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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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My Favourite Faded Fantasy
#1
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You could have my favourite face
And favourite name
I know someone who could play the part
But it wouldn’t be the same

28th September, 1888 — Diagon Alley
He hadn't been able to concentrate since yesterday. Not that anything else was worth concentrating on except the girl he loved, of course. He had hardly expected to feel this way again, but then, in a moment, everything had changed.

Why had he spent the last endless six months carrying around a pit of sorrow in his gut, letting all the good cheer he mustered day-to-day spiral down it like a drain again and again? Why had he wasted so much time on her? She had never been going to marry him anyway. And even if she did, it didn't matter anymore, because she could never match up to Miss Caroline Delaney.    

Not that he'd met Miss Caroline Delaney, but he'd received a letter from her and then asked practically everyone he knew if they knew anything about her, and he now had stitched together bits and pieces and already he knew they were going to get along splendidly. But he was not about to sit and dream away his life on her: all the dreaming in the world would do him much less good than seeing her in person. He might have sent a letter asking for her address, but the thought had not occurred to him; instead, Tybalt had found himself wandering the streets of London in vain, sure that providence would play its hand in letting him bump into her as cleverly as he had always used to manage it with Elsie.

And it was not in vain forever, for he heard someone murmur to a Miss Delaney, and his head whipped around attentively. Never having been timorous about these sort of things, Tyb bounded over almost at once, one hand grasping a posy of flowers and his other running through his hair to tousle it slightly; had it ever been more imperative to look his best?

"Caroline?" he asked, interrupting the brunette from whatever company she was in, more involved in the hope that was bubbling up already. "Are you Caroline Delaney?"

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When the pink letter had arrived, Caroline had felt sure that it was some admirer who Shawn had been keeping from her. She had hoped he would find love after the news of Imogen and had thrown ladies at him as she could. But he had seemed to ignore her attempts. Perhaps he had found someone after all, and if he hadn’t, perhaps he had some admirer he didn’t know and this would force him into it. So Caroline had placed it at the top of Shawn’s pile of letters, ignoring the post that had come for herself and Tony, and waited in his study under the pretense of browsing books until he had opened the letter. The effect had been exactly what she hoped for and she happily encouraged Shawn to write to this ‘Miss Bellchant’, even recognizing the name enough to remember a mention from Witch Weekly not too long ago. After helping him find out more about the lady then finding a suitable outfit and even taking him to buy followers, Caroline was glad to find some time to herself. She had rather hoped to visit the house of Lytton today and it appeared she might have the chance after all.

At least that had been the plan. Caroline and Hope had wandered down Diagon Alley for a few moments before catching sight of a familiar gentleman in conversation with a young lady. Toni was laughing with a lady outside the ice cream parlor. Why had Caroline not known of a young lady with her brother before? Had she been that out of touch with both him and Shawn?

The sound of someone calling her name distracted her from considering it much further. Few people in England called her by her Christian name and so she turned with a puzzled look to survey the gentleman coming toward her. She was quite certain she had never met him before. Schooling her features she looked at him with a polite smile, “Yes, I am she. And you are?


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#3
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"Of course you are," Tyb said with a dreamy beam, not having planned a moment of his life past this one. He could scarcely believe he had such good fortune as to meet her in person at all. Now that he had, however, there might be fireworks ricocheting around his rib cage, the way his heart had sparked.

Everything suddenly made a great deal of sense again: this was what he'd been waiting for. To think, he ought to have been grateful all this time to Elsie for setting him free, right on time to find his soulmate! And wasn't she perfectly matched: she was taller - nearer his own height - her hair more fashionably arranged, and her eyes had a gleam of green in them, which had to be more enticing than any clear, plain blue. Even her look of puzzlement was a dream. He was sure he could look at her all day.

But she had asked him a question in return, hadn't she! "Tybalt," he replied brightly, "Tybalt Kirke. I play quidditch, for the Hogsmeade Howlers," he explained, possibly because it was the only impressive fact about himself that he could muster. What else was he? Save delighted and in love. "And, well - I'm much better now that I've found you," he added, his smile edging towards teasing. Surely that was obvious.
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Caroline felt certain that this gentleman was not entirely in his right mind the second he uttered ‘of course’. His eyes had a far away look, almost as if he were indulging in opioids. She’d been near the docks enough at home to not turn a blind eye to the way a man looked when in his cups or under the influence. Such things were important to note when speaking to people. As such she mentally filed it away and made sure to keep a neutral look on her face. It still didn’t answer how he knew her, but she supposed that would come with the rest of the conversation.

Tybalt Kirke. The name sounded awfully familiar, she’d read it somewhere, hadn’t see? The moment he mentioned quidditch, she realized it was likely from Witch Weekly, she’d been trying to keep up on society here in England and had taken to reading the magazine simply to make sure she was somewhat in the know. She would have commented on this, fairly interested in the sport when he caught her off guard - something that was not easy to do.

Oh?” Caroline looked at him, unease spreading across her face before she could stop it. Why would this gentleman be doing better now that he had found her? She’d only ever heard from, never met him, and what would a quidditch player have to do with her? Was he one of Shawn’s business associate’s? He hardly seemed the type. “Is there something I can help you with?” She asked, trying to recover from her surprise and doing reasonably good job at it. After all, if he were in business with her brother she wouldn’t want to offend him. Better to air on the side of caution.


[Image: vg1Bdq.png]
Amazing MJ set!
#5
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She looked more confused than he had anticipated. Surely she could see his feelings, written all over his face? Perhaps he hadn't said it plainly enough yet; perhaps he was getting ahead of himself, somehow. But there was frankly no time to waste, because why would the world bother to keep spinning if he was not here in Miss Delaney's orbit, the object of her attention at last?

"Oh, you don't need to do anything at all," he said with a reassuring grin, hoping to undo the crease in her brow that seemed to be threatening. "You're perfect." And he was here in her company, and he was sure he could wrangle a reason to stay - "Oh," he added suddenly, remembering the posy in his hand, "but you ought to take these," Tyb explained solemnly, pressing the flowers into her hand as though it was his dearest wish in the world. (Huh. Maybe it was his dearest wish in the world.)

"But if you need help with anything," Tybalt added, arching an eyebrow to emphasise the anything in that sentence, "I'm at your service. Very much at your service." The funny thing was, he didn't think he was even joking.


#6
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This time Caroline couldn't mask the surprise. What was this man after? Her befuddlement only deepened when he thrust a posy into her hands before she could even object to the matter. "Oh - Thank you?" Caroline could not fathom what this was all about, her carefully crafted masks falling short at this time. Surely the man was on something. That was the only reasonable answer she could think of. Behind her she heard a quiet snicker from Hope, reminding her that if they weren't careful this might draw attention to the whole scene at hand.

Then of all things Mr. Kirke asked if she needed help. Astonishment was clear on her face, despite Caroline's every attempt to mask it. Barely remembering to keep her mouth from falling open Caroline decided the past course of action was likely to be on her way. "Oh," Caroline started, collecting herself a bit. "That's quite alright, Mr. Kirke. I - I should really be on my way." She assured him, moving slightly to walk around him. Better to extricate herself before this situation got any odder and therefore worse. "But it was a pleasure to meet you." She hastily added, hoping he wouldn't cause any more of a scene if she kept up the pleasantries.


[Image: vg1Bdq.png]
Amazing MJ set!
#7
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This was... not going as he had hoped. Tybalt couldn't say he had thought a great deal about the day unfolding before him - at least not from a logistical (or a logical) perspective. All he had known was that he simply had to find Miss Delaney.

And why, wasn't she worth every trial and tribulation? Why, he would have quit quidditch in a heartbeat for her, would have shackled himself to a desk and chair for the rest of his life for a minute more of her company -

But she was - she was leaving? A flare of worry shot up inside him like an alarm, a knot of panic swelling up in him, already bursting right out of his ribcage, because she was leaving and he was ruining his only shot at happiness and people always left him, didn't they? Even Elsie had left him, and nothing he could have said or promised her had seemed to make any difference. It had been best, he supposed, that she had gotten out sooner rather than later; better for him, too, than her  getting his hopes up, pretending to wait, when she wouldn't ever change her mind.

But he could feel another chance slipping out of his grasp, and so soon, and Miss Delaney was so perfectly cool about it, like he was only a stranger on the street (errr); like he had made no impact on her at all. Tyb's jovial demeanour splintered abruptly.

"Wait, Caroline!" He exclaimed, descending fully into earnestness, that she might see him plain. He grasped at her hand, hoping to pull her back round before she walked away past him, uncaring. "You don't understand. I'm in love with you!" Surely that truth would have some impact?!
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Typically Caroline prided herself on her ability to react just the right way. To know when to smile, to charm, to turn aside an offer. She easily played the part expected of her to get what she wanted. But in this case Caroline didn’t want anything and was at a complete loss as to what to do. She couldn’t keep the surprise from her face as her eyes widen at the sound of her name, the man’s hand grasping her wrist.

His declaration didn’t make the situation any better. Clearly this man was not right in the mind. Trying to be polite seemed a moot point, really he would just make a scene. Caroline cast a gaze around for Toni but her brother had disappeared. Damn him. It was up to Caroline. Well she was a grown young lady and she could take care of herself, thank you very much.

Caroline drew up her position to seem as tall as her five foot five frame could bring her and looked at him imperiously. “I assure you, you are quite mistaken Mr. Kirke. We’ve only just met.” She told him in a tone that indicated she was done with this conversation.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have errands to attend to.” Caroline again brushed passed him, pulling her wrist out of the man’s hold. Hopefully he would take the hint and not create more of a scene, but she wasn’t very confident in that hope given his actions thus far.
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