(1939-09-05) Worried Witch in the Workshop
Details for Worried Witch in the Workshop
Summary: Hephaesta shows Samira the Hogwarts Workshop, and expresses her concerns over the girl's placement in Slytherin.
Date: 5 September, 1939
Location: Workshop, Hogwarts
Related: Immediately follows Library Orientation

Workshop, Ground Floor

Long, heavily shielded windows lining one side of the workshop are designed to guard against even the more forceful projectiles that often spiral out of control from heavy tables that serve as work surfaces. The walls are scarred with burn-marks of many a project gone awry, and even the ceiling is scorched here and there by past misfires. Those familiar with the history of this room might even know that some of those "accidents" were anything but a mishap, and were even sometimes carefully planned. Shelves line the far wall from the entryway, stacked with models and manuals of wizarding innovations, as well as the students' current attempts-in-progress to duplicate those innovations.

Samira keeps close at Hephaesta's side, smiling as the pair walk past the students gathered outside the library. She moves at the Hephaesta's side with such graceful ease that it should not inhibit her movements in the slightest. "I am not much for libraries. I prefer to curl up alone with a cup of tea and a blanket."

Hephaesta nods slowly. "That explains it. I simply cannot imagine how you wouldn't be impressed with the Hogwarts Library." She gets more silent once they are on the Grand Staircase. Her bad leg makes stairs a challenge. Certainly one she has mastered over the years, but the tendency of the stairs to shift and move means a wrong step could leave her in considerable agony. So the descent to the ground floor takes longer than it usually would.

"It is impressive. But, the library at Heka is ancient and vast. The librarians love to remind us that it rivals the great library of Alexandria. And I don't doubt it." On the stairs, Samira drifts along at Hephaesta's side and stares up at all the paintings. It's as if Hephaesta is slowing down for /her/ sake so she can take it all in. A hand lingers under Hephaesta's elbow, giving the girl both space and support of she wants it.

Hephaesta does not seek support, but neither doesn't she shoo Samira's hand away. When they reach the bottom at last, she gives Samira a grateful smile. "Those stairs like to play dreadful tricks on me. Once, I nearly reached the bottom flight, and then had to climb back up three flights just to get down again." She gestures to a corridor leading away from the entry hall. It's down this way, next to the club room. Have you seen the club room, yet?"

Samira blinks and shakes her head. "No. I spent my first day exploring, but I don't think I found all the rooms. The club room. Is that where the Arts Club will meet?" Now that they are at the bottom of the stairs, Samira draws a bit closer so that they can continue arm in arm to the workshop.

"All of the clubs meet in there, except the Broom Club," Phae explains. "The room can be magically reconfigured for each club's needs. For instance, the Domestics Club has tables they use for cooking and crafts, but those transfigure into a duelling stage for the Duelling club. It's very cleverly enchanted." She points to the door leading to the Club Room, then to the door beyond it. "This is the workshop. It doesn't get much use, except by myself, and sometimes Mr. Pringle or Mr. Ogg." She pushes open the door, revealing the room filled with a great variety of machine parts, models, tools, workbenches…an arteficer's haven.

This room seems to intrigue Samira. "No? If there are no classes taught here, how did you come to find it?" She glances up at Phae with keen interest. "Tell me what you do here."

"My father told me about it, so I asked Professor Mopsus where to find it. We Mulcibers have been using it for generations." Phae smiles happily, gleeful inside that Samira is interested in her work. "I make things in here. I'm an inventor," she says proudly. "My family is known for it. Have you ever heard of Fabrio Mulciber? He's my grandfather."

Samira grins, looking rather impressed. When asked if she knows of Phae's grandfather though, she shakes her head. "I don't suppose you have heard of my grandfathers either. Although they are well known in Egypt." She glances off across the room. "Show me your projects?"

"I'm sure you will hear of him someday," Phae says confidently. "They say that goblins would try to steal his designs." That might be an exaggeration, but Hephaesta certainly believes it. She hobbles toward one of the shelves, reaching for a wooden box, about the side of a breadbox. "This was the first thing I made in here, back in First Year. I had a little help from Professor Beery." She brings the box to a worktable, then points to a key protruding from the side of it. "Wind it up."

Samira's dark gaze shines with curiosity. Head tilted, she leans forward against the worktable and twists the key.

The key gives some resistance, but the clicking can be heard as it winds. Finally, when it will wind no tighter, there is a louder click, and the box comes to life. The top and sides slowly unfold to reveal a mass of gears and cogs inside, all spinning and twirling about. In the center, a series of brass cylinders, crudely decorated with small pieces to look vaguely like people, go up and down as air is blown through them, whistling at different pitches. Phae smiles at Samira, then realises that she might have to explain. "It's the Hogwarts school song. Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts, Teach us something please…" She sings along for a few notes. The box isn't quite on pitch, perhaps because it's been sitting around for five years or so — or perhaps because Phae is no musician.

Samira's lips part in a silent gasp. The Hogwarts Library might not have impressed her, but this clearly does. With an amazed smile, she peers at the little people that go up and down. She glances up at Phae, grinning as she sings a bit of the school song. "You did this in your first year?" She watches Samira with genuine awe.

Hephaesta nods vehemently with a proud smile. "Yes. I've been inventing since I was three. Someday I'm going to sell my patents for a lot of money. At least, once I have inventions that people will want to buy."

"Let me see more? If this was from your first year, I'm certain you could sell your patents /now/ for a lot of money," says Samira, smiling up at Hephaesta. It is rare that her smile is as genuine as it is now.

"Thank you," Hephaesta dips her head appreciatively. "I think my ideas are sound. But fabricating something that can be produces inexpensively enough to make a profit is the difficult part. I've learned a lot about that during my apprenticeships at Macnair Manufacturing."

"Well," says Samira, leaning back against the edge of the work table. "I think you will accomplish great things. You have genius."

Hephaesta shrugs in an effort to seem modest, but she knows very well that she's a genius, and doesn't deny it. "You remember Gizmo, right? You met him in Madam Malkin's. He's my magnus opus. I've learned so much from working on him, especially about aerodynamics. I applied some of it to a bubble-powered broom engine I made last year. That's at home, though."

Samira blinks and slowly shakes her head. "Gizmo? No, I don't think I saw him there. My governess was impatient to leave."

"No?" Phae thinks back to the day she met Samira. "I suppose he was still perched by the door by the time you left. Well, you must meet him. Gizmo is my clockwork owl. But he's all the way up in my dormitory. I'd Summon him, but…I don't want to get into trouble for using magic inappropriately. I'll bring him out soon, I promise."

Samira blinks, not sure she understood Phae. "A clockwork owl? You mean an owl that is-" she points at the music box. "Like this?"

Hephaesta nods with that proud smile again. "Yes, but he's mostly autonomous. I only have to wind him once a week. He responds to my voice commands, too. I can't take all the credit. I developed him in the labs at Macnair. But it's my designs. They just helped me work out some of the problems."

Samira stares at Hephaesta for a moment. The music box had left her in awe, but this coming from someone only a year older is almost unsettling. Shaking her head, she murmurs in Arabic before grinning at Hephaesta at last. "A genius. My Phae is a genius. Perhaps Slytherin /was/ the best for me if this is what Ravenclaws are."

Hephaesta peeks up at Samira through her bangs, starting to feel the awkwardness of receiving so much praise. Her lip unconsciously catches in her teeth at the words, My Phae. "I'm sure you would have made a wonderful Ravenclaw. Still, I…I worry about you. In Slytherin, I mean."

Samira places her palms on the clear surface of the work table and hoists herself up with such ease and grace. She grins, leaning forward with a rather curious look. "Do you? Tell me why."

Hephaesta nibbles on her lip deliberately this time. "Well, haven't you noticed that a lot of your housemates are…how to put this…irrationally hateful?" This is Phae notion of tact. "I know that I wouldn't wish to be stuck in that environment."

Samira arches a brow. "Are they? I suppose so. But since I became a Slytherin, I have noticed that my house mates are not the only ones. So few have spoken to me, but so many send me glares, or avoid me. Is this not irrational as well?"

"Some of it is, that's true." Hephaesta clings to logic where she can find it. "But there is a lot that's happened here that you haven't witnessed. Last year it got very bad with the creation of the Hogwarts Magijugend. Even the year before that, when Leander Fox was killed at Durmstrang. It's all compounded to create a terrible situation. But House Slytherin always seems to be at the center of it."

"I see. And you are fearful that they will indoctrinate me. That I will come to share their sneers, and their snide remarks." Samira shakes her head. "Don't fear. I do not intend to adopt their hatreds. The Slytherin House is /nothing/ next to what I have faced before."

"That's relieving to hear," Phae says. "But I wouldn't be so quick to gauge the depths of what they're capable of. I realise things may have been very different at Heka, but believe me when I say some Slytherins are most definitely not 'nothing', no matter what you compare them to."

Samira grins with a defiant glint in her dark gaze. "They are nothing compared to me. But, I have decided to embrace the qualities of my house for now. Cunning. Mm… perhaps I should even try to become a magijugend. It would be useful to know thier secrets."

Hephaesta pales suddenly, her eyes widening. "Oh, please don't. The Magijugend are the worst of them. Then you'd have to wear that Eye of Truth, and everyone would hate you." She steps close to Samira with a hurried hobble. "It was a Magijunde that killed Leander Fox at Durmstrang. With a Killing Curse. An Unforgiveable! They're awful, Samira. Please, I'm begging you not to get involved with them."

"You know little about my life before here. I have been hated. I have even been taught dark magic." Samira looks away, running a hand through her wild, dark curls. "If they are so horrible, should we not try to undermine them however we can?" She glances at Phae.

That gives Hephaesta pause. She squints at Samira, seeing her in a new light. "You…practice the Dark Arts?" Everything melts away. That admission just became of paramount importance in her mind.

Samira watches Phae with a slow grin. "I was taught dark arts. Where I am from, it is simply another aspect of magic. One of the many we should learn and understand."

Hephaesta continues to peer at Samira, as if trying to figure her out. But reading people has never been Phae's strong suit. "I don't think I would agree with that. But either way, you shouldn't go about telling people so. They'll think you're a Dark witch."

Samira's impish laughter might seem a touch wicked. "I told /you/. Not people. At least, I didn't think I was." She shrugs, not looking too troubled. "I don't care what others think of me. If others judge me by rumors and swift assumptions, I don't mind if they keep their distance."

Hephaesta sighs softly, giving Samira a motherly look. "If only it were that simple. But you've seen the hate. It can get worse, I'm sure. It's better if you don't paint a target on yourself. I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to you."

Samira looks over at Phae with a bit of a grin, amused. "Happen to me? I come from a place where those who hated me for my foreign name and my defiance of archaic customs, practiced Dark magic."

"You don't need Dark magic to hurt someone," Phae says in a matter-of-fact tone. "A simple Fire-Making Spell can be deadly if misused. Furthermore," she continues, in full Ravenclaw fact-listing mode, "past experiences do not make you immune to future harm."

Samira studies Phae for a moment. Slowly. she slides down from the worktable. She tilts her head, still fixated the other girl's eyes. "You're worried," she finally says. But, there is a hint of reservation, almost as if she is uncertain of her conclusion.

Hephaesta blinks guilelessly back at Samira. "Well, of course I'm worried. You're new here, and you're still learning the lay of the land. Besides…you're my friend." She lowers her face, staring down at her hands. "I don't have many of those. I'd like to keep you as a friend."

Samira doesn't quite seem to know what to make of this. "You really are. For me." She studies Phae for a moment more. "I want to keep you too. I don't suppose I need to join the magijugend. They bear too many responsibilities for my taste." She pauses, with a thoughtful tilt of her head. "But perhaps the Headmaster will still allow me to join their extra lessons. Dark magic is fascinating." She grins a bit too wide at Phae.

Hephaesta gives a visible shudder. "I wish you wouldn't say such things. I don't want anything to do with Dark magic. It's frightening." Phae gathers up her music box, which has since closed on its own after the song finished, and turns to hobble back to the shelf to store it again.

Samira giggles with such impish wickedness. She follows and after Phae returns the music box to its place, she takes Phae by the elbow and tugs her close. "I might frighten you. But, I won't ever hurt you. I promise." She pauses before adding, "It means a lot to me that you'd worry for me."

Hephaesta's eyes go wide at the unexpected closeness. She swallows hard, giving Samira a half-smile. "I never thought you'd hurt me. I just worry that you'll get hurt. This isn't like Egypt or Heka. Learning and using Dark magic here is…it's not looked well upon. We have Aurors. A whole office of the Ministry devoted to fighting Dark wizards."

Samira shakes her head. "I'm not a Dark witch. But, it is good to know what it means here to have studied such spells. I did not expect quite such a reaction. But, I hope you won't worry anymore that Slytherin might be a bad influence over me. You understand a bit more now where I am from." With a wicked grin, she adds, "I am the more likely bad influence."

Hephaesta sighs, shaking her head. "I don't believe that, and I think it means you're still underestimating the situation here. For you, the Dark Arts are just a part of life. But Dark wizards here believe it to be evil and unnatural, and practice it anyhow. They choose evil."

"I am certain most of my professors were quite evil. Even the one that taught housekeeping spells." Samira pauses, looking thoughtful. "/Definitely/ that one." She glances up at Hephaesta with another sudden smile. "What frightens me most is boredom. I do not underestimate the danger. I think you underestimate me."

"I'm simply looking at the situation logically." Again, Phae retreats into Ravenclaw mantras. "You haven't been here long enough to have a full picture of your circumstances. Therefore, it's inadvisable for you to make such judgements yet." Her words are clinical, but her eyes plead with pure emotion.

Samira's dark gaze stares up at that pure emotion, transfixed. She shifts, standing quite close. At last, with a more gentle smile, she says, "I will wear my masks. I will be both cunning and cautious."

Hephaesta sighs with mild exasperation. "I don't understand you." It's a plain and honest statement. She can't help smile at the dark-haired girl. "You're not like anyone I've ever known."

"And those would be my choice of word for you. Except, I would add my awe of your genius." Samira giggles impishly and takes Phae by the hand. "Let's go eat. I'm glad our tables are next to each other." She gives Phae a gentle tug.

Hephaesta giggles, her spirits rising again. "Alright. Is it dinner already? I am getting rather peckish." She moves to accompany Samira with a happy click, whirr…click, whirr.

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