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Title: Impossible Love
Rating: G
Date: 8/12/03
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Spoilers: none
Stats: 144 words, 847 characters
Summary: Luthien, locked away by her father for a forbidden love, waits for her prince to come.

*****

Luthien gazed out from the window of her prodigal prison, heart heavy with a veritable welter of ambivalent emotions and stomach churning from more than just an abstemious dinner. Below, under the flickering of whimsical starlight stealing through the eaves of Doriath, she could faintly hear Daeron's golden voice as the officious harper's nimble fingers wrought the coda of yet another paean in her honor.

But for once, her gentle nature was belied by her anger at him - for his inability to accept that his attempts to propitiate what he thought she desired would not win her heart… for his betrayal of her precipitate confession of her iconoclastic love for a mortal man… for his stolid refusal to help her attain the happiness that he averred was his aspiration.

Silently winging a prayer to Eru and all of the Valar, Luthien waited for Beren.

Vocab Words:

coda

officious

whimsical

propitiate

stolid

welter

iconoclastic

precipitate (adj)

prodigal (adj)

abstemious

Title: Teneo Lacuna I
Rating: G
Date: 8/13/03
Fandom: Harry Potter / Highlander Crossover
Spoilers: ending of book 3 (PoA)
Stats: 892 words, 5198 characters
Summary: Remus Lupin is sent to pick up a translation from a mild-mannered scholar named Adam Pierson.

*****

Remus Lupin cautiously made his way down the deserted street, careful to stay in the shadows cast by the muggle street lamps that shone balefully along the road. The cold December wind pressed its chilling breath along his robes, making the threadbare fabric flutter in an eerily desultory manner. But Remus ignored the discomfort as he slipped by each residence along the street, scrutinizing each with assiduous precision.

Finally, he stopped at an ordinary apartment building, in front of one of its monotonously common doors. He rapped sharply on the door, and waited, but there was no response, even though his canine sense of smell told him that there was someone within. Frowning, he knocked again, straining his supernatural hearing to catch the sound of any movement from within. Again, there was nothing.

Wondering if the man inside was deaf or malingering, Remus reached for his wand, debating on whether to cast an unlocking charm. Before his hand reached his pocket, however, his motion was obviated as the door suddenly swung open, startling the werewolf. He found himself being studied by a pair of recondite, glittering eyes that seemed far too old for the young patrician features that framed them.

After a small pause as the two men stared at one another, Remus ventured to speak. "Adam Pierson?"

"You are?" the man answered with a laconic question, in a crisp English accent that ironically belied the fact that they were in the middle of Paris.

"Remus Lupin," answered the bearer of that name, his affable nature allowing him to gloss over his questioner's paranoia. "I was asked to come here by Albus Dumbledore regarding a translation…"

The man swept his eyes along Remus' form one last time, before slowly - almost warily - relaxing from his alert posture. The sharpness of his gaze seemed to almost recede into the recesses of the green-gold eyes as a shallow amusement replaced it.

"Ah. Then you have come to the right place," said Adam as he pushed the door open further. "Come on in, Mr. Lupin."

Adam's apartment was an eclectic display of esoteric artifacts from ancient to modern, authentic and counterfeit. Remus thought he even caught a hint of magic over a few of them, but did not have the opportunity to examine them further. The place reminded him keenly of Hogwarts, where he had taught for a scant year not so long ago, before forced to depart once again because of the opprobrium of what he was. Apparently, Adam was more than just a connoisseur of dead languages and ancient tomes as Remus had been led to believe… and yet the man did not feel like he was a wizard.

Silently - and Remus marveled at how quiet the man moved - Adam led the way into a small study, which was cluttered by a plethora of old tomes and scattered parchments. He caught a few glimpses of smartly scribed Latin and Greek, as well as pictograms of what he assumed was Egyptian… and was that Goblin tome? Looking around at the veritable shrine to erudition, he mused that if the man had skills commensurate to his possessions, then whatever Dumbledore needed to have translated must be in good hands.

"I haven't finished transcribing the entire book yet, of course, but here's what I have," Adam said abruptly, breaking the still silence that had reigned. One hand held a small pile of parchment, and the other fiddled nervously with a letter-opener. "Some very interesting spells in that one. Then again, the Egyptians did have a certain flair with hexes, and there's almost a Sumerian influence on the curses listed." His tone was distracted, giving an air of mere scholarly fascination into an obscure tablet of cultural dissection, instead of talking about borderline Dark Magic.

Remus stared at him warily, uncertain of the safety of such knowledge in the hands of a defenseless muggle scholar. "Have you… experience… with such things, then?" he broached cautiously. Perhaps Dumbledore meant to obliviate him after the translation was done.

"I'm not a muggle, if that's what you're asking," replied Adam with a wry grin. He looked younger now next to the light of the desk lamp, and much more approachable than under the darkness of the doorway. "Trust me, my eulogy isn't going to read 'died for helping out against a megalomaniac snake-speaker' by any stretch of the imagination."

Startled at having hearing the Dark Lord spoken of so casually, Remus did not try to gainsay the claims. He moved closer to Adam, and held a hand out for the papers. A sliver of unease shivered down his spine, though he couldn't place its source; Adam was such an unassuming young scholar.

"If you say so," he replied diplomatically as he collected the papers. "Thank you on behalf of Dumbledore."

Adam shrugged languidly. "Any chance to look at forgotten lore. I'll see you out."

It wasn't until after Remus had left the man's apartment and traveled a few streets down toward the secluded alley where he would apparate to the safe house that he felt himself relax. And it wasn't until he had thrown the floo powder into the fireplace to return to England that he realized that the cause of the discomfort had been - at least partially - from the letter opener that Adam had been holding. A silver letter opener.

***
Footnotes:
Teneo : (Latin) to grasp, know, understand
Lacuna : (Latin) missing letters, words, or phrases in a manuscript

Vocab Words:

malinger

eulogy

recondite

commensurate

connoisseur

desultory

obviate

laconic

opprobrium

gainsay

Title: Teneo Lacuna II
Rating: PG
Date: 8/14/03
Fandom: Harry Potter / Highlander Crossover
Spoilers: none
Stats: 368 words, 2215 characters
Summary: Methos thinks after his guest departs. This part won't make a lot of sense unless you read the previous fic first.

*****

Methos made sure that all the doors and windows to his apartment were securely occluded and locked, before letting slip the façade of 'Adam Pierson' that was his current identity. Returning to his cluttered study, he poured himself into his seat and glared at without seeing the tomes he had been intensely engrossed in before put into abeyance when his late night visitor interrupted.

Before he had to let a werewolf into his rooms.

Not that he had anything against werewolves, per se, certainly not out of ignorant bigotry like the majority of that wand-waving lot, who proscribed against almost everything non-human… non-wizard, even, considering their view of muggles. However, Methos knew from both studies and experience that werewolves tended to be damnably perceptive; their sense of smell could pick up undercurrents of emotion from humans much as a hound would. Now that was a threat to his carefully cultivated façade of diffidence that was 'Adam Pierson - mild mannered erudite'. As well, the presence of the Wolf also set his nerves tingling on alert, much the same as another Immortal buzz did, though lesser in intensity. In his surprise and unease, he feared that he had been less than cogent in his dissembling. Perhaps he should have been more garrulous

Methos sighed, and almost choked on the musty air of his study. He rubbed his temples and stared at his desk, consciously trying to pull his mind away from useless should-have's and might-have-been's. The several esoteric manuscripts and inchoate translations stared back at him through the dusty air. The room suddenly seemed to be closing in on him.

On a whim, Methos surged to his feet and swept toward the door, pausing only to retrieve his long trench coat and ensure that his sword (and other defenses) were in their customary places. Then, he opened the door and strode without looking back into the cool rarefied air. His instincts had told him that he needed to clear his head and think, and Methos had not survived all these millennia to ignore his intuition, no matter what specious rationalizations his intellect would protest with. Besides, a walk would probably help calm the lingering restlessness that the werewolf had stimulated.

Vocab Words:

rarefied

proscribe

specious

garrulous

diffidence

inchoate

esoteric

cogent

occlude

abeyance

Title: Opposites
Rating: PG
Date: 8/15/03
Fandom: Highlander
Spoilers: none
Stats: 50 words, 292 characters
Summary: Joe wonders about the friendship between Duncan and Methos.

*****

Joe Dawson stared through his binoculars and wondered. One, whose artless probity belied his truculence when defending his friends, incurred countless desultory exigencies. One, with a tongue both vituperative and mendacious at need, was a felicitous survivor. How they cohabited without one necessitating an elegy remained a mystery to him.

Vocab Words:

probity

vituperative

artless

truculence

belie

exigency

mendacious

felicitous

elegy

desultory