|Scene Title||Mysteries Of Men|
|Synopsis||A few girls end up talking about the complicated mixed signals of men.|
|Location||Hogwarts, Great Hall|
|Date||November 15, 1994|
|Watch For||Ginny turning a new shade of red|
Hogwarts, Great Hall
Full of aureate light and gilded gleam, the Great Hall of Hogwarts is both strange and splendid. Thousands and thousands of white taper candles float in midair, their inextinguishable flames casting dancing light down over four long tables, laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. Were one to stand at the door looking in, members of Slytherin house would be seated at the far left, followed by Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, and then Ravenclaw along the right wall. At the top of the hall is another long table for the teachers, perpendicular to the House tables. Set along the wall beside the head table, an unobtrusive doorway leads to a much smaller room. The appearance of the ceiling above varies with the weather and time of day, as it has been bewitched to look like the sky outside. Most would agree that the effect is startlingly realistic, making the Great Hall seem to simple open on to the heavens.
It's lunch time and the Great Hall is full of the cacophany of many students talking at once. The aromas of the food waft past all entering students. The Great Hall is only about half full, with students still streaming in from other parts of the castle.
Ginny arrives in a gaggle of Gryffindor third years, the girls' chatter adding to the noise in the Hall. She peels off to sit at the edge of Gryffindor table, beginning to load her plate with food.
Lunch time! A time for consuming food and quickly cramming for the next class… but also for commerce! Alice is happily concluding a deal with another student, passing over a small paper bag in exchange for some coins, flashing a bright grin at the buyer. "Thank you very much!" Alice says cheerfully, giving a wave and beginning to walk away, "Enjoy!" But then Ginny is noticed and the blonde Hufflepuff changes her directory over to the Gryffindor table, smiling brightly at the youngest Weasley. "Hullo, Ginny," she says by way of greeting, wiggling her fingers.
While other students are chatting and laughing with other students while they eat, Elizabeth quietly chew on a piece of apple, her free hand reaches up to push up her glasses as her sky blue eyes continue to skim the book in front of her. She quirks a brow curiously at it thoughtfully, reaching out reflexively for another slice of the fruit to dip it into a sweet dip and take another bite. Every now and then she glances up from her book, looking over the gaggle of students with mild interest before returning back to her book.
Ginny looks up as she hears her name, scanning the students curiously for the source. Seeing Alice, she grins, standing to wave to Alice. "Alice! Hi! Were you just selling some of your candies?" She rises up from the Gryffindor table, striding towards Alice. "Do you want to sit together?"
"Indeed I was!" Alice replies happily, bouncing up and down on her toes, showing off the coins and jangling in her hand before stuffing them into her robe, "Lots of people are getting a b-bit braver about them! Still, he only bought assorted satisfaction, joy, and love flavors." The blonde girl squeaks at the invitation, bobbing up and down on her feet once more, "Oh, I'd love to! You'd never guess what happened to your poor brother in Potions the other day… um…" Grey eyes search the Great Hall and eventually Alice motions to the place where Elizabeth sits, "How about over there? It's a bit more removed from everything. And I know that Ravenclaw. Er, well… after a fashion."
Elizabeth continues to eat her food in silence, every once in a while her soft fingertips turn the yellowed parchment, moving her onto the next page. After a moment, she gives it an odd look, as if something just confused her as her index finger pauses over the paragraph. Releasing a slow breath, she turns slightly, reaching back to take out a fresh scroll from her knapsack and unravel it next to her. The light frown still lingers, though she makes a quick note, the end of her quill weaving through the air with her handwriting.
Ginny nods agreeably. "Sure, there sounds good!" In a lower voice, she says, "Is she nice? I've never met her before… she's older than us, isn't she?" Ginny grins when Alice mentions her candy. "Well, those are all really enjoyable emotions." She knew now not to refer to an emotion as 'good' or 'bad' around Alice. "I think you'd have a lot of business if you did an even bigger range with them. Maybe you could add silliness, or… or…" Ginny trails off, trying to think of other positive emotions.
"She's older, yeah. And… interesting," Alice replies in an equally sotto voice about Elizabeth, "She's definitely a Ravenclaw. You'll see in a minute." When the pair approach, Alice raises a hand in greeting and wiggles her fingers, "Hullo there, Miss Dweedle! Mind if we join you?" The blonde peers over the edge of her glasses at the parchment curiously, "Ooh, whatcha working on?" Alice gives a sidelong look to Ginny, considering, "Silliness would be interesting. I'm not exactly sure how to do that one, though. Euphoria might be nice. I have an inkling on how to do it, but it'd take a little more research, I think. Mmm. Wonder is one I've been working on for a while. I think I almost have it down. Almost."
Elizabeth blinks with some surprise as she is approached by the two girls, her hand pausing as they take seats at the Ravenclaw table with her. Her sky blue eyes behind her circular glasses give Alice a curious look, her gaze shifting to Ginny to study her for a moment or so before releasing a slow breath and glancing back to the Hufflepuff. "Alice Starr, I assure you that you that it is perfectly acceptable to call me by my first name. Elizabeth will do just fine and I have no qualms with it if you do not as well. Now then." Her right hand reaches up to push up her glasses, possibly reminding the Gryffindor girl of a certain boy-who-live's pair. Her bright blue eyes look up from behind her glasses to Ginny, offering a polite smile. "I will introduce myself if you have not been informed as if yet. I am Elizabeth Dweedle. And I am sure from your physical features you are Ginny Weasley. A pleasure to meet you."
Ginny raises an eyebrow at Alice, as if to say, 'Yes. She is a Ravenclaw.' She grins at her friend, blinking slightly as Elizabeth gives her little speech about using her first name. When she's addressed by Elizabeth, she smiles. "Yes, that's me. Pleasure to meet you, Mi - er, Elizabeth." Ginny extends her hand to the older girl.
Alice nudges Ginny lightly as Elizabeth speaks, giving the other third year a look that says, 'see what I mean?' and nodding at the eyebrow. Still, she grins broadly and bobs her head several times, "Oh! All right then, Elizabeth. I wasn't sure, since you're of a higher year and all. Feel free to call me 'Alice', too, if you want!" They're all friendly here! And considering that Elizabeth didn't say no to joining, Alice slides on into a seat. Once introductions are made, she again nods towards the papers in front of Elizabeth, "What are you working on?"
Elizabeth reaches across the table and shakes Ginny's hand politely, lowering her chin in a nod as she takes back her hand. At Alice's curious question, she blinks over at her, frowning slightly with the briefest trace of hesitation. Glancing to the scroll, she ponders just how to answer for a quiet moment or so. "I… am currently performing research of the mannerisms of modern day society…" she admits, her hand reaching for the book to close the cover, displaying the exaggerated cursive script of the title 'How To Win Wizards and Influence Witches'. "I… am unfamiliar with usual social customs of the modern teen…"
Ginny tilts her head sideways to read the book cover, her red hair falling in a curtain across her chest as she does. She ponders the title for a moment, before asking, "Is it helpful? If not, perhaps you could find a tutor for it," she suggests.
Grabbing a bit of lunch from one of the many places available nearby, Alice blinks at the book several times. She is sitting along with Ginny with Elizabeth. "Oh," she says in mild surprise before Ginny speaks. Alice nods in agreement, smiling brightly, "Not a bad idea! You can even improve a bit just by watching how others react." The girl pauses, canting her head to one side, "Any particular reason why you're suddenly so interested in it? I mean, I've said before that I rather like the way you are. It's unique!" Ooh, food! Alice suddenly busies herself gobbling down a sandwich.
Elizabeth releases a slow breath, shaking her head at herself as she reaches up to push up her glasses. "Currently I do not know if it has offered any assistance." she murmurs, "With the curious and questionable mannerisms of the Slytherin boy named Crane, I am at a lost of how to act now in the general public." she just shakes her head, "I never have previously wondered about the train of thought of the average teen… I also did not have the… strange confusion of odd emotions…" The Ravenclaw girl frowns softly.
Ginny raises an eyebrow. Sounded like a date gone sour to her. "So you're the Ravenclaw that went out with the Slytherin? Wow. How'd that go?" Ginny seems to have no qualms about asking personal questions. Quite the opposite. She plops down across from Elizabeth and begins to pile fruit onto her plate, popping a grape in her mouth.
Alice pauses in her vicious attack on food briefly. "Crane?" she says after swallowing (good manners!), "Mmm… I think… yes! I have met him before. Sort of haughty, high eyebrows, but a decent sort. As decent as Slytherin get, anyway." She once more attacks her sandwhich before continuing, "Sio knows him. He told me about Muggle candy what does the same thing my Flavemotions do!" She says this with a note of awe. "I don't know how they can do that sort of thing without magic! Maybe he was just joking, I don't know…" Ginny's statement causes the blonde to arch her eyebrows in surprise, looking between her and Elizabeth. "Cor! Is that right? You went on a date with him?" Grinning impishly, Alice leans forward eagerly to hear the answer to Ginny's question. How did that date go, indeed?
Elizabeth blinks across the table at Ginny, frowning lightly once more before glancing down at the cover of the book in front of her. "Well, I-" she starts, frowning briefly again before starting again, "Yes, indeed I did go on a date with him. I had met him for the first time the previous Hogsmeade weekend, when he literally ran into me. He was… interesting, curious, and also… did something strange." The girl frowns as she thinks, mostly to herself, "I still do not understand the meaning behind why he had wrapped his arm around me during the first kiss…" Liz murmurs in her confusion, pausing briefly before releases a light breath and shaking her head at herself. "The date was satisfactory, at least I think so. Though in the end… he said that he does not chase girls… I am not sure what anything means anymore."
"Usually boys do that to, you know. Hold you close. Feel your heart beating against his." Yes, Ginny had read a good deal of romance novels, as teenage girls are wont to do. Peeling an orange, she comments, "You kissed? What was it like? Was he a good kisser?" Orange juice squirts out in her face, and she squints, wiping it off. "That probably means he wants you to take charge."
A girlish squeal rises up from Alice. She really can't help it. Nor can she help the huge grin on her face. "I don't know if there would be any special meaning behind it," Alice states, nodding quickly to Ginny's explanation. "It might've just been… you know, comforting. Or stabilizing," Alice pipes up helpfully, "Sometimes kissing can get quite, uh… heated and stabilization is called for! Er, or so I hear." Her cheeks pinken slightly; yes, she's read her share of romance novels, too. She shakes her head quickly, clearing her throat. "Well, are you sweet on him, Elizabeth? I mean, do you like him, or was the date just something you wanted to try?" Again, she nods to Ginny's assessment of what the 'no chase girls' bit may mean, "It might've been that he wanted to give you a way out without embarrassment if you didn't want to pursue a relationship." And, yes, the blonde third-year does lean forward a bit more to hear comments on the kissing. For Science!
Elizabeth couldn't help but blink at Alice as she squeals, earning a few glances from the students nearby as they stare at the girls for a few moments before returning back to their own conversations. Making a light face, she refocuses on the small story and the questions presented, pondering for a moment, "He had asked me to Three Broomsticks for a mug of Butterbeer. To quote him, he stated: 'I love a good read, but clearly, you are in dire need of… not being around books'. It was at that moment an important question presented itself to me. I wanted to know why he took interest in me. Boys never had before…" she murmurs, "So in exchange for finding out the answer to this inquiry, Crane wanted a kiss before answering this…" The corner of her full lips tugs slightly and the bookworm shrugs a shoulder, "I had never kissed anyone before and the only concern I had was a minor one. I did not want to end up accidentally bumping our noses against one another. So I, well… I took off my glasses, put my hands on his face so I knew where he was, and leaned in to kiss him. It lasted a few moments, and he surprised me when he wrapped his arm around me and his hand treaded into my braid enough that it loosened."
It's Ginny's turn to squeal girlishly. "That. Is so. Fantastic." She gushes, clapping her hands together with glee. Popping a grape into her mouth with relish, she chews slowly and thoughtfully. Swallowing, she asks, "What was the answer? To why he liked you? Did he tell you after the fantabulous kiss?" Ginny watches Elizabeth's face intently, deeply curious.
The somewhat clinical nature of Elizabeth's recount douses a little of Alice's enthusiasm. A little, not a lot. "Oooh," she remarks softly, giggling faintly, "That's actually a pretty romantic story! Although…" She cants her head to one side, about to ask just the question Ginny asks. Alice nods enthusiastically and snags a bit of fruit for herself, listening for the answer with rapt attention.
Elizabeth shrugs a light shoulder, "He said that the reason why he had asked me to Three Broomsticks is that he wanted to know if he could make you blush and react emotionally. 'If there was a regular girl under that antiseptic facade you put up'." she quotes him, "I had exchanged another answer for a inquiry of mine in exchange for going on a date with him the following Hogsmeade weekend." Releasing a slow breath, she lowers her chin in a single nod, glancing down at her book, "He was the one that arranged his price, the kiss and the date. So it is my conclusion that he wanted to do so originally. The reasoning is sound at least." Liz lightly presses her soft lips together in thought, "I… do not know what he thinks about me. The date went well I suppose, though we only went to the lake and talked. Afterwards he… said that. That he did not pursue girls. And I have not seen or talked to him since before the Halloween feast…" the Ravenclaw girl lightly frowns again, the confusion apparent yet again. "I am still not sure what to think…"
"Maybe he wants you to make the next move. You know, approach him, ask him out, kiss him passionately under a sky of full of brightly shining stars." That last one could come right out of a romance novel, and probably did. "Perhaps you could write him a letter," Ginny suggests. "That way you can plan out what to say beforehand, and look it over before you send it."
Alice purses her lips tightly, tapping her chin thoughtfully. It's the blind leading the blind here, folks. "Mmm, interesting," she replies, "Well, he might just be busy with schoolwork and such. I'm not sure what year he is, but he looked around the right age to be taking O.W.L.s, maybe?" The blonde third-year grins broadly and again finds herself agreeing with Ginny's advice. "Yeah! That's an idea! Write him a letter! You can even send it by owl, make a mention in it that if he doesn't want to do anything else he can just ignore it or somesuch." She suddenly lights up, snapping her fingers, "The Yule Ball! You can ask him to the Yule Ball! That's perfect!"
Elizabeth makes a light face at Ginny's suggestion, briefly wincing as she shakes her head, reaching up to push up her glasses before shaking her head, "I can not do that. Its socially inappropriate for girls to pursue boys, besides I… I am not sure what to say on this matter, as I am not sure if he does fancy me or not. Or even if… this is just some amusement to him…" The Ravenclaw girl almost seems disheartened at the thought, only for her bright sky blue eyes to blink up at Alice again, her full lips parting. "The O.W.L.s… I, just remembered that I had agreed to tutor him for the O.W.L.s." she frowns some at the, wondering to herself. "I think he would have approached me before now if he truly needed to be tutored…" Liz returns her attention back to Alice at the mention of the dance. "The… Yule Ball?…" she suddenly shakes her head, "No, I could not ask him to something like that."
"But he practically /asked/ you to persue him. He wants you to! Your preconveived notion about what is proper isn't applicable in this situation." Oh, man. Elizabeth is starting to rub off a bit on Ginny, it seems. Realizing this, she blinks, then takes a sip of pumpkin juice and tries to revert back to her normal self. "I think that it's an excellent idea. You will boost your own confidence, and you will get real-life experience in the minds of teens."
"And it's more of a guideline than a rule," Alice adds to Ginny's assurances, waving a hand dismissively, "And even if it is socially inappropriate… well, writing it in a private letter would mean that only he would know, right? C'mon, you have nothing really to lose, right? If he decides to be a sneaky snake jerk and just blab to everyone, you can just claim it was an experiment to see how he'd react!" Alice seems to have learned somethin gof being a sneak herself, it would appear. She pauses again, pursing her lips, "Well… maybe he thought you weren't interested? And that's why he didn't seek you out for the tutoring. I still say you should ask him to the Yule Ball. The worst he can say is 'no, I hate you and everything you stand for'." She nods several times, once more in agreement with Ginny. DOOOO EEEEEET.
Looking up between the pair of girls, Elizabeth narrows her eyes, clearly frustrated already even without their pushing. "I… I already explained that I am not good at speaking with others." she struggles, "I can not ask him about his intentions when it is questionable if he even has true interest in me. If it was only a joke…" For the first time, her cheeks briefly flush in her frustration, clearly hating not understanding, being completely foreign to being confused. She releases a breath as she glances down at her book, "Perhaps he only wants a challenge… I am not sure what to think anymore." A light frown appears in her expression, "Or why I am fretting because of a pair of incidences."
Melissa moves with her plate closer to the others as she sees them. "Hi," she says with a smile as she sits down. "What's everyone talking about?"
Ginny throws up her hands in exasperation. "You need to take some risks or you will never be truly /alive/," Ginny cries with emphasis. "You need life experience, Elizabeth! All the things that happen in books - do they happen because the character stays in their safe little hole and never does anything scary? No! They venture out into the world! They take their life and make it an /adventure/. Do you want to never experience anything but books and class and school work?" Ginny's cheeks are flushed and her voice is passionate.
Passing a brief sidelong look to Ginny, Alice turns back to Elizabeth. "She's right. You know what they say… you can't be a hero hiding underneath your bed." The blonde third year pauses briefly before speaking up again, "Well, how about this… if you can't ask him yourself… one of us could for you? Would that be better?" She actually laughs a bit at the statement about fretting, "Oh, that's perfectly reasonable, believe me! I mean, if some guy came up to me and kissed me then arranged for a date, I'd be fretting, too!" Alice smiles, shaking her head, "It's perfectly natural. No reason to feel… like it's not." When Melissa slides on down closer tothe group, Alice smiles at her, raising a hand and wiggling her fingers, "Hello there, potions partner! We're just talking about boys and so on." Alice motions to Elizabeth and Ginny, "Do you know everyone?"
Elizabeth couldn't help but frown slightly at Ginny's passionate persistence, briefly making a face, "I am sure the phrase 'easier said than done' is the most appropriate for this. I am sure that there is someone you… fancy… that you can not seem to talk to." she replies easily, though at the mention that she might fancy Crane, she lifts her hand to push up her glasses, partially covering her face in brief effort to compose herself. Looking up at Alice, she hesitates for a moment, frowning slightly in thought. "I am not sure of that answer to the current problematic situation as well. Having someone else to go in my stead seems a bit… cowardly…" she admits mostly to herself, only to sigh as she shakes her dark head. "As appealing as the story of Cinderella is, to apply it to real life is unrealistic. The Yule Ball might be unreasonable. At least, having a date that is."
Melissa nods emphatically. "Yeah," she replies. "Ginny lives near my uncle's place, and Elizabeth… well, she's in the same house as me!" She gives Elizabeth a big grin. "Huh… I actually don't know very many boys, honestly…"
Ginny turns a bright shade of scarlet, and splutters a little at Elizabeth. "But that's… I mean… it's not… there isn't… it's /different/," Ginny says firmly. "Two completely different situations. Anyway, how do you /know/ about that?" She asks, somewhat huffily. Briefly, she smiled at Melissa. "Hi, Melissa. Yes, we've met before."
Alice is definitely not privy to the secret heart of Ginny Weasely, so Elizabeth's statement gets a bit of a nonplussed look from her. She peers over at Ginny and her eyes widen at the blush on Ginny's features, grinning broadly, "Ooooh! So there is someone? Who? Who?" The blonde smiles lopsidedly at Melissa, nodding, "Don't worry. There's plenty of time yet. I'm sure you'll be a heartbreaker in a few years." But back to the central issue! Alice considers Elizabeth thoughtfully for a moment. "Then flip a coin," Alice says with a shrug, "If you're honestly at an impasse and can't decide whether to go for it and you need some rationale — even if only random chance — then take a knut and flip it. I still think it's better to actually just go ahead and ask him, though."
Elizabeth blinks at Ginny with some surprise at her reaction, watching as the other girl flushes a shade of red that doesn't have a name yet. The Ravenclaw girl only blinks again curiously, "I… did not know." she says slowly, "It was an example. But clearly there must be someone to cause a chain reaction for your skin to change a different color." After a moment, she then frowns slightly. "How are they completely different situations if we both appear to have difficulty approaching the boys we… fancy." she struggles with the word again, as if unsure whether or not it is the correct term to describe her confusion. Her sky blue eyes look up to Melissa and Alice, only to release another slow breath, "I think that in order to consider what action is most appropriate I need to gather more data… to be confused over…" For the first time, she grunts, leaning over her book in resignation.
"Well. Yes. Maybe there is. But it's completely beside the point," Ginny insists stubbornly. "The time and the place has to be right. It has to be /perfect/. Besides, he's never kissed me or, or, played with my hair. You have clear, distinct signs that Crane is interested in you. If you don't take advantage of the opportunity, you might regret it."
For the millionth time in the conversation, Alice finds herself agreeing with Ginny. At least in part. "You can only research and gather data so long and you'll still probably never going to come across the, uh… the optimium solution. And there's the fact that the longer you wait to actually do something the more likely it is that he'll move on to someone else or someone else will snatch him up." But Ginny is not forgotten, either, and the blonde nudges the other third year, "You still haven't said who it is." Nosey minds want to know!
Melissa nods. "Right, go for it, Liz!" she says brightly. "It'll be nice for you to get out from behind your books once in a while…"
Elizabeth makes another groan into her book, leaning up to straighten her back once more as she releases a slow breath of a sigh, "Yes, before the date, though he never showed any apparent signs of interest during the continuance of aforementioned date." she only sighs again, lifting a hand to briefly pinch the bridge of her nose. "Why are boys so confusing…" the raven-haired girl murmurs to herself, glancing down at the cover of the book once more. "And if he… does have interest in me, then he would not give up his own pursue in favor of chasing someone else. At least in theory." He sky blue eyes narrow slightly as she glances up at Melissa, "This has nothing to do with literature." she states evenly.
Ginny pops another grape in her mouth, savoring the tart flavor of it as she ponders. "Well, I suppose a little more time gathering data, as you put it, might not entirely harm the cause. But you need to be optimistic, too. Don't think of this as a doomed thing, more… a work in progress." At Alice's prodding, she smiles briefly. "I'll tell you later, okay? And you can tell me who you have your eye on."
"She has a point, though," Alice says, motioning to Melissa, "Few things are better than direct experience, right? But, yeah… I guess there's nothing wrong with gathering more information." As for why boys are so confusing? A question for the ages, that is! "I don't know, I'm afraid," Alice says sheepishly, "I don't have any brothers around the same age to give any insight. Or any brothers at all, actually." She passes a hopeful look to Ginny. SHE has brothers by the score! Maybe she knows. "Later, okay," Alice says with a nod before a cascade of nervous, coquettish laughter bubbles up from the blonde, "Oh, I'm not sweet on anyone, honest. My sister is the one with the suitors. I mean, look at me." She motions down to herself, "Absolutely no one is going to be interested." This is said matter-of-factly.
Melissa nods. "And if anyone likes me, I wouldn't know," she says. "I have a brother but he's younger than me…"
Elizabeth releases a slow sigh as she picks up her scroll, putting it in her knapsack before taking her book and slipping it in bag as well before lifting it to slide over her shoulder, popping the last of her lunch in her mouth as she stands to her feet. Though for a moment she pauses in thought, "Maybe… we should meet in the library. Talk over the problematic men in our lives again… by then we can think of at least something to explain why they are so frustrating." she answers with a light smile, shrugging a shoulder. "Either way, class will be starting again soon." And as she walks away, she lifts a hand, waving behind her as she walks through the great hall's double doors.
Ginny grins agreeably, giving a nod of her red head. "It's a date," she states, then wrinkles her nose as she realizes the phrase she'd chosen was somewhat out of place. "Er, a plan, rather. It's a plan." Another firm nod, before Ginny begins to gather up her books and some bits of fruit to eat between classes. Turning to Alice, she asks the girl, "Want to walk to class together?"
"Not a bad idea," Alice says to Elizabeth with a lopsided grin and a nod as she, too, slips out of her seat. She can't help but laugh a bit at Ginny's turn of phrase, nodding several times, "Sure! Sounds good." Alice wiggles her fingers at Melissa and smiles, "See you later, potions partner!"
Melissa waves to Alice. "Bye! Good luck with everything!" She returns to her food happily as the others leave.