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Gulliver Radcliffe

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Gulliver Radcliffe

Gulliver sighed as he entered the grounds of the Ottaline Gambol Centre. His mother had been eager to get him enrolled and dropped off here as soon as his Hogwarts letter had arrived, no matter how much he protested that he didn't need extra classes to prepare himself. She didn't understand that he needed the months before leaving for Hogwarts to finish up his current research, or didn't care either way; she was too preoccupied with Theon and his achievements to pay much attention to her eldest son. Not that he wanted her undivided attention, he'd much rather be left to his own devices to research whatever he wanted, but it would be nice to not be dumped here every day for the rest of the summer. He sighed again, grimacing at the sight of other children running around and being loud. Too loud. It took him all of five seconds to spot an empty area and start making his way towards it.

 

Once he reached the large tree he shrugged his bag off his shoulder and took a seat on the grass, crossing his legs to get comfortable. Hopefully they wouldn't expect him to interact with the other children too much; he couldn't imagine that they were very interesting, and he had no wish to catch any illnesses that they might be incubating. He pulled out his current favourite book, all about space and different planets, and leaned back against the tree to read.

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Indigo Lennox

It was a very long way from Gloucester to London. Nanami had shaken her head at the pamphlet they'd been given with Indy's Hogwarts letter, all about the Ottaline Gambol Centre and its many virtues. "Wizards," she said, in the same tone of voice she used for drivers who cut her off, "Probably all fly there on magic brooms in the sky where there's no traffic to think of."

 

But she didn't say no, which gave Indy plenty of room to work her parents around to maybe one weekend and from there on to only on our days off.

 

On arriving Indy did what Indy did best, and scaled the biggest tree. It gave her a fantastic view of the tops of many shops and houses, which was more of London than she'd ever seen before and thus The Most Exciting Thing. It occupied her for all of fifteen minutes before she got bored, and began the process of getting down.

 

Indy was not nearly so good at getting down from trees as she was at getting up them. Her sneakers slipped on the bark while she was moving to a new handhold still five or six feet above the ground. Fortunately, Indy was quite used to falling by now. She landed with a thump and, more unusually, a crumpling noise, and looked up into the face of a boy. Whoops! 

 

"Hello!" she said, beaming. "Sorry to drop in unannounced! I'm Indy." She shifted her weight to climb out of his lap (strangers were weird about that sort of thing) and the crumpled-paper noise happened again. "Do you have... paper in your lap?" Hopefully she hadn't ruined some kind of magical scroll or something. Indy had no idea how she would replace something like that.

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Gulliver Radcliffe

Gulliver was just getting to a very good part of the book when there was a rustling from above him. He only had time to glance up before something fell into his lap. No, not something, someone. There was a person in his lap. A girl in his lap. A girl. His mouth opened of it's own accord as he took in the sight of her. She was smiling at him as if it was some sort of normal thing to fall out of a tree and land in someone's lap, and not an offensive assault of said person and their book. Oh no, his book!

 

He barely took into account her shifting to get off of him, before he shoved her unceremoniously on the grass to check on his book. He didn't hear her asking about it, just a whooshing in his ears as he stared at the torn pages in his hands. He closed his eyes and counted to ten, then turned to glare at the girl who had dropped into his personal space. "Look what you did!" he said firmly, shoving the book in her face. A handful of pages were hanging on by a thread, which was easily fixed by his mother or another adult, but that wasn't the point.

 

He cradled the broken book gently in his arms, still glaring at the girl... Indy. "You can't just drop on top of people from trees, it's incredibly rude! Why were you up there anyway?" He fought to keep his voice at a reasonable volume but he managed it. It wouldn't do to resort to shouting like an oaf every time someone did something that he didn't like, he'd forever be yelling.

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Indigo Lennox

Indy took the shove with good grace, rolling across the grass. What was one more stain on her jeans anyway? She pushed herself upright, sitting on the grass with her knees up and her hands pressing into the grass for balance.

 

His book looked cool. At least, the pictures did, which was all Indy had time to see (and all she was really interested in) as he shoved it in her face. It did look a little worse for wear, but so did most of Indy's own possessions, so she wasn't really sure why he started scolding her like he did. Indy was used to being told off by her parents, but... those were her parents, that was basically their job. This was a stranger of her own age, and he sounded so angry. Like maybe she'd really actually broken something important and she was going to be in trouble.

 

Indy did not know how to react. Therefore, as was her wont, she began to cry.

 

"Sorry!" she spluttered, rubbing her face. More for crying than for his book, really, but he didn't need to know that. "Sorry, I was just..." How was she supposed to explain climbing trees? It was just what she did. Falling out of them was an occupational hazard. The magical ministry person had told her it was probably because she was magic that she'd never broken a bone. Then again, she'd never broken a book before either.

 

Once she'd wiped her eyes until they were dry - the uncomfortable, scratchy dry of being not quite done crying, really - she shrugged. "It's fun. Haven't you climbed a tree before?"

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Gulliver Radcliffe

Gulliver just stared in shock as Indy started to cry. What had he said to make her do that? Besides, it was his book that was ruined until he could get it home so if anyone had the right to cry it should have been him. He waited until she'd stopped her sobbing, still unsure as to why she was crying at all, to hear her reasoning for climbing trees. He didn't understand how it could be classed as fun, at least not as fun as discovering new facts about something you liked (like space).

 

"Climbed a tree? Me? Why? Unless I was researching tree types and I wanted some hands on data, but I've never wanted to do that." He furrowed his brow in thought, wondering if he'd ever had an interest in tree types and coming to the conclusion that no, he had not. It did seem interesting though. Looking down at his book again he made a decision, and put it carefully in his bag for his grandfather to fix later. "Do you climb trees a lot?" he questioned, forming a research plan in his head. Plans were good, and things couldn't be done properly without them. "I'm Gulliver by the way."

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Indigo Lennox

So he wasn't going to mention the crying. Good. Indy snuffled a bit, pulling herself back together. It was always really awkward when she cried and people freaked out. She kept wiping at her cheeks and nose for a bit, since most of what he was saying flew right over her head, and did her best to look like she was listening. She probably owed him that much, if he couldn't read his book anymore because she'd broken it.

 

Fortunately his question, when he got around to it, was a very simple one. "All the time," she said, nodding enthusiastically. "I can get nearly to the top of some of the ones in the park where I live. My favourite one is a huge oak tree, 'cuz if I get up high enough I can see all the way to the roof of my house."

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Gulliver Radcliffe

Gulliver listened intently as Indy described her tree climbing experience, nodding as he worked and reworked his plan. He wasn't too interested in how far he could see from the top of the trees, and to be honest trees had never been his specific interest, but it's not like he had anything better to do now that he couldn't read his book. "Do you want to help me research trees?" He usually didn't ask for help with his research, but obviously Indy had more experience with trees than him, and he had to admit that he was feeling a little out of his depth.

 

"I've made a plan, see? I have a notebook that we can write our findings in, I'll be in charge of that, but you'll have to teach me how to climb the trees." He looked at Indy, his neutral facial expression not showing the excitement he felt within. If he couldn't carry on his other projects, then starting something new was just as fun. He'd never had an assistant before, or maybe he should call her a research partner since she knew more than he did about the subject. He waited patiently, hoping that she'd say yes.

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