|Scene Title||Uncommon Ground|
|Synopsis||Bean goes to get that book from the library, and talks to Amber|
|Date||Mar 05, 1995|
|Watch For||bookshelf climbing|
It's a dreary day outside. The skies are grey, it snows from time to time between little bursts of rain. Not a good day to be outside, certainly. That's why Amber's looking at it all from a window, in the safe comfort of the library. The window's set into the wall, so there's a wide ledge she's sitting on, feet propped up against the window's frame. It's a little dark back here, since it's just outside the Restricted section, but the spookiness means that she gets relative quiet from the rest of the school. When she just needs to think, she comes here - besides. With all these History of Magic texts around her, who wants to be here, anyway?
She's casually tossing a football up and down as she looks at the weather outside. Instead of the usual black and white, it's red and white, instead, with gold lettering on each of the red hexagons. A muggle thing - manufactured - but it still gives her comfort more than any teddy bear might.
Julian steps into the library and moves to look for that book. The elusive book that he's been looking for for a couple weeks yet. He moves down the shelf, looking at the general ara that the tome would be, and runs his fingers along the shelf, checking each title. After a few moments, he grins widely, and clambers up on to the edge of the bottom shelf to reach the book, completely eschewing the small stool beside him on the floor.
Luckily, no one notices him, and so when he hops down, he heads to the nearest table, only to see Amber nearby tossing a muggle football up and down. "Are you allowed to do that in the library?" His tone doesn't bear intentional condescension, only simple curiosity. "Haven't seen one of those in a while." He betrays at least some of his heritage with these words.
Observant blue eyes watch as the boy scales great new heights in bookshelfery. "Plant er flag a' the top next time," she says with a grin. Sure, he's a Slytherin, but he's just a little one. Or something. In Amber's mind, he's not one of those in the House that live in caves and poke badgers (Or Hufflepuffs, as it were) with sticks to provoke a reaction.
Tossing the ball again, she looks at it, considers, then answers, "Prolly not. But I'm bein' quiet, yeah? Aren't doin' no 'arm to no one." Her accent is very strongly Welsh, or something like it. "'course, you climbin' those shelves… Hah, you could start a dom'no effect. Y'know, like in ther cartoons. All ther shelves just crash down. They call you Bean, right?" She tosses the ball again. "Y'like football?"
"Yeah, that's me." He grins at the banter. However, she would do well not to discount this little snake. He was sorted into Slytherin with very good reason. "Well, as long as old Pince doesn't get you, I guess you're good." He takes a very broad view of rules. And the way they usually are enforced around here, that view has merit. "Cartoons, huh?" He's seen a few, but doesn't know much from them. He's sure he watched them as a tiny tot, but that's been so long ago. Beam holds out the book. "Been waiting for this for nigh on two weeks now." His own strange accent shines through: an odd mix of mostly Cockney, a hint of Australian, and something else.
"I like it alright," Bean shrugs. "I'm not one for the sports much. I don't mind running and flying on their own merits, but games don't appeal to me." He moves to sit near the bigger girl. "So, what's your name, then?"
Only reason she knows his name is… How can you miss a name like 'Bean,' nickname or not? "Aye, cartoons! And some real stuff, too. Jes' fall over, one right after th'other." She turns in her seat, dangling her legs over the side so that her toes just barely touch the floor. The football is set down right next to her, and she rests her arm on it and leans forward so she can see the book he's got. "What's it?" is asked curiously.
Compared to Bean, Amber's a jock. Doesn't really fit the Hufflepuff stereotype, but, hey, there have to be a few, or Hufflepuff wouldn't have a Quidditch team at all! Then again, some would argue that they still don't. T'ch. Naysayers. She'll show 'em, she will! When Bean sits down nearby, she smiles, nodding in lieu of a bow. "M'name's Amber. Amber Matthews. An' I dunno what I'd do without sports. Prolly invent my own, ha!"
"Bully for you." Bean isn't sarcastic, but not super enthusiastic about her obsession with sports. It just is. "It's a book about basic magic that several other books reference." He holds out the red covered book. "Melchior's Masterful Magics. It's supposed to be a huge help understanding some of the basic theory." Where Amber is a 'Puff jock, Bean is a Slyth nerd. Go figure.
"So, let me take a wild guess. You're on the quidditch team, huh?
Amber still has an interest in magic. Especially lately. "Yeah? Huh. Been thinkin' uh studyin' some Defensive magic meself, given— y'know. One o' my good friends…" She trails off. Nah, no use bringing something like that into a good conversation, is there? So much drama lately. They can just talk about books and football and Quidditch and be happier for it. "Ah, ferget it. Bet I could do wif some studyin' anyway, no matter what's goin' on." she laughs at that. It's not like Amber's a bad student, but she's not near the top of the fourth-year class, either. "Yessir. I'm a Chaser. Start'd playin' las' year. Shame about this year, n' then the tournament's cancelled an' all. What a waste."
And, something occurs to her suddenly. It's just this idea that maybe, just maybe, this whole house competition thing is a little too silly for all these tough times. Looking at your dead friend'll do that to you. But rather than shut herself in with her mates, Amber likes to make friends! She doesn't say all that, though. Instead, what comes out is, "So, yer a Slytherin."
Julian is observant. He notices things. So, when she starts backing away from a subject, he notices about it, and thinks back to who she hung out with. Oh. Right. He thinks he might've stolen some chocolate from the girl's pocket once, which may be a horrid way to remember someone by but it's how things are with Bean. He rolls his eyes quickly, and nods. "That's what it says on the robe," he offers with a hint of snark. He shakes the frustration rising off, and returns to the topic of quidditch. "The chasers are the ones throwing the ball through the goal, right?" It's still odd to him, but he wants to at least sound educated about it. "Well, with the attacks and whatnot, it seemed like the wisest thing to do." Bean wasn't that fussed about the tournament beyond the fact of wanting his house to conquer.
Spending a lot of your life only able to watch - never comment - makes Amber observant, too. Perhaps this meeting was fate. More likely, two people living in a school are bound to run into each other eventually. "Oi, I'm jes' askin," she says, rolling her arm along the ball, stopping just before it rolls off the ledge and send her crashing to the floor. "Yeah, the Chasers'r the ones 'oo score. Bet our team's brill next year, too." It'll be awesome! She can picture it in her head! And that little dream will keep being awesome until Slytherin crushes them under their giant snakeskin boot. Oh well. It's the fun that counts. Or it would be, if Amber wasn't quite competitive.
"Wouldnae cancel ther tournament, though," Amber muses, mostly to herself. Translation: She wouldn't have canceled the tournament. "Kinna brings people t'gether, yeh? Like you an' me, sittin' 'ere talkin' about it, and you don' seem at all like you raise cobras in your underwear drawer. I 'ere lots o' your 'ousemates do, though. Crazy rumours, right?" She laughs. RIGHT?!
"Shows what you know…" Bean replies to the last comment first. "I mean, we've got a boy down in third year dorms who…" He smirks, and then drops the subject entirely, returning to the quidditch. "I'm sure you'll perform admirably," he drawls, in a fair imitation of his head of house. "I would have changed a few things instead of canceling, I think. The masses need something to focus on. Games and sports do that." Apparently, Bean is not convinced of the intelligence of people when they congregate together. And he's got reason for that belief, as he's seen it all too often. "I'm sitting here talking to you because you're bouncing a bloomin' soccer ball on your knee in the library." Slyth or not, he respects someone who will do that around Pince.
Ah! So that also lends credit to the venomous runespoor fighting pit Slytherin has in their sub-sub-sub basement. Well crap. "Yeah…" she says, not quite buying it. Even so, the House earned a reputation for a reason, and Amber gives the young snake a sidelong glance. "Either you're puttin' me on, or I'ma find an unpleasant su'prise in my shoe one mornin'," One that has teeth and a sharp bite. She'll come for Bean first!
At least she can agree with him on one thing - the tournament was good for the students. To that end, she nods.
The truth comes out! If it weren't for footballs, Hufflepuffs and Slytherins would never speak to each other. Amber chuckles. "Fair enough. But if I started talkin' 'bout lipstick n' nail polish, you weren't o' sat down, I bet. Aye? Am I right? Sure's sure I am." She looks proud of herself, picks up the ball, and starts spinning it on one finger like it's a basketball.
"I probably would still have sat down, I probably wouldn't have spoken to you." Bean says, his mind already processing her words. How can he use this? Snakes in her shoes. Who does he know from Hufflep — Oh. That might work. He gives her a small smirk, keeping it unrelated to his thoughts, or so he hopes. "But I can converse about lipstick and nail polish if you want. I've heard the birds in my house yammer on enough." And there's some of his accent peeking through. "Bloody annoying at times." He leans back in his chair, setting the book down. He's not going to get any reading done right now.
"Aw, c'mon, just admit you find me interestin'," she says, catching the spinning ball in her fingertips, and lowering it back down 'til she can stow it under her arm. She has no idea what he's planning; Amber's never been too much of a mind-reader, and empathy is hard to come by when you're crowing your pride for the world to hear. Thus, the smile seems harmless enough from her outside perspective.
"Well, what can we talk about, then? You're not one for sports, y'find makeup annoyin' - and so do I, mate, so do I…" she looks at the book again. "Oi, do you like defensive magic? Like, are y'any good at it? Innerested in it n' all? There's this thing I'm goin' to that I 'eard about. I think pr'fessor Moody's gonna be trainin' up the students."
Julian's eyes widen slightly. "I think I'm doing that too…" He blinks. "Well, I guess we will be seeing more of each other. I've been getting up and running …" He shrugs. "Not like any difference from…" There's a decided dropping of the sentence. "Find you … interesting?" Being older mentally than he appears, Bean takes this completely wrong. "Um, I hate to burst your bubble, but…" He shakes his head. "Not…" Not like that! "I'm decent at defense. We've already learned protego."
Well, there. See? They have something in common. Just took a little bit of trial and error. Amber's kinda relieved, because after sports and House talk, she had nothin'. Three strikes and you're out! But they have common ground on the subject of this defense club that's starting up, and that's something, at least - even if Amber's not a nerd, and Bean isn't really into sports.
Confusion crosses her face as he speaks of bursting bubbles. Oh. Oh. "What, y'think in'trestin's only go' one meanin'? Don't flatter yerself. I weren't talkin' 'bout the datin' kind. Still, you're awful cute fer a Slytherin', aren't you?" She smirks, shrugging her shoulder toward him, teasing simply in jest.
"The way you said…" Bean shakes his head. He's seen enough and heard enough that he always takes the more drastic understanding, and moves backwards from there. Common side effect of being raised on the street. Keeps you alive. He sighs, and shakes his head. "Well, everybody is interesting somehow." It's drawled a little. "Why thank you, I think." The caveat on the end of that compliment makes him discount it almost entirely. "So, have you gotten up to run, too? I haven't seen you." It's possible she did, and he just missed her among those around.
"Relax, I aren't in th'market right now," she says. Granted, she is a teenager, and if the opportunity presented itself, she might suddenly be in the market. But not a first year. Never a first year. "Well, no' exactly," she says. "I actually just asked about it. Angelina said Moody's gonna be worse on us in this thing than 'e is in class. N' I figure, better late than never."
Julian shrugs. "I figure anything to help us survive." And there you have Bean's core value. Survival. "I'm not exactly looking either." Oooh, look. Something else they have in common. Might be strange to hear it from a firstie, but he's not your normal firstie. "Got that right."
"Yeah, that's kinda what I'm on board fer," Amber says. The smile, which is pretty much constantly at least hinted at on the Hufflepuff's face, fades entirely. She's got a story that she hasn't shared with any of the other students… As far as she knows, the only two people in the world who know that Peter Pettigrew shared the Hufflepuff dorms with them is herself and Tiana. "I don' want what 'appened to Perpetua t'appen to me. She musta been scared."
Julian nods, and remains silent for a long moment fiddling with the cover of his borrowed book. He's not one to give comfort. Not having received much comfort in his life, he is sorely lacking in the skills to give it. "Probably so," he states rather bluntly, finally deciding to reply. "Smartest kids will all be for the same reason." He shrugs again.
The silence is comfort. Amber doesn't know what it means, but she chooses for it to be that Julian is just as upset about what's been going on as she has - or as anyone else has. Sort of lends a human quality to Slytherin as a whole. He doesn't really need to say anything. "Well, I dunno 'ow smart I am. Like to think I do okay in school. I jes' know I'd be dumb not to go." Sad times. "'Ey, Bean. It was nice talkin' to ya. I mean that. I think you're pretty cool."
Julian is unsure how to take the compliment. On the one hand, it's nice to hear that someone else sees him as a … friend? But on the other, he's confused, because he isn't sure how he's doing it. Social graces have always confused the little snake. He knows enough to manipulate them like violin strings, but the true emotions behind them often elude him. He nods, and politely accepts the compliment, knowing that it won't hurt to have done so. "Thank you." Her other comments don't seem to need a reply. "You know, I ought to get this checked out and get back to the common room." Homework, curfews, all that jazz.
Amber is friends with everyone! She tries not to dislike people on principle, because you never know where you'll find someone with common interests. Actually, unless someone does something to really annoy her, there's very few people she doesn't at least tolerate.
"Yah, I'ma be here for a little while yet. Wasn't done thinkin' 'bout stuff when you showed. Enjoy yer book, though, n' I'll see you later."
"Yeah. Thanks." Bean gives her a quick nod, and scampers away quickly.