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Fern-hunting parties became popular, allowing young women to get outside in a seemingly innocuous pursuit with less rigid oversight and chaperoning than they saw in parlors and drawing rooms. They may have even had the occasional romantic meetup with a similarly fern-impassioned beau. — Bree

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Bunny Devon for Anne Devon. My fair lady of the night
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.


Charms in the Courtyard
April 15th, 1888

James enjoyed school. It was more lonely now that his sister had left him but he'd rather be alone at Hogwarts than be at home with his stepmother even if he still had to occasionally see his stepsisters wandering the stone halls of Hogwarts. He had also formed several friendships over the last few years and he'd hoped they'd be lasting; he was a usually a good judge of character so those he'd opted to befriend were, more often than not, the good kind of people.

This much was evidenced when James took the time to study people's wands. One of his best friends - Elisabeth - had a cedar wand and James had read those kinds of people were often strong and loyal. Unsurprisingly, this was exactly the type of person Elisabeth seemed to be.

James pulled out his own wand and looked at it whilst leaning against one of the stone pillars of the Hogwarts courtyard. He'd elected to stay away from the majority of people as he didn't want to hurt anyone incase his spell backfired.

Hornbeam, he noted, was a strange wood. It adapted to his own personality and style of casting. James wasn't quite sure what kind of strengths his wand had come to possess yet and perhaps that was what made it choose him: James was still unsure of his own station in life yet he knew what it was he wanted to do.

He shook the thought of his future out of his head very quickly and moved his wand in a downward half circle, pointing it at a small rock that lay on the ground before him, "Accia!"

Nothing. James furrowed his eyebrows and moved the wand in front of his face, examining it closely.

"Why didn't you work? I did it right and we both saw how it was done during charms class! Do you not like charms? Is that it? Please work this time because I'm sure to be able to cast it and you aren't being very helpful, are you? Maybe I said it wrong or something and you are just being annoying." James muttered quietly to his wand, shaking his head and frowning as he spoke certain he was casting his spell right.

Straightening himself up, James inhaled and closed his eyes, motioning with his wand in front of him, saying the spell (correctly, this time) before opening his eyes to see a book being pulled right out of someone's hands and toward himself.

James' eyes widened as he caught the book, holding it out for the person in front of him; "I am so sorry! I was trying to cast the summoning charm and I must have said it wrong the first time and my eyes were closed and I didn't see you and here's your book!"

How embarassing.
There were many ‘flying’ books at Hogwarts, but Blythe Fairchild’s bible was not typically one of them.

The badger had thought to take advantage of the good weather by taking her Sunday bible study out-of-doors, and had not anticipated any difficulties arising. Once in the courtyard, though, the book practically leapt out of her hand as though escaping a burning house, and Blythe could do little more than stare after it in surprise.

Next thing she knew, one of her classmates was there holding it out to her, making all sorts of apologies for the confusion. At least his summoning charm explained why the bible had abandoned her. Lamely, she accepted the book back.

“It’s no bother, really,” she reassured the wizard softly. “I was only surprised, but a small surprise never harmed anyone, as far as I know.”

Large surprises had, in some, lead to heart attacks, she knew, but did not think it would serve anyone for her to be melodramatic.

“No harm done!”

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The girl spoke rather softly which at least put James at a bit of ease. She was right, of course, a little surprise never harmed anyone - not usually at least.

Smiling as he returned the book to the girl, James noticed an all too familiar sigil etched onto the book. The sigil, which at the angle he was looking, appeared to be an adaptation of the Christian cross - much like his mother's old book.

The smile drew thin and was replaced with an inquisitive glance as James' mind began to work overtime to piece this very minor puzzle together.

The cross looked like the symbol of the Church of Magical Jesus - a church, James highly suspected, whom his mother was a part of.
He knew of one girl who was a devout follower of this church, whom people in his year had remarked on - though mostly they were rumours of a weird religious girl.
He knew this girl went to Hogwarts.
James also knew her name was...

"Blythe!" James exclaimed in realisation and suddenly went very quiet and shy, "Sorry, er, are you Blythe? I've heard, erm, I've heard you attend church."

The fourth year was suddenly feeling extremely anxious about talking to her. What if he'd seen the book wrong? What if she wasn't this Blythe person at all? He certainly didn't want to make a fool of himself.

Putting his wand inside of his robe, James cleared his throat and shuffled where he stood,  "Because my, erm- I want to ask some things of you if it's prudent of me?"

James was trying his absolute best at this point to be friendly and not overbearing. If she was this person he'd heard of however, then she was sure to give him the answers he so desperately searched for...

Wasn't she?
"I-I am," she stammered, flabbergasted at being addressed so informally by someone she knew, but didn't know. Though her shock was clear as day on her face, Blythe was too polite—or perhaps too shy or non-confrontational—to correct him or muster up the puffed outrage that those higher than she might, and so opted instead for private confusion.

That he wanted to ask questions of her specifically was even more surprising still. At this point, the Hufflepuff could do little more than nod feebly.

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James was a little confused at her reaction at first; why would she be shocked at his asking of her name? Oh, but of course! James swallowed and his eyes widened a little once he'd realised how he had jumped the gun with her address - though usually he was always polite. He was just far too excited at the prospect of finally getting some answers.

"Oh my! Miss... Fairchild? I am terribly sorry! I just..." He paused as his eyes drifted to the book, "You're involved with the Church, are you not? It's just..- I erm, my mother used to own a book just like that and I was wondering if you could tell me a little about the church as..." James paused for a moment before shuffling awkwardly on his feet.

It was clear that he was unsure in his own words, "... I'm not entirely sure how my mother would have owned that book. It's the Church of Magical Jesus, isn't it?"
Still a bit startled, Blythe looked down at her bible as if having forgotten it was even there.

“Yes,” she was able to get out at last, “yes it is. Does your mother subscribe to our beliefs?” Blythe asked, now a bit more confident. “Our version of the Bible—the true version of the Bible,” the Hufflepuff corrected herself, “is readily available to all those who express genuine interest.”

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James shrugged and looked to the ground momentarily before turning his gaze back to Blythe, "I'm... erm, I'm not entirely sure Miss. Fairchild. My mother was a muggle, like my father."

At least, that was what he'd been raised to believe his entire life. He had no real reason to believe otherwise; not really.

There was nothing wrong with being muggleborn, of course, but James did have to admit that his muggle mother owning a bible belonging to a religion founded around the idea of Jesus being a wizard was - for lack of any better phrasing - kind of odd.

"Do you have to be magical to subscribe to the religion, typically? Or, erm, know magical people? I'm curious because I'm not entirely sure how my mother came to possession of the bible."
Blythe frowned.

“Are you sure it was our Bible?” the Hufflepuff pressed. “Only, it would not be…common for a muggle to subscribe to such a thing. For starters, he—or she—would need to know of the existence of witches and wizards, and move past the silly ideal that witchcraft is innately the tool of the devil.”

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James nodded, “Certain. It had the same cover and was the same size,” he said confidently. He was only so confident because he had seen it with his eyes and the flaming book that once belonged to his mother looked exactly like this.

“But it is possible?” He enquired. He knew full well what the most likely scenario was:

Either she was a muggle who happened to believe witches and wizards were superior or she was in fact a witch.

Which made no sense.

“It’s just.. She definitely had that book and she was a muggle.”

"And your family—other than you, of course? Are any of them magical?" Blythe pressed. The notion that an ignorant muggle would, or even could become involved in the Church was not sitting well with her. It was not that she disliked muggles—one of the tenants of her faith was to shepherd them, after all—but it seemed almost...invasive.

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James shook his head, “not at all. I’m muggleborn. Me and my sister are the only magical people in our family.” And that fact had made his confusion even more prominent. Blythe seemed almost shocked that James’s mother was a muggle. It did make sense, though. The Church of Magical Jesus was a wizardkind religion so logically speaking, muggles typically wouldn’t follow it.

“But my sister didn’t own the book. I am certain it was mother’s,” He pondered, a concerned look over his face, “Is something the matter, Miss Fairchild? I..- I was just curious. Should she not have had the book?”

Blythe hesitated, not certain how to kindly express the myriad thoughts swirling about in her head.

“It’s—it’s a wizarding book, Mr. Grey,” the fifth year offered at last. “For wizards—and witches—to bring them closer to God and his true feelings. For your mother to have it…she would have known about our sort, you see, for you cannot have knowledge of the true word of God without also having knowledge of magic in the world.”

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