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 Match #26, Artemisia and Nikolai
Hailey · 17 · 7th · Undecided · Half-Blood · 6'0"
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Feb 14 2018, 07:47 PM   Link Quote
The Fates must hate Nikolai Volkov. Though his string remained resilient and uncut, the three dark sisters seemed to enjoy tying knots in it, disrupting what the snake believed a peaceful existence. Seventeen years they had tormented him, undeservingly he might add. Unaware what caused their animosity, Nick attempted to bear it as best as he could. He strengthened his scales. Yet just when he thought it safe to shed the skin, a new threat came about to pierce him. Though, in this case, Nick had no one but himself to blame. When he heard that Artemisia de Sainte-Maure had signed him up for the Valentine’s Day match-making event, his instinct was to sign her up in retaliation. Regrettingly, he listened to that instinct. Yet the Fates had planned an unexpected twist.

What had she put on his form that somehow made her appear compatible with what he put for her?

Running his fingers through chestnut hair, the Russian cursed under his breath. After years in the gutters of Petersburg, Nikolai chased away any fears he bore of tight, enclosed spaces. Often times, those spaces served as shortcuts when he delivered the morning paper. However, as Artemisia herself came over to the table, he wondered if he could perhaps put this special skill to use and find some way to hide in some crevice. Anything to get out of eating a sit-down dinner with his housemate. “это пиздец,” he muttered to himself, twisting his golden ring around his fourth finger.

Nick wished he had the brains to recognize one of his bad ideas so he could stop himself before he went through with it. Usually, Mara or Milena stopped him – or at least assisted with the aftermath – like when he forgot his shoes going to the Winter Festival and nearly lost his toes due to a close encounter with frostbite, Mara at least lent him her mittens. But alas, he’d dug his own grave and it was time for him to lay in it. With a forced smile, he pulled out a chair for Artemisia, grasping at his memory for all the polite mannerisms Petra attempted to teach him. The snake gritted his teeth, mentally preparing himself for the string of insults that would likely soon follow. Once Artemisia took her seat, Nick trudged to the other side of the table to do the same. His russet eyes flickered to the candle, considering sticking his sleeve in the fire. Surely if he started burning he could get out of the date, right?

He watched the flames dance, liquid wax swimming around them, as he tapped his fingers on the table. The cotton of his shirt rubbed against his chest, more constricting than he remembered and he tugged at his collar in a futile attempt to loosen it. Seven years ago, Nick would’ve relished in the itch of a woolen jacket because of the warmth it provided. That itch would help him regain feeling in his numbed fingers, tucked in the pockets. However, now, the thin cotton scratching against his skin proved only a nuisance. Nikolai supposed there were times he missed the young boy he used to be – that kid was certainly stronger than he was now. Now he wore fancy clothes, fancy cologne, he feared faded writing on a faded piece paper, and most importantly – the woman sitting across from him.

The Slytherin refused to meet Artemisia’s eyes, finding anyone or anything else to look at. When his gaze settled on Mara sitting across from who he believed to be Yvain Ellsworth, Nick frowned at the Ellsworth septuplet, wishing he actually knew how to tell them apart. Making a mental note to keep an eye on his best friend, he turned back to his date, “Lovely night, isn’t it?”


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Artemisia de Sainte-Maure
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Apr 2 2018, 09:30 PM   Link Quote
Tight lipped and furious had been the mood of the evening as the invitation arrived. Her black lacquered nails had pulled the black ribbon off by its tip and let it fall to her lap, coiling against the cloth of her skirt on her thigh into a little red snake. Then the parchment crackled as she unfurled it, after which it took a few seconds for the stiff paper to crumple in on itself, aided by her fingers, just before it was tossed into the hungry fire. A pleased hissing from the flames filled Artemisia's ears and her cold blue eyes turned away from the golden orange flames to search for Nikolai. He was nowhere to be found in the commons and the witch had found her twitching fingers without skin to dig into. Standing the other snake up would have served him more than right, but then the smug satisfaction that she hadn't shown up played behind her closed lids and the witch gritted her teeth.

Artemisia de Sainte-Maure would not give Nobody Volkov the pleasure of upsetting her. It was with clenched teeth that she turned towards her room and prepared for the evening.

The black dress clung to every one of her curves and dipped low on her back, her shoulder blades framed by the lace edges. Cherry red heels clicked with menace as she entered the hall. All of the tables had been set and the heat of the candles wafted against the exposed parts of her skin. Rolling between her fingers was her wand, her newly lacquered cherry red nails glinting with the firelight like freshly spilled blood. Artemisia's pale skin was creamy, made to seem dewy and perfect with the bouncing hues of red and pink. Her cool slate eyes settled on table number twenty-six and she stalked towards it. Although she may not have the grace of a dancer, or the fluidity of other Pureblood girls, there was a self-aware manner in which she carried herself. Almost as if every movement was lethal, awaiting a blow she'd anticipated.

Artemisia half expected Nikolai to remain seated, but as she approached the snake rose and pulled the chair out for her. The corner of her lips twitched in annoyance. She slid into the seat, her subtle perfume holding a very light trace of Petrichor from working in the greenhouse earlier. She often smelled like that soon after leaving the greenhouses and only a few knew of the scent clinging to her skin. The wan clicked loudly onto the table and while Nikolai looked around she allowed herself to scrutinize him. "Your shoes are tacky, that vest looks worn and I'd rather be sticking pins into my eyes," she said by way of reply. Coolly her voice coiled over the words, slowly her eyes crinkled at their corners and her lips lilted into the semblance of a snake's smile.

She turned to glance over her shoulder, catching sight of the blonde with one of the septuplets. Then her fingernails strummed and her tongue ran along the inside of her mouth, shaping the vowels to the words she'd yet to spit at him. "I see you like barely adolescent bimbos." And she wasn't referring to the blonde's hair color but rather the way the other witch always seemed to smile like n idiot all the time. "I heard she's quite the muggle loving idiot. But you'd know a bit about that, wouldn't you?"

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