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
    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!
    09.24 A wild election deadline appears!
    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!
     
        
     
    Wind & Waves
    #1
    Open Thread 
    I can flex the date on this to support your character being at/near the Sandition; any time in October works for me so just LMK when you take it!

    The situation they had here at the Sandition Resort was almost too good to be true, and for the first few days after moving in here, Alfred had been reluctant to seem as though he was taking advantage of Mr. Fudge's hospitality. After being given a few time killing chores, though (which hardly even seemed like work, after what he and Paul had been through over the last few years), he'd gotten to the point where he was comfortable enough with the grounds and the facilities that he thought, perhaps, he might be able to go do something fun.

    The sailboats had caught his eye from the first time he'd seen them. He was a sailor, after all--though it had been five years since he'd left the deck of the Sycorax, and even longer since he'd been on a more traditional ship that stayed in the water the entire time. Sailing a ship was much different from sailing one of the tiny sailboats, but Alfred had experience with both; learning how to sail with a small, two-man vessel was what Captain Peppersmith had started them on in order to understand how the wind and the waves affected the motion of a ship, and it wasn't the sort of thing you forgot.

    It was October, and October in England wasn't exactly ideal sailing weather, but on the beaches of the Sandition it might as well have been June. If anything, it might have been too mild to support proper sailing, but Alfred had slipped out and taken one of the smaller boats all the same. The ship really ought to have been a two-man, but he was hesitant to ask Paul--first, because he wondered whether his friend might think he was actually insane to propose that after being in England less than a month, they go out sailing; second, because if he did manage to convince Paul to come along, he might actually be less help than not having anyone at all.

    And oh, the wind. He'd forgotten that feeling, of being out on the water with the wind in his hair and sea spray on his cheeks. Time got away from him, and he was smiling widely and genuinely for perhaps the first time since he'd been back in England.

    England wasn't what he'd remembered, and it wasn't what he'd hoped, but the sea never changed. He hadn't been able to find home here on the British Isles because this was home. How could he have ever forgotten?

    In one of his ever-wider, ever-bolder sweeps he tacked through what must have been the edge of the Sandition's fair-weather charm. The wind swelled and his sails, lengthened to accommodate the gentle breeze, pushed the little boat immediately onto its side, and he had to throw himself on to the windward edge of the boat to keep from capsizing. This put him on the far edge from where he needed to be to adjust the sails, though, which left him at least for the moment rather helpless. The wind swelled and the sailboat crashed back to level, nearly throwing him into the water. He scrambled up and dove to the other side to lay hold of his lines, but just as he'd reached them a second gust hit the sails again, and lacking his weight to offset its motion, went entirely bottoms-up.

    After a brief moment underwater he fought his way to the surface, sputtering. The keel of his sail boat was facing up at the sky, the good weather was still a dozen feet off to his right, and the beach was a hundred yards away. Fighting his soaked clothes, Alfred climbed up to straddle the keel of the ship and pushed his too-long hair, made even longer by the water, out of his face.

    Great.
    #2
    It wasn't every day that follow-up paperwork brought her to the Sanditon and, having successfully interviewed her witness rather quickly, Zelda now wanted to stay. The fair-weather charm meant that Zelda had momentarily abandoned her coat, and she wandered by the beach, wanting to savor the most of the resort before she really had to head back to work.

    The salty air blew loose strands of her hair into her face and the sand seeped into her shoes but she was as happy as she had been in weeks; it felt so free to be here off-season, with the false sun warming her skin and the little birds piping among the reeds. 

    She had just about made up her mind to leave when she saw the sailboat go bottoms up.

    Zelda frowned. She put her hands on her hips and considered, momentarily, whether or not she had the swimming experience required to stage a rescue. But then the man - who had really long hair! - popped out of the water and sat up on his boat.

    Zelda waved at him, sticking her hand straight up in the air in an attempt to catch the stranger's attention. "Do you need help?" she yelled.
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    #3
    Alfred was eying the boat warily and wondering whether he'd be able to swim strongly enough to push it back towards the Sandition's set of water when a sudden activity at the beach caught his attention. Oh, great, he had an audience for his little disaster. It appeared to be a woman, and not Mrs. Fudge or one of the other more permanent residents of the Sandition resort. He wasn't sure whether that was better or worse, honestly; if it was someone he saw frequently, they'd be able to make fun of him more readily for the miniature shipwreck, but there was something rather mortifying about it having happened in front of a stranger, too. At least she seemed inclined to be helpful, and hadn't started laughing at him--yet, anyway.

    Did he need help? He wasn't sure what she'd be able to do, from the beach--particularly in a dress. Maybe if there was some kind of long rope on the sailboat that he could swim to the shore, then they could both sort of tug the boat back to safety. That seemed like a lot of work, though, and only dubiously useful. Most women didn't really have the upper body strength to be tugging large boats through the ocean, particularly when they were upside down and therefore in more or less the worst position for drag. Alfred wasn't even really sure he'd be able to make much progress on it, so he wasn't particularly optimistic about that route. Besides, did the sail boat even have a spare rope somewhere that would be long enough? The lines were all attached to sails, and he wouldn't be able to undo the knots under water. If there was a coiled up rope somewhere for emergency towing situations, he'd probably lost it to the waves when the boat had gone bottoms-up.

    He supposed it couldn't hurt to look, though, because he didn't have any better ideas. "Er, maybe!" he called back to the woman on the beach. If he was going down to search the capsized boat for rope, though, he certainly didn't want to be struggling against all these layers of clothes. Without really giving it a second thought, Alfred started to undress, tugging off both boots and tipping the water out of them before setting them next to him on the keel of the boat.

    "Just wait there a second!" he yelled to her, carefully standing up (though his bare feet were less slippery than his boots had been, actually, on the wet, slimy surface of the bottom of the boat) and pulling his shirt over his head.
    #4
    Zelda's hands went back to her hips. Was she going to have to bail out this stranger? She really didn't know what he wanted. She was cut off from this dilemma when he started stripping and her mouth opened. 

    He wasn't wearing a shirt. Zelda had, actually, never seen a shirtless man before, and could do nothing but stare wide-eyed at this soaked stranger with the tattoos winding up his arms and over his chest. And he was skinny, too - skinnier than she would have expected, but she could see his muscles and could feel her cheeks turning a bright pink color.

    This was weird! This was weird and she could do nothing but wait, because she was transfixed and horrified and intrigued all at the same time. He was basically naked and seemed to think nothing of it, and Zelda did not know what to do.
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    #5
    The shirt dispatched with, Alfred dove into the water, quite oblivious to the way the girl on the beach was gawking. It didn't occur to him that what he was doing was strange, though it might have if he'd stopped to think about it. In the moment, however, the idea of trying to swim with all his clothes on was far more strange, and if he hadn't liked this belt, he might have dispatched with his trousers, too. After making a fumbling attempt to find anything useful in the body of the sailboat, however, he returned to the surface, treading water as he pushed his hair out of his face again.

    There was no loose rope, and nothing he could really think that he could use as a tie to drag the sailboat with him. This was immensely frustrating, since he could see where the boat needed to be before he'd be able to get it righted. There was a slight color difference in the water that marked the edge of the spell, and if he hadn't been distracted by the very fact of sailing itself, he likely would have noticed it before he'd accidentally gotten himself across it. It was right there--how hard could it be to get a sailboat ten feet?

    Not hard at all, he realized, with magic. It hadn't occurred to him at first, since he hadn't had a reliable wand in so long. He certainly hadn't brought the one wand he and Paul did have out to sea with him, since he hardly carried it anywhere. Maybe the woman on the beach, though.

    Scrambling back on to the keel of the boat and shivering slightly from the gust of cold wind that hit him as he did so, Alfred yelled to her, "D'you have a wand?"
    #6
    With the stranger in the water, Zelda was able to try to regain her dignity. She pressed her palms to her cheeks and they were warm, obviously flushed. She glanced over her shoulder and considered just leaving - but she had offered to help, no matter how awkward, and leaving would really be terrible of her.

    He got her attention with a shout and Zelda looked back at him. Her cheeks flushed a bright pink again.

    "Of course!" she yelled, already fishing it out of the secret pocket of her dress. 
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    #7
    "Grand!" he called back, genuinely pleased. He had sort of forgotten that carrying wands was pretty standard, within England. In the Navy it hadn't been uncommon for many of the junior sailors not to have wands, either for financial reasons or because they'd never been trained to use them. Some of them weren't even literate. Coupled with the past several years he'd spent in the wilderness, where the only wand he'd had access to was one that seemed to particularly dislike him, Alfred had largely forgotten that carrying a wand around everywhere one went was not, in fact, unusual.

    "I need to get this boat over there," he said, gesturing off to the right. In the clearer, calmer water it wouldn't be too difficult to get the sails out of the way and then tip it back to where it was supposed to be. These shallow-keeled sailboats were easy to tip because of their small draft, but they were easy to right, too, as long as one didn't have too many waves to contend with. "And right-side up, but I can manage that bit."
    #8
    "I can do that," Zelda said, giving the boat an appraising eye. A lot of her work involved the careful movement of large, toppled objects - not always through water, so that was an added obstacle, but she knew she could do it. With a task in front of her, she felt slightly less daunted by the stranger's nakedness. "You'll have to hold on tight, though."

    Zelda eyed the boat. This would be marginally easier if she was closer. She kicked off her shoes and pulled off her stockings,, abandoning them in the sand, and scurried forward until her toes were in the unnaturally warmer. She pointed her wand at the boat and muttered a spell. Carefully, Zelda batted her wand to the right, moving the boat into the clearer water.
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    #9
    Alfred hadn't really been expecting her to try and move it with him still on it, so her instruction surprised him. He glanced down uncertainly at the keel of the boat, which had nothing at all to hold on to. That was sort of the point of keels, that they were smooth and didn't provide much resistance when dragged through the water. He'd much rather just jump in and swim again, he decided, and had looked up to tell her so when her spell made the boat beneath him lurch.

    Out of options now, Alfred tried his best to hang on to the sailboat, but it moved out from under him and he ended up toppling into the water again. He came up sputtering from the unexpected dunk, but didn't waste his breath yelling to complain. The boat was in the right spot now, after all, which was all he'd asked. Now it was up to him to set about the business of righting it.

    Taking a breath, Alfred dove down into the much-calmer water and bundled what he could from the free-drifting sails, to reduce the ship's drag. Luckily, nothing had been damaged (at least that he could tell) from the drag through the water. He came up for air again and then dove down and tipped the ship back in the direction she was supposed to be, working from beneath. The keel rolled over easily, and the sailboat crashed back to the surface with a rather magnificent spray of water, spreading rainbow-prismed droplets in every direction.

    He was rather proud of himself for having gotten it back to rights, and grinned at the little boat around him. He supposed he ought to thank the woman on the beach who had helped him, and he probably should sail the boat in a bit closer to shore anyway, so that it wasn't loitering right on the edge of disaster again. He stood up to trim the sails for that task and only then remembered that he was actually mostly unclothed.

    And his boots and his shirt had been on the keel of the boat, and had definitely fallen off when he had. A cursory glance at the nearby water told him they were long gone, lost to all save perhaps magical assistance. Whoops.

    Well, now he needed to get back to the beach for the sake of getting dressed again. He could hardly sail around out here all day in just his trousers.

    Letting down the main sail, Alfred took it in until he had the little boat charging in the direction of the shore, where he beached it a few dozen yards away from the woman who'd helped him. "Thank you!" he called as he hopped down to the sand, not sure whether he should approach her or go try to find a towel or something first.
    #10
    With him readjusting the boat, Zelda was rather pleased with herself, as she always was when she managed to make something work. He had done most of the work - but where would he be without her wandwork?

    Now he was here, and with the man close and naked Zelda was flushing a bright pink again. She stepped out of the water and felt her toes sink into the sand. "You're welcome," she said, because she could not think of anything else to say. What did one say when faced with a naked stranger?

    Her father would be livid if he found out about this.

    "I like your tattoos," Zelda blurted, "Is that rude? I'm sorry." She just thought it was more polite than her other option, which was to just say you're naked.
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       J. Alfred Darrow
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    #11
    She wasn't coming any closer, but she was still looking at him, which made Alfred feel as though it might be rude to leave in search of a towel or a robe or something. He lingered at the edge of the beached boat, more than a little awkwardly, until she mentioned his tattoos. He flushed then--it would be silly to say that he'd forgotten about them, since they covered most of his chest and half of both arms, but that was pretty close to the case. Prior to his return to England, they hadn't raised any eyebrows; in fact, before he'd gotten them, he'd been the odd man out for having so much untouched skin. If anything, he was more liable to feel self-conscious about how much of him was bare.

    But this was not the wilds of South America, and people didn't think like that here. "I, uhm," he said a little awkwardly. "It's alright. I don't think it's rude. It's not exactly the sort of thing that comes up in etiquette classes in Hogwarts, is it?" he said with a shrug. He glanced down at the marks on his shoulder, wondering whether he should explain them, since she'd brought them up. They did all mean something, and it had been quite an ordeal when he'd first gotten them.

    "They're--" he started, but hesitated. That sentence, in full, probably ran something like they're very important to me, because they were, but that wasn't the sort of thing you could say to someone in England. No one who had lived here their whole life would understand, and even if this woman tried to understand, that would just lead to her asking a lot of questions about them that he wasn't sure he was prepared to answer. He hadn't gone through those particular stories and anglicized them, and he wasn't sure how someone in the civilized world would react.

    "They're from South America," he said instead. Much safer.
    #12
    "I've never been," Zelda admitted, and was struck with a sense of deja  vu. This reminded her quite starkly about Mr. Jameshill, who claimed to have been from Australia, because her exact response had been to talk about how little she traveled. Hmph.

    Of course, Mr. Shirtless couldn't have any short-lived engagements with any of her siblings, because Xena was the only one who had ever had a broken engagement. He also really did have tattoos, which probably really were South American.

    "Zelda Fisk," she said, "And you're right - my etiquette classes never mentioned tattoos. Of course, I had that professor who went to prison later, so."

    Moira Prewett. Ha.
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