(1938-10-13) Love of Literature
Details for Love of Literature
Summary: Thomas and Phil share their mutual love of literature and dance around the realization that their feelings for one another are much deeper than expected.
Date: 13 October 1938
Location: Books Unbound, South Verdic Alley
Related: The day after: Change of Address and the evening after: Caught in the Act
Characters
PhilThomas

It has been a long but good day, Thomas is sitting inside his sitting in one of the armchairs, a few stacks of books floating around him in the air around him. His eyes are closed, as it has already started to get dark outside. The piles of boxes still sit on the bar, unopened and untouched since they were delivered. A large black coffee mug sits on his leg, as big as a bowl, being kept from toppling over by his fingers gripping the handle. Jean Valjean, is slinking across the bridge between lofts eyeing a few of the colorful songbirds who are fluting around the tree in song. While the door is shut to Book Unbound, it isn't locked and the lights inside have already been dimmed slightly.

Now that she knows where he lives Phil doesn't bother using anything so mundane as doors when apparition is far handier. She appears with a loud CRACK which undoubtedly, given his secret muggle lifestyle could well startle both the sleeping Thomas and the manx cat. Dressed in her favourite red velvet robes, the ones worn in the autumn, and a dress of soft black jersey she stands holding a basket in one hand.

Thomas is jerked awake, his coffee spilling onto his slacks as he jerks. Jean Valjean, hates that crack, causing him to scurry quickly and climb a bookshelf, peering over at Phil from the top of it up in the lofts. Thomas sits the coffee cup down on a coffee table, shaking his head slightly as he lets his eyes focus, "Good evening Phil," he says standing up, looking at his slacks, "Leave silently and appear in just the opposite manner," he says with a small smirk, "Cute." He chuckles..

She cannot help but laugh as Phil turns around and sees the damage her sudden arrival has caused. Crossing over to Thomas she sinks to her knees in front of him, the basket going to the floor. A clean handkerchief comes out and she uses it to daub at his trouser leg. "I'm sorry Thomas." It is an all around apology, she is sorry for sneaking out while he was sleeping and sorry for startling him and causing a mess. She tilts her head back and looks up at him from her position on the floor then looks back at what she is doing. "You sold all your clothes too, didn't you?"

Thomas just smiles at her, "It's okay, I am just happy to see you," he says softly, his hand moving and softly running through her hair. "Yes, there is a guy I know who pays well for second hand suits," he says softly with a nod. "Though I am not too concerned, I am pretty confident that this place is going to do great," he says softly with a small nod, his hands moving under Phil's arms to pull her back up, not worried about his slacks.

As he pulls her to her feet Phil drops the now dirty handkerchief into the basket. "I have heard a few people talking about it. We discussed it over drinks in the Cauldron earlier." Lifting a hand to rest lightly against the front of his chest she warns, "Be careful with the muggle books, Thomas. Not everyone will be happy you sell them." Her all too observant gaze looks him over. "You didn't walk into a door which Ismene Malfoy was coming out of too did you?"

Thomas smiles softly, "No I walked through a door into my Brother's fist. He is a little bit upset over me getting disowned." he says, looking around the store slowly, "Well then they can shop at Flourish and Botts." he says with a small shrug, "If they do not like what I sell, no one is forcing them to even come into my shop." he says with a small wave of his hand, "However…" he says slowly looking around the shop again, "I must admit you are the most beautiful thing in my shop right now." he says softly with a smile.

Phil frowns a little. "Why did Mikhale punch you?" She lets the compliments slide, not because she expects them but because she wants to focus more on the altercation between the two Carrow brothers. She leans down and picks up the basket, watching Thomas expectantly as she moves to the closest table and begins to take boxes of food out.

Thomas watches as Phil moves all the boxes of food out of the basket, "Mikhale has felt that he needs to protect me, so when I did all of this, got disowned from the Family, that I had slighted him." he says with a chuckle, "Also he likes being the center of attention with Father and being a troublemaker, so I upped the stakes on him, a little bit." he says with a chuckle, "Phil I have two older brothers, trust me, if I lost count of how many times one of them has hit me." he says taking a seat on the nearby sofa, "How was your day?" he asks curiously.

As Thomas explains why he was fighting with his older brother she pauses in the act of lifting a bottle of wine from the basket and looks over at him. "Disowned?" Phil sinks down onto the nearest chair, trying to imagine how bereft that would make her feel. The Rowles are a very close knit family, bound together with affection as well as history. "Oh Thomas, I am so sorry." She sets the bottle down a little heavily, hand still holding onto it. "Is there anything I can do to help convince them otherwise?"

Thomas runs his hand through his hair, "It's fine, Father wishes me gone he will have it." he says slowly, his voice a little sharp, irritation clearly in it, "As he put it, I have managed to bring more shame to the Carrow name, then even Mikhale's mistake." he says slowly with a wave of his hand, "One of the reasons I sold everything, they cut me off." he says looking around at the shop, "That's why I need this to work." he says slowly, "If this fails…" he shakes his head slightly, "Then I am going to be dead broke with a very massive book collection." he says with a chuckle.

Phil deflates into the chair, her hand falling away from the bottle of wine. "Rhyeline said she would invest, which will help you recoup some of your losses. I could come up with something I am certain, my brother is a successful businessman. I'll ask Vincent to come by and speak with you about the practicalities." Deciding she needs that wine now more than ever she withdraws her wand from her pocket and taps the bottle with it. Yay for magical corks. Not even bothering with a glass, he only has coffee and tea cups anyway, Phil drinks from the bottle then holds it out to Thomas.

Thomas takes the bottle and takes a quick swig, "Yeah I bumped into Rhyeline on my way back from Mikhale's today." he says slowly with a nod, "She looked rather surprised to find out this shop belonged to me." he says with a chuckle, "We spoke, I told her I need to see what I will appraise at before I can accept an investor. But would gladly allow her to invest, I can't give away too much too soon, otherwise my profit margin starts to drop." he says slowly with a small nod, "Also spoke with the Broommaker across the street, seems like a good Chap, we are going to advertise and refer customers to each other." he says slowly, "Also agreed on free woodworking repairs for free coffee." he says with a chuckle, handing the bottle back to Phil.

She nods, listening as Thomas recounts his discussion with Rhyeline in more detail than she had had from the witch. When he mentions Laurence her gaze flits to the large window front, then back again in time to take bottle of wine. Phil takes a much larger mouthful this time, a proper glug. "Laurence is very kind. Accommodating." More wine follows that as well as a calculating look which coincides with Phil wondering if there possibly is enough wine in the bottle to make her feel calm enough.

Thomas chuckles, "Well he does seem like a good Chap, lives above his shop. Told him if he ever wanted to stop to grab a book and a cup of coffee, he was more then welcome too, no matter the time." he says slowly with a small wave of his hand, moving to wrap his arms around Phil and pull her close to him, "I missed you today." he says slowly with a small nod, "So what were people saying about the store at the Cauldron?" he asks curiously.

"Flights of Fancy is a beautiful shop, like stepping into another world," Phil says, the words have a ring of familiarity as if she had said them before. She smiles faintly as Thomas pulls her up from the chair and into his embrace. "Rhyeline, Graham and I were discussing it." Phil quietly clears her throat. "Rhyeline saw me leaving here this morning, before she had spoken to you. She now thinks we are lovers."

Thomas listens softly, "Well I think I can count on, Rhyeline, Mr. Cohen and you to be patrons." he says softly with a chuckle, "Ah, perhaps that is why she was part of her surprise with me heading towards the shop." he continues softly, he looks at Phil before leaning in and kissing her softly, the taste of wine on him, while his hand softly moves up to stroke her cheek, his eyes closing. Once the kiss he broken he softly says in not much more than a whisper, "That's a silly thought, I don't even think we know what we are yet." he says slowly with a soft smile.

She leans into him, into his body and his kiss, her arms lifting, hands linking behind his head. "I was stupid and lied — or tried to lie about why I was coming out of the little alleyway near the back door. "I should have just told her the truth but I feel very protective of whatever this is." Phil drops her head forward, forehead coming to rest against Thomas' chin. "As you said, we don't know what we are yet."

Thomas smiles at Phil softly, "Silly." he says softly, leaning down and kissing her forehead, "No reason to lie." he says slowly, "Though I understand…" he says softly, "You feel protective, as do I. I don't know what we are yet, but I like it." he says softly, "I like that I can be me around you, I like how forward you are, I like the taste of cigarettes on your lips when I kiss you." he says softly, "Simply put I like you and I like this." he says softly with nod, reaching into vest removing a beat up pack of Chesterfields and a lighter, pulling one out and pinching it between his lips sighting it taking a long deep drag off of it, exhaling the smoke slowly, before offering a drag off the same cigarette to Phil.

Phil sinks back down onto the chair as she takes the cigarette, her other hand curls around his belt and tugs him towards her and the table. "I like it too. I like it very much," she says before taking a pull off the cigarette and holding it back up to Thomas. "I was going to go and get breakfast but after she saw me I panicked and went home, so I brought dinner instead. I have no idea what you like to eat apart for German pig's knuckles and sausage rolls neither of which appealed."

Thomas takes the cigarette taking a slow drag off of it, causing the cherry to glow slightly, "Well if we are going to have dinner…" he says slowly as he pulls out his wand, with slow movements, he adjust the lighting a little more, dimming the lights. "I will eat just about anything." he says with a chuckle, tucking his wand away again, offering the cigarette to Phil again, "I am glad you like it too." he says with a nod, closing his eyes for a moment, "Thank you Phil, for being here for me through this…" he says softly.

Shaking her head at the offer of the cigarette Phil busies herself with opening up the boxes of hot food. She brought meaty pies filled to the brim with chicken and mushrooms in a warm white gravy, most importantly they can be eaten without cutlery and just out of the boxes. There are also pieces of sharp cheddar and tangy stilton. She looks over at Thomas, "Whatever happens between us Thomas I will always be your friend. If you need me, just send word and I will be there," she grins, "— here — for you." Nudging one of the boxes towards him. "Go on and eat, I bet you've done nothing but eat cake all day."

Thomas picks up a pie with his free hand, "Nothing wrong with living off cake, coffee and cigarettes." he says with a smirk, before taking a bite of the pie, "The same goes for you, Phil. I will always be here for you." he says giving her a small nod, taking another drag off his cigarette, "Though to be honest, I am rather happy, I mean really truly happy around you." he says looking over at her with his blue eyes, his mouth opens as if he is going to say something, but it closes, before he takes another bite of the pie.

Pulling the other box closer, Phil lifts the pie from it. The pies are rather large — easily twice the size of Thomas' palm - and topped with a puff pastry crust. Phil leans over the table as she takes a bite, watching him. "Let's be sure, Thomas. This moment in your life is one of great change and upheaval. I don't want you to come out the other side of it feeling you have made some commitment to me out because you were clinging to me like a life buoy."

Thomas doesn't respond right away, he gets up slowly and puts out his cigarette in a nearby ashtray on a coffee table, to sit with the few discarded butts from previous cigarettes. Sitting the pie on top of the box and moving in an unhurried pace as he climbs the stairs, looking at Jean Valjean, who is still hiding on top of the bookshelf, his face is straight as if he is thinking about something seriously, his finger moves across some of the books in the bookcase before he slowly pulls out a soft paperback book, walking over to the rails of the loft he looks down at Phil, as he flips through the pages for a second, looking for something, then finally he speaks.
"Have you ever happened, reader, to feel that subtle sorrow of parting with an unloved abode? The heart does not break, as it does in parting with dear objects. The humid gaze does not wander around holding back a tear, as if it wished to carry away in it a trembling reflection of the abandoned spot…"

She watches him as she eats, slowly chewing each mouthful. Her brows draw together, confusion clear but then when Thomas begins to read understanding dawns. Phil licks her lips as she sets the pie down on the box. "Thomas." Her eyes close and the words come to her, flow from her as she finishes the sentence, "…but in the best corner of our hearts we feel pity for the things which we did not bring to life with our breath, which we hardly noticed and are now leaving forever." Opening her eyes again she looks up at him.

Thomas turns around and slips the book back into the bookcase, taking a few steps to another bookshelf, his fingers move slowly selecting another book, opening it, flipping pages for only second as if he knew almost exactly were the words he was looking for were, "He always ran away from the battle with himself. Even in his own heart's privacy…" he reads out loud, looking down at Phil again.

She laughs softly as he begins to quote Lawrence. Unknowingly choosing a book she loves and a name which pokes at her guilt. Propping her chin on her upturned hand Phil replies in turn, "He excused himself, saying, If she hadn't said so-and so, it would have never - no - never have happened." She smiles softly, "Sons and Lovers."

Thomas walks back over and slips the book back in it's place, looking over the bookcase for a moment, he walks back towards the rails staring down at Phil he says, "Actually thats my secret - I can’t even talk about you to anybody because I don’t want any more people to know how wonderful you are," he says. "And of course you know that is Scott Fitzgerald." He runs his hand through his hair, "You realize we could do this for hours?" He continues to look down at her from the loft, "How many people could you do that with?" he asks. "How many people, as you showed me, are so similar to you, that they could do that with you for hours?" Thomas asks. "How many people could tie three different quotes, from three very different authors, to create a symbolic gesture to tell you… You are not just something he is clinging to… who could use that symbolism to explain to you… are beautiful and amazing?"

Phil plucks the bottle of wine from the table and drinks from it, watching him from under her lashes. "None," she admits but her voice is so soft, so quiet that from the distance separating them Thomas cannot hear it so she raises her voice and repeats herself, "None." Her eyes close and she opens them a moment later. "I am sorry that I doubted you Thomas. I…I just do not want to hurt you. I," she takes courage from another mouthful of the potent white wine, "just…it is like opening up your wardrobe in winter to find you left a handful of galleons in your pocket. Or," her head lightly shakes as she struggles to find the words, "like finding a bright and vibrant rainbow - no that is not right either. You are not some fleeting flash of colour."

Thomas looks down at her for a moment letting out a soft sigh, his feet move silently, he makes it about halfway across the bridge, as he listens to her before he stops, leaning against the bridge, looking up at the tree and it's leaves only inches away, "It's like reading a book for the first time, then finding that one quote, that one small tid bit, that sticks in your mind, those words…that linger in your mind, that bring about emotion, remind you that you are human," says Thomas. "That when you find them, you are excited, because you know…" he speaks slowly, moving to look down at Phil, "These words… this woman… has changed your life forever, in just a matter of seconds."

She doesn't look at him, just stares unseeingly at the bottle of wine held in her hand, it rests on the table. Maybe it is the wine making her maudlin or maybe it is Thomas pulling at her emotions by sharing his own, whatever the reasoning she has started to cry. Not big weeping tears, just silent ones that she brushes away with the back of her other hand. Hefting the bottle up again she brings it to her mouth and drinks.

Thomas starts to walk towards the stairs, closing his eyes for a moment before he moves down them slowly, "Might be different for you…" he says slowly as he makes his way down the stairs, his hand moving and getting his pack of Chesterfields, flicking his wrist and popping the butt of a cigarette out of the soft pack and pulling it out with his lips before flicking his small silver lighter, the flame bursting to life as he lights his cigarette, the cherry glowing brightly. Arriving at the bottom of the stairs he leans against the spiral stairwell for a moment, taking a long hard drag off his cigarette, his gaze moves across Phil slowly for a moment, before taking a hard long drag, the cherry glowing brightly. He closes his eyes for a moment, "When you came to get me drunk with gin…" he says, "I was jealous of how free you were. How every movement, every choice I made, wasn't for me, but for what was expected of me.".

"You should be a writer Thomas," she says a bit thickly. Shaking her head lightly even as she tilts it a little, Phil regards him with obvious fondness, "No one has ever said anything so beautiful to me in all my life." She holds the bottle out to him. "I am luckier than most, my family has expectations but they are not so pressing as to prevent me from being who I am. That does not mean I do not want some of the things they want for me." She smiles sadly, more of a frown than a smile really. "Thomas, I am so sorry that you lost everything. I wish I could help you get it back. I can try if you want to."

Thomas walks towards her slowly, taking a long hard drag off his cigarette, tapping the butt above the ashtray causing the ash to float down slowly, before he continues, once there, he leans down and kisses the top of her head, "If I ever become I writer, you would be my muse." he says slowly, "Don't be sorry…" he says slowly, crouching down and taking a quick drag off his cigarette before offering to trade it for the wine, looking Phil in the eyes, "Don't you see?" he says softly, "I haven't lost a thing?" he says, "I have gained everything." he says with a small smile, "Like you said, I am mad, but adorably so."

Taking the offered cigarette with a trembling hand Phil brings it to her lips and draws a breath through it, watching him as she does. "You are mad," she agrees with a laugh as she breathes out the smoke. "And dangerous, so very dangerous." Another drag taken and she holds the cigarette back out to Thomas. Shaking her head lightly she asks, "How am I meant to be able to take things slowly with you when every word out of your mouth makes me want to drag you off to that bed of your's and show you how much I want you?" Rising to her feet she says, “Come on, I've brought Sartre with me and I made a promise.”

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