Rather surprisingly, Odhrán found himself getting ready for this year's Bannatyne Ball. He wasn't usually fond of such occasions, but now that his sister Aoibheann was recovering from her long illness, she had been determined attend. At thirty-two years old, she was quite old for a debutante, but stranger things had happened in society, he was sure. His paternal instincts had kicked in none the less; letting Aoibheann go by herself was out of question. She hadn't had much exposure to society and having her older brother along just in case was probably wise.
At first, Odhrán had tried to talk his sister out of wanting to go, but the more attempted to do so, the more he realised how desperately Aoibheann needed this. He supposed that her body had aged, but mentally she was still like a child. Years spent in an unresponsive state meant that her development hadn't progressed the way he ought to have. How could he be mad at a young woman dreaming about attending her first ball? Her time at school had been cut short, she had few friends; perhaps, this opportunity to socialise would change her life for the better.
Grudgingly, he'd agreed to make an occasion of it. They'd been to London together with their mother to pick out a pale lavender empire gown for Aoibheann and, after a near-argument, a set of brand-new dress robes for Odhrán himself. He'd opted for a blue that was near enough black, though the fabric had been enchanted to give a subtle shimmer once in a while. It reminded him of the night sky, and after his mother insisted that it looked flattering on him it was difficult to say no.
By the time he was ready to leave, Aoibheann was still applying make-up while one the house elves was trying to wrestle her long, straight hair into an elegant updo. They'd be late. Odhrán supposed that was good thing. They could slip in quietly, without drawing much attention. He wanted to think that they weren't important enough people to generate any gossip, but it was hard to tell such things in advance. Their family had made the news a little over a decade ago and the rumours about his father had been notoriously hard to quell. He supposed showing up with his sister healthy and eager to dance could help with putting some of it to rest. He was certainly tired of hearing the story of the Unspeakable - his father - who had somehow managed to curse his own daughter and had gone to Azkaban for it.
When they apparated in eventually, the dancing was already underway. A cousin twice removed, Eamonn Daly, was in attendance as well. The man was probably waxing lyrical about the latest ministry policies again if he could find anyone willing to listen. Odhrán was set on giving him as wide a berth as possible. Once Aoibheann had been set up with a dance card he had a plan of spending the evening in the Bannatyne's garden with a nice glass of red wine. Nearby if his sister needed him, but not quite close enough to make her feel awkward if she wanted to flirt with one of the gentlemen in attendance. Never had the two years that divided them felt like more of an abyss. He had to remind himself that he was only in his early thirties himself and that he should probably be dancing rather than acting like a concerned father. Alas, that bird had flown.
"I'll be right here if you need me," he reassured Aoibheann in a soothing tone. "Going to gab myself a drink and you have fun. And you know, if anything is amiss, just..." He didn't finish the sentence. He figured it was too strange a thing to say out loud in public. But his sister knew what he meant anyway. Think of me loudly and I will hear you. The many hours he had spent looking through her mind with legillimency had created a strange bond between them. Slipping into her mind was unlike anything he'd experienced with anyone else. It was easy and felt natural. He was certain he'd hear her if she called out to him. And with that thought in mind, he left her to it when he saw that Mr Vainwright was approaching them, presumably to ask Aoibheann for the next dance.
Glass in hand he settled on an elegant garden chair near some larkspur and hydrangea bushes. He had to admit that the scenery was beautiful. Bradford and Verity had clearly outdone themselves with the garden, or far more likely their gardener had. Hopefully the paid him well. Now what? He supposed he had a long, boring evening ahead of him.
Odhrán decided to light a smoke, entertaining himself with puffing out the smoke in the shape of a little dragon. A party trick he had learned at school, but there wasn't anybody around he could perform it for.