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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.

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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

She Doesn't Even Go Here
8 Aug, '93 - Somewhere in Hogsmeade playing WvI

It felt like a badge of honor now, carrying her wand again. The black armband was genuine this time, taken from a student she'd seen drop it in anger after getting hit by someone playing Wizards vs Inferi for real. Hers never changed color, and Charley had a smug, stupid Jimmy Fletcher to thank for pointing it out to her. How she wished she could wipe that smirk off his face now.

The urchin wasn't following Jimmy today, or thinking about him really. She was thinking hard about the person ahead of her who kept evading sightlines. Charley knew she had to be careful with her wand, keeping it tucked up her sleeve until the last minute. For some silly reason, people had a pretty harsh reaction to kids running around Hogsmeade with wands out.

Was that a white armband on her victim? It was something white, she figured, it practically shined in the sunlight. Good enough for her!

"Expelliarmus!" Charley lunged out from her hiding place with the wand pointed straight at her target. Her spell would work this time, she just knew it! Maybe it was a hard one for only a one year education at Hogwarts, but she had definitely been paying attention to Mrs. Mann's talk about intentions when casting spells. And the urchin really did intend to catch someone, and their wand, unawares today.

That should be good enough for her wand, too.

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Charles had quite forgotten about "Wizards versus Inferi," to be perfectly honest. He'd spent most of the summer in his room, studying to get ahead in the next school year, and constantly feeling behind regardless. There was just so much to do. It would be better after OWLs were finished, he kept telling himself. Never mind that then he'd have NEWTs to contend with. He was choosing to ignore that for his own sanity at the moment.

At any rate, he had to leave the house eventually, if for no other reason than he needed to shop for supplies, and by the time he'd made it to the High Street, face buried in the list in his hand, he had completely forgotten that he should be on his guard, or perhaps be careful about what he wore. Needless to say, it took him completely by surprise when his wand quite literally flew out of his hand. "Hey!"

It worked. Her spell actually worked!

Charley was not ready for what came next. She really should have been, but for all her haphazard training and practice the urchin girl wasn't prepared to have a wand handle hurtling back toward her. If Charley hadn't dodged at the last second that wand could have poked her eye out, really! And if that didn't maim her, then the indignant stare facing back at her might have done the rest of the job.

"Hey, yourse—" Charley's eyes went wide, the boy who turned toward her was years older and a foot taller. And there she stood, her wand in successful hand after depriving him of his. All at once the urchin realized his wand was there on the ground where it had clattered to a rest after narrowly avoiding her eye. It was several feet away, but if she was quick enough Charley could get there first.


She scrambled for the wand, launching herself to her hands and knees. There was some spell Charley was supposed to cast after this, but all she could think of was grabbing the boy's wand before he got it back.

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Charles stared at the smaller child for what felt like a full stunned minute before his focus was drawn to where his wand had landed. When the other made a move for it, Charles dove for it himself, hoping his longer legs would take him there faster.

The urchin didn't care about the mud squishing between her fingers or clinging to her knees. She just cared about being quickest and first to the wand lying on the ground, her heart pounding loud enough in her chest that the stomp of the boy's approaching boots barely registered. Charley sucked in a breath when her fingers clenched around the solid wood, swinging her arm across to point it at the boy.

"Aha!" She climbed, steadier now, to her feet with two wands at the ready. Charley adjusted her cap with the back of a clean wrist, clearing the way to picture the older boy much better now. So she had been right. The white band of cloth signalled high victory for the urchin, who might not have been meant to be a player in this magic game. She had only picked it up in pieces, but by now Charley was pretty sure she had her victim dead to rights.

All she needed was to change that magic band to black. Simple, right?

"Finish! " Charley waved the boy's wand, and it did absolutely nothing. She couldn't even feel the warmth of the magic in the wood, or the thrill that sometimes came with casting a spell. His wand was as useful as any other stick, and the urchin cast a glare back at the boy. Her eyes roamed over him for a split second before deciding. "Nah, you en't clever enough to carry a fake."

She tried with her own wand this time, sure that the spell would work. And it was the right spell, it had to be. Charley mustered all the intent she could, thinking deeply to herself. Turn the cloth black.

Nothing. Two, muddy, butt-loads of nothing. Charley wanted to scream, and found herself muttering instead, "This game sucks."

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Damn it. The girl--girl?--got to the wand first, and Charles straightened up empty-handed and annoyed. "What do you think you're doing?" he demanded. The mention of the "game" triggered his memory in time to at least keep him from immediately accusing her of robbing him, which is definitely what it felt like. "Give me back my wand!"

The boy stood up tall, so tall. He towered over Charley, leaving her in his shadow as she flicked his useless wand again. Instinct drove her a step back, and then one more before he could advance on her. She glanced back, her eyes flicking toward the entrance to the alley, counting the number of steps she'd need to escape the reach of his too-long arms.

"No way, Duke o' Limbs!" Charley clutched the captured wand to her chest, cradling it like a child or a loaf of bread. Her eyes narrowed at him, as if the spell might be written on his forehead. It would have been closer to her line of sight on his chest, but no such luck. Still, she wasn't about to give his wand back so easily. "It's mine now!"

Finders, keepers; losers, poorers.

"I have a right to it, 'cause I won it fair and square!" Charley insisted it with all of her might, though she was only half sure about the truth. She remembered something about winning wands in duels, just not the particulars. For all she knew about the strange wizardly customs, she might have had to dance around it under an open moon before the wand would obey her. Not that the urchin wouldn't do that if she had to. "'Sides, I'll give it back jes' as soon I figure summat out."

Boys could be such sore losers, they usually screeched when she beat them at their games. Just because Charley was a girl didn't mean she couldn't play, too! If she could only remember the right spell for it. The urchin's feet planted one behind the next, walking backwards as she cast a dozen tries. "Finish. Finder. Flitter. Fulcrum. Fixit. Filly. Foal. Fool. Fault. Flint."

Charley held out a palm to the boy, wondering if he'd even stop. Her eyes rose to meet his, a plaintive look on her face. It burned her to even ask and her cheeks flared with so much warmth to hide her freckles. The boy was older, he'd know what spell the urchin was looking for. He probably used it every day in Hogwarts, anyway. "You know what I mean. Don't even laugh, you do don't you? Jes' tell me the word and you can have yer limp wand back."

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