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Jake Newbury

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 Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)

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PostSubject: Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)   Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:49 pm

Finally Humphrey had worked up the motivation to get out and go running like he'd kept meaning to do. However, he had usually ended up sleeping too late so he didn't have time. But, over the summer his dad had given him his old watch from when he was a student that had an alarm clock and was a wizard's watch so would be able to work on the grounds. This morning when it had gone off he'd gotten dressed in a pair of running shoes, sweatpants, and a t-shirt before going to run out on the grounds. It was a little cool, but tolerable as he stretched out and then took off. He wasn't in the best shape he'd ever been in, but was still fairly quick and did two circles around the lake before running near the forest. Still a good two hundred yards or so from it, but close enough to get a good view of the trees.

As he kept running he spotted somebody ahead of him, and he found himself curious as to who else would be running closer to the forest instead of in the main part of the grounds. Humphrey picked up the pace a little and soon began drawing closer, his longer legs helping him close the gap. Now he could tell it was a girl, a shorter girl, and then he spotted hair that looked familiar. Grinning, he had a hunch he knew who this was and when he finally drew level he was smiling while trying to catch his breath and keep pace. "Didn't expect to find you here, I see you like to run too." he managed, having to pause a little between words to get them out before he got more comfortable. "How's your morning going, Naomi." he asked.
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PostSubject: Re: Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)   Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:36 pm

There was something of a crispness in the air that morning. October had dawned upon the school, sending the weather in to a much cooler temperature. This suited Naomi, quite honestly, for she much preferred the Winter months to the summer. Many girls may love to flaunt themselves through the summer, but Naomi found the heat a little overwhelming at times. No, cooler weather she preferred, much more than she could explain.

With short, t-shirt and a pair of expensive trainers (that all matched, of course) Naomi had set off in to the grounds early that morning. Callum had offered to join her, but Naomi had politely declined. She wanted some time in her own head, to be honest, and as much as she loved her older brother, he loved to talk a little bit too much for her liking that morning.

Naomi had been going well, too - okay, her cheeks were a little flushed from the cool morning air, and she did have a sweat beading on her features, but it wasn't anything unattractive. Her breathing had evened out over the first ten minutes of the run, so the young witch was comfortable in herself, concentrated on her steps, and nothing more.

This was likely the reason she had not heard another person approaching her in that moment, too concentrated on herself that when a voice broke through the quiet she had found, the Slytherin witch jumped and turned to see who it was, a hand raising to her chest as the shock flooded through her system and away again. "What in Merlin's name did you do that for!" The witch asked indignantly, though mostly she was just annoyed at herself for being frightened by Humphrey. He was not in the slightest bit scary, so this was not fair.

"My morning was going perfectly until you showed up and scared me half to death!" Naomi insisted, trying to even out her breathing once more as she continued with her run, trying to put some distance between herself and the boy. "I told you following me would not make me like you, Buttercup, and I meant it!"
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PostSubject: Re: Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)   Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:53 pm

The frightened reaction had been the last thing he'd expected, because Humphrey had been running towards her. Not exactly the most quiet when occasionally leaves or a loose stick would crunch under his shoes. But, she'd obviously been caught completely off guard and was mad at him because of it. Seeing the Slytherin scared like that or at least frustrated and angry made him feel kind of guilty, but he really hadn't done anything wrong. Humphrey had been running on his own and happened to see her, so he really thought it was kind of unfair she blamed him for the situation. Running in the morning left the possibility of other runners saying hi, that was just part of what you should expect in his opinion.

Putting on a frown as he kept pace beside her, he shook his head in annoyance. "It's not my fault, I didn't plan to run into you I was just going for a run and happened to see you. Figured you would have heard me, so I'm sorry for startling you but I didn't intend to scare you or anything. Just thought I would say hi since we were both out here." Humphrey said, a little of the hurt at her reaction to him creeping into his voice. He had really tried to hide it, but he'd never been the best at masking what he was feeling like some other people were. To be honest he didn't really feel like he should have to, but that was another matter altogether about how people weren't accepting of each other.

Humphrey's eyes teared up a little when she kept yelling, nearly telling him flat out she didn't like him though she had worded it differently. This was such a bad situation, and he felt sad that something so stupid as this might ruin the possibility of a friendship with somebody. "For the record, I was not following you. I had no idea you'd be out here. But, if you want me gone, I'll leave." he said, lengthening his strides consciously and pushing himself so he passed the shorter girl. She was probably quicker in a flat out sprint than he was, but his longer legs gave him quite an advantage so he passed her before too long and kept going. Obviously Naomi had already come to her own conclusions about what had happened this morning, so he thought it was rather futile to keep pressing to make a friend of her when she clearly didn't want him to be one. It made him sad, and he wiped the tears away that had mixed with the light sweat on his face, not looking back as he ran further.
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PostSubject: Re: Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)   Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:05 pm

The apology came much too easily, and Naomi thought that the Hufflepuff was either weak, or a people pleaser. Either way, it didn't really matter, because he was right, she had just been way too involved in herself to notice him, and the blame for that was hers and only hers. Of course, Naomi was not one to admit to this, so instead of saying it didn't matter, she went off on a different route. "It's fine, just... don't do it again, yeah?" The Slytherin insisted, shaking his head slightly at the boy - perhaps almost fond of his idiocy, but not seeing that for herself just yet.

The insistence that he was not following her made Naomi realise he thought she was being serious about that. Shaking her head slightly as he began to speed up, Naomi hurried herself up, slowly catching to start with before she went for a sprint. As she overtook the boy, Naomi wheeled around, putting her hands up to his chest to stop him as she stopped dead herself. She was strong enough for a witch of her age - having two older brothers helped in that respect, but she still had to take a couple of steps to compensate.

"You're really stupid, you know that?" Naomi told him, but the smile was used wisely to soften the blow in that moment. "I'm teasing you, you d-" But Naomi cut off as she noticed the remnants of a tear. "Are you crying? Seriously Humphrey? Merlin where did you grow up if you can't take a little bit of teasing?" She asked, letting her hands move away from the boy. "I didn't say I wanted you to leave me alone, I was just messing around. You're going to need a lot of work with your sense of humour before we could ever be friends! Also, just because your legs are humongous does not give you the right to run away with me, lanky!" Naomi explained, smirking up at the boy as a new nickname came in to being.

But, before the boy could answer, Naomi took off on a run again, looking over her shoulder only once before she dipped in to the thicket of the forest just a short way off. She wondered if the boy actually had a back bone - this was a test. Because there was absolutely no way she was going to be friends with a boy who didn't have one.
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PostSubject: Re: Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)   Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:31 pm

Shrugging nonchalantly, he shot her a look after the question. "I'm not going to promise not to say hi to somebody I know or try and talk to them, but I might try to give you more warning. If you're lucky." Humphrey added, not wanting to cave in quite so easily on the matter. She always criticized him for not taking a joke or something else, but she was pretty touchy herself when it came to certain things. For example the way she blew up about the cute comment the other day. "Best I can do." he told her with a slight chuckle.

Although she was a good bit shorter than him she had a lower center of gravity with some muscle on her, and Humphrey nearly lost his footing when her hands slammed into his chest. Instead, he pushed her forwards a little before they both stopped and he looked down at her in confusion, wondering what she thought she was doing. Not that it was the biggest deal, but he knew he was going to have some bruises where her hands had slammed against him. It was more the fact that she was still so moody and confusing that was upsetting him. Maybe she thought this was normal behavior, but to him it was perplexing and starting to give him a headache. Maybe Slytherins and Hufflepuffs just aren't supposed to mix. That thought hurt, because he didn't want to believe that mere houses should be able to divide people so much.

"If you just came over to insult me, I'd rather be left alone." Humphrey said, hurt by the insult about his intelligence. Most things he could take, but he'd always worked hard in classes and to understand other people. He still had a lot to learn, but hearing her call him stupid reminded him of the days in Muggle school when they'd call him the same. They only did it because he had preferred the company of books over the company of his classmates after he'd tried to make friends and been rebuffed, but some even tried to say the books were just a front and he couldn't even read. At first he'd fought back, but after a while he'd just ignored them, and only talked to the teachers. He gave her a glare when she told him he needed to grow up. "Your tone didn't exactly make it seem like a joke or teasing, Naomi. Maybe I'm just too stupid to understand the difference, though." he said, a bite to his voice. The comment about his sense of humor had him shaking his head. "My sense of humor is just fine, I just don't get yours. As for the legs comment, I can use them however I wish just like you can do with yours. Apparently, you can catch me if you really want to, so don't whine about it shortstop." he said, using a term he'd heard was a position in baseball to give it a new meaning as she'd stopped him in his tracks. The extra nickname had caused just the hint of a smile to show up on his face. That was when he'd realized she'd bolted off and the last sentence had been said to himself.

Moving along to where he'd last caught sight of her, he began searching for her. "Really, you tell me I need to grow up and now we're playing hide and seek. I suppose there are worse ways to spend a morning, though." Humphrey said with a heavy sigh, and kept searching for any signs of her. Eventually, he spotted some undergrowth that looked like it had been disturbed and walked towards it. "Come out, come out wherever you are! Surely my snake friend isn't one who hides from confrontation." he said, hoping to draw her out. If not, he would go search the area that looked like it had been disturbed.

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PostSubject: Re: Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)   Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:55 pm

Naomi was pretty good at going incognito, and within a few moments of running through the thicket of trees, she'd disappeared in to the darkness of the Forbidden Forest. Humphrey, however, was not too far behind, so the witch feigned left before hurrying in the opposite direction and hiding herself behind a tree.

Holding her breathing down to a minimum, her chest rising in short bursts only to be exhaled very softly through her nose. Only a few moments later, the footsteps of another came, and a coy smile touched the Slytherin's lips. So, the Hufflepuff was not afraid of the forest, then. How very intriguing.

As he called out in to the woods, Naomi used the cover of his noise to double back, circling the boy very, very carefully - no sound coming from her small feet as she moved. The Hufflepuff was very close to the place she'd been only a moment earlier, but she was much too good for the likes of him.

"I'm not playing hide and seek!" Naomi replied, moving up towards him from the place he'd just come from. "Merely seeing if you were brave enough to come in to the forest. Seems little Buttercup is much stronger than I thought..." Naomi mused, taking up a tree as a leaning post as she watched the boy. "Was that because you thought I'd get hurt?" She asked, putting on a faux voice of someone weaker than herself. Merlin knew she could not understand the boy before her in the slightest.
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PostSubject: Re: Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)   Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:29 pm

Just as Humphrey thought he was staring to get closer to finding where Naomi had gone he lost the trail on her, and he sighed before putting his fingers to his temples and rubbing lightly. There were moments where he simply didn't know what to think about the Slytherin girl, and this was definitely one of them. If she really didn't have a problem with him hanging around why would she come hide in the forest like she had? It was a question he had no answer to, and not even an idea as to why. He was a pretty creative person, but eh really couldn't follow the train of thought that she'd used to think this would be fun or a good idea.

Whirling around at the sound of her voice, he saw her leaning casually against a tree and knew he'd been tricked at some point along the trail. He'd definitely have to work on that so she wouldn't be able to avoid him so easily next time. Casey and Humphrey used to play it as kids but they hadn't recently, perhaps next time at home it was time they played some more. "Don't go confusing Hufflepuffs with cowards, there are many who are a lot braver than I am." he said, wondering why she would think that about him in particular to begin with. After all, he'd talked alone with a Slytherin in their own territory, not many kids did that Hufflepuff or not. Humphrey shook his head at that question, wondering how to voice his thoughts. "If I thought you were in danger yes I would come to help, but that's not why I followed you. I suppose, that if having long legs doesn't give me the right to run away you being of smaller stature shouldn't give you the right to hide. Wasn't done with our conversation, so I followed. Simple as that." he said bluntly.
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PostSubject: Re: Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)   Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:10 pm

"I never said Hufflepuffs were cowards. Only that I wondered if you were brave enough. I'm quite sure you don't make up the whole of the Hufflepuff house now, do you?" Naomi asked with an amused smile. Seriously, the boy needed to learn not to blow things out of proportion or hear only what he thought he wanted to hear. Then, he wouldn't get himself so wound up.

The fact the boy would risk his own safety for someone else just made it more prominent that he was a Hufflepuff. Naomi might have been touched by the remark had it been one that Naomi believed in more. She wasn't anything special to the boy, so it would only be a thought of fantasy for the boy to like her in that manner. Not, that she wanted him to.

"I never said our conversation was over, either. I merely used this moment to take your mind out of the sulk you were having outside of the forest a moment ago." Naomi told him with a sweet smile that said 'yes, I just played you' without having to speak those words out loud.

"I didn't realise you ran. I mean, you're skinny, but I figured it was because of your height. Makes sense, though. How often do you run?" Naomi asked, as calm as anything despite their surroundings.
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PostSubject: Re: Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)   Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:09 pm

Humphrey shook his head in the obvious no at that rhetorical question. "Of course I don't think that, I just wondered why you thought I wouldn't be is all. After all, I went searching for Slytherins to ask about another. That's not something a coward does, because let's face it some of your peers can be bullies." he said, not wanting to call out the stereotypes but the fact was there were a slightly higher percentage of bullies in Slytherin house than the rest. Among them, the nastiest like that Dakota girl he had met in Diagon. Sighing in frustration, he ran his hands through his hair. "Sorry, that was uncalled for. It's just...other people always assume Hufflepuffs are weak, it's not your fault. You haven't judged me at all and it was unfair to think you would." he said quietly.

Blinking in surprise when she explained what she had done to take his mind off of things, his eyes narrowed slightly. That was awfully close to manipulating him at her whim, even if it was so he wouldn't be mad at her. Humphrey was starting to realize she was just as tricky as Slytherins were rumored to be, and that even if she meant no harm he'd have to watch himself around her. "You already have me figured out, then, don't you? Was hoping I'd have a little more mystery about me, because I have no clue what to make of you yet, miss inquisitive." he said with a small smile, before taking a seat on the ground and getting comfortable.

"Well, when we are at home my sister and I run all the time. Sometimes I go with her and our red husky named Alice, other times I go by myself. Haven't been as regular about it at Hogwarts, but trying to get back in the habit. Will try to run at least five days a week, maybe six." Humphrey explained, before looking over at her. "Not sure if you'd want to go that often, but maybe we can be running partners if you want. Would you like that?" he asked, looking over at her curiously as he waited for her response.
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PostSubject: Re: Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)   Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:43 am

Naomi rolled his eyes - he really thought he was brave for coming to find Slytherins? "You know, Slytherins are people, as much as every other house seems to like to forget. We have feelings. We're not bad people. But, you, and most other people seem to think you can label us all as dangerous." Naomi explained, looking more than a little worked up about this. Yes, she might enjoy the power that came with being a Slytherin, but she certainly did not appreciate being deemed dangerous. Humphrey had upset her now, and she was not going to forgive him lightly for what he'd just said.

Everyone in this castle was the same, Naomi was sure of that much.

Humphrey's comments only seemed to irk the Slytherin more, too. So, by the time he'd finished asking about running, Naomi had had enough. "Look, I'm sure you mean well. But, honestly, this was a mistake on my part. I'm heading back to the grounds. You can stay here, if you like. Just... don't follow me." Naomi insisted, turning around and heading the way they had come. She started in a walk, and then moved up to a jog. She had to get away from the boy, before she said something she regretted.
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PostSubject: Re: Running, or Exploring? (Naomi)   Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:35 pm

Humphrey couldn't help frowning when she made it sound like he forgot Slytherins had feelings and assumed they were all dangerous. He knew that not all of them were bad like everybody thought, hell he'd dated one, and he didn't appreciate her comments. "Naomi, I'm well aware not all Slytherins are dangerous or bad people. Sorry if I'm a bit cautious around them though, the last one I ran into before you nearly got into a fight with a friend I was with at the time." he explained, hoping she would understand that he wasn't simply being prejudiced for no reason.

Upon hearing her say that this was a mistake on her part and asking him not to follow Humphrey felt like he'd been hit hard, and he just stood there stunned for a moment. They'd been having a nice conversation and he'd ruined it, all because he said some stupid things. He wanted to go after her and try to make friends with Naomi, but she clearly didn't want to be around him and as much as he didn't like that he would respect it. "Goodbye, then." he mumbled to himself, the girl already having ran away from him. Eventually he finished the rest of his run and went back inside the castle, in much lower spirits than when he'd left.
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