(1941-06-06) Choosing Your Battles
Details for Choosing Your Battles
Summary: Jaclyn stands up for herself when Antonin picks on her…with surprising results.
Date: June 6th, 1941
Location: Lake Shore

It is a warm day on the Hogwarts grounds, and as such, Antonin Dolohov is reclined down on the shore of the lake. He is dressed in his school robes, and he reclines on the bank, his back resting against the trunk of a tree that casts a bit of shade down on him. He has a Charms book open on his lap before him, and quite the contrary for the normally brooding young man, his expression is quite pleased for some reason.

What is it about sunny days in Scotland that draws people to the pebbled shores of lochs and lakes? …perhaps the lack of sandy white beaches. Regardless, another has chosen this particular spot to while away an hour or so; her arrival heralded by the gentle crunch of stone beneath approaching footsteps. Jack Summerbee. The blonde is known in certain lazy circles for being the go-to person if you want your homework drafted for you, or a report proofread for a small fee. Or, for the bullies, someone who will just do all the work for you. Free. Being a bespectacled nerd isn't all fun and games. That's why it's perhaps fortunate that she plainly doesn't notice the comfortably reclining Slytherin nearby.

Precariously balancing an open book, trying to multitask the walking with reading, the girl unwittingly passes by the occupied tree, headed more directly for the waterline. More precisely, for a boulder adorned with a particular sort of fungi. Oh no, not a Herbology fan. Snore.

That crunch of the pebbly shore drew the gaze of the ever alert Dolohov. Dark gaze lifting and spotting the walking Ravenclaw, the pleased expression upon his longish face broadens a touch wider as he calls out, "Oy, Summerbee! So sorry that your Quidditch team let your house down yesterday. I guess when it mattered, they just couldn't stand up to the test. Slytherin will have the Quidditch Cup again this year." Despite his words, his tone reveals that he is anything but sorry, and Ravenclaw's loss to Gryffindor is just another knife the cocky Slytherin will use to twist where he might.

Blinking as she raises her head from her reading, Jack casts her gaze about herself in surprise before finally settling it upon the boy in the shade of the tree. A wrinkle of her nose is the first response to his baiting, though she doesn't seem either cowed or overly perturbed by it. "In your dreams, Dolohov." comes the unsurprising defence, in regard to the Cup. "Lose the battle, win the war and all that. Even if Ravenclaw didn't hoist the cup this time, I'd still have put my money on Gryffindor." The lesser of two evils, presumably! Nobody wants to see Slytherin win, after all. Except, obviously, them. Closing her book, she hugs it to her chest and hunkers down by that aforementioned boulder, seeming to examine it contemplatively. Jack's a big fan of Quidditch, that's no secret. But is that reason enough to be overly friendly with the older lad? She's not sure.

Antonin closes his Charms book with a snap that echoes across the relative silence of the shore. The pleased expression has swelled to a smile that is not a small bit predatory as the Slytherin pushes himself to his feet and takes a few steps toward the bespectacled Ravenclaw. "The chips are in, Summerbee. The points are counted. The minute Ravenclaw lost its precious undefeated record, Slytherin won the cup. We outscored every team in this school, after all. Not only that, but our match with Hufflepuff also put us ahead in the House Cup standings. We're above Ravenclaw by one." Now standing, he stands higher than the crouched Ravenclaw and his thin chest swells with the pleasure that spreads across his face.

There's the faintest of frowns to darken Jack's brow as that truth is pointed out, a flicker of disgruntlement on behalf of her House, and it lingers as she rises back to her feet; instinctively drawing herself up to her full height. Which, err… doesn't make much difference. There's a mutinous, almost defiant set to her jaw as she fixes a look on Antonin. Make jibes about Quidditch, fine. But implying that Slytherin can win out academically? Please. "Well, that won't last. Luck isn't the same as talent, after all." Hmm. That might have been a step too far, so she softens the sharp words with a vague smirk twisting at her lips, replacing the scowl of a moment ago. There's standing up for yourself and then there's just asking for trouble… and the petite blonde has experience enough to know the difference.

"What are you doing out here alone?" Her eyes flit, habitually, to the book that Antonin carries. "…Charms homework? I can help, if you're stuck." It's a jab, not a genuine offer. Hey, sometimes opportunities just present themselves!

A drift of his right hand, a motion almost as casual as brushing his hair behind an ear, finds Antonin's wand held almost playfully between his fingertips. Rolling it between his thumb and forefinger, the predatory grin broadens even further as he casts a wary glance over one shoulder and then the other. "Careful, Summerbee. Jibes like that will have some thinking that you wish to test your knowledge in the real world, rather than simply hiding behind your books and papers in the Castle." His eyes return to Jaclyn's, as he says confidently, "If you wish to test out our talents by crossing wands… you know I am game." Dark eyes search the blonde's face for a moment, his smile seeming to warm the faintest touch.

As for her offer, Antonin laughs quietly and says, "I am able to do my own work, Summerbee. You will get no gold from me."

"I don't hide behind books…" she counters, though her eyes drift to the wand as it appears in Antonin's hand all too casually. Suddenly very aware of her surroundings, Jack tightens the wrap of her arms around her book and musters another haughty frown to disguise the undeniable swell of anxiety. Oh yes, wander down to the lakeside all by yourself. Great idea, Jack. Well done. "Well. That's hardly a fair contest is it." Looking back up to meet the older boy's amused expression, she regards him watchfully over the upper rim of her glasses. It's a pity about those things, really. They dwarf her features and make her already big eyes look almost magnified. Mostly when she least needs to look comical. Like now. "There's nothing impressive about besting someone at something you're good at and they're not." Despite the feigned nonchalance, she backs up a half step, her heels only a few inches from the rippling waves at the shoreline. "That'd be like me challenging you to a spelling contest with really big words." Goodness, she really can't help herself, can she? She visibly regrets the words the moment they're out, but straightens her shoulders and rolls with it.

The jab at his intelligence causes a brief shadow to pass across Antonin's dark features, a slight twist of annoyance before his eyes subtly notice the backing motion of the Ravenclaw girl. "Tsk, tsk, tsk," he taunts the girl as he paces her slowly, one foot extending and then the other. Like a stalking predator, he angles his feet to ensure that Jaclyn continues her steady back toward the water of the lake as he lifts his wand teasingly to point toward her. "You better watch that mouth of yours…keep throwing around insults like that and people will begin to think you should have been in my house." The tip of his tongue snakes out to wet his lips before he says, "I mean, you /are/ pureblood after all…I suppose it is not entirely unbelievable. And as for your other comment, I am surprised that a Ravenclaw would back down from any contest of wits, whether it be something she was good at or not. After all, if you were so brainy, you could best me through your knowledge of magic whether I was skilled at dueling or not."

Whoops. Too far? Even though she keeps slowly, hesitantly backing up, the tiny, shuffling steps halting only when her heels are actually in the water, Jack does instinctively reach for her own wand when he levels his upon her, teasing or not. "Sometimes, the smartest thing is knowing to choose your battles. And we're not allowed." The protest comes out rather less boldly than she had been aiming for. But her fingers flex around her wand, down by her side. Would she defend herself, if he pushed it? …yes, more than likely. And the temptation is certainly there, to knock that smug look off his face. It's either impressive restraint or inexperience that's keeping Jack from flinging a hex…or maybe a gentle nature, beneath the bravado.

"Yes. I am Pureblood. So…maybe you should go and pick on someone else." It's a last ditch attempt to make him give up. That much is punctuated as she lifts her own wand, albeit shakily, and points it right back at Antonin. "Or, y'know. Finish your homework." Usually she's actually quite a sweet-natured little thing. But that doesn't mean she's a pushover. And besides…she really doesn't want to get her feet wet.

That teasing grin lingers as Antonin's feet cease their movements as soon as Jaclyn stops backing from him. He does not seem overly troubled by the Ravenclaw's wand that is pointed at him, in fact, he brazenly bares his thin chest to her, holding his wand wide in an inviting gesture. Chiding her playfully, the young Dolohov says, "And so it would appear that the Ravenclaw girl is not as spineless as some of the /others/ in this school think her to be. That is good. I knew you weren't, all along. If you would like some practice, you can let me know. I am quite good at this." He twiddles his wand in a general motion to indicate her own and his, loosely defining "this" as dueling. As casually as it appeared, his wand is gone and his hand is extended, thin fingers splayed to her in offer to help her step from the water.

Oh. So all it took to make him stop was for her to stop. That would have been useful information earlier on. Jack's frown softens to a merely perplexed expression, her lips still subtly twisting in uncertain displeasure as the taller boy gestures with his wand…but seeing as he has his arms spread vulnerably wide, she relaxes a touch. "Of course I'm not spineless. I'm just not mean, either." The implication that others consider her such plainly irritates her, but she doesn't argue the point overmuch. Summerbees are hardly infamous for fiery temper or martial prowess, are they. Especially not the youngest, fair-haired of them, with the horn-rimmed spectacles.

The girl eyes that offered hand as warily as.. well, as an offered serpent, not to put too fine a point on it. But manners never hurt anyone. Her wand lowers in increments, before being tucked into her waistband, freeing her own hand to hesitantly accept the help. "…I think any attempt on your part to help me excel in that sphere wouldn't leave you much time for other studies. But.. thanks for the offer…" Duelling with a Slytherin? Doesn't that have 'BAD IDEA' emblazoned all over it?

Despite the wand waving and the outwardly dark features of Antonin Dolohov, when his hand closes on Jaclyn's, his grip is warm and soft. He steps backward, assisting the Ravenclaw in walking from the water, and when once more on the pebbly bank he offers her a grin. "Oh… let me guess. You don't wish to learn dueling from me because I am a Slytherin, right?" He shakes his head and says, "And here I thought Ravenclaw were supposed to be open minded. If I had wished to hex or curse you, I would have done it earlier, you know. I was merely offering you help as you offered it to me, or… were you not being genuine in your offer?" His head tilts to the side as he poses the question.

"I didn't…you…that's…" Jack halts herself before stuttering any further almost-arguments, briefly pressing her lips in a firm line and just accepting the assistance away from the water's edge. "Do you always try to muddle people, or is it just my luck?" She doesn't elaborate on whether she means good or bad. "I never said I didn't want to learn." she points out, more reasonable now that they're standing safely back on dry ground, "As a matter of fact I'd be extremely interested. But, you know.." Raising and dropping her slender shoulders in a shrug, the blonde casts her gaze downward, absently scuffing at an unwary pebble with a toe. "…my offer was a bit rude, I suppose. I didn't mean to imply you were stupid. Well, actually I did, but I'm sure you're not really…"

Worrying at her lower lip, she raises her green eyes again, studying Antonin thoughtfully. "Why would you want to teach me? I think that's the more obvious question." Rather a twisty-turny exchange, this. Going from jabs at one another's Quidditch teams, to an almost scuffle, to offers of tutelage? She plainly isn't sure whether the latter is genuine or made in jest. The spark of interest at the idea, though, is quite evident in her features, beneath the uncertain expression. Wrinkling her nose as the breeze from across the lake tousles her hair, she absently tucks an errant lock or two carelessly back behind her ear, awaiting the young man's response.

Antonin shrugs his shoulders as well. He is a young boy, though he is passing through a growth spurt. His body has lengthened considerably over the past year, giving his arms and legs a stretchy appearance, though his robes are still the perfect tailored fit. The corner of his mouth lifts in a half grin at Jaclyn's words, at the clear confusion that threatens her as his eyes watch the tuck of that strand of hair. "Well, I would not normally offer assistance to anyone. There are clubs, after all, for such practice. Though, considering that, I am not certain that I have seen you there before. And if you are asking for a reason in particular for my offer, I suppose that it could be found in your willingness to stand up to me, when you obviously know that I could beat you. I enjoy finding that people are not what they appear to be, or not what others in this school make them out to be." The claim that he could beat the Ravenclaw in a duel is said with a calm confidence, not the prideful boasting that would roll forth from others' mouths. He isn't bragging, he is simply confident in his own abilities.

"I'm not in the duelling club, no. I thought about Broom Club, maybe." Wait, that's overly conversational. Adjusting her glasses with an upward nudge of a fingertip, Jack listens to the given explanation, such as it is, with an only mildly skeptical expression; a gentle 'hmm' her only immediate response. In contrast to Antonin, she's relatively diminuitive in stature, lacking the long-limbed gangle that adolescent boys face and instead possessing an odd sort of grace. Maybe she had dance lessons inflicted upon her, as a child. She has that sort of look about her. There's nothing really wrong with her uniform, either, truth be told. It fits fine, it's neither shabby nor perfect. No, it's definitely the glasses, combined with the constant presence of one book or another, that lends her that owlish, dowdy appearance at a glance. As Antonin has just discovered, though…you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

"Alright." Oh. Apparently his answer has been deemed satisfactory. "…Defence Against the Dark Arts isn't exactly my strongest subject. And while it's not exactly essential for my plans…I would prefer to have a clean sweep, when it comes to my grades." A down-up flit of green eyes takes in the boy's appearance in a measuring manner. "So…if you think you've the time and patience to tutor someone…I'd appreciate the extra help." Ugh, having to admit it clearly pains her. She's almost grimacing.

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