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We have been a Harry Potter Roleplaying site since 2007. If you're an old member we hope you come check out the discord link provided below. And if you're looking for a new roleplaying site, well, we're a little inactive. But every once and a while nostalgia sets in and a few of our alumni members will revisit the old stomping grounds and post together. Remember to stay safe out there. And please feel free to drop a line whenever!

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Since every few months or so a few of our old members get the inspiration to revisit their old stomping grounds we have decided to keep PA open as a place to revisit old threads and start new ones devoid of any serious overarching plot or setting. Take this time to start any of those really weird threads you never got to make with old friends and make them now! Just remember to come say hello in the chatbox below or in the discord. Links have been provided in the "Comings and Goings" forum as well as the welcome widget above.

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Post by Phaedra Rosier Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:15 pm

[apologies for the minor godmodding- as always, can amend Razz]

In the past few days, it seemed to have become recurring theme that what starts off as a decent morning gradually devolves into a terrible day for a certain pureblood witch. Certainly the witch herself had come to expect no more since the unfortunate events of earlier that week. What was new, however, was waking up to an awful morning in its own right. A morning with no hot water, a cold shower, and a draughty room.

Suffice to say, Phaedra's grievances regarding the Leaky were too numerous to list, at this point. She'd made a speedier escape than usual, and her disgruntled mood had led her elsewhere for breakfast. The change of scene proved surprisingly inspirational, as a rather unexpected but potentially promising idea struck her.

Currently, her main concern was regaining access to one of the family's properties, which required a way to bypass the wards her uncle had set up. It seemed her trials at the Leaky were a blessing in disguise, as if anything they had increased her determination to jump back into the lap of luxury. To the point where she began considering all sorts of methods that hadn't previously occurred to her.

So, off she headed to Borgin and Burkes, which she knew was as good a place as any to begin her search. The store seemed to be empty- perhaps given the time of day- which was a welcome relief, since she did not relish the thought of encountering any acquaintances with whom she'd have to make polite conversation even as she stewed inside. Somewhat happier for the solitude, she headed in and to the part of the shop selling furniture, her gaze falling almost immediately on the object she sought.

The Vanishing Cabinet was a decent size, though more battered than she would have liked. Still, the dark wood gave it an elegant finish and if her estimations were right, it would do nicely after a quick polish. The important thing was for it to pass muster by whoever was keeping house for her uncle, since she suspected he himself didn't bother with more menial domestic tasks. If she could get it into the manor somehow, and keep the matching one in her possession, she might just be able to bypass the wards and-

The ringing out of a vaguely familiar voice interrupted her train of thought. A quick glance at the entrance of the shop jolted her back to reality. It immediately became clear that despite the different start, the day was indeed progressing just as badly as was now apparently tradition.

She had no idea what Elsie Norton was doing there and no intention of finding out- or, even worse, of her own aims being discovered. The last thing she wanted was for anyone to be made aware of her situation, let alone an uppity halfblood with more money than sense.

Another look confirmed that the other woman was indeed heading in her direction but had yet to notice her, so she let her hair fall over her face, casting an eye around for a speedy exit. The front door was her only promise of escape. Quietly, she turned and began making a subtle beeline for the entrance, doing her best not to look furtive as she attempted to sweep past and escape notice, a task undoubtedly unfamiliar for one such as herself.

@Elsie Norton


Last edited by Phaedra Rosier on Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Elsie Norton Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:44 am

She'd have a mob on her if she ever said it out loud, but all those kids going missing had been great for business. Seriously, Elsie was suddenly closing deals that had been stretching on for months, all because people still thought that if they just had the right sum, they could somehow provide the final financial aide necessary to save their little princess or prince. Elsie knew it was macabre, but it was the truth. She could hardly be to blame for the truth. The blame lie in the Ministry's hands - the profits in hers.

To be fair, it wasn't like she was fully taking advantage, not in the way she could. Especially with some of the poorer clients, who would almost certainly settle for any price, no matter how meager. Elsie still had the tendency to be harder on the rich folks, enjoying a bit of pleasure at the expense of her upbringing. But she believed her prices were fair, and they always had been - people were now just in the state of mind to see things her way.

It was just money, after all.

The earrings had been on her radar almost as soon as she had started the job. Obsidian with what looked like an ivory carving of Medusa. Elsie had done her research and had a strong suspicion what looked like ivory was actually basilisk fang, and that the earrings could fetch a handsome price in the hands of a woman always looking for an easy way out of a tough situation... or a loveless marriage. Either worked, really. Of course, the seller had been convinced the earrings dated back to the 1600s. Elsie suspected it couldn't be older than a few hundred years old, which might have dulled the venom a bit, but certainly not enough that it wasn't a threat either.

Finally, Gerta had folded at Elsie's price, and after the brunette sat through another half hour of the woman griping about her great nephew - a third year who certainly could not live another day without his mother - the contract was all signed up, money exchanged, and box carefully wrapped and tucked away.

Elsie was a picture walking down Knockturn Alley. Long legs led to a flattering, but somehow professional and adventurous outfit and she could not help but reconsider how well this job suited her. It was possibly the only thing she could ever be truly good at, besides looking good, with its perfect combination of manipulation and shopping. She was getting paid to shop. Getting paid to handle one of a kind items. Getting paid to visit manors and flats alike, an element of danger and refinement in each transaction. She felt like an archaeologist. A historian. A museum curator. A deal-diva.

She reached the shop, the familiar tinkle a herald in her ears. "Stanley!" she sang. Stan was the manager she preferred dealing with, as she rarely saw the owner, and he had been intrigued by the earrings ever since she had mentioned them. She was certain he would let her keep a higher commission on it as a congratulations.

A figure stepped into her path, intent on the front door and Elsie made to smile, excited to share her success with the world, when a note of familiarity struck her.

"Phaedra Rosier! That isn't you!"

Oh, but it was.

And she knew it was. Elsie did not often forget a face. Especially one she had been raised to compete against.
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Post by Phaedra Rosier Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:04 am

For someone who had been so intent on evading notice, it was amazing how utterly unfazed Phaedra looked when Elsie's cry of recognition denied her an escape. She didn't miss a beat, pulling to an elegant stop, training a discerning gaze on the other woman and smiling pleasantly. In that one look, she took inventory of Elsie's outfit and expression, schooled her features into something approaching geniality, and arched a brow in a display of mild surprise.

"Elsie Norton. It's been... well, years, hasn't it? How coincidental to run into you here, of all places."

She didn't prevaricate with false claims of pleasure or exaggerated exclamations of surprise. One could be perfectly civil without needing to lie. She saw it as a mark of social grace not to have to resort to outright falsehood in order to have an agreeable conversation, no matter the conversational partner. And that was what she was going to have to do, whether she liked it or not. Her unfortunate financial situation aside, keeping up appearances was- at it always had been- of the utmost essence.

Of her physical appearance, she was, as always, confident. Her outfit was as stylish and flattering as ever, her heels high and the diamonds at her ears sparkling. Her skin was still infused with the golden glow four years on the Mediterranean coast had granted her, and her hair was similarly gleaming. The cold water that morning had apparently done her one favour, for it seemed to shine brighter than usual. Her apparel, at least, spoke of money and class.

The fact remained, however, that she was living out of a suitcase. She was well-schooled in glamour charms and artful transfiguration, so any signs of this were carefully disguised every morning. Her outward appearance had never been a source of concern for her and it remained so. Nevertheless, the fact itself was hard to ignore. And now, faced with a less than welcome reminder of her previous life, it was proving exceedingly difficult to come to terms with her present reality.

So she resorted to one of the few remaining vestiges of those days and took refuge in her immaculate breeding, which was one thing she still had control over. Her family had never looked especially kindly on social climbers such as the Nortons. Her grandmother, in particular, had been decidedly disdainful of the nouveau riche additions to their social circles in recent decades. Recalling a time when the rules of exclusivity were tighter, she’d impressed this disapproval equally upon Phaedra. But these views were never to stand in the way of propriety. For the Rosiers, social courtesy was more than that- it was law. What else but gentility set them apart from the unrefined?

Phaedra couldn’t recall that she’d ever thought Elsie particularly gauche. Truthfully, she hadn’t paid her much attention, taking it for granted that though they may occupy some of the same circles, there was little to really tie them to each other. But she was not above polite conversation if the occasion called for it. After all, it may prove a sufficient enough distraction from their surroundings, and therefore the difficult question of what, exactly, Phaedra was doing alone in a shop for dark objects so early in the morning.

“You’ve been well, I hope?”
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Post by Elsie Norton Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:46 am

Elsie and Phaedra mirrored each other for a moment, the Norton incapable of fighting the training that demanded that she match an opponent, look for look, tilt for tilt. But it didn't last. She had always rebelled against the idea that she had to be any certain way when she thought she was amazing enough to exist without strings pulling at her every movement. So she relaxed, allowing a natural shift to occur into her body, subtly transforming the professional, competitive demeanor into a more confident, yet somehow approachable look. In her opinion, purebloods always looked good. But good posture and sparkling teeth couldn't hide dissatisfaction.

Elsie looked anything but dissatisfied with her life.

"Not so coincidental," she said, tilting her head, a curtain of her hair falling over her shoulder at the movement. "I think all of us good girls have a certain interest in the dark," she said, her smirk as good any wink.

She looooved making the pureblood squirm if she could.

"I've been lovely! Why don't we walk." She didn't give Phaedra much of a choice, simply gathering her by the elbow and leading her towards the counter as she spoke. "I work here now, actually. Ugh, I was so bored. But this keeps me nice and distracted." She reached the counter and tapped the bell. "Stanley," she called again, pulling out box that housed the earrings and setting them on the counter, glancing towards the Rosier. "You'll want to see these."

She could hear a general grunting from the storeroom and flicked her eyes skyward, before turning towards Phaedra, letting out an elegant sigh... as elegantly as one could sigh anyway. She smiled, giving Phaedra a quick up-down. "You look great. We haven't heard much from you. Off having wild adventures in exoctic locations?"

((Usual warning about godmodding, can edit))
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Post by Phaedra Rosier Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:19 pm

[Allll good]

If one were familiar with the minutiae of Phaedra's features and looked closely enough, the faintest evidence of strain would be visible at the edges of her smile as Elsie spoke. Interest in the darker areas of magic was more than familiar to her- in a way that to Elsie, she suspected, it was not. Some might say it was in the blood. Her own family's leanings did little to dispel that notion. Once upon a time, furthering that interest had been her only concern.

And yet look where it had landed her. Alone, guilt-ridden, sneaking around like a felon. Poor.

It was the first time she'd thought of herself that way. Though she was certain that it was a temporary situation, with no real bearing on the class of person she knew she was, she hated that it held even a vestige of truth.

She also hated how utterly carefree Elsie looked.

Carefree enough, it seemed, to hook onto Phaedra like a burr and pull her along with total confidence. Her brows shot up again, in surprise this time. But she didn't resist the other woman's invitation, accompanying her to the counter as her words poured out in an effervescent stream. For lack of choice (so she told herself), she would be as polite as she could and make the conversation Elsie was so eager to partake in, listening to whatever she might choose to tell her. It was too late to look for an escape.

For a lady of leisure, boredom was as valid a reason as any to look for employment, she supposed. Admittedly, the women of her family seemed able to find other less pedestrian ways of amusing themselves. But she recognised that need for something that might consume the hours, something that would inject a trace of excitement into an otherwise idyllic existence. She'd been fortunate to have such a distraction in the past. Now, the claims on her time were less enjoyable, but- surprisingly enough for her- not quite unwelcome.

She barely heard Elsie's next words or noticed the box being placed on the counter as a rather peculiar thought occurred to her. Necessity was a good reason to look for employment, too. And a job came with a paycheck, something she'd never dreamed she'd ever need but now... now she did.

The sigh from her side alerted her to the question that followed. A gracious smile acknowledged Elsie's comment, more out of politeness than any real gratitude. She recognised that Elsie, too, looked well, though in a rather more exuberant, fulfilled way that Phaedra hadn't quite been able to capture, of late.

"Something like that," she replied smoothly, a fraction amused by the unlikely accuracy of the other woman's assumption. "My mother and I have been enjoying warmer climes." No mention of Bevan or Caspian, who she doubted Elsie had much to cause to miss, either way.

She turned the question back on her rather than elaborating any further. "And you? I imagine you've found other ways of alleviating that tedious boredom?"
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Post by Elsie Norton Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:40 pm

Of course Phaedra didn't go into detail, and Elsie didn't expect her too. Mystery was a pureblooded woman's greatest weapon. Elsie had never had much mystery to her, too loud and too open to keep anything too close to the chest. The only mystery she had ever curated was the mystery of "did she really-". Her unapologetic partying after Hogwarts, her travels, her refusal to marry even when matches were readily available. Her casual rebellion had not gone unnoticed.

But Pheadra was classic and traditional, right down to the manicured nails. Phaedra was still bound by the rules and had to keep her secrets close to her chest. But Elsie was not going to push her. She wasn't that interested.

Yet.

Elsie hummed pleasantly at Phaedra's question, pleased for any excuse to talk about Leander. "Oh, yes. I went travelling awhile back, too. Wound up in Paris, found myself a lovely distraction," she said, words dripping with insinuation. She smiled. "I'm sure you'll meet him soon, at the next soiree. You're going, right? To the one next Sunday?"

At that moment, Stanley shuffled through. Stanley was well into his fifties, probably gay though no one knew much about his personal life, and too debonair for his own good. Salt and peppered hair and a trim figure, he looked charming in his suit. He adjusted his round glasses and squinted at Elsie. "Right, yes, what have we- oh, hello, welcome. What's this?"

Elsie winked at Phaedra and opened the box, revealing the earrings. "Late nineteenth century or early twentieth, obsidian, and inlaid with what I think is basilisk fang."

"Basilisk fang," Stanley repeated, gloves immediately donned as he picked up one of the earring, his other hand deftly attaching the little magnifying glass he had fashioned to the frame of his glasses. "Could be, right tones of cream and white. I'll have to call in Ms Angelov to confirm. That'll determine your cut." He set the earring back in, removing the glass and slipping off the glove. "Well done." He looked to Phaedra. "Ms Norton can help you if you need anything. Thank you."

And then he and the box were gone. Elsie smiled, amused by Stanley's brisk ways and pleased to have impressed him. She turned back to Phaedra. "It's fun. I don't know how our mothers did the whole housewife thing." Her choice of pronoun, of course, implied the rich, elite women as a whole, rather than the two of them specifically. "Anyway - next Sunday?"
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Post by Phaedra Rosier Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:59 am

[Ahhhh I love it when threads feed into each other XP]

For all her cultivated air of mystery, Phaedra did not enjoy experiencing that feeling for herself. She liked to be in the know- and, indeed, always had been until the disaster 4 years ago. But in Italy, with a name such as the Medicis' attached to her own, she'd been welcomed into the Southern European pureblood circles easily. Her uncle had ensured it, and her cousins had exploited it, taking it upon themselves to accept or refuse invitations on her behalf- mostly in jest, but also out of an awareness of her unfamiliarity with the reputations and rankings of Italian families. She'd welcomed it, at first, but she was a fast learner, and soon she could socialise and scheme with the best of them. In the last year, she'd made her attendance of balls and soirees a less and less frequent habit, judging her efforts sufficient, deciding to spend more time with her mother before her departure.

But she'd always had decisions to make. Never had an option not been available to her.

That was her first inkling that her situation was more dire than she'd originally assumed. She hadn't advertised her arrival, of course, because she didn't want anyone to know of her all-but-official estrangement. But as long as she was living under the radar, she wouldn't be able to be part of the society she'd been so firmly entrenched in and was trying so hard to rejoin. It was a bitter sacrifice. One she hadn't really considered. And who knew how long it would last?

That Elsie- a mere Norton, and a halfblood at that-  faced none of these problems while she did was a painful irony and one that she didn't find at all amusing. And Elsie was happy. Her words were jesting, but she emanated a palpable contentedness with her lot. She even had a new squeeze. Elsie Norton, whom Phaedra had never paid much mind to, who was far from the most refined or respectable member of their social circle. And Phaedra, who had always been careful to toe the line and play the game as was expected of her, was unhappy, penniless, floundering.

Stan and Elsie's interaction- which she watched with something approaching curiosity- and his words of praise only exacerbated the sense of bitterness. Not jealousy, she told herself. She would never be jealous of a Norton. And she wasn't, but she was angry at herself. Because while she was losing earrings to foolish, inexcusable mistakes and not being able to replace them, Elsie was not only procuring elegant pieces of jewelry, but profiting from it.

If she wasn't reeling from the revelations of the last few minutes she would have been impressed at the other witch's evident business acumen. She still was, just a tad, but it was far too unexpected a feeling to be properly noticed above the wave of frustration.

She was originally going to blithely reply that she wasn't intending to go. That she had other, less trivial matters to attend to. And if it hadn't been for Elsie's smugness and the memory of that stupid earring that she'd lost through no fault but her own, she might indeed have said just that. As it was, she was still thrown, driven purely by her primary instinct- instinct to save face, by any means necessary.

"Of course. It's been far too long."

The words escaped before she could properly consider them or change tack. She apparently hadn't lost all her wits, though, because just then a rather calculating thought occurred to her. With an impressively guileless smile, she decided to test the waters.

"It'll be a lovely opportunity to catch up after the extended holiday. Though I'll be attending alone, since I'm afraid my family are all otherwise occupied."

'Otherwise occupied' being a wonderfully euphemistic shorthand for dead or missing, of course. And calling 4 years an extended holiday was a stretch. But she had to keep some cards close to her chest, even if others must be revealed for her plan to have a chance of working. Whether Elsie would find the uncharacteristic openness of the rest of her response peculiar or not, she didn't know.

She also had no idea where this soiree was being held or by whom. So she was taking a gamble, if Elsie didn't take the bait. Or if Eirion did in fact turn out to be there. But she was also steadily realizing that she didn't have much left to lose. Because of her own loose tongue, she was in between a rock and a hard place. But the hard place was one she was at least familiar with, knew how to navigate, while the rock was something she didn't even want to consider. If this was her chance to escape obscurity, even just for a night, she'd take it- risks be damned.
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Post by Elsie Norton Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:45 pm

Elsie couldn't tell if something charitable in her had been stirred and she wanted to share the wealth of ease she had found for herself, or if she was trying to get something out of Phaedra. Before her time in Paris, she had been really unhappy and almost vicious in her mindset. She couldn't quite remember why, what reason she had to feel so wronged by the world, but she knew she had acted vindictive and vengeful. Now she knew she was no saint. She knew she acted out of self interest and that boredom often resulted in treating people poorly.

But she had no reason to make someone else unhappy anymore. So maybe she was just trying to be helpful.

So she lifted her shoulder and smiled. "You should come with me, then." Her words rolled over each other with sugary certainty, as though this was the next logical step. "I usually meet my brother there, you remember Ben, yes?" Ben was the memorable Norton after all, the Norton that made them look as though they might actually have any worth to the exclusive society. "And Leander has to arrive late. He has a gallery function he has to wrap up."

She wasn't sure what Phaedra would be said. Elsie knew what it was like to come back to the scene alone. She had worn it with pride, but she had always stood out anyway. It was an easy cloak to take up, but Phaedra had always been the picture of the good pureblood girl, so showing up alone and accompanied would certainly draw more attention than was wanted.

But she supposed Phaedra might need some convincing. "It would be so fun."
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Post by Phaedra Rosier Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:10 am

That depends greatly on your definition of fun, Phaedra thought somewhat cynically. Strangely, attending the soiree felt more like something that was required of her, a duty she had to herself than a source of genuine amusement, which was slightly disconcerting. She was, however, more than a little pleased that her small slip up was actually working out so well.

Of course, she was doing Elsie as much of a favour as the other woman was for her- when would someone of her caliber ever be seen with a Norton, after all? If nothing else, it would help grant Elsie some of the legitimacy her family had almost succeeded in buying. Almost, because there would always be those like the Rosiers, for whom galleons were an ineffective smokescreen when it came to other, more important distinctions.

But the trivialities of Elsie's origins were pushed aside for the time being as she just nodded along to her proposal.

“Yes, of course. How is he?” The question was asked with just enough interest to be polite but not enough to express genuine curiosity. Phaedra didn't know much about Elsie's brother but she knew enough to recognise that Benjamin Norton was an entirely different class of person to his sister. Even Maxine would probably grudgingly admit that had he just had the fortune of being born with a different name and purer blood, he would have been welcomed wholeheartedly into their circles in a way the rest of them hadn't completely achieved. Not that Phaedra paid him any more attention than the other Nortons, but she was certainly aware of the dynamics of the society so familiar to her.

“I look forward to meeting them both. I'm sure we'll have a splendid time. Be sure to owl in advance with our meeting point, so I know which floo to take."

It wouldn't do to dwell on the offer, because this shouldn't seem like anything other than a casual arrangement between acquaintances. The smile that accompanied her words was confident and rather serene, her whole demeanor altogether lighter now that she felt more assured of the direction the interaction- and her life- was going in.

She thought that also accounted for why she decided to ask her next question, but she was surprised and intrigued to find as she spoke that she was genuinely interested to discover the answer. The details of Elsie's employment wasn't a topic she would ever have found worth discussing, usually.

"But you must tell me more about this job of yours. Those earrings looked exquisite and I'm sure you have plenty of stories about the fascinating artifacts you encounter. Perhaps over lunch?"

Well. Where on earth had that come from?
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