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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.


Body Double
May 23rd, 1888 - St. Bart's Hospital, Psychiatric Wing
Three days. Dev had been in the hospital for three days. His mother came to visit him twice, burst into tears both times. His father came with her, and didn't burst into tears, but was very enthusiastic about Dev's return. Neither believed that he never tried to kill himself. Jane came with her children, they discussed nothing serious, and Dev made a puzzle with her sons, none of whom had been born when Dev "died." (Unsurprising. Jane got married in 1880.) With Jane gone, he was back to plotting his jail break - a difficult feat with no wand, no owl, no support, and no one in the country who knew he was alive.

His mother had also brought him a copy of Moby Dick in the hopes that - and this was implied - reading would bring Dev back to himself. Mostly, reading Moby Dick was making Dev want to jump off of a boat to his death. He was strongly considering throwing it out the nearest window - unfortunately, the windows were barred - or at one of the nurses when he saw her.

Miss Porphyria Dempsey, in the flesh, looking a little bit too resplendent for a psychiatric hospital. Dev eyed her through the glass window of his door. It was really, definitely her - and while Miss Dempsey had no reason to be in St. Bart's, this also seemed like something she would do.

Dev cracked open the door and waved at her.

To Say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all” --

deep quote code by Soph ♥
Well, if this wasn't the most The Woman in White shit she had ever bloody seen! She hadn't even gotten to the corridors of "high-risk" patients yet (otherwise known as the actually interesting people), and she had already frozen outside a door, staring into the room (cell?) with a furrowed brow.

Porphyria, despite the reputation for oddity that she enthusiastically cultivated, had never yet considered herself lacking in sanity. She knew ghosts existed - everyone did - but still. She wasn't accustomed to seeing men come back from the dead.

This was the first time a dead person had waved at her. Hmm.

He couldn't be that dead if he'd just opened his door, though. But he also couldn't be who she thought he was if he was sitting in a London hospital. But, also, an eerily coincidental lunatic lookalike of Nathalie's dead fiancé was much less likely to recognise Porphyria than Nathalie's dead fiancé was. She assumed. Supposed lunatics were sometimes very perceptive.

So she waved back, bemused.

Quite sick of bouncing back and forth between equally strange theories already, Porphyria next glanced down the hallway, ignored the slowly-diminishing figure of the nurse who had been supervising her visit to the psychiatric ward, and ducked into the room.  

"...Watson Devereux," she declared with no preamble, waiting to see how he'd react to the name before she decided which one of them was truly the delusional one here.

She came in and she recognized him, which was - well, it was something. Dev nodded fervently. "Yes," he said, "Miss Porphyria Dempsey." Miss Dempsey had always been Nathalie's most eccentric friend, with her morbid poetry and vaguely murderous way of looking at any man who expressed interest in her. But, well, he'd take it.

If he was her, what questions would he have for him?

"I'm not dead," he added, "Or crazy."

He wondered if she was still friends with Nathalie. Probably; they had always been so close. Was he about to find out what Nathalie had been doing, for the past seven years, if he played his cards right? She was probably married now, hopefully to someone who loved her deeply; the thought hurt, but he'd rather that than imagine her unhappy.

To Say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all” --

deep quote code by Soph ♥
He definitely recognised her. The lookalike option was rapidly diminishing in possibility. Pretending to recognise her was not quite the same as knowing her name, now was it?

There was clearly a conspiracy at work here, of some sort. She flopped onto the end of the bed without asking - if she were going to untangle the truth about this, she may as well be comfortable.

Watson Devereaux had anticipated her first couple of questions. Fair enough; they weren't going to have won any awards for creativity. Of course, the latter was something most patients in these places asserted (sometimes Porphyria was even moved to agree with them, though the nurses never did). Still - she would give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment, she supposed.

"See," Porphyria offered eventually, tapping a finger to her cheek thoughtfully, "last I checked, I wasn't either. So this is a little bit unexpected." She didn't bother gesturing around the room; if he was as alert as he seemed, he would understand where she was coming from.

Given her acquaintance with this man lay only through Nathalie, it did not take long for her mind to weave its way to her friend. Namely, did Nathalie know? Either she didn't, and it would come as just as (or more, presumably, since she had been in love with this man or whatever) earth-shattering a revelation to find out he was alive... or Nathalie had privately known what had become of him all this time but hadn't said, and in that case Porphyria would be profoundly offended.

For Nathalie's sake, it better be the former, Porphyria thought darkly. If it was, then her darkness would better be directed at Devereaux. "What are you doing here, then?" She declared. "Have you been here the whole time?"

Porphyria did not look as if she'd be leaving anytime soon; she also seemed to believe him, or at least to put enough stock in not crazy that she had not left yet. Or she thought that he was crazy, that his being crazy was entertaining, and was taking notes.

Dev shook his head. "I was in Canada," he said. "My cousin tried to kill me in the mountains. It didn't take -" he gestured to himself, alive and well "- but I stayed there."

He wanted to ask her about Nathalie. He wanted so badly to know how she was - she'd probably had several of her husband's children, and was running a department at her hospital - but after this many years, he did not think that he even had the right to ask. She wasn't his anymore.

Porphyria would know, though, how she was. He could ask before she left.

To Say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all” --

deep quote code by Soph ♥
The conspiracy was growing and growing.

Porphyria's mouth edged open, jaw dropping with more and more exclamations that she did not bother to make, a flood of questions she couldn't quite formulate aloud against the sheer surprise.

His cousin had tried to kill him! He had survived, somehow! He had... stayed. There. In Canada. For - what had it been? She and Nathalie had only just been finishing school. Years - years and years. Precisely none of that explained how Watson Devereaux had come to be here.  

"Canada?" Porphyria said with a wrinkle of her nose, which may be the least unbelievable - certainly least interesting - aspect of his whole story, but it was what had come out first anyway as she untangled the rest of it mentally. Of course, if he were making up this story, if he were addled in the head, one might still have expected him to have imagined himself somewhere better than Canada.

"Why would you stay?" She amended, eventually, bewildered and intrigued by all of this. "Why are you back now?" (Had he murdered his cousin in bloodthirsty revenge and gotten himself charged with insanity instead? Merlin, she rather hoped so! She'd not met a murderer in these hospitals before, and Watson Devereaux had never used to be this interesting.) "Does Nathalie know all this?" She added swiftly, her tone suddenly hushed, envisioning Nathalie receiving years of secret letters from Canada and wondering why she had never bothered to share them. It'd be Dev murdering his cousin, wouldn't it? That might've been a step too far for Nathalie. Vengeance was not her colour.

He waited, patiently, for Miss Dempsey to finish asking her questions. He'd been in here for three days now, and did not have to rush her now. He started with Canada. "It's where we were," he said, "Seemed natural." He liked Canada. People were friendly, there, and in the wilds of the north they didn't ask too many questions when a doctor turned up.

"I stayed because my best friend tried to kill me," he said, "My whole family believed that I killed myself. What was the point?" He'd been upset, and betrayed, and it was hard to explain to someone who would likely never understand. "But I'm back now because he's trying to marry my sister."

And then there was Nathalie. This was the part that hurt; it stung like a scrape because now, finally, he was going to find out what she was doing. "I haven't seen her," Dev admitted in a soft voice, "How is she?"

To Say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all” --

deep quote code by Soph ♥
Porphyria pulled a face, inclined her head in appraising agreement. He - had a point about that. If everyone believed you were dead - had moved on without you - well. That might change things.

Why his family had been so quick to believe that, she wasn't sure. She could not recall what Nathalie had been told, either - hadn't he been "lost at sea"? It did not sound so unbelievable, even if there had been no proof. It had been hard enough for Nathalie, thinking that - Porphyria would never look back on the aftermath the same way, now Watson Devereaux was here before her eyes, throwing out all that accepted history in a flash - she had lost her fiancé. Better that, she supposed, than the tale that the man she was courting had thought that potential happiness worth little enough in the scheme of his own life to keep living it.  

The truth, if this was it, was a blooming good story, though, and she was itching to hear more of it. All the detail of it - seven years - might taking some telling, though. She didn't know how long she had before the nurse came back. And, evidently, Dev had questions of his own.

She supposed she owed him some reciprocity. Porphyria wondered, for a moment, whether she oughtn't leave the institution, apparate into St. Mungo's and drag Nat out of work and bring her here, so that she could answer that question herself - But this was probably not the time or the place, and, as much as Nathalie had once cared about Mr. Devereaux, it had been a long time since his name had passed their lips, so. She didn't know what her friend would make of this.

So she would suffice as an intermediary, for the moment. "She's... well," she began, eyeing him furtively for his reaction. She hadn't been, at first. Or after, with the ordeal of her other fiancé. "Still working at the hospital - St. Mungo's, that is - as a healer." Her tone was cheerful, and unmistakeably fond. 'Still', she said, like Dev had been around to see much of it. "Still obsessed with her work. The same old Nathalie."  

The same old Nathalie.

Except she worked now. When Dev knew her, she'd been a debutante fixated on the idea of eventually healing. She was going to start after they got married. He wondered if she'd started soon after his disappearance - or if, instead, she had married someone else.

It was fine if she had. It was not as if Watson had expected her to be single when he returned - she was enchanting and lovely, after all - and it was not as if he had been perfectly celibate in Canada, either, although there was little emotion to it.

But Porphyria had said nothing about a family.

Dev realized he was staring - that he had become rather lost in thought. "I suppose she must have married?" he asked.

To Say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all” --

deep quote code by Soph ♥
Well, it was patently obvious Watson Devereaux hadn’t forgotten Nathalie, whatever had happened to him or to her since then. Porphyria was not enough of a romantic of that kind to presume that meant anything for either of them, or to hope for a twee fairytale ending. She wasn’t enough of a gossip, either, to be eager to share the highs and lows, the details and the secrets, of Nathalie’s life since then, with a man who had been out of it for a great deal of time - no matter how hardcore coming back from the dead was, as entrances went.

She was, however, keen on honesty. And a few of the facts couldn’t hurt, when he’d find them out for himself if he looked. “No,” she said slowly, still staring at him squarely to catch his reaction, and still wondering what to tell Nat about any of this in return. “She didn’t. After - well, you -” - she frowned at him, somewhat - “and then how things went awry with her next fiancé, a few years ago, that was enough for her. So.” Whatever her own thoughts on marriage, she did feel sorry for Nathalie, who’d had such high hopes, at first.

“Merlin, and what am I supposed to tell her about you now?” She declared. “In fact he’s not dead, just locked up in a hospital?” Somehow that wasn’t much of an improvement.

So Nathalie wasn't married, and somehow that was worse. It was worse, because it meant she was out there and available, and had been for the past several years. It also meant that, eventually, he was going to have to have a conversation with her. And, really, where did he even start?

Watson sighed and ran one hand through his hair. "I don't know," he said, "I mean - well, she'll never find out I'm alive as long as I'm in here. And I just - don't know." Did he want to talk to Nathalie about it, when she had probably moved on by now, despite her lack of marriage? He could never explain everything in a way that was understandable. He knew that already.

To Say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all” --

deep quote code by Soph ♥
He didn't know what to do about Nathalie. She didn't know what to do about Nathalie. That was his problem to figure out, of course, Phyri was quite decided on that. Beside, she thought it would be almost worse to find out from a third party.  

While what to say to Nathalie eventually was entirely on him, Porphyria gazed around the hospital room again and supposed that there was another part of the problem, one she might be a fraction more equipped to deal with. In her own way. "How long are you going to be here?" She inquired, brow creasing. He wasn't mad, he said, but he was here, and he probably knew as well as she that that sort of assertion did not usually do the trick at convincing anyone else. But either he had checked himself in out of a self-awareness of his own past trauma (snort) or his family had put him in here, which did not bode especially well for Watson Devereaux's future, now that he was back from the dead and all.

"Do you know how you're going to get out?" She added swiftly, ideas piling up in her brain. Surely he did not plan to sit around and wait? What was the point of coming back from the dead to lounge about in a muggle hospital? He might as well be in Canada! "Want me to break the window bars? Distract the nurses?" She shot him a sudden grin. Admittedly, since she had a wand on her person, she could just as easily - though perhaps less excitingly - apparate Devereaux right out of here without a trace. There'd be an enigma for the muggles.

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