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Fern-hunting parties became popular, allowing young women to get outside in a seemingly innocuous pursuit with less rigid oversight and chaperoning than they saw in parlors and drawing rooms. They may have even had the occasional romantic meetup with a similarly fern-impassioned beau. — Bree


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Bunny Devon for Anne Devon. My fair lady of the night
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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Well-Traveled

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.

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With all the force of a great typhoon --- COB
#1
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May 30th, 1888 — Hogwarts Coming Out Ball

Barnabas was tired of standing around in the Great Hall for hours on end, scouting out potential wives. It was exhausting and boring and he wished matchmaking was a thing in this day and age. If he could just pay a knowledgeable woman to toss a list of young women at him that met his requirements and were willing to arrange to be married to him, he'd pick one sight-unseen and be done with it all. Wait... that was what a mail order bride was, wasn't it? That was popular in certain parts of America... he could just pop over there, order a wife, get married and then move back here.

He'd moved himself outside the castle and into the front gardens, decorated with flowers and other fragrant crap that he found useless. A pair of glowing eyes blinked at him from beneath a bush. Startled, he yelped - which sent the critter (a cat) yowling into the darkness. When he heard a snicker behind him, he demanded, "Are you spying on me?"


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Between the presence of her brother and her cousin at the ball Tamsin had spent the first hour feeling as though she were trapped at some especially over-subscribed family do and as a result she had studiously avoided them. She was here for stories of interest after all and Mason had the distinct look of somebody who had been dressed and nagged by auntie Morwenna - a bit unfortunate, he wasn’t a bad man at all, but not really interesting other than as something she could bring up at Christmas to embarrass him.

Barney was a different story. Inreresting was the nicest way of putting what he was. Still, he seeemd to attract calamity and so when he left the hall she followed, leaving behind the prospect of a dance with a divine healer she had been talking to so whatever Barney was up to, it better be worth her time.

It wasn’t. It was a cat. But his girlish shriek more than made up for the lost dance and she laughed gaily at him.

“Why on earth would I do anything that depressing?” She taunted with a giggle before her eyes went wide with playful surprise. “Unless you’re up to something terribly scandalous? Was the cat not receptive to your charming ways?”
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Unfortunately, the person was his sister. Barnabas had been doing rather well at avoiding her lately. She seemed clueless about the whole Amelia Evans mess, as well as any other embarrassments he'd happened to experienced since then. Likely, she wasn't very good at her job then. Gossip was supposed to be her bread and butter. Perhaps Witch Weekly would have been a better option, although they were the cream of the crop when it came to such things. No. The Daily Prophet suited her. They hardly published any gossip articles. He suspected that they only did when they wanted to throw her a bone and keep her on the payroll.

His lips pressed into an annoyed line, "What do you want, Tamsin? You're not sneaking out to meet up with a beau I hope." His tone was sarcastic. They both knew she didn't have any romantic prospects. She'd chosen to have a career over being a real debutante. That had slowed her chances. It wasn't as if her employment was anything impressive either — she wrote gossip. Utterly ridiculous and an embarrassment.


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Her lip twitched at the attempt to rile her but it was far too mild to bother her much: she might not have any man in her sight – and she knew why Barney thought that was – but she was still young and Tamsin was quite self-centred enough to notice how some men looked at her. She could have a follower if she wanted one, but to her mind there were just more interesting things before the right one came along.

And when that happened she would take great pride in probably getting married before Barney managed it!

“If I was you’d be the last person I’d tell,” she said with a tart smile, laughing to herself as she sauntered closer to him.

“And I was just wondering what your considered opinion on this year’s crop was?” She laughed again. “The public hold so much respect for your opinion after all.”
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They were adults at this point, she really shouldn't try to wind him up this way. He shouldn't give in to the bait she'd so obviously laid out for him. No, he should be a mature, responsible adult who would not bicker with his younger sister.

At least their mother wasn't present.

"My opinion is private," He told her flatly, annoyed that she'd known just what to say to irk him, "You really ought to stop laughing. It's unbecoming. You'd think after my telling you how much it sounded like a cackle you'd have fixed that by now. Tamskin Skeeter, the cackling witch who revels in gossip and nonsense. Mother and Father must be so proud."


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#6
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He truly was hilarious sometimes, unintentionally of course, and quite wasted on the Ministry, but Tamsin doubted it was a sentiment they shared. When they had been children she and Thompson had taken turns pretending to be their pompous older brother, ordering each other around until their mother told them off or they couldn’t see for laughing anymore. By mutual consent they had decided to wait for the opportune moment to reveal their game.

“They’ve always said as much,” she said airily but, tellingly, without laughing again. Barney was absurd but she was not made of stone. “What are you doing here then? At least I have work as an excuse but this is a little frivolous for you isn’t it?”


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