Narcissa Black only wanted a little quiet - a little calm - after the storm that had raged the night before. She wanted to enjoy her morning cup of tea and forget the bitter clanging of her sisters’ clashing words in her ears. The cup was a mere breath from her lips, the warm vapor taunting her senses.
C L A N G !
She set her cup down slowly, eyes closed as she exhaled deeply.
❝ Typical. ❞
Her fingers brushed against the edge of the table as she stood up, feet carrying her towards the disturbance. Had Narcissa been of a religious sort, she might have prayed that she wasn’t the only prefect out and about so early in the morning. In which case, she could leave them to the trouble and return to her tea.
❝ What’s this, then? ❞ Her tone was one of practiced disinterested, disrupted only by the heaviness of a sleepless night.
"Right, then, I can explain this," he said as he looked around at the mess. First, there was the howler sitting beside him in the hallway, the bright red paper unmistakeable. Next, there were the pots and pans in front of his crossed legs on the floor. The spoon sitting beside those, the toy bongos, and last but definitely not least the air horn that he obviously hadn’t gotten to yet, loaned to him by a very intrigued Arthur Weasley who had no idea what Fabian’s intended use for the thing was.
He looked around at all of the knick knacks and eventually found his way back to Narcissa’s understandably expectant, bored expression. He shook his head, as if remembering he owed her something, “An explanation… yea… y’see, I’ve been thinking up the perfect prank for Frank Longbottom for about a week and I thought that if I just came to the seventh floor corridor that I wouldn’t be bothering anyone, yea? But I didn’t expect anyone to be patrolling this early because it’s… well, it’s pretty fucking early.”
He awaited his probable detention, especially from an irritated Black at this time in the morning. A soft sigh escaped his mouth. He looked up at her with knowing eyes that sort of said, Alright then, can we get this thing over with?
She couldn’t understand why he was looking at her so intensely. She was a wallflower; always in the background and being looked over by the majority of the population because in so many ways she was just average. She was small, plain and too quiet to be of any importance. But his gaze was on her like she was the most important person in the world and she wasn’t sure how she was meant to deal with that. She couldn’t just look away, couldn’t leave now that she had agreed to walk with him. Hestia just had to stand there and not understand and she h a t e d that.
She appreciated that he slowed down. Hestia couldn’t help her height and most of the time she didn’t even mind it. Being small made it easier for her to blend in with groups of people and slip through places unnoticed. But whilst she walked next to him, she wished she could move faster and not be too much of a hassle for him. She felt like she needed to constantly make up for being a burden simply because she was not what the people around her expected.
She took a deep breath, the way she always did when she felt she had to make up for the silence. “I read a lot and helped out at the care home near my house.” Hestia searched from something that might be of interest for him and instead of focussing the attention on herself, pushed it to someone she found more interesting. “There’s a gentleman there who is called John and he has installed himself as my honorary grandpa and he fought in the wars and tells excellent stories about his sweetheart back home. Though they’re sad because she died after they’d been married two years, but the way he loves her still is incredible. We drink tea and I take him gingerbread and sometimes he falls asleep halfway through a game of chess but there was a party and he taught me to dance. That was nice.”
If she noticed that the most words she’d strung together in a while were about another person then she didn’t say anything. John was a fascinating gentleman and she was amazed by his constant positivity and the way he let her be completely herself. Some days he was even content to hold her hand whilst they each read on a picnic in the grounds because he didn’t want to talk either. He was safe. He was perhaps the only person she felt like understood what it was like to need the silence.
Hestia couldn’t help but let out a small laugh at the end of his story. Even though she worried that it might be a little cruel, there was plenty of evidence to suggest that the boy should have seen it coming and by the look on her companions face, he probably wouldn’t mind her laughing. Still, her attention fell to her feet as she did so. She couldn’t help it. The action felt like as much of a security blanket as picking at her jumper sleeves. “That sounds nice.”
He could feel her tension but he couldn’t really understand where it was coming from. Perhaps it was just being around someone like Fabian: loud, boisterous, taking up far more space than was necessary. Maybe it was the fact that someone like himself had forced himself into her area… or it could just be that she didn’t particularly like attention focused on her.
Despite all of this, Fabian didn’t back down. Watching someone, in his opinion, was one of the best and quickest ways to get to know them. Even from the mere minutes he and Hestia had been walking together, he’d already taken in that (quite contrary to Fabian) she never took up more space than her small frame covered. She wasn’t the most comfortable with conversation. She had a terrible habit of picking at the end of her sleeve, something that left tiny holes and runs riddled across the edge of the fabric. And, the thing that he least understood of all that he’d picked up, she did all she could to keep from having attention drawn to her.
After hearing her answer, he knew that the two of them would be friends. She and all that she was was so foreign to Fabian, one of the many things that kept Fabian astonished in her. He couldn’t understand why she did what she did. It kept him guessing, always on his feet and sharp-minded. He never knew what she would say or do, and he absolutely loved it. Sure, it kept him slightly irritated, but he couldn’t stop himself from smiling. Unpredictability was one of Fabian’s absolute favourite things in all the world. So when she answered him, fully and in detail, he found himself smiling at the strangeness of it all. Hestia Jones holding a full conversation with himself of all people. What could be more erratic than that?
"John? Seems like a pretty interesting guy. And you give him tea and gingerbread and quality time… Alright, I’m jealous. I’ll have to meet him sometime then, yea?" Fabian was always trying to flirt at the oddest times and this was one of them. He didn’t mean anything by it so much as it was a force of habit. Still, he flashed her a bright grin and thought that maybe his eyes might twinkle at her if he willed them to. After doing so he looked forward and the smile faded some but the spark in his blue green eyes stayed. He thought fondly of his own grandfather, a jolly man by the name of Alfie, and truly did feel a pang of jealousy for reasons different than what he’d insinuated.
He was a bit surprised to hear the sound of a small laugh beside him. He hadn’t thought she’d find something like that very funny. The sound of her laughter made him laugh even more, unsurprisingly. “Nice?!” he exclaimed, “There is absolutely nothing nice about stealing someone’s only change of clothes while they’re skinny dipping in a lake,” he said, laughing when he could fit it in. He got himself under control before speaking again, “Oh, you meant the entire holiday, didn’t you? Yes, it was very nice, thanks.” He smiled as he saw her face out of the corner of his eye.
Hestia couldn’t understand why he wanted to spend his time around her. She was the girl most people thought was too boring to pay much attention to. Of course, she had her friends. The people who appreciated her silence and understood that she liked to spend her time around people who didn’t force her to be in large groups too often. But he was Fabian Prewett. She knew the way that girl’s eyes followed him around, saw how he flitted between them and left them behind. Perhaps he was there to make her into another one of those girls, she thought. But even if he was, he’d end up sorely disappointed.
She wasn’t one of those girls. She wasn’t even the type of girl that people fell in love with. She was the kind of girl who watched whilst everyone else had exciting lives and dreamt about the day that she would step out of her own comfort zone and have her own adventure. He would be another person who grew tired of her after a while because she couldn’t seem to become comfortable with them. That was the way that this always seemed to work.
“I guess I can’t argue with that logic.”
She quickened her pace slightly, falling into step with the boy who she was now meant to be walking with. His strides where longer than her own, though she guessed that was probably because he was at least a whole foot taller than her and the young girl found that she was having to walk at least two steps to make one of his.
”I suppose,” She said, not sure if she was meant to answer the question at all. “Not many people do, but it’s okay if you want to. I don’t mind.”
Her holidays had been just the way she liked them. She spent most of the days out in the fields around her house with second hand books. She walked the 30 minutes into town and drank tea in the coffee shop by the river when the old women called her ‘honey.’ She danced with an old man at the village party because her mother insisted she go and he had no other partner. She visited the care homes in the afternoon and played chess and read to them into the early evenings. She visited her friends. It was dictated by her own whims, tailor made to keep her calm and happy throughout the warm climate when she couldn’t wear jumpers as a protection.
She turned her gaze up to his, thinking that she ought to remain polite. “How were yours, Fabian?”
As Fabian stood before the girl, he found himself all in all to be a little shocked. He’d always been drawn to her, the energy she put out and the way that she acted. It had intrigued him, as had the idea of introversion in general. Fabian had never understood how someone could find the thought of being alone, of not saying much of anything, comforting or even appealing. Still, he’d always wanted to have an appreciation for that sort of thing. As it was, though, he’d never come across someone who could make him see the positives of the concept.
As he’d done before, he found himself thinking maybe Hestia could be the one to show him. She’d always seemed sweet. Polite nods and small smiles aside, she seemed the sort of person who always had a million thoughts racing behind her eyes. Hestia Jones always looked as though she had an idea sitting on the tip of her tongue, a fact ready to share or a question to inquire about. There was no way for him to be sure, though, as he’d never exactly heard her speak any of it… it was more of a gut feeling.
Regardless of it all, Fabian figured he could probably use a Hestia Jones in his life. He noticed as he fell into his regular strides that she was practically jogging to keep up with her. He looked down at her for a moment and then chuckled to himself, slowing his pace from ‘brisk walk’ to ‘pleasant stroll.’
"Good. I’ve already grown pretty fond of it, Hes." He smiled down at her again and for the first time really registered the difference in the pair’s height. Fabian knew himself to be 6"1’ and Hestia had to be at least a foot shorter than that. No wonder the girl was struggling to keep up.
"Quiet? You’ve done a great job painting this picture, I can practically envision it all.” He smiled, another laugh leaving his throat as he probed her for a bit more information than she was comfortable giving. That’s how you make friends, isn’t it?
Her question seemed more out of obligation than an actual interest in him, but he ignored that as he answered. “Mine were lovely. Gid and I had a very fulfilling and successful summer holiday filled with pranking Molly more than she really deserves, ridding our yard of garden gnomes, and playing an awful lot of quidditch. Not to mention Caradoc and I somehow managed to talk him into skinny dipping and then stole his clothes and ran while he was still in the lake… Dunno how he didn’t see that one coming. It’s practically the oldest trick in the book,” He found a giggle bubbling up but pushed it away. He couldn’t be giggling around someone he was hardly friends with yet… he needed to make a good impression. Still, one look at his face would easily give him away.
Augie nodded, smiling somewhat at the other boy’s words. He often found smiling, as well as laughing infectious, which really only led to more trouble on his part. After all, not being included in too many conversations he had a tendency to laugh at the ones he was listening in on which always attracted unwanted attention and fed into him being mistaken as some sort of freak, stalker, or very bizarre gossip. Augie maintained (though hardly anyone listened) that he was neither of the three. Laughing now he felt a bit nervous and out of place and was careful to watch Fabian’s face in case he somehow ended up offended.
Of course, wizards probably didn’t have much of a taste for muggle stories even if they did have magic in them. After all they were so particular about magic that they weren’t fans of fiction that happened in other worlds or without the bounds of their own set of ‘rules’ and Alice in Wonderland certainly fit that description. “Of course,” he said quietly. “My Dad read it to me as a kid, it’s actually alright. Considered a classic really,”. He felt terrible for mumbling at the end but there was hardly anything he could do about it, he always felt awkward asserting his muggle background, he probably should’ve just kept quiet.
Fabian could feel the boy’s nerves. He could see by the way he did everything cautiously that he was, at least on some level, a little uncomfortable with speaking to Fabian. He couldn’t tell, though, if it was him or just the talking in general. He didn’t mind, though. Fabian loved talking with all sorts of people. He loved to talk about things and listen to other people talk and small talk. As long as there were voices floating around, he was in. So he didn’t mind it if the conversation came slowly or quietly, so long as it was happening.
The boy had mumbled, but Fabian picked up on his words. “A classic? Well, I guess I should reconsider before I toss it aside…” He wouldn’t reconsider, probably. It wasn’t anything personal toward Alice and her adventures. He hated reading any books, let alone the children’s ones. Now if someone had offered to read it to him, then he might reconsider. It was just hard for Fabian to read something with the attention span of a squirrel. “Is your dad a muggle, then?” He looked back up at the other boy expectantly.
Marlene grinned instantly when she heard the voice that came from next to her. Though she’d seen Fabian over the holiday, it had been far too many weeks since she’d actually sat down with him and had a conversation. If the flash of ginger wasn’t enough next to her, the smirk was, to tell her that she needed to sit up and pay attention to the newcomer on her bench.
"My darling, that sounds absolutely fabulous.” She laughed, her voice caressing over the pun she’d planted in the sentence. “However, I have been punished it seems and now I will be forced to lose out on beauty sleep. I must write home, I’m sure my mother will be absolutely disgusted.”
“How am I meant to obtain the proposals I need without my looks?”
"Ha ha ha, very funny." He resisted the urge to laugh for once in his life, so as to make his point that the joke wasn’t very funny. Of course, it was stupid and so he’d thought it was funny. He’d missed the presence of his stunning fiery friend, someone he considered among his best mates.
"Love, you’d be beautiful even if you were bald. You’d still have men dying at your feet." He smiled at her softly, "Well, if no one else comes along, I’ll marry you for your mum’s sake. We can keep a very open relationship." He chuckled.
His stare didn’t waver as he looked at her and her own gaze dropped, flitting to the ground by her feet and inspecting the tips of her shoes. They were scuffed up from the amount of time she spent standing awkwardly around and she wondered how it was that a piece of clothing could reflect her so well. She was a mess from avoiding situations, scared of confrontation and stepping out of her own comfort zone. Hestia likes to act like she couldn’t help it but he solitude had always been her own doing. She just felt safer that way.
She wasn’t sure whether she should laugh at his words. He certainly seemed to but she wasn’t sure if the action was meant to be mutual or if it would cause offence if she joined in with the moment. She didn’t want to offend. He was so much more interesting than she was and she couldn’t think of a single reason that she would be of interest to the boy stood in front of her but she didn’t want to discourage him outright. He was a bright spark in the halls where she decided to hide away in the shadows.
”Oh, well - maybe it’s better to be out of the club?” She smiled. She wasn’t sure that she’d found the right answer but it was better than simply standing there silently.
She looked around when Fabian asked if she was coming with him, convinced that there would be another person around there that he would be talking to. She still didn’t understand why he was talking to her, really, but there didn’t seem to be anyone else in the vicinity that he wanted.
”You, um- you don’t have to invite me along? I mean, I don’t want to interrupt anything that you were doing.”
She looked at her feet and he sighed, a smile on his face. That was the moment that he mentally noted her as his new project. He could get anyone to open up, he was sure of it. Regardless of whether they knew it or not, everyone was able to be cracked, Hestia Jones included. Although she’d probably end up being a bit harder to open up than he anticipated, he took the challenge head on.
She didn’t laugh at his joke, which was alright. Fabian was pretty used to that. He was always telling stupid jokes, and he often ended up being the only one to laugh at them. Still, he’d thought that one was a little funnier than his usual mediocre collection. He was determined, though. He wouldn’t leave her alone today until he got one laugh out of her. Something more than the polite smiles she gave people who bumped into her, people who tried to talk to her. She gave them to everyone, really. He wanted something more out of her.
"You’re right. It is better.” He grinned at her.
He saw her look around, as if he might have been asking someone other than her. He didn’t see anyone else around, and even if there were other people they hadn’t been the ones he’d asked, but he waited to see if she’d say anything herself. He looked at her in a way that pretty much conveyed his message. You, Hestia. I’m talking to you. His smile stayed in place.
"I was following you anyway, wasn’t I? Might as well walk side by side, keep our levels of creepy to a minimum" He chuckled to himself. "C’mon, then." And with that he turned and walked at a pretty slow pace, giving Hestia time to catch up.
He looked around them, noticing the colors of the sky. Deep oranges and yellows, a dash of purple near the bottom of the skyline, though the higher you went the better you could still see the clear blue of daytime. “So, Hes,” he’d started, pausing for a moment, “S’alright if I call you that, yea? Anyway, how were your holidays?”
Believe it or not, Fabian is often laughing, and almost always when he shouldn’t be doing so. Chuckling in the middle of very serious conversations, snorting when he’s angry or upset with other people and can’t put those feelings into words. When there are silences, Fabian breaks them with giggles. He laughs when he doesn’t know what else to do. It’s something that those who are close to Fabian tend to be annoyed with from time to time, but it’s part of what makes him so… Fabian.
Located near the Black Lake, seated upon
plush grass, was Miss. Lily Evans. A fairly
formal young lady participating in a rather
She sat there silently: concentration seeping from her soft, albeit serious features. Colorful hues were scattered across a white sheet of paper —— one could guess that it was simply a drawing with little to no purpose. Simple misshapen dots tossed about on a plain surface. However, with a closer look, eyes would reveal a mixed assortment of jelly beans —— each with a taste that the sixth year Gryffindor attempted to predict.
A gentle hand reached for
a red bean: hesitation was
❛ —— O h.❜
❛Must I always be wrong?❜ She muttered
quietly before working to drown the taste
Fabian had seen the girl from afar, one of his own kind (ginger of course), and had placed who she was instantly. Lily Evans, someone he’d always been quite fond of. Naturally, he’d decided to bother her as that is Fabian’s specialty. He approached her slowly and soon saw that her concentration was immense. It painted her features, and yet he couldn’t understand what she was doing. That is, until he heard her muttering to herself.
"Lily, are you messing with Bertie Botts’ Beans again?" He waited for her surprised reaction as laughter bubbled from inside him.
Marlene sat in the courtyard, looking over the new time table she’d been given for that year. She was vaguely aware of the sound of footprints walking towards her, but she opted to not look up, instead underlining where she had free periods for the next few months. Those were the important things.
”I had hoped, I would have less in the morning,
people need their sleep, you know? But, I suppose -
I can work with this.”
Fabian had seen Marlene from across the courtyard seated on a bench all by herself. Naturally, his first thought was that she could probably use a little company and so he made his way over. When he got close enough, he saw that she was looking over her timetable. After hearing her comment, he slid himself onto the bench next to her and peeked down at the paper in her hands.
"Right? Too bad you didn’t luck out like me, no classes before 10." He chuckled, invoking his signature toothy grin in the process. He didn’t look directly at her, but rather saw her reaction from the corner of his eyes.