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Wallace Bixby for Sloane Bixby.
...tfw your little sister makes the house team before you do.
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30th October, 1890 — Whizzhard Books, Gothic Night
All Hallow’s Eve was tomorrow, and Liberty had finally worn down her Aunt into coming to hear the gothic readings and ghost stories at the Hogsmeade bookshop. She would not have needed to talk Aunt Margaret into coming if her relative had not been so suspicious of the weekly events that was determined to see it for herself, having fancied, in spite of Libby’s eyerolls and protests, that they were just a cover for some scandalous youths holding a party.

But Gothic Night at Whizzhard Books was precisely what it said it was, and Liberty had been having a ball of a time until something in the reading caused her Aunt to startle, pitch up from her chair and pull Libby along with her out the shop doors. (For someone whose surname was Gore, Aunt Peggy did not have much stomach for horror.)

Grumbling profusely, Libby hung about on the front step of the bookshop while the reading continued inside without them, ignoring her Aunt’s complaints (now equally divided between standing out in the cold and about the lack of society faces in the audience tonight, never even mind the offense she had taken to the violence in the story -) and letting her eyes adjust to the darkness encroaching on the lamplit street. Was that something moving out there... No, it was probably nothing.

The door rattled behind her, and she spun around to see someone else coming out, for fresh air or otherwise. “Were you listening to the tale just now?” Libby said, verbally pouncing before the person could get away. “How did it end?” She refused to leave until she knew.


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Funny how life was that she'd found herself coming to the bookstore more and more after her marriage than she had before. Though in all honesty, it was likely just because the Lestrange library was no longer a few doors down from her room. William was by no means stingy with her allowance for building up their library,  but one didn't rival a centuries old family library in four months. Any time she had that wasn't spent at some form of society event,  visiting friends and family,  and managing the finishing touches on their new home was spent here at the bookstore or even the library.

She hadn't really gone to any of the events before that Wizzhard had hosted and hadn't really intended on going to this one but she'd needed a new book and figured she'd stay a little longer. She'd been paying the reading half a mind as she browsed, finding herself suprisingly interested in the story. She'd have to buy the book then, to see how it ended, rather than just listening to this scene. Even more so she found herself quite annoyed when a check of the time revealed that she ought have headed home ten minutes prior and that she would miss the end of the reading.

And clearly someone else had wanted to catch the end as well, she saw as she stepped out into the chill to just to be pounced upon. "Ahh, the reading? I was listening but I'm afraid I didn't catch the end as well. It is still going on, but I am due home."
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Liberty sighed in slight annoyance at her bad luck, no new details coming to light. She might have stormed back inside, her aunt be damned, but she recognised the girl coming out as a Lestrange - former? Libby knew most of them by sight as ‘Tatiana’s relatives’, though she suspected the younger girl here was one of the ones to have been married this summer - and knew Aunt Peggy would scold her for rudeness if she was so brisk about it.

Ugh. If the other young woman had been staying, Libby might have had a valid argument about the society attendance, and forced her aunt to go back in. “That’s a shame,” she said instead, fighting the urge to fold her arms. “I thought it was just getting good, but someone disagreed.” She threw this off in a mutter, rolling her eyes meaningfully at the other girl about her aunt. Hopefully Mrs. Gore hadn’t heard the remark about being due home, else she would drag Liberty off as well.

“My guess would be a double murder,” she added matter-of-factly, just in case that made her aunt faint.




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