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Fine Words Butter No Parsnips
August 5th, 1889
Monday Night Society Ball

Opulence and gold dripping from the ceilings would overwhelm a newcomer, Diana knew that much, however frequenting these sorts of society events had very much trained Diana to regard such decorations with little more than a passing glance. Dim candlelight had set the merriment off for the evening and she found her dance card almost full. The last dance of the night had yet to come around however Diana was feeling underwhelmed and overheated.

The candlelight made for surprising heat. The available spirits and iced berry punch did little to help the increasing pressure Diana felt around her abdomen. Undoubtedly it was the corset, but she could scarcely undo her corsets in this environment for some respite! Having sat down in order to catch her breath, the debutante could scarcely believe this was supposed to help with over-tight corsets. She placed a hand on her abdomen as she spotted her dance partner coming to fetch her. It was nearly time for the last dance, after which she knew her mother would want her to stay and socialize some more.

While she was normally keen on such traditions, tonight was the exception. Nevertheless, she had to follow through - unfortunately as she got up, the feeling of overwhelming exhaustion hit her with the force of a wall. Her vision exploded in bright colors and she lost her balance. "Oh, my stars!" she gasped out, before collapsing on the floor in a faint.

Open to any respectable UCAB!

He came to these things because that was what was done—Julius had surrendered much in his life, but while he was happy to remain well out of the spotlight, he would not completely relinquish his place in society. Besides, everything he could do to undo his father's ills to the family reputation would help the family (in particular, Araminta) moving forward—and was that not his duty, as the reluctant patriarch?

Having friends present helped, and having colleagues present was...fine. He could almost pretend that this was just another work-related function, were it not for the abundance of young women whose mothers would turn up their noses at him. How long, the wizard wondered, did scandal stick?

Though her collapse was far too genteel for him to hear, he certainly saw the woman go down from his vantage point on the outskirts of the dance floor. Scarcely even thinking—those latent auror instincts, it seemed, were not entirely comatose—he moved to the floor beside her, down on bended knee as he gingerly moved his hand so that his fingertips rested ever so slightly upon her clothed shoulder, not wishing to shock her into wakefulness with impropriety.

"Miss, can you hear me?" Julius asked tentatively, knowing that if she couldn't, are you alright? would be rather ineffective.

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graphics by lady ♥ —
Someone somewhere was speaking to her, though it sounded like they were speaking from across the crowded ballroom and she could feel a slight pressure on her shoulder. Ultimately, it was the feeling of cold hard ground on her back that shocked her back into consciousness, and Diana shifted uncomfortably to peer up at the face that was hovering just above her.

Brown curls and pale eyes were the first things she saw. As his features came more into focus, Diana blinked in surprise - she knew his face, of course. Her mother had warned her thousands of times about the family and the trouble they'd caused in society, however, Diana – perhaps like her father – usually decided to be rather hard of hearing in the months following any scandal, especially given Allegra's propensity to scold around such times. "I can," she responded, her voice straining as she shifted uncomfortably again. Would that she could take these god-forsaken corsets and throw them in the flames!

She grimaced as a sharp throbbing made itself known near her temple. Closing her eyes only made things worse; only made the stars dance in front of her eyes even more, and she attempted to sit up. "I'm terribly sorry, I do hope I haven't caused a spectacle." she said, risking a glance around her. Thankfully Allegra Fawley was not around to fuss over her daughter, however judging by the number of people around, Diana might as well expect it later that night when they got home.
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   Julius Scrimgeour
He gave a relieved smile at the answer—and the fact that she still seemed to be in good spirits. As she moved to sit, Julius' hand moved to her middle back—not lower; Merlin!—to steady her, knowing that she was likely still out of sorts.

"A small one," the wizard answered apologetically, "but I am afraid a spectacle nonetheless." She was not the first young lady to swoon at a ball and would certainly not be the last, but had the misfortune of being the only one, thus far, to do so at this particular function. That position did, alas, lead to a bit of drama in the air.

"If you feel well enough to stand, we might remove you to the balcony for some air—but only if you feel well enough."

[Image: 70mCNgn.jpg]
graphics by lady ♥ —
Diana mustered the strength to not bury her face in her hands, however the desire and embarassment to do so definitely flitted briefly across her face. She grimaced as she risked a glance around again, and her gaze moved back to Mr. Scrimgeour. He must have had more experience with ladies fainting than she realized, for his suggestion struck her as something he hadn't offered for the first time in his life. She nodded in agreeance. "I belive I am in a good state to move to the balcony," she responded, taking his outstretched hand and attempting to get up. She was careful to not put too much of her weight on him – merely enough to help her get up and onto her feet – before she took his arm properly and was led out onto the balcony.

The change in temperature from the ballroom to the balcony was an immediate boon the night granted her in light of the evening's recent events. She breathed a great sigh of relief as the air hit her person. Just as refreshing as a cool glass of water, she smiled easily. "What a beautiful night. I thank you for helping me back there, I am indebted to you Mr. Scrimgeour." She curtseyed her thanks, smiling up at him.
The night air washed over him, and Julius let out a breath he hadn't realized he had been holding. While it had been instinctive, to offer his assistance, it had also put him very much in the center of things, a position Julius did his best to avoid give his family's magnetism for scandal. Leaving the ballroom freed him from this renewed scrutiny, leaving the wizard feeling quite relieved.

"Any gentleman worth the title would have done as much," he dismissed her thanks, a verbal shrug. "No thanks are needed, Miss Fawley—though I trust you are not too bruised by the ordeal?"

[Image: 70mCNgn.jpg]
graphics by lady ♥ —

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