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Charming — Victorian Era Potterverse > Dead Threads > Only Us Two


Title: Only Us Two
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Ben Taylor - January 1, 2012 06:46 AM (GMT)
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It had been about twenty minutes since Ben had first staggered down the stairs with a yawn and started trying to light the fire, and he still hadn't gotten beyond struggling with the box of matches. He knew how to build a fire, or at least he thought he did, but apparently the neat stack of old paper, kindling, and finally medium-sized logs had some deficiency he hadn't considered, because he'd gone through about four matches so far, and the flame had taken, at its longest, about two minutes to die out. This would have been so easy with magic, but the last thing he wanted was someone from the Ministry's underaged magic office to show up and discover that fourteen-year-old Ben Taylor was staying in his empty manor with no one but his fifteen-year-old cousin. If only he'd been seventeen! Still, the annoyance of not having someone in the house legally able to use magic was fairly minimal when compared with the amazing freedom he felt at not having the constant supervision. He was almost positive Fiona felt the same—upon discovering that the house was empty and deducing that his parents and her chaperones were probably stranded in the Hogsmeade snowstorm, they hadn't taken much time to decide that they didn't want to do anything about it. The adults would show up whenever they showed up; in the mean time both students were perfectly willing to make due with the food and warmth they could derive from what was already in the house. The Taylor Manor was also located far away from Hogsmeade in southern England, and the snow there was hardly the monstrosity it was in the wizarding village. If they needed something, they could always try the Muggle village a few miles off. <br><p><br>

Ben tried the match again, and this time it took, the small pieces of wood starting to write in the flames that licked up around the sides of the logs. Please, work, Ben prayed. He was really at the end of his patience; if it didn't stay this time, he'd be marching upstairs and unpacking his suitcase to look for his wand. <br><p><br>

Settling into the couch, Ben watched the flickering fire like a guard watching a disobedient prisoner, and under his dutiful gaze it slowly grew from a thin, sickly thing to a full-fledged blaze, spreading some much-needed warmth into the room. When he was satisfied that the thing wasn't about to die again, he walked over to the window and looked out at the snow-covered lawn. That was the thing about his middle-class family inheriting their upper-class home; the furnishings were sparse and several of the rooms hadn't even been used, particularly the ones in the basement, but the house itself was kind of stunning, in an antiquated sort of way, and it did have some very nice grounds, which was the reason it always stayed in the lycanthropic Taylor family, no matter what sort of money problems arose. <br><p><br>

It occurred to him that he hadn't yet seen Fiona, and he had no idea whether she was awake yet—it wasn't particularly late or early, considering it was a break, so she could have been anywhere from asleep in bed to out for a stroll in the woods. His stomach was starting to grumble, however, so he'd want to start thinking of breakfast soon, and it would be nice if she was around and wanted to either help him cook it or help him eat it—preferably the former, as Ben's cooking skills were quite minimal. He could manage porridge, but only just.<br><p><br>

“Fiona?” he called up the stairs inquisitively. Hopefully if she was either in her bedroom or in the library, she'd hear him. “You awake? I started a fire down here,” he said, just a little proud of the accomplishment.

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Fiona Prewett - January 11, 2012 07:13 PM (GMT)
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<div style="width: 465px;"> <div style="font-family: 'montez'; font-size: 43px; color: #002833; line-height:85%; text-align: center; margin-right:15px; margin-top: -20px;">it's like a darkness in the mind , </div>
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Fiona had been planning on spending most of the Christmas holidays with her cousin Ben in his home. Florence and her new husband, Anders, had agreed to accompany her to the Taylor manor, as was customary. Fiona didn’t want some random person being her chaperone and Florence was of the perfect age. While Fiona and Florence had their differences (Florence being a lot like their mother, and perhaps too motherly for Fiona’s taste, and Fiona herself being much like their father- too curious for her own good), they generally got along well… so long as Florence wasn’t calling Fiona a child. Fiona couldn’t stand when people called her a child. She was fifteen years old, viewed well by society, a Prefect and most likely the top of her class. Although she had a chaperone, as most young ladies of the time did, and was not always happy about having company wherever she went, Fiona dealt with the cards she had been given. She knew that things could’ve been far worse.
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The Christmas holiday had been much more wonderful than Fiona ever could have expected. Florence and Anders were to meet Fiona at the Taylor Manor, which she had gotten to using the Floo network the night she got home from school for the holiday. Florence and Anders were to head over the next morning, but had not been able to make it due to the blizzard that had seemingly sprung out of nowhere. So now, on top of it being the holidays, she was with her most favourite cousin, Ben, and absolutely alone. While it looked bad, there was nothing that could be done. They were in the middle of a state of emergency, with the snow continuing to fall at the rate it was, and it was dangerous for anyone to be traveling, even through the Floo network. While she knew that many people would look down on this, there was no reason anyone should think anything bad. They just happened to be stuck in an unfortunate situation, but both Ben and Fiona came from upstanding families who worked within the legal system and the laws of society. If they played their cards right, Ben and Fiona could be easily seen as victims.
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She was accustomed to waking up early every day, and this didn’t change during the holidays. Her internal clock woke her at seven thirty every morning, regardless of the day of the week or the time she had gone to bed the previous evening. Unaware of whether Ben was awake or not, and not wanting to wake him if he wasn’t already awake, Fiona tip toed down the stairs and found her way through the Taylor manor into the library. She began perusing the titles on the shelves lining the walls, and realized that a fair few had something to do with lycanthropy. Fiona, who had gotten her nose stuck in the dark arts sometime during her fourth year, knew that lycanthropy was along the lines of dark magic. It wasn’t something a ‘good’ citizen often engaged in.
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Fiona pulled several large books from the shelves and brought them over to a large backed arm chair, placing them in a neat pile off to the side. She curled her legs under her body as she settled down in the chair, pulling the top title onto her lap. She began to skim the pages, absorbing the material within, wondering why the Taylor family would have so many books on lycanthropy. As she began to piece together the different chapters of the book, Fiona realized that the book was all about how best to handle a werewolf during the full moon. She quirked an eyebrow, marked her page and put the book down, picking up another. She had just begun to pour over it’s pages, when she heard her cousin calling for her. Fiona unfolded herself and walked in her graceful way over to the entrance to the Taylor manor library. She poked her head out and saw Ben staring up the stairs.
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“Ben! Over here,” she chuckled, waving her hand to get his attention. When he noticed her, Fiona walked, nearly floating, over to Ben. “Good to know you got a fire going. I hadn’t bothered to even try.” A smile came across her features. It was rare that Fiona ever really, truly smiled, but being with Ben was something that could do that to her. The two had a long history together and were quite close, even for cousins. She was much closer to Ben than she was to her Potter cousins. Fiona’s sapphire blue robe, which should have been tied tightly around her body as to keep her chastity and modesty, was flowing open. This was Ben she was with, and she felt no need to wrap her body tightly. “How long have you been awake,” she asked him, eyeing his hair, wondering if he ever tried to tame it.
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Ben Taylor - January 14, 2012 04:18 AM (GMT)
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It was hard not to wonder how she did that, that fluttery sort of walk that made her look as if she was barely even there at all, as if he might breathe too harshly and blow the little hallucination of his cousin away. It was something he'd seen a few girls do, not just Fiona--Cordelia, for one, had a way of doing that any time he saw her in a new dress, which could be quite obnoxious when he was trying not to pay attention to her. It was always quite flattering when they floated. <p>

Her comment about the fire caused a wolfish grin to appear on his face--he was still quite proud of the blaze he'd started below, and probably would be until it had reduced itself to embers. "Not that long," he answered, sticking his hands into his pockets as she surveyed him--he didn't miss that she glanced at his completely wild bed-head, but there was nothing he could do about it now. His hair rarely improved even after a lot of effort, so something as minimal as running his fingers through it now wouldn't have much effect at all, and certainly wasn't worth unspokenly admitting that he was self-conscious about it. <p>

"What about you?" he continued, giving her a look-over; she was still in her robe, but that meant very little; he was still in his pajamas, with a warm flanel robe loosely thrown over his shoulders, despite having been awake some thirty minutes now. She hadn't come from the proper direction for her bedroom--the library, he realized at once. "Checking out the library?" he asked again. He had read most of the books from the library that he had any interest in (namely, the Quidditch books and a few of the ones of lycanthropy, but only if he could do so without his mother or sister catching him), but she might have found some things that were of more interest to her--he frankly doubted that she would ever read a Quidditch book, and her interest in lycanthropy could only be as fleeting as her interest in Inferi, really. She wouldn't have any use for the multitude of books the Taylors owned on the subject. Or so he assumed.

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Fiona Prewett - March 7, 2012 05:46 PM (GMT)
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<div style="width: 465px;"> <div style="font-family: 'montez'; font-size: 43px; color: #002833; line-height:85%; text-align: center; margin-right:15px; margin-top: -20px;">it's like a darkness in the mind</div>
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If there was one thing that Fiona would’ve loved to indulge herself in, it would be Ben’s company. Though a complete stickler for following the rules and for propriety, she would bend over backwards if it meant she could spend time with Ben. Having gotten stuck in the snow storm was both a blessing and a curse, but she refused to let her conscience come out. Both she and Ben were well behaved children, and it would take more than just a stupid gossip article in the Daily Prophet (if, for some reason, Yente Ventus ever got wind of this experience) to convince people otherwise. Sure, Fiona had a rather deep set fascination with the dark arts, but aside from the fact that no one other than Ben knew about that, even if someone did know, it’s not like she’s practicing dark magic… yet. She’s just reading about dark magic. That could easily be covered up by her telling people that her theory is that if you don’t understand the magic, you can’t properly defend yourself from it.
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When he mentioned the library, Fiona’s face lit up. She was certain he must know about the books that were there, as it was his home’s library, but she was excited nonetheless. She started to move off to the library excitedly and stopped only to beckon that he should follow. Once in the library again, Fiona took up her spot from before, curling her feet under her body. Her toes had grown cold in the few minutes she was standing on the floors of the Taylor mansion, and she made note that as soon as they were finished in there, they should at once move to whatever room Ben had started a fire in.
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She picked up the first book and held it out for Ben to see. “Your family has quite a few books on lycanthropy,” she started, pulling the book back and opening it onto her lap. “This book… let me see if I can find the page…” Fiona hummed absent mindedly as she flipped through the pages, trying to find the one she marked off. “Oh yes! Here it is. This one has a lot to do with what werewolves are and how they become weres. However, this chapter in particular focuses a good deal on what a werewolf should do in order to turn a human into a werewolf.” She closed the book and half tossed it to the side of her chair, bending down to pull another book onto her lap. A few minutes later, she located the page she was looking for and, again, “This book focuses on how to subdue a werewolf, but this chapter deals entirely with what to do if you have a were in your family.” She paused and stole a sideways glance at Ben. “It says large, copious amounts of space.” Another pause. “A dungeon or room away from the family where the member can go to change forms during the full moon.” Another pause, this time with an additional look from Fiona. The Taylor mansion was set on a large amount of land, and there were many unused rooms in the house. She wondered if they were really werewolves, but would wait to see if Ben volunteered the information before outright asking it.

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Ben Taylor - March 8, 2012 10:04 PM (GMT)
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Ben followed her eagerly, as her enthusiasm seemed to be intoxicating, but his brow furrowed almost immediately after he'd taken the spot next to her on the couch. He saw which books she had piled around her before she'd even started her monologue about them. She couldn't really be interested in all this, he reasoned, so why was she looking into all these books? The books. And to be flipping through them so nonchalantly--he sensed that there was a challenge in her attitude, an unspoken question, but he didn't want to acknowledge it by answering it. <p>

Besides, he couldn't tell her that. Any of that. "You've been reading a while, huh?" he said evasively, grabbing one of the books on the floor, hopefully one she hadn't gotten to yet. It was an old one, written by a Mr. Hezikiah Taylor. Taylor, how incriminating. The man was indeed an ancestory of his, and the text bore the unadorned title of The Deffence ov Lykanthropy. That might be enough to give the whole game away, even without the neat little underlining Ben had made while reading the book late one night, after his father had introduced him to it when he'd been around ten. <p>

He tucked The Deffence ov Lykanthropy into the crook of his arm and, to avoid drawing her attention to it, started to gather some of the other books around him, making a pile in his arms as though about to return them to the shelves. His cheeks were probably burning, but there was no way she was going to trick him into saying it, not even if she said something as blunt as wow, this manor certainly would be a great place for a werewolf to live.<p>

"It's interesting, right?" Ben said hesitantly, wondering what normal, non-werewolf-inclined people were supposed to say. "Dark creatures and all that. I've read most of them, last summer, after we started getting into all that." Well, that was a lie; he'd read most of them long before that summer, and was going to make sure he stuck around to read all of them, though not in the foreseeable future. He probably wouldn't get turned until he was out of school, at least. <p>

Ben hoped she would be satisfied with that, but knew, in the back of his mind, that of course she wouldn't be.

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Fiona Prewett - March 26, 2012 04:08 PM (GMT)
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<div style="width: 465px;"> <div style="font-family: 'montez'; font-size: 43px; color: #002833; line-height:85%; text-align: center; margin-right:15px; margin-top: -20px;">it's like a darkness in the mind</div>
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Fiona was more than happy to see that Ben had followed her into the library. It was his home, and he would obviously be more aware of what’s going on and what all the books about lycanthropy were about than she would. Being as smart as she was, and as into puzzles and playing detective as she was, Fiona had no trouble at all putting the pieces together to come up with one image, but she needed verification that she had properly put together all of the puzzle pieces. The assumption that some member of the immediate family was a werewolf was there, it was a huge giant elephant in the room. She didn’t want to address it, but wanted to wait to see if Ben would tell her first. It felt accusatory to ask someone a question so heavily loaded and the last thing Fiona wanted to do was insult her favourite family member. That was just asking for disaster.
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So, instead, she shrugged nonchalantly when he asked if she had been reading for awhile. There were no clocks around that she had seen, and Fiona hadn’t been bothered to keep track of the time. While reading, she could be lost in a book for hours and come away from it feeling as though mere minutes had passed. It could have been hours since she had first woken up and found the library, but she would never know it unless she saw the time.
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Ben had picked up a book and tucked it under his arm. Fiona quirked an eyebrow and started for perhaps a second too long, but figured there was a reason he was hiding it and, if her thought process was correct, it was probably a most important book in regards to lycanthropy. If he was hiding it and it was, indeed, a very important lycanthropy book, perhaps then she was right in putting the puzzle pieces together to create an image of a werewolf somewhere in the Taylor family. Although little butterflies of excitement blossomed in her belly, Fiona hid her smile. She had to be right about his family, she just had to be. Ben would never say it though, not if he were trying to hide an important book. From her spot on the chair, Fiona watched as Ben gathered up a bunch of books as though he were going to return them to their shelves. If it made him comfortable, fine. She had read most of them, anyway.
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“Werewolves are very interesting creatures, for sure,” Fiona agreed. “So much more so than any other dark being. They’re human most of the time, save for one night each month.” She paused for a moment. “Did you know that the term ‘month’ is a variation of the original term ‘moonth?’ Months were built around the lunar cycle of the moon’s phases.” She paused again, her eyes still glued to Ben, watching his every move. She had gone a bit off track, but that was alright. She was making her way back to attend to the rather large and ever growing elephant that stood between them. “As it is, lycanthropy is a cyclical pattern, just as the moon is in the stages we view it.” In one of the books next to her that Ben hadn’t managed to get his hands on, Fiona opened to a page she had marked- a lunar calendar. “Here. It says that the next full moon should be relatively soon, within a fortnight. Wouldn’t it be exciting to see a werewolf?” Fiona glared at her cousin, asking him the unspoken question Why haven’t you told me you come from a family of werewolves? A small, sly smile adorned her lips as she awaited his answer, her eyes still glued to him.
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