Author Topic:  [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)  (Read 521 times)

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first week of November 2005

The days were getting shorter and the darkness filled Mathilde’s heart again. At the beginning of term she had been confident that the new school year would be much better than the year before and so far she was right about that and yet she felt like a dark shadow hovering over her even when she was out gardening and the sun shed golden light on the school grounds.

She loved student service, working with her hands always made her feel grounded and calm. Lately, however, there was a new aspect to gardening - it reminded her of the former professor Arsène Dutour who happened to be her biological father and who was rotting in prison these days. She was unwilling to let this spoil her love for plants. Yet, whenever she worked with plants, she remembered him and how her life had been turned upside down.

Being early for the student service, the groundskeeper, Alejandro Garcia, had already unlocked the greenhouse for her and she had collected the supplies they needed. Mathilde loaded a wheelbarrow with bark mulch and had put gloves and rose pruners on top. They’d be making the rose bed ready for the winter. Roses were not among her favourite plants, though. Their beauty was deceptive. Their thorns could hurt quite a bit, occasionally even through the gloves.

Mathilde waved with a green gloved hand as Hippolyte joined her moments later in the rose garden. Hopefully her friend would help her to get out of the downward spiral. Gardening was fun! She just needed to allow herself to enjoy it.

“Hippo!” she said, forcing a smile onto her face. “We’ve got perfect weather today, don’t you agree?! Monsieur Garcia asked that we cut down the roses, remove weeds and put some bark mulch where needed.” She looked from her friend to the roses. Some still carried a few late blossoms, giving some colour to the otherwise dull looking garden. It was a shame to cut the roses when some were still clinging to the summer season, but she knew that it was non-debatable. If Monsieur Garcia gave them a task it was best not to argue.

@Hippolyte Renoir
« Last Edit: May 19, 2024, 10:53:38 AM by Inga »

21 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2024, 02:25:54 PM »
Quite of the same opinion as his friend, Hippo had been looking forward to returning to Beauxbatons. He had missed his common room. His plants. The stables. The airy brightness. A nice change back to normal from last year, even though a part of him had enjoyed the discovery of something new. Glancing down at his time piece the fourth year decided he'd better run if he meant to get to Student Service on time. As a Renoir time always meant something a little more special.

"Mathile." the boy greeted with a smile as he secured his own gardening gloves. Perhaps unlike Mathilde, Hippo did enjoy the roses. He enjoyed plants in general, of course, but he also liked the more exotic and dangerous kinds, too. His hands were constantly bandaged due to some combination of things. He didn't mind the roses thorns if it meant he got to enjoy the perfume and the vibrancy that the roses brought to a room. "It's a lovely day. Shame about the roses, though." he muttered, unknowingly echoing his friends thoughts. "Did you want me to start there? I'd like to collect the bulbs. Might be able to salvage something for the dorms if we're careful." he offered, liking the idea of nursing the rose bulbs where they could grow and blossom.

He always appreciated vibrant colors.

67 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2024, 10:44:49 AM »
“Yeah, it is, isn’t it?!” Mathilde’s gaze wandered from her friend’s face over to the last little dots of colour in otherwise dreary grounds. Even most of the surrounding trees had given up showing off their pretty fall colours after the last storm a few days ago. The temperature was still rather warm, though. It didn’t feel like winter was just around the corner yet.

“That sounds like a wonderful idea,” the girl agreed. Collecting the last blossoms of the season to give them a chance to please the students in the castle sounded great. So the roses wouldn’t have produced the buds in vain after all.

“I can’t wait for the Christmas decorations to give us back some of the colour that nature is lacking in the winter.” She sighed deeply. Truth be told, towards the end of autumn - which she actually quite liked - the girl was always looking forward to spring. When nature awoke after the dark and cold days of winter it always felt so incredibly invigorating. Last spring, however, they had all been at Manoir Vertneuf and her own life had gone through extreme changes. Mathilde still hadn’t processed it all. She tried to see the positive things about the revelations of last school year - she had half-siblings she hadn’t known of. That was a good thing, right?

As her thoughts transported her to the day that she had learned that Arsène Dutour was her biological father, the smile that had previously brightened her face faded into nothingness. Her eyes looked sad and she lowered her gaze, unwilling to spoil the garden work for Hippolyte.

“Shall I get us a pot or bucket from the greenhouse for the blossoms?” she offered.

21 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2024, 10:05:43 PM »
Hippo wasn't the type to linger too long on matters that required too much thought or melancholy. That was more Ari than him, with his heads in the clouds. He much preferred taking action, if he could, to mitigate the flow of thoughts or sadness. While there was regret, there was also a way to salvage it all, at least in his opinion. He grinned at Mathilde, pleased she agreed, before shuffling a bit closer.

The flowers were fragrant, the aroma lingering in the air pleasantly in a such way he could almost taste it. He placed the bag he'd brought in between them and settled close to his friend as he studied the blooms, making little sounds of agreement, as he pruned and collected them at his feet. The repetitive motion was nice and soothing and it distracted him from the proximity a little. It made the back of his neck heat a little because he'd never had such a reaction to Mathildes proximity before. She was pretty, though, like the roses were. In that delicate way he'd been suddenly noticing girls where. (His brain spasmed a little as he remembered Cinda kissing him, back when he hadn't really thought kissing could ever be a big deal.)

"Honestly I cant believe its almost Christmas." he added with a little shake of his head, hair flopping across his eyes for a moment, before he brushed the strands away. He always looked forward to the holiday - the lights and the revelry was always exciting. He very much agreed that the decorations were stellar, too.

At her words the boy turned towards her, noting the way the smile had dimmed on her face, as he registered what he was asking. Part of him wanted to ask but the other part wondered if she needed a few minutes to herself. Deciding he'd give her that before prying (And noting that the physical distance would let his brain restart a bit) he noted before verbally assenting. "That'd be nice. I'll help you add them to the bucket when you get back." he offered quietly, eyebrows quirking down unconsciously in concern. He'd ask when she got back. Hopefully tactfully because he truly didn't wish to upset her.

« Last Edit: June 19, 2024, 10:07:22 PM by Lilly »

67 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2024, 05:07:46 AM »
“I know, right?!” Mathilde wasn’t looking forward to Christmas. Not at all. She wondered if staying at Beauxbatons for the holidays was an acceptable option - acceptable to her parents. For her this option was very intriguing indeed. Maybe she could also find a friend to stay with over the holidays if only she didn’t have to spend the entire time with the people who had lied to her for all her life.

“Okay, good.” Her voice was a little hoarse and she made a quick exit when Hippo agreed that a bucket to store the blossoms in was a good plan. She made a beeline for the greenhouse and although she truly enjoyed spending time with Hippolyte, she felt that she was welling up again and she didn’t want to look like a fool, bursting into tears during their gardening work. It was pathetic and it wouldn’t help either. She stayed in the greenhouse for a little longer than necessary before she walked back to her friend.

She managed a hint of a smile as she held out the bucket coming closer to Hippo again. “This will do, I think,” she said. Any bucket would, of course, but she felt like she had to say something.

“What are you doing over Christmas?” she asked even though the topic was a difficult one for her. She imagined that the Renoirs celebrated all together in perfect harmony. The three Renoir kids were very different in some ways, but they were close as far as Mathilde could tell.

21 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2024, 09:51:26 PM »
"Right." he easily agreed, a smile on his lips, as he laughed. Mathilde had pretty hair. He hadn't really noticed that before but, well, she did. Was that something he was allowed to point out in casual conversation? Definitely a thought for later contemplation.

Instead of replying immediately Hippo took a long look at Mathilde. Nothing seemed amiss but there was something in his gut that was telling him she was upset about something. "You alright?' he finally asked, biting his lip a little, as he glanced away from her and focused on pruning the roses. Lack of eye contact could be beneficial when you felt sort of grubby.

"Home, probably." Part of him wanted to stay behind but he wasn't sure really why. He loved going home for the holidays. "How about you?" he tacked on, curious.

67 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2024, 03:27:02 AM »
It was like a monster had jumped out of nothingness to startle her when Hippolyte asked her if she was alright. Her cheeks quickly went from pale to red and she knew that there was only one right answer to it and one answer she should give to keep the situation light and easy.

She shrugged, indecisively. She liked Hippolyte, she trusted him. She could confide in him but she didn’t want to burden him with her thoughts that weighed so heavily on her shoulders. Telling the truth was a luxury not everybody could afford.

“Yeah…” she said, her voice not sounding very convincing. “It’s only been a lot to take in lately.” There, that would do, she hoped. She left it to her friend to make of it what he wanted. Maybe he’d let it go so as to not spoil the fun of gardening. Maybe he’d enquire further - now or later.

He said that he’d go home for Christmas and Mathilde’s lips formed a smile. “That’s nice,” she said, thinking that in a normal family it was indeed a pleasure to spend Christmas together. A year ago she had been eager to go home for the holidays herself…

“I don’t know… I guess they expect me to go home,” she said, shrugging again. It was easier to speak of ‘them’ than to call them ‘her parents’. After all, Mathilde was still in the process of figuring out if she could call the man who raised her and who had lied to her for all her life her father.

21 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2024, 08:37:53 PM »
Making a mistake was always something Hippo tried desperately to avoid. It wasn't that he had an overwhelming need to be right or anything, either, it was moreso that being wrong made him anxious. Like an unnamed and silent dread creeping up from the depths of the stomach it had bottomed out on, ready to take its pound of figurative flesh. Dramatic, maybe, that was just how it all felt and he aimed to avoid that feeling, first and foremost. It was probably why he was on the quieter side - less probability he'd put his foot in his mouth that way.

And boy had he just messed up. He watched sort of helplessly as Mathilde colored (the tone actually quite complimentary) and wanted to backtrack pretty much imediately. He didn't like it when people were sad, as a rule, and especially not any of his friends but he just realized he liked it even less when they were sad because of him. And Mathilde honestly had such pretty features it was just sort of a travesty to witness. Like a wilted flower.

He focused on pruning, letting her words wash over him, as he struggled to come up with a proper response. She'd inadvertently given her answer even as she tried to downplay the issue. When he changed the subject like that it usually meant he didn't want to talk about it and generally he didn't like to talk about a great many thing. He'd always been more the listener amongst his group of friends. "You know-" he started, leaning over the rose bush in search of a fresh bloom. "When I feel bad about something and I don't want to talk about it, well, plants are great right? So I really think you should have this as something to keep. A good memory. Maybe it'll cheer you up. " he rushed to get out as he finally found a rose that was in full bloom. He clipped it gently, shaving the edges off and clipping it a little, as he presented it to her in the palm of his hand. "It um, would look nice in your hair I think." he added sheepishly, the color flooding his own face now.

"You could visit, y'know, over the hols. If you'd like." he added, a small little smile curling his lips.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2024, 08:41:20 PM by Lilly »

67 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2024, 05:46:45 AM »
Hippolyte was such a thoughtful young wizard. Mathilde smiled at him, appreciating the things he said and did. They were friends for a while now, but it was now that the girl saw why she liked him so much. They had plenty of things in common, especially their love for nature and in particular plants, but he was also sensitive and understanding. Kind and supportive.

“Yeah,” she said quietly as she, too, bowed down to work on pruning the roses. It was such a worthwhile task. Some students didn’t see that this job was one that had to be done so the roses would spoil them with their beauty once the summer came again. Maybe it was the same in life. They were moments when things had to be done, things that didn’t seem intriguing, so that, at some point, everything could look nice and well again.

Her cheeks turned into a soft pink shade when Hippolyte said that the rose he held out to her would look nice in her hair. Her gaze met his and she bit her lower lip, feeling seen in a way that she wasn’t used to. It was exciting and maybe a little scary. She was clearly venturing out of her comfort zone just now but was that so wrong?

“Um…” she smiled nervously, stepping from one foot to the other. “Would you… like to… put it in my hair?” she asked, the pink of her cheeks deepening as she couldn’t hold his gaze any longer. His blue eyes were so pretty, they were a mirror of his beautiful soul.

His next words made her heartbeat quicken and she found his blue eyes again, looking for confirmation in them that she had heard this right. “Do you think that would be possible?” she breathed, her voice barely obeying her anymore. “I don’t want to trouble you, but… well, it would be nice if…” She shrugged helplessly. “Thank you.”

21 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2024, 09:31:36 PM »
Hippo cleared his throat a little, feeling like his voice was stuck, as he walked a few paces closer to Mathilde. The rose was still in his hand, and he wasn't real sure what to say, but his courage couldn't fail him now could it? "Sure." he said quietly, feeling the back of his neck warm, as he glanced at her. A spike of something unfamiliar made his stomach swoop, the closeness making him nervous and queasy at the same exact time.

"Do you mind if I...?" he trailed off, hands hovering, before he brushed her hair back a bit with one hand and pinned the rose behind her ear with the other. He focused on being as gentle as possible and definitely not on how soft her hair was. Hip wasn't a particular tactile person. He liked to have his space and give people space back. But this sort of closeness was nice. A bit scary and a bit electric in equal measure, to be sure, but overall he was fairly sure he liked it. "It suits you." he managed, a little bit starstruck at the picture she made. Mathilde really was pretty. He felt stupid for not having noticed before.

And then her voice came out breathy and endearing and he desperately needed to take a step back before he did something. He didn't know a girls voice could do that. Or that such a thing could affect him so much. "Ye- I mean yes." he croaked, blinking, as he turned back towards pruning the roses. "It would be nice. I'km sure Renata will be visiting too." at least he assumed. She was a friend to both his brother and him, though was sure there was something going on with her and his brother.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2024, 09:32:49 PM by Lilly »

67 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2024, 12:57:23 PM »
As Hippolyte stepped closer to put the rose into her hair, she smiled a little sheepishly. He was so gentle and she appreciated it. It made her feel seen and valued which meant more at this time than it might have a year ago. Her world had been turned upside down and she wasn’t sure how she felt about some things and how others felt about her now that it was clear that she wasn’t the person everyone had thought her to be.

Why Arsène Dutour appeared on her mind now she didn’t know. She brushed the unwelcome thought away to focus on the present. Hippo was unusually close. She could smell his shampoo.

“Thank you,” she whispered as he said that the rose suited her. The girl that didn’t like a genuine compliment still had to be born.

Hippolyte’s voice suddenly sounded different as he took a step back and Mathilde looked at him, feeling a little worried that she might have done something wrong or that her friend had just remembered that she was in fact the daughter of a criminal. No, this was silly. Mathilde refused to think about that now. She wanted to enjoy the time with her friend and not give him a reason to find her dull and dark.

“Oh, I see,” Mathilde said, unsure what to think about Renata possibly also staying at the Renoirs. “I suppose you’ll have to ask your parents, though, and I guess I should check with… mine as well.” Truth be told, Mathilde didn’t much feel like asking her parents. They had forfeited their right to demand her to spend time with them. After all, they had lied to her for all her life and would have continued doing so if Dutour’s involvement hadn’t come out. The girl couldn’t help but feel betrayed and at this point she was certain that she’d never get over this feeling.

21 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2024, 09:19:02 PM »
"You're welcome." he whispered back, wishing he had something else to do with his hands now that they weren't occupied. The sudden distance between them had little to do with the fact he was somehow put-off by the closeness rather than he wasn't quite sure what to do with it. He'd heard older students did stupid things sometimes, when their thoughts were consumed with kissing. (Wasn't that exactly why Cinda had gone on her kissing spree?)

"I'm sure it would be fine." he didn't see a reason for his parents to say no, really. He'd known Mathilde a long time now. He actually wasn't sure if his brother had invited Renata but it seemed like a natural progression. Maybe. He'd have to ask Ari about it now that he'd brought up the possibility to Mathilde. Hippo didn't want to make himself a liar. "If not prepare yourself for plenty of disappointed owls." he said with a grin, aiming to cheer them both up. Owls wouldn't be an adequate replacement but at least those were within both their powers to accomplish.

Slipping his gloves back on the tall boy grabbed his pruning sheer and got back to work. "How long do you think this'll take us?" he asked curiously, his attention back on the flowers.

67 Posts 14
Re: [school beautification - Nov. 05] Dis-moi tes peurs (Hippo)
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2024, 05:31:35 AM »
There was tension in the air and Mathilde chewed on her lip, feeling strangely nervous all of a sudden. Nothing had happened between them and nobody would interpret anything into it either, she assumed. Nonetheless she was unpleasantly aware of her heated cheeks that likely had changed colour in the past few seconds.

She nodded, hoping that Hippo was right when he said that it was surely fine if she came to stay with him and his family. It would be a welcome distraction although the girl was pretty certain that she wouldn’t be able to leave the gloomy thoughts behind entirely.

Disappointed owls… Again the girl nodded, this time she didn’t manage a smile, though. The prospect of being at home with her parents and just staying in touch with her friends with owls didn’t feel intriguing. Her owl, Odette, would probably like being useful. Fortunately, the winter break wasn’t long. Surely she could get through that short period of time.

Hippolyte asked her how long she thought pruning the roses would take them and Mathilde was worried that her friend wanted to get away from her now. Maybe he felt that his offer hadn’t been quite right? She closed her eyes as she took a deep breath. This was silly. She was reading too much into it.

She glanced across the bed of roses and shrugged. “An hour? Maybe two? It’s quite a bit of work.” Surely they could finish pretty quickly if they rushed through the task but if they did it diligently, it could easily take them two hours.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2024, 05:34:08 AM by Inga »


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