Did you know?

First names were most often used by childhood or school friends. If the friendship was made after school age, first names would only really be used by women. Men were far more likely to refer to their friends by their surnames, a mark of familiarity. — Documentation

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Emilia Wright for Jude Wright. Casually alienating offspring since 18882.
Separating was also not a great idea, though they weren't doing great at staying together anyway. If she were to volunteer to be the human sacrifice.. well... Hogsmeade had plenty of debutantes anyway...

Barnabas Skeeter in CYOA: Group D

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Complete threads set in ten different forum locations. Threads must have at least ten posts, and three must be your own. Character accounts cannot be combined.


The Show
(probably) May 11th, 1888 — St. Mungo's Hospital
Fletcher Langley
I'm just a little girl lost in the moment
I'm so scared but I don't show it
I can't figure it out, it's bringing me down

The Show, Lenka

Hell. This was what hell felt like. Maybe she shouldn't have written Mr. Avery, and maybe she should have never ran off in the first place. If only she could have been the obedient girl the Scrimgeours tried to raised, maybe — just maybe — she could have avoided this entire mess. Her father was bound to never be the kind gentleman Papa Draper was, but he didn't abuse Araminta; surely he'd have never targeted her if her temperament had been more cool and cautious.

There was no avoiding it now.

She was here.

At St. Mungo's.

And she looked awful. She'd bathed just the night before, but that did letter to make her appear any less gaunt and any less damaged. Anyone without the slightest knowledge of who she was or her situation may have just assumed she'd been hit by a carriage, but she knew those closest to her would know exactly what happened upon seeing her.

Her anxiety wasn't helping her either. Having been fired from the hospital a little over ten days prior, the thought of facing the coworkers she'd abandoned was a particularly frightening one. Never mind that she had a perfectly valid reason — she was still thoroughly convinced that she'd be met with judgmental eyes and harsh scolding.

She'd arrived with the aurors, but she was soon whisked into the hands of spell damage healers after they were informed of her condition. Of course, she couldn't avoid everyone; she had plenty of coworkers who knew her here, and it wasn't long until one in particular — her former boss — turned the corner of the corridor and headed straight towards her.

"Mr. Langley."

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Fletcher felt as if he were running like a chicken with his head cut off. Ever since the official dismissal of Miss Scrimgeour, he'd had to rework the department's schedule and had found himself working quite a deal more. Being an intern down had very seriously but the whole department in a bit of a bind. Shifts had needed to be covered but he'd also had to deal with interview and trying to get another intern into the lineup. It was exhausting. And frustrating.

He'd just finished an awful interview with someone he could never picture working well with his team when he rounded the corner and come face to face with the very reason he hadn't slept in nearly thirty-six hours. "Miss Scrimgeour," he said a bit tersely but luckily managed to bite his tongue at just the right moment before he launched into a tirade about just how selfish and immature he thought the young woman to be.

Blue eyes quickly ran over the young woman before him and realize what sort of state she was clearly in. He swallowed, hard, realizing he was the biggest of asses in the entire world. He'd thought her an awful young woman, one that was just selfish and flighty when clearly something awful had happened to her and clearly kept her from coming to work. But why hadn't she just said so? Did she really think him, or even Mr. Jameshill, were that awful of men that they wouldn't have taken into consideration her plight?

"Are you alright?" he finally managed to ask, eyes darting warily to the aurors accompanying her.

Nolan is amazing!
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Mr. Langley did not look friendly as he stomped towards her, leaving Bella with wide eyes and speeding heartbeat. He was going to yell, and she knew it. His first words seemed almost angry, and then — then he paused. He looked at her, prompting her to wrap her arms across her chest self-consciously. She wasn't sure how awful she looked in the moment, but she knew she didn't look the same as she had when she last saw him.

Bella offered him a shaky smile in a poor attempt to reassure her that she was fine, but the smile promptly fell the moment he questioned her. She wasn't alright — at least in some ways — but she had the nagging feeling that he'd judge her if she said so. Would he think she was weak? Irresponsible? That her misfortunes were her own fault?

A lot of people did. She did.

"Fine. I'm fine." it was a poorly-executed lie and she knew it, as evidenced by the way her gaze immediately fell from his. If he asked, she likely wouldn't have a straight response for him; her thoughts were so muddled and her grasp on the reality of the situation was tainted by emotions. She had no desire to say anything (especially with the aurors lurking around) while there was an investigation into her disappearance going on.

"You look... stressed. Rough day?" she asked, followed by furrowed brows. She sounded so fake and unnatural when she spoke; it was like he was a complete stranger when he wasn't!

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Fletcher watched her cautiously, taking note of all her little mannerisms and eventually simply ignored the aurors around her. Her answer, however, brought him to raise a brow at her and even shake his head just subtly. She was quite clearly not fine and he could tell even she didn't believe her own lie. And though he opened his mouth to call her out on it, he found himself stopping. He couldn't very well force her to tell him what had happened or what was wrong even if it was evident something had happened.

"Yeah, you could say that," he ended up answering instead as he rubbed at the back of his neck. Apparently he'd learned a good deal of self control because he didn't add "It's been crazy since you vanished" but he had a feeling that would only make her worse. If she was even feeling anything at all anymore.

Nolan is amazing!
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She was sure there were plenty of reasons to be feeling nauseous, but the awkward exchange she and Mr. Langley were sharing didn't do anything to ease it. She found herself struggling to meet his eye, despite playfully bantering with him for months as an intern. It was like he was a stranger — no, like a friend she'd had a falling out with and was now forced to face once more. She supposed, after a moment's contemplation, that her evaluation wasn't far from the truth.

"I hope I- I mean..." she stammered, having difficulty finding the right words. Was he mad at her? Did he miss her? He supposed he probably missed her presence more than her actual self, which was fair. She couldn't reassure him that she was coming back to work though; it had been their superior, Mr. Jameshill, who had sent the letter terminating her employment. And even then, did she want to go back to work? Would she be well enough to?

"My absence. I hope I- I hope I haven't hurt the department. I hope I haven't hurt any of you," she finally managed. She'd been fairly sure, from the overall tone of Mr. Gladstone's letters, that her silence had been causing her coworkers — and more importantly, those she considered friends — pain.

bee made me this set and i love it
Post Log
Well shit. How was Fletcher supposed to respond to that? Her disappearance had greatly hindered, maybe not hurt, but surely hindered the department. Regardless, there was nothing that could be done about it. She'd been terminated. Not by him, but by the head of the hospital. He doubted that could be reversed even if she wanted it, which he was getting the distinct feeling she did not.

What he did do, though, was to reach out and gently touch her arm. He hoped he was being reassuring and not scaring her further though he was certainly hesitant in the movement. "Don't worry about any of this," he said as he pulled his hand back from her and waved to the hospital around them as if to exaggerate the thought, "Just worry about taking care of yourself."

Nolan is amazing!
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While many had avoided touching her since she'd suffered at the hands of her father, physical touch wasn't frightening to Bella. In fact, wands being pointed to her (especially without warning) was even more frightening, which was why Tilda had made every attempt to speak to Bella as she was soothing her wounds. In the days after she'd arrived at Tilda's home, she'd tried to make sense of the events that led her there, including trying to figure out who — or what — was to blame.

The obvious answer was her father, but she refused to believe he'd been like that just because. From what she'd known, he'd never laid a hand on Araminta or Julius, so why her? That led to her to believe it was her fault, and then the magic's fault, and then Aunt Laverna's fault, and then at some point she'd circled back around to believing it was her fault.

Which it was. She'd settled on that.

"That means I have," she pointed out, in reference to his attempt to avoid her question. "I'm sorry- I mean, I know I can't- well." She stopped for a moment, utterly defeated and without a clue as what the right thing to say was. She didn't need to cry, though. Crying attracted attention and attention attracted gossip. If people gossiped, her family would get angrier, and then they'd definitely throw her out. And then—

Within a moment, Bella's breathing had gotten quicker and heavier, though she hadn't yet spiraled into hyperventilation. Calm down. Calm down. Don't think, just breathe. A few seconds later, she regained composure.

"I'm sorry I wasted your time," she managed to get out, though her words were barely discernible through the crack in her voice. She was terrible, and she knew he knew.

bee made me this set and i love it
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Fletcher suddenly felt like an ass. An abominable one that had quite surely stuck his foot in his mouth. While he'd tried to assuage her guilt and make it seem as if she hadn't caused any problems, he'd clearly done the exact opposite and now she was damn near hyperventilating. What the hell had happened to her? And what was wrong with him?

Taking in a deep breath, he found himself shaking his head in response to her apologies. His time hadn't been wasted. Not then and not even in that moment. His job had always been the main focus of his life. It still was, despite his courtship to Miss MacKay but that was hardly public knowledge. But what mattered in that moment was that something had clearly happened to the young woman.

"You have nothing," he stared, gazing down at her with concern, "Absolutely nothing to be sorry about. Whatever happened to you is not your fault." He didn't care if she'd spat in someone's face. No one ever deserved to go through the obvious beating the young woman before him had. "No one, especially a young lady, deserves to have such pain inflicted upon them," he added, his voice terse and blunt but only because he truly believe in what he was saying, "And should you ever need help, a favor of any kind, I'll do my best to help you."

Nolan is amazing!
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Oh but she did have something — many things, actually — to be sorry about! She'd damaged her family's reputation, abandoned her job when they needed her, ignored the letters sent by worried friends and family members. She'd infringed upon the MacFusty's privacy, eating away their resources when she could have just come home.

Now her future was ruined and there was really nothing she could do about it. No job, no family (in that moment, at least, she believed none of them would have her again), and likely no friends after the stunts she pulled! She'd be on the streets in a week tops — she was sure of it! All alone and hungry and eventually dead.

She wouldn't say anything like that to Mr. Langley or Mr. Jameshill or whoever she came in contact with, as they'd probably be more inclined to throw her in an asylum rather than treat her wounds with this level of hysteria.

"Deserve it or not, I've already taken too many favors from too many people," she admitted, keeping her head low. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to face this situation myself."

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Fletcher had never really expected Miss Scrimgeour to get all self righteous but apparently she had. Whatever had happened to her had certainly done a number on her and not just physically as was apparent to all who saw her. He wasn't going to argue with her though, there was clearly no point to it.

"Well, the offer will still remain," he said with a shrug, he'd at least made an attempt so that counted for something, right? "My family live in Irvingly and I believe Abigail is close to your age," he added, unsure if he should even continue but did anyways, "I'm sure my mother would gladly help you if it were needed." He was actually more than sure. His mother would probably love it to no end but he didn't want to try and pressure her into anything she may not want or even be ready for.

Nolan is amazing!
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It sounded like Mr. Langley was offering her a place to say, which was unbelievable to say the last. She'd swore it wasn't but a month ago that he was pressing that their relationship should stay professional — at least, that was while he was still convinced she was in love with him, which she was certainly not. Speaking of love...

She still had other people she needed to face, and their reactions would likely determine the emotional state Bella left the hospital in. She didn't want to face people she cared about — and that was before she'd had to face the family members she'd tossed into the fire with her accusations against her father. Couldn't she just crawl into a hole and hide?

"Thank you, Mr. Langley," she replied quietly, attempting to give him a genuine smile but failing miserably. "I-I suppose I should allow Spell Damage to look at me. I think they're getting impatient," she said with a glance towards the pacing aurors across the hall.

bee made me this set and i love it
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