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message 1: by E L L E, Queen Mab (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 112 comments Mod

New Haven Green: Part of the town but frequented by students, New Haven Green is a 16-acre park with Yale in one corner and the bus drop off in the other. Students come here to hang out, play sports or sometimes host barbecues much to the annoyance of the local police force.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Summer break was such a blast for Ronan. The campus was quiet because practically everybody went home for the holiday, the WiFi was so much faster because nobody was using it, and he got to nap whenever he wanted. Like the Green for example, had Ronan come here few months ago, he would've gotten hit by a ball that flew onto his face if he came here to lay down and sleep under the tree.

Unlike the rest of homesick cowards who probably forcibly ordered to go home so their parents could boast about them during yard sale and neighbour's gender reveal party, Ronan stayed in New Haven for the entirety of summer break. It was cheaper and less troublesome if he didn't constantly flying back home every time he got a break. He'd see his family later when he got his diploma, there was no need for him to come home and waste their money on plane tickets just because Ronan wanted to raid their fully stocked pantry and have his mother take care of his laundry again.

However, of course every great story had to have its end. Freshmen had started to come with mini fridge and eight members of their family that contributed nothing to them moving into the dormitories. Other students too, although they looked less alive and hyped about it. The campus was about to get really busy again, but for now, Ronan would enjoy the last remaining days of his own version of perfect holiday: laying on the grass, face hidden under a Francesco Marciuliano's book, I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats. Yes. Truly a renaissance painting personified Ronan was. Not.

message 3: by E L L E, Queen Mab (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 112 comments Mod

Garvey closed the door to Dean Faust's office and released a sigh. He'd only ascended to the position of Virgil a week ago, but already the workload was piling up. Two prognostications requiring his attendance, a malevolent Gray in the library and yet another complaint from St. Elmo's about the sorry state of their tomb. He blew out a breath as he clambered down the steps trying to quell his rising frustration. The prognostications he could manage, especially once their new recruits and the rest of last years delegates made their way back to campus. He was less confident about the Gray, and he wasn't even going to waste his energy thinking about St. Elmo's.

The sun was blindingly bright as he left the administration block and headed in the direction of town. He could use a coffee, or a beer, or even just a moment to himself where he could pretend he was a normal student and magic wasn't his problem to deal with. The thought almost made him laugh, he'd worked so hard to get to this position, even going as far as to neglect his studies in favour of appeasing Lethe. And yet here he was reminding himself that this was his choosing, he'd wanted this, hadn't he? Garvey just had to believe that things would get better when he wasn't trying to juggle everything on his own. There was still his pre-reading to get through, the paperwork from last week and his lacrosse practice.

So distracted was Garvey by his own thoughts, that he didn't see Ronan Villeneuve until it was too late. "Shit," Garvey muttered beneath his breath as he made eye-contact with the third year Manuscript student lounging on the grass. It wasn't that he disliked Ronan, there were very few people that Garvey truly disliked, but there was something about Ronan that irritated him no end. He was harmless (mostly) like a golden retriever that didn't realise its attention was unwanted. But his allegiance to Manuscript made his somewhat untrustworthy. Garvey had endured a few bad experiences with the tomb of mirrors and glamours, more than he cared to repeat. "Ronan," he said, finally. "What the hell are you reading?"

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

"Elias!" Ronan exclaimed, he could already hear: no, it's Garvey or nothing we're not on first name basis! but Ronan didn't care. Not because he was desperately want to be Garvey's friend, more like he didn't have any reason to not call him Elias. What made them not on first name basis already anyway, Ronan thought the super secret society was an instant bonding between all of them involved in it.

Well, to be honest, practicing magic wasn't part of Ronan's plan for college activities. He wasn't even aware of it until his sophomore year, and Ronan seemed like he was in no hurry to lobby himself as Manuscript president or something equally ambitious. Ronan liked being a member of something and nothing more, a spectator had simpler job and less stressful responsibilities.

"Why are you here already? Miss the campus that much?" Getting up from the ground, Ronan patted the grass and soil from his jeans with his book. He blinked once at Garvey's question, then he raised the book as if that gesture answered anything. "Oh, this? Poetry book. Supposedly written from cat' perspective." Ronan explained, showing Garvey the cover of the poetry book so he could read its hysterical title. And then he opened random page and started reading a poem, which was very unnecessary and Garvey definitely did not ask for that but Ronan did it anyway because he felt like he wanted to. "I knead on your chest with my sharp claws to show you my affection. I bite your arm and don't let go to show you adoration--you know what, this is actually slightly kinky and erotic without context." Halfway through the poem, Ronan decided that the book was weird and he closed it and then unceremoniously threw it to the ground.

The book wasn't important anyway, Ronan was more curious on why Garvey would cut his summer break earlier. Garvey looked visibly irritated, but then again when was he ever not look pissed off, either because of Ronan or because of something that happened before he found Ronan here. "But seriously, why are you already back? Are you in trouble or something? Oh!" Ronan snapped his finger by a sudden realisation. Sometimes he forgot that there was more to it in this establishment than people were willing to share. He leaned forward and spoke in quieter voice. Ronan knew they weren't supposed to talk about the societies stuff in public but there was practically nobody around yet. "Is it about those Grays at the library? Because there are lots of them. I think one of them followed me back to my dorm."

message 5: by E L L E, Queen Mab (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 112 comments Mod

"Garvey," he said, almost as soon as his first name had left Ronan's lips. He knew it was futile to try and correct him, the Manuscript delegate had become all too comfortable in calling him Elias instead of his preferred name. Not that it mattered in the grand scheme of things, but Garvey had built up something of a legend these past few years and he didn't need someone like Ronan diminishing that. He shoved his hands in his pockets, realising that he was destined to be stuck here making small talk for at least a few minutes. Ronan stood, bringing his book with him. It was actually the first time Garvey had seen him reading, but the moment Ronan started reeling off the contents he rather wished he hadn't asked.

"Yeah don't ever read that to me again," Garvey said, watching as the book landed someway off on the grass. God help whoever decided to pick it up next. His brows nudged together as Ronan again asked what he was doing back on campus. Living in New Haven, Garvey never really felt like he got the chance to leave. Even over the summer months he'd find himself drifting away from Blackthorn Hall and back to the familiar gothic arches of Yale. "I've got some things to sort out before the semester starts," he said vaguely, not enjoying Ronan's constant probing. Any hopes of concealing the true reasons behind his return were quickly forgotten as Ronan drew closer.

"Gray singular," Garvey corrected, "whoever your source is, they're wrong. But seeing as you already know so much about it, perhaps you can do me a favour?" He leaned in closer still, his voice lowered to whisper. "I need a mirror, one that will let me see Grays. We're running low on elixir over at Lethe, and frankly I'd rather not contend with the headache this year. Is that something you can get from your Manuscript buddies?" Garvey pulled back as two students in running gear went flying past. It was bad enough the two of them being seen together, let along being caught discussing society business.

Garvey didn't even know if this was something he could trust Ronan with. Hell, he didn't trust Ronan at all, but if he had to keep using Orozcerio to see Grays, Garvey was certain either his liver or his heart would give out. "You can't tell anyone though, not anyone at Manuscript and certainly not anyone at Lethe."

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Ronan shrugged it off when Garvey showed contempt about the content of the book - or maybe Ronan wasn't selling enough with his reading? Who knows, he wasn't exactly an actor - and honestly, after reading it out loud, Ronan realised that he didn't want to read it again himself. Shame, though, because the cat pictures in the book were actually delightful. Oh, well, it wasn't like he bought it himself.

When Garvey corrected him but also confirmed Ronan's suspicion, he actually looked slightly disturbed. "Really?" Well, it wasn't exactly because there was really Gray sighting around Ronan's favourite napping place and wasn't just his tired, lazy eyes messing with him, but because it meant something else: "Am I really starting to see doubles now? Man, I'm only 21." He sighed, contemplating about where did he go wrong with his health that he already had double visions. Maybe because he was tired. Or blunt force trauma. Oh my God, did he got knocked out on the street and forgot about it?

Garvey went on again asking for a favour, which was unheard of in their dynamic, but the way Garvey was phrasing it made it sound like he was about to commit something that even the society, with all its sizzling fiasco and otherworldly freakshow, would find scandalous. And that asking a Manuscript peers, especially Ronan, was even worse than any other desperate measures that Garvey could think of.

But before Ronan could say anything in response, Garvey pulled aside as two student ran passed them. But from a distance, they turned around when their brains finally caught up and recognising Ronan. It was a boy and a girl, looked very young and haven't been traumatised by college life. Matching sport attires. Definitely hooking up.

'Oi, Rome! Last night you were amazing!'
'It was truly the best use of fake IDs'
"Oh, you know, that's what we do with freshmen around here."

Ronan gave those two thumbs up and they waved at him before they returned to their romantic running session. These two had been here since Monday, and last night they were just so happen to... Do something together in town.

Watching those students getting further and further away, Ronan commented on what he predicted about them. Again, Garvey definitely did not ask for it. "She's definitely going to get knocked up by the other one before sophomore year. Anyway, Elias," His attention shifted back to what Garvey said earlier. "You're saying that like they're not your buddies too." Sure there were many groups to keep track on and Ronan wasn't exactly remembering each one of them, and if you put everybody in a room together, that would've been big circle of buddies still, but Ronan noticed that Garvey acted slightly different when it comes to Manuscript. Not obvious enough to imply that Garvey had personal vendetta with them, but he definitely preferred them the least. "They're not back yet, though so it's not like I'm gonna have to do any kind of explaining to anyone."

message 7: by E L L E, Queen Mab (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 112 comments Mod

Garvey bit his tongue as the two joggers finally excused themselves and raced off in the direction of town. He turned back to Ronan, his dark brows nudging together. "Manuscript are selling fake IDs now?" he said. It shouldn't have come as a surprise, what with everything else they got up too, forgery was the least of his worries. "You get me my mirror, and I won't report that particular omission." He doubted Manuscript needed the small profits they received for such work, but Garvey wasn't exactly looking to get on the wrong side of them. Their access to Merity made them a major concern on campus, he wasn't about to put a target on his back for them to shoot for.

"Manuscript are not my friends," he reminded Ronan, as he dug into his pockets for his phone. "I very much doubt they're yours either." Garvey stared at the screen of his phone, nothing from Aisling yet. She'd been setting up Il Bastone in preparation for the arrival of the new Dante's. He'd been expecting at least half a dozen tasks from her that day, but she hadn't got in contact with him. He shoved it back in his pocket and folded his arms across his chest. "Well then, I'm sure you'll have no trouble getting that done for me." He smiled then, short, thinly veiled with disdain.

He knew the Manuscript leadership had changed this semester, what he didn't know was who they'd be announcing as president. The name of the vice president had slipped out some weeks ago, a sophomore, very bright, a natural fit even if she was a little on the young side. "You didn't try for the VP position?" he asked Ronan, part of him curious, the other part trying to get a rise out of him. Ronan's lack of interest in society politics hadn't gone unnoticed, especially not to Garvey who prided himself on knowing everything about everyone. He found it a little unnerving how laid back Ronan was about things that could potentially have a huge impact on him.

"Think you can have that mirror done for the Manuscript alumni week party?" he asked, tugging at the cuffs of his shirt. The back to school party the society threw was one of the highlights of the social calendar and one that Garvey would be expected to attend. It would be something of an induction for the new Lethe delegates, a chance to see how the societies interacted and some of the magics that took place beneath the facade of a celebration.

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Garvey's immediate accusation that Ronan had anything to do with those freshmen' fake IDs was surprisingly such a... Garvey thing. And also, in Garvey's defense, wouldn't be the craziest thing Manuscript had done. Ronan could list at least six other things that were worse than fake IDs on the top of his head.

But instead of showing a sign that he was offended by a somewhat baseless-but expected accusation, Ronan kept his cool. It was almost like he was incapable of being mad. "No, they already had ones when we met." Ronan explained, short and clear, it didn't near extra sizzle to make his claim to defend himself more believable. Which was probably way people found it impossible to tell his lies and truths apart, Ronan had such a way of saying the most mundane thing that would've stressed people out for days without much effort put into it. "Kids nowadays, very prepared, you know." Ronan also apparently had a thing of addressing himself like he was an old person, when in reality, he looked like he was no older than seventeen. Then again, Ronan's extensive knowledge of La Nouvelle Vague made him sound like an immortal who was really there on the front row, pioneering the New Wave cinema in 1950s. He was both 21 and 90.

Ronan had heard many versions of Garvey's statement that Manuscript wasn't part of his inner circle, or any circle to be honest. Elias Garvey and Manuscript were two circles that met on a same Venn diagram and nothing more. "They're not very bad." Ronan said. Sure, Ronan didn't know much about them, or all the teas about why Manuscript had slightly unique and naughty narrative about them. When Ronan joined, he just thought: they'll do. He wasn't picky. "They just thought Orozcerio could've been used as an alternative on pot brownies." Ronan waited until Garvey put back his phone before he continued talking, eyes were scanning his surrounding: Garvey's expression, his phone, their surrounding, a weird looking tree. Garvey's unwelcoming smile didn't go unnoticed, but that never stop Ronan from talking to him. Besides, what would oh-Elias-Garvey-Second-to-His-Name would do? Punch Ronan in public? Nah. "Horrible idea, I would've preferred they put it in a glass with coke and dry ice and force me to chug it after I removed my tonsil with a cardboard cutter." Ronan also had very specific dark sense of humour where he often used vividly gruesome scenario and made it comic.

"No, not really." Ronan shook his head when Garvey asked about the VP position. He was aware that he was nominated by some people, but he simply ignored them and never pursued it further. He understood the sentiment, but Ronan had no interest on becoming an actual part of the organisational body. That wasn't exactly his plan when he joined the society. "I thought it's like Hogwarts? You get the letter send to you from a raven that said: congratulation, now you're the VP! Enjoy riding President's hard work for the next two semester by doing absolutely nothing but still get the praise anyway because you have a legitimate position!" Ronan attempted to do a voice for her impression of the letter, complete with the dramatic jazz hands. It was unsure whether he did that because he took everything as a joke, or was it a way to maneuvered the serious conversation further away from Ronan like he wanted Garvey to think: yeah, nevermind, you're definitely an idiot who will never be considered as a VP.

"Sure, that wouldn't be a problem." How hard could it be to do it by himself? Well, Ronan have tried before, succeeded, and the details on why and how he did it wasn't important. That was a story for another conversation and, God forbid, confrontation. "Anything to make sure that they stop following me to my room." He shuddered, remembering Gray that practically became his roommate for half of summer break. Ronan was sure it was woman, if Grays even had gender. "We aren't actually cursed enough to make them actively follow us, right? Because I've never had dead people following me to my bed and sat on me to do whatever supernatural kinky shit they're into."

message 9: by E L L E, Queen Mab (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 112 comments Mod

"I'm just going to pretend I didn't hear you say that," Garvey muttered, growing ever more frustrated as the minutes ticked by. He couldn't pinpoint what it was about Ronan that made him so infuriating, if it was his careless attitude or the way he treated everything as if it were a joke. Part of Garvey wondered if he was simply envious of the fact that Ronan could do as he pleased with seemingly little consequence. Garvey couldn't recall a single moment after joining Lethe where he'd actually felt relaxed or carefree. It always seemed to be one mess after an other and if he failed to clean it up, then the onus was on him.

Garvey dragged a hand through his dark hair, trying to look anywhere but Ronan's face. He'd have to be especially careful at the next Manuscript party, lest he consume one of their elixirs and start throwing punches. There would certainly be worse outcomes, he thought. Not long after starting at Lethe he'd had to attend a Manuscript function with the other new delegates. He'd ended up drinking something laced with Merity and the rest of the night was a blur. The next morning he'd woken up in the grounds of Blackthorn Hall without his shirt and with no recollection of what had taken place. To this day, he still had no idea what had happened.

"I'm pretty sure Harry Potter was owls not ravens," Garvey replied drily, glancing back at Ronan. "Do Manuscript know that's what you think?" He was mildly bemused now. It was easy to forget just how different Ronan was from the other members of Manuscript. They were a society that prided themselves on manipulation and illusion. Almost all of their members had a vindictive streak, but Ronan wasn't one of them. Half the time it seemed as though he was just along for the ride, Garvey had to wonder why he'd even joined up in the first place.

"Thanks," Garvey said, not entirely convinced that Ronan would be capable of doing what he'd asked, but pleased he was willing to try. He didn't know much about the inner workings of Manuscript but he anticipated their illusions and glamours weren't the easiest things to create. "Grays like things that remind them of life," Garvey shrugged, "Perhaps you're simply living too well." He shoved his hands into his pockets and stared out across the green. "There are ways to get rid of them though, death words, graveyard dirt. I think we've got some bone dust back at Lethe." He scratched his head. "I'll see what I can find. You won't be much use to anyone if you get possessed."

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

"That I don't know my Harry Potter facts? Yeah." Ronan replied, but of course Garvey wasn't concerned about Ronan's lack of pop culture knowledge, the both know it wasn't what Garvey was asking about. He meant the VP business still, but Ronan wasn't interested in pursuing that topic, as implied by his previous joke about what that position truly meant for him. It wasn't just in the society per se, or Manuscript, but VP in generals were pretty fucking useless. They knew how to throw great parties, though, which, ironically meant that VP would've been the most significant role in the foundation of Manuscript specifically.

To Garvey's assumption about why Ronan was haunted by Grays, Ronan couldn't help but laugh at it. "We cannot possibly live too well, we're in college." The mockery was laced in self-deprecation and backed with a quite solid overused trope that college students were not too well, in some senses. The assignments were beasts, the roommates were stinking horny, and just how long did they expect them to survive in rice cooker pasta and instant noodles? Everybody was stressed out while, somehow, miraculously, also did all the shit they never thought they'd do. So, maybe 'living to the fullest' would've been better way to describe them, but well wasn't the best adjective to use. Even Ronan was stressed out, juggling with everything at once. He had three extracurricular outside Manuscript, the fact that he was so cool about everything clearly suggested that he had few loose screws inside his head already that he could no longer convey how stressed he was.

Or perhaps he simply had great time management, reasonable goals, and lack of tendency to bitch about the most minor inconvenience. Most of the things he did here wouldn't really affect his life post-college anyway so why strive to perfection? He was here for a good time, not to seek long-term aftermath. "On top of that, people like us are either going to channel their inner medieval apothecary and have dried herbs in little jars all through out dimly-lit shop, or vanish into the Scottish highlands like Goddesses intended, or become Jodie Foster." Ronan added, ending his remark with yet another of his classic jest.

Garvey did give Ronan some suggestions on how to deal with his personal Gray-stalker problem and Ronan thought he'd ended there, since he didn't sound too willing to explain the most basic thing to Ronan anyway. However, Garvey didn't stop there, and said something that Ronan thought was odd. Well, not too odd in the context of professionalism because Garvey probably said that out of authoritative drive, like a Senator who said they'd look into the electricity issue in one of the apartments on their area. "Wait, are you going to help me?" Ronan asked for a confirmation, but the small giggle that layered the question made it seem like he wasn't confused in a negative way. "You don't have to, really, my only fear that I have to conquer is night terrors of morbidly obese people murdering me."

message 11: by E L L E, Queen Mab (new)

E L L E (lacustrine_dreams) | 112 comments Mod

Navigating a conversation with Ronan was a kind of mental gymnastics that Garvey was not well versed in. Part of him wondered if this was him getting old, or if Ronan simply had a way of speaking that Garvey wasn’t tuned into. He lifted a brow as Ronan made yet another attempt to steer the conversation away from the VP position. This time, he wasn’t even subtle and Garvey found himself wondering if there was perhaps more going in with Ronan that he’d first assumed.

“Well maybe you’re doing college wrong,” Garvey shrugged. It was a thinly veiled lie on his part. If anyone was doing college wrong it was probably Garvey. Classes hadn’t begun yet and he was already sleep deprived, miserable and juggling more tasks than he cared to think about. He really needed the rest of Lethe to hurry back and rescue his ass from the mounting pile of shit he was having to contend with.

At least three of them were meant to be back on campus already which means they’d either changed their plans or they were simply avoiding. Either scenario was entirely possible, especially as he’d been fairly curt over the last few messages he’d sent on the group email. He knew the delegates were feeling uneasy, they were coming back to face a whole world of horrors after avoiding them all summer. Living in New Haven Garvey hadn’t exactly had that luxury.

It didn’t help that they were two delegates down. That happened every year but it somehow seemed worse now that Garvey was in charge of keeping the society running. One had transferred to Oxford in the UK to pursue an entirely different study program, and the other had simply become too overwhelmed and decided to take a year out of Uni all together. Garvey could only hope that the candidates he’d chosen would be willing to stick around.

Was he going to help Ronan? The expression Garvey gave him probably would have made anyone think otherwise. It was, however, his role to help the students of the societies, even students like Ronan who had a way of making him want to rip his hair out. “If I must,” he replied, holding back a sigh. “Just please don’t say it like that.” Garvey frowned, mildly bemused. “Well, you worry about that and I’ll sort out the Grays.”

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

"Well, it's my second attempt. Your statement will only be valid on my third attempt." Ronan shrugged, didn't really take Garvey's response about his view on college as an offense. "It's the Moscow rules; once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time is a pattern." Ronan added, quoting a Bond's villain incorrectly, and somehow mixed Moscow with fictional Chicago. That being said, Ronan had been here for a while now and he really didn't want to start all over again at different campus. No, really, it was less of him thinking -- oh woe! how could I possibly leave the Yale for different university! - because he'd hopped to the first community college in Downtown Los Angeles the moment he got offered a solid opportunity to work in film industry, but more because the paperworks he had to go through because of that. Troublesome. Ronan didn't want to do that again.

Besides that, the secret society this University had... It was something that Ronan assumed won't be found anywhere else. Maybe the good European colleges have similar cults, he didn't know but most witches had accents, though.

Then, Garvey said: don’t say it like that - and Ronan sighed as he looked up after he heard what else Garvey had to say, hands in both pockets, he seemed like he was weighing the words of the other man. "Like what?" Ronan asked back, though it seemed like he actually knew the answer to it. "Like I'm implying that the only reason you're helping me is because with great power comes great responsibility?" Because, wouldn't that be true? Garvey didn't like Manuscript, and by proxy, Ronan too. Was Garvey being subtle and put up a charade that he was in a goody-good mood with Manuscript? No. So, it was a juxtaposition that Garvey didn't want Ronan to think that he only did this out of his job description because Garvey had been implying that exact thing all along.

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