What: Mild delinquency behind the greenhouses. Not that kind, gutterbrain.
When: Late afternoon, a week and a half after the Howler
Why: Because Andy's grasping at straws, and the image refused to stop poking me.
Things weren't going well. The Blacks (except perhaps Bellatrix) were calming down, but at a steep personal cost to Andromeda; it'd taken a great deal of time for her to manage to respond to her mother's infuriated letter nearly two weeks ago in contrite, calm tones instead of the verbal lambasting she'd been so tempted to write. Good daughters did not lambaste their mothers.
They also didn't fail their classes, but that was what was threatening to happen in Herbology. She knew she should've just gone to Ted and asked for help, knew he wouldn't let her keep struggling with the coursework, but she couldn't do that. It was hard enough being around him as much as she was already required to be.
Even if she couldn't stand to be near Ted any more than was absolutely necessary, she couldn't afford to fail Herbology; it'd set her family off again, but more importantly, it would ruin her hopes of becoming a Healer. So rather than simply asking for help where she couldn't bring herself to ask, Andy was attempting to make headway on her own. Armed with a pile of books, she'd returned to greenhouse three after classes that day in hopes of figuring out how to pacify the Venemous Tentacula they were working with. It was teething, and apparently not happy about it.
Despite her best intentions and her stubborn streak, it wasn't going according to plan. As in class, she merely ended up in a rather vicious (if ineffectual) fight with the thing; after ten minutes of hastily-cast charms, high tempers, and angrily flailing tentacles, she needed some air. Throwing on her cloak against the cold, Andy slammed the greenhouse door and retreated behind the glass building. She leaned back against it, wincing as she inspected a cut on her arm. It was nothing she was worried about, since it wasn't from the vines themselves; she'd yanked her hand away to avoid a spiky thwack that'd been aimed at it, and met up with a pair of pruning shears instead. Easily fixed, but these bloody plants were just impossible. She couldn't see how people worked with them, much less found them endearing.
Her temper gradually cooling, Andromeda reached into the pocket of her school skirt and withdrew her wand along with the Muggle cigarette she'd gotten from Remus. She frowned as she rolled it between her fingers, regarding it hesitantly.
There was something oddly rebellious about smoking, something slightly delinquent, she thought. And it was against the rules to do it in school buildings. She was outside, true, but she was Head Girl...it didn't reflect well...
But what was it Patch had called her? A lap dog? The cut on her arm throbbed, and her frown deepened. Why shouldn't she rebel a little? She couldn't do it openly against her family, had been actively smothering that contrary streak that'd gotten her safely out of two noxious engagements; her stomach turned at the thought of the part of herself she was giving up, and that was all the motivation she needed. Anyway, it was good enough for Edgar, and a little stress relief wouldn't be remiss.
Determined and eager to shove back against how out of control her life was becoming, even if only she would know she'd done it, and sick of the knot of tension that'd settled in her shoulders, Andromeda held the cigarette between her lips and prodded it with her wand. As November wore on it was getting darker earlier and earlier, now just enough to make her wand tip glow red in the half-light of dusk. Nothing happened. She looked cross-eyed down her nose at the cigarette, prodded it again, and tried sucking on it at the same time, not exactly sure what she was doing.