|Synopsis||Ginny, Luna and Alice meet at the lakeside, and have a conversation|
|Date||Nov 12, 1994|
|Watch For||An oversized green monster|
It was in the middle of the day, sometime between classes. Outside, it was a little on the chilly side, many Hogwarts students were wearing jackets, coats, and scarves to ward against the oncoming chill of winter. Luna herself had a pair of violet earmuffs, and a matching violet scarf, one that was a bit threadbare and fringy, so that the slightest breeze tended to pick up the tails of it. Because of the weather, not many children came out to the lake, as it was cold. Luna had a little shovel, however, somewhat like the kind you cold get in muggle dollar stores. Kneeling upon the beach, she was humming to herself - poking at the sands with her little shovel.
Ginny had been cooped up in the Gryffindor common room for far too long. The air had begun to feel stale and close, with every sound making her cringe. So she'd packed up her studying materials into her bag, slung it over her shoulder, and made her way out onto the grounds. As soon as the fresh air hit her face, Ginny felt better. Taking a deep breath of the chilly air, she looped her scarf around her neck and began a trek to her favourite part of the grounds: the lake. It was a few moments later that she spotted violet in the form of Luna, and she grinned. "Luna, hi!" She called to her friend, waving.
"No, please!" calls a nasally, squeaky, high-pitched voice from closer to Hogwarts, "I want to live!" From over a small rise comes a small fleeing shape, roughly a foot tall and ginger brown. This color is highly appropriate because the smalls shape in question appears to be a literal gingerbread man. The white icing making up its face is drawn into a panicked expression as it races towards the lake. "To freedom!" it cries as it runs, stubby gingerbread arms waving hysterically.
"GET BACK HERE, YOU!" a voice comes from further behind the gingerbread man. This one belongs to young Alice Starr, who is dressed in her school robes still and brandishing a baking pan in one hand and her wand in the other, "YOU WERE OVERCOOKED!" The gingerbread man doesn't listen and makes a flying leap into the lake, swimming desperately away from shore. It lets out a laugh of joy before suddenly screaming, "Noo! No! Freedom was so close! I'm melting! MELTING!!"
Alice reaches the edge of the lake coincidentally right next to Luna and Ginny, and pants heavily, peering out into the water as the gingerbread man flails and begins to dissolve in the water. The splashing draws several fish to come and pick at it as well. Alice sighs and straightens up as the gingerbread man finally sinks underneath the cold waters before looking at the other two third years with mild surprise, "Oh! Hello there! S-sorry, I didn't see you there."
It took a moment for Luna to register the calling. She pauses right away, however, the hum coming to a slow end. Canting her head owlishly, she scans the horizon until she spots the distinctive shock of red hair that was Ginny. The vague smile upon her face brightens in a few instants, the girl picking up her little shovel, and giving it a shake before waving that hand over her head in greeting. "Hello, Ginny!" she says, her voice lifting up to call back. Letting the shovel droop back down, she starts towards her friend… but then pauses, as the spectacle of bad baking sinks beneath the waves of the lake.
Shovel drooping further towards her side, Luna ignores both other girls to turn towards the lake, staring at the spot where the gingerbread person was. "Do you think we ought to go rescue him?" she asks, turning back towards Alice and giving a questioning quirk of her brow.
Ginny smells cinnamon before she sees the escapee. She sniffs the air, turning her head from side to side, then the little brown man comes into sight. Ginny's face is somewhere between alarmed and amused, an eyebrow raising. When the gingerbread man jumps into the lake, Ginny is curious as to the result. Can the water harm him? Yes. Yes it can. Spotting Alice, she smiles hesitantly, recognizing her from classes. "We could try an accio charm.." She suggests thoughtfully.
Alice gives her own questioning look to the shovel Luna holds, canting her head to one side. When Luna turns her attention back to the lake and the quickly-dissapearing gingerbread man, Alice turns her attention back to it as well, frowning faintly. "I'm not sure," she says as the swarm of fish (carp perhaps?) begins to grow into a feeding frenzy, "I mean, it's already too damaged to be saved now, anyway. And the fish seem happy, anyway." The blonde pushes her glasses up her nose and looks to Ginny at her suggestion before grinning broadly, "That's a brilliant idea! There might not be much left, but I might able to take the remaining peices and find out what went wrong. Other than overcooking, of course." The girl readies her wand, but pauses, passing a sidelong look over at the red haired girl, "Um… you're Ginny Weasely, right? We've been in classes before, and I r-r-remember you from… er… from years ago, but I don't think we've ever been formally introduced."
"Oh, but the cookie man didn't seem terribly happy." Luna says, staring out at the now feeding frenzy. Plucking her wand from behind an earmuff, the little flick she was going to give with her wand was paused as Alice readies her own. Quirking her brow in a question again, she glances back over her shoulder towards Alice, her expression vaguely confused. Pursing her lips, she glances lakewards again, and takes a few tentative steps towards the lakeside, glancing down towards the remaining floating bits of cookie.
Ginny purses her lips thoughtfully. "But he wanted to be free, right? He is, now… sort of." Her brown eyes study the bits of cookie. Then she smiles at Alice, and nods. "Yup, that's me. I recognize you from class." She jerks a thumb at Luna. "And this is my friend, Luna Lovegood. What's your name?"
"W-well, no," Alice replies to Luna, frowning faintly, "I mean, they n-never are when they're overcooked. I knew I shouldn't have put it in the oven before class. " Again, that shovel gets a curious look, "Um… why do you have that shovel?" Oh, wait! Yes. Alice was about to cast that spell, wasn't she? She points her wand at the few remaining bits of the gingerbread man and closes her eyes to concetrate, "Accio!" A bit of arm and a soggy third of the head begin to glide back to shore, the fish trailing behind it and darting in to pick off more pieces until the water becomes too shallow. With a sad gooey slunk, the remaining bits finally ooze to shore and rest sloppily at Alice's feet. At least the thing has stopped flailing. Or moving at all. The blonde Hufflepuff kneels down to examine the last sad remains of the gingerbread man before looking back up and over at Ginny and offering a bright, cheery smile, "Alice! Alice Starr! P-pleased to meet you, officially." Her eyes flicker back to Luna, "And you, too, Miss Lovegood." The girl pauses, pursing her lips, "Lovegood, Lovegood… hold on a tic! Are you related in any way to the editor of the Quibbler? I adore that publication!"
When her name was mentioned, Luna turns back from the lake with a rather blank look at first, her demeanor almost saying 'what?'. A pause, however, and she turns towards Alice with a wide smile. "Oh, hello." Luna says, her voice sounding a bit more distant than a few moments earlier. But then Alice just has to mention the Quibbler. The smile on her lips grows again, and she says, her tone coming just a few steps closer to the present, "Oh, yes? It's so good to meet subscribers - particularly in these times, with the Prophet just being the mouth of the Ministry and all." she says, parroting words she heard elsewhere.
Ginny tilts her head to the side. "Starr? Are your parents the Starrs that sell telescopes?" Her smile is just as bright and cheery, and it deepens a little when Alice mentions The Quibbler. Yes, Ginny has copies of it under her bed, in the dormitory. Then she notices Luna's shovel. "Yes, Luna, what's the shovel for?" With Luna, there will always be an interesting answer.
"Oh, well, um, I'm not r-really a subscriber, per se," Alice notes with a bit of embarassment, "My parents would never approve of me actually subscribing to it, I'm afraid. But I do buy a copy whenever I can! Usually during the Hogsmeade weekends." The girl sweeps up the soggy remnants of the gingerbread man onto the baking sheet and straightens up, eyebrows arching as Ginny mentions the family business. "Oh yes!" she replies happily, "That's right! Starr's Spectacles sells all manner of such things. It's always nice to meet happy customers." And then Ginny brings the conversation back around to the shovel and Alice turns towards Luna; she's also very much curious about what the impliment could be for.
Luna drops her eyes back towards the shovel when it was mentioned so often, glancing back up towards the other girls afterwards. "Oh." she says, the smile upon her face taking a distinctly dreamlike quality. "Well, there are Gulping Plimplies out there in the water, you know." Luna says, turning towards Ginny at first, and favoring her with a smile. "Maybe they gulp because they have to climb out every so often, to lay eggs in the sand - so I am looking for those." she suggests, glancing from Gin to Alice. "That's very sad to hear. I know it troubles father so that so few actually want to read the truth of things." A pause. "You sell spectacles? How lovely." she says, smiling wider.
Ginny looks fairly interested. "Eggs? Really? Did you find any? What are you going to do if you find some?" Her questions are rather innocent; she's never felt the urge to mock Luna. If anything, she gets a bit drawn in my the girl's one-of-a-kind mystique. Of Starr's Spectacles, she tells Luna, "Oh, yes. Spectacles and mirrors and telescopes. The shop gets all full of rainbows when the sun hits it just right. I almost bought a telescope there, but.." Ginny trails off, flushing slightly. But they hadn't had enough money, is what goes unsaid.
A sheepish smile winds its way across Alice's features as she stuffs her wand back into her robes, "Well, yes. Sometimes people can be very pig-headed, I suppose." She pauses, tapping her chin with her now free-hand thoughtfully, "Pig-headed… do you think they got that expression from some kind of curse or hex? Sounds like a curse symptom to me." Her attention then turns back to the shovel and the sand, "Gulping Plimpies, eh? Mmm. Do you know what their eggs look like at all?" At Ginny's description, the Hufflepuff girl smiles broadly, nodding several times, "Oh yes! My parents run the family business, but we sell more than j-just spectacles. There's hardly a magic lense or mirror which we don't build!" This said with a note of pride. Her eyes then slide to Ginny, thoughtfully regarding the girl. Suddenly, Alice pipes up with, "Would you like one? A telescope, I mean? I can probably get you one, if you'd like?" Always willing to help.
And Luna never quite felt that Ginny was mocking her. In spite of how 'slow' Luna must have seemed to everyone, she did pick up on a lot more than appearances suggested. Besides, to Luna, Ginny was all kinds of nice, and a few more degrees of cool. Luna's gaze grows a touch more distant at Ginny's explanation, and her smile a bit more wistful, those degrees in her expression sliding away almost as soon as they appeared, as she looks to Ginny first. "That sounds very beautiful - is it in Hogsmeade?" she asks, then glancing between the two. A pause, and she blinks, hopping unto a different mental track. "I'm not sure. I'd imagine the eggs would be good for something - perhaps if you cook them in an omelet, they help with your beauty?" she says. "Gulping plimpies are rather beautiful, after all." Not like she has ever seen one. And she lets that be known as a belated response to Alice's question, turning her eyes towards the Hufflepuff and shaking her head then.
Ginny turns a few more shades of red. "I, um.. I couldn't possibly.. I mean, mine is perfectly servicable. A bit worn, but it does the job." She finally manages to get out a full sentence, but is exceedingly glad when Luna speaks, offering a lifeline: a subject change. "Or you could try and hatch the egg, and keep one as a pet. You could get a tank for it and everything."
"Well, we actually have production facilities all over the country — there's a lot of special orders which can't be made in-store —," Alice replies, pushing up her glasses, "But our main sales office is actually in Diagon Alley. I work there over the summer sometimes. I think Dad was talking about opening a sales kiosk or something in Hogsmeade, though, to pick up on the Hogwarts business." She smiles sheepishly again, rubbing the back of her head with her free hand, "Though I don't know too much about business, really. My sister is the one with all the financial acumen." Her eyes widen as the other girls mention possible uses for the eggs, "Oooh! That'd be neat! I'd so like to have an omlete of them. Or a pet. Both would be wicked." Alice cants her head slightly as she swivels her eyes to peer at Ginny, "Oh, it's no trouble! One of the first rules of business is to provide free samples! If others see you getting a good use out of a Starr telescope, they'll be more likely to want one for their own. And speaking of!" Suddenly, the blonde third year digs into her robes and pulls out a small crumpled paper bag, offering to the pair and grinning broadly, "Would you like a Flavemotion? I make them myself. They're sweets that, rather than providing flavors, give different emotions!"
"Hagrid would like that, very much." Luna says, turning towards Ginny and smiling once again. "I don't have a pet yet, after all… I'm rather hoping for a Crumple-Horned Snorkack, one of these days." Luna says, looking rather thoughtful all of a sudden. Turning towards Alice again, she says, "Well, you can't have both at once, I do believe." she says, idly running her fingers over her butterbeer cork necklace. As sweets are offered, Luna's eyes come back into focus, and she smiles vaguely towards Alice. "You do cooking, then - it seems you are getting plenty of practice."
Ginny grins slightly. "You'll want to keep your breakfast foods and your pets separate, I'd reckon," she says, her eyes showing good-natured mirth. When Alice persues the topic of a telescope, she catches her lower lip between her teeth, worrying at it slightly. "Well.. I suppose I could ask my parents," she said, a blush hovering upon her cheeks, even as she pictures the immaculate Starr telescope. Of course, it'd be quite a feat to get Molly's approval for such a thing, but perhaps her father could talk her around. She made a note to owl him about it sometime soon. When the sweets are offered, she eyes them carefully. Too many instances of her brothers offering her candies that had very suspicious intentions has made her wary of such things. Still, she is curious. "Emotions? Really? Like what?"
Alice smiles brightly, nodding several times to Luna, "Oh, yes, I like cooking." A cascade of nervous, coquettish laughter bubbles up from the blonde, "It's one of the very few things I'm actually good at, really. I'm rubbish with charms, it seems." She looks back to Ginny and shakes the bag enticingly, smiling broadly all the while, "Oh, all kinds! The red ones are 'love' — apparently romantic love, but I never really thought about the difference — the blue ones are 'sadness', pink ones are 'joy', purple is 'anger', green is 'jealousy'… I have quite the range, in fact. I made a big sale recently to a charming Slytherin girl. She was actually quite pleasant."
Luna glances between the two, her smile turning impish at what Ginny says first. Towards Alice, she looks next, and cants her head to one side. "That sounds rather fun, but a bit… dangerous. What if you get an awful emotion?" Luna asks of Alice.
Ginny nods at Luna's point. "I suppose you could just avoid the ones that aren't happy? Just eat lots of pink ones? Though, if you aren't good at charms, um.." Ginny hesitates, unsure of how to put this tactfully. She tries something more subtle. "Do batches ever come out, er.. wonky?" Well, Ginny isn't particularly well-versed in subtle, it would seem. At the mention of a pleasant Slytherin girl, Ginny tilts her head. "Really? Who was it? I know a few Slytherin girls.."
"Awful emotion?" Alice asks, blinking several times, "Like what, exactly?" She shrugs her shoulders lightly, "Well, it's not that big a deal, even if you do. I m-mean, the feeling only lasts for two seconds or there abouts." The girl then looks towards Ginny, blinking several times before her cheeks pinken slightly. "Well, uh… y-yeah, sometimes I may get a sour batch," she admits, shifting her weight on her feet, "But I always make sure to test them before sale!" Happy to have the conversation shift away from her poor charm skills, Alice beams brightly, "Oh, her name was Sio Noble. I r-really don't know too many Slytherin, actually." Her voice lowers to a sotto level, "I kinda try to s-stay away from them as much as possible, even though my sister is one." Alice's voice returns to its normal volume, "But she was very, very nice! It was quite refreshing, considering Slytherin's normal reputation."
"Well, something like jealousy or envy, or anger." Luna says, looking back towards Alice. As she carries on, a little smile touches her lips at the mention of Siobhan. "Oh, she's very kind. There's so many kind Slytherins… there just are too many like Draco Malfoy and his gang." Luna says, giving her hand an airy little wave. "…or Snape. They are all so cross all the time - but I have a plan." she says, turning her eyes up to look up towards the sky, clutching her shovel all the tighter in her hand.
Ginny nods her agreement. "I met Siobhan once. She was quite nice. She's the Slytherin House champion, too. I'm glad the Goblet picked her. Most Slytherins are… rather unpleasant." She crinkles her nose slightly, then smiles warmly at Alice. Perhaps out of plain curiosity, perhaps to make the girl feel better about her charm skills, she reaches into Alice's paper bag and draws out a candy: pink. Popping it into her mouth, she looks relieved when it doesn't burst into sparks, taste foul, or otherwise do anything untoward. There's a little burst of giddiness in her, and she can't help but laugh. "A plan, Luna. What for?"
GAME: Save complete.
"I have anger and jealousy. Envy is a tad too complex for me at the moment," Alice states, peering over the rims of her glasses into the paper bag, "But I guess they really don't sell that well. Sio just bought two bags of Joy. No other flavors, just joy. I just thought they're rather like… you know… super sour-type emotions. Or the really odd flavors of Bertie's." The girl looks thoughtful for a moment, but then perks up immediately when Ginny decides to try one of the candies, bouncing up and down on her feet. She, too, looks towards Luna and cocks her head at the mysterious plan, "Does it involve cake?"
Glancing towards Ginny with a conspiritorial look, Luna lifts both brows, and leans in to whisper, "Not cake - wrackspurts." she claims, straightening back up with a solid nod. Sneaking a hand over towards the bag of goodies, she withdraws a blue one, holding it up to her eyes. "Which emotion was blue again?"
"Maybe because joy is harder to feel for some people. Anger, jealousy, sadness.. it's rather easy to be down, or upset. It's harder to be happy, sometimes. So your candies are like a little boost." Ginny suggests, sounding rather philosophical. Was that a side effect of the candies? When Luna mentions wrackspurts, she grins a little, remembering Luna's father's wrackspurt detector. "Blue is sadness, I think."
"W… wrackspurts?" Alice queries, bemused confusion crossing over her features. Ahh, but then one of the candies is taken! She nods in confirmation to Ginny's assessment, "Blue is sadness." She pauses, pursing her lips tightly as she considers the red-headed Gryffindor's philosophical thoughts, "Mm, you might have a point there. I try not to make value judgements on emotions, though, since they all serve a purpose. I've also been trying to make more complicated emotive states like melancholy or nostalgia, but it's so far very much beyond my means."
"Well, you are just getting started - it is like looking for Gulping Plimplies: You have to try everything before you can say it is impossible." Luna says, pausing a moment to stick the candy in her mouth, chew, and swallow. Her face falls for the space of a few seconds, her eyes blinking back the sudden welling of tears. But as soon as it started, the bad feeling passes, and Luna sighs soft. "I don't think I like that flavor." Luna says, her expression going back towards neutrality.
Ginny pats Luna gently on the shoulder, then suggests, "Perhaps a pink one? They're rather perky." She smiles at Alice, then looks thoughtful. "Other emotions.. hmm.. well, you could always ask around, maybe find an older student that can partner with you, help you with the harder charms in exchange for some of the profit?"
Alice watches Luna's reaction curiously then nods, pursing her lips and peering back at the bag, "Mm. Perhaps I s-should just discontinue them. They're not very popular. I always felt that if I knew just the right way to present them that people would like them more, but I could very much be wrong there." She smiles broadly and nods, "You're absolutely right! About the Gulping Plimplies, I mean. You've gotta keep trying, right?" She looks over at Ginny thoughtfully, pursing her lips tightly, "Mm. That is quite a good idea, Miss Weasely, and I have considered that. But I don't really know many of the older students. At least, none that would have the skills necissary as well as the desire to help." She shrugs lightly, "Besides, this is more potions work than charms, really. And I am quite good at potions. Well, when Professor Snape isn't finding fault with things I do, anyway."
"That's quite alright. I think that was enough candy for a while." Luna says, giving Ginny a smile. "Well, I can't imagine many people like to feel sad." she says to Alice. Smiling broadly along with Alice's smile, she nods her head some more. "Well, I would not hold what professor Snape says against you too much - he's rather mean, if you ask me." Luna adds.
"Perhaps have them available on request only? They wouldn't be included in a batch by default, but you could make some and set it aside, and give people the option to have it or not." Ginny suggests after a few thoughtful moments. Then she nods to Luna, "Professor Snape can be rather.. harsh," she adds. Then she sighs, looking up at the sky. "It's getting late, and I have a mountain of homework to finish before the Hogsmeade weekend. I should get back to the common room." Shifting her bag, she hesitates, then says, slightly shy, "If you two want, we can meet up before Hogsmeade and go together."
The small paper bag disappears back into Alice's robes and she grins impishly at Luna, "I know! I feel the same way! But I had someone tell me a Muggle story about dragons — apparently Muggles can know about things in our world as long as they think they don't actually exist — and how some of them were just fundamentally mean. As in, it was a necissary condition for them to be mean. She suggested that maybe Professor Snape is like that. I'm not sure if I accept that, but it is an interesting idea." Alice makes a non-comittal grunt to Ginny, nodding, "I already do that, after a fashion. Like I said, Sio bought two bags of joy. I suppose I had better just mention that in the sales pitch, rather than as an afterthought." The blonde then looks up at the sky herself, hefting up the baking sheet with the sad, pathetic remains of the soggy gingerbread man and nodding, "Yes, you're right. I should be getting back myself." Her face splits in a wide, cheery grin, "And I would be happy to meet up with you two before Hogsmeade! I'm usually by myself during the visits and it'd be ever so much more fun if I had some others to experience it with, if you're both amiable."
The mention that it was getting late prompts Luna to look skyward, the girl squinting up towards the clouds. "What a wonderful idea, Ginny! We really ought to all go to Hogsmeade this weekend." "And oh… it is getting evening, you are right." she says, letting her eyes drop back down to Ginny. "I suppose I ought to work on my homework as well - do you want to go do the homework together?" Luna asks. If Luna was focused, she oft was at least some help on the homework, but on some of her less 'together' days, she would oft spend study sessions talking about nargles and daydreaming. Regardless of the answer, she starts to walk back towards the school, turning to smile towards Alice, wiggling her fingers in a little wave goodnight.
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