(1939-01-27) Hufflepuff Hearts and Horrors
Details for Hufflepuff Hearts and Horrors
Summary: The conversation turning from school to Valentine's Day leaves some excited and others mortified.
Date: January 27, 1939
Location: Hufflepuff Common Room

Tarquin is sitting at one of the couches. He holds a book, and while he looks like he's studying its contents, his mind is somewhere else. Tense lines show on his features, even as he turns a page. Eyes briefly scan the book, before he turns another page. There's a deep breath then, as he sets the book down, his head falls back and his eyes close.
Fingers rhythmically drum on the arm of the chair.

Laurelia makes her way into the common room, or rather, she dances her way in. Spinning about on her toes, she pauses near the buffet table to pick up a steaming mug of heavy chocolate cream - which she adds a dallop of whipped cream on top of for good measure.
"Why so serious?" she asks Tarquin, traipsing over to where the Sixth year boy is seated. "You look like you've been studying all day, that cannot be good for you," she laughs, spilling herself onto the couch beside him. She, for her part, doesn't look as if she's spent a single moment of this day studying anything at all.

Adam comes running up to the couch Tarquin's sitting on as though drawn there by a magnet. He leans over the back of it, peering at the book Tarquin has. "Are you reading one of those curse-breaker books?" he asks. Then he glances over at Laurelia. "Oh, hi!"

The sound of the familiar voice brings hints of a smile to his features. Tarquin's eyes remain closed however as he inhales the aroma of the mug of heavy chocolate cream. A faint smile shows on his lips as he replies to his sister.
"I didn't know I was anything but serious," he quips, playfully. One eye finally opens and he looks over at the book he's discarded. "I've been trying to study, but, no luck," he says. "You should try it sometime," he teases her. "Studying, I mean." Both eyes now open, they fall on Laurelia. He's about to say something else, when Adam runs in.
"Irving," he politely greets the First Year Muggle-born. Holding up the book, he shakes his head. "Transfiguration, I'm afraid."
You take yourself off the RP Search list.

"You have your moments," Laurelia tells Tarquin, equally playful. Ignoring the book he's discarded, she stirs her hot chocolate, lifting the spoon to her lips for an appreciative little lick. "Mmmm," she murmurs. "So good. It is freezing out there," she informs her brother, as if he might have no clue about January weather conditions. "How can I study when my brain is frozen?" she asks, sounding entirely serious about this query. "Anyway, I've been practicing a new routine I'll have to show you when its finished - I have nearly enough feathers for the costume too," she adds, clearly pleased - at least until Adam bounds over.
"You startled me," she tells the First year in a playfully accusatory tone. "I would make you study… Transfiguration," she says, crinkling her nose distastefully. "As penance," she continues. "But no one deserves that, not even energetic FIrsties," she laughs, her eyes sparkling mirthfully.

Adam's eyes widen. "Sorry!" he says to Laurelia. But then he grins. "That wouldn't be a punishment! I love Transfiguration. It's my favorite class. You'd have to make me study Potions, that's the worst!" He looks back to Tarquin and his book. "So what're you learning? I bet it's really interesting! You're in what, Sixth Year, Seventh? What sorts of amazing Transfiguration things can you do?"

"You know, it's horrible of you to sit there, with that chocolate and not bring a mug for your brother, for shame," Tarquin smiles as he says this, though, eyes on that mug. Then he listens to her words and offers a dubious look. "It's freezing… out there. Not in here." The mention of a new routine catches his attention and he nods. "I'd like that. I could use some fun, for once," he admits.
Glancing over at Adam. "You don't like Potions? And here I was willing to bet all classes were your favorite class," he grins at this. At Adam's question, he considers. "I could make birds shoot out of my wand," he decides to share. "Or make things disappear." A pause, "You will too, in a few more years," and looking to Laurelia he adds, "And you would too, if you applied yourself more."

"I didn't see you there," Laurelia defends herself. "Or I would have brought you one, I swear it," she says ever so sweetly. She dips the spoon into the chocolatey cream, cupping a hand underneath it and guiding it toward Tarquin's lips - an attempt, perhaps, to shut up his talk of 'study' and 'applying herself'.
"I'm no fan of potions myself," she admits to Adam, though if there is a class the Fifth year is fond of, it's a well-kept secret to be certain. "But there - now I know what to threaten you with if you make me cross," she tells the younger boy, wagging a finger.

"Guess I shouldn't've told you then," Adam says, making a face at the thought of being forced to do extra Potions work. "But I won't make you cross, will I?" He looks to Tarquin, standing up straighter. "Can you really?" he asks. "Make birds shoot out of your wand, I mean? I want to see! Show me, please?"

Tarquin gives Laurelia a playful, yet dubious look. Still, that spoon catches his attention and also has the desired effect. The Sixth Year leans over, scooting a little closer to his sister, so that she can feed him some of the chocolate. There, no more talks of studying.
Taking a moment to enjoy the chocolate, he considers. "So what do I need to do to get you to give me a few dancing lessons?" He asks, curious. "Ilsa had offered, but she's been busy. And with all the impromptu dancing parties taking place, I might as well be prepared."
Looking at Adam, he thinks for a moment and looks around. "I guess this could be considered a school work related exercise," he muses and reaching for his wand, he points it away from the group.
BAM. The loud sound is accompanied by a puff of smoke and a flock of birds that appears to shoot out of the tip of Tarquin's wand, just to fly in circles around the common room.

Laurelia's squeal of delight is ear-splitting, and she thrusts the mug of chocolate cream at Tarquin before bounding off and away to catch feathers that drift down from the circling birds, the soft downy under-feathers coming in all sorts of vibrant colors. "Now I'll definitely have enough to finish my costume," she says. "Maybe I'll even have enough to make a matching mask," she muses, picking up a glittering black feather as long as her forearm. "Oooh, this one is lovely."

Adam takes a step back from the couch to give Tarquin some room to work. He watches as the birds explode forth from the wand. "Wow!" he says. He's about to say more when Laurelia squeals, and he can't help himself - he bursts into laughter. "And you called me excitable!" he tells Tarquin, grinning. "But that was really amazing. I can't wait to learn it too!"

"Rosie, wait!" Tarquin calls out to his sister, but… it's too late. She's gone to get feathers, and he's left trying not to drop the mug of chocolate.
"Wingardium Leviosa!" He calls out, just as the mug is about to spill, pointing his wand at it. The mug harmlessly floats to a nearby table, and Tarquin exhales, staring over at his sister. The serious look doesn't last long, seeing her delight at the feathers, he just smiles at her. Somewhere, their younger brother would be seething right now.
"She is pretty excitable too," he has to admit to Adam. There's a pause. "I had a little talk with Evans. We have… how do Muggles say, patched things up? I know she's your friend. I won't apologize for my beliefs, but I didn't mean to insult her, and I told her as much. We're in good terms now… I think."

Laurelia is immune to calls of 'wait' and 'slow down' and 'watch out for that cliff' so Tarquin's call is summarily ignored. Dancing about, she spins and pirouettes through the snowfall of feathers, her blonde hair fanning out around her head, her bare feet barely touching the ground before they're leaping into the next moment of her dance, and she just looks happy.
All good things must come to an end however, and Laurelia tucks her feather treasure away for safe-keeping. The hot chocolate forgotten for the time being, she returns to the couch, spilling herself onto Tarquin's lap and drawing out her prize catch, the sparkling black feather, which she proceeds to tickle against the side of his neck. "Isn't it gorgeous, Quin?" she asks, resting her head on his shoulder, all tuckered out now, her cheeks flushed. She falls quiet when the topic turns to patching things up, her fingers drawing along the lenghth of the feather, expression full of subdued wonder.

Adam watches Laurelia, grinning at her sheer joy, but his grin fades when the talk turns more serious. "Oh," he says to Tarquin, hesitating. Then he smiles. "Well, good. I'm glad. A lot of people say some pretty insulting stuff even though they think they're being nice. There's been a lot of that lately, and it's got us both feeling a bit down. But I know you wouldn't be mean on purpose!" His smile falters. He doesn't know that for sure, but Tarquin seems nice. So he gives his head a firm nod and puts the smile back in place.

It's a little hard, not to let his eyes wander to see his sister dance. She is a very good dancer, and seeing family happy, makes Tarquin happy. As she spills herself onto his lap, Tarquin is ready for her, catching her and then trying to escape that tickling feather. "Stooop," he protests, but it's more playful than anything, really as he ends up chuckling. When the chuckling finally subsides, he smiles at Laurelia and nods, looking at the feather. "It is beautiful," he agrees, and gives his sister a small kiss on the top of her head, when she rests against his shoulder.
Wrapping his arms around Laurelia, he looks over at Adam and nods, offering the boy a genuine smile. "Not on purpose. But you're right, sometimes we say things, without considering how it'll affect others," he shares. "I told her I'd be more careful about such things."

"What did you say?" Laurelia asks, and while she sounds curious, her words are distracted as well, and she doesn't wait for a response before she adds, "I say things without thinking all the time, I hope no one holds it against me. I think what you mean is more important than what you say, but sometimes it doesn't come across correctly, and that's always a bother." She sets her feather on her lap carefully, drawing her arms around Tarquin's neck for better purchase.
"Who is Evans?" she asks, aiming this query at Adam now. "I haven't much of a memory," she says apologetically. "Unless it's a dance, or an artistic concept. I can remember faces, but names…" She makes a whimsical dancing motion with her fingers, each one slender and perfectly manicured. "They just dance away on the breeze."

"Thanks," Adam says to Tarquin, grateful. He smiles at Laurelia as well, but shrugs. He doesn't think she'd say anything mean without thinking about it, but he doesn't know for sure with her either. "Oh, she's my best friend," he says, able to answer that question. "Madeline Evans. Maddie the Magnificent. She's a first-year like me, but in Gryffindor." He grins. "Pity, but not everyone can be in the best House, I guess."

"I think that most people, at least the ones that know you, think you're far too sweet to be mean," Tarquin teases his sister, squeezing her gently. "At least most of the time," he quietly adds, moving his face away to escape any possible retaliation.
He waits until Adam addresses Laurelia's question, before adding, "She's decided to call me Tarquin the Terrific, and Ilsa, Ilsa the Illustrious," he shares, amused. "She's a sweet, if someone temperamental kid," he notes. Glancing at Adam he adds, "So, decided to focus on any particular career yet, or do you still want to do all the things?"

"Being mean is bad for the aura, darling," Laurelia says dramatically, patting Tarquin's cheek. "Plus, anyone being mean to me would have to deal with you, and who would want that?" she reasons. She notes Adam's look of uncertainty, then assures the younger boy, "I can be thoughtless sometimes, but I like to think I am pretty nice to everyone that deserves it."
Letting Adam have a moment to answer Tarquin's question, she leans off and away to grab for the mug of chocolate cream that still steams nearby on the table where Tarquin's levitation spell set it. Mug in-hand, she settles back down to spoon the rich semi-liquid between her lips, occasionally sharing a bit with Tarquin, but certainly giving herself the lion's share.

"Yeah," Adam says, smiling at Laurelia. "You seem nice!" He wonders who she considers deserving, though. "That's great!" he says to Tarquin. "Tarquin the Terrific, I'll remember that! I would've gone with Ilsa the Incredible, but Maddie got Illustrious out there first. Oh, a career? I think I like curse-breaker the most right now, so that's what I want to be!"

Tarquin rolls his eyes at the cheek patting, but endures it without complaint. He loves his sister that much. And she is right, anyone being mean to her, would have to deal with a very enraged Tarquin. A flash of protectiveness crosses his gaze, as if to make such a point. "You are," he agrees with Laurelia. "Our brother might disagree, but that's his nature. Being disagreeable." As she feeds him chocolate, he happily eats it up. Then uses a thumb to clean some of it, that lands on her chin.
He offers an indulgent smile to Adam and nods. "What name do you think Evans would give my sister?" He looks at Laurelia, grinning, before he glances back at Adam. "And good. Another curse-breaker in the making then. Let me know if I can help you with anything."

Laurelia scowls at Tarquin's mention of their younger brother, and for a moment there is nothing nice in her expression whatsoever. But the moment passes in a haze of chocolate, and she giggles when Tarquin wipes some from her chin, nibbling it off his finger - ever so helpful, that Laurelia.
"Good luck finding anything that even remotely rhymes with Laurelia," she laughs, shaking her head. "I think that would leave just about anyone stumped, such is my curse," she sighs - ever so dramatic, as usual. "Oh!" she says, upon hearing Adam's aspiration. "Tarquin is the best if you need study help, nothing makes him happier than cramming peoples' heads full of useless important facts," she says, beaming a teasing smile up at the Sixth year.

"Who's your brother?" Adam asks, missing Laurelia's expression. "How about Laurelia the Lovely?" he then suggests, going with the first word that springs to mind. "That's what I'd go with anyway! They don't have to rhyme. Adam the Amazing doesn't rhyme, it's just true!" He was the one who initiated giving people names like that when he declared himself Adam the Amazing. "Really?" he says to Tarquin's offer. "That'd be great! Oh, are you any good at Potions? Maddie's helping me, but I'm still really struggling with that class."

Tarquin watches Laurelia's reaction to the mention of their brother with some curiosity, but immediately smiles when she nibbles chocolate of his finger and that seems to calm her down.
"That's not true. There are a few other things that make me happy and happier," he mildly protests his sister's characterization of his tutoring practices. But then Adam is mentioning their brother again and Tarquin offers him a bit of a warning glance, as he looks between him and Laurelia. He adds a smile, though.
"Best not talk about him," and that's that about the brother. The name assigned to Laurelia by Adam, however, garners an arched brow. "Well, that is a… lovely name," he says, chuckling. "I think little Irving here likes you, dear sister. But, he's right. It doesn't have to actually rhyme. Laurelia the Lovely. I like it." He nods to Adam. "Well done, Adam the Amazing. And I'm decent at Potions. It's not my strongest subject, but I imagine I could help you out."

Laurelia goes quite quiet when the talk of her absent sibling continues, her expression stony to say the least. "I am rather lovely," she says, leaping on the opportunity to change the subject, and she bats her long lashes at Adam playfully. "Well, Irving's a little young for me yet," she tells Tarquin, considering the younger boy like a spider eyeing a particularly adorable fly. "But perhaps one day," she tells Adam with a mirthful wink. "It's not every day a girl gets to snog someone with 'the Amazing' tacked onto their name, after all," she laughs.

"Oh, sorry," Adam murmurs when he learns that talk of their brother is taboo. He lowers his eyes, regretting having brought up the subject, but he looks up again at Laurelia's words. "I didn't mean-!" he says, his face going bright red. "Well, I just… I mean, you are! I wasn't… That is… I don't…" His mouth opens and closes several times as he looks to Tarquin, at a loss.

"And rather modest too," Tarquin offers teasingly, lightly nudging his sister around some, just to immediately give her a hug. But then when she starts teasing poor Adam, he's nudging her again. "Stop tormenting the firstie, Rosie," he gently chastises, shaking his head. He frowns at her, but it doesn't last.
He shakes his head to Adam, as a sign to just ignore it all. "She's playing with you. Don't sweat it," he says gently, offering a smile.

Laurelia leans back on Tarquin's lap when he hugs her, still laughing. "Don't tell him that," she says. "Look, he's turning the most adorable shades of red and pink," she points out, encouraging even more color-changing in the First year student.
Picking up the sparkling black feather from her lap lest their movement knock it off, she turns to Adam then, her smile unrelentingly flirtatious. "You didn't mean what?" she asks. "You don't think I'm lovely?" she asks, all wide-eyed innocence, as if on the very verge of heartbreak.

With a rather distracted air, Dora made her way down from the domitory, expression distant while she read over the top parchment of the stack of them in her hands. The owl had come but yesterday and while she'd been pleased with the letter that she'd gotten from her Uncle, it was the rest that held her distracted and thus, as she made her way one of the rather fluffy chairs near the hearth.
The sound of her cousins drawing her attention long enough for her to smile in their direction, before she simply comparmentalized herself into the smallest piece imaginable in the chair. A little wave offered in Adam's direction.

Adam, his face still bright red, nods at Tarquin and manages a smile before looking back to Laurelia. "What?" he says, his eyes going wide. "No, of course not! I mean, of course I do! You are lovely! I just, I wasn't trying to say…" He trails off, unsure of what it is he wasn't trying to say. He manages a distracted wave to Adorabella, but right now it looks as though he wishes the floor would open up and swallow him.

"He's not a festive candle for you to make change colors," Tarquin mildly tells his sister, shaking his head. "Irving, don't listen to her, she's just teasing," he assures the younger boy. And as to prove the point, he tickles Laurelia, to make her break her heartbroken character and laugh.
When Dora enters, Tarquin pauses, then offers a smile in her direction. "Dora," he greets her.

Laurelia remains in character as long as she can, fixing Adam with her starry-eyed heartbreak until Tarquin's tickling has her shrieking with laughter. "Fine, fine!" she conceeds, grabbing at his hands and wrapping them around her waist. "I know what you meant, Irving - but that just means I've got my eye on you now." And as if to prove it, she blows the younger boy a kiss, pairing it with a playful wink.
"Dora," she echoes Tarquin when their cousin arrives, and she wiggles her fingers at the older girl in a way that could also be considered flirtatious - but it's really just Laurelia's personality seeping into every little thing. "Reading anything good?" she asks, settling her head back on her brother's shoulder. "I just saved Quin from Transfiguration," she claims, nodding toward a discarded text-book nearby.

"Tarquin," Dora replied, peering in the boy's direction over the tops of her papers before she went back to looking at the papers. "Laurelia." Pause, whilst pages shuffled. "My mother..," she begins, rather distant from the conversation at hand. "My mother sent me a letter. She never pays attention to anything," or at least, that was how Dora took it but, "She wrote me." And again, back to the page.

"Okay," Adam tells Tarquin, falling to his knees so that he can hide his face behind the couch. He flashes Laurelia a sheepish grin when she blows a kiss his way, but at the moment is too embarrassed to say much of anything. He does look in Dora's direction, however, slightly curious.

"Saved me, she says," Tarquin muses, smiling at his sister and shaking his head. He considers for a moment and shrugs. "I guess that is one way to look at it, but it wasn't Transfiguration you saved me from," he notes with a faint chuckle. He leans his head against Laurelia, flashing poor Adam a reassuring grin, before his attention goes back to Dora.
He arches a brow at his cousin's words, turning a little somber. "How is she? What is she saying?"

Laurelia looks between Adorabella and Tarquin when it seems the topic is getting more serious, and she settles against her brother to let the pair talk. Adam's disappearing act warrants an appreciative giggle, but she follows Tarquin's lead, sobering somewhat.

"She's…," Dora begins and then stops and then regroups to try again. "I had a trust. Or well, have. It had been…tucked away, in the form of a dowry since I was the only girl. I just…she never pays attention to thinks but..," Dora trialed off and then gave a little shrug. "Since I'm of age, she thought that it would help with school…"

Adam is hiding behind the couch Tarquin and Laurelia are sitting in, but he peeks up over it at Dora. He isn't entirely sure of what she's talking about, so he remains quiet for the moment, looking uncertainly to the pair on the couch.

Tarquin is sitting on a couch, with Laurelia on his lap and resting against him. "You should get us more chocolate," he suggests to his sister, even though his arms remain wrapped around her. His attention returning to Dora, he nods. "That is good news?" He half asks, half says to his cousin. "This means you would have access to it, right?"

Ilsa enters the common room, a bounce in her step and a dreamy smile on her lips. Blue eyes sweep over the room, resting upon each Hufflepuff in turn. "Hello, hello," she greets, waving to the group before dropping onto a nearby couch.

Eager perhaps for a chance to do something other than sit in awkward silence, Laurelia spills out of Tarquin's lap like an impatient kitten, heading for the buffet table. "Anyone else want anything?" she asks, smiling brightly as she refills her mug with hot chocolate and pours a new one entirely for Tarquin. Whipped cream goes on top of both and she carries them over to the couch, looking from one face to the next expectantly.

"Yes," Dora answers, still looking somewhat baffled herself. "In pieces, but yes and with more over time. I didn't..," the girl trails off, shaking her head her expression still baffled. "I feel like I ought to be excited and help Uly somehow and yet…," yet she wasn't and those all too offical documents were carefully folded up. "I unno. But I'm happy."

Adam doesn't sit in awkward silence, he kneels in it. All this official trust fund stuff goes right over his head. At least the talk distracts Laurelia - his face is no longer the bright red it was moments ago. He looks round at Ilsa when she comes in and waves to her. "Hi, Ilsa!"

"Ilsa," Tarquin greets his other cousin. Hufflepuff sometimes feels like it's all one extended family. And Irving. Hiding from Laurelia, behind the couch. He looks in the direction of Adam and can't help the grin showing on his face.
"Thank you, Rosie," he says to Laurelia as she returns with the hot chocolate, taking his mug from her, and making room for her to sit down with him again if she wants.
He then smiles at Dora and nods. "Good. I'm glad things are working out," he says, studying her for a moment. "To happy moments," he raises his mug and takes a sip.

"Me too," Dora agrees and with a distracted glance at the time, "Excuse me," retreats from the room.

Ilsa laughs as she catches sight of Adam's head peeking over the back of the couch. "Hi, Adam. Why don't you sit on the couch instead of behind it?" Glancing to her cousins, she casts each a warm smile in turn. "Mmm, that does look quite delicious," she admits to Laurelia, the sight of the hot chocolate suddenly enticing her appetite. Watching Dora's swift departure, she appears a bit disappointed to have just missed her cousin. "I only caught the tail-end, but it sounds like Dora got some good news? I'm glad for it, if so."

Laurelia beelines for Ilsa, offering her cousin the steaming mug of chocolate. "It is quite good," she assures her, moving to reclaim her perch on Tarquin's lap. "I'll just share his, since he had like, half of my first one," she claims, embellishing the actual amount she shared by… a lot. Settling back down, she watches as Adorabella departs. "People should smile more, it's hard to be sad or depressed - or depressing, if you just smile." These words of wisdom spoken, she makes grabby-hands at Tarquin's mug, aiming to get a spoonful for herself.
"Right, Irving?" she asks for confirmation, turning a mega-watt smile on the First year as she waits for his response, her teasing expression not at all discreet.

"Oh," Adam says, his face flushing at Ilsa's question. "I was just… I mean, yeah. Good idea." He stands up, glances to Tarquin and Laurelia, and then walks over to one of the empty couches. But he freezes halfway there and looks over at Laurelia. "Er," he says, his cheeks turning red again. "Right!" He gives her an abashed smile and then scurries over to the couch and curls up on it.

Tarquin watches Dora leave with a flash of concern, his attention drawn back to the group as he hears Ilsa's laughter. He looks between her and Adam. "That's a good question. You should sit on the couch, Irving," he agrees with his cousin, nodding at her. When Ilsa brings Dora up again, he nods. "It sounded like good news, yes," he says.
Listening to Laurelia he grins. "I didn't hear you complain the first time," when he had a little bit of her chocolate. And he doesn't complain either, as his sister goes all grabby-hands on his mug, letting her have her spoonful. Looking between Adam and Laurelia he shakes his head at his sister. "You're terrible."

Ilsa was certainly not expecting an immediate hot chocolate delivery. She peeks up at Laurelia, flashing her a wide smile. "I didn't mean you had to give yours away," she protests, but since her cousin seems certain, she lifts the mug to take a small careful sip. Her eyes close briefly as she enjoys the heat and flavor of the drink, eyelashes fluttering open again just in time to catch the sight of Adam's red cheeks. Suppressing a grin, she glances from him to Laurelia with a quizzical look. Her eyes reflect an unspoken question, although she voices her agreement with Laurelia instead. "Yes. The world would be a happier place if people just decided to smile more often."

Laurelia is distracted from her torture of the First year by Tarquin's hot chocolate - sweets save the day fairly often in House Hufflepuff. "Exactly," she tells Ilsa. "Smiling is literally no hardship, sometimes when I am sad or scared, I take a moment to smile just to make sure I still can - and no matter what, I have always been able to." By the brightness of her eyes and her easy smile, it might be hard to imagine Laurelia sad or scared, but she seems adamant that it's happened before. "So, anyone got plans for Valentine's day?" she wonders. "I can't believe it's almost February already, it feels like Christmas was just last week."

Adam draws his legs onto the couch under him and pulls the collar of his robes up over his face as he watches the older students. He shakes his head Laurelia's question. Valentine's Day is another one of those embarrassing topics. He lowers his collar long enough to say, "Maddie wants to make a giant pink heart for the Great Hall, I think." He makes a face at the idea and pulls his collar back up.

"No plans here," Tarquin admits to his sister, but then glances at her, curious. "I fully suspect you're going to be changing that," he says, a little amused. He then looks at Adam and nods. "Are you getting something for Evans?" He asks, as way to include the firstie in the conversation. Then he looks at Ilsa, to see if she has any plans.

"It's funny how you can sometimes coax yourself into a better mood by doing something so simple," Ilsa remarks to Laurelia, smiling as if in demonstration of the subject they're discussing. She glances to Adam, nodding approvingly even if it might not be something an eleven year old boy would agree with. "I think some decorations would look nice." Laurelia's question gives her pause as she glances between the trio, her gaze settling first upon Laurelia, then Tarquin, then Adam. And suddenly it's the Selwyn's turn for flushed cheeks. "Oh, well, uh. I didn't expect to have plans, but now it seems I might," she admits before hastily bending her face over the mug of hot chocolate.

Laurelia returns the mug to Tarquin, having achieved her desired level of chocolatization. It's a real thing, seriously! "A pink heart full of candy could be really nice," she says, enthusiastic about the idea. "So when some rotten anti-holiday student tries to break it, it actually gets even better." She levels a crooked smile at Adam, more friendly than overtly flirtatious this time.
"Ooooh, has someone got a crush on our Ilsa?" she asks, wrapping her arms around her knees to form a little bundle there on Tarquin's lap as she goes into super-nosy mode. "Has there been snogging yet?" she asks, eyes bright with curiosity. "Or is that going to be saved for the big V-day?"
Tarquin's query just gets a mischievous smile. "You never know what I'm going to do until I do it," claims the unpredictable Fifth year. "So just be on your toes."

Adam's nods his head, managing to give Laurelia an uncertain smile in return. But his eyes go wide at Tarquin's question. "No," he says. "Why would I do that? We're not- I mean, she's not my /girlfriend/." He watches the others warily, feeling as though he doesn't belong in this conversation. But curiosity gets the better of him and he asks, "What exactly is that? Snogging. What's it mean exactly?"

Tarquin coughs, as he's sipping from his chocolate and Ilsa admits to having plans. "Oh?" He asks, grinning at his cousin. And that single word comes along with a silent, 'elaborate,' of course.
He takes the mug back from his sister, and it's his turn to indulge in chocolatization. It is a thing. He chuckles at her suggestion for decorations, shaking his head. He fully expected his sister's super-nosy mode, so he's not surprised by the questions and he offers a sympathetic look to Ilsa, that does little to mask his own curiosity.
"With you, I'm always on my toes," Tarquin notes, gently poking at his sister's side. He looks over at Adam and arches a brow at the boy. "I know she's not. But she's a close friend, right? Is she your best friend? Valentine's Day is not only about boyfriends and girlfriends. What if she is getting you something, and you don't get her anything?" Ah, snogging. He pats Laurelia's shoulder gently, to indicate, she gets to field that question.

Ilsa laughs aloud at Laurelia's suggestion, eyes bright with mischief. "Ooh, that's a good idea. I think we'll have to recruit you for any holiday planning we intend to do," she decides, gesturing to the surroundings. "Perhaps we could make something fun appear in the common room." The fifth year nods in agreement with Tarquin, casting Adam an encouraging look. "It doesn't have to be about boyfriends and girlfriends. It can be about friendship and just enjoying other people's company, too." But then there's Laurelia's line of questioning and Tarquin's look of curiosity. "Maaaaybe?" she answers, drawing the word out. And suddenly her cheeks have gone from a slight pink to bright red. "I mean, I don't even know. It's all so sudden and unexpected, so. We'll see." She clears her throat and tries to direct the conversation back to Laurelia, gesturing to Adam as if encouraging her to be the one to explain.

Laurelia sighs dramatically. "Sometimes I get the feeling you all don't want to answer my questions!" she exclaims, but she dutifully turns to poor Adam, her smile wickedly gleeful as she explains, "Snogging is when you do your lips like this," and she demonstrates by puckering her pouty pink lips up just so. "And someone else does theirs like this," and here she parts her lips slightly, her eyes half-closing for a moment. "And then you slam them together like slap-bang and boom - there's fireworks and babies and all sorts of things." Sure, she could have just said 'making out' but what's life without traumatizing Firsties?
"It's great, give it a year or so and you'll be snogging all the girls you like," she tells Adam, perhaps not helpfully. "There are some holidays I absolutely cannot stand. Like Guy Fawkes day," she says, shivering slightly and sidling closer to Tarquin - which is impressive, since she's already on his lap. "I cannot stand fireworks," she confesses. "Even Exploding Snap sets my nerves on edge," she says, speaking of the popular wizarding card game.

"Oh," Adam says, Tarquin's line of questioning puzzling him. He hadn't considered that Madeline might get him something. "Yeah, she's my best friend. So what should I give her?" He turns his attention to Laurelia and watches as she explains. He looks more disgusted the more he learns. "No I won't!" he says, screwing his face up. "Why'd anyone want to do that?" He thinks about it for a moment and then shudders. "Oh, Guy Fawkes is the best! I love that holiday." Then he grins. "But why don't you like fireworks? You like snogging!"

Tarquin studies Ilsa, hints of a smile on his lips. He looks a little like a father trying to read through a daughter's words. Still, the smile remains and he adds, "Well, I'm happy for you," to her. He tries not to chuckle at his sister's demonstration, but that fails. At least, he doesn't laugh out loud. "Fireworks and… babies? Really?" He snorts, and Tarquin doesn't ever snort.
"She got most of that right. It's something you do with someone you like, a lot and there is kissing involved," he eyes his sister, shaking his head. Still, as she continues, and shivers, he instinctively wraps his arms around her protectively, drawing her close.
"Well, you should get her something nice," he says to Adam. "It doesn't have to be something too complicated. Candy would do, or a book you think she would like."

Ilsa exhales quietly, appearing somewhat relieved that Laurelia didn't decide to turn her questions into an interrogation. She casts Tarquin a warm smile in response. "Thanks, Quin." Eyes wide, she turns to watch Laurelia's demonstration with a look of pure amusement. She lifts a hand to her mouth to stifle her giggles, shaking her head adamantly. "That sounds about right, except for the babies. And not fireworks either, not real ones. Butterflies maybe." Casting Laurelia a sympathetic look, she shakes her head. "But they're so pretty!" She glances toward Adam, his last comment drawing an amused laugh.

Laurelia huffs. "Oh sure, you all have an opinion now after I've done all the heavy lifting of the explanation," she accuses, but there is laughter in her words. "It's not that I don't like fireworks themselves," she tries to explain to Adam. "It's… I don't like loud, sudden noises. Even if I am expecting them, they just bother me," she says, sinking into Tarquin's protective hold gratefully.
"You don't really have to worry about babies from snogging either," she confesses to the disgusted-looking boy. "I mean, not unless it is some very serious snogging that's progressed to something else entirely. Kissing is nice, girls really like it so your best bet is to get over your horror and get good at it before it's suddenly go-time and you're caught with your pants down." She giggles. "Not literally though. Pants down is a bit more of the post-snog and you're not ready for that explanation yet."

"Okay," Adam says to Tarquin, thinking. "Well, books are a little expensive. Where can I get sweets? I can't go to Hogsmeade, but I wonder if I could get some delivered by owl." He's distracted by Ilsa and Laurelia, however, and he gives them a sheepish grin. But when Laurelia goes on, his mouth drops open. He gapes at her for several seconds, a flush creeping over his face once more. He doesn't even know what to say to that.

"Rosie!" Tarquin chastises his sister again, but he's actually laughing now. "Merlin's beard," he says, and then chuckles again, sort of tickling his sister into a hug. "You're incorrigible," he sounds so amused, and then rests his chin on her shoulder, saying something quietly to her.
He considers Adam's predicament. "I'll tell you what, you tell me what kind of candy you want to get her, and I'll get it for you this next Hogsmeade weekend?" He offers. Bros gotta stick together, yo.
"So you've been getting butterflies, hmm?" He asks toward Ilsa, totally not missing her comment.

Ilsa finds it impossible to keep a straight face now, doubled up on the couch with laughter. "Ohhh, my. I think you might have given more information than Irving is ready to process," she teases, sneaking a glance at the mortified looking first year. "Candy is always a nice idea." This last offered in reply to Adam before her attention turns to Tarquin with a sheepish grin, giving a nod of affirmation. "Either due to giddiness or nervousness or both, I suppose!"

Having gotten the shocked reaction she was looking for from Adam, Laurelia giggles and relents on the onslaught. "What, I thought it was funny," she murmurs, smiling up at Tarquin when he speaks more quietly. "There'll be all sorts of Valentine's Day-ccentric sweets at Honeydukes, you can't go wrong with anything prettily wrapped and it doesn't even have to be all red hearts - I saw a glass box of edible flower petals wrapped in yellow ribbon that was very tasteful," she notes.
"Speaking of tasteful, I've been making excuses about missing homework assignments for the better part of a week. Quin, if I get everything organized, will you help me finish up later?" she asks, batting her lashes helplessly, apparently unopposed to using her wiles even on her hapless older brother. She scoots off of his lap, rising to her markedly diminutive full height. "I'll be down in just a bit," she calls over her shoulder, heading for the dorm. "See you later, Ilsa! Byyyyyye, Irving!" she calls in a sing-songy tone toward the First year, laughing as she bounds off and out of view.

Adam stares at Laurelia until she gets up to leave and then he gives himself a small shake. He lifts his hand in a dazed wave to her and then turns to Tarquin and Ilsa, trying to remember what they were talking about. Oh, candy. "Er, yeah," he says to Tarquin, remembering to smile. "I'll do that. Thanks." Biting on his lip, he fiddles with the hem of his robes as if finding them suddenly fascinating.

"And my sister just offered to help me find candy," Tarquin notes, as Laurelia mentions those options. He flashes her a grin and her question gets her a bit of a look. "Do you even have to ask? Of course I'll help you, silly bean," he tells her. She doesn't need those wiles, when it comes to helping her with schoolwork.
As she stands up he flashes her an adoring smile. A look of sympathy is offered to Adam. "Just let me know what you want and I'll get it for you," he repeats, in case the boy missed what he was saying. He stands up then.
"I should get ready to help my sister study," he decides, smiling at Ilsa and offering a polite nod to Adam. "Be well, both of you."

Adam looks up at Tarquin as he stands and smiles. "Yes," he says. "I will. I'll have to think about it. Thank you." He nods his head at the older boy and gives him a hesitant wave, adding, "You too." Then he glances to Ilsa before looking off into a distant corner of the common room, thinking.

Ilsa waves, watching her cousins depart before turning full attention back to Adam. She grins, although it's a kindly expression. "Lots to think over now, hm?"

"Hm?" Adam says, Ilsa's question drawing him out of his thoughts. He grins at her, color returning to his cheeks. "Oh, yes. Lots and lots." He chews on his lip for a moment and then all of a sudden asks, "I'm not really supposed to worry about all that stuff yet, right?"

Ilsa shakes her head, casting the boy a reassuring look. "No, you still have plenty of time until you have to worry about. Honestly? There's nothing to worry about anyway, until that sort of things starts sounding less squicky and more of interest. Like something you might /want/ to do.

"Oh, people actually want to do that?" Adam says, making another disgusted face despite himself. "I thought they were just having a laugh. Y'know, trying to get a rise out of me." He grins down at the floor. "Which I guess they did." He shrugs. "I won't worry then."

Ilsa lifts her mug of hot chocolate, now sufficiently cooled, and takes a small sip. Adam's expression makes her laugh, her blue eyes bright with amusement. "Oh, yes. It's really quite… enjoyable," she admits, lifting the mug just a bit higher to conceal a smile. "My cousin seems to be good at getting a rise out of you," she adds teasingly, speaking about Laurelia. "All in good fun, of course."

"Oh," Adam says, his cheeks turning pink again. "Yeah, well… I was asked to come up with a name for her. Y'know, like Adam the Amazing, or Ilsa the Illustrious. And I said Laurelia the Lovely and then Tarquin said I liked her and she started saying all of… that sort of stuff."

"Laurelia the Lovely. It does have a nice ring to it," Ilsa muses, although she can't help but grin again. "They're just teasing you, you know. It's hard not to do when you react so cutely." Poor Adam.

"See?" Adam says, grinning. But when Ilsa goes on, he starts blushing again. "I don't react cutely!" he protests, sinking into his couch as though he could disappear that way. "I don't even know how to react!"

Ilsa laughs softly, leaning back against the couch. "Maybe that's why it's so fun. Don't worry, Irving, I get that treatment too. I think those of us who sometimes get flustered can be the most fun to tease."

"I don't get flustered!" Adam says. But then he realizes that he has been ever since he came up with that name for Laurelia. "Well, I guess I do." He pauses. "D'you really think it's a good idea that I get Maddie something for Valentine's? What if she doesn't get me anything? When someone suggested that I was her boyfriend, she said ew!"

Ilsa grins at Adama's admission. "I think it's a lovely idea. If you're worried that it would be taken the wrong way, you can make some emphasize upon your friendship so she understands. But really, what girl doesn't like sweets? It would be a nice gesture, I think!"

"Okay," Adam says, relieved. "I think it'd be a nice gesture too! I just don't want things to get awkward again." He bites his lip, remembering, and then looks back to Ilsa. "So how do I emphasize that it's about friendship? And what if someone else suggests that I'm her boyfriend like last time?"

"What happened last time to give someone the impression that she was your girlfriend?" Ilsa questions curiously. "As for showing that it's just friends, I don't quite know. You could write a card and just keep it simple. 'Happy Valentine's Day! I appreciate your friendship.' Or well… that sounds a bit formal, but you know what I mean."

Adam glances at Ilsa, blushing again. "Oh," he says, "well, we were just talking about what we wanted to do after school, and Maddie and I were arguing over who'd be the first to tame a dragon. And someone said it looked like I'd found myself a girlfriend." He looks away, his cheeks burning. "That's a good idea, though. I'll write a card. And maybe I could say 'from your friend, Adam' and make the word 'friend' really big." He shrugs, uncomfortable.

"Yes, that's a perfect idea. I'm sure she would understand that message - and probably appreciate it if she really does worry about people thinking anything else exists between the two of you." Ilsa offers another quick nod. "I imagine people will always try to make statements about a boy and a girl being close. It's just the way things are. People tend to make assumptions… but the important thing is that you and Maddie are on the same page."

"It is?" Adam asks, surprised but relieved. "I'll do it then! I don't want things to be awkward between us. We're friends!" He nods his head. "Yeah, we usually are. On the same page, I mean. Everyone's always made assumptions about us, just not those kind of assumptions. Usually it's about us being Muggle-born. I think it's really starting to get to her." It's starting to get to him too.

Ilsa nods, her expression fading into a more solemn expression. "That has to be hard, coming here and facing such opposition and doubts." She pauses, some sort of internal debate going on. "I was raised in a pureblood family and I've always thought… well, no. It doesn't really matter what I believe. The important thing is simply that you are smart and capable and determined to learn as much as you. Be the best wizard you can. It will not be an easy road, but I do hope that you find a way to prove them wrong, Adam. You and Maddie both."

Adam smiles, but there's a touch of sadness in it. "That's just it, though," he says quietly. "We shouldn't have to prove anyone wrong. Why's there have to be this expectation that we'll be horrible wizards in the first place? But thanks, I'm glad you think I'm okay." He grins. "I'm going to be a great wizard. Actually, I already am. I'm amazing!"

Ilsa shifts uncomfortably on the couch, shaking her head. "It's because purebloods were raised to do exactly this. It's natural. Muggles come from an entirely different world, a different life…" She lets her words trail off as she casts Adam an apologetic smile. "But again, that doesn't really matter. You believe in yourself, work hard, and try to avoid those who would wish you ill." When he grins, her smile returns. "That's the spirit!"

Adam's grin turns into a self-conscious one. "Yeah," he says, "I have been avoiding them. That's why I've spent so much time in the common room lately. At least the purists in Hufflepuff pretend to be nice, and I can always go to the dorms if I want." He lifts his eyes to the windows. "I should go outside more, though. Before winter's over."

Ilsa smiles at that. "Can I make a confession? When I first came here, I was desperate to be in Ravenclaw, and secretly a little bit disappointed to be a Hufflepuff. That? That didn't last long at all. Now I can't imagine being anything else or with anyone else." Following his gaze toward the window, she nods. "It's a pretty sight, that's certain."

Adam grins. "Oh, I love being a Hufflepuff!" he says. "I think it's the best House. I didn't know what to think when I was Sorted, though. I didn't know anything about any of the Houses. I'm really glad I was put in the best one." He looks around the common room, beaming at it. Then he asks, "D'you like playing in the snow?"

Ilsa smiles, nodding in agreement. "My brother is a Ravenclaw and I wanted so desperately to be like him that at first I didn't recognize that this was the best place for me. It didn't take long to learn that, and to fall in love with our house. Now I wouldn't change any of it, not a single thing!" She folds her legs onto the couch, nodding slowly. "I do enjoy it. But I've been tiring of it a bit and looking forward to springtime too. Snow makes it harder to stroll around the grounds in the evenings as I like to do."

"Neither would I!" Adam says, though he hesitates. "Well, maybe one thing." But he shrugs it off. "Really? I like spring, but winter is so much fun! You can build snowmen, make snow angels, throw snowballs at people. Oh! And climb trees and shake the snow off the branches when people walk underneath. That one's the best!"

"What thing is that?" Ilsa asks curiously, the words popping out of her mouth before she can consider that Adam might not wish to divulge such information. Laughing, she glances out the window again. "Shaking snow off the branches onto unsuspecting people below. I've not tried that one before!"

"You should try it!" Adam says. "It's loads of fun. Especially if the trunk is thick enough to hide behind. Then they don't even know you're doing it!" He grins, but not for long. He looks at Ilsa, uncertain, and then quietly says, "Well, don't tell anyone I said this, but sometimes I really, really, really wish my parents were wizards."

Ilsa grins at Adam's words, nodding. "I'll have to try it sometime," she agrees, although her expression grows instantly solemn. "Your secret is safe with me. I won't say a word. And… I don't think you should ever wish to be different than you are. I'm sure your parents are wonderful in their own right. Your path may be harder than some, but you will make it through as determined and strong as you are."

Adam bites down on his lip, ashamed that he even thought such a thing, let alone said it aloud. He glances around the common room, suddenly afraid someone else might have heard. "Yeah," he says, nodding at Ilsa, "I know. I don't wish I was different. I like my parents. I just wish… Well, it would be easier if they were." He knows Ilsa promised not to say anything, but he still has to add, "Please don't tell Maddie."

Ilsa nods solemnly. "I understand, Adam, I do. I see the way some of them treat muggleborn and halfblood wizards and it's just terrible. There's no reason for unnecessary cruelty. None. It's inexcusable. And I understand why you said what you did. I'm not sure if I would be strong enough to face what you do every day. I promise I won't say anything to anyone." She rises to her feet, sighing softly. "I should probably go. Still have a few last-minute assignments to tend to for tomorrow."

Adam sinks back into the couch, relieved. "Thanks," he says quietly. "I'm not that strong or brave. Not like Maddie. She doesn't ever wish she was different." He looks up when Ilsa says she should go and nods. "Okay. See you around, Ilsa the Illustrious." A hint of his usual grin appears on his face as he lifts a hand to wave to her.

Ilsa grins, waving to the first year. "See you around, Adam… what was yours again? Adam the Admirable?"

"The Amazing!" Adam says, laughing. "But I'll accept Admirable, Awesome, Astonishing, Astounding, or Astronomical! But not Acceptable or Average. Those are right out!"

Ilsa laughs, nodding. "Right! Amazing. Alright then. Good evening to you, Adam the Amazing, Admirable, and Astounding," she calls out teasingly. Grinning, she waves and disappears toward the girl dormitories.

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