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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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“Cheese and Crust” - an exclamation common among the lower classes. A perversion of the invocation of the name of Jesus Christ, though considered somewhat respectful for its veiling of the oath. — Bounce
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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some people get all the luck (some gotta live)
#1
Oct. 22, 1892 - Near Interlaken, Switzerland
Belphoebe Lestrange had picked the honeymoon location. The couple had taken a portkey to the magical hotel in Switzerland at the end of the reception, arriving after the sun set in the atrium of a classically-themed respite for the wealthy. They were brought up a lavish spiral staircase and to their room, with a chandelier hanging over the bed. The blankets were plush and white, and the vanity to the side had a bottle of wine on it. The air was one of honeymooned luxury, and Cash felt uncomfortable — he'd felt uncomfortable all day. If Belphoebe picked the place, they were probably being watched.

He wondered if his new wife spoke French. She was French, and also a woman, so — probably she did. Had Belphoebe considered that?

She, of course, likely didn't feel any better than Cash did. Adrienne Lestrange, they were married now, and Cash had no doubt that they were going to have to share this bed tonight. He predominately felt a sense of loss; of Theo, of his friendships, of Quidditch. They weren't set up for success in this marriage, were they?

"Would you like some wine?" Cash asked.

@Adrienne Lestrange



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#2
The only solace of the entire day was the fact that they had ended up in Switzerland, with the French language they spoke enveloping her in a thin blanket of comfort as she followed Mr. Lestrange — Cash — her husband to their suite. The maid leading them to the suite predominately spoke to the air, all but oblivious at the somewhat somber air the couple behind her gave off. And yet as she said good bye to leave them to their devices, Adrienne trailed behind, if only to hear the sweet, fluid tones of her mother tongue pouring from the young woman's mouth, bidding them bonne nuit.

"Grand merci, mademoiselle," She breathed, reaching to grasp the maid's hand, who blinked at her in confusion, likely wondering what had possessed Adrienne to do such a thing. After she released the maid from her clutches and closed the door. The suite was opulent, exactly the kind of thing she could afford now — at least, that her husband could afford — and she cared for none of it.

With a pit of dread in her stomach, Adrienne doffed her cloak by the door and went to join Cash. Wine sounded heavenly — hopefully it would take the edge off of what was sure to be a most uncomfortable experience. "Please."


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#3
Silently, Cash poured them both a healthy portion of the white wine into their glasses. "Today was certainly a lot," he said, after taking a large sip of wine. She was his wife; he didn't know how to talk to her. And that was what everyone had told him, but there would be something here eventually — not love, but something approximating it.





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#4
She was quite grateful for the extra portion of wine that he seemed to dole out the both of them. Though she knew Cassius Lestrange was likely the best of what she could have gotten during the Season, now that they were here, it all seemed....well, surreal. Picking up her glass, Adrienne took a hearty gulp — larger than she'd usually have taken, likely fueled by the pit of bees that seemed to have been buzzing around in her stomach since the morning.

"Yes," She agreed, her gaze focused on the table before her. Blue eyes flicking up to those of her husband's (that would take eons to get used to even thinking that word, let alone staying it out loud), she attempted a sheepish grin. "You'd think for two folks accustomed to the ins and outs of the Upper Echelons of society that a wedding would have been...no trouble at all." Was that a hint of relief that she felt at knowing it wasn't just her feeling overwhelmed by the day? Was this how one was supposed to feel after a wedding?

With a pang, Adrienne realized that she wasn't able to merely walk out the door to another room and confide in Aristide. She took another gulp.


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#5
Cash frowned. He felt sympathy for her, and this was really his fault. Adrienne would always have a little bit of the spotlight, whether or not she wanted it, and she had never asked for that. They had not even really ever discussed it. He shook his head, although he knew it would take more than that to clear the thought. He took another sip of wine.

"It's only once, though," Cash said, "They'll never all be focused on us like that again."

And thank Merlin for that. He wouldn't be able to stomach it again.





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#6
It was relief that she was hearing in his voice. Though it only offered her a modicum of comfort, it was something, and Adrienne offered a small smile. Or perhaps it was out of pity seeing as she knew she couldn't hid the shake of her hand as she held the wine. He was observant; he had to be with his Quidditch background. Maybe he was only placating her as long as he could. Sighing, the witch tipped back her wine glass and finished it in one gulp before putting it on the table again. "Perhaps not you," She pointed out with another placating smile. "I suppose I'm to begin the process of becoming a socialite after we return."

It wouldn't be too bad, she told herself. Appointments, and callings, meeting other people she called her friends. And, of course, she'd be able to go out without a chaperone now; in addition to serving as a chaperone for her friends. Her instincts told her to look for the silver lining, but she still felt somewhat apprehensive at the night. She knew what would happen — what was supposed to happen. Adrienne looked over at him apprehensively.


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#7
The apprehensive look meant they were both considering the same incident; Cash had hoped they'd get further into the wine before they discussed it. He picked up the bottle and topped off both of their glasses.

"Did anyone speak with you about what happens tonight?" he asked. He hoped they had, although he wasn't entirely sure how these things worked. He desperately did not want to have to explain the proceedings of sex to his wife before they engaged in it.





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#8
As she looked at him, she could see he was processing; observing her and her reactions. The amount of alcohol they’d already consumed (and the fact that it was the first thing the both of them thought to turn to) spoke more volumes than what they’d likely said to each other within the span of the last few minutes. She’d been briefed on the basics by one of her relatives - how to specify exactly whom she meant was another thing entirely - but regardless, she knew what would happen anyways. She had wanted to go into the profession of midwifery anyways. She would be a fool not to know the ins and outs of what happened on a couple’s marriage night.

No, there were no doubts in Adrienne’s mind what they had to set out to do.

“Yes,” she responded, purposefully not elaborating and taking another generous sip of her wine instead. That he was doing the same gave her room to puzzle over it. A man of his stance, unmarried at his age and of one of the biggest wizarding families in Britain, she would have figured him to be the kind of person eager to engage in marital activities. But even as she thought this as she looked at him, there was a voice in the back of her mind that told her it wouldn’t be like him to immediately demand such a thing from her.

Even during their correspondence he had scarcely mentioned anything affectionate, which was perfectly fine with Adrienne; she hadn’t expected her eventual marriage to result in the loving marriage children chattered about in their youth. Adrienne’s early exposure to the realities of married life with Fiorella ensured that her ideals remained realistic. So perhaps that was why she only felt a hesitation to engage with him, and not something more substantial, like passion or love. She knew it was an eventuality, and had accepted it for the sake of moving through life the way it was expected of her.

It was only halfway through these pondering that she realized she had been staring blankly and not answering her husband’s question. A blush colored her cheeks at her absentmindedness. "Yes." She repeated again. "I know what happens." Clearly he knew what would happen. She took another sip. Then before she could stop herself, a grin: "Do you?"

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#9
This was good. He did not have to explain sex to her, because she'd already had it; he just had to have sex with her. If he played this wrong, he'd ensure that both of them were uncomfortable. He didn't know if there was a way that both of them would be fully comfortable, but he could at least minimize her discomfort and keep his to himself.

This thought came before Adrienne startled him into a laugh. It escaped him, and Cash was left grinning at her. "Yes," he said, "I do." At least — and it was hard to have this as a comfort — at least he'd had intercourse with women before. He didn't particularly like it, but he'd had it.

"So you're — comfortable with that?"





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#10
Adrienne knew better than to complain about something that was inevitable to being with, but she still smiled with appreciation at her husband that he would be thoughtful enough to ask her about it. Even though at the core they were a match between two families, it comforted Adrienne to know that that was one of the first questions about the subject that he had.

And she'd made him laugh; she didn't know why but she felt some desire to comfort him as much as she wanted to calm her own nerves down. He had a nice smile, she thought, and her eyes lingered on him a bit longer before she lowered them to sip her drink. Perhaps this night wasn't going to be so uncomfortable after all.

On the subject of comfort.... Adrienne pursed her lips. "The idea of it? Yes." She might as well be as honest as she could with him - to an extent, until she got the better measure of him. "I've of course never...done it," Though why she thought she had to clarify that with him was beyond her. " - but I had an interest in midwifery before I graduated. I've attended a few births down at the Irvingly Infirmary before, so the....intimacy of it all is not something I think I would shy away from."

She felt the need to ask his thoughts on it as well, though this might be the alcohol feeding her desire to elongate this part before they proceeded with the night. "Are you comfortable with it?"


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#11
Adrienne had attended births; Cash had no intention of ever doing so himself, but at least this meant she was familiar with her own reproductive organs. When she mentioned intimacy, Cash became slightly worried — his expression did not betray this, but he was now nervous that she would want this whole thing to be more romantic than he was able to muster.

"I'm comfortable," Cash lied smoothly, "If we're being honest — I have done this before."





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#12
Being honest — If he expected honesty in this marriage, they were already damned. Adrienne's expression faltered slightly, but mercifully she'd been sipping wine as it did so; she hoped he hadn't caught it. Lowering her glass, Adrienne peered down into it, the wine still swirling slightly as she ran her thumb down the stem of the delicate crystal. "Hopefully it'll relieve you to know that you don't surprise me with that statement." She'd expected as much, seeing as men rarely made it to their marriage bed as virgins. Meanwhile women were expected to be as pure as the silver goblins worked with.

"Nor do I begrudge you that either." That was as honest as she could be on that front; any other honesty in regards to her lineage or the intimate details of her family would require no small amount of trust that she wasn't sure they would ever reach. This would have to do for now.


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#13
Cash smiled thinly at her. He didn't really want to talk about that; he didn't want to do this at all, and he wasn't sure she did either. He took another sip of his wine. "Can I kiss you?" he asked. She needed to be warmed up into it, or so Angie had said — and maybe Cash did, too.





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#14
She didn't fancy herself an expert on Cash's emotions (nor anyone else's for that matter, besides Ari's) but was that a hint of nervousness she felt from him? Or perhaps he was just tense from the grandeur of the day. Either way, Adrienne didn't have much choice in the matter, but found herself smiling back before she nodded. "Of course." He'd asked permission, which was something she might have counted herself lucky for.


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#15
Adrienne had maybe, probably, never been kissed before. So Cash set down his wine and stepped closer to her, and placed one hand on her hip, and the other on her chin. He very gently tilted her head up and bent to kiss her; his mouth was gentle, and soft.





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