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Tapestry
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"My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever-changing view
A wondrous, woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold"


27th December, 1889 — Selwyn Estate, Wales
The jollity of the season most certainly did not live in the heart of Ambrosia Selwyn but no matter her own feelings one could not accuse her of scrimping on the festivities. The manor had hosted Selwyns, extended relatives and their personal staff over Christmas and everything had been pristinely done: goose cooked to perfection, carefully chosen gifts handed around, no physical fights between any of them despite the wine and spirits that had been in abundance – she knew it was too much to expect that a verbal spat could be avoided entirely – and when they had gone it had been with an air of mild surprise that it had been, if not pleasant exactly, then at least not appalling.

It was good enough for her. She loathed December. To her mind it was a dry, desolate time of year that promised nothing but bleak weather and was insipidly papered over with forced enjoyment and exposure to one’s family. The latter was necessary of course, it wouldn’t do to be seen to be apart from the others, but now the younger members of their household were blossoming into proper people it was increasingly difficult for Ambrosia to manage things as assiduously as she would have liked.

Filling in a final figure in the right hand column of her accounts book Ambrosia considered the expenses for the following year. The girl would need a new wardrobe for her coming out – a task that would inevitably fall to her despite her husband’s insistence that he would manage his daughter’s affairs – and somebody would need to escort her. Tanwen could do it, she supposed, but Tanwen was far better than Liliana deserved as a companion. No, she would find somebody more suitable. A spinster from a less prestigious family who needed the money – that would do for Liliana, somebody who would dim her glow with their drabness.

Smiling softly to herself Ambrosia barely turned her head when the door to her study opened. The tread was far too light for her husband, the entrance too quiet for her sons, and anybody who lived here for more than a few weeks at a time would know better to disturb her when she was doing to accounts. 

“Traditionally one waits to be invited into a private sanctum Adrienne. I realise the French have more liberal views but you have lived here long enough now to know better.”



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Lady is an utter gift <3
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Ever since she'd seen Ambrosia turn into a multi-colored peacock, Adrienne had made it her mission to convince the older woman to teach her. A feat she knew wouldn't be the easiest to accomplish. She'd confided in Aristide of course, but the conversation had not left her with any more of a plan than she had to begin with. All throughout their Christmas feast, Adrienne pondered over how best to approach Ambrosia. If she had originally thought to wait until after the holidays to approach her because she'd be in better spirits, she would have been wildly misled. As it stood, she still wasn't positive waiting until after their family feast had proven more auspicious than if she had approached her beforehand.

Regardless, Adrienne wanted to learn and she knew Ambrosia could potentially be convinced to teach her. It was no secret around the house of Ambrosia's temper and hostility harbored towards some of them, and Adrienne thought it uncharacteristically optimistic of herself to assume she might have been perhaps a smidge less of a blight upon the older woman's existence than say...Liliana. Merde, even that girl got on Adrienne's nerves on occasion despite the affection she held for her cousin.

Eventually, she told herself, if not now, then she'd have to wait until after school was out. At least this way if it ended badly she would be able to escape to Hogwarts soon after. If she waited until she was home for the summer and it didn't go her way...dodging Ambrosia all summer would be more painful than a poisonous acromantula bite (little did the fifth year know, the acromantula bite would be the more painful of the two, but she wasn't skilled enough to know that).

She knew Ambrosia would be balancing the account books for the house that night. For a while, Adrienne circled around the entryway to her chambers, occasionally glancing up, ready to skive off if Ambrosia were to come back out. Loitering might count more against her than interrupting her at an inopportune moment.

Once significant time had passed, Adrienne placed a hand on the door to Ambrosia's study and went in. Immediately Ambrosia spoke and Adrienne ducked her head in apology, slightly pursing her lips as she took the admonishment. "Apologies, madam." she replied in a respectful tone. She did not back away though and took another step forward, vaguely wondering how far in she could get without triggering a temper from the woman. "I know it's late." Not exactly a yield, but also it wouldn't bode well to contradict her. Adrienne was never one to like lying in the first place, especially when she knew she was the intruder.


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#3
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The intrusion was not a welcome one but Ambrosia had resigned herself to the fact that a full contingent of family members would necessitate a change to the habits of the household so, feeling about as charitable as she ever did, Ambrosia opted to let go of her mild irritation. Adrienne was, after all, not the worst member of the household. Aesthetically pleasant, quiet enough - though undoubtedly made of the same multifariousness that marked out anybody born to the Selwyn name.

“Truthfully I hadn’t noticed the time,” she glanced at the clock, cursed herself for not noticing how deep the twilight outside had become. The Welsh countryside had a habit of turning to utter blackout at this time of the year and without a star or hint of moon to shine into her study it could have been anything between nine in the evening or six in the morning.

It was eleven. Her husband would likely still be at his cigars and brandy, having hopes of joining her this evening that were inevitably going to be disappointed. Three nights before he had sided with Liliana over a fairly insignificant point regarding her debut and Ambrosia intended to hold it against him until at least February.

“Was there something you needed? I trust you don’t intend to join your cousin in her debut just yet?”

The mere thought of how much sharing the spotlight would vex Liliana was almost enough to make Ambrosia smile. Only almost though. Instead she folded her hands in her lap and turned in her chair, fixing Adrienne with an inquisitive stare.


[Image: 3oxUJf.jpg]
Lady is an utter gift <3
#4
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One would think that having lived in the house for over 3 years that Adrienne would get used to her aunt's presence, however, it seemed that her aunt had mastered the art of making anyone feel like they were facing an elusive Sphynx and that the only way to get a meal would be either to answer a series of riddles or lay a sacrifice to her feet. Given her stellar archery skills, Adrienne would rather the latter, but something told her if she actually laid a dead animal at Ambrosia Selwyn's feet she would find herself thrown out of the family manor without a second thought.

At the prospect of debuting with Liliana, her nose crinkled ever so slightly. Debuting at all was not something she was looking forward to, but she nevertheless saw it as an inevitable future for her. Still, she would rather run herself through with an arrow than bring it on early. God forbid, her aunt force her to go to Pendergast's School either. No, her best hope would be to debut as planned and be done with it all. "No," she responded lightly, seeing this question as a sign she could enter further into the study. "We both know Liliana would rather wear hand-me-downs than see me debut early with her." Something she knew Ambrosia would also delight in making her cousin do. On days when Liliana got under her skin, it wasn't beneath Adrienne to genuinely think about suggesting the prospect to her either.

She knew it would be best not to beat around the bush with her question, but the Slytherin was keenly aware of the fact that what she wanted from her aunt required a great deal more than a simple answer. It would mean coaching, time and resources if she were to say yes and the odds were significantly stacked against her. Still, it wouldn't do to not at least try and see if she could convince the older woman to help her. Even if it was to get some books.

"I wanted to ask you how long you've been an animagus for." There, the question was out there. Her aunt would do with it what she would. Adrienne tensed slightly, preparing to be given a clipped answer and a swift dismissal.



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#5
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Faced with a question she had definitely not anticipated Ambrosia’s composure slipped a little and for a moment surprise registered on her usually impassive features. The children – both her own and the other children – were not collectively what Ambrosia would describe as an intellectual bunch. In her estimation academia was as foreign a concept as work amongst the Selwyns as though she couldn’t fault the latter it had oft embarrassed her to think how undistinguished they truly were.

Centuries of history had amounted to a lecherous luddite, a glorified newspaperman and a pirate.

Hardly the stuff of legends.

“I learned how to transform just after Cadawalader was born. It took eight months,” she replied primly, never seeing the point of telling a length story when a quick response would suffice. “Why do you ask?”


[Image: 3oxUJf.jpg]
Lady is an utter gift <3
#6
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She'd caught Ambrosia off guard. That in and of itself was unusual, however, Adrienne thought it best to not acknowledge it, even if it made her rather pleased. Still standing, the young witch moved forward to her aunt, running her hand along the back of leather chaise as she passed.

So, Ambrosia had waited until she'd given birth to attempt transformation. Not surprising seeing as Ambrosia was not a fool and self-transfiguration had the potential to go very very wrong. She hadn't stated exactly how she'd come to decide to be an animagus, as Adrienne thought she might have. She would have inquired about that next, however, the question was turned on her and she pressed her lips together in thought.

"I saw you transform a few months back," she responded, raising her shoulders in a quick shrug. "I know it's not an easy feat of magic to accomplish, I was wondering how you went about it."



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#7
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Privately Ambrosia wondered when she had been foolish to let her guard down enough to be seen transforming. Despite being nothing but proud of her own achievement she tended to keep it to herself: proud she might be but it was not entirely ladylike to be seen turning into a peafowl and though her children knew she had taken pains to impress upon them how important it was to keep certain things to oneself.

Curiously she found she didn’t mind Adrienne having seen her too much. Still, she would have to be more cautious in future, though not around this girl as Ambrosia could quite easily deduce what she was being asked. Or not asked, as the case may be.

“Relentless study and my own tutelage,” she replied coolly, though Ambrosia was rather impressed at a girl so young asking at all. She would not have dared to so much as look at such magic when she was fifteen, but then she French. They never did anything properly. “If you wish I can show you which books I started with?”

And that was absolutely, unequivocally all she would do for Adrienne.

“The green leather with the gilt letters on the top shelf. You will need the ladder,” she said, nodding towards the impressive wall of books that dominated her study.


[Image: 3oxUJf.jpg]
Lady is an utter gift <3
#8
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Relentless studying... Adrienne nodded, following Ambrosia's gesture to the large library on the opposite wall. She'd always loved Ambrosia's study; the vast collection it sported, the old worn covers nestled in mahogany oak shelves and above all, the worlds they could take her to. She approached the books tentatively, surprised she'd gotten this far without having been kicked out or snapped at.

She grasped the ladder and pulled it to the section. Even as she did so, the sound of the wheels rattling on the track were music to her ears. Adrienne stepped onto the ladder and reached the section. "Thank you for showing me," She said from her position as she pulled out the leather-bound book. "I know this is your private collection, I'll treat it with the utmost care." She promised, her eyes scanning the cover. She would be starting this one tonight.

"I hope when I am married that one day I'll be able to accumulate a collection as large as this." Adrienne said, though she was more thinking aloud than attempting to make conversation.



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