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Author Topic:  take a little more off your mind [billie]  (Read 378 times)

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Barbara Gibson [ Ravenclaw ]
49 Posts  •  14  •  played by nan
take a little more off your mind [billie]
« on: March 08, 2019, 04:00:38 AM »
It was a Sunday and Barbara was itching to do something.

Something other than her homework. All their teachers seemed to be trying to get them ready for next year, and though it was certainly a good idea to ease them into an unfathomable workload rather than to dump one on them once they were fifth years, it was inconvenient right now.

“We have to do something,” she said out loud, then rolled over in her bed to look firmly at her roommate, fixing her with a serious look. “Something fun. I’m bored of academics. There’s got to be something better to do. We could go exploring.”

She sat up in bed and stared at her bare feet, pointing and flexing them, popping her ankles. “Or anything. I don’t care. But we can’t just sit in here and waste away, can we?” This was a touch dramatic— @Billie Fay was not, as far as Barbie knew, planning to sit in here and waste away. She might have had her own plans today, come to think of it. But Barbie didn’t. Not yet, anyway—though she did, technically, have obligations. They had a day stretched in front of them. Well, an afternoon. A few hours at least.

“Exploring,” she suggested again. “Or we could go to the kitchens. Or…”

Options at Hogwarts were limited when you didn’t like Quidditch, Gobstones, or chess. She fumbled for another thing they could do together, and came up lamely with, “We can throw rocks in the lake.”
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 08:56:59 AM by Lianne »


i'm like a bitter old man except i'm a teenage girl

Billie Fay [ Ravenclaw ]
114 Posts  •  FOURTEEN  •  <3  •  played by VANNAH
Re: take a little more off your mind [billie]
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2019, 06:11:40 PM »
Maybe she was getting a little obsessive.

Obsessive probably wasn't the right word, but Phillip had only mentioned a very passing interest in the prospect of magical space travel and here she was; a day and a half into a research binge, sitting in bed surrounded by papers on the topic. It wasn't that she wasn't independently interested in the cosmos, because she was. Or that she didn't spend most of her time reading about a variety of topics regardless - because she did - but the fact that it felt so important to maintain some kind of conversational relevance with him might have been a bit... weird. Right now, she was reading a paper by someone interested in the crafting of magical solar panels. She didn't notice her dormmate's restlessness until the girl spoke.

Billie looked up as the silence of their dorm was broken. She grew still in anticipation as she waited for Barbara to continue. Bored of academics? The young witch almost smiled at the phrase. "We could go for a walk?" she suggested, closing her book carefully and sitting up a little straighter in her bed. The blonde glanced outside quickly, checking the weather. It wasn't exactly a sunny day, but it wasn't raining or too windy from the looks of things. She might need to tie her hair up if that were the case.

Brushing a loose curl behind her ear self-consciously, Billie looked back at her friend with a small smile. Maybe getting outside of the dorm would be good for both of them. The research thing was spurred mostly by Phillip, but also probably in part her own restlessness. She was a quiet girl, a wallflowery sort of person, but recently she didn't like spending too much time alone with her thoughts. She didn't like not having anything to do. Honestly, Billie had spent most of her time back at school so far with Phillip. At least, most of the time that they could spend together, which wasn't that much at all considering that they were in different year levels. That gap, plus the fact that he was (already??) accruing an impressive number of detention hours meant that they didn't hang out maybe as much as she would have liked. If he didn't have detention today then they'd probably be together right now.

"Shall I put my shoes on?" she asked, already moving to the edge of her bed to do so.
 
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Barbara Gibson [ Ravenclaw ]
49 Posts  •  14  •  played by nan
Re: take a little more off your mind [billie]
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2019, 08:45:11 PM »
“Yes!” said Barbie, relieved that Billie hadn’t rejected her outright. Not that Billie was ever the sort to reject her outright. “A walk would do us good, I reckon. Fresh air, and stuff.” At home she spent more time outside than she ever did at Hogwarts, just because there was so much less to do in her house. They weren’t even a month into the school year yet and she was tired of the castle. She flopped out of her bed, wrecking all the blankets, and picked out a pair of socks and shoes. They were distinctly childish, too much for comfort, but with short blocky heels that at least made her feel a little bit less like a baby. As Billie glanced at the window Barbara followed her gaze and silently scooped a long jacket out of her trunk, too.

“Yeah, put your shoes on,” she said. Obviously. These weren’t shoes she could do any real dances in, but she did a little hop and skip on her way to the door, then stopped and waited for her friend.

Now she’d gotten the idea in her head, she was excited. It felt like Billie was always busy, or thinking about other things, lately—and even though Barbie was also busy and thought about things too, and even though she’d learned in three years that Billie was sort of prone to thinking, And Billie was always hanging round that Prefect, and Barbie wasn’t sure she thought that was a good thing. He wasn’t a model Prefect by any means. He shouldn’t have been a Prefect at all, if you asked her. She wondered sometimes if he’d gotten it because so many of the teachers were too new to their jobs to know better.

“We could go down by the lake,” she said decisively, but she tilted her head at her roommate anyway, hoping she’d offer anything other than mildly suggestive agreement. “Or— where d’you want to go? Greenhouses? Or out to the pumpkin patches?”

Now that she’d thought of that, she kind of wanted to go to the pumpkin patches, but she resisted the urge to say so, instead swaying her hips a little bit so she could watch her robes swish lightly around her feet. If she told Billie what she wanted then Billie would probably want to do it too, but Barbie lately had felt more and more uncomfortable taking advantage of that.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 02:21:21 AM by Lianne »


i'm like a bitter old man except i'm a teenage girl

Billie Fay [ Ravenclaw ]
114 Posts  •  FOURTEEN  •  <3  •  played by VANNAH
Re: take a little more off your mind [billie]
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2019, 04:29:57 AM »
By now, Billie was used to the way Barbara spoke. If she thought about it, the girl remembered her first impressions of her housemate very clearly, and they were mostly... intimidating. There was nothing relaxed or meandering about the forceful emphasis on important words in her sentences or the driving rhythm to her verbal flow. Early on, Billie had found it quite stressful. Nowadays, she only stressed when she felt like she couldn't match her friend's expectations. Following on from that thought, the girl privately wished that Randi or Harriet were here with them too. Things were always a little less pressured in small groups of friends, she found. Especially when the other, more talkative and higher energy people could meet each others needs.

Well, she'd just have to try harder.

The blonde girl tugged her socks, then slipped her feet into her shoes and tied the laces neatly. She smoothed the front of her robes with her palms as she got to her feet, quickly feeling in a pocket for a hair ribbon before following her friend. "Yes that sounds..." Billie trailed off as she was given other options. She gave a hesitant nod, her expression clearly indicating that she didn't mind which of the options they took. "I don't mind," she said with a small smile, stepping lightly out of the entrance to their dorm, "greenhouses perhaps?" Her thoughts shifted between the events of the newly-passed summer and spinning pictures of stars and heavenly bodies pulled through an endless void; she wasn't particularly bothered about whether they went to the lake or the greenhouses, anywhere with Barbara was sure to be a good distraction.

As the pair moved down the staircase to the common room, the blonde tied her hair back with a dark blue ribbon. "Have you started looking through our new herbology workbook?" she asked, for something to say. Immediately remembering her friend's comment about academics a moment ago, she tried to think of something else to change the subject to instead, but nothing came immediately to her.
 
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Barbara Gibson [ Ravenclaw ]
49 Posts  •  14  •  played by nan
Re: take a little more off your mind [billie]
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2019, 03:40:26 AM »
"Greenhouses, then," said Barbara, relieved at having anything to go off of. She'd never thought of Billie as being particularly interested in Herbology, mostly because Barbie herself wasn't and never thought that others could be. She swung the door open for her roommate and followed her downstairs. The next question-- about Herbology again-- made her wonder if she was just really obtuse, and Billie did particularly like Herbology.

"I've looked," she said honestly. "But not much." She hesitated, aware how frivolous and arbitrary it sounded, but added "We're not working with any really pretty plants for a while yet." She tucked her hair self-consciously behind her ears; she wondered often if Billie thought she was vapid or vain. Not often enough that she'd decided yet not to be. She wasn't sure she knew how not to be.

She didn't try to build on that, instead letting them get down to the Common Room before she said, "What were you reading? Was that Herbology?"

Barbara always felt a little like a lousy Ravenclaw, not having much interest in research. Billie did, and her parents both had their own interests, but the only thing Barbara was really good at was dancing-- about as unacademic as anything. Except maybe Quidditch. She opened the door for Billie and followed her out, skipping a little bit to catch up. Now they were out and about she was starting to cheer up, to walk with a little more spring than she had earlier. She was a fast walker by nature; it took conscious effort to make sure she was matching Billie's pace.


i'm like a bitter old man except i'm a teenage girl

Billie Fay [ Ravenclaw ]
114 Posts  •  FOURTEEN  •  <3  •  played by VANNAH
Re: take a little more off your mind [billie]
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2019, 12:33:55 AM »
Billie nodded, adjusting her ponytail absentmindedly as she walked. "Oh, really?" she asked, not sure what to say in response to a comment like that. That's a shame, or something similar? She looked ahead again. "I haven't given it much more than a glance," she added after a beat. Sometimes the blonde got the impression that she bored her housemate. This feeling wasn't something she only felt around Barbara, though sometimes it was especially present when they were alone and she didn't know what to say. What did one do to become more likeable or interesting?

"Oh no, it was just..." Just a collection of essays on the potentials of space travel. Just a collection of extremely technical works, each rife with terminology that had her reaching for either a dictionary or other papers so that she could get a basic understanding of it all. "... Just some space stuff," she said, intentionally simplifying the convoluted answer her mind provided. "Something Phillip's interested in," she admitted, feeling a bit flustered but in a self-aware sort of way. It wasn't really a secret, the way she felt about her older friend, but it also wasn't her intention to betray any of her insecurities about not being clever enough for him, and hoped she hadn't done so. She was eager to turn the topic of conversation back to her friend; she was better at listening anyway.

"I don't think I've asked you about your summer, Barbara," she began apologetically, "was it a good one?" She didn't want to talk about other peoples' summers because the conversation usually got to a place where they asked about hers. But they were a couple of weeks into term now, and Billie was almost certain that Barbie would know not to ask about that.
 
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Barbara Gibson [ Ravenclaw ]
49 Posts  •  14  •  played by nan
Re: take a little more off your mind [billie]
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2019, 02:48:18 AM »
Even something as unimportant as not caring about Herbology much, Billie could make it so much prettier and so much more lyrical than Barbara could; she felt a thrill of mild envy. No more than a glance she repeated in her head— it had been thrown out with Billie’s characteristic subtlety, and Barbara knew that as much as she thought about her roommate’s speech, about the casual elegance it seemed to have, she’d never mimic it. She was too emphatic when she talked, probably— something that slipped out even when she tried actively to quell it.

Space stuff,” she repeated, trying to guess what it entailed. “Like Astronomy?” She’d never thought Billie seemed too into Astronomy either, but she supposed she’d never asked.

There was the answer— it was something Philip liked. “Oh, oh, oh,” she said, a little teasingly. “He’s into that, then?” She felt a little guilty for her next thought— as much as she liked @Owain Hughes, she didn’t know that she’d sit and read loads of articles about something for his sake. It was a comforting thought that he probably would never ask her to.

Barbie swished around a little, skipping as they walked just so her robes would swirl around her ankles. She wished she’d worn a dress, today— though she didn’t know how long she’d last outdoors, with one. “My summer?” she asked. “It was alright, I guess. Nothing much, other than the ballet show. But we don’t travel anywhere, usually.” At least not altogether, she added bitterly to herself. Her mother took day trips alone, sometimes— didn’t bring Barbara, and definitely not her father.

Not that Barbara was reading too deep into things. She scowled anyway— by now she’d given up on hiding her emotions— and said, falsely chipper, “Everything’s been the same, mostly. You know? Not better, but not— not terrible."


i'm like a bitter old man except i'm a teenage girl

Billie Fay [ Ravenclaw ]
114 Posts  •  FOURTEEN  •  <3  •  played by VANNAH
Re: take a little more off your mind [billie]
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 04:58:10 PM »
She wondered what the emphasis on space meant. "Hmm... More like, astrophysics?" Billie replied tentatively, giving her friend a sidelong glance. She was unsure about Barbie's reaction, and unwilling to go into too much depth and seem uncool (bad) or make Barbara feel inadequate (far worse).

Despite her diffidence, however, a smile bloomed on her lips at Barbara's sequence of ohs. Her gaze dropped to the ground ahead as a light blush appeared on her cheeks. "Yes," she said simply, still smiling. "I know the first impression Phillip can give, but he's very, very clever," she added. She felt an urge to go on; she wanted to tell Barbara just how clever Phillip was, that his constant detentions were not at all a reflection on his intellect, or his broad range of interests, or the glint in his eye when he was learning something new that fascinated him. She wanted to tell her how sweet he could be, underneath his general air of standoffishness. But she didn't want to be boring, and Barbara didn't really know Phillip, or seem to care to, really. So she refrained.

Ballet show. Of course. Billie liked the idea of ballerinas, liked the idea of dancing. She didn't have the coordination for either - or quidditch, or sport in general, for that matter. She was on the chubbier side of normal, too, rather than the slimmer side that seemed to be a requirement for real ballerinas. Barbara was far more suited to the spotlight, she thought privately. "Not terrible is good," Billie offered hesitantly, after her friend was done speaking. She watched a mixture of different emotions pass through her friends's expressions, trying to think of the right thing to say and finding herself quietly wishing that another one of their dormmates was here with them too. "How was the ballet show?"
 
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Barbara Gibson [ Ravenclaw ]
49 Posts  •  14  •  played by nan
Re: take a little more off your mind [billie]
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 04:32:02 PM »
Astro physics,” repeated Barbara, with a small shake of her head. “Wow.” Again she bit back a little envy— her roommate was so smart, so much more intellectual. Much as Barbie’d settled into her house she couldn’t help her wistful next thought— that she might have been so much better in Gryffindor. “I don’t know the first thing about either of those words.”

She was pleased to see that she’d coaxed a smile out of Billie, even if it was about Phillip— she supposed this crush was a decent payback for however many things she’d told her roommate about Owain. “I know he’s smart,” she said, unintentionally dismissive. But Barbara didn’t want to begrudge Billie her feelings; she gave her a more genuine smile and added “I don’t mean anything by teasing. If you really like him…”

She didn’t even know what she would do about her own crush; she half-shrugged, half-cringed and finished awkwardly with “I reckon he’s fine.”

Not-terrible was actually not good, but Barbie didn’t want to talk about her parents for any longer than she had to; she was grateful for a slight change in subject. “It was good,” she said, abandoning her false cheeriness for her normal normalness. “Don’t know if you remember— they made me play Peter. But it was actually a lot more fun than I thought it’d be— but I was still offended.” She thought this answer through further, and added “Probably it’s because I’m short. But still.”

Barbie was sure that Billie was content to walk in silence for a bit, so she allowed it for as long as it took her to get bored, somewhere on the stairs to the first floor, and complained “I should have worn different shoes.”
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 06:16:21 AM by Nan »


i'm like a bitter old man except i'm a teenage girl

Billie Fay [ Ravenclaw ]
114 Posts  •  FOURTEEN  •  <3  •  played by VANNAH
Re: take a little more off your mind [billie]
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 11:22:39 PM »
"There are a lot of different components," Billie said fairly, agreeing with her friend. She'd go into detail about what she'd been reading, if Barbara wanted. She was still trying to get her head around electricity and trying to envision it as little dots racing through a tunnel, but she'd explain what she knew if prodded. Something told her that Barbara wasn't particularly interested in any of that, though. And that was fine too.

Barbara's dismissive tone made Billie wilt internally. She much preferred it when Barbara was speaking about herself; there was no way to say the wrong thing then, and Billie was a good listener after all. When Barbara spoke again though, Billie gave a thankful small smile in response. "Yes," she said. "He's lovely." She couldn't help but be pleased by her friend's approval. Even though it shouldn't matter - and mostly didn't - it actually still did, a little bit.

Billie slipped behind Barbara as they passed a rambunctious group of young Gryffindors in a narrower part of the corridor. She fell back in beside her when she could. "Oh, that's right," the blonde said with a little nod. She didn't know what to say to the Peter thing - Barbara's way of speaking didn't gel so well with hers. She didn't know if she should offer condolences or acknowledge the positive parts.

The blonde brainstormed things to say while the pair walked in silence. Things like schoolwork and crushes crossed her mind. Summer was off the list. Barbie broke the silence first. "Are they hurting your feet?" she asked in response, tuning into the dissatisfied tone in her friend's voice. Billie turned her sea-green eyes to Barbara as the pair approached the door to the grounds.
 
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Barbara Gibson [ Ravenclaw ]
49 Posts  •  14  •  played by nan
Re: take a little more off your mind [billie]
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2019, 06:26:16 AM »
Lovely, Barbie echoed in her head again. “You two are sweet,” she declared, and gave her roommate a cheeky grin. She wondered vaguely how things were going on the Billie and Phillip front— she didn’t think she’d heard much of it since last year. ‘Til now, at least. Things were probably going alright, then— no news was good news. At least that was how the saying went, if she was remembering right. “How is he? Is he still…”

The word she was looking for was trouble, which she doubted Billie would want to be asked. “How has he been?” she said instead. That had been awfully awkward— self-consciously, she swept her hair over one shoulder, then back out of the way. It was something that had started as a way to get attention, when she was younger and a little blonder, but had morphed into a habit. Merlin, Billie must think she was so boring. Or worse, so judgmental. (Just because Barbie was didn’t mean she wanted to be seen as such.)

She didn’t notice Billie had disappeared briefly until she caught up again; guilt bit somewhere in the back of her throat. Had she done that? It seemed like something she would do, keep walking and not notice that her friend had been left behind. Barbara felt her cheeks burning. To make matters worse, Billie seemed not to be interested in Barbie’s complaints about dancing as Peter— but that figured, it’d been an awfully shallow complaint to start with. She had to remember it’d been a privilege to be cast at all.

As they approached the door she felt Billie’s eyes on her; Billie wasn’t a tall girl by any means, but she was still taller than Barbara herself, and again she was grateful to have worn shoes with short heels, even though she was complaining about them. “No, no, they’re just not too good for the stairs,” she said. “Hope it’s not muddy. I think it’s supposed to rain this week.”

She skipped ahead to open the door for them, waved Billie through in front of her. “Which greenhouse?” she asked. “D’you reckon we’re allowed in number five without the professor?”


i'm like a bitter old man except i'm a teenage girl

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