(1940-01-08) Needing Strength
Details for Needing Strength
Summary: Angelus is in the library late evening and Annie offers her help.
Date: January 8, 1940
Location: Library, Hogwarts

Angelus has been spending a lot of time in the library since school’s got back in. Pre-Breakfast browsing, breaks between classes, and late evenings. It’s about an hour away from curfew and Angelus is slumped at a table. Books are opened in front of him, though he currently pays no attention to them. His elbow propped against the surface, he’s leaning to the side as his head rests in his hand, staring into the distance as the turning of a page continues to make the sound as he simply fiddles with the page idly so that it ripples. The boy has a rather sulky expression on his face.

The library has been a bit hectic over the course of the week, as it will be when children are freshly back from vacation and trying to settle back into the routine of school. The rumour mill has been in full function, with just as much whispering as there was during 'the black weeks', as Annie has taken to calling them with Tim. She never even paid whisperers much heed when she was a student, much less now that she's staff, but one cannot help but hear things when going about the day's business. Annie has also been taking a few more later shifts this week, in part to give Madam Patil a break, in part because her new husband has been kept busy at the Daily Prophet with all this statute of secrecy/unity business. Why go home to only the company of a house elf when she can be useful?

Looking up from her work at the checkout desk, Annie's eyes fall upon the semi-slouched form of one of the prime suppliers of grist for the mill this week. She's never talked much to the Eibon boy, knows he was in the Magijugend despite being a Gryffindor and that most of them were Slytherins, but there's little else she's learned about the lad. Still, he looks unhappy at best, and Annie doesn't like to see anyone unhappy and do absolutely nothing about it. She glances around, then rises from her chair. Soft steps have her across to the boy's table, where she looks down at him and says in a 'library voice', "Mister Eibon. Is there anything that I can return to th'shelves for yeh, or something I might be able t'find?"

Angelus is completely out of it, eyes distanced and not really showing any acknowledgement to his surroundings. It is with a start that he registers Annie’s approach, blinking and dropping the page of the book. The youth is up and out of his seat swiftly, pushing back his chair and tilting back his head. “I was doing nothing wrong,” he automatically lets out, fiercely but in a hiss to keep his voice to the proper volume. The boy blinks again, shifting on his feet. “Oh.” He frowns, tilting his head to the side a little as he looks from the books to Annie, taking the time now to actually register what she asked. A sigh escapes the boy, lifting a hand to wave it in the air. “No, no, I was looking at these.” He glances down to the books, all of potions, considering for a few before he lifts his gaze again. “Actually, I was trying to find more information on potions that affect mind. Like, making you feel stronger, or healthier, or altering, or forgetful. It’s for a report,” he adds, shifting on his feet. Angelus clears his throat, looking back down to the table, a little out of sorts that he was ‘snuck up on.’

Annie's brows lift at the boy's response, and she looks at him carefully as he gathers himself back up and realizes that she's not another student here to blame him for something. But, even giving the benefit of the doubt, there's still a measure of caution, which doesn't show in her demeanor, as she asks, "A report? On what aspect of the potions?" It's the 'forgetful' that gives her pause. She leans easily on a chair back, nodding to his seat, "Please. Yeh don't have t'stand."

Angelus stares down at the surface of the table, his fingers twiddling with the pages at the bottom of a book nervously, but he does remain on his feet. His mind slowly starts slinking off into his thoughts again when he’s suddenly blinking distractedly, pulling his eyes up to Annie. “What?” His brows lower in a confused look for a second as he tries to recall what she just asked, frowning at himself for missing it. “I’m sorry, I missed that,” he says with a light flip of his hand through the air. “We do have information on potions that affect the mind here, right?”

There's a curious study of the boy as his mind wanders in mid conversation, and when he finally brings himself back and gets another question out, Annie chooses to answer that first. "Mmmhmmm," she hums lightly, "Though most of those would be in th'restricted section. But if the report's been assigned t'yeh, then yeh'll have a note to access it?" She's still not made any judgments of the young wizard, but she's not really expecting him to present a note, either.

Angelus forces himself to keep his eyes on Annie, but even still his thoughts threaten to drift in. He lets out a sigh as he drops his head, looking to the table as he murmurs, “Oh. The restricted section.” Of course. There is a lengthy pause before the boy blinks again, shaking his head away from his reverie. “Note and access, what? Oh.” Blimey, focus. Clearing his throat again, Angelus lifts his head. “I apologise, I’ve a lot on my mind. No, it isn’t an assignment, really. I wanted to do a report for an extra credit essay for Professor Slughorn. But if it’s only in the restricted section, I guess I’m out of luck. Thank you, Miss Tay-“ He cuts off, blinking, suddenly looking confused. It takes a good deal of thought before he can process that bit of information. “Moody? Did…” His eyes flick towards her hand and he looks quite taken aback as he gives his head a shake. “Congratulations.”

There's an understanding look on Annie's face as Angelus speaks of being a bit preoccupied. "If yeh were t'tell the Professor what yeh've in mind, I'm sure he'd be pleased at yer initiative." Despite all the talk of him being a right prat, Annie still keeps an open mind. "If yeh need t'talk t'someone, someone not a student," she clarifies, "We've always tried t'help the students in any way we can, Mister Eibon. All yeh need do is seek me out." Her eyes also drop to her hand, and she smiles as if it's the first time she's seen the rings there. It still gives her a little thrill every time she remembers that she's now Mrs. Moody. "Ta, it's very kind of yeh."

Angelus blinks as he looks up from the table. “Oh. Thank you. I will,” he says, in response to talking to Slughorn. Anything to learn more about potions; he’s all right to learn things you already know in class, but he seeks more. “What about talking?” He blinks, and as the boy brings his gaze onto Annie again, it’s with a suspicious look this time. The look gets wiped quickly from his face, burying it. “If there was anyone I could trust to talk to in this school who wouldn’t automatically jump to the conclusion that I’ve done anything wrong, it would be greatly appreciated.” A lets out a sigh and looks down to his books once again, starting to fix them into a more orderly position. “Thank you again, Missus Moody.”

Annie's smile is gentle as she nods to Angelus. "The last time I jumped to a conclusion, I pulled a muscle," she jokes lightly. "I'll not do that if yeh need an ear, Mister Eibon, don't have a care." She glances toward the large clock behind the main desk and adds, "If there's anything yeh don't take back for studyin', just leave it an' I'll see to the tidying up. An' if I come across anything new in the next little while, with new books that come in, I'll hold it aside for yeh." Another nod, "Very welcome. Remember th'offer. G'night, Mister Eibon." Annie turns and goes to another table, a couple of young Hufflepuff girls tittering over a lesson they ought to be writing, and has a word with them.

There’s a twitch of Angelus’ lips, showing a bit of amusement for her joke, but he really doesn’t feel like laughing. But all he does is nod, offering a forced smile her way before she goes. But how can he trust a corrupt school? He watches Annie’s departure with a sense of loss before he shakes his head, glancing down at the books and scowling at them. Yea, he’s done for tonight. He turns and walks away from the table and out of the library.

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