(1939-12-17) Stand Together
Details for Stand Together
Summary: Gareth explains things to Angelus and gives him a little lesson.
Date: December 17,1939
Location: Lake Shore, Hogwarts

Angelus is standing before the lake after dinner, still neatly dressed in uniform and with his red and yellow scarf wound around his neck. Plucking a stone from the ground, the youth straightens. His arm across his body, with a backhanded flick he tosses it out at the water, watching it skim across the black liquid three times. A gasp escapes the youth as he lifts a hand in disbelief. See! Why can’t get that many when he’s with somebody?

Gareth wanders down the path from the castle, wrapped tightly in woolen robes and his long, blue and bronze scarf, looking contemplative and not at all cheerful. He steps up behind Angelus just as the stone skips for the third time. "Not bad," he says softly, tossing long curls from his eyes. "What're you doing down here in the cold, all alone? Are they still giving you a hard time?"

A grin flashes across Gel’s face at Gareth’s comment. “Well, I’m working on four,” says Angelus as he stares toward the water, head tilting as he leans a little. The youth smirks and shrugs, turning to look up at the seventh year. “No one gives a Star a hard time,” he responds. “But I might be staying away from the common room for a bit. It’s been a little disappointing lately.”

Gareth snorts and gives his head a shake, gazing out over the dark waters. "Sometimes I think the House system is a bad idea. It fosters comraderie within a House, but competition and hard feelings between Houses. You and I are distant relations, united by bonds of blood and marriage that go back centuries. Centuries! Yet here we stand: you a Gryffindor, and me a Ravenclaw. And why? Because some old manky bonnet decided I was brainy, and you're brave." He pauses, turning his eyes toward Angelus. "But we're not just brainy or brave, are we? There's a little Gryffindor in me, a little Ravenclaw in you, and a little Slytherin and Hufflepuff in both of us. In all of us. The nation we live in, our home, has declared war against another nation on the Continent. A nation still smarting from the defeat it suffered in our parents' generation. The Muggle world's economy has barely begun to recover from the worst recession in living memory. This isn't a time when we should be divided along House lines. This is a time for heroes, for men and women willing to stand up for what's right and oppose what's wrong. And we need to do that -together-, as a united front. So the next time someone in the Common Room gives you a hard time, remind them that, like them, you are a wizard and an Englishman, and this is a time for heroes, not cowards. You had the courage to do what you thought was right, and you're going to wear that as a badge of honor from now on, and if they don't like it…Then send them to me."

Angelus watches Gareth in silence as he begins to speak. He lets him talk uninterrupted, listening, though his eyes do lower to search the ground. A couple stones are picked up, examined, and tossed to the side as he gives a twitch of his lips. As he looks for a good, flat stone, now and then his gaze lifts to Gareth to show the seventh year that he is paying attention. He straightens with a couple stones when Gareth finishes, letting out a hum as he considers. It’s not really the people he’s sharing his commons with that is the problem. The boy frowns, glancing back to the water as he slowly nods his head to acknowledge Gareth’s words. “I can do that,” Angelus finally speaks up while he aims a stone for the lake. With a flick of his wrist, he sends it off and watches it skip once. When Gel glances back up to the Ravenclaw, he says, “Were there Houses in Durmstrang? How did their Headmaster manage to get an all pure-blood school?”

Gareth's eyes wander over the ground as well, though the effort is half-hearted at best. "By simply not accepting any Muggleborns," he says matter-of-factly. "We've developed this notion that education is a birthright, that everyone who displays magical ability has a right to be taught all the secrets and mysteries that our kind has held sacred for centuries. But it's not true. Those secrets and mysteries -are- sacred, and it's our duty to protect them. It's our duty to our ancestors, who fought and suffered to keep the wizarding world safe, and our duty to future generations of witches and wizards. You and I were born in our world. Our parents and tutors nurtured us, taught up, prepared us to enter this school, so we could be further nurtured and taught, and one day, we'll go out into our world and have children of our own. But Muggleborns? They're born into a world of chaos and ignorance, and most of all, violence. The Muggles of our parents' generation waged a war across Europe the likes of which has never been seen before. Thousands of people died, thousands more were left lame and unable to work. And why? Because their world is chaotic and ignorant and violent. We've left them to their own devices for a thousand years, and their world is horrific. Their skies are black with smoke, their rivers overflow with rubbish and toxins, and their cities are crowded with the walking dead. And that would be fine, except those are also our skies and our rivers and our cities. It's time, Angelus. It's time for every witch and wizard to stand up and say, 'Enough!' It's time for us to take back the reins and lead the world out of Muggle chaos and ignorance and violence. We owe it to our ancestors, but even more, we owe it to our children and grandchildren. Every one of us needs to ask ourselves: who do we want leading the future? Muggles and Muggleborns, who know nothing but chaos and violence? Or witches and wizards, who explore the true secrets of the Universe on a daily basis?"

Angelus turns to face the water while Gareth goes on another spiel. He concentrates, sticking out his tongue to touch it to the corner of his lips. Flick! He watches it skip, glancing to Gareth as he speaks, and taking the last stone in his hand. Again he tosses it out, skimming it across the water. He continues to look for more stones and skip until Gareth finishes, and he pauses to give him a look, looking confused as he thinks. “Are you saying we should work together with Muggle-born?” he asks, his eyes narrowing suspiciously. But before Gareth can answer Angelus gives a snort and shakes his head, looking to the ground for another stone. “That’s impossible. You can’t trust any of them.” He plucks up a stone and throws it out to the water (this one ending in a simple plop). “Why should we get involved in their problems? Just sit back and let them tire themselves - use all their resources - and then they’ll be too tired to bother us when we push them out of our world.” He smirks and lowers to pick up another stone, turning it over in his hands.

Gareth crosses his arms over his chest, grinning slightly. "That's what our fathers said twenty years ago. How'd that work out for them?" His grin becomes a smirk as he watches the stone skipping over the black surface. "We've been hiding for a thousand years. Hiding! We're the most powerful beings that this world has ever seen, able to wield forces and elements most Muggles have never imagined in their wildest fever dreams. We shouldn't be cowering in the shadows, hoping they'll just leave us alone. We should be out on the front lines, leading the whole world, wizard and Muggle alike, into a better future. Trust the Muggleborns? Of course not. They and their kind have treated our planet like a chamberpot. Never in a million years should we trust them. But we should be leading them. They're the sheep; we're the shepherds. That's the way it should have been from the beginning, and it's absolutely the way it should be now. Don't you think so?"

Angelus doesn’t toss out the rock in his hands, instead looking down at it as he turns it over. A little smile flicks against his lips at a fleeting thought, a passing memory. The smile fades away as he falls into thought and the boy sighs. “Perhaps,” he murmurs out and reels back his arm. Eyeing the lake with a light tilt of his head, he sends out the stone and lets it glide smoothly across the water. “But how are we supposed to do that when some of them don’t want to be lead.” He tilts his chin. “They’ll break their leash and then how do we control them?” He shakes his head and finishes, “They turn around and threaten us.”

Gareth gives his head a quick nod. "Then we show them we won't be intimidated. They have their guns and their gas mustards and their auto-turtle-mobiles with more guns and more gas mustards. But we have what they'll never have: magic! And there's no more powerful force in the universe. We can fly without machines. Our wands don't run out of little metal slugs. Our potions cure diseases in a fraction of the time it takes their medicines to even figure out what's wrong. We are their superiors, and it's time for us to stop being ashamed of it." He turns toward Angelus then, a fire in his eyes. "Look at me, Angelus. You and I, we're the next generation of wizardkind. The future is what we make it. Take a stand with me, Cuz. Stand with me and say it's time for a change. It's time for us to take the world by the reins and lead it to a better, safer tomorrow."

Angelus turns from skipping stones to lock his gaze on Gareth, regarding the seventh year as he speaks, nodding occasionally in agreement. A smirk touches his lips as he nods his head. “I’m with you. I wish the others would realise I was, as well, but I’m with you.” While he pauses to think, looking down to the ground and stepping a couple of steps, he picks up a stone, weighing it in his hand. As he takes the stance to throw it, he says, “You tell me what to do and I’ll follow.”

Gareth reaches out and places a hand warmly on Angelus' shoulder, smiling. "I knew I could count on you. The others will come around. We'll bring them around together, you and me. I learned a lot while I was at Durmstrang, but I've been away from Hogwarts for too long. At the end of the day, it isn't Norway or Germany or France where we'll be waging this war. It's right here in Britain, the greatest nation that's ever been or ever will be. We're going to win this war at home, and the rest of the world is going to look to the example we set as a model for how they should win their wars as well. One day soon, we're going to live in a united world, a world where wizards and witches use their vast wisdom to guide Muggles to peace and prosperity unparalleled in human history." He looks back toward the lights of the castle, frowning. "But not tonight. I still have a good seven inches of a Charms paper to write and an hour of Transfiguration practice to get in before I can sleep. Don't stay out here too long by yourself, Angelus. And remember, you're not alone. You're never alone."

Angelus hurls the stone towards the water, skipping it twice before it sinks, and looks back up to Gareth. “You can,” the boy confirms to being able to count on him - as if in contrast to whatever Malfoy might think. He’s not a blood traitor, damn it. He nods his head, stooping to find and pick up another stone, but lifts his eyes to blink at the seventh year. Oh, look what he has to look forward to when he’s taking his N.E.W.T.s! “See you around.”

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