Why had she been made prefect? Who had thought this was a good decision? Well, she knew who. Considering that prefects were chosen by their heads of houses. By when on earth Professor Redgrave (who scared her a bit) had thought she was a suitable choice was something that she had been wondering since she had gotten the badge over the summer.
Her parents had been indifferent to the news, when she had eventually told them a handful of days later. Their words had been positive, but to her they had felt hollow. Nothing she did seemed to notable, seemed to be worth more than a handful of seconds of their attention.
She turned her wand in her hand, a nervous habit, waiting for her fellow prefect. She just wanted to go to bed. She didn't want to do this.
That's what being a Prefect meant, right? Power. Authority. And with power and authority came reputation, which went a long way in the real world. Sure, most people wouldn't sit down at an interview and ask, "So you were a Prefect at Hogwarts, right?"
But it mattered now. Everything mattered along the road. The journey was just as important as the destination.
It mattered to Finley Jameson.
He dressed casually in a nice pair of khaki slacks and a white button-up, on which he pinned his Prefect badge. He had his wand with him in case he needed it, but everything else was left in his dormitory. He wouldn't need it. He had a serious look on his face until he descended the staircase from the boys' dormitories into the common room, where he found Lorelei, who looked nervous. He smiled.
"Good evening, Lorelei," Finley greeted calmly. "Are you ready?"
This was a poor decision, this was definitely a poor decision. If she had more bravery she would have asked her head of house what on earth he had been thinking. Not only did dealing with people make her generally anxious, her own house made her especially so. She'd spent her last four years as Hogwarts trying to keep herself as unnoticed as possible, considering the way that muggleborns were treated in this house. And she had not always been entirely successful. And now she'd just been shoved into the front of them? This wasn't going to end well. She knew it.
Finley came over, and she eyed the boy. "Good evening," she returned, trying to swallow her nerves. This would be okay, wouldn't it? Nothing was going to happen. "I'm ready," she nodded. "Let's go?" It came out more like a question than the statement that it was meant to be.
Finley noticed the questioning tone of Lorelei's words, but he was not sure whether they were hesitation or politeness. He would keep a careful eye on his partner as they maneuvered the dark corridors. He made sure his wand was ready and made for the Common Room entrance so they could scramble out into the dungeons. "Which way shall we go, Lorelei?" he asked, turning to her.
As he set off, Lorelei followed after him. Once outside the common room, he turned to her, and she paused. Oh. Uh. She glanced at either direction. "That depends if we're seeking to find rulebreakers, or wanting a peaceful shift," she returned. "The further we get into the dungeons the less likely we are to find someone. Go towards the kitchen or the ground floor..."
Finley continued to smile calmly. "I shall let you lead, Lorelei. Do not be shy." He didn't much mind if they found troublemakers or escaped into the less populous areas of the dungeon--both ideas were rather exciting, for different reasons.
Finley might have thought he was being nice by giving her the choice. But that was the last thing that she wanted. She much preferred it when people made the decisions for her. Being asked to make a decision that then impacted someone else - however minor - made her anxiety spike. "I - oh - um," she said, suddenly a little frazzled. "Uhh. Ground floor?"
"Deep breaths, Lorelei," Finley said calmly, facing her head on to offer a smile. "The ground floor sounds perfect. Let us go." He hesitated for only a moment before turning in the direction of the nearest staircase leading to the ground floor and moving at a careful pace.
As Finley set off, Lorelei followed after him. Maybe from here they could just do their rounds and not talk? That would be preferable. Apparently however, Finley did not have the same idea. His question made her blink, and her anxiety rise. "Uh," she stuttered. How was she meant to answer that. She didn't know what to say. She shrugged, not looking at him. "I'm not good with new people." Maybe that would be answer enough.
"Am I new to you?" Finley asked almost immediately. He continued walking for a few steps before stopping and turning, wanting to see Lorelei's expression. One of his eyebrows was quirked, and there was the hint of a smile.