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 A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]

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Eleonora Valenta
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PostSubject: A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]   Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:59 pm

The night air was fresh and damp, clinging to trees and moss and whisking its way through the forest. Sparkling droplets of dew grew fat and and tumbled off of leaves while glistening in the moonlight. A darkness so pure and heavy it almost seemed solid covered the grounds of the forest. A stray step from the shafts of moon light that formed a path may have been a last step, the darkness growing teeth and swallowing the unwary traveler whole. Unearthly mist swam through the air cold and delicate. The sounds of the forest were faint and far off almost as if they were heard through a tunnel. Occasionally a long low howl would pierce the illusion and draw chills to the skin.

Eleonora walked slowly through the dream like world with her eyes and ears as alert as possible. Instead of being frightened she was exhilarated. The atmosphere around her was one of mystery and danger but she was calmer than she had been all week. This was the type of place she lived for, one alive with the scent of growing things and the sounds of animals. There was no one around to ask her questions or put her on the spot, no one to make her feel inadequate or lost. After such a taxing week of classes and social interaction she needed an escape for some time to recharge and gather her thoughts.

She paused, breathing in deep the sweet night air. It had to be nearly one in the morning, the castle quiet with sleeping bodies. Eleonora had an easy time slipping out of her office and past the grounds to the Forbidden Forest, so easy in fact that she worried students would be able to do it if they were so inclined. That thought made her uneasy for as serene as the forest seemed to her she knew many dangers lurked within.  That was part of what drew her to it. She wanted to find and befriend some of its inhabitants. She knew a group of centaurs made their home here as well as the rare unicorns.

Tonight, however, she simply wanted to get her bearings and enjoy the mood solitude and nature put her in. She had chosen to take her two hippogriffs along with her as she was afraid she hadn't been spending enough time with them. They had grown to the size of large dogs and trotted loyally beside her. Eleonora reached down to stroke ones feathers and took another long look at the trees and darkness around her before continuing farther into the forests depths.
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Sorrow Misery Grace
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PostSubject: Re: A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]   Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:15 pm



The mist called out to him, drawing exquisite shapes in the shy light of the lady moon. She could not see deep under the crowns of trees that grew thick, but she smiled where they brushed thinly against one another. Her reflection showed in the dew drops; and sometimes she stared back at it vainly before they rolled off leaves as words did off tongue. But there were no humanly voices in the night. It shared a silence long forgotten. It was, perhaps, what Sorrow had missed the most.

It had been a while since he had gone out flitting, slipping in and out of the darkness and clinging to the shadows. For once, no one needed him at the manor. No one needed him to attend any meetings. There was little else that Phantom could teach him. There was night and Sorrow, and he could disappear if he so willed it.

Everything blurred as he ran, upsetting the little leaves but otherwise moving soundlessly across the soft ground, the early fallen leaves that pressed gently into the terrain. Everything blurred and only the path directly ahead stayed clear in sight. It felt chaotic, or nearly so. It was the only way in which Sorrow would let himself lose control. Everything else was tight and orderly, sharp and outlined. He acted with elegance and fought against it, willing the one person who could break it back into his life. But he never came. And Sorrow learned to forget him.

He slowed to a walk at some point, calming the thoughts that had preoccupied his mind. Simply to enjoy the sounds, the smells that surrounded him and what were the purest forms of life. He slipped through the forest gracefully, hovering with the shadows. The night whispered to him and he listened, trying to remember the last time he simply marvelled at its wonders. The soft hooting of owls added to the melody of nocturnal creatures and he followed the howls for a while. There was no cold that he could feel, not quite yet. Autumn was gentle with its chill, very unlike the unforgiving winter. Vampire or not, Sorrow would find it bothersome once it came. Was it two years, three, since he last held warmth close to the coldness of his own skin? Sorrow smiled, but it was a regretful smile, one that did not truly show humour or glee.

Miss Valenta was a welcome distraction, though unexpected at best. No one should have been out this late, professor or not. When Sorrow first caught the humanly presence, he first worried that a student might have snuck out of the castle. As he got close, however, he found the red flicker in the moonlight, a second before lady moon turned away, perhaps in jealousy. If it were indeed a student, Sorrow would have made his presence known; but he had no authority over other professors, or reason to reprimand Eleonora for wandering the forest. She was sure to know the dangers and take care of her own if such need arose. For the moment he remained hidden, not wishing to alert her unless she spotted him.
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PostSubject: Re: A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]   Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:59 pm

A sudden chill flooded the path before Eleonora, prickling her skin. The darkness seemed to grow deeper, more somber. A slight shift in the air current blew stray strands of hair across her face. Beside her one of the hippogrifts made a low rumbling noise from the back of his throat, his orange eyes darting. She placed a hand on its back, urging it to be silent. Slowly turning on the spot she surveyed her surroundings.

Eleonora knew when something offset the balance in the forest. She had learned to pay attention to the little details in the noise and air around her, becoming alert at the slightest change. This knowledge had come from living three months in the Black Forest studying Erklings a few years ago. Back then she had become attune to danger quickly in order to avoid a nasty fate. The Erklings she was searching for had been luring children into their den and devouring them, their cackling laugh highly enticing. Eleonora became adapt at avoiding their notice and following their tracks. Though it was a dangerous and stressful time she had done her job and learned much. Now she felt nearly at home in a forest populated by fantastical beasts.

Spotting a darkness more solid than the shadows around her, Eleonora focused her eyes on the spot. Slowly darkness coalesced into a figure, hidden deep within the trees. She strained to make out more detail without moving a step closer. Before she knew what was watching her she would not make a move, not one slight twitch of her body.

Unable to see any farther Eleonora concentrated instead on the feelings overtaking her. Some creatures left a tingle of fear running down a targets spine, others a feeling of deceptive euphoria. The quiet melancholy that she felt now was familiar. She had experienced it only days before while teaching a lesson.

“Professor Grace,” Eleonora called, barely above a whisper in the quiet forest. She relaxed her posture and brushed her hair back as she waited to see if he would acknowledge her.
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PostSubject: Re: A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]   Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:40 pm



His eyes drew back to her and, instead of closing the shadow around his physical body, Sorrow felt himself step lightly towards the other professor. A thin, pale hand fell to comfort a creature by her side; a hippogriff, Sorrow noted in wonder. How easily Eleonora stood by it and another sent thrill through him. But it was not just the creature who realized the vampire's presence; and as she turned, he knew she knew he was there.

It intrigued him, how her eyes stayed on him in an attempt to draw lines of his figure and detail of his features. She could have looked at anyone standing there at that moment, but somehow she recognized the air around him, and she knew what made him Sorrow. Few humans before her could do that; witches seemingly more often than muggles, still in rare occasions. He thought perhaps Lacetta could have done something of similar sort, but it took Vanity weeks of constant closeness before he could truly perceive Sorrow. Eleonora managed to do it with every bit of grace that had to be earned of hard work; and Sorrow reminded himself that she taught a subject, with often such creatures, that sometimes demanded extraordinary attention. If she felt a shift in the air, one that came with his presence, it was very likely that she would learn to know him better than his closest friends did.

The words that left her lips were a careful whisper, tangled in the soft melody brought by the life that awoke with the night. They brought a small smile to him, simply because they were not uttered loudly, but in care for the world around them. “Professor Valenta,” there was an indicated bow of his head and he dared come closer, his eyes flickering to the fiery hair before setting on Eleonora’s features again. He searched her eyes, found them clear and calm; she did not fear him, and for that he was thankful. “It is a bit late for a walk through these woods, is it not?”
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PostSubject: Re: A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]   Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:09 pm

Eleonora had not intended to meet anyone in the depths of the forest, where the darkness and hidden dangers aided in scaring off most sensible people. It was with a small sigh of disappointment that she watched Professor Grace approach her. She had nothing against  the man himself, for she knew little about him, but the breaking of her solitude was disheartening. It was becoming unfortunately clear that were few places inside the ground of Hogwarts where one could be truly alone.

Watching as the man stepped out from the deep shadows and into the pale silver light of the moon, Eleonora took in his appearance more carefully than before. She noted his drawn face, somehow still clouded over without the trace of what his emotions may be. She could see why many of the students had spread rumors of him or were frightened; he was different from others. The difference though, was not something to be scared of or to shun, it was merely a difference in who he was compared to their narrow view.

Far from being frightened, Eleonora felt somehow at ease standing before Sorrow. His elegant motions and gentle words were a welcome respite from the clamor and bustle of the castle. Here was another being who understood the value in a quiet room and a soft spoken word. She was not being forced to be on her toes, ready to spout out an answer quickly only to appease those around her. She felt her anxiety and exhaustion at the overwhelming social interactions of late not increase, as surely it would in most other situations, but lessen by the tiniest increment.

Eleonora's peach tinted lips drew into a modest smile as Sorrow addressed her. His words were like fluid, so smoothly they rolled off his tongue and through the misty air. She let them reach her ears and pass through her mind, taking hold and becoming solid before she answered. In comparison she felt her own voice was much too harsh and held not a trace of the eloquence that Sorrow's had.

“It is late, but I felt I needed to get out of the castle, to get away for a while...” Eleonora blushed then, afraid she had said too much. Sorrow did not need to know these things, her feelings and problems were hers alone to worry about.  Quickly she lowered her face down to the hippogriffs, hoping to hide her embarrassment. “I'm sorry if I disturbed your walk by calling out to you,” she apologized as she rubbed the creatures ears, calming them.
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PostSubject: Re: A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]   Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:46 pm



It washed over them, the moonlight, before shying away again. It gave flicker to fire of Eleonora and a strange light to the grey of Sorrow’s eyes. Leaves rustled with the whistling of the find, and the air tasted briefly of the winter that would come. Sorrow moved ahead, extending his greeting to the two young hippogriffs; bowing to the one, as later he would to the other. Though small in comparison to adults of their kind, they demanded the same in form of respect. Sorrow kept eye contact, gently searching the yellow dots that glowed in the dark. His lips barely moved now, yet a whisper carried over to Eleonora, almost as if it were a sound only in her mind. “You did not. In turn I hope my presence has not disturbed yours.”

Sorrow wondered at the else of her words however. To get away could be easy or difficult, depending on what one wanted to get away from. It was not always as simple as leaving the confinement of the stone walls; and a walk was not always enough to give way to every thought. But even if such means were necessary, to get lost inside the Forbidden Forest was perhaps less harmful than getting lost in one’s mind.

Part of it, Sorrow thought, might have been adjusting to Hogwarts again, this time growing as a professor. Adults so often seemed to carry a new number of responsibilities, and most never even knew where they had picked them up. Part of it, perhaps, Eleanie Carr; as Sorrow himself witnessed, there had been an event quite unpleasant. And if there were more things troubling Eleonora, would he brave himself to ask? In the past he did, ever so bluntly, for to ask was the simplest thing if he wanted to fix something. And always people told him of their troubles, and easy it was from there to grow as friends. This one more time, Sorrow would ask.

“What is it that you must run from, Miss Valenta?”
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PostSubject: Re: A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]   Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:15 pm

Eleonora watched in admiration as Sorrow bowed low to each hippogriff in turn. His eyes remained locked onto their fierce orange stares until one after the other they bent their heads for him. He seemed to be well versed in the etiquette of creatures and had performed the ceremony flawlessly. She was impressed and a bright smile transformed her face. Eleonora was always pleased to meet another person who shared her knowledge.

Her smile remained as she took her eyes from the hippogriffs and placed them onto to Sorrow's. “You're not bothering us at all. It's actually good for Polaris and Vega to meet someone new.” Ruffling Vega's feathers Eleonora waited for Sorrow to continue the conversation. While his presence was oddly comforting she was at a loss of how to proceed. His gray eyes drew her in and made her want to spill all her secrets, to confide in his soothing aura. Her mind, however, was not accustomed to this feeling and so she was left feeling awkward and ungainly as she looked away.

Sorrow's next silken words were unexpected. Running? Eleonora wasn't running from anything, or at least she hadn't thought she was. She was simply trying to find a quiet place to think over the last few months and to escape the eyes of those in the castle. But wasn't escaping a form of running? Sorrow had so easily cut through her words and found their weak point, the crack in her defenses. She felt the weight of her loneliness in the midst of so many people settle down onto her, making her ache. She had been avoiding thinking about it for so long that the sudden flood made her lower her head in case of Sorrow seeing it in her eyes.

“I...well it's silly really. I just feel very, oddly, alone. In the castle.” Eleonora couldn't look into Sorrow's eyes as she spoke but instead focused on the dirt beneath her feet. She felt like a child all of a sudden, worried that Sorrow would judge her for her feelings. Why was she telling him these things? Eleonora had not spoken like this to anyone in a very long time.

After a short time had passed and there were no words from Sorrow, she looked back into his face, nervous about what she would find there but hoping for the gentle smile she had seen moments before.
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PostSubject: Re: A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]   Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:42 pm



Sorrow was glad to have earned approval of the creatures; and again he dared glide a little closer, extending his arm and drawing his fingers along the feathery head of one. “And I am very pleased to meet Polaris and Vega.” He had crouched down to their level, and had to look up to search Eleonora’s features. He watched her from the side as she stared at the dirt before her; and he felt it, in the moment when the brightness of her smile faded to be replaced by a ghost of its former intensity. There was the little sorrow that showed in her eyes and painted itself in her words.

“At Hogwarts, there is a place for all of us,” his pale lips caught a smile as she looked back to him. “It may be hidden from us behind flesh and noise, but it is there. We need only find it.” Very carefully, Sorrow rose to his full height again, his eyes keeping contact with hers. The air around Eleonora, her aura, pulsated with colours of emotions that mixed in her voice. “Then, I hope, you will not feel so lonely in a castle that is full of life.”

The Forest offered a different noise and never as loud as that of human body and mind. Sorrow remembered his time here as a student, with only Misery, when the Forest could be alive and cherished. And when life was completely still, there had been only the flickering and cracking of fire. It danced and danced in the common room hearth of the Hufflepuff basement, and there were silences shared, and smiles that comforted the heart.

But sometimes there needed be a moment to stand alone and breathe. Breathe in the noise of voice and touch the soft flesh that stretched over the hard bone. There had to be a bit of everything in one’s body, to properly touch the soul. There had to be the noise, as well as the silence. Sometimes.

“Should it be so,” Sorrow’s gaze turned aside, but what he was seeing then was somewhere far away. He breathed it the night air, found it scented with the damp earth and decaying leaves. “Should it be easier not to run?” He may have chuckled, but it carried away with the wind. “That is what I thought.”
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PostSubject: Re: A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]   Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:19 pm

The forest air swirled and became its own entity as it caressed  the two figures skin. Eleonora could feel its tender fingers run down her arm and lift her hair from her back. The breeze brought with it the smell of the moss and trees and dirt, a sensual mixture of all the things that calmed her. Paired with Sorrows melodious voice and the benevolent shine of his eyes she felt herself drift away from her worries and anxieties.

Where had he learned to speak so eloquently and hold himself with such grace? He appeared before Eleonora like some kind of mystic dream, one that would fall apart and be whisked away at the merest hint of waking. His wisdom, if that was what is was, seemed beyond his years. She could hardly believe she was older than him for she was woefully lacking in all the qualities he exuded that she associated with maturity.

Eleonora thought over his words as they made their way to her ears. Where was her place? Some days she felt she could hardly breathe in the confines of the castle. She was always on guard with so many people around, worried about how to act. Her anxiety suffocated her.  But here, with the stars breaking through the tree tops and the soft ground beneath her feet...maybe this was her place. She wondered where Sorrow's place was and imagined it to be everywhere. She could not believe him being ill at ease anywhere.

As he drew himself to his full height Eleonora was forced to tilt her head up to keep her eyes on his. She had always been petite but in this instance felt the full spectrum of their height difference expanded up above her. Still, she let her eyes look up into his, entrapped. There was something in the gray that locked the blue of her irises into place, even as her mind begged her to look away.

The spell was broken as Polaris roughly nudged Eleonora, throwing her slightly off balance. She faltered for a moment before regaining her balance and patting his head to appease him. She glanced back to see Sorrow looking off into the distance, a dreamy look on his face. His next words were not clear to Eleonora, the wind whipping them away to be heard only by the inhabitants of the forest.

“Thank you...” she was not certain how to address Sorrow. Professor Grace seemed  too formal, yet she did not want to insult him by using only his first name. She skipped it altogether and moved on. “You really have a way with words. I...guess I needed to hear that.” She let a modest smile form on her lips. It was challenging to stop her words from gushing forward. She wanted to compliment Sorrow and ask him how he had come to be so kind but knew such things were better left unsaid, at least until she was sure he would not disappear before her eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]   Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:13 pm



He felt it tickling his skin, the wind. He was suddenly nervous, as if he were a boy and yet far too much was expected of him. Eleonora may have been older than him, and he had not forgotten, but years never seemed to be of much importance before. Had they? Among humans, he was their equal. Among vampires, he could love them all the same. What were years but a projection of mind? Such nonsense in the end; such shackling borders and shimmering barriers.

“Miss Valenta,” in the close space between them, his arm extended towards her, perhaps unconsciously. “Might you walk with me?” They had both stopped and words carried them away, but it was first that they had come out there to escape the noise, had they not? The very reason for them being there was to listen to the night, and no longer to trouble themselves over hurting their throats with creation of voice.

“Perhaps you would,” Sorrow swallowed, for never had he found it so hard to wait for permission. “If you would, share a silence with me?” Her smile had captured his attention; and he wondered, worried, if it would disappear at his blunt proposal. Eleonora still held authority over him, if only in age. He thought he could feel an uncertainty about her, questions bubbling behind her lips and, was it, a trace of fear? Was his a solid form or had he faded away without noticing? There may have been panic in his eyes as well. Such that he felt in traces, when he worried over Misery, or when he loved- when he loved them. It was not like so, never under the lady moon who laughed, taunted, saw his weakness and exposed it.

Sorrow very nearly stepped away; in the last moment he found his breath and closed his eyes, and calmed in the silence that awaited Eleonora’s reply. He searched her when he looked again, and hoped she would take him by the arm, to feel the solid flesh that wrapped so tightly, so possessively around his soul. He could no more escape the prison of his bones than she, even though the shadow allowed him passage to other places. And there was no place he wanted to be then, other than in the forest, in the moment with someone dangerous as Eleonora suddenly seemed to him. She was fire that was sure to consume him; a flame that he would fear and embrace.
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PostSubject: Re: A Moonlit Stroll [Sorrow]   Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:58 pm

Eleonora looked with apprehension at Sorrow's outstretched arm. It was such a simple gesture, one often implemented by many. To her, though, it was frightening. His pale skin looked so pristine she was worried her touch might dirty it forever.

Before she had a chance to calm her nerves and slip her arm besides Sorrow's his words cut into her mind. Was there a touch of strain in his voice, too? No, she must be mistaken. Perhaps she was projecting her own emotions onto him in order to feel more on the same level. But no, she watched, silent, as he closed his eyes with a deep breath. That was move she was familiar with, one she utilized when feeling overwhelmed. Eleonora sincerely hoped she wasn't being a bother to him and he was too polite to say anything.

“I would love to. But please...call me Nora? Miss Valenta makes me feel old.” She laughed lightly into the silence then, trying her hardest to coax the smile back onto Sorrow's lips. So near to his intoxicating being Eleonora herself took a deep breath and placed her arm delicately through Sorrrow's. A shiver ran down her spine at the feeling of his skin pressed against hers. It had been so long since Eleonora had voluntarily felt another's body so close to hers.  The pressure of his flesh was reassuring as they began to walk back down the path. It was a tingle of nerves alighting under her skin, a flock of butterflies running through her.

She soon found herself lost in calm thoughts, only the rhythmic sounds of their footfalls music in her ears. Gone were her feelings of loneliness and pain for the time being, replaced by the the beauty of the night draped forest. When she had left the castle she had not known what she was looking for that night, but she had found it within Sorrow's eyes and touch. She stole a slight glance at over at him as they drew close to the edge  of the forest, the castle looming in the distance.

It was with hesitation that Eleonora removed her arm and turned to Sorrow. She found herself not wanting to say goodbye but to stay forever at the edge of the great mysterious world the forest held within it. The night was growing late though, and she stifled a yawn as her thoughts went to her early class. It was time to return to a slightly less magical reality.

“Thank you again. I'm very glad you were out tonight. I... I hope we can meet again.” She couldn't stop the flush rising in her cheeks, betraying her emotions. To hide it she turned to the castle and began her walk back.
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