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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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Issue #202 - The Baffling Bixby Elopement
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Let Your House Pride Sparkle: Hogwarts Themed Jewelry
Were your Hogwarts days the happiest of your life? Have you been looking for a way to bring up your bravery, loyalty, ambition or intellect in conversation without seeming to be fishing for compliments? Are you perhaps looking for a subtle way to support your children the next time you're invited to a Hogwarts Quidditch match? Our house-centric jewelery guide may be the answer to your prayers!

Gryffindor: This house's bold colors translate well into jewelry of all sorts! Embellish gold bracelets, necklaces, or rings with ruby centerpieces. Garnet can also be used for the witch on a budget. For more direct representation, write to Smith & Sons for a Gryffindor pendent. This ornately carved gold is ringed with a lion's mane of rubies and diamonds and is guaranteed to draw attention at any soiree!

Ravenclaw: While we don't recommend bronze jewelry unless you're attending some sort of themed party, this house still has plenty of potential for beauty. Feature sapphires offset with diamonds or pearls, or incorporate the silhouette of a raven in flight into your jewelery. You can also make smart work of feathers, either literally or by having feather patterns crafted from gold or silver.
Hufflepuff: Although the house mascot is a bit unweildy to serve as a focal point of a brooch, it's easy to demonstrate your house loyalty using the badger color scheme. Pair several thin gold bracelets with some made of jet to achieve Hufflepuff stripes. Striking necklaces can also be made of braided yellow and black cord. The exceptionally adventurous soul may also acquire a set of badger-claw earrings from LeMay Exotic Wares in London.

Slytherin: Feature your inner snake with some lovely serpentine curves in silver, which will be especially striking when paired with dark hair or clothing. Accent with emeralds for a timeless, elegant look which will never disappoint. For added flair, try our Look Alive Charm to make your faux snake jewelry actually slither around your neck or through your hair!

Whether you're celebrating your own house or that of your children or husband, you really can't go wrong with a little guidance from our fashionistas!


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Why Hasn't He Proposed Yet?
Any courting girl knows the feeling! When is he going to pop the question? Take our quiz to find out - and maybe get a few hints for speeding him along!

How would you describe your beau?
A) Very romantic!
B) Very attentive; he treats me very well.
C) Amiable and sweet, in his way.
D) A bit distant. He's the brooding sort.

What are his finances like?
A) I've never had any reason to suspect they weren't in good condition.
B) We've talked about it and he's quite comfortable! He recently bought a house, too!
C) They must be good, since he's so focused on his career! We hardly spend any time together since he's always working!
D) He hasn't mentioned it, but he seems hesitant to spend a lot of money when we're out together.

How long did you know him before you began courting?
A) A moderate length of time.
B) Hardly any time at all - it was love at first sight!
C) He's an old family friend. We've known each other for years.
D) Everyone has always known we were going to marry; I suppose I've known him forever!

What sorts of things do you do together?
A) He likes to surprise me with things he knows I'll enjoy, and he often brings me gifts of flowers.
B) It hardly matters what we do; the main thing is that we're together!
C) We mostly do things that he enjoys, but I don't mind!
D) He's often too busy to go out to things, unfortunately.
How often do you talk?
A) He makes regular visits and we exchange occasional letters in between.
B) Constantly! When we can't see each other, we send letters daily.
C) We don't tend to write to each other except to arrange our little outings.
D) Not often; really just when we've both been invited to the same places and we see each other there.

What are your expectations for the proposal?
A) I hope it's rather grand - I'll have to tell the story a dozen times at least, after all!
B) It doesn't matter a bit to me, and I think he knows that!
C) He hasn't said much about it, but I've heard a few things from people who know him well. I think he'll use a family heirloom ring, which is so sweet!
D) I just hope it happens!

Mostly As: He's probably waiting for a special occasion to ask, or otherwise trying to make the moment as romantic as possible for you. Just be patient, and he's sure to exceed your expectations when he does ask!
Mostly Bs: The proposal is imminent, we've no doubt! You'll be engaged within the fortnight!
Mostly Cs: It doesn't seem like marriage is much on his mind. You may need to orchestrate some scenarios to get him thinking along the right lines, or asking mutual friends to drop hints on your behalf!
Mostly Ds: Desperate measures are called for. See whether you can get your family members to apply some pressure or otherwise incentivize him to move forward, as he seems unlikely to do so of his own volition!


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The Baffling Bixby Elopement
Miss Fortuna Lockhart, the younger sister of Quidditch star Magnus Lockhart, is no longer a Miss. She is now married to Mr. Rufus Bixby, a first-string chaser for Puddlemere United. This came after Miss Lockhart was dogged with rumors about her conduct with Mr. Bixby over the summer - leading to some suggestion that Miss Lockhart may be 'in the family way,' leading to an emergency marriage.

The elopement itself came after another odd incident with Mr. Bixby and Miss Lockhart. Miss Lockhart, chaperoned only by Mrs. February Umbridge - a recently-eloped Bartonburg resident of notable scandalous history with her now-husband - vanished with Mr. Bixby. Were they going to elope at that time, or were they going towards other activities? It's all up to the readers to guess - and clearly there is a lack of discretion in Miss Lockhart's decisions.

Whether the couple believe themselves to be in love, or whether they simply believe themselves to be in trouble, they are surely to run into trouble sooner or later. Mr. Bixby, after all, is a Quidditch player who rents in North Bartonburg. None of that sets himself up to support a wife or a family. While Miss Lockhart currently has a job at the Museum of Magical Miscellany, that job is not at all appropriate for a mother, and will not help her to ingrain herself into a society which is already opposed to her due to her lack of tact.

It's possibly that the Umbridge elopement inspired Mr. and Mrs. Bixby - but there is an obstacle to Rufus Bixby that does not exist for Edric Umbridge. Edric Umbridge can support a wife; it was an appropriate time for him to get married, even if the manner in which it occurred was inappropriate. Mr. Bixby was years off from being available for an appropriate marriage, and yet, here he is - married. Financial trouble is inevitable, and will happen sooner rather than later if Mrs. Bixby is expecting an infant. Even if Mr. Bixby leaves Quidditch now, it will be difficult to gather the necessary funds to have appropriate savings.

This entire situation points to a larger problem: It seems that in the aftermath of the amortentia letters, girls believe they can be happy through elopement. This is simply untrue.

When the dust settles, and the gloss wears off, they will realize what a terrible mistake they've made. Either their husbands will be unable to support them in the matter to which they are accustomed - as Mr. Bixby will certainly be unable to do for the new Mrs. Bixby - or they will realize that they are unwanted in society, abandoned by friends, enjoying strained relationships with their families. They will become new parents without a support system. They will understand why everyone urged them to court, to wait, to not let romance novels get the better of them.

And it will be too late.


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Catching up on the latest gossip in Magical Britain! Heard Around Town!
Calliope Riley and the new Mrs. Umbridge were recently seen in a verbal altercation in Gladrags. I'm not sure what's worse—their manners or their choice of boutique!

Honeyduke's is back open, and rumor has it that its proprietor will soon have a new wife! Miss Felicity Adlard—younger sister to Mr. Percival Adlard—has been seen with Mr. Honeyduke too many times to be considered proper!

It seems Hogwarts professors were influenced by the recent amortentia letter scandal. You don't think any students from the St. Mungo’s Home for Inconvenient Children were involved, do you? They're said to be a bunch of troublemakers!

Barnabas Skeeter's practically a puppet for his wife Maeve Connolly now! He's living with his wife's family, and some even believe she's running the Dueling Commission on her own! I wouldn't be surprised if she had the letters sent to them...

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