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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Questionable Friend/Crush for Philip Aymslowe.
When your mum thinks you're gay for your best friend (but you probably are)
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!

Rewrite the Stars
October 3rd, 1888 - Umbridge Residence, London

Febs was pretty sure that her mother had purposefully sent her a copy of the article. Ianthe had come in with it mid-morning, while Febs was sitting in the library of her temporary home and after reading it a few times, Febs left it on the table to simmer while she occasionally shot it resentful glares. Aside from that, she couldn't exactly complain about her current situation. A new library to tackle, plenty of time to herself, sharing a bed with the man she loved, there wasn't anything to complain about. The only thing she was still working on was that she really couldn't tell how his staff was handling this whole situation, but she was pretty sure she'd at least made friends with the butler. At least he came around every once in a while asking if she needed anything and made sure she was fed. Other than that though, she pretty much tried to stay out of the way as much as possible and that was easy to do with a brand new library at her disposal.

With a fire roaring in the fireplace and the clock on the wall signaling Edric would be home from work soon, Febs kept glaring at the newspaper and then back at her book, but she'd read the same paragraph three times now. Sighing in resignation, Febby gave up and instead turned to stare out the window at the rainy day outside from her new favorite window seat. Their meeting with her parents, once they'd plucked up the nerve to go to her house (out of necessity, she needed clothes after all!) had been... well, it had gone about as well as expected. Her father was almost unreadable, stoic silence usually his favorite form of disapproval while her mother had plenty to say on the situation and no matter how many times Febs explained herself, they didn't seem to want to understand. Without going into unnecessary detail, Febs had tried to assure them that this was something she wanted- that they wanted, that the Amortentia letters had likely just sped up the inevitable, but they didn't want to hear her. It was, decidedly unfortunate and a little upsetting, but it wouldn't deter her. Clearly they didn't know their daughter very well.

The sound of the library door opening pulled her from her reverie. Thinking it was the butler again, she was pleasantly surprised to find Edric there instead. A soft, genuine smile bloomed on her features as she greeted him, "Hello, Love. How was your day?"

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Edric's day had been less than pleasant. He hadn't thought work could get much worse than the morning of the 2nd, but then the 3rd had the nerve to come along and cause him even more stress. The Daily Prophet was always on the dining room table first thing in the morning, so there was no oblivious bliss on his way to work—but then he'd been bombarded by nosy coworkers with questions regarding the future of his marriage.

Like any dutiful employee, he'd managed throughout the day, spending the last hour or so preparing to go home and face his wife. He didn't want to seem angry or upset or insinuate that he wanted to annul their marriage, but it wasn't a topic they could avoid whether they loved each other or not.

However, it immediately became obvious how much he'd been truly dreading the conversation from the moment his eyes met Febby's. He flashed her a small smile in return, but his gaze dropped elsewhere a moment later.

"Busy. Apparently there was a skirmish between the lawyers in the Department, which was entertaining to hear about," he responded with a forced chuckle. "And you?"

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Febs closed the book in her lap, bookmark dutifully placed for later, when she would no doubt need to resume being some kind of distracted. She could already tell from the tone in his voice something was bothering him and that did not bode well for their evening.

Unsure of what to expect out of this, Febs asked warily, "Oh? What about?" They would certainly have to talk about the article that she'd purposefully tried to ignore all day and that he'd no doubt seen at some point. It was relevant to them after all, though she desperately hoped it wouldn't be. They didn't have to annul their marriage, the article just said they they could, if they wanted to. Which she didn't. Not at all.

"My day was alright, I think I finally made friends with the butler?" She shrugged a little sheepishly. As assertive as she could be, this wasn't really her home, despite everyone's insistence otherwise and she was not about to go stepping on anyone's toes. "Mom sacked Mrs. H, though."  Febs said with a sudden frown. That had angered Febs far more than her mother's treatment of her. It wasn't like Mrs. H had anything to do with it, aside from be forced to act as their witness. The poor woman had been all but kidnapped for Merlin's sake!

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Edric dropped his briefcase in the corner of the room and, removing his coat, plopped down in the leather chair opposite Febby. "Oh, you know, technicalities and legalities. That's what they're always doing, but it moved into the main offices this morning," he answered blandly, his eyes immediately drawn to the newspaper on the table. She'd obviously heard—not that he'd expected her to remain oblivious.

Even if she wasn't oblivious, he hoped she'd pretend to be—if only for a little while—for the sake of their newlywed bliss. But with his eyes flickering down to the paper every few seconds, combined with the apparent stiffness in their words, he doubted the topic would remain avoidable. (That didn't mean he wouldn't try, though.)

"That's good," he chided, but his face quickly dropped at her next comment. Edric had adored Mrs. Harding from the moment she'd baked him cookies for rescuing Febs that one fateful day; she hadn't deserved whatever treatment the Lynch family had given her. Without hesitance, he responded: "I'll hire her, of course. I planned on stealing her from your parents anyways. But for now..." The Umbridge family already had a housekeeper, and he couldn't fire a woman he didn't employ. "... she'll be a guest. We have a few spare rooms."

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Nodding along, honestly interested to hear how his day went, Febs was glad he still had a job at this point. It would all blow over... eventually. She hoped. Maybe, some day, people would come to realize that this wasn't some fluke they were trying to make work. Then again, even if nobody else understood where they were coming from, Febs at least knew better.

Her furrowed brows were replaced with an affectionate, appreciative smile. They'd joked about taking Mrs. H. with them anyway, but she was relieved he planned to follow through on it. "I think she's gone to stay with her daughter for a little while, but I'll write to extend the offer." That would ease some of Febby's guilt. A little. Maybe. Merlin she hoped Mrs. H. would forgive her.

Catching him glancing at the article again, Febs sighed slowly. The elephant in the room. Where Edric wanted to wait on it, Febs just wanted to get it over with. She'd always been the kind to simply get the potential unpleasantness over and done with so she could move on. She stood abruptly and snatched the stupid paper from the table to toss it in the fire after sweeping across the room in her bare feet and swirling skirts.

"Come on, out with it." Febs said it quietly, no intention of making it sound like an interrogation or accusation, as she glanced back at him after she watched the paper burn in satisfaction for a moment.

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Edric did not really care where Mrs. Harding was staying as long as she wasn't on the streets begging for food. (At least he and Febs were in a position where they could take her on permanently, and that was assuming she would accept the offer considering that their marriage had caused the Lynch family to fire her).

What he did care about was figuring out what they planned to do—and judging by her bluntness, February seemed aware of that. Clucking his tongue, Edric leaned forward in his chair. "People have been asking, Febs. About our marriage, about our living arrangement, about an annulment," Edric began, struggling to swallow the heavy lump in his throat. "I just want to make sure that... you can live with this. Me. The gossip. I don't want you suffering." Truth be told, she would suffer no matter whether they annulled their marriage or not; though he'd deflowered her months before their marriage, the public now assumed she was no longer innocent. No matter what they did, she would never be free from scandal, from scrutiny.

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Heaving a long, slow sigh, Febs watched the paper curl up and disintegrate in the fire for another quiet moment. She really didn't care what other people thought, she never had. She'd stared down her own mother yesterday for crying out out and Febs did care about what her mother thought of her. She hoped their relationship wasn't damaged beyond repair; that in time Rose would see the marriage in full, that Febs was happy, but she knew it would take a while. A long while.

Gathering her thoughts, she traipsed back toward her husband softly, stopping just in front of him. She really didn't want to fight about this and could understand the source of his worry, but there was only one thing that would change her mind on this marriage. "I will be fine," Febs was firmly of the opinion that anyone who mattered her life would (eventually) stick with her. It wasn't as if she had been some adored debutante, some fabulous society woman, to begin with.

All she wanted to do was curl up in his lap, but she needed to see his face when she asked this. "Will you? Can you handle it?" Febs brushed her fingers against his cheek gently. He would be under a lot of scrutiny at work and she knew that mattered. If it was going to be too much for him, she'd have to back down. "Do you want an annulment?" She asked quietly, even though she wasn't prepared for an answer.

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When Edric had first met February, her fierce sense of independence and disregard for others' opinions—including his own at the time—had led him to consider her the most insufferable women on the planet. Now, that same independence and disregard for others' opinions could very well save their marriage in the face of judgment.

"Of course I don't want an annulment. We'd have to continue pretending—only this time, we couldn't be seen together. Not unless we wanted to start another scandal." he huffed. He reached up and tangled his fingers into hers, a sigh of defeat escaping his lips. "At the very least, we need to decide how we plan to prevent ourselves in public. Nobody knows about our life before marriage, and acting like lovesick newlyweds will only attract unwanted attention." For now, at least.

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Through the wave of relief, Febs let out a breathless sort of huff that could have either been a sigh or a laugh, she wasn't quite sure. Nevertheless she blew out the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding, smiling slowly. Had he said yes, that would have been it. She wouldn't have been able to go back to how things were, not after getting Mrs. H fired, not after fighting with her mother. It would have ruined her completely. They could do this, they would figure it out. She could handle just about anything as long as he stuck with her.

He was also right in that they had to discuss a few things. Giving into the desire to snuggle, Febs folded herself into the armchair with him, draping her legs across his and the arm of the chair as she rested her head on his shoulder. "I think..." She started, but didn't know how to finish. Febs had given this a little thought today, though honestly wasn't even sure when they'd even be seen together outside the house at this point, but it had crossed her mind. How to put her thoughts into coherent words was the problem and she just couldn't figure it out. Febs felt kind of ridiculous trying to think of a legitimate cover story for this, but she wasn't the one who had to leave the house to go to work every day. She could stay in if she didn't feel like dealing with people, especially after they found their own place.

"I'm not sure what's easiest for you. What you want to do?" Maybe he had a better idea than she did. Just yesterday she'd told her parents that she thought they'd already been headed in this direction, that she'd hoped she'd be able to marry him at some point anyway, even from their "official" public situation. Maybe they could start there.

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As much as he loved her, and as much as her touches were soothing, it was impossible for Edric not to be worried. He'd spent fourteen years as an auror without a number of colleagues even knowing where he lived, and now his personal life was gossip fodder—both in the workplace and the gossip rags. He'd hoped for a quiet, happy marriage far away from the public eye, but the letters had deprived him of the opportunity to plan for that.

In short, Edric was stressed.

"The 'easiest' solution doesn't matter, February," he groaned, resting his head against the back of his chair. "The easiest solution would be to pretend our marriage was completely caused by the letters, with no feelings between us existing before that moment." At least from a public relations standpoint, and maybe as a way to avoid nosy coworkers. "But doing it the easy way would put more of a strain on our marriage; I'm sure of it. I wouldn't be able to talk about you like as the wife I love and trust." No, he'd have to go around, pretending she was some sort of nuisance who'd invaded his life... or at least he assumed so.

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Febs tucked herself in against him, closing her eyes for the moment, just listening. She hated that this was such a source of stress in his life at the moment; it was exactly why she'd questioned being a burden to him just the other day. Ever since that article in the Prophet about the night at the hospital, Febs had worried about how everything would impact his work; it was why she'd been so ready to leave when she thought she was pregnant, why she had agreed to be patient about getting married in the first place. It hadn't mattered, obviously, thanks to the letter scandal and though she wanted to be content with where they ended up, it was hard to be so when it was making things harder for him.

Turning what he suggested over in her mind, Febs tried to work out something in between that and the reality of the situation. "Maybe," She began, wheels turning now as she processed how she felt and now knowing what was specifically stressing him out. "Maybe we could approach it like this, since we were already seen together in a more proper way at least once, we could say that we'd been enjoying some time together before the letters," Which wasn't a lie, even from the public standpoint. "But everything got kind of... jumbled because of them, but since I was a wild card, and you weren't getting any younger," She leaned up to kiss his cheek, obviously teasing him gently. "You decided to do the honorable thing and keep me around, because otherwise I'd be ruined."

And she would be, if he'd decided an annulment was the best choice.

People had to assume that after being high on Amortentia for three days and getting married that things had culminated in consummating their marriage. Despite the fact that had happened months ago in reality, people now had a legitimate reason to think that and that would follow her around if she wound up single again. There was no bouncing back from it. "It looks much better on you that way, at least." Febs would look like a charity case, but that was neither here nor there. She had thick skin, she could handle whatever society would throw at her, as long as behind closed doors, she had him to lean on. Things could be very different between home and out in public, they'd already done that with some success. "People don't have the right to know everything about us, even in your position, they have to take what you say at face value. I can live with that as long as you and I are on the same page and we know better." It wasn't perfect, nothing about this was, but she would do anything she had to in order to stay with him and to help make things easier along the way.  

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He hummed quietly as he pondered her proposition. Much of what she was suggesting was more or less fact; there were some details left out, and the part about keeping her around because it was the "honorable" thing was just wrong, but all together it was a solid plan. They had been seen together at the carnival, and moments before opening their letters they'd been seen outside her home. It wasn't as if society assumed them to be complete strangers—and they weren't. Edric knew, though, that he'd never be able to talk about her like she was an inconvenience—let alone treat her like one!—but he supposed a few rumors about their apparent emotional intimacy was better than literally ruining her life.

"Living a part-truth is better than living a complete lie," he agreed in a murmur, combing his fingers through her hair as she curled up into him. The hardest part would be getting the people closest to them to understand (and by that he meant the Lynch family, because Sydney already knew how he felt about February and his father wouldn't require much explaining.) "But no more talk of annulments, alright? We just got married." And he was home; he'd heard enough talk of annulments throughout the work day.

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Letting him mull over what she'd said, Febs sighed slowly. She had faith everything would even out eventually. In time people would find something far more interesting to gossip about (she didn't envy that poor bastard) and in the meantime she just had to pretend to be a less grossly smitten version of herself in public. Shouldn't be too hard. Hopefully...

"Well, you're stuck with me, so I agree." Just the thought of it made her a little antsy. With one hand she turned his face towards hers so she could press a kiss to his lips, lingering for a just a moment before she murmured, "And I missed you dearly today. Fortunately this library is keeping me quite occupied while you're gone." As a good library should, but it wouldn't keep her inside indefinitely. Plus she was going to have her own soon, she should start looking for books to fill it with!  

Febs would need to get out tomorrow or the next day, just for some sanity. Also quite fortunately, Tuni was nearby at the museum and she had never really explored much of London before, so she was eager to have a look around.  She was going to have to see Tuni soon anyway, it was unlikely a mere letter concerning their recent nuptials would really suffice for her friend. Oh Merlin, she had to tell Lena too. That would be amusing.

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