(1941-12-12) Dancing with the Fishes
Details for Dancing with the Fishes
Summary: Riddle shows Samira somewhere secret she can dance, where she performs and discusses plans for the future.
Date: December 12, 1941
Location: The Labyrinth

It is a fall night. The weather is freezing and drizzling.

The Slytherin commons room is a low-ceilinged, dungeon-like affair illuminated during the day by a multitude of greenish lamps and a roaring fire which also works to partially ward of the perpetual chill of the dungeons. The common room is filled with low-backed, black and dark green leather sofas and armchairs accented with buttons that create dimples deep in the upholstery. For the decorative carvings of the dark wood cupboards, the columns, the mantelpiece, and other architectural details of the room run strongly towards snakes and skulls motif. All these details combine to create a quite grand atmosphere with a touch of spooky and cold.
Day or night the enchanted windows are filled with an eerie green glow from the water on the other side. Occasionally the Giant Squid and other residents of the Black Lake will swim by the portals. Over all the common room has a sunken ship feel, though is oddly enough also gives a strange cozy sense as well.

A miserable rain has fallen over Hogwarts since mid-morning, filling the castle with an icy chill deep into the evening. Samira tends to spend evenings like these, curled up as close to the fireplace as possible, across from Tom's usual chair. But now, someone else occupies her place. Only the keenest eyes might catch Samira slipping out of the common room. She eases out, trying to draw as little attention as possible.

Riddle has had quite the miserable day. His classes were dull and unchallenging and he has not made much headway on his more personal research projects and with weary eyes that he rubs at with thumb and index finger he heads for the door. Sneaking up behind Samira is very unintentional and that's proven when he states, "Let me get the door." To her and he does just that, ever the gentleman. "Where are you off to?"

Catlike as ever, the unexpected voice makes Samira jump and twist around to face him. She flushes, a touch embarrassed. "Ah. Not- anywhere, really. Just…" She hesitates, glancing off down the hall. And once the common room door is closed, they are perfectly alone, at least for the moment. "I was off to dance, ya sadiqi," she tells him at last. "To find somewhere quiet."

Riddle places a very light touch to one of her elbows to garner her attention and then offers his own elbow to her. "There is a place I know…" He tips his head in one direction, deeper into the maze. "Rarely used and during the spring. Will you let me show you?"

The light touch secures Samira's full attention. Gazing up at him, she accepts the offered elbow almost unconsciously. As he nods to the maze, Samira's eyes flit off into the dark passage. Her hand resting in the crook of his arm tightens almost imperceptibly. But glancing back up at Riddle, she nods. "Thank you. I… I've never explored the Labyrinth as much as I should. Seems always so cold." She pauses. "But perhaps tonight, the rest of the castle is colder still."

Riddle has a knowing little smirk twitching the corner of his lips. "You'll see, I think it will be quite befitting you. It just takes some time getting there." Which is perhaps why they've not gone there yet on their many strolls. "It's really all I did my First Year." Guiding the way without really even seeming to look where they are going. Just taking lefts and rights like he is being drawn by some unseen tether pulling him in the right direction. "There was a time when I would dream about the maze. Like I was Salazar creating the twists and turns, giving myself some place to escape the others. A place that only I truly knew and confounded everyone else. It gave me comfort that first year here."

Samira drifts along, close at Riddle's side. With each twist and turn, she loses herself deeper in the maze. "You seem at home here," she murmurs with a nod. "While I feel as a guest here." She pauses, half-glancing over her shoulder as he leads her down yet another turn. "I don't think I could find my way back." She pauses before peeking up at him. "In your first year, you felt a need to escape others?" Her head tilts. "It doesn't seem like that could be possible. You're so at ease with everyone."

Riddle pauses so that he can better help her step over a stone brazier that's fallen over onto its side across the pathway. "A most welcomed guest." When they are on their way again and she sounds a tich surprised about his little secret his head gives a little tilt towards a single lifted shoulder in a slight shrug. "You've seen what Moira goes through. I merely had the benefit of knowing that my blood was pure and that helped a great deal. But believe it or not, besides Oberon and Niles, it took some time for people to forget that I was some misplaced muggle raised mystery boy." Looking ahead down the dark corridor he obviously does have a fondness for this part of the castle. "I would explore and commit names and mannerisms to memory as I went."

"Perhaps I understand a bit of your feeling. Not all, but a bit. I have always been seen as a foreigner. Here, and at Heka. Half British and half Egyptian. I was as much a foreigner there as I am here. The other girls knew each other always better. Since before school. But I was always kept busy - too busy to make friends." She pauses. "Moira is a lesser among us. This was the only house that made sense. It is more the natural order of things for her not to fit."

Riddle nods his head along with what she says, agreeing with all sentiments. "I know exactly what you mean. I never felt right in Oval. A profound feeling that I did not belong, that those around me where lesser, like Moira. I don't know what Dumbledore and the Sorting Hat are thinking. When Moira's family can prove pure-blood status, then and only then should she be allowed in our House. It's nonsense and disrespectful to the wishes of the Founder. Would they let some illiterate idiot into Ravenclaw? No. Because Rowena Ravenclaw set specific guidelines for those welcomed to her house. Leave the illiterate idiots to be sorted into Gryffindor. Leave the pure-bloods to be sorted into Slytherin, like Salazar wanted. Maybe one day I'll be headmaster and can put things back to rights." Around another corner there is a greenish dim glow. "Almost there…"

Samira blinks, prying her attention away from Riddle to gaze off down the corridor at the curious greenish glow. Still half-attending to their conversation, she nods. "You know well the houses here make little sense to me. At Heka, we were housed by blood status. A tradition that just made sense." She pauses." Then peeking back up at him with a bit of a smile, she adds, "I have no doubt you could be headmaster if you wished." She pauses, tilting her head curiously. "Is that what you wish? To become a professor and one day headmaster?"

Riddle makes the final turn with her and leads her through an archway that leads into small amphitheatre like room. From the archway is a sloping ramp that is flanked by stone tiered seating. At the bottom of the ramp there is a semi-circle stage area. The flat side of the amphitheatre is the wall that acts as a background for the lecture or whatever performance is going on. "I do, I want to be Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts. It will work out well, because I'll be ready about the time Professor Lestrange is ready to retire."

The word wall however is perhaps not accurate as that entire wall is a pane of glass and the source of the greenish glow earlier is from it, as whatever daylight outside is filtered through the deep lake waters on the other side of the window. Far center stage, half a foot away from the glass is a large brazier and that is where Riddle goes to. A muggle trench lighter is pulled out of Tom's pocket and is used instead of wand waving to light the brazier. It's quick to light and is very rapidly warming up the small room. "Kettleburn uses this room when he's teaching about the Merfolk and the Squid." He points to the brazier. "The light attracts them sometimes." Gently he unhooks her hand from his elbow and gestures to the stage. "The stage is yours. If you prefer me not to watch, I can do a bit of reading." He pats his robes where he has a book stored in one of the inner pockets.

Samira stares across the amphitheatre with obvious surprise. Not taking any advanced classes with Professor Kettleburn, she's never seen this place. She smiles at the sight of the stage, but then glances up at Riddle with a hint of hesitation. "Mm. It's not that I mind an audience. I'm not embarrassed to perform." She tucks a loose curl behind her ear. "It is an ancient art. Full of tradition and meaning. But when my governess first saw me dancing at my Great Uncle's home, she said I must never let anyone see. And… I didn't want to give anyone false impressions. But you. I wouldn't mind if /you/ watched. You know me well."

Riddle takes a seat on the furthest end of the bottom row of stone benches so that he can sit with his back against the wall and his legs lain out along the bench. "A bit to exotic for the old nan's British sensibilities hmm? Thank you for the confidence."

The lit braziers are quickly warming the room, allowing Samira to shed her outer layers. She sets them aside with care until she stands at last wearing only her school blouse and skirt. She has even slipped out of her shoes. Returning to the far center of the stage, she smiles over at Riddle. "A place like this, for an audience like you, it isn't the time for practice. I will perform. A dance of serpents for you, ya sadiqi so cunning."

Stepping back, she drifts in a little twirl, starting to hum. A slow, exotic tune lifts, trilling in her throat as it arcs. And then her feet stamp out a little beat. With her back to Riddle, the dance begins in her hands. At her sides, they move in a subtle, smooth undulation. Their movement ripples down her arms. And her hands lift, like little cobras lifting their heads for the first time.

The serpents of Samira's arms lift higher, arcing over her head. They entwine in the air, as if searching and seeking. Bit by bit, their movements begin to ripple down her body, making her hips sway. Her hands twist - arms entwining - as the serpents seek some subtle scent. Their movement seems to pull her around to face Riddle. All the while, her soft, sweet voice sways and trills a charmer's chant.

Gazing out at Riddle, the little dancer's hips undulate with a serpentine grace that shouldn't be possible for the human form. The liqiud grace of her undulations flows up her body, all the way to her hands until it seems as if the serpents have taken full posession of her. The girl seems to lose herself in the sensual dance, arching back with her arms still lifted, like a cobra rearing up.

Though she makes it look so easy, her sunkissed skin soon glows with perspiration. The song grows more intense as her breathing comes a bit more labored. She twists, turning on the spot like a coiling little snake. Her cheeks are flushed with effort.

The song lifts, reaching its peak as she yet again arches, further and further, until her hands slink back under her body, between her ankles. And still further her hands continue. With a contortionist's grace, she flows backwards and under through her own legs. With her chin resting on the ground, hiding behind her serpentine arms, the rest of her body follows until she lays flat on the floor before him. The song fades and so do the serpents, folding on the floor to rest and sleep.

With her performance finished at last, she peeks over her arms to see Riddle's response.

Riddle watches with reserved interest from the first movement until the last. A very subtle nod of his head is involuntary along with the beat of the music she hums and taps out with her feet. When she comes to a stop he gives a smile and his hands come together again and again for an applause that echoes through the maze corridors. The movement and the light have brought an audience and a school of fish had floated about in their own dance on the other side of the glass sparkling and shining silver and gold in the brazier light. "Well done. That was amazing. Thank you." He stands up still lightly clapping until he reaches down to offer her help back up.

Samira smiles at Riddle's echoing applause. So soon after dancing, her dark gaze shines bright with expression - even vulnerability. Not used to a British audience, she isn't quite sure what to make of his reserved interest. But the applause pleases her. She accepts his offered hand, clinging to it as she gets to her feet - not quite as steady as she was in the dance. "I'm pleased you liked it. I… um… yes." She drops her gaze. "Once I thought I would be a dancer. That it would be my life. But, I suppose that the house of Slytherin was a good influence on me and I discovered further ambitions… of thwarting death itself."

Riddle makes sure she is steady, holding her gently in place. Only letting go when she seems to be steady. "You can always be a dancer. No matter what your greater calling might be. Even with it being the greatest calling. There will always be time to dance." It's clear without saying as much, that he too and for quite some time has shared the very same ambition.

Samira's soft smile lingers as she gazes up at Riddle. With a light nod, she says "We are both called to great purpose - thwarting death, itself." Dropping her gaze, she begins to drift off and meander around the stage. So soon after her dancing, her movements remain infused with heightened sensuality. "Great ambitions," she murmurs, almost as if to herself. Pausing, she glances over her shoulder at Riddle. "I've been a part of them here at Hogwarts. Sharing what forbidden arts I have." She pauses. "And after I graduate? What then? I know you must have designs in your mind."

Riddle strolls toward the pane of glass and stands between a pair of braziers and with his hands tucked into his pockets he watches the school of fish dancing around each other in hypnotic patterns of motion. "Nothing very different from the path I'm on. Study hard, get good grades. This Holiday will be the last one that I have to either stay here, or go to the Avery's. Finally will be able to be my own man. Not terribly certain what that means for me come summer. But that's some time off still. But beyond a living situation adjustment, same as usual. School, Knights, School, Knights… et cetera."

Samira turns to face him with a tilted head. "Same as usual? Ah. I thought maybe you were devising plans for us. For those who are graduating and will experience new freedoms."

Riddle chuckles silently. "I like how you view me as some Lord and Master. Hate to disappoint, but I don't have grand schemes beyond carrying on as usual. As more and more of the Knight's graduate, I foresee more Hogsmeade gatherings so they can be included in some meetings and goings-on. But I'm not niaeve to think that after graduation many will have the time and attention to give to the Knights. It will be a grand test of loyalty. To see who does hold value in the Knights even after graduation."

Samira's cheeks, still a bit pink, flood with warmth. With an averted gaze and bowed head, she listens to what he forsees. Only as he mentions a test of loyalty does she glance back over at him, head slightly bowed. She tries to tuck the curtain of her curls behind her ear, but it doesn't hold for long until she lifts her head. "I'll be quite busy at St. Mungo's, I imagine. And… with whatever my brother might have in mind for me. Impossible to guess. But if you wish, I will come to Hogsmeade. I'll share all I have."

Riddle pulls one hand out of his pockets to lift it up and place his palm flat on the glass, an aura of steam and frost halo around his hand as the warm appendage meets very cold glass. "It is less about what I wish Samira. It is everything to do with what you do. So it's just a matter of seeing what the future holds. I'm not in Divination class." He angles his head to look towards her enough that she can make out he's smirking.

The smirk keeps Samira a bit off balance. Folding her arms behind her back, grasping her own elbows, she murmurs, "I suppose it's been a while since someone didn't have plans for me. It's… refreshing." She drifts closer and settles beside him, gazing at the frost halo around Riddle's hand. "My own plans… I just want to continue learning the magics I need. I want to practice - to cultivate the skill I need to /properly/ invent the spells I've in mind."

Riddle is a rather excellent listener and his head subtly nods at all the right times to encourage her to continue. "I'm sure you are headed for greatness in whatever you decide to do. Speaking of practicing however, didn't you wish to practice some more? Or are you all danced out?"

Samira smiles up at him. "I'd like a bit more. Practice is different from performance. You are welcome to watch, but I won't be offended if you take out your book to read." She pauses. "Thank you. For bringing me here and for waiting." Her smile quirks a bit wider, a bit impish despite a lingering shyness. And with that, she turns to head back to the center of the stage.

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