When: Another late night
Where: Hufflepuff Commons
Summary: Ernie helps Susan study.
Ernie was excused from his rounds for the evening on the grounds that he had a very important potions test coming up the next morning, and that he simply must devote time to his studies. So the evening found him in the empty Hufflepuff common room in front of the fireplace, his notes and his text books spread out before him. He was glad not to be wandering damp and dark corridors, content to learn about wolfsbane and toadstools, entranced in his academics.
This was how Ernie preferred to spend his time, he wouldn't have it any other way.
Shifting around on the worn sofa, he chewed on the cuff of his hooded sweatshirt and flipped the page in his book, sighing softly. So many potions, so little time.
Susan was working on the very same subject as Ernie, going over similar notes, only in the girl’s dormitory. After yet another irritated sigh and flop from Megan, she decided that maybe it was a better idea to study in the Common Room, where she wouldn’t be keeping her friends awake.
She gathered her things and headed out, clad in a pale pink nightgown, a light blue, knit sweater, and her fluffy bunny slippers.
Susan was surprised to see someone else had already beat her to the commons, and was pleased to see that person was Ernie. “Great minds think alike, apparently,” she said with a grin, crossing the room to the other worn-down sofa.
"Oh, hey! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one concerned about their studies," Ernie said with a bright and genuine smile, fidgeting with the drawstring of his cotton sleep pants. Marking his page with his finger, he paused in his reading to watch the girl cross over to the sofa, moving aside his things on the coffee table. "Here, here, let me make you some room!"
“Thanks,” Susie said with a grin, settling in. She set her books and parchments down in neat piles, tossing one of the pillows from the sofa on the floor. She sunk onto it gracefully, settling in. “This Potions test coming up is going to kill me, I just know it is.”
Ernie shook his head, looking at her with earnest eyes. "It won't do any such thing! It's not hard at all, if you go about it right! Trust me! You just have to keep organized and go at it one task at a time!"
“It’s not the brewing that gets me, it’s the theory that does.” Susie sighed and gave Ernie a smile and a shrug. “All I need to do is pass, though. I don’t care if it’s an A or an O or somewhere in between.”
"I can help you, if you'd like. I mean, it's not my best subject by a stretch, but I've managed to get by with high marks every year," Ernie said, chewing on the end of his quill. "Theory is the easy part, I reckon, if you do fair enough with the actual potions."
“Would you?” Susan asked, smiling as she pulled her hair back, out of her face, securing it with her wand. “That would be fantastic, Ernie, thank you! Maybe we can quiz each other right before the test.”
Ernie smiled and flipped back to the start of his notes, moving over to make room for her. "Well come on then! Let's have a go, shall we! Let's start in the beginning with properties of toadstools and magical fungi and work our way through!"
“All right,” Susan agreed with a giggle, flipping through her notes to pick out where to begin. “Okay, Ernie…”
The questions went back and forth between them and Susan was honestly having a good time while doing it. Ernie was a little goofy, a little hyper, but sweet and very smart.
“Okay,” she said with a chuckle. “I think I know all my brain can handle for right now. Do you feel prepared?”
"Yeah, my brains are mushy now," Ernie admitted, closing his book and laying it on the coffee table, settling back into the sofa cushions. "Your accent....it sounds Southern England. Where are you from?"
“Somerset,” Susie said, smiling. “Outside of Ilminster, to be precise. Where are you from?”
Ernie ran a hand through his curls and smiled. "Brighton, on the southern coast. Born and raised."
“Really?” Susan said with a bright smile. “My mother’s family lives in Brighton. We’d spend weeks there every summer.”
"Really? That's brilliant," Ernie said with a grin, turning to face her. "I grew up sailing with my grandfather and my father, they loved it."
“I’ve never been sailing,” Susie said, smiling brightly. She turned a little more, facing Ernie completely. “What’s it like?”
Ernie thought about that, closing his eyes for a moment to try to mentally gather an image. "Like flying. But more choppy. Up and down and back and forth, but nice. Sometimes its really smooth, and the breeze is nice."
Susie sighed, closing her eyes. She didn’t much care for flying, really… But she imagined sailing was so much nicer.
Smiling, she stretched a bit, pulling herself up off the pillow she’d been sitting on for some time and moved to the sofa Ernie was on, collapsing onto it with a sigh.
"So your family, are they pure or mixed?" Ernie asked, interested as he opened his eyes, peeking over at Susan. "I don't reckon I rightly know."
“Pure,” Susie said, settling back into the cushions. “I think… Mum’s great-grandfather was a muggle-born, but he married a pureblood and so on and so on. Dad’s family is pure.”
Ernie nodded his head, ruffling his curls again. "I'm a pureblood as well, but it doesn't honestly matter to me. I grew up with muggle friends and all that."
“I think it’s silly,” Susie said, drawing her legs up under her nightie. “I mean… Way, way back, even the supposedly purest families were spawned from muggle families. What’s it matter where a witch or wizard came from? As long as you can make magic, we should all be the same.”
"I totally agree," Ernie said, nodding enthusiastically. "You all right? You cold?" He asked, noting the way she curled up inside her night gown. "You need a blanket? I can fetch one.”
“I’m all right,” Susie said with a smile, touched that he was concerned. “I’m just getting comfortable.” She giggled. “Mum always says I should have been born a cat, because I tend to curl up like one.”
Ernie smiled at that, stretching out his own long legs with a small sigh. "I'm a bit too tall to curl up like you. I'm more of a stretch out kind of guy."
“How tall are you?” she asked, her eyes drooping a bit. She was tired, but she was coming to enjoy spending time with Ernie. He was off the wall… but he was sweet. She liked that.
"Round about six feet and some inches," Ernie said, slouching to the left slightly, just relaxing and going limp. "You're so...petite, like, you know, in comparison to me and my tallness."
“I think girls are supposed to be smaller than guys. It’s evolution or something like that.” Susie smiled, her eyes looking more amber than the golden brown they were in the firelight. “So you have any brothers or sisters?”
Ernie nuzzled into the sofa cushion, nodding his head. "Yes, an older sister and an older brother. My sister works for the Ministry, my brother grows herbs and plants for potions. What about you?"
Susie shook her head, also nuzzling into the sofa cushion, curling up a bit more. “Nope. My parents wanted more, but Mum had it hard with me and after I was born, she wasn’t able to get pregnant again.”
"It's not all its cracked up to be," Ernie said with a nod, yawning and sliding more sideways. "They always picked on me, since I was youngest."
“That’s terrible,” Susie said, her brows pulling together in consternation. “I bet you’re loads bigger than them now, though.”
Ernie smiled a little and nodded his head. "Yeah, I am quite a bit bigger. It's nice," he said, yawning again. "Merlin, I'm tired."
“We should probably go to bed,” Susie said, her voice soft as if she were tired too, and she was, but she didn’t make an effort to move.
"Yeah, probably should," Ernie said, opening his eyes and looking up at Susan, smiling softly at the way the light played off her face. She was really quite pretty.... "You look lovely."
“Thanks,” Susie said, a faint blush tingeing her cheeks. “You’ve grown to be rather handsome yourself.”
Ernie smiled crookedly at that, biting his bottom lip and nervously playing with his curls. "Thank you too....you have really pretty hair, it makes your eyes look really...erm, pretty."
Susie grinned and looked away, biting back a giggle. She knew she was far too relaxed and at ease with him. It made her say things she normally wouldn’t. Such as: “I like how curly your hair is.”
"I like everything about you, that I know anyway," Ernie said, looking away quickly so she wouldn't see him blushing.
Susie bit her lip, just watching Ernie for a moment before she unfolded her limbs, crawling across the sofa. She pressed a quick kiss to his cheek, whispering before she sat back down. “I think you’re very sweet.”
Ernie blushed even more at that, glancing over at her with a shy little smile. "S'late, you know? I think we both ought to get some sleep. But, um, might it be okay if I walked you to breakfast in the morning? Or maybe we could....sit together?"
Susie bit her lower lip, nodding. “I’d like that,” she said softly, now totally awake. “I think I’d like that a lot.”
"I'd like that too," Ernie said, getting to his feet and gathering up his books. "I'll see you in the commons then, right before breakfast?"
“That sounds good.” Susie slowly stood, stretching her arms above her head. She gathered up her things, a silly smile plastered on her face. When she was finished, Susie started toward the dorms slowly. “So… I guess I’ll see you tomorrow, huh?”
Ernie nodded, biting his lip and shuffling backwards towards the boy's dormitory. "Bright and early in the morning. I'll be here. At 8 a.m. You know, for breakfast...with you..."
Susie giggled, waving a bit with her semi-free hand. He really was too adorable. “Good night, Ernie.”
"Night," Ernie said with a wave, backing into the wall and blushing before turning around, heading into the dormitory.