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Something Like A Home
#1
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May 19, 1889 — Devine house, Wellingtonshire

The room had been set aside to be a nursery when she had moved into the house as mistress, but it had been a year of marriage so far and they had no need of it. The walls were painted pastel green, a color that reminded Ophelia a little bit of the Black Lake when one picked up just a handful of water. She'd always expected that they could repaint as soon as the baby was born, in the appropriate color for either a boy or a girl. They hadn't decorated it, either, or really furnished it much — all things Ophelia had thought she would enjoy spending her energies on when she was actually pregnant, but had little desire to do beforehand. As a result it had been something of a blank canvas when they had sent in the note volunteering to foster one of the previously-transfigured children. She'd had to send servants out to acquire the bare necessities, either through purchase or from storage in the magically-enlarged closet downstairs

The result was a bit eclectic; the bed was too large for a child of his age, and made up with blankets that seemed too thick and heavy in her opinion. The little table and chair that had been placed in the corner for him seemed laughably small by comparison. There were clothes, but she hadn't much idea how big a five-year-old would be, so she'd bought them in a variety of sizes, hoping something would fit. The closet in the room was positively packed with shirts and trousers, hung by size the way they were in stores.

And what toys would he want? What books? She'd collected a small assortment, but she didn't know whether anything was appropriate. She was having the strangest difficulty remembering what she herself had been like at that age. Had she even had toys? Or had she and her siblings just run around the farm with the magical creatures, like wild things? Would he want any of the toys she'd placed in the room, or would he prefer to go outside? Or would he have some strange desires that she had never experienced? She was inviting a child into her home, but she may as well have been inviting an alien in for all she expected to have in common with him.

He had been delivered by a representative from the Ministry, and she had shown him to the room that was to be his immediately.

"I hope you like it," she said tentatively, watching him for any sign of either approval or disappointment. "I'm not sure what you're used to. It's a bit bland now, but we can get more things... when we know what you'll want," she finished a bit uncertainly.

@Loren Bilton
#2
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All he knew was the Ministry. Ministry sleeping arrangements, as he was grouped with several other young boys. Ministry personnel, mostly tall men with serious faces. It was unsettling, but all that he could remember of his (kind of) short life. Even his name was given to him by he Ministry, the name of Nathaniel.

This all changed with the Devine's. It started with the giant house, continuing with all of the people cleaning, and then such a big room. It was all for him. Looking around, his eyes gradually continued to widen as he saw the table and big bed. He had a tiny voice in the back of his mind that made him feel as though he'd never even seen a bed so big.

"This is all mine?" He asked, glancing at Mrs. Devine in amazement. The walls seemed comforting. Not too bright, and not dark enough for it to feel too scary at night. A part of him had an urge to jump on the bed. Did he do that a lot before? He hadn't even seen the clothes yet.



Currently he has no memory of his past, and is known as Nathaniel.
#3
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"Well... yes," she said, a bit taken aback by his enthusiasm at what seemed to her so hodge-podge and insufficient. She had to remind herself that although they knew nothing of this boy's background, the very fact that he'd ended up transfigured into a garden cherub meant that he had to come from a very different walk of life than the one that Ophelia was currently leading. Children didn't just disappear from wealthy pureblood families (with the exception of the Scrimgeours, but then, given everything that had come to light about them in recent times, maybe they'd deserved it — maybe Annabelle was better off with her poor Muggle family than she was with her crazy father).

"At least for now," she added uncertainly. Nothing in this room was important to her, but it wasn't as though they were planning on packing it all up and sending it with him when he left. "Until the Ministry finds out where you really belong."
#4
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Her surprise by his words didn't faze him as he peaked into the closet. So many clothes, and some were so big! How could he possibly fit in those? Some were too small as well. He tried to remind himself that this should not come as a surprise.

Nathaniel did wonder how it all happened. Was it dramatic? Sad? Did he even want to know how he had practically lost the life he had been living? But the mention of where he 'really belonged' did make him wonder. And fear the result, in some way. What if he didn't like 'where he belonged'?

It gave him pause, until he continued to rummage through the closet. Those dress looking clothes, wizarding robes from what he had heard while at the Ministry. Far more fun and interesting than any of the more simple looking shirts and the like. Did he like these before?

After a while, he realized he hadn't said anything since she had responded. What really could be said? "Thank you." He said, giving a sweet smile to Mrs. Devine.



Currently he has no memory of his past, and is known as Nathaniel.
#5
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The lack of a response unnerved her a bit. Why was she so bad at dealing with children? She hadn't ever had problems with her siblings — but they had all died a long time ago, and she had been a child herself, then. After that, she hadn't had much occasion to interact with anyone younger than her, really. She'd met Nova's step-daughter a few times, but those sort conversations had been just as awkward as this, until someone interrupted and rushed the girl back to the nursery.

What if Ophelia wasn't meant to be a mother? What if she lacked some sort of natural instinct that allowed women to know how to talk to small children? What if her body knew that, and that's why she hadn't become pregnant yet? Her own mother had had many children, but it had ultimately been her downfall. She never would have been committed, or killed herself, if she hadn't felt so strongly responsible for Octavian's well-being. Maybe that was part of the reason Ophelia wasn't sure she could be a good mother — maybe part of it was self-defense.

The boy thanked her, and Ophelia forced a smile she wasn't sure she felt. "You're welcome. I... I hope we can make you happy here, Nathaniel."
#6
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Nathaniel had no knowledge of whether or not he had siblings. Having other children around in the Ministry had not felt familiar to him. But what did feel familiar? A feminine smile, a few smells here and there. It didn't bring back memories, but it did feel familiar.

What would he do now? That was the real question. Did she know any games? Did grownups play games? "Do you play games?" Games were fun, and fun was good.



Currently he has no memory of his past, and is known as Nathaniel.
#7
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Ophelia had no idea what to say in response to that. "Ah... what sorts of games?" she asked tentatively. Of course a child would want to play games. Why hadn't that occurred to her before? She could have purchased some for the room — but games required two people. Who would he play them with? They didn't have any other children for him to befriend. Most wealthy people had play-dates with other parents, she thought — mothers drinking tea and sending the children off with the nannies for a few hours. Could they get Nathaniel involved in anything like that? Nova's child was still an infant, so that wouldn't work. Calliope Riley had step-daughters who were older, but Ophelia wasn't sure how old. Lucinda had a daughter — was she Nathaniel's age?

A better question: would any of her wealthy, well-bred friends want their children socializing with a boy who had been a stone statue last month? A boy of uncertain background? She wasn't sure. It would make things difficult for them if no one wanted to treat him like a Devine — but, she reminded herself, he wasn't a Devine. This was a temporary situation. She mustn't get too attached.

"My husband likes to play Quidditch," she offered with a small smile. "He owns a Quidditch team. Is that the sort of game you mean?"
#8
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He did wonder if he would see any of the other stone children again. Some of them had been nice. Even with the odd situation.

He took his time thinking of her question. Did he even know what games he meant? The lack of memory, plus the Ministry not having any games, had left him with no real ideas.

Quidditch? He thought that one of the older children had mentioned that. "Sure!" He said with a smile. That had flying in it. Had he ever flown before?



Currently he has no memory of his past, and is known as Nathaniel.


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