Did you know?
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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Brigit Langley for Fletcher Langley.
The Matchmaking Menace
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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Post 3+ times in three or more class threads during the course of a school year. Must all be done with the same character, be they a professor, student, or school portrait or ghost!

False Riches
March 24, 1889 - Hogsmeade Memorial Ballroom; Flamel Charity Event
Another party was not what Rosie wanted in her life at the moment. But, as always, Hugo insisted that they attend the ball to forge connections and appear charitable. Was it really charitable if the intentions were false? She was to her wits end when it came to his ambitions. Her life was supposed to lead to an exciting career, not to become the little house wife who hosted parties and made connections with a bunch of snobs. Who was the real Slytherin in this relationship? After all of these years of marriage, she certainly didn't feel like a Slytherin.

Though the party was beautiful, all she wanted for the evening was to go back home and write to her children about all of the magic that was a part of the party. Who really wanted to deal with a bunch of socialites and anyone else who saw fit to judge her based on her husband's ambitions. Though most probably thought that she shared such ambitions. It wasn't as if she was actively disobeying him and avoiding the social climbing. But what would people say if they noticed just how strained their marriage actually was? To anyone who wasn't her dear friend, they were a happy couple with lovely children.

At the moment she was gazing over the food that was offered. What an interesting assortment. It was indeed rumored that the Flamel family were quite wealthy. Was it easier living this life if one was born into it? Or did a rich person feel the strain of attending these events just to keep up appearances? It wasn't as if she could really ask. One wouldn't want to seem like too much of a social climber. Looking over, she smiled politely at the person beside her. "Interesting party, isn't it?"

Magic by MJ
Ernest typically found it was best not to ask too many questions when his wife presented him with a social engagement for his calendar. The answers were inevitable disappointing, and over the years he had made something of a game of trying to glean who was hosting the event and what it was for after he'd already arrived. He could spot a hostess at a hundred yards, though the hosts were sometimes less conspicuous, depending on their style. Themed parties were usually easy to identify. Causes, on the other hand, could be more elusive. This one was proving absolutely baffling. Something related to the earth, he supposed, from the charms on the ceiling and floor. Not the literal earth, though, or else why bother with all of the exotic food?

Some sort of international aid organization was his best guess so far, though he was hoping he'd be able to refine it as the night went on and determine what it was they actually did. He'd check his work in the carriage ride on the way home, by listening in on Rufina's casual conversation to see how close he'd come — assuming, of course, that she cared enough to talk about it. With the less impressive events, she sometimes didn't.

He'd been playing this game secretly for several years and had never mentioned it to another soul, but for some reason when the woman next to him spoke up, he considered sharing it with her. She had an air about her that was immediately sympathetic to him — she was trying to seem engaged with something she clearly did not want to enjoy, which was how he had been at social events ever since he'd married Rufina.

"I didn't read the plaque when we came in," he confessed quietly. "So I've been trying to determine the cause for the evening. My best guess is sending food to tribes of starving Africans — what do you think? Hot or cold?"

She, presumably, knew why they were here. Hopefully she would be more amused by his antics than she was by the party.

If they didn't have children, surely they would not stop arguing. But Rosie pretended to be happy in this marriage. For the children's sake. She didn't know if she could really do it for her own. Maybe when their marriage had begun, but now? It felt like she would be a lot more vocal regarding her distaste for all of this if her children's precious innocent oblivion wasn't at stake. Blissfully unaware. How she liked them to be. Perhaps every now and then she saw the tension... but she dearly hoped not. She did her best to hide it. It worked in the eye of the public, but her stress weighed on her by the time she got home. Did any of the children notice it? The girls were her main concern. Albin was so like their father, sometimes he frustrated her to. But she could never be nearly as frustrated with her own child. The motherly instinct in her was far too strong for that.

What was worse was that lately Hugo had actually had the nerve to complain that there weren't enough sons. Hadn't she given him enough children? It seemed silly to have another child with such an age gap from Emma. But it was now in his head. Hopefully some sort of business would distract him from bugging her about the matter. For now, she focused on the parties. The uneventful social climbing.

So when she was asked a rather interesting question, she was quite pleased by the change of pace. Not even being able to help the pleased smile that started to form on her face as she thought of an appropriate answer. While she had taken a glance at the plaque, she had forgotten by now about what this event was about. So many of them blurred together by now. Though she wasn't a Ravenclaw, she did value intellect over boring chit-chat. "Hot. I'd suspect it would be in areas more commonly known to have firefly habitats. Hot or cold?" Even if she did remember what this event was for, she would likely still play along. Why stop now?

Magic by MJ
His remark had an immediately effect on the woman, transforming her look of apathy into one of pleasure. Ernest was glad that he'd shared his little game, particularly when she started to play along. "Ah! You didn't read it either?" he asked, pleasantly surprised. He tended to assume that women were interested in these sorts of things, because they were supposed to be. It was refreshing to find someone who both wasn't interested, and was quite comfortable being plain about the fact.

Turning his attention back to the room, he considered her counter-supposition. "An interesting deduction," he mused as he saw an enchanted firefly flit up from the illusion of grass on the floor. He had seen them before, of course, but he hadn't paid enough attention to realize they were fireflies instead of just decorative magical lights. "Hot. And since fireflies prefer humidity, and most of Northern Africa is arid, we've narrowed it down considerably." He didn't know where he'd learned that fact about fireflies, or why. Sometimes things he read just stuck with him, floating around in the back of his head and waiting to be useful, as was apparently the case here.

"Something on the South-Eastern edge of the continent, where the savanna grasses grow," he posited, gesturing to the floor. "Hot or cold?"

It was all innocent fun. That was what she told herself. When he asked if she had read the plaque as well, she made a mental note to not read them anymore. Why bother? They all blur together anyway. This was far more interesting than simply chatting about the event with the same tone of talk of the weather. "I took a glance at it, though these events all seem to blur together." She admitted. If she tried to name one, it might as well have been the name of one from last week or the week before. Hugo had dragged her to far too many events. The first few had been interesting. Either of them getting a richer friend to have them invited to the more fancier parties. But it had gotten old a long time ago.

He turned his attention to the room, and so did she. Glancing around, she spotted Hugo in deep conversation with several rich looking men. Of course he was. Never a surprise, really. But she let it go and focused back on the game. What could she remember about fireflies? Or Africa, for that matter. Thinking of what he had said, it sounded logical. The top of Africa was not near the tropic of... what was it again? Both started with a 'C'. She had read it somewhere. "Hot. The habitats of the fireflies would likely be located at and around the tropics. I would say that the donations would go to one of the colonies there. Hot or Cold?" Her brother-in-law owned a bookstore, and she liked him to read.

Magic by MJ
"Hmmm," Ernest mumbled, considering her counter. "Cold," he decided. They would run out of specifications to make if every guess was presumed to be right. Of course, having said that, he had to find something to back it up with. He'd been to Africa on assignment from the Ministry on a few occasions, but it wasn't as though they had involved much in the way of sightseeing. He had been more focused on the research aspect of the trips, and his recollection of African geography was spotty at best.

"Most of the colonies in that part of Africa are French," he declared. He didn't really know if it was true, but at least it wasn't very far off — the horn of Africa was French, and he didn't think the coastline South of it was British. "And no self-respeting English citizen would throw a fundraiser to help the French. No, I think — English missionaries to the Eastern Congo," he continued, picking a destination more or less at random that seemed like it aligned with what they'd already decided. "Hot or cold?"

The game had been too close to ending too soon. Which would have been quite the disappointment to Rosie. This had so far been the most fun she had had at one of these parties in a while. Why give that up too soon. But she was not as familiar in this subject as him.

It was true that France had the majority of the colonial territory… she assumed anyway. But then she remembered someone mentioning something about the hosts themselves. “Cold. I've heard that the hosts are actually French. Loyalty can be divided at times. I once again offer my previous guess, hot or cold?” What that said about the hosts remained to be seen.

Magic by MJ
"Cold," Ernest insisted. This was one point he was unwilling to cede, for no other reason than he'd decided to be stubborn. "The hosts may be French, but the guests are English. My point regarding patriotism stands; no one wants to give money to the French." That may not have been as solid of a point as he was implying. He, for one, had no real control over how his money was spent, and he didn't think it mattered a whit to his wife what the cause for the fundraiser was. She would buy things she liked and maybe a few things she didn't, regardless of what the money was going towards. If he was lucky, he might get a tally of it at the end, but actually tightening the purse strings in any capacity was far more trouble than it was worth for him.

But reality wasn't as interesting as their game, so cold it was. "I'll grant you the location," he offered, "For the hosts' sentimentality. But I wager English missionaries there, all the same. Hot or cold?"

A part of her that had not come out since the early years of her marriage was sparking to life now. The basic Slytherin traits of hers. Her ambition to be right at this moment over the issue was pulling at her. But it wasn't an unpleasant one. She was quite enjoying herself. Far more than any conversation between herself and her husband. Her problem was how to go about her counter-argument. But she didn't answer him quite yet. Instead, she let it go as though she were debating on if he was right or not, rather than show that she had already made up her mind.

Gazing around as she thought, her eyes hovered briefly over her husband. Shamelessly attempting at building connections, same as always. But that was when gold struck. This was exactly what the rich did. Send money for the sake of looking good, not caring one bit about where the funds went. Just like Hugo. Perhaps he really was meant for the upper crust of society. Something that she really couldn't care less about. "Cold. Society lives off of validation. Donating money too look good to those around them. To impress others. Doesn't matter where the money goes, as long as there's a big enough audience for the exchange. Hot or cold?"

Magic by MJ

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