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Welcome to Charming, the year is now 1891. It’s time to join us and immerse yourself in scandal and drama interlaced with magic both light and dark.

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During the Victorian era, knitting became a staple of a well-bred woman. Queen Victoria is even reported to have been a fan of knitting herself. It was during this time that knitting wasn’t just restricted to plain yarn fabrics, but changed to involve bead and lace knitting. — Fallin
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Culture Clash
#1
13th March, 1891 — Teapot Transfiguration Trials, Stands (UC/MC)
“You British have some odd traditions,” Yassine commented aloud, without a shred of shame for his bewilderment. It was more to his neighbours in the stands than himself, besides; he had spoken in English, for starters, and he was fishing for an explanation of whatever this was, because he certainly did not know. He had shown up merely because the Magpies did not have a match today and he would have been bored otherwise, heard something about teapots as he paid for a place in the stands of this race, and assumed he had simply made a mistake in the translation.

But no, the competitors did seem to be brandishing teapots at the starting line, so. “In Morocco we just make tea with them,” he added with a shrug and only a touch of sarcasm. Like civilised people. But this was just what one got when living up north in a country of barbarians who never saw the sun - and Yassine quite liked them, really, bizarre as they tended to be.
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#2
Sometimes Angeline cast her mind back to her childhood as she tried to recall the exact moment her brother had been dropped on his head and began his baffling career of entering into raucous competitions that might as well cause him to lose his head as his dignity. At the moment he was barrelling towards peril like a madman and, with a sigh, she leaned back into her seat in the stands, preparing for a long day of being on edge.

“In Morocco you clearly have more sense,” Angeline replied after a long moment in which she wasn’t sure whether it was her being addressed or the mute journalist on the man’s other side. “Though you must have traditions there of your own? I daresay some of them involve young men being idiots too.”

Her brother had fallen over trying to jump into his magically enlarged teacup and Angel rolled her eyes. “Utter idiots,” she muttered.

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#3
Yassine chuckled when someone answered him, that someone being a pretty young woman - who did not look a great deal like she was an avid Teapot Trials attendee, at least the way she had rolled her eyes. He grinned to see it, though. “Well, I suppose we do,” Yassine admitted, not clarifying whether he meant we have more sense or a wealth of stupid traditions too. He had gotten up to his own measure of mischief in Morocco in his boyhood, to be sure, but this was still more bizarre than any competition he had seen.

“But that is because young men being idiots is, I think, a universal affliction,” he put in, smirking a little. Perhaps young women were entirely immune to any equivalent of this, he wasn’t sure. Yassine supposed he probably couldn’t be counted amongst the category of young men anymore at his age - but down below on the course were a few men who had definitely not grown out of that idiocy, either, so maybe the condition was more permanent than that. “Do you have the bad luck of knowing one?” He asked with partly-amused sympathy, following her line of sight curiously.

#4
“Worse,” Angel responded with a twitch of her lips and a nod towards Raphael’s shining white, blonde hair in the distance. “The one on the ground is my brother.”

Around her some spectators were behaving themselves but others, plenty of whom she knew came from perfectly respectable stock, were waving homemade flags and cheering their chosen competitor on with abandon. It was rather charming in an utterly childish way, but Angel wondered whether they would be quite so energetic were it not for the wagers that had no doubt been placed. It scarcely mattered of course – none of these men were the sort that couldn’t stand to lose a galleon or two.

“Do you have someone among the competitions as well, Mr Bensouda?” She asked politely, quite possibly getting the pronunciation of his name wrong as she had only ever heard it spoken by people who had never troubled themselves to ask.

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#5
Ah,” Yassine replied, trying to suppress a bark of laughter at her brother’s plight. He had some idea that her brother, the one she pointed out, was someone on the quidditch scene - but if he had not been able to guess that from his energy, he probably could have guessed he and this young lady were related, from the hair alone. “My commiserations,” he joked, as she returned the question.

“Bensouda,” Yassine repeated thoughtlessly, though she had hardly been far off; especially not compared to half the people he met, who had a tendency to mistake him for Karim, which Yassine thought was a low blow. (Of all the ways to insult him, to confuse him for that uptight bore?)

“No, only my money - on that fellow,” he said easily, shrugging as he pointed over at... Pyrites? (Some youth whose chances he’d chosen more for the idea that he looked fast and a little reckless, and less for any knowledge of his spellwork, given he had not realised the teapots would be part of it.)

#6
Accepting the correction gracefully Angeline glanced towards the man on the field but they were far enough away that the racers were beginning to blur into one another. She could still see Raph and an erratic figure on the left-hand side of the pack stood out but Angel certainly didn’t know his name – he was far too old to be of any interest to her anyway.

Mr Bensouda was neither old nor uninteresting and she turned away from the field. (If Raph won, which was deeply unlikely, she could always pretend to have seen it.)

“I have been told that a true gambler only bets on a sure thing,” she said with a teasing smile on her lips. ““You’re either very optimistic or you’ve somehow rigged the outcome.”

Or he had enough money to spare on a stupid bet, which was also a more than acceptable answer!

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#7
Yassine had been raised not to be a gambler at all, which he fancied accounted for about half the novelty of it, the thought of what his father or more boring brothers would be muttering about western corruption or bad business decisions if they could only see him now.

And he did usually bet on a sure thing, because when it came to most things, like quidditch, he knew he trusted his judgement more than he did anyone else’s. This, however, had probably been a mistake, given he knew next to nothing about what was going on before his eyes; perhaps he had not outgrown his youthful idiocy just yet.

He did smile broadly at the young lady’s next remark, eyeing her more thoroughly for her teasing. “I am no such optimist, but that would be unsportsmanlike of me,” he said, of rigging the outcome. Yassine feigned an offended look for a moment, as if he were wounded by the very accusation. But, as he watched the competition out of the corner of his eye, he smiled wryly this time. “But you may be right, Miss...” he amended. “Perhaps I should have.”

#8
“Malfoy,” she replied with an incline of her head, as though they were being formally introduced and she wasn’t instead being rather bold with a man who was more or less a stranger. Having him pointed out to her at a ball two months ago hardly made them acquainted, after all, but she had certainly noticed him more than one – very possibly because he was so very different to the usual men she met.

Suffice to say she was rather hoping that him being different also meant that he would excuse her being less than proper.

“Angeline Malfoy,” she added. “And I doubt you could rig this. Knowing the calibre of contestants I don’t imagine any of them would do anything that you would expect them to,” she smirked. “Probably deliberately just to be contrary.”

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#9
She did have a little of an angelic look about her, with that unusual white-blonde hair and pale skin, which he supposed in these English ladies - roses, did they call them? - professed innocence and purity and general demureness, like they were too sheltered and shy to ever leave the house.

But the curve of her smirk had a little too much assurance to be quite the picture of that, whatever her name was.

“Well, I suppose I do not begrudge them that,” Yassine conceded, with a smirk of his own. “If I am to spectate anything, I do not want it too predictable.” As tended his preferences in everything; the unexpected was invariably more entertaining, whether he lost money or not. And of being deliberately contrary, well - “And I would probably be much the same, if I were down there.” (Wouldn’t you? He might have asked, but he imagined she had too much dignity and, as she had said, sense, to ever find herself in a race like that.)
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#10
“I expect I would be too,” Angel concurred agreeable, though in actual fact she had no notion whatsoever what her attitude towards physical activity would be, having never even attempted the endeavour. She had been successfully indolent – and rather magnificently so if she did say so herself – for the entirety of her life and had become a connoisseur of the art form.

Which was not to say she was indifferent to viewing vigorous activity…

“Why aren’t you taking part? I know it’s a strange English custom,” she smiled lazily as she repeated his words back to him. “But I would have thought a man like you keen on all kinds of sporting endeavour.”

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#11
She was a good talker, to be sure – for a moment, Yassine envisioned her being so physical, and though the image was more intriguing than the sort of rough women who played quidditch, he thought it would be a shame if this Miss Malfoy risked her pretty face. In a teapot race, at least.

“You know me well, then,” Yassine remarked with a smirk at a man like you, although she had known his name already and her brother down there sponsored Appleby, didn’t he, so it wasn’t as though she’d had nothing to work with. And it was a pity to sound so predictable, but she was right. “I am. And I would have, had I known what this was,” he added, (as if he had any transfiguration skill whatsoever), but he wasn’t paying a great deal of attention to the competitors and their teapots now. “Next time your brother signs up to compete in some other strange English custom, you will have to warn me about it,” he suggested, raising his eyebrows to say and I’ll give him a run for his money.

#12
“Oh I’ll definitely keep you in mind, Mr Bensouda,” Angel replied with a daring disregard for not sounding like she was being excessively flirtatious. He was exceptionally handsome up close – and she had noticed that long ago but it was delightful to have it so confirmed – and, unlike a number of gentlemen she could name he didn’t seem to think it improper for a woman to actually engage in a conversation. (Having her toes trodden on and her opinions dismissed by Mr Kimon Selwyn still haunted her nightmares occasionally and Angel hoped that one day a combination of better conversation and laudanum might finally block it out.)

“Though I certainly imagine you’d be more vigorous than most of these young men,” she said innocently, entendre very deliberately doubled, while her eyes sought out someone who was not her brother and would therefore not ruin how much she was enjoying herself.
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time of death: when MJ dropped this heart-stopping set
#13
Well, if the society girls were all like this, then in contrast to his expectations, Britain was a breath of fresh air – then he had not just exchanged Morocco’s strict rules for a new kind of stuffy culture. Although maybe the society girls here were not at all like this, and Miss Malfoy was just the exception to the rule. And perhaps she was all wit and words, but she played a bold game, so either way: there was clear potential here.

“And I would be happy to prove it to you, Miss Malfoy,” Yassine drawled easily, looking forward to finding some opportunity to see her again. “I do have the advantage of experience.” And stamina. And natural talent.

#14
If there had ever been a poorer moment for her sister to appear out of the corner of her eye then Angeline could not have envisioned it. Estelle really was the worst.

“I’m sure you do,” she responded with rueful arch of her eyebrow as she got to her feet. It was regrettable, but the last thing she wanted was for Estelle to see her with a handsome man and begin to get ideas of sabotage – she would put nothing past her sister.

“Until next time,” Angeline added, offering him an incline of her head and a smile far more demure than her words thus far might have suggested. “I hope your gamble turns out well.”

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time of death: when MJ dropped this heart-stopping set

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