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

— Nominate a quote —

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


The Shawl of Twilight
Nov. 1, 1888- Forbidden Forest

Once in Galina’s life she had been use to idle hands, to hours lounging with the ladies and idle gossip to accompany them. If her hands had picked up work it had been embroidery or cards, perhaps even a display of dancing to delight the ladies in their company. So much of their lives had seemed mundane, diversions planned that now seemed almost laughable. Hours spent dressing and grooming, powered hair, makeup artfully smeared on, simply to take away the long hours of court. Trysts and secrets conceived if only for mere minutes to take from those idle ones.

How different her life had become, far away from the glittery courts of her girlhood. Now she hardly had a roof over her head. One didn’t really count cave walls as a building, did they? Years had passed in which she had spent hours traveling, camping in forests, always on the move if only to take away the boredom, a life that never ended. If she had once thought her days mundane at a glittering court full of distractions at least they had been filled with more pleasures than she had ever even thought to count.

Now idle hands seemed odd, too still in her lap, folded in her skirts, Idle hands made the hours, days, years go slower, so she sewed. Careful perfect stitches that could have rivaled the seamstress her family had once employed. The diversions long gone unless of her own individual making. Perhaps that was why she had taken up with Mari, why she had traveled with the girl, to feel as if she had some use to her life. Perhaps that was what she hoped would come of the years she had spent in this forest despite Mari’s desires to travel onward. Someone to provide diversions. A coven to fall into such patterns with. Lyra Potter caused diversions of her own making, but Galina couldn’t help the longing that still came for a life long gone. Balls, picnics, card games in the evenings, the talk of politics and philosophy and gossip to fill the time. Those things could be built, and slowly, surely, she hoped to build a court of such an idea. Of course, she knew it would only be a shadow of what she had known, but she didn’t need the opulence of the Russian court, she simply wanted the companionship to pass the long years still to come.

Galina’s thoughts flitted here and there as they often did when her hands were busy, for busy hands did not make a busy mind. She missed the stimulation of conversation, hated such a solitary life. Although, in recent years she had to admit it much less solitary than it had been. She hadn’t truly been alone in over a century. The coven all moved at their own pace, they did their own things, and as such Galina often found herself on her own when Mari was off on her hunts, sewing careful stitches into beautiful fabrics that would never be seen. Her thoughts swirling with each loop and stitch she made.

The light was dwindling on the edges of the clearing where she sat, nestled in the deep shadows of the forest. Twilight wrapped its inky shawl around the trees, casting Galina into deeper dark. Soon it would be up to her night sight to see the stitches which would likely turn sloppier than she intended. She’d likely remove herself to the caverns to light a candle and continue her work, but for the next half an hour she could probably manage.

Her spot, perched against a tree, with blood red fabric spilling across her lap, was a place that was purely her’s. Few traversed this way, it was toward the edges of the forest closer to town. Which kept away centaurs and other dark creatures of the forest. Humans rarely traveled this deeply into the woods, although truly it was not far into the trees in Galina’s opinion. Even her fellow vampires stayed away from the spot for the light in the clearing. Galina had learned though that the light that reached the edges helped her see her work. When she was looking for a private moment she found refuge by this tree, her sewing supplies near by.

The sound of a branch snapping had Galina’s head turning quickly in the direction of the sound. Her eyes peeled looking for the intruder. Rustling of fabric indicated it was not an animal made sound. The smell of blood pumping through human veins told her what she needed to know. Carefully, Galina pulled the hood of her cloak over her head, gathering her sewing together as if she were simply readying for the end of a day venturing in the forest. Internally she sighed. She had hoped for a small bit more time to work alone. “Good evening.” Galina called, her voice wavering slightly as if suddenly realizing her own peril. A ploy and an easy one at that.

[Image: xKclfq.png]
an amazing bee work of art
Her distinct lack of social life meant that for the most parts, she spent her evenings in relative silence in either her house or out and about in the surrounding town, trailed by a sister or some sort of older women who was to act as her chaperone. Typically, at home, she spent the evenings with Sephey, her closest sister to her in age. Or at least she did when Persephone did not have her nose buried in a book never to be seen again. Today was one of those days where Sephey did have her nose in a book and Cora had made her way outside, somehow able to leave on her own when she expressed the desire to take a walk in the woods. Of all of her siblings, except maybe Sophronia or maybe even more so, she was not sure, she was well equipt to handle herself if anything occurred. And what gentlemen would be crazy enough to wander into the woods?

On an impulse decision, she called for Pike as she fetched her coat, taking the kneazle up in her arms as she departed. One advantage to being home from Hogwarts was it was far easier to spend time with him, which meant he'd become far more friendly in the past year. As such, she tended to enjoy bringing the cat along. He seemed to enjoy the time outside the house as much as she did and while he occasionally wandered off, he had always come bounding back a few minutes later unharmed and somehow always aware of where she was even if she'd moved in his time away. Another reason she brought him, other than the advantage of a non-judgemental company, was he by far proven his worth a few times when she'd wondered to far into the woods and needed help finding her way back out again. Not that it was a financial struggle to keep him fed, but it was always nice when something earned its keep as well.

A lack of awareness to the time that had passed and the distance she had traveled had left Cora a fair bit further into the woods than she had actually intended to go. Which left her, in turn, confused as to where she was. She hadn't yet been to this area of the woods. Even aware of herself and far more capable than your average gentleman in defense - between both her physical training as a huntress and magical as a hit witch trainee - she tended to stick closer to the surface that she was now and to the same few areas. While she could, in theory defend herself, she wasn't stupid. The Forbidden Forest was typically not forbidden for no reason. The deeper in you went the more dangerous the things that lived there tended to become. And Cora wasn't crazy. She wasn't prideful and very well aware there lurked things in here that could easily eat her.

It was about this time that she became aware of her lack of knowledge of her surroundings that she noticed the presence of someone - or something - else in the area. "Pike!" she commanded, calling the kneazle back to her side though she chose not to dwell on if she felt safer with it here or because she felt it would be safer beside her than away.

Grayish eyes darted back and forth as she continued in the direction Pike seemed to be leading her. It didn't take long at all now that she was paying attention to narrow in on the figure of the woman who sat, perched in front of the tree sewing. Cora could help freeze but for a moment, stunned to silence by the sight of what appeared to be a human woman sewing calmly in the middle of the Forbidden Forest. It was slightly to dark for her human eyes to detect anything that might out the girl - who looked near her age - as anything other than human at first glance. Still, Cora knew she was like the only full blooded human stupid enough to wander this far into the woods. And even she wasn't insane enough to sit and sew. Logic told her that the creature before her, despite looking human, couldn't be fully human.

"To you as well," the blonde offered, her voice still smooth and unruffled, though she did shift her weight back from the girl, putting a slight more distance between the two and pull her coat tighter around her. Suddenly she couldn't be more thankful for her family's interest in dragon hide products - and that she'd been wise enough to grab one. "You are sewing," she tacked on lamely, still flabbergasted by the site before her.

speaks with a dutch accent!
The girl had brought with her a cat, an ugly cat at that, with her. It’s yellow eyes glowed in the dim light from around the girl’s skirts. Galina had never really minded cats, they were cute and curled up well, but often she had found them to be standoffish. Dogs on the other hand… Galina had a soft spot for small dogs. She had for as long as she could remember. They provided company and support when one had none. Once in her life, in what almost seemed another life now, she’d had a small dog to comfort her. To hold at bay her dying hopes. The small white and brown terrier had been a support to her as it reminded her of her strength and that of her friend’s that had gifted it to her in the glittering palace. The puppy would lap at her fingers and remind her of what she had to do. Amid all the furs and jewels that puppy had reminded her of things worth holding on it. As quickly as the memory had floated to her mind it drifted away. It had been such a long time since she had thought of such things as pets. Most animals shied away from her now and while the idea of a dog was tempting it was only a drop of water in the years of her life that it would keep the loneliness away. It wasn’t worth the sorrow it would bring when it shut its eyes long before her’s.

As the girl approached Galina could smell the undertone in her blood that bespoke of the magical folk that lived nearby. The town even held the same underlying sent. It reminded Galina that they were not easy prey, reminded her of the rules that chafed her here. Of Lyra’s requests and suggested proposals for peace. Potter was a fool for thinking them safe among these people. To ask them to bare themselves to the witches and wizards and pretend they could not fight. The people who lived in the town liked their type no better than those unaware of this world who feared them even from legend - but these ones could fight back.

Apparently deciding she’d come close enough, the girl shifted backward slightly, the sight apparently worrying her as she hugged her coat close to her. Her last words landing like a confused question between them. As if this sight were any odder for the girl than her wandering this far into the forest herself. In return, as if worried herself, Galina pulled her own cloak tighter around her and set the last of her supplies into the basket beside her. “I am.” She nodded, trying to keep her voice small and worried. Carefully she stood up, wrapping the cloak around her. Grateful for the depth of the hood so her face was more carefully hidden. She shifted her weight, again pretending to be worried, almost mimicking the girl’s own movements as she surveyed the girl, looking for anything that might threaten her. Galina did not trust these people, no matter how much Miss Potter argued they should. The wands they carried, Galina might have scoffed at in another life, but it had been years since she had laughed at superstitions. She had seen what weapons wands could be, and was never sure they would not be employed against them. So she stayed on her guard.

My brother came into the forest hunting for supplies.” Galina explained in a wavering voice, wishing she could give up this ruse and just rid herself of the problem. Then she wouldn’t need to find another spot like this to claim as her own. But there were rules to be followed, rules that weren’t ready to change yet. “He told me to stay here… and well I’ve been terribly afraid with how long he’s been gone.” She let her voice sound as if she had been worried for hours, hinting at being on the verge of fear. “You didn’t happen to pass him did you?” It was too easy to let the hope seep into her voice. “He’s a bit taller than you. Skinny, blond hair, blue eyes.” The lie was too easy, the face before her. What she would do in such a case to protect that face. Her companion in all, the only one who had once truly understood. Even he would have turned from her though, if he had known the truth, and so she tried not to think on him. Knew he had been dead for years and in his grave was where he should remain.

[Image: xKclfq.png]
an amazing bee work of art
Frankly, Cora would have been highly offended if Galina had called her cat ugly to her face. She'd had multiple pets throughout her life - frankly even now. Right now she had the kneazle and a rabbit. The rabbit had been an unintentional accumulation that she split with her sister - some random guy in the park had given it to her back in Easter. What? Spoiled rich girl benefits. And her sisters had their own pets as well along with the family's flock of winged horses and hunting dogs. But Pike had been hers for four years and he was hers. Dogs on the other hand? They smelled. They were loud. They were messy - anytime her father's hounds slipped into the house the tracked mud everywhere. Pike had never done that to her. He kept himself neat and clean. And his attitude towards the girl before him earned his keep. She already didn't trust finding a strange girl in the woods -  and his defensive attitude only solidified her belief.

She tolerated the more civil creatures that lived in town. They made their efforts to blend in. They stuck to the human rules. Some humanoid species she didn't mind altogether. She saw no harm in goblins or merfolk. She didn't hate werewolves as a species - just the select few who turned others. It was primarily vampires she hated. There was no way for them to avoid their nature. They had to drink blood - human blood. Their whole existence was a threat. And one of their kind had killed her mother. In cold blood. Before that, the women of her family hadn't been trained to hunt. She and her sisters were only taught out of a proven need to defend themselves because clearly, vampires help no regard to the innocents. Her mom wasn't the only relative she'd lost to a vampire. Over the years more had been claimed in hunting missions, but none were as close and all had signed up for the risk.

She had no reason to believe that the girl before her was human. If she was lucky, she was a werewolf - though being it wasn't a full moon, why she would be in the woods was a concept lost to Cora. Clearly, she wasn't a centaur or anything of the like.

As Galina stood, she shifted her stance, bringing her nondominant foot behind her to give herself a more stable, balanced position. She left her wand and knives undrawn - Galina hadn't made a move yet and on the rare chance she was human, Cora would get in so much trouble for hurting her. But she had strong suspicions she wasn't. What brother would bring their sister into the Forbidden Woods while he gathered supplies - and leaver her alone? The average damsel in distress wouldn't sit in the forest sewing as they worried over their brother looking like they had no care. They'd be looking for him, calling his name if not trying to flee the forest. They might have been muggles and not know the dangers - but were there not wards around the forest to prevent muggle entry? And her description only threw up more flags. Slightly taller than Cora? Cora was already shorter than the girl who stood before her. She rarely came across anyone shorter than her that wasn't far younger, let alone men, not when she was only five foot one.

If there hadn't been so many red flags, she would have offered to escort the girl back to Hogsmeade where she could find her way home from there. Right now, she did not feel even remotely comfortable bring this thing back to her home. "Where do you live?" Cora questioned, her tone now fully solid and in control, with tinges of susspicion she allowed to leak through. She didn't want to play a game of cat and mouse. Whatever she was, it would be better if she fessed up now.

speaks with a dutch accent!

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