(1939-02-16) The Rough Stuff, Part 2
Details for The Rough Stuff, Part 2
Summary: After the misunderstanding in the Club room, the trio head over to the Hog's Head for cheap drinks and less savory company. And… misunderstandings happen again as Genevieve hits Ulysses too close to home.
Date: 16 February, 1939
Location: Hogshead Tavern, Hogsmeade
Related: Continued from The Rough Stuff: Part 1

Jenny nudges open the door, breathing in the taint of stale beer and lingering ale. Of stale smoke and rough hewn floors and, fit right in like a local piece of nothing color, with how down she was dressed. Not slumming of course, but those robes weren't her finest and she seemed to be content with the atmosphere.
"Pint'o'bitters," the girl called and stepping clear of the door so that her companions could join, eased to sprawl out at the nearest table that also happened to keep the from sitting right on top of some of the local color.

Dastan isn't far behind Jenny, and chimes in after Jenny, "And one of the house draught." Hog's Head Brew isn't his favorite drink, but it's fine enough and not particularly expensive- and very unassuming. He clears the way as well, tugging a chair out for himself and pushing another loose for the approaching Selwyn. He drops into his seat and stretches, groaning and going limp for a moment as the stretch soaks his system in endorphins.

Following close after Jenny, his own brown robes rather wrinkled and worn (to be expected when kept in a bookbag), he follows after, calling out a quick, "The same!" behind Jenny's order. He then approaches the same table. Grunting a bit as he looks at one of the seats next to where Jenny sat down, he pulls it away from the table, snagging another chair from nearby that doesn't have an obvious wet spot on it… until he sees Dastan doing the same, and chuckles.
The things you do when trying to spend less on the weekend.

It's stout. That's what Jenny likes about it. And she can generally get a decent fight if she really, really wants one. But Uly's scratched that existing itch. So instead, with the extra chair that's been hauled over and the one with the bit of wet left not too terribly far away, the sleek seeker slings her feet up into it and reclines with all the comfort of one who has never found a pub she doesn't feel at home in.
"And the very best part is that, we aint gotta worry about people coming by talking about which couple's snogging in the corner, because no one cares."

"It's beyond me why any of them care about it in the first place. We're hanging about, learning how to twist the fabric of the universe and hobnobbing with the next generation of movers and shakers, and all our classmates have ears for is who's been up who's jumper?" Standing point of irritation. Far too many study sessions and simply pleasant conversations ruined by one or another of the numerous gossips, more so in Slytherin than elsewhere. In a house of manipulators, such is ammunition, and it's oft on the table for trade. Speaking of which, Dastan appropriates one of the horizontal bits of the table support and props up one leg, propping his knee against the underside of the table.

Ulysses, on the other hand, doesn't put legs or feet up, instead spinning his chair around and straddling it, waiting for his drink to come. "Some find it interesting. Goodness knows I have to keep my ear out for it, lest one of my siblings connect up with the wrong sort. Or cousins, for that matter." A wry grin appends that statement, and as the server comes by with their drinks, he flips a coin onto the tray before taking his own.
"But I think it makes it into every House's conversations, especially this time of year. Give me family and some quiet comfort any day over the rest of that mess."

"Everyone wants to know who Biffy's boffing," Jenny replied to Dastan, rolling her eyes. But he seemed a little well, different to her. A family thing, perhaps? "Incidently, we -are- the next generation." Neatly pointed out, with a hint of cool mischief in her eyes.
She paid easily for her pint though and took a long swallow as the tankard was plucked from the tray. "There's something to be said for family, I suppose and I suppose the something is, that my blood's not close. So my family? Is on the pitch and those who've shared sweat and blood. I don't rightly care who's doing what, to be honest."

"Well, -yes-, that's who I meant," Dastan tosses back to Jenny. "That's exactly my point," as he pays for and claims his pint. "Our classmates, the people we spend every day with, are those who'll be making the new discoveries, setting the new policies, as we go forward." Dastan sits back suddenly, eyes a touch wide. "… Faust's fingernails but that's terrifying when you look at it that way."

Ulysses chuckles, shaking his head at the conversation, "Frankly, I suspect it's like this for each generation. At some point the wand simply flips and we realize the time to lay is done." He looks over at Jenny, "My situation is a bit unique. Family… is pretty much all I have. And all of them are here with me. But I can understand the connection in action, as well. Bludgers just don't make for much quiet when flying about breaking bones."

"Those whose secrets and youthful indescritions we're around to remember. Who's marrige was forced and arranged. Who…had a child before they finished. What mistakes might be…," there's a thoughtful pause at that, one that has Jenny's gaze going distant, while her hand rose up to tap thoughtfully against her nose.
"Might be used to force us into compliance later. You boys are rather insightful chaps." That smile had so much cruelty in it, but it didn't seem locally directed. Instead, she flagged down the server and made a quiet request for a bit of parchment and quill, with enough of a tip to see it done.
"So we're learning plenty and there's a kind of magic in all of it. But," a grin towards Ulysses, "You're right. Not much quiet."

"You could have just asked if you wanted to write, y'know, Solomon." Dastan slips a hand into a pocket of his robe and tugs out a roll of parchment, before tucking it away. He's neither so rude as to turn the server away from a chance at a tip, or to still have it out when they return. "But yes, we do rather try at the whole insightful thing. Least -I- try, I think Selwyn might just manage naturally." He levels a perfectly unserious, faint glare at Ulysses, presumably for the ease with which he contributes. "Don't much care for a broom. Or apparition, truth be told. It's always amazed me the sorts of things you can do on a broom with self-aiming cannonballs whizzing about. And I've already mentioned my surprise at the depth of strategy behind what I would have called simple brawling a few hours ago. Did you two have someone to teach you that?"

"Merlin's beard… we're at a pub, and you're doing homework," Lys blurts out with a laugh, although the contemplative look on her face suggestions nothing of the sort. He knows that look. Usually, in use by a Slytherin girl, it means run for the hills.
But Lys only runs when he wants to. "There's a certain… peace when you have someone next to you, that you know so well that you don't have to fill the silences. Just have them." He grins, "I honestly think all the gossip boils down to that. People who don't know what they really need, and trying to make it happen anyhow."
He then looks at Dastan, "For me, it was my Pa. Before he died he made a point that I would know how to defend myself, my brothers, and my sister. And that meant thinking in ways your average wizard doesn't."

Fuck Ulysses. Despite Dastan's little joke, there is something about the Selwyn's words that cuts and for a moment, perhaps it seemed the smoke got to her eyes. The look of calculation left her and she was just a girl. One trying to weedle through the sadness and the pain and the walls closed so abruptly to that little glimmering within that it was as if they'd never been lowered at all.
Her feet hit the floor with a thud and she took another long swallow draught of her pint. "Fuck a bunch of silence," it came with a chuckle, while her tongue drew the froth from the curve of her upper lip. And that, it seemed, was that.
"For me, it was…well, simply, it makes me feel better. It started as a measure of training for stamina and resilliance because I promise, a bludger does not care if it breaks your bones and if you're going to get hit, you may as well get used to it. But when I discovered I could hit back, too?" Her smile says it all. And maybe the glow of that handprint on her face that shines when her cheek dimples.

Dastan blinks. Just for a moment, he saw something. It was… he wasn't sure just what word to put to it, but he was very quickly certain that Jenny would neither care to have attention drawn to it nor appreciate someone treating her like she can't handle herself. He doesn't dissemble or try to pretend he saw nothing, but he brings it up not at all, aiming instead to help her launch into conversation go well. He gives a genuine smile when she grins about hitting back, clearly impressed by her tenacity. "It seems like it's a worthwhile pursuit. Exercise, uncommon talent for a wizard, practical application and- if watching you two is any hint- fun to boot. Would either of you care to induct someone else into the practice? Or know someone who wouldn't mind?"

Ulysses, on the other hand, catches not a whiff of it. Or perhaps just assumes she's mercurial but well-controlled most of the time. To her statement about silence, he instead shrugs his shoulders, and looks back again to Dastan, "She's got a lot to teach you. I also try to teach a few folks here and there, when their interested. But you can't be afraid of a bloody nose, or a chipped tooth."
Then another grin, "And I personally don't go with biting, at least when on the mat." This said with a bit of a grin, and a playful look back at Jenny.

"Everything's a mat," Jenny answeres Ulysses, before settling back and looking between the two. 'She' has a lot to teach him? She? "Since when do I get voluntered for helping? I mean, I don't care to like, pound you. Frankly beating things makes me feel better, but I don't like, teach. I mean, I guess I could but there'd be closeness, I'd be putting hands on you, you'd end up emotionally confused about what it all meant and then, it'd just end up nasty. You wanna learn how to fly, that I'll help you with." That didn't require closeness.

"Wounds heal. We've got an infirmary for just such things." He shrugs and glances towards Jenny as Uly volunteers her, though he ends up looking a touch confused when she objects. "Ah, no thanks on the flying. I'm competent. That's all I care to be. And I feel confident saying that I'll not confuse being taught how to fight as romantic interludes. No's fine, though, Solomon. Nobody's making you do anything-" A pause and a smirk. "Though it might be entertaining to watch someone try sometime."

"That's a bit presumptuous, don't you think, Solomon?" Ulysses offers in a playful rejoinder, "You're assuming you're Meliflua's type here. For all you know, it would be me that he would have such conflicting feelings for. I just know how to let them down gently," And at this he offers a toothy smile to Dastan.
"But sure. I just warn because some people will think they can get on the mat with you… and then become shocked when you knock something loose."

"Then you two boys get all hot and sweaty and I'll watch and we'll see what happens, hm? But I suggest you get notions of anyone making me do anything out of your head. Those days are over and done." The smile, like a sharks, was all teeth and just as empty. And her attention settled back to her pint, rather than the discussion. There was a reason she could count the number of people in her house she got along with on one hand.

It took a moment for Dastan to put together why his comment had drawn ire. When it clicked, he suppressed a grimace and merely nodded to Solomon. "Sorry, then- notions evicted, Solomon." He paused to take a long drink from the Brew, setting it back down afterwards. "Well, with that avenue closed, I suppose I'll have to go with something else if I want to think of excuses for you to show off your talents at turning your fists into bludgers."

"Or just ask her nicely at some point and let her make the decision herself if she's up to it," Ulysses points out. His own drink he uses to prolong the silence for a wee bit, finishing nearly half of it with a practiced chug… not a drop spilled, either. And then, a satisfied sigh. "Ah, but I missed that. Too long… too long…"

"Or I don't know, find someone else to focus on and don't talk about her like she isn't here and doesn't have a name." The smile was tight, the breath one that made itself be level. Be even. Be…sunset over a lake. Tranquil waters. A smiling face and warm flesh. Wrong memory. But there were no safe ones. "So it must be shite, Selwyn, having to stay focused on babysitting all the time and not..actually getting to have a life. Whatsit you do for fun?"

The preliminary reports are in, and this quarter's returns are conclusive- wit is getting Dastan nowhere. So, he follows Uly's lead and shuts himself up with more beer, glancing between his housemate and the Gryffindor while Jenny holds her own with that too-thin smile and Uly is posed a question to answer.

His own response is telling, with the way Ulysses' lips thin a little bit, "It is never a burden, or a pain, to take care of my family, Solomon. And I would never suggest anything other. They are my life, simple and plain." And it's the truth. Another pull from his glass, emptying it, and he waves to a server to refill it. "I have the clubs, my studies, my family. I have a good life." And he completely fails to answer the question.

Don't bait people. Don't bait people. Don't bait people. He was some nobody Gryffindor, with a need to play Daddy. Don't bait the Gryffindor. Don't. Just don't. Leave it alone. No need to meddle. No need to poke or prod. No need to do anything.
"You're a liar." Well. Shit. "You have clubs and books and babysitting. You play Daddy." He's going to break your jaw. Shut up! "But you don't have a life. You don't do anything for yourself, do you?"

Dastan hails the server when they return to refill Ulysses' glass and leans over, speaking quietly and laying a number of coins on the server's tray. There's a nod exchanged, and an offer for a refill given to Solomon. Selwyn isn't asked to pay for his refill, and it seems to cover the refresh for Dastan's Brew as well. The next round paid for, he glances between the two others, curious how Ulysses might respond to that.

And with that, Ulysses stands up, "Fuck you, Solomon." The server is waved off, although he does place another coin on the table. They poured it, he'd pay for it. "You don't know how to do anything except use your teeth, do you? Well, excuse me… but I'd rather not stick around to be baited until I decide to use something other than the flat of my palm." Said fist goes down on the table… and by the way it shakes, it's likely that were it any less sturdy he might have cracked it.
But he can't resist, at the end, "Play Daddy indeed… I'm all they have, you harpy. Sometimes? Sometimes you realize that other people are a hell of a lot more important than you are… and you will do anything… and I mean anything… to ensure their happiness. If my staying home to 'babysit' means my little sister smiles? Or my brothers get to have just a little more fun on a Hogsmeade weekend because I give them /my/ stipend? You bet your ass I'd give every ounce of my life to make it happen. That's family."
And with that, he grabs his bag and heads toward the door, Dastan's offer either ignored, or unseen, in his anger.

"Know why I use my teeth, Selwyn," Jenny's voice was, well, surprisingly level and devoid of the flashpan flare of anger that came so often and so easily. "Because I know there's more than just the hard layer on the outside. That's the trick to putting up walls, that…most people never really realize. Sometimes they're not there to keep people out. Sometimes…we put them there to see who'll care enough to knock through them. We aren't finished, even if you do run out mad. Because you'll leave and there'll be this sudden…piece of time and when the cool air hits you, my voice'll be echoing in your head because if something's a trigger, it's a trigger for a reason."
"I'll catch you tomorrow." A promise. But without heat. And in the wake of it, those dark eyes rolled towards Meliflua. Daring him to say a word.

Dastan doesn't rise to that bait. Selwyn's expressed more than once that he bears no special love for Dastan, and Jenny is neither furious nor in need of defending. He simply glances to the server standing nearby with one last mug of bitters, already paid for. The companionable feeling is pretty well shot, and Dastan's not going to be the one to try to keep it alive.

The fingers of both hands close again into fists as Lys pauses, even in his anger at least letting her rejoinder. When the tone isn't mocking, the hands squeeze, knuckles popping, muscles flexing visibly even under his long-sleeved robes.
He turns back around to face the two, taking a step forward to grab one of the two drinks that had been ordered for him, downing it in a single, long pull, and setting it back down on the table. A long stare is given Genevieve during this.
Then, a grunt, "Tomorrow then." And then, this time, nothing keeps him from walking out that door. Cold winter air rushes through as he lets it close behind him.

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