isn't it pretty! Now," eyes to Silas, "Can I see your friend?" Why? Dora has treats in her pocket, one of which is appearing now. Tension on the balcony? WHAT TENSION?!

Tact. Myrus lacks it.
The gaze is exchanged between the two boys, and Myrus' head touches the cool stone railing for a few moments, then he lazily pushes up, standing and turning to walk toward Variel and the ball of energy that was Adorabella.
"Variel. What do you know about Esther and Zayn?" Yes, tact, lack of fear to ask things. Of course, the one fear Myrus ever had? Losing Esther. He wanted to clear it up right here and now. Of course she wouldn't leave him! She and Myrus had loved one another for how many years now?
…it's not possible… Myrus kept chanting in his head, reassuring himself, but the worry showed through. Not anger, not hate towards the Redheaded Gryffon.
The clatter in the hall and the Shafiq showing herself and apparently hiding from someone else gets his attention and a glance, but far more important things were going on! So his attention goes back to Variel as the other boy was helping Adorabella with her wings. Tension? Yes, lots of tension you could cut with a chainsaw.. and still have a few more passes to get all the way through. Also, Silas was passed, and ignored. Along with his ferret. One-track minded Myrus.

At Variel's inquiry, Silas nods emphatically. "Normally I would question it. But this is Dora here," he offers, pointing with an open hand at her with a voice that shows clear affection, "And that makes it absolutely fitting. And I'm impressed with the detai—-" He pauses as Shazi storms in, and… hides? Blink. Blink.
He dismisses that bit of oddness with a slight smile to the girl and a shaking of his head, and then looks back to Dora, "Adelaide? Sure… she's a bit sleepy, though, so please forgive her if she's not completely attentive." And with that, he pulls a protesting ferret from his neck, the pitifull clucking almost enough to ruffle the toughest feathers. Eyes half-closed, the ferret yawns again, entire body stretching in her boy's hands, before looking curiously at Dora. He hands the ferret over… and at that point Myrus makes his move.
Disapproval? Yeah… that might describe the look that crosses his face, although he dismisses it quickly for Dora's sake.

Shazi, given a few moments to adjust, becomes alert to the Tension. Alert, but confused. Blessedly, this renders her quiet: she sidles over towards Adorabella (there's a brief moment of ferret-related distraction at the sight of Silas's little friend) watches Variel and Myrus for a moment, and then leans over. "What's going on?" The pepper-scented mutter is mostly meant for the other girl, though Silas is included in on it with a lift of Shazi's eyebrows in his direction.

She HADN'T told Variel. They'd had a chance to talk, enough to leave Myrus irritated at -him-, but she hadn't managed to bring up Shafiq? He glances at Shazi before he speaks- it's one of her relatives, after all. His eyes flick to Dora a moment later and his lips press together, his expressioned pained- Adorabella is downright beautiful when she loses herself in her smile, and this conversation will bring that shadow he's seen over her eyes right back into it. Shazi, then Silas, catch his gaze, and finally he speaks, after a nod of agreement to Myrus.
"Hey. Adorabella? I've got something I've got to talk to Lowe about. Is there maybe someone you want to show off the wings to? I bet there's more than a few people you could coax a smile out of between your smile and those wings." His tone is just the slightest bit pleading- he's hoping to the heavens that he might be able to convince her to slip away before this conversation ruins her smile.

"It's so cute," Dora gushes, cradling the little length of white as if it were the most precious of fluffballs and lowering her head so that she can nuzzle into the soft fur of the ferret's neck. "And you smell like sunshine," Dora whispered to Adelaide, lifting her head with a smile. People, however, are making it impossible for her not to notice something is up and then when Variel speaks, Dora's smile does fade just a smidge, "Varry," that gentle voice inquires, looking back and forth between the three boys and then Shazi, for good measure incase someone had a clue. "Is something…wrong?"

Myrus catches his breath as his chest hitches when Variel doesn't immediately answer him. His voice raises a little, and he's getting a little frantic, "Is there?! Anything between them, that is." His body tenses when he says that, face wringing into something a bit darker than sadness. Variel was accepting the request, asking the nice girl to- To leave.
Oh. Myrus' face immediately falls, as he realizes she's there, that's who Variel was asking to leave.
He himself was the very reason the redheaded Gryffon was asking her to go somewhere else in such a nice way. Myrus has a tendency to get loud when he gets so worried about something. He looks like a dog that knows when it's messed up, and one arm raises to cross his stomach to hold his other elbow, his thumb rubbing against his bicep. Looking at Variel from underneath his eyebrows in a very diminished look.

And where Myrus is tactless, Silas has a penchant for the truth. One that has never really served him well when dealing with people on an individual basis. But it's his core. And, frankly, part of the gossip here has to do with his house. Of course, he tries to weigh his answer.
Adelaide, of course, is completely immune to such silly human things. She's being paid attention to by someone new, new smells, good smells, and she immediately tries to start exploring, cold, wet, whiskered nose leading her up arm, over to shoulder, and directly along Dora's neck, if allowed. And she does smell good dry baths daily, and wet baths every other. Spoiled rotton.
"The perils of love, sadly," is what Silas finally responds, after determining what answer would be the least judgmental, considering his own recent forays into it.

Shazi catches Variel's glance at her, but it elicits only mystification: she has a lot of cousins (don't they all), she doesn't keep up on the affairs of any one in particular. Adorabella is obviously no more aware than she is herself, and Silas's answer is not very helpful. Or maybe it was just informative enough to elicit innocent unkindness: "What, is someone snogging someone they shouldn't again?" Shazi doesn't say it loudly, for she means it just for Adora and Silas, but, well. There's not that much space on a balcony. Sound carries.

Yelling. Yelling was enough to get any kid curious, even if it's not /that/ loud. Still, she had just been leaving the study area, books in hand, when she heard and started cautiously approaching the balcony. Leeeeaning over just enough to peek out - she spots Adorabella, and Shazi, and Silas, and Variel and - well. There's not a much safer combination of students to be had, is there?
"Hi!" the girl says brightly, before belatedly remembering /there was yelling/. Maybe she's not supposed to be cheerful no- "Ooo! Adelaide!"
Oh well. Cheerful it is.

Variel endures Myrus' outburst, and gives him a consolatory glance when he catches the abashed expression before he turns back towards Dora. "Yes. Something is wrong and we're going to talk about it. I thought you might enjoy sharing your scarf with some people more than listening in to this." Silas' comment simply earns a glance from Variel without condemnation or other implications, though Shazi's statement buys a grimace from the redhead. Madeline's arrival complicates things further, so he simply steps over and speaks low, doing his best to keep his words from being overheard.

There's a look of quiet worry welling up in Dora's eyes, her bottom lip tucked between her teeth as she cradles the little ferret in closer and lets it run the course of her arm up to her neck. It tickles and while things are serious, more serious than even just right here, she can't help but giggle. Giggle and then, frown.
"Please don't yell," a gentle hand reaches out in Myrus' direction, fingers attempting to brush in against the curve of the boy's arm. "It's…," Dora didn't know and she didn't know how to fix things, either but she still knew that anyone that upset probably needed a hug which, is precisely, in the wake of Silas' quiet words, precisely what the girl leaned in to give him. A hug. A big big hug.

Myrus watches Variel. Silas' answer doesn't fall on deaf ears, but it wasn't very helpful to the issue at hand, tactful and well thought out as it may be.
Shafiq's comment and Variel's reaction to it gets Myrus to make a single, pained blink and then wide-eyed stare. The whispering Gryffindor was followed as Myrus listened, almost now in a daze as blood flushed from his head.
Did he look a little pale? He doesn't know what to say as the confirmation of something dire and destructive hits his ears, and a single touch to the curve of his arm, and someone trying to hug him.
The Ravenclaw mutters, "..no.. no it.." and his arm jerks away reactionally, then the hug is dodged! Like the hands held knives.. or this pain in his chest was caused by them or some like them.
He eyes Variel as he suspiciously and very calmly walks around the small group, sliding against the wall for a moment before breeching the doorway into the hallway, pushing some people aside, over or knocking books out of people's hands as he turns nearly frantic and begins running down the hallway… to the hallway, down the stairs.. out, and out to.. well wherever he won't have so many eyes to see him. Or ears to hear him.

As Adorabella starts for Myrus, Madeline gets a hopeful look on her features. Group hug? She takes a step forward herself - only for Myrus to abruptly cut and run. She hastily steps out of the way, turning to watch him go, then looking back at the others. "I, umm. Wasn't because of me, right?" the first year asks with some concern.

The look that comes to Silas's eyes at Shazi's comment is a wince, and an inward hiss of breath. "That… is a horrible thing to say," is his response, as the boy actively takes a step away from her. Too close to home? Perhaps.
As Dora moves toward Myrus, Silas had actually tried to put a hand on her arm, an attempt to calm or convince her to move away from the scene, but he's too late and the hand barely brushes the wings attached to her back. Instead, as Myrus pushes past her, the boy works to try to stable both Dora and the ferret on her shoulders.

"Oh -" Shazi still has no clear idea What The Hell Just Happened, but it's obviously terrible, and pity - uncertain, but sincere - crosses her affable features. And also regret. "Oh, I'm really sorry, I didn't even think -" If Myrus hadn't dodged Adora's hug, he'd be getting one from Shazi: as it stands, she watches him flee with a hand to her mouth.
"No, Madeline." It's a little muffled. Shazi drops her hand from her mouth, the better to gesture the Firstie over. Maybe Madeline will give Adora something to hug?

"Dont you know running in the Hallways are against the rules, Lowe?" Came Alphard's mocking voice, thrown after Myrus when the younger boy went rushing past him. It also piqued his interest to what might have driven the Ravenclaw into full on flight mode. So soon enough he would be appearing in the balcony, dark eyes curiously peering around for the source. Of course he had probably expected someone being a nasty bully, with whom he could trade pointers with. Instead of the group he actually found there.
"What'd you all do to Lowe?" He asked with genuine interest!

Blink blink. Dora looked…like a kicked puppy, is how Dora looked. The way Myrus jerked his arms certainly deflecting her hug! "I…," bottom lip between her teeth, the little Snifflepuff rocked back on her heels and turned around, wings fluttering on the breeze as those big brown eyes danced through the group one by one as if someone could tell her what, precisely, she'd done wrong.
"He was sa—Alphard." Like dropping a stone on a still pond. What time was it? What…
"N-n-n-nothing!" Came the squeaked response to Black's question. "I was just going to give him a hug and…," shoulders slumped, before very gingerly, Dora reached up to remove Adelaide from her shoulders, offering the ferret back to Silas. "I don't think I should hold her just now."

Madeline was more than happy to move towards Shazi - especially when /Alphard Black/ suddenly appears behind her.
She gives the man a nervous look. Did he remember her stunt at the impromptu dance? Did he /know/ it was a stunt? Did he care?
And then Adorabella is offering back the ferret - and this is simply too much for Madeline to bear. "Can /I/ hold her- Meliflua?" She stopped herself from saying the S! That was almost smooth! "Please? Would she mind, you think?"

Variel's expression is… of those assembled, Madeline's the only one who's seen anything similar before. As he watches Myrus go, Variel's expression turns hard and angry and edged. It's not aimed at Myrus- while he was still there, Variel had acted with quite a lot of empathy- but now that he's gone, it gives way to something bitter and harsh.
"Shouldn't've had to hear that from me, he shouldn't- and shouldn'ta been me had to tell him. Wasn't you, Evans- he just got brought up to speed on current events. Bad news he shouldn't have had to hear from someone besides-" His hands tense at his sides, and Alphard's presence doesn't even dent the stony expression. "… she shoulda bloody told him herself, or been something in the same continent as 'discrete.' After all her talk about how SHE gets used and thrown away, she does this?!"

"It's probably not your business, Black." Oh, so now Shazi learns discretion. She also learns silence: making room for Madeline to be sheltered by all intimidating 5'1" feet of her, she listens as Variel vents, freckled face in an intense frown.

Silas' own demeanor stays the same. Of late he's come to respect Alphard. A nod is given over to Alphard as the others explain or don't explain, as it were, and instead focuses on Dora for a moment, "Remember, some people bite back at first, Dora." Like he did.
He takes the ferret back as she offers it, but frowns, "You were more than welcome to…" And then Madeline comes over, asking, and he frowns again. Blinking, and then the ferret is handed over gently, "Be gentle with her."

Elizabeth isn't quite sure what she's stepped into, the atmosphere gives her enough pause at the door before it silently closes behind her. She lifts a slender brow, pondering of just what sort of scenario is occurring here. For now, she just observes, books held against her chest.

Madeline's expression is wreathed in smiles, and she nods her head once, sharply. "I will!" she promises. But then Variel has her attention, and the smile melts into a worried frown.
"Weasley?" the girl asks uncertainly. She gently strokes the ferret, while holding her close to her body. "Umm. Maybe you should hold Adelaide, if that's alright with her and Meliflua? I always feel better when I have an animal after all, so…" Not that she /wants/ to give up the ferret just now, it's just that Variel seems to need it more!

Alphard ignored Madeline like she didn't exist. Which was probably a positive sign, all things considered. Instead he gave Silas and Variel a fairly comradly upnod, barely looked at Shazi, and then finally arched a very.. judgemental.. brow at Adorabella's scarf. The sort that said: Really, you're actually wearing that?
"And your opinion probably doesn't matter," he told Shazi, before returning to comment on what Variel had said. "His own fault. Who didn't see that coming?" And he smirked, too, like he was quite pleased about Myrus getting his heart ripped out of his chest. And stomped on in public. Good times for Alphard Black. "Speaking of love affairs. Sewlyn, I appreciate the sentiment, really, but you do realize I've got a girlfriend? Sending me flowers in class is rather in bad taste, don't you think? Besides, you're not really my type."

Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts, think happy… Ignore the look. IGNORE THE LOOK. Think happy thoughts. See. He was talking to other people. People who mattered and dont you just know that Dora was so happy to be over looked. Honestly, the girl might have even take a step or two towards the door, sideways of course. Like she'd always been standing just where she was and wasn't trying to escape and then?
Then the world ended.
Color drained away from Dora's face like someone had just slit her throat, "You said you wouldn't te-" The girl squeaked all but yelling overtop of him, so that in the silence, she got to hear the rest. Flowers. Girlfriend. Not his type…and where color had drained? Now it returned in disturbingly splotchy force. "That wasn't what I meant!" The words were tripping over her tongue as she all but vibrated with tension, little wings fluttering with the movements.
"Alphard..," don't run away, don't run away, don't run away. Even if her voice had gone churchmouse quiet. "Uhm…canwetalksomewhereelse? Please?"

"No thanks, Evans. You hang onto her. I'm not in the mood to cuddle something. But thanks." Variel manages to keep his tone relatively civil, but he's clearly still very angry. He glances up at Alphard and returns the greeting, but scowls at his comment. "No. HER fault. He DID see it coming and she should have told him before he had to. But she wanted to put it off and take -zero- precautions to keep anything discrete."
Alphard had other things to say. They seemed pretty tame- it was totally within Dora's nature to send flowers, to cheer someone up or apologize for something, but her reaction? He'd done that on purpose, he'd -aimed- for that reaction. His expression tenses, his hands tighten further into the knots of his fists- and Dora speaks up… a little… before he can say anything. He watches her smile die, her color drain and explode, and the most he could do would be to beleaguer the point. His eyes flick over Dora, trying to catch her eyes, but she's said what she wants- he doesn't intervene.

It's only after several moments of listening does Elizabeth leans against the wall, next to the door. Exhaling a small sigh, she lifts a hand to absently rub at her temple. Teenage drama and ferrets. And Alphard being Alphard. How is it she's already feeling a headache?

And so Silas found himself ignored. A look going between Black and Dora that was several levels of confusion. Lost, he simply returns to an old favorite defense, when things got out of his control. The stony mask goes on, a simple, false smile that belies any discomfit.
But he wasn't about to let things alone there, and so he moves closer to Black, a look going to him that almost questions the sanity of what he's seeing. "Really?" He mouths, his look incredulous, looking back at Dora again. He had to torture /her/?

"Hey!" Owing to the solemn occasion, Shazi's anger at being so blatantly DISMISSED is relatively muted: she contents herself to a simple exclamation and a frown.
Or, well, she would have limited herself to that, if it weren't for… everything else. "Why would you send h -" Shazi cuts herself off mid-sentence, and settles for an annoyed, "Did she jinx them? I would have jinxed them. Leave off Selwyn - pick on someone your own size." 'Dick' goes unspoken. But she's thinking it.

"His fault," he told Variel a second time. "Only a complete tosser complains about being burned after he purposefully stuck his hand in the flame."
Alphard had been happily drinking in Dora's reaction, which had quite obviously been exactly what he had been going for. It was everybody else seeming to have an opinion on it that made him furrow his brows in annoyance. Really? Couldn't they just let him have his fun without being spoil sports? "What?" He asked Silas, offering up his most innocent look. Of course, Alphard did innocence like a crab did flying. Not very well.
"Sure, Selwyn. As long as you keep your hands to yourself. Oh, and Thomas said your cookies were really good. I told him to make a move on you, I hope you don't mind." Thomas being one of Alphard's less intelligent sycophantic bully buddies.

Okay. She has nooooo idea what is going on. Madeline looks between the older students, concerned for Variel, concerned for Adorabella - and gently hugging a ferret. Do ferrets like scratches? She tries scratching the ferret on the back of her head.

"Because I was trying to be nice!" Dora's defense is a squeaked thing, but genuine for it. "Not because I like him. I don't like him. At all. I mean I try very h….," Crap. A somewhat panicked look was cast Black's way while Dora backtracked the unfamiliar grounds and attempted, terribly, to try and fix this mess that he had created. On purpose. For meanness! "He's nice." Her wings, like her mood, had drooped. "He is a very upstanding person to the most noble and ancient house of Black and incredibly smart and not at all terrible." Sounds like someone rehearsed that in a mirror.
At least until he added that bit about Thomas. Dora had seen, as most people who had the misfortune of passing him in a shadowed corner, what his idea of fun was. "He's not very nice to his cat," the girl accused, with a teeny tiny hint of annoyance in her tone. "Even Uly is nice to his cat and he's a seventh year." Pointed look.

And now Silas does a little standing up, his spine straighter as he looks Alphard directly in the eye, "What? You really really have to ask?" His voice isn't raised, and he pauses as Dora stammers out her response, and this just makes him all the more annoyed. And it carries in his tone. Disappointment, actually.
However, he doesn't do as others. There's no yelling. There's no aggressive posture. Instead, he just gets closer to his fellow sixth year, "There are some, Black," he states with his voice low enough that he doesn't intend others to hear, "who deserve better than your barbs. She's one. There are some souls who don't deserve your boot-heel. Please. Let this one be."

"Well, then, it's still on her head- Lowe didn't raise so much as a word of complaint. Just left, he did." Variel twists the words back around to cement his own point. The retort lets him leak some of the tension from his form, and unclench his hands, at least. He watches Silas step closer, and takes a pace of his own, leaning in close to murmur to Adorabella while Silas does much the same with Alphard.

"Selwyn," says Shazi, quite kindly, "I like to like people, too," she really, really does, "but sweet little deer are not obliged to like big bad wolves." By way of emphasis, the girl lifts her fingers to her mouth, mimicking fangs with her pointers, then points… pointedly… at Alphard.
Casting a sideways glance at Madeline, the Shafiq girl adds, tone bright and friendly and utterly unsubtle: "By the way, Selwyn, can I borrow you for a few minutes? Out in the corridor? See, Evans and I had a question about the book club," another glance at Madeline, play along play along, "and you'd be the person to ask, right?"

"And I still have to tell you about that book!" Madeline agrees - before realizing that maybe mentioning in front of Alphard and /reminding/ him was a bad idea. Ooops? Still, she forges on. "We should go talk about it!" she continues on, before adding, "Oh. But I still have Adelaide." She looks to Silas questioning, either for him to reclaim his ferret, or for permission to take her into the hall.

Elizabeth arches a brow from her place against the wall. "'Big bad wolf'? Alphard? Are you kidding me?" she murmurs, just loud enough to be heard. Not that she really cares. Though Shazi was right on something else though. They were in different dating leagues. Which was a good thing.

The ferret adores scritechs, and playfully bats and btes at the offending digits, whilst never breaking skin. She's well-trained.

"The fact that he was running like a demon was after him, suggests he was somehow caught off guard. Quite laughable. It's Esther Lowe we're talking about. Infact both those Lowes are bonkers," he told Variel.
Alphard gave Silas an exaggerated eyeroll. "Really? Sometimes you say things that make me seriously wonder about you, Meliflua." But he none the less flashed a wry smile, and slapped the other sixth year on the back, all companionably. "But fine. I'll be nice. Wouldn't want your soul agonizing, would we? Anyway. Did anyone see who got all that chocolate on Sykes in the first place last night?"
As for Shaziel and Madeline trying to ferret Adorabella away? He just watched on bemusedly, even gave a little 'toodles' wave of his fingers. Elizabeth he was less amused with. What the hell did she mean with that?!

Dora was listening to Variel's whispers rather entirely paying attention to what was being said around her and the poor boy hadn't even managed to get through all of it before Dora, rather loudly for her rather quiet self said, "But I don't WANT to be his girlfriend!"
And Syly, for all his sweetness and the way that Alphard just let that…slide with the little clap on the back and Shazi's fanged motions and that smile. That mean mean wrapped up in too much innocence deliver you to your doom, smile on Alphard's face.
"No!" Panicked, like a caught rabbit, Dora hastily stepped away from everyone, "No no no. I don't want to go. No. You said," those pleading eyes turned in Black's direction. "You said we'd talk in private. Please? Please Alphard, I don't want to go with them," yes she did. But not at the price that he'd make her pay for that retreat.
"Alphard is nice," she defended, in a very backwards trying to save herself sort of way. "He is. He's being uhm, helpful and just, please," her eyes turned back towards the boy, "Can we go?"

Silas takes the back-pat for what it is. And smiles, "I hardly doubt I'll ever make sense to you, Black. But I'm fine with that. And I thank you for your consideration of my soul. But I mean it. Some deserve it." And he's the Slytherin who insists on speaking only truth. "She doesn't."
And then exasperation lights his eyes as she asks Alphard to leave with her again. By Merlin's beard, she makes no sense! But his mouth purses, and he says, "Ladies," to Shazi and Madeline, "She wants what she wants." And a questioning look goes back to Dora. And then to Madeline, in whose arms the ferret is starting to squirm now. He goes to retrieve her.

Variel is rather blatantly taken aback by her exclamation. "That wasn't a'tall what I meant! Just meant in general, like!" The confusion only deepens at Adorabella's pleading to -go with him- instead of the escape she'd happily taken the night before. He's visibly baffled, only more so as Elizabeth, of all people, chimes in with a derisive comment, and he's left shoving a hand through his hair at the girl's decision. With little other routes to take, he offers, "When you've had your talk, Adorabella, I'll be up here playing a few songs until curfew. You're welcome to wander back if it's not overly late."

Shazi lets out a low hiss between her teeth, but gives up - for now, anyway. Without a word, the Gryffindor girl takes a step back, leaning back against the railing with the faintest hint of an exasperated huff. Well, at least she tried!

Madeline relinquishes the ferret with a quiet, "Thanks," for Silas. Her attention is largely focused on Adorabella - confusion, and even a little hurt on her features. Why did she /want/ to go with him? He was horrid! She thought Adorabella was nice! It didn't make any sense, to her!
She takes a side-step closer to Shazi. She was a Gryffindor, and liked books, and hadn't done anything to confuse Maddie yet. She was most certainly a Safe Person.

"Someone protests a bit too much," Alphard murmured under his breath. "Anyway, I suppose the nice thing here would be to give Selwyn the private word she's begged me for. Good seeing you, Meliflua. Oh, and if you hear who actually pulled that chocolate thing on Ria yesterday, I'd be all ears." Another friendly fare-well pat on the other Slytherin's back, and then he indicated for Adorabella to follow him. Hands in his pockets he drifted back towards the Corridor, looking smugly satisfied with himself.

Before Alphard and Adorabella exit proper, Elizabeth idly turns her pale eyes to Dora to watch her, quietly. "Be sure to talk with someone you trust, should you need it. Okay?" she murmurs lightly. There's a hint of concern in her voice but in no way does she step in to intervene. Dora can make her own decisions, but she didn't want the girl to think she was alone either.

Variel says, "Come talk to me later about that, Black. I'm pretty sure I've got an idea."

Artemis was certainly not expecting the balcony to be so crowded when she steps out onto it. She has a book clasped in front of her, pressed against her front, and her heavy bag at her side. The blonde haired girl blinks as she stands at the entrance, wondering why this spot is so popular. And…does she recognize anyone? Hmmm.

"What," Shazi asks, though her tone suggests the question is essentially rhetorical, "is wrong with him?" A more genuine question: "How could anyone be an ass to Selwyn? She's a - a lambkin." She scowls at the doorway, like her negative vibes will somehow hunt down Alphard and punch him in the nose. "Do you think she's ever called anyone a name? I don't!"

Esther makes her way onto the Balcony, the Hair still sports a decent sized bruise on her forehead, although it's healing magically quickly. Her hands show no signs of her earlier trip, and a bit of time has left her bookbag cleaned and stocked again. She's looking curious, following up on the worlds most DISTANT rumour. If she'd known more, she'd be staying the HELL away. Because there's a chance she's walking out into a mess that she's contributed to.

Elizabeth exhales a longer breath of a sigh, book held against her chest as if she had her arms crossed instead. "Have you ever asked yourself why Alphard behaves the way that he does?" she asks, Shazi certainly but to everyone in general. Leave it to a Ravenclaw to approach the topic of Alphard with reason and logic.

Madeline's silent for the moment in the face of everything, tucking herself in next to Shazi, and staring down at the floor. Maybe she should just go back to the common room, anyways. Older kids just don't make any sense - maybe they even make less sense than grown-ups.

"I don't know. She was happy to make an escape last night, and tonight she nearly panicked at the idea of NOT going to talk privately. NOTHING she did or said made sense." Variel's turned to stare out over the lake and forest- as best as one can through their wrists, his hands in his hair and holding his head up as he leans on his elbows. He seems rather expressively frustrated, confused and still more than a little angry.
Esther gives you a cookie.

"Whatever it was," Silas says, his own tone muted, his trademark smile barely a ghost of itself, "she was clearly complicit in it. Either she wants it, or thinks she's protecting something."
Then more come. The muggle-born in the family closet. The Hair. Others. Silas retreats even more, considering the impact to himself of having stood up to Black TWICE this week, looking at his pet instead for the moment.

For several more seconds Artemis looks around the balcony, a curious expression as she murmurs out wordlessly, lifting a hand to nibble unconsciously on a finger. After a heavy sigh, she's sure she doesn't want to know the answer but she asks anyway, "What- What's going on here?" Standing by the entrance, she blinks again, hearing words muttered out that brings out a blush to her cheeks. "Uh oh," she murmurs out on a sigh.

"BECAUSE HE'S AN ASS." Shazi fails to see why this topic requires in-depth analysis. Easy answer! Her expression grows more subdued at Variel's words, and then Silas's: the faintest ghost of confusion flickers into place on her features.
And then she registers that Esther Lowe just showed up. Considering earlier events, Shazi can only open her mouth, pause… and shut it again. Uh. So.

Madeline winces at Shazi's harsh and loud words. The young girl remains uncharacteristically silent, proving that it /is/ possible to get her to be quiet without drugging her.

Things out here are… So weird. Esther takes her bag, clutching it a little closer to her. "Alll… Right…" She murmurs, looking around about as awkwardly as one can look around. Silas. Variel. Others less known. The girl goes to take a slow step back, without looking behind her. This isn't… Where she wants to be.

A little restless, that's a good way to describe Tarquin. He's not sure why, but he is. So rather than stay in the Hufflepuff common room like he had planned, he found himself here, at the balcony. And look, there are others gathered. He enters, just in time to hear Shazi's exclamation.
"Who is an ass?" He asks, curious, offering a polite smile that is almost a trademark of the young man, along with a nod of his head. "Greetings, everyone." He happens to note Esther, the way she looks around and he adds a, "Lowe," as way of greeting.

Elizabeth smirks slightly at Shazi's choice of words. Can't quite disagree with her there. "Look," she says calmly. "What Alphard is doing, he's doing it with the mindset of wanting to know how long it takes to get the reaction he wants. It's the reaction, that's all. And, I would also like to point out, that he's being talked about even now. How many other students have that kind of influence, to leave other talking about them in the wake of their presence, hm?" Merlin's beard, is she the only one that has this figured out? She idly rolls her eyes. Turning her raven head, Elizabeth glances to Esther as she enters, near the wall she's leaning against. "I'm also suspecting you're the one that they were talking about a few moments ago." Yup. Straight to the point.

Variel might have been about to say something, but he hears a voice he currently associates with a large portion of the anger he's currently experiencing. There are many things that spring to mind, in the time between Tarquin's greeting of The Hair and the point where he turns around, in the wake of Elizabeth's comment. "You. Need to find your cousin and talk to him. Sooner rather than later." This directed at Esther, anger and frustration in his tone, tightly controlled. He glances to Tarquin as well. "Bulstrode. She meant Alphard Black. He's got Adorabella acting strange. Last night she nearly fled his presence, like normal- today, she panicked when she was given chances to get away from him. She wanted- desperately- to talk to him privately, but-" His lips press together. "… didn't make sense with what she kept saying."

"/Hey/ now," Artemis' voice suddenly raises more when she hears the almost shout from Shazi. "That was a /terrible/ thing to say." Her bright blue eyes dart off, looking around the balcony, and sighs out as she brings her gaze back. She places the tip of her finger in her mouth again, nibbling at it as she thinks, and then suddenly shoots an arm straight above her head. "Hey!" she calls out and then clears her throat. "Seems to me there's a lot of bad talk going on - if you /can't/ stay something good, then /stop/."

Esther manages to avoid Tarquin, placing her hand firmly against the Balcony entrance. "I…" Elizabeth's words make her pause, and then Variel's confirm her worst fears. There's a gasp that catches in her throat, before she turns. And leaves, as quickly as she can.

Silas looks back up from paying attention to his flustered ferret, calming her, and taking the moment to calm himself, although Elizabeth's statement drawing, of all things, a snort of derision. "It's true. But he's not the only player. And that other party weighs far more on a few minds than Black's ego…" And with all the company here. Si's getting restless. He settles his gaze then on Tarquin as he enters. "Frankly, it's over now, aside from some grumblings from the rafters at this point." And with that, with all the talk, he simply retreats again, shaking his head, and begins to look for the easiest exit.

"I'm not apologizing," Shazi informs Artemis, chin out. "Because I'm entirely right - and, bother, I s'pose you are, too," not Artemis, she's looking at Elizabeth. "Fine." She lets out a puff of breath. "Fair enough. Let's talk about something else. Like, um -"
Esther's sudden exit has her suggesting, tone uncertain, "Lowe?" Pause. "No. Wait. Bad idea."

Dora's slow on her return, quiet and lingers back, listening rather than rushing back in. But a few things did catch her ears, like…'bad talk'. Had she upset everyone that much? She hadn't meant to! But it was just, they didn't understand! She couldn't just…whilst the messy haired and decidedly not nice girl goes fleeing past, Dora lingers against the wall, one wing drawn in around her side; fingers playing against the silky material of the mesh as if it were a protective blanket.

From Elizabeth, to Variel, to Artemis… then back to Variel. Weasley's words catch his attention the most, considering he's being directly addressed and a dark frown shows on Tarquin's face. "Black.. what?" He says, a little rhetoric, as he heard Weasley quite well the first time. Still, he offers Variel a small polite nod of thanks at the update. So Esther leaves, and Tarquin narrows his eyes, as they fall on Silas. "Meliflua," he offers in way of both greeting and perhaps requesting an explanation.
And Dora comes back.
Tarquin turns to face her, and his expression softens. "Dora," he says, concerned, worried along with a silent, 'What is going on?' Still, he walks over to her, standing nearby protectively. "Are you alright?" He reaches to gently touch her arm.

"Of course it's a bad idea. But it's the tonly one she's left herself to take." Variel catches sight of a particular swirl of colors in The Hair's wake and pushes off the balcony he's backed up against, taking a couple steps to get a better look at the suddenly withdrawn Dora. He doesn't immediately rush over and crowd her, or call her over to force her back into the group. Instead, he takes the last step or two to reach his satchel, fishing around inside until he finds something wrapped in cloth. He undoes the wrappings and pulls free a flute- this one old wood, worn smooth and rich by use. He leans against the entrance and starts to play, the song at odds with how he feels- but aligned with how he wants to feel. Slow, gentle, calm and peaceful, not quite sedate enough to be a lullaby. He'd promised her songs, after all, if she came back.

Madeline was still staring down at the floor, ignoring the comings and going, standing with her side touching Shazi. Only when Tarquin says Adorabella's name does she look up - surprised, relieved, concerned, hurt, confused… She's not sure /what/ she feels while she stares at Adorabella.
Why should it even matter? The girl was /years/ older, and not even a Gryffindor, anyways…
But it matters.

Elizabeth calmly watches as Esther leaves just as quickly as she appeared. Clearly upset. And a part of her sympathized for her friend, since they've become close. She exhales another breath and idly rolls her shoulders, stretching. "So much drama." she murmurs quietly to herself. Luckily she isn't at the focal point of any of that right now. Though as Adorabella returns, Elizabeth's expression softens some.

Silas hadspotted Dora as he was about to leave, and his first instinct was to move over, to verify his friend was okay. Because sometimes he forgot to do that first, upon seeing people. There was even an increase to his smile, despite everything that had just occurred. But then there was Tarquin's near-demanding use of his last name, and the way the boy suddenly loomed over Dora. The urge to just wrap the girl up in his arms wilted almost immediately.
Instead, he states to Tarquin, "It's complicated." And softly backs up a step, trying to meet her eyes for just a moment. Too much attention on the girl at once. And, frankly? Black was House. And there were parts of the puzzle he didn't have, not enough to make such pronouncements as the others were.

"Well, I meant it probably was a bad idea for us to talk about her, Variel, but -" Shazi lets it drop. He's moved on to making music, and let her not be the one to say 'nay' to that.
Absentmindedly, she lifts one hand to pat Madeline on the shoulder, while the other rises in greeting of the returning Adorabella. Shazi looks faintly relieved to see the Hufflepuff in one piece, and shoots her a bright smile.

Oh dear. It's easy to see the flicker of tension when Dora realizes that she's been spotted and her teeth catch her lip in a nervous gesture as those too large eyes sweeping from one person to the next, searching for judgment. It's the kind of quiet unspoken question that seems to ask if it's even okay to be there in the first place. And she has trouble meeting Tarquin's gaze, for all that Elizabeth, a near stranger, seemed so much easier and the shying smile offered in her direction was one of soft appreciation.
The urge to tuck in beneath Tarquin's wing was so strong that it was nearly over-powering and she wished her brother were there but, well, Girls had taken a new priority in his life, apparently. And then there was Shazi word's and that instinct to run pricks again, apology crushing with the threat of tears in her eyes. They were angry; even if Shazi's smile was kind.
So Dora clamped her teeth on her bottom lip to keep it from trembling and finally made herself meet Madeline's gaze never really thinking to question why she was sympathizing and empathizing the most..with a first year because Variel had kept his promise. Thus, did Dora crouch. "Maddie…would you like to dance with me?"

Dora's reaction to him causes Tarquin to momentarily frown. His eyes follow Dora's, as she focuses on Madeline instead. Still, the young Bulstrode removes his hand from Dora's arm and steps back, giving her space. He doesn't go anywhere, though, instead offering his cousin a reassuring smile.
And an encouraging one to Madeline, as Dora asks her to dance.

Madeline meets Dora's gaze, her expression uncertain for a moment, before she nods and manages a smile. "I like dancing," she agrees. Maybe it'll make her feel better, since she doesn't even really /understand/ what's got her all upset now, anyways! She steps away from Shazi, to join Adorabella instead.

Carnage. Its not often that something akin to carnage gets gossipped about around the halls of the school. But apparently there has been carnage and after being directed to the fourth floor balcony, Lucretia comes to find out what's been going on. Who wouldn't? It appears that whatever has happened however, is no longer happening, as on arriving the only thing that's apparent is that Dora is asking Madeline to dance. Pausing near Variel, she looks around those gathered, then asks of the Weasley. "Oh. I was told Alphard was here. Is he not?"

Artemis is very pleased when she agrees to stop talking bad, and a soft smile slips out across her lips. "Thank you," she says gratefully. But she sighs out, and says softly, "Because I don't think that was true at all," she decides to say softly as her cheeks become a pink again. "Black was very nice to me. So there's no more need to badmouth him in the future please. Just show respect, and he'll show it back," she adds in with a little bit of a softer tone, hopeful before she offers Shazi a bright, warm smile and turns her eyes to look around the balcony.

Variel is currently occupied with the playing of the musics- specifically a sedate tune a bit more lively than a lullaby, calm and steady, a paradigm he'd like to emulate more fully at the moment. He shakes his head slowly at Lucretia's question, obviously occupied with the song and unable to articulate an answer just now. He's leaning against the entryway, watching Dora and Madeline work up the courage to start dancing.

Oddly enough, Silas doesn't say anything else. Instead, there's a moment where he and Dora simply meet each other's eyes before she goes to dance with Madeline, he he simply gives her a soft, genuine smile, and nods. He he doesn't encroach.
Instead, with a look to everyone, but a decision to say nothing, he simply uses that moment to slip out, once the others are distracted.

The look Shazi shoots Artemis has more than a touch of Are You For Real, but she holds her tongue. She's content to lean against the railing and listen, beaming at Adorabella and Madeline. Dance! Dance for our amusement! (Dance! Dance to lower the Tension!)

Elizabeth arches a brow as she give Artemis a largely skeptical look. "I believe he can be civil, but asking anything else is pulling teeth." Especially if you're anything but a pureblood. Artemis is just naive. Her pale eyes flicker towards Lucretia. Watching.

"I like dancing too," Dora agrees, words careful. It's Madeline. Precious fragile Madline, what else is there to do. "Tomorrow," she promises, rising to her feet so that she can twirl. Her heart is not entirely in the dance, but she's trying, "You can tell me all about that book, you and Shazi and I'll tell you about Mister Diderot and my meeting, hm?" She really -is- just trying to ease the girl's spirits, which was why her wand peeked into view and dozens of entirely too hard to pop bubbles came floating all around.
The sweet moment too, was almost ruined by Artemis' words and Dora half muttered, half choked, "Then you wash his clothes," before her mouth snappged shut and she forced up a welcoming smile for Lucretia.

There really isn't much more to say regarding the situation as far as Tarquin is concerned. The talk of Black is mostly ignored by the young man as he walks forward and away from the entryway, and Dora and Madeline's dancing, to the railing.
There, he leans against it, facing toward his cousin and arches a brow at her comment. He remains there, a guardian, switching between looking out to the forest, and back at the group.

Lucretia returns Dora's smile and bats away one of the bubbles as it floats her way. She's thick-skinned enough that whatever anger or ill-will that Alphard might have left in his wake seems to just roll off her. Either that, or she's deliberately innured to the displeasure of anything but a pureblood. Placing hands flat to the wall between rump and stone, she leans against them, remaining near Variel and not in the slightest looking like she might go and elbow her way into any dancing that's occuring.

Fragile? /Fragile/? She's a lion and fierce! Thankfully, the girl is blissfully unaware of Adorabella's thoughts, as she begins to twirl about to the music. (As much as the girl may /like/ dancing, it's obvious she's not terribly good at it.) But then bubbles are floating about, and she lets out a delighted gasp, reaching up towards them.
"Dance with us, Black!" the girl says brightly, her smile now back in place. See what a little bit of charms can do to lift Madeline's spirits?

The drama is over and done with - and Shazi has homework to do. (Also, let's be real: Variel is great with the flute and she can appreciate it on a general level, but Shazi likes her music LOUD.) Leaving the Gryffindor Firstie in Dora's safe hands, she slips towards the doorway and off of the crowded balcony.

"I don't think so, Evans," Lucretia says, laying emphasis on Madeline's name as if it were a dirty word. "I'm busy." Clearly she's not, her hand lifting to bat away another bubble that drifts her way before she lapses into silence.

There's no more need to say anything more about it to Shazi. She agreed to stop, and Artemis is very thankful. She really doesn't care about the look that she gets. She has no right to change someone's thoughts, after all, and her gaze is turning onto Elizabeth, inclining her head a little to the side and shifting the book that she hugs against herself. "I would take civil," she says cheerfully, smiling brightly. "Civil is far better than everyone insulting one another. Civil is just fine." She lifts her book up a little and shifts her hand, brushing at a few of her golden curls. "He is a marvelous teacher. He didn't have to - but of all the work he does for his classes and the extra-curricular - he gave me a little lesson in casting." The colour in her cheeks brighten a little and she looks around, letting out a giggle at the dancing and the bubbles. "A little bit of music and dancing. That's so /wonderful/. And here I was just going to come and read a little bit."

Dancing, Dora was twirling, because it was easier though as her wand tucked away and the bubbles floated about Dora began collecting some of the smallest ones, forming them into a little crown and making them stick together. Blasted things didn't pop. A grateful smile was flashed Shazi's way as the girl made her way out and another for Tarquin, even Silas, for whom her smile softened before the crown was finished and with a flourish, placed atop Madeline's head.
"If you take care of it, it'll be month or more before it pops," she promised, hopeful. Like an olive branch for peace.
"Tartar," Dora invited, looking towards her cousin and offering out her hand.

"A /month/?" Madeline gasps, ignoring Lucretia's expected refusal and focusing on the delightful concept of a month-long bubble crown. Wait until she shows all the pirates!
"How do I take care of it?!" she asks excitedly. She's even stopped spinning and twirling as she focuses in on this vital question.

"If you're going to make me dance, I'm just going to step all over your feet," Tarquin mildly warns response to Dora, but he's not one to deny his cousin. So he steps toward her, and takes her hand. A small smile touches his lips, lines of concern mostly gone at seeing the girl in such good spirits.
Dignified steps close the distance as he stands in front of his cousin.

Her gaze is unfocused it seems, as she watches others enjoy dancing, but as Artemis comments, Elizabeth lifts her pale eyes towards the other girl. A faint smile tugs at one corner of her lips. "Civil is a bandaid for true understanding and enlightenment between individuals. And I'm sure he -is- nice. If you're a pureblood." She states this so simply, factually. As if she could care less. Freeing a hand, she lightly pushes up the bridge of her wire frames on her nose as she straightens. Wordlessly, she slips out, without so much as a peep.

"Mostly just…don't dliberately try to pop them," Dora grants, "Or get them dirty. If you get them really really dirty, they'll pop. But other than that..," Dora shrugs, offering a crooked smile.
But then Tarry's there and Dora takes his hand, lofting it high enough to twirl beneath. "Mister Diderot's going to come and talk to us too, did I tell you? I got to meet him and Maddie, he actually said he'd come!"

"Honestly," Lucretia says, a slight smirk to the tone of her voice as she catches what Elizabeth says before leaving. "Anyone would think that being a pureblood was a bad thing." Pushing herself away from her spot by the door, she casts a supercilious glance after the Ravenclaw and heads for the stone balustrade recently vacated by Tarquin. Unconcerned about the drop below, she hoists herself up to sit on it, legs dangling balcony side, and turns her attention to Artemis. "Meliflua."

"Oh, okay!" She can do that! Madeline beams eagerly, going back to spinning and twirling - clumsily attempting pirouettes and the like. "V- Weasley, you're so good at this!" she exclaims.

Tarquin glances over his shoulder as Elizabeth steps out, and Lucretia addresses her. There is a moment of thought, before his attention returns to Dora, and making sure he's not stepping all over her. Twirling her around, he can easily do, and thus he lets guide him with her twirls, holding his hand up for her. "Oh, no you hadn't! That's excellent news for the club. You should be proud." He looks at Madeline and nods his agreement with her words aimed at Weasley.

"I am," Dora admits with a sheepish smile, for all that her twirling soon stops and she's content to simply, settle back in against her cousin like the great protective pillar that he is.
"I didn't think he would, honestly. I just…he's famous," and she'd been as awestruck as Madline had, the first time she'd stepped for into a wizarding candy shop. "He said he'd come here, if I could get permission for him too or meet us all in Hogwarts, if the school won't let him in," Dora gawned her lip and looked to Maddie.
"Would you hate me, if the school won't give permission? I know you can't get out to Hogsmeade yet but, we could do something special with the club, just for the others your age. I want to make sure everyone has fun. You could help me?"

"It's much nice to be civil than-" Artemis starts, but she doesn't get to finish. Her head is craning to the side as she watches the younger girl leave, and the blonde is letting out a sigh as she hugs onto her book more tightly. Now she's worrying at her lip as she stares after the departure even as the girl has disappeared. Why do people have to look at it that way? Artemis is turning to Lucretia then when she's addressed, and she's giving the Slytherin a beaming smile as her blue eyes light up. "Hi!" She offers out a hand to her. "Please, it's Artemis." As for the comment, a soft sigh brushes past her lips. "It's most certainly not."

"It's not yooooour fault if the school won't let him come!" Madeline responds. She'd hate it, of course. She'd love to meet a wizard author! But she wouldn't blame Adorabe- "Oooo!" she suddenly exclaims. "Family can pick us up from school, right? I bet my Uuuuuuncle would take me to Hogsmeade!"
She gives a particularly excited twirl. Why had she never thought of this before?!
Oh. But… poor Adam.

A gentle arm falls around Dora's shoulders, when she settles against him and smiling, Tarquin leans over, to touch his chin against the top of her head. "He's a great writer," he goes on to say. "I really am proud that you've run with this club idea. I know some will find it… different. But I think it's a good thing in the end." When Dora addresses Madeline, he looks at the younger girl with curiosity, nodding approvingly at her response to Dora.
"What's wrong, Evans?" He finds himself asking,

"Ar-te-mis…" Lucretia says the half-blood's name slowly, as if testing out the sound of it in her mouth. She gives a small nod of her head, though doesn't tell the other girl to call her Lucretia, or Lu, or even Lulu. Notably she doesn't take her hand and shake it either. Fingers curled around the edge of the stonework on which she's sitting, she bounches her heels off the pillars beneath and chews on the inside of her cheek. "I met Dillorous Diderot," she says suddenly, lifting her voice enough that it'll reach to the dancers. "He signed a book for Orion for me. He's very nice."

Dora watches Lulu from the corner of her eye. Mindful, but not encroaching. She's made peace with Alphard. A very painful, very demeaning peace. But peace all the same. She might not have that same idea in a week, however. So the smile was polite, inviting if the girl decided to engage but her current mood and Black's freshest cruelty is still in her mind. Mention of Dillorous though, thawed the distance.
"That would be great," Dora agreed, flashing a smile at Madeline's suggestion of her uncle. Which just left the younger boy.
"And he is nice," Dora agreed, "I had so much fun getting to talk to him!" Tarquin though, was like a safe blanket. Without getting all, Lowe about it. Dora just looks happy and honestly, feels safe. Tired, but safe and that yawn sneaks out of no where.
"Tarry, could you walk me back."

"Just - if I went with my Uncle, well, he's a wizard so he could come and pick me up real easy like, but Adam, he doesn't have /any/ wizards in his family, and they might let me leave with my Uncle, but I don't think they'd let /Adam/ leave with him, so he wouldn't get to go, and that'd be sad, but I bet he'd still want me to go, anyways." Madeline spouts out, all at once.
As Adorabella prepares to leave, she adds, "I'll walk with you a ways!" Well. As far as the stairs, anyways. Then she'll have to go up, and they'll be going down.

Dora's look to Lulu doesn't escape Tarquin, but he doesn't comment on it. Rather, he reaches out to try and ruffle her hair some with his free hand, and nods to her. "Of I could," he tells her, slipping his arm off her shoulders, if only to gentlemanly offer it for her to take.
He turns to the group then and with a polite smile adds, "Be well."
His gaze falls on Madeline, and there is sympathy in Tarquin's eyes. He nods. "Well, this only means that you should take pictures for him to see, and perhaps bring him a souvenir," he notes. "Or maybe, write to his parents, and ask them yourself about it?" A faint smile is offered to the younger wizard, before he looks back to Dora. He's ready to head out.

Artemis offers Lucretia a smile. While she can't help but feel a little disappointed that she didn't accept her hand, she still smiles kindly as she draws her hand away, wrapping it back around her book. Her gaze drifts over to watch the dancing pair, catching up with the conversation as her eyes light up. "Oh, is this about the book club?" She gasps out delighted, a giggle escaping her. "I think that club was a marvelous idea," she offers.

Lucretia gives a small shrug to Artemis, her shoulders pulling up to her ears. "Well I need to go, I've some study to do and sitting here isn't getting it done." Without anything further said; without any apologies, excuses or goodbyes, she eases herself from her perch and heads out the door.

"We could take pictures," Dora promises Maddie, as she slips one arm through Tarquin's and offers the little Gryffindor her hand. "And," it's a conspirator's tone, "I can make the pictures move," she promised, "I finally learned the spell." A wink at that, before the girl fell quiet, listening while Tarquin spoke and giving his arm a squeeze, for his kindness.

"Did you get the picture with the antlers to move?!" Madeline asks excitedly, as she, Adorabella and Tarquin stroll down the hall. Inquiring firsties have to know!

"Yes!" Dora promised and went on to promise that she'd have a copy of it first thing tomorrow!

Hmm. Artemis tilts her head, shifting a hand over to brush at her curls. Well, she'll let everyone talk and move over to lean against the railing, laying her book down and clasping her hands over top. She takes in a deep breath of air, looking over at the view of the grounds.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License