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"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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Like A Virgin
June 9th, 1890 — Somewhere near Melbourne, Australia

After her conversation with Antigone, Ellory had been careless with the champagne, resulting in her being somewhat tipsy by the time she and Claudius were to depart. They were to leave to Australia, the destination Ellory had picked for the honeymoon. Her sister had raised an eyebrow at her choice -- after all, Australia wasn't considered some glamorous travel destination. Eloise had commented that only criminals and convicts went there. Ellory had joked back that the Lestranges did have a criminal history, so it was only fitting that the niece and nephew of a convincted murderer went there! In any case, Australia had a rich magical culture and Ellory was excited for her and Claude to see all those new things.

But before they went sight-seeing, they would have to consummate their marriage. Right.

Evelyn had built upon Ellory's limited knowledge on what a husband and wife did in the bedroom. Then, Antigone had terrorized her, telling her that Claudius was going to torture her as Tiberius did her. Ellory didn't want to believe her. Antigone was going through that because her husband was Tiberius, who was probably a lunatic with murderous tendencies like his father! Claude was nothing like him! As for Antigone's married friends, they were likely married to terrible people like Tiberius. Who were Antigone's married friends, anyway?

To make things even more awkward, due to the time difference between England and its colonies, it was morning when she and Claudius arrived in the fancy manor they had rented for their honeymoon. It was owned by some wizard, who rented it out for other eccentric, rich wizards that thought Australia was a cool travel destination.

Some maid, who had likely been instructed by Evelyn, promptly took Ellory to her bedroom, where she would receive Claude, to help her undress, while Claude pressumably went to get drunk or whatever new husbands did before the consummation part. Ellory was changed into a nightgown which had also been designed by Marcus Lytton and then she was left to wait in the bedroom she and Claude would be sharing, if they so wished. (There were other bedrooms in the house.) Thankfully, the owner, or the maid, or someone, had thought to charm the room's windows, so it looked like it was night outside. It would be a very anti-climatic first wedding night if it was actually 10 in the morning outside.

As Ellory waited, she tried to bring back to her mind those imaginations about her and Claudius doing weird paganistic rituals, so it would take her mind away from the possibility of her being tortured. Oh, Claude wouldn't harm her! Or would he?

Well, he was there in the room now, so Ellory was going to find out soon.

It was all so very awkward, that Ellory couldn't keep herself from laughing. Then, with child-like forwardness, Ellory said: "Antigone told me you're going to torture me." In spite of the seriousness of the statement, Ellory's anxiety made her laugh once more. "If that's the case, Claude, then we must duel so as to not hurt my Gryffindor pride, that I fell without a fight."

@Claudius Lestrange
[-] The following 1 user Likes Ellory Lestrange's post:
   Holly Scrimgeour

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Weddings were  exhausting. It felt like a three-day event crammed into one and Claude for one, was ready for bed. After the wedding itself, being social all damn day and then traveling to Australia on top of it, he would really rather just sleep the day away at this point. The fact that it was daytime in Australia wasn't lost on him either. Truth be told he could probably sleep the next twenty-four hours and be perfectly fine with it.

However that is not what one did on one's wedding night, er day, so after they'd arrived at the charming little manor that had been rented and Ellory was whisked away by the maid, Claude was left alone to his thoughts. The first thing he did was pour himself a healthy measure of whiskey and down it in one sip. It helped settle the anxiety almost immediately. It wasn't as if Claude was unfamiliar with what was about to happen, in fact he was very familiar with it (so was the desk at home in Wellingtonshire) and he wasn't nervous really, more like awkward and he knew this would be nothing short of some level of mortifying. Ugh. He poured himself another glass of amber liquid and proceeded to wash up.

He didn't have to wait long for a knock at the door, presumably the same maid, but it was the only indication he would get that his prep time was over. Sighing, he finished off the second glass of liquor and made his way into Ellory's adjoining room. It was weird to see his cousin- the same girl he'd practically watch grow up, in a delicate nightgown and very much looking the part of newlywed wife. His newlywed wife, no less.

Before he could even get awkward about anything, Ellory blurted out some nonsense told to her by his cousin's wife and Claude couldn't help the following burst of laughter that escaped his lips. 'I'm sure bedding Tiberius is torture, but you, Darling, have been severely misinformed. No dueling necessary." Well that certainly put the awkward on pause, even as he perched himself carefully on the edge of the bed.

Claude had called her 'Darling'. It felt so weird being called that by her cousin. Well, he was her husband now and that level of relation was stronger than their cousinship. Still, it was bizarre to be called that by the serious, stoic Claude.

That, along with his laughter, certainly put Ellory at ease. Somewhat. There was still the whole awkwardness about them solving a jigsaw puzzle with their bodies.

She started giggling too. "That's what I thought!" Ellory commented and made hand gestured which could be described as 'Yeah, totally right?'. "But, I did bring my wand with me in case you tried anything.", she moved her hand to the pocket of the silk light ciel night robe that she was wearing above her nightgown. She showed it to Claude and then placed it on top of the nearest nightstand, as though it was a gun.

"What are we going to do?" Ellory then asked. "Evelyn wasn't any better at telling me either. She told me something about jigsaw puzzles. I should have probably asked Cash about it, now that I think of it." She had been carried away and talked to Claude as though he was still just her cousin and not her husband. "Oh! I shouldn't have said that, or now you'll think me and Cash have an affair!"

It would really be silly for someone in the family to think that. Cash was like a brother to her.

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Claude was admittedly having a hard time seeing Ellory as his wife and no his younger cousin at this very moment. Her outburst was very Ellory, animated and enthusiastic, the opposite of himself in every way, but also something he both admired and envied about her. He could never be quite so open and unequivocally himself, he didn't have the same luxury she did, but he did like that about her.

"We are going to do whatever you are comfortable with," Claude assured her. Again it was hard to drop that familial connection in which he was supposed to look out for the young ladies in his family. Now,  in her position as his wife, he was bound to keep her happy and he would hate to start off their marriage on the wrong foot. It certainly wouldn't help the transition to husband and wife.

Chuckling again, Claude shook his head. "I would never think so ill of you, I know you and Cash were close growing up, though I'm not so sure he is any more well-versed in the proceedings than you are." Then again he did play quidditch and there was a certain reputation that went along with that. Claude did remember a pretty blonde that Cash used to spend time with back in school as well, but was not brave enough to make an assumptions there. "Though I probably shouldn't tell you this, I do know what I'm doing, if it's any consolation." Admitting to the fact that he was not in fact, a virgin himself, could go one of two ways. It wasn't as if men were supposed to wait for marriage like ladies were, but he wasn't quite so sure he could predict how Ellory would take that news

Ellory always kind of assumed that all men knew what was going to happen in the bedroom. It hadn't occurred to her that Cash might also be a virgin. Even though she and Cash were very close, they never talked about Cash's love life. Ellory assumed that was because her cousin was very shy about women and also too devoted to Quidditch to fall in love. If anyone knew details about Cash's sex life, though, that would be Claude. Truth be told, even though Ellory told Cash everything about her disastrous crushes, she would draw a line at telling him details about her sex life. It was a very private matter that she wouldn't feel comfortable sharing with another man, even if that man was Cash.

She did assume that Claude wasn't a virgin, however him bringing it up made her feel somewhat awkward. "Oh." It hadn't occurred to her, up until now, that Claude had also had a life, before her betrothal. That he might have been in love with some woman. That he might still be in love with another woman. Seeing another woman.

Ellory had no right to be jealous. She wasn't even in love with Claude. The only love she felt for him, was the cousinly sort. However, she did feel a tinge of jealousy at the thought that another woman might have the love of her husband and living the sort of romance that she wouldn't be able to experience as a result. She also thought, if Claude was having an affair with another woman while they were married, why couldn't she have an affair of her own? Why would it be acceptable for Claude to love other women when Ellory could not?

Even though he was her cousin and she felt quite comfortable to talk to him about most things, she didn't dare voice those thoughts.

Ellory decided to lift their spirits somewhat. "Well, you were excellent at teaching me chess when I was little," Ellory commented, deciding to go with a humorous comment, then dwell on the possibility of Claude being in love with another. (Which she had no right to be mad about!) "And, seeing that Evelyn used jigsaw puzzle analogies, I would assume this is very much like playing a game."
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   Rosalind Pendergast

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"Not any consolation, got it." He replied immediately after her rather flat oh. He was just trying to lighten the mood once again and keep things easy. He wasn't exactly sure how she was processing that news, but he regretted saying it already. "In the past, nothing of import." He added, hoping that eased any doubts she had about him. Lying to her wasn't a great start, but he couldn't exactly admit to anything that had gone on between Sophronia and himself in the past anyway. Ah well, wasn't too much he could do about it now.

Ellory continued on and forced Claude to move on as well, which was probably for the better. Her likening of sex to a game was not too far off, but he'd rather not think about it that way. It was very much a guessing game in the beginning, until you got to know your bed mate's likes and dislikes, but the only way for that to happen was well, practice. "Not exactly the same. I know why Evelyn says that," Certain parts fitting together after all, but not quite what one would really describe it as. "Did she tell you in specific terms what happens or not?" Was he really going to have to elaborate on a sex talk with his cousin-turned-wife tonight?

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   Ellory Lestrange
Ellory couldn't really be mad at Claude for having been in love with other people, seeing that Ellory had done the same. She had had an obsessive crush in the past. Her first kiss, even, had been to someone other than Claude! She couldn't tell him that, of course. Cousin or not, he was a man, and he had to think that Ellory would get to experience everything with him for the first time. In the case of sex, she most definitely would, as it appeared that her relatives' poor instructions would cause for him to actually teach her about it.

"Well, Evelyn said that we both have jigsaw pieces and my piece only fits your piece, for some reason. This doesn't really make sense, unless I was born to be your wife, after all, so nature created me with your jigsaw piece in mind. But then she told me that your jigsaw piece fits many female jigsaw pieces, which would imply that there are more women with anatomy like mine, which would then imply that there are more men with anatomy with yours, otherwise a whole lot of women wouldn't be able to get married because their jigsaw piece wouldn't fit their husband's but only yours." She couldn't really keep a straight face as she explained matters to him. In truth, she wasn't really taking things that seriously. "Do you reckon that's the reason why Arabs have harems? They found the solution to the jigsaw puzzle problem!"

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Shaking his head, all Claude could do was chuckle. He had to wonder just what the hell women were told before they entered a marriage and the marital bed most of the time. Apparently Evelyn couldn't just up and say what happened, which considering she had children, was quite hilarious to Claude, but the analogy was making his head spin.

"You're over thinking the entire concept," He started, gently, pausing to think of how best to use what Ellory now knew, to push off in a more concrete direction. "Evelyn was speaking plainly, in a broader sense. She meant that men and women have different anatomy for a reason," Claude rather thought being straightforward about this was probably the best way to go about it. Fortunately, Ellory didn't quite seem to be taking it too seriously. "And that when you put the "pieces" together, that's how sex works." He raised an eyebrow at her with a hint of a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. They were married now, they could speak candidly about what could and normally happens in bed between a man and wife.

"The first time can be a little painful for women- just to warn you, but after that it is anything but, when done correctly." Not that Claude was an expert, but he liked to think he knew what he was doing.

The mere usage of the word ‘sex’ brought a rush to Ellory. She hadn't used that word even with Cash, who was her best friend and knew many of her secrets. It was so liberating to be able to speak about such things. It was kind of exciting that she would get to experience this sex thing. She had received conflicting information about the act, however, she was aware that some people brought scandal upon themselves for that act.

‘‘Alright,’’ Ellory replied. ‘‘I will hex you if you're lying, though!’’ He said that it would hurt ‘a little’ so Ellory imagined it wouldn't be as severe as the Cruciatus Curse. After that experience, Ellory had become more jumpy at the prospect of experiencing pain, but there was something to the way Claude had spoke that made her trust him. Besides, they would need to do the act in order to produce children and Merlin help her if she didn't do that duty. She had Uncle Lucius capable of disposing of her if she was infertile. So they would have to do the deed. And perhaps it would end up being fun, seeing that this was the forbidden thing lovers did.

‘‘Are you going to kiss me? Is this how it begins?’’ Ellory asked. ‘‘Should we get more wine?’’

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"Duly noted." Claude assured her with a bit of a smile. She seemed to simmer a little in regards to the idea, which was good. Not that Claude would push her in any way if she wasn't ready. What happened (or didn't) on their honeymoon was nobody else's business though hew as sure some of their family would think otherwise.

There was still a level of awkwardness to the air between them. Though Claude had thought he'd be able to get past seeing Ellory as house younger cousin in theory, he was having a hard time in reality than the originally anticipated. She was his wife now, a grown woman, a bit of a free spirit, which Claude certainly envied about her. It wasn't hard to admit she was attractive, but there was a difference between seeing someone as attractive and having an actual attraction to them.

Wine wasn't a terrible idea.

"Wine wouldn't hurt," He chuckled, trying to stave off the hesitation. A little liquid courage blurred the lines easier. Claude moved to the table where the bottle sat. He was already two glasses of whiskey in and he could feel the buzz at the edges of his consciousness, but a little more fuel to the fire wouldn't hurt either. Pouring them both a sizable glass he brought the bottle with him and passed one to Ellory. Claude moved to sit on the bed, propping himself up against the pillows, patting the place beside him to see if she'd join him or not. "How was the day for you? Everything you wanted?"

Okay so he wasn't really quite ready either.

Ellory had always been one to enjoy the male touch and yet she felt awkward of the prospect of Claude touching her. She would have to get over that, though. Claude would be the only man she could ever receive love in the physical form, so she'd have to make it work. She tried to remember the time before she had had her first kiss. It had been so awkward, in the moments before she and Andren Lovegood had shared their first kiss. Perhaps this was the sort of thing that would only be awkward until the did it. After all, Ellory had never been in this situation with a man. Clad in a nightgown, in the same bedroom.

She took the offered glass which she then put on the nightstand, so she could sit near Claude on the bed. She shuffled a bit until she found the right position, neither too close to him but neither too far. She then picked up her glass and took a generous swig as he asked her a question.

‘‘It was fun,’’ she replied. ‘‘It's funny, growing up I was told this would be the most important day of my life and it went by so quickly.’’ She didn't want to admit it to herself but a part of her felt that something was lacking.

‘‘And what about you?’’ she asked. ‘‘It is my understanding that you wouldn't have married hadn't Uncle Lucius told you to.’’ He had mentioned being experienced with the ladies. Perhaps there was another woman who wasn't suitable to become Mrs. Lestrange so Uncle Lucius had hurried to find him a bride who wouldn't leak any potential scandal to the public, due to being family herself?

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