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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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#1
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September 1st, 1888 — Hogwarts Grounds

He should have been here with them. He should have been there to bid the children off to their first day of school, arms around them, holding Eloise as she sniffled and teasing her that Christmas really wasn't so far away. Instead, he was off rutting around as a werewolf Merlin-knew-where and rather than face being alone in their house — her house — she had chosen to go to Hogwarts as well. As the Professor, of course, which was an unexciting prospect for all three of them. Besides, she needed the additional income. The children needn't know about that. It was better to let them think that she couldn't bear to live in a childless home.

She'd levitated their trunks to float behind them as they passed through the gate to Hogwarts. Most of the other children would be arriving by train, but not hers. Archer and Aria were receiving a personal escort from their mother. She wouldn't rob her youngest of his right of passage to ride the boats in with the other first years. That was where the trio were headed first. Then, she and her daughter would catch a ride on the carriages - Aria with her friends and Eloise likely alone in another.

Eloise wished to hold both their hands as they walked, but didn't extend her hand in either direction. It was an odd feeling knowing that they would still essentially be living under the same roof, but be separated by societal standards. She couldn't show favoritism or act like their mother. She would be their professor first and it was only when they were home on the holidays that she would be their mother.

"Did you remember to pack your underthings, Archer?" She asked as they walked along, boots crunching the gravel beneath them, "Straighten your hat Aria, it looks as if it's about to slide right off."


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#2
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Part of Archer was grateful that he was being accompanied by his mother and sister. He was apprehensive about going away to school and only visiting their home during holidays. It would be comforting, in a way, to be able to see at least a few familiar faces, even though he was sure he'd embarrass and disappoint them. He already thought he did.

On the other hand, Archie was sure the three of them already being seen together would only feed the humiliation of having their mother at school. What if she said something awkward in front of their peers? What if his mother tried to hug him or fix his hair? As much as he hoped she would treat him like any other student, he wasn't sure if his heart could handle the detachment. Then again, he was somewhat used to the change in both Aria and his mother since father's departure.

It would be much more simple with just Aria. Plenty of other students had siblings at the school. It helped that she was a bit older, and they wouldn't attend the same classes. It was also highly likely he wouldn't end up in the same house as her. He was a skittish little field mouse who couldn't possibly end up in Gryffindor. He could more easily speak with her, if she let him, since they would both be students.

With his shoulders hunched, Archer hurried to keep up with them. He looked as if he were about to say something, but Eloise beat him to it.

Mortified, the youngest Belby stared about to be sure nobody else had heard his mother's question, and he squeaked out, "Y-yes. Of...of course."

Maybe they should have taken the train.
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#3
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Aria was horrified by the prospect of her mother being at school with them, mostly because many of her school troubles - socializing, getting along with others, etc. - was caused by the scandal that haunted their family. With her mother there, it would only be a greater reminder that, yes, her father had abandoned their family after becoming a werewolf. Surely were mother was undermining how cruel students could be!

She wouldn't admit it, but she was worried for archer: worried about his schoolwork, worried about the friends he might not make - worried about, worried that he wouldn't fit in. He was a sweet, likable boy, but he could be skittish and she was afraid people might take advantage of that part of him.

Things were not starting off good, in her opinion. Their mother had given them an escort instead of allowing them to ride a train - a privilege to some, the most embarrassing thing in the world to her.

"My hat's fine," she grumbled, clearly irritated, as she messed with her hat. "It's -" What was a good excuse? "- fashionable, I guess. All the girls are doing it." Bullshit? Bullshit.



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#4
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Her children were already pulling away from her. Eloise resisted the need to reach out and snuggle them closer to her bosom, like she had done when they were babes. They weren't babes anymore. Aria was nearly a woman at fourteen and Archer had just begun Hogwarts. Had she been still married, she might have been at home, with child or caring for a newborn baby and not quite so lonely. Instead, she found herself employed and imposing on her children's independence.

"How impractical," She commented dryly to her obviously miffed daughter, "I at least hope that you've used a sticking charm or at the very least some hairpins to hold it there. I'm not purchasing you any more if you lose it to the wind." They weren't necessarily struggling for money, but they weren't well-off either. Their funds had dwindled more than tight-pursed Eloise was comfortable with, which meant that she had been quite sparing on which supplies the children received and which of them she refused to replace.

"Don't you worry about which house you'll be sorted into, Archer," Her eyes nearly went watery as she returned her attention to her youngest, "We'll be proud of you no matter what-" She had meant herself and their father, but considering that they preferred to act as if he didn't exist, she added quickly, "-your sister would be thrilled if you got Gryffindor of course, but Ravenclaw is just as acceptable. You know that's where I was sorted. Although Hufflepuff and Slytherin are just fine as well." Secretly, she hoped he'd be sorted into the same house as herself. Aria hadn't been, which had been a tiny disappointment, but she'd never voiced such things out loud.


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#5
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Archer tilted his head at Aria's poor excuse for why her hat was askew. Of course, he didn't have any clue about what was fashionable or not, so he couldn't tell for sure she was making things up. Either way, the boy stayed quiet, not wanting his sister miffed at him, making their situation even worse.

"I...I'm not worried," he fibbed and attempted to muster up a brave expression, but he only succeeded in appearing as if he were constipated or simply smelled something horrendous. He tried. Of course, he was worried. He didn't think he was Gryffindor material. He would just embarrass Aria; he had the bravery startled canary. Archie tried not to seem skeptical, but he wasn't so sure his sister would want him in her house.

"I guess we'll know soon." His stomach dropped at the thought.


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#6
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"Hmph," Aria replied, keeping her head lowed as they trekked towards the castle. Her hat was none of her mother's concern—or it wouldn't usually be, but now she'd decided to follow them to school as their Astronomy professor. Though she knew her mother was in need of a good, stable position, she could not help but hope she would leave her post before next year. Two years was a long time to face her mother in the classroom every day (and if she stayed, NEWT-level Astronomy wouldn't even be an option!).

She was hardly paying attention to her mother's ramblings, but the sound of her name made her glance down towards her younger brother. "So thrilled," she echoed in flat tone, making it clear that she would be less than thrilled. She'd already have to deal with her mother every day; she couldn't imagine relaxing in the common room with Archer sitting on the other couch.



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#7
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Eloise's lips pressed together thinly, quite annoyed at her daughter's obvious lack of interest in reassuring her brother's worries. They were supposed to offer each other support. They'd been through enough. In the past, Eloise might have let such disrespect slide. This new life that they lived had given her very little patience.

"Aria Antiope Belby," She hissed sharply, "You do not behave in such an unacceptable manner. Your brother is worried about his sorting. It is the least that you can do to offer him some comfort." It wasn't as if her father was here to offer any. She wasn't about to allow her daughter to follow his selfish footsteps. To put oneself above all else - even your family was heinous. No, she would teach both of her children the importance of staying true to your loved ones even if the lesson was harshly given.


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#8
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Archer didn't think much of Aria's reaction. He had also been hoping that perhaps they would end up in separate houses. He already planned to avoid her like the plague regardless of where he ended up. He knew he was embarrassing, and it made sense that she would want her space to be with her own friends. Also, the boy feared that others would think him a baby if he went to his sister about his problems.

When their mother chimed in, he visibly winced. He was of the opinion that Eloise tended to make mountains out of mole hills, but he would never express that opinion out loud. Instead, he just bashfully ducked his head and mumbled, "I-it's okay, r-really."

He glanced over at Aria and mouthed the word, 'Sorry.' His expression that accompanied it seemed to communicate that he really didn't mind. Although, something inside him did wish he had less tense and stressful relationships with his family members. It was sad when Aunt Begonia was a bit more easy to talk to than his mother and sister.


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