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Wallace Bixby for Sloane Bixby.
...tfw your little sister makes the house team before you do.
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A Position of Influence
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August 8th, 1890 — 12 Grimmaud Place, London

Although Flora had grown from her attempts to childish attempts to imitate her mother and Ursula Black's mannerisms, she still looked up to the woman. She was married to Headmaster Black (who, despite his surprising inattention to Sirius during the school year, was still on par with her own Papa in terms of impressiveness) and was perfectly elegant and ladylike in her own right.

She would never admit it, but she preferred Mrs. Black's fashion sense to her own mother's. Maybe it was her feminine figure that made her dresses more appealing; Flora was still skinny as could be a thirteen and it was more likely that she would look like her more slender mother in adulthood. It was disappointing—and definitely an unreasonable concern to have—but she could not help but compare herself to others.

"You should be proud of Sirius," she said after minutes of unimportant chitchat, "He did very well in quidditch last year. He's very smart, too." That was misleading—not because Sirius was not not smart, but because Flora was not one to keep tabs on everyone's academic progress, and it was much easier to keep the attention on the one thing they had in common than talk about herself.

— @Ursula Black
[-] The following 2 users Like Flora Mulciber's post:
   Aldous Crouch, Ursula Black



thanks to MJ for the prettiest set <3
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To Ursula's dismay Rufina had been unable to keep company with her today while Flora and Sirius played. With a heavy heart she had to admit it was probably about time they stopped having playdates together, it would soon be improper to encourage them to spend time together so casually but that meant she had to admit that Sirius wouldn't be a little boy for much longer. There couldn't be any harm in it quite yet though, Flora was a good girl and Sirius was a little gentleman, never mind that they would probably marry one day. At least Ursula hoped as much. What would be better than her firstborn marrying Rufina's? They'd be a perfect little couple!

Somehow this playdate had gone off-track, however, Sirius was nowhere to be seen and now she was the one left keeping company with Flora. How worryingly like his father!

Fortunately, after her own children (Phineas II, Arcturus, and the new one aside) Rufina's daughter was the next most tolerable child that existed, in Ursula's opinion. Not that that meant she wanted to form a sewing circle with the thirteen year old girl. "I always knew he would be a quidditch player and clever besides." There had been a time when Sirius was very small and she hadn't known what to do with him but she had eventually grown into motherhood and now her heart threatened to burst with pride and affection for her boy. Somewhere along the line she had become the sort of mother she had sneered at, the doting sort who enjoyed talking about how accomplished and pretty her children were. It was acceptable for her to do it because they actually were accomplished and attractive, except perhaps Phineas II and that wailing fiend that had nearly murdered her but she never spoke about those ones anyway.

She peered over her embroidery at Flora. "You see a lot of each other at school, don't you?" Obviously they were in the same house and year but that wasn't what she meant.

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#3
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Sirius was a good quidditch player, or at least that's what she thought every time she saw him on the quidditch pitch. There was rarely a terrible player on the house teams, and if there was they were usually ejected after the year was up. Maybe one day Sirius would captain the team (Flora thought it likely. Wouldn't Phineas want his son as quidditch captain, prefect, and even—possibly—head boy one day?). If Flora had been a boy, she might have played quidditch to have another thing to bond over with Rex and Sirius, but she was a girl, so she accepted playing the cheer-leading role during matches.

"We do," she replied, glancing up from her too-complicated stitch. Her flower was rose was beginning to look more lie a lopsided umbrella; she considered hiding it in the fabric's fold to avoid Mrs. Black seeing. "We have most of our classes together, and we study with Rex in the library." If only Rex had been sorted into Slytherin! In hindsight it was clear that he was always meant for Hufflepuff, but that didn't stop her from missing him when it was just her sitting in the common room late in the evening.

"We were just talking about what electives we should take. What did you take at school, Mrs. Black?"



thanks to MJ for the prettiest set <3
#4
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Ursula found herself wondering whether Flora had any female friends. At her age Ursula had had exclusively female friends although she'd privately made eyes at a fair few boys. Surely Rufina's daughter, who was impeccably ladylike, could attract the friendship of her own sex? She'd be headed for trouble if Sirius and young Mr. Crabbe were her only companions, she'd either have to forge new friendships very suddenly or open herself up for all sorts of unpleasant gossip and then it wouldn't do to have her marry Sirius which would be a terrible shame. However, this was technically none of her business and Rufina was perfectly equipped to sort her own daughter out and it was entirely possible that Flora had a little posse of girl friends whom she simply knew nothing of.

"Ah yes, third year electives." Ursula had to think for a moment to remember what subjects she'd actually taken. Merlin, it was so long ago. She felt slightly sickened. "Your mother and I both took Ancient Studies but we found it rather dull and gave it up after three years. Earth magic was tolerably interesting but I always regretted choosing Arithmancy over Divination." She had never been particularly academic but she hoped that would be different for Sirius, as a woman it hadn't mattered but Sirius ought to have a sharp, well shaped mind. He ought to study practical things he'd have use for as an adult, serious things not nonsense subjects like Muggle Studies or Divination. "What subjects were you thinking of taking?"

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#5
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Flora could not imagine her mother sitting in Ancient Studies, but then it was hard to imagine her mother doing anything other than what she was doing now. Had her mother been the sort to enjoy parties when she was a child? Did she obsess over fashion and her hair ribbons, just as Flora did? It helped that Mrs. Black mentioned her own regrets, because it gave Flora the springboard she needed.

"I plan on taking Divination, actually. That and Ancient Runes." It would be good to have one easy, enjoyable class and one that seemed like a challenge at face value. She was already involved in so much! Art and music class took up practice time, as did all the clubs she'd gotten involved with since starting school. (It was the perfect way, she thought, to prepare for the life of a socialite! Learning to balance schedules was everything.)



thanks to MJ for the prettiest set <3
#6
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What she could possibly find a use for Ancient Runes for was beyond her but then the majority of her Hogwarts education had been utterly useless to her. If only they had taught her how to judge the quality of a man aside from his wealth and social standing, that might have served her better than knowing how to harvest pus from a bubotubor. Then again Hogwarts had chosen Phineas for its master much the same as she had. At least the school wouldn't be ruined if it wanted to see other people.

"It sounds as though you'll have a nice little timetable." But not for Sirius, he'd better not be taking Divination. She was of a mind to inquire but it would be humiliating to be seen asking after her own son as though she had a poor relationship with him. No, she'd ask him herself later and make sure he took the right subjects. "Not quite as nice as sixth year though." Ah sixth year. Of all the years at Hogwarts that had been her favorite. It had ended on a bittersweet note with Rufina's departure but otherwise it had been a delight. Fewer classes, free periods, more interesting spells, the flirting... It hadn't been exclusive to sixth year but by seventh year the only boys left were her age and in fifth year there'd been no free periods for gossiping and giggling after coyly catching one's eye. Maybe if the boys from the year above hadn't left she wouldn't have had to resort to mooning over the potions professor.

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#7
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A nice little timetable indeed! Always keen on being thoroughly prepared, she'd already begun planning for her NEWT choices. She, of course, wouldn't take too many courses; she still wanted to have time for art and music, and there were only a handful of core classes she truly enjoyed. Herbology and Transfiguration were a must, as was Charms. Potions seemed useful, and Defence Against the Dark are could potentially make the cut if she found no enjoyment in either of her new electives. She would keep it at four or five to be safe, but no more than that.

"I wish we weren't required to take so many. In first year I thought classes might swallow me alive. This year I'll have twelve if you count music, art, and etiquette, and ." Fortunately the three ran on an entirely different schedule from her core classes and electives, meaning there was no overlap.



thanks to MJ for the prettiest set <3
#8
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Her nostalgia was starting to sour into regret and longing. If only she could start over again knowing what she knew now, if only her entire adult life had been a nightmare and she'd soon wake up as her seventeen year old self with her whole life (and body) ahead of her. She'd certainly pay Thomas Pettigrew more notice the second time around, and Phineas none at all. It would be at the cost of Elladora and Sirius but could one really put a price on happiness? At least she'd still have Belvina at some point. What kind of woman was Ursula Pettigrew? Certainly she was loyal and devoted to a fault. She'd be well-traveled and while not as socially prominent she surely had an endless reserve of exciting tales to tell over tea which inevitably made her very popular and highly sought after. More importantly, however, she'd be loved.

Ursula suddenly realized she'd been silently staring into space for several seconds and came crashing back down into reality. How disappointing. What had Flora even said to her? Did it warrant a response? Ah well, never mind. "You care for Sirius, do you not?"

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