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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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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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Flying Failures
october 27th, 1893 — after flying class, castle grounds, hogwarts
Hyacinth had been truly dreading flying class since the moment she had arrived at Hogwarts, knowing that she would have to awkwardly tell the instructor that she could not participate. For one, she was blind; she couldn’t even see shadows with her type of blindness so she couldn’t really fly safely without a lot of one-on-one training that would rival a professional athlete. Then, there was the more damning thing, her muscle weakness; she often used a wheelchair because she was prone to fainting or just needing to rest her legs after a period of time. There was no way she could stay on a broom for a lengthy class without falling because the stamina wasn’t there. The first instructor she had met had been pretty kind; taught her how to summon a broom like normal and just coast around low to the ground, much like a child’s toy rather than a professional broomstick. That way she could still get a feel for the sport and get a bit of exercise, but she wouldn’t have to worry about doing anything dangerous. However, it seemed after they had left, they never told the new instructor about Hyacinth’s accommodations.

Being too shy and nervous to talk to the new instructor, Hyacinth spent the whole class period on the verge of tears as she kept telling Coach Crouch ‘no’ whenever he asked her to do something; she was so scared that he was going to take away all of the points that Slytherin had earned, though, thinking she was being disobedient or something. In the end, he told her to stay after class so he could talk to her about it and so while her classmates left to go and have a snack or go to another class or wherever they were going, Hyacinth sniffled and tried to help put back some of the brooms in order to earn the favor of her new teacher. She jumped when she heard the coach’s voice addressing her, not hearing him come up to her; looking in the direction of his voice, she apologized, “I’m sorry. Please don’t punish Slytherin. We worked really hard for all of our points.”
Reuben Crouch

[Image: hyacinth-signature.png]
Ben wasn't cut out for this. He had fond memories of his school days, but when he thought back on it he barely remembered what any of the professors had been doing; now he suspected perhaps that was because they were all so busy they simply didn't exist outside of lessons. Granted, he had been thrust into teaching a class he was utterly unqualified for and that probably wasn't normal, but even before this week he'd been feeling a bit underwater. It wasn't the flying that was difficult — he could teach anyone how to fly — it was managing the classroom dynamics. Like Hyacinth Valenduris, for example. How was he meant to teach her anything if the only thing she did in the class was stand still and shake her head? When she'd first refused, when he'd started classes last week, he'd thought maybe she was shy and needed a day or two to warm up. Then he'd wondered if maybe he ought to 2be a little more forceful with her, but he didn't want to force anyone to fly — that was only going to end with a terrified eleven year old in the hospital wing. But he was worried that her blunt refusal to participate was going to impact the other students, so he needed to do something about her.

That was why he'd asked her to stay behind after class. When she started in about house points, though, he couldn't help but blink in surprise. "House points? No, I'm not going to take away house points." Was that even a thing people did? It had never occurred to him. He supposed technically he could take away house points, but he hadn't done it yet. "I'm just — concerned about your, uh, flying performance."

Performance was a charitable word for it — she hadn't participated at all yet, at least that he had seen. Surely the last professor hadn't just allowed her to do this all year?

MJ made this <3
It was a comfort that her house wasn’t going to lose points for her failure to participate in flying lessons; she would hate for everyone to hate her because she was the reason they were being punished and might not end up winning the House Cup at the end of the year. “Thank you, sir,” she answered, thinking she ought to express how grateful she was, otherwise he might change his mind. She fidgeted some, “I’m sorry for not participating, I just can’t.” Her cheeks started to flush pink in embarrassment. Gently she reached out in front of her, feeling for another one of the brooms that was left out, carefully she made her way to put it away, silently counting the steps in her head as she remembered where the broom cupboard was, as if trying to stall by helping clean up the grounds for him. When she came back, however, she wasn’t looking in the direction of Coach Crouch when she spoke to him again, trying to make herself feel braver, “Promise you won’t be angry at me, okay?”

[Image: hyacinth-signature.png]
Watching a kid beating herself up like this felt positively lousy. Ben almost regretted asking her to stay behind in the first place, but what was the alternative? Just let her sit there and refuse to participate all year? In all honesty it might not be the end of the world if one girl, probably destined for a life of luxury in Wellingtonshire as a society wife, didn't know how to ride a broom. She'd spend more time in a carriage than anything else. That being said, he shuddered to think of what Headmaster Black or the Deputy Head would say if they happened to look out their window during flying lessons and saw that he'd let a frightened eleven year old just sit and pout for the afternoon.

"I'm not angry," he clarified, though even to his own ears his tone did sound exasperated. "But I can't let you just sit out lessons. I know flying can be frightening, but you have to at least try."

MJ made this <3
It made her feel better as well to know that he wasn’t angry with her, but she couldn’t help but worry if he might become that way. Her parents loved her dearly and even they sometimes spoke about, when they didn’t know she could hear them, how frustrated and bothered they were that her disability got in the way of things. She hated feeling like an inconvenience or a burden, so Hyacinth had tried her very best to participate as much as she could with her classmates, even pushing past her limit sometimes in order to keep up. But, in this case, there just wasn’t a safe way for her to do it. She played with the edges of the sleeves on her uniform, chewing her bottom lip, he was right, she thought, she had to try, she just was scared that without the feeling of the ground beneath her, she wouldn’t be able to figure out where she was at or she would get too tired and she would crash to the ground. Especially as Hyacinth probably couldn’t bring her wand up with her to guide her while she flew.

“The problem, Coach,” she swallowed, once again looking in the direction of his voice, “I'm afraid I won’t know where I’m going and I’ll fall. You see, well, I can’t see.” She felt her cheeks go red hot in shame, “A-And, well, my body gets too tired sometimes. The old coach used to let me fly low to the ground during class, you know, and slowly, so I wouldn’t accidentally get hurt.” She bowed her head so she was now facing the grass, even without her sight she knew what it felt like to be looked at and stared at in pity or hate, and she was frightened he was going to make her feel bad like so many others before him had.

[Image: hyacinth-signature.png]
Well, that explained how she'd gotten through the first few months of class, at least, but Ben wasn't much cheered by this answer. Flying low and slow? That was fine for the first few weeks, he supposed. In that stage the class was still focusing on the basics of how to call their broom up and how to lean to steer it, so everyone was probably going low and slow. But that wasn't the point of broom travel. If she was going to just putter around a few feet from the ground at a walking pace, she'd might as well not learn to ride at all. And honestly, after this year, that was fine — as he'd already thought through, she was probably likely to spend more of her time in a carriage than on a broomstick. It wouldn't have surprised him in flying was an optional elective for young women, for that reason, but the powers that be hadn't decided to make it so — and of course there were benefits of learning to fly even if one didn't end up using it on a daily basis, so it wasn't as though he was complaining.

"If you're worried about flying in clouds or fog, you don't need to fret about that," he said, still entirely missing her meaning when she said she was afraid she couldn't see. "It's not a requirement for the class, and if we had particularly bad weather I'm sure we'd cancel the lesson for the day. It's more about building up the intuition than becoming a really good flyer, for these sessions. And, uh — exercise is invigorating for young women," he said awkwardly — this sounded like a quip from Witch Weekly, but he was trying to address her comment about getting too tired. He had no frame of reference for this problem, since he'd grown up with (if anything) too much energy, but it sounded like the sort of thing girls raised to believe being delicate was a virtue might say, so maybe a pithy society quip was the right way to counter it.

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   Elisabeth Champagne

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Hyacinth never felt one way or the other about the last flying instructor, besides just figuring they were nice enough, but at this moment she was missing them quite terribly, wishing they had never left Hogwarts, or at the very least had left a letter or something to explain what sort of accommodations had been agreed upon for her so she didn’t have to have this embarrassing conversation. Especially, as Hyacinth furrowed her brows in confusion at her coach’s response to her confession, she slowly began to realize that Coach Crouch completely misunderstood what she had been trying to tell him and he just thought she was afraid of flying in terrible weather that would normally hinder any seeing person just like any of her other classmates.

“Yes, yes, I know exercise is a good thing…” she flushed pinker, raising her chin so she was once again looking directly at him, though her head was tilted in sort of confusion; Hyacinth wasn’t entirely certain how to explain to him that she, again, could exercise, but it required accommodations because of her need to rest. Now, Hyacinth knew a lot more about her own health than most people did, she’d listened to what her healers said, she even understood more than her parents gave her credit for despite being young, but still, she felt it would have been easier if she had her parents or her elder siblings here to clarify things. “Sir, please, I’m afraid you don’t understand,” she pleaded with him, she took deep breaths, trying to not start crying, despite the way her eyes began to well up and she could feel them sting. No, she would not have a meltdown, she was a big girl now, she wanted to be independent, she was not going to prove everyone who called her delicate right; she clenched her fists some, trying to calm down. “Please, Coach, listen, it’s not that I’m scared, or that I don’t want to exercise, it’s just, I can’t,” she sighed and then unclenched one of her hands and waved it in front of her face to prove a point, “I can’t see! I got very sick when I was a baby and since then, I can’t see! Please, you can write to my mama, she’ll explain if you need her to.”

[Image: hyacinth-signature.png]
Ben saw that she was getting more emotional about this and preemptively tensed, not sure how to react — and that was before she made her big announcement. Oh, Merlin's beard. She was blind? After she waved her hand in front of her face Ben took a closer look at her eyes for the first real time — she usually wasn't looking at him, even when they were speaking, so he'd never had the opportunity to really make eye contact before. And yeah, now that he was looking, there was definitely something off about them. For Merlin's sake. There were blind students at Hogwarts? Ben never recalled anyone like that being a student when he was at school. How did they do — well, anything? Flying was obviously problematic, but how did she take notes in classes, or even navigate the castle on her own? Fuck's sake — maybe she didn't. Maybe she always had a friend by her side to help her along, and now that Ben had asked her to stay behind he'd left her stranded and would end up having to escort her to where ever she was going next. And this conversation was probably going to get back around to the Deputy Headmaster, sooner than later. (She probably wouldn't have been at Hogwarts in the first place if her last name wasn't Valenduris, Ben thought — an uncharitable thought, perhaps, but probably true).

Someone could have at least warned him. Fuck's sake. The only saving grace at the moment was that she apparently couldn't see the expression on his face as he tried to wrestle with how to respond to this.

After a long pause, he said wearily, "Why don't you spend the rest of the class periods in the library?" He wasn't sure what she'd be able to accomplish in the library, either, if she couldn't read any of the books, but at least there she wouldn't be a distraction to the rest of the class — and she wouldn't be in danger of hurting herself if she tried to participate.

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   Elisabeth Champagne

MJ made this <3
Hyacinth hoped that she had made herself clearer this time, especially because she felt shy and embarrassed to discuss her disabilities outloud with people that she wasn’t particularly close to, as she didn’t trust them to treat her kindly upon hearing about it. As Coach Crouch remained silent, registering what she said, she fidgeted some, and although she could not see him, she was looking directly at him and she almost could feel him staring at her. Hyacinth was used to people looking at her with pity, even without seeing the way he looked at her, it was like she could feel that he was probably questioning why she was even here in the first place. Hyacinth wouldn’t fault him for it, if he thought she was helpless or pathetic, everyone did, even her own mother, probably even Amarantha, but she had come to Hogwarts with the kind of determination to prove that she was resourceful enough to become just as powerful and worthy of a witch as any able bodied eleven year old girl in this place.

She did, however, frown a little bit when Coach Crouch finally spoke, suggesting she spend the period in the library; it wasn’t that bad of a thought, really, she was capable of reading the books there as she had a spell to either get the books to read out loud to her or change the text to braille, but she loathed being singled out. Hyacinth held her chin high and shook her head, “I don’t think that’s necessary, Coach. As I said, the previous coach let me fly slow and low to the ground and I was fine, and like you said, exercise can be good for young ladies.” Hyacinth may have been quite scared when she first started to fly, even when she was slow and low, like a young child on their toy broomstick, but she had grown to enjoy it to a degree and it would suck if she had to give it up. “Or maybe there’s something else I can do?” she offered, “I don’t mind the library, it’s nice there, but this is one of the few classes I get to spend outside and shouldn’t I get the opportunity to enjoy some fresh air too?”

[Image: hyacinth-signature.png]
Ben sighed. He understood the reason she would protest well enough; she might as well have just come straight out and said she didn't want to be the weird kid lurking in the library when all her peers were out doing something fun. But from his perspective it was a non-starter; now that he had realized the scope of her disability, he didn't feel comfortable trying to supervise her while simultaneously teaching students who were on to entirely different tasks. Soon enough the class would be up in the air, and Ben would be teaching from a broom fifty feet up. How was he supposed to split his attention with her down on the ground? And she could be hurt so easily, just by slipping off her broom and hitting the ground the wrong way, and then he'd be responsible.

"The rest of the class won't be staying low and slow," he pointed out. "And neither will I. I'm sorry, but you can't be out here flying around or wandering the grounds unsupervised." He wasn't sure he could really prevent her from wandering the grounds, but he could also see himself being held responsible if he gave her full permission and she ended up hurting herself that way. She could trip over a tree root, or fall in the lake, or accidentally insult a centaur, and the Deputy Headmaster would come asking him why he'd let her just wander around until she was injured.

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