1964-06-09 - The Shadows Run Red
Summary: Why, hello, Lamont.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
lamont wanda 

Bucky arrives from Out <o>.

Bucky has arrived.

Wizard shopping. Devizes pops up unexpectedly just about everywhere. Tonight it's wedged behind a Chinese restaurant, carry-out only, a few blocks into the Bowery. No one is going to randomly wander inside in search of chop suey or Singapore noodles. Through the guarded door lies a realm longer than it is wide, separated into multiple stacks of books beyond the painted glass of the initial chamber. There stand various arcanists of might and significance, their faces and identities picked out in glorious detail. One might look /too/ long into the Abyss and find it staring back, however.

Within, though, the arcane community is welcome to be on its best behaviour and appropriately act. Beams of moonlight cut through a high window, landing upon the protective wards enshrouding bookshelves and people alike. Maybe ten are here, curator and tabby included, and Wanda Maximoff is one of them floating in midair. Sideways, compared to the main floor, because there are floors and walls bending up in a bit of weird geometry. The books balanced on her knees are heavy and old, as is the nature of such things, but probably not grimoires. The only reason reading two at once is tolerated is because of the unspoken title she carries. Mistress of the New York Sanctum, behind the Sorcerer Supreme, is a win.

And there's Strange's newest student. IT's his first time back since he came back to New York - the first time inclination and talent've combined to let him in. Aralune's favorite snack, though he's managed to come and go from the Sanctum without being licked the last few times. A signal achievement, that. He's dressed as his mundane self - the Shadow's a matter for bloody vigilantism, rather than magical practice, even if he's more or less out of that darkest possible closet to Strange. A dark gray suit, white shirt, tie patterned subtly in burgundy - a reference to that more striking costume, perhaps. He heads quietly for the great wall of components, and starts requesting various resins and powders - mostly the sort of thing blended into incenses and oils. Which would make sense, considering how like smoke that growing thread of magic in him is.

Aralune's favourite snack actually happens to be the long-legged sorceress in black, knees bent and feet tucked against her thighs. Given the fae cat devours bad luck, imagine the streak of dinner she can obtain from an irritated witch. No such evidence today when the fine building murmurs with its own self-important hush and no especial calamity detracts her from stirring an assessment of the heights of the fourth dimension's silver-needle aeries. Yon beautiful descriptions from the unlikeliest of mystic travelers prove fascinating, the invaluable little excerpt worth taking notes on. At least those things she can commit to memory without paying the scrivener's fee. That it's fairly expensive can be determined by how few do so.

Wrapped in the whispers of halfeti rose, the black bloom her signature, and the darkest of attars, she convalesces in the vagaries of an imagination. Her thumb traces down the side of the page, leaving a hint of iridescent scent on the air. Age and antiquity and dreams all linger here. Her gaze flicks away as someone else enters, but not before the fat resident tabby glares down Lamont.

Cats. They would prove to be his nemeses. He counts out currency as each tin is filled to murmured measurements. He's brought a bag of them to refill, set out in a neat, labelled row on the counter - standing patiently to let it all be done before he moves on to examine the bookshelves. The moonlight and feylight ….kind in terms of his age, gentle on those austere lines, but his shadow is thrown wavering and huge behind him. The cat's look has him meeting its gaze mildly, brows up. Something wrong?

Cats know things. They observe with distrust and report upon all that looks improper and untrustworthy. No one ignores a cat, not if they're smart, any way. The tabby rules the place more than the curator does, in some ways. Enemies and foes disappear into the night after Devizes vanishes with the coming dawn. Ears flick. Tail twitches. The cat steps up onto a padded, flat chair covered in enough fur to warn this is the cat's place, and no one else's. Approach at one's own risk.

The woman stretches, her back arching. Shadow tends not to creep so well close to her, the inner halo of her own light rarely witnessed to the sight. But her aura bends starlight through the earth-glow dawn, and repels any attempts for darkness to fall over her in a cloak. She sneezes.

His is certainly behaving as if a girl had only just recently sewn it back on to his heels, darting and flickering. He's turning to look sidelong over his shoulder, then back at the light sources in the room, each in turn. No particular one explains that wayward behavior….and there's the faintest trace of embarassment in his eyes. A few moments of silent meditation and it stills, at least a little. He glances up at that sneeze, and looks wry. When does he get to defy gravity without mechanical aid? The cat he makes no attempt to befriend - he knows enough of them to know when an approach will be met with flattened ears and bared teeth.

"Your friend is very much unhappy," says the witch, a gesture of her fingers made to secure the pages. The lightest of gestures smooths down a forming crease that might happen to pass because the book slides down the angle of her thigh, prohibited from traveling any further. "It will not cause a problem for you, I hope? It might be lost." Oh, the notion of that. Her tone nonetheless betrays the foreignness of her making, a murmur of the Eastern European front compounded on the periphery of the Romantic branch of the Indo-European language family. Her lips purse slightly and she slides her finger off the page she marks, shutting the covers.

Lamont looks down at his shadow, a little contrite. Like a man who's brought a new puppy out to meet people before it's properly socialized. "No, it's mine, and it's fine. It's just…..feeling its oats," he confesses. AS if that particular manifestation had just committed the occult equivalent of peeing on the metaphysical rug. Presumably it's done something like that before. ….is he *blushing*? Perhaps. Satisfied it's not going to tear loose and go raging around, he looks up again, and offers, "I believe I know you by repute. I've the honor of meeting the Mistress of the Sanctum, I think?"

"Its oats?" This statement, whatever it may be, holds obviously no meaning for the foreign-born woman. The raspberry slickness of her coat surges around her as she straightens, back lined up precisely over her hips, leaving a clear, unimpeded line for breath to run the back of her throat all the way into her belly. Important, given the tight confinement of the corsetry. "Then safe. Take out what you bring in, they say." The rules are all over and probably very clear. Do no harm lest harm be done to you, and all that jazz. The serene look at the afforded title is something of a mask worn over the intense suspicion crackling under the surface, simmering in a chamber of amber. "Yes. Wanda. And you?"

He bows to her, politely. The shadow is still, for a moment. "Ah, too much energy, of late," he explains. "I'm Lamont. Honored to meet you. I've visited the Sanctum a few times - the Doctor has been kind enough to grant me instruction."

"Lamont." The name has a way of being pronounced, curled around the tongue and bounced off her lips in a more intimate attempt at English than someone who does not, cannot speak it as a native. All sounds and words are required to be considered if they are not part of her natural canon. "He is a very good teacher. Your gifts are great as he chooses to teach you, yes?"

A whole spectrum of emotion flits across his face….and this can't be blamed on the feylights. He hesitates, lips parted, and then says, finally, "….I would not hesitate to agree with the former. As for me, I ….don't think I can claim that. Not at all." He doesn't add his real suspicion that Strange is teaching him as much to keep a regular eye on him as anything else.

"He would not teach you had you no kind of skill." Profound honesty can be a weapon and of its own right. Cautious applications of truth change the world in their way. A mild lift of her shoulders invites understanding elsewise, if he wishes to provide it, an exception to the narrative being constructed. "You are," she asks, "doing well in this city? Is there something you would have need of me for?"

"I would not say that I have none," he says, as punctiliious in his speech as in his manners. "I am….growing used to it again, after being some years abroad. I had missed it," he adds, with the faintest wisp of plaintiveness in his voice. "And….I don't believe so, ma'am, not as yet." Though there's a lilt of curiosity. What would he need her for?

Acknowledgment found in the dip of her head, Wanda brushes back her dark hair off her shoulder in a shadowy curtain. "It never goes so far, yes? It will be there with you." The diminishing return of a smile vexes the woman's gilded countenance, thought scribed in the distant, dreamy lines that fail to soften the rough edges even by a hint. "Soon we shall meet. Now, though, I must see to family." She releases the books onto a cart provided for the convenience of the patrons.

Lamont inclines his head again, politely. Almost Prussian in that reserve…all the better to draw a veil over how disconcerted he is. She's even more mysterious than Strange, and STrange is mysterious enough. "Of course, ma'am," he says. "Good evening." And his shadow visibly curves around him for a moment as if to get a parting glance at her.

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