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Vasilisa Silvershore

[1836/1837][EN] Hear the wind calling me to leave this place

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New Years Eve 1836 - not midnight yet - Lissa and Eric's house

 

"I hate you," she hissed at him, as she stormed into the living room and threw off her scarf. It fluttered uselessly to the ground, not a good sign of her temper, but at least indestructible and that was... something. She could throw something, felt like throwing something, but she had designed this house to perfection, had picked out everything herself that would have made a lovely sound if she threw it on the ground, but these were her stuff, her salon, and she wasn't going to sacrifice a single of these lovely items for him.

 

"мудак," she whispered to herself as she threw herself down on the sofa, not loud enough for him to hear, just in case he had picked up some Russian swear words, but she hated, hated, hated him. 

 

Eric had been... distracted lately. That had been fine, at first, she liked her husband distracted because that meant he left her alone most of the time, but sometimes they had to be social together, one of those pesky things that came with the wedding ring on her left hand, and there he had been utterly frustrating. Okay, fine, she also didn't really like the fact that he was even sharper with her than usual, but leaving the best party of the year with her best friends early, when it wasn't even midnight yet, so he could lock himself up in his office and spend the entire night doing god knows what? No, that crossed the line. 

 

And she was so tired of it. She was tired of him in general, but she was tired of his sour mood. He wouldn't even explain it when she asked, as if he could read her mind that she wasn't asking him because she was his wife and wanted him to share his burden, but just wanted some gossip instead. Why did he never take her serious? He truly was the worst husband, even all her friends thought so. 

 

And now she sat on the sofa, alone, watching the clock tick away minutes she could have enjoyed at a party instead. Ugh! This had to stop. 

 

For once surprisingly effective, she took off her shoes and moved, silently, through the halls of their house, until she could prowl in front of the door to his office. The door was always locked, believe me, she had tried getting in, but he had to come out at some point, wouldn't he?

 

And then she would strike. 

 


 

Private <3 

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Eric was not preternaturally fond of people lurking outside his door in the dark. Call it old-fashioned. And yes, he was distracted; which was why, when he opened the door to get a book he’d left downstairs (Summoning did not work very well in his office, because there were lots of things he did not want other people to Summon in his office, and he preferred that to seem like a quirk of the old magical city home in which they lived, which unfortunately meant it had a tendency to affect him also) he suffered that familiar sense of his stomach plummeting that for most people would indicate having missed a step on the stairs and for him was more associated with having come within an inch of having accidentally killed an innocent bystander. In this case, his wife.

 

This was unlikely to improve his mood.

 

“Vasilisa! You startled me,” he said, blinking, forcing himself to focus but already growing annoyed with the fact that this looked to be a Discussion, a Discussion he had neither time nor energy for, but he knew that expression with the weary familiarity of their years of marriage and Discussion was inbound. Possibly cursing in Russian – which he kind of approved of. It was virtually the only thing about her he didn’t mind all that much. Well, right now, he minded everything. He’d always tried to be too busy for Vasilisa but he’d also always tried not to be worse than he had to be. But he was tired, he was stressed, and his mind was with another girl in an actual prison and Vasilisa’s long-suffering expression was not gaining his sympathy – not that he had much of that to distribute. Right now, he had none for her and most prominently he had no time, which was why he’d been stuck in his study and why they’d left the party early.

 

Ah yes, the party. Hence, Discussion. “Look, I don’t have time to hold your hand right now,” he snapped, stepping out to Summon his book in annoyance. “Or pick out your dress for tomorrow. Or comment on your friends’ new hairstyles. So for once in your life, can you just stay out of mine?”

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Good that she startled him. She was angry enough that she enjoyed that, but to be fair, she was petty enough to enjoy it at any given moment. Sometimes, when she was particularly petty, she would go out in the middle of the night when she knew he was still up and try to startle him as he got something to drink or eat. Didn't often work, but it worked today and she smiled, satisfied with her tiny victory.

 

Well... satisfied... Not really. She wanted more.

 

Especially when he started snapping at her. "It's both our lives," she hissed at him, eyeing the door. Could she... would she? Of course she would.

 

And so, before he would retreat back into his office, Lissa slipped between him and the door. She hadn't been here in a while, but she didn't take her time looking around. Instead, she quickly glanced around, trying to find what he had been working on.

 

There, a bottle on his desk. It was clear, but the liquid in it was surprisingly shiny. She grabbed for it before Eric could tear her from the room. "And what's this?" she asked, eyeing him, ready to make a move if he did. "Is this what I'm missing a delightful party for?" A stupid bottle with stupid liquid. 

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Eric was not a violent man. Okay, haha. Sure he was. But he was not typically violent towards his wife, and only he was in a position to appreciate how ironic that was: that he, who would solve his every professional problem swiftly and irrevocably, would continue to let her stand so much in his way. But it was exactly because of his professional attitude that he would not, could not, resort to those same measures in his personal life. Then, where did it end? Who would he become? He’d always seen what he did somewhat separate from who he was. It was the only way to stay sane, at least for someone like him, someone who was not yet so far gone that he didn’t mind doing what he did. It wasn’t a perfect division. What he did affected who he was and who he was was someone who liked, by and large, what he did. But it was a division, a compartmentalisation, and as such it was helpful. Husband to Lissa Eric was put upon, annoyed, courteous and occasionally viciously sarcastic. Eric at work… Was generally courteous, actually. Businesslike. With Lissa he was that only because he knew it drove her mental. 

 

Anyway… that division was there, he maintained it rigourously, but the moment she snuck into his office she was treading in dangerous waters. Because she was crossing it. His work, his office, his professional life, started where the door separated his stuff from hers, her carefully measured out home, and there was nothing she could find here, nothing she could do, but he did not want her here.

 

Oh, and perhaps there was something she could do here. “Vasilisa. Put the bottle down,” he said, acerbically, having followed her in, holding open the door. It was all right, he told himself. He had samples, this was just one. She could break it in a fury and he might need to refurbish, but he wouldn’t lose much else. That was good, he supposed. It was the only reason he continued to talk, rather than force her away with an Imperius Curse; he didn’t want to, but she had crossed the line. They were not playing, here. “You indefatigably stupid woman. I could tell you what it was, but your little blond existence could never comprehend it." A little mean? Why, yes he was. But she was driving him crazy. And she considered him too forgiving. She thought that he would leave her alone because he didn't want a big fight: in fact he'd just left her alone because he didn't care what she did, one way or another, but if she wanted a fight she could certainly have one. Tomorrow. "Get out of my office, and maybe the New Year will see you back in Russia again.”
 

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He told her to put the bottle down, so Lissa held it closer to her. Her fingers around the glass, so close that if he cursed it from her hands, the glass would break and he would have to explain how exactly his wife had ended up with cuts in her hand. It was petty, it was stupid, and she didn't care. Because she hated him and every word out of his mouth, every word he snarled at her, just made her hate him more.

 

This marriage had been doomed from the start. Lissa had never been fair in it, had always played to win. The only victory she would take was Eric defeated, destroyed, but he was too strong for her and she didn't see.

 

"Such big words," she snarled back at him. For a moment, even the idea of going back to Russia didn't satisfy her. She had to do something to punish him, anything to hurt him. The bottle, of course. Could she throw it at him or smash it on the floor? Perhaps, but he might rescue it with a spell. 

 

So instead, Lissa put the bottle to her lips and quickly drank it before he could take it away.

 

And then she smashed it on the floor anyway, just for the aesthetic of it. 

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That moment, when putting your wife in a mental headlock through an Unforgivable Curse would actually have been the humane option: yeah, that was probably the moment to know beyond a doubt that indeed your marriage had been doomed from the start and this whole thing had just made it, well, pretty much official. He was too slow to react to her actions in time, could never have foreseen this, something so stupid, so reckless, so incredibly brainless not even from her, he knew her to be scheming, what ends could this achieve? He’d thought she’d break it if he showed that it was important and he’d calculated that in, he wouldn’t have minded so much. He’d never thought she would drink it. It wasn’t that he thought she didn’t hate him that much… it was more that he thought she would not risk herself over it.

 

The thought was wrong. And he was wrong. And now this was wrong.

 

He was with her in an instant, but an instant too late, restraining her arms as the bottle smashed to the floor. “Lissa!” There was real pain in the syllable, real pain in his features, for the briefest of timespans, as he processed the events without wanting to, as the knowledge of what had occurred, of what it meant, seeped in; but the next moment, he was calm again or calmer. “Well.” He sighed, cleaned up the shards of glass with a wave of his wand. “I hope you’re happy.” Was he?

 

Strangely, no.


“I believe the standard New Year’s drink is somewhat more conventional, but, ah, I suppose this was a good starter. Why don’t you… go to the room, I’ll get us some champagne to chase it down with.” He held on to her wrist for a second more. “You are the stupidest person I know. Never – never – do something like that again, Lissa, or we are going to have a less than fortuitous marriage.”

Edited by Nicholas Eversly

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She ignored the shocked look on his face, the moment of pain, the way he, for once, seemed to care about what she had done, because if she allowed it to have any presence on her mind, it would tell her she had done something wrong. Something hurtful to herself, a mistake, something she wished she could have taken back, and Lissa never, ever wanted to believe that. She instead, she pulled against his grip. "Yes, I am happy," she snarled at him, because as always, she wanted to hurt him, she wanted to fight, but she did not want to be the victim. Lissa was very bad at being a victim.

 

"Oh please," she sighed, "Don't be so dramatic. It was just..." She didn't know what it was, really, and there was some panic bubbling up in her throat. It had tasted... not entirely like water, but then again, she hadn't kept it long enough in her mouth to try to figure out what it had tasted like. She just wanted to get it down, away from him. "I feel fine." If she said it out loud, it must be true, right? "Don't bother with the champagne," she told him, "I'll leave you to your work." 

 

She couldn't help but smile at him, brightly. "Oh wait..." 

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His pain and bewilderment didn’t last. They were gone from his face in a fleeting moment of humanity, and they left his mind not much later. Or, well, no, they didn’t leave. They moved: were compartmentalised with every other feeling he had wished never to have, to come to him, indubitably, in the early mornings when she was asleep, in that instant where the day went to night and the world was excruciatingly pretty no matter where you were, or during some random act, reading the paper, living a life. Eric did not mind those feelings – no, he minded, but he did not hate them. They were the price. The price of the lives he had taken, the price of the horrors he had seen fit to impose, was that the memory would stay with him, and that occasionally it’d remind him to feel. It kept him sane: and if the price had been too high, he would have stopped long ago. Right?

 

Not that this he could have avoided. This he had actually tried. And that made it harder: but the fact was, that for the first time in her life Lissa had made his easier. If he was careful. If he was clever. If he thought it through. Her contribution to his life would be the perfectly planned ending of hers.

 

But for now… For now, it helped that she still was snarling. To remind him of who he had to be. “Suit yourself,” he said, coolly. “But you will go to your room. I am so done with you.” The words were more apt than he’d wanted them to be, and he cut the knowledge of that by taking her, with little force but unrelenting, to her bedroom and shutting the door on her.

Then he went out, to watch the stars head into the new year and wonder how many more people were now starting it but would thanks to him never ride it out.

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Eric had done things to her. He had taken away her pets, had banned her from going to Russia and had made her behave to him in public, but all of those things had been somehow... circumstantial. Yes, they had bothered her and meant as a punishment, but it had always been third party involved, in a sense. But now it was just him and her. And there was nothing she could do. 

 

He didn't seem to be bothered by her at all. She tried to pull away, to hook herself behind furniture, to swear and scream and shout, and he kept on moving on, just holding her arm, not even looking at her. 

 

She felt like a petulant child having a temper tantrum. 

 

And then he pushed her inside her room, locked the door and she was left there, pounding on the door, calling him all the horrible names she could think of. 

 

If she had known, she would not have started the last year of her life like this.

 


 

 

Finished <3 

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