Aether was tapping his head on the glass, attempting to figure out just what he was going to do and how in the world he was going to get out of here in one piece. Things were going terribly so far and he could tell that they were going to get worse at any time.
As if on cue, he heard the familiar voice of his sister Isis. He jumped and almost fell off of his chair, but was barely able to regain his balance, "Oh! I, well, uh.... I can explain, but.... aww, crap...." Aether continued to babble on for a moment before slowly composing himself.
"You really don't want to know, Isis, you really don't.... So, how are you? He attempted a feeble smile and tensed, simply waiting for the storm to come as he knew it would have to.
Isis rose a brow, her face still displeased and not in the least amused. Really? That was all he was going to say? And then, he was trying to defer conversation? No. Just no. There was no way on this earth her long, lost brother was going to derail her thoughts this time. She wanted to know where he had been all this time and what he was doing. It wasn't enough to see him before her alive and well. She wanted to know he was safe, that after he left this gala, he wasn't going to go off to find somewhere to sleep on a park bench somewhere or on the streets. She wanted to know he wasn't in some sort of trouble with the law (though she supposed if he was, then he would've taken more care to conceal his appearance.
"I'm fine, Aether, but that's beside the point. And I do want to know. You're my brother. I grew up with you, then spent seven years in the same house as you. I think if any of us deserve to know what you've been up to, it's me. I've worried, you know? So have mother and father, but they've concocted some story that you're doing something aimiable for the Ministry or some such balderdash to keep their bloody image." She rolled her eyes. In other words, mother and father weren't really worried about their son, just their name. She wondered what they would do if he were to become a blemish to it.\
Merlin, she couldn't believe he thought he could give her nothing after disappearing all this time since they graduated in May and then act like everything was fine, like nothing had changed, like he'd never left! She was feeling more than a little angry. Her brow no longer raised and her glare back in place, Isis leaned back in her chair, her leg crossed and foot wiggling as she crossed her arms against her body. He was in deep water with her, and he had better learn to swim quickly.
Post by Aether Blaine on Dec 12, 2010 21:05:54 GMT -8
Aether sighed, he knew this was coming and coming from Isis, there was no avoiding this. He was in trouble, not just trouble, catastrophic trouble. He massaged his temples and tried to clear his mind a bit.
"Isis, I can't actually tell you where i've been or what i've been doing because I can't risk anyone but me knowing the details. I can promise you that I am not living on the street or getting in with bad people, i've just been alone, which is what I need right now." he took a deep breath and looked into her eyes, "I am truly sorry for disappearing on all of you and there was not a day that passed that i did not think of you all, but this is something I needed to do."
Aether snagged a champagne from the house elf and waited for his sister's response. No amount of apology was going to make this right, but he could not risk letting her know about his exploits or his plans without putting her in danger if anyone ever selected Aether as a suspect in any of the attacks.
Textbook answer? A cliche textbook answer? Ugh. Her question was still relatively unanswered, but her mind was already saying her worry was justified. Like her brother would actually admit he was getting in with wrong people or living on the street. He was trying to placate her, after all. And she wasn't going to let him get away with it. She wanted answers. "You can promise you're not getting in with bad people, yet you can't risk letting anyone know the details? Sounds quite the opposite to me. And besides, even if you're not getting in with bad people, you've at least been delving into things you shouldn't, and that worries me, Aether! Just tell me what is going on. Please? I won't tell a soul."
Her tone may have gone from absolutely irritated and upset to pleading at the end, but she was still boiling inside. She knew Aether had to try to protect those he cared about, but she would worry more coming up with possibilities than knowing exactly what was going on, and he had to know that. She'd come up with the worst possible scenario, and she'd sit there mulling over it. It was just how she'd always been when it came to her siblings. She might not be close to each and every one of them, but she'd been the one to try to keep things together growing up, and while it might have become less and less the older they got, this was different. And while she might be closest with Aether because they had both been in Hufflepuff, if any other sibling had disappeared just as he had, she would be furious and worried just the same.
Post by Aether Blaine on Dec 12, 2010 23:06:05 GMT -8
He knew it wouldn't be that easy, Isis was as persistent as they came and considering what kind of worrying he was sure she had been through she was not going to stop until she knew what was going on with her brother.
"Please, just trust me on this. You should know more than anyone that i would have told you if i could, but there was no way i was going to involve any of you in this too. After what i've seen, i just couldn't sit back and do nothing. Unfortunately this was something to be done alone. There was no way i would put any of you in danger trying to help me." Aether sighed and folded his hands.
Aether didn't want to get her involved. As one of his siblings she was too important to him and he wanted to avoid dragging her into his battles.
Isis rolled her eyes. "Yes, I know you, Aether. I know you and your fool hardy notions that you have to go it alone to 'protect' us. We're all full-grown witches and wizards now. I think we can choose whether or not we want to know or be involved." Yes, her voice was rising with each word, though she had not yet elevated to yelling yet, and tension radiated through her tone and her posture. Her face only further betrayed her annoyance with her brother. "I understand if you're worried about listening ears here, but there are other places we can speak besides a table--places where Adrian won't spot us to bother you and your useless need to protect and the same with our parents."
Trying to look a little more relaxed, Isis sat back and glanced around while taking a sip of her drink. There, just beyond the seating area, she spotted a hedge, behind which was surely a bench, and if not, oh well. Her eyes didn't move from the spot as she told him, "Meet me there," though they certainly looked at him pointedly as though daring him to defy her as she added, "in five." Her gaze lingered for a few moments before she stood, taking her drink with her as she went to mingle a little. She knew as well as anyone if she were to stay with Aether any longer in plain sight, there would be attention drawn to them, and that was the last thing she wanted. Aether would never tell her anything then.
Post by Aether Blaine on Dec 18, 2010 19:50:40 GMT -8
Aether was about to protest more, but Isis had already moved on to mingle. He started massaging his temples. This was becoming more complicated by the moment and he knew he would never make it out of here alive without letting Isis know what was going on.
He was about to take another sip of champagne, but stopped midway when he noticed something even worse than running into his siblings, something much much worse.
It was Alisa Samuels. One of the many women his parents had tried to set him up with and he had rejected. The two of them had grown up together and she lived on the same street as his parents, but as usual he had not wanted to give his parents the pleasure. Unfortunately, Alisa had taken it fairly hard, refusing to believe that he didn't want her and routinely made appearances at their home to see him in addition to following him many places he went. It was not that he didn't enjoy her company at times, but she took it to the point of obsession.
She was the last person he needed here after all that was already happening since she would doubtlessly stick to him like glue the rest of the night. Aether contemplated if the little bit of champagne was enough to drown himself when he made the mistake of looking up again, locking eyes with her. Alisa's face brightened up immediately and she hurried over to him while he was trying to stand and get away. She wrapped her arms around him and kissed his cheek, "Aether,dear, i had no idea you would be here tonight! It's been so long since I last saw you and I was worried to death! Where have you been for so long, sweetheart?"
Aether murmured something about explaining to her later and he really needed to go meet Isis, but it was nice to see her and he turned to leave, but she took his arm,"That's all right, dear, i'll come along and catch up with you both! And to think i was worried that tonight would be dull." Alisa giggled and practically skipped along with Aether as he headed for his meeting with Isis. He seriously wondered about his sanity with the kind of women he was around.
((Y'know, Joe, if you don't have a girl named Alisa sometime in the future, I'll be surprised! lol))
Isis had taken her time getting around to the hedge and was very much pleased to find there was indeed a bench behind the hedge once she had and took full advantage of its presence. She really should have worn flats rather than heels. No, she hadn't been standing long, but still, they hurt the balls of her feet. As soon as she sat, she took off her shoes and rubbed the balls of her feet a bit before taking her wand out and transfiguring them into flats. It had been the one class she had found truly interesting. Charms had always been her second favorite, but transfiguration was always useful, if one wanted to sneak something past a parent without being found out even despite a tattle tale sibling who thought they were so smart--not that that had happened often.
When Aether finally appeared with that dreadful Alisa Samuels in tow, Isis had to hold back a groan. How was she to get anything out of her brother now? If this was any other day, she knew Aether would be desperate to get rid of her, but this evening? She doubted it. After all, Alisa's presence acted as a shield between the two of them. Isis would be forced to exchange pleasantries and idle talk so long as she was present, and she was certain her brother knew it. Great. Now she almost wished Aether had chosen to make the awful girl her sister-in-law. Then, maybe she wouldn't so desperately be hanging off his arm despite his lack of interest in her in a romantic way. She'd be mingling. But then, what was she thinking? The holidays would be even more horrible, then.
Giving Aether a pointed look despite the false smile plastered on her face, she gave Alisa a hug in greeting. "Alisa, it's been too long! How are you?" Oooo, she'd get him for this!
Post by Aether Blaine on Dec 19, 2010 20:01:01 GMT -8
Aether gave Isis an apologetic look with a tug on his own arm, showing her the death grip Alisa had on it in the hopes of conveying that there was nothing he could do. "Oh i'm doing great, Isis, especially now that Aether is back. And might i say you look stunning tonight. That dress suits you perfectly. Alisa gave a bright smile and embraced Isis before turning back to Aether, "And now, Aether, I think you owe your sister and I an explanation of where you ran off to without a word. What was so important that you couldn't even come back to visit?"
Aether was even more screwed than he thought. Not only was his sister pissed, but even the girl who was so madly in love with him that she basically stalked him was demanding an explanation. The problem, however, was what was coming next.
Alisa continued, "Just the other day I even saw you stop by your parents' house while they were all out. I tried to come over to see you, but you were gone by the time I made my way over."
A look of pure horror hit Aether's face when he realized just what she was talking about. He was sure that he wasn't seen collecting his gala invitation, but he had failed to take Alisa into account.
There was only one word that came to his mind at that moment, "Shit"
"Thank you," Isis said with a smile, gazing down at her dress. Her vanity was one of her weaknesses. "You look nice, too," she told the girl before she surprisingly went to demand an explanation from Aether and then continued on to mention she had seen her dear brother stop by their parents' house. Isis crossed her arms and shook her head at her brother, shaking her head. He must have timed it well, then, if no one but his little stalker had seen him. She only allowed herself a moment to contemplate just how creepy it was that the girl was actually watching their house for any sign of Aether. Right now, the girl was an angel in disguise of a rather creepy young woman.
"You came home?" Isis said, inclining her head and raising her brows as she gave him a look. "What'd you do? Wait until mum and dad went to work and I disappeared for the pub?" The nerve of him! Waltzing in and out like that without a hello or a note or something to let her know he was at least alive! She would have been thrilled at the sight of a note, even if she was told to keep it secret, their secret. It would have given her some secret comfort at the very least, and she would have treasured any other notes he may send or leave, but so much for that. Her brother wasn't so thoughtful.
Post by Aether Blaine on Dec 20, 2010 18:47:28 GMT -8
Aether was trapped. Alisa had called him out on a detail that he couldn't hide from and neither of them were going to let up until they knew why he had been skulking around when he thought he wouldn't be found out.
He took a deep breath and resigned himself to the situation. He was going to have to tell the truth even if it killed him. "I'm sorry, I didn't tell anyone or see anyone because i didn't want to be talked out of it. After we left school I finally saw the horrors that came from the slavery and new magical government. I decided i needed to do something about it. I went back to the house in order to get my invitation to this gala. I had planned to use this as an opportunity to cause some damage to them, but I realized that it wouldn't have worked and would have just ended up hurting innocent people." He waited a few moments to let them process it, "I didn't include any of you because if i was ever captured i knew that you would become targets as well. I couldn't do that to you, so i had to disappear." Aether sat down on the bench, his stomach felt heavy with disappointment and regret.
Merlin, this party was a bore. He had half a mind to finally show himself to his parents just so he could prove he'd been here, then escape and leave. He was almost about to do so, when something made his ears perk up. "Aether, dear, I had no idea you would be here tonight!" It was not the obnoxious whine of a voice that interested him, but rather the name of his long-lost brother. His eyes quickly scanned the area, and spotted the voice's owner: that twit Alisa Samuels whom their parents had tried to marry Aether off onto and subsequently had became obsessed with Adrian's brother. And who was she locked arm in arm with but none other than Aether himself.
Adrian sneaked through the crowd just away behind the two, following them outside of their sight to just behind a convenient shrub where his sister Isis was apparently waiting. She must have found their brother first, it would have seemed. Adrian certainly didn't mind Isis' presence for the conversation he desired to have with Aether since they probably had the same basic questions. Alisa, however, was a bit of a distraction and more than annoyed him. He had half a mind to walk up behind the two of them and stun her just to be rid of her. Even though Aether would probably be glad in part to be rid of the twit, Adrian doubted that he would be too happy that it took her being stunned to do it. He was always the gentleman, after all.
Before he could decide on how he should act though, the conversation moved forward and Adrian hung back, just out of sight on the other side of the shrub. He didn't know why he decided to eavesdrop - it wasn't as though he cared if his presence was known. Perhaps it was that, even though her voice was like taking a cheese grater to the ear, Alisa actually said something worthwhile and steered the conversation right where Adrian wanted it to go. Astonishing, indeed.
Adrian wasn't entirely sure how to react to Aether's explanation. He had intended on making his entrance with a snappy comment of some kind, but now felt that it would be kind of inappropriate. Instead, he hung back even longer, and decided he would continue eavesdropping until such a time he saw fit to reveal himself.
"Some revelation about the government you must've had, then! Didn't even consider sharing it with the rest of us. We're all adults now, Aether--not just you. If this government of ours is so 'cruel' or whatever you want to term it, shouldn't you have tried to show us the light? Maybe try to spring us into action? Or no. I forgot. That's right. We're all just idiots who couldn't possibly defend ourselves if we saw the light and decided to help you. Only you, the almighty Aether, could possibly keep yourself safe and alive. We're just needless complications to all your grand plans. It's always been that way, growing up, and I'm sick of it!"
Isis' voice was rising with nearly each sentence, her arms were crossed, and she was glaring so hard her forehead was feeling tense from her furrowed brows, but she could care less right now. She was furious with Aether, and after running off like he did, she had no qualms with showing her anger with him.
Post by Aether Blaine on Jan 5, 2011 23:35:44 GMT -8
Aether groaned and rubbed his eyes. This was going to be impossible, Isis seemed to be in full anger mode and he couldn't figure out how to defuse her. He knew that Alisa would forgive him and go back to following him around like a love sick puppy as usual, but Isis was another matter.
"And why should I have imposed my decision on you? I have never considered myself above any of you and you know that. I would have blamed myself if anything had happened to you, but most of all I needed this for myself. When we graduated I did not know what to do. I wouldn't have made it anywhere in the government and it wasn't until i had seen what was really going on that i understood why some chose to fight. It's not for glory or attention. I did this for myself because i saw no better option."
Aether was breaking down and he wasn't sure how much longer he could endure the onslaught of accusations. He was so used to his siblings like Isis being a comfort that this situation was nearly unimaginable. Alisa sat down next to him and wrapped her arm in his, snuggling up to his side and murmuring her support.
As much as Alisa could be a pain, he was grateful for her comfort and as a childhood friend it felt good to have someone who was always at his side and he found himself leaning into her.
"But you did impose your decision on us, Aether," Isis hissed. "You decided you were the only one fit for the job. You decided we couldn't possibly make our own decision if you shared your knowledge with us. You're just like them." If he didn't get she meant their parents, then he was denser than she'd ever thought. Their parents had always decided what they were to know and not know growing up. They were always protecting them from society, keeping them as close to the perfect children they had hoped for. Too bad school had been a necessity--at least in the Blaine parents' eyes. They'd been raising them to be the perfect pureblooded children, complete with trying to match them with other purebloods. They'd taught them proper etiquette and everything else they'd need to make it. Everything else was bad. Isis heard it every day since she'd been hired at The Three Broomsticks. It was beneath her. It brought a stain to their name. And now here her brother was trying to impose his decisions on her. She'd had enough of it.
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