Welcome to Charming
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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Did You Know?
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

Issue #264 — The Feats and Failures of the 1891 Season

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Don't let fall fashion leaf you behind!
Use fall accent pieces like leaves on hats, capes, or brooches, but not to cover your entire gown.
As the season draws to a close and the days cool, those women who have not yet had much luck on the marriage market and are looking to draw last minute attention to themselves often draw inspiration from the autumnal weather for their wardrobes. If you find yourself in this predicament, here are a few tips to ensure you stand out for the right reasons.

Use accents sparingly. Autumn decor such as dried leaves, branches, and (Merlin forbid) whole pumpkins and gords can easily overwhelm an outfit. Don't be buried under a butternut squash! Select accents with care and confine them to your accessories, such as a hat, brooch, cape, or the sleeve of a coat rather than wearing them directly on your dress. Jewelry in the shape or color of the inspiration piece, or more loosely inspired by some piece of autumn decor, is also tasteful and appropriate.

Don't forgo a scarf. Fall is a cooler season, and your prospects won't matter a whit if you die of pneumonia. Ensure that whatever you are wearing to catch the eye of the gentlemen isn't also catching you a chill!
Never wear a dress the same color as your hair or cheeks.

Select your dress color with your complexion in mind. A woman with fair hair should never wear a yellow or orange gown, as it will make her hair look dull and her skin sallow. A woman with red hair should stay away from all shades of red, orange, and pink. Young ladies whose cheeks tend towards ruddiness should also avoid reds and beiges. The safest fall color for fair ladies is a deep nut brown, while the best choice for darker women is a soft green or ivory with accents of her choice.

If your outfit is flammable, stay clear of candles. Many hostesses like to add fall flair to their events by including prolific candlelight (even sometimes floating candlelight), which pairs badly with a capelet made of dried leaves. Note the cautionary tale of Miss K$mdash;, who two seasons ago left the Lillibooth Ball in flames.

Look outside the box, but only if you know what you're doing. Dried leaves will be what everyone is wearing to add color to their wardrobe, so if you have an eye for fashion (or are willing to pay someone who does), feel free to cast a wider net for inspiration. A dress inspired by an autumn rain shower or a thunder storm might make quite a striking picture!

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Silver Streeler Serum
If you haven't heard about silver streeler serum you may be residing beneath the proverbial rock. For those who are well read on the subject of streelers, you may be wondering at two things. Firstly, that there should be silver streelers, and secondly that they should be used in anything but poison brewing. Well, the silver streeler is a little known, rare variety of streeler. Of course streeler shells change color but it would seem that a highly rare variety of streelers exhibit not only the typical shell colors but at midnight on a full moon, their shells will temporarily turn silver. These silver shells it would seem are purified by the moonlight and are non-toxic. If the shells are harvested during this small window, the shells must be quickly crushed into a fine powder and mixed with a stabilizing ingredient before dawn to preserve their moon-given properties. Thus the exorbitant price of silver streeler serum is completely understandable.

Now what are the actual benefits of silver streeler serum? You may have heard all sorts of whispers about how effective it is for all manner of cosmetic needs and be wondering how one product can do so many miraculous things. Well, it's likely everything you've heard is completely true.

The serum is perfect for:
Treating blemishes,
Brightening the eyes and teeth,
Eyelash growth,
Wrinkle smoothing,
Eradicating freckles,
Curing and preventing dry skin,
Erasing scars,
Evening out the complexion,
Brightening the skin,
Subduing rashes,
Improving the condition of fingernails.

Aside from cosmetic benefits the serum can also be used as a topical ointment for pain relief, skin irritation, and has proven to be an effective decongestant. There may even be more uses for silver streeler serum that have yet to be discovered!

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The Feats and Failures of the 1891 Season
The beginning of the Hogwarts school year marked the end of another Season in Magical Britain, and some ladies (and gentlemen!) have seen their dreams come true, while others leave the bustle behind with more regrets than triumphs.

Feat: Mrs. Zelda Darrow

The youngest child in the Fisk family, few expected the new Mrs. Darrow would be destined for matrimonial life. While her older sisters Mrs. Roslyn Ross and Mrs. Katia Meadowes found husbands relatively early on in their lives, the family had just recently celebrated the marriage of thirty-year-old Xena to Mr. Bixby, and that was after several failed years of husband-hunting! Who would have thought the youngest of the bunch, a work-minded girl who committed little time to the social season, would marry relatively young?

Well, our sources say it was only a matter of time. The newlyweds had been seen in each other's company numerous times over the past few years, and considering their equally unconventional paths in life it's no wonder they found each other. We can't say our greatest dream is to marry a formerly-presumed-dead sailor, but it might just be preferable to a life of spinsterhood.

Failure: Miss Verity Greengrass

Are we that surprised? While Miss Greengrass had the all the makings of a successful young debutante—the beauty, the poise, a healthy sense of ambition—she also had the misfortune of sharing the spotlight with her younger sister, Miss Grace Greengrass. It's a terrible misfortune for parents to have girls so close in age, especially when neither are successful on the husband hunt: they take away the attention from each others while carrying the reputations of two people instead of one. We can only hope that either Miss Verity Greengrass or her younger sister will find a husband soon, as it may open up a path to marriage for the other

Feat: Mrs. Liliana Parkinson

It's commonly said that the one thing that's more important than beauty or riches is a woman's reputation. This is, we think, one truth that the new Mrs. Parkinson is an exception to.

Mrs. Parkinson on her own is not an disreputable woman; a recent Gryffindor alumna, Mrs. Parkinson has acted just as every debutante should act. Her misfortune is not in her action, but in her breeding—in short, Mrs. Parkinson is a bastard. Considering the Selwyn family's wealth, it was expected that she would eventually marry, but it was definitely a surprise to see her ensnare wealthy pureblooded bachelor that would have been better-suited to some of the ladies on this list. Still, we wish her every happiness.

Failure: Miss Helga Scamander

After years of failing to secure a husband despite her social prowess and circle of friends from powerful families, many expected Miss Helga Scamander to secure a husband before her twenty-second birthday. However, rumors began circulating about her involvement with Mr. Beckett Longbottom in June, and sources say that Miss Scamander found herself uninvited from no less than three major parties in July and August without explanation. Is she destined for a life of spinsterhood, or will someone finally take pity on the girl and make her a Mrs.?

Feat: Mrs. Hope St.John-Black

While the former Miss Crawford was always present in debutante circles, she was neither as notable nor notorious as some of the names on this list. The same cannot be said for her husband, Mr. Samuel St.John-Black, who was formerly betrothed to the now Mrs. Melody Crouch, who abandoned him to elope with the less wealthy and far more questionable Mr. Reuben Crouch. Luckily it seems Mr. St.John-Black has moved on from the scandal, finding a bride far more worthy of his name, even if it did cause a stir in some uptight pureblood circles.

Mrs. Hope St.John-Black
Failure: Mr. Charles Macmillan

Mr. Macmillan makes this list not for not being able to find a wife, but for not being able to secure the one so many expected he would have! Mr. Macmillan was said to be courting Miss Tatiana Lestrange throughout the spring, with many speculating that a proposal and wedding would take place within the year. Things changed rather abruptly, however, when the Macnair family—Miss Lestrange's guardians—announced that she was to wed their eldest son, Mr. Valerian Macnair.

The sudden split between Mr. Macmillan and the now Mrs. Macnair has led to speculation, but no details have ever emerged about the reasoning behind it. We can only hope it was Mrs. Macnair's own flightiness that led to a severed courtship, and that Mr. Macmillan will made an admirable husband for one of the up-and-coming debutantes.

Mr. Charles Macmillan

Feat: Mrs. Caroline Darrow

Months before the marriage of his younger brother, Mr. Evander Darrow managed the daughter of an American businessman, Miss Caroline Delaney. Although nearly half his age, the match between the pair seems to be one rooted in mutual affection, and they now reside in Irvingly. It has yet to be seen whether the new Mrs. Darrow will make her mark on the social scene or if she will fade into the backdrop of the mostly-quiet Irvingly social scene.

Mrs. Caroline Darrow

Failure: Miss Frida Lestrange

The 1891 Hogwarts head girl was expected to make a quick match during the Season, especially considering her family chose to have her debut rather than attend Pendergast's School for Young Roses alongside her cousin, Miss Seneca Lestrange, who graduated alongside her. She was more often seen in the company of friends instead of suitors, so not all hope is lost—it is possible Miss Lestrange chose to devote her first season to enjoying the social scene instead of the emotionally tiring hunt for a husband. We can only hope!

Miss Frida Lestrange

Feat: Miss Clarissa Cosgrove

Although not engaged to be married yet, it was recently revealed that Miss Cosgrove is being courted by Mr. Emrys Selwyn. A finished, pure-blooded debutante, it's no wonder she's caught to attention of Mr. Selwyn, who approached his fortieth birthday without a bride. We give our best wishes for the couple; perhaps we'll hear wedding bells by Christmastime!
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Missed Connections
Check Mate?

We played chess together, and I'm certain you know my name just as I know yours. It would be impertinent to send you a letter given the circumstances of our meeting, but I plead: if you remember me, and you found yourself thinking about me after our game concluded, take this as a sign from the heavens to send me a letter.
Wild About You

We locked eyes at Mrs. Marrowminds ball shortly because you took on the features of a cat, complete with a tail. You looked most adorable, my little kitten. Please do write back if you think you should like to meet again. I was the one who took on wolf features. I promise that I do not bite.

For The Would Be Criminal

I happened upon you as you were trying to break into my fathers study via the window. I gave you a five minute head start before I called the authorities. I am told that they did not catch you. I can only assume that you got away cleanly. However, don't you think we made a connection? I am not sure how you might come to come across this ad but I had to give it a try. I will be waiting by the window nightly until you steal back into it.
Idiot at Hogsmeade Station

I was saying goodbye to one of my siblings who was going off on the train. Then I saw you who looks too much of an idiot to not be one. You know who you are.
Poetic Warnings
In response to...

The fact that my neighbor turned my wife into a pig after yet another argument about how our gardener does the hedges leads me to believe the first poem was a warning about this. However, I do not believe that Seers are real. I think you are a charlatan that planned for this to happen. Do come forward so that you can turn my wife back into a human! No matter what spell I cast, it does not take and I do not want to involve the Ministry as I firmly believe they are out to get me.
Happiness is just an owl away! Send a letter in with your personal advertisement or response to have it printed in the next issue. Address your letters to: Missed Connections, Witch Weekly.
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