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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Post at least once with the same character every day for a month.


Owlish and Confused
September 14th, 1888 — Owl Emporium

Thaddeus should have known that owls only lived so long. It was a matter of logical reason, but he had imagined that Cicero would live forever. How many letters had his beloved screech owl, a gift for his graduating Hogwarts, carried? All of missives to Josephine containing discussions of philosophy and magical antiquity, and later letters expressing a deep love and affection for her above all others -- his dearest and best friend, the Platonic other half of his soul.

It had been a shock to find poor Cicero dead earlier in the week, and Thaddeus had stubbornly waited to see about getting another owl. Eventually the need for one won out over loyalty: it was simply more practical to rely on one's own owl than the post, especially for sending notice outside of regular hours.

The owl emporium was dim, and Thaddeus was busy inspecting the owls when a loud hissing came from a dark corner. Lost in his own thoughts, the hiss startled him and he jumped, jostling into another customer. "Goodness, surely there is not a snake in here," he exclaimed, then blushed red to his hairline -- a snake in an owl emporium would be extremely unlikely, and how could he be so silly?

Rotating avatars courtesy of Bree! <3
Another year, another unsuccessful season as a debutante. Though her failures in that area had been a constant since her coming out ball, Audrey was not any more used to the sting that came with watching other women her age enjoy courtship and marriage while she remained single. Each time wore on her more and more, and she was quite close to giving up for the sake of finding something more productive to do than mope and wait for an appropriate man to notice her. Of course, her mother would never suffer hearing such talk, so she kept those thoughts to herself.

In lieu of expressing her social frustrations, Audrey scrapped up little ways to keep herself busy. Shopping was her general go to and, on this particular day, she found herself in the owl emporium. Not her usual scene, but she needed to pick up some supplies for her owls and it never hurt to look at what was on offer. With her chaperone lingering at the head of the aisle chatting with someone she knew, Audrey was free to examine the owls at her leisure.

An awful sounding hiss came from somewhere behind her, but she would have completely ignored it had it not been punctuated by another patron bumping into her. A disgruntled look crossed her face at the disturbance. The look quickly faded, making way for a kind of amusement at the man's words. "Heavens, I would hope not." She paused, eyeing him while trying hard to keep her mouth from curling up into a smirk. "You don't know much about owls, do you, sir?" A complete guess, but one she thought was appropriate based on the circumstances.

Thaddeus Davies

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Thaddeus looked down, and then down further still -- the lady before him was positively diminutive, but that was not the most striking thing about her. She was beautiful in both the English and non-English senses: as well-turned out as any English society miss, but her features were exotic. It was an intriguing juxtaposition, and Thaddeus felt his face go hot with a blush at being caught by such a pretty woman.

"I, uh," Thaddeus stammered ineloquently, his thoughts going in so many directions that he was at at once unable to corral them into a clever thought. And perhaps that was the most embarrassing thing of all -- he was a very smart man and generally clever, and to be shocked into stupefied stammering by a pretty woman was mortifying. He blushed an even deeper shade of red and fished in his pocket for a handkerchief, clearing his throat into it discreetly.

Somewhat more composed, he shook his head. "Certainly not. I was atrocious at Care of Magical Creatures in school." Thaddeus hazarded a small grin. "I suppose you know much of owls, Miss? Perhaps you might know the best breed for a house owl?"

Rotating avatars courtesy of Bree! <3
Audrey smiled gently at the man's embarrassment, quietly amused rather than mocking. She didn't blame him for being wary of the sound that had startled him initially. Had she not been familiar with it, it would have put her on edge as well. Besides all that, there was something flattering about inspiring such a response in a man for her, a debutante who had thus far gone unnoticed by the opposite sex.

"Well, I'm not an expert, but I have picked up some information while looking into how to care for my own owls over the years." That was an understatement of her knowledge, but Audrey was of the opinion that it was unbecoming of a lady to engage in any behavior that could be perceived as boastful. "The hissing you heard - that's a barn owl, most likely. They tend to make that noise when they feel threatened or are otherwise disturbed. I've owned one since I was a child, so I'm quite familiar with the sound." She knew very well how unpleasant it could be to hear - it had frightened her terribly when she was younger. Now, she was used to it and usually waved the racket off when her persnickety owl got its feathers ruffled by something inconsequential. While she wasn't bothered, her new acquaintance had been and she wanted to assure him that there was nothing to worry about.

"As far as the best breed for a personal owl ... it depends on your temperament, I think. In general, owls are high maintenance creatures, and individuals do also have particular variations in personality that affect their behavior. To start, you'll probably want to look for one that's friendly, that responds well to being approached by a stranger. So, not the poor thing who was making that awful noise earlier," Audrey joked. "Did you have anything specific in mind, Mister ...?"

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The lady might have looked like she had stepped off of a fashion plate, but the revelation of her depth of knowledge sent a quiet, pleased thrill through Thaddeus. He just found it easier to relate to people (but especially women) when the person in question had some kind of intellectual acumen. Discussing frocks, hat pins, and Witch Weekly were things Thaddeus found incredibly boring, after all.

"Mister Davies, at your service." He smiled at her, a bit more confidently now. "Friendly would be for the best. My old screech owl, Cicero, passed away recently - I was looking for a replacement." He turned to survey the owls in the owl cage, not really knowing what specifically to look for, but figuring something would jump out at him (figuratively speaking, not literally!).

"Do you have many owls, Miss? I suspect you did outstanding in Care of Magical Creatures; you seem the type that animals would love." That was (fortunately?) not Thaddeus; maybe she would get along swimmingly with Percy? Lord knew that Percy's mother and sister were so keen on finding him a match that they would thank Thaddeus for pointing them in this lady's direction.

Rotating avatars courtesy of Bree! <3

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