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June 10th, 1889
Phoenix was still trying to catch up with what she'd missed in the last decade. So much had changed, yet a lot of it had stayed the same. When she'd first been told it was 1889 and not whatever year she'd come from (1877), she'd been in denial. Her sister, her baby sister, would be older than her. Physically. Mentally. In birthyear, Phoenix was still the oldest, but everything else... Well... it was a lot to take in.

If she'd wanted, and she almost did, she could have told them her last name. And her first name, instead of her middle, but she hadn't wanted to be returned to her parents. Even if they weren't – as wizards said –  muggles. They had abandoned her, and it had led to this, her being twelve years younger than she should be.

Someday, maybe, when the wounds that should've been healed already were healed, she'd go looking for them.

Phoenix had been escorted out of the Ministry earlier that day, and dropped off with her new family. On top of everything else, she was now surrounded by more people she didn't know, and it made her uncomfortable. Seven new brothers? How was she supposed to handle that on top of everything else?

@Leif Heaney
Leif didn't really want a new sister, or foster sister, or whatever they were calling the statue girl that was coming to live with him. He was still getting used to Lawrence, and he was already two. He bet Mum would talk about her all proud, too. He could just imagine it now 'look, Leif, your foster sister is already so polite! Even after being a statue, can you imagine?' He rolled his eyes at the thought.

The girl didn't seem like she belonged here, he thought. He'd had brothers before, obviously. But he wasn't sure what to do with a new sister. Plus, she wasn't a baby, so she'd remember everything. "Phoenix!" he yelled over from where he and Cal were playing Gobstones. Mum was busy cooking in the kitchen, probably something for Phoenix's arrival.

He still thought of himself as the oldest, though chronologically he knew Phoenix was. But he looked older than her, so that was more important. He assumed they were going into different Hogwarts years as well, and he was grateful for that. "Don'tcha wanna come join us?" he looked at Cal, who was still young enough that he was excited about the whole thing. Leif was certain that Cal would let Phoenix play Gobstones with them.

"Or wouldja rather do chores with Mum?" Leif didn't really like chores, but he'd gotten used to doing most of them when he was home. If Phoenix wanted to take on the responsibility of the oldest, he'd be fine with that.
Phoenix hadn't expected to be talked to. At all. Not for a few days, anyway. She'd expected they needed just as much time to get used to her as she did for them. She wasn't sure what her role would be in the family. Was she supposed to help? She'd end up helping anyway, but would they ask her or expect it?

She was pretty sure she shouldn't be worrying about anything quiet yet. They would probably give her a week or so before deciding to ask her to help.

Phoenix turned when she heard her name, and one of the older boys (she assumed he was - physically - the oldest) when he asked her if she wanted to play a game with them. She wasn't even sure what Gobstone was. It looked like it was played with stones, but she couldn't be sure. She was raised by muggles, after all.

"I don't know how to play." And it was true. She'd mostly kept to herself after the Ministry had changed her back. She made her way over to them. "Or what Gobstones is."

Leif was shocked, "Never learned how to play Gobstones? You're such a girl...no, even the girls know how to play Gobstones!" he rolled his eyes, "Alright. Come over here. Shove over, Cal." Leif gently pulled his younger brother to end up sitting beside him instead of across from him. "We've only got most of a set, y'know. There's supposed to be fifteen on each side. We've got....thirteen. Or fourteen on one but that's uneven."

He looked up at her. He was, after all, sitting down, but it was a little frustrating. Leif knew he wasn't even that much taller than her when he was standing. "Come sit." he waited and then launched into an explanation of the game, like someone had given to him when he was younger, maybe even younger than Cal, or Greg. "So you've got the Gobstones, and your goal is ta' capture your opponents'. And you don't want yours to get captured, duh, cuz then this liquid spits out atcha, right?" he frowned and paused for a second, "Well, that's what's supposed to happen. Ours are all cracked, yeah? So only some of them spray...you're lucky, Cal's got a memory for the sprayers, bet he put them all in your favor.."

Cal chuckled from where he was sitting right down beside Leif. Leif shushed him. "Here. I'll go first." The stones were already set up from the game before. Leif tried to knock out one of Phoenix's stones.
Getting sprayed by foul smelling liquid? That didn't sound like a fun game. Phoenix listened to his explanation of the game and decided that she'd play, if only to get to know her new.... siblings.

She knelt so she could attempt at playing. The stones they had sounded funner than the regular ones, although she wished they would randomly spray instead of always being the same ones. Maybe she'd make a game like that, when she knew more about the world she was thrown into.

"That seems... complicated." she commented after his explanation. "I played with marbles with my sister before... Well, before everything happened." She stumbled over some of her words.

"Do you mind if I just watch you two play for a bit?" She wanted to watch the game in action before she decided if she wanted to play or not.

@Leif Heaney
"Fine," Leif shrugged, "Go back over there and show 'er how it's done, Calvin." He nudged the kid in the direction, so he ultimately ended up sitting right across from Leif once again. Leif honestly hoped that Cal would have left some of the ones that weren't broken--the ones that sprayed gunk-- for him. While Cal was a good player, Leif was older, had been playing for longer. He would know what to do.

The shot captured Cal's Gobstone, which didn't spray the younger boy. Cal giggled, seemingly knowing that this was going to happen. Leif rolled his eyes, "That's where it would squirt him. Y'know, if it squirted. You can usually dodge it if you're fast enough." Leif made a face at his younger brother, teasing him.

"It's kinda like Muggle marbles. Ours are heavier. Mostly, some of them are all cracked..." Leif pointed, "Like that one, so there's no gunk in it so I guess it would weigh the same as a marble." He got why Muggles didn't play with the gunk-squirters: they didn't have any magic to clean it up, or refill the gunk.

"It's Cal's turn now, because I took one of his. That's one of our rules, usually, I would keep going until I missed and didn't capture one, but then Cal probably wouldn't have a turn." Leif grinned as his younger brother took a shot at his Gobstone
Phoenix listened to her new brother's explain of the game. This game really was just like what she'd played with her sister. Without the squirting, of course, but that wasn't much of a problem for her to wrap her head around.

She found comfort in the thing that was just like the game she used to play. She'd probably be a little ... rusty... since she hadn't played since Royal was six or so (she still thought of that as being a few years ago, not over a decade).

She was amused that they'd had to make the own rules so everyone got a chance to play instead of one person dominating and not letting the other player have their turn.

"I would hate to get wet because of a game." she said with a small frown.

MJ made Phoenix's set!
Leif thought Phoenix was a little bit more of a pansy than his brothers, even more than some of his girl cousins. They were older, of course, but so, technically, was his new sister. Even if she looked younger thane Leif did at the moment. It was fine if you got a little wet, otherwise it wouldn't be fun. Leif wished they had gotten a brother instead of a sister, however briefly the thought crossed his mind.

"I can prob'ly get Cal to pick out the non-squirters so we can play with just those ones," Leif said, trying to come up with a solution to the problem, "We'd have less, cuz, y'know, you're pickin' out some of them, but still, it's a game." Leif shrugged. Making rules was easy to him. His brothers got into fights that he dared not admit being part of. Since he was the biggest, he usually made a few good decisions. And some power hungry ones, but that was all part of being an older brother.
Although that would've made Phoenix a little more comfortable with playing the Wizard version of marbles — for the life of her, she couldn't remember the proper name — she didn't want to be more of an inconvenience than she already was.

"It's fine." she replied after a few seconds. She'd only get used to the world, she decided, if she exposed herself to the culture. Which meant she had to get out of her comfort zone.

She still didn't feel comfortable enough to play the game, so just settled for watching them play. She'd get to know them better, actually know them by name, before she played games with them.

MJ made Phoenix's set!
Leif shrugged, "Whatever." The boy watched as his younger brother missed all his stones by quite a bit, and laughed a little, too. Cal frowned and crossed his arms. "My turn again," Leif said to Phoenix, if she was still paying attention to his description of the game.

"You remember your life before you came here?" Leif asked as he lined up a shot on Cal's gobstones, missing them by a hair. He shrugged, but his younger brother seemed happy. That's what older brothers were for, Leif supposed, making the younger ones happy. Maybe having a younger sister was the same.
Phoenix could lie, and say that she didn't remember her life before, but for some reason it was easier for her to lie to officals than to her new brother. While he didn't appear to like her, he didn't appear to dislike her, either. Either way, she was pretty sure she'd made refrences to her past.

"Yes." she said softly. I do remember my life before... everything." she couldn't bring herself to say what had happened, and she couldn't blame herself. It had been recent, she couldn't be blamed.

MJ made Phoenix's set!
"You do?" Leif said, "What was it like? Being stone and stuff." He kept an eye on the stones while Cal launched his, nodded and took one out, then went again. It was a little odd knowing that she was, chronologically older and had probably seen stuff that his older cousins remembered. "Could you tell you were alive?"

He stopped focusing on the game for a second to ask another question. "D'ya think ya wanna go to Hogwarts? I mean, I most certainly will, but you should've gone ages ago, right?"
The girl gave a shrug at Leif. She didn't really want to think about the family that had abandoned her, but she didn't have much of a choice when she'd already opened herself up to his question. At least it was just about if she remembered what it was like to be a stone. “I don't remember being a stone.” she responded. “The days before I'd rather not recall.”

How much did he know of history? Was he aware of the hate between Muggles and Magic Folk? Did he know how it'd all started? She wanted to ask him. She wanted to know if everyone knew, or if anything in their relationships had changed since then.

“I suppose I'll go to Hogwarts as well.” she replied. She didn't want to be a burden on the family, financially, so she'd probably have to find a job to pay for her own supplies. “I don't know if I would've gone to Hogwarts when I was supposed to. My family hated my magic, I'm sure they would've kept me home.”

Hated was a strong word. They disliked her magic. They didn't understand it. She hadn't understood it. Would they have let her go to Hogwarts or would they have kept her home and hid her from the world? Nobody would ever know what they would've done.

MJ made Phoenix's set!

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