(1941-12-14) Holiday Plans
Details for Holiday Plans
Summary: Mackenzie, Samira, and Oberon discuss plans for the Christmas holiday
Date: 14 December, 1941
Location: Slytherin Common Room

The weather outside is cold and blustery, but here in the Slytherin Common Room it's warm and comfortable. Candles are lit all around to stave off the evening's darkness and the fire is burning merrily, wafting off heat into the room. Various students linger about, places taken in chairs and couches, studying for finals or just socializing among their friends.

Mackenzie is sitting alone in the middle of a couch by the fire. She stares into it intently, her mind somewhere distant, the noise of the Common Room not bothering her. In her lap is her Transfiguration book, though it hasn't been cracked open since she sat down. She runs her hands softly over the cover, fingers tracing the embossing and embellishments of it inattentively.

Samira slinks into the Common Room, rather late coming back from dinner. So often, she is one of the last to arrive for dinner, with only a little while to eat before the food vanishes from the tables. Nice and full, rather drowsy, she drifts over to the Common Room fireplace. "Baaarid 'awi," she murmurs to herself, reaching out to the flames. Turning to warm her rear, her eyes settle on Mackenzie. She tilts her head, watching the other girl with the closed book.

The door from the labyrinth creaks open, letting in the chuckling voice of Oberon Lestrange. "Was he seriously crying? Merlin…that's pathetic." Oberon steps through the portal, with Niles Avery on his heels. The older boy scans the room, his eyes settling on the girls by the fireplace. As Avery slips off to the dormitory, Oberon peels out of his robe and tosses it over the back of the couch before flopping down next to his cousin. He taps the cover, smirking at Mackenzie. "It isn't going to read itself, cousin."

Mackenzie starts hard at Oberon's comment, looking to him with wide eyes for a long moment. Reality coming back to her, she rests her hand against her thumping heart and her face breaks out in a smile as she laughs. "You scared the shit out of me," she says, "You should give warning next time. Cough or something." She shakes her head roughly before looking down at the Transfiguration book in her lap. "I wish it would," she says, "Make life much easier."

Samira's dark gaze darts to Oberon the moment he enters the Common Room, chuckling. Silhouetted by the fireplace, she remains quite still, eyes averted, as he approaches. The cousins are in her usual place by the fire. She looks over at them. Silent, she slowly slinks to settle in Riddle's usual chair with her knees folded over an arm of the chair. Her gaze is cautious yet steady as she watches them.

Oberon chuckles, shaking his head. "You must have been worlds away if that scared you. You feeling okay?" His eyes slide over the Samira, gathering a mischievous gleam as they settle on her. "Did you cast a Confundus Charm on my cousin, Prince?" Despite his playful smirk, there is a certain edge to the way he asks the accusatory question.

"Oh, yes, I am just fine," Mackenzie says to Oberon, glancing over to Samira, "I don't believe Miss Prince has afflicted me any." She reaches up and runs her fingers through her hair, spreading the strands about her shoulders roguishly. "I was just a bit distracted in thought,"

"I cast nothing," assures Samira, watching Oberon as one might track a chandelier moments from falling. As she glances to Mackenzie, she manages a faint smile. "Your thoughts held you quite captive. You didn't see me standing before you."

Oberon's eyes remains fixed on Samira as he nudges Mackenzie. "You can't be too careful. Samira's a sneaky snake. You've got to watch her or she'll slither where she shouldn't." He belts out an insincere laugh before finally freeing Samira from his chilly gaze. "So what's got you so distracted, cousin?"

"Nothing," Mackenzie responds, shaking her head as she reaches up and rubs at the back of her neck awkwardly. "Ah, tell me, are you looking forward to holidays? What are your plans for them?" she diverts the conversation fairly obviously. Looking to Oberon, her gaze is intense and focused, as if he were the only thing in her entire world.

Samira has narrowed her eyes at Oberon before. Or ignored him. But this time, she doesn't quite seem to do either. She watches him with silent caution. Only as he returns his attention to Mackenzie does her gaze drop. But as Mackenzie directs a question of her own to her cousin, she peeks back over at them both.

"I imagine Father will have at least one dinner party. I'm sure you're invited. You too, Prince." Oberon flashes a wolfish smile to Samira. "But I'm actually going to be working for a lot of the holiday. Father want to do a new inventory of his artefacts, and he's having a lot of old ones uncrated. It will be good experience for my future as a curse-breaker."

Mackenzie nods at Oberon as he speaks. "Sounds like an interesting break you have planned," she says, rubbing her thumbs over her book, "I don't have nearly so much of note going on. Though, come to think of it, I may go visit Father once I turn seventeen. Mother couldn't stop me then."

Mackenzie nods at Oberon as he speaks. "Sounds like an interesting break you have planned," she says, rubbing her thumbs over her book, "I don't have nearly so much of note going on. My cousin, John Carrow says he will invite me to some of his parties, so at least it will get me out of my mother's house some."

Samira eases lower in the chair, until she can rest her cheek against its arm. In a soft, hushed tone, she murmurs, "Might be you go to Egypt one day and work with my father too. He still seeks treasures, I'm told. Many curses still to break." Glancing from Oberon to Mackenzie, she asks, "Is she strict about you leaving otherwise?"

Oberon nods. "No doubt. I'd wager there are more curse-breakers working in Egypt than anywhere else in the world." He tilts his head to Mackenize, awaiting her answer to Samira's question. He's never been particularly invested in that branch of the family, so perhaps it's time to learn a thing or two about his relatives.

Mackenzie nods her head once to Samira. "Mother is strict about anything she can be, ever since they took Father away," she says, talking about her father's imprisonment flippantly, "It's like she can't handle life without him there." She rolls her eyes broadly in annoyance.

Samira nods, watching Mackenzie. "Might be. Or perhaps, all her love goes to you. All her worries and hopes?" Her eyes flit to Oberon, ever cautious of his presence, but looking to Mackenzie, she adds, "Though there are many reasons to be strict."

"You should come stay with us," Oberon offers. "Surely she couldn't object to that. Father wouldn't mind, and he's not the sort to stick his nose into everything."

Mackenzie cocks her head curiously at Oberon, pondering him for a long moment before answering. "I will write to her about it," she says, "I expect she would let me, yes. Thank you, cousin."

Samira blinks, glancing at Oberon to watch him a bit as Mackenzie does. But returning her gaze to Mackenzie, she adds, "Perhaps tell her he will be helping you get ahead in your N.E.W.T.s. Might help."

Oberon shrugs. "Of course. We're family. That means we have to look out for each other…sometimes from other family." He chortles, a little too amused at his own joke. "I suppose I could help you study. I'll be fairly busy with the inventory work. But you'd be welcome to help. You might learn something useful. Merlin knows my father will be glad to regale us with stories about how he acquired ever piece in his collection."

"That sounds really nice," Mackenzie says, smiling brightly at Oberon, "A much better break than I had in store for me at home. I'll send an owl to her immediately." Her pleasure at the idea is clear from her every expression, an almost relief having come over her as she grins.

Samira smiles, watching the cousins. "Perhaps you will discover an interest in curse-breaking. Mm. Though perhaps your mother would not be so keen on that. Mine wouldn't have. Word your letter with care."

"Grand," Oberon says with a broad smile. "Maybe we'll have some of those old artefacts on display by the time we have our dinner party. I'm sure there are a few you'd like to see, Samira. Father must have been on a few dozen expeditions to Egypt."

Mackenzie turns her attention finally from Oberon, though her glee is still evident in her face as she looks to Samira. She takes the moment to look the other girl over slowly, as if trying to memorize her every feature before her eyes focus on hers again.

Samira's attention flits to Oberon, a hint of caution returning. But she nods with a faint smile. "I'd like that. And to hear his stories of his adventures with my father. Would be nice." But as Mackenzie studies her, Samira's gaze darts back to her. The close regard of both Lestrange cousins seems to draw out a caution she can't quite hide.

"Believe me, all you need to do to hear my father's stories is ask. He's more than happy to share. He'll keep you up all night with it." Oberon chuckles. Despite the slight teasing tone, there is an unquestionable reverence when he speaks of his father. "Mackenzie, what are you studying to do after Hogwarts?"

Mackenzie sighs softly, turning her attention back to Oberon. "I'm thinking about focusing more heavily on my Transfiguration, as if I weren't already doing well in it, but trying to get even better and maybe applying to teach the subject."

Samira blinks, looking curious. "At Hogwarts, can a student so soon become a teacher? At Heka, most of our instructors were at the end of long, distinguished careers. To teach was the final stage, passing on their wisdom."

"That's usually true here, too," Oberon says with a shrug. "There's Aczel. He's sort of young. But he's supposed to be some kind of genius. I suppose Professor Palancher is fairly young, too. But she's teaching Muggle Studies. I'm fairly sure that even Tash could teach that class."

Mackenzie makes a sour face at the mention of Muggle Studies. "I mentioned my desire to Professor Pettigrew and she didn't dissuade me from it, so I assumed it was possible," she says in a reasonable tone of voice, "Perhaps I should speak with the Headmaster about it, though. He would definitely have more insight."

A subtle smirk twitches at Samira's lips at Oberon's comment on Muggle Studies. But looking to Mackenzie, Samira nods. "If that seems the way to go about it. There is something to be said to a teacher devoted to /teaching/. They seem to focus more on that. Where I am from, we must struggle to understand and follow, to keep to ancient traditions."

"Well, unless Pettigrew is planning on retiring soon, I wouldn't hold your breath, cousin. It's her job you'd be taking." Oberon drags his gaze back to Samira, sighing. "You know, for all that you talk about Heka, you could be describing Hogwarts. Maybe Dumbledore and the other blood traitors are trying to step on tradition, but there are plenty of us keeping it alive."

Mackenzie gives a grimace. "'Step on tradition' is a mild way to put it," she says drolly, "They are outright ruining this school. A half-blood in Slytherin?" She shakes her head, disgust clear on her features. "Repulsive."

Samira shakes her head. "Too much tradition can be oppressive. Suffocating. But, I've said before, this was the only house that made sense. It's simply natural to divide us by heritage. And in Slytherin's case, it's against the wishes of the founder yes?"

Oberon snorts, nodding. "Yes. Salazar Slytherin could already see how Muggle blood was weakening magic, and his house became the last bastion for purity. Three other houses for half-bloods, and they're trying to foist them on us now. I don't envy what you'll have to deal with next year. You know they'll only keep trying to erode what makes this house great. You've got to fight to keep Slytherin's vision alive."

Mackenzie just shakes her head in disappointment, looking down for a moment at her Transfiguration book, forgotten in her lap. She runs a hand over the cover softly before relaxing it on top and rubbing her thumb over the embossing slowly. She can't hold still. "Wouldn't that be a thing," she says, giving a slight grin, "Putting all of the Half-bloods in one house and all of the Mudbloods in another. Make it very easy to tell who was worth spending your time on."

This sort of talk usually bores her, but she tries not to let it show as much now. "Mm. That's exactly how it's done at Heka. We couldn't imagine it any other way. And they aren't rude to us like many of them here are. It's simply the accepted nature of things. A wise tradition." Samira shrugs, gazing off towards the fireplace.

Oberon would be appalled that anyone could be bored at this subject. What could be more important? "We were halfway there under Flint. I'd bet you fifty Galleons that S.C.U.M.S. was just the first step toward reorganising the houses by blood status. Honestly, even 'half-blood' is too broad. It should be broken up further. I mean, let's be realistic. There are plenty of half-bloods that are far more pure than others. The fact that someone with generations of wizard blood is given the same label as someone with an actual Muggle parent is insulting."

Mackenzie nods to Oberon before suddenly and mightily yawning. "I think my end to the evening has come," she says, stretching in place, "Time for me to go crash in bed." She smiles warmly at Oberon, saying, "Thanks again for the offer. It will be a relief to be out of Mother's house."

Samira's gaze darts to Oberon before she looks up at Mackenzie. In a soft, subdued tone, she says, "Sleep well, Mackenzie." She shifts a bit in Riddle's chair before the fire, glancing back over at Oberon.

Oberon dips his head magnanimously, like some benevolent lord gracing his subject with goodwill. "Of course, cousin. It will be good to fill the house more. It can be rather large and empty most of the time." He gives Mackenzie a light pat on the shoulder. "Sleep well."

"Goodnight, you both," she says, glancing between the two once more before shoving her book back in her bag and picking it up as she stands, headed for the dorms.

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