(1940-01-27) Close Encounters of the Malfoy Kind
Details for Close Encounters of the Malfoy Kind
Summary: Lara encounters Abraxas in the Gardens in a dark and snowy winter night.
Date: 27 January 1940
Location: Hogwarts, Gardens

Night has fallen already, although it is still early evening and long before curfew. The gardens are wrapped in darkness, deserted (or so it seems) and eerily silent. Every sound is muffled by the falling snow. The perfect place to find some fresh air and solitude. Lara is packed into every layer of cloth she could find - only her eyes are visible between her scarf and hat. If it wasn't for the tip of her wand emitting a weak light, one could actually mistake her for a moving snowman. But having spent the whole day either in classes or over textbooks, the cold air is the best remedy for a beginning headache. Lost in thoughts, Lara is slowly moving along the garden path (or where she believes it runs…), leaving fresh footprints on the untouched snow.

No wand lights Abraxas Malfoy's way, and while his scarf is pulled up against the snow, and he has on his blazer as well as just jumper under his heavy winter robes, his platinum-colored hair is left uncovered. His presence is announced, at first, only by the crunch of snow underfoot coming from another path, until he emerges into the main one.

Lara is oblivious to the other boy's presence, until the very last moment. When she hears a crunching sound she stops to listen, raising her wand wearily and turning, only to find someone standing next to her. "Whoa!" she gasps, jumping backward, stumbling over some root and loosing the grip on her wand. Immediately, the light winks out.

Physicality is generally not one of the Malfoy's strengths, but despite the bad footing, he manages to react quickly enough to step forward and get an arm around the young woman before she can fall. "Oh! Stuart. Err… Sorry for startling you." he says, and then, once she has her feet, he steps back, apparently abashed at the momentary closeness. Or perhaps the instinct to not simply let her go sprawling, should that have been the outcome.

Lara's eyes take a moment to adapt to the sudden darkness, but she does know the voice of her saviour. Her heart still pounding rapidly, she takes a calming breath, trying to collect herself. "Malfoy! I… sorry, I mean, thank you. I… didn't expect to meet anyone here tonight." Puzzled, she stretches out a searching hand for him when he takes a step back, still unable to see anything. "Uh… would you mind to make some light? I… well, I dropped my wand somewhere in the snow…" Also, being alone with the Malfoy boy in the pitch black darkness is scary. Even if he's a well-mannered gentleman. Why on earth did he not have his wand light out?!

Maybe he's the sort to take liberties? Who knows. But he draws his wand and says, "Lumos Maxima." A pumkin-sized ball of light appears at the tip of his wand, casting his sharp, pale features into relief. He flicks the ball of light into the air so that she can find her wand. "I don't believe I've seen you since the Yule party. Lovely dress, by the way. I hope you had an enjoyable time."

Lara let's out a sigh of relief, now shielding her eyes from the ball of light and squinting at Malfoy. "Well, good evening, Mr. Malfoy! Now that I can see you." She then turns her attention to the ground, taking off her glove and picking up her wand after a quick search in the snow. Getting to her feet again, she holds her wand leisurely by her side, without pocketing it. Better. Much better. "Yes, thank you so much for your generous invitation! It was a wonderful and lavish party. The most lavish I have ever seen, in fact. And I have never seen so many…" She looks a bit sheepish, but continues anyway. "… important people in one place before." Not to mention that she only knew a fraction of them - it was enough to get the general idea. "And thank you for introducing me to Mr. Cassius Malfoy. It was really a pleasure." She beams at him. Whatever one can say of the Malfoys, they are sociable… in their own way. "And just a few days before the Unity Act passed!"

"Yes. I thought that you might find my cousin's thoughts on the proper relationship between Muggle and Magic-kind to be similar to your own thoughts." Abraxas gives a small smile, and waves his wand, "Nox." The blinding light dissapears, and he blinks a few times as his night vision returns, replaced by a much more mellow low from a light charm on his wand. "I am sorry that I didn't have the opportunity to ask you to dance. I understand that you're quite accomplished. Ravenclaw girls, always so full of surprises." Slytherin girls are surprising in a very different way, perhaps. "You have a brother in the muggle government, don't you? A… sailor? Is he well?"

Lara pulls down her scarf a bit so that her face is fully visible, her cheeks reddened from the cold, or so. "How do you know I like dancing?" She looks at him in puzzlement, her eyebrows raised. "And… what do you mean with surprises?" She rubs her nose with her finger, while mustering Abraxas. At the mention of her brother her face darkens. "Well, yes, he is an engineer in the Royal Navy. I tried, we all tried to talk him out of it, but he chose his path himself. Said he couldn't just sit an watch. He also has this knack for Muggle technology. He has no magic ability, you know." She shrugs, as if she did not care, but a quiver in her voice probably betray her.

"I have my sources. What sort of Malfoy would I be if I gave them away for the asking? Better that people think I'm onmiscient." Abraxas says, and offers a slight bow of his head. "And not so bookish as the reputation of your House might lead us to believe." He smiles blandly at the mention of her squib brother, and says, "It happens. But that is a skilled job among Muggles, isn't it? Working with their machines? Still, family is family, so for your sake I hope that nothing happens to him."

Lara grins at the mention of omniscience. "Well, at least you are not flaunting your omniscience at dinner table, like an Eibon… and I guess wandering the gardens after dark in this weather is not particulary bookish. But rest assured that on average I still spend a sound 87.9 percent of my waking hours studying, which is slightly above Ravenclaw average and significantly above the average of other houses." She tries to keep a straight face at that, and merely nods on his remark about her brother. "Thank you. I just hope this war will end soon. It doesn't really look like it, though." Changing the subject, she offers Malfoy her arm and gestures towards the castle. "Will you walk with me? I start feeling cold while we remain stationary. So tell me, how was your trip afterwards? You have been to South America, right? Apparently, you haven't been eaten alive, nor sacrifized to ancient gods, nor torn apart by the beasts of the jungle." She nudges him teasingly with her elbow.

Abraxas offers his arm politely and starts to walk with her, "Yes. We portkeyed into Machu Piccu the day after the party. We had some adventure from there. Andes, and then a boat down the Amazon. Strange tribes, and German chaps with bad attitudes." He looks at her in the moonlight, "Ancient gods and all." He switches to German, which has much improved since the last time they spoke, "At least I have the advantage of both looking Aryan and speaking some of the language. I guess I got lucky in that regard."

Lara shoots Abraxas a glance. "Germans? What were they looking for?" She also switches to German to please him, carefully choosing words and grammar he would probably understand. "Your German has improved significantly! Why not Spanish? Do they not speak Spanish there? Or was it Portugese?" She wrinkles her nose, embarassed by her own lack of knowledge in this area. An Eagle's shame. Still sticking to simple German terms, she quickly tries to cover up. "Can you show me on a map later? Your route? Yes?" She is really interested as South America is just a huge white spot on the map for her.

"Of course." he says. Having learned French from an early age, Abraxas's accent could probably use some work, but he's getting there, at least in those few thousand words that form the conversational core of any language. "They speak Portugese in Brazil. But many of the places in the jungles have their own native dialects, and speak those, or some mixture." He shrugs about the Germans, "They were looking for their Germanic heritage, or something like that. I think it may have something to do with what we found, but I can't discuss that just yet, I'm afraid." He clears his throat, and grins slightly, "I would be happy to show you, and tell you all about the trip."

"I'd love to hear it all!" Lara assures him with heartfelt enthusiasm, mystified by his secrecy. Then she switches back to English, so as not to tire her cavalier. "I guess you had a hard time catching up since your return." She smiles at him almost sympathetically, remembering to well her own fifth year. She had lost significant weight and felt more dead than alive when her OWLs were finally done. No way she could have gone travelling anywhere. But she's so envious now…

"I'm sure that people will be envious if I spend too much time regailing you with stories of my exploits." Abraxas says, with a chuckle, "But it's a date, I suppose. And yes, now it's time to focus on OWLs. Well, that and figuring out what to do over the summer." They approach the castle and he turns, allowing her to withdraw her arm, "Safely delivered."

Lara almost misses a step at the mention of 'date', but gathers her wit in time this time. Almost reluctantly, she withdraws her arm and bows her head politely in thanks before dusting off the snow from her clothes. "Thank you, Mr. Malfoy. You have shown perfectly chivalrous manners tonight as expected. Well, all except the part of sneaking up on me, perhaps." She grins and touches him lightly on the arm. "See you around. You owe me the full story." With that, she disappears into the castle.

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