Is that your mantra?
Tue Feb 6, 2018 15:16

The scene that greeted the two students as they entered the room was reminiscent of a cafe, as Russell suggested, but with several jarring differences; for example, there was no food counter, a distinct lack of windows, and a shelf across the adjacent wall that held, among less familiar items, two crystal balls. “A scrying cafe, you think?” There were several reputed fortune tellers in New Orleans, mostly offering palmistry and tarot readings, some genuine Seers mixed among the Muggle mimics, but Danny had never set foot in any of them. His gaze swept the room, taking in the broken china on the floor, the haphazard teapot, and what could be the end of a wand protruding from beneath a piece of furniture but he would have to be closer to be certain.

Before either of them investigated, there was a spell to cast on their shoes to prevent their own footprints from contaminating the scene. While Danny was becoming adept at wandless magic, he still preferred to use his wand on first attempts; he withdrew it from the compact satchel he’d kept slung over one shoulder. His bag also contained a notebook and parchment, which might be useful for keeping a record of their observations, and a couple of quills. He did not, however, have a ballpoint pen (Danny preferred to use a quill for written assignments - they helped keep his handwriting closer to legible - but he’d quickly been convinced of the comparative convenience of Muggle writing implements). “Do you have a -” he started, but stopped, as he’d spoken at the same time that Russell announced ‘Kaz’ to the room.

It took a moment for him to recognize the syllable as a name. Danny had never studied Divination so was not familiar with Professor Luksa beyond his appearance and a general impression that he was one of the friendlier staff members. The only time Danny had really been aware of Kaz was when the group decided ... no, that wasn’t right, because not everyone agreed. Oh! It had been a dare, and Russell had picked Kaz as - what was the phrasing? Most bangable. (Danny didn’t remember the game in much detail now - hadn’t that been in fifth year? - but he suspected Ruben was responsible for that one.) Danny had been more inclined to agree with Holland that Rasnick had definitely provided a welcome visual distraction during DADA classes, but he guessed everyone had different … preferences… Huh. He glanced sidelong at Russell, and did the smallest double-take at the absence of his shades; it was like when you were used to someone wearing specs then they switched to contacts one day. Danny hadn’t realized Russell wore his sunglasses so often that he didn’t really know what he looked like without them. Turns out there was a lot he hadn’t realized about Russell.

Russell apologized (of course he did) but at least he was smiling now. Sort of. That indicated he was probably okay with Danny working with him which, now that he thought about it, had perhaps not been a great turn of events for Russell, who had never given any indication that he wanted to be stuck in Danny’s company. They ended up hanging out occasionally because they had Marissa and Holland as friends in common, but since Russell had basically told Danny he wasn’t interested in helping him to dance they had barely interacted outside of class. There was also that time Danny had spaced out by the Aquila commons, and Russell probably thought Danny had just been standing watching while Ruben bullied him. That… probably hadn’t improved Russell’s opinion of him. Danny had told Ruben to lay off him, and told the staff about what he’d seen, but he’d never mentioned that to Russell.

He couldn’t tell if Russell was trying to be funny or self-deprecating, so he wasn’t sure whether it was more appropriate to laugh or not laugh, but Danny found his lips twitching into an almost-grin anyway. He took the offered binder, balancing it in his left hand (his right held his wand), and glanced at the picture, emphatically not giving it any consideration beyond the scope of the class. Beginning to skim the other information, Danny suddenly remembered his earlier thought, and in a gesture that would get his partner’s attention and perhaps prevent him from progressing further into the room if he’d been about to, tapped Russell’s arm with the back of his hand, saying, “Hey, before we do anything else we should do that footprints spell.” Danny proceeded to verbally cast it on his sneakers, then glanced towards Russell’s footwear - why did he wear sandals to class? At least there were no socks today, which… well it was better in some ways, because who wore socks with sandals? But now Danny was looking at Russell’s feet - “Shall I just -?” he offered.

Visible feet aside, Russell did look less like he dressed in the dark these days (although he had the sunglasses deal so probably did dress in the dark). Endeavoring to get along with Russell at least while they were stuck in a small, enclosed space together, Danny identified a common ground: both students were evidence that Holland’s influence resulted in aesthetic improvement. “You know Holland used to give me advice on my wardrobe, too,” Danny confessed. “They know their stuff. We both look a little less terrible than if left to our own devices.” Okay it wasn’t quite an extension of friendship, but it was more effort than Russell had made at speaking to Danny in the past year or more.

  • --what was his name, again? Russell knew he’d seen the man before, but he couldn’t remember what he was called, or even what class he taught. His chest felt too tight for thinking. It had started... more
    • Is that your mantra? - Dardanius, Tue Feb 6 15:16
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