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Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

Green sucked on the side of his cheek. "Well, there are ways to get money in the wizarding world if you're smart. Leprechaun gold is one of them, if you're dealing with someone you don't like who won't see you again," he shrugged. "You need to use it fast, or it'll disappear, but if you think someone is extorting something from you and they don't have the right to the cash in writing, that can be a good way to go. But mostly, a bit of knowhow and equipment will do you best. You'd be shocked how many people don't know how to make simple muggle poultices of aloe and green tea and things like that," he shrugged. "Sell it as a beauty product, and you'll make some pocket change."

"Saffron!" Green laughed, blinking at it. "That's fancy; but I would have guessed toffee. In any case, I suppose whichever it turns out to be, both would be good," he said, taking his half of the bean. He popped it in his mouth, and his face immediately soured. "You... you win," he gagged, spitting the thing out into a napkin.

"As for both, there's something like what I asked you, but coming up with things is part of the game," Green said, grinning at him. "So if you want it to be two, you'll have to come up with two things. In any case, I'd owe you three now, so I'll take two truths and
dare,"
he gestured.

"Touch me, Midas; make me part of your design."
Encyclopedia Entry (and further history.)
Strength: 1; Agility: 12; Control: 10; Stamina: 7

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

"You mean that?" November dared a curious smile at Green's mention of how easy it would be to make money from herbal concoctions. Perhaps all of his previous afternoons pouring over herbals when other children were outside playing ball would come in handy... "Well, I know a thing or two about that, but I don't know a thing about selling anything, beyond the time the other children tried to start a lemonade stand..." He chuckled. "It didn't really work very well..." He'd picked up rather quickly after the incident that a baleful look and an outstretched hat tended to result in a lot more coin a lot faster.

November had scarcely lifted the bean to his lips when he saw Green gag, and suddenly decided against any further exploration than the tiniest touch of a tongue, just to keep the competition honest. That was more than enough.

Reaching for one of his pumpkin pasties to rid his mouth of the taste, he pondered the latest victory, how to continue their little game of truth or dare. He had three on Green at this point, but how would he use them wisely? As he looked over the other boy with a raven's curious gaze, it came to him. One way to know for certain just how far he could trust this boy.

"Alright, let's start with the truths," he said, leaning forward, a sudden bright light in his eyes, "What's the worst thing you've ever wanted to do, and would you ever do it? " His voice was barely more than a breath, his body quivering on the edge of his seat in anticipation.

And it's a strange breed, a different kind of creature looks for love through the eye of a needle

Strength: 6 | Agility: 10 | Control: 10 | Stamina: 4

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

"Of course I mean that. I don't say things I don't mean," Green huffed, straightening pridefully. Blinked. "Well. Not to friends, anyway," he shrugged with a dismissive gesture. "As for lemonade stands, the key to those is a mixture of heart rending and product placement. You can't just sell it where it's hot, you need to sell it where people are thirsty and away from alternative sources, like in the middle of a large park. Unfortunately, such spots are generally taken, and the stands themselves are difficult to move," he sighed, eyes rolling. "But if you're good with herbs, the same principles apply to selling things there. The average student is going to need some pimple cream once in a while. We just need to figure out where they'd normally get that, then undercut their usual supplier by placing our product in a more convenient location," he shrugged. "We could work on it together, if you like; it could be fun," he grinned.

As November asked his question, however, his entire demeanor shifted. He stared at November calculatingly, folding his napkin over and over the spit-out bean, the rest of the game forgotten. "That's quite a truth," he murmured, voice low. "It sounds like what you're asking me for could even be construed as a confession, if it was recorded, replayed for the right people," he said, eyes flicking towards the door.

He paused.

"Do you swear never to repeat what you hear in this room? Do you swear you have no recording devices on you, that you will not use any part of what I am about to tell you against me?" He suddenly leaned forward, snatching November's hand. "This is an oath between wizards, you know. That means there are consequences if it is broken," he breathed, eyes narrowing. Hopefully the boy didn't know that a binding oath was a particular spell, and one that Green didn't know...

"Touch me, Midas; make me part of your design."
Encyclopedia Entry (and further history.)
Strength: 1; Agility: 12; Control: 10; Stamina: 7

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

"Well, I suppose I could have a go at it," November said, smiling a little, "if you help me, at least... You seem to know a lot more about this marketing stuff than I do." He smiled, shy, careful, testing the waters. Green seemed like a good and clever ally to have around, but-... He still needed the answer to that dare.

He cocked his head at the mention of a 'confession,' however, the expression on his face making it clear that he'd never even thought of such a thing. "Oh, I've not got anything to record you with, I haven't even a phone...." It was only now that he realized how his request must have sounded, and he gave his head a strong shake, insistent.

"Of course I'll never tell! I've not got anything but my own ears, and I didn't-... I was never going to tell anybody. I just, wanted to know, so I-...." He cut himself off, looking away, only to freeze as he felt Green's hand on his own. "I-... I'll never tell. I swear it," he promised, gaze snapping back to level with Green's, and there was a finality in it as hard as steel.

And it's a strange breed, a different kind of creature looks for love through the eye of a needle

Strength: 6 | Agility: 10 | Control: 10 | Stamina: 4

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

The corner of Green's lips quirked up in a cocky grin, and his chin tilted upwards imperiously. "Trust me, November," he purred. "Stick with me, and I'll see to it that you reap the full benefit of those hard-won talents of yours. One way or another," he murmured, gears clicking as he glanced outside the window.

Green watched November with careful eyes as the taller boy professed the innocence of his request, his lack of recording devices. Even if he didn't have a phone, it didn't mean nothing in here was a recording device; it wasn't only muggles who were capable of hiding recorders. Green bit his lip, eyes flashing over the cabin suspiciously, picturing extendable ears stuffed into the walls. If only he knew the Imperturbable charm... he would simply have to hope, and be discrete.

Locking onto November's gaze again, he studied it for a moment longer, and believed he found honesty there. He nodded, once. "Alright. Let me begin by answering your second question. If there is something I truly want to do, all consequences having been considered, I will do it. I would have no reason not to. Yes?" he asked, inclining his head towards November. "... Yes," he murmured to himself, hand still atop November's, surprisingly heavy for such a delicate looking thing.

"As for what I wanted to do... I have wanted to burn my house down, just to make something change in my life," he said softly, eyes almost dreamy. "Just to make the thing bloom into light and life, even if only for an evening. To see the gray walls go up and rain down, ashes, dispersed and defeated," he murmured, fingers moving slightly, eyes flickering left and right in memory. "You can't hide behind business as usual when someone takes it away from you. That is what I have wanted," he exhaled, deflating.

"Touch me, Midas; make me part of your design."
Encyclopedia Entry (and further history.)
Strength: 1; Agility: 12; Control: 10; Stamina: 7

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

November leaned in close, very close, as Green spoke. His heart caught in his throat as he was about to learn just what this audacious young boy was really made of. Because November wanted to like him, really, he did, but he, just wasn't sure he could bond with someone for whom the very worst thing they could think of doing was taking the last cookie from the jar. Not after everything he'd seen. Not after everything he'd done.

His whole body began to still as Green spoke, first of his conviction to do anything he set his mind to, provided the consequences weren't too dire. November nodded, slowly, but the apprehension did not fade. Yes, it was quite admirable to have such steely determination, but so many people said that, didn't they? So many people said that with the unspoken knowledge that the limits there would be implied. Limits that always stopped before they reached sight of his own dark waters.

But Green kept on, and November's jaw dropped. His eyes glittered as if caught alight with the embers of Green's confession. It wasn't exactly the same place as he himself had once stood, but it was close. A far sight closer than anyone had come before.

"I think fire is beautiful," he whispered, voice scarcely a breath. "It's, majestic, in how powerful it is. It takes, everything away, all at once, so you can... Start fresh." It made him wonder why so many people were afraid of it, to put it like that.

And it's a strange breed, a different kind of creature looks for love through the eye of a needle

Strength: 6 | Agility: 10 | Control: 10 | Stamina: 4

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

Green's gaze floated down like cinders as November spoke, and he nodded, the specter of fire held between them. "It is," he breathed, voice soft as November had ever heard him. "It is beautiful, and majestic, and powerful. And cleansing. And terrible," he added, voice wavering with a tremor, some hidden hurt snaking up from inside like smoke. He looked down at his hand, curled and uncurled the thin, slightly calloused fingers into a fist. "I still don't know if... if..." He reached up and put his hands over his mouth, hair bouncing as the train shook them, eyes flickering back and forth. He wiped his hand down his cheeks, and his mouth had formed a hard line behind them. "It's terrible, but I wouldn't change it. Sometimes forests need to burn, you know," he said, looking into Novembers eyes again. He nodded, eyes wide with awe in recognition. "Yes. You know it. I wouldn't change anything," he hissed low, leaning in so close that his breath brushed November's tie.

He sat back, sighing, deflating somehow. "But I think that's rather enough truth for now, don't you? Your two questions are well answered, are they not?" he asked, fingers uncurling towards him. "The only thing that's left is a dare. Let's hope it doesn't bring the house down," he grinned, a spark of something bright and a little unhinged in his eyes.

"Touch me, Midas; make me part of your design."
Encyclopedia Entry (and further history.)
Strength: 1; Agility: 12; Control: 10; Stamina: 7

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

But when he looked back up at November, he was smiling. That tightly wound, nervous fear that had held his body so rigid, so small had all but melted away, and what lay in its place was above all else tremendous relief, enough to make him tremble with it, enough to bring tears to his eyes.

For the first time in his eleven years of life, he was not alone. Not really, not in the most important sense there was. Sure, he'd been surrounded by people before, but the connection there was so very tenuous, a tiny strand of spider silk that could be snapped irreparably by the slightest wrong move. He knew what that looked like, when that welcoming light behind their eyes would flicker out, long before the excuses even began to come.

But there was none of that here, and past the immediate rush of relief, November found himself frozen, because after this, what came next? He'd never reached this point before, not ever, not really, so he found himself just, sitting on his hands so they didn't leap into their own maniacal animation and wrap themselves around Green like vines, never to let go.

But, oh yes, the game, as Green was so good to remind him of. He continued to stare for several long beats, mouth opening and closing like a suffocating fish while he desperately tried to gather up something that resembled coherent thought. "I-.... Dare you-.... to be my friend forever," he blurted out, then froze, eyes wide, waiting to see if the spider silk would snap.

And it's a strange breed, a different kind of creature looks for love through the eye of a needle

Strength: 6 | Agility: 10 | Control: 10 | Stamina: 4

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

Green's eyes slowly widened as he took in November's reaction, the inexplicable relief, the tears, the gradual freezing up where the boy's large, watery eyes went round and desperate under a gasping mouth. The light glinted and Green's eyes spied the flash of teeth in it, not bared, but there, shining white behind his lips. The sudden image of a dog having caught the car it was chasing flashed through his mind, and for a half second, his own expression mirrored November's, mouth open, eyes wide.

Then he snapped his jaw shut, eyes steely.

"What are you doing with your hands?" he snapped, gesturing. "Don't sit on them! Give them here," he said, gesturing, pointing to himself. "It's rude, sitting on your hands like that, like you're warming them under your -" He stared at November's posterior for a vertiginous moment, feeling sugar and acid welling in his throat, giddy. "Well, just - give them here," he swallowed, speaking quietly now.

Leaning forward, he took November's hands; if they were not presented, he would simply lay them on the boy's wrists, grabbing them, face close enough to his chest that he stared up at him like a startled adder. "It isn't fair to make a dare that lasts forever in a game that lasts an afternoon," he said. "So I'll make you a counteroffer. We - not merely I, but we - shall be friends so long as both of us shall live. That is, right up until the time that one of us dies," he hissed with a squeeze, compressing the boy's bony body beneath his weak hands, his grip shaking. "Such that the ending of our friendship and our MUTUAL lifespans shall be engineered to be as close together as is humanly possible. How about that? Will you agree to that?" he dared, teeth gleaming in a grimace, fingers pressing into his bones. He looked, for all the world, as if he were about to leap forward and rip his neck out.

"Touch me, Midas; make me part of your design."
Encyclopedia Entry (and further history.)
Strength: 1; Agility: 12; Control: 10; Stamina: 7

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

November started as Green spotted his desperate attempt at controlling his hands, found himself even more frozen and lost and confused. All of this interaction fell firmly in the 'not supposed to happen' category, and now that all those rules, stifling and confusing and a minefield to traverse as they were, were stripped away, he was utterly adrift in open ocean, struggling to find the surface with nowhere to turn.

A squeak escaped his throat as he struggled to explain that his hands had essentially become hungry attack spiders without his permission and that sitting on them was the only way to try and stop their rampage, but Green was already pulling them out, setting them free... But not entirely. He kept a strong enough grip on them that their appetites were tempered, at least for now.

In fact, November's whole body had locked up and frozen again, terror and confusion like a deer that had somehow found itself in a shopping mall spread plainly across his form. This only grew as Green spoke, said that their tenuous new friendship would not part until death, and then November remembered the staircase.

Slowly, tears welled in his eyes until they began to pour out a river, and his teeth dug into his lip to stopper up the wails and sobs that bubbled and raged within him like a windstorm inside of his lungs. As it was, he just barely managed to gasp the words "I don't, want that, to happen.... Don't want you to, die...

And it's a strange breed, a different kind of creature looks for love through the eye of a needle

Strength: 6 | Agility: 10 | Control: 10 | Stamina: 4

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

Green blinked, shocked from his furor by the tears that had begun flowing from his friend's eyes, the words that had come from his lips. Don't want you to die.

Me, Green thought, eyes fixed and frozen. He's not thinking about himself. He's thinking about me.

And somehow, that brought the walls down, burning rafters and roofs tumbling inward to crash over his fire, extinguishing the blaze under their weight. Eyes softening, he stood slowly, spoke quietly. "Shhh, shh shh shh," he hushed, standing and stalking over quietly, moving as if not to awaken a sleeping tiger. Taking November's head gently, he wrapped his arms around it and hugged it to his chest, stroking his hair. "It's going to be alright. No one needs to die," he said softly. His arms were thin but warm, his breast bone bony and hard, but with the taller boy sitting and Green standing, his chest was the perfect height.

"We'll simply need to attend to the friendship properly. That's all," he said, holding November's chin in his hand, looking down into his eyes. He held him there for a second, remembering the times his father or grandmother had held him so when he had been sniffling, trying to summon the same quiet, resolute strength that had stilled his tears; without thinking, he wiped one away with his thumb. "We must keep our promises. And then it will be as you asked: friends forever," he smiled at him, reassuring. "We will make it so."

Forever.

In the back of his mind, the image of Panacea burned, shining so brightly it blinded.

"Touch me, Midas; make me part of your design."
Encyclopedia Entry (and further history.)
Strength: 1; Agility: 12; Control: 10; Stamina: 7

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

November breathed deep, tried to gather the spilling tears, pull all that feeling back into himself like he was trying to shove toothpaste back into its tube. He stopped when he felt something soft press up against his cheek, wrap around his shoulders, and once again, he froze.

This was, new.

Suddenly Green wasn't just something that captured November's eyes, someone to try and perform that strange and maddening social dance called 'conversation,' but was so warm and so THERE. He thought, if he listened very carefully, he could hear the faint but steady beating of Green's heart.

His dark eyes went wide as dinner plates at this, and suddenly he went very, very stiff and still in Green's arms, as somewhere inside himself he eased over the highest point in a rollercoaster hill, began plummeting at the speed of sound into a maelstrom of thoughtsfeelingsdesiresneeds that he had hardly known were possible before.

"I-...." He gasped, eyes wide, struggling to keep his head above water, grasp for something, anything familiar, make Green's words swim back into focus over the beating heart that had become a roar in November's ears, "what if, it happens anyway?!" With the way he felt right now, anything could.

And it's a strange breed, a different kind of creature looks for love through the eye of a needle

Strength: 6 | Agility: 10 | Control: 10 | Stamina: 4

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

Green held him steady, fingers tangled in his soft, dark hair, arms pressing him tight to the cage of his chest. He stroked his hair for several moments, thinking, turning the question over in his mind like marbles in his hand. It was true that one of them might die anyway. Anything might happen, and death could come in so many ways. November was a nervous boy, but just because you were paranoid, didn't mean they weren't out to get you...

The train bumped along, banging the boy's head gently against Green's ribs and vice versa, sending beans on the table jumping and shivering in their places where they had been scattered. Leaves whipped by the window in infinite variations, and trees, and houses. And Green could imagine a death in each, some way these inane things could become lethal, or herald a situation that would later. November was right, death could happen anyway. It could always happen anyway, and there might be nothing they could do about it.

"Well," he began. "I suppose we'll just have to deal with that." He tilted his head, thinking.

Then he said it.

"November, have you ever heard of Panacea...? The universal cure," he began. Paused. Intimated: "Even to death."

"Touch me, Midas; make me part of your design."
Encyclopedia Entry (and further history.)
Strength: 1; Agility: 12; Control: 10; Stamina: 7

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

November remained small and huddled and shaking in Green's arms, even with the bumps and wobbles of the train car, struggling valiantly to get his falling tears back under his control, stilling as the smaller boy's mind flicked through every possible source of death except the most likely one, the one cradled right now in his arms. Slowly, ever so slowly, he began to calm.

And then Green spoke again.

November's breath hitched, and his eyes went wide. "I-is that a, real, thing?" he asked softly, his voice feather light. He had indeed heard of it previous, but only in fairy stories, only as something far, far too good to be true. But this place, this train he was on, this academy he was hurtling towards, well, all of this was something they told him was far too good to be true, that there was 'no such thing,' was it not? And besides, what other lies had they told him over the years; that everything that truly brought him joy was bad or not for him, that they would be there to help and care for him when he needed it, that he was powerless to change his situation....

This was exactly the kind of thing they'd hide from him.

Then, softly, carefully, he spoke again. "Do you think we could... Find some?"

And it's a strange breed, a different kind of creature looks for love through the eye of a needle

Strength: 6 | Agility: 10 | Control: 10 | Stamina: 4

Ragged Things  PV November Morsus   Closed 

Green stilled as he considered November's words, still holding his head to his chest, stroking his fingers through his hair idly. (It was nice. It was soft. Those tears, that trembling- it made him feel taller, stronger; it made him feel like this boy couldn't hurt him in anything. That he could bind him in place and keep him there so he'd never be left cold in the ashes again.)

His questions were valid. Was it real? Could they find some?

"Well," he said at last, clicking his tongue. "The problem is, it's... complicated." He loosened his grip on November, leaned back enough to look at him. "Is it real? Yes. There are several ways to escape death, although most are unpleasant or illegal, I think, and none are easy or readily accessible. And it's far easier to find ordinary healing potions than those that unilaterally stop death from occurring or are actual cures for death," he gestured, shrugging with one shoulder. He bit his lip. "It's... complicated," he repeated.

"But we do know that there was an elixir of life created from a particular stone, once. That the inventor used it on himself and his wife, and they lived far past a normal human lifespan. I believe it had healing properties, too, said to be universal. And I've even heard rumors that the very same elixir was believed to be capable of bringing people back to life," Green whispered.

"Unfortunately," Green sighed, "The stone was destroyed. But the fact is, it existed, once. And if somebody already did it, that means we can do it again," he said, absolute confidence punctuating his words.

"Touch me, Midas; make me part of your design."
Encyclopedia Entry (and further history.)
Strength: 1; Agility: 12; Control: 10; Stamina: 7
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