Eloise Beauchamp

I took a little journey to the unknown

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The library was a pretty safe bet for places to find Eloise if she wasn’t in the dueling chamber or in one of the unused classrooms practicing ballet. The blonde loved the library; loved doing research at one of the secluded tables, surrounded by stacks and stacks of ancient tomes. She was, in fact, gearing up for another such research session (the topic this time being muggle in relation – specifically, Eloise wanted to ensure that she wasn’t being taught a bunch of codswallop by Gawkrodger (again), and was therefore taking it upon herself to get a different side of the story).

 

She was all but certain that the Hogwarts library was likely not the best place to get her information, but given her other options were going to Gawkrodger himself (which would defeat the purpose, really) or asking one of the many muggleborns at Hogwarts... Eloise was definitely going to take the library. If she thought her parents might let her check out a few muggle libraries on break without disowning her, she might’ve done so, but seeing as that wasn’t option… this was it.

 

The blonde had pulled several books from the shelves, a few that weren’t very promising (A Look at the Primitive Muggle World was included in that grouping), and some which seemed more trustworthy (The Muggles’ World, Told from a Muggleborn Wizard’s Perspective seemed definitely more reliable, albeit still biased). Then again, it seemed all but impossible to get an unbiased view of muggles or the muggle world – everyone seemed to have their own angle to it.

 

The Ravenclaw arrived back at her table and set her books down calmly, beginning to stack them into piles based on subject matter, as was her usual method. By the time she finished, she looked up, spying a familiar face nearby. Not usually one to instigate conversation (unless it was to Desmond) when she was about to embark on one of her research quests, Eloise did feel she shouldn’t just ignore Nico, especially as she had caught the boy’s eye. So, she gave him a small smile and a wave instead, leaving it up to him whether to approach.

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Nico entered his home away from home.  Well, technically, Hogwarts was his home away from home, but the library was his home away from the dorm, which was his home within his home away from home.  Yeah, that made a lot of sense there, didn’t it?  Nico was walking down the aisles looking for… well, nothing in particular.  That was how he spent a lot of time, really.  He wandered through the library looking at the various titles and would stop and grab one when a title grabbed his attention.  He had a couple of things he was interested in: questions that he’d come up with in the most recent Charms and Transfiguration classes, mostly.  Now that he was in his 4th year, he tended to just forgo asking the professors about his random questions, since they got tired of him rather quickly, and instead just went in search of answers in the library.  Problem was, he had a tendency to forget what he was actually looking for, and just wind up wandering around.

 

He came to the end of an aisle and pulled up short as he saw someone he recognized.  It obviously wasn’t unheard of for him to come across Eloise in the library, but normally she was closed off from the world, hard at work, and so he did his best not to disturb her.  But this time they had made eye contact.  Then she smiled and waved at him.  There’s no way… Nico looked over his shoulder to see if there was someone behind him that she was waving at.  Huh.  That was directed at me.  And that whole dance wasn’t awkward AT ALL.  With a mental shrug at the situation and internal sigh at his own lack of social aplomb, Nico walked over to his fellow Ravenclaw.

 

“Hi, Eloise.  Whatcha studying today?”  There.  That’s a nice, casual question that makes sense for the situation.  You got this, Knight.  And way to keep it to only one question for once!

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It seemed, at first, like Nicodemus did not want to acknowledge her wave towards him, but then he turned back and approached, surprising Eloise. Not an unpleasant surprise, but a surprise nevertheless – it wasn’t often that people chose to approach her, but then again, it wasn’t as if she usually waved at someone and actually looked inviting. Then again, there weren’t all too many people whose presence Eloise could stand for much longer than a duel so…

 

Perhaps, logically, she shouldn’t be so surprised that Nico chose to approach her since she had actually made an effort where she normally wouldn’t have.

 

“Muggles,” She answered succinctly, looking down at her stack of books with a bit of disdain. “You won’t believe how hard it is to find unbiased sources on them,” Eloise elaborated. “You either get people who are like Gawkrodger who think they’re entirely barbaric, or you get the people who are muggle-born who argue that they’re basically like wizards… without magic,” She vented her frustrations and sighed, observing Nico curiously. She didn’t normally talk so much, but she was passionate about the things she was doing research on, and never found harm in speaking about such things. She wondered if Nico would be as useful for talking to as Desmond was.

 

“What about yourself?” She asked, always up for seeing what other people thought worth their time to look into outside of classes. You could tell a lot about a person knowing what (or if) they chose to research.

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Nico examined the stack as Eloise declared her subject of study, eyebrows raising at some of the titles.  The fact that wizards seem to understand muggles so poorly when they live in the same countries, and sometimes the same towns as muggles is truly baffling. 

 

“Well, what questions do you have?  I grew up thinking I was a muggle, until the owl showed up with my Hogwarts acceptance letter.  I might not be able to answer all of your questions, but I’m probably pretty reliable.”  Nico paused to wonder what Eloise might actually be wondering about muggles.  After a moment, he shook himself back to reality.  “Oh, I was here to look up some stuff on Charms and Transfiguration theory, but I got distracted by a couple of titles in the stacks, and then just started walking around looking at titles.  I love libraries and just wandering around in them.  Sometimes I feel like I can sense the weight of all of the knowledge in the books pushing on me…  Sorry, that probably sounded weird.”  Nico looked toward the ground.  Great.  Way to sound like a lunatic.  Why does the truth make me sound crazy, sometimes?  I wonder if everyone has stuff like that…

 

Nico looked up to try to gauge whether or not Eloise seemed to think he was insane, while running a hand through his curly hair.   

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Eloise had no doubt that Nico was likely a reliable source; he at least seemed to have a level head, and perhaps he could see the faults in muggles as well as the benefits. She was perhaps most curious to find out what type of muggles inspired Gawkrodger’s claims that they were all barbaric and completely primitive. Perhaps she could ask Nico about where he thought Gawkrodger got his impression of muggles from, and assess from his answer whether he would be a more unbiased source than the muggles who wrote the books she had read before.

 

However, Nico had begun answering her own question before she could think of how to phrase a question, and she merely nodded at his explanation, not thinking that his words sounded weird. Though more focused than Nico when she entered libraries, she also enjoyed the feeling of them. Clearly, Nico was an intellectual sort like herself, undaunted by the mass amount of information that surrounded them.

 

“It doesn’t sound weird. I understand the feeling,” Eloise admitted levelly, her piercing gaze seeking out Nico’s eyes curiously. Talking about research and factual information was her strong point, so this conversation was something well-suited to her. “The main question I have about muggles is actually about Gawkrodger’s impression of them. He always seems so convinced that muggles are some primitive species… but I realize they can’t all be like how he describes. Where do you think he gets that impression from, though?” Eloise asked. After all, Gawkrodger might be a bit of an odd professor, but he didn’t give off the impression that he had made everything up. There were seeds of truth underlying his theories; Eloise just needed to find them.

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Nico breathed a sigh of relief as Eloise said that she not only didn’t think he was crazy, but also understood.  He felt some of his tension ease, and he met her intense gaze.  Those eyes could pin you to a wall, if she wanted them to.  But for some reason, Nico rarely felt attacked or overwhelmed by her.  Maybe it was from their time together on the quidditch team, maybe it was just because he’d never given cause to anger her… who was to say?  Even so… it’s like she can just stare right into my brain, though.  I wonder if she can hear what I’m thinking… THREE!  I’M THINKING THE NUMBER THREE RIGHT NOW…  How would I know if she heard that?  Is telepathy even a thing?  When would we learn that?

 

Nico blinked and refocused on what Eloise was saying, hoping he hadn’t missed too much. 

 

“You know, that’s a really good question.  I think some of it is him just jumping to conclusions based on limited, and possibly poorly sourced, information.  But really, if I were to guess what the root of it is, I’d say the media.  Muggles have lots of ways of communicating… television, the internet, and radio.  They’ve got movies and video games, too.  And when it comes down to it… violence is kind of glorified,”  Nico paused for a moment, making sure that he could back up his current line of reasoning.  “If you watch or read muggle news, it’s all about how people steal, attack, or kill each other.  So many movies and TV shows rely heavily on holding people’s interest with fights and shooting people and explosions.  Most video games are the same way.  There are some popular ones about collecting fake pets or playing fake sports, but in general… it’s all about fighting each other.”  Nico shook his head and looked down.  “It’s kinda sad, really.  I mean, there’s so much great stuff that muggles do.  They build amazing buildings, create amazing art and music and dance, and they save people’s lives... all without magic.  But that’s not the stuff that we focus on.  We focus on the stuff that makes us more primitive, instead of the stuff that makes us more advanced.  And I can totally see how if your only real exposure to muggles was through TV and movies and video games, yeah, you might think that they’re all just trying to figure out how to kill each other.”

 

Nico shrugged.  Well, that got depressing really quickly.  Nico looked back into Eloise’s eyes, searching for a sign of how she felt about what he’d just said.  “Hope that was… how did you phrase it?  ‘Unbiased’ enough.”  Nico allowed a grin, albeit a sheepish one, to play across his lips.  You just talked about how muggles seem to have a deep-seated desire to cause each other physical harm, and you think a little smile is going to lighten the mood?  Yeah, next you’ll think that the Leafs are gonna win the Cup this year.

 


Edited by Nicodemus Knight

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Eloise could not, in fact, read Nico’s thoughts. (Yet.) The blonde therefore was blissfully unaware of the effect that her gaze had on the boy, though she had some inkling that the boy was deep in thought momentarily before he managed to refocus in on the conversation. Her always-curious brain wondered what thoughts had distracted him, but thanks to their conversation being one that interested her, she didn’t pry.

 

The Ravenclaw listened to Nico’s theory, making little hmm’s as he spoke, but not because she was dubious about what he was saying; merely engaged in the subject and interested in his opinion. Some of the things he was saying were still foreign things to her (what was a video game?) but she tried to keep pace regardless, frowning when Nico admitted that violence, was, in fact glorified by muggle media. Fascinating.

 

“That is sad,” Eloise admitted when Nico finished, explaining that muggles did do amazing, advanced things (a theory her mother and father would protest against greatly), but got too caught up in the primitive sides of their world when it came to the news and other media outlets. “Though, it does help me understand where Gawkrodger might be coming from,” Eloise admitted with a small smile back at Nico. “But you have to tell me… what’s with his obsession with large animals? Like the rhinos? Where does that come from? The media too?” Eloise asked, honestly curious. Muggles couldn’t really deal with such dangerous animals on a daily basis… was that something media-based, too?

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Nico laughed, unable to prevent himself.  “I’ve got no clue.  It seems like Gawkrodger isn’t the only professor obsessed with them though.  Knaggs and Ripley both seem to have a penchant for turning dangerous muggle animals on us as well…” Nico trailed off as he considered the question more thoroughly.  “I mean, it’s true that there’s a little more focus on stuff like lions and tigers and bears than raccoons and squirrels, but at the same time, very few people have regular interactions with the big dangerous ones. 

 

“Then again,”  Nico rubbed his right cheek with his right hand, resting his elbow on his left arm, which was crossed over his ribcage, “there’s also an interesting parallel with muggles.  The magical creatures that have remained in the muggle culture are things like dragons and winged horses and manticores.  They don’t seem to focus on or know as much about nifflers or puffskeins even though that’s more in line with what a wizard would be dealing with normally.”  Nico shrugged.  “I don’t know if it means anything, but it’s certainly notable.” 

 

Nico thought he heard a noise and craned his head to see what it was, then shook his head and turned back to Eloise.  “I’ve dealt a lot more with dogs and cats than anything else.  Well, and Wayne, my owl.  But that’s pretty unusual for muggles.  They don’t tend to have owls for pets, that’s for sure.  How about you?  Do you guys have any pets or anything?”

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Eloise nodded at Nico’s words, because he had a point. “Point made, that’s very true.” She remembered the most recent transfiguration lesson when they’d had to deal with a bear. What she wanted to know was how on earth professors managed to wrangle such dangerous creatures into a castle, but she supposed she already knew the answer to that. Magic.

 

Now engaged in Nico’s elaboration on their subject matter, her brow furrowed for a moment as she considered what he was saying. “I’ve heard that sometimes memory modification charms we use on muggles who have accidentally seen things don’t work entirely well all the time, though. I’ll bet it’s a lot easier to modify someone’s memory to believe they saw a cat or skunk or raccoon when they see a niffler than to tell them they saw some giant flying bird when they accidentally stumble upon a dragon,” Eloise reasoned. “So that might explain why the bigger, more abnormal creatures still stay stuck in a muggle’s mind,” She added.

 

“It’d be so odd, not to have an owl,” Eloise commented with a slight frown before shaking the thought from her head. “My family doesn’t keep a dog or anything. We have several owls… I have my own, Allegro. But otherwise, the only other pet we keep are horses. I have my own horse, too. His name’s Adagio,” Eloise explained, a slight smile on her face as she thought of her horse, the appaloosa being one of her most beloved things on the planet. She couldn’t wait to see him again. “Some muggles keep horses though, right?”

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