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
    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
     
        
     
    FML
    #1
    Open Thread 
    5th October, 1887
    October Writing Challenge
    The physical ramifications of the transformations were not becoming better per say but Morwenna was beginning to find the lingering pain easier to cope with in the days that followed. Her joints had been aching for years so that was nothing new, more intense perhaps, but easy enough to remedy and walking with a cane did tend to make people more sympathetic to her and less inclined to ask questions. The lies were the worst part: keeping secrets had never been in her nature and avoiding situations that might be compromising at the Ministry was a delicate balancing act that she thought she had been mastering rather well.

    Unfortunately inside the third floor maintenance cupboard there was a creature she could not fool, who would display her fears to the world - or at least the itinerant colleagues milling around. Hadn't they got anything better to do?! Why did it have to be lunchtime when the corridors were never empty? Why hadn't she apparated for the hills when a panicked cleaner had come barreling towards her, begging for help, and irritatingly recognising her from the department?

    "Come on old girl," she muttered to herself, wondering how long her more junior work colleagues would politely ignore a woman more than qualified to deal with boggart doing nothing but staring at the door nervously. What would it show anyway? What could it show? Clinging to that thought before she had time to have another to contradict it Morwenna flicked her wand to open the door.

    But what emerged was not expected at all. She frowned; briefly wondered whether she had been nursing a fear she hadn't even know about for years; and then jumped out of her skin when someone just behind her screamed blue murder.
    #2
    Later, Walt would maintain that he had not, in fact, screamed; screaming seemed a little immature for a full grown man, no matter what they were faced with. Coming around the corner and being confronted with that, though, he had undeniably let out a noise, something like a loud yelp. Perhaps not a scream, but not exactly the sort of reaction one could be proud of, either. Well, he'd never been a Gryffindor, nor had anyone ever accused him of being one.

    His father was standing in the corridor in front of him, just on the other side of another Ministry worker. It was not Clement Brownhill as Walt remembered him, though, but as he would be now, after having been deceased for nearly a decade. Even in the magical world, ghouls did not tend to rise up from the grave nine years after the fact of their death, so his shock at seeing his father standing there, decaying, was rather understandable. The worst part was that although the dead man was doing nothing to make it obvious, Walt knew what had brought him back from the grave. He knew instinctively, like a gut feeling that wouldn't go away; his father was here because he was disappointed, had always been disappointed, and had only just now reached the breaking point--the last straw on the camel's back, so to speak--and had overcome the bonds of mortality to tell him about it.

    That wasn't what was happening. He knew that, rationally. He'd got a NEWT in Ghoul Studies, and he knew that things like this didn't happen. He knew his father could not have been standing in the hallway of the Ministry, but that didn't change how certain and how real it felt. In the heat of the moment he couldn't quite connect the dots to what was going on, but he knew it couldn't be this. His eyes slid over to Mrs. Skeeter, who hadn't reacted so strongly--did she even see what he was seeing, or something else?

    "This, ah," he said, biting his lower lip and gesturing vaguely at his father without actually looking at him. "What's--?"

    #3
    It was a terrible thing but Morwenna would gladly take the mortification of a colleague over her own exposure any day of the week and it was with flooding relief that she turned from the mystery man the boggart had become to Mr Brownhill behind her. She knew him well enough in passing but certainly not well enough to have a blind clue who the man in front of her might be. He was older and had a passing resemblance to Mr Brownhill: probably his father, possibly an older brother. Or she may have imagined the similarity and this was an old schoolteacher.

    It was certainly better than hers might have been and she couldn’t help but be slightly curious as to what would have emerged. Possible victims? Mason bearing the brunt of her disgrace? Or simply the wolf who had attacked her itself – the source of it all. Whatever it might have been she wasn’t sure she would have shrieked quite as much.

    “It’s a boggart,” she clarified with a polite nod of the head, turning her attention back to the problem at hand. It was an easy enough spell but conjuring up a happy thought when all she could think about was her potential for ruin was proving tricky. It didn’t help that her leg was aching again. “I, er, I take it he’s yours?”
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       Walter Brownhill
    #4
    A boggart. The fact that Mrs. Skeeter was here now made sense, not that he'd found it at all unusual prior to learning this knowledge. Hallways were hardly private property, and anyone who worked in the Ministry could be in any of them that they pleased, but if this was a boggart than Mrs. Skeeter being here was, perhaps, intentional--her department did handle those sorts of things.

    (He ought to have made the connection himself; he'd taken NEWT Ghoul Studies and he knew about boggarts, but being unexpectedly faced with his own had apparently made him lose his wits a bit).

    "Oh," he said, glancing back briefly at his corpse-father as he fumbled for his wand pocket. For a moment that was all he could come up with (lost his tongue a bit, too, from the looks of it). He thought she was waiting for him to dispel it, even if she had been here for that purpose initially--the boggart had more or less chosen him at this point, hadn't it? Mrs. Skeeter could have stepped in front of him and made it switch target, but he was a grown man--he ought to be able to deal with a boggart on his own. And he could deal with it, if he could just get his clumsy fingers on his wand.

    "Ah, yes," he admitted, still avoiding looking directly at the man on the other side of her (though it didn't really matter whether he looked or not, because Walt could feel him there, and worse yet could feel the disappointment). "I suppose he must be."

    #5
    Really she ought to intervene. Mr Brownhill was a perfectly fine man and, to the best of her knowledge, was a competent enough wizard and there was no reason why he shouldn’t be able to deal with a fairly innocuous creature, but technically it was her jurisdiction. If they had come across a muggle she would probably have deferred to him despite having dealt with plenty in her time, many of them looking baffled and startled as she calmly explained to them exactly what kind of creature they had just accidentally happened upon before calling in obliviators.

    A boggart was easy. Or would be if she could think of anything happy. Mason – Mason was always her go to and thinking of him usually worked and she tried to recall the exact feeling of his birth if she was called upon after all. Which she might well be yet if Mr Brownhill continued to look elsewhere. One didn’t have to look a boggart in the eye exactly but it certainly helped to aim!

    “I have no idea how it got inside the building,” she offered conversationally, trying to lighten the moment as best she could, wand still in her hand just in case. “Perhaps it’s somebody’s idea of a joke to distract us all from the election?”

    Although if it was it was certainly a poor jest. Scaring people half to death in their place of work hardly seemed the sort of thing anybody would appreciate in the current climate – on the other hand if she did get too close and a wolf appeared then it might be put down to common fears!
    #6
    Walt vaguely recognized that she was just talking to make conversation, but he was grateful enough for the distraction as he managed to get a hold of his wand. It would have been rather maddening to just have her standing there watching him as he struggled to come up with some way to make that thing seem ridiculous. He knew the spell well enough, of course, and he wouldn't have any trouble casting it, provided he could come up with some way to get past... that.

    "Well, it's certainly distracting," he agreed with a thin attempt at a smile. He realized as he struggled to think up some pleasant diversion for the creature that he didn't know what one did with a boggart after casting the charm. Didn't that typically just send them back in the cupboard or closet from which they'd emerged? Luckily, the Brownhills had never had a boggart take up residence in their home before, and he had never had to contemplate how one actually removed a boggart from a facility--or, an even broader question, where they went when you took them out of homes or Ministry hallways.

    "Is there--am I meant to get him into a box, or something?" he asked, glancing briefly at the boggart before averting his eyes again, still doing mental laps to try and imagine that thing being less terrifying. "I'm afraid I don't know how someone in your department actually removes a boggart," he confessed.

    #7
    The removal of a boggart was the sort of thing that Morwenna remembered from school, and not even NEWTs, barely even OWLs, but instead the unexamined days of her and Max’s mutual youth, before he had received the benediction of the world and she had not. What had her boggart been then? A merrow, she remembered vaguely, though the species held little fear for her after so many years in the department. It was fairly innocuous, the sort of childhood fear that caused embarrassment more than terror as one aged and she couldn’t quite put her finger on what had scared her so much about them now.

    “We rarely have to deal with creatures of such little note on behalf of other people,” she said briskly, trying not to sound too relieved as she took another step back. Mr Brownhill’s boggart was tricky to imagine in a ridiculous context, even if she had known who it was so it was a tricky conundrum. Unfortunately it was one she could only see a single way of dealing with, assuming that she didn’t wish to return to the department to tell somebody else they would have to deal with the creature: they already thought she was looking tired in the department, the last thing she needed was to be thought of as ineffectual to boot!

    “The best thing is probably to destroy it outright,” she took a deep breath and braced herself. “By confusing it between the two of us…usually they just sort of, well I suppose, give up would be the best way to describe it.”

    Truthfully she wasn’t entirely sure whether they even could die but clearing it out of the cupboard was good enough. Fortunately the employees milling about had thinned down and Morwenna supposed the sight of a perfectly ordinary looking man lingering in the hall was not especially noteworthy. Presumably they weren’t looking at his face, which Morwenna though the only part of him that didn’t look entirely human.

    “Shall we begin? I’ll distract it once you’ve cast.” And pray to every deity she knew that her latent fear of merrows would come to the fore once again. They did have quite spindly fingers.
    #8
    Walt had gotten a NEWT in Ghoul Studies, so he had a rather good understanding of how things like boggarts worked (at least, as much as one could after having been removed from the subject for nearly thirty years). On the other hand, he had no practical experience beyond his school lessons where they'd perfected the Riddikulus charm. He was quite surprised to hear her cavalierly recommend that they destroy it. A boggart was hardly a sympathetic creature, of course, and it wasn't as though there was anything he could think of to do with one once it had been eradicated from its chosen haunt, but going straight for the kill seemed unnecessarily harsh to someone whose job had, for the last decade, consisted of placating people who were different but still decidedly human. He often had arguments with obliviators on how much of the Muggles' memories they altered, his own argument being that tampering with memories any more than necessary constituted a sort of inhuman cruelty towards people who were, in most cases, entirely innocent. The majority of obliviators, in his experience, tended to want to err on the side of caution where the very tight line at the Muggle-magical divide was concerned, much to his chagrin.

    All of which to say, matters of life and death were not the sorts of things that crossed his desk on the day-to-day basis, and he was quite taken aback to be so brusquely enlisted to help destroy a creature --even one as odious as a boggart, which served no useful purpose to the world as far as anyone in magical history had yet been able to determine.

    Regulation and control of magical creatures was her department, though, and Walt hardly had the credentials (or, at the moment at least, the spine) to argue with her on the subject of what was to be done with a boggart. "Alright," he agreed, his thoughts scrambling for some way to transform the specter before him into something worthy of being laughed at.

    "Riddikulus," he cast, envisioning the corpse of his father becoming nothing more than a grinning, inanimate skeleton. It wasn't the most pleasant thing in the world, but it was certainly a good deal better than his current state. And besides, if the thing couldn't move, it couldn't possibly telegraph its disapproval so clearly.

    #9
    Her level of experience with boggarts was, Morwenna had to admit, relatively limited. She could not recall having to deal with one directly for at least two decades or so – and even then she had probably been more of a supervisor than a participator – but they truly were fairly straightforward. Fear counted amongst the most basic of human instincts and thus Morwenna considered it one that most people should have gotten some hold on by the time they reached maturity: which was a nice, rational way of her convincing herself that it would be easy and there was nothing to panic about. What was the worst thing that could appear? Probably her own anxiety at this rate.

    And really that could not be much worse than the vision of a grinning skeleton in front of them, looking to her eyes substantially more macabre than the fully formed human that had stood there before. She didn’t know the man of course but she could barely imagine how this was better. She glanced towards Mr Brownhill with a bemused eyebrow raised.

    “Fair enough,” she commented lightly before taking a step forward into the path of the boggart. The worst thing that could emerge was probably the mangled corpses of a werewolf attack, the sort that had littered the ground in Glasgow last month, and perhaps she could explain that away as being a simple fear of the failure of her department to be effectual. It was convincing enough, she supposed, and Mr Brownhill thankfully did not seem to be the sort to ask too many questions.

    The skeleton’s empty eyes turned to her with a malicious glee she had to be imagining and after a moment’s indecision began to transform. She braced herself – preparing for the worst but…

    A round, silvery object hovering before her, only the dark clouds surrounding it identifying the object as being the full moon. Well that was less graphic than she had imagined at least, but certainly more awkward to explain away. Who on earth would be afraid of the moon apart from a lycanthrope? And how on earth did one make it laughable?
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       Walter Brownhill
    #10
    Walt was relieved when she stepped between him and the boggart, because if that wasn't good enough, he wasn't sure what else he could manage. Skeletons might not have been pleasant, but they weren't anything he was particularly afraid of (nor anything, he imagined, that most rational adults would be afraid of). Reducing the specter of his father's disappointment to the sort of thing that might scare a child was as much as he could really do to make it laughable, though he knew that it was only halfway to the goal, at best.

    His relief turned to a sort of bemusement when the boggart changed for her. At first he didn't understand what it was, but the clouds gave it away: a full moon. It took Walt only a moment to piece together what he assumed was the logical connection; Mrs. Skeeter worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and the Werewolf Capture Unit was under her purview. With all of the recent news it had become easily the most high profile office in the Ministry, he thought. The last Minister had resigned because of an issue that centered around the full moon, and every candidate who had come forward to run had commented on it to some degree. The pressure to succeed in that area must have been enormous, with the eyes of the entire wizarding world focused in that direction, and that was before one took into account the murders in Glasgow that had been reported yesterday.

    The fear of failure under pressure was one that he was rather familiar with, and he slid a soft glance over towards Mrs. Skeeter. From his perspective it seemed that their boggarts had something in common, though it wasn't the most obvious connection, particularly as she wouldn't have known who his boggart was. She must have been under a remarkable amount of stress, he considered. He knew the feeling, but the stakes were lower in his office; no one died if he botched one of their tasks.

    "Go on," he said encouragingly, his voice too quiet to carry farther than just the pair of them. He could sympathize with the struggle to see one's fear in a ridiculous manner, since he'd just had to try and come up with the same sort of thing, but since this wasn't his fear, it was easier to see it as an object; to him, the full moon wasn't tied up to any sort of emotional connotations. "Turn it into a cookie and take a bite," he suggested. "You've got it well in hand."
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       Morwenna Skeeter