(1939-09-17) Brave and Smart
Details for Brave and Smart
Summary: Elspeth and Madeline seek some help at the library.
Date: 17 September, 1939
Location: Library, Hogwarts
Plot: Headmaster from Hell

Walking serenely among the stacks is the muggle prefect of Ravenclaw who has 'accepted her place' with seeming relief, the burden of trying to prove herself lifted from her shoulders. Although she is still very active in quidditch, and she is a Ravenclaw so books are her life, she seldom strays from the special SCUMS section. Today, however, she's off that path, but doesn't seem to be looking for a book, as her eyes don't peruse the titles.

Annie saves all the reshelving to do at a particular time of day, when the library is at it's most quiet. She's in the middle of her task right now, floating some books back up to their place in the upper shelves, tucked away in one of the shadowy aisles. Absently, she hums lightly as she works, only stopping to murmur for spell casting.

Maybe it's just chance that Elspeth seeks Annie for assistance when she's reshelving, by whatever happy accident, her eyes light up as she spots the assistant librarian. "Miss Taylor, you are being the person to help me, I am thinking. Oh…" the former housemate's task reminds her and she opens her satchel. "I am also needing to return this book. Let me be making sure all of my notes are being cleared out, first…" she flips through the pages, leaning towards Annic companionably as she does so, and the pieces of paper left in the pages are visible to the young woman. "All clear," she hands the book over. "I am looking for this book on the special shelves, but it does seem to be there. I am wondering if you are knowing when it is due to be returned?"

"Miss Rosen," Annie greets her former housemate with a warm smile, as she does all the students no matter their blood. She listens attentively to the younger witch, her eyes dropping to the book as Elspeth flips the pages. The paper left in the pages is obviously not forgotten, and it gets no mention as Annie accepts the book. "Of course, I'll handle this for yeh. Which other book was that then?"

Elspeth looks at the piece of paper she's written on. "Muggleborns Guide to Bird Watching?" she reads from it, then looks up hopefully to Annie. She makes no further remark on the book, trusting that Annie will take care of the 'notes' she left behind.

"Oh yes," Annie says, knowing the book immediately. "That was taken out on Monday with a restricted loan time. It should be back by Friday noon." All the books from the 'special section' are short-time loans, so that they can circulate better. "I'll put a hold on it for you, and send a message as soon as it's back."

"Would you?" Elspeth's eyes glow at the offer. "Thank you, Miss Taylor. I am appreciating it very much." She nods her head slightly, then she pauses as she turns away. "Were you receiving the pastries from Aba and Ima? They were not being sure if the owl was going to be going to the right place."

Annie nods, her smile reassuring, "Yer very welcome, Miss Rosen." Blue eyes widen slightly at mention of the pastries. "They did come, just yesterday. I thought I might bring them in for tea this week to share, and I'll be writin' a note to thank them. It's very thoughtful." A gleam sparkles in her eyes as she adds, "I did try one little piece already, and they're brilliant."

Elspeth smiles. "Of course they are being brilliant. Rosens are being the best bakers in Britain," she relates proudly. "I am being biased, maybe," she adds with a little chuckle as she returns the paper from which she read the title of her book into her satchel. "I did enjoy the running into you for tea the other day. It is being good that old classmates can still be talking."

"I'm happy that we're back in touch." Annie pauses, thoughtful, before she continues on. "I must say that, even with the circumstances as they are now, I'm glad t'be back here at school. And this won't last forever. We'll beat it, Elspeth." In a rare moment, Annie uses the other girl's first name here at school.

Glancing only briefly to the book she returned, Elspeth nods her head. "We shall. I am being certain of it. I shall be looking forward to hearing from you about the book, the other one is already being quite helpful. You are having good taste in books. Of course," she gives another little chuckle. "What else would I be expecting from a Ravenclaw?"

The library is a good place. Maybe not as good a place to be as the branches of a tree, but still a perfectly good place and she's not allowed to bring the library books with her up into the trees today. That is the reason - part of the reason - that Madeline bounds into the library today, followed by one of the older students (a Hufflepuff this time) who settles down to start reading. Madeline's book bag bounces off her rear as she moves to the book shelf, pulling out a book she's looked at before, and setting it down on a table to quickly thumb through. Once she's on the right page, she picks up the book again, looking around and - ah, there's Miss Taylor! Perfect!

Annie grins at the younger witch. "Once an eagle, always an eagle." Indeed. "Even if I'm not around when th'next one is returned, a note'll go out t'yeh since I'll put it on hold for yeh." She motions with the book in her hand, "An' I'll be sure t'take care of this one."

Elspeth smiles. "Always an eagle," she echoes, then she nods her head and turns away, only having taken slightly longer than was necessary to return a book and find out about another to exchange a couple of pleasantries among old housemates. "Evans," she gives the younger student a 'hi and goodbye' in one word as she passes and leaves the library to go about her business.

"Hi Els-err, Rosen," Madeline says brightly, stumbling over the name. She almost always uses first names unless someone reminds her otherwise. …or she really doesn't like the other student. She gives the other Muggleborn a friendly smile, then makes her way over to Annie, carrying a large tome in her hands. She points to an incantation for one of the spells and asks curiously, "Miss Taylor, how do I say this? Do you know this spell?" It's the tripping jinx. "I was wondering if it's very hard? It doesn't look very hard…"

Annie's attention turns from Elspeth to Madeline's approach, a stack of books next to her still awaiting their turn to go back up onto the shelves. "Afternoon, Miss Evans." She tilts her head, looking at the spell the girl is researching, raising a brow. It's the one Brandy has offered to teach Annie. "An' why would yeh be wantin' t'learn how t'trip someone?"

"Because I'm an Auror!" Madeline asserts firmly, then grins. "Or a Junior once, anyways. And then when the bad guys try to get away I can say, 'Stop, brigand!' and then use this spell here to trip them up and take them into custody. It's a good one, for Auroring." It's a verb now. Live with it.

From the look Annie gives Madeline, it's clear that she's not buying what the little witch is trying to sell her. "It's not even a spell I know, Miss Evans." Technically correct, she doesn't know it yet. "It would be irresponsible of me t'try an' coach yeh on it." Annie is just a stick in the mud when it comes to learning spells that may add to mischief or be above someone's level.

Madeline lets out a sigh. "But how'm I supposed to finish my Auror training?" she complains - before brightening again, almost immediately. "Maybe Rena knows it," she concludes with a smile. "It could be right useful, you know, for-" and here the girl lowers her voice conspiratorially "-stopping kids as are takin' things they oughtn't. All as part 'f my Auror duties, 'course. Gotta be ready!"

Annie's not quite exasperated, but she's known a fair number of students from her time in Hogwarts that tried to master things they weren't ready for, with unsavory consequences. "Maddie, love, yer not gonna be finishin' yer Auror trainin' for years and years. D'yeh know how long it takes someone t'be an Auror?" Annie doesn't, exactly, but she knows it's not in the realm of what a second year student should be worrying about. "It's good t'have a direction t'be goin' in, but love, yeh just can't get there all at once."

Madeline shakes her, a stubborn look taking over her features. "I sure don't got time to wait until I finish all my seven years. I gotta be ready." Because Rena'll be coming - with the warrant! She's suddenly all smiles before she adds, "I'll figure it out - or maybe Rena'll teach me. But - Miss Taylor? Do you think it'd be possible for me to get a little table somehow to put in my dorm in the Gryffindor tower?"

Mention of Rena teaching Madeline gets a raise eyebrow from Annie. Surely an Auror wouldn't be that irresponsible with a child. Not knowing this Rena, Annie will just have to assume that she'd not do anything to put Madeline at risk. She's an Auror, after all, and they're the good guys, right? Annie almost sighs in relief at the topic change. "I don't see why yeh couldn't. Yeh should ask yer house head about it."

"Oh. Yeah, I guess I should ask Professor Dumbledore. I'm sure he'll help out." After all, how much trouble can Madeline get into with a table? It's just a table! Madeline smiles at Annie, then adds, "I better go see if I can go figure out this spell." If she can write it down on a scrap of parchment, they might be able to figure it out at dueling club!

Annie manages not to facepalm at the young Gryffindor, but she does stoop down, coming to eye level with the young girl. "Maddie, I know yer gonna do what yeh feel yeh need t'do. It's what we all have t'do at th'end of the day. But I want yeh t'promise me that yeh'll be careful. If yeh try something and end up hurt, bein' a junior Auror, or even a full Auror ain't gonna matter none. They get hurt all the time. People tryin' t'do good sometimes end up hurt worse than th'bad folks." She remembers only too painfully patching Tim up after he'd been out 'fighting crime'. She's never been more thankful than when he said he'd give up his Banshee ways if it meant that much to her. "Promise me," she says softly, looking into the girl's face.

"I'll be alright, Miss Taylor. It's okay. It's just a tripping jinx, nothing dangerous." Madeline smiles at the woman in what she sure believes to be a reassuring way. "We'll work on it at the dueling club. One of them might know it, even! Or like I said, there's Rena."

Annie puts her hand on Madeline's arm, warm through the sleeve of the girl's robe. "Love, it's a trippin' jinx t'yeh. An' what if yeh use it on someone that knows things far more powerful, an' doesn't take kindly t'yer jinx? Talk t'yer Rena, see what she says." Annie has faith that an Auror would be concerned as well. "Yer a gem, darlin', an' I'd be gutted if anything happened t'yeh."

Madeline looks down at the floor - hugging the open book to her chest and smooshing the pages up a little. She's silent a little bit before answers, "But if I'm not learning spells, they'll always be stronger than me," she finally answers. "And we all got to be ready. Besides, I'm not scared of being hurt some - not if it helps things."

Yes, yes she is scared of being hurt. She's just not going to let it stop her.

"We've all got t'be brave and smart right now, poppet. An' sometimes bein' smart means knowing we've got limits. But we've also got others around us t'lean on." Annie's smile comes halfway, but holds a sincerity, and she glances around. "Yeh saw at the meetin' how many we number. But not a one of us can do it all ourselves. That's why we band t'gether. I'm proud of yeh for bein' as brave as yeh are. But if yeh get hurt, yeh can't help t'yer full potential." She straightens, gently smoothing her hand over Madeline's hair before letting it fall away. "Just think about it, love. Yer a smart girl, as well as brave."

"But that's just it," Madeline insists quietly, still hugging the book to her chest as she stares down at the floor. "I won't be alone, but we all gotta be just as good, and just as strong as we can be." She has to be ready. They all have to be ready. "And I don't know enough spells yet."

Annie's brows lift, "Ah, but there yeh have it, poppet. As strong as we can be. I can be as strong as I am, but I don't think I can be as strong as an Auror. I can want t'be. I can even learn t'be. But, even as old as I am, it's not somethin' that happens all at once just because we want it to." Talking about her far advanced age, Annie gives a little crinkle of her nose to Madeline. "Yeh'd be surprised what even the least among us can accomplish if we're clever."

Madeline looks up at Annie now, a small, tense, but very much proud smile creeping onto her features. "I know how much I c'n accomplish," she answers. Rena wouldn't even have her warrant if not for Maddie's work last year - and over the summer. "And I'm working on some other stuff to help - not just the spells," she adds vaguely.

Her train of thought jumps the track enough for her to add, "Oh, and I apologized to Eibon." Not that he deserved it.

Annie's smile is full once more at the news of the apology. "I'm sure yer mum'll be well proud t'hear that. Yeh've shown yerself t'be the better person. I'm well proud of yeh as well." She glances around again, slipping a hand into her robe pocket and withdrawing a wrapped sweet that she offers to Madeline, as if she's slipping the girl some secret papers or something equally exciting. "Don't tell anyone where yeh got this. An' don't eat it in the library. Now, back t'work with us both."

Madeline accepts the sweet with a smile, her hold on the book finally loosening a little as she nods her head in response. "Better do. That's how we'll get it all sorted," she asserts. "Thank you Miss Taylor." Turning, she'll make her way back to a table - so she can copy out the spell she's interested in.

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