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Posted: Apr 17 2017, 08:27 AM
The backalley was dimly lit by antique-looking street lanterns, their light throwing specks of orange on the cobbled road they were walking down right now, shadows cast on the walls. As shady as an environment like this could have been, it looked more charming than anything else, the flair of a different time clinging to every pebble on the street and every faded poster plastered on the houses and advertising pillars that did not quite seem to fit the 21st century either. Severin’s glacier gaze curiously wandered over the windows they passed, the tap, tap of their steps echoing from the buildings as quiet as this area Preben had taken them to currently was. The slightly dizzying feeling from side-by-side apparation had faded a while ago and left him with a twist in his guts still - this time, it was something like excitement that made his stomach knot and his skin tickle. The young man could not quite recall when he had felt real excitement for the last time, apart from the adrenaline-induced moments during Quidditch. A lot of things had made him feel like he had been locked in a ball jar - and all of the sudden, said jar had fallen apart above his head, and even while he was cutting himself on the shards, he could finally breathe fresh air again.
He did not know what he had expected, but Preben was taking the lead in their little adventure, and all Severin himself had to do was to follow quietly, their conversation quickly changing from the forced English to the more familiar Norwegian which still sounded odd from Sev’s lips - yet still better than anything else. Slowly, he pulled his sleeves down to his knuckles again before digging his hands into the pockets of the blazer he wore, the dark sky above their heads littered with stars that were visible beside the warm lights of the street lanterns. What was lingering in the shadows? He could not see, but he did not wish to worry right now either. His wand was tugged neatly into the inner pocket of his jacket, ready to be drawn if anyone or anything dared attacking them - although he doubted anyone would try in the first place, despite their young age.
A sharp turn was taken to an even darker alley, the street lanterns become more sparse while stairs were leading down to the doors of the houses here. From a distance, Severin could have sworn he could hear music - charming, bewitching and anything but human, a siren’s song luring them through the darkness of this street towards the lights like moths. It was difficult to let go off all the strings he usually pulled, but he trusted the tall Norwegian beside him enough to make this adventure worth his time. After some more feet of walking, they stepped down a set of stairs, the word fFyttnøkkelet written on a sign above the door, while the door itself was decorated with the drawing of a pretty, scarcely dressed woman. Everything seemed to be just a little scarce tonight: the light, the directions, and the clothes.
The woman on the painting was beautifully arranged on a thick, soft-looking cushion, her alluring curves packed in a Victorian-style corset with ruffles on her cleavage, the suspender belts leading down to white stockings with red bows on the back - the same colour the big bow tied above her backside had. In her hand, there was a fan made out of dyed ostrich feathers, and she was slowly waving at as the boys approached her, crimson red lips puckering up and thick, dark lashes being fluttered at them. She even had a beauty mark next to her eye, and another feather had been carefully put into her hair that seemed to be tied up by invisible pins. Slowly, she moved, crossing her ankles that were clad in laced socks and pointy shoes, shimmering eyes settled on Preben first, then on Severin. Raising a perfectly painted brow, she looked at them, apparently waiting for them to perform the trick that would allow them to enter. Involuntarily, Severin took a step back, icy blue eyes wandering towards his friend as Preben sure knew what to do. Or didn’t he?
Posted: Apr 18 2017, 03:05 AM
The last time he'd been here, he had just turned 17 and uncle Terje thought that deserved celebration.
Tonight wasn't for celebrations, not exactly at least. Preben himself was all about shouting from the rooftops that Severin Larsson was finally back to being a sane and free man but the other's face had told him the remnants of that 'relationship' were still lingering. Disgusting veela charm was like sticky glue. Discreet celebration it was then, as far as someone like Preben Nilsson could handle discreet. For him the word meant smoke and music filled rooms, laughter less forced than their circles usually contained. Then again, as if Severin didn't know what he got himself into when agreeing.
Tonight was less warm than his previous visit early in June. The cobblestones didn't hold onto the heat from the sweltering day, merely stretched out cold while night was approaching. In the distance another lantern lit up, as if awoken by the boys' presence when the familiar sound of apparating resounded against the dark alley walls. One foot instinctively took a step back, bracing a full 6'4 of teenager against the familiar dizziness that came with traveling a thousand miles a second. Feeling the tickling fingers of evening wind tickle the inside of his collar, made Preben smile and whistle to the empty street that would make regular witches and wizard shiver. When he was here with Terje a year ago there was excitement of not knowing, not bothered by back alleys and shop fronts full of dark remnants. It was as familair as being cries, no questions asked.
His whistle held on, an eerily happy sound that felt horribly inappropriate for the scenerey but not his mood. Wasn't that all that mattered anyway? With his mouth mostly occupied, his eyes took over to convey an emotion of dancing happiness as he looked to his friend, palm against shoulderblade to guide him through the maze of streets. They didn't need to find a door; doors were for regular people who had nothing to hide. They paused in front of a regular wall, decorated with pieces of art like so many around here. One had to know where to look, although the distant hint of music gave away most of the businesses around the area. All Preben had to do was follow the memory of swing until it led him to a familiar face.
"Cecilie, kjære." He cooed, arms wide open as if expecting the girl to step out of the wall and hug him then and there. "It's been too long, yes?" Of course that didn't happen, she merely smiled at him as unimpressed as before before her upturned lip disappeared behind the row of feathers. Not quite defeated yet, the Norwegian turned to Severin, close enough to unravel a secret most people who came here knew, but it made him feel allknowing nevertheless. "She likes compliments." The childish glee was coating his voice upon sharing that knowledge, the wizard practially beaming at his friend before turning his attention to the lady in front of them once more. His feet brought him closer to the wall, hands folded neatly behind his back as he leaned in to whisper in her ear painted on a grim brick wall. His words felt smoother when uttered in his mother tongue, a familiar fitted glove to charm people around a finger.
She giggled, although it sounded as fake as every other pureblood. The fan flew shut with a quick wrist flick, as she directed all her attention to Severin now. "Now how about you, huh?" She questioned, chin raised high. Preben felt his smile growing, taking a quick step back to allow Severin some charming privacy. It didn't take long before the brick wall disappeared, Cecilie and mortar included, opening up an entirely new world. Smells of cigars and liquor seeped through the opening, together with music that already made Preben's feet tap along excitedly. With some excited urging, Preben ushered his friend inside.
He knew the way, body pushing itself through the crowd with as much grace as an overgrown dog could while moving along to the beat of trumpets and piano. There were stares, a hand on his shoulder accomplanied by the age old question of how his father was doing. Preben evaded each obstacle on the familiar route of party crowds until they arrived at the bar. The green velvet stools were high enough so his feet weren't aimlessly dangling on the floor still. Dimly lit, the glasses of golden alcohol all around reflected the gleam of stained glass flower lamps that hung all above the dark oak bar. Blue eyes scanned them all with curiousity, like a niffler eying coins. The voice down below pulled the boy out of his wonder, instead settling his gaze on one of the three house elves serving drinks.
"Young Master Nillson, came alone this time I see?" His voice was nasal, face looking like it had been squished by a good punch to the face and was stuck that way. Well, where else would one end up with such looks as no preblood family was happy to let that serve food during parties. Preben just scoffed, thumb pointing towards Severin as both his arms came to rest on the bar. "Christianssand imperial brown, two of 'em." As if accusing the house elf for not noticing his friend earlier. His body turned towards Sev, one hand left to lean against warm wood. The smile was back on his face, showing off slightly crooked teeth under soft light. "You can trust the ladies on stage to be perfectly human." he laughed, noting the movement of color in between the robes and suits. "Despite the feather and the good looks. Promise."
Posted: Apr 18 2017, 11:41 AM
One of the many advantages of having been friends with someone for so many years - almost sixteen, Severin was sure, although his memory did not quite go back as far as to his first year on this earth - was that no matter which situation they faced, it often took only few words and little explanations to make sure the other understood what was going on. This was not any different. He did not know why Preben had been the first to hear - but eventually, he had been sure that Preben Nilsson would understand every single thing that currently went through his head without asking too many questions. Yet the remarks had been there - they had always been there, even before it had fallen apart again. The constant reminders of what he allowed so close to his body and heart - never who. The fine lines of their upbringing he was crossing with what seemed like little care, while every step he had taken had been a struggle. It was going to be better now - and he was more than grateful for Preben’s idea to drag him to this strange and yet fascinating place he had never been to before, the other’s whistling a lifeline more than something that annoyed Severin.
Niklas Larsson had not been the kind of man who took his son to a hidden bar, and those pubs and small concert venues Severin had been dragged to during holidays spent with Erik had never been so well disguised and fancy. There had been cheap alcohol, the scent of too many cigarette brands mingling and muggles all over the place. Tonight was going to be different, and therefore the Swede allowed himself this certain degree of excitement and anticipation, like a tug somewhere on his nerves. His glacier gaze traced the patterns of light dancing over the cobblestones like remains from summer nights that had not appeared yet, although his whole attention was quickly wormed in by Preben’s interactions with the beautifully drawn lady. It made Severin smirk just a little as he watched curiously, wondering how the tall Norwegian in his company was going to charm the woman into letting them in. Age restrictions were rarely a thing in a world where both their names were known, and still his brow furrowed a little.
He was not surprised that Preben had been here before, as boys like Preben Nilsson had their ways of naturally fitting in such an environment, while boys like Severin needed more time to adjust. Just like now, while he expected the lady to become real as well, no longer surprised by the wonders of magic he had grown up with. She did not. Instead, there was quiet conversation, a whisper in her ear before the fan snapped close and she looked at him. For a moment, the boy was startled, yet he quickly remembered what Preben had just said. She likes compliments. Slowly, he approached her and tilted his head, glacier eyes wandering over the woman’s body in silent admiration before meeting her eyes, the hushed words in Norwegian uttered towards her complimenting those and granting them access towards a whole new world behind the poster.
This was not what Severin had expected - and yet it almost seemed like his friend was immediately becoming one with the environment, camouflaging himself under the stench of cigar smoke and liquor, of expensive perfume and fine wool. The lights were rather dim, yet it made adjusting to the brightness easier when coming from outside. Following Preben was like trailing the fairway of a warship - the waves of people were easily pushed aside once the Norwegian had passed, making room for Severin who was barely acknowledged, his silver merely a comparison to Preben’s natural gold. He did not mind - he did not need the glory, the recognition and the whispers that followed his name no matter where he went. Few of those who stopped to greet his friend cared to take a closer look, and the Swede did not have to hide intentionally to be disguised. While Severin still disliked letting go off the strings he usually carefully pulled, it was easier with Preben around - he simply followed, even as they sat down and the older boy talked to the house elf who was delightfully oblivious - at least until Preben pointed at him.
The elf’s eyes widened for a moment - as far as the rather distorted face allowed it to be seen - and Severin could basically see the name trembling on the house elf’s lips without it ever seeing the light of day. Instead, he raised a brow at the lower creature, and it hurried away. Those seconds of anticipation were quickly forgotten as Preben’s words dragged Severin out of his thoughts once more, commenting on the ladies the younger boy had not even noticed until now. His face did not give any like or dislike for them away. So many feathers, and yet not nearly enough to cover everything that should be covered. He was rather glad when their drinks appeared, reaching for his and raising it in his best friend’s direction. Beer surely was not his drink of choice, yet he was going to run with whatever tonight had to offer. "Skål!"
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