(1939-09-28) Captain and Mouse
Details for Captain and Mouse
Summary: Elise and Cillian talk about happiness, exploding toilets and turnip soup in the castle pipes. Also, can merpeople become animagi?
Date: 1939-09-28
Location: Gardens
Related:
Characters
CillianElise

Gardens, late as Cillian dares to be out, before its technically too late but still early enough for him not to be breaking any curfews, he can be found seated on the ground, laying on his stomach, the back end of his body under a bench as he's carefully and drawing something, a couple books open beside him, one has a map of Hogwarts, another one has a map of the area near by and he's copying the maps slowly, little line by little line, squinting that good eye. Beside him is his goodie sack, a couple of apples spilling out of it and his satchel stuffed with books as usual. A peppermint stick hangs out of his mouth however like a red and white cigar.

Elise's approach is only signaled by the quiet flap of her robes - brooms are rather a silent way to travel. "Hullo, Cil," she says quietly. She looks curiously at the map he's making, and then very longingly at the apples. "Mind if I join you?" She looks thin, and pale, though she's favoring him with a smile. For once her hair is not bound in braids, but hangs in loose waves around her shoulders - she can't have been flying very fast for it doesn't look tangled.

"One day…" Cillian starts out carefully as he finishes a careful curve. "I'm goin' to be lookin' up and ye'll have sprouted wings." He does look up to push the good bag towards Elise with a small sad smile and shake of his head. "Do I ever mind if ye join me? Come and have a seat. How are yer classes going?"

Elise gives a nearly silent chuckle. "That may well be true," she agrees as she dismounts from the broom. "Perhaps when I'm an animagus, I'll be a bird of some sort. A dove or something." She leans the broom against the tree and glances around. Seeing no one near them, she picks up an apple and bites into it, sighing blissfully at the sweet crunch. "Mmmmm. Classes are fine. Yours?"

Cillian shrugs a shoulder as he squints at Elise and then looks back down to the map copying, carefully starting a new line as he stares at one of the books closely and lets his hand move to copy what he sees. "Good. Tea leaves are a hoot, but I found a bug in me tea leaves, I couldn't find what that meant in the book but I told the teacher it might mean there's ants in the larder." He smirks. "I don't tink it'll be added to the text book but one can hope." He eyes Elise for a brief moment before looking back to his drawings. "And hows the Quidditch ting?"

Elise giggles. "Oh, dear," she says about the bug. "That seems at the very least slightly unlucky. I hope you saw it before you drank any of the tea… or else you may have had a tad more protein than you intended." She giggles again. As for Quidditch? Elise's giggle fades right off. "Well," she says slowly. "I've been going to all the practices. I suppose if things aren't fixed, I'll strike for Ravenclaw's game. It'll mean we'll lose the cup, and my teammates will feel betrayed and they'll all hate me, but…" She bites her lip. "But it's more important to support the Muggleborns, I believe."

"Mm. I dun know about anybody else, but a good cup of tea is made even better with the crunch of an uninvited beetle." Cillian drawls, removing the peppermint stick from his mouth to gnaw on it thoughtfully. H ehears the change in her voice however as he looks up to her and smiles a bit sadly. "Well. Ye know. If enough of ye refused to be playin' the games, it would draw more attention than refusin' to eat. I mean…everybody loves Quidditch. Parents and all come to see the games. People go bloody mad for the game. If there weren't enough people willin' to play on the team durin' the games, ye wouldn't really 'ave a Quidditch season and I tink there'd be many more angry letters from parents to the school. Ye could even say ye dun tink the muggleborn's new diet not matchin' those of the purebloods could perhaps mean they aren't gettin' the same amount of nutritional support to play and that it wouldn't be fair to compete with people with an unfair advantage." He hesitates. "But I'm a wee bit crazy, just somethin' I was thinkin' about. Somethin' about how all people playin' Quiditch should be allowed the same school provided nutrional support, so that the teams be balanced."

Elise nods thoughtfully, mulling over his suggestion. "That's a good idea," she says. "But what if only the Quidditch players who are Muggle-born get better food, and all the other Muggle-borns are still left to — to gnaw on scraps?" She frowns. "Still, it's worth a shot." She smiles at him. "You're not crazy, Cil, you're brilliant and brave." She pulls her knees up to her chest, demurely tucks her robe around her knees, and wraps her arms around them.

"Well, to be honest. Nobody gets scraps at the table, they eat about as well I do when I'm stayin' with me Da at his pub. But its just a point to be arguin' if yer into that sorta ting. If it doesn't be matterin' what they eat, then why should the school spend extra time and money to divide and make tings different. If they believe its worth the extra effort and expense to provide two different menus for different blooded students…well, there has to be a reason. And if it begin's to effect the participatin' in other activities in the school that cost money…" He waves a hand vaguely. "Sorry, its just somethin' me Da was doin when managing his pub." He smiles a bit at the compliment. "Thank ye Mousie…yer beautiful and brave, but I dunno how brave I am. I can't even make me own crew see reason when it really matters." He finishes another curve/line/left turn on his map and sets his pencil down to look between his work and the books.

Elise sighs. "The reason is that they're —" she cuts herself off before she can finish that sentence, and thinks carefully before uttering another word. "They're just mean," she finishes lamely. "They're scared and they like feeling better than other people and they like abusing power instead of using power to help people. They've been told their entire lives that they're better than others, but it doesn't hold with the evidence they see, so they feel like they have to make those people into something less than they are if their life is to have any meaning." She smiles at him. "That's what my parents say, and I think they're right." She nods a bit when he shares what his Da says about the pub. Then her cheeks turn pink. "You think I'm beautiful?" she squeaks. Then she straightens, still pink. "What do you mean, see reason?"

"That's the heart and emotional reason, but when running a school or business or government, you can be influenced by the heart and yer emotions but ye cannae justify that in paperwork without dam-without very good reasons, that can be all…technical like." Cillian picks his pencil up again. "Mostly, people like yer describing are just filled with alot of fear. So of course yer parents are right." Then he blinks as he looks up at Elise again with a hint of a frown. "Of course yer beautiful, who says ye aren't?" Then when the question of reason is raised, he just sighs and sets his pencil down again. "It doesn't matter. Really."

Elise is quiet for a few seconds, and her eyes drop. "You know I like you, Cillian," she murmurs. "It does funny things to a girl's heart when the boy she likes tells her she's beautiful and she doesn't know if he likes her back or if he's just being nice." She takes another deep breath and then smoothes imaginary wrinkles out of her robe. "And it does matter. What you think really does matter to me, and not just because I like you. You're my captain, aren't you? And haven't I always been loyal? What is it you want of me? I… don't like to see you frown, you know."

"Ah." Cillian is quiet as he lowers his eyes for a moment, picking up his pencil and putting it back down and then picking it back yet as he looks thoughtful, taking a deep breath. "Me Da told me…that girls can like boys sometimes before boys know what exactly it means to be likin' a girl." He sighs softly. "But I'm not just bein' nice. Yer one of my closest best good friends, I trust ye so much and I care about ye." Then he just nods slowly. "I…just want ye all to be happy! And I dun know how to make all of this RIGHT for ye all! I've got crew members mouthin' off, and gettin' in trouble, and refusin' to eat, and tryin' to start revolutions and I cannae do anyting. Anyting at all! I can just stand there and watch like a slackjawed idiot!"

"My mother said the same thing," Elise tells Cillian with a bit of an embarrassed smile. "She said she knew she was going to marry my father quite a long time before he even started to court her." She listens carefully to him, and then puts a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry," she tells him. "I never meant to make you feel this way." She frowns for a second, and then takes another bite of her apple, as if to show him that she really is eating. A drop of apple juice slides down her chin. "Don't be so hard on yourself, though. It's not your fault that the entire world has gone sideways. We're all… just…" she casts around for the right words. "We're all rather of lost. What would you have of me, though, if you think I shouldn't be on this hunger strike?" It should be noted that she hasn't been known to mouth off, this year, nor has she gotten herself into trouble.

Cillian moves a hand to rest on the hand on his shoulder, rolling on his side and bending a knee to scoot from under the bench, squeezing the hand gently. "Ye dun 'ave to apologize. I just…" He trails off. "Yer me crew but yer me friends too. I can't order ye to do anyting you really don't want to do. At least the wee Mad Maggie isn't alone or feels like she's alone…she's determined to see tings through. If she's a bloody skeleton by the time we finish this year however, I dunno what I'll do…" He trails off. "Or if she gets beaten up…" He sighs and rubs a hand over his face. "I'm goin' to need ye to help me write some letters soon. Ye do what ye feel is right in yer heart." There's a long pause. "M' goin to learn about the history of how the school was…and what happened so that I can predict what will happen to it, history is always happenin' in a circle and we need to be prepared."

Elise nods. "It would be awful if Madeline felt all alone," she agrees. "But it's just as awful for you to feel bad. To me, maybe it's even more so." She'll take a risk and brush a bit of hair away from his forehead after he rubs his face. "Whatever you need, I'll do it," she promises. She nods a bit. "That sounds good," she agrees. "Is that what the map is for?"

Cillian allows that hair to be brushed away as he tilts his head to the side to regard Elise with a small smile. "Yer the best Mousie, dun ever let anybody tell ye anyting else." Then he looks back to the maps. "Aye. I'm attemptin' to figure out…the most logical ways for the water to get in and out of the castle." A pause. "Sadly, I haven't figured out what to do wit' the information once I 'ave it, so far me idea involves finding and befriending a tiny tiny tiny sized merperson who looks like a goldfish."

Elise smiles warmly at Cillian, and her cheeks turn pink again. "It really means something, coming from you," she says. Then she raises a quizzical eyebrow. "Why do you want water to come into the castle?" she asks. Her lips curve into a smile at the merperson goldfish idea. "So… an animagus mermaid?"

"Perhaps. One that is very familiar with plumbing." Cillian just shrugs. "Ye 'ave to learn the foundations of a place and how it works before ye really can begin to shake tings up." That's his answer as to why he's researching what he's researching.

"Plumbing?" Elise repeats. She puzzles over that for a minute. "That's a very vague answer. You seem to be really good at giving vague answers." Her eyebrows go up. "Just how do you mean to shake things up?" she asks. "Exploding toilets?"

"…I am not sure anyone should have to suffer the indignity of exploding toilets, but I do 'ave a plan. If the plumbing runs through pipes and the pipes aren't in their own little…tunnels…" He trails off. "The less ye be knowin' right now the better Mousie." Cillian decides. "But I 'ave a plan! And it might involve turnips."

"Turnips," Elise says, utterly mystified. "Come on," she cajoles, grabbing his arm and tugging slightly. "Tell me! Please? Pretty please? With a cherry on top?"

Cillian shakes his head. "Nope! I cannot tell ye yet!" He insists. "And besides, ye know I prefer carrots to cherries." He sticks out his tongue, now probably being more silly than anything else as he flips one of the books closed. "Ye 'ave to not know for now so nobody can get the secret out of ye until yer actually ready for it. But I promise you, the turnips will have companions with the onions that will be involved."

Elise blinks. "You're going to send soup to everyone, through the plumbing," she whispers. "Soup with turnips and onions and carrots in it. Aren't you?" Then her nose wrinkles. "How on Earth will you keep it sanitary? Either you'll be mucking up the clean water pipes or — or —" but she can't finish that sentence, the 'or' is too gross to say out loud.

Cillian just facepalms and shakes his head, giggling softly and just shaking his head even harder as it slips into laughter as he rolls over onto his side and just gasps for air. "Oh sweet Merlin's beard…Mousie…dun ever change…" At least he's giggling and grinning.

"Change is inevitable," Elise says pragmatically. Then she beams at him giggling on the ground. And then she says, in Gaelic, "I like look you in happiness, friend." The grammar is horrible, and her pronunciation leaves something to be desired, but her meaning is clear - she likes seeing him happy. "Was that right?" she asks in English.

Cillian blinks owlishly at hearing the Gaelic, brow furrowing for a moment before he blinks some more and stares. "…ahh." He tucks some of his hair behind an ear. "If you're trying to say you like seeming me happy…you were close." A look of confusion as he starts to put his shoes back on and stack his books up. He replies in soft tones, hushed as if trying not to be heard, in Gaelic. "If my happiness ignites the fires of your own, then I am content." He holds up a finger. "Remember those words, and if you can tell me what I said in two days, I'll teach you something else." He winks and shakes his head. "We better get back to the castle."

Elise repeats what he said, not quite understand it. She closes her eyes and repeats it again. She's a good little mimic - just hearing him speak and parroting it back makes her accent sound leagues better. "I'll tell you tomorrow," she promises. And she will, too. She nods and finishes off the apple quickly, then grabs her broom before walking with him back to the castle.

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