Isidora found herself once again unable to sleep. It was the middle of the night and she had been turning over and over. Finally frustrated at her inability to find enough peace of mind to sleep she sat up slowly. The cool air was a nice change from the hot blankets. She smiled despite her irritation. Running her hand in her untamed mat of hair she sighed annoyed at it too. She leaned over and took her brush slowly brushing out the tangles from her hair till it lay in its cascade down her back. Better. Still she didn’t feel tired. Scratch that she felt tired she just couldn’t sleep. Big difference she was always tired. She just couldn’t get much sleep at all. Sighing in frustrated irritation she rose out of bed. Slipped on her pink slipper over her bare feet and drawing her black school rob up from where it was neatly folded on her trunk she started to put the robe on as she slipped out of the dormitory with her sketchbook and pen with her. She made her way down the winding stairs to the common room. She decided she would sketch some of the troubling images whirling around her mind hopping that she would find the relief she need to relax and sleep. Not likely, but it was a good thought right?
Stretching out her sore muscles she made her way to the large armchair by the fire and let her body fall into it. Her hair flying into her face. Irritated at it too she swiped it away. Pushing if back behind her ear. She leaned back closing her eyes allowing the irritation to leave her body. She couldn’t draw when she was so tense. She listened to the gentle sound of the crackling fire and echoing silence of the still room. She felt the warmth of the fire bath her skin and the chill of the floor creep up her toes. Oh this was heaven. Peaceful at long last she opened her sketchbook pausing on the picture of Aidan before she continued on to another blank page. Setting her quill between her teeth she closed her eyes again letting the image come into clear focus. Reopening her eyes she put quill to parchment and began to sketch. Her hand flying about the page as the image in her mind took shape on the page. It was dark. Scary even. It was the way one of the students had been found. Murdered. It was haunting her thoughts. She had seen murders before having been a street rat. She didn’t like to see them.
Grace was not having any luck sleeping. She rolled over and pulled the letter from her father off the night stand. Whispering to herself, she lit the end of her wand, but one of her roommates complained at her. So, she gathered up her father's letter and yanked out a quill and parchment from her bag. Slipping on her dressing gown, she bounced down the stairs from the girl's dormitory three at a time. This was a good plan. She would get her letter of to her stepfather in the morning. It would make him happy. He got anxious if it took to long for either of his children to return his letters. Grace imagined that it was her mother who got anxious and just irritated him until he was anxious as well. It hadn't always been so important to reply right away. She definitely didn't have these problems first year. First year everything had been calm and simple. But with things happening like they were now, dark wizards returning, students being murdered, and the like, Grace's parents had been even more keen to receive letters in a timely fashion.
There was another girl in the common room, one of the older students. A sixth year, maybe. She didn't play Quidditch, so Grace could hardly be bothered to know her name immediately. At first the younger girl ignored the older. She sat her things down at one of the tables, re-read her father's letter, and began her own reply.
Dear Dad, (And Mum, who I'm sure is reading over your shoulder)
Things here are okay.
That really was a lie. She hated lying to Sioni. Her mother was much easier to lie to, but her stepfather made this face that made her feel so guilty, she just couldn't do it anymore. Things at Hogwarts were not okay. People had been murdered. Someone from each of the four houses was dead. If it had all been Slytherins, meh. But someone killed a Hufflepuff. How do you even do that? They were all so fluffy and adorable. Grace's vision of Hufflepuffs might have been blurred by her little brother's residence in the house. But still. They wore yellow. Yellow was happy, like sunshine. Sunshine was happy. How could someone kill happy people? Things weren't okay at Hogwarts. She spent more of her day than was healthy worrying about Wynn. If there were death eaters in the school, her brother didn't stand a chance.
She crumpled up the sheet of parchment. She couldn't lie to her father. She tossed it in to the fire. For a moment she rested her head on the table. Alright. Her choices now were to go back upstairs and wake her roommates to get more paper, or wait till the morning to write the letter, which meant her parents wouldn't get a reply for days. No. She needed to finish her letter now. After a moment's debate, she called to the girl sitting by the fire. "Oi. Do you have any extra paper? I seem to have burnt mine."
Isidora was so wrapped up in her drawing that when she heard the other girls voice she startled gasping. Her voice was shrill and a small scream escaped her lips. Her book fell from her hands to land with a resounding crash on the floor. Her quill rolled away and her ink un-panted. She caught the glass ink well just in time to prevent it from spilling all over the table top. With a relieved sigh she set about gathering up her book and her quill before she looked up to see the younger student.
She was quite startled to find a quiditch player talking to her. They normally ignored her. She felt a faint blush tinge her cheeks as she opened her bag and fished out a few sheets of parchment. She handed the stack of sheets to the other and smiled shily.
”Sure. I always have extra.” She placed the book down on the tabletop forgetting that the picture was open and everyone could see her finished drawing. The details were stunning. It was so close to realist that anyone who saw it would be shocked by it’s realism. She really was a great artist however she didn’t think so.
Isidora looked away for a moment before she turned back to the girl and said in a shaky voice ”I’m Isidora, Isi for short.” She paused only long enough to draw a shaky breath. ”You last match was great, the team did really well” Isidora finished blushing even harder. Her face felt burning hot and her hands shook where they rested in her lap. She could feel the blood rushing into her cheeks. With a soft sigh she looked down at her trembling hand uncertain if she should go back to drawing or try to strike up a conversation.
Note to self: Don't interrupt drawing people with out making eye contact first.
It wasn't that Grace didn't like people who weren't on the quidditch team. There were quite a few agreeable people who didn't play quidditch. She had just grown up surrounded by quidditch. She'd sat through practices with Sioni and with her father, her first friends had been their teammates, her first word had been bludger, she'd practically been on a broomstick more than she had walked growing up. It was difficult for Grace to think about anything else. If it didn't involve riding a broomstick or hitting something with a bat, she didn't have much interest in it. Normal people didn't usually get it.
"Nice picture." Grace said as she reached to take a piece of parchment from the very nervous girl. She worried for a moment that it was her making the older student nervous. Yeah, Grace was a little rough sometimes, but she didn't like scaring people. It especially bothered her to upset people she didn't have something against. "You're pretty good. Kind of creepy good actually. I can't draw worth anything."
Grace set back to her letter for just a moment, getting down the first two letters before the older student introduced herself. "It's nice to meet you Is. I'm Grace Broadmoor. Which it seemed like Isidora probably already knew as she'd comment on her match. "Yes, of the Falmouth Broadmoors. And thanks. We try. Actually, we succeed, most of the time."
But the girl seemed more nervous than she had previously. This was frankly quite concerning to Grace. She didn't want the older student to pass out or anything. It would look totally suspicious if she was trying to carry an unconscious housemate to the hospital wing after hours. She decided to ignore it at first, writing a few more words on her letter. But, the nervous was just seeping around the air and seriously disrupting her writing. "Are you okay? I'm not going to like, hurt you or anything. Promise."