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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.


7th July, 1888 — The Slums
This was not the summer in Hogsmeade that Silence Daisy had wanted. They were supposed to open up the Summer Solstice Festival and everyone would come flocking to the carnival and Daisy would make some new friends and have some adventures and buy a wand and see the village and get to go to Hogwarts in September.

And she'd hardly even seen the village, because of all this silly, silly fog. It had been a little bit fun at first, but not being able to do magic had put a damper on her finally-get-a-wand plans and also on the carnival opening.

And then last week, after the toads, the locusts had raged through the town and ravaged much of the carnival and the park. Locust carcasses were still turning up in her cot and her clothes, and there was now a great deal of tent-mending to be done.

So Daisy had slipped away, because working was boring and there was still a lot of Hogsmeade she hadn't seen yet. She'd gotten told off for lurking about in the fancier parts of town, so today she had wandered past the High Street towards the shabbier streets of houses. She didn't know precisely where she was going (alright, she was terribly lost), but after a while of trying - and failing - to scale a wall to see if she could squint through the fog and figure out where she was, Daisy had caught sight of a creature slinking about. It looked like a cat, she thought, but not quite a cat. "Here, puss," she said, crouching eagerly, but the cat was already weaving away. Daisy, without a thought, scampered after it, trying not to lose it in the fog. She'd pet it eventually, she would!
With a wide grin, Billie checked and double checked the makeshift satchel she'd fashioned out of a rather nasty bit of old linen and fraying rope. Inside, she carried all her 'worldly' possessions, and, now, some newly earned food. There was a certain bounce in her step as she rounded a corner, shoulder brushing against the wall of a building. All the recent chaos had been landing her fairly regular work, which meant less nights with an empty stomach. Chasing toads and locusts had been especially prosperous. Well, by her standards, anyways.

Despite the fog, Billie had become somewhat adept at zigzagging her way through the streets of Hogsmeade. At least to a few places of interest, that is. Though, if she tended to wander enough, she seemed to find herself in more familiar territory eventually. Perhaps, she was just lucky, or the 'breadcrumbs' that consisted of mounds of pebbles and the odd 'x' of chalk (when she could nick some) were actually productive.

Daisy's voice found its way to her ears, and she came to a sudden stop. At first, she didn't see the girl, only the cat that she seemed to be following. Billie had no idea it wasn't quite a regular cat. Squinting, she called out, "Pounce, tha' you?" Perhaps, it was the feline she had befriended and named. It was hard to tell until it got close enough.

Soon, Daisy fully came into view, and the ragamuffin relaxed just slightly. Upon initial inspection, she realized the girl wasn't an adult, which was less dangerous. However, a feeling of unease still crept up on her, and she curled her fingers around the satchel protectively. "Hello." One could never be too careful.

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Daisy did lose sight of the cat in the fog, but a voice floated out of the dust and so she followed that instead, bounding into view of a - a boy! He was smaller than her, she noted immediately, which probably meant that he was younger but mostly just let Daisy feel tall for once in her life. It was a tremendous feeling, being tall!

"Hello!" She chirped in return, lacking in any wariness in return. The slums here may be the worst of Hogsmeade - and she'd heard things about the magical slums, full of vampires wandering around and people ready to hex you unexpectedly - but none of that had settled in her mind as anything to worry about. None of it could be worse than where'd she'd come from.

And she wasn't scared of a cute little boy, even if he turned out to be mean and miserable. Not that he looked mean or miserable. Maybe just shy. "How d'ya do?" She carried on eagerly, because that was what dignified people said, and Daisy could be completely dignified, see. "I'm sorry I'm not Pounce," she added swiftly, wondering who Pounce might be, "I'm Daisy, though, Silence Daisy, and I'm delighted to meet ya." She offered a toothy smile, just to prove it. She'd gotten to meet so few people in Hogsmeade - this had to go well!
Billie scrunched her eyes up fiercely, searching for the cat, but, just as soon as she had spied it, it had disappeared, and the only living thing she could for sure see was the girl. Her grip on the satchel didn't loosen, even when Daisy cheerfully began chattering at her. She didn't want to lose her meal for the day by letting her guard slip, even though she seemed nice enough.

"Good to meet ya, too, Daisy." the smaller girl called out in return with a lopsided grin. "'M Billie. Billie Farrow." She then proceeded to point randomly about at the general area. "I thought I seen a cat before I seen ya." Again, she peered about, starting to think that perhaps the fog was playing tricks on her today. It wouldn't be the first time. "I thought it was my cat, Pounce. That's her name 'cause she likes to get ya toes if they wiggle too much." Poor Pounce was really a boy.

No longer appearing as if she were about to flee, Billie tilted her head up to get a better look at Daisy. She'd be a difficult child to miss with that shock of red hair, and therefore more memorable than most. That was helpful since Billie wasn't the best at remembering names!

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"Billie," Daisy repeated brightly, as though that would better store the name in her sieve of a brain. The boy seemed perfectly nice, though, so could be a friend, or a little brother to her - if he stayed nice, of course. Many people who'd seemed friendly at first had gone on to prove her terribly, awfully wrong, though, and if she were a smarter person she'd have learned something from it by now.  

But maybe she couldn't, because Daisy still didn't know what she'd been doing wrong.  

She beamed at Billie's talk about the cat though. "I saw a cat too, before I saw you!" Daisy exclaimed, probably loudly enough to scatter any creatures that were lurking about within earshot. "I was followin' it." She explained, and then her eyes widened. "I wasn't going to steal her or nothing, I promise ya, only pet her. If she was Pounce, that is! What does Pounce look like? Can we find her?"

Billie grinned at Daisy, deciding she quite liked her. Though, it was fairly rare for her not to like someone right off. When the girl spoke of the cat, she shrugged and waved her hands a bit to try and soothe Daisy's worries. "Well, she ain't really my cat, so ya wouldn't be stealin' her from me if ya was gonna anyhow!"

Billie moved to lean against a building they stood close by and continued speaking, for animals were her favorite topic. Even if she wasn't very knowledgeable about them. Yet. She was determined to learn everything she could about all sort of creatures. "She found me one day when I was lost an' showed me the way out." She paused and quickly blurted, "I swear she did! I dunno if she's someone's, but she sure likes to visit me. I feed her lots. An' pet her." And love her. And not realize she's a boy cat.

She beamed at Daisy and declared, "I bet she'd like ya, too!" She hmm'd a bit and held her arms out as if to indicate Pounce was on the larger side. "She's this big an' kinda spotted? An' kinda orange, but real dusty. An' she got big ears. An' her tail is..." She wound her arm around as if imitating, but she wasn't quite sure how to describe it. "Diff'rent.
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Daisy's eyes widened at the tale, wishing she had found a wonderful cat to save her one day, or that any of the carnival animals would someday decide to like her, and not just sniff at her suspiciously, or shy away from her at the very sound of her voice. Or try to headbutt her. The winged horses were not so fond of her.

Pounce sounded like an angel though, possibly just because the boy assured her she'd like her, too, and Daisy liked nothing better than being liked! She thought briefly about admitting she was now entirely lost, partially because of that cat, but what did being lost matter now, when the cat had led her to a new friend? She couldn't be complaining about that!

"She looked weird, the cat I saw!" Daisy chirped now, bouncing on the balls of her feet. "Good - good weird I mean, sweet lookin', like. And she's orange! Like me! 'Course we'll be friends, if we do see her," she added, swinging a ginger plait about in demonstration. "Do lotsa animals like you? D'ya feed anything else around here, I mean?"
Billie started giggling at Daisy's comment of her and Pounce matching in hair color. She bobbed her head up and down in agreement that the two would definitely be friends, even just because of that fact! "Maybe she'll turn up! Or we could lure her."

She had fully relaxed by now, no longer afraid the slightly older girl was going to rob her blind. Instead of clutching her bag, she let her hands casually slip into her pockets while she spoke. "Well, some of 'em do. Dogs an' stuff. Rats an' mice don't like me none. I haveta catch 'em all up and get rid of 'em. That's my job." The last remark she stated proudly, as if she thought her profession to be incredibly important. However, she soon whispered, "But I don't like killin' 'em, so sometimes I let 'em go in the street. Or a mean person's shop." She grinned impishly and then went to rummage about in her bag for something.

"Do ya know lotsa animals?"

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Daisy nodded insistently at the idea of luring her, whatever on earth cats could be lured with. There had been a cat that prowled about at the workhouse, once upon a time, but mostly the matrons shooed it out off the grounds or it just hissed and growled at anyone who got too close to it.

The little boy was almost half cat himself, judging by his job! A ratcatcher. Daisy was torn about this: she was a little afraid of rats, and their scratching sounds in the night, but all the same, she didn't much like the thought of murdering them because people wanted them gone. If people set traps for her every time they wanted her gone - she'd be dead a hundred times by tomorrow! Her face split into a smile that soon became a peal of laughter at Billie's latter comment. "Bet that gives them a real fright," she said naughtily, twining her hands into the folds of her dress because she knew it was bad to be wicked, but it was a contagious affliction as any, so she couldn't help it!

She peered on absently as Billie looked in his bag, and then answered, boasting even worse than the boy had done about his rat-catching, "Oh yes, all kinds. And special magical ones too, the carnival has. Winged horses and tame lions and elephants and a dragon, but the unicorn's my best favourite." Never mind that it had only let Daisy pet it once in all the time she'd known it, it was the prettiest thing in the world and she would die for it. "I don't get to look after them myself, 'xactly," she admitted, "but I help." ...clearing out their cages, but she didn't have to say that.
Billie's grin stretched to her ears when it seemed Daisy also found her tricks with the rats amusing. She didn't do it to nice people, of course, but it always brought some sort of sense of satisfaction to give the cruel ones a taste of their own medicine. Not that she was usually vindictive. Either way, she most definitely seemed to enjoy Daisy's company even more for it!

While the girl spoke, Billie continued to rummage about for the object she was after, but she grew distracted. "Winged horses? A Dragon? Unicorn!" She blurted out in a mess of disjointed thoughts. Although lions and elephants were also incredibly exciting, it was the magical creatures listed that had her full attention. "Ya help?!" Billie was clearly impressed. She stared at Daisy in awe. In truth, she would still be just as impressed to learn that Daisy only helped clean out the stalls. Just to be around those sorts of creatures sounded amazing!

After a few seconds of intense debate with herself, the grubby child suddenly blurted, "Can I see 'em sometime?"

Suddenly, she seemed to have found the object she searched for, the smallest crumble of cheese that she had most likely stolen. Not that anyone would miss such a small morsel. At least, that's how she rationalized it with herself. She worked at rolling it into even smaller pieces so that she had two, and she reached out to share one with Daisy. "Pounce loves cheese!" Apparently, it would act as the lure. She wasn't even sure if cats were supposed to have cheese.

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Daisy rarely got the opportunity to sound impressive. (She had never before the carnival, and even at the carnival she was one of the least interesting people about!) But, she supposed, maybe, just maybe, the carnival was as exciting to some as Hogsmeade was to her.

“I know all their trainers,” Daisy nodded, boasting just a bit. “Not all of ‘em like me that much,” - she was a pest, and they all said so - “but the animals do!” Also maybe not true, but. “Sure you can,” she added, beaming at Billie’s next question. Look how accomplished Daisy was, all of a sudden. She could wander off into the fog in the middle of nowhere and still be a walking advertisement! Today was a good day. “They do shows of ‘em, while the carnival’s on. It’s not all like usual, ‘cause of the fog - and you gotta pay to get in, usually - but I bet I could sneak you in to see, sometime.” (Maybe not the best advertisement, after all. But Daisy making friends was a hundred times better than the carnival making money.)

And they most definitely were friends now, Daisy decided, taking the little ball of cheese gleefully. “Who doesn’t?” She agreed, teasing, and then crouched down towards the street floor, making gentle tutting noises between her teeth. “Here, Pouncey Pounce,” she called - this rarely worked on the winged horses, but still - “we’ve got cheese!”
Perhaps, if Billie hadn't found Hogsmeade, she might have gravitated toward a carnival or circus. The prospect of traveling all over the world and being surrounded by such interesting people and creatures piqued her interest more than she knew how to describe. So, it was with wide eyes, that she attentively listened to Daisy boasting about the carnival.

"Some people just don't like children or nothin', I think." She commented, trying to sound reassuring to her newfound friend. That had to be why some of the trainers didn't like the girl, for she didn't find her annoying in the least!

Billie beamed and hopped from one foot to the other in an excited sort of jig, "Ya mean it? 'M real sneaky. I betcha we could get in without nobody catchin' us or nothin'!" She sounded determined about that fact, and her smile only grew wider, trying to imagine all the wonderful creatures that Daisy helped take care of.

Crouching, Billie crumbled her bit of cheese up and sprinkled it on the ground. "We knows ya is there, ya sneaky sneak." She called out to Pounce, affection in her voice for what she assumed was a stray. She made sounds as if she were very loudly eating the cheese. "Guess ya ain't gonna get none. More for us."

Billie wasn't so sure all of her commentary worked, but Pounce always showed up eventually in the middle of her blabbering. It took a while, but soon the strange looking part-kneazle emerged from the fog and planted itself straight in front of Daisy. Its expression was bored and not quite desperate like some cats presented with a treat, but it eyed the cheese.

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"Well, if you're sneaky enough," Daisy said, trying to put across this as sage advice (as, for once, she was the older and more knowledgeable of the two, at least about this), but mostly just teasing. It would be easy, actually: she knew her way around - not here, but the carnival setup - walking backwards. (She'd tried that often enough to know.) And she might not have all the smarts in the world, but she sure did know which of the trainers would be too interested in their flask of rum to notice Daisy sneaking around with an extra four-foot-tall guest. "It's a deal," she announced, beaming, and if she hadn't had the cheese already in her hands and a burning desire to at last see Pounce the cat, she would have shook on it to demonstrate her seriousness. One had to shake on things like that to do a proper deal. Apparently. Maybe.

It was hard to keep a straight face of seriousness at all at Billie's spiel to bring Pounce to then, and she had to bite her lip furiously to prevent herself going red in the face or crumbling right down (like the cheese) into giggles, but she was determined to see Pounce.

And then there it was, the funny-looking cat! Of all the wondrous, spiffing creatures she had seen, this was no less exciting, and she let out a muffled skree of excitement as the cat eyed her, looking much less excited. "Pounce," she breathed, delighted. Glancing over at Billie to share a look of glee, Daisy shoved the cheese in her hand forwards into its face, hoping it would gobble it up like the winged horses did with apples sometimes. As she did so, she edged her other hand upwards in an attempt to stroke the cat from between its ears and along its back - if it didn't spring away first! Oh, Billie was so very lucky to have this cat following about!
In her renewed excitement about potentially being able to sneak into the carnival and see all the creatures, she very nearly missed the reappearance of Pounce. The noise Daisy made drew her back to the here and now, and she gave the strange, little feline a smile of approval.

"I knews ya couldn't resist cheese!" Who could, really?

Billie watched in amusement as Daisy shoved the cheese into Pounce's face. He begrudgingly allowed the exuberant, red-haired girl to do so, in exchange for the food. He didn't seem terribly pleased with the girl's method of feeding, but Pounce could be fairly tolerant when he wished.

"This is Daisy, Pounce. She's a friend!" Billie informed the part-kneazle, as if she were speaking to another person. Somehow, the strange cat seemed to understand, and he allowed Daisy to pet him. He was, overall, indifferent about it, like most cats, but he didn't seem to react negatively.

"She likes ya!"

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