(1940-01-09) Sideways and Slantways
Details for Sideways and Slantways
Summary: A handful of students' conversation runs the gamut of different subjects.
Date: 9 January, 1940
Location: Great Hall, Hogwarts
Related: Immediately follows Divided
Characters
AngelusGabrielHephaestaLudaeMadeline

Gabriel can be seen coming towards the Great Hall from the central Stair case. As he approaches the doors and sees the people leaving the Hall he frowns slightly. Only to give a friendly smile and a "Good day, Master Malfoy." As he passes by Angelus he reaches out to grab the Gryffindor boy's arm, "I would speak with you, Angelus. Join me at the Ravenclaw table?"

Ludae, since the others have left, is perfectly happy to get back to the table she had been sitting at earlier, once again pulling the old tome off the stack and opening it back up to roughly the middle. It is, as would be expected, a book on herbology. The red-haired girl lifts her gaze in a brief glance up at Gabe when he comes in and grabs Angelus's arm, but she keeps quiet for now and tries to focus on her studies once again.

Sparks. It's like a dream. No matter how much you walk towards your destination, you never reach it. Angelus is just a few steps away from the grand doorway leading out of the Great Hall when his arm is snagged. He barely even notices it, too, as Angelus comes out of a daze and blinks, looking to the hand on his arm. "What?" the boy slurs out distractedly. "Oh," Gel lets out on a sigh as he finally notices who it is. He holds his breath as he considers, and then lets out as he nods. "Know that I'm leaving if you begin to raise your voice, Ward."

Gabriel leads the way to the Ravenclaw table. Setting his knapsack on the table he starts digging around in one of the side pockets, "I don't intend to raise my voice. All the opposite. I think you need a friend right now." With a smile and a pleased 'Aha!' he pulls out what should be a familiar package to people that know him, one of his homemade chocolates, which he offers to Angelus, "And, if you're learning from your experiences I'm willing to give you another chance."

From the entry hall comes the click, whirr, click, whirr sound of Hephaesta Mulciber, her clockwork leg brace announcing her arrival as usual. She steps into the Great Hall with her bookbag clutches possessively to her bosom, and limps her way to the Ravenclaw table. Seeing Gabriel bringing a Gryffindor to their house table earns a raised eyebrow, but nothing more than curiosity. Finding the end of the one of the benches, she slips in to take a seat. "Hello, everyone," she says with practiced politeness to her housemates and Angelus.

Ludae turns the page in the tome she's reading, murmuring softly to herself as she skims across the passage at the top of the next page. "Interesting," she says to herself. It's a moment later, when Phae joins them, however, that Ludae finally snaps out of her study-trance. She looks up, blinking for a moment at Gabriel and Angelus - he's still here? "I thought you had left," she says, then gives a smile and a hello to Gabe. Then she turns her attention to Phae and smiles brightly. "Hello, Phae," she greets the other girl.

Angelus fully expects Gabriel to turn to him and go on a tirade. He's got a distanced look in his eye as he follows the younger boy, and blinks when Gabe speaks to him. "Except that I didn't… What?" Angelus blinks, staring Gabriel as his mind reels back and looking a little taken aback. He's looking to Ludae before he can say anything to Gabe, and his usual, smug response is there under the surface, except that he doesn't take it. "Yea," he says on a disappointed sigh. "I'll be out of your hair soon." A glance towards Hephaesta, but his expression doesn't change much, nor does he speak out any greeting. "I was leave-" No wait. Angelus blinks, suddenly remembering Gabriel and looking back to the boy. "Are you going to crush those underfoot again if I refuse?" he intones quietly. "If this is all you wanted to discuss, then I'm going to leave. We are certainly not friends. I don't seek out friends who I can't trust."

Gabriel snorts a bit in mild amusement after greeting Hephaeste and Ludae, "Good afternoon ladies." Turning his attention back to Angelus he raises an eyebrow as he asks, "Friends you can't trust? How have I been anything but steadfast? You're the one that keeps flip-flopping his loyalties. But I'm hoping that you've learned something from the way everyone has turned on you and I'm willing to give you another chance. Frankly, I should be the one worried about not being able to trust you. But there it is…" He makes a small motion with the little package to Angelus again, adding, "And no. These take too much work to make to be wasting them. If you don't want it, I'll eat it myself."

Hephaesta returns a smile to Ludae, albeit a reserved one. "I'm sorry you can't tutor me again this year. I'm not taking Herbology any more. It's for the best, really." She never was very good with plants, in spite of her best efforts. She glances up to Angelus, brow furrowing in bemusement. Leaning toward Ludae, she whispers, "What is he talking about?"

Timing is a funny thing, isn't it? Madeline strolls in, swinging her bookbag and humming to herself - just in time to hear Gabriel declare that he's willing to give Angelus another chance. She groans. "Oh, don't do that, Gabe. Didn't you hear? He transfigured Mischief into a hat and sent her to me by owl - just so he could threaten to poison her with bread soaked in potions. He's used up his second chances plus a whole heap more."

Ludae gives a shrug as she turns her eyes back to her book for a moment. "I didn't mean it that way," she says, "Just thought you had left, you were on your way out when I came back here." She pauses a moment, and then looks up at Angelus again. She considers him briefly, but then it's back to Phae, and she grins a little bit. "That's too bad, I was enjoying it," she says, "It's very nice spending time with you, Phae, even if it is just going over various kinds of shrubs and trees. I know that you're not as fascinated with some of it as I am, though." She glances at the two boys again, then leans in closer to Phae to whisper about what had transpired earlier, the confrontation with Niles and Abe that almost came to a duel. They even tried to drag her into it, those hooligans!

"Muggle-born flaw," Angelus murmurs out as he takes a step back. He doesn't elaborate, because he turns and lowers his head to his hands - which come together with their fingertips and thumb, taking a moment. His head slightly turns towards the Ravenclaw girls, only out of reflex because he doesn't really hear the words. When he drops away his hands, Angelus is facing Gabriel again and frowning. "My loyalties, Ward? My loyalties have always been to the Magijugend and my family. Yes, we're a little divided right now, but when we-" And the fourth year cuts off when Madeline enters. The blank, flat stares and defeated tones just sort of dive bombs out of him as his eyes become cold as ice as he locks his gaze on Madeline. "Oh, no. No, no, no. Just because you have Pettigrew under your little spell doesn't mean I'm going to allow you to spread your little lies. Why would I even try to transfigure anything when I'm not very good at it? Honestly, I thought it was one of Angus' pranks again." The boy rolls his eyes. "Oh, hang on," he says as he looks to Gabriel, "I think Evans is seeing things again. She's talking about someone who doesn't exist."

Gabriel's eyes blaze for a moment but before he says anything the flare of anger fades and its replaced by a deep sadness, "A little divided? There is no division in the Magidunderheads. The hate /you/. At this point I think they hate you more than they dislike Muggleborn." He flips the little parchment paper wrapped package so it lands neatly in front of Angelus and shakes his head sadly, "Take the chocolate, Angelus. It might be the only sweet thing in your life for a long, long time. Especially now that you and your family are social outcasts. All thanks to you."

Turning to Madeline he asks, "What's this about Mischief?"

Hephaesta blinks in growing astonishment at Ludae's recounting of the earlier conflict. "I can't understand the behaviour of some people." Most people, really. "In any case, I don't think I ever properly thanked you for all you did for me. You did help bring my Herbology marks from Acceptable to Exceeds Expectations. I never did get my tree to a suitable size and shape for a broom, though. That experiment just wasn't meant to be. I've put aside the though of becoming a broommaker. I'm much better suited to other things, I think." She stares for a moment as she organises her thoughts, then nods. "So, thank you. If there is any way I can repay you, I would like to."

Madeline doesn't even look towards Angelus. "The other day, at breakfast. An owl brought me a hat? Only then the hat turned into Mischief and started hopping around the Gryffindor table snatching food off of plates and I had to get her real fast and yell sorry and hurry outside to let her loose and later I was in a tree with Mischief keeping an eye on her and he comes up bragging about how he fed her bread and turned her into a hat and gee, what if he soaked the bread in potions, would she still eat it and how he'd hate to see something happen to Mischief but if I didn't stop talking to his sister he would," she explains all in one breath. "Hand to my sword and to my badge, every word true."

Ludae smiles and gets a rosey blush on her pale cheeks from the compliment. "Well, you're welcome, Phae," she says, "I was really happy to help. It's a shame the tree didn't grow large enough for you; sometimes that plant-growth charm just isn't strong enough, or the sapling isn't healthy enough. Or maybe it just wasn't meant to be, yes." A hand lifts to absently tuck an errant strand of red behind an ear. "If you're ever inclined to try again, I think Professor Beery might have a potion we could use to encourage the tree to grow larger more quickly. I can ask if you'd like." She considers the offer of repayment, and shrugs her shoulders. "Nothing comes to mind at the moment, unless you can think of a way to get me to my classes quicker so I can sleep in an extra ten minutes."

There is no proud, arrogant remark in response to Gabriel or Madeline. It was there, so close to the surface, as Angelus wets his lips with his tongue. But he just can't muster it. He drops his head, looking down at the cookies and nudging his toe against it to slide it back across the floor. "Right. Bye." And he turns, and glances towards Ludae and Hephaesta. "By the way, Steele, I didn't properly thank you for earlier. So thank you." Then he begins to walk from the tables once again.

Ludae slips in a nod and a "You're welcome" to Angelus before he goes. Like him, she's not inclined to make a big deal out of it.

There is no proud, arrogant remark in response to Gabriel or Madeline. It was there, so close to the surface, as Angelus wets his lips with his tongue. But he just can't muster it. He drops his head, looking down at the chocolate and nudging his finger against it to slide it back to Gabe. "Right. Bye." And he turns, and glances towards Ludae and Hephaesta. "By the way, Steele, I didn't properly thank you for earlier. So thank you." Then he begins to walk from the tables once again.

Gabriel rolls his eyes as Angelus departs,"No man is an island, Angelus. Please make sure you find someone to talk to before the pressure of being ostrasized becomes too bad. Believe it or not, I think it would be sad if you crak under the kind of pressure that Muggleborn have to live with constantly." Then he takes the chocolate Angelus has refused and offers it to the girls at the table, "Chocolate monkey anyone?"

Gabriel rolls his eyes as Angelus departs,"No man is an island, Angelus. Please make sure you find someone to talk to before the pressure of being ostrasized becomes too bad. Believe it or not, I think it would be sad if you crak under the kind of pressure that Muggleborn have to live with constantly. There are times the only way we can deal with it is with the support of true friends and loving family." Then he takes the chocolate Angelus has refused and offers it to the girls at the table, "Chocolate monkey anyone?"

Hephaesta's mind immediately goes to work. "Well…if we fit your shoes with wheels, I could try to modify my bubble engine into a personal propulsion system. Though…the stairs would pose a challenge." Phae opens up her bookbag and takes out a well-loved sketchbook. She flips through dozens of pages filled with schematics and arithmantic formulae until she finds a blank page. Taking out a charcoal stick, she begins drawing out some ideas. Mostly oblivious to the unpleasantness around her, she doesn't take notice until addressed by Gabriel. "I'm not supposed to have too many sweets," she murmurs, eyes fixing on the chocolate.

Did she just says 'wheels on your shoes'? Madeline's head turns to stare at Hephaesta. "Can we put wheels on my shoes, too?" she asks eagerly - before adding, "Ooo - you made monkeys? Thanks, Gabe!" She liberates a chocolate monkey and happily munches on it.

After her farewell to Angelus, Ludae's attention is back on Phae as the other girl pulls out her sketchbook and begins to jot down some concepts. Ludae's grin broadens a little and she giggles. "Well, I was only joking, Phae, but I guess there's no stopping you now, is there?" She leans forward on her elbows, to peer over at the sketchbook for a moment. "Shoe-wheels, hmm? I doubt they're replace brooms any time soon, but they might be popular if the teachers let us use them in the hallways." She smiles at Gabe, but shakes her head. "Thank you for offering, but no, it would spoil my appetite I fear." Not too much of a concern, however, as Madeline soon liberates Gabe of the treat. Ludae smiles at Madeline now. "I don't think we've been properly introduced," she says, "I'm Ludae Steele, it's nice to meet you."

Hephaesta's eyes sideways shift to Ludae. "Oh…yes, I suppose the faculty might not like anyone racing about the halls. Perhaaaps some sort of transit system…" Drifting back into her thoughts, she returns to sketching, now concocting an elaborate elevator-like transport that can not only go up and down, but sideways and slantways and longways and backways and frontways and squareways and any other ways that you can think of. When Hephaesta dreams, she dreams big.

"I liked the wheels on my shoes idea," Madeline protests, while munching on her monkey. She grins at Ludae before adding, "Madeline Evans - Junior Auror!" in a cheery voice. "I've seen you in my tree," she adds. Yes - her tree, says the little second year.

Ludae grins broadly at Madeline. "-Your- tree, is it? I seem to recall you being up -my- tree from time to time," she muses, "Junior Auror, though? Well, hopefully you won't be coming my way on any official business anytime. As far as trees are concerned, though, I'm quite certain we can share. Plenty of branches for the both of us, after all." She quirks a brow at Phae, though. "Sounds like quite an endeavor, that one. Might be worth looking into for the Ministry, though, I'm sure they would be quite pleased to have something like that. Hogwarts, however, does not seem inclined to be remodeled any time soon."

Hephaesta pauses to tap her chin, leaving a bit of charcoal smudge there. "Hm. I'd need to get some floorplans for Hogwarts. I don't suppose that's likely." She sighs, putting the notebook aside and looking over at Madeline. "I'm sure I can make wheeled shoes. But I don't want to get into trouble over it."

"Why'd we get in trouble? Where's the harm in wheeled shoes?" Madeline asks in an eager voice, beaming at Hephaesta, before her attention turns back to Ludae.

"I suppooooooose we could share," she agrees. "And I don't think I'm gonna have anymore official business anymore. Or at least I hope not. Auroring's not any fun, you know."

Ludae gives a nod to Madeline. "Doesn't sound like it would be. That's why I prefer herbology and magical creatures. Much more enjoyable than chasing down wizards and witches getting involved in the dark arts." She shakes her head to Phae. "Probably not a thing you could even find in the restricted section," she says, "I'm pretty sure that the founders ate the blueprints after they finished building the school."

Hephaesta sighs and nods. "Hogwarts does seem to be full of surprises. I might even be dangerous to try to remodel. Anyhow, Evans, we would get into trouble if someone were wheeling about too fast, and crashed, hurting somebody. I know I wouldn't like to be crashed into."

"I can't wait to take care of magical creatures next year!" Madeline says excitedly. "But for now - herbology's pretty good. But not as good as potions." Her attention moves back towards Hephaesta as she adds, "Oh, gosh, I'd never crash into anyone! I'd feel just awful. I'd hate to hurt somebody."

Ludae gives a nod. "It would be awful, and even if you didn't hurt somebody else, you could always forget to slow down and take a tumble down the grand staircase." She shivers at the thought. "That is not a fall I would soon forget if it happened to me." She shakes her head. "It's probably one of those ideas that sounds good on paper but when you get to the practicality of it…" She shrugs again, and then smiles at Madeline. "Well, if you need any tutoring in either herbology or magical creature care, I would be happy to help. I'll be graduating after next year but those are the classes I've taken for my N.E.W.T.s and until then I'm sure I could find time to give you any assistance."

Hephaesta's face pales a bit at the mention of caring for magical creatures, but she keeps her silence about it. There are matters of physics gadgetry to discuss! "When traveling at high speeds, you have less control. Have you ever been on a broom and tried to make a sharp turn at full speed? It's just not possible. It's the same thing with wheeled shoes. But if you promised to only use them outside where it's safe, I might consider making some."

Madeline actually takes a moment to visualize going down the stairs in wheeled shoes. At speed. "…that'd hurt," she relents. And then Hephaesta insists she only use them outside - and she lets out a sigh. "Okay. Only outside. Unless I find a really biiiiiiig room in the castle because you never know what you're gonna find when you go exploring!"

Ludae grins a little. "That does sound like fun, whipping around outdoors on wheeled shoes. You'll have to make a pair for me as well, then, Phae. Maybe we can get special permission to use them in larger areas indoors when they're not being used. Or maybe you can give them some way for the wheels to grip so they don't slip out from under us in the winter?"

Hephaesta pinches her lips into a lopsided expression. "Hm. This is going to require some thought. Especially if I'm to fit them with bubble engines." Out comes the notebooks again. There are ideas percolating in that genius brain that need to be let out!

"What a bubble engine?" Madeline asks curiously. She climbs onto the bench of one of the tables, leanin over it so she can see Hephaesta's notebook. "Can I help you build the wheeled shoes? I've never built anything like that before!"

Ludae gives a nod of her head. "Maybe just a charm on the wheels would do the trick," she says, "Though it might take some research to find the proper one." She taps her chin. She snaps her fingers then. "Don't forget a way to make them stop. You -definitely- need to be able to stop."

"A bubble engine is a type of thruster I built for a broom. It uses-…" Phae balks at Maddie's request to aid in the building. Without answering, she continues while flipping to another page of the notebook. "It uses principles of Muggle technology. But mine is much safer, with no explosive or flammable fuel source." She lays down the book on a page with sketched designs for some kind of cylindrical object with bubbles pouring out of one end. "The pressure built up by an Ever-Bubbling Potion inside the engine is carefully released out the back to give thrust…with a bit of help from charms."

"Ohhhh… neat!" Madeline says eager - then starts to giggle. "Think how much fun it'd be to have one on my bicycle?" she remarks. "I mean - I could maybe do that now!" Now that the Unity Act has passed! "And my bicycle can already stop. So we wouldn't even have to worry about that."

Ludae grins broadly. "A bicycle might be fun, and certainly does have the benefit of not requiring invention before Phae puts her bubble engine on it," she says. It's here that she gets up from the table, though. "I've got to get to my next class, though," she says, "Phae, hopefully I'll catch you in the common room later, I'd love to catch up more. It's always great talking to you." She gets her books packed away. "Madeline, it was great officially meeting you, too. I'll see you in the trees most likely," she says. The Ravenclaw girl gives the both of them a wave and then is off to her next class.

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