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Welcome to Charming, the year is now 1892. It’s time to join us and immerse yourself in scandal and drama interlaced with magic both light and dark.

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“Got the morbs” was Victorian slang for a temporary melancholia — Dante
Maybe a choice shade of grey - the closest thing she had to mourning clothes - as a symbolic marker that her relationship with Victor was dead.
dining is pageantry


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sobbing alone in front of a haunted piano
#1
February 12th, 1891 — Sonata #7 Orchestral Debut, de Montfault Theatre, Hogsmeade

Now that she had taken on the sacred duty of finding Aldous' future wife, she found herself with this task in mind every time she looked at an unmarried female. She'd wanted to see the orchestral performance simply because she liked that sort of thing but she'd spent the whole walk from the foyer preoccupied by single ladies.

It was a relief to have reached seating area where she could hopefully forget about her mission for a while. Nova headed for her seat but it wasn't until she was about to sit that she realized the woman one over was Miss Dempsey. "Oh! Good evening, Miss Dempsey." She couldn't help but to remember what she'd said to Ophelia last week which made her feel embarrassment all over again even though Miss Dempsey herself could have no knowledge of it. Not unless Ophelia had betrayed her and this Nova doubted very much.

She delicately assumed her seat and offered her a smile so small and subtle it would be more surprising if Miss Dempsey had seen it than not.

@Porphyria Dempsey | OUTFIT

Where did that weird title come from?
The following 3 users Like November Malfoy's post:
   Aristide Selwyn, Porphyria Dempsey, Reuben Crouch

#2
“Mrs. Malfoy,” Porphyria exclaimed, glancing up to see the woman coming to sit in this row, a recognisable picture of pale rosiness. She would not as yet call them friends - a friend of a friend, which was good enough recommendation in her regard; but given her reputation, was not always enough for the other party - but she smiled brightly all the same, glad at least to find some company here who was not one of her more boring brothers.

“Yes, I hope it is one,” Phyri said conversationally, about the prospect of a good evening. “But I fear that will all hinge upon the new sonata, and whether it is one worth waiting for.” Music was not particularly her place of expertise - she would call what she knew of this composer hit and miss, though there were a few rather Romantic pieces in his repertoire - but she had high hopes for the crescendo of the evening, and enough of an impatient streak to regret the entire night if it did not live up to the imagination.

“Do you care for music?” She added, with a quizzical look. If Mrs. Malfoy had found her seat already, it did not seem that she would be amongst the particularly cowardly species who had come only to mingle in the lobby and not hear a note of the orchestra - but then Mrs. Malfoy had all the enigma of a blank page, so Phyri really couldn’t tell.

#3
Nova always forgot how forthcoming Miss Dempsey was with conversation until she was observing it or - in this particular case - subject to it. As a violent introvert who lived for very poised and rehearsed conversation which felt nice and safe, anything too adlib made her uneasy. Normally people didn't prod her too much for conversation but there were the occasional few like Miss Dempsey who took no notice of her reticence.

Nova peered down at the performance. "I do." She had to say she didn't much care for the current piece, however, it was a touch too raucous. The morose wail of a lone violin was infinitely more appealing to her. "Particularly opera. Are you fond of it?" She realized it was unclear whether she was referring to opera or music in general but decided to let Miss Dempsey figure it out for herself rather than bring attention to it.

OUTFIT

#4
Porphyria wasn’t certain Mrs. Malfoy would have confessed not to liking something if it was more appropriate to agree with it, but as she had specified opera of her own accord Phryi took the liberty of believing her to be sincere. Opera was one of those things not everyone understood, after all, and people who sat through enduring it rather than internalising the emotion of it like a tidal wave did not tend to offer it as a voluntary subject of conversation.

“Of course,” she answered anyway, both to opera and to music generally. “Some, anyway. I like anything that moves me,” she confessed, still lingering between cheer and seriousness, rather fond of composers who tended to wild operatic tragedies, the stormy sort that coursed through one’s veins from head to toe. Sturm und Drang, and suchlike. “Much like poetry, I suppose. Worth absolutely nothing unless they feel like a stake to the heart. Do you think?”
The following 1 user Likes Porphyria Dempsey's post:
   November Malfoy

#5
Nova caught a gasp rising her throat before it could go anywhere but she couldn't stop the way her eyes had widened with incredulity. Was it possible Miss Dempsey was a kindred spirit after all? 'A stake to the heart' was so abruptly intense that it had her jumping to all sort of conclusions. By the time she'd processed her wishful thinking and then reasoned herself back down to earth again, she'd been staring at Miss Dempsey for near ten whole seconds, staring as though she'd just had a great revelation or else been struck dumb.

"I do." She blinked and realized from the mild irritation she felt that it must've been a while since she'd last done so. "Your favorite...?" This question was even more vague than her last but in all honesty it made no difference whether Miss Dempsey chose her favorite opera, poem, novel, music, or simply denied the possibility of choosing just one thing. All she wanted was solid evidence that Miss Dempsey was as likeminded a creature as Nova fancied she might be.

OUTFIT
The following 1 user Likes November Malfoy's post:
   Elias Grimstone

#6
Porphyria could not tell for sure whether Mrs. Malfoy was moved by her declaration or simply staring horror-struck, but neither of the options disconcerted her enough to stop talking in her usual fashion.

Certainly not when her opinion was still being solicited, although exactly what the woman was hoping to hear Phyri couldn’t say. She raised her eyebrows as if to inquire further, but opened her mouth anyway, convinced that Mrs. Malfoy was far too reserved a conversationalist to do anything so crass as finish all her sentences. “Poetry or opera? It would have to be The Ring cycle for the latter,” - if only because fifteen hours of a saga was the most outlandish one could be, and Phyri was personally rather fond of the valkyries, and of people throwing themselves onto funeral pyres.

“Whereas choosing a poem would be impossible,” Phyri added lightly, casting her eyes over Mrs. Malfoy in case she dared her to. “But I have a fondness for the one I’m named after, naturally - though you’d make a better Porphyria than I. And spread, o’er all, her yellow hair -” she quoted, gesturing at Mrs. Malfoy’s angelic pallor in demonstration.
The following 1 user Likes Porphyria Dempsey's post:
   November Malfoy

#7
Nova sat in awe of her conversation partner, an elated glee filling her chest though the only hint of it was in her staring eyes. It was entirely possible to like and appreciate the same things and yet have incompatible personalities. Nova knew this on some level but it was without a doubt the furthest thing from her mind in that moment. The Ring Cycle wasn't her personal favorite but she had enjoyed it very much and she'd certainly rather sit through the entire 15 hours of it than even the shortest of Gilbert and Sullivan's work. She didn't go to the opera to laugh!

She was quite happy to keep listening to Miss Dempsey talk about opera and poetry at length, in fact if asked she would have preferred it to having to contribute herself. Not that she lacked opinions or knowledge but she was now so desirous of intimate friendship with Miss Dempsey that she couldn't set aside enough of her brain to form meaningful sentences. In an ideal world she would simply communicate the essence of her being to Miss Dempsey without words and they would immediately be friends. There was no appropriate way to skip the awkward bit between acquaintanceship and friendship though, she would either have to communicate like a normal person or give up and angst over lost opportunities. As much as she liked angst she thought she'd prefer a female friend who fully 'got' her than perpetual angst on just this one occasion.

But then Miss Dempsey paid her so great a compliment that she wanted to hurl herself over the edge of the theater balcony in delight. Her face felt as though it was on fire she was blushing so uncontrollably, she probably hadn't looked so healthy since the exertions of Flavius' birth several years earlier.

Finding herself at a complete loss for her own words, after a long silence she found someone else's instead."Sh-she too weak for all her heart's endeavor, to set its struggling passion free..." She'd intentionally skipped over the adjoining phrase for it wasn't quite so relevant to her as the ones that followed. As soon as she said it she was filled with terror at what Miss Dempsey might think or say or do, but her terror didn't quite equal her excitement.

OUTFIT
The following 2 users Like November Malfoy's post:
   Porphyria Dempsey, Roberto Devine

#8
Porphyria did not mind talking at all, and though she had not been especially trying to provoke a reaction with the last remark, it seemed to have gotten one - and if she needed any proof that Mrs. Malfoy carried a torch for poetry, that would certainly do. She peered at Mrs. Malfoy in delight.

“From pride, and vainer ties dissever, and give herself to me for ever.” Porphyria finished the phrase, beaming - which was more a kneejerk response than anything, given all the Browning recitations she had done over the years. It was probably fortunate she hadn’t gone straight for the jugular with and strangled her; as graciously as Mrs. Malfoy had taken her remark, talking fondly of murdering her might have been a little far, and killed this acquaintanceship just as fast. Maybe. 

“But at the same time, I am quite envious of your name,” Phyri mused more quietly, half to herself. Forgetting all Malfoys and Crouches, that was what she had first thought the most intriguing thing about the woman. “November.” It was a particularly dreary month, eerie and dark, just the sort she liked. She would ask more about it, but she had priorities. “You care for poetry, then?” she asked, though with a quirk of her lips that anticipated the answer. “Any favourites?”
The following 1 user Likes Porphyria Dempsey's post:
   November Malfoy

#9
Nova's heart was pounding away furiously which only made maintaining her composure all the more challenging. Could this really be happening? Were Miss Dempsey a gentleman she'd have fancied it was something straight from the pages of a novel. She'd thought Elmer Macmillan was the only like-minded soul in wizarding Britain, perhaps the world, and yet Miss Dempsey had been hiding in plain sight on the other side of Ophelia all this time. She didn't really talk much about poetry around Ophelia, or anyone else really unless it happened to be relevant to the conversation or she thought the present company wouldn't think her odd.

The remark about her name almost put her out of commission entirely. How many years had she been acquainted with Miss Dempsey, how many times had she agonized over her envy for her name, and here she was paying her the compliment first? There was nothing poetic about her name, her mother had cruelly named her for the day she was born as if she didn't know how to name a daughter after having three sons. It could only have been less imaginative if her mother had swapped the order of her names! How could someone with the name Porphyria be envious of hers? Surely Miss Dempsey was teasing? Nothing about her expression or tone suggested she was teasing but she couldn't wrap her head around it otherwise.

Before she could even think about acknowledging Miss Dempsey's compliment by any other method besides her stubbornly blushing cheeks, she was being asked a direct question and what a question it was. There were far too many favorites and now that she seemed to have found herself in appreciative company she felt as though her choices would very much sway Miss Dempsey's opinion of her one way or the other. What if her own favorites were not at all to Miss Dempsey's liking? Was Porphyria indicative of her tastes or an exception because she was named for it? What if Miss Dempsey thought her favorites were too pedestrian or too... whatever she didn't like? She'd have to trust that all the clues in their conversation thus far had lead her to the correction conclusion and if Miss Dempsey was not the kindred soul she'd thought then she'd find out sooner or later anyway. "Well, there are a great many, but... I'm particularly fond of Poe's Lenore, and..." She faltered for a moment as she had second thoughts and generally felt very self-conscious but she forced herself to continue before she could fully lose her nerve. "The Lady of Shalott, La Belle Dame sans Merci, Byron's Love and Death." She had almost gone further but stopped herself before she could sound like the index of a poetry anthology. It suddenly occurred to her that it might sound as though she'd credited Tennyson and Keats poems to Poe and Miss Dempsey would think her an imbecile.

Nova anxiously started to toy with the cuff of one of her sleeves as she tried to anticipate how harsh Miss Dempey's judgement might be. "To name a few." She seemed to be half murmuring this to the other woman's knees at first before she hesitantly tried to make eye contact.

OUTFIT

#10
So Mrs. Malfoy could carry a conversation perfectly well, after all. Porphyria’s grin edged wider with every title she tossed out, whether or not the other woman was looking her way. Her gaze, on the other hand, was very much fixed; it was hard to remember her enthusiasm for the expected course of the evening when this encounter was proving so delightful.

“Of course, how could you choose between them?” She murmured, with a vehement nod. She had known Ophelia must have had good reasons to keep Mrs. Malfoy amongst her close friends, but she hadn’t taken that to imagine that meant her literary tastes would dovetail so neatly with her own. Perhaps Phyri ought to pay more attention to the rest of Ophelia’s social set, in case there were a few more jewels amongst them.

In truth, Porphyria did not often soften from her first impressions of people, purely in the interest of stubbornness; and it was even rarer that she admitted to being wrong. (If she were a politer soul, she probably would have said nothing on it - but Phyri was in the interest of being candid always.) “I confess I may have misjudged you, Mrs. Malfoy,” she offered frankly, the gleam of a smile still lingering in her expression, because she was not particularly practised at being abashed. “And took you for a dull creature - I had no idea you were such a breath of fresh air.” For a professed poet, it had been rather a failing of imagination on her part, not to guess there was something more illuminating, more fascinating beneath the surface.

Mrs. Malfoy would be well within her rights to hold this against her, Porphyria knew, but she was now rather adamant about being friends. “I hope you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me?”
The following 1 user Likes Porphyria Dempsey's post:
   November Malfoy

#11
Had Miss Dempsey been someone else, someone whose good opinion she was not so eager to acquire she might have taken the confession as a slight but in this instance she was entirely blind to it. In fairness, she had gotten a faint impression that Miss Dempsey cared little for her and she'd reasoned that it was likely because of how little they had in common but it seemed now that they had both been mistaken in each other. Her own opinion of Miss Dempsey had hardly been without its cynicism, albeit it intertwined with a perverse sort of envy of her.

Nova found it quite easy to be oblivious to the barb in Miss Dempsey's words when she was enraptured by the subsequent compliment. "There is nothing to forgive." She was all restrained little smiles and blushes. "I cannot claim innocence either." She didn't want to extrapolate further than that. It was one thing to judge someone for what they hadn't observed, another to judge someone on what they had.

OUTFIT

#12
Well, that was about the nicest answer Phyri could have gotten, with absolutely no evident outrage at all, so she beamed back once more. And hopefully Mrs. Malfoy was not simmering with resentment somewhere beneath the surface, because she absolutely wanted to discuss poetry with her in much greater depth, but she still wasn’t sure whether Mrs. Malfoy actually liked her enough on that basis to accept her invitations if she were to begin offering them. She knew ‘befriending eccentric Irish spinsters’ was not often a glowing review of one’s social achievement.

And speaking of - “Oh?” Phyri said keenly, her eyebrows lifting in pointed interest. Couldn’t claim innocence? She had thought Mrs. Malfoy nothing but innocence, but it seemed she’d been perfectly fooled by the angelic front. And Porphyria was quite used to being thought the worse of for one reason or another, but she was morbidly intrigued in what Mrs. Malfoy had considered her most damning qualities. “You can be candid,” she teased. “I won’t mind.”
The following 1 user Likes Porphyria Dempsey's post:
   November Malfoy

#13
The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes--
The life still there, upon her hair--the death upon her eyes.

Nova's stomach knotted as she was forced to remember that Miss Dempsey, though apparently a woman of similar tastes was not a woman of similar personality and had seemingly no qualms about ignoring the sort of social norms that would've prevented most people from pursuing the matter. Her lips pursed lightly together and her brow furrowed so gently it was almost imperceptible. Miss Dempey's reassurances were not reassuring her at all but there was no way she could think up a credible lie on the spot and chances were that any lie she could think up would be as offensive as the actual truth! There was no way this budding friendship in all its infancy could endure the confession she would have to make - surely even Miss Dempsey was conventional enough to be mortally offended as any other woman would be?

She cast her eyes downward a fraction and stared fixedly at a random point in front of her. I- Her gaze slid down to settle on her knees now and she felt herself flushing with shame. I had always thought you to be quite coarse and rather alarming. The word 'coarse' coming out of her own mouth almost made said mouth run dry in horror at how awful it sounded. U-Unpredictable, improper, oh Merlin no that wasn't better at all! What I mean is you are rather outspoken, is all. Braze- bold. The more she said the worse it got. This was exactly why she liked to keep her mouth shut as much as possible, nothing good ever came out of it after one sentence. Still, she had to say something to fix the mortifying word vomit of insults she had just unleashed. Forthright. Forgive me, I only meant- Nova's mouth opened and closed as she desperately searched for the words she wanted, ones that hopefully wouldn't add further insult to injury. You seem altogether too free. Finally she stole a very sheepish sideways glance at Miss Dempsey, fearing how deeply offended she was sure to look. I'm sorry, I should not have said anything.

OUTFIT | Tag: Porphyria Dempsey | Notes:
The following 2 users Like November Malfoy's post:
   Elias Grimstone, Elladora Black

#14
Mrs. Malfoy seemed abashed at the prompting, but - for all that, there was nothing abashed about her words! Indeed, once she had started there was a whole cascade of opinions to come, and in fact Phyri thought this might be the most she had ever heard her say at once.

If she were someone else, she might even have been offended. 

But coarse and rather alarming, that was practically the nicest thing anyone had said about her!

“Don’t be,” Phyri returned, at the attempted sorry, leaning over to press Mrs. Malfoy’s forearm with her hand so that she would look up and be able to read the wide smile on her face for what it was - which was genuine, amused delight. She tilted her head dreamily for a moment, storing away the words - unpredictable, improper, too free - and then explained, “you’re perfectly right about me. Besides, I shall wear them as badges of honour,” she teased, sure that this had not been Mrs. Malfoy’s intention but hardly about to feign shame for any of that. If anything, Phyri rather thought she could be a good (bad) influence. “But,” she said, shifting a little closer to speak in a lower, more conspiratorial tone, “do you mean to tell me getting to say that to my face didn’t feel even a little freeing?” Perhaps not, judging by the flush on her face. But maybe if November Malfoy spoke her mind a little more often, she would even begin to find it fun.

#15
The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes--
The life still there, upon her hair--the death upon her eyes.

Nova assumed Miss Dempsey was simply saying the polite thing when in reality she was deeply affronted and would make an excuse to find new company in a minute or so.

The hand on her arm made her flinch ever so slightly in surprise. What was this, why was this? Nova looked up and her eyes widened at the grin on the other woman's face. It was far too strange and intense an expression to be false, of that she was absolutely certain. The entire situation seemed very surreal to her, as though Miss Dempsey was the protagonist of a novel and she was a background character without name or description but the protagonist was suddenly acknowledging her, elevating her to someone of importance against the author's will. She was so accustomed to observing Miss Dempsey from a distance be it from over Ophelia's shoulder or across a room, it suddenly felt wrong to be so decisively the center of her attention. That and more than a little disconcerting.

It was only going to get more disconcerting by the second it seemed. Nova didn't know how to answer, her mouth opened a little and closed and then opened and closed again wordlessly. It hadn't been enjoyable at all, not in the moment anyway, she'd been far too focused on being truthful without causing offensive and fretting over her slip ups. Perhaps it was a little okay now that Miss Dempsey clearly wasn't hurt or angry, but she thought that was more akin to relief than feeling liberated. She finally summoned up a response and rather hesitantly put it forth. Most would not be so nonchalant I think. She tried to smile but it was a small, sheepish, and wincing sort of thing that couldn't really be called a smile at all. Miss Dempsey's resilience to what other people thought of her was incomprehensible to Nova whose entire existence was spent on eggshells, desperate to please others and avoid rocking the boat. Most things about Miss Dempsey were incomprehensible, except now perhaps her taste in art and literature, now that was entirely understandable.

OUTFIT | Tag: Porphyria Dempsey | Notes:

#16
No, she would not admit to it, or did not feel it freeing. Yet, anyway. Phyri continued studying her expression, wondering how much of it was innate character and how much pretensions of society that one could unlearn. It did make Mrs. Malfoy rather a paradoxical creature: with her admiration of wild, unyielding high romanticism and yet her obvious discomfort with daring to any provoke true feeling in anyone with a bit of brazen honesty.

Porphyria did not usually understand it, the thought shaping herself to fit the liking of others - and she wholeheartedly refused to do it - but she did perhaps want, a little, for Mrs. Malfoy to like her. (Actually like her, however, not in the ingratiating, insincere society way.) So perhaps she ought to show a little mercy, just this once?

“Well, don’t worry,” she offered with a looser, lighter smile and a laugh, leaning back again, “I shan’t make you accost anyone else here to speak your mind of them. Not tonight, anyway,” Phyri added, with a flash of teasing. “But I will want to hear your honest opinions of the music, later,” she continued, sincere again, “- and you are welcome to call me alarming again any time.”

And she would find a way to coax out another torrent of words from Mrs. Malfoy sometime somehow, she was sure.
The following 1 user Likes Porphyria Dempsey's post:
   November Malfoy


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