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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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Feeding the poor
#1
Private 
January4th, 1889 — McPadraic house

It was evening, a few days after the New Year, shortly before the children were to return to school. The door of the kitchen opened and closed quietly. Someone drew a few breaths. Then came the tapping of light footfalls, and a brown-haired girl appeared in a pink dress, her small body somewhat crouched, as if she was trying to stay out of view. She looked around, and when she did not see anyone, she lifted a metal covering that lay on one of the tables and looked underneath.
#2
What with Evaine’s occasional but nonetheless traumatizing terrified screaming over ‘mice’, all of the McPadraic staff knew how to use concealing and muffling spells. Liberally.

Since Ahmet had been used to being an expected functioning part of a kitchen, it had certainly taken some adjusting. Nonetheless, Ahmet tended to keep invisible on the off-hours so he didn’t end up choking on his own heart again.

And yet again, there was a young McPadraic girl (was there any other type of McPadraic girl?) making trouble in the kitchen. Ahmet bit his cheeks. It was probably worse if he let her burn herself, right?

“That’s hot, young ma’am.”


He faded into view by the floured islet counter, eyes on his work and hand still on the rolling pin.
#3
Lynette jumped and let go of the cover. It hit the floor with a loud clang. The girl cringed and turned bright red as she looked up at the chef. She did not recognize him, so he must be a new member of staff. "I'm so sorry..." she whispered, heart beating fast. She crouched down to pick up the warm cover and quickly placed it over the plate on the table. Now that her blush disappeared, her face turned rather pale. "Please don't tell anyone, sir..."
#4
He’d noticed early on that the men and the women of means tended to eat very differently. It was as though the less woman there was, the more desirable the woman became.

She was a wispy looking thing. Probably around Naciye and Nazmiye’s age. It was a voracious age to be, and he wasn’t certain how more girls didn’t drop dead at this age.

He supposed Mrs. McPadraic was pretty close, what with the rate she fainted.

“What was that noise?”
he said with a wry smile, looking back and forth dramatically before shrugging and rolling out the dough.
#5
He did not seem angry, or about to report her, and Lynette calmed a little. She studied him as he worked on as if she wasn't there. His features were darker than what she was used to seeing, a gypsy maybe. He reminded her of Heathcliff and for a moment she entertained the thought of introducing herself as Cathy. "Are you the new chef papa hired?" she asked. Maybe he had a lost love waiting for him on the moors. Someone who was above his rank. Maybe she had married someone else in the meantime and he was stuck here, working in the kitchen in agony over his lost love. Oh how wonderfully tragic!
#6
Blissfully oblivious to the sudden tragic-romantic notions Lynette was having about a man well out of school, Armel started slicing pieces of dough and lining tart pans.

“That I am,”
he answered, thumbing the dough into the proper consistency. “What’s your favorite food, young lady?”
#7
Lynette blushed. "Pumpkin pie, sir. But for now... I was looking for some cheese. You wouldn't have some left overs, would you?" She was more at ease now. If they chef was not going to report her, she would be fine so long as none of the maids came in, and she did not think they would at this time of day. Her stepmother would never set foot in the kitchen.
#8
The stepmother never stepped in the kitchen because the stepmother had some Merlin-forsaken service bell that could be heard throughout the entire estate.

“Actually, I was just about to make some farmer’s cheese for the salad,”
he said.

He wasn’t, but better the family not feel they were imposing. It was a quick solution and a good indicator that he’d better start making use of the cellar soon. Thankfully, they still had a decent amount of milk stocked for the night. He put a pot on the stove, poured the milk and sprinkled some salt in.

“There’s some leftover mashed potatoes in the cooling cupboard.”
#9
She did not want to seem ungrateful, but it was not quite what she needed. She blushed once more. "Would you... happen to have some hard food left... something I might bring? Some bread perhaps." Lynette did feel like she was imposing. But then again, Lynette usually felt like she was imposing. Her favourite mode was quiet and invisible.
#10
Something hard. Something she could bring. Something she could sneak, that didn’t require utensils... he’d only made enough scones for lunchtime.

“There is some...”
he trailed, trying to buy himself time to come up with something as his eyes searched the room. “... There’s some blackberries. Jerky’s on the menu tomorrow.”

Restaurant cooking was far different from running a household.
#11
Lynette pondered over it for a moment, her hand reaching up to her chin. "Do you think mice eat blackberries?" She finally asked.
#12
Without for a second considering the dire implications of that:

“Mice eat anything,”
he said with a frown. “Just make sure not to leave it out.”
#13
That was kind of the idea. "I befriended the mice in my wall and I think they had babies..." Lynette said. "I don't want them to starve." She even kept her cat out of the room to make sure she wouldn't catch the mice.
#14
There was a delay in reaction at ‘befriended the mice’. A slow blink, followed by a confused crease of the brows, and then a thin-pressed line of his mouth as an impossible situation was laid out before him. On one hand, he was touched by the girl’s compassion. On the other... mice infestations were absolute disasters.

“Mice are quite resourceful,”
he said carefully. “If they’re doing well enough to reproduce, they already have adequate food supplies. And I’m not sure a house is the safest place for mice...”

The stepmother came to mind far before the cat.
#15
"Are you certain?" Lynette asked with a concerned frown. "It would be truly dreadful if those poor dears lost their babies." She was old enough to remember her stepmother's miscarriage. And how her mama had died and taken the baby with her. Papa had been a different man. She wouldn't wish such suffering on anyone. Man or mouse.
#16
All he really knew about mice was that once they were there they never really left. Goodness. How would one even start to evaluate mouse health. His family raised goats, but goats were kind of different.

“Is the mouse showing any signs of distress?”


Uuugh. She was young enough to be one of his sisters and he could see this really meant a lot to her.


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