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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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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.

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When Your Feet Don't Touch the Ground
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November 1, 1888 — Padmore Park, Hogsmeade
Rufus Bixby

Billie strode through the park with her hands crammed lazily into her pockets. Her cheeks were flushed from dashing about with a handful of other children, and her knees dirty from various tumbles onto the ground. All in all, she appeared as if she'd had a rather enjoyable afternoon.

Her boots clomped onto the path as she spilled out from a copse of trees. She preferred to take as many short cuts as possible instead of being forced to only wander where everyone else did. It was usually more interesting that way. However, for once, something right along the path caught her eye.

Leaned up against a nearby bench was a broomstick. Without even checking to see if its owner was nearby, the scruffy child quickly scuttled closer to it. "Whoa." It was much too nice to be an ordinary broom. It had to be one that people flew on. Since she wasn't talented at looking just with her eyes, Billie's immediate reaction was to reach out and pick the broom up.

Of course, she had no idea how to fly it, or even how to make it hover, so she likely wouldn't harm it. She turned it over in her hands, quietly admiring it.


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Practice for the day was over and Rufus had agreed to meet with brother Alvin in the park to test out a new broom his brother had made. Ever since the incident with Sloane Rufus had been wary of his brother’s inventions and it appeared his mother had to as she had kindly asked Alvin to test them somewhere other than their backyard.

As Alvin explained the particulars of this broom, modifications made, improvements he had felt it may need, how it should ride, Rufus stretched out his shoulders and neck, feeling them stiffen since practice had ended. The broom sat on a bench nearby neither too worried it might go anywhere. Finally Alvin’s long winded explanation was done and Rufus was ready to test the broom out when one of Alvin’s friends called out to him. Rufus almost groaned. His stomach grumbled and, deciding he had already waited long enough, Rufus turned from his brother toward the broom determined to try it even if Alvin wasn’t there. After all he hadn’t yet had supper.

A young boy stood holding the broom between his hands, watching it with almost wide eyes. A sigh escaped Rufus’s lips. Now what? There hadn’t been a lot of pickpockets around here and he doubted a boy would thieve in such an open place at this time of day. Plus the look in his eyes indicated fascination not knowledge of what he was holding. Alvin would skin him if he let the broom wander though and so Rufus strode toward the boy. “Careful with that.” He cautioned the young boy.


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"Ah!"

Startled out of her reverie, Billie nearly dropped the broom. She clutched it tighter to her to keep it from its plummet to the ground, and then whirled to face Rufus.

"Is it yours?" She blurted out, suddenly, as she carefully laid it on the bench, afraid she were going to be accused of stealing it when she'd only wanted to admire it. "I weren't gonna take it. Honest!"

She shuffled her feet about, looking as if she wanted to flee, but she stood her ground, out of sheer curiosity. She didn't have much experience when it came to broomsticks. Aside from watching others occasionally zip about the park. It always seemed so interesting! Especially the game of quidditch that many of the other children tended to babble about.

"Were ya flyin' it?"


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The boy startled at his approach, clutching the broom to him. By the looks of the boy it was likely his family couldnt afford a broom. Shame so many boys with dreams who simply couldnt afford them.

"My brother's actually." Rufus answered calmly with half a shrug. Although if the broom worked Alvin would likely gift it to one of the other Bixby siblings.

The boy was quick to also jump to his own defense which made Rufus almost laugh. He had pretty much already come to that conclusion - he hoped. "Its alright. I dont think the conditions are just right for trying to walk off with a broom anyhow." He shrugged with an amused look on his face. That was as close to a lecture as he was about to get.

The boy was filled with questions and Rufus found himself wondering if he had been just as curious as a boy. "Yes." He answered simply, if it hadnt been a prototype Rufus might have been tempted to try and teach the boy, but the memory of Sloane's broken arm halted the thought. "Would you like to see how it works?" He asked instead.


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The young girl watched Rufus carefully as he explained who the true owner of the broom was, and how it wasn't the best time to steal a broom anyways. With a crooked smile, Billie shrugged, seeming to agree with his assessment. It was too crowded, and snatching things in the daylight was reserved for smaller items. Then again, she would never steal something as valuable as a broomstick. She'd learned rather quickly how much they cost by loitering around outside the broomstick shop and hearing other children exclaim how much they were worth.

Although she had often resorted to thievery, Billie tended to stick to petty theft, just snatching bits of food or items left lying about. She'd only done it to survive, really. The kid had a rather guilty conscience. She needn't rely on such things anymore, though, thanks to Gideon. She even had new clothing that fit and didn't leave her shivering!

"Yes!" She practically shouted, never really the best at volume control when she found herself excited. She grinned widely at Rufus and tossed from one foot to the other, eagerly. "Is it a real fast'un? Can ya do tricks?"

Her experience with brooms was minimal. Everything she knew came from watching others zip about the park or chatter on about a game called Quidditch that she had yet to be able to witness. She was just amazed that such a common, household object could allow a person to fly. Before she'd wandered into Hogsmeade, all she could do was dream of flying. Here, that was a reality.

"Yeah, please, can I see?"


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