(1939-12-12) The Badge Backlash
Details for The Badge Backlash
Summary: Between meals and classes, students meet and chat. Angelus gets shoved, and Gareth returns to the school.
Date: Friday, December 12th, 1939
Location: The Great Hall
Related:
Characters
AliciaAngelusAnthonyGarethHattieMadeline

Alicia enters, her face buried in a book as usual

Anthony has got his books out. Or rather, in this case, just one book. It's clearly Latin on one side, and on the other something else with a latin script, but… it seems to be giving the boy some difficulty

Madeline is sitting at one of the tables, a piece of parchment in front of her, turned landscape, and adorned with large bubble letters she's been coloring in with colored pencils. 'Junior Auror' arches across the top, colored in with greys to make it gleam like silver. Underneath that is the word Honor, colored in in whites, with blue accents. Then comes Duty, colored to look like bronze. And finally, Courage, in Gryffindor reds and golds. Under that it says Madeline Evans in fancy script. The girl is working on finishing the word 'Courage' up, a look of concentration on her features as she sits next to Anthony.

Alicia looks up vaguely to see where she is going, and blinks, "Oh…Tony. And Maddy!"

Anthony looks up, and gives Alicia a grin, "Hi, Licia. What's the book of the day?"

Alicia says, "Oh, History of Magic homework." Her eyes narrow. "What is /that/ ?""

"Hey Alicia," Madeline greets the other girl, turning her paper slightly as she adds some more shading to one of the letters. "Ugh, History of Magic?" she asks - then glanes towards Anthony to add, "Sorry." It is one of his NEWTs, after all!

Anthony gives a grin, "What are you looking at? It's good fun, isn't it? I mean, Prof Binns isn't the best teacher, but… he knows his stuff." He lifts up his book, and offers it, "It's the Bible. In Latin and Gaelic."

Alicia peers at Anthony's tome, "In Gaelic ? Cute!"

This has Madeline's attention quite abruptly. She turns to look at Anthony, a smile breaking across her features. "You're reading the Bible?" she asks, sounding impressed, and leans over to peer at the words. "I can't read it like that, though."

Anthony says, with an amused tone, "In Latin it's very impressive. 'In Principo Erat Verbum!'" He gives a shrug, "I don't really _get_ it in Gaelic, but unfortunately the bit of Ireland that Eibhlin's in is rather Irish Heavy.."

Alicia says, "In the beginning there was the word. And the word was God, and the word was with God…"

"You know the Bible?" Madeline asks Alicia in surprise, her smile widening. "Gosh! That's neat." She didn't think purebloods believed in things like that! "I never did learn any Gaelic," Madeline adds, a hint of regret in her voice. But she did grow up rather close to London, so that's no real surprise.

Anthony says mildly, "It's not a bad source of really ancient history, you know. And as poetry, some of it is magnificent."

Alicia says, "I wish I knew Gaelic." She grins at Maddy. "There is some wonderful poetry in it"

"You're not supposed to read the Bible for the poetry," Madeline answers with a giggle. "It's the word of God!" She glances around the great hall as she realizes she said that a bit louder than she intended. "It - umm. It teaches you how to live. That's what it's for," she adds more quietly.

Anthony points out, quietly, "Aristotle does that just fine. And Plato." He gives a smile, "It's another old book of instructions. But I want to be good because it is right, not because of fear of the response of some great Spirit in the Sky."

Alicia looks lost, "But it has wonderful poetry!"

"I'm not… I don't do good things just because I'm scared of God," Madeline answers, sounding baffled. "I mean - I'm not scared of God. Not… exactly. You think that's why I do good things?" She looks a little hurt by that!

Anthony says patiently, as he ignores his language homework for a bit, "Well, why DO you do good things, then, Maddy?"

Alicia looks between Maddy and Tony, at a loss.

"Because I'm supposed to," Madeline answers a bit uncertainly. "Because I like to help people. Because my parents and my grandparents and my uncle Perry and even Rena too and the Professors, they all expect me to. Because I hate seeing people sad and hurt, and… and I like seeing them happy," she explains, all with a hint of uncertainty in her voice. It's a weird question, after all! "Isn't that why everyone does good stuff?"

Anthony gives a faint nod, "Alright. So… with all of those in mind… why do you need a God to tell you to do it?"

Alicia listens curiously

"Well I don't. But Eibon does!" Madeline answers, a suddenly sour look on her features. She looks away, and down at the paper she'd been coloring - and starts back in on the letter g.

Anthony says, "I'm not saying you're wrong. I don't know. Plato believed in a God… a single, unknowable, perfect divinity. Which isn't a bad thought, but there's no evidence. Unless you believe in the first, unmoved, mover."

Alicia says, "Is magic the shadow we see, when seated in the cave ?"

Madeline looks up long enough to give both Anthony and Alicia confused looks. What are they on about? "Uhh - he first unmoved mover?" she asks. "What… cave?"

Anthony turns to give Alicia a delighted smile, "Excellent! The example of the cave. Perhaps you could explain it for Maddy?" He pauses and quickly notes, "Alright. When something is in motion, it is that way because something put it there. And something put THAT in motion. And so on, back and back, until a first mover, who is himself unmoved. Which is another way to consider God."

Alicia says, "Plato used an analogy. Of people in a cave, seeing only the shadows from the fire, as how we see reality."

"Oh. Umm, I guess. He did make everything," Madeline answers Anthony, sounding a bit uncertain. She doesn't do philosophy well - as evidenced by the rather blank look she gives Alicia. "Why would he say that?"

Anthony leans back in his chair, to let Alicia have her moment in the sun.

Alicia says, "The philosopher, her said, was soemone unchained from that view. Who went and saw reality, as opposed to the shadows."

"But, umm, I'm not seeing shadows," Madeline answers, still sounding confused. "…I don't get it."

Anthony says seriously, "How can you know that, Maddy?" He considers, "Alright… imagine a prisoner, chained in a cave, so that he can only see the wall, and there is a fire behind him, which casts shadows on the wall. These shadows would seem more real to him than if he were unchained and saw the reality."

Alicia nodnods to Anthony. "It is like…in the Kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."

Madeline looks between the two Rowle's again - silent for a few moments. "So it's like maybe we're blind, and we're just hearing the world and not really seeing it?" she asks uncertainly. "I don't think that's really true… do you? I mean, I guess you could say that about Muggles, on account of they don't know about magic, so they don't see that, but…"

Anthony says, "But they don't know they don't know about Magic, do they?" He leans over to give Maddy a serious look, "What don't you know?"

Alicia keeps her mouth shut, as she waits to hear Maddy's answer

"Umm…" Madeline starts uncertainly, tapping the butt of her pencil on the table several times as she tries to think. "…ancient runes?" she finally answers.

Anthony says, "But you know that you don't know them. So that's not like the Muggles. You say they're blind because they can't see something you can. But you don't know if _you_ can't see something. You don't know if you too, are blind."

"I guess so. But I don't think I am," Madeline answers. There's a beat before she adds, "But they don't think they are." She's silent for a moment. "'kay, that's weird. Do you think we're blind?"

Anthony says slowly, "Not fully. But I don't think we see the Universe as it really is. What is magic? Why does it work? Where does it come from? What is love? What is death? What is life? There is so much we don't know."

Alicia says, "Oh yes..we have to be."

Madeline looks between the two siblings again, curiously. "But we know we don't know that stuff," she points out. "It's like ancient runes."

Anthony says, "Yes… also true. But that's the thing. I don't know everything I don't know. I may be as blind as any muggle. I cannot know. The universe is out there, and perhaps I have been only seeing shadows and reflections and hearing echoes of the truth."

Alicia says, "No…someone knows Ancient runes if we do not at this moment."

"Well, someone might know about life and love and magic and they just haven't told us," Madeline answers. "So it's like ancient runes. We know that we don't know it. And someone else might know it - or does know it. We don't know what we don't know we don't know." She pauses then, thinking over that last sentence - replaying it to make sure it makes sense. Hrm.

Anthony smiles, "Good. And yes. The point is…. what is there out there that we don't know. All these mysteries… life… and death… and love… and magic… may just be shadows cast on the wall, and we do not know their true nature."

Alicia says, "And we cannot, howwever we try"

Madeline looks like she's about to say something - only she doesn't. She's pretty sure that that would be the sort of comment that wouldn't have much weight with Anthony. "I guess," Madeline agrees. "But until we figure it out - I'm just gonna learn some ancient runes," she remarks as she resumes her coloring.

Anthony nods gravely, "That I commend. Because it's a way of expressing your thoughts very very precisely. Which helps with abstract thought! And it's fun! And of course, it's nice."

Alicia says, "Latin is good. It focuses your thoughts"

"I'm already learning German, though," Madeline answers. "I don't think I could learn Latin too. Gosh - plus learning all the runes. That'd be awful hard," she remarks.

Anthony says, "Oh, you've got _years_ to learn all the runes. If you ever do. I don't imagine I know them all yet! Professor Black still produces new ones every so often."

Alicia says, "But Latin is good…uh…"

Alicia refocuses on her book.

"But I have to learn German to talk to my siblings," Madeline answers. Even though they're learning English much faster than she's learning German. Her attention flicks to Anthony before asking, "How can you make up a new, ancient rune?" she asks.

Anthony says, "Mostly, you discover them. And understand what they mean. That can mean working out the language they're in. You see? Theoretically one could create a new, but…"

"Oh. Discover. I guess that makes more sense," Madeline answers. "I don't think I'll ever know any old languages well enough to do that." Now that they're not talking about confusing shadows on a cave wall - she's able to work on her coloring while talking.

Angelus' books are bound with his strap and dangling beside him as he comes into the Great Hall. His gaze sweeping the tables as he walks towards the Gryffindor table - only he stops little more than a pace or so away and glances over to the Slytherin table. His lips curve, head tilting lightly as he ponders before he tosses his head towards the voices of Anthony and Madeline. "Oh, hello, Rowle," he greets the seventh year with a dip of his head and a pleasant smile. Approaching, he asks, "Would you be able to help me out on an assignment?" As Gel flicks his eyes onto Madeline he offers out just a small smile, lowering his head to her. "Hello, Evans. Do you still carry around your Junior Auror badge with you?"

Anthony takes a deep breath, and then closes his book, which seems to be a Latin and Gaelic bible. "Of course. Of course. What's the assignment?"

Turning her page again, Madeline continues to color, going over a part she'd colored with a different pencil in an attempt to blend the colors together. It seems to be working alright. Putting the pencil down, she eyes her work and then picks up a deeper red to add in some shadows.

Why, yes. We are back to this again.

Lifting a booted foot to set it on the bench, Angelus sets the books down on top of the table. While he loosens the strap, he frowns over at Madeline. "Well I hope you do, 'cause I wanted to look at it again." An amused chuckle escapes the boy. "Yaxley and I were talking about the Auror badges and came to a bit of a disagreement on the colour. Silly, really, but we want to find out which one of us is right." He smirks, letting out a 'heh' as he shakes his head. "Oh, here," he says as he pulls out a piece of parchment. He holds it up in an angle to show Anthony, which has spells listed on it, what they do, how, the movement of the wand. "We're supposed to explain what certain spells do and the movements." A hum escapes him. "Only, I'm not quite sure if I have the Glacius spell correct. At least, it doesn't quite come out the way I want when I practice it. Did I get the description of the spell right?"

Anthony admits, "Transfiguration was never really my strong point. But… well, shouldn't there be a _twist_ there, rather than a flick? Almost rolling the wand in your fingers?"

"It's silver," Madeline remarks in a flat voice. A flat voice which says 'bugger off' without the need to actually voice those words. Besides - she already said them the once. She presses a little harder with her colored pencil - deepening the shadow she's adding to her drawing further.

Angelus flicks his gaze to Madeline briefly at her answer, but then has his attention back on Anthony and the parchment. "Oh, a twist," he murmurs out, nodding his head slowly. "Thank you, Rowle." He glances at Madeline only briefly as he tucks his legs under the table, sitting down beside her as he lays the parchment down on the table. "Silver," he says in thought as he takes his fine quality, blue feathered quill from his strap to fix his error. "There's no other colour on it? And the engraving?"

Anthony picks up his book, and gives Maddy a little nod, "You take care, alright?"

Madeline points first to the word Honor, then to the word Duty on her paper. "You know. The reasons you'll never have one," she answers cooly. As Anthony stands up to leave, she looks up at him, not looking terribly happy that he's departing and leaving her with Angelus - but she forces herself to smile. "Alright. See you soon, Anthony!" she calls.

Angelus takes a moment to write down the twist instead of flick. Slipping his quill away again, he hums and shakes his head, glancing at Madeline. "You aren't explaining it very well," he murmurs with a light laugh. He tucks away the parchment and works at tightening the straps around the books again, giving a tilted look at Madeline. "Can I just have a quick peek at it?"

"Go look at Rena's," Madeline answers flatly, turning her page again as she adds more shading. She sets down the pencil - and eyes the letter g with a critical eye. Then, apparently satisfied, moves on to the e. Almost finished!

Once the straps are tightened, Angelus takes out his wand - pendant dangling from the vanity handle. A sigh escapes the youth. "I asked her," he said with a shrug. "And she directed me to you. Said she'd be disappointed if you didn't offer a little peek."

"Then she's disappointed," Madeline says flatly. Somehow, she rather doubts Rena ever said any such thing. At least - not since she sent out her latest owl to the woman. She starts laying down the yellow highlights on the last letter.

Angelus swishes out his wand with the incantation, "Glacius," and points it down at the table. Close to where her drawing is appears a block of ice. It isn't very big, hardly bigger than two hands, but the boy still smiles with satisfaction. Clearly this is more than he had gotten previously. His royal blue eyes flick from the ice, to Madeline's drawing with a curl of his lips, and then to the girl. He smiles warmly at her, letting out a laugh. "Close," he murmurs. "I expected smaller." Gel gives a shake of his head and fixes his eyes on the girl. "Come on, Evans, just let me have a look."

Madeline's gaze shifts to the block of ice - and she moves her paper away from it, wary of it melting and getting her work wet. "Go ask Rena," she repeats as she continues laying in the highlights. "Or Mister Bates," she adds. "He'll probably be at the farm."

"I'm asking you," Angelus returns with a shrug. "Come ooooon," he says light-heartedly, shifting his arm out to nudge at Madeline as he flashes a grin. "You didn't lose it, did you?"

The moment Angelus touches her, Madeline turns towards him and gives a sudden, abrupt and vicious shove. "You don't touch me," she growls out.

"Evans!" comes an reproving call from across the room. She looks towards the prefect that called out to her, a frown on her features - and then scoots away from Angelus, pulling her paper with her.

Gareth hasn't been seen since the dramatic rescue last month. He was at St Mungo's for a short time, but he vanished in the night, and there's been no word from him since. Certainly there've been rumors — was he snatched back to Durmstrang? Did he run away to return there? Did he join Ripley in hunting for Leander's killer? No one expected he'd show up again at Hogwarts, without fanfare, in the middle of the afternoon. Yet here he is, decked out in what appear to be brand new, tailored Ravenclaw robes, pausing in the massive doorway to look around the Great Hall, upper lip slightly curled in a look of distaste.

A stunned look crosses Angelus' face when Madeline shoves him back. He very nearly falls off the bench, letting out a gasp as his hands snatches out in attempt to catch her wrists. "Hey." His tone falls into ice as he intends to close his fingers around the girl's wrist with a firm grip. At least, his left hand would have a firmer hold, while his right would take on a more awkward one what with the wand still under his palm. "That was totally unnecessary." He frowns deeply. The prefect, or anyone else for that matter, is ignored for the moment.

As Angelus grabs for her, Madeline scoots abruptly away - reaching out to pick up her drawing, before climbing to her feet. "I said don't touch me, Eibon," the girl declares in a glacial voice, while taking a step back. They certainly have the eyes of most everyone in the room on them, now.

Gareth's sneer turns into a frown, eyebrows drawing together, as he squints in the direction of the scuffle at the Gryffindor table. "Typical," he sniffs, tossing his head to flick long curls from his eyes. "No discipline whatsoever." Narrowing his eyes a bit more behind his large spectacles, he begins making his way in that direction. "Put a bit of respect in your tone when you say that name," he says, raising his voice just a bit.

Angelus' hands smack down onto the bench seat as he misses. He rolls his eyes as he watches Madeline's retreat, straightening as he calmly tucks his wand back underneath his robes. "Sparks, overreact much?" He twists back to his books, seizing the strap as he slides his legs around to stand, and flinging it over his shoulder as he heaves a sigh. "One look, that was all," he murmurs off-handedly with a shake of his head. His royal blue eyes shift towards Gareth and he just blinks, taken aback. "Carrow," he lets out in amazement, a little 'heh' escaping. "I didn't realise you made it back."

Madeline continues to glare at Angelus - before turning to look at Gareth in confusion. After all - he was already at Durmstang before she even came to Hogwarts. "…who're you?" And why is he wearing Ravenclaw robes? He can't be a student! She doesn't know him!

Gareth inclines his head a bit to Angelus. "Eibon, good to see you doing well. Returning wasn't entirely my choice, but Mother insisted. I see Father's concerns regarding this school's lax discipline were correct though. Pity." Slowly, he turns his eyes upon Madeline, upper lip curling just a touch again. "I am Gaharyedd Caeriw, and I am a Seventh Year student. And who might you be?"

Into the main hall walks Penelope, holding up a book in front of her and reading as she walks. Through some form of enchantment or just from sheer practice, Penelope doesn't run into any of the tables or benches of the Great Hall as she moves. Once she gets to where there's a main group of students, she sets her book down and takes a seat. Madeline gets a happy smile. "Hello, Madeline. How are you doing today?" The bright and happy smile disappears when she sees Angelus also sitting nearby. "Angelus…" she mutters in greeting. And then, there's the other new boy sitting at the Ravenclaw table. He gets a shy smile and a nods. "Hello there."

It doesn't take Gel too long to get over his surprise. A pleased smile flicks against his lips as he nods in acknowledgement to Gareth. "Thank you." He won't mention how things don't seem all that well. His fingers tighten on the strap, the books dangling down by his side, as he glances towards Madeline. "She's only a second year. They have such terrible reactions at that age. Well, I never did," he smirks, "but I had a good family background." His eyes flick towards Penelope, barely moving his head at all as he murmurs, "Iblis," in a curt, formal tone. "What book are you enjoying today?"

"Madeline Evans," the girl answers the older student, frowning slightly at his name, and the way he talks to Angelus. Oh. Another one of those sorts. Wait - wasn't he one of the three students who- oh. "Umm, welcome back to Hogwarts though," I guess.

As Penelope arrives on the scene, though, the girl earns a smile - that only widens at th way she addresses Angelus. "Hi, Iblis," she answers brightly, sliding next to her - and making sure she has the other girl between her and Angelus. "Did your classes go okay today?"

Gareth's frown deepens as he looks at Madeline for a long moment. "Evans, I don't think I know that name. Is your family…." He waves a hand rather vaguely. "…anyone?" Yes, he's apparently another one of those sorts. His expression softens when he turns his eyes to Penelope though. "Iblis, that's a name I know, of course. Any relation to Roderick Iblis, Office of International Law Enforcement?" He casts another glance to Madeline, then a knowing nod to Angelus, adding softly, "A good family background builds a solid citizen of the magical community. So important in these trying times, wouldn't you agree?"

Penelope smirks a bit at Madeline, both at the greeting and how the younger girl hides behind her. "You know you can call me Penelope or Penny, right?" Her voice raises slightly, but the tone is directed towards someone else as she add. "That's what friends do, you know." When Angelus asks about the book, Penelope sniffs a bit and shrugs. "Nothing you'd be interested in, I'm sure." When Gareth asks about her family, Penelope nods and smiles some. "Yes, that's my father…" And then the talk of 'proper family' comes into play and the smile fades. So, Penelope turns to the only one she thinks is capable of good conversation: Madeline. "So, I sent the owl to my family today. About all of us meeting up at the cinema over the holidays. I should hear back soon."

The Wilkinses must have bat or dolphin blood to echolocate by, because otherwise it is absolutely anyone's guess how Harriet can read and walk the halls without doing herself or others harm. Also, she is softly whistling, which is a dead giveaway. At one point batgirl looks like she is going to collide with the standing boys…! but with a chair's margin, she swerves at a sever angle, side-steps to avoid other foot traffic, and swivels before sitting at the bench, just beyond Maddie.

"My uncle works at the Ministry," Madeline informs Gareth with pride - and also just a hint of scorn. "Not that it really should matter." She rolls her eyes, then looks towards Penelope, her expression turning back into a smile. "Okay. I'll call you Penny, and you can call me Maddie. It's what most of my friends call me - when they aren't calling me Copper." She beams - without offering any explination for that nickname. "Oh, can you reach my things?" she adds, gesturing towards her book bag and her colored pencils, which she'd abandoned when she hastily avoided Angelus' grasp. She smooths out her drawing on top of the table.

Angelus quietly assesses the scene with everyone nearing now. He hums out softly, his blue eyes flicking towards the greetings. The corner of his lips twist just a fraction at Penelope’s response to him, drawing out a sigh as he looks up at the seventh year with a slow nod. He glances toward Madeline icily before he says, “Yes, of course. You don’t know just how poorly this one here,” a gesture towards Madeline, “behaves on an almost regular basis. You know,” he pauses to take a breath, his blue eyes locked on only Madeline. “She’s why Flint failed to get this school in the right order. Telling her Auror friend all about what he was up to. I thought a good punishment would be to take away her messenger bird. Forbid her from having any pets.”

Gareth lets his gaze land on Madeline again, his nose wrinkled just a bit. "Yes, well. The Ministry isn't what it once was, is it?" Very pointedly turning back toward Angelus, he says more pleasantly, "I heard such good things about Professor Flint's efforts as Headmaster. Such a pity he was betrayed by some of the students here at Hogwarts. It's a wonder the Regents haven't taken action against the perpetrators of such calumny." He reaches up and slides a finger under his necktie, as though touching something just beneath his shirt. "Fortunately, the misguided policies of our current Headmaster do not outright forbid good and proper thinking, eh?"

Madeline's hand tightens into a fist and her back stiffens as Angelus spills her secret in front of everyone in the great hall. "Yeah, sure," she comments in a cold, and bitingly sarcastic voice. "An Auror needed a second year to help get rid of the Headmaster. What kind of weird fantasy world do you live in, Eibon?"

Angelus shifts his gaze away, looking around the hall as a tiny twitch flickers at the corner of his lips. His eyes close briefly while he inhales, letting it out slowly. His gaze slides back to regard Gareth, flicking again to Madeline, and the youth snorts. “If this were my fantasy, Evans, you would not be in it.” His chin tilts, lifting his head superiorly. “You would be stripped of whatever magic is in you, memory wiped clean, and shipped away from here for good.” A heavy sigh escapes him. “But it isn’t up to me.” Looking to Gareth, he nods once. “Dumbledore has sadly made mistakes since being made Headmaster. It was nice not having Muggle-borns slowing down our classes.” He glances coldly to the second year, a contemptuous twist of his lips, and he shakes his head. “Flint should have thought ahead and vanished her raven.” He turns to step away from his housemate, pausing briefly to nod to Gareth. “She makes me sick. Going unpunished for her crimes against Flint. I’m glad to see you’re back and we have more sensible wizards again.”

Gareth puts on his unattractive sneer again. "I can't imagine anyone's fantasy includes Muggles," he growls, narrowing his eyes at Madeline, hand twitching near his wand. "And weren't you told in no uncertain terms to add a modicum of respect when you dare utter the ancient and noble name of Eibon?" Sniffing again, he turns his back to her, lifting his chin in Angelus' direction. "Come, dear cousin. The air in here has become decidedly repellent. I'm sure we can find more pleasant company to keep elsewhere."

"I can't help what you imagine I do, Eibon," Madeline shoots back, though her hands tighten as he threatens Mischief - and threatens her with obliviation. "And who's slowing down your transfiguration class? Can't think of any Muggleborns that got kicked off the Quidditch team for failing their Transfiguration class." Her attention switches to Gareth as she adds, "I can't help it if Eibon's a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking sheepherder. Maybe you better find some better friends. He's the most unpopular kid in the school right now."

Hattie, up until this point quiet as can be, snaps her book closed and turns her head. Carefully, she extracts the little tufts of cotton-wool from her ears, which seems to not have been as effective as she would like. "Evans, stop it. There is nothing to be gained in ad hominem attacks, and this is school, not a cotillion. I can only speak for myself, but this he-said-she-said feud is getting older than Professor Bins." She expels a little air and turns her tea-colored eyes on the boys, "Yes, why don't you? If you find the company beneath you, there are plenty of dark holes hereabouts."

Angelus regards Gareth quietly, lowering his head in a nod. He wearily glances around at the tables again, simply thinking. “There is much better company elsewhere,” he finally murmurs out as he eyes Madeline. “But you’ll have better chance with them away from me,” he states. Before he can explain any further, however, Madeline is speaking and his blue eyes lock on Madeline frostily. Annoyance twists his lips, bringing out a scowl that lasts no more than a few seconds. He doesn’t give Madeline any such remark, however, and turns his gaze back to Gareth. “I broke my wand trying to save Flint from whatever the Aurors might have found in his contracts,” he explains. “Which turned out to be too much of a hasty decision and not enough thought involved. Bloody mistake.” He backs further away from the Gryffindor table even as he glances at Hattie. “Dark holes,” he says on a humourless laugh and rolls his eyes.

Gareth growls deep in his throat, spinning back with a look of utter disdain in his eyes, as he regards Madeline. "Silence your lying tongue, you filthy, degenerate mudblood! If there was any justice in this world, your sort would be quarantined in some sort of camp, to protect the public from your impurity." Turning again to Angelus, he says a bit too loudly, "Your intentions were as pure as your blood, I'm sure. That matters to anyone with half a mind to think about it. Come, Eibon. You have at least one friend at this school, and soon, others shall join us. I'm certain of it." He barely spares a glance to Hattie, as he sweeps his cloak dramatically and begins striding toward the other end of the hall.

For most of the exchange, Penelope has been too shocked by the blatant display of hatred being put on by Gareth and Angelus to say much of anything. But now, she just can't hold back anymore. She glares at both of the boys. "Both of you are proof that magic and wisdom aren't always hand in hand. Neither of you are any better than those Nazis that are causing the war in the Muggle world. You're just petty boys that think being a bully makes you special. Well, the Muggles found out long ago how to deal with pompus asses like yourselves; by fighting them and casting them down. The Nazis will be knocked down. And your pathetic dream of 'purity' will get knocked down too, just you wait." And then Penelope turns her back on the pair, still fuming and her normally plesant smile no-where to be found.

Madeline manages to look sheepish as Hattie scolds her, shifting uncomfortably in her seat. "Sorry," she mumbles. But then a bit louder she adds, "But he wants to hurt Mischief!" And that, clearly, cannot be forgiven. Back to Gareth she adds, "At least Malfoy is creative! He says I'm the worm at the core of the apple!" Is there a hint of pride in her voice as she declares that? Certainly she doesn't mind rotting a Magijund's apple. She sticks out her tongue, then turns away again, letting out an annoyed hmph. "Just what need. More of them at our school." She gives Penelope a nudge and adds, "You're great."

Hattie has used up all her confrontation for the day. Much quieter, she says, "They're boys," as she opens her book and climbs up from the bench. "They say a lot of things that don't mean anything, and don't matter. You see dogs chansing cars, but they don't DRIVE." Practical Hattie Wilkins leaves them in frustration.

Angelus looks from Gareth to Madeline, considering. Stepping forward a pace, he gives a sharp shake of his head. "You waste your breath talking to her," he informs, sighing. "Stubborn. She won't hear a single thing you say. She doesn't understand half of what she thinks she does." The youth rolls his eyes, casting a haphazard look to Madeline before flicking his gaze onto Penelope. To her he lets out a dramatic sigh. "You are such a disappointment, Iblis." Looking up to Gareth, his lips curve in a pleased smile. At least that's another one who still has faith in him. Shooting a quick look at Madeline, he retorts quickly, "I don't want to hurt your bird. I want him taken away from you. Or her. Whatever." He waves a hand in front of him. His gaze trails off to follow Hattie before he moves to quickly trail along after Gareth. Hey, he doesn't want to be left alone with Penelope and Madeline.

Gareth strides his way to the other end of the hall, to the Ravenclaw table, where he turns again with a flourish of his cloak, head held high, to cast a glare at anyone who would dare to look askance in his direction. Upper lip curling again, this time in a satisfied, if unpleasant, grin, he says to Angelus. "Where do the others meet? I'd like to connect with the right sort of people before dinner."

Penelope certainly isn't looking at Gareth; e's pretty much the furthest thing in her mind right now. Instead, she nudges Madeline back and smiles. "You're pretty great too," she says with a wink. And then a thought occurs to her. "Maddie, you're part of that club for Muggle born, right? Do you also accept Half-Bloods in it? Becasue if you do, I think I'd like to join it. And be with the right sort of wizards and witches."

"Well, 'course," Madeline answers Penelope brightly. "Anyone can join it. We don't judge people by their blood. That's whole point!" she answers, giving Penelope a bright smile. She glances towards Angelus for a moment, then lets out a heavy sigh and looks back at her drawing. "He told everyone now," she mutters quietly. Something probably is going to happen, isn't it? Her stomach balls up into a knot.

Angelus briefly closes his eyes as he moves away from the girls, his chest heaving as he draws and releases a heavy breath. His eyes don't remain close for long, as he walks, but for a moment his gaze focuses on the floor. He's got to calm down, trying to push his frustration. When stops near Gareth, Gel tosses a quick glance over to Madeline again, a fist knocking against his leg lightly. With a shake of his head, he lifts his head, glancing up at the seventh year. "Alphard Black is taking the Auror classes. He's not easy to get a moment with, but perhaps another seventh would have an easier time. Calista Flint is also a seventh." A pleasant smile flicks at the boy's lips. Calista is another one who is still friends with the youth. "Genevieve Solomon, too - seventh year. My cousin from my mother's side." He looks curiously at Gareth.

Anthony comes back into the hall. Aside from the brief respite tutoring sessions on Runes, he's still been working solidly at that Gaelic/Latin Bible. And he still has it in his hand. However, even the perpetually Rowle-ing stone can tell when something is amiss in the air. He stops abruptly as he walks into the hall, and looks from side to side, suspiciously.

Gareth nods slowly, making a mental note of the names. "Black, I'll certainly want to speak with him at the earliest possible moment he's free. The others as well, of course." He casts another glance toward the two girls, nose wrinkling. "Did that little Second Year really have the audacity to betray Headmaster Flint? Why is she allowed to remain at Hogwarts at all? I'd have snapped her wand and sent her back to her Muggle parents, bag and baggage, without a second thought. Someone should do -something-. Creatures like her shouldn't be allowed to roam freely, corrupting innocent minds with her vile ideas."

With Madeline's quiet little adendum, Penelope looks at the younger girl with concern. She puts an comforting hand on Madeline's shoulder. "Maddie…what did he tell? What's the matter?" She looks back over her shoulder at Angelus and Gareth, frowning at them causing Maddie so much stress. "What's going on here?"

"That I helped Rena," Madeline says quietly, leaning in towards Penelope to avoid being overheard. "Auror Odori," she corrects herself. "If everyone believes that - if the Purists believe that…" She lets out a sigh. This is going to get messy.

Yep. That would do it. That would account for the hub-bub. Tony looks around with a faint sigh, for a prefect, and seeing none, ambles gently, not towards the girls, but towards the other pure bloods. "Chaps. May I have a word, if that's alright?" There's a faintly apologetic air to his words, "Carrow. Might I have a little chat, Sacred Twenty-Eight to Sacred Twenty-Eight? I know you've been having a…. sabbatical, as an exchange student…" Interesting way to spin it, Tony, "…. so you've probably learned some fascinating things, but might be a touch out of date on things at home, eh?" The other Ravenclaw ambles closer, considering his words, "What do you think of the deliberate distortion of knowledge in the interests of ideology, rather than truth?"

Gareth's eyes suddenly light up, his lips curling in a grin. "Rowle! A familiar face at last. I was beginning to fear the school had been overrun by…." His eyes dart toward the two girls. "…their sort. And look at you, a Prefect. I knew you'd do well one day. Good to see blood is still appreciated after all. So! Catch me up on everything I've missed. All my parents know are rumors and whispers and the rubbish the Prophet prints." He claps Angelus on the shoulder. "You know Eibon, of course."

Gareth's eyes suddenly light up, his lips curling in a grin. "Rowle! A familiar face at last. I was beginning to fear the school had been overrun by…." His eyes dart toward the two girls. "…their sort. But here you are, looking as studious as I remember. So! Catch me up on everything I've missed. All my parents know are rumors and whispers and the rubbish the Prophet prints." He claps Angelus on the shoulder. "You know Eibon, of course."

"I heard it from the Auror," Angelus replies bitterly to Gareth. He tilts his chin airily. "Said that she gave him the Junior Auror badge for helping her with Flint." Gel sucks in a deep breath and shakes his head. "That's what happens when you allow Muggle-borns to become Aurors." He nods to Gareth, avoiding looking over to the girls now. "That's unlikely to happen. No one else seems to care that she spilled her tongue." Angelus falls silent as he looks to Anthony, and he dips his head politely to him. "Thanks for the help earlier, Rowle. I should head out. I've a couple more assignments to finish up."

"The Auror that cam for Headmaster Flint," Penelope says, nodding with budding understanding of the situation. "Madeline, Aurors don't just go after wizards that don't deserve it. People that are too obsessed with this whole 'blood purity' just want someone to blame so that they can't acknowledge the truth." Penny puts an arm around Madeline and smiles, hugging the girl. "And if they go after you, I'll be standing right with you. You're not alone here. No matter what anyone thinks, you have friends that will stand with you against bullies."

Anthony takes a deep breath, "I'd be delighted to help you catch up, Carrow." He glances to Angelus, "Not a problem, Eibon. As I say, I'm not really a Transfigurist, but glad I could help." He ponders a long moment before saying slowly, "I know it's difficult to believe of a scholar of the stature of Professor Flint, but he… allowed his feelings about Blood Purity to influence his analysis of facts, leading him to come to conclusions and actions that could not be supported by evidence in a scholarly fashion." He gives a slight shrug, "Anyway, I think we can get you up to speed. I'm afraid we're only in Charms together… and Eibhlin's the real expert there, but I'll do what I can, eh?" He gives a faintly apologetic smile, "Oh, and the Headmaster has asked us to avoid derogatory terms like Mudblood. Obviously you weren't here when it got said, so perhaps best to let you know, right?"

"Yeah. Rena. She's my friend," Madeline confirms. "She gave me the badge." She lets out another big, slow breath. "I know I'm not alone. I got the pirates, and the other Gryffindors - you know, other than Eibon, and the pirates, and Mud Club, and loads of friends. Even the Head Girl." And yet… "But it's still a little scary," she admits.

Gareth claps Angelus on the shoulder again, all smiling and friendlylike. "Good to see you, Eibon. And I look forward to seeing you again soon." Then he returns his attention to Anthony, his smile slowly becoming a frown. "Such terms wouldn't be necessary if certain people were banned from school grounds. I should think that would be the best solution to the problem." He nods, taking a seat at the Ravenclaw table and waving at a place for his fellow classmate. "Certainly there were no Muggle-borns attending classes at Durmstrang, and few half-bloods as well. It was most…liberating. But you don't want to hear me prattle on. I'd much rather hear about what's really been happening here. Poor Professor Flint. Father says he was obviously framed. Someone certainly wanted him out of Hogwarts, and I doubt it takes too much imagination to guess who that might be." He glances around and leans forward, lowering his voice to a near whisper. "How is our new Headmaster, by the way? Have things been horrible?"

Penelope nods and smiles at Madeline. "It's alright to be scared. Everyone is scared about something at one time or another, I think. But just remember, Bilbo was scared too. But when his friends needed him, he left his fear behind, right?"

Anthony sighs, "No. No, things are improving. And we will have to debate the philosophy of universal magical education another time, I think. Look… it's good to have you back, but try and sort of… well… don't express some of those thoughts, eh?" And with that, and an apologetic smile, he turns to amble away.

"Well… yeah, he did," Madeline admits. "He faced the spiders. And Smaug too. And saved them from the elves in Mirkwood." She looks at her drawing - still in front of her - and the word courage written on it. "I can be brave," she adds quietly. "Rena - when she gave me the badge - she said it was for courage, and honor and duty. It says it on the badge, you know. Honor and duty. But it's hard being brave, and I was hoping I didn't have to anymore."

"I don't think there's anything wrong with that," Penelope says with a smile. "I don't really want to be brave, either. I'd rather quietly read and study. But if I just stay away from things that are wrong, if I don't be brave and say when something is wrong, it just lets the wrong things keep going and get stronger." Penny bites her lower lips, not feeling brave at all now that the threats are gone. "My mum says that part of the reason there's a Muggle war is becasue no-one did anything to stop Germany when it tried to get more and more territory. We weren't brave and said 'you can't do that' becasue we all wanted peace. And becasue of that, now England could be attacked. Your new brothers and sister had to be taken to Britain because bad things were happening to people like them in Germany becasue no one was brave enough to say 'that's wrong and you can't do that'. So sometimes, the times when you least want to be brave are the times that you must be brave, I think."

"The reason we got put in SCUMS is because no one was brave enough to stop it," Madeline agrees quietly. "I wanted people to go on a hunger strike - and they wouldn't. And I wanted them to not go to class and sit and block the stairs instead - but they wouldn't. And I wanted them to not fly in the Quidditch games, either, and no wanted to do that either. Even though it turns out we didn't have to 'cuz things got fixed right before the Quidditch games started.

"But it wouldn't have gone that long if all the half-bloods 'n the purebloods who thought it was unfair had done a hunger strike like I said. The parents would've been too mad."

Penelope nods sadly. "You're right," she says quietly. "We didn't speak up becasue we weren't the targets. Becasue we were afraid. And I'm sorry that I gave into my fear, too." Penny grows quiet and hangs her head in shame. "Maybe I don't have the right to ask you to keep being brave." She takes a deep breath and looks back at Madeline, tears in the corners of her eyes. "I can't change what happened. But I can try to keep it from ever happening again. I'm starting to stand up becasue you did. I found my courage becasue you showed yours. So, maybe by staying brave, you'll inspire more like me to stand up with you."

It didn't seem to work before. Instead it was just her and Elise - skipping meals every day, and sneaking food from home in between classes. "Yeah, maybe," Madeline answers instead, though. It's the politer answer - and her parents taught her to be polite. "I hope so. But I don't have any choice but to be brave, now. Besides - I'm a Gryffindor. I'm a lion. And the Evans family crest - well - it's a lion, too." The two girls continue to chat - while Madeline turns her attention back to finishing the last letter on her drawing. Once it's finished, she excuses herself, retreating back to the Gryffindor tower.

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