(1939-02-03) Gryffindor's Illegal Pillows: Part 3 of 3: Aftermath
Details for Gryffindor's Illegal Pillows: Part 3 of 3: Aftermath
Summary: …so after the violence dies down, a few choice words are spoken, the cushions to various couches in the gryffindor common room are destroyed, and someone murmers what might be a blood-oath of vengeance. Oh dear…
Date: 03 February, 1939
Location: Gryffindor Common Room
Related: This is Part 1 of a 4 part series. Links full series:
Part 1: Prologue
Part 2: The Fight
Part 3: Aftermath
Part 4: Epilogue
Also Owls Fair In Love And War, En-Gage-ing The Enemy, Weasley-Sykes Showdown and Solutions To A Puzzle.

The big, round common room of Gryffindor Tower is full of squashy stuffed armchairs and couches upholstered in rich red fabric. Tables are placed in useful spots around the room and a bulletin board is up on one wall, where school notices, ads, lost posters, etc. can be posted. The wooden floors are covered by old Persian rugs and the walls are covered in burgundy wallpaper that depict various mystical animals in golden silhouettes. Illumination is provided by a large window that looks out onto the castle grounds and is supplemented by a fireplace that dominates one large section of the wall providing not only light but also warmth.

Variel stands and turns towards Garret, starting towards him now that Angus has been cared for. "You wan'ta talk loyalty, Garret? Let's do. Yeh're actin' like a spoiled, idjit toddler over a few bloody pillows when what yeh ought ta be doin' is apologizin' fer bein' a right bloody cunt and shuttin' yer damn gob." Variel's accent thickens dramatically when he's upset, clearly. "Only one's talked a word'a disloyal tripe is you, yeh daft blighter, an' yeh deserve far worse'n a few pillows about yeh're face. Mayhap yeh didn't ken as how they kept Selwyn from turnin' yer face inta black puddin'. Mayhap yeh didn't notice that I've been MORE friendly with yer family since the attack, no' LESS. I mentioned yer family seein' as how yeh oughtta unnerstand why I don't give a rat's arse about the bloody house points." He keeps advancing.
"D'yeh ken what pulls the carriages from station t'school each year? Cuz I ken. I see'em, because I watched folk die, you immature, thoughtless little smudge. I saw a girl soaked in her mother's blood, dragged away by her sobbin' brother, so's she wouldn't die inna fire when th'ballroom came down. Yeh don't know what yer talkin', Garret, and until yeh do, yer gonna keep bringin' shame on yer house, yer family and yer worthless, addlepated self. YEH are the one makin' family an issue here. YEH are the one slandered BOTH our families. YEH are the attakin' yer housemates- all I did was shut yeh up a mo' and kept Ulysses off your idiotic arse. So SHUT. UP."

"Is he really fine?" Nell asks skeptically, watching Angus's departure. Her eyes widen, full attention focused intently upon Variel as he speaks. The color drains from her face as she listens, the Muggle-born firstie deciding this is not a good conversation to interrupt. She sidles sideways until she has positioned herself behind one of the stuffed armchairs, gaze flickering from person to person as she solemnly listens to the conversation.

Ice becomes Garretts face. His countenance retracts into a placid sheet of pure disgust as Variel approaches. "A few radicals and some fire is all it takes to get you to ignore your responsibilities. And you two call ME pathetic?" The young Gryffindor slides his wand back into his robe pocket without stirring from his seat.
"Nell, you've made it just in time." Garrett says half heartedly. "You've missed Variel attacking his house mates with magic. And old Selwyn attacking them the old fashioned way. BOTH violations of school policy. But I guess with so much going on in the world these days, poor behavior and violence is now excusable. They were raised right, these two."
The Sykes finally cracks a smile through the ice. "Nothing they say has any merit. They're as violent and vicious as the terrorists. The Sacred 28 bring us full circle - now they're terrorizing the wizarding world too. How ugly."

"A LITTLE FIRE AND A FEW RADICALS?!" Variel shouts in Garret's face at that. "People DIED, you blighted waste of a child!! There's two mothers're never gonna hold their children again because of "a few radicals," and I'll not stand for you trying to minimize their MURDERS. And you've even less backbone than wits if you felt threatened by a few pillows, Garret. You keep conveniently forgetting the bit where they did their job and kept someone's FISTS off your face, you're so busy playing the bloody victim. Keeping Ulysses off you, THAT was loyalty, the concept of which you have firmly asserted you've no ACTUAL grasp."

Nell casts Garrett a bewildered look, her features darkening into a frown of worry. "Attacked their housemates? But… why?" She glances questioningly toward Variel, her gaze straying toward the pendant around his neck before quickly returning to his face. His tirade causes the usually bold first-year to shrink back a little. She's used to speaking her mind, but she's learned by now that the Sykes incident is not something to be debated.

Angelus' gaze scans the faces closest to him, and the arrivals, and sighs as he looks back to Angus when he says he's fine. "You had better be, mate; going and getting yourself hurt wouldn't be very smart." He says with a touch of a grin, and regards his year mate as he heads off. "I'll help you out, Macmillan," Gel offers, apparently not so keen on letting Angus go on his own should he have more of an injury. But he does pause to shoot a look over his shoulder to Garrett and Variel, and he lets out a sigh. "Weasley, don't get dragged into anything," says the third year with a shake of his head. "Sykes is just talking nonsense now," he sighs out in disappointment as his blue eyes flick to Garrett. "I suggest exercising some of that quiet now before…" He shrugs, trailing off and flicking his gaze onto Nell. "Too much of an audience. Hey, sweetheart," Gel moves over to Nell, offering out a hand to rest on her shoulder, lowering down to whisper quietly to her.

"Why indeed, Nell?" Garrett turns his eyes from Variel. "In the midst of these hysterics, a few people seemed to have forgotten that while Spells and Stones can break your bones, words should never hurt you. And yet my words seemed to have caused the Weasleys such distress that he applied the use of illegal wizardy in the common rooms against his fellow."
Garrett rolls his eyes. "He SAYS it's for my own protection. But I assure you, had that spoiled Selwyn struck my person, I'd be in Azkaban by now for what I'd do to him!" He gives another eye roll when Gelly has his say. "The only reason Angus was hurt is because that bloody Selwyn attempted to ASSAULT me in the first place. At his age if you aren't dignified enough to handle simple discourse, you should be equipped to handle a wand. He's a walking bludgeon without senses of morals. And that's a fact. It's evidenced by his gruesome actions."
Garrett shrugs. "You might not agree with me, but Dumbledore and Flint will, I assure you of that." Picking at his robes, he preens himself before the would-be assassins of his prodigious character. "And besides, Weasley, life and death are inescapable. I'm angry too. We all are. But who are we going to be angry at? All muggles? Each other!? Sometimes people go away. Sometimes they PASS away. It takes backbone to stand up after that and do your duty. And unless your duty is to go off the cuff and rabble rouse behind Grindelwald, then I suspect you'd do better to prepare for your OWLs and NEWTs."
"But I'm just a pathetic brat, ya?" Garrett sighs with loaded sarcasm. "What would I know about tragedy. It was just MY house that blew up!"

"Magic is -specifically allowed- in the common rooms, Sykes. Learn your rules before you try to quote them." Variel actually laughs when Garret tries to posture and claim that he'd have done something horrid to Ulysses. "You complain about ILLEGAL PILLOWS in one breath and claim you'd have been sent to prison over your ever so justified retort the next? If you'd throw away your life over a bloody nose, you're SOMEHOW an even bigger fool than I placed you." Garret goes on to comment on how mad "everyone" is, and Variel shakes his head. "I'm not angry at them. I'm angry at you, for treating the murders of two mothers in front of their families as less important than your smegging HOUSE. And yes, do go on, let's us go in front of Dumbledore and Flint and tell everyone about how you were assaulted and made to fear for your life by a bunch of couch cushions. I'll gladly deal with a few house points lost just to see Flint's face when you waste his time on something so absurd. We can mention how you've been insistently slandering two pure-blooded houses, referring to pure blood as a cause of idiocy and repeatedly insulting Grindelwald while we're at it. I'm -sure- you're the one he's going to side with."

"What happened at the Sykes estate… it's not indicative of most Muggle-borns," Nell remarks quietly. Once she's gotten that out of the way, she falls silent again, biting her bottom lip as she watches the exchange. Once more her head swivels back and forth as she listens to the argument. Bright blue eyes settle upon Angelus, the brunette's head leaned toward him as she whispers worriedly to him.

Angelus eyes Garret and Variel as an eyebrow arches, and he just shrugs as he looks back to Nell. "Terrible stuff," answers Gel with a sigh. "Well, I'm going to go check on Macmillan, and then I'm heading out. Are you going to stay around here all day and argue, or are we going to get in some practice, Sykes?" Angelus smirks, tapping his fingers against Nell's shoulders before withdrawing and heading to the dorms, where pauses for a second. "I do hope you've settled this banter by the time I'm back."

Garrett springs straight up from his seated position. "As usual a Weasley's brain is too small to understand even the simplest of logic." A grin carves itself across the Sykes' face. "I've been in and out of enough trouble to know the rules like the back of my wand. Shall I quote them to you, Weasley? I'll speak slowly so even you can understand."
"Under the school rules use of magic agenda - Magic should only be used by students in relation to school work, or approved extracurricular activities." When Garrett speaks, he affects the tone and demeanor of deputy headmaster Dumbledore.
"Furthermore students, while magic MAY be cast in appropriately designated areas such as classrooms, the Great Hall, and even house common rooms." At that he looks down a pair of imagery glasses and straight through the rule-breaking Weasley. "It is inapplicable and a deleterious use of magic when used inappropriately for non-studies related behaviours."
Garrett clears his throat, clicks his heals and straightens his back. "As magic that is not related to studies may ONLY be cast with the permission and supervision of a faculty member, Prefect, head boy or head girl." The young Sykes laughs as he strokes a fake beard for that finishing touch.
"It's not the weapon, Weasely. It's the fact that you did it." Garrett drops back into his seat, now bored with Variel. "You can be angry with me all you want. It's not like you know the VALUE of a REAL home anyway. Think whatever you wish. You're the ONLY one in the world capable of feeling the pain of people dying in MY house. Look at you," Garret says with a yawn, "shedding your crocodile tears. You don't have the right! They were under Sykes hospitality and protection. That's a stain that will never wash away. And it cuts deeper than you'll ever know."
Garrett squints and peers coldly into Variel's eyes. "Probably because no one has ever accepted an invitation to a rodent-filled Weasley function. Well, it's doubtful your family could even afford to send invites in the first place."
Humph!! "But unlike you, I'm above such pettiness as this." Garrett gestures to all the pillows strewn about the common room. "I don't want to have to dislike you for the rest of my life over this. You wouldn't want that, Weasley. So I'm going to give YOU the opportunity to apologize to me for being a right bloody… what was that word you used?" The boy touches two fingers to his lips. "I can't even say it aloud. SWEARING is against Hogwarts' code of conduct. Isn't that right, Variel WEASEL." Garrett hardly notices Angelus exit or Nell's questionable comments.

Variel laughs. As Garret tries to leverage the spell as some sort of bargaining point, as he tries to position himself as somehow being a generous and forgiving victim, Variel laughs, openly, only laughing harder as the farce continues. "You think-" he manages between peals of laughter. "You think YOU have any ground to stand on?! You think Dumbledore is going to give me more than a scolding over choosing an admittedly cathartic method of keeping Ulysses from reversing the concavity of your nose? You think that Flint is going to have one iota of sympathy for a slanderous coward like you complaining he got beaten with a few pillows? I don't even have to LIE. I could- Ulysses wouldn't take your side, Angus is going to laugh when he hears what he missed when he was unconscious- there isn't a person in this room thinks a few pillows is worse than the beating I spared you. I insult you, you insult two entire lines of the Sacred 28. Your sweeping generalizations are even upsetting the muggleborn Firsties. You're a walking beacon of shallow thought, crude instinct and so much bloody self-delusion you'd think you were an Obliviator apprentice practicing in a mirror!" Variel turns and heads for the doorway back down into the castle. "I've got no interest in apologizing to you, Sykes. I don't know that I'd say that I hate you-" He opens the door and pauses. "-but it -will- be interesting to find out how your friends and family feel about hearing how you act behind closed doors." Which, speaking of, he now is- behind a closed door, that is, with Variel's departure.

Garrett shrugs. "I suppose it's easy to call someone a coward and then walk away." He reaches the comic book he placed on the table earlier and combs through it nonplused. "Facts will always be facts. Some people will never be able to change truth with emotion," the young Sykes says to himself in a sing-song voice. "Guess I have no choice but to crush you, Weasley. All of you."

Nell casts Angelus a Look as if concerned that he's leaving her alone with these two. But then Garrett is responding to Variel, some of his words drawing a gasp from the firstie. "Garrett, that's… that's just mean! You said you were above pettiness, so don't act like that," she chides, arms perched on her hips. Variel is more than capable of standing up for himself, however, so she quickly falls silent again.

The portrait swings open and- /whoa/. What is this? Madeline lingers, gaping, in the doorway for a moment before realizing that she's letting Variel's ranting leak out into the hall. She steps inside hastily, closes the door, and looks around in confusion. /What/ just happened?

A sigh escapes Garrett's cool breath. "You're right, Nell." He flips past another page in the comics magazine. "I should have been more of an example. But I'd have thought that the older students, and members of the Sacred 28 were supposed to be an example to ME. Really… an example to us all."
The cheeky Gryffindor feigns emotional distress. "I was hurt." A finger lifts and points at his chest, circling his heart. "In here. But you're still right. I was mean. And so were they." Another page turn. "I gave the Weasley a chance to redeem himself. He refuses. Guess it can't be helped. A wretched family through and through that lot. So now I have little choice but to get meaner still. And I fully intend to do so, until I've driven them out of Gryffindor and restored this house's good name."

"I don't think our house would be better off without the Weasleys," Nell points out, moving out from behind the armchair to plop into the seat instead. "Besides if you argue and namecall, you're no better than the rest. No better than the purists who hate those who are different, right?" There's a look of relief as she spots the other firstie's entrance, waving eagerly. "Hi, Maddie."

Madeline watches Variel pass her by, for a moment starting to shy away from him with wide eyes, before looking quite obviously relieved. She smiles at the older student, following him with her eyes as he goes out the portrait hole, then looking back into the room again.
"Nell, what happened?" she asks in confusion, moving towards the other first year. "What'd he do to Weasley the /Warmhearted/?" she asks.

A flash of fire rises up the common room chimney as Garrett haphazardly tosses the comic in the flames. "I am shocked to hear you say that, Nell." The Sykes boy's thick eyebrows knit into a worried V. "Don't let the Weasley's lack of means distract you. They're still pure bloods from a long line of wizards proclaiming themselves Sacred."
"And even if they didn't think it up themselves, with their tiny ferret brains, it doesn't mean they don't embrace it as readily as a Selwyn. Those kinds of people can't see past today. They can't imagine tomorrow. They're the worst sorts." Garrett folds his arms over his chest. "And I eat Purists for breakfast!"
"But I don't want to frighten you girls." He motions to Madeline as she enters. "Come over here, and keep me company. We can't talk about other things if you want - Like gobstones. Or… maybe my Quidditch broom collection? Or even this nastiness that happened just now."
Unfolding his arms he gestures for them to come closer. "Grab one of those Weasley pillows and sit by the fireplace. I'll educate you on the truths of the world."

"I don't even know," Nell admits to Maddie, her nose crinkling as she makes a face. "I couldn't really get a straight answer and I wasn't here for most of it. But there was an argument, something about the Sykes fire, and spells and pillows and a potential punch to the face…" She shrugs her shoulders helplessly before turning a skeptical gaze toward Garrett. "We can't act like all pure-blooded wizards are the enemy. That will only make things worse. All we can do is try to prove to the purists that we aren't as terrible and unworthy as they think, that's all."

"Oh, gosh!" Madeline gasps out, and then puts her hands on her hips. "You don't talk about that with Variel! I mean- he just- I know it was your family, and everything, but still! He gets really… Well. It just isn't nice!
"And don't you dare say mean things about the Selwyns, either. They're real nice. Especially Adorabella. /Geeze/."

"Well I should hope not all pure-blooded wizards are the enemy," Garrett says softly. "I'd to think that I'm a friend… to anyone that wants to be my friend. I won't exclude you because of your family is, if you're a Sykes, or a Lovegood or even a funny-looking Evans. I don't go out of my way to make enemies. That's not right."
"But I will go to the moon and back to chase the foes who have no other desire in this world than to be my enemies down and grind them into paste. That's justice after all." The Sykes shrugs. "It can't be helped I Variel hasn't gotten over the tragedy at the Sykes estate. I lost two party guests, and a home. He lost his appetizers. Boo-hoo."
"And the Selwyns aren't as amicable to muggle-borns as they would have you believe, little Gryffin. The Sykes run in the same circles as the Selwyns. We're practically family. But everyone has their own politics, I guess. I can accept a difference of opinion, but I won't bow down to those wealthy crabs just because they say so. Sykes are better than that. Less rich. But better."
Garret clears his throat a little and sinks back into his seat, warming his body by the fire. "What's so great about the Weasleys anyway? I'd make a better friend to you all than the whole lot of them. Selwyns too."

Nell stares at Garrett for a long moment, shaking her finger at him in a chiding manner. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself! Don't say that about Variel. I've heard enough to know that the tragedy at your family's home was a huge deal - a huge, horrible, terrible deal. How can you expect him to just get over it?" She purses her lips, arms folded over her chest. "I dunno. Until someone does something directly to me, I'm not going to assume that they're a problem."

Madeline gapes at Garrett, then snatches up the nearest pillow to fling it at him as hard as she can. "His /appetizers/?" she rails. "He was /tortured/!" she hisses out, trying to keep her voice low. It was his party! Isn't he supposed to know this stuff?! "You're just a spoiled little brat with no real consideration." She glares at him, then turns to look at the back of the portrait.
Should she follow Variel? Would it do any good? What can she say, when she doesn't know what really happened? Maybe there was someone better who could fol- /Right!/ Someone /better/!
"SHAZIIIIIII!" the girl suddenly yells, running towards the girl's dorms, and pounding on the various doors - starting with the fourth years. "Is Shazi here? Has anyone seen Shazi? I need Shazi, please!" She'll pound up and down the stairs checking each door until she's asked at all seven doors.

Garrett Sykes blink at the shaking finger, slightly amused by the young girl's insistence. "We possess different dictionaries when it comes to the word shame. For me, shame isn't ridiculing a Weasley who purposely distracted a victim in the middle of a fight. Only a Weasley would cast magic against the victim. That's shameful. Tsk, tsk to that."
POOPFHM! A pillow hits Garrett in the head. His eyebrows squirm like eels. "This whole ordeal is torture. I hope that's the last time a Sykes will ever host a Weasley. Whatever happened to him, is not my concern, I had my own difficulties to endure. He wasn't the only one present during the unpleasantness. But you can choose that Weasley, if you like. Until the sacred 28 take over, it still remains a free world."

Nell hops to her feet, glaring at Garrett with a look of pure exasperation. "I don't know what happened before I came into the common room, but it's NOT okay to bring up what happened at the party and use that against someone. It's just NOT! And it /should/ be your concern what happened to him. It should be everyone's concern. Just like it should be everyone's concern that Chastity Proudmore lost her mother that night, and the Rousseaus lost theirs. People were TORTURED, Garrett, and KILLED. How can you just be so… so… so flippant!" She throws her hands up in the air, turning to watch Maddie pound on the various doors.

Madeline is speaking urgently with one of the fourth year girls right now - keeping her voice low and gesturing dramatically as she does so. The name 'Sykes' is heard several times. Whether it's Shazi she's talking to - or maybe just someone who might know where Shazi is - that seems to settle things for now. The fourth year dashes down the stairs, through the common room, and out into the castle, and Madeline lingers up in the stairwell for the moment, frowning fiercely. /Gosh/. /Poor/ Variel.

A frown appears above Garrett's sharp chin, but only for an instant, before it vanishes into a nearly pleasant expression of neutrality. "Nobility, my dear Nell." The Sykes boy walks toward the fireplace and leans over the hot stones. The flames lick and lap, swirling shadows across his nonchalant face.
"The Esquire in Garrett Wilifred Sykes, Esquire, is a mark of gentry. A sign of inherent nobility. And while I refuse to bleed all over the seat cushions with exaggerated hysterics, I fully intend to make the ones responsible for this slight pay." He whispers the rest under breath, "…In blood."
He takes notice of Madeline's exit, but makes no mention of it. "For me, the shame is in letting this humiliation go unpunished. But for now, I'm just a Gryffindor in the fifth-year, preparing for the O.W.Ls." Garrett stares into the flame. "Is it so wrong to want to think about house points? To want to beat Syltherin? To just be right here, away from all the recklessness outside? To want to have a few jokes and laughs and pranks instead of thinking about your home bursting into flames?"
His robes flutter softly as he stands upright and turns around to see Nell watching out for Madeline. He squints, peering deeply at the shape of her small back. "What are you, twelve? Eleven? We don't live in a world where an eleven year old Hogwarts student can do anything. I'll wait for the moment I can do something. However, at the moment all I can do is restore the honor of house Gryffindor."
Garrett says the rest to himself, setting his resolve to stone… Then I'll restore the honor lost that day.

Nell rubs her temples wearily. "I still don't even understand how all this began, what the slight was or why any of you were fighting to begin with," she protests. She frowns, stamping her foot impatiently on the floor. "It's just silly to carry on like that, whatever the cause might have been. And I'm not saying you should have to think about the fire and what happened all the time. Who would ever want to? But you can't blame others for not being able to get over it either."
She pauses, eyeing Garrett for a moment before relenting. "Eleven. Twelve soon though!" If three months counts as 'soon'. "We might not be able to do much, but we can be good friends to people and treat others /kindly/. That counts, right?" Once again, she turns to search for Maddie.

Madeline is loathe to go back down the stairs. She doesn't want to go deal with Garrett acting like a spoiled and inconsiderate brat. But, really, then she's leaving Nell down there to deal with it on her own. She does take a moment to peek her head into the first year dorm - oh, good, Chastity wasn't in so she probably hadn't heard anything of whatever it was. …Unless she'd /been/ there and stormed out, too.
Well. That was something she needed to know. She comes down the stairs again, crossing her arms before asking, "Chastity didn't hear any of the arguement, did she?"

Garrett steps over toward a Weasley pillow and kicks it into the fireplace without much concern. He watches it shimmer in the orange light and burn slow as a wax candle. "I'll be thinking about that fire for the rest of my life," Sykes says to himself. "But for me, it's still burning." Garrett's had enough bleeding heart sympathy for the day and decides it's time for some mischief to distract the mind. Within a few paces he's to the stairwell and out of the common room. He's definitely up to no good now.

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