An eyebrow arched as Travis decided to throw in the usual quip that Meadow thought that, every time, she would be better off without hearing; despite the visible displeasure with the verbal slip (Was it a slip? She was quite positive that he did it on purpose at that point...) she opted not to argue it, her decision reinforced by him making light of the very same thing that had rustled her feathers just a bit. She could only sigh and defeat and let him go on. "Well, you're a part of that life, so doing the best for you as well is part of the job." The Flinders countered in her usual authoritarian manner of speech towards her best friend, although her tone betrayed her, underlining the care she felt for the teenager with its softness. It seemed that their combined efforts at humor helped alleviate the oppressive atmosphere of the topic somewhat, but she couldn't help the fact the very thought of losing the man before her made her heart quake in the worst of ways. "Regardless, whether I agree with what you're doing or not... I can see you're trying your best." She couldn't fault him for that. He was aware of his situation more than she could be, even after the intensely graphic description he had given her on request. Only Travis could truly know how Travis felt, and only he could know what he was best for him - it was her job to be there to provide support no matter what he did, and pray he didn't get himself killed. She couldn't relate to how it was like to be a Werewolf, in the same way he couldn't relate to how it was like being brought up in a blood supremacist household. "It's only fair if I promise to do the same on my end, I think."
As she was about to reply, Meadow felt herself being pulled in Travis' direction by his very hands. It was far closer than she ever intended for it to be, but recognizing the emotional reason behind it, she didn't move away from him much at all, letting him do as he pleased. She ended up on the boy's lap, adjusting herself momentarily so not to get her clothes too wrinkled in that position. Once she felt comfortable enough, she finally let her fingers intertwine with his locks of hair, running them through it ever so slowly each time. It was something that had always served to calm her nerves, even if it wasn't being entirely effective at that moment. She couldn't really say why, if asked, only that it did. Perhaps it was due to the smile she sometimes got in response, or the sense of inner peace it gave her to see his face so relaxed. Either was mere conjecture; all things considered, it was quite an odd thing for a pureblood to sit so closely to a werewolf, and in such a compromising position to boot. She could imagine her parents try to throw the older teen in jail for getting his hands on their daughter. "...To keep me safe..." She wound up muttering as the side of her head rested against Travis' shoulder, and she watched him while her hand worked its magic on his hair. "...It's funny. I've been obsessing over that for years..." After the abhorrent childhood illness she had survived, Meadow had clung to life with tooth and nail. "The idea's still scary, sure, but... I think I find it far more horrifying if anything were to happen to you." It was a strange admission to make. Meadow had always been one to be in touch with her emotions, but it was rare when they ever got to see the light of day; especially regarding the people she held close. She had always felt like the only way she could stay safe was if none of them would know. Free of judgement, free of consequence. But at the same time, it led to many an argument, and it contributed to a severe lacking of understanding between them that ultimately culminated in their most explosive fights as of recently. "...Truth be told... And for as overwhelming as this may sound, I see you as my most important person." Above her parents. Above her sister... Out of everyone, he had been the one to introduce her to Tallygarunga proper when she first enrolled in the school. The first taste of freedom and friendship. One she would do anything for. "My best friend... What would I even do without having you here to boss around?" She attempted to inject a little humor into the conversation herself for a change, as things were calming down, a small smile forming across her lips. Although, the question was very valid. What could Meadow truly do without Travis?
Meadow's gaze fell on Travis hands as they were submerged under the water of the lake in front of them, attention being grabbed by the faint sight of blood being mixed with the liquid. She hadn't noticed immediately that he was hurt, and at that point, he could have only done it to himself; while the very thought made her feel sick to her stomach, something else prevailed in her mind. Even if she wanted to, at that moment, she couldn't heal them. He was baring open wounds in front of her and she couldn't do a thing about it - if she did, the Ministry would come knocking. It was a beautiful, excruciating analogy to the conversation they were having. Perhaps it was correct that, if she were to act, she would only make things worse. If she were to hold him back, there would be hell to pay to either of them, or both, no matter what her instincts screamed at her to do. All she could potentially do was treat his wounds with her own two hands, patching every little wound to subpar conditions and hope it would be enough to hold him together. Watch him from the sidelines and pray he doesn't get damaged beyond repair. Stay put, and hope he'd come back to her, as well as the rest of those who care for him. And, most importantly, not interfere. Her eyes were drawn back to his as he spoke. With visible hesitation, it seemed that Travis had relented and decided to lay it all out for her. A nod followed as confirmation when he spoke of what she knew; despite his rather graphic way of describing it, there wasn't so much of a flinch in her expression, as if she was desensitized to such things. While that was true, she couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be like to watch someone one loved more than anything be torn apart helplessly, to save them no less. She had cured many horrible injuries before without batting an eye, but she didn't think she could live down Travis or Issy ending up doing anything of the sort in her stead. Anger. Hate. Revenge. Travis' every moment, ever since he was six, had been breathing in these destructive concepts and emotions - and the clearer the picture he painted for her with his words, the more she was able to dig a little understanding out of it all; the more she could place herself in his shoes. Meadow truly didn't know if she would have been able to survive the ordeal, and for that, she couldn't help but admire him. The resilience, strength and perseverance of her friend led through the situation and it was certainly something she could never hope to match. Despite that, however, it felt like he had forgotten key things to life, at least in her point of view - things she herself had long ignored for the sake of keeping her status quo within her own household. Travis drew breath. The purpose to it couldn't be to possibly end another's life, to withstand suffering until the day he perished without a break, to be ostracized and deemed as scum for something he had no choice over. It was an idea she completely refused at face value, and wouldn't hear otherwise. Perhaps Meadow was never meant to help with anything pertaining to his nature - whatever he may do, whatever he may become, whatever path he would choose. Perhaps her place in his life was to provide respite. To be there for what he needed, and to remind him that there were more things to life than 'anger, hate and revenge'. To not have that darkness absolutely consume him as it threatened to, and provide a shining beacon regardless of how dark it seemed to get in his life. That was something she could find a meaning in. "I... see." Within her heart rested the paradoxical feeling that she both understood the situation, and didn't. One thing was certain in her mind, however: it would be far too arrogant a thing for her to claim out loud, and thus, that was all she could initially say as the information, as well as her resolved, were combed through in her head repeatedly. "I will stay out of your way. I understand that you want to keep me out of it this, and that I'm helpless in the situation to begin with, but... I'm here if you need me. For anything. I know we butt heads every other day but I need you to internalize this." Hopefully there was something even she could do in her inability. There wasn't much more she could say. It felt a bit odd to her not to speak much after the speech, but they had said it all - and there was no wrong with comfort in silence. The older teenager said something that would perhaps prove useful: one's body often spoke much louder than their words. Perhaps he would sense, in some manner, every fiber of her being screaming to be there for him unconditionally. Perhaps he could see that all she wanted to do was to help him, and not lose the most precious thing she had in the whole world. "...May I?" She asked as her hand tentatively reached to loose locks of his hair without touching, giving him more than ample time to move out of its way. She didn't know if it was safe enough for her to do so, with a full moon looming around a week away. Through all the fighting, through all the yelling, through all the misunderstandings, there was something she knew for a fact - her love for her werewolf best friend would have no end, no matter what.
Meadow Richards earned a Medal Local Hero Level Two
Remi had left, leaving Meadow and Travis behind. While the Flinders was unsure if the feeling was shared, she couldn't help but feel a knot in her stomach with the sheer awkwardness of the situation. What had meant to be a celebratory night for all of them (even if Meadow herself had vehemently resisted the idea of attending the ball) turned out to be one full of heart wrenching revelations, one where everyone could take peeks into one's persona life and past. All the things they wanted to ignore, forget or otherwise keep secret, bubbling to the surface. The guilt over her own mistake was greatly exacerbated by the fact Meadow herself hadn't partaken in any amount of sharing. She had been a coward, as was usual for her, and left her own not so squeaky clean past go unnoticed by her friends yet again. She nodded at Travis' request, his words giving her a newfound perspective into Remi's situation - oddly enough, in a bit of a relatable light. Even if she hadn't been subjected to such a thing, Meadow too had grown up with her parents dictating what she should wear, how she should deal with others, what she should pursue, what she should think. She had considered blood supremacists to just being extremists shut in their own bubble, but ultimately that's what cultists were as well, wasn't it? People with a ridiculous ideology, shutting themselves and their kin out of the world, deeming everyone else filthy and unworthy, deserving of doom. If only Meadow had similar courage to escape that upbringing. Her face grimaced in defeat as Travis mentioned the dance. For a moment she had hoped she had forgotten; and at some level, she resented the fact that him and Samantha had taught her how to dance properly, making her strongest excuse to evade the event fly out the window. For a moment, she considered handing him the potion again before heading out, not liking how he looked. Fortunately for the both of them, common sense prevailed: they had just endured a very mentally draining situation, and pushing for it again would do no good. Perhaps the day after, or even the next term, would be better. "First, and only dance for me, really. I'm heading back as soon as possible." She resigned to her fate, letting the Bourke take her hand without resistance. For as much as she disliked the idea of heading to the ball, he was entirely correct - at that point, she owed him that.
Meadow Richards earned a Trophy Prolific Poster Level Four
Much like a particular Sturt in that classroom, Meadow hadn't been catching up to her much needed sleep; although, rather than looking half-dead, she looked tense and minimally annoyed at the fact she even had to attend a class that morning rather than sleeping in. The workload she had decided to take on, coupled with her deciding to help out at the nurse's office, made it so she only had time to study past curfew hours and deep into the night. It wasn't an activity someone as organized as her enjoyed partaking in, yet she had no choice. She spotted a familiar mane of hair at one of the desks and her body automatically moved towards that same area, sitting down next to Travis; although, for once, she didn't say a word. She didn't make a comment on his appearance nor on the way he was staring at their teacher, but perhaps it was that she didn't seem to notice. Instead, she crossed her arms under her chest and leaned back on the chair, staring at one of the mannequins with a hatred so strong her eyes burned with the intensity of a thousand Suns. She really needed some coffee.
Meadow had, subconsciously, been wondering what was taking so long for her to mess up. Such an alien subject, in face of such helplessness and ignorance, felt like a recipe for disaster. It took long, but eventually the situation did explode in her face - it felt like the fact it took so long actually made it worse, as if the anger had just been brewing all that time and waiting for the right moment to escape. Travis' words stung, they were the proverbial slap in the face she deserved for pushing her point of view so much; halfway through the rant she opened her her mouth to speak, but nothing came out and she closed it, as there was nothing she could say that would make things right. Her irritation had gotten the better of her yet again, and as was standard whenever that happened, the conversation crashed and burned. Though, that time, it was so bad that one couldn't help but wonder if there were any survivors. As Travis stood up and walked away from her for the first time since she remembers, her eyes grew watery with frustration and disappointment in herself. She shut them tightly, not following the boy immediately, and took a deep and shaky breath in an effort to reorganize her thoughts. He was right - she knew very little. Her attitude didn't help the situation at all. Yet, at the same time, was she completely in the wrong? She couldn't bring herself to swallow the pill that was Travis eventually ending someone's life for the sake of revenge, even if it was in his primal instincts to do so. Why was it so difficult to find a common ground for them to work on? They had been the best of friends for years, and despite their very many differences, there had always been grounds for understanding. Why did that situation had to be so frustrating, so different? What could she possibly do? Unsure of the answers to those questions, she stood up nevertheless, realizing her knees were shaking from the nerves once upright. They hadn't touched any of the food nor had time to enjoy the picnic proper, but that was unimportant. Readjusting her skirt, the girl grabbed whatever little courage she had left in her body and made her way towards Travis, whom she saw was sitting by the nearby lake. She knelt down next to the teenager, but not too close by, having the presence of mind to give him some room to breathe. It took several seconds for her to figure out what to say; when she didn't, she let instinct take over. "...I'm sorry." It was a rarity when she did such a thing, especially to Travis. The closer she usually was to someone, the more overbearing and unapologetic she became - even if it she meant well, she realized then that others would certainly not perceive it that way. "I didn't mean to--Look. This is a really... Really difficult situation to wrap my head around, and it's no excuse, but..." She pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration. Her words could make or break the situation, she realized, and maybe things even greater than that. "...If that's the case, that I don't know you, then I want to know you. Teach me?" No ordering around. No supervising his every action, for as much as it scared her not to - she owed him that much. Instead, she wanted to foster a basis of understanding. "I know you said that there's... 'details I don't need to hear', but... I feel like it would help. I keep shooting in the dark here, and I'm hurting you. I don't want that." And he surely didn't either, otherwise he wouldn't have walked away. "...Help me be there for you? I don't know what that means yet, if it doesn't mean to stop you, but... I'm hoping you'd guide me to the true meaning of it."
Travis' attempt of lightening up the mood with a quick joke had done very little in the way of success; in fact, all it accomplished was having his friend raise her eyebrow in a mixture of skepticism and annoyance, despite the emotional nature of the matter. She'd argue that she'd prefer to be hit by a bullet out of nowhere than knowing it was coming and having no chance to dodge it, having to sit still as it got closer and closer and only would eventually rip through her after the long, torturing process of watching it approach in slow motion. Nobody in their right mind would sit still with that kind of danger incoming. And Meadow wouldn't settle by having a front row seat to watch the great performance that would be Travis' path to self destruction. He went on to describe how he saw her, as means to provide evidence that he realized who he was talking to at that point. Many of the descriptors were ones she disagreed on down to her very core, regardless of any validity in either direction. But, for the second time in that afternoon - in the space of a few minutes, no less - compliments that would have an effect akin to transfiguring her face into a tomato had the completely opposite reaction. In fact, in her point of view, his words only further cemented Meadow's earlier point. "Then, if you're so aware of how I'm doing, are you honestly expecting me not to stick by you and try to stop you from doing something very, very stupid, Travis?" She tried to keep the irritation away from her face, which proved to be difficult. All in all, she thought it was a somewhat satisfactory success. "You're stuck with me, you realize. And after this? More than ever." She should work harder on her potion. A miniature Wolfsbane potion, of sorts, though without the same goals. Cheaper to produce, attacked the symptoms exclusively, and worked for a very short duration - hours, at best. She knew she was on to something. Perhaps she should seek out the help of a Healer to perfect the product. Not her sister, though. She didn't want her to worry. Not only that, but she needed to prove herself without her assistance. "Though, I'd argue you don't know what I'm capable of just yet." She was an easy person to underestimate. Frail in nature, cowardly, bookish; and she knew for a fact Travis had underestimated as well before, based on their interactions. Perhaps it was finally time to show him what she could do when she put her mind into it.
Seeing the victim of another person's actions was what had ultimately brought Travis to speak to Meadow. Regardless of the topic, her mind lingered on the fact that there were more cases out there of people who snapped under that pressure, whom had fed the continuous cycle of death and revenge with their own two hands regardless of the destruction that laid in their wake. And, indeed, Travis' actions would eventually have a lasting effect on his best friend. What kind of effect? She couldn't accurately predict it, but the very thought made her heart feel like it was clenching in her chest, held in place by the boy's claw - he could decide to crush it with what he deemed his fate, or release it. She couldn't begin to fathom what it would be like to lose whom she deemed the most important person in her own little world. The solid foundation beneath her feet. The reality that the ground she stood on was flimsy at best made her tremble. She watched as Travis paced, the incessant steps making her feel nervous. Had she said something she shouldn't have? It was likely, but fortunately the Bourke managed to calm himself down enough to sit down in front of her again. She missed the touch of her best friend but didn't move to regain it, instead withdrawing her hand to her own lap. She chewed on the inside of her lip as he continued to elaborate on the excruciating point of view. She wished she could provide proper arguments and examples as to why she thought that was wrong, anything that could sink deeper than just spouting out morals and principles in an attempt to try and deal with such a murky situation. But what did she know? What right did she have to judge what he was going through? For all intents and purposes, she was a human - a pureblood witch, at that. She had gone through many brushes with death, but none had been from external interference. Travis, however, could have not been standing there that day if the day in which he had been cursed had gone just a little bit worse by chance. "...Thank you for even considering telling me about it, but you should also consider letting others close to you like I have." Maybe a better support system would make him reconsider. Given the sheer variety of folks in Tallygarunga, it was extremely unlikely that he couldn't meet someone going through a similar situation; someone he could talk to that could understand him in a visceral level. Someone who understood the urges, whom endured such sacrifice and bloodshed. "But... It feels somewhat cruel. It's as if you're just here to give me the warning shot before the actual bullet. If you expect me to sit here helplessly and let you run your life into the ground, then you haven't been watching me the past couple months." Courage. It was something he had taught her, and that she often did for him. He was part of her inspiration in such a manner, and she was hell bent on never losing it.
Just like before, Meadow listened and lingered on his every word in silence. Of course, that didn't mean her body obeyed that sentiment on an unconscious level. Far from it. The very notion that Travis could be a creature wholly corrupted and manipulated by that bloodlust exclusively, let alone for so long, left a knot in the pit of her stomach. She knew he wasn't such a thing. He was letting the attack from so long ago define him, just like the Ministry did. She knew it not to be true. Travis was born human. He was a person with thoughts, feelings, and the capability of choice, no matter how strongly instincts pulled him on whichever path. But what could she possibly do to make him realize it? It didn't feel like anything that she could say would make him reconsider it, whether it be through a long period of time or during that conversation itself. For a moment, she was at a loss. He was so entrenched in that line of thinking that even if Meadow herself was a lifeline at that moment, the situation was so alien to her that her metaphorical self was bound to disintegrate at the first tug. It was quite difficult to find the words; she closed her eyes for a few moments to gather her thoughts, not pulling her hand away from his once reopening them. Perhaps she should just say the first thing that came to mind? "The Ministry sees Werewolves like second class citizens. We both know it, and I'll agree with you that they're severely biased..." She exhaled deeply, pinching the bridge of her nose as she did with her free hand. "...But, if you do go through with this, you're just proving them right. If you were so 'corrupted' by this, do you think you'd be sitting here right now, Travis?" No, he wouldn't. He wouldn't have rested until he got his hands --or claws?-- on the perpetrator. "Would you be talking this out with me? Would you be concerned of how I may think or feel about this? I don't think so. You act like you're playing a part, yet here we are. I'm calling bullshit on that." A rare curse, but the very notion of Travis settling for seeing himself as a monster made her blood boil, as seen by the sudden intensification of her gaze. Nevertheless, the touch on his hand remained gentle. "By definition, you are what you are, yes, but you still have humanity to you. And the ultimate revenge on... who did this..." She struggled. The deep hatred was something she could sympathize with, even if it was in another way - she couldn't forgive someone who put her best friend through that kind of pain. "...It would be to embrace that humanity. Because that's who you are, not what you are, and you shouldn't let this define you. And it's something you can fully control." She felt like she could say everything right at that point, which she likely wasn't, and not make a dent. Maybe she should tell him to go to a therapist...
"...Right." Meadow obeyed her sister's instructions to the letter, gaze focused and determined at a nondescript point ahead of herself. She took a deep breath and nodded, and just like that, she felt herself being pulled in such a way it felt as if she was being shoved into a tight tube, all her body mass being compressed into spaces far, far smaller than they should be. It was a familiar feeling, one she had to contend with every time she took an Apparition class; however, she had never made such a long journey, as the students usually trained within one room. The moment her legs touched the ground again, she went quite pale and felt dizzy. She hung on to her sister's arm a bit tighter than she probably should in an attempt to try to steady herself, as well as not have her insides escape through her mouth. "...Okay... Okay..." She took deep breaths, appreciative of Issy's support, eventually closing her eyes and swallowing dryly in an attempt to regain her composure. Not a month before, she had claimed she was going to get her Apparition license and visit Travis whenever possible. How could she hope to accomplish such a thing if she couldn't handle a trip to Melbourne? "...I'm good... I think..." She hoped. She gave a nod to her sister to lead the way inside, not taking the lead since it wasn't her own home. Though she couldn't help but be quite anxious to get in, because every second outside meant another additional moment when their parents could notice that they were meeting up.
"Too trusting? More like, too corrupted at this point..." The Flinders muttered under her breath, rolling her eyes at the notion. Travis' flirtations always went over her head, whether because she willingly chose to ignore them or because they would only earn a bit of a death glare out of her. Yet, despite all their headbutting over outward demeanor, there was always still one point or another where she'd bring his head to her lap and run a hand through his hair, or lean her head on his shoulder while they sat somewhere, or even clinging to his arm at times. Perhaps the rumors wouldn't be so unfounded at that point, as she probably would think the same thing from watching any other pair of students doing the very same. "...Yeah, you're right. I should go." She muttered. The display of affection resulted in a small smile and Meadow didn't pull away, although she found herself increasingly aware of her surroundings - should a student walk by that general area, things would only get worse if they saw them. "I don't think I'll be burst through any door anytime soon if you bother telling me things every once in a while, okay? And don't worry, I'll start doing the same." It was a fair compromise, in her opinion. Ultimately, even if she had been the one to catalyse it, the situation exploded over each holding too many secrets over the other. Perhaps it wasn't the best course of action between two people who claimed to be the best of friends, no matter how deep or dark those secrets could be. "I'll see you later, okay? And don't miss class again." She spoke. Despite the stern glance during her demand, there was a hint of concern in her tone. With that, she left the Bourke behind, headed to the Kookynie Halls, frequently double-checking her surroundings to see if anyone was spying on them.
Not uttering a single word, Meadow never interrupted Travis through his speech. It would do neither of them any good. She figured it took him some courage to request this sort of meeting to begin with, as it had taken her some to show up at all. Any interruption to his train of thought would be unwelcome, and thus she silently - at least, what she could perceive as 'silent' - watched her best friend come clean about significant matters. What her voice and face didn't say, indeed, her physiology screamed out to the world, much like he had immediately announced. Emotional states, heart rate spikes, fear, they were all visible and audible to him, weren't it? The Flinders had known of the werewolf's augmented senses, but to be told of it in such blunt terms just made her think she didn't even ever needed to speak a single word to communicate again, voluntarily or otherwise. The compliment, for a change, had no effect - the knot in the pit of her stomach was such that she just wanted the Bourke to get into the thick of things, and so he did. She couldn't fault the man for lying, even if it made her chest hurt; no matter how much it did, for that matter. She had been doing the same to him ever since they met, only having come clean herself, for the most part, recently. It had been an emotional few months for the two of them, and Meadow had learned the hard way not to be emotional in such discussions; or, at least, try not to be. The emotional pain exacerbated greatly as Travis mentioned his relentless thirst for revenge, his absolute necessity to erase whom she assumed to be the perpetrator and sole reason of him having become a werewolf. For as cold blooded Meadow could be pertaining a variety of situations, seeing her friend willingly step into the quicksand that was the realm of vengeance didn't sit well with her. It was, in fact, quite hard to digest. Nevertheless, she didn't show disgust. She let Travis take a hold of her hand as he had intended, even if her grasp was somewhat weak. It wasn't a mindset that could be corrected through scolding and coldness, but through compassion. "You're right, I would stop you." She spoke up once he finished, although her tone had a distinct softness to it. It wasn't their usual banter. She wasn't reprimanding him for his actions. "Because nothing good can come of this, Travis. I can't relate to how you're feeling, but I can empathize. It's not about breaking me, it's about breaking you." As she spoke, she found the strength to give his hand a small squeeze - a simple demonstration that she was there for him despite what he had just revealed, and would remain there no matter what. "I would stop you because I know you're better than that. It's unbecoming of one of the most thoughtful, understanding, kind people I know to just dive off the deep end without a safety net. And I would also do it because it wouldn't do anyone any good. Say you succeed. Then what? Nothing wrong has been corrected. Maybe someone on that person's side wants revenge now. It's a very dangerous slippery slope, and not one I want to see you stepping on."
A rough elbow would come to meet Travis' side at the comment pertaining her underwear. Meadow knew he hadn't seen a thing, but she didn't appreciate how crass her best could get either way. She also knew that blow wouldn't minimally damage him - not only was he a werewolf, which granted him a naturally superior musculature, resistance and superhuman abilities in general, but she was on the completely opposite side of the spectrum, ranking squarely under the 'frail' label due to several years of fighting for her life in her youth. Either way, she had to let him know of her stance on things. "...You literally just went at length up there about how I should avoid all rumors and that tackling them would make them worse, and now you're suggesting this? Make up your mind. Plus, your story makes me sound way, way too stupid..." A sliver of annoyance came through her expression, although it was more out of nervousness. She was going to get the brunt of the student body abuse, wasn't she? "Just... Just leave it be. So long as the rumors don't get out of school, I think I'll live..."
Meadow had surprised herself with her willingness to step out of the carefully maintained boundaries of her comfort zone for Travis' sake - but perhaps, it was precisely because the matter involved Travis that she found the inner strength to do so to begin with. It was the first time she was meeting someone of non-pureblood status outside of campus. For years, she had resisted. Travis himself, Remi, Amber, among others; they all walked face first into that unyielding barrier and were turned away. But not that day. Not after Meadow had promised Travis she'd make a conscious effort in breaking away from her cowardly, safe ways of dealing with her parents. The Narrie Lakes were a fairly public place, but the area was wide enough that no group gave any other any attention at all. Even with that rationalization in her mind, the girl was still shaking in nervousness as she approached the locale. Eventually, in the distance, she spotted a familiar head of hair in the scheduled place, apparently setting up a picnic on his own. Despite the nerves, Meadow couldn't help but let a small smile fill her lips as she wondered if the Bourke was going out of his way to calm her down, and to make the meeting as painless as it could be - they'd have to contend with whatever matter Travis wanted to bring up after all, and the least worries of other natures that they had, the better. After a pause and a deep breath, being fairly certain that he had detected her presence already, she approached him. Once she got close, she lowered herself just enough to place a kiss at the top of his head as greeting, placing a hand on his shoulder to support herself while doing so. Of course, that meant her gaze picked up on the state of his upper limbs - in particular, one that looked like it had been reopened very recently. It made her exhale deeply as she pulled away, stood up straight and let go of his shoulder. Without a word, she walked around the towel, sitting down where she was supposed to after adjusting her skirt. Not a single word came out of her mouth as she watched the boy, eyebrow arching in a questioning manner. She didn't think she needed to say anything in the first place - he would have to explain himself, and that was that.
1st Year - Current: Tallygarunga, Flinders House
- Tendency to have a crush on random people too easily, for superficial reasons more often than not (i.e. they looked at her just right), but is too shy to pursue any of them and never had a significant other;
- Is deeply embarrassed of her own body. Due to being an extremely late bloomer, her self image issues persisted despite filling out nicely. As such, she's very self conscious of any sort of intimacy and quite afraid of it;
- Her parents are extremely strict, and purity-obsessed: she can only befriend people of status, purebloods, and may only see men whom intend to take on certain career paths and come from a prestigious background. She can only plan to take on certain type of career that would elevate the family name, or else she faces being disowned. They intend for her to have children, even though having any would most likely kill her. She doesn't mention this even to close friends, whom think all is fine and dandy at the Richards house;
- Bisexual and horrified of it, since her parents are vehemently homophobic;
- She's absolutely horrified of defying her parents based on these reasons, even though every fiber of her being screams at her to do so;
- Is forced to take as many subjects as possible, and to take specific subjects regardless of whether she likes them or not;
- She likes fiction and things generally seen as geeky, but isn't allowed to;
- She dodges the friend/dating ban on people of 'lesser status' by only hanging out with them in Tallygarunga, so friends of the family won't tell on her - even if they're 2 hours away.
- Doesn't mind being called Amy instead of Meadow;
- Has some health issues which remain undisclosed to the general public, but they had her be home schooled for the entirety of her childhood due to their seriousness;
- Extremely late bloomer;
- Undecided regarding her future;
- Has a mind-boggling distaste for a number of subjects she seems to enroll, and her grades suffer a little because of it;
- Occasional spurts of geeky knowledge despite seeming anything but;
- Okay with small groups but uncomfortable in large gatherings.
Meadow is a diligent and intelligent young woman whom dreams of becoming a nurse, just so she can prevent people from suffering through what she's endured all her life - or, at least, help them and comfort them. Knowing the path is extra difficult to take for someone as fragile as her, she works extra hard to ensure she's ahead of the curve and earns her spot out of merit rather than pity.
She is friendly in moderation, having no problem laughing and joking around her friends, although she doesn't like being loud, or reckless. Her speech tends to deviate from anything more than PG, and the company she keeps often reflects that. Despite this, she's very permissive in general as she knows the feeling of being shut down and told 'to behave as she's expected' all too well.
She is considerate of other's thoughts and feelings, finding that mental wellness is as important as physical wellness out of her own experience with both matters. As such, she goes out of her way not to put anybody down and is rather easy-going, so long as she feels comfortable with what's going on. Of course, this is occasionally overpowered by the inevitable snark she displays when irritated, or how defensive she can get when teased over something, which she greatly dislikes. This often causes her to come across as more strict than she intends to be.
Having been at death's door one too many times, she's grown a bit hesitant of endangering herself in any way. She feels like she's clinging to life by the skin of her teeth, she'd much rather cut and run to preserve it for as long as she possibly can rather than put on a brave face and become collateral damage. This is also true emotionally, as she's terrified of defying her parents' choice of a career for her.
She is very honest about her feelings - to herself, that is. Fear overtakes her divulging much about herself to anyone else, scared it'll spread and reach her parents' ears somehow. As such, while she's aware of them, she's mostly incapable of dealing with them due to depriving herself from their optimal outlet.
Meadow is a young woman who's met a massive growth spurt very recently. She was once known to be frail, weak, small kid whom hadn't seemingly gone through puberty despite her age; but once her sixteenth anniversary hit, pubescence hit her like a freight train. If people only saw her in the beginning of the school year, they wouldn't have recognized her at this point.
She stands at the average height of 163 cm and sports long, brown, rich wavy hair that's loose most of the time. She has blue eyes and smiles rather easily, although her cheeks are prone to go red due to shyness and embarrassment around certain folks.
She lacks fitness because of her health issues, although she tries to make up for this by walking everywhere. Said health issues seem to be under control at this point, so she doesn't look sickly in the least anymore, being able to pass for an able-bodied student with no trouble.
Meadow Amy Richards was born to a prestigious pureblood family. She was the second child, and, unfortunately, was considered the disappointment out of the two due to being very sickly from the moment of birth. It's a miracle that she survived, and that doesn't even speak for how tumultuous her healthcare was throughout her life.
Due to this, she was confined to her bedroom most of her young life. Her body couldn't withstand going to school - instead, she was home schooled. Still obsessed with status, her parents pushed her in this education, often too hard. She came to crave fleeing and leaving Melbourne behind, but she couldn't. That was, until her body started to get better.
Her body managed to strengthen itself just enough by the time she could enroll in a proper magical education. While her parents were momentarily considering not letting her go, they soon became keen on the thought of having someone else deal with the responsibility - they didn't want to be permanently thought of as 'that one couple with the pathetic daughter'. She was sent there and told to stay in the dorms after making a laundry list of behavioral demands she was too scared not to comply with.
Being enrolled in Tallygarunga gave her a much needed medicine she had never been given before in her short lifetime - pure, unbridled energy. She visibly improved both physically and mentally when exposed to something outside of her bedroom's walls, and speech that didn't sound like either parent's berating voice. This also meant she could meet with her sister more often, whom was at the tail end of her studies herself. She fit right in with the crowd, and found her calling very quickly - nursing.
No matter how involved she became in studying and friendship, however, there was always a voice in the back of her mind - she can't be a nurse, or she'll be disowned. She can't befriend a good portion of people in the school, or she'll be disowned. She should focus on finding a fine suitor to marry, or she'll be disowned. This inner conflict affects her every day reasoning, and she sorely needs to find a source of courage to finally defy the Richards family once and for all.