(1939-12-20) Homeward Bound
Details for Homeward Bound
Summary: The train ride home over winter break.
Date: December 20, 1939
Location: Hogwarts Express

Amyah is full of excitement as she boards the Hogwarts Express. Her green eyes twinkle as she looks around, and a bounce to her step as she walks along the aisle looking for a place to sit. She’s humming the tune to ‘London Bridges’ as she bounces a long, pausing to offer a bright smile as she passes a student, and continues on.

After she boards the train, Penelope makes her way to the nearest available compartment. Once there, she opens up a book and starts reading it; how very Penelope of her! She's like that for a while until she hears the bouncing, bubbling hum from Amyah. Looking up and out of the open compartment door, she smiles and waves a little to the Hufflepuff girl. "Hello," she says quietly. She's the same year as Amyah, but they haven't interacted that much outside of classes.

“Oh, hi, Penelope!” Amyah’s tune cuts off immediately as she looks to Penelope. “Are you looking forward to being home for the break?” The redhead stays out in the aisle, offering a warm smile to her classmate. Glancing to the book curiously, she asks, “What’re you reading? I’m looking for a place to sit, but I can move on so I don’t disturb you.”

"Bergerot's Formulaic Caelculus," Penelope says with a smile as she holds the book up for Amyah to look at. "Part of the reading for Spring term for Arithmancy students." She carefully replaces the bookmark and sets the book aside. "And I don't mind the company. I'll have plenty of time to study over the winter break." Penelope smiles and nods at the question of going back home. "I am fairly excited to be back home, yes. I miss my family, so it's good to see them. And I'm also excited because we're all going to see 'The Wizard of Oz' over the break! Have you seen it yet?"

Amyah blinks and looks clueless at the book. Then, looking sheepish, manages a little smile as she bows her head. Now she’s all the more happy she chose Divination instead. She bobs her head lightly. “Oh, wow, already getting a start on spring reading. I should, but, well, I wanted to enjoy the train trip with everyone. I won’t see everyone for two weeks.” Her smile grows and her eyes light up when Penelope accepts the company. “Thank you,” she says brightly, and goes on to bob her head as she steps into the compartment. “Oh, yes, yes! Madeline was telling me she was going to go see it. I was going to lend over the books I had.”

Penelope looks very happy at the mention of Madeline. "Yes, my family is getting together with hers to go see it! It's going to be a tremendous outing." She pauses, then laughs a little. "Maybe we should talk to Madeline and see if we can bring your family along? Or maybe we can try to get all of the Hogwarts students in London to all go to the same showing!" Penelope covers her mouth some and giggles, taking a bit to get under control. "So, how do you think you did on your Exams? I think I did alright on mine. I even thought that Professor Beery put down some questions that were difficult for me on the Herbology exam."

Amyah bobs her head in fervent nods. Madeline had mentioned Penelope, but Amyah’s eyes sparkle with delight. “Oh, with all of your family? That sounds so wonderful.” She rummages through her heavy bag when she’s sitting - heavy with those books, no doubt - and pulls out a bag. Her eyes widen as she looks to Penelope. “Oh! I would love to see the film with my daddy, but when are you meeting up?” Her smile brightens at the idea of all London students. “That would be pretty nice, wouldn’t it? Hmm,” she trails to think about the exams. “I think I did all right. I hope I did. I worked really hard on studying for them.” She gives Penelope a grin. “Oh, I know you definitely did really well. You always do so well, Penelope.” Looking to the bag, she opens it to take out a piece of candy and then offers the bag out to her year mate. “I picked them up while I was in Hogsmeade. We can share them together.”

Penelope smiles as she picks out a buttertoffee taffy. "Thank you. I already went through the candy I got at my last trip to Hogsmeade. I suppose I should have gone today, but I didn't want to miss the train. Penelope chews on the sweet for a while, letting it get smaller before speaking again. "Amyah…Do you mind if I ask you some questions? Ones that might be a bit…well…personal?" She looks a bit nervous as she manages to ask the other girl in the compartment.

“You’re welcome,” says Amyah brightly. Unwrapping her own candy, she pops it into her mouth to suck on. She leaves the bag on the chair next to her, piping up, “Just help yourself. I couldn’t possibly finish it all by myself.” Sitting in the compartment with her year mate, Amyah glances out the window, bouncing lightly in her seat. “I can’t wait until it starts to move. I’ve to tell my daddy so much.” Her smile drops off a little as she turns to Penelope, smiling a little more weakly. “Sure, what do you need to know, Penelope?”

Penelope finishes off her taffy by chewing thoughtfully. "Well…both of your parents are Muggles, right?" She's trying not to cause any offense with this line of questioning, so Penelope is keeping the tone fairly light. "I was wondering…what's it like? Being Muggle born and coming to Hogwarts. I mean, I think I have a bit of an idea, since my mother is a Muggle. But how does it feel going from finding out you have magic, to discovering Hogwarts, then to go through the kinds of things the Muggle-Born students have had to endure?" She takes a deep breath. "I'm just trying to get all the perspectives. To try and understand how the students of all different heritages feel. Maybe…try to help move us all past those bad starts that have happened recently. Maybe try and help bring us all together a bit more?" Penelope lets out a little sigh and smiles weakly. "Or am I just being a bit thick-headed here?"

Instead of getting an answer from Amyah an answer floats in from the aisle of the train car. "It was awesome. Best thing that ever happened. For about 2 years. Then the Magidunderheads went and ruined it all." On the heels of his answer Gabriel's head peeks into the compartment, smiling slightly, "That's a really nice wish, Iblis. But since this all started I did some reading and fixing this is going to about as easy as abolishing slavery."

Oh. Amyah’s excitement deflates a little, her smile weakening as she bites her lower lip worriedly. That sort of topic is one she does not like to dwell on for long. Her smile warms as she nods her head and answers about her parents. “None have any magic, but I used to pretend with Daddy all the time about having special powers and flying.” A giggle escapes her as she lifts a hand to her mouth, her green eyes twinkling. “It’s kind of a bit more orderly than I would have imagined though, don’t you think? Instead of moving staircases I’d imagine platforms - you step onto one and it takes you up to the level you need, propelled by air. Oh, of course, I do love the ceiling in the Great Hall.” A soft murmur escapes the girl as her cheeks turn a bit rosy, sighing softly. “None of which is really answering you, is it. I’m sorry.”

But before the redhead can answer, another voice drifts in and Amyah leans forward to peer out of the compartment. “Well hello there, Gabriel!” She looks to Penelope. “Would you mind some more company?” It was her compartment to start with, after all. “You’re welcome to have some candy,” she says, picking up the bag to jiggle it out in front of her, toward the boy. She does frown at his response about the Magijugend, but she turns quickly to a reassuring smile. “We can only offer our kindness and try to abide by their rules. Perhaps if we don’t make a fuss, they’ll come to accept us. It’s sad though. I mean, if a wizard with no knowledge of our world came into my school I’d show nothing but welcome for him.” She smiles softly and continues on, “So would my daddy, though I expect my mom would be a little more standoffish. I guess we all have to work on acceptances. In any case, Headmaster Dumbledore told us all to get along, and I intend to.”

Penelope smiles and nods to her fellow Ravenclaw. "Hello, Gabriel." And when Amyah suggests the boy join them, Penelope nods in agreement. "Sure, come on in and take a seat." Once the boy has done so, Penelope gears herself up to start again. "You see, I agree with you both. I think there has to be respect on all sides, as well as tolerance and acceptance. But I also agree it's not going to come overnight. You see, I was talking with Angelus…" and before either of her companions can say anything, Penelope holds out her hands. "Look, he was feeling really ill, I helped him to Madam Spleen, and he opened up a bit. He's actually quite sensible and reasonable when he's not being a git." She smiles a bit and shrugs. "Anyways, I got the feeling that he's not opposed to change, just too much happening at once. Based on what my father says about them, I think that Angelus and some others are like the Torries; some of them are okay with change, just not the size of changes and the speed that the Labour Party is suggesting. I think in time and with some patience, more full-bloods will begin to come around from their positions."

Gabriel grabs on of the offered toffees and in exchange pulls out a small package wrapped up in wax paper. Unfolding the paper on an empty seat he releases a quintet of dancing gingerbread men, which he then promptly ignores while he sits down elsewhere, "My only problem is that way too many people are seeing Dumbledore's request in the biblical sense. Turn the other cheek and all that. I'm fine with Purebloods that don't take a purist stance but I'm not going to let anyone push me around." When Angelus is mentioned he shrugs a little bit and says, "I've come to think Angelus is really just a bit of a coward, attaching himself to whatever group is on the ascendance at a given point. Which, in some ways, makes him marginally better than the staunch Purists…"

“Oh, I hope he’s feeling better now, though,” Amyah says gently. “It’s amazing what magic can do, isn’t it?” She offers a soft smile. She watches Gabriel with curiosity as he pulls out the package, letting out an, “Oooh. Look at that,” she adds in amazement. But then the girl is worrying again, biting her lip as she looks to Penelope and to Gabriel. “I agree, we shouldn’t let anyone push us around. But we should also always treat our fellow students kindly. Even a bully, I think. If you start getting angry and upset and throwing insults back in their face, all that’s going to happen is it’s going to fuel their need to bully you some more.” Her eyes glitter as she smiles brighter. “I think it might mean a lot if we still offered out our friendship. And who knows, maybe the reason why someone is being so mean is because their lonely. Maybe their home life isn’t as great as ours.” She falls into a quiet thought for a moment, and then says, “If you met the Queen would you address her as if you were her equal, or would you curtsy and bow and show her the utmost respect? I think that’s what it’s kind of like with the pure-blood families - or how they feel, anyway. Granted, I do think Master Flint took it overboard.”

Penelope nods and points to Amyah. "That's exactly right," she says when Amyah talks about meeting royalty. "Maybe not that far, but certainly there should be lots of courtesy involved. Think of them almost like much older siblings; ones that have a lot of experience that they can share." She looks back at Gabriel, smiling as she catches sight of the gingerbread men, then looks between the two other students as she talks. "I do agree that no-one should let themselves be bullied around. But there are ways of countering such bullies that can be better than actively fighting, so Headmaster Dumbledore's suggestion of 'turn the other cheek' is the best policy. In my opinion. My mother works for the British home office and she talks about how much of an impact Mr. Ghandi is making for gaining independence for India through his non-violent practices. I think there are more Pure-Blooded mages at Hogwarts that are sympathetic to unity, they're just scared. There's certainly more half-bloods like myself, but we're definitely scared. It's why more of us didn't join in Madeline's protests; a fear of reprisal. But I think things are turning at school. The more restraint the Muggle Born students show against bullies and the more sympathy they show to others, then the more support there will be from Half Bloods and Full Bloods." Penelope smiles, feeling better, and looks back to Gabriel. "And I don't think Angelus is a coward. The Sorting Hat wouldn't have put him in Gryffindor if that were the case. But, let's stop talking about him; rumors can get started easily and I don't want him to think we're talking about him behind his back. Speaking with him up-front and patiently listening to him did wonders."

Gabriel arches an eyebrow at both girls but he's learned at least one thing from all this. When opinions are involved there's no point in debating them. Instead he chuckles a little bit and shows the other things the gingerbread men can do. Picking one up he slowly starts bringing it to his mouth, at which point the cookie man starts squirming, desperately trying to get away, the frosting that forms his face shifting into an expression of horror, its little mouth round in a silent 'Noooooooo!'. Until Gabriel bites its head off then gives the girls an impish smile as he chews. Yep, those cookies were definitely made by a boy.

Amyah’s eyes all but glow warmly as she smiles to Penelope, nodding her head in turn with agreement. “It’s a much better place with all of us friendly to one another,” she says brightly, letting out a giggle. Her cheer remains, just drops a notch as she says, “There are those who always want to fight it out - on both sides.” Like boys! They always want to fight! She glances to Penelope with a glowing smile. Then as he looks to Gabriel, she looks almost horrified by the gingerbread man. Horrified and amazed, at least. Her hand to her mouth, she stifles a giggle even as she looks aghast. It’s impressive, it really is - magic is so neat! - but she can’t help but shake her head. On a giggle, she says, “That’s so barbaric!” she says, even if her delighted tone portrays her words. “I should go and find Madeline. I want to give her these books so she can have them over the holidays. I’ll see about coming back, if you still don’t mind the company.” She rises to her feet and gestures to the candy. “Go ahead and have some more while I’m off. Bye guys.” And she steps out of the compartment.

The execution of the gingerbread man causes Penelope to roll her eyes, looking frustrated at the 'boy' antics but secretly amused. "Completely barbaric," she agrees with Amyah in a proper English lady tone. When Amyah starts to leave, Penelope goes back to smiling and nods to the girl. "Alright. Oh! If you do see Madeline, tell her that I got the owl from my parents yesterday and they think that the cinema outing is a capital idea. You should ask her if you and your family can come along as well." She gives Amyah a wave farewell, then turns back to Gabriel. "So. How did you do on your Exams before we left?"

Abraxas comes down the corridor from the Prefect's Car, already in his civilian clothes, save with his prefect badge attached to the outside of his street robes. He nods to some of his friends - or at least people he tolerates - on the way, though the Malfoy has been particularly taciturn since his conversation in the Great Hall the previous evening.

As he's exchanging pleasantries, Abraxas hears the crunch of a biscuit and the assorted gasps of horror, and pokes his head into one of the compartments to see what's going on, "Oh, it's you, Ward…" he says.

Gabriel smiles, "Well, considering I did almost nothing but study over the last month I better have done well." He's about to continue when Abraxas pokes his head into the compartment. Gabriel's first reaction is to frown. Then he looks over to Penelope for a moment, thinking about their recent conversation. "Hello Malfoy." Grabbing one of the dancing gingerbread men, which immediately starts to squirm and try to escape while it looks horrified, he offers it to the Slytherin boy, "Homemade gingerbread man?" Gabriel himself takes another bite of his own, now still and headless, biscuit.

When Abraxas pokes his head into the compartment, Penelope smiles and nods to him. "Hello, Malfoy." Her greeting is pleasant and calm, no distaste or sarcasm to be heard at all. "We also have plenty of candy if you'd like a few bites." Technically, it's Amyah's candy collection, but she did offer it out for free to everyone in the compartment. "Sit with us for a bit if you'd like. How did your Exams go?"

Hattie walks by the compartment with her little brother in tow as they seek out the pram, already in their London clothes. She gives a smile and a wave to those inside as they pass.

"Interesting." Malfoy grants, of the squirming gingerbread man, "Did you do that with a potion, like the leap on a chocolate frog?" He sounds like he's giving grudging credit for the idea. "It's sufficiently wicked to be a wizarding invention. Perhaps you are learning something at Hogwarts. But nevertheless, no thank you, I'm afraid I stuffed myself on pumpkin juice and pasties before I came back here."

Gabriel nods in response to Abraxas then moves the cookie slightly so he's offering the squirming treat to Hattie and her brother, "It is indeed a potion that gets mixed into the batter, or the chocolate, or whatever else you are cooking. It took a bit to figure out how to make them do exactly what you want them to do but now that I have it figured out its easy. Hattie? Cookie?"

"That's quite clever, Gabriel," Penelope responds with a smile. She stands up and retrieves one of her bags. "If you gentlemen will excuse me, I think I should go change out of my school robes so that I'm all set for the arrival in London." Penelope nods to both Gabriel and Abraxas, nodding a bit more to the Malfoy as she slides past him into the passageway.

Hattie looks at squirming cookie legs. NOT THE GUMDROP BUTTONS! "Oh, no, not for me. Watching my figure. Does it run away? Sihon, isn't that clever— Sihon? Oh, blast him…" Hattie waves again and hops along to look for her junior sibling, who has quiet gotten away.

"I would say that if you made it blonde and gave it a smug expression, it would look like someone. But you'd have too much temptation to make it look like me, instead of the person I have in mind." Abraxas shoves his hands in the pockets of his robes, "Besides which, Ravenclaw has its own problems at the moment."

Gabriel leans back into his seat, watching the exodus, then he peers down at the squirming treat in his hand, "It would look a bit like Angelus, wouldn't it?" Then he bites the cookie's head off, stopping its squirming. He chews thoughtfully on the bite of cookie, his expression turning a bit sad as he nods, "That is the truth. Double problems depending on your perspective, really."

Abraxas smiles thinly, "I can't say I think much of his choice in company. Don't labor under the misapprehension that I like all pure-bloods just because of the accident of their birth, either, Ward." He gives a little shrug. "Eibon's lost his mind, if he had one to begin with."

Gabriel smiles grudgingly, "We were just speaking of that a few moments ago. Even if the stance is wrong at least there is something to be respected about someone that sticks to their convictions through thick and thin, changing only when they have really been convinced their original stance was wrong. Switching back and forth like a windvane in a gale… There's really nothing to respect there." With a shrug he takes another bite out of the cookie, watching as the enchantment runs out of the couple that were dancing on the seat and they fall over. Around his bite of biscuit he adds, "I don't think he's lost his mind. He's just trying to see which way the wind is blowing so he can make sure he's pointing in the proper direction."

"Oh, you mean he was totally sane when he started talking about killing curses used against non-purebloods? Or when he said that he was a 'royal star' and that Professor Pettigrew would have to come to him if she wanted to talk to him?" Abraxas says, snorting. "He's turning into Carrow's creature. Because I don't think either of them have much in the way of strength of mind." A wave of his hand, "Anyway, Ward, this might be the last time we agree on anything, so I'll leave it at that."

Gabriel snorts, a sound that's half amusement, half disgust. "Indeed. You're welcome to take a biscuit or some toffee for later if you would like." Then he starts digging into his knapsack, pulling out a book on Transfiguration a few moments later.

Abraxas shakes his head, "No, thank you. I think we'll be getting into London soon, it's already full dark." He nods, and says, "Enjoy the rest of the ride, Ward." and then he turns to head back out.

Gareth is just coming down the corridor, his robe rustling around him, and he nearly collides with Abraxas — because he's got his nose in a book as he walks, silly boy. "Look sharp, Malfoy," he says, lifting his chin and shutting the book. "Going somewhere? I was rather hoping we might get another chance to speak, but I understand if you're rushed."

Amyah makes her way back along the aisle, her bag not so heavy as she approaches the compartment she had left earlier. She’s also changed out of uniform and in a simple green dress with a sweater over top. Coming up to peek her head back in, the redhead suddenly stops when the Slytherin comes out of it, stalling her process for a second. “Oh. Oh, I’m sorry, Malfoy! I thought this was the compartment from earlier.”

"Was I looking dull, Carrow?" Abraxas asks, as he moves out of the way so that Gareth can get past, "Maybe you should try sitting down before you start reading, even if you are a Ravenclaw. Anyway… Do we have something to discuss? I'm afraid there's not much to say if you 'insist' on things, still. Otherwise, I'm just killing time until we get into the city, the same as everyone else."

As soon as he hears Gareth's voice Gabriel's book pops open and up to cover his face. At the same time the young Ravenclaw pushes over into the far corner of the compartment, sending biscuits tumbling onto the floor as he pulls his knees up to his chest. All in all the way he's scrunched up on the seat makes it hard to tell who he is since the only things people can see from the corridor are a pair of lower legs, some finger tips, and a Transfiguration book…

Gareth frowns darkly, his brows drawing together. "I'm not a threat to you, Malfoy," he says, barely sparing Amyah a glance. "I'm not after leadership, if that's what you're thinking. Yes, Grindelwald personally hung the medallion around my neck, which is a tremendous honor, I'm sure you'll agree. And yes, we spoke together at length about a great many matters, not the least of which is the direction our kind should be taking here in Britain. But I made it very clear that I'm not a public speaker, not a leader who can rally the troops. He agreed that we need someone who is both well-known and charismatic in such a position. And who in Britain are better known and charismatic than the Malfoy family? I want to work with you, not against you. I only need you to listen to what I have to say on certain matters that were handled rather poorly in the last year or so."

"That's good, because I don't feel particularly threatened." Abraxas says, with a tilt of his head, "But my point to you yesterday evening was that given how things have gone at Hogwarts in the last three or four months, it seems wise to take a 'softly, softly' approach, rather than to double down. As for the Malfoy family, I'm afraid that family /does/ come first for us - it's about the only rule, so you might want to consider the political situation as it stands before you ask me to do such a thing."

A soft little sigh escapes her - well, more of a huff - when she’s ignored altogether. But Amyah, very meekly, pipes up, “Excuse me. Can I, um, can I just sneak past? S-Sorry.” She offers a smile to both Abraxas and Gareth, but also inclines her head to look into the compartment. No one there that she recognises - since Gabe has decided to obscure himself - and she lets out a heavy huff. “Oh, phoo - I could have sworn this was the right… car.” The end of the sentence trails off, because as she tilts her head she notices the candy bag and cookies - and she looks suspiciously about. “Er- Did something happen here?”

Gareth gives his eyes a quick roll. "You're not seeing the bigger picture here, Malfoy. It isn't about your family or my family, or even about blood purity. Yes, purity is important, but there are other considerations that, believe it or not, are more important. I'm going to come right out and say it: Angelus Eibon did the right thing. Professor Flint was wrong to segregate the impure. This isn't a time for segregation. It's a time for all of us to stand together, all witches and wizards, regardless of lineage." He glances again at Amyah, looking a bit exasperated, and steps back to allow her to enter the compartment, before moving back toward Abraxas. "That's why Eibon needs to be let back in. His blood is as pure as ours, and if we're to succeed — and we must succeed! — we're going to need each and every one of us on our side. Shunning him sends the wrong message to those who already have reason to hate us. Instead, we need to embrace him, celebrate his action, however misguided it may seem. Only then will the others look to us for the guidance and leadership they so desperately need. We can't continue to be divisive, Malfoy. We must take a hard stand for unity, or we're going to vanish into the oblivion of forgotten history. Don't you see that?"

Gabriel shakes his head behind his book in response to Amyah's question. Then, when he realizes that seeing him do that is almost impossible right now, he quietly says, "No. Nothing happened." Hopefully quiet enough for only Amyah to hear him.

Abraxas shakes his head, "No, Angelus is adrift like a bit of flotsam on the waves. He does whatever seems likely to ingratiate him with his choice of the moment. At the present moment, for example, you. Why did he tell you he did it? Because I guarantee, between just Lucretia Black and myself, we can list six other excuses he gave at other times. As for purism- Grindelwald believes in blood purity as well. I've read his book. Nor do you really have much place to say otherwise, because you spent the last several years at Durmstrang, an institution that, if I recall correctly, does not admit muggle-born witches and wizards at all, and has scarce few half-bloods, despite how numerous they are in wizarding society." Malfoy ticks the mental boxes as he counts on his fingers at the same time.

Gareth holds up a hand. "I don't disagree with you at all. Angelus is adrift, and he needs guidance. Firm guidance, to keep him from drifting farther afield. But cutting him loose to drift aimlessly isn't the right thing to do. At all. God only knows what he might be capable of without supervision. As for purity, you're right there as well. Durmstrang doesn't admit mud…Muggleborns, and I can't remember meeting a single half-blood when I was there. But that's been the policy at Durmstrang for as long as anyone can remember. Unfortunately, we don't go to school at the Durmstrang Institute, nor do we live in a world where such ideas are acceptable to the vast majority of wizardkind. Three of the four founders of Hogwarts insisted upon teaching all witches and wizards, regardless of their lineage, and it's been that way for a thousand years. It can't be undone overnight, the way Professor Flint tried. It just can't be, and we need to accept that and work within the system we have. That's what Professor Flint failed to understand, and that's the message I was sent back here to relay. Do I think half-bloods and Muggleborns should be our equals? Certainly not! But we can't keep them separate either. Only together can we prevail. The impure aren't our enemy, Malfoy. Our true enemy are the Muggles themselves."

“Thank you!” Amyah pipes up brightly to Gareth when he moves for her. She enters the compartment, and blinks at the low murmur from Gabriel. “…Okay,” she says quietly, rather confused. If nothing happened here, then… Amyah blinks, and she looks around and back over to the two Magijugend. As if suddenly hearing their topic of discussion, the redhead sighs. Are they really at it again? A worried look crosses her face, her eyes starting to look to the ground when she brings back her cheer with an, “Ooh! Hey, you two. There’s a big celebration in Leicester Square over the holidays. Are you going to go? I mean, who doesn’t like good fun, right?”

Gabriel grumbles to himself at a very low volume. Since he's hiding from view of the corridor now that Amyah is in the compartment she can see his face, which right now has an expression that makes him look like he's about to cry because of anger.

"That things were mishandled, well, on that we're agreed. The rest of it… I'm not so sure. I haven't had any muggles attack me, and I think they probably won't if we maintain the status quo. As I said, I am in a delicate situation on that subject." Abraxas says, and gives another shrug, "On the issue of Eibon, though, I am not willing to budge. He betrayed us, I was willing to give him a second chance, and he has compounded his betrayal multiple times. That is unfortunate, and I'm afraid you will not convince me - or House Slytherin - otherwise." He looks towards Amyah, having stepped back to allow her to pass. "I'm going away for the holidays. Off to South America after the big fete tomorrow."

Gareth frowns again, looking mildly exasperated. "Malfoy, you have it in you to be a great leader. You have the looks, the brains, the charisma, the connections, and the money — you could be Minister of Magic someday. But not without the support of the majority. Like it or not — and I don't — Purebloods are no longer the majority in Britain, and an even smaller minority are those Purebloods who espouse segregation. Unity among all wizardkind is the only way we can prevail. As for Eibon, let me worry about him for now. If I can't get him in line…well, we can talk about that at another time. I spent a good deal of time in isolation at Durmstrang at first, and it felt like it took forever for the other students to begin to accept me. Right now, Eibon is alone, and nobody, not one of us, should ever feel such isolation, no matter what we might think they've done to warrent it." But then he's distracted by Amyah's question. Wait, is a Muggleborn Hufflepuff speaking to him, out of the blue? Looking confused, he turns toward her, nose wrinkles. "What is happening where, why, when?"

Amyah blinks, looking to Abraxas with interest. “Oh, that’s a long way away.” She offers a smile. “I hope all goes well on your journey then,” she says, quite sincere in her well wishes. She shifts around and collapses onto the seat, looking over to the hidden boy with a smile. “Are you-“ And she blinks, her question falling short as she stares at Gabriel with concern. Looking down to her knees as she chews on her lower lip, she then inches closer to him, leaning to whisper. She gives him a bright smile, and then turns her green eyes to Gareth. “In London square. It’s a real nice celebration. I really recommend going. You might find you enjoy it.”

Amyah whispers: “Chin up, yes? We can stand proud of who we are, too.

Gabriel sighs a bit in response to Amyah and before she pulls away whispers a quick response to her, still hiding behind his book/shins combo.

Gabriel whispers: Gareth used to be my best friend here. Now he's another idiot purist.

"Malfoys don't become Minister. I don't think there's ever been one, and I'm quite certain that's intentional." Abraxas says, then shrugs again, "But your point is taken. And as for the fact that there are a huge number - far more than pure-bloods or muggle-borns combined - of half-bloods is hardly a startling revelation." He raises his chin slightly, "If Eibon is feeling isolated, then good. That's what happens when you flitter from group to group and manage to ruffle them all by your mere presence and lack of conviction. You want to handle it, fine? But until I see some understanding that he's acted like an idiot, he's no one to me. I'd rather spend time with Ward here…" he cocks a thumb towards the cabin, "Or perhaps just go discuss magic with the owls or Professor Kettleburn's animals, or Ogg's pumpkin patch. Any of them would be more pleasant company."

Gareth stares at Amyah for a long moment. "So you're saying that being crushed by a mob of unruly Muggles in a small, enclosed square, in the middle of Muggle London, in the freezing cold, would be…fun?" He gives his head a shake, indicating that she has clearly lost any semblance of sanity, before turning back to Abraxas. Before he can respond to anything else Malfoy has said, however, he suddenly perks, eyes widening. "Ward? Where?" He peers back into the compartment hopefully, cocking his head to one side. "Gabriel Ward, is that you hiding behind a third year Transfiguration text? Since when did you become so studious?

Amyah gasps out at Gabriel’s whisper before clasping both her hands over her mouth. “Oh!” Her eyes widen, looking towards Gareth just as the seventh year responds to her. She sighs in disappointment, but she doesn’t return any response, looking relatively troubled. It’s to the boy trying to stay hidden that she turns to, reaching out to give his shoulder a squeeze. She looks worriedly down. Maybe Durmstrang casts mind control over all their students, or, no, maybe Gareth was turned into an obedient robot of Durmstrang! …ahem. Amyah blinks, looking up when Gabriel is addressed.

Amyah whispers: “I’m sorry, Gabriel.”

Blast! Foiled again! Taking a deep breath Gabriel schools his expression, making it as neutral as possible before lowering his book and his legs, so he's taking up almost the whole bench seat on his side of the compartment, "Yup. It’s me. Good ol' Muggleborn Gabriel Ward. Welcome back, Gareth." Even though his words are mildly challenging his tone of voice is as carefully neutral as his expression. "And I've always been studious. Just needed even more this year since I lost almost a third of it."

Abraxas makes a vague gesture with his hand, "Lost is such a harsh word. Mr. Ward is upset that he was taught valuable domestic spells. At the very least, he won't have to worry about any clogged toilets in his future." A slight smile, "Ah, well, Carrow, I'll leave you two to catch up, and head back to the Prefect's car. Evening." He nods, and then turns to go.

Gareth almost looks hurt, though there's more confusion in his expression than anything else. "Didn't you just hear me say how I truly believe that unity among wizardkind is more important than blood purity? Yes, you're Muggleborn, but you're also a wizard first and foremost. Have I ever treated you any differently than I've treated anyone else?" He nods to Abraxas then, offering something that's almost a smile. "Happy Christmas, Malfoy. I'm sure we'll be talking again soon." Then he moves fully into the compartment and squeezes himself onto the bench beside Gabriel, whether he likes it or not. "Last time we spoke, you were overly obsessed with the notion of snogging, but that was quite a while ago. Have you finally managed to achieve it? If so, who was the lucky recipient, and if not, what have you been waiting for?"

“That it was all we were allowed to learn,” Amyah corrects Abraxas. She smiles to him. “Take care of yourself, Malfoy. And have a really good trip.” She lifts a hand to wave at him before he turns to look between Gabriel and Gareth, blinking. “Um-“ Her face suddenly heats up at where the conversation starts going. “I’m going to let you catch up then.” She rises to her feet, hopping to the frame of the compartment. Well, perhaps a friendship won’t be lost here.

Gabriel's expression loses its neutrality, melting into a slight frown. As Amyah responds to Abraxas he responds to Gareth, "I did hear you say that. I also heard you say my Mum and my Dad and my sister and my grandfather and everyone else in my family is the real enemy. Malfoy's uncle's view of Unity is much better than yours at the moment. At least Cassius Malfoy talks about uniting all people, not just wizards and witches." As he's talking he stuffs his book into his knapsack and gets to his feet, "As for your other questions, no and no one, and the whole idea still sounds incredibly unsanitary."

"Happy yule." Abraxas says, with a nod, sticking with the Wizarding term. He purses his lips, though, and corrects Gabriel, "My cousin, actually. His father is my uncle. And yes, he wants us all to live together in harmony, wizards and muggles alike." He studiously avoids, however, commentary on the idea of Unity. Malfoys closing ranks in public, or so it seems. And with that, he nods to those in the compartment and heads off.

Gareth sighs and gives his head a shake. "Your parents and sister and grandfather aren't the enemy either. In fact, Muggles aren't really our enemy at all. Ignorance is our enemy, and the only way we can combat it is with knowledge. Our world can't afford to remain occult anymore. We need to come out into the open, to reveal ourselves to the Muggle world. But doing that will require the repeal of the Secrecy statutes, and for that to happen, we all need to work together. All wizards and witches, regardless of their heritage, must stand united. You're closer to the Muggle world than any of us, so you must know what's happening out there. This war is going to be worse than anything that's ever been seen before. All the signs and portents agree, both our worlds will be destroyed by this war. We must act to stop it. You see that, don't you?" He glances up just before Amyah can slip out. "Hold there, Tennan, no need to rush off. You should stay and tell us why a square crowded with Muggles can be fun. Because frankly, I'm not seeing it."

Amyah does linger by the mouth of the compartment, looking to Gabriel and to Gareth with confusion. She gives a small smile and a little shake of her head. “There’s a decorated tree, people playing music, drinks, food. You can see for yourself if you go. You don’t have to stay.” She looks to Gabriel, smiling brighter. “I’ll walk with you, Gabriel.”

Gabriel turns a full on glare at Gareth before saying, "Make up your mind, Gareth. And I quote: The impure aren't our enemy, Malfoy. Our true enemy are the Muggles themselves. Come talk with me when you get your story straight. Or even better, when you realize that you were brainwashed while at Durmstrang." He starts to walk out before stopping at the door to the compartment and turning to look at Gareth over his shoulder, "I was ecstatic when I heard on of my best friends was back. But it broke my heart to realize he didn't make it back after all." And without waiting for an answer he slips by Amyah in search for another compartment.

Gareth sighs and shakes his head again, curling himself up on the bench and re-opening his book — which is, of course, Grindelwald's For the Greater Good (translated into Welsh), settling in to enjoy the rest of his ride back to London. Alone. Sigh!

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