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A Charmed Encounter  PV V. Harness 

Ford entered the study room with a bit less confidence in his stride than he normally would've had. The young wizard had just returned from Charms class and had gone strait to the study rooms- his usual custom after a day of classes. Unfortunately he had more reason to be here today than any given afternoon. Most of the time he simply came here to do a bit of his own reading, or to meet with his Transfiguration tutor. It wasn't that he really liked the place... far from it, actually. It was far too noisy for a Study Room in his opinion. Yet it was still one of the quietest places he could find. Besides, the boy figured he might find some benefit in having other people around today. It meant he was far less likely to lose his composure.

They had just gotten their Charms exams back, and Ford had been horrified to see a dozen red marks across his paper. At the top of the test was a large red "A". "A" for "average"... His father would not be pleased. The wizard-born had quite the strained relationship with his parent already, but after this he imagined he would fall out of the family's graces for quite some time. Average wasn't good enough for a Farquad- not according to that awful man anyway. Ford knew full well that he'd be getting an owl in the next week outlining just how much of a failure he was. Unfortunately, the boy could not hake the feeling that he really was a failure. Not to his family of course, he couldn't be bothered to give a flying fig about the Farquad name. But his own failures never ceased to annoy him. He wanted to be better than that.

Ford cursed himself inwardly, wondering how he could possibly have been so stupid. An "A", in Charms of all classes? Charms had always been easy to him. Boring, but easy, In fact he could often be found muttering to himself about how it was nothing more than waving your wand around and saying a few words. He wasn't one to care much for the subject, especially with all of the expectations set upon him. He had no desire to be a "great wizard" as was intended for him. The volatile lad had even scoffed at the paper when he had first received it, dismissing his insecurities by telling himself "it's a stupid class anyway." But that would not be a good enough excuse for Maximus Farquad. Besides, deep down he knew that it was his own lack of knowledge that had brought him here. And if there was anything Ford could not forgive himself for, it was a lack of knowledge.

The boy sat down with his textbook, ready to slog through the infernal subject until he understood it perfectly. There would be punishments at home if he did not bring up the grade. Yet as he did so, a flash of brilliant red caught his eye. There was a girl sitting at the table beside his- a girl he recognized. He had seen her moments before in the very class he had so disappointingly walked away from. Though the two had never formally met, he had sat near enough to hear her receive accolades from the teacher handing their tests back. She must have gotten good marks... Ford stared at the girl for a moment, debating whether or not to approach her. On one hand, she was a human being. That was inherently a downside, as the boy loathed to talk to other humans especially when he was feeling so defeated. He certainly hated to ask for help. Then again...

Ford stood up, swallowing his pride. If there was any chance that a conversation with this girl would improve his marks, it was only logical to take it. While the thought left a bitter taste in his mouth he knew that it was foolish not to ask for her help. No amount of social awkwardness could be worse than the punishment he would receive from his father is an "A" was his final grade. As he walked toward her, he tried to recall her name. Vena? Vira?... Verla, wasn't it? He'd heard attendance called many a time, but scarcely paid attention to the other names. Thankfully he was not forced to remember.

As he got close enough to actually introduce himself, he spotted the girl's test among the papers on her desk. Her name was there- great. At least he would be spared the embarrassment of not knowing his classmate's identity. The well-mannered boy cleared his throat to get her attention before introducing himself in the way he had been instructed so many times. "Miss Harness, correct?" Then realizing he may have come off a bit to formal, he corrected himself. "Uh... Verla?"

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A Charmed Encounter  PV V. Harness 

Verla had been studying her DADA homework. When she heard her name called "Miss Harness, correct? Uh... Verla?" She looked up and saw a familiar boy in front of her. 

She smiled and said "Yes? You are correct, it's Verla." Next to her DADA homework, was her charms homework, her recent one she'd finished had received an O for "outstanding." She was quite a good mood, but she never expected someone, especially a boy, to approach her.

Verla quite excited when it came to meeting new people she'd never met but had seen around before. She was normally a quiet and shy girl, but Hogwarts was wearing off on her, a nice and open place where people could meet others and make friends, even more than friends. Her grandmother had spoken about her great grandparents meeting at Hogwarts, and it was like love at first sight. 

Verla sighed, being a hopeless romantic probably never bound to happen, she wished she met "the one" here at Hogwarts. But she was still young. 

The boy who approached she recognized as a Ravenclaw. Besides his robes, she though she saw him once or twice at the Ravenclaw table, though of course she never met him

"What cannot be seen, felt, or carried?" Person who gets this right I will donate some money to them.

A Charmed Encounter  PV V. Harness 

The girl responded, turning toward him with crystal eyes quite a similar shade to his own. He suddenly found himself at a loss for words, realizing with an inward groan that he had no idea what he was supposed to say next. Ford was... unused to conversation, to say the least. He had of course been instructed in all of the proper mannerisms and small-talk etiquette but that didn't seem quite appropriate here. Perhaps this had been a bad idea...

But Verla was already looking at him. There was no turning back now. He focused in on his own reflection in her eyes- a trick he'd learned a few years ago. If he concentrated hard enough, he could pretend that he was actually just talking to himself in a mirror. Of course the intense gaze tended to get a bad reception from whomever he was actually looking at. Verla seemed friendly enough though. Fiery red hair fell across her shoulders. Her eyes were large and clear, perfect for his little trick. A moment later he no longer saw a face, but a mirror framed in scarlet. An image of himself in her complexion. Once he had this, finding the courage to speak was not quite so difficult.

"Pleased to meet you," he said, again falling back on his formality. "Aren't you in my Charms class?" He knew the answer of course, but it seemed a normal thing to ask anyway.

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A Charmed Encounter  PV V. Harness 

"I think so, why? Do you need help?" Verla could read him, he was starring deep into her eyes, as if looking at himself. She noticed that that was his comfort, so she didn't mind it very much. She smiled sweetly at him. She scooted over and invited him to sit on the bench with her, "which one do you need help on? Is it the last one? I just got mine back, I turned it in early." Verla giggled and whispered to him "I'm quite the nerd." Then she said normally "I'm really not as weird as I come off. Anyway, I'm willing and happy to help if you'd like. The last one I just turned in I got an O on, my first one I got a P once because I was knew and didn't know what to do, but I think if I saw it, I'd be much better at it. 

Sorry about my rambling, I just get nervous meeting new people." This was true, some days, she even hated meeting new people because she'd get so nervous, but this boy needed help, and she was happy too. She smiled again, and waited to see if he would say his name.

"What cannot be seen, felt, or carried?" Person who gets this right I will donate some money to them.

A Charmed Encounter  PV V. Harness 

Verla knew what he was after before he had even spoken. The solitary boy could not help but feel a bit shaken at this. He was not used to being so easily read. Growing up in the Farquad household had not been easy- far from it- and he had developed quite a knack for masking his intentions. He often saw expressions of any sort as unnecessary, especially emotions. They just... got in the way. Yet as much as he wished sometimes that he could not feel them, they plagued him constantly. He had grown used to burying his thoughts and feelings so deep that even he could not fully grasp them. Yet this blue-eyed girl had known exactly what he wanted without him so much as speaking a word. Just who was this... Verla?

A coincidence, he attempted to convince himself, blinking and turning his intense gaze away. It was not an uncommon thing to ask a classmate for help. And it was he who had brought up the subject after all. Perhaps she had simply latched onto that question and ran with it. Yes, that made more sense... Still, Ford felt that there was something unusual about this girl. Her smile seemed genuine enough, but he knew better than anyone what it looked like to mask pain behind such a grin. Something told him she wasn't nearly so happy-go-lucky as she appeared.

"It's our last test," he spoke up, finally getting to the point. "I don't get it. I'm usually good at this sort of thing, but all of the theory questions..." He trailed off for a moment, remembering how he had blown off studying for quite some time. He decided he'd leave that part out for now. "I just don't get what they're asking for."

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A Charmed Encounter  PV V. Harness 

"Okay, what are the questions asking? What do they say? We might have different versions of the test." Verla said. Then she realized the boy had yet to introduce himself.

Verla scooted over and invited him to sit on the bench with her so she could look at it. She did wonder what his name was, she was sure she'd heard it in class, Ford Farquad, right? Yeah, she knew she was right. It was a bit rude not to introduce himself, Verla did wonder what happened to him as a kid, he seemed, scared. Nervous, scared, a bit taken back by her offer to sit on the bench with him probably.

Verla was excited to get to know him, he seemed like a good kid with a broken past, like hers. Although her parents loved her, they gave her up for adoption after finding out she was a witch. 

This hurt Verla, she didn't know, maybe this kid had things worse. She wouldn't know unless he was comfortable to talk about it. Which he probably wasn't, she was determined to be as kind and understanding if he was. She turned to him "I'm sorry if this seems forward, but you look a little bit shaken up, is something wrong?"

"What cannot be seen, felt, or carried?" Person who gets this right I will donate some money to them.

A Charmed Encounter  PV V. Harness 

"Oh, right-" Ford handed over his test, pointing out where the various red marks had been made. Up to this point he had not noticed that Verla was offering him a chair. He nodded gratefully and sat beside her. It was a bit awkward to stand anyway. As she looked over the paper, he could not help but feel a bit nervous. He'd had to sit next to other people in class of course, but that was almost never by invitation. He certainly wasn't used to asking for help either.

Again, Verla seemed able to read him for some reason. "I'm sorry if this seems forward, but you look a little bit shaken up, is something wrong?" The girl looked over at him with genuine concern, which made him feel a bit awkward on top of everything else. He wasn't used to this sort of attention. Most of the time people could not tell if something was wrong, and those closest to him were the least likely to care. Yet here was this girl whom he had never met, showing genuine interest in his feelings. It was strange, to say the least.

"Oh I'm alright," he replied, unsure how convincing he was being. He looked over at Verla, finding himself at a loss for words for a moment. There was something about this girl... she wasn't about to drop the subject there, was she? He wondered just how much it would be prudent to share about the Farquad family life. After all, she had no idea who he was. He blinked suddenly, realizing that she in fact didn't know who he was at all. He hadn't even introduced himself! That was quite embarrassing.

"I'm Ford," he extended his hand, blushing slightly as he realized his error. "Sorry, I just realized I hadn't introduced myself. I'm..uh... not quite used to talking to people." The boy smiled a bit sheepishly, hoping that this apology would smooth things over. "As for what's wrong, well... I can't get bad grades. It won't end well for me."

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A Charmed Encounter  PV V. Harness 

Verla looked confused. "What do you mean it wont end well for you?" Verla showed concern. If things didn't end well, how did they end? Maybe it wasn't as bad as she thought. He'd just get yelled at. Or she thought of the worst, he was beaten for it.

She hoped that wasn't the case, no little boy should have to go through that kind of thing. No one ever should go through that. If Ford was being beaten for bad grades, what would she do? Tell the ministry? Yes. That's exactly what she'd do, because then his parents couldn't hurt him any more.

Verla gave him a comforting smile sort of as she waited for his response and looked over the parchment. She was a bit worried for his sake. She felt bad for him if that's what happened. She thought the worst and whispered to him "you aren't beaten are you?" She was scared. She felt tears welt in her eyes if he said he was, though she doubted he would say such a thing to a complete stranger, would he? She didn't know, she was too young to know what to do with that kind of information.

"What cannot be seen, felt, or carried?" Person who gets this right I will donate some money to them.

A Charmed Encounter  PV V. Harness 

"Ah... no, of course not." Ford shifted uncomfortable in his chair. This was not at all the direction he had expected this conversation to go. Perhaps he had spoken too much. There was just something so... weird about Verla. She seemed like the quiet type, yet she was so friendly it made him nearly drop his guard. And she seemed rather concerned for someone he had just met. Even the fact that her mind jumped straight to beatings made him wonder about her. Had she gone through more than it seemed on the surface. Normally Ford cared nothing for the past's of others. They were of no importance at this stage, certainly. All that mattered about his acquaintances is who they were and what they would one day become.

"No..." He said again. For some reason he almost felt bad about his response. Surely it was the proper one. Even if he was not being entirely truthful, it was better to keep quiet about such things with strangers. He hurriedly attempted to change the subject. "Well... you know how families are. Parents can be infuriating at times. You must know what I mean, right?" He paused, realizing that she may have no idea what he meant. There must be hundreds of students at Hogwarts with perfectly functional, happy family units. Still, every child got mad at their parents sometimes. It seemed rude not to ask at this point. "What is your family like?"

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