(1937-09-26) Danse Macabre
Details for Danse Macabre
Summary: A late September supper in the Great Hall gets the extra spice of romance. Also, chickens.
Date: 1937-09-26
Location: Great Hall, Hogwarts
Related: None

It's just now dinner time and students are streaming into the great hall for dinner. Dishes are appearing on the tables, the usual Hogwarts spread, sumptuous dishes that seem to always be full, magically maintained so that the food is always warm. Claire Avery enters in the peculiar company of a sixth year Gryffindor who bears a slight resemblance to her, and a fourth year Slytherin boy. Just another night in the Great Hall with enough pumpkin juice for all.

The Dark Lord of the Sith makes his way into the great hall and beholds all those… Wait. Wrong verse. Ripley makes his way into the great hall and beholds all that are there before him. He purses his lips and then gives a bit of a wry smile before he steps within and almost knocks over a Griffindor first year. He grins at the kid and laughs a bit before he ruffles the kid's hair. "We all know you can't be as good as Slytherin." He says, with a touch of a snear to his voice. There is a pause before Ripley lets out a big laugh and just grins, "Kidding, mate. What's for supper?" As his hands rub together and he ventures further in and looks for a familiar face within the crowd.

Dinner time! Arian's favorite time of day! With his bookbag in tow, and a smile on his face, he enters the Great Hall. There's plenty more students streaming in with him, so he does his best to avoid jostling them. And when he spots Ripley, he does even more to avoid THAT guy. He makes straight for the Ravenclaw table (or as straight as he can manage, given the crowd) and plops down by himself. After all, right now there's no one here that he wants to talk to.

Idrissa is actually following a few steps after Arian, she has three books in her arms, a pad of parchment, and quill with her as well. She yawn while moving along looking a bit tired but she struggles onwards towards the table and settles down on the other side of the table from Arian. Her books are dropped and her head follows to get pressed into her books. "I'm so tired…" She half whines.

Just a ways behind Ripley is someone who looks shockingly like him, save for being paler and sicklier looking - and much less jovial. Leander is carrying a bag stuffed with an impressive amount of books, and from his expression, he clearly thinks this whole 'dinner' affair is an incredibly annoying distraction from them. He notices Ripley giving some poor kid a hard time, and makes his way in that direction, standing next to his sibling and frowning. "Are you messing with Firsties again? We have better things to be doing, you know. Like making sure that you don't fail your Transfiguration test."

Joke or not, Lois - who is just arriving, a small flock of Firsties in tow - scowls when she overhears Ripley's comment. Specifically, she scowls at him from over several shorter heads. "Manners in the Great Hall, /thank you/." Sotto voice, the ruffled wee Gryffindor is told, "Don't mind him, dear. Not everyone has /good manners/, y'know." Mabel, spotted, earns a wave as Lois ushers her wee lambs towards the table; the sight of Avery, accompanying, makes the prefect's face break into a warm smile.

"Quit whinging," says Avery to Idrissa as she heads for her table, not questioning if Mabel and Llewellyn will follow her. The little first year just sort of assumes command — or doesn't care. Lois is given a mistrustful glance, her face otherwise neutral. A glance is given to the Slytherin twins- or at least hte one- being nasty to the first years again and she rolls her eyes. She seats herself beside Arian where there's still plenty of space for her companions.

Ripley turns to face his brother as the other one speaks, "Lea. Really. I always pass." He says with one of those know it all smiles on his face. He chuckles, "You study all the time and get all those great grades. I don't and pass. It's all there needs to be." He turns back around and looks to Lois with a wink, "I'm so sorry, my dear. The fact is, I was being polite and using all my manners. Otherwise I might have picked the poor lad up and spun him around some for fun." Then he whispers loudly, "Don't worry. I'll use the right fork."

The to-do at the door over Ripley's comments draw Arian's eyes for a moment. He's just glad he kept his distance from that. After all, no good comes from messing with Slytherin. When Idrissa collapses on the table across from him, the Ravenclaw boy frowns at her. "Uh, oh," he says mock-seriously. "We need to check her pulse." And he does just that, reaching over to put his finger on her wrist. After a moment of listening, his eyes go wide. "She's not breathing! We'll need to douse her with something!" A hand reaches for a glass of pumpkin juice beside him. "CLEAR!" he shouts, acting as if he's about to dump it on the girl.

Mabel seems to be a bit windswept, herself, having changed out of her school things for some purpose, though she seems to be attending to her posture a bit more than usual, perhaps trying to set a good example, some might note with a hint of irony. The smile and wave is returned to Lois with a wry little wink, though, looking to the two, "I suppose it's on me to invite you to dine with the Gryffindors, Claire, Blishwick," she says, though she does note a little of the house-rivalry in play regarding the Slytherins and firsties, and adds, "Unless you'd rather catch us up later. of course." She does spare an eye for what dinner's on offer, seeming just a touch perplexed, and finds a decent spot to sit.

Leander's face darkens several shades. "Okay, fine. We'll see how long you keep passing without me to lean on, /little brother/." Yes, he will always begrudge him those eighteen minutes of victory, because it's probably about the only physical task he's likely to beat Ripley at in his lifetime. He grumbles, hoisting his bookbag a bit higher up, and then glances over at Lois with a vague expression of nervous fear when she scolds his brother. "Oh - h-hi Lois." Hm, that didn't come out quite right. He tries a smile, realizes it feels quite fake due to the sinking sensation in the pit of his stomach, and frowns instead. "Let's go get some food."

Idrissa blinks and peers up, eyeing Arian a few moments. "Don't you dare…" She states with a soft tone, and half whines. "I'll… I'll turn you into a pumpkin if you do!" No she won't, but still it is the thought that counts right? Hearing Avery she peers towards the girl a moment and frowns slightly before just slipping quiet.

Lois merely continues to scowl at Ripley, pulling one of her charges a little closer to her side. "Right," the Gryffindor says, voice oozing disdain. "Listen, this is your /only/ warning, Fox: I see you pushing around Firsties from /any/ House, I'll be jumping down your Prefects' throats to squash you like a rotten plum. Alright? Alright." And, abruptly, the storm cloud has passed: when she turns her gaze to Leander, her expression is warm. Obviously he is the twin she /doesn't/ hate. "Hullo! 'Cuse me, I need to get this lot settled…"

Ripley continues to walk in and looks to Lois. He stops and stands upright for a moment before he gives her a deep and proper bow, "My dear lady, please, endeavor to forgive my transgressions." There's a sideways glance to Leander and then back to Lois, "But I could not help myself at the joviality of the moment. No harm was given or transpired." And then he raises back up, "Was there?" As he looks to the Gryffindor first year. It's only a moment before his eyes flash to his brother, "Cat got your tongue? Speak to the lady."

Arian grins as he gets Rissa's attention. Slowly, he lowers the pumpkin juice back to the table. "You wouldn't do that to ME, would you, Rissa?" he asks, looking slightly horrified. "I mean, if you turned me into a pumpkin, then who would you go to the Halloween dance with?" Is that him asking her on a date? Maybe…

Wilfred enters the great hall behind everybody else, he is adjusting his robes which he seems to have changed into recently. Brushing his hair back to the side, he glances about the room. Seeing Lois talking with a couple of Slytherins he frowns, then starts making his way over. Two Slytherins talking to a Gryffindor Prefect can't be good for the atmosphere.

Leander positively beams for a moment when Lois greets him so warmly, though his happy expression is wiped away almost immediately by Ripley, only to be replaced with a sour glare. "Shut up, Rip. My throat is dry, I want some pumpkin juice." He clears his throat, as if to provide proof of this statement, then reaches into his robe for his wand and uses it to levitate a glass of the orange-brown drink over. "Can't you apologize like a normal person, you great dolt?" Yep, now he's gone and done it. Leander is ticked off. Also, the sun rises in the east.

Idrissa takes in a soft breath while she lifts her hand to rub at her eyes a few times. She is tired thanks to her being up the past week reading instead of actually getting in that thing called sleep. Whom would have thunk it, a Ravenclaw that spends a lot of time reading. "Naw I wouldn't do that." She offers while picking up a glass and goes about pouring herself some pumpkin juice. "Wouldn't be much just sitting around looking all pumpkin like." A sip is taken from her glass, her bright gaze drifts towards Arian and she just watches him a moment. Upon swallowing the juice goes down wrong and she is left in a coughing fit, which doesn't last that long. "Did… You just ask me to the dance?"

"Right," Lois tells Ripley, again, obviously not buying it. Still, the open hostility drops from her voice, replaced by judicious neutrality. "I'll be glad to forgive you, so long as you don't do it again. Honestly, Fox - why can't you take a cue from your brother?" She flicks a hand (and a smile) towards Leander. "He's a perfect lamb of a snake." To said (snake) lamb she adds, "Don't worry about it, Leander; I suppose he's doing the best he can. But thank you all the same." Beam! Spotting an approach, she lifts a hand to greet Wilfred. Once he's in range, she asks: "How'd Charms go?"

Ripley simply turns and directs his attention to Leander and just gives the other boy a look. It says it all between the two twins before Ripley finds himself a place to sit for dinner. His eyes scan the room and take note of several people, some get winks and others get wide grins. "Oh, he's a lamb all right." Ripley totally agrees there before he looks to Lois and says in the most sincere tone that he can, "Really, Lois. I am sorry. I apologize. Oh, Lois… I hear there is a dance coming up soon." He gives a little smile.

Wilfred smiles at the greeting, replying with, "My Charms are getting better all the time, I can get my manikin to walk around without falling now." Now having reached Lois' side, he gestures to the two Slytherins, "These Saps arn't giving you any trouble are they?

Llewellyn follows Avery's gaze, arching a brow— but then Arian pipes up, and they've clearly getting into plenty enough trouble on their own, so he leaves them to it. Ripley, on the other hand… "Don't bother," he calls out, even as he nods to Mabel and Avery and pulls out a chair for himself, "Charlus already beat you to it."

When Rissa is thrown into a coughing fit, Arian is spit upon. Just a bit, but he manages to wipe it off his face without being disgusted. A real ladies man move, fo' sho. When she asks if he asked her to the dance, he does his best to play it cool by shrugging. "Yeah," he says nonchalantly. "I guess I did. So, whaddaya say? Would you like to go with the best looking Ravenclaw quidditch player?" That's pretty bold talk for someone who hasn't played a quidditch game yet.

Mabel gives a bemused look to Lois as the Slytherin twins turn to each other over the thing, keeping an eye on any of the more-rambunctious Gryffindor firsties while the matter resolves, and sweeps into a seat, offering a spot, and a sympathetic look to her young cousin. "In a world full of magic, I still don't know how the House Elves do it: roast after all," she says to Avery. "If you've not met some of your, ah, classmates, as yet?" She hrmphs, at something, and pours out some pumpkin juice.

Idrissa blushes as she sees that Arian had some pumpkin juice fly his way. "Sorry…" Is said with a nervous tone and she peers down at her books, and grips her glass a moment. At the quidditch part she blinks and peers at him. "I'm on he team too you know?" She is the keeper after all! There is a pause though and she nods with a smile. "Sure."

After taking a few sips of the pumpkin juice to soothe his temper, Leander answers Ripley's stare. Whatever is conveyed in that glare, his eyes widen a bit and he lowers his drink. "Don't even /think/ abou—-" Too late. Lois's kind words about him barely even register (normally he'd be beaming again), because he's too busy paying attention to his twin wandering towards her. He twitches, and when Ripley mentions the Halloween dance, his lips curl into what is better described as a snarl than a frown.

Ripley leans forward and looks up at Lois with big eyes and smiles, "So. The dance. I was wondering…" He pauses for a moment and suddenly his voice goes back to that serious tone, "… If you would do my brother the honor of going with him." He says and smiles, genuine, and loses the eyes towards her and looks to his brother and speaks low, "He's a heck of a good guy and would treat you right." For any who know the guy, they'd think he was being honest. Feh. Must be something in the air.

Lois is quick to reassure Wilfred: "Nothing I can't handle, but thank you, Wilfred. And I'm glad that -" Ripley's pursuit renders her silent. As does his /words/. "It's /Clark/ who did," she manages, at Llewellyn's interjection. "Well, he was one of the ones who d -" She stares at Ripley, blank, brows gently furrowing. And then says, mildly, prefectly: "Certainly I wouldn't mind going with Leander, but /do/ stop speaking for your brother, you ass. I'm sure if he actually wanted to, he would ask me himself. Now, if you're done wasting my /time/, Fox, I have food to eat." Heel, pivot, and she starts stalking towards the Gryffindor table to join her cousins and Housemates.

Arian makes a bit of an 'eesh' face when Rissa reminds him that she's on the team. Well, so much for being all smooth like butter. But she still says yes! Arian throws up his arms in celebratory fashion. This sends a few cups of juice spilling to the ground. Fortunately, nothing is sent flying through the air this time, so there's no risk of a food fight breaking out. "That's great!" he says. "Now we can start thinking of costumes!"

All of the blood drains from Leander's face, making him even paler than he normally is. Normally this would be a frightened reaction, but in his case, somehow it actually makes him look more furious. "What are you /doing/?" he hisses at his brother, squeezing the cup of pumpkin juice so hard that it shakes (luckily it's in a wooden cup or it probably would have shattered by now). He goes even paler, if possible, at Lois's reply, and as she stalks off, he looks between Ripley and his wand as if serious thoughts of bodily injury caused by the latter are going through his mind.

Ripley stands and looks after Lois and does his best immitation of Lois from easier, "Manners! Please!" And then flops back down on the bench to look at his brother, "Getting you a date. I mean, really, you have wanted to ask her out since third year!"

Wilfred smirks at the twins as Lois stalks away, then follows her to the table. Ripley sure had it coming for him. Glancing to the side he smiles as he sees students digging into there food everywhere.

Idrissa chuckles softly and nods with a smile, glad to see that Arian is thrilled with the idea. Well he did ask her so he should be right? Sure! The conversations at the other tables arn't really picked up on while her mind wanders. "Well, what sorta things do you like that could be a costume idea?" Have to start out somewhere right. Another sip is taken from her glass.

Arriving at her table, Lois takes a seat by Mabel and Avery, leaving room for Wilfred to join them. "Avery," her cousin is informed, solemnly, "I don't care what sort of Ravenclaw you grow up to be, so long as you are not an /utter/ ass." She reaches for the pumpkin juice. "I just wanted to say." More brightly, the girl looks around the table. "How is everyone, then?"

Ophelia swings into a seat at the Ravenclaw table, grinning bemusedly across at Arian. "Whats this all about?" She asks as she starts to fill her plate. She grabs items at random, quickly tucking the clockwork heart into her shirt when it swings out and threatens to get into the mashes potatoes. "Did you loose something in your pumpkin juice?"

"How was that getting me a date!? You made me look like an idiot!" Leander seethes. He shoves his wand disgustedly back into his robes (luckily for Ripley), then gives his twin one of his patented death-looks and spins around, stomping off towards the Slytherin table. "I'm going to go eat, then study for the test, now that my chances at a normal Halloween are completely ruined."

Ripley blinks as he looks after his brother, "A normal Halloween? But… You sit around and study every year. So how could that change?"

Avery glances up at Lois, having lost herself in contemplating a fine pudding down the table a ways wistfully. Oh sure, she could ask, but, this isn't her table, and it's such a long ways down. She fixes her much older cousin with that toadlike look she's so good at. "I'm not any kind of ass," she replies flatly. It would be fair to say that, at least, because for the most part the girl keeps to herself and fails to express much opinion on anything — except how much contempt she has for Muggles.

"What, huh? Oh, no…" says Arian when Ophelia joins them at the table. "Rissa just said she'd go to the Halloween dance with me. And now we're trying to decide what to dress as." He watches her as she tucks a necklace away. "What was that?" he asks, pointing and raising an eyebrow suspiciously.

"I /like/ studying. It's calming," Leander says, still sounding like he has a strong urge to strangle someone or something. Gradually, though, his fury is dissipating as he focuses on food. He actually is a bit hungry, in spite of the fact that he eats like a bird. He piles up a hefty (for him) plate of food and picks up a fork sullenly after sitting down. A spot is left open next to him by habit - even when he's this angry at his brother, he does it without even thinking.

Llewellyn keeps an eye on the Lois whirlwind for a moment, shrugging. Clark, Charlus— all those older boys with C names look alike, really. But, again, they've got that situation well in hand already; he returns his attention to Avery and company. "Well, you /are/ rude sometimes, but only to people who bring it on themselves. And speaking of the dance, has anyone asked you yet?" As good a way to approach the subject sidelong as any, really.

Mabel smiles over to Lois, plucking up a couple of slices of the much-anticipated roast, with a glance back toward the twins, and queries, "So, Clark, is it? I suppose those two do come as a set, to some extent or another. I hadn't yet thought of the Halloween ball, myself."

Ripley makes his way over and settles next to his brother and makes up a heaping pile of food on a plate and then plops it down in front of him. Even with his crude nature, his manners are impeccable. He lifts knife and fork and makes his momma proud with the big plate of food. He disappears into his own thoughts for a bit, becomming eerily silent.

Idrissa hums and looks to Ophelia and offers her a smile. "Hey Ophelia." Is offered with a happy tone. She hasn't seen her a while. "Ya, I did. An just have to think up a good idea." There is a pause and she peers around seeming to notice others and peers towards the Slytherin table curious like. Something has been missed but she doesn't go about questioning things!

Avery glances at Llewellyn sidelong and shakes her head. "Who would have asked me?" Really though?

"Of course you aren't, Avery." Lois sounds utterly sincere in this, with her warm and motherly smile. "Keep up the good work, not being any kind of an ass." Spearing a piece of roast beef in a deft maneuver, she settles in to eat, chewing a bite before answering Mabel. "Oh, uh - I haven't decided if it's Clark or not. If he hadn't done it publicly I wouldn't have mentioned it at all - you know I don't like to make them feel awkward if… well… Anyone asked you yet?"

Wilfred starts to slide into a seat next to Lois, then remembering that she probably wants to save a seat for Clark, he moves down to sit on the other side of Mabel. After taking his seat, he reaches out and serves himself a good sized portion of a roast onto his plate and commences cutting it with his knife.

Leander shovels some food down, occasionally adding a drink of pumpkin juice, although soon enough he looks over at his brother and frowns. "You're quiet. I don't like it when you're quiet. It means you're thinking devious thoughts," he says bitterly, taking one last drink of the juice and then growing quiet for a while. "…you really reckon she'd say yes if I asked her?"

Ophelia blinks at Arian, "Really? That's… well that's wonderful." She flashes the two a bright smile and quickly looks down at her plate, her eyes suddenly quite large with worry. Her plate, which now holds a variety of foods that would never be served together in a smaller setting, doesn't react to the stare.

Ripley stops. He puts his utensils down and turns to look at Leander, "She already said yes. Well, if you asked her. Better hurry before someone else does." And then he goes back to eating.

Such a lofty goal for Avery to shoot for! Maybe they'll give her a medal for it. "I would," Llewellyn answers her, "if I'd heard they were having one in the first place. I mean, obviously they're going to do /something/ for Halloween, but it's not always a dance. Except for the Yule ball, that one's pretty well established."

Hephaesta comes limping into the Great Hall, her goggles propped up on her forehead. The moment her eyes catch a glimpse of ginger hair at the Ravenclaw table, she beams brightly and hurries over. "Hi, Ophelia!" she greets the older girl with uncharacteristic glee.

Arian's eyes widen when Ophelia suddenly goes silent and starts staring at her food. He shares a worried look with Rissa. "What's up with her?" he asks in a very quiet voice. "Did I say something wrong?" Then he turns back to Ophelia. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah. Maybe," Leander grumbles. He takes another few bites and glances around the huge room speculatively, his dark eyes eventually going back to Ripley. "Who are you asking? You always get some ridiculously beautiful girl, so which one will you take this year?"

Mabel shakes her head to Lois, smiling, "They're probably circling as we speak, though," she jests at her own expense. She's not accustomed to being among the first asked, in general. "I should probably start planning my fancy dress now, though, last year's turned out dreadful." A pause, and she notes where Avery's been looking, "Would you pass us some of that pudding, Spinnet?"

Ripley gives a little cough and chokes a bit on his food. "I…" As he drinks down a good bit of juice to clear. "I don't know yet." He says and looks about the room some. "Haven't found the right person yet."

Idrissa blinks as she peers at Ophelia. "You alright?" Is questioned. Hearing Arian she shrugs a moment. "No clue." She scratches at her neck and then glances to Hephaesta and smiles to her. "Hey Hephaesta." Well Arian and her are sitting close to Phelia as well.

Ophelia looks up, her gaze skipping over Arian on its way to Hephaesta. She waves, grinning a little, as she answers Arian, "Sorry, yes. I'm alright. I just… " Collor blooms on her cheeks, and she runs a hand through her hair. "I guess there's something I need to research." She hurriedly pats the seat beside her in invitation to the new arrival.

"I haven't even thought of what I'll wear," Lois says, sighing as she shaves off a mouthful of meat. "I was the Red Queen last year, but I ought to try to be a little more creative this round." Chewing and swallowing, the Sixth Year adds, "I forget - were /you/ the one whose color-changing potion failed halfway through the first number?" She takes a second to shoot Llewellyn a smile. "I believe it is a dance, this year - though I haven't heard for certain. I hope so, though."

"Oh." Leander looks at his twin with a skeptical glare, then shrugs and goes back to his meal, which is nearly gone. He really doesn't eat very much. After a moment he reaches for his bookbag and pulls out the Transfiguration text, thumping it on to the table and flipping it open while shoveling the last few bites of his food down.

Hephaesta sits on the bench and carefully swings her legs over to join Ophelia. "Research? What sort of research? I can help!" She exclaims excitedly as she loads up a plate for dinner.

"It's not too late to ask me," points out Avery, looking at Llewellyn in a pointed kind of way. "I'll be going as a princess though. Just in case you were thinking of going as a prince." Just in case. So casual does she deliver that, spooning mashed potatoes onto her plate and a slice of roast beef.

Arian still doesn't seem satisfied with that answer. "What are you talking about?" he asks, still staring at Ophelia. Phae gets a quick wave, but not much in the way of a formal greeting. "Stop being so secretive! We're supposed to be friends!"

Ripley keeps to his food for a long amount of time. He disects and eats every last bite on the plate before he leans back and pats at his stomach, "Where's dessert?" He says and looks about the table, "Going for a run after this, want to come?"

Over at the Gryffindor table, Wilfred swallows a piece of meat that he had been chewing, then puts his knife to actions cutting another one. "I suppose it's easier for us guys to pick a costume, I'll probably dress up in some dashing uniform, maybe a muggle one." Stabbing his fork into another piece, he brings it up and starts chewing again.

Ophelia grimaces and starts to explain, when Arian's sudden intensity catches her. Blinking, she looks back at her friend, "I… well I'm sorry, I didn't mean… its just rather, you know, embarassing." She gives him a 'you know what I mean' look and quietly adds, "I'm going to have to learn how to dance."

Idrissa tilts her head while curiously looking from Arian to Ophelia and then to Hephaesta once more. "I dono Arian.. I missing something to." She looks back to him and shrugs while she munches on a bit of bread. "Dance… do we have to dance then?" She doesn't dance well in the least.

Leander shakes his head and frowns. "I dunno how you can run after eating so much," he states simply, looking down at the Transfiguration book now and then. A casual glance up brings Llewellyn into his attention; he directs a friendly smile (rare enough, for him) towards the younger Slytherin. "Hey, Llewellyn! How are your classes?"

Hephaesta blinks, pondering for a moment until it dawns on her. "Dance? Oh, the Hallowe'en ball? You're going, then?" Phae nibbles thoughtfully on her lip as she awaits Ophelia's answer.

"I'd like to /be/ a prince," Llewellyn muses, fork and knife whaling away at his own slab of meat in turn, "but I suppose I can settle for dressing up as one." He looks over to Lois and nods. "Expect you're right. And is /that/ why the flowers changed? I thought someone actually painted them and then hexed it off again." Oh, and then there's Leander piping up— the conversation is flowing quickly tonight! More so than the gravy, even. "Herbology's a right slog, but what else is new?"

Ripley gives a bit of a shrug, "I just do." He states and looks to the younger member of their house, "Heyas. How are you?"

"So kind of you to forget, perhaps one shouldn't spoil the effort by owning up," Mabel laughs to her Prefect cousin. "I'll think of something I can do without relying on a rush job in Potions class, though." She looks toward Wilfred, "Sounds very manageable."

"The Averys are related to the royal family," says Claire helpfully. All she has to do is kill off a lot of other people and she could be a Princess! And then Llew could marry her, and be a prince! See, that was easy!

"Too right!" Leander agrees. Herbology is actually one of his least favorite classes, and one of the few he doesn't excel at. He glances over at his brother and gives him a long, inquiring look, one of his dark eyebrows shooting up. "…you want me to come with you on a run? You know I'm going to slow you down if I do."

Ophelia frowns, "Well, I suppose I don't know for sure. But I should be ready, shouldn't I? In case he asks?" She sighs, "And I suppose I'll have to find some sort of costume. Or a /dress/." Neither is sounding very appealing at the moment.

"You're awfully young to need a /date/." Lois, catching fragments of Avery and Llewellyn's conversation, gives the pair a small frown. "Both of you, but Avery in particular! But… let me know if you need any help with your costume - I'm quite handy with a needle, you know." She settles into comfortable silence for half a moment, consuming her food in ladylike bites, before adding, "I think you're right, about the flowers." Mabel… just gets winked at. Hearing Leander address her conversation-mate, the prefect flashes the Slytherin a quick smile, before refocusing on her food.

Ripley shrugs, "Gotta beef you up somehow." Ripley responds to his brother and goes back to looking for dessert. He spends a while looking and becomes quite silent once again as he begins to dive into what he finds. When Lois gives Leander a look, he elbows his brother and mutters something low.

Hephaesta pales at Ophelia's words, her smile fading. "In case…who asks?" Her utensils are slowly set down, bracing herself for the answer.

Avery gives Lois a flat, downright unfriendly look. "Daddy has already bought my costume. It's in my trunk. Let me know if you need any help with /your/ costume. I'm quite good with a wand." That subtle jibe at the difference between muggle ways and UNFAILING PUREBLOOD SNOBBERY!, the first year Ravenclaw returns to her dinner. "Well, Llew? Are you /escorting/ me or not?"

"Hm… okay," Leander says, still looking somewhat mystified, before leaning back and looking down at the Transfiguration book for a little while longer. When Ripley bumps him he grumbles and looks up, only to catching Lois's smile. He smiles weakly at her, his heart thumping, then clears his throat and goes back to his textbook, his ears turning red. For his own part he doesn't even seem to be slightly interested in sweets. "We running out by the forest?"

At the table with the Griffindors, one of the chickens on the table that has halfway been munched upon, begins to tap it's leg to an unheard beat.

Wilfred finishes his plate, scraping off the last bits of meat and gravy. Leaving his plate down on the table for the house elves to take care of, he gets up from his seat. "Excuse me ladies, I'd better get back to the common room, I've got astronomy tonight." As he gets to the portion about astronomy, his expression falls a few levels. "I'll see you all back at the common room then, or tommorow."

Arian immediately follows up Phae's question with a nod. "Yeah, in case WHO asks?" he says quickly. "Are you talking about Kaiden? I thought you two were, you know… a couple now?" He nudges her in the ribs playfully. "You know, thanks to yours truly."

Ripley looks down at his dessert and digs in with his left hand, concentrating hard on it except for when his brother speaks to him. "Ask her." He says and goes back to eating, pausing between bites so that he can swallow.

"Kaiden." Ophelia answers, frowning as though she'd assumed this was logical. Her eyes then suddenly widen in understanding, "Oh, I haven't gotten to tell you yet. I talked to him, about what you and Ajax said. And he agreed to lay off a bit. I didn't expect him to." Surprise enters her tone, "But he's kept his promise."

At the Ravenclaw table, another chicken begins to tap it's leg to an unheard beat.

Mabel just laughs a little under her breath, as some pudding arrives, "You'll be about the same age as Princess Elizabeth, actually, Claire, it's rather fitting, I suppose… Ah, here's to the King's health." She raises her pumpkin juice and gives a parting nod to young Wilfred.

*CLATTER* The spoon still in Hephaesta's hand hit the plate. "Kaiden?" Her jaw hangs open. She's quite distracted, and doesn't seem to notice the dancing chicken. "Kaiden," she repeats. "I thought…we…we said…you said…" She fumbles over her words.

At the table of the Hufflepuff, the chicken there also begins to tap it's leg to the same beat as the rest.

Lois merely continues to smile at Avery, a gigawatt-level beam. SHE WILL WIN YOU OVER YET, COUSIN DARLING. "Oh, that was nice of him! And if you'd like to help, well - you know, the Domestics Club is /always/ looking for new members. You'd be surprised how much fun sewing and things are, with and without magic helping you." Waving a hand at Wilfred, she uses the other to lift her juice to Mabel's toast. See, she's a good English girl, she drinks to the King's health.

'Escort' is so much safer a word than 'date'! That won't get turned around for several more decades, yet. "I suppose I am," says Llewellyn, nodding to Avery as he reaches over and grabs for a chicken leg to go with the beef. Yes, that particular chicken leg, as it turns out. Wait, what?

Leander frowns at the answer from his twin. He stares down at the table for a moment. "Fine." Then, slowly, he gets up, and makes his way over to the Gryffindor table in an almost wooden manner, looking like a man walking to the executioner's block. When he gets there, he clears his throat and reaches out to gently tap Lois on the shoulder. "E.. excuse me, Miss Pym." His blood has drained from his face again - this time it's definitely /not/ out of fury.

Idrissa peers at Arian a few moments and then looks to Ophelia and tilts her head. "You and Kaiden are a item?" She questions with a curious tone. The tapping gets her attention and she looks around before catching sight of the dancing chicken. She is utterly quiet for a few moment, her eyes widen a moment. "Um… Guys… Why is the half eaten chicken dancing?"

Finally, at the table housing the Slytherin, the chicken begins to tap it's leg. The one in Avery's hand begins to spin quite rapidly about as if enaacting the tango on it's own. All four chickens begin to dance as if their little lives depended on it. If they were still alive, that is. Each pair fo two flop about towards each other and grasp their carcases and begin to break out in the forbidden dance of love!

Ophelia manages to toss a crooked grin at Arian before Hephaesta seaks up. "Y-yes?" She asks, blushing and nodding to Idrissa's question. "I… I told him, and he promised not to be so touchy.. I'm sorry, I thought… well I guess I expected him to just leave but he didn't what? The chicken?" Frowning, she looks around, and as she finds herself confronted with dancing /chickens/ slowly leans back, eyes going wide. "What… "

Ripley looks to the chickens and purses his lips a bit that then breaks into a grin. He watches for a good bit and then goes back to his dessert. Of course, his eyes look to his brother and if one looked closely they would see the hope in the boy's eyes. Still, dessert is all he's after as his shoulders make some slight movements as if he had a place on his back he needed to scratch.

Wilfred walks down the row between the tables, then glances about in confusion as he sees the chickens start to dance. Well, that's to be expected here though, must be some kids playing a prank. He turns again to walk out of the hall, his thoughts turning back to his astronomy paper and the class coming up.

Avery has a bemused look for the chickens taking to toe-tapping at the table, watching the one at the Gryffindor table for a long moment. "It would seem our food has already gotten started on that score." She lifts her eyes to Lois and says, "Just because your father is a mudblood doesn't mean you need to act beneath yourself, Lois." Well, it seems she /is/ an ass, occasionally. Now the chicken leg is wrenching itself away from Llew and she frowns after it. "There, you see. You can't stop love." She does not drink to the King's health, having no particular care for some Muggle with a dubious claim at leadership.

The chicken in Avery's hand would have easily ripped itself from that grasp to dance. Still, it dances as if the day was long and the stars were bright. It's little chicken friend in it's arms is dipped into the nearest bowl of pudding.

Mabel continues being a bit bemused, still working at her dinner, while the poultry offering begins its little danse macabre… "The fowl is a bit overly-fresh, tonight, it seems," she says, drolly. "Time to shake a leg, I suppose?"

Ignoring the sounds of chicken dancing behind him, Wilfred passes through the doorway.

Hephaesta goes from pale to looking a little green. She looks down at her lap, mumbling something about a stupid cousin. She lifts her legs and swivels on the bench again to rise. Her food untouched, she hobbles out of the Great Hall as fast as she can manage, looking rathing like she is about to have an unpleasant regurgitation.

"Avery!" Lois is scandalized: so scandalized, in fact, that she is tragically missing the Dance of the Fowl Damned. "Watch your mouth! You know better than to use a dirty word like that." Her brows are still furrowed when she whirls her head towards shoulder-tapping Leander, and it takes a moment for her face to clear. "/What/ - Oh, /gosh/, sorry, Leander." The Slytherin gets an apologetic smile, with a brow wiggle towards the table and certain cousins: it's not you, it's them. "Yes, what is it?"

All four chickens dip each other into whatever is nearby causing a wonderful chicken and whatever malaise on the table. Sauces become gowns and crowns for the dance of the Surely Plumped Fowlies.

Leander wavers in place for a while, his hands stuffing themselves automatically into his pockets. He, too, is oblivious to whatever else is going on involving the chickens - oh, he has a /very/ good idea of why that's happening, but doesn't care too much. He manages a very small smile at Lois, looks away, then looks back. To his credit, when he takes the plunge, he doesn't stop and look back, even if he /does/ sound like someone requesting that the axeman please be very quick about chopping his head off of his shoulders. "It's just I was wondering. We've got the Halloween dance coming up, and… would you like to go?"

Mabel sighs, just adding a look of disapproval toward Avery to add to her more-oblique criticism. Though she's a bit spared by the chicken-dance gets out of hand, as well as the young cousin's language. She sets down her fork, and sighs, taking out her wand, tapping it lightly on the table. before casting an immobilis charm. "It'd be a shame to spoil this gravy, wouldn't you think?"

Idrissa continues to watch the chicken, her stomach is turning and she looks a bit green acros the face even. She has to even look up towards something other then the chickens and a faint brath escapes her. When she looks back down the chickens are in gowns? "Who is pulling our legs?" Her gaze flicks around the room as if trying to figure out whom is doing it!

Three of the chickens fall down on the table as if someone plucked the strings from them. One remains, standing there with it's 'face' pointed at Lois and Leander. It reaches it's drunmstick up, alas, the second one was left in Avery's hand before it gestures to Leander, it's heart, and then to Lois before it faints on the table. And with that, Ripley jumps to his feet and lifts his hands in victory, wand in hand. "Nobody cry foul." As he points the wand about and then deposits it into his robe with a grin and begins to walk out of the room.

Llewellyn shoots Avery a surprised look as well: sharp words from the Claw are nothing new, but that one in particular is a new one on him. He's got other things to worry about, though, and not just the animated poultry either. "I, I'd better go check on her," he adds, rising to his feet and making for the exit in turn.

Ophelia looks frantically from the chickens to the retreating Hephaesta, "I don't know. But see if you can't find out? Before a prefect decides to show up oh. Well, I suppose it was him then. Look, I'm going to check on Hephaesta… congratulations on the dance… " Dropping her remaining roll bits onto her plate, she scrambles out of her seat and runs after her friend.

Avery does not look impressed at Lois's scandal. If her two cousins won't take the hint, she'll make it clear, especially to Lois — they aren't welcome in her little sphere of the universe. With the chickens slowly dying, she pokes one with a finger to make sure it's not going to get up and do an encore, before tearing off a wing. She glances at Llew when he gets up and her eyes narrow very slightly. Jealous? Maybe.

"Good lord," is Lois's first and doubtlessly heartening response, "was your horrible idiot of a brother /serious/?" She is silent for a beat afterward, gazing contemplatively up at Leander in a musing manner, cheeks going pink. "Well, I -" Annnd then there's a chicken pointing at her, which is pretty weird even for this place, so she is probably forgiven for being temporarily distracted by it. "/What/ the -" It's only after she, silently, stares at the departing Ripley that she finally returns her gaze to Leander. And there's the smile! "Yes. Of course I will, Leander. Clark can go with /Lana/, she's been dying for him to."

Ripley pushes his hands into his pockets and heads out of the room with a whistle on his lips and a smile on his face. He glances back just in time to hear Lois agree to go and the smile turns a little more sweet before he gives a little cough and continues on his way out to the hall.

Mabel reclaims her fork, saying, as though to herself, but referring to earlier conversation, "Quite civilized, don'tyou know," she muses. "As we can see."

Heartening, right. Leander's white coloration goes to a very particular shade of grey, and he visibly /gulps/. "Erm…" He seems about ready to say something along the lines of 'no, no, of course he wasn't serious!' - but is cut off by two things: first, the chickens, which make him stare irritably while they go about dancing, then the second half of Lois's answer, which causes the blood to rush back into his face in a sudden flush of color. "G… great! Thanks, Lois." The Slytherin boy grins, suddenly exceptionally happy and wanting to go and find his brother and give him a huge hug. Talk about bipolar. "I'll see you at the dance, then!" And with that, he turns and makes his way out of the hall as well.

"Oh, before that!" Lois contrives to do her upward gazing at Leander through her eyelashes, in the classic style. "We'll have to talk over our costumes! Here, I'll catch you in the halls or something, alright? We'll talk over the fine points." Beam! "G'night, Leander!" Only once the Slytherin is fully out of earshot does she say, to Mabel: "… I wish he hadn't done that publicly, you know, it'll be awful explaining to the others." Yeah, Lois, your life is so HARD, clearly.

Avery has absolutely no desire to watch Lois and Leander flirt. She pushes her plate away, keeping the chicken wing, and makes a disgusted noise. "Have a good night," she tells the older students, sliding out of the bench and making her way out of the Hall.

"Yes… costumes!" Leander stops in his tracks to look back at Lois. /Freezes/, in fact. He smiles at her again and then, when she says her goodbyes, leans forward in a bow that is far more subdued and formal than the one Ripley executed earlier. "Good night!" And then he really does wander off. Time for a run, apparently.

Mabel nods, as she gives a little wave and a 'Toodles!' to the departing Leander. Well, there's worse cousins to have for a classmate than the pretty and quite popular one, perhaps. "That's the way with brothers, I suppose," she says, with a mild "Sleep tight, Claire."

"G'night, Claire, dear!" Because everything points towards Avery being the type to appreciate Lois calling her 'dear', yes. Stellar thinking, there. Waving to the departing Leander, and giving him a final warm smile, she then turns her attention to Mabel. "I'm about to head up, myself, I think. And - well, I don't know. Ripley's an utter ass, but Leander's always been a lamb to me." Draining the last dregs of her pumpkin juice, she starts to get up from her seat. As she does, she says, "So what about you and Spinnet?"

Mabel glances a bit involuntarily to where Spinnet just was, apparently having fled the near occasion of flying sauces. Looking a bit perplexed, pursing her lips, "You think?" she muses. Seeming to find it unlikely for some reason. "Well, I shan't be long, myself, I'm sure." She laughs a little, though. "And, as for Claire, I suppose it was a bit much to invite her over, but she might just come around a bit. It sounds as if she's had quite a bit of pressure on her, about the lineage and all. We should talk later, I think."

"Maybe I'll let you handle the first round with her. I'd guess she probably hates Uncle Charlie a bit less than poor old Dad, and that's a strike against me." Sigh. Lois flashes her cousin a smile over her shoulder, before departing. "See you later! I just remembered I left my Transformations textbook out by the lake, so I'll just go run and grab it before it gets damp." And with that, she's striding away.

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