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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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Emilia Wright for Jude Wright. Casually alienating offspring since 18882.
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.


I Know It
21st March, 1888 — Slytherin Matron's Chambers
Rosaline Bennett
It was a fairly common occurrence for the matrons of the four houses to take tea together and swap war stories so Connie felt fairly sure that Mrs Bennett would accept her invitation without too much question. Admittedly the younger woman might find it odd that their Hufflepuff and Gryffindor counterparts were notably absent but by then it would be too late for her to avoid Connie's curiosity.

Professor Sleptov had been clear enough but Connie wanted to hear it from the horse's mouth, so to speak, and, if she was able, to use it for-

Which was where her thought process ended. What did she want to get from this? A confirmation of dirt on somebody that she would probably never use because she found gossip particularly distasteful and she liked both of the parties involved? It didn't hurt to know things just in case of course but still, what would she do with it - tell the Headmaster? Hardly.

"I...I spoke to Professor Sleptov the other day," she said, trying to maintain an even voice as she kept her voice steady and poured the tea, perhaps exaggerating the extent of the stilted conversation. "He...erm... I know," she said lamely, stirring in sugar she didn't even take purely for something to occupy her hands. "Or at least I think I do."

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Rose choked on her tea.

She was normally a dignified, responsible person who could handle being ambushed with weird questions. This was how she survived as a matron, after all. But she had never expected this from Connie Sykes, of all people, who was a friend.

She coughed, twice. "What do you - know?" Rose asked.

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   Elladora Black
Connie winced as she took a sip of her too-hot tea to cover her disappointment. She hated vague responses, which was ironic given the nature of every conversation she'd had with her mother up till about the age of thirty-five, but she expected better from a woman she considered as sensible as Rosaline. Both of their livelihoods relied almost entirely upon their good names and neither of them were exactly the sort Headmaster Black would give the benefit of the doubt to.

"I'm not repeating what he said but I think it's safe to say it's a good job he said it to me and not...well..." she sighed and let her teacup rattle back into the saucer, losing her patience with being coy. "It's none of my business but please do be careful Rose, I should hate for anything to happen."

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"Oh, goddamnit," Rose said, "Goddamn it. He didn't tell anyone else, did he? Headmaster Black hasn't come to fire me, so." She knew that they were playing a dangerous game, her and Nik, but she also knew that she loved him deeply. There was only so much to be done.

“Its fine,” Connie said hurriedly, thinking she probably should have led with the fact that their secret was perfectly safe with her. She respected Professor Sleptov and truly liked Rose: it was hard not to like somebody who had sportingly never mentioned once finding her drunk, after all.

“I don’t think he meant to tell me. I heard some of the students babbling that day too so I suspect somebody was up to no good.”

Tentatively she reached out, taking the other woman’s hand to focus her attention and smiling kindly. “I’m guessing this isn’t something you can stop?”

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After her outburst, Rose had to admit to herself that as far as confidantes in the castle went, Connie Sykes was the best they could hope for. She mirrored the other woman's smile. "If it was, it wouldn't have started," Rose admitted.

Connie ‘hmm’d in agreement with the sentiment. She certainly understood that feeling even if she could hardly tell Rose why she did: a spinster wasn’t supposed to know about such things after all, though she somehow felt as though Rose would not think less of her for her real nature.

“And how long-? No, don’t answer that. God knows I don’t love it when people pry,” she added quickly.

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Rose couldn't help but laugh at that, an undignified little snorting sound. "Longer than's decent," she said simply, "Archie doesn't know, obviously." God forbid her son find out!

Connie nodded in acknowledgement; she would never have thought Rose careless enough to get caught by her son – and she was rather glad for the boy that it had not happened. Yet. There was still time and she was nothing if not a pessimist.

“Please be careful,” she reiterated emphatically. “The longer things go on the more careless you become in my experience.”

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Rose sighed. "I love my job," she said, because she did. She loved her job, the girls she worked with, and being at Hogwarts. It was an excellent source of purpose. "I have no intention of getting caught." Even if Nik didn't always agree, apparently!

"No one ever does," Connie replied ruefully before she could stop herself. She had never been caught out per say, but she and Lavinia had sailed close to the wind more times than she would like to remember. It had been thrilling, living life on the precipice of scandal. Had it been worth it?

Every moment. And she could never tell Rose.

"Besides, you can't leave me here to mutter about the headmaster alone."

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"Merlin you'd miss me," Rose said with a light laugh. If Phineas Black had the opportunity to fire her, he would - she knew that, Connie knew that, Phineas knew that. But she was good at her job, and as long as they didn't get caught, they'd be fine.

"Have you ever - been so reckless?" Rose asked, shyly, over her tea.

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   Constance Sykes
She probably should have expected the question but Connie’s face still froze in horror as she tried to marshal her features into neutrality. She doubted she was being very successful.

“I can’t pretend I’ve been an angel,” Connie said evasively. Rose would likely assume she had indulged in an ill-advised dalliance with a man in her youth – how could she possibly guess the truth?

“So believe me I understand.” Oh Merlin, did she ever.

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Rose grinned. "I have to admit that I'm glad to hear that," she said, "I wouldn't want to be the only one." What kind of man could ensnare Connie Sykes, she wondered?

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