|Scene Title||A Friendly Lot|
|Synopsis||The older students cogitate over ways to 'toughen up' the firsties.|
|Date||September 6, 1994|
|Watch For||The Granger Solution|
As one slips through, the door in the stone wall seals shut again, its place marked from within by a hanging tapestry in the House colors of green and silver. The Slytherin common room is a long, low, underground room with rough stone walls and ceiling from which round, greenish lamps hang on rusted chains. A fire crackles under an elaborately carved mantlepiece directly opposite the door, and upon close inspection the carvings are seen to be myriad depictions of slithering serpents. Several high-backed chairs of dark wood with forest green back and seat cushions sit before the fire. More of such chairs are scattered elsewhere about the room, situated in front of a half dozen or so tables used mostly for study or conversation. An opening to one side of the fireplace leads to the stairs down to the student dormitories.
It's early evening, after dinner. Leaiving Millicent in the dormitory after a long gossip session, Pansy comes into the main commons, her eyes narrowed slightly, and her jaw squared. It's not unusual to see the young lady looking quite so severe, although in the company of fellow Slytherins, it may well be. Instead of taking a seat, Pansy stands in front of the fire and warms her back, glancing around the room, but finding none of the younger students in sight at the moment for her to take her wrath out on. She fishes in her pocket for some Bertie Bott's and inspects a yellow spotted bean.
Oscar comes sauntering in through the stone wall, having just finished with dinner himself, one of his black rats perched on his shoulder. He made a Hufflepuff sit in mashed potatoes and gravy. It was a pretty good meal, all told. He spots Pansy as she stands before the fireplace, and moves in that general direction to flop down in a chair. Bubble, the black rat in question, clambers down the front of his robes to his lap. "Evening Parkinson," Oscar greets in a friendly enough tone. "Nice scowl. What's got your goat?" His words are light and easy, but he is genuinely wondering.
Pansy nibbles on the yellow candy, relieved that it's just banana mango, not something unpleasant. "'Lo, Houlihan," she greets, dropping her scowl enough to muster a neutral expression. "Any first year," she responds after a short pause, her brows slanting downward slightly. "I just found out how we /already/ lost five points this term, taken by Professor Snape, no less!" One of her fists balls. "I think this calls for some lessons. Have you heard about this?" she inquires to the sixth year, seeming to think he might share her apparently outrage.
"Yeah, I heard about it," Oscar replies, quiet but not exactly indifferent as he digs out a cracker from his pocket and offers it to the rat now meandering his lap. "Went past the display and Hufflepuff's got the lead, if you can believe it. Yeah, I'm all for giving the little ones a bit of a lesson in house pride. Knew this'd happen if we got too soft on 'em." Because of that one time he didn't do anything too bad to the one kid. They're all going soft. "Maybe we ought to make them sleep out in the hall 'til they earn us back into the positive," he suggests with a wry smirk, though it's possible he's not entirely serious.
A tall shadow can briefly be seen moving up the wall of the stairwell leading down to the boys' dormitories before it is replaced by its owner, one Gavin Crane. He yawns carelessly, stretching his arms above his head and closing his eyes as he ascends the last couple of steps. Obviously somebody's just finished taking an afternoon nap. The dark-haired boy makes his way into the common room, and although he appears to be oblivious to the conversation going on as he plops haphazardly into one of the chairs, he apparently heard enough of it to add a sardonic, "Now, don't be so hard on the poor brats, Houlihan. Personally I say we just have them clean our boots off with their tongues - mine are filthy after the last time I was out by the lake. And there's a convenient lack of evidence when they're done."
"Are you serious, Hufflepuff?" Pansy lets out a giggle. "Well, they can be charming in their lack of intelligence and ambition, I must admit." Growing warm from the fire, she pads to one of the armchairs and perches on the edge of it, listening to Oscar's suggestion followed by Crane's interjection. "I think the sleeping in the hall idea should be implemented if it further escalates — if some unassuming Gryffindor happens by he would surely tattle. And the boots? I don't own any dirty boots! I am a lady, after all." She smirks. "Personally, I'd like to see them perform some kind of feat and then blame it on the Hufflepuffs."
"The only thing charming about Hufflepuffs are the little squeaks of protest they tend to make when they fall over." Or are knocked down, but Oscar refrains from being quite that frank. He looks over with a chuckle as Crane arrives, making his own suggestion, though he looks back to Pansy as she replies, before offering his own thoughts: "Yeah, wouldn't do to be tattled on. Though it wouldn't be too hard to feign ignorance. Ickle firsties get the strangest ideas. I do have some boots that could do with a good old fashioned spit n' polish. But it sort of lacks poetry, doesn't it." Pansy's suggestion gets a smirk and a thoughtful look, but he refrains from further comment as Bertrum arrives on the scene. "Evening Holmwood."
"Well, you two are the professionals, I'll leave it up to your discretion.." Crane sniggers quietly to himself, finally taking the time to peer through cool blue eyes at the others gathered here; first Oscar, then Pansy for a long moment (a slight smirk tugs at the corners of his lips here), and then over to Bertie. He nods politely to his classmate. "Ah.. Holmwood, how was your summer? Seems I must have missed you on the train ride over this year."
Pansy draws out another handful of jellybeans and picks out a black licorice-flavored bean, chewing thoughtfully and then swallowing, taking in Bertie's comment. "You're no fun," she responds simply, pouting her lips a tad. However, the reprimand does shut her up about her plans, leaving her to snack on a few more Bertie Bott's and think about other alternatives. "Well, rumor has is that Professor Snape said to set an example. If we want to do right by him, we could just, you know, ask them to straighten up." She tries not to burst out laughing at the absurdity of the suggestion before adding, "It's what I like to call the Granger solution."
"Evening," is the greeting Bertie echoes before he offers Crane a nonchalant smile. "It was a summer like most any other summer, Crane, but thank you for asking. And if you missed me on the train, I'm sure it wasn't intentional. It's a rather…hectic trip." Bertie answers with a slight shrug of his unladen shoulder. Glancing to Pansy once again, the smile slides into a smirk just as he slides somewhat closer to the door out into the dungeon corridors. He really lacks all of the information required to respond intelligently to what she and Oscar are discussing, but it is not for lack of trying. The rumor mill isn't all that reliable when one wants facts. "Why not lead by example and simply refuse their company until they conform to the standard?" he offers, squinting slightly. "Like peeling a shrivelfig."
Oscar gives a snort to Pansy's 'Granger solution'. "Yeah, and look how well-behaved their first years are. Or any of them. Wouldn't know subtlety if it hit them in the side of the head with a large stone. Which could be arranged." He doesn't appear to pay a whole load of attention to the discussion between Crane and Bertie, but that doesn't mean he isn't listening. As Bertie offers his own solution. "Shunning? I dunno. Could work, only seems a bit … weak, don't it. Something about keeping their mouths shut… We could hex them that way, probably. Sure there's something for that." He's pondering on that line of thought now.
Crane, too, seems to be rather amused by Pansy's mention of the Gryffindor prodigy. He laughs softly and turns for a moment to look scrupulously at his fellow Fifthy-Year, although whatever it is he's estimating, his chilly azure eyes do a good job of hiding it. "Hm. You know, though, despite the Granger girl being rather daft when it comes to the tact department, you have to admit that she's quite.. traditionally intelligent. I just can't figure out why she's so chummy with Potter when helping him repeatedly lands her in Professor Snape's bad graces." The boy shrugs, primarily to himself, and extends a foot towards the fireplace so that he can give an uneven-burning log a light tap with his shoe. It falls over in a shower of orange sparks.
Pansy gives a respectful listen to Bertie's suggestion, but quickly seems to agree more with Oscar, nodding her head. "Aye, the hex sounds rather fun." She straightens her back and adds reluctantly, "Although Holmwood's is the safest route." She doesn't look too excited about that. The topic turns to making fun of Potter and his gang, a favorite of hers, and she seems to brighten. "She wants the attention. Can't you see it, Crane? She's as ugly as a grindylow and is desperate for any male attention she can get. Potter, of course, is often the center of attention."
Bertie shakes his head and suppresses a chuckle as he moves closer still toward the door. "Sending firsties to the Hospital Wing by the boatload isn't going to get anyone on Snape's good side again. Evening," is his parting remark before he slips through the door and out in to the corridor. There are matters more important than House gossip and Snape's temper that need to be dealt with.
"No, but it'd be fun," Oscar counters to Bertie's parting shot, chuckling under his breath at the idea of it. "Could always make it a weak hex, wear off in a few hours, but … fine, we can play it safe. They end up soft, don't look at me." He brushes off of his lap a few of the cracker crumbs that his rat has left behind. "Least we have to do something to get them on the right track." He lets his gaze fall to the rat as he listens to the Potter-bashing, smirking dryly at it. "Lucky for us, Slytherin girls know the right sort of way to get a guy's attention, eh Parkinson?" he suggests - lightly, not too heavy on the innuendo, though it's undoubtedly there.
"Hm. Is it just me, or is Holmwood acting a little out of sorts?" Crane muses, not really asking anyone in particular, but interjecting the thought into conversation audibly anyhow. He smiles wryly at Oscar's commentary, then sits up slightly in his seat and chuckles at Pansy. "Yes, she /is/ a bit of an eyesore, I'll give you that.. but then, you can't really expect her to compete, can you?" The Fifth-Year smirks. "Slytherin girls have brains and good looks, as my colleague Hoolihan notes so adroitly." Seems there's a rather distinct lack of both modesty and shyness in this particular group of students.
Pansy nods her head to the older student as he departs. "Bertie," she says as a farewell. Once he steps through to the dungeon, she lifts a brow at Oscar and Crane, murmuring quietly: "I liked your ideas better, Houlihan. Perhaps Holmwood has been spending too much time with St. Claire — he acts like a prefect." The conversation turns to a comparison of the ladies between the houses, and Pansy finds herself sticking out her chest self-importantly and inputting the proper girlish giggle at the comments. "Of course we do! Slytherin young ladies know how to keep boys' interested. It certainly isn't by flaunting ourselves all over the school."
The wall slides open as the newest firsty walks into the common room. Derek looks around and gives off a way to the few that are here before looking for a quiet place to sit down and reading a book he got from the library.
"Maybe that's it," Oscar allows to Pansy's guess why Bertie is acting as he is. "OWLs will do strange things to people too." Yes, he is the sage sixth year in the room, and it never hurts to make sure that's clear. But just the same, Pansy gets a lazy grin for preferring his ideas. "I think we've got to take it a step up from shunning. Then they can earn their way back into our good graces. As they learn what it means to be a Slytherin." He glances over as Derek enters but doesn't seem too concerned about the boy, other than to give a predatory smirk. "I'll have to give it some thought." To the matter of Slytherin girls, his attention comes back to Pansy, of course. "I'd say you lot've got it down. No complaints here." He picks up his rat, putting him back on his shoulder. "Now, if you'll both excuse me, I need to see a man about a horse."
With another soft laugh at Pansy's agreement, Crane nods to Oscar as the older boy prepares to leave. "Houlihan. Good to see you again," He says, in slightly more friendly tones than most other students would get from him. While the two aren't exactly what he'd call 'friends', he'd been a little surprised at how reasonable the other Slytherin had seemed to act, considering his reputation for being somewhat of an.. instigator. "Hm. Well, Pansy - did you ever find out who or what perpetrated that assault against your.." He struggles for a moment, pushing near-black bangs away from his face before finally finishing, "..cat?" Obviously he can't quite recall its name. Derek, who he'd recently run into, earns a sidelong glance and a nod that isn't exactly chummy, but isn't hostile, either.
Pansy smiles at Oscar, feeding into his 'elder' role. "I'm sure you've had a lot of experience with it. I'll take your word for it. Good evening to you," she says politely, bobbing her head a bit. As Derek enters, she gives his a long, rather cold stare before turning to Crane, expression turning much more friendly. "No. I haven't had time to conduct a full investigation. Too much homework in History of Magic. However, I will find out which first year hurt my poor…" What was the cat's name again? "Jewel." Pansy stands, the Bertie Bott's beans jostling in her pocket. "Speaking of homework, Binns is making us do some research. Guess I'm doomed to the library. Hopefully I can find a Ravenclaw to copy off," she says quite naturally, striding toward the door. "See you later, Crane."
Derek mumbles as he takes a seat on one of the couch's, he takes a little bit of salmander goo off his rope and throws it into the fire. "stupid git giant, and his class, I'm glad I feed that firecracker to his pet, it exploded rather nicely too." he opens his book and starts to read some about the knight of old mostly about the wizard Merlin.
Oscar rises from the chair, brushing off the last of the crumbs. His robes might not be the newest, but he tries to make up for it by keeping them in good condition at least. "Good talking to both of you. We'll talk again soon, I'm sure. Come up with a proper… plan." His gaze flickers over to Derek to make it a little clearer what this plan is about. And then with a more friendly nod towards Pansy and Crane, Oscar starts heading for the exit.
"Night, Parkinson," Crane returns, smiling coyly at the girl as she makes her way toward the exit. It's only after she's on her way out that he looks back at Derek, quirking a brow at the irritated mumbling issuing forth from the First Year. "Having problems, ickle firstie? You should learn to expect them." He grins wickedly and leans further back in his chair now, relaxing somewhat.
Derek looks up from his book. "No problems, just cleaning up a mess that happen in Prof Hagrid class, who would of guess Lizards can make a big mess when they explode." he goes back to reading the book.
"Explode?" Crane looks mildly interested - not that it's the strangest thing he's heard of happening in Hogwarts. Not by /far/. "How did you get into Hagrid's class, anyw— oh, wait, that's right. I forgot he was giving that demonstration to try and get people interested.." The dark-haired boy snickers and moves his feet closer to the flames to keep them warm. "If an exploding lizard seems bad to you, you might not want to choose the class as an elective."
Derek shakes his head. "Other then the Explode lizard it was a ok class and, I need it if I'm going to breed dragons when I grow up." He looks up from his book and gives a grin. "And the lizard wasn't meant to blow up, somebody feed it a firecracker and it just couldn't handle it." he give a light laught to a joke only he knows and looks back at his book.
"Well, trust me when I say that there are a lot of… unusual incidents in that class," Crane drawls. His deadpan tone should suggest that 'unusual incidents' is referring to experiences he himself probably didn't enjoy much. "But it sounds like you had an interesting first time, at least. At any rate, I need to go get some more shut-eye.. have to do some studying tomorrow, and I'd rather get a head start on things now." The tall, dark-haired Fifth Year stands slowly, stretching first his legs then his arms, and grins. "Night, Rimmer," He says, being semi-nice enough to at least address Derek by his name before he stalks off towards the dorms.
Derek nods as he closes his book and let's out a yawn himself. "I guess I better get to bed too, good night" he places the book under his arm and goes to the first year rooms and to bed.