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 Versailles Palace - December 2023 (Elenore)

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: Versailles Palace - December 2023 (Elenore)   Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:39 pm

"She's my replacement."

Whatever answer the Lady Clement had been expecting - and she had been expecting quite a few outlandish ones as disliking little Mimosa seemed far out of the realm of the logical - this had not been it. Her carefully cultivated mask of politeness crumbled for but a second to let genuine surprise through before the older witch composed herself once more. Vanessa almost expected ehr daughter to catch herself, to correct herself but when no corrections came, she was forced to conclude that Elenore Lissette truly believed the words she was saying.

"And why in the name of all the Gods would you need replacing?" she posed, more curious than anything at Elenore's line of thinking. As the child explained that she too did not understand why such an action need be taken - littered once again with her dislike of the Clement ward - Vanessa could only conclude that some truly lackluster reading material had fallen into her daughter's hands to make her think such things.

"Elenore darling... why would you think we brought Mimosa to the palace because of something you did or did not do? She is a ward, her station differs from yours greatly." This was not a conversation she had anticipated having on Christmas day but Elenore was always full of surprises, unpredictable and perhaps a little quick to conclude but here regardless.

"And what is this about your Papa and I readying you for marriage? Last I recalled, it was you who wanted to leave the palace - something i personally would never understand because this is your home. One doesn't leave one's home." Vanessa could have elaborated, she could have told her daughter how hard the current Lord and Lady Clement had fought to keep their home and have their little family. But she did not, Elenore had enough to grapple with a the moment.

"In fact, I quite clearly remember forbidding you from seeing Mycroft Winston outside classes, and warning you to only pay attention to your studies. And from that you gleamed that we wanted to wed you away?"

Elenore was an intelligent girl, objectively her mother knew that. Regardless of the fact that her results had been slipping, that she had been acting peculiar and the debacle with Mimosa was pushing the heiress in the territory of downright vindictive. So why would the girl ever think her parents were in a hurry to find her a match? This mystery was at least worth getting to the bottom of.

"Is it because of Tess Marie?" she asked worriedly, trying to explain simply to herself why her daughter would entertain such notions. "Do you feel that just because your dear friend is ready for a betrothal, you too will soon be forced into one? Because we are not the Holmes Elenore, we can afford to wait for much better opportunities." Certainly much better than what was in store for the Holmes girl whom Vanessa had rather liked. But her family appeared to not expect more from the girl than a place among the Valentino.

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Elenore Clement
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PostSubject: Re: Versailles Palace - December 2023 (Elenore)   Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:05 pm

Elenore's head was swimming, in truth, as her Maman talked. The words she was speaking were in complete contrast to her Grandmere's and yet... there had been no denying the momentary look of surprise upon her Maman's features at Elenore's words. But, why would Grandmere say such things if they were not true? No, Elenore believed her Grandmere more than she had ever believed her Maman's words, and today was not going to change that.

"If I haven't done anything wrong, Maman, then why did you bring the child to the Palace? Why would you believe the child would be necessary as a Clement ward if you believed you had everything you needed here?" Elenore asked, though her tone was not accusing, it showed -- without Elenore truly wishing it to be so -- how she was hurting with the unknown reason behind the decision. "I've only ever done what was right for our house, and... you brought Mimosa to replace me."

The fact the Lady Clement had already pointed out that Elenore was not being replaced had not sunk in. Her Grandmere's words over the years laid too solidly in their foundations to be shaken in but a moment. They would take time to be uprooted, but first Elenore would have to believe in her Maman's words, and the simple fact was, she didn't.

"Lissette Clement, the first of her name, was but a Clement ward..." The witch pointed out. "She became the most powerful witch of her era. Though... Thomas had no sister to be replaced... Clement wards have never been lacklustre..." The witch explained, her eyes falling upon her Maman who had been a ward of the Palace too. Though, slightly different in that she had been betrothed to Papa since they were born, the witch knew that the essence was the same.

"Last I recalled, it was you who wanted to leave the palace - something i personally would never understand because this is your home. One doesn't leave one's home."

Elenore's eyes grew slightly wider at that, her head shaking softly from side to side. "Non, Maman..." The witch replied, voice thick. "I never... The idea was yours..."

Wasn't it?

"Grandmere..." Elenore shook her head. "You and Papa arranged for Monsieur Holmes to come to the Palace... I never... Monsieur Holmes isn't... I never wished to marry him. But I thought... I believed that was what you wanted me to become, Monsieur Holmes' wife. I tried, Maman, I really tried, but Monsieur Holmes did not find me... good enough." Much like Papa and yourself...

And then the mention of Tess and her list of potential matches came in, and whether Elenore believed herself to be destined to the same fate as her best friends...

"Grandmere says a lady should always be ready to serve her house and make the house proud..." Elenore replied to the question. "If Papa and yourself wish it to be so... I would not argue, Maman."

Submission, that was what the last sentence was. Elenore did not believe that her Maman did not wish to be rid of her. The facts all stood firmly against the Lady Clement. Grandmere had shown her exactly the game the current Lady Clement was playing, and how could Elenore ever hope to win?

Mimosa was waiting in the background to take her place when she didn't comply.

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PostSubject: Re: Versailles Palace - December 2023 (Elenore)   Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:20 am

As Elenore saw fit to challenge her mother once more on the issue of Mimosa, Vanessa briefly wondered if the time was right to confide in her youngest the mistake she had made years ago by leaving Mimosa's mother to be raised by a man who did not deserve the honour in any shape or form. And truth be told, had it been Jacques questioning her, Vanessa may have even told her son. She would have told him because he would not have asked with spite in is heart and emotions ruling his faculties.

Elenore on the other hand, was proving more and more how much she had been neglected in the palace for such thoughts and fears to fester inside her. The child was willing to believe in something even she couldn't logically explain. No, she was in no state to hear the most delicate truth of her life, not yet.

"What I don't understand is why you feel your position threatened by a ward?" she asked, trying to understand where Elenore was getting her logic from. "It's not unlike the assumption that our mechanic has a daughter so now your position is in jeopardy. You are the daughter of our house, a title no one can take from you even if they were so inclined. Or have you forgotten the value of our blood, Elenore Lissette?"

When Elenore insisted that it was the Lady Clement's idea to host Mycroft Winston for tea, Vanessa was truly at a loss for words. "Dear child, if I was as amenable to sending you off to the Holmes, why would I forbid you from seeing the boy? Why would I not in fact introduce you to any young man with the express purpose of making a match? Have I or your Papa ever shown any inclination towards your marriage that you can think of?" The girl must have gotten ehr hands on some rather disgusting literature to draw the conclusions she seemed to be drawing.

At the teenager's admission hat she had tried to be suitable for Monsieur Holmes, Vanessa couldn't help the shudder that ran through her frame. Why was her daughter trying to live up to a man's expectations when men should be making an effort to live up to hers? Did she truly not realize the power she wielded with her name alone?

"Elenore, you can't have it both ways dear," she explained, her tone softer now. "You can't say that you tried to make it work with Mycroft Winston because you thought it was what your Papa and I wanted yet ignore the wish we actually expressed of you treating Mimosa at least kindly if not affectionately. Or do you believe that obedience and duty are a matter of picking and choosing?" It was a more serious question than perhaps Elenore would realize, but Vanessa hoped her daughter would give it due consideration before answering.  

"We should have had this conversation last summer, but we are having it now," Vanessa concluded, a note of defeat in her voice. "What is it that you wish for Elenore? Tell me, what would you like to see happen." With her son, Vanessa would never have had to ask the question, because far apart they may be but she always knew his heart with as crystal a clarity as he knew hers. With Elenore, her mother genuinely had no idea.

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Elenore Clement
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PostSubject: Re: Versailles Palace - December 2023 (Elenore)   Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:07 pm

The question of why Elenore found the idea of Mimosa threatening was not one she had an answer to. Not truly. But, she had an ingrained fear, of not being enough, of being replaceable, of being unloved by her Maman. Rightly, or wrongly, these feelings were hers, and she couldn't help feeling them. But, the young witch would at least try. "Grandmere said that you'd brought her here for this reason. Mimosa was a readily available replacement that you and Papa felt necessary... Why else would you have brought her here, she's not... she's not family, or the child of someone close to the family..."

As the words left her lips, Elenore's body shuddered slightly. It all made sense. Her Maman had no reason to bring the child in. But, she had, so surely that meant that Mimosa was here for a reason?

And the only logical one was her own replacement.

Jacques was much too loved, and as the heir, he was irreplaceable. The sanctity of her own blood offered Elenore little in her own mind. She was a female, after all, all her presence would ever do would be to create alliances where Jacques might need them.

The question of her parents' inclination towards marriage was one that confused Elenore greatly, and it showed on her features as she looked to her Maman, her eyes trying to find the truth of the whole situation. "But... Maman, you invited Monsieur Holmes here..." The witch replied, clearly not understanding the situation. Why would the Lady Clement believe she had nothing to do with the instigation of marrying out when it had been herself who had opted for the tea with the Holmes' heir in the first place...

It didn't make the slightest bit of sense!

But then there was the question of how she felt obeying her parents was something she could pick and choose and Elenore's eyes returned to her lap. Was she in the slightest bit proud of herself for attacking Mimosa? No. Was she sorry for attacking the child to protect herself? Not overly. But had it served the purpose under which she'd set out? Yes.

The Hufflepuff sat quietly for a moment, thinking it over in full before she brought forth her own answer. "Non," She replied simply to begin with. Pausing, before elaborating. "There is no choosing." But that did not mean Elenore had to like Mimosa, did it? Simply treat her kindly, nothing more.

At least until Mimosa's presence within the Palace came with an explanation.

"What is it that you wish for Elenore? Tell me, what would you like to see happen."

The final question had Elenore look up to her Maman cautiously, though. Curiosity, though guarded, appeared in place and the youngest Clement considered the question for a few moments. She had the opportunity to reach out for whatever she wanted in that moment. To ask for anything, and it would -- in the least -- be considered by her Maman.

But what did Elenore want?

Something she doubted her Maman could ever give her. Grandmere had already helped her to realise that the Lady Clement would never love her daughter. Elenore could never be Jacques, which meant the Lady Clement had no interest in her. Likely, she would never had any interest, either.

"I wouldn't wish to ask for anything, Maman." Elenore replied, her eyes leaving her Maman's in favour of looking out of the window, to the Dahliantelle that her parents favoured deeply. "I know my place in the Palace, and what I want... that's not what makes the house thrive."

The last sentence fell away quietly as pain racked through Elenore's slender frame at admitting she knew her only worth was that which came with her dowry. Her name. That was all she was worth, and she'd known that for years now.

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PostSubject: Re: Versailles Palace - December 2023 (Elenore)   Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:43 am

"You seem to have found a flaw in your own logic," Vanessa pointed out as her daughter looked genuinely confused about why Mimosa of all people should be her replacement. "If replacing a family member was even possible, surely we would have chosen the best candidate. Yet you find your quarrels with a little girl whose only fault is looking up to you." Now the Lady Clement knew for certain it had been the right decision to not confide in her daughter. Elenore would have immediately construed the family connection as somehow validating her wildest beliefs that she was going to be replaced.

"Yes, we did invite him, but only because we believed you to be interested in Mycroft Winston. Had you simply spoken up and said "Non Merci Maman", do you think your Papa and I would have insisted? We were both very glad to see that matter put to rest after last summer as - I repeat - we have no intentions of marrying you to someone who would neither benefit you nor the family."

How Elenore entertained such thoughts was beyond Vanessa. It was often said that an empty mind was the devil's workshop but she had never realized how idle her daughter's mind had become until now. Where had the child even learned the concept of her duty being opposed to her nature. They were Clements, it was in their nature to be dutiful to the cause, it was how they lived and died.

But even as Elenore hollowly echoed that she had no choice, her mother could tell the child was too far gone. The only thing Vanessa had ever neglected her duty for was the man she loved more than it. Elenore was neglecting hers for a feud with a child. Perhaps Grandmere Lissette had been right along along, children required constant supervision and should not be afforded free choices. They lacked the wisdom to choose wisely.

"Our duty is not our enemy, child," the Lady Clement explained explained, a tired but re conciliatory expression on her face as she gazed at her daughter through warm grey eyes. "It makes us who we are. We were born in this House because the Gods knew only we could carry out its great burden. To separate yourself from it is to go against who you are. And that's no way to live, is it?"

When Elenore confirmed that she would ask for nothing, her mother nodded. Clearly she was not going to get through to Elenore tonight. And as Grandmere always said, put children to work and they will not have idle thoughts.

"Very well, but I would ask something of you," she began, carefully considering the newly turned seventeen year old in front of her. "As you know, your Papa and I have been travelling and acquiring certain advantages. We have taken Spain, Greece, Cyprus, and our tours will start anew come February. We would like you and your brother to help the process along."  If Elenore really wanted to put her mind to doing something for the House, she would get a much better challenge than a marriage proposal.

"Your brother and yourself will be travelling to Italy during the summer. I'm sure you'll want to spend time with Tess Marie and be there for her should her betrothal be confirmed. You will be chaperoned by your brother of course. The Valentinos very kindly offered to host us when they were here for our ball two days ago and I will write to them taking them up on their offer." The Italian family was in no position to turn down the Heir and Heiress of House Clement, they both knew that.

"Everything you need to know about the state of the country and our previous dealings as well as current business relationship with them, you can obtain from our masters of coin. Your brother already keeps up with all our latest acquisitions so you may rapport him for more information. Your Papa's study is also open to you for further research."

With that said, she rose to her feet. "Now I must go see to Christmas Dinner, your Papa enjoys a hearty meal more than he lets on." With that, Vanessa made her way to the door, waiting for a servant to sense her movement and come open the door for her. Right on cue, the barrier slid back, granting her an exit. But before she could leave, the Lady Clement turned to her daughter a final time.

"Don't worry my dear, I have complete faith in you." With a warm smile bestowed upon her daughter, the Lady of the House left the study, hoping the task she had assigned her youngest was enough to make her believe in herself as much as her family believed in her.

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PostSubject: Re: Versailles Palace - December 2023 (Elenore)   Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:54 pm

The notion that she had found the fault by herself. That Mimosa could never be a replacement because family could not be replaced, Elenore's eyes simply remained on her Maman in that moment. Trying to find the lie. Grandmere had told her as much, though, why would Grandmere lie, or lead her down the wrong route? She wouldn't... but Elenore could not find the lie in her Maman's eyes to tell her the woman was trying to deceive her.

So, as gracefully as Elenore could muster in that moment, she relented to the point that, perhaps, Mimosa was not her replacement.

If that were true, though, what was Mimosa's purpose within the Palace?

Deciding against questioning her Maman further, Elenore caught back up with the next line of conversation. The point that she had only needed to say no to her parents idea and they would never have entertained the meeting. That they had never wanted the meeting in the first place... Elenore was awash with new information, and all of this didn't make sense to Elenore. Or, it didn't in that moment. Wasn't she supposed to listen to her elders, obey them? And yet, her Maman was suggesting she had a choice when it came to her intended, her future...

The contradictions were heavy, but Elenore would take them away from the meeting to deal with... or try to deal with, anyway.

The question of being separated from her duty being the epitome of going against her reason for being here made Elenore shake her head softly at the question. "Non, Maman, that is no way to live." The younger witch agreed with her Maman, perhaps for the first time in their meeting that day.

It was the next part of the conversation that Elenore had not been anticipating, though. The idea that her Maman would want something from her brought first a look of surprise upon the youngest Clement's features, and then apprehension as her Maman explained how she wished for both Jacques and herself to aid in the work that her parents had started. The task might not have seemed overly tricky, spending time with Tess whilst she underwent the formalities of the betrothal, but Elenore focused more on the business side.

She couldn't hide from the question of aiding her brother with the business side, though she would have to be much more subtle, wouldn't she? The heiress had absolutely no idea how to work through a business transaction in real life, and here her Maman and Papa were looking to throw her in at the deep end and hope she could swim.

No reply came from the young witch. It was not a question of whether she would like to do this, or whether she wanted to do this. Her Maman had just sent her on business this summer without another word.

"Don't worry my dear, I have complete faith in you."

Elenore's eyes had not registered her Maman's movement from her seat to the door, and with the final blow from the Lady Clement, Elenore was left on her own.

Knowing her Maman had just set her up to fail on the most public of stages...

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