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 The Young and the Hopeless

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PostSubject: The Young and the Hopeless   Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:48 am

Twelve years old and abandoned in the potions supply shop. Ryleigh felt as though she might faint. Why did her brothers have to get into trouble right when she was busy getting things together for school? Why did her daddy have to leave her to finish up while he apparated home to help her mum with the toddlers anyway? Sure, he’d promised to be back in an hour to retrieve her, and she knew Diagon was safe for students without their guardians, but really! She wasn’t grown up yet!

The blonde didn’t even know what she was doing, having barely made it through her first year of potions unscathed. How was she supposed to know what ingredients she needed for her second year? She didn’t know where her daddy had put her school list, she was awkwardly clutching the sack of coins that she’d use to pay for all her school things, and she still needed to go to the bookstore before he made it back to get her. This was turning out to be a terrible day.

Ryleigh felt quite small in her denim overalls and simply white tee. Her hair was braided to the side, and she knew some stray wisps had gotten loose and were making a halo about her head by now. She probably looked like quite the country girl. She wondered if that would make people more or less likely to help her find the supplies she needed.

The small girl stared at the shelves of ingredients with large hazel eyes. She knew she needed some of the basics. Lacewing flies, eye of newt, frog slime… She reached up for some of the aforementioned ingredients only to find she was too short. Oh how much easier this would have been if her daddy had just finished their shopping with her rather than rushing home to deal with the twins’ mischief. Though she did worry about the boys, Ryleigh wanted today to be about her. She was never one to be jealous, but she felt the green vines of envy wrapping around her heart as she stretched for the jars above her head.

Suddenly, someone’s hand reached up and grasped the lacewing flies, setting them in her outstretched hand with ease. She smiled and looked back at the stranger, curtsying slightly and bowing her head. “Thank you so much! Erm… would you,” she got rather quiet, a blush rushing across her cheeks, “I mean to say, is there any way you might be able to help me find the rest of the ingredients I’ll be needing? I… I find I’m rather hopeless.”
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:52 pm

What was it that Professor Snape had said about potions? Oh right. That they would never understand the beauty of the cauldron with it's shimmering substance. Riley entered the apothecary sure that his professor was right about that. He saw no beauty in potions. Not
when you were adding things like crushed beetles eyes and frog spawn to them. But to each their own. He only needed to get through the next two years of that class and then he was a free man. Which shouldn't be too hard considering her gotten through the last five years with no problems.

All he needed to do was restock his ingredients for the upcoming year and he would be all set. Now what did he need again? Racking his brain he remembered he needed some of that frog spawn too. He made his way through the shop collecting the things he needed and spotted a young witch trying and failing to reach the lacewing flies. It was probably a good idea to try helping people now that he was prefect so he wasted no time in reaching up over the little blonde in overalls to grab the lacewings.

Not exactly prepared for the little bow he was given or the request for more help Riley's shoulders dipped in a shrug. Might as well. It was good practice for school. "Sure shortstack. What else is on your list?" He asked the blonde with a crooked smile.
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:37 pm

The small blonde laughed at the impromptu nickname she’d just been given, then smiled up at the older boy. “Well, the thing is,” she trailed, smile faltering as she realized this might be a problem. “I um… I don’t know what my daddy did with my supply list.” She looked up at him with wide eyes, hoping he would still help her. Maybe he’d know what she would need? He did seem to be gathering supplies himself, so he probably had done so before. He seemed a lot older. Maybe he still remembered what he used back in second year?

“Um… I’m starting my second year. Does that help?” Her voice was rather small and a little squeaky, and she felt a bit foolish for not knowing what she was doing. But really, what was she supposed to do? It wasn’t like she was grown up or something. She’d done this once before, and she hadn’t really been paying much attention then. She’d been more curious as to what all the jarred items were and why one would ever have a need for them.

Ryleigh shook her head and tried to clear her mind. Maybe she could remember what the list had looked like. Then she could at least picture the words and figure out what ingredients they were. “For a Ravenclaw I sure don’t seem to have a higher than average IQ…” she muttered, closing her eyes and picturing the list. Alas, nothing was coming to her. All she could see was her daddy shoving the list into his pocket when they got to Diagon Alley.

“Crap,” she said, opening her eyes and letting out a sigh. “My daddy took the stupid list. So I really don’t know what I’m supposed to get.” She looked a little nervous. “This is the only other day we had scheduled to come shopping though, and I need to finish, and I don’t think he’ll be back in time to finish everything. What am I going to do?”
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:18 pm

"Second year eh?" Scratching his chin he tried to remember what he had done in potions back in his second year to better help the younger girl. Riley was almost sure that had been the year he had made the swelling potion. Yes it had to be that year. That was the year he had got detention with Professor Snape because he had been slipped a love potion. Riley still hadn't worked out why he had got the detention. It was also the year of the Sirius Black breakout.

"Don't worry shortstack we'll get you situated. And don't sell yourself short. Most people assume I haven't got brains but how could I function without them?" He nodded once at his own weird form of logic and paced down the aisle to pick out some puffer-fish eyes for the girl. "You'll be needing these. And these." He picked out some bat spleens making a face. "You'll also be needing dried nettle and rat tails." He said looking heading down another aisle and motioning for her to follow.
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:43 pm

She knew the guy was familiar! She’d seen him around the common room last year. Ryleigh couldn’t remember him being called by name though. Usually it seemed he was being cursed at by another female around his age. She never did figure out why that was. Usually the blonde was curled up in a corner of the large room with a book or something, keeping to herself and pretending it didn’t bother her to be so alone. She observed a lot of interactions, but didn’t give them much attention usually.

Eagerly, Ryleigh took the jars and vials from the boy and followed him closely, nearly treading on his heels. “Thanks,” she blushed, appreciating the comment about her smarts. It wasn’t often you got a Ravenclaw who would actually say you weren’t rubbish for not remembering something. So many of them took the intelligent thing to the extreme. Maybe that was why the blonde had a hard time making friends with them. She was a country girl who liked hard work and reading. She didn’t like being smart to a point of cockiness or writing essays until her fingers cramped. Maybe she just didn’t have a place to fit in…

“It seems cruel to use rat tails. I hope they wait until the rats die of natural causes before taking their tails…” she trailed, tripping over her own feet a bit as she hurried to keep up with the taller boy. “Come to think of it, we seem to use magic on and with a lot of animals. It really doesn’t seem right. Shouldn’t there be some kind of organization against that or something?” She thought of the many lessons of transfiguration in particular that used helpless animals. And those were still alive! It really did seem wrong… Maybe she should talk to someone about that.
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:14 pm

"No problem." His reply was friendly in nature if a bit absent. He was concentrating on finding the other ingredients she would need before they slipped away from his mind. In a part of his mind he felt bad for the younger member of his house. Her father left her here by herself. Not exactly a good idea these days. She kind of reminded him of his own little sister he had had.

He shook his head to dispel those thought right away. He kept a tight lid on that jar and never wanted to unscrew it.

She rambled on about the unfortunate animals that were used in magic and he thought maybe she had a point. His practical side took over when he reached for the rats tails on the top shelf. "I think most of them are dead by the time we get to them..." He told her considering this a bit. "There's also a department in the ministry that regulates that sort of thing too. I think." He added as an afterthought. It was good the young blonde had something she was passionate about. People needed things like that.
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:32 pm

The boy had a nice smile. Ryleigh couldn’t help but grin when she looked at this guy. He almost seemed like an older brother figure. Like he would stick up for her if the situation called for it. Something about him just made her feel comfortable. Like he was a very good friend, even though they’d really just met. She found that she didn’t even want to tell him her name, since she was becoming quite fond of the nickname. Could it be she was finally befriending a member of her own house?

She really didn’t want to get her hopes up, but it seemed they were soaring as she listened to his assessment of the rat tails. “Yeah, they must,” she said with a grin. This boy was smart. She didn’t see why anyone would ever think he didn’t belong in their house. “You’re a pretty cool guy, you know that?” She asked, taking the rat tails from him with a nod of appreciation. She wanted to say more, but she wasn’t really sure what she wanted to say, so she just kind of stood there and smiled, trying her best not to drop anything.
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:51 pm

She was grinning at him an awful lot. She better not be getting one of those little girl crushes or anything. He noted the lack of blushing and giggling though and figured he was safe. Maybe she was just happy to have someone around. Riley had never really noticed her in the common room before which could only mean one thing. She was a loner. But by choice or not he couldn't tell.

"You think so eh?" He responded in kind flashing his crooked smile at her. "You're alright too shortstack. But don't tell anyone I said that or they'll steal you away from me." He teased the younger girl as he had done his own sister once upon a time grabbing the last ingredient for her. "So how come you're not shopping with friends like everyone else does?" He asked handing the dried nettles to her and searching for his own ingredients now.
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:07 pm

Yep. She definitely liked this guy. He was like the big brother she never had but always wanted. She always wished she’d been lucky enough to have a larger family. Surrounded by siblings… it would have made school a lot easier if she’d had a couple older brothers or sisters to show her the way. At least then she’d maybe have a few friends.

She felt her smile fall at his question. Would he go running when she admitted her lack of friends to him? Obviously there had to be something wrong with her for her to have made zero actual friends in a whole year at Hogwarts. “Well, actually,” she took a deep breath and decided to just get it out. “I don’t really have any. Friends that is. Apparently I’m annoying? Or something like that. I um… I dunno. I just don’t mesh with people I guess.”

Ryleigh was glad that her hands were full, as she wouldn’t know what to do with them otherwise. She felt awkward and childish. If only this boy kept thinking of her kindly as he seemed to. Could she really hope for that though? “I was here with my daddy, but the twins had an accident and he had to go help at home. Toddlers are a pain.” There. That was her whole story in a nutshell. “What brings you here all alone, uh…” she realized she didn’t know what to call him, so she left the question hanging with her head tilted at the boy.
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:04 am

Oh no. Please don't cry. Please don't cry. Please don't cry. It was the mantra running circles in his head when he saw her smile falter. Riley didn't do well with crying witches for the simple fact that he would do just about anything to get them to stop. This came from years of being an older brother. Whenever Marissa had cried Riley was the first to fix it. Some might call it spoiling but he was under the impression that a girl shouldn't be made to cry.

Luckily enough she didn't cry but there was no hiding her almost ashamed confession. He got the feeling she thought he might think less of her for not having many friends. Riley couldn't help but think it was odd she hasn't made one single friend her entire first year but focused more on cheering the little blonde up. It was almost second nature to him by this point even though they had only just met. Like he said. He had a soft spot for witches. He was sure someday they'd be the death of him.

"Well damn shortstack I guess that makes me the luckiest bloke at Hogwarts since now I get you all to myself." He ruffled her hair lightly and continued to grin at her. "Name's Riley. And together you and I will rule the school." He said enthusiastically. "You up for being my best girl?" He asked with warm sincere brown eyes. So maybe he was taking a step off the prefect train and a step on the big brother train. He never said he was perfect.
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:30 am

Her smile was back in an instant when the boy said his name and messed up her hair. She gasped and let out a small squeal of delight. “Really?! My name is Ryleigh!” she said with joy. “We’re like copycats.” She laughed at this and blushed at the very idea that she could be so important that someone would actually call himself lucky to have met her. For once, Ryleigh actually felt special.

“Your best girl?” she squeaked, looking at him with wide eyes of disbelief. Why would he want her to be his best girl? “Are you sure? I mean, not many people want to hang out with me…” Her voice got smaller as she spoke and she noticed the genuine grin on this other Riley’s face. It seemed he was sure enough for her. “I mean, uh, yeah! We’ll rule the school. They won’t know what to do when the Ryleigh/Riley duo roams the halls!”

The blonde found herself hoping that this wasn’t just a spur of the moment idea from the older boy. She wanted to actually have a friend when she boarded the train this year. She was picturing the two of them sharing meals at the house table and playing games in the common room. ’Wonder if this year could really be that different…’
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:22 pm

At least she was smiling again and seemed happy enough with this turn of events. He grinned a little wider at her shock and exclamation but Riley was just as shocked. What were the odds of meeting someone with same name? He waved away her copy cat idea like it wasn't good enough. Because it wasn't. There was just no way he'd go around claiming that title. "Psh. We're better than copy cats. We're more like twins." He suggested. Yes that sounded better. He smiled his crooked smile at her. "The Riley Twins."

He could tell she had a lot of self doubt and he wondered what exactly those at Hogwarts had done to make it so. Hogwarts was the one place kids like them should feel most at home. Riley felt an actual stab of pain in his chest at the idea of the little blonde so lonely and desolate. And he was in the same house. Shame clouded his face for a space of time. Maybe he had been too caught up in his extracurricular activities last year.

He soon smiled again at her enthusiasm but he still didn't like that she was so unsure of herself. Riley decided then and there to do what no one else at Hogwarts had done for her. He decided to take her under his wing. He was sure it would be a two way street though and that she could teach him just as much as he could teach her. You should never underestimate the power of a kid. Unfortunately most people did. "That's the spirit." He grinned and crouched down so that he was almost even eye level with her but looked up to her slightly.

"Listen shortstack," he began with an almost serious look on his face but he kept his friendly smile, "Don't you believe what other people say. And if anyone calls you that again you let me know and I'll test my wand work on them. You're not annoying and I would know. I don't do annoying." His head tilted a bit to the side while he smiled his best smile at her. "So what say we get this stuff paid for and I treat you to some ice cream before you have to go home?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:48 pm

She wasn’t annoying? Well, if this other Riley said so, Ryleigh would just have to believe it! He seemed like the trustworthy type to her. Perhaps she’d have to thank the boys for getting into trouble today. It had managed to gain their big sister a big brother, and that was really something. Somehow, she didn’t think Riley would mind this way of thinking, since he did call them twins. She rather liked the sound of it. Hogwarts had better get ready for the two of them!

Oh, but she would have to let him have time with his own friends and all. Of course, he’d be after the girls still. She knew all this, but she also had a feeling he’d make special time for his ‘shortstack’. She thought this friendship was for him just as much as her, and that made her happy, too.

“Okay,” she grinned, carrying her stuff to the counter and readying her coins to pay. The two of them could sit outside at the umbrella tables so her daddy would be able to find her easier, and then she could finish the final stop at the bookstore before they headed home. It wasn’t like she wanted to gather all of her books without her daddy anyway, so it was a good excuse to wait for him. Plus, who would turn down ice cream on a warm summer’s day? “Let’s go!”
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PostSubject: Re: The Young and the Hopeless   Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:15 pm

Her answering grin was reassuring to see. It pleased him to know he was the one responsible for it. It had bothered him to see her speak so little of herself bad to look so downtrodden. It was like looking at a kicked puppy. Riley was aware he was probably getting himself in over his head but didn't let it bother him.

He matched her enthusiasm for ice cream. Who didn't love ice cream right? "Slow down shortstack." He tried to reign her in with a chuckle. "Fortesque's isn't about to run out of flavors." He teased her as he unceremoniously dumped all the potions stuff on the counter and told the shopkeeper to ring her stuff up with his. He had more than enough money and wouldn't be running out anytime soon. It was a couple galleons well spent in his opinion. "You can save your money for pocket change. Or to buy some fireworks at the Weasley's shop."

That shop was a goldmine for fun and he knew lots of kids loved it. A nagging voice in his head told him he shouldn't encourage it and that it was irresponsible but he paid it no mind. He was only human and she needed some fun in her life. She didn't look the type to cause too much ruckus anyway. With everything wrung up and paid for Riley took hold of the bags and walked to the door in fluid measured strides. He held it open and bowed the little blonde witch out. "After you Madmoiselle." Again he gave her his best crooked smile.
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The Young and the Hopeless

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