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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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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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Sunrise, Sunset
#1
April 16th, 1891 — Macnair Residence, Inverness-shire

Had she ordered one of the servants to inform her when Mr. Macmillan left? Yes. Had they needed to? No, she'd been loitering discreetly from the gallery so she might get a good view of whatever fluster and disappointment seized the man when he heard the resounding refusal her niece had readied for him. To her dismay he seemed merely agitated and walked a little strangely (was that normal for him?) but otherwise didn't blatantly have the air of a man who'd just had his arrogance shattered into a million pieces. How terribly disappointing.

She had later found out that things hadn't been so straightforward as that. While it was possible that Tatiana would actually change her mind - something Mariana wouldn't have even considered prior - she felt the wisest thing she could do was allow her niece to reach the right conclusion on her own. Offering her own opinion too readily wasn't likely to do any good for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, she was biased, even if it was a coincidental fact that Valerian was a better man than Mr. Macmillan. Secondly, she had tried to raise her to have her own independent thoughts and opinions, not to be one of those girls who allowed herself to be easily influenced by others; to expect her to mindlessly take her advice in whom she married would go against that completely. No, it had to be Tatiana's choice completely. If she maneuvered things a little in the background to help her reach the right decision then that was quite different and perfectly acceptable.

In the end it all ended up the way she'd expected although she hadn't been without her worries. It had been a while now since she'd found out about the engagement but the novelty of the news had yet to wear off. She felt an embarrassing amount of affection for the newly engaged pair, particularly Tatiana. That wasn't to say she loved one more than the other necessarily, but she was only now able to express her delight to her niece on the matter. She'd been discussing the matter with Valerian for weeks, after all, and really it was a much greater change for Tatiana.

Mariana knocked softly on her niece's door before entering, a demure little smile on her face that was desperate to widen into a full-sized grin but for now she reined it in. You're not having second thoughts, are you? she teased gently, her smile widening a fraction. You should know I'm altogether too attached to the idea of you as my daughter-in-law now, I simply won't accept otherwise. She was only joking because she didn't think for a moment it was or could be true. If suddenly Tatiana did turn around and announce she was going to wed Macmillan instead Mariana probably wouldn't accept that news with grace at all, perhaps externally so but the cogs would already be turning, trying to calculate which way was best to go about preventing it.

Outfit | Tag: @'Tatiana Lestrange' | Notes:

#2
It was done, and Tatiana felt at least somewhat settled about it, though she had kept her cards close to her chest. Indeed, she had not yet confirmed to Ingrid or Liberty just who it was that she would marry after all—though to be fair, she had only sent the note (unanswered, understandably) to Mr. Macmillan the day before.

At her aunt's questioning, though, a small smile crept upon her lips. Whatever advantages there might be to marrying Valerian, Mariana was certainly chief among them.

"You are already my mother in every way that matters," she pointed out wryly, meaning each and ever syllable, "but as it is apparently important to you, rest assured that I have set Mr. Macmillan aside."


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#3
I got a venom like a snake running out of my mouth it's got you burning at the stake

Sometimes it was hard to believe Tatiana wasn't her own. Though she'd been young when Mariana had taken her in, she'd been old enough to have a reasonably settled personality and sense of self; of all the girls in the family to have been in need of guardian, that it should've been the one whose disposition was entirely what Mariana would have wanted in her own daughter was inconceivably lucky. Of course she hadn't actually known her niece terribly well at the time, she'd simply been quite desperate to seize some control back from Mother Nature who seemed hellbent on depriving her of a girl. It had been a little impulsive and perhaps even a touch indelicate how quickly she'd come forward to lay claim to her brother's youngest child after his apprehension, and hadn't she been rewarded handsomely for her efforts?

I hope you didn't do so solely on my account? The levity in her voice persisted without falter but her interest in the answer was quite serious. Flattering though it would be if Tatiana had ultimately made her decision with pleasing her in mind, she'd refrained from speaking her mind too much on the matter around Tatiana so as not to muddy the waters and allow her niece to take full responsibility and autonomy. She had also had considerable faith in the soundness of Tatiana's judgement, although she'd be lying if she said it hadn't been put to the test of late.

Outfit | Tag: @Tatiana Macnair | Notes:

#4
A beat, and then, "You may have been a factor," Tatiana allowed, "but however great my affection towards you, it cannot be the sole factor in my decision-making."


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#5
I got a venom like a snake running out of my mouth it's got you burning at the stake

I should think not. Mariana was unable to entirely hold back a small, satisfied smile. As much as she had wanted a daughter to mold in her own image only a poor imitation would allow others to think for her, no matter who they were. What did sway your mind in the end? I'm intrigued to know your logic. As blatantly obvious as it was to her that Valerian was the superior choice, it clearly hadn't been quite as obvious to Tatiana or else the matter would've been settled much sooner.

Outfit | Tag: Tatiana Lestrange | Notes:

#6
Dark eyebrows raised in tandem. Mariana should just be content that Tatiana had chosen Valerian; any further discussion would likely serve only to stroke her aunt's )(well-earned) vanity.

"A number of factors, as I said," Tatiana answered cryptically, "none of which truly matter, now that the decision has been made."


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#7
I got a venom like a snake running out of my mouth it's got you burning at the stake

She supposed it was to be expected that Tatiana would want to keep her cards close to her chest in this matter, it was the most important decision she was ever likely to make and Mariana was anything but a neutral party. It did make her wonder for a moment if her reticence had something to do with any uncertainty or regret she might be feeling.

Disappointed though she was not to be gratified with further details she decided not to push, at least not directly and perhaps not immediately. As long as you're happy with your decision, that's all that really matters. It was quite easy to say now that she felt safe in the knowledge that her decision was Valerian. And you are, aren't you?

Outfit | Tag: Tatiana Lestrange | Notes:

#8
"I—" Tatiana began before faltering.

She was not unhappy with her decision, just as she was quite confident Valerian would not be a bad husband, but weeks of indecision on such an important matter had not dissipated as quickly as she might have liked. The witch had hoped that once the matter was put to bed, she would have no further uncertainty, but plainly she had overestimated herself.

It was not something Tatiana Lestrange did often.

"I have no doubt that Valerian will be an admirable husband," she settled on, affording her aunt an encouraging smile. "I could certainly do a great deal worse, and it will be no small thing, to have you as my mother-in-law."


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#9
I got a venom like a snake running out of my mouth it's got you burning at the stake

Tatiana was hardly waxing poetic about Valerian but Mariana would've been more taken aback if she was, and perhaps a little concerned too. For all that Mariana had schemed and hoped for this union, she'd never at any point done so with the hope of them falling madly in love with one another and living happily ever after. That wasn't to say she'd never thought about it being a love match but only in so much that it would make it a great deal easier to bring about and require minimal interference. Ultimately she hadn't had to do a great deal anyway, she'd barely nudged Valerian in her direction and he'd practically gone running. Sometimes she thought she caught glimpses of a fragile, needy little boy underneath the man she knew to be her son and invariably these moments gave her pause. Not enough of a pause to stop her from taking advantage of it but just enough to make her question how strong the façade really was, whether she'd somehow gone wrong with him and would pay for it down the line.

Welp so far so good.

She returned her niece's smile and then some, it was hard not to after what she'd just said. Mariana looked rather like a crocodile that had just spotted its next meal. Out of respect to your late mother - not to mention it would've been tacky - I've never asked you to address me any differently than you would your other aunts. However, I really must insist now that you call me Mama. Or 'Mother' I suppose if you'd prefer. The grin had quickly fallen into her usual jaunty smirk. I hope that won't be a problem?

Outfit | Tag: Tatiana Lestrange | Notes:

#10
Were it anyone—anyone—else, Tatiana would have bristled, would have had a sharp retort at insistence of any kind. However, it was perhaps that very same absence of her own mother that made the witch uncomfortable granting her aunt this small thing—an all but foreign title upon her tongue.

"Ma...riana," she answered hesitantly. It was such a small thing, and her aunt was in such good spirits over the whole matter. "I shall endeavour to do so," Tatiana settled upon, "though I cannot promise it will come quickly." Or easily.


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#11
I got a venom like a snake running out of my mouth it's got you burning at the stake

She was undaunted by Tatiana's apparent hesitation. Having lost her mother before she'd even known her it oughtn't to be a word that held any sentimental significance for her, or so Mariana thought. It should only be unfamiliar until she got used to it and that would be that.

Mariana moved closer and placed a hand on her shoulder. She squeezed it very lightly in a fleeting, affectionate gesture before replying with what could almost be described as passive aggression. Almost. Of course, such things take time to come naturally. Just as it shall for me to say that you are my daughter, rather than like a daughter to me. A subtle but vital difference, wouldn't you say? And one she'd withhold until Tatiana could find that word and claim her as her mother. The word 'niece' could then be forgotten - drawn out and dusted off for the sake of genealogical accuracy only.

Outfit | Tag: Tatiana Lestrange | Notes:


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