Dawning Over the Desperate
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Dawning Over the Desperate

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Dawning Over the Desperate Empty Dawning Over the Desperate

Post by Jack Dyllan on Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:44 am

She pressed over the broom, leaning further, tilting her heels and willing the old broom to go faster, faster... Even after saving up for three summers straight and emptying her pockets for it, the new Comet wasn't anywhere near top of the line. There were at least three brooms faster on the market, and she knew the Slytherin team was likely to have all of them. But it wasn't just the wood that did the flying. Magic was alive, which meant there was something living in the broom, giving validity to the running joke that Jack Dyllan’s best friend was actually a hunk of wood. She was relying on the spark of life inside it, hoping the broom wanted it as badly as she did.

The tip of her broom crossed the top of the ring and she pulled up on it, muscles shaking, and she stopped. Her legs clenched, keeping her steady, abs straining with the effort. At zero in under a second, stomach clenched but on her broom, exactly above the middle ring. It had been an achievement long coming. She heaved a breath, reaching up to wipe the sweat that had gathered on her temple. It was good, she was one of the few in the castle who could probably pull the maneuver off. But it wasn't good enough. She threw the broom over into a barrel roll and streaked back across the pitch, a shadow moving through the shadows of early morning.

Dawn was breaking as Jack Dyllan crossed the grounds an hour later. The air was crisp and her lungs were gulping it in, begging for satiation. The sweat had already fallen off her body, worked out from her hair and skin by air speeding against her, and she was almost shivering now, feeling a little depleted. This had been all summer, but in summer she could take to the skies at night, past a curfew her parents had been more than a little idealistic in creating. But it was easier to sneak out in the morning at Hogwarts, and she had to. She didn't want people knowing, didn't want them seeing the desperation in her face as she sped across the pitch, determined to improve her speed, her accuracy, her strength. She had to. This year would mean nothing if she didn't become the best player at Hogwarts. And it wasn’t just her that needed it to happen.

Her bag was digging into her shoulder but it was her excuse, if caught. Normally, she wouldn't care, but this was one extra curricular activity she refused to lose, so she had to cover her tracks. She'd claim it was Astronomy homework, or extra credit observing the squid at night. It didn't have to be good, it just had to point away from the pitch.

She wasn't going to be able to sleep, and what point would there be anyway. Breakfast would be served in an hour (God, she was starving) and she had Potions right after. She had letters to send, so she was going to do that, carefully slipping into the castle and making her way up to the owlery.

The castle was usually loud. It couldn't help itself. The moving staircase rumbled, the suits of armor clattered, the portraits gossiped, not to mention the odd noises that made their way passed the classroom's doors. And that was before hundreds of small bodies teeming with uncontrolled hormones and magical powers even woke up. Jack was a heavy contributor to the ruckus. Her default volume was Please Quiet Down I'm Standing Right Here and she often found excuses to increase that to 10 Points, Dyllan, for Screaming... Again. She thrived in the noise.

But the quiet after her pre-dawn practices was a special sort of solace. She was too tired to think, no potential to get lost in thoughts darker than the horizon, leaving her in silence to enjoy the feeling of being alive in the place she was. Sure she was tired, she was hungry, she was stressed, but she was present, alive in a place of quiet and safety.

Most of the owls were out, fetching lettings and catching mice. She leaned against the windowsill to dig through her bag, searching for the letter she had written, a false letter from a recruiter for a team called Lazy Susan's Preschool Quidditch Team. It was another in a long line of stupid pranks meant for Keiran Hayes, who was bound to be getting quite sick of her. She was sending one to Zabini too, who seemed like he needed a shove to do... something, she wasn't sure, she just wanted to get a rise out of him. She had a feeling it would be funny. And the stupider the prank, the bigger the insult. At least that’s how it went down with Slytherins.

She began folding the letters when a familiar small owl suddenly flew into the tower, landing next to Jack and giving her a small peck. The owl, named Bean by her cousin, had become a favorite to send home, since it was the least likely to rouse suspicion. She had no problem frightening her parents with large owls, but she wouldn’t rope Charlie into it. Her letters to and from her surrogate sister had to be discrete, else they would be forbidden.

Charlie had gotten better at rolling the scrolls up small enough to tie to the owl, allowing for longer letters. Jack tickled the owl and it flew off again, leaving her alone with news from home - or, rather, the place she went during her summers.

The sun was cresting over the horizon now, rays peeking into the tower as she turned and slid down the stone wall, unrolling the letter to read the messy-but-tidier-everyday writing of her cousin, a gentle (and very foreign) smile beginning to form. Her hair was especially large, windblown and wild, and her cheeks were stained pink from the whipping air, but she didn’t care.

Charlie had made a new friend at school.

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Dawning Over the Desperate Empty Re: Dawning Over the Desperate

Post by Ariel Damian Greyback on Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:28 pm

Dawn. The scent of dew on the grass. The first rays of orange light twinkling on the horizon, in the hills, where the manicured green of the grounds gave way to rugged and unforgiving highlands. Another day. Another morning. Another hour closer. A larger moon, fading against the blue of the sky as the cloud cover abated. He could almost taste the fullness of it. It set his teeth on edge and roused a wildness in him, inspired a need to run. But he knew he couldn’t for, though his power keened and coursed through his veins, rising like sap in the trees at the start of spring, he had never felt more sickly. The end of the week was coming fast, though, and on Saturday, while the other students tramped down the hill into Hogsmeade, he could sequester himself in the forest, hide, and await the moon.

Visceral, more physical sickness had bound him to the Hospital Wing early the previous evening. Panicked, the inexperienced Healer had called for the Potions Professor who had peered warily over Ariel and expressed doubt about his ability to go back to the dormitory that night. For once, the werewolf did not argue with those who knew better. In a way, he was content to stay there. He was keen to give the Slytherins as wide a berth as humanly – or werewolfly, rather – possible. So that was where he lingered, amongst the first years with stomach bugs, and with a fourth year who had broken her collarbone sliding down one of the staircases. He lingered until he could no more.

Already having taken his fair share of potions to cure the ailments that could be cured, Ariel felt minutely better. He was sure he had slept, too, because the darkness that had once enveloped the grounds had begun to abate and he could hear the castle beginning to wake. He fiddled with his watch and squinted down at the dial. He had a few hours. That was something. So, at least, even if he could not run, he could walk. And there was only one place he wanted to walk. To him, there was nothing Forbidden about that Forest.

Ariel tugged his old, patched up burgundy jumper on and fastened a cloak around his shoulders before tying up his shoes and bidding a hasty retreat from the Hospital Wing. He was sure that the broken fourth year spotted him as he left but any compulsion she felt to tell on him would fall on deaf ears. The Healers were quite resigned to his method of working and his general rejection of any sort of help. The idea of just lying there, waiting to get better, did not appeal to the Slytherin unless he truly felt on death’s door. He was a little way away from that. Another day or two and perhaps he would submit to it but until then he knew he needed to get moving and rid himself of the wolf’s restless energy.

You’ll run soon, he urged it as he slipped out into the grounds via the clock tower courtyard. From there it was a short walk down to the woods and he melted into the trees as if he had always belonged there. Ariel immediately picked up the trail of the Centaurs. The wolf could smell their scent on the wind but the human part of him had eyes enough to spot their tracks in the mud so for a quarter of a mile or so he followed after them, feeling a pleasant stretch in his calves. He knew he couldn’t manage anything other than a paced walk. Coughs still wracked his frame and nausea came and went but in a way he felt stronger. Beneath all of the pain and suffering, the wolf was rising and ravenous for the freedom of the moon.  

Eventually, the young man turned back on himself and trudged back towards the castle. As he emerged from the woods, the sun was rising steadily and he shielded his eyes with his hand to admire it. A new morning held promise even if he knew in his heart of hearts that it would hold much of the same.

A screech overhead stole him from his thoughts and Ariel looked up to see his mother’s owl soaring overhead, a package attached to its leg. The bird batted its wing and screeched again before peeling off in the direction of the owlery.

“Couldn’t just come and see me then, could you? Bloody animal,” he scoffed, making a mental note to chase the owl the next time he experienced a full moon at home.

Wolfsbane. That’s what the owl carried. Ariel was sure it was what made him so ill. His mother had suspected it once, too. She had stopped making it for him for a long period after that, fearing it was her ineptitude as a brewer. It wasn’t. Ariel was certain that it was just another thankless gift his father had given him. Perhaps he’d given over more wolf to his son than he had intended. Or, no … he certainly intended it. Whether he had meant to make a wolf as potent as the one he had made in Ariel was debatable, though. If only he could just give into it, then he would see and so, too, would Fenrir. All of the anger Ariel had towards Godric and the other children determined to torment him ... it wasn’t a patch on the anger he felt towards his father.

As Ariel brooded on this thought, he trudged up the stairs to the owlery. He was so lost in his thoughts that the idea of anyone else being there did not enter his head even for a moment. So, when he opened the door and found a redhead – an altogether familiar redhead, too – sat on the rush-covered floor, he was momentarily stunned and at a loss for what to do. Only for a moment, though. Soon enough, Ariel gathered himself, ducked his head and closed the door. His owl screeched again and landed in one of the windows, reminding him of his purpose.

“Sorry,” he murmured for her benefit, eager to turn his back and attend to the owl. Then he could be out of the owlery and out of Jack Dyllan's way before it even occurred to her that he was a bother for being there.

“Can’t you be quieter, Ingrid?” He admonished the owl gently, smoothing his hand over her head. “There are other owls sleeping, you know. Now, come on, what's mum sent?" He asked, his fingers reaching for the string around her ankle.
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Post by Jack Dyllan on Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:10 pm

They were sweet, Charlie's little updates. Her vocabulary was expanding as quickly as her curiosity, and she could have filled pages just about the books she was reading. But beyond the heroes and villains, the castles and crusades, she also wanted to speak of all of the plants she had become acquainted with, tell Jack their scientific names (almost spelled correctly too) and what they could be used for. And, of course, there was talks of school. Of teachers and other children, of cubbies and classrooms. She typically jumped from subject to subject without rhyme or reason, speaking first of her teacher that smelled like strawberries and then of a tale of a bird who lost his voice before explaining to her just why lambs' ears flowers used to be used for dressings.

But this letter was different because of her News with a capital N. Charlie's new friend was named Emery but he let her call her Emmy and he had a cactus that his father brought from America. It was the cactus that had forged their friendship, as Emmy showed it off to an indifferent class for show and tell. Charlie had asked him what species of cactus, but he didn't know, but he had promised to ask his dad about it. Mum was, of course, not sure about a play date, and Riley had made an awful comment about Emmy being her boyfriend, but she knew if anyone would know how good it was to have a friend who shared his cactus, it would be Jack.

Jack wasn't sure she could relate, but she still felt a bit of pride for her surrogate sister. Her mother had a method of keeping the Dyllan children as isolated as possible, and Jack wasn't sure she would have made it out as herself had it not been for the friends she kept as a child. They were barometers for normalcy, beacons of a childhood she had been denied for the sake of What Was Right and What Was Expected. She wanted it for Charlie, and she hoped Charlie was smarter than her, could keep those revelations to herself. It'd be less painful that way.

She reached Charlie's typical sign off, a signature that always filled her with guilt. Charlie hadn't seen it yet, hadn't felt the toxic nature of the Dyllan household. They were all protecting her from it, and she had not yet earned Mrs. Dyllan's wrath or disgust. As far as she knew, the worst thing that happened in their home was Jack going away to her school for bad kids. So each time she left her with one final request. I miss you. Please come home soon.

The door opened and Jack's flinch expressed herself in the form of immediately folding and dropping the letter, reaching for the letters she had initially come to send off. She'd tell whoever it was to buggar off, or let them in on the joke - depending. Though, depending on what she wasn't sure. She was sure she'd figure it out, though.

But certainty went out the door as Ariel Greyback come through it. She hadn't seen him since she had been sent from Care of Magical Creatures with a big fat zero for the day. It seemed he skipped the classes she bothered to come to and the other way 'round. She hadn't thought much of the interaction with Malfoy, but every time she saw the git, she could imagine landing the punch with a bit more strength and accuracy. Having him call after her, smirk about it, it felt unfinished. She didn't care what he thought, but people shouldn't talk the way he had. It wasn't right, or fair, and she didn't like knowing he'd probably do it again.

She didn't want Ariel to know what Godric had said, but she wanted him to know that he was the minority. It was a paradox of a wish, so she'd let it go. Just like she didn't want people to thing poorly of muggleborns but would rather than direct their vitriol towards her, as someone who could sort it out for them. It left her in the very unfamiliar predicament of not knowing what to say.

But she always figure that one out, now didn't she?

"Hey, think you could do me a favor?" she asked, holding up the two letters. "I was going to mail them but I think the personal touch of them ending up under pillows may be more effective. They're for Zabini and Hayes. Chocolate frog in it for you." The evidence of her last fight with Matthew Lestrange was almost gone, but there was enough swelling on her upper lip to make her usual smirk especially pronounced.

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Post by Ariel Damian Greyback on Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:29 pm

Ingrid looked at him curiously, her big yellow eyes perceiving a disquiet in the young werewolf that she would have to report back to his mother about. The owl inclined her head into his palm, wishing she could bring him some solace. The package she carried would go some way to help, she hoped, and held out her leg. Ariel looked down at it, shedding the wistfulness and insecurity that had folded over him in light of his unexpected company, and moved his fingers to the string, loosing the package quickly from her leg.

Ariel knew that, with another person present, he would have to find a private spot somewhere later on so that he could open what she had sent. He took his wand from the back pocket of his jeans and waved it over the parcel. It vibrated a little in his hand, sensing the presence of a shrinking charm. He smiled a little to himself, a barely there flash upwards of his lips. He whispered the incantation and the parcel gave a little wiggle before shrinking further, enough so that he could tuck it into the inner pocket of the cloak he wore.

Satisfied, Ariel replaced the wand back in his pocket and he was just about to make the decision to leave when Jack spoke. He turned hesitantly, his shoulders tensing and rising up a little bit towards his ears. But what she said didn’t hurt. It wasn’t a verbal lashing, a demand that he remove himself from her presence. And after she’d spoken, Ariel wasn’t honestly sure what he had been expecting. She spoke to him as though he was just like her. No the son of a werewolf, not a werewolf, not even as a filthy Slytherin to her vibrant Gryffindor. Just… just Ariel. And she wanted him to conspire with her. Merlin.

Ingrid hooted, reminding Ariel that he needed to speak, not just stare at the redhead.

Ariel felt as though he was looking at her for the first time, though. He realised that it probably was because he was looking at her for the first time. He was careful, particular, even, to keep his eyes down and his gaze averted. If he made eye contact, he risked provocation. Sometimes, he wanted the fight. Occasionally, provocation was exactly the medicine for his restless spirit. Just sometimes … sometimes… he didn’t want to let them walk over him. But it made life easier. Merlin, did it make life easier.

But she was pretty. Easy on the eyes, he would say, sardonically, not wanting to admit that he genuinely thought her quite the sight. He caught the swelling on her lip. It took one battered human to know another, didn’t it? Ariel was quite the expert on different types of swelling and bruising. Inadvertently, of course. It came with the territory. A gift of lycanthropy. Pouty lips, with a tinge of red. Natural, he supposed. She didn’t look the type to augment herself with the witch’s palette of artifice that women so favoured unless the situation really did call for it. Yes, she was pretty. Undoubtedly. And Ariel wasn’t sure what to do with that. Nice and pretty? It was a recipe for disaster, wasn’t it?

“I…” Ariel opened his mouth, giving voice to what was going to be a truly sarcastic jibe about him not being her messenger dog. It would’ve been breath-taking self-deprecation at its finest. Before he could get the words out, though, Ingrid lurched forward and bit his hand, stunning him with her ferocity. Ariel hissed and pulled away from the bird, bringing his hand up to his mouth, his eyes narrowing to a glare.

“Bloody thing,” he mumbled from around his hand. “Go home, Ingrid.”

If even possible, the bird seemed to glare back at him clicked her beak reproachfully. Ariel sighed and lowered his hand. He looked at it, despair coiling in his gut. Blood. Brilliant. All hopes of a cordial encounter were going to be dashed immediately, weren’t they? He stuffed his hand into the pocket of his cloak, praying that Jack hadn’t seen. The last thing he needed was for her to run off hysterically to the castle claiming he’d tried to infect her.

“I can’t say I much want to be on the receiving end of their ire, Miss Dyllan,” Ariel told her, much more softly than his first attempt. “It had better be an excellent chocolate frog,” he added, his lips lifting into a smirk as he held out his other, unbloodied, hand for the letters.
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Post by Jack Dyllan on Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:29 pm

He sort of just... stared at her. Her eyebrow lifted, her head shifting forward a bit to indicate her growing anticipation for a reaction. Any kind really. It struck her then that she didn't know what a normal reaction of of the Greyback boy was. She knew most of the seventh years quite well, knew how to wind them up, knew what lines not to cross... so mostly prank-related information, but that said a lot about a person. Knowing how people responded to confrontation, how willing they were to laugh at themselves. That was the sort of thing that spoke volumes to your character.

But Ariel's character was absent, unobserved. He was rarely in class and when he was, he wasn't quite there. He didn't speak up, he didn't engage in small talk, he didn't integrate. She couldn't tell what came first. Did he  withdraw and that's when the rumors and malice started, or is that how he was met, causing him to withdraw? Jack knew well enough how rotten the welcome could be, so she supposed it was the latter, but withdrawing didn't help the situation. She found it took a fight, it took a refusal to accept treatment not earned. At least now she felt like she deserved most of the hostility she was met with.

She didn't need to antagonize him for a reaction, however. That was the job of his owl, apparently named Ingrid. It seemed to kickstart him, pushing him to come back to the present and respond. There was some shift on his face, a strange backpedal, but he agreed. Her lips unfurled into a bit of a devious grin, not bothering to make the lie sound good as she said, "I've never been in trouble in my life." She handed him the letters. "They know it's coming from me, and this is probably the least invasive way of doing it. You'll be fine."

She glanced at his other hand, which was still bleeding. "Hang on," she said, pulling her knapsack towards her, spinning the dropped letter from Charlie across the floor. But her nose was in her knapsack, hands rummaging through as she looked for - "Aha!" She held out a band aid for him. "Always got one for Bludger-related bang ups. Andddd..." she looked through. "So, Chocolate Frog seems to have hopped off but I can grab you something from Honeydukes net trip. Unless you want-" she yanked out a Wheezes firework, looking at it in confusion. "How did I forget I have a whole firework in here?"

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Post by Ariel Damian Greyback on Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:37 pm

“Somehow I really don’t think that’s true,” Ariel waxed, a knowing smirk lifting the left side of his mouth. The Gryffindor looked like trouble followed her wherever she went. In fact, what he had heard of her over the years fully supported that hypothesis. Though, he only had a muddied picture of what public opinion supposed about the girl stood before him amongst the owls and the owl poo and the rushes that covered the floor.

Ariel felt decidedly uncertain. Should he even involve himself? He didn’t know what petty spats Hayes and Zabini had gotten into. He knew that, whatever it was, he wanted to fly beneath that particular radar. They were both well-liked within the Slytherin common room. As liked as Ariel was not. Or, at least, that was how it seemed. If it somehow got out that Ariel was behind the prank – or at least the facilitator of it, in league with Jack, he’d never hear the end of it.

“You’re quite confident,” he drawled. “There’s a reason why Slytherin’s emblem is a snake, love. They’re a venomous lot. Soft though they seem, perhaps, to you, Zabini and Hayes still have bite. Are you willing to cross them?”

Dubious of her intentions though he was, Ariel was momentarily stunned when she started to rummage through her bag for a plaster. For him. The werewolf blinked. More than momentarily stunned, then, it seems. He reached out, carefully, hesitantly, and took it from her. Then instinct set in. Ariel took the backing paper off and fussed over applying the thing before she took it into her head that giving it to him was a mistake. He would have to get some and return to her what he took. Another thing to get before the moon. Or after.

“A firework?” He spluttered, then blinked, then chuckled. “A firework. Well, luck seems to be on your side if it hasn’t gone off. Thank you, by the way, for the plaster. I was heading back up to the Hospital Wing as it was but I am grateful. They don’t need another reason to keep me prisoner in there.”

Then, after a moment, Ariel had a thought. A mad one, really, given his desire to stay out of the public eye and the trouble it caused being within it.

“Do you want to set it off?”
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Post by Jack Dyllan on Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:13 am

She had made a name for herself and it was Trouble. It was like sharing a name with a celebrity, everyone made the connection, joked without realizing they were one in a chain of people to make the claim. Nowadays, she heard it once a week, sometimes once a day, but not many said it with a smile. It was a small one, a bit cheeky, but it was like he was just piecing it together and still figuring out how he felt about it. It didn’t feel so final, so accusatory or fixed. A character quirk rather than a charge.

So she shrugged, mirroring his smirk. For someone so loud and talkative and so very often at the center of a ruckus, Jack didn’t say much. Not really. Jokes were lies when you got down to it. Maybe a seed of honesty, but the rest was foolishness - and since most words out of her mouth took the form of a joke, it wasn’t often that Jack said something that meant anything. It was always a deflection, a distraction, a call to somewhere else. Shit, since she had dyed her hair black she hadn’t given an answer to those who asked any more meaningful than  “why not?”

People didn’t press you if all you had to say was silliness. So Jack remained unpressed, her secrets unsealed.

“I’m quite confident because I know there’s nothing to worry about,” she said, arching an eyebrow. “Zabini spends too much time shampooing his hair to take time out to try and think of a way to get me back. And Hayes is too serious to sink to ‘my level.’ That tends to be your lot’s problem, y’know, if we act our age and reduce each other to silly stereotypes based on things outside of our control. The chronic Slytherin problem is taking oneself too serious. Try a day without shame. It’s freeing.”

"All this to say," she concluded, a grin cracking. "Yeah, I'm sure I want to cross 'em. It'll be funny."

That was when she noticed that Charlie's letter had slid away from her. She reached out for it and shoved the letter into her knapsack, hoping she would find it again, though the firework was a good indicator of how deep the void was that was her bag. It came from the territory of basically living out of it every summer. When Charlie went off to camp, Jack disappeared. Having a bag full of clothes and food made running away a lot easier. And once... ran, always ready to run again.

"I don't think I have any matches in here so theoretically..." she turned it over in her hand, glancing up at his thank you. "Right, 'course."

But he caught her interest with his next statement.

Chaos was a comfortable friend of hers, much more intimate to her than routine or order. What's the point of finding calm, when calm to me is unsettling? She was of the few, though, especially in this castle, who embraced disorder over the usual. Most seemed to like their days to unfold as they had the day before, worried that any surprise would be a hostile one. But hostile or not, she was always looking for change.

And look at who had decided to offer it up.

"Really?" she said, her expression not changing at first, as though scared he would take it back. Then her lips spread, stretching into an honest-to-god sincere smile, her eyes sparking with interest.

It was a shame Ariel kept to himself. There was something to the boy that she wished he'd share more often.

"Holy shit, I do" she said, jumping to her feet. She turned and looked out the window, squinting. "I think if you aim it right, it'll go right over the lake. This one goes pretty far, I think it's the dragon one." She turned back to him and, after a brief hesitation, she held the firework out. "Right, only fair. You do it."


Last edited by Jack Dyllan on Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:41 am; edited 2 times in total

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Dawning Over the Desperate Empty Re: Dawning Over the Desperate

Post by Ariel Damian Greyback on Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:43 am

In truth, Ariel Greyback never should have even been in the owlery that morning. He should have been anywhere but there, reaching out to take a firework – of all blasted things – from a Gryffindor that oozed confidence but also leaked trouble like a perennially unreliable piece of plumbing. It was unlike him, his Hufflepuff would comment later, a wry smile creeping onto their face that suggested that a certain part of them was at least impressed while another wondered whether this was an element of Ariel’s character – a mischievous tendency for risk-taking – that was here to stay. He would crabbily comment, eager to hear the end of the discussion, that it was a one-time thing and that he was not the sort of person that took risks – not when his entire life felt like a risk.

His Hufflepuff would have agreed with Jack in that it was a crippling issue with Slytherins. They took everything and anything far more seriously than was necessary. Ariel supposed that was the freeing nature of being a Muggleborn, in a way. At least where his Hufflepuff was concerned. Unencumbered by tradition and expectation, it was much easier to be freer, quicker to have fun, less likely to shy from putting one’s self in the firing line. Ariel was the result of two old, dog-eared families coming together. Everything that entailed settled uncomfortably on his shoulders like it did many of the other young men and women that haunted the halls of the dungeons. So this moment … this really was a turning point – in all sorts of ways.

“You’ll have to help,” Ariel told her, holding the firework between his palms with the same reverence new parents gave to their day-old offspring. While they feared they might injure the babe, Ariel had a latent concern coiling in his gut that any false movement might set the thing off. “This isn’t exactly my area of expertise,” he added, wondering to himself what exactly he was referring to: acting on an impulse in the company of a stranger or setting off a firework. Both, invariably both, of course.

Sending the firework careening over the Black Lake would wake up the castle, of that Ariel was almost certain. It would not take the Professors long, either, to work out where it originated from. Even in their bedrobes they were a clever collective.

“You’re quick, I presume?” Ariel asked as he moved carefully over the rushes on the floor towards the window. “We will have to make ourselves scarce when this goes. I know a spot …” He frowned a bit, trailing off, unsure how much he should reveal. Though she seemed immune to his reputation, he wasn’t certain that telling her about a back way into the dungeons via a tunnel beneath the forest was the best way to keep this Gryffindor onside … but then, perhaps it was the sort of thing she would like.

“You can get into the dungeons from the forest,” he said after a while. “There’s a tunnel that links up to what was a water-closet. Very medieval … well, early modern. I think, though I’m not absolutely sure, that it might have been a priesthole. It would make sense,” he said with a shrug of one shoulder. “The Scots were notoriously prickly about Catholics. Not very fond of them. It’s convenient for our purposes in this case.”

“Now,” he decided to turn his mind back to the firework and he set it down on the windowsill, adjusting its angle to and fro before bending down a little and deciding that he quite liked the potential trajectory. “Do you think this works?” He asked, looking back at her. “And… I guess, shall we light it with Incendio?”
Ariel Damian Greyback
Ariel Damian Greyback
Seventh Year Slytherin
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Dawning Over the Desperate Empty Re: Dawning Over the Desperate

Post by Jack Dyllan on Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:05 am

There was trepidation in his movement, a particular uncertainty that revealed his inexperience. She wanted to laugh, but she also didn't want to discourage him from going through with the revelry. He wasn't holding it like a seasoned pyromaniac - which, in truth, was probably only a character defect to someone like her and not all that fair. Everyone had to start somewhere and she wasn't going to be the one to scare a burgeoning troublemaker off the path by being over critical of their firework technique. At least he had it pointed the right way. That was probably the most important thing when handling explosives.

There was also the whole... being decent to her thing. It wasn't something she looked for necessarily, but she had been attracting surprising amounts of disapproval, more than usual, especially after that Care of Magical Creatures class. Even Keiran was contributing. Usually, he'd at least roll his eyes at her. But she was finding he just wasn't looking her way any longer. And that wasn't a great feeling. They'd never exactly been traditional friends (none of her friendships had anything to do with traditional friendliness and consideration) but there was always a bit of respect and (she had thought) shared amusement. Apparently, standing up to his Housemates was where he drew the line.

Which was why he needed a stupid joke letter from her now more than ever.

She drew forward, regarding the firework at Ariel's invitation to help. "Oh wow, I forgot I got this brand. This one is really cool. So you'll want to hold it one-handed so you can light it - actually, I'll light it for you. Teamwork." They stepped towards the window and she looked across it. There was something satisfying about this hour, when the sun was finally winning its war against the cover of the forest, spreading golden tendrils across the vast, rolling grounds of the castle. She didn't get to see this hour often, she was usually sneaking back into the common room just about now so she could rinse away all the evidence of her daily practices. She'd flop onto a couch and sleep for an hour or two, just enough to miss the start of her first class. Who would suspect she was up at dawn if she couldn't even get to class on time?

"Oh yeah," she said to his question, a private smile tugging at her lips. She doubted many wizards cared about feats of athleticism when there were magical brooms and Floos and portkeys. You didn't need to be quick when you had instantaneous travel. But her love for running had been indulged for over four years now. Yeah, she was fast.

He paused and she tilted her head towards him, eyes following only once the silence lengthened to a point where she registered actual hesitation. Her eyes narrowed a bit on the blonde, a ray of sun now rising across his face to paint him golden. Gryffindor golden. Huh.

But he continued and she drew back a bit, unable to keep an expression off her face that betrayed pleasant surprise. He even had some history. She never cared about why or how a thing existed, not if it helped her get out of trouble. "I'm impressed," she said. "I thought I knew all the secret passages and tunnels. I'm going to owe you a whole army of chocolate frogs - which is what they're called, by the way. I like the thought of militarized frogs. It's a distant aspiration of mine." She laughed.

He adjusted his grip and looked back at her. "Close. Just a bit lower, they tend to go high. So, I'll light it. But, these ones are cool, not just because they produce a huge dragon. But. The size and spectacle of said dragon gets exponentially more epic if you curse while you light it. The wilder the curse, the wilder the affect. You up for it?" she said, arching an eyebrow, holding the expression for a moment like she had plans to give him a moment to think of something.

Yeah, no chance.

"You've got three seconds. One, two," she lifted her wand to the wick. "Three. Incendio."

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