It was something of a mystery as to Barty why he continued to take Arithmancy. Divination might have been more useful with its promise of prophecy but, even then, just as much a distraction from his better classes. Yet there was a pull of fascination, with all its numbers, computations, and hints of great worldly discovery. Arithmancy was also less wishy-washy as there were actual calculations to be made and formulas to follow. It had rules, as opposed to Divination which said stare into this crystal ball and tell me what you see with your inner eye! Or some such nonsense. Merlin was he thankful he had dropped that class at last. If he had to make one more dream diary, he may have thrown himself out of the Divination tower window. At least then one of his predictions might have come true.
Sitting in class with his chin resting in his palm, elbow pressed onto the table top, Barty did his best not to drift off to sleep to the lull of his Professor’s voice. That would be unseemly for him. Due to the unfortunate circumstance of trying to be a loyal friend, he had ended up staying in the library for hours on end the night before. An exhausting endeavor on the best occasions, it was made all the worse when someone's fluffy white cat started cuddling and harassing him for attention in the early hours of the morning. The water outside the window was still a murky dark green, telling him to go back to sleep. But once he was up, he was up, and that was ages ago. Now it was only an hour and a half past breakfast. From this side of lunch, the rest of the day stretched on for years.
When the Professor had finished his lecture and the class was set to doing individual practice work, Barty raised his hand politely. His number chart swam before his eyes and he knew he could not survive completing it. Being a generally well-liked student, the Professor greeted the signal with an expression expecting some great philosophical or advanced question. Bright student that he was, Barty was in fact inclined to hold discussions with his Professors only when he didn't have to do them in front of other people. Which was why the Professor came straight over to him rather than call on him from the front.
Not in the mood for academics, Barty presented the ace card used by Outstanding and Troll students alike: he asked for permission to use the restroom. Permission granted. Not that he expected anything less, but it was always a pleasure to have his wishes met.
Barty set out into the hallway, his supplies and book bag waiting for his return. He would have preferred to have taken them along but he couldn’t remember the last time he had fully ditched a lesson. But certainly he couldn't use the restroom one on Arithmancy floor. No, he didn't like that one much, not today. That would be a complete waste. Now, the one two floors down was just perfect. It would give him time to stretch his legs and take in some morning sun settling in through the high castle windows.
Walking at his leisure through the corridor, in no rush to get to his destination or to get back to class, he heard the soft, hurried steps coming up behind him. None of my business, he thought at first, but then suddenly Meadowes, the small one, was walking beside him, warning him. An odd moment for him, since he was under the opinion that the Meadowes sisters were no fans of his and might even enjoy seeing him trampled. But when she looked up at him, they both shared a moment of what looked like ‘Oh, it’s you...’ Or maybe that was just how it felt to him.
He opened to his mouth to tell her that he wasn’t going back to his common room, but he closed it and hastily reconsidered. If his safety was at stake, certainly he was allowed to go with wherever the evacuees were going. Barty looked over his shoulder to check and, even though he saw nothing of unusual—no strange ooze coming for them or clouds of murky smoke—he took only a moment of thought. His initial destination was the fifth floor, but if going with her took him all the way to the ground floor, then that seemed as good to him as any.
“Well, that’s inconvenient but all right,” he said simply, making a slightly worried face for her benefit while patting his front pocket to check for his wand. Without waiting, he picked up the pace and looked at her sidelong. “Let’s not get trampled then, shall we?”