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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.

Where will you fall?

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“Got the morbs” was Victorian slang for a temporary melancholia — Dante
Maybe a choice shade of grey - the closest thing she had to mourning clothes - as a symbolic marker that her relationship with Victor was dead.
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With guns hidden under our petticoats
January 16th, 1892 - The Painted Lady
In the absence of her husband, Zelda was very much getting into reading. After Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island — a book she'd chosen to read because it reminded her of Alfred — she was getting more involved in science-fiction, which had led her to pick up New Amazonia at Whizzhard Books.

After making her purchase, she'd walked over to The Painted Lady and started reading. Zelda was rather engrossed in the novel when she accidentally knocked it reaching for her tea — it fell to the floor with a crash at another woman's feet. Smiling ruefully, she looked up at them, "Sorry. Lost in my own world, I guess."

this open is an entry-point for The Hogsmeade Witches' Suffrage Association, and is open to 1-2 people! 2 posts/2 days rule if it's a group thread <3

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Victoria had decided to escape an irritated brother in the figurative arms of High Street and the Painted Lady. Her brother was in quite the mood and had hurt her feelings by commenting on her size. He would see just how much he needed her after fending off annoyed clients on his own. It wasn't like he could fire her because of a glorious concept called nepotism.

She was enjoying a cup of tea and reading the Daily Prophet. She hadn't really noticed who else had come into the Painted Lady and it was probably no surprise that they had not noticed her despite her.

Something fell to the floor near her feet and it brought her out of her own reading. She smiled at the sight of the familiar face. "That's quite all right, Zelda. What book has you so absorbed?" She asked curiously as she picked it up and took in the cover before handing it back to her former roommate. It wasn't familiar to her and she was rather curious considering its contents had been enough to have Zelda so preoccupied.

At least Victoria was the witness to her embarrassment; Zelda grinned at her friend. She held the book up so Victoria could see the cover again. "A society run by women in Ireland," she said. She was a little shy saying it out loud, because the premise was sort of weird, but she thought that Victoria wouldn't poke fun at her for it. "But in the future. It's one of those — um, utopian books." Zelda didn't usually dabble in utopian literature, but she thought she understood some of the premise here.

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Porphyria sat alone at a table, editing a poem draft. It was as far from her preferred place for inspiration as anywhere could be, but that was perhaps the point: The Painted Lady, with its wittering socialites and cloying sweet aromas and plush decor, never failed to open to the door to one’s critical side.

So she had been rather focused on her own affairs, enough that she hadn’t even bothered to look up at the faint thud of a fallen book – but upon hearing Ireland, Porphyria’s interest was naturally piqued.

Gaze snapping up, she eyed the girls at the next table, an unfamiliar redhead and the other vaguely recognisable as one of Xena’s legion siblings. It did not matter overly whether she knew them or not, of course: when the topic was this promising – she had heard tell of a few interesting books in that utopian vein – Porphyria didn’t much care if interrupting might be rude.

“Go on,” Porphyria declared emphatically, and propped herself up on her elbows, chin on her hands, to lean across her table, intrigued. Any future society – and one run by women! – had to be better than this one.

Zelda was a little startled to be interrupted by a woman she didn't know; the surprise registered in an arch of her eyebrows. Still, she was happy to keep on talking about the book, which promised to be interesting. "The suffragettes started it," she elaborated, "And men aren't allowed to hold office or make the choices." In this it was very much a flip of their current world, where women were often legally deprived of power.

"Of course there's some weird muggle faux-science things in it, but that's the jist," Zelda added.

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Victoria was not expecting the interruption of an older woman. She seemed to be interested in hearing about Zelda's book and Victoria couldn't blame her. It sounded intriguing. While she was generally content with her lot in life, she was not immune to thoughts such as 'what if I inherited the desserterie instead. "That sounds intriguing. I wonder if such a world could be made to exist?"

If the younger women were dismayed by her interjection, neither of them had made it too obvious – and since they were still talking about the novel, Porphyria did not wonder about anything else for too long. It was an interesting thought, and the redhead’s question piqued her further still. “What, in the world we’re living in?” Phyri asked, mouth quirking in dissatisfaction, some expression of there’s a lot that would need undoing.

“Though I’m sure it could,” she added, for she wasn’t so cynical as to believe every law and custom was eternally entrenched, even if there were an endless number of complaints to be had about the way things were. “But I suppose the question is how one would do it,” she said thoughtfully, to them both. In reality one could not just throw everyone out of Ireland and start building a society afresh, of course. She waggled her eyebrows to illustrate this was a joke: “Storm the Ministry and take it by force?”

(It was mostly a joke. She didn’t think many respectable customers of The Painted Lady would be particularly willing to throw themselves into a violent insurrection today over their pots of tea.)

Zelda shrugged her shoulders. "Laws can change," she said; she was not entertaining thoughts of storming the Ministry, because she worked there, although it did not seem like the dark-haired woman had meant it seriously.

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"Which laws ought to be targeted first? Voting right is a given." As it was, Victoria currently had no say in voting because she lived with her still living father. That hardly seemed fair.

“Well, marriage, divorce, property,” Phryi reeled off, because she was decidedly unromantic when it came to those institutions and a woman’s freedoms within any of them; she eyed the young women at the next table, more impressed by the fact they also seemed to be meeting these questions in bald earnest. (And what they were saying might feel as natural as air to inhale to her, but Phyri was not naive enough to assume that every woman in this room would have necessarily expelled such statements as theirs.)

“But none of those can really be changed until you can vote,” she said, lowering her tone, “and they’ll never just give us the vote, will they?” Or any gains, for that matter. Not out of the goodness of their hearts.

Zelda sighed. "No," she admitted, "Not unless we were very loud about it."

Were they willing to be loud about it? But — she was a woman. Was she willing?

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"Then perhaps it is about time we be very loud about it," Victoria said. How else would anything change unless someone took the initiative to take action?

Oh. They were not necessarily shying away from the idea, were they?

“Of course, you might get a reputation that way,” Porphyria warned, raising her eyebrows. She might already have a somewhat-dented reputation, so this would hardly affect her, but who knew about these women? She was a poet. They might be more... conventional people, or perhaps have more to lose from being loud. Still, in spite of the seriousness with which she had spoken, she was smirking: she was certainly happy to be loud about it, if that was what it would take.

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