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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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Veni, Vidi, Vici
#1
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2nd August, 1888 — Borgin & Burkes, London
Kristoffer Lestrange
What the fuck was she supposed to do with this?

The letter in her hand contained the usual books list – longer this year than ever before thanks to OWLs – a reminder to parents that the first day of term would occur on the same damned day it always did, and a small metal badge that sat in the palm of her hand. The sheer unlikeliness of its arrival was staggering and Trixie had forced herself to forget it even existed before today. Girls like her didn’t get to prefects: she had been sure it would be the wolf-lover and she would spend a term miserably avoiding getting punished for no reason.

The bell above the shop door drew her out of her reverie and she looked up from her late letter (late because her brother had lost it rather than the Head of House sending her letter via senile owl) only to find a most unexpected, but welcome, face. Generally speaking their customers were of a certain kind and that kind almost always had a degree of grubbiness that matched the shop perfectly, but to see Mr Kristoffer Lestrange strolling into the shop, looking like a cocky Adonis made flesh, one would have thought Borgin and Burkes was a suite at the bloody Sanditon!

“It seems I’ll be joining your lot soon enough,” she said by way of a greeting, holding up the prefect badge that was the navy twin of the one she had seen attached to his chest. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad after all? They had their own bathrooms and excuses to be out after hours… “Shame I won’t be able to send certain people to the stocks for the whole of term,” she added with a roll of her eyes that turned into an ingratiating smirk, nodding towards a pile of wood in the corner of the shop. “Ours make you reveal all your secrets.”


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#2
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By this point, he had cycled through the five stages of grief in a whirlwind and landed straight back on denial when he woke up again, because his Head Boy badge had still not arrived (assuredly with a grovelling apology letter for the mix-up, now) so there had to be some disgusting mistake.

In desperate need of distraction, Kristoffer had stalked down Knockturn Alley, near-oblivious to everything around him, and pushed his way into Borgin & Burke's, supposing this would cheer him up or set him on the path to vengeance nicely; either way.  

Seeing Miss Borgin sent a pleasing thrill through him, at least, although one that was sharply punctured by her news, illustrated by the prefect badge she had in her hand. His expression - a smirk, surprise surprise - twisted into a frown ever so briefly, because this was news that was now bittersweet, and the barest reminder might send him reeling back into a sulk. However, Miss Borgin was someone - almost despite himself - he had every inclination to impress, and so he smirked back, a little more magnanimously than usual. "Congratulations. I suppose it's good to see they haven't completely lost their minds handing those out." After that, Kris scoffed aloud, grateful to be able to glance towards the stocks she pointed out so he could disguise the bitterness in his face before he leered back her way. "You'll have to make up for the rest of them, stocks or no." (Perhaps there was something in here that they could get away with using, at least.)  

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   Atticus Sharpe


#3
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Frowning Trixie didn’t waste a moment wondering what he meant. She doubted she would discern it from simply staring at him, pleasant though the activity was, and it barely took her a moment to realise that his congratulations might be genuine enough but he was definitely put out about something and it wasn’t her. The thought gave her a thrill.

“What do you mean they’ve lost their minds?”

She would hazard a guess that Frida was a prefect too, as she doubted the head of Hufflepuff had the imagination to choose anybody else, but that wasn’t that bad was it? She was innocuous enough in Trixie’s estimation but on the other hand Frida wasn’t her sister – silently hating ones siblings was an art she had mastered herself after all.

“Have you heard who got the other ones?”

Senace Lestrange for Slytherin she would guess. That was fine wasn’t it, even if the student staff team were threatening to be made up almost entirely of Lestranges? And he was Head Boy clearly, so… oh. She had forgotten.

Bloody idiots.


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#4
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He wasn’t sure whether it was better or worse that she had to ask, because now he had to admit it aloud, and that was rather like getting a bludger to the groin every time it happened.

“Well, Frida,” he said first, which was not to say they’d lost their minds, only that they’d been scraping at the bottom of the barrel. This might be a turning point for his sister, a chance for her to make something of herself; more than anything, Kristoffer was put out by the fact that she hadn’t offered him nearly enough of the commiseration he deserved about...

“And Turner, Head Boy,” Kris declared, each word heavy with disdain. He was Miss Borgin’s housemate, so perhaps she would defend that choice: of course, if she did, that would merely be another disappointment to add to the cartload, at this point - just another bloody waste of his time.

He hoped she wouldn’t be, or at least that she wouldn’t have the nerve to laugh in his face, but he daren’t risk any seeming any more vulnerable than he already had, ‘til he knew. “S’pose I should get him something in congratulations,” he added sardonically, scuffing the nearest object-for-sale with a careless kick and looking away from the stocks for something more - suitable.


#5
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Turner had always seemed like a sanctimonious little shit to Trixie – she knew him primarily by sight in the common room but was quite prepared to downgrade him in her estimation for the sake of joining Mr Lestrange in outrage. What on earth was their buffoon of a headmaster thinking?

“We’ve plenty of lovely things that bring on paroxysms or we can source a poison of your chose within a fortnight,” she replied with a nasty grimace, making a mental note to wipe down the object he had scuffed. She didn’t mind herself of course but her father would notice and Trixie didn’t at all fancy being in his bad books. Although if she told him it had been from the boot of a Lestrange there was every chance he’d frame it.

“I expect they feel sorry for him. Someone told me his mother was chucked in an asylum then couldn’t even die properly.” Which made sense – Trixie was convinced you’d have to be mad to come back as a ghost, but with the miserable, mawkish Grey Lady as her primary example it was hardly surprising.


[Image: peVXwN.png]
fabulously moody set by Bee <3
#6
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She hadn't laughed at him.

Rather, she had been matter-of-fact about answering his remark, and then proceeded to disparage their new Head Boy. Kristoffer's heart thumped perilously as he let out a laugh, eying Miss Borgin in profound relief. She had been remarkable back at Hogwarts, certainly - and maybe it was only the dim mustiness of this shop - but here she seemed even more dazzling, bright and scintillating and sharp, than before.

"You think he'd be coward enough to come back as ghost too?" Kris wondered with a snort. He could float about Hogwarts forever that way, an eternal Head Boy, and good for nothing else. It was a tempting sort of irony, Kristoffer wouldn't lie. That was how he had to think of it, of course: Turner was head boy now, in a context that meant nothing down the road. In a few years, all of one's school past would be forgotten, and Kris would be damned if Benjamin Turner made something greater of himself in adulthood than a Lestrange.

Unfortunately, there was much less satisfaction in the delayed gratification of one day besting him than in the thrilling idea of poisoning him tomorrow. Still. "Paroxysms, you say?" Kristoffer added with raised eyebrows in interest, managing a devious smile and to not feel sorry for himself for a moment. Miss Borgin was just the person he had needed to see.


#7
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Trixie felt her insides flutter and she could only put it down to finding another person who agreed that ghosts were nothing more than filthy cowards. Anything else was a bit too frightening even for Trixie to contemplate, especially when she already knew it was a worthless thing. But she could still indulge in conversation couldn’t she? Burke had been finding opportunities to bother her more than ever of late and she felt physically ill every time his watery eyes fixed on her for too long.

It wouldn’t be so bad but for the fact he seemed incapable of opening his mouth without fucking nonsense spilling out. Her mother said she made him nervous, that boys were prone to it at Burke’s age, but Trixie thought he was indisputably simple-minded. Kristoffer Lestrange could entertain her well enough and his devious eyes didn’t make her recoil at all.

“Pa says some of the most painful poisons in the world are the undetectable kind that make it look like someone’s just had a fit,” she replied knowledgably. Of course he had never said this around Trixie’s mother which did make her wonder whether he was lying, or else didn’t want Ma to know for some reason. “But they’re dead quick so no fun at all,” she grinned back slyly, thrilled by not knowing whether they were really speaking in jest or not. She might do whatever he asked of her, but she wasn’t sure yet.


[Image: peVXwN.png]
fabulously moody set by Bee <3
#8
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“I see,” Kristoffer replied, everything in his voice suggesting tell me more. He wouldn’t be surprised if the Borgins were not the only ones in the business of poisons - supposed there were any number of Lestrange relatives who might be educated enough in the subject to explain these things to him - but, given the choice, Kris thought he’d rather hear these things in Miss Borgin’s particularly dulcet tones anyday.

And she was quite right. No satisfaction in that. No fun at all. He would be satisfied to see bloody Mr. Turner offed, of course, but he didn’t fancy risking his own future in doing the honours, and there would be so little pleasure in it if he did not suffer some long drawn out humiliations first. “I quite agree,” he said lightly, supposing that even in that he would not want to be caught out as a culprit. And how would he get it to Turner, anyway? The nerd barely left the library, and he couldn’t put poison - or anything else - in a book. Perhaps by owl post? An anonymous gift, perhaps, something cursed -

He moved a little closer in to Miss Borgin under the pretext of eyeing an item beside her, although his attention was scarely on it. “But if anything were to happen to that kind of end, Miss Borgin,” he said - all theoretical at this point, of course - “it would be a pity if any word were to get out. I hope you’d not be too duty-bound by your new badge and give me up, would you?” He was still smiling at her, though there was a pointed seriousness now underneath. (If her loyalties lay there, of course, there was always the fact that things might just as easily get sourced back to here, and her.)


#9
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Very little in the world made Beatrix Borgin nervous but apparently the lessening of space between her and one Mr Kristoffer Lestrange was one such thing. She almost resented it and probably would have done had the culprit been anybody else – as it was she licked her dry lips and tilted her head to glance at the item he was eying. It was boring, even by her father’s standards, which set a flutter in her heart before her head had processed the implications. Some boys were just friendly. This was not one of those boys. If Kristoffer Lestrange was stepping closer then it was for a reason.

Her lips were already dry again.

“Don’t let this bit of tin fool you,” she replied, fingering the badge with less interest that she had before now that there was something much more interesting to play with. “I’d sooner die than be a snitch.” In their line of work it was bad for business to do so after all, and she couldn’t imagine anything in the world that would compel her to break her family’s rule of law, especially not when it would be Mr Lestrange she was turning in. “Especially…” She stopped herself before the thought could come out, not at all keen on how it sounded in her head. “Especially not for Turner’s sake.”


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