This post has the following content warnings:
Mar 28, 2023 1:58 AM
What a difference a single person can make; a single change to the world. Severus Snape, in his first year, is instead a young lady who wants to make some changes to the world and herself.
+ Show First Post
Total: 305
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"That sounds like a good way to pass the time, if the ride's long enough.  How do you play that?"

Permalink

It is a quite long ride, so he'll explain in detail. The goal of the game is primarily to detect patterns in the cards as they are dealt faster than your opponent, but not so fast that you detect them incorrectly, which causes the cards to explode at you.

Sirius is very good at it, almost entirely through sheer reflexes rather than pattern-matching ability.

Permalink

Ophelia's pattern-matching is very good, although the first time there is the crack of an explosion --

Permalink

She has to interrupt the game to soothe a bird.

Permalink

She's also got lots of fine motor skill from nigh-obsessive wand practice, trying to determine the minimal requisite motions and push her speed up, but it's not quite the same thing, really.

Permalink

Lily will shortly finish skimming her book and join in. She has a lot of enthusiasm, decent reflexes, and absolutely no fear of explosions, which results in a cheerful willingness to be repeatedly wrong to earn a few milliseconds more of reaction time.

Permalink

They will pass, then, a very fun several hours at the game.

Permalink

(The corvid doesn't find it particularly fun, but Ophelia can cast Quietus - probably on the deck of cards, that being the source of the unpleasantness.)

Permalink

"Is that allowed?" he'll eventually ask, curiously, tilting his head at the crow. "S'not an owl."

Permalink

"Heck if I know; she brought herself, I had nothing to do with it and couldn't stop her when I tried.  She's very persistent."

Permalink

"Oh. Huh. Well hello then, extremely persistent magic bird," he says to the crow. "Probably if you do murder in the owlery they will kick you out but if not then maybe the owls will share, I wouldn't know."

Permalink

The crow tilts her head curiously and warks back, peering at this strange new human.  Then she flutters to Ophelia's shoulder, keeping a wary eye on the Human With Things That Go Bang.

Someone has to, since Ophelia's busy being friendly - and clearly Ophelia's flockmate can't be trusted to do it; she made a lot of things go bang herself!

Permalink

Ophelia bursts into giggles.

 

"You know, I don't know if she has a single spark of magic at all?  There's a whole flock of them that hang 'round my place; I feed them, they give me shiny things, it's a symbiotic relationship."

Permalink

Blink, blink. "Some people say all animals are a little bit magic but maybe they have just only met magic animals."

Permalink

"It's a good question!  We should do science to it."

Permalink

"Yeah!!"

(In Lily's experience 'science' means 'try stuff while Ophelia takes notes', a fun and delightful activity.)

Permalink

Cautious nod.

Permalink

"How can you find out if an animal is magic?  I don't think the Care books actually went into that much, which is weird..."

Permalink

"Same way you tell if people are magic, probably? You just have to see if does any magic. ... Although actually I think it might count as 'doing magic' to be able to see Hogwarts at all so maybe you will find out very soon."

Permalink

"Huh.  Good to know.  Not very helpful to empirically test, though...especially for - subclinical?  Levels..."

 

Ophelia's going to spend the rest of the ride thinking.

Permalink

Subclinically magical. What a phrase.

Sirius will spend the rest of the ride fidgeting with his Snap cards, staring out the window.

Permalink

Lily goes back to shoulderlean-reading, watching Sirius out of the corner of her eye.

 

Permalink

The arm Ophelia isn't using to write - in a muggle three-ring binder, with one of those corporate-sponsored cheap pens they give out at career days and so on - ends up making its way around Lily's shoulders, for 'some' 'unknowable' reason.

Permalink

The Hogwarts Express stops at Hogsmeade Station with an abruptness that is much less jarring than it has any possible right to be, and throws all its doors open with a ringing clatter. Students, leaving their luggage behind, pour out in fits and starts; some are clinging together in nervous clumps, while others burst out like birds taking flight, chattering excitedly at each other. The open-air platform is breezy and warm, the wooden planks holding heat like sun-baked stone, and overhead the last rays of sunset give it a peculiar sense of unreality. As though the Hogwarts Express has exited the real world, where there is a war, and arrived at the borders of faerieland, where there are only rumours of same.

But borderlands are not the fortress, and the war could come here, if it so chose. It doesn't, because Dumbledore is here, as he was at King's Cross. By the stiffness of his statuesquely grim stance, it is tempting to imagine that he hasn't moved at all, and the Earth simply shifted around him.

Someone in a bright red scarf, fifteen or sixteen by the looks of it, shouts over the din, "HI PROFESSOR DUMBLEDORE, IS IT TRUE YOU KILLED THR - "

"Please do not ask me to speak of the war here," murmurs the headmaster. His voice is so soft that it should not have been audible at more than five paces, and everyone on the platform hears it as clearly as if they they were standing right next to him.

Permalink

...She is not going to speak of the war, here.

Not directly, at the very least.

But - something about him -

 

As the bustle of the train dies down, Ophelia, despite her normal intuitions that would not dare directly confront such a powerful authority as this, finds herself speaking to him, after she disembarks - though with some trepidation over leaving her trunk.  There is no reason to hurry here.

 

"Headmaster Dumbledore.  I realize that you have asked that the current troubles not follow us here, but - ask, and speak, I feel I must, for reasons strange and obscure even to me.  Given that - there is a war -

"I feel that it would be a blessing upon all her Houses, if the students of Hogwarts could learn the skill and art of healing, especially in these trying times.  If that is something you could arrange...

"It feels as though it is something that could help more than any number of slain Dark wizards could."

She pauses, and - carefully displays vulnerability, that is also sympathy, empathy.

"...I hate being helpless, too.  You - have much more power than I - but...power alone will not, cannot fix this.  It's an issue of mindset.  Proper and effective education, though, that - faces our shared pains, and teaches us better ways of mending them...That might just help.  It attacks the problem's source."

Total: 305
Posts Per Page: