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"Angelica" Warrington for Myles Warrington.
I hold my peace, sir? no; No, I will speak as liberal as the north; Let heaven and men and devils, let them all, All, all, cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak.
He has touched my ankle and seen me with my hair down (not intentionally, of course!), so I'm pretty sure I already know what it feels like to be married.Helga Scamander in Helga's Boy Book
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Taking Fate into My Own Hands
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June 21, 1890 - Jennings' House, Swallowbury District, Irvingly

It was a beautiful afternoon, bright sunshine, a gentle breeze, the type of afternoon that lent itself to lovers trysts and picnics by ponds. Percy, however, was doing none of these things. Instead he was pacing the gate in front of the Jennings' house, worrying the brim of his hat between his hands as he paced the length of it.

He had thought about this a great deal of time since Miss Jennings confessed her attentions to him. Indeed, he felt rather remiss that he hadn't realized it then. But then he had been consumed by what had already become shadow. When Maggie - no, Mrs. Goyle - so gently tossed Miss Jennings name into that last conversation Percy had been too blinded by the grief of his dreams falling apart he had taken no serious consideration of the matter. Instead he had allowed himself to dwell on what could have been.

It had taken Percy weeks of moping around before he began to realize a startling fact, only made clearer by a very candid conversation with Cat: it did not hurt as much as it had over a decade go. In some ways he had always known how it would end, that it could not last. With each unanswered letter he begun to feel that chasm spreading between them. While the truth had been more awful then he could have imagined, and a part of him would always bear the scar of the past few months, another face had numbed the pain. A face he had not expected. Miss Jennings's.

Again and again his thoughts returned to their conversations. Her smile. Her laugh. The curiosity that shone bright in her eyes. The flush that had crept into them as she rushed away from him. He had not done well by her and he was determined to correct that.

Since that conversation with Cat, the thoughts had been building until he could no longer deny them. He'd spent days considering the matter and had made his decision. Now, though, he found himself pacing, unable to face walking to Miss Jennings door. Their last parting had been of such a nature that Percy wondered if she would even welcome his visit.

There was no way to find out then to knock, he determined, finally. Percy straightened up, placed the hat on his head, and walked with as much confident purpose as he could with a cane toward the front. Mind made up he knocked upon the wood of the door, hoping someone was home.

@Annabeth Jennings



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#2
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She'd dismissed the housekeeper as the woman moved to see who was at the door, a little confused who it might be. Neither Nathalie nor Brendon has said anything about expecting someone to visit that day and she certainly would know if she was expecting someone. Maybe it was a neighbor then, asking to borrow something. Or one of the kids from school. Some of them did know where she lived. There were a few kids who lived on this street after all. Leaving her book on the side table - she'd spent the past few hours curled up in a chair in the sitting room with her latest library book (which was a lovely pastime but perhaps she should have stood up and moved a few times as now she was stiff and achy from being in one spot so long) - she moved to open the door, a faint smile on her face.

It took her but a second to recognize the face on the other side of the door and her smile fell and her grip on the door tighter. She didn't open the door all the way and instead was using it almost like a shield between herself and Mr. Adlard. For yes, it was Mr. Adlard, she would recognize him anywhere. The last time they'd seen each other had resulted in Annabeth red in the face and all but running away. Why was he here now? She'd asked him to forget so they could return to being friends but when she hadn't seen him in nearly the month since she'd presumed that she'd crossed a line and burned an irreparable bridge. So why was he here a little over three weeks later?

"Mr. Adlard." Her voice was reserved but spoke a question despite not really asking one. Which question was it though? Why are you here? Now of all times? Have you come to see my embarrassment once more? What do you want? Or was it a hint of optimism? Did you change your mind? Did I misread that day three weeks ago? Realistically, it was all of them in one. Confusion, fear, and dread but a little bit of hope as well.


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#3
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If Percy had begun to think his concerns unfounded they became rapidly founded as Miss Jennings opened the door. Instead of inviting him in she hid behind it. That bright smile of her's hidden and her voice unsure as she addressed him. The stone in Percy's stomach sunk. This was a bad idea. He should turn around and apologize for interrupted his day. But then he'd never know the answer and another ghost would haunt him. He'd waited to long with Mrs. Goyle and again with Miss Beauregard, he would not make the same mistake again.

Instead he steeled himself. The worst that could come from this was some embarrassment and then blessed closure, but he had to bear through it. "Miss Jennings." He greeted, swallowing the nerves. "Might I have a moment of your time?" He asked. He did not ask to come in, did not wish to intrude, but it was clear they needed to speak.



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#4
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As he spoke she forced her hands to relax. Nodding, she pulled the door open further, gesturing him in. She wasn't sure she wanted their first conversation - or their last depending on what he had to say - to be on the street in her doorway. Not where everyone could see. More public humiliation was not going to be in her cards."In to the right is the parlor," Annabeth instructed once he stepped in, trailing after him.

Well, at least now they could talk it out however it went. There would be no more lingering questions. Err... if only her siblings didn't decide to come in. She wasn't sure if they'd ever met Mr. Adlard or not. She supposed he looked around Robert's age, even if she never asked. Maybe they would know each other but Robert lived in London. Regardless, she didn't want to answer why their school friend was here if that was the case.

"What did you want to talk about, Mr. Adlard?" Anna questioned, taking a seat with the fabric of her skirts bunched up tightly in her hands. She wished for something to do with herself while they talked but she couldn't be rude.


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#5
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Percy almost didn't expect her to invite him in. He rather expected the door to slam in his face and it would have been fair, he had been an awful cad toward her. Not realizing that he had been leading her on. But at the same time, had he? Or had he been drawn down the same line of thought but tangled the string up so much with Mrs. Goyle that he had confused his own thoughts and actions?

"Thank you." He murmured as she let him in and directed him to the drawing room. He took his hat off, again moving it in his fingers with nerves. When they reached the room he did not sit. He couldn't make himself. All the other times he had done this flashed in his mind. But this time he was steeled for disappointment.

"I wanted to apologize." Percy started, finding the nervous look on her face to concern him. She was pretty, now that he was willing to admit it to himself and more then anything he wished he could reassure her that there was nothing to be nervous about. But there was. He could hardly imagine what she must think of him at the moment. "For the other day, and - well, and my silence on the matter." Better to try and address the real issue and set them back on the right foot - if it was even possible.

A nervous energy surrounded Percy and made him want to pace. Instead he remained glued to his spot in the middle of the room, his fingers running the brim of his hat in circles absent mindly. "You caught me by surprise." Percy admitted candidly. "I should never have let you leave." He found himself admitting, although he was glad he had. For if he had not he may not have given the matter the careful thought and attention it needed and come to the conclusion he found himself in now.

Before Miss Jennings could say anything in response Percy continued on, worried that one word from her and he'd lose his nerve entirely. There was already enough regret in his life that he could not add to it now. "I've considered what you said very carefully, Miss Jennings. And I hope you won't mind my candidness. But since we last spoke I've thought of hardly anything beyond you." It was for the most part true. Even during the days leading up to his conversation with Mrs. Goyle, even in the days that followed, he had often thought of the lady before him. He took a step toward looking at her intensely, trying to put into words the feelings he had. "Of your humor and curiosity. Of our conversations and walks. Miss Jennings, if you'll permit me, I admire you very much. Indeed, I rather believe I've fallen in love with you." His own face showed his shock at this revelation. Had he been a younger man he would have knelt by her side, clasped her hands in his own as he said the words. But he was not. Nor did he expect a happy outcome from this conversation but it had to be said.

"I know I have no right to ask it of you, but you would do me the greatest honor if you would allow me to make you my wife." His mind made out Percy would not chance anything this time. If it was a doomed venture at least let it be doomed with all the cards on the table.
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It was strange to see Percy in her home. She'd seen him so many places - London, the market, the school - but residences were private places. It was strangely intense to see him running his hat through his hands in her parlor room. He looked so uncomfortable that she wanted to make him sit and relax. Have the housekeeper bring a pot if tea or something. Had it been a few weeks prior, she would have without second thought. Now she didn't know what she could do. Or should.

Then he started to speak in a manner that seemed like he just had to get it all out before he couldn't. Possibly before he started to second guess himself. For a moment, hope shot through her and she started to stand but then his words echoed those of the other week and she feel back into the chair, steeling herself to listen.

When he paused, she didn't move to speak, still unsure where he was going. But even if she'd wanted to say something, he rushed to speak again. And her breath caught. That he'd thought of her and what she said, a lot. His confession made her giddy. She almost missed Mr. Adlard's next words. Wait, did he just say he loved her? Just a few weeks ago, her telling him that she liked caused him to seem so shocked. How did he go from that to confessing love in three weeks. And why, if he was saying it did he look as suprised as she felt?

And then he asked her to marry him. It was her childhood dream coming true of finding a wizard to marry. Not just a wizard but Percy Adlard. With only this season and the next to go she'd all but given up on marriage. It was one of the reasons she'd taken up teaching. She stood, moving toward Mr. Adlard and reaching to wrap him in a hug. "Yes. I will."

"Annabeth. Call me Annabeth." Her next question came slowly, pushing back so she could look up towards his face. "Is that okay? Are you allowed to marry a muggle? Will that cause any issues?"
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As the last of words left his mouth Percy found himself steeling for disappointment, so much so that he almost missed her acceptance. It was only when she embraced him that he truly realized her answer. How had he been so lucky as to have a woman like Miss Jennings say yes to a live with him? Percy wrapped his own arms around her, holding her close to him.

In only the course of a month his life had so drastically changed, changed for the better. In a way he would never have anticipated would make him so very happy.

Annabeth.” He murmured in response as he held her.

When she pushed away he could see the worry on her face. The dread he had felt before inched backward with that look. But her questions were not insurmountable obstacles. “I don’t see why it wouldn’t be.” Percy started, stepping back from their embrace as well and allowing his arms to drop to his side again. “You already are aware of our community, as long as you didn’t tell anyone who didn’t already know. I hardly doubt we will have trouble.” He hadn’t actually thought of all the implications that would affect them as they progressed forward. For instance he doubted they would be able to live in Hogsmeade. “I won’t lie and say it will be easy. But if it’s what you want then….” He spread his arms out slightly, “Then we will figure it all out.



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She couldn't help but scoff at his statement, a little snort of disbelief. "Of course not? Who would I tell? I would be sent straight to the asylum if I'd said anything, Mr. Adlard." Not the most romantic notion, but well, that was Annabeth and he was bound to know what he was getting in to.

This was something she had wanted her whole life. She'd dreamed about it as soon as she had finally accepted that it wasn't a mistake that she didn't get her Hogwarts letter that she truly didn't have an ounce of magical blood in her. Marrying a wizard. It was the only surefire way to remain in this world that was her siblings' home. A world that had something things that to most were only a dream. Magic. She'd imagined a million times what it would be like to be in this situation. The joy. And well, she did feel joy. But it was a different kind of joy. Yes part of her still was excited to be marrying a wizard at all. That objective had been her driving force for nearly a decade. It would just be set aside so easily. But there was something else as well. She wasn't just excited about the fact he was a wizard, she was excited about the fact he was Percy. Which was why she asked the questions she did.

"But will cause trouble really? Your job - you said you were the assistant head, right? Surely being engaged to a muggle with only cause rifts. And you really seem to love your job. And I'm sure there are bound to be events you want to go to with your wife that I will not be allowed to attend. I am not suddenly going to be allowed because I married you. I cannot live in Hogsmeade as well. You would have to move. You'd be further from your friends and family. Your world can be harsh, Mr. Adlard, and I cannot allow myself to allow you to go into this not knowing even half of the struggle you will face. I do want this, but you must know."


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A small smile quirked his lips at her explanation, he did not know the muggle world well but he knew it well enough to believe her assessment.

Then the rest of her worries spilled out, tumbling over her lips. Instead of answering immediately he instead took her hands and led her to the couch, sitting down next to her, hands resting in his lap.

"I do know." He reassured her gently, his eyes imploring her to understand. Annabeth's worries were fair, but she was allowing him a chance to decide, rather than decide for them both as Mag-Mrs. Goyle had done. "And I assure you that I would rather have a woman to come home to every day that I loved rather than one who can attend work events with me." Not to mention that he was not entirely sure where she had gotten the impression he loved his job. It was a means to an end - or rather, he realized, it had been. "Besides, work functions are horribly dull events." He added with a shrug.

"I doubt it will harm my career. I have years before my superior retires and by then any scandal will have blown over." Not that he was overly ambitious, he had never truly expected to have advanced this far in his career in the first place. Now it seemed the natural order of things that he would.

"As for family and friends, I have little family left and my friends will have no trouble visiting us wherever we are." Indeed, it would allow him to give Cat the house and to purchase a respectable one for themselves in Irvingly. He rather liked the idea of living in a new place. He had never truly intended to settled in Hogsmeade it had only been his mother's insistence that he leave London. "We could live in Irvingly, or even London if you like."
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