|Scene Title||Something Starting in Slytherin|
|Synopsis||Julian is being discomfited by the ruckus surrounding the tournament. For protection, he may help Oscar capitalize on that ruckus.|
|Location||Slytherin Common Room|
|Date||Nov 04, 1994|
|Watch For||The beginnings of the 'Pied Piper' effect.|
After a day full of classes, and dealing with taunts, stray hexes and other random things thrown at Firsties (especially Slytherin Firsties), Julian comes home to the common room with a deep scowl on his face. If he knew his mother and she saw that look she'd say something about 'it freezing that way.' He crawls up on to a spare cushion on the couch, keeping his bag close to him, and grumbles under his breath. He pulls out a book and starts looking through it, then slams it shut a moment later.
Oscar is lounging lazily in a chair by the fire, probably after kicking some smaller student out of it first. He was reading a book at one point, for it's still propped open on his stomach as he slouches, long legs sticking out well past the end of the chair's cushion and blocking this way around to the dorms. Now, though, he just half-dozes, like a contented house cat, watching the fire through half-lidded eyes. Perhaps it's his radar pinging, or maybe he hears Julian's grumbling, for something about the younger boy's entrance rouses him enough to look over, watching the younger boy for a moment or two. "Trouble?" he either asks or offers.
Walking through the common-room door with two rather large brown paper bags in her hand, Siobhan makes a beeline for her dormroom. She's gone maybe five minutes, then returns with starcharts and a rather heavy tome. Spying Julian, she hauls her load over towards the fire and sets up shop on the floor nearby. Oscar is noted - but only in the peripheral. "Hullo Bean," she offers with a quiet sort of smile, then turns to her work. NEWTs year is an indelible pain.
For a moment, Bean isn't sure Oscar's query is directed at him, but then he notices the gaze. "Depends." Is he asking, or offering? He spots Siobhan coming out of her dorm. "Hail Noble Slytherin Champion. Or is that Slytherin Champion Noble?" He gives a half smile at his stupid pun. Were the day better, it might have merited a grin. As it is, a half-smile is all it gets.
Oscar's gaze flickers over to Siobhan as she settles herself nearby, but he is happy (or what passes as happy for him) to ignore and be ignored, in this case. The talk about Champions gets a sour look though. Which is maybe why Bean gets more attention than he might otherwise. Languidly, the older boy pulls himself a little more upright, one hand pulling the book off his abdomen and snapping it shut with a quiet noise. "What's the problem? Don't tell me you're getting homesick already or some rubbish like that," he mutters, kind, caring soul.
Snickering softly at Julian's terrible, terrible pun, Siobhan rolls her eyes. "Don't spread that around, you hear? I'd really rather not be hearing that every time I walk down the hallways." Oscar's quip has her stiffening slightly - she hasn't forgotten the episode during the Feast - but she seems content to keep her peace for now. After all, there's quite a bit of work here. Trust her professors to combine the disciplines; just to make life more fun.
Julian gives a mirthless laugh at his two upperclass Housemates. To Oscar, he shakes his head. "That would presuppose I had such a thing." He leaves it to the older boy to figure out, probably enough information. However, since it's probably going to come out into the open soon, Bean tries to control the leak instead of wait for it to explode. When Siobhan answers him, he shifts in his seat. "Well, it's no worse than what I've heard already." The scowl returns. "Stupid Tournament." This is whispered. He holds his book closer, almost making sure it stays put.
Oscar's eyebrows lift a bit at Julian's hint, and it probably doesn't take the older boy too long to at least get the general shape of things. It's filed away, but for now, nothing is said about it. No, Oscar is too busy thinking about something, which rarely bodes well. There's a mirthless smirk offered to the sentiment that the Tournament is stupid and his gaze flickers towards Siobhan. "So then what is the problem?" he pretty much demands, expecting an answer - and ignoring the rest of the talk about the Tournament.
Brown eyes narrow ever so slightly at Julian's comment. "What have they been sayin' then?" she inquires with a sigh. Her quill is set down on the parchment in front of her - dripping ink in a rather ugly splotch - and she turns her full attention to the first year. "And why d'you think it's so stupid? It's a great chance to prove ourselves to the rest of the school; that we don't have to cheat to win."
The same answer fits for both questions, oddly enough. "Stupid tournament because the stupid upper years in the other houses decided that it'd be fun to pick on us just a little more because of the rivalries." Perhaps it's as much stress as before a Quidditch match or something, but it's more than he's used to. He'd just gotten used to evading tricky situations in a calm environment. "Ran into some clever kids who thought it'd be great fun to chase me down the corridor firing stinging hexes the whole way. Finally a prefect caught them, but only took five points." He leans back, and rubs idly at his ankle where one particularly strong one hit. "I can only run so fast." Short legs.
Oscar gives a snort but no further comment to Siobhan's idea about winning fairly. But maybe it's why his first comment, though it's directed to Julian after his tale of woe, is: "Don't suppose you tried just being nice to them?" But somehow, he makes it sound like suggesting someone put out a three alarm blaze with a garden sprinkler. But he grows more serious rather quickly. "The other houses are nothing but idiots and assholes," he plainly informs the small boy. "Learn it now and it'll save you plenty of grief in the long run. Fortunately, you don't need more than this very house right here." He pauses for a moment, sitting up properly now. "I could help you out, you know," is offered every so easily. Of course, perhaps Bean's clever enough to have realized already that nothing comes for free around here.
Rolling her eyes with ill-concealed exasperation, Siobhan looks about to seriously protest Oscar's statement, but then something seems to occur to her and she pauses. Slowly, her smile turns wicked and her expression becomes cold and pitiless. "Oscar," she begins sweetly. "Have you ever considered that if you were nice to the other Houses, it would be easier to pull the floor right from under their pathetic little feet?" It's not typical Siobhan, by any means, but perhaps Oscar has seen enough of her sadistic streak over the past few years to just take it all in stride.
Around here? Bean knows nothing comes for free, period. He narrows his eyes at the older boy. "I know. The green and silver is all." Hence repeating the sentiments, if not the exact words, that rule these rooms. "And for that particular service?" He leans forward, interested, but his sharpened gaze remains on the older boy until Siobhan speaks. Her words spark an interest in Bean's mind. "There is that." He considers for a moment. "I think there are times to show your more conciliatory side, and then other times to …" as the girl said, "pull the floor out from under 'em." He shrugs. "It takes practice." Practice Bean has in spades, fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view. He also personally disregards the comment that they're all idiots and assholes. Blanket generalization. But that remains a thought unexpressed, except perhaps by a quick dismissive glance when Oscar says it.
"Considered it. Decided my way's more fun," Oscar replies with a beaming grin to go with it, showing all those pearly whites. But at least the sharper edge of Siobhan is met with better humour than when she's threatening him or, in his opinion, making with the nicey nice. "But, you know, whatever Wingardium's your Leviosa." See? He's downright friendly! His attention goes back to the first year now, and he gives a thoughtful pause. "Well, it would be an … ongoing service, wouldn't it. So I don't think it'd be too much to ask for ongoing service in return, do you?" It's phrased as a question, but there's only one right answer, and that much is clear.
Tilting her head to one side, Siobhan regards Oscar curiously a moment, that same cold, calculating expression on her face. "Why would you bully your own Housemates then? What's the tactical advantage of that?" She, herself, sees none. "The other Houses, sure, it'd make sense. But they leave us alone more if we make it clear we protect our little ones, not bully them just as bad."
It's that 'crew' thing all over again. Bean frowns, listening to Siobhan, his thoughts whirling as he ponders his answer to Oscar. "That would be the fair thing. However, it wouldn't be very prudent for me to just accept without knowing the terms of both what I was giving, and how much it would cost." Slytherin to the core. "And you know… Noble's got a point. We had 'crews' for a while, and it helped make things easier. Safer. It made people notice." He casually does not mention that the crews were his idea to begin with.
And in response to Siobhan's calculating stare, Oscar just keeps the same bland expression on his face, not quite dopey, but utterly untroubled. It's gotten him out of hot water before. "I don't bully them just as bad. And if you think that, clearly you haven't seen what I did to those poor Gryffindors the other day…" He trails off there, bland expression shifting to an amused smirk before it returns again. "The little ones need some toughening up, that's all. It's a rough school out there. We don't do them any favours treating them like delicate little angels. Once they prove they have what it takes though…" And here his gaze flickers meaningful to Bean. "Well, that's all right." Though he'll still kick them out of his favourite chair in a heartbeat. And now, while he's looking at the boy, he considers that question. "Crews, right," he agrees, since that leads where he's going anyway, and it's sometimes a useful thing to make other people believe they came up with his ideas. "Not a half-bad idea, that. How 'bout this then… I get your back, and in exchange, you, ah, you help me out with a few things, here and there. Got some big projects in mind for this year. Gonna need a few extra hands. If you think you could handle it."
At Bean's mention of 'crews', Siobhan's lips twitch once. "Pack mentality," she offers, not really expecting either of them to understand the reference. "So toughen them up when the other Houses aren't watching?" This is suggested as if it should have been obvious. "Then you're not mollycoddling any of them, but it also doesn't make 'em look weaker in front of the outsiders." Outsiders Sio believes do a damn good job of toughening up the firsties on their own - still, even a small concession would be nice tonight. "Projects?" she queries lightly, though an observant person might note a change in demeanor rather like a canine perking her ears. "Fun projects?" Because of course, Sio's not got her hands in enough pots yet. Right.
"I'd have to have a little more clarification than that. And on both sides. How would you 'get my back' when our classes are towers apart and at different times? And exactly what kind of fun projects are we talking about here? Is it something that I can do as a small boy with only a minor grasp on the…" Bean purses his lips and rephrases his sentence. "… on my magic and hexes and such?" He somehow doubts that. "If it's something I can do, then, it bears thinking about. Because if this continues…" He shrugs. "Be smarter to have some sort of help, maybe."
Oscar doesn't seem to care what sort of mentality it is, so long as it works. To Siobhan's suggestion, he heaves a sigh, but brings his gaze around to look at her, quietly thoughtful for a moment. "I'll take it under consideration," he finally replies, though it doesn't sound like it's just a brush off. It might be worth consideration, if it will get some of the less approving housemates off of his case. As they both take interest in his projects, he quirks a grin. "Ah, well, they're still in the planning stages yet. But I'm coming to realize my time here is running short, and I've yet to really make my mark, unless you count that Hufflepuff's textbook they still can't get off the ceiling of the boy's loo." He considers Bean's questions, nodding slowly. "Mostly I get your back by beating the tar out of anyone who doesn't respect you're under my protection. Don't think it'd take too long to get 'round." He shrugs, not too troubled by that. "And mostly you'd just be running errands. Perhaps, uh, delivering a few things where they aren' meant to be. Liberating something off another student, maybe. That sort of thing. You leave the hexing to me."
Smiling sweetly at the small acquiescence, Siobhan manages somehow to convey anything but sweetness - all with a simple expression. "Don't suppose you'd be needing anyone with a head for planning, now would you?" After all, who'd suspect Siobhan of any mischief?
Liberating things from others. Bean can do that. He's had to do that before. He just didn't think he'd have to keep doing it once he got to the school. He considers it, and it takes a few long moments before he says any more. Then, he inhales sharply and nods. "I will think about it. I am leaning toward a positive answer, simply because I need a crew." He knows he didn't think of it here, but he did think of it there, and it's kind of like home. "May I have a couple days to consider?" When Siobhan seems to throw her hat into the mix, so to speak, Julian looks up sharply and gazes at her for a long moment. If she's in on the thing, he feels a little safer. For some strange reason.
Oscar, ironically, really isn't out to trick any of his housemates. He just wants some lackeys to call his own. But he doesn't seem offended by Bean's hesitation. "All right, you've got, uh, 'til the end of the weekend to get me an answer then. Otherwise, you go back to being just another firstie. And hey, you know any other ickle ones being bothered, you send 'em my way too," he adds as an afterthought. Might as well outsource the recruitment efforts too, since most of the wee ones seem rather terrified of him. Funny that. His gaze flickers back to Siobhan then, a faint smirk tugging at his lips. "I could be, maybe," he allows with a cant of his head.
Meeting Julian's gaze, Siobhan gives a very subtle inclination of her head. She gotcha, Bean. She picks up her discarded quill then, waves away the ink splotch - something she had to practice at, given her tendency to splatter ink onto unfortunate surfaces - and gives Oscar only one more glance. "If you find you do, you'll know how to find me." She's not exactly a hider, this one. "Haven't been caught yet."
If that's all it is, basic lackey-dom, Julian is all in. "I can ask around a little. I don't know who else is having trouble. Rimmer's trouble's been basically with his siblings, but that's kind of tapered off…" He frowns, reaching up to yank on a curl. "I'll let you know. It might work better if I do accept and they realize that you're helping me, seeing it…" He shrugs. Seeing is believing. "Me neither." Bean adds his own smirk to Sio's declaration.
"All right, well, here's something to chew on," Oscar replies more slowly and thoughtfully, giving Siobhan a thoughtful look. "I was thinking to undermine the other houses by getting them fighting and paranoid with each other, under this heightened competitive streak of the Tournament. Get the Hufflepuffs thinking the Gryffindors are sabotaging them; make the Ravenclaws think the Hufflepuffs are stealing from them, that sort of thing. You come up with any brilliant ideas on that, we'll go from there." It's a bit of a test, to see if the Nice One can come up with something on a level Oscar would consider. He wouldn't have figured it, but after tonight, he's … willing to be surprised. His gaze goes back to Julian then. "Yeah, all right. Maybe I ought to see how it goes with you first, anyway." The last thing he needs is to have a bunch of useless firsties following him around like ducklings, though he's hopeful it won't come to that.
Not one for methodical rote, Siobhan's genius for planning comes in great, sudden bounces of brilliance. When none immediately jumps to mind - to be fair, she's got most of her head in this Defense assignment - she makes a noncommittal noise in the back of her throat and files the idea away in the back of her mind. Let it sit out on the fringes for a while. Something will come to her; it always does. Seeming to find at least her part in the discussion over, Siobhan loses herself in her studies.
Julian, Guinea Pig. He nods. "I think I could do that. As long as it's not something that'll get me expelled. I don't mind point losses if they're not too drastic, but I can't be expelled." There's a tightness to his voice that shows his emotions under tight control. "I'll try to think of some ideas as well." Maybe firsties might not have all the best ideas, but they will have a few here and there, and Bean's good at making people think things, or at least enough to survive. Besides, it's a challenge, and he needs one. He watches Sio's face as she listens to Houlihan, and is satisfied with her response. He opens his own book, feeling somewhat relieved.
"No one's getting expelled," Oscar replies without pause, watching Siobhan as he says it, though it's clearly in response to Bean. Since the older girl isn't offering up anything further at the moment though, he lets his gaze drift back over to the first year, giving a considering frown to the possibility that an ickle firstie might have some good ideas. "Sure, why not. You gotta start somewhere," he allows generously. "And I hope it goes without saying that we keep it under our hats." He might assume no one would go flapping their gums, but then, it's been known to happen and he wants no surprises of that sort. He stirs after a moment, pushing to his feet and tucking his book up under his arm. "Well, I'm off to make some Hufflepuffs cry. Wish me luck," he bids them both with a cheeky grin, starting towards the exit with that.
Any Slytherin Firsties wanting to be involved (maybe even second- or third-years, if they're little or fairly defenseless) talk to Oscar OOCly.