(1941-06-27) A Hard Day
Details for A Hard Day
Summary: Amir's first day on the job as an ambassador proves more difficult than he expected. Samira makes an announcement that upsets him further.
Date: 27 June, 1941
Location: Prince-Azam Residence
Related: Getting Acquainted

It is incredible what an industrious young girl can accomplish with her brother's galleons in such a short time. In the morning, when Amir had left for work, boxes had stood stacked in the corners of the sparse rooms. Arriving home at sunset, he might wonder if he'd stepped out of the wrong fireplace. But the fireplace is his. And the carefully chosen furnishings evoke a sense of the familiar - echoing half-forgotten homes in Egypt.

Samira isn't home when her brother returns. She was due to start on the evening shift, from four o'clock until midnight. But at half past seven, Samira steps out of the fireplace through a curtain of flames. In her arms, she carries two brown-paper bags of groceries.

Amir had never really expected this ambassador job to be easy, never did he imagine the bureaucratic nightmare that it truly is. His first real day of work at the I.M.C. had him yearning for some distant field littered with the bodies of friends and enemies, tasting his own blood. That is a battle he understands, but this…this is something else entirely.

When Samira returns to their home, she finds her brother stretched out on the sofa, still clad in his "foreigner" garb, an arm draped over his face. No sooner has she stepped out of the fireplace is he muttering, "I hate this fucking country and it's fucking people, with their lying smiles and cowardly double-talk. They think they are so fucking clever…but the worst is how smug they are about how clever they think they are. I want to cut their smirking lips off of their faces."

Samira braces herself for questioning upon catching sight of her brother. Why is she home early? If her shift was cancelled, why is she home so late? But what comes instead makes her blink. She gazes at him, taking in the arm draped across his face, the tone of his muttered words. Hesitating, the little one isn't quite sure what to say. "It is like that sometimes at Hogwarts too. But, it was also like that at Heka. Not for you?"

Amir pulls his arm away from his face with visible effort, his eyes remaining half lidded even as he looks to his sister. "Oh no…at Heka, if you were deceived, you did not know it…and if you did, you could at least respect your opponent for it. But here…these fucking British speak their true feelings with their eyes while their lips spew insincerity. It's insulting!" He winces as he raises his voice, quieting immediately and putting his hand to his forehead. At last, he mutters, "Why are you home early?"

Samira remains standing before him, holding the groceries against her chest. Recognition flickers in the young girl's eyes as he reveals a difference between Hogwarts and Heka. She had thought perhaps she had simply gotten better at reading others. But now, perhaps the other children are simply poor at hiding their true emotions. At the muttered question, she averts her gaze and begins to head for the kitchen. But in a soft, quiet tone, she responds, "There was a mistake at St. Mungo's. Returning interns are not to start until next Monday."

Amir grunts his understanding. It takes a good ten seconds before his exhausted mind puts the rest together. "What time is it? Where have you been, if not at the hospital?"

Samira continues off towards the kitchen, but responds, "Errands. I had some errands to run. And now we have spices. And yogurt. And fresh fruit."

Amir peers over to a clock, then squints at Samira again. "For three hours you were buying yogurt and fruit? Samira…where have you been? Do not make me ask you a third time."

"Errands," repeats Samira, hidden now in the kitchen where she begins to put the groceries away. "I thought I'd look at some shops that had caught my eye this morning." She doesn't put anything on the upper shelves.

Amir groans as he sits up. "Samira," he growls. "Where were you…and who were you with?" That is the real crux of his questioning.

Samira pauses, catching a scent of danger in the air. "No one, brother. I went alone." She offers the truth, but there is caution in her tone.

Amir rises from the sofa, padding across the rugs on bare feet to the kitchen. "Swear to me that you are not keeping anything from me, sister."

Samira looks up at him, small and cautious, as he darkens the doorway. "I swear, brother. I went alone." She watches him for a moment more before returning to the groceries set out on the counter. Unlike the British wizards and witches, his sister is far more difficult to read.

Amir stares for a moment, suspicion in his eyes, but in the end he nods. "I apologise," he says with a groaning sigh. "These bureaucrats have gotten into my head. Thank you for bringing home groceries."

Samira offers a small, appreciative nod at his apology. A subtle tension eases from her shoulders. "It wasn't possible to get many furnishings to remind us of our homeland. But the scent of familiar food will make us feel at home more than anything else could." She peeks over at him. "Have you eaten tonight yet, ya Akhi?"

Amir shakes his head. "I have not had a bite since this morning. Ah, but you have reminded me, I must write to Egypt tonight. My contacts there will send us things from our homeland. Being an ambassador has its privileges." He gives her a little smirk.

Samira lifts her head and gazes at him a moment. "…Could you ask them to send music?" She bites her lower lip, hesitating before she adds, "And clothes for dance? I have outgrown those that I brought."

"Music? You mean like on Muggle records?" Amir nods slowly. "We'll have to acquire a phonograph that's been enchanted. That is probably illegal, you know." The smile that follows does not suggest much concern over what is legal. "But I'm sure all of your requests can be fulfilled. I did not know that you were still dancing. I have never seen you dance, you know."

"I've never stopped. Even at Hogwarts, I would find secret places to practice." Bowing her head, Samira begins to set out ingredients to prepare a light supper. "I would never be able to stop. It was one of the things I loved most in Egypt." A fire kindled in the hearth, and already the girl sets to work measuring out rice.

Amir's brow creases slightly. "So many years lost. These are things that I should know about you." Mostly likely he is finding a way to blame Sorrelus for his unfamiliarity with his sister. "You will have your dancing clothes, and a place all your own to dance in. Perhaps an extension to the house? There is room in the backyard to build a studio."

Samira pauses at the enchanted ice-box, milk bottle in hand. Emotion shines in her young, dark gaze at the mention of an proper place to dance. But then she hesitates, and as she measures out milk with the rice, she says, "But I am to live here on this summer, yes? Once I graduate Hogwarts and start to work at St. Mungo's, I will have my own flat."

Amir blinks in momentary confusion, then frowns. "Why would you want to go? I am your family, ya Okhti. This is our home."

"It is… but…" Samira's eyes flit to her other brother as she hesitates. In her time with their great-uncle, the little one has gained quite a taste for independence and freedom. Another sign of the influence of British culture. She averts her gaze. "I will be keeping odd hours at St. Mungo's. And… I thought you might prefer the privacy."

"Did my words last night mean nothing to you? I have come here to unite with you and carve out our destinies together. You have not slept three nights under this roof, and already you plan to leave." Amir glowers down at Samira, his nostrils flaring. At last he simply waves his hand dismissively, turning to step out of the kitchen. "I have lost my appetite."

Samira gazes after him, lost. His glower and the dismissive wave of his hand, cultivate an ache in her chest not quite like any she has ever known. Alone in the kitchen, she blinks against unwanted tears. Turning away, she numbly continues preparing the bram rice. Her brows furrow. What is the matter with you? She demands it of herself, but no answer comes.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License