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...
    Adele's Hello Plays Faintly In The Background
    Private Thread 
    Ellory hadn't been out and about for about two months. Mourning meant that she couldn't enjoy most of the celebrations of the Christmas seasons. That she could go to the Christmas and New Year's balls had been a generosity from Evelyn's part. Then, she'd been sick almost all of January. She'd caught a cold, Merlin knows from where. By February, Ellory could explode from boredom.

    February hadn't been much interesting either. Mourning, coupled with Evelyn's unwillingness to attend many parties meant that Ellory couldn't do so either. It wouldn't do for her to be out partying when her sister mourned their mother at home.

    Another cause for Ellory's anguish during those weeks had been the absence of Reuben Crouch. Things had been going swell and then he'd stopped writing. That had coincided with his return to Great Britain, something Ellory had heard from some acquiantance completely randomly. That made her very sad and then very angry. What was the point of him contacting her if he wasn't going to make any effort to see her or at the very least write her now that he was in the same country? Then, her insecurities overcame her. Maybe he didn't want to write to her because he didn't like her. Someone could have told him something and his hatred for her could have been rekindled. Maybe he'd only written to her from Canada to atone, because he hadn't thought, at that time, that he might return and now that he was back he didn't care about her anymore.

    The most recent Witch Weekly article was a new log to the flame of Ellory's insecurities. She hadn't recognized the woman pictured on the cover - after reading the article about her, Ellory decided she didn't like her very much! Apparently, this Una Walsh was the subject of Reuben Crouch's affections!

    Ellory couldn't help but compare herself to the other young woman. She wasn't very pretty, Ellory pettily thought. Her eyes, her nose, her mouth - everything on her face seemed too big! In fact, she looked a bit on the plumper side in that picture. So Ben liked some fat girl! Ellory's short-lived sense of superiority was crashed by the self-conscious realization that Ben probably liked her for her curves. Something that Ellory lacked. She tried very hard to convince herself that Una Walsh was in fact fat and unimpressive, but the image of her superior houglass body persisted in Ellory's mind.

    So that was why Reuben hadn't written to her. He had a prettier girl to love whose family wouldn't give him hell for their relationship, on top of that!

    To spice things up and for the sake of this thread, it was Reuben Crouch she run into at Scrivenshaft's that morning. (Couldn't it have been at a party, where she could have at least looked as well as her mourning clothes would allow? How was she supposed to rival that American lady?)

    It was awkward, with then having seen each other but not really making a move to greet each other. At a convenient time, however, when both of them happened to be looking at the same shelf, Ellory said quietly: "Is it due to lack of writing supplies that I received no letter from you all this time, then?" Her voice had been pleasant enough, almost playful, even, but the accusation was lurking underneath it all the same.
    Ben had been conflicted upon returning to England, he supposed — except conflicted wasn't really the word for it at all, it was just a kinder word than anything more descriptive. He'd been on the defensive from day one, since he suspected that he'd been imported solely to cast a ballot for his brother, and having done that (or rather, failed to do that, but the other Crouches didn't need to know he'd avoided voting for Roman), he assumed one misstep would see him whisked away again like the embarrassment to the family that everyone seemed to believe he was. To that end, he'd been playing things a little close to the chest for his first month back, stretching his legs a little more slowly to ensure that he didn't do anything to unduly piss Aldous off.

    Reuben would not have said he was afraid of getting shipped back to Canada, because fear wasn't a very appealing emotion of a grown man and a proud former Gryffindor, besides, but that was probably the most apt word to describe it. A 'don't be dumb' pep talk from Art Pettigrew and a brief but rather frigid run-in with the princess' resident crazy sister had decided him: it wasn't worth the risk of trying to go see her. Not, at least, until she had initiated something, which he was almost certain she would. They'd been writing fairly consistently in Canada, after all, and he was confident he could just wait for her next letter to orchestrate some sort of meeting — like the one she's suggested once at the tennis courts, perhaps — that left him altogether faultless, in the eyes of their older siblings.

    Her letter didn't come, though, and Ben went from worrying she'd changed her mind about forgiving him to worrying that maybe his mere presence back in the country had gotten her in some kind of trouble. Her crazy sister had seen him, after all, and might have inferred something untowards or even gone digging through her room and found their letters. If that was the case, he certainly couldn't write to her without getting them both very deep into hot water. So he didn't.

    It had been so long since he'd come to that resolution that he was almost startled to see her in the shop that day. He hadn't been planning on seeing her, obviously; he'd just been out looking for a new quill, his old one having had a fit and exploded on his next door neighbor that morning in a rather inky display. He was on the hook for replacing the man's damaged clothes, it seemed, which was an expensive mistake, and one he didn't want his quill making for him a second time. He was perusing the quills (why were there so many, and why were they so expensive? What could be so special about a quill?) when he noticed her, though he didn't dare approach — not, anyway, until he'd had a chance to surreptitiously look around and make sure the Crazy was nowhere to be seen accompanying her.

    Before he could manage to stealthily survey the rest of the shop's patrons, though, she had spoken to him — though in that rather offhand way that might not look like a conversation to anyone not within earshot. Did that mean that they were trying to avoid Crazy, then? Ben turned his attention back to the quills in front of him to keep up the charade, though he wanted to look at her — particularly to see what on earth she'd meant by that last comment.

    "I was waiting for a letter from you," he said, with a frown. "What, did you run out of paper? Or did your owl die?" He spoke lightly, but realized that it was altogether possible that she might have had her owl confiscated if her sister had realized that she'd been writing to him, and sobered slightly. He really hoped he hadn't gotten her in trouble.
    How was she supposed to know he was waiting on a letter from her? They'd been writing nicely and all and then he'd stopped writing and a week or two later she found out he was in England. He'd never replied to her last letter, not to respond to it or at the very least inform her he was back! Ellory remembered her last letter well, too. She'd asked him what fun things he had in mind for them and he'd never replied. Ellory had thought long and hard about whether it was a mistake to send that. Maybe the prospect of them doing fun things had turned Ben off, in a way. Maybe he'd imagined them in the process of having fun and he'd realized he didn't care for it at all!

    But he was saying now, that he wanted her to write him. Or maybe it was an excuse to lay all the blame on her for their lack of correspondance. Ellory decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. She was happy to see him and she didn't want to alienate him after such an absence.

    "Snowball is alright, but he couldn't exactly perfom his duties as an owl if I didn't know where to send him to. The poor thing had to fly all the way to Canada in the harshest days of December to deliver a letter that never got a reply." Her accusations were more direct now, though Ellory's letter was as soft as before. They didn't need to cause a scene there. Evelyn wasn't with her, as Reuben thought, but her chaperone would be just as distressed if they started fighting.
    Well, that was a bit hyperbolic; owls did not fly the two week trip across the Atlantic ocean to deliver letters, at least in his experience. The drop-off point for letters on each coastline had dramatically reduced the wait times for correspondence, and meant that her letters had never been delivered by the same owl twice — but he didn't think the travails of her owl were really the point. Ben tried to rack his mind back and remember what her last letter had even been. Had he received it? Maybe he hadn't, if it had been during December. He had left with basically no notice, after all, since Aldous had barely given him enough time to make it to Halifax before his ship departed.

    It was probably better to claim he hadn't ever gotten it, either way, he decided, rather than admitting that if he had gotten it, he'd long since forgotten whatever it said.

    "It must have gotten lost somewhere along the way," he said with as casual a shrug as he could manage. "I didn't have a whole lot of notice before I left, you know."
    Alright. Ellory was willing to believe that, mostly because she'd missed Ben and she didn't want to risk never seeing or writing him again. It wasn't impossible for it to have been lost, things like that happened when you wrote people across the Atlantic.

    "Alright," Ellory said. "You could have informed me after you arrived, though. That you are here, I mean. Or did they lock you up in a cell upon your return?" It was a joke, but then she added in a softer voice of true concern: "Everything is alright? They didn't Imperio you so you'd not write any girls or anything?"
    "What? No," Ben said quickly. He wasn't sure whether he was more appalled at the idea that his own brothers might resort to using an Unforgiveable Curse against him, or that he might sit back and let them. His family had always been the picture of respectability — until he came along, at least — and Ben didn't think even he was bad enough to get Aldous to resort to doing something illegal. Not, at least, when he could just threaten to ship him off to an insane asylum or exile him again instead. And Ben might not have been a rockstar in his Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, but he thought he knew his brothers well enough to get out of their way if they were going to try and use dark magic on him, as unlikely as that possibility sounded. He may have gone relatively quietly to Canada, but — well, that was different. He'd been depressed and mostly drunk for the week leading up to it, and he just hadn't had the will or the energy to resist.

    (He didn't want to tell Ellory that; he might have apologized for that disastrous letter from August and everything, but he certainly didn't want her to know how much of a fallout it had caused in his own personal life, even before he'd been sentenced to six months in Canada).

    "I don't care what my brothers think," Ben declared, rather boldly. The statement was not entirely true — as his rather muted behavior since his return to Britain clearly showed — but he didn't want her to think he'd been whipped by his temporary excursion to the frigid northlands.
    Ellory didn't actually think Ben had been forced to endure an unforgivable curse. Not really. The Crouches seemed like nice people, they wouldn't do that to one of their own. They were Olivia Pendergast.

    Ben's second statement was encouraging. A small smile eased its way on Ellory's face. "So say that I write you a letter when I return home today... It won't get you into any trouble with them?" He'd already said that he'd been waiting for her letter, but she still wanted confirmation from him that a letter from her would be welcome. Besides, if he said yes now he couldn't ignore her letter.

    "I could write under a pseudonym and all..." she added playfully, amused by her sudden idea. That would fool anyone who tried to snoop in their mail! And it was so romantic, besides.
    Ben was honestly a little affronted by her joke. It seemed that despite his attempt to prove he hadn't been entirely tamed by his exile to Canada, that must have been exactly what she thought. Whether she said it in a light tone or not, she apparently thought that his brothers were so involved in his life that they might read his mail, which seemed like the ultimate violation of privacy and his rights as a grown adult to Ben — nevermind that older siblings reading her mail was exactly what had gotten him exiled to Canada in the first place.

    "My siblings don't read my letters," he said rather brusquely. He was not, of course, angry at her, but rather at the implication that he had somehow obtained a reputation for being so thoroughly whipped by his two older brothers. "Sign them however you like."
    Ben was evidently not as enthusiastic about the suggestion of pseudonyms. It could have been so romantic, then signing letters as 'Guinevere' and 'Hamlet' or something old and poetic like that! Would Ben even adress her as 'Princess' in these new potential letters of theirs, or would he opt for a more casual 'Miss Pendergast'?

    "I thought it would be nice. That's all," Ellory said with a bit of a pout.
    Ben might have noticed her shift in mood had he not been more or less pouting himself over the idea that Aldous and Roman might have had him well and truly whipped since his return from Canada. Had it seemed that way to everyone else, or was Ellory just assuming that because she hadn't really been around to interact with him? Maybe he'd ask Art about it, he thought, but Art would just tell him he was still Ben and not to worry, even if he had gotten tame and boring since Canada. When Art had come to visit they'd gone off on a dog-sledding adventure, but Ben hadn't done anything like that since his return. What had he been doing? Nothing of import, really. Shit.

    "So write whatever you want," he said rather indifferently. The matter of signing letters that did not yet exist was the least of his worries at the moment.
    Ben hadn't shot down her suggestion, but he wasn't enthusiastic about it either. She could have told him that she wanted them to write their letters on rocks and throw them through each other's windows and he wouldn't care. How disappointing! How disheartening! She remembered her Ben as more romantic than that.

    "Well," Ellory started. She wasn't ready to let the subject of the pseudonyms go quite yet. "Shouldn't we pick our pseudonyms? So we know it's us that's writing the letter and not a prankster?"

    She would get Ben to care about their letters, Merlin help her!
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