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Julius Scrimgeour for Bella Scrimgeour.
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Time After Time
#1
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May 30th, 1889 — Hogwarts Coming Out Ball
With nothing better to do with his night, Jack had taken it upon himself to slip in among the Hogwarts Coming Out Ball attendees. He wasn't exactly marriageable age yet but he could afford to marry sooner than most if the inkling struck him. Which it didn't. He was mainly here for the nostalgia, drinks and food. The pretty girls didn't hurt anything either. Some of the graduating students had been among those that he had considered so young when he had been a seventh year himself. And now they were also adults. It was amazing how time worked.

The girls, formerly awkward preteens to him, had grown into beautiful young women. Speaking of which, he had already danced with a couple of them and was now about to approach another. "Care to dance?" He inquired.

Open to any 21 or under female


#2
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Jemima was so glad the school year was over. The stress of OWLs had been next to nothing; the worst that could have happened was failing all her classes, in which situation she supposed she'd had reasonable trauma this term to account for it, and if she had to leave school, then that was wonderful, she could lie low for a few years until everything was forgotten, never have to see half the people in the school who hated her again, and possibly even leave the country to ensure it.

Of course, she hadn't been looking forward to the Coming Out ball as much as she had hoped all last summer. Not that she was Coming Out yet (and it would be her last if she failed everything), but this was still her first time attending. And an excuse to wear a pretty dress. She may not have the prettiest of characters - the world knew that well enough by now - but she could, at least, put on a nice frock and fake it for a day.

Unfortunately, the awkwardness was proving difficult to shake off. Everywhere she looked it was a valiant struggle to meet anyone's eye - friends or foes, or even the professors lurking in the corners! - and Jemima didn't dare do anything to make a fool of herself tonight.

So, as yet, she had not dared do anything, except stand safely by the wall in her lilac dress and look positively engrossed in the sky-ceiling. She was trying to figure out whether the constellation she had pinpointed was actually Cassiopeia, when -

Care to dance?

"Oh!" Jemima said, tearing her gaze away and alighting on a young man she knew to be a quidditch player. And a former Hufflepuff, though he wouldn't remember her. "Yes, of course," she said breathlessly, reaching out her gloved hand for him to take just before she realised... he had not been talking to her at all, but the debutante in white just beside her. Fuck.
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bee is wonderful
#3
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Jack's eye had been on one of the newly debuted young ladies but rather than her hand accepting a dance for them, their attention both shifted to a younger girl - likely still a student. The debutante laughed in a way that didn't sit right with Jack. He had a feeling that she was expecting him to laugh as well and whisk her off to the dance floor away from the younger girl.

Being of kind nature, Jack instead smiled at the girl as if that was who he had meant the invitation for in the first place. Only the three of them would be sure to know the truth, he figured. "Shall we?" He said, taking the girls gloved hand and moving to escort her onto the dance floor. Jack was understandably oblivious to the girls notoriety around Hogwarts and would likely continue to be so unless someone chose to enlighten him.


#4
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Oh god oh god oh god she'd really gone and done it now, hadn't she? She ought to be impervious to embarrassment after all this time, shouldn't she? And still her cheeks were hot with humiliation as the other girl laughed.

The boy - young man - was smiling, and Jemima felt her heart tighten in a vice. Only... the vice loosened again, unexpectedly, as the smile did not slip into a laugh - a dreadful, vicious hyena laugh like the girl's, resounding in her head - and he did not recoil from her hand as he should have.

Well, wasn't he a saint? Jemima let out a breath and tried to keep her posture straight, too relieved to worry about the knot of shame in her gut that wanted to remind her this was only pity, only politeness. After the year she'd had, she was grateful for pity. She smiled back at him bashfully, trying to decide whether to address the elephant in the room or merely concentrate on being so poised he forgot all about not having asked her to dance with in the first place.

Alright, so the latter was a bit of a tall order. Shyly, she prepared herself for the music to begin, resting her hand lightly on him and trying not to flutter like a leaf in sheer nervousness. "You're very kind," she said softly, silently thanking him with her eyes more profusely than she dared say aloud. Nothing had obliged him to do this - it could have turned out so very much worse.



bee is wonderful


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