Charming is a Victorian Era Harry Potter roleplay set primarily in the village of Hogsmeade, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the non-canon village of Irvingly. Characters of all classes, both magical and muggle — and even non-human! — are welcome.
With a member driven story line, monthly games and events, and a friendly and drama-free community focused on quality over quantity, the only thing you can be sure of is fun!
"One thing that was definitely going to last for years - health permitting - was their marriage. Years upon years, until one of them finally ran out of the bitterness that was keeping them alive and died first." — Antigone Lestrange in The Wolf And The Tigress
"I will not!" she objected, subconsciously tightening her grip on the thing. It probably wasn't wise to provoke him further for she thought he seemed very much in the mood to dish out mysterious, surely unpleasant punishments. Still, she couldn't be convinced to part with the key, it would be a surrender of power, of which she felt she had so very little. "And I shan't be told to go to bed like a child, which I am not before you try suggesting otherwise!"
"No," he agreed sarcastically. "How could I possibly compare you to a child, when you've demonstrated such vast moral character and maturity?"
His fingers twitched towards his wand, but he didn't want to do anything hasty. Instead, he stood, his chair scraping against the floor as it pushed out from the desk. His fingertips rested on the edge of the desk, causing him to lean slightly towards her. "Give me my key," he said sternly, "Or I will have to take it from you. In a somewhat less than dignified fashion," he warned.
Her two options were: hand it over and escape probably unscathed, or refuse and probably lose it anyway as well as suffer the consequences, whatever they would be. The problem was, if she gave it back now he might think she was scared of him. If he thought that, he'd think he could just intimidate her into anything!
Denying him seemed foolish, but she did have her wand in the other hand. She didn't think that would do anything but worsen his temper, but it was comfort at least. "No," she replied coolly, taking a step backwards, preparing both to raise her wand and make a run for her bedroom. Was he a fast runner? He'd probably just throw spells at her, she supposed, he didn't seem like the sort of person who ran unless they really had to.
Tiberius held her gaze for a second. Then he sighed again. "You arrogant bitch," he said, his tone bland and unmalicious--as if this insult were merely a statement of fact. "You always have to make things more difficult."
With a resigned air, Tiberius picked up his wand and, with a quick, almost violent gesture, caused the door of the study to slam closed. He saw the way she'd tensed up as she refused him, as if she were poised for--well, he didn't actually know what she intended to do. Fight or flight? She had a wand in one hand, but Tiberius sincerely hoped she didn't intend to use it. That would get... messy.
He could have disarmed her fairly easily, but he didn't want to. It would have demonstrated that he thought she was a threat--even a minuscule one--which he certainly didn't believe. She was a flea compared to him, and if she was stupid enough to try and cast a spell on him, he'd cross that bridge when he came to it. And then she would face the consequences.
With a glare, Tiberius pointed his wand at her, still half-leaning on his desk. "This is the last time I will ask, Antigone."
She didn't particularly appreciate his choice of words for her, but she could at least find the sense not to make a fuss out of it. She was more bothered by the fact that he slammed the door shut. She could probably open it again but the time it would take to do so might make the action futile, especially now his wand was trained on her.
What was he going to do? Summon it back? Torture her into dropping it? She bit the inside of her cheek and then made a probably very stupid decision. She pointed her wand at the key and vanished it into thin air. She didn't suppose he'd presently appreciate that she'd done very well in the vanishment part of her practical Transfiguration OWL.
Tig stood her ground and forced herself to look him in the eye, all the while wondering what the price would be for her defiance. At least she wasn't running her mouth?
She really did seem to have some kind of compulsion to make things difficult.
Tiberius stood very still as the key disappeared, hardly even appearing to be alive, though beneath his skin, his blood was boiling.
Who did she think she was? Did she think she had somehow earned her place here, in his study? That she had some right to his things? Everything she had, she only had because he had given it to her. She had never been grateful to him, even once, but if it weren't for him, she would still have been a sniveling, unmarried wench, desperately chasing after men who didn't notice her. Instead, he'd taken her in, and given her the opportunity to be something else--something more. And this was how she repaid him?
"Duro Hostia," he spat, his wand had so tense that it was almost difficult for him to successfully cast the spell which would slowly turn her to stone. He didn't know what he was going to do with her once she'd become a motionless (but sentient) statue, but he'd cross that bridge when he came to it, in a minute or so. He just had to keep her from doing anything else that was stupid, or else his temper might get the better of him... and that wouldn't be good for either of them.
If he had to kill her, he decided, he'd make it look like a suicide. And he'd make sure her body was discovered in the worst possible situation he could think of, just because he knew that would mortify her.
No, of course he wouldn't do that. Her shitty reputation wouldn't hurt her after she was already dead. He might get inside her head and give her hallucinations, though--make her nightmares follow her into her daytime life. That would be amusing.
Tiberius lowered his wand, his frustration showing in the way he was breathing; slightly heavier and more labored than his usual. He glanced over at the door that he'd slammed--the door which was now useless, since she'd gone and disappeared the damn key. Tiberius walked to the door, his step heavy with agitation. With a violent gesture, he cast Expulso. The door shattered into a cloud of dust and splinters, and Tiberius swore aloud as he turned back to his by now partially petrified wife.
"I'll just replace the lock," he told her, stalking towards her. Three or four steps from her he seemed to change his mind and turned, taking a step away--then turned back to her again. "You've accomplished nothing with your little stunt--except demonstrated what a willful cow you are. I don't know why I married you--I can't fathom what I ever thought I saw in you. You ungrateful, disrespectful slut," he said, glaring. "I ought to have just gone and found myself a dithering idiot, like uncle Lucius did. At least she managed to give him sons," he spat.
He wasn't really paying attention to the progression of the spell, so he wasn't sure whether she was still capable of answering. It didn't much matter, though; he wasn't expecting a response.
It didn't take a genius to see that she'd really gone and done it this time. She might have taken some sort of pleasure in driving him to such extents of fury had he not just hexed her. To her distress, she could feel her limbs stiffening and locking in place, suddenly no longer accessible to her as though they had been cut off. "Just don't forget who insisted on this stupid marriage," she snapped back, only able to get the words out through pure stubbornness and luck that the spell hadn't fully robbed her of jaw movement.
Tig thought she probably ought to be furious, even afraid, considering her new predicament and his state of rage, but she was oddly calm. Was it because of everything he'd said? Was it that she felt in some way as though she had succeeded in some destructive goal she hadn't realized she'd been aiming for? It was more likely to be that the sudden loss of power had acted like a pair of scissors cutting a pulled-tight string. She was so absorbed in giving him a certain impression, that not being able to do anything was immensely liberating, it was just a shame it had to be the result of being turned into a statue.
Tiberius glared at her when she replied. He could have silenced her again with another jinx, but it would have been a waste of time and effort--soon, she wouldn't be able to say anything else, anyway.
Maybe he could just leave her like that. He could leave her, petrified, in the corner of his study. Claim she had died. Hold a funeral. After a few months he'd move her out to the small garden behind the house and claim he'd had the statue commissioned, from one of his late wife's pictures. Then he'd be able to get her to stop taking up room in the study, anyway, and he wouldn't have to keep looking at her. Maybe if he picked a good spot to put her, out there, some birds would come and build a nest in her hair. Antigone would still be fully aware of what was going on while she was petrified, so it might be fairly amusing if he left her out there to collect bird shit.
After a year or two, he'd find a wife who wasn't worthless.
Or he could try and fix her, somehow. That was considerably less work than having to go through the trouble of faking her death and funeral (or even knocking her off himself and not faking it), then going through some pretense of a mourning period. Not to mention actually finding a new wife. He'd put so much effort into courting her, and clearly that hadn't turned out. He could only imagine it would be more difficult, too, now that he was saddled with two infant girls.
No, it would be much more convenient if he could somehow salvage her, but at this particular moment, Tiberius honestly didn't see how. He'd tried being kind, and she had never taken notice. He'd tried being cruel, and it had only made her more ornery. Whatever it was about her that gave her this--compulsion to infuriate him, it didn't seem as though it was the sort of thing that could be fixed, at least not through non-magical means. So what, then? He could try subjecting her to an Unbreakable Vow--but it would have to be a dozen Unbreakable Vows, to outlaw enough of her terrible behaviors that it would actually make her into a decent wife. And he had no faith in her ability to stick to such a Vow. No, if he went that route, it would be akin to killing her; it would just take much longer than if he simply did it himself.
He could scramble her brain, he supposed. There were plenty of spells for that purpose, and if she was truly stupid, she wouldn't have the brain power necessary to hold some kind of grudge against him. He didn't want to do that, though, because despite what he'd said a moment earlier, he'd never liked Lucius' mouse. He didn't want a dolt who just produced babies and spent money--though, perhaps with Antigone, that was what he'd have to end up settling for. Had he been too ambitious in trying to find someone who could one day become--perhaps not a partner, or a lover, but at least a companion? Had he unwittingly picked a woman who could never be bent to anything even resembling domesticity?
But he had wanted to believe that it was there. That potential, that he'd always thought he'd glimpsed, from time to time--the potential that he believed Olivia had confirmed when she'd reacted as she did to Antigone's incident with Ellory. It would be such a shame if there was something more to her, and he squandered it all by taking her wits away.
So where did that leave him? What did he do with her now?
Tiberius sighed and crossed his arms over his chest, looking at the blistered hole where the door had once been, so that he didn't have to look at her, anymore. He wished he had someone he could ask for advice, because he honestly didn't know what came next. But after Lucius' little... announcement, recently, he didn't feel as though he were the right person to run to for marital advice. Tiberius was honestly just too confused by his choices--first the mouse and now the woman--to know what he ought to expect if he were to ask Lucius for advice. Claude and he hadn't spoken much since Claude had left the Department of Mysteries. Asking anyone else would be utterly ridiculous. He couldn't even imagine what Valeria or Tatiana would say, if he breathed so much as a word of this particular struggle to them.
"I ought to leave you like that," he said stiffly over his shoulder at her. "You're much nicer to have around when you're not talking. I ought to have turned you into a statue before you got pregnant, actually," he said archly. "Then you might have been pretty enough that someone would have mistaken you for art."
Since it was the middle of the night and she was dressed for bed, she wasn't even wearing a corset. Honestly, if he was going to keep her around as a statue, did he have to transfigure her when she was at her absolute least attractive?
Now she couldn't even speak. If she could sigh out all the air in her lungs she would have. She had no option left now but to wait for him to turn her back, and she trusted that he would, despite what he might say. What she didn't trust him to do was to turn her back in a reasonable amount of time. Strangely, she found that she still didn't regret her actions, even if the key would be rendered useless if she un-vanished it.
Perhaps he'd done her a favor. Now that she couldn't speak or be otherwise distracted by her temper or putting up facades, she felt like a fly on the wall. How long could she keep fighting him for? It took so much effort to keep resenting him for just marrying, especially now that she was used to how things were. Things weren't about to magically change, not unless she found a time turner, but even then would she really use it? Actually, she probably would, she had no reason to think the grass wouldn't be greener on the other side. Not that things were really all that terrible if she was honest with herself, at least not when she wasn't starting fights she couldn't win.
What perhaps put everything into perspective for her, was that she might very well be kept a statue for hours, or days, months, heaven forbid possibly years. It wouldn't be much of a surprise to her to find that he could be so stubborn as to leave her for years in such a state. One thing that was definitely going to last for years - health permitting - was their marriage. Years upon years, until one of them finally ran out of the bitterness that was keeping them alive and died first. Did she really want to spend her entire life compiling a repertoire of his spells having been subjected to them first?
Pride was the problem. Pride was what she currently lacked in her stony state.
Pride or otherwise, it couldn't go on. It was one thing to be curt, another to be looking for a fight at every opportunity. It wasn't even a fair fight when she didn't dare resort to the same extremes as he did.
Tig supposed she could try to make the tiniest of efforts, if nothing else so she didn't feel like a cornered, angry, hissing, clawing cat all the time. For now, however, she could do nothing at all but await his mercy. Joyous joy.
Tiberius watched her still, immobile face only a few seconds before he realized that he was, in fact, exhausted. He had been asleep only a few moments ago, after all. He'd stayed up so late studying and trying to cram this shit into his head--shit that he didn't even particularly want to learn, but was dedicating himself to in order to impress her--and he'd eventually been overtaken by exhaustion, and it was catching up with him once again. Besides, he was running out of steam for his rant. When she wasn't constantly adding fuel to the fire, that had actually happened fairly quickly. There wasn't much sport in sitting here and yelling at--or even sternly lecturing--a statue who wasn't going to talk back.
He still didn't know what to do about her, though, and he didn't want to bring her back, to allow her to talk and move and potentially cast spells or do other inventive things to vex him, until he had some sort of plan. What if he removed the hex and told her to go to bed, and she did something even more stupid than disappearing the key? He wouldn't put it past her, and he was too tired to deal with that shit. And he didn't want her to know he was tired, which really limited his options.
After a long moment, he said quietly, "I'll decide what to do with you tomorrow." Moving to the desk, he picked up his tie from where he'd put it on the desk, when he'd gotten a little more comfortable after dinner. Holding that in one hand and his wand in the other, he shuffled towards the hole where the door had been. He'd have to do something about that--he couldn't just leave the study open all night. Or whatever part of the night was left, anyway. But he needed to sleep, and Antigone was hardly going to be an effective guardian of the room, in her current state.
"I'll tell the staff you're ill and want to skip breakfast," he told her as he reached the doorway. He had to step over a piece of broken wood to get out into the hallway. There were little pieces of the door everywhere, out here, which the servants would probably have an excellent time cleaning up tomorrow. Turning, Tiberius cast a spell with a lazy flick of his wand, and the doorway started to fill, from the ground up, with layer upon layer of conjured stone. Everyone else in the household knew better than to even attempt to get into the study, so as long as there was something there, Tiberius wasn't really worried.
It wasn't like Antigone was going to be going anywhere.
"Spend some time thinking it over," he called as the doorway grew to his chest height, and kept filling in. "Tomorrow we'll talk about whether there's any way to salvage you."