Charming is a Victorian Era Harry Potter roleplay set primarily in the village of Hogsmeade, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the non-canon village of Irvingly. Characters of all classes, both magical and muggle — and even non-human! — are welcome.

With a member driven story line, monthly games and events, and a friendly and drama-free community focused on quality over quantity, the only thing you can be sure of is fun!
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    You have found our archive! Charming lives on here!
    02.05 One last puzzle before we depart!
    02.01 AC? What AC?
    01.26 Impending URL changes!
    01.11 I've got a bit of a reputation...
    01.06 AC underway, and a puzzle to solve!
    01.01 Happy new year! Have some announcements of varying importance.
    12.31 Enter the Winter Labyrinth if you dare!
    12.23 Professional Quidditch things...
    12.21 New stamp!
    12.20 Concerning immortality
    12.16 A heads up that the Secret Swap deadline is fast approaching!
    12.14 Introducing our new Minister of Magic!
    12.13 On the first day of Charming, Kayte gave to me...
    12.11 Some quick reminders!
    12.08 Another peek at what's to come...
    Bend and Break
    Private Thread 
    December 28th
    In the aftermath of the election, Ellie hadn't been feeling her best. Initially, she'd attributed her sickness and fatigue to the stress of campaigning catching up with her and mingling with the utter, crushing disappointment of not being elected. With that in mind, she'd assumed rest and relaxation (neither one of which she did very well, but had to attempt for her own sake) would have her feeling better within a week or so. 

    While Ellie tried to take it easy, she found herself feeling more of a need for Walt's presence than was usual for her. Generally, Ellie always wanted him around, but her strong sense of independence rarely allowed her to let herself need anyone, even those she loved deeply. Her inability to accept emotional vulnerability did more harm than good, but she didn't know how to be any other way unless she was under extreme duress. Then, she felt compelled to reach out and take hold of whoever she thought would tolerate her sudden clinginess. That person was always Walt. 

    He'd been the only man she'd had eyes for all those years ago and, no matter the troubles plaguing them, she knew that would always be true. The only reason her father had allowed them to marry was because of the strength of her convictions about Walt and his ability to make her happy. Expressing the fullness of her affection for him with words was difficult, but it shone through in other ways. Though the election had put strain on them, turning to him for comfort in its aftermath was still as natural as breathing. 

    Spending time with her husband, letting him take care of her as much as he was able, soothed the storm of her turbulent emotions, but did little to ease whatever ailed her physically. Her unpleasant symptoms persisted and, with each day that went by, Ellie became less convinced she was suffering from a passing illness. She didn't make up her mind to see a healer until a familiar soreness settled over her body and her suspicions demanded they be confirmed or denied. 

    On the Friday before Christmas, she spent a chunk of the time she normally dedicated to mundane errands at Hogsmeade's hospital, anxiously awaiting a diagnosis. When she got it, she left the hospital in a daze, returning home without finishing half of what she'd meant to do. The healer's words played on a loop in her head, only quieted by the bustle of the holiday and the presence of all her girls in the house. It wasn't until later on in the week, when they were out with friends for the day that the source of her illness returned to the forefront of her thoughts. The first step to properly confronting it was talking to Walt - this would affect him greatly as well - so she sought him out in their shared study. She was simultaneously relieved that she'd found him so quickly and more anxious about what would come of this. 

    "Walt," she said to get his attention. "There's something we must discuss. It's important." 

    Already knowing the subject of the conversation still to be had, 'important' sounded like an understatement to Ellie's ears, but she had to start somewhere.

    @'Walter Brownhill'
    @'Ophelia Dippet'
    [Image: mWnyjG.png]
    Walt had been somewhat amazed by how quickly things had returned to normal after the election results came out. Well, not quite normal, but a stasis, at least. Eleanora was taking the loss hard, he could tell, but even two days after the campaign ended their house already seemed less turbulent. Clementine seemed to enjoy the fact that there was less bustle around the house (or at least, that the strange bustle of politics had been replaced with the more familiar craze of preparing for the holidays) and was oblivious to her mother's melancholy. Eleanora had done a good job of hiding it from the children, too, in Walt's opinion. He wasn't sure whether she was less guarded around him, or if he just had more experience reading her. Either way, he was still walking on eggshells around her while she was in her 'recovery period,' so to speak.

    Between the approaching holiday, the usual social schedule (plus a few new invitations, brought on, he supposed, by the recent campaign), the twins coming back home from Hogwarts, and looking after Eleanora as much as she would allow herself to be looked after, Walt had his hands full. Everything that had been a concern prior to the election had been put very far out of mind— so when Eleanora came into the study where he was reading and announced that they needed to talk, he had no idea what it could be about. Important sounded ominous, and Eleanora didn't look as though it was good news. Shutting the book on his lap without even bothering to look for a bookmark first, Walt fixed his attention on his wife. "What is it? What's the matter?"

    "I haven't been well lately," She started, taking care not use words that conveyed seriousness, but weren't overly alarming. "I thought it would pass after some rest, but when it didn't, I started to be concerned that it was something ... less temporary. I went to see a healer before Christmas." Ellie paused there to search for the right words. She could still hardly believe what she'd been told herself and hadn't fully thought through how she would break the news to Walt.

    Well, there was no use beating around the bush.

    "He was of the opinion that I'm with child." She took in a deep breath. "And based on the way I've been feeling, I'm inclined to agree with him. However, I'm still ... I don't know how it could've happened? We've been so careful that I'm having trouble fully believing it." They'd gone for years without incident, so a sudden failure of their prophylactic measures seemed improbable. Ellie knew nothing was infallible, knew in the back of her mind there was a chance this could happen even with the condom and other methods, but it caught her so completely off guard she wasn't sure how to feel. This - the possibility of another child - was too big for her to be so unprepared for it. She wasn't ready, and the anxiety surrounding that choked out any possibility of happiness.
    [-] The following 1 user Likes Eleanora Brownhill's post:
       Walter Brownhill
    [Image: mWnyjG.png]
    If he had been nervous before, his anxiety over whatever this news was only intensified as she spoke. Being unwell was worrying, only because he knew that Eleanora was independent enough that she wouldn't have told him unless she thought he needed to know. However much he might want to take care of her, she would keep anything that wasn't serious to herself, which made her presence here to talk about it rather ominous. Seeing a healer was even more so, and Walt was a bit stung (if not entirely surprised, in light of everything that had happened recently) that she had gone and confided whatever the issue was to a healer before him.

    At her next words, though, Walt's worry was swept away and replaced with a paralyzingly massive sense of surprise. His heart skipped a beat, or maybe three. It seemed as though everything around him stopped, even though Eleanora was still speaking.

    With child!

    They were going to have another baby!

    Without even thinking about it, Walt sprung to his feet. The book fell heavily to the floor, but he didn't hear it. He wasn't even listening much to what his wife was saying any more as he walked forward and wrapped his arms around her. "But that's wonderful," he interrupted. He was vaguely aware that he was grinning ear to ear as he held her tightly; he felt positively buoyant for the first time in months, or maybe years. "What does it matter how it happened? It's wonderful," he said again, before it occurred to him that his wife had yet to smile during the conversation. Whatever had she been looking so grim for? Was there something wrong that she hadn't told him about yet?

    Loosening his embrace but keeping his hands on his wife's shoulders, Walt pulled back just enough to be able to look her in the eye once again. "Isn't it?"

    A weak smile played on Eleanora's lips as she watched Walt light up at the news. However confusing and uncertain all this was, part of her was still pleased to see her husband so happy. She wished she could feel the same. The only comfort she allowed herself in the moment was that of the embrace Walt drew her into. She didn't reciprocate exactly - her arms stayed where they'd been at her sides - but she leaned into his warmth just a little.

    When they were apart again, it was that much more difficult for her to express why she was filled with unease rather than happiness. Because she should've been as thrilled as Walt clearly was. Children were to be celebrated, yet she couldn't shake off the ever creeping feeling that she didn't want this at all.

    What was wrong with her?

    "I -" she paused, unsure of what to tell him. There had been so many things left unsaid between them since the campaign that Ellie now felt she owed it to him to be completely forthright about how she was feeling. She also felt, as many wives did, the need to spare her husband from any hurt her honesty might cause him. "I'm not sure I'm ready to be a mother again," she finally admitted, compromising to make the issue one of personal preparation and not one of desire. Walt could deal with the former, Ellie thought, but she didn't know that he'd be able to stand hearing her say that she didn't want their baby. "That's why I've been so adamant about us using the condom. I wanted the time to write and the freedom to pursue other ventures."

    She'd given up so much as a younger woman for the sake of marriage and motherhood. Many would call it selfish, but Ellie wasn't satisfied with fully relinquishing her own ambitions for her family's sake and she never would be.

    "I'd hoped to wait a little longer." Her voice was uncharacteristically small and she averted her gaze away from Walt's. If he looked into her eyes now, she feared he might see the truth of everything, and that would do more harm than good.
    [Image: mWnyjG.png]
    Eleanora's words were nearly incomprehensible to Walt. Not ready to be a mother implied, to him, a sense of foreboding or worry, which would have been entirely misplaced. They had three wonderful, healthy children already, and there was no reason to suspect that this child would be somehow more difficult. Of course, that wasn't what Ellie meant at all, which he started to grasp as she continued speaking. Responses bubbled up to the tip of his tongue immediately, but he bit them back. Speaking too quickly and too dismissively about her worries would only make it seem as though he didn't understand, and after everything they had been through in the past few months, he was loathe to fall in to that trap.

    But really, writing and 'other ventures'? The excuse sounded like a thin one to him, and he struggled with a way to say as much without sounding as though he was belittling her or the things she was passionate about. Writing could be done at any time at all, while children had, more or less, a timeline about them — if they had waited much longer it was entirely likely that Ellie wouldn't have been able to have more children. She could even continue to write while she was pregnant, or once the baby arrived. There might be distractions, but nothing that would take up all of her time, Walt figured. They had staff for that sort of thing.

    As for other ventures, Walt could not help but hear in that vague phrase an allusion to Eleanora's recent political goals. It might have been different, he supposed, if she had won (though he would not have said a career was a recent to prevent someone from having a family, even if that someone was a woman), but he could not imagine what could possibly take up so much of her time and energy now that the campaign had been decided in favor of another. She didn't still have political aspirations that she hadn't confided in him, did she?

    It was possible, given how he had learned of her intention to run for Minister, that she did, but if this baby was going to quell some as-yet-unannounced desire to further shake the tree of the established political system, all Walt could really think was good.

    Not that he would ever say that to her, of course.

    There was a very brief moment of panic that crossed his face when she mentioned the condom — which he still had not been able to replace — but he smoothed his features quickly and hoped that Ellie hadn't noticed. She was not accusing him of anything, of course. She didn't know the possible how of conception, and that wasn't really the issue at hand, he told himself. His wife was here looking for comfort — or at least, that was the attitude that he had projected on to her.

    "You have all the time in the world," he told her with a soft, encouraging smile. "We have three children already, Ellie, and none of them prevented you from writing or pursuing whatever other ventues you wanted," he pointed out. "Being a mother didn't prevent you from running for Minister. It's not as though having another child will change anything, in the long term."

    Gently, Walt reached out and took his wife's hand in his and gave it a light squeeze. "This is wonderful news, Eleanora," he assured her.