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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


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Six Inches or Ten Feet... It is all the same!
#1
September 22nd, 1891 — Quidditch Pitch

He was thankful that he and Tommy were free of classes for a bit as he'd grown restless sitting at desks for class after class and it was only Tuesday.  So restless that he'd gotten a detention he'd have to serve tomorrow - but that was a tomorrow problem.  He planned to forget about that as he had grabbed a few brooms from the broom cupboard and was making his way towards the pitch.

Today would be the day he'd convince Tommy to join him in the air.  He was sure of it.

Looking back at Tommy he said " It's not that scary to fly it is all about balance and weight distribution.  The same physics apply with your feet six inches off the ground as they do at ten feet. " Hoping that saying low numbers would make this seem less intimidating.  After all, he kept himself super low when he was trying and still now he tried to avoid going more than ten feet up if he was practicing turn and throwing the quaffle.

Though today with Tommy he left all quaffles in the broom cupboard. 

Instead he had about three brooms just incase one of them wasn't as good.  Putting the brooms on the ground he said " I'll even test them and give you the best one. ". After all, there was zero chance he'd have a good one in a real game so there was no point on flying on a good one.


[Image: Wy5E1l1.png]
Shiny set by MJ
#2
The idea of flying was great when you were just dreaming, up in the air like a bird just flapping around, but Tommy didn't have wings and, if flying lessons were like a dream, it was definitely a bad dream. He hadn't expected to learn to fly as a wizard. He thought only the girls did that. You always heard about wizards on broomsticks, just witches!

It wouldn't even be so bad if the professor rode with them at first, but when he asked her!n she said no and a lot of the other kids laughed at him. Quincy didn't, though, even though he was a really good flyer (he was even on the quidditch team!- which seemed like it was really important for wizards). He was nice, nice enough to even come to the quidditch pitch and try to teach him. They were friends, so... it felt kind of rude to say no.

"I don't have to fly ten feet high, do I?" he asked nervously, reminding himself it would also be really rude to run away while he trotted behind his friend. "There's a pretty big difference if you fall." Maybe it was true for how to fly, but if you flew high enough and you fell, you'd just be a splat on the grass. It wasn't like a boat. There wasn't any big, wide broom for your friends to fish you put of the air onto, and, even if there was, they'd have to be pretty fast to do it, and strong too.

Tommy stopped when Quincy did and stared down at the three brooms. None of them looked very good to ride on. No brooms looked very good to ride on, for sweeping maybe, but not that. He felt like there was a whole ocean in his stomach, but he still nodded and swallowed hard. He wished Dad was here. He didn't know anything about flying either, sure, but he was sure that he would make it better.

@Quincy Smellie
#3
"I don't have to fly ten feet high, do I?”

Ten feet was about his limit unless he had a real reason to go higher so he understood the hesitation to go high.  He suspected part of the reason he figured out flying maneuverability as quickly as he did was he practiced low to the ground.  So he said “ Let’s try for at least three. “

He’d be happy if he managed to get Tommy up even one foot off the ground.

”There's a pretty big difference if you fall.”

He said “ True the important part is you clean any injury.  My brother is a surgeon and infection is much more likely to kill you than a fall from even ten feet. “  Then he looked up towards the hoops he said “ I don’t go up towards the hoops unless there is an older year about as I read there are charms that can stop falls. “. Though he only prayed his housemates would use if needed and didn't plan to test that.

Then he grabbed the first broom and put it to the side and said "up" and got on it and did a small loop around Tommy with his feet two feet above the ground before getting off it and saying " This one is surprisingly ok " as he put it to the side.

@Tommy Tupper

[Image: Wy5E1l1.png]
Shiny set by MJ
#4
That whole bit about infection, cleaning injuries didn't make him feel any lessike the whole castle had just hopped up and laid itself down on his chest. Infection didn't matter if you cracked your head open like an egg or landed on the broom and it stabbed you right through. The three feet thing did help a bit, though. He'd climbed higher than that in trees before, a lot higher. There was still a lot more to hold onto if you slipped, but three feet wasn't a very far fall. It wasn't even as tall as him. It wasn't even as tall as Timmy! The fall-stopping magic made it a bit better too, but not a lot.

"I made my brother bounce like there was a ball around him when he fell once.." he offered carefully, the picture of baby Timmy bouncing and springing from branch to branch, giggling like it was the best game ever plsying through his head.  "But it wasn't on purpose, I couldn't do it again and there aren't any older kids here! What if it goes up higher than I want?" It had never, ever ever happened to him again after that one time, and he had never, ever flown on a broom before even though it had made the teacher cross with him. The brooms were meant to listen to you, that was the trick. That's what they learned in class. You had to believe it would do what you wanted, but he didn't believe that. He didn't at all. How did he know that wouldn't just make it take off and do whatever it wanted? He could just see the the ground getting farther and farther away as the broom brought him, up and up, three feet, ten feet, a hundred feet! And making it listen to him was't like moving a sail on a boat. It had to listen to him! How was he supposed to make it listen to him if he didn't know it would?!

Even worse than that the broom was just okay. surprisingly okay. What did that mean?! Were all the school brooms bad? He could feel his hands shaking and sweating. He rubbed them nervously against his robes. He couldn't have them sweaty. If they were sweaty his hands wolld be slippery and he could fall! The only thing that was keeping him from turning around and running away just then was knowing that it would hurt Quincy's feelings and he might not want to be friends anymore after that. "M-Maybe you can ride with me, then, if it goes too high, you can take it over?" he half begged, watching hus friend step off of the 'surprisingly okay' broom and put it down next to him. Quincy could laugh if he wanted, call him a baby. He didn't care. He just didn't want to ride it alone for his first time ever. It was too scary!

@Quincy Smellie
#5
"But it wasn't on purpose, I couldn't do it again and there aren't any older kids here! What if it goes up higher than I want?”

Looking towards Tommy he made to sit on the second broom and lifted his feet up as he said excitedly “ Butter upon bacon you made your brother bounce. “  Looking at the two other brooms he said “To go down I push down with my hands slightly.  It is all about weight distribution and changing it slowly to direct the broom. “ Yes, in the class the professor said things about believing the broom would do what you wanted however he was firmly in the physics and weight distribution camp of flying theory.

”M-Maybe you can ride with me, then, if it goes too high, you can take it over?”

Then he said “ If you want you can ride behind me holding my waist and I’ll explain how I do things. “  Going towards the second broom he said “ Up “ and felt it shake in his hands and just put it down not getting on it as he went towards the third broom.  With the step towards the third broom he said “ Up “ feeling it rise steadily to his hand.  Climbing on the third broom he sat on it as he continued “ I’d rather try two of us for the first time where I can see and have a grip of the broom. “

Then he went up about five feet and did a circle around his friend before hovering in the air before coming closer to ground level.  Looking towards his friend he said “ Third try’s the charm. “

Unsure how this was going to go he said " You want to hop on? "


[Image: Wy5E1l1.png]
Shiny set by MJ
#6
"I didn't try to! It just happened!" Tommy answered, letting his eyes drop down to look over the two suspiciously innocent-looking brooms Quincy still had to test out. "He fell and he was just a baby. I thought he would die! Didn't you ever do anything like that?" A lot of the time at Hogwarts, he almost felt like he just didn't know anything, really. Before he found out he was a wizard, he thought he knew a lot about what was normal. But, here, it just seemed like there were loads of things people knew their whole lives that he just wasn't sure about, like how to fly or if other people did magic things by accident, and if they did, what kind of things? He knew Quincy didn't know those kinds of things either since he also wasn't from a magic family, but it still maade him curious, almost curious enough for him to forget how nervous he was about flying for just a second... almost.

He was relieved Quincy didn't laugh at him and that he was willing to ride with him at first, but that didn't mean he was excited to get on the broom now. He gave a dry swallow and an anxious nod with a quiet "Yeah...thanks" but he didn't manage to tear his eyes away from the brooms to actually look at his friend while he did it. He half hoped they would all just snap in halff before he could get on or catch on fire (once Quincy was away from them, of course). But they didn't. The last one was even good. And, with the thhought flitting through his head that it might be the last thing he ever did, he walked over with another weak nod and slung his leg over the broom behind Quincy, wrapping his arms really tight around his waist. "Do you promise you won't go too high?" he half squeaked, remindibg himself that it would be really, really rude to be sick on his friend's back.

@Quincy Smellie
#7
He certainly didn’t make anything that cool happen.  Sure there were odd things that happened that were all smaller - or he was grasping at strings since he got here and everyone had a better story than him.  Reluctantly he said “ No, but it seems everyone else has a good story.  I’m debating making one up myself. “

"Yeah...thanks”

Hearing his friends hesitation he wished he had a good story to entertain him.  Which made him more determined to make up one he could remember later - but for now flying required his full focus.

He held his breath as Tommy wrapped his arms tightly around him when he joined him on the broom.  In his estimation the broom did a slight dip with the two of them but he kept it steady counterbalancing his friends weight as much as he could.

"Do you promise you won't go too high?" 

Feeling both there weight he said “ Deal if you promise not to make any sudden movements especially ones leaning backwards. “  As he had no idea how the physics of this would work as Tommy was a bit bigger than him so with any large movements he was certain Tommy would end up steering.

Then he pulled up the broom slightly bringing it to about four feet off the ground and leveled it with a bit of a bobble.  He said “ I brought the broom up with a bit of a pull up with my hands as I leaned slightly forward only slightly as to much and you go too fast. “ 

Then he willed the broom to go forward at a slow pace that unknown to him would respond if Tommy moved too much.


[Image: Wy5E1l1.png]
Shiny set by MJ
#8
There were a lot of things that Tommy meant to say about Quincy's making up a story idea and his instructions about the broom. Not everyone needed an accidental magic story. If he didn't have a big, interesting one, a lot of other people probably didn't either, or they were just making up theirs. He didn't need to feel bad about it or lie. He was already a great wizard now. That was what mattered. He was even on the quidditch team. The only first year in the whole school! Nobody would say he wasn't good just because he never made his brother bounce by accident.

He was as confident and more than ready to promise that he wouldn't lean back on the broom at all. He wouldn't wiggle or move, or breathe if that was what he had to do to make sure they wouldn't  both go crashing to the ground and break their necks. He was already sitting up stock straight, using all of his focus to keeping himself from squeezing his friend so tight that he knocked all the air out of him before they even got started.

He wanted to tell Quincy all of those things, but, instead, all he managed to squeak out was a quiet "Okay." before they started taking off.

He tried really, really hard to listen to what Quincy was saying while they were going up, but it was really hard when he was also making absolutely, completely sure that he didn't move a muscle. You... pull up, but just a bit, and lean forward, but not too much. He didn't want to go fast, not yet. Not at all. Maybe, if he didn't lean when he had to do it, they would just float. That would be good to start. They weren't so far up. Maybe as tall as them, and they weren't going so fast, but it still felt dangerous. A broom was just so narrow, much narrower than a tree branch. Who had thought it was a good idea to ride brooms in the first place? Did it have to be brooms? Why not something wider, like baskets or crates? He wouldn't mind riding crates like the ones at the docks back home. At least they had sides!

@Quincy Smellie
#9
"Okay.”

He was surprised by how still it seemed Tommy was staying.  If put in the same position he knew that he would struggle not to squirm or fidget.  In fact an accidental fidget still seemed to catch him at least once per practice of flying causing a slight swerve. 

Though with Tommy being so still the broom flew straighter ahead than it ever had for him prior.

As he saw the curve of the stadium ahead of him he started his turn by pulling with his arm and said “ To turn I lean slightly to the side and pull the broom slightly with that hand.  It is important to never lean more than a few inches with your body unless you are doing a crazy seeker turn.  When you try it for the first time just use the arm pull like I am now. “. Which started them off on a slow turn.

Then he said “ Does that make sense?  We are told to will it in a direction, but weight distribution seems to play into it as well.  Or I might be trying to force physics on magic. “


[Image: Wy5E1l1.png]
Shiny set by MJ
#10
Did it make sense? Well... sort of. Not completely, but, nothing made sense completely just then. He had to pull it just a little bit the way he wanted to go, he had to lean just a little bit, he had to pull up just a little bit. Everything just a little bit. He gor that. The teachers said you have to will it? He didn't know what willing something was or weight disturbution or physics. He thought he'd heard Tuppence say something about that before, but that was secondary school stuff and he'd never gone! Or, he supposed he had, here, but this was a very different sort of secondary school. He hadn't heard any of the teachers say anything about anything like that yet at all.

All he got was no big moves, which was why all he answered with was a very, very small nod, then an almost as small "Yeah" when he realized Quincy couldn't see him, seeing as he was sitting behind him.

He really didn't like the turn. He could feel his body being pulled to the side, just a very little bit, but his heart still did a funny hop in his chest and he squeezed all of his muscles tight to keep from leaning too much. He didn't want it to turn even more! He would slip off for sure! He couldn't tell if the broom was just tilting or if he was slipping, which made him squeeze even tighter, probably tight enough to squeeze the air out of Quincy, but he couldn't stop himself. His eyes squeezed shut tight too, half expecting to feel himself hit the ground at any minute.

"M-maybe... I could just fly straight?" he managed to blurt out in a shakey voice, hopefully loud enough for his friend to hear. He didn't know if he was really ready to do any of this on his own. But, he definitely wasn't ready to do any turns. If he could just fly straight for a little bit, very low, then land... he could always do turns later, once he was good at that.

@Quincy Smellie
#11
He heard Tommy say something but was distracted by his friend squeezing him before he could process it.  A surprise which made him push himself back slightly on his broom towards his friend making the broom raise a few feet before he realized what was happening and responded by pushing it back down to where they had safely been four feet above the ground before. 

Thankfully for Tommy’s sake he’d managed to keep the broom under twenty feet off the ground but it was a barely.

Back to the safety of four feet above the ground going straight in the opposite direction he said “ There is only so far you can fly straight before you have to turn and landing gets boring. “  He tried it.  Which was why he had learned to turn rather quickly in his process of teaching himself to fly.  A story he wasn’t telling as he had slid sideways off the broom more than once onto the ground.

Then he said “ Though that might be a good idea for the first few attempts. “  Then he continued flying straight for.a bit gradually bringing them closer to the ground coming to an eventual stop just hovering over the ground with a few inches between the ground and his feet and said “ Do you want to try now? Or do you want me to do another lap?“

He wasn't sure how one ended two people on a broom riding so he hoped Tommy had an idea.

[Image: Wy5E1l1.png]
Shiny set by MJ
#12
If Tommy thought turns were scary, what happened next made them look like nothing. All of a sudden, the broom shot up like it was being reeled in by some giant, invisible, magic net. A loud yelp bubbled out of him and his arms squeezed even harder and his eyes squeezed shut. They were so high up, SO HIGH! He hadn't even leaned back, not at all! "That's too high! Go back down!" he cried, almost too panicked to think. He didn't even want to see how far they had to fall if they slipped! He didn't understand! They were going to stay low!

He only opened his eyes back up after he felt them dropping back down, bit by bit, flying forward, no turns. Slowly, he started to catch his breath again and just barely peeked through his eyelashes at the side of the Quidditch pitch in front of them and the grass, not so far below. He loosened his grip around Quincy's middle just a little bit, taking in big gulps of air. Quincy was saying something, but all he could hear was his heart pounding and a loud ringing sound that wasn't coming from anywhere in particular.

Once they finally landed, he let go of his friend and hopped off of the broom as fast as he could. It was... kind of exciting. He didn't like it, flying. Not at all, but... he didn't not like it either. His hands were shaking like leaves fluttering around when it was windy. He was at least not-scared enough now to hear Quincy a bit over the ringing. Did he want to try on his own or ride along again? He had to ask himself a few times in his head before he could make himself say anything. "I... I dunno. I don't want to turn yet." he blurted out, his eyebrows scrunched together in concern. "Why did you go up so high? You promised." He definitely didn't want to go up so high again. But, it couldn't have been on purpose. Quincy wasn't a liar. He wouldn't be nice if he was a liar and he was nice. If accidentally going really high up was just a part of flying, he didn't know if he wanted to do either!

@Quincy Smellie
#13
He wasn’t surprised that Tommy had almost squealed when they accidentally went up too high.  He was just happy to breathe normally as he hovered after Tommy got off the broom. 

"I... I dunno. I don't want to turn yet.”

He hoped off the broom and looked towards his friend and didn’t say anything as he didn’t want to push too hard.

"Why did you go up so high? You promised.”

Looking at Tommy he said as calmly as he could “ You pulled me back when you squeezed on the turn and I accidentally pulled up.  I got it down pretty quick. “  A pretty quick he was both impressed and proud of himself for managing.  Though he wasn’t sure he wanted to point out how impressed he was with that feat or it might worry Tommy more.

He said “ How did you sit so still?  I think that broom flew straighter with you on it than it does for me normally proving another point towards weight distribution.  Or maybe it was a combined willing at the start. “  To say he was curious how it worked was an understatement as the books and what he was told still wasn’t lining up with his observations.

Then he picked up and held out the broom they were on for Tommy offering his friend the best broom of the three.

[Image: Wy5E1l1.png]
Shiny set by MJ
#14
Tommy sighed and gave a quick nervous sort of nod. "Sorry. he gulped, still just catching his breath from the whole thing. He wasn't sure if it made it better or worse, how fast it all was. It felt a bit like sitting on the deck of a boat in a storm except it was only a rowboat and he didn't have any paddles. It had been his fault too. He hadn't meant to squeeze so hard, it had just happened! Maybe there was some. Kind of sticking charm they could use so he couldn't fall off. He wouldn't mind it, then. Not even turns! The only trouble then would be getting it off again. He didn't want to spend the rest of his life with a broom stuck to his legs either.

He felt a bit better with how impressed Quincy was at how still he kept. It didn't seem so impressive to him. Staying still wasn't so hard. You just had to not move. He'd been able to do that since he was born. "I just didn't want to make it go mad or anything. So I just... didn't move." he offered with a shrug, looking off to the side "You said not to." At least he was good at something with flying... or Quincy was just being nice, which wouldn't be so bad either.

His heart sunk again, though, when Quincy stuck the broom out at him. He looked over at it like it was some kind of monster getting ready to bite his arm off. It hadn't been so bad on the broom when they were low enough and not turning, but, what would he do if it hopped up really high again? He didn't know how to being it back down. Not properly! "I.... I dunno." he muttered, reaching a shaky hand out toward it. He really didn't want to let his friend down. He'd come here to help him fly a broom. If he never did, then it was all a waste of his time. There were lots of other things Quincy could have been doing, weren't there. Tommy didn't have all that many friends at Hogwarts yet. He didn't want to lose one just from being scared.

@Quincy Smellie
#15
Quincy just shrugged off his friends apology as to him it wasn’t a big deal.  After all, it was common for his broom to make sudden movements for no reason when he was on it and it was just another one.  The catch was he was getting much better at getting himself on the right track.

"You said not to.”

With a smile he said “ It was impressive.  Once you get used to flying you’ll probably be able to be really precise with your movements. “  That was assuming that Tommy ever got used to flying as his friend obviously didn’t share his excitement.

"I.... I dunno.”

Seeing his friend take it he smiled and grabbed the second best broom of the bunch not even noticing that Tommy’s hand was shaking.  Then he said “ We can stay low and just do straight lines if you want and get off and turn around. “  He’d done plenty of that for hours at the start of term to figure it out.

Then he put down the broom he was going to ride and said “Up” before sitting on it.

[Image: Wy5E1l1.png]
Shiny set by MJ

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