A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

Welcome Back! It's time for our 20th Start of Term!

 #34052  by Astrid Iver
Location: Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire • Date: Early January 2004

Astrid stood proudly at the back of the restaurant area of Vaska , a smirk starting to grace her lips as she watched the guests indulge and delight in her newest creation. Many of these socialites had been invited exclusively by her, though some had followed the hype and swindled themselves an invitation to the opening. Astrid couldn't blame them for wanting to do so. But if she was honest, she didn't care much if they let the slightly lower aristocrats into the restaurants - after all, it was the below level that required the most attention.

It was almost time for the first ever fighting ring to premiere. Many of those who knew it was going to happen had subtly began to make their way toward the spiral staircase, trading knowing glances to each other. This was a shared secret, and everybody seemed to enjoy being a part of something new, exciting, and sinister. As far as Astrid was aware, anyway.

To her, this was the opportunity to show off her prowess in the delectable arts. She could barely contain her excitement; she had a feeling there would be sighs and gasps and squeals of terror as the brawl commenced. She also had to presume that it would become a weekly occurrence to many, an almost addiction to the finer sports and extremities.

Astrid almost lulled herself into a daydream before snapping herself out of it, instinctively placing he hand on her stomach. She almost hoped someone asked her why she wasn't drinking the expensive champagne along with everyone else - perhaps it was just obvious.
 #34061  by Michelle La Fratta
Michelle playfully chided her father as he and her mother began to get ready to leave now that their meal was over. "C'mon, dad, live a little," she'd said to him. But he declined, saying that it wouldn't be good if he was seen down there.

It seemed Michelle was the La Fratta with a proclivity for scandal and rumor. The insinuation stung a little, but why? She'd been dealing with that public perception of herself for years at this point.

So, without further hesitation, she joined in making her way downstairs, catching a glimpse of her parents chatting excitedly about the food they'd had before heading home.
 #34078  by Astrid Iver
Astrid scoured the crowd with her eyes, oggling the potential patrons. She had the feeling many of these guests would be willing to take part in gambling, perhaps pay to have the first ever show debut result in their chosen arrangement. She was excited to see people's creativity in that regard. She could bet any money that as time went on, a subtle competition would arise where guests would try to out-do each other with more extreme paid endings to shows. She was intrigued to how far their ideas would go, just to show off their superiority in the field.

Or perhaps she was being too optimistic regarding that.

Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted Michelle La Fratta. She lifted her brow, and took a step toward the woman as she approached the stairs, a sly smirk coming to Astrid's lips. So Michelle was going to indulge in her curiosity, was she? How delightful.

"Michelle," She started, surprisingly warm with the use of her first name. "I'm so pleased you decided to come. I hope everything was satisfactory with your meal, and I am even more so impressed that you have decided to join us downstairs. It really is a thrilling experience."
 #34106  by Ginny Weasley
The Vaska. The owner of the Harpies had invited her players to this lavish new restaurant's opening amid the best of wizarding best, promising utter spectacle. Ginny herself really only attended because a group of her close teammates had egged her on. Lithe as she looked in black tie attire, Ginny was an athlete, not a socialite, and she felt rather out of place amid the frothing crowd of the magical world's well-to-do. She stuck close to her fellow Harpies around their table, allowing herself to enjoy the hors d'oeuvres quite liberally (they really were something).

Dinner ended, and Ginny found herself being tugged at the hand by their enthusiastic Keeper - maybe a drink or two more excitable than normal - toward the show in the basement she simply had to see.

"All right, all right," Ginny said with a hesitant smile, looser herself now with a glass of red wine in hand. The two of them settled on the lower floor beside a pair of well-dressed women Ginny felt she aught to know through some connection or another, but whose names eluded her. Ginny craned her neck quizzically, unsure of what the "show" she had been told of actually entailed.
 #34247  by Michelle La Fratta
Michelle looked up when she heard her name. She smiled when she saw Astrid and then laughed at what she said. "I couldn't miss it," she said. "I went to an underground boxing match when I was younger. Went home with one of the boxers."

Michelle turned her head when she saw another woman pass. "And I get to rub elbows with people like Ginny Weasley of the Holyhead Harpies," she whispered to Astrid.
 #34248  by Astrid Iver
Astrid smirked wickedly at Michelle's comment, nodding slightly, her eyes dragging over Ginny.

"Mm, I wouldn't mind doing more than just rubbing elbows." She spoke lowly in return, though she blinked after, almost as though realising she shouldn't have said that to someone other than her husband. She cleared her throat a bit abruptly, sipping at her virgin cocktail after to try and recompose herself.

"It is very interesting just who the curious ones are. I never expected to see a famous Chaser indulging in the...delectable." She hummed. "But if that is the desire, I will supply proficiently."

She looked over to Ginny again, raising her glass to her as the other happened to look over, clearly offering a courteous gesture. She would likely be welcome to come over and chat if she saw fit.
 #34514  by Ginny Weasley
The hair on the back of Ginny's neck stood on end, like someone was looking at her. Sipping her drink Ginny cast a sideways glance first left over her teammate's shoulder, then right, at the pair of women she had noticed earlier, talking with their heads together. She caught only a tiny snippet of their conversation: the word delectable, floating over the elegant blonde's tongue like a river. It struck her an odd choice of word for the given situation. The tingling on the back of her neck grew into a shiver.

The blonde caught Ginny looking. She raised her glass ever so slightly. Feeling the curiosity get the better of her, Ginny floated over.

"I realize I've been foolish," Ginny said to Astrid; suddenly it had come to her. "My friend over there described you to me when she gave me my invitation. This place is yours." She lifted her glass and smiled softly. "Congratulations on the opening. It's a gorgeous estate."
 #34612  by Astrid Iver
Astrid offered a passing eye at Michelle as Ginny approached.

"Indeed it is. A little project of mine, now made a reality." She responded, smiling wickedly. "And I very much know about you, Ms Weasley. I have seen you perform once or twice in games before. I am curious what has brought you to my establishment."

Of course, she had been set up in a rather secluded box during Quidditch matches, but that didn't make her any less interested or gripped during performances. Perhaps Ginny was here to see a specific performance of her own.

"This is Michelle La Fratta." she introduced the woman beside her. "A good friend of mine, and also very influential in the games."
 #34636  by Ginny Weasley
"I wish I could say it was my idea," Ginny answered Astrid, "but truth be told I was roped along just a little bit. Our Keeper over there, Elise Van der Aa, knows you, I think. She wouldn't let me say no to dinner and a show. Said it would be unbelievable."

Ginny was beginning to wonder if Elise had been descriptive enough in describing the Vaska. Dinner had been exquisite, if a little more chichi than Ginny usually went for, but there was a definite air of mystery surrounding this basement.

Ginny shook herself of the feeling, though, and smiled in greeting at Michelle. "Nice to meet you -- Ginny Potter," she said, shaking Michelle's hand. "Your dress is amazing, I love it."
 #34687  by Michelle La Fratta
"Thank you," Michelle cooed, smiling as she shook the chaser's hand. "It's a Di Pietro design. And a pleasure to meet you as well." She brought her hand back down to her side.

"Your match a few weeks ago was spectacular," Michelle continued. "Astrid and I were beside ourselves."
 #34752  by Astrid Iver
Ah yes, Ginny Potter. They were apparently married now; it made sense. A top athlete playing happy families with The Boy Who Lived. Of course, Nathan would not be too impressed since he had been born to a very...pro-pureblood family. She herself was more accustomed to purebloods, but Nathan even had the middle name of Gellert. It was very evident exactly what his family would think of her brushing elbows with someone so closely associated with Harry Potter.

Come to think of it, wasn't Nathan's mother in Azkaban? Pity.

"You were simply exquisite." Astrid complimented, and brought her hand up and clicked her fingers. A server stepped forward and leaned in to listen to the order about to be given. "Go and ensure a private booth is reserved for Mrs Potter and her friend. I would like them to experience the exhibition without restriction. Oh, and keep their glasses topped. To the rim."

The server nodded and then turned to make arrangements, Astrid's eyes falling back on Ginny. She seemed to hold them there for a moment, almost burning into her soul before flicking her gaze to Michelle.

"Arrangements have already been made for you, my dear. As always."
 #34758  by Ginny Weasley
"Oh, you're too kind. I'm sure it looked flashy, but what it really was was bloody exhausting," Ginny said, remembering the match against Uruguay. A tricky defense and some incredible beaters on the opposing team meant that Ginny and her fellow chasers had been forced into one strenuous flying formation after another. After three hours of constant flips and rolls, Ginny's arms felt like custard and she thought she may never cake off the layer of sweat she'd accumulated. She complained to Harry afterward, who teased her that a boring match would have made her even more irritable (he was right, though of course she'd never admit that).

"Oh, you don't have to - " Ginny started to stay, as Astrid snapped her fingers and a server appeared out of thin air; but she stopped herself. "Thank you," she said earnestly. "You know how to spoil your guests."

"Will you join us for a little while?" Ginny asked Michelle. She'd just spotted Elise, busy chatting animatedly a few tables away; Ginny knew better to interrupt her when she was on a roll.
 #35125  by Astrid Iver
Astrid smirked to herself.

"Wonderful; I do love when guests bond over such a topic. Don't get into trouble," she smirked at Michelle. "Well, try not to get into too much." She altered, offering a sly wink after.

With that, she cleared her throat, offering a small nod of her head to Ginny before turning away to tend to other guests making their way down the stairs.
 #35234  by Ginny Weasley
The server Astrid had summoned had impeccable manners. He led Ginny and Michelle toward a cordoned-off sectioned of seating elevated over the rest of the crowd, sure to offer an excellent view of the spectacle that was to come. Whatever that might be.

"Do you two know each other well?" Ginny asked Michelle, as they settled in their soft, sumptuous leather seats. "It's been a little while since I met anybody so... well, memorable, I suppose."