(1940-01-07) Backlash
Details for Backlash
Summary: It starts off with back and forth quips between Niles and Angelus. And turns into more of a scene when people refuse to believe Angelus' lies.
Date: January 7, 1940
Location: Lake Shore, Hogwarts

Angelus stands by the lake shore in the evening, a proud smile against his lips as he flicks stones towards the water, watching how many times they skip. His uniform is worn neatly, swirling around him as he cocks his head, counting two skips on his last throw. With a smirk, Gel tosses up the other stone in his hand and takes it up in his right hand, watching the water and… Flick! It trails out to the black liquid.

Niles makes his way down to the lake, a black figure against the darkening sky. He's dressed for the cold evening, a heavy cloak wrapped around him, its ends flapping against his legs as he hugs himself close for warmth. As he nears the lake, he slows and considers the figure already there, throwing stones. Then he approaches. "Eibon," he says, a hint of mirth in his voice. "What are you doing out here?"

Megan, as it happens, is also walking down toward the lake at her brother's request, dressed warmly in a long black coat and wearing her favorite chunky, black leather boots, each sporting three silver buckles. Her blue owl is riding on her shoulder. Upon seeing the two boys, she slows her approach a bit, wondering what Gel wanted.

The stone skips once and Angelus snorts. Can’t win them all. He turns his gaze to the ground to search for more rocks, but his attention is snagged by the approach of the younger boy. His lips curve lightly, lifting his head in a greeting. “Avery,” he pipes up, “out for an evening stroll?” A smirk flicks against his lips and his gaze slides to the water before glancing back to Niles. “An expert skipper of stones must get his practice,” he answers. The chuckle that follows trails off as he catches sight of his sister, and a grin tugs out across his face as he lively beckons her over to him. “May!” Well, they might have arguments, but she’s still his sister and he loves hanging out with her. Most of the time. “Skipping stones. Come join me.”

Niles comes to stand at the lake's edge, his feet just inches from the water. "Something like that," he says to Angelus. He lifts an eyebrow. "I hear you've been making quite a name for yourself, Eibon. Trying to prove something?" His head turns as Angelus greets someone else, and he peers at Megan with her blue owl. "Who's this?" he asks. "A friend? I didn't know you had any of those."

"Hey, Gel," Megan says as she draws close to Angelus' side. "I'm Megan, his sister," she replies to Niles, his face likely familiar to her if not his name. She pulls one hand clad in a knit black fingerless glove up out of her pocket and up to her owl, offering it a treat, which it eagerly eats.

Amusement flutters along Angelus’ lips as he smirks, cocking his head easily as he looks down his nose at Niles. “I’ve been making a name?” A snort escapes the youth and he informs self-confidently, “I assure you I’ve had one for years. A Star is always so important in everyone’s eyes.” A laugh escapes Gel as he tilts his head. “Is that what you do? Try to prove yourself? Huh.” He bends over, plucking two rocks and holding one out to Megan. “A Star doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone.” His smile tilts against his lips smugly, craning his head as he looks at Niles with a silent, ‘Really? Honestly,’ look. Rolling his eyes, Angelus looks to the water, adding in, “That’s right, my sister. Why don’t you take your head out of the clouds and study who belongs to the important families?”

Niles stares at Angelus, at first bemused, as though he hadn't quite heard the other boy correctly. But then Angelus says it a second time, and Niles snorts as he tries to hold back his laughter. "A star?" he says, snickering as he tries to contain himself. "Did you just call yourself a star?" He can't help it. He bursts out laughing. For a moment he stands there, half doubled over and shaking as he tries to keep himself together. "A star," he says, wiping a hand across his eyes. He glances at Megan. "Has your little brother always been like this?"

The corner of Megan's lip curls upward slightly as she's mistaken for being the elder sibling. "Like most purebloods, he's proud of his heritage," she replies, dodging the question. Overly proud. And arrogant and boastful and perhaps narcissistic, but she doesn't say those things. "He's brilliant in his own ways." Not necessarily ways that she approves of, though.

The flat stone in Angelus’ hand is flicked out to the water to skip once. He flicks his fingers in the air with a mild annoyance, but then forgets it. It’s all right to get one skip some times. When he turns to regard Niles, it’s done as though he’s used to people waiting on him to decide when he’ll give someone attention, or if. “Is something funny…” He trails off, hand waving in the air as he searches for something. “Avan,” he finishes, purposefully getting his name wrong. Should he really remember such an unimportant name? A proud smile slips against his lips. “Angelus Eibon, Star Potion’s Master, Quidditch Legend, and the one who surpassed Merlin in power. That’ll be what history says about me in time.” His lips twitches, and he turns his gaze to Megan, reaching out to wrap an arm around behind her and lean close to her to kiss her cheek. “Isn’t she amazing?”

"Is that what he's proud of?" Niles asks, still chuckling. He seems to get himself under control, though his mouth twitches and threatens another round of laughter when Angelus gets his name wrong on purpose. "You just called me Avery a minute ago. A star in everything except memory, I suppose." His eyes flick to Megan, and he smirks. "Would you say she's more amazing than you?" he asks before turning to Megan. "What do you mean, brilliant? Are you sure he isn't just proud of himself? Or is he joking? He can't be serious, can he?"

"Well, he _is_ really good on a broomstick, and keen with potions," Megan partially corroborates. She's not so certain about the 'surpassing Merlin' bit though. "I have no doubt he'll be famous someday." Or, more likely, infamous, but she doesn't say that. "I prefer to keep a lower profile, myself—I'm not keen to have attention."

A hum escapes Angelus as he ponders, and bends over as he searches for another stone. The corner of his lips does twitch a bit - talking about him in the third person like that - but he smirks and, unconcerned, finds a stone to toss into the water. It skips twice and Angelus smiles, nodding his head. “Did you say something, Aerin?” Angelus asks as he turns to lock his eyes on Niles again, once again getting his name wrong. “Oh, I can’t be bothered to remember every irrelevant family name,” he says with a lazy slur, rolling his eyes. “You’re lucky I remembered to begin with, Avros.” A gleam flashes in Angelus’ eyes, his head practically swelling as Megan vouches for his potion and flying skills. “But Slytherin has obviously seen that I wasn’t the only excellent quidditch player who was on the team. Gryffindor did beat your team, after all, thanks to Angus Macmillan’s keen skills.”

"So," Niles says, "there's someone smart in the Eibon family. How unusual." He smirks at Megan. "He didn't put it that way, though. He said he was a star, a master, a legend even." He turns back to Angelus and shrugs as though Quidditch doesn't matter to him. He studies him for a moment, and then he starts to smile as if he's figured it all out. "I see," he says. "You're afraid. It always comes down to fear. What are you afraid of, Eibon?"

Angelus unconcernedly searches for another stone, and sighs impatiently as he ends up turning back to Niles with a flicker of boredom. “I can’t help if our family’s intelligence is so great that you feel like toad in comparison.” A smirk twitches at his lips. He blinks slowly, letting out a grunt as he turns from Niles. He couldn’t possibly be bothered to keep replying to him, now. A smile slides over his mouth mirthfully and a hearty chuckle escapes him, canting back his head as his laughter echoes in the cool evening air. Now it’s his turn to find something amusing. “Why would the fantastic Angelus Eibon have a silly emotion like fear?” His lips quirk with amusement. “Avrox, you’re boring me with your animal chitter.”

Niles watches Angelus for a moment. He no longer seems amused. Instead, he looks at the Gryffindor with something close to pity, perhaps as though he were a horse with a broken leg that needed to be put down, only no one was willing to do it. "Good night, Eibon," he says and turns away. He glances at Megan as he passes, but doesn't say anything else to her as he heads back up to the castle.

Megan watches Niles's back until he's out of earshot, then picks up Cobalt from her shoulder and launches him into the air so he can go back to the owlery. Turning to consider Gel again, she comments, "If I didn't know better, I might think you were goading him." She pauses for a moment. "Are you responsible for what happened to Madeline's raven?"

A tiny smile flicks against Angelus’ lips as he glances to Niles smugly. “Goodnight, Avery,” returns the fourth year on a chuckle. Oh yes, he suddenly remembered his name again, too. How courteous of him. He doesn’t bother following Niles’ departure, but turns back to looking for stones, plucking one just as Megan asks about the raven. Gel snorts, straightening and running a thumb over the flat stone as he slides his blue eyes onto Megan. “Something happened to Madeline’s bird?” He lifts a brow, staring at Megan expectantly. “Did someone vanish it? I wouldn’t be surprised. The Magijugend are pretty ticked off with her spying on them.”

Megan's eyes narrow ominously. "I'm accustomed to your careful use of language and vague, evasive, noncommittal answers, Gel. Claiming ignorance of the situation, and then acting all blase about it… I'm not buying it." She steps closer to him and crosses her arms. "Frankly, I'm appalled that *someone* would stoop to this level for retribution. That bird never did anything to anyone, and it may never be the same again, due to *someone's* botched transfiguration. That's really just sad and pathetic. You keep telling me to stay away from Madeline—well, let me tell you something. The more she's victimized, the more I intend to stand by her. Stop harassing her." Huffing, she turns sharply and stomps off back toward the castle.

Both of Gel’s eyebrows rise as Megan goes off, taken aback. His mouth parts in surprise before frowning, and his brows knit in confusion. And he is genuinely confused, if perhaps misconstrued. But Angelus doesn’t really get a chance to reply, because she’s suddenly walking back to the castle. “Wait, wait, wait,” his voice follows after her, “her bird was transfigured?” He blinks, but apparently he doesn’t have all that much time to say too much, so he adds, suddenly furious, “You believe that I would be that cruel?” He lifts a hand to flail it in exasperation, letting her stalk off as he turns back to the water, now quite bitter as he looks for a stone.

Megan just shakes her head as she heads up the hill, emotions running high. Fortunately there's no glass nearby for her to accidentally shatter.

Angelus finds a stone, and picks it up, but instead of flicking it out smoothly he hurls it. And it plops into the black lake. Any mirth or any arrogance seeps from him as he finds another, throwing it in an overhand throw, not even trying to skip it either. “Bloody hell,” he mutters.

Tossing a snowball casually to one side, Sierra remarks to Evelyn, "No, it's step dancing. It's best if you're on a wood stage - somewhere that the sound can really reverberate. The beat of the dancing actually adds to the music. It's a lot of fun. I think I started dancing before I even started walking," she explains in a cheerful voice. "I drag Colton out onto the floor with me a lot. He's not quite as interested in it as I am - but he's not bad."

Evelyn says, "That's…oh…okay. That um, that sounds interesting." Evelyn says with a little nod, smiling. "It uh…it sounds very fun! I never really, well, got into dancing myself. It always…you know, fascinates me when people do know how to dance. And it always seems so, well, so fun!" She blushes ever so slightly. "Did um…did both you and he learn, growing up?"

Megan can be seen heading up the hill toward the castle with a determined pace and sporting an un-Megan-like scowl, though when the she spots the other girls approaching, she slows down and adjusts her composure to something more neutral. "Hi, Evelyn, Sierra," she says as she draws close to them.

Another stone gets tossed into the lake, still abandoning the skipping. A scowl is worn on Angelus’ face, a hiss on his tongue as he hurls stones in angry movements. The youth blinks when he hears the voices, and Angelus takes a moment to draw in a deep breath of air and to close his eyes before he draws himself up and turns. His gaze trails towards the two girls walking together, and he frowns instantly. “Bloody hell,” he mutters again, dropping the stone in his hand to the ground where he stands, and immediately starts to move hastily away.

"Of course we did - from the others in the caravan. It's hard not to grow up learning the songs, and the dancing, and stories the way we share them 'round the campfire every night," Sierra explains. "It's great, let me tell you."

As Megan approaches she adds, "The littlest Eibon!" in cheerful greeting. "I hope you've been giving Finley a hard time for me? He deserves it. He always does," she teases.

Evelyn greets Megan with a smile and her sign-name. Even though her youngest cousin didn't really learn sign language, she still gets greeted by said sign on occasion. "Megan…" She frowns just a little bit. "I um…I was talking to Madeline. She mentioned something to me, I'm not sure if you know or not…I'm not even sure I should be mentioning it but…I heard that Angelus might have told her not to talk to you? But um, I mean…I said I'd talk to him. So you shouldn't worry about it…if you didn't know." She clears her throat.

Coming to a stop, Megan huffs and rolls her eyes upward. "Angelus had the gall to demand that I not speak to Madeline, and vice versa," she replies. "We've been arguing about this forever. Lately his favorite activity has been threatening and harassing her, and I'm almost certain he had something to do with Mischief, but I can't prove it. It's tearing me apart how he wants to dictate who I can be friends with." She clenches her fists at her sides.

"Oh. He's been a real class-act again, huh?" Sierra asks. "I could go punch him one for you girls. Last time it was in the gut - but I could aim for his face, this time. Bet he'd end up back in the lake - a cold bath'd do him good." She has a rather dismissive tone. "But, well, if you'd rather handle this amongst family - don't let me stand in the way."

"Oh…he won't know what hit him." Evelyn murmurs. "Don't worry, I'll talk to him as well. But…something happened to Madeline's raven? Already? I spoke to her yesterday!" She takes a deep breath in. It's only then that she sees her other cousin further along, walking in the opposite direction. She narrows her eyes as she slips her wand out of a pocket. Holding her wand up to her head she murmurs, "Sonorus." And suddenly her voice is amplified. "Angelus Xian Eibon. You stop right there!" And with another murmur, this time in the form of the charm, "Quietus." Her voice returns to normal. "Here and I thought this would be a…well…you know…a lovely walk along the beach."

In his hasty retreat - Angelus has certainly been keeping his distance from Sierra since the meeting in the Three Broomsticks - Angelus stumbles as he hears a few exchanged words from further up. Just enough to gather assumptions, in any case, and he casts a glance over at precisely the moment Evelyn makes her enchanted announcement. It stops him from turning to continue his retreat, now shifting on his feet as he hesitates, his gaze sliding to eye Sierra dubiously. He does not approach them anymore than they are, but he does lift his head as he replies, “I refuse to be around that one,” says the boy as he points out towards Sierra. “So unless she’s gone, I’m not sticking around.” He doesn’t walk off, but he stays where he is, waiting to see if Evelyn approaches on her own or not.

"Yes, Mischief's been…transfigured…into something somewhat resembling a hat," Megan explains. “I told him just now to leave Madeline alone, but I know he won't. He used to bend over backwards for me, but now — he's so blinded by this stupid prejudice that I'm afraid his ideals may hold more sway over him than I do now," she laments. "I won't dissuade you from trying to bring him around by whatever means, but be careful. If he's willing to pull this crap with me — implying that he can't trust me if I trust Madeline—he'll probably be willing to do worse to you."

"Hoooo!" Sierra crows with delight. "You see that? He's afraid of me. Great! I'll go chase him in to the lake for you guys. We'll have him swim a few laps in contrition, then come apologize. What you say?" she suggests - beaming with delight all the while. "He's hurting animals now, though? That's just low."

"Oh…um, yes. Quite. The turning the raven into a hat." Evelyn shakes her head sadly. "I'll…I'll be right back." She says to both Megan and Sierra as she starts walking toward Angelus. As she gets closer to him, her frown turns into a scowl, "Angelus, you fool of an Eibon! Demanding Madeline not talk to Megan, as if Megan can't decide her own friends or talk to them? Especially when their in her own year and in her same house?"

And then Evelyn starts with the speedy sign language, 'And then you threaten her raven? You threaten to poison Madeline's raven? That is low. That is lower than low. Are you so blinded by your disdain for muggle borns that you would resort to threats just to ensure they do not associate with our family?'

Angelus keeps an eye on the Evelyn as he approaches. He’s ready to turn and walk away if Sierra even thinks about trailing along. But then Evelyn starts and the thought to walk away once again leaps into his head. He doesn’t really have a chance to put in anything when she turns to sign language, which he ends up goggling at. The youth gets so little from the signing that he snorts, starting to turn away from his cousin. “I’m walking away now. Come talk to me once you can talk, sign, more calmly.” And he simply turns from her, beginning to walk as he frowns.

Megan watches Evelyn and Angelus from a distance. "I shouldn't have said anything about Mischief because I can't prove it was him," she admits to Sierra. "Abusing animals is reprehensible. But if anyone is harassing and threatening Madeline, it's him. I don't know what to do with him. I love him dearly, and he's also my best friend, but I can't condone his behavior toward her, nor can I let him impose his beliefs on me. I'm a Gryffindor, so I suppose that means I have to stand up to him."

"It's what Gryffindors do," Sierra agrees. "Colton's my brother. I'd do anything for him, and he'd do anything for me. And sometimes he tells me to do stuff for my own good - you know, there's a few students he wants me to keep away from. But none of them are my friends, and I know he's just looking out for me. If he was trying to control me, though… well. We'd really have it out. A proper brawl. Hope it never comes to that." As Angelus starts to move away from Evelyn she adds, "Let's head him off and steer him back Evelyn's direction!" she says cheerfully, trying to cut the other fourth year off.

"N…no! You uh…don't walk away from me! You'll listen to what I have to say!" It's not often that Evelyn tries to stand up to someone in such a blatant manner. "You cannot control who Megan talks to. If this were about someone who would harm her, I would have no qualms about you warning her. But…Madeline is her friend. I do not believe it right of you to warn Madeline to not talk to Megan. And to add to it all, you threaten her raven? That's a new low, even for you."

Angelus does not turn back to Evelyn; he continues on walking, until his eyes flick towards Sierra and his frown deepens. His hand dips into his robes as he swings back around to lock his gaze on Evelyn. “I will not discuss this matter with you at this time. I’m asking you to leave me alone, so now if you will please respect my wishes.” His arm jerks within his robes, instinctively reaching for his wand, but when he draws his hand out it is empty. He turns from his cousin once again, glancing towards Sierra again before he simply just raises his hands, fingertips and thumbs pressed together as he rests his forehead against the top, thumbs to his chin, and closes his eyes.

Picking her way along the edge of the lake, Elspeth pauses a couple of times to look at something in the shallows. She looks up at the sound of raised voice, and her brows draw together in confusion, and she actually slips one foot off her stone into the lake when she realizes one of them is her best friend, and usually silent one, Evelyn. She splashes her way out, and walks over in the direction of the gathering of Eibons and Sierra, her feet completely dry when she reaches them. "Evelyn?" she asks approaching the edge of the group, her eyes traveling to Angelus, Megan and Sierra in turn before coming back to her housemate.

"Let him go," Megan decides. "He needs time to consider what he's done. Trying to confront him now will only get him angrier; it won't accomplish anything." She sighs again. "Maybe I should go back to my dorm and write a few letters."

"Aww, Megan, where's the fun in that?" Sierra asks, clearly reveling in her newfound ability to intimidate Angelus. She doesn't make any attempt to move any closer to him, however - she simply takes a moment to smirk.

"Oh, so you can be unpleasant to me all you want without leaving me alone, but as soon as I start talking to you about things you don't want to talk about, it's fine to leave? That's great." Evelyn scoffs. "What?!" She blurts out, without thinking, in an exacerbated tone when her name is said by yet another person. When she does turn to see who it was who spoke her name, she winces. 'I am sorry.' She signs to Elspeth, her apology etched on her face. 'I will explain later.'

Evelyn turns to look at Megan and sighs. "Fine. But this isn't over. Far from it. But, I mean, I guess…no, um, you're right Megan. Really. We uh…we all need to, well, clear our heads and focus."

Sierra still looks reluctant to give - but something catches her attention out of the corner of her eyes. "Fi- Finley! What is he up to now? Finley Fane Higgins!" And she's off, running through the snow - to keep her younger brother from breaking his fool neck.

Head bowed and hands to his forehead, Angelus draws in a deep breath. Give him strength. Lifting his head and lowering his hands, the youth straightens, one corner of his lips giving a little quirk as his blue eyes lock on Sierra for a little more than a second, flick towards Megan, before he turns and stares at Evelyn again. “Well!” he says as he lifts his hands up above his shoulders, and then brings them together to clap in front of him on the word. “You both,” and he will not acknowledge Sierra, “have decided that I am capable of such things so I see no point in sticking around and be berated when you’ve already made up your mind.” His eyes shift, flicking his gaze towards the lake, and his mouth parts as a look of surprise catches him off guard, looking between Elspeth and Evelyn. “You need to calm down, dear cousin,” Angelus’ voice suddenly slices out at Evelyn with a cold severity. “Rosen did not deserve you lashing out at her like that. I suggest, again, that you take a moment to step away.” He’s quite stunned himself as he flicks his gaze onto Elspeth again, not really sure why he felt the need to come to her defense, but the youth shakes his head in his confusion and brushes his hand through the air.

Looking to Elspeth, Angelus explains, “It’s apparently been decided that I’m quite terrible, Rosen. I’m sorry, I’ll take responsibility for her snapping at you.” He shoots a lightning look at Evelyn. “Misplaced as it is.” A sigh escapes him, and he turns to gesture outward. “I would like to walk away but Hig-“ He cuts off as he blinks, having missed Sierra’s departure. “She’s gone. I’m going to walk away now.”

Megan turns and continues up the hill toward the castle, but keeps her distance from Angelus. She's on the verge of crying, but is doing her best to hold the tears back, at least until she makes it to her dorm where she'll have some privacy.

Still looking between all of them, Elspeth halts when Evelyn rounds on her before realizing who she was. She nods and quickly signs back, -It is all right-, but remains silent. Sierra's comment receives a level look, but as she doesn't interfere any more, and everyone begins to go their separate ways, she leaves it. Although she doesn't comment on Angelus's ire to his cousin, she shakes her head, "It is being all right Eibon. I think you are all being right in walking away, right now, though. It is seeming that many people are being very upset." As he turns and leaves, she wraps an arm around her friend's shoulders.

Shooting a mean look at her cousin, Evelyn bites her tongue, resisting the urge to respond to his words. Finally tucking away her wand, which she'd been holding at her side, she just watches Sierra, Angelus, and Megan walk away for a moment, leaning against her friend. "I really am sorry." She whispers. "I got riled up, I shouldn't have taken it out on you."

Angelus doesn’t look back. With Sierra not blocking his way - and the fear of passing her gone - he stalks off, cloak whipping at his heels. He gives Megan a wide berth as he moves towards the castle.

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