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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    11.13 This news is not at all big. Do not bother with it.
    11.10 Election update!
    11.07 We have Posting Wizards!
    11.06 A big announcement...
    11.04 Happy AC day!
    11.03 Banner time!
    11.03 Welcome to November!
    10.29 October is waning...
    10.17 Election 1887 campaign ledgers are up!
    10.16 Kayte's changed her (Charming) face!
    10.10 Congrats to September's PW winners Olive and Miri!
    10.03 An update on the Hogwarts ban...
    10.01 It's now October~
    09.30 The AC Approaches
    09.24 We have new Wenches!
    November 1887
    L’appel du vide
    Open Thread 

    Word Count: 304 | Tag: OPEN | Date: July 24, 1887 | OUTFIT

    Annabelle had always felt strange while walking near the Black Lake. It both frightened her and drew her in simultaneously; while her heart pounded in her chest at the idea of being sucked into the water by a giant squid or vicious merperson, she also had a voice in the back of her mind telling her to jump into the water while wearing her heavy dress. She couldn't determine what word to use to describe the odd sensation, but she was certain it had nothing to do with a death wish.

    Perhaps the urge had something to do with the feeling of insignificance. If she were to perish in the lake this evening, would anyone really care? Her sister might be saddened by the news of her dead twin, it wouldn't be as if she'd never been without her. Her parents would likely not care, nor would Julius or Joseph. There were very few people — if any — that Annabelle shared a close relationship with, and likely none that would truly mourn her absence.

    It was a sudden realization of her own misery that brought a sad smile to her face. She stepped closer to the shore, her body tilted slightly as she stood on the steep hill that led to the edge of the water. She was alone; there was no one with her. She'd apparated out of her bedroom without anyone's knowledge, and she hadn't seen one person in the vicinity of the area she was in. Her eyes peered into the dark waters in anticipation, as if something was about to come flying out at her. She stepped closer, coming just a little too close to the shore for comfort before— "Miss, what in Merlin's name are you doing?" called a voice.

    Coming out of her little trance, her eyes snapped up.

    It was late, not so late as to be unseemly to be out, but then this was the life of a potions master! Meserimus had a potions apprentice, who by all rights should be out doing this sort of work, but he rather enjoyed being out alone, in the woods gathering ingredients that would make their way into some concoction or other, just like he had done for his own master when he was a boy - ahh to be young again. He had been tramping out of the forest, around the lake shore of the Black lake, of the off chance that some Dankwork had taken root on the banks steep sides and he could gather his own and avoid the apothecaries all together.

    He had been rather engrossed in his search, when he spotted a young woman on the lakes edge. He didn’t recognise her from behind, but there was something in her stance, a stillness, a sense of foreboding that made his old bones uneasy. He approached cautiously, not wanting to startle her. ’ Miss, what in Merlin's name are you doing?" he asked, one of his thick white eyebrows popping up into his hairline.

    As she turned her recognised her, Miss Scrimgeour, well one of them at least, He was unsure at first glance which of his former 7th years was standing before him. ”Is everything all right my dear?” he asked with the familiarity of a grandfather, for so Meserimus conducted himself with most of his students. ”You look rather, well…disconcerted?” he asked approaching the spot where she stood overlooking the inky black water of the lake.

    the mans suit – but in white because he’s ridiculous

    Word Count: 145 | Tag: @Meserimus Valenduris | Date: July 24, 1887 | OUTFIT

    Annabelle's face immediately went white at the sight of her former professor. She internally asked what he'd perceived her to be doing. She was standing there, looming above the water as if questioning whether or not jumping was the right choice. If he hadn't thought her to have a death wish, he most definitely would be concerned by her lack of chaperone. She stepped backwards, away from the water.

    "I'm fine, Professor," she said, her tone a bit too sharp than she'd intended. Her gaze remained low as her body turned to face him. She was prepared for some sort of scolding; it was only in a professor's nature to do so. "I thought I saw something — a merperson, perhaps — in the water and was trying to see it through the darkness of the water," she lied, hoping her explanation was a believable enough story.

    Despite his appearance, indeed, despite his general demeanor, Meserimus was a father before all things –and the pain for a child – for so this young lady still was, was fairly obvious to him – after all he had enough children and grandchildren of his own to have made a study of the misery of young people. Meserimus hefted his impossible height, and his ancient age to the steep bankside beside her and dropped himself to the banks edge, sitting on his cloak for although the evening was warm the grass was damp from a shower earlier in the evening. He threw a little of the cloak out beside him, and motion for her to sit, before indicating that she should join him, by sitting next to him on the bankside. Before proceeding to remove his long boots and socks, and sticking his feet into the inky black water.

    When she joined him Meserimus spoke again, ’The mer people have all migrated to the southern part of the lake for the summer,’ he explained, ’the giant squid goes with them, to carry everything.’. He smiled at her pleasantly, his long white beard dangling into the water as well, but the potions master didn’t much mind that. ’Now would you like to tell me what’s wrong?’ he asked gently, his tone probing but not in the least judgemental. He knew Miss Scrimgeour, the one who had not been in his house had had a rather trying and traumatic childhood – at least as far as the abduction had gone, but as he understood it she had been raised by a good family, kind and social people who gave her a sister and while not wealthy she had wanted for little – certainly not the important things in life. He sister was odd- ambitious and eager to please, but one would almost say weak willed and easily cajoled into things, the ‘other’ twin didn’t seem that way. It was an interesting discussion of nature over nurture.

    Word Count: 126 | Tag: @Meserimus Valenduris | Date: July 24, 1887 | OUTFIT

    It was am good enough guess to say that Annabelle was most comfortable with Professor Valenduris, as he'd been the professor of Potions, her favorite class. Herbology had been the only other class she'd considered herself equally bright in, but Professor Skeeter had decidedly not been the type to show warmth to his students, especially his female ones.

    "There is nothing wrong that is out of the ordinary," she responded, taking a seat a yard away from her professor. She wrapped her arms around her knees and tucked her chin into her chest. "It's very rare to see families that get along without a hitch, but it frequently seems that I'm in the middle of every conflict. I just ... had to get away," she admitted sadly.

    ’I suppose every family has their problems but we mostly don’t notice because we don’t have a means of comparison’ Meserimus said, swinging his long legs, his pale feet, looking ghostly pale under the dark water of the lake. ’You are in the position of being able to compare.’ the professor looked at the former student, over the rim his glasses. He knew, of course, of Miss Scrimgours unique situation, raised by muggles but reunited with her birth family who were incredibly different to the people who raised her. He himself had some idea, he had had 3 wives, and each ‘family’ that resulted had been a little different from the one before, as such all of his children were very different but yet similar in their own way. Of course he had been the constant and a fathers influence could not be underestimated.

    ’Running away is never much of an answer’ he said, and it was true, parents seldom responded well to those sorts of things, ’but controlled retreats can be more than useful.’ he explained with a knowing smile. There were only limited ways in which daughters could escape their families, wealthy daughters of purebloods, tended to fare worse than others. His own children knew freedom, mostly because Meserimus knew how much the world had changed over the course of his long life, and he expected the world to continue changing over the course of the next hundred years, so he wouldn’t enforce arbitrary rules because they were only rules in the moment and not in the longer term. ’There are certain arrangements that even pureblood fathers see the benefit of and cant argue with..’ he added.

    Word Count: 105 | Tag: @Meserimus Valenduris | Date: July 24, 1887 | OUTFIT

    A pout slipped onto her face at her former professor's final words. She didn't want an arrangement that would make her father happy. She wanted to show him that he didn't control her, and marrying a man he approved of would undoubtedly make him feel as if he'd won! She didn't like that idea.

    "I don't know what arrangement would make both myself and my father happy," she said with a frown. "We both have such different ideas of what kind of man would make the best husband for myself — opposite ideas, actually. I can't imagine myself happy with a man my father approves of."

    Meserimus bristeled as though highly offended. ’How very flattering Miss Scrimgeour, but I would remind you that I am a happily married man.’ he placed a dramatic hand on his chest, as though he genuinely believed that she was insinuating that they ought to elope, although her words barely resembled the insinuation. He let out a chuckle at his own good humour, and splashed his toes in the dark waters of the lake.

    ’I wouldn’t paint all of us pureblood men with the same brush, my dear’ he said gently, he wasn’t sure if she knew of his blood status, he wasn’t a blood purist in the least, it had just ‘happened’ that his wives had been pureblood woman, even if they had all been a little eccentric. ’For your own happiness, don’t concern yourself too much with blood and more with good humour and similarity of disposition.’ He assessed the ex-Gryffindor carefully, she did look miserable, not in the petulant manner that one would expect from a daughter in conflict with a father but rather genuine and pure misery, the sort that broke ones heart to see.

    He placed a long fingered hand on her shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. He didn’t know her father, not especially, but he had known men like him, purebloods for whom generations of breeding within a small genetic pool had led to instability, extremism and sometimes madness. ’To be candid my dear.’ he hesitated, ’Are you safe?’ While the other Scrimgour had been in his own house, he had noticed a difference in the personality of the two, even the ways in which they reacted to admonishment and correction. The slytherin one sat straighter, became rigid and she became a nervous wreck trying to ‘make it better’ but the other…well….he had seen whipped animals behave in a very similar fashion.

    Word Count: 1000 | Tag: @Meserimus Valenduris | Date: July 24, 1887 | OUTFIT

    Annabelle shook her head and rolled her eyes as her professor made his own jokes, but she still didn't feel much better. It seemed to like it would be easy to concern herself with things other than blood, but it was difficult to do! She feared falling in love with a man her parents disapproved of because it could lead to her own disownment, but at the same time she would think herself weak if she were to give into her father's demands.

    "You'd think that doing so would be an easy task," she said, "but it's really not. I have terrible luck professor; it is likely I'll end up with a desire to marry a man my family does not care for," she admitted with a frown.

    His question about her safety startled her for a moment, and she was forced to consider his concerns. She'd never really been harmed by either of her parents despite the fact that she felt they were ready to eat her alive at the first mistake she made.

    "I am," she said softly, avoiding his gaze.

    He wasn’t sure he believed her, but he left that for the moment. ’Would disownment be so bad?’ he suggested, it was, he supposed, easy to say ’You are a bright girl, you could support yourself with a family?’ he suggested, ’my second wife…well she would have been your mothers age, she had a job as a curse breaker’ he mused. ’Her family weren’t thrilled she married me.’ he explained. ’my current wife works too,’ he let out a chuffing smile, ’she makes more than I do.’ Meserimus had no pride about the fact that his beautiful young wife’s endeavours earned her a good wage. They joked it was her ‘running away money’ for when she came to her senses and left him.

    ’alterntively,’ Meserimus said, not looking at her, but instead looking out over the lake as though discussing the weather. ’I have a daughter about your age…she’s a writer’ he mused, ’She could do with a friend, perhaps one who would come and stay for a while?’ he glanced at her out of the side of his eye. He didn’t like the feeling he was getting about this whole situation.

    Word Count: 237 | Tag: @Meserimus Valenduris | Date: July 24, 1887 | OUTFIT

    Annabelle stared up at him with wide eyes. "Would disownment be so bad?" he'd said, and ever so casually as well! The thought of getting disowned was heavy on her heart, but she was far more concerned about ending up all alone in the slums than she was about being separated from her family.

    Annabelle had long convinced herself that she didn't need her family members — even Araminta and Julius. She did love both of them, but her world wouldn't come crashing down without them. It had been difficult to truly allow them into her heart when she felt constantly tense in their household environment. She did know, however, that she'd likely need a dowry to convince a man to marry her (no gentleman would wish to marry a debutante with a tainted reputation without financial incentive!), and she could only have that if she was still claimed by her parents.

    "My reputation is already tainted, Professor," she said somberly. "It is difficult enough to find a man willing to give me a chance now — imagine how harder securing a husband would be if I were a disowned working woman! I would surely be cast back to the lower class, and I have no desire to be poor again. Even when I was a slum-ridden child, I had a family that I loved; I do not wish to be poor and lonely." she explained with a frown.

    ’I’ve a few sons and a dozen or more grandsons,’ Meserimus said with a fond smile, ’I’m sure there is one of them [b]you could look after.’[/b] he offered her a small smile. It was hard of course, casting one self upon the sea of self reliance was a scary prospect, scarier still for women, and there were more sad ends for pretty young ladies than there were for young men. ’In fact it’s probably almost time for my brother Remegius to get himself a new wife…he’s very old and crazy as a loon, you’d have the run of the place.’ He was joking of course.

    ’Although seriously my dear’ he said, meeting her eyes and looking over the top of his glasses. ’At any point you can come and stay’ he explained, ’I doubt your father would mind very much.’ he straightened so that his beard was freed from the water. ’I can be a pureblood prig with the best of them.’ he snorted, as though his credentials as a pureblood arsehole were under threat.

    Word Count: 229 | Tag: @Meserimus Valenduris | Date: July 24, 1887 | OUTFIT

    Annabelle realized that he was trying to suggest that she marry into his family, to which she let a tiny smile slip onto her face. Professor Valenduris was kind, at least to her — far different than many wealthy purebloods who were sorted into Slytherin. She somewhat regretted that he hadn't been her head of house while at school, as he was the professor of her favorite subject; however, she had no desire to have been sorted into Slytherin.

    "I do appreciate your kindness very much, Professor," she said softly. She wasn't sure how to respond to the part about his grandsons or brothers — she could neither say she was interested nor disinterested, as both reactions would come across as distasteful. "I try to remain optimistic that the man for me will cross my path at some point." She did try to remain optimistic, but she frequently found herself consumed by pessimism.

    Not only did she think herself undesirable in a social context; she saw herself as a poor choice of companion as well. She had no glaringly obvious flaws that she believed would immediate turn a man off from her (apart from perhaps her lack of physical grace!), but she would have difficulties allowing a man into her heart. There was no one who'd yet earned her complete trust — not Clara, not Julius, and not even her twin sister.

    He offered a small smile. ’I understand my dear’, he removed his feet from the icy cold water, ’Just remember, the offer is still there. Ludvig is a particular idiot, you would run circles around him.’ he said amused by the thought of his 27 year old grandson who was mad as a bag of badgers and not the brightest tool in the shed. ’and if you just need somewhere to escape to, well I’m sure I have a potions library that could do with rearranging, and only a good, reliable, pureblood girl who did very well in potions could be trusted to take on the task.’ he stood stretching his old bones and lifting his sack of miscellaneous potions ingredients. He thrust his wet feet back into his boots and wrung out his beard on the grass.

    He glanced in the direction of the village, he wouldn’t press her to walk the rest of the way with him. ’Just know my dear, I’m only an owl away should you need an …escape, or perhaps just a strong cup of tea and perhaps a Kendal mint cake.’

    Word Count: 170 | Tag: @Meserimus Valenduris | Date: July 24, 1887 | OUTFIT

    Professor Valenduris didn't seem very malicious, but she could not help but bristle at some of the things he said. Only a good, reliable, pureblooded girl could be trusted to rearrange his potions library? It was a very ignorant thing to say, but Annabelle successfully hid her distaste.

    She doubted now would be the time to admit that she'd rather marry a muggle than a conservative pureblood. There were very few people that Annabelle could consider her allies, and Professor Valenduris was not one she wished to lose. He did seem to have good intentions, and Annabelle was aware of that. He was a meddler and perhaps a bit prejudiced, but not evil.

    She rose from the ground as he did, and she carefully wiped numerous blades of grass from her dress' skirt. Annabelle imagined that she should return home — running away from home to escape her family's wrath would inevitably lead to more wrath directed towards her.

    "Thank you, Professor. I will keep your words in mind," she promised.