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The Book of You
8th January, 1889

Dear Marmaduke,
Is it terribly sad of me to say I already miss you since leaving for Hogwarts again? (I still find that terribly funny to say, as though I have regressed to going back to school - I expect you understand that, whenever you have to visit for "NEWT exams"!) Well, anyway, I do.

The school is almost noisier than home at the moment, too: some pupil's diary has been unceremoniously published to the world. A Hufflepuff girl, I believe; not one of my students, so I have blessedly avoided mention - though it is a real tragedy for her, I am certain. You know how insensitive students can be! I am almost sure I did see a line or two about Lucky, though, if you can believe it!

But how is work? And what are you reading, at the moment? Something less scandalous than a diary you shouldn't, I hope!

I ought to be marking homework, so I had better leave it there, but I am looking forward to hearing from you, and, as always from your older sister,
lots of love, Carmelina

9th January, 1888

Dearest Carmelina,
It is terribly sad to miss each other so soon, and yet it is a sadness we share. To return to a place where our whole lives were ahead  of us, only to know that we are tethered to our chosen paths until our fateful ends.

I remember well how insensitive fellow students could be! Few slights cut as deep as the injustices of youth. Who dare besmirch Goodluck? They must just be jealous – no doubt their life would flash before their eyes on a broom!

I worry about Goodluck. It seems but to tempt the fates to give a child such a name, that it might put flights of fancy in one’s head. How fortunate for us he manages to live up to it. He still is, is he not? It was an awful storm tonight, and death is ever looming.

You wear gloves handling those artifacts, do you not? That archeologist (Macbeth? Macbain?) who licked that fossilized Bosnian cookie or whatever it was still has a curse running through his great grandchildren.

May your grading not involve the Lindevalds. Never have I been more grateful for the finite state of living as when I have to decipher a Lindevald’s dragon scrawl.

With love beyond my last dying, sputtering breath,

12th January, 1889

Dear Marmaduke,
Tethered to our chosen paths we may be, but I must admit I rather like this path of mine I've chosen - whoever would have thought I would enjoy teaching so? You, at least, will appreciate more than most that all I am able to teach is care of the ancient dead. Plenty of thinking of fateful ends in my classroom!

Funny that you mention gloves, though I... mean to wear them, usually, but sometimes in my haste I - in fact our dear brother was called out in that girl's diary for making too much of his new quidditch gloves. I'm sure you never imagined Goodluck to wax poetic about anything, but... once again, he has shown himself a miniature (or giant?) Joss in the making. As far as I know, at least, Lucky is alive and well - but then, I haven't seen him yet today, so there is always room for my being wrong. I think I embarrass him a little too often when we do cross paths in the castle, though. Does he write to you much?

Oh, Duke, poor you and the Lindevalds! I have the fortune of not having come across any of them (yet) in my classes, although from what you tell me I suspect their handwriting would do just as well as a runic alphabet all on its own. No doubt people will be misinterpreting their texts for centuries.
Love, Carmelina

14th January, 1889

Dearest Carmelina,

A fateful day it was, this Friday the 13th! I must express some envy for your position. The poltergeist set the inks on fire again. We had it out in record time. I might yet suffer my end from terminal boredom if the injustice of it all doesn’t crush me first.

Oh, Goodluck. To be fair, I doubt Lucky is capable of dying from embarrassment. A little more sisterly embarrassment will do him good. He wrote me griping about some girl haranguing his masculinity. Something about his gloves? Does he skip on the gloves, too? Goodness. I hope he hasn’t passed on anything worse than a bad case of gossip. Oh well. My hands are clean. Has Joss been well? Do you still have cookies from mum? I’m fresh out. Truly a worse day than the 13th for that.

Enclosed is a gift I have been meaning to remember to give you for some time now.

With love and luck but not at Goodluck's expense (though truly he has some luck and height to spare!),

Folded neatly is a pair of fawn-colored gloves. If Carmelina had happened in the local tailor’s but the day before, she might notice said pair of fawn-colored gloves gone.
21st January, 1889

Dear Marmaduke,

It sounds as though you need more wishes of good luck than I or our brother, to be facing up to poltergeists all the while! I confess I am wary of living under the same roof as old Peeves again, though I do try to keep out of his way.

I also wondered whether a little sisterly embarrassment might do you some good, for I very nearly launched myself off to apparate to you immediately and squish you in a horrible hug for the gloves you sent, possibly in front of all your coworkers. Or perhaps worse, your gaggle of friends. Fortunately for you, that would have meant crossing out of the Hogwarts gates before I could apparate, and you won't be surprised to hear I was too lazy for that. So instead I shall have to deluge you in compliments here, and fawn over you and my gift all at once. Whoever could have a more thoughtful, adorable brother than I?

Joss is Joss, as well as ever. The most that I hear from here is griping about her quidditch team's trials, as usual, though I don't begrudge her for it. It is all rather entertaining.

I haven't any cookies from home, but I have enclosed some iced buns, courtesy of the Hogwarts elves, as a little sustenance to spare you from starvation in the meantime. They might prove a tasty nostalgia of their own.

I must leave you here, for I am about to set down my quill and pull on my lovely new gloves again, and stroke my face with them a while.
Much love, Carmelina

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