(1937-10-04) Beautiful Ugly
Details for Beautiful Ugly
Summary: Phae and Ophelia talk about Hallowe'en costumes, wandlore, and what they find ugly about themselves, and beautiful about each other.
Date: 4 October, 1937
Location: Ravenclaw Girls Tower
Related: In general, the saga of Ophelia and Hephaesta.

Ravenclaw Girls Tower, Hogwarts Castle

In a turret off of the main Ravenclaw Tower is another tower for the Girl's Dormitory. Of all the towers in the castle those of the Ravenclaw House are the most 'out there' so to speak so there is a soft and constant whistle of wind through the shingles and cracks in the windows and doors. 'Rowena's Lullaby' is what the wind has affectionately been named by those sorted into her house. Bronze four poster bedframes are outfited with a lamp in the head board so that night reading can be done with ease. Each bed also comes with a 'back rest' pillow to also keep the studying student comfortable. Sky blue silk is the fabric and colour that drapes each student bed. Between each bed there is a large desk with a bookshelf in the wall above it. Also a small low dresser doubles as a night stand on the other side of each bed from the desk.

Hephaesta sits on her bed, propped against the back rest. Her shoes and socks are off, as is her leg brace. Her legs are stretched out on the bed, but a pillow covers the left one, leaving only her toes poking out the bottom, pointing strongly inward toward her other food. An Herbology book is in her lap, and one hand rests on the trunk of the potted walnut tree beside her bed.

Not long after dinner, Ophelia heads up the stairs. She's on her way up to her own room, but pauses to glance inside. When she sees Hephaesta she stops completely, smiling a small and wondering smile. After a bit of this she reaches up, knocking on the door and stepping in, "Hello, sorry to bother. Do you have a moment? I wanted to ask you about something."

Hephaesta looks up from the book, which is quickly set aside. "Of course! Come in!" She beams happily at the arrival of Ophelia, and scoots aside to make room on the bed, ever careful to keep her leg covered with the pillow.

Ophelia smiles a little wider and steps in to join Hephaesta, sitting down carefully so as not to dislodge the pillow, which is spared a glance as she gets settled more comfortably. This, of course, requires the removal of her shoes and socks. As she finishes with this task she asks, "Do you have any idea what sort of costume you'd like to wear to the dance?"

Hephaesta gets a little blush, nodding and toying wit her hair. "Yyyyes. But…well…I'd already started planning it before…um…" Touchy subject! "Before you asked me to the dance. I was going to try to surprise you with it," she offers meekly.

"Oh… um, should… should I not ask then?" Ophelia bites her lip, looking worried. "Do you still want it to be a surprise? If you do I can come up with something, I just… " She starts fiddling with a recently frayed bit of skirt hem, "I guess I just assumed we'd plan something together." Fiddlesticks! Now I have to come up with an idea by myself! And one that she'll like, too!

Hephaesta nibbles at her lip. "Welllll…" She wavers uncertainly. "I think you might like the surprise. But if you really want to, we can do something together."

Oh, dangit. Ophelia takes a couple of seconds to think about her sudden new dilema. And then she grins, "You know what? Surprise me. I had a few ideas, I'll just go with one of them." More like a few million that she cannot possibly narrow down, but whose counting? "Did you go last year?"

Hephaesta shakes her head. "No one's ever asked me. But, are you sure? I…think you'll like it. But I really don't mind doing something new, if it would make you happy." Anything for you, her smiles says.

Ophelia nods. "Yes, I'm sure. I'd like to see your idea, even though I'm sure I'll go positively mad with wondering what it is." She grins, and reaches out to take one of Hephaesta's hands. "Also that I'm going to have to work very hard to come up with something as good as a costume I haven't even seen. But what kind of Ravenclaw would I be if I didn't rise to this challenge?" Also she can make Ajax help her.

Hephaesta giggles. "Well…it's not all that special. It's just…well, you'll see." There is a sudden impish gleam of conspiracy in her eyes. "So, do I get to help you with yours?"

Ophelia blinks, "Do you want to? You don't want me to surprise you too?" She certainly doesn't seem opposed to the idea, lifting her shoulders in a shrug as she goes on, "I'd love some help, certainly. I just haven't picked an idea yet."

Hephaesta grins. "Well…what if I helped you come up with a costume that goes with mine…but I don't tell you how it goes with mine? It's true, I won't be surprised, but this way I can surprise you, and we still get to have a matching theme."

Ophelia watches Hephaesta, her eyes narrowing in thought. "Then… I'd have to say you really /are/ the smartest person at this school. Not, of course, that I don't already think this." She breaks once more into a grin, and draws up her knees so she can rest her chin on them.

Hephaesta giggles, blushing fiercely. "I don't understand how you can think that. I mean…wandlore, Ophelia. You study wandlore. I don't think there's a harder subject out there. I mean, how many truly accomplished wandmakers are there in the world? A few dozen, maybe?" She really doesn't know, but then, most people have never heard of any beyond Ollivander's.

Ophelia sighs, nodding. "Yes, you're quite right. I wonder, sometimes, if I'm not setting myself up for a fall. Because unless I can think of something truly revolutionary, everyone will still be buying wands from Ollivander in ten years."

Hephaesta gazes at her adoringly. "I know you'll be absolutely brilliant. You already are. So you can only get more brilliant. Like your idea for growing a wandwood of your own. Can you imagine if you figured out a way to grow miniature wandwood trees that could become wands themselves?"

"Oh, that's… " Ophelia's eyes widen, her lips parting, "That's a fantastic idea." She leans back until her back hits the bedpost, a wondering smile lighting up her face. "Just like the last idea you gave me. I'm thinking… we make a rather good team." Blushing as she says this, she glances at Hephaesta.

Hephaesta nods emphatically, probably a bit too much so. But then, she's never been very subtle about her wants. "We do, don't we?" For a few moments, she is starting at Ophelia with that hopeful expression that has become all too familiar. But she manages to gather her composure, and reaches for the Herbology book. "I got this in the library. It has a whole section on spells for shaping a growing plant. I'm going to use them for my tree. But you could probably do the same for a wandwood." She offer the book to Ophelia for perusal.

Ophelia flashes a bright smile at Hephaesta, "Thank you!" She takes the book, flipping through it the moment she has it in her hands. Her eyes start to skim the pages, alight with the fire of new ideas. Then she blinks, and looks up curiously. "I've been wondering about something. But I keep getting so distracted that I forget to ask."

Hephaesta perks, brow lifting. "What is it?" Of course, a trillion possible questions suddenly race through Hephaesta's head, each less comfortable than the last. But she tries to reassure herself that it's probably perfectly innocent, and not to start freaking out again. That's the last thing Ophelia needs.

Ophelia rests the book in her lap, the pages open, and watches Hephaesta, "Well, I was wondering what exxactly it is you want to do. You're obviously fantastic with machinery. But you also seem to be so interested in brooms." She gestures to the tree, "Are you planning to pursue both?" Her tone holds nothing but curiosity, as for Ophelia one obsession has been more than enough, and Hephaesta's aparent two obsessions is baffling to her.

Oh…whew. That's not so bad. Phae looks to her tree. "Well…not exactly." She sits up, an excited look forming on her face. "See, what I'm really into is locomotive magic. The magic of movement. Everything I do is about it. Even the wand buffer just started as an experiment with a basic actuator." She gestures to the perch on her bedside table, where her mechanical owl rests. "Gizmo is my best example, obviously. But brooms…well, I just get them. They're all about locomotion, and there's the physics of them. That's a Muggle thing. I don't know…until Professor Beery's assignment, I'd never really considered being a broom-maker. But it just makes sense to me. And just think of all of the options I could build into brooms. Mechanical broomsticks! The navigation systems alone could be really revolutionary."

Ophelia listens quietly, her head tilted slightly as she just stares at Hephaesta. A tiny grin begins to pull at one corner of her mouth, partway through the speech, and after a while she begins to nod. "Brilliant." She comments softly, amazed. "I can see it, the possibilities. Mechanical broomsticks. Who would have ever thought of such a thing… "

Hephaesta glows with Ophelia's admiration, and gets more animated as she continues. "I've got this idea for a handle-bar system connected to adjustable bristles for better control and maneuverability. And you should see this one Muggle magazine I have that talks about jet engines. They're these really powerful propulsion engines. They're way too big for a broom yet, but maybe someday they could be miniaturized." As she excitedly bounces in place, explaining all of this, the pillow on her leg has shifted, partially revealing her misshapen leg, but she does not seem to have noticed.

Ophelia's own eyes light up at the mention of jet engines. "Yes, I've heard of those. I've been reading about Muggle flight, actually, while I was looking for costume ideas." She leans forward to grin at Hephaesta, leaning on her hands. One of her hands lands on the covers right beside the formerly covered leg, close enough to touch if she shifts just the tiniest bit, "And I just bet you're the one who'll figure out how to do that, too."

Hephaesta shrugs, grinning a bit proudly. "I might. Maybe someday. Jet engines are really complex machines. Making them work right with magic could be pretty tough." She hasn't noticed her exposed leg yet. She is far to engrossed in her conversation with sweet, beautiful Ophelia.

Ophelia hasn't noticed it either. But then She's always been rather focused on Hephaesta's face. As she is now. "Unlike mechanical brooms?" She teases, giggling. "And you say I have ambitions. At leat mine, thus far, are traditional. You'll revolutionise the way we do nearly everything!" She lifts one hand to wave in a grand gesture. The other, to help support her weight, shifts. Just enough that her smallest finger brushes against Hephaesta's leg.

Zzzzt! The touch is like a jolt of electricity, and for a moment, it's a guilty little thrill for Hephaesta. Right up until she realizes that her defect is showing. Blushing crimson with embarrassment, she hurriedly covers it with the pillow, voice in a panic, "I'm so sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Ophelia sits up, looking around in confusion. "What? What happened!?" And then she sees what Hephaesta is doing, and her face instantly fills with sadness. "Hephaesta… " Her head begins to shake, and she shifts again to sit up and reach for the brunette's hands, "Why are you sorry?"

Hephaesta's hands are tremblings as Ophelia takes them, and she cannot meet the redhead's gaze. "Because…it's so ugly. I…I don't want it to frighten you." Don't cry. Don't cry. No more of that. Just breathe, and keep calm.

Ophelia shakes her head, "You don't frighten me. Nothing about you could frighten me, alright? And we all have ugly things. Most people just keep theirs inside." She scoots forward until she is right in front of Phae, then lets go with one hand and reaches up to gently stoke the brunette's hair. "Please. Don't be afraid of frightening me or anything like that."

That's certainly one way to take Phae's mind off of her shame. Ophelia's fingers in her hair has a hypnotic effect on her, and her eyes flutter half-closed. She manages to murmur a response, "I…try not to…ugly…" Well…sort of a response.

Ophelia listens, having to guess at what all that could mean. Her hand keeps stroking as she chuckles, faintly, and retorts, "Alright, so I'm getting the impression you're rather biased about me. But still. Have you seen my nose? It is entirely far too large for my face. And my hair? I've never been able to get it to curl like this… and this!" Releasing Hephaesta rather suddenly, she claps her hands to her chest, "I look like a boy still! I'm beginning to think I'll never develop… "

Hephaesta's jaw drops. "Ophie…you're gorgeous! Your nose is perfect for your face, and your hair is like…like a waterfall of fire. It's amazing. And…your eyes," Phae turns pink as she realizes she's gushing, but she doesn't stop. In for a penny, in for a pound. "Your eyes are like two gemstones. Your skin is smooth and soft. And your…" She gestures, "You do not look like a boy. You are the most beautiful girl in the world."

Ophelia sighs. Ok, so she didn't manage to cheer Phae up. But she does seem to have distracted her. Embarrassingly so! Blushing quite deeply herself, she drops her eyes and hands to her lap. "A-are you quite certain you haven't taken a love potion recently?" She jokes.

Hephaesta giggles softly. Her voice goes soft, eyes brimming with adoration, "I don't need a love potion. Not with you." Her hand moves tentatively to reach for Ophelia's. So far, hand-holding has been acceptable, so she'll take what she can get.

Ophelia takes the offered hand. And she reaches for Hephaesta's other one. Then, carefully, she leans forward to touch her forehead to the other girl's. "Anyway. My point is that we all have things we don't like about ourselves. Things that don't bother others nearly as much as we worry they will. So don't. Worry. I like you. A lot. And that means I like all of you."

Hephaesta nods slowly, wide-eyed and keenly aware of just how close Ophelia's lips are. There goes her heart, pounding away again. She idly wonders if Ophelia even realizes the full extent of the effect she has. "O-okay." She swallows to fight the dryness forming in her throat.

"Good." Ophelia replies, relieved. She gives both of the hands a tight squeeze, and after a moment closes her eyes, trying to sort out her own suddenly growing feelings. It is therefore some time before she pulls away and sits back again, blinking and looking rather bewildered. "Right, well… so lets talk about this costume thing then."

Hephaesta can breathe again, including a little sigh of disappointment. But then, perhaps this wasn't the best venue for her first kiss. Suddenly, all she can concentrate one is what sort of fantasy scenario would make for a good first kiss. Several imaginings of daring rescues and tower-bound princesses later, she pulls herself back to reality. "Right. Costumes. Um…so…I have this image of a you wearing a dress that…" She details her concept, getting animated again. She pauses once, again noticing her twisted and malformed leg peeking out, and consciously moves the pillow aside before continuing, her excitement at the idea growing.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License