Headmaster and Mrs Longbottom stumble on the late Headmistress’s diary, which contains some entries about a very interesting club.
The first thing Minerva noticed when she stepped into the bustling room was how much it resembled a Ministry function.
There were people clumped in small groups, some around the food table, some at the bar, a few in corners, and one or two standing uncomfortably apart from the others, trying to maintain an air of aloofness. There was music playing—something Minerva didn’t recognise—and combined with mixed conversation punctuated by the occasional eruption of laughter, it gave the room an undercurrent of animation, as if the space itself were alive. A sense of anticipation mixed with anxiety pervaded the atmosphere.
The difference was the clothing. It was All-Hallows’ Eve, so the masks were to be expected, but Minerva had never been to a Halloween party at which the attendees were collectively wearing so little. Some were nearly nude, while others were wearing robes that left something to the imagination—a little something. There was quite a bit of leather, Minerva saw, and she could hear it scrunching and squeaking along as people moved past her. One wizard was in nothing but a set of leather chaps and a pair of nipple clamps with a chain jingling merrily between them as he laughed at something his friend had said.
The corsets caught her eye. Many witches of varying shapes and sizes had poured themselves into these Victorian garments, some with abundant bosoms spilling tantalisingly over the top edges, others whose breasts were fully covered by a chemise or other undergarment, and a few whose breasts were unbound and bare, propped up from underneath by the bones of the corset. There were simple cloth corsets with laces or hooks; there were complicated-looking ones, with straps and holes and attachments; there were leather ones, satin ones, plastic ones—even one that appeared to be made entirely of dragon-hide.
That cost a few Galleons, Minerva thought with a reflexive shudder of Scottish disapproval.
“See something that interests you?” asked a voice from behind her, and Minerva turned to see Amelia’s slightly crooked smile and her amused blue eyes blinking at her with put-upon innocence.
Minerva’s mouth had gone a bit dry, so she took a moment to moisten her lips with her tongue before answering.
“Yes, as a matter of fact.”
“The corsets,” said Amelia. “I thought you might like those.”
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