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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.

Where will you fall?

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It’s quite unusual for a caster's patronus to be their favourite animal, but very possible that it will take the shape of a creature they’ve never before seen or heard of. — Amy
As he fell, Ford recalled the trials of Gulliver during his interactions with the Lilliputians.
Potato Wars

She Never Wanted to be White Picket Fenced In
Winnie recoiled the instant he moved in her direction, wincing and trying to make herself smaller. Angry as she was, she had never lost that reaction when faced with an irate man, no matter that it was only Dory. She hated herself for it, but the response was so visceral she couldn't help it.

"I'm not good enough for you." Her voice was dry and quiet, another sob working its way out of her chest. "I can't meet the expectations, yours, mine, your family's, society's. You cannot honestly think your family would welcome me with open arms or that I would be welcome at ministry parties." Winnie couldn't picture herself among them at a holiday or a birthday, all those little happy families with their children running around. Nor could she imagine trying to make a good impression among his coworkers and their wives. The thought of it made her dizzy and a little ill.

Wiping away the tears that were falling steadily, Winnie straightened herself up and took a deep breath. She had everything that was necessary, she could come back another time for the rest. "I'm sorry, I honestly did try. It just wasn't enough."

[Image: Winnie-Sig.png]
He saw her flinch and immediately sat back on the bed. Nevermind that sitting throughout this made him feel as though he was a cripple, Dory still held true to never wanting to hurt Winnie. She had traumas that he'd never understand fully, wounds that would never be healed. Him taking that step back and sitting was all he could do in this situation to prove he wasn't anything like that prick.

Still, he was no less frustrated than he was a minute ago and it showed on his face. "The only expectations I care about are ours. Not my family. Not society's. Yours and mine." His family got used to the sailor anyway, a well respected midwife would be a considerable step up in his eyes. Sure, it'd take some time for them to adjust to Winnie, but Dory was confident that they would in time. All he needed was fucking time.

And there was none.

She was leaving and nothing he could say could stop it from happening. It was as though he was watching a train wreck in slow motion. Dory felt sick, the drinks he'd had rolling in his stomach like a ship on a violent sea. "Could you just stop for a minute with this 'not enough' shit, please? You're enough. You've always been enough."

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That right there was why she didn't deserve him. She had backed herself against the wall and he'd immediately sat down. He needed somebody who could handle him when he was like this and she couldn't. For all of her outward confidence, Winnie was not as durable as she liked to make everyone think.

"I have never been enough," she protested weakly. "Not for my sisters, not when Kit was missing, not when I was pregnant, not now. I can't make myself into something I'm not." All she had was her job and it wasn't conducive to the life he wanted to lead; she couldn't, wouldn't, give that up. He said it didn't matter, but he was already showing signs of being tired of it, eating before coming home because he wasn't sure if she'd be here; a completely unpredictable schedule; it wasn't like she could control when she had to leave and it would inevitably happen during something important and it would be the last straw.

She was just trying to save them both from getting too comfortable and then everything crumbling when the tower got too high. Winnie couldn't hold back the sobs, she curled into herself, leaning against the wall, unable to look at him.

[Image: Winnie-Sig.png]
He was helpless against her sobs. Dory couldn't - wouldn't approach her without her expressed permission, but how was he meant to watch her stand there and break down without supporting her? (Somewhere deep in the back of his mind Dory was beginning to recognize that he had caused this. She was feeling broken and insecure because of his hopes for them.) He thought to stand again but the second his foot made solid contact with the ground he knew he could do no such thing without his cane.

He sucked in a deep breath, trying to squash the anger and frustration in favor of helping her. It was still there, pulsing and vibrating with intense rage, but, for the moment, Dory had gotten the reigns on it. Another breath later saw him gently patting the space besides him on the bed. "Please come here?"

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Winnie shook her head as she sank to the floor, wrapping her arms around her knees. She'd known this was coming; it was always in the back of her mind, but now that the reality of it was here, it was harder to accept than she anticipated.

"If I come over there, you'll hold me and tell me it'll be alright and it'll just prolong the inevitable until the next fight." It came out in a miserable whisper, the emotion thick in her voice, coating her words in resignation.

Why couldn't he see she was trying to save them the same old argument and heartbreak? He was still young, had plenty of time to figure out what and who he wanted in life. She was old enough to know better and could right herself well enough to find something she could live with, but those two things were not the same. They didn't overlap.

Her refusal was devastating. Dory had always prided himself on being somewhere she felt comforted and loved. They had their fights and avoided one another at times, but at the end of the day they were always there. For years now that had been the case. In fact, Dory would be hard pressed to find a time in his life when Winnie wasn't the first person he thought of when he was having a difficult day. For that to have changed so suddenly - Dory didn't know what to make of it.

"I can't just watch you cry, love. Please." Dory would have walked over to her and crouched a few feet away if his legs were functional. He would've at the very least sat on the floor opposite her so that they were eye level, but he couldn't fucking walk without his cane right now with the pain how it was. "If you need to leave I won't stop you. Just please, for a minute."

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"I can't," she shook her head again. Winnie knew she would crumble. One of them had to be the bad guy and it might a well be her. "I want to, but I can't." There was no sense in trying to make this better, not now.

She couldn't sit here like this and torment him any more either. She didn't need to look at him to know this was hard for him too, to see her like this, but the panic was so strong she didn't know exactly how to put it all back in the box. Every insecurity she'd ever had was on full display and she hated how it made her feel, how it made her look, but she didn't know what to do.

Well, she knew what she had to do first and that was get up off the floor and force the moving on. After a moment she managed to pull herself together a little bit and took a deep breath. It wasn't fair to him for her to unravel like this here, in front of him, so she wiped away the remaining tears and sighed softly. Now was the time to walk away and let everything fall apart. It would be better for them both in the long run, she had to believe in that.

Winnie shook herself out of the panic for the moment, only for his benefit and stood up, still leaning on the wall for support. For the first time since he'd stood up, she was able to look at him, a sad sort of smile tugging at the corner of her lips. "I'm sorry I couldn't be what you needed me to be." She wiped away another errant tear with the back of her hand and reached down for her carpet bag. "I'll come get the rest of my things when you're at work." To save them both another go around like this.

[Image: Winnie-Sig.png]
Already, Dory was struggling to his feet. He wouldn't beg her to stay - he was far too prideful for that - but he also wouldn't remain the docile fool in the corner and watch her go without acknowledgement. His leg screamed in protest as he forced himself to his feet but he was standing before she made it to the door. "You are everything I need." He insisted again. She was everything and more - how could she not see that?

How could she just leave like this?

He was unable to hold her gaze for long, his heartbreak too heavy and the air too full of grief to face it head on like this. "I love you. Whatever happens, I'll always be here." He said instead of the thousand protests on his tongue. "You are enough, Winnie. You're enough for me and your family and whomever else. I hope one day you can believe me."

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The worst part was that she could see he believed his words, but she couldn't. He would see in time, when he found somebody who would actually be what he needed, who could give him what he didn't yet realize what he was missing; that she wasn't it.

Winnie paused by the doorframe, intent on at least grabbing her gin from the kitchen before leaving; she would need it tonight. "I love you too," she said over her shoulder. "I hope one day you'll understand that's why I have to go." Maybe not for a long while, but eventually he would see the reasons why she had done what she had. When the anger and hurt faded, when he was happy with someone else, when he moved into a house big enough to fit his little family, it would all make sense. She had to believe that, otherwise it would ruin her.

"Bye, Dory." She cast him one more sad smile before she bolted for the kitchen, disapparating soon after.

[Image: Winnie-Sig.png]

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