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Grayson Hughes

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 Free Spirits Of Sorts (Adrian)

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PostSubject: Free Spirits Of Sorts (Adrian)   Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:23 pm

Their vacation house in Ireland had always been Serafina’s favourite property that they owned, so much so that she had requested it for her coming-of-age birthday present. With it came the condition that she, on occasion, allow her parents to set her up for meetings. Knowing that, one way or another, she would have had to do it or risk being disowned, Serafina had agreed, and now the vacation house was her own.

Having apparated herself there at the end of their mandatory family time, she opted to spend a few days in absolute quiet to catch up on reading when the letter came. Apparently kicking Franklyn out was a bad idea, because her parents had simply set her up with another male. The owl came in the late morning, giving her little time to get ready. That was always the case; it was as though her parents were afraid that, if she had more than fifteen or twenty minutes to think, she would opt to just not show up.

And, perhaps, they were not too far off.

But, in any case, the amount of time given was just enough for Serafina to bark a few orders to the servants - get some tea and snacks ready, turn up the heat in the foyer, fluff the pillow, do some last minute cleaning - while she sauntered off to her wardrobe. There weren’t quite as many choices here, and she frowned to herself as she realised she had made a fatal mistake; she had not brought over any drab dresses. For a few minutes, she debated wearing the white one, but at the last moment, decided that she wanted to save that for a more special occasion, and slipped into her least favourite dress there.

Checking herself over in the mirror one more time, she dabbed on a small amount of perfume, let out a sigh, and made her way to the receiving room. Her butler would lead her guest to her - one Adrian Fernandez Arellano, and she recognised the last name as one tied to a lot of old money, which was probably why her parents had set up this meeting in the first place.

Sitting straight, hands placed gently on her lap, Serafina heard the distant echo of the front door being open, and swept her gaze over the table in front of her. A teapot, a small amount of pastries and biscuits, and two small teacups waiting to be filled. Nearby, in the corner of the room, stood one of the servant, ready for Serafina to instruct. A knock on the door came, and then it opened. Waiting just a split second too long before standing, she offered a polite smile at the person who entered. “Welcome,” she greeted, words slipping out in a smooth and dignified tone. “You must be Adrian. It is a pleasure to have you here.”
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PostSubject: Re: Free Spirits Of Sorts (Adrian)   Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:22 am

Adrian had always been someone who was not overly keen on settling down. Not because he wasn't one for commitment, but because he liked being himself, being free, and doing the things he loved, not what was expected of him. It wasn't, for all intents and purposes, the usual outlook of a Pureblood. He was well aware of the fact his ideals were not common with the people like him, but Adrian did not, and could not, care less.

He was himself, and there was nothing more to it.

Today, however, Adrian had been asked to try to woo a witch he'd never met. To secure a marriage he didn't want, with a woman he didn't know. He held nothing against the witch he was going to meet, for he was more than aware he would likely not be to her interest either. Though he knew nothing fruitful might come of the meeting, Adrian did not wish to be pestered by his parents for a while about marrying, so he would pretend it all went well, but never push for an arrangement to be made.

Dressing up for the occasion, Adrian apparated to the home as instructed and waited to be shown through to the area in which he would be meeting the witch in question. Serafina, he reminded himself, though he would start out more polite than that, for certain. The staff walked him through to the room he was to meet, and the splendour was not something that was lost on the photographer. No, he appreciated it, but he didn't marvel, money was not a new thing to him, but something he appreciated no less.

As he entered, Adrian took in the witch, she was dressed beautifully, in his opinion, but he was not the kind of person to comment on outfits too openly. Not in these situations. Giving a small bow of his head when she acknowledged him, polite as always, but not forward. Many men might have moved to kiss her hand, tell her it was an honour, but not Adrian. "I'm not so sure it's a pleasure, more of a duty?" Adrian responded, a smile showing his comment was not malicious, but simply the truth of the situation. "It's nice to meet you, Serafina." He added a moment later, though he hoped it would stay nice, and not become anything too serious.

"However, before we get drawn in to business, and loving eyes, and mushy non-sense. I want to be clear that I'm not here for business, only my own salvation. As beautiful as you are, and as wonderful as you might be, I'm afraid I'm not yet interested in a wife, I'm here only to get myself peace and quiet from my parents." Adrian explained, blunt as the words might be, he wanted to be clear from the outset. "I do hope you'll excuse my forward nature, but I feel this will save us both time, and not go through false pretences."
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PostSubject: Re: Free Spirits Of Sorts (Adrian)   Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:14 pm

Taking him in at once, she gestured to the seat adjacent to hers, inviting him to join her. But, before she could utter the words Please, do have a seat, he had spoken, and his words made her raise her eyebrows internally. “It is my duty to make it my pleasure,” she replied without hesitation, using the same polite tone as before. With a very small smile that conveyed barely a hint of dry humour (so little, in fact, that only someone who recognised that branch of humour would catch it) she added, “So does that make it a duty still, or do you believe me when I say it’s a pleasure?”

At his next statement, Serafina smiled, properly, and said, “I’m not so sure it’s nice. Isn’t it more of a duty?” Throwing his own words back at him, she did so not in a harsh manner or one that indicated she was upset at him, but rather one that was almost playful. Yes, Serafina was flirting, testing the waters, teasing him to see what he was made of, and what kind of person she was dealing with.

After all, just because she had to play nice didn’t mean she couldn’t have her own fun. The poor boy would probably not even see it coming. She would toy with him and make him believe she was truly enjoying their company, and then, when he was just starting to relax, she would tell him it would never work. It was a game she had run many times, and it never disappointed.

But then, he spoke again, and his words changed everything.

"I do hope you'll excuse my forward nature, but I feel this will save us both time, and not go through false pretences," he concluded, and this time, Serafina really did raise a eyebrow, looking towards him with curiosity written on her face. Not bothering to play the polite host any longer, she sat herself down, lazily draping one arm around the cushion, the other resting in her lap, and looked pointedly at the servant in the corner of the room, who got the message and hurried out of the room. Only when the door closed and the two were truly alone did Serafina let out a friendly laugh.

“Isn’t that why we are both here during Christmas holidays, when I am sure we both have other things that are of much more worth?” she asked, lightly. She was not insulting him or saying that he wasn’t worth her time - that remained to be seen - but rather stating a fact. If it were up to her, she would be reading, not entertaining. “Duties, reputation, and parents who make our lives difficult if we do not obey,” she added, with a genuine smile. It seemed Adrian was not going to be too boring.
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PostSubject: Re: Free Spirits Of Sorts (Adrian)   Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:50 pm

Adrian couldn't help but smile as his words were played with, spun carefully and returned with the delicacy of a woman's touch. He had to give it to the woman before him, she was quick-witted, and had he been in the mood for allowing her in, he might have found that attractive. But, Adrian wasn't here to fall for someone, so that didn't happen, but he appreciated the trait on a friendly basis.

Adrian didn't reply though, especially when she used the same ideologies against him. Instead, Adrian let out a small laugh, showing he hadn't been offended by her words, instead having quite enjoyed them instead. "Very good." He responded to her quip, expressing once more that he had appreciated those words she'd said. Perhaps this wasn't going to be such a bad meeting after all. Adrian took his seat across from the witch, sitting which his legs crossed (the guy way, with his ankle rested on his knee). It wasn't exactly proper, but it was comfortable, and when you weren't trying to win someone over, it certainly didn't matter.

With the servant dismissed, Adrian did raise an internal eyebrow. Being left alone was certainly not proper in such meetings - not that Adrian was going to allow anything untoward to happen - Serafina had made the decision though, and he would roll with it, though he would keep note of that... modern mannerism.

"I couldn't agree more, I have a whole host of things I should be doing, but alas, I'm here playing niceties with you." He replied fondly as the witch spoke of duty, family and other menial things. The young man rolled his eyes, an expression of amusement on his features as he sat back comfortably in his chair. "All of which hold too much power, don't you think?" He responded casually, before allowing a pause.

"I may not be here to offer exactly what my parents have asked me to. But, should this meeting go well, I'd like to offer something else. Friendship. As trivial as that may sound, I think it would be a good idea to keep those who understand humour close by. If you'd agree to such things, of course, though you need not make such a decision now." Adrian proposed, genuine in the offer, though not banking on getting it instantly. Friendships with the wealthy were invaluable, but they had to be treated just like business transactions in the beginning to succeed.
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PostSubject: Re: Free Spirits Of Sorts (Adrian)   Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:37 pm

She watched him carefully, taking in every bit of information he provided her. Already she knew this was not going to be a normal meeting, where she played the nice and perfect female, and the person in the room talked her up to a point where all she wanted to do was hex him and walk out. No, Adrian was different. Already he had committed a large 'sin', and outright told her he wasn't interested in her as a wife.

If she had been any other Pureblood female, she would have been offended, or hurt, or even perhaps angry at having her time wasted. But Serafina was also different, and all that did was tell her that her time wasn't going to be wasted.

At his laugh and apparent two-word praise, she smiled, although slightly disappointed. Was he admitting defeat so soon, or did he just not appreciate some banter? Either way, half the fun was in getting a retort back that she then had to counter, and she couldn't help but feel he had cheated her of that, even if he hadn't meant to.

Instead, she kept quiet, watching as he took a seat and noting at once the manner in which he sat. It wasn't proper, it wasn't what was taught to Purebloods, and it was sure as anything the best gesture Serafina had ever received from a guy, because it meant he wasn't adhering to the rules and she, therefore, could also be slightly more lax with it.

Of course, as a female, it was always harder for her to recover any damaged reputation, whereas a male could build it back in weeks if not days should he try hard enough, so Serafina was still careful.

"Then let us not play," she responded calmly. "Games can be fun, but they can also be tedious. I believe this is one game that would fall in the latter category, and I quite honestly would rather avoid it from the beginning. What say you, Adrian?"

"All of which hold too much power, don't you think?"

Letting out a light laugh, she raised her right shoulder just a fraction, a shrug that wasn't quite a shrug. "It depends who you're asking. If I had that kind of power, I would disagree. Since those are being used against me at the present time, I agree with your words." She smiled. "Power is subjective. There can never be too much if you are the one with it."

It was unconventional of her to show such a level of thinking, but from everything that had happened thus far, Serafina was sure that Adrian would not mind.

Raising an eyebrow at his prospect, Serafina took a few moments to think through. What he was offering was... intriguing. On one hand, to have him as a friend would do wonders for their family, as well as her own status. On the other, she knew it could be a trap; if she were to make friends and continue displaying humour, as he put it, her words and actions could easily be used to blackmail her. After all, it was not right for her to speak of some of the things she spoke about with her friends.

"You speak of power, Adrian, and yet classify friendships as trivial," she commented in reply. It wasn't a yes, but it wasn't a no, either, simply an acknowledgement of what he had said.

More importantly, it was opened ended, an invitation to answer, although she hadn't phrased it in a questioning form. If he had half a brain, though, he'd understand what she was inquiring - what he thought about friends - and he would be able to answer. She was quite certain that Adrian could manage this, but if he couldn't then she would know for certain he was not worth her time - or her friendship.
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PostSubject: Re: Free Spirits Of Sorts (Adrian)   Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:30 pm

"I couldn't agree more." Adrian responded to the witch in respect of playing games. Truth be told, he wasn't one to play games, not really. He preferred to stay out of the mind games, perhaps a little too soft in that respect, but Adrian could play if he wanted to, he simply chose to be more forward in how he worked, more open to others so not to hurt them.

The comments on power made Adrian smile slightly. The witch before him was most certainly educated - outspoken, yes, but educated to an impeccable standard. "Power is only one thing any man can harbour, but never the most important." Adrian responded to her summing up. If she understood, great, if not... well, Adrian was quite sure he wouldn't be told if she hadn't understood his words.

"You speak of power, Adrian, and yet classify friendships as trivial,"

"Friendship being trivial in comparison to the higher vantage of marriage." Adrian responded, correcting her misunderstanding gently. "I would doubt your family would be so happy to hear of our friendship than our courtship. Thus, outwardly being trivial. Though, of course, a friendship with our two families would be much much more than something deemed trivial. Although, I am not seeking friendship for family gain, or power. I'm seeking friendship, for friendship, with no hidden agenda." He explained, once again seeking the route of complete honesty because that seemed to have worked well thus far.

"What do you do for fun, Serafina?" Adrian prompted, deciding to make the most of the time by finding out what the witch before him liked. Merlin only knew if she was going to give a textbook answer or the real one, but Adrian could hope.
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PostSubject: Re: Free Spirits Of Sorts (Adrian)   Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:51 am

At his agreement, Serafina's smile widened just a little, this time conveying true emotions; it wasn't forced or made up. With the whole notion of playing games out in the open, and the consensus of not engaging in any sort of ploy, she could relax a little more and instead just focus on him. It was different, but if in a good or bad way she had yet to decide.

With his next statement, she merely dipped her head in acknowledgement. She knew some people who would disagree - her father, for one; some of the tutors he had hired, for another - but said nothing otherwise. It wasn't a big deal, and besides: she was still figuring out where she stood on the spectrum of things, and one of the things Serafina hated was making statements without fully having a stance on it. That was just stupid, because then she couldn't make decent conversation on it, and she would end up looking like a fool sprouting facts she did not quite understand herself.

"Friendship being trivial in comparison to the higher vantage of marriage."

She let out a light laugh. "I would dare to say otherwise, although my parents would disagree," she commented, tone and body posture showing she was not being rude or trying to start an argument; she was merely stating her point of view. "A marriage with the basis of a friendship would hold much more leverage over a marriage based on pure business. Different kinds of respect are shown to one who is a friend in comparison to someone you work with. If both, what more the strength of the relationship!"

Pausing for a moment, she nevertheless nodded. "Although, I do agree with you on that latter point."

The next question that came her way made her stop for a few seconds to think. It was a typical question, although she was sure it wasn't meant in the usual way, and she debated for a moment not giving absolute truth. Then, deciding that risks were more fun than staying safe, she smiled. "I read," she replied. "I also enjoy riding, socialising, and throwing or attending parties. What about you?"
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PostSubject: Re: Free Spirits Of Sorts (Adrian)   Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:00 pm

Serafina, Adrian was quickly finding out, was very different from many ladies in their society. Her opinions were that of someone highly educated, well read, and allowed an opinion. And only two of these traits would normally be seen in a Pureblood woman. Adrian was not the kind of man who insisted on traditions, that much was true, but he couldn't help but be surprised that she would be so openly blase in front of guests.

"You have given that a lot of thought." Adrian responded warmly, showing he wasn't upset by her opinion in anyway. "Though marriage is marriage, and will work if both parties put their efforts in to it equally." He responded. To an extent he believed that, though he was aware that in some cases, no matter how hard you tried, things were destined to fail.

The answer to his question was very typically... British Pureblood. To say he was disappointed would have been an understatement, but Adrian hid that from his face. "What kind of books do you read?" He inquired, not seeing an opening in any of the other interests to spark a conversation from.

"I like photography." Adrian admitted, not shyly, he knew it wasn't conventional, but he enjoyed it no less. "Street photography, mostly. Adventures are always fun, city or countryside makes no odds. And, I'm not too bad at poker, either." Adrian explained, not in the slightest bit worried about admitting any of this, because none of it was condemning.
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PostSubject: Re: Free Spirits Of Sorts (Adrian)   Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:24 am

She gave a dip of her head at his answer, but it was more of an acknowledgement than an agreement. Yes, she did give marriage a lot of thought, but in terms of friendships and marriage - like what she had just spoken about - she had not. It had been something she realised there and then.

Relationships, though she had, mostly because relationships equalled power. Different types of power, of course, which was why she had evaluated each kind and studied them. Experiments and hands on interaction was what got her the information she needed. And she had come to the conclusion that, in terms of individual power, friendships – not marriage – was the best option.

Marriage, for starters, only happened with one other person; she couldn’t marry six or seven people, whereas with friendships, she could have friends with as many as she could. Marriage was final, and if she chose wrong, could end in disaster, but she could always just walk away from friends who didn’t suit her needs. If she managed to pick rightly, though, then it would mean power unlike anything any friendship could get. It just simply wasn’t worth the risks. No, marriage was far too risky and far less rewarding to be more worthwhile.

But she said none of this. Adrian did not need to know how she stood on this, not as a Pureblood male. As a friend, perhaps someday, but even that was yet to be determined.

"What kind of books do you read?"

Serafina smiled, then. She had known that her answer had come across as mostly stereotypical, but it had been truth. She truly did enjoy all those things. But it was her choice of what she read and what she did during those parties that were the thing that made her different. “Anything. Everything,” she replied. “Autobiographies, politics, muggle literature... If it has words and I can get a copy of it, I’ll read it.”

At his hobbies, she inclined her head a little. “I can see how that could be deemed exciting for some. Do you mean the muggle kind, with still pictures? I find that much more intriguing, because if the object moves, the picture comes out unclear.”

Pausing for a second, she gave another smile, this one a little more on the sly side than anything. “Do you play for money, then?” she asked. “I find life is boring without some sort of risk; if we have nothing to lose, how boring will it be! Although, I must say, we do have different forms of satisfying this need to erase boredom.”

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PostSubject: Re: Free Spirits Of Sorts (Adrian)   Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:23 am

There didn't seem to be a specific genre that was placed before him in respect of Serafina's reading habits, which made it very difficult to strike a conversation out of that. He read, yes, but not to the extent many people would. There were better ways of gaining knowledge, in Adrian's opinion, but that was not to say that books didn't have their uses, because they most certainly did.

"Yes, the Muggle kind." Adrian agreed with the first part of her statement, but the second part, he simply could not. "Only an unskilled artist would make a moving picture unclear. You, if I may be so bold, have yet to find the skilled artist to show you the benefits of a moving picture. Though, I will agree, the still photos are more alluring. A snapshot of time, that cannot be changed. It's... what's the word... unbeatable." He explained, his passion for the subject showing in that moment because Adrian knew exactly what he was talking about, and the different kinds... he could talk on them for hours. Though, of course, that would be boring to anyone who didn't share his hobbies.

"I play for money, yes." Adrian agreed with a sly smile. He didn't have an addiction, he hadn't played for about a year maybe now. But when he did play, he played properly. "Risk only makes it more fun. I've lost considerably, but I always win the money back, and then some, so it's not so bad.

"But, if you don't mind the forwardness, poker is not a game for a lady such as yourself, and yet you speak of risk as if from experience... what is your go to for the adrenaline rush?" Adrian asked, intrigued at the subtly of her words.
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