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Did you know?

The Language of the Flowers was a popular method to express feelings where words might be improper, but did you know other means of doing so? Some ladies used their parasols, as well as their fans, gloves, and hankies to flirt with a gentleman (or alternatively, tell them to shove it!). — Bree


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Ester Montgomery for Thomas Montgomery. The one that got away (with the pornographer...)
This boy, then. He wasn't new. Wasn't one of the worst people in the common room, those rotten rich boys - like Mr. Jailkeeper - who could not fathom a world beyond their own farts. Was a good working class lad, so he'd heard. Had a bit of a weird looking face, and a bit of a weird thing for preaching. Still.

Aubrey Davis in The Under-Sofa


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Under Pressure
#1
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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
#2
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.
#3
October 5th, 1888
The summer away had given him the full moons that he was after, and the solitude necessary to keep the mandrake leaf secured under his tongue without arousing any suspicion. It had cost him his job at the Ministry, but frankly that bothered him very little; he assumed his uncle Lucius could get it back for him just as easily as it had been handed to him in the first place, if he needed it. The tasking he'd been given in the Department of Mysteries had been distracting and tedious, anyway, and he needed to focus on the task at hand.

Since his return to Britain over a month ago, potion in hand, he'd been ready to finish things. Tiberius had read everything in his father's library on the subject of Animagi, and he knew everything he needed to know. The only thing he was waiting on was the event; the impetus to make the transformation for the first time. He needed a lightning storm. He had been fairly confident that the fall in England would provide one and the dissipation of the magic-erasing fog had allowed him to return to wait one out, but now that he was here his patience was wearing thin more quickly than he would have thought. He avoided Antigone, but even living in the same house with her was too much for him. It was like he could feel her, somewhere in the house, gloating over her own success and his failure.

Finally, the days grew cloudier and the air heavier. The signs of the storm made him even more restless than he had been, until for days leading up to the first crack of thunder he barely slept more than two hours at a time — he'd be damned if he missed it. The lack of sleep was making him more irritable than usual, but he doubted anyone noticed. It wasn't as though he was paying social calls at a time like this, and his family may not have noticed any difference in his demeanor anyway. There were very few people he was ever genuinely genial with, and none of them lived in this house.

The rumble of thunder came in the afternoon, though the sky had darkened to the point where it seemed to be late evening. He apparated from the study to just beyond the edge of the woods on the property, so as to avoid being seen walking out into the storm — perhaps an unnecessary precaution, since for once he wasn't doing anything illegal, but he didn't want his wife to see him. She would know, anyway; she could not have missed the significance of the gathering storm.

He tried to push Antigone from his mind as he waited in the woods, watching the skies, but she kept returning to his thoughts. Would she seek him out after the storm to see whether he'd been successful? How would she react to no longer being the only one in the household who could transform at will? The idea that he might not be successful had never seriously occurred to him — the worst case scenario as he imagined it was only that his animal form might end up lower on the food chain than Antigone's overgrown housecat.

Lightning flashed in the sky, but too far in the distance. He wanted it to be overhead, to ensure he had the full effect for what he was about to do. After pacing the forest impatiently for a few moments waiting for the storm to move to him, he instead apparated, by small bits and pieces, to where it was instead. When he was satisfied that he'd chosen the prime position, he chanted that damn incantation once more (for the last time) and took the potion. Strange, that something that had taken so much time and effort could be devoured so quickly.

Should it have started already? He had only enough time to wonder, to think this entire event a little anticlimactic, before his body convulsed involuntarily. Something was happening — and it hurt.
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