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 ( Submit your own)
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Brigit Langley for Fletcher Langley.
The Matchmaking Menace
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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Post 3+ times in three or more class threads during the course of a school year. Must all be done with the same character, be they a professor, student, or school portrait or ghost!

Making Amends by Not Making Amends
September 4th, 1888 - On the way to the Greenhouses after a non-descript class a.k.a the corridors
As their previous class finished, Paxton watched – no, glared – at Flora as she walked out of the room. He waited until she had left before running after her, practically dropping his books in the process as they headed to the greenhouses for their next class. He ran around and stopped dead in his tracks in front of her. She still looked annoying as ever as his eyes scanned her up and down, taking note of a small green bow she had put in her hair. Slytherin! Of course she was, he thought. What else would she be in? It made sense! Though seeing her with the small bow had his heart fall a little – just as it did when she was sorted on the day he arrived. He did kind of want her to be in the same house as him, even if they had more of a hate-hate relationship at this point.

“You haven’t spoken to me once!” Paxton pouted and turned on the balls of his feet so he could walk alongside Flora, knowing that if they were late she’d probably kick up a fuss and find some way to blame him, “I think it’s really rude that you haven’t even said hello! I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Ignoring that he left her lost in the resort, made fun of her, insulted her, didn’t help her, told her that the giraffes would eat her, and goodness knows what else… but hey, he didn’t think he did anything wrong – so that meant something… right?

Deep down, Paxton knew it didn’t and he knew he should apologise but he couldn’t. That would be like admitting he was in the wrong! Well, it would be exactly that. And he just was not willing to admit that yet.

Despite being separated from Rex, Flora was settling into Hogwarts - and Slytherin - rather well, save for a few interactions with the less-savory (i.e. poor) sort that she hadn't anticipated being forced to interact with on a daily basis. She did not think ill of girls like Miss Joella Wood, but neither could she imagine herself becoming friends with them; they were just too different, and Flora worried too much about offending them with her comments.

She had rationalized that being in Slytherin was confirmation that she was like Mama, and that was a good start. She'd wanted nothing more than to be like her Mama since she was a little girl, and now people would most certainly compare the two once she began to bloom into a grown woman. (Merriweather was also here, but Flora had not seen much of him since the night of her sorting. Though she did not want to consider that he was avoiding her, she could acknowledge that they were the opposite sex, with him being in his last year while she her first.)

One person she had been vehemently avoiding was Paxton Fudge. She was still upset with him from their time at the Sanditon, but also felt a strange sort of protectiveness over him - especially knowing Miss Bénet was also there. She did not have any problems with Gryffindor house as a whole (Uncle Beckett had once been there, and Carius Bulstrode - a nice boy, albeit one she didn't know well - was currently there), but they had a reputation for producing trouble-makers. Paxton Fudge was already a trouble-maker; he did not need to become more of one.

The last fact was made even more obvious when he confronted her following their previous class as she was preparing to to the greenhouses. She pulled her stack of textbooks against her chest nervously, freezing in place.

"Well - hello, then," she said, her voice a bit too high-pitched and obviously strained. "It's good to see you." It would be better to just see him rather than speak to him; she was in no mood to get into an argument - and , in the worse case scenario, lose points because of it! (Paxton Fudge knew how to set off her temper.)

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“What?” Paxton said confused with furrowed his brows at her immediate submission to his slight temper. Was she alright? Why wasn’t she arguing back? He looked to the floor briefly before stopping once again and looking back up toward her though this time, his expression was more worried and calculating. Had someone upset her? He didn’t like to think so!

See if he upset her, it was okay because they both (kind of) knew he was joking and he would make sure she was alright eventually but if someone else upset her then it was obviously because they were bullying her and that just was not nice! Not in the slightest.

“Are you okay?” He asked with his teeth tugging on the inside of his lip, “Because you don’t seem okay. Has somebody upset you?” Paxton’s tone turned a little as he scrunched up his nose and glared at the students walking past, “Was it, erm, Mr. Bulstrode?” Paxton nodded, “Because he smells funny.”

Paxton wasn’t entirely sure why he felt this sort of… defensiveness over Flora Mulciber. He just kind of did and accepted the fact. He considered them friends even if they argued with one another more often than enjoyed each others company.

“And also, why have you not been talking to me? I keep trying to talk to you!” And… He was back to glaring at her.

This was a whirlwind of emotions.

She was prepared to face almost every emotion in Mr. Fudge's body as he confronted her, but worry was not among them. His expression significantly softened, leaving Flora feeling very uneasy in his presence. He'd gone from pouty to accusatory to concerned in less than a minute's time - which, she realized, wasn't all that out of character for the temperamental Gryffindor, and probably helped explain why he'd been placed in that house to begin with.

(Still, it didn't making handling his ever-changing emotions any easier, so her frown remained.)

"Mr. Bulstrode does not smell funny," she responded, taken aback by his sudden condemnation of his dorm-mate. "And nobody has upset me." Nobody apart from him, but she held her tongue.

Flora had an image she wanted to protect as she formed an identity at Hogwarts, and it involved remaining calm, cool, collected, and perfectly respectable. Fights and bickering in the corridors (with a student of the opposite sex, no less!) was unacceptable in her opinion, and would not help her become a prefect like Mama. She was no longer a girl; she was a young lady, and being a young lady meant putting aside what remained of her childish attitudes. Her emotions were best kept close to heart and not on her sleeve - a piece of wisdom her governess had impressed upon her, but one that she'd disregarded in her limited, infuriating interactions with Mr. Fudge.

"I have thought it best that we remain..." What was a good word? Separated? Distant? Should she abandon the sentence entirety? "...in our own spheres," she finally decided, though it was a sentiment that did not come across as tactfully as she'd intended. She had her own friends, and she presumed he had his own (unless his parents had kept him locked up in the resort for most of his young life, which seemed unrealistic and almost cruel). And besides, it was not as if they had known each other for years; their friendship - if it could even be called that - was unimportant in the grand scheme of things, and she did not believe it meant much to him.

"Homework has kept me busy, anyways," she continued, feeling that stopping at her previous statement might evoke emotions from her she did not wish to see. "They say forming a solid foundation of magical knowledge in one's first year is essential to success in the later ones."

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Paxton was a bit dubious at her remark about being upset. He thought it best to ignore her comment about Mr. Bulstrode because it would have been awkward to ask how she knew he did not smell funny. Did she go round smelling random people? Perhaps. Paxton guessed she didn’t – she was much too refined.

When she decided to talk more about why she’d been avoiding him, Paxton felt his entire body get heavy for a moment. In our own spheres, she had said. What did that mean? She didn’t want to be his friend anymore? Sure, they didn’t always get on but Paxton surmised that was how friends operated. He didn’t have many friends – even at Hogwarts – and Flora was fun to be around. Why did she not want to be his friend anymore?

He opened his mouth to protest though before he could get a word out, Flora made up an excuse about homework and studying to which Paxton very visibly rolled his eyes and huffed. He didn’t care about whether she had homework – he did too! And he did it! And he still found time to speak to people and not avoid them and stick to his ‘own sphere’. He was hurt.

“Our own spheres? So we’re not friends anymore?” Paxton said somewhat aggressively. He didn’t mean to sound hurt and aggressive though he also didn’t mean to do half the things he did, “Because I thought we were friends and now you’re…” He paused before exhaling deeply, “Just because you’re in Slytherin, that doesn’t mean you get to act like you’re better than me or anyone. That doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, Miss Mulciber!”

To say this conversation was uncomfortable was an understatement; Flora struggled not to fidget, not to bite her lip, and not to do everything her governess had taught her was the mark of an ill-bred girl. "Well," she mumbled through her lips, her gaze dropping to the floor. "I don't think we can - I mean - well, you're always mean to me." It almost came out as a whimper - truly pathetic! Could she not hold her head up? Straighten her back? Had she forgotten everything her governess had taught her? Nearly six years of training, gone to waste!

Attempting to muster what courage she had, she managed to pull her head up to look him in the eye. "I don't think being in Slytherin makes me better than you." Being in Slytherin didn't make her better than Rex, a Hufflepuff. "I don't like it when you call me names, and I don't want to get into fights. We're all grown up now, Mr. Fudge - we're at Hogwarts. We need to be...civilized." (And by 'we', she meant him.)

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Watching her as she spoke, Paxton could see that she wanted to say – and do – so much more than she was though what she was saying hurt him as much as he’d been hurt before. Well, no. It wasn’t like that. It was much different.

Usually when he got hurt, Paxton could feel it on his body. Like when he fell over sometimes, his legs usually hurt or his arms hurt where he’d fall on them. This time was different… It sort of hurt inside of him. Like it was coming from his stomach or something. Especially when she said he called her names and stuff. That made him upset.

He looked to the floor then unsure as to what to say. He did have a plan before but now… now he kind of just felt bad and he didn’t like that feeling one bit.

Turning to look back at her, Paxton furrowed his brows and pouted a little.

“I am being civilized, Flora,” he almost huffed, “and I don’t call you names all the time and when I do I am joking! And and I’m…” And again, there was that feeling. He continued then though his voice sounded defeated and undeniably saddened, “I’m not mean.” He said as his eyes drifted back to the floor.

Why did she make him feel so bad so much of the time!? Nobody else did!

Flora's cheeks burned red when he called her by her given name, but she couldn't figure out if she felt embarrassed, offended, shocked, or flustered - probably all of the above. There were only a few boys who called her by her first name, and all were either close childhood friends or relatives of hers. (Not to mention there was something about the way Mr. Fudge said it; it was almost like he was trying to prove a point about her elitism, meaning she couldn't exactly call him out on it without further looking like an elitist. Urgh.)

"Well, you need to make it explicitly clear that your jests are in good humor," she chastised, her lips dipped into a frown. "Most girls don't like it when boys tease them. I certainly don't." It was different than being teased by her female friends - it brought with it a feeling of inadequacy, and Flora did not like that feeling.

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Pouting at the way she spoke to him, Paxton huffed. He – of all people! – was being told off by a girl. He didn’t oft get reprimanded by girls! Except the staffers at the resort… and his mother… sometimes his sister… and other adults. But not by someone his age who was in his year! It was embarrassing.

Though in the same breath, Paxton also found himself nodding as she spoke. He did, after all, like hanging around her and he wanted to be her friend and so if this was the price of it then he’d surely pay it.

“I.. Fine,” Paxton conceded, “I won’t tease you anymore, Miss Mulciber,” He said with a defeated sigh – returning to calling her by her family name now he was calmer, “Sorry.”

Merlin, why did he feel so bad right now?

Even through all the emotions swirling through her mind, Flora could tell she was decidedly pleased by his apology. It took a man—or in this case, a boy—of good character to set aside his pride and apologize for his misconduct, and she had no desire to think of Mr. Fudge as a boy of poor character. For all they bickered, he'd been one of the only children her age she'd interacted with during the long summer at the Sanditon.

She took a step forward and touched his shoulder with a gentle hand. "I accept your apology," she said, smiling ever so slightly, "and we can be friends. I didn't mean to upset you."

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Paxton felt his stomach swirl slightly as her hand rested gently atop his shoulder. He shuddered a little and moved back, nodding at her words. He didn’t like the idea of someone touching him. It felt weird. Nice, he supposed. But very weird. He was okay with randomly hugging people, though. That was fine. Not this. This just made him feel nervous… or nauseous… or… something.

“It’s okay,” he smiled, “and we can? Are you sure?” Paxton said quietly as his eyes shifted around awkwardly before fixing on hers with a beaming smile, “I’ll try to be a good friend. Promise.”

He was so friendly, she thought, her smile widening as he accepted her apology. He wasn't like other people; he didn't hold grudges and wouldn't make her feel bad for making him feel bad.

Flora nodded decisively. "I'm sure," she affirmed. "Besides, it's too early in the year to make an enemy out of someone who always meant to be my friend," she said, squeezing his shoulder once more before releasing it.

The sudden cry of an overhead owl caused her to figuratively zoom out from the conversation at hand. "Anyways, there's no time left for bickering. We're going to be late for Herbology@" she said, eyes wide as she turned and motioned for him to follow.

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