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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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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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Scary Kind of Feeling
#1
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June 21st, 1888 — Northwest of Highstreet

Sundays were a short day at the shop and for Thistle this one was even shorter.  They weren’t exactly bustling in the fog and it was a convenient excuse to leave and go check on the green houses.  The fog meant that there was significantly less sunlight reaching their plants and Thistle was worried they’d soon be seeing signs of distress in their more fragile plants.  

She was a block outside High Street, well on her way home, when the sky overhead dimmed until she was completely submerged darkness.  Were it not for the distant sounds of distress she might have thought she’d gone blind.  Clearly something had happened and the people in High Street were experiencing it too.  Frozen in place, eyes wide straining to see anything, she quickly realized there was no way she would get all the way home.  Glancing over her shoulder she could just barely make out what might have been a light in the distance - maybe a lamp lit on high street - and she set placed her hope in that.  With no time to panic she carefully turned around hoping she was facing the exact direction she’d come from and slowly moved toward the light.

No matter how far she moved she didn’t seem to get any closer to the light and the longer she went without seeing anything the more she began to worry.  Had she gotten turned around?  Was she actually headed for the black lake? Reaching down to the ground she felt cobblestone at her feet.  At least she was still in civilization.  When she straightened again the light in the distance, her only point of reference,was gone.

With a whispered “No!” she took a hurried step forward and almost immediately collided with something big and solid with a yelp of surprise.
#2
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Any excuse to get out of the house, he’d thought. Fresh air was fresh air, even in the dust of this fog. There wasn’t even any necessary rush on errands or even an idle walk, because he had rapidly run out of work he was able to do. The whole thing was slowly driving him insane.

So, an outing hadn’t been supposed to hurt. Only, here Elias now was - his wandering in the fog turned to stumbling through pitch darkness - having taken a sharp turn and walked straight into a wall. He’d torn his sleeve against something - perhaps an awry nail, or a bit of wire - and grazed his arm right through to the skin, somewhere near his elbow, and though he couldn’t see the damage, he could feel it.

That incident had set him completely off track, though he supposed he ought to be grateful to the sudden onslaught of darkness in sparing him witnesses. Only, scarcely a few minutes later, he was granted worse than a witness - a victim, because Elias had just barrelled straight into something else, and this something was definitely a person.

“Christ!” he said, startled, echoing their - her, judging by the voice? - yelp of surprise. He leant backwards in haste, but instinctively outstretched a hand in front of him in an attempt to steady them, since his counterpart in this collision had felt markedly less sturdy than him. Of course, since he couldn’t even see his own hand in front of his face, he wasn’t sure whether he was patting the air like an idiot or perhaps, possibly, would actually be able to find their shoulder. “Er - are you alright?” He tried, hoping he at least hadn’t managed to knock anybody out on the street.



#3
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She would have stumbled backwards if not for the grip on her shoulder... and her grip on what had to be some kind of waistcoat or shirtfront.  Her hands had flown out instinctively and... well now she was clutching another person.  She tried to take stock of herself, a feat that felt impossible in her complete blindness, but nothing felt wrong.  

"I think so?"  She was alright in the sense he surely meant but there was nothing alright about being stranded in the dark.   She tried to drop her hands from what was obviously overly personal contact with a complete stranger but she immediately felt the disorientation begin to hedge in.  "Forgive me, I didn't er - see you." she couldn't help but be amused.  The lack of sight was obvious but how else should she excuse herself for plowing head-on with someone?
#4
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If this had been broad daylight, Elias presumed they would have looked like utter fools, perfect strangers clinging onto each other. (He didn't recognise her voice, and truly hoped she wasn't someone he was supposed to know, because that was another dollop of awkwardness this situation hardly needed.)

She let go of his clothes soon thereafter, and that was near the only thing that forced him to withdraw his grasp from her shoulder, letting his hand fall stupidly and feeling as though he'd forget how far off she was in a split-second; he certainly didn't know where to look.

At least the woman didn't sound injured or entirely panicked about the inexplicable darkness (and the inexplicable way they were going to get to where they needed to go, in this). Still, good humour lent itself to good humour, and so Elias huffed a brief laugh. "Hey now, that was my excuse," he berated jokingly, shaking his head until he realised that was for no one's benefit, here.

"Actually, I'm lucky to find you -" Elias offered, resisting the urge to reach out for her again just to make sure she didn't wander off and leave him here in this void, "- do you have any idea where we are?"



#5
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Well at least she had managed to run into an amicable fellow - he could have been cross or rude or a fence post.  Her shins were especially grateful he was not a fence post.  It felt as if the longer she stood here in the dark the wider her eyes were growing, like they didn't quite believe there was nothing to see, and she was very glad for his huff of a laugh that seemed to soften the whole situation.  

"I was coming down -" abruptly she realized she had been leaning and only noticed when it was enough to stagger her balance.  Her hand flailed out, instinctively grabbing for the last stable thing she'd felt... which just happened to be the man before her.  "Sickle Street." she finished mid-exhale and tried not to think about the fact that she had zero intention of letting go of him this time.  Who knew one used vision for balance so much?  "I thought I saw a lamp light."  she placed another hand on him to that they were squarely face to face to get her bearings enough to peer around him.  "Behind you I think."
#6
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He was just beginning to feel the oddly unhinged, floating feeling of darkness pressing in all around when she grabbed hold of him again, feeling a little askew, like she needed the anchoring. He didn't comment, but privately he was extremely grateful that he might not now be wandering alone in the darkness for eternity, and hesitantly settled his hand on her arm, as if to demonstrate that he was facing her the right way too.

"Ah, excellent," Elias exclaimed, not about to question her word or her sense of direction when Sickle Street was already more than he'd noticed when they had been plunged into pitch black. He glanced over his shoulder briefly to see whether that changed and if he might see the glimmer of a lamp she was talking about, but wasn't sure where he ought to be looking (nor where that lamp would lead them). Still. Better than nothing. He supposed he might have passed such a thing on the way, but he would scarcely have paid any attention in the light. Merlin. "I wish I could remember passing it, from where I came, but," here he cleared his throat, as though he had something important to say, "- well, I did find a... wall." The arm that had grazed it was still smarting, a little, but he gave a sheepish laugh besides. "A perfectly fine wall, to be sure, but it might be best avoided a second time," he mostly-joked. Would that they could avoid anything, like this!

"Is there somewhere you were hoping to reach?" Elias put in, wishing any sense of chivalry was not utterly useless when he'd likely be more of a hindrance than a help in actually getting her anywhere - "Or shall we just try for your lamp light?"



#7
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She could feel the buzz of his words over her head and realized with some surprise he must be very tall.  The darkness seemed to press in on them, magnifying their closeness, and still she had not realized until just now.  Some voice in the back of her mind whispered of the obvious dangers of being alone and defenseless with a very tall, strange man but she couldn't bring herself to feel worried.  Not about him at least.  Maybe all her worry was caught up in being stranded in the dark.

"I thought - "  she trailed off, still peering around him.  Either the light was gone or her eyes were playing tricks on her but none the less she'd lost whatever bit of light she'd been walking towards. "Honestly, we could be one foot in the lake at this point."  she muttered.  Starting on Sickle Street and turning around to walk back the way she came seemed like a straightforward concept but who knew how good she was at walking in a blind straight line.  

"I was just trying to get somewhere.  I thought the lamp might be from Hogsmeade.  My family's shop is there... How far was your wall?  Was it a building wall or a - a garden wall?"  She wasn't being contrary on purpose.  A wall was atleast a landmark.  And if it was a building wall then maybe there was someone inside with a lamp.
#8
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He let out another huff, almost more of a sigh than a laugh this time, at her remark about the Lake. "I'd not be surprised," Elias agreed wryly. He had always thought himself half-decent with directions - had lived here long enough, had flown often enough over the village and the forest and seen it from a birds's eye view - but apparently the pitch black had stripped away all that unconscious confidence. The mind must play tricks, in the dark like this.

He'd thought his eyes might adjust, that the woman would materialise out of shadow in front of him at some point, but it seemed not to be. "A building wall, I think," Elias explained, "Brick, and taller than me. I didn't feel a doorway, but there might've been one around the corner?" He'd thrown himself too far off course to go so far as to check, after that collision. Back then, he'd still had a scrap of hope that light would flood back onto the streets.  

"It was... that way, I think," he added, edging around slowly so that he could fall in beside her, and slid his hand down to her wrist to guide her hand in a pointed gesture about the direction he meant.

"I've never missed Lumos more, I'll say," Elias remarked, trying to find a little more humour in it but rueful all the same; he still had his wand stowed in a pocket purely out of habit, but it had already been weeks since Hogsmeade had caught so much as a whiff of magic. That had been inconvenient enough, if not downright unsettling: but coupled with the strange pall of darkness, and it suddenly seemed a great deal worse. Perhaps it would pass soon?




#9
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A building wall was promising!  it was more promising than anything else she'd come across.  There might be a door or a window they could knock on and ideally a person inside with a lamp or candle.  And if not... well she'd worry about that when they got there.  

She felt him move around her not unlike she'd used him as a point of reference to look for the lamp but in the pitch black it almost felt like the world was moving around her.  And guiding her hand to point the way was... well it was quite clever. She wasnt sure she'd have thought of that right off.  In fact when he mentioned lumos she caught herself nodding in agreement and snickered when she remembered he wouldnt be able to see.

"This whole thing is a lesson in self awareness, I think.  Awareness of where you are, where you're going, and that you, sir, definitely can't see when I nod in agreement."  Honestly it was probably shameful that she was making light of the situation as much as she was but if no she didn't trust herself not to panic.  "Right. Well, that way... I suppose-"  it was harder than she'd expected to just... go off in that direction.  With her feet planted as they were she could hold on to the delusion that she was still facing Hogsmeade "And are you - ?"  Because really, he could have plans to go off in the opposite direction.
#10
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He caught himself chuckling again - especially at the last of her adventures in self-awareness and the problems this darkness was causing for very ordinary things he, too, had so utterly taken for granted - and, again, was glad of it. As long as they were laughing at the situation, they must be in calm spirits, and if they were - well, then he had hope they would manage to take this little exploit in their stride.

"Mm, it's certainly doing a bang-up job at forcing us all out of our lazy thinking," Elias agreed, with another bit of a laugh. He suspected all the fog and now the darkness were curses with rather more nefarious aims than simply snapping people out of their set ways of existence, but the whole situation was rather more amusing if it were. "Still. Creative solutions, I suppose..." Elias said, mapping out a theoretical path through the darkness to the wall and allowing his hand, which had just been directing her by the wrist, to drift back down to his side with hers in tow, moving to grasp her hand instead so that at least they would be able to set off in the same direction. Creative solutions, necessary measures; he rather hoped she would understand his thinking.

With his free arm already lifted pre-emptively before him, a makeshift shield from future collisions, he took a few paces in the direction they were setting their hopes on. The woman had returned a question his way, though, and he cleared his throat as though that would act as illustration of his shrug. "I live a little further up, on Knightsway, towards the Park," Elias acknowledged, but at this point anywhere on the High Street, anywhere in Hogsmeade at all, would do just as well for him. A success all the same. "But right about now, I'll take anywhere with enough light to plan my next move," he assured her, figuring that if even one of them found their way home in this that he would feel decidedly accomplished.
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#11
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She felt his hand slide from her wrist down to take her hand and her heart did an unbidden flip.  Which was absurd... on several different levels not least of which that she'd recently used his shirt front to get her bearings.  Still this was skin-to-skin and somehow far more intimate.  There were no romantic connotations with grabbing someone's shirt front to blindly peer around them.  The last time she'd held a man's hand was during a dance.

But then he was moving forward and it made her own cautious first steps easier.  With her feet in motion she could move on to chiding herself for even thinking about things like that in a time like this!  They were holding hands for safety.  With out his warm grasp she would have had no idea he'd stepped away and therefore been separated.  Still... it was a little distracting.  

"We can't be the only ones caught like this.  It was the middle of the day... wasn't it?"  she ended in an uncertain tone.  She'd witnessed it with her own eyes but it was still hard to believe that it was supposed to be midday. "Maybe there will be search parties"
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   Elias Grimstone
#12
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She hadn't refused his hand, which was good. Practically speaking, that was, since he wasn't convinced of how well they would each do (or Elias, knowing himself, at least) at relying on voice alone as guidance. Now that he'd gone and done it, though, he couldn't pretend to be oblivious to how unorthodox it was to take a stranger's hand with no warning - a lady's hand, to boot - but he'd done it, so that was that, and letting go now would seem even stranger. At least the darkness made it so no one else could see it to upbraid him for it, either. There was a different set of rules in this darkness. There must be.

Not that rules had ever particularly been his forte.

"I'm sure it was," Elias agreed, though time almost seemed to have begun playing tricks on them. It had not been long, but it did feel oddly as though they had been propelled unceremoniously into midnight. "Honestly, I have no idea what's going on at all these days." Or should I say 'I haven't the foggiest', he thought to himself, but fortunately held his tongue before he made more of a fool of himself than necessary.

"That would be smart," he added, at her second remark, hoping the rest of Hogsmeade had the same presence of mind as this woman did. If a few brave souls ventured out with some torches - someone would have to eventually come out and light all the streetlamps hours earlier than usual, if this dark lingered - perhaps no one would get too badly lost. "We can certainly hope," he admitted, taking another few steps, trying to feel more confident in them than he was, but still going slowly and hesitantly enough that he didn't think the length of his strides would be too ludicrous to keep up with. (He didn't know quite how tall this woman was, but he suspected it was not in the realm of grazing six feet.) "Serves us right for daring to leave our houses," he said jokingly, shaking his head (again out of habit). "Or shop, you said - ?"




#13
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It was a nice thought that even if they never found his wall or her lamp light that someone would come looking for them.  After all her sisters knew she'd left; they'd have to realize she was out in the dark eventually.  She tried to hold onto it as the fear crept back into her thoughts.  Moving forward should have felt like progress but without any visual indicators they might very well have been stationary;  treading water on dry land.  She tried not to wonder why they weren't at least hearing commotion from mainstreet.  Sounds of distress, calls for light, something.

She swallowed the lump in her throat "Yes, the florist shop?  That's my family - We're the Potts."  His pace was either faster or he was braver in his steps but he was soon leading her by half a stride.  Her free hand made wide sweeps in front of her, feeling for obstacles as she fought the instinct to grab his arm and hold tight. As comforting as it might be it would be better if she didnt walk headlong into something... and he was a stranger!  "I was actually headed home."  she added with a dry laugh.  "Oddly enough, the demand for flowers is quite low in the fog."  Senna had not been thrilled with the idea of her going but they'd all just been standing about waiting for something to do.  Hopefully her older sister wouldn't lord it over her that she wouldn't have gotten stuck in the dark if she hadn't left early.  

"This is absurd." she whispered to herself as they shuffled along, somehow still surprised that it was still dark.


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