Eliza hated how this woman would get under her skin. She knew she was being provoked because Ursula had caught her admiring Julia. At times like this she was unsure why she was dating her, they’d only been a couple a few months, and while there had been some good times, Ursula had an increasingly obvious nasty streak. Eliza really wanted to leave the party, but she had only been there for an hour, and she didn’t trust these people not to target Julia. She sighed deeply as she refilled her glass with cider and glanced over to where she had seen Julia last. She stood alone, sipping her drink and staring into space. Eliza sidled up to her.
“Your new hair colour suits you Julia.” Eliza said. she reached out and squeezed the wizard's slender forearm, smiling at her. Julia looked down at her, she had always towered over her and even now she did. Eliza almost missed the blush on her face and the corners of her mouth upturned very slightly into what Eliza knew was a real smile.
“Thank you Eliza... I did not see you down there, how are you?” Julia asked her as she looked at the smaller teenager.
“Short people problems, am I right?” Eliza jokingly responded.
“Oh no! I am so sorry! I didn’t mean to offend you.” Julia hurriedly responded, her eyebrows knit up only slightly, but her fingers started to rapidly tap against her metal cup, creating a soft tinging noise. Eliza giggled as she took Julia’s hand in her own, squeezing it reassuringly. “It’s fine, I was joking.”
“Ah, I see.” Julia did her best impression of a gentle, small-talk appropriate laugh; a ‘social skill’ she had had drilled into her by her mother. Then she stood looking at Eliza desperately in the hope that she might continue the conversation.
“I’m going to be going off to High Haven soon to study magic at the university there.” Supplied Eliza.
“I see. Any particular reason you’re not coming to study here in Highbridge?” Julia asked, keenly.
“Papa claims it’s because he wants me to learn some independence, but I’m pretty sure he wants to keep me distracted from Mama going to the feywild for her rebirth.” Eliza said. Being a half-elf with an elvish parent and human parent was a little hard at times, especially when the elvish parent would disappear after they had lived a lifetime and come back a new person with no desire to keep in touch with their past life.
“I see. I’m sorry to hear that, it can’t be easy to deal with.” Julia expressed her condolences.
“No, she’s grows more wild and is losing herself by the day… I don’t want to talk about this.” Eliza said. She glanced away from the taller women, feeling her eyes prickle slightly. She took a moment and recomposed herself.
“Plus I can’t imagine you’d want me as a student.” Eliza said with a cheeky smile.
“I’ll have you know most of my students fear me… even though I am the same age as many of them.” Julia responded stoically before she nudged Eliza with her elbow, smiling at her.
“I’d ruin that perception if I was in your class. They’d all realise how much of a giant dork you are.” Eliza said.
“We can’t allow that to happen. I must admit that the university is at a loss without your presence, but at least I can keep my reputation intact.” Julia said with just a touch of theatricality. Eliza had to admit, through her mother’s intense teaching, she was getting better at putting emotion in her voice; though she personally did not think she needed to; her body language was emphatic enough.
“We wouldn’t want that.” Eliza giggled.
“No, it would be terrible.” Julia paused as she wrestled with her mother’s teaching about not talking about her favourite subject, but gave into the overwhelming temptation. “Have you decided on what school of magic you'd like to specialise in?” She asked, her fingers drummed excitedly against the metal cup.
“I’m debating between illusion or enchantment at the moment, though I’m not really sure if wizardry suits me.” Eliza said.
“Is there a different type of magic you are more keen to learn?” Julia asked.
“It's something I'll explore when the time comes. You've been teaching at the uni for a few years now right?” Eliza asked. The tall wizard nodded.
“Yes, I was recently promoted to senior lecturer and have been with the divination department for almost six years. I’m really enjoying it.” Julia said animatedly. Eliza couldn’t help but smile at how excited she seemed; it was really cute. Julia discussed the research she’d just begun whilst at the university at length. As Eliza got to the bottom of her glass, she found herself not wanting to leave the tall woman’s company.
“Hey babe, got you another drink.” Ursula joined them, interrupting Julia mid-sentence. Eliza shot her a cold look, hoping she would behave. She took the drink, the human woman stood close to Eliza, her hand resting on her hip. Julia looked between them both unsure what was going on.
“Julia, you look ravishing! I love what you’ve done with your hair.” Ursula said enthusiastically. Julia looked thrown back by the compliment, her ears twitched and blushed. Her fingers drummed against her cup.
“Um... thank you... how are you?” Julia nervously responded. Her eyes darted, searching for clues to the woman’s mood or motivation.
“I’m very well thank you. I was curious to see who had charmed my Eliza. I should not have been surprised that she was attracted to your loveliness.” Ursula said.
“I... I see.” Julia’s expression barely changed, but she drew into herself, and she glanced at Eliza with a face full of confusion. The wizard looked at her cup and drank the remainder of its content, her nerves showing.