1994-09-05: Study Time

Participants:

Ophelia_icon.gif Stephen_icon.gif

Scene Title Study Time
Synopsis Ophelia and Stephen meet up in the Library and study for their Boomslang Essay assignment. Conversation ensues about other things
Date 05 Sept 1994
Watch For Teenaged Ambition
Chronology After the first Potions class for 4th-7th Year students
Logger Ophelia

Library

Diffused golden light is given off by enclosed globes of flame bracketed to towering mahogany bookshelves, flickering into even the dustiest recesses of the stacks. Here and there, open areas are littered with open tables, each set with chairs comfortable enough to sit in for hours, should one of the students need to study that long. At the end of certain popular shelves, small end tables with decorative lace doilies offer non-functional stained-glass lamps. The librarian's table is set near the expansive doors, kept impeccable neat. Hidden away in the darkness to the back of the library is a roped-off section, a wooden plaque overhead reading 'Restricted Section: Do Not Enter Without Permission'.


Just out of Potions and Ophelia's already found herself in the Libary with several books and making notations from them in order to write her essay. She seems to be taking her time though, not all in a rush to get it done /right this minute/ and likely getting distracted with whatever lore that might come in her studies.

*

Stephen's first stop is the Library as well. Grabbing a couple of texts from the stacks, he goes back out into the room proper and sees Ophelia there. Still riding on a wave of satisfaction from screwing with Crane, he approaches Ophelia and sets down the textbooks and takes a seat. "Hello, Ophelia.", he says.

*

Glancing up from her books, her brows do arch on her forehead in slight surprise. But soon, that amused expression settles on her features and she sets the book down. Quietly, so as not to suddenly arouse Pince's ire, Ophelia returns his greeting. "Hello, Stephen." She marks her spot in the book, which seems to be showing the difference between the male and female boomslangs. However, she doesn't deliberately close it either. "Interesting class, wasn't it?"

*

"Quite so, in fact.", Stephen replies, making himself comfortable in the chair and crossing his legs. "Let me ask you a question, if I may. You know, not to mince words or anything. Why do you insist on… goading me on?", he says, putting it out there plainly. If anything, he doesn't look as angry as he does amused.

*

Hah! Out of all the questions. Ophelia's mouth breaks into a smile. "Because I can," is her simple answer. She makes a few notes on her parchment, things she likely just remembered. "It's nothing…" She waves a hand, "intentionally sinister in motives. I just thought t'was a good idea." good as in 'it would amuse me'. She likes doing things for her own amusement. She fixes him a look, "Does it bother you?"

*

"Because… you can…", he says, drumming his fingers against the armrests of the chair. "Does it bother me? No, I suppose not. After all, I wouldn't be me if I allowed such a small thing to do that.", he says. He looks her over for a moment, as if kind of seeing her in a new light. "Those who would do such a thing usually find themselves sorted into our House. Yet, you are in Ravenclaw.", he muses aloud. "Wit beyond measure, indeed."

*

Since Stephen's frank, so shall Ophelia. "Don't let the eyeliner fool you," she plays off the Muggle assumption that her style of dress and slight interest in more morbid areas of literature and arts are depressing, and not really caring if he recognizes it. "I like things that make me smile." As for the houses? "Well, who knows. T'is not always a clear cut case with the sorting, no? Take Hermione Granger. Clearly a clever witch that one, she'd clearly fit in Ravenclaw, but there she is, in Gryffindor." She uses a contemporary example. "Or Neville Longbottom?" How did a bumbler like him get into a /brave house/ and all that? At the slogan, she just smirks here.

*

Stephen's lips curl into a smile. "Yes. Good points, both.", he says, taking off his reading glasses and pulling the handkerchief out from his breast pocket in order to wipe at them. "So then, tell me Ophelia.", he says. "I make you smile now?"

*

"Usually," Ophelia answers. She leans forward. "I don't think you're entirely all…" She waves both of her hands, "whatever it is… Sure, you're kind'a on the uppity side, but…otherwise…" She glances at her notes. "There's always somethin' more t'what a person is, an' it's just foolish t'judge otherwise. So, yes, you make me smile. In a very benign way, I assure you." It's his mannerisms that amuse her about him specifically, but it's hard for a girl her age to phrase that without sounding like she's got some misplaced crush.

*

"Uh huh.", Stephen says. He doesn't take it any further than that, though. "So I see you're already taking on the homework for Potions. No rest for the weary? Perhaps we can share the book while it's available.", he says, making a reference to the shortage of copies of Moste Potente Potions.

*

She just shrugs with that, and considers the topic done. She does blink for a moment and peers at the Prefect, "Didn't you get a copy?" But she doesn't argue about sharing. She'll pick under the stack and then pulls the old book out from under it, setting it int he middle. "You should know Professor Snape," Ophelia states, "He's your head of house, and you've been here as long's I have.. Out o'all the teachers, he's the one who's class y'shouldn't slack off on." With the exception of McGonagall, in her opinion. "It might not be /good/, Potions aren't my strong suit, but it'll be done."

*

"Of course I have a copy.", he says almost irritably. "You know, I just figured that since we're both here and we're both interested in getting the homework done.", he says, gesturing with his hands. "To think you would accuse me of being a slacker.", he grumbles. He grabs his wand and casts a charm on his quill. It stands up and hovers over the parchment he brought with.

*

Again, comes that smile, as if she was amused. Ophelia shook her head. "I wouldn't have dared t'call you slacker." She points with a wave of her finger towards his Prefect badge (assuming it's still being displayed). "If that was the case, y'wouldn't have the position y'have now.

*

Stephen just stares at her, his copy of Moste Potente Potions in his hands. As he reads through the text, he references the other books that he's brought to the table, but as the silence between them blossoms into full-blown studying, his attention is split between the books and her. The quill scratches against the parchment.

"You know, I…", he begins after a few minutes of silence. "Never mind. I'm never going to understand you. I don't even know why Bertrum puts up with it, really."

*
Ophelia also offers Stephen the books she collected on the snakes they're supposed to be researching. There's an occasional pointing out of something she finds interesting, like venom properties and what not, but otherwise, she's quiet, respecting the time to study for what it is. Maybe she really does belong where she is.
She hrms when he speaks again, taking the moment to flex her wrist (she finds odd pleasure in doing things the hard way). "Puts up with what?" And she looks momentarily lost, having been broken out of her reverie as it were, so yes, she can not look like something's amusing her all the time after all.

*

"Nothing, don't worry about it.", he says, switching over from the book used today in the Potions course to another text that he's used since 3rd Year for Potions. He flips through the pages and compares notes from what the quill has written down. "One of the things that I find annoying about Potions is the constant writing.", he says idly.

*

The witch regards him for a moment, but respects his decision. Maybe if he were another boy, she'd probably pester him, but they're studying and he's who he is, so she just leaves it at that. She hrms a bit, tapping her quill against her cheek as it it were a muggle pen. "It does turn into a bit o'a handcramp," Ophelia muses, reading over a paragraph in one of the books. All she's doing right now is making notations and such, then branching it out for later assembly. She will try to sneak a glance to see how Stephen's arranging his essay before going back to the book. "But maybe he thinks by writin' so much, it'll sink in."

*

"Not so much. The good professor is mostly interested in finding promising Potions students and tormenting everyone else.", he notes idly as his eyes switch back and forth between the two texts. That, in and of itself, has likely been the most honest and straight-forward comment from Stephen that Ophelia has ever heard. Mainly because he said it without thinking about it or considering how it could be tailored to gain a psychological advantage.

*

There's a little bit of a giggle, very much the giggle of a teenaged girl, but she simply nods otherwise. "I can see it." She then pauses and then asks, her tone completely lacking any assumption or anything of the sourt. She's just plane curious, "D'you know what happened to …Crane…'s cauldron?" pardon the pause there, she had to mentally search for the name. "It made this really odd loud sound…" Her tone is sketchy, but it might be easy to guess why; she's afraid it might blow up while they're on their shelves and ruin everyone else's.

*

Stephen's lips curl into a grin as she inquires about the Gong of Failure incident. "Oh, I know exactly what happened to Gavin's cauldron.", he says, flipping a couple of pages. The charmed quill he is using scratches another paragraph on the parchment. "He learned not to cross me unless he wants to be shown exactly how it's done." Scratch-scratch. More notes.

*

Ophelia's eyes wide and there /is/ accusation there. She doesn't attack him or anything, but she does seem to be stuck between wanting to bellow out a laugh or berate him for possibly endangering the other students. That is if her assumptions' correct in interpreting how he worded things. She eventually just settles in a slight shake of her head, looking at him incredulously.

*

Stephen looks up from the books, his eyes fixed on her through the frames of his reading glasses. He dips them down a small bit and looks at Ophelia over the frames. "Let me guess. You're thinking about exactly how you'd like to berate me for having put Gavin Crane in his place. Let me assure you, /Ophelia/, that while you may not be good at Potions, I am. I knew exactly what could happen because I have never gotten lower than an O in that class. He's perfectly fine, though his public humiliation will be met with a stomachache during the next class after he drinks his punishment.", he says, putting the glasses back in place and going back to scribbling.

*

Well there's that. "Oh and what if the Professor has us imbibing /each other's/?" Her tone is curious, not at all reprimanding. Maybe she just doesn't see the point, especially since he seemed to ahve thought of everything—but that, at least in her perspective. Another book is shuffled to the 'done for now' stack, though she keeps the place marked and opened despite that, in case Stephen wanted to browse as well.

*

"Simple.", Stephen says, his mind partially fixed on taking notes once more. "Snape loves watching students experience the full range of their failure. If they messed up, he'd want to milk it for every single drop.", he says, setting down Moste Potente Potions on the table and grabbing another book and flipping it open to the index.

*

Her hand lifts up to rest her index finger against her lips, her eyes shifting to the side to digest a bit of logic. Being Ravenclaw, she only deals with Snape in the classroom. Stephen's in his house… "Ah, well…" She shrugs here, which is the equivilent of 'Guess you're right' without having to lose as much pride as outright saying it. Of course, curiosity returns, "So what'd he do t'you?"

*

Stephen shrugs lightly. "I quickly made it a habit to earn points for Slytherin House and to do well in Potions.", he says, taking off the glasses and setting them down on the table. The charm on the quill fades, leaving a view of a sheet of parchment that isn't as much of the essay that Snape wants as much as it a random outpour of notes on boomslang with no real direction. "Therefore, he didn't pay as much attention to me. And I ended up as Prefect."

*

There's another slight giggle. "I meant Gavin Crane." She decides that it is time for a break and she sets her quill down, rubbing her hand in a circular motion to get out the cramps. "Though, I guess that works too," OPhelia admits about the whole thing; kind of staying under his radar and all that.

*

"Oh. Gavin.", he says, his lip turning again. "Gavin likes to think that he's going to be the one who will embarrass me, especially in front of Snape.", he continues, gesturing a bit. "It's not going to happen. I've put far too much effort in."

*

"Do unto others before they do unto you, hmm?" Ther'es Ophelia's standard expression working into her study-weary face. She glances at the nearest time piece (which is the library's as she doesn't carry one on her) and makes note of the time. She glances back at him, her head tilted. Yup, he sounds like a Slytherin.

*

"Come now, Ophelia.", he says, stretching a bit as he notices her looking around at the library's clock. "If one of your fellow Ravenclaws, or anyone for that matter… if they intended to make themselves look good at your expense, you wouldn't make an attempt to keep that from happening?"

*

She thinks on this for a moment, quite sierously. Her hand is again pressing against her lips as she does so, eyes glancing to somewhere to the side. It's an intriguing question to be sure. "I… I honestly don't know," she admits slowly, even more slow than she normally talks. "it's not somethin' I've run into a lot, so there's no real experience t'be had. An' it's hard to imagine a situation like that, an' actually react honestly. I'd like t'say I'd try to take the high road, but again, it's not somethin' predictable."

*

Stephen sits back in the chair and regards Ophelia intently. "You look at me as though I break the rules intentionally to gain an advantage. But that really isn't the reality of it.", he starts, his expression taking on a curious look. "I did what I needed to do in order to survive in my house. Just like you do what you need to do to survive in your house. Prove that you're just as intelligent as the rest. Just like Potter has to do to survive in his House. Be a larger attention-seeking prat than all of his housemates.", he says, gesturing again. "Those who do what they need to do learn how to advance themselves in the wizarding world. Those who don't?", he says, pausing. "They cease to matter to the world at large."

*

"Be a little fair about Harry Potter," Ophelia says quietly. "I don't like how he acts any more than you do," Probably becasue she's very much a background sort of girl, "But I do have sympathy for him. How many of your mates can boast survivin' what he's survived? It's probably made him a little mental in the long run." All that fame and all, going straight to one's head, and not in the way it went to Lockheart's head. That, however, seems to be all she's going to disagree with, outright. She's thinking again on things. "We all cease to matter at some point," Ophelia finally states. "It might not be during our lifetimes, but it eventually happens." However, "I do see your point. And it is valid… but how much of it is conscious strivin' and one-upping, and how much is just goin' with the flow?"

*

"He's trouble.", Stephen says flatly. "Wherever he goes, bad things happen. He shows up here at school, and the natural order of things fall apart. Dark wizards start seeking out a stone to revive You Know Who, a chamber opens up and a killer creature roams the school, mass murderers escape Azkaban trying to hunt him down and kill him. Don't really need to explain much more.", he says, his enmity of Harry Potter evident in his voice. "And the worst part? He loves it. You can see it in his face. Doesn't matter if people get petrified or have to spend a year avoiding dementors, all he cares about is being at the forefront."

"Anyways. I don't ever plan on ceasing to matter. I haven't spent all this time studying and excelling to learn everything I can about magic to just fade away. I want my name, my family's name, to be known in history's books. That I was the one who developed something, discovered something, revolutionized something. That is what matters to me. I won't let anything, or anyone for that matter, stand in my way."

*

Ophelia's lips pull into a thin line as Stephen goes on about Harry Potter. She's curious to know how mcuh is his own honest opinions and how much is just regurgitated Slytherin House Propaganda lead by his own House Head. But she knows a lost fight when she sees it and she marks that under subjects listed 'Don't mentioned unless you want to be ranted at' for future reference. Instead, her hand slides under her chin, another common gesture for her, with her elbow sitting on the table. "And there's that charmin' Slytherin ambition," she states with a slight smile. Though, she does seriously state, "Remind me not to be the one who does stand in your way."

*

Is Stephen's attitude towards Potter influenced by Slytherin House Propaganda? Probably. I mean, who doesn't absorb at least some of it when it's all that's been talked about for the last three years. "Don't you have goals?", he asks, genuinely surprised. "Why wouldn't you want people to remember you long after you're gone?"

*

"I've got goals," Ophelia states quietly. "They're just not very… ambitious ones. I'd like t'perhaps do something with the arts, music or… a playwrite." She's not even sure if that translates into Pureblood Wizard vocabulary or not. "In my mind, those are the things that live on forever." She animates greatly speaking about this, but not as much as, say, her rather vocal Housemate would. "Like I said, they're not ambitious ones, but they're… they're the ones that fit me."

*

"Well. I think I've gotten all of the notes I'm going to get with this. I'll write this all out tomorrow.", Stephen says, standing up from the chair and gathering his books together. He regards Ophelia for a moment, looking as though he has something else he wants to say. But he doesn't, stepping away from the table. "I suppose I'll see you around.", he says, and then he strides off towards the exit and back into the castle corridors.


Any additional notes fall to the bottom.


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