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Discovered today that spotted dick is a pudding with raisins in it. But more importantly that "dick" was the victorian word for pudding. — Fallin
His sister and her group were not yet performing, however. Instead it was a plain looking young woman that he did not recognize. She seemed to believe she was singing.
My Idea of Fun

Now This is Us
January 16th, 1893 - Daffy's place
@Elias Grimstone

On the eve of her twenty-third birthday, had Daff been more introspective, she might have thought about how much had changed in the last year, but she had always been the kind to stay in the present, who tried not to dwell too much on what had been and enjoy what was. A lot had changed, her last birthday felt like a another lifetime entirely. She hadn't even celebrated it, pretending to be ill to avoid the whole thing. It was hard to picture after the contentment she'd settled into over the last couple of months, for which she was incredibly thankful.

And really, it wasn't a big birthday, and Daff had never been one to make a big deal out of it, so she was simply looking forward to a quiet night in with her critters. Tomorrow would be the obligatory birthday dinner at home, which was fine, that she didn't mind. She was not one to enjoy being the center of attention or fussed over. Plus she had always thought that people should be thoughtful and intentional any plain old day. Everybody thought of you on your birthday, but Daff had always thought it was any other day of the week, a random Tuesday, when you thought of someone and sent them a little note; or when somebody stopped at the florist to get a bouquet just because. Daff was of the opinion just because should be celebrated more often.

With the front of the shop all locked up, Daff sat atop her workbench in the greenhouse with her sketchpad, Winston snoozing in his bed below her, snoring softly. The evening light had faded and the lights that hung from the roof created a soft glow in the greenery of the space, still warm from the afternoon sun. Her workbench ran along the entire wall attached to the building and around the corner to where Hector was happily munching on his plant scraps. Daff purposefully left the corner devoid of clutter so she could crawl up there and curl up to work or sketch or read, whatever it was that she felt like doing at the end of the day. Humming to herself as she rounded some soft edges of her sketch, Daff heard the gate squeak open at the alley, which could only be a few people. The back door was locked, and Winston perked up, barking as he ran to meet whoever it was. "Hello?" Had she been expecting somebody?

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   Elias Grimstone

[Image: QajFrW.png]
She hadn’t told him about her birthday this week, but there were a lot of Potts girls about in Hogsmeade and he had overheard a little bird’s chirping about it in the florist’s, and he couldn’t very well do nothing.

At any rate, Elias was grateful he’d heard about it beforehand at all; chance hadn’t exactly given him much time, but luckily he’d already been working on something else for a while. He’d done up her shop sign and then made a little open and closed sign to match, and by that point he’d liked having a little side project to tinker with in his spare moments. This one had not exactly fallen far from the tree, one could say – it was a broomstick, technically, and not entirely disguised by the hasty wrapping job on it now.

It had ended up rather unlike his usual brooms, of course – it did fly, but Daffy was not exactly a flier, so it had become a project less of function and more of form, something that might look nice even if it never moved a foot. The handle was burnished cherry, the main length of it more haphazardly shaped that usual, following the branch’s natural twists and decorated with a flowery vine design. The tail was his very best effort at a bouquet – she had taught him enough by now that he wasn’t terrible, he hoped – with other plants woven into the willow, sprigs and flowers dotting the brush and all carefully bound up into the broom.

It wasn’t much, and besides, he would rather catch her alone – but it was later than he’d intended by the time he had gotten to London, she had already locked up. He hoped she was still around somewhere, though – so, with a quick glance over his shoulder, he slipped into the alley. He heard barking nearby, which was a good sign, and then a hello? “Daffy, it’s me,” Elias said, knocking lightly and trying not to be too loud about it. “Can I come in?” He rather hoped she didn’t have company.

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   Daffodil Potts

this absolute beauty by Bee! <3
The responding voice had been unexpected, but both relief and delight flooded her as she realized who had stopped by. Daff had gotten so used to popping by his workshop that she hadn't realized he would think to return the favor. Honestly it was a wonder he wasn't sick of her yet.

Flicking her wand toward the door, she called, "It's unlocked, but you'll have to find me I'm afraid!" She would have gotten up to meet him, but she was tangled up in her blanket and shawl and would have likely fallen right off the workbench if she'd tried to rush it. Not to mention this was a wee bit more fun. The greenhouse wasn't that big from the outside, that she knew; she and Jack had put it together themselves, but once the frame had gone up, she had magically expanded the inside to be of much better use.

"Watch out for Hector, he's in the corner opposite me." Daff teased lightly; it was part clue, part warning, because she didn't think they needed to deal with a chomping cabbage bite tonight. With her luck though, Winston would lead Elias right to her, but that was neither here nor there.

Carefully, she started tucking away her drawing supplies, setting the charcoal away in her little supplies case. She'd just been playing around, drawing the section of the greenhouse she could see from her perch, mostly to decompress from the day before she headed upstairs for the night. There was something peaceful about the quiet and greenery that relaxed her like very little else could. "To what do I owe the pleasure of your company this evening?" Not that she was complaining, and perhaps it was for no reason at all, but she was curious.

She pushed her sketchbook aside and tried to rearrange her blanket so she could eventually hop down, but didn't plan on moving until he found her. As an afterthought, she hastily pulled her sleeve down over the bandage on her arm. The slice from her fall during flying practice was pretty nasty, so she was still wearing a tight bandage that Ama had warned her not to play with until her sister could take another look at it.

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   Elias Grimstone

[Image: QajFrW.png]
He huffed a laugh at the challenge of finding her – but as he turned the handle of the greenhouse, he realised it was bigger on the inside. Winston waddled off back the way he’d come, and he could follow the sound of her voice, just about, but he took his time ambling through instead. “I could get lost in here,” he called as he caught sight of Hector and turned on his heel, casting an admiring eye over every corner of it before finding her tucked up in the corner.

The smell of freshness and soft glow of the lights reflecting in against the dark gave him a hazy sense of tranquillity, but the sight of Daff all nestled up in a shawl and blanket on her workbench gave him a rush of mellow feeling all its own. He fell to a halt before her, waving a hand to say no need to move. “You look comfortable. I’m sorry I came uninvited,” he teased – as if she didn’t have an open invitation to his workshop; as if that wouldn’t go both ways, as if he needed any real excuse to find opportunities to see her. That was just how he seemed to pass his days now, without even meaning to: looking forward to whenever he might get to see her next.

But he set down the wrapped broomstick on the workbench and cast her a pointed look – an expression that was mostly undermined by the smile threatening at the corners of his mouth. “But I happened to hear there’s a special occasion coming up,” Elias said, all too lightly, “and I just wondered when you thought you might tell me about it?” Too late for her, at any rate; he knew now, and there was nothing she could do about it.

this absolute beauty by Bee! <3
Daff could hear him wandering around as she finally untangled herself enough to at least seat herself on the edge, her legs hanging over and swinging idly as she waited for him to make his way through. Winston reappeared and returned to his bed, unimpressed by being woken. He was also clearly unimpressed by Elias, as he didn't stick around to make friends. Daffy's critters certainly weren't overly friendly. Or perhaps they were just picky about their people. It was sort of amusing though.

Elias' comment about getting lost had her chuckling. It didn't take him long to surface among the greenery and the smile that curled her lips was that smitten sort that she tended to reserve for him. "If you got lost, then I could keep you forever." She mused aloud as she turned wide blue eyes on him. She nearly rolled her eyes at his next statement, however; as if he was ever uninvited. She rather thought their standing unspoken agreement was to just show up whenever. She chose not to comment, instead pursed her lips a little and raised an eyebrow at him. It didn't last however as she was perplexed by what he set down on her workbench.

Intrigued, she reached out to run her fingers along the end closest to her. It was familiarly-shaped, but he knew she didn't fly (yet) and so she wasn't sure if perhaps he was just teasing her. "I have absolutely no knowledge of said special occasion," Daff hummed, feigning cluelessness. She wouldn't classify her birthday as anything necessary to celebrate, but she was curious to know how he found out. Leaning towards him conspiratorially, her loose waves fell over her shoulder as she curled her hands around the edge of the bench, she whispered, "But is that for me?" Daff tilted her head toward the probably-broomstick on the bench beside her.

[Image: QajFrW.png]
It was better, he thought, that he didn’t react to that remark – if you got lost, then I could keep you forever – because his only instinct was to say, without any shred of insincerity, I’d like that.

But he was trying to leave things – open, and light, and easy, and be the person she needed. Or at least had needed a couple of months ago, the life boat she had talked about, to be patient without pushing her too far too fast, however much he might have wanted to dive in headlong.

Daff was making it a little more difficult than anticipated to stay on track here, lowering her voice and leaning over like that – so relaxed, and her hair all loose – and he had shifted another step closer to her before he could stop himself, until he was almost leaning against her knees where he stood.

Elias did nearly roll his eyes at her, though. Two could play at that game, of course, so he stifled his laugh. “Now,” he prefaced his answer, trying wholeheartedly to keep a straight face, “that would depend on whether there was something to celebrate, wouldn’t it?” Playfully, he slid the broomstick another foot away from her on the workbench, threatening to move it out of her reach again. “If there isn’t, I’ll just have to find someone else to give this to.”

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   Daffodil Potts

this absolute beauty by Bee! <3
Any little skip of her heart was overshadowed by his teasing. Even though she felt it and enjoyed it. He was so close she could smell the familiar scent of varnish and perhaps a little pine mixed in and it caused her to smile as it always did. The predictability he provided was something Daff hadn't realized she'd wanted, or missed, until very recently. It was nice to have the comfort of knowing their something had clear direction and that she was the one setting the pace. Which she thought she might be able to hasten along sooner rather than later.

Still — he managed to catch her off guard, giving the cheek right back to her and her only reaction was a little "oh" of surprise as she looked up at him. She glanced over toward the package and back at him, tilting her head to the side curiously. Carefully, she rearranged her features into something more neutral; two could play this game indeed.

Gently she reached out to brush some saw dust from his jacket, smiling slowly to herself as she slid her hand lightly down the edge of the lapel. Not entirely unlike what he tended to do with her cloak, she was intent on undoing the first button, but paused and looked back up to meet his eyes again. "That would depend," she echoed in that same low tone, "On two things; one, do you think a twenty-third birthday tomorrow is worth celebrating, and two, are you staying to celebrate with me?" Daff wasn't exactly sure what that might entail, but as long as he was here, it didn't quite matter. He was all she needed.

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   Elias Grimstone

[Image: QajFrW.png]
Her hand on his lapel was only light, but the familiarity of the motion made it feel like more – and her toying with the jacket button was more familiar still, and sent a quiet thrill up his spine. If Daffy wanted to distract him from gathering his thoughts at all, she was succeeding.

He breathed out and grinned slightly when she gave him some ground and finally mentioned her birthday. Although... staying to celebrate might be an unwise move, Elias considered – he had meant to drop by the gift and go – for although she had spent time at the workshop in turn, it had usually been during daylight hours, and any privacy had been incidental. It was after dusk, and her shop was closed, and although no one was likely to catch him visiting the greenhouse, he thought he still ought to feel more guilty about being alone with her. But they were sheltered from anyone’s view, felt invitingly removed from the rest of the world in this hazy atmosphere of soft light and greenery, and Daffy had asked if he would.

He had meant to spool out the teasing for a little longer, but there was an undercurrent of seriousness underneath the nonchalance. “Oh, I’d celebrate anything if it gave me a reason to stay.” Meeting her eyes, Elias’ gaze lingered on her for a moment before replacing the present within her reach again. “Here, anyway.”

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   Daffodil Potts

this absolute beauty by Bee! <3
A triumphant grin curled her lips as Elias agreed to stay for a little while and celebrate. Daff was already starting to think through whatever she could come up with last minute, but highly doubted he was overly concerned about exactly what she managed to to piecemeal. This was a delightful turn of events. Daff had zero qualms about trading in her quiet solo evening for his company and a little birthday treat. He had to know though, that he really didn't need a reason to stop by whatsoever; it was just nice to know he was thinking about her.

"Delightful," she chuckled as she gave in, undoing the top button of his jacket, giving it a playful little tug at the second button. "I didn't have anything planned, but I haven't eaten yet, have you?" Daff tended to think of food as an afterthought, though she supposed it would be closer to dinner time than anything else. It wouldn't be much more than some snacks, she probably had some bread and cheese, maybe some fruit. She also had a bottle of wine that had been given to her at the opening of the shop that she had yet to open. Oh! She did have a cupcake from the ladies at the bakery down the street, but that was about it. It certainly wasn't anything fancy, but neither of them was all that fussy to begin with.

But first— Daff slid the present into her lap, carefully pulling at the twine wrapped around it, unfurling the simple brown paper to reveal the broom inside. For the second time since his arrival, her mouth fell open, the silent gasp all she could manage as she ran her fingers over the carvings in the handle. Daff had to admit she had only seen his work in pieces, rarely the finished product, but this was something else entirely. The details of the vines, the cherry wood, the flowers in the tail; it was like he'd etched her into a broom. "It's beautiful," she breathed out, stricken with obvious emotion that had to be plain on her face as she tore her gaze away to look back up at him. "I love it, thank you, Elias." Her voice was barely more than a whisper as she didn't quite trust it not to betray the sudden onslaught of emotions. Daff knew she'd been falling for him, without even trying, but now she was well and truly sunk.

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   Elias Grimstone

[Image: QajFrW.png]
It was a feat to pretend either of them had lost that round of teasing when they were both equally pleased about the result. She was triumphant, and he was delighted, and he shook his head predictably at her question about having eaten as he shrugged off his jacket entirely. No need for the pretence that he was only stopping by for a moment, then.

Elias propped himself more comfortably against the greenhouse workbench alongside her (making sure not to accidentally disturb Winston underneath it with his feet) and watched sidelong as she unwrapped the broomstick, a quiet thrum of anticipation in his chest. But her reaction was perfect, because of course it was perfect – he had never met anyone as open-hearted and as generous, she would have found it in herself to be moved by anything – and it hardly mattered what she said because there was already so much written on her face.

He smiled at her, a little dumbstruck by her gaze. But when he let himself breathe out, he tweaked the placement of a flower in the tail, critically, and turned a little wry. “You’re lucky I’d been working on this already,” he remarked lightly, else I don’t know what I would have had to give you, since you didn’t tell me it was your birthday implied. “And, you know, I’ve had to get creative here,” he added fondly, without really thinking, “because I never imagined I’d end up courting someone who doesn’t even fly.”

this absolute beauty by Bee! <3
Daff had turned her attention back to the broom as he fiddled with the tail, absorbing the details of the carvings and the flowers. If she didn't, she was going to start spouting all manner of mushy sentiments and she thought that might be a little much. Instead, she marveled in the different colors and textures and kept running her fingers over the handle of her broom, toying idly with the twigs. Her voice was still a little breathless, still awestruck, but she tossed him another look. "Yes, well, I've never been one to think much of my birthday, but turn about is fair play and now you have to tell me yours." To know that he'd already started making it before he even knew her birthday coming up was another thing entirely. That was how she thought the every day should be done; do something for someone when you're thinking about them.

His quip about courting (courting! It wasn't even official and the thought still gave her butterflies!) someone who didn't fly had her chuckling and pulling her sleeve up to show him the bandaged wrapped around her forearm. The mention of courting also reminded her they should probably have a discussion about that, but lighthearted topics first. "I'm working on it?" It wasn't easy and she wasn't very good at it; it still terrified her a little, even with all of Calla's help, but she was trying and she would keep trying until she was no longer atrocious at it, at the very least. "Just doing more falling than flying." She grimaced a little, but moved past the embarrassment quickly only to fluster herself by circling back around to the courting thing.

"Speaking of courting," Daff bit her lip a little bit, wondering how exactly to phrase this. "I do have a thought there," many thoughts that there were varied in intensity and realism, still a bit of a jumbled mess, but she was starting to sort them out, bit by bit. "I would like, if it works for you," Daff could feel the blush creeping into her cheeks, "To maybe give Dahlia and Mr. Honeyduke their due time and upon their next step," Whenever it was Mr. Honeyduke proposed, as Daff had zero thoughts he wouldn't, that would open up some room. Honestly Daff would be content for everything to be on the quieter side anyway. "Perhaps, maybe, take ours?" What were the rules on multiple sisters courting at the same time? Honestly Daff didn't know, but she didn't want to impede on Dahlia's happiness, even if it meant stalling hers a little bit. Hopefully Elias would understand.

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   Elias Grimstone

[Image: QajFrW.png]
“It’s in summer,” Elias offered coyly, of his birthday, not about to help her too much. Particularly as he liked to be a hypocrite here, and make no song and dance about it.

Daff,” he exhaled, tone turning stern and expression dismayed as she revealed her bandaged arm. That looked to him like more than just a little graze or scrape. (He should know. He was an expert at falling.) He shook his head at her, trying to dissuade her – she might be making light of it, but he had only been joking, really: it didn’t matter to him one way or another if she ever took both feet off the ground. “You know you don’t –”

He left off the lecture, though, because his mention of courting had had an effect – and he ought to be sorry for dropping it in so casually, but it felt like less expectation that way, as if they could slide into some formal future by merely joking about it. Not that he wanted her to think he was anything less than serious about it –

But she was a little flushed and stumbling ever so slightly over her words, which – for a second, at least – Elias took as a sign of the worst, that she was searching out a way to let him down gently. He averted his eyes a little, but when he had actually digested her proposal, all it sounded like was... waiting a while before taking a step. Head tilted, he lifted his gaze again and surveyed her slowly, looking for the truth in her face to be sure that was the only hesitation she had. Her sister. Quin. “Of course.” It was difficult not to feel a swooping disappointment in his gut, all the same; but Elias had told Daffy to take all the time she needed, and that he wouldn’t be going anywhere. He was as good as his word.

“I’ll wait as long as you want me to,” he echoed, with a little more conviction. And he could be patient, he was sure, particularly if he could soak up the days and months in her company regardless. But – he glanced at her again, searching. “But I – can I ask – is that just for your sister’s sake? Or... is it still the heartbreak, too?” Elias had done his best to respect her privacy, not bring it up or ask for details; but it was why she had pulled away before, and he didn’t know enough about her past to see the signs of it. He gave her a slight shrug, to say it’s alright if it is. He would understand: he would prefer she was honest.

this absolute beauty by Bee! <3
With her focus fixed solely on him, Daff watched the myriad of emotions cross his face as the conversation flowed. She made note of the approximate timing of his birthday and that he didn't directly answer her, (meaning she would just have to send something from the beginning of June until the day arrived, or he finally told her). She nearly laughed at his almost lecture about the flying, and smiled at the concern in his tone. However as they moved into the more serious subject, she realized just how awful she was with words. This is why she sent flowers. Even letters were easier with time to think before putting quill to paper.

When Elias said he'd wait as long as she needed him to, Daff didn't doubt him for a minute. He had been very clear about that from the beginning and though she knew it, the reminder was nice to hear. That he worried she was still dealing with the heartbreak from the summer was another thing entirely.

Rearranging her position on the workbench, she brought one leg up, fixing her skirts and turned to face him better, biting her lip as she tried to figure out what to say. Noble hadn't crossed her mind since the opening of the shop, since she and Elias had decided to try this, until she had run into him the other day after her fall. It hadn't stung as much as it had in the past and that was all the evidence she needed to prove to herself that she was ready to move on.

"I think you'll learn quickly, if you haven't already, that I will always put myself last," Daff had done it her entire life and it was a hard habit to change. "And that I'm not very good with words," her brain often moved too fast for her mouth to keep up. "So I tend to act more than I say," hence the continued flowers and visits. If she sent him something every time she thought about him, her owls would never get rest. "But please believe me when I tell you the door to that broken part of my life is closed and locked and I don't even wonder what's behind it anymore." Daffy had long ago stopped thinking about what her life could have been like. It was another lifetime ago and she wanted to focus on what it would be like.

Gently, she reached out to brush her hand over his cheek, running it down his arm until she had one hand clasped between her own."Falling in love with you has been easy and natural and I like who I am when I'm around you. You are patient and intentional and thoughtful," she motioned to the broom she had set aside. "And I have zero hesitations about you, about what comes next, it just boils down to timing, I promise there is nothing else."

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   Elias Grimstone

[Image: QajFrW.png]
He didn’t know whether it was caused by her hand brushing over his cheek or what she had said, but by the time she had taken his hand, Elias believed her entirely, and any guard he’d had up had fallen again. Daffy had a knack for that. Pulling down walls, opening gates – she was a little like her greenhouse, good at letting all the light in. And she hadn’t finished there – falling in love with you – so it was all he could do to let the words wash over him, in something greater and more painful than relief.

He liked who he was around her, too. And falling for her had been so terribly easy that it was a wonder it didn’t happen to everyone who met her – if he had been a little less careful, Elias could have confessed he was in love with her at the flower show; the first time she had shown up at his door with those red carnations; by the very first letter she’d sent. He was almost dumbstruck by his good fortune, and suddenly, by all this being real, as if he couldn’t fathom how they had gotten here.

“I don’t know what I did to deserve you,” he said earnestly, helplessly, with the beginnings of a laugh. “Daffy, you’re...” Someone he had never expected to find. He shook his head, abruptly unable to express it in words, how much he depended on having her in his life. If he had closed doors in his past, he had walked away from those a long time ago – and although he thought of Evangeline occasionally, he had long since stopped dwelling on the idea of a future that never could have been – but still, a part of him had worried that those doors might stay closed for good. That that was all there had been for him, and he would never come close to feeling that way again.

Eventually, he gave up trying to find the words to express what he felt about Daff now, only conscious that, in promising that she had no hesitations, she had swept away all of his doubts too. So all that was left was pure feeling, somehow laid bare and made tenfold stronger.

He put his other hand on her shoulder, gently, and shifted closer, as if he could tell her everything he wanted to in a look, in a smile of apology. “You’re better with words than me.” But if there was a way to convince her by it instead – he leant in to close the gap and kiss her.

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   Daffodil Potts

this absolute beauty by Bee! <3
Daff felt like she'd snowballed into rambling and so once she made herself stop, she watched him even more carefully, thumb brushing back and forth over his knuckles without thinking. She had no idea if what she said had made the impact she wanted and so she held her breath while she waited. Patience was not her virtue sometimes, but she had to see what it was he said next.

She really wasn't very good with words, but she seemed to find the right things to say to him, on the rooftop, now, and as he laughed at her, she finally exhaled. He must have been the secret. Something about him that got her to figure it out. Echoing his laugh, she smiled slowly at him, at his sudden loss for words. That was exactly how he made her feel most of the time.

Blue eyes fixed on his, that look he gave her would have made her weak in the knees if she'd been standing. It said everything she needed it to, words rendered unnecessary. Her breath caught once again, as she attempted to laugh when he finally managed to say something. He leaned in, his hand warm on her shoulder, even through the fabric of her dress and Daff felt the overwhelming sensation of being home. Wherever he was, whenever she was with him, that was what often struck her the most; how much he felt like center of her universe.

Everything clicked into place when he kissed her and she softened into it easily. Feeling the familiar warmth spread through her, Daff slid her hands from his, up over his shoulders. Wanting to be closer, she leaned in further, but caught her bandaged forearm and the sting momentarily distracted her. Leaning back, pulling her arm with her briefly, she chuckled, "Maybe you should do the flying lessons from here on out."

[Image: QajFrW.png]

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