Title: and see who salutes
Description: bobbivurga: observers welcome!
Percival Pratt - August 6, 2011 11:19 PM (GMT)
As a general rule, Percival was not inclined to start fights when he was hanging around with his friends. Though he often had to make a quick getaway around them, prone to being revenged against as he was, he usually drew the line at starting fights deliberately when he was with the people who could stand him. It was hard enough for the boy who rhymed as a defence mechanism to make friends as it was; he preferred to keep the few he had, thanks, and that, generally speaking, meant keeping them out of the stupid little fights he often (very deliberately) got himself into. It was all very well being a moral crusader for blood traitors, muggleborns and generally those who could not defend themselves, but he preferred not to drag others into his own psychodramas.
It was for this reason, then, that he was being inoffensive and simply glad to be in Roberta's company. Having come up from the Great Hall together, heading in the same direction as they were, he was his usual self: a ball of enthusiasm for life punctuated with stupid little rhymes, grins and laughs as he trotted along at Bobbie's side. He was not by any means a simple boy, but he had simple pleasures when they weren't rooted in the humiliation of others or his own insecurities, and the height of these was spending time with the people he loved. His family had always been close, and he had always been the youngest; accordingly, he valued his friendships deeply. That, and he had always found it rather difficult to make friends - had he been a more spiteful person, he might have blamed his sisters for that.
"You know, I'm getting tired of Kettleburn's insanity," he informed the girl he was walking alongside, still mindful of a bite to his arm - healed, now, but he could still imagine all the blood when he glanced at it. Engaged in outrage as he was, he didn't even notice Walburga Black holding her imperious head high a few metres ahead... which was lucky, really.
Roberta Weasley - August 6, 2011 11:39 PM (GMT)
Roberta didn’t mind Care of Magical Creatrues. In fact, she didn’t really mind any of her classes, though she was not by far the most attentive student, and slightly easy to call away from her concentration. Her interests were unpredictable and specific, and otherwise, she did not have great thirst for academic knowledge. But Care of Magical Creatures managed to be fun, most of the time, because she shared it with Percy and Waverly. Though, sharing the class with a rotating schedule of demanding creatures made it a rather more perilous hour than she would have had if she had been soley in the company of her friends. There was a ribbon tied in Bobbie’s red hair, though it didn’t quite manage to keep her curls from looking windblown and slightly astray, not helped by her slightly too large uniform, given her by her cousin Bette. Bobbie did her best to keep herself from looking too shabby, but she was not really inclined to a pristine image.
She was laughing cheerily as she made her way back into the school, hugging a woolen cardigan with patches at the elbows tight against her to combat the vague October chill. Her freckled cheeks were slightly flushed and she ducked her head as she laughed lightly, enjoying Percy’s company as she always did. The school was warm though slightly drafty and her arms fell to her side as they passed along the hallways. Roberta was always glad to be in good company and amused. Often, she wanted very little else – though she wouldn’t have liked being explained away so simply.
Her laughter faded however when Percy mentioned the bite and she glanced at it warily, shaking her head, “You have to be more careful, though! I managed to get away without losing a limb.” She had a few scratches on her hands though that were far from serious or painful. Sometimes Hogwarts lessons seemed designed to test their stamina rather than intelligence. “You won’t even notice it by tomorrow,” she added quickly – reassuring herself as much as the boy.
Walburga Black - August 7, 2011 12:43 AM (GMT)
Walburga walked as if she owned Hogwarts, her expectation that a way would be opened for her clear in the way she held herself: head high, back perfectly straight, her books pressed against her chest as if they could defend her from the teeming mire of mudbloods and filth that surrounded her whenever she was forced to leave the Slytherin dungeon for class, eyes fixed a few degrees above the heads of the people—animals, really, since she couldn't see anyone with whom she would willingly speak—around her. It made sense to her, that the Blacks would own Hogwarts. Phineas Nigellus had been the Headmaster, after all, and most of the current Blacks were descended from him.
It was obvious that the Blacks were a step above the rest of the wizarding world, much less mudbloods, and Walburga had been raised to believe that she would be treated that way. The mere fact that people stepped out of her way as she passed, steps as rhythmic as a march, carriage as proud as a queen's—no, an empress's—was proof enough to her that everybody knew and recognized it as well. Whether it was truly inspired by fear of her temper or respect for her position, she neither knew nor cared; it was enough that way was being made her for, Walburga Black.
Her mood was soured, however, when for a brief moment she looked at the faces she was passing and saw two familiar Gyrffindors. Well, only one was truly familiar, since Percival Pratt seemed to have made it his life goal to harass and verbally assault any Slytherin he saw minding their own business in the corridors, although what else were you to expect from a blood traitor? The girl on his arm was one of the disturbingly large Weasley clan, judging by the shamefully shabby state of her robes and offensively red hair. They bred like rabbits, the Weasleys did; there were always more than she could count. Blood traitors and filth in the halls of Hogwarts! It was nothing that Phineas Nigellus would have stood for.
She did not intend to stop and actually converse with either of them. A comment in passing would be enough to express her—and, by extension, that of everyone who mattered in the wizarding world's—disapproval. "Yes, Pratt, do be careful," she said as she drew even with them, having caught the tail end of their conversation about Care of Magical Creatures. A filthy class. There were House Elves for that. "A Weasley bitch in heat has been known to take arms off at the elbow."
Percival Pratt - August 7, 2011 03:39 AM (GMT)
Laughing a little and shrugging heartily at Roberta's suggestion he be more careful, Percival might have made some sort of follow-up comment as he rubbed at his arm, had he not suddenly noticed who had walked past. Unable to help glancing around, but biting his tongue in preparation to leave it - he didn't, as prior stated, like to start fights around his friends. Unfortunately, the Black girl took retribution and instigation straight out of his hands as her comment made his jaw drop somewhere close to his ankles. Though he tried to resist the swell of anger that coursed through him at the comment, there was no stopping his brain when the flood gates of irrational hatred poured open, and it became even harder to resist when he'd genuinely been insulted.
Except it wasn't even him the knave had insulted. It was Bobbie. And that was unforgivable.
So he turned on his heel, powered entirely by the rage building in his chest and his complete hatred for Walburga and her kind. Taking a step forward that would have been threatening from anyone but the scrawny poet, he took a breath like wind in his sails; all at once, his ship took sail, his albatross swooping overhead and preparing to take a nose dive at the grizzled mariner of Walburga Black.
"Miss Black!" He called, and the corridor around him seemed to ground to a standstill as everyone nearby realised that something very bad indeed was about to transpire. "What an attack." Like all good offences, it started off slow: Percy's tongue warmed to his words like treacle warmed from solid to sticky - his insults were the sort to stick, after all.
"What an exceptional display of everything you lack," he continued - but, naturally, only after he was certain that he'd captured her attention. "Why, here: I begin to clap," and so he did, extremely slowly. "A lady of your... pedigree, reduced to petty insults and levity. How utterly charming it is to hear one of your number swear when I am near! How utterly ladylike; oh, well done. Your mother: so proud of what you've become!" And here he paused, to sneer at Walburga in a fashion that, had he been wearing a Slytherin tie, might have marked him as a proper pureblood; he looked every inch that he thought himself to be better than her - in truth, he did. "A bitch in heat is better than a witch indiscreet."
Roberta Weasley - August 7, 2011 05:28 AM (GMT)
Whatever it was she had been expecting of the rest of the afternoon, it was not quite this, to say the least. Her cheery exchange with Percy was cut short by the interruption of a dark-haired girl with her chin tipped regally upwards. Walburga Black clearly intended to leave the two of them in the dust, but not before leaving a comment acidly in her path. Roberta’s freckled cheeks turned red the moment she heard Walburga’s insult – an angry rather than embarrassed red, of course, matched by a snapping of her grey-ish eyes. She might try to hide the patches on her sweaters, but Roberta wasn’t embarrassed of her family or what they stood for to people like Walburga Black. She might not be quite as confrontational as Percival was, but she didn’t appreciate the Blacks and their sort anymore than her friend did.
Bobbie’s hands were clenched in quite tight fists, but she did not step away from Percy, rather pointedly. Cruelty from Walburga Black was no surprise and, though she offended Roberta deeply, Bobbie wanted nothing to say to her. She wasn’t cowardly, but she didn’t thrive on confrontation, nor was she drawn to it. She should have known, however, that Percy would not let the remark go. She didn’t often see Percy actually get I his arguments, but she saw their outcomes often enough. He worried her, though she refrained usually from warning him off it, as she knew it did very little good. This was rather different though than unprovoked attack. Bobbie touched Percy’s sleeve to tell him she didn’t mind, but was apparently too late. By the time she’d opened her mouth, Percy was tripping his way through the most carefully crafted insult Roberta had ever heard.
Generally amused by Percy’s wit, Bobbie thought she might have laughed, had she not been so directly implicated – her cheeks still burning. “There, she won’t forget that,” she said to Percy, not lowering her voice too much but clearly making her address in private and reaching to touch his arm again, “Thank you. Let’s go.”
John Homme - August 8, 2011 08:31 AM (GMT)
John's reason for not walking with the two Gryffindors was silly even to himself, and yet it had him trailing more than a few paces behind them. Strolling awkwardly the whole time, careful not to fall within earshot or be noticed, he was feeling rather down on himself as he went. He couldn't really help it though, shy around Roberta as he was lately - it seemed that the better he knew her, the worse it got. Head down and shoulders slack, John carried his books close to his chest for once, more so in a defensive-looking gesture than anything; it was always clear as day when John was less than cheerful, which was a thankfully rare occurrence.
Eyes fixed on the floor, feeling embarrassed for no real reason at all, he hardly noticed that the two people in front of him had stopped before he was only a few feet away. From the moment he heard the Black girl speak, John knew things were going to turn ugly; he knew Percy about as well as he knew himself, and he could almost feel the other's indignation as he hung back. Possessed of a constant desire to avoid conflict, he found himself unable to slip away - such was usually the case when it came to Percy. Suddenly much more nervous (and honestly, a little shocked at the language), he approached a bit closer, no longer worrying about not being noticed by the other two.
He did not speak up, rather shyly reaching out to Roberta. In a gesture meant to be both be reassuring and to alert her to his presence, he briefly laid a hand over her arm. So shy was the gesture though that he almost didn't touch her at all, more so brushing his fingers fleetingly over her sweater than anything. Tensely, he resisted the urge to say Percy's name or implore him to stop - odds were he was cooling off by now anyway, right?
Walburga Black - August 8, 2011 12:42 PM (GMT)
Although her back was already perfectly straight from her hips to the top of her head, Walburga's posture suddenly took on a much more rigid air when she heard her name called from behind her. For a moment she fancied that Pratt was about to fall to his knees and beg her forgiveness for merely existing, although the tone of his voice suggested that he was not. She had not meant to instigate any sort of confrontation, merely to remind Pratt and Weasley of their unenviable status in the wizarding world as blood traitors who consorted openly and frequently with mudbloods and filth and others who shouldn't be allowed through the doors of Hogwarts to clean, much less be enrolled in Britain's best (although not for long, at the rate filth was piling up) school of witchcraft and wizardry alongside scions of the Most Noble and Ancient House of Black.
She turned to face him with a surprising economy of motion, head still held high, looking as if she was about to accept tribute from him on bended knee; her books were still clutched against her chest, though, the only sign of any discomfort with the situation. Even so, she waited patiently for him to continue, her face a composed image of smooth impassivity. Her cheeks did color slightly when he began to clap, although she did not relax in the slightest. Percival Pratt's mockery meant nothing to Walburga Black; her pride was a fortress that not even his constant assaults could tear down. The attention of everyone else in the corridor, however, pressed upon her like a physical presence, and she imagined for a moment that she could feel the mudbloods' breath on the back of her neck. Pratt's insults, however, distracted her from the nagging feeling of oncoming terror
It took her a moment to work through the astounding amount of punctuation that marked the blood traitor's speech. Walburga preferred a simpler approach: all of this rhyming did not lend itself to a quick escape, which she was certainly learning as she stood there under the brunt of his insult. When he sneered, it was very much like looking into a mirror, as far as expressions went. Walburga herself could put on the appearance of superiority any better than Pratt at that moment; if she had not been the target of his over-done insult, she might have taken a moment to appreciate it—and, of course, if he had not been who he was. That was important to remember.
"Better a witch at all," she retorted at last, temper inflamed by the sight of support for Pratt from the hallway and none for herself, "than a filthy blood traitor." Feeling her words to be slightly less impressive than his—he had rhymed at her, after all, and surely Pratt and Weasley were used to hearing "blood traitor" tossed at them throughout most of the day by anyone who mattered—she tilted her chin at the most regal angle she could manage. "Besides, it's hardly indiscreet to say what everyone knows." She didn't elaborate, however; even Walburga knew the advantage of leaving things unsaid.
Percival Pratt - August 20, 2011 01:10 AM (GMT)
Though being asked to stop by Bobbie herself -- well, sort of -- had him very nearly cooling down, Percival was not the kind to simply walk away from a fight. He didn't quite turn on his heel, or even turn at all, when she touched his arm; instead, he maintained eye contact with Walburga, as though daring her to respond. The imperious look in the Black's eyes (the thespian in him may well have been imagining it) stoked the flames of his soul, and the fact she wasn't merely wilting, accepting his insults for fact and leaving had him clenching his fists further.
Being called a filthy blood traitor, then, had his jaw clenching as well. Whatever aspirations or hopes John and Bobbie might have had of leaving it there evaporated with Walburga's retaliation - lame as it might have been - and so too did any chance of Percy realising he was picking a fight with a girl who was even a whole year younger than him. The thought that he might just possibly be one of the bullies he fought against never occurred to him; this was only retribution, after all, and the concept of proportion was not one that usually bothered him.
His mouth, almost mechanically, opened before he even knew what he was going to say - but, then, he'd never really considered anything he said before he unleashed it. It just wasn't his style.
"What a thing to disclose!" He retorted, snappily as always, raising his chin to a similarly regal degree as his sneer made a reappearance; it was a profoundly ugly expression when applied to Percy's face. "Something everyone knows," here he tapped his raised chin, as though in thought, and his eyes narrowed as he took a step closer to Walburga and thus further away from his own set of friends - others often discussed the seventh year Gryffindor's complete lack of fear. A click of his fingers; an enlightened pose. "Well, if I may oppose, Miss Black, then allow me to make a list; let's count the ways others might describe you in less than jest. One - temper temper, daughter of riches, else you'll have the girls in stitches. Two - beauty, grace, a rosy cheek; these things one like you must constantly seek. Three - aristocracy with blue blood, but girl with manners common as mud!"
He paused for breath, to general applause and even a few cat calls. His unfortunate fall into riddling as much as rhyming had, thankfully, been almost clear as day.
Walburga Black - August 21, 2011 10:58 AM (GMT)
It was just as well, then, that she hadn't expected that particular remark to frighten away Percival Pratt. She truly hated herself for it, but she took a step backwards when Pratt moved towards her. Then again, he was a year older than she was, and surrounded by a friendly crowd at that. Only a rigid self-will kept her from flinching when he snapped his fingers, the same determination not to show her quickly falling level of comfort with the situation that kept her textbooks pressed against her chest, as well, and her face relatively impassive.
And, of course, it kept her wand still in her pocket. More than anything she would have liked to drop her books, draw the dogwood rod, and hex the sneer from Pratt's face. Who did he think he was, playing at the mannerisms and haughtiness of the highest society? She interpreted it as a mockery of the way she stood, of the way she carried herself, of the way she defended herself against this attack from blood traitors and mudbloods alike.
Much to her frustration, her face did redden furiously when Pratt had finished, giving his second comment the lie—although not quite in the sense that Walburga would have preferred. Walburga's relationship with manners was a touchy subject, not that the Gryffindor would know of any of the more distressing details, but it was something upon which she did not abide the commentary of others. It was difficult enough making it through the day without cursing the mudbloods pressing against her in the hallways so that she could hardly breathe or simply giving up and fleeing back to the relative safety of her brothers' presence. Having a blood traitor comment on her inability to hold her temper, now, that was unacceptable.
The applause and whistling from the students who had stopped to watch, filth through and through, only made it worse. Her entire body stiffened; had she known anything about biology, she would have recognized the fight-or-flight response. Because she was Walburga, she chose to fight, as off-balance and slightly overwhelmed as she was.
"How dare you!" she demanded before she could stop herself. Replying to all of this rhyming nonsense in plain prose felt awkward, forced, and not quite as clever as she would have liked to sound. She made to continue, but nothing immediately to mind, and her color deepened even further, although she did not lower her head or look away; her expression had, however, lost a touch of its imperiousness. After another moment, though, she finally snapped, with a clear amount of frustration, "Who do you think you are? You're a waste of breath, Pratt."
Percival Pratt - August 23, 2011 09:08 PM (GMT)
"How dare I?" It was a genuine shout - the little of Percy that usually kept his temper in at least a little check had snapped, and he scoffed just as loudly, narrowing his eyes. He wasn't smiling or even curling his lip any more; he was, quite patently, angry, despite himself. It was comments like that which truly incensed him. Walburga was making it out as though he'd been the one who'd started this whole ridiculous charade, as though he was the one who had been unable to resist the temptation to swear about Bobbie Weasley, and he just couldn't stand for that. Like her whole family, the Black girl's sense of entitlement was even more legendary than his own ability to get himself in trouble without regard for consequences, and it only fanned the flames. At this rate, they were in danger of burning down the whole corridor with their respective tempers.
Being called a waste of breath did not bother him - he heard worse on a daily basis - but being asked who he thought he was only made his chest swell with pride. Anyone who knew Percival knew that he absolutely revelled in his status as a blood traitor, and that his pride in his surname rivalled some of the Noble and Ancients' themselves.
"I know exactly who I am, vile wench," because he had slipped into the gratuitousness now, at least as far as insults went. "I am a Pratt, one sister married to a muggle and the other to a half-blood, wretch! Fear me, Black! Fear the filth you lack!" He wriggled his fingers in her direction, as though he could infect her from where he stood. "I'm a better human being than thou, from generations back 'til now, and though you can stomp and cry and scream, nothing here will change my theme," he gestured at his friends without looking at him. "Look at me, woman! Surrounded by friends! And you," he glanced around theatrically. "No one comes to your defence!"
John Homme - August 23, 2011 09:30 PM (GMT)
Still standing very much behind Bobbie, he couldn't help frowning at his latest comments. Perhaps just because the target was a girl, John felt a certain sympathy stirring, and reached over Bobbie to brush Percy's arm instead. Softly, as though the whole situation might turn on him if anyone noticed him there, he made a feeble attempt at getting him to back down -- or at least to ease up. "Percy," he murmured, almost too low, "come on." John personally considered this to be a more than decent effort.
Walburga Black - August 24, 2011 06:22 AM (GMT)
She took another step back when Pratt shouted at her, cheeks pale and eyes narrowed. Walburga wasn't used to raised voices, especially those directed at her; her own hadn't risen past a level that would possibly be appropriate to a passionate discussion of how best to decorate the parlor. After all, Walburga came from a world of quiet insults and arguments conducted in the set of one's chin or something as subtle as a glance. Yelling was not something with which she was terribly comfortable, even in the height of her temper tantrums, when her own voice might hit a pitch best described as a shout. Being shouted at, by a blood traitor - it was enough to raise her nerves to the next level, to the point where her breath became short and the books pressed against her chest felt more like a weight than a shield.
But she was too proud to yield, to step down to a creature as base and foul as Percival Pratt. She fancied for a moment that she could almost see the contamination filling the air from his fingers, the wavy lines of filth emanating from his hands before she blinked and shook her head slightly. No matter how hard she tried to keep her gaze straight ahead, though, she followed the line of his gesture around the crowd of students who had gathered. He was right. There was no one here who would take her side, only filth and mudbloods and all sorts of people that she would never normally take notice of even for a moment.
Then her eyes fell on exactly who had come to take Pratt's side. A Weasley, disgusting blood traitor that she was, with that damning red hair - Walburga's experience with redheads had given her no reason to believe that it was a hair color of anyone with whom she should deign to socialize - marking her easily in a crowd, and a French Ravenclaw mudblood who she had seen once at a dinner of Professor Slughorn's and whose name she had forgotten immediately. Nevertheless, he was an appropriate target, and she seized on his presence immediately as a point of attack. After all, what else should Pratt expect, associating with figures like that? A mudblood, barely a wizard, and foreign, to boot.
"Your friends," she sneered. "What a collection, Pratt. Am I supposed to be impressed?" The incredible extent of the superiority she felt over those Pratt had surrounded himself with, the poor and the foreign, the mudblood and the blood traitor, gave her flagging confidence enough of a boost for her words to come out pointed and biting. "Another blood traitor and a filthy French mudblood sheep farmer?" It was clear from Walburga's tone that one could hardly consider those sorts to be friends, much less actually people. "Forgive me if your proclivity for befriending frogs isn't enough to amaze me. He's not even fit to be at Hogwarts!"
Roberta Weasley - August 31, 2011 09:40 PM (GMT)
Bobbie wouldn’t have like the assertion that she herself was easy-going, necessarily (though for the most part, it was true), but she wouldn’t have ever considered pushing an argument the way that Percy was proving expert at doing. She didn’t blame him for his offense. Herself, she went a little red in the cheeks at the insults aimed to her – not of embarrassment so much as anger – but she would have said what she had to say and then left Walburga to rage on her own. The younger girl was clearly not worth a great deal of attention, and was pointless to argue with.
However, Percival almost always had more to say than almost anyone. The rhymes he was spouting impressed Roberta, even as the situation continued to make her wince. Earlier, she might have laughed at the situation, but as the spectators became more attentive and the situation became more and more of a show, the situation seemed far less amusing.
Like Percy, however, Roberta had a strong sense of dedication to her friends. Her dedication to John was only different by way of the fact that her feelings for him were developed in a slightly different manner. She felt the touch to her sleeve and gave him a very thin, but thankful smile. It was only a moment later that, after John had asserted himself, Black turned her insults to him. Bobbie’s eyes squinted slightly and she immediately reached back to take John’s hand tightly, apparently moving without notice of his usual discomfort. “Percy!” she breathed rather sharply, though whether she was now asking him to stop or to defend their friend was somewhat ambiguous. Meaning to reassure him, she kept hold of John’s hand, having stepped slightly more into the background with him, though they were still far more central than was comfortable.
John Homme - September 1, 2011 12:33 AM (GMT)
Though he did have a frozen, shocked sort of look about him now, John found that he was honestly not so surprised by her addressing -- and insulting -- him. It came from remarkably low self-esteem, or possibly his desperate need to keep attention off of him, but whatever it was had him feeling that, with saying anything at all, came the risk that the whole situation could turn on him. So, all in all, the only surprise that came from it was just how quickly and how personally this all happened. Flushing to the point that he felt like he'd been immersed in hot water, he took just a moment to wonder how on Earth she could have known so much about him. She knew what his father had been before the occupation had forced them out, but he had no idea what her father did, or even which Blacks were her siblings. Of course, poor and somewhat ignorant as he was, it did not occur to John that her father didn't do anything at all. That just didn't register as one of the options.
Still red in the face, he felt the slight panicky flutter in his chest intensify when Roberta reached back and took his hand. Swallowing hard -- even audibly -- and raising his eyebrows just slightly, he prayed in a vague sort of fashion that she wouldn't notice that his palms were slightly sweaty. Failing that, he hoped she didn't mind too much. The final insult hit rather too close to home, and, eyes fluttering in a few rapid blinks, he looked toward Roberta as though she might know what to do. Perhaps realizing that this was unfair of him, or perhaps becoming too embarrassed by the accusations to meet her eye properly, he looked away and toward Percy now.
While he might not have known how to deal with insults that actually came across as sort of convincing when spoken so viciously, one thing he did know well was Percival Pratt. "Percy," he added onto Roberta's address, but nowhere near as sharply, and almost pleadingly. Finally gathering all the courage he could, he held onto her hand in return, even as he attempted to talk his friend out of a situation he knew was about to turn very ugly. Well, uglier, anyway. "Just -- i-ignore her," he managed under his breath, but did not seem to hold out much hope that this would happen. He seemed almost to have given up on convincing him before he began it.
Percival Pratt - September 29, 2011 09:19 PM (GMT)
There were only two words for Roberta and John's attempts to temper him, though he did not bother to say them aloud: Too Late.
There was a silence that bordered on the shocked as a ruddiness built in Percival's cheeks, a flinty hardness to his eyes that, for all his frequent tempers and mischiefs, rarely settled in there. Taking a deliberate, quick step away from the others before reaching fingers could pull him back, he treated Walburga to a look that increased in redness and in anger by the second. Too late, John, too late, Bobbie - whatever rational that remained in Percival Pratt had been entirely replaced by the reactionary. Any indication that he understood she was two years younger than he and female vanished completely from his countenance; there was a definite hush and a definite anticipation in the corridor, and, really, for good reason. There were only so many occasions that someone managed to tempt Percy into genuine anger, and they were always worth seeing first hand.
"Claims the inbred with the face of a crow," he retorted, lowly this time, too angry to shout. "The skinny degenerate with a fool for a brother and who'll play mother to her cousin's children - do you think they shall be slow? Perhaps with an extra eye or two? Tell me what you think, Walburga, do: will they be as ugly as you? As curst of tongue and manly of shoulders? As damnable as all your blood and holders? Or perhaps lifeless as Cygnus - as boring as Orion? Are you really happy with a match twice your junior? Ah, no, I see what this is: a hate so vile, so pure, so true: such hate can only be for yourself, Walburga, you. You take your temper out on others to stop yourself from feeling so blue," he paused here, delicately, and, barely above a whisper, eyebrows hoisted high, spake thus: "Truly, Black, I pity you."
Walburga Black - October 6, 2011 03:19 PM (GMT)
In the end, it was the surprisingly enthusiastic applause that followed Pratt's proclamation that did Walburga in - at least, that's what she would later tell herself. Had it only been his words, which were even more worthless than those of a House Elf or goblin banker at Gringott's, since they at least served some purpose in the wizarding world, she might have been able to bear the humiliation of the blood traitor's insults. Instead she had to stand there, listening to the stinging, painful sound of filth applauding the denigration of a Black. There was something incredibly wrong, to her mind, with this picture, beyond even the fact that it was happening to her. That such an attack on wizarding royalty would be tolerated, even encouraged, was beyond her; of course, the fact that she herself had instigated this confrontation was unimportant.
Her breath caught in her throat as the clapping washed over her, and Walburga's posture changed with her even seeming to move: her chin dropped slightly, her shoulders rose and pulled forward so that her books became more of a wall to hide behind rather than a shield. Even here gaze dropped so that she was no longer staring defiantly at Percy, her eyes instead fixed on his shiny school shoes - not so he couldn't see what damage he'd wrought, but simply to... She grasped desperately for some sort of explanation for her surrender, but nothing came and then, embarrassingly, she felt tears pricking at the corners of her eyes. Without considering that it would be proof positive of Pratt's victory, she reached up with one hand and furiously wiped at her eyes, hoping that her face wasn't reddening as she started crying. (It wasn't; she had paled significantly, as a matter of fact, and looked almost on the verge of being ill.)
"Keep your pity to yourself, blood traitor," she managed, trying not to sniff and spoil what was left of her appearance of impenetrability, although her voice lacked much of its earlier sharpness and venom. Then a traitor tear slid down her check and she felt herself freeze in a panic. She mustn't cry in front of a hallway full of filth - it would only encourage them to think themselves better that she was. But she couldn't stop herself now, and more tears fell. All Walburga could do was duck her head even further and scrub at her cheeks with the back of her hand, pressing her books tightly against her chest with one arm.
Percival Pratt - December 5, 2011 07:28 AM (GMT)
There was very little that could stop Percival Pratt when he was caught in a rant, and particularly when he was angry, and particularly when someone had insulted his friends. In fact, when her eyes dropped and silence reigned, he couldn't help but feel a certain sense of victory; he'd managed to shut her up and defend his friends and he'd even attracted applause. Why, in any other situation he might have expected pain instead - people tended to hex him after he started telling the truth, though wild horses couldn't drag that he knew exactly why from him.
But then, like a slow motion movie, his grin caught on his face and turned waxy as he suddenly noticed, in the midst of his glory, that there was a tear running down Walburga Black's face. It struck him, suddenly and hard, that he'd made a younger girl cry, and all the justifications that occurred to him - she's a Black, she insulted Bobbie, she called John names - seemed inadequate. His own reasoning fell on his own deaf ears.
Grin fading, he could not even think of a smart remark, and merely stood there, mildly horrified at himself, and stared.
Corrine Haven - January 2, 2012 07:48 AM (GMT)
Corrine has stood impassively watching the scene from a layer or two of bodies. The cheers and claps as Percy spoke fell on indifferent ears, and anyone watching Corrine Haven in that moment would have been hard pressed to find life in her leaden features. She stared at a stone somewhere between Walburga and Percy wondering what it was about Bobbie that made her so worthy of protection? What it was it about her that made such scenes in her defense so rare?
A hard glance strayed to Weasley's pretty face. Corrine wasn't very lovable, she acknowledged with some level of difficulty. People didn't stand in harms way for her because she was likeable or kind or loyal. They did it out of obligation. Perhaps the way professors had only slapped her housemates on the wrist from time to time as an eleven year old, or maybe the manner in which prefects only stood in out of what was obviously a sense of duty when it became so bad in third year, or maybe the way what friends she had tried to make had so often cowered in the face of her oppressors for her whole life had made it difficult for Corrine to trust people in this castle. She couldn't love people, and affection was not a one-sided emotion. No, Corrine wasn't lovable, and thus Hogwarts wasn't a happy place for her, though she supposed it could have been if that patchworked hat hadn't seem so much of the spiteful Salazar Slytherin in her character.
Her eyes went back to the stone. It was the only part of her that moved, and as usual the characteristic spark lit them as Walburga Black crumbled in her peripheral vision. Percy's own falling features were registered, but Corrine paid them no mind. Percy had little reason to loathe Walburga, but Corrine would feast off the pleasure of seeing Walburga treated with her own medicine. Corrine felt no pity for the girl who had set her bedclothes on fire, had cursed her into the hospital ward, who had spoken of the murder of entire legacies lightly. Percy was right to feel shame at what he had done, but Corrine would not- should not- feel pity for the shriveled, shrunken-hearted creature before her.
Students began to leave the hall. Classes would go on as normal regardless of whether Walburga Black was crying or not. Corrine remained as motionless as ever, though her eyes now alighted on Walburga's face, recording every detail to be relished and remembered. Packing away the calm satisfaction she felt, Corrine quietly walked to Percival Pratt and laid a small and gentle hand on his arm as she watched his face carefully.
"She'll only hate this more if you stay here watching her cry. You should go, Percy." It wasn't Walburga's feelings Corrine worried about, but she knew Percy wouldn't forget what happened in this hall. He wouldn't forget, and he'd have trouble forgiving himself. If Percy could at least think he'd done the right thing once he'd realized his mistake, it might be easier for him. He had so often protected her in his own silly way that it was time to protect him, if only in this small manner.
But it would be a lie to say that it was a truly kind intention that motivated Corrine's words. In a way that was rather characteristic of the slight little Slytherin, her quiet voice had still been loud enough to make sure Walburga Black knew that Corrine perfectly comprehended her thoughts, just another pinch of poison. Once Percy left, a quiet word, and a light touch would be all that was needed to rub a mountain of salt into these wounds.
[there is absolutely no need to reply, unless desired. It was just toooo good not to]
John Homme - January 6, 2012 12:14 AM (GMT)
Having about as much reason to pity Walburga Black as any other Muggleborn, though perhaps being possessed of a slightly more forgiving nature than most, John hesitated where he was for a long moment. That she should dissolve emotionally before them seemed unreal; it was something he'd never seen from a Pureblood (or from a Slytherin, come to think), and it had him looking away instinctively. Reacting to it almost as though he hadn't suspected she had tear ducts, or perhaps like she was a boy caught in tears (complete with a squeamish sort of guilt and a heap of secondhand embarrassment), the lanky boy only moved because he felt uncomfortable bearing witness to her moment of weakness.
As much as he knew it must have been excruciating for her, he found himself quite uncomfortable - and John Homme, though he felt a certain obligation to most young ladies, did not feel that he owed it to Walburga Black to check up on her. Besides, he had to reason to himself to keep from feeling too guilty, it wasn't as though she wanted the pity of a mudblood sheep farmer any more than that of a blood traitor, right? So, rather than saying anything to her or even offering her the comforting half-glance he might've anyone else, he tugged again at his friend's arm and pulled him back.
Noticing then the girl who'd approached, another sporting Slytherin colors and making him feel momentarily exposed again, he took a moment of stunned quiet before he realized that he agreed with the sentiment completely. One hand still tight around Bobbie's and the other on more than just his friend's sleeve by now, he tugged again, not so much a suggestion as a genuine direction. "Let's just go," he agreed finally, lowly, and glanced uneasily at the other girl as though she might pipe up that she didn't need the validation of her statement from - well, from a mudblood sheep farmer.
Walburga Black - January 14, 2012 10:30 PM (GMT)
Walburga was crying in earnest now, sniffling down into her book desperately, the embarrassment and frustration of seeing everyone going to Pratt's side pressing down further and further on her shoulders until she wasn't sure that she could bear it any longer. As a result, she missed the look on Pratt's face, although she could hear the mudbloods - so many mudbloods in this place, and that only made her cry harder - speaking to him in what she assumed was encouragement. How dare he! How dare a filthy blood traitor and his mudblood friends make her cry. But try as she might to rouse some sort of indignation and stop the flow of tears down her cheeks, Walburga couldn't manage to ignite the spark of anger.
She hadn't cried seriously for years; the sound of it was strange to her, and to hear it in a corridor that had now gone oddly quiet except for the voices of her adversaries was unbearable. Biting her lower lip until place where her teeth touched was deathly white, she looked up, at the four of them huddled there against her, customary hate for mudbloods and filth and blood traitors and all the people who gathered together to make her life here at Hogwarts awful when it should have been lovely and amazing and perfect.
"You're all nothing but filth!" she cried at them bitterly, voice breaking miserably. "You don't belong at this school and one day someone will do something about it!" They were desperate, empty threats; the worst she could do was persuade Orion or Cygnus to curse Pratt in a hallway (Alphard wouldn't do it, for all that he was her best friend), or perhaps Antares Lestrange, who she suspected would be more than happy to do it. She couldn't even curse them herself without risking twin reprimands from home and school.
But at least, she thought as she pressed her books tightly against her chest, she had the last word in the confrontation as she turned and swept away down the hallway, back ramrod straight, shoulders back, but her head down to hide her tear-stained cheeks.