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Welcome to Charming, the year is now 1894. It’s time to join us and immerse yourself in scandal and drama interlaced with magic both light and dark.

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Queen Victoria was known for putting jackets and dresses on her pups, causing clothing for dogs to become so popular that fashion houses for just dog clothes started popping up all over Paris. — Fox
It would be easy to assume that Evangeline came to the Lady Morgana only to pick fights. That wasn't true at all. They also had very good biscuits.
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A Conspiracy of Ravens
September 1st, 1893 — A Room @ the Leaky Cauldron, London

Five days.

It had been five days since his father's stroke, since all the pain—physical and emotional—that Robin had been blissfully ignorant to had caught up to him all at once, ramming through him like an erumpent's horn and leaving him for dead. Talking with his siblings it had become—slowly, for who would have imagined this—apparent what had happened. Now, with some distance, and with their father still indisposed, the five Rowle children, one for each day that had passed, had to figure out what to do next.

Robert had not trusted his home, had not trusted Philip's home or Sera's home or Edwin's home. He sure as hell hadn't trusted Miranda's home, given that it was also their father's. The Castle had, similarly, been discarded as a potential meeting place. And so they were here, in a small rented room at The Leaky Cauldron (the only one still available, families having delivered their children to Kings Cross Station and wishing for an evening's respite before returning to their homes elsewhere in the country). Robin leaned up against a wall, staring out the intentionally-dingy window at the muggle street below.

"What I don't understand is why," he voiced to no one in particular, not the first time he had uttered this particular comment.
Miranda Rowle Philip Rowle Edwin Rowle Seraphina Bythesea

Mira had avoided everyone’s gaze — everyone but Robin’s.

He had been the one she had more directly betrayed under the influence, yet he was also the one she felt closest to, both during childhood, when she could make decisions for herself, and during the Cursed years. Oh, she felt so terrible for having betrayed him, even if there was a rational part in her telling her that it wasn’t her fault, she hadn’t been herself when it happened.

But it was her fault, in a way. All of it had started because of her, because of her vision. If it hadn’t given her father ideas, he wouldn’t have cursed her, or any of her siblings. They could have all lived normal lives.

And then it was where her resentment came. As guilty as Mira felt, as much as she blamed her mere presence for all this, she also felt resentment for her siblings, for them getting to live more of their lives than she had. One moment she was eight and the next thirty-nine, a spinster with a wheelchair waiting for her in one corner of her room at all times.

She’d broken the wheelchair in a fit of rage more customary to Philip. She hated that damned wheelchair, the theatricality of it, as if it wasn’t enough that she’d missed out on Hogwarts and the Season and having a family of her own, she’d had to play that stupid role of an invalid.

Robin’s question was a rhetorical one, still Mira felt like all eyes of her siblings were on her, accusatory. He had already asked that question, and she believed they all knew the answer.

“We all know why, Robin,” Mira replied softly, though her voice had a bit of the know-it-all edge to it that hadn’t been heard since childhood. “We disappointed him.”

“I have a very childlike rage, and a very childlike loneliness.”

- ※ -

“Oh, we all know why,” Philip mimicked, sneering expressly at Miranda. His arms were folded, his foot tapping restlessly, his whole body a coil held back from being sprung. We, she said, like she was even one of them. Here she was, speaking like she knew best, knew everything; she was their father’s little pet even now.

“You poor, poor things,” he continued, his gaze sliding from Mira to Robin to roll his eyes at them both in turn. “How could you ever disappoint daddy like that?” His tone was mocking, but in all honesty he couldn’t fathom the answer. Mira had always been special, and Robin had always been boring. The perfect pawns to begin with. They had expected better, had they? But if they had learned anything from this, it was that their father was a madman, so standing around parsing his reasons was a grand old waste of time.

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For the better part of this miserable little meeting Edwin had sat quietly, pinching the bridge of his nose.  This was a lot.  They were a lot. 

"Who's 'we'?" he demanded with a snort, emphasis heavy on the 'we'.  But then Flip chimed in.  Flip, specifically, was a lot.  The most, arguably.

"Oh come off it." he snapped, waving him off impatiently.  Wasn't he like - well, Edwin didn’t know exactly how old he was, but he looked entirely too old for all that. 

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"What was that, Philip?" Robin snapped, a surge of genuine and nearly-appropriate emotion running through him (today's emotion: anger) as he spun to meet his brother's eye. "I couldn't quite hear you."

Slowly and deliberately, he thrice tapped against his left ear.
Miranda Rowle Philip Rowle Edwin Rowle Seraphina Bythesea

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With Philip, she wasn’t surprised that he wasn’t running to embrace her now, having always butted heads as children.

It was Edwin’s question that hurt her most, having filtered it in as an accusation towards her. She didn’t want Edwin to hate her, though, in fairness, she didn’t know what they were off the curse. They hadn’t had a relationship without it.

Robin was now accusing Philip and Mira stood up behind him, a silent declaration of whose side she was taking in this.

“I have a very childlike rage, and a very childlike loneliness.”

- ※ -

Algernon was starting Hogwarts tomorrow. Algernon, her son, who she had allegedly named, and who did not know his mother in the slightest. Sera had been simmering since they got here, looking periodically outside the window as if their father would be outside, waiting for them.

"Merlin, who cares!" Sera snapped, already fed up with her siblings. She didn't remember them being like this — but of course, they'd never really all had the option. "Mira, you were a child — how could he possibly be disappointed?"

[Image: jY757Rj.png]
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Edwin found himself on his feet, stood in the middle of what was apparently a battlefield that everyone but him could see.  He looked back and forth between the drawn sides

"What - what is happening here?" he asked in abject bafflement, scrubbing a hand over his forehead. 

Sera’s question made her feel seen and Mira needed this, having lived all her life following her father’s orders.

“I saw that he was going to do this to me,” Mira replied to her sister, happy to be allowed to explain herself, clean her name. She didn’t want her siblings to turn on her, the same way a child might fear being left out on the playground.

“At the time, it hadn’t made sense, but in hindsight I see what my Vision had meant when I saw he would betray me. And -” She stopped herself now, not sure she was ready to tell them how he’d made her report to him. She really, really didn’t want them to hate her. She didn’t want to be left out! That was all she could think about, her chest tightening as she grabbed onto Robin’s arm, as if waiting for him to tell her it was okay for her to speak, that he loved and forgave her, that he had her back.

The following 2 users Like Miranda Rowle's post:
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“I have a very childlike rage, and a very childlike loneliness.”

- ※ -

“I said I’ll do the other ear for you next, if you like,” Philip said loudly to Robin, never mind what the others were squabbling about.

They were really getting somewhere with this, weren’t they?

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Robin Rowle had never been much of a fighter. That had been evident when his younger brother had so easily bested him the last time, resulting in his semi-deafness in the first place. But at that comment, the anger already simmering threatened to boil over, and the wizard might have lunged at Philip if the tension in the room had not been broken by the sound of a knock at the door.

A beat, and then, "Come back later!" The words were a little breathy, but any strain would hopefully be lost in translation as they passed, muffled, through the locked door.
Miranda Rowle Philip Rowle Edwin Rowle Seraphina Bythesea

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Sera was in the middle of rolling her eyes — the motion felt unfamiliar, but good — when there was a knock at the door. "Can we not spend Father's whole coma fighting?" she hissed at the boys. Her hands clutched at her skirts, white-knuckled.

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First the knock on the door, then Sera’s word brought a very scary realisation to Mira. “He may wake up?”

This freedom was painful and confusing and everything hurt and was too loud and colourful and distracting, and yet.

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   Edwin Rowle

“I have a very childlike rage, and a very childlike loneliness.”

- ※ -

His exasperation fell on deaf ears.  But that was fine, he'd put as little thought into saying it as they did hearing it.  Nothing that proceeded helped his confusion.  There was somehow two separate conversations going on around him and he swiveled, trying to make sense of any of it.

The knock at the door sent a jolt through him, cutting through the bickering and bringing back a sense of gravity for him. 

He gaped at Sera, his heart skittering for a new reason. "Surely he won't survive…" he said, nearly in unison with Mira.

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   Miranda Rowle
"Doctor Pomfrey seemed quite optimistic of it," Robin replied to Miranda darkly, lacking the healer's hope towards that particular outcome. Given that the good doctor had also been very critical of that outcome immediately following the stroke, Robin had little reason to doubt him. "And Sera is right," he added, this time for all the siblings' benefit. "We mustn't waste our time bickering, if for no other reason than this room is let by the hour."

He sighed, the sigh of a man who had been put upon for many years.

"Father may die, yes. But his physician seemed to believe that less likely with each passing day. He may remain indisposed indefinitely; indeed, that seems rather more likely, at this juncture, than death. But what cannot be allowed to happen as for things to continue as they were."

More than ten years. Robin had lost more than ten years of his life to that damned Imperius Curse. It was a violation on a level deeper than any he could fathom.
Miranda Rowle Philip Rowle Edwin Rowle Seraphina Bythesea

Of course she hasn’t been told about her father health. If anything, that healer had been more curious to hear about her seemingly miraculous cure. Mira hasn’t had the time to process that change, to consider whether continuing the act of the ailing spinster was the way to go. Having been cursed at eight meant that she lacked any strategic mastermind for this.

“I don’t want to go back there Mira declared there, that tightening feeling in her chest coming back. All of her siblings had their homes to hide in, she was the one living under the same roof as their father. What if he did something even more drastic this time? After she had been told about Imperio, she’d looked up these Unforgivable Curses. What if he used one of the others next time?! What if he made her use them on her siblings? She had been his favourite soldier in this all these years, after all. She just wanted for her and her siblings to be friends, for them to play board games together again. She wanted to go to Ollivander’s and get her actual wand and then read up on all the books she’d missed out by not going to Hogwarts. She wanted to leave the house and to never sit in that damned wheelchair again! She wanted to be given the chance to properly disappoint her father as well.

“Robin!” she addressed him again, because he was her big brother, her protector. “I don’t want to go back to him!”

With that, she dropped dramatically in her previous seat, tears burning their way out of her eyes, her chest tightening.

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   Edwin Rowle

“I have a very childlike rage, and a very childlike loneliness.”

- ※ -

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