Charming

Full Version: Swallow Me Whole
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March 17th, 1890 — Generic Grand house in Hogsmeade

Samuel was, under other circumstances, a generally social animal.  Balls, parties, and other events were part of his lot in life, and he rather enjoyed it but recently…well since the debacle with Melody he didn’t feel much like partying.  The embarrassment of having been ditched by his fiancé to run off with a man beneath her station was truly galling and truly humiliating.  He wanted to stay indoors until everyone forgot about this entire awful situation.  But social events were his job and his superiors in Washington expected him to do what was required of him.  So to avoid their wrath and make all social effort that was expected of a man of his age and station he had thrown himself into his ‘work’-attending event after event until he was rather fatigued and couldn’t differentiate one family from another.

He had danced with 6 very pretty girls, another obligation which he had imposed upon himself, for the gentleman were too few and there were many young ladies keen to dance and show their figures to what gentlemen there were through spirited dancing. After the 6th however, he had reached his limit of dancing and required some solitude, to better brace himself for the continued socialisation, and continued dancing that this evening promised to hold.

He slipped from the main assembly room, and into the quiet, and cool drawing room. It was a pleasant change from the noise and hubbub of the ball room. He was sure his host would take no issue with his presence for the lamps were lit – the room had been set aside for guest use, but the delights of the ballroom had kept it empty. He sat himself at the piano forte by the window and rested his hands on the keys and began to play – a few minutes he promised himself, a few minutes respite and he would return to the merriment.


Hulring- ish
Hope generally enjoyed the social life though she was apt to drift off into her own little world. She had danced a time or two but most of her time had been spent admiring the decor. She had been permitted to survey the garden of the home much to her delight. Her chaperone was growing a little exasperated, forseeing a future where Hope would be a spinster like Witch Weekly had once said despite the fact she was years away from such a fate.

Coming back into the home, she was walking by the drawing room when she heard the sound of music playing in the drawing room. Peeking in, she saw a man with his hands on the keys. She did not know him but that hardly stopped Hope from stepping into the room, her chaperone dutifully staying in a seat by the door to allow an acquaintance to occur without it being seen as untoward.

"You play quite well. Did you tire of twirling this way and that?" She asked curiously since there was barely a soul except for themselve and her dear chaperone in the room. It was considered early and many souls were still energetic and looking for their own turn upon the dance floor.
Samuel didn't stop playing as a voice interrupted his thoughts and his playing, and inspite of himself, and his current darker mood he smiled. He was indeed tired to dancing, tired of just a bit everything to do with this country, he wanted nothing better than to leave it all behind him. But Evelyn would never forgive him if she never got the chance to debute in England.

'thank you' he responded to her initial compliment, his speech twinges with his American accent. The tune melted into a sonata. 'my mother always did insist on my practicing every day' Samuel admitted, 'she will be pleased to know it was worth it'. He turned his head, his fingers still moving over the keys. 'do you play?' He was surprised by the young woman in the doorway, the sort of pretty face that was usually kept very busy at balls like this one, and didnt spend social events looking after moping diplomats
The man had an accent, an American one, if she had to guess. She privately wondered what part of America he had come from. She had heard tales of the place and that they had more relaxed customs than their own society.

Hope smiled, hers was the sort that tended to show itself in all of her facial features. "I do," Hope answered as she came the rest of the way into the room so that she could lightly touch the pianoforte with her fingers. "I tend towards more cheerful melodies but can play most anything if I have the sheets for unfamiliar pieces." He seemed to be in a gloomy sort of mood but that did nothing to temper Hope's own generally cheerful disposition.
'please' he said, indicating the seat beside his own on the long piano bench. 'educate me on...cherrier tunes' he asked but hadnt actually stopped playing himself, but since his own tune required the lower range of notes, it left the upper ranges available for her to use.

He hadnt allowed himself to spend too much time in studing her face- she was pretty, beautiful even but that had gotten Samuel into trouble before and was the cause of his current bad mood - beautiful women with fine eyes. Instead he kept his head bent, his eyes on the keys, his hands, and the place where her slim white fingers trailed over the instrument.

'i dont believe we've been introduced' he asked, still subtly avoiding her gaze.
Hope smiled and settled onto the piano bench beside him. He had continued to play and after a moment of studying the keys and which melody it was that he was playing, she joined in. Her more cheerful, upbeat melody blending rather nicely with his more somber one. She was no composer but she did have an ear for adjusting tune and blending existing pieces.

Hope took the way that he seemed to avoid looking at her for a shy nature. "My name is Miss Hope Crawford. I live right here in Hogsmeade," Hope said when he prompted her for an introduction. "And am I correct in my guess that you are an American?" She did not think she had ever knowingly met one before.
He had perhaps expected her to play the same melody as he was playing but in a major key, thus making it more merry, or to simply play a merry tune of her own inclination without reference to the tune he was playing. When the tune matched and complimented his own so well he could not help but let out a hearty laugh at how inventive she had been. He continued to play, keeping his own tune consistent and simple, so he might better focus on the conversation rather than his own clumsy playing.

'It is a pleasure to meet you perceptive Miss Crawford' he said with a lop sided smile, his glance sidelong at her, still not trusting himself to look at her fully. 'I am indeed an American - for my sins.' his own tune finished and, rather than letting the music, the excuse he was making for this conversation lull, he simply started over again. 'Samuel St.John-Black, Magical Congress of the United States.' he greeted, ordinarily he would have offered his hand, but again, he was enjoying this easy rhythm they had settled into and didn’t want to break it.

’You are a native of England I presume Miss Crawford?’ he asked, ’which might well make this a diplomatic mission.’ he asked his tone teasing.

@Hope Crawford
Hope smiled as the man laughed, a hearty one at that! It was a rather nice laugh, she thought. She did hope that he wasn't feeling as gloomy as he had initially appeared or at least had been put in a bit of a better mood.

"A pleasure to meet you as well," she said before smiling as he confirmed her guess that he was an American. She wondered if he was any sort of relation to the Black's she was aware of. "England, yes and now, of course Scotland," she said, referring to the fact that Hogsmeade was in Scotland. It had been her home now for much longer than England had been. "So I suppose you have two for the price of one."
The distinction between England and Scotland was rather lost on Samuel – the UK as a whole was rather generally referred to as England  colloquially in his head – although he was sure he should probably pay more attention to the distinction between the two.  He didn’t try and explain this to the young lady – but instead he offered a smiling nod and glanced back at the piano lest he find himself enjoying himself too much rather than in his self imposed penance.  Samuel didn’t want to admit that he was still avoiding looking at the young lady – but since his last troubles had been caused by setting eyes on a pretty woman at a party….

’So Ambassador’ he asked, his eyes set on his fingers on the keys and not the whisper of the material of her gown which he could see in his peripheral vision, where his black suit clad legs sat beside the expanse of her skirts.  He could feel the way she carried herself as she sat beside him on the bench, she ha the bearing of  a woman of breeding, or at least one who was well trained in the airs and graces expected of well bred women.  ’Are you long in society Miss?’ he asked,  ’Are you fully qualified to tell me all a foreigner need know about life in England?’ he caught himself, ’or Scotland?’ he allowed himself a small smile – although he did realise he would have to look at her eventually.

@Hope Crawford
Hope could not hold back a chuckle at being addressed as 'ambassador'. She was easily amused most of the time and was a girl of good humor. "For two years soon," she said though she didn't know if that fully qualified her for anything beyond her own opinions. "I can tell you about my life and then you can compare it to others you meet but I don't know how qualified I am."

@Samuel St.John-Black
[post]’I will take what company I can get Miss Crawford’ Samuel mused, he was awful at brooding, it didn;’t suit him and he lacked the dedication to it. Anger – he could do, sarcasm – he was a pro but sullen brooding that usually wasn’t his style. He knew that if he had been in his own home, or more accurately in New York, that Roscoe would have hit him with aquamenti, a tickling charm or something bothersome, of Evie would tickle him until he fell about laughing. Sullen behaviour had never been tolerated in their household and the siblings had all learned very early that humour was a more pleasant, and indeed more effective way of breaking moods than reprimands and scolding.

Samuel stopped playing and turned to face the young lady on the piano bench beside him. ’I would love to know more about you?’ he said with a warm smile. 'Starting with how ou play so well?'
A light tinkle of a laugh escaped her when the man said that he would take whatever company he could get. Hope was glad to see that he wasn't looking quite so sullen. Perhaps she had just caught him on a bad day and being sullen was not his usual mode.

She smiled at the man when he said he wanted to know more about her. "Most ladies of my station are taught from a very young age, I believe. I have practiced my playing for many hours though my music tutor also said I had a sense for beautiful things."
She was beautiful – he was sure there were few red blooded men who would argue that point, petite, blonde, doe eyed and a cupids bow that curled with her light smile. She looked like sunshine, like she didn’t belong in a dusky drawing room, but outside in sunlight, amidst living growing things – her airy manner needed an airy setting. He would like to see her somewhere like that.

He smiled warmly, ’I might be starting to gain an appreciation for beautiful things’, and then realising just how cheesy that line might have sounded he dropped his gaze to her hands, watching her play. ’You are certainly better at it than I am.’


@Hope Crawford
Now that she had a good look at him and he wasn't looking so sullen, Hope thought the man looked rather dashing. A smiling face suited him quite well which affirmed her thought that he was not a usually sullen sort.

"There can be beauty found in most things, I always personally thought," Hope said as she kept playing, mildly oblivious to the mans cheesy line. "Do they not play music as much in America?" Here, it was considered untoward for a young lady to play as a profession but they were sometimes called on to liven up a house party or such with a bit of playing at the pianoforte.
’Indeed’ he affirmed, taking another moment to look at the young lady beside him on the bench. ’My mother is an excellent player, but my sister’ he sucked in his teeth, ’lets just say that what musical talent I have is all that was passed on to our generation of the family’ he laughed. Evie had never shown any particular interest in the piano and it had been Samuel who had allowed his mother to teach him to play. Samuel could not claim to be a virtuoso, learning had taken rather a lot of practice and dedication but playing the piano (however badly) was his escape. He would send hours playing; sonatas and concertos that he had played so often he knew them by memory. He might not have been an especially good player, but he was an avid one. He had even bought one of those new fangled phonographs for almost every room.

@Hope Crawford @Roberto Devine
Hope could not help a girlish giggle when the gentleman implied that his sister did not play very well. "Did your mother and sister accompany you to the United Kingdom?" She asked curiously as she continued playing. She did suppose that she should eventually join the actual ball but she was rather enjoying her conversation with the no longer so sullen Mister St. John-Black.
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