|Scene Title||Courtyard Creatures|
|Synopsis||Aurors and students - especially meditating foreigners - don't always mix well.|
|Date||Sept 13, 1995|
|Watch For||Skittish Daine, grumpy Moody, lunching Eleanor and a confused Bean.|
If there was one fundamental truth to Eleanor's visit, it was that she stuck out like a sore thumb. This lack of conformance to the standard way of things at the school had a strange habit of either having students gravitate towards her or avoid her like she had a case of the dragon pox. For now, during lunch hour, she was being mercifully left to her own devices. At the moment, this consists of a leafy ham sandwich and a copy of the Prophet strewn across the bench she straddles, serving double duty as both placemat and reading material.
The young woman glances up from the paper occasionally to fix random students with a studying gaze or to judge the alacrity with which the spray from the fountain was shifting about. The currents of the wind were constantly changing and in the crisp air, getting damp was less than desirable.
Soothed by the sound of the bubbling fountain, one of the newest of Hogwarts' students is seated on a stone bench in the corner of the courtyard. Cross-legged - even in the uniform skirt - she has her eyes closed and her palms resting on her knees. Her back is straight and her breathing even. She looks utterly at peace. Well, except for the occasional scratching at or fidgeting with the clothes she's wearing. That bit doesn't look comfortable at all. If she's noticed anyone else in the courtyard, she hasn't shown it yet.
Though the school has started, Bean isn't quite back in rhythm yet. Perhaps it's the new feeling of homesickness, or perhaps it's something else entirely. He steps out into the courtyard and inhales deeply, gazing out across the grounds, taking in the quiet and the open spaces. He does notice the people but says nothing yet.
Eleanor is a creature of habit and in her regular surveillance of the area, she spots a familiar face in a short and curly haired boy with more than a little mischievous streak as far as she could gather. Her sandwich finds itself swiftly missing another jaw-shaped groove before she settles her eyes on the kid, affording him a curt flick of her hand in what she thought would pass for a subtle wave. The wordless greeting is coupled with a curling of her lips as well, taking care not to part them to reveal mushed up sandwich rather than just the telltale bulge of her cheek.
One eye cracks open when the small boy approaches, watching his progress warily. When she sees the wave the older woman sends him, Daine settles once again. After only a few moments, however, her brow wrinkles in frustration and she leans back against the cool stone. Both eyes open now to watch the other occupants, but she does nothing further.
Julian turns toward Eleanor just in time to catch her wave. "Hullo, fish lady." He knows her name, but she's been nicknamed. Both times he's seen her, she's been eating. Well, sort of . "What brings you to the school?" The short and curly haired boy grins a little, and gazes over at the new girl. "Hey, girl." He doesn't know her name. "I'm Julian, but folks call me Bean." He finds a cold stone bench and plops down on it as only a preteen boy can.
The young Auror flicks crumbs to the ground where they vanish amongst the pebbles and blades of verdant grass still managing to cling to life despite the choking grip of Fall. Quietly, Eleanor begins folding up her paper into successively smaller halves until with a clap of her hands, a gentle application of will and a whisper that's lost in the hiss of fountain spray the paper vanishes from sight. The nickname warrants a scowl firmly focused on the young boy, wrinkling her brow as it furrows at a sharp angle.
"That's hardly civil," Eleanor chastises, her gaze flickering over to the young girl as she is addressed in turn. "Work." Leaning forward, she settles her palms on the cold, stone surface of the bench, stretching out her shoulders in a distinctly feline gesture before relaxing and settling back on her rump in a more comfortable stance. "Staying out of trouble, one would hope?"
When the boy calls over to her, Daine sits a little straighter. Her eyes dip away from his to settle on his chin. "Yi - Daine," she corrects herself quietly, her words coming slow and unsure. Accented quite heavily with an almost primitive lilt, her voice is soft and light. More comfortable with Bean's more familiar dark features, she keeps her focus on his chin, rather than the other lady's. After a moment of awkward silence, she offers another few words. "I am new." Which might be an odd statement, considering she looks to be at least in her early teens.
Julian shrugs at her words. "S'not meant to be rude." He grins at her. "That's where I met you, right?" He shifts on the bench. "I'm staying out of trouble mostly. Frenchie and I raced up the stairs first day, and almost tripped, but we avoided it." He turns his face up to the sky for just a moment, closing his eyes, seeming to enjoy the open air more than he had done before.
As Daine speaks, Bean turns toward her and nods. He isn't sure what to make of her yet, but she's … okay. Reminds him a bit of someone else. "Figured you might. You were sorted the other night, right?" He has a very good memory. "Salma, if I remember right?" Yes, Brits have a weird habit of referring to everyone by surname.
Eleanor nearly leers at Bean from beneath her brow but after a handful of heartbeats, the young woman relaxes her features and fits it with something more neutral and place. Contented to watch the exchange for the moment, her right hand idly drifts to her wand, fingers curling about its glossy coating hard enough to elicit a whine from the leather holding it in place at her hip.
Her head cocks to the side for a moment, a fleeting idea clearly weighing her head down to one side. "Were the Beauxbaton students sorted when they arrived at Hogwarts?"
"I … " Glancing at Eleanor with poorly-disguised confusion, Daine's brow wrinkles further and she quickly returns her focus to Julian. "I was, yes." She pauses then, taking her time to try and make sure she understands exactly what he's saying, rather than hazard a quick guess and get herself into trouble. "Salmalin," she corrects after a moment. There's a flick of her eyes up to try and read his expression, but they don't stay long. "What … is Bow - Bow … " Her whole face crumples a little in concentration as she struggles with the unfamiliar word. "Bow-batzon?"
"That's the French school where all the little blonde girls are from. They weren't here last year. Frenchie was the only one, and that's because his Papa's in the Ministry or something." Julian explains patiently to Daine, then turns to Eleanor. "Yeah, but .. Frenchie isn't from there. He was here last year with me." He doesn't further clarify who 'Frenchie' might be, at least not yet. "Yeah, that's right." As if the girl would get her own surname wrong. "That's an interesting name. Mine's Legume. S'why they call me 'Bean.'" And because he's as small as one, yup. "Made for a bloody long sorting." Oops, language. He doesn't look too abashed.
Fortunately, Eleanor's role was to bump back at the things that went bump in the night and not to fill the role of a professor or overbearing professor. Her ears perk up, some maternal urge being triggered in her person betrayed in a tiny, fleeting shift in her posture but it's soon dismissed with an idle shrug. Bean's last name does manage to elicit a grin from the young woman, her lips parting to reveal the whites of her teeth and her eyes alighting with some spark of youthful malice.
"Legume," Eleanor chortles, barely able to eek out the word between a laugh. "That's bleeding ace." She calms down with a few deep breaths to settle the spasms down before turning her attention to the young girl. "Where would you be from, hun?"
Daine, however, completely misses the pun. So when Eleanor explodes with laughter, the young girl leaps upwards to stand in a half-crouch on the bench, looking around her for signs of danger. When neither her ears, her eyes nor her mind can find anything amiss, she hops down to stand on the ground. So, calm, but not quite relaxed anymore. "Aw - Awss…" She pauses and takes a few deep breaths to calm herself, letting the unfamiliar name roll off her tongue just as she'd practiced. "Australia." Having been told that most people would be satisfied just with that tidbit of information, she falls into a rather awkward silence. Just in case it's not enough information, she continues a bit haltedly. "It is an … island." She swallows. "South from this - island."
"Australia." Bean lifts his eyebrows and gazes over at Daine. "How th' bloody hell'd you get to Hogwarts, then?" He just ignores the laugh, unsure of how to handle the uproarious laughter. Were it a scant year ago, Julian would've been down between the benches, aiming his wand at the woman. Much like Daine is now. "S'alright, Daine. I think she's just laughing." He turns back toward the Auror-to-be and gazes at her for a long, quiet moment.
Eleanor's eyes flit to the top-right corner of their sockets, peering up at the distressed sky and the grey puffy clouds as they slide languidly across. The young woman finds herself scratching at the nape of her neck as if the motion would stimulate the blood flow to her brain and assist her with her thought process.
"Ooooooh," Eleanor mouths as the answer finally comes to the forefront of her consciousness. "Tasmania?" The young auror's tone conveys doubt as to the veracity of her information and she frowns accordingly, furrowing her brow and pulling her lips into a straight line. It isn't too long before she nods in a bobbing fashion and contents herself with the notion that she's probably right. "It is a bit barmy you ended up in Hogwarts proper. I'm sure Australia has its own schools."
Laughing. Right. Picking Bean's question apart and piecing it back together using only the words she understands takes a moment, but Daine does at least try to respond. "The man named it a Kortpey." She pauses again. "I believe." Which would explain how she got here. As for Australia having its own schools, the young girl can't speak to that. She merely pulls her arms around her middle to try and stave off the chill from the mild breezes and shifts her weight from foot to foot. The very picture of awkward. "I live in my father's old … house, here." Which probably doesn't explain as much as it doesn't, but at least she's trying.
"Porkey." Julian also gets it wrong, but closer. "Kinda sounds like a piggy, to me." He giggles softly and turns back to face outward, continuing to talk. "Feels like you got some weird food or somethin'." Or that's how it felt the first time he was exposed to one this summer. "S' cold here?" It's his attempt at sympathy. The tone is just a flat query. "You think it's gonna rain, fish lady?" He never got her proper name when they were fishing for Jelly Slugs.
Eleanor shrugs idly, rising to her full height as she glances up towards the castle proper. She affords the pair a gentle, fleeting wave before taking a tentative step forward and away from the fountain. Before she departs she twists her head over her shoulder to regard the pair one last time, fitting her visage with a pleasant smile. "Somehow I doubt it, Mr. Laygooom. Have a lovely afternoon, duty calls." With that, she allows her thick soled boots to carry herself away from the courtyard.
Moody has arrived.
"What is a … piggy?" Daine asks, curiously. Bean's soft giggle is taken much better than the former explosive laughter; it even earns him a small smile in return. "It is," she agrees. "I can't seem to get warm." It's a struggle to find a balance between warmth and comfort - especially to someone who is still adjusting to clothes in general. She watches Eleanor leave, but the significance of the 'wave' has yet to be explained, so she doesn't return it. Just in case it's actually Bad.
Julian is sitting on a stone bench, face upward, wondering if it's gonna rain. "Bye, fish lady." He waves belatedly, then turns back to Daine. "Piggy. It's an animal. I think it's pink, but I've never seen a real one, I don't think." Wouldn't be much call on the London streets. "It sounds like this." He snorts, which makes him laugh even harder. It's still a boyish giggle; it's definitely not as loud as Eleanor's. "You get used to it." The cold, that is. And the hot, and the hungry, and … change.
With one Auror leaving, it must be time, or so the bell tolls, for another to appear. And coming from the east, is a rather recognizable sound. The off pattern clacking of a walking stick, followed by the stumping along of a fake leg. For some students, this would be a sign to hide and tremble in fear for something big and mean was on it's way. It is probably still the case, but as far as he knows, this sound can no longer torment students in such a manner. Instead his focus must be on the walls, skies, small holes….mice.
Lunch time or not-it is never time for people to slack off, and relax. While others are off enjoying sandwiches and apples, there are others ensuring their way of life as students in a prestigious wizarding school continues. It is the sharp, electric blue eye that catches the sight of the two snotties first. And it is the spittle form his lips that flies, when a rather haggard and hoarse voice roars out. "LEGUME" no time for a beat as Mad Eye Moody descends. "And Uh…YOU." a point of one scarred over finger. "Why are you not both in th' bloody hall?" CONSTANT VIGILANCE
The clack-snick of the approaching footsteps doesn't really concern Daine overmuch. It's one of the constants here that was easiest to acclimate to. "Ohhhh," she replies, smiling a little wider in Bean's direction. "Pigs. Pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs." And then she makes the noise as Bean did, though with a little more accuracy and a little less giggling. "They are grumpy People," she continues softly. "They can cause much damage if they are being insulted." The words come slowly and carefully. She weighs each one in turn to make sure that at least the point comes across. And then … enter Moody. His roars have her jumping into the air and whirling about to face him in a near-feral combative half-crouch. The fingers of her right hand twitch, as if missing a bow or spear, but she makes no move to draw a wand. On the balls of her feet, she is ready to move in a heartbeat, should it be required and though she doesn't shift from that stance, she does, at least, attempt to answer the posed question. "Too many stones. Not enough air."
Julian jumps. The summer must have been enough for him to relax his defenses, in fact for some of the first time since he came across on the big bird. He gazes around and grins at Moody. "Already finished, Professor Moody," he replies. "Needed a bit of air." It's similar enough to the girl's words. "I bet they do." He doesn't question the Story. It's a bit odd to him, but he's Seen Odd. "A lot of people get grumpy if you make fun of them. I just think they sound a bit funny. Especially if I try to make the sounds." He realizes he probably sounds nothing like the real thing.
One girl is snorting like a pig an talking about boars as if they are people, while Bean is jumping about. "Jus'-" Well what do you tell a kid to address you as? Auror Moody? Mad Eye the Destructor? Instead, he's shaking his head after deciding against whatever tirade was hanging in the balance there. A shake of his head, before one half brow is hocked up to the reason in question. "Too Many Stones eh? Someone throwin rocks? Why didn't you hex em where they stand?" And Mad Eye misses the point completely-but moving on!
Coming to rest and lean on his walking staff, Moody's eye twirls back to look through the back of his skull for a moment. Caught on something else, as his regular eye focuses in on Bean. "How was yer summer, boyo?" Despite Bean being a slytherin-Moody does think the child has some moxie, and thus is tolerable to talk to. Not like the rest of those simpering gits, weaned on the teat of Mummy and Daddy's coin purse.
"I thought …" Daine stares at Moody, utterly perplexed. "They think we sound simimilarly odd." She butchers 'similarly', but doesn't seem to notice. Looking quickly from Bean to Moody and back again - careful not to meet either pairs of eyes - she shifts again, uncomfortable. One hand reaches up to scratch at her neck where the shirt collar lies against the skin. "No one threw stones," she answers slowly, her heavily accented English halting and uncertain. "It was the … the walls." Again, her hand clenches around an invisible weapon, but she forces it to relax. Bean hasn't fled yet, so this … person can't be that bad, right?
"It was great, Professor. I stayed with Gareth and Gabe." Bean grins widely. "And I got to sleep …" Well, he's not about to give much more away, even to Moody, but he does continue to grin. "What about you, sir? Why aren't you teaching us again? The guy we've got now is .. different. He sounds a bit like you, but he's a little … " He twirls his finger around his ear. "He … sounds like old Mickey on the corner." And, indeed, Moody might even know the man in question. "Like he's seen too many years and too many bottlecaps."
"Goood. Ash an Oak, I was thinkin I was going t' have to house your snottie arse." Though one might not expect this sort of talk to come from a professor, they would be somewhat right. However it is debatable whether Moody would speak like this with his students or not. A grunt, and with that he is taking a few limping steps forward towards Daine, the blue eye fixated on the wee whippet of a lass. "An who are y' with yer hackles all raised up?" apparently Moody is not phased by feral like children in semi-defensive/aggressive stances. A faint glance back to Bean and Moody is shifting his stance with a grunt. "I got other business about th' school Legume. But you'll respond t' me all the same as I was before."
"I am Yin - Daine." Again, the more familiar name almost slips out, but Daine corrects herself quickly. She doesn't respond to the conversation between the two males because she has nothing to do with it and doesn't understand half of it. "Who are you?" she demands of Moody in return, stance still ready to fight or - more than likely - flee, should the need arise. Even with her demand, Daine pointedly does not meet his eyes; especially not the weird one.
"You would've put me up?" Julian is touched. He grins a little more widely. "It's Professor Moody, Daine. He taught us Defense last year. He likes to yell 'CONSTANT VIGILANCE'." It's not yelled, but definitely a little louder than normal. "Y'know, keep aware of your surroundings. It's amazing how many don't." Bean is naturally that way, though. "You call yourself something else?" Bean fully understands this. Completely. "Yessir. I'd definitely listen to you." Age, wisdom, decibels… all favor Moody. He looks back up to the sky. "It's getting cold quickly, I think. Maybe it'll snow soon."
"Yan?" that's what he thought she said. And then Moody's moving the end of his stick to poke towards Daine. "Daine-straighten up." called in a barking order from the massive gnarled and scarred wizard. "An put yer hand down. I've cursed people for less." Which would be true. And there's a glance over to Legume for a second. "My lessons better have stuck.." muttered back before it seems attention is once again thrust onto the new student. "What house are ye, lass?"
No matter how long she practices, Daine just hasn't been able to get her house name down. To be fair, Gryffindor is a mouthful to someone who is just getting comfortable with speaking English all the time. "Red and gold," she answers instead, having figured out that the colors seem to stand for themselves. And when the command is barked like that - in such an authoritative voice, Daine does drop her hand and straighten. Somewhat. Still in an easy position to run, she keeps her eyes on Moody's body even as she listens; watching for those subtle cues that mean movement.
Julian watches the interplay between the two and purses his lips. It's like some of the power plays he'd seen on the street. He straightens up a bit too, nearly from reflex. "Gryffindor, then." He states the obvious. "Your lessons probably stuck with most everybody. Especially those of us you worked with more closely, sir." Kissing up? Probably.
Kissing up has never served Moody in any form at all. And there's a glance back towards Bean and with that he's pointing the end of his walking staff at the young man quick, as if his false leg had nothing to do with his being able to move in a combat zone. "Legume, Stupify!" barked out before, that blue eye swivels over to Daine, in order for her to know he is talking to her. "Ach, Gryffindor! A great house. Many good wizards and witches come from there." Himself included. And the Auror keeps his gaze easily divided as he carries on. "Where y' from, Daine?" Her accent sounds more South Wales, than actually, Welsh.
"Yes, that." Daine agrees with Bean's statement, she just can't say it. When that bolt of red light shoots out towards the smaller boy, Daine leaps backwards. Pale, blue-grey eyes are wide with fear, but she holds her ground. Every hunter knows when running would do more harm than good; this seems quite a bit like one of those times. "Aw-Aws-Aw…" Swallowing hard, she knits her brows and wears a rather irritated expression. She just answered this question, this shouldn't be so hard! "Australia." Her English is struggling and fragmented, but it's at least understandable. "It is an … island."
Julian ducks and rolls into a very small ball as he sees the hand come up. It's been a long summer. Finally his brain kicks in, and he flicks his wand out. Protego!! The shield appears, strong and shimmering in front of him. "She sounds like …" She sounds like something he can vaguely remember. "You sound familiar, Daine." And he has no clue why. He stands up, keeping the shield in front of him, grinning widely. He's still got it.
Moody raises a brow as the walking staff is lowered and a nod is passed to the snottie. "Be quicker, Legume. if I was a Death Eater, your arse would be in pieces." And now the staff, though lowered is pointed at Daine and then placed back to normal. "Oh, You're a Commonwealther." and there's a faint nod. Though Moody is not one to ask life stories. "I know." A glance to Legume, before reaching in his coat for a flask. "Legume should you see anything off putting, you know to come to me or any of the other Aurors here, right?"
And though her chin lifts in defiance - Daine has no idea what that word means, but she doesn't like the sound of it. "I am not," she answers sharply, her words cut and concise for the first time. "I am of the Children." There is real pride there, but hurt and longing in her expression. It is a home she misses very much. "And you move like the People, but you feel like a … " She searches for the right word. "Human." There's another hard swallow and she bucks up her courage. "Who are you?" A quick glance is cast to Bean, slightly helpless. "I do not … I do not know." Or understand. Large words are still hard.
"Yessir. I'd tell you, or my Head or someone like that. Another teacher." Or perhaps another Auror, like he's said. Daine's words confuse him completely. Children? People? Aren't they the same? However, he merely listens. It's something important to her. He's not sure what she's trying to say. "How many of you are there here, Professor?" He is curious; he wonders how much of his wanderings will be curtailed by the new presence. Julian's brows furrow as his mind calculates the new information, dovetailing it into what he already knows.
"As many as their need to be here, Legume." Moody responds quickly. Not quick to give out numbers in case someone has charmed themselves with a potion to look like Bean. Moody never trusts, save for a few people. Sadly students are kept on a separate list and a separate circle of protocols. Moving on! A faint look back to Daine and Moody either chuckles or chokes, it is hard to say given the sound-but he does do it for a long moment. "I know you're a child lass. I kin see that." a lick of a tooth, and he is moving in closer to eye the child. "I am Alastor. Mad Eye. Moody." spaced out for the new snottie. "You can call me. Professor Moody, just like Legume here." a nod to the other. The hand with the flask, brings it to his lips, before it is snapped open with a finger-then down goes the concoction inside. "Other than new teachers, anythin' amiss?" Moody must ask while he has time.
"Not a child," Daine answers. "The Children." She follows that with another word in a wild, exotic language. She points at herself, then considers Bean a moment and points hesitantly in his direction. "Not children. The Children." She closes her eyes a moment and her face relaxes. Soon after, a small black-shouldered kite wings down from the aerie tower to land on Daine's outstretched arm. Using her free hand, she reaches up to stroke the bird's back. "Kari is of the People." She looks from Moody to Bean almost plaintively, nearly begging one of them to understand.
Something strikes Bean, and he tilts his head. "An animal?" That's the only correlation he can draw. "You do walk a bit like a big tiger or something, Professor. Or maybe a bear." He snickers softly, hoping he won't get into trouble. Yes, the shield is still up. He daren't say such things otherwise. "I don't know who the Children are, Daine. I'm sorry." He wants to know, though. He gazes at Moody again, and narrows his eyes slightly, wondering what that means. "Alright…" Bean hears that as 'As many as we need to make sure you stay in your dorms at night.' This is not good development.
"People are animals?"" Moody says before taking a swig of his whiskey. Well now he has heard everything, though he doesn't say more as the silver container is passed back into the volumes of his robes. And so there's a nod finally before he is looking over to Bean. And his good and only normal eye narrows on the young slytherin. "Thank you for your input Mr. Legume. Y' move like a snottie who could be soon late to his class." A HINT possibly? Naw-Moody is usually less subtle than that. Finally he seems to relax and rock back on his wooden leg. "Kind o' you to say Lass. Once I could-these days…" A shrug. Though possibly the force of nature that is Moody is just being modest.
Frustrated by the lack of adequate communication, Daine briefly considers trying some sort of weaving magic on the old bear to tie-up the language gaps, but considering the amount of calm and concentration that would take, wisely reconsiders. "I was not being kind, Alastor Mad-Eye Moody." She repeats the sounds just as she heard them, then beams in pride at having gotten them all right. "I wanted to … learn of you. Why do you not walk like a …" She gestures to Bean. "One of them?"
Julian looks over at Daine, wondering what she's trying to say. He sees in her the confusion he felt, but multiplied exponentially. He does get the (very blatant) hint that Moody gives him, and lowers his shield to cast a tempus and gazes at the glowing numbers. "Ah, I've got about ten or so before I have to get walking." He's planned it all out.
There's a faint stare between the both of them, as his jaw tightens. Moody just shakes his head to Daine before he's turning to walk off, and finish his rounds. "Right." says Moody as he is turning away. "Both of you class…Keep yer eyes open…CONSTANT VIGILANCE!" bellowed as he maneuvers to walk-or rather, limp the rest of his patrol out.
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