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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.
sobbing alone in front of a haunted piano


Private
Higher Ground
#1
September 18th, 1891 — Padmore Park, Hogsmeade

After a long summer of monotonous days in the office, Dory was excited for an afternoon outside in the sun. Rowan had finally consented to learn how to play the sport they had initially bonded over (much to Zelda's dismay), which meant he was likely in for a long day of perfecting the cushioning charm. Regardless of this, Dory had still lugged nearly all of his old equipment down to the park. Sure, he wasn't likely going to use his bludgers or bats today, but having them nearby couldn't hurt. Well, they wouldn't hurt so long as the straps restraining the harmful balls remained in place.

He got there early and had everything set up by the time he saw his friend's familiar face. "Afternoon," Dory greeted cheerfully whilst leaning on his broom. "I brought an extra broom, I wasn't sure if you had one."
#2
The entire day had flown by like a blur. Days of waffling between being unsure of learning how to fly purely because she didn't want to make a fool of herself and wanting to learn because, well, it looked cool had resulted in her approaching Dory during lunch one day and blurting out she wanted to learn. It was only after they'd scheduled a day and she had walked away, that Rowan realized she actually didn't know how to dress for such an occasion. Thus began her exploration of the Daily Prophet archives to see if she could find pictures of the uniforms that women quidditch players wore.

It occurred to her she should already know, having kept track of games here and there, but the excitement of the game had always won out over keen observation. Eventually, she found her answer and showed up on the field in semi-appropriate attire (semi because they would never really match the professional uniforms the players wore). Rowan stared blankly at the extra broom in his hand, her cheeks flushing slightly as she realized she hadn't even brought her own broom. It wasn't as if she actually had one anyways, but she'd rather not have to say that. Instead, she shoved a stray lock of hair behind her ear. "Good idea." she said vaguely, smiling gratefully before looking at all the gear he'd brought. She made a slight show of looking around behind her in confusion. "Are we going to be joined by the entirety of the British National Team?" she quipped, laughing.
#3
Rowan's robes, while an adequate choice if they were planning to ride horses or remain on the ground, were unlikely to provide enough warmth once they were suspended in midair. Although the day was a bright and sunshine filled one, the skies were always colder and felt like a harsh winter morning. Briefly, Dory considered taking care of the issue now before either of them had to address it at an inopportune time, but ultimately decided against doing so. Friends or not, she would likely be irritated if he performed magic on her person without her consent. Merlin, even if Rowan wasn't angry Zelda would be. No, angering Zelda's beautiful friend wasn't an ideal choice.

He chuckled and held out the spare broom for her to take. "You never know, you might be a natural. I figured I'd have stuff on hand in case you were feeling brave enough to try." The broom he offered her was his newer and more reliable one. His older one was finnicky at times and would dive at random times, a terrifying moment for a newbie waiting to happen.
#4
A natural? Her? Rowan grimaced, half grateful for the vote of confidence, though not entirely sure she felt it herself. She took the broom from Dory, the handle smooth in her hand. It was certainly nicer than anything she could have afforded, and she stared at it, slightly in awe. "I'd be brave enough," she reassured with a wry smile, still holding the broom at arm's length as if it would just shoot out of her hands.

"I'm not so sure I would be a natural, though." she said, looking up at him. It was entirely possible she would end flat on her back covered in mud by the end of this. Thankfully it was Zelda's brother and she would have less reason to be embarrassed. Or would that just make her more embarrassed?

Either way, she would certainly find out...
#5
Dory thought to point out that it had taken her over a decade to be comfortable relearning to fly so her bravery was likely overstated. However, just as he began forming the statement in his head he realized how confrontational such a remark would be. They were here to have fun, not for him to bully her over her fears. Instead, he shrugged with ease and repeated, "you never know."

Moving so that he was directly opposite her, Dory then dropped his broom to the ground. "Do you remember how to summon it? It isn't hard if you don't. You just hold your hand over the shaft and say Up." Dory demonstrated the action and easily gripped his broom once more as it flew into his hand.
The following 1 user Likes Dorian Fisk's post:
   Rowan Yaxley
#6
She was still unsure that this was what she wanted, but there was clearly no way of escaping it now. Perhaps if Dory had been just another colleague she may have been even more nervous, but this was one of her best friend's brothers. There was no acting like a complete idiot now, at least not when it came to wanting to learn how to fly. Merlin only knew what would become of her in the next hour or so.

Taking a breath, she paid attention to Dory and felt her embarrassment spike again as he reminded her of how to summon a broom. This was, quite literally, what they'd learned as first years; one would think she would have remembered it, so she was grateful he hadn't waited for a response before telling her how to. Nodding, partially to let him know she understood and partially to convince herself she would be able to summon a measly broom, Rowan stuck her right hand out over the broom and said, "Up."

Nothing happened.

She could feel her embarrassment start to turn her cheeks pink, as she steadied her hand and said more clearly, "Up!"

Thank Merlin, it flew straight into her hand, though it hit her hand with much more force than she was expecting and she staggered backwards. "Bloody hell..." she muttered.
#7
It was by the Merlin's grace that Dory didn't chuckle at Rowan's expense. "You alright?" Dory asked instead. He didn't want to embarrass her by any means, but it was rather comical to see someone struggle to summon a broom. Really, she was lucky it hadn't struck her in the face or knocked into her with enough force to level her. Not that he could say any of this without embarrassing her, anyway.

Closing some of the distance between them, Dory moved close enough to catch her should she fall on the next bit. They weren't touching, nor could they without significant movement in either direction. He was merely close enough to react now. "Now, we're going to mount the broom. You step over it like this - " Dory mounted his as an example. " - and grip the shaft like so. You want your body to be just over half to three quarters back from the top of the shaft."
#8
Though Rowan had the impulse to shrug his hand off of her, she found she was secretly grateful for the extra support. Her pride, she would later admit, refused to let her walk off this pitch having not tried to fly a broom, but the closer to lift-off she got, the more intense the trepidation inside her got. Wordlessly, she nodded, eyes fixed on the broom in her hand.

It also felt rather weird standing astride as opposed to side-saddle like one would a horse. But she glanced over at Dory's demonstration and nodded, attempting to mirror him. "Like so?" she asked, adjusting her grip on the shaft before looking at him.
#9
He supposed he ought to have taught her the lady's way to fly, but seeing as he didn't quite grasp the concept well himself he didn't think it worth the risk. Once she was comfortable on the broom she could adjust her seat to however she preferred.

Dory nodded and took a step back. "You don't want to hold it too tight, you need to be able to slide your hands while flying." Nerves often led to an improper grip which would only cause injuries in the end. "Once you have that, just give the ground a hard kick and you'll be in the air."
#10
Rowan nodded, looking down at her hands and adjusting according to his directions. Before she kicked off, she had the ridiculous urge to ask him what if it didn't work? But logic took over and Rowan took a deep breath, settling into the seat of the broom and kicking off.

She shot upwards in a sudden woosh of wind with an involuntary (and incredibly embarrassing) shriek of surprise. But she was up in the air and it felt....wonderful. The feeling of being up in the air, being able to see further than she ever could have before left her breathless and she let out a shaky laugh before attempting to steer.

"How do I steer?" She called, turning back to him which seemed to answer her question. As she looked over her shoulder, the broom followed and she found herself facing Dory again. "Nevermind!"
#11
Kicking off the ground himself, Dory easily flew alongside her (though he maintained enough distance to avoid any accidental collisions). "Told you you were a natural," he laughed. "You just needed to loosen up some. Think you're ready for some fun yet?" There weren't many landmarks to serve for what he had in mind, not that it truly mattered seeing as he'd finish first.
#12
As she flew, she tested out slowing down and speeding up for good measure. It seemed simple enough - lean forward to go faster and straighten up to slow down. Soon enough, Dory appeared beside her, and she beamed, letting out another laugh. Perhaps she would loosen up by flying a bit more. The idea had hardly come to her to try something different when Dory's proposal reached her, sounding slightly echoed as they flew. "That depends, I suppose." Rowan replied, leaning forward. "What did you have in mind?"
#13
"A race of course," he smirked. Her broom was faster but he was more skilled. Flying, like most athletic abilities, took time and energy to master. Not even the most talented flier knew what they were doing on their first flight, often falling from their broom in less than a minute or two. "How about once around the lake. Winner is whomever lands back by the trunks first."
#14
A race? Rowan frowned, knowing there was no likelihood she would win at all...but a challenge would be fun, and so far it felt as if she had a proper handle on steering. Besides, if she made a fool of herself, it was Dory - he'd likely tell Zelda, but she'd likely tell Zelda herself if she could. "Fine, then." She replied, smirking. "What does the winner get?" She asked, her voice raised as they flew so she would be heard.
#15
He hadn't expected her to agree so easily but grinned nevertheless. "Loser pays for drinks tonight," Dory suggested, fully intending to ensure her win. A positive experience flying might eventually lead to her joining him more often. Although he didn't mind flying alone, it was nice to have a friend.
#16
Even as she steered, Rowan could feel herself wobbling a bit. Merlin, it was hard to balance on a broom, but she wasn't about to say that in front of Dorian. Leaning forward, she inhaled the afternoon air and did a few circles to get rid of the butterflies she'd suddenly felt in her stomach. She giggled at his bet and sighed. She still owed Angie for the new wand - but she still wanted to race him around the lake. She studied him as they flew, her eyes narrowing slightly. It was possible that either he would win and perhaps offer to pay, or that he would let her win.

While she wasn't alright with either option, she still wanted to race him. Pride wouldn't let her tell him the reason why she couldn't pay either. Jaw set, Rowan looked forward to the lake. "Fine, then." She said, smiling. "Count us off, then!" She sped up to even her pace with his.

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