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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    01.11 I've got a bit of a reputation...
    01.06 AC underway, and a puzzle to solve!
    01.01 Happy new year! Have some announcements of varying importance.
    12.31 Enter the Winter Labyrinth if you dare!
    12.23 Professional Quidditch things...
    12.21 New stamp!
    12.20 Concerning immortality
    12.16 A heads up that the Secret Swap deadline is fast approaching!
    12.14 Introducing our new Minister of Magic!
    12.13 On the first day of Charming, Kayte gave to me...
    12.11 Some quick reminders!
    12.08 Another peek at what's to come...
    12.05 It's election day! OOC, at least.
    12.04 We have our PW winners for November!
    12.02 New Skins! In less exciting news, the AC is underway.
    11.27 AC Saturday and election next week!
    11.21 A glimpse at post-move changes.
    11.13 This news is not at all big. Do not bother with it.
    Making A Habit Of It
    Private Thread 
    7 September

    The party the first night in Toronto had been about as enjoyable as listening to Roman talk about how much he hated cats. Ben had kept forcing a smile, but he'd been looking for an escape route the entire night and had been coming up short. Between the girl-who-wasn't-Ellory and her hoard of friends, it seemed like every time he'd turned around there was someone else there, asking him a question and wanting to talk to him about this or that. Some silly blond had started asking him to repeat words so that she could giggle at his accent. This wasn't the first time Ben had been asked to do that in his years of traveling, but it was the first time that he couldn't use it as a lead in to getting said blond off in a corner with her buttons half undone, and he was finding the entire gimmick much less charming without the prospect of a make out session in his future.

    Most things about women were less charming, he was finding, when he was constantly on his toes and trying not to seem too keen. And if you took away the women and the drinking, there really wasn't anything enjoyable about parties at all. He hadn't been enthused by the idea of attending a second one the following night, but his gracious host had been quite encouraging. That afternoon he'd broken into the firewhiskey Art had sent him, and a quarter of the bottle later he'd been writing his mate a rather disjointed letter about how his entire life was over.

    He'd stopped drinking after he finished the letter, worried that he'd end up too drunk at this party and Aldous would hear about it. Halfway through dressing for the dance, he'd realized that the mere thought of Aldous glowering at him from a continent away had somehow managed to stop him from drinking, and had commenced feeling rather miserable for himself. He'd told Harry he had a sudden headache and couldn't go--and it wasn't until after his new Canadian acquaintance had left that he'd realized that his brother had, in a roundabout way, just ended up causing him to stay in for the night instead of going out to a party because he didn't want to face the prospect of girls.

    He was turning into Roman. That was probably the point, he realized, and Aldous would fail to see any problem with this if he brought it to his attention. Maybe most people wouldn't see the problem with it, but Ben did. He felt like he was losing his identity, bit by bit, and that he was only realizing it in retrospect. What had made him kowtow to Aldous and come to Canada in the first place? Was that a very Ben thing to do, or had the changes started even then?

    This was her fault.

    Art was right. He needed drugs. Drugs were, in his experience, generally more self-contained than alcohol, if you handled them the right way. Unfortunately, in this strange city in a strange country, he didn't have the faintest idea how to go about finding them. He'd headed out of the flat he was staying in with Harry on the pretext of a walk, but he knew it was hopeless. He just had to do something other than sitting around twiddling his thumbs and waiting to lose another piece of himself.

    He found a shop that sold cigarettes--like cigars, apparently, but smaller--and decided tobacco might be the best he could do at a time like this, as far as escapism went. He bought a little package labeled Duke of Durham and went back out to the street, turning the package over in his hands as he distanced himself from the store. He found an area of the street where someone's garden wall was low enough for him to lean his elbow up against it and stopped, struggling to get the package open--though he had also given no thought to how he was going to light the things, in a Muggle No-Maj part of town. Well, he'd cross that bridge when he came to it.

    @Marigold Finch @Gertrude Baker
    Sorry for the wait! Finally back with the laptop.

    As per usual, Mary was off to some society dance. The dance was not too far from the Finch home, therefore they were travelling by muggle means - i.e. a carriage - to the event. In the carriage was Mary's companion for the night, a cousin who was of similar disposition to the young redhead, and only a few years older, but married.

    They were chatting about something or another. Some gossip that had been scandalous in Mary's group of friends but was otherwise of zero interest to anybody. Marigold was laughing, almost hysterically so, before stopping immediately.

    Reuben Crouch was stood in the street.

    "STOP THE CARRIAGE!" she screamed, leading to the (now very confused and concerned driver) to bring the bring the carriage to a screeching halt.
    Marigold is an Anglo-Canadian therefore speaks like one
    Ben was rather unused to carriages screeching to a halt only a few feet away from him, and the sudden motion startled him into dropping the still-wrapped package of cigarettes. He assumed that something awful had happened, like a pedestrian being run over or one of the horses having suddenly broken a leg, or something, but he couldn't see anything the matter. The carriage was only a few feet away from him and he felt a little uneasy being so close to it, as if it might have some hidden or perhaps impending sense of disaster about it and he might be included by proximity.

    With a suspicious sort of glance at the door, Ben reached to pick up his cigarettes.
    Mary took a second to compose herself (she didn't want to look too needy, after all). Then she popped her head out of the window of the carriage to look at her acquaintance. He was just so handsome.

    "Mr Crouch!" Mary exclaimed, with great shock, (her ability to lie was incredibly well practised and convincing) "What a coincidence that you are here! Our carriage is having difficulty." She could have made some better effort to make up a story for why they had stopped, however she had better things to say, so immediately followed her excuses up with, "You must be off to the dance tonight, yes?"
    Marigold is an Anglo-Canadian therefore speaks like one
    There appeared at the window a familiar face. Ben's heart skipped and his breath hitched and he wondered if the carriage had stopped because of him--and then he realized that this wasn't Ellory Pendergast.

    She doesn't even look that much like her, he chided himself, cheeks coloring slightly. He didn't have any excuse for that, but maybe if he was lucky she would think it was just due to the cold.

    "Oh, er," he said, stumbling both on the fact that he couldn't remember her name and the fact that he didn't know enough about the dance in question to make a viable excuse. He had no intention of being off to the dance, but could he tell this not-Ellory girl that he was feeling ill? Would she believe that, when he was clearly up and about on the streets of Toronto with a pack of freshly purchased cigarettes in his hand? Did he care if she didn't?

    "I wasn't planning on it," he said, deflecting slightly. "Did you... need help with the carriage?" he asked, with a glance towards the driver. Not that he knew much about carriages or horses, but it seemed like the gentlemanly thing to do to at least make an offer.
    Upon his offer of help with the carriage, Mary awkwardly replied, "Er... no that will not be required." Looking at the driver who was (thankfully) sorting something and not giving up the deception. She also noticed a slight blush, which Marigold (incredibly wishfully), assumed was for her, sending her heart racing. Did she really have such an effect on Mr Crouch? Clearly he found her as beautiful as she found him. Although, who wouldn't?

    "Why aren't you coming to the dance?" she then asked, her voice catching slightly due to her joy, and getting to a much more important topic of conversation than her carriage.
    Marigold is an Anglo-Canadian therefore speaks like one
    There was no answer to that question, or at least not one that he could give to a relative stranger in Canada. He certainly wasn't planning on getting in to the whole complicated situation with his family, or his tumultuous relationship with his brothers--and he thought that going in to any details on his 'rehabilitation' would have been a breach of the unwritten contract he had with Aldous.

    (For a brief moment he considered telling this stranger everything, half to piss his brother off and half to see the look on her face when he told her that he was, for all intents and purposes, serving out an exile as a sex criminal, but he discounted that idea almost immediately. He wasn't, in fact, trying to get himself disowned, at least not while Aldous was still willing to pay his way here).

    "Maybe I've forgotten how to dance in the past twelve hours," Ben said, because he couldn't think of anything real to say and so making a stupid joke seemed like the best option. He wished he'd gotten those cigarettes open; nicotine might not have been his drug of choice but he was desperately craving a substance of any kind at the moment.
    Mr Crouch's joke about dancing led to a giggle from Marigold. "You are so very funny, Mr Crouch!" she exclaimed.

    She then noticed the pack of cigarettes. "Ah!" she announced, as she realised what was actually occurring "You were stopping for cigarettes before the dance! So you are coming after all!"
    Marigold is an Anglo-Canadian therefore speaks like one
    "Er," Ben said, glancing down at the package in his hands. He was a little surprised that she had recognized them immediately, since he had so little experience with them. Cigarettes must have been a good deal more common on this continent than they were in England.

    He didn't have any excuses, so he just shrugged and said, "Yes, that's it." Hopefully her carriage issue would be solved in a moment and she would dash off to the dance and he could wander around Toronto until he found Harry's flat again, and then he wouldn't have to deal with it. It wasn't as though he was seriously concerned about offending her by not showing up at this party.
    "Aha!" Mary exclaimed, "I knew I'd get to the bottom of this. I really am quite clever when I put my mind to it!" She was actually quite proud of herself.

    "I would offer you a seat in the carriage," she continued, "However, that would hardly be proper, would it now?" It wouldn't at all! Even if Marigold would have quite liked to hear rumours about her and this Mr Crouch, she didn't really want anyone to think anything sordid about her, did she? "I shall count of seeing you there, though!" she added, with a smile.
    Marigold is an Anglo-Canadian therefore speaks like one
    You count on whatever you want, Red, he thought wryly, but this stranger really hadn't done anything to deserve his disdain or even his sarcasm, so he didn't say anything of the sort. Instead, he smiled at her--a bit tightly, but a smile all the same--and said, "Sure."

    At the moment Ben just wanted to end the conversation quickly and get back to his cigarettes. He didn't feel guilty about lying to her, or leading her on--and it would turn out that he wasn't lying to her, though he didn't know that yet. When he eventually did get back in the general direction of the flat he was staying in, a gentleman on the way to the same dance (who had no reputation to protect by being selective with carriage seats) would commandeer him and see him off to that very dance, where he would be forced to spend the night making small talk and going through dances with girls who were too nice. And all Ben wanted was a cigarette.

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