(1941-11-16) Owl Are You?
Details for Owl Are You?
Summary: A few of the students meet up by chance in the owl rookery. Friends are made and others are ignored.
Date: Thursday, Nov 17, 1941
Location: Owl Tower, Hogwarts
Related: Prejudices of the Founders

Cold. And wet. A steady drizzle cascades from the overcast sky. A slight wind brings hints of the rain with it through the open windows. At least their shouldn't be danger of ice in the Owl Tower. Just slick straw. The owls are each tucked away in their little recesses, puffed up against the cold.

Bundled up against the cold, Samira steps into the quiet tower. Her dark gaze peeks out from over the brim of her scarf, pulled up over her nose protecting her against both the cold and the smell. Careful not to slip, she shuffles across to find the school owls. Out of her pocket, she pulls several letters.

It's with a release of breath that turns white in the air that Mackenzie enters the Owlery. A single letter in her hand, she smiles as she sees Samira. Though bundled up, she's not done up quite so drastically as the older girl, her scarf laying over her neck and her whole face visible. "Samira," she greets with a smile, stepping over closer to her.

Samira affixes her first letter with great care to a little own that hoots in sleepy irritation. With the sound of fluttering and scratching claws, she doesn't quite notice Mackenzie's arrival. The greeting gives her a little start, making her clutch her other letters to her breast. "Oh! Masaa al-kheyr, Mackenzie." She tugs down her scarf to offer her housemate a soft smile.

Phoenicia was already there when Samira and Mackenzie arrived, bringing in her eye-catching scarlet-plumed owl from the rain. Lugh — roughly pronounced 'Loogh', a bit like a throaty 'Luke' — was just an ordinary horned owl, but he was quite visible at Quidditch matches ever since Phee had had his plumage set in Gryffindor house colors. She doesn't greet either girl outright, though if they hadn't noticed her before, they might when she started talking to the bird.

Phoenicia laughs softly and coos to her owl, "Someone's a real mess tonight, aye? Where'd you fly through? A nest o' hornets?"

Mackenzie smiles at Samira. "Apologies, I didn't mean to startle you," she says, brushing some hair behind her ear before focusing on attaching her letter to the bird in front of her. At Phoenicia's talking, she looks over her shoulder at her, furrowing her brows for a moment before looking back to her task at hand. "I'm sending a letter off to my Mother. She demands I write her every other week and confirm I've not gotten into any trouble." She pauses for a second before adding, "Sometimes it's even the truth."

Samira blinks and glances over at Phoenicia, having missed her presence earlier. She arches a brow as the other student laughs upon finding her owl's ruined state. But glancing back at Mackenzie, her smile returns. "Ah. I'm writing to my brother. Telling him the same. What I do tell him is true. Always." Once her first owl has its letter, it hoots and takes off into the drizzle. Poor thing.

Phoenicia didn't know Mackenzie at all — if they shared any clubs, they'd managed to stay on the periphery from one another so far — and she only kind of knew Samira. So she opted not to interrupt for now, just fussing over her bird. She started out with her voice quiet so as not to interrupt, but her volume rose as Lugh hopped around on the sill beneath her ministrations. "Oh, ye little bairn, stop strugglin'! Least ye didnae bring me a wee rodent tae go with the mail today! That's improvement, aye? Oh! Wait! I see blood and a smidge of fur on yer talon. …Ye DID try and bring me a wee little mousie again, just dropped it in the rain, dint ye? Look, I ain't judgin' what ye eat none, but I dinnae need none in me gob, I'll be thankin' ye pure kindly. An' stop yer strugglin', gotta keep yer feathers all clean if y'expect tae be sleepin' in yer shiny cage near me tonight!"

Mackenzie nods to Samira. "It is nice that you have a confidant like that," she says, "I don't have any siblings, myself." She finishes tying up the owl and strokes it gently twice before allowing it to spread its wings and flap away into the distance. "I'm a bit jealous," she says openly, "I always thought if I had any siblings I might have someone I could trust and confide in." She wrinkles her nose as she slides her hands into her pockets. "-Mother- certainly isn't that person."

Samira lifts a shoulder in a light shrug. "Mm. It would be nice to have a mother. And… my brother is much older. It's more that he looks after me. Has become more like a father. Or uncle." As Phoenicia chatters at her owl, Samira glances back over at her with a soft sigh of irritation at the muggleborn. "The creature doesn't understand. You are not speaking Chirpwarble."

Phoenicia strokes the bird gently, then offers her shoulder for Lugh to climb on. "Well, yes an' nae. Nae, he dinnae understand the words exactly. But he understands I love 'im. Don't yew, me wee eean?" She turned to face Samira and Mackenzie as the red-plumed bird cooed softly at her and brushed up against her cheek. "Beg yer pardon, Miss Lestrange, but I'm sure plenty of people here would be 'appy to lend an ear. I'm an only child meself, ye know!"

Mackenzie turns back to Phoenicia, pursing her lips as she thinks on a reply. "I have no intention of speaking my secrets to just anyone," she says, "You have to get to know someone first. To trust them." She folds her hands behind her back and glances to Samira with a knowing look. She believes Samira would understand.

Samira affixes another letter to a rather large school owl. She steps back, shielding her face, as it takes flight with quite a gust. A couple of white feathers settle in her hair. Peeking back over at the Phoenicia, Samira stares a bit as the muggleborn tries to offer herself as a confidant to the Slytherin pureblood. Does she have no sense? With a slight shake of her head, she steps over to yet another owl. She doesn't quite catch Mackenzie's knowing look, but does glance her way as she ties her last letter to the owl. "With a brother so much older, it was as if I were an only child. Though, I had lots of cousins too."

Phoenicia is optimistic, not people-stupid, and her cheerful face drops for a second into a 'really. Really? really. REALLY?' expression before it resumes its beatific dimpled smiling. "Well, I ken the usefulness of discretion. Say it's the better part of valor, though to be fair, I dinnae think that is quite how the phrase was meant to be used. Lugh, dinnae even think about peckin' me head, that ain't no walnut," she says with a cautionary tone towards her owl. Lugh suddenly stepped hastily about an inch back from her head, keeping his distance on her shoulder. "But the funny thing about trust is ye never completely can. For aye a wee bit of puttin' yerself out there. Risk and reward, innit?"

Something like that," Mackenzie says in a low tone, dismissively, "I think I will stick to my own kind, though. Thank you." Her voice is hard and dry and a frown is on her face as she looks at Phoenicia. She breathes out heavily through her nose and closes her eyes to keep from rolling them as she turns back to Samira. She clears her throat and opens her eyes, focusing again on their conversation. "I have a good handful of cousins, but I don't know any of them well," she says, adding bluntly, "Quite a few of the family decided to cut off ties with us when Father got.. into trouble."

Phoenicia just shares a look with her owl, who seems to understand her frustration, Chirpwarble or not. She heads over to a corner with the bird on her shoulder. "Now, me wee eean, let us see about gettin' ye some food. Do believe they keep a little here. Sound good?"

Lugh hooted his agreement and did a little dance on her shoulder.

"Good, good." She pulls out her rosewood wand and gives a flick of the wrist; without a word, a warm yellow light floats over the pair, making it a little easier to investigate the little nooks and crannies of the rookery.

Although Samira isn't quite as blunt about her distaste for Phoenicia, it's clear that she doesn't have much interest in the little muggleborn at the moment. Her attention on Mackenzie, she tilts her head at the mention of something about her father's troubles. But the Owl Tower isn't exactly a private place for further questions. At least, not at the moment. "Mm. I still don't know my father's family so well. Although I lived with my Great Uncle Penzington, when I was first sent to Hogwarts. He is the head of the family."

Phoenicia continued to talk to the owl as they explored the cabinets. "Now, let's see here… I ken ye like fruits and nuts, but normal owls dinnae eat nothin' without meat, so ye willnae find that up here. Oh, but what's this? Rabbit jerky! Who wants a piece of- owch! How many times 'ave I told ye to calm yerself, ye numpty? Coulda bit my fingertip off."

Lugh hooted in response softly, almost like he was laughing.

"Dinnae look so pleased wi' yeself. I'm only doin' this so ye stop spittin' up fur and bones for me tae clean in the mornin'."

"Quite a change for you. I understand you're originally from… Egypt, was it?" Mackenzie says, cocking her head to the side curiously. She shifts her weight to one hip restlessly, flashing a look over at Phoenicia as the girl continues to talk to her owl.

Samira steps back to let her final owl take flight. Nodding, she says, "Yes. Most of my family lives in Alexandria. Where the Nile reaches the ocean at last." With a glance from the owls to Mackenzie, she adds, "Are you going back to the Common Room?" Although Phoenicia continues to chatter to her owl, the older Slytherin ignores her, which is likely far better than the alternatives.

Mackenzie nods once to Samira. "Anywhere, to get out of this cold and wet," she says. She glances over at the arrival of Mateo but says nothing of it, focusing back on Samira. "I assume you're heading the same way?" she says and then gives a wry smile, "We could run through the rain together. That sounds… fun…" She snickers at her own joke, amused at herself even if no one else is. In preparation to leave, she pulls her hood up over her head, pushing her hair back into its depths for protection from the rain.

Phoenicia chuckled; she was kneeling over at a far corner, but she recognized the voice. "Yer a bit lang for that, Mr. Lovegood," came the cheerful answer. Phee had been in Arts Club until this year, working on her singing — always a bit quietly and self-conscious. "Though I cannae blame ye for the thought. The wireless shows finally come to their senses an' ask ye to play for them?"

Samira squints up at Mackenzie, shivering at the mere thought of the cold, autumn rain. She bows her head and pulls her scarf back over her nose. Standing at the far end of the room, she and Mackenzie are well out of Mateo's way when he bursts in. But now, it seems the two Slytherin students are on their way out. "Yes. To the fireplace. To curl up as close as I can without getting singed," she tells her housemate, drifting to the stairs. Her dark gaze lingers on Mateo, but should he glance at her, she offers no more than a subtle nod before slinking past and heading down the stairs.

Mateo's eyes find Phoenicia quickly enough, as does the easy smile that rests on his face. "Oh, no. I like playing and singing for my own enjoyment, but I have no intentions of being on the wireless. Besides, it is likely that my future will be with the Ministry, rather than entertainment. I interned with the Department of Accidental Catastrophies over the summer. Working with the Obliviators was amazing!" His eyes shift toward the pair of Slytherins and he offers them each a smile and nod, his eyes meeting both of theirs with out hesitation.

Mackenzie meets Mateo's eyes as she makes her way by behind Samira but doesn't give him any sort of acknowledgement. She ducks her head and pulls her hood down low before chasing Samira down the steps.

"Dinnae be so modest, Mr. Lovegood! Ye should play on Milly's show sometimes, I ken how ye are." She beamed up at him and slowly stood up, a red-plumed owl on her shoulder. Lugh was a common sight at Quidditch matches involving Gryffindor, ever since she'd colored his feathers with Gryffindor house colors. Phee and her owl made up a two creature cheer section. "So if it's nae yer impending career on the wireless, what brings ye up tae such a cold corner o' the castle now, eh? Speakin' of…" She wiggled her wand and dismissed the floating ball of light — again, wordlessly — before following it up with an eruption of fire that startled the owl on her shoulder. "Mayhap this'll warm ye up a bit!"

Mateo shrugs his shoulders lightly before saying, "Well, the Holiday is coming up and I have been going back and forth on whether I would send an owl to my father and inform him that I will be staying at Hogwarts for the break or not. Sometimes I think that I will, and sometimes I think I should go home. It is only he and I at our home, though he spends all of his time working so it seems like it is just me. I went home last year and spent some time visiting friends, but times change. They have graduated and moved on to other things with their lives."

Phoenicia took a moment to enjoy the heat of the flames from her wand; she was careful not to hold it too close either to herself or Mateo for safety's sake, though. "Well, not that ye asked me, but." She tossed a glance over at the prefect to make sure he was okay with her putting in her two knuts.

Mateo's smile does not falter as he meets Phee's eyes and gestures with a hand for her to continue. "Please. Speak your mind," he says with a friendly tone.

Phoenicia giggles — an automatic nervous reaction — and nods. "Well. Isnae as though Hogwarts is a lang ways by broom or train from most places in Britain. Why nae go and spend some time wi' your da? Don't need tae spend the whole o' time with him, can come here for aye, anytime."

Mateo considers for a moment before he shrugs his shoulders. "I am not sure if that is allowed or not. I have never known anyone to go freely from one to the other. I think you have to pick whether you will stay or go," he says thoughtfully. "Though I suppose Hogsmeade is not far. I could always get myself a room there, and then I would see whoever comes to the village and go wherever I like."

Phoenicia cups her chin in her free hand, stroking it. Lugh tilted his head this way and that, examining her to figure out what she was doing. "Is nae the usual, tae be certain. But I'm pure certain that if someone like ye asked, ye could get special dispensation."

Mateo chuckles at this and shrugs his shoulders, "Perhaps. Though just because I am a prefect doesn't mean that I get special treatment. Anyways, enough about me. What about you? What are you going to do for the holiday? Do you look forward to getting away from Hogwarts for a time?"

Phoenicia stiffens a bit and just shakes her head. "I've… yet tae decide, honestly," she says, with some discomfort in her voice. "Busy life, as ye know. What I should dae, is get started on me 'omework." She bobs her head. "It was nice tae see you again, though, Mr. Lovegood. See ye around the castle?" She quickly curtseys in place.

Mateo tilts his head to the side a touch in curiosity as he notices Phee stiffen at his question and the tone in her voice. He does not press the questioning, however, only offering her a comforting smile and saying, "Well, alright then. It was good seeing you as well. If you ever want to talk or anything, feel free to reach out to me in the corridor some day."

Phoenicia smiles in return — it's genuine, but she's still guarded behind it, as the expression does not quite reach her eyes. She cants her head politely towards Mateo. "I will! Hope tae see ye again soon. Jes' so busy wi' all me NEWTS this year… didnae want tae quit Art Club. C'mon, Lugh," she says, turning to address the owl on her shoulder. "Now that we have ye fed, it's back tae the books for us, aye?" The redhead dismisses the roaring flame at the tip of her wand and heads down the staircase with a little wave at Mateo.

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