(1939-02-06) Salving Small Hurts
Details for Salving Small Hurts
Summary: After a time of not really speaking, Madeline finds Silas and discovers why his ego was bent.
Date: 06 February, 1939
Location: Balcony, Hogwarts

Thursday evening, after dinner, but not so late that students are necessarily rushing back to their dormitories. Silas had left dinner with a girl on his arm, one Madeline has likely seen him with before the Christmas holiday, but oddly enough not after… not until this past week. Apparently at some point, though, they had separated ways, and he'd come up here.
There are no books, no drawings, no ferret. Just a boy, outside, in the snow, sitting in a chair with his feet propped up on a lower part of the railing. And he's singing. In French. It's not loud… in fact he sings softly, but in a beautiful tenor. The song itself seems a happy one.

Music attracts Madeline like a moth to the flame. As she leaves the study room, she moves quietly towards the singing, peeking cautiously out to see who it is - and smiling when it's Silas. She moves to the other chair, plopping into it, and throwing her arms wide. She's silent for now, waggling her fingers in a greeting if Silas should look towards her.

A shame, really, that the older Slytherin boy has never joined arts club, even after Dora's suggestion. But then again, his experience with it hadn't been the absolute best, either. Most tenors tend to be shy about it.
Silas is lost, it would appear, in the music, with his eyes closed… and so it isn't until he finishes the last refrain, and opens his eyes with a growing smile that he sees Madeline there, arms wide.
Blink. Blink. "Well… hello there, Madeline." he offers as a greeting.

"That was real nice, Silas!" Madeline responds with her usual levels of cheer. "What did it mean? Was it French? It sounded like French. I never learned French - do you speak it?" she asks with eager curiosity. Her arms are still splayed out, her wrists dangling, and wiggling idly. "Gosh, it's been a long week, hasn't it? I'm tiiiiired - and we still have Friday to go!"

There's a chuckle the comes from Silas, "You probably don't want to know the words, since it was a love song. And it focuses quite a bit on kissing," he offers, "But yes. It was French… that's a good catch. Would you believe I've actually lived there for a time?"
He looks over at the younger girl, smiling at her for a moment, "It has… although I hear your House has had quite a bit more excitement than mine, for a change."

The look on Madeline's face says it all. She requires no translation. "Well. It /sounded/ pretty," she responds. "Did you live there? I've never been. Is there a 'Diagon Alley' there, too? I bet they call there's something different. That would be fun to see - Diagon Alley /France/!" She smiles at the idea.
The mention of the ruckus in Gryffindor makes the smile fade into something more of a grimace. "Oh. Yes, well… Garrett Sykes was being an idiot, but he did apologize, and I figure it's probably just because the Sykes Gala happened at /his/ house and everything, so he must have been there, and having your own house attacked - well. It probably twisted him all up inside. I hope things are little more straightened out, now, and I guess I better be do my best to be nice anyways, since he apologized and everything. I'm just glad Chastity missed it. I'm not even sure what she's /heard/ about it - not a lot, I hope."

"My family has holdings there, and sometimes Nanny and my parents would take me there for summers. Or sometimes, when I got lucky, just Nanny and I. We have a lovely house-elf there, Bosheth… I always called him Shef." Silas grins, eyes closing at the memories, new and old.
"And that… is why I'm glad I'm in my house." He offers with a bit of a grin, "I wonder what Ria thinks of all that mess?"

"Is he good cook?" Madeline asks with a giggle. With a name like 'Shef' he better be! She does look a bit puzzled, though. "I think I'd be lonely - in a foreign place like France without my parents there all summer. Well, I know I would be. I missed them something terrible when I started at Hogwarts. But it isn't /as/ bad, now."
Mentioning Ria prompts a dubious look on Madeline's face - she's heard some of her friends say rather uncomplimentary things about Ria Sykes… "I don't know. I like being Gryffindor… but that's twice now we've had a row about the Sykes Gala in the common room. I wish people wouldn't do that. I mean, especially with Chastity in our house - she could come through at any time and… well. We oughtta be looking out for each other better'n /that/."

"He's okay… but I'm better. But that may just be because he was old when I first met him." The joke goes completely over Silas' head, the term being something not specifically common in his culture. "Oh, I loved it when it was just Nanny… she got to teach me more, and I was able to run and play when I wanted and…" He smiles. Good memories.
"Well," he then comments about the Gryffindor side of things, "your House /is/ a lion's den. Lions do tend to get more… emphatic about things."

He doesn't get to play when he wants to, otherwise? …well, granted, Madeline has chores she has to do before she can play, normally.
"There's emphatic… and then there's heartless /nonsense/," Madeline complains with a sigh. "I don't know. People should know to be careful what they say about the Sykes Gala. A lot of people got hurt and… well. We shouldn't make it worse."

Silas shifts in his chair, then, pulling his feet off the railing, and sitting up a bit straighter, "That's part of the secret of people though, Madeline. They don't do what makes sense. They put their hearts in front of themselves, and it colors what they do. For some, it's family. For others honor. Knowledge. Whatever. Everyone, even you, has a point where, when crushed, the claws can come out. And when they're out, it's hard not to strike with them."

Madeline presses her lips together. "I guess so," she says dubiously. "But I hope not. I hate the thought of hurting /any/body." She lets out a giggle before adding, "except the time I kicked Avery in the shin, but it's not like that did anything more 'n /annoy/ him."

"That can happen," Silas says, actually looking away now lover the landing, "without even intending to, or even knowing you did it." He is silent for a moment, before the thought is banished and he leans back in his chair again, "Sometimes inaction, or even just not recognizing what's happening can cause it."

Madeline watches Silas, confused by his words. "Did I hurt someone?" she asks. "Or… you're worried I might hurt someone?" After all, he's usually trying to teach her /something/ when she runs into him.
She lets out a gasp. "Have I been hurting lots of someones all the time and I didn't even know it?!" That's a horrible thought!

Silas actually shakes his head, then, "While it's possible, I don't think it's very likely, at least not in this instance, Madeline. No. It's a silly little thing, in its own way… since we're talking something that is part of a complete cultural rift here."

"What's a silly little thing?" Madeline asks in confusion. "I /am/ trying to understand Hogwarts, and how things work in the wizarding world…" she says a little defensively. She doesn't always get it right. And no matter what she does - she always seems to say something that gives her away as being a Muggle-born. And she still doesn't understand how or what.

His voice a bit small, "It's a silly little thing, because it was an offer made that has absolutely no meaning in the world you came from, Madeline." Silas frowns, "That day on the lake shore. When I offered to walk with you into the Great Hall… do you recall Tarquin's reaction? Not just what he said, but how he reacted to my making the offer in the first place?"

Madeline looks puzzled now. She bites her lip, not moving for a moment as she thinks - and then she simply shakes her head. She'd just wanted to /get away/ by then.

Silas looks directly at her now, "Madeline… I'm a sixth year, pure-blood, Slytherin. The only more stereotypical nasty, blood-focused combination you would expect, would be a seventh year. And I offered to walk with a first-year… 'mud-blood', to use the term expected of me… into the great hall. In the sort of move that could get me labeled a blood-traitor. And I was willing to do it to show you that we weren't all that way. And you denied me. I offered a gift that only someone like myself can offer, and you told me no."
He sighs again, "I /shocked/ Tarquin. I don't know of any analogue in the Muggle world. But it's the sort of gesture that people like me simply Do Not Do."

"…oh," Madeline replies softly. She stares down at her feet, not sure what to say for a while, wiggling her toes uncertainly. "I wish it didn't matter," she says quietly, before looking at Silas again. "Why /should/ it matter who you walk into a room with?" she lets out a sigh. "I'm sorry I didn't understand. I just- I said no, 'cuz I was in a real bad mood, and I just wanted to get away, and I really /needed/ to see Adam - 'cuz he's my best friend and everything. And I was…" She squirms a little bit. "I was mad at pure-bloods," she admits. "And the thought of going down to Slytherin, where it's nothing /but/ pure-bloods, and having to stand down there alone and wait for you while they're all walking by on their way for dinner… I just couldn't. Not then."

"It shouldn't," he actually agrees, "at least not in that matter. In who you surround yourself with and all that. Marriage? Children… another thing entirely, but those who use it as a reason do look down on others… it's foolish. And I made that gesture because I think so too."
He shrugs, "I said it was a little thing. It just… it stung. I've never stuck my head out for a Muggle-born before, Madeline. You should have seen the nasty things my mother said to me in her last letter, just over finding out I escorted you and Elizabeth out of Knockturn, and then had /sweets/ with you after."
"So it stung. But it's okay. You understand now."

"I didn't mean to hurt you," Madeline says softly. "I just thought - well. That you wanted to keep me company, because I was upset, and I thought that was nice, too. It's just… I couldn't."
She offers Silas a small smile before adding, "But thank you. I'm glad there are some really nice pure-bloods - like you, and Adorabella, and Bulstrode - at least, I think me and Bulstrode have mostly sorted things out.
"I think I'll avoid meeting your mum, if that's okay. I'm glad you don't think like that."

"Oh Merlin help you if you ever do!" Silas says, his eyes huge, "My mother is a complete and utter b— horrible person." He catches himself. "Did you not catch the fact that I talk about my Nanny fondly?" A grin, there.

Madeline's eyes widen at the near slip. Did he nearly call his /mother/ a- "But she's your /mother/!" she protests. "I do just about anything for my mum. She's… Is she really that terrible? Even to /you/?" How could that be possible?!

Silas looks again back over the edge of the balcony, "My mother… hates me. And the feeling is mutual. I was… am… an obligation that was forced upon her for the extension of a bloodline. My father and my mother hate each other. Barely talk to each other. And they pushed me off on a Nanny so they wouldn't have to do anything, except make certain I was properly groomed for sorting into Slytherin."

Madeline just stares. How could parents…? "Well - that's just stupid and selfish and… and… stupid!" she exclaims. She leaves her seat to go sit with Silas, leaning against him, and wrapping one arm around him. "You're Silas the Stupendous, and it's /their/ loss if they can't see that, and I'd welcome you over for Christmas time whenever you like, but it'd probably cause you all kinds of trouble, but we'd be happy to have you all the same."

Silas laughs for a moment, and in that moment, decides to have a little fun, and as Maddie jumps up to sit next to him, instead pulls her into his lap with a bit of an impromptu hug. "You see, Maddie, it's a pure-blood thing. And well, we already know your opinion on that." And after the offer, he shakes his head, "I'm pretty much on my own on holidays… now that I'm of age. Don't even go home any more. This last one I spent with a very special friend. And hopefully the same next year. But I appreciate the offer nonetheless."

Maddie lets out a giggle as she's pulled into his lap - it's appreciated. It's not something you get a lot of while you're away at school, and she /misses/ all the hugs she always got from her parents.
"Well. As long as you're happy and having fun on your holidays. But we'll get together and have another drink at the sweets shop!" she offers. "As long as you don't mind another Howler from your mum. I sure am glad I can't get any of those from my mum! She doesn't even /know/ about them."

Silas actually shudders, "Oh. She doesn't send Howlers. She doesn't need to. But yes. And next time, it won't be because you're in Knockturn bloody Alley, too." He hugs her again, and unless she actually crawls out of his lap, is happy to let her stay there.
"So… could you tell me about your mum and dad?"

"I won't be," Madeline promises firmly. And she's happy to stay right where she is!
"Well, sure," she agrees, a little surprised by the request. "My dad - he was in the Great War. In the trenches. When he came back - well. He stayed in hospital a bit, and he met my mother there. She wasn't a nurse or anything, but she was volunteered to help look after all the soldier.
"My dad - I mean, he loves me, of course. Heaps and loads. But he can be a little bit stern. He takes me game shooting - and that's just my favorite, because it's just me and him and he's not as stern, then. We have a lot of fun, and we bring my dog, Sally, and we always come back with something - rooks sometimes, or maybe some partridges.
"Mum's always trying to make sure my hair's just right, and my dress is pressed, and my face is clean whenever we go out - but she doesn't care what sort of mess I look like, when we're on our farm. And I think she's just one of the best knitters you could ever meet. She taught me, how, too. And sometimes at night - me and mum'll sit around and knit, while my dad reads to us. Or we'll put on the radio instead, some nights."

Silas listens, although some of the terms go over his head. For him, it's more than curiosity. He's learned that his parents are… not normal. Muggle or Magic-born, it seems parents do much together. And a part of him wants to know what he missed, so that his children do no.
"Game shooting?" He asks first, the term sounding strange on his lips. "That with your guns, right? I thought you shot at each other with them?" An honest, simple question. "And knitting I think I know. I've seen that before, but radio. Is that like our Wireless?"

Madeline looks horrified at that thought! "My dad would sock me around the ears /so hard/ if I ever dreamed of pointing a gun at a /person/! Goodness. We only use them for game shooting. And I'm not to touch the guns at all until he tells me to, and always mind where it's pointing. We're taking Adam game shooting this summer - I bet you could come, if you wanted to see and maybe try.
"I'm not sure about the Wireless," she adds, sounding curious. "It's just… well, it's a box, you see, with knobs on it. And one of the knobs makes it louder or softer, and the other one helps you find the station you want. There'll be different stations - for music, or for news, or for stories. So you can turn it on, and listen to a story with different actors reading for the different people while you're washing up the dishes, or ironing the laundry."

Silas quirks his head, "But I thought that's what your guns were for. What else would you shoot?" He pauses, "You said a rook… or pheasant. You shoot /animals/?" The look of horror that she just showed? Mirrored on his face.

"Of course," Madeline answers. "The rooks can be a real nuisance around the farms - and the squirrels. So we usually try for them when we're game shooting. Sally flushes the birds out of the grass for us, and fetches whatever we shoot, and mum cooks them up for our supper."

Silas still looks at her with an expression of disbelief. "But that means you're using a little metal ball to kill them, when you could just use an immobilizing spell, or stupify…" And then he pauses. "But… still… that little ball has to hit them just right… an they're only animals…"

"No I couldn't," Madeline counters. "I don't know the spells, and I'm not allowed to use them outside of school, besides. It's how Muggles have to deal with pest animals, or catch animals for food. My father made sure I had loads of target practice before I ever went game shooting - and you have to make sure you have a good shot, before you shoot. Because you really don't want to just injure an animal, that'd be just cruel. It happens sometimes, but we really try not to."

To this, Silas just shakes his head, "That's why I corrected myself. I realized it even as I asked it. It's… hard to think of life without it, is all. But no… I don't think I'll take you up on that offer. To be honest, the very concept of being near a gun is frightening to me." He then grins. "How about… knitting?"

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