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 A Helping Hand (Wesley)

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Grayson Hughes

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Posts : 24
Birthday : 1988-04-15
Join date : 2017-07-03
Job/hobbies : Librarian

PostSubject: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:20 am

Grayson Hughes leaned back in his chair, his feet propped up on the librarian's desk, as his eyes skimmed the pages of the book in his hands, glancing up every few minutes to survey his domain. The library was quiet--as it should be--the only sounds being a few soft murmurs of students working together, and the occasional flip of a page. It was early afternoon on a Wednesday, the bright sun of late winter filtering through the windows, giving the library a peaceful air. Grayson took off his reading glasses and rubbed his eyes. Setting a bookmark in his book, he closed it and set it aside, swinging his feet down to rest on the floor. He looked around once more to see if anyone needed help, and, seeing no one, he busied himself with the check-out records.

Three students had overdue books, which he carefully noted. He would send them messages to remind them if they didn't turn them in by the end of the day. Other than that, there was nothing of import. He sighed softly and gazed out the window at the courtyard below, letting his mind wander. He should probably write to his mother later, it had been a while since they last spoke. He composed the letter in his head, tapping his fingers absentmindedly on his desk.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:14 pm

Herbology was, by far, one of Wesley's best subjects. Most plants, the Ravenclaw found to be calming. Not all, of course, some were quite dangerous, capable of killing you, and down right avoided at all costs. However, many of them were misunderstood -- much in the same way as some animals were called deadly when they weren't, Wesley had an understanding with some plants labelled deadly.

He was no Professor Loverin, though, and he didn't pretend to be.

Which was precisely why he was in the Library, looking for a book that had been recommended by the professor. Many people didn't take the quirky professor very seriously, but upon the book being mentioned in a class, Wesley had decided to look it up.

With the afternoon being a quiet one -- thus far he'd not received a text from Madison, and seeing as she was the only one in the school that seemed to like him, he had no one else who needed him. Though, of course, after the Valentine's Ball, and her dancing with Nirek Kapoor, Wesley wasn't even sure that he could count her in the list of friends he had anymore.

Giving up on trying to find the book on his own, Wesley made his way to the Librarian. Wesley was not very good at talking to people, and it was painfully obvious as he stood before the man who ruled the library that he was having an internal battle on how to word the question playing on his lips. The Bulgarian boy floundered for a few moments, before pulling out the slip of paper he'd written the book's name on.

Winogrand's Wondrous Water Plants.

"Please." Wesley managed, ever so softly as he glanced to the man who might know where to find this book.
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Grayson Hughes

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Posts : 24
Birthday : 1988-04-15
Join date : 2017-07-03
Job/hobbies : Librarian

PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:16 am

Grayson was broken from his reverie by a soft voice. He snapped his attention to the boy in front of him, a pleasant smile touching the corners of his lips. He recognized the boy--he'd seen him in the library a few times before, and remembered his name from the check-out records. He looked quite nervous--almost painfully so, in fact.

"Hello. Wesley, isn't it? How can I help you?"

He noticed the slip of paper the boy was clutching in his hand. Winogrand's Wondrous Water Plants.

"Ah, Selina Sapworthy. Row nineteen, far left bookcase, second shelf from the top. Most likely on the right-hand side, if I remember correctly."

He paused for a moment and considered the timid boy, studying his body language. Something about him seemed familiar--he recognized something about the way Wesley carried himself. Like he wasn't used to having people acknowledge him, or at least not in a good way. It was the same way he used to act near the older Slytherins in the common room during his school days. Trying not to be noticed.

"Are you all right?" he asked quietly, searching the boy's eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:55 pm

The question of his name simply made the Bulgarian boy nod, not wanting to talk too much, truth be told. His accent, being quite thick and clearly Eastern European stood out like a sore thumb, and bringing attention to himself was most definitely not something he wished to do.

Instead, he concentrated intently on the instructions he was given, nodding to show he was listening to the man and recounting again and again in his head to make sure he didn't get it wrong. "Thank you." The Ravenclaw responded softly to the instructions, almost ready to turn on his heel and hurry away from the man. Hide in a corner with the book, and stay out of everyone's way as much as he possibly could.

However, the Librarian had asked him a question, and Wesley looked at him with mild caution in his eyes. Was he okay..?

There were many ways in which Wesley could answer that question. He could lie, and it would be easy to disappear off without another word and get lost in a book. He could tell a half-truth and not feel weighed down by the lie he'd told to an adult. Or, he could tell the truth and open himself up to the world in which adults always sought to tell you how they knew better. How you couldn't feel like that, because you did not know the world.

Giving the man a hesitant smile, Wesley gave a small nod, and a half-enthusiastic smile. "As anyone can be, sir." Was all he managed to say, faltering for a moment, before hurrying away from the counter and to the place in which the book he was looking for was kept. Of course, this would make it very easy for the librarian to find him, but Wesley wasn't sure where else he should go.

He could, as well, have been overreacting to the question, when it was simply a harmless one. It was Wesley after all.
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Grayson Hughes

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Posts : 24
Birthday : 1988-04-15
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Job/hobbies : Librarian

PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:22 am

If Grayson had been suspicious before, he was almost positive now that something was wrong. That was the least convincing lie he had ever heard. His brow furrowed as the boy took off, and he was almost tempted to follow him. No, that wouldn't help. A boy like that would almost certainly react negatively to confrontation.

But it didn't sit well with him to just leave it be. He knew what it was like to be bullied, and to have no one to turn to afterward. And Wesley was beyond the point of hiding it, even from adults, which meant it was probably an even worse situation than his own experience. He had to do something.

But then again, it was all just speculation. He assumed it was probably bullies, but he didn't know what was really going on. And he knew that if he tried to approach Wesley directly, the boy would likely balk and run away. He sighed, then took a slip of paper and a quill from his desk, dipping the pen carefully in a bottle of ink.

If someone is bothering you, I can help. ~G.H.

Not knowing what else to add, he let the ink dry. With a flick of his wand, it folded itself into a tiny bird, and fluttered off in the direction of row nineteen.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:57 pm

Wesley stood against the shelves of books taking in deep breaths and trying to deal with the current situation that he was in. He had had the opportunity to talk to someone, but he'd skirted away from it quicker than you could say Quidditch. Why? Wesley Tonkov trusted no one. He'd learnt the hard way that trusting people was only painful. He'd tried to be open with Madison, but... well, that hadn't worked out, had it.

Closing his eyes, and counting to ten, Wesley opened them to find a note in the shape of a bird hovering before him. Letting out a shaky breath, the Ravenclaw reached out to take the paper, undoing it Wesley saw the words he had not wanted to read, truthfully. A pitying adult was almost as bad as an adult who told you that things weren't as bad as they seemed.

Placing the note on the shelf, Wesley reached up to take the book he was looking for and moved to the back of the library, away from the librarian and everyone else. He settled down at the table, and pulled out some note paper, immersing himself in taking notes on the plants included and forgetting about the librarian as time went on. After all, worrying only made his anxiety worse, and he did not need more problems at the moment.

The Ravenclaw didn't look up for hours, in truth, too enthralled in his work to do so. He therefore hadn't noticed that the time had flown by, and dinner was being served up in the halls above. And, that he was now missing out on a meal unintentionally.
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Grayson Hughes

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Posts : 24
Birthday : 1988-04-15
Join date : 2017-07-03
Job/hobbies : Librarian

PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:50 pm

Grayson had watched the students leave, one by one, for dinner, but had not noticed Wesley among them. After a few moments of waiting, he got up and left.

He came back fifteen minutes later with a plate full of food. For some reason, he felt compelled to look after the boy. He'd watched the doors while he ate his own supper, but the boy had never arrived at the Great Hall, so he'd loaded up a plate to take back to the library. He hadn't known what Wesley would eat, so he'd gotten a little of everything and figured the boy could pick and choose.

He spotted Wesley in the back corner, hunched over the book he had asked for. Wordlessly, he set down the plate and some silverware in front of him. His expression was neutral as he gestured to it. "Take what you want."

After a pause, he cleared his throat. "I know you don't want to talk to me. When I was your age, I wouldn't have talked to me either. But if you ever change your mind...well, you know where to find me."

He began to turn away, but then he stopped. "Just one question though, before I leave you alone. On a scale from one to ten, how bad is it?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:13 pm

Noticing a plate before him, Wesley's eyes travelled to the plate, before looking up. He'd half expected to see Madison behind the plate, half hoped to see Madison with the plate, so that they could talk about the Ball, what had happened, and what it meant. But he also hadn't wanted it to be Madison, either. The Ravenclaw was, therefore, quite grateful to see the librarian in the end.

Persistent.

He kept the thought to himself as he offered the man a small, tight smile that he didn't particularly feel like giving, but knew it to be polite. A thank you rose and died inside of him. Not because he wasn't a polite young man, but because 'thank you' did't quite feel enough in that moment.

Wesley's eyes remained down, away from the man as he spoke as if he understood the situation. Wesley doubted that the librarian could ever comprehend what he'd been through, truthfully. But, Wesley didn't know the man. Therapists pretended to understand, but Wesley... well, he found them to be just as useless as the words Grayson Hughes had spoken.

It was the question, though, that brought Wesley's eyes away from the book. He hadn't been reading, he'd been hiding, but now... now he was faced with a choice. A number wasn't information, it was simply a scale. But, how could you possibly scale the hurt he'd been put through?

Considering for a moment, Wesley gave a wry smile at the question. "The question you posed is fundamentally flawed." He told the librarian. "What you consider bad may only be a five on my scale. What I say to be a ten, could be higher than the scale you have in mind. How bad something is depends on time. Had you asked me before today, I would likely have placed it closer to ten than I would now." Wesley explained, and though he was calling an adult out on using something so fundamentally flawed, his voice was soft, and not in any way trying to belittle the man before him.

Wesley, after all, was a kind hearted boy.

The boy thumbed his left sleeve idly for a moment, before picking up his pen and looking away from Mr Hughes. "A bad period is only a period. It fades." He finished, hoping that would be enough to satiate the Librarian's interest in him and his problems.
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Grayson Hughes

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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:15 pm

Grayson let out a soft chuckle. "Ah, you misunderstand. The scale is not meant to be relative to me. It's merely a comparison of your current situation in relation to your past experiences. It does not matter how much pain I would feel in your shoes, only how much you are feeling currently. After all, you are a much better judge than I of how much you can handle." He clasped his hands behind his back, taking on a slightly distant expression.

"You're right of course, pain comes and goes. But just as it may fade from yesterday to today, it may also grow from today to tomorrow. In my experience, it rarely goes away for long, and certainly not forever. It's hard to tell when you're in the midst of it, I'll grant you that, but if you look at your life in stages, you'll find you can pinpoint the average amount of pain in each stage with reasonable accuracy. It may fluctuate from day to day, but always within bounds."

He returned his gaze to the boy at the table, then shrugged. "I don't mean to patronize you. Everyone's experience is different, and one man's wisdom is another man's folly. I'll never claim to be wiser than you, when there is much you know that I don't."
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:10 pm

As the librarian spoke of pain being relative to past experiences, Wesley's chest started to rise and fall a little quicker than normal. He was containing the need to laugh -- a rueful laugh, at the words, not the man before him. His lips had twitched up in to a smile that showed he did not believe that this was how the man before him thought these things worked.

But, Wesley contained himself, sobered, and looked up to the man as he continued.

"You make it sound so simple." Wesley said softly. Again, he was not trying to argue, just simply state a point. The librarian had no idea of what he'd been through in the five years previous to this one. He had no idea the depths of depression Wesley had waded through to get to this point.

He didn't know anything...

And yet, Wesley felt compelled to talk to him. Not about the right way of defining pain. Or feelings of any nature. But about the problem he was facing. However, first thing was first. Motioning to the chair opposite him, Wesley silently asked the older man to join him at the table and picked momentarily at the food he'd been brought, taking a few small nibbles out of it before putting the cutlery down and turning to the librarian with a curious look.

"I have a question..." Wesley asked, stealing himself for a few more moments by closing the book he'd been reading and pushing it to the side out of the way. Visually, it was obvious that Wesley was stalling whilst his mind tried to gather the question he wanted to pose to the older man. "How do you stop yourself from being hurt by others? If you close yourself off, you become no one, a shell of yourself, with only... books?" He said, motioning to the room, but not really leaving that as the only thing you could be left with.

"You seclude yourself from the world. But loneliness would cave in one's senses, bring on insanity. Amongst other disabling effects. So, then... how do you open yourself to others, without allowing them to hurt you? How do you know to trust someone, when they're seemingly nice, but end up being a viper in the sands?" He asked, pausing for a few moments.

"I know you're thinking I'm some fool caught up in a lost love with this manner of thinking. I wouldn't say I am. I've known love before, but this is not the same." Wesley managed, only just louder than a whisper as his eyes moved off in to the distance.
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Grayson Hughes

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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:37 am

Grayson took the proffered seat, his face showing nothing of his thankfulness for this small victory. He could see the boy didn't buy a word he said, but at least he was willing to continue the conversation. Wesley asked his question, and Grayson considered it for a short while. He raised his eyebrows at the mention of love--in truth, that hadn't even crossed his mind, but now that it was mentioned, it added a new layer of complication to his limited understanding of the situation. After some internal debate, he decided to be as honest as possible.

"You probably expect me to say something stupid like 'follow your heart,' but honestly? Don't. If you're worried about getting hurt, never follow your heart. If you find yourself wondering about whether or not to trust someone, analyze the situation at objectively as you can, and ask yourself what that person would have to gain by deceiving or betraying you. Trust negative gut feelings over positive ones. Look at the situation from every point of view except your own. Ask yourself if the other person has a significant advantage over you in your relationship--if they could get away with betraying you with little personal loss, then assume that they will try. If it would cost them to deceive you, then you can place more trust in them. Always be wary of relationships in which you need them more than they need you."

He shrugged, and sighed softly. "That's how you protect yourself. As for loneliness...I never figured that out. Cynicism keeps you safe, it doesn't make you happy. If you find someone who passes all those tests, keep them around. If not...I guess you have to choose whether you want to risk it."
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand (Wesley)   Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:04 pm

Wesley listened to the Librarian's words and he made it sound as if this was really easy. It wasn't. It never had been. How in Merlin's name did you know who could, and who could not be trusted. How did you when, and when not, people could be trusted. You didn't, that was the idea. If you trusted someone, you had to rely on them not hurting you in a manner that you expected them not to.

Which was what made this so difficult. There was not a right answer.

Merlin, did he even know if he trusted anyone?

Wesley Tonkov didn't trust himself, let alone others, so that was something he was simply going to have to live with, he supposed. And who... who would ever need him? He had nothing to offer anyone...

"Thanks." Wesley replied in response to all the Librarian had said. He hadn't gotten the answer he wanted, not really. Though the man before him had tried, Wesley didn't want to delve further, and so he retreated inside himself once more, and turned back to his book without another word.
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