A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #23834  by William Darlington
Location: Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts Gala • Date: March 2023
Time of Day: Evening • Weather: Cloudy

It had been quite some time since he had tied a bowtie yet his hands moved with a fluid ease. He pulled gently at his bowtie hoping it would not come undone and grinned at his reflection when he black fabric remained seated against his restrictive collar. Hands brushing against the front of his restrictive tailored robes, he nodded as if offering himself a small gesture of encouragement. Attending a gala for the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts' most generous donors was not what William would have considered to be ideal Friday evening plans, but the school's Director had made it clear that she expected him to attend and he did not intend on disappointing her.

While his mother scoffed every time his career choice was mentioned, William had found at the Academy a validation he had long been seeking. Among artists and creative minds, he had found a home that he cherished more than he cared to admit. It seemed strange to dress with such distinguished tastes to celebrate the establishment that had given him the courage to shed that superficial aspect of his life, but he was willing to do so if only for a night.

He apparated from his flat to the academy finding that guests were already filling the entrance hall. The school seemed particularly grandiose for the evening. Its beautiful chandelier had been lit and waiters carrying various trays of food and drinks were weaving through the animated crowd. William did not hesitate to grab a flute.

After a handful of extensive conversations with a few guests William made his way towards his workshop. A few minutes away from the crowd did not seem like too much to ask.
 #23837  by Eliza Villiers
There was nothing Eliza loved more than a black tie event. Even still at the ripe old age of 37, nothing bet the feeling of dressing up and attending an event where she could socialise to her heart's content with beautiful, talented people. If it wasn't a black tie event, it was a social evening in her own home in the country. Eliza loved being around people and this evening was no different.

Since Eliza's fashion line had kicked off just over a decade ago she had constantly been flown all over the world to attend a gala here or to shoot a model there. Eliza never complained. This was what she had wanted since she was a little girl and she was never going to give that away.

The fashion designer was tonight invited to a gala for the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts. Tonight she would be seeking out potential interns for the upcoming fashion season out of all the wonderful students showcasing their work that evening. Already, Eliza had spent a good half an hour admiring the pieces on display. She knew she wanted to be there early to get a feel of what she liked and disliked before she started talking to potential interns. As the room got noticeably busier, Eliza decided it was now time to go and fix herself up in the bathroom before she initiated anymore conversation with people high up in the industry. After all, she had to make a good first impression.

As she walked out into a quiet hallway she saw someone a few meters away from her.

"Excuse me," she shouted at the figure, "Is the bathroom this way? It's been quite a while since I've been here."
 #23840  by William Darlington
Certain he was the one being called upon William turned around. To avoid shouting he walked a few steps towards her. As her silhouette became clearer, a charming smile started tugging at his lips. She was beautiful, that much he noticed before he got close enough to identify the colour of her eyes.

He pointed a few doors from them. "Almost there," he informed as he ran a hand through his long hair.
 #23940  by Eliza Villiers
Eliza sighed and smiled at the man. "Thank-you," she replied, placing her hand on the man's arm. "We have to make good impressions right?" she laughed gently, about to turn away from the man.

"I'm sorry," she paused, looking at the man's feature. His luscious hair and deep blue eyes. "Do I know you? You look very familiar?" Perhaps she had met him at one of these gala events before, perhaps she had seen some of his work. For the life of her, she couldn't put her finger on it.
 #23971  by William Darlington
Her hand was slight and delicate above his curvaceous bicep, he took the gentle gesture as encouragement. "Perhaps we have met before, though I would be ashamed to have forgotten the name of such a beautiful woman." She did seem slightly familiar to him as well, but he couldn't quite know if she had been an acquaintance or simply carried resemblance to the beautiful women his mind often conjured. "I am William." He offered his hand, "William Darlington."
 #24253  by Eliza Villiers
Eliza looked down at the mans hand before looking back up at him. She smiled and firmly placed her hand into his as they shook hands. "Darlington." Not the most common name, so no wonder it rang a bell. "My name is Eliza Villiers." she replied, "Is any of your work on display here today? Perhaps thats how we know each other," the blonde suggested.
 #24293  by William Darlington

Her hand had barely left his when the pieces of the puzzle fell upon each other. "We went to school together," he explained with a proud grin. He usually wasn't the one who remembered those kinds of connections, but her name had brought back a flutter of memories. "You were a year or two below mine. My friend Rand fancied you."

Fancied was putting it lightly, William remembered being so tired of hearing him whine about Eliza that he had once petrified him for a moment of silence.
 #24693  by Eliza Villiers
Elia couldn't help but giggle at the revelation that the two of them not only went to school together but also that his friends fancied her. That wasn't completely uncommon during her time in school but to be told that so many years later was hilarious to her.

"Darlington," she smiled at the man opposite her, "I knew I recognised the name. How could I ever forget a handsome face such as your own."

"Look, I'm just going to fix myself up before more people start arriving, but promise me," she placed her hand gently on his arm once more, "you'll find me in ten minutes or so and we can have a proper chat. There's nothing I love more than reminiscing about the good old days." she joked, her eyes bright. Most people wouldn't care about old school acquaintances but not Eliza. She still liked to hold up appearances. And Merlin forbid someone thought she had turned nasty after school.
 #25007  by William Darlington
"I will find you," he promised, perking up. The prospect of talking about the past with her was far more exciting than trying to fancy donors into reaching further down their pockets.

He let her go to the loo and went to his workshop. He sat on his workbench and lit a cigaret. He had been told countless times that he was not to smoke inside the academy's building, but a few glasses of champagnes was more than enough to give him the courage to break the rules.

Once the cigaret had been discarded Will took a piece of gum and threw it in his mouth. Ready to go back to the celebration he straightened his bow tie and left his workshop.

It did not take much time for him to notice her. Grabbing yet another glass of champagne he joined Eliza. "To the good old days?" He suggested tilting his glass towards her as he offered a toast.
 #25155  by Eliza Villiers
Eliza smiled and hurried off to the bathroom. She set herself up in front of the mirror for a few minutes, fixing her make up and making sure she looked and felt ready for the evening ahead. These events always excited her and she looked forward to mingling with those present that evening. But first, she had other matters to attend to.

Eventually she left and headed back to the main function room which had now grown considerably more busy since she had been in it earlier in the evening. As a looked around the room she felt a presence beside her, turning to find Mr. Darlington.

Eliza clinked her own glass against his own. "To the good old days." she echoed with a soft smile. "You never answered my question earlier," Eliza began after a short silence, "Is your work on display here this evening?"
 #25160  by William Darlington
"I suppose I did not," William admitted though he knew he had done so intentionally. His official job at the academy was to build sets for the theatre department and in that respect, his work was indeed displayed in one of the amphitheaters. Yet there was his other work, his more personal work. The creations he had been caught doing by his boss who had insisted that some of them be displayed during the academy's next gala.

"A few pieces, nothing much," Will answered vaguely.
 #25196  by Eliza Villiers
"Oh that's great. You must show me some of them later." Eliza said with a big smile on her face. It did help the situation that he seemed to be doing quite well for herself.

"How's life for you anyway William? It has been quite some time since we've been in Hogwarts." she said, before taking a sip of her champagne.
 #25324  by William Darlington
Hopefully, she would forget and William would not have to show her his work. He had always been uncomfortable showing that part of him.

"Mostly great," he summarized with a grin. It had taken him time, but once he had found his passion William had flourished. "You seem to be doing great as well. I'll have to tell Rand you are more beautiful than ever," he complimented with a cheeky grin.
 #26444  by Eliza Villiers
"I'm glad," Eliza said in reply. "The years haven't been kind to a lot of our school friends." Eliza had mainly just heard rumours of people failing in their job, family and love life. She was glad that she wasn't the star of these rumours and if she was she hoped it would mainly be positive things. After all, all she wanted was for people to like her.

The blonde laughed at William's comment. "You're much too kind to me, William. You're clearly lying, but I appreciate it anyway," she replied with a smirk.
 #26725  by William Darlington
"I'm not," he frowned skeptically. Surely she knew of her own beauty. "Eliza," he stood slightly closer to her and spoke in a more gentle tone. "You are beautiful, there is no denying it. And judging by the envious looks I am currently receiving, I would say that I am not the only one who noticed." He smiled and touched her arm just to taunt the men who were eying them with envy.