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Margarleon Turpentine

There's a rhythm in rush these days

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Margarleon Turpentine

Leon was avoiding the Slytherin table. Tired of worrying what Julian or Dale might do to sabotage him over breakfast (or lunch, or dinner), he had resorted to trying to sit at other tables. Gryffindor had been an easy first pick for the first few meals, as he could easily find Pine there, but Leon was also trying out other tables. Today, it was the Ravenclaw table. And really, his experiment was twofold. To avoid the brodogs, but also because he’d quickly learned that it seemed different houses preferred different foods.

 

There was, for example, ample bangers left at the Ravenclaw table, while a lot of the protein had been quickly diminished at the Gryffindor table. There was, however, less eggs. Which was curious to him (who preferred eggs over bangers?), but he didn’t question it. It wasn’t long until Leon’s plate was piled high with food, a mountain of bangers, pancakes, and eggs that he would soon be devouring.

 

His table manners, as usual, left something to be desired. He hardly used utensils, only using them to shovel pancakes (syrupy, buttery pancakes) into his mouth as his other hand shoved one banger at a time, whole, into his mouth. He chewed with his mouth open, his elbows resting on the table in preparation to shove his next bites into his mouth even as the current bite was only half chewed…

 

Leon was unmindful of the disgust that some of the Ravenclaws were looking at him with, and even if he had been aware, he would’ve just told them to piss off. This was how he’d always eaten, and he wasn’t about to change it to meet society’s expectations of being proper. He finally looked up from his plate after a few minutes of nonstop food inhalation, and met the eyes of one of his peers, sitting nearby. “Oi, mate, wanna pass me the pumpkin juice?” He pointed to the pitcher near to the boy, and waved his empty goblet. His mouth still had food in it as he spoke, but he (as usual) paid it no mind.

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Jack Dare

Jack took notes furiously, stopping periodically to sip his pumpkin juice or to take a tiny bite of eggs. He found that meal time was the absolute best time to observe the faculty (other than class time itself and that had its own set of drawbacks). During meals the faculty had their guards more or less down. Some of them relaxed and looked almost normal, while others continued to maintain an authoritarian facade. 

 

Lately Jack had been trying to catalogue their eating habits to see if there was any correlation between consumption and character. He had a working theory that what @Professor Knaggs really needed was more roughage in his diet. Jack watched as the man helped himself to his fourth slice of dry toast and tutted to himself. No wonder the man was so irritable during class. 

 

Jack was about to turn his attention to Professor Hambeldon's muesli when unexpectedly someone new sat down beside him. It was one of Jack's classmates. Jack recognized him immediately, though wasn't positive of the name. He'd been trying to learn the names of everyone in his year and to jot down their distinguishing characteristics. The Slytherins were the ones he knew least well, because frankly Jack was afraid to approach them and engage them in conversation. The few encounters Jack had had seemed to bear out the house's poor reputation. It was still a project Jack meant to complete, but it was delicate.

 

This particular Slytherin Jack had narrowed down to the last name. The first name was something like Margaret. For the longest time Jack had been looking for two identical Slytherin girls until someone corrected him. 

 

Slowly and carefully, so as not to draw any undo attention, Jack turned to a blank page and wrote. TURPENTINE, M________ (male). He then watched, appalled, as the boy ate. He wasn't sure he knew any adjectives sufficient to this assignment.

 

Eventually the boy looked up, and Jack quickly averted his eyes and folded his hands over his parchment. (Not suspicious, right?) When the boy spoke to him directly though, Jack jumped in his seat.

 

“Oi, mate, wanna pass me the pumpkin juice?”

 

Oh my. That was stomach-churning wasn't it? Jack was reminded of a childish pun one of his American cousins once illustrated. Something about "see-food". Jack was definitely not going to finish his eggs now.

 

"Of course," Jack said. The way the boy was holding out his goblet Jack wasn't certain whether he wanted Jack to pass the pitcher or to pour for him. Jack half stood to pass the entire pitcher but stopped short, not sure what he ought to do, and half afraid of being yelled at if he guessed wrong.

 

"Um...Shall I pour?" he asked.

 

 

Edited by Jack Dare

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Margarleon Turpentine

Completely unaware of the boy’s discomfort with Leon’s atrocious table manners, Leon just waited, chewing with his mouth open. In truth, he hadn’t really intended to insinuate he expected that the boy pour the pumpkin juice for him, he’d merely been waving his empty goblet to accentuate that he was out of juice. But, as the boy offered, Leon shrugged nonchalantly. Why not accept? He saw no point in declining, and it’d sure be a lot easier on him, even if he wasn’t used to people doing that type of thing for him.

 

“Yeah, a’ight, go for it,” Leon nodded, holding the goblet still and waiting for it to be filled as he took in the appearance of the boy he’d accosted. He seemed like the quiet sort, a typical Ravenclaw, but couldn’t recall if he actually behaved in that way in class, so his assumption could be entirely off-base. Leon was not very observant, really, but rather only just observant enough to know that the boy was in his own year.

 

“So, I’ve seen you in class… what’s your name?” Leon asked, mercifully not with his mouth full this time, as he’d finally swallowed his last bite of food. Goblet now full, he took a few swigs, setting it down after draining about half of the fluid within. “Do you do homework at the breakfast table?” He asked incredulously a moment after, having noticed the parchment near the boy, surprise coloring his expression. Only a Ravenclaw. “Is that why you Ravenclaws don’t like bangers?” He deduced. Perhaps, if all Ravenclaws made a habit of doing homework at the table, they avoided such greasy delicacies.

 

Well, their loss, his gain. He popped a banger in his mouth and chewed, mouth half open, but managed not to speak with his mouth full this time, instead waiting for his peer’s response.

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Jack Dare

Well okay then. Jack began to pour, still very nervous about being in such close proximity to one of the boys his father had warned him about. He was almost done when the boy spoke to him, making Jack flinch visibly, but thank Merlin not making him spill the juice over the larger boy's hand.

 

"Oh, er, Jack, Jack Dare," Jack said blinking nervously. He'd finished pouring, but the other boy had drank so quickly Jack half expected him to wave his goblet at Jack again like some medieval potentate. He lowered his goblet though and Jack breathed a sigh of relief. He left the pitcher close to the boy's plate just in case and sat down hoping to fade into the background once more. It was not to be however. 

 

“Do you do homework at the breakfast table?” 

 

Jack started again and was confused before remembering that he'd been writing in his journal. "Yeah. Homework," he said nodding. "Boring old homework." He pushed the journal into his lap and forced a smile.

 

“Is that why you Ravenclaws don’t like bangers?”

 

Jack was silent. He had not realized Ravenclaws didn't like bangers. Jack thought they were alright but sort of heavy and made kind of a---

 

'I say, perhaps this bloke was on to something,' Jack thought.

 

He wondered how it was possible that the Slytherin had noticed something that Jack had not. He was obviously no mental giant. Perhaps a primal sort of native intelligence was the key--if intelligence was even the right word for it. In any case, it was worth looking into.

 

"That's very astute of you," Jack said slowly. "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name. Your family name is Turpentine, right?" 

 

 

 

Edited by Jack Dare

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Margarleon Turpentine

Jack Dare? Man, why couldn’t Leon have a name like that? That was badass, to have a name like Dare. Then again, Turpentine wasn’t the worst part of Leon’s name and he actually didn’t mind his surname. Though it was certainly more of a mouthful than Dare. However, judging by the way the boy flinched and jumped at practically everything Leon said to him, he wasn’t sure the boy was such a daring sort, even if Dare was his surname.

 

“You’re jumpy,” Leon observed after Jack hurriedly stated he did do his homework at the breakfast table. That was a whole other weird thing Leon could comment about (because who did that?), but he refrained, feeling like he probably wouldn’t get far. “What, you scared of me for some reason?” He challenged. After all, Leon wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with his reputation - Avalon had told him he was rather notorious.

 

Leon did not know what astute meant, so his eyes narrowed, especially as Jack admitted to knowing his surname, but somehow not his first name. Weird. That was weird. “Leon. And yeah, it’s Turpentine. How d’you know my last name and not my first?” The boy asked. “You know Darby or somethin’?” He tacked on.

 

That was the only reason he could think of for the boy seeming to know his surname, but it was still weird, although Leon supposed professors typically used his surname. But regardless, Leon was suspicious of this serious, jumpy boy whose surname certainly didn’t fit his shy demeanor.

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Jack Dare

“You’re jumpy. What, you scared of me for some reason?”

 

"Sc-scared? Me?" Jack waved a dismissive hand and tried to assume a more casual and self-assured posture.  He put his left elbow in the butter dish.

 

"Leon. Really?" Jack almost asked 'Are you sure?' but the boy confirmed he was a Turpentine and did not seem very happy that Jack knew.

 

“You know Darby or somethin’?” 

 

"Darby," Jack repeated. Okay this repetition thing was getting out of hand. "Yeah, I-- I mean, no." It would have been a good explanation, save for the fact that it was so easily refuted. What if Leon asked, 'How do you know her?' or 'Tell me her date of birth and her mother's maiden name.' That sort of lie was just not sustainable.

 

"Twins," Jack said. "I mean to say, we were discussing twins, weren't we? In Ravenclaw tower? One of my friends is a twin, and we were trying to list the others: Jeramie and Angel. You and Darby. The Tree boys. That sort of thing. I just couldn't recall what they said your name was."

 

"Funny story actually," Jack said. By this time Jack had noticed where he'd put his elbow, and was hoping to distract Leon while easing it out nonchalantly. "I could have sworn they said your name was Margaret. Can you imagine anything more preposterous?"  Jack inserted a good-natured chuckle here, as if they were just two friends, having a laugh over breakfast, one of them hiding his left elbow below the table.

 

 

Edited by Jack Dare

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Margarleon Turpentine

Jack Dare was a terrible liar. Leon gave him a look that clearly said, Really? as the boy stuttered out his answer. Something was making Jack nervous, and Leon was slightly amused to think that perhaps in this case, his reputation had again proceeded him, and perhaps Jack was just waiting to get socked in the face or something. Avalon had told him that he had quite a reputation, after all.

 

“Really,” He stated flatly, giving Jack a peculiar look now - why had it seemed like he was surprised by Leon’s name? Leon was on high guard now, his suspicions arisen… and only getting more pronounced as the boy stammered about how he didn’t actually know Darby. Leon’s eyes were set into a suspicious glower, his lips a thin line, and his food entirely left at peace for the moment as he scrutinized the boy across from him, waiting.

 

He was, luckily for Jack, unaware of the boy sticking his arm in the butter, so intent was he on listening to his little story. He was about to correct Jack and mention that he and Darby weren’t actual twins, but were rather Irish twins, but he was cut off by Jack’s funny story.

 

Which wasn’t really that funny, if you asked Leon’s.

 

His expression, beginning as suspicious, quickly morphed into one of annoyance at the word Margaret. Before he could stop himself and think of a more tactful way to handle things, he rashly declared, “Yeah, well, my name’s not Margaret, got it? You catch them callin’ me that again and you tell ‘em.” In the process of his declaration, Leon had raised one hand and pointed it in Jack’s face, jabbing it towards him with each you he uttered. “Got it?!” He asked again, frustration evident, and to really drive his point home, he gave the boy a hard poke in the shoulder with his index finger, glare on his features.

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Jack Dare

If Leon had thought Jack was afraid of him before, he certainly had confirmation now, because the expression on Jack's face as the larger boy rounded on him was nothing short of terrified. Jack recoiled, eyes wide and almost crossing as the finger came for his face. When it poked Jack's shoulder instead he cried out, "Ow!" and grabbed his shoulder, reacting as if he'd just been stabbed.

 

"Got it!. Yes. I have it. Message delivered. Please don't hurt me," Jack stammered, breathing hard. And as if afraid this wasn't quite enough, he squeezed his eyes tightly shut, anticipating the blow/

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Margarleon Turpentine

Leon was absolutely flabbergasted by Jack’s reaction. Ow? He’d just jabbed him with a finger! What a wimp! The boy was glad he apparently had intimidated Jack quite enough in so doing, though, because the boy was flinching away from him, practically squeaking out his acquiescence to what Leon had said. But still, he stayed away from Leon, as if expecting that Leon would punch him. Leon sneered and eyed the small boy with some amount of malice, but dropped his hand down to his side.

 

“A’ight then. Good,” Leon grunted, choosing to keep his abrasive tone so that Jack wouldn’t dare call him anything close to Margaret again. “So long as you don’t use that name again, we won’t have no problems,” The boy added, shoveling a couple more bites in his mouth casually before holding up his goblet once more in Jack’s direction, a glint in his eye. If Jack was so easy to obey him, just how far could Leon push his luck with him? “Refill, mate?” He queried around his mouth of food, this time waving the goblet (which was still half full) in an expectant way.

 

This could be fun.

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Jack Dare

Jack was, in point of fact, a wimp. He huffed and sniffed and tried to pull himself back together as Leon lowered his hand.

 

"I won't. I promise," Jack said. "Your name is Leon. I promise I'll call you Leon." Secretly Jack though that avoiding the boy forever would be an even better option. He wished he had just skipped breakfast. Most important meal of the day be damned. Jack was wondering how soon it would be acceptable to slink away when Leon waved his goblet at him.

 

Jack swallowed and quickly jumped to his feet. "Of course," he said reaching for the pitcher.Though less full than it had been moments earlier, the pitcher felt heavier. His arms trembled with the weight as he reached out to pour, standing as far away from Leon as was humanly possible. (Not very far as the length of Jack's arms were proportionate to his tiny stature.)  Jack  was thinking about how to excuse himself properly when the liquid in Leon's cup overflowed the rim.

 

 

 

 

 

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Margarleon Turpentine

Too easy. If Leon weren’t so opportunistic (and perhaps had a few more morals), he might feel bad at clearly having intimidated the smaller boy into submission. As it was, he was amused by how easy it was to get the boy to so easily bend to his will. Most others he’d had conflicts with in his year were not so quick to bend. He was still wondering just how malleable Jack would be when the boy practically sprung into action to meet Leon’s demands.

 

He was filling Leon’s goblet as Leon began speaking to him. “Since you’re so agreeable, I think we could be really…”

 

There was pumpkin juice overflowing out of his goblet and all over his hand, cutting off his words, which would have ended with, ...good mates.

 

“Oi!” He exclaimed instead, eyes going wide as he dropped his goblet with a clatter, all over a plate of eggs. “Watch what you’re doin’! Now look what you’ve done!” Leon exclaimed, standing in a huff, and glaring at the little shrimpy boy. “Y’know, Jack, I was gonna say how we could be good mates, but I dunno if that’s gonna work out if you can’t even fill a goblet properly!” Leon snapped, towering over the boy with pumpkin juice still dripping from his hand, beginning to dry into a sticky mess. Although if Jack knew what was good for him and didn’t want to be forced into doing all of Leon’s homework assignments, the boy would be better off steering clear.

 

For the time being, though, Leon refrained from punching the skittish boy, and merely wagged a finger at him disapprovingly. “And remember, it’s Leon,” Leon added before turning on a heel and leaving the breakfast table, shaking his head in annoyance as he departed from the great hall.

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Jack Dare

A shout and a crash brought Jack out of his thoughts. He dropped the pitcher and jumped back, cringing as Leon berated him. "Sorry! Sorry! I didn't mean to!" he said, adding "Please not my face" and cowering as Leon towered over him. 

 

When it became apparent that Leon's last reminder was his parting command, Jack shook his head vigorously. "Leon. Yes. I'll remember. I promise." adding an incongruous  "Thank you." as Leon left the Great Hall. 

 

Alone now, Jack caught his breath and looked toward the head table to see if any of the adults had witnessed Leon's threats. There was no sign that anyone had, and Jack briefly considered going to tell someone, but changed his mind immediately. Getting Leon punished would only make him madder and there were so many isolated corridors in the castle where an unscrupulous person could get revenge. Jack decided it might be best to say nothing and hope that Leon would forget. 

 

 

Fin.

Edited by Jack Dare

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