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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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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

every sunday I hold seances
11 February, 1894 — Leonid's House, Bartonburg

Valentine's Day was approaching, and while that meant nothing to him really he had been taking note of the uptick in love-centered advertisements, decorations, and other things popping up around Hogsmeade. He assumed Leonid probably had plans for some sort of party this week — even though it was technically out of the social season, in Victor's experience there was always at least one or two parties that cropped up around the holiday as everyone grew tired of having stayed home since Christmas. This would probably be the last time they saw each other prior to that, Victor figured. Something had been weighing on his mind more and more often as the red and pink decorations took over more and more of the High Street shop windows, but he wasn't sure whether it was something he ought to bring up and talk through or not. He figured he knew what Leonid would say, but he wasn't sure whether he ought to take him at his word.

The thing Victor wasn't sure he wanted to bring up: he was worried that his ongoing relationship with Leo might hold him back from having a relationship with someone living. The thing he assumed Leo would say in response: that he didn't feel like Victor was holding him back, that he didn't want to go pursuing anyone else at the moment, that he enjoyed their time together and didn't want to give it up. The thing that kept nagging at the back of his mind: maybe it wasn't fair of him to keep this going long-term, even if it was what Leo said he wanted. Victor had decided when Christabel left him that he wanted to do things that made him happy, to be a little more selfish and a little less self-sacrificing, but it was a hard mindset to shift overnight; he still felt as though he had some sort of an obligation to take care of everyone around him.

He didn't bring it up, but was clearly more pensive than usual during their interactions tonight. Eventually, he turned the conversation in a different direction entirely by asking, "Did I ever tell you how my wife left me?"
Leonid Fisk Tycho Dodonus

Fabulous set by Lady!
It was hard to miss that Valentines Day was arriving given the advertisements, decorations and the complaints of the attached men in the office. Hm. Last Valentine's Day the man he had feelings for had been a rather recently created ghost and had obviously been preoccupied with that. The years before that, he had been rather unattached. Did men typically do things for their male lovers even if said lover wasn't a ghost?

Then he had come into the knowledge of a new drug called Spiritus Sancti. Some of the features of it... well. It sounded appealing. He didn't know how to bring it up to Victor though. Or if he should. What if it turned out to be a hoax and they got their hopes up for nothing?

As it was, he had put it out of his mind for the time being as he spoke to Victor about a selection of books he had purchased for them to read together. Or rather, for Leonid to read aloud or for Victor to read over his shoulder. Whichever Victor felt like doing. The subject shifted and Leonid was a little surprised as to the direction it had taken. "No, you hadn't. I figured you would tell me if you felt I should know or whenever you felt comfortable telling me."

Set by MJ
"Oh, I'm comfortable telling you anything," he answered automatically, though he had to reflect after the words left his mouth on whether or not that was true. It was true that Victor didn't care to keep many secrets these days, when it came to things like this. He had held on to so many secrets for the sake of other people — the most egregious case being how Beatrice had killed him — but he was mostly done with that, he thought. There was still some level of not wanting to tell people things that would make them uncomfortable or hurt them, but he thought even that impulse might be fading as he moved farther and farther from his days among the living.

But it was besides the point anyway, because he wanted to tell Leo this and he had no reason to suspect Leonid wouldn't want to hear it. "I came into her room and saw her dead on the bed," he said without preamble. "Not asleep, she was laying down as though she might have been asleep but her eyes were open and there was — you can tell, when there's nothing there, in someone's eyes. And then she drifted into the room — spectral, wearing the same thing her body was but translucent, you know. Like me. She looked just like me. And I talked to her, and she touched me —" She'd shoved his chest, actually, which wasn't a particularly good way to be touched, but in the moment his mind had latched onto that as proof that he had not hallucinated or imagined her appearance. He would not have dreamt up her having touched him. "— and then got angry and went back into her body and out through the floo." He paused for a second, hoping Leonid could understand how terribly disorienting that would have been from his perspective. "And I couldn't follow her through the floo and I had no idea what the hell had happened, and whether she was alive or dead, really."

Fabulous set by Lady!
Leonid chuckled at the automatic answer he was given. He did appreciate that very much. He settled more comfortably into his seat as he listened to Victor speak. Whatever he had been expecting had most certainly not been the words uttered. He blinked in shock for a moment as Victor described how he had come upon his wife, still as a corpse with her eyes open. He had not heard of any death announcement for a Mrs. Daphnel.

He felt like he was missing a large puzzle piece here, such as why the woman had gotten angry. But the 'back in her body' part clicked things into place for him for part of the whole thing at least. "Sounds like she had taken Spiritus Sancti," Leonid explained, now understanding how confusing and blindsiding that must have been for his spectral lover. "And she had given no hint at all that she might be doing so? That had to be shocking to see her as a corpse with no ample warning."

Set by MJ
"Precisely," Victor agreed. He knew all about Spiritus Sancti now. "It took me nearly two days to uncover that she was alive and it was a drug. She'd never said anything about it before. And by then she was quite adamantly against any type of reconciliation," he continued. Christabel's words from when he had tracked her down at the Dempsey estate still rattled in his head from time to time. He generally considered himself logical and level-headed, but thrice in three days she had driven him to raise his voice at her. You were not the one who lost everything, Victor, she had said, as though her wilful withdrawal from society was comparable to the fact that he would never cast a spell again, never eat a meal again, never touch someone's hand again. Her egocentrism still boggled his mind to this day.

"But the point of the story," he said, arching both eyebrows at Leonid. "Was that she touched me."

Fabulous set by Lady!
Leonid continued listening as the other spoke. He couldn't imagine how it must have felt for Victor to wonder what the heck had happened. He did not know the full extent of what had went down but he was obviously very biased in whose side he was on.

Victors words and arched eyebrows made Leonid blush. "Ah yes. I've heard that the touch while on Spiritus Sancti can be quite... diverting even for natural made ghosts." He didn't know why he was being so bashful when he had taken Victor into his mouth many times when the other had been alive. For some reason, talk of the drug and the idea of using it to have relations of a kind with Victor again made him feel like a blushing virgin on her wedding night.

Set by MJ
Whether that was true or not was pretty far beyond the point, for Victor. He understood Leo bringing it up, because Leo was alive; he took touch for granted. Victor had too, for his entire life. He didn't anymore. What he wouldn't have given to be able to touch someone again. It didn't have to be diverting, as Leo put it — it didn't even have to be sexual. Just the idea of being able to feel skin beneath his fingers again was enough for him to be eager for it.

"You have no idea what I'd do to touch you again," he said, which sounded hyperbolic and romantic but was probably true — he didn't think it was possible for any living person to actually understand how he felt.

Fabulous set by Lady!
Leonid smiled and blushed in response to the others words. "I'm willing to give the potion a try... I would just need to procure it first." He didn't really know who was the main source for the drug but they would probably show up at one of the more... racy parties he sometimes found himself invited to. "Once I can get some, we could give it a try." Then if they liked it, maybe see about getting a ready supply or something.

Set by MJ
Victor grinned. He was pleased that Leo had agreed so readily; he'd been prepared to try and convince him, as evidenced by how he'd lead into the proposal with a story about Christabel rather than just coming straight out and asking.

"I'll keep my ears open, too," he offered. He wouldn't be able to actually get any, but maybe he could ask questions and snoop around in ways that Leo couldn't, to get him headed down the right path.

Fabulous set by Lady!

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