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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.

Where will you fall?

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“Got the morbs” was Victorian slang for a temporary melancholia — Dante
In a panic sort of reaction, she shut the door but neglected to make sure she was on the other side of it.
the thrill of the chase moves in mysterious ways


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A smattering of old time romance
#1
Josiah always helped with this event every year so he always felt obligated to attend. Everything was going well so far as far as Josiah could tell. It was mostly Irvingly folk but he saw some visitors mixing about and having fun with the games and shopping. Josiah was doing his best to blend into the crowd but as usual, that proved an impossible feat.

As evidenced by the young woman who had grabbed onto his hand and pulled him into the dance area. Josiah blushed, wondering if she had possibly confused him with someone else. But no, she seemed quite intent that he was the one she wished to dance with.

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#2
“Oh my, you’re tall!” Viola exclaimed, as she turned back towards the stranger she’d just dragged a few steps into the street; perhaps that was why she’d picked him easily out of the cluster of people at the side, but she hadn’t really noticed until she was facing him properly and praying he would actually join her in this set.

“Is that why you don’t dance?” The music was too lively not to want to dance; Viola could not comprehend that anyone could be in such close proximity to the music and not feel the urge to at least tap their toes. “But you don’t mind just one dance, do you?” she added, biting her lip in hopes that he was not annoyed by her presumption. She tended to get - a little overexcitable, at festivities like this. “I can find my sister instead, if you do.”

(She would have been content to drag out one of her elder sisters on and dance with them - she had enough practice of that at home - but since they were at a place with actual men she had been trying to nudge them towards handsome, kindly sorts in the hopes that they would end up dancing of their own accord - and that maybe one of them might even fall in love through her matchmaking efforts.)

#3
Josiahs skin flushed as the young woman commented on his height. He shook his head when she asked if that was why he didn't dance. "I dance sometimes," he offered because, well, he did. He just didn't tend to do so too often.

"I do not mind," Josiah said, feeling increasingly awkward. He had minimal experience in speaking to people who weren't people he had known for years or his sisters. He did his best to move with her but the music was rather lively.


#4
Oh no, he was blushing. Because of his height or because she had assumed he didn’t dance, or didn’t want to – she didn’t know, and he had just said he didn’t mind, but suddenly it felt a little like he minded.

But they were here on the street now, and the music was going, so they could surely make it through one dance. Viola smiled at him in gratitude at his (half-hearted, she suspected) agreement, but she suspected she had already gone and ruined it. He didn’t seem very relaxed – or she was worried that he wasn’t, and that worry was making her tense.

They’d missed a step or two, or were a little behind, she suspected. Not that it mattered, really. This wasn’t a fancy ball. “I probably should have warned you I’m not very good at dancing,” Viola said, with a grin that was lightly apologetic, and she wasn’t really sure whose fault it was but she did want to make him more at ease.

#5
Josiah was doing well enough, he thought. But he was so focused on counting his steps he had briefly forgotten that he should be moving with the woman, not just beside her. She seemed to be quite kind though so that relaxed him somewhat. Especially since he had just glimpsed one of his siblings laughing faces dancing in the crowd.

"That's quite all right," he chuckled. A majority of the people Josiah knew did not tend to have much time for dancing. And when they did, it wasn't any fancy sort of dancing. "I've not seen you around, are you from somewhere other than Irvingly?"


#6
Quite all right, he said, but Viola was still adamant that she would be a quick learner at this, and get better at keeping in time. She wasn’t sure she would manage it in one song alone, but maybe after a few more she could return and coax him into another to show off how much more graceful she looked? Like an ugly duckling transformed to a swan!

“Oh, I’m from Hogsmeade,” Viola admitted, and while she didn’t think he would have noticed her even if she had lived here, she had almost forgotten that Irvingly was a very different town to Hogsmeade – there were muggles here, after all. “I don’t often get far beyond it, but – well, I couldn’t resist a celebration like this,” she said with an earnest smile, glancing sidelong at the square all decked out for spring.
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#7
Hogsmeade! "Oh! My brother has told me about Hogsmeade. He's... what did he say he was called? A muggleborn?" He knew it meant something like he was born from non-magical folks which of course was what they were. Josiah sometimes wished he had magic too, it did seem like it might make things easier but it was a sensitive topic with a lot of other muggles like himself. "I hope you're enjoying your time in Irvingly," Josiah said genuinely. He liked their little settlement that had grown thanks to the wizards so he hoped it was up to snuff in the wizards eyes.


#8
Viola’s eyes widened a little bit too much to quite deem her ladylike, she fancied – the ladies she saw at the modiste’s, even the ones as young as her, always seemed so much more poised about everything, like they could disguise their true feelings if they wanted – but her squeeze of his hand where she was clasping it for the dance was even more unconscious a reaction.

It was a revelation indeed: but she wasn’t slow, she understood him almost immediately. If his brother was a muggleborn, and the very term was not-quite-at-home for him, then he was obviously... “Oh, of course I am!” Viola assured him, with a too-zealous nod (he would think her head about to part with her shoulders, probably). “I so rarely get to meet muggles anymore!” As far as she knew, muggles didn’t come to Hogsmeade at all – or couldn’t. “I’m honoured to meet you,” she babbled, getting a little more spritely through the moves. “Do you meet many witches? Not that I’m a particularly good one,” Viola admitted carelessly, unable to curb her tongue, “I barely know any magic at all.”

#9
Josiah was a little taken aback by her eyes widening and the squeeze on his hand. He wasn't sure if it was merely surprise that he was a muggle or something more negative. He did know that some of the wizards did not much care for his kind. There had been a couple like that in Irvingly itself which had always confused him. Why settle in a mostly muggle settlement if you disliked them?

That did not seem to be the case, though. If that rather excitable nod was any indication, she was perhaps even excited about this fact. "Plenty of us here in Irvingly for you to meet," he said with a chuckle. "Some. Mostly the ones that have settled here. And you know more magic than me so there is that, at least."


#10
She was worried she might have really scared him off this time. If the babbling hadn’t, or the enthusiasm about dancing, exclaiming about his being a muggle might have been the wrong thing to do. What if it just wasn’t done in Irvingly? What if he thought she was rude –?

Well, he hadn’t seemed to, at least: he was chuckling. No, you don’t understand, she nearly professed, the bitterness rising in her chest, I didn’t even get to go to Hogwarts. But if he was a muggle and he knew about magic, then he was – well, in much the same position. And he didn’t sound bitter at all. So that really would be rude and insensitive to say. So, instead, Viola’s face brightened, and her gaze on him intensified a little in curiosity. She didn’t mind about meeting more muggles until she had properly met this muggle, after all. “So why did you settle here? Did you move here for your brother?” That was very nice of him, if it was what had happened.

#11
Josiah was a little uncomfortable with how her expression intensified. Not that he could blame her, he had been as in awe of meeting wizards properly for the first time as she had been once they had all been settled. His smile did drop a little as she asked why they had settled there. "No, we did not know he was magical when we came here. Me and my family are among the original settlers that wizards found years ago." It had all been such a sorry affair, the details of which he didn't think was proper to speak of with a young woman. It had been A Lot.


#12
“Oh, I see,” Viola said, brows knitted: but she didn’t, not really, for that was not the story she’d been expecting. Coming to Irvingly if one had a wizard in the family made sense enough to her; she did not know a great deal about the founding of this town. She had only been young at the time. And though it was a thrill for her to explore it, she couldn’t imagine that people would have found it that exciting if they could have lived elsewhere.

She wanted to pry a little more, but she was aware enough, when he didn’t offer any more to embellish his story, that she would be prying. And he was still a stranger – half a dance perhaps did not a friendship make. “And do you like it here?” She asked instead, hopefully, letting her eyes trail across the town square again as they turned. “It’s very pretty.” Neater than Hogsmeade, at least; where Hogsmeade was higgledy-piggledy, slightly ramshackle from the outside – maybe from all the obvious magic – Irvingly seemed even-cornered and fresh and quaint.

#13
"It is a lot better than where I came from," Josiah said with a wry smile. "Our lives are a lot better than they were." He had been free to explore occupation options which would have been unheard of back where they had come from. He felt an odd sense of pride when she complimented the town. "I'm glad to know that you think it is lovely. It has come a long way from what it started as."

#14
Viola, on a rare occasion, held herself back enough to curb the many questions on her tongue. Better than they were. Where had he come from, she wanted to know; what had his life been like before? Was it just his life, or were lives without magic in the picture just universally sadder? (Viola knew she had always felt like she was missing out, whether or not her life had been happy enough otherwise.)

She wasn’t sure getting to know Irvingly would be quite the same as getting to know him, but Viola was certainly interested in doing both. “I shall have to come back and explore it better, then, another time,” she said, waving a hand briefly to suggest when all these people aren’t in my way, and smiled tentatively at him – “Oh!” Viola exclaimed, finally finding a question that wouldn’t be presumptuous to ask, and now certain he must think her a fool for forgetting it, the whole time they had been dancing. “I’m sorry, I didn’t even ask your name.”

(Maybe he hadn’t wanted to give his name to such an odd overeager girl, Viola considered.)

#15
"You should," Josiah said encouragingly. He was rather fond of the home they had all made for themselves here. As the woman said that she hadn't asked his name, he realized he had not done so either. Not that it was surprising considering how socially awkward that he could be. "My name is Josiah Rohlwing and you are?"


#16
Well, if all the residents of Irvingly were as patient and kind as Mr. Josiah Rohlwing, the town really deserved another chance.

“I will, then!” Viola beamed, not one to need any more than minimal encouragement to be swayed. “Miss Viola Corner,” she added. “If you’re ever –” in Hogsmeade, you should look me up she had opened her mouth to say, before remembering how foolish that was! How insensitive could she be? Muggles could not come to Hogsmeade, not as far as she knew. “If there’s ever another festival like this hosted here, you must let me know,” she recovered, trying not to let her slip up show on her face, and extra-brightly, added jokingly: “I’ll be better at dancing by then!”


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