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Radueriel Benson

for the devil's sweet, cunning rhymes

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Radueriel Benson

A pattern was emerging.

 

Here’s how it would go: Rad would be minding his business. This looked like many things, whether that was reading a book in the library, or napping in the common room, or drawing on the lawn-- it didn’t matter what Rad was doing. Whatever it was, he was doing it. He was peaceful and alone and having a fairly decent time of it. Since coming to Hogwarts, he’d abandoned the portrait project of his PHP days and was now studying up on how to draw architecture. The Hogwarts Castle had plenty of fodder over which his mind wandered, and so if he wasn’t reading (i.e., doing homework) or napping (i.e., avoiding doing homework), then he would find some nook and (metaphorically) dip his ink into it.

 

No matter which of these three activities he was doing, no matter where he was, the emergent pattern dictated that Rad’s solo activity be interrupted. There were certain people for whom an intrusion would not constitute an interruption. Ry, or Xenia, or Jack-- all of them could show up and Rad would actually most likely be grateful to be taken out of his silent reverie. But no! According to the terms of this pattern, it was not Jack or Xenia or Ry who joined him. No, the only person at bloody Hogwarts who was able to find Rad no matter where he pigeonholed himself was Lester Carol Roach.

 

Doormate. Bully. For some reason obsessed with Rad.

 

Lester would somehow find him and show up, and no matter how much resistance Rad was able to muster, the other Slytherin would cart him off (sometimes literally throwing the smaller boy over his shoulders) to some godforsaken adventure. Usually this ended with Rad in pain and Lester grinning like a puppy. Today this ended with the two of them in a second-floor bathroom he'd never seen.

 

But today, this started with Rad in the Slytherin Common Room. Shafts of watery sunlight pricked the subterranean air through the windows, and he knew this was probably one of the last nice days of autumn before the weather turned. He was doing his Herbology reading, a task he supposed he could take with him outside, if he wasn't worried about getting distracted and drawing the afternoon away. One more chapter, he told himself, and then he'd go outside with his sketchbook. He'd lay by the lake, maybe even dip a pale toe or two into its greenish depths and imagine himself down below, looking up at himself through the Common Room window.

 

The universe had other plans. Though he was hunched over the textbook in one of the fireside chairs that practically swallowed the small boy, Rad knew without looking up that the shadow blocking his light belonged to Lester. He bit his lip. Taking a leaf out of Jack's book, he made a small ink mark at the bottom of the page he was on so he could return to it later; whether he wanted it so or not, Lester's arrival meant the death of productivity. "Hi, Les," he said, still not raising his head to look at the other Slytherin.

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Lester Roach
Although oblivious to the matter, Lester had become quite the nuisance around Hogwarts. If anybody were to delve a little deeper as to why that had come to be, they would quickly realize that most of his actions were a result of boredom. There was only so much exploring and dueling one could take before becoming completely restless and unimpressed with nearly everything. It was a miracle to think that the young boy hardly got into any trouble at all back home, though all credit should be given to Mrs. Roach for it was no easy feat.
She always knew what to do to quell his restlessness, keeping a tight and full schedule of activities and things for the Slytherin to do. Perhaps it hadn’t dawned on him yet, but he missed his parents. They were always willing to give him attention and go along with his crazy ventures or better yet, they would talk him out of stupid ideas. Lester didn’t really have anybody who would indulge or counsel him in those ways, though he didn’t realize that he was in need of anything at all.
When these moments of boredom would arise, Lester would find the next best source of entertainment. Raduriel Benson. He was a peculiar boy, who spent an unhealthy amount hunched over his sketchpad but he sparked an interest in Lester that was completely unexplainable. He'd been drawn to the lanky Slytherin ever since that fateful day on the Hogwarts Express. Perhaps he just felt sorry for the sap. Benson was new to the Wizarding world after all and he could hardly take a step without tripping over his own damn feet. It left Lester feeling torn whether he should take his roommate under his wing or beat him up just for the fun of it.
Usually he went for a combination of both.
He didn't have to search very long, having an odd talent for finding things and people (perhaps he was a good finder in another universe, maybe even a Hufflepuff!?)h e quickly found his best friend lounging on a chair in the common room.
With a book. How boring.
He was practically begging Lester to save him from the monotonous words written upon it. He approached him from behind, thinking that perhaps he would be stealthy enough to sneak up on him and make him squeal like a little girl... but he was caught rather quickly. He pursed his lips in disappointment, "Rad. You look a bit bored. I found this cool place on the second floor, come and explore it with me." he reached over the inky haired boy's shoulders and snatch his textbook from his grasp, tossing it haphazardly towards a nearby couch. 
Edited by Lester Roach

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Radueriel Benson

 

Not even an icy tone or a staunch refusal to look up were enough of an armory to ward off the fire-breathing dragon that was Lester Roach. (Point of contention: was Rad damsel or knight in this theoretical scenario? Second point of contention: could he draw a dragon that looked like Les? Third point of contention: Rad would look good in one of those shimmer purple gowns, wouldn’t he?) The textbook was wrested from him and flung off; he hoped nobody would steal it, but he knew it would be silly to try and retrieve it now. Wherever it had fallen, there it now lived, page 63 marked with the tiniest dot of ink.

 

At last, Rad looked up at Lester. Bloody tall arsehole. Tall enough to blot out the sun. So tall. Rad, 4’3” when he stretched to his tippy-toes, clearly wasn’t intimidated by this at all. Clearly not. Tall arsehole.

 

He knew it was best not to argue. No matter how much he tried to convince Lester that he wasn’t actually bored, that the book was really interesting, that he had no interest in exploring the second floor or really anything at all with him-- one way or enough, Lester would bring him along. Rad had already been fireman-carried enough. He knew better now. And besides. Maybe today would be the day that wouldn’t end with Lester beating him up. He might as well remain positive about something, right? So he sighed and shook himself up to his feet. “Sure, Les,” he said. “Whatever you say, Les.”

 

These were, it seemed, the magic words. No spell could ever have the power of Radueriel saying “Whatever you say,” to an overeager Lester Roach. He wasn’t sure if Hogwart required you to write some kind of thesis to graduate, but if it did, maybe that’s what he’d write his about. As soon as he’d said them, Lester was setting off, out of the room. All Rad could do was send one more hopeless glance toward his Herbology book, which lay hopelessly on the floor; then he set off to follow Lester up toward the second floor, toward whatever horror the other Slytherin had found there. It took Rad a little bit to catch up to the boy, because of some reason that had to do with leg length and which he was clearly absolutely not bitter about.

 

When he did catch up, he was a little breathless. He hated that Lester assumed he would follow. What would he do if Rad just fled in the other direction? (Find him and throw him over his shoulder, probably. He wasn’t all that eager to test it out.) So maybe what he really hated was that Lester’s assumption was correct. Rad still wasn’t sure Slytherin was the right house for him, but clearly he could never have ended up in Gryffindor. “So,” he said, as casually as a death-row inmate conversing with an executioner, “what’s on the second floor?”

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