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In Loco Parentis
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16th or 17th November, 1890 — Trystan’s study, Selwyn Manor
@Tanwen Selwyn/@Calla Potts
It was late when he stumbled in back through the fireplace downstairs, doors closed and the hallways darkened throughout the house - possibly even after midnight, Trystan suspected, though he didn’t stop to squint at the clock. Long day at work was not quite an excuse for getting back at this hour, although there had been plenty of times in the past when his Auror duties had taken him away for longer than that. Pity these days he hadn’t so much excuse: the young Aurors-in-training seemed exhausted enough by the workload as it was, even when they were let off in time for supper! Still, he might have gone for after-work drinks at the gentlemen’s club or down the Cauldron with a colleague, or perhaps even been roped into a stakeout to cover someone, where all they had done was sit, undercover and unnoticed, in a shady pub pretending to knock back drinks and waiting for a criminal who inevitably didn’t show. There was a whiff of alcohol on his breath, so... certainly that could have been what he had been doing tonight.

And even if it wasn’t, it was not as though anyone was awake to inquire.

The smartest thing to do next would have been to crawl into bed before he either started humming or knocked something over on the stairs, but in fact, in this drowsy good humour, the last thing he felt like doing now was sleeping. Instead, he found himself meandering to the study door. His study, it had been his study for years - but somewhere in the back of his mind, it was still forever his father’s (and probably his father’s before him, and so on, just like the house had been, the Selwyn name and the whole estate and the duties attached). A funny feeling, to be sure, and one that gave Trystan the very resolute desire never to become too much his father to bear, and equally, an unrelenting pleasure in lounging around in the old study as though it were somewhere forbidden, pouring drinks for himself with almost childish glee.

He meant to pour himself another drink now, but after drunkenly rummaging in a hidden drawer of the desk for another bottle with only the moonlight from the window to go by and haphazardly flinging out a few private letters in the process, Trystan remembered his wand. A spell would be useful right about now. He patted down his pockets for it, hoping he hadn’t lost it somewhere earlier in his evening - aha, there it was! He lit the wandtip with an easy Lumos and turned from the desk and the door towards the fireplace. Kneeling down, he threw on some coal to build up the fire (he could have rung for one of the maids, but he wasn’t terrible enough to wake them up several hours before their usual start for such a simple task, and inviting a maid in was, both historically and tonight, not a temptation he needed); a flick of his wand later, and the flames appeared with a satisfying crackle.

Trystan had just sprung back up, a little light-headed, and turned back to pour himself that extra nightcap when he realised, amidst the mess and the shuffling noises and the open door, that his sister was here.

(The whole house, the middle of the night, and of course she had to be here.)

“Tanwen,” he exclaimed, belatedly registering that his voice was louder than he had intended and supposing he should count his blessings that it was only Tanwen come to investigate and not his wife. Tanwen was not the most forgiving member of the household, but it could be worse. (Presumably she had heard him and perhaps thought all the rummaging the work of a burglar, and wasn’t just given to wandering the hallways at night like a living ghost?) “It’s alright, s’just me,” he said more quietly, with a wry grin, opening his palms as if to prove he was not a thief in the night. (And to keep her attention off everything else.)


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