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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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#1
April 16. 1982 - Foxwood Residence, Wellingtonshire (Sat, early afternoon)

Basil did not, could not, think about his adventure of the past twenty-four hours. Not right now. Standing on the front stoop of his family home in Wellingtonshire for the second time since term had started, the brunette wondered if there was something wrong with him. He’d willingly made the trip this time, nearly glad to escape the confusion Hogwarts held for him at the moment. (Hell had surely frozen over.) Yes, Atticus’ predicament had been the original reason he’d agreed, however it had been a begrudging agreement at the time. Now he was practically running for the hills, avoidant as always when it came to Mr. Augustus Lissington. Basil’s face warmed even at the thought of his fellow redheaded professor.

The brunette had a lot to process from their most recent… exchange. There was almost a decade’s worth of pent up emotions he hadn’t allowed himself to touch since seeing Lissington again. Basil knew from the moment he re-laid eyes on the other that eventually this moment would come where he’d have to face their new reality and reconcile it with the old. He just… hadn’t expected it to hit him, literally, in the face in such a manner. If Basil was honest with himself, he was, quite frankly, not ready in the least to deal with it either. Not yet.

Taking a deep breath, Basil instead entered the house. He handed his things off gratefully to a footman and then sighed, running a hand messily through his hair. At least this time his own hair was cut short; Mama (or Atticus) would have no reason to chastise him other than perhaps general unruliness. Basil did look a bit worse for wear, but having just left the infirmary that very morning, he figured he could be afforded a little bit of untidiness. Not that he was going to admit his recent condition to either his mama or his elder brother.

Instead, he made his way into the library where he assumed they might be found at this time. He could only imagine the sight of his brother with purple hair and was, frankly, excited to see it now that he was here. Grinning to forget everything that was convenient, Basil entered the room. “Well brother, I must say I am excited to see this predicament you are in!” he called.


@Atticus Foxwood & some mood music

#2
Mirrors covered, the curtains drawn, surely the neighbors that could see the manor must’ve thought that the Foxwoods had entered mourning. Atticus, in a sense had - he was mourning the loss of the brunette hair he’d taken for granted for thirty years, as he’d woken up six days ago to purple hair. Six days of having bright purple hair that resembled grapes after masquerading as Henrietta Cartwright for ten. He’d been required to wear dresses and corsets, something he’d never truly want to admit aloud, although he now had more respect for women previously - the dresses were heavy and the corsets were tight. To say that he needed a vacation was an understatement, although Atticus hadn’t stepped foot out of the house in six days. He hadn’t looked at his reflection in nearly five. The elder Foxwood didn’t want to know how deranged he must look.

He swore even the staff was chuckling at him and Atticus had taken to wearing a top hat inside to hide the monstrosity that was his hair - he’d tried (and failed) to color the hair back himself and he swore it glowed in the dark after the last spell had backfired on him. Transfiguration had never been his specialty. At least he’d had the foresight to turn Merlin purple as well, lest he had to leave the house for any reason before Basil could come - people could just assume it was a fashion statement. (Or a midlife crisis.)

Merlin was nestled inside his cage with the door open, watching his owner with a bored expression; like owner, like owl, especially with the dramatics. Merlin was over it. Atticus paced in front of the table with a tea set and scones set in the middle of it, the top hat clutched in one of his hands. After six days of wearing the damn thing Atticus had taken less care to carefully tuck each and every strand away. Who was going to see him outside of the staff and mama? He wasn’t expecting any visitors, and the staff had orders to turn away anyone who showed up at the door uninvited. (Mama had swatted him for turning away her friend the day before.) “You do think Basil will be able to change it back? I can’t deal with… this.” He pleaded quietly, as if he needed to hear that yes, things will be fine for the hundredth time that day. He’d been antsy all day, awaiting his arrival. Merlin rustled his feathers in response.

When he heard his little brother’s voice ring through the house, Atticus found himself sighing softly - finally. Of course he would laugh and never let him hear the end of it, but he’d take all the jeers and mockery to be able to finally leave the house; he had things to do and friends to visit. He ran his fingers through his hair as he finally turned toward Basil. “Don’t laugh,” Atticus grumbled. “It just… happened.”



The following 2 users Like Atticus Foxwood's post:
   Basil Foxwood, Victoire Malfoy

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#3
Despite his own crisis of infinite humiliation, Basil was absolutely beaming as he stepped into the library to see his brother - pacing around like a lunatic - wearing a half-squashed top hat and little purple strands of hair sticking out from underneath. He looked positively deranged in his state of panic; so much so that Basil forgot all about his own untidiness. He couldn’t help but laugh as Atticus finally turned towards him. “Darling brother, whatever have you done?” He asked, both hands coming to his hips like a chiding parent.

Basil wasn’t sure he’d ever seen Atticus in quite a state as this; at least not for a long time. The house was drawn dark and even Merlin had been turned purple! What melodramatics. Basil shook his head in disbelief, still grinning from ear to ear. He waited for Atticus to approach then motioned for him to remove the hat. “Well, let’s see it then.” He prompted, ignoring the grumblings about not laughing. Basil would make no such promises. Already he was finding it difficult not to burst into laughter.

Atticus removed the hat reluctantly then and Basil felt the full force of that - almost neon - purple hair before him. He couldn’t help it: he laughed outright. “By god Atticus!” he breathed. “You weren’t kidding.”

Basil oogled his brother for a moment. Then, turning to walk around him to examine the extent, he chuckled again. “How did you manage this? I’ll admit, it looks like excellent work!” The transfiguration professor pulled his wand from his waistcoat pocket and eyed the very thorough-looking spell. He prodded Atticus’ hair with the tip of it, moving a few strands left and right. The charm had gone straight through to his scalp, turning even a portion of that purple. This was no mere topical job. Basil laughed again and accidentally poked Atticus in the scalp. “Apologies,” he murmured, lowering his weapon.


#4
There was his little brother, his hands on his hips with a grin so large it looked like it was going to split his face; Atticus frowned at him. Had he not told him to wear black because they were entering mourning for his hair? Basil was never very good at following any sort of direction when it came to clothing in recent years, but he would comment on that later. Instead he finally turned and stepped toward him, his fingers brushing against the brim of the top hat that had become his safety blanket for the past few days. He knew Basil was going to burst into laughter the moment he saw it, Mama had to excuse her from almost keeling over from how bright the damn hair had been, and he wasn’t sure he could stomach someone laughing at him again.

A beat of silence happened between them before he sighed and pulled the hat quickly from his head, allowing the soft tufts of purple hair to spring free. Then Basil was laughing and Atticus was frowning, his fingers brushing through the purple strands in hopes of wiping the color away; it wasn’t going to work. He’d tried everything to rid himself of it! His brother had been his last bit of hope, and here he was laughing at his misfortune.

Finally he approached and Atticus stood still as his hair was poked and prodded with the tip of a wand. He pursed his lips together before he snorted, unsure of how much he wanted to get into it. No one knew he’d paraded around as Miss Cartwright, and did he truly want his brother to know his secret? No. That was a secret he planned on taking to the grave, or at least not speaking of until he was well and ready. “It’s complicated, so the best I can explain is being at the wrong place at the wrong time.” Atticus mumbled, stepping back as the wand poke into his scalp.

He rubbed the spot, the pain fading quickly. “So? Is this…” He waved his hand in a circular motion around his head. “Fixable?” Atticus sighed as he moved to drop the top hat onto a nearby table. “It’s been a trying couple weeks and this monstrosity is not helping me sleep at night.”



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#5
The wrong place at the wrong time, hm? Basil snickered again, unwilling to accept such a blasé explanation. “Come now,” he urged. “There has to be more to it than that.” Basil came back ‘round to stand before his brother and shifted the purple fringe a bit before mussing it teasingly. He couldn’t help himself.

As the other's pleading set in, Basil took a step back and sighed, crossing his arms. “Well,” he said slowly. “It’s much too thorough to have been your doing,” he started. “I can only attempt at what I know off the cuff. Without further explanation, it may be difficult to understand what we’re dealing with.” He gave a small shrug. It was the truth, mostly, but Basil had a good idea he could fix whatever this was on his own even without the back story. If it proved particularly difficult, he was sure a little more research would do it. He couldn't pass up the opportunity to heckle Atticus though; heavens no. What kind of brother would he be then?

“I’ll do my best,” he finally conceded, a large merciless grin spreading across his face. Then, raising his wand, Basil thought through the handful of spells he’d dug up this past week to such aims. He had just selected a first one to try when suddenly a footman walked through the door and announced a Miss Victoire Malfoy had arrived and was waiting to be shown in. Basil dropped his wand back to his side and turned blankly towards the footman. “Malfoy, did you say?”

All of a sudden the memory of that letter - that conversation - with Miss Malfoy came flooding back to him and Basil balked. In the confusion of the past week, what with the hair and memories and everything else, he’d entirely forgotten that he’d schemed an invitation for Miss Victoire Malfoy to meet her brother today! Basil frantically pulled out his pocket watch and checked the time. Blast, and she was prompt too! Turning back to the footman before Atticus could protest and send her away, he nodded and made a vague gesture of entry.

“Yes! Please show Miss Malfoy in to the library,” he commanded in an authoritative, un-Basil-like manner. He left no room for argument from his brother. There would be time for dealing with the repercussions later (and boy did he know already there would be repercussions). The footman nodded and turned to do as much and Basil quickly pivoted. “I’m so terribly sorry about this my dear Atticus,” he said much too quickly, placing his hands on his brother's shoulders and pushing Atticus towards the couch. “I’ll admit, I’ve schemed against you but I really do think this is someone you must meet. We can argue about it later but, for now, please be gallant!” Basil gave him a final push to sit and then promptly whirled around again just in time to see the door to the room re-open. He hastily shoved his wand behind his back and beamed in her general direction.

"Miss Malfoy, what a pleasure!" Basil tucked the end of his wand up his sleeve and held it there, out of her sight.


#6
Torie, with her maid in tow, had arrived at the Foxwood home exactly as promised (three minutes early) to be let in by a very confused footman. Curious. This had been the plan yes? Torie, who was not one to second guess herself, had thought she and Professor Foxwood had been pretty clear about the arrangement. Perhaps he had forgotten? Still, her gloves, hat and shawl were taken as though her arrival had been predetermined and so therefore she felt a little more bolstered.

A moment later, they were ushered toward the library apparently, where Torie was shown in and her maid quickly scurried to a corner to make herself scarce. Torie barely had time to register that Mr. Foxwood was also there, which she had known, hoped, to be the case, but the vivid purple of his hair was quite startling. It took her less than a second to register, refocus and react appropriately, as if it were not there. If there was one thing Torie was good at, it was reading a room and knowing how to respond accordingly.

"Professor, Mr. Foxwood, thank you graciously for entertaining my visit today." Torie smiled, hands clasped demurely before her as she inclined her head toward the gentleman in the room. "I see my flowers made it." The vase nearby contained the purple bearded irises she had sent ahead of her. "I hope your mother enjoyed them." Torie was starting to think there was a theme for today that she had missed a message about; though she rather thought it was a good thing she had opted for a very pale pink dress today instead of the lilac one she had been debating.

The following 2 users Like Victoire Malfoy's post:
   Atticus Foxwood, Basil Foxwood

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#7
Atticus merely shook his head as he pursed his lips together; he was not going to talk any more on the matter! He simply wanted to rid himself of the dreadful hair color and be completely back to normal. Merlin too, would appreciate not being purple. Basil, just as expected, and just as he himself would have been if the roles were reversed, wasn’t making it easy as he poked and prodded for details. “I honestly don’t know, Basil. It was a harrowing few days and I swear I just woke up one day in my bed, and my hair was purple. A half true, and as Basil grinned, Atticus matched it with a frown.

Before he could say anything else on the matter, a footman appeared at the door to tell them a visitor had arrived. He opened his mouth to send her away like he'd done to everyone the past few days, but his brother reacted a fraction earlier than he could as he demanded the young woman's entry. His mouth opened and closed before he found his eyes narrowed at Basil, wondering what in the world his brother had schemed against him. “I just might kill you.” He hissed, sitting on the couch at the insistence of his brother.

The door opened, and Miss Malfoy entered. If she noticed the bright purple hair, which she’d be blind not to, she managed to school her face. Atticus shot a pointed look at his brother because yes, they would be arguing about this later before he stood from the couch, wondering how odd it would be to slip his top hat back on. He was flustered and grasping for a single thought that wasn't fleeting (or about murdering his brother where he stood.) "The honor is ours, Miss Malfoy." His eyes were drawn to the vase, and Atticus plastered a smile on his face as he nodded. “Yes, thank you. Mama has stopped by several times to admire the arrangement.”

He cleared his throat. "Would you like a cup of tea?" Splendid.



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#8
Despite the rather hurried manner and the complete lack of preparation on Atticus’ part for Ms. Malfoy’s arrival, Basil was positively tickled that he’d managed this scheme. (If this was what meddlesome mama’s felt like, then he supposed he understood to a very, very slight degree why they did as much. It was rather fun to see Atticus squirm in the presence of the only person on this planet that was likely a match for him in every way!) And in truth, Basil really believed as much!

Miss Victoire Malfoy, despite her young age, was as graceful, elegant and clever as any girl Atticus could hope to attract. She had a sharp wit, she knew how to comport herself even in the most awkward or unusual of situations - to which Basil himself had been privy! - and she was, in a word, beautiful. There was nothing more Atticus could possibly want in a wife. If he did, he was a half-wit. As his brother hissed at him, Basil simply ignored the other and turned his attention to Miss Victoire as she entered. If he was endlessly amused by the apt color choice of her flowers, he didn’t say as much, though a wide grin may have betrayed him.

“Yes,” he replied after Atticus - ever the gentleman - swooped in to welcome her. “Mama is rather keen on the color, lately.” Basil’s eyes twinkled with mischief as he tucked his wand the rest of the way up his sleeve.

He noted the maid making herself scarce in the corner and wondered if there was a way he could do the same. Moving towards the covered windows, Basil gestured a little vaguely. “You’ll forgive us for looking like we live in a dark tower,” he said then, making a split second decision he knew he’d come to regret. “I assure you this is neither normal, nor convenient.” The brunette untucked his wand and flicked it, forcing the curtains to draw and shine normal light into the library. “My brother has been living rather dramatically in the shadow of his oddly irregular hair color.” He gave Atticus a teasing look and could practically feel his brother’s resentment coming towards him in waves. There was no use pretending it hadn’t happened though. The last thing Basil wanted was for Ms. Victoire to think Atticus strange and run for the hills! (Though he might cause her to think as much very well on his own.)

Basil considered changing Atticus’ hair back then and there, but ultimately, he opted not to. This was not a showcase to demonstrate his particular skills in front of Ms. Malfoy, it was a matchmaking attempt where Atticus needed to shine in the best light possible, given the circumstances. Basil could only hope the lovely Ms. Victoire would not think them both eccentrics and write this off as a failed introduction.


#9
Beyond amused by the dynamic of the two brothers in front of her, Torie was instantly softened by the obvious care between them, even if it was hidden beneath a layer of clear annoyance. Fortunately she kept that to herself and instead kept a polite smile affixed to her lips, even as Professor Foxwood went around opening the blinds.

Well that certainly highlighted the obvious.

"Tea would be lovely, thank you." Torie agreed as she perched herself on a nearby chair, surveying the room at large as it was brought into better light. "I should think that would be a logical choice, she passed Mr. Foxwood a knowing smile before addressing Basil once more. "I would react similarly in the same circumstances." The purple was rather jarring, quite bright especially in the light and while she was insanely curious to know what happened, she would never dare to ask. Now anyway, she might as Basil at a later date. Purple on her coloring would be absolutely abysmal. She was not one who could pull off some of the darker colors, green perhaps, and dark blue, but purple was not always easy for her, which is why she tended to stick to softer colors.

"You certainly can fix it, can you not Professor, that is your specialty, correct? And clearly something a well-intended brother would do?" She turned a more mischievous smile at  Basil; a inkling he was enjoying himself a little too much here at his brother's expense. If she was to endear herself to Mr. Foxwood, perhaps this would be a good start.

The following 1 user Likes Victoire Malfoy's post:
   Basil Foxwood

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#10
Almost groaning as the blinds flew open and Basil tried to explain the situation, Atticus reached for the top hat and then thought better of it, his fingers twisting behind his back. It wasn’t as if he could hide what she’d already seen, and Miss Victoire certainly wasn’t like Mama who had almost keeled over when he’d stumbled out of his bedroom in a huff. She had been highly amused and he was sure she was going to laugh until she passed out. She was wheezing by the time Atticus had dipped back into his bedroom. He stepped away from the windows.

Atticus sighed as he ran his fingers through his hair. It could be worse - the color was atrocious, brighter in the sun now that Basil had opened the windows and let the light in, but at least it wasn’t he wasn’t bald. Purple could be fixed, hidden at least, but it would take him years to grow back a full head of hair, and he'd look ridiculous with a wig. Or a toupee. He could feel her eyes on him and he returned her smile. While wishing he had an actual explanation, he most certainly didn’t want to tell a woman he barely knew a secret he was taking to the grave. “I’m afraid that the best I can say is the wrong place, at the wrong time. I’m not entirely sure how it happened.” He offered quietly.

Luckily, before he could offer anything further, the door to the library opened and a maid pushed a tea cart in. Either the staff was much more aware of what was happening then him - Atticus threw another pointed look at his brother - or had seen a visitor and jumped into action. The maid tossed him a look and he frowned at her, which caused her to look away. The staff too, had a good laugh at his expense - their laughter had carried down the hallway for what felt like hours. After setting out the tea and a few snacks, she smiled and left the boys and their visitor to own their devices.

Atticus moved away from the tea to allow Miss Victoire first offers on the tea, his eyes turning toward his brother as a grin stole across his lips. “I believe if he can’t fix it, he promised we’d match until it fixed itself.” Because if he had to live out his days with purple hair, Merlin had to live out his days with purple feathers, it was only fair that Basil joined the party. Perhaps it will become a trend this season.



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#11
Basil couldn’t help the impish smile that stole across his face as Ms. Victoire acquiesced to similar dramatics, had her hair been tinged purple instead. He hid his expression by turning into the nearest window and peering interestedly over Mama’s favorite garden, but he thought to himself smugly that they were perfectly matched. Even more so when Ms. Victoire appealed on his brother’s behalf.

She knew him too well already and Basil tossed Ms. Malfoy a smug smile as he turned gently ’round to them both. Luckily he was saved from confessing that he was, in fact, having too grand a time to want to help at the moment by a maid shuffling in the tea cart. Instead, Basil shot his brother a look as Atticus proclaimed well, firstly, that there was any chance he couldn’t fix this predicament, and secondly, that he’d be joining this ridiculousness if that were the case. “I think not, brother,” he hummed cheerfully. “But never fear, if that is truly what you both would like, far be it for me to dull the party.”

Basil supposed it was alright, since they’d already made such a thing of it.

Turning towards his brother and pulling out his wand once more, Basil made a gesture for Atticus to sit. He thought through the handful of spells he’d reviewed this past week in preparation for this moment and settled upon the most dramatic of these. (He had a few, milder ones up his sleeve, but if this spell was as tricky as Atticus made it seem, he certainly wasn’t going to flounder about and risk looking incompetent if they just tousled the hair instead of changing it.) Then, with careful flick of the wrist, he muttered “Crinus muto.

There was a pop and a moment’s pause before Atticus’ hair seemed to ruffle in a nonexistent wind. Slowly, the purple color leeched out of it and into the tip of Basil’s wand. He pulled a tiny vial out of his breast pocket and poured the color into it like a liquid. Then, tapping each of Atticus’ eyebrows once, he collected that color as well. “There we have it,” he beamed, capping the little vial. “Are you satisfied now?” He teased, tucking his wand away and handing the vial to his brother. “It’s a much less interesting look, I can assure you.”

#12
Torie went about fixing her tea, two sugar cubes and a lovely little slice of lemon, while the brothers went about their banter. Certain Professor Foxwood could indeed rectify the situation, she had a sneaking suspicion that he was prolonging the inevitable for his own enjoyment. Typical younger sibling— she may have indeed done the same to Estelle if given the chance. The "wrong place, wrong time" explanation didn't quite satisfy her curiosity, but Torie assumed she would have to get to know Mr. Foxwood much better before she learned the truth.

By the time her tea was fixed and she was leaning back, she just caught the last of the purple being drained from Mr. Foxwood's eyebrows. Magic was fascinating indeed. "There, a rich, handsome brown, it suits you." Less interesting, as Basil so poignantly pointed out, but much more fitting, in Torie's opinion; which she was not above stating. Casual flattery got one everywhere after all. "That wasn't so hard, now was it?" She chided Professor Foxwood with a gentle chuckle.

"What about your handsome feathery friend?" The purple owl had obviously not gone unnoticed either. Some sort of strange commiserating, perhaps? Torie wasn't about to ask how that happened either, but if Professor Foxwood was ridding all of the purple, he may as well complete the job. It somehow looked less unnatural on the adorably round owl, and she supposed he couldn't even see the color, but if he was already taking care of it elsewhere.


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#13
Atticus frowned yet sat as he was instructed, keeping his eyes trained on his brother. The world seemed to shift back into place as a popping noise filled the air, the purple was pulled from his hair, leaving the natural brunette he was meant to be. He did close his eyes as the tip of the wand came close to them just in case Basil’s hand-eye coordination failed him in that instance. He didn’t want to be blinded. Atticus took the vial from his brother’s hand  as it was offered and turned it over, watching as the liquid coated the edges of the glass. What in the world was he going to do with this? He tucked it into his pocket. He'd dispose of the vial later.

Still, he looked up at his younger brother and beamed at him in a way he probably hadn’t since they were children. Thankful didn't even begin to describe how he felt toward Basil, but he wasn't ready to voice that in front of a young lady. “Very. I suppose I could have been blessed with a worse brother than you, Basil.” He teased before his smile softened. “But I really appreciate this. Thank you.” Atticus breathed out before he turned his attention back toward Ms. Victoire. He offered her a gentler smile, one reserved for people outside of the family - it was odd, having someone he hardly knew to witness such an intimate moment between them. “And thank you, Ms. Malfoy.” He nodded his head.

His attention then was drawn to Merlin as she addressed him. Atticus had turned him purple in an upset when he couldn’t rid himself of the disastrous hair he’d woken up with. The month of April was a terrible one, and he was ready for it to be over. He stood from the couch and strolled over to the open cage. “Come here Mer,” he cooed, but the round owl was having none of it. (How dare Basil not think to change him back first! Was he not the handsomest and most important person in the Foxwood household?!) The youngest Foxwood hadn't even addressed him. How dare he! Hooting unhappily, Merlin flew out of the open cage, past Atticus, past Basil and landed right in Miss Victoire's lap. There, he settled against her to stare at the brothers with two beady eyes before nudging the girl’s hand with his head to pet him.

If he was going to be here, she might as well make herself useful.


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   Poppy Dashwood

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