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 Italy, Summer 2024 (Jacques & Elenore)

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Jacques Clement
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PostSubject: Italy, Summer 2024 (Jacques & Elenore)   Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:31 am

14 June 2024

My dearest Maman,

I hope you're well? And Papa?

Elenore and I are doing very well here in Italy. The last two weeks have been very busy, which brings me to the apology of the late correspondence from myself to you. The Valentinos have been keeping both of us very busy, but I have finally found time to write to you now.

I had not believed that the masses of information that Elenore and I had looked over would hold quite as much truth within them, in truth, Maman, a mistake I will not make again in the foreseeable future. The visit has been eye opening for me, but I am revelling in the experience you and Papa have gifted me. I hope that I will make you proud, Maman, but I have some great news for you.

It was a couple of days ago...


The Island of Capri was beautiful, Jacques could not deny that as they had been shown around the island quite explicitly by the hosts. It was not, however, as beautiful as France. Jacques had, of course, kept such notions to himself as he'd walked around the island with Jules -- or Jesse as he preferred -- discussing the history of the island and learning more of the island from the man who was one day supposed to inherit the island and the power that came with it.

Though, both males knew this was not going to be the case as they watched fondly as the two younger witch's before them looked out across the sea, Tess Marie obviously showing his sister something she had found to be out of this world.

As the two girls spoke softly, Jesse had turned to Jacques with the announcement of the meeting that had been arranged with several figure heads of Italy. Members from the Bank of Italy, Ministry officials, and then some independent financial analysts. Jacques had left it with the smallest of nods of understanding before they continued on on their walk.

***

The silence of the room had been palpable as Jacques emerged in to the meeting room of some of the largest names in the country with his sister by his side. The silence had brought the lightest of tremors in Elenore's body, something only noticeable to Jacques as her arm was gently linked in his own. His hand had moved to rest upon his sisters, slowly, pointedly, with the silent reassurance that she was here, and she was staying.

"Gentlemen, thank you for agreeing to meet with us today." Jacques commented, showing Elenore to the seat beside his own and helping her in to it. "I trust all of you are well, my sister, Lady Elenore will be joining us today, I hope that this bares no problem with you all?"

A few pointed glances, but not a word of objection rose from the mouths of those gathered, and Jacques smiled gratefully at the figures around him. "Good." He summarised, and then the talks on the state of Italy had started. How had the collapse started, how the collapse of the economy had impacted the country, and what measures were currently in place to aid the financial recovery of the country.

It had not, however, been Jacques who had asked the pressing questions.

No.

As they had sat with the men governing the country, Jacques had been following the conversation, making notes against his own understanding of the country when Elenore had spoken up to correct the Head of the Italian Bank on his incorrect growth figure for the last financial quarter. The man had quoted the previous quarters figure, and Elenore had gracefully corrected him. The man had looked aghast in that moment, and Elenore's eyes had moved to her brother, a small, silent question in her eyes with which Jacques had simply turned his attention to the Head of the Bank.

"The new figures were published yesterday, non?" Jacques asked politely, and the man looked every bit as offended as he did look impressed.

The admission that he was wrong had come only a moment later, begrudgingly, and with another glance to her brother for courage. One that was returned with the nod that she could keep going -- as if she needed permission -- Jacques couldn't help but be blown away as his younger sister sat there, pushing forth her own questions, with the soft admission that she was not an economist, and would need to rely upon the answers provided by the men before her.

How much cash might be needed to be injected in to the country to make enough of a difference to push Italy in the right direction?

What industries were struggling, needed remodelling, or else scrapping, to push forth a greater economic up turn?

Elenore had pushed home the point that this was going to be a correctional take over, that the Clements, no matter what the Italians before them thought, were not going to allow inefficiencies to cripple the country again. How the Clements would only bring forth their aid if the men before them could appropriately use the aid to break the habits made of prior generations.

Jacques had watched his sister flourish, before aiding her in the barrage, ensuring that the arguments that she put forth were not just a childish whim, but the word of the Clement house.

By the time the two of them had finished with the meeting, the Italians before them were sat looking thoroughly god-smacked, unable to really argue as the duo put forth their proposal. They were left looking at the paperwork and each other as the Clement child stood from their seats, followed shortly after by the Valentino heir who looked almost like he'd forgotten himself too as he caught up with them at the door.

The economic problem was, for now, something the Italians were agreeable upon. Not overly accepting of, of course, the returns were not going to profit the country in the long run, but the Clement help was a necessity.

But most of all, Elenore Clement had shown that she too, was not a witch to be reckoned with in that moment.

I pray, Maman, that you're as proud of Elenore as I am in this moment. Her work towards this meeting has not gone unnoticed, and I don't believe I could have won the Italians to my side had it not been for her quick thinking, and awareness of the recent updates to growth figures.

We still have a long way to go, though, we're both aware of this, and are not counting our chickens before they have hatched.

I wish you could have been here to see this, Maman...

All my love,

Jacques

P.S. I hope you enjoy your birthday present from the two of us...

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Elenore Clement
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PostSubject: Re: Italy, Summer 2024 (Jacques & Elenore)   Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:06 pm

5th July 2024

Dearest Grandmere,

We're a month in to our trip to Italy now, and I miss home terribly. By home, though, I of course mean you. How are you, Grandmere? I hope the Palace is keeping you from missing me too terribly?

The trip has been frightfully exhausting, Grandmere. Whilst I knew that there would be little time for resting and enjoying Italy for all it has to offer, I had not envisaged that I would be brought to every meeting with Jacques. I had believed that meetings of financial, business and political agendas would have been kept to the men and I would be here to work my magic inside the functions that we have had to attend on our travels. This could not have been further from the truth, Grandmere, and I feel as though Jacques and Maman are working tirelessly to make me fail on this trip...

I wish you were here, Grandmere, I truly do. You would know how to make this trip easier, and bring me in to your comforting arms when I needed it. I miss the security of your presence, Grandmere, and it is only growing more difficult the longer I am away.

I will not give in, though, Grandmere, I refuse to be the weakest link of our family, even if that is how Maman sees me...

Tess Marie and I managed to find time to go to the beach last night after dinner, though. Something that was so very freeing. We stood upon the beach, and the sea lapped gently around our ankles. She's quite glad, that she will be doing her family and our country proud with this alliance with the Valentinos. I believe she has found someone that might make her happy, Grandmere, and I am so glad that my best friend has had this opportunity. It is not easy, though, to know that she will be leaving me to take on this role, but I know that family comes first...

I found something on the beach though -- you'll find it in the small box that comes with this letter -- that came to me as I thought of you whilst we stood on the beach. I took it to be a sign that you're always with me, Grandmere, no matter where I might be in the world. I thought you should have it, though, as a sign of the love your granddaughter holds for you...

I miss you, Grandmere, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Lots of Love,

Elenore

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Jacques Clement
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PostSubject: Re: Italy, Summer 2024 (Jacques & Elenore)   Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:03 pm

27 July 2024

My dearest Maman,

I write with the news that Elenore and I are growing closer each day to finalising the task with which you have set us over the summer. Elenore has been wonderful by my side throughout all of these meetings and transactions, even if I can see at times she is not completely comfortable in the setting.

You and Papa will be proud of her, I know it.

We have met with many and more of the political parties of Italy -- a number of which have not been... well, you know of the political turmoil in this country, you know how comedians can run for offices within the government of Italy as if this is an acceptable idea. With the aid of Jules, we have managed to bring forth some new legislation to the country to slowly increase the barriers to entry for future politicians to ensure that only those with the right background can run for office.

And, of course, to ensure that those who have been pushed from office for offences committed within the country are kept from bringing their corruption to the offices once more. Corruption under our rule will not rise its head in Italy again, of that much I can be sure.

Until such a point, though, this will be quite a long haul project for the Valentino family. The fascism found in Italy is... well, I need not bore you with that much, but it has been an enlightening experience to hear the men trusted with running this country speaking in such a manner. Elenore and I have attended a couple of rallies -- please do not threat, Maman, we stayed well away from the centre of the crowds and we were never in any danger, I promise -- held by such politicians, or their parties. They were quite persuasive with their arguments, and the people seem to like the ideas presented. To show them a new way, a better way, will be very difficult to do.

But one that we have, once again, set in to motion with Jules.

We're envisaging that the signatures will be applied to all the necessary documents within the next two weeks, though we will be staying for the nuptials between Tess Marie and Jules. I feel this will aid Elenore in knowing that... Tess Marie will no longer be with her at Hogwarts this year.

Please, Maman, when Elenore and I return home, can we arrange for something to welcome her home? She's worked so very hard, Maman, and I think she's a little bit home sick...

I look forward to your next letter detailing the ongoings at the Palace. Send my love to Papa, as always.

All my love,

Jacques

xxx

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Elenore Clement
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PostSubject: Re: Italy, Summer 2024 (Jacques & Elenore)   Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:41 pm

4th August 2024

Dearest Grandmere,

It won't be long now until I arrive back at the Palace, back where I belong, with you. I have not forgotten your birthday, but your gift is here with me -- I wish to see you open it upon my return, I trust that you will understand that much...

Jacques says it should only be a couple more days now.

I have something of a heavy heart, though, Grandmere, today I have had to say goodbye to my best friend. In the excitement of the engagement two weeks ago of Tess Marie to Jules Valentino, I had not foreseen the events that would follow after the nuptials today. I have realised now, Grandmere, that Tess Marie will not be coming back to France with me... nor will she be coming back to Hogwarts in the autumn. Tess Marie will now be a Valentino, and her home will be in Italy with her husband...


Tess Marie Holmes had looked out of this world as she stepped on to sands of Capri, holding on to her brother's arm as he guided her down to the alter that had been erected in her honour for the day. Tess Marie had always had an affinity with the water, so Elenore had not been surprised when her best friend had confessed her wedding would not be traditional, that it would not be held in a church, or a cathedral.

Elenore might have been surprised had they not been on such a beautiful island, allowing them to make use of the golden sands, and the backdrop of the photos by the sea. Elenore had been giddy that morning as she helped with Tess Marie's dressing, presenting the witch with new earrings as the first of many gifts from the Clement household. As both witch's looked to one another in the mirror, gleeful in their youthful naivety of the situation, Elenore couldn't help but be blown away with the beauty of her best friend, and pulled her in to the softest of embraces. Tess Marie didn't like being touched, Elenore knew that, but their friendship had broken through that barrier more than enough over the years.

As they came down from their rooms at six o'clock that evening, Mycroft looked like he might almost come to tears at the sight of his sister in her wedding dress, but through a force unknown he was able to stop himself from expressing the emotions that danced if only momentarily in his eyes.

Mycroft step forth to take his sister's arm, and Elenore let go of Tess Marie's hand, not placing any comment about the slight tremor in her hands. The only notion that she had noticed from Elenore was the light squeeze she gave the witch's hand a moment before she let go, hoping it would be enough to calm her nerves if even a little bit. With Tess Marie being looked after by her brother now, Elenore moved forth to her own brother, Jacques looked his usual self, impeccably dressed with his tie matching her dress, something the stylists had seen to upon finding Elenore's final choice.

"Tu es belle, petite soeur," Jacques told her softly, bringing forth the smallest of smiles to her lips in that moment. Elenore had tried to dress down for the occasion, not wishing to upstage Tess Marie on her big day. As always, though, Elenore didn't offer the same in return to her brother, instead allowing him to show her out to the secluded area that had been chosen for the wedding.

Due to the speed of the wedding, it would be a small affair, few people in attendance outside of the families of both parties, but Elenore believed this was much more to Tess Marie's tastes. A wedding in a grand cathedral in Paris would likely not have been a setting she would have been comfortable.

The Clements took their place on the bride's side of the seating arrangement, Elenore looking around at the beauty of the venue with the sun starting to set across the island of Capri. They could not have picked a more beautiful day for the wedding, of that much Elenore was sure. In the few moments that it took for the procession to start, Jacques had struck up conversation with the Holmes' family, making sure they were okay, and insisting that Tess Marie looked breathtaking.

***


An hour later, the tears on Elenore's cheeks had just about dried away from being, the beauty of the vows that had been edited to suit the couple had been beautiful, and Elenore could not hold back the tears of joy that had grown in that moment. Jacques had passed her his handkerchief without a word, and the witch dabbed gently at her eyes, knowing that she couldn't allow herself to look less than perfect in the pictures.

The wedding breakfast had been a simple affair, too, only five courses had been presented to the family, and as Jules stood to address those gathered, Elenore caught her best friend's eyes and smiled warmly. Sending Tess Marie without words the simple fact she'd been nothing short of perfect.

Jules' speech had started with the usual thank yous, then moved to talking of the bride and the serendipity of the day. He moved forth with the promise of protecting her honour, and ensuring her safety through the rest of their lives together, and in that moment, the man's eyes had fallen upon the Clements. Elenore hadn't known why, in truth, but from the corner of her eye she noted the small yet barely there nod from her brother as if Jules had done something right.

"And, finally, I want to thank my brother Mycroft, for confirming he will be staying with us, to help with the transition of the family." Jules finished, toasting Mycroft in a manner that said that had been something of a less pleasing arrangement. But one Elenore understood after being forwarded a copy of Which Witch Weekly a couple of days ago.


Tess Marie was exquisite in her work for France, Grandmere. I pray one day I will be able to service our country in such unfaltering mannerisms.

Only a few more days, Grandmere, then I will be home.

Lots of Love,

Elenore

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