1963-08-31 - Strangeness and Charms
Summary: Doctor Strange has some advice for those who dip their toes in the waters of his art.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
strange rogue 

Rat-tat-tat. Bump. Thud thud tat!

The regular rhythm of her gloved hand lightly rapping upon the front door of a certain Greenwich Village walkup, a surprisingly short distance away from her own flat, announces the bohemian to all those watchful spells. She infuses no magic into her greeting, instead neatly holding herself back. Transferring the raffia handles hooked around her fingers into both hands, Scarlett holds a small bag marked by the logo of one of the boutiques along Fifth Avenue.

She cuts a striking impression, this young woman. Hers is the look of a modern cosmopolitan girl, a sophisticated mini dress and oversized sunglasses giving her a chic kind of cool Brigitte Bardot hasn't even fully mastered. A stack of bracelets on her wrists jingle, the broken chain woven among them curious but symbolic.


The wards of the Sanctum note with impartiality how the young woman knocks on the darkwood doors before swishing off to find their maker. He's ensconced in one of two high-backed chairs in the living room by the fireplace, dormant during the warmer summer daytime hours. The natural light shining in through a tall and thin multi-paned window allows him to see the small script in the leather-bound book that lays open across one hand and a folded leg; his ankle is half-hooked over his opposite knee, creating a bony, angled table of sorts.

With a gentle touch and communication of interest, the magics of the Sanctum interrupts his readings. He tends to get so deeply involved that the sounds of the house around him are easily ignored. At first, the only movement is in his eyes. His gaze rises from the pages and shifts towards the front of the brownstone mansion. He rises once the wards share little tidbits of information with him: female, young, peonies. By the flower, he knows the visitor and quickens his stride slightly.

The front doors open with silent ease, belying their size and weight, and Strange looks down at Scarlett with a smile of greeting. Of all of his apprentice Illyana's friends, he minds the young bohemian the least. "Miss Scarlett, good evening. Please, come in." He retreats back into the coolness of the mansion's entryway, extending out an arm and hand to offer her the space to join him inside.


Greenwich seethes with activity on the threshold of dark and today's overcast skies giving way to drenching rain have been punctuated by an inclement thunderstorm and one powerful magical surge far from the Village. It's deep into Midtown that happened. Gutters surge with slow currents, all headed for the Hudson estuary or the East River, carried off to the Atlantic Ocean. In their little oasis on the island, life toils on.

Peonies and neroli ought to be Scarlett's calling card, though they do change with the season and the availability that her rooftop garden supplies. At least the flowers; the warm citrus scent, reminiscent of the latest of summer and early autumn days, traces her skin as languidly as a protection spell lies over her. The wards might speak many things, but they probably do not conjure the overt reason for the visit other than a hospitality present held in her hands.

The bohemian inclines her head when the door opens, the winter-frosted sorcerer standing before her given a faint smile beneath the saturnine orbit of her lovely hat. "Good doctor," she murmurs, respectfully sketching a slip of a curtsey. Her foot slides behind her and she bends at the knee, mindful to her hemline and impressions. The bag is offered. "Please do not think me too rude or bold, but I brought tea. An offering and a thank you for your earlier instruction." He is given leisure to examine her; no traces of magic chase her but for the residue of fate and a whisper of light on her flesh, proof where the elements might be channeled. Her proclivities are distinct: study and more study. The channels may only be cracked open slightly, but she is trying to feed more energy through newly opened tributaries. "Your gracious hospitality is always appreciated." All two times.


She is polite enough to step inside, too, rather than hiding without. (Fool writer!)


Strange always finds the young bohemian's mannerisms so oddly-charming and the curtsy makes his smile deepen more. The corners of his well-kept goatee curve to reflect his emotions. Now that both of them are out of the inclement weather, he shuts the door on the incoming sheeting of rain and rubs his hands together lightly, more out of habit for testing the state of his nerve-endings. Dulled today, somewhat in response to the damp, and he summons up a little sluice of magic to steady them as he takes the gifted bag from Scarlett.

"You're too kind, Miss Scarlett. Please, join me for a cup then." He leads the way back to the living room. By now, the fire in the hearth has begin to grow, courtesy of a set spell that replies to sudden drops in atmospheric temperature. Strange can just begin to feel the licks of heat grasping at his shins as he walks over to the tea stand that holds sentinel beyond the edges of the inlaid brick. He sets the gift bag down and opens it. As he inhales, he can catch the scents of the tea within and he sighs in delight. Lavender accents one sachet he can see while the other appears to have familiar writing on it. "Oh, gods above," he says with a laugh as he pulls out the sachet of green tea. "I haven't had this in years. You'll have to tell me where you found it. Which would you prefer?"


The interior of the house will forever fascinate her, its host of secrets tantalizing to the young woman. All the same, she refuses to surrender to the temptation, the height of rudeness held at a few Astronomical Units by her intense standards of etiquette. It may fall to her to doff her hat, though the vast orbit requires a proper spot to perch without throwing off the sanctum's gravity. "Generosity is a defining trait." Her tone is light, not indicating herself but chancing he might. "You need not share, though I should be glad to try either of your preferences. The store is run by a proper Englishman, too, one with a taste and eye for a proper cuppa."

With her soft accent, Scarlett may well be mistaken for English though her Northeastern camber is inflected by something European as much as southern by way of Savannah. In the end, they're fairly interchangeable. "Bellocq. There is an excellent one serving Japanese teas in Chinatown, if you dare brave it." The floral scent brings a soft sigh from her as she follows the Doctor through his sanctuary, allowing for no diversions elsewhere and absolutely no touching. "Much of what you suggested I took to heart, though the lessons are fair going. Slow, as such things are. Proper forms are new and unfamiliar."


Strange has finished steeping the Lady Grey with lavender and the gentle, heated herbal smell wreathes around him. One cup is set down with its corresponding saucer on the small side-table, next to the text he was reading earlier. The other is held out to Scarlett with a grip that trembles ever so slightly, but not enough to set the tea to sloshing. Steam rises from its opaque surface within the china setting.

"Slow and steady is tried-and-true in my experience with mastering magic and its subtleties. Did you have questions regarding what we've practiced thus far?"


The steeping scent of heavy leaves and bergamot oil spills up from the cauldron in miniature, a wonder of alchemy such as the modern diplomat understands. She tastes the lavender on the air, inhaling a heady breath that loosens some of the tension buried deep in her bearing. Scarlett reaches out to take the teacup and saucer with the long pretense of practice, the delicate bone china apprehended 'ere anything transpires. The dip of her chin speaks thanks, or else they shall sit here all night exchanging words of gratitude.

"I have long since learned there are no shortcuts. I saw a girl who can read multiple books at once and absorb the information, and that leaves me deeply envious," laughs the bohemian, her hair flipped back from her brow. The hat tilts away. "She could not tell me what happens if I focus on another target, something other than myself. A blessing, a protection, for example. I might as likely ignite them as cover them in a net. The concept is there, but only in the idea of imagining how they might be blessed."

It's an odd topic, to be fair. Then she curves a faint, loose smile.


He dips his head twice in a thoughtful nod after he's settled back into his chair. The comfortable lining molds to his body in the fashion of long-time use. Answers to Scarlett's thoughtful query sweep about his mind and his musings are momentarily distracted by the flavor of the tea that spills across his tongue as he takes a sip from his cup. It's wonderful stuff and not overly-saturated with lavender. Just enough to bring to mind heady summer nights and breezes that blow in from the flower farms. He slowly sighs and his lids drop down to shutter half of his eyes, leaving them darkened in delight.

"Wonderful tea," he murmurs, lifting the cup in a small salute to his guest. He takes another sip, runs his tongue along his bottom lip, and then sets the cup aside. His hands settle on either arm of the crimson-hued chair and then his gaze focuses on Scarlett with a surgeon's precision. "You're wondering what would happen if you turned your growing magical prowess offensively, towards another being." It is a much different task than what they have practiced thus far. "In simplest explanation, you would need to believe in your intent. Magic is incredibly difficult to cast without matching intent. Death curses work far better if you desperately hate your enemy," and the smile that curves his lips doesn't entirely reach his eyes, leaving them somewhat cold, like the shadows that hide from autumn's silvery moonlight.


Scarlett sits very tidily upon the seat, her boots slipped back behind her. A glimmering finish to the bastard child of vinyl glistens as though wet, but the puddles that she traversed to arrive upon the Sorcerer Supreme's warded doorstep. No water dares impugn his tidy floorboards, and no beads dare besmirch his upholstery. Instead she holds the cup and saucer easily, a finger — gloved — looped through the delicate china stem, the pinky eloquently extended. While he sips Provence, she studies Stephen at a distance, discreet through the sweep of her lashes.

The sip will follow after a moment, steam casting the flavour to the palate. She is already submerged under the blossom fields of the far south of France, a memory perhaps lost within the shattered memory castle she dwells within. "Not offensively." A mild stress lies there. "Helpfully. Protectively. I am afraid that if I were to attempt any such thing, say if someone is caught in a riot and they have a safe way out, I would hurt them. Violence and harm are things I cannot condone or countenance." There she draws herself apart from that other long, long pair of ancient shadows that so often intersect hers and drown them. "In time, perhaps, some means to halt damage that might fall upon a person. But suppose they were to go awry, I fear they would be hurt. I don't know how one obtains the control needed."


"Ah, forgive me, I misinterpreted your words," Strange replies with a tiny grimace. He hopes that he hasn't turned away his guest too much with his comment on death curses. Amongst experienced practitioners, they are a thing to speak of in crude jest, a stroke of black humor amidst the frivolities of the lighter magics. "Though my answer doesn't change much, truthfully. In order to project such a defensive spell, you must want to defend the target. Can you shield someone who irritates you? Without a doubt," he answers his own question and then continues with a roll of one hand to show an open palm, "but you may not deflect all of the attack aimed at them." He takes a moment of silence to consider how she would avoid damaging a friend and steeples his fingers before his chin. "In regards to protection without inflicting hurt, the type of spell would determine the damage deterred and also the manner of guarding. I prefer a shielding based in kinetic energies, seeing as most of the magic I have encountered has its base in energy manipulation."


The redhead spreads her hands, the teacup an adornment as often as they come. "No offense taken. I would make a terrible combatant magically anyways," she muses. Slanting light and heat will not find her surreal witchfire eyes anything but contemplative, considering the margins of a shadow. "With a dislike of harming people, what manner of curse could I toss that was not a boon in some fashion? Would some erstwhile young man run off to follow his future in Santa Fe, becoming a master leatherworker instead of a street tough? Does the would-be starlet go home, take care of her aging father, and find love and a white picket fence as a curse?" That twist of fate envisioned holds an element of soft mirth, hovering on the precipice.

"Energy manipulation holds a requirement for a shield made of the same? Or something tangible to deflect and absorb, or redirect?" Conceptually energy makes sense, in a somewhat horrible way. Ask a girl with the ability to conceivably duplicate any stolen mutation known, she might have ideas about the possible outcomes. "I had thought more in simplistic terms, I suppose, weaving and twisting their luck towards something positive. That seems too nebulous an outcome unless I start imagining -how- that works, though."


Strange chuckles at her interpretations of kindly curses from half-behind his poised hands. The sounds are almost lost in the crackle of the fire in the hearth, though perhaps she caught his low tones beneath the snapping of fire-consumed logs. He considers expanding on the topic, turning the whole thing into a test of imagination, but realizes quickly that she wishes for more information and returns his scalpel-like steel-blue gaze to her. Miss Scarlett is quick to learn and with an equally quick mind: she's already jumped into his next dissertation on what defenses protect from which attacks.

"My knowledge of intent rests solely in its influence on the magic that I cast. That order of manipulation, along the lines of fate…perhaps it would be best to speak with someone of a different magical aptitude than myself," he admits with some regret in his words. His brows knit in a brief frown. "However, you are correct in your statement that a shielding made of similar substance as the attack it deflects tends to deflect its related state more readily. Very few things can breach my shielding since it is based in kinetic energies, as I mentioned before. One could block a gout of fire with a wall of water, of course, but then one must worry about steam, decreased visibility…" With a fluid wave of one hand, he dismisses that turn of conversation; he could go on forever about elemental reactions, but it plays only a small part in his explanation. "I prefer to avoid worrying about side effects, hence my choice of kinetic energy."


Her nature sings less to fire than plasma, the nature of starstuff, the radiant light slanting off the shining orb of the moon or any number of celestial bodies waltzing their way through the endless gravitational dances. Scarlett watches the fire, hypnotized by its lulling rhythms, so chaotic in the swill upon whatever fuel the bouncing, crackling flames devour. Imagination might serve well enough if the Doctor wishes to speak to her of it. Certainly she permits that diversion from the business at hand, and her tempered regard floats over the rim of the china cup. Steel meets Arctic feyfire, the kindly smile deepening in a fashion. "Divert bad luck with a shield of good luck, perhaps. Could that possibly waylay the diversion of that descending wheel under Lady Luck's fell hand?" Her legs fold at the ankle, a trim cross painted in detail. White on pale opacity, cream skin concealed. "The raw kinetic energy then dispels everything that strikes it, a matter of versatility and uniformity. It sounds like a sort of universal alternative with none of the unwanted side effects, at least for all those unnecessary perturbations that could transpire. Fire deflected that burns a tree? That sounds especially miserable." Slim fingers coil around her cup. "Transportation, another thought. I…" Her voice pauses there, hesitant.


The good doctor nods at Scarlett's assessment of the kinetic shield as a universal alternative. As he's mused over before, she's got the aptitude for soaking in and manipulating such concepts in her mind. Once tutored, he would hedge that she will be able to hold her own in many a dire situation.

"Mind you, the fire being deflected into a tree is a distinct possibility given certain variables. In the essence of avoiding damaging myself, my surroundings, or innocents, I would attempt to absorb the heat energy within the shield itself before either dispersing it or focusing it back on its caster. This is…it takes quite a bit of practice, to both hold the shield, change its substance just enough to take in heat without burning oneself, and then redirect it. I would stress avoiding battle entirely unless you're absolutely certain that the shielding of your choice can stop such an attack." He's been speaking around both index fingers, still straight and leaning against his lips, while the others have been folded away. With a sigh, he reaches for his cup of tea and sips at it. It has cooled somewhat, but not enough to be called a loss. Another bigger sip and he closes his eyes at the languid herbal flavors that suffuse his pallet. He's going to have to have Miss Scarlett over for tea more often. Perhaps she'll inadvertently restock his tea larder over time. "You'll have to expand further on your thought regarding transportation," he continues softly as he looks over at her once again.


"Fire being diverted upon a handsome pine, while sad for the pine, is better than a school bus or students on the sidewalk." The bohemian lacks any trouble gathering what could be terrible, although her aversion for violence does not inhibit her from varied thought exercises. "I encountered a man in the Village mayhap a week ago. He used a different form of magic entirely, a language I dare not repeat for fear a priest will manifest to wash out my mouth with holy water and lye. And he bore a mark, here." She draws a circle upon her chest and then cuts an inverted star across her sternum, using her fingertip, slow and deliberate enough for him to figure out what the emblem may be.

"He … forgive me, this will sound absurd, but he swallowed physical entities into himself and through it like some sort of gateway. I am aware of the concept of fixed gates and moving portals, temporary things, beyond the methods Miss Illyana uses and the people who appear to step sideways from one place to the next. I have even seen someone leap through a mirror, to say nothing of the discomfort in broken glass that might cause for an inexpert practitioner." See, counterculture princess has some benefits, for all the troubles. "But he had it built literally into himself. And the terminus of that appears to be Hell. Not to sound dramatic, sir, but I was unaware it would even be possible to bind such a thing and now I wonder whether my acquaintance is outright dangerous. Something it seems you ought to be aware of. He was more than capable of holding at least three spells, I suspect, simultaneously while under physical attack from an equal number of assailants. At least the hound was less of an issue for me to subdue."

You know, like you do. Subduing a hellhound, totally normal.


His dark brows seem to be completely at odds with where they wish to remain: first they slowly rise, until they nearly touch his hairline, and then they descend, kinking into a knot that leaves his eyes partially shadowed. Once Scarlett has finished her hesitantly-spoken thought, silence reigns in the room. Only the warm pop of burning logs and the muted pattering of rain against the windowpanes is heard.

"Not absurd in the least," Strange finally replies of her whole explanation. The entire thing reeks of the demonic and a connection to some form of Hell, be it the literal dimension or one of its many insidious counterparts. "I have been aware of some stirrings of darker magics nearby, but have never been able to track their source beyond points of gating, where their caster has left this world. I appreciate you telling me of this…practitioner." A slow sigh escapes him, sounding much like the hiss of a serpent poising to strike. "Binding oneself to a gate is most dangerous, you are correct. A gate is only as strong as its caster and supporting spell elements. Overcharge the gate, draw a brittle rift, and it collapses. This man is…forgive me, but quite frankly insane. He must know that he has left himself open to a myriad of crippling attacks through this decision." After all, banishment is the Sorcerer Supreme's specialty. Might as well take off your shoes to run through a field of nails.

The good doctor sets aside his cup of tea, his stomach suddenly turning at the thought of such a shadowy magic user so nearby to his abode and the innocents living around him. "I don't feel the need to speak to you as mentor to student, as I do with Miss Illyana, but instead - from one mortal to another, I recommend you avoid this man until I can look into him further." And by look into, Strange means shoo the ruffian from his turf.


Scarlett inclines her head, and then raises the cup of tea to her lips. She finally deems the Lady Grey worthy of taking in quantity, silencing herself while her esteemed host parses through the statements she made. Nothing like run of the mill demonic possession and worse brought to his attention, surely. And see? This may be her saving grace, observing with a modicum of intellect and a healthy dose of caution against replicating such issues.

Such a disappointment to the likes of Belasco. Heat exuded from the hearth is swallowed up, and Scarlett shifts in the chair, rotating somewhat to her hip out of comfort. "Yes. I cannot speak precisely for the gentleman's proclivities, although he certainly seemed polite enough and exchanged a number of interesting statements on varied topics prior to a host of possessed men appearing and attacking us. Him, foremost. I was merely collateral damage in a shop." Her measured gaze upon the good Doctor is unrelenting in its veracity, her eyes clear and if not tranquil, than considering. Words follow, ever so softly inflected. "I do not know that he leaves himself so easily open given who he proclaims to be descended from, and those banished entities sent forth from this place claimed to be. Or he conferred on them without complaint. He's supposedly the child of the Devil."

He hasn't the right to boss her around, and he hasn't the right to make demands, though as a neophyte arcanist, rather he does. Also, being still young and impressionable enough, she might take an excellent recommendation. "You may speak how you would. I recognize in my capacity as a student when I am out of my depth, and now I swim in a very deep sea. Terra incognita, here be monsters, and all that. With any luck he's redeeming himself for some purpose beyond me and you can suss out the details."


"They do say that the Devil's arrogance was his downfall," Strange replies in a somewhat distracted manner; his gaze now rests on the burning logs. With a quiet grunt, he slouches just a bit in his chair to allow his feet to rest closer to the fire. The soft soles of his indoor boots will allow the warmth to be easily absorbed. "And yes, please rest assured that I will…suss out these details. Understand that I am asking nothing of you, since you have granted me this information out of kindness, but I will ask the favor that you share any other information that you come across regarding him should your paths intersect once again."

His lips purse over the rim of his tea cup and he drains it entirely of its brew. Once again his tongue runs over his lips and he grants Scarlett a small smile. "You have excellent taste in tea." With sinewy grace, he leans around the chair to see the status of the weather. Raindrops slide down the glass, but no more seem to be landing on it currently. With a hmph of acknowledgement to nature's cessation of the precipitation, he leans back into the plush crimson fabric once again. "Any other topics you wish to pursue?" He appreciates her presence and the intellectual stimulation she provides on such a dreary day.


"You ask naught but I offer freely of my own volition, without compulsion or coercion, what information is available to me that we might coexist harmoniously. For all I know his intentions are far from negative," Scarlett allows, every word struck upon like the precise components of a symphony that only comes together in harmony once every aspect is regarded. "Truly such possibilities could seem remote, but he did me no harm and, in fact, tried to keep the demons from doing damage to me. Not so much the shop. Though I was warned crossing the line of fire he set down as a barrier and deterrent would hurt me considerably, at least as he judges." The only indication her durability is far greater than meets the eye falls thus. "So perhaps that may balance whatever impression I have offered."

She lays down the porcelain vessel with care upon its saucer, balanced at her knee with a possessive finger carrying its burden easily enough. "Tea, Doctor, is very much the great force of persuasion and negotiation in the world. I think it an essential instrument for any sort of decorous arrangements, when not hurled in the harbour. Though a very nice mélange from Vienna is well worth the effort too, I am told." He asks, and thus she answers simple enough to the lure set forth before her. "An exercise that amuses me on the matter of transportation. How does one step between the realms? Must it always be to a known location or are there waypoints like our freeways have? I know some simply will themselves off, and there they go. Obviously not without hazards." Her fingertip taps on the saucer affectionately. "Mayhap it goes in reverse, too, can one be -drawn- out as much as leaping to?"


He rests his temple against two fingers spread akimbo, the others slack in disuse, as he eyes the young woman sitting diagonally from him. While she has a point, he can't help but remain deeply skeptical of this man's intentions. The very nature of Hellfire and its magical components is rooted in emotions considered more negative by the general populace; fear, lust, anger… Strange won't disagree that these emotions are powerful ones and hence the reason that most learned practitioners actively avoid tangling with users of such magic.

And he smirks, a twinkle in his eyes, as she expounds on the virtues of tea. She would find that he doesn't disagree with any of her statements. Persuasion indeed. Who needs liquor when one knows that their conversational partner has a weakness for the steepings of herbs instead?

"Knowing where you'd like to go is the most basic step," he replies, shifting to fold one long leg overtop the other. "Beyond that, it becomes a matter of how you, as a distinct individual, wish to pursue the process. I learned through the art of meditation and allowing my mind to accept that the magic of doing so existed. Again, intent and belief in one's ability to cast the spell." With his free hand, he sketches part of a runic sequence lazily, deliberately leaving the shapes not quite correct and ending the lines with a closing sigil. The overlaid signs glow faintly yellow, like the overexposure of staring at a bright light, before fading away into nothing. "Runes, like that, can work. Some use props, such as a blade or a wand. I don't have to speak to open a gate, but that level of proficiency took many, many years of study and intense application."


Poor Son of Satan. He may well be dealing with one of the most conflicted of individuals, for what is she going to know of lust, and how can fear not diluted as her constant companion? Hello, my name is Scarlett and my touch is death for near all mortals. Would you like a hug?

Fate has a funny sense of humour. If by funny one means devastating and capricious.

"Many years? But you are not that old in appearances." Checkmate. Asgardian friends teach a girl a thing or nine about appearances and age. All the same, she gracefully slips her hands underneath her chin, elbow resting against the arm of the chair. Scarlett's regard is almost somnolent as the runes appear, too fast for her to interpret unless they happen to match the typical suite of elder futhark. Those she can read with relative proficiency, though she might be at pains to explain how, her broken memories too obscure for her to really be certain. "There may be cause for me to practice. If that is the case, I shall warn you just to let you know."


The laugh that escapes him rings out in room. "Not so old, eh?" He shakes his head before looking up at her again with a half-smile. "You are too kind, Miss Scarlet. Let's just leave it as…I have earned my silvering," and Strange brushes loose hair behind his ear absently, "and an unexpected blessing in the process." He rises from his chair with abrupt smoothness, like a hunting cat sighting a point of interest, and checks on the teapot. The tea within it is still warm. With his long reach, he grabs his empty china cup and pours himself another half-filling of the lavender Lady Grey. "More tea?" he asks, glancing over shoulder at his young guest.


"All of us earn our marks." She bears the frosting at her scalp along her temples and across her hairline, the telltale marks of winter and the ice giants set upon the child of sunset and fire. The inclination of her head doesn't do so much to reveal it, thanks to the hat and the heavy braiding which forever conceals the obvious signs of the icicle white effect. "I do rather think another cup of tea sounds divine, if you would be so kind. That particular blend is much to my liking."


Strange pours once more for his guest, returns her cup in a carefully gentleman-like manner, and then settles down in his chair. For now, he remains quiet as he sips at his demi-tasse, much more rapidly than his initial serving. After all, it's cool enough to avoid burning his tongue. His glance slides from the flickering fire over to Scarlett. He isn't quite curious enough to ask after her trials and earned silvering; it isn't obviously shown to the world and he assumes that she doesn't want anyone inquiring after it. It wouldn't be fair of him to press. After all, he was deliberately vague in his shared explanation of his own hoary temples.

The two sit in comfortable silence while they finish their respective cups of tea. In the room across the entry way, beyond a corner and a heavy purple velvet curtain, the grandfather clock begins to chime loudly. It counts the hour and its bell-like chimes reach his ears even from that distance. Strange glances beyond the doorway, towards the sound, and then back at Scarlett. "And that is the end of my time with you. I hope you learned what you needed. When you leave, please shut the door behind you - and as always, feel free to stop by. The Sanctum doesn't seem to mind your curiosity too much," he adds with a gentle smirk. With that, he returns to his book and Scarlett is allowed to leave whenever she feels.

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