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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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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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So, Bonding?
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10 August, 1888 — Beautiful Beast Boutique

This was, he supposed, his penance for having entirely ignored the existence of his family for the past two months. Ever since the fog had descended on Wellingtonshire, Ernest had been more or less living in the Department of Mysteries, making occasional excursions only to find a good multiple-course dinner at Black's or to venture into the fog and investigate some element he hadn't previously considered. All for nought, as it turned out, since it had never occurred to him to venture into the Casino, and apparently that was the key to the entire business.

He was certainly interest in the Casino now, and he'd been spending the majority of his time since his family's return to Hogsmeade last week setting up different sensors and data-recording devices around the premise, to try and pin down the exact nature of the time field that had apparently engulfed the building. Since this was no longer in the territory of a national emergency, however, he was begrudgingly pulling himself away from work long enough to go home every evening, which gave his wife plenty of opportunities for nagging him into things.

Ernest thought pets in general were largely useless. He had never owned an animal; he had children, instead, who had least had the benefit of someday having the potential to develop into interesting human beings, which an animal never would. He supposed he owned an owl (was almost certain that he did), but he had never bothered to name it or grow at all attached. He simply put the mail out for the servants and one of them saw it dispatched via owl. Why an eleven year old girl needed a pet before departing for Hogwarts as a mystery to him, but Rufina had assured him that it was a necessity, and so here they were.

"Well," he said to his daughter, perhaps a minute or less after they had entered the store and already a bit impatient. "Pick one out." There were only three options, anyway, if she was to take a pet to Hogwarts, and Ernest could not imagine there could be much real difference within them. All cats were the same as all other cats, weren't they? And he imagined they would be leaving with a cat; Flora was a girl and would have no interest in a slimy toad, nor did she, as an eleven year old, have any practical use for an owl.


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Now that the fog had lifted, so had Flora's spirits; the road to Hogwarts was now clear in sight, without any further impediments that her imagination could muster. She'd received her Hogwarts letter, been chosen by her wand, and would now be purchasing her companion - her feline companion, she'd decided. It was made even more exciting by the fact that her Papa had chosen to accompany her on this very important venture, as she very rarely ever got to do anything with him! She tried to bottle up her glee and maintain her composure, knowing that he (like the now boring, adult Merriweather) would grow annoyed very quickly if she showed too much enthusiasm.

The difference between her Papa and Mama was that her Mama was more patient with her (or she at least humored her for a bit). Papa wasn't that sort of person and it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but she'd come with the hopes of being able to browse a bit. She wanted to give this decision careful thought, as she would presumably be stuck with it for the next seven years. Thus, she cast her father a small, hopeful smile and puttered off down the aisle.

The row was a noisy one to say the least. The cages were stacked three or so to each column, each containing a creature that seemed to be paying her little mind. She supposed they were used to this; children came in every year to purchase their pets, and throughout the year there were parents and adults who came to find their newest friend. She'd once heard that owls and cats had connections to witches and wizards that no other creatures had, which brought her to the question of - toads.

"Papa?" she called from halfway down the aisle. A gap between the cages of cats was filled by a number of tanks containing the dull, somber-looking creatures that just - sat there. "Do you know anything about toads? Why do they look so sad?" she asked, tapping on the tank glass. "Is it because nobody ever wants them?"



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For half a moment Ernest thought he'd been mistaken in his assumptions about his daughter, when she paused in front of the toad tank. What could possibly attract a little girl to a toad? Nothing, it turned out; he hadn't been mistaken at all. Flora was just a child like every other child, and she probably would have made some sort of ridiculous squealing sound had she accidentally come into contact with one's rough skin. That was the only reason that little boys ever bought toads, Ernest thought — in order to thrust them at little girls and make them scream.

He wasn't particularly a toad expert (did such things even exist? and if so, why?) but even if he had an excellent answer to her question, he would have had no desire to expound on the subject to his eleven-year-old. Instead, he said in a very casual and matter-of-fact tone, "It's because they're tired of being toads. About a decade ago, the Hogwarts Transfiguration professor transfigured all the students who failed their OWLs into toads. No one was able to turn them back, so they've been selling them as pets here ever since."


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The answer did little to soothe her curiosities - in fact, it only managed to make them more morbid. She brought one hand up and rested her palm against the glass as she stared intensely at the creature. The explanation, she thought, sounded fake upon first hearing it - but then again, her Papa was a smart man and always seemed to know what he was talking about. She turned her eyes back to him, her brows furrowed in concern.

"Perhaps I might be able to lift their parents' sorrows by learning how to turn them back," she responded. Turning a toad to a human didn't seem that difficult, she thought; she'd seen people turn chairs to mice, mice to rabbits, and rabbits to beavers. Why not toads to people?

"And if Hogwarts can't teach me, I'm sure you can, Papa. You're one of the smartest men in the Ministry, aren't you?" He did work in the Department of Mysteries, and they hired only the best!



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