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Stuck With You
March 7th, 1890 — Diagon Alley
@Faustus Prewett

For all she enjoyed being seen, Helga hated being stared at—and it was especially distressing to be stared while in distress.

Something had gone wrong that day. Her chaperon had claimed a curse was the only option, while another passerby suggested it was a reckless prank. No matter what it was, it had caused Helga to be trapped in the most uncomfortable position: stuck in place and as stiff as a statue, with only her facial muscles capable of moving. She could only take consolation in the fact that her skin must now be soft and dewy, as she had spent the last thirty minutes with silent tears running down her face.

Then the auror department had been called, which meant there were no time for tears. She had to act graceful and poised... or as poised as she could be, given the situation.

"I can't remember what I've touched, but I can't imagine it was anything I ate or drank. Nothing unusual has happened today," she explained, feeling her cheeks flush pink as the auror—a taller, noticeably older man probably in his thirties or forties—stared at her.

set by MJ! <3
Faustus had seen some strange things in his day, but the owl on his desk that had led him down to Diagon Alley was the most perplexing one he'd seen in a while. The words "Damsel in Distress" came to mind, though he knew he daren't voice it aloud seeing as he knew tides were turning and there were often more young progressives out there than he thought his generation realized.

The poor girl must be quite fatigued, he thought as he arrived on the scene to see her frozen as if she'd been touched by Midas. "Tell me miss," He inquired in a gentle tone, his hands behind his back. "How long have you been like this?"

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Fatigued she was, and Helga let out a deep breath to let it be known.

"Nearly an hour, sir," she replied, having to sniffle to keep herself from sneezing. It was awfully chilly, and her feet were beginning to numb from the late winter breeze. She hoped the spell (or whatever it was!) prevented her from frostbite. "Someone suggested it might be a curse, but I feel no pain. I don't really feel anything, if I'm honest."

set by MJ! <3
The fact that she wasn't in pain was a relief, though he supposed if she could speak by this point she'd have made it well known and they'd be in a very different situation. Faustus's blue gaze looked down at the ground and went back up to her as he stopped pacing but still kept his distance. He didn't want anyone to touch her for fear that whatever had hindered her was transferrable.

"Nearly an hour..." He pursed his lips in thought. It was good that she wasn't in pain but it was concerning that she couldn't feel anything - it suggested she was still aware of the weight her own body had, and whatever had happened to her wasn't the one supporting her weight. "And since then you've been able to move your head, or has what originally afflicted you slowly started wearing off?"

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It appeared he didn't know what she was suffering from. It was almost enough to bring the tears flowing once more, but she held them back for appearance's sake. She couldn't just start bawling in front of a gentleman, especially given his status and handsomeness! A man of his age would surely think her a child if she did.

"I can't actually move my head," she admitted, her chin wrinkling as her lips slid into a frown. "My neck won't allow it. I can move my facial features, though. My lips, my eyes, and even my nose."

set by MJ! <3
He could tell none of his answers were of any comfort to the young girl at all. Faustus smiled apologetically to her. "I know you must be extraordinarily uncomfortable right now," he said gently, "But I want you to know this isn't the worst thing we've seen." It certainly wasn't, though he wasn't at all in a rush to tell her it certainly was the oddest thing they'd seen in a while.

In order to try and calm her down, he gestured to himself. "Where are my manners? My name is Faustus Prewett, I'm the Head Auror." He rose his eyebrows to her. "May I get your name please, miss?"

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Helga had many questions about her current situation, but the most pressing one was how his voice managed to be so soothing. It was soft, yet rugged; masculine, yet gentle. It was the type of voice that would put someone with the worst insomnia to sleep. She flashed a nervous smile, hoping he wasn't a legilimens; how embarrassing it was to be thinking about that in a moment like this!

"I am less worried about the discomfort and more about my immediate future. My mother will get worried if I don't return home for tea," she admitted. She always returned home on time, lest she have her mother believe she was being led astray. "I know you're doing your best. No need to worry about my nerves."

Her nerves became a much bigger problem, though, the moment he introduced himself. Faustus Prewett? Prewett? The eldest son of Harriet Prewett? The widowed one? Helga felt her heartbeat pick up the pace. If there was someone she did not want to make a fool of herself in front of, it was a Prewett.

"Helga," she blurted, cheeks flushed pink. "Helga Scamander." She was tempted to throw in a 'I know your mother' or something, but she—fortunately—did no such thing.

set by MJ! <3
That she wasn't immediately panicking was a good sign. Faustus had been met with many a panicked citizen who didn't exactly help the situation he was trying to fix. He smiled gratefully at her again.

"Well, Miss Scamander," he said, lacing his hands behind his back as he walked around her once more. He took out his wand and waved it once over her person. "It's wonderful to make your acquaintance, though I do apologize for the circumstance." He allowed himself a small chuckle as he glanced at her apologetically. "Tell me, do you feel any different?" His blue eyes watched her carefully for any signs of change.

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Nowadays Helga usually tried her best to show her indifference to gentleman, but it was very difficult to do so when she was stuck in place and he was circling around her, being all courteous and chivalrous. A smile slipped onto her lips, and then a light flush, and soon she was unable to raise her eyes to meet his. Perhaps she should get into magical mishaps more often.

His magic did not cure her, but it did help. "I don't feel as stiff," she said encouragingly, "but I'm still stuck in place. Maybe it requires a different spell?" She was no expert on charms; she only paid attention to things that her seventeen-year-old self thought would help her ensnare a gentleman.

set by MJ! <3
Faustus was not entirely unaware of the effect he had on people. In addition to being an imposing figure as Head Auror, the fact that he was a part of the upper crust of society, his mother was a known socialite, and oh, that he cleared his father's name in the early days of being an Auror....things like these tended to stick with him. That didn't mean he was too happy about it.

He felt a pang of guilt as he observed Miss Scamander. The flush in the young woman's cheeks as well as the fact that he'd just introduced himself told him he wasn't making her the most comfortable. It was nearly impossible to not make her uncomfortable in this scenario when she technically was the crime scene. Thankfully, she seemed to be a bit more relaxed than before, which was a good sign. "A good sign," he replied, before taking a breath and casting a few more spells, muttering under his breath as he went.

He stood back and looked at the young woman again. "Any better, Miss Scamander?"

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Helga did her best—her very best—to avoid the gaze of Mr. Prewett as he continued to circle her. Her gaze stayed glued to blue folds of her skirt and the different shades of red on the bricks beneath her feet. She'd nearly counted twenty-three cracks on a single brick when she felt her arm muscles, and subsequently the rest of her body, relax. She took a step forward and took a deep breath, startling herself with the realization that she'd not been breathing correctly the entire time she was stuck.

"I'm... fine," she said between breaths now, her hand flying to her chest to steady herself. She'd be just fine, she told herself. She just needed one of the maids to loosen her corset when he got home, that was all. Turning to face the head auror, Helga mustered a smile and slightly bowed her head in gratitude. "Thank you, Auror Prewett." Another deep breath. "I didn't realize how tight the spell's hold was on me!"

set by MJ! <3
Faustus let out a breath he didn't know he was holding as the young woman visibly relaxed. He hadn't been completely certain that counter-spell would work. There wouldn't have been any damage done had it not, but the following spells would mean calling in a few more from his department; and they were focusing in on cases where Faustus would rather not have their attention diverted.

As she took more steps forward, Faustus reached out his hands in case he needed to steady her. Being stuck in one position without being able to move had its effects on someone and he was steeling himself in case she fell. She seemed to be able to handle her own though, and Faustus relaxed, smiling once more. He put his wand away, still watching her cautiously. "They're prone to do that to their subjects," he commented. "Especially those of the more vindictive types, though yours was a mild case. One I predict might have been for someone else." He fixed her with an inquisitive gaze. "Unless you think there might be someone out there with more nefarious motivations?"

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