Title: the violet hour
Corrine Haven - January 2, 2012 09:03 AM (GMT)
The professor announced group projects and as silent partnerships were formed the professor gave a knowing tch.
"Don't get hasty. I'm assigning partners for this one. We'll see who's been deserving their marks, shall we?"
Corrine was not especially perturbed by this announcement. She was used to dregs in her groups, and the prospect of not having to be the crutch for someone who barely scraped the requisite E to get into NEWT potions was actually rather encouraging. She relaxed as much as she ever did in public, and watched from her place in the back of the classroom with a bemused but unmalicious smirk as the incompetents got paired with one another. It wasn't until her own name was called that the expression melted from her features.
"Corrine Haven and Ivor Dillonsby."
Blopdy fucking hell. Corrine's jaw set and a wooden, set expression overtook her face. Corrine almost wished they had been paired to work together before. In that case, the professor would be aware of just how heinously stupid it was to make the pair of them converse for more than a few moments. Of course, she probably would have put up with it before. Playing dumb for the first five years of school helped her fly under the radar, and putting Ivor in his place probably wouldn't have rated as important. But now that it was obvious that she wasn't a fool, Corrine's patience for playing the average student had worn out. Not to mention that Ivor Dillonsby was a self-righteous ass. And incredibly arrogant. And smart. It wouldn't have been quite so awful if he were stupid. Corrine was good at ignoring stupid people. But Ivor was witty, and she would probably find his comments funny if they weren't directed so indiscriminately thrown about and that stupid smirk of his. She could just smack it off his face.
Oh no, this was not going to turn out well. Corrine remained in her seat, ignoring the shifting of the rest of the class. No one else was sitting next to her and it was only to be expected that the gentlemen had the consideration to move for the ladies. Of course, Ivor was no gentleman, so despite the fact that Corrine was already opening her book to the appropriate page, she wasn't expecting his presence any time soon.
Ivor Dillonsby - January 2, 2012 09:35 AM (GMT)
Ivor had never liked potions. The observant onlooker might question, then, the fact that he was a member of the Potions Club, but it was an unfortunate side-effect of being one of the best friends of the President of the Potions Club, who was therefore always on hand to save the potion he was able to splatter all over the ceiling of whatever dungeon they happened to be meeting in. His wand, from the first time he'd gone to potions class, had objected to being something so mundane as a stirrer, and as a result Ivor usually relied on his partnership with Damocles in group projects to get through practicals and a way with words that impressed even Professor Slughorn on his essays in order to achieve the O he somehow scrape out every term.
Potions was, in fact, that class in which he was most likely to cheat, and it was reflected in the way he sat in class: with his shoulders hunched and his legs drawn up under the desk, his feet tucked underneath his seat, legs crossed at the ankles, his face in one hand as he stared down at his notes without ever really looking up.
He did look up, however, when a group project was announced - and his hopes immediately plummeted to somewhere below even the dungeons when Slughorn announced that groups would be assigned. There was something of a trace of panic in his expression when he looked around the class at the possibilities - oh, Merlin, not Grugwyn, please not Grugwyn - although it faded away rather quickly when his partner was announced. Ivor was not terribly familiar with Corrine Haven beyond the fact that she was the Muggleborn who'd been so unlucky as to be Sorted into Slytherin; he himself was pureblooded and had never suffered from the sort of oppression that he supposed she dealt with on an unpleasantly regular basis. It wasn't her blood status, however, that had him displeased with the pairing. The problem here was that Corrine Haven was merely a mediocre student - but wasn't almost everyone at Hogwarts?
Of course, he'd made sure to remind her of the fact plenty of times throughout the five years they had already spent together at school, but that didn't necessarily mean he couldn't tell her again. Ivor just wished that it wasn't in potions, the class where his cauldron was incredibly likely to explode the moment he stuck his wand into whatever potion they were brewing and started stirring. Never had he read anywhere that poplar was particularly disinclined to potion-making, and the fact that his wand was so bloody finicky had always been a sore topic.
He spared a glance in Haven's direction and realised within moments that she wasn't planning on moving. Merlin. Manners had been an important part of his education, of course, despite the fact that the Dillonsbys had long since gently drifted downward from the uppermost echelons of pureblooded society, but he was quite honestly disinclined to practise them when he was already in such a touchy mood. (Ivor was always in a touchy mood, in potions, and only the prospect of being partnered with Miranda or Damocles was enough to lift him out of his brooding, since Miranda was, admittedly, a sweetheart, and Damocles would do the whole project without allowing Ivor to ruin anything, anyway. Corrine was nowhere involved in those prospects, and it only served to darken his mood, quite honestly.) After a few minutes of staring at his textbook as if it would summon her, he stood, stiffly, and made his way to a desk near hers, heavy book underneath his arm.
If he wasn't lucky, he'd catch some rude comment from another Slytherin about sullying his hands, working with a mudblood. Ivor left his book dropped onto the table with a thud that wasn't particularly loud over the murmur of other partnerships already being productive, and he remained standing with the excuse that he could at least slip into the supply closet and ask Damocles a few hurried questions before ruining everything. "Well, then, Haven," he said drily, sounding as if he didn't have a care in the world about the depressingly likely possibility of sending their potion sky-high, "looks like I'll be doing all the hard labour today, doesn't it?"
Corrine Haven - January 2, 2012 10:09 AM (GMT)
She had expected about thirty seconds. Maybe a minute. But Ivor stayed in his bloody seat for three minutes. Corrine would have trembled with rage if she could be bothered to tremble with anything. Three whole minutes spent behaving like a petulant child. If he didn't feel her eyes burning holes of hate in the back of his skull he was even more foolish than she thought. The urge to accio him firmly into his stool grew at an exponential rate, and was only just quashed by his belated move to her work area. It wasn't just pride that had kept her from moving though. Sitting in front of almost any Slytherin generally came to a messy end as a result of surreptitious tampering with her cauldron.
"Well, then, Haven," came the airy words, "looks like I'll be doing all the hard labour today, doesn't it?"
Irritation. Slight irritation. Very slight irritation growing into disgust. Disgust morphing into the desire to box his ears, quickly followed by the unladylike desire to imitate a move she'd seen one of the doxies use on a fellow in Hyde Park one Saturday that had seemed to leave his private parts much the worse for wear. Corrine gave herself a mental shake. That was uncalled for. She had allowed him to play the prig for five years in her presence. French. A wave of relief passed over Corrine. Dear old French. Wizards seemed to generally use charms of one sort or another to cross the language barrier. There were so few people fluent in anything but English here that Corrine had found it quite safe to swear in French with no repercussions.
"C’est vraiment des conneries," she muttered under her breath. Immediately the desire to do something rash faded. Not that she would have given in, but it was much more comfortable this way. Pulling a pleasant tone into her vocal chords, Corrine cast her eyes on Ivor and matter of factly went about making her point.
"Hardly. One would have to be blind not to see how much you rely on Belby and Goshawk in this class."
With that Corrine made her way to the supply closet, casting a perfunctory "Come along, if you must" over her shoulder for Ivor's benefit. As she started gathering the appropriate ingredients, Corrine tried to rationalize her way out of the situation. It wasn't as if Ivor could be expected to know that she was a rather accomplished student. Yes, most people had realized with some surprise that she had been able to enter the NEWT classes which required O's. And yes, most people realized that she suddenly seemed quite a bit more competent in just about everything. But Ivor hadn't noticed. She could accept that.
But what she couldn't accept was this blustery and foolish arrogance in subjects he wasn't terribly brilliant in. He could boast all he liked in Ancient Runes, or even History of Magic. But to assume that other people were simply stupid irritated her. At least most of the Slytherins had a reason for thinking she was stupid. An absurd reason, but one they had been raised and indoctrinated with all the same. Ivor, however, could not have possibly been raised to think that everyone except Miranda, Minerva, Damocles and Grugwyn was a hopeless idiot. That was it. That was what was so insufferable about him. He was prejudiced in a way that he had clearly chosen. Not to mention that he was so clearly intelligent, and yet Ivor was so stupid about people. To someone who relied on understanding how people thought, this was thoroughly unacceptable. True, Gryugwyn didn't seem to understand people either, but he wasn't deliberately unpleasant.
Ivor was an unmitigated ass.
Corrine sighed, and pointed to a shelf a good six inches beyond her reach, taking it for granted that Ivor was listening. "The pickled Doxie wings are there. Grab a gram or two, won't you?"
[roughly: this is such bullshit]
Ivor Dillonsby - January 2, 2012 11:20 AM (GMT)
Hearing her speak French was, admittedly, a surprise. It was so terribly rare that he heard anyone at Hogwarts speak anything in English, and conducting a game of gobstones completely in Welsh still wasn't enough to shake the feeling of being severely limited by his fellow students and the languages they had the ability to speak. Her accent wasn't perfect, of course - far from it, really, to Ivor's keen ear, closer to barbaric with that awful inflection on the 'r'. A pity, really; he would have almost entertained the idea of speaking French with her, had she not looked him dead in the eye and told him that she'd noticed how eagerly he partnered up with Damocles or Miranda in class. Well, that certainly lost her any good will he'd previously developed upon learning that she wasn't absolutely useless.
Rudeness, unfortunately, outweighed linguistic skills, especially when they weren't even anywhere near as good as his own.
He stood there for a moment, fuming silently at her audacity - it was hard not to be as obviously bad at potions as he was - before following her toward the supply closet, although he was taller enough that he quickly caught up with her and walked into the closet at the same time she did, so that it didn't look quite as bad as it had when she'd told him to come along. Come along, indeed. The only person who spoke to him like that was Grugwyn, and Ivor took it poorly enough from someone that he considered to be his friend. If Haven thought he would take it well from her, the Muggleborn in Slytherin, then she really ought to sit down and rethink it.
At least he was tall, taller than she was. The doxy wings were well within his reach, and if she opted not to Summon them down from the top shelf, then apparently it was within his power to prevent this project from moving forward until she developed an attitude that was more conducive to teamwork. "Bien sûr," he said icily, speaking in French without so much as having to think about it. "Mais tu dois dire s'il vous plaît." He'd been studying the language for most of his sixteen years, and as a result, his accent was close to flawless, if slightly more clinical and precise than a native speaker's might be. But that was a side effect of the fact that his native language was English rather than his ability to get a grasp on a language and learn to speak it fluently.
Ivor hadn't even deigned to reach up and pull down the ingredient that she'd asked for, intent on pulling a 'please' out of her before he did anything remotely helpful. Yes, perhaps she'd gotten into a NEWT-level class, but so had he, and he wasn't necessarily talented in the subject. It was only reasonable that he assume the same of her, since there was really ever only one Damocles - and, obviously, Corrine Haven was no Damocles Belby, either in temperament or in brains.
Then his lips twitched into a self-satisfied smile. It was rare, really, that he got to show off in other languages besides English or runic, although he had written one of his History of Magic essays on medieval French grimoires in French as well as English and turned in both copies, much to Professor Binns' obvious confusion. Also rare - but equally amusing - was the fact that he hardly ever got to lecture on manners, of all things. Most of the people he dealt with as social equals already knew how to behave like decent human beings.
No wonder, then, he never dealt with Haven.
"Ou," he added, as if thinking aloud, "n'as-tu jamais apprendre les bonnes manières à chez toi?" Ivor reached up to the shelf and raised his eyebrows expectantly, fingers resting on the jar of pickled doxy wings. All she had to do was say 'please' - or admit that she didn't actually speak French beyond learning childish vulgarities - and he would reach them down along with, hopefully, a better attitude on her part. "Et 'conneries' est un mot vulgaire."
[lol pardon my poor conjugation, it's been ages since i studied formally: "of course, but you should say please." and then "or did you never learn manners at home?" and then "and 'conneries' is such a vulgar word."]
Corrine Haven - January 2, 2012 06:23 PM (GMT)
Corrine froze for a second when Ivor started speaking French at her back. Her eyes squeezed shut for a moment as she stifled the urge to stomp her foot in frustration. Dammit. Of course Dillonsby spoke French. He was a prodigy in Ancient Runes, why shouldn't the interest extend to the continental languages. And his accent. Corrine would have done quite a bit for his accent. Corrine's french was a remnant of her parent's desire for her to attend University and marry well. Neither was likely to happen anymore, of course, but Corrine had kept at her lessons over summer and winter holidays and in what moments she could spare during the school year. Of course, she learned it from muggles, so any talk of the peculiarities of the wizarding world was imprecise. Perhaps Ivor wouldn't mind- no. She would not voluntarily spend any more time with the Ravenclaw than absolutely necessary.
"I'm sorry. The words were meant to be a private reaction. I don't respond well to misplaced pride. Please accept my apology."
Her eyes opened again and she pulled an indifferent expression onto her face and turned around. This brought Ivor's smug expression incredibly close, and the supply closet was sufficiently crowded that it was impossible to back up. Why did he have to be so much taller than her?
"Ou, n'as-tu jamais apprendre les bonnes manières à chez toi?" Had Corrine been a cat her hackles would have risen. Getting lectured on manners by Ivor was too much. And how dare he speak of her home, her parents? This felt far too much like a repeat of that note Corrine had ended with a perfunctory sentence. Her only reaction was to stare relentlessly up at Ivor, willing him to look away. of course he probably felt no shame at his earlier petulance and practically characteristic condescension. Short she may have been, but Corrine had presence and she was using it just then.
"Et 'conneries' est un mot vulgaire."
"I'd thank you not to speak of my home, Dillonsby. Again, I apologize for the earlier vulgarity, though frankly you seem unperturbed by it. Now would you please fetch the wings?"
There was a lucky opening in the throng of the students in the supply closet, and Corrine slipped around him, still so close that her robes brushed against Ivor as she left. Tension dripped off Corrine's body. She needed to stay calm. She needed to survive this class. She needed to figure out what it was that would make Ivor pleasant. Of course it was intelligence, but she had to demonstrate that before he could drive her to distraction. Well, he could refuse to get the doxy wings for a quarter hour if he liked. Corrine briefly relished the thought of summoning the wings and letting the jar thrash him about the head a time or two. If he displayed the same petulance that had kept him in his seat for three minutes, the potion could be well on the way. Perhaps sight of that would be enough to shut him up for the rest of the class. She could expect ribbing outside of class, of course. But Corrine would infinitely prefer that to a confrontation in a class where she couldn't escape him. With short, violent, precise motions, Corrine began slicing the first ingredient.
[i have not studied french in a 7 years, soooooo, yay italics! they indicate french.]
Ivor Dillonsby - January 3, 2012 11:10 AM (GMT)
Her French put him on edge: the vocabulary was fine, he supposed, if you wanted to sound like you'd been educated in England without a care to ever fit in should you actually visit France. It wasn't idiomatic, and her phrasing was occasionally stilted in a way that betrayed the fact that she hadn't studied quite as hard as Ivor thought she should have. In Ivor's opinion, idioms were a sign of a mastery of language; the fact that he could speak idiomatic runic (despite the fact that idioms in runic referenced things thousands of years old that even he occasionally didn't quite understand) meant, to him, that he had achieved a level of comprehension that few other people managed.
Clearly, Haven wasn't to be counted among those few people, even en français. But if she insisted that their entire project be carried out in French, then so be it. Working with potions in another language was as simple to Ivor as conducting the class in simple English.
He didn't bother responding, though, despite the fact that she'd apologised, instead smiling when she turned to face him, close due to the fact that it seemed like everyone decided they had to come into the supply closet at once. Did nobody have any sense of order? Ivor suffered from nothing similar to claustrophobia or any other dislike of being confined, but the fact that he was pressed close to Haven made the experience remarkably more unpleasant than it would have been otherwise. (Honestly, otherwise he would probably have still been at the work station whilst Damocles or Miranda gathered their ingredients, trusted with perhaps with starting the water in the cauldron to boil.
"Mais bien sûr," he said again, lifting the jar and tucking it, inconsiderately, underneath his arm. But Haven was gone already, brushing past him out of the supply closet, leaving through an opening in the other students that closed the moment she'd passed. Merlin, if it was this easy to upset her with only a few choice words in French about whether or not she'd learned manners, he could hardly imagine how she'd survived for six years in the Slytherin common room surrounded by purebloods who were far less tolerant of Muggleborns than Ivor was. What he wasn't tolerant of, however, was the fact that she was continuing to mangle a language not her own; he almost preferred that someone limit themselves to a single language rather than attempt - and fail - at speaking others.
For instance, it amused him to no end that she'd used ailes rather than the actual word for doxy wings. It was probably a limitation of being Muggleborn that she didn't know the French colloquially used in the wizarding world - or else she was stupid enough to have failed to realise that, like in English, the French wizarding community had their own secret language, as well. He was leaning towards the second option, really; being friends with Grugwyn had made it very clear that being a Muggleborn was only as limiting as you allowed it to be, much to his constant chagrin.
Ivor left the supply closet with the entire jar of doxy wings, pointedly ignoring the protests of other students who hadn't had the foresight to bring their own. Of course, he was guilty of the same oversight, but he'd grabbed the jar first and therefore anyone who wanted doxy wings could just stop by the workstation he currently, hatefully, was sharing with Haven. "Tu les tranches très bien," he said, sarcasm Setting down the jar well hopefully just beyond whatever her comfortable reach was, then drew another ingredient closer so that he could more easily work with it. Instead of cutting by hand, however, he opted for something a bit more impressive: with a tap of his wand and a word, Ivor set the knife chopping and dicing the leaves so that he could then turn his attention to the doxy wings. He unscrewed the lid of the jar, looking down at them with a clear expression of distaste, and asked, "Encore, combien veux-tu?"
["but of course" & "you slice so well" & "how many do you want again?"]
Corrine Haven - January 3, 2012 08:26 PM (GMT)
Of course Corrine had never actually been to France. Her parents had always promised her a trip after she graduated, but that hardly seemed likely with the war on. She had occasionally spoken with a French dignitary or military man who came into the shop. They seemed to be charmed by her French, and one rakish officer had carefully and methodically taught her a bevy of inappropriate phrases, all the while making up such ludicrous translations for her father's benefit that Corrine had been hard-pressed to keep a straight face. At any rate, it had never occurred to Corrine to be embarrassed of what French she didn't know. She had considered buying a wizard french-english dictionary, but she hardly ever spoke French to another person with magic. Not only that, but while her family could easily be considered upper middle class by muggle standards, the exchange rate on pounds to galleons was rather pathetic. Between that and the war, it was virtually out of the question to buy anything past the sheer necessities. Corrine was muggleborn and English. It would never have occurred to her to apologize for either. Still, ears were beginning to perk at the sound of other languages in the room. Corrine was not the type to invite attention, so she silently resolved to stop it with the French. She was sure Ivor would interpret it as some sort of triumph, and if it helped ease him into a more tolerable mood that was all for the best. She doubted any such possibility, but it was worth the shot.
Corrine's instinct to scowl as he set the doxy wings out of reach was mercilessly quashed and she attempted to look pleased at his arrival. Noting the sarcasm and choosing to ignore it, Corrine offered a bright smile. "Thank you so much. It's kind of you to notice." She returned to slicing viciously into the roots, pointedly ignoring whatever it was Ivor was getting up to. He could read the damn instructions if he wanted to help. She only glanced up again when he asked how many doxy wings she wanted. The protesting students were still thronging about the jar, so Corrine quietly murmured a summoning spell that sent the necessary doxy wings into the bowl of her scales. She smiled as it weight in just under two grams. Another one sent the jar floating calmly back to the supply closet. While she didn't indulge her earlier daydream of thrashing Ivor with it, she did let the jar fly dangerously close to his head. People in Slytherin only ever showboated their magic the way Ivor was now when making a point about her being muggleborn. If he insisted on doing the same she refused to let him. While Ivor was unpleasant, she doubted he'd be prone to setting her things on fire or hiding unpleasant creatures in her pockets.
"It will depend on the shade of the potion after it's been brewing a bit. Somewhere between half a gram and one and half."
There was no danger in Ivor except the one Corrine might present to herself after spending the rest of the class in his company. There was no reward to be easily earned from him either. Corrine was certain she could draw forth some sort of affection from the Ravenclaw, but the effort would hardly justify the ends. Ivor was neutral. She could do whatever she pleased and nothing good or ill worth her time would come from it. Honestly, it was rather refreshing. And unusual. But that was Dillonsby, wasn't it? Corrine finished with the first ingredient and quietly set it aside. Ivor's knife was working on the second. Even if Ivor really couldn't do a thing later on, they were far enough ahead that Corrine could manage.
"Is it to much to hope that you could set the water boiling? The measurements are in the text."
Ivor Dillonsby - January 16, 2012 09:22 AM (GMT)
He did, in fact, interpret it as a definite triumph, pleased with the fact that Haven had realised the sadly constrained limits of her French and given up on trying to match him vocabulary for vocabulary. It was not, however, going to improve the way he treated her; Ivor had long ago written her off as rather useless and non-intellectual and therefore hardly worth his time at all.
The spell with the knife wasn't meant to rub her face in the fact that she was muggleborn. Ivor had, after all, grown up in a purely wizarding household, and things like this were second nature to him even before he'd begun to learn how to use his own magic. Knives in the kitchen had been spelled to chop, dishes to wash themselves, pots to keep the handle cool for grasping fingers, books to float down from high shelves if you called out their title and asked nicely. To be quite honest, it had been a shock in his first years at Hogwarts when he had learned that he wasn't supposed to use magic to slice and dice the ingredients for potions class, or to summon books from high shelves. They were at a school for magic, an eleven-year-old Ivor had thought, horrified, so why weren't they using magic?
Of course, the restrictions on using magic for things like this in class grew laxer as you moved further along in your career, and now Ivor was comfortable again with the way he did things: a spell here, a spell there, as little actual manual labour as he could possibly construe to use.
So he didn't blink when the jar whizzed past his head - although he thought Haven rather rude for ignoring his question, which had been an attempt to at least move the potion along so that he could return to his seat in peace as quickly as possible - and instead stopped the slicing with a sharp motion of his wand and a murmured "Finite Incantatem" before turning back to her, brows raised questioning. Really, it depended on the shade? Of course, Ivor would have trusted Damocles with his life when it came to determining exactly what shade the potion was by the time they needed to add the doxy wings, but Haven? Hardly likely. Despite the fact that she was in NEWT-level potions, he highly doubted she could tell simply by looking at it; with a sigh, he flipped Haven's copy of the textbook, set to the side of the cauldron, to the page with the colour chart on it. "There you go," he said. "Make sure you reference that before you add the wings, then. And make sure you grab the leaves, they're done being sliced."
Then he stepped around her so that he was standing in front of the cauldron, opening his own textbook as he did so to check the precise amount of water and temperature required for the potion to brew correctly. Bending so that he could see beneath it, Ivor pointed his wand to the little burner, and soon had a little blue fire burning brightly beneath it. Without comment, however - he was above that, surely - he tapped his wand against the lip of the cauldron and said, "Aguamenti," stopping the spell when the water it produced had reached the line inside the cauldron marking the accurate amount necessary for the potion.
It was then that Ivor glanced over at Haven, setting his wand down on the table as the water in the cauldron started to simmer, and asked, clearly pleased as punch with even the minor bits of magic he'd performed, "Is that to your terribly high standards, Haven? I should hate to disappoint you." Well, not really. Far more accurate - and never to be admitted, of course - was the fact that Ivor would hate to disappoint himself, and that potions was really the class in which it was most likely to happen, much to his disgust. Was it really his fault that his wand distinctly refused to stir a potion without either siphoning it up or causing it to explode?
Corrine Haven - February 22, 2012 06:10 AM (GMT)
Corrine's mouth stayed set in an uncommunicative line across her face as Ivor started to lecture her on elementary potion making. Potions were precise, but in a different way than many other subjects. Yes, you needed a very particular amount of doxie wings to turn the potion from whatever shade of lavender it was to the milky white needed for the following step. But the lavender was warmer or cooler based on the potency of whatever ingredients were being used, and that would affect the ingredient after the doxie wings. And you had to be quick. Corrine had read the potions textbook over the summer, and spent most of her time for this class reading the supplementary material Slughorn suggested so that she would know these things. This was a NEWTS level course and Corrine didn't believe in playing around with her studies. No, she wasn't intuitive like Ivor's friends about much, but she was clever enough that a bit of well-directed work would place her well above average performance. Quietly, she swept the sliced leaves into a shallow dish.
"Is that to your terribly high standards, Haven? I should hate to disappoint you."
The tiniest shade of disdain spread over Corrine's face as she turned to face Ivor. He was despicable, and if she didn't want to pick his brain half of the time she would be just as glad to see it in a pickling jar as not. Normally not even the twinge of dislike would alter her features, but she somehow doubted Ivor was at all empathetic enough to notice.
Her eyes rested on him coldly for a long, uncomfortable moment as she thought about how badly she wanted to see Ivor partnered with a real idiot during potions. She also thought about how much trouble she might get in if she smacked him right then and there. In addition, she contemplated starting the potion and waiting until just before a step that required alot of stirring, at that moment asking Slughorn to go to the bathroom to attend to some feminine issues and returning in a state of shock and surprise to an exploded cauldron and a humiliated Ivor. Surely she wouldn't earn blame from anyone except her partner for such an incident.
"Ivor, I am so proud of you. The water has been measured out beautifully. You can put the first ingredient in if you like, and stir it counterclockwise three times." With a neutral expression on her face, Corrine offered Ivor the little porcelain dish with the first ingredient.
Ivor Dillonsby - February 25, 2012 08:35 PM (GMT)
Contrary to popular belief, it didn't require empathy to catch expressions on others' faces, just the ability to observe, and not even that closely, either. (Not, of course, that Ivor lacked empathy entirely; he was just a terribly self-centred boy.) Besides, he was used to seeing disdain or contempt in the expressions of others, and as a result, he had become good at catching it. So the appearance of dislike on Corinne's face wasn't particularly hard to catch, nor did Ivor miss it. He simply opted not to make a comment on it, instead meeting her stare with the remnants of his self-satisfied smile still clearly written on his face.
It flickered, however, when she extended the little dish with the sliced leaves towards him. The expression on his face wasn't nervous, although there was clear hesitancy in his eyes and hands in the way he accepted the dish from Haven.
"I know how to brew a potion," he said, tone far stiffer than his usual offence at the implication that he knew less about potions than her. Ivor was far too proud to refuse to brew the potion himself, especially since he'd made his opinion about Haven's abilities so crystal clear, but in his rapidly sinking heart and stomach, he knew that the instant his wand entered the brew, the results would be... unfortunate. Wishing not for the last time that Damocles had been his assigned partner for the project today, he turned away from her and back toward the cauldron, struggling to keep the extent of his frustration off of his face. Potions was never his favourite class, but Ivor never came into it expecting to humiliate himself.
But if that was how the day was damned to go, then so be it.
Had he been anyone else, he would have been muttering under his breath about just how suddenly his day had taken a turn for the worse. As it was, the set of his mouth into a thin line, lips compressed severely, said more than any number of mumbled words. Without saying anything, he tipped the leaves into the boiling water and, with perhaps more force than was entirely necessary, put his wand into the potion and started stirring. The first round of the cauldron set the potion bubbling threateningly, although Ivor was hardly going to stop now. He'd committed himself to this embarrassment. By the second time his wand swept around the cauldron, the peaceful lavender shade of the potion had changed to something far less pleasant, as had the expression on Ivor's face, which grew increasingly darker. Then came the third time: the cauldron itself started rocking on its stand.
By this time an expert at avoiding the catastrophes his wand caused in potions class, Ivor took a quick step back and ducked behind Haven as the cauldron exploded.