(1939-02-03) Gryffindor's Illegal Pillows: Part 4 of 3: Epilogue
Details for Gryffindor's Illegal Pillows: Part 4 of 3: Epilogue
Summary: …and finally things come full circle, with explanations, sneezing cats, and mentions of chocolate. All is well once more.
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.

Nell frowns fiercely as she watches Garrett's departure. Maddie's question prompts a moment of horror as she whirls around to face her. "Oh, I hope not. I really, really hope not. She wasn't in the dorms, was she? She didn't come through the common room, so I think she must be out somewhere." At least that's Nell's hope.

"He didn't answer my question," Madeline says, frowning at the portrait door. She flops back onto the couch, and lets out a loud, frustrated sigh. "What a /jerk/!" she exclaims. He doesn't think about anyone's pain but his own!
Then again… it /was/ his house attacked, and he was there too, and… "Ugh. Why can't things ever be simple? I hope she didn't hear any of it. That'd just be /awful/. I wish people were more careful about what they said in the common room."

"I wish I knew how the whole stupid argument had started. None of it really made much sense. They were just going back and forth the entire time and I was too confused to speak up." Nell's frown only deepens, the little brunette clearly displeased. "Let's hope she didn't hear any of it. She goes through enough without having to be reminded of it all the time."

"Yeah. It's usually stupid, and it's always complicated, and no one seems to agree about anything, and who cares anyways because they're all wrong and I'm right." Madeline grins at her own joke. Well, it is a joke - except she really believes that's true. Wizards believe some weird things.

For the first time since she stepped foot into the common room this evening, Nell cracks a smile. "Yeah? You shoulda been there then to clear it up for everyone. Things would have been so much simpler if you could have burst in and declared your Always Correct Opinion, and squashed the argument."

"Oh, it's never squashed the argument before," Madeline says with a sigh. "I think I'm right, and they go on thinking /they're/ right. Foolish of 'em. Right?" she asks.

Nell flashes a lopsided grin at her friend. "Very foolish. No wonder they don't know anything, if they're not willing to see how brilliant and right you always are. Maybe they're blinded by the first-year thing. Or the Muggle-born thing."

"I think it's the combination," Madeline says, letting out a sigh. And that's the truth of it, surely. Who could ever believe a Muggle-born /firstie/? What do they know about 'reality'?

Nell sighs, flopping back on the couch in a rather exaggerated fashion. "It's a tough spot to be in, isn't it? Maybe they'll take us more seriously when we're a little older. Not that I want to have to wait /that/ long!"

"I think they take my Uncle a little bit more seriously," Madeline muses quietly. "Or at least - /gosh/ I hope so," the girl says in an earnest tone. "If I wrote to him about Sykes, he'd say he was hurt too, and we oughtta be nice to him. But if he's going and hurting Variel again… I don't much want to."

Nell wrinkles her nose and sits forward, feet tapping on the ground. "I mean, I guess he'd probably have a point. About being nice to him, I mean. It's just… he's so confused about things and so ridiculously certain that he's right. I'm afraid he's only going to make things a million times worse if he doesn't stop his tirade against certain pure-blood families, ones that haven't done anything to deserve it too!"

If he could slam the entryway, he could, although the occupant of the painting would certainly not appreciate it. Still, Ulysses talks back in, face still crumpled up in that same look of near-rage that he'd left with. The face that gives reality to the reason why Variel told Maddie he would fear Ulysses. It's not something seen often, that's sure enough.
His eyes scan the room. Good. No gits. Just a few first years, and at least one of them decently tolerable, if not a bit naive at times.

"Yeah, I don't understand it," Madeline agrees, wrinkling her brow in confusion. "I mean - if you're gonna rail at some pure-bloods - well. I'd say /Blacks/ are the easiest targets. But… Selwyns and Weasleys? The Selwyns are just great! And Variel's the only Weasley I know, and we don't always agree, but he's real nice."
She looks up at Ulysses storms in, her eyes widening at the sight of /him/ looking so- well. That was almost exactly the look Variel had on his face when /he/ stormed out! "Umm, hi Selwyn," she says a bit uneasily. "Umm. I have a chocolate frog in my trunk, still, if you need one?" she offers uncertainly.

"Right? I mean, that hardly makes any sense. If it were the Blacks, I could understand. It's not like they're the most pleasant people to have around. But the Selwyns and Weasleys? He's just mad at them and trying to take it out on their families, I bet."
The first-year pauses, watching Ulysses' arrival with a solemn look. "The coast is clear," Nell promises, gesturing around the room as if to note the lack of Garrett.

The look on Lys' face melts, into one of relief. "Good. As much as he deserves it, I prefer it when my knuckles don't hurt," he offers, flopping on to the couch again once he makes it back… his Siamese seeming to know instinctively that he was there. He jumps up into Lys' lap, and in proper greeting, sneezes.
He scratches the cat's head, "Yes, I know, Mister Sniffles, I abandoned you. I'm sorry." He then grins at Maddie, and smiles, "Maddie the Maleficent… you can call me Lys, you know. I never punch first years. Even the mouthy ones. But thank you, no chocolate for now."

Angelus steps back out of the boys' dormitory, dressed in his Quidditch gear, which means the lack of his pendant. Royal blue eyes flick about the commons and a soft smile flutters against his lips. "You mean the disagreement actually ceased?" A sigh of relief escapes as he lifts his fingers to pinch the bridge of his nose. "Finally," he murmurs, and lets his hand fall way. As he crosses the dorms, offers a wave and a smile to Nell, dipping his head to her. An eyebrow quirks as his gaze passes over Madeline but he simply smirks, turning his head away in a harsh snub and offering Ulysses a raise of his head. "Selwyn," he greets with a flick of his hand.

"Lys the Legendary!" Madeline offers brightly. She gets up to move over towards him, reaching out to touch his hand uncertainly. "I could give a hug instead?" she offers. "Hugs always help /me/."
And then Angelus enters, and the usually cheery and friendly first year looks up at him with a tightened jaw and an unwelcoming expression.

Nell smiles as she notes Ulysses's cat, relaxing as if the animal's acceptance must certainly mean the Selwyn is a decent person. "Mr. Sniffles. That's cute and apt too, it seems," she remarks with a grin. "Mine's Jinx, but I usually call him Mr. Crankypants. He's a major grump."
Her chatter is interrupted by yet another Gryffindor's arrival, the first-year perk up as Angelus re-enters. "It's peaceful in here again. At least for now!"

Ulysses looks at Maddie incredulously for a moment, shaking his head, "At the moment, I really don't think you'd be wanting to hug me, if you knew what transpired here. I really flew off the handle. He deserved it, the self-righteous prick, for what he said… but he'd already had my dander up." A look goes to Angelus, and he nods back.

"Yeah, well, I threw a pillow in his face hard as I could. I shouldda kicked him in the shins, too," Madeline declares, before deciding to risk it. She drops right in next to Ulysses, so that her side is pressed up again his. "He was saying stupid stuff that made no sort of sense at all. Hi Mister Sniffles!"

Nell bites her lower lip, quiet for a moment as she considers just how dangerous it might be to bring up the topic. She apparently decides to do it anyway, posing the question with a frown. "What exactly did he say to make you so angry? Just the usual nonsense?"

Angelus flicks his gaze back to Nell with a curve of his lips. "And I hope it stays that way," he responds to her as he rolls back his shoulders. His eyes shift to Madeline, but he merely shrugs, focusing back on Nell. "I'm headed to get a little practice in," he says, gesturing at himself and his attire. "I'm glad things are well again." He bows his head, salutes, and continues his steps towards the exit.

As Madeline sits down beside him, Lys grunts, and actually puts an arm around the younger girl for a moment, "There. Be satisfied with that," is grumbled. Mr. Sniffles looks up at Madeline, and lets out a bit of a warbling mewl, typical of the Blue Point breed. And then immediately sneezes.
"He called me by Dora's name. Everyone knows she's the only one I let call me that. That just upset me. Then.. he not only insulted my entire line, my /blood/, but he insulted Weasley's, mocked those who followed Grindelwald, insinuated that every pure-blood in the twenty-eight families was a supporter and then suggested that Weasley's pain, and the pain of those at his own family's gala, was NOTHING."
He frowns, "I'm glad Weasley stopped me."

"But that doesn't even make /sense/," Madeline complains, leaning her head against Ulysses. "I mean - I thought the party was about how great Grindelwald was and that's why it got attacked? Was he insulting his own family?" she asks in confusion. "Who /does/ that? And then goes on saying that he can badmouth whole families just for being a family! It's stupid."
She reaches out to let Mister Sniffles sniff at her hand - and then tries to scratch him behind his ears. "What /does/ Dora call you?" Madeline asks, after an unsuccessful attempt at remembering.

"I hope so, too," Nell responds to Angelus, nodding earnestly. She waves as he moves toward the door, her gaze shifting back to Ulysses. Listening to his explanation, she winces. "Awful. I don't know how he could possibly really truly believe all those things. And to belittle what happened at his family's event?" She grimaces, rising slowly to her feet. "Anyway, I'm going to go try to find Chastity, see what she's up to." Sneaking a quick glance at Maddie, her motive is obvious. Make sure she wasn't within hearing distance of the earlier argument, no doubt.

"Of course it's foolish. Our families have been intertwined more than we have with just about any other. That's part of it, anyhow. Part of what upset me. He… was a shame to his entire line there, going on so." Ulysses takes his arm back, although he doesn't push Madeline away. He then looks at Nell, and nods, "Likely a wise idea."
"She calls me Uly. Has since she was smaller than you. I hate it… but from Dora," He shrugs, "You know Dora. Can't hate anything that comes from her, really. But for him to use it, and a similar name to one she uses for Variel…. it was intentional, inappropriately familiar, and…" He shrugs again.

Madeline looks to Nell and nods urgently, gesturing the girl to go. It was a really good idea. Someone's dealing with Variel (she hopes!) and Nell can check on Chastity, and she'll keep an eye on Ulysses! Multi-tasking!
"Well, that was mean of him," she agrees, her eyes tracking Angelus through the portrait, something sharp and unfriendly still on her features as she watches the boy's back. Even while she's petting a cat. "My Uncle would probably say he got hurt too - you know, when everything happened - and we should try to help him. But… ugh. He doesn't make it easy, does he? Jerk."

Nell makes a face at the talk of Garrett using the nicknames. "That's just plain rude. He doesn't respect boundaries then, does he?" Tugging at her robe, she nods to the others and waves as she strides off toward the portrait with purpose. "I'll see you later!" she calls before ducking out of the common room, a girl on a mission.

"I gave him due warning." Ulysses quips. "But he had to press. Hurt or not, there comes a point when you can't lash out without expecting someone to lash back. And that's usually when my fists do the talking. You don't attack my family. Ever." There's a dangerous finality to that statement.

"Well, I don't see why anyone would ever want to," Madeline responds. …except for when Elric's covering Alphard Black with paint. "You Selwyns are nice. Even Bulstrode, too."

"Because he's jealous," Lys puts it directly. "Because his family line isn't as pure. As foolish as such jealousy is, it's right there. Even as he pretends to not care about purity, about position or politics that come with it, in the end, he's a jealous little boy who wants the power my family has." He chuckles, continuing, "He hides it behind a facade of anti-purity, because that's the only shield and lie he can stand behind that he thinks excuses his behavior."

Madeline wrinkles her brow as she ponders Ulysses' logic, going silent as she scratches his cat on his shoulders.
"Well. I wish there was a way to keep jerks out of Gryffindor. But I know it doesn't work that way."

Sniffles looks up at the scritches, and simply sneezes, again.
"Give it another couple generations, and as long as people like him don't drag them down again, the Sykes will doubtless join our ranks. But still." He shakes his head, grabs Mr. Sniffles, and moves off the couch, placing the cat next to Madeline. "I need to go. Frankly, I think I need to just run the rest of this vitriol out of my system, before my next class. Unless you've got a class to go to, would you be willing to watch him for me? I'm sure he'd like the attention."

"I'll watch him," Madeline promises eagerly. She loves cats - and she loves borrowing other people's cats. /Next/ year she'll have a pet. Her parents promised! As long as her marks are good!

With a nod, Lys grins, and heads toward the door out, "Be glad you don't have to deal with all this blood-politicking, Madeline. It's more trouble than it's worth some times."
And then, as simple as that, he's out the door. But not to run. No. To find a Prefect or Head Girl as he intended to last time.

"Yeah, because the mudblooding's so much better," the girl mumbles quietly. But she's soon distracted by playing with the cat - even if he does sneeze a lot. Silly thing.

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