(1941-11-22) Illicit Activities
Details for Illicit Activities
Summary: Mackenzie catches Samira dancing by herself.
Date: 1941-11-22
Location: Greenhouses

The steady drizzle is enough to keep most students within the Hogwarts Castle walls. On most nights like this, Samira seems keen to do nothing more than to curl up as close to the fireplace as possible. But instead, she has snuck off on her own. Hood of her cloak pulled up, she hurries across the grass and into Greenhouse Two. Having been hours since the last Herbology class, the greenhouse is utterly still. The restless, more dangerous plants, are all in Greenhouse Three.

Draping her cloak over a stool, Samira proceedes to shed a few more of her layers in the warmth of the greenhouse. At last, she stands in just her blouse and skirt, even having stepped out of her shoes.

Samira hates the cold; everyone knows this. So when Mackenzie saw her leave the castle in the rain, her curiosity was piqued and she followed. She didn't have the chance to grab her cloak, so she walks in the slight rain getting her robes wet. For the trip there, she lingers behind until they reach Greenhouse Two. She waits for a brief span of time and then enters, remaining just inside the doorway out of the rain to watch Samira quietly. If the other girl looked over, she would clearly see Mackenzie - she's not attempting to hide. She's not making an effort to be noticed either, silent with a severe stare at Samira.

Samira has been a bit quiet lately. More distant than usual. And it goes to show just how withdrawn into her own thoughts she is when she doesn't notice Mackenzie staring at her. Staring off into space, in another place, she hums to herself - a winding little tune that trills and undulates. Eyes drifting shut, her hips begin to sway. More than sway - they flow from side to side, moving as if independent of the rest of her body. Turning on the spot, she lifts her hands over her head, letting them entwine like serpents.

Mackenzie's eyes open wide as she watches Samira move. Her eyes flick over the other girl's body slowly, watching closely as if to memorize every gesture. Her fascination is clear in her eyes, though her gaze is intense, as if she has an unnatural amount of focus right now. After a moment, she bites her lip before taking a breath and speaking. "I want to learn this," she says, her voice low but easily heard through the Greenhouse.

Samira was only just beginning to lose herself in the dance when Mackenzie's voice interrupts. The little dancer turns, twisting towards the sound, eyes wide with… a vulnerable hint of alarm. But at once her features clear and a faint smile finds its way to her lips. "Ah. This? Yes, I remember."

"I think this isn't something you show off in the Arts Club," Mackenzie deduces. Her gaze is still focused on Samira and Samira alone, as if she were the center of the world. She shifts her weight to one hip, crossing her arms over her chest more in an effort to warm herself than any sort of defensive posture.

Samira's cheeks seem to glow with a hint of heat. Shaking her head with that faint smile, she says, "No. The moment the governess my Great Uncle had hired saw my dancing, she said I must never, ever perform it. And I've learned well that it is perceived here different than where I am from." She tilts her head, catching how wet Mackenzie is. "You followed me?"

Mackenzie doesn't even have the decency to look ashamed. "I did," she says factually, "I was curious to see what would take Samira Prince out into the cold voluntarily." She pauses a moment and gives a lopsided grin, though her focus is still present. "I was afraid I would find you meeting Mister Riddle. How boring that would be."

Samira drifts back over to the stool and takes up her jumper. Gaze lowered, she says, "No. We prefer to sit in front of the fire. You've seen us before there, haven't you?"

"I have," Mackenzie confirms. Realizing what Samira's doing, she shakes her head vigorously. "Don't stop on account of me," she says, raising her hands in a blocking gesture. She frowns and adds, "I will leave if you desire me to. I'm not here to embarrass you."

Samira pauses, about to put her jumper on. Gazing over at Mackenzie, she says, "No. You're here to learn. Aren't you? But I only practice myself in these little stolen moments between four N.E.W.T.s and working as a student aide in the Infirmary."

"So you'll teach me?" Mackenzie says almost immediately. Her chin lifts slightly and she lowers her hands to fidget together in front of her. She never can seem to stop moving.

Samira folds her arms, still holding onto her jumper. "To learn this style of dancing, I had a master work with me every day. But with my courseload, I don't even have enough time to keep in practice as much as I'd like. If you're keen to learn dancing, you should join the Arts Club."

Mackenzie frowns slightly. She's being put off and she doesn't like it, but she doesn't want to be a prat either. She takes a moment before answering. "Maybe," she says lowly, "If that is the best way to start." She reaches up with a hand, pushing wet hair out of her face before bringing her hands back together in front of her.

Samira watches as water drips from Mackenzie's hair. Lowering her gaze, she nods. "Yes. If you wish to learn to dance, it would be. Isn't that what you want?" She glances back over at the younger student.

"I want a lot of things," Mackenzie says, "Mostly I want to learn everything I can; especially if it is something people would try to keep from me." She shifts her weight to her other hip. "I've no interest in learning ballroom dancing or any of that business. Too stuffy. What I want to learn, I know they can't teach me."

"So you want to learn my dancing because… it's forbidden?" asks Samira, starting to drift towards her. She stands before Mackenzie, more than half a foot shorter than the younger girl. Her head tilts as she gazes up at her. "It isn't just ballroom that we learn in the arts club. There are many styles."

"I want to learn it because it's…" Mackenzie pauses, biting her lip as she searches for the right word. "Alluring," she finishes. She looks down at Samira calmly.

Samira nods, shifting her weight with a distinct sway of her hips. "It is. Is /that/ why you want it? To affect others?"

Mackenzie narrows her eyes. "Why do you c-" She cuts herself off and shakes her head, abandoning the question. "Even if no one else were to ever see me dance," she says, "There is a certain amount of power in what you do. It is beautiful and I envy it."

Samira lowers her gaze, tucking a loose curl behind her ear. Silent, she glances over at Mackenzie, studying her. At last, with a soft sigh, she steps back and returns her jumper to the stool. "You may watch if you wish. I will go through some foundation exercises and you can practice them on your own. The Arts Club is still something you should join so you can learn /how to learn/ to dance."

Mackenzie nods her head eagerly at Samira. "I will do what you say is best," she says lowly. The fidgeting of her hands increases though the rest of her body remains still and calm.

Samira turns her back to Mackenzie, but glances over her shoulder. She seems to hesitate, but then bowing her head, she untucks her shirt and folds it up to expose her midrif. Knees bending, she lifts one hip, slow and deliberate, before lowering it. Then the other hip. Back and forth, rocking with perfect poise and precision. Her hips seem to move independent of the rest of her body.

Mackenzie watches for a long moment, her eyes stuck on Samira's hips as she moves. After a few rounds, she slides her wet school robes off her shoulders and begins to mimic Samira's dance. Her motions aren't nearly as graceful - sort of distressing, really - but it's clear she's putting effort into watching and learning, and perhaps she has potential.

In time Samira glows with persperation in the warmth of the Greenhouse. The simple exercises, repeated over and over, require more effort than might have been expected. To have such control, Samira's slight form is much stronger than it looks. Through the silent lesson, Samira's eyes remain closed, focusing on her own efforts more than following what Mackenzie might be doing. Once or twice, the sound of voices and footsteps made Samira freeze. But each time, they passed without venturing into the Greenhouse. At last, Samira lowers her blouse back down over her midrif and tucks it into her skirt. She glances over at Mackenzie, silent except for the sound of her breathing.

Mackenzie gives Samira a wry smile as she stops her own clumsy motions. She bends down and picks her robes up off the ground, but doesn't bother donning them again, just hanging them over an arm. "Thank you," she says, sincerity in her severity. She looks outside for a moment, where the drizzling has only picked up into a steady rain.

Samira nods as she pulls on her jumper. And that's all. It isn't until she pauses at the exit to the Greenhouse, drawing up the hood of her cloak, that she murmurs, "Be careful not to show anyone." She doesn't explain further, simply darting out into the rain after that. Like a cat caught in a downpour, she heads for the castle as fast as she can.

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