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first RP, this is so exciting

  • Aug. 15th, 2007 at 1:30 AM
aristotle_bWho: Ari Boot and Stephen Weasley
Where: Ravenclaw common room
When: Evening, I guess

Ari hated writing essays for Potions. He could do the practical work in class, which was usually just a matter of closely following directions; that wasn't difficult. But when it came to putting everything together and explaining the theory, he was hopeless. His quill broke for the eleventh time and he sighed in frustration.

Stephen relaxed back in his chair in his common room and turned the page in his textbook. Absolutely Arithmancy! was absorbing, but even so, the equations he was supposed to be learning were not enough to mask the sound of a quill snapping yet again. Peering over the massive cover of the book, Stephen looked at his distressed housemate. "Having trouble?"

Ari hesitated. He did need help. But on the other hand, he hated letting this older boy know it. There was something slightly patronizing in his tone that set Ari's teeth on edge. Finally, he decided on a noncommittal answer.

"Classes get a lot harder this year," he muttered.

"Well, they tend to get harder every year, I believe that's the point." Stephen looked back at his book, and was almost prepared to dismiss the other boy's concerns.

He couldn't really focus on the words, though, and out of something suspiciously like guilt, he sighed and, forcing himself to care, asked, "What year are you in, anyway?"

"Third. But I'm almost fourteen," Ari added quickly. "I'm one of the oldest in my year."

"Third year is rather difficult, I suppose," Stephen conceded. Of course, being in fourth year himself, he didn't have that much experience to go on, but that was irrelevant. "You know it just means you have to study more, though."

"I don't mind studying." Ari turned back to his essay, meaning to get back to work and make the other boy realize, by the sheer speed of his quill, how good Ari really was at this. But when he did look at his paper, he realized that he was still stuck. Worse, the last paragraph or so was complete babble. He stared at it.

"It's just," he burst out, "for the first two years, we only had to follow instructions in Potions, and now we're supposed to know that there was some secret pattern all along? If I can make a potion perfectly well, why do I have to know why it works that way?"

Stephen was slightly taken aback. He hadn't really expected the other boy to actually ask for help. And this question was even appropriate, too. "Think about it. If you know the theory behind some of the more basic potions, it can help you create new ones later." He smiled lightly. "Theory may be incomprehensible and mind-numbingly boring, occasionally, but it really is worth it."

"I suppose." Ari realized that he was not exactly conveying the image of himself that he liked to, as a calm, studious person who could work through these things easily. "Well, maybe I'll read over the chapter again."

"That's a good start." Stephen hesitated for a moment, but finally decided to add, "If you're still having trouble after that, I could take a look at it, if you like."

"Well, maybe. But I probably won't need it." Ari was torn between gratitude and resentment. He knew the proper thing to do would be to thank the older boy, who didn't have to offer, after all. But he still felt too patronized to want to. He settled for saying, "Glad there's at least one other sane person in Hogwarts these days, right?"

Stephen laughed. "Ah, thanks. I'm glad to see that too. It has been a little more crazy around here lately than usual."

"I blame it on everyone being related," Ari agreed. Then a look of horror crossed his face. "Oh! Wait! I didn't mean... I forgot you were..."

Stephen waved it off. "It's alright, that probably is part of the problem." He looked up at the ceiling. "Sometimes I can't believe I have to call them all family."

"Still, it must be nice having a large family," Ari said. He did not say it wistfully, because he was being very careful not to say it wistfully.

If there had been any unusual tone in the other boy's voice, Stephen was too wrapped up in memories from the Burrow to notice it. "As long as I don't have to face all of them gathered in one place, maybe. I spend most of my time alone with my father, though."

"Ha. Well. Me too," Ari said, grinning at the irony, "but it's not like I have much of a choice in the matter. Anyway, I admire you lot for keeping a recessive gene like redheadedness so... visible. If you married a brunette, would they disown you?"

Stephen's eyes lit up for a moment. "I wonder..." Then he shrugged, smiling again. "No, that would probably be too easy. I'll keep it in mind, though."

Ari laughed. "Well," he said, "It may be worth a try." He paused. "Anyway," he said, "I should probably be getting back to my work. I still have seven inches left and I have a feeling I'll have to re-write some of this."

Stephen nodded. "Alright then." He picked up his textbook - upside down - was confused for a moment, then righted it. He managed to find his place with little difficulty. "Good luck."

"Thank you," Ari said, finally able to say it without feeling like he was conceding something.

"Sure," Stephen murmured distractedly, already reabsorbed in his book.