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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.

Where will you fall?

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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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stop the world cause I wanna get out with you
Oz huffed softly against her cheek. "Lazy parry," he said, as matter-of-fact as though they were fencing partners in the midst of a set, offering casual feedback on form and technique. Oz took verbal sparring as seriously as sportsman took their games with epees. This was lazy because it swung too far of the mark of something true; good insults always struck a chord, even if it was a faint one. And Oz was unlikely to go giving appointments to rakes for multiple reasons. He was as disinclined towards nepotism as anyone (or at least, as anyone who stood to inherit a sizeable estate and handsome fortune based solely on the circumstances of his birth could be — he was self-aware enough to at least recognize this as a mild hypocrisy, though he was obviously disinclined to do anything to change the facts on either side of the equation), so he wouldn't have been handing out positions to his friends on any account. Particularly not when he was Minister — the head of government position was already blamed for everything that went wrong, whether they'd had anything to do with it or not; he was hardly looking to add opportunities for anyone to criticize him — he had too much ego for that. And finally (but perhaps most importantly), none of the rakes would come ask for a job in the first place. The types of people she was talking about — womanizing gentlemen of leisure — already had all the privilege they wanted, and typically spent a good deal of energy avoiding the few responsibilities they did have. The Dempsey family owned land, which needed to be managed; decisions made about tenants and appropriate uses of buildings. There were investments to be made and overseen and moved around depending on how the markets responded, and although Oz had spent the mental energy needed to understand these things he never expected to actually do them. He would have been rather surprised if his father did, either. They hired people for that sort of thing. Maybe she'd gotten the wrong idea, because Locke worked — but even that had only come about under duress, and he still got out of good portions of his job as often as he could. The idea that all of Oz's old rakish compatriots would be lining up requesting day jobs was ludicrous. None of them wanted to wake up earlier than noon, if they could avoid it. Oz didn't want to, either — and yet here he was, Minister of Magic.

"I'm perfectly capable of getting ejected on my own merits," he grumbled. "I don't need my friends to do it for me."

Fortunately, he didn't actually believe that. He might have been on the verge of dropping out of the race, before, but he had never actually considered himself blatantly unqualified for the position. (The fact that so many people had accused him of being unqualified had probably helped, here — Oz was nothing if not stubborn in the face of antagonism). Whatever happened over the next five years, he knew he wouldn't perform so poorly as to see himself ousted from the position. Hopefully he also wouldn't make anyone angry enough to try and assassinate him, but that one was hardly to be certain of — it took a majority of the Wizengamot agreeing on the matter to fire a sitting Minister of Magic, but it only took one disgruntled assassin to kill someone. The imposter syndrome he had been feeling for several weeks now had more to do with how his internal barometer had recalculated. He had been referenced several times as having performed well during the dragon attack, from a variety of sources, but looking back on that night he could only think of the moments in which he wasn't sure he'd done enough. He'd started the campaign with his goal only to show up the other candidates, but somewhere along the line he'd started taking the election seriously — and obviously now he could do no less for the position itself. He wasn't afraid of being fired, but he was almost certain he would disappoint himself along the way. And Thomasina, he supposed — she knew him better than he knew himself, sometimes, and she expected more of him than most people did.

MJ is the light of my life <3
Sina stretched into him. "I'd only thought through strikes for losing," she retorted. She had hoped he'd win but expected he'd lose; she'd thought through several insults about the latter that had been designed to raise Ozymandias' spirit. (There were one or two about penis size which she had thought would make him smirk.)

"You've never worked a day in your life," Sina said; another lazy parry, and one she'd used on him before they'd understood each other, back when they were forming an antagonistic acquaintance. She smirked, knowing he could feel the smile on his face where their skin touched. In a playful tone, this time: "However will you be at the Ministry on time every day?"

set by MJ
Only thought through strikes for losing — well, that was fair enough. Who could have anticipated that they'd be here? Even his advocates had never seemed to think it very likely. Maybe Minister Ross had suspected things would end like this, when he gave his recommendation, but Oz had never really believed it. Clearly his family hadn't, either; the prevailing attitude in the house the day before had been well thank goodness this is almost over, not anticipation on the edge of a brand new state of things. (Though to be fair, none of their lives were going to be as dramatically impacted by this as either his of Thomasina's).

"Well, if the alternative is staying in a house with just you for company, I'm sure I'll manage it," he teased. Maybe there was a slight silver lining in having to move... it would be a hassle to find a house and purchase it, and to set up a whole new set of staff, and to move their things — it would be a hassle to have to host people and not have the excuse of eccentric siblings and parents to keep them away — it would be odd to not see his siblings so often any more. But if they had the house entirely to themselves (which in Oz's consideration they would; he did not rate servants as actual people for the sake of tallying who was in the house) then they'd have a larger assortment of places in which they could have spontaneous sex.

In all seriousness, though, how did people even get places early in the morning? The Ministry work day started before Oz typically woke up. He'd never had to force himself to wake up earlier than he wanted to since graduating Hogwarts, and at Hogwarts there had been a whole dormitory full of roommates who would take the opportunity to throw things at oversleeping peers before they missed the start of class. Did other people have servants come in and prod them awake? Dear god. How dreary.

MJ is the light of my life <3
Sina laughed. It had never escaped her that she was the only person in the household — other than the servants — who particularly needed to be anywhere on time. (Sure, Don Juan and Endymion technically had jobs, but Sina did not consider their occupations to be particularly urgent or real. She could be a bit of a snob this way.)

"Can I wake you up every day?" Sina said, sounding delighted. "I would love to start my day by disturbing your precious rest." Surely acting as an alarm clock would add a bit of pizzazz to her day, when she could work it around her shift schedule — she would just have to add time into both their mornings for an exciting argument to start the day.

She was starting to hate this less, conceptually.

set by MJ
Only if you're planning to do it with sex, Ozymandias thought, but if the goal was to get in to the Ministry of Magic at a consistent time every morning this probably wasn't the best strategy for it.

"If you really have nothing better to do with yourself, I suppose," he teased lightly. "But I don't think I can rely on you. I expect you'll find yourself underwater in a week, managing a household for the first time." This was meant to be a taunt, because although he had never done it Oz did not imagine that managing a household was at all difficult. There were airheaded socialites who managed it just fine, so the implication that Thomasina would struggle with it was meant to be a dig at her intelligence. That was a bit of a lazy thrust from him, though, too — he'd taunted her about her intelligence back when they'd first met, before he'd known her better, and it didn't have enough of the truth in it to sting. She may never have managed a household before, and she might not have been a society hostess, but only because she'd never had an interest in doing those things. If she'd wanted a house of her own when they married he would have bought one for her; if she'd wanted to host, his mother would surely have allowed the use of the estate for any purpose she had set her mind to. (Shallot was allowed to use the garden to throw parties; clearly there were no prerequisite skills or talents for hosting at the Dempsey estate). And it was not particularly interesting to use ah, but you've never done the thing you never wanted to do as an insult. Uninspired, really.

"Tell me some of the things you were going to say if I'd lost," he suggested. "Seems a shame to lose them." He slid his right hand from the bed to her waist, then up to cup her breast. He'd already thought about sex twice in the last ten seconds and his mind had clearly decided to make it a theme; the next thought that had occurred to him after he'd moved on from his lackluster insult was to wonder whether houses in Mayfair tended to have visual wards on the gardens or not. They were all packed in so closely the neighbors would see if not for magical intervention, which meant he wouldn't be able to pin her down on the edge of a garden fountain... wards would be easily accomplished, but if it wasn't a standard procedure for the area then their existence would be cause for rumor in and of itself. All of which to say: he was probably going to have her undressed in a minute or so, whatever they talked about.

MJ is the light of my life <3
"Lazy parry," Sina countered, smiling wryly. She was pleased to have Oz's hand on her breast, as it meant they really were in for avoiding the rest of the household longer — and because she wanted to have sex, what was the point of lying around with her husband if they were not going to have sex about it sooner or later?

"If it was someone from the Ministry — not Whitledge, obviously — I would have spent all morning extolling the virtues of the establishment," Sina said. She rested a hand on Oz's thigh, and began tracing slow, lazy circles on his skin with one finger. "And perhaps something about how they must have leaked reports from the patent office to Ministry staff, and no one would trust the government with someone who once got stuck inside a weather-adaptable coat."

Her hand drifted to the inside of his thigh, teasing.

set by MJ
Oz let out a soft huff of amusement. He had fond memories of the situation with the weather adapting coat — not of getting himself stuck in it, obviously, but of the lengths she'd gone through to extract him from it. That had been early in their relationship, before they had even been engaged, but they had already sort of belonged to each other; Oz doubted, looking back on it, that Thomasina was quite so exacting with the patients she was not wildly attracted to. He was charmed that she had crafted an insult that was well-aimed and accurate and managed to bring back pleasant memories. That was no mean feat. He was even more charmed that she'd apparently thought through a variety of these, based on different outcomes of the election. It made her lazier jabs this morning quite forgivable.

"You'd have been better off married to a traditionalist," he countered playfully, as he caressed her through her dressing gown. "The only men who could be happily married to you are the ones who never listen to a word that leaves their wives' mouths." He slid his thigh over, moving into her fingertips. At this point he was half stradling her, and their clothing was going to become problematic sooner rather than later. Thankfully house coats were easily removed.

Oz propped himself up on his other elbow, still using his right hand to massage her breast, then leaned down to hungrily kiss her neck. After a moment he popped his head up and considered her with a grin. "What would you have said if Whitledge had won? It would have been hard to top that," he said with a chuckle. "As insults go."

MJ is the light of my life <3

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