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Welcome to Charming, the year is now 1892. It’s time to join us and immerse yourself in scandal and drama interlaced with magic both light and dark.

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“Got the morbs” was Victorian slang for a temporary melancholia — Dante
In a panic sort of reaction, she shut the door but neglected to make sure she was on the other side of it.
the thrill of the chase moves in mysterious ways


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Let’s Tart This Off Right
#1
November 14th, 1891 — Outside The Ivy Leaf Tearoom & Bakery

Arching her back slightly and lifting her arms above her head, Imane wiggled a bit as she went onto her tiptoes and stretched out her limbs before letting out a soft sigh. The motion disturbed the light dusting of sugars that had been clinging to her throughout the workday and the sweet granules began to slowly sprinkle off towards the floor like some sort of confectioners glitter. It was closing time at The Ivy Leaf Tearoom & Bakery and the leftover remnants of her labor from the day were scattered together on her work station into a little pile alongside a half empty jar of honey that she’d brought in from her family's farm.

She had taken to doing some experimenting during her shifts downtime that day by substituting out some of the sugar for honey in a mini batch of lemon cakes, but the test hadn’t turned out exactly how Imane would have liked. While the honey had provided a nice flair to the flavor profile, the ratio wasn't quite perfect yet and had left Imane with some slightly gooey cakes to furrow her brow at. It wasn’t the kind of issue that the average home baker would have been too offended by, but it was the kind of problem to leave Imane deep in thought over the possibilities.

Taking a finishing bite to one of her softened desserts, Imane analyzed and swirled around some more ideas in her head for a moment as she slowly chewed the lemony delight before finally scooping the remaining cakes into her bag to leave for the day. She gave a warm goodbye to her coworkers as she left before stepping out the shop's front door and into the slightly chilled November air. There wasn’t much of a breeze and it was the kind of cold that was refreshing rather than one you’d feel in your bones. Imane stopped for a moment to take in the feeling when a slightly familiar frame caught her attention from across the street.

It was the young constable that she’d met once while out and about in Hogmeade. A huge grin spread across Imanes face as she raised her arm and began waving before cheerfully calling out, “Dorset!” and hurriedly crossing the path as fast as her short legs could manage. “Out fighting crime on the streets of London now?” She joked once beside him, knowing from before that he wasn’t actually stationed in the area. “You know…” Imane trailed off slightly while now childishly positioning herself infront of him so he couldn’t just walk away from her, “I bet that works up quite the appetite!” She smiled innocently while eagerly presenting one of the pastries from her bag as temptingly as she could on the palm of her hand. Perhaps a second opinion could help guide her second batch to perfection.
The following 1 user Likes Imane Tuttle's post:
   Jack Dorset

[ee MAHN]
#2
After a string of nigh shifts that felt like they were slowing driving him mad, Jack had emerged back to the land of the living for a visit to his mother. And he reasoned if he was going to go all that way, why not take a stroll around Diagon Alley while he was at it?

He looked up with mild surprise as he was hailed on the busy city streets.  After a few months as a Constable he was somewhat accustomed to being recognized and greeted in Hogsmeade by virtue of his job but Diagon Alley was a completely different story.  He was just another face on the streets there, as far as he knew. 

"Hello Miss Tuttle." he greeted back with a smile when he was able to place her face with the voice.  "I don't think they'd appreciate it if I was."  In fact he expected he'd end up in jail himself for causing a nuisance if he tried to police out of his jurisdiction.  He pulled back slightly, surprised to find her suddenly and obviously blocking his way. 

"Well, I wouldn’t say no…" he chuckled reaching out to accept the proffered pastry. 

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#3
Imane’s smile broadened when her offered treat was met with acceptance. “Well you’d be quite the fool to say no.” She smugly stated while theatrically turning her nose towards the air in blatant confidence before laughing at herself and delicately handing the cake over to the constable. It seemed as good of time as any to pull out another square for herself too, that way she could fully grasp any comments he made. Plus you could never have too much cake.

However once Dorset raised the sweet to his mouth, Imane became almost transfixed on reading his reaction. You’d have thought the poor lad was a food critic as she leaned in to a probably uncomfortable distance so that she could analyze even the smallest of facial reactions, her already big eyes widening as she stared up at him from below with a smile. “Secret sharing time!” Her grin quickly turned into a smirk. “These were actually a test batch where I was trying out new ingredients earlier today.” A fact that she waited to state until the sweets were too far gone for him to simply spit out should he not want to be her test subject.

“Sooo...” She teasingly dragged out the word before pausing to take a bite of her own lemon cake now before continuing, “slight sogginess aside, what do you think?” It was hard not to beam at him while chewing as she was so glad to have someone tasting the honey infused batch.

[ee MAHN]
#4
He laughed as she struck her pose, realizing a bit belatedly that the cake would be deposited directly into his hand.  And as she pulled out her own cake to eat with him he realized they were going to just eat it, right then and there, in the middle of Diagon Alley.  That tracked.  What he knew of her, she wasn’t one to wait.

"Well - right away I guess." he said with a chuckle, lifting it to his mouth to take a bite.  Before his teeth had even fully sunk in she'd swooped into stare at him and he raised his brows at her in a silent question. 

"Oh merlin…" he muttered around his mouthful as her expression turned impish in time to reveal that he was eating an experiment.  Immediately his brain jumped to assume the worst. 

"Mhmm."  he started with an exaggerated head nod, not wanting to disappoint her but still very distracted by the prospect of what on earth she meant by 'new ingredients'.  He swallowed hard before continuing  "It tastes like lemon." he offered, not really having the pallet for a more refined opinion.  After a beat, with just a hint of resignation in his tone he added "Don't tell me there's like … beetles in this or something."

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#5
Imane laughed at his surprise. “Are you saying there is ever a good reason to not eat cake straight away?” Befuddled amusement laced her words at the idea of ever letting cake just sit around. What kind of world had Dorset been living in that he thought the notion of eating cake was something one saved for later? She was clearly going to need to change this weird mindset of his.

“Beetles?!” Imanes jaw dropped dramatically as she wondered if one could go to jail for punching a constable in the middle of the street. It wasn’t like it he was currently on duty or anything… “Dorset are you trying to suggest that this delicious cake that I slaved away in the bakeries kitchen making today, tastes as if INSECTS were sprinkled into the batter?” Sarcasm dripped off of each word as it left her mouth before the corner of it turned up evilly at him. “I gotta say, I’m quite impressed with your food palette constable! I didn’t think the average person would be able to detect it.” Impressed surprise expertly didn’t falter from Imanes features as she lifted the other half of her own cake up to her eyeline and squinted as if she were inspecting the treat so that she could really sell the ruse. “Did I not crush them into a fine enough powder?” She muttered slightly to herself while still turning the lemony treat around.

[ee MAHN]
#6
He gave the pastry in his hand a rueful stare before shrugging his shoulders and taking a second bite.  Bettles be damned.  He chewed thoughtfully, his mouth a bit crooked from the victorious grin that pulled at the corners. 

"I'd say not… people won't want a pastry where bits get stuck in their teeth…"  He didn’t actually think there were beetles and he still only tasted lemon but that didn’t mean it wasn't fun to play along with her game.

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#7
Imane watched curiously as Dorest was seemingly unbothered by the idea of insect cadavers seasoning his food. While she had been hoping for a more mortified expression, it was hard to not find Dorsets willingness to take another bite rather intriguing. However once it was clear that a grin was trying to emerge through his chewing, Imane snorted back a laugh before quickly raising her pastry free hand to cover her mouth and hide her break in the façade. She couldn't let herself cave completely at the constables' ridiculous actions. “You never know,” There was a childish deviousness to Imanes voice as she finally regained her composure with a straight face. She felt rather certain that the boy wasn’t daft enough to truly think he was eating beetle bits, which ultimately meant he was trying to mess with her as well. “Could make for quite the treat for one's enemies.” She raised a daring brow his way before taking the final bite of her cake. “I suppose now all you have to worry about is whether or not I see you as a friend or foe.” The nonchalant words were accompanied by a shrug as she tried not to crack a smile.

[ee MAHN]
#8
He grinned brightly, clearly pleased that he made her laugh.  He raised a brow as she composed herself and stepped into the little game he'd started.  Obviously she knew he was teasing her and now she was teasing right back and the fact that they both knew and kept up the guise for the fun of it was the best part.

"Oh, I'd not dare cross you."  He said with a grave tone and dramatic word choices, schooling his features to align with her serious face.  "I'd expect far worse than lemon flavored beetles."

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#9
“Smart man.” Imane nodded in approval at Dorsets claims of knowing not to cross her, the corners of her mouth quivering as her amusement at his dramatic play of things made it hard to keep a straight face. “Hah! Lemon flavored beetles?!” Disbelief broke her facial silence as Imane scoffed at the notion of something so insulting with a mocking tone. “What do you think this is Dorset? Third Year? Of course it would be far worse!” Imane squinted her eyes daringly at Jack as she brought her hand up to her chin to play up the fact that she was thinking hard before suddenly snapping her fingers together. “Hippogriff dung truffles.” She said matter-of-factly as if to say that would be the worst thing she could possibly make.

[ee MAHN]
#10
Jack wrinkled his nose, forced to imagine what a Hippogriff dung truffle would taste like.  Gritty was the word that came to mind and he gave an involuntary little shiver at the thought of it.  No amount of chocolate would help that.  And then he was forced to consider chocolate dung truffles.

"You win." he conceded, with a small smirk.  "You heard about the guy the ministry is looking for right?" he asked, abruptly changing the subject.  It was good to see her, and fun to talk for a moment like there wasnt a criminal on the run, but he wanted to make sure she knew to be careful until he was captured.

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#11
Imane couldn’t help but laugh at the array of expressions that played across Dorsets face at the mention of hippogriff dung truffles. She was definitely going to have to make some truffles and drop by the Hogsmeade station with them at some point. Perhaps a shaved chocolate topping to give them a more rough and unruly appearance?

Her smile at his acceptance of defeat was short lived when he suddenly changed the subject to something far more serious. Furrowing her brow in confusion, Imane slightly tilted her head as she softly questioned out loud, “Guy the ministry is looking for…?” before remembering what she’d heard happened to the Potts florist the day prior in Hogsmeade. “Are you talking about what happened in Hogsmeade yesterday?” Her voice was laced with concern at the idea of some unhinged man being on the loose after hearing what he was capable of.

[ee MAHN]
#12
"Yeah that's the one."  he said as if suddenly tired, weighed down by what had happened.  "Just wanted to make sure you knew to be careful.  Of the usual sorts of course... but also anyone who makes sudden unwelcome advances.  He had a pattern of giving flowers and not taking rejection well."

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#13
Concern knitted Imane’s brow more as the constable was clearly exhausted from the tragedy. She wished she’d left the shop with far more treats then she had now. The air of melancholy that seemed to be wrapping around Dorset was feeding into her desire to comfort him through food. “I will most certainly be cautious of any sort of advances.” She assured him. It would be quite out of character for her to be receiving flowers after all.

Gently touching Dorsets arm, Imane gave him a small and sincere smile. “You look like you could use some good rest Mr. Dorset.” He must have been trying his best to stay cheerful after she’d rushed up to him. Reaching into her bag, Imane pulled out the small bundle of remaining sweets and handed them over to him. At the very least she wanted to give him something. Even if it was experimental honey goodies.

[ee MAHN]
#14
Jack pulled a smile back on to his face when he saw her frown.  He didn't want to alarm her but the memories of what had happened had slowly settled back over him like a heavy cloak, muting the fun and cheerful conversation they were having.  It was hard to think of sweets and pranks when he could practically still feel the rush of cold in his blood when he thought of the Potts sisters trapped inside a ruined building.  "Good."  he said simply.  He suspected she could take care of herself if she knew to keep

He took the parcel without hesitation as if he was very used to receiving little packets of food.  "Always so generous. Thank you." he said, his smile lifting a bit. 

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#15
Seeing Dorset’s midge of a smile quickly uplifted Imane’s further. Even if it was small, it was always nice to see the brightening effects the treats she whipped up in the kitchen could have on someone. “If you’re ever craving for some more,” She paused thoughtfully for a second as the words rolled around in her head before continuing, “or even if you just need a friendly ear that's willing to listen, please don’t hesitate to stop by.” Gesturing towards The Ivy Leaf across the street with a flick of her head, Imane chuckled a little bit. “Even if it is a bit of a trip away from Hogsmeade.”

Removing her hand from Dorset's arm as she smiled gently up at him, Imane took a few steps back so that the constable could continue on to wherever he'd been heading. Hopefully towards a bed to recover from what seemed like quite a stressful nightmare from the way that it was weighing on him. Playfully, her lips perked up into a small smirk as she attempted to lighten the mood further. “I’ll even consider leaving out the beetle bits next time. Just for you.” She teased at him with a small laugh before lifting her hand so that her fingers danced in a delicate goodbye. “I'm going to be on my way, but really, don’t be a stranger Dorset! I look forward to seeing you around.” And with that Imane turned on her heel as she finished waving her goodbye and apparated home.

[ee MAHN]

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