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How To Be A Heartbreaker
#1
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December 24, 1890 — Lécuyer Residence, Naeva's Dressing Room, Late Afternoon

"Tighter," Naeva instructed. Her new dressing maid was only sixteen, but she was daughter of a lady's maid, and so she had skills other, less practiced maids might not. She knew her way around a dressing room. She knew how to lace a corset properly. Knew how to layer petticoats properly, thread tiny pearl buttons into place, style hair just right. She was a halfblood, but better a halfblood than a muggleborn.

Naeva, on the other hand, was excited. This was to be her first major event outside of the accepted season, and she'd chosen a lovely cream and gold gown, to be accessorized properly with cream pearls and a subtle, pearl-trimmed golden hair comb. The gown rested in pieces to the side, and Naeva presently stood on a low pedestal, in her undergarments.

But Odette had seen her in such a state of undress numerous times. They were sisters, after all.

"What do you think?" she asked, glancing to her sister's face in the mirror. "Braided bun, or something more adventurous?"


@Odette Tailler



[Image: x9y1Pb.jpg][Image: rIjft6.gif][Image: pLsLBW.png]
#2
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Having the best of the best for household staff was something Odette was determined to maintain. Her own staff were either pureblood or house elves. Though second or more generations would also something to strive to obtain for quality staff of the household. This was a thought in Odette's mind as she contemplated Naeva's new dressing maid.

If only Odette was more up for going to this event with her dear sister. But the delicate body of a proper lady seemed to be made even more so as Odette's child grew.

"Do not go for adventurous, dear. We have an elopement in the family. Save adventurous for engagement and marriage." They now had to be extra careful. The wrong word said there, the wrong hairstyle. It could all scream whore in the eyes of society, thanks to their sister.



MJ made pretties

#3
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"Very well," she acknowledged. "Just a braided style, then, all the hair piled up carefully. And do be careful how you arrange it. I cannot seem desperate, Merlin forbid."

Naeva wanted to seem eager, certainly, but desperate she was not. She wanted to seem dignified and beautiful, but not as if she wanted only to find a husband. She sought to make connections, after all. And the party Naeva would be attending tonight was hosted by a fellow Pendergast alumna. Perhaps the most successful that she knew of.

"I do wish you could accompany me, sister," she hummed. "Our hired chaperone is always so dreadfully boring. A terrible conversationalist, really." But what did she expect? The woman was twenty years her senior!


@Odette Tailler



[Image: x9y1Pb.jpg][Image: rIjft6.gif][Image: pLsLBW.png]
#4
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Desperate. Something that this family essentially was. Something they couldn't - under any circumstances - show. Naeva had to make a match, work through a proper courtship, and then get married. The sooner, the better. The finest match that they could get their hands on. Odette had been fortunate enough to be married before the scandal, Naeva didn't have that in her favor. Naeva had to pay for this the most. More, Odette felt, then their wayward sister.

Connections would hopefully aid in their efforts. Bring themselves back up socially. Convey the best of social graces. While Odette wished that she could further aid in the efforts, she was preforming an honorable wifely duty by being with child. Society would certainly understand her absence.

"I do regret not attending, though you understand my reasons. A boring chaperone, on the other hand, will certainly help with your image. Stay with her as often as you can. I know it is tedious, but we must hope it shall be a temporary discomfort." Odette didn't wish to ruin her night, but it was better than ruining her good name.



MJ made pretties

#5
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Naeva listened to her sister as she held still, letting the new maid plait and weave her hair into an elaborate but not too elaborate design. Elegant, neither overblown nor understated. At least she seemed to understand that. And then she began pinning the braids into place and promptly jabbed Naeva's scalp with a hairpin. "Ow! Watch your fingers!" she blurted, barely restraining the urge to reach up and swat the maid's hand.

"Of course I understand your reasons, and cannot wait." She was, admittedly, desperate in one way herself. She was desperate to be an aunt, and eventually a mother herself. It was up to them. And with that thought, she waved the maid off for a moment, turned, and looked her sister in the eye. "I shall do my best to be a well-behaved young lady. Who knows, perhaps tonight I will secure a courtship." That would certainly be the best Christmas gift a young debutante could receive.


@Odette Tailler



[Image: x9y1Pb.jpg][Image: rIjft6.gif][Image: pLsLBW.png]
#6
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The yelp of pain put Odette on edge. Perhaps this was a good reason to prompt a discussion about household staff in the Lécuyer house. But she let it be, for now. Still, Naeva handled the situation well. A brief, yet stern scolding. Nothing more for a first mistake of the evening. Odette silently gave her approval.

A smile did show on her face. It was nice to see her sister's excitement at the idea of Odette's future child. It felt important, made her feel important. "Be sure to be on the look out, but do not cling too tightly to one man nor seem too much of a flirt. Eyes will be on you now more than ever."



MJ made pretties

#7
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Naeva was not unused to being watched. A debutante was always observed in some way or another, and Naeva would never admit it — but she loved the feeling. Turning back to her mirror as she allowed the maid to resume her work, the young woman took a deep breath, folding her hands in front of her.

But again, she sought her sister's opinion. "Diamonds or pearls?" she asked, glancing at her sister in the mirror. The gown suited all three options quite well, and Naeva herself was leaning towards the diamonds. Yet Odette's opinion was ever more important as the days wore on. She was the Success. She was the Good Sister.

And Naeva would yield to whatever her sister said.


@Odette Tailler



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#8
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For the right reasons, being watched can feel like having power. But for the wrong, it felt like a plague that Odette could not escape. While she never expected that she would do something wrong in societies eyes, she still hated the idea that one wrong word could bring her crashing down even more than her twin had already done to her.

"Pearls. Diamonds are too bold. Save diamonds for the wedding, if you can." Because, by Merlin, Naeva would get married. Odette was determined to see to that.



MJ made pretties

#9
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Pearls it was. Within moments, Naeva's look was finished off with the pearl choker and teardrop pearl earrings. Brushing imagined dust from her skirt, she slowly turned, looking back over her shoulder to check the lay of the fabric, before she turned her gaze to her sister with a grin. "How do I look?" she asked, taking in a nervous breath.

If she could land an official courtship tonight, her future was all but secure. Barring cruel twists of fate, of course.

@Odette Tailler / @Sweetie Whitledge



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#10
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A secure future would be needed. Odette had been lucky. Her hard work had ended with a marriage before Mireille had committed the scandalous actions that landed them where they were now. "Excellent. I'm sure you will dazzle them all."



MJ made pretties

#11
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She was nervous beyond belief for this party. She'd never been so anxious about a party in her life, that she could recall.

"I've about ten minutes before I need to leave," she commented. "Any last-minute advice for a Christmas party?" Not that Naeva really needed the advice, but it was always good to have.

@Odette Tailler / @Sweetie Whitledge



[Image: x9y1Pb.jpg][Image: rIjft6.gif][Image: pLsLBW.png]


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