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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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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!

A Thread Cut With A Carving Knife
29th July, 1890 — A Muggle Side-Street, London
@James Montgomery
Well, third time lucky, as they said.

To be perfectly honest, the fifth time, if one counted the couple of times that poor man from the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office had had to come out and deal with some very dubiously charmed objects. It was not her fault if she hadn’t remembered where precisely he worked within the Ministry; not her fault if half the departments had similar-sounding names.

But she had recalled it eventually (Accidental Magic Something or Other) and if a young lad had gotten very good at making - accidental, of course - mischief on the London streets in her presence, Ester had nothing to say about it.

(Though she did shoot him a thumbs up for his excellent work: her pestering had made for some magnificent magical results. The muggle greengrocer’s stall was now upside down and levitating in the air with an abundance of oranges whizzing about like bludgers, the apples all turned blue and, for some reason, one particular pear now barking like a dog.)

She had watched the Ministry men arrive from a porch across the street, waiting until the Obliviator had led off the greengrocer to do some memory modifications and Mr. Montgomery - look! it was him at last! - was left to fix up the scene.

Ester had wanted to see him, that was all. She had not planned to sashay on over to get a better look at his face, to see if the years had altered the look in his eyes she still remembered. But even the best of plans drifted out of the window sometimes, and before she knew it, she had waltzed right into him, her shoulder colliding with his side.

Accidentally, indeed.
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   Elladora Black

[Image: HwIwfpW.png]
James stood at the edges of the chaos, just inside the containment spells cast around the scene. He could see the faint shimmer of them past the small gaggle of muggles being shepherded away by Oblivators, marking the area to be dealt with. With the muggles contained he could get to work. Turning his attention to the task at hand, he eyed the grocer’s cart, wand easy in his hand. It was a day like dozens he’d done before. When you work the same job for long enough almost everything becomes familiar.

Stepping forward, his instincts had just begun to prickle… to question the almost intentional chaos of it all… when someone shouldered into him. He had barely time to register any kind of guess as to who could be traipsing so carelessly through what he thought was a contained scene before he found her face and was assaulted with the answer.

His expression, normally at least somewhat controlled, cycled through half a dozen variations of shock, surprise, and disbelief before settling on indignation.

“What are you doing here?”
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   Elias Grimstone
When they collided, she stepped back only slightly, pressed a hand to his shoulder as if to steady him. (As if a man so solid needed steadying; it was more so that she might remember what he felt like, or maybe just to assure herself that he was real.) It would probably make him angry. She did want to know whether he was still angry.

While James, dear old James, went on a wonderful face journey, at his question Ester couldn’t help herself. Her face split into a wide smile. Terrible of her, she knew, to find any amusement in his indignation - but amused was a better feeling than gaping loss, and so she stuck by it.

“I fancied some fruit, James,” Ester said primly. Far too primly, really; it sounded much less innocent, much less throwaway, than it should have. She widened her eyes to try and seem as surprised as he was. “You know this is my neck of the woods more than yours.” If he didn’t want to chance seeing her, he ought to stay holed up in Irvingly for the rest of his life with only his parents for company.
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   James Montgomery

[Image: HwIwfpW.png]
The moment she said it her whimsical reply echoed over and over in his mind, splashed across various memories of the last several years as if it were the answer to every 'why' he'd ever asked.  From her early disappearances into the city to her flight from their home years ago, his last glimpses of her replayed for him with a lighthearted "I fancied some fruit, James."  As if he wouldn't have brought her all the fruit in the world if only that were the case.  The train of thought sped to an abrupt halt at the mental image of her latest boudoir picture he'd stumbled upon, adorned with those words in an elegant script; a picture meant for many but still somehow addressed to him by name.

Whatever  his face betrayed of those thoughts was suddenly jerked back to indignation by her second assertion.  He waved vaguely at the scene at hand, a broad gesture incorporating the Obliviators and perimeter spells, "I'm working here!" Whatever depraved and tawdry business brought her here did not supersede his jurisdiction.
“I truly hadn’t noticed,” Ester lied smoothly, widening her eyes again to earnestness as though she were sorry for the intrusion - but not allowing his clear vexation to propel her from the area’s perimeter, not yet.

A little vexation was often a necessary side effect of a worthy cause. Like leaving him had been: it had hurt, but had also been designed for everyone’s own good. Seeing him might be the same - if she didn’t get to, the not knowing might kill her in the end.

And none of the other Ministry workers had spotted her yet, so Ester plucked an orange out of the air as if this would be of some help to him, or give her a better excuse to be here as a bystander. “What a twist of fate. I see you work for the same department, still,” she added conversationally, as though this was news to her, as if this entire scenario had not been predicated on it. “How... are you?” She said, turning the orange over in both hands, the bright smile still painted on her face, although the longer she looked, the harder it was to keep it there. The last five years hung in the air between them, and the memories of two decades more drifting like shadows underneath. “You look well,” Ester offered, sure he would not want to hear it from her but determined to say it anyway. He looked the same as he always had, and somehow more than she remembered. Less smiling now, of course, his brow drawn low.

Smirking was probably inadvisable here, but the fact was the stormy expression really did not hurt his handsomeness.
@James Montgomery

[Image: HwIwfpW.png]
As her eyes widened in innocence his narrowed in equal measure.  It was unclear whether it was her truthfulness or her audacity he couldn’t believe.  He had spent ages half expecting to see her waltz her way back home and what felt like longer expecting to never see her again.

Her reach towards a floating fruit brought him back to the present, his expression relaxing as work pushed to the forefront of his mind.  A gentle sweep of his wand was all it took to bring the bucking cart to the ground with a clatter.  He snorted as his first effort was successful, unimpressed with the simple jinx that had taken so little to quell. 

The contents of the carts still danced in the air but he turned his attention back to her, brow creasing immediately.  “What are you -?” he started to demand again before remembering he’d already asked what she was doing here.  He shook his head as if to push away the bewilderment of seeing her standing there before him.

“Fate?  I am not hard to find.”  he said flatly.  Who needed fate when all it took was not walking out on him and their son,
His distraction with the fruit stand and the spells almost made her itch. She was here, this was a rare moment, he ought to be looking at her

(He had not returned the sentiment that she looked well, either.)

“And you would have opened the front door for me if I came knocking, would you?” Ester needled, arching an eyebrow in honest curiosity. (That was, if she had gotten that close at all, and her mother-in-law had not driven her from Irvingly the moment she’d set foot there.) “Like nothing had happened?”

It wasn’t that she hadn’t considered it, in fleeting moments across the years. He had loved her so much, back then, so much it was suffocating; she could only imagine how badly he had been heartbroken, five years ago. But even heartbreak in the kindest heart could crystallise, harden into something else. (She had felt it from her son, when he had finally replied to her letters.) And James did seem angry now, aggrieved at her, and even in his sudden flatness she was sure she felt an undercurrent of rage. Even a speck of hatred would be something. Ester couldn’t explain it to herself, how desperately she hoped she might find proof of that, that he still felt something, anything; that he loved her still, despite all reason, that he had not moved on into sheer indifference, that the embers of everything were not quite cold.

Ester had never quite ended things, you see. She plainly had, in practical terms - she had deserted them both - but in her head, leaving had always been a softer separation. Leaving was not the same as death. Not that she wanted to go back, but... there was something in her that needed to know she would have been wanted back. That there was always another escape route, a door left open for her.

[Image: HwIwfpW.png]

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