What: Opening up
Liz walked into the library for the third time that day with a large pile of notes and books from her most recent classes. Unlike what others in her house had been saying, she did find NEWT classes just as demanding, if not moreso as her professors had warned. Worst of all was potions, and now that they were beign left without a teacher, she was afraid to fall behind even farther behind with her work. Holding true to her promise that she was going to work hard and pass all her classes, Liz had been avoiding most of her classmates and instead working hard in the library. What she really needed though, was a conversation with someone that wasn't one of her professors. And so, when she spotted Holden at the back of the library bent over his pages and scribbling away she decided to go over to him. Liz quietly placed her books down and sat in the chair across from him, not talking in case he was too absorbed to do so.
Holden had not been in the library too long when he'd already finished the majority of his homework, cramming the finished pages into the folds of his texts and immediately moving on to the next sheet, hunching over it as if he couldn't see a foot ahead of him. He hardly even noticed that someone had settled themselves comfortably across from him, as he was more concerned with the attempt to make his handwriting decent enough to be legible for his Transfiguration essay. He pulled back for a moment to examine his work, when he actually caught sight of who it was sitting across from him. Holden jumped back slightly in his chair and fumbled to quickly cover his work, suddenly feeling as if it were the most embarassing thing on earth. He'd been cornered now by the very person he'd been avoiding all this time. Already tensing up and noticing his arm shaking quite noticeably he managed to mutter "Hello... I er... didn't see you come in."
Liz laughed at his reaction and rolled her eyes "That's because you were writing." dipping her quill in ink, she went back to re-copying her notes "I haven't seen you since the beginning of term, how are you?" she inquired, eyes still absorbed in her writing. Looking up, she glanced at his paper "Are you finding these classes as time-consuming as I am?"
Holden forced a small smile and pulled out his paper again, frowning at the juvenile print it was written in. "I'm ... alright I suppose. A bit bored." He wondered if he should mention not speaking to her until now, but was quickly distracted when he caught her eyes on his paper. He slapped a hand on top of it and flushed. "Well er.. not really. I'm sort of used to it." He chuckled. He really wasn't as bothered by the workload as most of his peers. He never really had to work extra diligently at his homework, and supposed he was sort of spoiled that way.
Liz raised her eyebrows as he hastily covered his paper "Sorry...I just wanted to see what class it was." she explained, wondering why he had acted so strangely. "Nevermind. Its been a week and you're used to it already?" she asked incredulously. "Then again, you pretty much define 'ravenclaw'." Scratching out a misspelled word on her paper, Liz thought it best to change the subject "So...how's quidditch?"
Holden had looked back down at his work, and was finishing off the last sentence of his paper when she asked. Barely listening, he rattled off the first thing that popped into his head. "Nonexistant what with that prat of a Slytherin thinking his royal self owns the pitch." He looked up, satisfied with his finished product and laughed slightly. "Sorry." Putting his paper away, he looked back at the girl in front of him for a moment. Perhaps it wouldn't do him much harm just to relax and speak to her. Then again, he was confused at her persistance. It was true, he could get along with most in his year providing they were male and not intimidating, but he'd never been pursued. Still, saying it was one thing. Opening up had never been facile for him. "You like Quidditch then?"
"Wow Holden, you almost cursed...I'm kind of proud." she teased. Blowing lightly on her (finally) finished essay she shrugged "Not really, no. It's one thing to watch, but I'm not as intrigued by the game as most of the people in this school." Liz paused, before adding in honestly "That and I'm far too scared to get on a broom."
Holden began to take out another assignment, before pausing and taking a good look at Liz. "Are you really? I think it's amazing." He admitted, unable to believe she'd even think twice about doing it. "My grandfather was a pilot... he still has a plane and all, and we used to take it out all the time when I was little. I'd be so awestruck then... everything seemed so far behind you, while you're in midair suspended by gods know what." He looked down, and began chewing on one of his nails, realizing how far off he'd just gotten and feeling the discomfort return slightly, though nowhere near as unbearable as before. "Anyway.. I guess broomriding minimalizes that feeling. But I suppose I've told you that already." He laughed. "I'm really sort of boring."
"I've never been on a plane." she responded with a shrug. Liz didn't much care about planes and flying, but she had to smile at the excitment in Holden's voice as he spoke about it all. "I don't find you at all boring." she said honestly, in fact she found him more interesting than anyone she'd talked to in a long time. Glancing at the pile of books Liz added lightly "Even with all this work, I really am glad to be back."
Holden grinned and blushed slightly. He could tell she really didn't know what to say back, as was the case most often when he went off on a tangent, but he wasn't as embarassed as usual. "Well it's an experience." Her next comment shocked him slightly, however. "Well I didn't mean I was boring really, but I'm not exactly interesting... I just..." he stopped himself however. He noticed seemed to be able to turn any topic into social awkwardness, and changed the topic as soon as he realized he was turning a potentially good conversation into such.
"Oh it's not terrible... they're just challanging us for once." He looked down at what he'd been working on and saw he had finished it subconsciously. "If you don't mind me asking... you don't like QUidditch and you don't seem crazy about school..." He dropped his voice a bit. 'What do you like?"
Liz laughed as Holden stumbled across his words, obviously embarLiz laughed as Holden stumbled across his words, obviously embarassed for some unknown reason. He certainly was terrible at conversation and any other form of social interaction, but once you got past that he was pretty nice to talk to. "You're perfectly interesting." Liz blushed quickly at his inquiry, thoroughly embarassed. She didn't mean to sound like she hated everything but that's certainly what it had come out as. "I don't hate school, I love Hogwarts. I just hate the classes, and they seem to hate me as well." she rambled, trying to save face "Well, I like swimming." pathetic "And, as for classes I do love arithmancy, but that's really it. I don't know, I'm not as apathetic as I sound, really."
"You don't sound apathetic." Holden said perhaps too quickly. "And i had a feeling you liked arithmancy. You always do seem interested in class." He nodded, closing his books and stuffing them in his bag rather haphazardly, crushing a few papers that had already found themselves outside the one folder he used for every subject. "Swimming..." he muttered as he attempted to get another textbook into his bag. "Water doesn't like me. And I don't like it." He chuckled, repeating her description of her classes. It wasn't that he was scared of water as much as he hated being in a bthing suit, but he wasn't about to tell Liz that. "Are you headed back to the common room?" he asked, swinging his bag over his shoulder.
Liz gathered her books together and stood up, "Yeah, I'm not going to get anything else done today anyway." she eyed his bag which looked ready to explode with a raised brow. For someone so smart, he certainly was messy. "Are you mocking me Holden?" she asked with an exaggerated air of disbelief. "That's awfully rude."
Holden didn't catch her mocking tone and looked toward her quickly. "No... no I wasn't mocking you I was just..." He began to grow flustered again, and cursed at himself under his breath for even making the statement. "I wasn't trying to. I'm sorry." He began walking, keeping a few steps away from her and avoiding her eyes, which was easy due to the dramatic height difference. "So er..." He attempted to change the conversation around while he still could. "What do you think about that drill?" He, himself, had been thinking about it alot lately and wondered what it meant to their headmaster. "They had better not pull that while we're sleeping one night..."
Liz looked up at Holden and shook her head "I was only kidding! I know you were just fooling around." she said quickly, making a note not to tease him like that again. When he mentioned the drill though, Liz frowned "I dunno, everyone seems to have brushed it off but I found it quite frightening. I don't think the faculty would pull us out of class like that unless they were really worried that one day it wouldn't be just a drill." Blushing, Liz stopped when she realized how serious she was getting. It probably was just a stupid drill and there was no reason to worry. "Yah, can imagine if you were in the shower and they pulled one?" she added, still trying to relax about it. "Do you think it was just a joke?"
Holden was relieved that she was only joking, but the worry came back when he saw her expression harden over the topic of the drill. "Well it's just like a fire drill I suppose. You need to practice just in case." He said quietly, taking the stairway to Ravenclaw Tower two steps at a time. "No... I don't think it was a joke at all. I think it's good that they did it..." He said thoughtfully, "But I think they could have planned it better. Not that that would have necessarily made some of us cooperate any better." He added with a reassuring smile. "I'm not really worried, but then again I haven't seen the Prophet since we left in June." He laughed, trying to imagine an impromptu drill where his peers would be forced to leave whatever task was occupying them in their dorms at the moment. "If they pulled one while I was showering I'd feel worse for the students who had to witness that than for myself..."
"I know what you mean." she said with a laugh, "I can only imagine the look on the first years faces if I ran into the corridor stark-naked and covered in soap suds." Liz was relieved that she wasn't the only one who didn't find the whole event amusing, but she really didn't want to think about it right now. "I haven't been getting The Prophet either, I was afraid that my parents would find out that we're in trouble and take me out of school." It was true, the only thing worse than Hogwarts getting attacked would be if her parents found out about it. "Let's not talk about the war though, it gives me the creeps." she prodded gently, adding as a joke "We can talk about something less frightening, like drowning and the guillotine."
Holden laughed, "Yes I suppose there are lighter topics. I actually would rather not know what's going on." he shrugged. "I haven't had to worry about it for two months and ignorance can be bliss." When they got to the painting, he muttered the password automatically. He stepped aside as it swung forward to let Liz walk by him. "I haven't told my parents either. I don't even know what they would think. Silence is golden, though. It's not like I tell them much anyway." He stepped toward the direction of the boy's dormatory before realizing he was excluding her. "Oh... I'm just going to dump these books and get washed up..." He looked at his shoes. 'I'll see you at dinner I suppose?" His tone was sort of hopeful. It was refreshing to be able to talk to someone consistantly.
Liz looked over at him with a smile, shifting her books absently. "Of course, I could never pass up a meal. I'll see you then." she responded, happier than she'd been in a long time. She was really looking forward to sitting with someone she could talk to at dinner, and more than hopeful that they'd end up as friends sometime soon.