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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 ( Submit your own)
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Accidental double homicide?
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January 28, 1889 — Knockturn Alley

Declan was in London frequently. His painting hustle had picked up again (finally) after the fog had cleared up. He'd had a backlog he'd had to catch up on and now he had to deliver them. It would have been easier to send a courier, but one - he was in a desperate need to cut costs wherever he could and two - he liked being able to chat with the collectors (for his paintings had become collectibles, amazingly) so that he could stay top of mind when they were looking to add another commissioned piece.

This time, he'd delivered to a man who owned several shops in Knockturn Alley. One of his stores was a front for a rather dark, macabre club that was accessed through a faux fireplace. Declan had turned down the chance to experience opiates from someone who would be in his nightmares for weeks to come. He'd been paid well and he hoped his painting of Louisa Lupin that flashed her bits at those willing to pay for it would bring him more business.

It was past dark and far too cold for comfort. The journey had taken longer than he'd expected. He usually traveled by broomstick but had been unable to carry the life size portrait with him. He hadn't been able to get his leviosa charm to stick long enough to make the journey safely. He really ought to start attending those apparating classes his mother pestered him about... he heard a suspiciously muffled scream beneath the bridge he'd been crossing. He withdrew his wand from his pocket as he rushed to the side to peak over.

It was far too dark to see anything, but he could hear the sound of an altercation. Someone was being harmed. He would have kept going, except he'd been certain that he could hear a woman's voice. He couldn't very well leave a woman to her own defenses - especially since it sounded like she was on the losing end!

Heart racing, Declan cast a lumos spell, lighting the end of his wand, and leaped off the bridge. What he discovered beneath the bridge was something that he hadn't expected. Before he could properly digest that the woman was the one beating the man, rather than the other way around, he cast a petrificus totalus spell at the pair. It had been a long time since he'd even attempted one - not since Hogwarts. It was likely that it wouldn't work - or just as likely - kill them both.

Later, when the police would investigate his accidental double murder, he'd say something like 'I didn't know what to do, I just knew it needed to stop.'
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Peony hated Knockturn Alley as much as the next person, but unlike the fools who allowed their curiosity lead them down the narrow alleyways, she actually had a purpose for being there. Slums or Kensington Square, London was expensive for a woman of little means and no family support; she'd learned to sift through advertisements—even the less ethical ones—to save a quick sickle. Knockturn Alley is where she got her hair accessories and hair potions, most of which she was sure had nicked from the shelves of a Diagon Alley shop—not that she dared inquire deeper.

She was never not careful, choosing the most discreet alleys to walk down and avoiding any person who looked suspicious. Murderers, plunderers, and other dirt-bags roamed the streets, and though she doubted she'd be attacked in daylight, she was unprepared to answer to the authorities about why she was there to begin with.

Her path memorized and executed accordingly, the last thing Peony expected on the back way home was to find herself in the middle of a potential crime scene. She stuffed the hair ribbons and hair potion in separate robe pockets and then turned accusatory eyes on the man who stood before a pair of unmoving bodies.

"I'm not particularly keen on being murdered today," she said slowly, her gaze fixed on the lifeless pair. "So I'm hoping you'll tell me this is a terrible mistake and that you had nothing to do with it."



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