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 Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)

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PostSubject: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:57 am

Two days was all it took for news to spread - and spread it did - but Serafina had had a hand in that; she had not just told her parents the moment Seth and her came to an agreement, but  her friends as well. And, as she had trusted them to, they had told their family and their friends, and it had snowballed. That was, of course, a good thing. The faster the news spread, the more time they had as an 'official' couple, and the less their parents would hound them.

There was one thing Serafina still needed to do, though, and that was to tell her brother. Christopher was not dumb - not by a long shot - and she was certain the news of her betrothment raised some suspicion in him. If it didn't, that would mean he was slipping in his reasoning skills, and that would result in a whole other conversation.

In any case, Serafina had written to Chris, informing him that, should he wish to meet with her for any reason, she was at her house in Ireland. If he wanted answers, he would have to come to her, and not the other way around, although she had not stated as such, instead saying that she was busy with an assignment and could not make it to their main house.

Relaxing in a comfortable dress, Serafina was half-laying on the couch in the living room reading when the news came that Chris was on his way. Not bothering to move, she took note of the time, and went right back to her book. He would arrive soon, but she wasn't going to bother with much; her housekeeper would see to refreshments.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:38 pm

The announcement of Serafina's engagement had come at breakfast, both parents were pleased with the match Serafina had brought to them. The Corbett family had a lot to offer them, and in turn, it meant Christopher would have a lot more at his disposal when he took over the family. Serafina would be able to pull strings her side (even if she was not supposed to, Christopher knew that she would).

Everyone was happy with the news, except Christopher.

Whilst he smiled outwardly, and told his parents that this was 'wonderful news' inside, he knew that this was not something that sat right. Not with the way Serafina was. She was... untraditional in her view of marriage. She wanted to choose. And their parents had been thrusting the Corbett name at her for a while now. No. This was ringing alarm bells.

The morning post brought word from Serafina, though not anything he actually wanted to know. Only where she was. Dressing for the day in a blue button up shirt and black trousers, Christopher flooed from the house in England across to Ireland, telling the Butler to make sure his clothes were ready for the meeting he had later with a girl he didn't want to meet in the first place.

As he stepped through the fireplace at his sister's residence, the staff moved forwards as he brushed off the soot from his clothes. "Your sister is in the lounge, sir." The housekeeper told him, giving him a small curtsey. "Will you be needing anything?"

Christopher waved her away, striding off towards the living room. He gave a small knock, allowed a short pause (only because it was his sister) and then entered. "Sera." He greeted her, moving to sit on the chair opposite her. "Father informs me that you've succumbed to the idea of marriage, seemingly over night." He explained, not stepping around the subject lightly. "I know this isn't true, well, perhaps the proposal is true, but the actuality of marriage... I don't believe it."

There, Christopher stopped, allowing Serafina the choice to explain, or play dumb. He would find out, though, he knew that much at least.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:32 pm

As the knock came, she was just about to give permission to whoever was there to enter when it opened, and she knew without needing to turn that it was Christopher; who else would have done that? "Hello, Chris," she said in return, not looking up from the book. It was a fascinating chapter, and she was a few lines away from the end of it. Besides, as much as Christopher was the heir, she was the elder sister, and while it didn't mean as much in Pureblood families, it meant something to her. She wasn't foolish, but making sure Chris knew she was older and more experienced in life was something she enjoyed doing; besides, it was entertaining to see his response.

She knew she wouldn't be able to play with him in this manner for long, though, as he was growing up with every passing day.

A smile played on her lips at his words, but she didn't reply immediately, instead finishing off the last line. Slowly, she let out a breath, picked up the bookmark beside her and slid that in between the pages before closing the book. Straightening, she leaned forward to place the book on the table and took the cup of tea there into her hands.

Leaning back in her chair, she took a sip before addressing her brother. "You are right to doubt," she acknowledged, pausing again. She had to tread very carefully once she touched upon the subject, but before that, she wanted to pick her brother's brain and see what he could come up with. "What do you think is going on?" she asked, deciding to be blunt instead of skirting around the bush.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:51 pm

Being made to wait - whilst Serafina finished her page - irked Christopher slightly, but he hid it. Carefully forcing his features in to one of neutrality Christopher waited for Serafina to finish, place her book down, and then look across at him.

The comment on being right to doubt her was one Christopher didn't need. If he hadn't sincerely doubted her words, he would not have been here. And playing 'gold star for being right' was not what he was here for. True, Serafina wasn't patronising him with her words, but Christopher had been sure before he arrived.

"What do you think is going on?"

Christopher had known Serafina wouldn't play easy on the subject, so the question was not one Christopher hadn't already foreseen. The answer, though, was not one that he had a full answer to. Taking a moment to formulate an answer of substance, Christopher took in his sister.

"I can see your midriff, sister." Christopher commented casually. It wasn't exactly proper of someone from their house, but at least it was only him who could see this. "Please don't go out like that." He added, more in a manner of concern than of a commanding tone. Serafina was her own woman, and her views different, but... Christopher was not pleased by the state of attire she had chosen.

"As to what I think is going on." He continued, as if he hadn't momentarily changed the subject. "You could have had a very, very sudden change of heart, and decided that you would follow our parents wishes. This, I find very unlikely, so I have ruled that out.

"You have told our parents, it's not come as word from the Corbett family, so therefore, I don't think it is some kind of ploy to make our family commit to the marriage out of fear of our name being besmirched.

"So... that leaves me at a point of believing you either like the Corbett heir..." Christopher paused for a moment, going through the names of the influential families to try and find the person Serafina had been married off to. "Seth Corbett. Or... there is something more going on. Something... good enough to fool our parents?"

With that, Christopher looked to his sister with questioning eyes. He wasn't one hundred percent sure on his summary, but he was... relatively sure he'd covered the options.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:23 pm

The comment was Chris buying time, Serafina was sure. However, it was also something she figured he would have brought up one way or another (and she hadn't bothered changing, just because she wanted to see his reaction), mostly because it wasn't considered necessarily decent; either that, or he truly cared about her safety (Merlin knew wearing that sort of thing attracted unwanted attention, although in her case it was welcomed).

All his comment did was amuse her greatly, for this was one of the more modest two-piece dresses she owned, not that he knew. She opted to use cash for many of the clothes she bought so that the receipts could not be traced. The decent, proper dresses were bought on store credit, billed to the residence as usual, and these were the only ones that her parents thought she owned.

"I certainly hope you can, or I would have been cheated!" she replied, equally casual. "I paid for a two-piece dress. If it didn't show my midriff, it wouldn't have been what I paid for, don't you agree?" Pausing, she debated telling him she had 'worse' clothes, and then decided against it, instead going with soothing him a little. "If it worries you that much, brother, I'll change before going to meet up with my classmates." Into something much more comfortable, she added mentally.

She chuckled a little at his first statement. At the very least, he knew her, and while it was a ridiculous notion, he had covered the impossible, too, before ruling it out, which was very good when it came to piecing together something. Covering every angle, no matter how ridiculous, was vital in figuring out the truth.

"My heart is a matter that has infuriated our parents for far too long," she teased, not hiding the fact she knew they were frustrated with her. If they discussed this with Chris or not, she couldn't be a hundred percent certain, although she was betting on the former. "Even if I did have this sudden enlightenment of the wickedness of my ways, I have too much pride to confess as such. You are right to rule this out. Go on."

Nodding at his next words, there was nothing for her to add, and so she simply waited. Since she was in the company of her brother, she broke her normally unreadable expressions and raised an eyebrow, letting out a half-scoff at the notion of liking Seth. If Chris knew half the things the Corbett heir had said to her or dared to suggest, she was certain that her brother would have challenged Seth to a duel there and then - or, worse, hit him without warning.

"Seth, brother, is not a man worth liking," she told him, blunt in her words. She trusted that her brother would not repeat what she said, nor link it back to her should he quote it. "The only redeeming quality he seems to posess is his ability to act. His training seems to be, at the very least, sufficient for him to pretend to be a man of higher status."

That was more information than she should have given Chris, but Serafina didn't mind. She stopped there, instead allowing the tiniest of smirks to grace her lips. "There is always something more - and you know well enough that our parents aren't exactly the hardest to lead to a tune," she said, making a reference to the stunt Chris had pulled over Christmas. If a boy that age could manipulate their parents, Serafina knew for certain that she, too, could; and, since before Chris knew the art of manipulation existed, she had been.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:38 pm

"Agreed." Christopher replied shortly, though why Serafina had thought that kind of dress to be suitable for anything, he wasn't sure. The words of changing made Christopher simply give a short nod to show he had heard the words, but he had nothing to add. Being in public like that was something Christopher hoped Serafina wouldn't stoop down to, but honestly, he did not know what she did in her time.

As of yet, his eyes were not that good to report on his sister, they were in Hogwarts, not outside.

The confirmation of his first idea came and went with little need. Christopher knew Serafina wouldn't act so rashly with a change of heart, she would have spoken to their parents, played it down for a while, and finally turned towards the idea of marriage. So, he'd been right in that respect.

The information on his sister not actually liking Seth Corbett made Christopher sit back, clearly in deep thought as he tried to work his head around the problem. If she did not like the boy- man - why would she entertain herself with the idea of marrying him? Why get engaged to someone you did not like - for Serafina had made it clear that she would not do this for her parents.

This was backwards.

The bait to respond to what he had done over eight months ago to get what he wanted was not acknowledged by Christopher. He had worked well, infuriated all of his siblings, but gotten away from the school like he wanted to. So, that simply meant that Serafina had worked magic, and convinced their parents enough of...

"You don't like Seth Corbett. Yet... your ideologies are not of the Pureblood way. So... unless you have changed your firmly set ideologies... you've..." Christopher paused, a small frown on his features as he pieced something together in his head. "Lied to them? There is no engagement at all, it's all just... fiction?" He asked, focusing back on his sister and waiting for the answer.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:11 pm

Serafina watched as Chris tried to piece it together, wondering if he would ever be able to reach the conclusion. It wasn't something easy to guess, that was for sure, and yet, she was quite sure her brother had the brains to, with a little push and hints from her. "I am a Pureblood; does that not make what I believe in a Pureblood way?" she asked, making sure her tone was not confrontational, but questioning and light.

Every opportunity she got, she challenged his stance, pushing little bits of doubt into what her parents (or rather, the tutors they hired) had tried so hard to work against. "The majority viewpoint doesn't mean that what the minority sees as truth isn't what is right. It could just be two different ways of doing things."

A moment passed, and then she leaned forward and picked up the book with one hand, balancing the cup of tea with the other. Adjusting her seating once more so that she was straight and not bent over, she made a show of glancing down at the title and then back at Chris.

"It's an interesting read, this book," she said, the sudden change of topic being a planned one; she wasn't stalling for time, although it may have seemed that way. "Life of Pi. It's a piece of muggle literature recommended to me by a classmate. Have you read it? The chapter I just finished involved a muggle having a conversation with a tiger - and yes, it actually responded! Very well written. I can get another copy, if you wish to give it a try."

Stopping a moment, she held it out towards him, but whether he accepted it or not was beyond the point. It was simply a movement to accompany her words. "It's fiction, obviously," she continued, "However, it's written as though it's a true story; the events are all made up and yet, the authors note refers directly to the text in the book as though they were real, and actually happened."

Pausing to let him digest everything she said, Serafina allowed the smirk to grow, as it had been wanting to do for a while. "I did not lie, Chris. Seth and I are, indeed, engaged. As for if it's make-believe or not... Well, if a piece of fiction can be displayed as truth, why can't the truth be displayed as fiction?"

Letting out a chuckle, she acknowledge the confusion her words would bring with a knowing look, before clarifying. "The fact of the matter is I won't marry a man I don't love. You also know that the fact remains that I am engaged to Seth Corbett, but that I do not love him. If all are truths, can the form they're presented in be one that's made up?"
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:26 pm

The question about 'the Pureblood way' made Christopher pause, opening his mouth to answer, and then close it again. The Ravenclaw took a moment, battling between his tutors words, and his sisters and trying to determine which course of action was right, and which was a hopeless fantasy. After a moment, the younger Richardson closed his mouth, choosing not to comment on this point in that moment, but to deal with it later.

Likely Serafina would know that, too, when Christopher found something conflicting, he always took time to make a valid case for the option he would follow.

And this, was not the time for a decision.

The knowledge of the book threw Christopher for a moment, thinking his sister was trying to purposefully move the conversation away as she explained. When she handed it to him, Christopher took the book and examined the blurb on the back cover. But, as he looked up from the book, taking in Serafina's conclusion, the point of the book became clear in that moment. It was a game, the whole thing. A work of fiction.

The realisation of what his sister had done showed on Christopher's features. A moment later it was followed by a look of appreciation for what his sister had achieved. "So... you have no intention of following this through? It's an agreement made out of mutual interest? Or... is he aware you're playing him like this?" Christopher asked, very curious to know how this had been done.

A pause.

"Who else knows the truth?"
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:47 pm

Watching him process her words, Serafina did not press him any further, nor make any more comments about the issue. She had planted the seeds, and she would let them grow in their own time. At the very least, she knew what she had said had made sense to him, for she could see the inner debate he was already starting; that meant that, in some way, she had made him see her point of view as something he could possibly also believe in. For now, that was enough.

So, she dropped the subject, moving on as though it had never happened.

She sat back and waited as he looked at the book and took in her words. It was a short moment later that the understanding dawned on his expressions, and the smirk reached full bloom as Serafina accepted the wordless compliment.

"Oh, he's well aware," she said, but stopped, realising it wasn't the best way to go about it. Pausing, she changed tactics. "You've learnt by now the art of business deals, am I right? How it has to provide what appears to be equal opportunity for both parties, and yet if possible, to tilt it in your favour? And, of course, I'm sure you know how to accept the best offers while negotiating for better deals in others."

"The art of business is fascinating, Chris, I must admit," she continued, stopping a moment to let him understand what she was saying. With a smile, she concluded, "I suppose you could say that Corbett and I came up with a business deal of sorts. We both get what we want, and we both pay the same price."

At the question, she gave the very tinest raising of a shoulder, a shrug of sorts. "Seth." She paused. "You." There were no traces of a smile or smirk on her face, indicating her absolute seriousness in the current moment. "I am telling you because you're my brother, and you are not stupid; as I suspected, you were suspicious of this arrangement. You deserve the truth, but that makes you a liability to me and this deal I have with Seth. You do understand what that means, do you not?"
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:31 pm

The talk of business deals made Christopher nod at the questions and the bits that he understood. His father had said that, once he was sixteen, he could sit in on a deal, for experience in the business world, but as of yet, he'd only partaken in the ones with his tutor. He was doing well, his tutor said, he had a business mind if he kept his focus. The first couple always went really well in each lesson, but the ones later in the hour tended to not fare so well.

But, this didn't mean Christopher didn't understand them.

As his sister concluded that they had reached an agreement that cost the same price, Christopher paused, acknowledging who knew with a wave of his hand. It was when Serafina asked if he understood the situation that Christopher felt offended by her mannerisms. He appreciated her trusting him. He appreciated her teaching him things his tutors would never allow him to know. But to be accused of... of being the kind of person who would blow this for her?

He had nothing to gain from doing so.

"Sister, if you need to ask me to keep my mouth shut, you really don't know me at all." Christopher replied, his tone was a tiny bit frosty because she had mildly offended him, but not so badly that he would get a scalding either. "Your secret is safe, if that's what you're worried about." He confirmed, though he probably needn't have done so.

"However, I will keep my silence, on one condition. I don't need further details, I just... need to know you're not getting yourself in to... obscene situations for this cover." Christopher asked, his tone hinting towards sexual favours and the like, but not actually saying that. This was not an easy an easy topic, but he needed to be sure his sister was not being taken advantage of.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:47 am

Serafina raised an eyebrow at his statement, not missing the disdain in his tone. It seemed she had overestimated what his tutors had been teaching him, and made a mental note to inquire a little bit more into the tutors he had, especially the one on business deals - and, perhaps, language, too. Allowing him the liberty of finishing his statement, she waited a heartbeat to ensure he had finished before shaking her head gently.

"No, Chris, that is not what I'm worried about," she corrected. "I wouldn't have told you if I had the slightest doubt that you wouldn't remain loyal." Pausing, she ran through the words in her mind before speaking again. "Liability has two definitions, Chris. In business, it means being responsible for something. In common terms, it is simply a person that has the potential to place one at a disadvantage. I suppose a synonym for this would be 'weakness', should you wish to use a more distasteful word."

Gesturing to Chris, she said, "In this case, you are my liability; you have this knowledge that could cause my ruin. Having said that, you are now liable because I have told you. This information is now your responsibility."

Leaning back, quite calm for someone who just admitted that their younger brother now held immense power over them - even if, in a sense, he already sort of did - Serafina smiled at him. "Truth, Chris, is nothing more than a tool. It holds more power than one would expect of something so simple, so make no mistakes when handling it, especially if it's your own," she concluded, her lesson of the day more or less done. It was a costly one for her should it backfire, but she was confident that she had her brother well-read. She had, after all, literally watched him grow up.

His condition was one that amused her greatly, and she couldn't help but laugh. "If you would prefer details on any... courses of action I take with him, I can most certainly provide those, brother," she teased lightly, unable to keep the smile off her face at this notion, "because I won't be doing anything. You can trust me on this; Seth is the last person on which these concerns of yours should rest."

Pausing, she gave another laugh. "It's no question on my reputation amongst Pureblood males, Chris; I am sure even you know what they say. I am not about to grant any of them the satisfaction of saying they were first," she confirmed. "I would arrest anyone should they try. Don't forget I'm going to be an Auror soon, brother, and that my newest friends mostly run in that circle."
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:48 pm

Christopher knew what a liability was - assets, liabilities, equity all of this he knew - Serafina was mollycoddling him once again, and he was growing tired of her lectures. He respected her, yes, didn't pretend to know more than she did, but Christopher certainly did not enjoy being lectured.

"It's not exactly a liability." Christopher countered, his lips turning up to a smile. "This information is an asset, which I can use for future benefit. Should I need to. But, rest assured, so long as we agree on things, I shouldn't have need to discuss this with anyone else." He explained, making it clear he knew exactly the weight of this information, but also that he had no intention of using it unless Serafina twisted his arm in to needing to.

In truth, Christopher would keep to that, because he was not about to throw his sister under a moving bus, so to speak.

The insistence that Serafina wouldn't be getting herself in to situations Christopher would rather not think about, he relaxed. It was enough, for the moment.

"So, when do we get to meet the man you wooed?" Christopher asked, a smirk playing on his lips at the question. This was going to be fun, playing around with the man everyone believed Serafina had agreed to marry. Push buttons, see what he was made of. After all, what kind of a man would agree to such a farce?
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Record Straight (Christopher)   Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:11 pm

Chris understood, she could tell that much, and she copied his smile, chuckling a little. "What is an asset for one is a liability to another," she replied. "And brother, I wouldn't have told you had I doubted, as I've already said." She was not worried about his secrets coming out; Serafina was certain that, in time, she would find out things about him, too, that could provide her with assets.

He was young, after all, and a male. She was not naive, and having grown up before him, she had the advantage of being the female that many boys sought after, and so she knew the weaknesses of men, and boys, and boys-becoming-men, as Christopher was currently. All it would take to destory the family name was one. Wrong. Step. A heartbeat, a moment of weakness and uncertainty, a blink of the eyes... And she would have something on him.

She wasn't one to care about the personal habits of her siblings or parents, not particularly; she only cared about the preservation of the last name - her last name - and if that meant blackmaining family, then she wouldn't mind. Two things were needed for blackmail. Firstly, information. Secondly, for the person to feel embarassed or ashamed of what they were doing, or for it to otherwise destroy them if brought to light.

And, with Chris being Chris, she was certain that before long, she'd have this information, in whatever form it took. That was why she was using her connections, be it Professors or students, to keep tabs on Chris - and all her other siblings.

At the question, she laughed, properly this time, not missing the stress he put on the word. "Soon enough, brother. I asked for a few days to let things settle, and I wanted to inform you of the truth while I'm sure he does the same with whomever he trusts - which may be nobody, now that I think of it. I'll write to him to set up a date later today," she explained, a very slight sly smile on her lips.
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