(1939-09-10) Rainy Rendezvous
Details for Rainy Rendezvous
Summary: Hephaesta introduces Samira to Gizmo, and the two girls chat about their futures.
Date: 10 September, 1939
Location: Fourth Floor Balcony, Hogwarts

Hephaesta holds the pages of her notebook down flat against the stone railing, as the light wind toys with the paper, interrupting her writing. An Impervius Charm has protected the book from the cool evening rain, though Phae seems to have overlooked using the charm on herself, leaving her hair and shoulders quite damp. She pauses to glance back to the archway leading into the castle. At dinner she had informed her favourite Slytherin that she would be bringing Gizmo up here for a flight test. Should she have been more specific in her invitation? She looks over at the clockwork avian in question, perched on the railing. The owl "looks" back at her with sightless eyes, and she gives him a shrug. "I don't know, Gizmo. Maybe she had something more important to do."

Knowing a flight test would involve standing outside in the rain, wind, and cold, Samira went down to the Slytherin dungeons first to add a couple more layers of clothes. The slytherin girl moves in utter silence across the balcony and seems to materialize at Hephaesta's side. "Been waiting long?" she asks, peering up at Phae's fair features. Despite her added layers, Samira still hugs herself against the cold.

Hephaesta jumps and squeaks at the voice that is suddenly speaking at her side, and very nearly loses her notebook to a gust of wind. "Samira! Good heavens, you startled me. I've…no, not long." Not entirely true. Then again, she never specified a time. "Gizmo has been keeping me company. I believe it's time you finally met. Samira, this is Gizmo. Gizmo, meet Samira." The brass and tin owl responds to Phae's voice, stepping closer and twisting its head, clicking in greeting.

Samira hesitates, a touch unnerved by the swivelling head. She peers at the clockwork owl for a moment before looking once more up at Phae. "It even knows your voice?" Shaking her head in amazement, Samira runs a hand through her wild curls that move with a life of their own in the wind. "I never seen such a complex mechanical creature. Your skill more than amazes me, Phae."

Hephaesta nods with a proud, beaming smile. "His auditory receptivators are tuned specifically to the harmonics of my voice. It's possible that someone with a similar voice could command him. But I haven't seen any evidence of it yet. He's got fifty-seven different commands he can follow, and he response to my tone as well. What you just saw was a 'greeting reaction', based on the tone I was using. He can't actually see you. In truth, he doesn't even know you're there, except as a possible obstacle in flight."

Samira blinks as Hephaesta uses a number of words she isn't familiar with. But, whatever Phae said, it sounded most impressive. Shivering with cold, she grins at her clever, clever friend. "Your charm-work is unlike any I have ever seen. Such layers of complexity. But, have you never tested his flight before?"

Hephaesta takes compliments well. That is to say, when her genius is complimented, she easily agrees with it. She nods along with Samira, and explains, "Oh, I've had lots of flight tests. This is Flight Test No. 118, actually. But I've just applied a new sort of lubricant and I need to see how it holds up in the rain at flight speed."

"Aaah, so you chose to bring us out here in the rain on /purpose/," says Samira, squinting up at Phae with a grin. She steps closer and wraps her arms around her friend's waist in a tight hug. "Well then. I am going to sap off your warmth and you will just have to live with it while you do your rain test."

Hephaesta freezes as she is hugged, momentarily uncertain how to respond. She giggles softly, and finally just accepts it. Though Samira's efforts to rob Phae of her warmth are in vain, as the brilliant girl apparently didn't have the forethought to wear anything especially warm. She's freezing, even through her clothes. "Ready? Gizmo, flight pattern epsilon, bearing thirty-two, mark seven point five. Launch." The bird thrums to life in response to the commands. With the faint shriek of metal sliding against metal, he spreads his metal wings, and with a hop he takes flight, catching the wind currents and soaring out into the rain.

As the owl takes flight, Phae may feel a faint flinch from Samira. Although both girls are rather cold, their combined warmth is like holding to candleflames together. Despite how small and delicate Samira may seem, she is actually rather solid. Her hold around Phae's waist remains secure as she watches the bird. "What happens if it doesn't work? Has it crashed before?"

Hephaesta grimaces and nods. "Many times. Especially early on. Getting the precise charms to handle his weight-to-wingspan ratio was difficult. Trying to combine magic with physics is…challenging. Are you familiar with physics?"

Samira blinks, looking a bit lost. Shaking her head, she says, "No, that wasn't one of the subjects my tutors covered. What is physics? It relates to physical, yes?"

Hephaesta nods patiently, quite accustomed to wizards being unfamiliar with physics. They break the so-called laws of physics every day, after all. "It's a Muggle way of looking at the world. It's a good one, too. It's the science that deals with matter, energy, force, and motion. But it doesn't take magic into account. So, applying physics alongside magical theory is…challenging."

Samira refrains the skepticism and scorn that most witches (and far more Slytherins) would show as Hephaesta tries to explain the muggle concept. "When rules don't apply to you, they are much, much harder to understand. And yet you seem to have figured it out. How did you come to learn physics?"

"I study on my own," Hephaesta explains, lifting a hand to shield her eyes from the rain, trying to keep an eye on Gizmo. "My grandfather talked a lot about Muggle technological achievements. He was fascinated by them. There's something he said once that has always stayed with me. He said, 'Wizards have to break numerous rules of reality to perform magic, Hephaesta. Muggles create amazing things without breaking a single one. Remember that, and greatness is in your grasp.' If you think about it, he's right. What they do is so much more amazing than what we can do. We have it easy. They create miracles when everything is stacked against them. So I wanted to know more about why Muggle technology works, and there's really no way to understand it without understanding physics."

"I have never met someone before who was interested in muggle accomplishments. Or someone who would even view what muggles do as accomplishments. I have studied some magical theory. I understand a bit of why /magic/ works. But, I can't say I have ever thought about learning the rules that magic breaks." Samira smiles up at Hephaesta as she continues to hold onto her. A subtle shiver runs through her. "Mmm… you are as clever as you are warm."

Hephaesta frowns as she loses sight of Gizmo. She reaches into the pocket of her robes, producing a most unusual pair of goggles, covered in gears, switches, and various doodads. She straps them on, making a few adjustments to the knobs and thingamajigs around the lenses. "There he is," she says, satisfied. Her focus as she works and talks about her work distracts her from the closeness of Samira. It also distracts her from noticing when she puts her own arm around the other girl — her body remembering the comfort of another being so close, and simply responding. "That's the interesting thing. Muggles have a better idea about how the whole world works than we do about magic. I have a theory, actually, that we'll never fully understand magic until we embrace Muggle science. I don't think magic is actually breaking rules. I think it's just using rules that science doesn't fully understand yet."

Samira smiles, watching Ravenclaw's poster-child at work. "To understand magic, we need to understand the natural laws it breaks? An interesting thought. I suspect that the world will witness great things of you. But, that isn't your goal is it. To just do great things? You are focused on the knowledge itself. Otherwise, you'd have been in Slytherin."

Hephaesta gives Samira a skeptical, even slightly haughty, smirk. Though the strange goggles might ruin the effect. "Slytherins aren't the only ones with ambition. Of course I want to do great things. Many Mulcibers are renowned as legendary inventors. Like my grandfather. I want to be counted among them."

Samira's smile widens at such a smirk. "Well, I don't wonder why the sorting hat decided against putting me in Ravenclaw." She shifts her weight, pressing her hip against Phae's. "So, a great inventor. That is what you wish to be. I have no idea yet, what I want to do."

"You will by the end of the year," Phae says assuredly. "Professor Slughorn will counsel you on your career options when he helps you choose your NEWTs." She looks back out over the railing, then points. "Here he comes!" She steps back half a step, giving Gizmo room to land. The clockwork bird swoop in, and with considerable grace for a hunk of metal, alights upon the stone rail, chittering and clicking happily. "Well done, Gizmo!" Phae adjusts the knobs on her goggles again, and leans in to peer closely at Gizmo's workings. "The lubricant is working! Totally water resistant!"

Samira lets go as Phae leans in to examine the results of her experiment. Although she isn't nearly as excited about this as Phae is, Samira smiles and says, "Excellent." Shivering, she pulls her robes closer around over her uniform. "Baaarid auwi…" she says to herself. As she steps closer against Phae, she says, "Professor Slughorn, he runs a club, yes?"

Hephaesta stands upright, grinning and very pleased with herself. She lifts the goggles to her forehead, where they perch like an extra pair of very large eyes. Taking out her notebook again, she records her observations before responding to Samira. "That's right. The Slug Club. I'm in it, actually."

Samira tilts her head. "Oh? He invites students that he percieves have potential, yes?" Lifting her gaze, she looks a bit thoughtful. "I do have ambition. But, it is my old. I am not eager to please parents or teachers, to be what someone /else/ wants me to be. I want to take my own path. But, I haven't figured out what that path is yet."

"I think he just likes to surround himself with interesting people. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you got an invitation." Phae tucks away her notebook and turns around to lean against the stone railing. She gives Samira a confident smile. "You're very interesting."

Samira blinks, arching a brow. "I'm foreign. I can't imagine that will make Professor Slughorn want to invite me into his club of noteable students. My classwork isn't bad, but I have a hard time concentrating as much on it as I do on things that interest me."

Hephaesta shrugs uncertainly, pinching her pouty lips. "You're far more interesting and notable than a lot of members of the Slug Club. I'm just saying that it wouldn't surprise me." She's never really given much thought to Professor Slughorn's criteria for invitees. "Do you want to head back inside? The flight test is over. A complete success."

"Yes. Yes, I would. Let's go somewhere warm." Samira keeps close at Hephaesta's side, trying to soak up her warmth like a serpent next to a heat lamp. Together, the two head back into the castle.

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