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Sabine Frost

Will there be a troupe of dancing skeletons for entertainment?

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Sabine Frost

"It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in midair over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. At the top of the hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting."
— Description of the Great Hall

 

The Hallowe’en Feast at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry occurred on same day as everyone else’s event — the 31st October. Sabine had read all about it in Hogwarts: A History. The Great Hall would be decorated with Hallowee’en decor, such as sweet-filled pumpkins, bats, orange streamers and water snakes. 

 

And, to help out with the decorations, students had been invited to the Great Hall to carve a pumpkin or two to add to the atmosphere. So, Sabine had volunteered and was sure her friend Elewyn would be here too, so waited at the entrance for her to arrive, so they could grab a seat together and chat as they carved.

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Elewyn Sauvigni

Elewyn knew all about the Hallowe'en feast  at Hogwarts. Her parents had participated in the feast every year when they had bean at school, and of course her sister Tami had attended two feasts already.  Hallowe'en was an opportunity to see the Great Hall decked out with jack o'lanterns and  to enjoy an autumn feast. 

 

Elewyn was looking forard to the feast later, and as such she hat eaten a light lunch. For now, the Great Hall needed to be decorated and students had been asked to take part in the carving of pumpkins. Elewyn had jumped at the opportunity, seeing this as an opportunity to give something of herself to the occasion.

 

She was not at all surprised to see Sabine waiting for her at the entrance. "Happy Hallowe'en" she greeted her friend "I take it you are here for the same reason I am?" She glanced into the room and saw that a number of pumpkins had been placed on the house tables for the students to work with. The question was though, which table would they head towards? Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff? Then again, she figured it wouldn't really matter on this occasion.

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Sabine Frost

“Happy Halowe’en,” Sabine replied, her usual smile evident on her face. “And I guess so, carving pumpkins, right?”

 

Sabine followed Elewyn’s gaze and realised that, historically, they were programmed to sit as certain tables – and as a rule, tended to sit in the same area of seats on those long tables. But today was different, surely? Not wishing to have a debate on the subject (which was, up to a point, not like Sabine) she made a decision and walked towards the Hufflepuff table, knowing Elewyn would surely follow. 

 

“It will be fun to see the Great Hall from a different perspective,” she said – for it wasn’t just the view that would be different, but the tables she would be flanked by (assuming most students chose to sit with their Houses). 

 

“Do you celebrate Hallowe’en much at home? We do a little, but we also have fireworks on Bonfire Night, so we share the fun between the two events. And carving pumpkins is my favourite part of the whole week.” 

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Elewyn Sauvigni

Elewyn nodded. "Yes, carving pumpkins" she confirmed. She then winked her her friend. "I wonder which one will be the most interesting." It wasn't like they were being judged, or there were prizes involved but perhaps they could have a little competition between them anyway.

 

Sabine solved the problem of which table they would sit at by electing to move toward the one that was normally occupied by Elewyn and her fellow Hufflepuffs. "Perhaps" she added, when Sabine added the remark about a different perspective. Elewyn had seen the room from another position whenever she went over to speak with her sister at the Gryffindor table. "What I am looking forward to is seeing the room full of glowing pumpkins, and knowing that we have played our part in creating the decorations." She was thinking of how the Great Hall would look for the feast, that would be when their efforts would truly pay off.

 

Sabine asked if she celebrated Hallowe'en at home, and Elewyn nodded again. "Yes, Tami was here at Hogwarts last year so I carved the family pumpkin myself, and mother lit it with a charm. We had a meal in the evening, but nothing quite as lavish as a Hogwarts feast. Did you do the same thing?" She recalled that Sabine's parents were muggleborn. Did Muggles celebrate Hallowe'en the same way?

 

As for Bonfire Night, this was not something Elewyn knew much about. She had seen muggles lighting bonfires a few days later, but didn't quite understand the reason for it. "I've seen the bonfires and fireworks before" she added "why do muggles light them?"

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Sabine Frost

Sabine smiled, as she was prone to do. “A competition would be fun, but I warn you – I don’t have a creative bone in my body. Truly, I’ve never had an aptitude for anything even remotely artistic. Painting, musical instruments, poetry – you name it and I get some enjoyment from it, but I would never say my outputs are worthy of note. But I really enjoy scooping out a pumpkin and then designing a scary smile.”

 

“And whoever does the better, we can be sure ours will be the best two on offer, right?” She gave a little wink to Elewyn.

 

And then she considered the question of Hallowe’en feasts. “Um, I know muggles celebrate the festival, but it seems to be very commercial from what my parents say. Mostly about sweets, going trick or treating and having themed parties – which seem to be often for the adults. I don’t think the average muggle does much with pumpkins except create a lantern. Pies, juice, pasties and the like? I don’t think they’re on an average menu. A lot of people seem to take it as an opportunity to eat what they perceive to be American food. Pizza, hot dogs and tortilla chips. Even if they are Italian, German and Mexican!”

 

“Bonfire Night is more traditional in muggle households but seems to be losing popularity. My parents said that when they were little, Hallowe’en was hardly celebrated at all. Bonfire night is therefore quite well celebrated in our home. We have sausages and jacket potatoes cooked on an open fire and we have a bonfire and let off fireworks. It’s based on something quite macabre.”

 

“Guy Fawkes Night or Firework Night, to give it its other names, is because, back on the 5th November 1605, someone called Guy Fawkes was arrested while guarding explosives that had been placed beneath the House of Lords – one half of the muggle government. The aim of the plotters was to King King James I. Because they failed, people lit bonfires all around London. Months later, law was passed to observe anniversary and was actually a public holiday back then.”

 

“It becomes even more complicated and involves religious hatred and burning effigies, which transformed into being a dummy of Guy Fawkes. So, in living memory, it is just seen as a social commemoration centring on a bonfire and extravagant firework displays.”

 

Sabine took a seat. “I suspect that was more complicated than you expected? Anyhow, do you do a scary face or a happy one?” And she took a spare pumpkin and a set of tools to carve with.

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Elewyn Sauvigni

Sabine pointed out that she wasn't particularly creative, and Elewyn nodded. "Then maybe a competition wouldn't be the best idea" she suggested. Pumpkin carving was a time to be creative, but since Sabine admitted that wasn't one of her traits, she felt the competition might be a little too one-sided. Elewyn enjoyed competing occasionally, but she would only do so if the game was fair.

 

Sabine also suggested that their pumpkins would be the best in the school, trying to assert an element of competition of her own. Elewnyn's smile as softer this time, bragging was not in her nature. "We can't guarantee that, but we can try" she answered honestly.

 

She listened as Sabine described in detail how muggles celebrated Hallowe'en. There were clear differences. It seemed whilst muggles also carved pumpkins, they didn't do too much else with them, and that sounded quite wasteful. When Elewyn carved her pumpkin at home, she kept the slices she cut out so they could be made into pasties. "Well that's more pumpkin juice and pasties for us, I guess" she grinned "maybe we should pick up a glass each." She had thought that they could make their own juice from the slices of pumpkin they removed. Sabine also spoke of something called Trick or Treat which Elewyn hadn't heard of before. "What is trick or treating?" she asked. It sounded too as though muggles did feast, in a way but those were not the food items she would have chosen for the event.

 

Sabine also described what the muggles called Bonfire Night. Elewyn could always count on Sabine to give detailed explanations when she asked a question. Her Ravenclaw friend seemed to know about everything, it was almost like having her own personal library. A bonfire, fireworks and foods that were cooked on a bonfire; that sounded reasonable enough. She listened as Sabine explained the origin of the occasion.

 

It seemed that a muggle traitor once tried to use explosives to destroy the seat of their government and and murder the king, and because he failed the muggles have been lighting explosives of their own every year since. "Because the explosives didn't go off, muggles commemorate the event by lighting fires and causing explosions of their own." Elewyn grinned at that. "Doesn't that sound more than a little ironic to you?"

 

She took a seat next to her friend, who then asked if she wanted to carve a scary or a happy face. "A happy one" she decided, picking up her own tools "ghosts are a traditional aspect of Hallowe'en, but they aren't all that scary unless you count Peeves. The Fat Friar is often jovial." The Hufflepuff ghost could usually be counted upon to provide merriment and good cheer, both at the house table and in the common room.

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Sabine Frost

Sabine smiled, “I don’t mind it being a competition. I may be driven, but it would be wrong to only make a contest of something you expect to win. It was one of the things my parents spoke to me about over the summer. So, let’s see how good we can make them.”

 

“And as for trick or treating, this must be another American aspect of Hallowe’en that we have adopted. Essentially, children walk around the streets and knock on doors and state, ‘Trick or Treat,’ I suspect once upon a time it was a genuine choice – either offer a treat or we’ll play a trick on you. But it seems to involve little more than being given sweets by the home-owner. Apart from dressing up, it seems the consumption of chocolate and the like is the main focus of Hallowe’en for British muggles.”

 

Sabine’s pumpkins always looked the same – the classic toothy smile, nose and eye holes. 0/10 for imagination and 7/10 for execution.

 

Sabine nodded at the mention of irony. “I see it everywhere in history – at least in the literature I read. People end up being or doing the very things they oppose, invariably inadvertently. And although not irony, despite people like me saying how Bonfire Night has been supplanted by Hallowe’en, it was the British (or maybe the Irish) that exported it to the States. These,” she indicated the pumpkins, “Were once turnips and carried door-to-door to beg for food to commemorate the dead. And they were even part of Guy Fawkes celebrations.”

 

“The scary faces were a more recent addition, used by people to frighten others. And when the habit went to America, the easier to carve pumpkins were used. So, we exported it to the Americans and they exported it back, so to speak.”

 

“I’ll make mine happy too. That was the original intent, so let’s stick to the original tradition, yes?” All she had to do was make the carved mouth turn up at the ends and she would have a happy pumpkin to show for her efforts.

 

Edited by Sabine Frost

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Elewyn Sauvigni

Sabine pointed out that she didn't mind a competition, and Elewyn got the impression that she welcomed the idea. "Since you want to make it a competition, we'll do that" Elewyn nodded "I wasn't concerned about winning, only fairness." By giving Sabine the opportunity to change her mind when she remarked that she wasn't creative, Elewyn had nodded in the direction of decency. "There are some competitions I won't enter" she pointed out "for example, I refuse to get into a butt-kicking contest with a centipede." She smiled a little, hoping Sabine would see the joke. Centipedes were said to have 100 legs after all, even if this was not literally true.

 

Sabine described trick or treating, as Elewyn was sure she would. This was apparently of American origin and it worked pretty-much as the name suggested. "I'm pleased they've toned down, or dropped the trick aspect" Elewyn approved "a joke is only funny if the recipient laughs along with it. I hope the home-owners don't give them too much. I imagine, once you have worked a couple of streets that you will amass quite a bounty."

 

Sabine spoke of historical irony and how traditions may have crossed the pond, only to return again later. "If it as the Irish, wouldn't we be carving potatoes and drinking something a little stronger than pumpkin juice?" she pondered. Elewyn came from The Wirral, on the West coast. It was not uncommon for her to see people who had sailed over from Ireland.

 

Sabine also agreed to make happy a happy pumpkin, and Elewyn nodded. "I imagine it was the muggles, or possibly religion that wanted Hallowe'en to be scary anyway" she mused as she got out her tools and started cutting around the top of her pumpkin, creating a lid that she could remove. Once the lid was done, she could tidy up inside then make a start on her pumpkin's face.

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Sabine Frost

Sabine listened intently to Evelyn, and raised an eyebrow at the suggestion of a contest that she would not enter in to. She opened her mouth to respond, and then closed it quickly. It was clearly a joke and Sabine nearly took the saying literally. A grin spread across her face. "You almost had me there," she confessed. 

 

"And as for trick or treating, I suspect the quality of the neighbourhood will play a part. Of course, living on a deserted island somewhat limits the opportunity to go around people's houses. Instead, my parents tended to hide sweets for us to find - normally close to a scary decoration they'd made. A sort of cross between Hallowe'en and the Easter Bunny." She paused. "Do wizarding folk celebrate Easter with chocolate eggs? I never know which traditions are muggle and which aren't. My parents never differentiate." 

 

She took a small version of a saw - effectively a blade with a jagged edge - and began to cut a circle in the top of the pumpkin, it was normally the easiest part for Sabine. "I enjoy carving the face, but can get bored hollowing out the insides. What about you?" 

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Elewyn Sauvigni

For a time, Elewyn thought Sabine was going to take her comment about the centipede literally. It almost seemed as though Sabine was shocked at hearing her comment about some contests she would not enter. Eventually though, her friend grinned and appreciated the joke. "Perhaps, with practice, I can help you to see the joke sooner" she offered "I can be serious when necessary, but not all the time."

 

Sabine suggested that the neighbourhood might play a part. Initially Elewyn wondered if Sabine was considering the character of her neighbours, then pointed out that she lived on a deserted island. "So you adapted to your circumstances" Elewyn nodded "and very well I might add. Your little game sounds like a lot of fun."

 

Sabine asked if wizards celebrated Easter, and Elewyn nodded. "We treat it as a week-long holiday" she pointed out "when the time comes, we will have a week without classes, and we may go home for Easter if that is our choice." Elewyn strongly suspected that Sabine would stay at Hogwarts, and take the week without classes an an opportunity to bury herself in the library. Sometimes Elewyn could read her friend like a book.

 

When Sabine admitted that she may find scooping out the insides boring, Elewyn nodded. "That isn't my favourite part either" she admitted "that's one of the reasons why I thought we could squeeze some pumpkin juice while we worked." She thought of something else, and picked up a couple of bowls from a pile that were stacked further down the table. "So we can dispose of the bits we cut out" she explained "at least until we need them."

 

((http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Easter  - where I got the information about Easter))

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Sabine Frost
Sabine smiled. “Yes, I don’t always get jokes – even when they’re explained to me. I’m not entirely sure why, it’s just the way it is.” She didn’t appear bothered by the fact, and seemed genuinely pleased Elewyn offered to help her. “I guess I’m just serious almost all of the time,” she added, the smile still on her face.
 
Sabine listened intently to Elewyn’s explanation of Easter from a wizarding perspective. Sabine often took for granted her mixed upbringing and rarely sought to differentiate between the sometimes two quite different set of practices. If anything, it gave scope to enjoy the best of both worlds. 
 
Sabine’s brows knitted at the prospect of a week without lessons, but she perked up when the option to remain at Hogwarts was offered. “A whole week in the library with hardly anyone in it?” she said. “Think how many books we can read? Truly awesome. Not that I don’t like going home – far from it – but there’s always the summer holidays and that’s plenty long enough to see them.” In fact, six weeks without the Hogwarts library would be the greater wrench.
 
Finally, she nodded at the prospect of making their own pumpkin juice. “Let’s do it, mum or dad usually do that sor of stuff, so it will be good to have a go myself. Do we need any special equipment?”  

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Elewyn Sauvigni

Elewyn nodded. "Yes, I've noticed that" she agreed. She said she didn't know why, but Elewyn didn't think that would hold true for long; Sabine was a smart girl, she could usually figure her way out of a problem. "I'm sure you'll figure it out" she offered her encouragement "I have every confidence in you." A moment later, Sabine gave a reason. "You can relax a little" she advised "you see a lot further when you don't build a wall around yourself." She was speaking in metaphor. Would Sabine grasp the meaning of that line?

 

She was not at all surprised that Sabine was delighted at  the thought of a week in the library. Whilst Elewyn didn't mind studying, she was not quite so thrilled by that idea. "We'll clear our homework pile at the very least" she nodded. That was a worthwhile reason to go to the library, but surely once their homework was out of the way they could find something a little more interesting. She was a little shocked when Sabine said that the summer holidays were enough time to see her family, as though being with loved ones was somehow a chore that one should not spend too much time over. "I'm sure that when the time comes, they'll be delighted to see you" she pointed out, wondering why Sabine did not consider the opposite to be true. She wasn't sure what else she could add.

 

Sabine finally caught on to the thought of making pumpkin juice while they worked, and eased about equipment. "I'd recommend a funnel of some sort" she advised "if we don't want the juice to go everywhere." There were other possibilities as well, but Elewyn really recommended the funnel. "Something to squeeze the juice out would help, like you can get these hand juicers for oranges. We can squeeze them with our hands, but it may be messy." There was one other bit of advice she felt she should give. "Also, keep an eye out for seeds."

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Sabine Frost

Sabine lacked social skills, that much was true. Not in the traditional sense in many wants, but more specifically an inability to read clues that others took for granted – like tone of voice or facial expression. And inference was not something she was blessed with. She was not, in any way, the most intelligent witch of her year, but she possibly had the best memory and had a wonderful work ethic.

 

So, taking all these factors into consideration, she was able to appreciate that the ‘wall’ comment was not literal – but fell short of fully understanding what it meant. Yes, she got that it was a metaphorical wall, but she wasn’t aware she was building one – or why she’d even want to.

 

She decided to hold the thought and review it later – that seemed to make most sense, especially as homework was now the topic of conversation. “I rarely have a pile,” she said and almost sounded sad at the fact. “I get on to it the day it’s handed out. And unless it’s a really long essay, complete it that evening.”

 

“And yes, it will be wonderful to see my family – and them me, I suspect – but I have a lifetime ahead of me to spend time with them. Yet once I leave Hogwarts, access to the library ends. So I intend to make the most of it while I can.”

 

Sabine cast her eyes about for the right equipment and could see none. “That’s a shame,” she said, “No pumpkin juicing utensils.” And no sooner had the words exited her mouth than the relevant things appeared on the table in front of her – including a funnel. “I think the House Elves must have heard,” she added. “Aren’t they wonderful.”

 

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Elewyn Sauvigni

Sabine didn't say too much about her inability to get jokes, or a metaphorical 'wall', but Elewyn got the impression that she had listened to her words. If her friend decided to add anything more to that discussion, she would continue but for now she was happy to leave it there.

 

Sabine spoke of homework, and that she usually completed it on the day that it was handed out. On this matter, the two girls were in agreement. "That is a sensible strategy" she approved "if you ignore homework, it just continues to pile up until you have a massive backlog." It was true that the longer essays took more work, but she could usually find the time to tackle them and a week-long break from lessons at Easter would be a great opportunity to get things done.

 

She smiled when Sabine pointed out that she would like to see her family, and that she was simply making use of the resources that were currently available. "I see your point" she confessed "I miss my family, but I know that right now I am where I need to be. I send letters home all the time though, I pass them to Tami since she has her own owl." She would use one of the school owls if necessary, but it was convenient having a sister with a bird of her own.

 

As Sabine pointed out they didn't have any of the tools they might need, one of the school elves produced them for her. "They are useful to have around" Elewyn nodded, as an elf provider her with the same tools "we don't have an elf at home, but with Tami and I at Hogwarts and my parents both working, perhaps we should look into it." The only potential objection she saw was that a lot of the pureblood families who employed elves didn't treat them very well, she didn't want to give anyone the wrong impression. "I know we'd look after it properly" she pointed out "like they do here at Hogwarts."

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Sabine Frost

Sabine nodded her accord at Elewyn’s words. “The amount of work never changes – however much people might wish it to. And so, even though I love to do homework, it makes no sense to do the same amount of research and writing in a shorter space of time. It’s as if those that don’t enjoy homework want to make it harder for themselves – which is plan foolish in my opinion.”

 

Sabine’s nose wrinkle slightly at the mention of letters. “My parents write to me every day and my sister used to write daily but now sends me a letter once a week at most. I have to admit, I tend to forget to write to them, so tend to do it on a Saturday night, in bed. I give them a round-up of the week. Lessons, homework…that sort of thing. And I tell them about the people I’m working with and chatting to. This is more of what they want to hear I think. I don’t think they doubt my commitment to work – but worry if I’m alone whilst here.”

 

Sabine’s eyebrow raised quizzically at the mention of a personal House Elf. "Neither my mum or dad ever complain about household chores, and so I wouldn’t imagine they’d really consider hiring one. And I never doubted for a second that you’d treat one the way they have been in the past. I suspect some aren’t cared for wonderfully, but I sincerely hope that’s a tiny minority now. But I don’t know many wizarding families, so it’s hard for me to quantify.”

 

“Anyhow, how is your pumpkin coming along?”   

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Elewyn Sauvigni

Elewyn listened, and agreed completely with what Sabine was saying. "I do wonder what they hope to accomplish by putting their homework off until the last minute" she remarked "you can't enjoy the rest of your time because you know that there is work that needs to be done. When you do get around to it, you end up rushing, you don't have the time to complete any necessary research. Ultimately you turn in a half-done assignment which earns you a troll grade from the professor and teaches you absolutely nothing." As soon as she said that, she realised that wasn't entirely true. She had to offer a slight addendum. "Actually it does teach one thing; that they should have started on the assignment a little earlier. Do they learn from their mistake?" She had to conclude, probably not.

 

She nodded when Sabine remarked that she did write to her folks once a week and that they did the same thing. "Once a week is healthy" Elewyn pointed out "as you do, you can summarise your week in a letter. If you wrote home every day, you wouldn't have all that much you could put in your letters and your parents might not appreciated being constantly bombarded with owls." She was sure her own folks wouldn't care for it all that much anyway. Elewyn was a little concerned when Sabine suggested that her parents might worry about her being alone. "Yes, you should tell them about your friends" she nodded "you can tell them about me. Mention some of the fun things we do together like flying the school brooms, and carving pumpkins." Elewyn was sure that if Sabine described some of her extra-curricular activities, they were not going to think that she had sealed herself off in a room somewhere with only her books for company.

 

Sabine pointed out that her parents hadn't considered getting a house elf. "Neither have mine" Elewyn added "but as they both work and with their daughters at Hogwarts, I was wondering if I should suggest it to them." She nodded when Sabine suspected that some elves weren't cared for as well as they should be. "It does happen, unfortunately" she admitted "there are some pureblood families who treat their elves every badly; treat them as little more than slaves. It doesn't happen as often as it once did, but it is common enough for decent people to ask questions about you if they discover you have an elf at home."

 

Sabine asked about her pumpkin. Elewyn took off the lid and looked inside. "I've almost done carving out the innards" she explained "I'm about ready to start on the face." By now there was a small pile of sliced pumpkin in her bowl, ready for squeezing. "How's yours?"

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Sabine Frost

Sabine looked thoughtful. “I guess that, in many ways, people must be oblivious to the facts. That’s the only explanation that makes sense. For when you say it as we’ve just looked at it, there can be only one possible way of working. So why people choose to do it a different way?” she shrugged her shoulders. “Crazy,” she said. “But mum and dad always say that it takes all sorts to make the world. Because, in my experience, people rarely learn from mistakes. In fact, they repeat them with unnerving regularity.”

 

Sabine smiled. “Oh, I have mentioned you lots. From our interesting boat ride, to your cat, to our lessons and our flying sessions. I would have to say that, without a doubt, I spend more time with you than anyone else here. By some margin. So, it stands to reason you get mentioned in almost every letter home — for one reason or another.”

 

“So this week, I’m bound to mention the pumpkins — and the feast. Even though it hasn’t happened, I know it will be wonderful. It has such a reputation.”

 

“Oh,” Sabine said, sounding surprised. “Your parents work here? Really? Why hadn’t I asked about them before? What do they do?”

 

As she talked, she continued to scoop out the innards. She had reached the point where the flesh was sticky and hard to remove — which was (not coincidentally) the time when her patience would wear thin and she’d usually look to her parents to take over. Of course, now she had no-one to help her out and she had to soldier on. “I’m doing well. I’m getting a bit tired, but I suppose I ought to keep going right now, yes?”

 

Edited by Sabine Frost

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Elewyn Sauvigni

"Crazy or lazy" Elewyn shrugged "unfortunately, if they can't be bothered to complete their homework in plenty of time, they only have themselves to blame." She nodded when Sabine pointed out that people commonly repeated their mistakes. "All too true" she agreed "I try never to make the same mistake twice, once if I can help it. It seems that you and I are in the minority." It was said really, not to mention a waste of an opportunity when you kept making the same mistakes over and over.

 

Sabine pointed out that she had written about her loads of time, and the smile immediately returned to Elewyn's face. "That's nice" she approved "I write about you too, and Tami is so pleased that I have found a friend. There are 3 girls she is particularly close with; one Gryffindor and two Hufflepuffs. They stayed over for a couple of days during the summer." She offered another suggestion. "Since your folks know all about me, I am sure they don't think you are on your own." That was a concerrn her friend had raised, but Elewyn could see that it was baseless.

 

It seemed that Sabine had misheard her when she said her parents both worked. "No, they work for the ministry" she pointed out "they are both aurors." They both had great jobs, but that mean that they worked long hours. That was one of the reasons why Elewyn though she might suggest getting an elf to look after the house when they were away.

 

Apparently Sabine was getting tired of scooping out the inside of her pumpkin, and Elewyn had to admit that it wasn't the most fun job in the world. "Would you like to take a break from that for a bit" she suggested "maybe we could have a go at collecting some juice." She waved her hand at the bowl full of pumpkin fragments she had already collected. "I don't know about you, but I'm getting thirsty."

Edited by Elewyn Sauvigni

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Sabine Frost

Sabine nodded. She had zero sympathy for anyone that didn’t apply themselves – or that took school work too lightly. “My dad always says that people make mistakes, mistakes don’t make people. It’s within us to learn from any errors and ensure they don’t happen again. That’s what separates those that take homework seriously, and those that don’t.”

 

“Actually, there’s another muggle saying – about the definition of insanity being the willingness to do something the same as before, and expecting a different result. So, to all those that wonder why, term after term, they struggle with papers? They’d not just lazy, they’re daft too. You’re so right.”

 

Her smile faltered slightly, when Elewyn mentioned being on her own. “The thing is,” she began, “My parents wanted me to mix widely. They said I’d probably have one friend and think that counted as being broadly sociable. So, in a sense they’re right. I have fewer than a handful of people I would choose to communicate with over a school break. And only two or three I’d invite to my home. So, I’m so glad I have you, but I suspect my parents will be a little disappointed.”

 

But the smile returned when Elewyn explained what she’d said, not what Sabine had heard. She nodded. “Yes, that makes sense. Missing out on just one word completely changes the meaning of a sentence, doesn’t it? And they’re aurors? Are there still many dark wizards to deal with? Or dark magical items to be neutralised?”

 

“Is that something you’d be tempted to do in the future? I know a lot of parents would like their children to follow in their footsteps. I know mine would, but they already suspect I’ll become more of a scholar and less likely to be involved in a hands-on role.”

 

Sabine sighed audibly as she continued to scoop out the pumpkin insides with difficulty and so leapt at the chance to take a break. “That sounds perfect,” she said, “And I’d love to try some pumpkin juice I made by myself. You can keep me right, OK?”

 

Edited by Sabine Frost

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Elewyn Sauvigni

Elewyn nodded along with Sabine's remarks. She didn't think there was too much more she could add, but when Sabine spoke of insanity being acting the same and expecting different results, she recalled a line she had found in a book some time ago. "That reminds me of a line I read once. 'Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' I don't recall who said that, but it seems relevant." Sabine had read a number of books, had she come across the same passage?

 

Sabine pointed out that her parents had wanted her to make lots of friends, and she felt she hadn't kept that particular promise. "I wouldn't worry too much there" Elewyn responded "I am someone who likes to mingle, and talk to people but I haven't made all that many friends either." This was only their first term after all. Also, even though she liked to get involved with other people, she preferred to be more selective when it came to choosing her real friends. "Have you noticed that the really popular kids are the ones who show off?" she asked then "they concern themselves more with who they think others want them to be then who they are themselves." She followed this up with an admission about herself. "I'd rather have one or two close friends than a couple of dozen superficial ones."

 

Sabine admitted her error but Elewyn, out of kindness, did not draw attention to it but instead answered her question. "Unfortunately so" she nodded "dark magic did not end with the fall of Voldemort. His followers remained, and even today there are some who hold similar views." She figured that the Dark Arts would always be a reality, as well as the artifacts associated with it. Knockturn Alley was still a dark and dangerous place. "If it was no longer a threat, there would be no need for defence classes." She gave Sabine a curious look. "Are you looking forward to those lessons?"

 

Sabine asked if she would be interested in becoming an auror, but Elewyn shook her head. "That job would suit Tami more than me, but she hasn't given it serious consideration yet." Elewyn thought that Tami's dream job would be to be being chosen to play for the Holyhead Harpies. "I would see myself in a caring, supportive role" she explained "do you think I'd make a good healer?" That was a possibility that Elewyn had considered in the past.

 

It was no surprise that Sabine approved of her suggestion to start making pumpkin juice. Elewyn was a perceptive girl; she could see that Sabine was fed up with carving out the inside of her pumpkin and had offered an alternative. She was the kind of girl who went out of her way to help those around her. She nodded at her friend's request then picked up the juicer and studied it for a moment. "I think we press the bits of pumpkin onto this and the juice collects in the bottom" she offered.

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Sabine Frost

Sabine listened and smiled. “It’s a famous line from two people in history. I’m not sure who said it originally, but I know the Muggle Prime Minister Winston Churchill paraphrased it as, ‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.’” She smiled, as if sensing a follow-up question. “I enjoy history from the first half of the twentieth century – as it was a fascinating time for magical and muggle folks alike. And I especially enjoy the period between the world wars in North America.”

 

And then Sabine listened to Elewyn’s thoughts on popularity. “I have to admit that my perception of people’s reputation isn’t one to be relied upon. I notice people – and I suspect you’re right, the noisy ones get all of the attention. I don’t like them as much, because I find them a little intimidating, but I can see why people would be drawn to them.” It was, in truth, a theoretical assessment, Sabine was honest in her response that she was hardly an expert on social dynamics. But she was on safer ground with her next statement. “And I concur – a few good friends outweighs a lot of acquaintances that you might inaccurately call friends.”

 

“I have to say that I’m looking forward to all lessons and I’m pleasantly surprised that I can enjoy the blend of practical with the theoretical. OK, I admit, some have been more of a challenge for me. Like Herbology, which seemed an entirely odd subject. But I’m sure I learned things and can look back with a sense of progression. But I can’t say I’m more excited about Defence against the Dark Arts any more than say Arithmancy. I’m sure I’ll enjoy them both. Maybe not equally, but that is how life works, yes?”

 

She was interested to learn that Elewyn’s older sister was possibly going to become an auror. It seemed an exciting career – but not one for Sabine. And she readily nodded at the thought of Elewyn becoming a healer. “You’re kind and caring for a start. That must equate to what’s known as a good bedside manner. And you’re smart, so you’ll learn everything you’ll need to understand. But I suspect it’s a career that’s also a vocation. Some people may have the aptitude, but if their heart isn’t in it, they ‘d have no chance of success. I think this is something that you’d really want to do, so you’re almost already a success.”

 

Sabine’s tongue emerged slightly from the corner of her mouth as she focused on placing the pumpkin flesh into the juicer. Manual dexterity was clearly not her thing.

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Elewyn Sauvigni

Sabine mentioned that line was spoken by a couple of people, including a muggle Prime Minister. "I will admit, I don't know all that much about muggle history or politics" she admitted. What she did know about muggles came from her own observations, her sister's studies and anything that Sabine might have told her, she was still frightfully under-informed. "So they have a Prime Minister named Winston Churchill" she nodded "is he the equivalent of our Minister for Magic?" She was not aware that a number of Prime Ministers had come and gone since Churchill's time.

 

She knew a little bit more about magical history though, and when Sabine mentioned the early twentieth century, she wondered if she had misplaced that Churchill guy. She didn't know too much about world wars either but Sabine had mentioned the rough time period and said she was particularly interested in North America at that point. "Wasn't that a time when the Americans tried to distance themselves from muggles, or Nomaj's as they called them" she recalled "and wasn't there a woman who was trying to expose the magical community and bring about a second Salem?"

 

Elewyn felt it was particularly insightful of Sabine to be aware of her own limitations, such as not being the world's greatest judge of reputation. "There are some who are drawn towards the popular crowd" she nodded "they believe this will improve their own reputation. They don't seem to realise that not everybody is impressed by their antics." She was pleased to see that like her, Sabine also sought the company of a few close friends. "I suspect that is what your parents will want for you as well" she suggested "school is the foundation on which you build the rest of your life. Close friends stay with you, acquaintances float away on the breeze."

 

Sabine spoke of lessons, and whilst she was interested in all of her classes, there were some she particularly favoured. "I'm sure Defence will have its uses" Elewyn pointed out "I don't see myself at the forefront of a magical army, but I'll like to know that I can look after myself and those around me." Those last words were particularly significant for Elewyn; she did not simply try to protect her own skin, she tried to look after those around her, more as a carer than a crusader with a wand. "I'm not entirely certain about Arithmancy yet" she explained "I know I'll be taking Care of Magical Creatures but my other electives are still undecided." She nodded at the  Sabine's question. "Yes, it is perfectly natural that you will enjoy some subjects more than others."

 

Sabine also approved of her becoming a healer, and Elewyn smiled at that. "It seems like a natural career choice for me, and yes it would be a vocation." She thought back to an incident that had occurred when Tami's friends came to visit. "One of Tami's friends doesn't care for portkeys" she admitted "the journey made her feel unwell." She thought of what happened that day. "Her friend stayed with her, but I also did everything I could to support her, and suggested to my parents what we find an alternative means of travel for her next time." At the time, she didn't even need to think about it, she had acted on instinct. Helping others was just a part of her nature.

 

She looked across and noticed that Sabine was struggling to use the juicer. "Would you like a hand with that?" she asked automatically.

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Sabine Frost

Sabine was sometimes forgetful of the fact her upbringing straddled both muggle and magical worlds. She was equally as comfortable speaking about either histories and forgot that, to the majority of folk, one half was something of a mystery to the others – and vice versa.

 

“No and yes,” Sabine answered. “Yes, the Prime Minister is kind of the same. There is a complicate system of government but essentially, they are very much alike. And the ‘no’ part is because he is from a past time. His equivalent would be Leonard Spencer-Moon or Wilhelmina Tuft – about the same era.”

 

“And you’re right. The Americans had a very different approach to muggles and magical creatures back in those days – very different from Hogwarts. It’s fascinating to read about.”

 

She could only nod and agree with Elewyn and her observations about people being popular. “Reputation,” she added, “is something that is somewhat fickle. History tells us that few people remain popular though life and beyond. Maybe that’s due to a change in prevailing attitudes, or perhaps people that are false are simply caught out. And I love that simple analogy you use. I will never float away on the breeze, you have my word.”

 

Sabine nodded at the relevance of Defence against the Dark Arts. “I for one love the sound of Ancient Runes and Arithmancy. It appeals to my academic preference I guess. And although Care of Magical Creatures is my parent’s vocation, I wonder if it is a subject I’ll be drawn to when I have to sacrifice subjects, given we’re not able to take them all. No time-turners for us!”

 

“And everything you tell me about things you’ve done just reinforce why you’re in Huffelpuff and even more so, why you’d make a wonderful Healer. Were you thinking St. Mungo’s or somewhere else, like based in a school for example.”

 

She sighed audibly and then immediately smiled. “A hand would be most welcome,” she said. “It shouldn’t be all that difficult, but it is.”

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Elewyn Sauvigni

Elewyn had suspected that she had misplaced Prime Minister Churchill, and Sabine pointed out where she had made her mistake. When Sabin mentioned Spancer-Moon and Tuft, she nodded, finally able to place the man in history. "I should have guessed since you went on to talk about the early 20th Century" she added. She wondered if she should ask about those world wars that Sabine mentioned, but she decided not to right now; they didn't sound very pleasant. Instead, she asked another question. "Do you think the muggle prime minister knows about our society?" Regular muggles were obviously kept in the dark, but did that also apply to their government?

 

Sabine confirmed what she had said about America and she nodded. "I've not read too much about America but the subject has come up in conversations at home occasionally." There were differences though, the mistreatment of muggles in America at that time seems to have been systemic, whereas here is was mainly confined to a fringe group of blood purists.

 

Her friend give some more of her insights into popularity, and Elewyn agreed with much of what she said. "I think most people grow out of it eventually" she offered "once they realise that being part of the in crowd can affect their grades, and their bank balance." She smiled when Sabine said she would never float away on the breeze. "Nor will I" she added "your friendship means a lot to me."

 

She was not at all surprised that Sabine favoured both Ancient Runes and Arithmancy, and she too gave some insight into her elective choices. "I do love animals, so Care of Magical Creatures will be a delightful class for me" she pointed out "Ancient Runes sounds fascinating, and I will probably find Muggle Studies useful." She said probably because Tami had told her that the professor didn't seem to know much about the subject. "Would you like to help me with anything I don't learn in class?" she suggested. She was sure that with her friend's assistance she would learn far more about muggle society than she ever would ever cover in the official lessons.

 

Sabine confirmed that she was not only a true Hufflepuff but that she had all the hallmarks of a healer. She thought for a moment when asked where she'd like to work. "I think St Mungo's" she offered "it would give me the opportunity to help a lot more people than simply working in a school."

 

Sabine asked for her assistance, and Elewyn laid her hands gently over her friend's. "Try now" she offered "press the pumpkin fragment into the juicer, as firmly as you like."

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Sabine Frost

Sabine nodded and then checked the motion. “I wanted to say yes, that the muggle Prime Minister knows of the magical world. According to records, the Minister for Magic visits every new muggle Prime Minister when they first take office – to make them aware of our existence. In case we ever need to work together – like when Voldemort was on the rampage. But that doesn’t mean they still do. But I suspect it’s highly likely.”
 
“History is interesting but has limited practical use – beyond being a record of what happened and enabling us to learn from past mistakes. But given the fact that they say that history is written by the victors, even scholars have to be careful to not take all ancient documents as the truth.”
 
Sabine smiled at Elewyn’s confirmation that they would remain firm friends. It hadn’t occurred to her that they wouldn’t but it was still reassuring to hear it stated.
 
“Muggle Studies is a subject I am sure I would do well at, but have no real use for, if I’m honest. It’s not as if I need the O.W.L. over another subject, so will choose something that is a challenge to me.”
 
And then she re-focused on th task in hand – and with Elewyn’s guidance managed to get most of the pumpkin flesh into the juicer. It was clear she was not so proficient at fine motor skills. “Is that OK?” she asked, her face suggesting she was unsure.
 

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