|Scene Title||Opportunisty Knocks|
|Synopsis||Nigel spots opportunity at every turn. Unfortunately, nobody answers the door.|
|Location||Hogwarts - Armor Gallery|
|Date||September 21, 1994|
So. Detention. A place that Nigel Crumlish spends a lot of time. He's managed to wrap up yet another session and is in the process of packing up his things and stuffing them into his backpack. Once the backpack is thrown onto his back, he's reaching under his desk for his carrying case. Which houses all of his supplies, products and Get Out Of Trouble Free Cards. They don't work on certain professors though. Thus, the Detention. Anyway, he's reaching up to toss a hand through his hair and make sure he looks stylish enough to work his way through the halls at this particular moment.
Antigone is not in detention, thank you very much. She just happens to be wandering into the gallery in search of a bit of quiet space, already in the process of pulling out what looks like a letter from home. She's distracted enough by it that she doesn't immediately notice Nigel is already in here, unrolling the parchment and looking down at it with a worried frown. She doesn't drift too far into the room, just going far enough to clear the doorway before she slows to a stop.
"Tigger!" And that's Nigel gearing up to do the introduction of a lifetime. Something that Antigone probably isn't ready for, considering the fact that she's focused on some parchment at the moment. His carrying case is dropped back down to the floor as he gets himself to sliding over to where his cousin is and immediately reaches out to snatch at the parchment. Nosy.
"Hey!" Antigone protests as she finds her fingers now holding air when they were mere moments ago holding parchment that she was reading. It does serve to get her attention though, and she looks up quickly and then lets out a bit of a sigh at the sigh of dear Nigel. "Hello Nigel. Might I have that back, please?" she asks politely but firmly, holding out a hand for it. The parchment is, surely enough, a letter from home, clearly one in a chain of argument about whether they should spend Christmas here, with father, or, as the writer of this letter would prefer, in Greece, with just her mother's side of the family.
Skimming. Skimming. Skimming. Bored. And the parchment is handed back to Antigone in just as quick time as it was stolen. He even stifles a fake yawn. "You need some more interesting reading. I have some books on me that you might find fun. 101 Ways To Skin A Slytherin?" Maybe he's kidding and maybe he's not. Who knows. He's a liar. "By the way. If you go to Greece, we're not cousins anymore unless you take me with you. I could make a fortune out there…" He might as well have dollar signs in his eyes.
Antigone takes the parchment back, quickly re-rolling it and tucking it back away in her robes. Not that she doesn't suspect full well that he'll go after it in there if he really wants it. But at least if it's out of sight, it might be out of mind. "Thanks, but I'll pass." She watches him carefully, though her tone at least attempts to stay genial. "I'm not going to Greece," she says resolutely. But: "And if I do, you're not coming with me."
"Tigs. Come on. You'd leave me to rot in this place all Christmas long? Really? You'd do that?" And this is the part where Nigel starts to make the Pouty Face. Yes, THE Pouty Face. Which sometimes works and sometimes fails. "I'd be so cold and lonely. So…" Cue the Sniffle. "… alone." Tossing in the Le Sigh. "I mean, it's not like we get to spend enough time together. Or any. At all." Which has a lot to do with the fact that he practically lives in Detention. But whatever. Details.
"Why don't you go spend Christmas with your parents?" Antigone suggests helpfully, bringing a hand up to the bridge of her nose as if she feels a headache coming on. "I already told you I'm not even going to Greece. If you want to accompany my mother, be my guest." This is really the last thing she needs on top of all this. Her tone is slightly strained, and she just stands a little ways inside the gallery, talking with Nigel, who's apparently busy pouting at her.
So. The Pouty Face isn't working. Nigel can see this and sucks it right back up with the quickness. No reason to keep at it if it's fail. "You drive a hard bargain. I can tell we're related." Smirking, he notices that there is some bridge of the nose that is being held and some strained voice. "Whoa! Headache? Don't move. I've got just the thing!" And he's sliding back off into the distance to grab up his Carrying Case (He's really got to find a cool name for this thing.) and crouches down to open it up. "Let's see. We got… The Pain Drain, the Why Me and the ever popular, but never sold, Just Shoot Me." He pauses and looks up and over at his cousin. "My personal favorite, if you ask me. Tastes great and works even greater." These candies don't count as drugs, do they? "… I think."
"I'm just saying, Hermione," a voice carries from the entrance to the armor gallery, directed at its companion, "that studying is overrated. All of the bloody goblin wars are the same, and everything I need I can copy from you. The smartest girl in our class." Ron Weasley was never one to try and excel at his schoolwork. This isn't the first they've had this conversation, either, and it's more than likely it won't be the last.
"But, Ron! If you just copy from me you're never going to learn anything. You can't copy from me when you take your O.W.Ls," Hermione's distressed voice answers and echoes down the hallway. The suits of armor are on their best behavior, not singing or dancing or even turning heads at the students. "You'll need to know these things at some point and I'm not always going to be here for you to copy off of. No amount of flattery is going to help you on that. And watch your language!"
"It's not a hard bargain, I'm just not going to Greece," Antigone insists in a more conciliatory tone. When Nigel suddenly spurs into action, she looks up from the nose pinching action to give him a curious look. "Where on earth did you get all those?" She can't help but peer rather curiously into the case. Further comment is cut short though, at the sounds of someone - or someones - approaching. "I think my head will be fine, thanks," she decides instead, glancing back over her shoulder towards the source of the voices. "Ugh, OWLs, don't remind me," she mutters to herself, catching that bit on the air. It is that year for her, after all.
It's at this point that a lot of things happen at once. And they all are involving the smiling of Nigel Crumlish. He can hear a voice that sounds like it'll be a potential sale and he's already coming out with the bottle of Just Shoot Me candies, which he rolls over his wrist and into one hand. Meanwhile, he's flipping through another section of his carrying case to grab up a strangely designed Quill. "Here. Take two of these and you'll feel awesome in about thirty seconds." And the bottle is shoved into the hands of Tigger as soon as Nigel passes her by to get to the door of the room and he pokes his head out. "Did somebody say studying is overrated? Because I couldn't agree more!" Flashing the Salesman Smile. "And for a limited time only… like now… if you step right this way, I've got the cure for your Studying Sickness!" Trustworthy Smile? Activated.
"That's just it, Hermione!" Ron protests, throwing his hands up into the air. "I won't be able to copy during the OWLs, but if I can copy the homework… then I'll know everything I need to know FOR the OWLs. Besides," he continues, shaking his head, "I keep telling you, OWLs aren't until next year anywa-" He's interrupted by Nigel, who has suddenly appeared out of seemingly nowhere. "Studying? uh- yeah, it is.. a bit."
"No you won't," Hermione rolls her eyes at Ron over the well worn fight they seem to always have. "And what I keep trying to tell you is that if you don't start studying now then you'll never catch up by the time you need to take them. And you're not learning anything by copying me other than what my handwriting looks like." With a long-suffering sigh, she gives Antigone a wave and a 'can you believe him?' sort of look. "O.W.L.s are exciting! They'll tell us what we're best at so we can focus our studies. I can't wait to take mine." The sales pitch by Nigel totally falls upon deaf ears with Hermione. "You shouldn't be selling things like that in school. There's no such thing as Studying Sickness, you know."
Antigone takes the bottle of 'pills' with a quiet sound of both surprise and protest, frowning down at them for a beat before she looks back up to see just what it is that Nigel is up to now. "Oh, hey, Hermione," she greets with a smile, and a nod also for Ron, that curdles a bit at the OWLs talk continues. "You're welcome to have my turn at them, if you'd like," she offers graciously, making a little face at the prospect. She doesn't really try to get herself involved in this newest venture of Nigel's, but goes back to trying to figure out what this bottle is he's shoved into her hands.
The Just Shoot Me candies are delicious and what not. And they really do take the pain away in less than thirty seconds. It's just, that, well, about ten minutes later, a shooting pain reoccurs in a whole different spot and it tends to be much worse than whatever pain one was experiencing prior. Apparently, Nigel still has a few bugs to work out on that product. Anyway! Focus! "You, my dear, are suffering the hardest from it. Tsk." And recognizing that Ronald is more susceptible to the spending of moolah, he steps slightly more out into the hall, in order to show off the grabbed quill from earlier. "May I present to you… the Historiquill. Patent pending." Nigel winks. "Enchanted with the major topics of all the core classes from First to Sixth years. All you have to do is write the name of the class, sit back and watch it work." Shifty Grin. "Interested? I can give you my special Weasley Rate."
Eyeing Antigone and those 'pills' that she's just been given, Hermione is very suspicious of this Nigel person. She's been in the same House as the Weasley twins for three years, after all. She knows a troublemaker when she sees one. "You'll be fine, Antigone! Really, they shouldn't be that hard. You just have to remember what you've been taught over the past five years. I've already told Ron that I've made up note cards from the past three years, if you'd like to borrow them. Obviously I don't have fourth or fifth year yet, but I already did most of my reading, so I have some preliminary notes you could also use." When Nigel goes to get his new invention, the bushy-haired witch watches him warily. "That's-that's-that's cheating!" She shrills, stunned at the blatantness of it. "And worse than that, it's immoral! Don't you dare even think about taking that Quill from him, Ronald Weasley. Why, you're lucky I don't tell Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick what you're up to right now!" There are some things that Hermione finds holy and unimpeachable. Cheating on tests in such an obvious manner is one of those. "You're cheating students out of an education!" Huffing, she's just getting started about what's wrong about the whole situation.
The youngest Weasley son watches Nigel as he performs his sale, and he turns his head to glance at Hermione. Any other time, he might be willing to buy, had he the money, but… "I can't," he says, turning back to Nigel— just in time for Hermione to start yelling. He allows the bushy-haired brunette to get her words out (it takes a bit, with as much yelling she's doing), and only when she begins to huff does he step in. "Okay, time to go," he says, grabbing Hermione by the upper arm and steering her in the most exact opposite direction of Nigel. "Sorry," he mumbles apologetically to Nigel, even if he doesn't think his Historiquill is quite that legit. He's been on the receiving end of Hermione's yelling, and it is not a pleasant experience. Besides, if he's honest with himself, he's little scared that she's going to start yelling at him. The sooner they get out of here, the better!
"Really? That would be great," Antigone replies, of the note cards, somehow missing the brewing storm of Hermione-righteousness until it breaks. She's never really witnessed one of these before, and just watches wide-eyed as the Gryffindor girl goes off so thoroughly on Nigel. Tig isn't sure whether to be horrified or amused by it all. She just gives a slightly absent wave as Ron starts steering the other girl off, the pill bottle rattling since she's forgotten she was still holding it in that hand. "Er. Well," is all she can think to say.
Nigel just stares. Literally stares. In fact, he can't believe what's happening at this moment. In facter, this is not supposed to be happening right now due to the fact that he wasn't even doing anything wrong! He was just trying to make a little extra money for Christmas! Hmph! "… If she ever grows up and has children, I suspect her Howlers will be the stuff of legend." And this is muttered to himself, as he tucks the Historiquill into his robes and turns to duck back inside the Armor Room. And then he's looking at his cousin as if he wants to try and save face, but Hermione was so loud, that's probably an impossibility. "I was never here." Yes, the Crumlish One is a little worried about Professors coming to see what is up and thus the rushing over to his case to start packing things back up. Time to vamoose.
"Maybe she's right," Antigone replies, looking a little worried as her gaze flickers back over towards the hallway again. "Are you sure you should be selling these things?" She turns the pill bottle over in her hands to give it a closer look, frowning down at it thoughtfully. But then he's moving to take his leave so promptly, like a snake oil salesman run out of town. "Well, all right," she agrees with a little sigh. "See you later then, Nigel. And do try to stay out of trouble, would you?" That's a vain hope though, and she knows it.
Stuff, cram, slam, lock. And Nigel is back on his feet like he wasn't even supposed to be here in the first place. "Those are on the house, Tigs. You're the best." And he's already racing as fast as he can to get close to her and smile. "Hey. And don't worry about things. I'm sure everything's gonna' work out." Genuine worry glimmers in his eyes for the next half a second and then he's looking like a slickster once more. "Gotta' jet. She has a BIG mouth." And he's exiting to disappear down the hall in the opposite direction of the Ron & Hermione exit of hilarity.
Antigone isn't entirely sure if she trusts the pills, but still, it would be gauche to turn down a gift, especially from someone who is usually only looking for a way to make money. "All right, thanks," she replies, returning his smile with a slow but sincere one of her own, nodding a few times. "Right. It'll work out," she repeats, trying to sound as if she really believes that. The comment about Hermione's big mouth just get a slight grin, because, well, after that display, she can't exactly argue - though she's still not entirely certain Hermione was wrong either. And so she's left alone in the Armor Gallery to puzzle over the pill bottle.