(1940-05-12) Puddle Jumping
Details for Puddle Jumping
Summary: Melody and Alexei have a bit of a chat on a soggy day.
Date: 12 May 1940
Location: Hogwarts Grounds

Springtime in Scotland, a time of rain and more rain. Most of the students of Hogwarts are well used to the often downright gloomy weather in the north. For her part, Melody doesn't mind the rain a bit. It's just another excuse to go traipsing about in her beloved wellies, today coloured with bright splashes of the rainbow in random patterns. They don't match her dark school robes in the least, which is exactly what she likes best about them. Mel had come out onto the grounds to find somewhere to play her flute, but then the drizzle started again so she took shelter in the greenhouse until it tapered off. Now, in the break in the weather, she's back to tromping around through puddles, looking for a likely spot to sit. There are few other students out and about, most are simply coming or going from the quidditch pitch, abandoning the green of the lawn for a sunnier day.

One of those other student outside is Alexei. Unlike a number of them, he isn't really trying to flee the rain, or anything like that. What he does seems far more like aimless wandering while being lost in thought, as he makes his way along the grounds. Right now, his steps seems to take him in Melody's direction, but if he knows it or not, who can tell?

The bright familiarity of Hufflepuff yellow catches Melody's eye, and her attention wanders over to Alexei who seems to be paying very little attention to where he's going. They're acquainted, of course, it's hard to spend six years in the same house and not know each other at all, but they've never been very chummy. Even so, and probably not even because of house loyalty and all that, she's quick to take a few steps toward his progress. She's very familiar with all the little dips and hillocks of the grounds, having spent much of her time wandering here and there, and he's about to walk right into a very small lake. Or a very large puddle, depending on your point of view. "Mind your step!" she cautions lightly, hopefully in time. Unlike her wellies, his black shoes don't seem well suited for puddle jumping.

"Hub?" And there Alexei has managed to step right into that large puddle, grimacing as he notices. There's a few muttered words in a decidedly non-English language, as he steps back. "Thanks…" he replies, before he shakes his head as he looks down at his feet for a few moments.

Melody's face falls at once, almost comically expressive as she looks down at her housemate's soggy feet. "Oh dear," she says, her eyes raising to his face as her lips press in a sympathetic line. "You need some good wellies if you're going to have a walkabout." Which he probably knows, but she does have a keen grasp of the obvious. "I know a drying charm," is offered.

Alexei pauses for a few moments as he hears that, before there's a brief smile. "I didn't even notice the weather," he offers after a second or two, shaking his head momentarily. "Every now and then, there's those moments when you are lost in thought, and don't really pay any attention to where you are going, you know?" A brief smile is offered. "A drying charm would be nice. The water was a bit… wet."

It's clear that the pair aren't very well acquainted, because then he would know that Melody is a princess of her mind being where her head isn't. Her smile brightens, lips parted over those slightly large front teeth. "It's been raining," she offers, somewhat after the fact all things considered. Her head tilts back as she regards the still cloudy sky, "But it's not now." There's a pause as she looks up at the sky, then all at once her wand is out, attention back on the older boy. "Hold still," she cautious just a second before her wand swishes through the air. The spell is spoken confidently, the girl sure of her ability to cast it. "Arificus." The right intonation, the proper flick, and a warm wind springs up around Alexei, focused mostly low by his feet. Still, it's enough to give him a ruffling as it accomplishes it's purpose. "Better?" Melody asks as she tucks her wand away again.

"Oh, it's been raining…" Alexei is unable to hold back a grin as he hears that. "Now someone tells me," he adds, just as lightly, before he nods at the part about holding still. Doing so, even as that warm wind ruffles him a bit. "Much better," he replies with a smile. "Thank you."

"Welcome!" Melody chirps brightly. She makes no move to go on her way again, instead her hands disappear behind her back, clasping lightly as she looks up the few inches at the taller Moscovitz. "Were they very important thoughts?" It doesn't take 'very important thoughts' for she herself to become lost in them, but she's found that most people, on the average, don't tend to wander so far in their own heads.

Alexei nods a little slowly, offering her a smile. "I think the thoughts were quite important, yes. With all the things that will happen in the next few months, some thoughts tend to sneak in like that, after all." A brief pause, before he asks, "What do you think you will be doing when you finish school?" A brief pause, before he offers a smile. "If you don't mind the question, that is."

There's an understanding nod from Melody, her hair arrested from falling into her eyes by two small clips that seem to resemble sparkly dragonflies. "You're seventh year," she acknowledges, showing that even though they aren't very familiar, he's not entirely unknown. His question has her shrugging her shoulders, hands freeing each other to sweep out to either side. "I don't really know. I still have a year and all," she adds, almost defensively. It's a question she's gotten several times in the past few weeks and she doesn't really have a good answer for it. "I suppose I'll go back home and meet a nice boy eventually." The hands drop to her sides and she turns the question back onto him. "What will you do?"

Alexei nods a little as he hears what's being said. "I need to get a job. Something where I can help so my father won't need to be spending all his time working anymore. He's done that for far too many years."

Melody tilts her head, regard Alexei with wide brown eyes. "What sort of a job?" she asks. She's been keenly interested in what others are planning for their lives after school. Perhaps looking for something that'll spark more in her than just speculation and the sole prospect of marriage and a family. "What does your father do?"

"That's what I was thinking about. Probably some kind of job dealing with magical creatures," Alexei replies, after a few moments of thought. "And father has a few different jobs back in the Muggle world. Hard work, mostly."

Not one to be able to stand quietly for long periods of time, Melody's attention wanders, or seems to, but her attention is shown as she responds again. "You seem to take well to creatures," she remarks off-handedly. She's a year behind, but she was always keen on watching the older students when she took CoMC class. She turns a full circle in place as she watches a bird swoop in a circle around them and then flutter off, her eyes returning to Alexei. "Is he magical then?"

Alexei pauses a little as he hears that. "Thank you," he replies, offering her a smile. Another brief pause, at the question. "Father? So far, only my sister Akilina and I have been."

If not for the sibling's being seen together quite often, Melody wouldn't have had a clue that Alexei even had a sister here at Hogwarts, so quiet is the younger girl. They've still never talked, different houses and quite a separation of years, but she's at least seen Akilina around. "Oh, he's a Muggle then?" she asks. There's no mockery or guile in her tone, just curiosity. "We live near to a little Muggle village, but close to home we're all magical."

Alexei smiles, nodding. "He is, yes." A smile is offered as he hears that last part. "That's one of the very interesting things about this place, how people come from all the different kinds of lives."

Again, there's that tilt of a golden crowned head and an intent cast to usually dreamy brown eyes. "What was your life like before school?" The curiosity remains in Melody's voice, mirrored in her gaze.

"Busy. Helping my parents back home, trying to help with everything I could. After all, with eight children in the house, that was a bit hard for my parents. So as the oldest, I had to help them as best I could," Alexei replies, offering a smile now.

It might be shocking that her eyes could get any wider, for somehow Melody manages it. "Eight? We're only five, us, and things got awfully crowded when we were all at home." Her face eases again, as she shifts her weight from one foot to the other, and she nods, as if satisfied by his answer. "Where d'you live, when you aren't here at school?"

Alexei chuckles as he hears that, "Crowded? That's quite true. And it's even more crowded when the others have started getting older as well. We live in a relatively small cottage in London. Not very much space, to be honest." A brief pause, before he adds, "How about you?"

Melody has apparently been standing still, or… somewhat still, for long enough. As she and Alexei continue talking she turns, reaching to pluck at his sleeve lightly as she steps away from the puddle that soaked his feet, and starts to walk slowly through the grass, heading for one of the paths. It's apparent that she expects to be accompanied, unless her companion excuses himself. "I'm from Shropshire," she answers, although to some that's apparent just by her accented speech. It's sort of a British-Welsh hybrid that trips lightly off her tongue. "We live in the country."

Pausing momentarily as she starts walking again, Alexei follows, while making sure he doesn't step into anymore puddles now. "The country? Sounds quite nice," he offers, with a quiet smile. "Very different from the big city, I think. Sounds far calmer too."

"It's lovely," Melody says, her voice taking that fairly dreamy tone that most are familiar with. "Lots of space to roam and play games, always new things to explore." Her steps veer unexpectedly, a shift sideways gently nudging Alexei, and two steps later her wellington squishes into another marshy spot in the grass. If he moved with the nudge, he's likely to have avoided another squishy shoe. "I like being outside here. It reminds me of home." There's a pause before she further admits, "And we don't have enough windows." They are situated rather partially underground, with the windows in the common room high toward the ceiling.

"Sounds quite lovely," Alexei replies, and that nudge indeed happens to help him avoid squishy shoes now. "Such areas are probably good places to live if one's supposed to work with creatures too." At the part about the windows, he blinks, "You don't… Oh, wait, you mean here?"

"We have animals," is volunteered next. "But no magical ones. We have sheep and a goat or two. My cousins have cows and a few horses." Melody keeps walking but moves a step or two ahead and turns to walk backwards, peering up at Alexei. "Oh yes. We have a lot of windows at home." Before she can trip on something she spins back around to walk like people usually do, facing the way they're going. As they reach one of the paths she turns to follow it, safely taking the improperly shod boy out of the wet grass finally. "You'll probably need to dry your shoes again," she notes.

Alexei nods again as he hears that, offering a smile. "Windows can be quite nice, as long as they're not too few, and not too many." As they reach the path again, he smiles. "I may have to do that again, yes."

Melody's smile is wide and warm as she turns it on Alexei. "I don't think there can be too many windows anywhere, ever." Says the nature girl. "Are you going back to the commons?" She doesn't actually wait for an answer to the question, going on as if he'd said yes. "I can dry your shoes again when we get back, but you ought to soak your feet in some hot water. You'll catch cold if you don't."

"Well, if you live in a house made entirely of glass, can't there be too many windows then?" Alexei asks, offering a smile in return. Nodding a bit as he hears the question. "Sounds like a good time to get back inside, yes." A brief pause, before he adds, "I suppose getting a bath at some time would be good too."

"That's why we have curtains," Melody says patiently, as if Alexei has missed a very easy point in the conversation. She nods, accompanying him as if they've always walked and talked like this, but his mention of a bath brings a light colour to her fair cheeks. She doesn't comment on it, other than a murmured, "Yes. Indeed." As they continue on she keeps her silence, glancing sideways at the taller Hufflepuff every few steps, until they part ways in the Hufflepuff common room. "See you at dinner, Moscovitz," she says with a wave before scooting up to the girl's dorms.

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