Minor Details

 
Well, that neatly let Harold's steam right out, it was only Mary having her baby. And soon the vacuum of paternal panic began taking its place. Mary was having her baby! And with the realization soundly lodged in the man's head, he was rendered inert. "Well, uh, can I, heh, get anything or anyone? Is the midwife there already?" He turned a panicked glance over to the boys, looking for any advice or aid.

Disapproval and annoyance Fionn could understand; womenfolk didn't like having nervous fathers around at childbirth. And from Portia's words, it was clear that this wasn't Harold's first... 'visit'.
The woman's anger and fury, though, caught the young mage off-guard and made his reply wither and die before it could be formed into actual words; Portia was worried - and while a certain amount of worry was to be expected by anyone in a house in the middle of childbirth, the cast of her eyes hinted a something more.
And, though Fionn would rather forego eating for two weeks than admit it or - even worse - put it in words himself, being dismissed so... off-handedly... was both vexing and baffling. Instinctively, the young mage's eyes flicker to the staff in his hand, as if to reassure that he did carry the distinctive implement both he and Alex favoured.

When Fionn finally overcomes his bafflement, words tumble from his lips, even as the door is being slammed closed. "I might not have Hanna's skills but healing is part-" The young mage's mind finally caught up with what he was seeing and, speaking to the closed door, slowly finished his sentence. "of my gift."

He continued watching the door for a long moment, then made a sour expression. "Well, that went well." he mumbled before turning to the soon-to-be father and replying. "Come, Harold. Unless you want to force your way into the house, there's not much we can do. And Portia might just decide to vent her frustration on you with her broom, if you remain here..." Fionn studies Harold's face for a moment before putting an arm around his shoulders and beginning to guide him away from the house. "Come on. You need a cup of tea - preferably laced with... ah... a 'restorative tonic'."
Standing in front of Portia's door certainly wasn't going to help and forcing their way into the house was out of the question. As much as Fionn disliked leaving this puzzle unsolved, no, even unexamined, there wasn't much he could do at the moment. Calming down Harold and staying in the area were, while not satisfying, at least not harmful.

Vincent had remained where he was throughout the fiasco at the door. His eyes glazed over as he studied the daffodils longer and harder than anyone ever had about flowers -even if they were blue. Suddenly his thought-process was shaken and it seemed to have a physical reaction in Vincent.

He looked up curiously at Maurice, his hand tilted slightly to the side. "Would you like me to attempt to gain access?" A wry smile begins to sneak onto his lips, not helping him look gentlemanly at all.

Maurice had a wry grin playing across his face as he watched Harold being led away from the house. He didn't think anything needed to be said right now, but when Harold had calmed down he'd be ripe for a dig or two. Satisfied that Mary as inside and at least Portia didn't think anything was amiss he turned to go when Vincent spoke.

After considering for a moment Maurice shook his head, "Whilst I'm curious exactly how you would go about doing that I can't see any good coming out of it. We know Mary's and Portia's inside. The rest is women's business that I have no interest in getting involved or even learning about."

Turning to include Fionn and Harold in his next words he speaks a little louder, "A drinks sounds good, how about we grab a few skins and go down to the river and take it easy for the afternoon. Enjoy the good weather. No ones likely going to miss us and I've done with hunting for the day if anyone needs help later."

Harold looked slightly deflated, staring at that shut door, only guessing at what could lay behind it. He looked over at the unsettling smile on Vincent's face and shook his head rapidly. "Nah...they'd get me if they needed any help..."

Taking Fionn's guidance away from the house, he gave a watery smile of his own. There was nothing he could do here but wait, so all he could do was choose how to spend that waiting time. Fretting in front of the door didn't sound nearly as fun as the other option, so he wrapped an arm around Fi's shoulder in return. "Heh, wouldya beleive she broke her old broom on me? Right across my arse, trying to shoo me out of her garden while Mary was picking."

Waving with his free arm, he motioned for the other two to join him as he gingerly stepped over the ring of flowers. "That's not even the best part. I made her a new one, cuz I felt guilty. What does she do? Tests it out by boxing my ears with it!" He chuckled softly and shook his head in amusement at himself, not quite the broad laughter he usually gave thanks to birth worries still dancing in the back of his mind.

"So, I think my uncles hid a few jugs of apple cider to go hard over the winter. Care to see if they're ready yet?" Not that he couldn't help himself by stifling his mind in strong spirits of another kind.

"It is decided, then." Fionn announced, smiling. "In order to keep Harold from damaging and breaking any more of Portia's household tools and to keep him out of her hair, we shall take care of him for the next couple of hours." the young mage continued, leading the soon-to-be farther farther from the house.
The glance he casted over his shoulder at both Portia's house and the uncanny flowers circling it, though, made it easy to realize that at least some of his levity was pretext.
I could stay around Fionn mused. Stay and... yeah, what ?
Watch.
Wait.
The second can also be done elsewhere. And as for watching... if something happens, it will be over the whole town in moments anyway...


"Let's find those jugs, then." Fionn said.

The river wasn't a particularly popular spot right now. A group of young boys threw rocks at the water, it wasn't so hot as to tempt them in today, but no one else was around the particular spot they chose to inhabit for a little while. Almost no one else. Kevin, the elder mage, sat cross-legged on a rock in the very spot Harold was thinking of knocking back the cider from the jug in his hand. He stared at the water, to all appearances pensive, with his staff across his lap and his hands gripping his knees.

Fionn's first impulse upon catching sight of the elder mage sitting there was to turn on his heels and sneak back before being noted.
It took his rational mind a moment to overcome the visceral reaction, to remind himself that he, too, was a mage.

Nevertheless, Fionn changed their course, aiming at a spot some distance from the elder mage. Not out of fear from Kevin, but so they wouldn't disturb Kevin's solitude. And his meditation.

Harold hesitated more perceptibly than Fionn, coming to a dead stop at the sight of the potent mage. He was trying to keep a positive glimmer in his heart, but this wasn't helping. The elder man seemed to have an unpleasant aptitude for being in the right place at the worst of times. But the farmer had a silver lining to cling to. Kevin wasn't with Mary.

Beginning to move, he began catching up to Fionn, giving Kevin a bob of the headand a gesture with a jug-filled hand to at least respectfully regard him. The quiet slosh was motivation enough to keep walking, knowing his companions were waiting for him to pop the cork to begin.

"Stop." Kevin didn't move, aside from his mouth, and he still stared at the water, offering no outward appearance of having actually noticed the four young men. "There's something on the wind, something..." A hand reached up and stroked his beard thoughtfully, but he still watched the water. "Did you see the flowers?"





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