The first day back at the academy had been pretty successful for Bruce. He’d manage to avoid most of the new freshmen as well as the returning students, and—bar a few of those looks—he’d spent most of the day seemingly under the radar in a study room. Along with his solidarity, Bruce could find peace in the fact there was just one more year left to crawl by before he was done. He would graduate and move on to this elusive “Avengers” track where he hoped he would be stuck in a lab by himself to do calculations on whatever project they had secretly slid under a locked steel door. It wasn’t a bright future, but at least it was something.
Bruce gathered his books and headed towards one of the student labs available on campus. He wasn’t planning on experimenting with anything; the library was just getting a bit too crowded for his liking. It was once he had made it to just outside of the lab that his luck seemed to change. Two quick, red flashes and beeps told him that his card-key had been rejected. He tried over and over again to no avail. Twelve or so more failures and he admitted defeat and slumped to the floor. He pulled his notebook and calculator out from his bag, having decided it would be better to work in the empty hallway than returning to the library or dormitory where he was sure there would be too many people too excited about living with a complete stranger.
Gwen gathered up her books and folders, placing them carefully into her bag. She rose from her table at the library and pushed her chair back in, attempting to make as little noise as possible. It wasn’t just because this was a library; she wanted to attract as little attention as possible. She hadn’t talked to a single peron since returning, and for now at least, Gwen wanted to keep it that way. The fact that she was back at school was both a welcomed one and disappointing. Still unsure of what to do with it, she had decided not to talk to anyone just yet. That offically marked the beginning of the year for her. She gave the librarian a silent head nod as she exited into the hallway.
It took a minute before Gwen even realized where she was walking. Without meaning to, she’d started walking to the science lab. After her first year, it had become something of a sanctuary for her. She’d spent more time there than in her own dorm. A quick look to see if they’d changed it at all couldn’t hurt. As she approached the door, Gwen noticed a figure sitting against the wall next to it. Upon closer inspection, she recognized him; Though they’d never talked, she had seen Bruce Banner more than once.
"Er.. Hi. Were you going to go in?" She flashed him a smile. It looked like her year had now officially begun.
Gwen’s eyes flicked across the paper, reading but not taking in. She sat still at her library table for a moment before realizing she had no idea what she’d just read. Her eyes went back to the beginning of the same sentence and tried again— and again, and again. Finally, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She commanded her mind to focus. Word by word, she slowly and carefully re-read the sentence for what felt like the millionth time. This time it stuck, but she didn’t stop there. She demanded to not just comprehend, but really know and also remember what it said. She turned it over in her mind until she was sure she’d grasped it in its entirety. This happened sometimes when she studied too long. Gwen was determined, and sometimes it meant she pushed herself too far.
She recognized that her brain needed a rest. For hours on end she’d been stuffing it with new ideas and concepts, as well as reviewing old ones; it was tiring. The hours had passed without her notice and now they were catching up to her. Pulling out her phone, she checked her messages. Nothing she hadn’t seen yet was there. A sigh escaped her lips as she carefully placed her phone back in her pocket.
As a general rule, Gwen never took anything that could distract her to the library when she was planning to study. She took her education seriously, being nearly the top of her class. It helped that she was naturally gifted and loved her subjects she studied, but part of it was also hard work. This meant that when she went to study, her phone stayed in the dorm. Today, however, had been an exception due to one simple fact. It had been over thirty-six hours since Gwen had last interacted with another human being. Not once since she’d returned to school had she talked with anyone. Even from the time she’d entered the library up until now, she hadn’t spoken a word to anyone. It was starting to get to her.
During her little zone out session, her stomach made a familiar noise. Gwen realized that not only had she not talked to anyone since she’d been here, she hadn’t eaten. Luckily for her there was a tiny snack bar run by staff and students near the library. The only catch was that if you brough food into the library and damaged a book in the process of eating, no matter how little the damage, you were expected to pay. She wasn’t particularly clumsy, but this was usually enough to keep Gwen away from the snack bar. Any other day she would have just waited it out until she went back to her dorm. The difference was that today she needed to stay longer and get down the material. A head start always paid off in the longrun. Not to mention, she did need a break. Her stomach got the best of her as she rose from her seat and walked towards the snack bar.
She got something simple and not too messy- an apply, along with a granola bar. It wasn’t much, but Gwen wasn’t rich and it would keep her happy for now. As she handed the guy at the register her money, she decided to pick up a few napkins just in case. You could never be too careful, after all. Turning on her heel, she headed back to her seat at the library. As she approached it, she noticed there was another student sitting there now as well. She sat down anyways, not wanting to seem rude. The company was welcomed, anyways.
OOC: I’m using this blog for a new roleplay, so it would be great if anyone from a previous rp I’ve been in could unfollow it. Thanks :)
"I know about your sleeping problems, Prewitt. I apologize. My emotions got the better of me as well." He drew a chair and sat down next to the girl. He chuckled softly. "I do make sure that my housemates land in detention. Lots of marks have been deducted from Slytherin. Don’t make those groundless statements before knowing what has been done." Cliff knew he was not welcome here and stood up. "Just get back to your common room as soon as possible. I’ll act as if none of this happened." He turned to leave when he felt a tug on his shirt. He turned around.
Alice bit her lip as Cliff stood up. For a moment, she’d thought he would stay. It was odd how they’d been arguing only a moment ago and now she felt an odd disappointment as he began to leave. Before she knew what she was doing, Alice tugged on his shirt. “I, uh..” She realized she had no reason to try and keep him from leaving. She had nothing to say to him after making an idiot out of herself.
"I’m sorry." She spoke, figuring it was all she could say at this point. "I didn’t mean what I said. I know you do your job well. And um. I realize it’s past curfew and you’re a Head Boy and everything, but I mean.. you could stay for a bit, if you wanted. I mean. You don’t have to leave." This was turning out so awkwardly. Her words weren’t coming out right. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. "I know it’s against your duties and everything, but I’d like it if you would stay for a few minutes. Then I promise I’ll go back up to my common room." She bit her lip as she waited for a reply.
Cliff was slightly taken aback. He knew that Alice wasn’t usually like this but he knew he had to do his job. He couldn’t just let go of everything just because of a girl’s attitude. “Excuse me, Prewitt. I know you’re not the type to go around breaking rules, so I’d like to ask you to take that back. Stealing food from the kitchens is in fact breaking the rules. Once more and I’ll have to inform your Head of House. Marks may be deducted and you might encounter possible detention. Mind you, Prewitt, I’m not any ordinary prefect. I’m the Head Boy.”
Cliff raised his eyebrows. He didn’t mean to be rude, but Alice had it coming. She was one of those Gryffindors who thought all Slytherins were one and the same. He hated it when that happened. Why did houses have to matter so much? In the end, it meant nothing but a few Quidditch games and a trophy.
Alice felt her jaw drop as Cliff threatened detention over her ice cream. Was he serious? All she was doing was eating ice cream! “Well, Mr. Head Boy, I realize you’re trying to do your job, but I don’t appreciate the way you’re talking to me. If you’re seriously going to land me in detention for eating ice cream while some of your house mates are off hexing first years, I think you need to reevaluate your priorities.” She bit her lip as soon as she’d finished talking, wishing she could take it back. She didn’t mean to be so snarky, but the way he spoke to her just made her so frustrated.
She sighed deeply and pinched the bridge of her nose. Her eyes softened as she looked at Cliff again. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. I’m just so stressed, and ice cream helps me calm down. I don’t even know why I’m in here,” she confessed. She hadn’t even meant to end up here, just to go for a short walk. “I know I’m not supposed to be out, but it’s the only way I can get to bed.” She buried her face in her hands, wishing she was back in the common room.
"Haven’t you been told that students are not allowed in the kitchen at all times?" Cliff leaned against the door. He was on his usual night patrol and had heard noises coming from the kitchen. He eyed the ice cream in her hand and shook his head. Students had been taking food from the kitchen lately and he had been told to find a way to put an end to this.
Sighing, he walked towards the girl. “Alice Prewitt, am I correct? What business do you have here?” He asked. He knew that the 5th year wasn’t a troublemaker and probably had a reason as to why she was here. The Head Boy decided that if she wasn’t up to any mischief, he would let her go with a warning. Even though he was Head Boy, he wasn’t known to be extremely strict nor biased to any house. However, he had a limit, so that students wouldn’t walk all over him easily.
Alice exhaled the breath she’d been holding, sighing loudly. It wasn’t a teacher, but it was close enough. Most students in a position of authority didn’t take their roles very seriously, especially when it came to Alice. She never broke the rules. On the rare occasions when she did, they let it slide. The way he talked to her as if she was causing trouble made her angry, especially when she was just in the kitchen. The house elves loved her and had even brought her up snacks once or twice. “What business do I have in here? Well, I think it’s pretty obvious I’m enjoying this ice cream. I didn’t realize that was a crime.” She raised her eyebrows at him, waiting for a reply.
She wasn’t known to be unkind, let alone talk back. There wasn’t even a reason for her to do so, really. The guy was just trying to do his job. Still, it upset her that someone around her age spoke to her that way. Of course, giving attitude back wasn’t the way to go about it, but her emotions had gotten the better of her.
Alice rolled over in her bed, adjusting her pillow before closing her eyes again. Taking deep breaths in and out, she tried to relax. For a half hour now she’d been trying to get comfortable and coax her body into sleep. Deciding her position wasn’t quite right, she rolled onto her back, staring up at the curtain atop her bed. Sliding her eyes shut again, she began counting. Sometimes when she was restless like this, it helped her sleep.
Two hundred and seventy-four sheep later and no closer to sleep, Alice swung her legs over the side of her bed and stood up. She walked to her trunk and took out an over sized sweater. Pulling it over her head, she decided her pajama pants would be fine to wear. It wasn’t like anyone would see her. At least, she hoped not. Reaching towards her nightstand, she grabbed her wand and made her way to the door. She stumbled blindly into the main common room before casting lumos quietly. A little light might help right now. As she reached the portrait hole, she climbed through quickly and silently.
Technically students weren’t allowed out of the common rooms this late, but it was the only way she’d be able to sleep. It wasn’t like no one else had done it before. Students took midnight strolls all the time. As long as she didn’t run into a teacher, no one would know. Even the portraits kept quiet about it. Truth be told, Alice had no idea where she was headed. Her feet carried her, but she wasn’t sure where to. She followed along until the kitchen lay in front of her. Shrugging, she figured that she was here now. There was no harm in having a snack. Entering quietly, she began to rummage through all the different food before selecting ice cream. She’d been known to go on ice cream binges, especially when she studied too hard. With owls coming up, she’d eaten enough ice cream lately to feed the whole school. She sat on the counter enjoying her ice cream until she heard a noise. Alice went completely still and listened. It sounded like footsteps, and they were getting closer. Holding her breath, she hoped it wasn’t a teacher coming as the door creaked open.
Do you have class tomorrow? I don’t, but I haven’t finished the reading yet. I’ve really been dreading it.
I don’t, but you know how I am in Potions. Not the brightest..I figure the more I work at it, the better. I just wish it wasn’t so dull. I’m in serious need of ice cream.
Me too! I don’t know if my eyes will stay open long enough for me to read another chapter of this stupid potions textbook.