(1939-10-19) A Way To Luskan's Heart
Details for A Way To Luskan's Heart
Summary: Laryssa meets Sierra and Luskan.
Date: (1939-10-19)
Location: Pathway to Hogwarts

Standing near a beautifully painted red and gold wagon is a girl wearing some worn but well mended clothes - a skirt, a sweater, and a lovely hand-knit lace shawl. She's standing beside a gelding with a coat of dappled browns and gold, and a beautiful black mane and tail. She's murmuring to the horse in Irish Gaelic as she works, speaking in a fond tone as she rubs a hard rubber comb over the creature's body in circles.

Lara is still proud of her uniform, despite the twisted path the school has taken these days. Even Hogsmeade week-ends won't change it. And she's glad to have escaped the crowd, breathing the fresh air and even humming quietly, when she swiftly walks along the path to the grounds and passes the familiar, beautifully decorated wagon. It is only then that she registers the horse and - next to it - the small figure of a girl. Curious, she carefully draws closer. When the horse raises its head at her approach, she hesitates.

Sierra says something to the horse in a questioning tone, looking towards the creatures head - then looking around. "Oh!" she says as she sees Lara - greeting the other girl with a friendly smile. "Don't mind Luskan. He's a bit of a brute - but he's pretty well school. I've been working with him." She pats the horse's side a bit roughly - then goes back to brushing him with those circular motions.

Lara stays out of range of the animal, surveying the other girl, her eyes passing over her worn clothes. "And you… wait - aren't you Colton's little sister?" She grins. "Not that I can keep track of all his real and alleged family members." She gestures to the horse. "He certainly looks rather spirited, are you sure you shouldn't be more… careful around him?"

"Oh, we've known each other for years. We have an understanding," Sierra answers, responding to the questions about the horse with obvious fondness. "If you want to know the truth - I'm better with him than Colton!" And Colton's the one who owns him! She lets out a quiet laugh. "Sierra Higgins, by the way," she adds helpfully. "And - yes, Colton and Finley are both my brothers. So if they're causing you any grief…"

Lara laughs. "No, not exactly. Colton just looks… a bit out of place, sometimes. I'm Laryssa Stuart. Pleased to meet you, Sierra." She bows her head slightly in acknowledgement. "If - Luskan, you said? - is as stubborn as your elder brother, I can imagine they have their arguments. Can you actually ride on him?" She still looks slightly intimidated by the large animal. No way she'd ever climb on one.

"Oh, well… Maybe we all are," Sierra answers wryly. "I'm surprised he stuck around for the full seven years, really. I'm glad he did - I'd've missed him. I'm still not used to this whole… sleeping in a bed, in a castle thing." Patting Luskan's side, she moves around, under his head, to the other side to continue brushing.
"Aye, Luskan," she confirms. "And he isn't trained to saddle - he's trained to harness. To pull the wagon. That's why he's such a beast. I've been working on getting him to accept me bareback, though…" She lets out a quiet laugh before adding, "Basically, as he is, I wouldn't put anyone on him unless I reeeeeally disliked them. Though there's a few that fit that bill!"

"That makes sense." Lara nods, nervously taking a step closer, one hand in her leather bag looking for something. "I'll do my best to always stay in good grace with you, Sierra, that's for sure. Does he like apples?" Eyeing the girl, she adds rather sternly "And no need to boast to me. There's no way you ride him bareback!"

"I ride bareback. I don't ride him bareback. He isn't trained for it, yet," Sierra answers casually. "I'm good with horses - they're more fun than the other animals around the camp." Which is mostly… chickens. She's still brushing as she adds, "He loves apples - the sweeter the better. Offer it with a flat hand, palm up - so he doesn't nip your fingers by mistake. And don't mind the slobber - it washes off."

Lara pulls out a perfect, shiny red apple from her pocket. Sighing regretfully, she places it on her flat hand, palm up, just as instructed. Stiffly, she extends her arm, leaning forward, ready to take a leap back if necessary. She does mind the slobber and her hand is trembling slightly. But she wanted to do this since she was a child.

Luskan's ears stand up straight and prick towards Lara the moment the apple comes out and he takes a step closer, reaching out to bite the apple in half. He eats this - his large tongue and some accompanying drool coming out once or twice, before he reaches out once again, taking the rest of the apple. "I think you've just made a friend," Sierra remarks with a laugh. "Easiest way to his heart is through his stomach - that's for sure."

Lara let's out a giddy squeal at the strange sensation, and finally bursts out laughing. "His tongue is so… rough." She raises her emtpy hand apologetically to Luskan. "I am sorry, dear. You just ate my single, most precious apple. That's all I can offer at the moment." Wiping her hand with a handkerchief, she tries to regain some of her composure. "I guess that is true for everyone. Do you fancy a chocolate frog, Sierra? I just happen to have a few in my bag." She winks at the other girl.

"Oh, I'd love one!" Sierra agrees cheerfully. "But - well - I better finish brushing him down." She tosses aside the rubber comb she was using and goes to get a bristle brush instead. "He deserves it - after all his hard work. I wish I could work with him more than every other weekend but… well." Rules are rules.

"Just make sure the box is sealed so it doesn't sneak away until you get 'round to eat it!" Pulling out a little chocolate frog box, Lara offers it to Sierra. "Isn't there a spell that could do the trick? Not that I am an expert in Care of Magical Creatures - or Non-Magical, that is. It looks like some tiring business." She shakes her head in bemusement. "But then, you also appear to have a dislike for comfortable castle beds, so I suppose you can enjoy this as well." Watching Sierra, she has to admit there appears to be something rather… gratifying about her relationship with the horse. With surprise, Lara finds herself even envying Sierra for her way of life. "Anyhow, I need to move on, still have a lengthy essay waiting and a lot of reading to get done. Pass my best regards to Colton, when you see him."

"Thanks," Sierra sas sincerely as she accepts the frog - and tucks it away into a pocket in her skirt. "Well - even if I knew one - I wouldn't be allowed to us it, would I? I'm 14!" She smiles in amusement. "But I do enjoy this. It's part of how we make friends - Luskan and me - and if I just used a spell to do it… well. It wouldn't have the same affect. Sometimes, you just gotta do things by hand.

"Thanks for the frog - and I will!" Sierra says cheerfully, smiling at the older girl, while brushing the horse along the grain in his coat - rather than the circles she'd been using before.

Lara considers this a moment, then nods. "Yes, you have a point there. Although I suppose one could subsume it under 'homework' for Care of Magical Creatures, even if doesn't have any wings or horns. Anyway, thank you for introducing us" she gestures to Luskan "and see you around!". She waves, then turns and heads up the way to the castle.

"Not when we're outside those gates, we can't!" Sierra answers with a laugh, gesturing towards the school. "And I don't think I'm allowed to bring Luskan in." Though she'd certainly love to. "See you around!" she echoes.

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