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Fourth Floor On your way between classes, you'll no doubt find yourself somewhere on this floor. Or maybe you're looking for a quiet spot to read. You're in luck, there are several around here.

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Old 12-04-2018, 11:54 AM
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Default Fourth-Floor Corridor


The fourth floor is the quietest floor in all of Hogwarts. Those who have been here long enough and know the layout know this as an obvious fact because the primary features of this floor are the Library and Study Hall. To soften your steps as you make your way around, a carpet drapes the entire floor of the corridor. Remember to keep your voice at a whisper because there's important studying going on in this part of the castle!

You will find large green vases placed in the corners of the corridor as well as a number of portraits. There really isn't anything exciting about the vases, though Peeves is known to pick them up and throw them at unsuspecting passersby -- it is strongly advised that you always stay alert. As for the portraits, you will likely notice right away that most of them are of peaceful landscapes. Nevertheless, you will eventually come across Brutus Scrimgeour (author of The Beaters' Bible), Hengist of Woodcraft (founder of Hogsmeade), and Edward Rabnott (a wizard with three different personalities).
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Old 09-06-2021, 06:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Upon being rejected from the Big Headsman's lesson on the grounds of being a half-uniformed and scruffy little delinquent (none of which had been said in so many words, but all of which was true), Nemesis did not proceed downstairs, but instead traversed a hidden passageway which took them up a level.

They emerged into the fourth floor corridor through a wall panel, which fell closed behind them, paused for just a moment, and turned left down the corridor. The library was in that direction, though Nem had yet to decide if that was their next stop. Probably it would be. Might be it wouldn't.
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Unfortunately for Nemesis Upstead, June was making her way to the library herself. A little research for a side project had her mind preoccupied these days -- but it was definitely not distracted enough to know when someone should be in class and not roaming the corridors at this hour.

Eyes meeting theirs as they turned a corner, June braced herself for whatever this was going to be.

"Is there a reason why you are not in class, Nemesis?" she asked, stopping in front of them.
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Funny thing was, when Nem turned the corner and found themselves face to face with the Flamsteed Singularity, they were the furthest thing from a rabbit in the wandlight. Then again, they'd never been susceptible to that particular feeling. Unperturbed, they made to continue on their way.

Though Nem knew they had just come from a lesson, and though they knew that Flamsteed was perfectly aware of the day's timetabled lesson hours, they were nevertheless surprised when she accosted them. Their face didn't - couldn't - betray it. Without missing a beat, they made to sidestep around her. "Free period." The lie came so easily it might have been true, though the follow-up suggested there was more to it. "I'm in exile."
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Even if it had been the truth, June would have had a hard time believing them. As they made to side-step her, she simply moved to block their way again.

"Is that your fancy way of telling me Headmaster Trent threw you out of class?" She could see it - especially since their robes were still in a questionable state.

The most surprising thing? She still wasn't surprised.

"Really Nemesis? It's your first day back."
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Old 09-07-2021, 03:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When their path was blocked again, Nemesis stopped. They stared at Flamsteed, taking in her features as each individual component, and then as the combined sum. They knew her face, but it suddenly struck them that the more they looked at it now, the less they recognised it.

Taking a half step back to allow for a little more space, Nem cast a quick, consulting glance at their watch again, and let Flamsteed talk. The significance of this being the first day back was lost on them, why it should be any different now than any other day of the year.

"He told me to get out," they said, by way of confirmation, looking up once more. "Can't indoctrinate kids with a failed project in the room." Nem made to sidestep the other way around instead, if for no other reason than to keep moving, but this time stopped in their tracks before shifting more than a couple of inches, as a new thought suddenly occurred to them. They said nothing, did nothing, but for one fleeting moment they seemed nothing short of hopelessly adrift.

Another moment later, their expression cleared again, unreadable once more.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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June wasn't sure what it was about them that made her uneasy. She refused to think about it, but it felt deeper than simply thinking they were nothing but a text-book menace. Maybe the benefit of the doubt came from when she had first met them.

....the glimpse of hope had been there then. But she wasn't so sure anymore. It was somehow more complicated, more difficult to see now.

"Are you sure that's why he told you to leave? And not because you failed to follow a rule he may have asked you to follow?" she asked, even if the mention of them being a failed project left her deeply curious. This talk she wanted to have with Trent ... seemed more necessary now.

Her watchful eyes remained on them - even as they tried to walk away again, though before she could stop them - they had stopped on their own. And she did not miss it - the brief glimpse of ...something she couldn't quite place. But it at once reminded her why .... why it bothered her deeply to see them like this.

And it explained why she said what she said next, "you know you can talk to me, Nemesis."
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It was a ridiculous notion, Nem realised as much after thinking on it for a moment. Still, one to keep an eye on, just to be certain. With Flamsteed right in front of them, repeatedly blocking their way and holding them up, Nem would not discount the idea entirely. They recalled their fifth year, and their fourth too. Flamsteed had seemed fond of them, only to apparently take all of what had happened to heart, really just so personally. The previous school year, she'd not even wanted to acknowledge them. Flip of a switch.

"He told me-..." The thought dropped away without warning, leaving a deafening silence behind it. For a minute, Nem said nothing, and when they spoke again it was not to finish the response, but to hone in on that final statement.

"You want me to trust you." Listening ears became 'trust me's became the possession of powerful secrets, as if the balance of power was not already in need of constant tending. Nem wouldn't play this game with two people; there was only so much risk they would allow. "Be a mistake to trust someone who dislikes me so openly." The line was delivered, not in hurt or in venom, but frankly, factually, vacantly.

This time, instead of trying to get past Flamsteed, they turned and started back in the other direction.
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Old 09-08-2021, 02:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If only things were so simple. June anticipated the obvious deflection, but no doubt - their unsaid words left her even more curious than before. Shaking her head, she reached out and grabbed a hold of their shoulder - stopping them for the first time from walking away.

"There is a difference between dislike and disappointment" she clarified, her tone gentle and hiding no other emotion except maybe confusion regarding why things happened the way they did. "Your actions disappointed me, Nemesis. I expected more from you." A thing she wasn't sure he cared for.

"And if there is anywhere you are going - it is back to class" she stated next, before stepping closer to them and gesturing in the direction of Trent's class, "lets walk together"
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Old 09-08-2021, 04:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nem stilled again at the hand on their shoulder. Didn't shrink away from it, didn't demand they be unhanded, by all appearances had no problem with it. By no means, however, did that suggest they were going to go anywhere they did not want to go. Not quietly.

"Judgement without understanding," Nem said simply, matter-of-factly. Used to it. Didn't mean they were likely to start making detailed explanations for anything they had or had not done over the past two - technically three - years. No longer accepting applications. Better luck next time.

It was all in the past anyway. Here and now, however, was the fact that Flamsteed had just added more credence to this new and improbable theory. Still unlikely. Still probably just an out of place thought. Still in play regardless. "He told me to get out," Nem said once more, but then there was another long pause, and the original thought again remained unfinished. As before, they found a new track. "My head's all over. I'm not..." Again. Nem flexed their fingers reflexively, agitation pulling at the tendons. "I need to go somewhere quiet. Library." She could sit with them. They didn't care. "Please."
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Old 09-09-2021, 09:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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June was not above admitting when she was wrong but that also didn't mean she'd understand without an explanation. Regardless, she nodded - agreeing with their assessment, before adding: "I want to think differently, Nemesis, but you have done very little to explain yourself" Did they even want to? She wanted them to, even if at the back of her mind - she was worried she might not believe them if they did. Maybe this was why she had never asked ... either.

Still ... when they spoke next, she felt concerned. Their behavior alarming her enough to realize this was the closest to vulnerable she had ever seen them.

"Alright" she finally said. "But you need to tell me why you need to go somewhere quiet" If understanding is what they needed to not be judged, they needed to speak.

"Lets go"
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Old 09-09-2021, 02:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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"Explained myself to the person who asked." Outside those with a professional or self-imposed moral obligation, and who therefore didn't count - Aurors, legal counsel, parents - that left Phoebe James. Trent, he'd asked for explanations of a different sort, and Nem had been working on that. "No more." For a while it had been something to do, leading people to the questions that would change their minds, but it had ceased to be fun, or interesting, and ultimately it had never mattered in the first place.

Nem gave a small, almost imperceptible nod, and turned back towards the library again, though the agitation did not lessen. There was a pause, in which they automatically began to assess how much information to let go of to suit their purpose, without risking anything else. They cast a sidelong glance at Flamsteed, ran through every retrievable memory of every lesson and interaction over the last three years, and tried to fit them all together, to superimpose them over a separate timeline. She had liked them, until she hadn't - or until she'd become disappointed, however she wanted to spin it - and now they had reached professional obligation. As far as June Flamsteed was concerned, she was their Head of House.

After a long moment, they spoke. "Just tired, I think. There's so much input, and now I can't focus. It was a long-..." Actually, the restlessness was building to such a pitch that sitting quietly in one place was not the route they ought to take. "We can just walk. The corridor's quiet enough."
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Old 09-09-2021, 04:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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"So I heard" It was the first question she had wondered when she saw them back at school after the war. But -- that wasn't exactly what she was saying or rather asking for. It was more to do with how ... she had seen them do what they did. It had been too calculating, and she wasn't sure they had done anything since then to help her think differently.

For all she knew, they could have simply ... lied.

Or simply kept things to themselves - like they were doing so right now. Did they realize in the mere matter of minutes they had been together, just how many times they had dropped a sentence? She had noticed.

And this time she didn't let go.

"It was a long?" she repeated - her tone soft yet questioning, before continuing to walk as they suggested.
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Old 09-09-2021, 07:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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A shrug. That was all Nem had in the way of a response. Flamsteed had been right to doubt, except that the detachment was still more complete than that.

"A long... summer," they said, watching the corridor ahead as they walked. Without taking their eyes from it, Nem reached into their pocket and drew out two of the little metal matchstick pieces they always kept to hand, and began spinning them over and between the fingers of their left hand. "Which is to say, no longer than usual."

Nem twirled the pieces faster so that they flashed in the light, and went quiet for a moment, mentally doubling back and assessing that tone Flamsteed had used, and anything else that had been said so far. That softness, they kept clear of it. "Why is it you chose Herbology."
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Old 09-13-2021, 10:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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June wasn't sure what she was expecting but it was the most simplest of explanations and somehow it felt deeper than her understanding. "And what happened during this long summer?" She couldn't help but ask - since it didn't seem like they were trying to ... hide anything.

The next question made her smile a little. It had been a long while since anyone had asked her this. The subject was like a natural part of her existence now.

"In the beginning - it was about how the earth felt in my hands" she replied after a moment of reflection. "but then I used to feel this ... possessiveness toward them, like no one could care for them better"

"....especially when I started seeing results of my care"
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Old 09-13-2021, 03:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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No dice. Nem had hit a significant roadblock. They were quiet for so long, and with such an unchanged expression, that they could easily have been ignoring the professor or perhaps hadn't processed her words at all. They ought to be able to answer it, it wasn't some big unspeakable thing - though some of the details were better left out - and it wasn't complicated either, in spite of the fact that the evidence now suggested otherwise.

After a minute or two, they had strayed far from the original thought, until the question itself was lost as well. They let it go, and held onto the rest.

Nem was sure, at first, that Flamsteed's answer would mean nothing to them, at least until she mentioned possessiveness. Ownership was something they understood, ownership and control and putting faith and trust in no one but their own self. "Is that also why you became a teacher." Teaching, shaping, controlling, enticing growth in whatever chosen direction. Schools were hubs of indoctrination in ways that no one but Nem seemed able to see, perhaps because, by the time most children were old enough to understand the concept, the socialisation (read: brainwashing) had already taken hold of all but those immune to it. It was possible the professors were still under its effects too, and why Flamsteed thought of it as care. Or maybe she could see it, and this was all just an act. They could understand that too.

As they walked past a suit of armour, Nem's eyes were briefly drawn to the alcove behind it, and with a suddenness that would have sent them reeling had it taken physical form, their earlier train of thought returned to them. "I live with my brother now," they said, spinning the metal matchsticks on their fingertips. "Half-brother, but I was alone, so I just ... Everything felt empty. I killed time." It was only a fragment of the truth, itself split into bits and pieces with jagged edges, but true all the same. "He showed up a couple of days ago."
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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It really did feel like being ignored, so much so that June wanted to ask again -- but it was not in her nature to push. In her experience, it never did any good - she herself had never responded well to unnecessary pushing. So, she waited -- until they spoke again. The question, however, left her shaking her head, and letting out an honest, "no."

"When my knowledge got ... too much, I felt it was necessary to share" she said with a small smile. "I think my sister also feels at peace -- knowing I am more bound than I had been for years" It was complicated but true - her existence had carried with it the infamous Gryffindor recklessness, at least that is how it had felt until she had decided to come back here.

Memories were close to flooding back again, but fortunately they spoke again - this time leaving her confused - before she realized they were speaking about their summer. A lonely existence was what it was - and it was a thing she hadn't known about them. Their was an unknown guilt forming in the pit of her stomach -- because they had been right, she just hadn't asked and now knowing was sending her head into a frenzy of assumptions. "And what happened when your brother showed up?"she asked, her gaze shifting to hold theirs for a moment.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Lovely™ | Captain Hurted | Ariana's Bane | Resident Antagonist | Unparalleled Delight

Nem didn't believe her. It wasn't their usual type of cynicism, born of observation and calculation, parsing information and evidence into undeniable (or probable, at the very least) truth. This was different. This time, it was a simple case of just knowing that Flamsteed was lying, and that it was because Nem had touched on the truth.

Still nothing gave them away, though just the pointed mention of too much knowledge had sent Nem's brain, fittingly enough, into overdrive. They opened their mouth to speak, but so many words crowded to get out that ultimately nothing could break through, and so the attempt was soon abandoned.

It looked set to keep happening too, as though a part of Nem's subconscious kept pulling rank, shutting them up before any damage could be done. They looked over, making brief eye contact with Flamsteed before their gaze darted away again, back to taking in everything else in the corridor. "Nothing," they said, because that much was significant. Ultimately, when Nem's brother did turn up, nothing had changed, and that spoke volumes (though he did not). They had existed in the same space, conversed without speaking, even come to blows, and yet... nothing. "I'd have stayed, but he turfed me out. And I can't settle, wherever I go. I have to keep-..."

They broke off once more, but this time, the shutdown was more complete. Nem's mouth slammed shut, revealing nothing else personal in nature.
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