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She Doesn't Even Go Here
May 30th, 1889 — Hogwarts Coming Out Ball

Kate hadn't been invited here, but Mrs. Daws, the widow who their father had hired to act as her and Isaac's chaperone while they sat around waiting for a Hogwarts letter, had. She typically didn't go to these sorts of things, she said — which was reasonable, since she had no children of her own and no current interest in society. Kate had convinced her to go this year, though, and to take Kate as her "plus one;" not for the sake of the ball, but because Katherine was desperate to see this school she'd heard so much about. Isaac was too young to get away with coming, but she'd promised to do some reconnaissance and tell him all about it.

She had worn a dress she'd brought with her from Morocco - a comfortable and modest one made of blue and white. Buying a dress would have seemed too much like she was going to a ball to... do ball things, which wasn't really her intention.

She'd left Mrs. Daws for only a moment, to get a drink from the refreshment table. The ball had only just started, and the main event — which she knew nothing about but gathered involved some girls and a staircase — had not yet begun. Someone she passed was talking; she overheard the phrase she isn't out yet. It struck her as an odd thing to say. Out of where?

After having retrieved her drink, she returned to her chaperone and asked curiously, "What does it mean when someone says a girl is out?" She realized only as she said it that the person she'd addressed wasn't Mrs. Daws at all, but only someone wearing the same color. How embarrassing!
Bragi had attended a few Coming Out Balls back home, the largest of which had been at Beauxbatons, but this was different. Nobody did high society like the British, and the setting of Hogwarts was — well, magical. Bragi still found it difficult to tear his eyes from the star-spangled ceiling.

When the Head Girl led the debutantes in a procession of bright and somewhat shy ladyhood, Bragi enjoyed the show with the others. But the truth was, while he found them very pretty, almost mesmerising in such numbers, the idea of courting any one of them made him want to leap up into that starry sky and disappear into the night.

He was disrupted by his reverie by one of the girls who turned suddenly to address him — though by her expression he suspected a case of mistaken identity. "Oh — ah", he began, realising the swarthy young lady could not be a debutante or she would not be asking this. Bragi elegantly attempted an answer. "It means out in society, with a mind to being courted by a suitable gentleman."
"Oh," Katherine responded, face flushing slightly. Once explained it seemed very simple, and given the context of the evening she really ought to have known. This gentleman (however had she mistaken a young man for Mrs. Daws?!) must think her incredibly ignorant. Perhaps he was evening wondering what she was doing here, when she clearly knew nothing of English society and could not possibly be invested in the ... out-ness of the young ladies.

"The school is very beautiful," she blurted, to distract from the stupidity of her previous question. "This is my first time seeing it. Did you attend here?"
Aw he could see why boys were supposed to fancy girls — this one was rather sweet with her blushing cheeks and charming fumbling for social graces.

Er... not that Bragi didn't fancy girls...

"It is beautiful", he agreed wholeheartedly, glad to find someone in these masses who was as curious and overwhelmed as he was. "But no, I attended Beauxbatons. What about —" but it was then that Mrs Wilson, who had been lingering nearby with a friend, noticed Bragi talking to a girl and swung by for social graces. She smiled at the young stranger, and glanced around surreptitiously for her chaperone, before beelining straight for introductions. "Oh Mr Holm, who is your handsome friend?"
Beauxbatons — that was in France. This young man wasn't the first Beauxbatons alum that she had come across; there was a modest population of France expats in Morocco, mostly landowners, as well as other areas of Europe such as Spain and Portugal. She'd probably met more Beauxbatons graduates than Hogwarts graduates, truth be told, despite being full-blooded English herself.

"I was tutored," she admitted, before the other woman had approached and changed the subject. Katherine realized with some surprise that neither of these people knew who she was, or what her father was famous for — which was probably why the conversation had progressed as far as it had, and as pleasantly as it had. She had met with so many law enforcement officers and discourteous stares since her arrival in England that she had forgotten not everyone would know her out of hand.

"Katherine — Russo," she said, deciding spontaneously to change her surname. It was nice not to have her family's reputation follow her, she'd decided. Her picture had never been in the paper, so she was unlikely to be recognized — her younger brother, Isaac, wouldn't have the same luxury.
Mrs Wilson didn’t have much luck catching the eye of the young lady’s chaperone, so contended herself with her own introductions, politely presenting herself as Mrs Wilson and her acquaintance as Mr Bragi Holms. Once that was done, she more or less left “the children” to it, for she was distracted by a gaggle of charming debutantes as they fluttered by.

Bragi, in the meantime, was content with the company of just the one. He could not help but notice that Miss Katherine Russo was somewhat withdrawn, and he wondered if she’d been prodded and impelled into coming here. ”I imagine you are not quite as enamoured by the proceedings as my friend Mrs Wilson”, he remarked to Miss Russo, smiling slightly as Mrs Wilson watched the latest dance with unconfined glee. Such was the older lady's twitchy delight, Bragi could not help but theorise she might've been quite the fly-by-sky when she was a girl.
Kate couldn't speak to Mrs. Wilson's feeling on the matter, but she was quite entranced by everything that was going on around her. Perhaps she just wasn't showing it as plainly as the energetic older woman; she was more quiet by nature, an observer. The hall was beautiful, though, and the women all looked quite beautiful to her, too — although she could hardly picture herself in anything so tight, particularly around the middle. English women must have been a good deal thinner than her, she thought, or else they were very good at using illusion magic to look thinner.

"It's all very grand," she said. "But I'm afraid I don't quite understand it all, yet. This is only my first English ball."
Despite the young lady's air of foreignness and naiveté, it still came as a slight surprise that she hadn't a single scuttick of experience in English society at her age, to the point at which she didn't even understand the terminology. Bragi found this inexperience very interesting and fresh, and he offered a reassuring smile. Had Mrs Wilson still been paying attention to Miss Katherine, she would've thought her a most alarming creature — but Bragi did not.

"May I ask where you're from? I cannot quite place your accent."

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