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 You're on Fire

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:45 am

As Diana slid herself into one of SAS’s less than comfortable dining hall chairs, she smiled amicably at her companion. Now, faced with a chance to give Denver more than a cursory glance, it was clear to her that he was ill at ease. Despite the welcoming smile on his face, which successfully served to relax her, something was definitely making Meriwether’s golden boy uncomfortable. Of course, just as Diana resolved to do something about it, he seemed to relax, and she couldn’t tell whether he was genuine or just a miraculous actor. Despite her particularly finely tuned ability to read people, there were many mysterious surrounding Denver she’d yet to unravel. “Good morning. How are you today?”

“Just peachy.” She said brightly, taking a sip from the cup of juice that had appeared as if by magic in front of her. Well, she considered, it probably had appeared by magic—but for a moment, Diana had managed to forget where she was and the concept had been novel again. She’d enjoyed it. “Although it’s a bit too quiet around here for my taste.” Diana looked around the table, noticing that only one other Meriwether quodpot player was at breakfast with them. She wondered if that was a strategy, getting loads of sleep and avoiding prolonged anxiety over the game. She wondered why Denver was even there. “I guess that’s the price I pay for rising early. How about yourself?” She made the comment lightly, playfully, with an air of careless grace she’d perfected at a young age. This morning, however, she found her flawless style was faltering slightly, and she didn’t know how to react to what she (though with any luck, not Denver) perceived as almost awkward. She shrugged it off.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:58 am

"Just peachy," Diana responded to his question, her voice light and airy. Denver was once again reminded of how much of a morning person she was--she seemed completely awake, and eager for the day ahead of her. Denver was never so energetic in the mornings, although he wasn't a zombie, like most of the people he knew. That was the reason for the absence of other quodpot players at the table--they were all asleep still. Denver was one of those people who preferred to get up earlier, just to wake up completely before the game. Diana clearly noticed the same thing, continuing with, “Although it’s a bit too quiet around here for my taste. I guess that’s the price I pay for rising early. How about yourself?”

Denver briefly noted hints of discomfort in Diana's tone, but he brushed it away, knowing that part of the blame should rest on his own awkwardness this morning. It was probably not very visible to her, because he was very good at covering such things up at this point, but this morning, something was nagging him. Although she may not have acknowledged it, chances are, she did notice it, and the silence in the Great Hall combined with his own dark mood seemed to throw even Diana off.

Denver thought for a second, forgetting that it was standard for most people to reply with the usual, "Just fine, thank you." Denver was not a "just fine, thank you" kind of person, to be perfectly honest. Everything he said was well-thought out, although he sometimes said too much, and he was not content to give a simple answer to much of anything. The questions where an easy answer was expected, he always responded to with something that meant something, even if it only meant something to him. "I usually wouldn't mind the silence, but I agree with you, today. It is a bit too quiet for my tastes, as well. The rest of the team is back in the dorm, asleep still. I would be, also, but getting up early is a habit."

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:34 am

"I usually wouldn't mind the silence, but I agree with you, today. It is a bit too quiet for my tastes, as well. The rest of the team is back in the dorm, asleep still. I would be, also, but getting up early is a habit." She found herself to be impressed by the depth of his answer, the way that, despite his solitary nature, he gave more than common courtesy required. When you were as observant as Diana, even something so small was revealing. Denver was giving up his personality bit by bit, and Diana was putting the puzzle together. Of course, she still had no idea what kind of picture she’d see when she was done. People were puzzles that were never really finished.

“I know what you mean,” she said with a little laugh. “Even when I stay up late, I wake up early. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know how to be anything but tired.” Diana was up too late too often, but living where she did it was difficult to avoid. Someone was always crying or studying or having a screaming match in the dorms—it was exhausting. “Anyway,” she added, swallowing a forkful of her food, “It’ll be loud enough soon. Those Eberhardts get rowdy.” Even the quietest of quodpot matches was uproarious, though she’d never experienced from the air. In fact, Diana had never even been on a broom. Not that she minded; the idea scared the hell out of her.

She thought about mentioning this, but figured it would seem like too much of a non sequitur. Denver wasn’t someone Diana wanted to end up in a messy conversation with, and she feared she’d have to stifle some of her questionable conversational tendencies to avoid going all over the place. It was a nice break, though, to be relatively direct but still interested.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:19 am

There was a flicker of understanding in Diana's eyes which made Denver a bit nervous. He was being rather descriptive and open; for him, at least. He inwardly sighed--there was no need to hold out on information. He was being ridiculous. However, there was part of him that knew that Diana already understood him better than he would like, although they had met twice. The concept was unnerving to him, as he was used to being the person on the other side of the equation.

“I know what you mean. Even when I stay up late, I wake up early. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know how to be anything but tired.” Denver nodded, understanding completely. He had always been a night owl; however, if he weren't, the loud, boisterous students in the supposedly studious Meriwether House would have managed to keep him up regardless.

His thoughts stopped when Diana started to talk again, having taken a short break to gracefully place food in her mouth. Denver eyed his own food, sitting uneaten on his plate, before returning his attention to Diana. “Anyway, it’ll be loud enough soon. Those Eberhardts get rowdy.” Denver's thoughts, which had been distracted by the conversation, returned to the game at hand. Surprisingly, having someone there with him took away a lot of the edge, and he found himself no longer nervous about the game. It was just a game of quodpot, after all.

"The Eberhardts are toast," Denver said, his heart not really in it, but his face sending out a confident, beaming smile. "You saw the practice game the other day--Eberhardt is probably our main competition, but they don't stand a chance." It made Denver a bit sad that he was turning the conversation completely to quodpot, when there were so many other interesting things to talk about, but he didn't know what to talk about with Diana that would be relevant to the conversation.

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:37 pm

She made him nervous, and she didn’t know why. To Diana, Denver seemed like the kind of person who read everyone like a book—and not even a difficult book. We’re talking Goodnight Moon. She was complex, intricate, but hardly guarded. Di had nothing to lose, and, by extension, nothing to hide. He couldn’t possibly have had trouble reading her.

And yet he was so clearly unnerved. He seemed pleasant enough, but perhaps it was some underlying repulsion that kept him on the slightest edge. She found herself feeling slightly guilty, as though she had done some sort of conscious wrong when, she knew, in reality, she had not. Their conversation was drifting, as it had before, to the mundane, and she didn’t know how to rescue it. As he talked, she continued eating. Denver hadn’t touched his own breakfast, and she thought about asking why before deciding it would probably come off as rude.

“The Eberhardts are toast. You saw the practice game the other day—Eberhardt is probably our main competition, but they don’t stand a chance.” She nodded. “They’re decent, but you guys are better. For people who identify so strongly with the winter, Eberhardt is surprisingly athletic.” Diana had pondered the virtues of each individual house a lot more often when she had been a young student, but even as the years went on she was interested by the idea. She knew that she fit snugly into most of the Meriwether stereotypes, but couldn’t help but imagine it wasn’t the same way for everyone. There were way more than four kinds of people in the world. The houses, to her, seemed to provide not only a medium for competition but for discrimination and judgment. She couldn’t ever decide whether they were good or bad for the school.

Obviously, some sort of system of classification was necessary—but perhaps an arbitrary one would better promote unity. Nothing was changing any time soon, of course. Tradition ran strong in the school, and any major overhaul of sorting policies would be ridiculous, particularly considering the current administrative difficulties.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:06 am

“They’re decent, but you guys are better. For people who identify so strongly with the winter, Eberhardt is surprisingly athletic.”

Denver looked at Diana, his interest piqued, but his face not giving away much besides a raised eyebrow. "You sound like you have put quite a bit of thought into this. Care to elaborate?"

Denver didn't know why he asked for elaboration. He had, of course, put quite a bit of thought into it over the years himself, after all. He supposed that really, it was to bring an end to the conversational tendency towards monotony. He wanted the conversation to go somewhere, and her statement had interested him. He wondered if she had come to the same conclusions as him--the houses were general categories, and that very few fit in exactly. He himself had doubted his Meriwether sorting, at times. Certainly, he was intelligent and persistent, but he had a sort of cold, analytical nature that was much more suited to Eberhardt than Meriwether.

Denver was not a fan of the sorting system. He knew it was based on the system from Hogwarts, with four houses with a unique set of qualities that identified their students. However, he found it ironic that at Hogwarts, the legendary Sorting Hat was always reminding the students about class unity while separating them, isolating them, and creating a constant cycle of superiority. The same was true of SAS, although not to the same extent. Instead of creating a sense of superiority, the sorting at Salem Academy just created resentment. Remingtons and Eberhardts, spring and winter, were often at odds, despite Remington's reputation for being kindhearted, and Eberhardt's reputation for being aloof.

Then, there was the matter of how to determine which qualities are the most important in a person. Denver supposed it was what the person themselves valued, and how they presented themselves--however, just because a person exhibited certain qualities did not mean that those were the only qualities a person had. What if a person changed? What if people learned from those in their house that they weren't like that at all?

Denver supposed his idle thoughts rambling on had no relevance, but it was something he pondered frequently. He was interested to hear Diana's viewpoint on it.

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:52 am

"You sound like you have put quite a bit of thought into this. Care to elaborate?" He raised his eyebrow and Diana found that her cheeks flushed rose for no apparent reason. She absentmindedly brought a hand to her face, perplexed by her sudden diffidence, then reached down to the table to pluck her glass from its resting place. She took a sip before answering. “I suppose I have. I obsessed over the sorting system a lot when I was little, before I started school.”

She smiled at the memory of her naïve self. “Back then, I was mostly worried about getting sorted somewhere I didn’t fit in. I didn’t, but I’ve met a lot of people in Meriwether who are nothing like me. It makes me wonder how well something like this really works.” There are so many different kinds of people in the world—and sure, it promoted cohesion to group them together, but it was simultaneously incredibly divisive.

“It was more prominent in the first year or two, though, and I think that’s really disconcerting too. Like people adopt the qualities associated with their house simply because it’s where they’ve been sorted. They let it define them. Which is why Eberhardts all love winter, but some of them are still amazing at sports that are better played in the summer or spring.” Diana spoke the words with little immediate thought, but rather the mixed-up quasi-organization of years of wandering thoughts. They poured out of her mouth quickly and she hoped that they made a vague sort of sense. “You know?” she qualified.
She shook her head dismissively at herself. “It is something I think about pretty often, I guess.” Trying not to monopolize the conversation, she caught her breath by nimbly slipping a few more bites of food into her mouth.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:20 pm

It seemed that Diana and Denver had similar views on the sorting system. "It's something I think about often as well. There is just such a wide range of people in the wizarding world--in a way, the sorting system is a rather ineffective system, because they are working to define large groups of people based on a few basic qualities. Instead of letting the students form their own bonds, they are lumping groups of people who they anticipate SHOULD get along, based on one or two aspects of their personality. But you're right--there are so many different people, with so many different qualities, and there's no way to effectively categorize everyone on such a simple level without having lots of diversity within a single house. I know lots of Meriwether House members who are very little like me at all, as well as lots of Meriwether House members who used to be nothing like me at all, but have changed to try to align their own personality with that of the stereotypical Meriwether member."

Denver stopped for a second, not sure that his thoughts were making any more sense out loud than Diana's. These things were always harder for him to put into words than he would have liked--when he went into the rambling, twisting area of his more abstract thoughts, he sometimes got a little lost, and ended up confusing the person he was in conversation with. The surprising part, however, was that these conversations seemed to happen more around Diana than anyone else he knew. He hoped Diana understood him--after all, he was saying almost the exact same things she was. They seemed to have very similar opinions in this regard, which didn't surprise him. Diana seemed sometimes to have her head stuck in the clouds, her own thoughts and musings her principle concern. Denver saw a lot of similarities between himself and Diana. It made him wonder about something...

"You know," he started up again, "It took me a while to decide that Meriwether fit me, just from looking at the obvious traits of a Meriwether, and those of the other Meriwethers I knew. Several people told me they screwed up, and I should be in Eberhardt." He laughed, remembering that he himself had at one point considered it. He could be a bit cold and distant, and could read people very well. He knew how to get what he wanted. He was the tail end of autumn, instead of the beginning.

"I once had a list of all the qualities that are so frequently associated with Meriwether, and I would go down the line, looking for it in various people, seeing who the best stereotypical Meriwethers were. It was interesting to see how few people there actually were."

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:10 pm

“I imagine it would be.” She pondered the concept of compiling a list of a similar nature, wondering if perhaps he’d show her his one day. In that moment, she felt an odd but not entirely uncomfortable sense of the future, as though something happening right now was inextricably linked to whatever was to come for her. It was vague and enigmatic, and she doubted she could have adequately explained it to anyone. But it was also undeniable. The foolish fates, the foolish fates were out to get her. She’d write something about it down later that night, in marker (even though she hated marker, never used marker, abhorred those fat and greasy utensils with a passion uncommonly applied to something so mundane) just to make it that much more indelible. It would mar the pages of her journal for months, until she finally filled it and was forced into purchasing a replacement. “Anyway, I’m glad you’re in Meriwether. If you weren’t, we probably never would have spoken.” Quel horreur. Some part of her scolded the rest in a sarcastic if not slightly venomous tone for being the person she tended to be, the tired cliché with an irrepressible proclivity towards girlishness. Diana wondered if maybe this was what low self-esteem felt like.

Then she remembered that she was an amazing person.

His thoughts were hardly more comprehensible than hers, but their complexity had in it a certain lucidity. She followed them with ease, aplomb and attentiveness, eager to hear more than she was eager to eat. For this reason, half of Diana’s breakfast still lay on her plate by the time she realized people were leaving.

Looking around the room with a somewhat greater degree of vigilance, it was clear that the mealtime was drawing to a close. Diana had been drawn into such an engrossing conversation that she’d lost sight of her surroundings. She was struck with a sense of her own vulnerability. She lived defensively, lived the way muggles drove: acutely aware of those around her and sensitive to the slightest shifts in their mood. Denver was a black hole of focus. He sucked her into a world where other people didn’t exist, and it evoked in her a shred of terror. “You should probably get ready to play.” She remarked, not sure how she expected or wanted him to react.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:02 pm

Denver looked down at his watch to see that Diana was right. He probably should get going--the team captain would want him to the Quodpot pitch a bit early. However, he didn't really WANT to leave. The conversation was stimulating, which to him was almost ironic, due to the amount of difficulty he was having articulating his words in a way that made sense to anyone outside his head. He got the feeling that if he were talking to anyone but the usually eloquent Diana, who seemed to be having just as much trouble as he was, he would be horribly embarrassed. He hated not being able to speak clearly and concisely. It bothered him. However, somehow, in this situation, it seemed a bit less painful, almost as if he thought it was okay to be bumbling his way through sentence after sentence. It was an odd sensation that he certainly was not used to.

Conversing with Diana was different than it was with most people, though, he realized. Diana was clearly intelligent, if she could make sense of the drivel that he seemed to be spouting. However, there were lots of intelligent Meriwethers, and that alone was not it. It seemed to be more of a combination of things: the fact that Diana always paid attention to what he was saying, seeming to focus completely on him when he was talking. The fact that Diana always had something to add, voicing her own thoughts and opinions. The fact that Diana thought above and beyond most of the people he knew, and considered things like this enough to have a genuine conversation about it. Diana was good at talking with people, that much was certain. Everything about her body language screamed, "I'm listening, and I care about what you're saying."

So, Denver really didn't WANT to go, but watching his teammates leave, one by one, he knew that he would have to leave. "Probably," he said, his voice genuinely reflecting mild dismay. "I'll talk to you after the game, though."

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:40 pm

Denver’s face fell a trifle at her comment, and against the better judgment of her sympathetic self, Diana was pleased. She was always satisfied, if nonplussed, when some subtle signal confirmed that her conversational companion had been enjoying him, or her, self. Her smile was rendered appropriate, fortunately, by his farewell. “I’ll see you then.” She said, as he rose from his seat and slipped away from her to the pitch. “Good luck.” It was whispered, an addition that could easily have been audible had she heightened the volume of her speech just slightly. But Diana chose to keep her comment a secret, albeit a hardly scandalous one, from the world. She didn’t bother justifying it in her own mind, she was too distracted.

After a few moments and a few more absent bites, she rose from her place and floated to her dormitory, her thoughts somewhat removed. She considered, or attempted to consider, from a purely objective perspective, the prospects of Meriwether in today’s match. They would win. How could they not? Technical advantages were there, of course, and beyond that there was the feeling she’d had in the cafeteria: the feeling that something significant was happening. She was too effervescently optimistic to imagine that it could be a significant loss. Terrible things had a way of disappearing from Diana’s view whenever she commanded them to. If she hadn’t developed that ability, she didn’t know how she’d even begin to cope with the evils of the world around her.

Once she’d reached the dwellings of the boys and girls of Meriwether, Diana found herself more able to think and focus in the manner she was accustomed to. She grabbed a cloak, all too well aware of the chill that had blown in last night and now undoubtedly plagued the quodpot pitch. Diana’s bed was underneath a window, and though she was able to, via magical and nonmagical means, ward off the cold that inevitably made its way to her, she was always alerted to the weather. It had long ago stopped being a nuisance to her, and now she was rather enamored with her sleeping conditions.

She slipped out of the dorm along with too many of her fellow students to be counted, all headed to the same place. Sporting events brought people together at SAS like nothing else really could. Even opposing teams felt unified in that arena, sharing a purpose. It was as magical as any Charms class, if you asked Diana. Within a few minutes, she was sitting countless feet in the air with a group of rather raucous friends, screaming and shouting with the best of them. She followed the game with the same intensity as the rest of the fans around her, though perhaps paying a singular attention to one Denver Ellington. But only because she’d been talking to him that morning, of course. Not that she needed a reason, of course, to watch him more than the others. Denver was a rather dynamic part of the team, after all, and she nearly reeled at the fact that she hadn’t noticed him until the last scrimmage.

There was never any question in Diana’s mind of what the end result of the chaos would be, but others seemed to be on the edges of their respective seats. Even she was drawn into a surprisingly elegant excitement by the close nature of the game. The teams were well-matched, perhaps more so than anyone had anticipated. But it was hopeless, after all, for Eberhardt to expect anything miraculous to happen during this, the first match. Especially on a day like today. She almost felt guilty, felt as though they would have had a better chance if the match had been played the day before or the week after.

Meriwether won.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:03 pm

Denver finished changing back into his regular clothing quickly after the match, adrenaline still pumping through his veins. He missed Quodpot so much during the rest of the year. He loved the feeling of soaring around on a broom, abandoning his normally diplomatic nature for the roughness of the sport. Although the two teams were a relatively even match, Meriwether pulled ahead near the end for a rather satisfying victory. Denver smiled as he thought back on the highlights of the game, although his mind wandered a bit more than he would have liked, and he thought in particular of one fellow Meriwether who he might have paid a bit more attention to in the stands than he should have. It was purely habit, though, he assured himself. He always looked for familiar faces in the crowd before a game. If he could think of the loud, rowdy group of people as being made up of individuals he knew and was comfortable with, it always seemed to help him block out the extraneous, and honestly quite distracting, noise.

Denver congratulated one of the chasers that he was close to, and he walked outside, enjoying the crisp, slightly chilly air. That time of year always made him think deep, introspective thoughts. On this day in particular, his thoughts turned to the strange fact that time seemed to change speed and direction so quickly. It was hard to believe how quickly time passed sometimes. It seemed like only yesterday he was starting the school year, and only a week ago, he was starting his first year at SAS.

He remembered the last time he was walking out alone after playing Quodpot, and smiled to himself. It was amazing that Diana, who he had just met so recently, seemed to be so brightly displayed on his radar already. She seemed to have this quality about her where she just stood out from the crowd. He looked around as he walked away from the locker room, searching for her, although doing so very discreetly. Denver may have stood out in the same way that Diana did, but he was never the type to consciously act conspicuously. People came up to congratulate him on Meriwether's win, of course, and he would stop and talk to them, just as he always did. However, out of the corner of his eye, he scanned through the crowds still leaving the stadium. She had to be coming out soon, right?

Unless she had already walked by, of course. That was a possibility, which Denver did not discount. However, he was in a remarkably good mood after the Quodpot match, and something about today made it feel like things just had a natural tendency to go right. Maybe it was just his imagination, but it made him a bit hopeful, maybe even to the point of optimism.

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:46 pm

She walked deliberately but languidly out of the stadium, one of the last to leave the crowded stands. The sun was shining with ferocity now, but the air was still chilly and it was nice to be surrounded on all sides by the body heat of her classmates. To Diana, the end of a good quodpot match was somewhat like the end of a good book. Joyous, to be sure, and satisfying, but also a bit like losing an old friend. She thought forward, though, with elation, to the rest of the season. This was, after all, just the beginning. It would be a thrilling year for her favorite wizarding sport, a year full of competition and perhaps even a little scandal. Scandal was always appreciated at SAS, and in particular by Diana, who loved a good telenovela as much as the next girl and was excited by the very prospect of proximity to anything dramatic.

As she finally did filter out of the stadium, most of the school ahead of her but a significant element still at her back, it didn’t take long to spot Denver. He had a magnetic presence, but then again, so did the entire team. There was an energy, she presumed, that you just radiated unconsciously after playing a game like that. Diana had never exactly felt safe on a broom, but she respected those that did. It was a skill, she had long ago decided, that required an extraordinary amount of focus and balance and all of those lovely things she could hardly manage with her feet on the ground. Elegance had been a strong suit of Diana’s from a young age; grace came less easily to her.

She didn’t change her pace but her direction shifted slightly when she saw Denver. He was, as usual, initiating no conversations but responding when approached. It was a trait she rather liked in people, though it wouldn’t have worked well as a common one. As a quirk of Denver’s, and a few other select people she knew, it was pleasant. A sort of shyness that wasn’t really shyness so much as a politely reserved demeanor existed in him. She resisted the urge to confront him with the exuberant side of her own personality, not wanting to scare him away. “Congratulations.” She said, when they’d entered into the range of acceptable conversation distance. “You did really well today.”

It sounded unsuitable coming from her lips, bourgeois and pedestrian. She supposed every conversation couldn’t have a semblance of philosophical significance, but it should at least have originality, right? Diana corrected herself mentally, optimistic at her companion of not at the banality of her words. A sloppy start was always fixable.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:25 pm

“Congratulations. You did really well today.”

Denver saw Diana approaching out of the corner of his eye, and he smiled. She looked comfortable and happy, completely at home at the tail end of the crowds of people. She broke away from the pack a bit in approaching Denver, who, although he was surrounded by people, had veered off the main path a bit. He preferred to get out of the way, so he did not get trampled. There would be people around for a while, but since he wasn't the only member of the Meriwether team standing in that area, he was able to detach himself a bit, opening himself up to talk with Diana, and Diana alone.

"Thanks," Denver said, a grin on his face. The commonplace words seemed odd coming from Diana's mouth, although Denver probably would not have noticed it nearly as much as he did if it weren't for the fact that Diana herself seemed to notice it very distinctly (which she did, judging by the expression on her face). However, he chose not to comment, knowing there would be no benefit in pointing it out. He also decided to continue on with Diana's train of thought, just because Quodpot was on his mind at the time. "I think that if the score of that game is a good standard, then this season is going to go pretty well. Eberhardt is definitely one of the stronger teams, and we seemed evenly matched. I think that is a good sign, if nothing else."

Denver was getting a bit antsy, and possibly a bit claustrophobic, with all the people around. After the Quodpot game, he was still a bit worked up, and he didn't feel like standing in one place. "You want to walk?" Denver asked Diana, just wanting to get out of there. It seemed the perfect plan--they would walk together, and Denver would get to move around a bit.

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:56 am

“I quite agree,” she said, recalling some of the key moments of the match. “It’s going to be a good year for quodpot. Especially the Meriwethers, I think. Well, hope. I’m hardly an authority, I suppose.” She hadn’t been speaking too long, but Diana felt as though she was beginning to ramble, so she silenced herself. The smile that accompanied her post-game excitement had not yet begun to waver, and she didn’t intend to let it disappear any time soon.

She noticed Denver fidgeting slightly, and realized rather abruptly that he was probably uncomfortable in this environment. Diana thrived in a crowd, that was undeniable, but she knew the feeling she suspected he was experiencing: a desire to move, do something, and go somewhere. It was a desire to live life surrounded by people of your own choosing. She nodded happily, and almost reached out a hand to him before pausing, considering, second-guessing herself. “Walking sounds perfect. Any destination in mind?” She took a few steps forward, looking for a clear exit from the crowd, and turned around to face him as she waited for his reply. If he did, maybe they could just take the long way. Diana was never a fan of shortcuts when they weren’t necessary.

She was, as established, a fan of the SAS grounds. She loved the feeling of running across the grass, of returning to her favorite spots and noticing the minute changes that had taken place since her last visit. It was nice when she was alone, nice when she was alone because it was a release. She could walk or run or skip and scream and sing and dance—but it was equally nice to share it with someone, a pleasantry of a different sort. She wondered if Denver was the type of person to scorn at her for loving to dance in the rain, and decided that he wasn’t.

It was good, because she didn’t tend to like those people very much.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:37 pm

“Walking sounds perfect. Any destination in mind?"

Denver looked at her, noting the faraway look in her eyes that hinted that she was getting a bit lost in her thoughts. He pondered a response for a second or two before saying, "Not in mine. I'm much more of a aimless wanderer at times. Do you have any specific location in mind?"

Denver's personality was always adjustable, changing like the winds of autumn. Today, he was in the mood to blow wherever the wind took him. He wanted to be constantly moving, but his destination did not concern him. Being a Meriwether, this kind of mood was rather odd for him, as it was in his nature to always have some semblance of a plan, some sort of an idea which direction he wanted to take things. Although, if you were looking at it critically enough, he technically did. He knew he wanted to walk. He knew he wanted to walk with Diana. Somewhere along the lines, his plan morphed into walking with Diana wherever she felt like going, and if she didn't have any particular feelings about the matter, then he would propose walking everywhere.

He looked at Diana, searching for something. He probably didn't know what he was searching for. He just looked.

An abrupt question came out of his mouth before he could really stop it. Something about the situation caused the random tangent to pop into his head, and once he had the idea, he could hardly keep it in his head. "If you were a plant, what kind would you be?" It was a strange question, and one that had no basis in the conversation, but he was curious as to what she would say. He realized the question was very, very open to interpretation, since she could answer with generalities like "a tree" or "a flower," or specifics, going into more exact types. However, he decided he would leave that interpretation up to her.

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:09 pm

“No,” Diana said lightly, pausing to reacquaint herself with the reality of her situation. She tended to drift. “No, I don’t.” She took a breath and felt suddenly stifled, like she needed to sprint away from the crowd and into the open as fast as she possibly could. She felt as though the company of everyone, excepting Denver, would literally suffocate her soon.
She took another, deeper, slower breath. The feeling disappeared as quickly as it had come. He was looking at her now, just looking, and instead of wondering obsessively if he had seen some outward indication of her brief distress or being embarrassed by the excess of attention, she felt more at ease than she had before. So she looked back, looked right back at the (admittedly rather gorgeous) boy in front of her.

"If you were a plant, what kind would you be?" Denver spoke unceremoniously and without hesitation. Diana reacted to everything as though it was perfectly normal. She had a tendency, one some would call remarkable, to take the world in stride. So when non sequiturs poured out of the mouths of those around her, she focused not on the reasoning behind the question but finding the appropriate response. And Denver’s question was certainly an interesting one. She contemplated it for a moment, not exactly sure how much time it was taking her to respond. “I think I’d be a tree,” she said, pausing for half a second before she qualified her response. “But a pretty tree, a big flowering evergreen like a Magnolia.” Strong and ever present, lasting but beautiful. Diana had the feeling she would love being a tree, would find it to be a miraculous adventure.

“What about you?” she asked, deciding the question was worthy of repetition. It was certainly more interesting than asking for a favorite animal or anything else of that banal nature.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:55 pm

Denver nodded. "We'll just walk, then. Away from here." Denver could see that Diana was almost as antsy to get away as he was, although it seemed to fade after a few seconds. If he were anyone else, he would doubt that he had seen it. However, Denver had a remarkable faith in his observations.

Denver pondered Diana's response to his strange and somewhat random question. "I think that fits you," Denver decided out loud, sneaking another look at Diana's face. He knew he didn't need to be covert, since they both spent a remarkably large amount of time openly staring at each other, but he felt it necessary in the situation. There was so much that she said with that simple answer. He liked her choice a lot.

However, she then turned the question on him. He should have been suspecting it, of course, based on the way that conversations tended to work. Good questions got repeated, even when they were completely unrelated to the previous thread of discussion. Diana, in particular, had the tendency to ask questions like the one he asked her. Yet, the question still caught him off guard a bit. He thought for a minute, trying to think of a good answer.

"I think that I am probably a tree as well. More like the hawthorn tree, though, I think. One of the hybrids without thorns." Protected by a hard outer layer, and able to grow in almost any condition. Rare, as very few species of hawthorne trees lacked the thorns--they existed, but they weren't common. Denver was not completely satisfied with his answer, but on such short notice, he thought it fit much better than most of the other things he would have come up with.

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:35 pm

She nodded slowly. Listening to this explanation, she was struck by a memory of their first meeting. This, the unorthodox, unplanned, giddy energy of wandering seemed to characterize their acquaintance. Diana felt suddenly out of her place, as though she was committing some offense against Denver by pushing and shoving her way into his life.

The lack of calculation seemed in opposition of his character. She wondered for a moment if she had misjudged him; misread him, a rare instance of self-doubt. Her feet, enclosed in a comforting shell of canvas and cotton, were now the objects of intense scrutiny. They made her feel better, helped her recover the confidence she didn’t realize she had lost.

She searched her mind for her limited knowledge of botany, fruitlessly asking herself whether hawthorns and magnolias ever grew near each other. He was crawling under her skin and he didn’t even realize it. The thought nearly elicited a laugh.

Diana didn’t faze Denver, not even a little bit. That is to say, she couldn’t see if it she did. Her eyes shifted suddenly upward to the sky and burned themselves in the face of sharp daylight. Fingers felt their way in a shield to her forehead. She didn’t dare voice her insecurities. Ever. She resolved to write a letter to Elliot as soon as she returned to her dorm.
How would her family respond to a character like Denver? She didn’t know. She didn’t care, for they’d probably never meet him. She’d write about him to Elliot anyway, because that was a good way to sort out her thoughts. Even if it did take him a year and a half to respond.

“Where do you think we are?” The words flowed out of Diana’s mouth without provocation or explanation, and she blushed. “I mean, obviously we’re at school, but...where do you think that is, exactly?” She was seized by the impulse to solve the mystery; figure it out. To walk until she hit an ocean, mapping her path (poorly, armed with only the vaguest idea of what it meant to be a cartographer.) She’d do it someday. Hopefully.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:20 pm

“Where do you think we are?”

Denver had seen from Diana's face that something had been bugging her. She was looking at her feet, almost insecure, although the reason for this, Denver could not quite fathom. Unexpectedly, some sort of odd confidence flashed through her eyes, and she looked up at the sky, shielding her eyes from the glare of the sun. Unexpectedly, the question burst forth from her lips.

“Where do you think we are?”

Denver pondered the question for a second, not quite sure of what she was asking. "Well, in regards to geography, we are in Salem. That much is obvious. Otherwise, it wouldn't be called the Salem Academy of Sorcery." He paused, thinking of the best way to proceed with his answer. "I have never been overly concerned with location, though. For some odd reason, where I am and where I am going have never been major concerns of mine. I simply have to know the whys. Why am I here? Why are you here?"

"Where is vague. It can have millions of answers, all and none correct. Why? Why requires answers. It could be something as simple as having a gut feeling about something. It could be for personal gain, for power, for answers, for money." He realized he was getting off-topic, but he didn't mind very much. He hoped Diana did not mind. "For love," he added onto the list, his voice sounding slightly strained without his permission. It was unusual, but fitting.

He paused for a second, deciding he had said enough. "I'm sorry. I got a bit off-topic there. Why did you want to know about where we are?"

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:36 pm

She laughed, gently, bemusedly, at the almost-ironic level of appropriateness in his response. Diana understood the ‘why’ fascination—she had experienced it—but she found the question so absolutely fruitless that hers had been quite brief. Of course Denver had answered her question with an explanation of whys, and then with a why of his own.

“At least where always has an answer. Most of the time I have no idea why anything is happening.” Her smile was aloof, but not bitter. The world was difficult to explain. It was difficult to pinpoint, as well, but it was even more difficult to explain. “Anyway, I meant it in a larger sense. I mean, we’re basically standing on this giant rock that’s spinning like mad at 1700 kilometers per hour. How did that happen?”

Deciding that her questions were becoming far too existential for her own personal taste, she stopped her mind. It was a skill that had taken some time to perfect; the ability to simply arrest the thought processes she deemed unsuitable at least until her companion was able to give a response, be it reassuring or not.

When her thoughts resumed—after, mind you, a period of mere seconds, if that—they were focused on Denver’s words. He hesitated—although perhaps hesitated isn’t the word…faltered might be better suited to the job—on “for love.” Diana frowned. She wasn’t sure what to make of it. She tried to do everything for such noble reasons—love didn’t often strike her, and when it did it was usually in the form of an overpriced dress or a tea set she didn’t need. She wondered if Denver looked down on love, or feared it, or was simply getting a sore throat.

She found herself unable to repress the flow of ideas.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:55 pm

Diana laughed; she had a lovely laugh, with just the right amount of... well, most people would call her laugh sparkling, although Denver did not know quite how to describe it. He just knew that it was lovely.

"How did we get here? All the great philosophers and scientists on this giant, spinning rock have wondered the same. I know we are here as the product of centuries of people. As for how they got to be here, I've always been told that they were the product of centuries of development of single-celled organisms. However, that raises the question of how the single-celled organisms got here." Denver paused for a second, trying to think of the best way to proceed. "I don't know that I put much stock in what the scientists and philosophers say. They weren't there at the time. How would they know? I'm sure there's plenty of research to back them up, though. I just know that I am here, one tiny speck on this enormous rock spinning around a ball of gas."

Denver looked to the side, his mood slowly shifting. "It bothers me sometimes that I don't know these things. I mean, someone has to figure out what really happened? I do not particularly care about science and why the earth came about and how people came about, but I want to do something. I cannot be living just to live. I don't think I have any sort of grand purpose, or anything ridiculous like that, but I feel like if I don't do something with my life, it'll all have been a waste. Do you know what I mean?"

If she did not know what he meant, he would probably come out sounding insane or overly idealistic, so he really hoped that she got it. He did not tend to say these kinds of things out loud, because it was opening himself up for criticism. Besides, despite her tendency to look at the larger things in life, it seemed that Diana had a pragmatic streak at times. He hoped he did not scare her off.

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:41 pm

“That’s right. It’s like this trail of creation that asymptotically approaches the real beginning, because everything has to come from something else.” She sighed, but quietly. Not in resignation but in acceptance, in happiness, maybe even a tinge of relief. “Maybe it’s better to just skip the questions. I find I’m pretty terrible at that, though.” She considered continuing, but decided against it. It got really tricky—too tricky—when you considered that the only reason the ball of gas was a ball of gas was because the scientists had decided that, and even though they could do magic—could do things science said was impossible, could create and compel in ways most people never dreamed—they still couldn’t begin to explain the universe.

He looked away, and Diana followed his gaze, but it didn’t seem to linger on anything in particular. His words reminded her of a passage she’d read a few years back, in Walden. She remembered it being remarkably applicable to her own life. To not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. “I get that. I don’t know what I want to do yet, but I want it to be something. Maybe everything. I’m really bad at making decisions with things like that.”

Denver frightened her a little bit, but not in the traditional sense. In the sense that she said things around him that she didn’t even like to say to herself. She came away from conversations with him feeling like she knew more about who she was; about who she wanted to be. It was mildly unsettling, but Diana was resilient. She knew how to respond to people, knew what to say and what not to say. Mostly.

Not always. But more so around him.
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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:32 pm

"Nothing has its own beginning, because we are all a product of the things that came before us. The only problem is, where did the beginning come from? That seems to be the real challenge, and it makes me glad I am not a scientist. The beginning is a strange concept." A quote popped into his head, so he said it, without really thinking. "'I have no use for 'before and after' pictures. I can't remember starting, and I'm never done.'"

I'm terrible at skipping the questions, too," Denver said. "There are just so many questions--it is incredibly difficult not to come across any of them. And then, when you come across one, it always seems to lead to another, which leads to another. It's an ongoing process and an endless one." Denver smiled. "It's almost as if our brains are wired to think of new things to think about. Which both makes no sense and makes all the sense in the world."

"I know exactly what you mean. I don't know what I want to do, but I have to do SOMETHING. The problem is, my parents the politicians like plans. Everything has to be perfectly laid out. 'Making a difference' does not pay the bills or help them in a bid for reelection." It always frustrated Denver, but there was nothing he could do about it but prove them wrong and live how he wanted to.

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PostSubject: Re: You're on Fire   Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:55 am

She smiled, because he was witty and she loved witty people and witty sayings and actually she didn't really know why she was smiling but she was. Nothing really existed, she decided, except for the middle. Unless, of course, one got to thinking about death, and she wasn't a fan of such things. To die would be an awfully big adventure. One Diana wasn't prepared for yet. "Your own words, or someone else's?" She asked, startled somewhat by the proverbial nature of the phrases. You can tell a lot about a person by the people they quote. The things they read, or watched, or whatever the appropriate verb was. These were things she'd like to know about Denver.

"Anything too terribly large or too terribly small," she said slowly, carefully, deliberately, "seems to be infinitely confusing." The brain itself! Wired for questions about the universe but also about the particles that made up the particles that made up people. Questions about everything, indiscriminately asking away. "None of it makes any sense."

His parents the politicians. She knew of the family, but hadn't really considered the impact of the profession on the lifestyle prior to this moment. It seemed to Diana that making a difference would help very much in a bid for reelection, but she knew that it didn't and that was why she didn't like politics. She liked philosophy and humor and literature. And symphonies. She loved symphonies. Her father was in politics, of course, as well, but she had never been exposed to that world. It was the wizarding world. She grew up with her mother, the housewife. Or, more importantly, her mother the muggle. "I can't say I've experienced that. My parents like not having plans. They're…well, I think they're just really content with their own "slightly-above-average-but-lazy" status." Frustration was evident in his features, but so was determination, and she liked that. Ambition, with perhaps a tinge of vengeance. Delightful.
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