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Grayson Hughes

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 A Drop of Acid (Elenore)

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Mimosa Harrington
Slytherin Second Year
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PostSubject: A Drop of Acid (Elenore)    Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:37 pm

As the days passed, it got harder and harder to find time alone. In her dormitory, Mimosa was with the other three girls who refused to leave her room. Catherine, Emily and Constance were mostly okay though, now they even let her do whatever she wanted. Apparently they had learned not to bother her from trying to do it so often and not getting any results. In the end, their wish to remain in her good graces had made the decision and being the nice girl she was, Mimosa had forgiven them for their initial behavior.

In the common room, if she wasn't with the group of first years, she was being pulled into conversations by others. Even some sixth and seventh years had passed her by, mussing up her hair or pinching her cheeks. One of the older girls had offered to teach her how to curl her hair with a wand and that was not a lesson the little witch was going to turn down.

Then there were times she was outside the common room, which were mostly for meals and classes. Bushrah was still adamant about following her wherever she went and Mimosa soon realized she would just have to get used to it until the Gryffindor found another hobby. The young American had really missed her private time until she'd come across a magical place called "The Library". Not only was it huge and noise cancelling but it seemed students generally avoided it. Mimosa could understand why, there were too many books here for her taste. but for now, it was her only refuge.

Of course, students could still come into the general reading area, so Mimosa had found a loophole around that too. The Restricted Section was almost always unoccupied. And the nice librarian wasn't always on guard to see if someone was getting in. Mimosa got away with it because no books were ever disturbed, she didn't go in there to read.

No, instead the young Slytherin took shelter in the empty Restricted Section to dictate her letters and try to do her homework. Of course, homework was lame so mostly she wrote out her letters and today, the ten year old was happily dictating a letter to her Grandparents who were now in Italy.

"Honestly Grandmere, there's lots and lots of food here. Good food too. They made this kind of pie last night and it was yummy, you don't have to keep sending me things to eat, my friends eat them all anyway. And tell Grandpere that he looks really good in that photo. Did you two get to meet the king and Queen of Italy? You look much better than the Queen and Grandpere looks much better than the king." The bright green quill danced across the parchment as the child continued.

"Jacques writes to me all the time, he is so popular in my common room. Every time I get a letter from him, all the girls crowd around me trying to read it. Don't worry though, I never open it in front of them. I have too many friends, Grandmere, I hardly ever get any time alone and when I do, I try to write to you and Jacques and Clara before someone comes looking for me." The child paused, composing her next thoughts before speaking them out loud for the quill to write.

"Thank you so much for the scarf you sent me, it's lovely and soft on my skin, not like the thing from Diagon Alley. Did you really do the embroidery on it yourself? Thank you so much! It looks better than all my friends', I even showed it to Tess Marie. She said it was made from very fine cloth. I like Tess, she's really nice and always helps me with my homework. We should invite her to the palace more often, I want to hang out more with her!"

Thinking some more, the child decided this would be a good point on which to conclude the letter. "Grandpere, please tell Grandmere not to worry about me, everyone here is taking really good care of me. I'm good in all my classes and have lots of friends and everybody knows I'm a Clement so its like being back in the palace. I love you two biiiiig much. Mimosa."

Having completed the letter, Mimosa triumphantly folded the sheet of parchment and placed it in the envelope. Dictating the Clements name and address, the child put it to the side, pulling out a fresh sheet for the hardworking quill.

"My Jacques..."

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Elenore Clement
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PostSubject: Re: A Drop of Acid (Elenore)    Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:09 am

Hogwarts had, like so many other things, lost its value to Elenore upon the arrival of one Mimosa Harrington. The world that had not been one Elenore liked when she first arrived, but one that had come to have something of a freeing feeling by being away from the Palace had been ripped to shreds on the very first day back to the castle when Mimosa Harrington had pronounced herself a Clement to the whole school.

Elenore hadn't know how to write back to the Palace, to Grandmere, with the news of Mimosa's actions, and thus she had internalised the pain she was feeling without knowing the way out of the situation.

The whispers kept growing. People kept watching Elenore as she passed. And, though the Clement heiress went through the day with her head held high, and an air around her that said she did not care for people's words, or looks, they were wearing her down day by day.

What didn't help was seeing Mimosa each day, surrounded by a flock of followers, and seemingly loving the attention of the whole thing as she spouted -- much too loudly in Elenore's opinion -- of the wonders of the Palace, of Jacques, of the Clements, when she had no right.

But, it wasn't just the following, oh no, there were the packages, not labelled from the Palace, but obviously so. Mimosa was being in and dated with the packages from Maman and Papa, and Elenore's mind would not see the pattern. Would not accept that this was the normal thing to be done in the Clement family, a tradition for first years. No, Elenore would simply receive the letters from Papa -- despite being written in 'we', Elenore knew her Maman had no input on the contents -- and nothing more. She was second best, of course, because Mimosa was the one getting care packages, whilst she received 'hopes' of her being well.

And then, of course, had come the deepest betrayal of them all.

Elenore might not have been in attendance for the Ancient Runes classes this year, but that did not stop the information from getting back to the Clement heiress in that moment. Her Maman, she expected. Jacques, she expected. The masses in Hogwarts, Elenore expected to be taken by Mimosa's clutches. But Elenore had not expected her dearest friend to betray her like this.

Tess Marie knew what had unfolded over the summer. She knew of how Elenore had felt, and Elenore had believed the older witch to understand. But, Elenore had not expected Tess Marie to open her friendship, to aid Mimosa so quickly, so openly as she had. It had stung more than Elenore could ever have imagined, but it showed her the truth in this world.

The only person Elenore could ever, ever, trust was her Grandmere.

The Hufflepuff witch had taken to staying out of sight, in truth. Appearing only for lessons and, occasionally, food, Elenore had kept away from the deafening sound of the rumours and whispering, finding solace in her own company instead.

Until the world offered Elenore her bittersweet revenge.

The Daily Prophet had an international section, which Elenore read just as fervently as the news of Great Britain, trying to find anything in France that was going on that she could sit and denote her own thoughts on. After all, just because Grandmere said she shouldn't voice her opinion on the world politics, it didn't mean Elenore didn't have an opinion on them.

The death of Sebastian and Aiden Harvey-Aquila had been announced in the newspaper, as two up and coming young men in the British world, it was without question the Magical paper would bring the news back to the country from America. It was a Muggle catastrophe, under which a few Magical lives had been lost due to the nature of their love. Elenore held no opinion on sexuality, it was something that happened to others, and not something she had ever questioned. Knowing Mimosa would not have read the paper, and also knowing no one else would have been able to connect the dots in the school, a slow but unwavering smile touched the French witch's lips in that moment.

Many people might have rushed from the room in that moment to deliver such news, but Elenore was not most people. The French witch moved from her seat in the common room back to her dormitory, and changed in to a more suitable, a simple black dress which fell down to her ankles. From there, the witch ensured her hair fell neatly down her neck, brushed over her right shoulder so that the right side of her face would be hidden as she moved around the castle. The lightest, but most purposefully applied, of touches of makeup highlighted the witch's cheeks and as she looked in the mirror, Elenore knew she would be a force to be reckoned with.

"Pepper." Elenore summoned the elf from the kitchens and not a moment later the elf appeared, looking up to Elenore with a warm smile.

"Yes, Miss-tress Clement?" The elf asked, her wide eyes waiting for the service that would be required.

"Find Mimosa Harrington for me, and then let me know where she is. Don't let her know I'm coming, though." Elenore told the elf, her tone so calm, so soft, there was no hint of the danger the elf was about to put the young Slytherin witch in. Whilst the elf disappeared once more, Elenore moved around to collect the copy of the Daily Prophet, folding it back neatly in to quarters and checking her reflection one last time in the mirror.

In less than a minute, Pepper was back, with the news one Mimosa Harrington was currently in the Restricted Area of the library, pouring her heart -- as the elf put it with a fond expression that did little to aid Elenore's desire of hurting the child -- in to letters to the Palace. Dismissing the elf, Elenore exited the dormitory of the fifth year girls, moved through to the common room which she paid no attention to, and out in to the dungeons.

The walk to the third floor was not rushed, Elenore would not allow herself to succumb to the childish whims of excitement. Each step was calculated as she formulated her plan on her walk to the library. Fifteen minutes later, the library came in to view, and the French witch turned inside to find the usual peace of the place consuming everything inside it. With a small nod to the librarian, Elenore moved towards the back of the library, looking back over her shoulder when she had reached the Restricted Section.

No one could see her.

Pushing through the small door, Elenore followed the faint sound of the American witch's voice, hearing it grow steadily louder as she dictated a letter to Elenore's parents. By the time Elenore had come to see the young witch, she was writing to Jacques.

"Mimosa." Elenore spoke softly, playing on getting the younger witch to trust her in that moment. The Hufflepuff used the moment it took Mimosa to connect the voice with hers and turn to face her. There was no time for small talk, though, Elenore had no interest in knowing how Mimosa was. Instead, the French witch held out the newspaper to Mimosa. "I would insist that you read page forty five, however, I don't have all day to watch you stumble over the words." Elenore explained, if Mimosa took the newspaper, all would be well and good, if she did not, Elenore would drop it before the witch, leaving it for her because Elenore was done.

Ensuring there was a moment, in which confusion could mount. Curiosity would peak, and that, for once, Mimosa would be in Elenore's hands to play with, the Hufflepuff witch gave her a small smile. It was not meant to soften the blow, anyone with half a brain would see the joy that the next sentence was going to bring Elenore. But it did not stop the Hufflepuff witch.

"Your friend, Sebastian, and his husband Aiden, were murdered in your beautiful country." Elenore explained, not with emotion, not with remorse, simple facts that were not wavered by any feelings for the couple. "Murdered because they loved each other, the newspaper claims. Dead."

The last word was used to ensure there was no room for confusion for the American witch before her.

And then, Elenore waited.

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PostSubject: Re: A Drop of Acid (Elenore)    Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:46 pm

".. And now I'm officially on the team. I'm so excit-" The child was abruptly cut off as someone very familiar spoke her name, someone whom Mimosa had missed terribly over the last few months. "Elenore," the child looked up, the slow smile growing on her face until her features glowed with joy at seeing the Hufflepuff witch. After having talked her way into the Slytherin Quidditch team, the child had wrestled with showing up to the Hufflepuff common room to just tell Elenore. She was certain Jia En would let her in. But in the end, she had simply let Elenore finish the game.

And her dearest, darlngest Elenore had, She was right here, talking to Mimosa. The game was finally over. Before the child could stand up and launch herself at the older witch despite how much it would hurt herself, Elenore was speaking again, handing her a newspaper.

"I would insist that you read page forty five, however, I don't have all day to watch you stumble over the words."

Mimosa looked at the page, puzzled and embarrassed as her reading ability was called into question yet again. Only Elenore ever did that, but that was because Elenore loved her the mostest. She probably wanted Mimosa to get better which was why she kept reminding the young witch about it. She didn't mean to make Mimosa feel... wrong inside. Quickly counting out the pages, Mimosa reached forty five and stared blankly, the headlines making no sense to the little brunette.

"I don't..." she began only to be cut off once more.

"Your friend, Sebastian, and his husband Aiden, were murdered in your beautiful country. Murdered because they loved each other, the newspaper claims. Dead."

Words were ensuing from Elenore's lips but they weren't making sense. Why would she say such things about Uncles Seb and Aiden? Mimosa had just written to them a few days ago. They were on their honeymoon...

"Oh," she child expelled a soft breath. "This is part of the game... You're just teasing, aren't you?" A shaky laugh escaped her own lips as she glanced at the paper, the words refusing to make sense no matter how hard she looked at them. Uneasily, the child noticed what looked like a partial New York city skyline... The picture was taken in America. There was an ambulance with the red cross on it, and the police cars...

"What does it really say?" Mimosa asked, half curious half wanting to keep Elenore talking because she'd missed talking to the older witch big much.

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Elenore Clement
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PostSubject: Re: A Drop of Acid (Elenore)    Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:45 pm

The smile on Mimosa's features did nothing to deter Elenore in her delivery of the news of Sebastian and Aiden. She had not missed the child this past month. Avoiding the younger witch had not been an easy task, of course, but Elenore had managed. Now, though, avoiding Mimosa was not the aim, because that was not working.

Mimosa's puzzled face was one that gave Elenore the briefest moment of satisfaction -- internally -- as she delivered the second blow to Mimosa about her reading. Honestly, the Palace was aware, and they still hadn't opted to move forth with putting something in place to aid Mimosa? Perhaps she needed the reality check that no one was going to fix her.

But, Elenore didn't say that, that was not the reason for today's visit to Mimosa.

"Oh, yes, Mimosa." Elenore replied, sarcasm carefully veiled in that moment, because the American witch was too stupid to realise that none of this was a game. "I am, of course, teasing you about the death of your uncles, because, you know, to joke about such things is a common occurrence in the life of lady such as myself."

It was dry, and the look in the Hufflepuff's eyes showed there was no way in which this was a joke. However, the young Slytherin would not have seen, as her eyes returned to the paper, searching the pictures from what Elenore could see in that moment. Not that it mattered to Elenore, the news had been delivered.

Except... it wasn't sinking in.

Mimosa wasn't breaking.

"What does it really say?"

Elenore half thought about moving off, telling the child to figure it out herself. But, Elenore had read the article. She knew exactly what it said, and she knew it well enough to not ask for the paper back.

"Your uncles went to a bar... a bar especially for men who like men." Elenore explained, because she was not hugely comfortable in using the term homosexual with Mimosa, because Elenore doubted she understood that. "When they left the bar, they were caught up in a hit and run. The pickup ran over Sebastian and Aiden, from what I can gather.

"And then the driver got out, and shot them with a Muggle device, a gun. To make sure they died." Elenore clarified, tone icy as it had been the first time in which she had delivered the news, but, perhaps this time... there was a hint of a smile playing on her lips. "That's the truth, Mimosa. They're not coming back, and not even you can make them."

With that, Elenore turned to leave.

"You'd be wise to wear black for the next two months." Elenore added. "They were, after all, your Uncles."

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PostSubject: Re: A Drop of Acid (Elenore)    Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:01 pm

"Oh, yes, Mimosa. I am, of course, teasing you about the death of your uncles, because, you know, to joke about such things is a common occurrence in the life of lady such as myself."

The words were scaring Mimosa. the slight beginnings of a smile the child had mustered a the idea of this being a joke was now fading as a coldness seeped through her whole body, making the inside of her chest start to hrut. Elenore was right... she was a Lady, she would never joke or tell lies. only mean people like Professor Kessler told lies. Elenore wasn't mean.

Which meant...

"I don't... un-understand," the young brunette began, her lips trembling at the realization solidifying with every passing moment. If Elenore wasn't lying then... The child glanced at the newspaper again, begging it to somehow become readable and stop her chest hurting so much.

"Your uncles went to a bar... a bar especially for men who like men. When they left the bar, they were caught up in a hit and run. The pickup ran over Sebastian and Aiden, from what I can gather. And then the driver got out, and shot them with a Muggle device, a gun. To make sure they died."

Her breath started growing shallow as the Hufflepuff recounted the facts. It all sounded very true. Mimosa knew there were guns in the sates, but guns were for protection, not killing people. And why would anyone hurt her uncles? they were the best uncles in the wor-

A dry sob rocked her frame as the words fully sunk in. Someone had shot Uncles Seb and Aiden... Someone had killed them... "N-no," the girl shook her head stubbornly, trying the make the words unreal even as her blue eyes filled with tears of their own accord and her hands went limp on the table. The coldness inside her was all consuming as she looked desperately at Elenore to say something that would make it all better.

Her uncles couldn't just be gone... Uncle Seb had a job. Uncle Aiden worked at the bank. They couldn't just... not turn up to work...

"That's the truth, Mimosa. They're not coming back, and not even you can make them."

Another choked sob fought its way out of the ten year old as her hands moved to her torso, clutching herself together as her knees jumped up to the chair, closing off her tiny body from the verbal daggers issuing from Elenore. The child was curled into a ball by the time the final sentence was delivered.

"You'd be wise to wear black for the next two months." Elenore added. "They were, after all, your Uncles."

Her only response was Mimosa's helping sobbing, curled up on the library chair as if she would never unclench herself, never open up to another person and never stop crying as if her little heart had been crushed to pieces.

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Grayson Hughes

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PostSubject: Re: A Drop of Acid (Elenore)    Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:38 pm

Having amassed a sizable pile of returned books throughout the week, Grayson busied himself with returning them to their spots. This task took a good hour or so, and, as often happened when he did this, the methodical task lulled his mind away from his surroundings.

It would be just his luck that during this particular hour, someone had sneaked into the Restricted Section.

It was as he returned the last book to its shelf that he heard it. A faint sniffling coming from behind the closed off doorway. He wondered which part he should be more concerned about--the fact that someone had trespassed upon the dangerous and forbidden collection of texts, or the fact that whoever it was seemed to be crying. He wondered if he'd have the heart to tell off a crying student for breaking the rules.

Well, he hadn't been alerted that any books had been taken, so he intended to be lenient anyway. He stepped into the Restricted Section and followed the sound. Eventually, he came upon a small girl, curled up in a chair, surrounded by stationery as if she'd been writing letters. Next to her sat a newspaper.

After a second, he recognized her. It was the first year Slytherin whose name had been missing from the list he'd read at the sorting. The one who claimed to be a Clement, although he knew very well that the Clements had only two children. Her name was Mimosa, if he recalled correctly. Her entire frame shook with great heaving sobs, and she didn't seem to notice his approach.

He melted, all thoughts of rule-breaking and consequences fleeing from his mind. Glancing at the newspaper, he was able to read the headline--something about a mass shooting in America. She must have known one of the victims, he guessed as he drew closer.

He didn't wish to startle the girl. He slowly moved to a spot beside her chair, and knelt down so he was closer to her level. Resting a hand on the back of the chair, he spoke softly and gently.

"Mimosa," he said, to get her attention.

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: A Drop of Acid (Elenore)    Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:39 pm

Hundreds of memories of her uncles assaulted the child as she remained curled up in her chair, her paperwork strew over the table and her quill finally shuddering to a halt for lack of comprehensive input. The day she had first met uncle Seb who had sat with her and her friends, explaining the game and doing impromptu commentary with all the funny voices, the day he had introduced her to Uncle Aiden and watched carefully to see if she would like him, the day he had told her they were getting married...

Another strangled sob left her body as she pictured the day she and Mercy had walked down the aisle ahead of the hansom couple, how Uncle Seb had been crying because he said he was too happy. Mimosa couldn't understand how that happened but he had looked happy. Now... he didn't look anything.

Mercy! that's it, Mercy could read the article. Maybe Elenore had read it wrong? If Mimosa had problems with reading, lots of people were sure to have the same problem? Maybe Elenore had read it in a hurry and it said everyone but her uncles had died? The ten year old was just about to spring from her chair and run when she heard a soft voice nearby - a voice that somehow made ehr cry even harder.

Because just the tone of voice told Mimosa there was no mistake. She was being spoken to like someone who had lost her uncles. Everyone knew what had happened except her because she. just. couldn't. read.

Curling into herself harder, the girl cried even more bitterly than before, this time - and for the first time in her life - feeling that somehow, she was at fault for what had happened.

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PostSubject: Re: A Drop of Acid (Elenore)    Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:44 am

The girl simply curled up tighter and cried even harder. Grayson let out a soft sigh, feeling rather helpless in this situation. Reflexively, his hand left the back of the chair, and he placed it gently on the girl's back, moving it in slow circles like his mother used to do for him when he was a child.

"Shh," he soothed. He almost said it's okay, but it obviously wasn't.

After a while, unsure what else to do, he waved a hand and Mimosa's scattered papers gathered themselves into a neat pile. Regardless of whatever terrible tragedy had befallen her, she still technically wasn't supposed to be in here. And he could do much more for her in another room.

"Mimosa," he said again. "Sweetie, can you move?" She may not be injured physically, but she looked to be in no mood for walking. If she did rise by herself, he would lead her out of the Restricted Section and across the library--nearly empty on this particular day--to his office.

If not, he would nod his understanding. "Okay. But you can't be in here. Do you mind if I carry you?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Drop of Acid (Elenore)    Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:24 am

A few moments later, the child became aware of the person trying to soothe her again. Calling her by her name, patting her. She even heard papers fluttering which meant he was either helping her clean up or making papers fly around and the next moment, the child looked up to see the kindly librarian asking her if she could move.

Pathetically, the child held out her arms, her tiny body still shaking with sobs and the tear tracks continuing down her face. But Mr. Hughes was nice, he was going to cuddle her like her Jacques did. Being lifted off the chair, the child clung to the tall librarian as he took her to an area shut off from the main library, her distress leaving tears and snot on his clothes.

Finally when the little witch was all cried out, she let forth a hiccup, reaching to rub her eyes now that the tears had finally stopped. "I'm s-sorry sir, c-can you please read the paper?": She pointed to the newspaper he had brought along with him,, it was still open to the page Elenore had pointed out.

"I want to know what it says exactly... I can't read it."

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PostSubject: Re: A Drop of Acid (Elenore)    Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:53 pm

Grayson gently lifted the girl from her chair, and carried her across the library to his office, all of her things following closely behind them. He barely noticed as her tears soaked through his shirt, her head resting on his shoulder as she clung tightly to his neck.

He set her down on an armchair behind his desk, placing her papers on the desk in front of her. He closed the door for privacy, and moved to a sort of kitchenette area in the back of his office, filling a teacup with water with a muttered, "aguamenti." He heated it up with magic, reached into a cabinet, and took out some of his Kenyan tea, filling a tea ball with the leaves and letting it steep in the water.

Just as he finished, he heard her small, shaky voice, and turned to face her. Nodding at her request, he picked up the paper from the desk. He paused for a moment as her words sank in. She couldn't read? Well, it was hardly any of his business. He scanned the page and cleared his throat, then read aloud in a low voice:

"At around 2:15 in the morning yesterday, an act of domestic terrorism resulted in the tragic deaths of over twenty patrons of Flaming Saddles, a gay bar in New York City. Twenty-three are confirmed dead, and at least seven more were gravely injured when a man, whose identity has not yet been released, rammed a white Chevy Silverado into the front of the building, before opening fire on the crowd with a semiautomatic rifle, witnesses say.

"Among the confirmed dead are two of our own: Sebastian Harvey-Aquila, of the Wagtown Wanderers, and his husband, Aiden Harvey-Aquila, a cursebreaker at Gringotts."

This seemed to produce a reaction, so he stopped. Setting the paper back down on the desk, he took a seat on a chair across from her, concern written over his features.

"I'm sorry," he said softly, though it was a wholly inadequate phrase. What else could he say? What could he really do besides allow her to grieve?

When the tea was ready, he removed the tea leaves, took some milk from a refrigerated cabinet, and added it in, along with sugar. He set the teacup down in front of her, knowing that it would have a calming effect, should she choose to drink it. As an afterthought, he dug a tin of biscuits from a drawer and placed them on the desk as well.

"Is there anything I can do?" he asked, though he doubted there was.

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A Drop of Acid (Elenore)
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Hogwarts & Beyond :: Archives :: Archived Threads :: Archives Game Ten (2023-24)-
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