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!
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    News
    09.14 Witch Weekly needs more Wenches!
    09.10 Hags have hired!
    09.05 Hags are Hiring & Update your CML Entries
    09.04 Congratulations to Lynn and Bree for winning August's PW!
    09.02 The AC is underway, and the results are in for Camp Charming...
    09.01 September ahoy! A new school year, new skins, and elections!
    08.27 Upcoming AC and Wizengamot tweak
    08.21 So you want to be a Student Club President?
    08.08 We have two PW winners for July: Soph and Beanie!
    08.07 SWP7 update for those working/in Hogsmeade
    08.05 Hogwarts updates have begun! Also, the AC is underway.
     
        
     
    The Lost Story
    #1
    It had been an incredibly hot Summers day and Natsuko had spent rather a lot of it lounging on her veranda, which overlooked the park. The place was lovely and shaded, and she enjoyed both the view and the shade, the white linen garment was doing a great job of keeping her comfortable. When she had moved in, only a few months ago, Natsuko had taken great pains to encourage roses and vines to wrap themselves around the trellis and provide shelter. It was her favourite feature of the house, the pretty balcony which led from the master bedroom.

    There was a small wrap at the door, ’Come’ she called, and her butler let himself in, ’My Lady, there is a young woman down the stairs, who says she must see you immediatly. Natsuko's brow furrowed, no one ever needed to see her with any urgency, but she nodded, and rose, dropping her book onto the chaise. ’Show her up please Barton’. Natsuko headed into the sitting room which was off her bedroom, in order to await for the girl there. She was rearranging some things on a side board when the door opened again.

    @'Moriko Shimizu'
    [Image: I8yL65.png]
    Amazing set by Nolan
    #2
    Moriko had spent the first week of her time in England trying to determine where she had to go, where her mother had told her to go. It wasn't exactly clear, per se, but it was at least something - she had a name. What made matters worse was the simple fact that she felt very strange asking others where the Mountbatton house might be. So, upon making one inquiry with a child wandering on High Street, Moriko learned that Natsuko lived here, in Wellingtonshire, not far from where she'd been staying.

    It had taken an hour to actually find the house the child had described, after nearly getting lost twice and also nearly falling flat on her face once, having stumbled on a rock and nearly toppled over. But she was here now, and she requested urgent entrance to the house, needing to speak with the lady within. "Please, sir," she had spoken to the butler in accented English, "it is most urgent." Yet she still had to wait. Standing still as a tree trunk, Moriko waited, feigning patience.

    When the butler returned, Moriko smiled brightly and made her way within, following him to the master bedroom and through to the veranda. Once there, she moved to face the woman before her. A woman she had indeed seen before, at school. They'd been in school together. At the same time. It wasn't a shock anymore - it had been when their mother had told her the truth. Still, she slowly leaned into a bow and smiled at Natsuko brightly.

    "Hello," she greeted, "I have important news, in two parts. Of your mother."
    [Image: 5idAVyg.jpg]
    italicized dialogue is spoken in Japanese
    #3
    As the young woman was shown in Natsuko retired to a chaise on the veranda and motioned for the girl to follow her. It was only when she was seated that she got a good look at the other girl. There was no recognition in Natsuko’s eyes. She had had only a small group of friends in school, and had spent all of her holidays in England, and at her father’s insistence her friends from school had all been wealthy and of good reputations, and she would not have disobeyed her father’s commands. Yet she recognised the girl as Japanese, what one of her countrymen could be doing here she couldn’t think.

    Natsuko inclined her head in recognition and return of the bow with her own. As a woman of wealth she would have been required to return the bow to the same depth as the girl before her. Perhaps she was seeking employment, and Natsuko began to try and think about where the girl might fit in the household. That was soon stalled when the girl spoke.

    Her mother? She presumed the woman was dead, her aunt had always spoken about her in those terms and Natsuko had never questioned it, there were so many girls with dead mothers that it seemed reasonable that her own mother was dead in Japan. Why would this young woman be bringing up a woman who had been dead for 14 years?

    ’What is this?’ she asked, her tone suddenly a little defensive, she stood, her tone a little imperious and the opulent satins of her kimono shimmering around her as she stood ’speak!’ she commanded, panic turning to indignation and anger as she built herself up into a lather.
    [Image: I8yL65.png]
    Amazing set by Nolan
    #4
    Tilting her head to the side as she stood there, Moriko looked over Natsuko with curiosity. She was lovely, it was true, resplendant in her satin kimono - what Moriko wouldn't give to feel that soft fabric on her own skin, enrobing her! Composing herself, she held still a moment, formulating a thought. Once the words were organized in her mind, she began speaking again, in thickly-accented English.

    "Mother passed away in February - our mother," she said plainly, not beating around the bush. "As she lay dying, she gave me your name and enough money to make my way here. To meet you. My name is Moriko - and I am your younger sister." She didn't know how the other woman would take this answer, this explanation, but it was indeed all she had. The only words she could offer as consolation to the other's sudden angered tone.

    She hadn't expected this...
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    italicized dialogue is spoken in Japanese
    #5
    Natsuko’s eyes widened, it was utterly preposterous, her soft features, and usually pleasant demeanour meant people often assumed she was sweet, or overly simple, but the truth was she was shrewd and intelligent and wasn’t one to be taken advantage off. There were a multitude of reasons why someone would claim to be her sisters, aside from the monetary advantages that it would offer them. Natsuko eyed the other woman carefully trying to discern from her face if there was truth in it.

    When she next spoke it was in her native tongue. None of her staff spoke Japanese and she had little desire to set servants tongues wagging, regardless of the truth of this claim. ’you could be no more than…what 3 years younger than me’ she stated incredulously, ’Father left Japan long before you could have possibly been conceived! Unless you mean to claim that was by magic too?’ her tone was stern and demanding.

    She realised if the girls claim was correct then they had been at school at the same time, presuming this duplicitious urchin had been to school at all. Natsuko scanned her face again and could find no familiarity or recognition in her features. Although that in itself did not mean much.
    [Image: I8yL65.png]
    Amazing set by Nolan
    #6
    "We do not share a father," Moriko replied in their mother tongue, taking a slight step towards her and holding position. "We only share a mother. You are just my half sister - but we are blood. I met you once - at school. We attended at the same time. We just never walked the same sphere." After a pause, she added, "I do not come for money. I come for family. You are the last family I have in the world. My father's family...they want nothing to do with me. To them, I would be an added burden."

    She'd never admit it, but she wanted to impress the other woman - so she took a half step away now, casting her eyes down out of respect.
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    italicized dialogue is spoken in Japanese
    #7
    Natsuko looked at the girl with attentive eyes, not looking away before pulling her cherry wand from her sleeve and with a casual wave she cast a silencing charm on the room, so no one else would be able to hear them, even her most trusted servants should not be trusted with this information. She motioned to the chair opposite the chaise on which she sat.

    ’and what?’ Suki asked, her tone suspicious, ’You would not be a burden here? Why because of my father’s fortunes?’ her eyes narrowed at the girl, her expression cool and distant. Besides the fact she had no proof of the girl’s position as a member of her family. Natsuko was a nice person, she was kind and considerate and if the girl had come to her as a school mate and asked for help she could have given it but she would not be duped like this, she would not accept a creature into her home just because it claimed kinship.

    ’What proof do you have that we are anything like kin?’ she demanded.
    [Image: I8yL65.png]
    Amazing set by Nolan
    #8
    Moriko shouldn't have been so...so abrupt like this. But, she knew there wasn't much else she could do. "Fortune is not why I came, not truly. To be truthful, I didn't even know you were wealthy until I arrived." Slowly, she moved to sit, extracting her own wand very slightly. Laurel - a lesser wand-wood at Mahoutokoro, but it had always served her well. "I meant an emotional burden, rather than financial. They loved Father, after all, and seeing me...it reminded them that he was taken so young."

    Proof of kinship...well, that would be a touch more difficult. Her mother had told her as much. She had nothing. "I...are there ways? I don't...Mother only gave me...I must have forgotten it. I know it's difficult to believe. I just...I had nowhere else that would have taken me. If I must, I will work. I am not bad at sewing, and I can cook."

    Now she was scrambling, and she knew it probably wouldn't work. What could she do? It wasn't like there was any way to prove a biological relation. But, as she nervously fussed with her sleeve, she felt...was that paper? Oh! There it was. A letter. She must've forgotten, in the stress of the moment, that she'd put the letter her mother had written into her wand-pocket. Slowly, she pulled it out, offering it. "This. I didn't forget it."

    It was old - at least fifteen years old, written in Japanese. Something Megumi had written and expected never to be delivered, so it was never placed in a mailing envelope. It was a note of apology, a note full of sadness, from mother to lost daughter. "I have not read more than the outside. It bears your name...it felt wrong."

    you decide what it says exactly #lastditcheffort
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    italicized dialogue is spoken in Japanese
    #9
    Natsuko nodded, the handwriting, although faded with age, was recognisable. She had found letters written in a similar hand in her fathers study, love letters from a young and niave young woman to a cold and distant man she believed loved her. Natsuko had never seen the other side of those letters, the ones her father had written to the young woman that he was dallying with but she had memorised every word, daring to believe that a true romance had existed between her parents, star crossed or otherwise. She was also sure that they had not been kept out of anything like Romantic affection for their writer, but rather, judging by the hasty way they had been shoved into the back of the press, and the unopened status of the last few that they had been hidden there in shame rather than in ardour.


    She accepted the letter from the stumbling younger girl and retrieving a silver letter opener from her vanity she broke the seal which creaked and cracked with age, rather than coming away clean. The yellowed paper was dry and brittle having clearly spent much time getting damp and drying out in a ill proofed room with an open fire. It was, as the other girl said it was. It was a letter, addressed to her, It spoke of hoping that they would be reunited one day, the hope that the lost child would know her maternal family, that she would know the half siblings that her mother hoped would come from her new union, and praying that her father was treating her well –glad that she would never know the want of poverty in Japan, which was all she had been able to offer her. Natsuko clutched the letter with both hands hungrily – so her mother was dead. Somehow being angry, haughty and indignant at the other woman was easier than acknowledging the truth, and while she had always behaved as though her mother was dead it was somehow harder to know that she really was, and more that she would not be able to mourn her. After all – as far as the world was concerned the mother Mountbatton’s little Japanese daughter had died in Japan, long before the family moved to England.


    Natsuko rose from her seat and rang the bell that stood beside her bed. The Footman entered ’Make up the Rose room please, and send in Mrs Crewe’ she instructed and the man was gone, her ladies maid to be sent to the pair as soon as she was free. Suki didn’t know what to say to the girl, she didn’t want to embrace her, she wasn’t ready for that, but she knew she needed to do something, to provide for a sister that she had never known of. She sat down on the chaise again, looking impossibly white as the truth of her situation settled in. ’You’ll stay here, with me’ she explained to the other. ’We shall be as full sisters, for both our sakes the society of England can never know that we do not share parentage. The fact that we both went to Mahoutokoro will cover most questions, and spent the summers in Japan.’ She took a deep steadying breath, ’Most people believe that my mother died when I was a child, so I’m afraid I must ask that you observe mourning in a private way.’ while the wearing of black was very much an English tradition, there were customs of mourning that would draw attention to the fact that the pair were only recent orphans, rather than the full 5 years since the death of General Mountbatton, and the 3 since her Aunt’s passing.


    ’But we can discusss those details in the morning, for now, I suppose I should hear more of you?’ she asked, her haughty, defensive tone gone as she softened towards the other.
    [Image: I8yL65.png]
    Amazing set by Nolan
    #10
    "I have mourned Mother enough; I would rather get to know the sister stolen by the past," Moriko said softly. It was, after all, quite true. The time between their mother's death and her arrival was long enough that Moriko could handle it. Besides, she had never been much for speaking of personal situations in public. Her personal life was just that, and would remain that way.

    "I love to dance," Moriko admitted, "and I'm not a very good singer. I am much better at sewing than dancing, as well, and I've been styling my own hair since I was eight." She began with the trivial things, small and simple - she'd never been envious of those with higher status for their finery, but for the security they had. School wasn't something that Moriko felt necessary to share about, given that they had attended at the same time and would know the same subjects.

    Though the fact that she had departed school early would probably be useful to mention.

    Still, at least they could go forward knowing each other, and they could get to know each other better in the months to come. Moriko still would need some amount of tutelage in the ways of the upper class. She was, after all, still new to the better life.
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    italicized dialogue is spoken in Japanese
    #11
    There was a rap on the door and Natsuko’s lady maid entered. Mrs Crewe was a portly looking English woman. She curtsied to her mistress. Natsuko stood, ’Mrs Crewe, my sister has finally joined me from Japan, but her belongings were washed from the deck of the ship that provided her passage.’ she explained. She wasn’t sure if the other woman believed her, she of course had never mentioned a sister before, but Mrs Crewe was a good servant who knew the value of discretion and silence where she had suspicions. Yes it was odd that Miss Mountbatton had never mentioned a sister but then she was foreign and those foreigners often did strange things like this. There were quite a few odd rooms, and odd things that Miss Mountbatton did in them.

    ’I’ve asked Barton to put her in the Rose room for now, but she will need a ladies maid and new clothing. Could you see to the hiring of a suitable candidate and if you could see to her wardrobe in the meantime.’ she instructed the maid. Mrs Crewe would know to use from Natsuko’s own wardrobe in the meantime but to start procuring suitable garments for the younger woman to wear. ’Did your wand make it Moriko?’ Suki asked in as warm and familiar a tone as she could muster. ’or do you need another of those too?’
    [Image: I8yL65.png]
    Amazing set by Nolan
    #12
    For a moment, as Natsuko explained things to Mrs. Crewe, Moriko was confused. Then she understood more clearly. Her newfound sister was providing a story for why Moriko didn't have much to her name, and what she did have was of lesser quality than that which would suit a lady of upper class standing. It would be simpler this way, she reasoned, rather than to give the whole story - even foregoing the fact that they were half-siblings.

    But Moriko stood silent until spoken to by Natsuko - asking about her wand? In the least threatening gesture she could muster, Moriko lifted the laurel wand in her grasp. "Thankfully, my wand survived the journey," she replied, smiling politely, though that was all she said. Better to keep things succinct than to over complicate things by saying too much.
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    italicized dialogue is spoken in Japanese
    #13
    ’How excellent,’ Natsuko said with a broad smile. She glanced at Mrs Crewe, who despite her trust in the woman was rather clearly listening to their conversation. She gave Moriko a look, before continuing in Japanese. ’we will need to make certain decisions, and rather quickly.’ she explained and stood from her seat to cross to her dresser, as Mrs Crewe indicated that Moriko would need to be measured for dresses and other items.

    ’You will need certain etiquette lessons in the short term, I’m sure you have some from school., but society can be unforgiving here, and you will need to know certain things that will be expected from the daughter of an Englishman.’ she explained, ’and then we will have to decide if you are to go to the Prendergast school, or simply debut.’ the older sister bit her lip, there was so much to decide, and the story to get straight in a very short space of time.

    ’The Prendergast school is a sort of finishing school many young ladies will be there…it might be a lot of pressure,’
    [Image: I8yL65.png]
    Amazing set by Nolan
    #14
    For the most part, Moriko stood quietly, listening to her sister while Mrs. Crewe took her measurements. The only deviation she made from her position was to slip her wand back into the sleeve-pocket she'd been keeping it in. Still, she listened.

    "I don't know how well going to a broader school would work," she reasoned. "The more people I interact with during ettiquete lessons, the more chance for me to say something incorrect, or offend the wrong people. I do not wish that to be the case. Perhaps a single instructor - someone who knows the things I need to know, who won't be easily offended. And ideally does not speak our shared tongue."

    Taking a deep breath, Moriko closed her eyes, and smiled. Even though there was a lot to go through, she felt almost as at home as she had with her mother. She felt comfortable, like she would be safe here. The most she would need to get used to would be the sheer size of the house - the home she'd shared with Mother had been half the size of the foyer!

    "What other things will be needed?" she finally asked, eyes opening and flicking to her sister.
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    italicized dialogue is spoken in Japanese