Vi had moved her hands to rest behind her head again, staring up at the sky and counting the clouds in the nice silence. Her mind raced through about a million different things all at once, but she liked being lost in her thoughts. It wasn't until Walden's voice jarred her from her mental wanderings that she blinked and looked over at him again, remembering that he was still there with her. "Why? It's nothing interesting." She couldn't see why anyone would be interested in her childhood. It hadn't been exactly desirable or pleasant or anything like that. It was alright, but nothing special, nothing worth anyone really caring to learn about, at least she didn't think so. Who would care enough to know about her childhood?
Macnair rolled onto his stomach so he could lie there and look at her. "I grew up hearing about Bobby Lockwood the duelist, you can't tell me that didn't make for some interesting learning as you grew up. And I'm sure you saw him duel time and time again." He lay his head down on his arms, still facing her, as he thought of all the things she could have learnt. Things his own father would never have bothered to teach him, not that his father was a duelist anywhere close to Lockwood's caliber.
Violet had turned her attention back on the sky, not looking at him even as he rolled onto his stomach and looked at her. "Bobby died when I was nine. He taught me some, but you know witches or wizards don't really get magic until they're about seven anyway. Granted, I was doing a little by the time I was five, but I couldn't be taught much until I was almost eight. By then, only a year and a half is a really short amount of time to learn much. Especially when I was just a kid. As much as I liked the lessons, sometimes I'd rather just be outside wandering around or hiding in my room drawing or reading." She swallowed hard, for she missed Bobby quite a bit. He'd understood her more than anyone else had bothered to, it seemed. "I knew more about dueling than most of the older kids when I was sent to the home for lost witches." She said it like it tasted bitter. "They were scared and left me alone."
When he heard the bitterness in her voice he wanted to comfort her, reach out to her and help make it go away and return her to her cheerful state. That instinct was something he had never felt before and it scared him. Instead reaching out or prying further he turned his head away from her and lay it down on his arms, looking out into the darkness of the forest. This weekend he was going to go out with Andromeda Black, a beautiful wealthy girl from the right sort and he was going to push all of these strange emotions behind him. The last thing he could do right now was start to get soft. How had this girl found her way into his protective armour so fast?
Violet sighed heavily and shut her eyes, relaxing for a moment before she sat up and wandered a little bit away from him, crouching down beside a tiny little stream at the edge of the clearing. She pulled her legs up to her chest and wrapped an arm around them, resting her chin on her knees. She picked up rocks and flicked them into the water, her back to Walden without really thinking about it. Lost in her thoughts again, the forest and surroundings were no longer being registered in her attention. Instead she was thinking about being a kid and living with Bobby and all the games they'd played but also the lessons and how he'd snuck and gotten someone's wand for her to use and try even at seven and a half years old. She'd dealt with one far before anyone else she'd heard of, and though she couldn't take it with her to the home, she still had that uncanny childhood ability to do magic without her wand. It had been effective in ensuring she could keep to herself and no one would bother her or try any stupid 'new girl initiation' crap on her.
Macnair turned his head as she walked away, watching as she started to throw rocks in the stream. He closed his eyes for a moment, listening to the wind and the steady plops of her stones hitting the water. He thought back on what she had said and a few moments later he opened his eyes to look at her back. Sitting up a little on his elbows he paused a moment before he spoke, "You said they were afraid of you. I assume then you were using magic from a young age. What sorts of spells were you casting? Did you ever cast an accidental unforgivable?" He knew only a few people who had but those were the type of people who sometimes had a hard time finding a mentor, especially in times like these when there were very few of the inner circle willing to take on students.
Violet turned her head to the side, so that her voice would reach him when she spoke, though she didn't look at him. "I don't know," was all she said, though it wasn't brushing off the real answer. She genuinely didn't know if she'd done an accidental unforgivable. She was quiet for a few moments, and then stopped throwing rocks. "There was a girl once. I glared at her and she started crying and shaking. She screamed a bit and ran away when I closed my eyes because she was being so loud. Ms. Zimmer said she was just being silly but I shouldn't glare so rudely. The other girls didn't believe her." Finally she turned around to look at him as she spoke. "I was dueling with Bobby since I was seven and a half. I could kick any one of those girls asses, regardless of if they had a wand or not, but that's probably because they were half stupid and half lazy and only cared about who could do the best mending or cleaning charms." Her expression was worn, tired, as if reliving the memories from the Home was too exhausting. "By the time I was eleven and got the letter from Hogwarts, Ms. Zimmer barely let me out of the house and hardly out of my room. She called me dangerous, or something, and told me that even if I went to this school, they would send me right back. Told me they didn't take 'my kind' there. Whatever that 'kind' was."
He nodded when she turned to him to show he understood what she had said, "So you had to wait until you were old enough to leave? But you aren't of age yet are you, so how did you get out?" Ms. Zimmer didn't sound like a particularly accommodating lady, though if it had happend as she said then maybe the woman threw her out as soon as she could potentially fend for herself.
Violet shook her head, turning around fully now so she could face him. "I'm not. I packed up one night and left. I think it was Christmas Eve, but it didn't matter. I wasn't allowed out of my room enough to know what day it really was. I was tired of being there and I wanted to come to Hogwarts, so I took all my stuff and left in the middle of the night and came to London. Bartered a place to stay, and wrote a letter to Dumbledore the next morning. He came and visited me and we talked about what magic I knew and what I didn't, and then he told me I could start my sixth year at Hogwarts the following September. That was the best Christmas since I'd been taken from Bobby's." She chewed on her lip and looked shy all of a sudden. "Sorry if I'm dumping this all on you. I've never told anyone before. No one's bothered to ask."
He shook his head when she finished, "Don't apologize. It's actually interesting. I grew up with the same people who came here with me, hell most of us are in the same house. After almost sixteen years of socializing they get boring. You're a breath of fresh air." He turned to lie on his side so he could face her more easily. "So what sort of things happened in the house? Were you taught any magic? Or at least allowed access to books? I mean obviously you've had no trouble keeping up here so obviously you've had some schooling."
Violet sighed, wrapping her arms around her knees again, though this time she remained facing him. "It was just a bunch of girls who didn't really have homes anymore. The youngest ones were 5 or 6, and the oldest ones were just girls waiting to come of age so they could leave and do whatever they wanted. Stupidest place. Mostly we were just taught household charms. Cleaning, cooking, mending. Ms. Zimmer trained us up to be housewives and not much more. We had some books but they were just ones that went with what she taught. There were some medicinal potions books, but it was basic common cold and headache curing stuff. Stuff wives and mothers need, and that's about it. When I was younger I was still allowed to go into town if I wanted, before she decided I was 'dangerous'. I made friends with the owner of the book shop there and he let me borrow books as long as I returned them in the same shape as when I took them. Even after I was quarantined, he would send over his son to my window at night with new books. Quite the illegal business, trading books," she laughed softly. "I taught myself almost everything I know, with the exception of the bit of dueling Bobby taught me, and the bit of household crap Ms. Zimmer taught me. I'm technically ahead of the seventh years in potions, but my transfiguration skills are still hanging around fifth year quality. Can't learn it all." She shrugged, her eyes wandering around the area for a moment before she looked back at Walden again.
He nodded, picking some more of the grass, "That's impressive and could explain why you're having a hard time working with one mentor. You're used to teaching yourself and that's why people might be having problems training you. You're used to being on your own." He rolled over onto his back and looked up through the trees, "if you need any help with transfiguration I can help out. I'm alright at it. Runes is my best but transfiguration is something I'm decent at." His only really weak class if he had to select one was DADA but that was only due to a lack of motivation. He mainly used it to figure out what exactly the students were being taught and then doing research for himself several levels above that.
Violet's eyebrows raised as she thought about it. "That actually really makes sense. It just doesn't give me a solution. I don't think they'll mark me unless I have a mentor." She watched as he laid there on his back talking to her. Quietly and quickly so he would hardly notice, she moved back toward him, sitting down right next to him again. "Would you really?" she asked him softly. She picked up some of the loose pieces of grass that he had torn from the ground and started lining them up on his shoulder and chest absentmindedly for no particular reason at all other than the fact that it amused her.
He nodded his head, watching as she picked up the grass. As she dropped it on him he raised an eyebrow, a familiar expression when he was with her, "I'm glad to help. Why are you decorating me?" He plucked some more grass up and dropped it on her knees, returning the favour. "So what parts of transfiguration are you having problems with? Theory or practical? Or is it specific spells?"
"Because I can," she replied with a little grin, her mood having improved quickly from the momentary depression she had fallen into a few moments ago. "I don't know. I haven't actually tried very hard because I don't like doing things I'm not good at. So I'm just going to say all of it." Violet shrugged lightly. "If you're patient enough, I could probably use an all-around sort of tutor. But good luck with that since I seem to be unteachable by others. Then again who knows, maybe you'll prove them all wrong?" She asked him as if it were a sort of question, but hoped that maybe he would prove them wrong. He'd helped her out so far with her potions questions and translating, maybe he could help her with transfiguration too. Maybe she wasn't unteachable. Maybe he could even help her out at the Death Eater meetings, but she wouldn't suggest that yet. Baby steps, and she was sure he didn't plan on being a teacher for her for everything anyway.
He threw some more grass at her then looked over and picked up a long piece. "Your first lesson. We'll start with the basics. Can you turn this into a needle?" He held it up in her face for her to take. "And if you don't remember the spell then tell me and if you want to understand more of the theory behind the wand movements. There are subtle details related to every twitch and flick but you don't really have to know the stories behind them unless you're studying them." He was rambling now but that tended to happen when he started talking about homework he was interested in. Normally he didn't talk to people about schoolwork, doing all of his own by himself, but whenever he did he relished the opportunity.
Violet took the grass from him, holding it lightly between her fingertips and concentrating on it. "I know the idea behind it. And I can get the spell and the beginning, but... well, you'll see." She went quiet again, staring hard at the grass as she pulled out her wand. The tip of the blade of grass shrunk and solidified into a thin silvery point, sharpening by the second as the blade curled on itself and transformed into metal, compressing into a needle, but halfway through it stopped, as if it were stuck and could not continue. Grasped between Violet's fingers was a half-grass, half-needle failure. "You can't sew with that." She sighed, placing it carefully into his hand again. "I always get half and then it stops and won't change any more of it. No idea why."
He watched carefully as the grass stem changed and frowned. He took it from her and studied it, "Hmm. That's strange. Here," he handed her another piece of grass and then wrapped his hand around her wand with her. "Okay, don't worry about the speed of your wand movements." He slowly moved her hand in the requisite flick and spiral. "That's the movement. So this time just wait until you start the spiral before you say the words." He let go of her wrist but didn't move away, watching as she cast.
Violet felt infinitely tiny as his massive hand wrapped around hers, but she concentrated on the wand motion and what he was saying. She sucked her bottom lip into her mouth and chewed on it, her eyebrows pressing together as she took the new piece of grass he had given her and concentrated on it. Waiting until she started the spiral like he suggested, she watched as the grass started to change, first the tip curling in on itself, solidifying and hardening until it was a shining silver point, the rest of the blade following suit as it had before. She didn't dare blink as it continued down the stem of grass, curling and turning to a needle before her eyes. And just like that, she was holding a needle, tip and eye and all. "Oh my god!" A smile broke across her face and she flung her arms over-excitedly around Walden's neck, though she was careful enough not to stab him or herself. Quickly she let go, staring at the needle, quite pleased with the result. "You did it, I did it, we did it!"
He smiled when he saw the tip of the need transform but his expression changed to pure shock when she threw her arms around his neck. His hands hung limply by his sides, unsure of what to do and he let out a small breath of relief when she let go. Looking at her face though he had to smile, her happiness was infectious, "We did. Congratulations." He took the needle from her and examined it, wanting to check she had done it right. Pulling out his own wand he cast a freezing charm on it then slammed it against a rock, checking the inside. "And it's a needle all the way thorough. Even better."
Violet hardly noticed his shock and somewhat awkward reaction to her hug. She was used to doing such random displays of affection among people she had become familiar with as of late. She grinned at him as he looked it over, practically bouncing where she sat from the excitement of finally getting it correct. She blinked, startled as he smashed it against a rock, but smiled again when he said it was even better because it was all the way through the center. "Was crushing it absolutely necessary? Maybe I wanted to frame it." She made a fake pout, before her face turned to a smile all over again. She couldn't stop. "Thank you, by the way. Getting it that quickly, well... it comes from a good teacher, I think."
He shrugged when she said she had wanted to frame it and smiled back at her, "You're welcome. I think it might be because books don't show you enough basic practical transfiguration and it's hard to get on the first try anyway. So," he picked up the rock he had broken the needle on, "Think you can change this into a feather?" This was more of a challenge than the needle because the actual mass of the rock had to change in order for it to be considered a successful transfiguration.
Violet gave him an incredulous look, taking the rock and holding it in her palm. She glanced between Walden's face and the rock, not sure which to give her disbelieving stare to. "A rock into a feather. You've got to be joking. Really, you are just kidding, right?" Blinking at him, she started to believe he wasn't. "No. I can't even think of how you'd do that. You can't... can you?"
He smirked and twirled his wand in three simple circles with a finishing flick and an incantation. As he watched the rock spun the same way his wand had and stopped as it changed to a soft white feather. "Yes. I think I can. Now did you see how I moved my wand? This goes back to the basics of magic. You have to want it. You have to be able to imagine it in your mind which is why transfiguration works so much better when you have someone showing you it so you can visualize better." Reaching down he picked up a thin light rock and handed it to her, "Do you want to try now?"
Violet's eyes widened in shock as the rock in her hand turned into a feather. Looking up at him, enveloped in a feeling of impossibility, she stared blankly as he picked up another rock and put it in her hand, asking if she wanted to try now. All she could think to do was groan and flop over, ending up in a funny sideways heap on the ground with a rock in her palm, staring at it as if it had just told her she was meant to turn into a dragon and eat her weight in hotdogs. She glanced up at Walden, who seemed to tower over her even while sitting from down here. "But what's the point? Why would I ever really need to know how to turn a stupid rock into a feather?"
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