The most powerful stories weren't the ones you usually found by seeking them out knowingly. You happened across them. Kira had been riding the tube, minding the gap. The shaking, breaking, rattling tube, considering trading in her camera for a digital recorder. From the inside, everything outside looked like an illusory, better option. These days, everyone was a photographer. Less so with videography or, more precisely, cinematography. But switching now would be tantamount to giving up. She stepped off the tube, clutching the camera, and spotted a performer against the illuminated wall of the underground. She gravitated towards him, curious as to his artistry.
Today he performed with fire, sticks enchanted to burn always without ever so much as licking his own skin. Night would soon fall, and Ferdinand Holtzclaw would repeat his trick elsewhere, perhaps a few blocks away or perhaps a few countries away. He was dressed modestly, a brown tee-shirt, brown trousers, boots; he would blend in with a pile of dirt if he wanted.
Juggling. Three sticks for now. He could add more later. Movement--careful movement, his eyes on the sticks at first but then dancing from person to person, daring them not to appreciate his form and not to leave money at his bag, only a few feet away. Ferdinand hated cameras, but he looked at them anyway. Maybe they'd find him later to give him more money.
Maybe they'd find him later if they realized he was a wizard. That one was a bit troublesome.
She would always drop money. Always, because she understand - beyond even the challenges of being a performer - the struggles of making a home and life without a foundation. Her imagination was vivid, a visceral forest of concrete and stone and jungle peopled by all the faces she passed. She didn't know, but she felt it in her mind and somewhere in her chest. She wondered at his story as she always did when faced witha particularly intruiging person. She fished in the pocket of her jacket, pulling a good few bills and palmed them up her sleeve. She wanted to capture his performance first. To reveal herself now would cast his eye on her more than could be. She swam her way around to the side of the crowd so she could get a near back angle, the fire spinning in blurred arc against the backdrop of the crowd. snap. A silent click and a press of the button ensured that it was captured magically, forever fire forever spinning.
She swam back through the crowd to drop the bills into the bag and take position among the gleaming faces.
The rest of the performance continued without a hitch; Ferdinand performed a few more tricks, added some extra danger that wasn't ever dangerous to him, and then ended with a profound bow and a heavily accented, "Thank you all very much," in hopes that his graciousness might encourage more people to donate to his pitiful cause.
He was still aware of the camera, but the man had practiced paying it no mind. He had more important things to do: he was gathering up his belongings, including his profits for the evening, so that he could slip away and find some food.
Kira loitered behind, wanting to talk to the firespinner. It was part the fire, part the danger, part his face, and part the artistry. One creative to another, she could do this - but that frisson of fear always ran a current into hear heart before she reached out. Society was built around the intangible walls people built around themselves. Don't make yourself heard, don't try to reach out, don't share - tell - feel - make a ruckus. Well she had thrown those lessons into the wind, and decided to rush toward the things that scared her. It was the only way to conquer them, to become bolder - faster - harder- stronger. Her emotionas always warred with her rationality, which made the business of photography difficult, and approaching strangers harder.
"Ta," she said, when most of the lingering crowd had streamed on. "Where'd you learn to spin fire like that?" She eyed him, taking in his deft movements as he stowed away his accoutrements. @ferdinandholtzclaw,
He didn't bank on someone bothering him, so when someone came up to him and started asking questions, he immediately said, "Magic," just to make her go away. Magic wasn't real, of course. Why would magic be real? That was impossible. Maybe she'd catch on that he didn't want to tell her anything. He was almost done packing up anyway, so it wasn't like he had to stay much longer even if she kept talking.
She wouldn't be a photographer if she didn't know how and when to be persistent. Most people didn't want to be seen. But the best photographers learned to be pleasantly persuasive. And then therew as the matter of muggles and magic. There was always the chance of running into a mage about in London, but theirs was a small world, relative to the muggles. They were in the Underground, so the chances of encountering a mage were slimmer, and she had seen fire spinners before: it was hardly an exclusively magical art, the skill manifesting at its finest among those who deftly wielded the poi in the face of risk because they were that damn good. "If only there were a charm for being inflammable. Firemen, firespinners - all invulnerable." There was no way to tell a mage in the muggle world. There were tells, but sarcasm ran rampant as did the penchant for fantasy which meant telling a phony was a spell in the dark. That was the crystalline beauty: blood or magic, skin or language, magic or no magic. Humans were humans are humans will always be humans and all attempts to divide were superficial. "What would it take for you to teach me?" He needed to trust he could set his own price, this wasn't about artistry for him. It was skill, pride, and some measure of deception and power.
"Sure there is--abbaruhkuhdabbaruh," Ferdinand offered, enunciating each part of the word with a heavy accent. "Wave a magic wand and you'll have all the power in the world."
When he had all of his stuff packed up properly, he stood up straight and swung the bag around his neck. Now that he wasn't rustling around in his belongings, he could look at the person--the girl--more properly, and what a sight she was. She was very pretty, quite clearly took care of herself, and had a certain property about her that made her a little more alluring than usual. "I'm not for sale, but I could show you a different kind of magic if you want to go somewhere private," he deadpanned.
Notes: RIP. pretend I postd this on Kira's account.
Kira smirked at @ferdinandholtzclaw 's thought of magic. Her wand in its holster was pressing into her side. If only he knew, but that was how half-blood families began. There was a traditional taboo against fraternization rising out of both the need for secrecy but also from the preposterousness. There was no easy way to illuminate the world short of ripping a gaping hole in the statute of secrecy, blowing it to sparks tobescattered to the muggle media. But she could pretend as long as she needed that magic wasn't part of her being. "I'll haave to give that a try then, next time I feel like walking on coals."
He straightened and she felt the weight of his gaze sweep across her, the accompanying the shiver in her chest. Desire was palpable, invisible energy that felt raw. It might strip her nerves, and she would lose herself in the rush. But nothing else in the moment mustered a strong enough pull to sway her from the moment "Cannae buy skill but I think I could teach you a thing or two, and we'll see who comes out on top." She could take a detour, only her flatmates would know if she didn't return home, but she could find a moment send a message so they didn't worry.
Last Edit: Jan 22, 2017 10:50:31 GMT -6 by Deleted
Intensity turned to amusement--pleasure, both at the agreement and at the prospects to come. "It isn't a trick?" he asked lightly, though he was entirely cautious: while he loved a good romp-and-go as often as he could get it, he still had to make sure someone wasn't out to steal what little goods he could swindle (or that he got any unfortunate diseases). "What sort of things could you teach me?"
"If it were, do you think someone would tell you?" For a moment, she considered the allure of legilimency. What would it be like to know, at the most preciously charged moments, what anther was thinking. It could change the tide, make more than a few spare missed connections realign, or the contrarya: It could rend friendships and acquaintanceships at the seams. Reagan knew legilimency, perhaps she would have him teach her - a consideration she filed away for another time.
now that he had washed her with his appraisal, she indulged herself in examining him more closely. He was older than her, by a number of years from visual estimate. High cheekbones supported hawk-like eyes that carried a particular appeal she couldn't place. Eyes were fickle: they could mislead, entreat, persuade, inspire. Eyes like his were unnerving because it stirred something within her, a swell of breath, a pressure in her chest, and the contrary thoughts in the back of her head that wanted to take and take and be free in a way unknown. There was convention, and then there were social expectations, and then there was that glimmer of freedom, silvery blue and yellow that edged clouds and thoughts that were too wild and audacious for slow moving beasts of culture. Going home - Home? To a house. - with strange men from the subway for the sheer thrill of serendipity. And she could walk away at any moment. Power and freedom at best were the small moments and capabilities of self.
Now he was questioning her, and another train came by, its passengers spilling out like ants. Kira narrowed her eyes, her high dimming briefly. She wanted to move already. "Don't you think that's best discussed not in the Tube?" She shifted her weight, the distance between them a bated chasm.
The corner of Ferdinand's mouth twitched as if he were going to smile, but he managed to stay stoic. He rarely smiled, rarely showed much of anything but stoicism, even when he was angry or sad or scared. It was survival--when you were out here alone, you had to survive, and when you had to protect your wand, you had to work even harder to survive.
Sure, he could stay at Icarus's house, but that was just weird, and Ferdinand still needed to afford food, and....
"Lead the way," the man agreed. He was better off not stuck in his thoughts. He was better off focusing on the beautiful woman he'd just managed to find--or who had managed to find him. How lucky they both were.
Last Edit: Feb 17, 2017 23:18:19 GMT -6 by Deleted
Kira hadn't counted onhaving to bring the man to a place of her choosing. But then ,perhaps he didn't have a place. There were challenges you didn't think to face until they were staring you in the face. Then there was also the matter of payments, a meal. A drink. Charged little moments that connected too closely to the tumbling, provocative outcomes. The implications were unsettling.
Kira took the lead and wound her way between passenger and up the stairs, past turnstiles and into the soupy London air. She turned, half-expecting the shadow to be gone without the bright lights of the underground to cast and capture his form like a perpetual tableau, as much a part of the subway as the forgotten movie posters and bumperstickers plastered across the walls. " So do I get a name or do I have to make one up for you?"
Ferdinand's attention was on high alert as he followed the woman up and out. Anyone could try to steal his things or harm him, the woman included, and he wasn't letting his guard down just because he was potentially getting a beautiful piece of ass for dessert. "Ferdinand," he answered nonchalantly. There was power in names, but he also didn't care who knew his name. It wasn't tied to any organization and he didn't work at the Ministry; he was just a free soul who happened to have a name.
"What's your name?" He expected it easily because he'd given his own easily. Maybe that was the catch, as much as he thought he didn't care.
"Ferdinand." She rolled his name across her tongue, repeating it to herself silently once, twice, and stretching it out to taste the syllables. She liked the rise and fall, liked the soft sweep of Fer- and the rhythm of -dinand. Kira looked back up at Ferdinand, and through the rising tide of anticipation, there flashed uncertainty. She was about to bring a complete stranger to her flat. A first. Silently momentous, and it crashed on her bringing trepidation. What if it all went awry - she knew nothing about him, he came from the streets, he could be anyone, do anything and what if she couldn't stop -
Kira tore her eyes away from him, inhaling deeply and releasing it in a husky, "Kira." It would be fine. Whether by wand or by fist, she knew more than enough to defend herself or more. And how different was this from meeting a stranger at a bar? Either way, uncertainty bled risk. At the very least, she ruminated as she snagged his hand to pull him down the street. "Just this way, and a block or two more." She didn't release his hand, instead taking the opportunity to feel the texture of his skin, daring him to pull away. As much as the uncertainty radiated in her chest behind the pleasant burn of anticipation, there was a rising swell of curiosity: there was all the many questions and things to discover about his person, and though it wasn't the first time she'd join with a person, three tmis in she was realizing already what excited her.
"Where's a name like Ferdinand come from?" Because language was intellectual and sensuous, both of which whet her appetite in the right circumstances. Such as now, with a towering, sharp-eyed skilled stranger. She recalled the flames, feeling the heat of their dance washing over her skin.