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 We watch as our young hearts fade... (Joshua)

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Azalea Murray
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PostSubject: We watch as our young hearts fade... (Joshua)   Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:03 pm

Azalea Harrington had left the Newbury residents on the third week of February, well over a month ago even if the memory stood out as clear as if it had happened not two days ago. The day she had decided to leave had also been the day her father had decided enough was enough. That very evening, she had been instructed to pack or leave whatever she had with her and get ready for the next day. Unable to reach Jake on his cell phone, Kit had rang directly through to the house, giving Alexis the pleasure of announcing that her impromptu house guest would soon be gone. Azalea had been to thankful to notice anything odd and had safely retreated to the guest room to do as requested.

Her departure would have been quite discrete and uneventful had it not been for the children, but Azalea found herself trying not to think about it as she surveyed the much larger plot of land she had dug up the previous back in Furz Croift's ample gardens. When dad had come to pick her up, she had assumed they would be heading back to America. Azalea had a sneaking suspicion the photographer wanted to give the Newburies a similar impression which was why he didn't reveal their destination to her until they were well away from the quiet England estate.

"How about we have a holiday of our own kiddo?" the man had smiled easily in the car. "Without your godmother being on our case all the time with her eating and medicine and Merlin knows what else?"

"Did you guys have a fight?" The brunette had asked through a soft smile. Some memories came back easier than others.

"You cannot prove that."


And so the decision was made, landing the two Americans safely in a place that seemed entirely too large at first. But the space was more freeing than it was overwhelming because as soon as they stepped on solid ground, her father announced "Welcome to your home, would you like a slightly annoying roommate?"

"Depends on if he makes me coffee," the witch had joked before folding her slender frame into the sideways hug Kit offered. The place was huge but there was no rush into seeing it. Rather than devise a regiment for her, Kit did what he had always done, left her to explore on her own while he saw to the necessities. After two months of feeling like a nuisance in someone else's house no matter where she went, it was truly freeing to be able to roam around her own house with more certainty. She was never in the way here, and every room, corner, cellar and cupboard welcomed her.

"Zay-Lea, you can't g-g-go," the child's wobbling lips were a bad sign but no one else seemed to notice. Alexis was nowhere in sight and Henry had sought the refuge of work like he did on most days. Ivan looked confused at the scene unfolding in front of him but unsure if he should voice his confusion out loud and Jake...

"What's for lunch, kiddo?" Kit's voice floated up from the basement where the game area had been converted into an old school dark room. Dad had been down there all morning, maybe even slept there and as with when he was gone, Azalea usually lost track of time. Her sleep was more regulated thanks to top of the line potions her doctors were prescribing but her appetite had yet to return to its fullest. Her motor functions were almost as good as a normal adult's though, and slowly, ever so slowly, her magic was returning.

"I was going to make some salad," she called out, hoping ehr voice would reach Kit. It did, and his next words made ehr smile fondly.

"I have a takeout menu, thanks."

Azalea had taken charge of the cooking - or hat passed as cooking - the first week here. It kept her busy and it kept dad from worrying about her. Any reservations he may have had about needing to fulfill a more traditionally supportive role in her recovery vanished within the first two days when he realized that she was still herself. Dad and her had always been close without needing to be near each other. It was how they worked best. So Kit had retreated to his dark room and Azalea had taken up intensive touring of the grounds where she could start to grow something again. No luck so far but just turning the soil made her feel more in control than she had in years.

"We're going out today," it announced at breakfast in early march, reaching for his orange juice and swigging it down as if hippogryffs were after him. "surprise for you."

"Not another shopping trip please, I swear I have everything I need. And Victoria's been sending me all kinds of things from the states too." Both father and daughter were now experts in the art of recognizing pink care packages flying through the windows of the manor home towards the owl station build outside the kitchen. Victoria's notes were always full of enthusiasm and good cheer, and Azalea was writing back equally faithfully, glad that at least one relationship in her life hadn't changed. the notes often accompanied wishes from Jackson who was all grown up and quite the important man now.

"Good kid that one," the wizard muttered around his piece of toast before adding. "But nope, we're going to Hogwarts."

That had been he day she had properly seen Mimosa for the first time.

And her daughter was perfect.

Azalea had merely watched from her corner table at The Three Broomsticks as her daughter almost bounced into the building, hand in hand with a short haired Gryffindor and surrounded by at least half a dozen other girls. Mimosa appeared to be the center of attention, the apple of everyone's eye and the object of everyone's admiration. Azalea almost missed the green jacket her daughter had donned that day with the black and white short skirt that firmly denoted her a Slytherin. She was much too preoccupied with studying the girl's features. Mimosa had inherited her father's eyes, that was for sure. Even her hair seemed to resemble Jake's in color but the texture and waves we hers. Much like Azalea, Mimosa too suffered from a slender frame but the child had no problem eating - as evidenced by the large tray of fries that quickly disappeared over the next twenty minutes under the girl's absent munching.

On the way, Azalea had been terrified that she would do something to harm her child, maybe dash from her place to try and hug her, or otherwise break down at the sight of the baby she had given up everything to protect. But as she sat here, she understood how ridiculous those thoughts had been. She could sit here a lifetime and watch Mimosa be happy - doing nothing to disturb the young witch.

Sadly the girls had left an hour later and soon after, the brunette had to leave too. but on the way back, the beginnings of an idea were forming in her mind.

"Dad, what if I worked at Hogwarts?"

"I don't know kiddo, are you well enough to work?"

"Not right now, but I could be in a few months."


The bell chimed through the house, making Azalea put down the knife she had been using to methodically slice her oranges for the salad. Cooking for one was easier than she'd anticipated, even if it didn't turn out well there was no one to know. "I'll get it," Azalea called out unnecessarily. If dad was in his dark room again, he wouldn't hear anything anyway.

"So... goodbye then," Jake's extended hand made her look down uncertainty, almost is as if she knew taking it would put a note of finality upon something that hand't quite concluded yet. But what choice did she have. Adrienne and Ivan had retreated to their room and Jake was the only one left. Hesitantly, Azalea raised her own hand, shaking his politely.

"Thanks for letting me stay."

A shrug from Jake. "No problem, if you need anything, you know where to reach me."

A nod from Azalea, this was now that kind of game.

And in all the times she had walked away from Jake Newbury in her life, Azalea couldn't help but feel this would be the one that would actually stick.

This time, she was walking out of his life for good.


The bell rang once again just as she reached the white door with the glass panels, pulling it open to reveal the stranger standing outside.

"Hello, how can I help you?"

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PostSubject: Re: We watch as our young hearts fade... (Joshua)   Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:00 pm

The information on Jake Newbury had brought forward nothing of interest. An alumni of Salem, like his Azalea, Head Boy, some jumped Quidditch star in his early twenties, which didn't seem to be a job the man wanted to stick to despite being one hell of a player. A teaching job at Hogwarts, a previous role at Salem, and then a huge career change to becoming an Auror upon landing in the UK. Two children by one woman, a list of women who denoted having slept with the man, but nothing that tied him explicitly to his Azalea. Josh did not understand the connection of the Auror to his Azalea, but it had made him more curious of the man. What tied the two so inexplicably that his Azalea would stay with him?

It didn't matter, though, as February rolled in to being, his Azalea emerged back in to the world -- credit went to the Newbury family, they liked to keep their location quiet, and though Josh's people had narrowed it down to Surrey, they hadn't pinpointed the house as yet.

His Azalea had emerged back in to the world before it came necessary, though, and for the first time in months, Josh took a breathe of fresh air. His body ached with the anticipation of being able to get close to his Azalea once more, but Joshua Murray had never been a man to rush anything in this world. Another week, another month, another year would not matter in the waiting game that they were currently playing. His Azalea had emerged back in to the world with her father, and they had not retreated back to America as Josh would have expected, but instead headed to the retreat the Harringtons owned in the UK.

Furze Croft.

The information had come in flurries, his people denoting everything they could find out about Azalea was now daily. Her functionality had improved massively with her stay with Jake Newbury, it seemed her independence had grown innumerably, and, as Josh had been told, she'd resumed her previous enjoyment of working with plants. The signs that his Azalea was coming back were clear in that moment, the similarities of the now to the memories that were vividly clear in Josh's mind were there. Not perfect replicas, no, but they were growing closer in to alignment, and the blond was overjoyed with this much information.

Joshua Ethan would need his mother, too, so this progress, the progress that had swept through his son's mother was highly important.

***

It had been agonising, in truth, working out how to approach his Azalea at her home. Did he wait for Kenneth Harrington to vacate the building, and arrive upon the doorstep then? Did he allow Mr Harrington to be in so that his Azalea did not grow scared of his presence? Did Josh go to Furze Croft alone, or did he take their son too? The many different options of this 'first' meeting since the birth of their son was one that would have to be played very, very carefully. Too much, too quickly, and the whole effort of this would be too much for his most precious flower.

The decision to go alone to Furze Croft was one Josh was sure would be better, the decision to go to the home only when they were sure Kenneth Harrington would also be there was one of necessity. Josh had planned this moment carefully, ensuring that he would not arrive too soon in to Azalea's progress of finding her own in the UK property.

It was the end of March, the UK still held a chill to it. Josh, as always, hadn't felt the chill as he apparated to the Surrey village of Weybridge. The tie that had been laid out with the suit he wore presently had been left, the top button of the suit left open for a more... relaxed feeling to his person. The dark blue suit was tailored perfectly around the man's body, and it fell neatly back in to place after one, small pull at the front when the feeling of apparition left his body. Casting his eyes down the road, Josh was glad to find there were little to none of those Muggle transportation vehicles. Less eyes around as he made his way forth to the white mansion of the Harringtons.

The story was set in Josh's mind, the man was confident as he strode down the driveway, undeterred by anything in the world.

He was going to see his Azalea today.

The first time in two hundred and six days.

It had almost been as bad as waiting for the 685 days he'd waited before. Perhaps worse. The 685 days in which he'd waited for his Azalea, he had not known where she was, how she was, if she was still... He pushed that thought away. These two hundred and six days had been torture. He'd known exactly where his Azalea was. He'd left her.

But it had been for the best.

Now she was better, or... much closer to being better, Josh could come back in to her life.

The bell on the other side of the door chimed loudly through the mansion, and Josh waited, perfecting a calm, warm smile that only one person -- perhaps now two -- could ever draw to his lips. Had normal displays of emotion been upon Josh's radar, he would have been giddy with excitement, but in that moment, all the world would see was a smile that did not convey the very big threat the man could be.

It was taking too long for someone to answer... where were the Harrington staff?

Reaching forth, Josh pressed the bell again, and waited. Only the briefest of seconds.

The door swung open, and behind the door... Josh's breathe hitched almost painfully in his throat, his heart that usually kept an impossibly even beat, sped up as if exercising was currently one of the things he was doing. Before him, dressed how she would have been back in the days she'd been teaching stood his Azalea, looking more radiant than the pictures he'd been passed from the team he had keeping an eye on her could provide him with.

"Hello, how can I help you?"

"I'm hoping you can," Josh replied, not sign of the abnormalities of his body's functions presenting themselves to the outside world. "I was looking at some of the properties in the area, actually, I live just outside the village, and there is a property a couple of driveways down that I believe is almost identical to yours. With it being a Sunday, of course, it means I can't actually contact the Estate Agents to request a viewing, so..." The man paused, allowing many things to go unsaid in that moment in the hope that his Azalea would be able to fill in the gaps.

Or, if not, to speak to him more.

There was a light in her eyes now, a light that had not been there before...

A light that was now the ray of hope that Josh would cling on to for dear life.

Because his Azalea was almost, almost, almost back.

And this time, he had the one thing in the world that would ensure she came back in her entirety.

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PostSubject: Re: We watch as our young hearts fade... (Joshua)   Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:25 pm

The man outside her door was... stunning to say the least. And the witch was sure the use of that adjective was accurate because there she stood, stunned at the impeccably dressed blonde who could have stepped out of any fashion magazine or poster she had seen around Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley. Even the light breeze outside didn't mess with his perfectly laid golden hair which had to be some kind of magic seeing as the same wind had immediately picked up on a tendril of her own chocolate locks and was making it blow lazily behind her ear.

Taking in his suited appearance, the witch immediately felt self conscious, as if she was severely under dressed in her own jeans and a lavender form fitting blouse she had pulled on that morning without really giving it much thought. the high ponytails he had pulled her hair into prior to entering the kitchen bobbed gently behind her, the chocolate waves dancing in the light breeze he was so unaffected by.

"I'm sorry, I don't know how to reach an agent either... I'm new here," the witch offered, wanting to help but unsure how she could. "Maybe my dad knows, he's stayed here longer so he might... Oh!"

Suddenly, it dawned on on Azalea what the stranger was asking for. If he intended to view a property similar to theirs... It made sense that he would want to see Furze Croft to figure out what he was getting into.

Shaking her head, the witch laughed in embarrassment. "I'm sorry, I'm just a little slow these days," she clarified, opening the door wider and inviting him into the pristine marbled hallway. "Please come in, my name's Azalea. It's nice to meet you." Politely, the witch extended a slender arm for a handshake.

After all, if this was where they were going to live, might as well start getting to know he neighbors. Or potential neighbors as the cae may be.

"I was just figuring out some lunch before this. Would you like coffee or something while I put everything away?"

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PostSubject: Re: We watch as our young hearts fade... (Joshua)   Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:48 pm

In that moment, talking to his Azalea as if a stranger, it was difficult for Josh to keep his eyes still. He wanted to drink her in completely, move forwards and draw the witch in to his arms, place a soft kiss to her lips, and draw in the delicate scent of his Azalea. Except... that had been one thing Joshua Murray could not replicate from twelve years ago. The perfume his Azalea had worn had not been one that could be found... anywhere. But, even without the perfume that had was not of knowledge to anyone else in the world, his Azalea had her own smell, one that Josh had always associated with a safe place. A smell that had been undeniably hers, perfume or no.

But he couldn't, to the woman before him, no recollection came of the time they had spent together. The years they had spent together.

It was okay, though. Time would wait for them.

Mostly.

The restraint of the head of the Murray family was phenomenal in that moment, his eyes picking up the small strand of hair caught in the light breeze, watching it flicker lightly too and fro against his Azalea's skin. In the Murray Manor that piece of hair would not have been free to move like that, in the Murray Manor, Joshua would have stepped forwards and lightly tucked it behind his Azalea's ear with the most tender of touches. But here, in this moment, on the front porch of Furze Croft, all Joshua Murray could do was watch that errant lock of hair caress his Azalea's skin and not lose himself to the freewill he'd been granted for years.

As his Azalea confessed to not knowing how to get hold of the agent, Josh gave a small understanding nod, not wanting to interrupt or correct the witch before him with his own intentions. His eyes drew back to hers, keeping them from staring at lock of hair intent on teasing him in to a situation which would not further his cause. It took a moment for Azalea to catch up to his line of thinking, and when she did there was a soft peel of laughter which brought a softer, easier smile to Josh's lips in that moment. "It's okay, don't apologise." He assured her, following her invitation and stepping in to the house as she offered. It took a monumental thought to wipe his shoes on the mat just inside the door, and after he'd done so -- wanting to portray a man of a 'normal' enough background -- Josh turned his attention back to his Azalea to find her hand out towards him.

"Lovely to meet you, A-Azalea," Josh replied, taking her hand and bringing it instead to his lips, leaving the softest of kisses upon her knuckles as his eyes kept to her face, watching for signs of recognition, enjoyment, any emotion that would allow him to know what was going on in her mind. "I'm Joshua, but you can call me Josh, if you'd prefer." The man explained, holding her hand just a moment longer than necessary, before gently letting her go.

"Oh, my apologies. Please don't let me interrupt your lunch. Coffee would be good, though, if its not too much hassle." The man explained, following Azalea through to the kitchen. A man looking at the property would have had eyes for the wonderment that was Furze Croft, but the building held no interest to Joshua Murray. His eyes were upon Azalea, watching how she held herself, how she worked on her own without explicit instructions on what she had to do. The smaller details of how she'd dressed that day, and the way she'd picked out a lilac shirt...

As if she'd known...

Whilst Azalea busied herself, Josh took the moment to pursue the topic she'd created for him. "You said you're new here. Just moved here? I can't help but notice the American inflection to your voice..." He tried, wondering if she would open up to the light questioning enough for him to fill in some of the blanks.

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PostSubject: Re: We watch as our young hearts fade... (Joshua)   Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:18 pm

Not expecting anything more than a standard handshake, the witch's dark brown eyes grew sightly wider in surprise as he brought her knuckles to his lips and brushed them so softly, it was like it had never happened. In fact, had Azalea looked away, she was almost certain she wouldn't have felt anything. His touch was entirely too soft and gentle to merit notice if it wasn't being witnessed first hand.

He must just be a naturally gentle soul, Azalea concluded as he let go of her to introduce himself. In all her time here, she hand't met a proper English gentleman but Azalea imagined if there was such a thing, Joshua was it.

"Well, what do you prefer to be called?" she asked once he'd given her leave to abbreviate his name as she wished. Something that sparked another memory in the witch. Few people referred to Azalea by her given name. "I ask because I grew up with a lot of odd nicknames and no one actually asked me if they could use them. Not that I mind of course, but being asked is always nice."

Leading him through the ample entrance and the large landing area, the witch made sure to keep a slow pace, giving him time to look over the layout of the room. the circular living area was very different from Harrington Home in Carmel but it worked here with the rest of the architectural details. He would probably be interested in the built in cabinetry around the room more.

"I'm afraid I'm the worse person to give you a tour of the estate," she confessed as they walked through to the bright, open kitchen. Despite the lack of cooking that went on in a Harrington's house, the kitchen always had to be just so because Clara liked the idea of an inviting kitchen more than a functional one. "I haven't seen all of it myself to be quiet honest. I keep telling myself I have time and running back tot eh garden."

It was true, the witch had invested far more time into the grounds than she had in the main building. Her own rooms and dad's living and work areas besides, Azalea had left most of the house largely untouched. As the witch walked ahead, her shining brown ponytail bobbing behind her, she tried to point out more interesting features of the house but it was clear she was coming up short. If she ended up giving this man a tour, it would take much longer than strictly necessary due to her inept knowledge of the place.

Once they were in the kitchen, Azaleas invited the blonde to take a seat before moving to the espresso machine - an essential part of her Kit's breakfast routine. pouring in some fresh coffee beans and putting the machine to work, the witch moved to her salad bowl, carefully removing the utensils and depressing them in the sink before beginning the process of clearing away.

"You said you're new here. Just moved here? I can't help but notice the American inflection to your voice..."

"That's right," she replied, taking the large bowl and moving towards the fridge. the salad would stay well preserved until dinner. "We're from California, Dad and . He's had this place for a while now but I just moved in a few weeks ago." The brunette collected all the dressing containers next, moving to the fridge and arranging them neatly in a row as well. When the counter was clear, she retrieved a clean cloth for the final wipe down.

"How about you, are you from around here?" The young woman almost added why he wanted to buy a house here but stopped herself. Perhaps that might be to personal a question at this stage. Instead she turned her focus to the counter, running the clean cloth all over the granite surface, laving it sparkling.

Just then, the espresso machine pinged, signalling her guests coffee ready.

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PostSubject: Re: We watch as our young hearts fade... (Joshua)   Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:44 pm

"Josh is fine," the blonde replied to the question without a moment's thought. Joshua had always been much too formal, reminded him much too much of his mother speaking to him. No, Josh had always been what his Azalea had called him, and he would prefer that much more than hearing 'Joshua' rolling off of her lips.

The memory that was provided by the witch brought forth a knowing look from the man. The excitement inside of him masked without hesitation in that moment. If his Azalea could remember the nicknames... the want to ask more flourished and died inside him. Do not get too personal, too soon. Josh reminded himself in that moment. "I completely understand. Once, there was a girl who thought calling me Joshy was okay. Obviously... not a favourite." He provided, wondering if Azalea would remember Louise Grey at all, but that was for another time.

His Azalea's apology for not being too good at giving a tour was one that Josh wouldn't have minded in any life time. There was no interest for the man in this contemporary property, only the witch before him. The guise of his arrival, though, had to be upheld in some form. "Perhaps you will show me the grounds instead? I'm hoping that the plot will be quite large. I have an interest in plants, you see. Curiously... actually... my favourite belongs to the plant you've been named after. I'm sure that sounds quite... crazy. I don't mean it to." Josh explained, carefully sowing the seed that they had something in common. Of course, his Azalea didn't need to know his interest had stemmed solely from the first point in time in which he'd seen her, caring for her plants with so much tenderness...

"Is your own interest in gardening, or more botanical?" Josh asked, pushing for more information as to where the witch before him had got to with her gardening in the days they'd been apart. Something had pushed her through the barrier he couldn't, and he wanted to know how well she was doing in that moment.

Watching his Azalea tidy made Josh feel on edge, wishing to tell her to leave it. That someone else would do these mundane things. But they were not at their home, and it didn't seem like the Harrington's had their own staff. "Ah, yes, California. I've been twice. Can't say I like it there, to be honest, but I had little and less choice." Josh explained, but didn't elaborate on the details. "I'm from Wales myself, just outside of Cardiff." No mention of the Murray name, no note of the kind of place he lived, just where he was from, that was all she'd asked of him.

"Do you like it here?" Josh asked, keeping the hopefulness from his tone. "I mean the neighbourhood? It's quiet?" He added, keeping up the impression of the keen potential neighbour as he continued to probe his Azalea, her progress. Asking her what she thought of something, waiting for an answer that hadn't been rehearsed a thousand times over. This version of his Azalea, even if she didn't recognise him at the moment... was perfect, in every way.

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PostSubject: Re: We watch as our young hearts fade... (Joshua)   Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:53 pm

The thought of the impeccable young man sitting in her kitchen being called "Joshy" made Azalea grin, only to promptly duck her head to hide said grin. It was clearly not a name he appreciated and she would respect that. "Yeah, a good number of people just called me Aza," she offered to compensate for the moment of amusement. "Feel free to laugh." Of course, she could barely remember who those people were. Perhaps the ones that mattered were the ones who had simply respected her wishes? That would explain why the ones who hand't were not in the forefront of her memory.

"Now that, I am fairly confident in," she replied when he suggested she show him the grounds instead. Josh was being nice really, trying to accommodate her where he could. Well, that or he really wanted to see the kind of house he would be purchasing. Azalea hoped she wasn't stepping on someone's sales commission by showing Josh around for free.

"Keep in mind though that I'm not a professional agent or landscaping expert of any kind. I can only show you what I know and understand. Someone who's actually well versed in property will be able to help you a lot more." And hopefully ehr words would be convincing enough for Josh to find said expert and not rob them off their due.

When he asked the nature of her interest outdoors, the witch had to pause. What she was doing at the moment would firmly be classified as casual gardening. And she wasn't even very good at that if the flat plots of freshly turned but barren earth were anything to go by. But once upon a time, her interest had been of a botanical nature.

"I'm not quite sure yet," she admitted, lowering her gaze slightly so as not to stare into his too bright eyes as she confessed her own ineptitude. "I used to... be rather outdoorsy a while ago and I'm trying to pick that pick up. I was sick for a bit and it didn't leave me much opportunity to be out and about... For now I'm just trying to make soemthing, anything, grow." To no avail, the brunette left unsaid, instead turning tot eh coffee machine and pouring out a generous cup for the blonde.

Carrying the cup of coffee over to him, the witch placed it carefully atop the counter where Josh sat. "Would you like any cream or sugar?' she asked belatedly. "I'm afraid we're all used to drinking it black here so i forget some people find that quite bitter."

Conversation with this stranger was... easy. It was hard to explain really but he seemed to really listen to even the most mundane of her thoughts. Nor did he blink or act surprised at some of her stranger revelations. As she sat across from him, the witch realized this was the first real adult conversation she was having in a long time. One that wasn't concocted by her parents or forced on an unwilling participant.

It felt good to see someone take a genuine interest in the things she had to say. And for light conversation to not be forced. Azalea found herself listening rather intently as he described his feelings on California. It certainly was an acquired taste and it sounded like Josh hadn't been around long enough to acquire it.

"I know, most people only think of LA and Hollywood when they think of California. My town is a tiny little fishing place, misty open to vacationing tourists. It's a lot quieter than LA." When he admitted he was from Wales, the witch had to think. Had she ever been to Cardiff? No that she could remember.

"You're thinking about moving from Wales to Surrey?" she asked politely, making sure to phrase her question in an open ended way so he could ignore it if he wished. "You must have a big family if you're thinking of a house this size,' she added. It was huge enough for just her and dad but a family of five to seven might do it justice.

When he asked her how she found this area, the brunette once again had to confess to her lack of knowledge, and decide in the back of her mind that maybe it was time she did something about that. "Well, its much better than the last place I was staying," she murmured before the guilt hit home. That was really unfair, the Newburies had opened their home to her no matter what else. They deserved more loyalty than this.

"I mean, I was living with friends. they were incredibly generous but it wasn't my space. I feel better here knowing... that I'm not in anyone's way. And of the few weeks I've been here, I haven't heard any loud noises or seen anything bad. But I've just been in the house and grounds most of the time."

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PostSubject: Re: We watch as our young hearts fade... (Joshua)   Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:43 pm

The smile upon his Azalea's lips when he denoted the manner in which Louise used to talk to him showed that she thought it to be funny, but it had not sparked a memory in the witch. Perhaps his Azalea had not heard Louise speak to him in such a manner, or perhaps she simply didn't have the memory available in that moment. It didn't matter right now, they had all the time in the world to be able to remember these things.

"It's okay, I just wanted to see the property, I'll talk in much more detail with the Estate Agents if I think the property will be viable for me." Josh assured the witch, not wanting her to stress over what she could or could not tell him, or even as to whether what she was saying was completely correct.

Hopefully having eased the witch's worries, Josh listened more closely to her explanation of her current gardening situation. The way she spoke showed she didn't have clear memories of the time in which she'd been with him. She didn't remember the efforts he'd made to get her to try her hands at herbology again, and it was somewhat deflating to hear this news. His Azalea was growing better now, looked really well, in fact, but she didn't know what he'd done to try to help her. With time, perhaps, he would be able to tell her everything, but this moment was not it.

"What are you attempting to grow at the moment? English soil is a lot less forgiving than many, and you're still competing against the winter here. Most avid gardeners don't start planting anything until April because the soil just won't take. Unless, of course, you're working in a greenhouse that has been modified in a vast number of manners to create optimal habitats for plants that are not usually found in this country..?" The blonde offered, clearly trying to help the witch. She would likely believe him to be helping due to her having just moved here, but that was not the real reason. He knew that his Azalea knew all of this, her greenhouse in Hogwarts was testament to that much all those years ago.

"As it is is fine, thank you A-Azalea." Josh replied to her worries about the drink, not meaning to stutter over her name, but falling short of that expectation. It had happened for years, it was not something he could unlearn now, was it?

"Ah, perhaps I just went to the wrong places, then," Josh replied to the explanation provided on LA. Of course, his Azalea didn't know he knew exactly of the place she was speaking of. Knew what Carmel-by-the-Sea looked liked, had stayed there for a short time for her sake. But, right now his Azalea did not need to know such things, she could safely assume he'd been to the cities of California and nothing more.

"No, not really. It's only my son and I at the moment. His mother should be joining us soon, though. She's away with family at the moment, but we're hoping to have her home quite soon." Josh explained, because that was the truth. Three of them in total. For now, at least. "It's not too big of a move from Wales to here, Surrey has a lot more to offer than Cardiff ever will, too. Much more beautiful, though not quite so close to the sea."

The stay with Jake Newbury had not been a pleasant one. Josh had doubted a relationship of any kind before now, but this confirmation from his Azalea put everything in to place. Whoever Jake Newbury might be, he didn't mean anything of note to his Azalea. A relief to the system, for certain. "I'm glad you're enjoying it here. Your own space is always important." Josh agreed to that statement, giving the witch a small smile as he lifted the mug to his lips. Taking a careful sip of the drink, the man allowed a moment to pass, allowing himself just a moment to look at the witch in all her beauty. Stealing himself just a moment, because that was all Joshua Murray would ever need.

"Shall we head out in to the grounds? I can take this with me, if you wouldn't mind it?" He added, motioning to the cup sat before him. Yes, sitting and finishing it would have allowed him more time to talk to his Azalea, but it would not have been something a 'normal' man would have done, would it?

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PostSubject: Re: We watch as our young hearts fade... (Joshua)   Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:07 pm

When asked what she intended to grow, Azalea replied without hesitation. "Mimosas," the witch spoke decisively. "I know its a little ambitious to try them in March but we are getting some decent sunlight... Maybe I should have Dad look into Greenhouses. don't have the first clue where to get one..."

Though if people were to be trusted, she had spent a lot of time in Greenhouses. It made sense and yet it was difficult to imagine that life. So few of that Azalea's pieces had transferred to the current one that it was as difficult to put together as Adrienne dong one of her puzzles. Everything may fit but the picture was certainly more unclear than ever before.

It was as she was trying to remember what being inside a greenhouse felt like that soemthing happened. Josh as saying soemthing but he witch froze, an eerie shiver running up and down ehr spine as he said it was alright. the simple syllables of her name from his mouth caused her eyes to go vacant for a split second before she shook ehr head and snapped herself out of the... it hand't been a memory... So what had it been.

A sate of constant fear?

"I apologize," the brunette hastily amended as her entire body shuddered. "It must be colder in here than I realized."

The conversation moved on, Josh speaking of his family. It didn't surprise the witch to know he was a family man. Single people rarely sought large mansions to live in. And the fondness with which he spoke of his wife and son was obvious. "Well, I'm sure your wife will enjoy this place. And if your grounds are anything like ours, your son will have the run of the land." What little boy wouldn't want to grow up on a turn he could basically build in his image.

At his offer to tour with coffee in hand, Azalea nodded, realizing with no small amount of embarrassment that she may have been keeping him from his actual business via idle chit chat. But it was just... refreshing to talk to someone who didn't know her. Who knew nothing about her or her condition and just saw her as another ordinary face in the crowd.

The interaction was precious because of how inconsequential it was.

"Sure, let me just tell Dad. Excuse me a moment." With that the young woman dashed out the kitchen and headed towards the stairs leading to the basement. She didn't run all the way down, merely called out from halfway down the steps. "Dad, one of our neighbors is here, I'm going to show them the grounds, listen for the take out guy!"

The next three hours were spent roaming the grounds of Furze Croft, showing the blond male what she could and them discovering new things together. There was a well at the back Azalea hadn't seen before and her soft joy at finding it elongated their tour somewhat as she and Josh discussed ways to connect it to a better watering system for her plants. The garage which Azalea had not had the opportunity to inspect earlier was also seen for the first time in Josh's presence, the row of gleaming race cars Kit kept exciting the witch almost as much as new toys excited Adrienne Newbury.

Finally, at almost sunset, the duo returned to the front lawns of the estate, Azalea's cheecks flushed from the slowly cooling weather and the exercise outdoors while the elements seemed to have had no effect on her companion whatsoever.

"Well, I hope that was helpful," she offered as they stood by the front door. "A real agent might give you more details but I did the best I could. As for the inside, I'm afraid we'll have to do that some other day."

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PostSubject: Re: We watch as our young hearts fade... (Joshua)   Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:38 pm

The moment in which his Azalea shivered as he spoke, Josh was calculating in his head. Outwardly nothing would show, but he was considering what part of the sentence he'd spoken had caused the reaction in the witch. As he sat with his coffee, it was difficult to not move forth and pull the witch in to his embrace, to aid her, to lend her his warmth with the shiver. This encounter was torturous of the soul, being so close, but having to stay so far away.

The idea of his wife enjoying the space was not one that Josh was worried about. The woman in question stood before him, enjoying their surroundings. The Surrey home suited her, but it was not fit for a Murray. "I'm sure they will," the man replied, getting to his feet as his Azalea denoted she would just let her father know they were heading out. It was the polite thing to do when a lady left the room, after all.

Waiting for his Azalea to come back, Josh listened for the fall of her footsteps through the house. They faded from hearing, an excitement in her step as she moved, before reappearing again. Not the perfectly learned steps she had known in the Murray Manor, but... so very much like his Azalea. A soft smile touched the man's lips as he listened, waiting for her return, before hiding the smile in his coffee cup as she reentered the room.

Three hours passed in the gardens of Furze Croft, but it felt like a life time to Josh. The time was spent listening to his Azalea talking so freely, so happily, with thoughts that were his own. When the conversation looked like it was about to lull, Josh pushed it in to another direction, keeping the witch beside him talking throughout their whole tour of the gardens. They were not vast -- though his Azalea thought they were -- they were not to his taste, much too contemporary, and.. well, just not to a standard Joshua Murray would have kept them. But it didn't matter that they were lacking, because the gardens made his Azalea happy, made her want to talk openly, and he could not control himself.

Which was what had made the blond stay for so long, looking around even the most mundane of rooms within a house. Every action of his Azalea's was catalogued, each item that brought more life to her eyes was noted. Because no matter what, he was going to be bringing his Azalea home, and she would have everything in the world, if she so wished.

Unfortunately, however, their time together came to an apparent end as they stood on the front porch of Furze Croft, finishing up the conversation that Josh could no longer prolong without causing suspicion to rise in the witch before him.

"You've been the most wonderful host," Josh assured the witch as she apologised without saying sorry for not being able to show him everything. "Thank you, for your time, and for showing me the grounds. My visit has been most useful, in more ways than you will ever know."

The head of the Murray house paused for a moment, looking just past Azalea to the door.

Checking for her father.

He could take her home now.

To their son...

Josh shook that thought away. As eager as he might be to take his Azalea home, it couldn't be now. She wasn't ready for the truth.

"Hopefully, we'll be neighbours soon, but... seeing as I disrupted your lunch, let me make it up to you some time?" He finalised, bowing his head with a small finality to the conversation before turning away from the house, from his Azalea. A step. Two steps. Josh turned back. "Oh, and good luck with the Mimosas, I have a feeling they are going to come through just fine." Josh finalised.

Because they would.

He'd make sure they would.

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