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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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Did You Know?
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.
Check Your Privilege

good cop, bad cop
28 February, 1894 — Greengrass Home

Ford had thought the contractors who were meant to build the third floor had been a little overly cautious when they'd delayed starting work in earnest until after the upcoming cold snap, but as he surveyed the multiple feet of snow piled against the edges of the house he was profoundly grateful to have a real roof over all of their heads and not a magically reinforced tarp. Hopefully the snow would clear soon enough that they would still be able to finish on time. The builder hadn't seemed anxious about the timeline when he'd suggested the delay, but that had been when the paper had only said cold weather, with nothing about a blizzard. If the bedrooms weren't ready in time then Ford supposed they would have to stay extra nights at the Sanditon until it was finished, because there was no way he could move Miss Farley into his room in the meantime. It was already the smallest one in the house, originally intended for a live-in servant rather than the head of the household. Theoretically perhaps they could oust Mama from her room — it was big enough for two, and had the attached bath — but Mama would complain bitterly, and it would be hard to explain to anyone who didn't know about their finances why this made more sense than simply staying at the hotel another week. Hopefully the snow would clear and the third floor wouldn't take long and this would all be a moot point. In the meantime, there was no real sense in worrying about it; unless he became an overnight expert in weather charms there was nothing he could do to change anything.

An owl had arrived this morning informing him that the Ministry was not expecting anyone to report in (except "critical personnel", which was not defined in the missive but which Ford was sure he was safe to assume he was not included in) due to the impassibility of the streets and the continued unreliability of the floo. So he had nowhere to go today, apparently, and no way to get there even if he'd wanted to. (No trips to Tycho's today, then — but if owls could fly then presumably Ty could, too?)

He'd had breakfast with Grace then tried and failed to read in his bedroom (he'd wanted to read to distract himself from all the things he usually did when he had free time at home these days — mostly pacing and fretting — but he was too anxious to focus on reading). Eventually he abandoned the book and went to the kitchen to fix cocoa, which he intended to share with Grace, but when he carried two mugs into the parlor it was Clementine he found first, and although he had precisely no desire to sit and chat with Clementine over cups of cocoa it seemed rude to walk through the room with two mugs and not at least ask if she wanted one.

So: "Cococa?" he offered, holding a mug in her direction. He didn't sit yet, fully intending to leave the room in search of Grace if she declined (though he did not imagine he would be so lucky).
Clementine Greengrass

Set by Lady!
It would not have surprised Clementine Greengrass to learn that her brother had been actively avoiding her. Well, not her per se, but being alone with her—without Grace, or Mama, or even Noble to serve as a buffer. After all, it had been years since the pair had had what might be considered an easy realtionship, and Clem had not exactly been generous to her brother since what she was now referring to as The Incident. Fortitude Greengrass, all high and mighty and full of himself and found in a closet with Jemima Farley!

Clementine did not know what bothered her more: that her brother had proven to be an utter hypocrite or that Miss Farley was now required to marry him or be ruined. The patriarchy and her brother (himself the family patriarch) were both truly Problems of the highest order.

This cocoa, she wondered—was it a peace offering, or a trap?

"Thank you," she offered stiffly by way of response, setting her needlepoint to the side, the half-finsihed golden snidget staring benignly up at the ceiling now. Clem's eyes studied her brother carefully as he moved into the room more fully, her body tensed—for battle, to attack, or just becuase there was slim chance of the pair having a comfortable conversation.

"Not drugged, I assume?" the young witch asked, the joke ringing hollow even to her.
Fortitude Greengrass

set by mj
Ford supposed this was meant to be a joke, but whatever about it was meant to be funny had entirely eluded him. Maybe the Greengrass family ought to retire from the business of casual jokes for a fortnight or two; his attempts to lighten the mood with Verity a few days ago had gone over about as well, or worse. In any case, he sighed. "What reason could I possibly have for wanting to drug your cocoa?" he asked as he surrendered it to her and retreated to a chair on the other side of the room. "Is this your way of admitting that you're up to no good, and if I knew I'd be trying to foil you?"

He hoped not. Clementine's schemes were the last thing on his mind at the moment, and he certainly didn't need anything more to worry about.

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   Christopher Moony

Set by Lady!
"If needlework were at all nefarious, I have little doubt you would have long since forbidden it," Clementine pointed out primly. Just like he tried to stand in the way of anything remotely enjoyable. Still, she took the cocoa, blowing on it lightly before taking a sip to signify in acceptance of whatever semblance of... peace offering it might be.

(Though Clementine had not ruled out it might be a trap of some sort, simply that it might be a malicious one.)

"Is this practice, then, for when you have Miss Far—a wife to impress with your thoughtfulness?"
Fortitude Greengrass

set by mj
"Her name is still Miss Farley," Ford pointed out mildly. It was bad enough trying to wrap his head around the notion of calling her something else in the near future; he hardly needed anyone skipping straight over the adjustment period he was supposed to be allowed. As to whether or not he was practicing to impress her... well, he imagined it would take a lot more than an offer of shared cocoa to impress her. They hadn't gotten on so poorly when he'd gone to pay a call on her, the one interaction they had had since the coatroom incident to date, but Ford thought secretly she must still have resented him. She was making the best of a bad situation, and determined not to be outwardly hostile, but he was the bad situation.

"I don't know. Are you impressed?" he asked with a shrug, then sipped his cocoa.

Set by Lady!
She wouldn't be Miss Farley for long, Clem wanted to point out, but uncharacteristically held her tongue. Not for her brother's sake, of course, but for her own: that one of her schoolmates was very soon to be lady of the damned house was, frankly, horrifying.

That said, she might have been impressed, if she was not still convinced her brother had ulterior motives. That was, perhaps, more of a testament to Fortitude's casual negligence, though, than to the impressiveness of the gesture.

"I am not easily impressed," she pointed out, "though your bride to be may well be."

After all, Miss Farley had allowed herself to get trapped into marriage—or worse, may even have sought it out. The older witch had never been an intellectual even in comparison to Clementine, but still, that had been a surprise.
Fortitude Greengrass

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   Elias Grimstone

set by mj
Saying that Miss Farley was easily impressed was not explicitly an insult, but Ford felt that his sister had probably intended it as one. He frowned at her over the rim of his cocoa mug.

"Clementine," he said — he was not entirely sure himself whether he meant to admonish or direct or plead and so his tone was accordingly uncertain. "Be nice to her."

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   Elias Grimstone

Set by Lady!
"Be nice to her?" Clementine demanded incredulously, tone sharpening. "She has done nothing to spark anything less. Do you expect I shall put a frog in her bed? Call her a harlot?"
Fortitude Greengrass

set by mj
Honestly, yes, he rather did expect that. Not that she would openly use the word harlot — Clementine was too clever to be so brazen; she would plan her 'innocent slip of the tongue' with more plausible deniability than that — but yes, Clementine doing something to make his new bride feel unwelcome did not seem even remotely far-fetched. Not because he supposed Clementine and Jemima Farley were mortal enemies or bitter rivals, but only because Clem knew that it would aggravate Ford, and she was eternally choosing whatever course of action was most likely to aggravate him.

Rather than respond to her question, then, he pressed on as though the answer was self-evident. "She'll have plenty to deal with already, without anyone here making things harder," he pointed out. Clementine would know, of course, that none of this had been planned — Ford may not have openly said as much, but he had never even superficially tried to pretend otherwise, within the walls of the house. He could pretend that he liked Miss Farley and maybe he could convince them of that; he could never hope to convince them that he'd been planning to marry her and they had somehow never noticed. So she would understand that this was going to be a big adjustment for his wife-to-be, even if the rumors died off immediately after the wedding — which they probably wouldn't.

Set by Lady!
"She has things hard enough," Clementine returned stubbornly, "but you do not have things nearly difficult enough."

Clementine was not always honest with her brother. She did not lie to him any more than the little fibs permitted, even expected, between a brother and sister, but just as in much of society, there were things that Clem simply did not say, did not admit; she doubted very much that the reverse was not also the case. Her expression now, though, was very plain: she was angry with her brother, with his addition of Jemima Farley to their family.
Fortitude Greengrass

set by mj
Ford bit his tongue hard enough to hurt. Clementine didn't know, and would never know, about all of the things he was dealing with, but that was by design. She didn't know how much he'd been sacrificing for years to keep their family afloat; didn't know the risks he'd taken or the crimes he'd committed; didn't know that he was losing someone he loved in order to keep suspicion off of them. Noble knew, and Noble had said he was sorry, and Ford was going to have to be content with only that when it came to sibling support.

"Go on, then," he said mildly, thinking of when he'd told Verity earlier that week he wanted her to yell at him just to get it over with. She hadn't, because even inside the walls of their own home Verity was eternally concerned with appearances, but Clementine had never been so circumspect. Maybe she would. If she wanted to start a fight, he'd much prefer it happen now than in a few weeks when Miss Farley was lingering somewhere within earshot (if Clementine really got going he suspected the entire house would be within earshot).

Set by Lady!

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