(1940-01-12) Dealing with Nightmares
Details for Dealing with Nightmares
Summary: Madeline didn't sleep well due to flashbacks to the terror attack. Megan tries to help.
Date: 1940-01-12
Location: Gryffindor Girls Dormitory
Related: The Pantomime Performance

After the rather disastrous attempt at a pantomime, and the fire that destroyed the Auditorium, Madeline has been pretty reserved. At the moment, she's seated on the floor next to her bed, leaning back against the wall. She has one of her Christmas gifts out - an animated dragon toy that snaps at her with dull teeth and breaths harmless fire. At the moment, she's gently stretching out the thing's wings.

Megan returns from having a shower, now wearing midnight-blue pajamas decorated with glowing stars, cute slippers, and a bag of toiletries. "Hi, Mads," she says when she spots her friend on the floor as she enters the dorm. Slipping around the wrought iron pipe stove, she sets her bag down atop her trunk, grabs a hairbrush from the drawer of her night-stand, then joins Madeline on the floor facing her, leaning against the adjacent four-poster bed. "What's on your mind?", she inquires, leaning forward while gathering her hair over one shoulder.

"Hey, Megan," Madeline greets the other girl, flashing her a brief smile. As she joins her on the floor and ask what's on her mind, she shifts a bit uneasily, and looks back down at her dragon. "I, umm, nothing special I guess." The dragon hisses at her and snaps at the fingers holding out its wing. "Did I tell you - Rena got me this?"

"Oh, that was nice of her," Megan replies, peering at the mechanical dragon. "It looks intricate. Does it respond to any commands? Rena must've paid a pretty knit for it. The fire-breath isn't real, though, is it?" She holds out her hand toward the toy, hesitating to touch it, while holding the brush in her other hand, resting on her thigh.

"No, not real," Madeline answers. "But it bites. But it doesn't hurt. It pinches a little sometimes." She lets go of the dragon's wing, and it walks in circles on her lap a few times before settling down. "I don't think it knows any commands. Everyone says you can't train dragons - but I bet they're wrong. But then, this isn't a real dragon, so…" She watches the toy as she talks, rather than her friend.

"I think you could get Gel to kiss a muggle-born girl sooner than you could domesticate a dragon," Megan replies, "and that's saying something. The toy could probably be charmed further to do more things, with some effort." She notices Madeline's melancholy, and tries to think of something to get her mind off things. "Could I bribe you to brush my hair for me?", she asks hopefully.

Madeline has to giggle at Megan's comment - despite her poor mood. "Aww, that can't be true!" she protests. "I mean, not unless you're using one of the Unforgivables." But why would someone use that just to make Angelus kiss a Muggleborn?
At the request, Madeline picks up the toy in her lap to set it aside on her bed. "Umm, yeah. Sure. I guess I could do that," she agrees.

The answer to the unasked question is 'blackmail material'. Megan grins, glad to get even a giggle out of Mads. She scoots in front of Madeline, turns around, sits cross-legged, and passes her brush over her shoulder. "Thanks. Maybe I can do something for you afterward," she offers.

"I, umm, sure. If you want," Madeline agrees, as she takes the brush and starts gently running it through Megan's hair. "Nobody's brushed my hair for me since we came back from break. And even my mum doesn't do it for me as much as she used to…"

"Awh, I'd be happy to do that for you anytime," Megan replies. She closes her eyes and clasps her hands together in her lap as Madeline begins brushing her hair. "That feels nice. It's one of life's simple pleasures," she comments. "One that no girl should go without."

"Yeah. It is nice," Madeline agrees, as she continues to brush. "Mum did my hair up for Christmas morning, of course. She always does, before we go to Grandma and Grandpapa's." On her pillow, Madeline's dragon seems to have claimed the high-ground and roars quietly, sending out plumes of heatless fire.

Megan usually gets Angelus or Derpy, their house elf, to do this for her at home, but decides not to mention it since Gel isn't Madeline's favorite person, and she presumes that her friend doesn't have the luxury of an elf. "You didn't seem to sleep well last night," she comments, inviting Mads to volunteer what's troubling her. Merlin knows she has her fair share of things to worry about. "Can I help you with anything?"

"Oh," Madeline says quietly, her hand pausing between strokes before she hesitantly starts brushing again. "It's just I - ummm. The fire it, uhh… It made me think about, uh, this summer," she admits. "'n… you know. What happened."

Megan grimaces at the thought of Madeline re-living that awful memory. "My gosh, I'm sorry," she says, before turning around to face her friend—interrupting the brushing. She reaches for Mad's shoulders and looks at her face with sympathetic eyes for a moment, before pulling her into a hug. "I'm sorry," she repeats softly.

When Megan turns to face her, Madeline starts to tear up - and of course being pulled in for a hug results in full tears, as she returns the hug and hides her face against her. "How come people c'n do stuff like that?" she laments quietly.

"I don't know how real monsters come to be," Megan says. "I'm not really sure I want to know." She tries to soothe Madeline by using one hand to caress her back up and down, willing to let the hug linger for as long as her friend wants. "I might have a small amount of Dreamless Sleep in my trunk," she offers. "Of course, it won't fix anything, but if you can't get to sleep again—at least it will help you get some rest so you can attend classes without being exhausted." She cants her head up at the dragon that continues to operate atop Maddie's bed. "Want to sleep together tonight?", she asks. That sometimes helped Megan when she was having nightmares back at home.

"Together?" Madeline asks quietly. She did sneak into her parents' bed after what happened at Sweet Temptations. And it did help. She frees one hand to wipe at her eyes. "S-sure," she agrees. "That, umm… might help," she admits.

"Okay." Megan loosens her hold on Madeline and gently takes the brush from her hands, deciding Madeline's hair is more important than her own at the moment.

Madeline lets Megan brush her hair - and when she's done, the two girls get better for bed. Megan's right - Madeline does sleep a little better with someone else in the bed next to her.

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