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Issue #252 - Begonia Belby: Serial Seductress?
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Pre-Season Events to Keep You Busy
With the Christmas season behind us, we are entering the dullest part of the year, at least as far as one's social calendar is concerned. Hardly anyone throws balls or parties in the spring, instead saving their efforts for the season, and the few that do have probably chosen strategically to avoid the season to avoid having to compete for attendees with their lackluster hosting skills. Luckily, we have a list of non-party events this spring to keep you engaged until the proper season starts.

First, any young woman with a connection to the Phoenix Society should keep an eye on their events. Founded by Mrs. Ophelia Devine after she fell out with the Rose & Thistle Ladies' Club over the continued inclusion of a member of less-than-ideal repute, the group consists primarily of married ladies and hosts bimonthly events focused on skill development or new experiences. Horseback riding, chocolate making, and scavenger hunts are just a few of their former event themes, and they also frequently involve themselves in charity. Events are limited to members or direct invitation.

February will see the debut of a new musical piece, Sonata #7. The de Montfault theater will host the four-hour musical event, which will be accompanied by dancers and acrobats in a novel twist on the typical arrangement. The lobby will remain open throughout the performance, which means enterprising young women can socialize for nearly the full four hours before taking their seats for the finale.

The beginning of March will bring the Teapot Transfiguration Trials to Hogsmeade. This unique and typically rustic event has been hosted annually in
Hertfordshire, but will expand both their course and their list of competitors this year as they set up in Hogsmeade. Although no young woman of any breeding would participate, the race will likely include some spectacular feats of magic and we encourage everyone to attend.

Late in March and stretching into early April, a new cruise liner, The Santa Antonina will depart Scotland on an eighteen-day, multi-country tour of coastal Europe. This is an excellent opportunity for young women to see the world beyond simply their honeymoon. While tickets are expensive, some cabins may be available to any family of good standing in society. Unfortunately, the Santa Antonina will stop in each city only one day before moving on, but seeing a city for a day is better than not seeing the city at all! We anticipate that any young woman fortunate enough to undergo the cruise will be the envy of all her peers this season, and will have a litany of delightful stories with which to regale gentleman callers.

The middle of April will see the opening of a new play at the de Montfault theater, The Roses of Brittany. The play makes its world debut in Hogsmeade before continuing on to play Europe and America, which might give young women with international suitors some common ground to discuss. Of course, since it's an entirely new production, its merit is yet to be determined.

The beginning of May is also traditionally the perfect time of year for gardening exhibitions, of which we anticipate several. In short, while the season may not have started yet, there are no shortage of diversions to get you through the blustery 1891 spring!



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Want to know if the gentleman of your dreams feels the same way you do? Scared to propose courtship unless you know your feelings are returned? Try this potion! A Recipe for Revelations

Love potions are overrated, overused, and, frankly, do more harm than good most of the time. They cause scandals, fracture families, and leave people forced into unhappy marriages more often than not. Still, Valentine's Day quickly approaches, and what better way to celebrate than with a love-themed treat? Fortunately, this sweet is unlikely to spur nonexistent feelings of romance, but instead reveal the feelings of romance that are already there. One bite will leave a man or woman pink at the cheeks—and we mean magenta pink—at the sight of their beloved.

The Ingredients
  • 3 cups of red wine
  • 2 tbsp of butterscotch
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 sprig of lady's mantle
  • 1/2 cup of powdered pearl dust
  • 2 ashwinder eggs
  • 8 rose thorns

Steps to Create
  1. Pour 3 cups of red wine into the cauldron and heat to a simmer.
  2. Add 2 tbsps of butterscotch and 1 tsp of cinnamon into the cauldron.
  3. Bring the brew to a boil.
  4. Add 8 rose thorns.
  5. Lower cauldron heat back to a simmer.
  6. Crush 2 ashwinder eggs and sprinkle into simmering brew.
  7. Add 1 full sprig of lady's mantle and stir until dissolution.
  8. Stir until the color of the brew shifts to a deep purple hue.
  9. Dip biscuits, cookies, candies, or sandwiches into brew. The potion should not stain the food item.


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Begonia Belby, Serial Seductress?
The Belby name may be most familiar for the tragic fate of her brother (the former healer tragically turned werewolf) but Miss Begonia Belby has since become a staple of society as one of our prettiest, most vivacious debutantes — but she may be far less proper than she seems. Miss Belby, at twenty-four, has yet to court any man yet with a view to marry, and one cannot continue to solely blame her brother’s circumstances for her failings. Has Miss Belby any interest in marriage at all, or are her interests more sordid?

Miss Begonia Belby, Gryffindor alumna.
It is a law of nature that if one delves into secret scandal, rumours are bound to follow, and it may be known to Miss Belby’s former schoolmates that she started young. It is said that Miss Belby was a flirt even at a tender age, and that she was once discovered undressed in a broom cupboard with a female classmate! Caught once, maybe — but with a rashness typical of a Gryffindor and an abundance of broom cupboards in the castle, there is simply no telling how many of her fellow pupils Miss Belby lured there in secret. In the years since, she has seemed on the surface to have mended her ways: but one must wonder if no one saw the danger of giving Miss Belby freedom enough to waltz into a world much wider than Hogwarts, a world full of unattached gentlemen.

Spotted: Miss Belby approached Mr. Greengrass again just last night at the art ball! But did she get what she wanted this time?
For she has married none of them. Many of the friends from whom Miss Belby secures invitations have married well and are expecting children - the recent Mrs. Ellory Lestrange amongst them - and with such access to forbidden insights about married life, Miss Belby is no doubt more worldly than she appears. Indeed, just over the winter holidays Miss Belby was seen making alluring fan-signals and coquettish overtures aplenty to Mr. Fortitude Greengrass, a man too close in age to her to be any serious match for a husband. And yet - judging by the garish shade of red they were both flushing at the party, Witch Weekly is in no doubt Miss Belby found herself in another broom cupboard that very evening.


But has this been one heartbreaking too far? Have Miss Belby’s fun and games all come to a premature finish? Has she suddenly found herself in a sticky situation? One certainly saw her unusually distracted - perhaps abashed at herself - by the very next day, almost flattening poor Mr. Aldous Crouch on the ice in her agitation; at the recent opening of The Modiste Rose, Miss Belby was spotted consuming a great portion of the biscuits. A hasty plan to put down all her sudden weight gain to only that appetite, perhaps? One hopes the new modiste has plenty of fabric to spare, for Miss Belby is certain to need plenty more around the midriff in the next few months.

As to whether she will seek out Mr. Greengrass for a solution or turn elsewhere for a husband in desperation, we cannot yet say; nor whether she might learn a lesson from it, if a false alarm. But, regardless, one should seriously advise the eligible gentlemen in their life to beware of Miss Belby and the nearest broom cupboard.
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Discover Your February Horoscope!
Capricorn At the start of the month you will be financially inspired! Yes, follow your gut instinct in money matters and you'll be sure to reap ample reward!
In the latter half of the month consider spring cleaning.
Aquarius This month you should take the initiative wherever possible. Inaction will be your downfall. Towards the end of the month you may feel brooding and melancholic. Don't drink too much tea.
Pisces This month is the month of romance for you Pisces! Forget St. Valentine's, Mars and Neptune are converging. Now is the time to be bold and wear your heart on your sleeve without fear! Don't just spoil your spouse, spoil yourself too, this month you deserve it.
Aries Unlike Pisces, you will feel more emotionally distant this month and yearn for solo endeavors. Be wary of coming across apathetic or uncaring, the balance in your relationships are a little tenuous this month. Mind also your hot temper and hot objects, you're more likely to burn or scald yourself.
Taurus Your life may have seemed rather stagnant lately, while unlikely to improve wildly over this coming month you will find some improvement if you work for it. Towards the end of the month you're likely to feel overwrought by your more tender emotions, there's nothing you can do but prepare yourself.
Gemini Try to take a breath before you jump, Gemini! You're likely to find yourself jumping the gun a lot this month, try to monitory this and avoid acting on impulse - things are likely not what they seem at first glance! The color brown will bring you unusual luck this month.
Cancer Unlike Gemini, risks are a good idea for you in February! You're going to feel innovative and inspired, put this to good use whilst you can. Be mindful, if you overexert yourself socially, you will likely feel increasingly introverted until you change pace. Keep a dream journal, it might change your life.
Leo You won't have time for difficult people this month and will crave likeminded discussion. Try not to be too arrogant though, as the end of the month approaches you may find yourself dwelling on how you behaved at the start of the month. You can assert your opinion without silencing everyone else in the room! You should redecorate your parlor mid-month.
Virgo Your confidence is going to be shaky for a while, try to bear with it and overcome. If in doubt, ask. Make sure people know where they stand with you, your straightforwardness will be welcomed.
Libra Well aren't you popular this month? Your name is on everyone's lips and in a good way! Don't let this go to your head, however. Your finances are not so wonderful, use caution when investing or making any large purchases.
Scorpio Your trust is sparse this month and you will be more prone to paranoia. You may feel abnormally argumentative so bear that in mind for the sake of your closest friends and family. You may lose an important friend this month.
Saggitarius Not only will you feel as though you've downed a bottle of Felix Felicis this month, you will also feel incredibly charitable. Luck and generosity are the themes of your Febrary. Also don't
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