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Catherine Smith for Percival Adlard Jr..
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This would have been very disturbing anyway but then Pet's eye popped out and started rolling along the bottom of the boat. Great. Maybe she would be so fortunate as to have a kraken surface nearby and pluck her off the ship with one of its tentacles and kindly drown her. Petra Sleptova in Land, Ho!
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Defying Gravity
September 16, 1889 - Small muggle village outside of London

That afternoon Lucy had left her room for the last time as an unmarried woman. She had stood in the middle of her room for what may have been the last time, looking over the remnants of her girlhood. Her favorite doll, Marigold, with her blond ringlets still sat on a chair under the window. Her perfumes and makeup were scattered across her vanity. But next to the fireplace sat her trunk, packed as it had once been for school but now contained what was dearest to her if she should not return. It would remain at Nora’s until she could claim it. Her maid had watched her with her perceptive green eyes taking in Lucy’s every move, her hands holding Lucy’s carpet bag that held all the essentials Lucy would need. With a final glance around Lucy left an envelope addressed to her mother on her vanity. No one would think to look in here until tomorrow afternoon when she did not return. With that she had walked to the fireplace and traveled to Nora’s.

It was quite possible that this whole venture wouldn’t have worked without the help of dear friends, namely Nora Abercrombie, who had kindly agreed to “host” her for the evening. Supposedly it was her last chance to see her friends before her marriage. In part a truth. She would see Nora before she was married, but the impending nuptials were much closer and to an altogether different gentleman than Lucy had made it seem to her mother. After a quick visit with her friend Lucy and her maid had set out.

Dusk had fallen by the time they had reached the rendezvous point. Lucy’s cloak, created for her trousseau, was a deep lavender silk that swirled with darkening shades of purple, like the last fingers of twilight, enchanted so only those with magic might see the changing colors. She would have liked to wear her white wedding gown, a confection of silk and lace that had been imported from France for her, but she had worried it might be visible in the dark. Instead she had settled on her lavender gown that had been made by the same dressmaker in France and designed to go with the cloak. Her hair was elaborately twisted back with lavender ribbons and her mother’s pearl comb slipped into it. Worried that her light locks would attract attention, Lucy had loosely pulled her cloak over her hair, grateful for her maid’s charm that would make it look untouched.

The road was quiet, the nearest house some distance down the road and the farmlands she stood on had no buildings nearby. She and her maid were the only people in sight, standing under a small copse of trees. Lucy had never really taken a moment to consider how a heroine must have felt waiting to be whisked away, but now it was all she could think of. How her heart hammered, wondering if he truly would come to her, wondering if they would get caught, wondering what would become of them. Surely all her doubts would be stilled when she saw Ace walking toward her.

The hour seemed to pass intolerably slow. No one passed by them and Lucy found herself reticing each letter Ace had sent her in her head to calm herself. What would he think of her now that he saw her in person again?

Finally a shape materialized before them, walking down the lane, a small light with them. Unbidden a broad smile slid across Lucy’s lips and she started forward, “Ace!” Her whispered cry lifting into the air before them. She rushed forward, throwing her arms around him, her heart beating rapidly in her chest. He had come. He really had come to save her!

@Ace Lukeson

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Thank you MJ for an amazingly Lucy set!
While most of the planning had been done in the days before, some things still had to have been done before this evening. Ace took to the task of writing letters to his mother and siblings. Had performed a spell to make his mother's letter into a perfume bottle temporarily, which had taken some time to perfect in the days beforehand. And last but not least, packed clothing to bring in a portable case. Enchanted inside to hold more than it looked.

Unlike Lucille, he knew he would be returning home. But it was always good to be a little over prepared. The staff at home had given him odd looks, no doubt giving guesses as to where he was off to. Perhaps some were betting on it, not that he approved.

Mother had been busy with the baby when Ace made his departure. Trying to keep from needing to lie too often if he could help it. He knew that mother would adore Lucille after getting to know her. If only his siblings were able to spend time with Lucille more before their marriage.

Unlike his bride, Ace's choices in clothing were more limited as a man. Though that was too be expected in their society. Upon arriving in the village, he was glad to spot her quickly. She was a vision in purple. With it being a muggle village, Ace preferred to not take too many chances with magic. It was a lantern in his hand that was enchanted to not burn one unless the held their hand over it for a ridiculous amount of time.

He smiled brightly in the dark evening upon seeing her, his heart beating at a fairly fast pace. He wrapped his own arms around her, careful with the lantern. "Lucille, my love. How are you? Your travels went well I hope?" He asked, first thinking of her wellbeing and happiness.

Magic by Elaine!
While Lucy had waited she had worried that despite her excitement and her own feelings, if she might be nervous to see Ace. After all they had not seen each other or spoken in a month, not since their letters had started or they declared their own feelings for each other. She had wondered if she would suddenly be shy, if she would worry about his love. But standing there with Ace’s arms around her, she knew that all her worries had been for naught. It was if a day hadn’t passed since she had last seen him. As if they had always been this way.

Lucy leaned back slightly and looked up at Ace, hesitant to leave the safety of his arms. “I’m better now that you are here.” She admitted a grin on her face and she took him in. That was not to say that she hadn’t been alright before he came, but she was so much happier now, standing here in his arms then she had been as she nervously awaited him. But she didn’t want him to think there was anything that had gone wrong with their plans and was quick to add, “But everything went smoothly. And your travels?

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Thank you MJ for an amazingly Lucy set!
Ace had his own worries. Not doubts, but worries. Worries that someone would find out and appear to drag Lucille away to a miserable marriage. That she would get more than silly gossip to worry about. But her presence calmed him, and his focus fell on her and her words.

There was a pang of worry at her first words. Had someone said something? Been cruel to her in some way? But her additional words calmed him once more. "Good. My travels have been fine, though the household staff seemed quite curious as to what I was up to." He couldn't very well blame them for that. Curiosity was only natural.

Magic by Elaine!
Staff always were more inquisitive than Lucy expected, but the Flint servants had learned to hide it. They had been expected too. Few expressed interest or questioned what the Flint women did, the result of the housekeeper having been trained in the days of Mr. Flint. As such it surprised Lucy to hear that Ace's staff were curious - and it worried her. "Did any of them suspect what your plans were?" Lucy couldn't help the concerned edge to her tone. The Lukeson household seemed like it would be quite a bit different than the Flint household.

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Thank you MJ for an amazingly Lucy set!
Guinevere and Ryder hadn't been as stern toward their staff as some other families might. Though too much chatter was met with dismissal, that was more when things got out of hand. Not something that occured often, but most household staff knew to keep their mouths shut from the get go.

"I suppose, but I believe the highest bet is that I'm running off to join the circus." He said with an attempt to cheer her up. Though that probably wasn't the brightest thing to say. "Jokes aside, no. They know I like to travel. The question is more close to a where to than a because of." He reassured soon after.

Magic by Elaine!
A surprised laugh sprung past Lucille’s lips. “Oh? Whatever reasons have you given them to think that?” She teased, suspecting this wasn’t actually the case. A suspicion which Ace confirmed only a moment later. “And where shall we travel then?” Lucille asked, wondering not about their first destination, that she knew, but of where they would travel to afterwards.

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Thank you MJ for an amazingly Lucy set!
The laugh he heard filled him with even more joy. A wonderful laugh, and one that he was glad to hear. "Isn't that the main reason the youth run off?" He responded playfully. Her next question was one of where they would be going. "I was thinking Italy. There are many beautiful sights in the area to visit." Many considered the area to be quite romantic.

Magic by Elaine!
Lucy giggled, “I should have realized.” She wondered if her servants would think the same thing. It wasn’t altogether unheard of, but she supposed she had always found running away to be a bit more romantic than the circus.

A happy sigh escaped her lips. “I’ve always wanted to see Italy.” Lucy admitted. And France. But there would be time for all of that.

“Miss?” Her maid’s voice was quiet behind them, but it held a hint of urgency. Reluctantly Lucy stepped away from Ace and turned to look at her. “I think someone might be coming.” Worry crept into her chest and Lucy looked up at Ace worry in her eyes. They weren’t free yet, couldn’t celebrate yet. If anyone had learned they had left…. Lucille didn’t want to think of what they might do to stop this marriage from happening.

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Thank you MJ for an amazingly Lucy set!
Travelling was something Ace has enjoyed since his youth. Father had travelled for work, mother loved to travel. When they had the time, it was what they did. "We can go to any of the sites you wish. This trip is about us, after all."

Looking to the maid, a hint of worry nagged at him. Even if it was only a muggle, he did not wish for anyone to see them use magic. "We must go. Are you ready?"

Magic by Elaine!
His words left Lucy with a grin on her face. A trip just for them, about them. It would be exactly what she had always pictured, with Ace by her side how could it not be. But any further conversation would have to wait. They weren’t married yet, there was still the chance that someone might find them.

Yes. I’m always ready with you beside me.” She assured him, adrenaline beginning to pump through her veins. This was it. She clutched his arm as her maid took his other, Lucy’s bag in her hands. If anyone saw them huddled together, they’d think it an odd sight. But no odder than the bang of apparition that would follow and their sudden disappearance.

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Thank you MJ for an amazingly Lucy set!
It was thrilling, in a way. But what really mattered was their love and happiness. Lucy seemed quite happy, and that was what mattered. Everything else would be figured out. So looking around to make sure that no one could see them, he apparated the three of them to their destination.

Magic by Elaine!
The unpleasant sense of apperating soon dissolved into a cool breeze brushing past Lucille’s cheeks. The chill of the Scottish lowlands instead of the late coolness of London evenings in the late fall. Before them a small hamlet of buildings greeted them the sight of which broadened Lucille’s smile even further. Unconsciously she squeezed Ace’s hand in excitement.

While Lucille’s knowledge of eloping stemmed from her healthy love of a good love story, whether immortalized in the pages of a novel or through society’s gossip, she felt certain that their goal could be obtained quickly. Not, perhaps, by having read on the legality of such a thing, but she did know that most people went to the blacksmiths. How quaint, she thought, to be married by such a man. As if she and Ace were simply two people in love and not two heirs to the great families of their society. Here it did not matter their names, or their pasts, only their love for each other as individuals.

This way.” Lucille tugged on his hand, as she started toward the village, certain she had read that the blacksmith was right on the edge of town.

So information on Gretna Green marriages for Fallin and Kelly’s reference.

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Thank you MJ for an amazingly Lucy set!
Apperation was never very enjoyable, but it was necessary for quick travel. But Ace was relieved to be done with it and find that every one was still in one piece. Thank goodness.

Lucy squeezed his hand, and he smiled at her. It really was rather exciting. Running off into the night for love. While his family might be taken aback for some time, he did hope that they would then find the recalling of it as romantic and wonderful as he did now.

He let her take the lead. His heart raced as they passed by the village in a blur. At least, that was what it felt like.

[word count: 110]

Magic by Elaine!
This was it, they were going through with it, Lucille thought as they made their way toward the dim lights of the village. After this their whole lives would be different, a kind of different that Lucille couldn’t wait for. She was finally getting the fairy tale ending she had always dreamed of. The kind that she had begun to dispair of as each season concluded, the kind that had vanished from thought when the marriage arrangement had been made.

She was sure her mother would love Ace when she met him. Once her mother met Ace she’d understand why Lucy had done what she had done. She’d forgive Lucy the scandal that would come from this, forgive the stress of a broken engagement. If meeting Ace didn’t help with that then the love Lucille felt for him, the fact that she was certain it showed on her face every moment she glanced at Ace, then that would do it. For how could mother not approve when all came into the light?

They had almost reached the village Lucille’s heart pounding in her chest when she began to notice the signs. She followed toward the Blacksmith’s, certain to never let go of Ace’s hand, as if that were what kept her tethered to the earth. In fact the excitement at times seemed so great that Lucille was surprised to find her feet remained on the ground.

Following the signs Lucille took a turn down a street, the shop front of a blacksmiths’ greeting them at the end of the lane. Butterflies thundered in her stomach and Lucille’s steps slowed. What if Ace was having second thoughts? What if he didn’t want to go through with this? What if now that he’d seen her in person again he found she fell short of what he had thought of her? Despite her own worries she could not handle the thought of going through with this if Ace weren’t as invested as herself. She couldn’t let him throw away his life he even had the slightest doubt of this marriage.

Only a few steps away from the door Lucille paused in her steps. Turning so her blue eyes could take in the man who she so desperately wanted to call husband, imploring him to not turn tail now. She tried to find her voice, tried to find the words. They came out in a small almost timid voice. “This is it.” The last moment for them to turn around, the last moment to return to their previous lives, the last moment to doubt in themselves.

Lucille’s maid remained a polite distance away, as if this were merely a social call on the streets of Hogsmeade. Her training as excellent as it had been since the day Lucille had made her debut. Close enough to see but far enough not to hear. Training which the Flints prided their servants on. Discretion and perfect functionality. Traits that had not let Lucille astray during her forays into the social world.

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Thank you MJ for an amazingly Lucy set!
With each step in approaching their destination, Ace began to realize that he had to tell her. His father had told his mother before they were married. It was Ace's last chance to tell her now. For her to back out and keep to a normal life. All he could hope for was that she wouldn't run away screaming.

"Lucille, my love. Before we go in there, I must tell you something. I cannot trap you in a marriage under circumstances that you would have never wanted otherwise. I can only hope that even if you wish to not marry me after I have told you, that you will keep this a secret for both myself and my family." Now he was truly nervous, glad that the chaperone seemed quite oblivious. Looked to be far enough away to hear his soft words. Glad to see the door looked thick enough that whispers would die in the wood.

Magic by Elaine!

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