Fringe Benefits [Morrigan]

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Lacey Burke
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Fringe Benefits [Morrigan]

Post by Lacey Burke » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:57 am

Middle October
Hallways

It had taken Lacey a good while to settle into the rhythm of classes at Hogwarts. After being privately tutored for so long, being back among other students had been a bit of an adjustment. For one, she now had to compete for the attention of the professors with other students, something she simply wasn't used to any more. Being in one class with up to twenty other people, all of whom wanted and needed to understand and impress, left her a little bit frustrated at times. Edna, her tutor, had been so devoted to Lacey's studies that she had dedicated all of her time to the girl's educational needs. If there was a concept that had been a bit confusing of a technique that proved difficult. the two witches would have just spent extra time perfecting their methods. Lacey was used to working at her own pace at times that suited her, which was simply not how things worked at Hogwarts. She understood that it would be a little bit cheeky of her to expect the school to bend to her whims, but that didn't mean she couldn't make private arrangements to make things a little bit easier on her.

This is why she'd decided to enlist the help of a tutor.

While she would have loved to enjoy private tuition in all of her classes, this would simply not be possible. Instead she'd narrowed her current struggles down to three subjects:

The first, Flying, was definitely a headache, yet Lacey had no intention of wasting her time to practice that particular skill. The only reason she was still taking the subject at all was because her parents thought it would be handy for her to have some means of magical transport until she was eligible to pass her Apparition Licence. Since the Slytherin intended to pass that assessment with flying colours, there was no need to beg someone to teach her to flit about on a twig.

Muggle Studies posed a problem as well, though for another reason entirely. Like Lacey's parents, Edna had been a witch of pure blood. Though she owned an apartment in a muggle neighbourhood, the older woman had never adopted any of the customs of the non magical folk that she got to know so well. As such, Lacey was struggling to process the simple yet completely foreign subject matter. She had the same problem with Ancient Runes; since Edna had never used runes, she hadn't taught anything regarding them to her protege either. These two classes were what Lacey considered fringe classes, mostly because it was unclear whether she would excel in them or not. Since she preferred to do well in anything that was truly worth her time, she'd decided to take the time to figure out how valuable these subjects would be in the long run.

It had taken a bit of time, but Lacey had identified someone who could possibly be of some help. Though they hadn't been formally introduced, she knew the youngest daughter of the Muggle Studies professor shared some of her classes. This was why she was leaning against the wall at the end of her Ancient Runes lessons, waiting for a certain brunette to emerge. When she finally spotted the girl, Lacey wandered closer, ready to make her case.

"You're Morrigan Delaney."

It wasn't a question. She knew the Delaneys were tall people and since there was only one Hufflepuff girl in the class taller than she herself was, it made the other girl really easy to spot.

"I need a favour. If you want, I can help you with something in return."

It wasn't much of an introduction, but in Lacey's mind this was business.
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Morrigan Delaney
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Re: Fringe Benefits [Morrigan]

Post by Morrigan Delaney » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:24 am

Morrigan was glaring at her runes. She often glared at the runes. Glaring at runes was practically a Havich family tradition: not because they didn't tell them anything; rather because they told them precisely what they didn't want to hear about themselves. While Morrigan's runes were often kinder than her siblings' or cousins', they still had a very clear message for her.

Not quite as clearly bad as the time that Lyssa had tossed out Berkano, Isa, Tiwaz, Kenaz, and Hagalaz, with the rest of the runes facedown. But still a very clear message. Something was about to happen, but the runes refused to tell her whether it was good or bad, no matter how many times she threw them. Perhaps she should have replaced her old opal set with a new one when her mother had offered over the summer. Perhaps a new set would be less mouthy. Still, the fact that she was able to get any results that she could read set her miles in front of some of her peers in the class. She merely wished that the results were something good, or at least clear, for once. What she wouldn't give for the runes to just answer her when she asked a normal question for a girl of her age! Instead they only responded to doom and gloom queries.

As she huffed at the end of class and marched out, she was surprisingly stopped short by one of her classmates. She hadn't been officially introduced to the girl yet, but she had seen her around. They shared several classes, being the same year, and Morrigan was also fairly sure she'd seen her around her mother's class, as well. She was also noticeably the second tallest girl in their year, only coming in a few inches shorter than Morrigan herself.

She blinked at the statement of fact.

"Why yes, yes I am. And who, may I ask, is asking?"

She noticed the girl's Slytherin robes, not for the first time, but finally took them in clearly.

"You're not a friend of my sister or my cousin right? Dahlia and Cana? Or--gods, they're not being mean to you, are they? If they are, you should really talk to my mom or my sister Lyssa. Not that I don't care, but they don't really listen to me that way...."

She then took in the equally matter of fact statement made my Lacey.

"Oh, um...what is it first? I'd be glad to help you, but I want to know what I'm getting into first...." Her family had drilled that in from an early age. Never promise a favor before knowing what it was.
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Re: Fringe Benefits [Morrigan]

Post by Lacey Burke » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:17 am

Quite predictably, the girl was taken aback. It wasn't every day that a classmate from another house just strolled up, wanting a favour. A proper introduction would probably have been in order, but it was too late now. Anyway, there would be loads of time for idle pleasantries later on. That is, if Morrigan decided that act as tutor. For now though, she seemed a little bit worried about Lacey's welfare.

You're not a friend of my sister or my cousin right? Dahlia and Cana? Or--gods, they're not being mean to you, are they? If they are, you should really talk to my mom or my sister Lyssa. Not that I don't care, but they don't really listen to me that way...."

Lacey's laughter rang out, clear as a bell. "Oh goodness no, nobody's being mean to me," she said, shaking her head. If anything, the older students had been quite helpful. She couldn't really imagine anyone anywhere acting with true malice towards her anyway. Being picked on was such a foreign concept that the brunette simply shrugged it off. She'd deal with it herself if they were.

"I am simply looking for a tutor. I'm Lacey Burke, and I've been having a little of trouble in two classes. Runes," she said, narrowing her eyes in the direction of the door of the class Morrigan had just walked from, "And your mom's class." She looked back at the Hufflepuff, smiling. "I am not stupid or anything, it's just that I've never had to deal with either muggles or runes. Having a bit of background about either will help me a lot."

As she spoke, her eyes didn't leave Morrigan's face for a moment. Ever since her arrival at the school, she'd noticed that quite a few people never really looked at her while speaking. While it didn't actually bother the girl, it didn't make much sense either. How else were you supposed to gauge someone's reaction to what you were saying, or become familiar with the subtle intricacies of a face? Morrigan was still clearly surprised, but Lacey was hoping the explanation would make her relax a little bit. Unusual as the request was, Lacey meant no harm.

"I can't pay you," Lacey clarified, shrugging. The money she received from her parents couldn't stretch beyond supplies and the odd book, so throwing a few sickles at the girl for an honest hour's work simply wasn't an option. Besides, apart from their weekends in Hogsmeade, Lacey had no idea where Morrigan would spend the money anyway. It wasn't like there was a tuck shop at the school. Thankfully money was not the only currency worth having. A promise could be as valuable, if not more so.

"But I am more than willing to do you a favour in return." There was a pause as Lacey's smile widened. "Any favour, really." She, for one, didn't mind owing unknown kindnesses, even to a virtual stranger. Though she was self preserving almost to a fault, caution simply wasn't in her nature. Small surprises just added spice to life.
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Morrigan Delaney
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Re: Fringe Benefits [Morrigan]

Post by Morrigan Delaney » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:44 pm

"Oh thank the gods," she mumbled when Lacey confirmed that she wasn't being picked on. She'd hoped not, but she didn't know sometimes. Cana usually didn't bother girls, but Dahlia tended to, and she could rope Cana into a lot. But Lacey seemed downright amused by the idea. Perhaps she was the type to give as good as she got. Morrigan could respect that. While she herself didn't know that she'd have it in her to stand up to someone older and bigger than her, she also knew it came easily to others. Not that Morrigan had ever really had to stand up for herself with so many siblings and cousins.

Her head tilted curiously at the offer though. Tutoring? No one had ever thought she would make good tutor material before. Despite having excellent grades in almost all subjects, she was seen as too flighty and dramatic for such a task. She hesitated a bit, but finally looked Lacey in the eye and nodded.

"I'm not sure how good of a teacher I'll be, but I'm definitely willing to give it a try. And don't worry about money. I'm certainly not," she shrugged easily, hoping her casualness wouldn't be taken as arrogance. Morrigan actually had no idea the exact figures of her families wealth, but she knew it was close to if not in the billions. It would be almost immoral of her to take money from someone else who needed her help. Besides, her uncle's voice echoed in her head, favors were worth much more.

She smiled and shrugged that thought off. While she loved Uncle Aleksander, he was also...not the best person to model oneself off of. She knew that well, at a young age. The tension between him and her father helped her see it easily. But Mom adored her older brother, so he was often around quite a bit while they all grew up. It broke her heart to see how his rearing affected Cana and Kristian. Not that Kristian needed much help to be bad....

"I don't know what sort of favor I'd want, but I'm sur it won't be too bad," she stated matter-of-factly. "It might have something to do with something a friend and I are planning, but we'll see. But yeah, I'd love to tutor you! What grades are you getting now and what grades do you want to be getting? And what parts in particular are you struggling with?"

Morrigan hiked her bag up on her shoulder and began walking. Hopefully, Lacey would get the hint and follow along beside her.
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Lacey Burke
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Re: Fringe Benefits [Morrigan]

Post by Lacey Burke » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:37 am

"Wonderful," Lacey said sincerely as Morrigan agreed to tutor her. Honestly, she wouldn't even care if the other girl was a little bit flighty. They were both so young, which meant neither needed to take their studies too seriously at this point. Her reasoning for seeking out a tutor tied into her opportunistic streak rather than her studious nature - she simply didn't want to pass up a chance at becoming really good at something that might be valuable in the long run. While Lacey had already dismissed flying as an obsolete skill, she couldn't be certain how much she could gain by securing a solid knowledge of muggles and runes.

She easily fell into stride next to Morrigan. Her own bag was casually slung over her shoulder at this point and she realised that she was smiling. This was the first time since she'd started at Hogwarts that she'd really reached out to anyone and so far it was paying off nicely. She didn't even mind the other girl asking her about grades. If they were going to work towards improvement, Morrigan needed to know at which level Lacey was starting out.

"On the last assessments I got Average in Runes and Exceeds Expectations in Muggle Studies, though I suspect your mother was grading very generously on that one." At least she wasn't failing either subject. With a little bit of work, she'd be able to overcome most difficulties. If she couldn't, she would at least know that she'd put enough effort into improving before trying to convince either professor (and her parents) to allow her to drop a subject halfway through the year.

"Muggles are interesting, but their technology baffle me. I just don't understand how they can make anything work without magic... especially the more complicated things like aeroplanes!" It was true. So far they'd only touched upon transportation, which is where Lacey's confusion had started. The introduction had been simple enough, but from there on out things had become less clear. "As for Runes... I don't think I am doing it right. It's all cattle and thunder, thunder and cattle when I cast them. Neither of those seem to have any direct bearing on my life so I guess something's... off? Unless I am just too used to using the cards instead..."

Lacey frowned. It was difficult to pinpoint exactly why she was struggling with Runes, really. She would probably need to sit down with her complete set, cast them and then have Morrigan tell her what she was doing wrong. The problem could also be connected to her interpretation, which should be a simpler problem to solve, she supposed. Like the subject itself, there were so many angles at which she could look at her problem that it would become very difficult to solve. That's why she needed the objective, impartial help of the Hufflepuff.

"I'm not a Quidditch player, so I am free most days and all weekend. And I am very flexible about location, so if you prefer outside to the library, that's fine with me as well." She supposed it would be wise to steer clear of the Gryffindor Tower if it was at all possible, but with Morrigan being in Hufflepuff even that shouldn't be a problem.
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Re: Fringe Benefits [Morrigan]

Post by Morrigan Delaney » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:33 pm

Morrigan smiled back at Lacey. This was going well! And it would be good for her to make friends in all Houses. Maybe it would even give her a better understanding of her sister and cousin, to be friends with someone with somewhat similar personality traits. She'd always felt some distance amongst herself, Dahlia, and Cana. Their reaching and clawing ambitions had seemed so foreign to her. Though she supposed with Dahlia at least she could understand; after all, it was Lyssa who was expected to step up and help run the family business, even though Dahlia wanted it just as badly.

Morrigan thought a bit about what Lacey was saying.

"I don't really think Mom is a generous grader. Don't sell yourself short. I mean, it's possible, but it doesn't really seem like her thing? But I'm definitely willing to tutor you more on stuff. I'm not in the class, but I have a good idea of what my Mom is planning to teach."

She smiled a bit at Lacey's befuddlement. "Technology is confusing to everyone but the people who make it," she said. "I bet you'd be hard pressed to find an average Muggle our age who knows exactly how planes fly either. So I wouldn't worry about that. I don't think she goes much into transportation for third years anyway. But I'd be glad to talk about it with you, if you want. My dad works in Muggle transportation now; he's got a job at Triumph Motorcycles. So if you want to know anything that I don't, I can always write my dad," she smiled.

"And that sounds about right for Rune casting honestly," she joked. "It really all lies in how you interpret them. Cattle has a lot of different meanings depending on the questions you ask, as does thunder. We'll work on that with you, and it should get easier...well, smoother at least. The runes are never known for being kind and easy. Mine are particularly doom and gloom. It also could be you've got an old fashioned or contrary set. They're a lot like the cards that way, I've found. But I'm not particularly good at the cards, myself, but I never had much of an opportunity to learn them. Let me inspect your set really quickly when we get someplace where we can, and I'll let you know what's going on with them."

"And I'm pretty okay with the location, as well. Probably not common rooms. But outside or at the library works for me. How about outside on nice days and inside on poor weather days?"

As they got nearer to the library, Morrigan gestured. "We can duck in here so I can check your runes?"

She quickly made her way in and found a table. Setting down her things, she looked kindly but expectantly at Lacey.

"The more owners a rune set has the more stubborn the get with new ones, especially if there isn't a direct line of connection to the original owners. And sometimes new runes can be fussy too depending on the material source. What are they made of?"
Last edited by Morrigan Delaney on Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fringe Benefits [Morrigan]

Post by Lacey Burke » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:23 am

It soon became clear to Lacey that she'd chosen the right person as a tutor. Morrigan seemed to know enough about muggles and their predilections that she could be of immense help to the Slytherin. Add to that the fact that she had a good idea of what Professor Delaney would consider important for her year and her opinion became invaluable. Mostly though, Morrigan was the first student Lacey had spoken to that sounded like she knew the runes really, really well. The ease with which she mentioned certain aspects ofthe runes reminded of Lacey of her own confidence while using the cards. It was rare in someone so young, but then the Hufflepuff probably had had a lot of exposure to them early on.

As Morrigan mentioned how previous owners could influence a set of runes, Lacey's eyes widened imperceptibly. She had never properly cleansed those runes, despite finding the set at a second hand shop. The cards that she was currently using in Divination had belonged to Edna, her tutor, but they'd been left out on the grass for seven clear nights under a full moon to remove any taint from their previous owner. The runes that Lacey now used had been bought in such a hurry that she'd never even thought of performing a similar ritual on them. She was considering the implications that this could have on her readings has the two girls strolled into the library.

"They're made from ceramics..." she said, eager to hear Morrigan's opinion of the unusual set. She'd bought them in Delft just days before she returned home. In true Delft fashion, the runes were a pearly white while with the symbols painted on in a dazzling blue. A strong glaze protected the runes from everyday wear and tear. "... which sounds odd, but they're surprisingly durable. Unfortunately I don't know anything about the previous owners as I bought them at a second hand shop." In truth, she hadn't even thought to ask if the shop keeper knew anything about their history. For all she knew, she could be the tenth owner, which would obviously make them difficult to use.

"None of them have ever chipped or anything. It's not like I handle them roughly, but I just carry them in a pouch so they're bound to brush up against each other anyway."

Perhaps it was time to replace all of her equipment, including the cards. They would wear out soon enough anyway, so simply having them as a sentimental keepsake would make sense at this point. Perhaps her parents would allow her to spend a little bit of money on a new set of each. If not, she'd just have to come up with a way of earning some money for herself, then buy them in secret. Lacey was a resourceful girl. Surely there would be something she could do to earn a few galleons while still at school!
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Re: Fringe Benefits [Morrigan]

Post by Morrigan Delaney » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:09 am

Morrigan blinked, a bit befuddled. Ceramics? That was new. Though she supposed she shouldn't say much considering her stones were made of opalite.

"Well," she said, finally. "I'm not going to say ceramics is a problem necessarily, but it might be making it a bit more difficult for you. Man-made materials are a bit more...unwieldy perhaps for a beginner? Take, for example, my set."

She dumped her opalite set of runes out on the table. The pale blue pieces of glass varied in cloudiness, and they were all etched with gold flake. They were nicer than many of the cheaper opalite sets, but they also weren't as nice as her moonstone runes back home, which she would mention.

"These are opalite. Opalite is man-made glass more or less. Very pretty, but not natural. And, so these runes are purposefully stubborn. They don't have a natural was to attune to energy. So they rely completely on what you put into them. Now ceramic might be different. It has a lot more of earth and fire in it than opalite. But my guess would that material is part of it."

"Also, did you cleanse the runes after you bought them? Moonlight is good, as is smoke or water. But you definitely want to get the old owners washed out somehow. They might have left some bad energy that doesn't like you. And it's possible they were rather old fashioned, what with all the cattle. It seems like a specifically commissioned set too--you can be opalite runes on the Muggle internet, to be honest, but ceramic seems specially made. It's possible it was passed down through a family before they got to you, which could make the energy really strong."

"Do you want to take these outside and see what we can do with them? Actually, first..." Morrigan cleared her own set of runes back into the bag, "show me how you're throwing them and how you read them first. Then we'll take it from there."
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Re: Fringe Benefits [Morrigan]

Post by Lacey Burke » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:48 am

"I need to write all of this down..." Lacey mumbled, dipping into her bag for a quill and some parchment as Morrigan dumped her own set of runes on one of the desks. Since it was made from a more glassy material, Morrigan's runes looked and even sounded different than Lacey's own, but at least the symbols now held a certain familiarity. Soon enough, she hoped, the marks would become as easily recognizable as the figures on her cards. Only then would she relax while reading them, which would help a lot.

"I've not cleansed them, no," Lacey admitted, feeling a little bit foolish. "I left my current set of cards under seven full moons, but never actually thought about doing that with the runes." She had no idea why she added the last bit, but there it was. Perhaps she didn't want this new tutor of hers to think she was a complete imbecile for neglecting such a basic step when the instinct had been so natural with the cards. To be fair, she'd only purchased this set a lot later, but she'd never held this set of hers in the same regard as her card deck. She felt like she was paying for it now. Morrigan's suggestion that they might have been commissioned left her with a feeling of unease as well. Goodness knows what type of energy she would inherit from owning runes that had been especially made for a group of former Death Eaters, or even worse, Quidditch players. It was no wonder that they weren't attuned to her needs.

Morrigan cleared her own set off the desk, leaving the stage to Lacey. The Slytherin took a deep breath, then reached into her pouch.

"So right now, I just dip into the pouch like this and without looking, grab a handful." When she pulled her hand back, five or six runes traveled in the palm of her hand until she released them on the surface of the desk. Two fell face down, while four in all faced the right way up. Lacey turned a single rune towards her, explaining: "At this point I am ignoring inverted runes until I become more confident with the process. So! We have..." She leaned forward to have a closer look. Like too many times before, Fehu stared straight at her, much like the dark eyes of an entire herd of cattle. For the first time, Lacey actually felt a sense of relief at the familiar sight. She'd just told Morrigan about the set's propensity to cast cattle, so it would have been dead embarrassing if she'd managed to come up with something else entirely this time.

Upon further inspection Lacey also recognized Thurisaz, which was just typical. The last two runes were unknown to her, though she felt a little jolt at seeing one of them. "Is that Wunjo?" she asked, she sense of amazement evident as she stared at Morrigan. Without waiting for an answer, she reached for her text book. "I don't know what the fourth one is. Do you recognize it?"
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Re: Fringe Benefits [Morrigan]

Post by Morrigan Delaney » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:01 pm

Morrigan waited for Lacey to get out her quill and parchment. For a moment, she felt inordinately important that someone would record her words, but she supposed it made sense. She was tutoring now after all, a thought that still spun her head a bit.

"You can definitely do moonlight with the runes. You could also use flowing natural water--the sea would be best, but any natural running water would work...perhaps not the lake though. My cousin said the grindylows seemed frisky lately. Or you could use lavender smoke. Basically just do some sort of cleansing on them--a few times to be sure."

The black haired girl watched as her compatriot threw the runes. She could definitely understand ignoring the inverted runes, if all Lacey was getting was already obscure. Inverted runes were tricky at the best of times.

"So I think your issue," Morrigan started delicately, as she read the runes. "Might be that you're reading them too literally and generically. That's not necessarily an uncommon thing, though, especially for someone new to them! But let me give this a shot, if you don't mind."

Morrigan leaned over the table and read each rune. She had to smile a bit at Lacey's delight--or at least curiosity--at finding a new rune to cast.

"Okay, so Fehu. One of the most common runes to throw. It does literally mean cattle, but it can refer generically to any sort of wealth and upward mobility. It can be as simple as getting a raise in allowance to a windfall. But, you also have to take it into consideration with the others."

"Thurisaz is, of course, stubbornness and resistance. It could be anything from your journey to new wealth being difficult to your set telling you exactly what it thinks of you. And then, yes that is Wunjo, which is in reference to joy. If it were only those three runes, I'd interpret it as, you will eventually find new wealth, but it will be a struggle to get there--take heart though because it will be successful. This on the other hand, is an issue," she pointed towards the last rune.

Kaunaz.

Of course, it was.

"That is Kaunaz, and I am very familiar with it. It's my family's rune. Loki's rune," she explained. "At least the stories say we're descended from him. It's also one of the trickiest runes in the Futhark, right after Pertho, which is another family favorite," she said, rolling her eyes. "My family has a propensity for the dramatic."

She poked vaguely at it with her finger as if willing it to disappear.

"It's the witch's rune," she explained. "So it could be as simple as acknowledging your magic. Or it could mean that your newfound wealth will come to you in the form of wealth of enlightenment. It's also the rune of fire."

She stopped a bit and sighed. "You've heard of the stories of Loki and Odin's quests for knowledge right? Odin wanted knowledge all for himself; so he lost an eye and hung himself from a tree for nine days, but lived and succeeded. Loki wanted other people to have knowledge that he had; he wound up watching each of his children be cast out or murdered and was bound to a rock with poison pouring into his eyes until the end of the world. And Kenaz is Loki's rune. Not Odin's."

Morrigan hesitated, but pushed forward. This wasn't something to keep to herself, especially if this was a portent of the near future.

"If you learn anything of particular import soon--anything you think can be leveraged for something good or important--maybe think for a bit before sharing it. It might enrich your life, but it also might burn you up. I'd say that Wunjo might mean you won't but...consider whether it's worth the struggle beforehand, yeah?"
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