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Stella Peabody

If you're looking for your innocence, well, it's already there

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Stella Peabody

Takes place after the boggart lesson in DADA

 

Stella was still shaking with both laughter and sobs when she exited the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, trying to untangle the confusingly twisted knot of her emotions to comprehend what she was feeling.  Shock, for one.  She had expected to confront a bolt of electricity when the boggart turned its sights on her.  Instead, she had  been thoroughly unprepared for the specter of her grandmother to appear out of thin air and disown Stella.  Grandmama had been so realistic, every crease of her wrinkled skin exactly in its place, even the precise placement of the heirloom rings on each of her fingers.  It was easy to forget it was a boggart at all.

 

Stella still found herself questioning reality as she stood outside the classroom trying to catch her breath.  She knew rationally that it was only a boggart, but the experience felt so visceral  - and so similar to scenarios Stella had imagined over and over in her mind for years - that it was hard to reconcile her sensory experience of the moment with the reality that it was only a boggart.  

 

The third year was still sobbing in a defeated huddle when @Shiloh Paige emerged from the classroom, looking equally shaken.   The two former rivals had been on strange terms ever since the Halloween dueling club meeting, when they had faced their fears on a poltergeist platform not dissimilar to a boggart, and Shiloh had thrown the duel to help Stella.  Stella didn't really know how to feel about Shiloh, and she tried not to think about it.  She was already overwhelmed enough with this whole boggart business. 

 

"Er, sorry...still a bit shaken, don't mind me," she said hurriedly, giving her roommate a weak smile and making a vain attempt to brush the tears from her eyes.  She couldn't stop them, and they kept flowing, streaking her freckled face.


"Did it go alright in there?" she asked, trying to change the subject.   Honestly, Shiloh hanging around in the corridor in some strange attempt to comfort Stella made her a bit uncomfortable.  After all, Shiloh had seen Stella's boggart and her extreme reaction to it, but Stella had not seen Shiloh's boggart.  It made her feel vulnerable, and part of her wished that Shiloh would just go back to ignoring and taunting her.  

 

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Shiloh Paige

Shiloh had paled when the thing had taken her wand – when it had taken her strength. She had known that she had cried, but it felt like it had been from an observers point of view; there was no feeling other than the soreness of skin around the eyes from the constant rubbing. When she had finally made it outside of the classroom, she couldn't let herself think about what had happened.

 

There was only one thing that seemed to be shouting in her head to do.

 

She found Stella, the determination that had found its way to her face seemed to lighten slightly, and the breath she was apparently holding escaped from her in a sudden burst that left her almost gasping for air. She collapsed against the flagstones of the corridor next to the other girl, close but not too close.

 

“Good...” she managed, “You're alright.”

 

Stella didn't look alright, but she wasn't dead. Shiloh didn't even know why that image had appeared in her mind during the Boggart's mental onslaught. She rubbed at her eyes again, pushing the barely forming tears into the raw crease lines in an attempt to have them not exist.

 

“It went...” Shiloh eventually said, not knowing how to explain her own failure. “It went.... It could have been better.”

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Stella Peabody

"Yes, yes, I'm alright," Stella said somewhat impatiently, still avoiding Shiloh's gaze out of self-conscious embarrassment.  She wasn't really listening to what Shiloh was saying, still engrossed with the haunting image of the boggart and her grandmother's disappointment in her.  Her mind was sluggish and running on a slight lag, like machine cogs all mucked up with sticky molasses.  By the time she processed what her roommate had actually said, she paused.

 

Good, you're alright.  Wait, good?  Shiloh had been worried about her?  What had Shiloh's boggart shown her, and did it have to do with Stella? 

 

After taking a few deep breaths, Stella's tears finally began to abate.  She looked around for something on which to blow her nose, and when a tissue or handkerchief didn't conveniently appear out of thin air, gave a very loud and undignified sniffle  before wiping her nose on the sleeve of her robes.  She really didn't care what Shiloh thought of her manners, and she was sure Shiloh felt the same. 

 

She finally got up the courage to meet Shiloh's gaze, and was shocked to see her roommate's eyes were also red with tears.  She inched a little closer to Shiloh.  

 

"Want to talk about it?" she offered tentatively, averting her eyes again.  She was half-expecting Shiloh to lash out at her or mock her proverbial olive branch, but it had to be worth a shot.  The dueling club meeting had felt like a fresh start for the two girls, who were usually so guarded about their fears and vulnerabilities that they brawled and postured like injured wild animals.  Maybe this was a chance to take that new beginning and actually build something.  If nothing else, Stella really didn't want to have to sleep with one eye open in the dormitory anymore. 

Edited by Stella Peabody

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Shiloh Paige

Shiloh reacted to Stella's sniffle with one of her own. The boggart had felt like a physical weight pushing down all around her, trapping her as everything had gone completely wrong. She gripped her wand tight enough that her knuckles turned white before she noticed Stella shift closer. Shiloh shifted her wand to her off hand and tried to shake out the tension that was forming; she knew from experience that having her hand tight wasn't going to do her any favors in the long run.

 

Er...” She said trying to find somewhere else for her eyes to rest, “It's dif'cult, ya'know.” She said as her face turned red. “I couldn't even do it myself. And then I was so worried.”

 

Her eyes slid away from Stella and off to the left, her hand even drifted up to her mouth to cover some of her face in embarrassment.

 

She didn't move closer to the other girl, but she wasn't actively pushing Stella away; the Boggart was just too similar to that moment on the platform in the Dueling Club – still far too real for comfort.

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