There's no harm on asking for help

There's no harm on asking for help

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There's no harm on asking for help

Post by Stephen Meyers on Tue May 02, 2017 10:17 pm

As always after the last class of the day, Stephen headed up to the library. He had some homework to do and some study to catch up with, mostly in Potions really. He felt the subject was becoming harder each year and unlike others such as Charms or DADA he was having a bit of a trouble to catch up with. He understood the theory, or he thought he did, but then when he went to do things, they just turned out wrong... Was it normal? Or was it just him that couldn't cope with it? He wouldn't really be able to answer that question, however, since he had no one to compare himself with.

Walking in he walked in between the tables and the endless shelves with countless books on every subject that there ever was. As usual, he directed himself to his normal spot in the last table of the library. Stephen went there so many times that he thought it was odd that place not to already claimed for himself... Would that be even possible? To claim spots in libraries? Probably not.

Shaking that thought off Stephen headed there and placed his books there as he sat down. He really, really needed to focus that afternoon. But he found it so hard, it was a lovely sun that time, pretty unusual for the time of the year. Perfect for Quidditch. Not that he played... He liked to watch sometimes though. And, it was nice to borrow a broom every now and then so he could fly a little as well. He found out back in the first year that he really loved flying, even more than Quidditch matches. He used to search for those in the radio quiet often when he was younger. Not that he had stopped doing that, but it was just it didn't happen as often since he was in Hogwarts during most of the year and there were not so many radios around that could be used, were there? He stuck to flying on hiding then. Just flying when no one was watching because he didn't think to be good enough to play for Gryffindor's. Well, but of course he wasn't...

And he was once again distracting himself with meaningless topics... Alright, Stephen, focus! he told himself. This is important, come on! Exams are coming!

Grabbing one of the books he searched for the page he was on and brought a bit of parchment where he had been making his own notes. He picked the quill and raised it to the ink before he made himself reading. Words passed by him as if they were fragments of nonexistent phrases. Mushrooms... niffler's fancies... flobberworm mucus... lemongrass... All those danced in his mind having no real connection...

When had he lost his mind?
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Re: There's no harm on asking for help

Post by Apollo Zabini on Wed May 03, 2017 9:13 pm

Apollo Zabini, Slytherin Keeper extraordinaire, had turned into a determined recluse. And the library had become his place of residence, so to speak. It was quiet, nobody asked him what he was writing - as Naomi did when he spent time in the study room with her. Merlin, that girl was a piece of work. But she and Aleksa were his only friends, at that point. So he would just deal with that.

But today he actually had work that he could do rather than writing some pondering or other to Lily. Not that she would mind, or that he didn't enjoy it. But he did need to reorganize his priorities, as she'd said the last time he saw her alone. School work had fallen off at one point, but he only went to his apprenticeship, now, when the Minister of Magic needed his help. And Apollo was still, endlessly shocked by that. But it was wonderful and he would never complain.

So, anyway, he had time. He was still curious about the potion that he'd made to save the Minister's hand that first day. So when he finished his Charms work, he went in search of a book that might list it. Before he checked the restricted section, he sought out the general potions aisles. Side-stepping one of the tables nestled between the sections, he began browsing, and selected one as he came up alongside the table of a younger Gryffindor.

Apollo glanced the boy's way, but wasn't sure that he recognized him, so he stayed standing rather than asking if he could sit and join them. Whoever the kid was, he'd undoubtedly heard the rumors about the horrible Slytherin bloke in sixth year. Right? So what was the point in trying to be friendly?

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Re: There's no harm on asking for help

Post by Stephen Meyers on Thu May 04, 2017 12:09 pm

Stephen was definitely not the type of freaking out out off something as basic as a study that went wrong, but really that day was impossible... What was going on with him? Why did he feel so stupid? Words passed by him and in the end thinking back at what he had just read there was nothing to be seen...

For a couple of times, Stephen skipped a page or two reading some ocasional line, distracting himself with some illustration, before returning to the one page thinking Alright, it's now or never! but soon finding out that that maneuver was not so brilliant and the less was that a good attack to the problem. Without noticing when that had started, Stephen got himself into a vicious cycle of doing nothing at all in any moments of it.

He pushed his books to the side and it landed on the table with a rather loud bang for his taste and the librarian for sure but Stephen didn't care to look for that reaction. Instead he rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand leaving on the corner of his right eye a black stain coming from the ink he currently had on hand from holding the pen without writing anything at all.

Maybe he should leave that for another time? But then the problem was there would not be many more times for him to study this before the exams...

He was so lost in his mind that he didn't notice someone coming to look for a book in the shelf in front of him and the less had he noticed that the person's eyes were directed at him, or else the empty spots by him, as Stephen would have thought about it, for a second before turning away.

With a last glance, Stephen decided it was meaningless to stay there without doing anything and got up. It would have been pretty to watch him then... He got up but he stood there looking at the table for quite a while with the guilt of giving up burning him on the inside. He started packing at some point until he decided not to give in to despair and so he took everything out again. He felt pretty stupid when he finally realized he was not alone in the section and sat down again rather embarrassed.
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Re: There's no harm on asking for help

Post by Apollo Zabini on Sat May 06, 2017 6:56 am

Apollo frowned at the pages in front of him. Unhelpful, as expected. He reached up, sliding the tome back between its friends, and then selected another. Turning, he let himself lean against the shelf. But as his torso turned, his gaze flicked up and settled on that Gryffindor kid, now standing and looking righteously furious. With himself, with Apollo... The Slytherin had no idea. Maybe it was neither. But it made the Sixth Year uncomfortable.

He opened the book anyway, unwilling to leave just because another student was frustrated by being around him. Except the kid sat back down, and Apollo lifted an eyebrow.

Lowering the book and snapping it shut at his side, Apollo just stared at the younger student. Finally, though, he decided that he would say something. He didn't want to, and normally didn't unless someone else did. There wasn't much worth in doing so. But something wasn't right and now he had to know.

Merlin's sake.

"Does it bother you that I'm standing here?" He asked, his tone dripping with disdain. Probably not the best start, to be fair. But he was too tired of dealing with people to worry about how he came off.

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Re: There's no harm on asking for help

Post by Stephen Meyers on Mon May 08, 2017 12:59 pm

Stephen had hoped his actions not to be noticed by the other student and for a few seconds he maintained his head down looking down at the books in front of him. He doubted that the his indecision to be easily unnoticed when the other was literally in front of him. But then again, no one ever care to look at him and Stephen highly believed that there would never be a thought directed to him in their minds. He was not the lonely one, the weird one. Maybe he could be thought to be the one guy who they went to in look for help for their homework, but that was not better than being a random book in that library, now was it?

Noticing the other snapping his book shut Stephen lowered his eyes just a little. Yes, he had most definitely had noticed his behavior not being any chance of the other to be staring at the wall behind Stephen. Unless he was, but why would he be mad with a wall? That was nonsense giving him only one option. Stephen swallowed and looked away never being very good at staring contests. He frowned just a bit at his question however not really sure he had understood it.

"No, I guess not" Stephen muttered. "Why...? Should I be?"
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Re: There's no harm on asking for help

Post by Apollo Zabini on Tue May 09, 2017 3:11 pm

Interesting. Apollo squinted a little despite himself - despite his better instincts. But he didn't answer right away. He was still trying to piece together this kid's actions and determine whether or not he'd just been lied to. The odds, considering his social 'status' as of late, were high. But this boy seemed incredibly uncomfortable, so that was obviously either a tell, or a sign that nothing was really afoot.

There was no real harm in asking, Apollo had thought initially. He couldn't make anything worse. But now he was slightly concerned for this lad. Not one to care beyond an innate need to help those who could not help themselves, he was rather surprised by his instinct to inquire about what was wrong.

"I suppose not," Apollo began instead, his tone as careful as his word choice. "That depends on whether or not you care to listen to the rumors around here. But if I'm not the problem, perhaps you should tell me what is."

Apollo leaned back against the shelf behind him, as if he couldn't have been more comfortable anywhere else, and leveled the Gryffindor with a serious but curious look. He clearly wasn't leaving, so it would be up to the younger student what happened next.

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Re: There's no harm on asking for help

Post by Stephen Meyers on Tue May 09, 2017 5:20 pm

Rumors? Stephen had to frown at that word. The other students didn't care to talk to him more than asking him what the homework for anything was and most of the times he spent a couple of hours taking a look at what they had before they handed them. When they came to get them from him they looked him over as they thanked him with that what's your name again? kind of expression. Stephen eventually gave up on answering that implied question since they always acted the same way. There was just no use of worrying... Besides, if one day anyone came to know his name for some reason they would probably pronounce it differently from how he preferred it to be spoken. Alright, that could be thought to be a super high perfectionism but it wasn't his fault that he didn't exactly love the name he was given, was it?

"I don't exactly gather much of the gossip around school" he said truthfully. "Should I be worried with any?" As much as he tried to hide it, he sort of cared when there words spoken about him or related to him in any way around. It was very possible that there was without him knowing... Or else probable. Only that would explain why he didn't have friends at all. Maybe he was told to be some kind of creature with some horrible transmittable disease. Who knew?

Sighing a bit Stephen glanced back at him for time enough to tell: "Oh, it's nothing... Just me trying to figure out a way not to fail this year exams. A life threatening affair would be worse."
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Re: There's no harm on asking for help

Post by Apollo Zabini on Wed May 10, 2017 3:03 am

The boy looked rather introspective as he asked his question. To the point where Apollo realized that this kid might have presumed more knowledge on the Slytherin's part than was really there. "Don't take this the wrong way, mate," he began slowly, frowning, "but I haven't the foggiest who you are. So while I'd gladly tell you if people were speaking ill of you, I can't."

For a moment, Apollo considered taking back his inquiry and leaving the boy to his own devices. Clearly this conversation was going in a direction that was detrimental for the lad's already frayed attention span. But then the Gryffindor spoke again.

Apollo lifted an eyebrow. Paused. Sat his book on the table. And sat down.

The word affair shook him slightly, given some had called his 'rumored' connection with her that very name. But there was no excuse for someone to fail exams when they clearly did not want to. Not when someone could help them. It was one thing to fail without giving a damn. Margo Richards, for example, was charming as all heck. But if she turned up saying she hadn't passed, he wouldn't have been surprised. But Apollo wouldn't have pitied her, either. As it were, he did feel bad for this lad.

"Which exams?" He asked simply. "I've generally done rather well in mine. Perhaps I can offer some insight."

Lily would probably be quite proud of him if she knew. That in mind, he determined he would make a note to her about it later.

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Re: There's no harm on asking for help

Post by Stephen Meyers on Wed May 10, 2017 2:14 pm

Stephen wasn't really expecting any direct answer to his question. If there were anything going around he would be the last one to know and not because someone told him about it face to face. "Well, we are even that way" he concluded.

Despite being asked for help several times, Stephen wasn't really seen in group students for all the others cared were their own homework and doubts. Stephen managed to have his study up to the date but for some reason that year he couldn't really do it. And leaving everything to the last few days was not so advisable since there were a lot of things running against him, not only time. And maybe it was due to being used not to ask anything from anyone that there was a slight hesitating on his answer.

"Normally I do fine with any subject but this year I'm struggling a bit on Potions for some reason. Well, I shouldn't have left it to the few weeks before the exam..." Stephen didn't know why he was telling the other student this. He wasn't really expecting anything from him but him asking about it sort of made Stephen forget about his usual suspicions on how everyone acted for a moment.
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Re: There's no harm on asking for help

Post by Apollo Zabini on Thu May 18, 2017 12:53 am

It took a moment for Apollo to register his surprise. There was nothing wrong with admitting a desire for help or admitting weakness existed. Particularly when something was obviously wrong. But this kid was all but asking the least likely student at Hogwarts for help. And Apollo felt a swell of pride, though that was quickly covered up by a confusing feeling he couldn't put words on. It was something like gratitude, but not that exactly. Very close.

"Y'know," he began first as he leaned forward on his elbows, "it may seem daunting, but I assure you that Professor Potter would gladly help if you asked her."

And it wasn't like she would turn anyone away, but Apollo had no problem with finding a way to ensure she helped this lad.

"As it were, though, I've been the top of my class in Potions for some time now. I would guess it's been a few years, but I can't say for certain," he shrugged. "Point is, Potions and Curative Magic are basically my life. The other classwork gets done, but I actually enjoy those two. So I've got a little something up my sleeve where those are concerned. What's the exam on? Maybe I can give you an idea of where to start or even the order that you can study to best remember whatever it is."

Apollo shifted in his seat, eyeing the book the kid had on the table with him. "That's how I usually do it, anyway."

And then it hit him. He was still calling the Gryffindor 'kid' in his head. Maybe that wasn't very nice. "I'm Apollo, by the way. Zabini. Sixth year."

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