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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
16 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

It was something that had begun as barely anything. The girl hadn't considered it even just a couple of months ago. She'd began school like everyone else, but there were so many things that teenagers understood so much better than her, even though there were so many other things that she understood so much better than... well, most of the school. But there were things that were happening to her, with or without her intent or desire. She was aware enough to know that it had to be something to do with her growth spurt, that the hormonal changes which came with being a teenager would affect other parts of her, other than just physically. Mentally, emotionally, she was aware that there were sudden strange feelings, but she couldn't describe them or put them into some kind of understandable label.

This was Travis' fault, surely. Well, no, she would liked to have blamed him, but he couldn't control what happened with her. That was just silly. What had caused this latest trip to the library to seek the knowledge of her grandmother though was the latest things she'd read in the Quillbook, which she had tossed into a drawer once she had written in it. She felt... hurt? Confused? Jealous, possibly? Mostly, she felt like she was lacking important knowledge that would allow her to understand better the things teenagers talked about. Dating, kissing, whatever else it was they did as boyfriends and girlfriends.

Lei didn't even ring the bell at the librarian's desk, simply walking around it to the door which led to Adele's office and the living space attached to it. She did knock gently on the door before opening it and looking around with a small pout on her lips. Seeing no one, but knowing that her grandmother was just in the other room with Caleb for a moment, she moved to a chair and sat down, her expression contemplative as she waited for Adele to decide to see what she wanted.

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Time had done little to heal the grief or guilt, but daily life had a mundane way of distracting Adele from the sharper points of it. True to her word, she had not gone off the rails (at least not without Stuart's supervision) although restlessness did tingle at her heels and toes. The sense that she was yet again incomplete and needed to move until she again found that brief respite of happiness. DJ was having a nap, somehow managing that while Caleb practiced enthusiastically on Sapphire. He was getting better, she had to say that. His dedication and determination was paying off, even if he did only want to play the same three songs on repeat.

In a lull between one chord and finding the next, she heard the subtle squeak of a chair in the next room. A student? Bold if so, they rarely came into her office uninvited. Which meant it was likely family, and either way, Adele needed to go see what the reason for the visit was.

"Come get me if he wakes, okay Caley?" she said softly, touching her older son on the shoulder as she moved past and through the tiny living space. Caleb nodded solemnly. He was still very unsure over this whole brother thing, still didn't like how much attention the baby got over him, but the directive to protect his brother had resonated strongly with him. Caleb could be both jealous and protective. Adele no longer worried about leaving the two together out of her sight for a few moments. 

Passing through and into her office, she wasn't all that surprised to see her granddaughter there. If anything, it felt a touch formal that the girl hadn't simply gone straight through and into the living space, and Adele settled herself into a chair across from the girl, studying her expression. Was this a social visit, or a school one? Folding her hands calmly in her lap, Adele's expression softened to a smile.

"What brings you to my office, sweetheart?" she asked.

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
16 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Lorelei had sat and thought, and thought and sat, until she felt Adele's presence moving and her gaze was already at the door before her grandmother stepped through it, offering a warm smile, if a perhaps troubled one. She glanced toward the door again, as the woman sat down, and then tipped her head toward it, curiosity in her expression.

"Everything is well?" The girl asked gently, always wishing to know how her family were. The change in Caleb since those months ago was strong, and she was hoping that he had been adjusting well. If anything, it was clear that Caitlin - the estranged daughter of Bethianna, it seemed - had been privy to the knowledge indeed, that could seal up the wound that males appeared to be naturally born with. That was a major step forward in regard to their kind, as far as Lorelei was concerned, it meant there was possibility of a future where one may not have to be scared to much for males, or Acceptance in general, and she wondered what else Bethianna had learned that her daughter may know about.

And then the question was asked, and Lorelei's features took on the gentle look of confusion, mixed with some agitation and uncertainty. She wasn't exactly quite sure how she should approach the topic with Adele, but since the woman had the most children of any other women Lorelei knew of, then it meant she had a great deal more experience with men, surely? And thus she was the best one to inquire about the male gender and all things involved with them.

"I would like to know about dating and intimacy," The girl decided on blunt honesty as her gaze peered toward her grandmother, "I have met a boy. And... he makes me feel happy, and strange, and nervous, and giddy, and tingly in odd places. And I am unsure whether he feels the same way as well. But he does much flirting with girls, but says it is jokes, but it does make me feel unhappy to read. And I believe you are the best one to ask about why or how males are able to do that. Also, how I might be able to go about making sure he does feel the same for me and how I might claim him." She offers a small nod then, peering at Adele expectantly for answers to a great mystery of the world.

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"Claim... him...?" Adele's reply was weak, Lorelei's tirade of explanation and questions setting her head to spin. This was too soon, too fast, she was not prepared for this. Jezebel and Améa had the common decency to grow up while she wasn't watching, she hadn't had to deal with this---but Lorelei. Gods, Lorelei. Was here asking how to claim herself a male. Adele closed her eyes briefly, trying to set the world to rights behind them. It was a factor of their development that maturity happened sooner rather than later, which---made no sense really, given a life expectancy that hadn't yet been reached by even Lillian yet. It was as if they were supposed to live their entire lives as adults, woefully unprepared for it and yet thrust into that world all the same.

"Sweetheart, you don't... claim people," Adele figured that directing her granddaughter away from slavery and kidnapping would at least be a good start. "But it's all very complex, it sounds like you have a crush. You'll probably have a lot of them in your life. Some that last longer than others, some that fizzle out almost as soon as you feel them. Some... some that turn into something far deeper and binding, and won't leave you until your very heart stops beating." 

This, she knew, would be David for her. Rocky as their relationship had always been, the number of times they had fallen in and out of love---his death had sealed his place in her heart as her soulmate. Perhaps, if he had lived, they would have divorced in the next week. No one could say. Death had preserved her love for him, their marriage, everything that he could and would be to her in the future. She wished it hadn't turned out that way. This pain was far heavier to bear than if they had been at odds. 

"The best thing you can do, I guess, is be honest." Adele wasn't sure exactly why she was the one here giving relationship advice. She wasn't exactly an expert. Gods, she had married Thomas. Her motivations and machinations on the romance front were far from sensible. But she wanted Lorelei to be better, and so she advised instead what every rom-com and romance book eventually got to pointing out. "Just tell him how you feel. Ask if he feels the same. Tell him that those jokes aren't funny to you, that they make you sad. If he doesn't know how you feel, he can't do anything about it. Right?"

Adele gave her granddaughter a weak smile.

"And if he doesn't feel the same way, which happens sometimes, we'll get a lot of icecream and watch things that make us sad until all of the bad feelings go away. How does that sound?"

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
16 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

The teenage girl stared at her grandmother for a few moments, blinking and tilting her head curiously as though the older woman had grown an extra head or two. Was she suggesting that Lorelei had meant to... surely not! The woman had to have more faith in her granddaughter than that, surely! It's not like Lorelei had grown up apart from the rest of the world, apart from their family and friends. She understood some basic concepts like what was right and wrong and...

"Grandmiere! I did not mean to steal him!" She gasped at her, before tutting and then offering a very disappointed look toward her grandmother. "I simply... yes! That is what I mean... I do have a crush, I am much attracted to him... at least that is how he did say it." And therein lay one of the things that confused her. If he had known that she was attracted to him, then why hadn't he done anything? then again, she supposed the timing when he had pointed it out had been rather unfortunately and she didn't think that trying to communicate about these things with a shifted werewolf would actually gain any answers. And then he had been taken home the next morning, leaving her with many questions and unsure how to approach them except to come here after a time of thinking.

"But, I meant... how one gains a boyfriend. That is a form of claiming, yes? If they are yours, then none other can have them as theirs?" That was how it worked, wasn't it? Certainly, she was no stranger to the soap operas and watching those who cheated on their significant others. But she also saw the many ways of retribution, and that seemed rather simple enough, as well as entirely fair. She listened to Adele, however, and offered a few nods as her gaze shifted downward a little in thought, before looking back up.

"So I should say that I would like for him to be mine?" Lorelei asked, and then pouted again with some thought, "I shall tell him those other things you say as well. Can I have ice cream if it goes well also?" Her brows lifted as a small smile tugged at her lips, but then she nodded again, resolute. "This does sound good. Is that how you did gain your boyfriends, Grandmiere? I had also considered whether doing the sex would be an appropriate way too. I am of appropriate age, as is he. And I do feel... the strange urges in my body."

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

So she wasn't planning to whisk some poor kid away, that was reassuring. You could never tell, when it came to their family, what people would actually do when they had the motivation to do it. Maybe Adele was just too used to trying to figure out what Lillian's next move would be. Or deciphering Améa's odd grasp of the English language. But that didn't make what Lorelei was asking about any less horrifying to the elder woman, especially when she asked about the sex

"Well, I think the simplest way of getting him to be your boyfriend, is to ask if he wants to be," Adele agreed slowly. Not that Adele had ever asked anyone like that. Or really had what she would term a "boyfriend", either. Convenient squeezes for one reason or another, favourites she kept returning to, even David hadn't been her boyfriend as such. She didn't really like the word, but it was perfect for teenage relationships. "And that's not always how it works. Some people can have more than one partner, as long as everyone in the relationship is okay with that. So if you want him to be your boyfriend, and only your boyfriend, he needs to know that's what you expect, too."

She had to smile regarding the icecream. Of course there would be icecream, to celebrate, commiserate, or because it was a day ending in y---it didn't matter. The smile froze as she contemplated very carefully her next reply.

"I don't recommend it, sweetheart," Adele answered softly. "Especially not to make him your boyfriend. He can be your boyfriend without the sex, and it's better if you know someone well as a partner before you take that step." Yes. Get to know him, good advice. For like. A hundred or so years, at least, and then maybe it would be okay. "And maybe by law you're at the appropriate age, but you're also still very young. Especially in our years, and the regular protections don't work for us. I can't even tell you what will work to avoid getting pregnant, and if you really like this boy, it's all the more likely to happen. So unless you're ready to be a mother, it might be something that has to wait until another time in your life. Gods know I'm not ready to be a great-grandmother yet, it really hasn't been that long since I became your grandmother."

Because for all that Lei acted the part of the teenager, strange urges and all, Adele couldn't separate out the fact that Lorelei was not chronologically a teenager. But.. she knew better than to tell the kid she couldn't do something. Best to just give her the consequences to consider, and trust she would make good choices.

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
16 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"Yes, that would be easiest..." Lorelei agreed with a nod at her grandmother's words, though soon after she worried at her lip with her teeth as her gaze shifted off to the side a little, "But, what if my words tangle? I find my articulation ceases to function properly when I begin trying to speak about things of that kind of personal nature with him. I trip over my sentences and the result is that I become flustered and then try to change the subject because... I do not know. Words have never failed me before. So why with him?" The forlorn expression she offered the older woman was almost heartbreaking, and it was perhaps understandable why it would bother her so, considering Lorelei had been running rings around adults for a number of years now, even when she was in a child form. Her intelligence had already been that of an adult long before her growth had increased to match it at least a little better.

"I do definitely wish for him to only be my boyfriend," At least Lei was well aware of that as her lips pursed into a small frown, "The idea of him being as such with another, that I wish for him to be mine pains me in my chest." A hand lifted to rest over her heart, and though one could perhaps consider she was being overly dramatic, Lorelei had never been one for that kind of thing. She only ever spoke the earnest truth of what she felt, and although she was aware of how illogical it should have been that she could feel this way, it was what it was and now that she was actually opening up to someone about it she couldn't deny the truth. "I have kept inside to myself my feelings from many, for fear that I am still viewed as a child," She said softly as she looked to Adele with concern.

"But I am how I am meant to be," Lorelei murmured, before then taking a soft breath and trying to relax a little, despite the concern and wariness in her gaze. She knew that her family would have difficult for years to come, in seeing her as anything but the child they had known before she had grown so. But she hoped that at least being earnest with Adele would afford some kind of understanding that she was not simply reacting to 'hormonal urges' alone. Even though they did play some part, she knew. "I do know that I am not ready for child, and have no wish for any for many years to come yet," Lorelei said easily as she watched the woman, "I know if my heart that no matter if this is a boy I will care most for in my life, or if he is not, that I do not wish for children with anyone. Not now, not until I do know for certain that it is something I would want in my life. I have many things I must do before my heart is open to such ideas. I am too selfish in my own goals and wants to even consider it." She nodded easily, deep understanding in her gaze.

"But... I know that talking must be done first and foremost. Anything else... I suppose will depend," The teenager pursed her lips slightly, but then looked toward Adele a few moments curiously, "What was special about Grandpa, that you became pregnant to him? But yet not special enough to stay with him?" The girl asked, the subject change hardly surprising, though perhaps likely out of a need to understand on some level the difference between various relationships.

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"You're flustered because you like him," Adele teased softly. "Maybe write him a note? I can deliver it if you like..." her eyes sparked a wicked blue. She was rather curious as to who the lucky boy was, where he lived, and if she would really get arrested for locking him in a dungeon until Lorelei found something else to occupy her mind. Surely no jury would convict her? Not once she explained that her precious granddaughter was growing up too fast. Even if Lei had grown up in the usual way, it still would be too fast. 

"It's not... always as simple as what our hearts want, either," Adele shook her head. Lillian's theory was close, and yet it wasn't foolproof. Adele knew that from experience. She couldn't explain how Lauren came about, for example, she didn't remember a moment. A thought. She certainly hadn't wanted children at the time, she hadn't wanted Alan. So why had it happened? And while Lorelei may be focused on her own goals, while she may have absolute belief in her heart that she wanted no children yet, Adele couldn't guarantee that would work. Especially when teenage hormones had a tendency to create those little pockets of perfect happiness that might serve as the right connection. 

"Any time you choose to have sex, it's going to be a possibility. Even if you're incredibly careful and keep your thoughts guarded, there's always, always a chance." Adele gave her a smile, as long as Lorelei made her choices with all of the information, that would be enough. Jezebel might kill her, but... Adele could run. Fast if she needed to.

Lei's question was one for thought, though. She didn't want to disappoint the poor girl, who so absolutely seemed to believe that children could and should only be born of love and connection. How did you break that idealistic idea, tell her that it had been convenience, a warm place to sleep. 

"He made me feel.. safe," she answered after a moment. "In a way that was very rare at the time. But I wasn't right for him, and I knew that. So I left."

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
16 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"I know that," Lorelei said softly, though her cheeks flared a bright pink at Adele pointing it out to her in such a teasing way, as though she were getting some kind of enjoyment out of Lorelei's personal dilemma of having a crush on a boy. At the offer to deliver a note, however, the girl's eyes widened and she shook her head vehemently. Not even she was naive enough to think that there wouldn't be some kind of secondary reason for Adele wanting to know who this boy was. And she certainly didn't want to think that the woman would go reading her private feelings that she wanted to say to him. Or even worse, lock him away somewhere! Though, she realised that now that Adele was aware she was fond of someone, if she asked a few questions to the right people, then she might work it out. "I-I will take care of it," Lei said softly, a little self-consciously.

"You do not believe Lillian is correct in believing that our heart has a moment of wanting such, and that is why it occurs?" The teen tilted her head a little at her grandmother. If that wasn't how it worked, then how? Certainly, from most of the stories she'd heard of how those of her kin came about, there was always a moment, even just a split second, where it was something wanted. She was quite determined to not want children, no matter how happy someone might make her. There was too much else to worry about, and she knew she was definitely in no position to be able to handle anything that required so much responsibility and sacrifice. She had to take on the warning, however.

"I... that is something I shall keep in mind," Lei agreed with a few small nods and a thoughtful expression. Surely there were some standard ways that could still be a little effective? Whether or not there were, she was at least aware that there was a risk regardless. It was more knowledge than her own mother had at her age, and was any miracle that Jezebel hadn't been pregnant at an even younger age than when she had Lorelei. Their strange fertility was an odd thing indeed, something which made Lei curious of their origins and why they were as they were. She did listen to Adele's words on Stuart though, and offered a small nod, even if there was still some form of confusion in her features as she thought on what she had been told.

"Well, I am happy that he did make you feel safe. And that he does continue to do so. It is good to have those in your life who you are able to rely upon to be there for you no matter what, and not out of obligation, but because they simply care about you," Lorelei smiled softly at her grandmother, "Even if you were not right for him then, you are both very good for one another now. I'm happy that you are close."

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"I don't think that's the whole of it. Or it's unpredictable with different bloods, I don't... know. I don't know enough to tell you anything that would eliminate that risk entirely, so just. Be prepared. For all the outcomes." Adele gave her a weak smile. She really wasn't ready to be a great-grandmother. Not even slightly. 

She knew, as well, that it chafed at Lorelei every time they reminded her of her chronological years. Knew the girl was too smart, too forward-thinking, too accustomed to being a level above those around her that it would always be difficult to give her advice. Always be difficult to ask her to slow down, step back, she was rushing so fast into an adult life, Adele wasn't sure it was healthy. Mental ability and the presence of an old soul was one thing, but lived experience was another.

"Sweetheart, when I was your age---your actual age---Mamiere and I fled to the Outside. Before that, she did everything she could to shelter me from what was happening. Much as I hated it, hated feeling left out of it all, once we were out here, all of that went away. She couldn't do it anymore, I had to grow up to keep up, and I would have done anything to go back to playing hide-and-seek in the rose garden. I know you're frustrated by the way we see you sometimes, but that's our job. To protect you, until we can't anymore. To give you as much time playing hide-and-seek as we can." Adele shifted in her seat, her eyes just a little watery.

"And you're clever. You're strong. But some things need time, and experience, and a lifetime to really understand. You have so much time to make mistakes and learn your own way, make use of it, okay? Even Mother will tell you that. I have lived through wars, epidemics, poverty, and one disaster after another and the one true thing I can tell you, is to take your time. Some decisions can't be unmade. Most actions can't be undone. Choose each course, no matter what it is, with care. You won't always choose right, but you can always say you tried."

Lecture, lecture. When did she become like this? It felt nigh on responsible. But something Lorelei said made her sit back, momentarily confused.

"We are?" she asked, wondering where that had come from. "I wouldn't really say that, sweetheart, I mean... there's... complications, you know..."

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
16 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"I understand..." Lorelei nodded gently, her gaze shifting to the desk in deep thought. She was aware that she was still young, very young, in comparison to her elders. She knew that she didn't know everything, that there were experiences she had yet to live through. Was it so bad that she had a crush like this though? Perhaps it was bad that she was thinking of things that those around her weren't prepared to have her thinking about. "You can see why I did not go to Mamiere to talk about this?" She asked softly of Adele. Her mother would have probably burst into tears, or tried to tell Lorelei outright that she didn't know what she was thinking. More likely the former than the latter. Jezebel had been taking it hard, everything that had happened with her eldest. Because of what had happened before Lei was even born, her mother was protective and held onto her for dear life, afraid to lose her.

"Grandmiere..." The teen said softly as she observed her grandmother as she spoke, saw the beginnings of tears gloss her eyes, and she stood up delicately and wandered around the desk, before carefully sitting on the older woman's lap and wrapping her arms around her in a hug. She didn't want to make people cry, or cause them pain. She realised the tears weren't just about her, that they were of a woman who wanted more for her own family than what she'd had. "I will try not to grow up too quickly, but I... cannot help feeling how I feel. I want to be who I am now, I feel more comfortable in my skin than I did before. But, I promise I am not too old to still play hide and seek with my siblings. Can I not still have youth as well as the development of my circumstances?" She tried to offer a gentle smile to Adele before giving her a kiss to the forehead.

"You are correct, I know there are decisions that I am not ready for and I do wish to take the days as they come. Ever was I born to be a wanderer, unable to remain still. But you can rest comfortably in the knowledge that I will at least come to you for advice whenever I am thinking about decisions, yes?" Lorelei tilted her head at Adele, her gaze full of warmth, love and admiration for the older woman. "I have no grand plans to jump into situations without at least speaking with you or Mamiere. This lesson I have already learned. At a cost, but still learned," She then tilted her head at her grandmother, the look of mild confusion causing some manner of amusement.

"There are complications in all aspects of life... but it does not take from the fact that you are always content and comfortable when you are together, and offer that which the other needs," Lorelei offered a gentle shrug and a small mysterious smile.

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Lorelei was in her lap, and Adele hugged her tight. It still felt weird, the girl being this big. Adele knew that Lei had been struggling in her younger body, and that this was all much better for her. She worried, though. Always worried. Lei hadn't had the years to build up resilience, she was still so new to the world. There was an important aspect to childhood, the way it gave people time to grow into themselves, to learn how the world worked before throwing themselves into it fully. 

"You can, sweetheart," she said, tucking Lei's hair back behind one of her ears. "That doesn't mean I'm not going to worry for you. That's my job. And I don't worry because you're not physically big enough, or clever enough, or strong enough. I worry because there are things in this world that are deeply unpleasant, consequences that can impact the rest of your life... things I don't want you to be burdened with too soon in your life. And you'll always be too young for me to stop worrying about that, always. And your mother..." Adele's smile quirked up at the corners.

"She's new to this too, remember. Your aging up didn't just change you, sweetheart. It changed us all. We need to work out what our place is in your life now, what role we play in it. It's different to when you were small. We're not quite sure what to do yet, what you're able to handle and what you can't. What we still need to protect you from. You can tell your mother things, even things like this. It's probably better if you do, really," Adele added with a sigh. "She's likely very worried you're outgrowing your need of her."

But at least Lei had promised to talk first, and jump later. Adele wasn't sure how long that would last with all the teenageness that was also happening. It was nice to think that's at least what Lorelei intended. She nodded, but was still confused on the subject of Stuart. There was no doubting that yes, she felt comfortable around Stuart. It was hard not to. And he supplied a certain, grounded feeling that helped on her crazier days. He was also part of the whole mess that was their lives, and while he may not have understood all the details, Adele was glad for someone to vent to on occasion. Someone who didn't short-circuit at the twisted and convoluted paths that had led them here.

The way Lei spoke made it sound as though Adele also gave him something, though. Which couldn't be true. Adele couldn't think of a single benefit she had brought to Stuart's life, aside from the girls. They were people in their own right now and she had merely birthed them. 

"I've not really got much to offer, certainly not anything he might need," Adele sighed. "I'm just glad he tolerates me most days, really."

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