(1939-01-22) Dance Unannounced
Details for Dance Unannounced
Summary: Ria and Variel start an impromptu dance in the Hogwarts auditorium, interrupting Gabriel's experiments with chocolate.
Date: 1939-01-22
Location: Hogwarts Castle, Auditorium
Related: Chocolate Plots

Classes are out for the day and Gabriel has gone in search of somewhere quiet and at least semi-private to work on his latest 'secret' project. The Armory saw way too much traffic last semester, the club room is always busy, and never mind the Ravenclaw Commons Room. Outside is too cold and there's too much of a chance of setting something on fire in the greenhouses so Gabriel has ended up in the auditorium, sitting on the floor in a little hidden corner in the back of the room. Around him are arrayed a multitude of little brown figurines, ranging from frogs and lizards to gryphons and hypogriffs. And, as is expected with most Ravenclaws, there's a good number of books on the floor near him as well. Wand in hand he's muttering spells at the little brown figures between bouts of research and consultation with his books.

It's quite unfortunate that Gabriel is wrong about the solitude of his workplace. Usually, he would be right, but at this moment of this day, he's wrong. The back doors to the auditorium open and Ria slips in, her polished shoes tapping against the hard wood floor of the room. Its well engineered acoustics make them sound much larger than they really are. She gives the room a quick sweep with her eyes, but because Gabriel is hidden she deems it quite empty and makes a beeline for the grand piano sitting right at the foot of the stage. From his spot he can hear the sound of the lid being propped open, a few keys are pressed so that they are acquainted with her fingers, and then there it is. The sound of a somewhat jazzy and upbeat arrangement of a current wizarding hit - Brewing in the Moonlight.

Variel isn't far behind Sykes. He catches the strains of the song from the hall, stepping inside and just listening for a few moments. Finally, he fishes a cloth-wrapped tin whistle from his satchel and puts the cloth away. Ria's song soon enough has accompaniment, well- matched to the jazzy tune if improvisational, the boy playing as he moves towards the stage.

Gabriel looks up from his project with a small frown creasing his brow. Raising his head up just barely enough to be able to look over one of the steps that houses the auditorium's chairs he peers around to see what's going on. His frown deepens as he sees Evil Princess #1 at the piano but, since he hasn't been seen, he just sinks back down into his corner and goes back to what he's doing. After looking over one his books he casts another spell on one of his little brown figures, which spouts legs (and doesn't a horse with four static legs and another two moving legs ever look weird?) and dashes away from him and into the room proper!

It takes her a second, but Ria's really getting into it now, lips pursing and eyes closing as her finger sail across the keys. Oh! What's this? Her eyes open instantly at the sound of a penny whistle sounding. She gazes over her shoulder to see a familiar red head joining her musically, and she can't help but smirk at his quite skilled accompaniment. Nothing is spoken between them, but Ria does acknowledge greet him with a few more frills in her composition that dance well around his own music. It's hard not to catch that odd looking figurine though. And even though she continues to mindlessly play along, she frowns as the horsey thing gallops into her vision. "Yours, Variel?" she questions, gesturing to the thing with her chin.

What first year girl /wouldn't/ like magic? Certainly not Madeline! Hearing the piano and flute, the girl is twirling in the hall, bouncing on her toes, and acting for all the world like she believes herself to be a famous ballerina. Do wizards even have those? They must! She makes her way closer to the auditorium.

Variel shakes his head as he keeps the music flowing, the cheerful piping of the tin flute singing energy into the jazzy beat of the piano-born melody. Variel leads a bit of a jiggy step around the horse, shaking his head as he watches it go by, letting his steps carry him in a loop, letting him peer into the corners of the room while he plays.

In his hidden little corner Gabriel has started gathering up his things, moving as quickly as he can without running the risk of being heard over the music. First the books get put away then the little brown figurines get wrapped up in what is probably wax paper and put on top of everything else in the knapsack. The whole time he's muttering under his breath in an annoyed way.

Meanwhile the six-legged horse has made its way closer to the musicians, in the process filling the air with the smell of chocolate.

Sykes has claimed the piano and is plying the ivories to spin a tune into the air, a jazzy affair called Brewing in the Moonlight. Variel's playing impromptu accompaniment on a tin flute, the harmony of the two pieces being something quite pleasant and remarkable. Back in the corner is the candy-man, giving creepy little legs to chocolate figurines, currently packing up to leave while a chocolate horse skitters around the room. Also Madeline is a ballerina in "training" in the hallway, working her way closer while dancing like a little midge fool.

Music. Marcus is no musician, but he's not a bad dancer. Still, the music coming from the auditorium catches his attention, and he peeks into the room. Eyes narrow, as they try to adjust to the difference in lighting. He blinks a few times as he sees Sykes on the piano and then Weasley with his… is that a flute?
When he walks by Madeline, is like she's not even there. Looking a little surprised, he finds a wall to lean against, not really keeping his arrival a secret.

Madeline pirouettes - or at least does a jumping twirling thing she /imagines/ is a pirouette - ending up standing on one foot and leaning forward to peer through the open doorway and into the auditorium herself. She tries to stand tiptoe like ballerinas do - and fails. /Utterly/. Yes, it's the wrong kind of music for this kind of dancing. Does she care? No. Oh. It's Variel and- isn't that one of the Slytherin prefects?

Variel turns as he plays, not quite having found the source of the wandering chocolate horse yet, and notes Marcus inside the door and Madeline at the entry. His hands and expression are rather tied up, but the music doesn't stop in the slightest as he works his way to the stage, hopping up to sit on the edge of the stage near Ria's post at the grand piano.

Ria continues on, her fingers light and airy, gracefully dancing about on the piano. But her mind is only half on the music. "That means someone else is here," her green eyes narrowing on the figurine. She wants to stop and look around, but the combination of their instruments is quite impressive! Does Ria really want to ruin her bit of fun? "Oh my goodness!" she sniffs once, and then twice and then her fingers stop abruptly. She bends forward to to pick the figurine up in her hand. "It's made of chocolate!" There's a slight sense of animalistic hunger in her eyes that she tries her best to stifle.

Gabriel peeks over the edge of the stands again once all his things are packed. When he does he sees that now Marcus has arrived and he sinks back down into his corner, "Great! Evil Princess #1, The Redhead Abuser, and Maleficus all together… How am I going to get out of here without being hassled now?" All this he mutters under his breath, still keeping himself hidden for the moment.

When Ria picks up the little chocolate horse its two animated legs keep running as if it was still on the ground. And other than the weird little legs the rest of it looks to be perfectly normal, edible candy.

Marcus is leaning against the wall, with arms crossed over his chest. To his artistic credit, he's following the beat of the music with one of his feet, lightly tapping on the ground with his shoe.
And there's a wandering chocolate thing? Marcus looks in that direction, when Ria picks up the figuring. "Then you should eat it," he suggests to Ria, flashing a grin in her direction. "Nice chops with that tune, Sykes, Weasley," he complements the duo.

Coming down the hall following the sounds of music is a dancing Elric Selwyn. The blonde spins gracefully into the room offering a wink to Madeline as he passes by. Moving in time with the music he leaps through the air and then lands on his feet turning about on his heal continuing to move his body in a graceful compliment to the music.

Variel lets the song stop as Ria finds… chocolate. He laughs pleasantly at her reaction, grinning and looking about again, on the prowl for signs of the chocolatier. "I don't see anyone- I mean, there's Goyle by the door. Hullo, Goyle!" He calls from the stage, lifting a hand to wave, causing the light to catch on the silver Eye of Truth medallion on his chest. "Not sure which of the Selwyn twins just waltzed in past Evans, but we've definitely got an audience. But I think you're right, pretty sure the Chocolate Champeen preceded them all here. Wonder where the other one is?" He looks about, flute tapping his palm. "Should we play another number, lure them out with our fantastic expertise?"

Ria watches strangely as the figurine moves one of its pairs of legs in her hands. Her brow knots as mixed feelings are mulled over in her head. Does she eat it? It's probably filthy. It's Marcus' voice that catch brings her back to the room. "Didn't realize more of you came around," she grins, "Will anymore of you be joining us or shall you all make like Elric here? It seems he's got the right idea. Variel's invitation to continue is met with a slight enthusiasm, and she lets the six-legged figurine loose onto the floor so that it may gallop in the direction of Elric. "By the way, is this anyone's chocolate horse?" she asks the room as she turns back around to the keys. It takes a second to get them acquainted, but she eventually slides into elegant foxtrot titled - Splinch My Heart Into Two.

Madeline waves to Variel - a bit uncertainly as he says her name, then twirls about before entering into the room properly. Two Slytherins - that /can/ be dangerous territory, especially when she doesn't know anything about them, really - but there's Variel, too. And a six legged chocolate horse…?

There is… an odd sound, coming from the auditorium. Is that music? Elizabeth frowns softly, but she is drawn curiously to the sound as she pushes open the door and slips inside. Did she just stumble upon a party of sorts? In the middle of the week? Most curious indeed.

Marcus' gaze falls on the dancing Elric, and he arches a brow at the other boy. He smirks at the display, and then offers a lazy salute to Variel in return to his greeting. Grinning at Ria, he looks over to the door briefly. "And more are filing in, you might have a little concert audience in your hands soon," he notes. To the question of the chocolate song, he shrugs his shoulders. A silent, 'Not mine'.
Looking over at Elizabeth, he arches a brow and offers her a little wave. "Dweedlin."

Variel offers a general grin towards those assembled- he seems to be having a good enough time that nothing in particular's managed to damp it- and joins in Sykes' performance, adding the leaping tunes of the tin flute to the foxtrot Ria is already coaxing easily from the piano's keys and strings.

Gabriel sighs a bit as he hears even more voices come in. An escape plan must be formed… After a few moment of thinking he digs in his knapsack and pulls out another chocolate figuring, this time an owl. Speaking low enough not to be overheard he casts a hovering charm on it then tosses out like one would a paper airplane. A giraffe, a teddy bear, a kitten and a puppy all follow in quick succession. Looks like someone is trying to create a distraction…

Elizabeth lifts a hand and brushes a small hand absently through the loose waves in her silken ink black strands, the rich cherry stain on her lips standing out sharply against her pale skin as she lifts her powder blue eyes, following the movements of the chocolate animals that are floating around near the ceiling. Curious. She quickly shakes her head and takes a few steps, and she almost pauses when Marcus greets her. Incorrectly. Still, the corner of her lips tugs with a hint of a smirk.

"Well, look at that," Marcus' gaze falls on the flying… chocolate animals. His foot continues to tap to the rhythm of the music, but he makes no move to go hit the dance floor. Not much of a 'dance by yourself' kind of person. So Marcus is distracted, except for the little smirk in response to Elizabeth's smirk.

Variel is totally relaxing on the stage. He looks UTTERLY chill and happy, as there's much less need for posture with a flute as opposed to a stringed or other instruments. He's providing excellent, upbeat accompaniment to the fantastic renditions of the popular songs Ria is playing, watching those in the room without a care in the world.

Madeline can't help but giggle at the sight of the chocolate animals hovering about, and finally twirls into the room properly, stretching out her arms and tilting back her head. Sometimes it does feel good just to twirl and spin yourself about until you're dizzy. Shut up. She's 11.

Ria continues on playing the foxtrot, following and lead Variel around musically without a second thought. What is given thought are the chocolate animals floating above her head, and she stares at them with a scowl. "What on earth is going on? Those must belong to someone in here!" she grumbles, feeling quite irritated like an animal smelling blood while she's in heat. Her fingers still continue to play the music and her upon hearing Goyle she comments, "Why don't you quit ogling and just dance with her." The her being Elizabeth.

Gabriel peeks out one more time. When he realizes that after their first short flying his 'distractions' have floated up to the ceiling he lets out an annoyed sigh then smiles as he sees Kaiden and Elizabeth walk in. "yes, backup!" He murmurs to himself before slinging his pack over his shoulder. Stepping out from his hidden corner of the room as if he hadn't been here for the past ten minutes he smiles placidly at everyone. "Princess" is his greeting to Ria, with a courtly nod, followed by a few wordless nods to Variel and Marcus before he moves over to Kaiden, waving happily at Elizabeth and Mad as he walks towards the older boy, "Kaiden! When are having some more boxing lessons?"

The noise catches the attention of a young teen strolling along the corridor. He peeks into the auditorium, and Angelus' royal blue eyes take in the gathering as he steps further in. A grin alights on his features. "Quite the gathering going on in here," he pipes up with a light-hearted and friendly tone.

Humming, Jenny makes her way towards all the happy little music, even if the foxtrot was…perhaps not her personal favorite. At least she seems to be in a good mood, her smile easy, her eyes searching the crowd for one face in particular. A wave tossed her cousin's way, an upnod for Ria annnd, for Marcus? Well, for Marcus Jenny lit right up and began making her way in his direction.

Marcus gives Ria a 'really?' kind of look, before he dubiously glances at Elizabeth. He's about to open his mouth, probably ready to stick his foot right into it. Except… there's Jenny. The Slytherin young man lights up immediately, and flashes he Slytherin girl a genuine smile. Pushing himself off the wall, he makes his way to her. Pausing in front of her, he offers his hand. "Hey, love," he greets Jenny, grinning. "They're trying to make people dance, care for it?"

Elizabeth holds Marcus' gaze boldly for a moment or so before her attention wanes and her pale eyes begin to drift around her again. There's quite a few cute boys… and dancing would be fun too. She shakes her raven head to herself before she allows herself to drift along that line of thought too far, instead her expression softens as Gabriel waves in her direction. Smiling gently, she frees one of her small hands and returns the wave, though she does blink and glance over her shoulder at the other boy that's greeted. Kaiden.

What are Morgana and Kaiden doing? They're being cool cats, damn cool cats. Or at least they were until they heard the music as they passed by the auditorium on the fifth floor. Being head girl, she has to at least check it out, and when she spies what is going on in the room, she'll turn to the Hufflepuff behind her. "Your sister is entertaining people." She says in a dead pan voice. "Do we stay, or run?" However it seems that Kaiden is so popular he's chatted to before he's even through the door.

"Mmm, dance with…you? Don't you have two club feet, Goyle?" Jenny teases, lacing her fingers through his own and stepping closer. "I have two left feet, so I suppose we'll make a fine pair. And it does give me a chance to…," a wink at that, whilst Jenny chuckles and lofts Marcus' hand high enough in the air to give a little twirl.
"I missed you. You jump, I jump. Remember? Only now there's a crowd and it's going to be really embarrassing when we fall."

Kaiden smiles at Gabriel and says, "Just name the time and place, little buddy. We'll get you up to at least middleweight in no time." He grins and pats the kid on the head, looking over to Morgana with a grin, "Now, now; you must admit that she's wonderfully talented on the piano. Has been since I can remember. Never thought she'd be the one to host a dance party, though." Kaiden 'hmmm's and offers a wave over to Ria in hopes that she'll see it.

"Hey! I'll have you know, I'm a passable dancer," Marcus protests, grinning at Jenny. "So I'll carry to those two left feet of yours with me, and we -will- make a fine pair," he assures her as she twirls.
He chuckles, and his expression softens. "I missed you," he says, side-glancing at the crowd. "So, let's go and do the falling thing, together," and with that, he tugs her to the dance floor, putting on some moves in rhythm with the music going on.

"Hello Gunny!" Madeline says cheerfully to Gabriel. She spins, and she spins, and she spins and - whooa. Okay. Time to stop spinning. She slows herself, coming to a 'stationary' position, but from the way she's swaying and giggling - she's made herself quite properly dizzy.

"AH!" A screech comes from Ria and her finger slam on the keys with an ugly crashing sound when she jumps as if she just saw a mouse pass. "Gabriel Ward! It's rude to sneak up on others!" she scolds the boy, and she's ready to continue at it only he says the magic word 'Kaiden' and Ria looks over her shoulder to smile brightly at her twin. An arm enthusiastically waves to him, while Morgana and her deadpan is quite blatantly ignored. "Come join, Kaiden. Oh and apologies Variel. A rat crawled by." Around she turns again onto the keys, continuing on with the foxtrot and spicing it up a little.

The noise had brought him here. Ulysses thought he'd found a quiet portion of the school to go over the multiple owl posts he'd received earlier, away from prying eyes, but that was simply not to be. After trying and failing to ignore the music, he'd given up, put all the letters along with a few notebooks back in a shoulder bag, and followed after the source. Thus it was that Lys came in to the room looking as grumpy as, well, Lys. A look around at the random collection of students at least let him see at lease one decently-familiar face in the collection of underclassmen. But, aside from screeches and slamming keys, the music isn't too bad. That at least might break a little bit of the ice.

"Mmm, only passable?" It's an all too amused murmur, her thumb brushing in against the back of his knuckles affectionately. After all, they were supposed to dance, some measure of contact is expected. "I can live with passable." As she completes that twirl and let's the boy lead her out into the space, Jenny well, it was fair, wasn't it? Marcus -did- have movies and Jenny? Jenny ever so gently stepped up onto his feet, so that while it wasn't perfect? There was some hint of balance to it and she was laughing, too. Letting him prance them about. For all that her laughter only grew, when Ria all but killed the keys.
"Apparently we aren't the only ones falling."

Gabriel grins at Kaiden then scampers over to Madeline as Ria yells at him. Yep, just saying hello to his friend, everyone please ignore the fact that it also puts Kaiden between himself and his sister. "Hi Madeline! Enjoying the music?" And in a low voice he adds, just for Mad's ears, "Watch out for Evil Princess #1. Her bite is as bad as her bark."

In the mean time chocolate has started to rain on Ria. A couple of the figurines that had been floating in the air hit her on the head and shoulder while a few more fall on the piano keys pulling a few discordant notes from the instrument but at least not falling to the floor, so, hey, edible!

Elizabeth blinks at the piano with blank surprise when the notes suddenly crash together, Ria slamming on the keys as the girl jumps with fear. For some reason or another. She lightly bites at the inside of her bottom lip as she glances to the floor, with a bit of apprehension, wondering if she'll catch sight of the 'rat'.

Madeline latches onto Gabriel for balance, giggling as the room continues to spiiiiin - at least, that's how it feels. Still, she tries to sober enough to focus on Gabriel. "The girl at the piano?" she asks quietly. "What's her name again?"

"Neither did I." Morgana says, shaking her head. "Yes, she does have talent, the question is, can you dance to it?" She says, gesturing toward the rest of the people dancing around. Turning toward Gabriel, she crosses her arms. "I would suggest stopping your bombardment." She says, gesturing toward the raining bits of chocolate.

Variel spins as Ria slams the keys, flute held in his off hand as his right flew under his robes. When he hears Ria start berating Gabriel, he visibly relaxes and forces himself to take a deep breath. He flourishes the flute like a wand and points it at Gabriel with an eyebrow raised. This relatively benign gesture is interrupted by dive-bombing candies. He glances out over the gathered and calls out, "Not to worry, folks, it's been handled!" As Ria starts back in with the spiced up foxtrot, he grins and follows along, adding a faint Celtic lilt to the song as the tempo picks up along with his improvisation.

"You know, Gabriel, there's not much I can do to keep my sister from eviscerating you should she so choose. My father's orders, actually. Allow Ria to eviscerate children at her discretion." Kaiden grins and leans into Morgana and shrugs, responding, "I suppose I could give it a shot. Promise to help me up when I inevitably fall over?"

"I think you'll enjoy my passable," Marcus winks at Jenny, returning the little brush of the fingers. He watches as she steps on his feet, offering no protest and just chuckling quietly. And prance he does, since he's carrying Jenny on his feet. Still, while his feet try their very best not to stumble and send them tumbling to the floor, the upper half of Marcus' body holds Jenny as if they were truly dancing. And then there are chocolate raining on Ria. He blinks once, and in his surprise, takes a few false steps that have him, fighting for his balance and wrapping his arm around Jenny's waist, to make sure that if they fall, when they fall, he doesn't crush her.

Chocolate Rain. Some stay dry and Ria feels the pain. Chocolate Rain. A baby born will die before the sin. "I'm going to murder everyone in this room if this doesn't stop," Ria says with dry venom, her jaw stiffens as she continues playing the rather happy music. But there's a rather miserable look on her face, as if she's been left out in … the chocolate rain.

Grunt. Standard Lys reaction to all this. The seventh year starts walking closer to the gathered mass, because, let's face it, there was music and dancing happening, an while he wasn't Elric by any stretch of the imagination, he does enjoy that. And so, head at least moving to the music, a slowly defrosting Lys moves closer to the crowd, remaining on the fringes for the moment.

Gabriel can't help but giggle at the reactions to the chocolates falling on Ria. Which he does his best to quickly stifle as Morgana fixes her attention on him. Leaning in to Madeline he answers her question with, "That's the one! She's eveeeel. Most of the times. Once in a while, a great while, her nice streak gets away from her. But never count on that." Leaning back away he calls out to Kaiden, "Tomorrow after class in the club room?"

As the chocolate begins to rain from above, Elizabeth quickly steps several feet back, pressing herself against the closest wall in order to avoid getting chocolate on her uniform. Because, much like Ria, it won't be tolerated. She softly presses her lips together again, shyly looking up at the others, those dancing and students that are merely conversing.

"I enjoy all of you," comes Jenny's reply, the look in her eyes conveying more than she can with a word or a gesture. "Particularly the parts where you're actually finishing your reports these days," it comes with a bemused grin. A grin that remains whilst he carries them through the dance..sort of.
There's an awkward moment, when he stumbles, when her grip tightens that her head falls back and she just laughs - clinging all the more. Her feet slide way, planted once more on the floor as she grins. "I think you did that on purpose."

"But that doesn't tell me her naaaaaame, Gunny!" Madeline complains quietly, rolling her eyes, as she looks at the girl at the piano again, and then at the increasing number of upper-classmen dancing around them. "Where are the rest of the firsties and seconds?" she adds with an annoyed sigh.

"All of me, huh?" Marcus quips at Jenny, hazel eyes gazing into hers. The chocolate apocalypse, forgotten. Alright, the five little pieces falling on Rina and the others, forgotten. "It's easier to get into reports, when there are incentives," he returns her grin.
After the stumble, and her laughter, Marcus stays still, holding her with his arm around her waist. "What if I did, Solomon? What are you going to do about it?" He teases her and it's only then that he glances at the rest of the room, before he arches a brow. "Care to continue, or enough dancing for a day?"

Morgana offers her hand to Kaiden as she nods. "I'll even refrain from making fun of you when you step on my toes." Morgana says as she leads the way. "Thank you." She says to Gabriel as he stops with his chocolate pestering. Turning back to Kaiden, she smirks. "Remember what I said about dancing a few days ago?" She asks, trying to see if he remembers that conversation. Seeing Uly, she'll smile and wave at him as she passes.

Gabriel turns to look over his shoulder and peer at Ria for a moment before returning his attention to Madeline. "I told you, Evil Princess #1… But if you want a Christian given name, she's Ria Sykes." Nodding his head toward Kaiden he adds, "That's her twin brother, Kaiden Sykes. And as evil as she is that how nice he is. And like she has a nice side that peaks out sometimes he has an evil side that peaks out sometimes. Made Gabby cry for some reason I never discovered last year. But over all he's a good guy to know."

Variel makes time in his tune to lift one hand from the flute to wave at various folks arriving that he knows, notably Ulysses. Then he's back in the music, wandering the stage at a jaunty pace, his tune in perfect sync with Ria's songs of choice, though occasionally with a notable Celtic bent.

Alphard was striking one of his cool kid poses, trying to look nonchalant and sophisticated as he leaned against the wall by the doorway to the auditorium. His arms were folded over his chest, and occasionally he did a little bob of his head along with the rhythm of the wizarding hit.

"Someone cast a damn Protego Totalus already," Ria's voice sounds more and more strained. "Ah!" she groans when a chocolate hits her in the eye. But the music must continue! So it does, but with quite a number of mistakes. Variel will have to carry them on this. "AHHH!" This time its a more helpless squeal. A chocolate has gone down her shirt. Begin panic mode!

As Lys gets closer to the familiar fellow seventh years, he hears Morgana's comment, and chuckles. As she smiles and waves at him, he even offers a passing jest, "Best beware what happens if you step on them to much. She's been working on her left hook." And then just to be sociable… and because he can also be just a wee bit intentionally intimidating, Lys leans up on the wall closer to Elizabeth, commenting, "I don't think you're gonna be able to shrink much more into that area without making a crack in it…"
Sadly, somehow he's either not noticing the five little figures pelting Ria… or he's enough of a bastard not to care.

"It's all just swaying back and forth in rhythm, right? Something like that," answers Kaiden with a smile to Morgana. He'll take her hand and move to the dance floor, saying, "I suppose I should lead, then?"

"Yes," Jenny replied, squeezing Marcus' hand, "I think, that's enough dancing for one day. But, certainly not on this discussion of reports. You've got one that I should review, yes? Some…pieces to over? I'd like to make sure that you know, nothing was left out." Smirk. And, with a little wave to Alphard, Jenny stepped away from Marcus for all that she kept her hand in his and started for the door.

"Ria Sykes?" Madeline repeats quietly. The name's so- "SHE gave Adam the /cup/!" she hisses out in surprise, her eyes widening. "The horrible cup that bit his mother on the nose! He got in sooooo much trouble over it. He thinks she's nice!" She continues her voice to a low but urgent whisper.

It was the music, really, that had caught Dora's attention and had her slipping into the room. Quiet church mouse lingering near the shadow of the door and with good fortune, out of sight. Varry's flute sounded happy again. Or still and that was one more thing to add to the list of things to be happy about for the day. Wings still remained, of course. And the girl on the piano drew a rather admiring glance and to be fair, whilst she couldn't help but sway ever so slightly on her feet to the rhythm, but it was a swaying that stopped abruptly if anyone should happen to look in her direction and for all the world, she pretended she hadn't been in the first place.

Maybe she hadn't seen Ulysses as he leaned against the wall nearest to her, or perhaps she had always known, her pale eyes always observing. But when he does comment, Elizabeth turns to glance up at him curiously, through a few stray strands of jet black. After a moment one corner of her tugs faintly and she rolls her slender shoulder with a small shrug. "Then the wall would be grateful then if you asked me to dance. But, one never knows unless one tries.

Gabriel rolls his eyes and takes another look at Ria. This time he takes in the chocolate on and around her and mutters, "What a waste of good chocolate" before turning back to Madeline. "That does sound exactly like the kind of thing she would do. What did Adam do to her? To give her credit she normally has a reason for what she does…"

Hrm. This will be tricky. There's a very short list of entertaining strings of notes one can play one-handed, but he's not quite willing to interrupt the song. He'll just have to be quick. A hand ducks under his robe as he slides into one of the few progressions that aren't completely horrid one-handed and plucks his wand from his belt, flicking it in Ria's direction as she starts to panic.

Variel has to work at it a bit before he can split his concentration properly between the song and the spell, but on the second flick of his wand, a chocolate- only slightly softened by body heat- flits its way out of Ria's top and into the air. Lacking a hand to catch it, Variel simply swats it out of the air with his wand- mission accomplished. Then, it's wand back under his robes and on to some truly interesting tunes to make up for the short, repetitive bit while he rescued Ria from chocolate stained underthings.

"I suppose you should." Morgana says as she gets into a dancing position with Kaiden. "And yes, it's swaying to the music, but I think there was a second part of that, you might be forgetting." It does take her a second but she finds' the Rhythm and helps him along in the dance. Turning to Uly she'll smirk. "I'll have you know, I slap, I don't punch."

"I don't know," Madeline admits, sounding uncertain. She not dizzy anymore - which was both a plus and a disappointment. "Umm. He said it was on the train back home for Christmas," she adds. "He said she was being nice and helpful and thinks she's just great," she confides softly. "Still. Even after the cup bit his mum!"

Alphard had given Jenny and Marcus a lazy wave when they passed him by to the exit. It was then that he spotted Adorabella lurking in the background, doing her little dance-when-you-don't-seem-me routine. It was the sort of self conscious behavior that couldn't help but make his always finely tuned predatory instincts tingle. With a languid motion he pushed himself off the wall and started to drift over in her direction. "You might as well just throw yourself in there, Selwyn. You look a lot more stupid standing there trying to hide it. Not very well, either. Like a little girl needing to pee, bouncing up and down, but refusing to say so." He hid his snicker behind faux wide-eyed earnestness. "Is the problem you can't go alone? Aw. Well. I suppose I could take you. Come along, now."

"I think my sister's going to explode," remarks Kaiden to nobody in particular. He turns his attention back to Morgana and begins to sway along with her, "I can't remember. What was the other thing?" He tilts his head to her, pondering to himself.

Lys can't help but smirk a bit at the response he gets back from Elizabeth, but before he responds to that, Morgana reacts. And so he grins, "If you'd spar with me one of these days, I bet we could fix that." And then he looks back at Elizabeth, unable to place her. A shrug, and then he nods, "Very well then, for the sake of that wall and all future walls, would you care to dance?" Because, after all, it is just a dance.

Lucretia finally, FINALLY arrives at the musical recital. There's the air of someone that's had to cut something else short in order to even get here and, smoothing her hair down where its managed to escape from the neat ponytail its drawn back in today, she slips into the auditorium. That she finds herself near Adorabella and Alphard as she finds herself a spot to listen from, is probably no accident and catching just the end of what Alphard says to Dora, her face melts into a glorious smile. "Oh Alphard! That's so terribly nice of you! I knew that the two of you would wind up friends. Yes! You simply must dance with Alphard, Dora. He's a wonderful dancer!"

Gabriel seems to notice the same thing that Kaiden notices. In other words, the Ria is about to explode. He's also noticing all the pair off of couples that's happening and the fact that he's the only boy near Madeline's age doesn't escape him either. Escape… yes, good idea! "Hey Mad, I'm sorry but Evil Princess #1 seems to be on the verge of blowing her top like Mount Vesuvius. I better get out of here before I take the brunt of it. Later." And with that he makes a strategic retreat before anyone assumes its a good idea for him to be close enough to a girl to dance.

No no no no no. No. Not him, please not him. He sees someone else. He's walking towards someone else. No no no. Not him, please, please Merlin not him! And just like that, the happy glow that Dora had carried almost all week, evaporated like the snow beneath a tropical sun. Poof, begone. "…Hi, Alphard." Was just about as much as Dora could manage before she properly choked on everything else that was to follow and turned a mortified shade of crimson that ran all the way up to her ears. She did not look like she…
"I am perfectly fi—," and there was Lucretia and Dora turned too wide eyes from one towards the other and looked like she was going to run away. "Uhm..," her courage fled her during that bit of hesitation. What if she said no and it insulted him? What if he remembered he was mad at her brother? What if this was payback? "..okay." Squeaky toys were louder than that agreement. "That would be.." Rabbits looked more excited to see wolves! "Alright." And then, in a decidedly lower tone she grumped, "And I do not have to pee!"

"Mmmmuuhhh uhhhh eeeuhhhhh," Ria makes slightly more panicky sounds when she feels said chocolate move about in her shirt. She's doing her best to stay put, and yes Variel is saving her the grief of disastrously chocolatey ungarments, but it's still leaving random streak marks underneath. Not to mention it's as if there's a hand down her shirt, which is really making her freak out the most.
"Just get it out already!!" Request granted, the chocolate lifts itself out not without leaving a streak on her cheek, which makes her feel even more miserable and worse, filthy in both body and mind. But she's still playing! She throws a venomous look to the audience behind her, unsure of who was her 'savior'. "Whoever did that has absolutely appalling wand technique. Now someone cast a protego over me, or there will be no music!" Well. That sounded rather grateful.

Watching him quietly with a sideways glance, Elizabeth waits patiently before he accepts the offer, making the faint smile grow some. "Well then, this wall and all future walls thank you for your sacrifice." a small chuckle escapes, and straightening herself she leans her weight away from the aforementioned wall and lifts her hand for him. Much like a proper pure-blooded lady would have, if she had been just that. "Elizabeth Aurora Dweedle. A pleasure." Another small chuckle is heard. "You assisted Adam when he was turned into a crow. I want to thank you for that."

"Gunny!" Madeline hisses, before letting out a quiet sigh. See, she's just noticed her own problem - Adorabella is being /mobbed/. Simply /mobbed/ by Blacks!
She dashes over to the older girl, putting on her best, very best, typical Madeline gushing. "Oh my gosh, Adorabella, I'm so glad you're here! I found another member for the book club! And he thought of the greatest book for us to read!" She latches onto the girl's hand, beaming up at her brightly. "You want to hear about it?"

"Three… two… one.." Morgana counts backwards, waiting for the Ria explosion, and she doesn't disappoint. Wincing slightly she'll shake her head. "Yep, right on time." See, she'd help Ria, but her hands are busy guiding her brother around the dance floor. "Actually liking the person you're dancing with? You really have a poor memory don't you?" Turning to Lys again she'll smirk. "Find me this weekend and we'll give it a try."

Extremely amused, Variel lets Ria wonder as to who saved her from the chocolate. She can try it silently while playing the flute sometime! He's perfectly proud of himself, and notices Adorabella's expression only a moment before Madeline goes to try to save her. He resolves to keep playing, since the last thing the spritely little Hufflepuff would want is more attention, and anything he did to try to intervene would be just that. He settles in to keep the music going as long as there's people to enjoy it.
Variel has disconnected.

"Oh, you're right. But that was my piece of advice. It's not fair to ask me for my own advice. I pretty much just make it up on the spot." Kaiden grins and looks over to Ria, before a more sympathetic look rests on his. "She /does/ ask for it sometimes, doesn't she?"

Leoric slips into the room on his own, the case of his telescope under one arm. The music had drawn him from the main hall, and he's simply stunned to find so large a group of students in apparent…

… harmony. He sees Ellie and Lucretia in the same breath, and unfortunately has no context for her expression, though he has a suspicion as he heads for the cluster of girls around Alphard.

Every bit of color seeping into poor mortified Adorabella's cheeks, only added to Alphard's glow of cruel bemusement. That was exactly the reaction he had been going for, too! It showed in his eyes and it showed in his smug shit-eating grin. After giving Lucretia a sly wink, he took Adorabella's hand and then began to draw her out among the dancing people. "I'm so glad you cleared that up. I'm sure everybody was dying to know." That she didn't have to pee.
What was this, though?! A firstie trying to stomp on his bullying parade? Alphard narrowed his eyes at the little firstie, and with a curled upper lip he sneered out: "Get lost, Firstie. Don't you see we're busy?"
Of course there was also Ria's explosion. He had missed the whole thing, until now. Was someone going to cast that protego spells he demanded? The ass that he was, he expected someone else to be that someone.

Lucretia clasps her hands behind her back and lifts herself up onto her toes, then back then again. She looks supremely happy with how things are, until Madeline rushes up, and then she doesn't look quite so happy. A look that could freeze a penguin at a hundred paces is given the first year girl and completely unaware of the reason that Alphard's asked Dora to dance, she hisses at her. "Can't you see that Alphard's offering an olive branch. Get lost." There might be more to come, except that she notices Leoric's approach and her scowl disappears like snow in the sun. "Leo! Hello!"

Sadly for Lys, his Big Brother sense doesn't seem to be working at the moment, or he'd likely be joining Madeline in a rescue attempt… but between all the other items keeping his attention at the moment, he seems to miss the commotion along the edges. Instead, he nods politely to Morgana, and offers an arm to Elizabeth, to draw them out to the middle of the floor, and offers to lead. "Ulysses Selwyn, and it was a pleasure. Little git didn't deserve it, although I hope he learned his lesson. It was easy enough getting him changed back after the fact."
As to Ria? Well… why? The distress she shows was actually a bit fun to watch now he recognized it.

One two three. Small groups. Small thoughts. Don't run away. Everything is fine. Maybe he just wanted to step on her toes or..what was that look for? Poor Dora's eyes were fretful, for all that somehow her hand was in Alphard's and the steps were being taken, they were. She was going in the right direction she just…, nearly tripped and fell, for his little quip, is what she nearly did.
"Sorry," came the half mumble when that stumble of hers threaten to catch one of his toes. "Why are you so m…., Maddie," spared Dora smiled down at the first year only to watch as the poor girl was caught in the Black crossfire. "You can…," oh dear. There went the Slytherin Prefect pitching an absolute fit and for a moment Dora thought the music was going to stop and Alphy was going to let go and…nope.
"I'll..," looking from Alphy to Lucretia to Madeline, Dora gave the girl an apologetic smile and tried to protect her as best she could. By not forcing her to linger. "Just a few moments, alright and we'll talk. I think he just wants to ss—," no. NO. Dora would not resort to saying not nice things. She wouldn't.

"Oh, was it? I thought it was the other way around, I apologize." Morgana says with a smirk as they dance. She'll let Uly get to his dancing "An oh? Making it up on the spot? Well don't I fell special." Looking toward Ria she nods her head. "I wasn't going to say anything ill about your sister."

Madeline blinks up at Alphard, hoping she looks merely clueless and confused. "Oh, but Adorabella's in charge of the club and I just have to tell her about the book! It's so exciting! It won't take long at all, I'm sure!" She doesn't relinquish Adorabella's hand, holding it in /both/ of hers, and squeezing reassuringly.
Lucretia hissing at her earns a broad smile. "Black! Hi! This music is just /great/, isn't it?" If she can stand up to them without actually /looking/ like she's trying to stand up to them… then… then… Well. Will that save her from getting her head in a toilet?
She sure hopes so.
"Please?" she adds towards Adorabella. She can't help if the girl doesn't at least play along! "You'll love the book! Promise!"

Elizabeth easily loops her small hand into the crook of his arm as she begins to follow Ulysses out to the chocolate covered dance floor. And considering that he's three years older and a pureblooded wizard that's part of the sacred twenty-eight families, dancing with a quarter-blood, she can only imagine they look odd together. Not that it really matters to her. She chuckles again, "No, he didn't. I did try to warn him about trying to get others to hex him. But I suppose he needed to learn it for himself."

"Hey, Alphard; how bout you try to make it a day without eating a child's heart. Maybe we'll all get lucky and you'll sink back into the ground." Kaiden Sykes has no tolerance for people messing with the Firsties. He stops swaying for a moment with Morgana, looking over to the Bully.

Esther arrives late, having had to hunt down a prefect as a dance partner. They arrive at the Auditorium with arms linked, looking out over the dance floor with a considered smile. She turns to Zayn, tapping him on the shoulder with her other hand, to whisper softly. "May I have this dance?"

"Listen you little snot-nose," Alphard growled at Madeline with annoyance. What the hell did this firstie think she was doing? The tall Slytherin took a threatening step towards her, looming. He leaned down. "I know expecting you to have some brains is out of the question, but I didn't know you were deaf as well. She said later. Now scat before I make you." And still hand-in-hand with Adorabella. A tug-of-war, with the Selwyn girl caught in the middle.
Kaiden's words cut in from the side, causing Alphard to turn around to eye the older boy. A few possible responses came to mind. But.. well. Like most bullies, he really prefers his victims weaker and younger than him. With a grunt and a sneer he let go of Adorabella. "Whatever. It looks like Ria needs my help." So wand drawn, he went to cast the damn protection spell over Ria already.

Zayn arrives with Esther, his face straight it isn't clear if he is happy or annoyed to have been drug here. But when she asks for a dance, he nods and responds with offering her his hand, "How can I turn one down?" he says with a small shrug his free hand running through his hair slowly, "Leave it to you, to find a dance in the middle of the week." he says shaking his head, though a small smile is creeping on his lips. Though his attention moves to Alphard for a moment, a small frown forming on his lips.

Maddie was really excited about that book, wasn't she? Dora doesn't do subtle. Or undertones. She's so straight forward that she rather expects everyone else to be too, but Maddie's not the one who's weighing all of Alphard's assorted motley against her own fair family and trying to decide who'd come up the victor. The odds, even in her head, are not coming out in her favor. She'd embarrassed him, inadvertently threatened him though it'd taken some explaining for her to see -how- and now…

"Maddie please," Dora murmured, whilst her fingers kept attempting an all to inconscious as it tried not to be insulting escape of Alphard's hand. Failing and the Black was clearly winning. "Please, if you'd just let us get this over with," as if she were in a hurry and then, Kaiden's voice and between the tugging and then the sudden sneer on Alphard's face… Oh Merlin. Now they'd done it. They'd done it and she was going to be the one to pay for it. "Madeline please, he's not the…well he's just not." And they were making it worse! Because now she was just, "When…," gulp. "When you're finished, Alphy, we..if..I mean..it's..nevermind."

Nothing ruins a dance like bullying on the dance floor. When Kaiden stops their dance to confront Alphard, Morgana slowly shakes her head. However surprised to see just how quickly Black deflates, she shakes her head. "Well, this was fun." She says, shaking her head as she has a feeling all of this is going to go downhill quicker.

Esther allows herself to chuckle. "It's either now, or 2am. And frankly, if you're not going to show off talent like yours, then there's no point in you having it." The girl takes the offered hand in hers, lacing her fingers with his, although her expression turns a little pensive at the discourse beginning on the dance floor. "Oh, Merlin, if he ruins this…" Her grip tightens on Zayn noticeably, her eyes narrowing at her cousin. He'd better not.

Lys had no time or patience for politics, when it came right down to it. And purity? Well… suffice it to say he was sure things would work out on that end anyhow, regardless of whom he interacted with. And so, there is dancing. And he's actually not bad ad it.
That is, until commotion hit. And people stopped dancing. And Black's name was uttered. And, perhaps a touch rude on his part, but Ulysses' attention is drawn and his entire body just stops. Sister. Madeline. Black. Distress on the winged one's face.
Lys' face goes from all smiles and gentility to dark, suspicious, and perhaps even a touch angry in very little time. "I apologize, but I think I may need to intervene in a moment here."

Madeline's eager excitement - semi-forced, semi-feigned - starts to crumble in the face of Alphard's aggressive move towards her. The hands clinging to Adorabella aren't reassuring now, they're clutching tight as her heart jumps, and fear starts to creep into her features.
But then Kaiden interrupts, getting Black to back off, and relief shows on the little first year's expression. She looks to Kaiden in wordless gratitude, and then tries to lead Adorabella away from the two Blacks. Oh gosh oh gosh oh gosh they're gonna put her head in a toilet. She doesn't /want/ her head in a toilet!

"I'm sure she does, Champ," responds Kaiden to Alphard with a wink and a click of his teeth. He looks back to Morgana takes her hand in his, pulling her closer to him by the waist, "Hey, now. It wasn't my intention to dance with Miss Sad Lady tonight. Bring that smiley, happy Morgana back." He offers her a grin before he starts swaying with her to the music, again. He smiles at Madeline and flashes her a quick wink before his attention returns to dancing.

Leoric takes a moment to warm to Lucretia- his mind is working, and it's visible in the tiny movements his eyes make as he calculates, recalculates and- finally- backs the right horse by simply doing nothing. Madeline's presence draws outside intervention and Dora's extracted as best she could have hoped to be. Lys' voice catches his attention and he quietly takes Lucretia's hand and leads her in that direction. "Hullo, Lu, one moment." Then he's clearing his throat lightly beside his older brother, a quiet request for his attention.

Lucretia watches the failure of the dance to occur between Alphard and Dora with a look of sheer disappointment in her expression. "Now see what you've done," she states to Madeline, her greeting of Leo cut short. "They were going to make up and be friends, and now they aren't. And its your fault." Wrapping her arms around herself, she watches after Alphard as he disappears through the dancers in Ria's direction and if she were a lesser person, or a muggle, she'd probably kick the girl's ankle. But she's not. She's above that and so she settles for just turning her attention on Adorabella. "Perhaps he'll find you later. I do hope so."

Zayn takes Esther's hand and slowly wraps his arm around her waist pulling her in close. "Now no need to show anything off." he says with a small nod as he starts to lead, pushing the situation out of his mind for a moment, but it only lasts a moment before his attention is once again drawn back to the disagreement, "Now lets all calm down and take a step back." he says softly with another small nod, "No need for threats." he says clicking his tongue against his cheek.

Her dance with Ulysses is short, brief as whatever that had crawled up Black's (either one) butt had drawn officially interrupted them. Elizabeth blinks with a little bit of surprise, but she quickly dips her chin with a quick nod and drops her hands away. Exhaling a small breath, she feels a small wave of disappointment.

Alphard gave Kaiden a fake smile, as if he hadn't at all backed down and everybody knew it, while Adorabella just got a look. Then he was gone, leaving all the trouble - that he totally hadn't started! - behind. From bully to knight in shining Black, that was Alphard, come to save Ria from the chocolate and such. A hero straight out of the storybook. He wave his wand, and threw out the spell with a snappy little flick of his wrist and a word. Give him some credit, the boy did know his magic.

Esther's attempts to be distracted are… Distracted, by Zayn pulling her in close by the waist, drawing her in and holding her close, "… Nothing wrong with a little pride, Zayn." She teases, taking the first few steps out onto the floor before Zayn pauses, following his glance…

Morgana can't help but watch everyone wearily, but as Kaiden pulls her back into the dance, she nods at him. Giving her best fake smile. "Again with that terrible nick name, surely you can find a better one. That'll be your homework this weekend." However she does pick the dance up again, letting Kaiden lead.

That Look. There had to be better things in life than that look and then Lucretia sounded like the little prophetess of Doom. Too many people were starting to look. Her brothers, Lucretia. "It's alright, Maddie. I promise." The first year was drawn in for a hug, one armed and let's face it, Dora is short, so easily managed. "Now, if you go see Uly, he's got a chocolate frog in his pocket you can have. Tell him I said so." Too many people were looking. Dora was going to run away. "Thank..thank you Kaiden," a hint of pink, an apologetic look given to Lulu. "I'm sorry. I was trying. I was going too! I just..," yes. Now was a good time to run away.
"I should go find Mister Bubbles." Run, Dora, Run! And she didn't, but it was a near thing; an attempt to weave through the crowd without being accosted.

"Hope you're satisfied," Lucretia says to Madeline as Dora hurries off. "Now push off, you're infecting my air space. Again."

Leoric leaves his brother's side after delivering whatever little message he had, heading back to Lucretia. He has the chance, though fleeting, to catch at Dora's hand, precisely long enough to catch her eye and offer her a reassuring smile before releasing her fingers and letting her escape as she might. Then it's the last few paces to Lucretia's side. "I'm sorry, Lucretia, I had to speak with Brother a moment." His eyes catch her expression and he sighs. "… Le mal est dj fait, non? Ou peut-tre le soir peut tre sauv par une danse ou deux?"

Madeline returns the hug, tightly, and it helps. It helps a lot. She tries to wipe her eyes without anyone noticing - more importantly, without any /Blacks/ noticing. "I'll show you the book later!" she calls after the girl, the turns to face Lucretia. Is she satisfied?
…of course she is.
Probably best to not say that, though. "I hope you enjoy the dance!" she says brightly instead, running towards Ulysses as suggested. I mean… chocolate frog!

Zayn shakes his head, "Until someone's is hurt and people do something they know they shouldn't." he says, still leading Esther in a soft paced dance. He lets outs a small sigh of relief as the situation seems to have been defused. "Now then, Miss Lowe, you mentioned showing off?" he says as he suddenly spins her, catching her and taking her immediately down into a dip, offering a faint smile before pulling her back up.

At the fake smile he's given, Kaiden nudges Morgana playfully, saying, "I think I'm just going to hire you on to name all of my stuff. You Ravenclaws are clever like that." He offers a nod to Adorabella as he's thanked. He pokes Morgana in the stomach and says, "Sorry about that. Stuff like that just gets under my skin. I didn't mean to embarrass you."

Absently, even as he watched Alphard break away from his sister, and her attempt to flee, Lys puts a light hand on Elizabeth's shoulder, while remaining laser-focused on Dora, until Leoric gets his attention. He looks at Leoric, and at Dora as she flees, and his lips purse. But he nods. Tilting his head, almost demanding Leoric follow her, which he does. Lys will find her later. It's not an easy decision to make.
Then it's a look back to Elizabeth. "I feel I should at least finish that dance with you, if you're still up to it."

Lys then blinks as Madeline rushes up to the two of them.. and blinks, confused.

Alphard was expecting profound and deep gratitude from Ria. But considering she was in total bitch mode, he probably didn't get that. Just another reason why the boy was quick enough to depart himself. His fun ruined. His heroics ignored. An unfair world was conspiring against him.

Esther is well distracted, but she smiles. "Sounds like my modus operandi." The young girl states, dancing slowly - She's keeping up with Zayn, spinning neatly in his arms and dipping gracefully. Contrary to what people might think, her bountiful hair flows behind her elegantly, although the dip leaves it brushing the floor for but a moment, before she's brought back up and into his arms, Closer. "Mn." She smiles appreciatively.

"I hope this job pays well, I have an expensive habit. I do have an addiction to tiny hats after all." When she's poked, Morgana squirms and shakes her head, lowering her voice so it isn't heard outside of their little dance bubble. "You didn't, and trust me there is only one person here being embarrassing." She figures Kaiden can figure out who she means.

"Hi Elizabeth!" Madeline says brightly, wrapping the Ravenclaw girl in a tight hug. She really, really likes and needs hugs right now. "I think I helped Adorabella but I'm not really sure at least I know she didn't really want to go I hope Alphard Black doesn't put my head in a toilet later Dora said you might have a chocolate frog to give me because she said so." Yes. It's all one sentence. At least it is the way Madeline says. She's full of nervous energy right now.

Lucretia's shoulders hitch for just a moment as she draws a breath, then turns to Leoric. "Le merci, qui serait joli." Responding in French without having to even think, the thirteen year old takes the offered arm. "I'll probably tread all over your feet though, dancing isn't something I've ever really bothered with. You're wearing boots, I hope?" And bless her, the young witch does actually bother to glance down at his feet, because whilst she's no time for some people, she's a lot for others.

"Oh, no worries, Elric stole all the dancing. I'm utter rubbish at it. Tell you what, whoever has more bruised toes after we dance can bring the hot drink for the next stargazing session." He smiles as her arm threads through his and moves to a good place to engage in whatever they're going to pretend is dancing without too much collateral damage. "Sound like a deal?", asks Leoric.

Zayn smiles a little, "So I am doing it right?" he says curiously, "You know I really should take dancing lessons, never going to be able to keep up with you if I don't" he says as he gives her another quick spin, and bringing her back in. "You look lovely by the way." he says with a small shrug, still leading to the music.

Kaiden nods to Morgana, pressing his forehead against hers, "I should've never gotten you started on tiny hats. It's all my fault." He chuckles and leans his head back, looking at her. "There's one in every bunch, eh?"

Since Leoric had drawn Ulysses' attention towards Black, Elizabeth lightly presses her lips together as she gives him a glance, observing him, observing the situation as it's quickly defused by Adorabella quickly fleeing the scene. Since she actually liked Dora, she felt bad seeing her leave like that. She blinks her pale eyes once as she glances over her shoulder at the light hand that's been placed there, blinking again as she looks up at Ulysses. "Comme vous voulez, mon bon monsieur." Elizabeth chuckles. "Only if it isn't inconvenient."

Esther's wearing a mild blush, as she mock-pouts at Zayn, "You're better'n me." She teases, "And you know it." The delicate spin ends with her pressed firmly into him, holding there for a few seconds, before she's willing to continue. "You're looking as dashing as ever. Some time we might need to get dressed up for this, you know." She smiles to her dance partner. She's more than happy to let him lead, after all.

With a bit of a confused look, Lys's eyes wrinkle a bit a Madeline approaches. He blinks at her, and then shakes his head. Indeed, he reaches into his back pocket, and a chocolate frog, safely wrapped, comes out. He always keeps one on his person. Just like there's always a roll of bandages in his shoulder bag. He's related to Dora. These are essentials. The frog is handed over to Madeline with a grin, although no hug is offered from this upperclassman.
Turning back to Elizabeth as she finally answers him, Lys grins, "If I'm supposed to understand that, I'll admit right now, Leoric's the linguist among us Selwyn boys. But no… I wouldn't offer if it were."

Elizabeth, belatedly, stumbles briefly as Madeline suddenly grapples her legs.

Morgana smirks at Kaiden as he calls out her 'addiction' again. "That's the problem with tiny hats, you can't have just one." She'll dance a bit longer before she clears her throat a bit. "Do you want to slip out of here?" It seems the room is getting a bit crowded.

Lucretia nosecrinkles. "I really hope that I don't get bruised toes, but the bet is acceptable. I'll just have to make quite sure that I tread on your more than you tread on mine, that way you can be the one to bring the drinks." Ignoring any dark looks that anyone directs her way, she places one hand on Leoric's shoulder, slightly awkward and a little stiff, waiting for him to lead her in a dance regardless of whether it might be a case of the blind leading the blind. A tilt up of her head is given and as the dancing pairs pass them by, she smiles at him and adds, "Don't Esther and Zayn dance well?"

"Gee, thanks!" Madeline says brightly. "I hope Adorabella's okay. Tell her I really do have a great book to tell her about! Bye Elizabeth!" And then Hurricane Madeline is off - and headed straight for Kaiden, as he and Morgana are finishing up their dance. "I just wanted to say that Gabriel's right. You're great!" She waves happily at the man, before starting towards the door.

Zayn chuckles and smiles, "Nonsense, a dancer is only as strong as his partner." he says offering her a small wink, "Dressed up?" he says slowly, clicking his tongue against his cheek, he does his best to avoid wearing his dress robes, as they differ greatly from those used in more Western cultures, "Perhaps, we will have to see I suppose, I normally do not wear my dress robes." he says with a small nod as he continues the dance, spinning Esther but this time letting go of her hand and catching her by the waist as she starts to spin away from him and dragging her back slowly.

Kaiden offers a nod to Morgana and says, "Sure. Let's bail." He takes her hand and begins to walk towards the door before he's intercepted by Madelin, "It's no problem, ma'am. If you have any more problems with him, make sure that I hear about, okay?" He smiles and looks over to Morgana, "You hear that? I'm great."

Leoric blinks as Lucretia speaks in return, groaning under his breath. "In hindsight, that is likely the worst deal I have ever, and will ever, broker. Is it too late to reverse the terms of the deal so neither of us tries to squoosh digits?" He leads Lulu in a slow dance, so as not to rush either of their… burgeoning might be too generous a term to describe their dancing skills, but it will have to do… their burgeoning talents as they start the series of slow turns. His eyes catch Zayn's clever moves and he laughs. "Oh, quite. He's almost as good as Elric." He has a particularly satisfied grin on his face. "Almost."

Hurricane Madeline indeed. Elizabeth blinks as the younger girl suddenly takes off again with the intent of chasing after Adorabella. She gently shakes her raven head, her pale eyes turning back to Ulysses. His reply earns an embarrassed chuckle. "I said, 'as you wish, my good sir'. I apologize. It was rude of me to assume." Almost shyly, she turns to face him again as a hand reaches for his, in preparation for the dance. "Thank you, by the way. For accepting the offer to dance. I'm sure there are plenty of girls that are rather eager for the chance to dance with you as well."

Esther teases, "Right now your partner is nearly tripping over her own feet." An overstatement perhaps, she seems to be keeping pace well enough, but just keeping pace. "I'm not asking you to host a formal dance, y'know, although sooner or later, you're going to need to take me to a Real Dance." The response is to be spun, bringing her hands in close and lifting herself onto her toes, reaching out a hand before she's too far gone, trusting that it'll catch his - And catch it does, pulled back in steadily.

Morgana chuckles, looking to Madeline as she passes by. "Oh yes, that's exactly what you need, someone telling you that you're great." Morgana teases. "Do be careful, he can be a bit of a handful." Morgana says to the younger girl, not specifying if she means Kaiden or Alphard. Turning back to her dance partner she nods. "Lead the way."

"Absolutely great!" Madeline agrees. She waves again - to the room in general this time, and then dashes back out. She has a chocolate frog, and there's plenty of people who'd look after her. Maybe she doesn't have to worry about Alphard Black too might?

"Entirely too late," Lu says, her foot immediately finding his. By design? By default? Its a hard one to call, but since she's such a slip of a thing, he's hardly likely to feel much. "Actually, you do make dancing a lot easier than its been before, are you making the steps slower than they should be?" There's a bit of a tease in there as Leoric moves them around the floor, and whilst there are no fancy spins, dips or twirls, there's something almost charming in the concentration on not only her face but his too. She murmurs something quietly to him as they loop around the top of the floor, then smiles after.

Lys offers another nod at Elizabeth, letting the music lead for a moment, and starts to dance with the younger girl, "Think nothing of it. No one else asked." He offers with a light smile. "How could I refuse?" There's a sigh, then, "I am sorry that I interrupted it. Family, though, I'm certain you understand."

Zayn softly lets out a chuckle, "You asked for this Lowe." he says nodding a bit, "Thought you wanted to show off?" he asks giving her a playful wink, "I never said you were wanting me to host one, but I have a feeling you are going to want me to take you too all the dances I always end up attending over the summer." he says to Esther with a small shrug and a smirk.

Whatever Lucretia says leaves Leoric's face a lovely red shade, but he smiles right back and returns the murmur. "I'm going precisely as fast as I am comfortable going. I don't have any idea if it's slower than normal, but it's working and that's good enough for me. At least it's going better than my future as a haggling wand salesman." He adds drolly as he continues to lead Lu in slow, careful turns around the space carved out for dancing.

"Is there someone else you'd rather take, Zayn?" Esther answers back, still happily lead by the Prefect, "And I said I you should show off, not me."

Elizabeth follows his pace to the music, though he's significantly taller than she is. "Perhaps next time you should ask me then." she replies easily, chuckling softly again. It's very much doubtful this will happen again after all. They didn't even know one another. The mention of family earns a different kind of smile. Wistful. "I'm sure it's wonderful, to have siblings. Driving you crazy, but at the same time you know that they will be there when you need them." Obviously she doesn't have any. "Still, yes I do understand. Sometimes things happen that cannot be helped."

Having saved the day and danced with a pretty lady, Kaiden Sykes is happy with the way things have turned out. He smiles at Morgana as they move out of the room, hand in hand and says, "So, where to now?" They can still be heard conversing for a few moments after, as they disappear down the hall.

"If your wand-selling haggling is anything like the way you make deals over bruised toes, then you'd be starving on the streets," Lucretia notes with a laugh, tucking herself in closer to Leoric as they find themselves almost right upon another couple. "Sorry!" she calls as the continue their ponderous way around the floor, a bright smile given to Esther and Zayn as they pass. "Esther," she smiles. "I'm dancing with Leoric." There's something in the way that she says that which might speak volumes to Esther who's been one of her confidantes, but there's not much time to say much else, because music and dancing conspire to move them on.

The laugh Lys offers is a bit ragged-edged, his voice low so that it doesn't carry so much, "It's more interesting to see who has the courage to ask. But yes… it's good to have family. But I have a commitment to them, to. Papa being gone, I'm all they have." Simple and plain. "And so I have to look out for them."

"Well I think you are doing a splendid job, I think you have caught various eyes." Zayn says offering her a small wink, "It's not that, you just have to recall, my father is a Businessman and part of various societies, which means a lot of social events." he says nodding slowly, "So I really hope you enjoy food and dancing." he says with a soft chuckle, "Oh and socializing with tons of people, who you are expected to remember." he says with wink.

"Thank you, Lucretia," Leoric replies with a roll of his eyes, "You have opened my eyes. I shall forsake my lifelong dream of starving in Knockturn Alley and instead turn my pursuits to something more suited to my talents. Like dancing." His grin doesn't falter when Lucretia throw sher little comment to Esther, but he does give her a "waitwhat" look afterward, as if she's actually going to explain herself.

Esther whispers something, and then chuckles. "Zayn, I've spend five years watching, listening and learning. If I haven't mastered the ins and outs of social manipulation, I /deserve/ to be shunned by all and sundry." She listens to Lucretia, offering her a smile in return. "And you're doing wonderfully, Lu'." She doesn't use the shorthand often. She must be happy…

Lucretia offers no insight into her remark to Esther, though there might be just the touch of a blush just highlighting the angles of her cheeks as the tune they're dancing to draws to a close. "Thank you for the dance, Leo. It was lovely. I need to go now though. If you see Dora, tell her that I'll see her soon and that I'm sorry she didn't get her dance with Alphard. I'm so pleased that everyone is finally getting along though."

Elizabeth barely quirks a slender brow, but she couldn't help her smile as it grows subtly. "I suppose you have a valid point there, yes. But I suppose, from my point of view, the worse that could happen is that you would say 'no'. And if I have to ask, might as well make it memorable." Another small chuckle. The mention of his father, there's a small look of sympathy, but Elizabeth makes sure that it isn't mistaken for pity. "That kind of strength is rare, I think. Admirable. So long as you do not forget to enjoy yourself at times, I mean."

Disappointment flares clearly, but he takes it with grace, coaxing Lu through slowing the dance to its end. "I'd be very happy if everyone got along well, too. And I think I'm the one should be thanking -you- for the dance." He pauses. "… wait, no. Now I have to bring cocoa or something. On second thought, Lucretia? You're welcome." The smile he gives her, though, is anything but begrudging.

Sadly, the current song slowly comes to a close, and Ulysses smiles lightly. "And so I do. In the small things." As the music ends, so slowly, does the dance. And Ulysses kindly disengages from it, a light smile on his face. "But this is my cue. Some of us still have homework to do, even with the music."

Lucretia lifts herself onto her toes, her clearly unbruised toes, and dots a kiss to Leoric's cheek. "Thank you…" she responds, then slips from both his arms and the room. With the determined cadence and pace of her stride, she's clearly some other place to be.

Leoric stands quietly on his own for a few long moments, watching Lucretia go. He's not really sure what to do after she leaves, truth be told, so he just looks at the door for a bit after that.

Elizabeth dips her chin ever so slightly. "That is what life is about." she agrees in a quiet way, their hands released, the song coming to and end and the last few students already drifting off. There was already a few couples that had managed to slip off by now. "I thank you kindly for the dance and the pleasurable company." Dipping in a respectful curtsy she pauses for a brief moment before rising.

Lys offers the younger girl another smile, and a slight nod of the head, before simply replying, "Of course. Good night, Elizabeth." At least he recalled her name. With that, he turns, retrieves his bag from a nearby entrance, and departs, just that quickly.

Zayn smiles softly as the song ends and embraces Esther softly, "You are too cute, Esther." he says softly with a small nod, "Well I mean, you have to understand we belong to… pretty much ever charitable society." he says softly, his hand running through his hair.

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