(1939-08-28) Slimy Creatures
Details for Slimy Creatures
Summary: Elspeth comes clean with her parents about the true extent of turmoil in the wizarding world.
Date: 28 August, 1939
Location: ???
Related: Directly after When Karma Happens.

The trio move quietly down the train platform. In the steam and noise of the other passengers scurrying in the late afternoon sun that slants almost perfectly horizontal they appear to be just another trio of country folk, heading home from their afternoon shopping in the city. Just another daughter with her parents buying some last minute supplies at the end of hols.

When a compartment is found, and the shopping bags, garment bags and satchel are safely stowed overhead on the racks, the teen sits on the seat across from her parents, eyes on her folded hands in her lap. It is finally the father who breaks the silence, speaking in his native tongue as he does when they are alone and won’t be overheard.

“Why didn’t you tell us it has gotten this bad?” Benjamin’s voice is gentle, tempered more with concern for his daughter now that his initial outrage has run its course.

“What could you do if I did tell you, Aba?” Elspeth asks quietly, also more comfortable with the German language than English. “Although, I will admit, it is the first time Angelus has gone that far. He prides himself in being able to cover up his purism, trying to convince everyone he is their best friend. Maybe it is because of Lan that I never trusted him… and this year he’s proven me right.”

“Elspeth,” her father’s voice drops a bit, edging as close to a command as his gentle nature admits. “Tell us everything that’s been happening.”

There’s a few moments of silence from the freckled red head, then she sighs. “It’s a mess, Aba. It really is. Everyone, everywhere, seems to have some crusade or other. There’s those who think that the Statute of Secrecy should be repealed so that wizards and witches can ‘guide’ muggles to enlightenment. There’s those who think that purebloods are the only true wizardkind, and they want to separate purebloods from muggleborns and half bloods. Gellert Grindelwald has already had some influence in those areas, and Durmstrang only admits purebloods. There are some that want Hogwarts to follow suit. They fail to see the irony in their actions when they are decrying the muggles for their lack of enlightenment in treatment of women and races.” She lifts her shoulders and lets them fall, more in a gesture of quiet frustration than an indifferent shrug. “And then, of course, you have the muggleborn fighting back against discrimination, and those that support them… and if a pure blood supports them, they are called blood traitors by purists.” She shakes her head. “So far, it doesn’t seem like anyone is winning out… it just a huge, bubbling, cauldron of contradictory ideas.”

There’s another silence in the carriage as the elder Rosens consider the news their daughter puts in a nutshell. Finally, Benjamin reaches across the carriage, putting a hand over the ones folded in Elspeth’s lap. “You don’t have to go back, if you don’t want to,” he tells her quietly. “Didn’t you tell me that people don’t have to go further than OWLs if they don’t want to? You have passed your basic exams that prove you are a capable woman, and you received good grades. We are proud of you.”

“It’s true,” Elspeth replies quietly. “Artemis is not going back. She is too upset by all the bickering and fighting. She thinks everyone should love each other, and even though I think she is right, there are few that agree.” She sighs again, leaning her head back on the cushion. “But I can’t be running from everything. We left Germany to leave behind the hate, but I landed in more. I can’t leave it, I have to figure out how to live with it, and get through it.”

“At least there are some who stand up for Elspeth and others like her,” Margaret puts in. “That gentleman sounded quite angry, after what Angelus said, and that word his friend… what was it?” She shakes her head. “It isn’t something you will see in Germany these days. If there are those that will insist on apologies for bad behavior, then they are not all cowed by fear. That is something to give hope.”

“Mudblood,” Elspeth fills in. “Someone who’s blood is not pure.”

The purist insult causes Benjamin to stiffen his spine. “Can we expect an apology from his parents for his behavior, or are they of the same opinion?”

This time the shrug from Elspeth is non-committal. “On the surface, they walk the fence. They do not wish to offend anyone because they are business people, and offending people is bad for business. However, they are purists. They would not lower themselves to apologize.”

“I will not make you stay home from Hogwarts, Elspeth. But I will not see you under the roof of people who have no respect for you.” Benjamin pauses, and a warm smile seeks his daughter’s attention. “You are too wonderful a young woman to be in the presence of someone who considers you to be someone less than they are. Evelyn and Lan will always be welcome in our home, but I will not give my permission for you to visit the Eibon Manor any more. I am sorry, but you deserve not to be slighted in such a manner. Had I known earlier what they thought…” he trails off, and pats her knee. “But I do understand how much you were wanting to see Lan. And Evelyn.”

It doesn’t escape Elspeth’s attention that he puts the boy’s name first, and she gives a little smile. It’s a weak one, though, although she puts her hands over her father’s. A few reactions war inside her, relief that she has a reason to not have to endure the elder Noalan, or Angelus anymore, sadness that she can’t see her friends as much. Finally, she nods. “I suppose I should tell Lan. I’ll send him an owl in the morning, and ask him if he can meet me at the river. I should tell him in person.”

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