|Scene Title||Sticking Point|
|Synopsis||A practice session goes awry. Past awkwardness is mulled over.|
|Location||Hogwarts - Fountain Courtyard / Hospital Wing|
|Date||May 15, 1995|
|Watch For||Melissa beating herself up|
The slog toward final exams continues. A number of students are holed up in the library, or their common rooms, or their dorm rooms; a few others have exited the castle entirely, Egbert among them. "Immobulus!" he calls out, after chucking a rock over the side of the bridge; it doesn't quite stop in mid-air, but slows down as if sinking through molasses.
Melissa is meanwhile passing by, practicing her quick wand moves for DADA. She spots Egbert and grins as she imagines hitting him with one of the defensive spells… but they'd never get in a fight, would they? "Hi, Egbert," she says, putting her wand away. "What are you working on today?"
Egbert turns - and the rock plunges down into the water with a vengeance, going so far as to splash some water up onto his trouser cuffs. "Practicing for Charms," he explains, oblivious, "this one's almost right but it's still off a bit. What about you?" All he saw was wand movement out of the corner of his eye, which could be almost anything.
Melissa looks about. "Just trying to get quicker with the wand for Defense class…" she says. "A lot of it is in the mind though… thinking of the right spell for the situation…"
Egbert nods. "I've been thinking about that." Best not to dwell on the reasons why, of which there are many of late. "Ever since that one lesson where Moody and that hit witch went at it— well, that's the trick with Defense, you've got to do it under fire. Not like this—" He tosses another rock off the side of the bridge, this time managing to send it drifting sideways as he calls out the spell.
Melissa nods. "Right…" she says. "That is the problem… training isn't really the same thing."
"Maybe we should try to round up some sparring partners— I bet Hughes wouldn't mind." Egbert turns back again, looking down at his feet— then rests his free hand on the bridge railing and jumps up in the air. "Immobulus!" he calls out again, this time pointing down at his own legs - and this time it works, for better or worse, causing his top half to double over abruptly. "Ow!"
Melissa shakes her head with a grin. "That's a good idea… better than trying it on ourselves anyway. Where should we go to find people?"
Egbert glances over toward Melissa as best he can - he's still stuck about a foot off the ground, and is struggling to right himself. "I think most of them are still back in the castle," he replies. "Uh, give me a hand here? Think I'm stuck…"
Melissa tries to pull Egbert back to the ground. "Uph… you're really hanging in there…"
Egbert reaches out to grab Melissa's hand, until it becomes clear that it's not getting him anywhere. "Hang on, I've got an idea— stand back a bit? You might need to help slow me down if this works."
Melissa nods and stands back. "What's the plan?" she asks.
Egbert turns his wand back around and points at himself, pausing to make sure he's got his directions straight. "Everte statum!" Well, it sort of works… he does send himself flying sideways, slamming into Melissa backward hard enough to knock her down before he drops to the ground. "Sorry, sorry!" he calls out, clambering back to his feet so he can help her back up.
"Owww!" Melissa cries as she's thrown to the ground. After a bit, she gets back to her feet, rubbing her arm. "Eeesh…" she says painfully, "I guess I should have stood back a bit more…"
Once she's got her balance back, Egbert lets go Melissa's wrist and turns his attention to the rest of her arm. "How bad is it— do you need Madame Pomfrey to take a look? I think I'm okay," he adds, rubbing his back with his other hand.
Melissa moves her arm a bit. "Hmm… I don't know… It does kind of hurt a little still…"
Egbert nods. "Here, lean against me, it's not too far… at least she'll let you lie down for a while." Slipping his wand into a back pocket, he glances back in the direction of the castle.
Melissa nods and moves lightly to Egbert's side. "That sounds good…" she says, taking his hand.
Egbert glances over toward Melissa as they walk in together, going slowly and favoring his left leg. "Almost there, almost there…" They could be in worse shape, but they could be in better, too.
Melissa holds on tight as they enter. "Hmm… here we are…" she says a bit faintly. "Looks like there's nobody else here… no other students anyway."
Egbert nods, heading for an empty bunk. "Guess Pomfrey'll be back in a minute. Still need a hand?" He isn't hurting badly enough to call for help right away, nor does Melissa seem to be so - the sound of their voices is alert enough.
Melissa shakes her head and goes on her own to sit at one of the beds. "I can handle it," she says.
Egbert sits up long enough to see Melissa settle down, before flopping back himself onto the bed. "I'll have to talk to Flitwick tomorrow, try to work out how I messed up that charm. Maybe it always works like that when you cast it on yourself…" In which case his mistake was to do so in the first place.
Melissa nods. "Good idea…" she says. "And you could probably ask some of the others in your house for help with the whole defense thing…"
Egbert rubs his eyes. "I guess. Just not Perpetua's friend…" Turning over onto his stomach, he crosses his arms and rests his chin on them. "I get where she's coming from— I just wish she could see what's in my head, you know? Just because I keep going, I'm still broken up over it."
Melissa humms a bit with a nod. "I know… and I still need to learn the kinds of things I shouldn't say to her," she says. "…Sometimes I feel like I'm driving the two of you apart, you know what I mean?"
Egbert shakes his head. "You didn't mean anything by it… I don't know what you shouldn't say to her, either." Another sigh as he repositions himself again, this time turning onto his side. "And we always butted heads like that, it's just I figured we'd grow out of it eventually, and now… well, I guess I will, but I don't know if she will. I don't know if she can. Isn't the point of being a ghost that you're basically stuck at one point?"
Melissa thinks. "I don't know about that," she says. "I mean, obviously ghosts can learn new things. Some of the ones here at Hogwarts have been here for so long, they were probably speaking Old English when they died, and now they talk like everyone else…" she says.
"Hmm, that's a good point," replies Egbert, "but what about their personalities? I've met the Friar a few times, but two years isn't long enough to really tell with something like that… so I guess we'll have to find out." He shakes his head again. "And I need to talk with her again about mum and dad, too. Even if I keep quiet, they might hear a rumor from someone else, and… well, it might be better if I just told them up front. If I can talk her into it."
"Well, good luck," Melissa says. "Maybe the three of us could meet up sometime and try to patch things up…"
Egbert flops back on his back. "She's bound to run across us again some time, but the point is we want to do it sooner than later. I'll see if I can find Matthews in the morning…" His words are coming more slowly now, as he begins to drift off for the night.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.