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Who: Salazar Slytherin & Helga Hufflepuff.
What: Salazar continues to be a prat. Really.
Where: The Lake.
When: Two days after speaking with Helga, late afternoon.

Salazar was not diplomatic, and it was evident by the fact that he was nursing a bloody nose (along with a smug grin) as he sat by the lake that afternoon.

What had started as a supposedly civil meeting of the minds -- that is, his mind and Godric's mind and their charmingly simple stone mason Theuderic's mind -- ended up turning into an all-out brawl. Slytherin was naturally not to be blamed for the instigation of said conflict, no matter what Godric chose to yell at him as the burly wizard ejected his friend from the disarrayed scarlet tent crowning the hillock. And if Salazar had thrown the first spell, it was a perfectly justifiable response to an insult from Theuderic. Outwardly, of course, it seemed like an unprovoked attack on a perfectly humble and brilliant artisan, but Godric was hardly a reliable witness in the situation, as he had been engrossed in locating a scroll in the vast library he'd forced into his tent and had not witnessed the insulting remark.

After exchanging a few spells and thus resolving that Slytherin was superior at dueling, the brawl excalated to physical blows. It was also resolved that Salazar was superior at that, well before Godric returned to force them apart and throw him out of the tent.

Quite content that he had irreparably damaged something of the stone mason's, be it pride or nose, Slytherin retreated from the immediate area of Gryffindor's wrath over the situation and settled himself inconspicuously under a tree near the lake to access his battle damage. He was in possession of a bloodied but certainly not broken nose, in addition to cuts, scraps, and what would be bruises. While he did not like the look of the potion burn one of Godric's overturned cauldrons had given his forearm, it did not seem serious and was washed in the lake. The most damage that had been done in the fray was to his wand: it was cleanly snapped in twain and the top half was missing, supposedly somewhere in the mess he'd made of his best friend's tent.

Even after inspecting the damage to his wand, damage which he might be unable to repair, Salazar's only real worry was how upset Helga would be when she heard. He only hoped he would be given a chance to explain himself before she hexed him into oblivion.
 
 
 
 
 
 
By the time Helga arrived, Slytherin was reclining comfortably back against the tree trunk, tilting his head back to stint the bloodloss from his nose, with his eyes closed. At her question, which apparently did not startle him or take him unawares despite his reposed countenance, he cracked one eye open to regard her. Try as he might, Salazar could not help looking effortlessly pleased with himself and his situation, so he did not try at all and thus held an expression of the utmost smug.

"Nothing any decent wizard in my place wouldn't have," he answered honestly. Then, a little seriousness seeping into the edges of his pleased smirk, he added, "And I will not apologize for it, do not ask me. I regret upsetting you, if I have, but nothing else. He was very deserving and I didn't hurt him...too badly." As badly as I wanted to...
If she had not wanted to hex him into oblivion before, his expression made her want to now. He appeared incredibly smug. Too smug for her liking, almost as if he knew this sort of action would warrant her immediate reaction. Perhaps she should not have been so quick to come?

Helga slid her wand out from the inside of her dress' sleeve. All of her dresses had a hidden pocket contained in it's sleeve. It was an immensely useful place to store a wand, wizarding space made it comfortable. She then pointed her wand at Salazar's nose, "Episky." There were gentler ways but Helga did not feel the need to use them.

"I am not asking you to apologize, at least not yet. I am, however, asking you what happened?" Some sort of explanation was in order.

Helga lowered her form next to Salazar though her back was to the lake and not the tree. "Let me see that arm." The basket was placed next to her hip and while she waited for him to present his burnt arm, she dug out one jar of ointment. "I do not know what I am going to do with you, coming to the lake instead of tending your wounds."
"I knew you would find me," he explained his reasoning casually as he straightened himself up and tentatively touched his nose. "Your hands are usually very gentle. And I much prefer your touch to fumbling with medicines on my own."

Making a great show of his hesitation of her unceremonious spellwork on his nose, Salazar presented his burned arm to her slowly and with a dubious arch of an eyebrow. "Besides, you are much more likely to hear my side of the story if I am still injured when I tell it. And less likely to injury me further if you do not like what I say." His tone made it sound like a joke, but it was a rather logical argument.

"As for what happened...the stone mason said something I could not abide without satisfaction. When he refused me an honorable out to my offense in the form of a duel, I took the less honorable route. After he resolved that he could not win against me in magical combat, he resorted to fists. I still won...or perhaps would have if Godric had not ejected me from his tent. It doesn't matter, I am satisfied that he will watch his tongue from now on." If, indeed, he stayed at all.
"Oh you did, did you?" Helga simply rolled her eyes. She wasn't not able to fight that urge. "I suppose that they are but sometimes I forget myself."

"How did you do this?" She made a tsking him and then uncorked the vial of ointment. It had a strong scent of aloe mixed with mint, very medicinal but not completely unpleasant. Helga simply had no need to dress up potions. "I do want to hear your side of the story, every bit of it."

This time her touch was gentle. She poured a bit of the clear blue gel to his arm where it should instantly numb his skin. Carefully, Helga began working the gel into the burn. Her brew worked great, it just numbed everything it touched. "What did he say that was so despicable that you had to resort to brawling?" When she had finished applying the gel in a thick layer, Helga took a length of bandages out and began to wrap it around the arm. "You'll want to keep this covered. The potion numb anything it touches until the burn is healed."

That task done, Helga flicked her fingers out once and then twice. A spell was mumbled at the same time before a puff of smoke was emitted and her hands were clean. It was the only effective way of removing the potion. Already her own hands were quite numb and it was easier to clean up the bits of soot that were left on her fingers than her numbweed, as she liked to call it.
"...well, I hoped you would find me," he amended with an affectionate smile.

Salazar flexed his fingers as she worked, feeling the tingling, numbing effects of the potion moving all the way through his hand as the mixture seeped from the burn wound into his bloodstream. It seemed to numb his senses almost immediately, though he kept his eyes open and his wits collected through a valiant effort. "Please do not ask me to repeat what he said, dear Helga. Had it been directed to me, I could have easily ignored it. I do not concern myself with what people say or think about me. Yet...he chose to insult the honor of someone I care deeply for and that I could not ignore."

When his arm was properly wrapped and the last of the potion done away with, Salazar reached out to grasp one of her hands and bring it to his lips. "Will you forgive me for caring so recklessly? I will always be compelled to defend your honor. I can only hope you will always tend to my wounds afterwards."
She did not do such a good job of hiding a smile, "I'm glad that I found you. If only to spare you from Rowena's more unpleasant practices of healing." Highly effective though they were, they left something to be lacking as far as her bed-side manner was concerned.

Helga cleansed her hands before corking the numbweed potion and taking out another and a clean clothe. She damped the clothe in a mixture that smelled of witchhazel before applying it to his face. It had a refreshing effect. "You are going to need a bath." She said and then listened to what he said.

She stopped what she was doing and simply stared at him. "He said what exactly?" A bit of anger sourged through her bloodstream. Helga had believed that this matter had been settled with Theuderic. In a flat out conversation she told him that she wasn't interested in anything that he had in mind. She did appreciate his wisdom in stonecraft but that was as far as her admiration went. "Did he think I was being coy when I said that I was not interested?" She huffed, clearly angry but she did finish cleaning up the few cuts and bruises on his face and neck.

Her fingers relaxed in his and a soft sigh escaped her lips. She ducked her head a bit, feeling warmth in her cheeks. "Oh Salazar, there's really nothing to forgive, I suppose. You did what you thought was best." She did wish it wasn't so violent but what could she do. Salazar was Salazar and she was Helga. "I do not wish you change."