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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
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


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dining is pageantry
#1
September 2nd, 1892 — Daphnel Home, Wellingtonshire

To his credit, Victor had not made an actual physical checklist of items to accomplish during his courtship of Miss Dempsey. That said, there was a pattern to everything they had done so far. Each item suggested something about her suitability as a wife. They exchanged frequent, occasionally lengthy letters: she was intelligent and interesting. He put his name on her dance card twice at each dance they'd attended since he came to call: she was sufficiently graceful and charming at society events. They met in Padmore Park for an occasional promenade: she bore the attention of others well. He paid calls, when his schedule permitted it: she was witty enough to keep him engaged in conversation, without shocking a chaperone. (Was there perhaps a bit of confirmation bias at play here, since they had already kissed? It mattered little).

At this point he was starting to think about logistics: when to buy the ring, when to ask, which bedroom to give her once they were married. There was, however, one glaring oversight on his mental checklist, which would hold him back from moving forward with anything. He had not actually introduced her to his family yet. Given that he was planning to invite her to become part of it, seeing how she interacted with his mother and siblings was an absolutely crucial stepping stone towards any future they might have together. He didn't intend to move out of this house (at least, not while his father remained abroad indefinitely), so she would be living with at least his mother and Beatrice, and perhaps one or both of his brothers as well, unless he could prod them into taking bachelor lodgings somewhere.

Things at home had been a bit strained for him lately; he had not made amends with Beatrice since their argument in mid-August. Between that and having to devote more of his time and attention to the rituals of courtship, he hadn't had much time with any of his siblings, and particularly hadn't talked to any of them about Miss Dempsey. He could only hope they were capable of making a good impression without any coaching from him. (He was mostly worried about Beatrice, who might be called upon to make conversation with Mrs. Dempsey; Oscar had been seated too far down to try and involve Mr. Dempsey with any of his recent schemes, at least).

Well, maybe with only a little coaching: when he heard them arriving he hurriedly told his sister, "They're both poets. Her parents. So you can talk about literature, if you need to make conversation, and I'm sure they'll have plenty to say on the subject. I might avoid actually talking about poetry, though; they might have strong opinions and expect you to have some, too," he advised (he didn't have any strong opinions on poetry himself, and therefore assumed his sister wouldn't either — at least, not any she would be able to eloquently articulate).
Seating:
------------------Mrs. Kate Daphnel---------------
@Victor Daphnel ---------------- Eamon Dempsey
@Christabel Dempsey -------- @Lowri Dempsey
@Jasper Daphnel ------------ @Beatrice Daphnel
----------------Mr. Oscar Daphnel (lil bro; 17-18yo)-----
There is no post order for this thread.
The following 1 user Likes Victor Daphnel's post:
   Madeleine Backus


Beautiful set by MJ <3
#2
How to make up with your sister? Not by forcing her to participate in a formal dinner with strangers with little than thirty minutes of notice. Home was supposed to be her safe place, not where others could invade. Home had, already, been a very uncomfortable living space as she and Victor tiptoes around each other for the past few weeks. She was frankly sure that Victor was doing this just to spite her at this point. There was no other logical explanation.

She'd obviously been forced to change and the dress she'd donned was very obviously Kate's choice rather than her own. If she'd been allowed to pick she have gone for something far more muted. 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. He'd gone and accomplished what she'd been trying to do for years in a matter of weeks and now was - or at least Bea viewed it as - rubbing his accomplishments in her face. Not to mention the whole saying every ounce of her bad luck was her fault and frankly that everything was her fault.

The dinner itself, while impulse to her own view, was obviously well planned. Her own placement was starkly intentional. There was only one way it could have been more intention was if Victor had told her to sit between Jasper and Oscar rather than beside them. He was minimizing the damage she could do without being too obvious to anyone outside their own family unit.

Victor's warning - for it felt far more like a warning and a threat with the mood she was in than 'coaching' - only served to further rub her wrong and show just how little her brother knew about her. She was the one of the sibling bunch that had actually even picked up a book in the past month that could count as 'literature' of the sense Victor spoke of. When was the last time he'd read anything that wasn't related to his work?

"If I need to make conversation? I am far more capable than you than talking about books," she hissed, a pointed glare towards her brother before she followed at Kate's beacon to greet their guests.
The following 2 users Like Beatrice Daphnel's post:
   Madeleine Backus, Victor Daphnel

[Image: nK4mS23.png]
MJ is truly magic!!
#3
The invitation to Mister Daphnel's family home for dinner had not been a surprise, although she was rather pleased that he had offered the invitation before her mother could make one of her own.  This way the Daphnel exposure to the Dempsey's was limited.  Ozy wasn't there to make this difficult, Porphyria couldn't be maudlin and there was a smaller than usual chance that someone would break out an purposefully embarrassing story just to watch her squirm.  Her father was here, so it wasn't entirely off the table, but it was unlikely to be on purpose. 

Her parents were often considered 'eccentric's, but in spite of this they knew how to comport themselves in public, their eccentricities were closer to passions really, and they were more than capable of impressing those around them socially.  Her mother in particular was as skilled in in her use of the spoken word as she was with the written word. 

Christabel had a deep blue gown for this evening, her hair carefully arranged and peppered with blue lilies - and yes she had spent longer than usual getting ready for this evening, wanting of course to please Victor, but also create the right impression with his family, especially his mother.  Jasper, she wasn't too concerned about, if his opinion of her was poor, it was the result of 7 years of class together and one dinner wasn't going to fix that!  Besides which, from what she had heard of what he had witnessed in the Park a few weeks before, she doubted his brothers courtship ranked highly on her former housemates lists of concerns. 

She confirmed that her mother and father were ready, and she stepped through the fireplace first to fluu to Daphnel House, appearing in the drawing room in a whoosh of green flames.  A footman held out a hand to steady her out of the fireplace and announced her presence.  Chris felt her pulse quickening, with a nervous anxiety both for the evening to go well and to see Victor, a thrill in her stomach which she really rather enjoyed.


dress
The following 1 user Likes Christabel Dempsey's post:
   Victor Daphnel

I am my mother's savage daughter, The one who runs barefoot cursing sharp stones
[Image: x2GW7DK.png]
I am my mother's savage daughter, I will not cut my hair, I will not lower my voice
MJ made glory
#4
Jasper didn't have a social life as abundant as his brother's. Furthermore, his work and his recent traumatic experience at Padmore Park, had kept him out of the loop in Victor's life. He was vaguely aware that Victor had started courting someone but he didn't know who.

Learning that the special Miss was Christabel Dempsey was a surprise.

Jasper and Christabel were friendly. They'd been really close in their first year then, as they grew, they'd stopped being so close as boys and girls started keeping to their own. He'd always found her a fascinating girl. She was clever and interesting to talk to. They both took History of Magic in their two final years at Hogwarts and he'd enjoyed talking with her about it. When they were at school, she'd always make him feel giddy, especially on Hogsmeade trips when she'd wear her everyday clothing instead of robes. Not that she didn't remain lovely with her robes, she was just different on those Hogsmeade trips. And that evening, with her blue dress? Jasper felt ashamed to look at her for too long.

How come, Christabel, of all people? While Victor wasn't exactly an uneducated idiot, he didn't strike Jasper as the sort to pursue a writer. Jasper always assumed that Victor would go for someone more... different. Now that he thought about it, he didn't quite have an ideal woman in mind for Jasper, but Christabel didn't feel right.

At least Christabel wasn't a teenager still. It would have been equally awkward to meet some girl Oscar's age as his future sister-in-law.

It was these thoughts that went over his mind as he soaked in his bathtub. It was unlike him to keep guests waiting, but he'd lost track of time.

The following 1 user Likes Jasper Daphnel's post:
   Victor Daphnel
#5
Victor greeted her parents first, because he thought he should, but only superficially. No one was surprised when he then turned his attention quickly and fully to Miss Dempsey.

"You look wonderful tonight," Victor said to Miss Dempsey as she entered the room. He would have said it regardless, because he knew a remark like that was expected of him in a moment like this, but it helped that it was true. The color of her dress suited her immensely, and she seemed to have put special effort into her hair tonight, with all those tiny flowers. It pleased him that she would find dinner with his family an occasion worth dressing up for.

"Let me make all the introductions. My mother, Mrs. Kate Daphnel — perhaps you've already met, Mother is far more active in society than I have been. My sister, Miss Beatrice. My youngest brother, Oscar. Where's Jasper?" he wondered aloud, as he glanced round the parlor. He had thought his brother had followed them in, but now he couldn't see him.

"He did come down already?" Victor asked, blinking. He'd told everyone what time to expect company and it was unlike his brother to keep guests waiting. Was it possible he'd already gone in to the dining room? That seemed equally far-fetched; he knew the importance of tonight's dinner and it seemed strange that he wouldn't have waited to properly greet Miss Dempsey before going in. Maybe Victor ought to have warned Miss Dempsey beforehand about Jasper's recent bout of melancholy after the incident in the park? It had not occurred to him to think of it; Jasper hadn't brought it up since the night it had happened, and even if it still weighed on him Victor thought he wasn't the sort to pout through a formal dinner. Maybe he'd been too concerned about Bea and ought to have spared some worry for Jasper.

"Perhaps the leucrotta has him trapped in his room," Victor joked, to cover his confusion. It wasn't a habit of the animal's to bar people from the hallway, but he was certainly large enough that he could have. "Oscar, go find him, would you?"


Beautiful set by MJ <3
#6

'Thank you,' she answered him in a low voice, only for him to hear and while it would have been coquettish, or indeed expected to have given him a flirty smile, but instead her smile was broad and unabashed in her pleasure. She was nervous, more than she cared to admit to meet the broader Daphnel clan, and at a loss with what to do with her hands, her kid gloved finger's fidgeted with her fan.

She was disappointed that Jasper wasn't there, their long term acquaintance made him something of a safety net, a face she knew to be mostly sympathetic and kindly. If all else failed, she hoped she would have at least 2 allies in the room - Jasper and Victor. It was the Daphnel ladies that she was most concerned with. As he introduced them, she curtsied to both ladies elegantly, inclining her head to both. She knew of Mrs Daphnel of course, but she had never had the pleasure of an introduction, her mother was more likely to have some acquaintance with the Daphnel Matriarch. Beatrice too she had never properly met, but they had moved on the periphery of each others social circles for years. 'It's a pleasure to meet you Mrs Daphnel, Miss Daphnel' she greeted both.

Victors comment about the leucrotta gave her pause in the midst of the introductions and she couldn't help but look at him, 'You have one here?' she asked incredulously, 'Inside the house?', she glanced from Victor, to his family to ensure she was understanding correctly and that he wasn't teasing her.



I am my mother's savage daughter, The one who runs barefoot cursing sharp stones
[Image: x2GW7DK.png]
I am my mother's savage daughter, I will not cut my hair, I will not lower my voice
MJ made glory
#7
Victor bit his lower lip at Miss Dempsey's question, unsure how to take her tone. Did she think keeping an animal of that size in the house entirely uncivilized? He had to admit the notion had crossed his mind that Giles (the leucrotta; it had come with its own name but Victor had found it difficult to pronounce and immediately rechristened him, and the beast was more or less responsive to the new one by now) really was too large to keep indoors, but it also felt a bit strange regulating any creature that could speak with human words to the garden shed.

"We haven't exactly decided on the right place for him yet," he replied. "He hasn't been here long. He was a birthday present, so — what is that, three weeks? He's good fun," Victor put in, feeling he ought to offer something in the animal's defense, least his (hopefully) future bride immediately relegate him to a shared stable down the street, or something. "He does impressions. After dinner maybe we'll have a demonstration."


Beautiful set by MJ <3
#8
Jasper's bath was cut short by incessant banging on his bedroom's door, following by the sound of it opening and banged closed. 'Jasper!' came Oscar's half-boyish voice. Another violent door opening and his younger brother stood at his bathroom's doorframe. 'There you are. Did you fall asleep in there?'

Shit.

Jasper had always been a rule follower and not one to keep guests waiting. 'Miss Dempsey is here, you fool. And my money was on Beatrice embarrassing us.'

"Right," Jasper said, still in his bath water. "Will you, please?" He head gestured to the door, but Oscar didn't get the memo, or didn't want to get it, because he was now smiling at him in that annoying adolescent way of his.

Awkwardly, Jasper got out of the bathtub and quickly put on a bath-robe. It probably wasn't the first time his brother saw him in some state of nudity but still he didn't appreciate being naked around Oscar. "Get me my clothes at least, will you?" They were laid out on his bed.

He started getting dressed in a frenzy as though he was the quirky protagonist of a 2000s romantic comedy, while his younger brother blabbered unhelpfully. Like most rich people, Jasper usually had a servant help him through the arduous task of putting on his clothes and button his handcuffs, but there was no time for that. Laugh as you want about rich people and their need for servants to complete simple tasks, but Jasper couldn't put his handcuffs on without help and there was no time, so he walked briskly to the foyer handcuff-less, with only his soap's scent to keep him through the evening and damp hair he'd hastily combed into place.

Thankfully, Victor had stalled their guests enough. "Welcome, Mr. Dempsey, Mrs. Dempsey, Miss Ch-Dempsey!" he greeted, short-of-breath, with a polite nod of his head to each direction.

She was breathtaking in that blue dress.

#9
His confirmation that he wasn't teasing, made her eyes widen a little in surprise. From their interaction in the gardens - that resulted in a small fire, she had learned that Mister Daphnel had hidden depths that he didn't seem to get enough social credit for, and he was apparently as deep as Beauforts dyke - and she had a good amount to learn about him. It put their rather abrupt kiss into context - they were relative strangers.

'I look forward to our formal introduction' she looked at Victor with mirth, 'does he sleep in your dressing room?' this was added in a lower voice, teasingly, just for him to hear. She had more questions than anything else - a list of them in fact. How he had got it? How he got it back from his party in greece? Where was it living? What was it called? What the long term plan for its accomodations?

But she let the matter of the creature drop - although she would love to have pushed to go and see it now, but it would probably be considered rude to derail the event sequence that Mrs. Dapnel had set out for the evening, but as the door to the far hall opened she did crane her neck a little to see if she could spot the creature, if it happened to be in the door way.

In the interim Jasper had appeared at his brother's elbow. Good evening Mister Daphnel she greeted her old school friend, warmly - with three of Mister Dapnhels in the room this was going to become confusing! She gave him a broad and unaffected smile of genuine pleasure, even as Jasper seemed a little frenetic in his aspect.


I am my mother's savage daughter, The one who runs barefoot cursing sharp stones
[Image: x2GW7DK.png]
I am my mother's savage daughter, I will not cut my hair, I will not lower my voice
MJ made glory
#10
Victor gave his brother a critical look when he arrived. What had he been doing that had prevented him from greeting their dinner guests alongside the rest of the family? He looked a little harried, and... his hair was wet. Had he been in the bath all this time? Victor was annoyed and looked it, but Christabel seemed unphased by Jasper's appearance and if her parents had noticed it they had at least not commented on it. He determined that it would be best for him to do the same and avoid drawing attention, but he was quite certain Jasper could read what he wanted to say in his expression.

"Shall we sit down?" Victor asked Miss Dempsey as he offered an arm to lead her into the dining room. "I'm positive you'll adore Cook's vermicelli soup."


Beautiful set by MJ <3
#11
Jasper smiled to Christabel's greeting, then caught Victor's severe expression and awkwardly looked away. It was unacceptable to show up late like that, that was true, but when Victor took his school friend's hand to lead their company to the dining room, he felt something like annoyance towards his brother too. Christabel had been his friend throughout Hogwarts and here was Victor, out of the blue, courting her and inviting her family over for dinner. This didn't sit right with Jasper. It wasn't that he didn't want his brother's happiness, he just found this match... odd. He imagined Victor would marry someone more like... him, whatever that meant. And what did Christabel find in Victor? Not that Jasper thought his brother a terrible choice of a husband — Victor and Christabel just didn't feel right, that was all.

And if Victor had been interested in Miss Dempsey all this time, why did he wait to tell him about her just hours before the dinner party? Not that his friendship with Christabel had been public, exactly. With their age gap, it wasn't like Victor and Jasper had had the same friend groups at school. If Victor had had any female friends at Hogwarts, Jasper wouldn't know them. Come think of it, he didn't know all of the friends Victor kept, so there was no reason why his brother might know he'd been friends with Christabel when they were at school.

He just felt possessive of his relationship with Christabel. She had been his friend first, he had known her as his friend since they were eleven and now she was a contender for the Mrs. Daphnel title. He didn't want to think of her as anything other than his school friend. If she married some other man, it would be irrelevant to their past but if she married his brother, her status as his sister-in-law would outweigh that of his school friend.

Silently, he entered the dining room and took his seat next to Miss Dempsey. Mrs. Christabel Daphnel would be such a moutful once she and Victor got married.

#12
She stood stiffly next to her mother as the Dempseys poured into their, a tight-lipped smile hinting to her discomfort. As much as she bluffed to Victor - it had been just a bluffy. With the trio here, she wanted nothing more than an excuse to return to her room. An excuse that was tantalizingly dangled before her when it was discovered that Jasper had not appeared. She nearly offered to go after him, but Victor's fast order for Oscar shot it down impeccably fast. Bitter, she was sure that he'd avoided asking her in the knowledge she would duck out if given an excuse to leave.

Kate's stiff elbow to her side forced her back to her manners and the corner of her lips twisted up. Bea offered a quiet greeting and followed behind as Victor lead the way to the dining room. Uneasy, she took her seat at the corner of the table. Sandwiched between Oscar and Mrs. Dempsey, she was stiff and uneasy. Was this how it was going to be from now on? Victor had said he intended on Miss Dempsey living here rather than the pair finding a new place. That meant she at least was bound to be a more common figure at the table - though she had no clue how long Victor planned to drag or rush through this whole courting/engagement. Which meant she had no clue how long she had until her sanctum was permanently violated.

[Image: nK4mS23.png]
MJ is truly magic!!
#13

Victor held out his arm to escourt her into dinner, and she threaded her arm through his, resting her opposite gloved hand on the crook of his elbow, with a fond smile. Fond was perhaps the wrong word, but she couldn't think of a better one and she supposed if she allowed herself to it might be the right word. As the eldest 'pair' she and Victor followed the various parents into the room.

She had always assumed Miss Daphnel to be an overly shy and retiring creature, but her almost complete silence in the privacy of her own home, among her own family was a little odd, but she did her best to flash the girl a companionable grin. She had made her own enquiries about the Daphnel's she was less than familiar with - Jasper was little mystery to her, but Oliver and Beatrice were so far beneath her in age that she had almost no knowledge of them. She had heard through the grapevine that Miss Beatrice was a fond reader who enjoyed sewing - the later pastime was of less than zero interest to her, but there was something in the first one, although speaking to her at this position would be too difficult - and she made a mental note to try and speak with the lady properly when the parties split after dinner, for the ladies to took sherry while the men took brandy.

Instead she turned to Jasper, 'How is dragon restraint treating you Ja...Mister Daphnel?' she asked brightly, 'Is it quite as dashing as it sounds?' she offered, as the footmen placed the first course in front of them.


I am my mother's savage daughter, The one who runs barefoot cursing sharp stones
[Image: x2GW7DK.png]
I am my mother's savage daughter, I will not cut my hair, I will not lower my voice
MJ made glory
#14
Jasper caught his friend's slip but he made nothing of it. Instead, he smiled at her question. "Oh, I assure you, it is not dashing at all. I'm in an office all day, researching."

His friend had gotten his Ministry position wrong, but he didn't mind or hold it against her. Besides, there were researchers in his department that did a much more hands-on job with dragons. He hadn't mustered the courage yet to join them on the field.

"I'm currently conducting research on dragon scales - we believe that a particular Scottish breed of dragon has originated from South Asia and we're studying their scales to prove that. You see, their scales are like this-" he carved the oval shape in his mashed potatoes with his knife to demonstrate. "And they have this similar purple glow under the light, which leads us to believe that they have originated from the same species. We've actually taken a Darwinian approach-" Jasper caught his mother's gaze and he left his sentence at that.

He could get carried away with his dragon talk.

#15
Well, this was a bloody disaster. After sitting down Victor had exchanged a few words with Mr. Dempsey across the table, and in that time Beatrice had done nothing except pointedly ignore Mrs. Dempsey (which was no more than he might have expected, really; the best case scenario would be for Mrs. Dempsey to talk exclusively to her husband and for Beatrice and Oscar to essentially be in their own bubble as a 'children's table') and Jasper had started playing with his food (which Victor had not expected). What had gotten into his brother tonight? Was he intoxicated? Victor didn't think it likely he was drunk, but it wouldn't have been totally out of character for him to drink a potion intended to stop a runny nose or calm a queasy stomach and for it to have unintended consequences.

In any case, if he kept on carving things in his plate Victor was going to have words for him when the parties split after dinner. Or he would have, if that wouldn't have required leaving Mr. Dempsey at the mercy of Oscar. Merlin help them all, couldn't Victor have at least one sibling he didn't need to worry about tonight?

Luckily his mother was of the same mind. Victor couldn't glare at his brother without risking Miss Dempsey thinking it had been directed at her, but his mother cut in with the look Victor would have liked to have level at him and Jasper shut up.

There was a very slight silence, then Victor cut in with a strained tone, "I hadn't realized the two of you were already acquainted." (He had not missed Christabel's slip of the tongue either).
The following 1 user Likes Victor Daphnel's post:
   Seneca Lestrange


Beautiful set by MJ <3
#16
'Oh my mistake' she said with a smile, but listened with genuine interest to his enthusiasm about his research, he was right, it did sound very interesting and she would been only too pleased to have listened on - and actually his mashed potato diagram had been useufl in illustrating his point, but he cut himself off, and she recognized the reaction of someone who was concerned their enthusiasm might overstep the boundaries of propriety, and she gave him a sympathetic smile.

There was some sort of tension at the Daphnel table, at least she thought there was. It was a different feeling to her own family dinners, but then she was sure that someone sitting down to table with the Dempsey's would have thought them a tense and awkward bunch. Even if their bickering was mostly affectionate, at least among themselves - so who was she to judge the 'feeling' at the Daphnel table for not being easy conviviality.

'Oh yes, we were in the same year and house at school' she remarked casually in response to Victors questions, sipping her wine. 'We took many of the same classes.' she glanced from one to the other as though it confirmed it. 'Which house were you in Miss Daphnel?'she asked, venturing a slightly awkward conversation across the table.

The following 1 user Likes Christabel Dempsey's post:
   Seneca Lestrange

I am my mother's savage daughter, The one who runs barefoot cursing sharp stones
[Image: x2GW7DK.png]
I am my mother's savage daughter, I will not cut my hair, I will not lower my voice
MJ made glory

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