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!
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    The Last Unicorn
    #1
    Private Thread 
    And we'll talk to keep the silence from our ears
    And we'll laugh because we're so close to tears


    Topaz assumed that she must have failed some test, during the Announcement. There had been some indicator that Papa had been looking for, some proof that she was Handling Things Alright, and she had failed it. She didn't know how, but that was the only reason she could think that her father would have sent her off with Delight to buy candy. It was almost a slap in the face, how babyish their errand was. Did her Papa think that her affection could be bought back with a few pieces of candy? Or was this just the most immature of errands he could think to send her on, his immature daughter?

    Delight was probably here to try and talk her around, she figured. Topaz had gotten her jacket on in silence and started out the door silently, though she managed to keep her features neutral instead of glaring (as Ruby had been doing nearly non-stop since their return from Hogwarts). If Delight wanted to convince her that this wedding was a good thing, she'd have her work cut out for her. Topaz was determined to make this uphill climb as steep as possible, without being outright rude.

    @Delight Urquart
    [-] The following 1 user Likes Topaz Urquart's post:
       Odira Potter

    #2
    Perhaps this was her Papa’s way of trying to remind Delight that she was meant to be the grown up one here, not the one allowed to protest and cry and show her hesitancy to the others. Chaperoning her little sister off to buy sweets. What else could her Father have sent them to do to push that fact in her face any more. But Topaz wasn’t little anymore, she knew, and that made it all the worse.

    Her fingers fumbled with the clasp of her summer cape, and Topaz was out the door before she was fully done. Delight hurried after her sister, managing to finish the buckle as she came beside. She walked in silence to the top of their road, hoping Topaz would say something before opening her own mouth quite abruptly.

    “Do you blame me?” She asked.
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    #3
    Topaz was startled by this unexpected start to the conversation. She had expected some sort of bland pleasantry, some isn't it nice comment, or perhaps some vague praise of Miss Lovegood. Even a vague praise of Papa could have done, in a pinch, to try and get her onto the same page as Papa and Delight evidently were. Or perhaps Delight could have started with some sort of ill-advised pandering with something like won't it be so exciting to be in a wedding? Maybe some talk about new dresses they'd be able to buy. That sort of thing might be calibrated to excite Ruby, but after the past few months, Topaz didn't really trust that Papa or Delight really knew her well enough to distinguish her from her louder twin.

    This, though. This was unexpected. Did she blame Delight? She supposed she didn't. She didn't like the role that her older sister had played in this entire ordeal, that was certain, but it wasn't as though it had been Delight's idea to replace their mother with a thin, nervous blond woman. That could have only originated with Papa, and he had become so utterly alien to Topaz over the past two months that she didn't think even Delight (mature, trustworthy, grown-up Delight) could have swayed him away. Could she have?

    Topaz regarded Delight mistrustfully. "Should I?"

    #4
    The suspicion in her sister’s face broke Delight’s heart all over again. “I want this about as much as you do, Topaz.” She said quite earnestly. She didn’t object to Miss Lovegood in the slightest, and maybe in a few years time wouldn’t have minded her becoming her stepmother, but frankly, this was so sudden that the little Hufflepuff was quite feeling left behind.

    “It all happened so quick- I only found out the night before that Papa was coming for me, and he told me that if I didn’t like Miss Lovegood I’d just have to say and she’d be gone, which is why I didn’t tell you or Ruby, but then before I could make up my mind Witch Weekly was all over it and I don’t want a new Mama at all, not really.” She said, composedly at first, but by the end her voice was rather small and choked.
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    #5
    Topaz clamped her mouth closed tightly as she listened to Delight talk. This was a lot of information, and most of it was new to her. She and Ruby knew, of course, that Delight had gone to meet with Papa, since they'd seen them on their trip to the zoo. She didn't know how sudden it had been, but did it matter? The fact remained that Papa had chosen to consult with Delight, and hadn't cared a bit about what the rest of them had thought. And it wasn't as though Witch Weekly had dug the story up the very day it had happened; he'd been courting her for some time before that, apparently, and he had never shown any inclination to share this fact with anyone other than Delight, until the article had come out and forced his hand.

    The fact that Delight had apparently been given veto power over all of this was definitely news to her, and she immediately felt a wall of rage rise up within her chest. This was all Delight's fault! No matter how she felt about it now, she had gone along with it and pretended that she was alright with it and now... now... Part of her wanted to demand that Delight prove herself by walking back to the house and demanding Papa break things off with Miss Lovegood, but she knew that was just a childish impulse. It was too late for that, now. Whatever power Papa had given Delight, she'd failed to use it, and now it was gone. Papa put too much value on honor and keeping his word to tell Miss Lovegood he wanted to marry her and then change his mind.

    But why would Delight have kept silent? Topaz wasn't sure she'd be able to forgive her for that. The article may have come out before she'd made up her mind (Delight was more akin to Topaz in that way, she knew, than Ruby; Ruby would have known immediately whether she liked Miss Lovegood or not, but Delight and Topaz were a bit more considered in their opinions), but what about everything after that? Delight had never said anything negative about Miss Lovegood, not once! And whether or not she had ever explicitly told Papa that she liked this woman, he'd probably taken her support as tacit approval, and now it was too late to say otherwise! Why couldn't she have made her true feelings known back when there had still been a chance to change things?

    Topaz glowered at Delight for a moment, thinking of a dozen petty things she could have responded with, but something kept them from leaving her mouth. At first she didn't know what made her hesitate, but then it started to become more clear to her: if she had been the one, out of all of her siblings, that Papa had trusted with this Monumental Task, she would have been so happy. Proud, elated, to have earned his trust, and to have proved to him that she was mature, grown-up. Merlin, that was all she'd wanted from her Papa since... she didn't even know how long. At least as long as she'd been going to Hogwarts. If he'd given her a chance like that, she would have done anything not to let him down, not to disappoint him. She could have convinced herself easily not to give a voice to her own misgivings, deferring instead to Papa's judgement--and although she wasn't as active a participant in their little family dramas as Delight was, she probably could have convinced herself to play the role of peacemaker, the way Delight had done.

    There was something else that was nagging at her, too. In the letter that she'd gotten from Papa, the day of the article, hadn't he said that he was waiting to determine that Miss Lovegood had 'staying power'? She'd asked him about that, and he'd replied immediately--that same day, in fact--that he'd decided Miss Lovegood was going to stay. If Delight hadn't made up her mind before the article came out, and Papa had still been confident saying that Miss Lovegood was going to stay... well, he wasn't really waiting for her opinion at all, was he? He had already decided what was going to happen next.

    That was probably why he'd chosen Delight, she realized now, to the exclusion of everyone else. Bash couldn't go out on Hogsmeade weekends, and Papa couldn't have risked inviting her without also inviting Ruby. Ruby wouldn't have liked Miss Lovegood, and she wouldn't have been shy about saying so. Delight, on the other hand--much like Topaz--was more maleable. She would try to be mature, to the point of pushing her emotions out of the picture. That was what Papa really wanted from her--not an approval or a veto, but some little formality of showing Miss Lovegood off to his family without having to actually deal with what they thought about her. He didn't care what any of them thought, Topaz realized: he was just too sensible of his image as a family man. He wanted to make it look (to others, or maybe even just to himself, she wasn't sure) like he cared what his children thought. That they were a priority.

    They weren't. They never had been. At least not since Mama died.

    Topaz sighed, feeling suddenly exhausted. Her features had relaxed into a sort of hopeless frown, but they'd lost all of their malice, and she was looking at her feet now instead of at Delight. "It's too late now," she said simply. "It was probably too late before you even met her. I don't think Papa really cares what we think."
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       Eva Sleptova

    #6
    “If he didn’t, he would have married her whilst we were at school and be spared all this hassle.” Delight pointed out fairly. “Or shipped us off to live with Aunty Evelyn after your twin showed hesitation- and if he didn’t want us to be happy, he would have sent me to finishing school and married me off or something as a lesson to you and Ruby.” She said, getting caught on the spiralling possibilities that she couldn’t rule out she’d narrowly escaped. Her Papa wouldn’t marry her off like that, surely, even if she had stood in the way of Miss Lovegood? If it came down to it, would he choose his fiancee, or his daughters? She didn’t want to think about it, and she hated herself for that.

    “He’s doing this so the twins have a Mama- he must be.” Miss Lovegood was hardly a socialite, so he couldn’t be marrying her to help advance his daughter’s marital prospects, as far as she could see, and Delight didn’t like to think about the alternative.
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    #7
    Topaz was entirely unconvinced by Delight pointing out all of the things Papa could have done which might have been worse. The emphasis was really on might, because if he didn't care about them (which, in her opinion, he obviously didn't), then she might very well have preferred to stay at aunt Evelyn's rather than have to stick around their house, being faced daily with how little regard her Papa had for her and her siblings--and having to see the march of progress like this. Besides, the argument that their Papa must still care about them because there were some bad things he hadn't done yet was no argument at all, as far as Topaz was concerned. He hadn't murdered them and roasted them over a spit and eaten them, either, but the simple fact that he hadn't done so was not proof of his affection.

    "He still could," Topaz pointed out, the edge coming back into her voice a bit at Delight's attempts to defend him.

    #8
    ”It’s not like we’ll have to see her that much.” Delight insisted. “And she’s not that bad.” She added. In truth, there hadn’t been much about Miss Lovegood that had stuck out, but she supposed it was rather that than a woman who was impossible to get along with. “I don’t want her to replace Mama- I really don’t- but she’s not horrible.” As far as she knew, at least. Secrets like having a proficiency in taxidermy might not come out till after the wedding, she supposed.
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    #9
    "I think she's horrible," Topaz countered, with a tight frown. In all honesty, she didn't have much to base her claims on--she'd only met Miss Lovegood once, during lunch, and she'd made a point of not saying a single word to her the entire meal (or at least, the very brief portion of it that she'd been there for). She didn't know anything about her, really, except what was in the Witch Weekly article, but what Miss Lovegood lacked in definable characteristics to hate, Ruby and Topaz were more than capable of making up for in wild imaginings.

    Delight had actually met her, so she was probably more qualified to judge Miss Lovegood's character, and her suitability for their family--but she was also Delight, and Topaz was still on the fence about whether or not she was a Traitor. She may not have been quite as in league with Papa as Topaz had suspected last month, but she was still trying to defend him and Miss Lovegood. She was out of the fire, so to speak, but while Topaz had decided Delight didn't deserve to be hated for the role Papa had forced her to play in this entire thing, she also wasn't quite willing to trust her just yet.

    #10
    “By the sounds of it Papa considered several women.” Delight said. “But he only chose to introduce all of us to Miss Lovegood, and I doubt he chose the most horrible.” Despite it all, the Hufflepuff had to keep believing her Papa had done this for them, or at the very least, for the younger twins. The alternative- that he was head over heels in love with Miss Lovegood and he had already forgotten their Mama- was too painful to bear.

    She pulled her cloak around her a bit tighter. “We have to try and make the best of it. That way if she’s horrible to us it can't possibly be our fault. Kill her with kindness, no?”
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    #11
    Kill her with kindness? Unless that was actually going to kill her, Topaz didn't much like the sound of it. It also seemed a bit too late, at least for her and Ruby, to jump on to the we think you're wonderful bandwagon that Bash and Delight seemed to be on. Miss Lovegood (and more importantly, Papa) would know they were just faking it, and it wouldn't make things any better, Topaz didn't think. Besides, then there was the effort involved in putting up a good charade. Topaz didn't know if she had that much emotional energy left over, after she finished crying herself to sleep every night, to pretend that she liked this woman.

    And at the end of the day, what was the point? It might make Papa happier if she was nice to Miss Lovegood, but she didn't know whether she wanted to make him happy. She didn't want to make him angry, like Ruby was doing, but what was the point of trying to please a man who clearly didn't care about her feelings?

    "You think that will make Papa love us again?" she asked, quietly. "I don't think so."

    #12
    “He does love us.” Delight insisted, more to reassure herself of the fact than in any effort to persuade her sister. “Grown-ups just have a funny way of showing it, I suppose.” Never mind in a year she would be of age and legally an adult- technically, two years ago, even Topaz would have been legally old enough to marry, and it was quite obvious neither of them actually were.

    “But I don’t think anything we can do can stop him.” She said. She could have, perhaps- could have. Their Papa had given her a veto, had he not, and she had hesitated, and then Witch Weekly had heard and then it had seemed like it had all been settled. “Anything we do is just going to upset him more.”
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    #13
    A funny way of showing it, indeed. Well, Topaz didn't think there was much point in arguing with Delight, especially when she was probably right. If Papa hadn't even waited for her to give her opinion after he'd specifically asked for it, there probably wasn't anything that any of them could do to change the course of matters, now. Once the Announcement had been made, no one had any more right to an opinion about it.

    "I think you're right," she admitted. After a pause, she added with a half-sigh, "But that won't stop Ruby."

    #14
    No, it wouldn’t. Stopping Ruby was like trying to reason with an out-of control train that was careering off the tracks at times, about as effective at waving a handkerchief at a raging bull. “You might, though.” Delight suggested. Topaz was the only one who could get through to her twin at times. “Or at least moderate her a little. She doesn’t listen to anybody like she does you.”
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    #15
    Topaz felt an unexpected swell of pride at Delight's last sentence. Ruby listened to her? They did talk a lot, but Topaz didn't really think that she held any power over her twin. Ruby was the louder and more boisterous one, the one who was always the first to have the ideas and the last to let go of them. Could she really have cared what Topaz thought or said? Did Delight know something she didn't?

    "Well, maybe," she said uncertainly. She looked at her shoes as they walked, chewing over this strange new concept and trying to decide whether it had any merit. After a long moment, she said hesitantly, "I suppose I might try."

    #16
    Delight gave a small smile at her younger sister. “Perhaps you can always win her over with sweets.” She suggested, swinging the door of the shop open for her.
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