(1941-06-10) While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Details for While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Summary: On a sunny morning, Antonin picks a fight with Oscar for playing muggle music on his guitar, though Samira seems to enjoy the songs. After etching the word ‘half-blood’ in Oscar’s guitar, Antonin gets shoved to the ground. This entertains Samira, but she makes sure it doesn’t escalate further. Erica shows up just in time to defend Oscar from further antagonizing and lead him away.
Date: Fri Jun 10, 1941
Location: Training Grounds, Hogwarts

It's a surprisingly pleasant Scottish morning, one of those perfect blue-sky days that so rarely surface, even in summer. The school year is almost over, the pressures of life have begun to subside, and students are flocking to the Practice Grounds for pick-up games of football, Quidditch, Gobstones, cards, and anything else that comes to mind.

Oscar had come out with both his guitar and his Quidditch gear, ready to move in either of his two favorite directions. But since there are none of his teammates around to banter with, he's settled down with his guitar and begun to play. Surprisingly, the oversized beater is quite good.

He's playing Muggle music, American blues, Robert Johnson, and singing in a husky baritone that matches the melancholy notes exactly. "Come on — oh baby dont'cha want to go — Come on — Oh baby don'tcha want to go — back to that land of california — to my sweet home, Chicago." A series of notes on the guitar, his meaty fingers surprisingly deft.

Already seated out in the open spaces of the practice grounds is the dark featured young lad, Antonin Dolohov. As usual, he is dressed in his immaculate Hogwarts Robes, the accented colors of Slytherin Silver and Green unmistakable in the bright sunlit day. He is seated on a bench off to one side and not far from where Oscar has taken seat, the Slytherin beater with a Potions book and a blue notebook open on his lap, no doubt studying for his exams. As Oscar's bluesy tones come lilting across the open space, the proud Slytherin glances over, a scowl marring his features as he examines the older student. "Hey!" he calls out. "Could you not do that somewhere else? Like you dormitory?"

Oscar doesn't answer right away. He finishes the song and lays his guitar down atop his knees, running a hand along the varnished surface fondly. "I could," he finally answers, smiling in Antonin's direction. "But couldn't you study somewhere else? Like, in the Library?" But he doesn't start playing again, not right away. The Hufflepuff is too soft-natured to torment anyone, even a Slytherin. Even a rival Beater.

"Congratulations on the Cup, by the way," he says. And though there's strain in his voice — nobody likes to lose — Oscar at least tries to sound sincere. "Your team really pulled it together this year. You earned it." A brief pause, and that grin comes again. "But next year we're going to take it from you."

Antonin likewise closes his book, and then the notebook, arranging them neatly upon his lap while never taking his eyes from Oscar. He leans back on his bench and regards the Hufflepuff beater with a pleased expression as he says, "Yes, well. Your congratulations are appreciated, though hardly needed. There was never any doubt that we would win the cup with our…. /competition/." The way Antonin inflects that final word reveals much of how he views the other teams and the Beater he is now gazing upon, the sarcasm dripping from the simple sentence enough to reveal that young Dolohov considers the competition to be exactly zero. "Ravenclaw got lucky for a little while, but we knew they would crack eventually." His eyes take on a cocky glint, a cruel smile on his features as he says, "And as for next season, Hufflepuff will do well to lick the mud from our boots by the end of the season, when the Cup is ours again."

In mocking answer, Oscar plays an ominous riff on his guitar, something out of some melodramatic opera. But his smile remains genial. It's as though he doesn't really take Antonin seriously — after all, Slytherins gotta Slytherin. It's just in their nature to be gits. "I've brought out a Bludger and my bat and broom," he offers equably. "We could practice."

We could beat each other bloody, is what he really means. And the big Hufflepuff smiles again, as cheerful at the prospect as if he'd been given a garden of magical roses to tend to. "As for next year, with our new Seeker and some of the other positions we're going to fill this summer, I'm going to feed you a jolly big humble pie." He, too, seems remarkably confident. "Doesn't it ever get exhausting? That chip on your shoulder."

Sunlight. Actual sunlight. Samira drifts across the lawn, eyes shut, savoring the golden warmth on her skin. Students in her path pause their games and shy away from the Slytherin Sixth Year. Gradually, she drifts towards the peculiar music of the plucked guitar strings. And the voice. Only once the guitar rests does Samira open her eyes. She observes Oscar for a moment with interest before shifting her attention to Antonin. A subtle smile quirks upon her lips as she listens, amused.

That glint in his expression flashing very briefly angry, Dolohov shakes his head in a mocking manner as he says, "I don't practice with Mud, nor would I be willing to give you any of our strategy, no matter how big the charity may be." Tit for tat, Antonin doesn't back away from throwing the lashing back at the older and larger Hufflepuff. There is no trace of fear in the younger student though, in fact, it is well known that Dolohov has been quite willing to duel any takers, for win or lose, in the Dueling Club meetings. As for the chip on his shoulder, Antonin says, "Is it a chip to simply know ones place in the world? I would beg to differ, but I can't blame one of your status for confusing the two. Once again… it is to be expected." That calm, predatory expression never leaves Antonin's face as he returns comment toward the Hufflepuff.

Very slowly, Oscar lays aside his guitar, his features turning grave. For the first time, he seems angry rather than amused, and he doesn't respond straight away. When he does, his voice is flat. "Don't talk about my parents." He knows the words — Mudblood, half-breed. He's heard them even from those of his own House, on occasion. And though he has a reputation as a gentle boy, shockingly slow to anger, perhaps the fuse has finally been lit.

A glance toward Samira takes in her amusement, and his tanned features flush a deeper brown. But he keeps his voice quite calm as he continues. "You're a second-rate Beater at best. Your team is a good all-rounder, but you won largely because everyone else was in a huge turnover." Whether that's true or not, Oscar presses on, still in that flat voice. "And from what I hear, you're hardly so certain of your place in the world. Always eager to prove you're the best, aren't you? Must be scary. Not being sure."

Samira meets Oscar's glance with a fixed stare of keen interest. Her little smirk grows as Oscar's features flush. "His place was set before birth. It's even too big for him to fit still. Uncomfortable and hard. And no trace of uncertainty. No room for it." Slinking closer to the Hufflepuff, she peers curiously at his guitar. "Tell me. What was that music? Where is it from?"

A pleased expression spreads across Antonin's features as he sees the older student becoming to grow angry and lose that pleasant smile. He places his books beside him on the bench and crosses his arms over his chest, gazing at the Hufflepuff. "Listen, Mud," he begins, using the insult as a name for Oscar. "We beat Hufflepuff 370 to 290, and that is with your precious seeker catching the Snitch. If Walburga had gotten it before her, then we would have crushed you even more soundly. We out scored every team in this school. That makes us the best, no matter what excuse the others would use." His eyes drift toward Samira for a brief moment for returning to Oscar, "As for my Beating… If I am second rate, that doesn't say much for you, Mud. Tsk, tsk, tsk," he shakes his head and gives Oscar an obviously exaggerated pitying expression.

"It's called Mississippi Blues." Oscar relaxes subtly as the subject changes, though he's still wary of an affront — now to the music that he so clearly cherishes. "A man by the name of Robert Johnson wrote that song." He smiles suddenly, dimples appearing. "The Americans say that he sold his soul to the Devil in order to play the guitar better. He's that good." As he talks about music, his disposition begins to warm again, returning Samira's gaze with interest of his own.

And then Antonin opens his mouth again. But this time, Oscar is prepared for it. He stands up under the taunts rather better, and when he smiles, it's a lazy expression — as though it takes a bit of effort to even respond, and that he's not sure Antonin is -worth- the work. "Like I said. Congratulations on winning. In fact, I even have something for you."

His eyes returning to Samira, he lifts his guitar. "It's another blues song." And when he begins to play, Oscar absolutely exceeds himself — the sound is electric, magical, and — somehow, mocking. He looks to Antonin as he sings.

"I got to keep movin'.. I got to keep movin'.. Blues fallin' down like hail.. Blues fallin' down like hail.." He hums through an interlude, his fingers dancing. "And the days keep on worryin' me.." Another few bars played, accompanied by that rumbling hum, almost a groan. "..There's a hellhound on my trail."

Electric tingles make their way down Samira's back and across her arms. Unprepared for the strange yet powerful music, the Slytherin girl stands transfixed. She folds her arms against her stomach.

There is a tightening of Antonin's features as Oscar plays his bit on the guitar, followed by an almost casual drift of his hand to his wand. His eyes remain focused completely on the instrument, his considerations obvious as his fingers white knuckle the wooden shaft. Once Oscar finishes, he shakes his head and says hatefully, "Just more proof of how muddy the blood is here, Mud. You only make it more and more obvious."

Oscar gives Samira a wink as he continues to play, his features alive with the genuine joy of playing. But there is a gravity to his face as well, a gravity that seems to make him older than his years, as though the music were permeating into him. As though the Blues speaks to the 'mudblood' in surprising ways. He doesn't sing for awhile, just plays, pouring all his energy into the bars. After awhile, though, he comes back to the song.

"I can tell the wind is risin'.. the leaves tremblin' on the tree.. tremblin' on the tree. Hmm, mm. All I need's my sweet little woman… And to keep my company.." He trails off with a brief grin and happens to look up, at that moment, to see Antonin's grip on the wand and hear his words. "I guess I am muddy," he says after a pause. "That's the blues for you, Ant." He uses the diminutive casually. "It's a shame you can't just enjoy things. I'm sorry."

Absorbed in the music, Samira doesn't notice Oscar's wink nor Antonin's white knuckles. Only at its end does the spell break. Her attention shifts from one boy to the other. The hateful remark and measured response rekindle the hint of mirth in her eyes. She neither defends the mudblood and his music nor does she join in on the mockery, preferring to remain the spectator at this match.

Expression shifting, Antonin nods and says, "Oh yes… it is quite lovely. I play the guitar myself, if you would lend me your instrument I will play you a tone as well." His eyes meet Oscar's and he offers him an encouraging smile.

That's hard. Oscar doesn't trust Antonin, not really. He stares at the Slytherin Beater for a long few beats, his mouth open slightly. And then over at Samira, aware that the Slytherin girl has no real stake in defending him. But to deny Antonin a chance to prove him wrong would be.. cruel, wouldn't it?

He takes a breath in, looking down at the beautiful cedar and spruce instrument, then offers it over. "It's a ten-string," he says softly. "Just like Robert Johnson plays." The words are pathetically earnest, as though he can evade the trap. But there is already budding anger in his eyes, though he keeps it well in check. He has to give Antonin his chance. Right?

Samira's hips sway as she shifts her weight, arms still folded. The sudden shift of Antonin's manner causes no flicker in Samira's expression. Perhaps she would be as content to watch Antonin smash the guitar as she would be to listen to a new song. She offers Oscar no trace of help when he looks to her. She watches Antonin, curious.

Smiling in satisfaction, Antonin stands and crosses over to retrieve the guitar and says sincerely, "Don't worry. I will treat her like she deserves." Samira has likely known enough of Antonin to know the boy's ruthless disposition, and his confrontational nature. He turns his back as he crosses back toward his bench and as he does so, slips his wand free. Murmuring under his breath, "Insculpo," his wand tip glows a fierce orange and he places it to the face of the guitar body, using the wand tip to scrawl in large ugly letters, "Half-Breed." When he reaches the bench and turns around to face the others, he beats out a few ugly notes and then smiles before saying, "Nope… I can't do anything with it." With that, Antonin throws the guitar back through the air toward Oscar.

"No!" The yelp is quick and hurried, but Oscar has a Quidditch player's reactions. His hands come up, meeting the guitar gently, lovingly drawing it toward his chest. He examines the marking and then, curiously, lifts the guitar to his ear and taps the wood with his thumb, listening to the sound of the impact. He lowers it, then stares down at the profane disfigurement again. And then he lays it, very gently, down in the grass.

In two long-legged strides, the huge Hufflepuff is towering over Antonin and reaches out with both hands to give the Slytherin Beater a hard shove backwards, attempting to knock him off the bench. His normally placid, smiling, face is set in a mask of sheer fury.

"Who's in the mud now?" he snarls, after the shove.

Samira steps back, well out of the way as Antonin tosses back the guitar. She watches with interest as Oscar advances on Antonin. At last, she slinks over to her housemate's side and gazes up into Oscar's fury without so much as a hint of hesitation.

Antonin smiles at the cry of "No!" in response to his marks made on the guitar. He watches as Oscar stands and stomps over toward him, that pleased smile only broadening in face of the larger student and he doesn't dodge as he reaches out to lay hands on him. His grip tightens on the seat of the bench, but the older male is stronger than him and he is forced from his seat and back onto his back. He quickly rolls and pops back to his feet, his eyes dancing maliciously as he stares back at the older student. His eyes slide from the livid expression of Oscar to Samira who has come to his side and back again before he says in a low and mocking voice, "I believe laying hands on another student in violence is against the rules here at Hogwarts…" His eyes shift back to Samira and he says, "You let me borrow your guitar to practice my wood carving for Ancient Runes, and then attacked me… at least that is what I saw. I think it is two against one. That won't look good on Hufflepuffs chances of winning the house cup." Dark eyes shift back to Oscar and he says, "Such a shame."

Chest heaving, Oscar takes in a huge breath. "I'll show them what you wrote," he says softly. But there's a lack of conviction in his voice. Oscar has been at Hogwarts for six years — he knows the penalty as well as anyone, and there's no penalty for racism on the books. And the look aside to Samira confirms it for him — he'll lose this exchange, more than likely. Just as he played into Antonin's hand. Teeth grinding, the Hufflepuff Sixth Year clenches his fists.

"He looks from one Slytherin to another, outnumbered, his wand still in his pocket, and squares his shoulders. Slowly, as he takes in deep breaths, the rage begins to fade from his face and his hands relax. "I love that guitar," he says deliberately, biting off each word. "And I never did anything to you, Antonin Dolohov. You say I'm a Mudblood? Well. I am." And he raises both hands, turning them over, palm-up. "But my Muggle father taught me a good lesson. Play stupid games? Win stupid prizes. I'll see you on the Pitch."

Standing at Antonin's side, Samira simply watches Oscar as her housemate lays bare the sprung trap. She wears the same subtle smile as before, showing only detached mirth. She seems satisfied once it's clear that Oscar is backing down. Her gaze flits to Antonin and she slinks over to settle down on a bench. She settles back, basking in the sunlight. Like a cat. Or a houseplant.

"Pity he didn't also teach you your place… and how to recognize your betters," Antonin growls in quick reply. He grins, those straight white teeth revealed in the bright sunlight and clear blue sky. He doesn't quell as Samira moves away, nor does he shy from those clenched fists at Oscar's sides, no doubt he would relish the opportunity to heap more assault at Oscar's feet. "Your presence here is insult enough."

Speaking of the pitch.. another student appears suddenly on the periphery of this little exchange. Judging by her attire, Erica has been out running drills - again - and now she's on her way back to the dorms, broom in hand, for a well-earned cup of tea and a comfy armchair. Or that was the plan.. Noting the trio a short distance away, and Oscar in particular, the little blonde initially alters course to approach with a cheerful smile. And that quickly begins to fade as the subtle nuances of the discussion become more apparent. It's not like her teammate to be anything other than merry, after all.

Slowing her pace as she draws closer, Erica flits a wary glance over the two Slytherin students, before looking up and aside to her fellow Hufflepuff. "Hey. Everything alright?" It's a moment more before she glances down at his clenched fists, and that expression of innocent enquiry darkens ever so slightly to a frown, which she casts Antonin's way. "What's going on..?"

And then, of course, Antonin's being his usual charming self. Annoyance fades to resignation and a sardonic twist of her lips as Erica stands more deliberately right beside Oscar. Not that she's even remotely intimidating. "Can't you just go find some flies to pull wings off or something..?" she suggests, in as brave and disgusted a tone as she can muster, her cheeks turning pink even at this. "..though.. don't really. That'd be horrible."

Oscar backs away slowly, his eyes on Antonin. "He did. I've not seen them in this part of the Grounds." He seems apt to say more, but then Erica is beside him, and he crouches down to pick up his beloved guitar, showing the face of the soundbox to her. For the first time, his voice cracks a bit, showing something other than anger — genuine pain, his features stricken at the sight of a friendly face. No doubt Antonin and Samira are eating this up.

"Look what he did, Erica!" Half-blood is carved in crude letters across the wood, burned in place. "It'll never come out." He seems, momentarily, near to tears. "The sound'll never be the same. Not with the wood all scorched and brittle." He stares down at the dirt. Clearing his throat, he says, not meeting Erica's gaze, "..I really love that guitar."

Samira sits with her eyes closed, simply enjoying the rare sunshine, until Erica speaks up. She grins, amused at the girl's brave words. And she takes in the added words and pinkened cheeks with impish laughter. She settles forward on the bench, just watching with interest as Oscar shows Erica the scarred guitar.

Antonin also glances toward Erica and outright laughs at her as he shrugs. "Don't let the tender boy fool you. I was lamenting on how I wish that I could practice my engraving charm before my Exam, he offered up his guitar. He did not say what I could and could not write." He shrugs his shoulders, still grinning in the face of the two Hufflepuffs, the sound of Samira's laughter only serving to bolster the young Dolohov.

Erica's brown eyes widen as they take in the ruined guitar, then drift toward the Slytherin boy. "..you miserable little dugbog." The word is flung with some vehemence, especially after he laughs at her. It's the worst insult she can grasp, off the top of her head.. but, given how she feels about dirt and grime, accusing him of being a slimy, swamp-dwelling creature is pretty harsh, by her standards. The laughter of the girl, too, warrants a glance.. but the blonde doesn't know that one. And being brave in the face of one Slytherin is probably more than her usual limit already, thanks much.

"..he's just jealous. Because you're really good at something and he's destined to be average in everything." The words are soft-spoken, perhaps barely audible, but she holds Antonin's gaze steadily as she offers Oscar the reassurance, slipping her hand through the crook of his elbow. She's common sense enough to be slightly afraid of the Slytherin beater. She has, after all, witnessed his nature firsthand out on the Quidditch pitch. "Besides. Maybe it can be fixed. I'm sure it can. Come on.." She tugs gently at her friend's arm, plainly keen to get both of them out of this unpleasant situation, before it gets any worse.

"Don't laugh at her."

The pain is gone, replaced by sharp anger, and this time the words are directed at Samira, addressing her directly for the first time. Oscar steps forward protectively, half-blocking Erica from the Slytherin girl's sight as though the laughter were a blow directed at his friend. But then it's Erica who is defending him, and her hand is through his arm.

Oscar straightens to his full height, staring at Antonin with unfeigned, and entirely uncharacteristic, loathing. "We'll see who they believe. That you were practicing unsupervised magic and I let you use my most prized possession. Or that you asked to play, and I trusted you. And you still practiced unsupervised magic."

It's a feeble defense against the charge of shoving the younger Beater over, but it's the best Oscar can do. He's so rarely in trouble. His poor mind just doesn't work this way. But he lets Erica begin to draw him off, murmuring to her, "…I shoved him over. I'm very sorry, Erica. I've lost us the Cup."

Samira tilts her head as Oscar shields his friend from her. Still smiling, she holds up her fingers as if in surrender. Then she relaxes back on the bench. Her gaze lingers on each in turn. Before the two Hufflepuffs are out of earshot, Samira speaks up. "The professors are likely to deduct points from both sides. Unless the matter is left as settled."

Grinning in light of the defense Oscar attempts to shield Erica with, Antonin shrugs his shoulders and says, "Oh yes, I am jealous of the dirty blooded Beater that was just moments ago attempting to taunt his betters. You got me… please… mercy!" Antonin's voice is mocking toward Erica and Oscar, as is the laughter that follows. He doesn't take his eyes away from either student as they begin to back away from the pair, listening to Samira's words. He nods slowly and says, "I am not overly concerned about Hufflepuff's points. It was worth it just to break him," he replies over his shoulder toward Samira, extreme enjoyment at the evenings proceedings evident in his tone.

"Yes. You are." Erica's voice is even as she offers the Slytherin a scowl. "It was an observation, not a jibe. By the way, the pitch is free. Maybe you should be getting practice in with the bludger, rather than worrying about your engraving." Tightening her fingers slightly on Oscar's arm, she pointedly turns her back on Antonin - though Samira gets a measured glance of grudging consideration for her sensible words on the matter. "It's fine. Just leave it." This is directed as an aside to her friend. Erica's used to people laughing at her. It'll take more than that to unduly upset her. Keeping her arm firmly looped through the taller boy's, she continues to lead him away from the younger lad's baiting. Desperate to distract Oscar, before he goes back and pummels the kid into oblivion, she adds, in a whisper for him alone, "..I bet he has a lovely singing voice. Or, he will until his voice breaks.. you should have played some Doris Day.."

"I bet he's a eunuch," Oscar grumbles back in Erica's ear, leaning slightly into her. There's gratitude in the posture, but the look he gives back over his shoulder is solid enmity. But he gives Samira a grudging nod. "We'll leave it, then. It was worth it to see 'Ant' in the mud." Grass, really, but close enough for his sake.

The huge Beater turns away again, glaring down at his boots. He keeps his disfigured guitar cradled delicately in his left arm, rocking it like a baby. "It's a ten-string," he tells Erica sadly. "Robert Johnson has one just like it." It sounds as though he's repeating something, a note of weariness in his voice. "But I suppose even Robert Johnson has to deal with this. He's a black, poor chap."

Samira watches Erica with catlike satisfaction as the Hufflepuff girl heeds her observation. And Oscar recieves a little nod with her smile. Once the two badgers are off, Samira glances back over at Antonin and laughs softly. "Indeed. He certainly played into your hands."

"No matter the jab, it can't quite add up to that dirty blood, Mud. You're right, I'll see you both on the pitch." Antonin points a finger mockingly at Erica as he says, "I'll keep a bludger in place just for you." As the two Hufflepuffs walk away, Antonin can't resist adding, "Well… he doesn't have one /JUST/ like it. Not anymore anyways. It's an improvement, really." He backs until his legs bump the bench and sits down beside the other Slytherin, retrieving his notebook and book as he says, "That he did… but what can you expect from their kind?"

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