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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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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.


Guns and Dogs
May 25th, 1888 - Lucius' House, London
Took a trip down in '87
They were looking for a place where we don't need heaven
Oh, once you crawl in, you never come back again

Technically he was the main event of the evening, but with Cicero attracting much of the pre-dinner audience, Cash slipped out into the yard. He leaned against the wall of the house by the back door and sighed, closing his eyes. "Kiss me properly," said a painfully familiar voice, "And tell me you missed me. And then I'll stop being selfish and wish you a happy birthday."

The voice came like a punch to the gut. Cash's eyes popped back open. "I thought you were gone," he said, to no one in particular. It had been so long - months, really - since the last time he imagined Eli's voice. But here he was, again, as Cash leaned against the wall of the house and the sun set. Dead, but not gone - Eli was haunting him.

Cash reached into the pocket of his jacket and pulled out a cigarette. He lit it with a flick of his wand and was blowing smoke rings upwards when the back door opened again. Cash turned, expecting a sibling or a household servant or, at best, Ellory. Instead he got Antigone, who was at least, a better option than her husband.

"Do you smoke?" Cash asked, moving over in case Antigone wanted to join him against the wall. When it came to avoiding the family - well, beggars couldn't be choosers.

MJ made this!
Family gatherings were really starting to get up her nose. Being stuck in the same house, often the same room, with the same group of people she almost unanimously disliked was incredibly tedious. She was almost constantly in the company of people she disliked simply because she disliked most people, but for some reason - possibly a survival instinct - she felt it necessary to mask her disdain. Were she with her own family she'd assuredly revert to childish levels of petulance and tantrums. Childish by her standards anyway.

When the opportunity to sneak outside for a moment presented itself, she took it readily. To her immense disappointment, her escape was ruined by the reason she was even there in the first place. Cassius. Why did he need a stupid birthday party, she hadn't had a birthday party since... Well, she couldn't remember. She doubted she'd be celebrating her next one in any sort of memorable fashion, although maybe it wouldn't be so terrible to organize something this year. She'd be center of attention, no one could accuse her of being a reclusive oddity, and it'd very likely irritate Tiberius immensely, the only downside was the possibility of a low turn out. That wold just be embarrassing.

Tig watched with slight bemusement as he not only moved aside as if to invite her to join him, but proceeded to speak to her. Honestly she'd just been expecting to engage in some terse eye contact and then move off to occupy a space as far from him as the yard would allow. It took her a moment to realize that he'd just asked her a question. She felt an inclination to glance over her shoulder to see if she was stood in front of the person he was really speaking to but refrained, already knowing there was no one else there.

"Are you offering?" She'd never smoked but was under the impression it was generally less acceptable for a woman to do so and as such, was quite ready to try it out. If nothing else it would be amusing if it displeased Tiberius. Regardless of how harmoniously - or not - they might be getting along at any time, it was always good to demonstrate her disregard for his expectations of her in case he should fall prey to a delusion of her obedience.

This was what Cash liked about Antigone. She could not read his mind or his facial expressions; she was not going to try to cheer him up; she also had no power to make this day more difficult than it was. She was, as far as Lestrange family gatherings were concerned, one of the most harmless people he could have possibly been interrupted by.

"I'm offering," Cash said, holding his own cigarette between his fingers. He reached into his pocket to tug a second one out of the box he purchased in Hogsmeade, and held it out to her. "Just don't tell your husband you got it from me. Or do, I don't really care."

There was nothing Tiberius could do to him that had not been done already; besides, Tib was sort of invested in the whole Nora Abercrombie scheme, probably because of the wife standing next to Cash now. He was nonplussed.

[-] The following 2 users Like Cassius Lestrange's post:
   Antigone Lestrange, Ophelia Devine

MJ made this!
Tig arched an eyebrow at him as she accepted the cigarette from him. If at any point Tiberius asked her who gave her a cigarette she'd happily tell him the truth. Maybe nothing would come of it but maybe it would stir up a little discord between them at some point.

She stole a furtive glance in Cassius' direction to see how he was holding the cigarette and then imitated, hoping he didn't notice her slight fumbling. "Not your favorite relative, Tiberius, is he?" she remarked dryly. Her eyes were now on the cigarette itself which it now occurred to her she didn't know what to do with once it was lit. He was going to offer to light it for her, wasn't he? She held it out towards him expectantly. "Shouldn't you be in there?" Tig indicated towards the house with a pointed glance. "It is your party."

"We've known each other too well and for too long to get along," Cash said simply. Tiberius had always been better liked by Cash's father; Tiberius and Cash were opposites on a polar scale. Tiberius knew Cash's most important secrets, was partially responsible for Eli's death (although not as much as Cash was,) and was to some extent responsible for Cash's tenuous grasp on his memories of Eli. And Cash? Cash knew how Tiberius operated, on some level, and knew that something was wrong with Antigone's ability to have children. (Or Tiberius would never have proposed the Nora scheme.)

They were Lestranges, they dealt in power, and Tib had always had more of it.

Cash pulled out his wand, and with a flick of his wrist and a muttered spell, lit the cigarette that Antigone was holding. He shrugged. "If it was up to me, there wouldn't be a party," Cash admitted with a wry smile. "No one asked, of course. You know how this family is."

MJ made this!
Tig was perplexed by his comment on his relationship with Tiberius but not enough to bother inquiring further. What perplexed her more was why he was being so amiable. She had more important and pressing matters to contemplate for now, however, such as how to smoke a cigarette and not look like a complete amateur.

She raised the cigarette, eyeing it dubiously, and stole a sideways glance in his direction to see what he was doing. "There's worse things to have forced upon you than birthday parties," she muttered absently. Deciding it would probably be instinctive - and really, how hard could it be? - Tig stopped dithering and put the cigarette in her mouth. The idea was to suck on it and then expel the smoke, wasn't it? It seemed a bit pointless unless she was missing a step. What was the point of taking it in if you were just going to immediately blow it out again? There was only one way to find out. She inhaled sharply and immediately regretted it. Why did people do it and how was he not choking up his lungs? Tig didn't think she could let the smoke out without coughing and she could tell if she coughed it wouldn't be a dainty, throat-clearing sort of cough. Were her eyes watering yet?

Unable to keep it in any longer, she let it out twice as fast as she'd brought it in and couldn't hold back the hacking cough that followed it. How was it she could pull off animagus transfiguration but she couldn't do something as simply as smoke?

There were worse things to have forced upon you. Cash knew that. He thought he had known it before, when he swore the Unbreakable Vow to his father, but then Eli had died and Belphoebe had taken so many of Cash's memories. He wasn't even sure where her meddling and his identity began anymore. This ought to be more concerning than it was, but he didn't feel anything about it when he thought about it. He mostly just felt - nothing.

Antigone was married to a sociopath and had one and a half dead children. Her circumstances weren't easy either, he knew.

Cash grinned at her cough, but didn't laugh. "To smoke you - it's kind of difficult to describe," Cash admitted, "You inhale it into your lungs, not your mouth, just before it starts to burn - and then exhale." He demonstrated, and refrained from blowing a smoke ring at her.

MJ made this!
"I know how to smoke," she snapped through a wheeze. All the same, she was going over what he'd said in her mind, determined that she'd seem like a pro the next time she put it in her mouth. Frowning a bit, she tried again. There was a noticeable improvement but by the time she exhaled she was fighting to suppress a cough. She eventually coughed once and tried to cover it up as throat clearing although it wasn't very convincing. Was it supposed to taste like that?

She felt a little odd and would likely have ditched the cigarette then and there were she alone. Tig wasn't alone, however, and she felt as though she had something to prove. She attempted it a third time. This time there was no coughing but the lightheaded feeling intensified. "See." What made people smoke and how was he standing there as if he felt perfectly fine? She had an increasing number of questions she wanted to ask but her pride wouldn't allow it. "What's your deal then?" The hand holding the cigarette had already raised the thing back to her lips when she remembered she wasn't enjoying the smoking experience but it was too late if she wanted to save face.

Before Eli died, Cash probably would have poked fun at her. Instead, now, he let her fake being good at smoking and twisted his own cigarette back and forth in his fingers, and raised his eyebrows when Antigone asked him a fairly loaded question.

She caught him off guard. He didn't know what to say to her. He didn't know what the answer was, or how honest he wanted to be. But this was Antigone. What did it matter if she knew anything about him? She had no power over him; she was unlikely to tell anyone even if she suspected what he meant; Lucius already knew.

"I'm surprised Tiberius never told you," Cash said, genuinely, "My father found something out about me a year ago. Things haven't been - ideal for me, since." Rather than making eye contact with her, Cash blew a smoke ring up at the awning they were standing under.

MJ made this!
Curious though she may be, she was nonetheless surprised when the answer she got wasn't evasive or an outright refusal. However, she had no idea what the ominous sounding 'something' was. He couldn't know Tiberius that well if he thought her husband told her anything not immediately relevant to her. She didn't even know what progress he had made on procuring an heir or where the child would come from, nor did she know if she'd ever find out if she left it entirely up to him to tell her. Maybe though, maybe Cassius did know him well and had good reason to assume she would have been told. Either way though Tig felt embarrassed and frustrated by her own ignorance and placed the blame with Tiberius.

A myriad of responses presented themselves but she didn't want to expose her ignorance too blatantly. All she could deduce or guess at from what he'd said, was that Cassius had done something his father strongly disapproved of and he had suffered consequences of some sort. "So," she finally began, having used a clumsy puff on her cigarette as an excuse to delay her response, they were rather handy in that respect for all that they tasted like the bottom of a coal scuttle. "You're the family disappointment." There was always one. Tig liked to think Ligeia was the disappointment in her family but in truth she felt it was her. The way he had spoken seemed to imply that he felt he was making an understatement but Tig was disinclined to believe it was all as bad as he was making out, at least not from where she stood. "Life must be terrible for you."

Cash smirked. He drew another puff of his cigarette, which was waning, and considered Antigone. She didn't know. Or if she did know, she didn't think it was a big deal, which seemed unlikely. Cash mentally readjusted his list of people who knew, and considered her. He had never even told Ellory, but practically speaking, Antigone was... low on his list of social priorities.

"I'm out of small talk and I'm almost out of whiskey. If you want to talk about something else you should buy me another drink and - move someplace where we can talk, or whatever," said Eli.

Cash shivered, nearly dropping his cigarette. "And what? Your deal is more unusual?" he asked Antigone.

MJ made this!
From the corner of her eye she could've sworn she saw him suffer a brief loss of composure but it seemed to pass so quickly that she wasn't entirely convinced she hadn't imagined it. Unable to think of a reason for what she thought she'd observed, she shrugged it off.

Tig took another drag of the cigarette in what finally seemed to somewhat resemble the smooth and confident manner she'd intended for the very first puff.

"I never claimed to be a victim." She wrinkled her nose both at the unpleasant taste in her mouth and the idea that he might think she was some helpless creature of circumstance. She'd certainly tell Tiberius that he'd ruined her life and all that, but she'd passed the point of crying over her lot in life. Maybe she hadn't accepted it with grace, but she firmly believed that she had taken control of her situation rather let herself get swept away in the current of Tiberius' will. Tig wanted to say something that would make him feel as though his issues were trivial but found she couldn't do so without inviting his pity. She'd extinguish her cigarette on his exposed skin before she let him pity her.

"But as you said," she released a lungful of smoke, "you know how this family is." The smoke punctuated her cryptic response with an added flair of the dramatic that pleased her immensely.

"You're right," Cash said. Or, if she was not right, she was right enough - this family was a very particular way, and Tiberius was a very particular way, and Antigone had never had any more of a choice in her circumstances than Cash had. They were, he supposed, more alike than he'd like to believe. He took another drag of his cigarette.

Cash blew the smoke away, no smoke rings, just away. "Sometimes I think I don't want to be here anymore," he admitted. "Not here," he gestured at the yard around them, "But, you know, here." Another vague handwave; this one was more directed at himself, meant to encompass this, bodily experience. He didn't want to be here anymore. He had not wanted to be here for a few months, now, but on this, the anniversary of Eli's death - he didn't want to be here at all.

MJ made this!
Tig quirked a condescending eyebrow at him as she engaged with her cigarette once again. Was his life truly that bleak or was he just a spineless whiner? However, she couldn't honestly say that she had never had similar thoughts of her own, albeit more of an apathy to life than a longing for death.

"And what purpose would that serve?" Her voice came out strained on account of her trying to hold back the tantalizing urge to cough. "If your father wishes you'd never been born you'll be doing him a favor. It might be easier to be dead but you'll be forgotten that much sooner, especially with a half-brother to take your place. If I died tomorrow, your father would have Seneca marry Tiberius the moment it was socially acceptable and I'd be well and truly forgotten once your sister announced she was in the family way." Her bitterness was palpable. "It's simply not worth it; the dead have no influence over the living."

Cash's smile turned wry. His cigarette was nearly burned to the butt; he dropped it on the ground and scuffed it out with his shoe. "So spite's your motivator," he said, "That makes sense." For a life with Tiberius, a life as a pureblood woman in their echelon of society - well. He couldn't blame her. He would have pulled on spite, too.

"It's never worked for me like that," he said simply. But she was right - he couldn't just die now. Not when Angie was away. But maybe when she came back.

MJ made this!
As he extinguished his cigarette Tig regarded him, her eyes narrowed distrustfully. Was it the effect of his company or the cigarette that had made her abnormally forthcoming? Either way she didn't particularly appreciate her own honesty.

She gave a couple more puffs of the cigarette, distinctly aware now that she was the only one smoking. It still tasted abominable but she didn't feel like coughing up a lung every few seconds anymore. "Think you're too good for spite then?"

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