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elemental
#1
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June 29th, 1890 — Wellingtonshire — Academic social event

Clue sat at a stately dinner in the Valenduris household, slender hand still hovering uncertainly over the three forks by his plate. Three. Clue, who'd spent much of his childhood gnawing down on some snatched bread roll or apple, had not always seen the need for even one fork, let alone three.

But here he was. Combed, comely, obediently silent, but completely out of his element.


[Image: clue-sig.jpg]
#2
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She knew, of course, that the professor had had to invite her parents this evening, but, nonetheless, Idunn felt more than a little ungrateful about her own inclusion, for surely if they were good at anything, Ewart and Ailsa Fraser were good at embarrassing her. Given that they were surrounded by people whose good opinion of Idunn would set the state for her entire future, this seemed as good an avenue for them to do so any.

By some miracle, though Idunn was not the most uncomfortable person at the dinner. Seated beside her fellow apprentice, even the redhead, who ordinarily ignored those around her, picked up on his uncertainty.

"Start at the outside," she murmured to the Slytherin, though her gaze was focused pointedly upon her mother further down the table, "and work your way in with each course."



Graphics by MJ ♡
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#3
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Not one to fathom exactly how to ask for help, Clue would've been quite inclined to give up on the cutlery rules (whatever they were) and opt to snatch up the nearest available eating implement. But Idunn Fraser, steady and silently musing in the seat next to him, offered some clear advice.

Start at the outside and work in. Right. That made sense. He selected the correct knife and fork to make an attempt on the small pastry starter that had been placed before him.

Any social cue that he should thank his saviour escaped him. But Clue did glance at Miss Fraser, and in doing so noticed that she was glancing elsewhere. He followed her gaze; "are you looking at Maestro Pavesio?" For there sat the guest of honour, chatting animatedly to a lady across from him.


[Image: clue-sig.jpg]
#4
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That he did not thank her was something that the Ravenclaw did not pick up on—even were she not distracted by the dinner's guests, it had caused her no hardship to aid him.

"Yes," she answered after a beat, redirecting her gaze to the Slytherin. She thought it an easier answer than to explain to someone who she didn't really know outside of potion-brewing that her mother was a walking cloud of impending embarrassment whose sending of a corset to her daughter at Ravenclaw table over breakfast was not even the most traumatizing thing she had ever done.

No, there was a time and a place for such conversations, both of which Idunn hoped dearly never to reach.

"I must admit, I'm not sure what to make of him," the redhead continued. "Have you read his latest paper?"



Graphics by MJ ♡
#THEPOWEROFFRIENDSHIP
#5
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Without really thinking about it, Clue had learned a bit about society during his short time in the Valenduris household. Most especially, he'd picked up one or two tips on how to hold an actual conversation. Or at least how to listen and speak without opting to stare blankly into space or force bored silences upon his unwitting victims.

"Conversation", he found, was especially tolerable when the subject was something he found interesting. And he did find Maestro Pavesio interesting. Clue took a small bite of the pastry in front of him (using the correct fork!), then addressed Miss Fraser's question. "The paper on transmuting lead into silver? Yes...

I wonder what his goal is"
, he mused quietly without judgement, returning his cold gaze to the chatting alchemist. "Wealth? Or power..."


[Image: clue-sig.jpg]


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