|Scene Title||An Impromptu History Lesson|
|Synopsis||Alice gives the Muggleborn Jacen a short history lesson on Harry and You-Know-Who.|
|Date||Dec 14, 1994|
It's afternoon and except for those with late classes, most people have that lovely free time before the start of dinner. While some would no doubt use said time to engage in friendly banter with other students, Alice seems to be engaged in something else, a pile of books off to one side and a parchment in front of her which she scribbles down on quickly. She hums to herself under her breath, drawing the evil eye of Madam Pince (though the blonde third-year seems completely oblivious to the librarian's unflinching glare).
Still swathed in his winter wear, the first year Jacen Starr trudges in, a copy of 'Illustrated History of Brooms' under one arm. The boy heads to the counter and plops the book down with an exhausted thud. "Made it." he whispers, apparently missing the blonde's presence.
With a bit of a squeak, Alice starts at her table, looking up from the parchment and blinking several times at the first year in front of her. "Oh, hello there," she says by way of greeting, offering a lopsided smile and craning her neck to peer at the book. She waves the feathered end of her quill at the tome, quirking an eyebrow, "That isn't for Binn's class, is it?"
Jacen starts, apparently REALLY not having noticed Alice's presence. Inadvertantly juggling a small stack of parchments, he clutches them to his sand-covered coat and just fixes an emerald-eyed deer-in-headlights stare on the older girl. "I- Um, hi?"
"Hello there!" Alice begins again, smiling cheerfully at the younger student, "No need to be so nervous. I won't bite, y'know." The girl pauses briefly, pursing her lips tightly, then digs around in her robes, "Say, would you like a sweet? They're quite good, if I do say so myself." She retrieves a small paper bag and shakes it open, revealing an array of colourful, pill-shaped candies. "I call them 'Flavemotions'. They're rather like Many Flavor Beans, but rather than providing a taste, they give a brief burst of emotion! Try one! Most people like the red ones — that's joy."
Jacen sets the parchments back on the counter and pulls his hat and hood off to reveal spiky black hair tipped in sapphire blue. "Oh, I just- I didn't think anyone'd be here. I wanted to get the book back before it came overdue." Looking the bag over, his lower lips slips between his teeth. "You- You can do that..?"
Coquettish laughter bubbles up from the blonde, earning another annoyed look from Madam Pince. No laughing in the library! "Oh, yes, it's not all that difficult, really. Just a bit of potion's brewing, that's all." Alice looks owlishly at her table companion, "Are you Muggleborn, may I ask? You seem quite amazed at the most mundane things, which is why I ask." She shakes the bag again, "Go on, have a taste!"
Jacen glances to Pince warily, but his attention's on the bag, for sure, even if he -does- shudder at the mention of Potions. "Y-yeah… …not used to all this. …and I think I've - had enough potions for one week…"
"Oh, don't let Professor Snape get to you," Alice says with a wave of her hand, immediately guessing the problem, "He's pretty nasty to everyone outside his own House. Doubly so if you're a Gryffindor. I suppose it's that old House rivalry." She shakes the bag again, "Sure you won't try one? I promise they're very good. I sell them, you know."
Jacen exhales briefly before shrugging. "Here I thought it was just First-Years." Hand hovering over the bag, he spots one and snags it, withdrawing a bright cyan candy. "That's -definitely- not the red one." he muses, suddenly second-guessing his acceptance. "Well, here goes." and into the mouth it goes!
"Oh, cyan! That's anticipation!" Alice says delightedly, quickly crumpling the end of the bag and returning it to her pocket. "That was surprisingly easy to create. I've been trying to combine anticipation with joy to create optimism. No such luck just yet, though. I'll get it one of these days!"
Jacen's eyes sparkle a bit. "there's not much difference. I mean - I already can't wait for next year, so I can try out for Quidditch, y'know? …and I -know- I'm gonna get skysurfing down! That'll be great! Someone told me I'd be the first to do it, right..?" and so it goes, revealing (a little too) much about the younger boy's plans.
Alice's pleasant demeanor flickers faintly at the mention of Quidditch and skysurfing, but soon she's back to her normal oppressively cheerful self. "See, wasn't that great?" the blonde says, "It only lasts for a couple of seconds, but still. Quite nice. You can purchase a bag with whatever flavors you want for just one galleon and a knut, by the way." She pauses briefly then thrusts out a hand, "I'm Alice. Alice Starr. Pleased to meet you! Oh, and welcome to Hogwarts, though I suppose I'm several months too late on that."
Jacen pauses, blinking profusely at her introduction. "I— Starr? Your name's Starr??" Pulling his heavy coat off finally, he adds, "That's -my- name! I'm Jacen Starr, but - I usually answer to Jace."
"Really?" Alice asks, surprise evident on her features, "Well, that's interesting. You did say you were Muggleborn, yes?" She peers critically at Jacen, pursing her lips tightly, "Mmm. How… odd. Still, it's not all that unusual a surname. It's probably just coincidence." Her eyes drift over to the Gryffindor badge on the boy's robes, "You're in Gryffindor, then?"
Jacen nods again, taking a seat opposite Alice, his American accent slipping through. "Yep - Well, as far as I know. Mom died when my sister was born, left me and her with dad. He's SAS." The last bit he admits with a bit of pride as he looks at Alice's badge. "That's what the creepy hat told me, anyway. You're in— —what was it again, Fluffypuff?"
"SAS?" Alice asks, blinking uncomprehendingly, "What's that?" More coquettish laughter rises from the blonde as she shakes her head, "No, no. Hufflepuff. Though we do sometimes have the reputation of being a bit fluffy." Both in demeanor and in the head. "You're quite lucky to be in Gryffindor," Alice states with a smile, "Especially at this time. What with Harry Potter being in your House and all." Harry's name, of course, said with reverance and a bit of awe.
"-Riiight-. HUFflepuff. I really need to learn this stuff. Seems like it's basic information for Wizards…" Jace admits, showing very little in the way of shame. Seems he's used to not knowing things. Curiously looking again at the bag of sweets, he reveals how VERY little he knows as he nonchalantly asks, "Harry who?"
That causes Alice's jaw to drop. She just stares at the firstie for a long while. "Blimey, mate," she says with a slow shake of her head, "You don't know who Harry Potter is?! Cor! Everyone knows! I mean… even Muggles should know! He saved them lot as well as the rest of us, he did." Alice pauses again, pursing her lips, "Harry Potter is the Boy-Who-Lived. See, back when You-Know-Who — you know who that is, right? — was trying to take over the world, Harry Potter managed to defeat him while only being a baby." She laughs again, drawing more ire from Madam Pince, "Not only that, but when he came to Hogwarts he fought You-Know-Who again. Mind you, I wasn't in school at the time, so I only know that second hand. But! My first year here, he saved another student and defeated the monster of the Chamber of Secrets! And then last year he stayed in school even when Sirius Black was after him. Not to mention he was the youngest Seeker in over a century in his first year."
Jacen just leans back, one eye wider than the other as he gets the abridged explaination. "I- So, he's famous. Right, then." He pauses, looking brain-locked until he looks back up, brows knit. "…who's You-Know-Who..?"
"He's more than famous," Alice states, pushing up her glasses, "He's… he's… he's Harry Potter!" If previously she expressed shock at poor Jacen not knowing anything about Harry, she looks positively dumbfounded by his question, "Who's— By Merlin's Beard! You don't know He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named is?" She frowns faintly, lacing her fingers together and peering down at them. She looks back up and speaks quietly, "He was a wizard. Maybe the greatest wizard ever, besides Headmaster Dumbledore. But… he was bad. Very bad. Right rotten, he was. Like I said, he tried to take over the world — Wizard and Muggle alike, rather like Grindelwald years earlier, but got a lot closer to succeeding. He was only stopped when he— he murdered Harry's parents and then tried to kill Harry himself. For some reason, he couldn't do it. And he was defeated." She lowers her voice even further leaning forward, "Some say he died, killed by the same curse he tried to off Harry with. But… well, if the rumors are true, then that's wrong. He's still alive, somewhere, stripped of power but always trying to claw himself back up to where he once was." She sits back and takes a breath, "No one knows why he failed to kill Harry that night. Well, maybe Dumbledore, but he's not telling if he does."
Jacen squints, focusing heavily to absorb everything. After a bit, he finally asks, "Wait. Glasses? Kinda wierd? Little scar on his head?"
"Glasses and scar, yes," Alice replies wryly, "I don't know if 'wierd' is right, though. I've never actually talked with him directly, though. You know the Weasley's of course?" Everyone knows the Weasley family. "Ronald Weasley is a good friend of Harry. They're always together with that bushy-haired witch. I can never remember her name… seems like she should be in Ravenclaw. Smart as a whip. Muggleborn herself, just like you. In fact, I've heard more than one Ravenclaw bemoan the fact that she's not in their House."
Jacen rolls his eyes. "Oh, the know-it-all. Always correcting -everyone-. …problem's that she's actually -right-…" The boy nods at the mention of the Weasleys. Impossible to miss. On the topic of Potter, however, he adds, "Well, everyone's kinda wierd, so I guess I really don't see anything so special about him. Seems like another wizard to me."
"Going up against that thing in the Chamber is something even a trained Auror would balk at," Alice states, looking over the rim of her glasses, "And he went after it with no fear. As a second-year! I know that Gryffindors are supposed to be brave, but that was just over the top!" She grins broadly, "What makes it even more amazing is that he won. Saved the student, killed the monster, was back in time for breakfast."
Jacen sighs a bit. "Sorry if I'm not impressed. I mean, he's a -brilliant- flier, but other than that, it's all what I hear from someone who heard and so-on…" Shrugging apologetically, the Muggleborn adds, "I guess I just don't get how scary a lot of this is. It's -all- a little scary to me, though."
"Mm. I guess I never thought about how odd things must be to a Muggleborn," Alice replies thoughtfully, tapping her chin. She rolls her eyes around to regard Jacen curiously, "I'm actually really interested in the Muggle world. I mean, I've been around Muggle London a few times, but never long enough to really get a good study of it. It's pretty amazing all the things Muggles can do without magic. It hardly seems possible! I mean, look at London at night! It glows! But it's not the flickering light of a candle, it's something like a luminos spell. But how do they even do that without magic?"
Jacen just blinks in surprise. "Um…" he starts, not wholly gathered. "It's electricity. Kinda powers everything at home. Radio, TV, Blenders, lights…" A moment passes and he adds. "…and we have Skateboards."
Oooh, just look at that excited look in Alice's eyes! She's nearly hopping up and down on her seat. "Ooh! E-leck-triss-etty," she sounds out the word curiously, "So, it's… a power source you say? Like a ley line? And it makes lights?" She grins broadly, "Neat! What's a blender and TV?"
Jacen finally cracks a full smile. "Well, Wizard photos are a lot like TV, but we use it for entertainment. Movies, sitcoms, things like that." The uselessness of the explaination seems not to dawn on him. "It's like the zap you get when you touch a doorknob after walking across thick carpeting."
Alice just gets a look of bewilderment on her features, "Sitcoms? Movies?" She sighs faintly, shaking her head, "Oh, I'll never understand the Muggle world." She begins gathering up her books and parchment, offering a wry smile, "It'll be dinner soon, I had better get going. Wouldn't want to be late, no sir! It was very nice meeting you, Mister Starr! Good evening."
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