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Maman Told Me (Not To Come)
#1
Private 
1st July, 1889 — Place Cachée, Paris
@Ursula Black
Glancing over her newly acquired rose-tinted spectacles Elladora came to the conclusion that she was definitely correct and had been a fool to doubt herself. Ursula was either getting fat in preparation for middle age - something Ella knew for a fact her vain sister-in-law would never do - or else she was expecting yet again. It was hardly shocking, the woman bred like a prize mare, but it took her a moment to place the date and as she sipped her jet-black coffee she decided that it must have happened around Easter.

"I suspect we'll need to get all your new dresses taken out before long," she said with coolness to match the charm she had placed around the both of them as they sat in the sunshine, utterly immune to its rays and heat, which was just as well given how much everybody around them appeared to be suffering. Honestly, some wizards were as idiotic as muggles - why suffer when there was absolutely no need?

Which was, she thought with a jolt of mirth, precisely how she felt about Ursula's pregnancies. Was it really so hard to keep one's legs together?
[-] The following 2 users Like Elladora Black's post:
   Blythe Fairchild, Ursula Black


[Image: oTkHlW.png]
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#2
Ursula had had plenty of time to get used to the idea of Belvina being her last child; four was a nice, even number and with Phineas barely touching her once a year if at all, the chances of there being a fifth child were all but none. Not to mention she felt quite liberated having gone three years without pregnancy - she hadn't gone so long without conceiving since her marriage to Phineas. Unfortunately for her that streak was now broken. Since reluctantly admitting to herself a handful of weeks ago that she was indeed expecting, she had ardently hoped it would all come to nothing and after a little bed rest she'd be back to normal. She was still waiting for such an incident.

Wanting to force herself back into a state of denial it irritated her immensely that Elladora suddenly saw fit to compromise any progress she had made, not to mention her vanity would not tolerate it. "I hardly think that will be necessary," she snapped back. For the first time since they had sat down she picked up her tea cup and forced the dreaded liquid down. There was yet another horrid remind of her condition. "Nor do I care for your insinuations, Elladora." It was safe to say that she was feeling exceptionally surly today.





Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
#3
“Hardly an insinuation,” Ella responded coolly, eyebrow raised. She had been noticing the swell for a while, had been waiting to be told she was to be an aunt to another spare child, and short of checking Ursula’s lines to see if her monthly course was still in effect she had been observing her sister-in-law closely. She rarely let the other woman out of her sight for too long, being all too familiar with what happened when she didn’t. “Unless you’ve been gorging on sweets from Honeydukes with Mrs Mulciber when she comes to visit?”

Out of the corner of her eye Elladora spotted her mother’s unmistakable visage coming towards their table and felt a moment of pique. She was certainly not in the mood to explain to her mother why Ursula was in such a mood, nor was she prepared to allow her sister-in-law to wriggle off the hook by way of a third person being present.

Under the table Ella pulled out her wand and quietly, wordlessly, confounded her mother, watching as she wandered off recalling an entirely fictional meeting of her book club.


[Image: oTkHlW.png]
gorgeous set by MJ
#4
Ursula was so wrapped up in her own drama that she didn't even notice her mother-in-law approaching, nor did she notice her strange retreat.

She flushed with anger at the very notion that she'd overindulged herself into a state of corpulence. "Of course not! You know I really have had quite enough of your disrespect; I am your brother's wife, not one of your elves, I will not be spoken to in such a manner." Her words were cutting and cold rather than the usual angry fluster Ella might see from her. A nerve had been touched and she was in absolutely no mood to be teased today. "Perhaps it is time you considered a pair of spectacles, it's hardly unusual for a woman of your age to need such things." There, that made her feel a little better. What she really wanted to do now was leave but she hadn't reached the point of storming off in public just yet.

[-] The following 1 user Likes Ursula Black's post:
   Elladora Black




Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
#5
Eyebrows raised in mild shock Elladora tucked her wand safely away and put down her coffee cup with a small clink. The insult barely permeated, it was hardly the first Ursula had ever slung in her direction and if her sister-in-law was going to resort to commenting upon her age then she really wasn’t trying hard enough, but Ursula’s clear agitation was much more worthy of analysis.

Point one: Ursula was clearly pregnant. If she wasn’t then Elladora couldn’t fathom why she would be so incensed by the accusation and any shadow of a doubt she had possessed had flitted away.

Point two: Ursula was also clearly quite put out by this pregnancy. This wasn’t surprising – Elladora paled at the thought of even one creature sucking life from her so the prospect of a sixth had to be deeply unpleasant.

Point three: Ursula had not admitted it yet and was perilously close to vanishing before she did, which would never do. Elladora wanted answers and by Merlin she intended to get them, even if she had to try a different tract.

“I’ll consider it,” she said dryly. “In the meantime, perhaps you’d be good enough to tell me what I am not seeing?”


[Image: oTkHlW.png]
gorgeous set by MJ
#6
Ursula was fresh out of snappy retorts. She huffed irritably instead and drew her hands into her lap. She dug her nails into the skin of her hands as she contemplated her sister-in-law. It would be very easy to leave and then she wouldn't have to deal with this, but for Merlin's sake why did Ella have to make things unpleasant for no good reason?

Elladora seemed to have guessed she was in the family way again so why the need to press her about it? She absolutely did not want to say it out loud and she wouldn't be harassed into a confession, not if she could help it!

"Where do you suppose your mother has gotten to? She ought to be here." As a general rule Ursula would always take the daughter's company over the mother's, but an exception had finally been found.





Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
#7
The agitation clear in the other woman’s demeanour gave Elladora as clear an answer as she thought herself likely to get; Ursula looked as though she might leave at any moment and Ella suspected the only reason she wasn’t looking at any empty seat was that there was nowhere Ursula could go that would hide her from Ella forever.

“I’m sure she’ll turn up,” Ella said disinterestedly, not even bothering to cast a glance around to check her mother hadn’t been trampled by a carriage. She leaned in a little closer to her sister-in-law, eyes firmly fixed on Ursula’s until she was sure she had the other woman’s attention.

“Another pregnancy is far from ideal, I understand that, but you seem disproportionately miserable about this one and I can’t help but wonder why. And if I wonder why…”

She let the end of her sentence trail off. If Phineas wasn’t the father – or if he couldn’t be convinced that he was – then they were both done for. What use was a serially unfaithful wife and a sister who failed to notice despite their proximity to one another?


[Image: oTkHlW.png]
gorgeous set by MJ
#8
So much for distracting her she was like a bloodhound on a scent trail. Her annoying determination was somewhat eclipsed by her insinuation though which really did nothing for Ursula's ill humor. To her chagrin she thought she could feel something of a flush in her cheeks which was more response than Elladora deserved.

"I have had quite enough." She didn't want to leave and she hoped she wouldn't have to, that Elladora would apologize or at the very least change topic, but she didn't think she could keep her head a moment longer if the woman persisted. Ursula gathered her things about her and gave the impression she was about to get to her feet to make a hasty departure. "I shall take my leave and perhaps I will see you this evening."





Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
#9
Elladora sat and waited patiently for Ursula to flounce away after her dramatic pronouncement. And waited. Eventually, when no actual movement was forthcoming she rolled her eyes behind her glasses and lifted her coffee cup to her lips. No sooner had the porcelain touched her that its manufactured chill seemed to sweep through her entire body as a different possibility struck her.

One that was much more terrible than the simple possibility it might not be Phineas’ child.

“Oh Merlin, it isn’t going to come out looking foreign is it?”
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[Image: oTkHlW.png]
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#10
Had they been in a more secluded location there was a high chance that Ursula would have struck her sister-in-law at that very moment, as it was she had had to clench her left hand into a tight fist to prevent herself from following through. They might have been in France but that didn't mean word wouldn't reach home.

Her nostrils flared angrily as she stared daggers at Ella. "If it looks anyway it shouldn't I suggest you look very carefully at your precious bloodline, it won't have anything to do with me." Her voice had become a seething hiss. After all of her idle threats, she finally stood up to leave her place at the table. "You go too far, Elladora, I shan't forget this."





Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
#11
Elladora was quite sure that she would not forget it either. What Ursula had said was curious – even if she had inadvertently confirmed that there was an it in play, an admission that gave Ella no small amount of satisfaction – but still…curious. The Black bloodline was, naturally, immaculate. They had a tapestry to prove what happened to recalcitrant members after all, and centuries of history to support the boast that there were no bad apples allowed to inherit.

There were Blacks to be ashamed of, that was true enough – her own sister for one – but she and Phineas had come from the very finest, the very purest stock, of that she had no doubt. Ursula, child that she remained, was lashing out and desperately cleaving to any excuse that would exonerate her in whatever it was she had done this time.

“You are making a spectacle,” Elladora replied coolly, waving a dismissive hand in her sister-in-law’s direction. “Go home before you disgrace yourself. I won’t be joining you for dinner this evening,” her eyes flashed dangerously as she eyed Ursula from over her spectacles. “But the house-elves will be keeping a close eye on you to ensure you remain strong.”
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[Image: oTkHlW.png]
gorgeous set by MJ
#12
Ursula thought she couldn't get any angrier at her sister-in-law but it seemed she had been mistaken. Why had she been burdened with this harridan? Whoever would have imagined that a daughter of such a respected pureblood family would have failed to find a suitor, she had surely had gentlemen lining up the moment she debuted, why did she have be selfish and ruin both their lives by remaining unattached! She would always be a secondary mistress of the house with Ella around, especially the way she kept the elves in her thrall. It wasn't right. If only Phineas cared enough to put his sister in her place but it was fine for him, he spent every waking moment at that wretched school.

"You shan't be missed." She loathed to be dismissed thus but she hadn't the energy to stay and fight. "Good day." On the contrary, Ursula hoped Elladora had a miserable day.





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