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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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All Dressed Up for a Hit & Run
#1
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June 13th, 1888 — Wellintonshire

Their trunks were fastened securely to the back of the carriage, a lantern at the front providing some respite from the oppressive fog that had prompted their abrupt departure from Wellingtonshire. Rufina Mulciber had never lived as a muggle and had no intention of starting now, and so as soon as the Fog's arrival in her neighbourhood had been confirmed, the witch had made arrangements to get out of Dodge without delay.

Flora sat to her left and Merriweather across from her as the carriage rattled it's way briskly down the street.

"It's for the best, really," she reassured her stepson. "Besides, you can hardly take advantage of your now of-age magic if magic's been snuffed out like a candle!"




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#2
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Merriweather thought that Rufina was being rather dramatic, and had been projecting this feeling in everything he did all morning. Now that they were in the carriage, it was too late to reverse course, and so he shrugged at his stepmother's explanation of her reasoning.

"That makes sense," Merry said, although he did admittedly sound rather unconvinced. It wasn't as if it made a ton of difference.

#3
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Rufina was not altogether satisfied that he was convinced, but whatever was next to be out of her mouth was interrupted by an aggressive lurch and bump of the carriage that sent her flying into her stepson's lap.




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#4
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His stepmother was in his lap his stepmother was in his lap-!

Merriweather froze in horror, hands awkwardly out at his sides, expression frozen in something like horror. His brain was still stuck on the lurch, and the collision of Rufina, and thinking oh please dear Merlin let my body not make this any more awkward.
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#5
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Much like her mother, Flora was sent flying at the carriage's sudden lurch. But rather than being sent flying in her brother's direction, her petite frame slammed up against the interior wall of the carriage, causing her to let out a cry in pain. A flow of tears soon followed, though they were caused more by the sudden panic than the pain.

"Mama, what's happened?" she wailed as she attempted to steady herself.




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#6
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The carriage had come to a halt, and Rufina would learn why. She gripped Merriweather’s shoulder firmly in her efforts to push herself into a standing—if bent—position, perhaps grabbing a bit more tightly than intended in the process.

“Flora, are you alright?” she asked her daughter, concern evident in her voice. “And Merriweather? You aren’t injured, are you?”




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#7
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Oh thank Merlin she was finally off of him.

"I'm fine," Merry said. Although usually a bit of a hypochondriac, he felt nothing but jostled, and was more curious than anything else. "I want to see what we hit."

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#8
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Flora let out little more than a sniffle in response, standing herself up before waddling towards her mother. She pressed herself against her hip, unsure of what exactly had happened outside. She'd read stories of robbers attacking wealthy carriages, and while her senses told her that was unlikely in the middle of the well-populated Hogsmeade, the sudden burst of adrenaline sent a sea of irrational thoughts through her mind.

"I'm alright, Mama," she said quietly, all the while trying to position herself as far away from the carriage door as she could. "Don't go out there," she pleaded, peeking around her mother to catch a glimpse at Merriweather.




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#9
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“Be careful,” she urged her son, ignoring Flora's protests. Her curiosity, too, was getting the better of her—it had been an awfully big lurch. "Keep one hand on the carriage so you don't lose it."




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#10
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Merry ignored Flora, which he was well-practiced at, and hopped outside of the carriage. He walked around to the front, fingertips skimming along the side of the carriage so that he didn't lose it. He almost tripped over it but caught himself after his foot nudged the surprisingly soft object in front. He bent over and squinted.

"Fuck!" Merriweather yelled, loudly.

#11
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Flora was certain they were going to die. Mother would go rushing out at the sound of Merriweather's death cry, and once she, too, was killed by the murderer, the carriage driver would have his throat slit (if he hadn't already). And then she'd be next - a girl no more than eleven years of age, suffering a horrid demise at the hands of a slasher.

She begun to cry, though fortunately for her and her pride, they were silent tears, with no more than a frightened squeak leaving her mouth. She held tightly to her mother's dress, silently beginning to plan her escape.




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#12
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Merriweather!” Rufina exclaimed, aghast at her son’s language. While the witch herself was not a delicate flower, there were a) societal norms and b) his young sister to consider, and she found herself vacating the carriage to chastise the wizard further, detatching a crying Flora’s hands from her garments in the process.

“You’ve upset your sister! What in the world possessed you to—”

Her tirade stopped its progress when she made out the shape of him crouched down in the fog—beside another shape that was familiar, and yet seemed altogether wrong: a body.

“Fuck.” she echoed quietly.




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#13
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His heart was in his throat. Merry tuned out the sound of Rufina's chastisement, but not consciously - all he could hear was the rush in his ears. The woman's eyes were wide open, but he still reached out to touch two fingers to her neck, seeking a pulse. "She's dead," he said, Rufina's swear reaching him. Merry turned to his stepmother, and his own eyes were almost as wide with shock as the corpse.

#14
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Flora was inconsolable when her mother left from sight. The fear - the true fear, driven by the sudden quietness from outside the carriage, save for a few unintelligible mumbles - kicked in, and the conflict of impulses soon followed. Should she stand silently and cry, much as she was doing now? Run out with the hope she'd escape the slasher? Try and defend her mother and brother? In the end, her 'freeze' instinct won: she stood, crying in the most unladylike of ways, tears and snot streaming down her face while her body shook with every hiccup and sob.




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#15
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She felt as though frozen—body rigid, blood cold, as her mind worked franticly to figure out what to do. The face of the woman—the body—looked vaguely familiar, but between panic and the fog, Rufina was unable to quite make the connection. No matter. After several long moments of Flora sobbing, Merriweather’s shock, and the sound of her own heartbeat pounding violently in her ears, Rufina sprang into action.

“We must go,” she instructed definitively, moving to wrap an arm around her daughter as she addressed her son. “Back into the carriage. We continue on as though nothing happened.”




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