The Air Up There

London | February 14, 1986

It's not actually that late, but it is dark thanks to the London winter. Today was rather grey all day too, a thick layer of clouds blocking any sun from peeking through. Those same clouds are now blocking out the moon and startlight, making it an ideal night for the witch or wizard who fancies a ride on their broom under the cover of darkness. Magnus, it would seem, is just one of those people. He's bundled up against the cold, leaning down low over his broom as he descends through the air. He pulls up beside a window to the living room of Hazel's flat, reaching out a gloved hand to knock on the glass. He's not easy to see, having cast a charm on himself as he descended, but up close it's easy enough to tell who it is.

Hazel isn't really expecting company at this hour, and particularly not via window. She's expecting an owl when she draws the curtain aside, and her surprise when it's actually someone on a broom is clear on her face when she slides the window open. "Magnus?" She asks quietly, once she's made out who it is. "Not very subtle, are you."

Magnus just grins. "Fancy a spin? It's a perfect night for it, you can't see anything with all these clouds and the fog is rolling in," he says by way of greeting. "I did promise I would break you out away from the books, so here I am." His broom hovers easily in the air next to the window. It's a nice broom, one of the latest models from a few years back, though he always did have nice things. "And have I ever been subtle?" he adds with a grin.

Hazel looks a little torn for about one second before she breaks into a huge grin. "Don't let my neighbors see you," she says, and then drops the curtain over the window and vanishes into her bedroom. She's back just a couple moments later with her flying gloves and jacket, her broom in one hand. It's the same one she rode playing Quidditch at Hogwarts, but she's taken good care of it over the years. She charms the broom and then herself so they 'll be less visible, and then climbs through the window and onto the broom. The grace with which she pulls this off might suggest that it's not her first time.

"Don't worry, I know an obliviator," Magnus jokes, grinning widely as she disappears to get her things. He floats out of the way so she can get out the window, waiting until she's settled. "Ready? See if you can keep up then, Killer." He glances over his shoulder, winking before leaning low over his broom and taking off. He was always quick, though likely no real match for the seeker. He does head upwards though, trying to bring them under better cover before picking up speed and zooming across the London sky.

Hazel laughs at this challenge and then takes off after him, leaving the curtains blowing in the open window behind her. She follows him up and then leans low over the broom to accelerate so that she can try to cut him off. She's always been a fairly aggressive flier, although this situation might not really call for it.

Magnus dives down a bit when he sees her coming, calling back at her, "Oh, is that how we're playing it!" He is grinning though, his cheeks rosy from the wind. He cuts to the side before pulling his broom up to go a bit higher, urging it to go faster. He seems to be heading generally in a certain direction. But he does swerve off-course to try to cut Hazel off this time.

"What, you weren't ready?" Hazel asks, speeding ahead. She's not paying much attention to the direction they're heading in. When he tries to cut her off she holds her course, flying directly at him and only turning dramatically away at the last possible moment.

"You'll pay for that," Magnus shouts over at her after he swerves to get out of her way when she dives right at him. He corrects, pushing his broom faster so that he's right on her tail, chasing her closely, trying to bump into her lightly once he's close enough. Not a hard bump to really do any damage, but just enough to make it more competitive.

"Only if you can catch me," Hazel counters, grinning back at him. He does catch her though, and she gasps when he bumps into her. "That's a penalty, Thripp!" she says, and then pulls into a long dive without waiting for his response.

Magnus cackles exaggeratedly behind her, grinning brightly, but he's a moment behind her when she heads into the dive. He tilts forward, pointing his broom down to follow here. "Go right!" he yells, not quite able to catch up this time. He turns his own broom sharp right, pulling up slightly as he does.

Hazel speeds ahead, laughing in exhilaration. She does pull right when he shouts at her, and she slows down a bit so that he can catch up.

"I absolutely hate that you're a better flier than me," Magnus tells her with a grin when he finally does catch up. "If you can handle following me, I've got an idea." He speeds up again, flying straight ahead before swerving hard to the right once more. Up ahead is the Tower Bridge and that seems to be Magnus' destination. Once it is a straight shot he leans down again giving full speed and only pulling up once they're close enough to the bridge. "What do ya say?" he asks, looking over at Hazel. "It's a nice view."

"It's the one thing I've got going for me," Hazel says solemnly, and she readily agrees to follow, swooping after him through the air. She does a couple little spins as they head over. "Oh," she gasps once they've slowed near the bridge. "It's lovely!"

"Perhaps one or two others," Magnus says with a smirk. He flies a bit closer, aiming for the very top of the bridge before stopping completely. He lands on the metal supports, which are more than big enough for a few people. He swings off his broom carefully, keeping a grip on it as he looks back to Hazel. "I need a break from you kicking my ass," he says with a grin, plopping himself down on the bridge. He's still hanging onto his broom though, keeping it safely beside him. "Care to join me?"

"I suppose," Hazel says, though she's not at all put out to be taking a break. She lands beside him on the platform and steps off of her broom before sitting down. "You come here often?" She asks, taking in the view.

Once they're settled Magnus reaches into his coat producing a flask filled with scotch, which he offers to Hazel first to see if she wants any. "I've been here once. Last summer when I was out for a fly. It's a nice view, huh? One of the better ones I've found actually."

"Thanks," Hazel takes the flask and takes a drink before psssing it back. She shoves her hands into her pockets against the chill. "It's amazing," she agrees readily. "I never even would have considered coming up here on my own."

Magus takes the flask back when she's done, taking a swig himself before putting the cap back on. He sets it between them though in case she wants more. "I usually fly alone, do a bit of exploring, just to get away from everything else," he tells her with a grin. "But I figured for you I could make an exception." His usual smirk follows though softens a moment later. "Warm enough? I've got an extra scarf in my pocket if you want it." There is even actual concern in his voice.

"I'm glad I made the cut," Hazel laughs. "I really don't fly as much as I used to. It's kind of a shame." She considers his offer for a moment and then nods. "That would be great, actually. I don't mind the cold so much when I'm flying but once I stop…"

"Yes, you should feel privileged, it's a short list," Magnus teases. "Me either, but I still fly more than most people I suppose. Well not counting using a broom for purely transport." He reaches into his pocked and fishes out a scarft that looks like it was too big for the pocket and hands it over to Hazel with a smile. "Yeah, it starts biting when you stop. I'm happy to offer myself as more warmth, though I figured you prefer the scarf," he says with a wink, reaching for the flask again for a sip.

"I'll keep the scarf for now," Hazel agrees with a little smile. She wraps it around her neck and then reaches over to take the flask from him. "I feel so bad for muggles sometimes," she says. "They never get the chance to do things like this."

"Suit yourself, but you're missing out," Magnus teases, handing over the flask. "Yeah. I can't imagine what it would be like." He pauses, turning to look more fully at her. "Is it strange? When the rest of your family is muggles?" he asks curiously. "I mean, you know, with my family, I didn't even grow up knowing muggles."

Hazel takes a sip from the flask, considering his question. "It's really… odd. There's this disconnect, you know? I can tell my familu about my life but they just… can't understand. " She shrugs. "It explained so much when I found out, though. My entire neighborhood thought I was a curse when I was growing up." She says this fairly lightly.

"I can imagine. It's hard enough to connect with family sometimes when you're all living similar lives. My family being the perfect example of that." Magnus can't help but chuckle softly though. "It must have been weird for all the muggles around you. But, I'm sure it was nice to find out the truth." He reaches over to pat her arm gently. "Would you change it though?" he asks.

"Right. You haven't had such an easy time either," Hazel agrees. She laughs when he asks of she'd change it. "God, not for the entire world. Even back when things were really bad. Magic is incredible and we're so, so lucky to jave it." She grins over at him.

"Eh, well, it's not all bad. My father's just a bit difficult, lots of people have it much worse though," Magnus murmurs with a shrug, going for the flask again to have another sip. He grins after. "Well, good. And I am not just saying that because you made me look good every time you won a game for us. And yes, that we are. Wouldn't be here without it, like you said." He looks away from her for a moment, looking out across the lights flickering across London.

Hazel is also quiet for a moment, looking out over the city. She idly runs her hand over her broom, which is right next to her. "What do you think," she asks after a second. "Should we fly? More sightseeing?"

Magnus takes a deep breath, inhaling the night air before nodding. "Definitely. Want to pick the next spot?" he suggests, wrapping his gloved fingers around the handle of his own broom. He pulls it closer, swinging himself back over after tucking the flask back in his pocket.

"Hmmmm," Hazel says, getting lightly to her feet. She tucks the scarf in more tightly in preparation for flight, and then gets on her broom. "Alright, I've got it," she says, glancing over to make sure he's ready before she takes off.

Magnus is ready, so when she looks back he just gives her a thumbs up before leaning over his broom once more taking off after her. He stays right on her tail, flying in the path through the wind she's creating. Though after a moment he dives down so he's flying under her for a moment before darting to the side to roll in a few spins, letting out a 'whoop' which gets carried off in the wind.

Hazel flies at an easier pace now, not trying to race him anymore. She leads the way up the river for a while, flying over the smooth black water with the tails of Magnus's scarf trailing out behind her. After a bit, she turns inland again and flies over the city towards Hyde Park. She doesn't dismount yet, though; instead she flies low over the trees, dodging lazily around some of the taller ones. She clearly has a lot of faith in her camouflaging charm.

As she heads back inland Magnus gives an easy turn of his broom, following Hazel. He pulls up next to her when she lowers over the trees. "Favorite spot of yours?" he asks once he is flying along beside her, careful not to hit any of the trees

"Mmhm," Hazel agrees, reaching out to pluck a leaf off of a nearby branch. "When I miss the country, this is the next best place, you know?"

"I always forget you're a country girl," Magnus says with a grin, watching her pluck the leaf. "I can't imagine. I've lived in the city my entire life. What do you miss the most, then?" he asks curiously. He lets go of his broom handle, letting his broom simply fly along, steering with his legs when necessary.

"Either everything or nothing," Hazel answers, perhaps unhelpfully. "Its quiet and slow and green- it just feels different. I don't usually miss it, but when I do I miss everything at once, you know?" They've been approaching a small lake in the park, and Hazel alights next to it as they're talking. At this hour it's basically deserted here.

Magnus nods a little. “Makes sense. Do you go back much? To see your family?” When they fly over the lake Magnus tugs one glove off reaching down to drag a finger through the cold water causing ripples across the surface before pulling up and settling next to Hazel, putting his glove back on. “We used to holiday in the country sometimes. Usually in Wales, we’ve got family there. It always seemed more peaceful and fun but I always felt like long term I would get stir crazy.”

Hazel dismounts and props her broom against a convenient tree. "A few times a year- birthdays and holidays and such. I grew up on a farm so I always get roped into labor. " She grins as she says this, though. "But your right- it gets a bit tedious if you stay for more than a short holiday. "

Magnus follows her lead hopping off his broom and setting it against the same tree. “Can’t you just… use magic to do the chores and be done with it?” Magnus suggests very seriously. The idea of manual labor is probably not one he is super familiar with. But he had house elves growing up. “Eh. Come by my house sometime at the holidays. It’ll be a while new experience for you,” he tells her with a grin. He glances out over the lake. “We should have come in summer. Perfect skinny dipping opportunity. No Muggles around.”

Hazel laughs at loud at that suggestion. "Heavens, no. Word travels fast in small towns. I would have to obliviate all of my neighbors. Besides, it builds character… or so they tell me." She just shakes her head when he mentions skinny dipping. "Thats exactly why I brought you here in February," she says with an innocent smile.

“Eh, I’m sure they’d survive the obliviating,” Magnus jokes. “Just make sure to have someone take a photo then next time of you doing all this manual labor. I need to see it,” he tells her with a wink. He smirks at her, looking very amused. “Is that so? Well don’t you think you know me so well.”

"Oh I'm sure of it," Hazel says, grinning a little. "You can't fool me, Thripp. I know your motives. How about more of that scotch, then?" she adds.

Magnus smirks a bit, reaching back into his pocket and handing over the flask. “You seem very sure of yourself. Maybe you’re missing something though,” he tells her with a waggle of his eyebrows.

Hazel takes a sip, and then passes it back. "What am I missing, then?" she asks, raising an eyebrow.

Magnus shrugs, giving her a very innocent smile. “You’ll just have to figure that out yourself. Where would be the fun in just telling you?” He takes the flask back taking a sip himself before setting it on his knee to rest where either of them can grab it.

Hazel gives him an appraising look, but then she just shakes her head and snuggles further into the scarf. "I ought to not stay out all night," she says. "Work in the morning."

Magnus gives a little nod, grabbing the flask back and taking a last sip, offering it to her if she wants to do the same. “Let’s get you back then,” he says with a smile, grabbing their brooms and handing her over to her. “I’m glad you could be convinced to come out though. It’s been way too long.”

Hazel does take a sip, and stretches before trading the flask for her broom. "I'm glad you came by! We should do this again sometime. Maybe even when it's a bit warmer," she says with a slight smile as she gets on her broom.

“We will, don’t you worry.” Magnus tucks the flask safely away before hopping on his broom. “Plus I do believe I was promised a girl’s night out dancing,” he tells her with a wink before kicking off. He will escort her back to her window, blowing a playful goodnight kiss before taking off for his own apartment.(edited)


ArannahMithren Nilli

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