[OPEN] An Escape from Claustrophobia

[OPEN] An Escape from Claustrophobia

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open [OPEN] An Escape from Claustrophobia

Post by Fiona Grimm on Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:42 am

The library was a zoo. The NEWT and OWL students had finally realized what Finn had been panicking about all year - their exams were this year, and they were approaching fast. She had seen the library fill up and clear out all year, but nothing came close to the madness she had seen today. Students had actually formed study circles on the floor and the older students had duplicated chairs. Finn couldn't stand the claustrophobia as the students got more and more crammed together. She had been hoping to save a seat for Lucy Weasley but that seat was stolen away and Finn decided to do something she had never done before.

She gave up on the library.

She stopped first by the kitchens to grab a few snacks, and then to her dorm to don a jacket and scarf. She had a feeling that the castle was going to make her claustrophobic, no matter where she decided to hide out. Winter was finally starting to melt into something beginning to resemble spring, so she decided to take advantage of the sun, icy as the air might be.

The second she stepped outside, a chill worked its way through her bones. She reached into her bag and withdrew a jar - it was a trick she had once overheard Casey Weasley talking about and had been quick to steal. She conjured bluebell flames and held the jar before her, her bag bouncing against her thigh as she walked.

She chose the Quidditch stadium because she was pretty sure there wasn't practice scheduled. She climbed up into the stands, before choosing a bench. The bluebell flames kept her warm as she began to rifle through her things, trying to locate her History of Magic textbook.
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open Re: [OPEN] An Escape from Claustrophobia

Post by Lloyd Juves on Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:41 am

Maybe he was oblivious to the world most of the time, but that didn't explain why Lloyd had thought it would be a fabulous idea to come tromping out here in just a short-sleeved T-shirt and jeans.  His comfy grey sweatshirt was lying back in the tower, folded neatly on top of his trunk.  The boy had debated bringing it, but of course his boldness had scoffed at any possibility of getting cold later.

And now here he was, lying across a bench in the middle of a mass of empty stands.  Wondering whether he could get away with staying outside and completely ignoring classes and curfew and everything else in the world.  Sure, it was uncomfortable because of the temperature, but it was also undeniable beautiful.  The air was crisp and fresh (although to the point where it nearly pierced his lungs with every intake), while his breath wafted across his face and drifted up into the sky.  Clouds littered the greyish expanse like tufts of fur from a dog on a bedspread.  It was almost funny, to be honest.

Yes, Lloyd decided.  It would be nice to stay out here forever.  There was nobody to bother him, and even if there was nothing to do, there was plenty to mull over.

Predictably, another student chose that moment to arrive.

He heard the creaking through the wood of the structure, long before she was near enough to see, even lying on the benches as he was.  Groaning to himself, Lloyd raised up his head to get a better look and caught sight of a young woman.

Admittedly, she was striking.  With very beautiful green eyes and pale skin that could almost be translucent in this colorless daylight, she was definitely attractive.  Shooing away those thoughts, Lloyd shrugged mentally before resting his head back down on the wood surface.  He half wanted to go talk to her, but the silence was so nice.  Being broody couldn't hurt, if she was willing to just ignore him.  

Perhaps the older student wouldn't even notice the boy at all, and they could just be fellow escapees of the stuffy indoors and forced companionship it brought. Then again, maybe she wasn't like him and didn't altogether mind babbling along with the strangers who wanted to sit at the same table, along with their one hundred other friends.
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open Re: [OPEN] An Escape from Claustrophobia

Post by Fiona Grimm on Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:36 am

Finn had the misfortune of being a dreamer. This was unfortunate in itself, but she had also grown into a very logical young woman, forcing herself to consider fact about feeling, especially as she began facing some of the unfortunate truths in her life that she could not escape. Her history book wasn't doing her much good, discussing a period in the 1700s where a band of vampires had slaughtered an entire community of muggles. Faced with the facts that she was a vampire and that her father's place in the community demanded she continue the family line, Finn had little room left to dream.

But she did. She dreamt about the delivery boy who had peered into her life and spoken kind words to her, who seemed to embody a life she desperately wished to pursue, one far from the restriction of her family home, a life of simple pleasures and honest work. She dreamt about the days when she had been the tagalong friend to Ducky Baker and Nora Graham, and she had never wanted for the security of friendships. She dreamt for a normal life, a life in which she wasn't so terrified all the time.

And these were dangerous dreams. Because they inspired hope. And hope did little in the way of comforting in the fact of the harsh facts.

She heard a creak and glanced around, spotting a student who had chosen the stadium as a place of solace as well. He wasn't looking at her now, missing the flush that rose up her neck and into her cheeks as she considered leaving - but he hadn't even noticed her. So what would that accomplish anyway? There was nowhere in the castle where she could get this much solitude.

"OI! GRIMM!"

She started, nearly dropping her book as she lifted her head. Julian Kapur had poked his head into the stadium, his broom across his shoulders, wrists resting around the broom in what she guessed was supposed to be a show of masculinity? If the boy had any meat on his bones, it might have worked.

She hardly knew Kapur. He was a sixth year, a Gryffindor. And he was wildly obnoxious. They had nothing in common.

But Julian had the knack for remembering every girl in Hogwarts.

He was still staring at her and her face reddened even further, embarrassed to (somehow) be the cause for the interruption to the quiet. The boy on the bench must hate her.

"What?" she called, sounding a little helpless.

"I'm working on a barrel role! Watch me, okay?"

"I don't know anything about Quidditch," she called back, her voice pleading with him to leave her alone.

"That's fine just- oy, who's that? Juves? Juves, is that you mate? My man! Lloyd will help you out Grimm. Thanks!"

He hopped onto the broom and took off for the air, and Finn had no idea what had just happened. She stared after him open-mouthed, eyebrows high on her forehead as her eyes searched the empty air, hoping for an excuse to save her from this situation.

None came. Foolish to hope one might have.

She slowly turned to look at the other boy - Lloyd Juves, it seemed. "I'm... so sorry."

((Julian Kapur is my other character, and he's a 6th year Gryffindor who pretty much knows everyone. He's a goof. XD I figured he could help get these two talking. And he might join up later, if you're up for it!))
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open Re: [OPEN] An Escape from Claustrophobia

Post by Lloyd Juves on Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:19 am

It certainly had been quiet, hadn't it?  

The shouting gave Lloyd a new appreciation for that previous silence.  Groaning, he closed his eyes and tried to think happy thoughts.  His sister Seren, smiling at him.  His sixth birthday party.  Cricket practice.  Something besides that god-awful yelling match that his obnoxious house mate and the green-eyed girl were having.  Although honestly, she seemed to be trying to melt into the stands.

Lloyd resolved to ignore the two in the hopes that eventually, Kapur would just get whatever he wanted and go mess about elsewhere.

But then of course, he ran out of luck.  He'd been spotted by the older boy, and now it was his name being thrown around, unable to be tuned out-- like the sharp shrill of a dog whistle.  Lloyd sat stick straight up and turned his irritated eyes on Kapur.

"I'm not gonna--" but the dark haired guy had apparently already decided somewhere in the back of his mind that Lloyd was going to help the girl watch him play Quidditch.  This, was decidedly not pleasing to Lloyd.

The guy fell back down on the bench and half wanted to throw his hands up in the air dramatically.  Unluckily for Lloyd, however, he wasn't the most balanced person around.  As he had lain back down, his shoulder blades had hit the wood hard enough to send a surprising shock through his entire back.  He ended up tumbling off the edge of that rise and falling six levels below, into the middle of the stands.  In his genius, Lloyd had chosen nearly the highest bench to doze on.

So I made a fool out of myself and I'm stuck watching Kapur fly around on a broom.  With some girl.  Who's not in Gryffindor.  Lloyd picked himself up and steadily stared up into the sky at the other guy, who seemed to be preoccupied enough not to notice what the two other students were doing at the moment.  Maybe if he just ignored her she'd forget that Kapur had volunteered Lloyd to help...?

Nah, that's a no-go, he conceded.  Glancing around, Lloyd realized that the girl-- Grimm?-- was standing now just a couple meters away.  That was great, she'd had a front row view of him falling.  Mentally cursing his fabulous fate, the boy made his way over to the brunette.

"Lloyd Juves.  Nice to meet you, Grimm...?  Oh and, I know nothing about Quidditch." He was muggleborn and even after five years at this school, he still had little interest in the sport.  Gryffindor wins were nice, of course.  Aside from that, he couldn't really bring himself to care.  "So maybe I should just, ya know, leave now.  I doubt I'd be very helpful for Kapur and his barrel rolls."

That excuse was pathetic, and Lloyd knew it as soon as the words left his mouth.  Clearly this girl barely knew anything about Quidditch either, and they both had been recruited into helping the other Gryffindor.

"You know what, scratch that.  Got anything interesting we can do while my upperclassman messes about on a broom up in the sky?  Any buildings we can set on fire or something?"  Real smooth, Lloyd.  Way to go.  He winced at his own awkward scrambling.  She was pretty.  It was a fact.  Could his brain just get over it already? "Barring that, how about some kind of juicy secret?  Do you turn into a wolf on the full moon or something?"  Oh God, why was he talking so much?  And what was he saying?
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Post by Fiona Grimm on Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:36 am

Finn felt horrible. She didn't know Kapur well enough to have been pulled into something as ridiculous as this, but it apparently didn't matter much to the other boy, and her involvement was secure. She was regretting choosing the stadium, not only for her new unpleasant task, but because she had drawn someone else into this - and of course she was levying herself with the blame. Kapur's arrival and request was wholly unexpected and she was the last person to attract a ruckus.

She would have just... left. But there was the fear that he would pursue her and make a scene about it later, perhaps when there were even more people. And that'd be completely unfair to this stranger, not only interrupting his silence, but leaving him alone to deal with Kapur. It wasn't fair to her, sure, but she couldn't pass it off to him. No.

Any temptation to bolt immediately left her mind as the boy tumbled down the stadium. With a gasp, she stood up, hands flying to clap over her mouth as her eyes widened. She felt powerless to help but soon he stopped himself. She shakily stepped towards him, wanting to ask if he was alright, but he wasn't looking her way as he righted himself. He turned and met her gaze and she stuttered out the question, "Are you okay?"

But he was introducing himself and she blinked, swallowing down her concern even as it remained etched on her face, lips parted and brow furrowed uncertainly. "Um, Fiona. Finn. People call me Finn. And yeah, neither do I." She turned her head to look at the pitch, where Julian was zooming around at a breakneck speed. "I don't think he cares."

He was offering to leave and her eyes widened as she turned to look back at him, finding she really didn't want to have to sit down with Kapur alone and fake her way through Quidditch tips - and it was very rare that she would rather enjoy the company of someone else, especially someone she didn't know well.

He changed his mind and she flickered an apologetic smile, settling a few away from him on the bench below him, pointing her wand at her book and her bag, summoning them to her, where she clutched them against her chest, her knees drawn up as her feet rested on the bench in front of her. He was strange, bold in the way he spoke, and she lifted an eyebrow in confusion at his suggestion. Before she could answer, he was hurtling towards a question and-

"What?"

The question was choked from her throat, eyes widening madly. No one knew she was a vampire here, save for Ducky and now Hitame... Had Hitame told someone? She was a Gryffindor, after all. She squeezed her book tighter to her chest and shook her head, trying to bite down the panic. "N-no. I don't know why you would- no, I don't."
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open Re: [OPEN] An Escape from Claustrophobia

Post by Lloyd Juves on Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:51 pm

Upon witnessing her reaction, Lloyd immediately backpedaled furiously.  He'd no idea why her reaction was the opposite of what he had intended, but hey, that shouldn't really have come as a surprise.  Since when had any decent person found him to be funny anyways?  Maybe she'd had some trauma with a werewolf or something.  Darn it, Lloyd, you talk too much.

"Whoa girl, don't worry.  It's cool, no matter if you're a wolf or what, I won't judge.  They're fierce and independent creatures.  It was a joke, anyways..." but really, he was sort of fond of the creatures.  His family had been of a decent size, enough that it sometimes felt like a kid could get caught in the shadow of his siblings.  Like the runt in a pack of wolves.

Well, it wasn't like Lloyd had ever actually felt that way-- it was just a possibility, really.  At least, he refused to believe it.

Shaking himself back to the present conversation, the dark haired boy stared at her fingers, which were pressed against the cover of the textbook so hard that he wouldn't have been surprised if they turned white.  Was it his fault that she was suddenly so tense?  Probably, darn it.  Normally the guy wouldn't care, but she was, uh... Lloyd refused to keep thinking that way.

"If you are a werewolf, I don't give a... whatever, but don't bite me, alright?"  His eyes darted to his sneakers and their scuffed toes.  Then all of a sudden they were flashing up, looking bright and less sapphire so much as topaz in the clear grey light.  He refused to be shy.  This was ridiculous.  Even if she was a supernatural creature buff or an activist who advocated for equal rights for any creature who was able to breathe, he refused to be intimidated.  His jokes might not have their intended effect, but hey, that was that.

"So, uh, Finn..." Lloyd trailed off shortly after opening his mouth, already regretting that decision, which had stemmed from his sudden burst of boldness.  Automatically, his hand flew up to scratch nervously at the junction of his neck and spine.  "You're very pretty," he blurted out.

Horrified but unwilling to admit it, the boy glared up at the sky, tracking Kapur with his eyes.  Dang, man.  I'm blaming you for wrecking my afternoon, he groaned inside.  "So we've established that I am the epitome of smooth, right?" Lloyd remarked, dropping his hand after he noticed the habit.

You know what, maybe Finn wouldn't hate him completely for pointing out the obvious.  It didn't count as overtly flirting if it just came out of his mouth unbidden, right?  He couldn't be blamed just because his subconscious was an evil idiot always working to sabotage everything Lloyd was involved in.  Wait, why were they assigning blame, again?  Geez, what was he doing with his life...
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open Re: [OPEN] An Escape from Claustrophobia

Post by Fiona Grimm on Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:43 pm

She must have looked like a stuttering idiot, the way he responded, his eyes widening with surprise and mouth moving quickly to try to right what was probably a very incidental wrong. If he did know something, he was able to play it off remarkably well, and something about him (maybe the fact that he had just tumbled down six flights of stairs and completely ignored it) told her that he might not have been a master of manipulation. She had to assume it had been a random stab in the dark, a swing and a miss.

Though it had landed remarkably close to home.

Despite his reassurance that it was a joke, she still felt the words tumbling out of her mouth. "Still, I'm not. Um..." She was desperate for anything to get away from the subject, and it struck her that they were both miserably failing at the task that had pitted them against each other. "We should probably watch Julian..." She turned back around, facing forward as she rested the book on her knees, her elbows atop the book as she leaned forward, trying to seem interested in Julian - who seemed to just be having a laugh out there.

"...whatever, but don't bite me, alright?"

Her cheeks burned red and she turned her head to look at him, certain that he was teasing her now, that he actually did know. Why else would he be so persistent? But when she turned around, his eyes shot up, bright and interested, and she faltered underneath his gaze. There was something determined to his eyes, but certainly not malicious. She swallowed.

He said her name and she decided she had enough. Every interaction was just an exercise in humiliation and she found herself willing to jump back into the chaos of the castle rather than embarrass herself again. She was going to at least insist that, if they were being forced to interact, perhaps they should at least try to help Julian out.

"Look. I think we should-"

"You're very pretty."

Her words died on her lips, all of the tenacity she had gathered for her simple request gone in the face of this strange... very strange... sentiment. She clamped her mouth shut, eyes wide as the flush that had barely receded came back full force. She wasn't sure anyone had ever called her pretty, no one that wasn't family or her house elf (and Pippy was basically family, truth be told). She wasn't an insecure girl, not about that, but she wasn't someone the people noticed. Ever. It wasn't just shocking in the boldness and spontaneity of the sentence itself, but in the truth that she had never actually heard interest expressed towards her.

(And she was technically engaged.)

She wanted to duck her head, look away, and pretend she hadn't heard him. And that's what she went to do, gaze dropping, chin ducking, but an unmistakable smile, all shyness and surprise but certainly pleased, tugged at her lips.

His words reached her, and it was just the right amount of self deprecation for her to recognize that he was stuck in this awkward situation alongside her. She could be kind. She lifted her head, clearing her throat. "Should we... watch Julian? We can at least tell him if... looks fast? I really don't know anything about the sport." An almost laugh quickly followed the admission, shaking her head as she did so.
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Post by Lloyd Juves on Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:13 am

She's even prettier when she smiles,

He realized, although it was hard to see that as the girl ducked her head for some reason-- hopefully, she wasn't just irate that Lloyd had been so untactful.  Thankfully, she just seemed to be a bit shy.  Maybe her embarrassment was equal to his own-- no, that wasn't possible.  Lloyd wanted to sink in the floor.

Then Finn was saying something, about how perhaps they ought to watch Kapur now, and that was very true.  The statement itself reminded him in a jolt that she had been trying to say something along the same lines earlier, and he had completely run over her attempts.

You're getting better and better as the conversation goes on.  Believe it, tough guy.  Now go ahead and take the life preserver that she threw to you, he directed himself.

"Yeah, that sure does, uh, sound like a good plan," Lloyd mumbled.  As he glanced around the stadium in search of his fellow housemate, the sun shone directly into his eyes.  Its rays were slightly dulled by the greyness lingering in the air, but the light was nowhere near dim.

Ughh, the boy resisted the urge to rub his eyes as a series of giant blind spots obscured his vision.  Maybe Finn had found Kapur?  He could wait it out and try to just respond to whatever advice she suggested they offer to the other boy.  That sounded awfully sketchy though.  Really, Lloyd didn't know why he hated the idea of her realizing he was currently half-blind.

Well, he conceded, Nobody likes to be thought of as visually impaired.  Actually, that's the nice way-- it's really just called being blind as a bat.  What was Finn doing right now?  The spots were fading, at least-- no wait, they weren't.  Lloyd was definitely going crazy.

"So, uh, his rolls are going well, yeah?"  Oh God, he probably wasn't even doing the blasted things any more.  Should he take a wild guess?  

"Er, or his loop-dee-loops?  Figure eights?  Infinity signs?"  Stop talking, Lloyd.  We've already gone through this.  The boy groaned and reached up to furiously rub his eyes, realizing that he was actually unbelievably tired of being socially incompetent.  His arms dropped to his sides as Lloyd considered just making a run for it, so he couldn't make a greater fool out of himself.

Oh but hey, he could see now.

Grinning on account of the genuine delight he felt at being able to actually see, Lloyd curved his right hand into a visor and held it perpendicular to his forehead.  No more blind spots from the sun.  He was done with all of this mess.

"Kapur seems to be doing okay.  Uh, I know that you have to be quick to win.  He looks pretty fast?"  That had turned out as more of a question than a definitive statement, so Lloyd immediately hustled to remedy that.  "Yeah, he looks pretty fast."  And he was even doing some kind of loop too.  Granted, it wasn't a figure eight-- but hey, he hadn't made such a gigantic fool out of himself.  Unless Kapur had just started doing them, in which case... well, Lloyd knew a hopeless cause when he encountered one.
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open Re: [OPEN] An Escape from Claustrophobia

Post by Fiona Grimm on Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:36 pm

Fiona wasn't sure why she felt so flattered by the comment, why she felt so ingratiated towards the boy, but she knew it was irrational. Any other girl her age had surely grown used to the male species trying to compliment its way into favor, would have let it slip if not checked it for its uselessness. But Finn was hardly used to people noticing her existence at all, let alone finding a use for it - besides the fact, maybe, that she always had the class notes and never put up a fight in lending them out, even though she so rarely got them back.

And yet the smile kept itching behind her lips, reddening her ears, warming her cheeks. It was vanity. That's all it was. And she knew that. But she had never felt such a vanity before. It was interesting. Horrible. Unladylike. But interesting nonetheless.

She really shouldn't haven't harbored even a fleeting interest. She was spoken for, after all.

The boy began to comment on Julian’s flying and Finn squinted uncertainly at the figure darting around the pitch, trying to match Lloyd’s words with the actions. Soon, the vague terms at least seemed to resemble what Julian was up to, but Finn was still struggling to feel confident that she would have anything to say to Kapur. "He's not... He's not even on the team, is he?" Finn knew very little about Quidditch but she had stumbled onto this interesting little factoid. Why were they out here judging someone's flying who didn't even have an effect on the Quidditch Cup? Also, wasn't that a conflict of interest for her, as a Hufflepuff.

The solution suddenly burst into her head - Merlin thank a rational mind. "Um, so... One of us can't leave without forcing the other to lie to Julian, or tell him we left because... well, yeah. But if we both left... he might just forget?"
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Post by Lloyd Juves on Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:15 am

Finn was probably a Ravenclaw. Or no, that was House bias-- to assume she was a claw just because she was smart. Actually, Lloyd was probably just... more oblivious than he thought. Kapur wasn't even on the Quidditch team. Of course he wasn't! The guy-- argh, Lloyd didn't even want to think about this anymore.

"You're right, he's really not. It's not exactly a waste of time to watch him per se, but I mean... he's not going to do anything special related to flying though, right?" Such as winning the Quidditch cup for Gryffindor. Really, he wasn't sure why Kapur had wanted them to offer any advice at all. Surely the boy was aware that Finn had no experience with the game, and since when had Lloyd even been on that guy's radar. Then again, it was Julian Kapur...

Lloyd focused in on Finn's voice as the older student began saying something-- and it sounded like an escape plan, which would be sweet. Yeah, she was definitely smart in a logical kind of way. If he was trapped in a dungeon he'd hope he was with her.

Then again, isn't this somewhat similar to that situation? Lloyd reckoned it was. As Finn wrapped up her conclusion that the both of them leaving would basically result in Kapur having no way to catch either of them, the boy just nodded. It was a sound plan, probably. And Lloyd really hadn't planned for the weather-- it was honestly chilly enough that, having dressed in just a regular T-shirt, he could feel goosebumps rising on his arms. It didn't help that his body temperature was normally warmer than usual, because everything just felt colder that way.

He resisted the temptation to rub his arms and instead glanced over at the girl. "The Great Hall wasn't too full, but there were a lot of students cramming for their OWLs." And I was going to as well, he remembered. Except, the few people there had already been too many, so Lloyd had come outside to freeze to death and enjoy the silence and the view.

"I dunno how the library is, but we could go there if you want to study? For NEWTs or something?" Was she a seventh year? Some sixth years studied, right? Was he being an idiot again? "Otherwise... I'd invite you into our common room or something. That's allowed, right?" Some people didn't seem to know where the other houses had their dorms, but Gryffindor and Ravenclaw both occupied the towers. It wasn't too difficult to locate either.
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