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Catherine Smith for Percival Adlard Jr..
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It was a pity he wasn't a woman, so then he might have had a chance of seducing his friend and marrying into his pocket, as it happened in the scandalous, poorly written novels that Christobal sometimes painted covers for. Christobal Vainart in Jackie & Wilson
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one less travelled by
She hadn’t wanted to lose her wand to the lake? Arven quirked a brow. Evidently she was used to incredible bad luck, then — for he wouldn’t have thought it easy to separate a witch from her wand. Perhaps she should have it attached to a pocket chain…

”In which case, might I lend you a spell?” he offered, thinking the young water waif might be grateful to have dry feet again. ”Or at least let me walk you to… wherever you might be reunited with your wand.”

A sorcerer without a wand was like a boat with a hole in it.
He seemed disconcerted by the situation - more than she was, at any rate. She suspected that whatever he did in his day-to-day career, he was more reliant on a wand than she. Her power was primarily in the pen, and she had never had a great deal of interest in the frivolous sort of spells they taught girls of her station. She should have had it with her today, though, if only to save this fellow from his chivalry.

“Oh, I left my things with a maid of mine,” Porphyria declared finally, “although that was somewhere... further back down the bank than this.” She squinted along the lakeside, trying to remember which side she had set off from originally and how far it was from where Arven Fisk had floated her in. She’d have dumped her things without a guard to watch over them if she hadn’t learned from experience to expect thieves; while she wasn’t ever keen to have supervision (she was old enough to take care of herself by now - obviously, she had been capable of that the moment she’d left Hogwarts), Sinead hadn’t minded having a half-day off to spend sedentary by the lake, leafing through a book of her own. Porphyria didn’t approve of her choice of novel, but needs must.

“That way, I think,” Phyri directed with a wave of her arm, holding her shoes in her other hand, wondering whether she could be bothered to put them on again or not. After all, poor Mr. Fisk might dreadfully offended by her feet. She could come back along to pick up the dying boat with her wand before she headed home or the man might charm it to follow along the shore like a duckling if he pleased. As for walking her, well. “You can come if you like,” she added indifferently, for the first time wondering what business he had been on before noticing her sinking vessel. “Unless you were wandering a certain way before?”

It did not surprise him to learn she possessed what he pictured to be an entire entourage of maids somewhere yon, for this was a lady of leisure. Quite above Arven's company, but... neither seemed to care much about their mismatch. Especially against the backdrop of midges and reeds, as opposed to parasols and promenades.

He came with her, leaving the boat safely snuggled against the bank for now. Ladies like Porphyria Dempsey could easily have the thing fetched, and frankly Arven would rather lend his focus to her alone, than to magicking her vessel across a lake.

"I'm wandering any way I haven't wandered before", he replied. "This lakeside is the one remaining unknown path I can spot from my window."
“A native of Hogsmeade, then?” Porphyria said quizzically, though she was surprised if he did reside here that there were still any paths untaken from his window. (It sounded like he made just as much a habit of hiking about as she did around the estate in Ireland; if she lived in Hogsmeade, she would have been bored, she thought, of the town in half a minute.)

“The wilder way,” Porphyria mused idly, respecting his choice for the unknown. “A noble pilgrimage for anyone,” she teased with a grin. It was only a shame this lakeside was bordered by a castle-turned-school and a park and a quaint little town; it would have felt all the more beautiful if it were alone in the mountains - and possibly covered in rolling mist rather than watery sunshine. (For the atmosphere.)

"I'm staying in Hogsmeade while visiting with family", he replied semi-affirmatively to the young lady; in truth he wasn't a native of anywhere. "But I'm a wanderer by nature; even by profession." The articles he penned about the wide and wonderful beyond drew Galleons, but were often a disruption to the way he lived.

"Seems you're prone to 'the wilder way' yourself", he observed, not without admiration, nodding briefly back towards the lake in which she'd found herself.
“As much as life lets me,” Porphyria replied with a grin, referring mostly to the constraints - lesser and milder than many - of being a young woman born to money and an impatient temperament, with even the outskirts of society too dull to bear well.

“By profession?” She asked with a raised eyebrow, as they walked. The Fisks were comfortable enough, at least the ones in Hogsmeade; this Fisk did not look as though he had boundless money to throw away - but he must make a living somehow. And if he had made some living out of wandering, as he said, then she was markedly impressed. “I’m intrigued.”

Her intrigue momentarily gave him pause, tempting him to play a card he often played when the game included a girl quite so pretty as this one. Her higher status didn't bother him, and wouldn't keep him. However... to play that card, i.e. to endeavour to manipulate her interest in a manner that might ultimately steal him a kiss, did not seem to suit this particular game. Nor this particular gamer. Not as they squelched along the bank of the Black Lake, Porphyria Dempsey being a companion of more wit and rarity than most people Arven knew. As attractive as he found her, the thought of playing her was therefore fleeting, and the goal (if there was one at all) instead became an odd, satisfying friendship.

"Mongolia, Persia, Siberia... wherever the horizon seems most alluring, I chase it. It started in my youth, and of course I was quick to discover adventure is not a recreation that pays for itself, so I found I had a vague talent for regaling tales of my adventures for publication in travel journals and papers. Sometimes the Prophet.

Foolishly, as a child I never considered that a person can traverse jungles and mountains simply by reading about them. But having profited from those who yearn for such tales, I know now that a truly insatiable reader has set foot in more wild countries than I ever will."
She smiled dreamily at the thought of chasing such horizons, though she hadn’t travelled nearly as much as she might have liked, nor to any of the places he’d dropped in. (Her father would happily take her sailing around Greece if she asked, but if she suggested going off around the world by herself she suspected her mother would make such an ordeal out of it that it almost wouldn’t be worth it.) She knew something about the trial of recreations paying for themselves though, and her smile broadened a little when he explained he had taken to writing about his adventures.

“Perhaps I’ve read some, after all,” she mused thoughtfully, casting her mind back to see whether she could attach the name to any of the more inspiring travel pieces she recalled. (He was an interesting person, so she could not imagine that his written manner would be particularly dull.) “And I agree that they can -” Phyri added, in agreement of readers, “but as someone who has made words her life as well, I must protest that there is rarely the same degree of danger to be felt in adventures when one is only living them vicariously. I must be a little envious.”

Hence the fun of the sinking boat, probably.

Arven's wild ramblings, published though they were, stood not necessarily at the highest quality around, and nor were they very famous. But they brought in enough gold for his exploits abroad, and they attracted the eye of interesting people. That was one of the first, happy things Arven had discovered about being a writer; his readers were of a particular type, and none of them dull. Kindred spirits he didn't even know he had.

Speaking of kindred spirits, it was pleasant news to learn that Miss Dempsey was also a writer (though he would later decide it was not at all surprising). "What form does your writing take?" he asked with interest.
There came that question, one that so often proved the loaded kind, at least with strangers. (For some dullards still believed women should not be published at all, some had no imagination, or had never picked up a book in their lives, some were society ladies sure to be offended by whatever she said or, worse, whatever they read of it.)

But she was pleased he had asked, and she suspected her face showed it, just a touch. “Poetry,” she said promptly. “And not,” she hastened to add, “the pretty sort.” It had passion, of course, as well as purpose (all poetry must) but it was not the kind destined to be recited by fresh-faced debutantes after dinner or by romantic young saps or staid old gentlemen. And all the better: if that was her legacy, why, she might as well banish all memory of herself now.

Arven was more intrigued by the poetry of Porphyria Dempsey than he had been by her epic rescue, classic adventure be damned.

"Go on..." he replied, his tone a mixture of invitation and request. He very much wanted to hear this not-so-pretty poetry straight from the writer's mouth; and either way, when next he passed the library he had every intention of seeking it out.

Alas, it was hard not to notice that the pier and the rooftops of the houses on Station Road were beginning to loom into view ahead.

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