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Topics - Cleo E. Fawcett

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Suggestions & Questions / Shops & Shopkeepers
« on: 31/01/2021 at 18:05 »
Hey, loves!

I was just wondering if the tab Shops & Shopkeepers under Rosters could be updated? Someone else was asking about an owner in the Discord chat, and I couldn't find it.

Thanks <33

Hogwarts School Accepted / Cleo E. Fawcett
« on: 07/12/2020 at 17:16 »

Application for Hogwarts School


Name: Cleo Elvira Fawcett

Birthday: Nov 6, 1949

Hometown: Lincoln, Linconshire, England

Bloodline: Halfblood

Magical Strength (pick one): Divination

Magical Weakness (pick one): Charms

Year (pick two): First, Second

Cleo was used to surprised faces.

Perhaps it was the fact that they’d expected a fortune teller to work out of a small parlour in the basement of a townhouse recently converted into a place of business. A room that made their heads spin with the heady scent of sage and patchouli; a room that chimed with the shifting of the bead curtain in the back; a room that housed a woman clad in head scarves and jewellery.

Instead, her mother’s clients were welcomed to Fawkes Hall by a valet who bent at the hip instead of the waist when he bowed and led into the orangery, a carpet of ochre and teal hued tesserae fanning out beneath them. They would sit down on wicker-braided furniture to a backdrop of kumquat and fig, and they would be greeted by a woman in form-fitting trousers and a Gibson Girl blouse.

Sometimes she wore scarves, but it was unknown if this was because of her mother being an uncompromising bully when it came to prejudices or because she really enjoyed wearing scarves.

Usually, Cleo would greet them in the entrance hall and most helpfully guide both Winslow, their valet, and the guest to her mother. If she’d ever been asked, Cleo would have said it was because she needed to make sure Winslow hadn’t forgotten the way, but no one had ever questioned her about it, a fact she felt slightly bitter about. From when the guest took a seat to her mother appeared, Cleo would usually stand next to them, asking them obscure questions, never about themselves.

(Clients tended to not want to answer any personal questions, just in case her mother was a fraud, which made Cleo question why they’d come here in the first place.)

If a potato could power a lightbulb, why wasn’t everyone growing potatoes? Since the black belt in karate was the best belt, did that mean black was the best colour? Was breaking a branch like breaking the tree’s finger?

It was unknown if Cleo still asked these questions because of her being an unapologetic child fiend or because she really enjoyed hearing the answers.

Because of all this, Cleo wasn’t sure what to make of him.

When he entered the house, he did it in a gust of wind, as if the world itself wanted to announce his arrival. He was tall and lanky, but with an unexpected grace about him for a man his age: only a little younger than her mother.

At least Cleo thought so.

Maybe it was the smile on his face, something bright and haunting and hurting in a way that shouldn’t have been possible. Perhaps it was the way one hand absent-mindedly fiddled with a jean pocket before self-consciously ripping itself away. He wore something out of an American Hollywood youth dream, completely out of place in the grand marble foyer. A mix between James Dean and Sal Paradise, with privileged lethargy and a firefight warring in his features.

That was her first surprise. Her second was that he didn’t seem surprised at all.

“Hi,” he said to Cleo, his accent a honeyed Southern, not the kind that reminded Cleo of swamp and mosquitoes, but the kind that reminded her of resplendent plantation mansions or colourful movie theatres on wide, hazy afternoon roads.

“Hello,” said Cleo, curtseying. When she looked back up, he was still staring at her, steadily, as if waiting for the next part. His gaze didn’t roam the tall, French ceiling or the double staircase in the back, no glance cast at the library being teased behind a door, half-ajar, below them.

Cleo looked ostentatiously at Winslow as if to ask him what he thought.

Winslow, well-trained, cocked an eyebrow from behind the young man.

“What’s your name?” Cleo asked, a little hesitant.

“Isn’t it your job to already know?” he responded without the kind of mirth she knew from her mother when her mother was teasing people.

He simply stood there, hand worrying at the edge of his pocket, gaze disappearing beneath dark eyebrows, hair more styled than her mother, and Cleo wasn’t sure if he thought she was a psychic or an assistant.

It wasn’t until Winslow shifted slightly that Cleo said, “I don’t think you know how this works,” turning on her heel and starting to walk. She could hear the sift of fabric from behind as if Winslow had raised a hand to indicate that he should follow her, and a moment later, his footsteps echoed, slower than hers and catching up.

When she led him into the orangery, he gave it a cursory glance, then reached out for a kumquat to pick from its branch.

“Excuse me.”

Cleo was surprised to have opened her mouth and heard her mother’s voice. When she came to her senses, he’d picked the fruit anyway.

“Please don’t pick the fruit. The ripe ones are on the plate over there.” Her mother, stepping forward, spoke in a low but firm voice. There was nothing ethereal about her, and her only jewellery was a cameo necklace that hung in the middle of her chest.

It was to Cleo’s delight that he grimaced slightly as he bit into it anyway.

“If you’re here for something free, you can have a good day. Otherwise, this is a place of business,” her mother said, and Cleo took the opportunity to leave quietly, doubling back behind a row of bushes she didn’t know the name of, out of sight.

When she heard them approach the furniture, Cleo leaned up against the bush slightly, her ear to the soft needles as if she were listening behind a closed door. Outside, a sheet of sunlight broke through the overcast sky and gilded the inside, illuminating the wall behind her.

In a low voice, she heard her mother ask, “What are you doing here?”

“You should know,” he responded, and if Cleo hadn’t already decided she didn’t like him, the fact that her mother hadn’t asked her usual, What is it that you wish to know, and he hadn’t responded to anything with an actual answer would have made up her mind that he wasn’t someone she’d want to like.

“I can give you three cards, and that’s that.”

“You can give me more than that,” he said insolently, and Cleo felt a prickling sensation underneath her skin bringing a blush to her cheeks. The sound of paper cut into the silence, and Cleo tried to step onto her toes to see what was going on, but the bushes were too tall, and she was too small.

It was nice when it wasn’t just her fault.

“I have a license and everything. I say the word, and you’ll be stamped a fraud.”

His accent sounded ugly now, as if his words were smudging it with the grease stains of outlier petrol stations, the underbelly of American society. It sounded like gross ignorance and malicious intent, the kind that used the justice system to beat revolution out of the poor.

“People won’t care about what you have to say,” her mother replied, heated but calm.

“She will.” Cleo couldn’t see him lower his head in her direction, but she knew it was there all the same. “What do you think she’ll say when I tell her about her sister? Or her dad? Or the other secrets you’re keeping from her?”

Cleo could hear her mother shift in her seat.

“She’ll find out when it’s time.”

Then, quicker than he could reply, Cleo heard three swishes of the cards.

“There,” her mother said with triumph. “Your ambition will lead you to dark places you can’t return from, and you will come to a swift downfall. When you look into a darkness so black that it blinds you, you won’t be able to find your way back. Now get out of my house.”

The faint sound of jeans against the cotton cushions let Cleo know that he was rising from his seat.

“You see what you want to see. It blinds you. If you won’t help me, maybe I’ll decide when it’s time.”


House Request: Surprise me.

flipping through a picture book lying on your stomach, foxgloves in porcelain vases, a rocking horse in the attic, far-away piano notes, a stubborn pout, running through the house and opening all the doors, exploring locked cellars by squeezing through iron bars, creaking stairs, afternoon sun through French doors, taking a bite from either end of an éclair before eating it, cleverly disguising a tear in your dress by sitting down, extra hairpins in a mother-of-pearl box, missing a sister you’ve never had, talking to your mum through a wall of newspaper, waiting patiently for an answer, a science experiment in a wine cellar.


Option I:

Cleo hadn’t noticed the classroom draining until she was alone. The silence was a refuge, the darkness calming. The acrid smell of the potion residue hung in the air, clinging to the old, wooden furniture, reminding her of the science experiments she’d used to conduct with her mother before she’d had told Cleo about magic.

Despite the nature of her mother’s gifts and work, she’d always been adamant about teaching Cleo science.

Potions was a science too. Anything that could be observed and measured was, really, as her mother used to say. Cleo wondered if Gran had known about magic, or if her mum kept it a secret from her.

And then she doubted it. Very little could be kept secret from Gran.

Placing the cork stopper meticulously in the inkwell to stop spilling, Cleo packed her bag: notebook and schoolbook against the wall; cauldron, washed and dried, upside down next to them; inkwell sideways in an inner pocket; quill, placed in the satin lining of its box and slid neatly in, next to the books; wand stuffed inside sleeve; parchment rolled and kept in her offhand.

Rechecking that she’d left no ingredients behind and that her desk was neat, Cleo hoisted the bag over one shoulder, then the other, and went to exit the classroom.

Only, the door was locked.

Cleo tried the handle a few times, patiently. Then she coaxed out her wand, pointing it serenely at the door in front of her.


Trying the handle again, the door wasn’t budging. Cleo tried to remember how long ago class had ended, coming to the conclusion that since the Slytherins had their common room in the dungeons, someone was bound to hear her eventually.

Banging on the door a couple of times, Cleo called, “Hello?” into the blackness.

Something sounded like a whisper, but that wasn’t good enough. Cleo wasn’t ready to seem desperate for a whisper. And then she heard the voice more clearly.

Emma Birch rang a bell, but despite the mystery, Cleo called out, “No! This is Cleo Fawcett. I’m stuck inside the classroom!”


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