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A Governess for Leo Lupin.
The most pitied woman in all of Britain. Possibly all the world. He's awful.
"I'll bleed wherever I damn well please!" She shouted, scowling at him. As if to prove it, she uncovered her nose and shook her head back and forth like a dog attempting to dry its fur of water. Little droplets of blood rained on the sidewalk all willy-nilly. Billie Farrow in A Good Dusting
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The Gold in Our Hearts
March 29th, 1890 —
— ☙ —

We've been paying our dues
Working eight days, nine to five
We've been stuck in our bills
But we're living one hell of a life
Maybe we're out of our minds
But we're never going out of style

It was near closing time and Amelia had changed into her plainer work clothes to prepare to close up the park. They still had numerous feedings to see to not to mention one of the miniature horses had an injured leg. Amelia knew under normal circumstances, this would mean death for a horse. Thankfully, they had magic on their side and it was as simple as healing it, giving the animal some potion and binding the leg for a few more days to ensure the leg was fully mended.

After saying goodbye to a few regular patrons, the redhead brought out a bucket of water and some cleaning potion to scrub down the pedestals the birds sat on for a showing. Once she tied her hair back with a kerchief, she scourgified the droppings out of the cage and dipped a rag into the water. Though this could be easily done with a spell or two, Amelia found she enjoyed the physical labor. It offered her a chance to clear her head; plus, the walk home made it that much more satisfying. The promise of a warm bed was a great way to end the day in her estimation.

She finished the pedestals in a decent amount of time. With her hands slightly chapped, she waved her wand to vanish the contents of the bucket and carried it back to the back room. She then began on the pathway to head to the miniature horse's enclosure. Amelia was humming a tune when she heard the noise. A distinct purring that had her stopping in her tracks. She surveyed the path, attempting to pinpoint the noise which eventually she figured out was coming from the bushes.

Pushing the branches aside, Amelia found a familiar orange face staring up at her, its nose wiggling slightly as it sniffed the air. "Hello, you," she said softly. The cat meowed and leaped out to walk along the path. The witch looked around again, though there was no one familiar that stood out to her. "Where's your owner, little one?" she inquired, quickening her pace after the cat. The last thing she wanted to do was lose the cat.

Just when Amelia thought perhaps she might pick the animal up to try and search the diminishing crowds, she heard a call in her direction and looked up.
— @Bragi Holm
[-] The following 1 user Likes Amelia Evans's post:
   Bragi Holm

"Miss Evans!" Bragi called out with a delighted chuckle, recognising the sunshine hair of the lady right away, even though he hadn't seen her since last year upon first moving to Hogsmeade. She'd been one of the first people he'd met in the whole country, and she'd immediately earned his gratitude upon helping him find his cat, Maid Marian.

Speaking of whom...

"You won't believe this", Bragi enthused conversationally, scooping the ginger pudding off the ground, "but Marian and I were out for a day trip to Irvingly when she inexplicably but determinedly decided to lead me all the way here to the Zoo. And I've never been here before... isn't it delightful?" Bragi looked around happily, evidently having not yet noticed that Miss Evans was clad in working gear.

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The lanky figure that made its way towards her struck a familiar chord, however it wasn't until she caught sight of the shock of red hair that recognition dawned upon her. "Mr. Holm!" she exclaimed cheerfully, watching as the ginger cat was more than content to be swept up into the young boy's arms. The enthusiatic on his face was enough to coax a similar one on hers, and she listened with rapt attention as he explained how he'd gotten here.

"Indeed!" She responded, though she was mildly surprised he'd found his way here on accident, given the fact that many people here came here with one purpose or another, whether it be distracting their children for a day or perhaps a romantic couple looking for a tame adventure. Amelia wiped her hands on her apron. "Then let me be the first to show you around!" She gestured to the park, glad to have an excuse to show someone around. "I work here, you see, so you shall have the exclusive tour as an important guest!" she added with a conspiratorial grin.

Often one to notice the whims and ways of Society, Bragi could not help but feel that multiple sets of eyes were directed at Amelia Evans — she was a beauty, after all! But both with fiery red hair, perhaps he could pass for her younger brother and nobody would think their companionship improper. Besides, they were surrounded by all manner of people, and it transpired that she worked here. "You do? Goodness, what a wonderful vocation", he gushed, still in a vibrantly good mood.

"I would love a tour, thank you so much... erm, I probably shouldn't let Marian wander free I suppose...?" he chuckled uncertainly, slightly alarmed as the chonky cat startled wriggling to be let down.

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Amelia was never one to preen (regardless of her animagus form and her choice of career working with winged creatures and the like), however she did smile glowingly at Mr. Holm's compliment. "It certainly is wonderful for me!" she chirped, laughing.

As for Marian....Amelia pondered the solution. Normally she didn't mind Pascal or Penny roaming loose since they knew not to go into the enclosures. It was clear, however, that the not-so-little cat had other endeavors as she watched her writhe in Mr. Holm's arms. "It might be best to keep her close." She responded, wondering if there was another way to restrain Marian. She wasn't fond of casting binding spells on animals; it felt too controlling. But she would feel even worse to have the cat were to have an accident involving one of their animals. "I don't think she would be in much danger, but I would hate to be wrong if there was even the slimmest chance."

The witch raised her multicolored eyes back up to Mr. Holm. "Do you have a sort of spell to keep her close when you need to?" Perhaps casting an invisible barrier around Mr. Holm might keep the animal inside a certain distance without having to restrain her physically.

Bragi agreed with his friend outright, but he couldn't think of an appropriate spell. "No", he admitted sheepishly. He had a spell to send the cat back home, but that would be a shame when she was the one who'd led him here to begin with. This was Maid Marian's trip!

"Ooh, I've an idea", he realised, putting Marian back down on the ground and then reaching into his waistcoat pocket to retrieve a small pouch of cat treats. Marian recognised the sound, and mewled up at him. "You can have one if you stay close, okay Marian?" She didn't understand exactly, but she got the idea as she began to prowl at his side, staying near despite all the distractions.

"So what shall we see first?" he asked Miss Evans brightly, eager to discover all Podmore had to offer.

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Amelia furrowed her brow, worried that they wouldn't be able to properly contain Marian. Her fretting was for naught, thankfully, as Mr. Holm withdrew treats from within his pocket. "An excellent idea!" she exclaimed, clasping her hands together. "Wonderful, now we can properly get started."

The Zoo was quite large, so Amelia knew that it wasn't possible to see everything. Before she'd met Mr. Holm she'd been going to the miniature horse enclosure, so she supposed perhaps that wouldn't be too bad of a place to start. "Just before yours and Marian's arrival, I'd been headed towards the miniature horses. Would that suffice as a place to start you think?" she asked, glancing toward the crisp setting sun.

"Oh yes, that would suffice", Bragi replied with a pretty grin, and walked with his friend while Marian trotted at their heels. The cat remained interested in her surroundings, but knew now that the best way to procure treats would be to stay close.

"I love miniature horses — like the one the squire rides in 'Don Quixote'. Or was that a donkey...?"

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"Don Quixote?" Amelia echoed, the unfamiliar name rolling off her tongue. From the sound of it, it seemed like a story she ought to have been familiar with. "From the sound of his name, perhaps it was a donkey?" Of course it was beyond her if the squire was the aforementioned Don Quixote.

The path to the enclosure was a fairly short one seeing as she'd encountered Mr. Holm half-way to the animals. "Is this a muggle story you're referencing?" She asked, her interest piqued.

Another enthusiastic nod followed this. "It's a wonderful book. I shall lend it to you", he decided adamantly, and, sure enough, Amelia Evans would receive a small package by owl in a few days, containing a well-worn copy of 'Don Quixote' by Miguel de Cervantes. It was hardly Bragi's favourite book, but it was certainly up there with its themes of adventure, nobility and romance.

"Oh, are those the little horses...? They're so sweet!" he strained to look over the shoulders of the taller people in front of them, catching a glimpse of small hooves and floofy manes.

"Sorry, I should behave a bit more... gentlemanly", he realised, shooting his friend a sheepish smile. What he really meant was he should behave a bit more manly. But he was just in such an energetic mood today, his love of cute things could not help but take centre stage.

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It was rather odd, but as the younger man declared his intention to send her a book, she found herself entirely believing his word - a feeling she had only gotten used to all thanks to Konstantin Fisk. At this realization, Amelia grinned, though the timing was rather opportune, given Mr. Holm's enthusiasm for the horses.

She threw her head back in a laugh, his reaction being not unfamiliar to her and she began making her way to the front, signaling Mr. Holm to follow behind her. She waved away his apology, not quite understanding the meaning behind it (although later she would perhaps wonder about it later). "Everyone gets excited about the horses, I assure you!" Then, motioning to the crowd. "How else would you explain their enthusiasm? Surely it's not the dinner we're about to feed the animals!"

It was a relief to hear that everyone got excited about the miniature horses, and not just... well, girls. Personally, Bragi didn't have any problem at all with being compared to a girl, or to be found like-minded, but his far-from-masculine features had occasionally embarrassed his parents during his childhood, and the last thing he wanted to do now was embarrass his friend.

Luckily, Amelia expressed no such indignation. On the contrary, she seemed quite as enthusiastic as he was. "Oh, we're going to feed them?" he asked with delight. "Do they eat much the same as normal horses? My own fellow, Galahad, adores unripe pears."

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Though it was rare to find someone in this day and age who didn't know how to feed horses, rare was it that they liked to feed horses. Amelia was thrilled that she'd found a friend who was rather enthusiastic about it all. "We are, Mr. Holm!" She said, laughing as she went through and opened the gate for him. Immediately the little horses came trotting up as fast as their feet could carry them, sniffling at her pockets – filled with apples, of course. A few of the stragglers who couldn't get to Amelia attempted to do the same to her male companion as if doing so would make apples appear in his hands as well.

"They're eager little ones, I'll warn you!" she exclaimed, though her warning came rather late as they'd already reached their lips up, searching for treats.

Little though the horses were, Marian opted out of this one, instead choosing to hop up onto the gatepost and watch from a distance. She was faintly nonplussed by the commotion.

Bragi, on the other hand, could not help but laugh as the miniature horses gathered around them. He had no apples or treats to speak of (other than Marian's cat treats, which of course were reserved for Her Majesty alone), but he reached out unhesitatingly to rub their noses and stroke their manes.

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