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 New Year's Day, 2025 (The Clements)

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Elenore Clement
Hufflepuff Seventh Year
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Location : Versailles, France

PostSubject: New Year's Day, 2025 (The Clements)   Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:59 pm

January 1, 2025


With December had come Elenore's eighteenth birthday. There had been an exuberant amount of presents, as there always was, from around the world. Gifts of immeasurable expense, gifts from the masses of France, gifts from the powers of the world, the list did not stop with the gifts that had been received at the Palace that month, and gifts had still been arriving all the way through until Christmas when the rest of the family received such pleasantries, too.

The only gift that had mattered, though, was the necklace that had been presented to her from her Grandmere on the morning of her arrival back at the Palace. The necklace was beyond beautiful, and the younger witch had brushed an errant tear away as her Grandmere had told her it was time she had the piece.

The presentation of the gift had sent Elenore's dress makers in to melt down as she insisted that she wear the piece for the Clement Ball, as it was fitting that she should wear it when they were on display to so many people. Only hours before the Ball had the dress finally been finished, the dressmakers looking thoroughly exhausted but happy with the look they'd pulled off for Elenore at the Ball. Coupled with a small tiara, Elenore had felt like a full grown woman as she'd entered the Ball with her brother that evening, not missing the prideful smile upon her Grandmere's lips upon seeing her that evening.

The Christmas Ball had come and gone with it's usual splendour, and Elenore had ensured that her presence with any eligible male had been negligible at best, in case her Maman's eyes had caught her lingering just a little too much and drawn conclusions that did not exist in that moment. This year, there was no Tess, something that saddened Elenore deeply as she moved around the Ballroom greeting all those who came her way. Compliments had been met with warmth, and Elenore couldn't help but bask in the attention being offered to her from all corners of the world. The feeling of being wanted making her feel much more light headed than the Champagne that flowed all evening.

The Ball had been short lived, though, and Elenore found herself spending time with her Grandmere as she always did, reading with the older witch in mutual silence, or else playing the piano for her to see her smile. The youngest Clement was happy enough with her Grandmere, but she very much wished she could have been with her Mooncalf, too. Wishes, though, in the Palace of Versailles, rarely came true for Elenore, so she had resigned herself to waiting out the stay with the patience born to any lady.

New Year had come to France, and with that a new round of commitments of the Clement family. The first of which included greeting the French citizens from the balcony to bring in the new year. It was just as much of a tradition as the Clement Christmas Ball, and truthfully, Elenore did not understand the necessity of it. Necessity was not required for the youngest Clement, though, following the duties of the house was important, and was exactly why she sat at her dressing table as her lady's maid brushed through her hair gently as the youngest Clement's features remained neutral, her mind hundreds of miles away in Scotland... her Mooncalf, and Professor Venizelos...

The Grecian had had an easy escape from their world, she reflected in that moment, with the Clement's take over, he had been removed from the Elite tier of society, and the expectations had been lowered for him. A simpler life, she supposed idly...

"M'lady..." The lady's maid's voice broke through Elenore's reverie in that moment, and Elenore's eyes focused on her reflection in the mirror. "Would you like your hair up, the wind has picked up today..."

"Yes, yes, that would be a good idea, thank you," Elenore replied, discussing the suitable style with the woman behind her for a few more moments before she switched off from the world again.

***

The cold January air might have been felt had Elenore's maid not worked innumerable amounts of magic in the dress she was wearing, and the cloak that had be enchanted with so, so many heating charms. The witch was glad of it as she stood beside her Grandmere and Grandpere looking out at the masses who had gathered to see them upon the balcony. Elenore's eyes roamed across the gathered crowds, the smile fixed in place as she waved back to the cheering crowds.

Jacques stood beside their parents, the grin upon his lips genuine as he waved to the masses below, her Papa stood hand in hand with her Maman, waving out to the crowds though his eyes kept flitting from the crowds to his wife, a silent conversation going on, Elenore imagined. Beside him her Maman looked more beautiful than any other woman in the world. The dress she wore of such beauty it always threw Elenore. How could their staff work to make her Maman look so flawless each time, and yet she never felt... pretty in comparison. Elenore did not understand as her eyes remained upon the crowds, keeping her breathing even as she tried to fight off the feeling of not being as beautiful as her Maman in this image to the masses.

On her other side, Grandmere waved to the masses, but her lips refused to move up in to a smile for them, her Grandpere simply standing beside her, watching but not waving. The family all together in one place, and yet... Elenore didn't feel like she fitted in to the scene at all...

Only a short while longer now, Elenore reminded herself, knowing she could not retreat from the balcony until the Lord and Lady Clement did so. No, to move now would be vastly improper.




Elenore's attire is something like this.

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: New Year's Day, 2025 (The Clements)   Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:08 am

Time, the Lady Clement had come to learn, waited for no one. It only seemed like yesterday when she was out on this balcony with Jacques only four years in age and little Elenore perfectly placed in her arms as Louis watched over them all. Elenore's very first wave had been on this balcony, when she had been too little to realize the importance of the tradition. Back then, her little princess had stolen the hearts of the crowd with ehr tiny hand waving perfectly to towards the onlookers and today, seh did it once more as she stood in the sparkling silver and gold embellished dress that had given the seamstresses so much grief these last few days. Her Grandmere's pendant hung proudly from Elenore's throat, shining like the jewel she was and deserved.

Jacques stood beside her, his tall frame showcased immaculate in dark grey trousers and shirt complete with a silver vest and gold cuff links, the envy of every young man out there tonight and the desire of every young woman no doubt. Her son was not one in a million, he wasn't even one in a billion because that would mean there were still close to nine of him out in the world. No, Jacques was one of a kind.

An then there were Maman and Papa, both stoic with age and well practiced in the art. Maman still managed a wave but Papa simply stood watching over her, his quiet form of affection never more obvious than when he stepped as carefully around his Lady Wife as he did now. Thomas Clement was recovering from a cold and it showed in his rigid posture. Time had taken its toll on all of them.

And to the left stood the current Lord and Lady Clement, Vanessa herself protected on both sides by Louis and their son. One of Louis' arms rested permanently around her waist as the other waved out to the masses gathered below in the square. Of course, many would have attributed the action to the Lord and Lady Clement's legendary romance but in truth, Louis was simply attempting to keep her warm as the light flurry of snow began. In her haste to join everyone at the balcony, Vanessa had forgone a cloak unlike Maman and Elenore, and now both Louis and Jacques had made it their mission to keep the Lady of the House warm.

The absence of a cloak however had the happy effect of showing off the full detailing of Vanessa's slate grey gown embellished with exquisite black embroidery, and matching perfectly to Louis' own dark three piece suit. While she and her husband made up the grey portion of he family portrait, Maman and Papa were resplendent in white with the children taking center stage in silver. The New Year ceremony dated back to Thomas the First of his name and Lady Lissette Clement, a reassurance to France that the House's guiding hand will always be on the people of this country.

And now the countries they had acquired along the way.

once again, the year had passed with mergers and acquisitions, and the itinerary for 2025 was on the way. With Elenore now of age, they could finally move to legalize what had been in the worlds for years, a gender neutral system of inheritance. While Elenore's dowry had been secured since before she was born, their daughter deserved a lot more. She deserved assets to her name instead of her husband' and she deserved the opportunity to hone her considerable business acumen.

So greatly worried her mother that Elenore seem to have no plans beyond Hogwarts. A latest read through of the young Clement's transcripts showed she was dong well in school but had yet to apply to any institutions of higher learning after her NEWTs. A small chat with Maman had revealed the matriarch did not know of any such decisions either and Vanessa would much rather deal with the situation herself before bothering Louis with it.

So once the appropriate hour had passed on the balcony and it was time to retreat back into the privacy of the palace, Vanessa laid a gentle hand on Louis' shoulder as he attempted to steer her back in, telling him with her eyes to go on ahead while she stayed out here for a minute. As always, Louis understood, letting go of her waist to move ahead with their son and not a moment later, the two men were engrossed in conversation. Vanessa moved to Maman and Elenore, watching proudly as her daughter helped the older witch to her feet. Vanessa moved to link an arm through Papa's, guiding him similarly.

"Elenore darling, do you think you could spare a few minutes for your mother?" she asked quietly as they ushered the two elderly Clements back into the safety of the parlor area. "Why don't you escort Maman to her rooms and then meet me in your Papa's study. I'm sure he won't mind us borrowing it for a few minutes."

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Elenore Clement
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PostSubject: Re: New Year's Day, 2025 (The Clements)   Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:15 am

To many the act of standing out upon a balcony waving to the masses would seem quite easy. To many, the whole act would seem trivial at best, but for Elenore Clement it was one of the worst traditions that the Clements held true to this day. Despite the warmth of the enchantments placed upon her clothes that day, Elenore couldn't help but feel cold as she looked out across the people gathered below.

From the banners of beauty denoting the love of the current Lord and Lady Clement, to the crassly designed signs of marriage proposals for Jacques, it was clear the masses loved the Palace with all their heart. All, except for the youngest Clement who had long since refused to read the signs because she knew she did not feature on them.

Except this year her eyes would not remain from reading, and the adoration of the rest of the family cut like a blow to the youngest Clement. The smile might not have faltered upon the witch's lips, but her heart sank deeply upon not finding her name this year, from not hearing her name being sung above anything else, the young witch's body flooded with coldness, a light shiver running down her spine that went unnoticed to all.

The hour felt like a life time as the youngest Clement tried to keep her emotions in check, longing for it to be over so that she could retreat to her Grandmere's withdrawing room, with a cup of tea, away from the world... safe. But, as ever in the Palace, Elenore's wishes were never listened to, never granted, for the moment the family turned back towards the parlour the Lady Clement moved to aid her Grandpere, and insisted upon Elenore meeting with her.

There was no way in the world that Elenore could have refused her Maman, so the witch bowed her head slightly in recognition of the request. "As soon as I have taken Grandmere to her rooms," Elenore agreed softly, managing a small smile as she moved off along the corridor with the matriarch of the Clement family.

The reason for the meeting, Elenore could not fathom as they walked, wondering what it was her Maman would want of her. Until, of course, it hit the youngest Clement in that moment, and the colour drained from her features.

Had her Maman found out about the extra lessons she'd been having with Professor Venizelos?

Had the Lady Clement jumped to conclusions of the nature of the meeting?

Was she in trouble?

The thoughts made the young witch's heart beat faster, despite knowing she had done nothing untoward Elenore was terrified of her Maman's disappointment in her actions. The thought she would think something...

"My child..."

Her Grandmere's voice brought Elenore's mind back to the present with a small start, somehow they had reached the matriarch's withdrawing rooms without her realising it, and Elenore was still holding on to her Grandmere's arm. Quickly letting it go, Elenore apologised softly for her brief lapse of concentration.

"You're shaking, my child, what is it?" Grandmere insisted.

"Just the cold, Grandmere, I'll call for tea for you before I leave." Elenore explained, hurrying to call the servants to attend to her grandmother's needs before she politely excused herself from the room.

Only then did Elenore realise she'd left her cloak upon her shoulders, and the next servant she saw was instructed to help her from the piece and return it to her rooms. Descending the stairs to her father's study, Elenore could feel the tremors of fear growing, but she could explain, she kept telling herself that much...

A short pause outside her Papa's study allowed Elenore to collect herself, push the worry from her features, before she knocked softly and then let herself in to the room. As the Lady Clement had explained, she was here already, and Elenore found herself vastly uncomfortable inside the study yet again. She loathed this room, when her Papa was not present it had the air of a war room, a place where the powerful converged to make great decisions.

Elenore was sure her Maman chose it for that reason, and that reason alone.

To intimidate her.

"Maman," Elenore greeted softly, taking in the beautiful dress her mother wore once more. Beautiful, Elenore thought despite herself, her Maman could never be noted as anything less than beautiful.

Nothing more was added by the youngest Clement, though, not knowing where to start, or what was wanted. It was best to remain silent.

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: New Year's Day, 2025 (The Clements)   Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:17 pm

Papa's health had been waning lately, Vanessa had noticed in the last few weeks. Though the staff was required to take excellent geriatric care of the two senior members of the family, Vanessa couldn't help thinking if part of Lord Thomas' ailments didn't stem from the loneliness. The children had been gone many years now for their education and in the last few years, Louis and herself were at the palace little and less, returning for only breif periods between trips and acquisitions. If the Lady Clement had hoped the absence of all other family members would draw Lord Thomas and Lady Lynnette closer, she had been mistaken. Maman and Papa remained as they always were, quiet, regal, apart from each other.

As the oldest member of the house was escorted into his solar where a valet would be employed to help him change and then aid him into bed, the Lady Clement made sure to send a message along to the healers demanding medical files on her Good Father and what treatments he was currently on. She herself did not have the ability to critically assess his prognosis but the act itself would send a message, that no lackluster service would be permitted at the palace. A Lady had to see to a multitude of things to keep her home running and making sure the staff remain vigilant was just one of those things.

Her ladyship was joined by the presence of her personal assistant, Sierra Stark as she made her way to Louis' study. Sierra had been part of the ground team, making sure  the palace lawns remained orderly as all of France watched it's first family wave in the new year. A few words exchanged with the redhead and Vanessa dismissed her, opening the door to the room she found the most solace in after her personal chambers. Louis had never been comfortable in his father's solar, and as with everything, Vanessa had made Louis' choices her home. If this was where he felt best, this was where she would be. The act did not merit thinking over.

Still clad in her grey gown that brought out her striking eyes, the Lady Clement waited for her daughter, not particularly cold due to the warm embrace of her family. However, Elenore must have caught a chill while outside because as soon as the child entered, it was obvious she was shaking. "Oh my darling, you're positively shuddering," the Lady Clement offered by way of greeting, opening up her arms for her youngest in a hug. Vanessa drew in her daughter close, brushing nonresistant snow from the girl's hair. Elenore may now be a woman grown but she would always be the baby that nestled in her arm on the very same balcony they had all just returned from.

As they embraced, a magical fire lit itself in the study, bathing the room in a warm golden glow. "Would you like me to call for a cloak. You should have stood closer to your father and I, we was making sure I stayed warm, your brother would have done the same for you."

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Elenore Clement
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PostSubject: Re: New Year's Day, 2025 (The Clements)   Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:49 pm

If there was anything Elenore disliked more, it was seeing her Maman's open for her, and the notion that she would have to complete the charade of wanting the hug. Or, that was what Elenore always believed in the few futile seconds it took to move across the room in to her Maman's arms, and being enveloped in to the older woman's arms. She believed each time she would hate, feel burned by the woman's touch...

But each time Elenore came in to her Maman's arms, it felt like coming home.

It felt like she was wanted in the Palace.

No, as much as Elenore would loathe to admit it, she craved the touch of her Maman more than she could ever explain, the warmth of the old witch's arms freeing her of the chill that had never existed as... for but a moment, Elenore closed her eyes and allowed herself to feel her mother's love. The touch of her Maman's hands brushing her hair oddly soothing in that moment. Just for a moment, before Elenore remembered that she had been called her for a reason. That... she was in some kind of trouble, or... worse, her Maman had found another match, that finally her time in the Palace was finished.

"Non, Maman," Elenore replied to the offer of a cloak. "I will be okay. Just, a little cold." The youngest Clement lied in the moment she pulled away, not meeting her Maman's eyes in that moment because she knew better than to lie but how could she possibly tell her Maman that she was scared of this meeting? Scared of the outcome? Of her?

"I thought standing with Grandmere and Grandpere would show a more united front, rather than... than splitting in to generations." The young witch replied softly, almost timidly as she admitted to the 'logic' she had instilled. It was another lie, but one that Elenore herself believed when she had made the decision to stand with her grandparents that day.

Hugging herself lightly, and moving closer to the fire to play on the charade of being cold that her Maman had set, Elenore waited, once more, for her Maman's explanation for their meeting. Would her Maman embrace her if she was in trouble for the meetings with Odysseas? Or, was that a calming hug given before she dealt the blow to her daughter so that Elenore would be forced in to a false sense of security? The youngest Clement couldn't be sure, but with her mind working over time in that moment, she was growing more and more nervous with each second that passed.

But, despite herself, Elenore could not remain within her own silence, so she spoke first. "Are you and Papa going away again this year, Maman?" She asked, lifting her gaze from the fire to her Maman with mild curiosity in her features. Trying to work out if her Maman would give anything away in that moment...

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PostSubject: Re: New Year's Day, 2025 (The Clements)   Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:13 pm

When the young Clement admired to being cold and moved toward the fire, Vanessa moved withe hr, taking her daughter's hands gently and massaging the lightly. Her fingers were clammy and despite the warmth, the child looked more on edge than someone atop a precipice. The Lady Clement made a note to ask the staff to have soup sent up to Elenore's chambers forthwith. Something hot inside her would help combat the cold better than a room full of fireplaces.

"That was indeed a good idea," Vanessa praised, smiling warmly at her daughter. She had had similar thoughts in the arrangement but Elenore didn't need to know that. This was her moment to enjoy. She was a young woman every mother could be immensely proud of.

"Are you and Papa going away again this year, Maman?"

"Two days after you and Jacques leave," Vanessa confirmed, the smile on her face now wistful. But hopefully this would be the last year. Of all the Europeon nations required to hold amajority in the continent's affairs, the Clements had required all but three. And while three nations in a year were more productive than expected, Louis had a good feeling. A friendly wager had once again ben enacted between the couple and sealed safely with a kiss.

"Though I must admit these trips tire me so. As you children grow old, we row older still. The Gods only know how much more life there is for us to see." Mortality was indeed creeping in after witnessing her father in law's condition. Even a cold could prove deadly to Lord Thomas, and she supposed only a few short decades later, she would be in the same position.

Though Vanessa had never feared death. the only thing the Lady Clement had ever feared was separation from the person all her breaths were for. And death could not do that.

"Your brother has been outstanding lately, taking over much of the oversight of Italy. Tess Marie is flourishing and her brother has also found a home in leading the country's military defences. Rumor has it that she is already with child." Of course, that was no surprise, the first order of business would always be an heir for the Valentinos. But Vanessa hoped Tess Marie was allowed to pursue other avenues later. She herself had been fairly involved in the family business amid all her children's births and upbringing.

"But I wanted to speak to you before we all left again. More specifically, I wanted to inquire if you needed any help with university applications. Miss Stark has informed me that she couldn't pinpoint what institutions you've applied to so I presumed you were working on your personal essay? If you need any help, we have a vast media and public relations department at your disposal, darling." Vanessa continued the gentle rubbing of her daughter's hands, allowing the blood to flow and warm Elenore. The gentle ministrations along with the heat from the fire was starting to give the young lady a beautiful pink glow.

"Your brother had already received his acceptance letter from no less than seven institutes by this time in his seventh year. So If you would like any advice form him, I'm sure he would be all too happy to speak to you as well." The cover letter was a mere formality, most institutions saw the name Clement and magically found room on their admission roster.

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PostSubject: Re: New Year's Day, 2025 (The Clements)   Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:34 pm

As her Maman's hands moved to take her own by the fire, Elenore looked down at them, watching as the old witch gently rubbed them, trying to get the warmth running back through them fully. Elenore's eyes remained upon their hands, trying not to dote on the fact there was so much difference between them as they stood there, together, and yet so far apart.

The information that her Maman and Papa would be leaving once more after her own departure was something that Elenore tucked away. Their acquisitions had not ceased, and the youngest Clement would follow their progress through the papers in much the same way she usually did. Of course, the newspapers didn't know what the Clements were doing specifically, but they followed her Maman and Papa, and Elenore could piece together what they were doing in the different places they were spotted.

The idea of writing home for the records was one Elenore simply could not, and would not do.

"You have Papa with you, though," Elenore replied to her mother's qualms of being tired, and not knowing how much more she might be able to do. If there was anything that Elenore could never deny of her parents, it was the sturdiness of her parents relationship, and the strength they offered one another when each of them needed it. A love Elenore could not quite understand, not in its truest form.

But just as Elenore thought they might be in safe waters, there was her Maman pushing her away once more. Jacques. Jacques was so perfect, her Maman might as well of said as much in that moment as the witch's stomach knotted painfully. The pain was masked, but it hurt, Merlin it did, when her Maman spoke of Jacques with so much pride, so much happiness in her tone, about how well he was doing. This time, with Italy.

Trying not to be winded by her Maman's words, Elenore focused on Tess Marie. "I had heard the same," she replied softly, though not from the witch directly. Tess Marie had left her alone, not writing once since she had left for Italy and her husband. "She is making her family proud, of that much I am sure." The youngest Clement added, for she knew the value of bearing the children of your intended, it was your duty, and then... after the children were brought in to the world... Elenore didn't wish to think of that situation.

But it was the next point from her Maman that physically wounded Elenore the most. The youngest Clement's hands gently disentangled themselves from her mother's, going back to hugging herself to push back the feeling of pain that was ebbing through her system in that moment. University was not something Elenore had thought of, and to hear the comparison being made, that her brother had already had three offers where she had not even one to her name was clearly written between the two women in unspoken words.

You're nothing compared to your brother.

The Hufflepuff witch stared back at her Maman in that moment, before she gently shook her head. "I... haven't..." She started, the softest sparkle of tears in her eyes which she quickly blinked away because she refused to succumb to tears in this moment. "I wasn't planning on attending university. My role is here, at the Palace, or wherever Papa and you decide I should go..." She explained carefully, reciting what she had been taught by Grandmere time and time again.

Ladies in this world didn't need higher education, did they? Their role was in the house they were married in to, to bear children, to raise the children, and to love their husband. And, even if she could go to university what would be a worthwhile degree that would aid such things.

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PostSubject: Re: New Year's Day, 2025 (The Clements)   Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:46 pm

Vanessa listened to her daughter, her smooth brow not wrinkling once as Elenore revealed her future plans. or rather, her lack of any plans for the future. Surely the child wouldn't simply be content here in the palace, all alone with Maman and Papa? She was young, brilliant, talented, seh had to show the world her gifts, not waste away in a building of stone and mortar.

The barb of her parent's decision though did not go unnoticed. And as much as Vanessa wanted to react, she did not. Despite her many explanations that she and Louis did not intend to marry her off, the child had somehow gotten it in her head that she was to be married off regardless. And while an age for marriage would come, Elenore was far too young, and far too bright.

"Dear, you can't simply stay at the palace.  Surely there's something you would like to study? Music perhaps? Had I the opportunity to study music at an institute of higher learning, I would have been very glad of it." As it was, Vanessa had spent her post graduation days so differently, her daughter would barely believe it if she heard.

"Besides, you are a Clement my darling, we set examples. What example would you be seating by staying at home and not utilizing the full array of your talents? Imagine the impact it would have on our little Mimosa?" That would put things in perspective. Vanessa was sure Elenore wouldn't want Mimosa to think she never had to study either, and have the young Clement's precendence to quote for it.

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PostSubject: Re: New Year's Day, 2025 (The Clements)   Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:41 pm

"Dear, you can't simply stay at the palace."

Had it been anyone else in the world who had stated such things, Elenore might have seen through the words, past the words, but it had been her Maman who had delivered the news that she could not stay here at the Palace. If Elenore had been shaking before, she was positively trembling now with the thought her parents wished her to be away from the Palace.

Grandmere had been right, Elenore realised helplessly in that moment as she looked away from her Maman and instead to the fire that was roaring before her. Had Elenore not have been a lady, the notion of tears would have come forth, but Elenore would not allow her Maman that much in that moment.

The suggestions from her Maman of potentially studying music, something she would have liked to have done herself were not heard by the youngest Clement, who'd mind had shut down out of fear in that moment. The fear she was not wanted by her Maman, her Papa, the Palace shaking her to the core in that moment because she had promised Grandmere she would not be leaving the Palace on a whim such as university. The fragility of her person cracking to further imperfections in that moment as the Lady Clement solidified the idea that her daughter was not needed, or wanted in the castle.

But, the Lady Clement was not finished, as she drew, placed and punctured the final nail in to the coffin with the mention of Mimosa. The young witch meant to replace her. The witch whom her mother had always, seemingly, loved more than her own daughter...

Elenore's eyes sparkled with the unshed tears, tears she refused to acknowledge in that moment, because to acknowledge them would allow them passage down her cheeks.

"Non, Maman..." Elenore replied softly, shaking her head. "I don't wish to attend university. I wish to stay... to stay here... with Grandmere." She explained, hoping that this would be enough to appeal to her Maman's request. Elenore didn't want to be away from the Palace, her Grandmere any longer, how could her Maman not understand that much?

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Mimosa Harrington
Slytherin Second Year
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PostSubject: Re: New Year's Day, 2025 (The Clements)   Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:17 am

Truth be told, the Lady Clement found herself quite perplexed at Elenore's reaction to higher education. She had never seen Elenore as... terrified before as the young witch did now at the idea of leaving the palace. Surely seven years of being away would have cured any homesickness by now? And yes terrified her daughter looked, as if she was being sent off into exile - a fear that needed to be vanquished right away lest it impair future decision making. If Elenore did not choose to go out into the world, she would regret it much later. And that would just not do.

"Darling, Grandmere will be right here, waiting for you to come home for breaks and holidays. No one's going anywhere, we'll all be here when you return. But you must seek avenues to hone your many talents. You'll waste away at the palace." Rising to her feet, the Lady of the House made ehr way to the Lord Clement's desk, daintily picking out a brochure she had brought in earlier.

"This is from the Royal Academy of Music in London," she encouraged with a smile, pressing the stylized brochure into her daughter's hand. "I had it and a number of others brought in for your perusal. You don't have to apply to any of these of courses, you can choose an institution that speaks best to you. Our research team will forward you anything you need and your grades are god enough to earn you admission anywhere in the world."

All this was said with encouragement and persistence, and through the smile, it was clear Elenore was expected to choose an academic field to devote her time to. for the next few years. "And if you don't wish to pursue music or the arts, I'm sure Lady Goshawk would recommend some good business institutions, she can put you in touch with several contacts at my request should you need it."

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