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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

With David back, Adele had put down the cigarettes and alcohol. She had also taken to allowing the baby bump to show, which made her feel fat but at the same time reminded David that he couldn't just run off again. Manipulative, maybe... but at least it was honest. At roughly four months pregnant, Adele wasn't yet a whale---though it was odd to see her as anything other than her carefully crafted presentation. Heck, she'd even allowed her face and skin to look more akin to that of a forty-three year old woman, which was the age she was now claiming to be.

No one bothered questioning her age anymore. They knew it would always be a lie, up one day and down the next. 

Somehow, Alan had taken her sudden reduction in smoking and drinking as some sort  of signal that she was now a "responsible" adult that needed more work. It was a blessing and a curse, with Lei's situation and the impact it was having on Améa and the rest of the family, she needed the distraction... but did it have to be detention duty?

Today she had... Geraldine Richter. Adele sighed at her desk. What had happened now? At least it was only the one student today, and fiery though Gerry was, Adele at least knew that the girl wasn't about to torch the library if she blinked. 

Behind her, catastrophically wrong guitar chords twanged. Caleb was here too, behind the office door which didn't do nearly enough to block out the sound of awkward beginner's music. It was cute, and good to see him so passionate about something... but Adele was still ready to smash the guitar over Alex's head in retribution.

The library empty but for herself, Adele waited for Gerry to arrive. There was a lot of shelving to do, and if she had to supervise the girl's detention? Well, they were gonna get some work done.

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ Student/Janitor✩ Shell
16 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

Detention.  Again.  Granted, she was doing better than she had been in previous years.  ...Barely.  She was making a bigger effort to try and not blow her top, but her list of people that she cared about had grown much since the year had begun.  She had added four others under her arm--two more Bilby kids, and two loud Spencers--what could be done?  Most left Maks alone at least, they were probably afraid of his dad, so she never really had to do anything there except keep him busy for an hour here or there.  He was the least amount of work.

The other three....  they were the trouble spots.  One was regularly bullied by her classmates, and well.... Spencers were Spencers.  It was more than easy to find something to hate about that lot, no matter how open they were.  The news of the rings got around, and with it a new slew of rumors.  Were they actually married?  Were they not?  Was someone in the duo off their rocker or beyond controlling?  Maybe it was a joke to get people wondering.  Really, the ideas seemed almost endless.  On the one hand, the brunette wanted to punch the pair for inciting all this ruckus in the first place.  On the other...

Well, that was exactly why she was in here, wasn't it?  Someone let something slip around her, and she'd immediately had them against a wall by the throat, the other hand punching their nose in.  It started with a snide remark about the pair and their rings, which had been enough to stop her.  But it was the sudden remark of Alex being nothing but a bad influence that didn't belong that had set her off.  Straight off.  She'd had to be pulled off the perpetrator who had to be taken straight to the hospital wing with a face and shirt covered in his own blood.  At least now he'd learn to think before he opened his mouth.

She was told she'd be serving detention with Adele.  She'd rolled her eyes at the time, but in reality, it didn't bother her.  It could have been far, far worse.  Honestly, unless the woman's anger for whatever reason had been aimed at Geraldine, she liked the woman in all her attitude and often self-induced isolation.  There was something she could understand about it, even if the hows and whys were all completely beyond her knowledge.  She arrived promptly to the library, hand wrapped in yet another bandage, recently changed again so that she didn't ooze on anything.  She'd gotten pretty good at taking care of her hands over the years and seldom bothered the nurse with it unless she needed to.

She made a long exhale through her nose as she looked around quietly, and soon enough found her keeper for detention.  "I'm here." She made no attempt to be outright to her, but neither did she make any effort for small talk.  There was going to be some kind of work waiting for her, most assuredly.

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"Excellent," Adele stood, a hand rested on her stomach in the way she hated so much when she saw pregnant women. What was it about that? Why did they feel they had to do that? It had always annoyed her in a most irrational way, as if that single hand drew unnecessary attention to the pregnancy. Like the women who did it were deliberately highlighting their condition for some sort of sympathy or special treatment, and yet--here she was, doing the same. Ugh. It was a comfortable pose, though. Adele had to admit that.

"Fighting again?" she nodded toward Gerry's bandaged hand. The girl had a good punch. Adele had seen it a couple of times. It was rough, driven by anger and certainly not by thought---with a bit of practice the girl could be quite a fighter. Raised in a society where there were knives around every corner and swords following behind, Adele knew a thing or two about defending herself. Alan wouldn't approve, though, if she dedicated this detention session to correcting Gerry's technique.

Which was almost a reason to do just that...

"You know, you wouldn't ruin your hand if you used a knee to the balls instead," was her only comment. Practical enough advice, she thought. Adele shrugged, moving over to a trolley full of miscellaneous books. The sound of Caleb trying to play still floated out into the library, and Adele threw Gerry an apologetic shrug. "Part of your punishment today is listening to that. Terror decided to stab his stepfather in the leg with a fork at breakfast, so he's with me for the day."

Caleb had still not warmed to David. He wasn't subtle about it.

"Books on trolley to go on shelves. Simple enough. Make sure they go in the right place, if you're not sure---ask. Every book I find stashed in the wrong place is another afternoon of detention," it wasn't, she couldn't enforce that... but that didn't matter. "If you find anything damaged, set it aside.. and let me know. Got it?"

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ Student/Janitor✩ Shell
16 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

She never had a lot of questions, but it didn't stop her from being observant.  Geraldine gave a simple nod, flexing the hand and rubbing the knuckles once now that attention was drawn, then she shook it and left it alone once more.  They could give her all the detentions they wanted.  She was rarely, if ever, sorry for her actions.

She eyed Adele at the comment about the knee, giving the slightest lift at the corner of her mouth before letting it fall again.  "Save my hand, but then they'll repeat the offense. Break their nose, and they'll learn to not talk shit about Alex."  She could have left his name out of it.  Usually she would have.

That memory though, of that day in Melbourne in the back of her mind.  She was his sister.  Not that she couldn't see it, the eyes said everything, but it was still odd to think about.  Adele could be angry, pleased, or indifferent about the matter.  Her feelings and reactions weren't going to change the fact that he was her best friend, and she was damn well going to look after him.

She followed Adele to the trolley and looked at all the books piled in it, not even blinking.  She wasn't surprised.  Fact was the woman didn't like to work, or she played that she didn't--Gerry had never figured out which it was.  The awful sound finally filtering into her mind, she pushed a finger to her ear and twisted it a couple of times before pulling it out.  Really, it was awful, but she knew better than to make any remark about Caleb.  She'd seen the stupidity of that decision play out from other students.  She couldn't help the snicker, however, that he had stabbed his step-father with a fork.  "He's spirited."

Her eyes returned to Adele as her punishment was laid out.  In truth it wasn't punishment at all.  It was solace.  She kept the relief hidden beneath her skin.  She could keep to the [mostly] silence, on her own, being orderly in one of her favorite places.  Her eyes half closed as she ran her fingers along the spines of the varied texts.  "Yup, got it."

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"You wasted your hand on that idiot, huh?" Adele raised an eyebrow, her mouth quirked into an amused half-smile. Her tone was fond, but the name stood. She did think Alex was an idiot. Running off and getting married like that? Did he have no idea what he was messing with? That... wasn't fair on Alex. Alex genuinely had no idea why it had upset Adele so much, and she wasn't about to tell him. Rheldor had been thrilled, because Rheldor was thrilled about everything (including corn flakes, which was just weird) and the rest of the family had accepted the news with little more than a "meh, whatever makes them happy". It didn't make Adele happy, though.

Adele was quietly furious about the whole thing. It felt like an affront to Jezebel especially, who had only been allowed to have an unwedding. And Améa, whose choice to marry Zane had ruled her out of many things. But no, the dumb fragile idiot had run off and secretly got married and not even told her he was thinking about marrying some red-head girl he barely knew. Fair point, they barely knew each other too, but he was her brother. Wasn't that supposed to mean something? Adele adamantly denied she was hurt by it at all. Just disapproving, because it was a dumb thing to do. For reasons she couldn't explain. But definitely, absolutely, not at all injured that she didn't see it coming.

"'Spirited' is one word," Adele grumbled. She would have preferred other, more offensive words at this moment. Caleb was really pushing her patience, both with David and his loud insistence that he did not want to be a big brother. And there was the hand on her stomach again---gods, how did this keep happening?

Adele selected a few books from the top of the pile, using those to keep her hands full. She did like working in the library. If she didn't, she wouldn't have stayed---and she certainly wouldn't have stormed all four dormitories the night before and terrified the children into returning their overdue books. It was amazing how those pre-lights out visits had such a positive effect on returns the following day. This trolley had been empty in the morning. Adele also saved the bulk of her work for the quiet night hours, when the students weren't around to see her care about her job.

She much preferred them to see her grouch at her desk, sit on tables, and look like she was drinking during school hours. It was the most fun when they went to Alan about it. As if Alan could ever pull her in line, she did what she wanted. She did it when she wanted. Because consequences were for people who did not share a tragedy with the headmaster. 

"If you insist on using your fists," she said, reaching to shelve a book a little down from where Gerry was working. "You should slow it down a touch. You're letting your emotions move your body, that's why you keep injuring yourself." A little planning in a punch went a long way toward preserving knuckles. Adele wasn't above street fighting when the situation called for it. The idea that "ladies don't brawl" was preposterous. Ladies did whatever they damn well had to do to survive.

"Breathe. Pick where you want it to land. Breathe again... and then let them have it," if she couldn't stop Gerry from getting into fights, she could at least help her win without too much pain. That was helping, right? 

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ Student/Janitor✩ Shell
16 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

Geraldine couldn't help the initial sour look that crossed her face as Adele referred to him as 'idiot', but given the events of last month.... The glare twisted into just a frown as she closed her eyes.  "You're right.  He is an idiot.  But yes."  Damn it all, he was still her idiot.  Not in any romantic sense, although her own feelings still remained, ever bruised.  But in that he was her friend.  Even though he kept secrets.  Even though he never let her be around for anything that actually mattered.  She shoved the hurt feelings back down.  She was at least trying to be happy for him, and she'd be damned if she broke down in the library during a detention.  'Asshole.  Loveable, secretive asshole.'

Amusment flashed over her features again at Adele's following comment over her son.  There was obviously something in there about him being a handful for some reason or other if spirit was a word for it.  Like every child, he was driving his parent insane.  All was right in the world.  Her eyes slowly peered open again, catching sight of Adele's hand--and her stomach.  Well, wasn't that something?  'Alex is going to be a big brother.  I bet he's excited.'  He loved kids as much as she did, but was far more happy to openly display such affections.

Geraldine picked up a few books, holding them closely, as Adele spoke to her again.  Was she...giving her advice?  Now there was something.  Someone who wasn't scolding her for the behavior, but trying to improve her technique.  Alex was certainly right over this.  She was silent, considering her words.  It was true.  She reacted first, thought later when it came to offenses.  Maybe her knuckels could be shared the scrapes and peeling if she thought about where she was hitting first instead of just jumping straight into it.  

She tilted her head.  She was inspecting the books first before shelving them, figuring she'd get the more laborious part out of the way first.  She could also sort them by what area they went to as she did this, so she wouldn't have to run back and forth.  "Not a bad idea."

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Adele caught that sour look and wondered for a split second if Gerry was going to punch her. That would have been fun. It would give her a chance to really inspect Gerry's technique, and besides---how many people out there had the stones to punch a pregnant woman? But she was disappointed, it seemed that as his elder sister, Adele was one of the few people allowed to say negative things about Alex. Oh well. 

"Get enough space in there, and you might even stop yourself from doing something stupid at all," she added. Fighting on school grounds definitely fell under the category of "stupid things to do", as much as Adele respected someone who was willing to fight for what they believed. "There's not really anything that some teenage twit can say that will damage Alexander, or anyone else. If someone really needs defending, you'll know. Save your punches to stop others getting punched." 

Adele wasn't exactly a paragon of good decisions, but she was better when it came to pointing out where others went wrong. Gerry was a good kid, she just went too fast for the physical response. 

"Otherwise, all you do is damage your own reputation. Might not seem important now, but you'll need it. Much harder to crush your enemies when no one respects you, Geraldine." and that was something Adele knew a lot about---having a terrible reputation. "Be someone others look up to. Make better choices. Be someone people want to follow, and from there make sure everyone knows that if they want to be in your circle, they need to obey your rules."

Adele dragged a small step ladder along a row of books, stepping up to balance on the top rung and carefully place books in their rightful place.

"Trust me. It's easier."

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ Student/Janitor✩ Shell
16 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

"Doesn't always work.  Depends on the offense."  She was certainly getting better about ignoring a good heft of the comments about herself at least.  Kept her from fighting every two weeks to a month.  That was improvement, wasn't it?  This had been the first...or was it second?  This year.  She couldn't help it if her heart had opened to people.  And she wasn't going to leave them to the dogs--even though Alex damn well deserved that fate.

She knew what the older woman was sensible, was the preferred course of others.  But she had too many years reacting in this way now.  Ever since St. Andrews.  Some things were just too hard to change.  Still, part of her wondered if she even should.  Alex...Alex was turning into Morgan all over again.   Someone she trusted, brought close, just to have the door slammed in her face and secrets kept at every turn.  He was just slightly more willing to spend time with her, but he still kept her an arms length away.

She knew the answer as much as she griped about it within her own head. Didn't matter the shit he, or Morgan, pulled.  They were still her closest friends.  She'd still, literally, jump into a fire for them.

More advice.  Save her reputation.  Ha.  That was funny. "You talk as if there's still anything to save."  She was fairly certain that went out years ago, when the fighting was far worse.  Then with the chasm that had formed between she and Morgan a couple years back... Morgan had, on the social side of things, been her saving grace.  The person that made people give her a second look before turning away.  She remembered the looks, the whispers. 

 'Look, it's her.'  'Wonder what she did to get even Morgan to turn away?'  'Not sure.  Must have been something awful.'

There was a reaosn why most of her friends... were children.  The people she got along with her largely in her own house.  Maybe got along was too strong a term--got along was actually largely with Spencers, probably because they were too crazy to give a shit who they hung around with.  Most of the people that had a mutual respect were in her own house.  Everyone stuck to their own business.

"I only need to crush someone when they cross a line.  Besides, I don't have a circle.  I never did.  Easier to not have to deal with the hierarchy."

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"You're young enough to start again," Adele said, amused by the apparent certainty that Gerry had regarding her own reputation. "And bold enough to make it work. If I can pull back some semblance of respectability, anyone can," the last was not a light comment. Though Gerry had been much younger when Adele wrecked havoc around Narrie, the stories persisted. They seemed at odds with the allegedly well-adjusted librarian, and her quiet domestic life. She hadn't so much changed as just... kept the drama to a certain few. She wore the stories like a weapon, threatening at any moment to show those around her just how true they all were.

"You'll never be a quiet one. You'll always have fire. You weren't made to just sit in a corner and look pretty, you're more than that," Adele stopped with the books for a moment, sitting herself up on a desk and watching Gerry work. There was something endearing about Gerry's angry justice, and tragic in what little regard she seemed to have for the personal consequences of her actions. 

"Then don't deal with the hierarchy. Be the hierarchy," Adele's smile widened. It was almost diabolical. "You can either sit at the bottom and be angry, or stand at the top and see your justice done. It is a choice. Forget what you think people see in you, start making them see what they should see in you. How you want to be seen." her head tilted slightly, fingers drumming along the wooden panelling of the desk.

"How do you want to be seen? Feared? Respected? Admired? Loved? Hated?" the question was genuine. She stood again, wandering over to a clear area of the library and beckoned for Gerry to put down the books she was shelving and join her. Adele sighed. "At the moment, your technique shows only weakness. Come---hit me."

And she waited. For Gerry to do as she was asked, and hit a pregnant woman. How else did you evaluate ability?

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