(1939-10-24) War and Peace Babies
Details for War and Peace Babies
Summary: A discussion of learning German turns into a more general reflection on the relationship between Wizards and Muggles, before an attempt at a peace offering of jellied candy.
Date: 24 October 1939
Location: Gardens, Hogwarts

It's getting close to evening, but Abraxas Malfoy, despite all the goings-on at Hogwarts lately, seems to have found a quiet spot on a bench to make use of the waning hours of daylight and cool, crisp weather to study. He has his scarf on, and the book is open in front of him. The spine makes the subject clear - a wizarding book on the German language. But even failing that, the dense gothic script would give it away, compared to wizarding runes.

The crisp weather has also drawn Lara out into the garden. She doesn't mind the cold, really. It helps her clear her head and focus on her reading. Turning the corner however, she sees one of her preferred spots has already been partially taken. She considers the Slytherin boy for a moment, then approaches quietly so not to interrupt the boy's studies, taking a seat on the other end of the bench and reaching for her own books. She wears a fine, but unadorned cloak around her shoulders with a blue and silver scarf, her long hair falling loosely around her shoulders.

Abraxas looks up as someone else approaches. Only a year ahead of him, they've certainly seen each other about, but don't share classes, so he simply nods politely and doesn't break the silence, except half-muttered words to himself as he works through what she might recognize as a grammar lesson. He eventually sighs and puts the open book down on the bench, then leans back and scrubs his eyes. This learning stuff is hard work!

Lara glances at the open book, her eyebows raising in surprise, then her blue eyes focus on Abraxas. "You are studying German?" she asks, intrigued now, lowering her own text book.

Abraxas has his hands over his eyes for a moment, so it takes him half a beat to realize he's being spoken to, "What?" he says, then shakes his head, "Sorry, yes. Yes, I'm working on it. It's only been since the start of the term, but I'm making a bit of progress. My tutor was assigned to Berlin with the IMC, so she and I work on it when we can. Hogsmeade weekends now and again."

"Incidentially, my mother is from a German wizarding family." Lara explains. "Why do you wish to study German, then? It might not be the best time for it, as Britain has declared war on Germany. Well, Muggle Britain, that is, of course."

"The muggles will do what the muggles will do. They're always at war with somebody." Abraxas says, but doesn't launch into any sort of diatribe. "I'm planning on traveling more, I think. Germany, obviously, is right out at the moment, but it won't be forever. The Malfoys came here from France, nearly a thousand years ago. Though there are a few more recent emigres in the family."

"Ohh…" Lara looks suddenly wary, her attitude cooling slightly. "You're Malfoy's son? The Chairman of the Hogwarts Board of Governors? Saw him in the Daily Prophet. I didn't know your family came from France originally."

"Yes. Enceladus Malfoy is my father." Abraxas answers, "And yes, a very long time ago. Generations and generations. I did learn French when I was younger, though. It's come in surprisingly handy." He arches a brow at her sudden change in attitude, but doesn't push matters, picking up his book and marking the page before shutting it.

Lara nods. "Yes, languages are crucial for a better understanding of your neighbours. So is travelling. Widens your horizon." She shrugs apologetically. "Sorry, I just didn't expect you were so… open-minded." She still remembers him being part of the Magijugend. "Have you actually been to France? I've never been, but I'd certainly love to. Paris must be wonderful."

Madeline's bookbag is not as full as it had been earlier in the day - but there were still a few tissue-wrapped bundles as she determinedly saught out specific individuals. One of them just happens to be here. When Madeline finally finds Abraxas, the girl breaks into a wide smile - perhaps not the most expected of reactions. "Hello Malfoy!" she greets the boy. "I wanted to give you some peace babies," she tells him warmly, pulling a colorful package of green with a silver ribbon and offering it over to him. "It's a kind of candy," she explains helpfully.
She looks between the two older students, asking curiously, "You both know a lot of languages?"

Abraxas stiffens as Madeline appears, and there is a distinct raise of his chin. "Evans…" he says, obviously doing his best to maintain his decorum. He accepts the package that is thrust at him, and holds it between his fingers for a moment, before saying, "Erm. Thank you." Then he puts it down on the bench next to him. "There is a wide wizarding world out there, and all sorts of interesting magic. Besides, Professor Lestrange told me I should expand my horizons as well." Which is advice that he will listen to, even if he wouldn't take it from certain others. "No, I've never left Britain. That is soon to change, though alas, I won't have time to learn any Spanish or Portuguese before we go." To Madeline, "French and English, for me. Hardly 'a lot'."

Lara 's expression brightens as she sees the little Gryffindor lion arrive. "Hi Madeline!" She watches curiously, as Madeline offers (forces?) the peace babies to Abraxas. "I almost wish I'd have been at war with you, too, if that means I qualify for some extra sweets. Btw…" she reaches into her bag "I bought you something in Hogsmeade, to cheer you up a bit, altough that appears no longer necessary." She offers Madeline a chocolate frog box with a neat red and gold ribbon around it, before turning her attention back to Abraxas. "Spain, is it? Great! Although you shouldn't limit yourself to the wizarding world. I even agree with what you said about Muggles' apparently being unable to avoid constant wars, but still… there is much wizards can learn if they do not contend themselves with their own sphere."

Madeline smiles as the treat is accepted, then pulls out another - this one a beautiful purple - to offer to Lara. "Oh, I have some for you, too! I've been giving them to eeeeveryone. There's a bunch in there. So you can share them with people you'd like to make peace with," Madeline encourages both students. "Because they're peace babies!" She happily accepts the frog in kind, giving Lara a happy smile. "Oh, thanks! I love chocolate frogs! But I'll save it for later, if that's okay. This ribbon's really great! Maybe I'll use it in my hair."
"Gosh - Spain? That would be fun! I don't know very much French - just a word or two. But I'm learning German, and I reeeeeally want to learn Mermish."

Abraxas shakes his head, "South America, actually. I think the feeling was that there was too much going on in Europe for anywhere to be sufficiently safe. Besides, it will be summer there." Despite his being - still - a magijugend, Abraxas shows that he doesn't entirely agree with Grindelwald, as he comments, "I prefer to leave muggle things to the muggles. Our worlds are separate for a reason. The best thing for both of us is if they never know about us, and we avoid too much contact with them."

"South America! Well, you are right about Europe of course." Lara's expression looks troubled. "I wish my family would move to South America as well, even if it were just for a summer. But I don't see how one can leave muggle things to the muggles. There is no such thing as separate worlds. My brother is on a British naval vessel just now. If we would start thinking of the two worlds as one, we could actually /do/ something about it." She turns to Madeline, her smile returning as she takes her peace baby. "Thank you, that's so sweet of you. Was this your idea with the peace babies?" Glancing at Abraxas, she adds "And you actually study German as well? Wow, we could start German classes at Hogwarts!"

"I think it'd be nice if the Muggle world and magic world were closer," Madeline agrees with Lara - albiet quietly, rather than with her usual brash enthusiasm. After all - she's here to try to make peace with Abraxas. "But - wow! South America! That sounds exotic! You'll take pictures, won't you? I would love to see pictures. I dunno if I'll ever get to go somewhere like that. I hope you have a really great time." She smiles at the boy - still standing in front of Lara and Abraxas.
Her attention shifts back to Lara as she adds, "Yup! My idea! I wanted to give Eibon something, you see, and I looked in my bag - and saw the peace baby. And I thought that'd be great for the school! So I told my uncle to send me a whooooooole bunch and he did and that's what the howler was all about." She lets out a quiet giggle. "Isn't he great? I didn't know you know German, though! I'm learning it on account of the German kids my mum and dad took in. It's nice! It's like having brothers and a sister finally!"

Abraxas stands, gathering his book and tucking the bag of peace babies into a pocket of his robes. After the whole hair-growth potion incident, he might be a little reticent about actually eating them, but he makes a good show of taking things in stride. Then again, he didn't blast Sampson even when he could have, so maybe he's learning something. He grits his teeth at the mention of involving Wizards in Muggle affairs, and his fist clenches at his side, but he manages to get out a sincere-enough-sounding, "My best wishes for your brother's safe and rapid return." Then, if it weren't bad enough, Madeline starts talking about Angelus, and his face starts to look as if he's taking a goodly drink of curdled milk. It takes a supreme effort of will, but he turns to the two girls and says, "I should be getting back to the common room…"

Lara smiles at Madeline encouragingly. "Yes, he appears to be a great man. My mother comes from a German wizarding family and is rather proud of her German heritage. She insisted I speak only German with her when I was a child. You should pursue your studies, it is quiet a beautiful language, I believe." As Abraxas gathers his things to leave, Lara looks slightly taken aback. "Oh, sure… thank you for your consideration. And… sorry for disturbing your studies." As a Ravenclaw, she really feels bad about that. "If I can be of any help with your German studies, just tell me. I know German grammar can be quite nasty.

"I hope you can make peace with the peace babies! Please share them!" Madeline says brightly as Abraxas prepares to leave. If she's put something in those peace babies, she sure seems to be intent on taking the whole school down with it. She smiles at Abraxas, then turns the smile on Lara. "Oh I'd love more help! I mean, Elspeth's helping me already. But it sure makes Asher and Saul and Miriam happy when I can speak German with them. And it's fun because no one else can understand us when we do!"

Abraxas nods slightly, "Yes. Thank you." A pause, and he says, "Perhaps we can practice my conversation some time." Then, to Madeline, "Ummm… Right." That part doesn't sound at all convincing. Another nod, and Abraxas tucks his book under his arm and heads on his way, the green and silver scarf training behind him like a banner.

Lara turns her attention back to Madeline, smiling warmly. "I've heard all the rumours that you have been in thick of things lately. I am glad to see you well". She pauses, then adds rather awkwardly. "You know, I /did/ consider what you have said, but finally events have happened to quickly. I want to apologize I did not do more. I owe an apology to Elspeth as well, I guess." With that she raises and picks up her bag. "I also need to get back to the common room. Now, that there is no need to skip classes any more,…" She trails off. "I hope you can catch up with your real classes quickly."

"Yes, it all worked out in the end," Madeline says with relief. "And I was doing my homework all along!" she says with her usual enthusiasm. (Well… Most of the time she was.) "So I don't have all that much catching up to do. But it is great to be able to practice again. Enjoy the peace babies! Remember to share!"

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