|faust has (myluckyhat) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2014-03-26 04:07:00
|Entry tags:||faust, snow white|
Who: Snow and Faust
Where: Mountain -> cottage
When: Before Snow locked herself in an ice palace
What: chatting about ice powers. cake.
The cottage was no longer safe, and the thought echoed bitterly in Snow’s head as she packed her bag. Her escape wasn’t a hurried one. She sincerely doubted Faust could track her and her magic that quickly, but she didn’t exactly loiter. Having him find her here, so obvious of a hideout, was the last thing she wanted.
Where to go was the next question, but she already knew the answer. Her work and practice had her gaining a good amount of control over… over whatever this was. The storm hadn’t stopped, much to her dismay, but at least now she wasn’t spontaneously icing things. Building thing, shaping the ice and snow, was becoming easier and she knew it wouldn’t take much to build something to live in. A little shelter away from her storm. It would have been a comforting thought, if she didn’t remember that the location was going to be at the highest, coldest, peak of the mountains.
Well, at least there would be a nice view. What did that Belle girl call it? Luna? It had a nice name. Two points in its favor.
She took one more look around the cottage to make sure everything was in order. It had been some time since any of her surprise guests had come by and her usual straightening and cleaning had cleared out any indication as to how long she had been hiding there. If her sister did come through, there would be nothing to show for her presence.
Sifting through her bag she checked one last time for all of her things. The few belongings she had brought with her were tucked away, clothes and gifts from Christmas, along with that ridiculous gift from her Cupid that was stashed at the very bottom and still closed in the box they came in. She felt an embarrassed heat grace her pale cheeks before she shoved her last bundles of food in her backpack and then hefted it over her shoulder. She glanced over her shoulder one last time, making sure the fire was out and everything was fine, and closed the cottage door behind her.
The trek up the mountain was long and cold, or at least she knew it to be cold. She didn’t feel any of the bite, a miraculous feat in her light blue sundress, her arms bare under short cap sleeves. The wind would have threatened to billow her skirt but she quieted it with a thought, and the storm died to peaceful stillness as she walked through the snow in blue flats.
Without the gusts of snow whipping about her face, she could see clearly around her, and the huddled figure of a man in the white snow. “Again?” she nearly seethed though the incredulity that, once more, her escape from the cottage was cut short by a man caught in the storm, was coupled with a slash of panic as she saw who it was. The hat was a dead giveaway. Faust. Of course. Completely disregarding her warnings and directions and now lying in the snow.
Her hurried steps brought her to him and she was quickly slipping her arms under his and lifting him up from the ground before brushing off the snow from his body as she tried to get him up. “I told you it was foolish to come,” she said, worry pushing the worst of her anger from her voice. Cold and tired, there was only one place for him now, and she turned him back down the mountain and to walk him to the cottage she had just come from.
Faust was being incredibly foolish.
He wasn’t a heroic man or a knight in shining armor (though he did have a nice white horse who was thankfully left behind on this journey). No, he was a simple magician with a funny hat and a cake. And, though his search to find Snow seemed terribly romantic or at least curious, he didn’t think of it as men do when they free captured princesses from castles. He didn’t imagine a romantic, snowy landscape where she would see him standing tall on the mountain top here to save the day and jump into his arms. If he was lucky, she’d take pity on him at best for letting him try to help.
That’s what he told himself at the beginning of his journey. As the warming potions ran out and the carefully wrapped cake on his back grew heavy, he started to see things. Instead of a flurry of snow, he saw the Beast’s castle. He saw his German village happily dancing under garlands of flowers. He saw Fabletown. And, when the snow slowly started to materialize back into his view, he saw himself in that suit of armor, riding a faithful steed as Snow cried gratefully for his arrival.
Then, he fell face first in a pack of ice and snow. A dead, foolish magician in the middle of nowhere.
When Snow found him, it felt like years had passed. He blinked the cold out of his eyes and stared hazily at her as she tried to pull him up. “Begone, hallucination!” Faust waved his arm and a purple light bounced off her form, making a sound like broken glass. He stared at her and then gave a disappointed look down at his hand. “Too cold.” He couldn’t properly dispel ghosts and visions when he couldn’t even move his fingers.
She nearly dropped him when he tried to cast his spell, instinctively flinching when the light turned toward her, and quirking a brow a moment later when it bounced in effectively off her shoulder. “I can’t tell if this is a good sign or not,” she muttered as hauled him up to his feet with a huff. He could cast something, and it was useless. Plus he was hallucinating. She was leaning to bad. She wasn’t a delicate flower but she wasn’t particularly strong, and she frowned as she pulled him up and urged him down the mountain.
“Very cold. But Faust, I need you to walk down. Can you do that? Any strength at all?” With nudges and pulling and urging, she set them back on course for the cottage, one arm stretched across his back to run her hands over his arms as she pressed in close for warmth. Though worried and agitated, she kept her thoughts focused on safety, and the storm remained quiet around them. Unfortunately there was nothing to help the cold and she tried to get them inside as fast as he could manage. “The cottage isn’t that far and I’ll start you a fire.”
Faust shook his head slowly, not at her question but to try and get his mind back together. “Am I still wearing my-” He reached up, frozen fingers touching the top of his hat as he sighed in relief. “I just got this back.” Faust told Snow as if it were the most important thing (besides the cake of course) and then steadied to his feet. The tall wizard shook his shoulders, chattered his teeth and then stumbled forward hesitantly. Yes, he could walk. This was progress. “It’s so cold, I don’t think I’d die.” He said slowly, the freeze making every movement, every word slower than it normal would be. “I’d be preserved forever. Maybe wake up one of those mad undead I’ve read about.”
He looked at her hesitantly as she pushed in close to warm him and then decided that he needed the warmth badly enough that he wouldn’t worry about formalities. His arm snug her closer and he dipped his head down to huddle against her shoulder. “The- the storm isn’t so bad now.” Faust said, obviously with a spark in his eyes as if he had figured something out. “You have some- you have control. That’s good.” Faust smiled, encouraged by such a small detail.
Her lips quirked up in an amused little smile, watching him reach for the comforting presence of his hat and find it was there. The small grin didn’t fade even as she shook her head. “Zombies,” she corrected with a soft mutter. “The snow doesn’t make those.” At least she didn’t think so. She hoped not, and she grimaced at the thought. There was still so much about this she didn’t know or understand. Truthfully, she didn’t want to understand it but apparently getting rid of it was proving harder than she anticipated.
She stiffened ever so slightly as he pulled her in closer, and just as quickly chided herself. That was the point, after all, keeping him warm, and her arm slipped under his, clutching his side as her palm rubbed soft lines of warmth over his clothes as best she could. She tried not to flush at his encouragement, turning away as she felt a soft pink rise in her cheeks and settled her attention on the cottage ahead of them. “Not enough control,” she countered as she lead him down the mountain. “This won’t last too long. I—I can’t make it last long enough.” Her expression grew dark with her concession, and she tugged him along with small steps as they moved.
Faust had always believed that Snow was a straight-forward sort of woman. The kind who plainly told him how things were. But, he was learning that didn’t apply to her emotions which were kept in a iced cage. Most dashing young men would find that a challenge, especially paired with her beauty. Faust found it partly frustrating, partly charming. After running around with demons, he thought undeserved warmth was little overrated anyway. “I-I can’t run. However-” The smell of soot and lavender swirled in black smoke at their feet. She’d feel a sudden rush, like the ground had opened up under her and then she’d see colors. Boiling reds, crystallized blues. Shining through the smoke before vanishing up and above her head.
And, there she was in the cottage with him. Faust smiled thin and proud before hiding it away if she looked at him. He brought around the cake that was snug in its traveling bag and pulled it out with a frown. “It’s smashed.” Faust seemed more disappointed in himself than he did when he almost died of frost up on the mountain. “It was a lovely cake. Trust me.”
Despite the fact that she was a veritable vortex of ice magic these days, Snow was still a bit unused to spells, especially when they happened to her. She opened her mouth to protest – they didn’t need magic and if he could just stop talking and start walking they would be home in no time – when she felt her stomach flip and the universe tilt. She gasped as she everything changed around them, only relaxing when the colors dissipated and they were in the cottage. His smile was unnoticed, her eyes too busy blinking at her surroundings in surprise, just a hint of wariness in their gaze.
When he moved to get the cake she slipped her arms away, no need for the warmth, and she brushed aside a soft gust of icy air that moved over her bare arms, taking the memory of him with it. She dropped her own bag to the floor, the heaviness of her belongings making a resounding thud on the wood.
She did smile faintly at the smashed cake. Well, that was the thought that counts, even if refused to listen when she told him not to come. “Sit at the table. There’s a jug of water on the end and some wine in the cupboard. We should taste what you risked your life for.” It was a scold but it only held half of its usual bite, her attention split between the fire (made quick work of with a lighter) and trying to figure out how best to make her escape. “So,” she said, only making her way back one the fire was going. “Have you told Rose my secret yet?” She wasn’t sure if she expected Wolf to keep her secret for much longer but she doubted Faust would. Rose and he were like two peas in a pod.
He smiled at her scold, seemingly convinced that her concern was enough to warm over the ice that set in once she had the chance to breathe again. Faust held his hand up in a motion to make the fire for her, but stopped himself and sat down at her command instead. He had shown off enough magic today. Casting a fireball was only going to agitate her further. “Tell Rose?” Faust took his hat off and carefully placed it on the table next to him, wagging a finger as he told it in German to stay put. “No, I don’t presume to understand your relationship. Sharing secrets between sisters seems to be a dangerous endeavor.”
Faust took off his coat which was now wet with melting snow and handed it to her to hang near the fire to dry. He then made work to unpack the cake, take out a pair of forks that looked as if they were fashioned centuries ago and then carefully placed one next to him in front of what he had deemed her chair. “Are you planning on telling her? Don’t you think that’d be wise? She’s worried and she gets so frantic when she’s upset.”
Snow had turned just in time to see him wagging his finger at his hat, and she smiled faintly, the scene easing a bit of the tension that still rode her. “Did you just scold your hat?” Though her face was as unamused as ever, amusement laced her words, even lifting one corner of her mouth wryly, just a bit. She thought of the gift he had given her just months ago, the hat now tucked away in her bag, and she forced the smile down.
“Maybe,” she said easily, slipping past him to grab a knife from a drawer before handing him the handle end. It was his cake and the honors were all his. “Though I suspect she’ll just see this as a great opportunity. She took so well to her flora powers. I think she’ll see this curse as a blessing. It’s why I haven’t told her thus far.” And one of the reasons she hadn’t told Faust. She shook her head and took a seat across from him. “She’s less worried than you think. I told her I was back in Fabletown and now she’s back to being mad at Belle. She has distractions. She’ll be fine. In the meantime I’ve got a few more people to talk to and see if I can get this... all sorted out.” Control was still on the agenda, though higher on priorities than before, now that curing was out of the question. “Hopefully this one will be more fruitful than the last two. I hear he specifically has experience in controlling and manipulating of storms.” Still, he was recommend to her by Stark, and he hadn’t been as helpful as she hoped.
She eyed the cake and hoped it would taste good. Her mood was turning more sullen than usual.
“My hat’s been too adventurous lately.” Faust confided, giving the top hat a sideways glance as if it would leap up in the air, fold in on itself and pop out of existence. Of course, it didn’t move an inch as if to purposely make Faust look bad. It was a very mischievous hat.
Faust took the knife and carefully cut her a piece and then one for himself, big servings on both plates as if it was their only meal all day. And, to be fair, Faust could feel his stomach eating itself after trekking up the mountain without a thing to eat. He picked up his fork and then motioned to her, insisting she’d take the first bite. Surely it wasn’t the perfect cake and it was a little chilled and smashed from the cold, but the smooth chocolate made up for everything.
“People from other doors?” He asked curiously and then finally took a bite of the cake, smiling with easy satisfaction. Faust looked over at her and noticed her mood, though he wasn’t all that surprised. The wizard never knew when to say something and even if that something was going to be the right thing. “When I first was granted the power of dark magic, I accidentally raised an entire church graveyard.” Faust said after a couple bites of chocolate. “A woman who lived in my town saw her old mother dragging through the street and at first she was delighted, a knee-jerk reaction to seeing a loved one. And, then the old woman’s jaw fell off and things went downhill from there. I tried to fix the problem myself, but in the end I simply fled.”
Snow’s gaze slid to the hat, then back to Faust, watching the hat not move under Faust’s glare. “Right,” she said, drawing the word out teasingly. She had once been privy to the ever elusive hat, strangely finding it in her care once, but it was still strange to think of it disappearing and reappearing with a mind of its own. “And where has your hat been adventuring to?”
Her thoughts scattered, happily so for once, as he cut her a rather large slice of cake. She wasn’t nearly as hungry as he was, not that she knew, having already eaten a small lunch but she would never say no to cake. Cold and smashed, it mattered little. It tasted divine and Snow gave a happy little hum as she at the first bite, this time her smile impossible to hide. “You’ll have to pass on my compliments to your cupid. They’ve given you an excellent cake.” If only she had been so lucky with her presents.
Of course, talk turned to more serious matters and she nodded. “I’ve already tried with a few other people. A wizard. A superhero. The latter thinks this one might be able to help more but I remain... wary.” Unoptimistic, really, but such things were best unvoiced and she cut another piece of cake with her fork and took a bite. When he told her his tale, she was quiet, another bite of cake as she listened before wiping her mouth delicately with a napkin. “Is that the town you still miss? Or is that one the place you left to, after this graveyard incident.” A thought struck her and she asked, “And the dead, what happened to them after you left?”
“My hat comes home with sand on the brim, so I assume somewhere tropical.” Faust said, taking a bite of the cake and then another. It did taste like home and he thought for now it’d be enough to mend the chill from the storm. More importantly, he was pleased that she seemed to enjoy it. There was little hope that her ice magic would have an easy answer, but good cake tended to make even the biggest problems seem temporarily distant. He took another greedy bite and then sat back in the chair.
“That was the town I miss, yes.” Faust set the fork down and folded his arms thoughtfully. “I did more damage than a few raised dead. Demons, fires, debauchery, everything that the Lord frowns upon.” He made it sound as if his tale was a long time ago and truthfully it felt that way. He might have been accepted back into the good graces of the heavenly father, but lately he didn’t answer to them at all. “My point is that these kinds of things do a lot of damage before you can understand how the magic works and how to control it.”
Though the conversation had her full attention, Snow busied herself with her slice of cake, taking care to cut herself another bit and savor its taste. "I'm well aware of how much damage I've caused," she said, her eyes on the dark chocolate of her food, her expression equally grave. She had been keeping her ears open, kept watching the posts. She had noticed every time someone mentioned the sick, the dying, all who suffered under her storms. Her fork staking the poor piece of cake idly, her appetite having fled her. "What would you have me do, Faust? I'm trying to control it. I am. I'm trying damn near everything."
Faust realized he had made her angry and he thought that maybe this entire trip was a mistake. he thought it was possible that trying to trek up there and help her would open her up more. That stories of misused magic from his past would make her realize he understood. When none of that happened, he wondered what else he could do. “I’m telling you it’s going to take some time and even if you do manage to quiet the storm, the magic may do harm in other ways.” Faust made a face as if he realized he wasn’t being reassuring in the least and sighed, digging in for another forkful of cake. “You’re getting help from other doors. I suppose that should suffice.” He turned to reach into his pack and pulled out a couple potions. “Purple is a calming elixir, red is warming and the green is for dampening any magic. Those should give you an edge you need.”
She felt a pang of guilt at his sigh, and the remorse echoed across her features. He was trying to help; she knew that. Her habits were simply so hard to break and sniping at him, at everyone, came far more naturally to her than anything else. Setting aside her plate of cake, she reached for the bottles, examining the colors and making note of what they were for. “Thank you, truly,” she said, her face softening along with her voice.
She didn’t like needing any help, and giving her thanks for it wasn’t a common occurrence. But she was grateful, and her fingers closed around the bottles as her eyes darted from him to his gifts, a faint and suddenly seeming unsure. “You don’t have to be this kind to me, Faust,” she reminded him, the ice gone from her tone and the faintest smile lifting the corners of her mouth, even if she kept her gaze on the potions in her hands. “I know I’m not the kindest person around here.”
“You are kind.” He corrected her and then smiled when she did, almost as if he were trying to encourage her to do it more often. “You could have left me to die on that mountain, it’d be a lot easier.” Faust’s slice of cake was gone before what seemed humanly possible and he smiled at the empty plate, satisfied (though still picking crumbs up with his fingers.). “We are friends, are we not? If I was in your situation, I’d hope you’d do the same for me. There’s not much I can offer besides support and a few bottles of potions.” Faust popped a crumb in his mouth. “And, cake. Chocolate cake.”
No, she supposed she wouldn’t have left him on that mountain, though she was hard pressed to say it was a difficult choice. She wasn’t the type to leave people to terrible fates, unless she absolutely knew they deserved it, so this didn’t feel like a point in her favor. But she nodded as spoke, and as he reminded her they were friends, or as close as friends as Snow had these days. When he reminded her of the cake, she let out a soft laugh, a warmer and wider smile breaking across her face as she looked across the table at him.
“Support I can do but the best potion I would be able to offer you might be some German beer. Will you have cake for me every time you visit?” She slid her piece into the empty space between them, gesturing for him to partake with her as she cut herself another small bite of cake. “But Faust, should this… storm person, not be able to help, do you think that—” Her gaze fell back to the cake, and the side of her fork clanged once the ceramic plate. “Do you think you could…?” How she really hated asking for help.
Faust waved his hand politely to say no to her piece of cake, but seemed to change his mind immediately and dug in. “I should not, else I’ll start to think you only want me to visit for the cake.” He smiled and watched her struggle to ask for help. That was one of the hardest things anyone could do, especially a person who had been self-sufficient, or as close to being so for a very long time. A crueler man might have waited for her to spell it out, to humble herself. Faust knew this might lead to an icicle to the face.
“Of course.” He nodded. “I know your location and can likely magic myself here when you need me to.” Another bit of the cake. “My only condition is that you tell me what’s going on with this storm conjurer and the moment it doesn’t work you inform me. I don’t like being kept in the dark about these kinds of things. I could very well start showing up on your doorstep every week with a cake if I feel as if you are trying to keep something secret.”
She made a slight face as he reminded her that she knew where she was, and she couldn’t stop her eyes from glancing to her bag by the door, before quickly settling back on his face. She wasn’t sure if he caught her or not, instead taking another bite of the cake. She did laugh once more as he promised to hound her. It hardly felt like a nuisance if there was dessert in involved. “I believe you’re supposed to be dissuading me, Faust, not making me hope you visit.” The words left her lips and as she realized what she said, they pursed together in soft embarrassment, her gaze falling away as a hint of pink touched her cheeks.
“Besides,” she straightened up her shoulders, trying not to dwell on her slip, “I’m not going to be staying here much longer. It’s really too dangerous. And you wouldn’t survive up where I’m going.” She tapped the cake with the edge of her fork. “Getting smashed in the snow doesn’t suit you or the cakes of the world.”
Faust laughed and made a very gentlemanly point not to call attention to the little bouts of embarrassment she showed every once and a while. As her gaze fell away, he thought it was a bit sad that she had let herself get caught up in this snowstorm and her powers, but she did so much work to restrain simple emotions. He’d tease her about it later, Faust thought. When the moment was right, he would break his usual politeness just to see what would happen. Before that, however, he’d have to start working on his anti-frost charms.
He turned his attention back on her, snapping out of his wandering thoughts and gave her a half there smile. “Hmm?” Faust blinked and then shook his head. “You’re going somewhere dangerous?” He sat up a little straighter, fork still full of cake held in his hand. “You mustn't do that! I came here with the expressed purpose to make sure you would not run off into your own blizzard!” Faust never, ever raised his voice. This was as close as it got. He sounded as if she was making him late for dinner or dropped one of his expensive potions.
She straightened up in turn at the shift in his tone, unsurprised at the protest but taken off guard by how much he was protesting. She didn’t think he had it in him to yell, though they were still far off from shouting. “Faust, you know I wouldn’t be hurt in my blizzard. We’ve already seen that.” She tapped the plate with her fork and let the ringing noise punctate her point. “I was fine up that mountain when I found you and I’ve been up higher than that these days. Staying this close to the village,” even if the cottage was a ways away, “is doing more harm than good.” She gave him a soft sigh, a little touched by his concern but she refused to budge on the matter. “I’ll be fine. I’ve spent time up there enough. I can live on my own. It’s only dangerous for you.”
Faust set his fork down, took a sip of water and stood up. “Your sister told me once that the only way to get through to you was to be persistent.” He looked at her sternly, still upset that she had apparently crafted her own destiny that involved only herself. “And, I think I have been. I trekked up this mountain with a cake on my back to prove that I’m still your friend even if you don’t think it’s wise or that I’m sincere.” Faust turned to take his hat and his coat. “But, there’s only so much a man can do, you understand. If you do not want my help, if you truly wish to be alone, I will not stop you.”
He turned putting his hat on and swirling his coat over his shoulders in a dramatic, European fashion. “Still. Promise you’ll write me. Can you manage that in this dangerous place you are headed?”
The dour mood persisted and she found her temper scraping against it as a result. He stood up and so did she, the chairs making angry noises against the wooden floor. “I’m not saying I don’t want your help,” she shot back, stepping around the table as he pulled his clothes on. The idea that he was storming out on her, as if she was the one at fault, had her taking a deep breath to calm her agitated nerves. It did little to abate her irritation and she gave into impulse instead, snatching the hat off his head and keeping it hostage at her side. It had appeared atop her head enough times that she didn’t feel too badly about holding it between her fingers. Two could be dramatic.
“It’s not dangerous!” Her voice rose as his did, louder than intended though neither of them were much for full blown shouting. At least not yet. “I’m trying to protect </i>you</i>. Why on earth can’t you see that?”
He tried to snatch the hat back angrily with a flustered noise, upset that she was interrupting his dramatic exit. “Has it occurred to you that I don’t wish to have your protection? That, perhaps, I’m more interested in helping you keep yourself isolated from the rest of the world? What do you think will happen to you if you lock yourself away? How much humanity will your soul have left after months and months in your frozen sanctuary?” Faust pointed at her heart, exactly where her soul resided. The floor started to smell like ash and wildflowers under moonlight. If she looked down, a black swirl of smoke curled around his toes.
Faust’s voice calmed, the German rage subsiding for a moment. The lingering smoke at his feet didn’t vanish. “Let me travel with you. Wherever you are going, I can find a way to survive. I am a dark wizard. There is no weather too harsh for my magic. I can help you find new experts, other magicians and sorcerers. This is a struggle you do not have to take on by yourself, Snow.”
He pointed at her heart and she felt the air around them change, not just because of him. Amidst the ash and smoke, the air turned cold, a cool wisp of power inside her chest growing in the face. A soft tinkling sound echoed in her ears and she thought it sounded like ice edging over a surface, but she didn’t dare stop glowering at Faust. She didn’t let her eyes dip from his face, not to watch a thin layer of ice start to cover her skin as her arms folded across her chest, stopping before it continued on to the hat in her hand. What did the smoke at his feet matter? The ice in her heart was protecting her just fine.
“Says the man who was face deep in snow when I found him,” she retorted, a pointed look thrown in his direction. “Fine. You can come up with me to the mountain and no,” she unfolded her arms to wave a finger from her free hand at him, her icy sleeves tinkling against each other with the unfurling movement, cracking and fracturing until they fell off her skin and melted to nothing, “making fun of the house I’m building up there.” A carpenter she wasn’t, but it wasn’t looking too horrible. She had spent much of her childhood in a cottage. She knew what could and couldn’t be done with two hands.
“And the second you start turning blue from the weather I’m sending you right back to the village. Deal?” She kept his hat behind her back, a bargaining chip until they had an agreement over his safety. She thought the hat would agree it was fair, at least.
He took another swipe for the hat, a tall teetering movement before crossing his arms and looking at her square in the eye. Faust was confident enough in his abilities that he believed banishment from turning blue wasn’t going to be an issue in the slightest. In fact, he was sure that between stepping out of the door to brush off the cold and his own potions, he could certainly stay as long as he needed to. “Deal,” Faust said slowly, with suspicion. “But, no purposefully trying to freeze me to death.”
Faust stood up straight and then carefully sat back down in his chair, lifted the fork still full of cake and took a bite. He gestured for her to sit down, too, as if their negotiations had officially ended.
She scoffed that the notion she would kill him. “I can barely do anything with this power intentionally. If I manage to turn your nose red on purpose, consider it a development in my ability.” Still, the cold air around them faded away, leaving the fire in the hearth to its unfortunate task of warming the cottage once more.
Watching him with wary eyes, she felt the tension in both the room and her body disappear as he sat back down. She hadn’t realized just how much she had been gearing for a long fight. Old habits from working in Fabletown died very hard, it seemed. Walking up after him, she took a moment to set his stolen hat back on his head. She made a great show of moving it atop his head, leaning back to make sure it sat properly, and then adjusting it once more before taking a seat. “You’re a very stubborn wizard, ” Snow remarked, though it was more fondness than anger in her words, and she cut another sliver of cake before taking a bite.