|Synopsis||Crane and Mei share idle discourse, Cullen is attacked by a demonic lamp.|
|Date||September 6, 1994|
|Watch For||Emotional fraudulence|
The smallish, squarish courtyard is surrounded by stone walls on three and a half sides. One is the bulk of the castle, more stone, broken only by the wooden door leading back inside. Another, lower wall, contains a gate which connects it to the rolling meadow beyond. The last one of the stone is just covered in ivy with no visible breaks. The fourth is made up partially by the glass sides of the greenhouses. The courtyard itself is paved with blue-grey flagstone. I nthe center a fountain bubbles, surrounded by a rough marble bench. Rippling out from this dominating centerpiece are hedges and flowerbeds arrranged in an almost maze-like fashion. As might be expected at a wizarding school, fresh blossoms can be found here year round, regardless of what season muggles have assigned a particular flower.
Mei sits, reviewing her notes for the previous potions class. While she doesn't have the "moste potente potions" out anymore, having to return it to the library, she does have some written notes. Biting the bottom of her lip, the girl sighs, flips back ghrough her notes and then ahs, muttering something in chinese. Going back through her own class notes she blinks, looking at the record of what was done. Then looking back to the recipe, the girl blinks and shakes her head. "That's just not…right."
The patter of footsteps down the Great Staircase announce the approach of another student; after a moment Crane descends the last few steps and stalks into the courtyard, his pace deliberate but not rushed. While he normally carries around his bookbag and school supplies, today he doesn't appear to have them. The Slytherin pauses when he sees Mei seated on the bench, his cool gaze settling on her as he studies her for a few seconds before speaking. "Won't do much good to read those over now, will it?" He inquires with just a hint of sarcasm. "It's a little late at this point."
Mei blinks and then laughs softly. "I always go over my notes. Especially my potions class. However did you notice anything…strange?" Looking up to Crane, not moving from her seat she waits. "Anything strange about that recipe?"
The Slytherin quirks a brow, eventually lifting his shoulders in a slight shrug. "Strange? Well.. the ingredients seemed a bit off." A scowl flits across his pale lips for an instance - the dark-haired boy was probably more focused on the fact that his recipe got /sabotaged/ than anything else. "But why do you ask?" With a slightly cat-like smile he walks over to the bench and sits down next to the Hufflepuff girl - without asking first. He folds his hands over his chest and thoughtfully watches a large butterfly, probably one of the last ones to survive, as it hovers around the greenhouse.
Mei looks to her notes and then sighs. Translating them back to english on a scrap of paper she holds it out. "Read that. Tell me what's missing." Not explaining, she leaves it up to Crane to figure out. "Anything glaringly wrong there?"
After studying the notes carefully, Crane nods. "Oh, yeah, I think I know what you're talking about. I noticed it in class - it looked like Snape had the ingredients to two different potions. I think he's going to have us make a Draught of Peace next class, and he wanted to see how many people he could get to screw up by adding the wrong junk together.." The Fifth-Year frowns and shakes his head. "Still, I put the /correct/ stuff together and my potion still went all whacko."
Mei ahs "that wasn't your fault." Looking to the Slytherin she sighs. "I think he may be up to something else. I haven't done enough research on it, since well I had to take the book back, but I think he might be doing something devious. Handy but devious." Sighing "Does that make any sense without sounding like I'm questioning his motives?"
"No, I suspect it wasn't," Crane drawls acidically, obviously having a suspicion about what actually occurred. "And no, you're probably right. Professor Snape likes to make people realize that they ought to use their brains more proactively.." He looks down at the notes the Chinese girl had translated, and points a finger at where she'd written 'pomegranate' - just /happening/ to set his hand on hers in the process. He smirks. "Mmhm. That Gryffindor McCauley thought we were making /two/ potions, since pomegranate juice doesn't go into Strengthening Solution. Something was odd about it."
Mei just sighs softly and shakes her head. Starting to write a few notes in Chinese again she just gives up. "You know what scares me?" Looking over at the boy the girl's eye brows raise. "I…I can't remember if I added the juice or not. I think I left it in my mortar, getting so wrapped up in the blood having congealed and all, I think I forgot…"
Arching a brow in return - probably more in surprise at the lack of reaction from the Hufflepuf than anything else - Crane lifts his hand to brush away bangs from his face and then sets it back in his own lap. "I wouldn't worry too much about it - eighty percent of the class probably did the same thing, if you did." He glances away momentarily and then looks back. "So, Mei.. how'd you get to Hogwarts, anyway?" Her accent is pretty obvious, after all..
Mei ohs softly and then moves, putting her books away, she smiles and looks up to the sky. "Well…it's something of a story. Guess it's no point in hiding it. I'm Irish…" looking over she winks before smirking. "Seriously, I'm Chinese. There's a handful of us here…I know one in Ravenclaw (cho) and a couple in the other years (npc's) but as for me it's something of a story. My parents attended Hogwarts back in the seventies. At the time my father was living here, and my mother in one of the districts of Hong Kong city." Pursing her lips she thinks. "You have to understand. That city, it covers an area about the size of…well, two or three times the size of London."
The 'Irish' remark earns a soft snicker from Crane, who just shakes his head. "Ah, yeah.. I'm from London myself. Hard to imagine somewhere so huge.. sounds exciting." The Slytherin boy interlaces his fingers, his gaze wandering around the perimeter of the little enclosure as they speak. "So, you were born there, then? Or here?" He peers over at the Hufflepuff curiously and crosses one leg over the other.
Mei ahs and nods. "I was born there. Lived there all my life." Giggling she winks and says something in perfect chinese before translating "Home is where the heart is. Well, it's heart is where home resides, but close enough. Syntax is strange with your language." Shrugging she pulls out her wand. It's a curious thing. JET black and very shiny with what looks to be some kind of iridescant red/green scaly skin wrapped about the handle. "In fact, until this most recent summer, I went back during the breaks. But yeah, I came here because my parents had been here. Otherwise I'd have gone to the state school in Beijing." Shrugging the girl toys with her wand, looking at the black wood. "Most of my books the first year were in Chinese…"
The icy-blue eyes lock on to the Hufflepuff girl's wand with a far greater interest than he's displayed in anything else up until this point, despite his earlier blatant (and amazingly unnoticed) flirting. He is currently seated on the small stone bench in the center of courtyard next to Mei, who has just taken out her wand and is in the process of playing around with it idly. "I see. It'd be interesting to travel there, someday.. although I doubt my family would ever spring for it. My father's rather.. mundane," He says, gaze unwavering. "That's.. an unusual wand. Are they all like that, in China?"
Mei ahs and then looks up at the sky. "It takes about a day to get there. You travel by floo powder for the most part, but they don't suggest repeated trips, so it's a rest break before you travel further. Still, faster than muggle travel by some degree." Looking down to her wand she ahs and then shakes her head. "Nah, this? It's just my wand. It's a "Master Po" wand. I think he makes something like two or three a year. Uses native chinese materials." Smiling down at it she holds up the wand to let both it and its handle catch the light.
Cullen is on his way out of the castle proper, off on a trip somewhere. He has a small problem, though. Behind him follows a lamp, old and broken looking thing that floats in the air behind, periodically makes divebombs at his head. The boy is half-crouched, wand in one hand, stack of books in the other. He's making noticeable effort to deter his peruser, though the object seems to not think much of it. It's a very cautious sort of battle.
"Master Po, huh?" Crane glances at the instrument for a few seconds longer and then smiles wanly. He finally manages to tear his chilly gaze away from the thing and back to Mei. "Interesting. Anyhow, maybe I'll go there someday, if I ever get the chance." The Slytherin looks as if he's about to say something else, but is distracted by the sight of Cullen as he approaches, followed by a vicious.. lamp? Staring skeptically, the Fifth-Year tilts his head to one side and observes the bizarre phenomenon.
Mei blinks as she stands. Looking at Cullen she asks one word. "Oscar?" Meaning the Slytherin she and Cullen had a bit of a run in with earlier. Looking around, and then to Crane she sighs. "You keep quiet if I help him?" Nodding in the direction of Cullen and the evil head cracking lamp.
Cullen seems to notice there are people watching sometime between one of his slower motions to dodge. He gives shake over his head over Mei, calling, "No! Hi!" Mostly, though, he's a bit busy. He continues retreat, menacing his attacker with wand as he goes. Whatever it is doesn't work to well, though.
The Slytherin doesn't get up to help. In fact, he simply stays on the bench, watching the situation unfold with obvious bemusement. At Mei's request he merely snickers and shrugs his shoulders benignly. "My lips are sealed," Comes the sardonic, half-serious reply. To Cullen, he clucks his tongue on the roof of his mouth and frowns. "You know you have a lamp trying to attack your head, don't you?" Obviously he knows he'll probably get an agitated answer to *that* particular brand of stupid question, but hey.. it would be pretty funny if the Hufflepuff boy got distracted enough to get lobbed upside the head with a lighting implement.
Mei nods solemly and then looks to Cullen. "Just use Finite on it. It'll stop the thing from chasing you around. Mind you it'll probably fall and break." Shrugging the girl sits back down and smirks. "Knowing my luck, I'd hex your head off."
"Shove off!" Yes, it is a rather testy reply. Thankfully Cullen doesn't have much time to dwell on it, adding toward Mei, "It's a bit hard!" He does, though, manage to. Word is said, wand pokes at the lamp. This is, of course, after it gets a good swat at his shoulder. The object wobbles in the air for a second, goes plummeting and crashing to the ground after. It just draws small and sour look to the Hufflepuff's face, wand tucked away once he's examined the remains.
"Houlihan did that, huh?" Crane leans back further on the bench, raising his arms above his head and stretching with a yawn. Feh, what a boring show, nobody was even given any minor fractures. "Or did you manage that one yourself? Either way, pretty good trick. Normally it's only Bludgers that do that, takes some talent to make one on the fly." His pale lips part and he laughs coolly.
Mei turns to look at Crane. Slowly shaking her head the girl sighs. "Not winning any points mate." Whatever she mans by it, she picks up her bag, puts her wand away and moves to kick at the remains of the lamp with her toe. "So, who did it anyway?"
"Friend," Apparently not the nicest friend. Still, now that his life isn't threatened by a killer lamp Cullen seems a bit happier with the situation. There's a small grin that he gives, roll of shoulders before eyes move between the two. "Hello proper like, Huang." He greets his fellow Hufflepuff with small nod, takes glance at the other after. "Who's this one? You trying to make more trouble?"
The Slytherin finishes stretching and then stands up - he's quite tall even when he's slouching languidly - and laughs again. "Sorry, it's just that I do so enjoy a show, you know? Thanks for the delightful conversation, Miss Huang. But I ought to be going anyway.. things to do, people to keep on their toes, et cetera, et cetera." Crane blows the Hufflepuff girl a kiss, and then, snickering, paces idly back in the direction of the castle. Ah, it's good to be completely two-faced, isn't it?
There are a few additional poses in my log of this scene, but I don't have the remainder of what went on (when Ginny arrived). If anyone else does, please upload under a separate log file. :)