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Mar 21, 2019 9:39 AM
Cat gets invited for a peaceful tea with Felix's family
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Felix leads Leo librarywards, making his best to ignore the looks everyone is giving them.

There is a black flower painted above the balcony's door. Everyone is ignoring it.

It's a nice house, but that much Leo already knew. Felix leads her to the library where he gently disentangles arms with her.

 

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-Then at superspeed he retrieves pen and paper and writes:

The library has sound wards. I don't think they can be tapped by my grandparents for eavesdropping, but I don't know. Because of the sorcery books the place definitely got some anti-spying wards. So... I think we are on the safe side if we write things down. I will burn the paper afterwards. What do you need help with?

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Leo knows exactly what the flower means, but ignores it since everyone else is.

Alright then. Paper. Pen. 

...this is surprisingly difficult to write. It's not something he's ever put into words on paper before. Even telling Saverin wasn't this hard once he made the decision. After a few false starts, some hesitation, and a lot of crossing out, Leo shoves the paper in Felix's direction and looks down, waiting for his response. 

I want to be I'm a boy. I know there's sorcery that would let me be one for real have a male body but I'm not allowed to learn it. It's restricted to Dals. 

If I we You could I agreed to come to this party because marrying into your family would let me get access to the ritual I need want. I'll understand if Please don't feel obligated to help me just because you know about my problems. But marrying someone who knew and didn't mind would be better than If you want I'll leave and you never have to see me again. 

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Felix takes this time to retrieve a book to act as a cover if there is anyone comes to check on them.

He reads the note.

"Do-"

Do you want a hug?

The he thinks better and adds.

Do you want a hug? I want to help, but this kind of thing I would need to talk to my brothers about it. There might be some other way.

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Leo gets up to find a book of his own, and takes the opportunity for a quick look around to make sure no-one's watching. 

Then hug. Definitely hug.

...there might be a damp patch on Felix's shoulder by the time Leo lets go. 

Thank you. Even if you can't help, it means a lot to know that you still want to. 

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Felix doesn't mind. He is a great hugger.

"Of course," he murmurs.

Is there anything I can do? Or should know?

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They have to unhug slightly to read the messages and write replies. How unfortunate. 

I've tried to talk to my father about it, but he doesn't understand, especially since I told him I'd still be alright with marrying a man, but not with having children. I will not have children with this body. For you or anyone else

I have a friend There's someone else who knows and understands doesn't properly understand it, but she believes me like you do, and she wants to understand. Her name is Saverin. She's the only other person who calls me Leo. I don't know why I introduced myself that way to you

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Even if we go ahead with your plan. I wouldn't demand anything from you, much less a child. We are too young to even consider a kid.

And I understand. Or at least I hope I understand. I definitely don't think I understand more than you in the matter.

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How is he reacting so well. Why is he so perfect. Why is Leo getting so emotional over this. 

Have you met people like me before? On Earth? 

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Nod. "A few," he says. It's uniformative enough in case they are overheard.

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Leo wants to ask about them, wants to know everything, but...

Should we head back to the party before people start thinking we're doing something other than reading? 

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Felix nods. "Please, take the book." He says as a cover. And he gives Leo his best reassuring smile.

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He receives a tiny barely-there smile in return as Leo stands up, keeping hold of the book he's been pretending to read. 

"Thank you; you're too kind." Any eavesdroppers will assume Eleonora is making the expected polite response to the loan of the book, but Leo means it for more than that. 

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"It's no trouble." Smile.

Back to the balcony then.

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Where the third triplet decided to bless everyone with his presence. He is very remarkably not wearing something sufficiently formal. He looks like he just came back from the gymnasium and is resting a foot over a table.

This has caused: one young candidate to come to the table and make conversation out of annoyed obligation; another candidate continuously steal glances while distractedly talking to plausible-deniability-dude; and plausible-deniability-dude annoyance over not being able to capture the young women's attentions.

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...Leo thinks he might like this guy. Such blatant disregard for etiquette is a statement in itself, and not one Leo's ever been bold enough to make. 

"Perhaps you should introduce me to your brothers?" he suggests to Felix, trying to hide a grin. 

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"Of course," Felix says guiding Leo towards the third triplet.

"Teronmas, this is..." he pauses because he is not sure what Leo prefers to be called.

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"Leo." Might as well be consistent. "Pleased to meet you, Teronmas."

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"Sup?" Teronmas says bringing his flat hand to his head and waving it away, in an arcane earth signal of salutation. "Hey, my new friend is Paroma. We are making friends today, isn't that great?"

"Yes," Paroma says with a tired smile.

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Paroma doesn't seem too impressed with Teronmas' Earth manners. Leo doesn't blame her, although he thinks it's rather charming himself. Not husband material, not like Felix—and where did that thought come from? What he knows about Felix could fit in a paper bag. 

"I'm certainly enjoying the opportunity to get to know everyone here," Leo comments neutrally. 

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Felix discreetly pushes Teronmas' feet off the table.

"We've met, Thomas," Felix says with a nod to Paroma who does not change expression.

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"Okay, dear brother. So, what's your deal, Leo? Enjoying the fruity teas?"

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"The books, actually." Although now he mentions it, a teacup is great for having something to do with one's hands. "Felix was kind enough to let me borrow one from the library."

Like Leo, the triplets clearly have some kind of message going on with their names and which ones they use in different contexts; Leo uses Felix's Earth name very deliberately. 

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Felix offers Leo a seat, far away from where Thomas' feet were. He also takes the opportunity to offer him one of those cherry-things that they use instead of sugar cubes.

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Thomas apparently notices, his initial reaction is mostly suspicion.

"I would never have guessed that the Vaesteri household had that kind of literature," Paroma says surprised before Thomas can reply.

"Terrible romance novels? Felix loves them like candy."

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