(1940-01-11) Chinks in Her Armour
Details for Chinks in Her Armour
Summary: Samira proves she is one of the few people that can slip past Hephaesta's emotional defences.
Date: 11 January, 1940
Location: Armour Gallery
Related: Immediately follows The Clock Strikes Hungry

Samira keeps close at Hephaesta's side as they wander through the castle. There are quite a few twists and turns as Samira keeps her friend guessing as to where they're going to end up. They climb to the firth floor before making their way to the third. At last, she tells her friend to close her eyes. With an arm around hers, she guides her carefully into the armor gallery. "You've probably seen it before… but I only just found it. I wanted to show it to you," she says quietly, leading the older girl through the room. At last, she pauses and tells Phae she can open her eyes. Before them is a glorious set of armor - gleaming silver with intricate designs etched with gold. "Those designs… I think they would make your brace even more elegant than it is."

Hephaesta gives Samira a few playfully suspicious stares as she is led around the castle. She doesn't relish the climbing, but it's part of her everyday routine, so she can bear it for a few flights. When at last she is brought to the armour gallery, she does her best to look impressed, but she is no actress, and it may be obvious that she's plenty familiar with it. She stares at the beautifully etches armour, nodding slowly. "It's…really lovely. Yes." Her eyes shift away involuntarily, and she nibbles nervously at her lip.

Samira grins ruefully a she can immediately tell Hephaesta has seen it before. Of course she has. But then, she catches the nervous nibble of her lip and tilts her head. "Is all well? It's alright if you've seen it before. But, I wanted to show you the designs and suggest it for you."

Hephaesta's fingers lace together, her thumbs twiddling. "It's just…I try to do all I can to take attention off of my brace. Decorating it seems like it would do the opposite." She forces a smile for Samira. "I'm sorry, Sami. It really is lovely. Thank you for the suggestion."

Samira nods slowly, knowing how self-conscious Hephaesta is of her brace. "It /is/ the opposite. I think… if you decorated it… you could make it your strength. It would be like… jewelry. Embrace what makes you unique. Because everything about you… all your unique details… like this armor… it makes you beautiful." Grinning up at Phae, she leans close to gently squeeze her arm briefly. "But, it's your brace and you will do what you want, of course."

Hephaesta sighs, nodding slowly. "I know…my father says the same thing. But…I hate it when people stare at it. Maybe if I had nice legs, I wouldn't mind staring. But not this twisted thing." At the squeeze to her arm, she leans over into Samira a bit.

Samira's grin grows slowly into a cheshire cat smile as Hephaesta leans in close. "The brace would distract them… but, it's for you to decide to do." She gives her best friend another squeeze. Tilting her head, she peers at Phae. "By the way… I'm pretty sure that other girl fancies you."

Hephaesta sighs, shaking her head. "Not that again. We're just old study partners. She helped me improve my marks in Herbology in Fourth and Fifth Year, back when I was trying to grow a tree to make a broom out of."

Samira's amused smile widens a bit. "Rumors only turn out true half the time. In Ravenclaw, isn't everyone a study partner? Isn't that what you call friends? If you are dating… wouldn't that make you… study mates?"

Hephaesta rolls her eyes, a little grin forming. "No, we're not all study partners. I usually study alone. Really, it's only been with Ludae and Ophelia that I've ever studied with someone else."

Samira tilts her head at the mention of Ophelia's name. "Only Ophelia… and Ludae? I see. Well, the other girl at your table seemed to think she fancies you. And the boy did too. So. Maybe you don't, but I think she does. That's important data for you to consider in your calculations."

"I must also consider that Akilina Moscovitz is a Third Year without a clue about relationships, and Gareth Carrow just recently returned from a year of imprisonment at Durmstrang, and is spouting all manner of nonsense. They are hardly credible source." Phae sighs softly. "As for you, you love a bit of mischief, so you are also suspect."

Samira's cheshire cat smile widens as she giggles impishly. "A suspect? Of what? I'm not doing aaanything. Just pointing out what was said."

"Oh, don't you think for a moment that I don't know you. You're an imp. I'll bet Peeves thinks you're just dandy." Phae gives Samira a little poke. The Egyptian girl has a way of drawing out Hephaesta's playful side.

Samira flinches with a squeak of a giggle, rather ticklish. "Whaaat? Never ever! Me? Cause mischief? Peeves thinks I'm boooring, no doubt. What do you think I'm a suspect of?"

"Of teasing me about Steele and her so-called fancying of me." Phae sighs softly, and with a clicking, whirring limp, moves on to examine another suit of armour. This one is a much more menacing looking black knight sort, hefting a wickedly curved axe.

Samira giggles a bit more as she follows Phae to another set of armor. "I didn't see anything personally. I was just pointing out what your house mates said. But, I believe you over them. You're the most clever. I wasn't trying to tease you."

"Oh, yes you were," Phae insists. "You're giggling far too much. You think this is sooo amusing." The last of Hephaesta's mirth drains from her features, and she mumbles miserably, "I miss Ophelia."

Samira pauses as misery enters her friend's features. Her own mirth vanishes like a dew drop in the desert heat. Lowering her gaze, she draws closer to pull Phae into a gentle hug. "I'm sorry…"

Hephaesta takes a deep breath, shuddering for a moment as she leans into Samira. "I've done so well at putting all of that behind me. I can't afford to think about relationships. It turns me into a complete mess."

Samira's embrace tightens. "I know, I know… I'm sorry. I shouldn't have poked you about that girl. I was just… I don't know. It's alright though. Rumors are just rumors. Bad sources. You said it yourself. Someone with a mind as sharp as yours? You can choose what to focus on… Certainly not something so baseless."

Hephaesta puts her arms around Samira, holding onto her as much for emotional support as for physical balance. She breathes slowly and deliberately to keep the tears from coming. "I'm sorry," she whispers. "You shouldn't have to deal with my inability to handle this."

Samira nuzzles her soft, wild curls gently into Phae's cheek. "What a thing to say. You're my best friend… it's my honor to support you in painful times… I'd be sad if I couldn't." Reaching up, she gently strokes her hand through Phae's hair, ever affectionate to her friend.

Hephaesta shuts her eyes, accepting the tenderness from Samira. "Thank you," she murmurs, barely audible. For a time, she is content to remain there, until she can regain some composure. When she stands upright again at last, she wipes her eyes and forces a half smile. "Want to go to the workshop? I've been working on some bubble-powered wheeled shoes.

Samira grins gently up at Hephaesta before nodding. "I'd love that. I wanted to bring you here, but I was also hoooping you'd want to take me to the workshop. Your inventions always amaze me. I haven't seen this one before." And besides, this should help take Phae's mind of what pains her. Poor Ludae might be waiting for her in the library, but Samira only cares about cheering Phae up.

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