(1937-12-31) New Years Eve Ball
Details for New Years Eve
Summary: A New Years Eve ball hosted by the Eibons.
Date: (1937-12-31)
Location: Eibon Estate

There are several ways of arriving at the Eibon estate. Though well away from any main roads, there is a dirt road that connects to one and it maintained well enough to be drivable, though the snow on the ground will make that a hard trip. One could even arrive by boat if they so desired. It is also reachable by broomstick of course, but much more likely are to come by apparition or floo powder. The Eibon house has two large fireplaces connected to the floo network located in large, all stone rooms. A large urn of floo powder stand next to each. They are somewhat bunker like in their build, even equipped with large vault like doors. These doors currently stand open to welcome all guests, but it's clear that it would be quite a task to get through them if they were closed. In these same chambers are two separate circles carved onto the floor. Though the house and nearby grounds are protected against apparition, that charm is lifted inside these circles allowing guests to apparate straight into the building rather than having to arrive outside the gates as is required in some houses.

These two entry rooms are located on opposite walls of a somewhat spacious entry hall. Windows line one wall, showing little more than moon shine off vast drifts of snow. In the other direction are large double doors, standing open to a large ball room. Though nothing more than a large empty room the majority of the year, tonight has been decked out to welcome guests from all over the wizarding world. Asian wizards mingle with South American and Australian wizards beneath the spreading branches of a three story tall tree that appears to have sprouted from the polished wooden floor. A platform circling the base of the tree holds a small band. Though quite popular amongst New Zealand wizards, they haven't gained much notoriety outside the south pacific. Most of the rest of the floor is open area for dancing or conversing. Along the walls are some comfortable armchairs. Two sweeping staircases lead up to an encircling balcony that looks down onto the main floor. Large circular tables have been set up here along with a long rectangular buffet table. Each of the round tables has several bottles placed at the center for which ever guest cares to drink. Elderflower wine is the most common, but a few bottles of butter bear, Knotgrass Mead, Chocolate liqueur, and, of course, Pumpkin Juice. Two more stair cases lead up to the third floor and smaller balcony. The view from the third floor is obstructed by the spreading branches of the indoor tree, the branches even partially blocking a lot of the balcony. Out of use at the moment because of this, the third floor is dark, lit only by moon light and the occasional disembodied firefly like lights decorating the branches.

Other doors lead off the ballroom, and some guests are taking the opportunity to explore some of the house. The family house elf even stands off in a corner with a poll bearing the sign, tour starts here. For any who wanted to suffer through a guided tour.

One family arrived earlier, Artemis and her family. Not that the girl’s all thrilled to be here. How is she supposed to avoid Lan if she’s at his home? She doesn’t stick around the main hall for long, wandering through one of the doors and finding the library. And she will totally spend the night there, walking along with a wide eyed look as she skims over the books at one set of bookshelves. Her father is standing around, having found someone to chat with while he assumes his longtime friend is busy somewhere else, his wife beside him talking in the same conversation. Her brother is wandering around a little more reserved, more just looking around and watching other people.

Mr. Eibon, the organizer of the party, and his wife are patrolling the entry hall, greeting people as they arrive by fire or apparition. The two are currently greeting a rather dower looking Auror and his wife. There is a slight air of tension between them, though their words are nothing but cordial. "And of course, feel free to take a tour of the house." Noalan Eibon the second is in the process of saying, "Our home is your home tonight." "I might just take the chance to do that." The Auror says, meaning heavy in his tones. "You and some of your ministry friends have been here often enough, you could probably lead your own tour group. Please have fun and don't spend all night poking for secret passages. My children can tell you how fruitful that usually turns out." Noalan Replies before moving on to the next arriving couple.

Of -course- Eupraxia Pyrites is here. Why would the gossip columnist miss one of the greatest parties of the year? It's the last party of the year, sure, but that means it -must- be the best. The woman is in one of her usual over-the-top outfits, the fabric charmed to cycle through various seasonal hues. Her makeup is a bit more subtle than usual, but that's only because of how bold the outfit is. She's currently sitting at a table, chattering away with one of the Chinese wizards present at the ball.

While it would be suitable for Jocunda Sykes to arrive via broom, they just aren't suitable for a gown. Or a hairstyle that took (seemingly) ages to get just right. No, tonight she is arriving with Emrys Snowdon via apparition. While most are arriving in wizarding fashions, the young couple are attired in clothing inspired by the Muggle world. One cannot miss, however, that parts of their outfits are charmed. As they step from the room off the entry hall to join the others in making way into the main hall, Jocunda slips a gloved hand into the crook of Emrys' elbow.

Meanwhile, the /other/ Noalan Eibon the second… no, wait, that's just Llewellyn. They do look a little similar, but only at first. Anyway, he's staying off to one side while his parents make the social rounds, as interested in keeping company with them here as any other kid his age, namely Not Very.

The Rousseau family, at least three members thereof, arrive to the party a few minutes late, comfortably among the main influx of guests coming by Floo. Nicki has been stuck to her parents through the evening, looking fairly bored and desperate to be off to find others her age. But it's a while before they let her wander on her own, and even then under the guise of having to visit the little witch's room. She heads directly for the stairs, and the second floor, overlooking the main hall, with a view of those below. Her holiday robe, midnight blue with silver stitching around the edging, is held up enough so she won't trip on it as she climbs upward and stops at the top.

Emrys looks more than a little ill at ease with the clothing, as though he's not used to wearing things like this. He relaxes slightly as Jocunda's hand settles into his elbow, heading into the main hall with the other arrivals.

In a flash of green light, Mikhale appears from inside the floo linked chimney. Tonight he is dressed in a late Tudor fashion, in Slytherin colors of dark green with silver trim: a tunic, cape and stylized (and rather ineffectual looking) leather armor. The former Auror smiles at the welcome received by one of his old co-workers. He smiles politely at the Noalan and his wife. As he quickly removes the dust from his clothes. "You know, truly a remarkable home you have Eibon."

The driveway is long. But she only walked the last curve to the door, having her father drop her off there. She met Noalan on her way up, and she took off the muggle coat she wore over her new robes.
They aren't the most expensive robes of all, but they are current, good, witch robes. The dark blue is trimmed with braid of sky blue and white, and the lining is white. She's braided her hair at the nape of her neck, almost looking grown up as she takes a deep breath, looks at Noalan the youngest, and steps inside

The Galetti family, unsurprisingly, is in attendance. With them arrived Phoebe Evans, dressed in a fairly simple green gown and a brown cloak with bronze trim on it, and after that arrival, she took the first chance she found to drift off and mingle… or at least look around the place, though she's certainly as polite and well-mannered as the situation calls for, she's just more interested in the architecture (or perhaps agriculture?) than the people so far.

The elder Eibon gives a polite nod as another family moves away then turns as Mikhale and approaches, "Mister Lewis-Steele, a pleasure for you to join us this evening, and thank you. It's just a shame I had to lose my parents to inherit it." He replies, welcomingly enough. "Do enjoy yourself. I believe some of you former associates are already here."

After whispering something to Emrys with a small smile, Jocunda settles into step with the Snowdon. There are hints of their own school houses in their attire. Her gown is green, with silver accenting. He has green and silver accents to his suit. Not overly done, but certainly an homage to where they came from as it were. She nods to his response to her, responding even as she flashes a smile and a wave to someone familiar further into the hall. "Yes. He seems to pride himself on his appearance."

Dressed in a plain but well-cared-for holiday robe, dark green shading to near-black under the indoor lighting, Llew motions with one hand when he spots Nicki. "Over this way," he says, voice just above a whisper as he motions her away from the worst of the adult crowding. "Hey, you made it! I was wondering how many of us would actually show up."

"Friend of yours?" Emrys asks, not recognising the person she's waving to himself. "And ah, I see. I'm not excessively familiar with him. I know his brother much better, obviously." He stops then, introducing Jocunda to a colleague of his before they proceed onward.

Noalan could very well be made out of stone with how stiff he currently is. Even his simple forest green Cashmere, well broken in robes somehow seemed chiseled on him. Never fond of crowds at the best of times, he has the added stress of some Christmas chocolates gone bad and a muggle born female friend to show around the party. The families of one of the chocolate recipients already arrived, and, though he didn't see her arrive with them, they seem to have mutually agreed to avoid each other for the time being. To ensure no accidental run ins, he heads out onto the snow frosted landscaped to meet his other arriving friends. He feels more than a little bad at how relieved he is that her muggle parents won't be joining the party. "Good evening, I'm glad you could make it." He greets as he escorts her into the house proper. "Uh, you look really nice. I hope you didn't go through too much trouble." He adds, holding open the front door for her. His own robes are nice and all, but, as usually, they were chosen for comfort rather than style.

Anyone who knows Angelus a school should know that he's been looking forward for New Year's Eve. And pretty much inviting mostly everyone he talks to. He's dressed in fancy robes with many hues of blue, the silk fabric neatly draped around him. The blonde haired boy is actually shadowing his father, and offering polite smiles or a quiet greeting to any of the kids arriving with these families. Angelus makes it a point to keep an eye out for anyone from school, so when his blue eyes pass over a year mate his lips break into a grin. He waves a hand toward Phoebe, breaking off from his father to approach her. "Glad to see you here, Evans," he offers once he's close.

"Indeed, my condolences on that." Mikhale says with a slight bow, "And more's the pity, I could go a few more years without seeing another one for all I care." He smiles at the adults and then presses on into the midst of the party picking up a glass of wine and then narrowing his eyes slightly and scanning the crowd, looking for all the world as if he were picking out a target.

Nicki's eyes light up seeing a friendly face, and a housemate no less. She scoots over to Llewellyn, avoiding being stepped on by a tall, gaunt wizard, and fetching up beside him. "Hallo Llew! I didn't really have a choice, Mother and Father would never have left me at home. Are you here with your folks? Have you seen anyone else?" Her volume matches his, excitement from the party atmosphere quickening her words and the dart of her eyes. They settle on Llew for only moments at a time before darting off to look at something new.

"Family friend," Jocunda says in response to the query. "Best I at least make such a greeting now than have them feel put out later." She's polite in the introductions to one of Emrys' colleagues and soon, she's returning the favor with an introduction to a fellow Department of Magical Transportation employee and his wife. There's a soft jibe from the man about 'finally' meeting who she's been spending her lunch breaks with.

It is easy to lose this little mouse in the crowd. Standing off to one side, Rhyeline stands with a glass of wine. Tonight for the occasion, she wears an ivory dress of sheer, silk chiffon. It clings close to her upper body before at her hipline the skirt takes an exaggerated sweep with bias cut panels, reaching to her ankles. Gazing across the large gathering, the girl brings the glass of wine to her lips.

Phoebe smiles as she sees Angelus coming over toward her, and waves back, then steps out to meet him. "Oh, it's a lovely party," she says. Which explains why she's been ignoring it in favor of looking around the house, but now she casts her gaze over Angelus, and smiles at what she sees. "Those look good on you."

Llewellyn keeps his head down, not that he really needs to, and gestures toward a tangle of older conversants. "They're over there," he replies to Nicki. "A few others, but they're scattered around. Then again, so are the adults— have you seen just how big this place is? That's not the only flight of stairs over there."

Elspeth gives Lan a little bit of a smile. "Ima was braiding my hair for me. Miss Jacque was sending me a late Christmas present." She holds the skirt away from her for a moment, then lets it fall and folds her hands in front of her, and although she doesn't become as stiff as Lan, she takes a cue from him and adopts a more formal pose. "You are having a large house." She looks around as she says this, noting the floo and aparration sites.

When Nicki spies an older group of their housemates, she sidles just a smidgen closer to Llewellyn as she studies them. "Have you seen Grubble here tonight? I don't want to bump into him, he's mean." Her eyes finally settle on Llew for more than two seconds, "No, I haven't really had a chance to look around much yet. Have you?"

Emrys exchanges pleasantries with the DMT employee and his wife, returning the soft joking with some of his own. Eventually the two couples drift apart, the conversation and introductions concluded.

Target acquired, Mikhale's narrowed eyes widen and he begins to make his way purposefully through the crowd. He'll smile and nod at several people as he does so, mostly family friends whom he has no desire to talk to. He is so intent on where he was going in fact that he does indeed fail to see Rhyeline until he passes directly in front of her on his way out. He smiles politely at her for a moment before he realizes who she is. And then he stops for a little bit longer, "All grown up indeed." He says with a smile, "Hello again."

Rhyeline's dark gaze lingers upon Mikhale as the man approaches through the crowd. However, so intent he seems upon a different destination that her gaze shifts away once more by the time he has drawn close enough to notice her. Hearing his greeting, she blinks and glances up at him. Nodding in greeting, she says, "Good evening, Mr. Steele."

"I Thank you." The Elder Noalan says returning Mikhale's bow, and moving on to the next arriving family once the small talk has passed. Clearly his younger name sake didn't inherit his social acumen. Speaking of whom, he moves to the front doors as His son and Elspeth arrive, "Miss Rosen. Good of you to come. A shame your parents didn't feel comfortable enough to join our little party. Of course, I understand their decision completely." He says, his face and tone conveying nothing of his actually feelings on the matter.

There's something of recognition in Jocunda's gaze when she spots Rhyeline and her new conversational partner. There's a slight pressure on Emrys' arm as she turns to head in that direction. Perhaps it is from school years that the recognition rings or maybe she has knowledge enough of her uncle's assistant. Either way, there is a kind enough greeting as she approaches: "Miss Diderot, a pleasure to see you."

Llewellyn scratches his head, looking around. "Grubble? Don't think so. Ought to be able to hear him coming, though— he starts at yelling and works his way up from there." Another look around. "There's Lan and his little brother, of course. Oh, and I think Evans just snuck in a minute ago…"

Noalan's posture doesn't easy any once he enters. "It looks nice." He says, repeating the same lame compliment again, "That was nice of her. It really looks nice." He can't get off the word nice apparently, "It suits you." He tries again. "Uh ya, it's been in the family for a long time, each generation slowly adding to it. This part is one of the most recent additions. It's rather over grown if you ask me. The majority of rooms are empty. It's like my ancestors had been planning on housing several family here at once." He says, easing momentarily. Of course, his tension re-doubles as his father approaches them.

With a glance at his former destination, Mikhale discovers that his target, whomever she might have been has moved, he seems content, then to continue his conversation with Rheyline, "You're friend will find your home sadly vacant I think." He says before Jocunda and Emrys arrive to join their little conversational circle. He smiles at the blonde witch and the Barrister, "Good evening." he greets.

Emrys moves along with Jocunda, the pressure on his arm sufficient to lead him along. "Good evening." He greets the two they've arrived at with a smile.

Angelus grins and rolls his shoulders casually. "It just got better," he says with a wink and a warm smile. He nods his head. "I know, makes me look far more irresistible, right?" The grin that flashes across his face flickers in his eyes. "You want me to show you around?" he offers.

As Llew's hand comes up to scratch his head, Nicki is reminded of their recent meeting at the soda shop, and the sorry state the boy's hair ended up in then. She can't help but stifle a giggle, quickly turning her attention to looking around as the boy mentions more of their schoolmates. "Oh yes, I see Lan there. Who's that with him? Isn't she in…" she pauses for thought and then takes a stab at, "Hufflepuff?"

Rhyeline smiles softly up at Mikhale. "I remembered late that I had a previous engagement. I sent her an owl to reschedule." As an additional two individuals join Rhyeline's conversation with Mikhale, the girl blinks and hesitates. Rhyeline doesn't seem to recognize Jocunda quite as easily as she does her. However, nodding her head in greeting, she murmurs, "Good evening."

Mikhale, beginning to say something more is interrupted by a rather angry looking man who approaches and asks to see him outside for a few moments, Mikhale smiles and nods, "If you'll excuse me one moment, I believe I have some business to attend to."

And before she can serve introductions, Mikhale has departed. This leaves Jocunda watching Rhyeline for a moment. "You attended the ball with Lionel Proudmore," she offers to try to spark memories. "A good number of my housemates were rather jealous." In fact, many girls were. "Jocunda Sykes," she finally offers, realizing that perhaps the younger witch doesn't recognize her. "You're assistant to my uncle now, I believe? This…" a shift and gesture to Emrys, "is Emrys Snowdon, the barrister assigned to his case. Have the two of you met?"

Phoebe laughs to Angelus. "I was going to say it made you look like a waterfall, but if you'd prefer irresistible…" She puts her hand to her chin, making a show of looking him over again, and hmmms consideringly, her face serious but eyes a-twinkle, before she nods. "Yes, I could see that." Her grin breaks out again, and she nods to his offer. "That sounds," she says, "Irresistible." Yep, still grinning.

Elspeth nods as she listens to Lan, and gives a shy, uncertain smile, still watching him carefully. "Is Evelyn being here at the party? I am thinking she is not going to like so many people being around, so I brought - " Then the elder Noalan is approaching. She stops in her conversation with Lan, and she gives a curtsy to the gentleman. "Good evening, Mr. Eibon. My parents are wishing me to thank you for the kind invitation, and are sending their regrets that they are unable to attend."

"She is," Llew muses. As opposed to the older Evans, who he has yet to spot this evening, though she's probably around somewhere or other. "C'mon, let's go say hello." And off he goes, pausing only to duck aside at one point as a middle-aged witch heads past in the other direction.

"Of course, of course, please reassure them that we completely understand. I wouldn't want anyone to attend if they going to feel out of place or unaffordable." The Elder Noalan says, the statement seeming laced with added meaning. "Well, please do go enjoy the party. Don't let me detain you." He says, moving away. Since the arrivals have slowed to only the occasional trickle, he heads towards the ball room proper to schmooze it up with some of the foreign guests.

Nicki glances around as Llewellyn steps off, and she spies her mother, closer than she'd like without having noticed the girl yet. She spins at once to follow after Llew, weaving around people as she hurries to keep up, nearly smashing into his quick sidestep but managing not to cause anyone bodily harm. After that near miss, she keeps one hand up, almost but not touching his back, ready to stop another collision or take a grip if he goes too fast.

Rhyeline watches as Mikhale departs to attend to angry businesses. Lifting her dark gaze once more to the pair, Jocunda and Emrys. The mention of the dance she attended with Lionel Proudmore brings out a subtle warmth in the girl's features. "Ah. Forgive me. Of course, Jocunda Sykes." She nods in greeting. Then looking to Emrys, she offers another nod. "And yes, I am familiar with your name, but no, we have not yet had a chance to meet."

"A pleasure to meet you, I'm sure." Emrys inclines his head toward Rhyeline. "Although it sounds like we may have been in school together, if Miss Sykes remembers you. And yes, we will need to meet in a more official setting soon."

Noalan manages a nervous grin as Elspeth and his father exchange peasantries and his father heads off. "Well, not too bad." He says, sounding only slightly shaken. "Oh, Vyn, yes, she's around. I think Emi is too… at least I saw her family arrive…" His pregnant pause gives birth to a litter of uncomfortable silences. "I think there was something in those chocolates. A fortified chocolate liqueur maybe? They weren't supposed to be alcoholic, but…" His face grows red and he runs a hand through his hair, "I think she might be avoiding me, uh, because of some letters."

Keeping a polite smile on her face, Elspeth waits until Noalan continues on to greet other guests. She turns when Lan and speaks. "Well, I am being glad that I am not embarrassing you with your father," she says quietly. At the mention of there being something in the chocolates, she pushes another little smile. "Of course. As I was saying, I am bringing Thornton with me, for Evelyn. And Neko. I am thinking Thornton might being scared to be all alone suddenly, and she can be bringing Neko with her to Hogwarts when she is bringing her kitten." She gently reaches her hand into a charmed pocket and brings out a little ball of dark fluff that yawns, and then rolls over so that she has to catch and cradle it with both hands.

It seems the man wasn't as angry as it appeared… or else the ex-auror managed to put a stop to things quickly. But Mikhale is back in less time than seems possible. "And I am, Mikhale Steele, I've heard rumors of your fantastic adventures Miss Sykes." He smiles at the blonde and then glances at the man, "I'm afraid I missed your introduction though sir."

Ah. And Mikhale has returned. Something Jocunda was going to put to Rhyeline is cut off as she dips her head in greeting to the former auror. "Lovely to meet you, Mr. Steele. This is Emrys Snowdon, a barrister with the Ministry of Magic." She had been serving introductions, after all. "They are not rumors so much at this point. The most recent editions of Flights through the Ages and a few broom compendiums contain details."

Angelus chuckles, grinning. "We might have to get a picture together," he suggests. "You can keep it by your bed side table," he says with a playful grin. He offers a hand to her with a lighter smile. "Are you hungry, thirsty? We can grab something from upstairs before we go."

"A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Steele." Emrys inclines his head to Mikhale as Jocunda makes introductions between the two of them. "I trust you're enjoying your evening?"

Rhyeline takes the opportunity to escape the slightly overwhelming number of participants in the conversation at an already well overwhelming gathering. The little one dips into a respectful curtsy and step back. "I am pleased to have made your acquaintance, Miss Sykes and Mr. Snowdown." Nodding to Mikhale, "And it was good to see you again." Looking once more to Jocunda, she murmurs, "But I should go and see if Ambassador Troy has arrived yet. Please excuse me."

"Oh, Mr. Eibon!" replies Phoebe in a playful tone. "How improper. Imagine, a picture of you looking out at me at night." She grins as she puts her hand in that of Angelus, then shakes her head at the offer of food or drink. "I'm fine."

Watching Rhyeline go with a slight purse of his lips, he turns back to Emrys and Jocunda, "Indeed, I'm quite well. A barrister you say, might be a handy fellow to get to know." He then smiles at Jocunda, "Ahh, I haven't exactly been keeping up with the papers of late, I haven't been among… civilized society for quite some time." Mikhale.

"I seem to hear that a lot lately," Jocunda murmurs in response to Mikhale's explanation. "So, where have you recently returned from?" She settles into a comfortable pose, hand still on Emrys' arm. She does watch Rhyeline depart, but doesn't pester the mouse further. Not yet, at least.

The near-contact from Nicki prompts Llewellyn to turn his head - she's close enough to have a subtle effect on the air currents going through the room, perhaps - then, having worked that out, turns and continues on his way. "Eibon, Evans, good to see you both," he addresses the pair of second-years. "I trust you're getting along well?" They're holding hands, even! Quick, everyone pay attention to /those/ two for a minute.

"I like to think I'm at least a pleasant person to know, and handy on occasion, yes." Emrys agrees with Mikhael as they chatter quietly, looking interested in whatever his answer to Jocunda's question will be.

Stopping short behind Llewellyn, Nicki manages not to smash into the boy again, and steps up beside him, offering a smile to the other Hogwarts students. "Hallo." There's no real note shown of the younger pair holding hands, but Nicki does cross her own arms behind her back, clearly not attempting to hold hands with Llew. "It's a really nice party."

"Oh, here and there, mostly the other side of this ocean or that." Mikhale answers with the exactness of a politician. "But, I'm back in the Queen's land for the next little bit I suppose. Assuming the work is keeps."

"That wasn't what I was worried about." Noalan says to Elspeth’s statement, but isn't sure how to exactly voice what he was worried about, or even completely understands what he was worried about. "Anyways, let’s head in. If you're hungry, there's food on the second floor." He offers. He's a little surprised by the kitten produced from her pocket like a rabbit out of a conjurer’s hat. "Oh, wow, you're packing claws. Maybe we should have had you searched for concealed weapons." Again a nervous grin at his own lame joke. "I'm sure she'll love it. I'll just have to make sure not to accidentally bump into you tonight."

There's a slight shift in green eyes, lids lowering slightly. Jocunda does tip her head in a nod as Mikhale explains. "Any word on how other regions are handling Germany's behavior as of late?" It's been an interesting topic for her. "Have you been working on the Ministry's behalf, or is this for a more… mundane job? I'm afraid I did not quite catch what you do."

Elspeth gives a little giggle at Lan's joke, and nods. "Or, maybe we can be finding someplace for them to be comfortable?" she asks. "Are there being many other students here tonight?" Her eyes look around once they are in the party proper. She notices her yearmates talking to his little brother, and another younger student that seems to be holding hands with him.

"Well, the Canadians don't really care, the American's are more worried about feeding themselves. The Emperor in Japan looks to be advancing interests into the mainland, The Russians are killing each other and the Turkish just want to be left alone." Mikhale responds to Jocunda's request for outsider information. "All in all, it appears as though everyone but the Germans want to keep the League of Nations intact. And the Germans just want out of the restrictions placed on them by the League."

Angelus slowly nods his head, humming lightly and thoughtfully. "I see the problem. You'd be too busy looking over me to get any sleep." He clears his throat and pretends to keep a serious expression before it breaks into grin, laughing merrily. He nods in response to being alright for food and drinks. "If we step outside I can show you the stables." After a couple steps Angelus is pausing, fixing his gaze on Llewellyn and Nicki. "You as well, Blishwick," he offers in polite response, nodding. "Rousseau." His blue eyes shift to Phoebe before returning to the other two. "Are you two interested in a tour too?"

"And then where would I be? My studies would be a shambles," says Phoebe. "That's the trouble with irresistible." She nods to the stables, and then the older students descend on them, and her smile becomes somewhat more careful and formal. "Good evening," she says to Llewellyn and Nicki with a nod of her head. "Quite fine, thank you." She does not relinquish that hand she's got, not even as more and more eyes descend upon it, but she does nod to Angelus's offer to the others. "I expect it'll be quite interesting." She glances to Angelus with a smile.

Ophelia has never been to a ball before, aside from the one hosted at Hogwarts last Halloween. And so, shortly after arriving some time ago, she approached the house elf and took the tour. Now, being brought back toward the start again, she's starting to notice people about. Most specifically, people she knows. So, with a bright smile and a hurried thanks to the house elf, she makes her way toward the crowds, waving excitedly to Elspeth and Noalan. She's dressed in a gown of pale ivory chiffon with silver butterflies, the neck an open v, the straps thin, the back low. Her hair's been curled and tucked into a pair of ivory combs shaped like butterflies that have been charmed to move, though a few curls have escaped by now.

Llewellyn doesn't press the younger pair any more than he has already - a little goes a long way, sometimes, anyhow - merely nodding to Angelus as he suggests they stay on the move. Moving means dodging parental units. "Sounds good to me. Does it sound good to you, Nicki?" Well, of course /she'd/ be interested, wouldn't she?

"Family room maybe, it's out of the way." Lan says looking back the way they came. "Not sure anywhere in here would be anywhere in here comfortable for them. Aero is might be up there, or she's climbed the new year’s tree. If you'd like, I can take them up there really quick." He offers, figuring she'd want to be social and not be dragged around the house with him. "Oh, I'm sure there are." He spots Angelus too and gestures towards him, "Aelus seems to be gathering a following. We could join him I suppose." Ugh, Angelus may look more like their mother, but he certainly acts more like their dad in a crowd.

Nicki is agreeable enough to anything that keeps her out of sight of her mother for a while. "I think that sounds brilliant." She steps sideways as she gets another glimpse of said mother, putting everyone possible in the way of that particular line of sight.

Elspeth looks to Lan, and nods. "Living room is sounding good," she tells him, although she is still walking towards the four students grouped together. She manages to hand over the fluffy ball of fur and her hand goes carefully to her pocket for the second ball of fur. "Some place nice and quiet where they can be sleeping. I was wanting to ask about the tree. Is it really being part of your house? Or is it just being here for tonight?" The tawny colored kitten she holds now isn't as fluffy, and once out of her pocket, it sits up in her hands, alertly paying attention as they walk.

"Elspeth! Noalan!" Ophelia is undeterred, when her friends fail to notice her waves. It’s a big ball, after all. She squeezes through the crowds until she is close enough to call out, beaming at the pair, "I'm so glad to see someone I know! Mum and dad cancelled at the last minute, and I thought I wouldn't have any friends here! Elspeth, you look so pretty!"

Nova comes into the Main ball room, unescorted. She's wearing an obvious dance dress, akin to a flapper dress, but cut to show off her curves, not hide them. The white of the dress accents her tan skin and her hair is curled loosely, with a few random braids throughout. She'll look around to see if she recognizes anyone.

Mabel has meanwhile, been following about in her rather-elegantly-outgoing mother's wake through the party: cigarette holder and glass of elderflower wine in play for the occasional extravagant gesture, (to adults of around the Hogwarts Class of '17 or so, they might remember her as Maddie Yaxley, eccentric Gryffindor and, apparently, source of a few of her daughter's affectations. ) Mabel spots Ophelia, and giving a little smile and wave, manages to excuse herself from being shown off and overshadowed simultaneously. She slips over to her schoolmates. "Well, good evening, Ophelia. Everyone," she smiles, to those who haven't slipped off too far. "Lovely party."

"So you have been all over," Jocunda says with a mild amusement in response to Mikhale's explanations about many of the world powers and their current feelings. "What is it that takes you all over? Ministry?"

Elspeth turns at the sound of her name, and she gives a warmer smile, as perhaps she can hang out with someone other than Lan's little brother after all. "Hullo, Ophelia. It is be- It is nice to see you," she tells the older girl. "Thank you for the Christmas present, it was being very thoughtful. If I had been knowing that you would be here, I would have been bringing Whizzbee with me, too." The compliment brings a little tinge of pink to her cheeks. "Thank you."

Ophelia shakes her head, "Oh, don't worry! But perhaps I can just come by and pick him up sometime? I really would like to introduce him to Phae, soon." She then turns her beaming smile to Mabel when she hears the girl's voice, waving to her as well, "Hello, Mabel! Is it? I've only just gotten off the tour, myself. Though the house is certainly lovely. And quite large. I should speak to mum and dad about an estate or something. Then maybe we could have a real living room again… "

"No… I'm an independent contractor. I'm a dowser I suppose you could say." Mikhale grins, "I find lost things, and return them to the people who lost them."

"Oh, that must be a very interesting job." Emrys remarks to Mikhael, as he talks about his work. "I've known people in similar lines of work, they seemed to find it very stimulating."

"Oh ho, very nice." Jocunda does smile brightly then, tightening grip on Emrys' arm slightly. "I've always wondered if I should have gone into a line more full of adventure… But alas, the broom and skies are what call to me." She glances over to the man with her, "Shall we perhaps find ourselves something to drink?"

Nova will spot a waiter and take whatever is on his tray to drink. She'll take a sip and she again looks around…so many people, and not a single…wait. She knows those two, at least in passing. Nova will start walking towards Mik and Jocunda.

"Oh, I can't say that I complain about bored days." Mikhale says with a grin, "Who do you know?" He asks curious to see which of his competitors the Barrister knows. He smiles at Jocunda, "There is adventure in almost everything though. Brooms included." He'll spot the tiny American before she arrives and smiling at her, "Hello Nova."

"Well, you've proved brooms and skies can be more than full of adventure." Emrys points out with a smile for Jocunda, before nodding. "Certainly, let us go and find drinks. It was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Steele. Perhaps we can talk more later.”

As Mikhale greets Nova, Jocunda glances over to the quidditch player. She gives a slight tilt of her head in greeting. "I am feeling parched," she explains, gaze returning to Mikhale. "Do excuse us, Mr. Steele. We'll surely see you around." She lets Emrys lead the way this time.

Noalan takes both little kittens around the middle when held out to him. "The tree? No it's just for the party. The branches actually block the way in some places. It's for the countdown later." He's about to step away when Ophelia shows up and he gives her a quick nod, "Oh, hi. Excuse me, I'll be right back. I have a kitten delivery do." He says, hurrying off while the two talk.

Nova raises her eyebrows as the two walk off, "Didn't mean to scare away your companions." She'll turn back to Mikhale, "Twice in the same day, perhaps the fates mean for us to know each other." She'll tilt her head up to look at him. She's in heels, so it's not quite the foot difference in height between the two, but it's a bit.

Mabel smiles, directing the complimenting of the house more toward Noalan, but agreeing with Ophelia, and noticing the kitten in Elspeth's arms, twiddles her fingers toward the cute creature, …She does seem to have a real soft spot there. "Oh, it surely is.” Then to Ophelia, "Does have a bit of room to move about, but sometimes a big house can feel rather empty with a small family."

"To you as well Miss Sykes, Mr. Snowdon. Happy New Year." Mikhale nods to the couple as they exit stage left. He smiles down at the shorter Quidditch player, "It's fine, it seems to be the habit of these affairs that small groups gather in various places."

Ophelia smiles brightly to Noalan as well, but as he's leaving the moment he seems to notice her, her own greeting is cut short, and ends up just being a wave and a bemused smile. "Does it?" She asks Mabel, "I suppose I can see that. But I, well… " Her cheeks color faintly, "With all the books, I've started to worry a bit about Phae, when she comes to visit… "

Angelus suffices with a light grin in response to his irresistible image. He nods and gestures toward a door leading to a hallway. His gaze scans the main hall briefly, glancing toward the older girl who's calling out his brother's name. He lets out a low whistle. "As if Summerbee wasn't pretty enough." He clears his throat and lets out a cough, shaking his head as he heads into the hallway.

Emrys leads Jocunda over to where the drinks are, handing her one before reaching for his own. He's able now to pretty well guess at what she wants, after all.

Phoebe smiles to Llewellyn and Nicki, and nods, then glances curiously in the direction Angelus does, tilting her head for a moment as she looks things over. She doesn't comment on it, though, just following Angelus down the hall.

Llewellyn starts following after Angelus as well, following his gaze curiously: who's doting on Noalan, then? It's kind of hard to tell with all the people milling about. He spots Summerbee all right, though, waving a hand. "Evening, Hornbeam!" he calls out as they pass by.

Mabel smiles a bit of agreement with Angelus' assessment of Ophelia's prettiness. "Actually, if they really are looking, I know there's some manageably-sized estates just outside Bristol that may come available from time to time. It's not London, but quite nice. We all just fell in love with Zig Zag Walk, but there's a fair bit out there. "Oh, Blishwick. Happy New Year."

Ophelia nods, "You think so? They aren't, but I think I could convince them. Apple!" She looks up with another bright smile for Llewellyn, "It’s been too long, how was your Christmas?" She smiles to Phoebe and Angelus as well, though thankfully she herself missed the comment on her looks.

And what Jocunda wants, by way of drinks, is 'anything alcoholic.' Though she does tend towards the stronger things. The woman seems fairly content to settle in at Emrys' side and people watch for the time being.

Nicki hesitates a moment, then steps off in the wake of Angelus, Phoebe and Llewellyn, offering an uncertain smile out to the others they pass, eyes lingering a second on Ophelia. Curiosity touches her gaze as she refers to Llewellyn as Apple, but she doesn't question, or speak up at all.

Nova will nod to Mik, "I have noticed. It's all rather like bees with flowers. Everyone flits." She'll smile and shake her head, "I never know what to expect at this kind of party." She'll tap a sip of her random drink she picked up. She'll look up, "Tell me something interesting." She has an amused, 'please don't bore me' look.

The kittens look decidedly uncomfortable as Lan takes them around the middle, the tawny one showing signs of reproach to the Els as he's taken away. "I'll be seeing you later," Elspeth says to Lan. Then she turns to Ophelia, and nods uncertainly. "If you would like to be coming by, perhaps that can be happening." Then she listens quietly as the talk goes on of estates and such.

Quirking an eyebrow at the request for something interesting… combining that with her order for me request yesterday. Mikhale shakes his head slightly with a grin, "Well, let's see." He glances around him at the crowd. "That fat wizard there? With the young woman on his arm? That was his secretary until his wife found out they'd been sleeping together." He grins and ponders, "Or were you more interested in some of the less, sordid and more factual?"

Noalan returns a short time later, minus the cats. "Should be good for food water and warm things to crawl into there." He says once more approaching Elspeth and Ophelia. He catches almost none of the conversation, "Were you going somewhere?" He looks over as Angelus leaves the room then back to the two.

"Were we?" Ophelia tilts her head at Noalan, then the others, "I don't think we were? Unless someone wants to? Did we want to go somewhere else? I did see a great deal of the house, if anyone's not taken the tour I could show you all some of the interesting rooms?"

The Elder Noalan continues to play the room, and taking the occasional opportunity to dance with Angeline. Time slowly but surely heads towards midnight. Though not quite upon them yet, the lights dim in increments as time passes, allowing the little twinkly lights in the tree branches to become more noticeable.

Mabel smiles at a sudden thought, "Well, perhaps come summer we can take a drive about if there's interest, there," then glances between the Eibons present about that, trying not to be too awkward about the fact that she's tagging along with her more-connected mother tonight. Then, the lighting changes a little.

Nova wrinkles her nose, "That's not interesting…that's gossip about someone I don't even know." She'll look around the room for a moment, "Tell me why I was told I should come to /this/ event, as opposed to the dance hall I wanted to go to. Why is this better?" She'll look back up to him, and give a smirk, "and why are you here? Working the room for new clients?" She'll laugh lightly. She's not being malicious, just honestly asking.

Emrys is happy to settle into people watching with Jocunda. People watching, drinking, and exchanging little comments and whispers here and there.
"Fine, fine—" Llew calls out to Ophelia, but then the groups are moving along again. Ah well, they can catch up another time, surely. "Applewood," he explains to Nicki, fishing out his wand and holding it up long enough to supply the context.

Elspeth looks around her. "It is being a big house. I am feeling that I could be here a week and not be seeing all of it. Is it having a library like those mansions I have been seeing in books?" she asks. And then she lights for a moment with a thought that is fleeting. "But you have been seeing the house already, Ophelia?"

"Don't be silly, I never look for clients. They find me." Mikhale grins at Nova. "As for why you should have come here… I imagine it's for the food." He laughs and taking a cup from a passing waitress he takes a taste, "Or the spirits." He shakes his head, "As for why I'm here… for the entertainment."

Ophelia's blush renews itself at the mention of the library. "Yes, ah, I took the tour. I thought you were supposed to. There's a library, it’s… its lovely." So lovely was it, in fact, that the house elf almost had to pull her from the room to complete his tour. "I'd like that, though, Mabel. The place you live seems so interesting, it would be wonderful to see what else there is nearby."

Angelus pauses by the door and looks curiously at Llewellyn. "What's with the name?" he pipes up. His blue eyes fix on Ophelia and a brow arches as he smiles weakly. "You're welcome to join us," Angelus offers the other group politely. He looks off-handedly to his brother and then glances toward Elspeth. "Hello, Rosen," he greets politely but very formally.

Noalan shakes his head, "Sorry, I just miss heard I guess." At mention that Ophelia visited the library earlier he asks, "You didn't happen to See Artemis in there did you?" He pauses a moment, wondering if Ophelia knows Artemis, then adds, "A Hufflepuff girl. I see her family here, but I think she's been avoiding me."

When a few seats at the large tables open, Jocunda gestures with a tip of her head in that direction. "Shall we grab something to eat and sit down? I fear … someone kept me busy most of the day. I've barely eaten." She's smirking, good-natured.

Realization of the nickname's source comes with the showing of his wand, and Nicki nods, "Ah, I see." As the lights dim a measure and Angelus pauses, she reaches to pluck lightly at Llew's robe. "Did you see the time? Is it getting near to midnight?" Looking around, still avoiding the sight of either parent, she tries to catch sight of a clock.

Phoebe nods politely to the set with Ophelia and the fifth-year Eibon. "Good evening," she tells them, and as the lights begin to dim and people start talking about the hour (and here she is in the midst of a great many students) her fingers slip slowly away from those of Angelus as she looks back across the room.

"Artemis?" Ophelia shakes her head, "No, but I didn't see much of anyone, really." She had eyes only for the books, in that room. She looks around, blinking in confusion as the lights dim, though before she can ask about it she hears Nicki's comment, and her face lights up with recognition, "Ah! The… the cinder girl!"

"How very unfair of me." Emrys laughs softly. "Of course we should get something to eat." And so he guides her over that way, to find food and then seats.

Llewellyn moves the applewood shaft so Angelus can get a look as well, before stowing it away again and returning his attention to Nicki. "Pretty close, I think. Why, what happens at midnight? Besides the new year, obviously." Did the party planners have something specific in mind? He doesn't remember hearing anything about it, but that doesn't mean it isn't a thing.

Nova laughs, "Oh, of course…how silly of me. So sorry to imply otherwise." Nova will glance around again, "And what is so entertaining here?" She scans the crowd, not sure exactly what Mik's referring to.

Mabel tilts her head, not herself knowing Artemis, looking toward Llewellyn, then about to see what her mother's up to, and back. "Well, it's difficult to believe, almost. 1938."

"Oh, right the… the new year." Ducking her head as she realizes, belatedly, why the lights are dimming, Ophelia chuckles embarrassedly. "It… it is, yes. This year has gone by so swiftly. Is there something we're supposed to do at midnight?"

Aside from all the adults snogging like their lives depend on it, Nicki isn't sure what's planned for this party so she says as much. "I just thought with the lights changing, maybe it's a sign? I don't know if there's something planned." She frowns lightly, "I'm sure Mother would like me with them at the turning, but… I'd rather stay here. With friends." All of them, not anyone specifically. Well, there is truth in the saying that it's easier to ask forgiveness than ask permission, so Nicki doesn't seem at all inclined to see out her mother and ask if she may spend the midnight hour with her school chums.

"The people of course." Mikhale says with a grin, "You see all these fine men and women in their penguin suits and dresses… the eye candy alone is worth it." He laughs, "But how they dance around each other is also worth watching. You watch the way they interact, the way they avoid the subject, the posturing, the frivolity. And then of course there is finding someone to bring home."

Artemis stays to the library until the end. AWAY from Lan. Though there are so many books she has no idea what book she'd choose to look through. And she'll never be able to come back. Because that would mean talking to Lan. Blush.

Lingering around the door to the hallway and the main hall, Angelus blinks as shifts his gaze to Phoebe when her fingers start to slip from his hand. "Er- Sorry," he says quickly, clearing his throat as he moves his hands to clasp behind his back instead. His mouth twitches as he glances briefly at the tree. "It's like a reverse ball drop that'll probably happen any time if the lights are dimming." He shrugs casually.

Noalan hmms, but has to leave it at that. He'll have to track her down later, if only to tell her she might want to avoid those chocolates. "Blast, thanks anyways." His face hardens slightly as Angelus approaches. He opens his mouth to respond to the question, only to have Angelus beat him too it. "Ya, what he said."

The lights take a further dip towards darkness, and Mr. Eibon pulls a pocket watch on a chain out of his pocket and consults it. He makes his unhurried way to the stage as the band finishes their current song, "Guests, Thank you for spending the end of this last year with us. It seems this last year has been full of uncertainty and tension in both our magical world and that of our Muggle neighbors. While it doesn't seem these tensions are likely to end any time soon. Let us hope that in the dying light of this year, that as much of our stresses, drama, and uncertainties are unable to follow us into the new one." The lights dim further and the base of the tree suddenly begins to glow, the light creeping upwards at a measured pace. While the muggles may have a lighted ball drop, the tree is doing much the same in reverse. As the light heads towards the branches, The Eldest Noalan looks down at his pocket watch and starts the count. "Ten, nine."

Phoebe smiles a little awkwardly, and shakes her head to Angelus. "It's okay," she says, but she doesn't say exactly what is or isn't okay. Pause. "The… show should be nice," she says, and then goes quiet to listen to the speechify of the elder Eibon.

With food and drink at table, Jocunda is able to finally get a few bites to eat. However, the host is soon announcing the countdown. Her eyebrows raise and she looks to Emrys, getting to her feet and offering a hand towards him. "Shall we join the others for the festivities?"

Nova smiles and starts to answer when the lights flicker and she'll turn to listen to Mr. Eibon. She'll smirk as the countdown starts.

"Ball drop?" Ophelia blinks, looks to her friends and new acquaintances, and tries very hard to figure out what that means. Then Mr. Eibon is talking, and she puts her confusion aside for a moment to listen politely.

"I think we should, yes." Emrys stands from their table, taking Jocunda's hand and leading her to join the others awaiting midnight.

Spying her mother looking for her, Nicki edges closer to Llewellyn, letting her pony sized classmate help shield her from view. Her eyes brighten at the elder Eibon's words, and she whispers, as if afraid her mother might hear her voice, "It's nearly time, Llew!"

Elspeth listens to the speech by the older Noalan, her face placid and her hands clasped in front of her. As the tree begins to glow, her eyes round. She's spared the need of answering Angelus with anything more than a nod and half smile of recognition. Moving a little closer to Lan her hands rise, clasped under chin as she watches.

Mabel says quietly, "Oh, it's something they do in New York City, in America," offering to take hands with whoever's nearest-by, though it seems this may not be the practice here tonight.

Mik grins and turns to watch the older Noalan, He crosses his arms and chants the countdown with the rest of them. His wand held at the ready. After all, it's not new years without a few flashy lights and some bangs.

"Oohh, I see." Ophelia nods her thanks to Mabel, and as she sees the others doing so offers her hands as well. She looks around again, though this time at the other guests, noticing now the tree with a smile. "Oh, how pretty." And then she joins in the counting, her eyes alight with curiosity for what the Eibons have planned for midnight.

As the countdown approaches zero, the light approaches the tree branches high above. When zero is reached the sparkling lights in the branches brighten and fall free, twinkling down like the sparks from fireworks, vanishing entirely before they hit the ground. The tree sheds its leaves as well, beginning to shower down with a rustle akin to snow. Halfway to the ground they change into colorful paper shreds like tickertape. The lights once more come up and the band begins to play a celebratory song.

Where exactly are the elder Rousseaus at this moment, anyway? They must be somewhere over on that side, since Nicki is trying to hide on the other side of Llewellyn— a curious notion in itself, given his height issues. Acting on instinct, he takes her hand and leads her a couple steps further into the midst of the others, then turns to cheer and whistle as the light show begins.

"You know," Jocunda murmurs to Emrys, "in America, there is a superstition that if you kiss someone at midnight on the New Year, you'll spend the rest of the year with them." Her lips twitch in some amusement as she shares this, looking up into the leaves-turned-confetti as it falls.

Nova does not raise her wand, but does close her eyes for a moment, almost like she was saying a prayer, or making a wish. and will then open them and laugh at the antics that are going on around her.

Mikhale isn't sure about the staying with them for a year, but Mikhale does kiss a couple of the women who have placed themselves near him for that particular occasion. His wand shoots off fireworks in a series of colors each spark exploding into flashes of light that add to the ambience.

It's only natural to take Llewellyn’s hand and move as he helps Nicki evade her parents by putting more people between them. The 'fireworks' and fluttering paper draws proper appreciation, and she laughs as the paper settles into her hair. She leans closer to wish Llew 'Happy New Year!', then joins in the traditional singing that some have taken up. It's something her family has done for as long as she can remember. She doesn't think to let go of Llew's hand, and even swings it a bit as she sings, rather on key, if not entirely perfect.

"Well, perhaps there's something in it. One never knows." Emrys murmurs in answer to Jocunda's statement. And then it's midnight, which is the time for kissing rather than more talking. So there is no more talking.

Angelus grins briefly when his father begins to speak. He's silent as he watches the tree and the other children for reactions. Before midnight happens, when the room is really dark, he leans close to Phoebe to say something quietly to her. He smiles warmly, and when the big firework display happens, he says to all, "Happy New Year." He grins.

Mabel joins in the singing as well: if she's got a free hand, conjures confetti and streamers from her wand which twinkle away to nothing ness on the way to the floor.

“Happy New Year!" Ophelia exclaims, clapping once her hands are free. Though she doesn't join in the wand works, she watches in delight, loving the festivities around her. Except… "I wish Phae could see this… "

Phoebe smiles as she watches the display, and when Angelus leans toward her, she listens to what he says, then leans back toward him. In the dark, her fingers brush to his again, just for a moment, and she softly murmurs something back to him before the fireworks crackle and pop and she stands up straight again, laughing. "Happy New Year!" she says. "A very nice show indeed."

Apparently holding hands is a thing tonight! Llewellyn lets his fingers twine with Nicki's, singing along more quietly but no less enthusiastically for that. With his other hand, he reaches up to brush some of the paper shreds out of her hair, watching as they flutter harmlessly to the ground.

Noalan counts down with everyone else, right up to the zero and the tree fulfills its purpose. His shoulder bumps Elspeth’s lightly as the brief glittering display goes off. And he adds his voice to the "Happy New Year." Torn momentarily, he finally makes the decision and leans over to give the girl a quick kiss on the cheek like the ones she's given him before. For luck. In the new Year. Luck.

The others can play with shooting off various sparks and colorful means of charms. Jocunda is playing the 'no shame, it's NYE' card and enjoying a - chaste - kiss with Emrys. They break after a reasonable amount of time and she sidles up against him. "The tree is a lovely idea, I must admit."

Nova will roll her eyes at Mik's choices for new year’s kisses and will down the rest of her drink. Apparently there's a lot of that going around though and she sees many people kissing about. She'll just shake her head and laugh.

As she begins to notice the kissing, Ophelia's blush brightens, and she slips back through the crowds to find a place where there is less of all that romanticalness. Oh, hey look, a table with snacks and things!

Elspeth's eyes travel upwards, watching the light creep up, and then her mouth opens as the leaves start to fall in all the tickertape starts falling down around her. She opens her hands to catch at some of the paper falling, when Lan's shoulder bumps her. She gives a laugh as Lan bumps her, and then she's quiet at the kiss on her cheek. She turns a bit pink, and then she smiles towards him, ducking her head. "Happy New Year, Noalan," she says quietly.

Nicki turns a smile to Llewellyn as he helps get some of the paper out of her hair. Her own free hand comes up, settling gently at his chin, to hold his head still as she leans in to kiss his cheek. She's seen the perils of not making sure his cheek stays put. A quick peck and she settles back on her heels, smile still in place. Then her attention finally turns to wishing a happy new year, without the kiss to the cheek, to others around them, friend or stranger.

"It is a lovely idea. Very pretty to watch." Emrys murmurs in reply, putting an arm around Jocunda when she sidles up against him. "This has been a very good way to bring in the New Year."

With all the other public displays of affection going on, Llewellyn was just about to join in— when Nicki goes and beats him to it. The smile and then the cheek-kiss are returned in kind before he draws back, cheering some more and waving to anyone else near enough for him to recognize.

Ophelia gets herself a drink and a small plate of snacks, many of which she's uncertain about but that look interesting enough to try, anyway. She's still smiling happily, humming to herself, and totally not at /all/ wishing she had someone to kiss right now. Really.

Mabel smiles after the bit of celebration trails off, and, being a bit odd-out about the kissing, follows Ophelia's lead, and makes a bit of conversation, "Oh, I imagine there's some manner of family affair for her, as well. " She pauses and adds, "If you do come out to old Brizzle this summer, you should bring Phae as well. Between the woods and perhaps some of the harbor machinery, she might enjoy it."

In that arm, Jocunda settles, watching the last of the paper drift to the floor as the band strikes back up. "Shall we perhaps dance a round or two? Or are you growing tired of such a large crowd?"

Noalan smirks embarrassed. In reply he pats his chest, back hands one hand into the other, then makes a circular motion both fists. "Thanks for coming, I would have probably haunted the library with Emi if you hadn't been here." Did you have a ride home?" He looks around for Ophelia and is a little surprised to see she's moved off. "Maybe we should get some cider while there's any left."

Ophelia nods, and offers Mabel a drink as well. "Oh, no doubt she would. But you aren't going to go out on your family yacht for the summer? Everyone seems to have assumed you were doing so for Christmas, so I was supposing that since you didn't… " She tilts her head curiously, and tries a bit of one of the stranger-looking morsels on her plate.

Nicki reaches up, still not freeing her hand from Llew's, but again using one free hand, and brushes paper from the boy's hair in return for his kindness. "That was brilliant," she says breathlessly. "The way it all exploded. Just brilliant."

Mabel ohs to Ophelia, "Well, it's possible we'll get out for a bit of a jaunt if the weather clears, just to London for the train, at this rate. The Channel this time of year and all. But as for the summer, we'll see. It's been busy for Daddy, and I'm thinking of taking on a Ministry internship if they'll have me, so it's unlikely we'll go too far at once, this year. Might make a proper tour of the Isles of it, though, business permitting." She sighs, a little: now that Ophelia's mentioned it, Mabel misses the sailing, perhaps.

"If you're still game, I'm still game." Emrys murmurs in reply to Jocunda. "So sure, let's dance, unless you wish to retire for the evening?"

"It was, wasn't it?" Llewellyn says, turning and— well. Face to face with Nicki, still holding hands. What's the next move from here? Maybe taking advantage of the cider. Or maybe— "There's dancing, huh?" he says, overhearing something and glancing over his shoulder. There's an idea…

"Are you?" Ophelia winces, noticing the sigh. Once finished with the whatever it was she had been trying (and hey, it wasn't half bad!) she bites her lower lip for a moment, then asks, "Oh, ah, an internship sounds nice? Are, ah… does that mean you know what you want to do, after school?"

"Let's dance then," Jocunda decides, stepping away from Emrys' side and moving to place hands with his in the proper way for the music that's playing. "A round or two and then we shall head out?"

Surprise lights Nicki's face, "You know how to dance?" She's been taught as a matter of course, it's something expected of proper young witches of a certain social standing. At least to Mother's way of thinking. She's on the verge of saying yes when she realizes that wasn't actually an invitation to dance, and perhaps he was just making small talk. Her enthusiasm tempers at once, and she tries to sound more casual as she follows up with, "I know how to dance, too.

Mabel smiles to Ophelia as though to say 'not to worry,' about her own sea-longings. "Well, it's more that I'm hoping to find out, you see. I've a thought I might see if I've really got a head for Daddy's sort of business, really. In our world of course. If there's a position in Customs or Transportation, it could be," She swirls her glass very slightly. "Well, educational about that very matter, don'tyouknow."

With a smile, Elspeth returns the gesture. "Cider is being nice," she replies. "I am guessing, that… maybe Emi is being glad that I am being here, too. You would probably have been talking to her and interrupting her reading." She takes a breath, and looks for a clock. "I am turning into a pumpkin at 1 am, that is when Aba said he would be coming for me."

Nova notices the dancing is picking up and will look to see if Mik is lip locked with anyone . If not, she'll ask with a grin, "Do you dance, or is that a silly question to ask as well?"

"Certainly." Emrys agrees with a smile for Jocunda, placing his hands in the proper position for the current dance and beginning to lead her.

Was it an invitation? Well, it is now! "Sure I do! I think. I mean, I've seen it," Llewellyn explains, "it doesn't look too hard." Besides, he's a lightweight; if he does wind up stepping on her toes, at least it shouldn't hurt too bad.

"Well, whatever you do, you'll be just brilliant at it." Ophelia grins. She looks around, then, sighing happily at all the splendor. "This really is a lovely party… "

Angelus' blue eyes watch his brother and Elspeth for a second or so. The corner of his mouth lightly twitches and his gaze wanders off, looking briefly to his father. The younger boy reaches to nudge Lan's shoulder, and assuming he'd get his attention, signs, ((Dancing follows a kiss.)) There’s an encouraging look on his face for however briefly. Then he smirks, crouching a moment as he picks up a wizard’s prize cracker amongst the confetti and stands, holding one end out to Phoebe. "Want to help me open it?" He gives her a toothy smile.

"It's not very hard," Nicki says agreeably, even encouragingly, to Llewellyn. "And it's a fairly slow song, so even easier." It's not like they have to get all squished up against each other like the adults and some of the older kids to. She'll follow his lead out onto the floor, and then try to follow his lead as they dance.

"That's a long drive to do that late isn't it? I feel bad." Noalan says back when she mentions being picked up. He looks over as Angelus nudges his shoulder, and his eyes automatically narrow in a scowl. The scowl deepens and a little red gets added to his cheeks, "I'm sure she's had enough of my dancing at Halloween." He says back to Angelus, not wanting to bother with his hands. He would say more, but he's already off to bug someone else. He clears his throat, "Anyways, some Sweet Apple Cider?" He offers gesturing towards the tables.

As much as Jocunda may generally resist high society events and acting out the trappings of a high-status pure-blood family… she is actually -good- at it. The woman knows the proper steps to the dance and moves through them with ease. She even lets Emrys lead. There's a glance to the crackers as the song finishes and she gestures with her chin. "Shall we?"

Phoebe casts her gaze over the dancers, but it's with no particular enthusiasm for the prospect. Perhaps there's some interest to see who's going around with who, but that's about it. Still, it's enough that she's not really paying attention to the exchange between Angelus and Noalan, though when Angelus moves toward her again with the cracker, her attention returns to him quickly enough. She glances down at it, then laughs. "All right." She takes the offered end. "One, two…"

As Angelus stoops down to scoop up a cracker, that's when Elspeth notices that it wasn't just paper falling all around her. Crouching down, she picks one up, and holds one end out to Lan. "You are being a very good dancer," she tells Lan, refuting his excuse to Angelus. "However, it is being hard to drink cider and be dancing all at once. Unless there is another wizard dance that you have not been teaching yet?" she lowers her voice at the last question, but then grins. "It is being all right. It was the earliest he was being able to leaving the party that the adults are going to every year."

"Certainly." Emrys knows how Jocunda is, so he doesn't seem surprised when they only get through one dance before she's suggesting they should go play with the crackers.

Anyone who actually knows how to dance properly would catch on pretty quickly that, yeah, Llewellyn is just roughly imitating what he's seen other people do before. But it is indeed a slow song, so he manages all right, even keeping off of Nicki's toes— though he does manage to nick the very tip of her shoe at one point.

Mabel nods to Ophelia, seemingly just enjoying watching the people dancing, for now, and taking up a bit of a nibblement from the table, as well. "Well, let's hope something shows itself up to be an appropriate anything. Of course, who knows what the circumstances might be before long. In business, at least, that is, or Ministry work, with all that's going on in the world." She hrmphs, at a thought, that she doesn't voice, and changes tone a little. "But you've always been clear about your future path, yourself, then, I'm sure?"

"Generally." Ophelia nods. "I wonder, sometimes. But it’s all I've ever wanted. You know, I think you'd be just brilliant at the Ministry." She tries another bite of something, eyes widening at the interesting taste. "I should find out what these are… "

The short attention span that is likely normal amongst those who make really good Seekers. Being able to look everywhere and nowhere all at once is important. Plus, as a bonus to Emrys, he gets to watch Jocunda do that weird squirming and flexible bending over to pick up the cracker.

Mabel smiles toward the compliment. She puts on a little extra confidence in her manner, "Well, I'm sure at least they can always use someone passable with a wand. It seems you've the rarer talent and calling: I'm sure it can take you somewhere. And it did seem that Mr… Lovegood was it? was suitably-impressed."

"I hope so." Ophelia nods. "If he'll say something nice to Ollivander about me, then I might have a real chance this summer." She smiles, "And I did notice that he seems /far/ more interested in cores than woods, which is what I've always preferred to study. Perhaps we'll work well together."

"Wizard dance that involves drinking? I could make one up, but I think we'd make a mess practicing it." Noalan reaches out his hand to grab the other end of the cracker. "I call it if it's those glow in the dark plastic glasses." He says, before pulling his end. He waits until after the bang goes off before saying, "I could still show you around while we await your gourd status. I've practiced drinking and walking and am quite good at it if I do say so myself."

It isn't the glasses, Lan was hoping for, but since it is a little bunch of balloons, Elspeth does share them with him. "I would be liking a demonstration of this walking and drinking. I am thinking I may be able to be doing the same if you are giving me a good example of how it is being done." She smiles to him as she puts her loot into her pocket, and then turns to look around to see where people are going for the sweet apple cider.

"Three." Angelus pulls on his end on the count of three. With a loud bang a fedora falls out of it, and Angelus grins as he leans down to pick it up. He offers it out to her with a smile.

"Three," Phoebe says in unison with Angelus, pulling her own end of the cracker. As he offers her the fedora, she grins and takes it, placing it on her head at a slight angle. "So," she says as she strikes a pose in her green gown and, now, fedora. These are not garments traditionally worn anywhere near each other. "How do I look?"

Balloons are good too. Besides, there's no guarantee it would have been the 1938 glasses. Could just see the cracker spitting out 100000 BC glow in the dark glasses. "Thanks." He says accepting a couple of them. He takes the opportunity to guide Elspeth to the nearest refreshment table. He picks up two cups and offers one to Elspeth. "I'll let you decide. Want to see if we can locate Emi, or just want me to show you around?"

"Thank you," Elspeth murmurs as she takes the cup. Then she tilts her head to the side, towards the arm not holding the glass as she shrugs that shoulder. "I am thinking perhaps Emi is probably hiding out in your library, and we will be arriving at your library, sooner or later. So, I am thinking I would like you to show me around?"

Angelus flashes Phoebe a toothy grin. "You model well," he says amiably, bobbing his head in a nod. "Wait." He dips his hands into his dress robes and pulls out a purple flower. He reaches out in gesture to the hat, and if she allows it, will tuck the flower into the band around the hat. "A little addition."

Phoebe grins back, and reaches up to take the brim of the hat, intending to take it off before someone sees and the word gets back to her sister. She'll never hear the end of it if that happens… but then she pauses at Angelus's words, fingers still on the brim, and after a moment's hesitation, she leans in a little and lets him tuck the flower into place. Her fingers fall away, and she smiles. Let the hat and its flower stay! She's decided she doesn't care what sort of looks she gets. "Thank you," she says. "It's just the thing."

Noalan nods, "Sounds good. I'll skip most of the empty rooms anyways." He says directing her towards one of the doors lining the walls. "If you want a history lesson about things, though, we should either bring the house elf along or get Emi first."

A lopsided smile flashes on Angelus' face. "It's cute," he decides, nodding once. He then holds out a hand to her and gestures toward the door. "I can at least show you a few rooms on this floor before you need to go and I'm shooed off to bed." A brow arches lightly as he smiles at her.

Phoebe smiles at how the hat is adjudged, and nods back. At the suggestion, she glances back to make sure nobody's looking to swoop down on her this moment. It seems her relatives are all occupied at the moment, and so she places her hand once more in Angelus's. "I shall be glad to see them." More quietly, she adds, "And the rest, too." Though those will have to wait for some other time, because at this late hour, they surely don't have long before one or the other is chased to bed.

Angelus nods as a smile flicks across his lips. He turns and will lead her to a set of double doors off the main hall, which leads into a sizeable dining room. "The dining area," he announces, moving over to the table. A plucks a chocolate beetle out of small bowl that was set delicately on the centre before he offers it to her.

Phoebe follows along as the party recedes and things get quieter, and looks around the dining room. "A good place to have," she says. "Otherwise, you might go hungry." Her lips are quirked in a smile, and she accepts the chocolate beetle with a gracious nod, then nibbles on it before saying, "I should have taken you up on that offer of food earlier."

Angelus moves his head in a gesture towards the double doors across from where they came in. "Then you're in luck," he comments and starts to lead her to the next room. "The kitchen's next. I'm sure there's something we can find in there." He looks around once passing through the doors. "Like pie and ice cream?"

"Oh?" says Phoebe, tilting her head curiously as she finishes the chocolate and follows Angelus on toward… "Oh!" she grins, and nods. "Yes indeed, that should do nicely," she says, and laughs as she heads through the doors. "Maybe I was right after all. There's something about being in kitchens that makes food taste better, I think."

Angelus grins excitedly and nods his head. “Pie and ice cream it is,” he confirms. “Have a seat,” he says and withdraws his hand from hers, sliding out a stool from the counter for her. He moves away to grab plates. Once he has two slices of pie and a good portion of ice cream on either plate, he heads back to the counter. “Do you like apple?” he asks as he sits up on a stool. “It would be a lot easier if we were allowed to use our magic,” he adds in as a thought.

Phoebe hops up on the stool and perches there, watching with a growing grin as Angelus assembles pie-plates. "Apple's good," she says. "I mean, so is any pie…" She pauses. "Most any pie. I don't like currant." She shrugs. "But I do like apple." Just in case he didn't catch that the first time. At the mention of the magic, she sighs. "I know. I sometimes wonder just what the spells detect… you know?" She tilts her head a little, and her voice is quiet despite there being nobody to listen in. "Just… if there'd be a way to cast under them."

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