For e.

Disclaimers: Everyone here belongs to Susanna Clarke.

The library at Hanover-square
by Lesa Soja
 

November 1809
 

Upon returning to Hanover-square, Mr Norrell found Mr Strange seated at a table in the library, bent over a book: a scene lately beginning to excite more pride than fear in Mr Norrell's anxious mind. He moved closer. Several candles were lit, and their flames burnt on the copper of Strange's hair as if it would be hot to the touch.

Suddenly Strange lifted his head. "I did not realize you had returned, sir."

Mr Norrell, caught with his hand extended, let it fall briefly to Strange's shoulder instead. "It is no day for business out of doors," he muttered.

***

"Come to the fire, sir," Strange said. "You must be quite chilled through." Indeed Norrell's cheeks were red with cold, and Strange himself felt ready to shiver. Norrell's hand had been light, a glancing touch more like Arabella's while dancing than Henry's solid claps on the back, and yet Strange still felt a cool prickling from his shoulder to his arm, his back, his throat.

"Have you been doing magic?" he asked.

"No," said Norrell, but Strange, not wholly convinced, continued to fix him with a thoughtful gaze. Some force was certainly present. In time, perhaps, it would be revealed.
 

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