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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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Carson Bixby for Sloane Bixby. You can take the middle-aged man out of quidd—oh, apparently you can't.
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.


Out on the Front Doorstep
May 14th, 1888 - Miriam and Cassandra's Home, Swallowbury
Miriam was responsible for tonight's Trelawney family dinner, which was a Freya staple MT mentally referred to as "throw everything you have into a pot and call it stew, we're fucking poor." It was a slight improvement over the stews she remembered from her youth, because they weren't as poor as they had been then. This stew included rice, and a chicken she bought at the market this morning.

The stew would have to be thrown on a cooling spell to keep for another few days, because Trelawney dinner was sparse. Obviously Theo and Cassandra were there, and Sarah, but Abe had some sort of familial obligation, and Leo said something about work. MT didn't know what excuse Frederick was trying to use for this, but had been in a visible Mood ever since Sarah mentioned his absence, and may have imparted several lessons about Men Being Trash to Theo as he played by her feet in the kitchen.

They were eating out of bowls on the back staircase, because this was one of the few sunny days they could expect this summer in Scotland. "What are we doing for Theo's birthday?" Meer asked, considering it one of her more polite conversation options at the moment.

Sarah Townsend Cassandra Trelawney
It was an eternal comfort that the whole world might change - might be turned upside down or utterly inside out - and she would still always have dinner with her sisters.

Frederick had claimed he'd already arranged drinks with some of his friends, which (if it were true) he had certainly only pulled together after he'd heard the words dinner with the Trelawneys as his alternative. Not that she had said as much, but Sarah didn't mind his absence. It was more like old times, with just siblings, even only some of them. And it was always more enjoyable when Miriam wasn't staring daggers.

She perked up visibly at Meer's question. Between Cassandra's birthday coming up, and her nephew's, there was plenty of spoiling to be done, one of her favourite things to do. She had been saving up (she'd been saving up for years for things she still had no need of) so a shopping trip was on the cards, perhaps to Denbright's. Little pleasures like that were all that she needed to break up the days.

"I can't believe he's going to be three!" Sarah cooed, trying and failing to catch Theo's attention to determine whether the toddler was aware of - or excited for - his upcoming birthday. Instead, she peered hopefully at Cassandra, hoping they had the time to do something special.

To look at the sky there was nothing that should make her feel a chill and yet Cassie did. She pulled her shawl tighter around her shoulders, awkward with cutlery and crockery in hand and half her attention on her son, and tried not to notice that her fingers were positively icy against the warm bowl that contained Meer's best efforts. She had been feeling like this for weeks and assumed she was coming down with something - everybody else seemed content to soak up the rays so it must be her that was off.

"Oh I don't know, I doubt he'll remember either way," she replied, distracted for a moment by a vision, not gifted but rather longed for, of Theo waddling towards his father to receive a present with a happy grin.

"I don't remember much of that age," she partially lied, recalling too easily the feeling of eating till she was actually full and sleeping without fear of landlords.

[Image: Cassie_SIG_by_MJ.jpg]
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"I just remember Leo was born," Meer said. But it seemed unlikely that Theo would be gifted with any more siblings - or cousins - anytime soon, unless Sarah was keeping secrets from her. Abraham would, probably, out-produce them all.

"Which means we can really have a party for us!" she said with a laugh, "But get a cake."

Miriam was fond of cake.

Childhood became a blur the further back she went. Even if they had come afterwards, Sarah supposed, any impressions of the hazy, innocent happiness that had once been her life always seemed to dissolve against the barbed memory of the accident with the broken wand. It was her fault, after all, that everything had gone downhill for all of them.

"I think I remember when it was just me and Cassie," she teased, grinning at Miriam as though she'd missed out. She certainly remembered Meer joining them in the world, if only as vague memories of poking and prodding at the newest infant, perhaps shaking a rattle in baby MT's face.

The vagueness of childhood recollections was no excuse for not celebrating Theo's birthday. "But I agree with Meer, we have to have cake," she put in brightly. "And besides, what about your birthday?" Sarah added, raising her eyebrows at Cassandra. Oh, she could use the excuse that celebrating birthdays was entirely for children, if she liked, but that would not stop Sarah.

Cassie sighed theatrically and looked to the sky with despair. "I was hoping we could forget all about that."

She was turning thirty. She was still unmarried and Cassie was becoming increasingly sure that would be the case forever now: having Theo was a bad enough slight against her character but now she would be committing the sin of being old. At least Sarah had a husband and Miri had a profession, between them they were just about a functioning member of society. Abe contributed the booze obviously.

"Could I eat my cake under the bedcovers?"

[Image: Cassie_SIG_by_MJ.jpg]
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"As long as you let me sing at you in there," Meer said, in a predictably sing-song voice, "We'd never forget your birthday. Sarah's as considerate as I am stubborn." She laughed, but it was also how she genuinely felt: Sarah was soft and caring and gentle, and Meer was all sharp-edges, the Trelawney sister most likely to get in a fight. Between them, there was no escaping a birthday or sisterly concern.

"Oh, please," Sarah chimed in, with a sincere laugh but amusement in her eyes, "I think we all know that Miriam is more stubborn than that." Miriam was more stubborn than everyone in the world put together, when she wanted to be, and Sarah admired her intensely for it.

And Cassie was beautiful and clever in spades, and that was not something that would be dampened by celebrating her for a day. If anyone deserved to be celebrated - for more than her Sight, of course! - it ought to be Cassandra, anyway. "And thirty isn't the end of the world, you know," she said in playful reproach, shaking her head sagely at her sisters. If it was, she was already beyond hope!

She stirred some stew about in her bowl to forget the fact that she had, herself, grown into the habit of hating every birthday that passed more fiercely, that annual reminder of her failings, the sand in the hourglass filling too fast and the rest of her life as barren as before.

It was useless pointing out to Sarah that thirty for a married woman was quite different than for someone with a child already and the name she was born with, as Cassie already knew it would be a bittersweet point. She knew how much Sarah longed for a child but the visions she'd had of that future were sketchy at best. The child she saw looked a great deal like Sarah, and as a result, like Freya, but there was precious little else. She didn't even see Frederick in this future but that didn't mean he wasn't still there, skulking on the sidelines probably muttering about their collective mistakes while Meer aimed something at his head.

She didn't need to sight to know one day they would come to blows. She only hoped she got the chance to see it.

"I'll try to bear it nobly," she said with as much dignity as she could muster with her shawl threatening to dip into her stew everytime she moved her arm. "Tell Abe to bring less firewhiskey this time though please, we do all have to work for a living and..." she swallowed a bite that upon the chewing had actually proven quite tasty. "Is Frederick likely to come? Leo might want some masculine company besides Theo."

Although her son, in her estimation, was a much nicer conversation partner.

[Image: Cassie_SIG_by_MJ.jpg]
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"You know if we tell her that she'll just bring more," MT said, with a laugh. Abe was insatiable and there was really nothing to be done for it, but as long as Leo came they might be able to survive through to the next morning.

Meer swallowed a large bite of stew so that she would have an excuse to avoid discussing Frederick; whether she had ever said so to Sarah's face or not, her feelings were well-known and well-broadcast enough already.

Sarah grinned knowingly at the tried-and-true combination of their youngest sister and her firewhiskey. (How much she ended up bringing would hardly matter to Sarah, who was always likely to fold early, having been a disgraceful lightweight since her teens.)

"Of course he'll come," she added brightly, any hint of strain in her smile simply the proof that a family birthday - if not this dinner, evidently - was reason enough to bully him into it, regardless of what he wanted. He's part of the family, after all, were the words on her tongue, but she swallowed them despondently, feeling the stretch of the truth before she'd even said them. Besides, Miriam would never believe it.

"He'd never say no to an occasion with liquor," Sarah added - with a laugh, because it was supposed to be a joke. (She wished it were a joke.)
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That was true enough though none of the family barring Sarah could really throw stones. They really were a terrible bunch once the liquor had touched them and Cassie knew, without the benefit of any additional gifts she might have, that they would likely never get better. The children might grow, might be better than them, but somewhere there would be a part of Theo, and Abe's children, and however many the others had, that was Freya. And Freya had liked a drink.

"Who would? Especially when it's freely provided." It was possible they would all be dead by the time they were forty and it would be entirely Abe's fault and she laughed to herself, about to share the thought with her sisters when a shiver took hold of her and her vision went foggy. "Ugh, what did you put in this Meer? I feel terrible..."

[Image: Cassie_SIG_by_MJ.jpg]
fabulous, dreamy set by MJ
Maybe Townsend would do them all a favor and fall asleep drunk before Miriam had to deal with him. She fantasized about this for a moment, but was startled back to reality by Cassandra's shiver. "Just the usual, Cass," Miriam said, frowning. She looked past Cassie, and at Sarah, fixing her with a Look.

"How are you feeling?" she asked, still giving Sarah the Look, the very special is-Cassandra-having-a-vision Look. Not for the first time, Miriam secretly hoped that Theo would not inherit her mother's talents - because it would surely spell trouble if he did.

She'd been smiling defeatedly at Cassie's quip, but the smile fell away as she glanced down at her own bowl with a furrowed brow - granted, it wasn't the sort of thing one could serve to the Queen, but the stew tasted the same as ever, and had it merits, chief among those that it was remarkably filling. One look at Meer's face told Sarah all she needed to know, and she shifted closer to her sister, a shiver rushing down her own spine in sympathy.

She'd seen enough instances of Cassandra like this in the past that she didn't need to stare, but Sarah still couldn't be rid of the eternally unsettled feeling - and the urge to help somehow, though any sort of touch or talk wouldn't do much when their sister was out-of-place and out-of-time in a vision. "What is it, Cassie?" She echoed softly, not especially expecting an answer, merely waiting for Cassandra to come back to herself.

The vison that swam before her eyes was of very little substance but Cassie was not nearly self-deluded enough to think it was anything other than a glimpse of the future. Sometimes it came in flashes: she saw a scar on somebody’s face that was a mere echo of something they were yet to receive and it was gone as soon as she had seen it. Other times the thoughts were drawn out and she saw anecdotes, thrilling and tragic, that attached themselves to a person.

Sometimes it hurt. Sometimes it didn’t.

This time all she could see was…well….

“It’s foggy,” she muttered, headache roaring to the surface. It was hardly the most useful of visions but it was all she could see. Fog that smothered, fog that would kill given the chance because this fog, and there was no other way to say it, seemed- “Angry fog.”

[Image: Cassie_SIG_by_MJ.jpg]
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