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 Unlikely Hero (Luke)

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PostSubject: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:52 pm

"Give it back!"

Her voice, normally soft and gentle, was now filled with hatred and rose to a high pitch in her frustrations. She had screwed up, and now she was paying the ultimate price for her stupidity. Having decided to pay a visit to the owlery to feed her owl some snacks she had bought the last time she went to Hogsmeade, Chrisy had gotten distracted by a particularly cute owl she saw hidden away in one of the hiding holes.

And so, naturally, out from her bag came her pencil and a blank piece of parchment, and for the past hour, Chrisy had sketched said owl down to the very last detail. The picture had come out perfect, and she had been just storing it away when a harsh voice had come from behind.

"Well, look what we have here," it had said, and before she quite knew what was happening, the piece of paper had been snatched from her hands, and she stood up rather abruptly and turned to face the group of boys she knew would be standing there. They were in her year, and they had disliked her from the start, picking on her whenever possible.

And now, they had one of her drawings. "Give it back," one of them mocked. "I drew a little owl and I want my precious drawing back," another chimed in, and they laughed. Hot anger flashed through her, but she would never fight back. No, she wasn't strong enough to take on three males, and she knew it. So instead, she stood her ground. I will not cry, she promised herself, as they continued to tease and taunt the Ravenclaw.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:16 pm

After the first meeting with the artist - he had not known her name then, but he knew it now - Luke had been busy. The picture that she had made was prominent in his actions in that moment, and Luke had worked hard to find the right tree to fulfill the image the witch had made. Now, a smaller version of the tree had been planted in the exact place that Chrysanthemum had painted it.

Chrysanthemum.

The Ravenclaw - yet another fact Luke had found out - was two years older than him, well, at least in school years. Four hundred and nine days were between him and Chrysanthemum. So not even close to two years really. All of this information had been acquired, and Luke had remembered it, and he would not forget it, either.

Today, Luke had taken to trying to find the Ravenclaw, but she was not in the arts room, and he'd waited for a long time by the Ravenclaw Tower to no avail. He'd finally decided on just mulling around when he was passing the owlery to hear a very familiar voice. But the voice was strained. Slipping his wand from his belt, Luke crept up the stairs in a very quiet manner. His skill of silent movement had come from seemingly no where, but his sister's fondness for the ballet had at least come in useful for something.

As he got to the door at the top of the stairs, he saw Chrysanthemum there, looking... different to the last time, and then. He noted the picture, unmistakeably Chrysanthemum's in one of the boy's hands and white hot fury took over him.

"Carpe Retractum!" He murmured, looping the first bully's legs and pulling back hard enough to make him fall down face first, smashing the floor firmly and knocking himself out. But Luke didn't wait, instead flicking his wrist in a hook shape, and adding "Petrificus Totalus!". The second fell to the floor, and Luke emerged through the door, his wand pointing at the bully who held the picture Chrysanthemum had drawn.

"Give it back to her." Luke growled, his eyes very, very dark in that moment. The boy paused only for a moment, hurrying to pass the parchment back to Chrysanthemum and then turning towards the door, hurrying away - or so he thought.

Drawing a tick like shape in the air, Luke added in a growl. "Flipendo!" A blue light erupted from his wand, hitting the third bully flat in the back, and, after the obvious sound of a body hitting the wall, the slow descent down the stairs happened a moment later, before all went quiet.

Luke stood between the two unconscious bodies at the top of the stairs, staring down at the stairs where the third had fallen. His breathing was heavier than necessary despite the lack of physical exertion, and he stood, waiting, listening, and regaining his composure once more.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:36 pm

"Please jus-" she was halfway through another attempt at asking them to give her back her drawing - which she knew was rather fruitless, but there was nothing else she knew to do - when suddenly, one of the boys just sort of fell. He face planted into the hard floor, and Chrisy's eyes widened as she glanced around, half worried, half in shock.

A second boy froze, and she distinctly heard the sound of someone casting a spell, and turned to look at the direction of the voice. As if things could not get stranger, a familiar boy came into the owlery, and it took her but a split second to place him as the strange boy who had caught her painting and then left so suddenly.

And, to her utmost surprise, he seemed to be on her side. That was... new. Nobody had ever really fought for her, and the few friends she did have were more like people she did homework with and sat with on occasion for lunch; they weren't really people she confided in all that much, with one or two exceptions. No, Chrisy was a loner, and she was usually on her own when it came to situations like this.

So, to see this... almost stranger... fighting for her made her more than a little confused. The male's voice was hard, and cold, and more harsh than she had ever heard anyone using before, and it made her shudder a little. But, automatically, she reached out and took her drawing, pulling it close to her chest and clutching it there as she watched, unable to speak from the shock, as the bully ran - only to come to a painful end.

Her eyes widened even more at the resounding thud, and she glanced at the two people on the floor. Oh dear, she thought, to herself. I wanted them to stop, not get hurt! she went on, mentally, but not once saying anything aloud. She was much too frightened and confused to speak.

Despite that, though, she somehow managed a very soft, "Thank you," towards the boy who had come to her rescue, and whose name she still did not know. There were many things she wanted to ask and to say, but being polite was ingrained in her, and while she didn't know how she could begin to phrase what she was thinking, those two words came automatically, and she tried to offer him a grateful smile, but it fell very slightly short at the memory of how he had helped.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:52 pm

The steady hands of the Slytherin shook by his side as he took a few more breaths, collecting himself in that moment. They simply did not... No.

The sound of Chrysanthemum's voice broke through the anger though, almost a soft lullaby as it faded from his system quicker than it usually did when Luke got worked up. Half turning towards the witch, Luke gave a singular nod of the head to show he had heard her words of gratitude in that moment.

Slipping his wand back in to it's holder, Luke assessed the bodies on the floor once, his nose turning up in slight disgust at them and their actions. "Come, you should leave before they wake up." Luke insisted, motioning for her to head down the stairs. It was best - as it always was for Luke - to not get caught at the scene of one of... these 'accidents'. He most certainly didn't want the professors snooping around him, either.

Luke waited for the Chrysanthemum to move though, he wouldn't leave without her, in case one of them should wake up. Though, he doubted it would be soon, he wasn't going to allow himself to lose cautiousness simply because he was with the Ravenclaw.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:03 pm

She blinked at his words, glancing nervously around. Sure, they had been bullies and had been taunting her for a long time now, but nobody really deserved to be hurt... Did they? Chrisy was torn, part of her glad that they had met some kind of justice, but majority of her was concerned, worried that there might be some kind of lasting injury. "W-will they be okay?" she asked, softly, the words barely making it out as she looked towards the bodies.

But, she knew the impact of what the male was suggesting, and she nodded now, a bit later than one would normally do so, but it was an acknowledgement nevertheless, and she hastily picked up her bag (which had been on the floor beside her as she drew) and walked stiffly towards the exit of the owlery.

She hesitated as she passed the boy, and offered him a tentative smile. "I... I never got your name?" she inquired, suddenly. It was an odd time to be asking that, she knew, but there would be no right time, not after what just happened, and she figured it was best she knew the name of the person who saved her.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:13 pm

The question of whether the people would be okay made Luke look to the left of him, where the unconscious body of his second victim lie. "He just needs to be unfrozen. Sore, probably, but he'll be fine." Luke said, his tone not in the slightest bit happy about that as he looked to the right. "Broken nose and a concussion." He added, how deep the concussion would be, he wasn't sure, but hopefully it would be a heavy concussion, really teach the boy a lesson.

The short answer would probably have been 'yes' but Luke was dealing with the obvious that was in front of him - or what he deemed to be obvious, anyway.

"Luke." The Slytherin supplied in response to the question of what his name was. There wasn't anything else to add. She had asked only for his name, and he supplied only that. Luke's eyes moved to the door, inadvertently reminding her to go. "Don't stop at the bottom." Luke added, waiting to follow her down the stairs.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:27 pm

She nodded, slightly less worried, at his first statement, but as he continued on about broken noses and concussions, she paled a little and winced, averting her gaze away from him in that moment. That sounded more serious than she first thought. I'm sorry, she mentally apologised, wishing she could say the words aloud but something telling her it probably wasn't the best idea. Besides, the stranger-boy had been so adamant about her leaving - his tone had been far more serious - and he had sounded so angry earlier that she was honestly afraid of what he was capable.

It wasn't easy, after all, for someone to take out three males, let alone someone who seemed to be younger than them. Sure, he had had the advantage of surprise, but with the way he carried himself, and the way he had cast the spells... No, it was obvious that he couldn't have been easily stopped.

Luke, she noted, and nodded once more at his instructions. There was no point in arguing, though where she was supposed to head instead of stopping, she didn't know. Still, she moved down the stairs, wincing once more at the sight of the body laying at the foot of the staircase but noting with some relief that he was still breathing and didn't seem too battered up, just unconscious.

Remembering the instructions given, she cast one last pitiful look towards the body of the main bully, and continued onwards, slowing down when she reached the empty hallway, not quite certain what to do next.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:37 pm

Nothing else came from Chrysanthemum in that moment, and Luke simply followed her down the stairs, taking in the mess of the boy at the bottom. That, Luke though, was his own fault, and he would think twice before trying to bully Chrysanthemum again. Giving the body a firm kick in the side as he passed, Luke checked the hallway for signs of teachers, and then hurried on after the witch who'd just vacated the owlery.

Luke took her arm in his hand in that moment, hurrying them both down the hallway, and out of sight, before slipping in to an empty classroom. Letting go of the witch, Luke assessed the situation. "You're not hurt?" He prompted the witch, though from what he could see, she was not. At least, he thought a moment later, he would not have to go back to avenge anything else.

As he waited for an answer, Luke moved in to his jacket pocket, and pulled out a small tin, and offered it to the witch. It was a set of paintbrushes he'd seen the last time he'd been in Hogsmeade. An expensive set, but that hadn't mattered. He gave no explanation to the box, simply looking at the witch expectantly instead. It was part of the reason he'd wanted to see her. The other to tell her he'd completed her picture.

But the latter could wait.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:34 am

She felt someone touching her and automatically flinched back, but when it was a gentle touch and not a harsh one, she relaxed slightly and allowed herself to be led. It wasn't as though she knew how to get out of something like this, anyway, and even if the boy - Luke - had meant harm, Chrisy wasn't one to fight back. Her natural stance on things was to sit back and hope it went away, and although she knew some defensive spells, her wandwork wasn't the best and easily overpowered.

As they stepped into the empty classroom, she swallowed dryly, the events that had just taken place finally clicking and registering properly, and she took a clumsy seat on the nearest chair. The question that came her way needed an answer, but she couldn't get her voice to work, and so she shook her head. No, she wasn't hurt. Not this time, anyway; being pushed around, be it physically or not, wasn't something that was uncommon. What had happened up in the owlery had been something she was used to, and she had been thankful they hadn't started the actual shoving. Merlin only knew what the boy in front of her would've done had that happened.

She looked down at her lap, where she had rested her hands, clenched together to keep from shaking, until movement caught her attention and she glanced up, the frown on her face deepening slightly at the thing that was being offered.

It took her a couple moment to recognise that it was a branded set of paintbrushes, and her eyes widened. Moving her gaze over to Luke, she hesitated before very slowly reaching forward and taking it. "I... T-thank you," she murmured, bringing her hands and the tin back to her lap. Unconsciously, she gently ran one thumb over the label of the tin, pushed past the part of her that was too shy to speak, and then quietly asked, "Why?"

Why would you be nice to me? Why do you care? she clarified mentally, but these words would never be said out loud. Chrisy was far too self-conscious to ever say things like that.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:04 pm

The thank you that he was given was not a necessity. Luke made no sign of hearing those words, no nod to say that her thank you had been accepted. The moment simply past as the Slytherin waited for her to open the box, to see what he had given her. But she didn't, instead putting the box on her lap and running her finger over it.

Did she not like them?

Were they not the right type? He was sure...

"Why?"

"Your paintbrushes. The ones you were using. They weren't the best ones that you could get." Luke explained in answer to her question, once more taking the literal sense of the girl's words rather than answering the question she had intended. He was oblivious to it. "They should make your work better." Luke explained, not meaning it in a nasty manner, but in that the paintbrushes, being more expensive, should give better results on the whole.

But sometimes, what Luke meant, and how people heard it differed completely.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:14 pm

The answer he gave was even more confusing than the fact he had given her a present. He didn't even know her, so why would he bother with something like that? She could not wrap her mind around it, especially since she had never really had experience with this sort of thing before. Nobody had ever really showed her attention of this kind ... well, ever, and Chrisy was more confused than concerned.

Had she had more than a handful of friends, she might have found it weird or suspicious, but she didn't, and the only thing Chrisy knew was that, for some reason, this boy was showing her kindness.

They were the best I could get, she thought, figuring he hadn't meant that she had purposely bought cheap ones, and so not voicing it out. That was the problem of having a secret hobby that nobody knew about; she couldn't spend lots of money on it, and in any case, it wasn't as though she had much to spend in the first place.

"They should make your work better."

Oh, she thought, a sinking feeling coming over her for a second. "Do... Do you not like it?" she asked, softly. Had she misunderstood everything he had done? From the way he had seemed to care about the streak of green to the way he had given her a new set of expensive paintbrushes... Had it all been one giant windup? Had she been too hopeful for someone to actually be nice to her? I knew it was too good to be true, she thought bitterly, having already drawn her own conclusions.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:22 pm

The question of whether he liked 'it' made Luke pause for a moment, retracing what he'd said and realising 'it' meant her work. "I. No. Wait." The Slytherin paused, one hand going up to his lips in thought, before he looked sideways.

"Your work is good but you have rubbish paintbrushes." Luke told the witch, elongating his explanation in that moment. His hand moved to point to the box in her lap. "Now you have brilliant paintbrushes. Therefore, following the theory of rubbish paintbrushes giving you good work, brilliant paintbrushes will make your work better. Better than good, don't you understand? That is how this works." Luke explained, his eyes showing in that moment that he didn't know how she couldn't understand something so relatively simple.

"You will need better paints, and pencils, but I didn't get to check the make of the ones you had to identify their standard. But with time... yes. It can all be done." Luke added, mostly for his own use, his own thoughts coming to life in that moment. Yes, he could fix this to perfection, he could see it now.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:38 pm

As Luke began to speak, his explanation started to make more sense, and she realised (quite early on) that she had jumped to conclusions way too fast. She had to agree with him on the part about the paintbrushes, although she did not nod, instead simply listening. Had he really realised that from... what? 10 minutes of interaction with her?

Chrisy glanced down at the box in her lap and a shy smile formed on her lips. Yes, I do, she thought, and again wondered what she had ever done to deserve them. His conclusion was slightly incorrect, although she chose not to say anything. She knew, though, that paintbrushes had only a small part in it; the painting came out according to the skill of the artist. Of course, he had a point, and finer, thinner brushes helped to refine the art, and she was beyond grateful for the set she now owned. That was why she said nothing, instead nodding once, acknowledging his words.

"I... It's fine," she said, softly, at the offer of more things. "You... You don't have to do this, you know." Chrisy paused. "The paintbrushes are amazing, Luke, thank you, but you really don't need to waste your money on me."

She didn't understand why he would do this, or why anyone would bother being so nice to her. This almost-stranger - Luke - for some reason had decided to be her friend and be nice to her, and although he was slightly socially awkward, she was thankful nevertheless.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:47 pm

Not doing things that he wanted to would normally be an idea that angered Luke. However, Chrysanthemum didn't have that affect on him. No, her words telling him not to do something only made him want to do it more. A very, very scary outcome for a young boy to make from a young girl's words, but one that Luke had come to believe in that moment.

"It's not a waste of money if the things are used." Luke responded at her insistence of not wasting his money. His parents had often used words like this, that things were a waste of money because he'd lain them aside. But he knew that Chrysanthemum would not be like that.

And that was Luke done.

He'd delivered her present like he'd intended, and any more talk would have been a waste of his time. Time that Luke did not waste, it always had to have purpose. So, moving to the door without a word, Luke pulled it open only marginally, and checked the corridor to make sure it was clear.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:54 pm

His words held a truth she could not deny, and there was nothing she knew to say that could go against it. He was right, and it was something she knew was accurate, and yet... It wasn't right. I'm not worth the money, she thought, and then, Spend it on something of value, not on me. But, of course, she would never say those things out loud, and instead they stayed in her mind, quietly eating away at her self-confidence.

She was her own worst enemy, and she didn't even know it.

As the boy started to leave, she started. So soon? she wanted to ask, but the words got stuck somewhere between her mind and her mouth. It sounded too desperate, too whiny, for her to want to say it. So, the Ravenclaw kept silent, instead getting to her feet. There was one thing she wanted to do, and it took a few moments of gathering the courage to do so, but, finally, she stepped forward and held out the simple drawing of the owl she had completed earlier.

"Here. I... I want you to have it," she said, feeling more than a little shy in that moment. "As a sort of thank you for... For you help, and the brushes." A slight blush crept onto her cheeks, but she tried to ignore it and instead sent a shy smile towards the boy. After all, he had saved her, and this was the only way she knew how to convey her thanks - besides, that was what friends did, right? Give things to each other.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlikely Hero (Luke)   Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:02 pm

Luke was just about to step out in to the corridor when movement behind him stopped him in his tracks and he closed the door once more. Looking at the offered piece of parchment that was being held between them, Luke took it very carefully from her grasp, looking at the owl.

A normal person might have smiled upon receiving something so beautiful, but Luke simply nodded his understanding that he'd been given a gift for his help, and the brushes. Unlike Chrysanthemum he was not full of thank you's and you shouldn't have's. No Luke simply took the piece of paper, and understood that there had been a trade.

The redness in her cheeks in that moment made Luke look away though. He knew what a blush was, and that there were many a reason behind one, but he didn't know how any of them would fit to this situation.

So, without another word, Luke opened the door only enough to see the deserted corridor, and slipped from the room. It took him only a few strides to leave the corridor, and he was well on his way back to the Slytherin Common Room, with a gift from Chrysanthemum.

His Chrysanthemum.
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