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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.

Where will you fall?

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As clocks and other timepieces were expensive, working class folk who could not afford to rise with the sun could employ a “knocker-upper” to tap on their windowpane at a scheduled time. Knocker-uppers would work through the night and into the early morning. — Kayte
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.
sobing alone in front of a haunted piano


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#1
30th April, 1891 — Wizengamot Office
Quite why the Wizengamot were gathering for the sake of the Cuckoo Clock Curser Marlena did not know - he was hardly the most dastardly criminal mind of the century but she had been ordered to deliver her report on the nature of the charm to the appropriate office and so here she was with the file in hand. Unfortunately she was either too early or had read the wrong date entirely as there was no one to be seen outside the Wizengamot courtroom except for the scribe who was seated behind her desk.

"Excuse me, do you know where I ought to leave this?" She asked the woman. "Experimental charms sent it down and I've only just finished my report...I haven't missed the trial have I?" Panic entered her voice: even Lena did not wish to cross paths with the Chief Warlock.


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#2
Beth was startled out of her notes by the appearance of an Unspeakable, who was also asking her a question — her eyebrows shot upwards. Generally she was startled whenever people talked to her, so this was less of a reflection on the Unspeakable and more on Beth. Also a reflection on Beth: she did not know the woman's name, although she recognized her as an Unspeakable, because there were not an abundance of women in their early twenties who worked in the Ministry and fewer who worked in the Department of Mysteries.

"Umm — what case is it for?" Beth managed, straightening in her wheelchair and trying to get a better look at the report. "But they haven't met yet today, I think you're safe." She could empathize with the audible strain in the other woman's voice — the Wizengamot was terrifying — even though she had not expected Unspeakables to be nervous about anything.

#3
Staring into the girl’s face – in a manner that, in hindsight, may have been slightly unnerving – it took Marlena a moment to place the scribe in her memory but eventually her impressive storage of information, both useful and not, triggered a name in her mind.

“It’s Beth isn’t it?” She asked, a small frown and a growing smile on her face. She recalled the face from Hogwarts and the name from the things people used to say about the young woman who was never steady on her feet. She looked healthy enough now though so Lena wasn’t too sure what they must have meant.

“We were at school together, I think, though I don’t think you can have been a Gryffindor.”

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MJ is a graphics goddess<3
#4
Beth's eyebrows arched as the Unspeakable recognized her; had they been in school together? They had to have been, but Beth had been so tired always and — what if the Unspeakable didn't recognize her in a good way, but in a bad way, and — what if she couldn't remember the other woman's name?

"You're right," she said, "Beth Vane, not a Gryffindor. I was a Ravenclaw." Gryffindors Gryffindors Gryffindors, Gryffindors who had been smart and stubborn and bold enough to go into the Department of Mysteries. Hm.

"Marlena? Scamander?" she asked, and Merlin please let her be at least in the neighborhood of correct.

#5
“That’s it,” Lena confirmed with a tight smile, recalling with a burst of anxiety that there had been nearly as many rumours about her at school too. Vaguer, of course, as Begonia had fallen on her sword and taken the brunt of the attention but it must have been obvious to one and all who the other girl was.

“I’ve always had a fondness for Ravenclaws,” she said instead, blushing a little as she realised how it might have sounded. “You have to have your wits about you to deal with the Chief Warlock.”

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MJ is a graphics goddess<3
#6
Beth hadn't realized that Unspeakables could blush, and she blushed back at Miss Scamander, more from the realization than from any real embarrassment. "I must confess that I don't see the Chief Warlock nearly as often as one might expect," she admitted. No, she just went where she was told and recorded everything the Wizengamot said — which of course included a lot of what Mr. Lestrange said, but she didn't think she would have been able to make eye contact with the man.

"But you have to wrangle the Department of Mysteries," Beth said with a small smile, "With all the mysteries, and — and the other Unspeakables. I could never."

#7
“Well, I’m not in charge yet,” and, in all likelihood, she never would be. Mrs Lestrange might have been the head of department once but Lena had always assumed it was for want of a better candidate – Urquart was firmly settled, and an excellent man, but if the time ever came to compete for his job Marlena didn’t fancy her chances against Tiberius Lestrange.

“But you’d be surprised what one can accomplish with mystery on your side,” Lena said, momentarily feeling like the wittiest person alive before she realised how utterly mortifying she actually sounded. She laughed awkwardly. “Sorry, that sounded…well…”
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#8
Beth, despite her nerves, was startled into a grin at Miss Scamander's comment. She grinned. "No," she said, "Never mind how it sounded. It was funny." Besides — she was well-acquainted with awkward comments, as someone who made them with more frequency than she would have liked to admit.

#9
Marlena hadn't really meant to be funny. Truthfully she rarely did as her humour - drier than the Sahara - tended to make people think she was being entirely serious and thus painted her as an oddball, at best, and an escapee of Bedlam, at worst. But somehow, miraculously, Miss Beth Vane had laughed.

"I'm glad you thought so," Lena replied, still awkwardly hovering and wondering whether she ought to have sat down at some point. "Normally I'm far cleverer," she added, not an idle boast.

[Image: WoU9GVe.png]
MJ is a graphics goddess<3
#10
Beth smiled at Miss Scamander's boast. "Well, maybe the Wizengamot will give you opportunities to sound cleverer," she said, "Although they're not much for humor." At least, they never were once they were in the chambers — but Beth would have been shocked if they were any more humorous outside of the Wizengamot itself.


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