Do You Believe In Magic?
Roleplaying Log: Do You Believe In Magic?
IC Details

A hippie in Central Park may not always just be a hippie. Sometimes he is a magical hippie.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: September 05, 2019
IC Location: Central Park, New York
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 06 Sep 2019 05:55
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's early evening, the sun is still setting, and people are cutting through the Park to get back home. Tourists are bringing in their boats and bikes and various other items they used to check out the park for the day. Some animals are making their way to their sleeping spots in the park, whereas some animals are just waking up. A man with a white beard and white hair happens to be following along with a family of ducks. A mother and it's ducklings.

"There you go, little ones. Have a good sleep for the night. Don't let the fish bugs bite!" He chuckles. He has a noticeably British accent. A little squeal of an animal can be heard from nearby, and this unusual man goes to check it out. He tilts his head and clucks his tongue. "Now Miss Skunk, how did you get stuck there?" The skunk seems to have trapped itself in a little hole and can't get out. "Well, let's see…" He looks around and frowns. Glancing about, "Well, I don't see any harm in…" He mutters some words and a tiny plank of wood seems to appear out of nowhere. He places it in the hole and the skunk manages to climb out and putter away.

The old man smiles and looks about. "Where to next, I wonder? This is such a marvelous parkland."

Where nature wakens and people begin to move along, some of the latter decide to stay a while longer despite how soon the sun is setting. Central Park has been a busy hub as per usual, but it still has its quiet spots — spots where those who enjoy a more natural ambiance can revel in it.

Except Raven's visit has been less of a glorious outing and more of silent reflection. And there has been no shortage of thoughts.

The Titan, outside of her heroic garb, wears the usual blacks mixed with a gray or two, long sleeves covering pale arms even if the weather is trying to decide if it wants to be warm or cold. But that doesn't bother her. There's just been a lot more than weather to deal with.

But in the midst of all of that, she walks, not noticing the animals that have taken to swimming or crawling about. Until a skunk putters past. Catching a glimpse of black and white, she immediately stops, brow arching as violet eyes continue to follow the creature before it disappears from view. Only then does she look up to find the strange old man wondering what to do next.

"Sir?" In the lull of the park's activities, Raven's voice barely rises above the ambiance. "Are you doing all right?"

"Hmm? Sir?" Merlin, dressed in a white shirt, jean jacket, jeans, and running shoes (because he's aware enough to know robes would look strange), looks over to the young voice and smiles. "Alright? I'd say I'm doing fantastic! I just helped a skunk out of a hole!" He seems rather happy about that achievement. "An animal in need knows gratitude indeed." He taps the side of his nose as if to signify that he's letting her into a secret of some kind.

"It's been quite some time, however, since I've spent any amount of time in 'new' York. I'm much more familiar with the old York. I've spent quite a bit more time there." He explains. "However, I felt like I should visit this city once again. It sure has grown since I last visited." He looks around again before his gaze rests on Raven again. "Are you here to help too?"

If Raven knew more about hippies, she would have mistaken Merlin for one. A chic hippie, or perhaps a hipster? But still. At least he sounds like he's aware of everything going on.

But he does mention helping the skunk she is certain she has come across moments earlier. "That's good," is the temporary answer she manages, her expression neutral yet somewhat wary of his exuberant demeanor. Her head shakes, however, upon being asked if she was here to help little animals in need as well. "No, I was just here to…clear my mind." And it's a full sentence before something else kicks in, rewinding back to:

"Wait — old York?"

He certainly gives off a hippie-ish vibe, with how he looks. Which would probably mean nothing to him if he was told. Merlin smiles kindly. "Ah, yes. Clearing one's mind. Nature is a good place for that, isn't it? I find that people often forget that nature is a great place to lose one's self in." He takes a deep breath in. "One could almost forget that there's a whole wide city outside of these trees. If buzz of energy weren't obvious, of course."

He nods and smiles. "Old York. Or just York. It's over in England." He states, scratching the tip of his nose. "One would sound rather silly if they wandered around York calling it Old York all the time." He pauses and tilts his head. "Same might be said for Old Jersey. Which is an island near England. But it's old Jersey, as opposed to your New Jersey." He explains.

"You can say that again," Raven says with a ghost of a smile. The city is practically a living thing, and its populace makes it difficult to concentrate when everyone is hashing out emotion after emotion throughout the day. "It's also a change of pace from being cooped up indoors…"

She listens as the older gentleman as he explains, nodding a few times in the process. "I see." Although it is weird for someone to be making references about Old York and Old Jersey. Not like she's ever been there, but she's been reading up on some things to pass the time. "I feel like we did borrow a number of names for our cities."

"Ah, yes. I'd say being outdoors is generally preferable to the indoors." Merlin nods in agreement. "Of course, in my life, I've spent so much time in both that sometimes it's easy to forget how much time I've spent in one or the other." He pauses as he tilts his head. A bird sings nearby. "Did you hear that too?" He reaches out his hand and mutters a few words. His hand seems to be full of birdseed. He lets out a few whistles, almost as if communicating with the bird, which eventually flies and lands on his hand, pecks at the feed, and then flies away a moment later.

"Nature." He sighs softly. "Isn't it wonderful?" He chuckles. "Where were we? Oh!" He smiles and dusts off the last of the birdseed from his hand. "Yes, there certainly seem to be a few places that borrowed their names from other locations." He agrees. "I've yet to decide if I like New York better than Old York."

Raven looks, her chin tilting up a few degrees in the direction Merlin hears the birdsong. She doesn't appear surprised while she watches him summon the bird from its perch, but she may be a tad curious about how easily he is able to communicate it.

After it flies off, she speaks again. "If you like large cities full of people, then New York is the place to be. And with it being so busy, you won't get bored." Another beat passes. "Is tending to animals a hobby for you?"

"A hobby? Oh, goodness no. Or yes. Maybe. I suppose it is." Merlin immediately contradicts himself. "What I mean to say is, if there is an animal in need, I will help it. As I said, 'An animal in need knows gratitude indeed'. Although, I don't help them for the gratitude. I help because it's the right thing to do." He explains. "I'd do the same were it a person in need."

Taking in a deep breath, he lets it out slowly. "But then, I never quite worry about boredom. There's ever so much to see in this ever expanding world of ours." He looks at Raven for a good few minutes. "You know, how rude of me to not introduce myself to you." He holds out a hand. "My name is Merlin. 'Tis a pleasure."

"I understand." Two words, but it's a thoughtful reply. Raven knows there are people who love animals, but they sometimes go overboard with that love. The same can be said about people caring about people, but she can sense the man is being honest with his answers.

She can also agree with his following statement: there's ever so much to see in this ever expanding world of ours. She hasn't seen it all yet, but it's overwhelming to think about how vast the earth really is.

It's the introduction that brings her back to the present, allowing her to complete social protocol by extending her own hand, meeting him halfway for a handshake. "Rachel," she says. "I suppose it's a little late, but…Welcome to New York."

"Oh no. No, don't say that! A greeting of a welcome is always appreciated." Merlin says softly. "Don't ever think that it's too late. To make one feel welcome is one of the greatest gifts we have to give. So I thank you for it."

Watching a raccoon cross a path nearby, he smiles and asks, "Do you believe in magic, Rachel?" He looks over to her, a hint of curiosity in his eye. He's found that the more years that pass, the fewer there are of people who believe in magic. In the modern age, he always gets a wide range of reactions whenever he asks questions regarding it.

Violet eyes stay on the man, almost searching his gaze the moment he looks back to meet hers. Raven still holds onto his hand, pale fingers loose in their grip. She's not sure if she's imagining it, or if there really is something else there behind the meaning of the question posed.

"…I might," the young woman replies softly, her gaze never once wavering, her free hand brushes a small clump of dark strands away from the side of her face. "Why do you ask?"

"'Might', eh?" Merlin chuckles softly. "It's not a no, but also not a yes." He takes a moment, fingers idly toying with the end of his beard. "Well, you see, magic is all around us, isn't it?" Perhaps not unusual words for a man with his name. "Tiny insects that glow. Twinkling stars. The chattering of animals and buzz of of activity that surrounds humans."

For a moment, he just looks around before his gaze lands once more on Raven, green eyes peering at her violet ones. "Of course, there's more than meets the eye. Magic imbues itself in much of life, and assists us when we need it, if we're equipped to handle such power." He holds out his right hand in front of him and mutters a few quiet words. A staff appears in his hand. "Fiat lux." He murmurs, and the top of the staff lights up. "Magic." He states. "Simple but true to form."

So it isn't Raven's imagination after all. The man isn't just being mysterious for the sake of being strange — he embodies magic. He knows it. And, currently, he is revealing this secret to her, trusting her to keep it despite barely meeting her for, what, barely a handful of minutes?

The hairs on the back of her neck prickle, but she never once betrays any sense of wonder or amazement any normal person would have done in a heartbeat. Her eyes fall onto the staff as she slowly draws back into a more comfortable distance. Anyone non-magical can attach a light on the end of a stick and trick people into believing it's real, but this…isn't like that.

It's as Merlin says: 'Magic. Simple but true to form.'

"Interesting," is the first thought that Raven forms into an actual word. "Simple, yes, but it is still impressive."

"Somehow, I think, this is the least impressive type of magic, yes?" Merlin's voice is calm, yet almost inquisitive as he talks about magic. He puts part of his weight on the staff, leaning on it. "Magic comes in many forms, yes? Simple and not so simple. Tiny and large. Meaningful and…well, showy." A couple of bugs buzz around the tip of the staff, attracted to the light.

"I hope you do not thing I do this to show off. Or to be braggadocious." He shakes his head. "Oh no. Not at all. Would you believe I just wanted my staff to lean on? I've done a fair bit of walking today." A sly grin crosses his face, as if he's being playful.

"Do you know much of magic?" He asks of the young woman across from him. It seems he's more curious as to whether she knows anything, as opposed to having had sensed magic from her as well.

Raven shifts her weight from one foot to the other, still maintaining a kind of pokerface in her body language as well as her continual lack of expression. "I can be led to believe it does," she replies without batting an eyelash, shaking her head to signal to Merlin he's not being a braggart in saying so. "Having somewhere to rest, even if it's temporary, is a necessity."

Now: to tell him what he may already be aware of, or to say nothing. How she chooses to play it is ultimately her choice.

Her answer, collected and even in tone, wheels around the question posed, indirect yet straight to the point. "I've read about it, and I have heard different theories and stories regarding its use." A beat. "Experience usually shows wisdom in how one chooses to share his or her abilities…but there has been some thought given to be where we presently are in the discussion."

"Ah yes, there are certainly many ways to use it, this may be true. The way magic is used is all, of course, based on the person using it. What do they use it for? Why do they use it?" Merlin lightly taps the side of his staff, looking carefully over at Raven. Deep breath in, slowly letting it out, he furrows his brow.

"Wisdom, you say? I do not know if I would consider myself wise. I believe it was William Shakespeare who once wrote, 'A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.'" A little smile crosses his face. "I do not know whether I am a wise man, but I do know that I am often a fool. Not to speak poorly of foolery, of course. Foolery is often enjoyable to partake in."

There's short pause. Finally, when he speaks, it's in a cautious but curious tone. "Your eyes, young Rachel. They are of a most curious colour." He snaps his fingers and purple sparkles light up around them. "Do you mind if I inquire as to your lineage? It must be unique to garner such colourful eyes. Unless," he chuckles, mostly to himself, "you are using magic, or those new human devices known as 'coloured contacts'."

"Thus the reason why I decided to mention it," Raven says with a hint of a smirk. "You and Shakespeare make a good point, however."

Her eyes, now focused on Merlin, fail to blink in that moment. But only for that moment. A second or two later, she gives herself time to glance over the sparkles before letting her eyes close.

"Either option is entirely possible." She then turns, taking a few steps away from the man. "That's also a very personal question."

"I suppose it can take a bit of…" Merlin pauses as he considers his words. "I guess there is a bit of hope that when magic is revealed, it's revealed to the right person or people." He shrugs. "You make a good point on the fact that magic isn't to be shared with just anyone, I suppose."

The purple sparkles dance in the air between and around both Merlin and Raven. They almost seem to have lives of their own.

"I do apologize. Perhaps in my substantial years, I've forgotten a few of the social niceties?" He lightly taps his staff upon the ground as he talks. "Although, I suppose, once upon a time, having certain types of lineage would have been looked down upon." He raises an eyebrow. "I've never quite believed that one should be ashamed of one's lineage. However, at the same time, it is one's own. And you're quite right to not share it with me should you not wish to."

There's an air of understanding in the silent affirmation of his admission. Raven can almost sense something deeper in the meaning of Merlin's use of 'years.' She looks over her shoulder at him, arching a brow simultaneously as he raises his. "…Like a lesson in acceptance. It's one that takes time."

The young woman turns to face him once more. "Perhaps in time, and with the proper social niceties," she adds quietly, "I will share my story with you." With that, she nods, turning away to let that sink in. "If we meet again. As big as New York is, people tend to run into each other more often than not."

"Acceptance." Merlin nods solemnly. "Time, luckily, is something that I am in great quantities of, despite my elderly appearance." Another hint, along with the mention of his substantial years.

Slowly, he begins to approach Raven, the staff tapping upon the ground in time with his left foot.

Upon closing the distance, he speaks again. "I have found that this world itself it quite a bit smaller than we often think. In my time," He says softly, "I've met people time and again who I thought I'd not meet for quite some time." He pauses and chuckles to himself. "One might almost say that it's magical." He shakes his head with amusement. He then holds out one of his hands. "Might I see your hand, just for a moment?" He asks politely. "Do not worry, I will not harm you."

She's still approached, still asked for a bit of her time.

She can be cold. She can refuse and walk away.

Instead, Raven slows down, pausing to let Merlin catch up to her. She may regret ever doing this, humoring him, but she lifts a hand, holding it out for him.

"Contactus meam chartam." Merlin speaks firmly as he gently takes Raven's hand. Conjured into her hand is a piece of paper with a the image of a tall pointy hat with stars on it. "Should you ever…have a question about magic," He says softly, "or even just need someone to speak with." He smiles and points to the paper. "Hold that upon your hand and speak when and where you'd like to meet. I shall be there."

Tapping his staff upon the ground a couple times, he says, "Good day…or perhaps evening, to you. Thank you for indulging the ramblings and magics of fossil of a man." With that he, himself, turns around and starts to putter away.

Pale fingers curl around the piece of paper, careful in how they carry the small gift of sorts. Raven studies it upon close inspection, then lifts her gaze toward the man as he goes.

Some questions, yes. And a listening ear, in case she needs one. A useful and very thoughtful gift indeed.

"…Good evening. And take care of yourself."

Despite her matter-of-factness, she means it. Far be it to know where the strange old man may turn up next, but she has a feeling she'll see him around soon.

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