Welcome to Charming
Welcome to Charming, the year is now 1893. It’s time to join us and immerse yourself in scandal and drama interlaced with magic both light and dark.

Where will you fall?

Featured Stamp

Add it to your collection...

Did You Know?
The first patented espresso machine was in 1884 by Angelo Moriondo. — Fallin
They hadn't been thieves before, at least. Noble had not been a murderer before either. Now he was one. Did thieving make a difference, at this point?
but the system is done for

I Guess My Heart Ain't Worth it Anymore
April 22nd, 1893 - Foxood Estate, Bath
Anthony Alderton

Torie had no idea what she had been thinking, accepting an invitation from Poppy to stay at the Foxwood estate for her cousin's birthday, but she would hate for her falling out with the rest of her friend's family to affect her friendship with Poppy. It certainly wasn't Poppy's fault Torie had gotten in too deep and had to claw her way back out of getting involved with Anthony. Things with Basil were strained, likely irreparable, as neither had reached out after the fact. It was a tough pill to swallow, losing both a friend and a potential future all in one night, but Torie had picked herself up by her bootstraps and tried to keep her head held high, even if it her heart hurt.

After a restless night's sleep in which Torie could not pinpoint the exact cause, she had risen early, and dressed warmly in her riding habit, thinking a long ride through the trails in the chilly air might help refresh her. Though she was not particularly athletic by any means, she did enjoy being outside and as the springtime started to warm the days, she thought she could use a little more country air.

Her borrowed horse this time was much more agreeable than the one she'd ridden at the hunt last year. There was a more fluid exchange between horse and rider as Torie started out easy before really taking off. The minutes and trees flew by and she already felt better. This was good, a little solitude before putting on her best happy face for the day. As she neared a little pond, Torie decided to slow down, give the mare a break and trotted to the embankment. She certainly couldn't get the horse down there for a drink, but she could explore the little sandy spot by the water for a few minutes while the horse rested.

The terrain was a little more rocky than she'd anticipated and Torie had to scoot her way around a few boulders to get where she wanted to go after tying her horse to a nearby tree. As she tested a stone to move down the bank further it gave way beneath her weight and she went sliding down awkwardly. Unfortunately as she went down, she heard a sickening crack followed by a yelp in as she felt an immediate, intense pain in her ankle. She'd fallen hard, scratching up both her hands and grazing her head in the fall. Dazed, she managed to sit up and survey the damage, seeing stars for a second. Well this wasn't exactly what she'd envisioned for her day.

Huffing out a curse under her breath, Torie realized she'd tumbled down the entire embankment, a good eight or ten feet and as she sat now by the water's edge she realized it was going to be quite the task getting back up; her wand was tucked safely in the saddle bag.

[Image: Torie-Gold-Sig.png]
Back to blonde mid-August '93. Boo.
Mathilda’s birthday. Anthony couldn’t believe how much time had passed, and so quickly. His baby sister was already 19 years old! It felt like the years as of late had been flashing past without his participation. Tillie was growing up, debuting. Reginald was… moving out? Striking off on his own! (He still had to rationalize that one.) And Lucy… her boys were rocketing through their youngest years. Soon enough they’d be off to Hogwarts and Anthony would be damned if he missed that. Any of it! So, if only for his siblings and less himself, he’d decided to try and be more present. Again.

Such determination had dragged him back from France on pins and needles. He still felt oddly out of his own skin and had been avoiding the Foxwoods altogether. That was… until this weekend. The only saving grace with his having to come to Bath was the knowledge that at least Basil would be firmly in the midst of his spring term and Atticus was off with wedding preparations. So it was only Aunt Viola he had to face down and… in truth, her boys were not the best at keeping her abreast of things.

This house party business seemed rather odd to him. But, given that Poppy was behind it, he shouldn’t have been so surprised. It was a weekend completely devoid of gentlemen suitors, only those friends Tillie liked. (Perhaps it was not so odd then, given his sister’s penchant to avoid courting being what it was.) Still, he’d offered to chaperone her to the estate. It was the actual date of her birth, and he’d have liked to spend some part of it with Tillie even if just to give her a gift.

It was as they arrived and he was chatting agreeably, if awkwardly, in the entry parlor with Aunt Viola trying to make a quick escape that Poppy burst in, all in a tizzy. She offered him a quick kiss in greeting, and Tillie in turn, then wrung her hands as was unusual for her. Words came out her mouth that took a moment for Anthony to properly register. Something about a missing guest, not in her room, missed breakfast. His brow creased in consternation. Aunt Viola too frowned, trying to slow her charge down and make sense of what Poppy was saying. Then, like a punch to the gut, the name escaped his cousin’s lips and Anthony felt himself nearly stagger backwards.

Victoire Malfoy.

All at once his muscles bunched, taught with a tension that was both physical and emotional. Of course, of all the bloody debutants in the ton it had to be this one at this precise moment. He interrupted the women around him, stern and direct, making no real effort to hide his (instinctual) intention to retrieve the lady at once. He swallowed the nasty thought in the back of his mind that it was a chance to see her again. To potentially help rather than cause pain. It was ridiculous. Even if it had been anyone else, Anthony still would have jumped to the rescue.

After what felt like an eternity, he was finally on the hunt. The Foxwood Estate was large but it had a few well-worn paths that guests might be wont to explore. It was these that he searched first. Every passing moment that he didn’t find her seemed to build in his chest, tightening the sick feeling he hadn’t realized was settling there. Perhaps it was nothing serious, he tried to reassure himself. She could be perfectly fine, just lost. Eventually Anthony spotted what seemed to be a figure up ahead. He drove towards it, urging his mount with a pinch in his heart. The figure took the shape of a lone horse without a rider. Anthony immediately pulled up beside it and cursed. He called out, desperation clear in his voice. He was somewhat hoarse already from crying out as much as he had to no avail.

The sudden sound of movement nearby caught his attention over a small bank. Sliding off his mount and making quick work of tying it aside the other, Anthony strode to peer over the edge. It was a decent drop, he knew. “Victoire?!”

Her perfect head came into view not a moment too soon and instantly Anthony felt an undue wave of relief wash him from head to toe. It didn’t even register for a moment that his face might be that last she ever wished to see again. Tugging his wand free of his waistcoat, he called out for her to hold on a moment longer. He quickly stripped off his overcoat for better maneuverability and tossed it aside. What he hadn’t expected was to make the same misstep as she had in his haste to get down there and help. With another tumble of loose rocks, Anthony felt the Earth drop out from under him. Everything went dark for a moment.

Anthony blinked himself back to consciousness a few moments later. He’d landed on his back just a few paces down from where Ms. Victoire was struggling, cranium having come into direct contact with a boulder. There was a searing pain in the back of his skull and a sharp sting in his right arm from where his wand had snapped with a disastrous crack. It would seem the shards of wood had pierced his shirt in the fall and dug into his forearm. Bloody hell…

Victoire Malfoy & muse song (it's especially fitting because tombé means fall lol)

© darling MJ for this spectacular sight
It had taken a little while, how long she didn't know exactly, for Torie to gather her wits about her. Her head ached and her ankle throbbed, but she was not so panicked that she couldn't figure this out. She didn't have a choice; nobody knew where she was, though she figured Poppy had figured out by now that she had gone for a ride, who knew how long it would take for somebody to find her.

Despite the wooziness, she had manage to get on her feet, though she couldn't bear weight on the left one, she could at least hobble her way toward where she had fallen to start trying to crawl her way back up. If she had learned anything in the last few months, it was that she was stronger than she thought and more capable than she had imagined; she got herself into this and so she would get herself out.

Of course the shout of her name came with mixed emotions. Any help would be appreciated, but of course it had to Anthony that found her. Why was he even here? Shew as supposed to be able to keep at least her friendship with Poppy unsullied. He found her without her having to reply, but as he started to descend toward her, he too fell and hit his head. Torie cried out as he fell and lay there unmoving for a moment, blood blooming on his shirt. She may have been able to save herself, but she couldn't possibly save him too. And of course it looked like he'd shattered his wand in the process. "Anthony?" She was starting to panic now, their situation be damned, she didn't wand to see him hurt. Ignoring the pain pulsating in her ankle, she stumbled her way over to him, pulling off her own riding jacket to put under his head. "Anthony, can you hear me?" She blinked back a few tears as he finally opened his eyes.

[Image: Torie-Gold-Sig.png]
Back to blonde mid-August '93. Boo.
The sound of his name being called as if by an angel in the distance was all Anthony could hear as he tried to blink back the stars behind his eyes. It was the same voice that had haunted his nightmares as of late and he was sure for a good few seconds he was dreaming. Cold fingers pressed against his head trying to lift him onto something cushioned and the brunette flinched instinctually, blinking blue hues open. There she was was: staring down at him looking concerned. Something in his heart pinched momentarily at the sight.

I can hear you, he wanted to reply but his voice was caught. His lungs were tight from the impact of the fall and a dizziness in his head was making his motor skills less that optimally responsive. Eventually he managed to blink the worst of it aside and a hand came up to touch the back of his head. It came away sticky with blood. “Argh.” Well that certainly wasn’t going to do them any good. Blue eyes skittered back to the pretty blonde hoping he might be able to hide the extent of his injuries from her.

“Yes,” he replied, trying to sit up. “Yes, I’m… fine.” His voice was quiet, gentle even. “How are you?” he insisted instead. “What happened?”

Victoire Malfoy & muse song (it's especially fitting because tombé means fall lol)

© darling MJ for this spectacular sight
Torie breathed out a sigh of relief when he spoke and so she swallowed back the threatening tears with expert finesse, brushing some of her hair from her face in the process. He didn't seem alright, she could see blood on her coat where she had put it under his head and his arm looked ghastly with the wood splinters.

"I think my ankle is broken," There was no need to beat around the bush. They were stuck in this disaster together, like it or not, their history rendered irrelevant until they parted ways as strangers once more. Gingerly she put her fingers to her own temple where blood had trickled from the gash there, but that was the least of her concerns.

"Anthony lay down," She hissed as he tried to sit up. They would need to gather their wits and what little strength they had between them soon enough, but that was a hard blow to the head he'd taken and her ankle looked awful. This was quite the predicament indeed. "I fell, same as you." She answered simply, shrugging her shoulders and regretting it. Her whole body felt jarred from the fall and she felt like everywhere hurt. This may be her sign to give up riding altogether.

[Image: Torie-Gold-Sig.png]
Back to blonde mid-August '93. Boo.
A broken ankle. That had to hurt like hell! Adrenaline spiking and concern creasing his brow, Anthony turned to Ms. Victoire with a severe look of consternation on his features. He ignored her hiss to lay back, instead letting blue hues sweep over her face looking for further injury and settling on the blood dribbling down her porcelain cheek. Before he could stop himself, Anthony lifted a gentle hand and brushed the dribble of blood away with his thumb. His touch was featherlight and barely there but he couldn’t help himself. He ached to hold her close and protect her, even if he had absolutely no right at all.

“I’m fine,” he hummed dismissively again. “My priority right now is you.” If his voice held a little too much affected honesty, he didn’t note it. “We have to get you back to the house and see that ankle mended,” Anthony continued. He turned then to look at the tattered remnants of his wand, only just realizing that the splintering had broken through to his forearm. With a frown, the brunette pulled his ripped sleeve over the worst of it and hoped he might get away with not drawing too much attention. It stung but he could deal with that later. What really bothered him was the fact that they didn’t have a wand between them now. (Or at least he assumed as much, else the lady likely would already have helped herself out of this mess.)

He twisted then and attempted to stand. The ground seemed to lurch away from him and Anthony’s pupils blew wide. Now that was one hell of a headache he had, blooming behind his eyeballs. The brunette managed to stand regardless, blinking away the worst of the nausea that had risen in his gut. He steadied himself against the bank and set his teeth. There would be time for dealing with his own injuries later.

Victoire Malfoy & muse song (it's especially fitting because tombé means fall lol)

© darling MJ for this spectacular sight
All of the air left her lungs as he tenderly brushed his thumb over her cheek where some of the blood had dribbled down. Color flooded her face and her heart raced in her chest. This back and forth between showing her affection and then apathy was going to be the actual death of her.

The breathlessness didn't last long however, as he seemed hell bent on moving. Stupid, stubborn men refusing to see logic ever! If he was trying to be chivalrous, Torie wasn't hearing it. "Anthony!" She gasped, mouth agape as she watched him stand unsteadily. "Don't be ridiculous, you can't die from a broken ankle, but a head injury is serious!" Why, why didn't he ever just listen to her when it was important?

Torie then scrambled to her feet once more, though she still couldn't bear weight on the one side. Her pain, though it seemed to radiate throughout her body, was mostly localized to the ankle, so thank Merlin for that. She'd been doing fine trying to get out before he'd gotten here, she wasn't going to let him have the satisfaction of calling the shots here. If he wasn't going to listen to logic, she would carry on herself and just hope he didn't pass out on the way.

[Image: Torie-Gold-Sig.png]
Back to blonde mid-August '93. Boo.
At the sound of his name said so urgently from that lovely, tinkling voice again, the brunette held back a twist of longing. He wasn’t supposed to be thinking like that anymore. He wasn’t supposed to care that she seemed concerned for him, even if it did prickle determinedly at the base of his spine.

I’m quite alright,”Anthony reassured her again, more gently this time. “If you’d like, you can even examine me fully once we’re out of here but for now, please don’t worry. I’ve survived bumps and scrapes before.” He tossed her a lopsided little grin, hoping that it was easing but the expression didn’t last long. Ms. Victoire herself made to stand, wobbling on that leg, and Anthony’s eyes grew wide as he stepped forward, determined to catch her if she fell. The gesture brought them practically nose to nose but she managed and he just lingered, awkwardly, unneeded.

For a long moment he stared right into her pretty face, all his pain and obvious regret over the situation bared for her to see. Anthony didn’t know what use it was to either of them now. He cleared his throat and took a step back, warm under the collar. “Apologies,” he mumbled before turning to look out over the bank.

This was a familiar spot he realized just then. There was a hunting cabin not too far up the almost dried riverbed. He and Atticus had used to hide there when they were escaping their respective governesses or siblings. From there the rocks evened out and the grassy slope was much easier to climb, if only they made it that far. Anthony sucked in a deep breath. “There’s a slightly easier slope that way to climb out of here,” he said gesturing in the direction the water was coming from. A sheepish gaze broke his concentration as it turned back to the lady. “I can carry you if you’ll let me,” he offered chivalrously. “It’s better you don’t put pressure on that ankle. It might not heal properly if you do.” The odds of her letting him seemed slim to none, but it was damn well better than her having a limp the rest of her days because of pure stubborn pride.

Victoire Malfoy & muse song (it's especially fitting because tombé means fall lol)

This was such a mess. Torie held herself resolutely vertical, without his help, but as he neared, she could feel the warmth of him and smell his cologne and she was wholly distracted. She grumbled an agreement, but she was no healer and so didn't know much at all about his injuries. If they could just get to her wand, this would be easier.

Casting an uncertain look up at him, she was caught between what she still wanted of him and what had happened between them. There was something in his look that said he too struggled to find a balance, but she didn't know what to say. Thankfully the news that there was a cabin nearby brought some sort of hope and a more firm plan, so Torie nodded slowly. "Just help me hobble along," She conceded; she would not be carried like some damsel in distress. She had to let Mr. Fudge do that when her leg was broken at the Sanditon. This was not nearly as bad.

"My wand is on my saddle, we'll need it." She told him, unsure as to how far they would need to walk away from. She would stumble as far as she could before giving in to his White Knight Needs.

[Image: Torie-Gold-Sig.png]
Back to blonde mid-August '93. Boo.
Anthony expected the response even before it came so he didn’t try to press. He didn’t want to injure Ms. Victoire’s sense of pride any more than he likely already had by this point in their short acquaintance. Nodding, but still very much unsatisfied by the result, he offered her his arm to lean on. He wanted very much to simply envelope her fully, take on the majority of her weight himself, but that felt like a rude presumption and so he waited for the lady to distribute however she felt fit. “Please just try not to put weight on it, if you can help it,” he muttered gently, unable to stop himself.

Once they were situated, Anthony glanced briefly in the direction of her wand. Well that was a shame. He would have to come back for it. “The cabin isn’t too far up the bank,” he replied. “I can come back across once we’ve settled there and bring your wand as well as the horses. They’re probably in need of water anyway.” He nodded a little, thoughtfully. Poor things. He would have to sneak his steed some extra sugar cubes when they returned; she’d been awfully championing during this mad dash!

Gently, Anthony inclined his head the way he’d pointed and held onto Ms. Victoire as much as she’d let him. She felt small in his grasp, but not frail. Her hair was a wild mess about her face, skin flush with adventure as it was, and he couldn’t help the surge of attraction that shuddered through him. Bloody traitorous instincts, he thought to himself huffily. And very ungentlemanly to boot. They took their first shaky steps across the rocks. “Are you alright?” He hummed, close to her ear, determined to check in. The question was obvious, given the nature of their predicament, but somehow Anthony felt that it was more than just an inquiry about the present.

Victoire Malfoy & muse song (it's especially fitting because tombé means fall lol)

© darling MJ for this spectacular sight
Determined to lean on him as little as possible, Torie took his arm gently, and hopped as much as she could. It was tough going on the soft sand of the shoreline and the distraction of Anthony beside her was enough to keep her off balance. She wasn't going to argue with him about whatever he thought needed to happen next. Even this cabin idea was only temporary. She could probably ride side saddle if they took it slow. Perhaps they should have just gone back to the estate.

Lost in the focus of trying not to put too much weight on her ankle, Anthony's whispered question startled her and she lost concentration, stepping wrong on the broken ankle and down she went. She cried out in pain, hitting the ground on her hands and knees, tears springing to her eyes. Torie bit down on her bottom lip hard, trying to contain the whimper that threatened to follow, but she collapsed to the sand on her hip anyway, sighing heavily.

"Just perfect." She grumbled, wondering if it would be too dramatic to just flop down on the ground and lay there for a few minutes. At least the distance from him gave her a little clarity. This would be a whole lot easier if it wasn't him pulling at her heart strings and confusing her even further. She'd been halfway to over him this morning and now she was drowning in futility.

[Image: Torie-Gold-Sig.png]
Back to blonde mid-August '93. Boo.
Anthony wasn’t sure what had prompted him to ask so vague a question. Of course the lady wasn’t alright, but he hoped at least she was as alright as she could be given the circumstances. They hobbled along less than gracefully in the sand by the bank and he almost imagined she wasn’t going to answer him until a yelp and tumble caused everything to lurch sideways.

The stumble was too quick for him to catch her and soon enough the lady found herself on her rump. She mumbled something sarcastic that Anthony ignored. He supposed she had a right to feel terrible given everything that had happened this morning. Still, they couldn’t carry on like this. “Alright that’s enough,” he said, making the authoritative decision. Pride be damned, they were never going to make it there without further injuring Ms. Torie if they kept this up.

Prepared to ignore any protests, the gentleman leaned over the blonde and wrapped one hand securely around her waist. The other, albeit prepared to get kicked, tucked under her legs. In one quick movement Anthony picked the woman up into his arms. His head swirled for a moment, causing him to stagger at the movement, but he set his teeth and began walking. She wasn’t heavy enough for this to be too terribly exerting and they needed to get there quickly.

Victoire Malfoy & muse song (it's especially fitting because tombé means fall lol)

The following 1 user Likes Anthony Alderton's post:
   Victoire Malfoy
Torie wallowed in self pity for only a moment before digging in and getting herself ready to stand back up, when Anthony skimmed past the approval part and went straight for the most White Knight move of them all. If she wasn't so shocked, she may have injured herself rolling her eyes.

Afraid to injure either one of them any further, Torie automatically put her arms around his neck in a tight hold. The sway of his body had her more concerned for him than herself, however. "Anthony, please put me down," she kept her tone as even as she could, emotions nearly overwhelming her. Everything from worry over his head to an unexpected wave of lust at the feeling of his body against hers had her head reeling worse than the fall.

"I'm not trying to be difficult. I promise. Just put me down and go get my horse. With my wand and four good legs this will be much easier." She begged gently to see reason. He was unsteady, she couldn't walk, he was still bleeding, she was dizzy, they were a mess and they needed to try and get through this without it turning dire. Gently she put one hand on his cheek, "Please,"

[Image: Torie-Gold-Sig.png]
Back to blonde mid-August '93. Boo.
Ms. Torie hardly weighed a thing as she adjusted to wrap her arms around his neck to keep balanced. Small, lithe, adept; Anthony was glad she was all those things and more. It would have been much harder to manage if not. He was quick to note that this new proximity brought back a wave of angst at everything that had been lost between them, but he didn’t let himself think about it too long. Instead he marched towards the far side of the bank towards the cabin as she continued speaking. It wasn’t until her cool fingers pressed against his cheek that the brunette’s determination faltered. He paused to look at her and oh was that a mistake.

Perfect blue hues, brighter and deeper than his own, swept up Anthony Alderton in a moment of pure admiration. He could see in the lady’s expression none of the hostility he was surprised at himself for expecting. Instead he saw concern and rationality, not a hint of hysteria. He let out a staggering sigh and leaned unconsciously into her hand. “I don’t think I could get us up these banks to the horses,” he admitted, quietly. It was why he’d opted for the cabin instead. “I promise it’s not far from here. Just around that bend there is a shallow slope which sits at the base of the cabin. I can deposit you inside and then walk back across to reach the horses and your wand.” It would be easy enough to cross back the short distance from the high side of these banks. Maybe then they could send a note for help.

Do you trust me?” He whispered, hoping to earn the lady’s blessing without being overt. He didn’t want to drag her against her will, certainly, but it felt important for her to be in agreement of his plan.

Victoire Malfoy & muse song (it's especially fitting because tombé means fall lol)

The following 1 user Likes Anthony Alderton's post:
   Victoire Malfoy

© darling MJ for this spectacular sight
When Anthony's eyes final met hers, Torie's breath caught and an uneasy knot formed in her stomach. There was just something about the way he looked at her, despite everything that had happened between them, that had heart heart racing.

She had meant for him to leave her here to get the horse, but the slope was steep and it would take a while, but she was also nervous to let him go off on his own too. He had to be hurting and now carrying her, was exerting a lot of energy. She worried this was too much for him to handle.

His question about trusting him twisted the knife in her heart, but she did, even though they had parted ways so dramatically. "Of course," He had always, before New Years, been so gentle and chivalrous with her. There was no reason not to trust him on this, even if he shattered her heart like broken glass he was still a gentleman where it counted.

[Image: Torie-Gold-Sig.png]
Back to blonde mid-August '93. Boo.
The lady’s quiet sigh of affirmation brushed against his heart like eyelashes against his cheek. Anthony felt the words deep where it counted, but they were so abstract, so unfairly won, that he couldn’t do much to hold onto the sensation long. Head pounding, he decided it was for the best as he tried to steel his determination. With tremendous effort, he gave her a small nod and turned to continue walking along the way he’d intended.

It was a short trek, as promised, and before long, the little hunting cabin came into sight. Anthony stumbled only once on his way up the shallower slope, luckily nothing too terrible, and marched his way right up to the door. It was unlocked, thankfully, and with one firm kick swung open. Anthony let out a soft sigh of relief. “Here we are,” he said gently. Then, moving across the threshold, he made to deposit Ms. Torie on the nearest furnishing available: a large crate in the corner. “It’s not used by the family,” He said sheepishly by way of explanation, or maybe excuse. He hated depositing her anywhere so inelegant, but they didn’t seem to have much of a choice. No, this little cabin was used primarily by the guides and servants to store supplies and occasionally stay out in the evenings if a hunting party went late. There was, at least, a fireplace in the corner which Anthony was sure he could light once he had a wand.

Running a hand tiredly across his face, the brunette sighed. Yes, the wand. He had to go back out there to fetch it. 

Victoire Malfoy & muse song (it's especially fitting because tombé means fall lol)

© darling MJ for this spectacular sight

Possibly Related Threads…
Thread / Author Replies Views Last Post
Last Post by Hyacinth Valenduris
September 8, 2023 – 9:50 PM
Last Post by Daffodil Potts
August 25, 2023 – 2:06 AM
Last Post by Beckett Longbottom
January 23, 2023 – 2:11 AM
View a Printable Version

Users browsing this thread: 5 Guest(s)
Forum Jump: