Floo Network

[Belgravia] Outrageous

Started by Pyxis Abercrombie, February 09, 2021, 08:24:53 pm

Pyxis Abercrombie

Pyxis sighed as he continued to read the paper in front of him. It was a document outlining the proposed terms of a trade deal between the Ministry and their Russian counterpart. It was a particularly dull piece, even by his standards, which is why he dropped the parchment with a loud groan of exasperation after only thirty minutes of examination. There were days where he was seriously tempted by the idea of giving it all up and going to work on one of his grandfather's estates. He smirked at the thought of his Cousin Farren's reaction to the idea of her beloved Cousin going off to work as a labourer of all things.

Of course such musings never lasted more than a few seconds. Pyxis knew he was made for more important things than that. He had the blood of the wizarding world's two finest families running through his veins after all. It would be an affront to his distinguished lineage if he lowered himself to such levels. Besides his work at the Department of International Magical Co-Operation was a front for his true occupation as an Unspeakable. Pyxis worked as a spy for the Department of Mysteries using his position in the Department of International Magical Co-Operation as an excuse to interact with foreign governments and businesses to root out their secrets including the criminality lurking beneath the surface. He had been able to use these opportunities (along with his skills in Legilimency and Occlumency) to detect more than one threat against the magical residents of British.

The twenty seven year old tidied his papers and stationary before he stepped out of the room he had been using as an office. The Abercrombie lived in a three bedroom apartment in Belgravia. It was rather quaint compared to the grandeur of Dalemain, but it suited his needs. "Perhaps I should pay Farren a visit" he mused to himself with a smirk as he considered what vintage to bring with him.

It had started two years ago, shortly after the death of Farren's husband Clive in what the public considered a tragic accident. Although Pyxis had heard whispers suggesting there was more to the tale than appearances would suggest. At the time her family had been concerned with the idea of a young heiress living alone with only a lady maid and house elves for company. Since he lived nearby, and they'd always been close, her grandfather Spencer and her parents had ordered Pyxis to check in on Farren and report back on her condition. It had been an order the Pureblood had been happy to follow since he would have went to see her anyway. Although they wouldn't have been happy to learn he only reported back what Farren wanted them to know. What had started as an obligation to please the elders of their family had become something of a tradition continued long after their interest had dwindled and so once a week he would pay Farren a visit in her lavish mansion. The duo would spend that time gossiping about the latest scandals of their peers while drinking copious amounts of champagne. It had become Pyxis' favourite part of the week; not that he'd ever admit it.  

With the help of his valet Pyxis changed into a casual navy suit with a white shirt and matching buckle. The top button was undone creating a stylish but more casual air than the suits worn to social events. Thankfully, as the forgotten son of the patriarch's daughter on one side of the family, and the random third cousin on the other, Pyxis' attendance at such events was minimal, especially compared to his Cousin Farren. It was a fact Pyxis had grown to appreciate though it had been a source of jealously back when they were teenagers. Pyxis grabbed a bottle of Farren's favourite champagne before disappearing from his apartment with a soft pop.

Pyxis appeared in Farren's apartment with another soft pop. Pyxis was one of the few the wards surrounding his cousins apartment had been set to make an exception for, which was fortunate for him as the wards reaction to an attempt to apparate directly into the apartment would not have been pleasant otherwise. "Priss" he called out in a low commanding tone. The elf in question appeared clad in the smart uniform the Abercrombie family provided all their elves with. "Mistress Farren is in the conservatory" the elf supplied helpfully before disappearing once more. Priss was used to Pyxis' frequent visits by now and knew his habit of checking on her location upon his arrival. Although Pyxis knew her schedule well it wasn't uncommon for Farren to forget about an event she was due to attend until one of the servants reminded her of it.

Pyxis made his way to the conservatory with a spring in his step. "Good evening Farren" he greeted pleasantly before he handed her the bottle of her favoured vintage. "I do hope I'm not interrupting anything too exciting" he commented with that arrogant smirk of his.

Farren Abercrombie

Farren had come home from work and changed into her favorite green velvet dressing gown with long bell shaped sleeves and elegant silver clasps up the fitted bodice. She'd slid on her favorite black velvet slippers and pulled her hair into a messy pile on top of her head. Tonight her only plan was to sit down and get through all the fashion papers that had come in for the month that she'd failed to make time for yet. She'd asked her elf to set them out for her in the conservatory with a pot of tea so she could go through them and see if there was any good content to follow up on for the Prophet. Sitting down in the plush arm chair she always did she sighed as she kicked up her feet onto the small table in front of her. Her hot tea was waiting for her on the side table as were the magazines.

She grabbed the magazine off the top of the pile. Nippon Witch, a glossy, stylized women's magazine for Japanese witches was one of her favorites. Though she wasn't very keen on Japanese fashion on her personally she loved their looks and traditional clothes. Pulling her wand from her pocket she flipped the magazine open and cast a translation spell on the index page, the Japanese letters scrambled, shifting into English. Hmmm spring 1969 kimono and yukata styles, highlight on some kind of hair ornaments, could be something in that. Flipping to the pages listed she thumbed through the images, tapping her wand on the page to translate the content to English. The bit on traditional hair pieces was actually interesting, she'd always wondered about the elegant florals ladies wore in their hair and the sparkly, metal, dangling bits that looked more like wind chimes than a hair comb. Interest piqued she ripped the article from the magazine and set it aside to add to her ideas binder.

Tossing the Japanese magazine aside she pulled the next from the stack, Italian fashion journals. This was less interesting. Dutifully she thumbed through the pages. Pyxis appeared in the doorway of the conservatory. "Aha. Hello you," she said with a hint of grin as he handed her a bottle of wine. "Mmmm you know me well cousin," she said examining the label. Sitting up she sat the bottle on the table beside her tea. "I'm just looking through these magazines. Hardly exciting. Technically work but not that important." Gesturing to the small sofa next to her arm chair she invited him to sit down. "How was work? Anything you can actually tell me?"  She debated calling an elf to help her with the wine but instead summoned two glasses from the little serving table and bar across the room.

She sat the glasses on the little table in front of them and handed the bottle to him to open. "Oh. You're not going to believe the drama that happened this week. Mr. Yaxley has a new mistress and his wife is losing her mind. Also, I ran into Declan."

Pyxis Abercrombie

"I would like to think so. You have been blessed with being in my presence for as long as either of us can remember. It'd be embarrassing if I didn't know your favourite wine by now" he commented in a haughty tone. Pyxis imagined someone who didn't know him well would have taken the remark at face value. He was hardly known for his humility, after all, but he hoped Ren would spot the slight quirk of his lip, which revealed the remark for the teasing it was.

The twenty-six-year old simply nodded when Farren stated her perusal of the magazines was not important. He had to agree with her on that front, but then he had just escaped the drudgery of trade imports, so he wasn't in a position comment on unexciting work. "Work was..." he momentarily paused for dramatic effect before he continued. "Extraordinarily dull; I could lecture you on proposed import taxes between ourselves and Russia, but I'd rather not send you to sleep before the night has even begun." Thankfully, while dull this particular task wasn't particularly stressful, as relations between the magical governments of Britain and Russia were not as tense as that of their muggle counterparts. One of Pyxis' colleagues at the Ministry had tried to explain more about this supposed 'Cold War', but he'd quickly zoned out, as he did with all things involving muggles.

Both to distract himself from the topic of work, and to amuse Farren, Pyxis picked up one of her Italian magazines and quickly thumbed through the pages for anything of note. He paused at a picture of a male model in a suit designed as the 'piece of the season'. The Pureblood held the page up before mimicking the aloof expression of the model in question. "What do you think Cousin? Could I get away with picking up a part time job as a model?" The aloof pose breaking into a smile as he placed the magazine back on the table. Pyxis had actually contemplated taking part in a photoshoot or two when approached by agents during his tour of Europe the year after he graduated from Hogwarts, but his mother's screeches had paid nix to that idea. It simply hadn't been worth earning her ire, or more accurately listening to her constant expression of said ire.

The Pureblood smirked as he opened the bottle and dutifully poured them both a generous glass of the beverage. The news of Mr. Yaxley's infidelity was hardly a surprise. The man was known for his inability to keep it in his pants. The response of his wife was the more remarkable part of Farren's news. Affairs were common place amongst the elite of Pureblood society. They were an unfortunate side effect of their life style, which often demanded marriages are about strengthening political and business ties rather than the saccharine concept of love. The woman needed to do what any good Pureblood woman of breeding did and find a lover of her own rather than meddling in her husband's affairs.

A brow arched in quiet amusement as Farren name dropped a former mutual acquaintance from their days at Hogwarts. He could tell she was trying to appear casual about it, but her ploy was not successful. Pyxis had been quite oblivious to it at the time, but looking back with hindsight his Cousin's blushes and unusually coy behaviour could only mean one thing. "And how is Mr. O'Dwyer keeping these days? Are you still madly in love with our favourite Irish man?" Pyxis knew that love was a rather strong word for the crush his Cousin once had on her favourite Irish man, but he did enjoy teasing Farren.

Farren Abercrombie

Farren laughed before rolling her eyes at Pyxis. He was such a little devil sometimes. His snark was rivaled only by hers. "In order to be a model you head has to fit through the clothes and with your ego I think you'd have a hard time getting it through the sample sizing," she folded her magazine in half playfully swatting at him as she laughed. Of course Pyxis was gorgeous and if he desired could be a model but he was far too self important and superior for something like that. He wanted to be recognized for his mind not his looks though it didn't hurt that everyone praised his looks constantly anyways.

Smiling she took the glass he offered her, "Thank you cousin," she said in an almost sing song voice. Gladly she raised the glass to her lips and took a long sip, relishing in the bitter sweet tingle of the bubbles. "Perfectly refreshing as always. I don't know how you do that job. I know that stuff is...important I guess but it sounds utterly dull. Can't they put you on real political work? Taxes is for the accounting nerds isn't it?" Sighing she shook her head, quite done with the idea of taxes.

She leaned forward to throw the spare magazines onto the pile and as she did Pyxis hit her with a question she hadn't expected. Madly in love with O'Dwyer? What was he talking about?! Had he secretly been at that pub? Was he using his stupid talent to read her mind right this very moment? He'd promised not to do that. Ugh. He was such a little brat. Immediately she tried to bombard her mental space with random images and thoughts while also determining how to respond to him. That was all but impossible.

So instead she just huffed at him and rolled her eyes. "Oh please. You know you're the only man I truly love," she teased as her mind panicked about what exactly she should reveal. Damn him. Sitting back in the sofa she casually took another sip of her champagne and determined she would give him the least romantic version of the story. He was teasing her but if she told him about the dancing, about the things Declan had said, she'd never hear the end of it. "I saw him at the opening of his London shop. Did you know he had a shop? It's brilliant actually, just around the corner too, the opposite direction of your flat. It's very high end, he makes custom perfumes, potions, and sells his family's jewels. And then the other day I popped over to Dublin and we had dinner. A nice little catch up. He's doing well."

Pyxis Abercrombie

A most undignified snort of amusement escaped the pompous pureblood as she teased him about his inflated sense of ego. "There is nothing wrong with being confident dear Cousin. Modesty is for the nobodies or those foolish enough to lower themselves to appease the egos of others." The comment was followed by a shrug before he brightened and offered with a wicked grin. "Besides, you talk as though Pierre hasn't tried getting me to model his line for the past five years." Pierre Allard was a French designer Pyxis had met several years back while touring Europe. Slightly older than the Abercrombie cousin's, he had become one of the more noteworthy Wizarding designers. His friendship with Pierre had also aided Pyxis with gaining access to social events during his work for the Unspeakable. Not that Pierre realised it was anything other than his aloof friendship trying to establish general connections.

Pyxis smirked at Farren as she commented on the nature of his job. If only she knew aspects of his job could be quite a bit more exciting than what he shared with her. But then what type of spy would he be if everyone knew about it? And Farren, as much as he loved her, was not exactly known for her ability to keep secrets. Instead of sharing these thoughts he simply shrugged as he took another sip of his champagne. "Ideally, I will find myself sitting on the International Confederation of Wizards one day and playing my part in ensuring the future of our world is headed in the direction we wish. Unfortunately, the old farts rarely allow anyone below the age of fifty to join them so I must content myself to lesser roles between now and then." Pyxis, like any good Slytherin, had long term ambitions, but unlike many of their peers he wasn't afraid to put in the work required to reach them. That and the fact while Farren's grandfather was content to allow Pyxis to work at the Ministry, as the younger man's goals coincided with his own; Pyxis was not high enough in the Abercrombie family hierarchy for Spencer to go out of his way to use connections to elevate him higher.

A low snort of amusement escaped the dark haired male as Ren referred to him as the only man she loved. "Farren, dear, please tell me you've never stated such sentiments in front of your mother. I fear I'll be handed an engagement ring in the morning and told to get to it" the words followed by a good natured chuckle and another sip of his champagne. His fingers tapped gently against the arm of Farren's furniture. Thankfully, for them both, the likelihood of such a thing happening was quite slim. Victoria Abercrombie was an ambitious woman who would only accept a match that would bring further prestige and riches to the Abercrombie family. She would never settle for a lesser branch of the family regardless of how charming she may have found Pyxis.

"You popped over to Dublin for Dinner...." He repeated softly with a flicker of amusement. He was certain that there was more to this tale than she had shared, but luckily for her he intended on keeping his promise to not use his skill in the mind arts against her. "I suppose I should visit the store sometime" he stated simply before dismissing the subject. His expression grew more serious as he topped up their glasses. "I had the most illuminating conversation with a mind healer. Tell me Farren... has your mother spoke recently of associating with this Lord Voldemort?"

Farren Abercrombie

Farren rolled her eyes. Pyxis loved the ego stroking of the French designer. He seemed less aware that the man had ulterior motives that were less than honorable. It was something Pyxis seemed happy to ignore for personal gratification. Pierre fawned over her as well, as did most prominent designers, so she was less than impressed with his affinity for Pyxis and annoyed by his obsession with flaunting it. Her cousin was extremely attractive and could get attention from anyone if he would allow it. Why he was so hung up on one fashion designer was baffling to her.

She downed her champagne as he boasted and then launched into his familiar life plan to join the Confederation. She had no doubt he could make it if he wanted, Ministry experience aside. "As if you need that boring job to get there," she scoffed before tilting her glass back. "Can't your mother's parents do something about it? Surely between them and asking a favor from Grandfather you could scrape together at least a seat on the Wizengamot and that would accelerate your career out of the dulldrums into something worthy of your charms?" Smirking she turned to him, her crystal flute resting lazily between her fingers, "Or you could see how modeling for Pierre boosts your international political ambitions."

"Of course I haven't said that in front of her. I can't admit that to her, she already prefers you over me most of the time." Scowling she glanced at his hand as he tapped her chair. It was true, they joked about it often, how enraptured her mother was with her cousin but it wasn't something she liked to dwell on. Pyxis was the golden boy her mother had never been able to birth. Obedient to his seniors within the family, decidedly political, and extremely likeable. Her mum saw him as the perfect pawn whereas she was the more flawed albeit larger jewel in the family crown.

Thankfully Pyxis was quick to move on from her mention of Declan. It was clear that he knew she was withholding details but he was nice enough to not press her. Of course there was more she could tell him but for now she wasn't quite ready to talk about her little secret. Instead he chose another difficult topic. Her mother and the new, shadowy, Lord Voldemort. She sighed, Pyxis knew her mother was extremely political. Of course he knew that her mother and Grandmother were familiar with Tom Riddle who was now fashioning himself as Lord Voldemort. It was a sensitive subject in their family. As political as they were there was a clear line in what was acceptable - violence was discouraged.

She had met Tom Riddle years ago now in Vienna. He had been touring Europe or some such thing and knowing her Grandmother had been invited to their townhouse for tea twice. Farren had found him odd, extremely odd, he spoke like a poet his voice smooth and soothing but there was something off. His countenance was so erie. She could never put her finger on it though. Years later his name had come up again not at the Abercrombie household but at the Rosier family table. The Rosiers had already aligned themselves politically with this Tom Riddle who had fashioned himself a new name.  Even her husband, Clive, who was a simple man more concerned with being the most famous quidditch player in the world than anything political had been caught up with his rise to prominence in the pureblood community. Though her father in law had never said the words exactly he had made it clear that Clive's death had in fact been related to this Tom Riddle man and his political movement. The story of flying off the coast and into an accident was entirely fabricated, a farce they'd agreed to, something Farren's influence in media as an Abercrombie was easy to keep as the only story on Clive's death.

"I try to avoid the topic with her but I am fairly sure she is already involved, Grandmother as well. Grandmother has known him for years. The Rosiers as well....you know that. Why? Is it causing a stir in the Ministry already?"