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 Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)

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Mari Caldwell
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PostSubject: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:34 am

With much dread the witch had anticipated this moment, the ball was about to begin, guests would be arriving and she was in her room at Caldwell Place, dressed to perfection, and more nervous than she'd been in a long time. This was not only her 21st Birthday Celebration, this was also the first time since she'd escaped that she'd attended any Pureblood function. Speculation as to why she'd not gone yet was unnecessary, it had been all over the tabloids, her face had anyhow.

With a slightly furrowed brow Marilyn looked in the full length mirror and turned her face side to side, the white scars tracing all the way down from her left temple down her jawline, her neck, merging with the criss cross of scars  on her shoulders and collarbone. The usually untouched scars had a slight shimmer of the various perfumes and sprays the house elves had practically engulfed her in. She looked...well, she looked dangerous. Perhaps somewhat...fear inspiring even.

"Wear your scars with pride. For only when you accept them will other people see their beauty.
" the words of her professor ghosted through her memory along with the many assurances Jake had uttered during their nights together.

Oh Merlin, Jake. The witch's thoughts turned to concern; the last time her boyfriend had been at Caldwell Place had been...a disaster. Really. And he certainly hadn't seemed eager to repeat the experience. But a lot had happened since then. Felipé had grown to accept him, Cass would be there tonight, her grandparents would be distracted by all the guests, she hoped anyhow, so perhaps they could navigate tonight without great casulties. Perhaps.

Taking into count how, again, she didn't exactly present any kind of image of comfort in her long red dress, lipstick that was actually developed to imitate the colour of fresh blood (Gwen's favorite). She'd recieved her gifts from her grandparents that evening as she and Jake had headed over to get ready. From Evan a gold and ruby necklace, a family heirloom she was now proudly wearing and from Gwen a ring emblazoned with Athena's sigil, a play on the first Huntress in their Family, Athena DeArbour, whose portrait still hung in the ballroom.

Her uncle Jamie and his intended bride to be Cassandra had also be there already and given her a bound set of three books, first edition spellbooks by Morgana LeFay, heirlooms from Cass' family, a gift greatly appreciated by the studious witch (as was the sly reassurance from Cass that she'd look after Jake). And finally to both her and Jake' relief, her grandfather Felipé shook Jake's hand warmly and hugged his granddaughter tightly, his present simple and meaningful; her late Grandmother Guadalupe's jewelry box with its contents. All in all, the morning had been calm. The calm before the storm...

Torn from her thoughts by the sound of hissing Mari turned to see the door to her chambers open to reveal Gwen and a two feet long, pitch black snake conversing with each other, "Snix says you look lovely, dear and he's too right. Tonight's your night, Lynnie, there are a lot of important people coming, I don't need to remind you to be on your best behavior and-" Gwen's smirk grew, "Do try not to hex any suitors, yes? We don't need a repeat of your 17th now do we?" The younger witch felt her cheeks flush with heat and her eyes flash with old defiance in contrast to her calm tone as she replied with,


"I still maintain they turned themselves into frogs."
before adding, "and I have a boyfriend, so why would I- Oh you didn't. Grandmama, tell me you didn't." Horror spreading across her pretty features. Gwen pulled a face and closed the door, lowering her voice as Snix slithered over to Jagger who was sitting dutifully at the edge of the bed.

"I did nothing. But Evan might've-" *crash* "Now really, Marilyn, no need to lose your temper." Gwen admonished lightly, repairing the vase near her granddaughter that seemed to have shattered all on its own when Mari clenched her fists.

"Only a few, no obligations, greet them, smile and then be on your merry way with Jacob-"

"Jake."

"Yes, him. Your grandfather just wants you to meet them. And let them leave unscathed. Yes?"

Recognizing a fruitless battle when she saw one Marilyn simply signaled to Jagger to come to her, running her fingers through his fur to calm down, nodding once towards her grandmother whose arm Snix curled around as she turned to leave. "Be down in ten minutes, I'll have... your escort sent to your room."

"His name is Jake." Mari muttered at the closed door, knowing full well Gwen could hear her, sitting down carefully on the bed and stroking Jaggers head softly. Soon there was another knock at her door and she flicked it open with her wrist, looking up and smiling as she saw Jake in the doorway. "If my grandmother wouldn't have a heart attack I'd kiss you now."

------------------
(Caldwell Place)
(Marilyn's room)
(Gwen)
(Felipé)
(Marilyn)
(Jake)
(Victoria Newbury)
(Alexis and Henry Newbury)
(Jamie Caldwell)
(Evan Caldwell)
(Cassandra Fay)
(Ballrooms)

COLOUR CODE
Evan
Gwen
Mari
Cass
Jamie

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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:21 pm

After a lovely day and evening with Marilyn on her birthday, Jake had woken up to not only the realisation that he had to go to work the next morning as his alarm went off in a flurry of confusion until he found his watch and gently nudged Marilyn to tell her to wake up before kissing her awake. But the second realisation was that he would have to go to Mari's grandparent's house that evening, and that was so very terrifying. After kissing the witch good bye at eight, Jake had gone about his day in a rather... uptight manner.

After a much more stressful day than usual (and having put two people in detention because he was too tightly wound) Jake had found Victoria in the Entrance Hall and escorted her from the grounds before apparating to Caldwell Place. Victoria was very excited, which went without saying, and when the door opened to see a familiar face behind the door. After quickly introducing Victoria, the duo were led up to a guest room and then left alone. And Victoria was more excited than before.

"They have house elves, Jake!" Victoria told her brother, looking up at him with excited eyes. "Do you think I can play with them, do you?"

"No, Vic, they're..." Jake paused, knowing better than to talk badly of people. "They're not the kind of people who think house elves are cool, or are to be played with. Just... get changed." Jake told his sister, evidently stressing over the situation.

"What's up, Jake?" Victoria asked softly, looking towards her brother with a concerned expression.

"I'm fine, Vic, just get dressed and I'll ask Tipsy to come and show you the house, or something. And-" He cut short, making sure the witch was listening. "Don't touch anything unless you're told to." Jake finished, waving her away to get dressed as he sat on the bed with a soft sigh.

It was a short while later that Victoria emerged from the bathroom, decked out in a beautiful pink dress, hair straightened around her face and a necklace of pearls at her throat. She looked amazing, Jake had to admit, even with his stress loading quickly. After calling Tipsy to come and take the witch to where they were supposed to be, or show her around, Jake moved to the bathroom to get changed, taking his time to make sure his appearance looked impeccable. After finally pulling his tie in to place and checking his hair once more, Jake left the room, on to the landing where he looked around for a sign of what direction to move in. He'd barely taken a step when a different house elf appeared before him.

"Where would sir like to go, sir?" The small thing asked.

"To Mari's room... please?" Jake replied uncertainly, this elf looked a little less accommodating than the one he'd come accustomed to, but with a curt nod, the creature led him down the hall to the room of Marilyn's. As they neared, Jake saw her grandmother leaving, but thankfully she moved off in the opposite direction, leaving Jake to knock on the door only moments later.

"If my grandmother wouldn't have a heart attack I'd kiss you now."

"Hello to you too!" Jake teased softly, slipping in to the room and saying a thank you to the elf before closing the door and moving to his girlfriend's side. Putting his arm gently around her, Jake placed a very, very light kiss on Mari's cheek. "Everything okay?" He asked, a flicker of concern in his tone as he took in the slightly distressed aura surrounding the witch.
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:10 pm

"Everything okay?"
Groaning softly she resisted the urge to bury her face in his neck and just hide the night away. And for a moment she considered it, but it was a nano second's thought, ridiculous. She had a duty to uphold, she'd grown up with this. This was not all too new a situation. The circumstances had simply changed.Nothing she wouldn't be expected to just roll with. But a childish voice inside her said that sometimes she just didn't want to. And now was one of those times.

Taking a deep breath the witch shook her head ever so slightly, the weight of the evening settling onto her shoulders, "No." she murmured very quietly, hugging him gently and softly setting her chin on his shoulder, eyes on the floor, "Im scared." the whisper was barely there, but he would hear it. "I haven't done this in a long time." The heiress remained silent as she tried to relax more in his arms, focusing on her breathing and her heartbeat, which was galloping like an unbroken horse.

But there was no permanent escape, the witch reminded herself as she separated herself from Jake, looking up at him with a solemn expression, "And I want you to remember that no matter what you see or hear tonight at the ball" she flicked her wrist to apply the protection spell over her lipstick to keep it from rubbing off and then pressed a gentle kiss to his lips "Remember that I'm yours, your Mari. Yeah?" Marilyn said this in an attempt to soften the blows he would undoubtably suffer that coming evening, but it was very possible that it had a bit of an unnerving effect as well.

"Showtime." she murmured, pulling Jake to the door where she hooked her arm into his and walked down the stairs to the main hall where the guests would be soon arriving.

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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:31 pm

"I'm scared." the whisper was barely there, but he would hear it. "I haven't done this in a long time."

"You're going to be fine, I promise. I'll be right there, and Victoria will be around." Jake told the witch, taking her hand and running his thumb gently across the back of her hand. "I'm... pretty sure it's like riding a bike, you don't forget how to do it, no matter how long you leave it." He assured her, smiling warmly.

"And I want you to remember that no matter what you see or hear tonight at the ball"

The soft kiss to his lips made Jake smile a little more, making the words slightly foggy for a moment as he took in the taste and sweet scent of his girlfriend. But the words surfaced, and Jake was about to ask her what she meant when the reply came.

"Remember that I'm yours, your Mari. Yeah?"

"I know." Jake replied softly, stealing another kiss from the witch. "Nobody but you can change that opinion." Jake added a moment later, letting the witch knew he didn't think for a moment that Marilyn wanted to change their dynamics, so he wasn't sure what she was worried about. But he didn't dwell, because there was little point when he had enough to worry about already.

As Mari said it was time to get on to the ball, Jake nodded, following her from the room and allowing her to hold on to his arm as they descended the stairs. "Victoria is with Tipsy by the way, so I don't know where she's going to be right now..." Jake explained softly, hoping that Mari wouldn't mind Victoria just exploring the house.
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:00 pm

The words regarding her fears were of little comfort in content, but the intention was a little soothing. "Nobody but you can change that opinion." As were his words of reassurance, but only for a moment before she grimaced slightly at the wording. That was exactly what she was afraid of, that he'd think her behavior would show otherwise.

"Just, remember it." she murmured before they left, nodding when he told her Victoria was with Tipsy, "Tipsy knows where to take guests, she'll be in the main ballroom with Felipé, Jamie and Cassandra." as Marilyn took each step one at a time she changed,slowly, but noticably. She stood taller, her expression became cooler and her tone became more distanced, as if putting on armour, piece by piece. Once they were at the main entrance hall the witch gave Jake a kiss on the cheek lightly, polite, and whispered to him to meet her in the ballroom. Then turned to her grandfather, who was waiting, with a solemn expression, at first not meeting his gaze directly.


"You look beautiful, Marilyn."
he said, using her full name instead of their nickname, "Everything is prepared, your grandmother is with the guests. I advise you to join her and greet your guests as they arrive. Each guest, Marilyn and none of that strange humour you and Gwen seem to share, understood?"

With something of a defiant gleam in her eye she lifted her chin and nodded ever so slightly, fingers crossed behind her back. She then strolled into the ballroom, the double doors opening once more and remaining open, filling the halls with the music from a magical self-playing orchestra. It was an extravagent, no costs-spared event indeed, not that they ever spared cost anyway, the crystals in the facade of the ceiling glimmered in the light, food and drink filled half of the ballroom, elegantly placed, and a champagne bar was set at the end of it, enchanted glasses would gently float to meet each arriving guest.

"Victoria, you look stunning, I hope you like the dress, your parents should be arriving shortly, I believe." The smile on her face was warm, genuinly so, despite her nerves, but Victoria was not an anxiety inducing person. Certainly not in the face of what was to come.

Cassandra nudged Jake gently in the side as she stood beside him, giving him a reassuring smile as Jamie moved to discuss the music with his mother.

((Thread is now open to the invited guests!))

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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:53 am

Ariana was sitting in her office in her apartment in New York, going over some documents from work. With her recent promotion, she had to work twice as hard as before, but she didn't mind it. Hard work was rewarding and she would do anything to get that reward. Of course, now, she had people she could command and give the petty work she didn't want to do to them. It was an incredible feeling and she intended to use the people the best she could.

There was a knock on her door and after getting her permission, the little House Elf walked in, carrying a letter on a tiny platter. The Elf was dressed in a clean rag and was obviously afraid of his boss. He kept his eyes on the floor as he approached her and she didn't even spare him a second glance.

"This just came for you, Ma'am." Digby said, holding the platter up high so Ariana could get the letter. She nodded and dismissed him with a little wave of her hand. Without even checking to see whether Digby wanted anything else or whether he went away, Ariana opened the letter and let out a sigh of frustration.

A birthday party.

She was the new advisor to the Minister of Magic and now she was expected to attend a birthday party for some girl she's never met before and had no intention of ever meeting. It was ridiculous to say the least.

Ariana knew she had to go, though. This was the Caldwell heiress and her Mother always spoke of the Caldwells with respect. Tossing the invitation aside, she pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. She knew her duties well and knew she had to attend the party. To play well with other Purebloods, especially with her new position at the Ministry. It didn't mean she liked her duties though. These Balls were usually either boring as hell or she had to hide from suitors.

This occasion didn't seem to call for potential suitors for her though, as it was someone else's birthday celebration. She just hoped it would stay that way and nobody would try to sleaze their way in her family.

She ordered Digby to get something pretty for the girl and he presented her with a beautiful jewelry set one evening. Ariana thought it would be quite an appropriate gift for a twenty-one year old Pureblood girl. She didn't ask how much it cost, it didn't matter.

On the evening of the event, Ariana signed the last of the papers, Apparated home and got ready. At the appropriate time, she Apparated to the Caldwell mansion.

She was shown to the ballroom by a House Elf she didn't care to remember the name of and gave him the sleek black box with a red ribbon on it. It wouldn't do to carry the gift around her, after all. A glass of champagne floated to her and she took it, before following the Elf to Gwen Caldwell.

"Madame Caldwell, so nice of you to invite me. Ariana Lee." she introduced herself with a pleasant smile on her face and extended her hand.



Ariana's dress::
 
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:41 am

"Just, remember it."

Jake simply nodded, he had no plan on forgetting, Merlin knew if she wanted him to leave she would have to outwardly say that, but he couldn't help but wonder why the witch would think he would need to remember. But he didn't press because he knew the witch was uptight already.

It was only a short walk down to the Entrance Hall, but Jake could feel the change. A change that he didn't overly like in Marilyn, this was not his Marilyn. This was just a person who looked like his Marilyn and everything else changed. But he didn't express that, because he knew the importance of family duty. When the witch told him to head to the ballroom, Jake simply nodded, inclining his head towards her grandfather before he moved off to the ballroom.

He was met by a glass of Champagne which Jake took gladly, perhaps drinking it a little too quickly than was polite but not really caring right now. The young man simply stayed out of the way, admiring the area in question and trying not to look overwhelmed (which probably wasn't working. He'd barely noticed that Cass had moved to his side until she nudged him in the side, making him come away from his thoughts. "Evening." Jake acknowledged the witch, knowing her more from what he'd heard from Marilyn than anything else. "How are you?" Jake asked, taking another flute of Champagne but deciding to sip this one now he had company. "I'm Jake by the way. You're Cass, right? Marilyn has mentioned you often." He explained with a small, uncertain smile on his lips.
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:57 pm

Louis had known from his files that the birthday of Marilyn Caldwell was coming up, though he had no personal need to act upon that information. Whatever his feelings might be towards the witch, they were professional, and favouritism was simply not allowable.

However, it seemed personal feelings were not to be tolerated as an invitation to the witch's twenty first birthday party arrived at the Clement Manor. His grand-mère had opened the letter, and turned her nose up at the idea of seeing the Caldwells. They were too violent for the older witch's liking so she'd passed it to her son. Thomas had simply looked at it and passed it to Louis, for the simple fact he worked with the witch and would be the better option for party. If Louis wouldn't mind sending their apologies to the Caldwell heiress, they would appreciate him going for them.

Louis had agreed, sending off for a more practical gift for the witch because he knew that the witch would receive more than enough extravagant gifts of jewellery and such things. Instead, Louis had devised something of a more useful present, or so he hoped, in that he'd had her present specially crafted for the witch. After a couple of weeks of preparation the gift had been completed and set in a velvet box for presentation. It had taken a small group of goblins to perfect the present. It was a beautiful piece, but Louis had enhanced it magically for the witch's benefit. The inscription on the lid was pretty self explanatory, or so Louis hoped it was, anyway.


Marilyn,

A small gift that will let you know the intentions of those around you. A hot head is never good for anything.

The Clement Family.


Apparating to the address given to him, Louis passed kept the present in the breast pocket of his jacket, he planned on giving it to the witch personally, even if that was rather uncouth. Ignoring the offer from the house elf to show him, Louis had moved through to the ballroom with the confidence that always proceeded him. As the room opened out, Louis' eyes scanned the room before finding the witch he wanted to see and with little hesitance Louis moved to Marilyn, pausing whilst she spoke with a younger girl whom Louis didn't know. Only when the smaller child moved away did Louis move closer to Marilyn. "Good evening, Cal- Marilyn." Louis greeted the witch with a small uncertain smile. Saying her first name was new, but he supposed this situation didn't need that. "I wanted to give you this in person, rather than letting it get lost in the abundance of presents you'll be receiving." He explained, reaching in to his pocket and pulling out a small box.

With a small pause, Louis passed it to Marilyn, possibly a little excited about the reaction, but not showing it outwardly.


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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:52 pm

"Madame Caldwell, so nice of you to invite me. Ariana Lee."

"Ah yes, Miss Lee, the pleasure is ours. We've been looking forward to meeting the new Advisor to the Minister of Magic, congratulations on the position. Evan and I have always worked very closely with the Ministries" Gwen's expression was polite and her tone smooth, eyes flashing with their usual spark of intrigue.

Her family line of Hunters started out purely freelancing between them and other Hunter families, but within the last three decades the DeArbours' and some of the other higher families had begin working with the American and English Ministries. But Marilyn was the first to work for them officially. And Evan, as a famed Auror and head of one of the old Dark families turned grey/light after the war, had entered retirement and simply held position on some of the higher regulation boards in the English Ministry.

Speak of the devil... Evan came up behind his wife and greeted the newcomer in kind, "Miss Lee, nice to finally meet you, allow me to introduce you to our granddaughter Marilyn," Guided forward Marilyn gave her guest a smile that contrasted strongly to the dangerous aura surrounding her, and a 'How do you do?' that sounded natural despite the fact that she'd been rehearsed through the movement a thousand times.

"Our Marilyn is tied for top of her class in the English Auror program, we're proud to see her continuing the family business." At the comment Marilyn felt her stomach unclench slightly, being an Auror was a hell of a lot more her thing than playing doll for a night and the thought of returning to training as soon as possible brightened her mood considerably. Like a light at the end of a tunnel. A long, fancy, overly-polite tunnel.

But salvation seemed to arrive soon in the form of her fav- her professor, Louis Clement. And suddenly her smile was genuine. "Good evening, Sir, I'm so glad you could make it." Her mood was instantly lightened and at the same time was torn between the fact that now she was not supposed to be in work mode but in Caldwell mode and her Mari mode telling her she felt quite excited by the fact that he had shown up.

"I wanted to give you this in person, rather than letting it get lost in the abundance of presents you'll be receiving."
"Oh, that's very thoughtful of you, Sir." She smiled, graciously accepting the box and gently opening the clasp to reveal a delicate bracelet and reading the golden inscription, realization dawning on her face with a smile as she slipped the piece on, feeling the cool metal against her skin.


"Thank you, very much, Sir. It's perfect."
Her words were polite and soft, since her grandmother was listening in from where she stood, but her eyes shone with genuine gratitude and joy. The box was small enough for her to gently place into her clutch bag to keep her grandparents from reading the inscription. And though it was signed in the family's name Mari had the feeling this gift was more from her Professor himself.


Of course, in that moment she saw her Grandmother gently push Evan to greet the arriving guests, names like Parkinson and Zabini walked into the ballroom, and make her way to where she and Louis were standing, luckily Jamie intervened. This left her other grandfather alone and he sauntered up to the two instead.


"Good evening," he nodded, "Felipé Ramirez, Marilyn's grandfather, I've been told you are her professor? I'm pleased to finally meet you, Mari has told us so much about you-r classes." Mari's slightly flushed cheeks were all the warning Felipé needed to manage a quick save.


Meanwhile Jamie had pulled his mother onto the dance floor, twirling her around to open the ball and the two were soon joined by other guests. Cassandra stayed standing next to Jake where they were talking.

"Yes, that's me," then lifting her glass to drink she added a soft, "They scare you shitless, don't they?" her expression not revealing anything, hiding the movement of her lips from Evan's watchful gaze behind her glass. Turning to face him she smiled, "My first dinner was a nightmare. In tears before pudding. It's just their way of...weeding, I suppose. Jamie is Evan's first in line, but Marilyn...she's first in line to Gwen and to be honest, that's the bigger responsibility." Cass remarked quietly with a soft, sympathetic smile. "It's not personal. Try not to worry about it. The family has to be careful of whom they accept."

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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:36 pm

"Good evening, Sir, I'm so glad you could make it."

Louis' only reply came with a small smile, he hadn't known if the invitation had come from the witch or her grandparents, but he'd made it simply because he wanted to see the witch outside of work. In hindsight, that probably hadn't been the best idea given that this was a very formal occasion and the witch didn't look overly comfortable.

As the witch opened the box, Louis waited for a reaction which came with the joy that was shining in Marilyn's eyes. His own smile reflected that he was happy with the situation too. "It's nothing much, I just like to know one of my cadets is safe. Though I believe I have two to keep my eye on this evening." The Frenchman replied, showing he'd already noted the Newbury boy here. It didn't quite fit, if he was honest, the Newbury boy was of lesser blood, so Louis simply assumed they were friends, of a nature.

"I hope you'll wear it often, if only for work purposes." He told the witch, his eyes conveying the notion that he wanted her to stay safe, because he couldn't say that out loud. But nothing more could be said before they were approached by a man Louis couldn't place.

"Felipé Ramirez, Marilyn's grandfather, I've been told you are her professor? I'm pleased to finally meet you, Mari has told us so much about you-r classes."

"Good evening," Louis replied, taking the man in but not overly welcoming the man as a friend as he probably should. "I am Marilyn's professor, oui." He added, nodding only once before his eyebrow rose slightly and he looked to Marilyn who was blushing. "I'm glad that Marilyn had been enjoying herself, we'll see after Christmas if she is still talking so highly of them." The Frenchman concluded, knowing that after Christmas would be difficult for the witch. "But, we'd best not keep Marilyn from her guests, should we?"

Motioning to the new arrivals, Louis gave a half bow to the pair and slipped away, towards the bar. Which was starting to become something of a trend at these social situations.
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:59 pm

"Ah yes, Miss Lee, the pleasure is ours. We've been looking forward to meeting the new Advisor to the Minister of Magic, congratulations on the position. Evan and I have always worked very closely with the Ministries"

Ariana smiled at the elderly lady, nodding her head slightly. Ever since she got the job, people have been telling her that they either absolutely adored the Ministry and everything it stood for or telling her in great detail why exactly they hated the Ministry. She didn't know which she despised more; the people sucking up to her or the people who honestly thought they could do a better job than her. Of course, she never conveyed her feelings, she was raised better than that.

"Thank you, Madame Caldwell. I assure you we're very grateful for your contributions. I look forward to working with you and your family." Ariana said in a pleasant tone and nodded towards the man who appeared at Gwen's side.

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you, sir. And you, Miss Caldwell." she added to the young woman who the celebration was for. "Happy Birthday." she added with a smile.

"Our Marilyn is tied for top of her class in the English Auror program, we're proud to see her continuing the family business."

Ariana emitted a quiet 'oh' noise, nodding her head. She was actually impressed, it was hard to even get in the Auror program, let alone to get to the top of the class. "Congratulations, Miss Marilyn. Truly a wonderful achievement." For once, she didn't have to lie while praising someone's child.

It was high time to excuse herself and start talking to other important people, something she hated but was quite necessary. With another polite smile and pleasant words, she slipped from the group and made her way towards some people she recognized from work and were actually decent enough for her to talk to.
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:41 pm

Gwen and Evan nodded at Ariana's politeness whilst Marilyn returned the birthday wishes with a small smille before lighting up somewhat at the compliment regarding her capabilities that sounded much more genuine than the polite small talk the group had begun with. "Thank you, Miss Lee, I'm doing my best." And then it was off to one of her favorite guests of the evening...

"I hope you'll wear it often, if only for work purposes."
Marilyn, bound by convention, simply nodded, her happiness restricted to her eyes and simple answer of "Of course, I will. Thank you." At his allusion to the after christmas lesson she furrowed her brow slightly in curiosity but knew better than to ask. And before she knew it he was bowing and her answering half-curtsy was quick to follow. But before she could return to Jake, who had in all honesty probably seen the whole interaction, she heard an 'ahem' behind her. Whirling around with slightly raised eyebrows her eyes fell on a tall, peaky, blonde fellow who looked around her age.

"Bonjour, mademoiselle Marilyn, je suis Jacque Foix. Voulez-vous danser avec moi?"

Feeling her grandfather's gaze on her back, the bracelet heating subtly, the young woman nodded with a fake smile in place that dropped as soon as the music started. For a pureblood he was a truly poor dancer and spoke without pause. A rapid fire french that was, unfortunately, not difficult for her to understand and utterly revolving around his family, his influence and, of course, his eligibility.

And he was not the last. He was quickly followed by a Grant, a Warren, and a Waldorf, not leaving her alone for a second. The worst must've been the Vanderbilt, of course, because of them all he had the highest standing and the most promising...offer. Her grandparents were practically glowing when he asked her to dance, but he was a little...too close for comfort...

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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:03 pm

"They scare you shitless, don't they?"

Jake had remained silent at the question, because he wasn't yet sure if that question was a test. In honesty, yes, Marilyn's grandparents did scare him shitless, but he was not open to telling the witch that in case Evan, or Gwen, had put Cassandra up to that. Instead, he listened to the witch as she explained her personal first meeting with the duo, to which Jake raised an eyebrow.

"I don't know much of heirs and heiresses, but I know they're playing a game. It took Marilyn a while to calm me down after we left." Jake replied, not alluding to Marilyn's breakdown that had come before he'd been truly calmed, because that was no one's business but theirs.

"It's not personal. Try not to worry about it. The family has to be careful of whom they accept."

"Would have thought it was quite clear the kind they accept." Jake replied, motioning to the fact Marilyn had moved in to her second dance of the evening with another boy he didn't know. Despite himself, Jake's eyes had turned something darker as he realised what this was. Something of a slap in the face from Marilyn's grandparents, showing they would not accept him as their granddaughter's choice. "I don't think it would matter how much I worry, they seem to think they can brush me under the carpet." He told the witch sourly, putting down his second, empty glass of champagne as he noted his parents enter the room. They simply moved towards Gwen and Evan with warm smiles on their lips, greeting them kindly before moving towards Jake.

"Sorry we're late, your dad got held up at work, despite telling them he was working only half the day." Alexis explained, pulling her son in to a small hug. Jake's father simply nodded in acknowledgement, quiet as ever as he moved to get his wife a glass of champagne.

"It's fine, we haven't long started. Mom, this is Cassandra, Marilyn's Uncle Jaime's-"

"Intended." Cassandra supplied as Jake paused on the word, making Jake feel a little stupid for not knowing.

"Cassandra, this is my mom, Alexis and my dad, Henry." Jake added, smiling to the witch, before his mom continued.

"Where's Victoria, sweetie?" Alexis asked, looking for her youngest child, before spotting her already in the arms of a younger boy who must have come with a brother, or something. Victoria's smile could have lit up the ballroom, and Alexis' shone just as bright. "We'll leave you to it, Mari is dancing I suppose? You better not be being grumpy, Jake, this is her evening!" Alexis chastised, taking her husbands hand and leading him to a table on the edge of the floor which was still free.

Jake simply turned his attention back to Marilyn, noticing that her partner had changed again. This one... was close, and Jake's jaw was setting in to mild annoyance. Not with Marilyn, because Merlin knew he understood that this was not her choice, but at the nerve of some people to act such a way with his girlfriend. Yes, he was no match to any man in the entire room, but Jake was Jake, and he... he was who Marilyn wanted, she'd assured him of that much before they'd come downstairs. "Are all the men in your society such pig headed imbeciles?" Jake asked, clearly annoyed as his eyes followed the couples on the dance floor.
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:32 pm

"Would have thought it was quite clear the kind they accept."
Cass winced as she followed his gaze to the boys that were vying for her attention, "It's Evan, all of this. Not Gwen, she's...American. More tolerant." Then she turned to catch his sour look, "And you know that she's only got eyes for you. And Marilyn gets what she wants, that she's certainly learned from them." the witch nodded somewhat proudly. Her expression turning happier when confronted with who turned out to be Jake's parents, helping Jake along with the introduction. "It's a pleasure to meet you both and your daughter is such a joy."

"Are all the men in your society such pig headed imbeciles?"
Eyeing Jamie intently, winking playfully when he caught her eye she grinned, "Yeah, they are." Then setting her glass down she held her hand out to Jake, "Do me the honour, yes, before you hex the boy."

Meanwhile Marilyn felt, despite her experiences, that this qualified as torture. A very slow kind of torture. Was this song ever going to end? Perhaps she could just hex herself deaf for the evening... "-And so that should certainly make up for it." Suddenly her bracelet flared up in temperature just as he spoke. "Pardon, I didn't catch that?" Marilyn asked politely, having somewhat zoned out during the monologue. The Vanderbilt heir looked at her as if she were possibly dim, "Your dowry, your family. They certainly are a good attempt at making up for your disfigurment."

Marilyn's smile froze and in the space of two seconds she had found all vulnerable spots on his body she could pierce or other incapacitate and settled on subtly clawing his shoulder that her hand was on, only just breaking the skin to hold him in place as she quickly stepped on his instep, the satisfying crack accompanied by an outcry.

In a very soft, lofty voice she spoke, stepping back, "Oh my, look, you seem to have stepped on your foot-" her voice lowered, "and broken it." then reverting to its former pitch, "What a shame. Hope it doesn't leave a scar" It didn't sound like a shame at all as she watched him limp away angrily, leaving her standing on the dance floor to witness Evan and Gwen's expressions of horror; Gwen who'd heard every word and probably relayed each to her husband.

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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:57 pm

"It's Evan, all of this. Not Gwen, she's... American. More tolerant."

The comment about being American made Jake's eyebrow raise slightly as he looked across at the witch beside him. But he didn't call her out on the comment because that would be rude, something he could most certainly not afford at this moment in time. "I know Marilyn does... But that doesn't mean..." Jake let out a soft sigh and gave up, because quite honestly he didn't know how to express all of this.

The small interaction with his parents was at least nice, nothing too much, and they were on their way, thankfully staying out of harms way as they watched Victoria with warm smiles on their faces.

"Do me the honour, yes, before you hex the boy."

There was no way that Jake could deny the witch, simply because it would have been rude, so taking the witch's hand, Jake led Cassandra to the dance floor, taking up the usual hold of the quick waltz, his hand gently on Cassandra's waist the other out only slightly. To Jake, it was uncomfortable to say the least because every proportion was wrong from what he was used to. The closeness was not something he enjoyed, and quite honestly everything just felt wrong.

However, there was a small commotion in the centre of the dance floor, and what seemed to be something between Marilyn and the boy beside her. The explanation came a moment later, and it didn't take a genius to work out that something had gone amiss and Marilyn had made the boy pay. Something of a small smile touched his lips at that information. "Of course, I wouldn't have to raise my hand, because Mari is quite capable of looking after herself!" Jake countered Cass' earlier statement with something of a small smirk, noting their professor moving to Marilyn's aid in the middle of the dance floor not a moment later.
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:25 pm

Louis had slipped to the bar for a drink, knowing the Caldwells would stock a nice cognac if ever he were going to get any in this damn country. He wasn't disappointed either, as he was served a fine cognac to say the least. He'd sat with it as his only company for a while, his eyes searching the crowds and checking for trouble. Of course, there was no trouble, this was a big named affair, security would be proper, but Louis couldn't help it from his many years of training.

But as the dancing with Marilyn commenced, Louis had pushed the half finished glass away and moved to the edge of the dance floor, not noticeable, of course, just there in the shadows, keeping watch.

Commotion had ensued not a moment later, and as one person left, Louis had been the only person to enter the fray, saving the young witch the embarrassment of being left alone in the centre of the floor. "Permettez-moi de prendre le relais , mademoiselle." He spoke softly, holding out his hand to the witch with a small smile. Once she'd taken it, Louis gently led her in the dance, falling in to usual step with little and less effort. "Would you care to explain?" Louis asked, knowing that the witch had been lying from the blatantly obvious call for attention that came from the incident.

He wouldn't be mad, of course, he'd seen enough to see that something had been said, but he couldn't quite catch it. So long as the witch was okay, however, that would be enough to make Louis leave her to go back to her duties.
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:45 pm

"Permettez-moi de prendre le relais, mademoiselle."
Thankfully Marilyn was saved a real scene by none other than her Professor and she put her Pureblood smile in place, though her eyes showed true gratitude as she assumed position and gently replied. "Oui, vous pouvez, je vous remercie beaucoup, monsieur." And they danced smoothly, allowing Marilyn to internally pick up the pieces of her already somewhat battered confidence for a moment.

"Would you care to explain?"
Her breathing hitched slightly at the question but the cool feeling of the metal on her wrist reassured her that he wasn't upset with her. So keeping a straight face, yet looking past his eyes to the walls around them, voice somewhat tight, "Vanderbilt commented that my dowry and name would be a good attempt at compensating for my- disfiguration." The last word was somewhat harder than the rest, as if it had difficulty crossing her lips. Vanderbilt was an idiot, there was no doubt about it. But he'd hit her in a sensitive spot, by chance more likely, judging by the flippant way he'd done it. But it had hurt.

Not that she would let it show. Much.

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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:58 pm

Louis simply shook his head at her thanks in the situation. There would never be a point for such words, because it was common courtesy to look out for women. Even if the woman in question was a very strong, capable woman. In fact, Louis was quite sure it was those women who needed more attention were those like Marilyn, because sometimes they forgot to let the wall down for others. That, however, was a lesson for a different time, a different day.

"Vanderbilt commented that my dowry and name would be a good attempt at compensating for my- disfiguration."

Louis' jaw tensed as he heard that, it would have been his hands had they not been occupied, but control was an art he'd perfected, over very many years. "The Vanderbilt heir is not one you should choose then. Those men weak enough to see it as a liability and not an asset are not worth your time, or thoughts." Louis told the witch, checking over her shoulder to find the boy in question. It seemed he was being ushered from the room by his parents. Good, an inquiry was being shoved their way first thing the next morning. "Concentrate on the others, you'll find a man in the room who sees past it all." He encouraged, offering a small smile to the witch.
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:30 pm

Seeing his jaw tense she felt the armband grow a smidgen colder and the Caldwell heiress carefully looked back into his eyes, gaging from the reaction that he was certainly not mad at her for her reaction to the insult, but rather at the boy for being so insensitive in the first place. This was supported by his following statements and Marilyn nodded, "I know. It was just...a poorly placed insult, simple words from a simple boy. I'm alright." the witch responded quietly, but her stance relaxed from how tense it had been, growing to be more comfortable in that moment, knowing that Louis meant her no harm nor disrespect, on the contrary it seemed. And though not able to fully express her gratitude she hoped her small gestures and subtle expression conveyed enough.

"Concentrate on the others, you'll find a man in the room who sees past it all." Catching a glimpse of Jake as he waltzed with Cassandra Marilyn found herself smiling fondly for a moment before catching herself, but feeling comforted by the small smile Louis had offered. "The problem is, Sir," she responded softly, "that I already have. However he's...a halfblood." Taking a small breath she added, "Newbury." falling into the way Louis normally addressed him.

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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:47 am

Louis nodded at the notion of the boy being simple, so long as the witch could understand that for herself. "You'll be fine, just... relax." Louis assured the witch, though honestly he was probably one of the last people that would make her relax, he was sure.

"The problem is, Sir," she responded softly, "that I already have. However he's...a halfblood."

Louis listened to the statement and made no outward response to this information. It didn't make sense, of course, that if she'd found someone her grandparents would be throwing a ball in this manner. Which, simply led Louis to believe that the man she'd chosen was not enough in their eyes. Louis knew the importance of lineage though, he'd grown up with it, and fell in love with a woman who would have been perfect for their house. He'd been lucky though, she'd been a Pureblood woman, but even then his family had not deemed her enough.

"Newbury."

"Jake Newbury?" Louis asked, raising his eyebrow slightly as they turned and he confirmed it with his own glances. That, explained a lot of things, for one, why he was here. There was a pause as he thought about it, the boy in question seemed to be well mannered from the moments he'd seen him in class, and from what Louis had seen, he was a hard worker, professional, but that wasn't what was important. "Does Newbury make you happy? Make you feel safe?" Louis asked, because that... was important. He wouldn't speak of love, because love wasn't something people understood at that age, it was only when you could look back and see the way your life had been sculpted because of another that you could tell if it was love. But if Marilyn had those two things from the boy, Louis would ignore the notion of his blood status and wish her the best.
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:15 am

"Jake Newbury?"
"Yes, Sir." Marilyn replied calmly, thinking of how after the ball she would be apologizing profusely to the man, who'd in all likelihood tell her not to apologize. Marilyn was lucky- so lucky to have Jake. And she never wanted him to feel like he wasn't enough for her, however she knew that her grandparents seemed to have done that for her and the thought of Jake being unhappy caused her stomach to clench.

His questions brought her back from her brief reverie and she was somewhat grateful that he didn't seem appalled at her choice. "Does Newbury make you happy? Make you feel safe?" Marilyn smiled softly, "Yes, he does, more than anyone." It seemed her Professor had something that could be the slightest hint of a soft spot and Marilyn relaxed a bit more at the thought.

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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:49 am

Louis simply allowed the pause as the witch seemed to look away, knowing that she probably needed a moment to collect herself, whether from the comment or from the conversation that was taking place between them. The Frenchman didn't mind though, it gave him time to think through what she'd explained to him.

"Yes, he does, more than anyone."

"Then that is enough for me to know that you're making the right decision." Louis replied, just as the music ended. "I'll leave you to get back to Newbury. Enjoy your dancing." Louis told the witch, slipping from her grip, flourishing a small bow and returning to being invisible in a room of people.
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:02 am

"Then that is enough for me to know that you're making the right decision." Eyes widening slightly, crinkling at the corners from the smile that graced her features. Giving him a half-curtsy and a whispered, "Thank you." she resumed her game face and turned to look for Jake, not having to look for long as the wizard came up to her, seeing Cassandra moving to sit with Jamie happily.

Just moments before that, whilst Marilyn had been dancing with Louis, Cassandra had watched the incident on the dance floor with worried eyes, "Oh dear, Evan isn't going to be happy...I think she broke his foot, he must've said something awful- who's that dancing with her now? Is that the same man who gave her that bracelet?" In all the twirling and through all the people it was difficult to see.

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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:25 am

"Oh dear, Evan isn't going to be happy...I think she broke his foot, he must've said something awful- who's that dancing with her now? Is that the same man who gave her that bracelet?"

Jake looked over Cassandra's shoulder at the question, nodding slightly. "Our professor, Louis Clement, Frenchman." Jake replied, he didn't know much more of the man if he was honest, but he'd seen the bracelet he'd given Marilyn and was quite sure there was something more behind that. Not in a suspicious manner, Jake was simply quite sure that giving gifts personally wasn't done, seeing as no one else had done it.

With one final spin, the dance finished, and Jake politely excused himself from Cassandra, who had almost instantly said it was fine and swept away towards Jamie, leaving Jake to join Marilyn in the middle of the room. "May I?" Jake asked, taking his girlfriends hand gently and taking up the usual hold for such dances. The young man didn't ask why she'd hurt the boy who'd left, Jake would allow the witch to tell him when she was ready.

Without any planning, the song that came on, filling the room, was the very soft melody of You Are So Beautiful and Jake smiled subtly. His mom had taught him and Victoria all the classic songs over the years, her love for different genres shining through (not to mention Alexis' love of boy band covers - or just the bands). Jake knew he couldn't kiss the witch in this situation, it wasn't proper and he'd rather not anger... well, anyone. So instead, Jake settled on concentrating on the witch before him, moving effortlessly with her on the dance floor, and singing softly, but in a very heartfelt manner. This song was perhaps one of the most perfect song choices he could have had in this moment.

"You're everything I hope for
You're everything I need
You are so beautiful to me
You are so beautiful to me"
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PostSubject: Re: Marilyn Caldwells 21st Birthday Ball (Invite Only)   Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:48 am

"May I?"

"Of course," Marilyn smiled, taking up the stance and visibly relaxing in his arms, automatically drawing closer to him than with her other partners, the way that they danced was easy and familiar from all their lessons together and Marilyn in that moment did not give a damn about her grandparents thoughts, she just needed Jake. And his reassuring presence was enough to calm her frazzled nerves further. Especially as he began to sing; it could not have been more perfect for the situation or for Marilyn's shaken confidence.

Smiling up at him, affection clear in her eyes she squeezed the hand she held gently as they swayed; on one hand she felt somewhat grateful that he hadn't asked what Vanderbilt had said, but on the other she knew she'd have to tell him as some point that night. Oh, Merlin... And poor Jake was being subjected to this horrible, horrible situation...

"Jake..." she murmured, catching his gaze, "Im so sorry about this. I didn't know until right before you came into my room that my grandfather had arranged for...them. And though I imagine after breaking Vanderbilt's foot the number of applicants has rapidly gone down anyway...I only want to be with you tonight, every night, and it doesn't matter what my grandfather thinks.

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