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Heart Caught on Your Sleeve
October 31st, 1889 — Halloween in the Streets event

Alfred reached into his pocket, and felt the folded letter there. He wasn't sure why he'd brought it. Sometimes, he wasn't even sure why he'd written it.

He supposed a part of him was hoping to see Zelda here, foolish as that seemed. They'd been at a Halloween party together once, but it had been a much different atmosphere. A ballroom in a house that might as well have been a palace— he'd only been there at all because he'd snuck in, to rub shoulders with people who might fund his expedition. She, of course, was the Minister's sister, and she'd been invited. She would probably be off at another event just like that tonight.

But there was a chance. She'd come to the departure dock party on the Voyager, which was hardly a gala. Maybe she'd have slipped away from her family and come to a place like this, and maybe he'd see her, and maybe — a big maybe— he'd be brave enough to give the letter to her.

He could have mailed it, but he wasn't sure how it would be received. He'd tried hard not to word it like a protracted request for her to elope with him, because that really hadn't been his intention, but he was worried it would still come off that way. He ran the risk of offending her or alienating her if she thought he was pushing for something that she couldn't agree to.

And then, of course, there was the risk that she would say yes. He thought he could do it— run away with her. There wasn't anything here in England to hold him down. He'd worked hard for his ship, but that could go wherever he did. Still, the idea of it made all his insides tingle with nervous excitement. Putting the letter in the post would be tantamount to agreeing to it — it might be the last thing he did before the ball started rolling too fast to stop. And he just wasn't ready to send it yet.

It didn't matter. Zelda wasn't going to be here tonight, and he could put the decision off another day. In the meantime, he could use a drink. He spotted a booth one of the pubs had set up on the sidewalk and headed towards it, pulling out a few coins as he walked. Unfortunately, he failed to notice that the folded parchment in his pocket had gotten caught on the oversized cuff on the sleeve of his pirate costume, and fluttered out into the street behind him.
Benevolence was not the sort to go out on Halloween. Had it not been for a delivery of flowers expected by Mrs. Mitchin to be delivered 'at the last possible moment to ensure they are fresh' she would already have been at home, curled up on a chaise with a book - possibly a ghost story - to be festive. The fact that all of her flowers came with a freshness charm which lasted a week seemed to be lost on the muggle born witch who still couldn't shake the idea that flower delivered 'just in time' were somehow significantly fresher than those delivered mid afternoon.

As such it was already dark, and revellers had already taken to the streets by the time she was making her way home. The shop fronts of Hogsmeade were alight and alive with stalls selling food and libations, as well as apple bobbing and snap apple stations. A group of children were running around the well playing ghosts in the graveyard loudly to the annoyance of the men at the pubs mead stall who were trying to enjoy a pint in peace but were periodically being used as gravestones by the excited children. Another cocophony of shrieks and screams were coming from a group of young ladies who were diving into their bairín breac each eagerly in search of the ring.

As she passed the stall selling the meads and ales, a scrap of paper caught her attention. Curiosity made her lift the paper and her eyes widened as she scanned the contents. A love letter - earnest and pleading. She blushed deeply at being privy to someones clearly very private thoughts. It wasn't wet, or dirty enough, to have been laying long, and she scanned the crowd for someone looking for the loss of a treasured object.

[Image: W6YlfUx.png]
Bee is a wonder
Alfred waiting in line, ordered his ale, and paid for it without paying much attention to anything else. It wasn't until he was dropping his change back into his pocket and his fingers failed to brush against the by now familiar piece of folded paper that he realized anything was amiss. He checked his pocket again, reaching deep, but it wasn't there. He knew it had been there a moment ago, since he had a tendency to worry the edges of it whenever he started thinking about either it or its contents. Where had it gone, then? It must have fallen out somewhere.

He scanned the street quickly, untouched ale in one hand. There was a woman standing just where he'd been a moment ago, with a bit of paper in her hands. Their eyes met for one moment, but Alfred quickly looked away. That had to be it, didn't it? He could already feel himself flushing deeply at just the thought of another person having seen it. He wouldn't ask her for it, he decided. He'd pretend it wasn't his and go about his business and hope that she threw it away. He could do that — it didn't have Zelda's name on it, at least.

But it did have his name on it, he realized. Shit.

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