(1939-02-24) Queens, Kings, And Puppetstrings
Details for Queens, Kings, And Puppetstrings
Summary: In direct response to the fallout from All That is Necessary, and Medusa's demands that Slytherin berate Myrus, Silas Meliflua makes a specific stand, and his first real salvo at Succeeding Medusa in the next year.
Date: 24 February, 1939
Location: Great Hall
Related: All That is Necessary

Braziers that hang by chains from the beaks of griffin gargoyles that line the walls where they meet the high vaulted enchanted ceiling offer warm illuminating blazes. Four long tables are evenly spaced with the heads of the table at the north and south of the room. Each table has a cloth runner down the center and a plush rug underneath of the different House colors indicating to which house the table belongs.
The most westerly table is the Slytherin table. Beside them is the Ravenclaw table. The Gryffindor table is then between the Ravenclaw table to the west and the Hufflepuff table which is the most easterly table. One other table along the northern wall up on a dais for the Professors to sit at and look over all four of the other tables. Also on the dais is one lectern gilded in gold with an owl spreading it's wings at the top of the lectern. Candles line the tops of the owl's wings to illuminate anyone speaking at the lectern. A stool like protrusion comes out of the lectern as well as that's where the first years sit when they are sorted.
There are three sets of doors in the Great Hall. The main exit and entrance that leads to the Entry Hall is a large set of double wooden doors carved with vines and flanked by high stone pedestals each set with a small brazier above the stony 'H' carved in the pedestal. On the eastern wall is a much smaller door just next to the dais that's attached to the antechamber the first years come up from the lake through. Lastly one other door is set into the northwest corner behind the High Table.
As always high above within the obscured stone and wood cathedral like buttresses and crockets the outside weather is reflected in an illusion with all the sound and visuals of the weather, just without the actual effects of it.

Monday evening. The world has continued, for many without much to show for it. For one, however, a sense of urgency, perhaps freedom, has translated into a bit more courage than he might have had previously. And so, with help, a whisper campaign had gone through the Slytherin house, shortly after an internal declaration had been made.
There were grumblings. There was obvious disquiet in the house for a good portion of the day, and a few friends were banking on that. Requests for some to stay, after dinner was finished. A conference, perhaps.
The attendance, when all was said and done, wasn't large. Perhaps as little as a third of the students in the Slytherin house had stayed. Chief in the center of that attention was one Silas Meliflua, meticulously groomed as always, but perhaps even more so this evening. He sits at the table, waiting, watching for the others to return to their seats, taking the quiet moment to steel himself for the action to come.

More than a third, let's just be fair, it wasn't /that/ hard and not everyone was inclined with the current…way of things. It helped to have friends and where Silas operated with kindness, Genevieve was decidedly..less. A smattering of honesty, the frank call of bullshit and the promise of chocolate.
So she sat perched on the bench next to Silas, long legs stretched before her while she peeled an orange. "I kept hoping the little drama queen would walk in, to be honest but alas, no such luck. Still, there's time." Her smile shouldn't have suggested that she hoped for otherwise, but there it was.

Madeline was late to dinner - and late to finish up. She was just polishing off her dessert, as she glances curiously towards the Slytherin table. What were they up to, and why did Silas look like he was at the heart of it? Picking up one last cookie, she nibbles on it as she watches the gathering of students.

"Was that a pun, Solomon?" Dastan remarks pleasantly, paging through a book as he sits across from the two, his attention more on his housemates than the text- but old habits die hard. "Wouldn't have thought of it. Nicely done, considering her position." He glances up at the two a moment. "I, personally, hoped she might find something better to do, but…" He shrugs and glances back to the book.

Morgana is at the Ravenclaw table, speaking with the few housemates that she can actually tolerate these days. She's heard the rumors and whispering that she heard around and while it is concerning, she hasn't caught anyone in the act so is unable to do much about it. For now she's just finishing up her meal, looking just a touch distracted while having her conversation.

It's a side of Silas that doesn't get seen often, the political, manipulating machine. Being known more for his kindness and outreach to build bridges than his scheming, it left many in the house wondering why an obvious move like this would be made and in public no less. There were still conversations going on, loudly, while they waited, as more and more Slytherin returned, the crowd continuing to grow.
Silas looks over at Genevieve, chuckling, "I wouldn't discount her yet. Even if she doesn't come tonight, she'll have ears here. Which is exactly as I intend. She told me I needed to make a move, and soon, to solidify my place. The time has come."
A sly grin, then, "If I'm right, she's handing me this opportunity herself… another piece moved in the grand game. If not… I'm stepping up to help an ally see where she has left herself weak. Either way, this should work to my advantage."

"You…have a heart far kinder than mine might grasp," Jenny replied to Silas, offering a smile in his direction as she reaches out to offer a little squeeze to his hand. "I prefer my games beyond these walls, but as we are." A shrug punctuated the end of it.
Instead, a grin was offered Dastan's way. "I would never make a pun, besides, I was talking about Lowe since that's all anyone is encouraged to talk about these days, right? I mean, that's the problem that's brought us to our current embarrassing position. Never mind that there are other things going on in the house, oh no, let's cry wolf and focus on the big bad break-up. Again."

Madeline can't help herself - she's /curious/. And so, spotting a Ravenclaw firstie near the group of Slytherins, she trots her way over - smiling at Silas, if he seems to glance at her. She doesn't speak to the Slytherins, though - no. Instead she talks to the other first year. "So, umm, do you remember when we're getting back our herbology quizzes? Was it tomorrow?"

"Games indeed." Dastan nods, grimacing. "You'd think that we weren't currently standing in a bastion of magical learning, with all the attention dedicated to one girl's banal relationships trouble." Jenny's response leads to a laugh. "My apologies, then, Solomon, I underestimated the entertainment value of your suggested company."

A smile goes back to Jenny, then, "Whereas this is the one thing my parents raised me for. I must do it well." Today, however cruel it might be, he doesn't return Madeline's smile, or even give her notice. He's taken a number of chances being noticeably kind to her… right now, he needs the attention of purists and fence-sitters alike.
A bit more time passes, and then Silas is rapping the bottom of an empty cup on the table, drawing the attention of those around him. Slowly, the Slytherin table quiets, and Slias clears his throat. "Welcome, all of you. And thank you for coming tonight. I know you all have plans, homework, and projects to attend to, so I will not take any more of your time than I need to."
He looks around, "We all know of the proclamation made today. We all have our opinions of the call to action, and will act accordingly. I do not call you out here to ask you to defy what has been commanded… but I do ask you to listen to me before making a decision on how to proceed."
A hand goes up to smooth back his hair, followed by a dismissive grin and a slight laugh that is echoed by a few as he affects a bit of nervousness… clearly an act… before he continues, "You all must know, by now, that I seek to succeed our friend and housemate, Medusa Malfoy, in the seat as social head of our House. King, if you'll accept the archaic title. I seek it not because I want its power… for in truth is has none that we do not ascribe to it… but because I care for the status, the standing, and the reputation of our House." A pause, then, to let the words carry.

"Exactly," Jenny replied, offering Dastan half of her orange, before nibbling on a slice herself. Her attention rose then, towards Silas when the boy made his opening gambit and she listened, watching well enough the play that was given to accompany the words that he chose to deliver it with. Oy. Politics.
"More to the point, he cares about how we appear. It shouldn't be too far from anyone's memory how far Ravenclaw fell, though I'll grant," her grin turned cocky, "When Edwards led his headhunting against us and we sit well enough now in the points, that we ought to end the year on a high note. So…doesn't that seem like something better to be known for, than say, one of our own sending out first years to try and intimidate another boy because of rumors? And honestly, for one girl who can't decide if she's coming or going and is the cause for all of our most recent losses? I can't imagine she's thought it through."

He saw her - Madeline's fairly certain of that. But he didn't acknowledge her. Yes, it stings a little, but it does tell her something - best to steer clear of the Slytherin group, not that wasn't generally of that opinion, anyways. Either he wouldn't help her if she went and got in over her head - or he'd help her, and be hurt or inconvenienced in someway as a result - something he /wouldn't/ thank her for.
And what was he talking about, a proclamation…?
"Huh? Yeah, I can't wait to see my score, either. I think I did good," she answers the Ravenclaw in a distracted voice. "You know what proclamation he means…?" She blinks then adds, "Wait. Did he just say Slytherin has a /King/?" She can't help but giggle - as quietly as possible.

Dastan rolls his eyes towards Madeline as she sniggers, but he's no particular urge to make a scene. Disrespectful as it might be, he's simply keeping it to himself. He listens through Silas' speech, Jenny's discussion, nodding along. At the mention of Lowe and the bullying, he grimaces in distaste- those flyers had been absurd. "The entire affair ought to have been private. I'm for anything we can do to make us look less like a collection of incompetent socialites obsessed with our own relationship foibles. Did you have any ideas in particular, cousin?"

"Genevieve has the point," Silas offers up again, grinning to all for the moment, "The claim was that a fifth year Ravenclaw attacked a little one. While our beloved Miss Black is assuredly diminutive in size," a rash of titters accompany this, "She is hardly a wee one. She is a third year, and she is a Black, capable of defending herself."
A frown, then, as he looks first to Dastan, and then back to the greater crowd, "Our House does not react without due consideration to rumors or accusations. We do not claim that House Honor has been impugned without getting all the facts. One of my own desires is to encourage that, in all of us, as I stand in that position. But I fear that, in a rash series of actions surrounding both Black and Lowe, that we are allowing anger and an inflated sense of justice to cloud our eyes. We are Slytherin. We are Pure. We don't jump to rash judgment or action. We consider. We plot. We act, with all the facts at our disposal. If a Ravenclaw has attacked one of us, we should be reaching out to our allies in Ravenclaw to get the truth of the matter in total, and work with them to make sure true justice is enacted." A pointed look goes to Morgana, then, with a light nod of his head.
"Mocking? Cajoling? Limiting our reaction to the base taunts of children will teach nothing. It will merely feed the rumors and stereotypes that plague our house."

"There's no need to sugarcoat it, everyone knows this started when the Lowe cousins split up, for reasons that still can be argued as he said she said which honestly, isn't our business nor care and the fact that our esteemed has little better to do with the last, very limited days a seventh year has here at school, is somewhat sad." It came with a faint pout.
"We have the Paladin challenges and members of our House to support, we have NEWTs, OWLs and end if tern coming up and Quidditch. The fact that we all are asked to step away from our lives and our interests because…," and Jenny doesn't finish. At all. She rolls her eyes and folds her arms across her chest.
"It's absolutely stupid and there's no sense in it."
"Actually," Jenny blinks and sends her gaze swiveling towards the Ravenclaw table and Morgana, "As Head Girl, doesn't attempting to send an entire House full of people out to harass someone count as bullying and go against the school rules?"

Wait. This was about Lucretia? Madeline looks openly at the Slytherin table, before her Ravenclaw friend pulls her attention away from them. "You're going to get yourself in trouble with them if you're not careful, Maddie," the girl hisses at her.
"Yeah, maybe," Madeline mutters in response. She's not making heads or tales of this, anyways. Mocking? Bullying? Dating cousins and Lucretia? Yuck. "I guess I should go study, anyways…" she says reluctantly.

If anyone thought that Morgana wasn't paying attention, they were wrong. When gives her that look, she raises a brow and hearing Solomon pipe up with her words, she finally has to add in her two knuts. "Unfortunately, all I have to go on is word of mouth, and hearsay. Were I to catch someone in the act, and they were of my own house, I would be able to hand out a punishment of sorts. However, the cause of these rumors are not in my own house, so my hands are tied."

Dastan nods faintly. "You've certainly my support. I've interest in the duels especially- perhaps we could arrange something to explicitly focus on our housemates as a whole. We could attend each of our housemates duels as we can, perhaps, or arrange study sessions for the most troubling subjects."

Silas looks to Dastan, "House solidarity, yes. THAT is something I think all of us could work on."
Silas holds up his hands, then, "That, my friends, is all I had to say. Consider it. And those who report to the queen, tell her I give my regards and respect," No matter the lack from others that might be occurring, "And that this is my move. I don't wish to see a coup. I do not by any means desire her ouster so close to graduation. But I fear that our queen may need reminding that the people do not serve their queen, she serves them. Just as I intend to serve them next year."
And with that, he stands, his own statement made.

"That's a pity," Genevieve's attention is more at current on Morgana than on the rest of the speech, "But understandable. Still, now that you know what to look out for, catch enough of them, find out who told them to do it and…it becomes something a little more tangible, no? Or would it be better from a Prefect from our own house?" Inquired, gesturing towards the Prefect who lingered in the archway against the door. Ah, that was Hogwarts, wasn't it? Couldn't turn around without a picture eavesdropping or a Ghost lurking in the rafters, as it was, listening to absolutely every word. And if that wasn't enough, there were always Prefects.

Kings and Queens. Madeline can't help but giggle again. Slytherin /was/ stranger than the rest of Hogwarts. "I'll see you tomorrow!" the first year says towards the other first year before turning to leave, her gaze going briefly towards Silas, but not lingering there. He probably still can't acknowledge her, so no real reason to push the issue and make him unhappy with her.
She turns towards the door to the Great Hall.

"This title does not come with as much power everyone believes it does." Morgana says with a half shrug before she nods her head. "I can keep an eye out for it, however if your Prefects are igoring things like this, than that will also be a problem. I might be able to speak with Slughorn, if he'll see me." Morgana also gets up from her table, grabbing her things that she has laying on the table.

"I can do a bit of listening as well. If I learn anything, I'll share it with the proper authorities, of course." Dastan slips to his feet as well. "I appreciate the initiative, cousin, and your support of it, Solomon. Knowing that one is not harboring an isolated opinion does much for encouraging resolution of the issue."

For the most part, Silas' standing seems to be the disconnect that encourages the rest of the house to start dispersing. This was, after all, an odd interaction. A meeting in public, airing laundry publicly… it was something that would take getting used to… and Silas intended to force just that.
He looks to Dastan with a grin, "Indeed. That communication is step one in what will lead to Unification, if I have any say in it." He's pleased with himself, sure that this was a step in the right direction, no matter what fallout may occur. "Someone had to say it. Now we just have to hope the others agree."
A look follows one of the people exiting with a slight shake of the head. Poor thing was likely confused at the moment. "So anyone up to a little stargazing?" Offered to anyone nearby, "I've had my fill of being erudite for the evening."

"Only if you bring your sketch pad," Jenny teased, her nature easy and her manner still, regardless, relaxed. There were ways to deal with fallout, after all but at the moment, something struck her. Enough to make that grin bloom in full with a smile that threatened to spill over into her eyes so that she chuckled and the sound of her laughter was rich and clear.
On her feet, she leaned over to share just what was so amusing in a quiet tone, against Sy's ear, before offering a smile at Dastan. "Of course, Meliflua. It's…what I do." Wink.

Morgana looks between who is still around and the invitation from Sy causes her to pause, however Jenny speaks up and takes the invitation, Morgana nods her head. "I believe three would be a crowd, I'll let you get to it." She says, taking several steps back and toward the exit of the great hall. "Don't be out after curlew."

Dastan returns the grin and smile in kind, pleased to see the two getting along. "I'll join you, but from afar through a dungeon window, I'm afraid. I've some homework needs doing that I'll be working on. But you can be sure that I will be with you in spirit." He lifts a hand in farewell and turns to leave, calling over his shoulder. "Do wish on a shooting star or two for me, would you two? Awfully agreeable of you."

It's with a long grin and a chuckle that Silas responds to Jenny's whisper, as well as a knowing nod. "I think I could arrange that, although I left it down in the dungeons. We'll have to go fetch them" Then a look to Morgana, "Pity… but I can understand. And you've not caught me out past curfew yet. Do you honestly think I'd slip up now?" Another grin is offered to his friend, before he goes to follow after Dastan, a hand out to Jenny as they go. "And waste it on you, cousin? Do I really come off as that generous?"

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