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Fern-hunting parties became popular, allowing young women to get outside in a seemingly innocuous pursuit with less rigid oversight and chaperoning than they saw in parlors and drawing rooms. They may have even had the occasional romantic meetup with a similarly fern-impassioned beau. — Bree


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Complete a twelve-post thread in which each post has exactly twelve words. At least three posts must be your own.

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Under Pressure
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25 May, 1888 — Oakshire Hall, Study
Insanity laughs
Under pressure
We're breaking

To say that Tiberius had been rattled by his wife's revelation a few days earlier would have been an understatement of the most dramatic kind; he was utterly shattered. He had built his entire life around the premise that he was not just different from the masses but also better; that sense of superiority was closely tied to his own sense of self-worth. A challenge to the idea, no matter what quarter it came from, left him more or less a man in crisis. Accordingly, he hadn't slept in the past five days — not more than a quick hour-long nap here or there, at any rate — and was pushing so hard to try and finish all of the preparations he needed to before beginning the next phase of the animagus study on the upcoming full moon.

It wasn't going to happen. He'd know that, really, from the moment that he'd looked up exactly when the next full moon was in his lunar almanac. Five days was not enough time to turn lazy, half-assed studying into an actual dedicated approach, no matter how little he slept, and he was very quickly approaching the full moon. Although it was full enough to affect lycanthropes for a full three days, it was only technically full for a much shorter period — less than one full night — and while nothing explicitly said the window was only open on the actual full moon, he didn't want to waste over a month on the off-chance that it might work if he was starting the process when the moon was almost full. He wanted to do this (now, anyway; he'd never taken a particular interest in it before his wife had humiliated him), but he wanted to do it right; he had no interest in ending up with a pair of goat legs or some hideous deformity or, worst of all, dead.

He watched the clock. There was no way he was going to finish, but he wouldn't let himself stop until he'd actually missed the moon. The minutes ticked by. The last wakefulness potion he'd taken was wearing off, and he could feel his mental capabilities starting to slip into sluggishness. He glanced at the clock again. It was over, now; the sun would be up in an hour. He'd need to drag himself about his bedroom after that, putting on fresh clothes and shaving, then report in to the Ministry — though he had abandoned all of his other tasking and projects in favor of continuing to prepare for the Animagus transformation there, as well. Another day — or really, another month. He couldn't move forward now until the next full moon. Exhausted, he closed his eyes, folded his arms across his desk, and laid his head down.

Merlin take her straight to hell, he thought angrily, and fell asleep.
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   Antigone Lestrange, Bella Scrimgeour
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June 23rd, 1888
It had been over a month since Tiberius had needed to resort to an Unforgiveable Curse to chase his wife out of his study, and he hadn't loosened the constraints of that Curse yet. She would know what had happened, once he waived the spell, and the first place that she would come would be to his study, he was sure, to continue gloating over her magical conquest. He didn't want to see her or talk to her until they were once more on equal footing — which was bound not to happen at least for another month, since he needed a full moon to start and end the process of holding the mandrake leaf in his mouth. Merlin take this potion and this entire bloody process straight to hell. He hated everything about it, but he couldn't give up, nor could he afford to cut any corners when he was gambling with his physical being in the meantime.

(And what the hell was he going to do if his Animagus form ended up being something entirely underwhelming? He supposed killing her was always still an option, if he ended up the mouse to her oversized, deformed cat — but such a waste of time and effort, especially at this juncture).

He had missed the last full moon but he was ready now; he had been finishing the preparations for this moment for the past three days. He knew the most exact time of the perfectly full moon that it was possible to know, and he had a fresh mandrake plant growing under glass in his windowsill. The only thing missing was the damn moon.

Well, not missing; he supposed it was up there somewhere, but it was certainly not visible, above the heavy rainclouds that had rolled in an hour before sunset. He had already decided to wait up the entire night, in case they cleared enough to provide him a beam of moonlight, but the thunder rolling around the house sounded anything but optimistic on that front.

Fuck. What was he supposed to do now? He could not keep up this state of living indefinitely, avoiding his wife and forcing her, through magic, to avoid him as well. The cloud cover tonight forced at least two more months into the project, and there was no promise (with England's weather history, particularly) that next month would be any better.

Fuck. He had to leave, he decided. Apart from giving him an excuse not to interact with Antigone, it would give him more time to devote to the study of the transformation itself — and the freedom to chase the full moon wherever he needed to, when it occurred next month.

He kept one eye on the sky, but spent the rest of the night making preparations for a long trip. He didn't intend to return until this whole goddamn mess was over.

Even with everything that he had done over the past year to keep Antigone alive, and to preserve the illusion that she would be able to continue her duties as a wife, a part of him hoped she met with some tragic fate while he was away.


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