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Spring Breezes
#1
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April 29th, 1890 — Padmore Park
It was a glorious spring morning  -the sky was the sort of blue that if someone painted it they would be accused of it being overdone -  even the greenery seemed a sort of fresh bright green that seemed almost false.  After an exhausting evening, and yet another rather bitter row with Ana about her future prospects Maddie had left the house very early – long before the rest of the family was up and breakfasted.  The habits of a lifetime of bakers morning, rising with birds to begin the day meant that she was much of a morning bird than a night owl. 

She had stopped by her parents, been told she looked ‘too skinny’ and been given a box of pastries to take away with her.  Given that most of the high street shops were still to open, she found her route had taken her to Padmore Park.  The groundsman had only opened the gates at 7:30, and now at nearly 8, there still wasn’t a soul to be seen.  But the spring flowers were in riotous bloom delicate heads of bluebell, primrose, crocus and daffodils swaying back and forth in the fresh morning breeze, carrying the smell of lupine and fresh baked pastries.

She sat herself in the shade of the oldest tree in the park, an ancient English oak, which despite it’s age buzzes and chirped with life, with both the girl, and her pastries seated on her shall beneath it. 



@Elias Grimstone


[Image: 3tPS0x.png]
Kit made a lovely gift! <3
#2
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The brisk spring weather was the perfect sort for an early fly, although on his way in front the surrounding forests, Elias had landed towards one edge of the park and thought he’d be better off making his way back across it on foot to warm up his toes and numb hands. Shouldering his broomstick, then, with his luckier hand in his pocket, Elias began wandering back across the lawns. Though even the paths were deserted today, at least at this hour - he suspected by midday the park would be brimming with people keen for a little Scottish sun.

His eyes had been following a squirrel as it darted in and out of the cover of trees and bounded across a root in a series of skittering hops, until it startled at some form of life. Elias wandered a few steps further and caught sight of the blonde settled under the tree. “Morning,” he called over with an affable air, shooting the stranger a smile and slowing down a little as he tried to figure out where the squirrel had scampered off to. “You’re out early!”

And tried to figure out what that good smell was.


#3
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’Much like yourself sir!’ she greeted brightly, ’making the most of the weather’ she laughed, ’and the quiet.’ she glanced from the gent to the broomstick he had in his hand. Early morning flying, she presumed, was like taking an early morning horse back ride. Georgi took one each morning and claimed it was his constitutional. And who was she to judge, out as she was so early, making the most of the park before the rest of the village awoke.

The squirrel, which had made a circuit of the tree so as to be out of sight was using all of it’s limited stealth to approach the pastry box on the grass beside her, its red brown fur sticking out against the green grass but she hadn’t the heart to shoo it away. She pulled out one of the pastries and tore it in two tossing both halves into the grass closer to the squirrel. Which nabbed it straight away, the other half was scooped up by an opportunistic starling which flew off beak full, just as fast as it had appeared.

’Would you care for one?’ she offered, it would be rude to be sitting there feeding park life while ignoring the other human inhabitant, ’otherwise Padmore park shall have the best fed wildlife in the Empire.’ she gave a small laugh as the squirrel struggeled to pull his croissant half up the tree with him.



[Image: 3tPS0x.png]
Kit made a lovely gift! <3
#4
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Elias smiled easily, for indeed the sun was washing down on her spot in speckled light through the canopy of the oak tree; it was entirely peaceful a sight.

Besides the greedy squirrel, that was. Elias’ grin became a little more crooked at the sight of it hauling about half a croissant.

“Oh, I really shouldn’t,” he said hastily, hoping his studying of the box of pastries hadn’t prompted her necessary show of politeness. He was not so greedy as that squirrel, thank you. “I’m sure they’re just the thing for the morning, but I’m afraid I have been eating far too many fresh pastries recently,” he confessed, with a laugh, “and if I eat any more I might burst.”

He glanced at the croissants again, wondering anew. No, simple coincidence, presumably. Although... “Are they from a local bakery?” Elias inquired.


#5
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Maddie’s parasol, and the shade of the tree did most of the work to keep the sun from harassing her pale skin.  Despite her hair and eyes appearing to best advantage with something of a sun glow, Ana was vitriolic about tans, insisting that Maddie, like Ana herself avoid it like the laughing plague.  She abandoned both the parasol and the trees shade as she stood from her spot on the grass, scooping up the box, which one of the squirrel’s friends was now eyeing up from the trees branches

’Oh please do!’ she insisted, rising moving towards him with the box in hand, ’For the sake of the squirrels waistlines’ she laughed, flipping open the top and proffering it, the mixture of her fathers creations.  ’They are my fathers’ she added, pride in her voice, Barton Backus, was a skilled baker and despite the humility of his profession, and his station she was incredibly proud of his skills.  Like Maggie he could have taken his craft to a more artisanal place, creating magical fancies for rich parties, art as much as baking, but he loved his community, loved baking the bread they ate each day, rather than the cakes only a few ate every now and then.  ’I wont possibly be able to eat them all!’, her build was waifish and starvling at the best of times, it was part of the reason her parents had pressed the stuff boxed into her hands, but her over tightened corset  made her look even slighter than normal.



@Elias Grimstone


[Image: 3tPS0x.png]
Kit made a lovely gift! <3
#6
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“Well then!” Elias hadn’t meant to disturb her peace, but now that she had gotten up from her spot and insisted he take a treat once more, he grinned and inclined his head in amused defeat. It would be her fault if he began to match his height horizontally.

Her fault entirely, given all the recent snacks she had sent him. Elias was almost entirely certain she was “M” - after all, she had just said her father was a baker, and how many bakers’ daughters were there in Hogsmeade, anyway? On the other hand, he didn’t know whether she had suspected anything in his question more than plain curiosity; nor did he know whether to spell it out. It would be venturing into new territory, again. And might make things awkward.

Still, it seemed worse to say nothing, and go about his day as if she hadn’t told him all about herself over the last month or two. “Tell your father thank you for my breakfast, then,” Elias said brightly, once he’d finished chewing, “it’s delicious.” He lifted his eyes to hers - a light blue - to add a little deliberateness to the remark, and then added: “Though not quite as good as some coffee slices I had recently.” If she didn’t twig - or Merlin, it hadn’t been her - that would sound slightly nonsensical and a little rude, probably; if she did, then the ball was quite in her court. Elias accorded her the option, having now seen him in the flesh, to brush away the remark and pretend she hadn’t connected the dots; he was sure he’d take the hint and be no worse for wear.


#7
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It was always nice to see someone enjoying something made with affection and skill, and she smiled broadly as her met her eyes. Maddie’s mouth formed a soft ‘o’ as he mentioned coffee slices, she glanced from the warm eyes of the gentleman addressing her to the broom in his hand. Could it be him? ’E?’ she gasped breathily, her hands holding the boxes slowly lowering in realisation.

Somehow, even though she had been writing to a ‘E’ for sometime, she had never imagined what he had looked like, or rather he had looked like a dozen different men as she had whiled away long carriage rides or boring tea parties thinking about the gentleman whose letters were hidden in the slats of her bed away from Ana’s prying eyes and Georgi’s derision. His last letters letter was folded in her pocket at that moment. She fished for it, pulling out the already opened envelope, her own name on the outside. She looked from it, back to the man, as though she could get confirmation of his identity from his handwriting alone.

Madeleine blushed, her cheeks colouring that had nothing to do with the morning sunshine, ’Are you him?’ she asked, her voice echoing and strangely distant inside her own head, as though she was hearing herself from a long way off.



(Stopping Maddie apologising is hard) - @Elias Grimstone


[Image: 3tPS0x.png]
Kit made a lovely gift! <3


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