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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.
dining is pageantry


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that sinking feeling that I’m about to drown
#1
20 November 1892 — Knightsway; Bartonburg
@Elias Grimstone

The November rain had come suddenly, as if from nowhere. Normally Irene wouldn’t mind, and would just throw up a spell to repel the water, but seeing as her hands were completely occupied by a large canvas (that she’d forgotten to shrink), and doubly inconvenienced by the fact that she so stupidly had left her wand at home, the witch considered herself content to be drenched by the time she reached her destination. The only solace she had was the fact that she was wearing one of her warmer coats this afternoon, and so besides her hands being quite frozen where they were, she didn’t mind the sudden downpour (except some water had managed to find its way into her collar and down her back and was tickling her dreadfully). She counted her lucky stars that she lived on the same side of town as Elias and so didn't have to go to the trouble of crossing into High Street in order to get to Knightsway.

And despite her forgotten talisman, Irene didn’t fret over the painting in her hands too much - it had long since been treated with a weather-repelling charm courtesy of too many mishaps involving dirty canvases. An additional cloth with the same spell over it saved her the energy of worrying if it would make it through the journey from her place to Elias’. Besides, the wide frame permitted her to part the sea of people that flowed around her. She thanked Merlin that her eyes were only barely visible over the canvas, else she would have had to endure many disgruntled stares from inconvenienced citizens.

There wasn’t too much self-consciousness on her part either; that she was headed to see Elias was enough to put her worries of judgement behind her, and a extra spring in her step as she hastened her pace until she was at last in front of his shop. Sniffling slightly as the cold bit her nose to a red smudge, Irene sidled up to the window and braced the canvas in order to quickly release her hand to rap on the pane before adjusting her grip again.

After a few moments of waiting, the familiar tinkling of the shop bell told her someone had answered her call. Praying it was Elias and not some poor unsuspecting customer of his that would witness her likely looking like a drowned kneazle, Irene popped up onto the tips of her toes to beam at him over the rim of her canvas; even at this height he still towered over her, the behemoth. “Good afternoon!” She trilled, “Lovely weather we’re having, isn’t it?”



impeccable loveliness by MJ <3
#2
An overlarge canvas was at the workshop door. Elias wouldn’t pretend bemusement for long: he could have guessed who it would be even before the top of her head appeared from behind it. Her hair was wet – there were rivulets still draining down her face – so she must have walked here in the rain.

He quirked a smile at her to say what are we going to do with you, hm? and pulled the door open wider. “Well, if it isn’t my favourite stray drowned rat,” Elias exclaimed in teasing surprise, but he stepped back and ushering her in, wanting to get her in out of the rain as soon as possible, never mind the absolute state of her. “Come in, come in,” he waved, easily enough. There was a distinct lack of the leap in his chest that had recently made itself familiar in accompanying a certain visitor’s arrival at his door – but any sting of disappointment was only subtle and brief, because a visit from Irene would always be fun. She knew how he worked, anyway, so was hardly the nuisance that some people could be.

And besides, this was good timing – he wanted to tell her about Daff sometime, and rather sooner than later, if only to explain the buoyant, breezy mood he’d been in almost ceaselessly for the past few weeks. “But don’t touch the brooms,” Elias warned, with a mock-stern glare. The ones he’d been working on hadn’t been fully varnished yet.

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   Daffodil Potts


this absolute beauty by Bee! <3
#3
She cast a fond glance around the familiar shop. The smell of freshly applied varnish mixed with combination of different woods always had created its own unique bouquet of fragrance that she always associated with Elias. Speaking of whom; his exasperated expression only served to brighten the smile on Irene’s face, and she freed a hand again to swipe at the one of many rain drops making their way down her cheeks. “I hope this means you have some cheese, or perhaps biscuits,” She suggested, her voice thin as she coaxed her breathing down to a normal pace after sprinting through the busy sections of High Street. “And perhaps a cuppa.”

Aside from the fact that the canvas was too big to fit into the door (and that she’d forgotten her wand at home to shrink it), Irene flicked her gaze above them in askance. “Actually,” She shifted the canvas in her hands once more indicating its significance. “Might we step upstairs? This is actually for you — I mean, for er - for your mother — your father.” Her tongue tripped over her explanation, and Irene nearly crossed her eyes in frustration before forcing herself to take a breath. Perhaps it was merely her excitement over showing her work to him, or the fact that she was focused on not shivering too much; either way she could feel heat flood her cheeks. “I mean, this is for your mother, she commissioned something for your father as a Christmas gift and told me she would pick it up from you; I wanted to drop it off early.”

Though it occurred to her that perhaps Elias hadn’t gotten the message, and she’d just made an inconvenience for him. However, if he didn’t have the room or wasn’t able to store the painting, she would venture into Irvingly.



impeccable loveliness by MJ <3
#4
Cheese, and biscuits, and a cup of tea – although Elias rolled his eyes at her, the thought of a snack had perked him up at once. He glanced at the clock, trying to recall how long it had been since he’d eaten.

Not that there was much time for pondering that, because Irene was babbling on about the canvas in hand, which was its own mystery. “‘Course, come in the house,” Elias agreed easily, once she’d finished sketching out the situation; he was still a little bemused, but he would rather she drip all over the kitchen or the sitting room a hundred times before the workshop. “I’ll put a fire on.” He led the way, still squinting at her and the canvas over his shoulder as the rest of her ramble sunk in. “For you, that is, not the painting. I can’t believe you’ve been wasting your time on doing things for them,” he remarked with an amused shake of his head, not at all up-to-date on his mother’s friendship with Irene or any gifts they’d been plotting. “You’ll be their favourite child soon, and all –”

Elias paused, ushering her into the sitting room with a wave of make yourself at home. The fireplace had already been filled this morning, when the maid had been, so one spell saw it blaze up without any more effort. “I’m glad you’re here, anyway,” Elias added, distracted from his earlier train of thought as he summoned some things from the kitchen. “There was something I wanted to tell you.”



this absolute beauty by Bee! <3
#5
Upon seeing his eye roll, Irene scrunched her nose up at him before giving into the urge to stick her tongue out. If she knew Elias, he’d been working in his shop all day, which mean he would also likely not have eaten something in a while either. Sure enough, she thought she saw a flicker of realization across his features as he turned to lead her upstairs and she sent a smug smile towards his back. Moving with greater care than she had through the street, Irene maneuvered the painting up the stairs, grateful that they didn’t have to spend long in the workshop where she might cause more disasters - and thus more work for him. Even with the time she had to get to her next appointment, spending more time with Elias plus the prospect of a fire, in addition to sustenance, was too good to pass up.

But before she could enjoy that, she had to tackle the task of getting the frame up the stairs. Despite her struggling, Elias only proceeded to look back at her, perplexed but remained largely (and somewhat frustratingly) focused on leading her up the stairs rather than helping her up the stairs. An uncomfortable twist made itself known in the already growing knot in her chest, accompanied with a little voice proclaiming her unfit for any act of chivalry.

Would he have done the same for the younger, lovelier Miss Potts? the voice asked her, to which Irene immediately and vehemently told it to button its lip. Along with it, she banished the stab of embarrassment that had resulted from both thoughts. Elias was a gentleman when it counted. You’re just being silly. The comfort he’d given her after she’d been so panicked over Silas Hunt’s death had served as more than a cool balm over the burning thoughts that had plagued her during the night. And besides, he had scarcely mentioned Miss Potts over the past few weeks; there was a likely possibility he hadn't been able to see much of the young florist. That thought caused her as much shame as it did comfort.

Turning her thoughts instead to a much livelier topic — his dear parents — Irene took the opportunity to crow with delight, A-ha! And thus my plan has been set into motion to surpass you, Ruth and Anthony as their favorite child.” Never mind the fact that whenever she spoke with Lucille Grimstone, the older witch always seemed to give her a reason to check up on Elias, instead of Ruth or Anthony.

Finally the large painting was through the door, propped safely against a free wall. Irene’s hand came to a rest on the back of a chair as she caught her breath. “Merlin, I hope the news won’t leave me breathless, I scarcely have any more left!” She quipped before catching the frightful image of her reflection in the window of the sitting room. Elias might be willing to forgive her appearance, but her next client would certainly not. “Elias,” She breathed, regretting her previous gloating, as that had apparently taken up a great deal of her air supply. “As much as I love providing entertainment for you in the form of my haphazard appearance, I do have a client to meet after this.”

She cast him a hopeful grimace mixed with an apologetic tone. “Might I use your wand to summon a few things from my place so I don’t look as if I’ve just been dunked in the Black Lake?” It was a more personal request that she frankly wouldn’t have asked anyone other than a select few people in her life — Gus and Sophia — and with Elias, it felt natural, almost routinely so. “You can tell me your news whilst I fix myself up, unless,” she added, with a teasing smile. “it’s so beguiling that you’ll accept nothing but my undivided attention!”



impeccable loveliness by MJ <3
#6
Elias had been oblivious to most of her exertions, and, now that they were away from his brooms, was also oblivious to the sodden state of her. He was curious about the painting in question, still, but he had decided to let Irene catch her breath at least, and had busied himself, instead, as he cut up cheese on a platter with crackers and biscuits, nibbling absently on a broken-off piece as he poured the tea.

He laughed easily at her dunked in the black lake remark, and once he’d set down two cups of tea he reached over and passed her his wand rather thoughtlessly. “‘Course,” Elias answered, grinning as he added jokingly, “although I’m sure your client won’t mind.” She did look rather a state, he supposed, as he looked her over again, struggling not to keep grinning at it. Perhaps it wasn’t the most professional impression to make – but, he thought, no amount of rain dripping from her could quite dampen her sunny disposition.

He took a hearty swallow of tea before he forced himself back to the ‘news’ she was waiting for. There was no reason to put it off – he had been brimming with the urge to tell someone for weeks – but he would be quick. It didn’t require her undivided attention. Actually, maybe it was better if she was fixing herself up and didn’t pay too much attention to him, because Elias could feel his face warming ever so slightly already in a strangely bashful way, and he hadn’t said a thing.

“No, it’s fine, you carry on,” he said, waving her on. His gaze drifted to the propped-up canvas for a moment and then back to Irene, wondering whether to stall a little longer – but no, there was no sense in that. Besides, telling Irene would be easy enough, because she was hardly judgemental, and she could keep things to herself, and she was practically family – and she and Daff were friendly already, so. “And it’s nothing really. Just... you know Miss Potts? Daffodil, from the flower show?” He dunked a piece of shortbread carelessly in his tea, too busy watching Irene for her response to notice it crumbling to bits in his cup.

“You’re friends with her, aren’t you? Because she’s, well, she’s...” He sighed, confessed: “I like her. I like her rather a lot. She and I – we, um, well...” Elias trailed off with a helpless shrug. In all honesty, he wasn’t sure how much of what he had wanted to express had made its way out of his mouth in words, but he hoped Irene could at least translate his meaning from the smile that had slipped onto his face, too broad and bright and delighted to quite count as secretive. He ducked his gaze and then glanced up at her again, biting his lip to try and contain that smile beneath a new layer of sheepishness.

The following 1 user Likes Elias Grimstone's post:
   Daffodil Potts


this absolute beauty by Bee! <3

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