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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
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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death dreams you don't forget
#1
10th February, 1892 — Flourish & Blotts, Diagon Alley
He was turning twenty-six tomorrow. His birthday was perhaps his least favourite day of the year, every year – it made a sort of dreadful, drawn out, slow countdown of the rest of whatever he had left to live.

And maybe the sickness he always felt in these couple of weeks was partially dread, his symptoms psychosomatic; maybe they were physical, because he’d had such restless sleep always seeing it, or because the death dreams were seeping into his days – or maybe he just had so few birthdays left that this was the beginning of it.

But he’d had business meetings at work earlier he couldn’t just skip; he didn’t want to loll around listlessly at home, and face his parents’ questions; and perhaps if he walked all the way home through the streets of London he’d tire himself out enough that he might have a sliver of a chance of fitful sleep. So Savino had stopped in a Diagon Alley bookshop to pick up a book order he had made. He’d browsed the top floor and begun to make his way back down the creaky flight of stairs at the front of the shop, but got halfway and felt a strange stabbing pain. Just in his head, he thought – but his hand shook and the books fell out from under his arm before he could stop them. Savino tried to lurch after them before he made a scene, but in his haste – or in the sudden spell of dizziness, or the abrupt spasm in his leg – he lost his balance completely, and toppled down the last few stairs directly into someone.

#2
He rather liked Flourish & Blotts - it was quiet - usually. Save for the few weeks each year when students received their letters form school and then immediately before the end of the school holidays which was entirely why he waited until they went back before he made a visit. Today was a quiet day - delightful.

He lifted a book on omens and visions, thumbing idly through the pages, as the flick book of words shuttered before his eyes, his field of vision narrowed and it felt he was going to be sick as the world suddenly seemed very far away. The words transformed into the image of a young man tumbling down the stairs and sending him kicking.

'Merlin' he muttered under his breath and as he turned around the body from his vision made contact with his legs and landing him rather ungallantly on his behind. What the hell was the point in visions if the forewarning was just enough to make sure he was aware, but without enough time to actually do something about it.

He extricated himself from the jumble of limbs. Zabini - a young man he was familiar with, and someone who rather ought to have seen this coming, was the human canon ball. 'Any damage' he asked the younger man, extending an arm to help the other man up.



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#3
His vision was a blur; he had no time to see who had cushioned his fall until he had collided with them. A man, Savino thought, a man he knew – “My apologies,” Savino murmured the moment he’d caught his breath, the muscles in his face and body all feeling oddly numb, like he was unused to moving them.

The other man had gotten up more fluidly. From his place on the floor, Savino grasped the man’s proferred hand with his own – it seemed to be trembling – and tried to pull himself up. He had just put his weight on his feet, opened his mouth to say no, all is well, thank you, when the pain returned. “I –” Savino let out a gasp before he could restrain himself, pressing his hand to his head – it was throbbing like someone had taken an ice pick to it. “My head,” he got out, face contorted as the world spun again and he swayed forwards on his feet.

So much for not making a scene.

#4
There was little strength in the hand - no mere trip them, a tumble brought on some feint or light headedness. With no chair at hand he manouvered the other man to sit on the step third from the bottom. Not exactly a comfortable seat but a seat none the less. He made a gesture to the shop girl that he hoped she would interpret as an instruction to fetch water.

He sat himself beside the other on the steps. 'Give yourself a moment' he instructed, and produce a cigarette from his pocket, lighting it and then offered his silver cigarettes case to the other man. He found cigarettes' fortifying to his own constitution and in lieu of the water - it was better than nothing. Was he drunk perhaps? Although it didn't seem likely given Zabinis' general behavior. The suddenness of the pain in the mans head - could it be an aneurism, he had had a vision of the head footman in his mothers house having a brain aneurism and it hadn't looked dissimilar - a sudden pain in the head and then the man had just keeled over. 'Perhaps we ought to call to for a healer?' he suggested.



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#5
Savino barely registered being helped onto the stairs until he actually found himself sat down upon them, relieved for the sturdiness of the bottom steps cutting in against his legs. Head still throbbing, he concentrated only on inhaling and exhaling until the world around him had mostly stopped its sickening spinning. He fancied the man was addressing him; but Savino was worried if he spoke that he might vomit, so he just gave the barest shake of his head without really knowing what he’d said.

But he could hazard a guess of the logical suggestion here: calling for a mediwizard, a healer, perhaps going for a hospital check-up. No: he wouldn’t make a thing of this, wouldn’t go to the hospital, and most certainly wouldn’t go home until he was entirely recovered.

“It’ll – pass, I think,” Savino breathed out, working overtime against the faint-headedness to sound sure of it. Still, he took a cigarette out of the proffered case – with fumbling fingers, but nonetheless grateful to have a task to put himself to, to force his body to complete some simple motion. Waiting for the gentleman to light it for him, Savino felt a little like a child again, helpless and lost and in need of supervision; but the cigarette eased it slightly, the sharp smell and taste of tobacco gradually quelling his desire to vomit.

After a few minutes of stillness, Savino managed a sidelong glance, only now realised he recognised the man. “Thank you, though,” he said, throat scratchy. He had next to no desire to say anything about the fall.

#6
As the man put the cigerette to his lips, Bernard snapped his fingers lighting the flame on the others cigerette, and then his own.  It was the only piece of wandless magic he had mastered - and probably the only one he would use if he was being honest.  Not that he had ever really tried to develop anything other than the most superficial trappings of power. 

'What was it?' he asked, stressing the word.  He fished inside his pocket for the silver naggin from his pocket and offered it to the other man.  A stiff drink and a cigerette usually fortified him when he was feeling weak at the knees. 

'You didn't look especially green before you feel?' he said, even though he had only really seen the man in a vision, having been at the bottom of the stairs while he had been at the top.



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#7
Prewett – that was his name. Savino counted it a success that his brain was working well enough to remember that.

What was it? Prewett had asked, though, and he wasn’t convinced he wanted to have a sincere conversation about it with a man he barely knew – Seer or no – or at least not here, sitting on the bookshop stairs in full earshot of anyone. “Just a fit of dizziness, I think,” Savino lied, rueful, and clasped the man’s next offering gratefully. “I haven’t been sleeping properly, so,” he shrugged, as if that was all, I’m just overtired.

The other question was – more interesting though; Savino’s brow furrowed as he reasoned it out. Prewett hadn’t been standing near him, hadn’t even seemed to be looking up the stairs until he’d fallen into him... and he hadn’t gotten out of the way, either, but... “You Saw me?” he asked quietly, curious and a little wary, wondering if that fall was all he had Seen, if so.

#8
Bernard let out a puffing breath, it was a lot of work pretending to give a shit. If it had been socially acceptable he would have just patted the man on the shoulder and gone about his business but alas enough people in the public sphere would have known his face and he could just imagine the annoyance that Harriet would express if he had to explain why the Prewetts were in the gossip columns for Bernard being an absolute ass in public.

Ugh - he realised his mistake as soon as the other picked up on the word usage - 'eh - yes, I tend to see this sort of thing...you know....like a vision' he managed awkwardly. It was always a bit awkward telling people that he was a seer, but there was often no way to avoid it and it wasn't as if seer was such a foreign concept, but the reveal was usually accompanied by a request to read their palm or some shite.



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#9
“Yes – yes, I know,” Savino replied gently; he was suddenly too tired to offer much of his usual enthusiasm when it came to meeting people he had already made a point of hearing about, in his own kind of society research. And Mr. Prewett, in spite of his Sight, had not struck an especially approachable figure thus far – he was not a recluse, because Savino had seen him from a distance upon occasion, but he did not often seem to enjoy anyone’s company, and Savino hadn’t yet decided how best to approach him.

But this – falling down flights of stairs and seeming fragile, faint and frail and delicate of constitution – was not exactly the impression Savino had wanted to make. On anyone. “Savino Zabini,” he introduced, as he passed back the man’s hip-flask, in case his name meant anything to him (though often it did not, particularly if seers did not share his academic obsession with divination); so more quietly, he added, “I’m a Seer too.”

He inhaled lightly again, narrowing the field of his gaze to the cigarette between his fingertips to centre himself again. ‘This sort of thing’, Savino echoed at last, steady enough to digest the phrasing with a spark of his usual curiosity. “You mean stumbles and falls?”

(Hopefully he did not mean fatal illnesses, anyway.)

#10
Bernard didn't question how the other knew about his abilities, who knew how these things circulated. He didn't know the gentleman beyond merely his name and a vague association with the family that his nephew eloped with - cousins he thought perhaps. He knew that they had ended up at a few rather fraught family affairs since the unfortunate - well...blessed marriage. Bernard didn't give a pixies fart about blood purity but it matter more to some of his kin than they might let on.

The revelation that the other was a seer did come as a surprise. 'I won't hold it against you' he quipped.

He put the flask to his own lips, taking the last of the liquid. 'For the most part yes,' he said wryly, 'falls, stumbles, misfortunes of all sorts, he managed with a dark chuckle 'If you're in the market for misery I'm probably your man' another, rather bitter laugh. He wasn't looking at the other man but he was keeping a surreptitious eye on what he supposed was some manner of in-law lest the young man fall out of himself and he accidentally start some sort of family feud. 'I've rather cornered the market of misery predictions - one might even call me an expert'




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#11
Savino gave a lopsided smile at I won’t hold it against you. He supposed the man was only joking, but there had not been that usual spark of familiarity or relief or shared understanding here today. So maybe he was not quite a kindred spirit, or not yet – but a Seer was a Seer, and Savino felt that burst of solidarity anyway.

“Well, it’s good you can laugh about it,” Savino commented, choosing to ignore the embittered tone of his humour about it. An expert in misery. “That is some title to have.” Of course it was understandable to some extent for visions – a pattern of negative visions – to take their toll, but this man seemed more jaded than most. (Perhaps that was what all Seers were like by the time they reached middle-age?) Misfortunes: that was interesting, though, from an objective stance. If Savino had been in a better state of mind today, the questions would have been surfacing from him left and right. As it was, he tilted his head at Prewett and felt another wave of... nausea or utter exhaustion, he wasn’t sure. After that, about all he could manage to ask was: “And do you... do anything about them, your predictions?”

#12
Bernard gave a diffident shrug

'If I can' he admitted and voicing it reminded him that he was not perhaps as bitter as could be. 'It doesn't always help.' he explained, and his interference usually began and ended with a shout or call and he wasn't really someone to take heroic efforts to save someone from a disaster - it had backfired far too often - either it had made no difference or worse when his intervention caused the disaster!

The young man looked like a helper - someone who would bend over backwards to change the fates design 'Not always a point in fighting fate, what about you? Or are yours of a more chipper nature?'



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