It was nothing new, but Cliff was currently pacing around the grounds. His feet were winding him in a figure-eight, restless and unable to stop. He had woken early, the same senseless nightmare causing him to jolt awake. For all his happiness in his waking hours, Cliff was struck by these nightmares frequently. They never made any sense, and he wondered if that was what made them all the worse.
This particular version had contained a faceless woman. She had followed him, silently. He'd been in the Forbidden Forest, trying to get away from her. She kept following, silent but persistent, as if she wanted something from him. He didn't know what she wanted, but, he sensed that he needed to keep a distance from her. Before he'd jolted awake, she'd drawn so close to her that he could smell the stench of her decaying flesh.
He'd woken in a cold sweat, too shaken to fall back asleep. He'd left a note near the spot where Francis liked to sit at the Ravenclaw table, hoping his best friend saw it and decided to come investigate his whereabouts after breakfast. He hadn't been able to stay inside - he hadn't been able to stay still. Despite the cold, his cheeks were flushed and his arms bare, as he paced back and forth, back and forth, waiting for his friend to hopefully appear.
Francis Phillips mostly kept to himself. He was a shy, easily intimidated boy when he didn't have someone to hold his hand--figuratively, of course, because his palms were prone to fits of sweating, and he wouldn't dare torment anyone with that kind of torture.
When he found someone who made him feel confident, he held on for dear life. Cliffton was that someone, his best friend since his first year. He would have killed for the Gryffindor--figuratively, of course, because killing was very wrong and he didn't think he had it in him to take someone else's life. When he entered the Great Hall and looked down the Gryffindor table to find his best friend, he frowned, a little concerned but also a little sad to see that he wasn't there. His concern only grew when he found the note at his usual breakfast spot at the Ravenclaw table, and he immediately turned around and left posthaste.
What he saw quite nearly broke his heart on the spot, and with a frown that threatened to shatter his face, Francis approached even more quickly. When he was near enough not to have to shout, he said, "Cliffton! What's wrong!" and pulled off his jacket to offer the other boy, who had most certainly not dressed to be outside.
Last Edit: Jan 19, 2017 22:09:10 GMT -6 by Deleted
Cliff paused his pacing midstride when he heard the sound of a familiar voice. His eyes snapped up, taking in the image of his best friend, who wore a very concerned look and was thrusting his jacket towards him.Oh, right. People were supposed to wear weather-appropriate clothing. He'd forgotten, in his haste of wanting to get outside.
"No, silly, then you'll be cold." He said, attempting a weak smile and gently pushing the offered jacket back towards the Ravenclaw. "I just had a bad dream." He mumbled, scratching the back of his head. He didn't want to worry Francis, so he never really told him about the nightmares. Plus, he was worried of frightening the other boy. "Did you bring any food, though?" He asked, hopeful but doubtful.
Francis insisted, but instead of arguing, he walked over and tried to put the jacket on Cliffton's shoulders. Francis was already wearing long sleeves, so he didn't really mind. He wouldn't have minded even if he had been wearing short sleeves, although he rarely did.
"No, I'm sorry. I came here as soon as I saw the note," he explained, and he stashed his hands into the pockets of his trousers. "What was the bad dream?" He gave him a look of consternation, because he was certainly very worried about what kind of dream could have driven the other boy out here. He gave Cliffton his full attention.
His protests fell on deaf ears it seemed as Francis moved over, placing the jacket on his shoulders. Begrudgingly, Cliff shrugged his arms into it, figuring he should at least wear it fully. "You didn't have to rush out here, Franny. I just wanted to see if you'd hang out with me for a bit is all." He said, worried he'd conveyed the wrong sort of urgency in his note. However, either way, they were together now and that was what mattered.
"It was just something stupid. Really, don't worry about it. I am far more interested in what's new with you." He tried to convey a casual tone. Perhaps he shouldn't have even mentioned the dream, but, he had a hard time keeping secrets from Francis in general. It was a wonder he hadn't confessed the extent of the nightmares before now.
Francis blushed at the nickname, and he wasn't sure what to say except, "Of course I'll hang out with you," as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, and why ought it not be? They were best friends, and what kind of best friends didn't hang out?
He shook his head, a bit incredulous and a bit defeated. He couldn't argue with Cliffton; maybe they'd talk about it later, but he didn't want to push Cliffton into anything that made him uncomfortable. The jacket was an exception. "I lost one of my books this morning, but then I found it." He offered up a weak smile. Talking wasn't his strong suit, unless it was about something he'd read or something for class.
"Do you wanna...sit by the lake or something? Go on a walk?" Francis was happy to do whatever Cliffton wanted. He just had a terrible time figuring out what that was on his own.
It wasn't like he had doubted that Francis would want to hang out with him. He had just been worried the other boy would be too tired or something. Despite the friendship that the two so clearly shared, he still grew nervous sometimes that Francis would wake up one day and realize that he deserved a much better best friend. "Great!" Was all he said in response to the other boy's affirmation to the plan.
"A lost book is a terrible thing. Except if it's the History of Magic book. That book is terrible and you can lose it ten times if you want." He said, scrunching his nose. The class was long and boring and much too tedious for Cliff to comfortably sit through. "Let's go for a walk!" For just a minute, he had considered grabbing Francis' hand and pulling him in a random direction, but remembered at the last second not to, deciding instead to turn on his heel and bounce away, in a direction down the Lake's shore.
"Great," Francis repeated, and he grinned. "I suppose history isn't the most interesting class...but it's easier than flying," he remarked, thinking back to the time during their first year when he'd gotten himself sent to the hospital wing, much to his terrible embarrassment.
Francis was happy to go on a walk. It was much to cold to stand still, and it was obvious he was cold because of the small shiver he let out just before Cliffton took the charge. He jogged to keep up, a bit odd-looking with his hands still in his pockets, and tried instead to walk beside his friend.
"Do you know about Wendelin the Weird?" the boy asked, clearly unbothered that he'd read material other second years didn't usually read about.
Last Edit: Jan 19, 2017 23:06:12 GMT -6 by Deleted
Cliff resisted the urge to roll his eyes at his friend. He knew Francis wasn't the most fond of flying, but Cliff absolutely loved it. Coming from a muggle family meant that his first exposure to it had been here at Hogwarts last year, and he was absolutely taken with the art of it. "C'mon now, flying is the best! Getting to race around the pitch, hovering hundreds of feet off the ground? I can't imagine anything better." He said, his voice clearly passionate.
Eagle-eyed, Cliff noted the shiver the other boy gave. Removing the coat he'd been given, he shoved it back towards him, removing his hand quickly before he'd have to scurry off. "No, I haven't. Tell me." He said as they walked. He was used to Francis' penchant for reading odd things and discussing them. He liked hearing the stories.
Francis laughed quietly. "Flying is scary," he whined. "You're braver than I am." Cliffton was loud and proud, and he got up to all sorts of trouble that Francis couldn't even dream up, never mind attempt. When the jacket was handed back, the Ravenclaw frowned, slipped it on, and put a cautious arm around Cliffton's shoulders. It was a little weird for him, but his friend's warmth was more important than his own comfort.
"Well, Wendelin the Weird was a witch during the...Middle Ages, and she used...uh...forty-something different disguises just to be burned at the stake by witch hunters," he explained. He was getting a bit caught up in the story. "She used magic to make the fire not hurt her. She was clearly a bit mental, but it's still a fun story."
"Story" might not have been the proper term, but Francis thought that everything, including historical events, was a little more fun when it was seen as a story.
A small smile came to his lips as Francis commented on his bravery. "Yeah, but, you're way smarter than I am, which is probably why we got sorted the way we did, don't you reckon?" He said, surprised when he felt the pressure of an arm around his shoulders. He stole a quick sideways glace at Francis - this was kind of strange for him, but decided to not comment on it for fear of ruining the moment.
Cliff listened patiently to the anecdote, as he did whenever Francis told him anything. Pretty much, when his best friend opened his mouth, Cliff was all ears. And, if it meant shutting up other people so the quieter boy could be heard, he was all for it. "That's cool. But, I do wonder why she let herself get in the situation so many times. Seems like being burned alive, even if it didn't hurt you, would only be fun at most like....two times."
Francis couldn't help but to chuckle softly. "I guess so," he conceded. He reached over with his free hand to poke Cliffton in the side, hoping to find a ticklish spot. "That's why you didn't see that coming, I guess!"
Cliffton made everything easier, including talking. He was so open to whatever Francis had to say, and the Ravenclaw always felt comfortable talking about it. He found himself smiling when he told the story but smiling even more when Cliffton responded. "Some people are just into weird things, I guess. Like how I like reading about history." He looked sideways at his friend to offer an amused expression.
When Francis poked him in the side, Cliff yelped and jumped away, dissolving in a fit of laughter that had him doubled over momentarily. He liked this side of Francis, the playful one that came out. It seemed to come out mostly when it was just the two of them, he had noticed, but he was more than fine with that.
He recovered, straightening in time to roll his eyes at Francis' comment. "You are not weird for liking History. Plenty of people do! Hey, you can make a career out of it, for goodness sake. I mean, you're a weird one alright, but that's not the cause...." He joked, reaching over and returning the Ravenclaw's poking tickle, hoping he was sneaky enough.
MADE BY ★MEULK
Last Edit: Jan 26, 2017 23:01:16 GMT -6 by Deleted
Francis beamed at his handiwork. He was glad he could be more open with Cliffton, which meant not just happily yammering away about books but also being more playful, which would have just made him very uncomfortable with anyone else. He also liked his friend's honesty and his good nature, and--
"H-hey!" he gasped, breaking into a fit of giggles as he moved away from Cliffton. "You win, you win!" He should have been more careful--he'd let his guard down! "If I'm weird, then you're definitely weirder for hanging out with me."
Grinning at his success, Cliffton bounced forwards once on his toes. He intended to pull another swift move, but needed to make sure the Ravenclaw wouldn't see it coming. When he was distracted by calling him weird, Cliff saw his opening, and swiftly leaped towards the boy, hoping to tackle him to the ground.
He didn't really mind being called weird, though. He thought weird people were far more interesting than boring old "normal" people. "You know, you say weird like it's a bad thing." He commented casually, as if he had not just tackled the boy and it was just an everyday conversation.