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05 December 2012 @ 07:16 am
Fic: Suitability, or, Malfoys Always Dress for Dinner for doraeazure  
Title: Suitability, or, Malfoys Always Dress for Dinner
Author: ???
Rating: PG (for language only)
Length (for fic) ~3400
Character(s): Ron, Hermione, Harry, Ginny, Draco, next-gen kids
Warnings: None
Author's Notes: Anyone who requests snarky!Draco has won a million wins, in my book, though I’m not sure he’s as snarky as I had wanted him to be here. Thanks for the great ideas, and I hope this is close to what you were hoping for! Happy Hols!



December 11

“Please, Dad??” Albus begged, his puppy-dog eyes staring out of the Floo beseechingly up at Harry.

Harry stared blankly at Ginny, mouth agape. “You want … what?”

“Oh, come on, Dad,” James butted in. “You heard us the first time! He’s not a bad bloke, all things considered. He’s even in Ravenclaw, like me!”

“Mummy, make him say yes, please!” Albus said. “It’s Christmas!

“Yeah, Mum, you can’t say no at Christmas,” James wheedled. “It’s not nice!”

Ginny chuckled, looking at Harry’s slack-jawed expression. “Well, dear, they do have a point.”

“But … but …” Harry stammered. “But …”

“Always so eloquent,” Ginny murmured, kissing Harry on the cheek. “Boys, tell him that he and his father – stop that, Harry – are welcome, and we look forward to seeing them both.”

“Thanks, Mum!” James and Albus said in unison, beaming at each other before their heads disappeared.

Ginny chuckled, shaking her head. “They’re right, you know. It is Christmas. It’s been hard enough for them to make friends outside the family at Hogwarts, and if they want to invite one home for Christmas Eve, then we should encourage them. Right?”

“But …” Harry said helplessly. “It’s …”

“Even if it’s Scorpius Malfoy,” Ginny said firmly.

***

“Please, Dad??” Hugo begged, his puppy-dog eyes staring out of the Floo beseechingly up at Ron.

Ron stared blankly at Hermione, mouth agape. “You want … what?”

“I think he just asked if Scorpius Malfoy could come over for Christmas Eve,” Hermione whispered.

“Come on, Mum, please? He’s ever so much fun, even if he is in Ravenclaw,” Hugo said, bouncing up and down in excitement.

“We know, dear,” Hermione said fondly. “We’ve heard all about him in your letters.”

“But …” Ron said helplessly. “But …”

“Very articulate, Ron,” Hermione whispered sotto voce. Turning back to her son, she said, “Hugo, of course he can come, and his father too, if he wants. We’ll be expecting the lot of you for dinner, alright?”

“Yes!” Hugo said, pumping the air with his fist. “I can’t wait to tell Jamie and Al and Scorp! We can ride our brooms and play wizard’s chess – he’s really good, Dad! – and Rose won’t bother us too much, will she, Mum? – and we can –”

“Alright, alright, Hugo, go, run and tell the lot of them!” Hermione laughed.

“Right! Bye, Mum! Thanks, Dad!” Hugo said, pulling his head out of the Floo.

“But …” Ron spluttered confusedly, “he’s a Malfoy! Weasleys don’t like Malfoys.”

“Ours does, dear,” Hermione said with a smile.

***

“Please, Father??” Scorpius begged, his puppy-dog eyes staring out of the Floo beseechingly up at Draco.

Draco stared blankly at his son, mouth agape. “You want … what?”

“I want to go over to Hugo’s house for Christmas Eve dinner!” Scorpius said in a rush.

“But …” Draco said slowly, “there will be … Weasleys … there. And Potters!”

“Well … yes, of course, Hugo’s a Weasley,” Scorpius said. “But I like him! Al and James too, and I know you’d like them too, if you gave them a chance, Father, I just know you would!”

“Scorpius,” Draco sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose, “we are Malfoys, remember? We are not Potters, nor are we Weasleys, nor have Malfoys ever consorted! with them!”

“But Hugo’s so funny, the way he never stops talking, and he comes up with wicked practical jokes. And Albus is a great flyer, might make the Quidditch team next year, and James is really good at Charms, like me! And I like them,” Scorpius said stubbornly. “So please, can we go, Father?”

“But their parents will be there!” Draco whined.

“Please, Daddy?” Scorpius pouted.

Draco stared at the little green face in front of him, lower lip quivering, eyes damp with hope, and melted. “Oh – alright, before I change my mind!”

“Thank you, Father! Oh, and it’s polite to bring a gift!” Scorpius shouted, cutting off the Floo connection before Draco could say another word.

Draco’s own lower lip began to quiver. I’m having dinner with … Potters. And Weasleys! Oh my.

***

December 23
“Dad, do we have everything ready for tomorrow?” Albus asked excitedly.

Harry chuckled softly. “For the fortieth time today, Albus, yes, unless you’ve forgotten your broom.”

Albus’s eyes widened and he raced off to his room to check.

***
“Dad, Dad, Daddy, Dad, Dad, Dad–”

“Oh, bloody – what, Hugo?” Ron asked, a hint of exasperation in his voice.

His son beamed up at him. “Did you know Scorpius is really good at wizard’s chess?”

Ron exhaled slowly and counted to ten. “Yes, Hugo, you’ve mentioned that. About a hundred times today,” he added under his breath.

“Is Mr. Malfoy good at chess too, like you?” Hugo asked.

Ron looked down at Hugo bemusedly. “I actually don’t know, come to think of it.”

“Well, maybe you can ask him tomorrow!” Hugo grinned.

Ron grimaced.

***

“Scorpius, have you laid out your good suit?” Draco called from the bottom of the stairs.

A little blond head peeked out from the doorway. “Do I have to, Father? Jamie and Al–”

“We’re Malfoys, son,” Draco sniffed. “We always dress for dinner.”

***

December 24

Christmas Eve had finally arrived.

With a whoosh of the Floo, Harry, Ginny, and their three flew into Ron and Hermione’s library.

“We’re not late, are we, Ron?” Harry asked with a tired smile.

“Late?” Ron laughed, taking their jackets and tossing them casually over the back of the couch. “You’re an hour early!”

“Hope that’s alright,” Ginny said, shooting Ron and Hermione apologetic glances.

“No, no, of course it’s okay,” Ron said. Leaning over, he hugged Lily, who was clinging to the leg of his denims, and shooed off the boys to find Hugo. “Would much rather have the forces assembled before they arrive.”

Hermione walked in briskly and swatted Ron on the bum. “Don’t start, Ronald, they’re our guests. Harry, Ginny, how are you?”

“Exhausted,” Ginny said. “James and Al have done nothing for the past three days but talk about Scorpius and tonight’s dinner, and today–”

“Let me guess,” Ron interjected. “Bouncing off the walls?”

“Got it in one,” Ginny sighed. “Hope you don’t mind; we thought there’d be strength in numbers.”

Hermione laughed. “Don’t worry, we’ve had the same thing with Hugo. Master Chatterbox has been even more wound up than usual–”

“I’m so sorry,” Harry said in mock sympathy.

“Don’t make me smack you too, Harry, and don’t think I won’t,” Hermione said. “But it’s true, he’s just about talked the ears off of everyone in this house, so I’m personally in your debt for providing him with a new audience.”

“Only to happy to oblige,” Harry said. “Lils, why don’t you go play with Rose until dinner, yeah?”

Lily nodded enthusiastically and trotted out of the library in search of her cousin.

“So,” Ron said, shoving his hands in his pockets and looking around at the others. “Is everybody ready?”

“Hush, Ron, you make it sound like the world is ending,” Ginny chided. “The boys love Scorpius, and I for one am looking forward to meeting him.”

“It’s not him I’m worried about,” Harry said under his breath.

***

“Who are you worried about, then, Potter?”

Harry and Ron jumped and spun around, staring at Draco Malfoy and his son guiltily.

Hermione, fortunately, had better manners. “Hello, Draco,” she said smoothly, moving forward to greet them. “Welcome to our home – please make yourselves comfortable. And this handsome young man must be Scorpius!”

“Yes, ma’am,” Scorpius said politely, holding out his hand.

“Such a gentleman,” Hermione murmured, taking his hand solemnly. “We’ve heard quite a lot about you. I think the boys are anxious to see you – they’re downstairs, if you’d like to catch up before dinner.”

“Can I, Father?” Scorpius said, his eyes gleaming.

Draco placed a hand on his son’s shoulder. “May, Scorpius. And yes, you may in a minute, but it’s polite to greet your hosts before disappearing off into the mist.”

“Oh. Right.” Scorpius drew a deep breath. “Mr. and Mrs. Potter, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, my name is Scorpius Malfoy. Thanks for having me and my dad –”

“My father and me,” Draco corrected softly.

“My father and me, over for dinner. It’s very nice of you. Happy Christmas!” Scorpius proclaimed, glancing surreptitiously up at his father, who nodded once in approval.

Ron walked over to him and shook his hand. “Well, thank you, Scorpius. Make yourself at home. Why don’t you run along and find the boys? You all have an hour or so before dinner, and I think someone was hoping for a game of chess.”

“No flying without an adult, and don’t scuff your loafers,” Draco whispered.

“Okay, Mr. Weasley! Bye, Father!” Scorpius said, running off to find his friends.

Draco smiled softly as his son raced out of the room. The room that Draco was beginning to realize was filled with nothing but Potters – and Weasleys! – and no escape. Paling, he cleared his throat self-consciously and brushed non-existent lint off of the lapel of his hand-tailored suit.

“You clean up well, Malfoy – sorry, Draco,” Ginny said with a smile. “We’re fairly casual around here, as you can see.”

“Malfoys always dress for dinner,” Draco huffed softly, standing up a bit straighter. Off to one side, he could just see Hermione shoot warning looks at Ron and Harry, who were rolling their eyes at each other.

“I’m sure they do,” Hermione said warmly. “But no need to stand on such ceremony here, Draco. Would you care to sit down? A glass of wine, perhaps?”

Suddenly Draco remembered the small parcel he was carrying. Hastily, he thrust it out toward Hermione. “Here – a small token of our gratitude for your hospitality,” he said.

“No need for that, Mal–Draco,” Ron muttered, eyeing the bag with suspicion.

“Quite right, but thank you for the thought, Draco,” Hermione emphasized, catching Ron’s eye. Peering inside, she flashed a knowing smile at Ginny as she pulled out a bottle of aged Firewhiskey. “Ogden’s Oldest, aged 42 years. Green label. Draco, how thoughtful!”

Ron’s and Harry’s eyes lit up. “Er, yeah, thoughtful, quite thoughtful!” Ron said. “Thanks, Mal–Draco.”

“I had a feeling it might be appreciated,” Draco said smoothly. Especially by me, if this night drags on!

“Well, let’s not just stand here in the library,” Ginny said, elbowing a still-staring Harry lightly in the ribs. “Shall we go see what the boys are up to downstairs?”

“Oof – yeah, good idea, Gin,” Harry said, rubbing his side and following her downstairs.

Looking askance at Ginny, he saw her opening and closing her hand and pointing at Draco, mouthing Talk to him!

He nodded at her and turned back to Draco, saying, “Mal–Draco, Jamie reports that Scorpius is in Ravenclaw too.”

“He … reports … correctly,” Draco said, glancing around the Weasley household as they made their way down to the sitting room.

“You must be so proud of him!” Hermione exclaimed. “Please, have a seat, Draco – a glass of wine, perhaps? There’s a nice cabernet breathing – Ron, pour out, will you?”

Draco’s eyes widened slightly. Well, if any of this bunch was going to know to let a wine breathe, it’d be Granger. And it’s rather nice to be served by a Weasley “Lovely, thank you,” he said, accepting the glass from Ron with a slight nod. “And yes, I’m quite proud.”

“And – you’re okay with him being in Ravenclaw?” Harry asked dubiously.

Draco turned to face Harry with a small smile on his face. “And why would I not be? He’s already performing Charms-work at a second-year level, and both his Potions and Muggle Studies work are quite good.” He hid a smirk at the expressions on Harry’s and Ron’s faces, but then he sipped his wine and barely concealed his astonishment. Merlin, that’s a bloody good cabernet! I wonder whose monthly salary paid for that!

“Muggle … studies …” Ron said in amazement.

“Yes, well, it’s a requirement now, as surely you must know,” Draco sniffed.

“Considering we helped make that happen, yeah, we know,” Harry said, wincing as Ginny elbowed him in the ribs a bit harder.

“Er, so, Draco,” Hermione hastily interjected. “Albus and Hugo are hoping to try out for the Quidditch team next year. Does Scorpius play?”

Draco nodded as Ginny refilled his wine glass. “I believe he has thought about it,” he responded.

“What position?” Ron asked. “Hugo wants to be a Chaser for Gryffindor. Trying to convince Al to be one too – he’s good enough, no doubt.”

Harry smiled. “Yeah, Al mentioned that, but he seems torn between Chaser and Beater. Thought if he were Beater, he might not get Bludgers aimed at him so much. Apparently there’s some fifth-year Beater on the Slytherin team that likes to take out his aggressions on the younger students.”

“Appleby,” Draco and Ron simultaneously said in disgust. Eyes widening, they looked away from each other.

“Not that Scorpius is afraid, mind you,” Draco clarified, clearing his throat.

“Well, I’ve already spoken to Madame Hooch about it,” Ginny said, “and she’s invited me to come visit in the spring and talk team strategies.”

“I’m sure Gryffindor will enjoy that,” Draco said softly.

“Oh, no,” Ginny responded. “I’m coming to speak to all the teams – about strategy, fair play, and of course, a little tactical nuance.”

Ron snorted. “You mean rule-breaking.”

“If you’re going to break the rules – slightly, mind you – it’s no good if you get caught,” Ginny smirked.

“Well, well,” Draco murmured. “I didn’t know you had it in you.”

“Clearly it’s been a while since you’ve watched me play, Draco,” Ginny rejoindered, lifting her glass in response to Draco’s silent toast.

“I think dinner should be about ready, if you’d all like to move over into the dining room,” Hermione said. “Ron, if you would help me take in the wine?”

“Boys! Lily, Rose,” Ginny called. “Dinner’s on – go wash up, please. Come on, Draco, right this way.”

“Alright, you two,” Hermione hissed. “Could you please try not to constantly insult our guest? He’s being perfectly polite, and you two are behaving like baboons!”

Harry looked at her agog. “But … it’s Malfoy!” he said, Ron nodding in tandem.

“Yes. It’s Draco, and he’s behaving far better than either of you, and he’s your guest, and his son is in the other room playing with our boys, so would you please act like the adults you are?”

“He’s still a snarky git,” Harry mumbled.

“Tonight, no more than either one of you,” Hermione retorted. “Now. Let’s go enjoy the ham, shall we? And be polite, or no Firewhiskey for you later!”

“Okay, I’ll be a good boy,” Ron joked.

“Me too, Mummy,” Harry said with a laugh.

Hermione pecked each one of them lightly on the cheek. “Let’s go, before Ginny thinks we’ve run off and left her.”

Dinner was a loud affair. Rose and Lily whispered together at one end of the table, while the boys laughed and joked in the middle of the table. Harry and Ron were relieved to find that the other adults were content to sit back and observe the children, so conversation amongst them largely revolved around “More wine, Draco?” and “Would you pass the gravy, Gin?”

Suddenly, James slammed his water glass down on the table and jerked backward. “Watch yourself, Malfoy,” he sneered.

“I didn’t do anything, Potter,” Scorpius retorted sharply, fist clenching around his spoon.

A collective gasp occurred amongst the adults. Harry’s eyes narrowed and he stared at Draco, who had frozen apprehensively and was looking suspiciously back and forth between Harry and Ron.

Hugo, however, giggled. “Got you again, Jamie!” he chortled.

“But I saw it too, it came from Scorpius’s side of the table!” Albus said, flabbergasted.

“What did?” Harry asked tersely. Draco edged his chair closer to Scorpius, eyeing both Hugo and Harry.

James lifted up his water glass to reveal one very squashed green bean. “Whoa! But I swear – that was a spider! How’d you do that?”

“I charmed one of Scorp’s beans into a spider and sent it after your plate,” Hugo crowed, sliding his wand out of his shirt sleeve.

“Wow, Hugo,” Scorpius exclaimed. “You did it! Nice work!”

“Well, you taught me, didn’t you?” Hugo said with a grin, bumping Scorpius genially with his shoulder.

“Wait, Scorpius taught you how to transfigure and animate a vegetable?” Ginny asked in disbelief, looking over at Ron and Hermione, who were beaming with pride.

“Yeah! I was practicing really hard so I could get Jamie at dinner!” Hugo said proudly.

“And you taught him, Scorpius?” Draco asked.

“Well, we figured some things out on our own – I just helped him a little,” Scorpius said, blushing.

“You helped me a lot, Scorp,” Hugo said, clapping his friend on the shoulder. “So did Jamie and Al – they just didn’t know what for!”

“That’s really advanced magic, especially for first-years,” Harry said with a smile. “You all should be really proud of yourselves!”

“Thanks, Uncle Harry!” Hugo said.

Ginny nudged Harry under the table with her knee. “You too, Jamie, Albus – and you too, Scorpius,” Harry said. Looking at Draco out of the corner of his eye, he nodded and sat back in his chair.

Ginny wrapped her arm through Harry’s and whispered, “Well done, love.”

“Thanks, Mr. Potter!” Scorpius said with a huge smile.

Draco leaned over. “Well done, son, well done,” he said softly. Looking over at Harry and Ginny, he exhaled. “And James, those were some fast reflexes. Are you sure you’re not secretly a Beater?” Draco asked.

“Me?” James squeaked. “No, I’m not as good at Quidditch as Al,” he said, slinking down a bit in his chair.

“Oh, come on, Jamie,” Hugo said. “Al’s just faster, that’s all, that’s why he plays Seeker so much.”

“Well, Seekers need speed, but all the positions need quick reflexes, you know,” Draco said. “Have you thought about trying out for the team?”

“Maybe,” James mumbled. “I kind of wanted to be a Chaser, but …”

“Cool!” Scorpius exclaimed. “Maybe we can be Ravenclaw Chasers together!”

“And then Al and I can be the Gryffindor Chasers!” Hugo shouted.

“What, no one wants to be Seeker like me?” Harry mock-pouted.

“Nah, Seekers don’t get to do much,” Albus said.

“Just win games, that’s all,” Harry joked. Coughing lightly, he said, “You know, Scorpius, your father wasn’t a half-bad Seeker.”

Draco’s head shot up in surprise and he looked at Harry warily. “Right. Uh, neither were you, Potter. I mean, er, Harry.”

“Will wonders never cease,” Ginny whispered to Hermione.

“The world may end,” Hermione whispered back. “Well, if you gentlemen are about finished with your compliments,” she said more loudly, standing up and raising her wine glass, “I have one of my own. Scorpius, you are a very smart, well-mannered young man, and you are welcome in our home any time you like.”

“Excellent!” Hugo said, banging his fork and knife on the dinner table.

“Alright, Hugo, alright,” Hermione laughed. “And the same invitation goes to Draco. Despite past differences,” she said more softly, “you’ve done a lovely job with Scorpius, and I think we can all look forward to getting to know each other as adults.”

Draco looked at each of the adults in turn. Raising his glass, he said, “I certainly never imagined I’d be … here … on a Christmas Eve, but my son’s happiness is my top priority. Can’t have expected me not to check out the suitability of his playmates, can you?” He paused, waiting just long enough for looks of indignation to spread across Harry and Ron’s faces, and then he winked.

Ron snorted, and Harry swallowed a hasty laugh. Draco raised his glass to meet Hermione’s, and the others followed suit.

“To suitability!” they proclaimed.

“I’ll go get the pudding,” Harry offered. “Just a mo.”

“So, Mal–Draco,” Ron said tentatively, glancing at Hermione. “Hugo tells me you taught Scorpius everything he knows about wizard’s chess.”

“Are you offering me a chance to beat you, Weasley?” Draco drawled.

“More like a chance to kick your pale arse,” Ron whispered. Sticking out his hand, he said, “Are you game?”

“I may even roll up my shirtsleeves,” Draco said, shaking Ron’s hand. “And that, for a Malfoy, is saying something.”

The End
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i've got potential: there's a light in my brain!mintyfreshsocks on December 5th, 2012 07:58 am (UTC)
Oh, the snark in this is fun. :D So enjoyable!
flaminia_x: pic#118653548flaminia_x on January 4th, 2013 11:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks!! So glad you liked it!
mama_pyjamamama_pyjama on December 5th, 2012 10:16 am (UTC)
Very nice. I like the gentle humour in this.
flaminia_x: pic#118653548flaminia_x on January 4th, 2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks, mama! Glad you liked it!
mollywheezy: Ravenclaw-ponderingmollywheezy on December 5th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
I loved the parallelism between the families and their awkward snark, LOL. Such a fun story! Great job! :)
flaminia_x: pic#118653548flaminia_x on January 4th, 2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
Hehe thanks!! Glad you enjoyed it! Snark ftw!
primeideal.dreamwidth.orgprimeideal.dreamwidth.org on December 5th, 2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
Draco's grammar corrections were very amusing! I liked the idea of Scorpius and James being fellow Ravenclaws, and the next generation finding their own way to get ahead in the magical world.
flaminia_x: pic#118653548flaminia_x on January 4th, 2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
Absolutely! Malfoys must be proper, now, mustn't they?
Anna Scathach: pic#113931743lyre_flowers on December 5th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
What a nice fic! It is lovely seeing their reconciliation.
flaminia_x: pic#118653548flaminia_x on January 4th, 2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, it's about time, isn't it?
DoraeAzure: Shinydoraeazure on December 6th, 2012 01:38 am (UTC)
Oh, I love this! This was so perfect—light and fluffy and full of warm fuzzies...and a gently snarky Draco! Just exactly what I wanted.

Some of my favorite moments:

The boys all ambushing their parents with their big, huge, Christmas Eve conspiracy. I can totally see them huddling together at Hogwarts to plot the whole event.

“But …” Ron spluttered confusedly, “he’s a Malfoy! Weasleys don’t like Malfoys.”
“Ours does, dear,” Hermione said with a smile.
I just love how blasé Ginny and Hermione are about the whole thing, and Hermione’s subtle humor is fabulous.

“We’re Malfoys, son,” Draco sniffed. “We always dress for dinner.” This made me snicker. Especially since I have visions of future trips to the Manor in which Hermione and Ginny force their protesting husbands into dress robes in deference to the Malfoy way.

All of Draco’s snarky inner thoughts, especially: And it’s rather nice to be served by a Weasley. Ha! I can so see Draco harboring this secret smugness whenever Ron serves him anything, even years into their future acquaintance.

“If you’re going to break the rules – slightly, mind you – it’s no good if you get caught,” Ginny smirked.
“Well, well,” Draco murmured. “I didn’t know you had it in you.”
I love Ginny’s mischievousness! It’s just a tad bit Slytherin. ^_^

I also love the exchange between the boys during dinner, that little moment of tension between the parents immediately following, and then the way the men-folk slowly realize that they have some things in common after all and that their childhood enmity really does belong in the past. It’s a wonderfully gentle and believable transition.

“I may even roll up my shirtsleeves,” Draco said, shaking Ron’s hand. “And that, for a Malfoy, is saying something.” This was the perfect comedic ending!

Thank you, mystery author! *hugs you* I adore this piece, and all the snarky!Draco things in it. (Snarky!Draco lovers unite!) You win a million wins! * Hurries off to put in a good word with Santa so that he brings you all the things*
flaminia_x: pic#118653548flaminia_x on January 4th, 2013 11:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for the great review! Glad you liked it - was really hoping you'd enjoy the humor and the snark, because really, what's a Draco without some snark?? :D
pitry: Microwavepitry on December 7th, 2012 05:53 am (UTC)
That was very amusing! All the snark and rivalry still existing after all these years - and the awkwardness. Hurrah!
flaminia_x: pic#118653548flaminia_x on January 4th, 2013 11:57 pm (UTC)
Haha glad you liked it! :)
kellychambliss: Xmaskellychambliss on December 23rd, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
What a charming, appealing version of interhouse cooperation /g/. Everyone is nicely in character. I enjoyed the parallel openings and the way the adults gradually start behaving more genuinely at the end.
flaminia_x: pic#118653548flaminia_x on January 4th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks!! So glad you enjoyed it, and that you thought everyone was more or less their character-selves. :)