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

enchained by your own sorrow
May 19th, 1893 — Bartonburg
It had taken Penny longer than it ought to have for her to brave the workshop, as the shelves were loaded with memories she refused to acknowledge. Perhaps it made her a coward to avoid the past — all the smiles and kisses and fights — but she couldn't even yet say his name aloud without wanting to cry. For her sanity's sake, such memories were best left ignored.

She had made it a point to grow comfortable there again before inviting Irene over. The first night she hadn't made it beyond the stairs before crying, the second she managed to draw near the bench before immediately retreating to the stairs once more. This went on for over a week before Penny was finally able to work in the space without getting emotional. She still couldn't touch the abandoned telegraph, nor could she look at the cuckoo clock, but it was progress at least.

Penny was clipping the twigs on her latest commission when she heard the knock come from the top of the stairs. Abandoning the scissors, she shooed Louis-Jean away before calling out cheerfully, "hey, you're okay to come down!"

With Bear trailing quickly behind her, his tail brushing bits of charcoal in the air, Irene hurried towards Penny’s house. Her mother’s broom was clutched in one hand, with her bag in the other as she approached the familiar little residence. Sighing with relief that she’d made it without spilling anything (or accidentally whacking someone with the handle of the broom), Irene took a moment to collect herself before knocking. Hearing Penny’s answering call, she tucked her broom under her arm to free up a hand to open the door, allowing Bear to slip in behind her.

“Penny!” The witch cried breathlessly as she made her way down the stairs. While chiefly glad that Penny had returned from abroad because she missed her friend, Irene was also relieved to have another broom maker in town that she trusted. Avoiding Elias for the past few weeks had been a bit of an issue seeing as her broom had been causing trouble more often than it was actually working.

Though she slipped on the last step, Irene quickly found her footing and rushed forward to give her friend a welcoming hug. “Thank Merlin you’re back, you must tell me how it was!” She grinned. Right beside her, Bear had situated himself below the broom, his eyes following the nearest twig and he swiped at it. “No! Bear, stop it — shoo!”

[Image: VRT55Q.jpeg]
The grin on Irene's face forced Penny to put aside any ill feelings towards the workshop and feel only joy instead. A genuine smile spread across her cheeks as she stepped forward to help unburden her friend before joining the hug. "Irene! I missed you so." Despite having been home for nearly two months, they appeared to have kept missing one another. To finally have Irene back in the workshop was like a missing piece slipping into place.

"Oh it's alright, Marie-Louise tries to eat the twigs on a daily basis. The broom will survive. Although...that face looks awfully familiar." Her smile broadened as she knelt down to pet Bear. "You were orange the last time I saw you. I'm so happy to see you found a home!"

“Oh to be sure, I missed you more,” She volleyed back, though her attention was directed towards the animal at her feet. She shook the broom which did exactly the opposite of what she was hoping. Instead of getting the message to shove off, the cat swiped at the twigs again before Penny inspected him. “I have no idea why he does it, and he certainly won’t try and justify his actions either — hang on, you’ve seen him before?” Irene frowned down at both of them in confusion before looking around at the menagerie that was around them.

Irene knew Penny often took in strays, taking care of them and giving them food and shelter during the colder months. Sooner or later a lot of them ended up sticking around, thoroughly unamused by Irene every time she tried to befriend one. Eventually she’d just given up. So to realize that Bear seemed familiar to Penny caused her to gape at the cat.

“He - he was yours? You were hers?!” She exclaimed, outraged at the animal who was now looking at her with large eyes, his tail flicking back and forth impatiently. “You were orange?!” Right on cue, there was a small rustling sound and Bear shivered, giving a little shake as he went from the jet black of the charcoal he’d just been playing in, to a tabby-colored orange with white stripes. Irene could do nothing but gape, her mouth dropping open.

[Image: VRT55Q.jpeg]
"No, no! Not mine." Penny immediately insisted, chuckling to herself as she continued to pet Bear. "I fed him sometimes but he was never brave enough to come in." In fact, this was only the second time he had ever allowed Penny to pet him, the first being shortly before her departure East. "He must like you." She added with another brief chuckle; none of her pets had ever truly taken to Irene before.

With one last head rub, Penny pushed to her feet. "Is everything alright with the broom?" The shaft looked a bit off, though it could've just been a quirk of it. Not all shafts were perfectly straight after all, as in her experience most usually leaned one way or the other.

The now-orange cat seemed quite content to bathe in Penny’s affections whilst Irene kept staring at him as if he’d just grown two heads. All this time she’d been here, this cat had likely also been in the same room. No wonder he had looked at her like she was insane when she was up in the tree with him. Even the thought lent itself to the suggestion of an addled mind. “If he likes me, he sure has a funny way of showing it,” Irene mused with a laugh before turning to the issue at hand.

She held out the broom for Penny to inspect. It was certainly worse for wear: the handle, despite having a satin varnish coat, had a fair few scratches; the twigs of the tail were rather sparse, and the wood overall needed a bit more shine. Not to mention, even holding it, it seemed quite a bit lighter than what brooms should weigh, thanks to the knowledge of friends like Penny and Elias. Irene had done her best to stave off wood rot, but she knew it was only a matter of time before she’d have to retire it. With it being her mother’s old broom however, Irene was putting that task off as long as possible.

“You could say it’s been well loved, but I took a sharper turn than I should have last week, and well…” She cast a forlorn look at the heirloom. “I lost a few bristles to a nearby tree in the process.” No doubt they were littered somewhere in the forest, now contributing to some bird’s spring nest.

[Image: VRT55Q.jpeg]
Penny handled the broom carefully as she took in all the damage to it. Bristles were easy enough of a repair, as was the general shine. But the scratches ran deep and, judging by the weight of it, the interior was deteriorating faster than it ought to have. These were all issues that ought to have been addressed immediately and by Elias. That Irene brought it to her told Penny there were far more issues at hand than a simple broom repair.

"Are you alright?" She asked first, pausing her inspection of the broom to quickly scan over her friend. "No broken bones or anything?" The broom ought to have been able to handle sharp turns, but given its state it wasn't surprising that she had lost control.

Once confirming Irene was alright, Penny used her wand to clear off her work space and gently laid the broom upon the table. "Has Elias looked at this?" Her tone was gentle and non-judging, as Irene's relationship with her mentor was complicated before Penny had left. Now that he was courting, well Penny could easily see why Irene wouldn't have gone to Elias.

Irene watched as Penny inspected it. A strange feeling poked at her as she observed; like she was expecting Penny to say something else about the broom, but instead she inquired after her health. “Oh. Er —” Irene raised her right palm, inspecting it. “I scratched my hands up a bit, but it was nothing a bit of dittany couldn’t fix within a few hours.” She reported, opening and closing her palms experimentally. She knew she was lucky it wasn’t that bad. “Thankfully no broken bones.” Frankly it was a miracle she hadn’t gotten any in her life so far. No, the universe sought to place an entirely different kind of torture upon her.

Has Elias looked at this?

“Ah.” And there was the aforementioned torture.

Even though she felt the sudden drop of her stomach, as if someone had kicked her seat out from under her, Irene forced her expression to remain neutral. But in the safe abode of her friend where she knew no one else would be able to see. Where it was just them and no one else. Well, suddenly her throat felt thick, and her eyes stung. “No.” She responded, blinking rapidly. “I…I didn’t want to bother him.” Lie. “I know he has enough work to keep him occupied.” Lie.

“I didn’t want to…talk to him.” Lies. At that moment, it was as if the letter burned in her pocket, and Irene pulled it out to read it again. She never didn’t want to talk to Elias, and she knew that Penny knew that; knew how much Irene dropped her guard around him more than anyone else. “I didn’t want to tell him about this. Not yet.”

[Image: VRT55Q.jpeg]
She nodded despite remaining a bit suspicious that Irene might be downplaying her injuries. The cuts must've been deep if dittany took a few hours to mend them, and that wasn't even counting whatever internal injuries Irene suffered. "Does anything still hurt now?" Penny pushed, needing to be certain that her friend wasn't about to collapse in the workshop.

'I didn't want to bother him.'

Penny instantly understood what Irene wasn't saying. Elias was courting Miss Potts now, which meant the feelings Irene had towards him remained unaddressed. The reminder of feelings and relationships was a sharp one, cutting at Penny in places she refused to acknowledge. Nemo had made his decision, all that was left to do was carry on living. Even if it hurt. Even if it meant not having her best friend anymore. Irene had to be feeling something of the same if she wouldn't even take her broom to be looked at by the best broommaker in the United Kingdom.

And yet, the situation became far more complex as Irene drew a folded piece of parchment from her pocket and read its swirling script. The quick glance Penny gave it quickly became several minutes of stunned silence as she absorbed its meaning. Irene was a heiress. "Irene, this is ..." Penny could scarcely find the words to explain her shock. "Congratulations. I mean, this is incredible. Have you written back yet?"

Irene tried not to bristle at Penny’s inquiry, but she flexed her hands experimentally once more. “No, I’m fine,” She replied with a wan smile, lifting her palms up as proof. She felt a swell of affection following her friend’s concern, tempted to rush forward to embrace her in a hug. Even for as long as she’d known most of her friends, it was still a relief to see them show any sort of concern for her well being. It made her feel cared for; thought of. “I promise.” She added with a soft laugh before lowering her hands to her side.

Just as Sophia had done, Penny scanned the letter, her expression becoming more and more astonished with each passing moment. Irene gave a slight breathless laugh out of nervousness. There wasn’t a particular reaction that she was looking for, but the fact that both Sophia and Penny’s expressions were nearly identical provided her with some amusement whilst she waited.

She had to agree with Penny. It was an incredible opportunity, and yet it struck a chord of tension in Irene. Of all the life changing events in her past, very few ended up with genuinely positive results. “I haven’t…at least not directly.” She eventually responded with a sigh as Bear came to a rest at her feet. She bent down to pick up the heavy cat, and held him close as he started to purr against her chest. “I wrote the institution they mentioned but as for the rest...I…I wasn’t sure what to think. This doesn’t happen to people very often.”

[Image: VRT55Q.jpeg]
Irene's letter contained nothing short of a miracle. While Irene appeared self sufficient enough to not want for much, the distinctions between their families (or lack thereof) were evident to Penny. She didn't care to pay attention to them often, but she was aware enough of their differences to be cognizant of the fact that this type of inheritance would forever alter Irene's life. As she scanned the letter again a grin stretched across her face. The future was now open with endless opportunities for her friend.

It was an incredible thing.

"You must!" Penny insisted, already turning to see if she had a quill she might force upon Irene. "It doesn't happen often, no, but you have to at least follow up on this. Think of how amazing it would be to have that sort of freedom!"

Finding the weight of the animal against her chest a comfort, Irene clutched him even tighter; the cat didn’t appreciate the confinement too much, and started to wriggle. She loosened her grip, but her eyes were on Penny again whose expression became more elated with each passing second. Irene felt her heart start to slow down, feeling that if Penny was certain, perhaps she might be able to allow herself to feel something other than caution.

“It would be…incredible,” She allowed, still feeling reluctant to let go of her hesitation. “I just…I don’t want to be made a fool of if it’s someone’s idea of a cruel joke.”

[Image: VRT55Q.jpeg]

View a Printable Version

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)
Forum Jump: