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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

Debutante Blues
June 7, 1891 - Local London Park
Cecilia has just sat down and decided to read a copy of the latest Witch Weekly as a break from her stroll through the park. Heavily featuring the coming out ball, she had been to anxious to read it the day before. Perhaps the park was not the best place for such things, but she was a proper lady of society now. How bad could it be?

She had not been mentioned in the first issue, which was fine. The quiz expressed her active triumph in the season. While one could not put too much stock in these quizzes, this was a true relief. Then she read on to the main article and... ...To Disappoint Her Family. A brief read, and she gasped softly, not even noticing that she had dropped her paper until someone was suddenly - perhaps not so subtly, she was in slight shock - speaking to her. Asking if she was alright. "I-I, um.... Yes, thank you."

Magic by MJ
Counting down the days until Octavia Fawley left mourning and he was able to ask to court her wasn't Emrys' idea of a fun-filled summer, so he'd been eagerly looking for distractions ever since he'd landed on the idea of pursuing her. He felt he had to be on his best behavior only until the courtship was arranged, at which point the potential for rumors would fade and he'd be able to take things at a more leisurely pace. At least he had the Bizarre to plan for in the meantime; it was a much grander affair than anything the shipping company usually involved themselves in and therefore required more of his time and effort than day to day operations.

Regularly he would never have stopped to talk to a young woman alone in a park, since he wasn't one to put his nose in anyone else's business, but she looked so distraught that even Emrys felt a twinge of guilt on her behalf. Morning had seen him reading the same issue, though he wouldn't admit to as much, so he recognized the lady and could easily guess what had upset her.

"I'm sorry you've been upset by what they've written," he said, not feeling this was giving too much away since her distress was so apparent. "No one puts much stock in their articles, anyway, if it makes you feel any better."

Generally perhaps it was true, but it was unlikely to provide much comfort, and it certainly wasn't true in every case — Emrys put a great deal of stock in their articles, and thought in Miss Bulstrode's case they were likely right.

Bree made this!
It was as though her efforts and learning would count for nothing towards her success as a debutante. Had her nerves truly been so obvious during the coming out ball at Hogwarts? Or worse, her own coming out ball?

But she was being addressed and needed to find her composure. It was surprising that Mr. Selwyn seemed to know that she even was in Witch Weekly. Though, perhaps, not too surprising. He did have plenty of unwed women in his own family to look out for. How kind.

"Thank you. My apologies if I have made a scene. I should not give these magazines so much credit." She responded, though the strain to sound at peace was still evident in her voice. "You are Mr. Selwyn, if I am not mistaken?" The least she could do was try to be presentable.

Magic by MJ
Emrys was mildly surprised to hear that she recognized him. He was a member of polite society, of course, so it wouldn't have been too shocking except that she was so recently a member of society herself. She'd only debuted what, a week ago? If he'd attended her Coming Out Ball it almost might have been understandable, but he hadn't; he'd become confident enough in his remaining options for a wife that he no longer felt the need to go to every event, and debutante balls were notoriously boring. It was just so dull to attend a party where all of the entertainment was supposed to come from the existence of one singular woman. Nothing against this particular woman, per ce (though if Witch Weekly was to be believed her presence might not have improved matters).

"I am," he said with a nod. "And I should not quite call dropping a magazine 'making a scene.' You've nothing to apologize for." Though the look on her face had halted him in his tracks as he'd walked by, which — did sort of mean she'd made at least the first overtures towards a scene.

Bree made this!
Not one to readily admit that she was one to study Witch Weekly in the last year or two, she would likely blame a business venture of one of the Bulstrode men for her quick knowledge of who he was. Not to mention that some girls in her dorm certainly were vocal about their reading, and hadn't his likeness been somewhere in there at one point?

Hopefully he was too polite to ask. Shouldn't prominent members of society be able to at least be able to guess as to whom they are speaking to? Well, at least she hadn't made the mistake of calling him Mr. Parkinson. Certainly that would have been awkward.

At least her past governess and etiquette teachers could be proud in the knowledge that she hadn't made a complete fool of herself. "Thank you, that is kind of you to say."

The following 1 user Likes Cecilia Bulstrode's post:
   Emrys Selwyn

Magic by MJ
This interaction seemed to have run its course, but there was something about it that seemed off to Emrys. It had taken him a minute to put his finger on it, but as he considered making a polite goodbye and leaving he suddenly realized what it was.

"Are you here alone, Miss?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. There was no one seated next to her on the park bench, but surely she couldn't have come to the park on her own? Unless she was planning to run away from her family, or something dramatic like that. Debutantes didn't get to just wander freely through the streets of Muggle London, or even the well-lit and well-trafficked parks that dotted the city. Where was her chaperone? And if she really had come without a chaperone, did that mean he would be obligated to... do something? He couldn't imagine what, but it also felt strange to part ways with her and just leave her alone here.

Bree made this!
If one were to suggest that she had come out unchaperoned, she might have fainted at the thought. No, she had come with her brothers for the day. At the mention of being alone, her eyes widened briefly.

"Goodness, no. My brothers came with me." She turned her head briefly and saw them, continuing in the heated disagreement that had started this morning. They had been supposed to be spending time with her. She turned back to Mr. Selwyn. "Their discussing something, though it's not really my place to ask what. They've been on about it all morning." Whatever it was, they certainly disagreed.

Magic by MJ
Emrys followed her eyes to a pair of young men, obviously unimpressed. So many men, particularly young men, felt the incessant need to argue with each other over the slightest provocation. It was their least attractive quality, as a gender. Emrys had always been drawn more towards those gentleman who abstained from such things; petty arguments had always seemed to be a symptom of insecurity in people of either gender, and Emrys preferred confidence in his lovers.

"Not very good chaperones, then, are they?" he pointed out, though he was sure she was already aware of it. "Do you think they've even noticed that I've come over to talk to you? I could be making all sorts of lewd comments and you'd be quite defenseless." He'd meant it only to point out their incompetence, not as a threat, but he realized after he'd said it that it might fluster a young debutante all the same. "Not that I would," he added.

Bree made this!
Thankfully this wasn't a day-to-day occurrence. Something had occurred between the two of them recently, she was sure. Although, who knew how they acted when she was off to school. Was this her new normal? Perhaps quality time should have been spent at home, if this was to be the case.

Before she could respond to his first comment, his second caused her eyes go widen once more. His quick correction put her at slight ease. He was making a point, after all. "I wouldn't wish to offend them, but I may have to speak to my father regarding the matter." She wouldn't wish to cause trouble for either brother, but Mr. Selwyn's point ringed in her ears.

Magic by MJ
Emrys chuckled slightly under his breath. "Yes, fathers are good for that sort of thing," he remarked. He had no personal experience as a father, of course. Instead he was thinking of how his own father had dictated almost every aspect of Trystan's life, once he'd shown himself in his youth to be on a slightly wayward path. Luckily, Emrys had never been subject to such scrutiny. He wondered idly if that was usual, the very discreet way that his parents treated their various children, but he wasn't going to ask about it. It wasn't as though her experience would be any more indicative than his own, and it wasn't the sort of question you could ask a young woman you hadn't even been properly introduced to, anyway.

"I ought to leave you to it, I suppose," he said with a shrug. "Sitting a bench reading a magazine and waiting for your brothers to notice."

Bree made this!
As the only daughter, the standards always felt high to be a proper young lady. Her brothers seemed to at least have some more freedom. Not that Cecilia actively objected to this, it was all she really knew.

She gave Mr. Selwyn a shy smile. "May our next meeting be under better circumstances. Mave a good day, Mr. Selwyn." She said politely.

Magic by MJ

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