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Silas Harding-Clarke

I'm not calling you a liar, just don't lie to me

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Silas Harding-Clarke

Grace was already out in the corridor when Silas stalked from the Great Hall with Jake in tow, and she fell into step with them as Silas continued walking away from the aftermath of everything, leaving Addison and Kat to clean up the wreckage because he couldn't tolerate any more bad behavior on so little sleep. He was irritated that he had to even have this conversation with Grace, who he knew was smarter than this, more careful, just better in general than this kind of misstep. Jake was surprising but not impossible.

 

When he felt like they'd walked far enough to get some privacy, Silas hooked into an adjacent hallway, where the dimness of the wall sconces flared slightly to react to the presence of students but not brightly enough to give them away if they were sneaking about after dark--Hogwarts was permissive like that. Silas took a deep breath to steel himself and then turned and looked down at Grace and Jake, both of whom were studiously avoiding looking back at him.

 

"I don't think I should have to say anything, but Addison told me one--or both of you--drank poison tonight." He lingered on Grace, boring his eyes into her forehead, because that was all he could see with her face lowered, willing her to look him in the eye. "Firstly--do either of you need to see Miss Lunes?"

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Grace Foster

Grace trudged along silently, at war with her emotions. Her initial embarrassment was still intact, but it had been joined by a growing defensiveness. Of all the people there, she'd been the only one to speak out against the drinking game. She had stood firm and would have left if only Jake had been willing to follow. It galled her that now she was being branded a rule breaker and that Silas of all people had been called to scold her. She was angry at Asen for orchestrating this farce and goading people into participating. She was angry at Jake for falling for it. She was angry at Addison for using Grace's friends against her as punishment. And strangely she was angry at Silas---for reasons she could not explain. 

 

By the time Silas drew them aside she was feeling mutinous, yet at the same time, there was no denying that she was in the wrong. She avoided his disapproving eyes and was too furious to even look at Jake. It was only when Silas repeated what Addison said that Grace looked up resentfully, and answered his question as tersely as she could.

 

"We're fine. Both of us. We don't need the Hospital Wing and we don't need an escort." Under Silas' gaze, she faltered and looked away, addressing the rest of what she had to say to the flames of the nearest sconce.

 

"It was me. Jake didn't drink anything. I drank a placebo apparently. And yes, I know it was dumb, you don't have to tell me that. But you weren't there. You didn't hear how disrespectful they were. The way they mocked Hogwarts." Thinking of Jake, poised to drink, she added, "At the time it made sense. I did what I had to do. That's all I have to say."

 

 

 

Edited by Grace Foster

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Jake Morent

Jake never should have left the common room. 

 

The Gryffindor swallowed, staring down at the ground. He hadn't met Silas's eyes since they'd left the Great Hall, though now he could feel them boring into him. If Addison had wanted to punish them, she had picked the right person. If there was anybody who never would have got into that situation in the first place it was Silas. As the Ravenclaw began to ask questions, Jake found that he couldn't speak. For somebody who all of his professors were now calling an adult, he felt very much a child. 

 

'And another five for Grace and Jake because... honestly, poison?' Addison's words repeated in Jake's head. Ten points for the both of them, which was nothing compared to the situation they had found themselves in. Of course Grace hadn't really deserved to lose points for it...It was him who she had drank for. He had never asked her to do it. He never WOULD have. But if it hadn't been for him she never would have done it in the first place. Maybe they didn't need the hospital wing, but if they had...it would have been obvious whose fault it was. 

 

The thought of Silas finding that out was unbearable. 

 

But Grace's telling of events was missing many crucial details. For the first time, the boy raised his head, taken aback. "That..." he began, looking up towards Silas. And when he saw the look in his eyes, he found himself unable to go further.  

 

Jake gave the smallest of side-long glances to Grace, the ball of guilt in his stomach growing. Why....?

Edited by Jake Morent

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Silas Harding-Clarke

Silas was a little bit surprised by Grace's snappishness, but not overly. She'd never respected him as the authority when they were children, so she didn't expect him to start now. As a friend, advising, certainly--as an authority, punishing, no. But he wasn't really interested in punishing Grace. He was more exasperated. How could someone as well-trained to be cautious and discerning do something so stupid?

 

"It was me. Jake didn't drink anything."

 

Silas slid his eyes to Jake while Grace spoke, since Grace wasn't meeting his gaze and he felt that if either of them were being untruthful, Jake was the one more likely to crack. "And you thought the best way to defend Hogwarts was to... drink a suspicious potion that was pushed on to you by goading, disrespectful foreigners?"

 

Grace was naive, but not stupid. If Peggy were the one that had caught them, she would have been livid. Silas was not far from it, but it was her next words that gave him pause.

 

"At the time it made sense. I did what I had to do. That's all I have to say."

 

"You did what you had to do?" he echoed. Then, completely ignoring Jake, Silas squared his shoulders with Grace and reached a hand out to the girl's shoulder. It was a gentle, but stern touch. "Grace," he said, trying to draw her eyes, his next words heavy with meaning, a secret between just the two of them. "Don't forget the deal we made about lying."

 

Don't lie to me, and I'll never have to check to be sure.

 

Edited by Silas Harding-Clarke

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Grace Foster

Grace ground her teeth at Silas' sarcastic question, while inwardly agreeing that it was a reasonable thing to ask. It was unlike Grace to let anyone goad her into doing something she thought was wrong. Her self-esteem was a bit too strong to be broken by taunts. Jake's self-esteem, Grace realized then, was not too strong. In the past he might have hung his head, pathetically agreeing with the people who taunted him, but this time he'd tried to prove he wasn't the coward they claimed he was. It was the sort of thing Grace could have imagined herself doing (In her case, when she was twelve, but still.). She understood it, even if at the time she thought that his behavior was stupid and aggravating. 

 

Grace tensed at SIlas' unexpected touch and looked at his hand on her shoulder. His statement made her frown as she fully understood the implication. 'Tell the truth, or I'll get it another way.' Grace was perhaps the only student who knew what Silas was capable of. She looked up then and stared directly into Silas' eyes now, knowing that eye contact made legilimency easier to perform. Silently she dared him to do his worse.

 

"Every word I've said to you is true," she said.

 

Silas had taught her everything she knew about lying, but the thing she'd most taken to heart was that there was a difference between telling the truth and telling everything she knew.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Grace Foster

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Silas Harding-Clarke

As clear as his veiled threat about reading her mind was Grace's insistence that every word she'd said was true. Whether she'd intended it or not, he picked up on the secret code. The words she was saying were true, but the ones not said were being withheld for a reason. Silas frowned. He had no doubt that if he were to peer into Grace's mind, she would give no resistance whatsoever--whatever she was hiding would be clear and bold right at the fore of her mind, waiting for him to take it, which was exactly the best way to goad a Legilimens into action...

 

But Silas wasn't like Eloise. He wasn't interested in this power because it had the potential to get him what he wanted. In fact, he preferred to use the threat of it than to actually use the magic, itself. Of course, Grace would not be afraid of it--of him. She never was. Not only would breaking into her mind be invasive, and breaking a promise he'd made never to use the gift on her after she had helped him acquire it (even if she was breaking the promise first by lying to him, a gift he'd given her), but then it might be apparent to Jake that something had happened, especially if he was the only other true witness to...

 

Silas abruptly broke his gaze with Grace and wheeled on Jake.

 

Addison had said that both the Gryffindors had been poisoned, hadn't she? Why would she have thought that?

 

"You've been quiet, Jake," Silas said, his voice dangerously absent of all tone or emotion. "Why don't you tell me what happened?"

 

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Jake Morent

Jake wanted to look away...but he couldn't. Silas's gaze held him - the smaller boy looking up to see the judgment within them. His face twitched uncomfortably as Silas questioned their story, but before he could give anything away Silas's attention turned back towards Grace. 

 

Silas had always been a mature presence...but Jake had never seen Silas sound more like a father than when he reached out and put a hand on Grace's shoulder, looking into her eye and scolding her sternly about telling lies. Something in the firm way he took control gave Jake a chill, but what took him aback more than anything was Grace's reaction...or lack of one. He'd never known her to take words like that from anybody but her own mother. And yet....he narrowed his own eyes as he watched instead some silent conversation take place between the two of them. The intensity in their eyes...the weight in their gaze...He sensed there was much more to it than their words - some quiet understanding that he was not privy to. Tensely he watched, waiting for Grace to tell the true story of what had happened, and confess his role in it, but she didn't. Before he could figure out how he felt, Silas had turned back towards him, and Jake recoiled.

 

 

"You've been quiet, Jake. Why don't you tell me what happened?"

 

The Gryffindor's head hung lower, his gaze going towards the ground. For a moment he squirmed, feeling like an unbearable weight was pressing down on his chest. Silas wanted him to speak...but what was he supposed to say? Lying would be just as hard as telling the truth, and no matter which he chose he knew he would be unable to look in Silas's eyes. 

 

His mouth twitched. Grace hadn't said anything, though he didn't know why. And in the process she had taught him that he wouldn't have to lie to dodge the question. He found, however, that the words did not come to him near as easily as they had his friend. "Look, it's...it was just...like she said. We...we should have left but we didn't." Because of me...he thought silently, but this he did not offer. "It...it was stupid," he mumbled, concessionary eyes flickering subtly in Grace's direction. And then somehow he did meet Silas's eyes. He stared upwards, unblinking and frozen in place, his voice croaking out of his body in defeat. "Can we please just go back now?"

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Grace Foster

Grace politely glanced away as Silas turned his attention to Jake. She figured Jake didn't need the extra scrutiny as he fumbled through his side of the story, so she gazed at the ceiling instead, shifted from foot to foot as she waited for the inevitable confession.

 

The confession never came. Grace side-eyed Jake, wrinkling her nose,

 

Despite covering for Jake herself, Grace felt vaguely resentful. Not tattling on a friend was a sacred law of childhood. Woe be on any friend or younger sibling who dare to violate this law. Of all people, Silas should understand Grace's reasons for leaving Jake out of her confession. However, the first corollary to the no tattling law was: don't allow your friends to be punished for something you did. Grace had confessed to having drank the potion while insisting Jake had not. By not taking responsibility for what he was responsible for Jake had left her hanging. 

 

 

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Silas Harding-Clarke

Staring Jake down with his most impassive look made no difference. The Gryffindor corroborated Grace's shady story with about as much conviction as would fit in a teaspoon. Silas wanted to bring the back of his hand crashing across the other boy's face. He could feel anger rising in his throat; after being ignored and disrespected in the Great Hall by the foreigners and that idiot Idina, now he was taking it from his own friends, when they were the stupid ones who had gone to a strange party after curfew, breaking any number of rules, and he'd been trying to be nice and ask them what happened, and they were walling up and lying (badly) to his face.

 

 

The truth was, Silas didn't care about the truth. If he did, he would have barreled right into Jake's open eyes, ripped the truth right out of his untrained mind like a tulip from its little garden, and shaken it as evidence in victory. But he didn't care what happened. Now he was just furious that Grace was undermining his authority, and that through her example, Jake thought that he had a right to do the same. After everything Silas had done for him. Not for the first time, Silas thought of dragging Jake's sorry tail through the first task of the Tournament of Champions.

 

"Well then," Silas said coldly, narrowing his eyes. "If that's the case, five points from Gryffindor for Grace's sheer stupidity and willing to disgrace Hogwarts at the beck and call of the other schools. And five points from you, Jake, for standing by and letting her do it."

 

He flicked his gaze briefly toward Grace to see her reaction and then returned to Jake. "What kind of friend are you, anyway?"

 

Finally, just to be mean, he added, "I'll be talking to Professor Foster about this. I know how much she loves to hear that her cautionary tales fall on deaf ears. I don't know how she'll trust you with a dog when she can't trust you to look after her daughter," Silas said coolly to Jake. He didn't have any intention of talking to Peggy, he just knew it would upset them both. Maybe even cause Jake to run ahead and tell the truth himself. "Now get out of my sight." 

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Jake Morent

Jake sighed and lowered his head, as yet more points were taken away from Gryffindor house. There WERE no more points to take away from Gryffindor house, and Grace's stupidity was Jake's stupidity, but before he had a chance to say anything he felt the full brunt of Silas's scorn. 

 

"What kind of friend are you, anyway?"

 

And there it was. 

 

The words cut like a knife, the wound showing on Jake's face as he heard them. Silas hated him for what had happened. Spoke with nothing but disdain. And the worst part was that every word of it was true.

 

No, not every word of it...because Silas didn't know the full truth. He'd heard Grace's story and knew what Jake was...knew that he had stood by and watched as it all had happened...but he didn't even know that it was Jake who had endangered them in the first place. 

 

There was no question of what kind of friend he was...He was a TERRIBLE friend, that's what kind of friend he was. It was his own stupidity that had led to this all...his own cowardice and inaction that had put his friend in danger. He had tried, but everything had gone wrong, and he had almost hurt her in a way that could never be forgiven. 

 

How many times had she needed to drink poison for Silas or for Columbia? Probably never. She had tried to help him. Perhaps if he had been stronger she never would have needed to, but here he was and she still did. She ALWAYS did. She always had. And she would keep doing it over and over again, if she had to, apparently until it killed her. And how could he, after looking at what had happened, blame her? 

 

He had always thought he was responsible. Always tried to do the right thing. He'd told his parents over and over again that he was...told Mrs. Foster that he was. But quite obviously he wasn't really. If he couldn't keep the people who mattered most to him safe, how could he ever be trusted with anything? Mrs. Foster would see it...like Silas said. She had put her faith in him, with Lawrence, with Grace, and he had let her down. She wouldn't trust him anymore. And the worst part was that he knew that she shouldn't...he didn't deserve to be around them. He tried to be responsible and he tried to do the right thing, but he was flawed. He was very flawed. He tried to hide it as much as he could, but he was weaker than the others, and he'd proven it once and for all. It was all his fault. Idina, the Slytherin girl, Grace...he could have done something, but he hadn't. And losing house points did nothing to comfort him that justice had been served. 

 

When Silas told them out of his sight, Jake was torn between speaking and disobeying the Ravenclaw's direct order. But Grace was about to get in trouble...being called stupid for what HE did. It was him who deserved to be looked at the way Silas was surely going to look at him once he'd spoken. He couldn't take it anymore. 

 

"No....wait....! Silas...it wasn't HER stupidity it was MY stupidity please, just stop!" 

 

Jake exhaled and closed his eyes, leaning back against a wall, and putting a hand to his throbbing head. It screamed out with the rapid playback on repeat of all of the night's events. His brow furrowed and his face grew pained as he tried to fight it off but it was all just too much. 

 

"Look Silas, I did it...it was me. She tried to stop it, she tried to do everything right, she tried. She wanted to leave, I was the one who wanted to stay. I was the one who tried to drink the poison. She only did it to stop me from doing it. And it happened so fast that I didn't even....I....I didn't mean to hurt her, I...." he trailed off, tears dripping down to the cold dark floor. 

 

He swallowed, and was quiet. There were no excuses to be made. When he rose his head again he had composed himself, and spoke quietly but steadily as he could. "Look, it doesn't matter, it was me, ok? She already lost points. She doesn't need to lose anymore. If you tell her mum then she's gonna get in trouble, and...she shouldn't. I mean I should. You're right...you're right you're right you're right....do whatever to me, but just not her, ok? Please..." 

Edited by Jake Morent

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Grace Foster

Grace was indignant as Silas docked points, not because she didn't deserve it, but because Addison had done it already. Before she could protest though, Silas stunned her with the level of his vindictiveness, especially toward Jake. She could understand being angry at being woken for this, but that was Addison's fault not theirs. Grace suspected it had more to do with the fact they hadn't fully cooperated. Between Silas' pettiness and their combined chauvinism Grace was ready to wash her hands of the both of them.

 

" I can hear you two talking, you know," she reminded them crossly. "And the idea that I need either of you to protect me is some serious paternalistic nonsense. I can't wait to tell Columbia. She'll laugh her bloody arse off."

"Also, when did you become such a pratt, Silas? Not everything is mine to tell. You of all people should be grateful for that, so stop acting put out that I didn't tell you every detail."

 

"But yeah, now I can speak freely, and Jake's right.  I did tell them off. I was the only person who did, by the way, even after the prefects showed up. Anyway, I meant to leave, but Jake..." She shot Jake an apologetic look, realizing that this next part wasn't pleasant even if he had owned up to it himself. 

 

"They were saying we didn't have the stones and mocking Jake for not being a man," Grace explained.  "It got to him, I guess, and there was nothing I could say to talk Jake down. Jake was about to drink so...well I just grabbed his glass and drank it so he couldn't." Grace winced, but continued. "I mean maybe I should have  dumped it instead, but they would have just given him another, and in the state Jake was in he would have drunk it. I figured me taking the risk would maybe snap Jake out of it."

 

"You didn't hurt me, Jake," Grace said, addressing him directly for the first time. "If I'd been hurt it would have been on me. That doesn't mean I'm happy with you but stop crying alright?" She had a lot more to say, but for Jake's sake she would have to say it later.

 

Grace turned back to Silas. "I accept that I deserve a punishment. Jake too of course, but I think it's low of you to drag Mam into it, just like it was low for Addison to use our friendship with you."

"Also you were way too harsh on Jake, even as stupid as he was." She eyed Jake apologetically here. "Yeah, sure. Jake had a moment of weakness, an' he needs to work on that, but you aren't helping by calling him a bad friend. That was spiteful and unworthy of you."

 

"And anyway, If allowing someone to break rules is the criteria for being a bad friend then Jake's not even close to the worst friend I have." 

Edited by Grace Foster

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Silas Harding-Clarke

He'd been right about one thing; Jake was easier to break.

 

He'd been wrong about everything else, though. It didn't bring him any satisfaction to finally have the truth, and Grace didn't fall in line once the truth was out. Silas narrowed his eyes as Jake wailed that it was his fault, that he was the stupid one, and hurriedly tried to make right everything he'd done merely by ...doing nothing. Allowing everything to roll on. Silas turned away when Jake started to cry, finding it easier to look into Grace's hard, defiant face.

 

"And the idea that I need either of you to protect me is some serious paternalistic nonsense. I can't wait to tell Columbia. She'll laugh her bloody arse off. Also, when did you become such a pratt, Silas? Not everything is mine to tell. You of all people should be grateful for that, so stop acting put out that I didn't tell you every detail.

 

Silas held his tongue as Grace went on, explaining in depth what had really happened. Now, however, Silas just felt the weight of fatigue. He no longer cared what had happened. He just wanted his two toddlers to go to bed so he could go back to sleep.

 

"Yeah, sure. Jake had a moment of weakness, an' he needs to work on that, but you aren't helping by calling him a bad friend. That was spiteful and unworthy of you. And anyway, If allowing someone to break rules is the criteria for being a bad friend then Jake's not even close to the worst friend I have."

 

"Are we done?" Silas asked finally, full to the brim with irritation and knowing that if it went on much longer they would both have words they'd come to regret. He raised his hand and ticked his replies off on his fingers.

 

"Maybe you don't need protection but we all need someone to stop us from doing something stupid once in a while, including Addison, obviously, and she's the best duelist in our year. Also, tell Columbia whatever you want, she probably would laugh her arse off at you for drinking poison instead of letting Jake make an arse out of himself. Third, fine, keep your allegiances, but then don't expect honesty priority from me."

 

He drew breath. "And maybe I'm being spiteful and unworthy but let's not forget the two people who are out after curfew at a damned stupid party and the whole reason we are even having this discussion. Also, I'm not going to tell your damned mum about this, I was just being mean because you two are so damned annoying." Silas pressed his thumb and forefinger into his brow and rubbed it vigorously. "Now please go away, and don't get in any more trouble."

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Jake Morent

Though Jake was burned by guilt over what had happened, there was still some sudden resentment as Grace admonished him in front of Silas to stop crying. Though the hallway was dark, he suddenly felt a giant spotlight shining upon him. Red-faced, he wiped at his eyes to hide any sign of his emotional outburst, feeling a flood of shame. 

 

He'd come into this night trying to prove himself as an equal. But when it had come down to it he'd gone from mature, confident adult to scared child. For all that he'd tried to prove himself a man, he certainly didn't seem manly now...He was overwhelmed - overwhelmed with fear and guilt and self-loathing. Overwhelmed by a buzzing and a throbbing in his head that wouldn't leave him. An emotional storm had been building up inside him ever since the girls had drank the poison, and furthered when Addison had doled out the consequences. He had let his guard down with his confession and it'd been impossible to hold the emotion back. And though he wished he COULD just be punished and sent to his room to feel that things had been set right and the universe had been corrected, he knew full well that this time that would not be enough. It wasn't that simple.

 

But he hated himself for showing it. He could hear the disdain in Grace's voice - knew that she was shaking her head at him inside. She was the one who drank poison, and he was the one in tears? What right did he have? It was pathetic...and Silas couldn't even look at him. He was grateful to not have Silas's eyes on him, but he knew it was uncomfortableness at his display that made him look away. And he knew that 'damned annoying' wasn't the worst of what he had shown himself to be to the Ravenclaw. Though the tears were now gone, the overwhelming need to escape hit him instead. He would process it all...everything he'd done...but far from watching eyes. 

 

Through it all, he was surprised when Grace actually seemed to take his side. Why, after everything, was she still defending him...? He looked at her for just a moment, his eyes still murky with thought. But he didn't need the two of them fighting on his behalf. Silas assured that Mrs. Foster would not be told, and on that at least there was some relief. At least it meant that Grace wasn't going to be getting in further trouble for his mistakes. And when Silas sent them off to bed, Jake didn't have to be told twice.

 

"Don't worry, I'm going," he muttered, and then pushed his way past the two, making eye contact with neither.

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Grace Foster

Silas’ "Are we done?" brought Grace to an abrupt stop. To be truthful she wasn’t sure if she was done or not, but she held her tongue as Silas ticked off his rebuttal Silas-like in three bullet points.

 

Grace would give him the first two. Grace herself had acted to try to stop Jake’s stupidity so that was true and there were most likely multiple points for Columbia to laugh at. Silas’ third statement made her angry though.

“I didn’t lie!” she insisted, both angry and exasperated that he couldn’t see the distinction.

 

Silas ignored the outburst, continuing with the following admission:  "And maybe I'm being spiteful and unworthy but let's not forget the two people who are out after curfew at a damned stupid party and the whole reason we are even having this discussion. Also, I'm not going to tell your damned mum about this, I was just being mean because you two are so damned annoying."

 

Grace huffed at this, still angry yet feeling vindicated that he admitted he was “just being mean” which was basically what she had just said. She started to say this, but Silas told them to go away, as if he was their superior dismissing them now that he’d had his say.

 

Grace opened her mouth to protest that too, but Jake beat her to it: "Don't worry, I'm going."  And he had exited without waiting for Grace to follow.

 

Grace felt torn between the two, both wanting to keep arguing and to make things right with each of them. She settled on fixing Silas with a look, neither entirely remorseful or as self-righteous as earlier.

 

“I’m sorry that Addison-- that we got you out of bed,” Grace finally said. “I want to talk more when you aren’t so pissed at me….whenever that is.”.

 

Grace left because Silas had reached his breaking point. However, as she returned to the Gryffindor Tower she was troubled. She still had Jake to sort out, but thought by comparison Jake would be the easy one. It was Silas’ implication that she’d crossed some line that had her rattled. She didn’t care that he’d scolded her for the poison thing--that was admittedly stupid-- but his accusation that she’d been duplicitous had bothered her a lot. She couldn’t help thinking that Silas was expecting a level of transparency in her that he would never practice himself. Eventually that imbalance would be an issue between them.

Edited by Grace Foster

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