Welcome to Charming
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
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.
dining is pageantry

Maybe That's When Life Starts Getting Good
June 24, 1892 - Hatchitt Family Home
@Lester Hatchitt

There was a tree in the back garden of the Hatchitt home that grew just right, the branches hanging low enough to climb and close enough to the house to allow for an adept climber to access a particular unlocked window on the backside of the house. Sloane hadn't used her illegal entrance to Lester's room in quite a while, July was approaching, this past school year had been a bit of a mess and Lester was going to be a seventh year in September and Sloane desperately needed some semblance of her old life before things and people, before relationships had gotten complicated.

It was late now, the fireflies the only light in the backyard as she'd stolen across the grass under cover of the darkness through the broken piece of fence they had conveniently never told Mr. and Mrs. Hatchitt about. In a pair of Wally's old trousers and a shirt that was still too big for her, Sloane easily scaled the tree, just like she had when she was younger. It was far easier to sneak around like this— especially when she had control enough over her metamorphmagus abilities to change her hair and face, Sloane could make herself look like a boy version of herself real quick of anybody caught her.

At the right spot, Sloane knocked quietly on Lester's window, really only to signal her arrival, as she wasn't aware anybody else tried to sneak into his room like this. Without waiting for permission, she pushed inside, quietly lowering herself to the floor, pulling the cap holding her hair from her face off and shaking out the increasingly long brown locks. "I brought booze and cookies." Obviously she couldn't show up empty-handed. The bottle of wine had been in the kitchen for near a year and she assumed nobody was ever going to drink it. Cook had made the cookies, so those were safe at least.

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Lester hated the summers, especially with graduation looming - he was about to be a Seventh Year. He always felt like he had nothing to do except spend time in the house. He could have done an internship this year, but he hadn't applied to any, too immobilized by the thought of being perceived. (Why was he even a Gryffindor, when he was never actually doing anything brave? Lester couldn't figure it out.)

Anyways, he hated the summer, he didn't have an internship and it was his own fault, and he was feeling fairly bad about both of those things when Sloane crawled through his window. He looked up from the book he wasn't really flipping through on his bed and closed it, setting it aside on the mattress.

"What kind of booze?" he asked.

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set by soph!
"Wine," She grinned. Firewhiskey was stronger, obviously, but Sloane hadn't yet acquired a real taste for it, though she had no doubts she would in time, get used to the burn. "Cookies are molasses." Her favorite, so she hoped Lester liked them too.

Keeping her position on the floor beneath his window, Sloane pulled out a cookie. The cool night air wafted in behind her and for the first time in a while, she sighed, almost content. This was familiar, this was... well not easy, because it was almost July and July was Lester's month, but at least it was normal for them. Sad, but normal.

"It's white though, I can't do the red stuff." Red wine tasted too strong, Soane liked the sweeter whites. "Also, hi, I've missed you." She smiled up at him genuinely, the sentiment true and necessary to share.

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Lester reached over to snag a cookie, and then joined her on the floor, sliding off of his bed so that he could sit across from her. This felt much more natural, and he gestured for the wine. He hadn't entirely acquired a taste for alcohol yet, but he wanted to have a taste for it — and much of his family seemed to like firewhiskey, so surely white wine was easy by comparison.

"I've missed you too," Lester answered truthfully. "I don't have any glasses up here."

They'd probably have to drink from the bottle. He didn't think she'd mind.

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set by soph!
Handing over the wine, figuring Lester would have an easier time opening it than she would, Sloane contemplated him over her cookie for a moment. "Unnecessary," She chuckled, glasses seemed irrelevant. They weren't a pair of sophisticated aristocrats enjoying a glass of brandy, just a couple of kids who needed some kind of uncomplicated way to soften the edges.

"Hopefully mum doesn't realize it's missing." Sloane pulled a face, though she had pilfered it from a barely-touched wine rack in the back of the pantry. The dust on the bottle should have been evidence enough that they weren't exactly big on wine in the Bixby household. Still, she had tried a glass of white recently at some dinner and liked it for the most part, and this looked similar. Taste didn't really matter as long as it gave her the same buzz.

"Been busy this summer?" She asked finally, knowing how are you? was not a question they asked one another. She wasn't sure if he'd gotten an internship or not, but she felt like all of her free time was eaten up by hers, which was excellent. Sloane didn't do down time too well and she needed to keep busy both physically and mentally.

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Lester struggled pulling the cork out of the bottle; they were lucky that it was one of the bottles where the corkscrew was half out already, and that he didn't need to steal a corkscrew from downstairs. (He didn't even know exactly where they kept the corkscrew.) He took a swig of wine and handed the bottle off to Sloane.

"Not really," Lester admitted with a grimace. He regretted not getting an internship, but was wary of verbalizing that regret — it was too late to fix it, and he didn't want to admit he'd done a silly wrong thing.

"How's your internship?"

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set by soph!
Oof, that definitely answered that. Well she could hopefully prattle on about useless things to help take his mind off of it. "Good, gross, I'm learning a lot. I think I was always meant for this kind of thing; learning on the job. Mrs. Miller said my instincts are good." Sloane hadn't realized just what it was like to take what she had learned in school and apply it to something realistic; to real world situations. It was sort of like quidditch, reading situations and responding appropriately.

"It'll be a good choice for after quidditch, or if quidditch doesn't work out." Really, she would be alright with either these days. A shocking realization certainly, but it was nice to know she could have a real career if she couldn't make it in the professional quidditch world. Creatures were fascinating, there were so many options for travel, so many ways she could make a living with it. "You should come by the zoo sometime, I can show you around some of the behind the scenes." Nothing dangerous obviously, she was really only allowed to work with the lowest level of danger, but so much more than what she had worked with in class.

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"What gross things are you learning?" Lester asked, grinning at her. Passing the wine bottle back and forth for long enough might convince him that it was fine — but he knew his parents and siblings noticed his lack of activity, and he didn't really have an explanation for it. Thinking about the zoo was a welcome change of pace.

"I'll have to come by," Lester said, "It would give me something to do."

Summers were hard for reasons he didn't like to articulate — and he was lucky that Sloane was the only one who got it.

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set by soph!
"Oh as fascinating as they are, animals are also just plain old gross. So much to clean up and during check ups you get really close to well, everything." Sloane had cleaned up more poop and looked in more mouths over the last few weeks than she could have ever thought possible. "One poor mooncalf had an infected cut to clean up, that was..." She trailed off, pulling a face to show just how disgusting that was. Fortunately for Sloane, she wasn't squeamish and she could handle the necessary intervention on her part, but she knew it was still quite a lot for most people.

Finishing off her cookie, Sloane reached for the wine and took a long sip to wash it down. The sharing of the wine was doing its trick, she could feel her limbs loosening up and she stretched out her legs so that she could nudge Lester with one. "You should, I can't get into too much yet, but I've learned so much I would make a good tour guide." She chuckled. It was wild to think how much she'd take in so far compared to her lessons at school. There really was nothing like hands-on experience for her.

"Have you heard from anybody this summer? I keep meaning to write, but I come home so tired I wash up, eat and pass out." Truly she meant Alice, because it still pained Sloane to think her friend would not be returning to school this upcoming term, but she also didn't want to be too much of a pest about it either.

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