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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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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
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Loyalties Among Thieves
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28th January, 1889 — The Abandoned House
He'd left the caverns just after dusk, and slunk down to the Slums to quietly use a fireplace, a pinch of Floo Powder in his pocket. He'd come out in Knockturn, and walked from there. London was slick with rain, passers-by hastening by with umbrellas or without, darting in and out from under eaves with scant regard for him. Ishmael, on the other hand, took his time. He wasn't hungry. Wasn't in a hurry. Wasn't sure he wanted to get to the house, and to the others.

He hadn't been there as often as usual, and had been less friendly when he was. Monty was to blame for both facts, and must be aware. They hadn't been strangers to quarrelling before - how could they have been, with Monty an insufferable shit on a good day? - but most of their fights fell to the wayside in their own time, and making up was always a high of its own. That was what Ishmael was worried about, this time round. Back in autumn, that had been too close a call. Not just drinking from Monty (though Ishmael refused to do that again), but the possibility of... shackling himself to a passing emotion. Doing - saying - something stupid, something he would inevitably regret.

And if Monty even felt a shred of the same way, Ishmael couldn't stand for it. His tactics against this had been callous attempts to quash the possibility, hoping that the more excruciatingly intolerable he was, the sooner Monty would realise his error, and the sooner Ishmael could get over his. If he had been more determined, he would have cut all ties already and moved on, not have come back time and time again, but that... was harder than it sounded.

He let himself in to the house and listened for any of the others. He'd been more in contact with the other two than Monty, recently, so it was an unpleasant shock to turn into the front room and find Monty there, alone.      

He fashioned his expression into one of vague disinterest.

"I heard there's a job," Ishmael said, in explanation.


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It had been months since the whole thing with Ishmael and it honestly had Monty in a foul mood. He didn't like any of it. He didn't like the feeling of needing Ishmael to be near. It was a foreign feeling for a man that had always only ever truly needed himself. His ragtag gang being the only other people he remotely cared about in the world and even then, he still mostly prioritized himself.

Ishmael was being a dick and Monty knew that it was because of what had happened. Months of dealing with that should have made him tire of the vampire and yet, he was always relieved when the damned cat of a vampire came back. Ornery shit.

The others had gone off to do whatever they did when Monty wasn't with them. Monty tried to make the pesky, inconvenient feelings within him towards Ishmael to go away but they seemed to have a mind of their own. Stubbornly taking hold of him and not giving him any peace of mind. This was going to be a problem.

"There is. Are you sure you're up for it? It will require spending time with me," Monty said, a little bitchily.
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There is, Monty said, and already Ishmael was as annoyed as he was gratified. He'd have been pissed off if he'd thought that Morales was trying to oust him from the group, sure, but the easiest way to end this interaction as soon as it had started would have been to lie, and say there wasn't. Then Ishmael would have had no choice but to leave.

But of course Monty couldn't make things easy, was instead going to try and make it sound like Ishmael was the problem here. "Spending time with him."

Ishmael folded his arms and leant against the edge of the table. "Believe me, I've got better things to do," he answered, with a dispassionate sneer - he hoped Monty would dwell on that, all those hypothetical better things - "but I didn't think you three cretins would get on very well without me." This was, possibly, strictly, not necessarily true. Ishmael considered himself smarter than the other two - he was definitely more charismatic than them both put together - but he had a few drawbacks they didn't, as a vampire. He stood out for it; couldn't do simple things sometimes, like scout out places without having been first invited in; and, most importantly, couldn't use magic. (For that reason, he didn't always fancy his chances alone.)

All the same, he was a vampire, Ishmael reminded himself. It hardly even mattered that he was quicker and stronger than humans: most humans were terrified enough already, when faced with that.

(And he didn't much like to think of Monty out there getting into trouble alone, either. But that didn't help anything.)


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"I'm sure you do," Monty said sarcastically. If he had such better things to do than what was he even doing here. It was weird for Monty to feel hurt so the output it provided was snarky anger, it seemed. He had no intention of ever giving Ishmael an easy time of it. Did some part of Ishmael still care, though? Then again, he was a vampire and had been for who knew how long. This was likely just a blip or something.

"We're scouting out tonight. It's a public venue so you'll be able to cross the treshold when we decide to make a move," Monty said informatively as he pointed out the map he had obtained of a muggle jewelry shop that had recently opened. "I heard that there is an exceptionally valuable jewel hidden away within its walls, as well."


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#5
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This wasn't getting any better. It didn't matter what he said, or what Monty said in return - it had no effect. Nothing had changed between them, not really: Monty snarked back, but he hadn't thrown him out. Ishmael was still here. And all the fear, the doubt, the caution, all the sense in his head - it was a shadow, compared to this gravitational pull.

He forced himself to avoid, even furtively, looking at Monty, as though not looking would allow him to forget who he was. Instead, Ishmael pored over the map with laboured intent, tracing out the lines and routes with his fingertips in appraisal. An easy enough job, then, particularly in the muggle world, as long as managed it subtly, the news didn't reach the Ministry too quickly, and they kept Magical Law Enforcement off their tail.

Besides the jewel, if it was particularly hidden. With any luck, it had been in muggle hands for its whole history, and wouldn't have had the opportunity to be cursed before they laid their hands on it. There was one jab Ishmael couldn't resist, though. "Of course," he snorted sardonically: of course Monty would choose jewellery if he could. All the riches and wonders and powerful objects in the world, and he'd always go for whichever dazzled brightest, never mind its value. "What are you going to do with it, set it in a ring?" He drawled, tossing Monty a look and regretting it instantly, as well he regretted the jibe. His thumb unconsciously rubbed at the place where the band of his sun ring usually sat on his hand.

Best not think of rings.





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