Author Topic:  [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]  (Read 701 times)

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  • Offline Lionel Sterling
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    [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « on: December 24, 2017, 06:18:17 AM »
    Lionel paused at the base of the Astronomy tower, glancing almost wistfully toward the door that led to the upward spiral to the highest point in the castle. The first time he had ever climbed it, he had been struck with a terribly uncanny feeling as they mounted the steps, the world whizzing by in circles as they passed different windows. For a boy born on an island, whose unforgiving wind stripped the flat landmasses bare of trees, the sudden ascent to great heights had been striking. At the top, he had ignored Professor Sinistra for a full minute, resting his hands on either side of the crenel as his sense of self seemed to be suddenly suspended in midair as earth and heaven were pushed infinitely away. The feeling had never quite left him; sometimes, on observation nights, interlaced hands cradling the back of his head, he could almost feel the earth tilting swiftly away from him. In those moments, a yearning breath drew him towards the stars above, until he rammed into the cage of his own mortal body, falling fast to earth.

    It wasn't considered necessary for patrols to climb the dead-end tower, so his feet quickly moved forward past the stairwell, even as his mind stepped out onto the tower. He could almost feel something like it, though, here when the chaotic murmur of young wizards was vacated from the hollow space of the castle. Sometimes the footfalls of his patrol partner felt like another grounding restraint. Someone like Winifred, or Henry. Jacqueline's didn't feel that way, though; the Ravenclaw girl seemed equally in tune with the vastness of the space, a side effect of their shared interest in things that were beyond them. Earlier that night they'd been discussing history, but sometimes silence was equally suitable, comfortable.

    Lionel's feet slowed again as they passed one of the larger windows on the floor as he remembered something, following the trails in his mind. "Hang on--Nox," he muttered, extinguishing the light from his wand and stretching his arms out on the stone ledge beneath the window, still clutching it in his fingers. He craned his neck upwards, training his gaze on the horizon a little below Leo. "There!" he said abruptly, hand darting out to point as a meteor burned a sudden streak of silver in the velvet sky. He turned back to Jacqueline, now practically a shadow, his lip curling upward in a crooked half-smile. "I almost forgot the Leonids are tonight. Should be a good year for them." Turning back to look at the sky, he commented wryly, "They're not exactly academic, but even I can't resist staring at incandescing particles falling to earth." Lionel knew they had to resume their route soon, but he'd never been that keen on being Prefect anyway. His job could wait for this suspended moment, if she wanted to step into it as well.

    Eyes locked on the distant flickering starlight, he wasn't sure how much time had passed--just a second? a minute? but turned sharply away when he heard a muffled sound behind them. "Did you hear that?" Sighing inwardly--maybe they should just let the person go--maybe it was just Filch's cat--Lionel pulled his wand from the ledge and raised it in the right direction. There was never any harm in just seeing what it was, he supposed. "Lumos."

    White light bloomed from the tip, falling on the form of Clementine Russell, filling him with instant regret about his choice. Of all the people to actually run into on these quiet patrols; and on a night when patrolling was not the first thing on his mind. Lionel opened his mouth and then closed it again, glancing at Jacqueline, before steeling himself. So they hadn't spoken in a while. Perhaps it made him feel a little more uncompromising. "Bit late to be up here, don't you think?" he said dryly, lowering his wand a little. Had she been watching?

    @Clementine Russell @Jacqueline MacClelland hope this works for you guys, i thought it might be more interesting to uh, array l/j on one side and put c in a compromising position. and piss off clem by making it a bit of a potentially romantic situation LOL. i intend to post short posts once we get going--you know how group threads are. post like the wind so we can defy the odds!
    « Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 06:25:00 AM by Ariana Laurier »
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  • Offline Clementine Russell
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    Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 06:51:19 PM »
    Some dumb thing was supposed to be happening in the sky tonight. At least, that's what everyone who gave any sort of care about Astronomy had been talking about for the past couple of weeks, and it had gotten boring to listen to, but she had to admit, it hadn't been boring to watch. She'd flicked the last cigarette she'd smoked after chain-smoking a few before that off the side of the tower and tugged her jacket tight, barrelling down the stairs from the landing with zero abandon. Clementine and @Dennis Creevey had come back from a party off-grounds just a few moments prior and she was, if she could say as much, just a hair shy of being rip-roaring, off-her-face drunk. Not sloppy, though. Not quite. Clementine could handle her alcohol up to a pretty ridiculous point and then there was usually throwing up involved. Somebody -- she couldn't remember who -- had informed her that throwing up while drunk was actually a sign of mild alcohol poisoning. She'd felt a strong urge to tell them to fuck off.

    Her outfit was pretty understated as partygoing outfits for Clementine went, but it was getting cold and it was downright impractical to traipse around after hours in a skin-tight spaghetti-strap dress that showed off her... assets. She'd dressed down in a plain t-shirt, a basic pair of jeans, a denim jacket and a hat that she could tip down to hide her obviously young (even with makeup) face from the bouncers. She and Dennis, though, they'd had a fight. They normally didn't... talk much. Or... he didn't talk much. Clem did, sometimes, but when they were both drunk it was less of that. She'd tried to get him to dance with her and he wouldn't and it had just been a messy cluster from there. They'd walked home together in silence and then said reluctant goodnights, with Dennis departing for his room and Clementine heading out to the Astronomy tower. She didn't know why she always ended up back there.

    Maybe it was because it was the place she and Dennis had shared their first kiss, or maybe it was because looking at the pitchy, naked sky flecked with little faraway dots of gas reminded her of a faraway someone else. He was in close quarters, really, but still seemed... very very far from reach. She'd been avoiding him as best as she possibly could've in the past several weeks, their last interaction having left a lot to be desired. The Gryffindor didn't think she'd done anything wrong. She'd been crying about her dog and had wanted comfort. The fault was with him. Wasn't it?

    Clementine stumbled a little on her skulky way down the corridor, not paying attention, just, lost in the toxic thoughts of Dennis and Lionel that seemed to suck all the fire she had left up. Perhaps she needed to be alone for awhile. That seemed to have worked in the past. But Dennis was good company. He was there and he listened to her and didn't make her feel bad about the things she wanted to do. Struggling sorting all of that out, it wasn't until the last second that Clementine noticed a pair of wands lighting up the hall. "Shit," She murmured almost silently on an exhale, her brown eyes popping and darting around to try and find someplace to hide. God damnit. She should have been more careful. After a scuffle and an unsuccessful attempt at concealing herself, she squinted at the light shining on her face and, with enough relief to relax her shoulders and many other tense muscles, rolled her eyes.

    The blonde stood up slowly, wobbling a little at her full height (though even that wasn't much), and yanked her jacket snug around her shoulders again, crossing her arms defiantly with a glare when she saw which Prefect was accompanying him. Just her luck, of course. "Tch. A little late for you to be concerned about what I'm doing, yeah? I'm going to bed anyway." Having forgotten she'd left a half-empty fifth of whiskey in her pocket, it slipped out of her pocket (probably because it had been jangled around) and clattered to the floor with a hollow, thick noise. Fuck. That was just great. Turning red, she scrambled to pick it up and concealed it again, attempting to banish any trace of embarrassment from her features.
    « Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 07:15:07 PM by Ashton »

  • Offline Jacqueline MacClelland
  • Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 06:30:33 PM »
    The night was cold – her breath formed tiny clouds with each exhale – and especially drafty in this wing of the castle, but Jacqueline had to concede that she didn’t feel terribly cold at all. Having received her assignment earlier this week, she’d planned ahead and added a few extra layers and warming charms to ward off the chill. It certainly didn’t hurt that her patrol partner for the evening was Lionel; as they walked and talked, it was fairly easy for Jacqueline to block out any ambient unpleasantries. And, as the icing on the cake, their patrol would bring them right past the Astronomy Tower, so there was a good chance they would be able to catch at least some of the Leonids.

    Lionel had remembered too, of course. They had been walking in amiable silence for the past quarter-hour, their footsteps a mere whisper on the flagstones, the occasional whistle of Highland wind as the soundtrack to their patrol; when suddenly he stopped before one of large pane-less windows and pointed out a flash of light, which Jacq had been too slow to catch. She extinguished her wand likewise and returned his smile.

    “Ye’d be daft to no have a keek on a night clear as this,” she agreed with a soft laugh, moving to stand beside him at the ledge. It really was amazing; so simple, but on such a grand scale that it made appropriate comprehension almost unattainable. Most people were frightened or unappreciative of the vast emptiness of space, the effectively negligible role they all played in the comprehensive symphony that was the universe. But not Jacqueline; not Lionel. When one got down to it, they were no more than organic matter on a rock hurtling through space around a sphere of unfathomably hot gas – on the background of an endless canvas such that one could travel at the speed of light for perceivable eternity and never reach the end of it. It was a dizzying prospect. It made every little aspect of their day-to-day lives feel wildly insignificant; and yet, at the same time, all that much more important.

    They stood like that for a moment, side by side, close enough to touch but not quite doing so. Jacqueline propped an elbow on the stone sill and her chin in her hand, taking in a deep breath of the cold December air as she watched the sky. She had learned early on not to stare at a particular spot in the sky; rather, it was oftentimes more effective to either periodically scan the sky, or adopt a more unfocused gaze so as to capture the brilliant streaks of light in one’s periphery.

    She had been so at peace with the world in that moment that she initially didn’t hear what Lionel had. After a moment, though, she detected rustling and muffled footfalls. It certainly didn’t sound like someone trying not to get caught…
    Curious, she followed his lead and re-illuminated her wand.

    The Ravenclaw sighed inwardly as their combined wandlight illuminated the new arrival. The whole reason Jacqueline had wanted to be a Prefect was to help the younger students and set a good example; in all honesty, she wasn’t much a fan of needing to actively enforce regulations. She was a lover of rules and order, certainly, but she didn’t derive any particular pleasure from the act of reprimanding her fellow students for overstepping those boundaries. Jacq had gotten the sense that the majority of this year’s Prefects were of a similar mindset; with the notable exception of another Scot, Sixth Year Slytherin Deirdre Coltrane. Jacq had only patrolled with her once thus far and knew her only peripherally from before their mutual responsibilities had brought them together, but she had quickly gotten the impression that the older girl very much enjoyed having – and exerting – that power.
    And then, of course, there was always the inherent bias of wanting to “go easy on” one’s friends or friends of friends; Jacqueline acknowledged that, and had done the best she could to sideline her conflict(s) of interest when they arose. Up until tonight, she hadn’t really needed to worry about it. She and Clementine weren’t particular friends, needless to say, but they were part of the same peer group and had more than a few mutual friends: her patrol partner tonight, included.

    She exchanged a wary look him, then. Clementine appeared a bit… unsteady as she rose slowly to a standing position.
    ‘Dinna be drunk, clotheid,’ Jacqueline prayed silently, knowing in her gut that the Prefects’ situation was about to get a lot more uncomfortable if that was indeed the case. But knowing the Gryffindor as she did, having borne witness (firsthand and through the grapevine) of her usual habits, and considering it was the dead of night… the odds were more or less stacked.

    Her shoulders relaxed ever so slightly when Clementine announced she was going to bed. Good; hopefully she was telling the truth, and she could be on her merry way. Jaqueline wasn’t advocating shirking her duties, per se, but it wasn’t like turning Clementine in for simply being out-of-bed after hours would have any impact whatsoever on her future behavior.
    No sooner had the thought crossed her mind than a deafening CLANG reverberated off of the stone walls and down the corridor. Jacqueline flinched visibly and there was a sharp intake of breath, and it took the Ravenclaw a few heartbeats to realize that it had come from her. She hadn’t immediately recognized the sound as that of a flask striking the flagstones, but the other girl’s rapidly-flushing complexion and immediate frenzied attempt to retrieve the object allowed Jacq to fit the pieces together quickly and conclude that it was something she was not supposed to have, and certainly didn’t want either her or Lionel to see.

    Jacqueline never swore, but this brought her awfully close to it. She had resolved to say as little as possible since recognizing the Gryffindor, but she could hardly keep silent much longer now. It was more than simply being out-of-bed in the middle of the night, and now she felt obligated to take the next step.
    ‘Bugger it all.’

    “What’s it ye’ve got?” She kept her tone light and quiet, not wanting to attract attention any more than the rest of them.
    Her mind was racing; had the disturbance been as loud as she’d perceived, or was it only because she and Lionel had been standing in relative silence for so long beforehand that it only seemed so deafening? The more immediate threat – at least as far as Clementine should be concerned – was the possibility that Filch or Mrs. Norris may have overheard. On the one hand, it could make her and Lionel’s job considerably easier, as Filch would be delighted to find Clementine in such a compromising situation and would hardly hesitate to take control of the situation. But on the other… as much as she disliked Clementine, she had a difficult time wishing Filch’s presence on anyone.
    « Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 06:30:52 PM by Olivia »
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  • Offline Clementine Russell
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    Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 10:40:20 AM »
    A beat of heavy silence hung in the air before anybody said anything and during it, Clementine just furiously hoped that nobody would mention the flask. That somehow, both prefects, although one was less concerned with following rules than the other, would elect to ignore it and allow her to be on her much-less-than-merry way. It dawned on her, then: allow her? Both of these people were her age. Neither of them should have had any more power than she did. Clementine was co-Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team and, as far as privileges went, shared all of the same luxuries they did. Given, it wasn't as though they were grand things -- access to a bathroom wasn't exactly the first perk she'd have picked if she'd had free reign, but it meant more as a status thing than anything else.

    Clementine understood full well that a goody two-shoes like Jacqueline couldn't stand to be reprimanded for ignoring some of her responsibilities, mundane and boring as they were. Being a model citizen and a prefect were things goody two-shoes looking to be in goody-two-shoes-ass professions yearned to have on their resumes when they left Hogwarts. It was all beyond her how somebody could want so boring a life. At least Lionel had distinct interests. Clementine couldn't remember anything significant or unique about Jacqueline's personality or her goals -- except, if her memory served her correctly, that she came from an upper-middle Ministry family. And that it was probably where she was destined to go. Her purebloodedness, and her perfect grades and her perfectly shiny mousy brown hair and her PERFECT prefect-ness would make her a shoe-in. It was absolutely maddening. Whatever, though. Professional Quidditch players didn't need any of that shit. Her skin crawled as her anger built inside of her and Clementine balked when she asked her -- What's it ye've got?

    The Gryffindor rounded on her Ravenclaw and Slytherin counterparts, respectively, her exhausted face twisting as her rage mounted. She had the audacity to ask what it was? To try to embarrass her? To try and degrade her in front of Lionel? It was a low blow, and it hurt even more that he hadn't immediately jumped to her defense, even though Clementine objectively knew it was unreasonable to have expected such a thing. She was drunk. Nothing made sense. Especially not... this.

    "None of your fucking business is what it is, MacClelland," Clementine snarled, shoving her hands roughly back into her pockets and relaxing back onto her heels, not having realized she'd been leaning kind of far forward before. While sober, she didn't usually have any issue controlling her temper -- to an extent, of course -- but it was so much harder when she was intoxicated and had just been caught after hours by two people she desperately, desperately had not wanted to see under these circumstances. "I was just out having a walk. Trust me it was at the bottom of my to-do list to run into you lot. Completely an accident. Doesn't seem an accident the two of you are patrolling together, though, does it? Is there a sign-up sheet?" The blonde slurred disrespectfully. However aware she was that coming for two prefects could get her into a lot of trouble and that Keela would kill her if she heard of this incident, those things didn't seem to matter. She knew they should. They just... didn't. The only thing that mattered, right now, was regaining the upper hand and taking control of a situation that felt completely and totally out of her hands. Clementine wasn't comfortable with that.
    « Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 10:45:01 AM by Ashton »

  • Offline Lionel Sterling
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    Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 01:41:49 AM »
    Lionel's eyebrows arched. He wasn't in the mood for this, wasn't in the mood for a still, timeless moment to be interrupted with the most chaotic person in his life. More out than in, recently, really. Of course he'd known that his choice of phrasing would provoke her, but it still dug just underneath his skin to hear her response. Lionel didn't want respect because of his status, and Clementine had never really seemed to care who was on the receiving end of her mind, but the way she responded to him still grated on him.

    For a moment, as she turned away, he wondered if it would be better to just let her go. It wasn't as if they were going to stop her from doing this if they said anything. She could do it three or four nights out of five for all he knew, and just be better at hiding it most nights. Even when the flask hit the floor, Lionel took in a long breath through his nose and didn't say anything. Just how much was she drinking nowadays, he wondered, his mind whirring underneath his consciousness, synthesizing information, but silently. In real time, through his eyes, he was standing motionless, watching her hide it clumsily as if they all didn't know what had just happened. He had felt Jacqueline hesitating beside him, her silence commensurate with his, but then she spoke, casually. Lionel took another slow, silent breath. Part of him wanted to let Jacqueline handle the situation, to stay quiet as he did, but somehow he knew that between these particular two people he would have to get involved. But for whose sake?

    The Gryffindor turned on them with obvious anger, and Lionel's eyes flashed momentarily as she swore at Jacqueline. For all that he didn't know whether the Ravenclaw should have spoken up, Clementine wasn't doing herself or the situation any favors. Her lack of common sense felt like steel scraping on glass somewhere in the back of his head, building into a point of light and pressure right until the moment she said 'the two of you'.

    He didn't have to dig very deep to derive the sting. It was in his nature too, but he'd mostly learned a few things from @Kay Sterling. It wasn't typically his first choice of methods, but Lionel could be cruel when he wanted to, and the wider the fissure between them, the more he wanted to. It was one thing for her to come after him, but Jacqueline hadn't done anything to the Gryffindor girl but be his friend. Be there when he needed her. Be someone he could trust. "Jealousy's an ugly look on you, Clem, considering she hasn't done anything wrong," he said quietly, the use of her nickname which he so rarely used rolling coolly off his tongue to add insult to injury. The situation had pushed him firmly to the cold phase of his anger, but he could feel heat licking at the edges, threatening to burn through. "I almost wish there was so I could inform you it was intentional, but I've never tried to make lying one of my vices."

    Straightening up, he extinguished his light and pointed his wand in her direction. "Accio bottle," he said harshly, catching it awkwardly as it hit his palm, glancing at it as he turned it over. His lip curled in satisfaction at his success; perhaps Jacqueline had been right about one of the things limiting his proficiency. It didn't seem more than half-full, by the feel of the liquid inside. "I'm sure avoiding accidents was higher on your list before the ethanol ingestion," he said, holding it up. Actually confiscating it was not his intention, but it was tempting. He saw why some people enjoyed abusing their position. Tossing it back to her--at this point it was two to one if it came down to words if this escalated, and he didn't really want to keep the proof--he crossed his arms. After a beat, he shook his head. "Why don't you just go," he stated. It might be contradicting his partner, but unlike the whiskey he'd been holding, Lionel couldn't see this situation getting any better with time.
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  • Offline Clementine Russell
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    Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 11:55:42 AM »
    "You choose to use my nickname when you want to be an ass?" Clementine prodded, raising her eyebrow. Lionel didn't use nicknames with that many people -- he didn't surround himself with too many or for long enough to justify that, but sometimes he would use hers. Sometimes, though, she'd heard him use Jacqueline's and so concluded that it didn't mean anything. At least, it didn't really mean what she wanted it to. Clem knew that she and Lionel had shared some things that he and Jacqueline probably hadn't; she also knew that it was probably the same the other way round. He'd done that on purpose.

    She might've thought she'd feel less shitty about it all because now she had somebody to confide in and idly banter with and snuggle into when she was cold, but even that seemed on a train to nowhere this very second. People always seemed to get all the way in and then promptly leave. It made her kind of skittish to share anything personal or vulnerable with another human being, and could anybody really blame her at this point? Clem had to admit she was tired of trying only to be met with mega-letdowns that had been very convincingly masquerading as light at the end of every tunnel.

    The Gryffindor licked her lips and breathed in sharply, preparing herself for the tirade she was shamelessly going to embark on. She was. It mattered not whether she looked tacky, she was not about to let a Slytherin show her up in a spar, not even a verbal one. Clementine's house prejudices didn't extend very far compared to some of her housemates, but there was always a strange instinct that seemed to kick in whenever a Slytherin, in particular, made her angry. She sort of blamed her sister, if she was being completely honest with herself. "Yeah, well. At least I'm not completely boring and drab. At least I'm interesting, even if I'm ugly. At least I have a fucking personality, aye?"

    She made a pointed noise of disgruntled stress when he summoned her flask and bristled, willing her tongue to stay bitten back for just a second and then maybe he'd throw it back to her. Why would he want one of her things, anyway? To turn it in? He wouldn't do that. Their opinions on authority weren't too far apart. His motivations were made clear as crystal when he shook the bottle and she closed her eyes to prevent them seeing her roll them skyward, biting her tongue until it nearly bled all the while.

    Expertly, Clementine caught the flask one-handed in her tiny fingers and gripped it for courage. She couldn't drink any of it right now, so channelling it from the outside was just going to have to do. "Bit presumptuous of you to think you know what's on my list, innit?" Clementine gritted through almost bared teeth and shuffled forward slightly. "Yeah, I might. Just go. Even though I was here first and you could have just let me the hell alone. Instead of rubbing your nighttime tryst in my face."
    « Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 11:58:15 AM by Ashton »

  • Offline Jacqueline MacClelland
  • Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 06:18:38 AM »
    Clementine’s reaction was one she had fully expected; and yet, she still had to take a fraction of a second to mentally brace herself for the venom-laced retort so she didn’t visibly flinch at the raw causticity. She felt a flush creep up her neck at the subsequent insinuation, and hoped to anything the blonde was too blinded by their combined wandlight – or too intoxicated –to take notice.

    ‘Seeing as yer out here in the middle of the night… that does make it our business, actually.’ Unfortunately.
    Her brain held her tongue, though. Such an inflammatory comment would only make this situation dramatically worse in a frighteningly small period of time. She had to say something, though. Right? ‘Snippy’ was perhaps the least applicable word to describe Jacqueline, but as the seconds ticked by she was feeling increasingly more inclined. What was the point? Why couldn’t Clementine just… not be so inflammatory?
    ‘She wants a reaction out of ye,’ Jacq kept reminding herself, taking silent but steadying breaths. ‘Dinna give it to her.’

    The cool detachment with which Lionel delivered his rejoinder felt like an ice cube down her spine; she tensed involuntarily. He was genuinely upset, she realized: it usually took a fair amount of pushing to elicit such a stinging comment from him so quickly.

    “Yeah, well. At least I'm not completely boring and drab. At least I'm interesting, even if I'm ugly. At least I have a fucking personality, aye?”

    ‘Why does he seem to avoid ye, then?’
    The mental retort came unbidden and clear as though someone had spoken it in her ear, rising rapidly to the surface of her consciousness like a submerged raft; and Jacqueline was surprised and even mildly alarmed to recognize the emotions embedded within it. Smug – and spiteful. Tucking that firmly away to be mentally analyzed later, the Prefect opted to ignore the Quidditch Co-Captain’s dig. It was no secret – at least to Jacq – that Clem resented her closeness with Lionel; and if that was at all ambiguous, his comment just moments before resolved that.

    Her unease was temporarily alleviated by what happened next. A surge of what she could best describe as a mixture of pride and profound satisfaction bubbled through her as Lionel Summoned the flask that the Gryffindor had been determined to hide. Perhaps there was fodder to her speculations on emotion on his behalf, after all; but, more importantly, this would be a bolster to his self-esteem that he could, in fact, perform charmwork adequately. Jacq did her best not to appear in any way pleased outwardly, lest Clementine misconstrue the expression as one of smugness directed at her current predicament – the odds were more than stacked in favor of the latter, given the other’s current state of inebriation.
    Nonetheless she held her breath, both curious and wary to see what Lionel would choose to do with the flask. When he tossed it back to Clementine, some of the tension in Jacq’s shoulders relaxed infinitesimally.

    “…Even though I was here first and you could have just let me the hell alone. Instead of rubbing your nighttime tryst in my face.”
    Clementine’s position was becoming increasingly more defensive, meaning she was likely becoming progressively more volatile. Jacqueline knew this; recognized this. Normally she tried to let the Gryffindor’s words wash over her like a stream over rocks and being simply… nonreactive. She was good at that. It usually worked well, and had sufficed reasonably well thus far. But it wasn’t quite enough; the Ravenclaw – for once in her life – was growing tired of keeping quiet as her Yearmate continued to sulk.
    Her usually overwhelmingly dominant logic side began to buzz uncertainly in warning, but before she fully realized what was happening, the words were already out of her mouth.

    “Well, see, if ye hadna caused a stramash, we’d no have heard ye, ken? We wouldna have had to investigate. And ye’d be snug in yer wee bed by now.”
    Her tone was still mild and almost inquisitive (how she’d managed almost complete neutrality, she wasn’t entirely sure) but there was the slightest hint of an edge that hadn’t been there before. Clementine wasn’t stupid, but her comments were becoming increasingly more irritating and so Jacq addressed them at face-value.

    might add a tiny bit more onto the end cause I'm not crazy about it but my brain can't focus any more tonight >>
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  • Offline Lionel Sterling
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    Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #7 on: January 19, 2018, 04:41:29 AM »
    Lionel didn't respond verbally to Clementine's retort, his answer in his hard gaze and slightly lifted defiant chin as he locked eyes with her. She could call it whatever she wanted, but as far as he was concerned, she was the one who had gone too far. Nothing that he had said was false, and neither did he think any of it was unjustified. His eyes widened as she drew in a breath; whatever he knew of her anticipated what was about to happen, somehow, but not the actual words.

    She was going to say that straight to her face? In front of him? Buried in the false comparisons was an insult of his choice of company, but it was beside the point. So she thought she was more interesting than Jacqueline, did she? Lionel clenched his jaw. The cold of Lionel's anger was like a stopper; pressure always built behind it, threatening to blow. The colder it became, the more brittle it was, the more breakable. He turned his head instinctively to Jacqueline, looking for the barometer of her expression. Seeing her ability to let it wash over her was like a little wave of cold water tempering his own feelings, but he wasn't sure if it was enough. "At least I'm interesting." "You just don't get that you ARE one of my interests!" "It seems, to no one's surprise, that we again have very different ideas of what interesting means," he growled, his words positively icy now, the intensity of his volume rising a little towards the end. There was more he could have said, but he restrained himself, taking his Ravenclaw friend as example.

    Normally, Lionel would be more acutely aware of Clementine's degree of impairment, would take it into account in his actions, just like the way he'd acted differently around her, or at least had attempted to, when she was crying about her pet. But the sixteen-year-old was starting to think that sounded an awful lot like a great set of excuses he was giving her to avoid responsibility for her words and actions. The alcohol had been a choice too. So when she attempted to make it seem like they were the ones who were intruding on her--when they had been stationary at the window until they had heard her arrive--a flurry of protests were triggered immediately in Lionel's mind at the complete absence of logic in her statements. He opened his mouth, when Jacqueline finally spoke instead.

    Her tone was surprisingly light for the abuse she'd endured in the last few minutes, caught in the crossfire between himself and Clementine. Lionel admired her composure, outburst it might seem to someone like Clementine who probably didn't believe the Ravenclaw could speak up for herself, even as he felt a sudden cognizance of the responsibility he bore for what she'd become subject to on his behalf. Yet here she was, again supporting him freely.

    Lionel stepped forward, no longer willing for his friend to be caught in between himself and the Gryffindor girl as she shuffled forward while talking about leaving. "You're projecting," he said flatly, clamping down on his emotion but raising his voice, his words ringing dully through the empty corridor. He had sufficient grounds to believe that she was far more likely to have been engaged in a tryst tonight than they were. "No one is stopping you."
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  • Offline Clementine Russell
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    Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #8 on: January 22, 2018, 08:26:31 AM »
    Instead of causing her to lunge forward, as such an inflammatory remark might have done under different circumstances, Jacqueline's choice of words piqued Clementine's interest and she settled back on her heels, setting her jaw and placing her hands decidedly on her hips.

    "Now what the hell is a stramash." Clem didn't pose this like a question, it was much more a weary statement than anything else at her counterpart's ridiculous manner of speaking, "If it means what I think it means, I didn't cause anything until you disturbed my trajectory to the tower, and I have a normal-sized bed, for a normal-sized person, thank you very much. English instead of leprechaun-speak would be phenomenal when you are addressing me as I've gone so far to extend that courtesy to you," Clementine dug into Jacqueline's accent and her dialect without any hesitation nor mercy, and while she wouldn't normally condone making fun of anyone who had grown up further north than she in such a way (because a bunch of far-south assholes did that due to some sort of weird superiority classist complex), she was aware that it would bother them both and so she'd gone ahead and done it anyway. Morals and actual political beliefs aside.

    When Lionel spoke, though, to tell her that she wasn't interesting, of all things, it was much more difficult to respond to. Her expression visibly flickered into something resembling shock, but she wiped it away quickly, grinding her teeth together and feeling as though she was going to explode with the effort of restraining all of her emotions. If anybody knew anything about Clementine, they knew that she was a highly emotional girl. Not that many people really knew anything about her, she supposed -- they only thought they did, so the intense passions, wrath, hurts, and even such debilitating apathy that she didn't want to get out of bed some days were mysteries to many of her peers. Not to Lionel. He knew that she'd be hurt by his comment, and he knew that such a thing would wound her delicate ego. How had she managed to deceive so many people? Clementine was weaker and much more boring than she showed people, and the worst thing would be for the people she cared about the most to uncover those truths. Perhaps that was beginning to happen sooner than she'd planned.

    Her sadness morphed quickly when he said something else, and she thanked her own quick rebound rate -- that she was able to recover from blows like that fast enough to make people think they hadn't done anything at all in the first place. "I'm projecting?" She scoffed loudly, her hands folding in to a tight cross on her chest. That was enough, now. "I think that's quite enough. I'm not projecting anything onto anybody. If I've got something to say, I'll say it. So what if I was out? I have nooooo problem saying that out loud." She paused, sucking in a tight breath through her nose to propel her further on. "You know that insulting me is pretty much a guarantee I'll stick around to defend myself."

  • Offline Lionel Sterling
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    Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #9 on: January 25, 2018, 01:09:06 AM »
    For the second time that night, Lionel felt a grim satisfaction take root in him, as visible shock overtook the Gryffindor's face. It was undeniably, unquestionably cruel. Lionel was always sarcastic, but that was easy, shallow. Here, though, here he was trying to wound. Clementine wasn't trying to hurt him, he didn't think. Her words were abrasive, aggressive, but not barbed. The Slytherin boy was responding to something else: a combination, he thought, of her dismissive addressing of Jacqueline and something deep inside him that was almost offended by everything that had happened in the past year, by the situations it had forced. By the way she'd waltzed into his life, demanded something he couldn't give, and waltzed out, damaging things in her wake; professed her interest and then manifested clear and fervent desire for his opposite. He'd left the door open for civil interaction when she'd left Fara, and she had been the one to demonstrate that that was not an option when term had begun. Fine by him; but if she wanted out, then she should stay out. His thoughts were harsh and clear. He didn't need to indulge her because he knew something about her. He could use that however he wanted. And he'd already given her one chance to leave.

    She rounded on Jacqueline again, attacking her dialect. Where Lionel had, starting even before he arrived at Hogwarts, trained himself in Received Pronunciation, Jacqueline's heritage was much more a part of her than it was for him. Lionel had a Welsh mother in the first place, not that she'd spent much time with him the way she had with Vivien, who he suspected had started out with much less of an accent than the younger boys. "How in Merlin's name is that relevant?" he interrupted rapidly, in a deliberate sudden and striking shift out of RP into an Orkney accent. Dropping further out of English and into the Orkney dialect of Scots, to the point where he wasn't sure Jacqueline herself would be able to parse the entire sentence, he added furiously, "Na winder naebody is iver blide tae see thee, proggin' yir heid in for no raison, if ye didna keep beerin' aboot ither folk like some right ree nyaff whin thoor the wan no' ansurin' ye wad no' hae geen yersel i' sic a steer!"

    Snapping back into RP for effect, his words remained laced with a low heat instead of cold. "Fine. I'll expunge the coping mechanism part. I hear happy couples love seeing other ones everywhere, though." It was the same thing, even if there wasn't a neat psychological concept with which to describe it. Lionel shook his hair out of his eyes. "Well. Guess we're stuck here, then. Happy little group of friends."

    « Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 01:27:57 AM by Ariana Laurier »
    you can't walk away from what your heart knows

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  • Offline Jacqueline MacClelland
  • Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #10 on: February 02, 2018, 03:35:53 AM »
    Jacqueline barely quelled the urge to cast a covert sidelong glance at her friend. She couldn’t deny it: his acerbic comments were beginning to genuinely worry her. Sarcasm was his second language, but it was always in good humor. Dry humor, with varying degrees of jadedness – but identifiable humor. Benign.
    This did not feel benign. This was biting. Cold. Hurt? The Slytherin was normally unflappable; even more so than Jacqueline. Was there more at play here than even she knew about? There had to be, she reasoned, for him to play so far into Clementine’s usual game.

    Unsurprisingly, Clementine rounded on her once again. Jacqueline sighed inwardly, affecting a neutral-as-possible expression but internally tensing as the Gryffindor dug into her dialect. She had been expecting worse, actually – but it still needled her. Normally the brunette took no issue with explaining words like ‘stramash’ when the question was phrased in a constructive manner; and while Clementine wasn’t what Jacqueline would necessarily consider a ‘model’ student, she was certain that the other girl had quite enough sense to carry out basic inductive reasoning with context clues. Again, unsurprisingly, Clementine wanted a rise out of her.
    ‘Leprechaun… och. At least get the country right, numpty.’
    Patience waning, she was sorely tempted to vocalize that mental retort.

    But then the most unexpected thing happened, and it was all Jacqueline could do to keep her jaw from hitting the floor. She dropped all pretense on attempting not to glance at Lionel with casual concern; if it was anything less than open shock written on her fair and freckled complexion, she’d be amazed by her own self-control. Jacqueline had no doubt Clementine was having a similar reaction, but she didn’t dare look her way.
    ‘How verra… Orcadian.’ she thought, dazed and unable to come up with a more eloquent descriptor for the string of words that had just rebounded off of her eardrums. The Orcadian dialect was one of the oldest forms of Scottish English, and yet it felt hardly similar to Gaelic; in fact, its Nordic influence was significantly heavier.

    Immediately following the shock, Jacqueline’s next identifiable emotion was a sort of pleasantly warm rush. Lionel had meticulously trained himself for years to obliterate all traces of Orcadian influence from his speech; she knew this, and had never asked him to demonstrate it for her, curious as she was to hear it. For him to voluntarily switch into it on the heels of Clementine’s insult as a means of coming to the Ravenclaw’s defense was… dizzying, really. If that wasn’t an indicator of the strength of their friendship, she wasn’t sure what was.

    And then there was the third emotion; more insidious in its presentation, but becoming more clear as her brain processed the turn of events.
    Jacq had fully comprehended maybe seventy percent – and in the context of his abrupt change of demeanor, it was more than enough to interpolate his meaning. She found she was actually somewhat relieved that Clem had as poor a grasp on the Scots dialect as she claimed. It was certainly the most unkind thing she’d ever heard Lionel – maybe even anyone – utter.
    Jacqueline actually felt sorry for the blonde.
    But the feeling ebbed just as suddenly as it had come, ultimately yielding to a surge of annoyance. Clementine must have done something truly rotten; what else would drive Lionel to say something as caustic as that.

    Resisting the urge to pull in a sharp breath through her teeth – a noise that she and her siblings used to make when one of them said something that was sure to get them into trouble with Mam – she took a half-step towards the Slytherin as casually as she could. She nearly reached out by reflex to put a steadying hand on his arm but refrained from that, too, at the last moment. Lionel wasn’t one for physical contact in a completely calm emotional state; it would likely be an even worse idea now. Just as well, as he wasn’t quite done.

    “I hear happy couples love seeing other ones everywhere, though.”
    The brunette flinched inwardly. She’d heard talk that Clementine was spending increasingly more time with one of the Gryffindor upperclassmen, but in all honesty she wasn’t particularly interested enough to find out more.
    But was he?

    There were a few heartbeats of stunned silence, in which Jacqueline was certain the other two could hear the gears of her brain whirring frantically, seeing as they had quite suddenly remembered how to work again. Lionel’s… outburst… was sobering; any fleeting desire she’d had to respond to Clementine’s snippy retorts in kind had been extinguished.

    And yet, the tension in the air was so palpable that the Prefect was willing to bet that a Severing Charm would yield a visual effect. It crackled like electricity before a storm, just waiting for the catalyst.

    What could she possibly say to diffuse the situation? The Gryffindor would surely discredit anything she had to say; and if she was being honest, she wasn’t feeling particularly confident in her ability to predict Lionel’s response to anything right now. What she did know was that their little rendezvous hadn’t started off on a promising note, and if things continued as they were… well, Jacq wasn’t keen on entertaining the possibility. Plainly, the primary conflict lay between Clementine and Lionel; Jacqueline was a mere accessory.

    Letting out her breath in a slow whoosh, she turned her attention to Clementine. The only thing she could think to do was echo Lionel’s earlier suggestion. Perhaps reason would prevail.
    Hopefully.
    Unlikely.
    The most realistic outcome was that Clementine would tell her to shut up or something to that effect.
    But it was worth a try?

    “It’s maybe best if ye go.” It was much more of a statement than a suggestion, despite the phrasing, but quietly voiced all the same. “It’s late… and I ken none of us want Filch to come pokin’ aboot.”

    sorry just realized I don't know how much she (or anyone else) knows about Clem and Dennis or to what extent they're involved so I kinda left it vague >>
    « Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 03:49:14 AM by Olivia »
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  • Offline Clementine Russell
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    Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #11 on: February 04, 2018, 04:29:53 PM »
    Clementine had known that her comments concerning Jacqueline's dialect would aggravate things, but she hadn't thought it would affect Lionel so much to provoke him into his native manner of speaking. In all the years she'd known him, though she had a penchant for irritating him and knew that, she hadn't done anything to make him angry enough to do that. Clem knew how much he resented his upbringing in more than one way, the Orkney being one of those things -- and the sight she'd laid her privileged eyes upon in Fara certainly hadn't been anything she could say she particularly envied. Through the sliver in the door she'd seen... some significantly less than appetizing-looking mutton, walls that were stony and sterile and decidedly un-decorated, and she could've sworn she'd felt a whoosh of cold air wash over her from the side of the house when the door had swung open.

    All that considered, she hadn't been able to understand much of what he'd said. She didn't need to understand specific words to be able to assume their meaning, though. He hadn't exactly been kind to her during this conversation so far (and she couldn't blame him, really, she hadn't been very nice either), so whatever it was he'd said had to be... even worse than telling her she wasn't interesting. She picked up on a couple of words. 'No wonder nobody.'  Venom following.

    Painfully aware of the severity of his feelings and feeling her heart ache as it beat annoyingly loudly in her chest, Clementine still wasn't quite sure he was as detached as he wanted to make it seem. Anger and detachment were certainly two different things for Lionel (and for most people, but especially for him). He didn't waste his breath or his time on people or things he had no connection to. The dig he'd made about her relationship with Dennis hadn't helped his case, and if not for that, she might've assumed his anger was all due to some sort of attachment he felt to Jacqueline and wanting to defend her honor. Dennis and Clementine's relationship had nothing to do with Jacqueline, though. It was bothering him. He'd given her a peek in in his fury. Clementine wasn't sure whether it was one step forward or two steps back, or why she was even still counting steps, but it felt like something.

    Her mixed emotions were really consuming, and they were washing over her in pressured waves, hitting her slowly one at a time. Jacqueline's grating little voice entered her field again and she gritted her teeth, resisting the urge to roll her eyes at her suggestions. God, how could he stand her? Must've been difficult, being friends with someone who hadn't a fun bone in their body. Who was so obsessed with rules and following directions and adhering to social standards they forgot about having a personality. She supposed, though, that Pureblood witches didn't need personalities to make it in life -- just... you know, their virginity and their family names. They were married off when they were eighteen or nineteen whether they wanted to be or not and then spent the rest of their lives being alternate balloons and homebodies.

    "Yeah. Whatever." Clementine bit out through her closed teeth, then took time to deliberately raise both her fists and pop her middle fingers up. She turned around and held them up high in the air, pumping them up and down for dramatic effect as she stalked off the way she'd been going in the first place, trying to look dignified, if not a little childish, while her eyes invisibly welled.

  • Offline Jacqueline MacClelland
  • Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #12 on: February 08, 2018, 03:23:05 AM »
    Well… that could have gone worse.

    Jacqueline had fully expected another nasty retort – braced herself for it, even – but the Gryffindor had merely spat back the essential equivalent of an affirmative; though not without brandishing her middle fingers about in the event that her discontent wasn’t made quite clear enough.

    ‘Thank goodness.’

    The Prefect closed her eyes briefly as Clementine’s still-drunken form retreated into the shadows, and her footsteps faded down the corridor. She inhaled quietly, holding her breath for a few seconds before letting it out again. The sudden silence felt positively deafening by contrast, pressing in on her eardrums. Jacq heard Lionel let out a long, slow breath next to her, and she opened her eyes in time to catch the look her gave her. She sighed in reply and half-shrugged a shoulder, not entirely sure what to say for a few long moments.

    Once she was certain that Clementine was a safe distance away (thank Merlin their patrol wouldn’t take them anywhere near Gryffindor Tower anyways), she settled for a simple: “Shall we?” and tilted her head down the corridor to continue their earlier trajectory. Jaqueline chanced one last longing glance out the window, and felt a fresh wave of irritation at the wee besom for disrupting what had been a rather pleasant shift.

    They walked for a few moments in silence. Ordinarily, the Ravenclaw might just let the moment go and not trouble with pressing him for details. But his dialogue kept replaying over and over again in the reel of her mind, striking her each time with its biting edge and raw emotion. It was so out of character for him that she couldn’t not follow up – the fifteen-year-old was concerned. So she decided to give him a few moments to regain control, and in the meantime try to parse out her own emotions.

    His comment on Clementine’s romantic life – with whomever it was – perhaps nagged at her the most. Clearly, whether he consciously acknowledged it or not, he raised some degree of objection to whatever the Gryffindor was doing. Why did it bother him?
    Was he jealous?
    The thought made her want to squirm; and the recognition of that reaction surprised her. Did she, Jacqueline, care that – if – he was?
    She had the sneaking suspicion that the answer to that was yes.

    Firmly shoving the thought aside, she snuck a sidelong glance at her friend. He was looking straight ahead, seemingly back to his stony-faced self. Again, she wanted to reach out and touch his arm in solidarity, like she would have done for Meredith or Éilís, but shoved her hands deep into the pockets of her robes instead. The last thing she wanted to do was make him even more uncomfortable, even if it was unintentional.
    Jacqueline took a breath and took the plunge.

    “Are ye alright, man?”
    « Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 04:03:23 AM by Olivia »
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  • Offline Lionel Sterling
    • I prefer to be unsociable and taciturn.
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    Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #13 on: February 11, 2018, 09:28:52 PM »
    His words were met with silence.

    A small part of the Slytherin enjoyed, in a way, the glimmer of power; the ability he apparently possessed to stun both of these people into silence, if briefly. It was something no badge or external authority could give him: it was a sheer consequence of who they knew him to be. Lionel was still angry; he felt as though he was observing himself from the side, watching himself breathe and the intensity of his gaze as he stared the Gryffindor down. He could see Jacqueline step forward from the corner of his eye, and there was a reticence there--what would she think of him? Lionel had done it for her, but he'd never been so cruel in her presence. Friendship meant something to him.

    After a moment, he heard her soft voice filter through his ears, repeating the chance he'd already given her. Lionel would not back down, now. The teenager didn't consider himself overly stubborn about most things in this world, but once he was driven to this point, there would be no standing down. Sometimes, taking control meant leaving. Here, the only way to control the situation was to stay.

    Perhaps she knew it, too, turning around with what dignity she salvaged remaining. Lionel didn't even blink when she raised her middle fingers, didn't feel anything as he watched her go, childish gestures receding into the distance. The same hardness that had first closed around him as soon as her first insults rang out had set like concrete around his being, anger both encased within but slowly dissipating. Lionel let out a breath he didn't know he'd been holding, and then turned his head to the side to find Jacqueline's gaze, half concerned there would be a note of horror in her eyes, or disgust. Lionel Sterling was no gentleman knight, but had he ever shown her that before?

    What he found was some mixture of curiosity and acceptance and thoughtfulness and for the moment, it sufficed. He nodded silently, gaze following hers to the window, hoping for a meteor but not seeing one in the brief moment. Spinning on his heel to the direction she'd pointed, his footfalls were light and measured on the old stones. He thought distantly of how many wizards had tread the castle before, only for them to inherit its legacy. He wouldn't have noticed someone breaking curfew if they walked straight up to him, but he was attuned to her voice.

    "Sufficiently," he said, still looking forward as he walked. A moment passed, and he slowed his pace, turning towards her. "I'm sorry about that," he said, uncharacteristically. Lionel rarely apologized for anything. "You shouldn't have gotten dragged into that."
    you can't walk away from what your heart knows

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  • Offline Jacqueline MacClelland
  • Re: [corridor] casualties [jacqueline, clementine]
    « Reply #14 on: March 15, 2018, 11:38:10 PM »
    “Sufficiently.”

    Despite the seriousness of the situation, a hidden smile found its way to her lips. The response was so very… Lionel.

    What he said next, though, was so very… not.

    She glanced up, surprised, but slowed her stride to match his all the same. An apology wasn’t unwarranted, certainly – but it was strange to hear it from him. For the second time that evening she felt a warm sort of comfort at the realization. She was willing to bet he’d never once apologized to Clementine; and it gave her an odd sense of satisfaction.
    But as soon as the thought entered her mind, she banished it.
    ‘What is wrong with ye, ye wicked wee brat?’

    Disengaging from her internal conflicts, she offered her friend what she hoped was a reassuring smile.
    “Och, dinna fash,” she replied reflexively, waving a hand in casual dismissal. “I’ve had worse from her, besides. And she backed down before Filch came ‘round, so there’s that.” It was a feeble attempt at humor; the air still felt heavy with things unsaid.

    “It was… kind of ye, to stand up for me. It means a lot.”

    She hesitated, then. The last thing she wanted was to sound ungrateful for his coming to her defense; but as much as she disliked Clementine, Lionel’s retorts had been especially caustic. In the pause that followed, she replayed the encounter over again in her mind. In truth, the Gryffindor’s offensive had been relatively… subdued. And yet, Lionel had been the angriest she’d ever seen him. The blonde’s digs at her dialect were nothing new; nor was the knowledge that Clementine seemed to have a habit of not only sneaking about the castle in the middle of the night, but also drinking.
    What had made tonight’s incident so different?

    ‘Do ye fancy her?’ she wanted to blurt out. It was an absurd question and an excellent one, all at the same time. If she didn’t know Lionel as well as she did, – or felt she did – she would have taken his anger at face-value and not read any further into it. But he had been the one to bring up Clementine’s romantic life, when he could have let her insult slide. If it had meant nothing to him, he wouldn’t have said anything, wouldn’t have wasted his breath on a baseless or insubstantial comment.
    But he had; so did it?

    Jacqueline wasn’t quite sure how to segue into what she wanted to say (or even what she wanted to say, if she was being honest), and so she just started talking.

    “I’ve no ever seen ye so angry – and this was hardly new behavior for her.” As it had been the whole evening, her tone was quiet, despite the fact that the corridor was completely deserted. She chanced another glance at his stony expression.
    “D’ye want to tell me about it? I ken it’s no my business… but, well, to speak truth… the Orcadian had me a wee bit worrit.” She allowed only a trace of amusement to suffuse her last comment, in hopes of keeping the mood somewhat light.
    “Seeing as you’re one of my closest mates, I’d be sorely remiss to no do what I can.”
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