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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Questionable Friend/Crush for Philip Aymslowe.
When your mum thinks you're gay for your best friend (but you probably are)
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!

We're Going Home
March 16th, 1888 — Celtic Street Fair
Some things are simple and hard to ignore
They say the truth is like that

Ben might have still been a little paranoid about his interactions with Ellory Pendergast. Given everything that the two of them had been through over the past eight months, it was hard not to be. He wondered if her older sister had found some stash of his letters that she was keeping and gotten suspicious about her plans to visit the Street Fair. He wondered whether her plans had changed, and she'd been too self-conscious or too heavily observed by her chaperones to write to him and say as much. He even wondered, even though she had promised him she wouldn't, whether she had let slip to the wrong person about their would-be liaison, and gotten herself (or worse, him) into trouble with someone.

He'd come and wandered through the fair yesterday feeling both hopeful and apprehensive. There had been plenty to distract himself with, of course, but by the time he'd headed back to the club he was more than a little disappointed not to have happened upon the redhead. Ben came back the next day, but had largely exhausted the amusing part of the festival. That left him nothing to do, really, except drink and play carnival games, and hope that at some point she showed up. And that he didn't have Aldous waiting for him in his room when he went back home, with another ticket to Canada or Timbuktu or something.

It was early afternoon by the time that he finally spotted her, mercifully without any crazy sister in sight. Not that Ben had ever met her crazy sister, nor did he really think he would recognize her, but there wasn't anyone loitering around Ellory exuding an air of crazy, which gave him rather more confidence than it should have. "Princess!" he greeted boldly, with a wide grin. He was more than a little bit tipsy. "I wasn't sure you were really coming!"

He is sensible and simple; bold and natural
So strange and agreeable; there is nothing formidable
His smile is most naive, cheerful and good-natured
And he’s as handsome up close as at a distance
Ellory wasn't sure that she'd find Ben at the carnival. She'd mentioned to him that she was going, but they hadn't really exchanged any letters since she'd sent him some pictures. His answer to that had been too much like 'Thanks for the pictures, now bye' and Ellory had felt awkward about writing him.

She hoped that she'd see him at the carnival, though she would have preferred a less grandiose greeting! Thankfully, Ellory was only with Aunt Katherina that day, who trusted her enough not to hover over her head like some eagle. (She was presently engaged in some carnival game nearby but far enough for the purposes of this thread.)

"Well here I am!" Ellory said sheepishly as she looked over her head to make sure her chaperone hadn't heard. She took Ben by the hand and dragged him to some behind-the-tents area.
Calling her princess might have been a bit bold (or, rather, might have seemed so upon sober reflection, which Ben certainly didn't have the time or sobriety for at the moment), but it was certainly no bolder than Ellory reaching out and grabbing his hand, right in the middle of the aisle. He hadn't expected anything like this at all, but he followed when she pulled him aside easily enough. "Where are we going?" he asked, in a tone he thought was suitably quiet although it was really just a normal speaking voice. More-than-halfway-to-intoxicated Ben had poor volume control and very little self awareness of what was and was not subtle.

"I didn't think running off to snog in the bushes was on the agenda," he joked. "Though I'm not opposed." Not in the least bit, really. The idea had crossed him mind on more than one occasion, though if Ben had had his druthers their first liaison would have happened somewhere with a good deal more privacy than the middle of a bustling street fair on an Irish holiday. He had the presence of mind to wonder very vaguely where her chaperone was (and who her chaperone was) and whether she'd bribed them or drugged them or something to get a chance alone with him — though he was hardly going to make a fuss about it if she had gone to all those lengths, or even spoil the moment by asking too many questions. Merlin, though, if he'd known that she was this willing to throw caution to the winds, he could have come and found her a month ago at her bedside window!

He is sensible and simple; bold and natural
So strange and agreeable; there is nothing formidable
His smile is most naive, cheerful and good-natured
And he’s as handsome up close as at a distance
At the time of her doing so, pulling Ben away seemed as the best way to evade her chaperone seeing them together. She couldn't have Ben talking so loudly to her among so many people, but she didn't want to shoo him away either. She'd waited days to see him!

She blushed when he brought up the possibility of kissing. It wasn't her intention at all when she'd pulled him in the back of the tents. The prospect excited her and scared her, at the same time. She'd never kissed someone before! Not like this, anyway! Her short-lived peck with Andren Lovegood back when they were thirteen didn't count!

"There were too many people there!" Ellory replied shyly. She didn't answer Ben's second question, though she continued to hold his hand, even if they weren't moving anymore. Was he expecting her to kiss him now? She couldn't do that! She wouldn't mind him kissing her. What if he reached to do so when she wasn't ready and their foreheads collided, or their noses, or their teeth?
To someone who didn't have any particular hang-ups about kissing (it was not, after all, anywhere near Ben's first kiss), her non-answer sounded a lot like a yes. If all she was concerned about was whether there were people around to see them, it seemed as though she'd also found a way to overcome that obstacle. Their current position behind the scenes, so to speak, of the festival presented them a perfect opportunity to get away with whatever they wanted. Ben glanced around to ensure they were, in fact, alone and not being trailed by some nosy well-meaning fairgoer, then he leaned in for the kiss without hesitation.

He had no intention of making the kiss either quick or innocent; they'd waited far too long and been through too much for that sort of nonsense. Besides, he'd had a few drinks and was pleasantly buzzed, and that made him more bold even than he normally was. He left one hand in hers, but moved his other first to her jawline as he pulled her into position for the kiss, then let it trail down to her waistline.

Ben was enjoying himself, but he could tell that she was new at this sort of thing (you could always tell, if you were paying attention) and so he didn't prolong it too much before he pulled away, already smiling. He left his hand on her waist and didn't move back at all, so they were only a few inches apart in their little niche behind the tents. "If either of our families find out, that was your idea," he joked. On the hand that held hers he ran his thumb lightly over the back of her hand in a teasing sort of way. He really should have just left it at that, but for a moment his mouth seemed to come disconnected from his brain, because he found himself continuing in the same light, jovial tone, "You're the one who's always moving too fast, anyway, with your 'dearest Ben's and love, Ellory's."

He is sensible and simple; bold and natural
So strange and agreeable; there is nothing formidable
His smile is most naive, cheerful and good-natured
And he’s as handsome up close as at a distance
Ellory had never kissed a man before -- not like this, anyway -- and she didn't live in an era where she could have grown familiar to the act of kissing, even if she'd never partaken in it, so her contribution to the kiss was a clumsy one. She did return it with similar force to Ben's, though it lacked his casual grace. To his Michal Phelps, she was someone who was just learning the basics of swimming.

It was over too soon. Now that their lips were no longer linked, Ellory felt exposed. Red, flustered and naked. She couldn't stop smiling, though, even though she was self-conscious about how silly she looked!

"Shame on me for leading you astray," Ellory joked shyly, with a voice that shivered and cracked by the tension in her body. She wanted for them to kiss again, though she felt too shy to initiate one herself.
The moment that the words had come out of his mouth about the way she signed her letters, Ben was sure they would put Ellory on the defensive, but it seemed that wasn't the case. Perhaps the afterglow of the kiss was outshining the potential argument lingering in the air there. He'd gotten off lightly, and he didn't want to push his luck by saying some other stupid thing though of course he was going to eventually because that's the whole point of having truth ale involved in a thread. Before his mouth could get him into any actual trouble with the princess, he pushed it back up against hers in a second and slightly lengthier kiss. She was still a little awkward about it — it seemed like her tongue was never in the right place — but she'd at least been expecting this one, and that level of mental preparation showed in the way she returned his kiss.

"You're getting better at this," he teased when he broke away again. He planted one light kiss on her forehead, one on her lips, and then a playful one in the space where her neck met her collarbone and her skin disappeared into her dress. He wanted to see more of her, but this was neither the time nor the place — and given their history, it probably wasn't a good idea for him to even be thinking along those lines, anyway. Without really thinking about it, he said under his breath, "Shame we won't get any farther," before leaning in for another more involved kiss.

He is sensible and simple; bold and natural
So strange and agreeable; there is nothing formidable
His smile is most naive, cheerful and good-natured
And he’s as handsome up close as at a distance
Ellory was more of a receiver than a giver in their little make-out session. There was a part of her that wanted to kiss Ben places rather than have him kiss her only, but she couldn't find the courage to do so. At least in the second kiss, she moved her hands on Ben's chest and shoulders area, instead of stand awkwardly while being kissed.

Ben's words were certainly encouraging, though any potential for further practice was shattered. The meaning of his words went completely over her head.

"You're leaving?" Ellory asked with a pout. "Was that all?"
Ellory's frown had stopped what would have been their third long kiss before it began, and Ben leaned back slightly so that he could survey her features with confusion. "No, I meant —" he started, then realized that he probably shouldn't have said anything in the first place and definitely shouldn't go into any extensive detail on the subject now. The mere mention of getting under her skirts had gotten him shipped off to Canada the last time, and though he didn't think that Ellory thought him that sort of cad still, he had no idea how she would react to the implication that he would, in fact, very much enjoy getting under her skirts.

Now that he'd started to explain himself, though, he couldn't very well just stop, and he couldn't think up any plausible sort of lie to deflect towards. Cheeks flushing, Ben continued in a mumble, "I meant that we couldn't do anything besides just kissing. Because I'm pretty sure I'd get actually murdered by someone if you ended up in the family way." Had he really needed to add that last bit of elaboration? He wasn't sure, but he was regretting it now. He was regretting starting this whole avenue of conversation in the first place, when he could have just shut up and kept kissing her.

The actually murdered bit was probably hyperbole — Aldous, at least, didn't seem capable of the degree of passionate emotion required to kill him in anger, nor was he calculating enough to perform such a feat in cold blood — but there was really no telling what her family was capable of. The more likely scenario, he reflected, was that they would end up quickly and quietly married and set up in some sort of barely-afforded tiny house in Wellingtonshire, probably right next door to their siblings so that the older and more responsible Pendergast/Crouch cabal could keep an eye on them.

"Or I'd end up married, which might be just as bad," he said in an attempt to lighten the mood, but he realized after saying it that this might actually have the opposite effect, and the chuckle that he gave following the comment sounded rather forced in consequence.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Reuben Crouch's post:
   Bella Scrimgeour

He is sensible and simple; bold and natural
So strange and agreeable; there is nothing formidable
His smile is most naive, cheerful and good-natured
And he’s as handsome up close as at a distance
All the bliss Ellory had been feeling by their kissing was gone, shattered by Ben's words. If he had only kept it at the talk about their inability to have sexual contacts, Ellory wouldn't have been mad. She would have felt embarrassed, but not angry.

The implication that being married to her hurt and angered her.

"It didn't seem bad when you kissed me!" Ellory said defensively. "Why, I think you quite liked me then!"
As he had belatedly realized, that had been exactly the wrong thing to say. He should have known that joking about the evils of being tied down in marriage with his other single mates like Howell was a much different dynamic than making an off-the-cuff remark about it to a girl he was in the middle of snogging, and if he hadn't entirely lost the ability to avoid sticking his foot in his mouth, he wouldn't have said anything at all. Now he was in trouble, though, and he needed to find a way to dig himself out of this hole.

"I do like you," he protested weakly. "Just — you know, not in a... spend-forever-together way." He'd been looking for a way to soften the blow and had the suspicion that he'd done the opposite, instead. "I mean — I don't mean that," he said a little desperately. Why was he utterly incapable of finding a non-offensive way to say this? "I just mean I don't want to end up saddled with some nice-ish house down the street from my brothers and some silly Ministry career I hate and some sappy romance stuff. You knew that. I told you that," he said, scrambling desperately for a defense. The fact that his reluctance to embrace the world of proper courting and marriage shouldn't have come as a surprise to her was, in the moment, the best he could come up with.

He is sensible and simple; bold and natural
So strange and agreeable; there is nothing formidable
His smile is most naive, cheerful and good-natured
And he’s as handsome up close as at a distance
"Oh, so you like me in a 'Kiss in the bushes as if she's some cheap whore' way!" Ellory spat angrily.
"The bushes were your idea," he pointed out, realizing only after the words were out of his mouth that this wasn't at all helping his cause. How on earth had things gone downhill so quickly? He'd just been joking about the marriage stuff. Maybe it was a bad joke, but even so, it shouldn't have gotten so out of hand that she was throwing around words like cheap whore less than a minute later.

He was scrambling for something to say, which meant that he was putting even less forethought into his responses than he usually did, and unfortunately it showed in his next attempt at a defense: "If I was treating you like a whore, we already would've —"

Danger, Will Robinson! Ben stopped in mid-sentence as he realized that was absolutely not the right thing to say, however well-intentioned the thought behind it might have been. Why did it have to come out like that? Why couldn't he have said something charismatic and polished about how much he respected her as a person and how careful he had always been — much more careful than she had been, in many cases — to safeguard both her emotional well being and her reputation? Ben really had been trying his best to do the right thing from her, ever since he'd rescued her from Mexico. Sometimes that came out in ways that she didn't really understand — like the letter in August — but god damn it, he was trying.

He is sensible and simple; bold and natural
So strange and agreeable; there is nothing formidable
His smile is most naive, cheerful and good-natured
And he’s as handsome up close as at a distance
"You kissed me!" Ellory protested. "And I wouldn't have pulled us here if you weren't shouting out there! My aunt could have heard us!"

It was never her intention for them to make out, though it was certainly a welcome turn of events, up until he started saying how horrible it would be to be married to her!
"I'm not shouting," Ben shouted. His self-awareness had taken a dramatic turn for the worst once he'd started drinking, as it almost always did, and even though he had been talking much too loudly for subtlety at every point of their interaction, he didn't feel as though he had been. The accusation that he had been doing something wrong had raised his inner temperature significantly and escalated this conversation from a stuttering jumble of defensive phrases into an actual argument in his mind, and he took his hands off of Ellory's hips and moved a step away from her.

"And you know, if you're worried about your aunt finding out we really shouldn't be talking at all," he pointed out. "Much less running off behind tent stalls. She's probably looking for you out there."
[-] The following 2 users Like Reuben Crouch's post:
   Frida Lestrange, Seneca Lestrange

He is sensible and simple; bold and natural
So strange and agreeable; there is nothing formidable
His smile is most naive, cheerful and good-natured
And he’s as handsome up close as at a distance
"If you care so little about me then we probably shouldn't be talking!" was Ellory's anger-ridden and frankly confusing response. What she'd gotten from their argument was that he didn't like her very much. He'd described marrying her as though it would be some kind of punishment. In Ellory's limited point of view, if you didn't want to marry someone, then you didn't truly like them.
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   Reuben Crouch

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