(1939-09-18) Harmless
Details for Harmless
Summary: Samira finds Hephaesta in the workshop again, and the girls find themselves getting closer. (Fair warning, there is smooching involved.)
Date: 18 September, 1939
Location: Workshop, Hogwarts

When looking for Hephaesta, one only needs to follow the sounds of tinkering. Slipping into the workshop, Samira smiles as she catches sight of her favorite friend working on the machine that had exploded recently. She closes the door behind her and approaches in utter silence. When Hephaesta seems to pause, and startling her won't make something explode, Samira sneaks closer and slips her arms around the older girl's waist for a tight hug. "Hello!"

"Ahh!" Hephaesta exclaims, startled at the surprise attack-hug. "Oh, Samira! You gave me a fright." She carefully lowers her levitating hammer to the surface of the workbench, remember full well the consequences of leaving it in the air the last time. "You really ought not sneak up like that."

Impish laughter spills forth as Samira only tightens her embrace. "But, it is too much fun. I was careful, I made sure you had paused." She steps around so she is hugging Phae from the side, grinning up at her with mischievous mirth.

Hephaesta gives Samira a maternal sigh and tucks her wand away. She lifts her arm to wrap around the younger girl, giving her a welcoming hug. "You little pixie. How are you? Has Malfoy been bothering you again?" The thought of Samira suffering the attentions of Abraxas has weighed on her mind.

The returned hug almost seems to catch Samira off guard. An unexpected warmth inside her chest makes her pause. Her embrace loosens slightly. But then, she hugs even tighter still. "Malfoy? No, not bothering. He has been-" she pauses, gathering her thoughts. "He has stopped trying to get me to dance for him. Instead, he just invited me to go in the garden with him. It was nice." Samira shrugs a bit.

Hephaesta wrinkles her nose. "I cannot imagine it being very nice with him there. He's so rude. But at least he's let off about the dancing." Phae moves to detach herself from Samira so she can reach some of her tools and pack them up into the leather satchel she carries them in.

Samira lets Hepheasta pull back so she can get back to work, but is quiet for a moment, watching Hephaesta. Turning, she rests back against the worktable and with her more usual relaxed smile, she shrugs, "He was nice to me. I told him about wanting to be a healer. He told me he might want to be a curse breaker. When I said he should fear the day that his life is ever in my hands, he said his ghost would haunt me by stealing my socks."

Hephaesta rolls her eyes. "That's silly. Ghosts can't steal socks. They're incorporeal," she says with a haughty tone. Obviously Abraxas should know that. Tucking away her hammer, she tilts her head at Samira curiously. "Why would you say he should fear putting his life in your hands?"

"We were both just making fun. He should fear because I might choose to save him, or I might make him a gift to death. He will never know," Samira grins up at Hephaesta with wicked mirth.

Hephaesta stares at Samira for a moment, blinking. "You're joking, of course. I'm sure you would never allow someone to die under your care." She speaks with conviction, but there is the flicker of uncertainty in her eyes.

Samira smiles a bit too wide at Hephaesta as the older girl stares at her with that flicker of uncertainty. "He will never know. Nor will you. Perhaps for death to release its hold on the life of an innocent, I must occasionally give a gift."

That is apparently too much for Phae to swallow. "I'm sure you don't believe that. Death is a perfectly natural occurrence. It requires no gifts. You should not even joke about such things. It's evil."

"Ah, but I am a strange creature from a far off land. How can you know what I believe or don't believe?" Samira watches the older girl with that unsettling smile for a moment longer before bursting into more laughter. Shaking her head, she says, "It is a wicked joke. You don't need to be scared of me. I will share my secret with you. I'm harmless."

Hephaesta stares at Samira with an admonishing frown. But she cannot maintain it, and a smile creeps into her expression. At last she laughs and shakes her head. "You're positively awful, teasing me so. For the record, I was never scared of you. I worry about you. I want you to be able to fit it and make friends."

The relaxed smile fades as Samira studies Hepheasta. For a fleeting moment, the older girl might catch a glimpse of the one hiding behind the veil of those smiles. She seems almost lost. But, the smile soon returns and running a hand through her long, wild curls, she says, "I must admit, that's not something I'm used to. Someone worrying for me." Glancing back at her, Samira adds," I doubt I will ever fit in anywhere. But, the Slytherins still seem to have accepted me as one of their own."

"Yes, that is also what worries me," Phae says softly, eyeing the door, as if some Slytherin spy might be listening on the other side. "But it is what it is. There is no changing a Sorting. You are obviously intelligent. I'm sure you'll handle your fellow serpents well. But I'll worry for you, all the same." A timid smile plays on her slips. "I like you. I cannot help but worry."

Samira reaches out and tries to take Hephaesta's hand to gently tug her closer. If allowed, she will close the distance by pulling her into another embrace. "There is no need. I keep them guessing, never quite sure if I'm harmless or not. I'm a snake that only wears the colors of the venomous. I'll be alright." She pauses before adding, "And, I like you too. I've never known someone like you before." Her embrace tightens slightly.

Hephaesta is always a little hesitant when Samira draws her close, but never resists, either. But it never quite fails to surprise her. Finding herself embraced face to face with Samira, she gives an awkward smile, wrapping her arms around the other girl as well. "I've never known anyone like you, either," she murmurs softly. "You're…special."

Samira lifts her gaze to meet Hephaesta's hazel-green eyes. Although Hephaesta stands only just over five feet tall, Samira is just under, and so the younger girl looks up to her. There is quiet intensity in that dark gaze of hers as she studies the older girl. "I always come looking for you."

Hephaesta stares back into Samira's dark eyes, transfixed for a moment as if the girl truly were a serpent hypnotizing its prey. Despite being the older and taller of the two, Hephaesta seems to shrink and diminish in Samira's powerful presence. "Why…?" A simple enough question, but she finds it difficult to ask.

Samira's hands take hold of the fabric of Hephaesta's shirt in the curve of her lower back. With a small smile, she says, "Not sure. I've never felt inclined to go looking for someone before. It's like I can't help myself." Her smile widens a touch. "I am a moth to the flame of your genius, perhaps?"

Hephaesta's heart skips a beat in her chest when she feels Samira's hands against her back. Her large eyes fill with equal parts trepidation and anticipation. "It's…just my genius? There's nothing else?" Her hands remains clasped behind Samira's back, but hover awkwardly, uncertain where to rest them.

Samira shrugs once more. Her dark gaze remains unwavering as she watches Hephaesta. "I told you before. You make me feel warm." She pauses, glancing down at Hephaesta's collar bone. "No one has ever worried for /me/ before."

When Samira breaks eye contact, it's as if her hold on Phae is broken. The Ravenclaw girl takes a deep breath, and releases her hands, gently pushing at Samira's as she tries to take a step back. "I…can't do this. I don't even know what you're feelng, but…I'm not going to go down this road again. I can't. I promised myself I would stay focused on my work and not let my heart get in the way again."

Samira lets go when she feels Hephaesta pushing at them. She watches Hephaesta step back, looking lost. Then glancing down, she takes a small step away. Rubbing the back of her neck, she says, "I can leave you be."

Hephaesta sighs, frowning, and shakes her head. "That's…that's not what I mean. I just mean…" She makes a frustrated sound, lolling her head back in exasperation. "I'm sorry. This isn't your fault. It's me. I've spent the last ten months coming to terms with losing somebody I love very much. I was…not myself when I was pining for her."

Samira looks back up at Hephaesta with such a lost look of confusion. Turning to rest back against the worktable, she finally says in a quiet tone. "I'm sorry for your loss. I have also lost someone. Though, I don't think I was a close to her. But… I don't think I understand."

Hephaesta takes a moment to simply breathe and gain control of her faculties. "Perhaps it was not your intention at all," she says, adopting a clinical tone, "But the way you hold me, and how you talk about seeking me out…it makes me feel as if you have a deeper interest in me than friendship. But perhaps that is my conceit. My point is…I've found myself attracted to you." No sooner has she delivered her plain and cool assessment than a flicker of panic wells up in her eyes.

Samira blinks and stares at Hephaesta, looking lost as ever. She studies Hephaesta's eyes in silence for a moment. "Attracted," she repeats in a rather quiet tone. "But, you also seem frightened. I told you that I'm harmless."

Hephaesta swallows hard, trying so desperately not to allow her emotions to get the better of her. Not this time. "It isn't you. I'm afraid that I'm pushing you away. I don't want to lose a friend. It just felt like…you were trying to get close. Very close. I…panicked. I'm sorry."

Samira still seems a bit hesitant, a bit lost as she watches Hephaesta. "Where I am from, friends sit close, hold hands, hug tight. I knew there was less affection shown between friends here, but, when you didn't seem to mind." She shrugs. "You made me feel at ease. But-" She pauses, studying Phae's features with a look of uncertain confusion. "You said just now… attracted. But you panicked when you thought I was trying to get close."

Hephaesta folds her hands in front of her, lowering her eyes apologetically. "I panicked because I'm attracted. You remember when I advised you to avoid dating. I meant it. I'm avoiding it, too. The last time…it went badly, even when it seemed like it was going well. It's a great big confusing mess that I'm just not made for."

"I wasn't trying to date you. I told you that I didn't intend to date anyone." Samira shrugs as she continues, "I just liked to be close with you. I liked that you worried for me and that I feel so warm. And, I don't want to leave you be."

Hephaesta breathes a sigh of…what? Relief? Even Phae isn't sure. "I'm glad. I don't want you to go, either. I told you, it's not you. I'm the problem. When you were so close, I…um…" Her cheeks glow a light crimson. "I very much wanted to kiss you. That is why I panicked. I'm sorry for being so silly."

Samira's cheeks grow a touch warmer. She glances away before looking back up at Hephaesta. "Mm. I wanted to hold you tight." A small smile lingers on her lips. "I've never kissed someone. Some of the girls would kiss. I was never close enough to anyone. But, I never thought they were dating. They were just…" Samira shrugs. "Close, close friends."

Hephaesta's eyes widen considerably at that, her mouth screwing up in confusion. Kissing without romance? "If they were just good friends, why were they kissing?"

Samira shrugs. "I don't know. I was never so close with anyone. But," she pauses, grinning up at Hephaesta. "With you, perhaps I could see it. If you had kissed me, I think it might be nice. Warm."

Hephaesta's blush returns in full force, so much that she can feel the heat on her cheeks. "I don't know if…" She nibbles at her lip thoughtfully. "Though," she begins to rationalise, like a good Ravenclaw, "Experimentation is the key to understanding the unknown." She inches a little closer to Samira, her step accompanied by a quiet click, whirr.

As Hephaesta takes a step forward, Samira's dark gaze fills with a quiet hunger. But, she doesn't move, letting Hephaesta draw closer only if she wishes. "The unknown should never frighten one with a keen mind," she says in a low tone.

"I'm not…frightened," Phae insists, her quiet voice cracking. She swallows hard, taking one final limping step to Samira, now just inches away. With a slight tremble in her hands, she gingerly reaches to take Samira's fingers to tug her closer.

The hunger in Samira's unwavering gaze deepens as Hephaesta tugs on her fingers. With a small smile, Samira steps closer. With her other hand, she reaches to gently brush a few whisps of hair from Hephaesta's eyes.

Hephaesta inhales suddenly when Samira's fingertips touch her face, and a hint of a smile shows itself. Swallowing down her nerve, she rests one hand upon the other girl's side, and painfully slowly, she leans closer and closer, until her full, plush lips press to Samira's in a soft, warm, lingering kiss.

Samira lets her fingertips linger on Hephaesta's cheek as the older girl draws closer and closer. The hand trembles as a subtle shiver runs through her. So close. The moment she feels the warmth against her lips, her eyes drift shut. Samira's hand drifts to Phae's jawline before she slides her fingertips into her hair just behind her ear. She takes a slow, deep breath of Hephaesta's scent, savoring the gentle kiss.

Hephaesta gasps softly when the kiss is broken at last. She puts her arms around Samira, holding her tenderly. When she finds her voice, she murmurs in disbelief, "That…was your first kiss?"

Samira nods slowly. She doesn't let go, nor does she seem to a be about to any time soon. At last, she whispers, "I've- never felt like this before."

Hephaesta licks her lips, still able to taste Samira there. "It's…dangerous," she says haltingly, a bit out of breath. "I mean, it can take over, and…make you make…foolish decisions."

Samira slowly peeks up at Hephaesta. "It does feel dangerous. But, I like it. I want more. You are," she pauses, trying to find the right word. "Intoxicating." A small smile appears on her lips as she watches her.

Hephaesta's freckles stand out when she blushes. But inspite of her bashful response, Samira's words bring a demure smile, her full, pouty lips parting just slightly. "Me? You are an amazing kisser. Are you sure this was your first kiss?"

Samira glances away, looking thoughtful. "Mhm," she nods, looking back up at Hephaesta. "I think Malfoy almost tried to once. Before he learned to keep his distance. But, no. I had friends at Heka, but no one close. No one who would worry for me or even truly see me."

Hephaesta wrinkles her nose at the mention of Malfoy, displaying her opinion of what a kiss from him would be worth. "I don't understand why your classmates at Heka wouldn't worry for you. Were you…reclusive?" That, at least, is something Phae could understand.

"No. But, I was different. I had the peculiar surname. And to be underground made me restless, so I would venture outside alone." Samira pauses, tilting her head. "I suppose that made me a bit reclusive, but it wasn't because I was timid of them. I just… didn't fit with them." She shrugs, watching Hephaesta.

Hephaesta sighs and nods, rubbing Samira's back affectionately. "That's something I can relate to. Being different, I mean." She tilts her head, looking into Samira's eyes and giving her a warm smile. "But you fit here. At least, you fit with me."

Samira arches at the touch, smiling with pleasure. With a warm smile of her own, she nods. "I feel it." She presses closer to steal a fleeting kiss from Hephaesta's lips. "We should go to dinner."

Hephaesta doesn't expect the kiss to be so fleeting, and tries to chase it down. But she is balked by Samira's words. Blushing, she nods. "Oh…yes, I suppose we should." She reluctantly releases her hold on Samira.

Samira giggles impishly at Hephaesta's adorable blush. With such warm affection, she brushes a few wisps of hair out of the older girl's eyes. "Do you have any preliminary conclusions about your experiment?"

Ah, now Samira is speaking Phae's language. Though it still prolongs her blush. "Well…perhaps not conclusions, but observations. It was…highly enjoyable. I am as yet uncertain if it is fulfilling a need or desire, or if it is stimulating one."

"Mm," Samira nods. Taking Phae's hand, she tugs gently to lead her away from the work table. "The more I kissed you, the more I wanted." She pauses, peering up at Hephaesta. "Is that normal?"

Hephaesta catches her lip between her teeth, pondering. "Well…I suppose it is? It's how I felt, too…and it's how I always felt with Ophelia. But those are my only points of reference, I'm afraid."

Samira nods with a smile. "Well, it's more reference than I have. I still liked it though. Even though it just kept making me want more. You make me feel warm. My first true friend." She pauses and pulls Hephaesta into a tight hug.

Hephaesta lets out a giggle, with it, so much of her anxiety is released. She returns the hug happily, saying softly, "I'm glad to be your first real friend. I'll try to be a good one."

"Same. I think I have less experience at it as well. So. Promise to teach me?" Samira peeks up at Hephaesta with the same, impish smile she wore when she had first snuck up on her.

Hephaesta puffs a breath through near-closed lips. "I'll try. But I've warned you, I'm not very good at making friends." She stifles a giggle, then adds, "I suppose if things ever become uncomfortable, we can just kiss."

Samira giggles and squeezes Hepheasta tight before taking her hand once more. "It makes sense that the two misfits would fit so well together. Come. My insides starting to growl at me."

Hephaesta hoists her toolbag up over a shoulder, and links her fingers with Samira's. Wearing a smile not often seen on her face, she heads out toward the Great Hall, hand-in-hand.

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