(1941-11-27) Dancing with the Devil
Details for Dancing With the Devil
Summary: Daniel and Niobe share an evening of dinner, dancing, and conversation at the Natrix Dance Hall.
Date: 27 November, 1941
Location: The Natrix Dance Hall

One would suppose it is sort of a 'thing' in the wizarding world, but retro nights are very, very popular. Tonight, as a matter of fact, the theme of the evening is, "The Age of Jazz and Ragtime." Period clothing is, of course, optional, but who doesn't like a chance to put on your best duds? Niobe certainly does, and she walks up to the dance hall, the music wafting out every time the doors open to admit a patron, she swishes and sways, looking very much like the young woman she was, in the age of flappers and the foxtrot. Rather than fancy robes or the like, she wears her half-blood, raised in the muggle world proudly, her dress appropriate spangled and glittering.

Daniel wears his tailored muggle clothes with equal ease. The trousers are far looser than the current fashion, a nod to the night's theme. As usual, he wears his white shirt with sleeves rolled to his elbows under a grey waist-coat. Leaning against the bar, glass of scotch in hand, his murky gaze tracks the glittering woman across the dance hall with a glint of interest.

Niobe slips inside of the dance hall, skirting the various and sundry clumps and gatherings of people drinking, talking, and gesticulating. She pauses, stepping off to the side, clutch held in both hands, looking across the room to try to find a suitable seat. It looks like a very packed house. Ah well, where there's a will there's a way. For now, she might as well make use of the bar, and she steps in that direction, sliding in beside the man with rolled up sleeves once she gets there. "I hope this seat isn't taken." Well, she's not really sitting, but close enough. A hand lifts to signal the bartender.

Daniel shifts, leaning forward on his elbows as Niobe settles next to him. "It's not," he tells her with a quirk of a grin. He watches as she tries catching the bartender's attention. But on such a busy night, it's only the most aggressive of patrons, thrusting their pounds into his face that get his attention. At last, leaning closer to her, he asks, "What are you having?"

"Well, I suppose we should keep with the theme." Niobe considers, leaning in to rest her elbows on the edge of the bar, before she does take that empty seat, sliding onto it with care. Flapper dresses do look smashing, but the chance of snagging yourself on something is high. "I think I would like a sidecar." She looks over at her new companion. "I would hope he could make that, though I could nip behind if he didn't."

Daniel chuckles with a nod. "Course he knows that one." Directing his gaze to the bartender, his strong tenor carries over the din of the throng. "Eddie. A sidecar for my friend." The bartender finishes his current drink with great haste and sets about preparing Niobe her drink. As the bartender pours the cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker, Daniel fixes his gaze on Niobe's features. "Now the second question. What is your name?"

"Well, to be fair, I go to clubs so rarely, I sometimes forget what drinks are popular now. I have, on occasion gone somewhere and they have no idea what I'm wanting to order." She flashes a smile, and a "Thank you," to Eddie, the bartender, before she turns back to the blonde beside her. If she seems out of sorts by his appraisal, she doesn't show it. Rather she studies him just as frankly, "Niobe Walker. How rude of me not to have offered before."

Daniel drinks his fill of her refined features, watching her with keen interest. With a nod and a hint of wicked mischief in his smile, he nods and offers his own. "Daniel Smith. A pleasure." His gaze drops albeit briefly before recapturing her lush dark eyes. "You look well in your element wearing that dress."

"For me as well, Mr. Smith." Niobe turns away, briefly, pulling a few bills out of her clutch to pay for the drink when it's placed on the bar in front of her, "Such a doll, thank you, Eddie." A flash of a smile as she looks down at herself, "Do you think so? I often think that the roaring 20s would have been the prime of my life." She glances towards the dance floor, "It is difficult these days to find someone who remembers the old dances."

Daniel leans and plucks her money off the bar. He offers it back, caught between his fore and middle fingers. "My treat." Watching her still, mischief glints every brighter in his eyes. "Once you finish that drink, I'll take you for a swing across the floor. A man couldn't do anything else meeting a dame in such a dress."

"That's too kind of you, Mr. Smith. At the least, allow Eddie to have it as a thanks for his hard work. Serving people can, quite often, be very thankless work." She sips her drink, making an appreciative sound, "Though I imagine it's much easier down here than it is in the upstairs. It often strikes me as rather a bit stifling. The dance floor here is much more inviting." Niobe flashes another smile, looking towards the floor, "Are you a good dancer then, Mr. Smith?"

Daniel shrugs easily and sets the money back down. As she mentions the upstairs, his brows lift. But then he chuckles as she asks whether he's a good dancer. "I suppose you'll see and judge for yourself. These dances were a few years before my time." Eyes fixed on her, he drains the last of his glass. "So you've been upstairs, hm?"

"Don't worry. I love a good dance. And once you get the hang of them, it's a real breeze." Niobe finishes perhaps half of her drink, before she slides off of her chair, "I never like to have too much before I dance." A light lift of her shoulders, "A few times, but it was quite a long while ago. I had a phase where I went dancing every night, now I rarely have the time. But if I come, I'd rather the larger floor here. And the tables are more comfortable."

Still standing, Daniel pushes off from the bar with an easy laugh. "Then let's take that dance floor." He takes her by the hand, no pause for permission. He knows well she is as keen for a dance as he is. He leads her through the throng, to the center of the dance floor where a fast lindy hop is jumping. With a solid tug of her hand, slipping a firm hand to rest at the middle of her back, he pulls her right into the dance.

Niobe offers no protest as she's pulled out away from the bar and onto the dancefloor, weaving her way easily behind Daniel. "I do like a challenge, Mr. Smith." Despite the fact that she looks as though the 20s came and went long before she was even born, once he pulls her into the dance, she goes into it as if she's had years of practice. And, because the dress absolutely demands it, she makes her movements as flowing as possible, the tassels of the dress spinning and whirling around the pair as they dance.

Daniel might have missed the roaring 20's by more than a few years, but he dances like a natural child of the decade. He pulls her along in a whirl-wind of wild fun. He twirls her around, letting those tassels whip across his knees. The crowd soon moves aside to take in their performance.

The wonderful thing about having a good partner is that the dance actually does become a great performance, and as much as Niobe enjoys dancing with Daniel, moving easily under his lead, she also seems just as happy to entertain the crowd. And that is a very flapper sensibility. Dancing, in that era, really was about the show as much as the dance itself.

Daniel leads with a sure-footed confidence that is impossible to feign. Should she ever catch a glimpse of his face, he smiles at her with a devilish delight. As the crowd hollers and cheers for them, he whips her around in a loose yet inescapable embrace. The wonderful thing about having a great partner is that he doesn't have to hold back. As the music builds, he grips her firmly - the only warning before he flips her over and around and whirls her back into her arms. And with this great finale, the music ends with Daniel holding her tight against his chest. It heaves far more from exhilaration than any trace of exhaustion. All around them, the muggles and secret wizarding-folk alike burst into an uproar of applause. He ignores them all, gazing down at her alone.

Niobe manages to walk that line between effortless grace, the sign of a well-seasoned dancer and practiced athletics, as she adjusts her dancing style to a partner much taller and larger than she is. The dance is so bright and spirited, it's no small feat not to get to the end without needing to catch your breath. And while the cheering rises and th crowd seems to enjoy the show, Niobe has eyes only for her partner. The flip turns her a complete 360 degrees, tassels a bright halo around her, before she finds herself caught up against his chest, her own chest rising in quick, rapid breaths. The smile she offers is dazzling, "You, Mr. Smith, are a fantastic dancer."

Daniel chuckles and keeps her close as the band picks up a fox trot. He eases her into the smooth, slow dance with that wicked grin. "Danny," he corrects. "And you are an excellent dancer yourself. Quite a dame." As more couples join in, the pair find themselves caught in the intimate privacy of the crowded dance floor. In a lower tone, he says, "I'd meant to leave you breathless, but I think I might be the one dazed. Dazzled. Your dress isn't the only thing that shines and glitters, Miss Walker."

Niobe is grateful for the few minutes it takes to get her breath back under control, though she doesn't make any attempt to remove herself from his embrace. And once the next dance starts, she remains close, easily following the lead he sets, hands light on his arm, and clasped in his, "I have had more years of practice than you would believe, Danny. And you may call me Niobe. Or Obi, as it suits you." A soft peal of laughter, at Daniel's compliments, "Spoken as only a man of potent charm could. You flatter me. A dancer is only as good as her partner."

Daniel nods. "Mm. Most would have lost their footing and balance without me to steer them. But not you. You are a breath of fresh air, Obi." With a firm hand at her back, he guides in a lazy whirl around the floor, letting the world spin around them.

Niobe shakes her head, again brushing off the compliment, "Perhaps you simply need to find better dance partners. In this day and age, it can sometimes be quite difficult. So many things on people's minds that are very much more important than dancing." The other dancers on the floor are barely a glimmer in her peripheral vision, enough to make certain she doesn't bump into anyone, and little more. "Do you take classes at all?"

"No classes. Just had a few close friends to show me the steps. And you? Tell me how this love of dance found its way into your heart." Daniel's murky gaze of dark green remains fixed on her own, as if trying to read the secrets of those eyes of melted chocolate.

Niobe's steps slow and quicken as the music ebbs and flows, her breathing becoming once again regular, as the slower pace of the dance allows her to come down from the spirit of the first, "My mother loves to dance. She says it helps to keep her old bones from creaking. I hardly get to go home, so when I do, I try to do things she enjoys with her, so we've been taking classes for years."

Daniel's smile quirks wider. As they drift spinning across the dance floor, he leans in closer to speak softly into her ear, "It's rare to meet someone so well-familiar with jazz who has also been allowed upstairs."

Niobe makes no objection to being pulled in closer to Daniel's chest, the proximity allowing for quiet conversation, "I suppose I am lucky, in that regard. My parents made sure that I had a wide range of experiences." She turns, studying his face, "And have you? Ever been to see the upstairs lounge?"

"More than a few times. I actually work here, you see. For Wolfgang." Daniel pulls her into a double spin before stopping in the center of the floor, still holding her close. His eyes glint as he gazes down at her. "Let me buy you a drink upstairs - where we can talk with more privacy."

The spins at the end of any dance are always the most exhilarating. Niobe remains still, for a few moment after the dance ends. When Daniel offer her some explanation of his circumstances, she nods, "It has been many years since I've been here. That can be the only excuse for why I haven't seen you before. I would be delighted to join you upstairs."

Daniel takes her hand and places it on his arm. Keeping her close, he smiles. "Then let's go." He leads her with ease, weaving through the crowd. Were there any doubt to her magical heritage, the fact that she is allowed to pass into the VIP lounge erases the last trace. Tonight, a platinum blonde is singing through the microphone on stage to the select few of the lounge. Daniel spares her a glance as he steers Niobe to a booth that overlooks the dance hall below. "It must have been a while. Or maybe luck didn't favor me the rare nights you came to dance. I'm not always on the doors - as you can see tonight."

Niobe moves easily on Daniel's arm, allowing him to lead her out of the first floor and up along the stairs. Once she passes through the security, and enters into the lounge proper, she takes a moment to take it all in, "It's probably been…at least, I don't know, ten, or fifteen years since I was out dancing regularly. I used to visit places like this quite often, I think I spent most of the twenties on the dancefloor, back when this," here she indicates her dress, "actually was the fashion. But as time passed and work got busier, I just couldn't find enough free hours in the evenings." Once she arrives at the designated booth, she slips her hand free of his arm, to slide into her side of the booth. "Thank you….for reminding me how wonderful it cam be to dance in a place like this."

A hint of surprise registers in Daniel's eyes as Niobe hints at her true age. But as he settles in across from her, the glint of interest in his eyes has by no means diminished. "It was a pleasure," he responds with a nod. A house elf appears at their table to ask for their orders. "I'd recommend the Saltimbocca alla Romana, if you're hungry," he tells her. And after waiting for Niobe to place her own order, he requests a gin rickey. Once they are alone, Daniel pulls a cigarette pack from his vest pocket. "Would you care for one?"

Niobe's lips curl into a faint smile, as Daniel registers surprise at her age. "It's all Charms." The curl deepens to a smile, but a playful one. She's joking, of course, "Swish of the wrist and underneath. A complete hag." She pauses, as the house elf comes over, and does indeed order your recommendation, "I will defer to the man who knows the house best." No more alcohol for her, rather whatever the elf chooses. After all, who better to know the kitchen? And if it seems strange that she should defer to the elf, she doesn't seem to register it. "Thank you, I would."

Daniel offers over a cigarette and with his own between his fingers, he snaps his fingers and a flame appears hovering above them. With that wicked glint in his eyes, he lights hers first before his own. "You are all charms, Obi. But, the kind that don't bring superficial beauty." He takes a slight drag of his cigarette before leaning forward on his elbows. "So tell me. What work has been so fascinating to you that it's kept you from dancing?"

Laughter now, and not just that smile, as Daniel conjures a flame and she leans in to accept the light. "You do have the charms of the very devil himself." She smokes in that delicate way, that seems more suited to long cigarette holders and smoke-filled nightclubs. One of those, at least she has in the lounge, the other is an affectation born of long practice. "I've only just celebrated twenty-eight years at the Ministry. Experimental Charms, though with the situation as it's been, I have had occasion to moonlight in the other divisions of the department."

Daniel winces with a smile. "Ah. Experimental charms? As intelligent as you are beautiful." He rests a hand over his chest. "A man doesn't stand a chance, does he?" Shaking his head, he settles back to regard her. "You were a Ravenclaw, weren't you." He takes a long, slow drag of his cigarette.

Niobe shakes her head, her amusement tamping down, but still obvious. Nothing directed at Daniel, mind, just..sometimes there is a certain humour in first introductions, perhaps because it allows one to see themselves through an entirely new set of eyes. "You would not say that, if you had seen some of the catastrophes I have created. Just a few weeks ago, I spent the better part of four, five days walking around looking like a human rag mop. Hair to the floor." A tilt of her head at his estimation of his chances. "Does a man want a chance? It seems to me you have the charm to have a string of women on your arm already." A head shake, at the question, her hand reaching out to tamp the ashes from her cigarette, "That had been my dream. My father was a Ravenclaw, I grew up on his stories." A glimmer touches her eyes. Again, that humour coming out, "Alas, Gryffindor. Class of 1913."

Cigarette between his fingers, Daniel hides a smile, but his eyes give away his genuine amusement. But he just offers her a wicked grin and doesn't comment as she suggests the extent of his own charm. He flicks ashes from his cigarette into the crystal dish on their table. "Gryffindor? Hm. It seems we share even more than a love of dance. He pauses before telling her, "Class of 1936." At that moment, the house-elf reappears with their food and drinks, but Daniel's murky gaze remains fixed on Niobe's features.

The Saltimbocca dish goes between them at the center of the table. Daniel gets his gin rickey and Niobe gets a delightful little drink that starts a deep violet at the bottom of the glass, fading into a soft pink, before glowing a luminous, sparkling gold at the brim.

"Ah, then you are only just beginning your journey. So many new wonders to see and explore. The first few years after Hogwarts are, no pun intended, of course, the most magical times. At least they were for me." She takes another draw on her cigarette, having decided to finish it before eating, "I grew up half in and half out of our world. Being able to immerse myself was an amazing experience." Niobe turns, taking a moment, to thank the elf, a gesture which might or might not make it uncomfortable, before she returns to the table. "It is good to meet another Gryffindor. I often feel as though most of the House is perpetually off and about having grand adventures. And here I am still at home in London."

Daniel chuckles with a rueful shake of his head. He doesn't comment on whether his first few years have proven magical, simply taking another long drag of his cigarette. Releasing the smoke with a sigh, he continues to ignore the house elf. The witch's nod seems to put it a bit off balance, but it dips into the deepest possible bow in return, brushing its nose against the floor, before vanishing away. "There are plenty of adventures to be had here. Working with experimental magic sounds dangerous."

"Here in Muggle London, or here, in this small pocket extension of the magical world?" Niobe settles, a thoughtful expression overtaking her face. She continues to smoke, still taking her time with it. One would imagine, that in a magical establishment, the food never gets cold, so she has time, "It can be, but it's necessary work. Especially as so much of the work that we do is filling requests from people outside the agency who are submitting charms that they can them resell to customers. No one wants to be responsible for putting charms out there that will injure anyone or have adverse effects because they were not fully tested."

Daniel nods, smiling at her, "I suppose that does sound tedious. But, necessary. And I'd say there is adventure in both - the muggle and magical world. Especially now with the war. Life has never been more interesting. And I take it you have experience in both worlds. Is muggle-born heritage another thing we share?"

Niobe tilts her head, giving a thoughtful consideration to the evaluation of her work, "I suppose that it can be. But it can also be immensely exciting. Do you remember your first Charms class? The first time that you actually tried a charm and had it perform exactly as it was meant to, as you wanted it to? Imagine feeling that same exhilaration constantly." She finally finishes her cigarette, stubbing it out delicately in the ash tray. "Interesting. And dangerous, in equal measure, I think." The meal still untouched, she instead chances to taste the drink, a careful sip, "Sweet and fruity." A good compliment to the savoury, slightly salty flavour of the dish to come, "My mother is a Muggle, my father a Half-Blood. But they chose to raise me in both worlds, with both sides of the family." She offers a reflective smile, "Interestingly, my brother Seamus followed in my mother's footsteps. He's a mediwizard."

Daniel sips his gin, cigarette still between his fingers despite how low it's burnt. "As you follow her on the dance floor. And even though your courage landed you in Gryffindor, you've inherited your father's inquisitive mind."

Daniel sips his gin, cigarette still between his fingers despite how low it's burnt. "As you follow her on the dance floor. And even though your courage landed you in Gryffindor, you've inherited your father's inquisitive mind." The tip of his cigarette stub glows as he takes a long, final drag from it. His eyes linger on her features, studying her intently. "And you savor the interesting and dangerous. But perhaps, things have been a little quiet lately. Enough to make you drift here for a night of excitement." In the dim light, his murky gaze glints. Smiling, he snuffs out the stub of his cigarette at last.

"Well, actually I have a new friend to thank for that. She came down from the Auror Office and in talking she reminded me of how much I have set aside all of the things I used to enjoy to work. Even when I do things, like dancing, I really only do them as part of some other reason, such as familial obligation. It's just been terribly busy. I barely see more than the backs of most of the Obliviators as they head off to work, they go in and out so often, and I've been having to fill in to cover the slack more than I ever have. We're at a real crisis point." The MAC office has always been small, so it stands to reason they would be one of the most busy in the current climate. Once she sees that he's finished, she indicates the plate, "Shall I serve?" It's a very muggle convention, but sometimes the familiar can be its own reward.

Daniel nods with an easy smile, but should she try to offer him more than one, he'd hold up a hand. "So your new friend reminded you how much you set aside. And so you decided to indulge, at least for one night?"

Niobe serves with easy grace. Not a trace of magic, just good training on her mother's knee. She serves Daniel first and then herself, before she settles back into her seat. Another sip of the drink, "Lemon first, and now orange." The flavours of the drink are progressing. At the question, she gives it a moment of consideration, "Perhaps. Or perhaps it's more that I realized that I've been hiding myself away in the wizarding world too much. My parents raised to me appreciate things outside of magic just as much."

"Mm. The perhaps we should have found a table downstairs. Though I suppose the view is far better up here," says Daniel tilting his head towards the glass windows that overlook the dancefloor below. "I suppose few of us continue to move back and forth between the two worlds. We tend to settle down in one or the other - unless like your father did, you marry a muggle woman. But most of us seem to keep an almost willful ignorance. Muggle Studies was always a laugh."

"I think, at this moment, it would be preferable to be here. We don't need to watch our words. It's always a bit difficult to get to know someone when you have to constantly worry about what parts of yourself you have to hide and which you can give away." Niobe begins her meal, taking her time with it. A good meal should be savoured, as should good company, "It's actually quite interesting. What I have found, is that most of the half-bloods I know would say that the muggle parent ended up becoming wholly a part of the wizarding world. They give up what normal life they had to follow their magical spouse. My mother chose not to do that, but she certainly could have. And there seems so little need to overlap, from the wizard's point of view. Why stitch up a wound when you can just mend the flesh. I think that, for many wizards, they see the muggle world as so backwards, they feel no desire to be in it. No more than, say, you might find it of interest to you to live as a house elf."

Daniel smiles as Niobe reveals her profound understandings. With a soft chuckle, he nods, "I imagine you're right. Haven't had the chance to discuss it with too many purebloods, but some of their views of muggleborns make that clear. So you were raised in both worlds. You have a rare view of things. So this night was a chance to embrace that other side of your life again. For your own sake. You've been caught up in the wizarding world for too long."

"Yes, I suppose so. Of course, I spend as much time as I can with my family, and they all, with the exception of my father and Seamus, live in the muggle world, but I don't really live there anymore, and I miss it. I miss…" Niobe considers, taking time to take a bit or two, putting her thoughts together, "I miss the simplicity of things. A thing can just be that thing. You don't have to constantly think about what else it might be. What charm or glamour it's using to hide it's true self. And things mean more. Even death, suffering, pain. Because muggles have no way to take that away. They just have to endure it. And perhaps more that that. There are none of the easy fixes that we have in our world, and yet, they will still endure the most terrible hardships."

"The worlds might be operating on a different set of rules, but there is suffering in both, and danger. Love and hate both fill our hearts. The muggles have their Hitlers while wizards face their Grindlewald. Revolvers can be as effective at murder as a wand. You can still lose everything in a night." Daniel pauses, taking a silent sip of his gin. She might catch the glint of an edge in his eyes before he lowers his gaze. In a low, quiet tone, he says, "If you think the muggle world is simple, you likely didn't see enough of it."

"I never implied that there was not pain and suffering in both, only that we, as wizards, have many more tools than muggle do to alleviate much of what happens that causes pain and distress. Something as simple as, say…a broken bone, which any skilled wizard can repair in seconds with a good spell or dose of a potion takes weeks to mend without magic. It makes it easier to be fearless as a wizard, because you know that, in many cases, pain and suffering are only momentary things. Niobe shakes her head, "You mistake my meaning, in regards to simplicity, Mr. Smith. For example," she pauses, taking up her clutch which was stored, well, who knows where, and retrieving her wand. "For example, we are here, in a place of magic." She gestures at herself with the wand, "Am I really this woman," a shimmer rippling the air around her before she reappears, as a completely different woman. redhead, green eyes. "Or am I this woman." Another gesture, and she's now a blonde, with blue eyes. "Or this one, or this." She goes through a number of iterations, each looking just as real and authentic as the last. "Is that glass you're drinking out of just a cup, or has it been cursed to explode the moment anyone puts it to their mouth?" She dips her wand in the direction of your glass, a brief glint of light sparkling along the glass' rim. "The simplicity of the muggle is nothing at all to do with it being child-like or basic, but in that it follows its own set of rules which, in many ways, are much more easy to recognize and learn to defend against. But at the last, she loses all trace of humour, "And please, Mr. Smith, do not assume you know even a tenth of my history just from a few minutes of conversation. I was a grown woman living and surviving in the world long before you were even born."

Daniel lifts his gaze and listens silent and intent as she speaks. His eyes gleam as she casts illusion after illusion. At last, with a bow of his head, he says, "I'm sorry." Glancing back up at her with a subtle smile, he adds, "You're right. The muggle world operates on a much more clear set of rules. And I shouldn't have assumed how much you'd seen of the muggle world as a grown woman."

"Thank you," Niobe gives a final swish of her wand, and she's back to looking like the brunette she was when she walked into the club. She accepts the apology and seems disinclined to carry the thread of the pique that sharpened her words, "It takes time to get to know everything about another person besides whether or not you find them pleasant to look at." She returns to her meal, still keeping that slow, easy pace, "And there are some thing that you will never discover." A beat, "Perhaps it is that very thing that is at the heart of any attraction, platonic or otherwise."

Daniel nods with a soft chuckle before downing the last of his gin. Smiling across at her, he says, "You speak nothing but wisdom. But, you are more than pleasant to look at. You are the sort of woman that draws stares from across a crowded hall. And you have the wit to leave a man lost in reflection for weeks to follow."

Niobe considers, speaking between bites of her meal. Perhaps she should have waited for Daniel, as he seems not to have taken even a bite of his food, but she does like a good meal, and seems disinclined to let a good meal go to waste. "Looks are fickle things, I'm afraid. And even conversation can pall over the years of a wizard's long life."

Daniel takes up his single piece of Saltimbocca, and watching her, he consumes it in two, swift bites. Settling back in his seat, he licks the tips of his fingers before taking up a napkin. "Which is why I prefer to savor the moment over worrying for too long about the future."

Niobe finally sets aside her silverware, reclaiming her drink, "Oh, pomegranate." It would seem that each colour is also its own unique flavour, "I suppose there is merit in that. Especially if you find yourself frequently involved with muggles, who seem to live and die so much more quickly than they do." Wizards are by no means anything near approaching immortal, but their extended lives do make for difficult relations with non-wizards. "But I also feel that even as we enjoy the moment we are given, we should cultivate thoughts and ideas about how we plan to live our lives in the future, in the years after our youths have faded and we need more than a dance and the glances of an attractive young man to buoy our spirits."

Daniel settles forward on his elbows. He balances his empty glass on its edge as he studies her with a more serious stare. "A shame. But wise." Lowering his gaze, he slides his glass aside to the edge of the table. The house elf appears at once and replaces it with a full one. Smiling across at her, he says, "It's been a pleasure meeting you. And I hope you set aside to come dancing again. Unfortunately, my own work calls before the night grows much later."

"Is it? A shame, Danny? I suppose we will see in the end." Niobe seems content to remain in her seat, even as he indicate that he has every intention of leaving his, "I hope so as well. Dancing with you has been such a pleasure. And if the desire should ever strike you, and you have a need to see me for something other than dancing, inquire after me at the Ministry. They will almost always know where to find me." Messages by post owl, of course, always find their targets, albeit a bit more impersonally.

Daniel rises, taking his drink with him. But before leaving, he holds out a hand for hers. Should she allow, he'd bring her hand to his lips for a featherlight kiss. "It has been a great pleasure, Obi. I hope the desire strikes me soon. And that time permits. Good night." And without another word or a backward glance, he strides off into the back of the club.

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