This post features characters from
The World That Forgot How to Dance
Drabble type – Canon
Timeline – after the book
I’ve had a few people contact me after reading The World That Forgot How to Dance, to tell me that they were curious about what happened to Ellsie and Lester after the book. So, since it’s February, here is a drabble of the two of them sharing their first Valentine’s Day together. Enjoy!
As soon as they saw how lovely the party room was, Ellsie gave a short laugh and skipped inside. Lester lingered at the door, smiling. He loved moments like this, where Ellsie got so excited about something that her feet forgot the process of walking and could only remember how to dance.
She spun around twice, and then looked back at Lester and gestured widely to make sure he noticed that the room was, indeed, pretty.
“I see,” he said. “It’s perfect.” Internally, he was directing the compliment at his girlfriend rather than the room they were standing in, but couldn’t find a way to tell her this without feeling really cheesy, so he let it go.
“Come on.” She held her hand out to him, waggling her fingers impatiently until he joined her.
The were already several couples here. Lester had a brief moment of dread when he didn’t recognize any of them, but then he saw his brother and sister-in-law across the room and relaxed.
Lester found his way over to Evan, who was already having a very comfortable conversation with a red-headed woman and her boyfriend. He’d always been so much better at these things. Luckily, the couple moved on just as Lester arrived, sparing him from mingling. Spending so much time in prison had really dulled his abilities to be comfortable in crowds.
“Lester!” Evan beamed at him. “So, you did come after all.” After a bit of obligatory small talk, Ellsie and Evan’s wife went off to the powder room to ‘freshen up,’ which was woman-code for something, Lester was sure.
“First Valentine’s Day together, then,” Evan said. “How are you feeling?”
“Lucky,” Lester said.
“So where’s the little…?” Evan made a little blooming motion with both hands.
Lester rubbed the back of his neck. “I haven’t made it yet.”
“What? Don’t be stupid – make it! It’s an excellent idea.”
“You’re sure it’s not too—?”
“Not at all,” he said, and paused for a soft-edged smile. “She really loves you, you know. I see the way she looks at you when you’re not paying attention.”
“I’m always paying attention,” Lester snapped, suddenly defensive.
Evan’s grin deepened. “Happy for you,” he said, and then nodded towards the other side of the room. “She’s back. Go on, then – let’s see it.”
Lester met Ellsie’s eye from across the room, and she must have seen his nervousness because she tipped her head in the silent question of, ‘Oh, Lester, what are you up to?’ He answered by holding up a ‘Just a minute, and you’ll see’ finger and made his way over to the DJ to request the song. Technically he didn’t need the music to create the spell, but it helped him keep his rhythm.
The song began. Lester slipped his shoes off, stepped onto the dance floor, and in doing so instantly commanded the attention of everyone at the party.
His brother had helped him with the choreography (Evan always was a bit of a prodigy when it came to the design of spells) but Lester had made sure that there were enough of ‘his’ steps in it that it would be fun. And it was fun.
He felt the magic moving through him, feeding off of his own excited energy. He waited until the right moment and then spread the magic out over the whole room, coating it, letting it memorize every detail.
His fingers found the white carnation that he’d pinned to his jacket earlier, and summoned all of the magic back, binding it to the soft petals.
It wasn’t until he heard the applause that he remembered that he shared this room with other people. He smiled nervously at them and looked through the crowd until he found Ellsie standing on the edge and looking at him like he’d been the first person in the world to dance.
He went to her, holding out the flower with both hands. The petals weren’t white anymore – now they were the shimmering reflection of everything in the room.
Evan had suggested the phrasing ‘For you, my lady,’ but the words just didn’t feel comfortable in his mouth so Lester said instead, “Hey. I made this.” Once he heard how anticlimactic it sounded, he wished he’d taken Evan’s advice after all.
“It’s amazing,” Ellsie breathed, holding it reverently. She studied the flower for a moment, and then her eyes lifted to his face without the expression of amazement dimming even a little. “I love watching you dance,” she said. “I always have.”
He tried to think of something sweet and romantic to say, but absolutely nothing came to mind, so he kissed her instead. His hands cupped the sides of her face, holding her with far more care than he’d shown a newly enchanted flower.
If you’re curious about
Lester and Ellsie’s book
you can find it here.