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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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Carson Bixby for Sloane Bixby. You can take the middle-aged man out of quidd—oh, apparently you can't.
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.


The World Has Somehow Shifted
August 11th, 1888 — Ministry Mixer, Hogsmeade Hall

For months following his failed attempt at turning himself over to the Ministry, Lou had been spiralling. He was very well aware of it, but seemed powerless to do anything about it. He just didn't see the point. Having had his family back (to an extent) and his relationship with Xena back (again, in a limited capacity) and having lost both once again had been too much to feel he could ever recover from, and it seemed to him that from then on out things could only get worse. He'd keep going on, being miserable, and eventually the wear and tear caused by the full moons would drive him to an early grave, and that was it.

Something had happened, though, during the expedition through Irvingly. When they had clicked that gemstone back into place, when magic worked again and the fog was finally gone, Lou had felt (probably in common with most of his group-mates) a wave of relief. The feeling surprised him, though it wouldn't have surprised anyone else... but the fog had, in essence, cured him. The full moon had come and gone for two months in a row (apparently) without effecting him in the slightest, and now with this August's full moon, things would be back to the way they'd always been — and yet he was still relieved.

So, he supposed, that meant there was something, after all. His life hadn't been reduced, as he had for so long thought, to just the time spent between full moons. There was something to keep going for, something to make of his life, even with everything he'd lost.

Being here was risky, and he knew that, but he also knew that if he was going to do anything — he had not yet decided what — he'd need that prize money. It was a significant sum, and one that was independent of his father's oversight, which made it more valuable than anything else Lou might be able to squirrel away on his own from the monthly allotment for food and clothing. This was a chance to actually start on a relatively fresh page, once he figured out what page he wanted that to be. He just had to survive a party with half a dozen people he'd once known and worked with, a lifetime ago — simple enough.

At least it was only an afternoon. He didn't think there was going to be any cause for him or the other members of his group to be placed on the spot, and he could stick to the edges of the party long enough to collect his prize money at the appropriate time and then apparate straight back to the cabin.

who alone suffers, suffers most in the mind
leaving free things and happy shows behind
Zelda had wanted to skip this - she had been particularly humbug about society events ever since sleeping with Mr. Darrow - but now that she was sleeping regularly and not working seventy hours a week, her father was back on the Get Zelda Married train. Or so it seemed. And, seeing as her department had cocked it all up and then recovered, it seemed as if most of them were somewhat expected to be there. It was better to come in a Ministry capacity than a marriagable one - she was particularly unappealing in that capacity now, even if her father did not know - and so she had been hovering by the door, dressed in her purple Ministry robes. She kept glancing at her watch until she saw him.

Zelda grimaced. When she saw the name Charles Williams in the papers, she knew it was a possibility - but she had never thought that it would actually be Mr. Jameshill. Surely he ought to have shed the pseudonym by now; or maybe he was just unconcerned by Zelda's whims now. She supposed he had a right to be indifferent. It had been almost a year, now, since his letter had left her actually emoting in front of her father.

Against her better judgment, (she was constantly doing things against her better judgment,) Zelda skittered up to him. She was tentative about it, half-expecting to scurry off before he could see her, but she reached him and cleared her throat. "Congratulations are in order," Zelda said. Her tone was dark, because she was, perhaps, a bit furious with him.

[Image: uUQiz4B.jpg]
set by MJ
As always, he at first mistook her for her sister, and his heart jumped up into his throat for a second before he realized his mistake. He was no more happy to see her than she appeared to be to see him, and it was all he could do not to openly grimace as she approached. He understood from her robes that she was probably here for work, and okay, fine, maybe she had to be here, but what had caused her to walk over and start a conversation? It wasn't as though they had anything to say to each other. She hated him, and she didn't know why he'd done anything that he'd done (and, if Xena hadn't told her in the first few weeks after his plans had gone awry, there was very little chance that she ever would understand). Lou didn't hate her — nothing like it — but he didn't understand why she was subjecting them both to the torment of having to wade through a conversation. It wasn't as though either of the past two interactions they'd had since he'd last written her had gone off splendidly.

Why should they keep doing this? Lou could have responded with all the self-pity and resignation that he'd done in previous conversations, but what was the point? Things were different now — or they were going to be different going forward, anyway — and Lou didn't feel like playing this same old song again.

"Thank you," he said, a little stiffly. "Glad to have been useful."

who alone suffers, suffers most in the mind
leaving free things and happy shows behind
She kept doing this. Every time she saw him - which was rarely, now - she threw herself up against the painful wall of their interactions as if it would get a different reaction this time. And she knew better. If she had not known better before Mr. Darrow, she certainly ought to now - although if she ended up anywhere with Mr. Jameshill, it would certainly not be a bed. (Although this time last year, she probably could have been convinced.)

She should have just stayed in her corner and left well enough alone. Zelda kicked at the carpet and studied the imprint her shoe left.

"It's been a while since we've run into one another," Zelda said, "I thought perhaps you'd gone on a trip."

[Image: uUQiz4B.jpg]
set by MJ
A trip. The very idea was ludicrous, although of course she wouldn't have any reason to know that. If she was still ignorant of the reason that he couldn't just up and run off — the reason that he had been stuck in that cabin in the woods in the first place — then perhaps leaving would seem logical. Honestly, if it was feasible to relocate, he might have been seriously considering it himself, but the cabin in the woods (with the basement and its particular 'accommodations') were not within the budget of a man who hadn't had an actual career for years — at least not without relying on his father's money, which he was unlikely to get since Charles Jameshill no longer trusted him any farther than the length of his wand.

No, he was stuck here, for better or for worse. Much as it might have benefited him to get away after the events of last September, there was nowhere to go. Did hiding out in the cabin and spiraling into depression count as 'getting away'? He almost made a joke to that effect, but of course she wouldn't understand and he had no desire to explain.

"Nothing so exciting," was what he settled on in response, which was true. The potential for glamorous travel in his life was long since over. "But I suppose you've been too busy to go wandering through the Forbidden Forest, recently."

who alone suffers, suffers most in the mind
leaving free things and happy shows behind

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