(1938-12-31) Hogwarts New Years Masquerade
Details for Hogwarts New Years Masquerade
Summary: Elizabeth throws the biggest bash of the year.
Date: 1938-12-31
Location: Farin Braw Restaurant
Related: The Other Party

One of the back room of the little Scottish restaurant streams with a constant flow of students from Hogwarts on the cusp of New Years. Some dressed in costume, some in more relaxed clothing, but all wear masks that partially or entirely cover their faces.
The room has a few decorations. The ceiling possess a constellation of stars that currently hang in the night sky, despite the overcast, cold winter weather outside. Even a full moon that will take the place of the falling new years ball come midnight. Behind the bar they're not serving strong alcohol, but there are glass bottles of Party Punch, Pumpkin Juice, and Butterbeer. There's also a few Scottish dishes and finger foods available. Just tell the chef and he'll whip you up whatever you want.
Overseeing the event is Arthur and Christine Dweedle, a mixed matched couple that are usually together, smiling pleasantly as they keep an eye on the students to make sure they behave.

Anthony arrives. And he's made a certain amount of effort, for he's in a red cloth suit, complete with a hood on which are a pair of horns. A similar red domino mask covers his features, and it may take a moment to place him, for his shoulders are back, and he's standing straight, without his usual stoop, putting him perhaps just a smidge shy of 6'. He's also carrying a pitchfork, and has a cloth tail. Only his voice really gives it away, as he gives a short bow to the parents, "I am, I hope, a friend of Elizabeths, come for her party?"

Arthur Dweedle is a short, slightly chubby man with the top of his bald head gleaming some as he peers intently through his spectacles at the end of his button nose. He wrinkles it slightly, the dark bracers over his shoulders stretching with his movements gazes about the party. He's intent, but the dark-haired woman by his side easily pulls his attention towards her with a few murmured words. His expression easily and instantly transforms into a beaming if not jolly smile. Clearly, he's enjoying himself. Both he and Christine look up at Anthony, a few inches taller than Christine and much more than Arthur, as the boy approaches and bows. "Ah! Yes!" The older man replies exuberantly. "Delightful! Another friend of Elizabeth. This is turning out to be an exciting year indeed! Please, please, do come in. I'm sure our daughter is out and about. And I must say, delightful costume!"

Anthony nods, with a smile to the shorter man, turns to greet the woman, and blinks in surprise, "Mrs. Dweedle?" He says in some surprise. Then he recovers. "Thank you very much for hosting us!"

Christine lifts a slender brow as she looks up from her husband up at the boy, her smile growing. "Oh not at all. Arthur and I may have helped here and there, but this is Elizabeth's party."
"Indeed!" Arthur adds. "She caught us by surprise when she came home, asking to have a party. She's never asked for such a thing before. And even friends!" he chortles, his wife placing a hand on his shoulder. "What we mean is," she interjects lightly, "Is that it was a pleasant surprise. We may have helped, but this is her party. She put work into it."

Anthony is wearing a red suit, including hood, which has horns on it, a red domino mask, a tail, and is carrying a pitchfork. "Well, thank you, nonetheless! I must go and thank her in person!"

Elizabeth is a little bit nervous as she steps through the room, taking slow, purposeful breaths. The dress she wears is subtly loose, fitting her curves with a single strap over her right shoulder, and would resemble an average dress if it wasn't for the fact that it appears to be made out of moonlight. The light flits around her and flows in constant streams, flaring out from her hips and streaming downwards to lick the floor faintly in the wake of her white heels.
The mask she dons fits over her eyes and nose, resembling a flat milky way of stars that flow from her face and continue into her raven hair with more carefully placed stars. Her long raven hair is pulled up into an updo with gentle curls that cascade like a waterfall, dotted with star pins that glitter in the light.

One of the guests arrives with the soft snap of a talented apparitionist. As the fellow steps from the tangles of white mist, the dark fabric of his outfit makes a stark contrast before the vapor fades in a hurry. He arrives walking forward comfortably, pausing after a few steps, in theory to take stock of the guests and their locations.

Anthony accosts her, with a sweeping demonic bow. Muahahaha, and so forth. The tall figure is hard to place, until, on straightening up, he says, "You look a vision, Lizzy!"

The young woman blinks with some surprise as she's stopped by the demon, his sweeping bow adding to the mystery of his identity until he straightens once more. Elizabeth blinks again under her mask, recognizing Anthony almost instantly after. He's the only one that called her 'Lizzie' after all. A small smile twitches at her lips, "I had hoped so. It's your dress after all. But, thank you."

Having caught his bearing, the costumed fellow sweeps towards the two students and stops beside them, bowing with a flourish and presenting a single black rose, charmed to gleam with the same occasional points of light that the fellow's cloak exhibits. "For our gracious host, a token and fairest wishes for the evening."

Anthony blinks, "Oh! Gosh! That looks _magnificent_! I had _no_ idea it could produce that sort of pattern! But it's clearly on the right person!" Well, yes, Tony. Because a dress on you would most certainly be on the _wrong_ person.

Elizabeth's small smile grows only slightly as she rolls a slender shoulder, her small hands clasping together in front of her. "It's… the material. I realized some time ago that when you specify the material, it doesn't necessarily have to be fabric. So, I tested it. Obviously it worked. But… thank you. Your costume is very inventive as well. Your tail is… cute."
It was that time that the cloaked boy in black bows, presenting a black rose. The soft rose of a flush is barely visible under her mask as Elizabeth reaches for it, softly curling her fingers around the stem. "Thank you for the token and your gracious words." Seems everyone is going all out tonight.

Once again the doors swing open and this time, another pair enter the room. This pair in particular having opted for fuller masks with their elaborate costumes so that the identies of those beneath the masks may be upheld. And it's..themed. Dark. Before the Dark Witch, there walks clearly a tall Auror, with a mask resembling something like a pale, featureless face and long, flowing black and golden robes; sturdy militant boots adorning his feet and in his hand? The lead for a set of chains, that flow back to what appears to be at a glance a Dark Witch, with a collar about her throat and shackles on her wrists. Sleek in an attire of black and crimson, with a smile that could make even the devil in the room stand up and pay attention.

Anthony is about to say some word of greeting to the man in black. Possibly 'Why are you wearing a mask? Did you burn your face horribly with acid, or something?', but then he looks over the other youths shoulders to spy the newcomer, and his jaw drops, "Gosh?!?"

"Hello, everyone," the Auror speaks calmly and perhaps even slowly, tugging along the chain to have her follow as he smiles over to the other party-goers. A brief exchange of murmurs is done with the Dark Witch as he nods to something said before heading over — and leading his pair — towards the refreshments table.

"Quite welcome," comes the reply from behind the black mask. As the pair in matched costumes arrive, the figures rises and turns towards the two new guests. He's caught up for a moment, in admiration or in study, for quite a long moment, after which blue eyes blink behind the mask and a voice colored by a grin slips out. "Almost forgot."

There's only a glimmer of playful resistance, when the Auror tugs on those chains, before the Witch steps forward to the soft rustle of fabric; the way the light caught the different textures to the fabrics making that 'blood' almost gleam in the light. Because there's no magic involved, it holds a measure of elgance that keeps it from distasteful, creative if dark, rather than vulgar. Though the Witch doesn't speak either, not beyond those quiet words to the Auror. The rest were rewarded a brilliant smile and a polite low bow of her head. Appropriate perhaps, for a humble captive.

Anthony clears his throat once or twice, and reeeeewinds his attention back to Elizabeth. Oh, sorry, 1938. Puts the needle back to the start of the conversational gramophone, "I really should thank you for the work you've done here! It's astounding, you look amazing, and I'm sure everyone will have a smashing time!"

Holding onto her black rose, Elizabeth lifts it up enough to catch the scent of the flower as behind her mask, her pale eyes follow the Witch and Auror pair, admiring their costumes and the creativity of it together. "This is bigger than I thought it would be…" she admits to herself. "I didn't think there would be that many costumes." The rose it lowered, held in both hands as she glances back to DemonAnthony. "So long as everyone enjoys themselves, that's all that matters." She smiles quietly, her eyes giving the cloaked boy a small glance out of the corner of her eye.

Anthony glances towards the newcomers again, and flushes, in so far as can be seen on someone wearing… well… a lot of red. "And adults around to stop any mischief!"

"Technically I am an adult, too," says the 'Auror', flashing Anthony his most winsome of smiles as he retrieves a drink for himself, then another for his 'prisoner', offering it to her as he pulls on the chain to draw her closer to him. Another whisper is given, then he moves with her towards the seating area.

"There are plenty of adults here," murmurs the black-wreathed figure, the gleaming points of light winking in and out at their own whimsy. He watches the auror lead away the prisoner, clearly contemplative. "I dare agree- your invitations alone seem to have spurred some magnificent additions to your event, miss, and with any luck, the evening will improve even further with each new arrival."

With a flicker of appreciation, the Witch accepts the glass that's been offered her, her smile growing smug at the sight of the blushing devil. "Mmm," her voice too was pitched low, lower than usual and with more warmth than any who might know who was beneath the mask, knew her to possess. "As I am. But…why would you want to stop the mischief, little devil?" The question, tempered to a near seductive rumble, was pitched to carry; as those chains rattled while the Auror hauled her near. And whatever was said? Brought a throaty chuckle from the witch, a sharper curl to those crimson kissed lips.

Oo, mischief? Point Shazi at it! At least, that's probably who the shortish girl in the red and gold harlequin mask is: it's the decibel level of the enthusiastic "Oo, so many PEOPLE!" that sounds upon her entry which gives her away. The girl comes coasting in, making an immediate beeline for the food and drink.

Anthony gives a little nod, and corrects himself, "You are right. Graduated wizards and witches, I meant to say." The response of the Eeeevil Witch of Eeeevil gets a sudden laugh. And he turns to Elizabeth, "I think I should be asking someone to dance. If only so she can show off, and I can tread on her feet horribly. Will you forgive me?"

She doesn't recognize the Auror or his captured Witch witch, but Elizabeth knows they must be close or otherwise they wouldn't have selected such a collaborative set of costumes. Her small smile is hidden for a moment, though the company around her pulls her gaze back to them. However she didn't miss the exchange between the Witch and DemonAnthony, the flush partly hidden as it brightens her cheeks at the implication there was behind the Witch's words. It might not be Halloween, but clearly there's mischief that will be had.
Elizabeth exhales a small breath as she glances back to Anthony, blinking her pale eyes. "Um, sure. If my date doesn't mind that is." He warm smile grows.

"Until dawn breaks, the night sky will always be waiting for the moon to wander back. I've no intention of telling you to deny yourself a little mischief at your own party, fair lady-" The black-cloaked figure gestures, his voice warm and carrying a smile. "-do go and enjoy."

Satisfied that his murmur would have elicited such a reaction, the Auror gives a chuckle of his own, reaching to take the Witch's hand within his own and bringing it to his lips before letting go. He exchanges some more words, then, glancing sidelong at her with amusement evident in his gaze. Whatever he asked seems to give him some humor anyways.

Gloved fingers rise as the Auror captures the witch's hand, that kiss granted before those slim digits unfurl to caress in against the curve of his cheek. "Is that how this works? I am to be bound, yet doted upon? A very…intriging measure of captivity to be sure," the Dark Witch's voice was pitched low and warm, never once failing to keep up the masquerade and with it, her identity. Though, it seemed she did have mischief in mind regardless, for when her head turned once more to examine the crowd, those crimson lips pressed close offering the very image of a kiss blown across the distance of the room. Though to whom it was aimed, was hard gauge.

Anthony gives a short bow to the lady of the stars, and strolls over towards the Auror and his captive, idly swinging the tail in one hand. He at least has ditched the pitchfork somewhere. They are greeted with a nod to the witch. And if Lea is impossible to identify it's REALLY hard to make out the round shouldered stooping Rowle in this figure in red. The Auror is given a bow. "The Devil claims his own, I think. May I have this dance with your captive?"
The voice. It _can't_ be forgettable bookish mouselike Rowle… can it?

Variel lifts a hand, perhaps as if to hold up a finger and pause the Devil before he slipped away, but ends up closing it on empty air. He watches the fellow in red slide away towards the seated costumed pair, before speaking with an amused tone to his voice behind the mask. "Always a master of misdirection, that little fiend- I thought he was asking an entirely different question."

"Then I fully expect our dance to be next." Elizabeth answers pointedly, just as DevilAnthony walks off, swinging his tail in a hand while approaching the Auror and his Witch. She blinks once and frowns to herself beneath her mask as she glances back to the Man in Black. "Did I just completely misunderstand something?" It's very likely she had, but if she was the only one then she's feel even more foolish. Her painted crimson lips part lightly with a breath. "Master of misdirection indeed." The moonlight murmurs. Her eyes return to the one beside her. "Are you thirsty at all?"

"There is a certain merit to rewarding good behavior and punishing the bad," the Auror replies with a smile as his cheek is caressed, the exchange with the Dark Witch in murmurs continuing as he lifts an eyebrow at the given kiss, then eliciting a sudden laugh from him. "I suppose that the law does abide by technicalities, dear prisoner," he flashes her a lopsided smile as the Devil approaches, and then the expression is one of thoughtfulness. "With the understanding that I will exorcise you in the worst of cases, Devil, it depends entirely on whether my prisoner feels about her chains of captivity."

"Then I shall forever be punished," the taunting murmur was given, those dark kohl lined eyes glinting with mischeif behind that mask. Yet the Dark Witch's attention drifts towards the Devil with his arrival and the smile that curls at his question is slow and sure. "In the dark of night," a tip of her head towards the darkly clad 'Nightscape', "Beneath the glow of moonlight," and from the Nightscape to the Moon, that head tipped in turn as she spoke, "The Devil is given his due. Who am I to deny him?" It finished; her eyes flickering between Auror and Demon alike. "Of course, you're going to have to release my leash." Even the diction was different. Rashley never shortened her words. And Rowle certainly didn't have that much moxie and charm!

"You and I both, Lady Luna," quips the Night when the hostess inquires of him. He shakes his head at her question next, tapping the mask. "A touch, but needs must that I be selective of when and how I take my refreshment. It wouldn't do to ruin the mystique before the witching hour."

As the Witch indicates him, he sweeps an elegant bow, acknowledging her presumption of his assumed identity as, of course, correct.
Relinquishing the bind with a nod, the Auror sips from his drink and says, "Return her in one piece, yes? I am not quite done with the witch tonight, yet," before flashing the hellish one another winsome smile. He is distracted for the time being by the drink, even as he watches like an almost perfect portrait of placidity.

With the leash having changed hands, the Witch rises; though not without reaching out to brush the tips of her fingers in against the Auror's cheek once more. "Perhaps. Or perhaps I might escape and you might never see me again at all." It's a playful threat, warm and very much…alive. There's a zest to it that isn't typicaly present. "Lead the way," intoned to the Devil, with a bow of her head; hands smoothing against the folds of her skirt.

Anthony says tonelessly, "Perhaps I shall bear her away to a place of torment." A beat. "Although Herbology classes don't resume for another few weeks." Well, maybe it is Tony 'I have Black Thumbs and anything living under my care very soon won't be' Rowle. "This way, madame." And he leads the witch to where there is dancing, and offers her a slightly stiff waltz hold, the chain held in the hand which is extended out to meet hers.

The Witch goes where she's lead, though her hands shift into position easy enough; the chains grant her ample room for it, after all. Meant for appearances rather than punishment as the young woman settles in close. Flush, with her partner. "Don't step on my toes," warned in a warm playful tease.

Anthony coughs, and says very softly, "Not a great dancer. But I'll do my best!" And aloud he says, "Have you ever danced with the Devil before, child?" And he starts, rather cautiously, to waltz. Badly.

Mirth flickers in her pale eyes as Nightscape taps the front of his mask, a chuckle pulled from 'Lady Luna's' lips. "Ah, well you could have considered this beforehand. Or you can use magic to turn into a half mask." Elizabeth tries to offer. "But mystique or not, you look dashing." Turning her gaze away, her raven curls gently bob back and forth from the motion as she looks away. "I'm going to get a bottle of Party Punch." Turning, she seems to flow like the moonlight she embodies as she approaches the bar, reaching for one of the chilled bottles.

And the Witch, in an equally soft voice replies, "It'll be alright." Though a woman may only move so well as she's lead. It's a trick then, balancing the inherit grace the creature possesses to the orchestrated waltz that she's offered, but the Witch tries. But he's asked a question made of taunt and thus does the Dark Witch reply. "Nightly, with every heaving breath drawn forth to scream in worship and every drop of blood spilt beneath my hand." There is an awful lot of sincerety that goes into that little bit of…role playing there, enough to make it dangerously believable.

That makes the Devil Youth stumble a little, although he covers it well, and tries to turn it into a swirl, perhaps allowing the witch to half excale, twisting along the arm holding the chain. "Ah, I see your worship of me." It sounds a little weak. Forced, even. Dancing. Beaut.ful girl. Flirtation. AND Roleplay of evil acts? Distracting for a chap, clearly.

So she does, following that twirl outwards so that the hem of her skirt flounces high enough to reveal the dark stockings that run the length of those long legs beneath; black and sheer and silk, no doubt, as elegant as the rest. "Do you? It quickens the blood does it not, no doubt responsible for that color on your cheeks." Was he blushing when the Witch said that? If he wasn't, perhaps he would.

He certainly is now, and as he jerks the witches hand and chain, to get her to twirl back into his arm, the devil asks, softly, "Who _are_ you?" Yep, Tony has totally failed to identify his dance partner.

Being drawn back in so sharply by leash and hand both, the Dark Witch is all but crushed in flush against the Devil's chest. Though in response to his question? The creature merely smiles, leans up on tiptoe and briefly, chastely, presses her lips to his own. Just enough to leave a hint of that crimson behind. It's as she moves to retreat in the next breath, taking command of her own leash, that she murmurs, "A captive," with every intention to see them part; the mystery upheld.

Anthony gives a little gasp at the kiss, and… yes, absolutely scarlet. But he does manage to finish the dance.

"Form over function tonight," is the response the night sky gives Luna in response to her suggestions regarding the mask. "Besides. I'll need but a moment to refresh myself. Allow me," he says, leading her over to the bar and claiming one of the bottles of punch for her, then a second for himself. "And, permit me but a few moments, and I'll return, thirst slaked and mystique intact."

And there comes a bark of laughter from the Auror as he approaches the witch with confident steps before taking hold of the handle, pulling her towards him. "Seems like you made the Devil's day," he mentions with a faint smile. "But that was pretty bad behavior, wasn't it, my darkly sorcerous companion…" Lips twist into a playfully malicious smile as he murmurs a few words.

It's amazing the grace with which the Dark Witch moves, even when the end of that leash was claimed far too quick for her liking. Those half feigned tumbling steps result into her 'crashing' against his chest; chains rattling as she braces herself against him. "Did I?" It's a question made of throaty amusement, far too much glee taken from knowing that her identity was perfectly concealed beneath her attire. "And was it?" The tone was mocking, playful, a personality at odds to what she normally possessed. "I fear that I didn't notice." Though her eyes rise sharply towards his, with that quiet murmur; a careful examination made of his face.

Lady Luna chuckles again, shadowed by the night as they make their way to the bar for sodas. As he hands her a bottle, their fingers lightly brush for a brief moment as she's given the Party Punch. The steadfast determination to stay in character, it earn a small chuckle and a faint shake of her head. "Alright then. I will be here when you return then, Master Nightshade." This is rather fun. She hadn't anticipated this level to the masquerade.

There are those that might not get the point of a masquerade - not in the same way as the older students, at any rate. But here she is - dressed in deep red wizarding robes with gold trim, given to her for Christmas. She was entirely delighted to receive her first set of wizarding robes that weren't school uniforms, and she flounces in to show it off - her light colored hair done up in braided ponytails that give away her identity entirely, in all likelyhood.
But at least the little first year did put on a mask - a lion mask, also in red and gold. Not a difficult mask to find, considering. The proud little Gryffindor scampers into the room, ponytails bouncing, and looking around eagerly for someone she recognizes.

Variel offers a well-sculpted bow to the hostess before slipping away out of sight. A few moments pass, finally returning with an empty bottle, mask and masquerade still perfectly intact.

Hephaesta hadn't really intended to go to a party. But her mother had been rather insistent that she get out and have some fun, rather than moping around the house. Her reluctance held out until her brother suggested that she could make her own mask, and suddenly it was a project. It would do little to disguise her identity, but it was a chance to show off a new creation.
At first glance, the mask has the look of a classic ball mask in gold, with raised swirling patterns and an elaborate flower on one side. But soon one might see that the patterns are actually moving, joining and parting from other sections of the swirls. The flower, too, is a clockwork device, the two rings of petals rotating in opposite directions, while the stamen in the center spin around each other like little dancers. There is even a tiny mechanical butterfly flitting about the flower. Other than the mask, she is attired in a simple red velvet dress with a green bow at the back. The distinctive click-whirr, click-whirr of her leg brace is a dead giveaway of her identity to most Hogwarts students, even if the clockwork mask was not. She lingers in the doorway for a moment, surveying, before making her way in the general direction of the punch.

There is some mirth in the Auror's expression. "Indeed," he replies, taking advantage of the crash to slip an arm around the woman, "it was," and whatever the response to his murmur was, to which he replies again, he presses his lips to hers, crimson paint be damned. There is a bit of a flinching approach to it, though, like he expects a thwarting anytime now. He does it nevertheless, with his free hand brushing against her cheek.

Master Nightshade returns, mask intact and bottle empty while Lady Luna sips at her own Party Punch through a straw, careful of her lipstick. She smiles when he returns, but her gaze drifts to the dancing couple, watching as they seem to dance so fluidly in time with each other. The kiss is spied, and beneath her half mask the crimson flush touches her cheeks, pausing for a long moment before she averts her eyes. Trying to offer them a little bit of privacy even though they're in the middle of the dance floor.

The flinching, it seems was called for. Or at least, the Auror knows his captive well. For, while the kiss was met, the moment seemed brief in comparison to the rest of the world and the Dark Witch's head fell back while laughter rang free from her lips, even….as she accepted that caress to her cheek. Even as she nuzzled, even…as she raised her hand in an attempt to slap him. Never hard, without even enough force behind it to leave a mark, should it manage to land in the first place. And all the while? That throaty laughter.

Variel tilts his head in a cheeful greeting when he returns to the side of the moon, offering her his arm while they stand, her drink still in the middle of being drained. Unlike the demure hostess, he makes no bones about staring when the Auror makes his move- the interactions between the two hadn't suggested that would be a forgone conclusion, and it seems his observations were about on track, considering the laughter and the slap. "Lady, are all your parties to be host to such lunacy as this?" He uses the term lightly- clearly more of a pun on her masquerade than a judgment on the goings-on.

Maybe Adam was here, the little lion hopes fervently as the bounces - quite eagerly bounces - across the floor. She squeakes inbetween a passing couple, and Luna and Nightshade, bumping into the later pair lightly as she misjudges the space. "Oh - sorry! So sorry! Did anyone spill anything? I'd clean it up but I can't!"

The offering of is arm is a casual gesture, but Lady Luna hides her smile as she quietly loops her small hand into the crook of her arm. She sips at her Punch, giving Nightshade a small glance as he comments on the party, and a smile emerges. "How am I to know? This is but the first of such events that I have ever known." Luna puts so eloquently, the light tease in her voice as they 'roleplay'. She's then bumped into, the glass bottle jolted, though there's no spillage. Luna gives her drink a careful look for a moment before she's assured that there isn't a drop spilled. Exhaling, she smiles at the little lion. "Luckily nothing along those lines."

Hephaesta lingers by the punch bowl for the time being. She is observing the others, carefully taking note of mannerisms and physical features, trying to suss out who is who. Maybe she should have spent more time getting to know her classmates…

Perhaps it was the laugh, or the caress at his cheek, or the slap, but the Auror was roaring along in laughter at the end of that kiss, smiling triumphantly afterwards. He rubs where she slapped him in fake protest. And then he leads the Dark Witch into an easy-paced dance, given that he has very little skills in the ballroom but he is careful enough not to step on her toes. There is always that. "I suppose we are both in trouble now, Dark Witch."

The Dark Witch's eyes glow in amusement, when the Auror laughs and by capture of both her leash and the drape of his arm around her waist, steps closer to facilitate the dance that he's intent to lead her own. The creature's costume, like her poise, exquisite as she matches him step for step. More of a sway for closeness to help hide away any steps that might have been missing. "We were in trouble, Auror, the moment you put your collar around my neck." And that was worn even now, for all that it was currently hidden beneath the wider more theme fitting collar of her costume. The Dark Witch's mask, like the Auror's concealing their identies completely.

The Night turns and takes the drink, nearly finshed, from the Lady Luna's hands, setting it aside as he guides her towards the dance floor. "Save the rest to wet your throat after your dance, milady. Shall we?" A hand up and extended, the other curled into the waist of his partner as he waits for her to take his lead onto the dance floor.

"Oh, good! I'd feel horrible otherwise!" the lion responds brightly. She watches the pair start to move off towards the dance floor. Wait - wasn't that Variel? She follows for a few steps before letting them move off on their own, shrugging her shoulders. Probably - but he also probably wouldn't be happy if she interrupted him dancing with a girl. She glances around the room, and then spots bottled drinks, letting out an eager 'Ooo!' and dashes that way.
She's all energy tonight. Parties do that to the girl.

"I think that is true," the Auror replies with a mischievous grin allowed at her statement, "and I am starting to like it very much," he leads them into an easily identifiable and simple pattern, but one which he manages to execute to some level of grace. It is important to stick to your guns in a dance, after all. Another murmured exchange after that, and there is a different sort of smile across the masked fellow's lips; it is a pleased, maybe even happy one.

Beneath her mask she lifts a brow, but doesn't object as the drink is pulled from her hand and set aside. Once more the color flushes her cheeks beneath her half mask of stars for a full pause before her small hand slips into his, soon she's guided towards the dance floor, her hand held and lifted while his other touches her hip. Already there's butterflies flitting about in her stomach.

Enter the Melusine. Whoever this young woman is, she slithers rather convincingly into view, her long dress trailing upon the floor. It sticks to her by virtue of being forever damp, as the long tresses of her hair look as though she has just emerged from a pool of deep water. The fabric shimmers when it catches the light; sometimes blue, sometimes green. Upon her exposed arms it even looks as if she has glossy scales at the shoulders and elbows. A silken half-mask, upon which are sewn delicate water lilies, covers the lower portion of her face, revealing only brightly glowing eyes that…never actually seem to close. When she blinks, cunningly painted upon her lids are a second set of eyes that always seem to be looking right…at…you. A small set of feathery white wings adorn her back, and they flap occasionally.

The Witch, meanwhile, matches him step for step; offering a throaty chuckle in response to his mention of enjoyment. "Indeed," is all the agreement that's offered, both to what's aloud and that which is murmured and she alots for another twirl, that sees them drawn about in a circle. "You ought to go and dance with the hostess, at least once, now that her companion has taken her to the floor. You may find someone else to hold my leash in the meantime," the Witch offers, reaching up a gloved thumb to ensure that some of the crimson that stained the Auror's lips from her own was properly smeared. Another quieter exchange offered as she does.

Variel treats the hostess to a carefully controlled orbit around the dance floor, intentionally moving them in a circuit around the outside of the space. He's graceful and not unpracticed, but the dance is simple and easy to lead. He's not trying to show off, or perhaps simply knows his limits.
"More of your guests, milady. Your menagerie grows by the moment."

"As you say," the Auror replies, leading her through the twirl and the turn, kissing her cheek softly at the end of her suggestion to lead her away after the red is smeared across his lips. The Melusine approaches and he takes some time to look at the snake-lke mythical creature. He laughs good-naturedly at the costume as he takes his prisoner there. "Hello, lady. Mind keeping watch on this Dark Witch until I am finished dancing with the host? Once she concludes her first bout, at any rate."

The little lion, dressed in red robes with golden trim and a yellow and red lion mask, is currently guzzling a bottle of butterbeer, happy as can be as she watches the other party goers. She doesn't see Adam. In fact, she doesn't see anyone she recognizes, except for who she really, really thinks is Variel. But that doesn't seem to dampen her mood. Instead, she simply greets everyone who wanders near her with a cheery, "Hello!" while admiring the costumes. Gosh. This is posh.

"Poor choice," the Witch replies, reaching out to claim her own leash, when she realizes the Auror's intentions by direction and simply…fails to follow through. "I intend to enjoy myself as well," came the decidedly throaty mumur, as the Dark Witch moved to step away. "Not be left as a wallflower. Off with you," and there was only a mild flicker of annoyance in her eyes, but it was quickly gone when her attention swept the room once more.

An airy wave of a taloned hand to the Auror as a voice whispers past unseen lips, "She does not appear to be in need of a minder." It echoes, or perhaps sounds what it would be like to speak through water. Let the listener decide! What fun a masquerade if everyone knows who the others are? Absolutely none. The Melusine considers the Dark Witch, and then the Little Lion before her gaze turns towards those enjoying themselves out upon the floor. She does not appear interested in either food or drink, but it must also be noted she hardly appears interested in dancing, either. Serpents may slither but it takes to legs to bust a move, does it not?

Lady Luna doesn't mind if the dance is simple, she follows the lead easily as she guided through the dance floor, the decorative stars along the ceiling sparkling as if they truly were the moon and the night incarnate. She keeps her eyes on his own blue orbs, a moment or so passing before he comments on the party. "Is there now? I hadn't noticed." she smiles quietly.

"Oh, yes. Lions, melusines and invitations to dance abound- the latter being of most urgency, of the three," murmurs the Night as he leads Luna through another circuit, swinging to a pause by the trio of witch, warder and waterling, releasing her gently without letting go of her hand, letting her spin softly from his grip on his extended fingertips. "Milady, may I introduce you to the Auror of Aurum- it was he who laid claim to your next dance." He kept his fingertips against the underside of her palm, supporting her hand until she was willing to remove it.

"Thank you, Lord Night." The Auror states with an imperious tone, nodding in a highly aristocratic fashion to the other. "You are most regal, as befits a gentleman of your Time." He offers his hand to the Lady Luna, in a traditional gesture of invitation to a waltz. "I promise not to step on any toes, but you must forgive me for my lack of innovation on dance steps."

With graceful sweeping steps, the Witch heads away towards the refreshment bar and from there a simple glass of water comes to be cradled between those long fingers, while those chains sing softly with her every move. That leash dangling down against the small of her waist, just where the flare of her skirt begins to swell outwards from the curve of her hips.

"Hello!" the little lion says brightly to the Witch, bouncing up onto the tips of her toes. "Isn't this party just great? It's posh, isn't it? I've never been to a party like this before!" A party with magic and everything!

Their dance swings them closer to the trio and slows until Nightshade wraps her out with a spin, twirling her moonlit skirt to flow around her legs with a visible swirl, if only for a moment. "If that is the case, then I thank you for dance we shared. I shan't be away for long." Luna chuckles softly, her pale eyes sparkling with mirth as she meets the Auror's gaze and introductions are exchanged. "Thank you for your reassurances. I hope that I can be as anything as graceful as your previous dance partner." Her hand is moved, reaching out to slip into the Auror's hand instead, before they move to the dance floor.

Taking Luna's hand within his own, the other rests against her side to accordingly lead her through the dance on the floor. And as promised, his steps are simple, but have that innate grace to them. "Off we go then, Lady Moon," The Auror murmurs with a faint smile as he leads her through the first couple steps, methodic as they are.

The Night waits for the last moment of his fingers in the Lady's, then bows himself an exit and turns in a slight swirl of night fabric.
The Witch's first warning of Night falling upon her was a pair of gloved hands at her waist, doing double duty to claim the grip for her lead, as well. "I don't recall hearing your sentence commuted," speaks the voice from behind the dark mask, "But it is mine to hide whatever I like- your time afield could, I suppose, be one of them."

The Witch's first warning of Night falling upon her was a pair of gloved hands at her waist, doing double duty to claim the grip for her lead, as well. "I don't recall hearing your sentence commuted," speaks the voice from behind the dark mask, "But it is mine to hide whatever I like- your time afield could, I suppose, be one of them."

"It is a lovely party, little cub. And your costume is rather adorable." The tone was different, the diction, the carriage and then, with the soft crush of hands in against her waist and the gentle rattle of that lead being taken the Witch is engulfed in nightfall.
"The hide it," the Witch challenged, settling back in against the soft crush of darkness; once again, bowing to someone else's lead.

The little lion is delighted at the compliment, beaming up at the witch who is then whisked away. "Aww, Va-" the girl starts to protest, before biting her lip. Oh, maybe she isn't supposed to use names because they're all in masks and everything! And where are the other first years, anyways?

They begin their dance, and though while simple she notes how the feel of the dance is different between one dance partner and another. "Thank you for the dance, by the way. Hostess or not, it's still significant." Lady Luna smiles gently, her expression warm and quiet, and completely unlike the coy seductions of the captured Witch. And speaking of. "You must admire her quite a bit, the Witch." she says softer to him.

"She is a worthy rival," the Auror replies, as though it was an almost natural reply. "And you are welcome, I appreciate the dancing, myself." He takes his time with it, too, all slow and easy-paced. "And thank you for the party. It has been entertaining."

The Melusine has engaged in talk with some other masked fellow. Said mask actually being that of a Plague Doctor. Melusine pouts. Why didn't she think of that? It could have been made into such a spectacle in her hands! Plague Doctor chuckles and looks creepy. Naturally, they've gone off to some shadowy alcove to lurk and be creepy together whilst they chat.

The Auror's reply earns a chuckle, "'Man is the hunter, and woman is his game.'" Lady Luna murmurs the quote, in something of an agreement. She may have not expected to be thanked in turn, but color touches her cheeks as she rolls a slender shoulder. "I'm glad you think so. I wanted a party that everyone could be welcomed to, and I believe tonight has been a success." Her small smile grows slightly as she she leans closer, as if whispering a secret. "I half expected Alphard Black to show up, to be honest."

"It has been rather interesting, I agree," The Auror replies as he spins Lady Luna following a shift in pace within the music, stopping to do so graceously as he flashes her a brief smile. "I am inclined to believe tonight has been a success, myself," he replies; but the secret she imparts makes him laugh.

The Night glances towards the little scarlet lion as she starts to say something- the word "vague," no doubt- and winks at her as she cuts herself off. Meanwhile, he steps backwards, raising the lead in a silent invitation- no, this carries none of the options of an invitation. The lead, the position of his hand- these are a demand for a dance, with no expectation of refusal.

Nor was a refusal given, for all that the Witch chuckled with the demanor. Her head dipped low, those crimson lips no doubt shaping some dreadful whisper, as she's lead away and towards the dance floor. Her steps light and easy, those chains singing like so many soft bells with each and every movement. Not an easy one to be lost in a crowd, not tonight.

Lady Luna follows the Auror's lead, spinning lightly as the flowing moonlight flairs out around her slender legs. The soft laughter bubbles like a gentle brook as he laughs with her. Pulled back into his arms, her gaze flits over his shoulder to spy the Witch and Nightshade, noting the exchange between them before the Dark Witch bows and is led to the dance floor as well.

The Auror turns again and smiles to Luna, perhaps giving her plenty of vantage to see both the Night and the witch which it conceals. One cannot fault the Auror to be perceptive to the dance partner's nuances in behavior. "The Moon is held to be both guide and obfuscator, you know, much like the sun," he comments.

Cloaked in the Night, the Witch is led onto the dance floor and spun into a dance of quick turns and movements. It remains simplistic at its heart, however, easy to perform flawlessly as the pair spin in slow migration across the dance floor.

The Melusine's companion, the aforementioned Doctor, gestures to the dancers as he comments idly, "Aren't they a pair? Darkness to cover the illicit activities of the Witch." There is a chuckle, but the fellow laughs alone.
"And the others?"
The Doctor's head tilts in an unnerving fashion as he regards to Auror and Lady Luna before he answers, "Leave it to the M.L.E. to bumble about in the obvious." A careless shrug.

Skirts swirled to make the black gleam, where the hem of the Witch's dress mingled with the hem of Night's robe. Crimson gleamed as the shifting lights touch it and those chains? They sang a soft tale that teased the ears of those nearest.

It couldn't be helped that she was spotted. A single chuckle escapes her crimson lips as Lady Luna closes her eyes, dark lashes visible beneath her mask of stars. "'The moon's an arrant thief, and her pale fire she snatches from the sun.'" she murmurs. "But then again, I don't seem the type to steal away one's fire now do I?" she smiles, almost teasing.

"I would say that is up to you, Lady Moon," the Auror replies with a smirk, "Though I am considering an exit strategy," he states as the current song starts to enter its final movement. "I would be grateful if you cared to assist me."

With her drink finished, the ravenous little lion has moved on and is now attacking the food - shoveling morsels into her maw. First years can be hungry little beasts, after all. What can she say? She's a growing girl.

The song wasn't entirely finished, but the Witch stepped back with such swiftness that the notion of grace was lost and poise with it; the contortion of those lips and the gleam of her eyes, enough in that moment to lend more life to the costume than simple dancing. Dark Witch indeed, as the chains rattled. "If you will excuse me," all that was offered. How fortunate their circut had left her near the door.

"The night excuses everything, most frequent of all a swift departure," follows in the wake of the Witch. "I could hardly keep claim to my title were I to begrudge you an abrupt and mysterious departure."

"I suppose it does. However, if you insist," The moon murmurs, smiling quietly but genuine. With another, final twirl, the light flutters around her once more and gently falls into place as their steps slow to a final stop. Withdrawing her hand from the Auror's, Lady Luna dips with a gracious curtsy. "Thank you for the lovely dance. I better let you recapture your Witch again before she causes any trouble." Her eyes sparkle from the teasing as she straightens. "Do enjoy the party."

"And you," the Auror replies with a smile, then glances over at the Night, narrowing his gaze slightly before he moves after the departing Dark Witch, reaching out to take the handle of her chain, "Where do you think you're going, miss? I might have been oblivious, but I still remember my duties to the MLE, you're coming with me."

"Huh, we really must be in fantasy-land," says the Doctor to his companion, who snickers. "An Auror caught someone."

"Night was my cover," came the low honeyed response from the witch. "You should have let me flee in peace. All my careful plans, foiled and laid to ruin." All by something so simple as the collection of a leash that was coiled tightly in the Auror's hand. Collared. Shackled. The Witch stood for a moment in proud defiance as her gaze swept across the room and then? Bowed low beneath command. "As you say, Auror."

"Then we are off, goodnight, all," the Auror nods to the snake-like woman before yanking on the chain and dragging the Dark Witch out of the party. "Goodnight!" he waves to the other party-goers as his prisoner and himself depart.

"Well, you know what my carefully laid plans are," said the Plague Doctor to the Melusine, who stretched up tall upon her apparent serpentine tail with another hissing laugh. "I shall excuse myself so that I might still see it achieved. Want me to escort you to the door? I'm sure there are…children you need to devour or something?"
"No," she chimed. "But there is a key…oh, well, you wouldn't care about that." These two also made their way to the exit.

"Oh! Everyone! Everyone!" Arthur quickly shuffles out into the middle of the floor, gathering the attention of students that slow their dancing, their chattering to look to him. "We're just a few seconds away from the new year! The moon will light to it's fullest at the strike of midnight. Everyone ready?" He checks his watch quickly. "Ten! Nine!" he starts off the steady counting, several others joining in. "Seven, six, five!"

Already?! The little lion bounces onto the tips of her toes, counting down at the top of her lungs. After all - that's how things are done! "Four! Three! Two!"

The Night crosses to where Lady Luna has been left, dodging departing students and dancing couples. When he reaches her, he offers his arm and starts to say something, only to be interrupted by Mister Dweedle's beginning! He turns towards Luna and leans in to murmur as the others start yelling.

As the ten seconds are counted off, the moon inside pulses with a brighter light, dimming again after a fraction of a second, only to pulse brightly again when another second is counted. Luna turns to quietly glance up at Nightshade as he approaches. A small smile quietly tugs at her crimson lips when he offers her his arm, though instead she reaches for his hand, hers small compared to his. He leans in to murmur something close to her ear, and beneath her mask she lifts a brow. So, she turns to murmur back to him, her voice drown out against the voices counting down to the new year. "One! Happy New Year!" The moon fully lights up, releasing a sparkle of color that falls over the crowd like snowfall and fade into nothing.

As the sparkles fall, Madeline squeals in delight, turning circles in the colorful and disappearing 'snow.' Her robes swirl about her delightfully as she turns, prompting an even wider smile from the young girl. The year she started magic school is over - even if the school year isn't. Isn't that just terribly exciting?!

Variel listens as she speaks quietly, then grins and swallows up Lady Luna in his arms and robes, leaving her shining face exposed as he hugs her to himself, murmuring something into her ear as he does.
Variel says, "Merry Christmas, little Lion! Welcome to our world!""

Beneath her half mask of milky way stars, Luna flushes as he scoops her up in her arms, holding her tightly in his embrace. All around them there are students cheering, couples kissing as one year ticks into the next. She hesitates a brief moment before her arms wrap around his shoulders, returning his embrace as people whoop and holler.

"It's New Years, silly!" the lion calls back with a giggle. Oh, wouldn't it be cool if she knew a spell (and was able to use it outside of school…) that would let her give out a real loud roar right now?! Ah well.

Variel spins Luna in his arms, throwing her off balance and taking her weight instead, holding her at that lovely angle for a moment. "You'll have to help with the mask, milady."

Throwing her off balance indeed. A sound escapes Elizabeth as she's lifted and spun in his arms, before after a moment holding her against him, weight purposefully placed over his. The flush brightens again, but after a small pause she reaches up to the edge of his mask, carefully sliding it off with her fingertips to finally reveal his face. "My prince."

Maddie looks around to see many of the other students taking off their masks. Oh. Do they come off now? pulls her off, putting the strap around her hand - where she starts to twirl it around and around and around, while slowly turning to see who else she'll recognize at the party now that faces aren't hidden. Well - she was right about Variel at least!

Tada! Hyper little firsties have good intuition! He grins down at her for just a moment before leaning down to give her a proper kiss as the room cheers Earth's survival through another solar orbit.

It's probably his grin that keeps her flush bright in her pale skin as he leans in to kiss at her lips. Elizabeth squeezes his shoulders, holding him back in their shared embrace for a longer moment before breaking the kiss. A new year, and new possibilities. Oh, and the new experience of kissing a boy in front of her parents. That isn't embarrassing or anything.

Variel brings Elizabeth back up to stand on her own as he removes his mask, grinning at the pipsqueak of a gryffindor across the way. "Happy New Year, Maddie!"

Madeline is doing her best to ignore all the (yeck) kissing - and is more than happy to be distracted by the sound of her name. She flounces over, her robes fluttering. "Happy New Year, Variel! And Dweedle!" She beams at the pair, and treats them both for a full turn which sends her robes flowing out around her in deep red and bright gold. "Aren't these robes great?! My Uncle bought them for me! My first set of robes - I mean, other than the school uniform. And he picked Gryffindor colors for me! He's been threatening to transfigure them blue and bronze ever since Christmas morning, though!"

Now that she's been thoroughly swept off her feet, and placed back on the ground again just as Madeline actually bounces her way to them. "Elizabeth.' she murmurs her name, taking a breath before glancing at the liongirl. Her expression softens. "You may call me Elizabeth. It's fine." She was fond enough with Maddie that the little girl didn't need to call her by her last name. "Very pretty. Just wait until you learn the spell that can change it into all sorts of colors."

Madeline is doing her best to ignore all the (yeck) kissing - and is more than happy to be distracted by the sound of her name. She flounces over, her robes fluttering. "Happy New Year, Variel! And Dweedle!" She beams at the pair, and treats them both for a full turn which sends her robes flowing out around her in deep red and bright gold. "Aren't these robes great?! My Uncle bought them for me! My first set of robes - I mean, other than the school uniform. And he picked Gryffindor colors for me! He's been threatening to transfigure them blue and bronze ever since Christmas morning, though!"

Now that she's been thoroughly swept off her feet, and placed back on the ground again just as Madeline actually bounces her way to them. "Elizabeth.' she murmurs her name, taking a breath before glancing at the liongirl. Her expression softens. "You may call me Elizabeth. It's fine." She was fond enough with Maddie that the little girl didn't need to call her by her last name. "Very pretty. Just wait until you learn the spell that can change it into all sorts of colors."

Variel says, "Your robes are absolutely magnificent, Maddie. I'm glad you like them! Maybe next holiday, I can arrange for your uncle and you to accompany my family on an outing of some sort.""

"Well - but I wouldn't be able transfigure them outside of school, and will I really have all that much cause to wear robes like this at school? I mean - mostly I just wear my school robes…?" Madeline muses, looking down at what she was wearing. Isn't it just for holidays? "It would be fun to play with the colors, though," she muses softly.
And then she's beaming up at Variel. "An outing? Oh, I love outings! Where to?" the girl asks with excitement.

Something is whispered into her ear before Variel turns to reply back to Maddie. While they chat about outtings, Elizabeth tries her best to hide the fierce flush. Unsuccessfully, but at least she tries. It takes a moment or so before she turns to whisper back to Variel. Then pulling away, she smiles lightly, "I think it's about time to start clearing people out. It's midnight now and some of the students are rather young." Sure enough, there's parents already waiting for their kids, the older students disappearing off one or two at a time. She gives him another squeeze before Elizabeth pulls away and starts helping her parents clean up. They may use their wands, but she can at least pick up bottles and the like.

Variel is perfectly allowed to use his wand and chips in immediately, both sending bottles and such on their way as well as helping Elizabeth reach things and all.

"Oh, well, I guess I could help out too, Elizabeth!" Madeline offers promptly, but then there's her Uncle, looking down at her with an expectant look on his features. "…there's just such a mess," she offers hesitantly.
"And it's getting awful late, Maddie, though it is more than generous of you to have offered," he Uncle counters.

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