Author Topic:  the view between villages | h  (Read 1536 times)

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973 Posts 31 take you to the candy shop she/her played by cstine
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2023, 10:41:34 PM »
Honey certainly didn’t love small talk, but she had enough experience carrying on high-level conversations with customers that she knew how to at least pretend to be interested in what people were saying. Harlan, however, didn’t seem to have that problem. Easter, right. Honey raised and lowered her eyebrows quickly by way of agreeing– Easter, yup. He didn’t want to be friends, so that’s what he got: Honey talking about the shop.

She tried not to think about all the work she should be doing, rather than having a slightly misguided whisky with Harlan. She glanced at him as she had another sip.

Quidditch–and especially Portree–was a much easier topic, even for Harlan who claimed he hadn’t heard about the match. “No?” She raised an eyebrow as she looked at him. She had opened her mouth to tell him about it–she knew that it wouldn’t make a difference if she told him she thought he’d played well, at least–but he beat her to it, sort of.

“Oh, somehow this almost makes up for that–” how low Portree was ranked. “We might not make the playoffs, but we’ll always have this,” she said, almost dreamily, if only to rub it in just a little bit more. Honey had another sip of her whisky, ignoring how quickly she was making progress on it and smirking softly as she returned it to the countertop.
 
honey bea flume

924 Posts 34
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2023, 07:29:36 PM »
Harlan watched her reaction carefully as the smirk on his face fell– only just. The breathy whimsical tone that she'd taken on didn't suit the Honey that he knew, he thought, with an emphasis on the past tense. Then again, he was just looking for any way to give her a hard time in return. The Portree of it all was really just a proxy.

"Easy to please, tch...." He scoffed with feigned absentmindedness despite the fact that his mind was on nothing other than her. And  Portree. And the match. Of course. There was a smirk that lingered somewhere in the lines around his mouth, and in his eyes that had found her again.

"You hold on to that," Harlan teased. The mocking in his tone wasn't outright but she knew him well enough to know that he was somewhere between both being absolutely serious, and not at all, always. "Were you at the match?" He wondered the thought that he tried (and failed) to not acknowledge then.

He hated that he found himself scanning crowds, even still. Harlan shifted on his feet as he sat back down his glass, both wishing and not that there was a more comfortable option to catch up. Upstairs? Fuck no. A bar? A bit less...

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973 Posts 31 take you to the candy shop she/her played by cstine
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2023, 10:30:24 PM »
Honey was still smirking when Harlan pretended to scold her for being easy to please. She lifted one eyebrow. “Am I?” She asked, shrugging as if to answer her own question. She lifted her glass to her lips, having another drink to keep herself from saying anything else. But then he met her eye and she lowered her glass. “You would know,” she said, smirking softly.

He made it easy to forget the whole reason he was there.

She didn’t say anything else when he told her to hold on to that, Portree winning, rolling her eyes and finishing her whisky instead. He asked if she had been at the match and she gave him a small nod. “Aye,” she said, wondering if that was the answer he had been looking for, but of course his face was giving nothing away. Honey rubbed the pad of her thumb along her glass, held low at her side.

“I love quidditch, so…” She trailed off, not trying to imply that she loved quidditch more than– well. Her eyes were drawn to Harlan setting his glass down. “You want another?” she asked, meeting his eye again.
 
honey bea flume

924 Posts 34
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2023, 09:29:01 PM »
Harlan's hardened expression broke into genuine amusement.

She asked if she was easy to please and he would have choked on his drink if he had a mouthful. Hand to chest as if he had, his brow furrowed and his eyes found her again. "Not quite," He finally said after a few breaths of anticipation. Easy to please wasn't the first thing that come to mind when it came to Honey.

"But you wouldn't want to be," His smile faltered between that and a smirk as his fingers absently tapped the lip of his nearly-drained glass, if only to keep them busy. As much as he had actively tried to avoid it, he knew her. And he imaged that despite his every effort, she might know him too.

Fuck.

Harlan scoffed briefly at her love of quidditch but was quickly distracted by the next question. Another one? He glanced at the half-finger amount of whisky left in his glass. He didn't immediately answer, breathing in through his nose. "I shouldn't keep you," He offered, though there was question in the trained politeness of his tone.

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973 Posts 31 take you to the candy shop she/her played by cstine
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2023, 08:06:59 PM »
Well fuck, she really liked making him smile, and it was hard to stop herself from trying. She knew she should stop, knew better (in theory), but what was her alternative? She could give him the last Glacial Snowflakes and send him on his way, full stop. She thought she might have gone that route if she knew when she would see him again. Or if, not when.

He said she wasn’t easy to please, and Honey kept her smirk firmly in place, only softening it to something more of a smile–matching Harlan’s expression–when he told her she wouldn’t want to be easy to please. She pursed her lips as if she was thinking, let a few seconds before agreeing: “No. How boring.” She wished she could tell what he was thinking, if it was anywhere along the lines of where her thoughts were, but she knew she wouldn’t suddenly develop the ability. She settled instead for another smirk.

She asked if he wanted another drink, and he said she shouldn’t keep her– not an answer to what should have been a fairly easy question to answer, a question they always managed to complicate somehow. “Am not busy,” she said quickly, assuming he would know better because she was almost always working, always needing something with her hands.

“Have another,” she said, reaching for the bottle to pour two refills.
 
honey bea flume

924 Posts 34
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2023, 09:11:48 PM »
"Exactly," Harlan all-too-easily agreed; how boring. But, then again....

He watched as Honey reached for the bottle and his gaze narrowed on her in the safe place where her eyes didn't meet his in return. There was something to be said for things, and people,  and circumstances just being... easy. His brow furrowed as he folded into himself once more.

It was the god damn whisky or he was getting old.

At some point she had turned back to the counter and Harlan's reaction was a half-beat behind real time. "You're certain?" Harlan wasn't sure if he was asking her, or himself. Despite the tentative nature of the question, his tone was firm. "Go on, then," He said and cast his eyes over his shoulder to the door of Honeydukes.

No customers would be dropping in at that hour, but that wasn't to say that someone might not be. Despite his best effort to avoid it, he knew that Honey had someone else that might very well be turning up after hours -- at least if The Prophet could be trusted.

Harlan distracted himself, hoisting himself up on the counter so that his back was half to her, a leg crossed over the other at the knee.

Fucking bold to still feel so comfortable there.

"God this place doesn't change," He said, more to himself than to her. It hadn't been that long, relatively, but still. "I swear that packet of peppermint toads hasn't moved in..." How long had it been. Harlan half-glanced over his shoulder with a grin, taking another mouthful of the proffered drink.

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973 Posts 31 take you to the candy shop she/her played by cstine
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2023, 08:50:31 PM »
She should be busy, had told Charlie she would be– she could just stay up after Harlan had left, add a little bit of energy draught to her nightcap to push through the rest of the chocolate-ing she might otherwise be finishing now if she were alone.

He asked if she was certain, and she nodded as she poured the whisky into her glass. “I am.” She was already moving towards Harlan’s glass when he told her to go on, but she appreciated the encouragement all the same. Pouring, she followed Harlan’s glance to the door, but she looked at Harlan again just as quickly as she set the bottle back on the counter. She wasn’t expecting him to say anything about customers–or anyone else–but she was almost wishing he would.

Honey cast a sideways glance as Harlan took a seat on the counter, smirking to herself. She slid his glass over, sipped from her own, turned toward the shop again–with eyebrows raised–as he declared the place unchanged. She thought she might point out something new, but he was, for the most part, correct. She didn’t think he was talking about the shop in the village institution sense, but– it hadn’t been that long since he had been here. How much change was he expecting? Then again, how much time had he actually spent browsing the shelves? They usually found themselves in the kitchen, or upstairs–

He called out a box of peppermint toads, and she looked to where she knew they sat, thankful for the distraction. “Aye, right,” she said, looking back to him. Of course it wasn’t the same box, but nothing had really moved. Everything had its spot: Honey shifted her glass out of the way and lifted herself onto the counter, claiming hers. “Wizards and witches come from all over just to see that one toady box,” she said, motioning toward the shelf for the added effect. “So really, I can’t move it.”

She sipped her drink, shrugged. “Nobody wants this place to change,” she said, nearly meaning it.
 
honey bea flume

924 Posts 34
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2023, 11:02:07 PM »
As easily as he'd done, Harlan uncrossed his leg and settled his weight against his palms splayed at either side on the counter behind him. Witches and wizards from all over came for that box of sweets, Honey said. He didn't suppress the grin from behind his glass, brimmed with a pride that he very clearly was no longer afforded.

"Oh, of course," Harlan knew it was true, everyone did, but he was set on giving her a hard time.

"Imagine, though..." He said, then more seriously, from the place in his chest reserved for it and shown rarely. Whimsical, for him. "If you had it your way," He continued, glanced over to Honey then away before finding her again. "If you had it your way, would you change anything?" About the store.

God, he didn't need to drink around her. Unintentionally, he thought, she evoked something that he wanted desperately keep at bay.

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973 Posts 31 take you to the candy shop she/her played by cstine
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2024, 06:10:07 PM »
Harlan agreed–sincerely, Honey thought–that nobody wanted the shop to change, and Honey gave a small nod. There wasn’t much else she could say about that without going far past the acquaintance spot Harlan apparently wanted them to stay in. (She had noticed that he hadn’t moved away when she joined him to sit on the counter, and while there was space between them, there probably wasn’t enough to really claim acquaintance.)

Honey looked away from the box of peppermint toads, but she kept her gaze out in the shop. She was looking at the ice mice when he told her to imagine– she glanced at him quickly, looked back to the shop just as quickly. But if she had it her way– she looked at him again, this time meeting his eye. She was distracted enough to not raise an eyebrow at his half-asked question, missed her chance before he had asked the rest. She raised both, instead, in confusion or surprise, the shop momentarily forgotten.

Her brain caught up after what felt like hours but was probably more like a second and a half, because they never talked about them. “Erm–” she might have caught up, but that didn’t mean she had a clear head. “There’s not enough pink,” she said after another second, even though there was, objectively, a lot of pink already, and that he definitely wasn’t looking for that kind of answer.

She looked at the shop again. The biggest change in the shop’s history was the addition of chocolate, and that had only happened because it hadn’t been invented yet when Honeydukes had first opened. That had worked out for them (obviously) but– “I don’t know.” She looked at Harlan again, angling herself toward him just a little. “Honestly, like–” she paused, her brow furrowing with thought. “The shop’s been around nearly four hundred years, and then I’m the reason it goes under just because I want to change something?” She looked at the wall of muggle sweets. “No thanks.”
 
honey bea flume

924 Posts 34
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2024, 08:11:55 PM »
Harlan could feel himself holding his breath. Metaphorically, maybe. Or it was the whiskey. Or it was just Honey.

Where usually quick witted with her responses, Honey seemed to fumble. He suspected (hoped, even) that she gone down a similar line of thought that he had. Harlan wanted to know what would have done with the store, of course; but more, he wanted to know what she would have done with them.

If circumstances were different. If they were different.

Fuck, he had to slow down.

Harlan was thankful for a break in the self-imposed question. "Ha," He chuckled. More pink, as if the place needed any more of that. Then she angled toward him and in turn he did, too, his knee close to hers, but only enough so that he could feel the heat, but not enough to touch.

"I understand," And he really did. How strange it was to find parallels between his career and hers, given how different they were. "But no part of you wants to..." Harlan often fought the urge to get in his head, but there was something about that night. "... I don't know," He gestured vaguely but his eyes stayed on her.

"I'm fairly sure no idea you'd have might burn the place down..." He smirked instead of finishing his original thought, nudging her with his shoulder, just.

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973 Posts 31 take you to the candy shop she/her played by cstine
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2024, 10:34:22 PM »
Honey flicked her gaze back to Harlan when he told her he understood, lingering on his mouth to watch him speak, as if looking him in the eye would be too much for the conversation they weren’t having. But she could only resist the temptation for so long, and she met his gaze as he went on. No part of her wanted to— she nodded, following that thought even as he trailed off. She offered a soft, “Aye,” in agreement with his I don’t know ending to his thought, understanding in return. It was hard to put it all into words, but she could tell they both knew what the other meant.

She wished she hadn’t doubled down on the conversation being about the shop.

Harlan nudged her shoulder, and Honey paused, but she caught back up with herself after a second. “Only fairly sure?” She asked, leaning into him with her shoulder, lingering for a beat too long. Straightening up, Honey had another sip of her whisky, and smirked as she lowered her glass, her eyes back on Harlan’s.

She let the silence sink in for a few more seconds before she turned the question back to him. “What about you, then?” She wasn’t asking about the shop, but she didn’t bother clarifying, or trying to imply she might have been asking about quidditch. “If you had it your way,” she added before taking another sip of her drink.
 
honey bea flume

924 Posts 34
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2024, 10:45:10 PM »
Harlan couldn't pinpoint the moment it had happened, but the duality of their conversation had become impossible to ignore. On the surface, it was just that -- surface -- a conversation between two people with whom, at one point, had shared so very much despite their best effort to keep the other at an arms length.

But Harlan knew better than to take anything at it's surface. That was the problem with his perpetual introspection, wasn't it, the god-damn-unknown.

Honey had leaned into his shoulder, following suit, and for a moment that was all that he could focus on. How quickly they fell back into the familiar. His eyes narrowed on hers; 'what about you, then?'. He didn't flinch. He knew what it was that she was asking, because he'd been asking the same.

He took a moment to collect his thoughts, eyes steeled forward only to be pulled back to her as his mouth parted to respond. "I wouldn't change anything," His attention flickered, only briefly, back to the store. God, the fucking place did his head in, but he wouldn't change a thing.

And the same could be said for Honey, for them -- because that's what they were really talking about.

Harlan shrugged the shoulder she'd just nudged. "Things happen 'how they're supposed to', right?" His voice shifted to something close to mocking, despite his sincerity. The hardest things, and decisions, and relationships, and heartbreaks, were constantly paving the way for something new. And maybe that was just how it was supposed to be.

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973 Posts 31 take you to the candy shop she/her played by cstine
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2024, 09:31:12 PM »
Harlan didn’t immediately answer her, which made Honey think he wasn’t wondering what he would have about the shop–even if he was looking at the shelves of sweets instead of her–or quidditch, but rather that third option– and the way he looked at her after another beat of silence. Her smirk softened into more of a small smile, one corner of her mouth lifted. He wouldn’t change a thing, he said, and Honey raised her eyebrows, encouraging him to elaborate, because that sat strangely with her, for whatever reason.

He shrugged and told her that things happen how they were supposed to. It didn’t sound like he meant it, but who could really tell with him? She didn’t want to agree–or disagree–with him outright, didn’t want to admit that she had read him wrong, so she shrugged the shoulder closest to him in reply. “Doesn’t mean we have to like it,” she said, definitely not talking about the shop.

Honey had another sip of her whisky, tapping her fingers on the glass after she had lowered it to her lap.

“Do you really think that?” she asked. If it all came down to fate–assuming she was understanding what he said–then she didn’t have to take responsibility for anything she had done (or get credit, for that matter), but then, neither did he, and it wasn’t clear which one outweighed the other.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2024, 10:48:27 PM by cstine »
 
honey bea flume

924 Posts 34
Re: the view between villages | h
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2024, 10:20:04 PM »
Honey's features softened and Harlan took inventory. It was a subtle shift that knew that he wasn't afforded, and likely would be less and less so as time would go on. Often he wondered when they might fully disentangle from each other; when they might have found their way, and lost touch, in the kind of way that couldn't be attributed to one last time.

There was a lingering fear of that, he realized, as their current conversation danced around what he figured they were really saying. Or, what he wasn't saying.

Harlan drew a quiet breath through his nose as Honey replied; it didn't mean they had to like it. So, she was dancing around it too. His eyes narrowed on her glass as she dropped it to her lap. The change of body language felt more open, vulnerable, and his posture softened in return; shoulders relaxed and eyes no where near the storefront.

"I do," He said succinctly, though it was clear the admission was heavier than let on. "A bit too much pink, but other than that..." Harlan couldn't help but sneak in the tease. But the smile left his eyes before it left his mouth. "Really," He tapped the side of her leg with the back of his knuckles, if only for an excuse to break the tension.

"I do mean it," It stung to say it the second time. "About us," He clarified bluntly, hand on chest then gesturing to the space between them (literal and figurative). "It wasn't the right time for us - for me," Harlan clarified. It occurred to him too late back then that he couldn't speak for her.

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