(1939-01-25) Family, Pure-bloods and Muggle-borns
Details for Family, Pure-bloods and Muggle-borns
Summary: Tarquin asks Madeline if she knows what's going on with Adorabella, and that leads to a friendly debate about Pure-bloods and Muggle-borns.
Date: 1939-01-25
Location: Hogwarts Lake Shore, Hogwarts

Madeline has a /fascination/ with the lake - or more specifically, its inhabitants. It would be no surprise, then, for anyone that knows her to find the girl down at the lakeshore, tossing stones idly into the water, while watching for tentacles, or better yet - /merpeople/. She's humming idly to herself as she does, a song she'd heard on the radio over Christmas, and danced to around the living room floor with the Jewish children her parents had taken in.

"I thought I might find you here," that is Tarquin's voice, coming from behind Madeline. He walks to close the distance to her, a polite smile on his face. "Evans," is his greeting, as polite as ever. Stopping not far from her, he bends over and grabs a stone, testing it in his hand. Then he lets it fly, to skip over the water. Once. Twice. Not a third time. "I wanted to speak with you," he says, glancing over at Madeline. "But first, how are you today?"

"Me?" Madeline asks - as if there's another Evans standing right behind her. She turns to look at Tarquin, a surprised, puzzled - and perhaps even cautious expression on her features. Why would /any/ upperclassman be looking for her? "I'm alright, I guess," just staying as far out of Alphard Black's hair as she can - just in case. "Umm. And how are you, Bulstrode?" she asks in kind. She's holding onto the stone she last picked up as she watches the sixth year - tossing it idly in her hand and catching it.

"Confused," Tarquin replies to her question and walks over to stand next to her. "And I was hoping you could help me," he continues. "Adorabella is fond of you. Something is wrong with her, but she won't talk to me about it. I know it involves Black, but I don't know what happened," he explains, looking over at Madeline. "I was hoping you could help me understand what's going on."

Well /that/ is a subject of some annoyance for Madeline. "She's fond of me?" she asks first though, surprise and pleasure in her tone. She turns, though, and throws that stone she was holding at the lake - hard. "I don't understand what's going on. I mean, at the dance I don't think she wanted to go with him! But I don't think she's very good at saying no, so I went to help her, and I got her away from him, and I'm worried he might be mad at me, but I'm not sure. And then on the balcony - well." She turns towards Tarquin again, and gestures widely with frustration. "Me and Shazi both tried to get her away from him again, and she told /us/ no, and went with him anyways!"
She drops her arms to her side helplessly, a worried, and perhaps even hurt expression on her face. "I don't know why she would go with him. He's just awful - everyone says it."

"He overreaches," Tarquin offers, thoughtful a hand rubbing his chin. His expression softens, though and he nods to Madeline. "Dora and I are close. We're cousins, she's dear to me. She and my sister," he explains. "I… well, I am very protective of my family, all family. Yet, you saw how she asked -you- to dance at the balcony? And turned away from me," he smiles, albeit a bit sadly. "She was avoiding me, and she looked for safety, in you. She is fond of you, I believe," he reaffirms.
Then he nods to rest. "I don't appreciate people playing games with my family. Black overreaches. I suppose, I should go make sure he understands, I won't allow this." The smile he offers Madeline is genuine. "Thank you Evans. This explains a couple of things. And do know, I would not let Black harm you. I might not be strong enough to stop him, but before he harms you, he'll have to deal with me. I give you my word."

Madeline smiles as Tarquin offers to protect her, though her expression soon melts into confussion, instead. "What's it explain? Because I don't understand any of it, and I wish I did. I want to help, but I don't even know what's going on!" She lets out a quiet, frustrated sigh.
"And, I mean, I'm glad you'll look out for me and all but… how? It's not like you can hang around me all the time, and if you just go up to him all 'leave Evans alone,' and it turns out he wasn't even mad at me in the first place… Maybe he's forgot all about the dance already?" She sure hopes so.

Tarquin considers how to answer Madeline's question. "Dora… she cares about everyone. Perhaps too much. She is trying to deal with this thing on her own. I'm not sure why yet, I'm not sure what happened. But, Black must be holding something over her," he shrugs a little. "So, she's trying not to get others involved, so as to make sure they don't get hurt." He shakes his head.
A faint smile touches his lips. "You're right, I can't be with you all the time. I honestly doubt that Black will bother trying to harm you, not unless he's doing it to get something else. He's smarter than that. And don't worry, I'm not about to go and demand things of him and bring you to his attention." He taps his lips and shrugs. "If I'm around and something happened, I'd come to your defense. If you need me and send word, I'd come to you. I'm afraid that's all I can offer, really."

"Well, it's silly of her, that's why we /have/ friends," Madeline points out firmly. "So we can help each other out of trouble." And, you know, do fun things like snowball fights and tree climbing. And book clubs. "If I can help sort things out, I will," she says firmly.
"And I appreciate it - really," Madeline adds, flashing Tarquin a smile.
Even if he isn't sorry for thinking Muggle-born is insulting.

"It is silly of her," Tarquin agrees. "But Dora while precious, can be a little silly, I suppose." There's a small pause and he smiles at Madeline. "Family… Friends. These are important things. Precious things. And they must be protected. There is no reason to be alone," and there is, just a tinge of sadness in his voice as he says this. "Dora might be upset that I'm involving myself, but I'm afraid I can't stand on the side any longer."
He offers a dignified nod along with a smile. "I know… that we don't agree on a few things, Evans. I… hope you know. It was not my intention to hurt your feelings that day."

Madeline's expression goes solemn, and she looks down as she toes at the stones dotting the shore. "I never thought you /meant/ to," is all the girl has to offer. But that doesn't just fix things, does it?

"You are a good person, Madeline," Tarquin then says. "Your blood. My blood… It doesn't change that." He closes his eyes and exhales a held breath. "I won't apologize for my beliefs. But, I am sorry I hurt you," he adds quietly.

Well. That was certainly a start, and Madeline looks up cautiously, studying Tarquin out of the corners of her eyes, rather than looking at him directly. "What /do/ you believe?" she asks.

"Magic is precious. Magic is our way of life. I was born in a family that believes in the purity of magic, that believes it is the birthright of those who carry purely wizard blood," Tarquin tries to explain. "I was raised with these beliefs. I am the heir of one of the lines of the Bulstrode family, a Sacred Twenty-Eight family. Our blood is to be kept pure, to be protected. For in doing so, we protect magic."
He flashes a small smile at Madeline. "My father… strongly feels this way. My mother is bit more open-minded, but not by much." He touches his chest, the spot over his heart. "I believe that magic must be protected, the purity of certain bloodlines preserved. But I also believe that if muggle-born wizards weren't meant to exist, they wouldn't. Yet, you do. So therefore, there is a place for you, for half-bloods, for pure-bloods. That place might not always intersect, but we're all part of this wizarding society we live in, and we must learn to live with each other." A pause.
"I stand by what I said that day. Muggle-borns come into our world, so different from yours and sometimes, they show common sense. They look to understand this new world, to become part of it. Other times? They want to change the world to suit them and sometimes, without considering the consequences, without realizing that this is as wrong as the discrimination against them. So I believe that it is best, for muggle-born wizards to stay out of pure-blood affairs. They don't understand pure-blood relationships with each other. Or our family politics and interactions. But I believe there is a place for them, and I don't believe there's a need to be cruel to them." Another pause. "Honest? Yes. Cruel, no."

Madeline listens quietly - and considers quietly, stooping to pick up a stone, a toss it against the lake. So he /does/ think he's somehow better than Muggle-borns? Well. It's not like she really expected him to think otherwise - because then why would he use Muggle-born like an insult? She tosses a second stone.
"Do you think… isn't it just as bad, the purebloods that /are/ cruel to Muggle-borns, as Muggle-borns who think they can just change everything to suit them? Doesn't that hurt wizarding society, too?"

"It does," Tarquin agrees. "You see someone like Black. Do you think he and I are the same?"

Madeline shakes her head fiercely. "Black I don't even talk to, of course. You're not the same, at all." She stoops to pick up another rock, tossing it in her hand, and then throwing it across the surface of the lake. "Weasley talks about people - about Muggle-borns - wanting to change things to suit them, too. I don't quiet understand it. /I/ don't do that, do I? What do Muggle-borns want to change, other than wanting people to treat us decent?"

"No, you don't. Although, you are quick to pass judgment on others, perhaps too quick, based on little information," Tarquin notes. "But people of all bloodlines do that." There's a moment of consideration and he nods. "I'll use an example my father uses often, as I know very little of the Muggle world," he admits. "In your world… you have this metal wands, you hold them like this," he uses his fingers to form what looks like a gun. "What do you call them?"

"Guns. They're not wands. My da' 'n I use 'em to go game shooting," Madeline explains simply. Does she really judge people too quickly…?

"Let's say I'm eleven years old, or well, even now. Would you give me a… gun, and send me off into the world on my merry way?" Tarquin says. "Would your peers, knowing that I'm completely unfamiliar with such a device, be happy that you're letting me run around with it. Knowing that never in my life, before that moment, have I held a… gun in my hands?" A pause. "Would your parents even let you be close to me? Play with me?"

Madeline frowns, not sure what this has to do with /Muggle-borns/ trying to change wizarding society. Just sounds like more excuses for why Muggle-borns shouldn't be allowed to be wizards. "Only an idiot lets a child handle a gun without supervision. I'm not allowed to /touch/ the hunting rifle without my dad."

"Yet, you carry a wand. You've seen what they can do, what you can do with it. What I can do with it," Tarquin offers. "The difference is, I was raised around wands, around magic. I was brought up, since I was a child in a world where magic is common. Where we breathe it, we drink it, we eat it, we experience it. I spent eleven years of my life, getting ready, to hold my wand, without supervision." A pause. "Tell me, Evans, how many years did you spend around magic, before you were allowed to hold a wand, as you do now… without supervision?"

Madeline lets out a frustrated sigh. "That's not what I asked," she responds, picking up another stone and throwing it with force. "I mean, yeah. I guess that explains a little bit why some people don't want us here. But we /are/ getting taught how to use them. And like I said - guns aren't wands. Guns can /only/ be dangerous. It's the only thing they do. Wands /can/ be dangerous, but they're more than that, aren't they?" She throws another stone, frowning.
"Do /you/ think I shouldn't be allowed a wand?"

"I think that Muggle-born wizards, or half-bloods can be as powerful as Pure-blood wizards. But I also think that because of the very nature of their upbringing, and ours, they do not understand magic as they do. I think they should have extended training, training that takes into consideration the lack of magic in their lives, prior to joining school. But we both know, that Muggle-borns would see that as discrimination, wouldn't they?"
"Change, is sometimes brought in unknowingly. Muggle-borns want equality. But is it equality, when Muggle-borns have no experience with magic for all those years?" Tarquin arches a brow. "If you want simpler and more concrete examples? Every now and then you run into Muggle-borns that question our lack of what you call, electricity? Or a Muggle-born that is convinced that ingesting some piece of bitter candy," a pill, "is the right way to treat a cough. Or that cutting someone is necessary to cure an illness. And as I said, some Muggle-borns realize things are different, others are not so quick or willing to give up on their former lives. To adjust. And the accumulation of such little incidents, well, they help fuel the feeling that Muggle-borns want to change things, to better reflect their world." He shrugs. "Some are harmless things, but the principle, remains."
Announcement: MOTD System shouts, "Office hours are now open."

Madeline frowns in thought. "Well," she muses quietly. "I don't know. Telling Muggle-borns they couldn't carry their wands, when everyone else has them, that'd be easy to see as discrimination, wouldn't it?" She'd certainly feel that way! "But maybe a course could be added over the summer, before we turn 11. That we go and learn a little bit about the wizarding world. About being safe with a wand. That sort of stuff. It could help, really, be less scary for some of the Muggle-borns, maybe. Or make the pureblood or half-blood students and parents feel safer about things?"
She lets out another sigh, adding, "And someone saying they'd rather take pills than potions - well. That's just them. I ain't met any Muggle-borns who think we should make /everyone/ take pills instead. And, well. Electricity is better than candles. But magic's better than electricity, if you ask me. You can make light /anywhere/ you /want/ with magic. How neat is that?"

"It probably should be more than a summer, but I'm admittedly not a professor," Tarquin smiles at this, "But you see the wisdom in my suggestion, yes? And I agree, something like that would be helpful, to ease Muggle-borns into our society, and our society into feeling more comfortable with Muggle-borns in it." He notes, approvingly of her words.
"That is just them, yes. But it creates a perception, and amongst those that are already worried about the presence of Muggle-borns, well, it's easy for them to run off with such examples." A pause. "Do you see what I mean, at least?"
Tarquin now stands right next to Madeline, putting a hand on her shoulder and gently squeezing. "You're a good person, Madeline Evans. And I'd never let anyone say otherwise. And I said this before. It'll be people like you, with ideas like that, that one day will bring good change. Change that won't scare others. Change that will eventually necessary. People like me, I'm afraid, are too set on our ways, our upbringing." He looks down. "But I will strive to be more careful with my wording. I will always be honest, about my feelings about how I think the world sees things. But, I will try not to cause offense in the future."

Madeline looks up at Tarquin, smiling at him even if it is a bit tight. "Thank you," she answers. "Because I think it really can help. I mean - if people just… just spoke out more, it'd be easier for everyone, right? If you just spoke out sometimes, and told people they're being horrible and might not even know it… whether it's about Muggle-borns or not. That's why I stood up for Adorabella. Because… because we shouldn't have to stand up alone, when we can be looking out for each other instead. You see?
"I'm glad I can at least talk to you, though, and be nice about it. Can't talk to Black - either of them - at all. I'm sorry if I get all upset sometimes, it's just… it's /really hard/, and I wish it wasn't. I love it here, but it's hard." Tears start to moisten the corners of Madeline's eyes as she talks - despite her best efforts to /not/ cry.

"It is hard. It will get even harder," Tarquin says softly, walking around so he can face Madeline, to put both his hands on her shoulders. "But that only means, that when you come out of this triumphant. When you graduate, it will be that much more of an accomplishment," he notes. "You're not alone, Evans. You have friends that love you and respect you."
His thumb comes up, to brush gently against the corner of her eye. "When I asked you to prove me wrong, to prove them wrong. I didn't do so, to taunt you. Or tease you. I was trying to share the reality of the situation, and my belief that you have what it takes to do such a thing." He smiles a genuine smile. "Just remember, you're not alone."

"I know," Madeline answers quietly. She leans forward, to rest her right side against Tarquin. A little forward, yes, but who can really blame an eleven year old who just needs a hug. "I wish I didn't have to prove it. But I'm gonna, you know. I'm gonna be a /really great/ witch. And a really nice one, too."

It's a little awkward for Tarquin, but still, he doesn't shy away from the moment. As Madeline leans forward, his arms wrap around her, protectively, reassuring. He brings her closer into a hug, and faintly smiles. A hand then runs through her hair, gently.
He nods to her words. "You're going to, and I look forward to seeing you do just that."
While his arms remain around her, he leans back so he can look at her. "You're halfway there already, Evans. You're really nice as it is." He flashes a friendly grin.

"Thanks," Madeline answers quietly. She stays there a moment, grateful for the hug, then straights up, wiping at her eyes. "If I can help take care of with whatever Black is up to - I like Adorabella. I'd be happy to help."

"Thank you, I need to find out more about the situation, but once I have a better idea of what's going on… and a plan, I'll let you know," Tarquin tells her, slowly letting his arms drop down. Again his hand goes to her cheek, to gently rub his thumb against it, and any signs of tears there. "I should be heading back. Would you care to walk with me? Or do you want to stay here a little longer?"

Madeline nods. She glances out at the lake, then back at the school before deciding, "I'll walk back with you." She turns to start walking, glancing aside at Tarquin before asking quietly, "You will speak out for Muggle-borns sometimes, won't you? If anyone's getting too far out of line? I really do think it'd be a tremendous help."

Tarquin smiles as Madeline agrees to walk with him. As they start walking, he grows a little thoughtful at her question, wanting to make sure to think about it, rather than just give an answer, to make Madeline happy.
"I don't appreciate cruelty. It doesn't matter who it is aimed at," he says. "So yes, if someone is getting too far out of line, I'd speak out for Muggle-borns."

Madeline beams at Tarquin. "Good. Thank you. If more good people weren't so afraid to speak out, think how much good it'd do?" she asserts cheerfully. She probably /is/ going to end up crossing Alphard to earn his wrath sooner or later - with /this/ attitude of hers.

"Perhaps," Tarquin concedes to her question, as they continue to walk together. He even smiles when he glances over at her. Gently, he reaches to try and ruffle her hair.

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