(1940-11-27) A Library Meeting and Future Cider
Details for A Library Meeting and Future Cider
Summary: Rachelle formally meets Claudia, a first year she had seen at book club once or twice. The two discuss plans for the holidays and Claudia hatches a plan to conduct an Inter-House Celebration.
Date: 1940-11-27
Location: Hogwarts Library

It was still earlier in the night as the scratching of quill on parchment echoed through the nearly empty library. Rachelle was sitting quietly at a table copying notes on a long scroll style parchment from a thick tome she had checked out from the library. The binding was not clearly visible and the writing was in ancient runes if one got close enough to read it. She seemed caught up in her work and would not immediately notice someone approaching as she tried to focus. Streams of moonlight shone through the large window in this section of the library.

Moving with a defined purpose, Claudia weaved her way through the library tables, arms filled with a variety of books. Often she came perilously close to stumbling into the other students, trying to keep her tower of reading stable all the while. As she breezed past Rachelle's, her foot caught on a misplaced chair, sending the books tumbling.

Somewhat startled, Rachelle jumped a little and dropped her quill, realizing a moment too late it was a girl she had only seen around the school since the start of the new term. seeing the books all over the floor, Rachelle gingerly stood up, glancing the girl over and seeing if she was okay. After a cursory glance, she carefully began to help pick up the books. "Tis a sad day when you see books fall." She mumbled to the other girl as she offered the books she had managed to snatch off the ground. She cocked her head to the side and studied the smaller girl, clearly not as nervous around her as she was amongst her peers.

"Thank you." Claudia bent to help the older girl with the scattered volumes. "I really don't know what's got into me. I hope I didn't disturb you?" She looked up to meet the other girl's eyes, demeanor confident but hands clenching her books with undue force.

Rachelle shook her head and bit her lip absently. "It's no trouble at all, I am after a long study." She explained, her accent clearly Irish. "B-but I could have a bit of a kip anyhow." The adjusted the clasp on her robes and ran her fingers through her hair. "I've not seen you around much. First year are we?" She asked the girl as she offered the seat across from her.

"Yes, first year Slytherin." A note of pride infuses Claudia's words. "I'm Claudia Bulstrode. I believe we're in Book Club together?"

Rachelle nods, as if just remembering where she had seen the girl before. "Ah, I apologize, I haven’t been in donkey’s years." She said, somewhat embarrassed, "Perhaps once or twice this year…Ancient Runes has put my time right on the bothrin if you take my meaning." She explained. She studied the other girl a moment more. "Sorry, my name is Rachelle." She explained sitting back in her seat, gesturing to the other girl. "You can sit if you want."

With a resonant thud, Claudia dropped her books on the corner of the table. "I'm obliged," she said, collapsing in the chair across from Rachelle. "If I may ask, What's a bothrin?" She leaned forward cocking her head.

Rachelle gave the girl a shy smile, "W-well…it's…kind of like a road. But quite a bit smaller. Bit bigger than a bogway." She explained. She seemed to think this was good enough as she glanced at the other girl's books and reminisced about her first year at Hogwarts. "Planning to study all of that tonight?" She asked playfully.

Claudia hesitated, glancing down at the books, before brushing long, glossy bangs out of her eyes. "I'm trying to improve my marks in Herbology. I know the class is important, but I detest the subject so far. It's all dirt and doesn't seem very practical!" Abashed by her outburst, Claudia peered at Rachelle's books. "You're working on Runes, I see. Whatever is the subject about?" All the while she has been twisting a ringlet of hair around her left index finger, apparently unaware of the habit.

Raising an eyebrow at the other girl's reaction to herbology, she couldn't help but smile. "I think you'll find that herbology is much more useful in the future. At least in regards to potions, if nothing else." Rachelle adjusted herself in her seat and nodded, pointing to the large tome in front of her as she spoke. "Besides, I promise if you encounter a fanged geranium or the like you may want to know how to handle it." She assured the other girl. Addressing the girl's second question she showed her the cover of the book she'd been studying. The entire cover was decorated in the runic alphabet. "It's an elective class you can take once you get to your third year. It's the study of ancient runic scriptures, also known as runeology." She began, "It's often what wizards used to write in and can be used to disguise spells or even allow for some to be permanently in effect until a certain condition is met."

"Magnificent!" Claudia bent to stare uncomprehending at the symbols. "I wonder why that's not a required course but Astronomy is. If you ask me, which of course you didn't" the younger girl blushed. "Our curriculum is extremely skewed. Even beyond Astronomy being a required course but Magical Creatures and Runes being optional, I understand we teach Draught of Living Death and Love Potions in class but never learn their antidotes!"

Rachelle giggled at the other girl's reaction. "There is hardly any reason to need an antidote for a love potion considering its limited time frame. Of course, most regrettable actions under its effects would be done prior to brewing an antidote anyway." She noted at the girl's suggestion. "As for the Draught, I've not seen it yet in my studies, I believe that is on curriculum for seventh year students." She explained, "Hardly any time to teach an antidote for that if you don't learn it until you're leaving." She shrugs and adjusts her quill and parchment to exactly line up, turning the book in line with the other two objects. "But I can't say I disagree with you on the Draughts' antidotes not being taught here." She glanced over her shoulder to make sure the two weren't being too loud, but did not notice any immediate reactions from the few students who were in there besides themselves. She still toned her voice down a bit as she spoke, "As for astronomy…" She shrugged. "Not sure why that one is required either. I'd agree we should start people sooner on ancient runes in its stead, but…" Her voice trailed off.

Claudia leaned back in her chair, drumming her fingers on the desk. "So you're from Ireland? If I may be so bold, are you going home for the holiday break?" She paused, before flipping open the top textbook and preparing a roll of parchment, quill scratching out a heading.

Rachelle nodded at the girl, "I am from Ireland, Ennis to be exact, or south of anyway." She noted politely. "I might go back this break, I usually do. My family wouldn't have it any other way. Bit of a Ceili my family has every winter. Himself likes to have a bit of story contest and the like." She reminisced as she told the girl, smiling a bit. "But if I go back I might have to deal with a few more things than I'd like. It wasn't pleasant over summer, what with people talking of war and all." She shivered. "I heard there was an attack from the Germans up north. My father says it serves them right for siding with a bunch of Sasanach. Course I don't think that would've made a difference." She said sullenly.

"How much has the Muggle war effected Ireland? Where our family is in London is quite awful." Claudia gives a quick frown before continuing. "Anyway, your home sounds lovely, although I'm not sure what a Sasanach is, unless that's a reference to the Persians?" Claudia gives her companion a bright smile, tilting her head inquisitively.

Rachelle giggled. "It's an English person." She explained, somewhat embarrassed. "You can't hold it against my father, he was one of the Boys in the IRA." She said, chewing on her lip nervously. "I'm sorry to hear about your home. Where I'm from, there isn't that much affecting us." She sounded fairly relieved, "At least, that's what I've heard from my brothers. My da won't talk about it."

"No offense taken." Claudia stifled a chuckle, glancing about to make certain that Madam Patil and the other students hadn't noticed her mirth. "I was thinking, those of us students who remain here should arrange a social event. You know, hot cider, cakes, perhaps dancing!" Claudia's voice rose as the idea began to take hold. "Would you be interested?"

Rachelle looked down at her books and blushed. "I-I might be….hot cider is never a bad thing. T-that is if I have to stay here for my studies and the like." She explained, her reaction was fairly obviously to the last half of Claudia's comment. She adjusted her robe self consciously and tried to recover herself. "I-I take it you're not going back to London this winter then?" She asked the girl, wondering how bad the war actually was if students might be staying at school instead of going home. Of course the holidays there were always a few stragglers, this could be no different.

"Well…" Claudia trailed off, obviously struggling with her words, before proceeding more slowly. "My father is an advising attorney with the IMC, and my mother will be working extra hard for the holiday rush. She's a potioneer in cosmetics and perfumery," she adds as an aside. "But I really think it best if I'm not there…both for the war and so they can focus on their work." The last came out in a tumble of words, and Claudia clenched her hands, staring at her nails before forcing her gaze back to the other girl. "A party would be just what you need! We could work on inter-house cooperation, and you could bring your beau!"

Giving the younger girl a knowing smile, she nodded and shrugged. "I can understand that." She spoke softly in response to Claudia's reasoning for staying at the school. As the other girl looked up she bit her lower lip and maintained her gaze until the girl mentioned her beau. She dropped her gaze to her hands and was idly rubbing her nails. "I….t-that would be hard…since I…well.." She explained, slightly embarrassed, and not quite sure why. She took a breath and gathered herself and looked back to the girl. "I think an inter-house thing might be best for this school, especially with the….things that have been going on lately." She didn't want to re-address the last part of that comment.

"Wonderful!" Claudia grinned infectiously, leaning forward on her elbows. "I won't distract either of us from our studies much longer, as if we stay out too much more, we'll run into curfew." She lowered her voice to a conspiratorial murmur. "If you would like, we could study together on the weekends. I can drill you on questions and facts, at least."

Looking at Claudia and giving her a shy smile. "It might seem that way." She whispered, realizing the time had gone by faster than she had hoped. "I'm not sure how much of what I'm studying would be helpful, most of it is in the writing of these runes, but I would be happy to help you in herbology if you ever need it." She offered. "It was one of my better subjects." Rachelle stretched her arms behind her head and arched her back. "I think I've been sitting long enough as is. Perhaps I'll go for a walk before I go back to the commons." She said. "We could also plan this….party a bit more if you'd like. I'm usually down here if I'm not in the Ravenclaw Common room." She noted as she carefully cleaned her quill off.

Claudia stood, smiling shyly and arranging the fall of her robes. "I would like studying with you very much. I'm generally here or down by the lake." Gingerly settling the pile of books in her arms, Claudia performed a quick curtsey. "It was a genuine pleasure making your acquaintance! And, thank you for volunteering to help out with the event! I'll be in touch!"

Rachelle nods and finishes gathering her scroll and quill, closing the book carefully. "Until then Claudia. Nice to meet you as well." She said sliding her things into a small bag and adjusting her robes. She picked up the library book and clutched it to her chest, waving to the other girl.

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