(1939-02-23) Paladin's Challenge Round 1: Gabriel vs Lucretia
Details for Paladin's Challenge Round 1: Gabriel vs Lucretia
Summary: Round One of the Paladin's Challenge, Junior Division and Lucretia and Gabriel are pitted against each other. (Master of Ceremonies NPC'd by Seamus)
Date: 1939-02-23
Location: Club Room, Hogwarts

This large room has a variety of uses, and can be setup differently for each club that uses it. Large storage doors around the room each hold a different club's equipment, to be setup with the wave of a wand. When the Athletics Club is here, for example, the room is full of gymnastics, weight, and other sports equipment. When the Domestics Club is here, however, stoves and cauldrons and workstations are more likely to be found here.

Sunday. Various matches in the Paladin's Challenge have been running through the week and today Lucretia's with Gabriel is due. The young witch is taking her first involvement in the contest terribly seriously and has decided to wear her school uniform for the occasion. Everything about her is precisely presented from the turn of her socks below her knees to the knot of her tie that holds her collar perfectly in place against her throat. Hair has been neatly coiled in a twist at the back of her head and fastened with a silver clip to keep it out of her face. And now? Now she waits for Gabriel to appear. Is she nervous? Yes. She may well have participated in club duels before but this… this is different. This is her first Paladin's Challenge and a test of her ingenuity under pressure.

Gabriel comes walking into the club room, tossing a red cricket ball against the walls as he goes, catching it on the way back making his progress happen in a zig-zag pattern. Like Lucretia he's wearing his school uniform but unlike her he hasn't taken amy pains to look any more put together than he usually does. so his unifrom is clean but wrinkled, his hair is disheveled and his robe is open and flapping as he walks.

When he finally make it into the Club Room he grins at Lucretia, puts the ball away into his robes' pocket, and makes his way to the dueling stage, "'Lo Black. You ready to do this?"

Chaos and disorder, that's what it looks like when the ministry official sets foot inside of the Club Room, shaggy blonde hair all over the place and looking like he's slept in his robes. "Ummm… Hello. I hope I'm not too terribly late." The man says with a weak smile. He straightens up a little bit,"Alright since you're both littles, let me explain, any attempt at injury and you're going to be waking up in the Infirmary, because no doubt you'll hit your head on the floor when you drop. I want a nice clean match from the both of you." He says hopping up to the center of the stage,"Now I want you both to march to opposite ends of the dueling stage, turn, salute and then we'll begin!"

Well Angelus is certainly not going to miss Lucretia's duel. He slips into the club room quietly, only smiling softly if he catches someone's gaze, but takes up a position against the wall to simply lay his eyes upon the participants.

Lucretia gives a short nod to Gabriel. "You're late." There's a tightness to her voice as she replies and the dark-haired girl's anxiety is just hinted at in the clipped tones she speaks with. Tightly-wound. That's how people often refer to her, and that's how she presents herself today. Eyes lock with Gabriel's for just a moment and a dark look sent is him, before the appearance of the Master of Ceremonies for their duel draws her attention away. Its probably a good thing, for its breaks the tenseness within her and she takes a moment to compose herself and draw a breath, clearing her mind. A nod is given and there's a fractional smile towards Angelus when he's noticed before she turns her back on Gabriel and walks to the opposite end of the stage to him. "Focus." That single word is muttered to herself as she turns, draws her wand and presents it in a salute to the muggle-born, a small bow given.

Gabriel smirks a little bit when he's called out on being late. A smirk that gets a little bigger and almost becomes a smile when Lucretia locks eyes with him. And he waits until Lucretia has clearly looked away first before turning his own attention to the MC. "No sir, we… /I/ just got here too." he says to the getnleman from the Ministry before listening to the instructions then making his way to his end of the dueling stage. When he turns around he intentionally spins fast enough to make his robes flare and by the time the turn is done his wand is in hand and he's already saluting and bowing. "This should be fun."

Gabriel senses Lucretia locking eyes with him. Her stare is intense, the sort intended to psyche him out though it probably fails.

"Good. Begin!" Timothy, the ministry official, says as he makes a gesture, somehow his wand appears in his hand without him seeming to draw it. He's apparently quite good with the wand, a few red sparks shooting from his wand. That's enough as he seems to fade into the background.

Lucretia isn't quite as prepared as she might have hoped. A split second behind Gabriel in drawing her wand up, she's only just in time to cast a deflecting spell against the one he sends her way. Luckily, training and practice allow her grip on her wand to remain light enough that her spell is easily cast and the word "Deflecto!" rings out from the stage.

The boy across from Lucretia might be young but he has been practicing a sports that require fast reflexes for years now. Gabriel's reaction to the 'Begin!' is almost immediate as he slashes with his wand and yells "Expelliarmus!"

But however good his reflexes might be he only has a year and some months of practice with the wand. So the bolt flies from his wand but is just off target enough that it gives Lucretia the extra split second that she needs to be able to deflect the spell, negating it with her shield, creating a shower of sparks.

Gabriel goes from offensive to defensive as soon as his first attack misses but the change isn't quite enough. The blue, transparent glimmer of his defelection charm appears just a moment too late to defelct Lucretia's spell.

Lucretia doesn't hesitate once her spell deflects Gabriel's and she turns sideways, her arm graceful in the way it forms a fluid line from her shoulder to the tip of her wand. Its not a spell she's often practiced, though she's thought about it a thousand times where certain people are concerned. "Mimble wimble." There's a caress to the words to the spell as they leave her mouth, her focus entirely upon her opponent as the tip of her wand pulsates with a light that detaches and arrows towards him. Something is muttered beneath her breath, as she watches it fly, but it'd take someone terribly astute to hear that one word.

Lucretia is all prepared to deflect whatever Gabriel sends her way. Except nothing does. At least, nothing directly. Instead there's a clouding of smoke around the muggle-born opponent and her spell fizzles away, finding nothing to target.

Gabriel's tongue goes all wibbly-wobbly thanks to Lucretia's spell and he realizes he needs to buy himself some time. So he picks a simple spell and risks taking a moment to carefully ennunciate his next spell, "Fumos!"

As soon as he casts, thick clouds of smoke start pouring out of the tip of his wand and quickly envelop the young boy, making it a lot harder to tell where he's standing on his end of the dueling stage.

Lucretia scowls at the thick smoke. She can't see Gabriel and she can only guess at his location through the screen he's put up. A brief thinning as it billows, a current of air that disturbs the density and she's sure she spots his arm lifting, wand held and pointed in her direction. "Impedimenta!" She throws a wild spell to where he should be standing and is quite unable to see whether its hit or not as a flash from his own wand illuminates the smoke.

Angus ducks hurriedly.

Gabriel takes a step or two back and to the side to change positions while keeping his smoke cloud between himself and his opponent. Bobbing his head from side to side he tries to get a glimpse of Lucretia through the smoke and failing he finally decides to target the area of the stage he saw her last in, hoping she hasn't moved too much. Making a horizontal zig-zaggy line in the air with his wand as he says, "Flipendo!" with care to ennunciate past the heaviness weighing on his tongue he sends a bolt of blue light flying and manages to glance Lucrecia, sending her stumbling back a few steps then flinching a bit as Lucretia's own spell flashes by missing him by centimeters and luck.

Gabriel's attack hits Lucretia in her left shoulder and there's a cry of surprise as she's forced backwards a step or two. She's still searching for him through the smoke that drifts between them, though the spell he's sent her way does just part it long enough for her to find him and to cast her next spell. Her wand weaves through the air, a delicate tracery that scribes its pattern in the air as her focus flows through and down her fingers. "Avifors…!" She'd watched Ignatius do just this very thing during duelling club, and whilst he's currently in her bad books, she not one to worry over pinching someone else's genius ideas. A turn of her body to the side to present less of a target for Gabriel as she casts and she closes her eyes, pouring all she has into her attack.

The sound of a clattering wand is clearly audible from Gabriel's side of the stage pretty much at the same time that Lucretia neatly avoids the glowing red beam of a Disarming Jinx, be it by luck or design.

Amid a fluttering of wings a small, brightly colored parakeet lands on top of Gabriel's wand, looking as disgrunted as a small green, red, and yellow bird can look.

Silence. It follows for a moment after the clatter of Gabriel's wand to the stage. Lucretia coughs, waving a hand in front of her face to waft away what remains of the smoke, her wand still pointed towards the last acknowledged place of Gabriel. She's absolutely ready to cast a deflection should something come her way, but it shoots off wide to her left. Its with not a little relief that the flash of brightly coloured feathers pulls her attention towards the floor and a bright smile replaces the hard lines of concentration that had marked her brow. "You're a bird!" The exclamation of delight has left her mouth before she can help herself.

Angus applauds quietly, "Real nice, Lulu!"

Lucretia turns towards the small applause, a grin just tugging her mouth. He probably heard her exclamation, but now she plays it cool. "Did you see me win Angus? He's a bird." A glance over her shoulder is given Gabriel, though she makes no move to untransfigure him. That's beyond her abilities as a third year student.

Angelus watches the duel quietly, keeping his focus on the match and a solemn expression. A smirk flicks against his lips when the match is called, his chin lifting with a satisfied expression. His hands lift in front of him as he applauds the duel, a grin spreading across his face. "Well done, Black."

In response to Lucretia's little exclamation the parakeet makes a noise that sounds remarkably like 'Duh!' accompanied with a fastidious flick of its wings and a few little, impatient hops back and forth along the length of the wand its standing on.

That ends when Timothy performs the counter spell to return Gabriel to human form. "Miss Black, I will ask that in your next duel that you will NOT behave in such a fashion afterwards. That is very poor conduct and if you want to uphold the name of your House, you will not behave like a pathetic little child that has won his first game." The MC from the ministry says in a cold hard voice. Apparently that did not amuse him. "If you cannot perform a counter curse, don't use the spell." He says before striding off. Although he makes no mention of reporting her for improper behavior so apparently it's just a matter of her being chastised.

Angus chuckles, "Aye! Aye, Ah noticed, Lulu." He holds out his wrist, in approved falconry fashion, a wasted gesture in the circumstances.

Once he's returned to his normal shape Gabriel returns his wand to his pocket and bows slightly to Lucretia. "Well played, Black. I'll look forward to a rematch in Dueling Club or next year's tournament." He's not happy but he's clearly taking his loss in stride, after all, its just part of getting better.

Lucretia hunches her shoulders at the chastisement, though inside she's fizzing with victory. Not until Timothy's gone does she allow herself a grin and gives a nod of acknowledgement to Gabriel as she stows her wand away. "Thank you. Yes. That was an interesting duel and I learned from it, as you probably did too. Sorry if turning you into a bird wasn't something usually expected in a duel. If its any consolation, you made a pretty parakeet."

Lucretia whispers, "If they don't want us to use that spell then they shouldn't teach us it until we're able to learn the counter-one!", to Angus.

Gabriel laughs a bit at the compliment of his parakeet form as he starts walking out of the Club Room, once again bouncing his cricket ball off the walls, "Thanks. See you all later." and with that he disappears down the corridor, the sound of his ball still audible even after he's out of sight.

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