Page 154: Not Quite Bumping
Not Quite Bumping
Summary: Hardwicke, Lucienne, Jarod, Raffton, and young Lord Patrek all manage to not quite bump into each other.
Date: December 17, 2011
Related Logs: None, though Luci and Jarod's scene is continued in The Harm of Rumors
Hardwicke Jarod Lucienne Raffton Patrek 
Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower
The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.
December 17, 288

The courtyard is often a well-trafficked area, and this afternoon is certainly no exception, although Hardwicke has stepped out of the main bustle to seat himself on a barrel outside the busiest of the area. He has his longsword out and is drawing a whetstone down the length of the blade in a slow, rhythmic pattern. The process seems to agree with him, as it leaves him looking a touch less disgruntled than usual. Perhaps the sound of stone on blade is soothing.

Jarod strides into the courtyard, spring in his step, faint grin on his face. He looks rather pleased with himself, Seven knows why. He's emerging from the castle, whistling. The tune resembles 'The Dornishman's Wife.' Whether he has any particular destination in mind is unclear, though his path takes him in Hardwicke's general direction.

People come, people go. Lucienne is going, apparently. She's just ahead of Jarod, though his whistling begs her attention. She's got a very small entourage, headed for the stables, but they all three of them stop as she does. "Ser Jarod," she says, whirling on her heels to lay a pointed look on her half-brother. Oh, we're making that distinction today.

Though he's only been here a week, the Young Lord Mallister has settled into squiredom at the Roost with all interest and eagerness. His day is a mixture of physical training and lessons, the former of which holds his attention a bit more strongly than the latter when the day is so fair and the air so fine. Having been dismissed from his latest lesson on knightly courtesy and etiquette, and with a whole hour for himself before he's to meet with Ser Revyn for arms training, the tow-headed boy comes bounding out of the Great Hall with a grin, taking the stairs a pair at a time. But, he trips to a halt in his bolt across the courtyard just in time to keep from plowing into one of Lady Lucienne's retinue. Eyes wide at the thought of what could have been, he's quick to offer a deep bow. "Good afternoon, my lady. Afternoon, Ser Jarod. Pardon me, please, I wasn't watching where my feet were going well enough."

Lucienne's tone of voice is enough to earn Hardwicke's attention, and he looks over at the area of near-collision with a raised brow and the slightest hint of an unsympathetic smirk in Jarod's direction. He snorts at the eager Lord Patrek. "Ser Revyn won't be happy if you show up to him with a broken neck," he warns the boy.

Jarod comes to an abrupt halt, and stops whistling and smiling, as Lucienne looks at him pointedly. "Lady Lucienne," is his reply. It's a warm enough greeting, albeit wary. How can it not be after that, really? "Headed somewhere for the day?" Though the arrival of the young Mallister gets his attention, so he doesn't wait for an answer. He inclines his head to the boy. "Lord Patrek. My lord father is putting you through your paces in squirehood thus far, I trust?"

Among those trailing behind the Lady Lucienne is one Raffton Howell, dressed in the usual livery of the Roost's men-at-arms. He side-steps as the Young Lord Mallister nearly plows into him, glancing at the boy for a long moment before looking away again, mumbling something like 'Excuse me', though it clearly wasn't his fault. He glances back at him again, a quick, appraising look, and then away, nodding to Sers Jarod and Hardwicke in acknowledgment.

The lady's handmaid is the quick to move, darting to Lucienne's side. Next is Luci herself, sinking into a deep curtsy in return for the Young Lord's bow. "Good afternoon, Lord Patrek. Please, I should beg your pardon, for stopping so abruptly in your path." Given that Jarod's engaging in conversation now, she elects to wait to elaborate on that ominous greeting of hers, saying only: "For an afternoon ride, Ser."

Patrek studies his toes for a moment at Hardwicke's words and nods briefly. "Yes, ser," he agrees, chastised. Looking over at Jarod he nods again with a bit of a smile. "Ser, yes, I learn more every day, thank you." Raffton gets another, slightly sheepish, "Sorry," and then he shakes his head at Lucienne. "Oh, no, my lady, it really wasn't your fault. I run when I shouldn't. Everybody says so."

Hardwicke's look lingers on the young lord, making sure that his words have sunk in properly, before nodding his head in a vaguely appeased manner. "I would suggest walking then, my lord," he says a touch dryly. He glances at Raffton as he enters into the mix as well, returning the Ironborn's nod with one of his own.

Lucienne smiles mostly to herself as the conversation plays around her, adding slyly to Patrek after the elder knight, "Don't mind Ser Hardwicke, my lord. He's a teddy bear under all that gruff and dry. Are you settling well?"

Jarod eyes his lady half-sister, putting some things together in his brain. He sighs some. "Have you a moment to speak before you leave, Lady Lucienne?" There's a sort of unspoken 'Please?' tacked on, though he doesn't get too pleading around the other men. There's something half-apologetic about his overall manner, though no words as such are offered. To Patrek he says, "Hard not to run sometimes. When you're eager to get where you're going." The nod Raffton offers is returned, along with a polite "Howell" in acknowledgement of the man.

"Ser," Patrek agrees for Hardwicke's wise advice. It dims his smile a little, the recollection of his error, but he nods in slightly woeful agreement. Then Lady Lucienne speaks and he must bite his bottom lip to keep the smile from returning. "Yes, Lady. Very well, thank you. The Roost has been very welcoming to me, and Lord Jerold is a wise man. I'm lucky to be his squire." And then Jarod just undoes the whole trying-to-be-somber thing all together with his words, and that wide smile appears without Patrek being able to help it. "Little bit," he admit, softly, to Jarod.

"That's alright, your lordship," Raffton says politely to the apology. When he doesn't mumble so much, there's still a faint hint of the Iron Isles in his accent, as much as time (and likely effort) have scrubbed it out. It's evident in the "Captain, Ser," he adds to Jarod's greeting as well. He watches the young lord of Seagard closely, with curiosity that isn't quite as discreet as he might think.

"It looks like Lady Lucienne would /definitely/ like a moment to speak with you," Hardwicke says, voice low if not inaudible as he comments on the interaction between Lucienne and Jarod with dry humor. He glances at Raffton and frowns pointedly at him in his curiosity.

Lucienne makes no effort to hide her smile, a mirthful, genuine thing that's so rarely seen from her. Ser Hardwicke sees a bit of it, for whatever it is that he's mumbling - something she doesn't quite catch. And then Ser Jarod, to whom she nods. "Of course, dear brother. I've as many moment as you need, at your leisure?"

Jarod gives Hardwicke a side look. Perhaps he caught enough of that to parse it. Perhaps. But if he did he just shrugs it off, nodding to Lucienne. "Walk with me, please, m'lady," he says, motioning back inside. This is a private conversation he's aiming for, apparently.

The young Lord Mallister rocks a step back as it seems Lucienne and Jarod are off to speak in private. It's Raffton that gets Petrek's quizzical glance when the guard speaks more clearly and a bit of that accent pokes through. If the boy's not had the 'pleasure' of hearing an Iron Islander speak, perhaps he's heard impressions of the accent often enough that something about it catches his ear. He blinks up at Raffton, poorly-hidden curiosity returned.

Raffton looks away quickly as he catches Patrek looking at him in return, eyes directed back into the vague middle distance ahead of Lucienne, or roving the courtyard, looking for threats. There must be some somewhere, right? Maybe? No? Whatever, he's still looking.

"Of course," Lucienne allows Jarod. She aims to fall into step with him as they head back towards the castle steps.

Hardwicke just snorts as Raffton and Patrek's curiosities overlap, sliding the whetstone down the edge of his blade once more. He glances at Lucienne and Jarod again as they begin to make their way out.

So now it's just Patrek and the irritable guy sharpening the sword. He jabs his toe down against a crack in one of the stones as he considers his options. Drawing in a soft breath he asks, "I've started to do that. Sharpen swords. How do you keep the whetstone from screeching?"

One brow arched, Hardwicke looks up at the young Patrek. "Practice," he says a touch blandly. A few beats later, perhaps out of some sense of propriety, he says, "It's about the angle. How much pressure you put on it."

There are a couple blinks for the first answer and a small nod from the boy. His weight shifts a little, as if he might take his leave, but Hardwicke's further advice stays him. Perhaps taking a bit of courage from Lucienne's words he asks, "Could you show me, ser?"

Hardwicke watches Patrek a moment, his dark eyes careful on the boy. Then he grunts a quiet acceptance. "Come closer, then," he says gruffly.

Flashing a quick, pleased smile, the lad does. He moves to stand beside and a little behind where Hardwicke sits, so that he can lean over the man's shoulder and watch his hands.

Hardwicke works for a few strokes in silence, though he makes them slow and distinct so as to be easy to observe. "Angle," he says again. "You don't have to press hard." Continuing without looking at the boy, he asks, "Fond of blades?"

"Course," the boy says. Easy question. After all, what young, aspiring knight isn't? "And it's my responsibility to see Ser Jerold's blade is always ready for battle. I need to learn how to do it properly."

A very small, wry sort of smile twists Hardwicke's mouth at Patrek's answer. "Of course," he says. After a moment, he holds out the whetstone. "Let's see, then."

The boy accepts the whetstone, his face settling into an expression of concentration. "Angle," he murmurs as he rests his other hand on the sword's handle. "Don't press hard." Drawing in a small breath, he moves the whetstone down the blade, slow and careful.

Hardwicke gives up both sword and whetstone with a quietly observant expression as he watches Patrek. He does reach to adjust the angle of the boy's stone just slightly, then lets him take a slow stroke. "There," he says. "Not so bad."

"That sounded much better," the lad approves with a nod and he brings the whetstone up to try again. "Thank you, my ears were starting to hurt from it."

Hardwicke snorts. "I'm sure everyone else's around you were, too," he says.

Patrek grins, laughing a little as he agrees, "Yes, ser. I'm sure that's why the space around me cleared so quickly."

Hardwicke snorts again, then scratches a hand along his beard. "As you say, my lord," he says a touch sardonically.

Patrek's quiet as he moves the whetstone down the blade a few more times with growing confidence. He straightens, offering it back. "I think I've the way of it, now. Thank you, Ser Hardwicke. Well, I expect Ser Revyn's ready for me, now…"

Hardwicke tips his chin down in something of a nod and accepts his blade and whetstone back. "Lord Patrek," he says in brisk farewell.

"Afternoon, ser," Lord Patrek says, offering another bow. He turns and begins walking toward the Green. Walking, at least until he thinks he's far enough away or that Ser Hardwicke has stopped watching. Because then he's off and running, again.