(1939-02-04) Weasley-Sykes Showdown
Details for Weasley-Sykes Showdown
Summary: In which an issue is settled once and for all.
Date: 1939-02-04
Location: Club Room, Hogwarts
Related: Part 1: Prologue
Part 2: The Fight
Part 3: Aftermath
Part 4: Epilogue as well as
Owls Fair In Love And War and En-Gage-ing The Enemy and Solutions To A Puzzle.

It's the regular duelling club meeting hours. And through the large arched windows light pours in and splashes across the walls. The fire lanterns smolder, glowing with vibrant orange light, swinging silently from their chains. The atmosphere in the club room is thick and hot and heavy with excitement. Something mischievous starts today.

Garrett stands on the purple duelling matt decorated with golden moons and stars. He arrived early. He'd been pacing for some time now, worried that things might've gone out of hand. "I just wanted to be brave in front of the older boys," he says to himself. "Now look what I've gotten myself into! I'll never get out of this one."

He taps the wand hidden away in his robe pocket with one and scratches the back of his head with the other. "You've really done it this time, Sykes. So much for starting the new term on the right foot. Dad's going to toss me out of quidditch camp for sure this time." He sighs. "And that's the only reason why I study at all. Without that, I'd just be…" a gasp escapes his breath. "stuck in school." Continually pacing he says one more hushed thing. "I've got to make this right."

Variel arrives in the room in his duelling outfit, recently finished and- all told- rather dashing. It's closely tailored, narrow at the waist and shoulders, broadening out to proper wizard sleeves towards the wrists. A thin silver chain dangles from one of his sleeves, and his Magijugend pendant rests on the chest of the black, crimson-trimmed robe. As he walks in, he looks around to get a feel for those already present, and those he might be waiting for.

While not dressed in garb as fine as Variel's, Ulysses walks in closely behind him, matching his gait and form, only breaking off to join the spectators once he takes the time to, hopefully, make eye contact with Garrett. Even he felt this had gone too far, although pride would not allow him to say it. Still… he was here to support a friend and housemate… and that was that. He moves to the side, joining the others. A look goes to Variel as he looks about, and a nod is given.

Garrett's eyes light up as Variel enters. He quickly takes a half step forward and then halts. Anxiously he calls out from across the opposite end of the duelling mat. "Variel, I…" The young Sykes looks away for a moment, pondering the most appropriate words for a most inappropriate situation. "I believe I owe you an apology." He looks around the growing crowds gathering in the club room. "Not just you, however, Ulysses as well. And Angus. And Nell. And Madeline. And everyone that got involved in me trying to be a big shot fifth-year."

His hands twist into tight balls. "Although I won't give it to you!" Garrett swallows a deep breath. "Not because you don't deserve, but because you won't believe. You won't believe that I'm not running away from my responsibilities and this duel. I intend to stay put. I intend to win this duel. And I intend to apologize to you no matter what the outcome." Garrett's thick eyebrows squirm nervously. "Do you accept?"

Nell makes her way into the room, her arm linked with Madeline's as the pair of firsties join the growing group of spectators. "C'mon, Maddie. We should at least be here to support him, right?" she murmurs, looking rather anxious as she finds a spot to stand near the other Gryffindor spectators.

"Isn't it like going to a school yard fight to support a friend, though?" Madeline whispers back. Well - a school yard fight with faculty present. The whole thing is just /strange/, and she doesn't care much for fighting to begin with. But she lets her fellow-firstie guide her towards a group of other Gryffindors. "There's Ulysses," she adds, nodding her head towards the seventh year - only to turn and stare at Garrett in surprise.

Arevan is at the back of the room, having climbed up on some unused dueling dummies to get a better view. "Come on, who do you think's going to win?" She pesters Gage. "Come on, for two chocolate frog cards. I'll take who ever you don't pick." She offers.

An outspoken anti-purist, Seamus is one of those that's attending right now with plates of "freshly baked" biscuits with him. "I think perhaps a trifle less talking about running away. Are you trying to convince your opponent or yourself?" The tiny blonde Prefect says casually. "They will hold to the rules of a proper duel or I'll make sure they spend time with Pringle hanging from their toes." He's had enough of people violating the rules of duels lately.

The rumormill is abuzz, naturally. And Elizabeth had been one of the few that had seen the initial throw down in the owl tower. She found her way to the Club Room among the others, glancing around at the many other students, quiet.

Variel returns Selwyn's nod as it's given, giving Garrett his attention as he gives his rather well-crafted, sportsmanlike speech, all the while maintaining a stolid, blank expression, keep carefully neutral.

Variel returns Selwyn's nod as it's given, giving Garrett his attention as he gives his rather well-crafted, sportsmanlike speech, all the while maintaining a stolid, blank expression, kept carefully neutral. As Garrett winds down and asks for his acceptance, Variel steps up onto the duelling platform and lets his wand slip from the sleeve from which dangled the fine silver chain. His expression changes not a touch, and he stands at the end of the platform, blue eyes watching Garrett, left to dangle on the end of his own question in silence while Variel took his place. When he's aligned, narrowest facing turned towards Sykes, still lacking expression, he gives his answer in a relaxed, dispassionate voice.

"Draw your wand, Sykes."

Yes, after his previous visit Gage has decided to join the dueling club. He is, of course, sticking close to Arevan. The tall boy towers over his companion even as he uses her to, well, hide. But his eyes are on the mats, silent and simply ready to study the duel. In response to Arevan Gage snorts, looking down to her as his lips twist into a tiny up-curl. "Him," answers the fourth year, lifting a hand to point towards Garrett.

"Yes, probably. But you'd still want to support your friend through it, right?" Nell whisper to Madeline in reply. Her eyes narrow, locked upon Garrett with a hint of surprise at his talk of apologies. Hearing Maddie's remark, she turns to find Ulysses among the crowd and waves. Then her full attention is devoted back to the duelling students, worry lining her face as she glances between the pair.

"If he's /apologizing/ then do they really need to fight?" Madeline whispers back to Nell uncertainly, watching the pair with a wrinkled and worried expression. Why not just call it all off? Maybe he really was just upset and confused because of the attack…?

Ulysses is focused entirely on the fight, although movement out of the corner of his eye causes him to look over, and catch sight of the two first years, whom he offers a quick smile and nod to, and even an invitation to join him with a single hand gesture. That's about all he can offer, especially considering Garrett's words. Eyes narrow in distrust. He'll have to see if the boy keeps up his end of the offering, win or lose. That would be the proof needed, from his point of view.

"Are we just going to draw wands?" Garrett asks. "I thought we'd walk ten paces, turn and wham-o! We don't have to rush into this, Variel. " The Sykes boy scans the room for Gryffindor faces. "I've been a real heel, I know. I just hope we can friends after this." He gives a soft shrug while sends a hand into his inner robe pocket. "It might take a while. A long while. But maybe this is the first step down the only road left for us to go down. I never wanted to drive anyone to a duel. Not like this. It just feels wrong somehow."

The boy pulls the 40 centimeter white aspen wand from beneath his robes and holds it at his side. "That's my fault. Honestly, I just wanted the attention and maybe the respect of some of the older students in Gryffindor house." Garrett gulps. "Now look where we are." Quietly he murmurs to himself. "Is this the only way?"

"I want you both to observe proper dueling procedure. Go to opposite ends of the platform and turn and salute." Seamus says sighing adeeply. Why doesn't anyone observe the niceties properly any more. "I want you both to remember not to use any spells that aren't absolutely proper." He points out and has his wand out and nods his head to Variel and then Garrett,"Alright boyos, I'll have the proper thing now." He says casually.

"It doesn't seem like they should have to, does it?" Nell responds quietly to Madeline, frowning. "But it was kinda an apology, kinda not." Regardless, the duel appears about to start. Noting Ulysses' invitation to join, she reaches for Maddie's hand in an attempt to sidle closer to the older Gryffindor. Maybe that will provide some source of comfort in a sense. After all, he's older and wiser, so she'll take her cues from him.

Nell presses her lips together and leans in to whisper to Maddie, amending her previous remark. "Or maybe it really is a genuine apology. He kinda does sound like he means it…"

Variel is simply waiting at his own end of the platform- it's not like he's refusing to salute! He's a longtime member of the duelling club- certainly, Seamus is just being hasty in his interior judgments. Once Garrett is in place and prepared, he lifts his wand to salute as is proper, waiting for the signal to begin.

"Kay, you're on." She says to Gage, then shouts, "Go Variel! I've got cards on you!" Oh come on, they HAVE to fight, just making up is no fun. She's found a small red and gold pennant somewhere and waves it furiously from her position at the back of the room to as encouragement. Luckily it would work no matter which one she ended up rooting for.

"I don't know. I hope so," Madeline agrees with Nell quietly. She's more than happy to go over towards Ulysses - even slipping her hand into the seventh year's if he'll let her. "I've never watched any of these duels before," she admits, glancing at Nell to see if she has.

Elizabeth finds Madeline through the crowd, and lightly places a small hand on the girl's shoulder for a reassuring moment before she glances towards the fight, wands drawn. "Boys." she mutters flatly. A faint tug at the corner of her lips tugs with a small, but sad smile though.

Garrett walks to the most distant and polar opposite side of the duelling mat, bows to his opponent and salutes. "Let's get this started then." Garrett can practically taste the electric current through the air. The hairs on the back of his neck rise and sweat already starts to bead on his forehead. This is it! He gulps again. This is the feeling of a real duel. "Good luck, Variel," he says quietly. "I'll need some too."

Variel gives Garrett a single concession- a nod at the announcement of good luck, after he's stated he wouldn't mind some of his own. His wand is far less impressive than Garrett's- it's vine, not a hardwood, and not the prodigious switch that Sykes wields, but it doesn't seem to phase Weasley one bit.

Ulysses blinks as a small hand takes his, looking down as Madeline and Nell join him, but a half smile covers his face. While he looks up at the start of the duel, he whispers over to Madeline, "Don't worry, squirt. Weasley has him dead to rights, and either way… this is gonna turn out for the best, lest Sykes wishes to show himself to all as a liar, a cad, and a mountebank. This will turn out well either way."

"I haven't watched one either," Nell admits quietly, chewing on her bottom lip as things seem to get underway. Realizing she's holding her breath, she exhales quietly and stands sandwiched as close to Madeline as she can get. She sneaks a quick glance toward Ulysses, trying to take his words to heart. "So either way, it's going to be okay," she repeats as if reminding herself and the other firstie, despite the slightly wavering tone to her voice.

Madeline looks up in surprise, a brief smile crossing her features when she spots Elizabeth. She hadn't expected to see her! "Yeah," she agrees. "But - well. He /did/ say some real horrible stuff - Sykes. I just… fighting to fix it?" It doesn't make much sense to her!

She looks to Ulysses next, nodding to his words - and hoping he's right - and then back to the two boys on the dueling mat just as spells start flying. She squeezes Ulysses hand a little tighter, and siddles closer to him.

Well don't expect him to cheer or anything. The taciturn Ravenclaw watches stoically, studying the two on the platform. He certainly doesn't care about any grudge that there might be - or really, aside from stepping in on some issues earlier, doesn't really get it -but Gage narrows his eyes at Variel with dislike as he snorts and closes his fingers into a fist as he bites down on his lip.

Time slows to a standstill. From two sides of the duelling floor, which seems to stretch to the very ends of the earth, wands lift in near unison. No, not quite. Ten and three quarter inches of vine, strung and cored with Dragon Heartstring and a pliable disposition. That's the wand that rears its nose first. That's the wand that glows red and erupts with a snaking light as sharp and swift as a bolt of lightning.

"RIC-TUH-SEEEEEEHMMMM - -" The world is frozen for one brief moment. Garrett's eyes are glazed with the determination to win, completely unaware that in the eternity between vowels, that he'd already lost his duel this day. For unbeknownst to him, the red light had already hit the dead center of his chest. "STUPEFY!"

Click - - What? - - Clack - - What's that sound? - - Clop.

… Oh, it's my wand. It's already hit the floor? Time moves again and Garrett's thoughts begin to race as his arms lock to his side and he falls back helpless and hopelessly defeated, the echoes of his 16 inch aspen still vibrating off the firm dueling mat.

THUD!! Garrett slams his back on the floor, toppling off the end of the elevated dais. It hurts. But he couldn't groan if he wanted to. He can't do anything. He's finished.

Variel couldn't be more the opposite of the lively, energetic Garrett. Variel stands, his robes- the starkly tailored, black wtih crimson-trim duelling robes- sway faintly in the breeze from under the doorway as the duel begins. His wand may be more like a stiletto than Garrett's elegant rapier of a wand, but like its metaphorical counterpart, it's fast. It's up, angled and carving the arcane tipwork through the air just a beat more swiftly than the younger Sykes, and when light paired with the accents of his robes flares and spears forward, it's just a syllable or two ahead of a spell that the redhead fighting to remain still as a frozen pond on the surface desperately does not want to get hit by. Even if he won, it'd be embarassing and this has gone on long enough.

He speaks the incantation with precisely enough force behind the words to convery the full impact of his intentions, letting the snaking burst of red light tag Sykes halfway through his spell. Variel's experience, his alertness, shows as his wand recoils into the ready position immediately, not trusting the boy to be down until he's collapsed into unconsciousness at the hands of the otherwise harmless- when taken in your local Potions Mistress's recommended dosage- spell. It's not over until the referee says so.

Getting a biscuit ready, Seamus whispers softly,"Reenervate" His wand moves over the prone form of Garrett and once the Sykes begins waking,"Here. Have a biscuit. It will help with things." He says keeping his voice rather calm. "Excellent job though the pair of you." It really does sound that Seamus is impressed by it. "Next time either of you wishes, feel free to challenge me. I do like to keep in proper fighting shape as it were."

Sybil walks into the Club Room just in time to see Garrett thrown backwards by the stupefy spell. "Oh dear…" Concern etches briefly on her forehead, but only briefly, and she slips through the students that are gathered to watch the duel and finds herself a place alongside one of her fellow Ravenclaws. "I see the apology went well." The tone of her voice is a little drier than usual, the blonde witch knotting her fingers neatly behind her back. A glance in Variel's direction to check that he's still standing and not hurt, together with a smile should he look her way. Boys.

Arevan lets out a brief, "Woo!" But then lowers her arm, a bit disappointed, despite winning the bet, at the brevity of the duel. "Oh, well, I guess you owe me two cards Master Gage." She says, slipping the Gryffindor pennant back into her robes and hopping off the dueling dummy.

"'Ell," Gage lets out under his breath when Garrett is stunned. He doesn't know the Gryffindor all that well, but he certainly would have been the better person to win in his opinion. His dark blue eyes shift onto the victor and he snorts before looking down to Arevan at his side. "'It would make this duelin' club better if one of Flint's puppets got taken down."

Garrett Sykes comes to. "Huh?" The present and past are but a blur to him, a mix of red flashes and wand waving. "Did I, did I win?" he asks, looking up at Seamus. Instinctively the boy reaches out for the biscuit. He doesn't know why there's a biscuit. Or how a biscuit got there. But he feels that he should take it if it's offered to him. "Is, is it over?"

Ulysses's reaction is far more subdued… just a simple smile as Variel handily beats his fellow housemate. A quick, simple, easy defeat. One that simplifies so much. He smiles, squeezing back at Madeline's hand, "Didn't I tell you? Simple." But the show isn't over yet. And this is part he will get to play a part in as well. And so he waits.

"Yes. Unfortunately you did not win. He was just a bit faster on the draw. You did well though." Seamus says shaking his head a bit,"Anyway, Are you alright? You hit the floor pretty hard." He says casually. Well Seamus does make very good biscuits. He includes little bits of chocolate in them. "But it's over."

Variel relaxes when Seamus wakes the boy- intervention means the duel is over. He starts towards him, pausing long enough to note Sybil's entrance and comment, a faint smile offered in return to her own, before completing the trip to Garrett's syke. I mean side. He offers his free hand to help him sit up, or stand. He doesn't speak yet, but the ice in his eyes is gone. He looks relaxed, not frigid.

Nell sways from foot to foot, filled with nervous energy as she watches the pair duel. Her eyes widen as Variel's spell hits first, the first-year appearing torn. There's obvious relief and pride in Variel for a job well-done, but it's not in her nature to wish harm against anyone, even those who might have angered her friends. She sneaks a glance toward Garrett, relaxing once he is revived. "That's that, right?" she murmurs, glancing to Ulysses for confirmation. "Duel's over? And all is well, just like you said."

Madeline lets out a gasp as she boy goes flying. Her first instinct is to run towards him and try to help but - well. That's what they have folks in the dueling club here for, right? She looks up at Ulysses nervously, then back to the downed Garrett - letting out an obvious sigh of relief when he's revived. "Oh. Good."

"Oh?" Garrett says half dazed, but quickly gathering his senses. "I'm alright, I think. Or at least I will be once - -" He sees Variel approach. Knots twists in his stomach, but then there's a hand offered and everything unwinds. Cautiously, the Sykes boy accepts the help and rises to his feet. "I owe you a well fought apology, Variel. One I should've given you long before this duel." Garrett looks the older boy in the eye, summoning up as much courage as he can. "I'm sorry, Variel."

Sybil just catches Nell's question to Ulysses, turning to look at the younger girl. "Mmhmm. A duel is finished when one party is incapable of continuing any longer," she informs the first-year. "Sometimes it can be something quite funny by which that happens, sometimes it can be dramatic, such as like this." Pulling one hand free of the other, she makes a graceful gesture with a drift of her fingers towards the downed Sykes. "Duelling is such a good way to settle a dispute; its both traditional and courteous and allows people to move on past bad feelings. Or should do." A genuine smile is given the younger girl before she looks back towards the two duellists, checking perhaps to see if what she's said is in fact true.

"Alright. I shall be moving on then. I have some things to do. Excellent job though." Seamus says nodding his head towards the plate of biscuits laid out in the room,"Everyone help yourselves. The House Elves will take care of the plate." He says as he begins heading out again.

Elizabeth exhales a longer breath as the duel comes to it's conclusion, in Variel's favor. She's just glad that it's over. "And this one is settled." she murmurs in a very final manner. She lightly pats Madeline's shoulder again before it falls away.

"Much obliged, Cavanaugh." Variel nods his thanks, and turns his eyes back towards Garrett. He narrows them, just for a moment, JUST long enough to throw concern over his intentions without enough time to catch the lack of any actual malice in his gaze- then thwumps Garrett, backhanded, on the shoulder. "Apology accepted. Big of you to confirm the apology win or lose -BEFORE- the duel. Throw one Selwyn's way and we'll call it an evening- there's biscuits to be had."

Ulysses stands now, looking down at Madeline and Nell, "Pyrites has the right of it, girls. It may seem rough, coming from the outside, but it is a tradition that has saved a great many lives… and egos… in the long run." He looks up, "And speaking of egos," he removes his hand from Madelines, kindly, "Excuse me." And he makes his way over to Variel and Garrett.

Nell turns her gaze toward Sybil, listening quietly to the older girl's explanation. "I didn't really expect duels to seem /courteous/," she admits, offering a smile to both Sybil and Ulysses. "But if there are rules and tradition and people respect that…" Her gaze strays toward the formerly duelling pair, the concern slowly fading from her expression. "And it does seem like it helped resolve whatever happened before, so that's good." She nods to herself, watching as Ulysses moves to join the other Gryffindor boys.

Garrett spies Ulysses stepping forth from the crowd. He owes him an apology as much as anyone else. Maybe more so. "Ulysses," the Sykes boy says before stopping. Worry and concern streak across his face. "Those things I said before." Garrett swallows his hesitation. "About the Selwyns. I didn't mean it. I didn't mean any of it. I was a big dope. Your family and my family, I shouldn't have said those things. I just wanted to be the center of attention. And I went about it the wrong way. The worst possible way, really. I'm…" Garrett slowly lifts his hands to extend to Ulysess Selwyn. "I'm sorry. Can you forgive me for being such an idiot?"

The hand on her shoulder earns Elizabeth a smile as Madeline lets Ulysses slip away. "Things do seem better," she admits. "I hope it won't be all /weird/ in the common room later, or anything like that."

Speaking of Ego, here comes Esther Lowe - Not too long ago she'd given Garrett Sykes one hell of a tongue lashing. Now, she's come to lurk in the corners of the club room, and see what's going on…

"Oh yes. Courtesy is important too," Sybil smiles to Nell, doing a double tuck of blonde hair behind her ears with a practiced curl of her fingers. "There's a bow or salute before the start, that sort of thing. Perhaps etiquette might be a better word." There's a pull of her attention back towards the boys and a tilt of her head to the side as she catches some of Garrett's apology. "Oh I'm so pleased that he did that," she breathes, the smile that settles on her face deepening to something a touch warmer - as if it personally meant something to her.

To call Ulysses face impassive would be to be kind. As he looks directly at Garrett, there is no emotion there at all. No reaction. No indication of what will come next. Except, perhaps the ghost of a snarl as he finally speaks. "Frankly, Sykes… I still think you're improper. You still act too familiar with someone with whom you have no real friendship or connection. And frankly, I think you a small, pox-ridden git of a boy."

And then the smile comes, "But I think that of generally everyone. Truth is, you're a Sykes. I'm a Selwyn. Our families are so close, we're practically related. So I accept your apology, on the condition that you accept mine. I overreacted. No matter your offense, I allowed my anger to take me over the line."

The grin widens, as he takes the younger boy's hand in his own crushing grip, "Can't guarantee it won't happen again, either… but we can stave it off if you just promise never to call me by my sister's bloody pet name again. Agreed?"

"Courtesy, that's important. This certainly seemed to settle things better than any schoolyard brawl could've," Nell remarks thoughtfully toward Sybil, perhaps betraying her Muggle tendencies. She clasps her hands together, clearly pleased by how things have turned out as the boys offer apologies. "Well! I think this ended better than expected. Hopefully the common room will be a bit more peaceful. Lively in a different, better way." She casts Madeline a grin, waving Sybil, Ulysses, and others nearby before skipping toward the door. Apparently her attention is shifting elsewhere, but she goes off humming under her breath, happy that things appear to be resolved.

Madeline nods in agreement and, now that everything is over, she takes a moment to wrap Elizabeth up in a hug. "Hi," she greets the older student, offering her a smile. She feels like she hasn't seen her much around! Though that shouldn't be much of a surprise. Different years, different houses…

"Agreed!" Garrett smiles and shakes on it. "I haven't been my best self this year. A lot's happened. But I'm going to try, try to be better. I've got a lot of making up to do with a lot of people, but it's the only right thing to do." Garrett looks from Ulysses to Variel, to Sybil, and Madeline and Nell and Gage and Elizabeth and even Esther. "It all starts today. The first steps of walking toward a better tomorrow."

And then there's another apology between Ulysses and Garrett. Much like Sybil, Elizabeth's expression visibly softens with a pleased look. Everyone was getting along, or at least much better than they had been the day before. Even if she didn't entirely know all the details. Exhaling a soft breath, and smiles lightly to Nell. 'Schoolyard brawl'. That really is the muggle way of doing things. Madeline then wraps her up in a hug, earning a genuine smile from the girl as Elizabeth gently wraps her in her arms as well. "Hi."

Gage grunts, shifting his shoulders as he looks down to Arevan. "I guess you get the frog, too," mutters the fourth year in his Irish accent. After all, he doesn't eat chocolate, himself. His dark blue eyes shift towards the former duelers again before he snorts. He really doesn't know what happened, why the need for apologies, but again, that doesn't interest him. Gage turns his gaze away from the trio apparently making amends, and looks around the room until he's staring stoically at Sybil. "…Right," he mutters to himself, shaking his head slowly. He looks to around, to the mats, and then down to Arevan again. "Is there gonna be anymore dueling?"

It seems Esther has arrived after the fun. But she's happy to stand off to the side, watching, almost staring at Variel. Although nods are given to Gage, and Elizabeth… Her attention is on the young Weasley. Smokey grey eyes, neutral expression, she's completely unreadable.

Variel stands beside Garrett until he moves to offer his hand to Selwyn in apology. At that, he slips the length of vine up his sleeve and turns to face the door. He catches Esther's entrance, but misses her gaze for a moment as he hears Gage's question. "If anyone else wants to try it out- even the younger students, jinx wars can be fun- I'd be glad to officiate over a match." That said, he ends up looking back towards the door and catching Lowe's unreadable expression. Not that it stops him trying, his wonderfully tailored dueling robes shifting faintly in the breezes from beneath the clubroom door.

Sybil abandons her viewing spot and approaches Variel and Garret, along with anyone else that still lingers around the duellists. That would include Ulysses of course. "A nicely handled duel," she says, despite having only seen the end of it, he eyes settling on Garrett more than anyone else. "And congratulations on the apology, it can be a difficult thing to do, admit to being in the wrong. You were horribly abrasive in the Owl Tower, like an angry kitten being backed into a corner." She doesn't bring up the fact that she's a Selwyn on her mother's side again, no doubt that particular nugget of information lodges heavily in his brain somewhere.

Ulysses looks between both Variel and Garrett, and chuckles again, a fist going to chuck Garrett on the shoulder playfully as he does so. "One of these days, Sykes, I'll actually approve of you using my first name. It'll happen. Like I said, Sykes and Selwyns, and all that. Perhaps next time our fists are involved… we can do it on the mat? I'm always looking for new sparring partners, and you actually seemed a fair match for me." Another smile… which extends as Sybil comes forward.

And as Variel walks away, since he knows it's a sore subject, he waits before stating a bit more quietly, "Sometimes one needs a splash of cold water, a slap to the face, or a really well-executed Stupefy to realize just how much you're bottling up." He looks at Garrett, "I suspect this is the first time you've actually… done anything since the Holidays, expression-wise, isn't it?" And the unspoken implication of what happened at his home, is laid there. A possible excuse, even.

"Ah, yes." Garrett stumbles over his words to Sybil. "I've been meaning to talk to you about that. I'm sorry for the Owl Tower. I hate that you had to hear me say that. My mouth isn't hardly as well trained as the owls that deliver the post, it sometimes just goes off on its own and says the most foolish of things." He corrects himself. "Foolish things I didn't mean by the way. So, sorry for that too." The boy takes a step back and turns to reach for his fallen wand still on the duelling dais. "I ugh, I ugh, I'll make it up to you." Garrett moves to the door, exhausted, embarrassed and beet red. "I… I'll think of something. Ugh, b-bye for now!" He makes a stumbling run for the door. After such a long day, the only place for him is the fifth-year Gryffindor dormitory.

Madeline watches Garrett dash off. "I guess maybe my Uncle was right," the girl muses. Nevermind that she never once actually /asked/ her uncle and only /assumed/ what he would say. She's thoughtful for a moment, then beams up at Elizabeth. "Come one! Biscuits!" she urges the older girl, trying to tug her towards the plate Seamus left.

Priorities, right?

Both of Gage's eyebrows rise as he looks to Variel at the sixth year's announcement, but are then again furrowed as he looks around the room for any signs of interest. He snorts, his shoulders inching upward and glances down to Arevan once more, and then lifts his gaze. "If no one else is…"

A certain amount of amusement just floats in Sybil's expression as Garrett stumbles over his words to her before taking off. "That boy has a lot to learn," she remarks to Ulysses, a slight angling of her body towards him as she addresses him properly. "And how are things with you? Keeping on top of everything?" That the Selwyn has taken on the responsibilities of his family on young shoulders hasn't gone unnoticed amongst his friends and there's a gentling of her voice as she talks with him. "I've not had much of a chance to catch up since returning after the holidays, perhaps we could all get together for tea in Hogsmeade next weekend, catch up. I keep missing Adorabella lately."

Esther doesn't say a word. She's in, and then, she's out again. Turning on her heel, one hand pressing her bookbag against her hip so it doesn't shift greatly while she moves.

On her heels, Variel steps from the room as well, after a brief indicator to Gage that he'll be back before long.

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