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Clare Victoria Basiltree for Christopher Basiltree.
Meddlesome mother, but make her a squib <3
The thought of marrying Cecily Gallivan had occurred to Fitz in the way that the thought of marrying any attractive young lady did: a firm maybe and a hasty step away to more pleasurable topics, like sport or brandy.Fitzroy Prewett in Well. That took a turn.
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Complete five threads where your character experiences good luck, such as finding a sickle on the ground or being saved from a fall!

no spark on a dampened floor
March 9th, 1891 — Brownhill Observatory, London

The sun had gone down, but the snow was still falling, and they were still alone in the observatory. Ford had gone through a dozen different strategies since he'd convinced Darrow to untie him. One of them — waiting for rescue — was seeming less and less likely. If anyone had been planning to come home tonight, the snow must have prevented them. Presumably in a house this size there might be some day staff, but even if the weather improved they couldn't expect them for hours.

Presumably someone would have been missing him by now. The rest of his office would have noticed that he hadn't come back from a routine call that morning by at least the middle of the afternoon. Ford wasn't sure exactly what time it was, but if the hunger pains he was feeling were any indication, it was long since time to go back home for the day. That meant his siblings and Mama would have been missing him too, by now. The chances that the pair of them could just walk away from this interaction as though nothing had taken place were growing slimmer with each hour that stretched on. So: he wasn't going to be rescued, and he would have to explain this to at least someone — possibly various different groups of someones — whenever he did get away. He was going to have to do something to get out of the observatory, which he hadn't figured out yet, and then he was going to have to explain where he'd been to someone, without breaking his vague promise to Darrow not to tell anyone or "act strange about it." Which — maybe shouldn't have been a point of consideration, because Darrow was sort of holding him hostage at the moment and it wasn't as though anyone could fault him for making a stupid promise under duress. But — still.

Ford's wand was in Darrow's back pocket. He'd seen it, now and then, poking out when he moved. Darrow's was still safely under the cabinet. In theory, Ford could snag his wand when Darrow wasn't paying attention and he'd have the upper hand. It would have been easy enough, and he could picture the way he would do it. Since Darrow had untied him, though, some of the urgency of the situation seemed to have left. He hadn't used any more magic (he didn't even seem to remember that he had Ford's wand), and things had been a bit — boring, really. Darrow described things, Ford trudged around looking and eventually brought them back, and Darrow prepared them. The potion wasn't finished yet, so for right now things were... calm. Peaceful, in a — very weird way.

Ford put another ingredient down at Darrow's makeshift workstation, letting his hand linger on it just a second. He was still trying to commit all of these to memory, so that he could tell Noble about it later, but on his own he hadn't pieced together what this potion was supposed to be at all.

"Where'd you learn how to do this?" he asked, in a conversational tone. It was really more to break the silence than anything else; they hadn't spoken (to each other, anyway — Darrow was still mumbling on occasion) in nearly an hour.

Bree made this because she loves me <3
Hours had passed, and yet neither he nor Greengrass had found the ingredient. They'd found plenty others, and that was good - they'd have to find them once they found the witch's ganglion anyways, and putting the recipe together helped distract him from the shaking in his hands and chest. Greengrass was proving true to his word, and after a while Billy had stopped watching him out of the corner of his eye. He still had the upper hand with Greengrass' wand in his back pocket, and the spell would prevent Greengrass from revealing anything even if he did escape, so they'd settled into a strange pattern in the way they worked.

Billy grabbed the ingredient Greengrass placed on the counter and began scooping it out with a measuring spoon he'd found abandoned on one of the shelves. "I'm a healer," he said, though he thought that much was obvious. In truth healers didn't usually learn how to brew potions on the fly - that was one skill he'd acquired while having to go behind everyone's backs to brew his potion, but he wasn't focused on his backstory. He needed to get this potion right.

Remind me never to get sick, Ford thought sarcastically, but he said nothing. That wasn't what he was asking, and Darrow knew it — this wasn't a normal healer thing, this was a potioneer thing, and Ford knew the difference because his brother was a potioneer. So Darrow was trying to dodge the question, signaling that they might have settled into a pattern but they were not so comfortable that they could be conversational, which was... fair, honestly. Given that the last time Ford had started asking him questions, it had lead to Darrow having a bit of a breakdown and crying in the middle of the observatory, Ford supposed he couldn't blame him for not wanting to talk.

Ford was going to keep asking questions anyway, though, because he was tired of it being so quiet. "How much longer is it going to take?" he said, angling his head to get a better look at what Darrow was doing with the ingredient Ford had just handed over. And what does it do? he thought, but of course he knew Darrow wasn't going to answer that.

Bree made this because she loves me <3
Questions, questions. None of them were hard for him to answer - at least emotionally, because logistically Billy didn't know how much longer this was going to take - but that didn't mean like liked having to answer them. He gritted his teeth as he mashed the ingredient to a pulp, which had proven to be an efficient way to get his anger out without actually lashing out. "Not sure. Quicker if we find the witches' ganglion." Even saying the name of the plant made his heart skip a beat. It didn't make sense, because it wasn't as if it was the ingredient alone that would soothe his jitters and calm his mind; he needed the entire potion, and he had enough of the ingredients already, but knowing it was that ingredient that made his potion as potent was making him crave the ingredient alone just as much.

"Which - I don't suppose you've found it yet." It was a statement, not a question. He didn't understand how it could be so difficult to find such a peculiar ingredient when it stood out so much from any other magical plant, and yet it had managed to elude them through the evening.

Ford frowned. "I've been looking," he said, a little defensively. Which was the truth, mostly. Since Darrow had described it, Ford had been keeping an eye out for anything that matched the description, but when he did find it he wasn't sure whether he would pick it up and trot it right back to Darrow like he had with all of the other ingredients so far. He still didn't know what it did, but it seemed to be the central piece of this whole scheme. If Ford was going to try and delay and hope for eventual rescue, the best thing he could do when he found the witch's ganglion was to shove it into a cabinet where Darrow was unlikely to find it.

"So it makes your potion brew faster?" he asked, deflecting a bit from the ongoing search for the ingredient and edging closer to that question of what does it do? "Aren't there lots of things that could do that?"

Bree made this because she loves me <3
Billy snorted, the corner of his lip curling up into a sarcastic, almost irritated smile. "No, that's not what it does." If that was the case, he'd never have gotten himself into this situation. He would have continued brewing his potion the same way he always had, he'd be in his normal state of mind, and he'd never have broken into a stranger's house. "It - makes the potion do what it needs to. It'll fix things." He'd hinted to Greengrass before that he wasn't always like this, even if he wasn't aware of how severe this was in comparison to his normal state of mind, but he hoped it would provide enough of an explanation.
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   Fortitude Greengrass

Ford thought for a moment that the phrase it'll fix things sounded rather ominous, before he remembered that the ganglion was for the other potion, not the one that Darrow had said he intended to make Ford drink. In that context, it'll fix things had a much different tone. It sounded desperate, and Ford fleetingly felt a little sorry for Darrow. He knew that didn't make any sense, because he had no reason to care whether or not Darrow was fixed, particularly not after everything that had happened between the pair of them that afternoon, but the thought occurred to him all the same.

"What's next, then?" he asked; he was making himself a little uncomfortable with this train of thought and was eager to have an excuse to wander off again and stop looking at Darrow, hunched over his ingredients and looking so quietly but clearly needful.

Darrow gave him another description, and Ford wandered off in search of it. He had a system at this point, since he'd been doing it so long. He'd wander out from where Darrow was looking through everything that was visible from the aisle, the things strewn about on tabletops and displayed prominently on shelves, and if that didn't turn it up then he'd look more in depth on his way back through the observatory, combing through drawers and cabinets and pushing things aside to see what was hidden behind them. It had been working so far, except for the witch's ganglion.

He found this particular ingredient nearly at the other end of the observatory from where Darrow was, but not quite. It was a vial of powder that Ford wouldn't have recognized had it not been for the label. It occurred to him distantly that he could have done something to it, before he got it back to Darrow. He didn't have his wand, so he couldn't have tried to neutralize it (and he wouldn't have known how to do so, anyway, without looking up a spell first), but he had plenty of other things strewn about that he could have incorporated. He could have dumped this out and replaced it with something else, or mixed it with something, in order to sabotage whatever Darrow was brewing. The thought occurred to him, but he discarded it immediately. Ford didn't know what he was doing when it came to potions, so he didn't know what making substitutions would do. It might take an innocuous potion and turn it into a poison, or it might see the whole thing blow up in Darrow's face, and Ford didn't want that. He didn't appreciate what Darrow was doing to him this afternoon, but he didn't want him to get hurt, or anything, even if that would remove the danger of Ford having to drink some mysterious potion in the future.

He returned with the vial and handed it over to Darrow. He watched the younger man work for a moment, chewing the inside of his lip and waiting for further instructions. When Darrow didn't immediately present any, Ford found himself asking questions again instead. "What are you going to do if we don't find the witch's ganglion? If your potion doesn't work?"

Bree made this because she loves me <3
What's next was... whatever they found next, he supposed. They nearly had three-fourths of the ingredients in his cauldron, and one of the missing ones was the witch's ganglion. He hoped that everything was going to work out; usually when he brewed a potion he was in a more controlled environment, with tools of his choosing that had also been properly cleaned and ingredients he knew were at the perfect state to be brewed. At least none of the ingredients in his potion required they be harvested at a certain moon phase or time of day.

With Greengrass having disappeared for the moment, he moved around the workbench, picking at leaves, sniffing them, tasting them, doing whatever he could to figure out if anything could be useful in the event they didn't find the witch's ganglion. Some plants had similar affects, and it dawned on him that he might not be at a total loss. But still - what if things got worse? Was adding another mysterious ingredient worth the risks when its effects might lead to his own death, or worse, Greengrass'? He thought not.

He spotted Greengrass coming back down the aisle and returned to his workbench, feeling suddenly protective over his makeshift workbench. He took the vial, not bothering to even meet Greengrass' eyes, and examined the ingredient. It looked fresh, untampered with, and - he took a sniff of it - it smelled just fine. He poured it into the cauldron, which caused a small puff of purple smoke to rise into the air in front of him.

"Well I might just die then," he answered sarcastically, but in his dryness there was true concern. What if he did die? "Or we both will, because I'm not sure how much longer..." He trailed off then, realizing that he hadn't quite revealed that much yet.
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   Fortitude Greengrass

Ford had been expecting another dodge, so when he heard Darrow's tone he was ready to dismiss the comment out of hand as just another cheeky thing Darrow was saying to avoid answering his questions. What he followed it up with, however, was a bit concerning. It wasn't the words, so much, because Ford might have dismissed those just as easily as he had dismissed Darrow's sarcastic comment about dying. It was the way his sentence drifted off, like he'd said too much and didn't want to keep talking. It gave Ford the feeling that maybe this was a bit more of a possible outcome than it should have been, but that couldn't be right. Darrow was a healer, after all (somehow — while he knew it to be true Ford had not really reconciled this with the reality of the man sitting before him moving through potion ingredients like he was some sort of animal acting on instinct). He had to know what he was doing? He had to know enough, at least, to ensure he didn't brew something that killed them?

"You're not going to die," he said, hoping the other man was bluffing and Ford could call him on it. "You're trying to scare me."

Bree made this because she loves me <3
There had been times where Billy had been trying to scare Greengrass, but this wasn't one of them. In most of the time he'd spent searching for the witch's ganglion, he hadn't actually stopped to think about what might happen if he didn't get it; but now that the thought was put into his head—the option of death—it made him all the more desperate to have it in his hands.

"I don't think you understand what I mean by I need it," he said cooly, cocking his head to the side to toss Greengrass a look.

Ford's eyebrows shot up at the look Darrow gave him. But you're not really sick, he wanted to protest. That was just a lie. Darrow certainly didn't seem to be suffering from some sort of fatal disease at the moment. Physically, he seemed to be fine, and he'd had no trouble brawling with Ford earlier that day. He'd managed to separate Ford from his wand and was brewing a potion as they spoke, so his reflexes and his mental faculties were apparently intact. Well, some of his mental faculties, anyway. But surely the potion he was brewing for himself couldn't be meant to fix something like that? Was there a potion on the market that cured insanity? If there was, why did people still pay asylums to lock their loved ones away?

Even if that was what he meant, though, wasn't it still a bit extreme to suggest that he might die from not having it? Though perhaps if his judgement was impaired by the lack of this potion and the presence of whatever affliction it was intended to cure, Darrow didn't know that.

"You're not going to die," Ford repeated, more firmly. Whatever Darrow's potion was supposed to do, and whatever was or wasn't wrong with Darrow, Ford knew it would benefit neither of them if he started to panic. "We'll find it. You said it was here, right? So I'll find it."

Bree made this because she loves me <3
Billy snorted, his gaze falling back to his work station. There's no way to know, he thought, shaking his head, because of all the times he'd gone without his potion he'd never gone this long. He'd never been around people who'd gotten hooked on potions, which was probably because, like him, they were ashamed. "I'm glad one of us is so sure. We only need it and... one other ingredient." He took stock of what he'd already put in the cauldron, rotating all the vials and jars Greengrass had brought him to make sure.

Ford felt a slight jolt in his chest. "Only one?" he repeated, as though he hadn't heard properly. They'd been at this so long that the activity had started to feel as though it were no longer bounded in time; he'd sort of lost track of the fact that it would have an end point. Now, apparently, it was imminent, and that was disastrous because Ford still hadn't figured out what to do next. He wasn't going to drink this unknown potion. He was sure he'd find a way to get out of that... but how? Darrow had Ford's wand. Darrow's wand was inaccessible. They were both trapped, and alone, and surrounded by enough snow to muffle any attempt to signal for help.

Maybe he could go and get Darrow's wand? Ford knew, in theory, that it was possible to get your wand back in your hand from a few feet away with accio, but he'd never tried it before, and he didn't know whether a stranger's wand would respond to the command in the same way that his own wand might. Still, he had to try something, and he was running out of time.

"Alright, tell me what it looks like," Ford said. He waited for Darrow's description, but he was hardly listening. As soon as he left Darrow, he went back to where his wand had rolled under the cabinet, but he didn't try and retrieve it right away. Instead, he sat on the floor besides the cabinet, elbows on his knees and his hands running through his hair, trying to think what he was going to do next — because he was absolutely, incredibly sure this wasn't going to work.

Bree made this because she loves me <3

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