[OPEN] Don’t Count on Me, I’ll Do It Again
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[OPEN] Don’t Count on Me, I’ll Do It Again

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Post by Jack Dyllan on Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:01 pm

Having Binns lead detention was a special sort of torture. The professor had more or less been forced out of his position as History of Magic professor because of how many students went comatose under his influence. Grades had picked up once they had hired a professor with actual life to him (sue me) but Binns was such a fixture that he filled in the gaps as needed. Having him substitute a class meant students could catch up on sleep, and it also meant he could take other tasks the professors didn’t feel like doing.

Such as chaperoning Jack Dyllan at detention.

It was only week two somehow. This detention was the last in a string of detentions she had earned for rushing Malfoy and commandeering Care of Magical Creatures. Though she still said she’d do it again, she looked awful. Detention meant later Quidditch practices, and she refused to take a day off from her private, early morning sessions. Her lip was still a bit swollen from her scuffle with Matt, and she was sporting a massive bruise on her forearm from a rogue Bludger. She didn’t often get hit. She used to purposefully get hit so she couldn’t be taken by surprise, but it had been awhile since one had actually nailed her hard enough to leave a mark. It wasn’t a mark of failure so much as it was a mark of her exhaustion.

Further disrupting her sleep was her somehow already slipping grades. She knew she could catch up enough to take it easy, but it meant that her sleep had dropped to a dangerous four hours for the past three nights. Not that she’d let anyone catch her yawning. She was still domineering at practice, still coming up with ways to tease Hayes, and she still moved with a brisk confidence through the halls.

But God she was tired.

It wasn’t what she had wanted for her seventh year. She thought it was supposed to be a light year, full of laughter, with professors letting them off easy and friends realizing what was important. But everyone had returned in a panic, with no plans for the future but the determination to have it figured out by graduation. She couldn’t have paid her fellow seventh years to take it easy and just enjoy their last few months. She knew she wasn’t exactly friends with any of them, but she had figured they might have some sense of camaraderie seeing as they’d probably never see each other again come summer.

She guessed she had underestimated her classmates. And she didn’t think that was possible.

Something she didn’t underestimate, however, was Binns. Detention had only started ten minutes prior but he must have amplified the clock, because she could hear every tick, every tock. It was simultaneously putting her to sleep and making her go mad - and one she needed desperately more than the other.

But he wouldn’t let her.

Her chin was on her hands, digging into them in the hopes of keeping her awake, but her eyelids were sliding down, the room was growing fuzzy, her heartbeat was swelling in her ears-

“No sleeping or you’ll be back tomorrow.”

Jack sighed, a hint of her exhaustion lining her voice as she ventured, “Does that mean you’ll let me sleep as long as I come back tomorrow?”

“Thursday, Ms Dyllan, you’re scheduled to be back through Wednesday. And no.”

He didn’t even look at her. She let out a sigh, reminding herself that defeat was not a good look for her.

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[OPEN] Don’t Count on Me, I’ll Do It Again Empty Re: [OPEN] Don’t Count on Me, I’ll Do It Again

Post by Juliet Thruston on Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:28 pm

Detention had never been a deterrent, but now it was routine. When you removed the “delinquency and disgrace” factor, sitting in a quiet classroom for an hour was hardly a punishment. Even the more strenuous alternatives- cleaning out the paddock or re-organising the potions stockroom- were chores at worst, nothing to get worked up (or fixed up) over.

Even as a First Year, Jet had been bemused by the professors’ dedication to this ineffectual system. The insistence on handing out the same detentions to the same people for the same offences was illogical and a waste of everyone's time, really. At least the unpaid labour detentions had a purpose: they got things done around the castle and put off the particularly lazy or easily intimidated. But these casual sit-downs couldn’t be worth the manpower required for supervision, nor the added stress of Hogwarts’ Finest congregated in one room, bored out of their minds.

Because it was Hogwarts' Finest. The first few weeks tended to be limited to repeat offenders, those who’d grown comfortable in the routine, unafraid of consequences. She'd never been afraid but had long since grown comfortable- the Restricted Section barely even registered as out of bounds anymore, the detentions a permanent schedule fixture. In a rare incidence of surprisingly fanciful thinking, she’d come to consider them the obstacle that accompanied the treasure- every quest had its challenges, every tomb its boobytraps; the cost of arcane knowledge at Hogwarts was detention. Given the alternatives, it was a rather cheap price to pay.

The location changed but the path remained worn, a familiar journey despite the shifting contours. She made a leisurely arrival, pushing open the classroom door with her elbow and interrupting whatever conversation had been occurring with her quiet entrance.

“Sorry, Quidditch practice ran over.”

Even the excuse was rote. Polite but not apologetic, delivered to- oh, Binns, this time- with not a flicker of regret. What was the worst he could do- give her detention?

Manoeuvring her broomstick and schoolbag into the room, she got a clearer shot of her fellow offender and did an uncharacteristic double take. Margo's rundown provided context, but the sight was still a sore one. Garish hair, busted lip, battered arm, haggard face- Jack Dyllan looked objectively awful. No wonder she was the school's current subject of discussion.

Jet took a seat a few spaces across and set her stuff down, glancing over at Jack again as she did so. She wasn't one to pry, worry, or tease, and really, it was none of those things. But because there was an hour of silence to kill, a camaraderie of sorts born of 7 years' worth of shared detentions (so she figured), and nothing Binns could do, so- "Hospital Wing out of beds?"
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[OPEN] Don’t Count on Me, I’ll Do It Again Empty Re: [OPEN] Don’t Count on Me, I’ll Do It Again

Post by Jack Dyllan on Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:50 pm

The door opened and Jack took the opportunity to lean back, trying to find some comfort in the hard-back, unyielding chair - which she, again, could not help but believe was intentional.She heard the voice, however, and felt that natural prickle beneath her skin. She couldn’t help it - it’s how she felt about most of the players that she actually thought were good. Christy got a pass, because Jack found her harmless, and Hayes - please, she would never be challenged by him.

But Jet might have been Jack had she been born into money and influence. Jet moved with confidence that she didn’t seem to conjure, that seemed to be imbued into her as a person with a Name. She didn’t use it, because she didn’t have to. Her quiet nature only helped reinforce this. Jet didn’t have to prove anything. Jet didn’t have to do anything.

Jack might have actually been friends with her, if winning wasn’t a zero-sum game. If they could all do well and all be winners, why not? But Jet doing well meant Jack did not, so the distance would exist, a cornerstone of their relationship because it had to be.

Still, she was funny.

“They actually are, yes, I was just visiting the last person who crossed my path. Felt bad about putting them there, but you know how it goes.” She quirked her lips, raising an eyebrow in her signature smirk.

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Post by Juliet Thruston on Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:31 pm

Jet did not, in-fact, know how it went. Apart from socking one of the younger and less sober rockstar hangers-on of Orsino's when he'd gotten too close at the label's catastrophic Christmas party, she'd never punched another person before. Never considered it, really. Even that one incident had just been a reflex, cause-and-effect: too close, punch. It hadn't been anger, nor had it been righteous.

She hadn't seen Jack in action, but righteous seemed more her speed than passive.

The pitch was a different story. Even there Jet lacked the fire that drove the Gryffindor, had been on the receiving end of that fire a couple times, when lukewarm wasn't a match for fierce.

So maybe she did know how it went.

The mirrored brow raise across the desks said as much, a silent concession to a reputation earned.

"A visit?" she repeated, and the eyebrow raise took on a different meaning, vaguely impressed but not really, only an imitation of the sentiment. Where Jack's lips quirked Jet's stayed impassive, barely committing to their quip. Lukewarm. "That's generous. Malfoy must've been glad to see you."
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Post by Jack Dyllan on Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:15 am

News had spread fast. It always did in this castle.

For someone who’s name was often on the lips of her classmates, Jack didn’t really have a pulse on the latest thrills of Hogwarts. She knew everyone (or well, knew how to wind everyone up) and people seemed to know her, but she never stopped long enough for more than an exchange of notes or a reminder of a Quidditch match. Every now and then she found herself beginning to develop some sort of meaningful back and forth with someone, a brave soul who decided to keep pairing up with her in Potions, or a new kid who would sit with her until they found their group. But people didn’t want to stick around and she wasn’t looking to change to keep up with them.

So she didn’t know that the bout with Malfoy had made Hogwarts news. Now that she considered it, though, Margo Richards had been on her comm.

Good. People should know. And people should be scared that she'd do it again.

“Who’s to say there wasn’t another. Let's be fair, at this point I can’t keep track.”

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Post by Juliet Thruston on Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:00 pm

Whether Jack's bravado was bluster or bona fide boldness was a question Jet had never asked herself, despite the occasional intrigue during incidents like this, when the muggleborn's name ignited whispers like wildfire and responses such as the one just received fanned the flames of her own infamy.

That it was a performance seemed a given, exaggerated behaviour ever the terrain of actual performers in Jet's mind, those who'd inhabited their stage personas for so long that when they'd reached to peel them off they'd found themselves unable. Or unwilling. Swagger and spectacle fused to skin til it wasn't clear where the person ended and the performance began.

In the end, it didn't make a difference. The show must go on. You could applaud or you could walk out, but you couldn't stop it any more than the performer themselves.

"Right," she nodded once, turning to face the front of the room where Binns slumped, silent. The ghost had fallen asleep.

Settled in her seat, she was growing warmer as the afternoon's exercise caught up with her and her body acclimatised to the stuffy classroom, conscious of the way her top clung to her back, clammy, and her jumper itched at her collarbones. Her gloves had earlier been removed and stuffed into her bag for ease of movement and now the robes followed, shrugged off and rolled into a tight parcel to accompany the gloves, the bulky jersey also hooked up and over her head, catching blonde strands as it struggled free. She shook her hair out, running a haphazard hand through it only to snag on tangles and abandon the effort. Knee and shin pads were unstrapped, both set on the table beside the jumper, too big to squeeze into the bag just yet.

Finally, clad in a plain grey tank top, quidditch trousers and shoes, she hoisted the bag up and pulled out the real task set for this detention.

History of Magic textbook. Half-finished essay. Plain parchment. Eagle-feather quill. India ink. Muggle ballpoint. And a small bundle of assorted writing samples topped with a list of names and orders that, to the casual observer, appeared blank.

She was not yet hunched over the desk, preparing to painstakingly write out a note for Zachary Pritchard to please be granted a week's extension on holiday assignments due to an extended bout of Levitation sickness contracted during the summer when it occurred to her to glance over at Jack and extend a proverbial hand of friendship- or more accurately, detention companionship- first.

"You need anything?"
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[OPEN] Don’t Count on Me, I’ll Do It Again Empty Re: [OPEN] Don’t Count on Me, I’ll Do It Again

Post by Jack Dyllan on Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:27 am

Jet never offered much. It was part of what bothered Jack about the girl. Her peers was so reactionary that it was easy to figure out what bothered them, or could antagonize them. It was useful data, knowing how to push someone's buttons, and it was one of the focal points of Jack's entertainment in school. So without any indication as to how to wind up the Thruston girl, it left their relationship lacking... really, the only element of a relationship Jack actually cultivated - exasperation.

Jet just didn't rise to the occasion. Didn't seem to get mad or annoyed, and it wasn't fun if the other person didn't respond. It left Jack without her usual responses, and she wasn't a fan of that. So she tried to dislike the girl.

But as she watched her get comfortable, she got more irritated. It was hard to find real reasons to dislike her. She kept to herself, so if she was an awful person, Jack had no evidence. But she moved and spoke with such deliberation, such certainty while revealing nothing... it invited curiosity. What was going on in her mind? What mischief did no one notice?

Jack didn't like the idea of someone pulling off her Deflection techniques with more grace and ease. So she chose to believe there was nothing of interest.

As Jet settled once more, Jack turned her eyes towards the ghost and relaxed, putting her chin heavily in her hands.

She rolled her eyes in the direction of the Slytherin, thinking for a moment. "Uh..." She didn't have money to spare. Not really. Not after the summer expense of a new broom. "Ask me closer to exams. I'm happy to take the zeroes now during Recap season."

She looked back towards the ghost, chewing on her lip and the thought that was always there during this particular transaction. Binns was asleep, and she sure as hell wasn't going to do her homework...

"Did you do that in primary too? Or is it just a talent that blossomed at Hogwarts?"

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Post by Juliet Thruston on Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:46 am

"Let me know then, we'll work out a deal."

It was a throwaway, low pressure and low commitment, but the second half was less rote, a feeble extension of the detention companionship she'd decided to lean into. She didn't put much thought into Jack's words or any potential workaround she might otherwise be able to offer. It seemed to her that strategy underlay most of the beater's recklessness. An aim, at least, since there was deliberation in her aggression, a shrewdness that sharpened her senses and directed her blows, arcing out a sure path amidst the chaos. It didn't always make sense, but it seemed to always hit the intended mark.

In this, then, she took the Gryffindor at face value. She wanted zeroes. When she didn't want them anymore, she'd seek help. Until then Jet wouldn't trouble herself with the ins and outs of Jack Dyllan's schoolyard politics.

Her hand, drawing out a curlicued C, stilled in its spot before regaining its trajectory. She pushed the question out of her mind as she studied the letter with pursed lips, weighing up the risk of that slight imperfection- quill pressed too firmly into parchment, character wider and thicker than it ought to be- being spotted versus the loss of precious parchment inches. In the end, she erred on the side of risk.

She busied herself with dipping the quill in the inkpot, glancing up at Binns in hope he'd- what? Continue to sleep or wake up and derail the interaction?

'Uh...yeah," she intoned, dragging her eyes away from the front of the class to meet Jack's before refocusing on the parchment. "I only started doing favours in Second Year."

That euphemism usually did the job. It wasn't the first time the question had been posed- usually by anxious First Years seeking assurance that her expertise wasn't overblown, or braver OWL students making conversation in affected confidence. This was neither. But she doubted Jack was fishing for a business history and not in fact a litany of mischievous offences, a thrilling account of dogged delinquency or clandestine pursuits. Whatever she was seeking, she'd be let down. There was no stirring backstory.

Jet was good at what she did. So she did it.

"But I've had practice." It was an easy, offhand response, purposefully vague, a passing assurance that answered the question but delved no deeper. The scratching of the quill saturated the still room, eking out the seconds between one sentence and the next.

The next letter came out faultless.
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