(1939-11-25) Wild, Wild Horses
Details for Wild, Wild Horses
Summary: Three Gryffindors and their favorite Hufflepuff visit the Abraxan they were learning about in Care of Magical Creatures.
Date: Tuesday, November 25th, 1939
Location: Hogwarts Grounds
Related: Horse With No Name

Apples - Sierra has apples. Three of them, in fact, each cut into fourths and shoved into various pockets of her robes, to dose out to the young winged horse little by little. Hopefully it'll get some cooperation out of the great big beastie. She waits on the Training Ground, looking first one way and then another as she watches for her Gryffindor co-conspirators to arrive.

Angus ambles down, looking innocent. He's been a little delayed by a quick trip to the Domestics club. Because obviously, between that and lunch and dinner, he's had a few chances to snaffle things. The important question is, is that a carrot in his pocket, or his wand? He is accompanied on this occasion by the other half of the MacMillan presence of the fourth year, "Och, it'll be _fine_, Quine, d'ye nae ken? Did ye no see how nice he was taking the apple frowm mah hond?"

"Ah saw, Angus, and t'was reet gud." There's a swat at Angus' arm from Augusta's hand before she tucks it firmly back into her pocket. Dressed in a thick wool coat with MacMillan tartan scarf wrapped thrice about her neck, she picks her way across the grass in wellie boots that add a certain charm to her appearance as a whole. Or perhaps they don't. She's personalised them with tiny glittery ribbons that should have been attached to the tops, not the ankles, because placed where they are they're now sodden and soaked in mud. Another experiment that didn't quite work out. "Are ye sure ye got the time reet?"

"If I were home, I'd have snatched a bottle of double malt," Amber says in a low, conspiratorial voice as she creeps up to join Sierra. "But, apples will have to do." She so wanted to see if Professor Kettleburn was right about the Abraxan, and that the beastie would tuck in to drink some fine alcohol. Can't blame a girl for wondering. Ah well…

The girl with dark red hair smirks in greeting as Angus and Augusta arrive on the scene, and she does a quick glance around the general area to be sure the proverbial coast is clear. They're going to get in so much trouble for this if anyone finds out.

Angus says, speculatively, "I wonder where they keep the horse tack fur the carriages…. It wouldnae surprise me if we could get it tae fit…."

"That would've been something to see!" Sierra agrees with Amber, flashing her a smile. "We seem to have acquired an extra MacMillan," she adds in an amused voice, as she nods towards the pair approaching them. "I got apples. What'd you bring?"

"Me ah brocht naething anely Angus…" Speaking in broad Doric like her cousin, there's a wink given the other MacMillan before Augusta slips her hands from her pockets, lifting them palm upwards to show that she's indeed, nothing in her pockets. Though once she's spoken, she at least attempts to tame her accent enough that its not so difficult for her classmates to decipher. "The wee horses. Far are they?"

Angus digs in his pockets. Various various pockets. Four apples. Three carrots. A parsnip. A boiled mint. "Och, weel, I mighta put slightly less veg in tae roost than I wus supposed tae, and a wee bittie more pastry in mah apple pie, y'ken?"

"You brought Angus - that's enough of a handful to bring," Amber quips to Augusta, again flashing that impish, knowing smirk of hers.

Looking at the boy with one eyebrow quirked, she says: "He's going to be as stuffed as a roasting pig if we shovel that much food into him!" But, who is she to make remarks? She gives a little shrug of her shoulders and lowers her voice again: "Come on, we've got to get out of the open before somebody sees us - if they haven't already!"

Sierra can't help but let out a snort at Amber's quip, and gestures the group on, looking around for any signs of watching eyes. She schools features that momentarily grinned with excitement into a more focused and serious expression as she attempts to hurry unseen along with her friends towards the winged horse's stable.

Its lucky that Augusta hadn't gone the whole hog and attached bells and flashing lights to her boots along with the ribbons. There's only the soft squelch of mud beneath her feet and the moving of her shadow in the wake of Sierras to even show where she is. "Angus far are ye?" she queries, eyes narrowing as she scans quickly for her cousin. Because he better be following, he really better.

Angus starts to follow, and then ducks behind a tree. Because, in the distance can be seen the form of Mr Pringle. There's a horrible motionless moment, where it looks like he might glance in the wrong direction, and then he's gone, back into the castle, and Angus breathes again, and sneaks off after the others.

When Sierra spots Pringle, her eyes go wide and she ducks down behind a large stone, gesturing for Amber to join her. She peeks cautiously out from the side of the stone, waiting until he's gone out of sight before she continues silently, stealthily onwards.

Sneakily, Angus scampers down to catch up with the others. "That wis close! I thought Pringle woulda spotted me fur sure!"

Augusta hunkers down and waits until things seem clear once more. "You. You're a liability, Angus MacMillan," she says, flicking one booted foot in her cousin's direction. She doesn't actually make physical contact with him, but there's a lovely splodge of mud on the toe of her boot that splats against his knee.

"He always has been," Sierra agrees quietly. "Sometimes I wonder why we put up with him at all."

Angus hisses, "Yehs put up wi' me because… I'm ANGUS MACMILLAN, Ken?!" And he keeps sneaking down towards the temporary stabling. The mud doesn't appear to bother him much, since his outdoor britches are less of fabric covered by mud, as mud held together by a fabric backing.

"Because life would be dull around here without him," Amber remarks from the sidelines as they sneak. It's just a fact. School would be less lively without troublemakers like him.

"An ah m Augusta MacMillan an ah m affrontit yon ye re sae clumsy," August announces, winding her overly long scarf another turn about her neck so that its only trailing a couple of feet in the mud behind her. Whoever knitted her the scarf must have REALLY loved knitting, because the whole thing must measure twenty feet or so in length. Plus tassles.

"I guess," Sierra agrees with Amber. "Though I think we've plenty more choices of troublemakers in Gryffidor. I'm surprised to see you lot get more points than Slytherin. They're slipping up." Ahead she can see the grounds keeper cottage, and she has to fight the urge to break into a sprint.

Angus looks smug, "Och, I dae it better than anyone else! Do I need tae say 'itchin' pooder an' skin dye' tae remind yehs?"

Augusta gives the oddest of looks her cousin's way. "Remind me to ask you about that…" she says, her dialect remaining firmly, for now, out of the Doric way of things. Tugging the knitted wooly hat that she wears down over her ears, she presses her lips into a flat line, unsure exactly as to where they're all going from here.

"The snakes are just sore losers," Amber replies to Sierra, rolling her eyes at the thought of the Slytherin house members' recent… less than gracious activities. namely, one student cursing her younger sister with an abnormal outgrowth of fur.

A sudden look flashes in Amber's eyes and she closes the small distance between Angus and herself by shooting ahead. She reaches out and snags the boy by the shoulder: "You try something like that on me, Angus MacMillan, and it'll be war." She says, trying to look dead serious. Somehow, one gets the idea that retaliations between these two would be disastrous.

Angus . o O (Which female Gryff could I bribe to spike Amber's bedsheets with skin dye?)

Angus . o O (Well, Maddy might dae it.)

"And 'fit' have you done since, Angus MacMillan?" Sierra teases him - before letting out a laugh as Amber grabs him by the shoulder and confronts him. Oh dear.

Angus whistles quietly, "Och, de ye recall the time the Express Loos were marked oot o' Order? Aye. That was me tae!"

He just gives Amber a cheerful grin. Not replying to that threat.

Augusta stares at Angus. "That was you?" The flat of her hand smacks to her forehead and there's a sharp bump of her shoulder to his. Hopefully it's enough to send him sprawling in the mud. Not that it will matter, he's a muddy little thing anyway.

Amber's dark eyes narrow on the boy, and she holds her hand there on his shoulder a second longer before letting go. This is going to wind up a new war, isn't it? Oh well, it helps to pass the time. Augusta's thwap hits Angus about the same time Amber releases him, but he doesn't faceplant in the soggy ground this time. "You know, if you got any muddier, you might be camouflaged enough to not bother with sneaking." She observes.

"That was last year," Sierra points out. "…though there was the cake thing. That was good," she finally conceeds, flashng Angus a grin.

Angus staggers a bit at the impact, and huffs, "Och! Dyae nae have any admiration fur an artist? There's nae point hurrying these things! And the cake thing was good…" He pauses, and stands up a bit straighter, and more pompous, drawing a muddy hand over his chin to simulate a beard. "Whyle Ah'm sure mah beard ond flowing locks are quicht the envy, we dae no lace dee-leecious chocolate cake wi hair growin' potion wi' hopes o' others consumin' said potion unknowin'. We dinnae!" Or words quite similar to that.

Amber has to choke back laughter at Angus smearing a mock beard onto his face with mud. She coughs into her sleeve, pretending very hard that she isn't giggling at his antics. That would go to his head.

Pulling a straight face, she says blankly: "I don't think it does anything for you." The way she's seen adults talk about each other trying out new looks. With a look of mischief in her eyes, she glances at Sierra for backup on that one.

Sierra is grinning as she studies her friend's mud-smeared features. "Shave your head, and you could pass as Professor Beery. …you were going for Beery, right?" she asks in a teasing tone.

Angus snorts, "Aye. Prof Beery! Cohs Professor Beery has flowin' locks. They've flowed so far, they've left him alone!"

Augusta covers her mouth with one hand, shaking her head at the mud beard on Angus. Tugging on his sleeve, she lowers her voice to speak to him in the broadest of Doric, though probably not enough that the other two witches will fail to hear. "Ye keek a richt feil yon wye an if yon s fit ye re gyan tae keek fin auld eneuch tae actually grow ae ah peety the females ye threaten wi it!" A flash of a smile as she knocks her hand to the side of his head, and without further ado she turns away from him, allegedly to ponder what they're going to do next. "Are we close now?" Good question.

Angus scampers down the last area, to the stable, such as it is, encasing the large beast. Which whinnies, as it spies the Small-Person-Who-Produces-Apples. Or 'Angus' as he's otherwise known.

Amber may have been hanging around Angus and Augusta long enough to catch a few words of Doric; but, in all honesty, about nine tenths of the girl's sentence sails right over her head. Needless to say, she looks rather blank for a moment at the MacMillan's before echoing Augusta's question with a nod. The answer - of course - is to leg it the rest of the way to the stable. The poor, unsuspecting Abraxan is probably going to be overwhelmed by the scents of apples, carrots and other tasty treats by the time all four children arrive.

"This time, I didn't come empty-handed, lovely." Amber says to the winged horse with a big, excited grin.

Sierra also gives Augusta a blank look at all the Doric - something about being old enough? Other than that, she's lost. She shakes her head, and tramps through the mud with the others. "We should get a halter on him," she suggests as they come closer, reaching for the one hanging outside the stall.

Augusta has to take a moment once they reach the stalls to stamp her feet on the ground, her boots so caked with mud that the imprints she leaves giving the impression that she's walked there in meaty size 12's. Man-sized. So busy is she in rescuing her be-ribboned wellies from the horrors of muddy death that she's last to actually approach the stalls and look upon the winged creature where it stands, breath a white mist that hangs in the chill of the air. "Bloody hell, he looks much bigger up close…"

Angus is already busy bringing out the various bits of fruit and vegetables from the various bits of his robes and clothing. "Och, I wonder how big he looks when yehs up on his bock."

The Abraxan is quite overwhelmed by the generosity of the children. That is to say, he is eating up every bit of attention and every piece of food offered to him with all the greed and relish of any yearling horse being fussed over by a group of kids. Every time he finishes chewing on one treat, he pricks his ears forward as if to say: "More? MORE?"

Amber glances over her shoulder, and this way and that before moving over to Angus. "Only one way to find out. Want a leg up?" She asks, ready and willing to help.

"Let me get the halter on him first," Sierra warns as Amber suggests a leg-up. "I've not worked with horses this young much - we don't breed our own. We buy them, schooled, so I'm not sure…" As she's talking, she slips the halter on over his nose, bribing him with a bit of apple if need be, and start buckling the strap securely behind the horse's ears.

Augusta steals some of the apple pieces that Angus has brought with him so that she, too, can make an offering to the abraxan. Holding her hand flat so it doesn't actually crunch down upon a finger, she smiles as its muzzle whiffles up the fruit from her palm. "Angus. You be careful, okay? I don't want a howler from your mother if something goes wrong…" Oooo, she's showing prudence, or perhaps the way that she edges around Sierra as she fastens the halter to the abraxan's head tells another story. "Maybe you better let -me- be the one to get up on it first. You know. Just in case."

Angus considers this. The horse is large. He is small. And has no horse experience. "It cannae be any harder than a broom!" And once Sierra has done the needful, he offers a leg to Amber. "Ready?"

Sierra clips a second lead line onto the horse and hands it to Augusta. "Hold on tight," she warns her.

"Well, I mean there's room up there for all four of us, really." Amber replies to Augusta with an impish grin. But, it would seem that Angus is determined to be the first up on the Abraxan's back. The first to step into this brave new world of sheer courageous stupidity.

Amber locks her fingers together to form a "stirrup" for Angus to step onto so she can help heft him up onto the horse's back. "Un, deux… trois!" She counts off in French, giving him a sudden boost.

Augusta clutches the lead rein in her hands, her shoulders hunching as Angus gets hoisted up onto the horse's back. "Woah, steady…" Its unclear whether the young Macmillan is saying that to herself, the abraxan or to to Angus, but the words come out and, eyes like saucers, she watches as her cousin settles himself upon his back.

"I don't think it'd be a good idea - all of us on a horse this young, all at once. We need someone on the ground," Sierra insists. "At least until we see how he takes it… He can't be done with his schooling, though. He's only 10 months. We don't buy anything under three years old."

The horse does indeed stamp, and twitch. But Angus is leaning down over its neck, to whisper into its ears. He has absolutely no concept of a decent seat. But the horse does settle. Whatever patting and whispering he's doing is working.

Amber pouts at Sierra's words of wisdom. Of course, she knows that it's all very true - and that's all well and good, but she wants to get up on the Abraxan's back as well. Now that the horse has settled down and Angus has settled in: "Come on, I bet he's strong enough for two on his back, though. Just for a minute… Pleeeease?" She begs, bouncing up on her toes impatiently.

Augusta huffs a breath of air from pursed lips, her lower lip jutting slightly so the stream of air is directed up and over her nose. "Nice horsie. Who's a cutie-ickle-wubbly-fwiendly-abwaxan-den? Yooo are. Yooooo are…" So Augusta at least has the baby abraxan horse talk down pat, keeping the animal's head occupied with words and apple as dire things are done elsewhere. That is, until a stamp of one hoof as it demands more carrot is made a little too close to one of her own feet. She yelps loudly and takes a quick step backwards. She's not dumb.

Sierra giggles as Augusta flinches back. "Well. He seems to be doing alright with Angus," Sierra remarks. "Maybe he's had someone on his back before? You can give it a try, Amber. I just want to make sure someone on the ground has control of his head. Right, lovely?" she pats the horse on the neck.

Angus braces himself a little and offers his foot as a stirrup to Amber. "Och, he'll be fine. He's a big braw boy, are ye no?"

For her part, Amber lets out a small, girlish squeak of excitement in reply. She can't seem to stop smiling. Sierra and Augusta seem to have the situation well in hand from the ground, and Angus makes ready to help her up. It isn't easy, but she's a springy youngster, and she manages with a little breathless effort to hoist herself up onto the Abraxan's large back.

"Mon dieu!" She exclaims, carefully moving her legs out of the way of the horse's wings. "It's SO high!"

Augusta is doing PRETTY GOOD keeping the Abraxan calm despite the two clambering monkeys clinging to his back. And she's feeding it carrots, and apples and scarf… Wait! Scarf? Her beautiful tartan scarf is finding its way into the horse's mouth, and its tugging and pulling and tightening the wind of it about her neck. "Nae nae Let ging i' it ye gipe shilt…"

"Oh no!" Sierra gasps, though not without another laugh. She joins Augusta in trying to wrestle the scarf out of the horse's mouth - while simultaneously trying to bribe the thing with an apple quarter. This leave the lead line nothing more than tucked under her arm - but he's been so docile today, that'll be fine. Right?

Angus's legs are slipping down the flanks. To, as you might say, hold on. Or dig his heels in, perhaps.

"Hey, no scarves, beauty!" Amber giggles, leaning in and patting the horse sharply to try and help distract him from eating Augusta's poor tartan work of art. From her vantage point, she can see and somewhat sense Angus tightening his grip on the Abraxan's sides, and she says: "Don't Angus! You'll spook him!" Instinctively, her own legs tighten on the horse as she tenses up. Just the sort of signal he needs to calm down… right.

And sure enough, yes, the wings start to unfurl. A few uncertain flaps. Partly lifting the horse up for a brief moment. Angus bends at the waist to lie flat on the horses back, to whisper in its ear. Lots of patting and stroking. A few soothing noises.

Augusta gives a might heave on her scarf. Sadly, it means letting go of the rope onto which she hangs. It kind of gives the abraxan a little bit of freedom, free rein, so to speak. If he's going to take off, its probably going to be right about now.

As the wings start to unfurl, Sierra gives a gasp and drops the scarf and the apple, fumbling to try to get a grip back on the lead before the horse can take off. She has no idea how her friends would get the horse back down i he did that!

"Anugs!" Amber exclaims, her voice rising into a frightened, thin and slightly shrill squeak. Should she bail out and jump off NOW before something else happens? The horse has already lurched up into the air with wings unfurled. Unfortunately, even though she thinks it would be the right thing and a good idea to leave well enough alone… she can't. Everything seems to be frozen and rigid, and she can't let go or move.

The soothing seems to work… for the creature stops flapping, and gravity takes its course. Angus digs in his pocket for an apple, which he offers, and which gets devoured, the creature reaching around to take it. "Och. Fit's the matter, eh? D'yeh want us off?"

"I think he wants you off!" Augusta comments, finally retrieving her slobber-covered scarf from the horse's mouth. She flaps it in the air, sending splatterings of drool flying in Amber's direction. "Maybe you should get down from there now Angus. Sierra. If'n we're here much longer, someone's going to wander along and haul us up in front of Pringle. I can't afford to lose more points for Gryffindor."

"Aw, Gryffindor's doing fine. It's Slytherin that's hurting," Sierra answers brightly. "And they have even had a little walk about yet," she remarks. Now that the beastie has settled back down, she tries to lead him with a few encouraging clucks. "Come on now, beastie."

"Augh!" Amber protests as horse drool spatters on her from the flicking of Augusta's scarf. At least it serves to snap her out of her fear-induced, temporary paralysis. Irritably, she quickly wipes the stuff from her face on her sleeve quite hard, giving Augusta a pointed "stink-eye" for a moment.

The idea of losing points for the house seemingly troubles her even more than the idea of being flown by an Abraxan (and probably killed - because really…) And so, regretfully, she swings her leg over and slides off of his back. It's such a terrible long way to the ground though that she stumbles backward and lands on her behind on the ground with a quiet "Oomph!"

Angus looks a bit regretful, but he too slides down. He lands far more neatly. Probably because of his experience of 'vigorous high speed improvised ground contacts' whilst on a broom. He's immediately heading to the horses head to pat it.

Augusta pat-pat-pats the lovely Abraxan's nose, muttering something to it which might be friendly. Might not be. The creature probably isn't too concerned with actual words however, more the tone in which she speaks. And her tone is impeccable. The content however is not, and it contains many words that are less than complimentary given the state of her scarf. It only once Angus has his feet back on solid ground however, along with Amber, that the tension in her shoulders eases and she smacks him good and hard about one ear. "You owe me for this Macmillan." And that's the threat of the decade.

"I wish we could really fly him," Sierra says wistfully. "I wish it wasn't just a colt." She gives the horse's now empty back a long look. It'd be stupid - wouldn't it? Painfully, disasterously stupid. But… "Maybe they let you ride the ones at Fawley Farm," she muses. "Do you think?"

Amber mutters something under her breath as she pushes herself up off the ground. Each and every one of them is absolutely disgracefully filthy by this point. Even if they manage to evade detection whilst getting back to where they belong, their clothing is a collective, soiled mess.

Beating the dirt off her robe with her hand, Amber inadvertently smears it with mud that was ON her hand… It's just hopeless. "Who knows! Maybe if we're lucky." She says brightly, moving over to pet the Abraxan fondly, just one last time before they must head for home base. "Thanks, beauty. You were grand!"

Angus sneaks out of the stable area, and hurries on through to a bit of cover, where he can just look like he's been a little mudlark.

Augusta leaves Sierra to deal with the abraxan's halter, and turns and slips off into the shadows in the wake of her cousin. There might be something muttered to him, but thankfully its not loud enough to be overheard.

Regretfully, the children all leave the beautiful Abraxan behind. For his part, the winged horse is undoubtedly bemused by his strange little group of visitors; but, all the same, he got a belly full of goodies out of the deal. He has nothing to complain about.

"C'mon, Sierra! Leg it!" Amber whispers to the other girl with a grin, tugging on her arm. It's getting late and they're all going to catch it if they're not careful. At least if they split off in two groups, they'll be less suspicious… despite the filth.

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