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Hit the Ground Running
#1
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Open to an UC socialite
June 5th, 1889 — Diagon Alley
It had taken several near death experiences to finally bring her to this point but it seemed she had at last decided to get her act together. Granted she had underhandedly obtained a new wand for herself to get around her husband holding hers hostage still. As far as she could tell Tiberius was unaware of her having access to a wand and she intended to keep it that way, at least until she had her proper wand back. The sneaking around aspect made going along with Tiberius' wishes somewhat tolerable. She'd do enough to get her wand back and then some, just to prove she could. She would make her triumphant return to society and before long she intended to have her husband regretting it by dragging him into it with her.

Her first chance to act on her plans presented itself just as she had finished a fitting at the House of Lytton. [Socialite's name] was finishing up her business when Tig seized an opportunity. While no one was looking she summoned the lady's parasol from across the room, shrunk it, and hid it in her pocket. Not long after, she was walking swiftly after the lady with the full sized parasol in her fist. "Excuse me," Tig closed the remaining distance between them with a slight trot, "I believe you left this at Lytton's!"



#2
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A new gown seldom failed to cheer Rufina Mulciber, in part because it afforded her an opportunity to show of and in part because she liked to see if her husband would even notice (he seldom did). Today's fitting at the House of Lytton had gone well, and the witch had been assured that the dinner gown would be ready within the week—well in advance of Evelyn Abercrombie's rather ambitious function for the Pendergast School. Splendid.

As she had departed from the fashion house, the socialite did not even realize she had left behind her parasol—though she would insist surely she would have, had she not been approached almost immediately across the threshold.

A moment's confusion crossed her face as Rufina looked from the young Mrs. Lestrange to the parasol in her outstretched hand before recognizing it as her own.

"Merlin, my complexion would not have thanked me had I made it much further without it!" she answered with a polite laugh, reclaiming her possession. "I am grateful to you."
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#3
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"It's nothing, I'm sure anyone else would have done the same." That was an appropriately humble response, was it not? It pained her to let the words pass her lips but she had her end goal fixed in her mind and that would have to keep her pride from causing her to implode. Tig smiled what she hoped was a warm, natural looking smile like she'd been practicing. The hard part was making it reach her eyes.

"I am merely glad that I could be of service to you, Mrs. Mulciber." She wanted to hurl at her own sugary words but that would not entice the older woman to be of use to her. She only had to say enough to keep the woman from departing and then she could get to the point. "It would be an awful shame to have lost it when it matches your gown so very well!" Tig ardently hoped that her face wasn't betraying her discomfort in some way.



#4
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Flattery. It always served a purpose, and some were more skillful at doling it out than others. Mrs. Lestrange, Rufina thought, certainly fell into the former category—but Rufina was not so vain that she could not recognize it for what it was. She was vain enough that she assumed it was offered simply because of her status within society, an occupational hazard.

"A charm my lady's maid mastered early in her tenure," she shrugged off the compliment as though it were nothing, though eyes and smile revealed it had pleased her. "An invaluable tool in her arsenal, I daresay."



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#5
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Unless she was very much mistaken her flattery had done the trick with Mrs. Mulciber. "I do wish my maid was capable of such spells, unfortunately she seems to struggle with even the simplest enchantments." Tig sighed in feigned dismay. Suddenly she brightened her expression and gazed at the older woman with a wide-eyed imploring gaze. "Oh, Mrs. Mulciber, I don't suppose you happen to be attending the Young Roses tea later this month, are you?" As soon as the words were out of her mouth she wondered if she'd maybe jumped the gun a bit, would it seem like a natural progression in the conversation?

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#6
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"I am," she replied, an upturn in her tone at the end of the statement suggesting, why do you ask? Frankly, in Rufina's estimation, any invitees to this year's tea that declined the opportunity were idiots or else very old.

And Rufina Mulciber was always an invitee.

"I like to go each year to better get a feel for the school and it's values, in case I should like to send my daughter there someday."



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#7
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It suddenly dawned on her that they both had daughters and that this commonality would probably have Mrs. Mulciber chattering away in a heartbeat, thereby fulfilling what she'd set out to do. The very thought of talking as though she were a mother was beyond her current capabilities, however. Her limit began and ended at admitting that she had a child.

"I was thinking of attending but..." Tig let the sentence hang for a moment, hoping she'd seem meek and reticent to the older woman. "I've been so long out of society and I'm afraid it'll be quite obvious." She dipped her eyes for lack of being able to force a blush and awaited Mrs. Mulciber's response. It was true that she had been out of society for a very long while but she felt no anxiety over it.

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#8
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"How better to re-debut," Rufina asked, eyebrows raised, "than with a grand entrance at such a prominent function?"

It was not, the witch thought, within the norm to acknowledge one's absence from society—was Mrs. Lestrange poised to reveal some sort of juicy explanation?



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#9
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"That's what I'm hoping for." It was a good way to re-enter society, wasn't it? Tig privately applauded herself for her cleverness. Outwardly, she tried to look a little mopey and downcast. She was hoping Mrs. Mulciber would give her a good opening so she didn't have to work too hard or risk being too obvious but she'd do what she had to to get what she wanted. "I can't imagine you've ever been in my position, have you, Mrs. Mulciber?"



#10
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"No," she replied easily, "I cannot say that I have."

Rufina Mulciber was never one too long out of the limelight. True, she had taken a brief hiatus after her...incident, but had managed the matter seamlessly—enough so that even she could almost believe it had never happened.



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