(1939-03-22) Nosy Badger, Grumpy Snake
Details for Nosy Badger, Grumpy Snake
Summary: Adorabella makes it her mission to get Lucian to smile.
Date: 22 March, 1939
Location: Club Room, Hogwarts

In the late afternoon, Lucian has the club room configured for the Duelling Club, with most of the center of the room taken up by the long duelling stage. He stands at one end of the stage, and at the other is a wooden dummy, charmed to duck and dodge oncoming spells. Lucian stands in an offensive stance, his long aspen wand extended before him. With swishes and twirls of the wand, he shouts incantations, releasing a volley of attack spells at the dummy. To his chagrin, a good half of them are evaded by the dummy. "Bollocks."

Evaded by the dummy to wizbang uselessly against the wall, which fortune favors. That it happens to be near the door, by someone who hasn't yet realized the club room is in use? Is just Dora's bad luck. Particularly since one of them has the added effect of making her hair stand on end. It's awkward. Embarassing and the image that greets Lucian is one of quietly embarassed shock, owlish eyes blinking in his direction. "Er…hello."

Lucian glances toward the door, wincing. "Eh…sorry. Aim is still a bit off with this thing. Um…I don't have a countercharm…or any hairstyling spells. Sorry." He rubs his neck abashedly, suddenly rather self-conscious with an observer in the room.

"It's…," a very deep breath was taken, "Okay. It happens more often than you'd think. Last time it was pink," Dora admitted, adopting a bit of a grin. "My younger brothers have a tendancy to…'play' a lot. It'll go down eventually or I'll pretend it was on purpose." Because she couldn't possibly blame him, not when he looked like that. "I'm not, ah, interrupting you, am—," her front pocket chose that particular moment to croak. "I?"

Lucian blinks at the croak, momentarily mistaking it for a belch until he realises she likely has a toad on her person. "Um…no, not really. Um…if you want to use the room for something else, we can reconfigure it. I was just…" He holds up his wand demonstratively. "Just getting used to it."

"That's okay!" Dora's quick to reassure, while Penseverus nudges his head upwards from the depths of her pocket, an all too flat look offered the room at large. It wasn't personal, Mister Bubbles always looked grouchy. "You can keep using it. I was just, coming by to see if some of my pictures were finished drying." And she could get to the filing cabinet where they'd have gone before the room reconfigured, if they were. "There's uhm..," One hand absently attempted to fight down the levels of her hair, which seemed to be working, mostly. "I..something you may.. I'll show you."

"Pictures? Oh…Arts Club stuff?" Lucian sighs, hopping down from the stage and moving to stand by the door with Adorabella. Touching his wand to the stones of the door frame, he announces loudly, "Arts Club!" A few moments pass, and then the contents of the room begin to shift. The stage shrinks down, separating into several pieces which transfigure themselves into numerous art tables. The wooden dummies waddled off into a storage cabinet, which then snaps shuts and spins in place to reveal another pair of doors on its other side. Rumblings can be heard inside various storage chests as their contents vanish and are replaced with appropriate art supplies. Soon the entire room has become a fully stocked magical art studio, complete with a portrait of master painter, Hugh Brissel, who often serves as a tutor to club members.

"Oh you didn't have…," was how it began, trailing off into muted silence while she lingered near his side, watching as the room resettled into something new and all too familiar. "I could have waited," Dora professes, "Only..there are some that I think that you would like and uhm," now she did find a rich shade of pink. "There's one that you're in. You can have it, of course. Only you both looked so at peace and I just couldn't help myself." Dora was a photophile, but she tended to..not see the world the same way everyone else did. "I was just…well I was just going to leave it for you uhm, at the farm." Like she had..other things. "It's back here." Where the think hang of light proof curtains made the equalivent of a 'dark room' for those who dealt in photography; slightly sectioned off from all the rest whose artistic talents lent towards the more hands on and messy, like paints.

Lucian lifts his brow in surprise, trailing after her. "One that I'm in? What-…" But then she's disappeared into the dark room. He doesn't know much about photography, but he knows enough to know that people who don't know what they're doing should stay out of dark rooms. "Selwyn?" he calls after her. "What's going on?"

"It wasn't my fault that you were there!" Dora calls back and the sounds of her moving about behind the curtain could be heard; along with the sharp noise of clips being released. When she finally returned, it was with a hand full of photographs, all shots that appeared to be from the farm. "I was doing new pictures since some of the lambs had foaled and got distracted." With everything else that'd caught her eye. "See look." The pictures were offered out in his direction. That the first picture was of a lamb couldn't be helped, Dora adored sheep. "But I got all of the hippogriffs that day too. See." He'd just happened to have been working with one at the time was all. So he'd ended up in the image.

Lucian wears a look of mild suspicion when she emerges, but seeing the innocent nature of the photos settles him quickly. "These are pretty good," he murmurs. "So…you do this a lot? Taking pictures?" He offers the stack back to her.

"What were you expecting?" The look on the girl's face was somewhat baffled, but she accepted them back all the same, sorting through them until she came to the image that he was in, before offering it back. "You can keep that one if you like and yes, I do. I mean..I like pictures. The way that they have the power to capture a moment. It's great sometimes that we can make them move but on occasion, I think, they're more profound without moving at all."

Lucian shrugs. "I don't know. They look odd when they're not moving. I mean, they're good. But…they don't quite look real." He does take back the offered photograph, giving her a grateful, if muted, smile. "Dragon will like this," he says of the head hippogriff, features in the picture. "He can be pretty vain."

"Every picture starts out still before it's bewitched," Dora murmurs, offering a smile. "I could try and develop it in the right potion for you, if you'd prefer?" She offers, watching him. "But I'm glad that he'll like it. You know, I've never really thought to wonder if animals like pictures. I'm not sure Mister Bubbles pays any attention to them, although he does get slightly frustrated when presented with one of a moving fly. It's got water marks," admitted with a grin.

Lucian smirks. "Well, your first mistake is thinking of a hippogriff as merely an animal. There's a huge difference between the intelligence of a 'griff and a toad. Hippogriffs are much smarter than most beasts. They understand a lot intuitively."

"And they do it without a lot of conversation, no?" Dora inquired, watching him, because it was followed immediently with a rather quiet, "Like you, right?" A guess at that, and probably a nosey one but given all the same.

Lucian arches an eyebrow at her nosiness, staring at her silently for a moment. "Yeah," he says at last. "I suppose a bit like me. Guess that's why I've always gotten on well with them." He gives her a shrugs. "I'm not always quiet, you know. You should come to Duelling Club sometime. You'll see."

"Does repeating spells count as talking?" It's inquired with a light tease, her smile easy. "Though I don't think I've ever been. Once, I think. Or twice. I might have come to watch one of my cousin's but I was never any good with duelling and the idea of hurting someone…," Dora shook her head. "I'd rather fix things, than break them."

"I'm not talking about incantations," Lucian sighs with mild irritation. "But honestly, breaking things and hurting people? You clearly don't get what Duelling Club is about. Anyone that comes in there with the notion to go out and hurt people, I chase them out quick. Duelling is about discipline and self-defence."

"I was making a joke..," the defense is quiet, but the smile is gone. Her hand reaching up to tuck her hair behind her ear in an all too self conscious gesture. "I'm sorry." And that too, was given in a small voice. "I didn't mean to upset you. I just..," but it wasn't important and she didn't finish. Eyes averting while she eased the remaining pictures into her satchel.

Lucian sighs, running his hand back through his floppy golden mane. "It's fine. Sorry. I'm just used to people who think it's a joke that I take it seriously. Nevermind that I'm trying to actually help people be better. But no good deed goes unpunished in this school."

"I know," the girl agreed, all too somberly to his last statement. "But I don't think that you're taking something seriously is a joke, either. And I really didn't mean to upset you. I don't know much about it, to be truthful. I've just seem so many pictures of spells that go awry and heard so many stories from my family..," a shake of her head and a little shudder followed as she tried to clear her head. "There's nothing wrong with being passionate about something, Lucian. No one should make you feel bad because of it."

Lucian's features tighten at her last comment, and his nod is barely perceptible. "Yeah, well…just because they shouldn't, doesn't mean they don't try." He lifts his eyes to hers, "But you really should come check out the club. I think you're missing what it's all about. We have way fewer miscasts than the average Charms class. We're all about discipline and learning to do it right, and safely."

Keen eyes watch his face, his eyes in particular and she's quiet as she listens. "I suppose I could come and watch. It's very good that it's for safety though. I suppose it makes sense, given the nature of the thing." Though then the girl falls quiet again and eventually.., "Are you…are you okay?" She might not have noticed the wand but…the all too disliked pendant, that she noticed the absence of.

"I'm fine," Lucian responds in that too-quick and too-flat manner of someone who is obviously lying. "So you're just going to watch? You ought to come try it out. I can teach you things. Stances and such. Things we don't learn in Defence Against the Dark Arts. This stuff could save your life someday, you know."

"Oh I..," nimble fingers fidget with the folds of her skirt. "I wouldn't know what to do. I'm not..I'm not very good, not with things like that, not really. Honestly I wouldn't know where to begin but..," but he seemed more motivated to such an end and it wouldn't actually hurt anything, would it? "I'll make you a deal," she draws her courage to suggest. "I'll let you teach me…if you tell me how you really are."

Lucian's brow creases in a muddled frown, and his arms cross, slowly tightening in an unconsciously defensive posture. "How I really am? What do you mean?"

"Sad," Dora replies, entirely too far out on a limb, but determined, perhaps driven further by his posture. "Or angry. But…not happy. Your body language isn't the same. Uhm, I mean…I know it isn't at all my business but..you can talk to me, if you want. I just..," it was the kind of thing she noticed. Oy, no wonder she found herself picked on so often.

Lucian's frown deepens as he stares hard at her, trying to figure her out. Clearly, he'd like to get her in to see what the club is about. But at what price? "So I'm not happy. That's not unusual. Why does everyone have to be happy?"

"They don't," Dora replies, once again shuffling her weight from one foot to the other as a sign of her nerves. "But just…I don't..I don't like to see people sad is all and you're such a good person. I've seen you at the farm. You deserve to be happy."

Lucian shakes his head, snorting softly. "How do you know I'm a good person? Working on a farm doesn't make me good. Merlin knows I've done some awful things."

"No, working on the farm doesn't make you good, but it says enough about what's in here," and she gave a little tap to her chest, right over her heart. "As anyone in any familiar shop, and likely at the farm will tell, animals are a better judge of the character of a person than anyone with any spell will ever be. They wouldn't take to you, otherwise. And we're our own worst critics."

"Animals don't care about good and evil. That's a human idea. To them, everything is survival, and that takes different forms for every creature out there." Lucian sighs, shrugging again. "Anyhow…does that satisfy you? Will you come to Duelling Club?"

"Everything might be survival but how often do you see an animal return to a hand that's cruel without biting it?" Dora countered, before she offered a little grin. "Besides, you haven't actually said anything, you've danced around the topic bu—," and there she quit and the humor of the grin faded, replaced with something more serious, more sober. Laced with too much compassion for the nature of the words they'd traded. "I'll come." Merlin knew why she agreed, because she didn't. He should have had the wisdom to censor her tongue instead. "Who hurt you so?"

Lucian nods, offering up a mirthless smile at her agreement to come. But just when he thinks its over and he turns to move off, she pries again, and he freezes, staring at her again. "Look, I appreciate what you do on the farm, and I'd really like to show you what duelling can be. But…I don't know you, Selwyn."

"I know you do," her smile was a sad little thing. "But that doesn't mean that I can't listen. That's the upside about being me, no one else knows me either and my closest friend is in my pocket, so you can talk if you want, without being judged. Or," she attempted to make her smile a little brighter, "You could get to know me."

"Look, I don't go telling people my problems," Lucian grumbles. "Either they don't really care, or they want to give advice. I'm not after either. But I will give you some advice. Stay your course. You're doing it right, keeping your head down until you can get the hell out of this place. Stick your neck out, and it'll get bitten clean off, probably by the people you'd least expect it from."

Like that? Only Dora doesn't say it, because…she's not really thinking about him quite like that again. Everything's a measure of insight. "I don't want to give you advice," she replied, "Although I really care. And before you ask why, because I'm some stranger who doesn't know you, how could I. It's what I do. And every one, even grumbly Slytherins, deserve to be happy. I'd just…like to see you smile. That's all."

It's really hard to stay irate at someone who won't get upset and insists on just wanting a smile. Lucian doesn't give her one, but the edge begins to fade from his voice. "It's not like I never smile. I do."

"With Dragon?" Dora asks, those dark eyes of hers as trusting as they are curious. "When was the last time you laughed?" She decided instead. "Or did something silly, just to be silly? Or fun for the sake of it?"

"Not just with Dragon," Lucian snorts. "And I'm never silly just to be silly. That's…silly. Look, I have fun working with the hippogriffs, or mentoring in Duelling Club. I may not have a lot of hobbies or anything, but I enjoy what I do, or I wouldn't do it."

A little gleam of hope took her eyes when he snorted, even if it was at her and she couldn't help the grin. "See, that was /almost/ a smile." She couldn't help but pointing out. And it seems that's enough to let her leave the matter at rest. "Tell me what you love about the Duelling Club then, what drove you to it?"

"You think you're sneaky, don't you?" Lucian shakes his head. "Fine. Just to get you off my back. I joined Duelling Club because I wanted to learn everything I could here. I had no prospects and no future. So the only way I was going to get out into the world and make it was to push myself hard. Self-improvement is everything. I have to be the best, because nobody is doing me any favours. Duelling Club just worked out well, and later on I found out I liked teaching what I'd learned to the younger kids. That's pretty much it."

"Oh no," Dora's quick to assure him, "I am the least sneaky person I know. Just ask Uly, I've lost count of the number of times he's caught me sneaking in some stray," admitted with a grin. "Mostly I was just curious as to what made you like it so much." But to hear all that was revealed in his explination well, she wanted to hug him. But…she had the damnest impression that hugging him would just make her want to bite her again. "What is it you want to do? Out there I mean, after school."

Lucian sighs, a sudden exhaustion showing in his posture. He takes a seat on a nearby storage trunk, leaning back against the wall behind it. "I'll probably just end up working on the farm. But…I had this idea. Basically, it's a lot like Duelling Club. But a business. Sort of a studio where I could teach people defensive magic, and train duellists and such. Maybe even some more specialised magic."

For a moment, Dora worries her bottom lip between her teeth. "Is it such a bad thing? To work on a farm. It's kind of…what I want. Not just a farm I mean, but a place for strays. Two legs, four legs, doesn't matter. I have this sort of silly notion that it could operate on donations and the charitable works of those who want to give there time. Your dream is easier. You could do both, if you wanted. You could charge for your services as a tutor and maybe give help over the breaks and then..the summer? Save up and rent a studio? I bet you could do it. I'd recommend you," she offers, with a helpful smile.

Lucian stares down at his hands sullenly. "No. It's not a bad thing. I like the farm, and I don't want to be apart from my 'griffs. But…I never chose it. It's just something that happened to me. I'm sick of being shuffled into whatever role others want me to be in. I'm a bloody Slytherin, and we don't settle."

While she half expects to be bitten, Dora reaches out regardless, a very timid hand falling to rest against the curve of his shoulder offering a gentle squeeze. "You're more than just a house, that something choose for you. And you're more than where you work. And you're more than the sum of everyone's opinions. You can reach your dreams, Luc. You're good enough. More than good enough."

Lucian rocks his head back against the wall, a little harder than he intended, eliciting a wince. Maybe that distracts him from biting her hand off. "I know I'm good enough. I'm the best student Transfigurist at this school. That's my point. I've worked my arse off getting this good so that I can choose my own path. Why do think the Sorting Hat put me in Slytherin? I'm not like a lot of them. I'm not some cunning schemer. I couldn't care less about all that blood status nonsense," says the lad who wore the Eye of Truth. "It's the ambition. I want more. I want to be great so I can carve my own path, and I'll do whatever it takes to get there."

Warning enough and her hand retreated without a moments hesitation as his head cracked in against the wall. Even she winced. "So then…you've the whole world expanding out in front of you, just waiting. Why not be happy about it? Are you afraid?"

"Who says I'm not happy about it?" Lucian retorts, rubbing the back of his head. "I don't have to be smiling and laughing all the time to appreciate that I might finally have options."

"Okay," it's offered, both hands up and a couple of steps were made in retreat. "You just…seem..I don't know. I've never really met anyone who gets defensive as quick as you do. And when I asked what you wanted to do, you gave a disappointed sigh and started talking about probably working at the farm forever. I'm sorry, I guess I'm just…misreading, is all."

"What, you want me to spill my guts about everyone wrong with my life? You don't want to hear that. Nobody does. I'm not looking for sympathy and…I don't want to alienate you." Lucian sighs. "But I seem to manage that no matter what."

"So I'm not misreading and you're prickly, like your hippogriffs, but just as noble." A compliment in that, there at the end. "If you want to talk about it, I told you, I'll listen. If you don't want to then..you don't have to. You could…show me something Duelly, instead and I'm already alienated," it's another attempt at a tease. "I'm a Hugglepuff." Wink.

Lucian opens his mouth to say something prickly in protest, but…damn if he isn't backed into a corner. He harumphs in proper hippogriff fashion. "Look…thank you for the concern," he says softly, "but I'll manage. With or without smiles."

That little harumph of his is more than enough to draw back her grin, just enough to put dimples into her cheeks. "With or without smiles," Dora repeats, voice soft. "But..not without friends. Whether you want them, or not." Cheeky grin.

"Bloody Hufflepuffs," Lucian grumbles as he stands up. He almost, almost manages to hide the slight hint of a smirk that follows. "So I expect to see you at the next Duelling Club meeting."

"Hugglepuff," comes the sing-song correction, with a quiet smile. "And…I'll come. Even though you evaded every direct question I asked. Just…don't expect me to participate, not the first time. But I'll come watch you." Because she'd given her word. "When is it?"

"Oh, you'll participate," Lucian insists as he makes for the door, his photograph tucked under his arm. "No spectators. You're going to learn, even if it's just one stance. Keep an eye on the bulletin boards for the next meeting. It should be soon."

"Bah," Dora grumps, wrinkling her nose. "In front of people? Who know that I'm terrible? You are cruel, aren't you?" Though her tone as well as her smile both suggests that she's teasing. "But if I have to learn a stance then…you've got to do something out of character too. I just..haven't decided what yet."

Lucian turns before reaching the door, walking backward for a few steps. He spreads his hands wide demonstratively. "I already have." With that, he turns again to the pull the door open, and slips out.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License