(1939-09-19) Reality Breaks
Details for Reality Breaks
Summary: Madeline and Angelus have a civil conversation before agitation hits Gel when Maddie pushes a little too hard. Megan comes in at the end with new shoes.
Date: September 19, 1939
Location: Gryffindor Common Room

It's inbetween classes on a bright and sunny day, and the common room is relatively quiet for the moment, with only a few people present. One of them is Madeline, stretched out on a couch, with her Defense Against the Dark Arts book open in front of her. She's underlining some of the sentences with a pencil - preparing herself for one of the written assignments that Megan has told her Professor Lestrange gave them for their homework. Yes - she's willingly doing homework she is under absolutely no obligation to complete. Lying on the floor next to her, completely ignored, is the friendly and cheerfully colored Magic for the Underprivileged and Disadvantaged.

Angelus enters the common room via the portrait hole, carrying his book strap as he passes through without much of a glance. He’s climbing the stairs to the dormitory before anyone can stop him, but it doesn’t take long for the youth to return. He’s in less of a hurry as he descends, ambling over to the sofa where he discards a pile of strapped books while he holds onto one. He tilts his head as he regards Madeline, and lifts his head at her in gesture. “All right, shift over, Evans, I’m sitting.”

Madeline glances up, apparently so engrossed in her reading that she hadn't even noticed his approach. "Oh, sorry," she says promptly, swinging her legs down and sitting up - shifting herself into the corner of the couch to sit with her book in her lap. She glances aside at Angelus for a moment, then back down at her book - but she's completely lost her train of thought and can't quite seem to locate where she'd left off in the book. Somewhere between there are underlined bits, and where there clearly aren't any underlined bits.

Before he sits, Angelus gives the girl a curious look as he arches a brow. Well, he wasn’t expecting her to actually move. A little smug smile slips against his face, chin lifting as he regards her with arrogance and a very satisfied glitter in his eyes. “Oh,” he murmurs out and flops comfortably onto the sofa at the other end. It takes a second to get over his surprise, but after he shakes his head he adds, “Thanks,” in a tone hinting at amusement. Elbow resting against the armrest, Gel lifts a leg to prop a heel against his knee, dropping his potions book in his lap and opening it to begin flipping through the pages to where he last left off.

Not trying very hard to find her place, Madeline stares down at the pages of her book. She's silent for a few moments before she speaks. "Eibon? …did you really tell Dashur you thought all of this mess was going too far?" she asks softly.

It takes some time for Angelus to find his page, and he still hasn’t found it when Madeline speaks to him. He pauses with his fingers on the page, midway to flipping it over to the next, when he frowns. Without a word, Gel thinks as he turns the page, and the next, until he reaches the right place in the book and lets it sit flat in his lap. The youth doesn’t read from it though, to busy considering before he releases a sigh and lifts his fingers to his forehead as he drops his head. A grin tugs out across his face as he turns his head to look at her. These words that escape him are spoken with more of a Scottish accent. “So is this a classic case of gushing over the Star of Gryffindor when he’s not around?” A smirk flicks out and he clears his throat, shrugging his shoulders as he glances back down to his book, fingers tapping its edge. “Well she is a friend of mine,” he answers, his accent back to his usual British one.

Madeline lets out a frustrated sigh at his response. Why does he have to do that? He's no star. No, what it had been was the Junior Auror trying to interrogate a possible witness. "So you did, then?" she persists, glancing aside at Angelus for a moment, then down at her book again. "Did you mean it?"

A hum escapes from Gel as his eyes focus on the book, but he frowns down at it. He’s really not going to be able to read if she keeps speaking up. But the question brings out a wholehearted laugh as he lifts his head, tilting back his head. As his laughter fades into soft chuckles, he shakes his head slowly as he brings his gaze back to Madeline. “Would you even believe me if I didn’t answer with no?”

"Not really," Madeline admits - though his answer does prompt a smile from the girl. "I mean, probably not." Leaning forward, she picks up her MUD book from the floor, and holds it towards Angelus. "Have you looked at one of these?" she asks.

Angelus leaves the book opened, but he shifts it off his lap to rest on the cushion between Madeline and him. “Then there’s no point in asking that,” he returns with a simple shrug. His heel remains against his knee as he shifts, sliding down a little as he slumps into a comfortable, almost inclined position against the back of the sofa. His arm lays over the armrest as his fingers tap the edge of it, while his other hand pulls out a bag from his robes. A buzzing chocolate fly is popped into his mouth, and he chews as he locks his gaze on the offered MUD book. With a simple gesture he offers out the bag to Madeline with a mere shrug. “Why would I need to look at your silly book, Evans?”

"Because this is the only book I'm supposed to study from all year," Madeline answers. "This the only thing I'm supposed to be taught for a whole year. And maybe next year, too. Maybe for the next six years," Madeline insists, still holding out the book. "Look at it. Please. A proper look." The offered chocolate flies are ignored for the moment, as she watches him with a determined expression.

Angelus simply drops the bag onto his book, plucking another one to pop into his mouth. Royal blue eyes flick between the book and Madeline for a second before the youth frowns, turning his head to look away from her. “That is apparently what the Headmaster has in mind,” he murmurs. His fingers tap uneasily against the front of the armrest, where he focuses his gaze. A heavy sigh escapes him as he turns his gaze back to the book. “All right,” he concedes reluctantly, reaching out to seize the book. He’ll take it, but he only holds it where his fingers grasp its spine, arching a brow at the girl. The look as if he’s about to say something to her, but instead he sighs with a shake of his head and looks away, dropping the book in his lap and opening it.

As Angelus takes the book, Madeline gifts him with a broad smile, seeming genuinely pleased by this. "Thank you," she says - before reaching out so claim one of the chocolates from the bag, popping it into her mouth. "For the fly," she adds a bit playfully. She then falls silent, letting him study the book in peace.

Angelus does study it, but not without griping about it. “A waste of time to indulge your silly little request,” he murmurs softly, letting out a sigh. He pulls himself back to sit straighter on the couch before bringing his foot back to rest against his knee, and leans his head to rest against his hand, where his elbow rests against the armrest. A frown remains on his expression, his mood dull and impatient, as he chooses to read. It’s not thorough as his eyes scan down the page, because he’s not going to sit here and give this garbage all that much time, but he slowly flips pages until he has a sense.

It takes a bit before Gel speaks again, but when he does he doesn’t look over at Madeline. “Hey, Evans,” he starts, tilting his head a bit but keeping his eyes on the book in his lap. A light sigh escapes him as he asks, “How is Nell taking the changes?”

"How do you think she's taking it?" Madeline answers quietly, staring at her own book. "She's miserable. We were learning to be witches. Now we're learning to be maids. Six years of learning how to clean toilets and wash windows and shine shoes. Well - though I can't imagine many Muggleborns'll stay past fifth, if this stays the state of things," she answers.

For a second or so Angelus stares down at the open pages, but then he swats the cover of the book closed with a haphazard flick. A smirk flicks out as he lifts his gaze, lightly tossing out the MUD book to the middle of the sofa (carefully missing his own book sprawled there). He takes the time to pluck another chocolate from the bag, popping it into his mouth as he chews thoughtfully. “Well you could be here studying this,” he says, motioning at the book, “or at home, expelled from wizarding school with a broken wand. Besides, what are you really studying anyway?” These words are gestured towards the book in her lap.

"Megan was having a little trouble with one of her assignments. I wondered if maybe I could lend her a hand," Madeline lies easily. In truth, Megan's been telling her all the assignments, and she's been working on them to keep up with what the second years are learning. "After all - isn't it my place to help my pure-blooded betters?" She glances at Angelus her expression tight, and a bit angry - though for once that anger isn't directed at the boy next to her.

“What?” Angelus snaps out in his surprise, his eyes narrowing as he regards Madeline with a frown. For several seconds he says nothing, turning his head to look ahead of him, and sighing as he lowers his gaze. Why wouldn’t she come to him? He wonders bitterly, jealousy smacking him right into the face. Casting a displeased glance to the girl, his foot falls from his leg as he twists, picking up his book and folding it carefully so as not to squish the bag of chocolates. “I think I wasted enough time chatting,” he says, leaning forward and rising to his feet. “I’ll get more reading down in my dorm.”

Madeline lets out another exasperated sigh. "Oh, don't be like that. Eibon…" Greatly daring, the girl reaches out, to catch him by the wrist. "This isn't right. None of this. I got all A's and E's and O's last year. There's Muggleborns in the Ministry, and at St. Mungo's, and inventing new spells and potions, and even Aurors and Cursebreakers and things. You honestly think cleaning the loo is the only thing any of us should ever be allowed to learn?" she almost begs. "It's madness!"

Freezing when his wrist is grabbed, Angelus arches a brow as he flicks his gaze between the girl’s hand and to the girl herself. The corner of his lips twitches in agitation as he shifts his book so that it’s resting in the hand seized by Madeline. He moves his other hand to use his forefinger and thumb delicately to pluck at one of the girl’s fingers, an appalled expression of superiority expressed on his face as he tries to ply her fingers off his wrist. He’s not being all that forceful, just trying to get his point across. “First of all, I didn’t set the rules.” A sigh escapes him. “Yes, I think I’m quite aware that there are Muggle-born in our society. That’s not always a problem.” A hum escapes him, and he tilts his head a little as he locks his gaze on Madeline. “There’s Auror Odori, who does not fit in with the rest of culture and goes around as if she was a Muggle. And then there’s Auror Bates, who I could not tell his status until my father told me.”

It doesn't take much coaxing to get Madeline to let go. Angelus has made his point - but she's made hers. "We can't all be the same. That would be dreadfully dull," she answers Angelus. "You didn't make the rules, but you're one of the Magijugend. You saying this is wrong'll matter more than me saying this is wrong - whether that's right or not don't matter, because it's just true. This is wrong, Eibon, and if you believe that at all… well. A lion stands up to others. A lion stands up for others. I can be a great witch." Tears start to gather in her eyes, and she quickly dashes them away with the back of her hand. "I want to be a great witch. And I will be, no matter what."

Angelus’ gaze remains locked on Madeline for several seconds as she speaks, but then he takes the time to pick the bag of chocolates off his book and tuck it away into his robes. Closing the book with a snap, his blue eyes flick back to the girl as he frowns. “Even if I don’t agree with the Headmaster’s methods,” he says in a steely cold tone, heavy on the formal British, “as long as Black remains a Magijunde and the Captain, I’m standing with him.” His head tips up arrogantly. “The true and the purest of the wizarding houses should stand together. If you think I’m going to betray who /I/ am, a /pure/ wizard, then you’re mistaken. You’re too busy looking at the problems on your side to take a moment to look and maybe understand the other.” He lets out a heavy sigh, quickly turning away from her and snatching up his book strap from the table.

"Even if you don't believe in it? Even if you don't believe it's right? That's wrong and you know it," Madeline insists. "That's a lie." She grits her teeth a moment before adding, "Megan didn't ask me for help. I'm keeping up with my assignments, because I'm a witch. Because I came here to learn how to be a witch."

With his back to Madeline, Angelus hefts the book strap over his shoulder while tucking his potions book under his other arm. His head bows as he frowns down at the floor, inhaling deeply and exhaling. “/Stop/,” he exclaims as he whirls around, his accent shifting to northern English. A brow twitches in agitation. “I /can’t/ do anything about it. I didn’t know that Flint was going to take it this far. I’m /sorry/. I made a mistake, okay?” His gaze shifts to the exit and he tips back his chin, drawing in another deep breath and clearing his throat, calming down enough to regain his southern British. He smirks, a conceited flicker in his eyes. “Of course it is,” he says, as if it had to be a lie. “May’s too smart to have any trouble with her work.” His gaze sweeps around the common room and Gel lets out a frustrated hiss as he shifts his book strap against his shoulder and stalks towards the portrait’s exit.

Madeline's suddenly all smiles again at Angelus's words. "I think that's the most honest apology you've ever given me," she remarks. "Thank you." She watches him head for the door, calling after him, "But you can, you know! You really can! We can set things right again!"

Megan chooses that moment to open the portrait-hole and step inside. She's carrying two shoebox-sized boxes in her arms, wrapped up as if they've just been delivered by owl, and her bookbag is slung over her shoulder. Thankfully, she doesn't need any free hands to open and close the door. Upon setting foot in the common room, she sees Angelus facing her, and pauses. "Hi, Gel."

Angelus stops suddenly when Megan appears right before him. Letting out a sigh, he lifts a hand to flick his fingers through his hair and forces a smile in place. “Hi.” As his exit has been stopped, Gel turns to cast another glance at Madeline, frowning. But with Megan’s presence, the time for speaking about such things have vanished, and the youth turns back to his sister to offer out his help. “Let me help you with those, May.”

Madeline flashes Angelus a broad smile as Angelus looks back at her, then raises one hand to jauntily wave it to Megan. "Hey, Megan!" she greets her dormmate happily, before turning her attention back to work. She starts humming, 'Hush, Hush, Hush, Here Comes the Boogey Man' to herself as she works.

"Hello," Megan calls back to Madeline. "Oh, thank you," she replies to Angelus. "My new shoes and boots arrived," she explains. "With cushioning, massaging, and size-adjustment charms." She bounces lightly on her forefeet, then steps toward Gel so he can relieve some of her burden.

"…wait. Shoes can come with cushioning, massaging, and size-adjustment charms?" Madeline gasps out, distracted from her studies - and her humming - by Megan's words. "That's brilliant! Do they cost lots and loads?"

Angelus sets down his books strap, along with his potions book on top, down before relieving Megan of the packages. He nods to her in acknowledgement as he turns, his blue eyes flicking between the girls. Silently the blonde haired youth moves towards a table where he sets them down - because he can’t even step up onto the girls steps! - and turns around. “I’ll leave you guys to chat,” he states. “I need to go over some stuff before next class.” As he passes Megan again, he’ll pause to kiss her cheek and carry on out of the portrait hole.

"Yes, they're expensive. I admit I splurged a bit, but I figured it would be worth it. My feet get so sore after walking on stone floors all day, and I'm a bit hard to fit properly—these are guaranteed to fit properly every time, for two years." She gives Gel a hug before he slips away. "Catch you later, then," she says to him.

"I'm glad we talked!" Madeline calls after Angelus brightly, and with apparent sincerity. She looks at Megan next, a thoughtful expression on her features. "For two years?" she muses. "Maybe that would make it worth the expense," she remarks in a hopeful voice, before adding, "…do you think I could ever try them on?"

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