A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #37042  by Ejder
Location: Istanbul Carpet Racing Stadium • Date: April 1979
Time of Day: Afternoon • Weather: Blue skies overhead

Can liked Quidditch just fine, but honestly? It was nothing like carpet racing. He was Turkish, for crying out loud, he’d be shaming his motherland if he didn’t think Turkish carpet racing was the best sport in the universe. He’d talked the band’s ears off about the championships this year, as they were being held in Istanbul, the city he’d been born in. He loved the sport, and damn it, he was going to make Wyvern of Wye love it too.

Honestly, though, he had wanted to take Angus only, just a nice event for the two of them, giving his boyfriend yet another glance into his culture. And in the private balcony that Occult Records had purchased, it was bound to be a romantic outing for the pair. But of course, when the label had had wind of Can’s idea, they’d immediately put their foot down. He wasn’t surprised at all: it wasn’t as though the label had done anything to make Can feel like he had any freedom at all, least of all when he considered they’d given him a fake girlfriend so as not to arouse suspicions.

The label had suggested Can bring Jezeviel to the championship finale, but this time, it had been the guitarist’s turn to put his foot down. Spend a whole afternoon out with her and her sour demeanour, doing something he actually enjoyed, while he couldn’t share it with his boyfriend? That was a plan to make him stop liking carpet racing altogether, and that was unacceptable. Eventually musician and label had settled on a compromise, though Can wasn’t exactly jumping for joy. He was allowed to take Angus to the event, but he also had to bring along the rest of Wyvern of Wye. Anything not to look suspicious. Right.

His fellow musicians didn’t seem to share his enthusiasm. Their balcony offered them a modicum of privacy, and all his friends had decided to use that to have a few drinks, but to Can it meant that he could hold Angus’ hand, even if he was squeezing too tightly whenever an Istanbulite flyer overtook another.

For Wyvern of Wye, watching the race also meant they were entitled to Can’s sporting commentary, which was as colourful as it was subjective, and entailed a great deal of unrequested enthusiasm and screaming of Turkish curse words.

The guitarist had been back in Turkey a few times since the Zerdali family had immigrated to England, and it always filled him with a sense of yearning for something that wasn’t quite home. He’d never quite been able to explain it, but he felt that as much as Birmingham wasn’t entirely his home, neither could Istanbul be that again. Still, though, this was where he came from, and he loved being here. Wyvern of Wye wasn’t very well known here, but it was only a question of time, said the producers, before they were famous the world over. With any luck, they might tour here. And then maybe he’d have some time and get permission to take Angus on a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia? But that was wishful thinking. With his luck, he’d be allowed to ride a balloon, but it would have to be with Jezeviel, and then they would most likely be stuck in the balloon for hours, and she would spend all those hours glaring at him. And then just to avoid her death glare he’d jump out of the balloon and plunge to the sweet release of death. Probably.

He’d considered all those things, of course, but now that he was watching the race, it was the only thing that mattered, the only thing he was able to focus on. Exit, the romantic hand holding he’d had in mind. Can was now standing up at the edge of the balcony, yelling in a mixture of English and Turkish things that his parents might take offense to, jumping about the box with the excited expression of a child swimming in a pool of candy.

‘Yes! In your face, Mansouri! Tekin takes it home! One more round to go, seni aptal! You don’t mess with Tekin and live to tell the tale! Uç, inanılmaz adam! Come on, bunu yapabilirsin! Go Tekin!’

Can’s jumping became more and more frantic as Tekin overtook first Mansouri and then Hussein. There was only Sasani in front of the Turkish racer, and for a tense moment, it seemed like the Iranian racer was going to fly the Istanbuli off the course. But Tekin prevailed, and outflew him, reaching the finish line as thunderrous applause and screaming errupted from the entire stadium, the mostly Turkish audience completely wild.

‘And Berat Tekin does it again!’ Can screamed, both hands in the air as he yelled and jumped along with the rest of the crowd. His bandmates seemed rather indifferent, but he took no notice. ‘Did you see that?’ He turned to face Angus, his face beaming with uncontrolled excitement and joy. ‘This is the best sport in the world! Tekin won! Yakışıklım, I love you so much!’ Can exclaimed, giddy. It wasn’t the first time he said those words to Angus, but it was certainly the first time he’d uttered them in front of his bandmates. In all the elation of victory, though, those were words of triumph.

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