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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

we always walked a very thin line
"I don't know." She answered. The likelihood of someone having watched them leave together was minimal, but she wasn't sure of whether or not they'd been overheard. Melody knew neither of them were being incredibly discreet with their looks or comments. He'd brazenly called her beautiful multiple times, she hinted at a New Year's kiss. Anyone could've heard them.

"I wasn't in the right frame of mind. I don't know who, if anyone, knows what happened. All I know is I didn't plan or intend for this to happen. I didn't - and don't - want any involvement with him."

Beautiful set credit goes to MJ
[Image: rVeL1F.png]
He had been trying to keep his feelings at arm's length as much as he could while he worked through the more pressing details — who knew what, what was likely to happen next — but this last remark brought a flash of anger up that he couldn't bite back. "We're all fucking involved now," he pointed out. What she wanted or didn't was irrelevant. If she didn't know who knew what, they had to operate under the assumption that someone knew something — and if someone knew something, it was only a matter of time before everyone knew everything, or at least thought they did. It was already done, whatever her intentions had or hadn't been.

"This is going to reflect badly on me," he continued, crossing his arms across his chest and squeezing his hands into tight fists. "It's going to reflect badly on Nora."

MJ made this <3
"You think I don't know that?!" Melody shot back, the stress finally catching up with her. Nora was why Melody hadn't dragged Mr. Longbottom towards the closet by his jacket's lapels. Nora was the only sense of reason she'd been able to cling to, and had she spent longer than a second considering her Melody might have been able to recognize how off the entire situation was. But, she hadn't.

She hadn't, and that was another colossal l mistake she would have to learn to live with.

"I was drugged, Ben. I don't know what it was but it was something, because I never would've done that to you. Never."

Beautiful set credit goes to MJ
[Image: rVeL1F.png]
"You did do that to me," he returned. "You just did. And now we're all going to have to live with the consequences."

The issue of whether she'd meant to or not wasn't inconsequential, but it was a far distant problem compared to the looming one of how they could control the narrative moving forward — if there was anything in their power to do at all. Ben leaned against the door frame, feeling exhausted. He didn't want to look at Melody right now, so he ended up looking at her bed instead. "Fuck, Mel," he muttered under his breath.

MJ made this <3
Melody tried to remind herself that Ben was the one who had been wronged. She was the one who fell for some compliments and snuck off to a bloody closet during a gala. She was the one who ripped through her laces because they wouldn't untie fast enough. This argument happening was solely because of her actions.

Except, she hadn't. Not truly. Had Melody been in her right mind she never would've been open to Mr. Longbottom's brazen compliments. She never would have sought out a kiss with him as opposed to her husband. Melody didn't want any of what happened last night.

She turned from him then. Ben didn't believe her - he thought she would have willingly risked their daughter's future. "I never would have done that to you, to Nora." She repeated, her voice quiet but firm. "I get it - you don't believe me." He hadn't trusted her back in June, why would he trust her now?

Beautiful set credit goes to MJ
[Image: rVeL1F.png]
"I don't — I don't know if I believe you," he admitted. He'd been at the party and hadn't seen other people acting out of character, and he'd had one of those drinks and nothing had happened to him. There was no reason Beckett Longbottom would have wanted to slip something into her drink, but there was no proof that this had been some sort of widespread conspiracy, at least from his perspective. If he was going to try and be objective about this (impossible, given how much emotion was tied up in it, but he could try) the evidence wasn't in her favor. But there was a part of him that wanted to believe her, because things had been getting better. They weren't perfect yet, and maybe they never would be, but they'd agreed to give it a real go that summer and they'd both been trying their best. Egypt had gone well, Christmas had been nice. This house had started to feel a little more like a home in the past months. He didn't want to believe that none of that was real; that he'd only imagined the progress and Melody had secretly been looking for the first convenient chance to jump ship. He couldn't believe that — but he didn't know what else to believe. That some mysterious party had singled her out and tricked her into being unfaithful, for reasons entirely their own?

"It's just — it doesn't matter why. Not until we know who saw you," he continued. "Maybe they'll try and blackmail us. That might be our best case scenario." Never before in Ben's life had blackmail been a best case scenario, but when the alternative was that the news was just out there, it had the edge. This was going to hurt Nora if it got out. She was always going to have some baggage when it came to her reputation, because of how their marriage had started, but that was nothing compared to your mother is a whore.

MJ made this <3

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