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 A Whole New World (Jozalea)

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Joshua Murray
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PostSubject: A Whole New World (Jozalea)   Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:58 am

13 August 2025

It had not been an easy feat, staying away from his Azalea for as long as he had whilst the visitor from America had been over, but Joshua Murray had managed to endure the distance. Yes, they had the Muggle technology which kept them in touch with much more ease than the letters sent by owls ever could, but this technology was a mediocre imitation of his Azalea's words, delivered without the beauty of her facial expressions as she talked of her day, or the inflections of joy that would hint not only from the words as they left her lips, but also from the small sparkles in her eyes as she spoke of things she'd enjoyed deeply.

No, the past few weeks had been difficult because he'd been kept from the witch he'd wanted around him, wanted to keep safe, to enjoy.

And all for another person's happiness.

Thankfully, his Azalea hadn't asked too many questions of his own absence during this time. Whether knowing he was working tirelessly on his newest project for her, or else knowing he would supply the information she needed when the time was ready. Whatever the case was, Josh had been more than grateful for not being pestered on his whereabouts for the couple of weeks they'd been apart. The excitement of his next surprise was growing deeper with each coming day, along with another feeling that Josh could not place his finger upon entirely. Last time he'd opened up to his Azalea in such a grand manner...

But last time had been different, Josh reminded himself every time this alien feeling threatened to turn his stomach inside out in a rather unpleasant manner. This time she was his, wholly his. Last time she had not been his. She had been his Herbology professor, and where Josh hadn't seen the problem with his displays of art, his Azalea had grown uncomfortable. Fled. Not this time, though, Josh was sure that this time she would enjoy the surprise he had in store for her.

How couldn't she?

Josh had texted his Azalea a few days before her birthday to check what she had planned for the day. The response hadn't been filled with plans, truthfully, which had made the blond wizard smile to himself as he replied with a request to spend the day with her. All the details he'd given, though, was that he would pick his Azalea up shortly after lunch time, and that if she was happy to stay out for the evening, too, then she should bring an overnight bag with her too. Not that it would matter, the staff at the Murray Manor would have found something for his Azalea in the blink of an eye had Josh commanded it, but he would rather his Azalea was comfortable in the new setting he was about to take her to.

Ethan had been taken away by his Lady Mother for the day, something akin to maternal love getting the better of the older witch as she took her grandson off for a day of Merlin only knew what kind of activities that the youngest Murray would endure with the very serious facial features he'd inherited from his father. It would leave time for his Azalea and him to explore the Manor together, and allow the witch to open her presents he'd picked out for her birthday, too.

As Josh had promised, the low purr of his car sounded throughout the Harrington home as he arrived. Once more the blond had donned a suit for the occasion, but this time, his tie was a deep green, a colour Josh had noted his Azalea favoured, and a subtle show of his alumni status of Slytherin house. The car had barely been turned off before the driver's door was closed behind the blond as he hurried up to the front door of the Harrington home. The day knew, Josh reflected as he took off the sunglasses he'd been wearing whilst he drove, that something important was going to be happening today. It was going to allow them the best day, and insist the beauty of the Murray Manor upon his Azalea in all it's glory.

Now, though, Josh could only wait for his Azalea as he pressed the bell on the front door, and stood waiting for his Azalea to come to greet him. He wondered idly in those few moments whether there would be anything different about the witch, two weeks was a long time... but he would notice everything he needed to.

Never again, Josh reflected in that moment as he waited, would he allow his Azalea to be out of his sight for so long.

He'd waited long enough, he didn't have to do this again.

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PostSubject: Re: A Whole New World (Jozalea)   Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:44 pm

Victoria had left amidst a flurry of both sadness and excitement. The witch must have been extremely good at compartmentalizing because whatever she was dealing with back home seemed to rarely reflect on her stay at Furz Croft. She returned the happy excited girl Azalea had always been so fond of. And the witch knew on some days it must have been hard. Especially with the funeral proceedings they never talked about. But hat was okay, the family should be allowed to grieve in private, and Azalea was not part of the family.

She probably never had been. But she did have a family, and she was reminded of that very soundly when both Kit and Clara showed up the day before her birthday, engaging in a Harrington tradition as old as time and jumping on Azalea while she slept. Waking up to her dad's whiskers scratching at her cheeks while Clara cuddled her around him was pretty much the happiest feeling in the world. "Dad, Clara, gerroff," the witch murmured, threatening to expose them to her morning breath which had zero affect on the duo, making them pile on her even harder.

"Come on kiddo, breakfast time, I made your favorite." Clara was the first one off the bed, making both Kit and Azalea raise identical eyebrows in concern. "Oh sod off you two, no, I didn't cook." Both father and daughter breathed a sigh of relief before Kit moved to his feet, effectively pulling Azalea out of bed and rushing her towards the bathroom to wash up.

Over breakfast, the usual questions were asked, how was school going, what occupied her day, how was Victoria's stay. Of all these questions, the last was the easiest to answer. The stay was good, university was.... okay. Of course now that Azalea was back to regular classes (having attended mostly evening ones or irregular weekend ones while her friend was over) she had noticed ehr friends' much more reserved behavior. Apparently repeated pick ups in Joshua Murray's car and with the a himself at the wheel had earned ehr some kind of solitary status. But she couldn't tell Kit and Clara that, so "okay" would have to do.

After breakfast, they spoke to Mimosa, who was just coming in from a party in whatever timezone she was currently inhabiting in India. Azalea watched proudly as her too beautiful daughter yawned as she spoke, her excitement only slightly dampened by her exhaustion. Mimosa was too beautiful to be Azalea's daughter, yet the child's hair shone in the same kind of waves Azalea's once used to. The curve of her lips had Azalea hidden in it, her slender fingers held up just like her mother's. Somehow, two imperfect people had made up the most perfect little girl in the world.

I'll see you soon, kiddo, Azalea promised silently as the others hung up, finally letting the child go to bed. She knew she would eventually have to tell Dad and Clara that she had been accepted to work at Hogwarts. Just like she would have to tell them about Josh. And of the two, the latter was easier.

'So Azzie, what are we doing tomorrow, I'm thinking shopping spree followed by stuffing our faces with as much cake as we can until we explode. I must say pastry is the one thing the English do right," Clara began, poking Kit to make room for her on the sofa. The photographer, oblivious at first as he leafed through the leftest issue of a magazine, received several larger and progressively sharper pokes before he understood and moved over, squeezing Clara in beside him.

"Actually, I didn't know you guys were coming so I made plans..."

Her father was the first one to look up at this, and Azalea figured now was as good a time as any to break it to her family that she was in a semi committed relationship.

"Alright Dad, I'll tell you everything, just don't freak out okay?" Before Kit could protest, Clara piped up.

"Oh he's gonna freak out, but I'll hold him back. Now dish."

"His name is Josh," the brunette began carefully, gouging her parents reaction as she revealed the information. "I met him when he came around a couple months back asking to see the place. He'd just bought a house around here and the real estate agent was giving him trouble. We've... hung out a few times."

"How many times," Kit asked, doing his best to prove that he wasn't "freaking" out and fooling neither witch in the process.

"Too many to count," Azalea replied firmly, not letting her dad cow her into being ashamed of soemthing she was not ashamed of. "And he's really nice dad. He... I don't know, he treats me like I might break at any moment. I think if he could wrap me in bubble wrap, he would." It was the only way to describe Josh' protective nature towards her. The witch probably wasn't doing him justice with the bubble wrap analogy but she didn't know how else to put into words how absolutist safe she felt around the blond. As if nothing could harm her. Silly as it was, Azalea had no doubt Josh Murray would stand between her and a speeding train.

"Sweetie, are you sure you're ready to date," Clara asked, surprising Azalea a little. If anyone should be on her side, it should be the psychic who was always encouraging her to be more independent.

"Well, its a moot point, since I've been dating him for about two months anyway, so I must be." The expression on their faces made ehr hasten to add "But don't worry, we're taking things slow. He has... his own priorities too. He has to commute to work and stuff, so we don't see each other a lot." This was not strictly true. They saw each other in more days of the week than they didn't on average and the last two weeks when he'd been away had been nothing short of pent up impatience to see him and Ethan again. When Josh had asked if she would be free on her birthday to spend the day and possibly the night, the witch had immediately replied with a yes, desperate to see the father and son again.

A few more questions followed, and concluded with the inevitable invitation to dinner making Azalea groan. "Guys, can we wait a little to embarrass me in front of someone I actually really like please?" Both the Harringtons replied with a chorus of no before the negotiations began. Azalea's counter offer was letting them see her through the window as she left in his car, to which Clara offered a quick sit down for juice in the kitchen to which Azalea counter offered saying hi at the door. Kit finally settled on walking Azalea to the car tomorrow when Josh came to pick her up.

With that settled, the psychic settled back on the sofa, apparently exhausted. "No more surprises, okay Azzie, I don't think I have the heart for them anymore." The younger witch made no reply, knowing she couldn't make a promise she did not intend to keep. The rest of the day was spend doing birthday stuff they couldn't do tomorrow on her actual birthday and at night, the witch took the last of ehr sleeping potion, knowing she would not need it for the next night at the very least.

The next morning, Azalea nearly tore her closet apart trying to figure out what to wear. She wanted to look good but not like she had tried. Because it would be lame to admit to Josh that she held up every piece of clothing critically to herself in the mirror to see what he might potentially see. In the end, she settled on a nice green skirt and a clinging black top. Accessorizing with a pair of green heels and minimal jewelry (a potion vial pendant, some emerald studs and a single silver anklet, the witch ran a final brush through her already neat hair.

"You look fine kid," Kit groused as he passed her room, clearly sensing the nervous energy in her immediate space. "And if the young man can't see that, then maybe he and I sit down and have a chat?"

"Hair up or down, Dad?" the witch asked, ignoring his attempt at machismo.

"No hair at all," Kit supplied hopefully, making the brunette glare at him. "What, I heard bald is in?"

Azalea's cry of "You're useless were interrupted by the soft purr of Josh's car, making her forget all about wanting to pummel ehr dead int the plus carpeting of her room. The witch bounded to the stairs before catching herself. Did she really want to look like she'd ran all the way down? Probably not. Kit had caught up with her by then and seemed to understand what she was thinking, throwing her a victorious grin.

"I'll get it," he offered, passing her on the stairs and ignoring her warning of "Dad, please behave."

When the bell rang, it was Kit Harrington who opened the door, a polite smile on his slightly unshaven face. "Hello, you must be Josh, Azalea's told us so much about you. I'm Kit Harrington, nice to meet you son."

Behind Kit, Azalea descended the stairs, a lot calmer than she had been a moment ago. By the time she was at the landing, Kit had already ushered the blond in, asking if he would like to stay for coffee before he had to go.

"Hi Josh," the witch greeted him carefully, suddenly shy at at the prospect of greeting him more openly in front of her parents. Because she may not see Clara around but she could bet everything she owned the psychic was watching him from somewhere. She hoped the three piece suit impressed Clara, even if her family wasn't much for formality.

"Actually Dad, I just had coffee,' Azalea added pointedly, making Kit back off.

"Alright kids, you go have fun. Josh, you drive carefully okay, and don't let Azalea get into any trouble, she's a magnet for those."

With their goodbyes said, Azalea and Josh walked out the door once more, her overnight back easily taken from her by Josh and tossed into the back seat of the car. Once they were out the driveway and away from Kit and Clara's intruding eyes, the brunette finally turned to Josh. "I am so sorry about that, I told them about.... Us yesterday and they were just excited to meet you."

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PostSubject: Re: A Whole New World (Jozalea)   Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:26 pm

As the door swung open, Josh was about to greet his Azalea when instead the picture of a man came in to view instead. The small smile threatening Josh's lips slid away quicker than it had appeared, his usual neutral expression taking it's place as he took in Kit Harrington standing before him and denying the blond what he'd been craving for much too long now.

The man was talking much too much in that moment, but Josh's eyes noted his Azalea just behind Mr Harrington in that moment and the fleeting worry that the witch would not be coming out with him that day dissipated in that moment. "Mr Harrington," Josh acknowledged stiffly, not taking to the idea of being called 'son' by a man he did not know. Stepping inside at the invitation, Josh didn't speak further than that -- many men might have tried to make the right impression with their partner's father, but Joshua Murray was not most men, and Kit Harrington was of no interest to the blond.

The offer of coffee came in the same moment that his Azalea had managed to come down the stairs, and the blond's eyes were taken from the older male to the witch. "A-Azalea." Josh acknowledged the witch, inclining his head respectfully in that moment rather than moving to greet her with the enthusiasm he'd been hoping to show her. Not through his personal choice, his Azalea didn't look quite at ease in that moment, and he was trying to connect all of the pieces in his own mind and falling short.

A small movement out of the corner of his eye denoted the presence of another in the house. Not moving his features towards the other person, Josh simply made note of this. Best not to draw attention to those who didn't wish to be seen.

"Actually Dad, I just had coffee,"

"And we really should be going, A-Azalea and I have a lot to do today." Josh added, his eyes turning to the witch where the smile that had been stolen from his lips upon arrival was starting to show again as he looked to the witch.

The insistence from Mr Harrington to be careful and to look after his Azalea were unnecessary, but Josh nodded an affirmation that he would do those things to the male. Being told what he could and could not do did not settle well with Josh, but he allowed his Azalea's father the moment. He knew that he shouldn't be rude to the man, but when Josh was not used to taking orders from anyone, it was difficult to take them gracefully.

Thankfully they were not detained for too long inside the Harrington home, and after helping his Azalea in to his car, Josh pulled out of the driveway carefully in order to appease Kit Harrington's wishes of driving his daughter carefully.

As they turned out of view, his Azalea relaxed for the first time since he'd seen her, and Josh couldn't help but feel his own shoulders relax in the same manner. The apology that followed made the blond shake his head. "Don't worry about them, they're just... protective. I'm sure I'd be the same with my daughter." Josh offered, though it wasn't just something he was sure of, he was one hundred percent confident that if his daughter were in the same position, he would not have allowed the man coming to take her out for the day go so easily.

Not that he would allow his daughter to act in such a manner to begin with...

"Oh... I almost forgot..." Josh added, pointing to the glove box before his Azalea. "Happy Birthday, A-Azalea." He prompted, waiting for the witch to take out the small box which had been neatly wrapped with a bow upon it. The earrings matched his own suit for the day, and, as Josh had noted as his Azalea had come down the stairs at home, her own skirt for the day.

"Your first present for today, I didn't want to make you wait too long." Josh explained, glancing across to see his Azalea's reaction to the gift as he drove.

From there, the two of them would fall in to a conversation about how his Azalea's time had been in their time apart, taking note of the things of importance as they drove to the nearest portal that would push them in to Wales. From there, another hours drive, before Josh slowed down to the entrance of Murray Manor, the gates slowly opening as the car pulled up. The house could not be seen from the road, but it gave Josh time to explain.

"As you know, my family are from Wales. This is where I am when I'm not being your neighbour in Surrey. I wanted you to... well, I hoped that you wouldn't mind coming here from time to time. This is where I would like Ethan to consider home, not Surrey." Josh supplied in explanation, though as the day progressed, he hoped his Azalea would come to see it as her home too. Or, if not today, then at least begin to be open to the idea of it being her home.

The gravel drive beneath them crumpled melodically as they moved up towards the mansion, until finally the vast expanse of Josh's home came in to view. Glancing across at Azalea, Josh tried his very best to get an idea of what his Azalea was thinking in this moment. "Welcome... to my home, A-Azalea." The blond finalised, hoping he wouldn't have to prompt the witch for any kind of reaction.

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PostSubject: Re: A Whole New World (Jozalea)   Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:26 pm

Josh was gracious - entirely too gracious - about Dad's nosiness, he even tried to excuse it by saying he would have done the same but Azalea wasn't buying it. While it was true she hand't known him long, she could not see him letting anyone walk off with any one of his children. Whether that was a good or bad thing remained to be seen. Being in a unique position of being a parent yet never having raised children, Azalea didn't know the first thing about what was right and wrong.

Nonetheless, she remained quiet. Kit and Clara hadn't managed to embarrass her as much as they could have, and the brunette was grateful for at least that. Though the witch was quite aware her battle was far from won.

Before the conversation could get awkward though, Josh was directing her towards the glove compartment, insisting that it contained one of her presents. The witch raised a slight eyebrow at the "one of" part of his sentence but reached out to open the dashboard as instructed, retrieving the small box. The two diamond encrusted emeralds that winked at her from between a bed of soft cushion were breathtaking, the witch's eyes sparkling as much as the earrings in the box.

"Josh these are... exquisite,' she breathed out appreciatively. Even Azalea with her limited knowledge of craftsmanship could see that these were not something sold at a regular jewelers. The workmanship spoke of a better era, of times gone by. Was it an antique in addition to being extremely valuable? Guiltily, the witch remembered what Victoria had said about liking men for their wealth but quickly banished the thought. Earrings or no earrings, Josh would always be the kind, sweet man he always was.

Plucking up her courage, the witch leaned into him slightly, brushing her lips to his cheek in lieu of a thank you. The scent of his aftershave rolled over her in soothing waves, making her realize she had missed him far more than she would have liked to admit. "Thank you so much, but you really shouldn't have. These look far too valuable to be worn by me."

Conversation was Josh was always the easiest thing in the world, with the blond automatically assigning himself the role of listener more than speaker, leaving Azalea to talk, and talk, and talk and then talk some more. He must get tired of listening to the sound of her voice sometimes, the witch pondered, accordingly changing topics just to hear him speak too. She asked of Ethan's whereabouts and was told he was with his Lady Grandmother. Who talked like that? Ethan had a Lady grandmother, Azalea didn't even know if she had anyone other than a decidedly not ladylike Clara.

They hit the portal leaving England so smoothly, Azalea didn't even realize they had until ten minutes later when the greenery had decidedly changed outside. Josh helpfully informed her they were in Wales, pointing out local trees and plants to help navigate ehr through the spaces around her. He hand't been kidding when he had insisted they work on regaining some of her skill with plants later, and encouraged her to work on them every opportunity he got. It was as if he somehow understood she was missing a part of herself by not being able to know the things she once used to, to do the things she once used to.

Finally, they turned into a wide road that, upon further investigation, turned out to be a driveway leading up to what Azalea could only assume was a museum of some kind. The beautiful manor stood proud in the sunlight, the windows perfectly shut and the outlines polished to a gleam even from this distance. It almost looked like a toy house, albeit for giant toys. Everything seemed perfectly in place, making her wonder why they were here.

And then he began to speak of his family. At first, the witch listened quizzically, unsure what he meant when he Said this would be the place Ethan called home. "You live here? Or work here...? Was that why he was as well to do as he was, he was a curator at some museum? When Josh gently explained that this was his family home, and that he would like her to come in here from time to time, the witch simply asked "which part?"

The blonde made no reply, simply pulling to a stop some ten meters away from the front doors and when he finally spoke, it dawned on her for the first time what she was actually witnessing.

"Welcome... to my home, A-Azalea."

"Th-this is your home..." It wasn't even a question, simply a statement to test out how the sentence felt spoken out loud. this massive, towering, too perfect structure that looked like it belonged to some kind of royalty was... Josh's family home. Questions chased each other inside the brunette's head, one after the other but when she was finally able to part her lips to speak, the most ridiculous one came out first.

"Do you ever get lost in there?"

Realizing the mistake almost immediately, the young woman blushed a light pink at her own stupidity. "Uh, I mean, wow. I don't know what to say. This looks like a castle from a movie. Who cleans it all?" Another silly question that prompted her to bow her head in embarrassment again.

"I apologize, I'll stay quiet."

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PostSubject: Re: A Whole New World (Jozalea)   Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:56 pm

The touch of his Azalea's lips upon his cheek made Josh's breath catch in that moment, a tingle running up through his spine as the witch woke his senses back to her presence fully after their time apart. Josh's lips pulled up in satisfaction in that moment, glancing across at his Azalea fondly before his eyes moved back to the road, ensuring her kept them both safe in their travels.

"Thank you so much, but you really shouldn't have. These look far too valuable to be worn by me."

"Don't be silly, nothing in the world is too valuable to be worn by you," Josh replied easily to the witch, the compliment never coming out as forced, or sounding off when the blond did so because he firmly believed in the words he was saying. There was nothing in this world his Azalea could not adorn. Nothin in this world too expensive for her. Money, after all, meant nothing to the Murray heir, it was merely a tool for the common people to play with, to be occupied with. He would give his Azalea the world without even beginning to touch the Murray coffers.

But the conversation moved away from the present, in to safer waters, until they finally turned in to the driveway of the Murray estate, and Josh present his Azalea with the news of their location. Josh didn't answer the question of whether this was his home or his place of work, that would come in good time, and as his Azalea asked him which part she could come to, a small glint of amusement touched his eyes in that moment, but once more, the blond did not answer.

Instead, Josh focused on pulling the car in to a careful stop, before turning the engine off, just in time to hear his Azalea's question.

"Do you ever get lost in there?"

Josh turned to his Azalea, eyebrow slightly arched at the first question she'd asked, before he shook his head. "No, I don't get lost. This is my home, has been since I was born." The blond explained patiently to the witch, not quite knowing how to take in the bemusement of the witch before him. Compared to her mother's home, the Murray Manor was not big... but, then, Azalea Harrington did not know who her mother was, she'd probably never visited the Palace of Versailles. But that didn't matter right now.

"Uh, I mean, wow. I don't know what to say. This looks like a castle from a movie. Who cleans it all?"

Josh's smile grew as his Azalea hid away from her own words in that moment, not offering an answer because who cleaned the Manor was of no interest to the blond. He just knew it happened, and he didn't need to know more than that.

"You don't need to stay quiet, A-Azalea," Josh responded to the last of his Azalea's words, reaching over to take her hand to give it a reassuring squeeze to show that it was okay, everything she'd said, her reaction. Nothing she'd said had been rude, or anything short of becoming of the witch. "Would you like to explore with me? I'm told the staff have hidden your presents all around, so we have a lot of searching to do." Josh explained, though he knew where everyone of them was, his instructions had been quite clear.

"If you would like, we can start in the gardens, I think there will be some things you'll enjoy there. We can walk the grounds, or if you would prefer, we can ride." The male explained, waiting for his Azalea's choice before he moved, getting out of the car and moving swiftly around to open the other door for his Azalea to get out of the car. "Your things will be taken up to our room for later, so we just get to enjoy the rest of the day." He added, in case the witch worried for her belongings that had been left in the car.

But first, Josh would take the witch to the greenhouses of the Murray estate, with their multitude of plants from across the world that he knew his Azalea had appreciated before she'd become sick. He would allow her all the time she wanted with her second gift, much too happy watching the witch's reaction to everything he had to offer, carefully bringing her closer to him, to their home, to their sealed future, with the carefully placed gifts that showed just how much she meant to him.

Because his Azalea was not allowed to leave now, he had to make her stay.

No matter the cost.

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PostSubject: Re: A Whole New World (Jozalea)   Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:19 am

The soft squeeze of her hand made Azalea look up once more, still embarrassed but now more at ease with it. Being with Josh was always going to result in her saying something not right or downright absurd but the way he dealt with it, never making her feel about about it, was what mattered. As he explained that they could spend he day exploring, walking or riding, the brunette's eyes lit up. He must have noticed because not a moment later, horses were being led to them before Azalea could even point out she wasn't sure if she could ride. The witch had no memory of riding and the last thing she wanted was to end up with a broken ankle in front of Josh.

But she must have ridden before, the American rationed as Josh helped her atop a dark stallion with a tan star running down its nose. Azalea seem to know hos to hold on as josh climbed up behind her, adjusting ehr side saddled frame against his in a very comforting way, making sure she was closely encased in his arms gripped loosely around the reins.

Their first stop was the garden, though Azalea found it difficult to comprehend the sheer scale of the place. There were the lawns, the stables out back and then the gardens. And - the witch noticed with excitement - what looked like the domes of greenhouses in the distance. She still hand't managed to acquire one at Furz Croft but she hand't really tried, reasoning that her skills as a gardener were nowhere near good enough to warrant such a thing.

As they approached the entrance tot eh first sequestered area of the gardens, Azalea was greeted by a giant arch, of Mimosas. Thick green plants formed a perfect arch with the mimosas blossomed on it to form the words "HAPPY BIRTHDAY AZALEA" in such a way that it made her stare for a moment.

"Josh... those are naturally grown like that..." she finally managed to say, calculating how much effort must have gone into naturally cultivating flowers to grow in just the right spots to form the words. There was no sign of human arrangements or unnatural angling with pruning sheers. This would have taken months of work....

Josh on his part merely nodded, quiet amusement in his features as he watched her take in everything with the awe of a small child at Disneyland. Except Disneyland had never been this fun, the witch realized, shelving a memory of long lines, crowds and someone getting sick on Space Mountain. As they entered the enclosure, more rare plants and flowers waited, seemingly gathered from all over the world. He must have understated his interest in Herbology because this.... this was any gardener's dream come true. Azalea wasn't even at the top of her game and she could see that there was much to be learned from simply watching all the different species interact with the Welsh climate.

As they passed by what appeared to be a bare stump, Azalea paused, her breath coming short. "That's a man eating tree," she spoke, her voice misty and a faraway look on her face. "I... interacted with one of them once, I think it tore the sleeve off my favorite blouse." The memory was so far away though, smoky and beyond complete grasp. Where had she been? Why was she tangling with a man eating tree on her own?

The tour continued, Josh guiding the horse gently onwards as Azalea leaned back into his sturdy frame, enjoying the view and the sensation of closeness created through the joint ride. The day remained perfect, no clouds or rain threatening their morning and afternoon as they rode through the grounds of the estate. Sometimes, in order to show her something special, Josh would bring the horse to a stop and then climb down, gently lifting Azalea off the beast a moment later and guiding her to their destination on foot. Other times they simply walked, hand in and, the horse following a safe distance behind them, trained to answer when needed.

The young witch had lost track of how far in they were but as they walked by a little creek that ran bubbling to one side, the brunette looked up at Josh, her lips formed in the near constant soft smile it held whenever she was around him. "This place is remarkable. You're remarkable," she added before breaking eye contact but making no move to let go of his hand.

Josh had expressed a wish to see her here more often, and perhaps - at least out in the grounds - she could see herself a semi frequent visitor. She could certainly see the benefits of Ethan growing up here, where he literally had the entire place to himself. "I don't understand why you would want to live in Surrey when you have all of this," she added, a note of genuine curiosity in her voice. "She doubted there was any business in England he couldn't do from here. If the place was as well supplied on the inside as it was out here, Josh would have no need to leave the house.

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PostSubject: Re: A Whole New World (Jozalea)   Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:22 pm

The tour of the grounds was perfect, Josh concluded as they neared the stream that passed through the grounds towards the Lake further afield that he'd not yet shown to his Azalea. Not because of the sights they had seen together, or the weather that had allowed them to enjoy the day. No, the day was perfect because he got to be with his Azalea, without interruption from the world, and show her more of his life than he had before.

It had been interesting to watch his Azalea as they walked, though, it was not the first time she had been to Murray Manor, but the witch was yet to show any recollection of her trips here. A good thing, Josh knew, because explaining to the witch why she had been here before would be difficult, and not something he believed she was ready for just yet.

But as they walked down by the stream, hand in hand beneath the August sun, this moment was perfect, and Josh wouldn't have changed it for the world.

They weren't done with the gifts, though, not by a long shot.

Before Josh could bring forth the next gift though, his Azalea was commenting upon his home, him, in a manner she had never done before. Carefully, Josh turned the witch around to him, taking her in both of his arms where she belonged. "You're the remarkable one, A-Azalea." Josh mused softly, dipping his head down very carefully to steal a chaste kiss from her lips. Nothing more, Josh had told himself in a great effort to keep his control around the witch, though his hold around her frame tightened very slightly, signalling that he didn't want to let her go. Ever.

"The house in Surrey allows me to be close to you." Josh pointed out easily, though his Azalea wouldn't understand the magnitude of the statement he'd just presented, and that was okay. His Azalea didn't have to understand the intricacies of the world, she just had to be happy in the world he'd made for them.

"I have another surprise for you." Josh continued on, releasing her with one hand. Bringing his hand up to his mouth, Josh gave off a high pitched whistle. For a while, nothing would appear to happen, Josh's eyes would move away from the house, knowing without looking that the next present for his Azalea was on it's way. Instead his eyes concentrated on the witch in his arms, watching her reaction once more as the giant Direwolf would come bounding over the lawns. Their steed would not tolerate the presence of such a beast, rearing just off from them before cantering back towards the stable.

The wolf would not turn from it's destination, instead coming right to the couple, obedient as ever before it nuzzled in to Azalea's side, searching for her hand to earn its stroke from his mistress' hand.

"A-A
zalea, meet Darr." Josh offered in explanation.

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PostSubject: Re: A Whole New World (Jozalea)   Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:27 pm

"You're the remarkable one, A-Azalea."

And before the witch could reply, Josh's kiss stole the words from her mouth, leaving her as speechless as the fist time he'd ever done it. Azalea doubted she would ever get used to Joshua Murray's kisses. From light, polite pecks on the cheek to chaste brushes on her hand to desperate, longing, hungry kisses in the middle of the night, Josh always, without fail, found new ways to assure her that she had his complete and undivided attention. That there was nowhere else he would rather be then here with ehr. Even as his pulled away, his hold on her grew slightly more firm, probably sensing that she needed the additional support in the wake of his actions.

"The house in Surrey allows me to be close to you."

They were walking once more, Azalea having regained more of her faculties in the fresh sunshine and good company. The explanation though made her feel slightly guilty, as if she should apologize for being the thing that kept him away from all this grandeur. It made no sense of course, he hand't bought the house solely for her, the paperwork had gone through even before he had ever laid eyes on the witch. No, Josh was simply being kind by insinuating he would purchase an entire property just to be near her.

And yet, just the way he said it, Azalea really wanted to believe he would go to such lengths to be near her. The brunette kept quite on that count though, no point admitting to Josh how deep and desperate her issues over being needed ran.

When the blonde informed her he had another present for her, Azalea had no time to guess. As he let go of her to whistle into the wind, the brunette could surmise it was something that answered to such a call. Something living made the most sense but when all remained quiet, she chanced a look up at his ever serious face. Josh seemed perfectly unworried though, almost expectant, as if he heard something her own ears had yet to detect.

the bundle of fur came barreling towards them at lightning fast speed, making Azalea almost freeze in terror by Josh's side. Had she been more reactive, she would have moved, dragged Josh away with ehr, but as it was she simply stayed put, watching the wolf like creture with its rows of sharp teeth and excited barking heading straight fro them.

The world was blank once more, the Lady Murray stared out into the grounds, her brown eyes glossy and unseeing as another sun set across the lawns of the estate, a Direwolf pacing by her side, under struct instructions to make sure she didn't hurt herself in her blind quest to catch the last rays of the sinking orange sun...

The brunette returned to the present with a start, the smoke clouding her memories once again, if it had been a memory that is. The woman in the image looked like a superimposed version of herself, pretty, perfect, lifeless...

"A-Azalea, meet Darr."

Azalea looked down, belatedly realizing that the slight tickling sensation on her knuckles was the wolf licking her senseless as if he had been waiting just for her. Automatically, the dazed look left ehr and her face blossomed into a brilliant smile s she sank to her knees, her hands seeming to know of their own accord where to scratch the creature.

"Oh goodness, aren't you beautiful," she gushed, running her hands over his nose. the rows of scary fangs were retraced, Darr's tongue hanging out as he behaved like the overgrown puppy he really was. "Josh, he is wonderful, but I can't take your family pet. He can't be my present, though I'm more than willing to share in his responsibilities." She could definitely take him for walks, give him baths and do whatever it was that needed doing.

"Does he hunt?" she asked, her gaze running over the beast's sharp claws. She had seen his teeth and his speed earlier, and by the way he was jumping up on two legs to meet her height, Azalea could guess he was immensely strong. Strong enough to drag humans along with his jaw at the very least.

They continent their walk once more, Darr by their side this time and overjoyed to be around Josh (the witch assumed) who told ehr how he had trained the Direwolf as a puppy and taught it to answer to some simple commands including the whistle from earlier. the witch had tentatively asked if Darr would listen to her, to which her host had only looked on in amusement before encouraging her to try.

Tentatively, the American cleared her throat. The Direwolf beside her stopped, the fur on its back standing at attention, almost anticipating an order. "Darr, sit,' she tried, only to have the beast obey even before she had finished the command.

"Darr, roll over," she tried once again to similar results. Josh continued to watch her, the ghost of a smile on his lips. the witch pouted, his way, making him finally speak up. Josh suggested the witch give the wolf a challenge as it was a highly intelligent breed.

"Hmm, okay, Darr, run ten meters to the left, find something and bring it back," Azalea commanded only for the Direwolf to speed off in the right direction. He was back a minute later with a twig in its mouth, shocking Azalea most pleasantly. "How on earth did he follow such precise instructions?" she asked but no answer came from either the beast or its owner. Josh simply took her arm once more, guiding her towards the large mansion as Darr fell back into step beside the couple.

There were always few answers with Josh, the blonde preferring she make up her own mind about things instead of being spoon fed ideas. But as they continued their tour of the grounds, Azalea's head resting comfortably on Josh's shoulder, she couldn't help but think that she didn't mind the lack of answers at all.

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