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Ghost of a Chance
June 18th, 1889 — Fudges' Private Residence, Sanditon Resort
The summer season at the resort had truly begun, and after several years at the task, Herbert was quite content to trust the staff to do their jobs—generally, at least. Though there was still the matter of Somersby's future to be settled before the former wizard might truly consider himself content with his lot in life, such matters would, for today, be placed upon the back burner as Herbert attended to more pressing matters.

"No, no, it's smaller than that," he told his wife as she sifted through the contents of the over-packed cupboard. "And the wood of the box a bit darker."

Herbert held his spectral arms out in a shrug as if to apologize for the fact that he could be of no physical help, but his eyes—and of course, his mouth—were smiling. This was a task that, even if he could help, he would have elected not to, a mission for Freddie and Freddie alone.
@Winifred Fudge/@Acacia Ruskin

who doesn't want a ghost dad?hear the sea's siren call
graphics by mj ❤ —
Summer was always busy. Freddie enjoyed the busy season. Less time to practice her potions, but more time to attempt at getting people interested in buying them. It was also a time to give attention to her children who were at Hogwarts. And as her eldest was leaving the school for good, her youngest would be off to school next year. It was nice to at least have one of the children home.

At the moment she was looking for something. She wasn't really sure what. All she knew was that it had something to do with a box. And this latest find was still the wrong one. Perhaps investing in another cupboard wouldn't be too out of the question, given how much stuff was in this one.

"Smaller and darker, alright then." She said, partially to herself and partially to him. Her husband was smiling, despite the shrug. And Freddie smiled back. Then her search continued her search.

She was taking a few things out and placing them to the side as she looked. Yes, a new cupboard would be nice. Or to enchant this one to be more organized despite the amount of items inside. "This one?" She asked as she held out another box for Bertie's inspection.

Magic by MJ!
"That's the one!" he answered, beaming, as he moved to hover just behind her shoulder. It was a bit of a puzzle box, one acquired on his travels. It had taken three hours of frustration with his scribe to get it properly set up, but Herbert had little doubt Freddie would complete the challenge much more swiftly.

"You'll need to open it, though; I'm afraid I lack the physicality for the task."

who doesn't want a ghost dad?hear the sea's siren call
graphics by mj ❤ —
It was true that Freddie was smarter than Bertie's scribe, and it wouldn't take too long for her to figure the box out. She smiled as she did so. It was always fun to do these sort of tasks. And she doubted that Herbert would have done the box for her even if he could. Taking a fair amount of minutes - but by no means too long - she solved the puzzle.

Magic by MJ!
Herbert did his best to (figuratively) bit his tongue as she worked away at the puzzle, both eager to rush to the 'finish line' and wanting to draw out the moment as long as possible. After what seemed like eternity—he should know, being a spirit and all!—Freddie had slain the puzzle mechanism and was moving to open the box itself.

The ring contained within the box was nothing extravagant; in fact, where others might have placed a stone, Herbert had commissioned instead a piece of white beach glass found on the Sanditon's own shores. It was, however, the first—and last—such ring he would ever give to her, their youthful elopement having skipped the step of an actual engagement.

He would not kneel, for the bottom half of his body tended to dangle uselessly, having been crushed in the accident. Instead, he simply smiled down at her.

"Dearest Freddie," he spoke, affection as plain as day in his voice, "death may have come for me far sooner than ever I had planned, but it has not parted us—will not part us. I ask humbly that you consent to marry me once more, to reaffirm the bond between us. What say you to that?" Herbert asked hopefully. Winifred Fudge had never once given him reason to doubt, but that did not stop a small flutter of worry from moving through him.

who doesn't want a ghost dad?hear the sea's siren call
graphics by mj ❤ —
Freddie never regretted eloping with Bertie. They would likely wouldn't have married otherwise. Or had their wonderful children and life together. No, she didn't regret eloping.

So it hadn't fully occurred to her what he implied by giving her a ring. Hearing his words did cause her to look at him, and she bit her lip as she felt tears of joy in her eyes. She considered them married, of course. But an actual wedding? Proclaiming their love in front of their family and friends?

She was speechless, but nodding happily. It took every force of willpower in her to not try and hug him, as it would simply be quite awkward if she fell through him trying to do so.

Magic by MJ!
"This is a question that one customarily expects a response to," Herbert teased. While Freddie had long worn her emotions on her sleeve—he could see, plain as day, what her answer was to be—the proposal was, in a way, a compact between individuals. Especially since it was a formality that had been skirted around before, he needed to hear her say it now.

who doesn't want a ghost dad?hear the sea's siren call
graphics by mj ❤ —
Oh, of course. She blushed all the more at his words. She giggled with a small hint of embarrassment. "Yes. Yes, of course I will marry you again." They could have their family there this time. And perhaps her brother will stay longer for once. So many things to plan. She would want it for the summer, so the children can be there, so having the wedding at the resort would be good.

Magic by MJ!
"Jolly good!" Herbert exclaimed gleefully, a broad grin on his nonmaterial face. His heart, were it still beating, might have burst from the excitement, from the joy: any lingering doubts about his relationship with Freddie after the accident would blow away on the ocean breeze as they, their family, and anyone who wanted to book a stay at the resort celebrated a union that had transcended death.

What fun!

who doesn't want a ghost dad?hear the sea's siren call
graphics by mj ❤ —

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