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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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“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.
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Tucked Beneath the Pines
January 3th, 1893 — Podmore Zoological Gardens
The closer she'd gotten to the arranged meeting date, the giddier Calla had found herself growing. Part of her did feel bad for her sisters who hadn't heard her stop talking the whole break so far - especially poor Dahlia who she shared a room with and took the brunt of the gushing - but the creeping excitement had made it feel like she was physically incapable of waiting. But it was the first time she'd gotten to see her friend since last August and she'd found out, quite quickly, that knowing you were going to miss someone when they were gone didn't actually prepare you for the actual missing or just how much she missed her. It still seemed so wrong not to turn a corner to see her head of flaming hair or to not find her at the library late in the evening to distract. And as much as she enjoyed their letters, they'd shift to something so raw and open she had to remind herself that she was only reading writing. That Alice wasn't actually there.

But now, she was. Here. In the flesh. And she looked different now. Older. Mature. Like her six months away from the castle had made her an adult. Which was silly when Cal thought about it considering Alice was younger than her. But it felt right, being back with her. Like nothing had changed between them even when everything in the world seemed to be changing. It left her feeling warm. Walking alongside Alice, picnic basket (She'd come prepared. f her sister was going to have a thing with Mr. Honeyduke, well she'd certainly milk the sweets he sent but she'd also brought along sandwiches, fruit, and a container of hot coco - not as good as Mr. honeyduke's recipe she found - spelled to stay warm, along with plates and mugs.) swinging from her arm, made her feel like it was okay to relax again.

They'd been wandering around the zoo for a while now, long enough to bypass all the mundane small talk before Calla blurted, "Did you know my sister - Dahlia the one just older than us - brought Mr. Honeyduke home for the yearly Potts Christmas party. Like the Mr. Honeyduke. He brought hot chocolate and stayed for dinner."
@Alice Dawson

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look at the pretties mj made me!!!
While Alice held a certain level of guilt over not attempting to make this a group outing, she was grateful for the afternoon with Calla. Their letters over the past few months had exposed an unfiltered level to their friendship that she wished they had developed while Alice was still at school. It would've been nice to have a friend with whom she could have been entirely vulnerable with without fear or stress. Then again, Calla had been that friend prior to her discovering Alice was leaving - that was the catalyst that resulted in their friendship lessening some.

Whatever the case, she could scarcely keep the smile off her face as they meandered around the zoo. The small talk flowed almost as though they had been apart for only a few days, their laughs came naturally. Everything about this afternoon was exactly what Alice had hoped for when they initially planned the outing some months ago.

"Mr. Honeyduke?" She echoed, unable to keep the surprise out of her tone. As kind as the candy maker was, he was unmistakably older than them. He was certainly old enough to be Dahlia's father at the very least. "What did your parents make of him?"

Amazing set by Bee!
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"Mmmm," she hummed at first, sucking at her lip as she thought about Alice's question. "I think they like him well enough. He's gone in with us on events we've hosted a few times to provide sweets so clearly they like him. And they gave him their permission to court her officially. The two announced it at dinner. But sometimes I think Momma would like anyone we brought home as long as we are happy and Pappa just goes along with what she says." Which she guessed was all they could really ask for. But it just made her feel even more like she'd said in their letters. That everything was just moving and changing so fast all of a sudden.

"And Daffy brought someone home too. A Mr. Grimstone. He's a broom maker I learned and he's one of our clients actually that Daffy handles so I guess that is how they met though I'd have never known she liked him. She didn't say anything about it I mean but she's never brought anyone else to dinner other than Jack and well Jack is Jack." Jack the Potts dinner staple for the past twelve years ever since Daffy had befriended him their first year of school. Frankly, the puppy-like boy was more a brother than marriage material. "And I just bet you that's why she asked me the other day to teach her to fly. Come on, she'd never once had any interest in it before."

"A candymaker and broommaker. My sisters are going to take all the interesting ones before I even graduate and there will be no one left for me," Calla chuckled but she'd only half meant it. She was happy for Dahlia but she couldn't see how she could see Mr. Honeyduke as anything other than the man she'd grown up getting sweets from. With him opening the shop the same year they'd moved to Hogsmeade, Calla had never known him as anything but in the past fifteen years. Daffy's choice was a little less weird just because she hadn't known the man since she was two. But it was still a bit odd.

Growing up Calla hadn't really seen her sisters as much of the marriage types. Except for Ama and Dahlia she'd sort of figured they'd just all live together forever. Which now at seventeen she did acknowledge was a bit unrealistic but now facing the prospect of home just being herself, Thistle, and Zinnia? The idea felt lonely and quiet. Each girl would get their own room. That hadn't happened ever. Oh... wait that meant she'd eventually no longer share a room with Dahlia? Her room with the second half empty or just her own stuff moved felt wrong. Like a violation of her sister's space.

"There are only gonna be three of us left soon. With our ages so spread out I don't think there has ever been so little of us. Well, I guess not since Zinnia was born but that doesn't count. That is assuming Zinnia and Thistle don't find someone. Oh, I don't think I could stand to be the only one left at home. I'd certainly have to take you up on your offer then or else the house would just feel far too big and quite. Be glad you aren't the baby Alice." You don't face everyone leaving you was left unsaid, but it was what she'd meant. Before last year, she'd never realized just how afraid of losing people she was. She'd always fancied herself the calm one who'd go with anything but she was finding herself to be quite the opposite.

"No sorry, today was supposed to be a happy day. Not me being all sad. I'm not going to ruin our day out with my existential crisis about growing up. Instead, let's place bets on how long till each of them is married. I think Daffy will be first, even if they aren't courting yet. She does live alone already and I think Dally's too sweet to rush anything."

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look at the pretties mj made me!!!
Alice listened as Calla rambled, her eyebrows shooting up in surprise at Daffodil courting Mr. Grimstone. Everyone knew of the broom maker in some regards or another, so for Daffodil to have made such a famous connection was interesting. Then again, nearly everyone in Scotland knew of the Potts family, so perhaps it wasn't as interesting as Alice believed.

(A second thought occurred to her as she considered Daffodil and Mr. Grimstone: with her now living alone it made any private moments that much easier to be had. Alice then wondered how much a shoebox flat would cost so that her and Edison would have such a place to retreat to. Not even for anything physical, but just to be together without having to stress over propriety. Hell, she could even make him dinner!)

"Dahlia by summer," Alice stated firmly, looping her arm through Calla's as a silent show of support. "Daffodil is a bit of a wild card now that she's living alone. My guess would either be soon - like this spring, soon - or sometime further out, like next year. It depends on how she's prioritizing her new business."

Amazing set by Bee!
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"I could see Dahlia with a summer wedding. I do think it would suit her. I wonder if she'd find it tacky to use dahlias. They'd be in season then."  And as she said it, despite her worry and panic moments before, she did find herself genuinely happy for her sister. Even a bit excited now that she started think about the wedding itself. "Dahlias if she'd like, sea peas... delphinium maybe?"

"But then something white with greenery. All sweet smelling things. Things that smell good with chocolate obviously. "
Even if she wasn't planning on working in the shop full time after graduation you couldn't grow up in it and not know flowers. "Maybe something in the winter for Daffy? I think that could be pretty. Whites and blues with a few purples. I mean I don't know what Mr. Honeyduke or Mr. Grimstone would like. Oops sorry, I'm rambling again aren't I? Momma has been working on a wedding now that Christmas is done and she was mumbling about it all day so it is stuck in my head."

"But you are probably right, I guess with her new place above the shop she probably would prioritize that for now wouldn't she? Daffy I mean. I know I would. I think. I've never thought about starting a business. It's has always been the shop. But I did get to go in for the first time the other day and I really like what she has done. And the flat upstairs is so cozy though I know she is still searching for a flatmate."

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look at the pretties mj made me!!!
She chuckled and said, "it's alright." Alice was enjoying listening to Calla ramble about flowers, for flowers were a far easier topic than school, work or anything involving Alice's own family. "I imagine Dahlia as liking delicate, dainty flowers. You would definitely know better than I, though." She only knew Dahlia in passing and what Calla had mentioned of her, so it was entirely plausible that Alice was completely off base.

Daffodil might've been looking for a flat mate, but Alice was hardly in the position to ask if she might fill that role. Her finances were bound to the farm and what little she was permitted to keep for herself was being added to a small box beneath her bed for when the farm inevitably failed. "Do you think she'll find one before marrying Mr. Grimstone?" She asked instead.

Amazing set by Bee!
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"You are pretty spot on with that. I mean she could surprise us but it would fit with what I see of her now. She kind of is the only one of us that was really ever interested in being a debutante and the social scene rather than just going to a party here or there. Definitely the girly girl. Like Sisse," Calla finished, shifting to pull Alice leftwards at a branch in the path as they walked to avoid the demiguises to the right. Left, at least what she was after, were the bowtruckles which seemed like something the mediwitch would like.

"Oh I never thought of that," Calla admitted, a little bit befuddled by the idea now. "I'm not sure honestly. I guess it could depend on the timeline but I feel like traditionally most women move to their husband's homes. I don't know if Mr. Grimstone has his own place or if he still lives with his family but then she could lease out both rooms. Or Daffy would want her husband to move in with her over the shop. Then I could see not getting a roommate or having them leave then. I've never really known too many girls who've had their own places before they were married."

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look at the pretties mj made me!!!

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