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Julius Scrimgeour for Bella Scrimgeour.
The answer to the question "What happens when your family's reputation is a disaster?"
Her niece's humility was an admirable thing and had the added advantage of leaving Temperance feeling as though she was constantly rendering Blythe dumb with her words of wisdom and encouragement.Temperance Fairchild in Messiah
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Be Yourself My Ally
#1
Private 
Shortly after midnight, December 30, 1888 - Just Outside Constance Sykes' Room
@Constance Sykes

Myrtle had finally gotten Miss Scrimgeour squared away in her common room and she took a brief moment to lean her back against the wall, lolling her head back to rest against the cold stone. She sighed into the silence and wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. Myrtle wouldn't go so far as to say she hated dealing with Slytherin students, but it certainly wasn't her favorite activity.

She pushed off the wall and walked down the hall to the portrait entrance of Constance's rooms and asked the portrait if it could alert Miss Sykes to her presence. Shivering again in the cold of the corridor, she pulled her robes closed tightly and hunched into herself. Myrtle was always cold and the dungeons only made it worse.



she's tall, she's strict, and she looks like your lesbian aunt (because she is)
#2
Being disturbed when she was already abed was sadly not an altogether unfamiliar experience for Connie, though she was rarely called upon during the holidays. There were so few left and her mind immediately conjured up their names and left her with two possibilities: it was either one of the sixth years and the world was ending, or Holly, and she needed something.

Connie kicked off the covers and pulled on her dressing gown, running a quick hand across her hair to make sure her braid was at least passably neat. She glanced around her room to make sure there was nothing untoward lying around and smoothly pressed Lavinia’s latest letter into the pages of a book as she crossed the room.

“Let them in,” she nodded to the portrait, straightening her back as…oh Merlin, this couldn’t be good. “Miss Potts? Is everything quite alright?”


[Image: Connie_SIG_by_MJ.png]
magnificent set by MJ
#3
Myrtrle groaned internally when she realized Miss Sykes was in her dressing gown - it meant she had, in fact, disturbed the other matron's sleep. "I'm sorry to bother you so late," she began, "only I found one of your second years creeping through the library." She paused and glanced around the corridor. "I sent her to bed, to be dealt with in the morning, but I felt I should speak with you immediately." She grimaced then, both at the cold and at the task at hand.

May I come in? I feel this is a discussion that requires privacy." She did not want to discuss any student's transgressions out in an open hallway, especially one from a family like Holly Scrimgeour's.



she's tall, she's strict, and she looks like your lesbian aunt (because she is)
#4
Connie was all-too aware that there was only one young lady still in the second year dormitories and her heart immediately sank at the unexpected disappointment she felt. Students frequently pushed their luck – it was far from unusual – but she had begun to hope for more from Holly Scrimgeour: perhaps holding her to a higher standard than the rest wasn’t fair?

“Yes of course,” she replied hurriedly, gesturing the other woman inside. The draught followed her and Connie shivered, pulling her robe tighter around her body but not quite able to stop her skin turning to gooseflesh. “Goodness me, it’s a wonder you were out tonight yourself with this chill. Come sit by the fire, can I get you a drink?” She trailed off awkwardly – it probably wasn’t overly professional to drink as they discussed misbehaviour but she was damned cold and needed something to steel herself if she was going to be disappointed.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Constance Sykes's post:
   Holly Scrimgeour


[Image: Connie_SIG_by_MJ.png]
magnificent set by MJ
#5
Myrtle moved gladly towards the fire, choosing the chair closest to it and leaning in. She really didn't know how anyone lived down here in this chill. "Yes, I think I'd quite like something. I've had rather a long night."

Leaning back in the chair when she felt sufficiently warmed, Myrtle sighed. "Now I really don't suppose you gave Holly Scrimgeour permission to be out past curfew in the library? That's what she claimed when I found her half an hour ago." She really had been impressed by Holly's commitment to her lie, if incredibly frustrated. "She was rather insistent that you and she had an arrangement. That's why I'm bothering you so late - I didn't want to give her the chance to spin a story." Myrtle knew that the young girl would have gotten her way out of trouble through any means necessary, if given the opportunity.

"I mean no offense, but your brood is prone to squirming their way out of trouble with a frustrating regularity." Myrtle felt no need to hide how she felt about the Slytherin populace as a whole - especially not when speaking to the woman who had to keep them in line.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Myrtle Potts's post:
   Holly Scrimgeour



she's tall, she's strict, and she looks like your lesbian aunt (because she is)
#6
There might have been no offence meant but at this hour of the night there was most definitely some taken and Connie poured out two glasses of brandy with her back to the other woman, allowing a brief scowl to overcome her face. She had no particular objection to Madam Potts in general but why was it every Gryffindor she met had no compunction about passing judgement on others without concerning themselves with how they might sound?

Why couldn’t they simply judge people secretly, like normal people?

She quashed her annoyance. It wasn’t Myrtle Potts’ fault Holly had misbehaved, in fact that guilt undoubtedly lay more at her door, so it would do nobody any favours to make matters worse.

“Ah, I suspect Miss Scrimgeour may have misunderstood my meaning,” Connie said lightly, though she doubted Holly misunderstood anything. “I told her she had my permission to visit the library as much as she wished during the Christmas holidays. I thought she deserved a little leniency, and she does love to read, but I certainly didn’t think she’d take it to mean she could go at all hours, obviously I didn’t mean that.”

Passing the other woman her drink Connie sat and fixed the other woman with a look that was half-apology, half utter innocence.

“I’ll speak to her in the morning but it’s quite my fault,” Connie laughed airily. “I do hope I won’t lose house points for it.”


[Image: Connie_SIG_by_MJ.png]
magnificent set by MJ
#7
Myrtle took the glass but didn't drink. She was not surprised when the matron took her student's side, if a little disappointed. They were all just trying to keep the children safe, weren't they? When Madam Sykes fixed her with that look of innocence, Myrtle couldn't help but sigh. "Oh, I have offended you, haven't I?" she asked, already knowing the answer, and frowning in disappointment. Everyone was ever so touchy about their house pride, weren't they? "I do that increasingly often these days. I find there's not much use hiding your opinion when you get to be my age." Myrtle realized that she hadn't spent much time around the Slytherin matron since she'd begun her own employment in Gryffindor tower. It appeared the woman was less than amenable to Myrtle's no-holds-barred approach to private discussions. Ah, well, it was what it was.

Downing the brandy in one go, she relished the burn for a moment before setting the glass down. "I don't think poorly of the Slytherin students, Miss Sykes, at least not any more poorly than I think of my Gryffindors. They're all children, and they're all foolish. They need someone to keep them in line, and the powers that be have decided that we're the ones up to the task."

She shrugged. "I won't take any points - Holly is your student and your concern. I only wanted to give you the full picture before she found a way to paint herself in a different light, as all children will do when caught. The consequences are entirely yours to decide." She sat forward. "Although if it were one of mine, I would take points. House loyalty shouldn't save a student from consequences." Leaning back, she looked away from Constance and into the fire. It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep her thoughts from straying to the curve of Constance's neck.



she's tall, she's strict, and she looks like your lesbian aunt (because she is)
#8
It was not often that Connie was flummoxed by one of the people that comprised the frequent scenery of her life but Madam Potts, somehow without her even noticing, was rather more surprising that she had given her credit for. When was the last time she had heard somebody speaking so plainly? She honestly couldn’t remember but she also couldn’t pretend it wasn’t an attractive quality in the other woman.

“I agree with that much,” Connie said carefully as she sipped her brandy before letting the pretence slip a little. She hadn’t quite been caught out in a lie, and frankly who would the other woman tell, but she could give a little away without it being too much. “And I may have been anticipating Holly doing something like this during the holidays.”

She sighed and glanced quickly towards the fire. She had spent most of her life keeping her secrets close to her chest but it felt oddly satisfying to share something, even though it was nothing the other matron couldn’t have guessed herself.

“I don’t think her family give her much leeway, or attention but that’s another matter entirely,” Connie added with a roll of her eyes, knocking back the rest of her drink. “And I don’t take offence easily,” she lied easily, with a small curl to her lips.


[Image: Connie_SIG_by_MJ.png]
magnificent set by MJ
#9
Myrtle smiled but kept her gaze fixed firmly on the fire. She was glad when Miss Sykes opened up a little more, but just a little frustrated that it had taken so much openness on her own part. Why couldn't everyone just be honest and leave it at that? An ironic sentiment coming from someone like her, she mused - although she'd never actually [/i]lied[/i] to anyone about where her romantic interest lay.

Mytrle turned back back to Miss Sykes abruptly to cut off that particular train of thought. "Well, I hope all comes to a happy end where Holly is concerned. Now, I've either woken you or kept you up late, and I'll -" It was only then that she truly processed that Miss Sykes was in her dressing gown - she'd noticed in passing, earlier, but now it was staring her in the face with nothing to distract from it. This realization cut her off for a moment before she regained the power of speech. "I'll take no more of you time." Goodness, she felt like an idiot teenager. She'd certainly seen women in less than this, she reminded herself, and it hadn't flustered her so. Myrtle shook herself and made to stand.



she's tall, she's strict, and she looks like your lesbian aunt (because she is)
#10
“Not at all Miss Potts, I don’t mind being woken up,” Connie said pleasantly. She had reached out instinctively but retracted her hand now, feeling rather foolish for quite how desperate for company it probably made her seem, but it didn’t change the fact that she did want company. She spent so much time with little people not old enough to remember who Evangeline Orpington was that anybody vaguely close to her own age, who wouldn’t judge her for not being part of the academic staff, went beyond being welcome into being outright desirable.

The fact that Miss Potts wasn’t an unattractive woman was not entirely lost on Connie but she didn’t like to barrel in needlessly. Just a few choice words here and there to begin with - she doubted Miss Potts was a foolish woman so subtlety was a necessity.

“You’re welcome to as much of my time as you like,” she added with a smile, getting to her feet to see the other woman out. It was a tricky path, the one she walked, but Connie couldn’t help but feel this might be an excellent turn to take. “Goodnight.”


[Image: Connie_SIG_by_MJ.png]
magnificent set by MJ


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