Violet made her way down to the edge of the forest, stopping just in the shade of the trees to wait on Walden. They'd agreed to go searching today for that special plant she needed for her potions project. Appropriate for the dark forest, she'd picked out a simple black shirt and had pulled her hair back into a ballerina style bun, something she had gotten very good at doing during her years of lessons which I don't believe I've mentioned before, but oh well there it is. However, not exactly fitting to the forest were her bright turquoise jeans and yellow shoes. Can't expect her to tone everything down all at once, can you? She carried a leather messenger bag, slung diagonal across her body with her potions book, the book Walden had translated for her, and her sketchbook full of notes and drawings stuck inside. She'd also grabbed a few little vials and containers for samples of anything they might find that could come in handy. Passing the time, she plucked a few leaves from a nearby tree, tearing them into tiny little pieces and dropping them into the wind like confetti.
Macnair spotted her from a very long way away, those blue jeans and yellow shoes made her look like she was going clubbing, not hunting for flowers. Walking up behind her he batted away the little confetti in the wind with a disgruntled expression, "Are you just trying to hit me?" He was wearing black pants with plenty of pockets for storage, a black t-shirt and a dark green shirt over it. Stopping next to her he cast a glance at her shoes before looking past her into the forest, "So do you know where you want to start looking?"
Violet turned around with a grin on her face. "If I was trying to hit you, I would have." And to prove her point, she threw what was left in her hand right at him, sprinkling it over his face, shoulders, and chest. "And don't hate the shoes," she told him with a gentle kick to his ankle, not having missed that glance he made. "There's a clearing about a half mile in that I think may have something like I need. If not, there's a group of three more not too far from there. Ready?"
Macnair rolled his eyes and bumped her with his elbow, if he'd used his shoulder it would have gone right over her head, as he walked past her into the forest, "Well I didn't come out here just to stand around." As she kept pace with him he looked down at her, still mesmerized by the shoes. "So how have you been? I haven't seen you in a while."
Violet shrugged, rolling her eyes in return as his elbow nudged her shoulder, reminding her of just how tiny he made her feel. They headed into the forest and Violet picked the path easily, having walked through the forest dozens of times last year when avoiding social events and downtime between classes when she had nothing else to do and was tired of being cooped up in the library. "I've been alright. Busy working on these potions things and trying to catch up in harder classes. Transfiguration still baffles me." Seeing a stump about knee height and nice and flat, she leapt up onto it, balanced on that one foot, and then jumped off again, continuing walking beside Walden as if nothing had happened. "I guess I'll get it eventually. Had another meeting last week. They say I'll probably get marked before the Christmas holidays, maybe right after Halloween."
Macnair watched her as she jumped onto the stump, rolling his eyes when she jumped back off again, "Well congratulations, how has the training been? Who has been working with you?" Leo Parkinson had been his mentor and the man had trained him well. Each session had been intense but had somehow left him wanting more. As they moved further in he watched the ground, stepping over the rocks and roots and watching to ensure that she actually did the same.
"It's been great." She hopped over a rock in the way, and continued walking normally. "I've sort of had someone different every time, though I've been put with Dolohov a few times, and Nott a few times. They keep saying they're looking for someone who's a 'proper fit', whatever that means." She shrugged, nearly tripping over a root that stuck up a bit farther than she thought it was. Her toe caught and her body lunged forward, but quick feet caught her again and she pranced a few steps until she regained her balance, and walked along as if it hadn't happened. "I wish they'd just stick me with someone. It gets old having to work with someone different every time. Even if they put me with another recruit like they mentioned once, I don't care. I just want consistency for once in my life."
Macnair reached out for her arm, his fingers stopping a hairsbreath away as she stumbled. Letting her get herself back stable again he continued following alone behind her, "Another recruit? You know it's very strange that they keep switching you around. Have they all been okay? Do you feel okay with all the training so far?" He wondered why they were doing that to her, normally a perfect match was quickly established and everyone was passed off fairly quickly to their mentor.
"Yeah." Another shrug. "I think at this point they're just desperate to find someone to pair me with for better training. They keep saying the skill is all there it just needs honed, but there's no perfect person to do it. Bobby was the only one who could ever quite handle me anyway, I think. So they'll probably keep passing me around until someone new can figure me out." She fell quiet, kicking a pine cone across their path. "Guess I'm just good at making peoples lives complicated. You better watch out or you'll get stuck with a complicated life, too."
He kicked the pine cone back at her, not liking the dispirited look on her face, "My life is already complicated, and anyone who says theirs isn't is lying to you. I'm sure they'll find someone for you soon." He surprised himself when he comforted her, that was possibly the furthest thing from his normal reaction to something like this. Ordinarily he would have turned tail and run already but there was something about her that kept him interested.
"Well, more complicated, then." She kicked the pine cone back to him. Glancing at him out of the corner of her eye, she couldn't help smiling, not having expected the kind words from him. After all, the things she'd heard about Walden Macnair and the way that his first impressions had come off, she hadn't expected much more than a grunt of 'not sure what to say' out of him after that. "And thanks. I hope you're right. I don't want to have to go at it alone." They came up on the little clearing she had mentioned, and she opened her bag to pull out the book he hand translated for her. Turning to the chapter on the plant she was looking for, she pointed at a diagram on the left side. "Here's what we're looking for."
He stopped when she did and leaned over her shoulder, studying the diagram and glancing around to see if he could see any signs of the little plants. "They're small right? They don't look too tall." He figured this would be a pretty tricky one to find, many of the grasses in the clearing came almost all the way up to his knees. Stepping away from her he started by looking around the edges, checking all the shady areas.
Violet nodded, closing the book and putting it back into her bag and dropping it by the edge of the clearing so she could move about unhindered. "Yeah, it's only a couple of inches high." She bent over and started searching, pushing grasses to the side and sweeping back and forth over little areas at a time. "Thanks for coming to help me look, by the way. It's really nice of you." She moved toward areas that looked especially green, knowing that this fern thrived in the more moist environments and would like the little areas where the grass was growing greenest from extra water.
Macnair glanced over and nodded at her, even though she wasn't looking at him. "It's not a problem. Any excuse to get out here is welcome." Leaning back down he moved aside branches, searching for the small flowers. The area he had been looking in seemed useless so he moved on, reaching a small stream and pushing aside some of the pussy willows. "Emily, are these them over here?" He didn't turn around, smirking slightly at the flowers at the face he was certain she was pulling over her name.
Violet was sitting in the tall grass, digging through it all in search of little ferns or their associated flowers. She was so intent on searching in fact, that when he spoke to 'Emily' she hardly heard him, her brain not responding to that name in her concentration. It wasn't until a moment later that she realized he spoke and that there was no one else out here for him to be speaking to. "Huh?" She got up, dusting off her butt and walking over to where he was looking, nudging her hips against his side hoping maybe he'd stumble into the stream. "Emily doesn't know. Violet thinks so." Sitting down in the dirt, she crossed her legs indian style and pulled out her wand, accioing the book from her bag across the clearing. Catching it as it floated over to her, she opened it up and compared the sketches with the little plants. "Looks close. What do you think, Alford?"
He turned and shot her a look when she called him Alford but he supposed it was his price to pay for calling her Emily. He didn't stumble when she nudged him either, he wasn't clumsy like her. Looking at the two sketches he glanced at her out the side of his eyes with a smirk, "I think it looks close enough Isis. Now how do we collect it?"
Violet did her best not to smile when he called her Isis. "That's not fair you only have one other middle name and I've got two." Shutting the book, she sat it to the side and waved her wand again, summoning a few glass jars from her bag. "We pick them very close to the root and put them in here. You get the fern parts and I'll get the flower parts." Passing him a jar, she started plucking off some of the flowers and dropping them into the jar. She was sure to get plenty, while still leaving enough behind that it would continue to grow, so if she needed more later, she would know where to find it. Screwing the lid on the jar, she glanced at the flowers inside and then smiled at Walden. "Successful and short trip into the forest, huh?" She sat more comfortably, holding the jar in her lap and just looking around, enjoying being back in the forest again. Glancing up at the sky overhead, what amount there was of it anyway since the trees closed in more than might have been expected in a normal forest, she sighed happily and fell over onto her back, content to stare at the clouds as they whisked past, the jar clasped in her hands on her stomach.
He noticed her smile and chuckled, reaching down to pick the ferns as she explained. When he had picked a little over half the ferns he slipped them into a bag she had brought and handed them to her. "It was indeed short. I'm surprised we found them so easily." When she fell backwards he sat down and leaned back on his hands, looking at her over his shoulder. "You know you're not the type of person I would normally pin as a Death Eater."
Violet took the bag from him, setting it and the jar aside so she could put her hands behind her head. "Me too, I think we just got lucky, mostly. I'm not complaining though." She stared up at the sky as he sat down sort of beside her, turning her head to look at him when she noticed him glancing back at her. She shrugged a little at his observation. "Normal's overrated." It felt sort of weird to be so relaxed with someone else around, especially someone she barely knew, like Walden. Of course, she felt like she at least knew him a little better than most other people at Hogwarts, but still. She had never been able to enjoy being around other people last year, preferring to get away and alone as quickly as possible. Looking at Walden though, she couldn't help a little smile tugging at the corner of her mouth.
He nodded when she said normal was overrated. He was fairly certain he didn't slide into that normal category either. Honestly normal in that crowd meant mindless follower or glory-grubber and he was neither. There were very few within the ranks that he actually respected, most of them were people he avoided contact with as much as possible. He scanned over the area around them, wondering if there were an creature nearby before looking back at her. He noticed her smile and gave her a funny look, "What are you smiling at?"
Her smile grew wider when he made that face, and she looked away, staring at the outlines the trees made against the sky instead. "Your silly questions." She slipped her shoes off and bent her knee, putting her foot flat on the ground and crossing one leg over the other one up in the air. She dangled her foot absent-mindedly, bobbing it up and down in a sort of rhythm that only she seemed to understand as the sky started to fade into the evening. "You don't have to stick around out here if you don't want to."
Macnair studied her for a while longer, enjoying listnening to the autumn wind in the trees before turning to watch some leaves float down the little brook in front of them. As she spoke again he leaned back, lying down in the grass next to her, his fingers absentmindedly pulling up plants. "I have no where else to be." He turned his head and smirked at her, throwing some of the blades of grass at her, "Unless you don't want me here."
Violet crinkled her nose, shutting her eyes and twitching away from the flying grass. She brushed them off her cheeks and shirt before glaring at him, though her smile ruined the ferocity in her eyes. "Well yeah you can get out of here if you're only going to throw grass at me." For a moment she worried he might actually get up and go, which she realized was something she didn't really want him to do. It was nice hanging out with someone and feeling as comfortable as she did now, and she didn't want it to stop yet. She saw a good friend in Walden and liked being around him. "Don't though," she said, her hand landing on his forearm for a second. She turned her brown eyes to look at him, doing her best to look authoritative despite lying on her back in the grass. "You can stay if you promise to behave."
He glanced down at her hand when it hit his arm before looking back at her face. "Well since you asked so nicely, Emily, I guess I can behave." Misbehaving felt like too much effort in that moment anyway. That and in the back of his mind he knew that he didn't want to leave, he was enjoying spending time with her and it was nice knowing someone else who could sit and be quiet with him. For some reason though after a few minutes of quiet he spoke up, disrupting the peaceful moment. "Tell me more about your childhood."
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