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 A Day of Change (Stephanie)

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PostSubject: A Day of Change (Stephanie)   Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:05 am

Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology open in his lap, Toryn had his head, once again, in clouds. Or, more specifically, in Ragnarok, the end of the world. It was his favourite part in the entire Norse world, aside from the time Thor dressed up Lady Sif to get his hammer back from the guy who stole it. Pausing mid-sentence as his brain reminded him of that story, he flipped the pages, looking for it, a sudden desire to reread it in all its glory overtaking his senses.

Of course, Toryn knew this was a rabbit hole that he would probably not escape from; he had meant to do his homework. Then again, he supposed he was studying for his homework, technically speaking. After all, the essay they had to write on muggle literature needed a basis, and he'd chosen Neil Gaiman as his focus. He wasn't his favourite author -- that would be Douglas Adams -- but he was close. Besides, his rendition of Norse Mythology was beautifully written and a masterpiece in and of itself.

Stopping momentarily to take in the scenery, Toryn took in a deep breath of fresh air. Summer was almost upon them and he'd be going back to his home soon enough. Honestly, he couldn't wait; he had so much to tell his siblings, and so much to get caught up on. He'd written his friends, sure, but it was different when one was face to face.

Absentmindedly plucking a blade of grass from beside him, he swept his gaze across the lake. Once or twice he'd caught sight of the giant squid that lived there, and even more often he saw a random ripple, proof of the creatures that lived in the depths. How he longed to don a bubble charm or eat some gillyweed and go exploring! But it wasn't safe, and he wouldn't want to break the rules for a few moments of fun.

Instead, with a small smile, he brought the leaf up to his nose, taking in the scent of dirt and grass and summer before letting it drop and going back to his book.
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PostSubject: Re: A Day of Change (Stephanie)   Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:30 pm

With her homework done, Stephanie had gone shopping with her posse of friends. They'd visited almost all the clothing shops that were available in Hogsmeade as well as Diagon Alley, taking a few tea breaks at Madam Puddifoot's and the ice cream parlor. To wrap up their little outing, Stephanie led the way into Honeyduke's and told her friends to pick out whatever they want and she would pay for them. Understandably, the group of girls had gotten rather excited at the idea, and they left with bags full and Stephanie's purse considerably lighter.

All the way back to school, they laughed and joked and gossiped. Oh, the amount of gossip! It was always who liked whom, and what so-and-so did to get suspended, or this professor and that professor. Even rumours about the headmaster got around. In all honesty, Stephanie didn't always enjoy the amount of talking they did and sometimes it felt rather forced that she had to pretend to enjoy it. But hey, it got her friends and she was popular, and that's all that mattered right?

By the time they got back, her head was spinning with the latest tale of someone doing something with someone else in the bathrooms. She couldn't ever remember the specifics now. Plastering a charming smile on her face, she came up with and excuse - Merlin only knew how she managed to think of one - and escaped to her room. She set down her bags of clothes and knick-knacks that she didn't really need but bought anyway and collapsed gracefully into her hammock chair. Rather forlornly, she glanced around at the amount of things she'd bought and sighed. This hadn't been the only shopping trip where she went overboard and got everything her eyes landed on or that the girls thought "simply adorable" on her. She would probably give them away some time.

With an urgent need to get away from the sight of her purchases, Stephanie threw on a light peach coat over her blouse and pants, grabbed her clutch and headed out of doors. There was one destination on her mind: the lake. She'd been there a few times just to be alone and enjoy the sight and the peacefulness. Now, she hoped that the serenity would help calm down her whirling thoughts.

After a brisk walk, she reached the lake, only to find that her favourite spot was occupied. By the Irish. More than a little irked, she put a hand on her hip and assumed her "don't mess with me" stance. "What are you doing here?" she asked, injecting a little sass into her tone.
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PostSubject: Re: A Day of Change (Stephanie)   Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:19 am

He was just at the part when Thrym was questioning Loki on why Lady Sif's eyes were burning life fire (her passion for him, was what Toryn knew Loki would answer; he always marvelled at how quick witted Loki was, and hated the future that lay in store for that particular god) when a voice interrupted him. Slipping the bookmark out from the front of the book, Toryn stuck it between the current page and closed the book gently.

He recognised the voice -- how could be not? -- and turned with a wary smile on his face. Stephanie, last name Richardson. She was a Pureblood Slytherin, and from what he could tell, ridiculously spoilt. He knew of some of the other Richardsons -- Chris, a Ravenclaw Quidditch player, and Verena he'd heard of in passing and seen a few times (she'd graduated, if he remembered correctly) -- but he couldn't really say he knew them.

Which, in Cabhan's opinion, was a good thing.

Seeing her standing there very nearly made him laugh. It was as though she thought she owned him or something, hired him only to find him slacking in his duties... His smile shifted to somethig akin to amusement, although he was still rather cautious, and he gave a light shrug.

"Reading," he answered, keeping it short and simple. The less he said, he'd found, the less Stephanie found fault with. Oh, he'd met the fiery little girl (for that, he argued, was what she was; certainly she was no lady) a few times before, and while she never outright did anything nasty, he could tell he irked her. It had taken him twice as long to figure out it was probably his blood heritage.

"Homework, for muggle studies," he added, a few moments later. That was probabyl a mistake, but he had nothing against the Slytherin, and making friends and breaking barriers was always something he liked to do. Besides, maybe he'd misjudged her, and she was just having a bad day -- every single time he met her. Coincidences like that happened, didn't it?
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PostSubject: Re: A Day of Change (Stephanie)   Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:02 pm

Stephanie knew Toryn. Well, not really know know as in best friends or anything like that. In fact, she didn't really know all that much about him. She only knew of his pitiful existence just because their professor decided it was a splendid idea to partner her up with a Muggleborn - she internally groaned just at the thought of it. She'd done everything in her power as a Richardson to get the professor to change his mind but nothing worked and she was stuck with someone she detested. They managed to finish their project - thank Merlin - but that only encouraged the professor to partner them up. Again. And again. Eventually, she had to admit to herself that he wasn't all that bad and he at least pulled his weight on their work. But beyond that, she didn't know much about him.

Except that he was immune to her, apparently. She'd tried her normal ways with him but he never seemed to think much of her, unlike the other guys and girls who always did their best to be in her good books and strived to be part of her circle of friends. It wasn't like she was romantically interested in him - Merlin forbid she ever got into a relationship with a Muggleborn - but she was rather intrigued. She'd never before encountered someone who was completely disinterested in becoming her acquaintance. Everyone always wanted to be her friend because of her connections and wealth - she often showered them with gifts - but Toryn made no extreme effort to be part of that. It puzzled her.

At his one word answer, Stephanie huffed - almost pouting - before she sat herself beside him. She'd considered asking him to leave, but decided this was an opportunity she could use to find out more about the boy who didn't go to the ends of the world to be part of her list of friends. Besides, she knew that he wasn't the giggly kind who fawned over her in an effort to win her favour. She already had more than enough of that with the girls that morning.

He continued and she couldn't help her eyeroll. Muggle studies indeed. One peek at his book told her that he was reading a book by a Muggle author. "Nobody cares about Muggles and it's an absolute waste of time to learn about insignificant people," she said. She knew that she was insulting him by saying that but it was her honest opinion. Muggles didn't have magic, hence they weren't of any use and just got in the way of things. In addition to that, she was brought up a Pureblood, learning from an early age to dislike that particular blood species.

"Besides, you're a Muggleborn. It's rather pointless for you to attend something you're supposed to know about," she commented as she mindlessly plucked blades of grass beside her.
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PostSubject: Re: A Day of Change (Stephanie)   Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:39 am

His finger absentmindedly tapped against the spine of his book as he regarded her, mind already taking him back to their first few meets. Classwork, Cabhan had found, was not always a good way to get to know someone; it was a start, yes, but unless people hung out aside from talking about their assignments, conversation was almost always "What about this? How are we gonna do that?" and never anything in depth.

But Stephanie had never really been someone who either wanted to hang out with him or someone he wanted to hang out with -- not if that meant being around all the others. She had a posse. A gang of girls that reminded him of Mean Girls a tad too much for him to be comfortable around. Rich spoilt brats that didn't really have much to offer other than "I'll buy this for you" and popularity, neither of which he wanted.

He had money of his own; his parents weren't exactly 'poor'. Yet, he'd never seen it as something to boast about, but rather something that could be used to aid others, who weren't so lucky -- for that was what it was, was it not? If you were born into a family that could afford to get you good education and you had the right genes in order to be able to comprehend science, you became a scientist. If you were born with a brain inclined towards words -- and you worked your butt off and got lucky when it came to editors or meeting the right people -- you could become a best-selling author.

It was a game of luck, of circumstance, and neither were things to boast about.

Cabhan supposed, too, that he was popular in his own way; he had many friends, and he never ate lunch alone (unless he wanted to). The difference, he knew, was in the fact that he had genuine friends, people who cared about him and whom he cared about in return. It wasn't a game of what the other could offer; indeed, if they had nothing to offer but friendship (and with some, this was the case), they would still have been friends.

But Cabhan knew that this wasn't the case with Stephanie and her little gang of followers. It was all a game -- a game he wanted nothing part of.

He didn't make to move as she sat beside him, eyes moving towards the lake as he spotted movement, and then back towards her after he saw it had only been a bird drinking water, just in time to catch her eyeroll. He very nearly returned it with one of his own.

It was no big surprise that Stephanie was a Pureblood supremist, although it stung a little (as it always did when he thought of those kind of people) that this idealogy still existed in this day and age. It was almost as bad as people thinking the colour of skin distinguished one from another -- almost, but not quite.

"Insignificance is rather speculative," he said, in reply, choosing his words carefully so as to avoid an international incident. "When smartphones first came out, people thought it was insignificant, too. Now hardly anyone doesn't have one!" He paused, realising his example might have been a little too obscure for a witch, and added, "We can send messages in seconds and talk to someone across the world as though they're right next to you easily."

Her second comment brought forth a laugh and a shrug. "It's interesting to see what you people think of my people," he said. "Besides, it's an easy A."
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PostSubject: Re: A Day of Change (Stephanie)   Mon May 01, 2017 10:50 am

The finger tapping got on her nerves and she almost told him off for it. She'd told him off before for the tiniest things when they were working on their projects. You're talking too loudly, you're in my way, stop tapping your fingers, stop clicking the pen, you're doing it wrong. Honestly, she hadn't been that irritated with him. Rather, she'd been looking for every excuse to rile him up. Of course it hadn't worked. None of her plans worked with him. It was like he was from a different planet. Well, he probably was, being a Muggleborn.

Perhaps that was the problem? She was approaching this like she would any other person. He was a Muggleborn. Sure, plenty of Muggleborns tried to be her friend, doing everything they could to get on her good side, from offering to do her homework, to trying to give her gifts. She never gave in to them though. Not one of her friends were Muggleborns. Most of her posse were Purebloods and she barely tolerated the Halfbloods in her acquaintance.

Toryn was different though. He didn't try to earn her favour. Quite the opposite in fact. He treated her as if she was the same as everyone else which infinitely irked her. She wasn't like everyone else. She was better, her family was better, and she was probably the wealthiest student in the school, perhaps even the one who was of the highest social standing. People were not supposed to treat her like a commoner.

Stephanie didn't look at him as he spoke, instead keeping her attention on the grass beside her and occasionally moving her gaze out to the water. She opened her mouth to retort something when he continued about smartphones. Closing her mouth, she listened to what he had to say. She'd heard about the Muggle contraption of smartphones but didn't bother to learn more about it or what it did. From Toryn's description, she wasn't all that impressed.

"No it isn't," she responded rather tartly. That was something else that Toryn did which irritated her. He wasn't afraid to disagree with whatever she said. None of her friends dared to go against her words, instead nodding eagerly and agreeing wholeheartedly with her. To have met someone who voiced his opinion instead of just complying with her was a shock to Stephanie. She wasn't used to defending her opinions against people other than her siblings.

"Significant means important," she began. "And in the eyes of society, that equates to being rich and famous. It's not for the poor that parties are thrown and it's the poor who get all the benefits the rich do. They're just not that important compared to people who have status and money." She thought, but refrained from adding, There's a reason why the Wizarding Wars happened.

"And about the smartphones," she continued, shrugging to show nonchalance. "It's not all that fantastic. I mean with magic, you can just apparate or use the Floo network to go see whoever you want to see. And if anyone prefers tapping on a flat piece over seeing an owl fly off, they're not right in the head."

She almost snorted at his explanation to her comment, but refrained. Doing so wasn't proper etiquette, and though she didn't have to observe the societal rules of Purebloods, she wouldn't break them in front of Toryn. She didn't know what it was, but she felt the need to always reassure herself - and perhaps prove to him - that she was of a higher standing than he was. "And? What have you found out?" she asked, trying not to sound too curious. "And why in Merlin's name do you want an 'easy A'? That's just barely passing! I always go for an O."

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PostSubject: Re: A Day of Change (Stephanie)   Mon May 01, 2017 1:44 pm

Blood purity was never something that Cabhan understood. As soon as he found out he was a wizard and would be a part of a whole different world with it's own rules and history, he'd done his research, buying every book he could on the subject. He soon found himself enthralled -- and all out disgusted -- by the wars that had taken place with Voldemort.

If there was one thing Cabhan hated, it was racism or sexism, or any other 'isms' out there. The country one grew up in, the colour of one's skin, the gender one was born as (or changed to), and all these other things had absolutely nothing to do with who one was. Culture influenced, yes, but what was so bad about being different? Nothing.

And so, Cabhan found himself adding another word to his vocabulary of things to hate -- blood purism.

Apparently, there were three kinds of magical folk (and one more that he didn't quite know how to categorise). Those that were 'pure', and born of a line untainted by non-magical folk (muggles); those that had in their genealogy a muggle, called half-bloods; those that were born of magical powers to two muggles (like him), making them a muggleborn; and then those who were born into a family of magic without maigc, called squibs.

He fell in the muggleborn category, not that he minded, but what really astounded him was the fact that some thought muggleborns or half-bloods were lesser than those with 'Pure' blood. It made absolutely no sense to him.

And that, perhaps, was why he would rather deal with Blaze for a year than Stephanie for a day, when she was talking about blood purity and whatnot; he was afraid that he would lose his cool and say things he'd regret, which he'd come close to doing a few times. Still, he always managed to hold his tongue.

Turning his attention back towards the witch, listening to her point and already creating a counter-argument in his mind. A smile tugged at his lips, reading of amusement, and as soon as she finished, he shook his head. "Significant meant something that is worthy of note, or something that has had great impact," he told her, shrugging as he did; he was not trying to be rude.

"And therefore, it's not always being rich and famous -- hardly ever, actually. In the Muggle world, some of the most influential -- and therefore significant -- people have been the poor and the oppressed. Those that chose to give up lives of comfort to help the others. Were they famous? Not until they died and their deeds became public knowledge," he continued, then paused, realising he probably shouldn't have gone that route.

He changed tactic. "In your world, for example, Hermione, I believe her name was. She was a muggleborn and not rich or famous (not until the war was over, in any case) and she kicked butt! I could give more examples, but I don't want to go off on too much of a tangent."

He nodded at her words. "Yes, that is true. But you have to be seventeen before that. Floo networks are limited. If you had an emergency right now, and needed to contact someone, and you didn't have your wand or an owl, could you?" He raised his phone. "I could. In seconds."

At the question, he hesitated. Did she really want an answer? It was probably not the smartest thing to do, explain his thoughts, but then again, she'd asked... He decided to answer the easy one first. "My apologies; I'm still referring to the muggle system. 'An easy A' basically means the highest possible score -- outstanding, in this case. I meant an easy 'O'."

Pausing for a moment, he considered her, taking in her posture and her... everything, and then took a deep breath. If it was an answer she wanted, it was an answer she would get. "I have found," he began, then cleared his throat slightly. "That there are preconceptions about muggles that are simply not true. That there are people out there so narrow-minded that they simply cannot understand that different isn't always bad, and that no one way is the best. That there are prejudices here, just like there are in the Muggle world, that make no sense, and yet are accepted as part of the norm."

Cabhan stopped, gathering his thoughts. "And I have found that to have a class called 'Muggle studies' is a form of racism that runs so far back and so deep that it's no longer considered racist, and that nobody seems to realise that it's quite possibly the equivalent to having a 'black studies'."
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PostSubject: Re: A Day of Change (Stephanie)   Sun May 14, 2017 5:39 am

Stephanie remained silent, waiting to see how Toryn would react to what she’d said, how he’d defend his argument. In all honesty, she hoped he wouldn’t, that he’d see the sense in what she was saying and agree with her. All his opinions, the way he saw the world, was beginning to confuse her and she didn’t want him to continue. Somewhere at the back of her mind, she knew he probably wouldn’t stop.

She’d never before question the life she had been born into. This was how she was raised and she accepted it, embraced it even. There had been no reason to question her life or how the world worked.  Why should she when she was more than okay with seeing society through the glasses of her parents’ beliefs? It was all she’d ever known, and she had never needed to think otherwise.

But here he was, daring to disagree with her and call her beliefs into question. It made her uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable indeed, and she didn’t like it at all.

When he spoke, she frowned. Unused to conversations where she had to defend her point of view, it took her some time to comprehend what Toryn was saying. How could poor and oppressed people be influential? All those beggars and homeless people. They certainly weren’t influential. Poor people just couldn’t be influential. It was impossible! They didn’t have connections, they didn’t have money, they didn’t have a name for themselves.

She knew what it was like to be influential. Being born a Richardson tended to do that. Her name was like a weapon she could wield whenever she wanted something. Walk in a store, say her name and she got what she wanted. See something she didn’t like, say her name, and everyone would bow to her wishes. It was something she’d gotten used to doing, sometimes not even thinking twice before saying, “I’m Stephanie Richardson, by the way.”

But poor people didn’t have that. They were practically unknown. How would they be influential? It made no sense.

She didn’t have time to think more on that though, because Toryn was continuing with another example – Hermoine. Stephanie was well-versed in the deeds Hermoine had accomplished, and for a mere Muggleborn, it was impressive. But she wasn’t about to admit that to Toryn. Feeling rather agitated, she stood up in a huff, rounded to face him, and pointed a finger to his face. “Yes, but that was one out of all the Muggleborns in the world,” she said, sounding angrier than she meant it to be, confused by everything Toryn said. “Not all Muggleborns are like that and it’s very rare. Most of them just cause problems anyway. Ask any of my friends. They’ll tell you.”

She crossed her arms over her chest and walked a little away from him, not enough to be out of earshot, but enough so that she felt she wasn’t suffocating.

His next words about the Floo networks made her want to stomp her feet in frustration. She’d been counting on him not knowing the limitations of both it and apparating. Apparently, he knew more about the wizarding world than she first assumed. But she wasn’t giving up that easy. “That doesn’t mean anything. Muggles still lose out in a lot of ways,” was her attempt at a response.

She shook her head slightly at his explanation about the grades. The Muggles just had to do everything upside down, didn’t they. They were completely opposites. But as Toryn went on, she listened, walking to the edge of the lake and staring out at the water.

She knew that what he said made sense. Merlin, she even took full advantage of said prejudice. Her name, her blood, her family, all gave her an edge over everyone else, and she wasn't ashamed to use that fully, to show that everyone else was inferior to her. She was born into it after all, it only made sense that she lived it out. It had been drilled so hard into her, to believe that all those not of her blood purity weren't as worthy as her.

But she didn't agree with what he'd said about preconceptions. She whirled around and pointed her finger again. “I'm not narrow-minded! It's not narrow mindedness if it's the truth! Preconceptions is entire on the Muggles,” she began. “We think of them a certain way only because they’ve proven it over and over. You can't blame us for thinking that way. We simply observe and make deductions.” She nodded her head decisively.

“Muggle studies isn’t racist. It’s the truth. You learn about a different kind of people - which I think is a complete waste of time,” she retorted. “It isn't racist to study about a group of people.”

“And that thing about prejudice? It’s not just part of the norm; it is the norm, and for very good reason. You can't deny the fact that some people are just better than others. You’ve never lived my life, you don't know what it’s like. You don’t know what you're talking about,” she ended, her voice Egerton louder and angrier. How dare he say those things to her? He had no right to speak like that.
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