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Eric Silvershore

Magisch Verbond
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Eric Silvershore last won the day on January 11

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About Eric Silvershore

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    Aan elke kust zit een zilveren randje.

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    Getting blackmailed by the Russians before it was cool
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    An in-depth analysis of the law from both sides

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  1. En toen was Zaira boos. Welnu, het zat erin. Scott zou als het aan hem had gelegen in de nacht verdwenen zijn, zijn geliefde met de gebakken peren achterlatend, en hoewel je daar nog best iets lekkers mee kon met geitenkaas (meende Eric zich te herinneren van een zonnige dag met Felicia in Frankrijk voordat ze daar waren neergeschoten) zou het hier moeilijk zijn geworden voor Zaira om een zilveren randje te ontdekken. Dus mocht hij ‘doen wat hij nodig achtte’ en leek zij alweer gereed om te gaan. Desondanks vermoedde hij dat ze het hem niet in dank af zou nemen als hij Scott liet gaan, de vlugge route direct het raam uit en op de plavuizen. Tenminste, niet als ze een beetje was afgekoeld. En eerlijk was eerlijk, zo hoognodig was dat eigenlijk ook niet. Wat er wel nodig was... wat was er wel nodig? Eric humde, gebaarde, en liet zijn voormalige professor zachtjes op het vloerkleed ploffen - met z’n neus eerst, dat dan weer wel. Dat was ronduit nodig. “Ik was ervan uitgegaan dat deze situatie zich nimmer zou voordoen, professor,” sprak hij koeltjes. “Dus u zult me vergeven dat ik u niet direct op uw woord geloof.” De grote Scott Evergreen die het balkon van een Silvershore thuisbasis opklauterde... Eric had de man toch verstandiger ingeschat. Oh, er was niets duidelijk van hoe zwaar Scott nu in de problemen zat, dat was allemaal niet publiek, maar het was altijd wel duidelijk dat het geen familie was om mee te spotten. Hij moest Zaira wel erg leuk vinden. En dat was zorgwekkend. Hij ging op het voeteneinde van het bed zitten. Als hij stond, kwam hij te imponerend over en hij wilde dat nu juist niet meer, want als mensen bang voor je waren dan luisterden ze alleen naar je bevelen en dachten ze niet echt mee. “Zaira...” Hij klopte naast zich. “Een momentje. Als je wil dat ik hem het raam uitgooi, gooi ik hem het raam uit. Maar dat is dan definitief. Dit kan niet weer gebeuren. Jullie zijn niet zo subtiel als jullie graag zouden willen zijn. Mijn moeder maakte zich er al zorgen over.” En wat zijn moeder wist, wist zijn vader, en wat Zaira dacht, daar kon zijn vader ook zo bij, maar dat ging Scott Evergreen geen moer aan en daar ging hij niet over uitweiden. “Dit is zo onvoorzichtig. Vader..” Hij humde, zocht naar woorden. “Neemt zoiets heel serieus.” Moordcomplot-levels serieus, vraag maar aan zijn neefjes. Zijn glimlach verwrong iets. “En ik ben me welbewust van de ironie, maar...” Dat neemt niets weg van het feit dat je hier ongelooflijk je vingers aan zou kunnen branden. “Ik zal mijn mond houden. Een smoes verzinnen.” Want het alarm registreerde ook bij Thomas, hoor. Die vertrouwde niemand, namelijk. “Maar als je hem ooit nog wil zien, dan zullen jullie je maar moeten verloven. En spoedig trouwen.” Hij trok een gezicht. “Ik zal dan... mijn best doen... vader te overtuigen van dat idee.” Dit gesprek had overigens niets met Scott te maken. Die zocht het maar uit in zijn hoekje van de kamer.
  2. [1837/1838] Shell & Bone

    Ah, wat een treurig troepje. Eric was zich er acuut van bewust dat het leed van Felicia’s vrienden voor een heel groot deel voor zijn rekening kwam – hij was de reden dat ze haar dood in scene hadden gezet, althans ten dele, al zou het ook als hij haar had helpen vluchten wel voor de hand liggend zijn geweest, anders zouden er heel veel problemen zijn geweest aan zijn adres omdat zijn vader een dergelijk verzaken van zijn plichten en negeren van diens bevelen natuurlijk niet licht had kunnen laten gaan, maar enfin, dan zou het dus nog steeds aan hem gelegen hebben – en dat hij, de aanstichter van het euvel, de enige was voor wie het resoluut niet even pijnlijk of problematisch was, omdat hij Felicia had kunnen houden, omdat ze voor hem in leven was gebleven, omdat hij haar vanavond wanneer alle anderen weg waren in zijn armen zou kunnen sluiten en zichzelf er van kunnen verzekeren dat ze nog bestond, en dat ze nooit meer weg zou hoeven... Hij was er technisch gezien op vooruit gegaan. Ja ja. Het leven was oneerlijk. Hij droeg daar doorgaans wel zorg voor. Ze had het er niet met hem over gehad, wie ze zou missen, wat dat zou betekenen. Ze waren allebei niet zo van het uitgebreid delen, (ha, understatement van het jaar) en in dit geval zouden ze het allebei futiel hebben gedacht, want het was niet alsof er een andere optie voor hen openstond. Maar hij wist het wel, want hij had zich toen ze haar in de familie opnamen uitgebreid op de hoogte gesteld van haar sociale cirkel, en daarenboven kende hij haar tegenwoordig beter dan ooit, na hun occlumentielessen waar ze elke twee dagen wel tijd voor probeerden te nemen tussen Lissa en Eric’s dingen door. Het was zo, zo belangrijk dat ze dat snel goed onder de knie zou hebben. Enfin... Vanavond zou hij haar troosten. Snel al zou hij haar hier weg kunnen halen, onder het mom van haar vermoeidheid. En dan zou het net iets beter zijn. Hij bedankte Evangeline Lennox beleefd voor haar condoleances – voor haar moest dit wel heel dubbel zijn, de lijn met Daniella Adler althans -, glimlachte kalm naar Felicia’s ex zonder ook maar een spoortje van tevredenheid. Luisterde ondertussen met een half oor naar Zaira en Keane; Keane leek daadwerkelijk alweer afgeleid. Dat had Felicia goed ingeschat. “Absoluut,” was hij het met Evangeline eens, want met de rest was praten alweer nutteloos. “Zou u misschien even willen zitten, jongeheer Everett? U kunt wel even van de familiekamer gebruik maken, daar...” Hij knikte naar de deur. “Er is een bank. En veel thee."
  3. [1837/1838] Shell & Bone

    15+ ish misschien? Ik weet niet. Grensgevalletje. Dit was de tweede keer in een relatief korte tijdspanne dat Eric Felicia meenam naar een begrafenis. Net als destijds was het het dichtstbijzijnde bij een date waar ze in een tijdje waren gekomen: tenminste, als je dat definieerde als ‘in publiek samen en daarna samen naar huis’. En alsof dat nog niet erg genoeg was was de eerst voor haar moeder geweest en deze voor haarzelf. De tekenen aan de wand dat dit geen reguliere relatie was waren nogal opdringerig op dit punt. Al was dat alleen voor hen tweeën zo ostentatief duidelijk. Voor iedereen anders leek dit een heel reguliere relatie inmiddels. Die tussen echtgenoten: de meest reguliere relatie die er bestond. En ja, ook voor Eric was het wennen. Als hij zijn gedachten af liet dwalen, was het net alsof hij hier zat met Vasilisa, kon hij eigenlijk al wachten op de eerste snibbige opmerking van haar kant, die keurige, verveelde oogopslag die Felicia tot in de puntjes beheerste. Was het net alsof hij hier echt zat bij de begrafenis van het meisje waarvan hij zoveel en zo geheim had gehouden, en in zekere zin was dat natuurlijk ook zo. ‘Felicia’ was dood. Zij zou niet meer bestaan. Niet meer naar de universiteit gaan, niet meer naar de feesten van haar foute vrienden die hier nog in ruime aantallen aanwezig waren, en nooit ouder worden dan die veel te jonge negentien jaren. En hij rouwde erom dat hij het voor haar niet beter had kunnen doen dan dit. Vasilisa was ook negentien geweest toen ze zich verloofden. En bij haar rouwde hij eigenlijk, in de diepste stilte van zijn donkere hart, om hetzelfde. Hij had nooit van haar gehouden, had zelfs een hekel aan haar gehad, en het feit dat zij hetzelfde had gevoeld was haar doodsoorzaak geweest evenveel als het vergif van zijn vader... maar hij had beter voor haar gewenst, was haar meer verplicht geweest, dan dit. En op een vreemde manier deed dat toch heel onwezenlijk pijn. Hem meer dan haar. Zij had niet geleden. Hij had gewacht tot Felicia klaar was, toen gewacht tot Vasilisa sliep, en toen had hij haar langzaam laten overgaan in een permanentere slaap, zonder dat ze ooit had geweten wat ze zichzelf had aangedaan, zonder dat ze ooit had gevreesd voor wat er komen ging. Het was makkelijker geweest om haar Wisseldrank te voeren en haar ziek te laten worden zodat er een Heler alles netjes volgens het boekje op had kunnen schrijven en ‘Felicia’s’ ziekte gedocumenteerd was voor de ogen van de wereld... maar het was het enige wat hij nog voor haar had kunnen doen, haar die pijn te besparen, en hij had het gedaan. Een risico was het nauwelijks geweest: gewoon meer moeite. Uiteindelijk was alles precies zo verlopen als moest. En Lissa lag in de kelder in een coma, voor Wisseldrank en transfiguratie inspiratie, Felicia zat naast hem als zijn net zwangere vrouw en het lijk in de kist... Ja, tja. Hij had niemand extra hoeven te doden en laten we het daar maar op houden. “Haar vrienden gaven ook altijd hoog over haar op,” knikte hij naar ‘Lissa’, zijn toon afstandelijk zoals die bij zijn vrouw eigenlijk immer was geweest en bij Felicia welhaast nooit, niet sinds die eerste dagen met haar. Het was waar: Felicia’s vrienden waren altijd uitzonderlijk loyaal geweest, tot op het punt dat een paar zich met haar hadden laten arresteren. Het was ook deels onwaar: Daniella Adler had haar toch maar mooi een gevangenis ingepraat. Maar enfin. Bygones. “Ah, Lord Radnor - dank u, het is inderdaad een triest verlies.” De jongen zag er een stuk slechter uit dan hij. Niet omdat Eric wist dat Felicia leefde, overigens, maar omdat Erics reactie afgemeten was: hij zag bleek, leek stil verdrietig, had daarvoor gekozen omdat hij hecht met Felicia was geweest voor het oog van de wereld maar niemand wist hoe hecht, en omdat hij graag een kalme reputatie behield. “U kende mijn vrouw al, nietwaar? Zij kent de uwe,” voor het geval Felicia zich nu heel netjes zou gaan voorstellen, wat ze vast niet deed maar beter het zekere voor het onzekere. “En och, onverwacht, ik kan me voorstellen dat dat er zo uitzag. Het was absoluut snel, en ze was zo jong nog. Maar ze is nooit geheel hersteld van Azkaban, ben ik bang. Haar gezondheid was zo drastisch achteruit gegaan daar...” Hij zuchtte. “Zo tragisch, en dat nog op de basis van een ongefundeerde aanklacht, ook. Allemaal te vermijden.” Hij speelde nog met de gedachte om toch nog een rechtszaak te beginnen, maar wist nog niet of het z’n vaders nieuwe bod op het ministerschap zou bevorderen. “Lord Radnor was Felicia nog wezen opzoeken in de gevangenis destijds,” vertelde hij ‘Lissa’ terloops. “Uw steun moet veel voor haar betekend hebben.”
  4. Ja, toegegeven, Eric had ook wel erger meegemaakt dan dit, dan zijn halfzuster in bed vinden met zijn oude (in beide betekenissen van het woord, sorry not sorry Scottie,) afdelingshoofd, maar hij testte over het algemeen niet aan alleen maar dingen of hij ze al wel of nog niet erger had meegemaakt. Als een redelijk rationele seriemoordenaar, een mogelijk ‘consciëntieuze’ moordenaar zelfs en een Silvershore, had hij namelijk over het algemeen altijd hetzelfde antwoord op die vraag: yep. Hij had ergere dingen meegemaakt. Er bestonden ergere dingen op de wereld. Dat maakte wat er hier gebeurde nog niet goed. Of liever, want het maakte hem wel slecht in staat tot oordelen over goed en kwaad en daarvan was hij zich welbewust: het simpele feit dat er ergere dingen konden bestaan, maakte dit nog niet niet problematisch. Dat was het namelijk absoluut. En voor Eric misschien niet per se of niet zo... hij kon moeilijk iets zeggen over andermans affaire, al kon hij met genoegen heel veel zeggen over andermans affaire waar hij zo gemakkelijk op binnen kon lopen, serieus, Zaira, subtiel was anders... maar voor zijn vader zou het ongelooflijk uitmaken. Wat hypocriet was want Zaira was een bastaard. Maar zo gingen die dingen nu eenmaal. En Zaira was een meisje en dat maakte ook verschil. Mannen mochten meer. Sorry, zus. Hij wachtte op het balkon, handen in zijn zakken, ogen op de straat beneden, en telde af, de kansen wegend, totdat, naar zijn volledige tevredenheid en verwachting, hij wederom een knal hoorde. Hij had niet geluisterd, al had het wel gekund: ook hij vond dit beschamend genoeg zonder op alle details in te willen gaan maar voornamelijk was het niet nodig geweest in zijn inschatting, want wat voor nieuws kon hij nu leren? Die twee hadden toch niet echt een strategische discussie in gedachten gehad. Of een discussie. Of gedachten. Maar goed... hij had ook het vermoeden gehad dat hij wel kon wachten tot er iets gebeurde. En dat deed het. Hij rolde met zijn ogen en liep terug naar binnen. “Wel, dat ging goed, professor,” sprak hij koeltjes. “Echt een held heb je te pakken, Zaira.” En dat voor het afdelingshoofd van Griffoendor, Eric voelde daadwerkelijk een steekje van geraakte afdelingstrots... of eer. Wat bizar om daar nu nog mee te kunnen zitten. “Dan spreken we zo maar verder. Waar zijn jullie mee bezig? Zaira, waarom riskeer je dit voor iemand die nu al weg wil rennen?”
  5. Ja ja, Eric kwam weer eens de boel verstoren. Binnen Romeo en Juliet paste een sarcastische broer misschien niet helemaal – althans, Eric zou met de beste wil van de wereld geen karakter kunnen identificeren wat zijn rol vervulde – maar in alle andere wereldse clichés vond hij zichzelf althans prima passen. Oudere broers hoorden ongeveer te reageren op hun zusje in bed vinden met een man op de manier waarop hij het deed. Zij het misschien mogelijk ietsje minder efficient. Och, aan de andere kant, zo’n moeilijke spreuk was dit niet en het was niet alsof Scott Evergreen echt in een positie was geweest of de mentale capaciteit had gehad om zich te verweren. Goed beschouwd, als Zaira er zo bij liep, had waarschijnlijk geen enkele hetero man die geen DNA met haar deelde de mentale capaciteit om zich te verweren. Niet in eerste instantie althans. Ja, misschien was het een uitvloeisel van de veel latere kennismaking dan normaal, maar Eric kon heus wel herkennen dat zijn zusje ontzettend knap was. Hij nam aan dat je dat minder op zou vallen als je iemand al had leren kennen sinds ze de wereld inkwam en voordat ze kon lopen. Maar hij zou het niet weten, natuurlijk. “Vanzelfsprekend,” sprak hij stijfjes, en hij liet Scott met een vaartje weer terug vallen – op het bed, ja, maar niet afgeremd verder. “Mijn verontschuldigingen, in mijn verbazing heb ik mij wellicht ietwat haastig uitgelaten. Desondanks bent u minstens twee keer zo oud als mijn zusje, dus de feiten zijn misschien niet geheel bezijden mijn uitspraak zelfs al zou de diplomatie die niet hebben geëxcuseerd.” Hij trok zijn neus op. “En prima. Ik wacht wel op het balkon. Eens kijken hoe het met de muur zit.” Hij beende erheen. “Alleen aankleden. Geloof me, jullie hebben geen tijd voor verdere fratsen.”
  6. Nou niet allemaal beginnen met preken over het slechte beveiligingssysteem van de Silvershores, dat een binnendringer zomaar een kamer van een van hun meest waardevolle bezittingen (aka een erfgenaam, soort van althans) binnen zou kunnen sluipen en daar de jongedame in kwestie naar het bed krijgen. Toen Scott had gedacht dat het allemaal reuze meeviel en dat hij iets ergers had verwacht had hij namelijk niet eens een beetje ongelijk gehad. Gemene vallen waren nu eenmaal een familietrekje, net als paranoia en goed voorbereid zijn (vallen waren daarvan een uitwerking in feite). Het viel niet mee, het was erger, en Evergreen was een sukkel dat hij dat niet had doorzien, of liever, wel had doorzien maar had genegeerd in plaats van zich erdoor tot verstandiger levenskeuzes te laten motiveren. Dat, of Zaira was gewoon erg knap en onweerstaanbaar. Dat was op zich ook een familietrekje. Psah. Enfin, er was dus inderdaad een stil alarm afgegaan toen Scott de muur op klom, maar aangezien Eric op dat moment bezig was geweest met een muur op klimmen op zijn beurt was hij niet direct in een positie geweest om te reageren; de documenten waarop hij aasde zouden ongetwijfeld rap naar een nieuwe locatie worden verhuisd wanneer er hierbuiten tekenen waren van magie. Derhalve moest hij eerst weer onvoldaner zaken naar beneden klauteren... of hij kon heel snel afmaken waar hij mee bezig was. Hij deed het laatste. Niet omdat hij gewoon roekeloos was, niet eens omdat hij niet wist dat Zaira thuis was danwel het hem niets kon schelen, maar omdat hij op de hoogte was van de andere beveiligingen op het huis: op de hoogte van het feit dat je erin kon maar niet meer uit, dat de kamer die je betrad je luxe gevangenis werd daarna, dat zodra de indringer aanvallende magie gebruikte ze tegen het plafond geplakt zouden worden, en dat de echt waardevolle plekken – kantoren van Eric en zijn vader – sowieso onmogelijk waren om binnen te komen van de buitenkant af. Allemaal onder het mom van advocaatsgeheim, overigens. Niet eens verdacht. Hij kwam daarom gehaast maar niet overdreven bezorgd naar huis, haastte zich naar Zaira’s kamer, toverstok gereed – En vervolgens plakte hij Scott alsnog aan het plafond, want... Instinctieve reactie, okay, dat was zijn zusje. For better or worse. “Professor. Wat...” Hij keek perplex naar Zaira. “Is ie niet een beetje oud voor je?”
  7. [1836/1837][EN] Open up the sky

    It did make perfect sense. And yes, he too had considered faking it - not in the way she had in mind, but merely faking a pregnancy and then faking its premature termination - but indeed, that would be another lie they would have to cover for, another medical professional they would have to involve or otherwise bamboozle, and lies, especially the ones that mattered, should always be as succinct and simple as possible. No loose ends. Eric hated loose ends. It was probably a side effect of being the person who usually had to deal with them. The way to deal with loose ends was one he would always prefer to avoid. Moreover, as he well knew, for so long as they continued in this life and this ostensibly perfect marriage, children would be expected of them eventually, and anything until then would be undue procrastination - a lot of risk for a very low reward. Her alternative, faking a pregnancy and getting another baby, would solve that, but it would have more loose ends, and... and he didn’t see the point. It wasn’t the genetical makeup of a child that would worry him. It was everything else. Of course, he would not be the one getting pregnant, so the yield ratio on that plan was understandably slightly different for him than for Felicia. He hadn’t even considered it. And he might not be amenable to it. In this, perhaps, he was still traditional. He nodded. “I understand.” Oh, believe him, he understood completely, or as completely as anyone could ever presume to understand Felicia. He understood because he knew about her mother, more about her mother than anyone else, understood to the extent that he had deemed it prudent to kill her in her sleep in Azkaban because otherwise he could not have guaranteed that Felicia would not have come to harm in there. And he understood because of how he felt about his father. His father, who unquestionably loved him, and to whom he was loyal and loved in turn. But also... not the exactly uncontroversial father figure or example that would have been ideal in this situation. Growing up as his son had been wildly different than Felicia’s experience, he had been loved, he had been valued. But value, in the Silvershore family, was always two-sided: value as an asset meant risk as an enemy. And value as an heir meant risks for the family name. And love and loyalty were and would always be conditional. That had always been so and yet it had never really worked that way for Eric... Which had not, for the most part, been a good thing. Because unconditional love and loyalty were liabilities plain and simple. He nodded again, pressed kisses on her hands. “I will stop you. I promise. We’ll... Keep an eye on each other.” He smiled. “Look, I realise how much of a mess this is. But I just want it on the record... there’s no one I’d rather do any of these things with than with you. And I truly will always try to keep you safe and happy.”
  8. [1836/1837][EN] Open up the sky

    He’d noticed her hand on his, and he appreciated it, more than he thought he would be able to. In some way, Eric could never be comfortable with consolation, for receiving it meant that he had exposed his need for it, that he had shown himself vulnerable in one way or another and that was not something a Silvershore could ever bear. And at the present time, it should have been worse rather than better, because with Felicia he didn’t want to be the one that needed support. She had just spent months in Azkaban. She had the hardest life of anyone he knew. He wasn’t exactly a rich kid playing at the spy business, but, in comparison.... he certainly, between the two of them, was not the one whose pain most required moderation. Nevertheless, he registered her touch and he did not pull back, nor was that just because he did not wish to cause offence or hurt her more because he was unwilling to allow her kind gesture. It also legitimately made him feel just that little bit better to know that she was here, that she believed him and that despite what had happened with Lissa she still felt he was worth a hand on his. Of course, the very next moment he was holding her hand again and he really couldn’t blame her. He could blame himself, a bit. Presumably, there had been a better way to pose that question. On the other hand, even had he put it better, he did not think it would have mattered much, because for Felicia he was pretty sure the shock was in his words rather than his manner. “I don’t,” he admitted, shaking his head half-heartedly and in the meantime being impressed despite all else with her level of perception, for this was a secret he guarded extremely jealously. Whether or not you wanted children, as a Silvershore, was somewhat of a moot point, after all. You had to have them - he had to have them - he was the heir to the family name and fortune and as such the production of another heir was simply part of the job description. As such, though he had never wanted kids, he had also never felt that that was useful to admit. In fact, it was dangerous. It would make him sound rebellious again, and that sort of thing was best to avoid. It would also probably incline his father to interfere. Once again, on the whole, that was best to avoid. Best to postpone until no longer plausible and then just to get on with it. Or until the opportune moment. Which was now. He smiled unhappily. “Because it will be the automatic explanation for every single small change anyone will be able to perceive in ‘Lissa’.” Women did change during pregnancy, it could change your personality somewhat, your choices also, and especially in the Silvershore family that would be easily taken as such, because they were sexist enough to look no further. Always use people’s blind spots against them when you could. “Moreover, it will make my... family... happy, and it means they won’t start... looking closely in the future, either.” First of all, his father would not invade the mind of a pregnant woman, giving him nine (all right, eight) months extra to teach Felicia Occlumency to a sufficient degree to keep him out. And secondly, if they didn’t have kids now, at some junction in the future they would get questions about it. He’d already toed that line with Lissa, actually, they had been married for a couple of years now and he knew there had been expectations. It helped that he was young, that she was younger, that had given them some room but it wouldn’t last. He was glad, now, though. That they didn’t have kids together. This was already bad enough. ”We’ll get a nanny, of course. House elves. It won’t be an undue burden on your time. But I do feel that it would be a good move.”
  9. [1836/1837][EN] Open up the sky

    Eric made a face: or rather, this being Eric, and Eric being not the kind of guy to overshare, his mouth and eyes were lightly touched by the shadow of an expression, and it wasn’t a very happy one. “Well… She does, apparently.” For a split second he wondered if Felicia didn’t believe him – not because of how she’d reacted but because he’d have found this such a difficult story to believe, himself, because it was so convenient, because he wasn’t that much of an amateur, because, indeed, who did a thing like this? And he thought that it was somewhat strange, wasn’t it, that telling her more might make her feel as though she could trust him less. In all the stories and sayings, it was rather supposed to be the other way around. Perhaps he was doing it wrong. Perhaps someone who’d learnt trust could only come from a removal of information asymmetry through a peering through one’s mind, and who had subsequently been forced to ensure that even the information one found there was not reliable, was not the easiest person to open himself up. She was immediately up for the job, though. He nodded. “Yes, three months or thereabouts.” He could be more specific – he knew David’s wedding day to the dot, of course, he’d been considering this for weeks now – but there seemed little need to. “And, Polyjuice Potion. I’d planned to kick in the poison process a little early, a week, a couple of days. If she actually starts to die I don’t think I can stop it, but if I already bring her under I can keep her alive, in a magical stasis where it leaves her intact.” He said it quite casually. He had thought it out. There was no alternative. He was hurting, but it didn’t matter at all. He didn’t even know why it was hurting… he assumed that it would fade. “I think we ought to switch to Transfigurations eventually. Seth’ll help us – oh yes, he’ll also tutor you if you want…” Because she could never go back to university. Sorry, sweetheart. Say byebye to your hopes and dreams and instead start living a double life not exactly married to me! “But for now, Polyjuice is easiest, there’s less of a margin for error and you’ll look exactly like her instead of very close to her. And I’m going to need to teach you Occlumency – my father has never read Lissa’s mind, but you never know, it’s best to be prepared.” He bit his lip, kissed her forehead. “And, incidentally, how would you feel about getting pregnant?”
  10. [1836/1837][EN] Open up the sky

    She agreed far too quickly, certainly well before his words and their massive implications would have had any proper time to sink in. However, he did not need to press her to think again, because she got around to it herself and he waited quietly, sipping his wine, playing with the fingers on her hand that at present was just a little too thin. Soon, if she went through with this, she would be wearing Lissa’s wedding band on that finger, and in public her hands would take on another shape: they were slightly different, a bit longer and infinitely more polished, for Felicia’s, though she kept them perfectly clean, betrayed a little bit about her personality: the functionally short nails, the slight but perceptible strength in each individual digit. These were the hands of someone who had a good deal of uses for them. One of which was presumably the picking of locks. He loved her hands... he was going to miss them. It was stupid. The person she was wouldn’t change. But it would fundamentally alter the way she would be perceived. The instinctual attraction. Which to Lissa he had never felt. All the little things he loved about the way she looked, the way she moved... he felt, despite himself that that was something to regret. But there was nothing for it. And, fundamental though he’d perceive the change, it would be a great deal more bewildering for her. And those were just feelings. Emotional difficulties with that which was to come. The practicalities, the stuff that really mattered, the issues that were going to make or wreck this mission, what they needed for its success... those were going to be abundant and very challenging to manage. He had considered many, he’d had time to think it through, but he was sure there would be more surprises along the way, because you always assumed that there would be, you always assumed that everything that could go wrong would absolutely do so. It was too important to take a chance on being an optimist. They would make a plan, they would allow for contingencies, and still it would be hard and still it was anything but guaranteed to work. They were solidly incentivized, though. If this went wrong, virtually the only way they would both survive was if his father would find a quick death too easy. Not really something to aspire to. She confirmed again her intention of joining him for this, and this time he felt that he could justify to himself to be happy with her reply. Because the weight of the words was clear behind them and because in all of this, she seemed happy, too... happy, because he had in a way asked her to spend their life together, and in a way, she had confirmed. In the only way available to them. “Err,” he said with a shrug. “She drank it during a fight, because it was important to me. Ironically, I think she just did it to piss me off.” He smiled somewhat bitterly. This still hurt. The fact that he hadn’t seen it coming, that he hadn’t been quick enough to prevent it. But it had turned out quite nicely. “We do not have what one would term a conventionally happy marriage.” She had presumably come to that conclusion, but he felt it incumbent to reaffirm. They rarely discussed Lissa much. She was wantonly uninteresting. “She does not know.” Because she would be useless and dangerous from the moment she did. “I let her stay with her family for a while, though.” The ones she’d never see again. Yeah, he felt bad. “Anyway... I thought you could stay here to recover. Get to know her.” He grinned half sincerely. “I’ve never really gotten around to that so it’ll be interesting to see what you find out.”
  11. [1836/1837][EN] Open up the sky

    No, it wasn't just his job. Getting her out had been his job. His father would not have approved of their semi-adopted young acquaintance or at least the girl that was presently their responsibility more than anyone else's languishing in prison for a crime, much less for one against an Ingram, which was a messy family with whom it did not do to be associated. It was not that he cared about her, about how she must feel as an innocent in Azkaban, about how her life was wasting away along with her happiness: but he had forged an alliance with her, chosen to employ her as an asset, and as such she had to remain beyond scrutiny. It would not do to suggest that the Silvershores could not properly ensure the behaviour of those they too under their wing: nor would it be allowed to be said that they gave up on their charitable instincts the minute it got a little hard. Ensuring Felicia's effective defence, then, had been Eric's job. And if he had done it with a little bit more commitment, a tad more dedication, a fervent and full-time application to the cause... well... that just meant he had done his job very well, as far as his father was concerned. And their name was saved. And Felicia was left to die another day. At his hand, and at his father's instructions. Just another job. Which was where it ended. Because Felicia was wrong. He had already chosen. And he was sticking with that choice every single day. He sighed, sipped his wine, let his eyes take in her features, trying to see if she truly was okay and up for it, to hear this news, to hear what had been going on and what he had been working on, while simultaneously wondering if he was up for telling her. It was an odd question to ponder. He never much considered whether or not he was ready for something. Neither did anyone else, ever. The point was that you simply had to be. And that went for him and her. He had to be ready. He had to do this. And he shouldn't even be finding it so hard... but it was. For though he respected her, wanted to tell her, wanted to... to work with her instead of for her, wanted to keep all that closeness that they had so unwisely forged over the past years and that as far as he was concerned at least had increased rather than diminished as she had been in Azkaban, him visiting her every three days just to hold her in his arms... He was a Silvershore. And as such, he wasn't good at sharing. Even if he had been, this would have been a hard story to start. “We need to talk about what's next,” he began, reminding himself that an introductory sentence might be helpful, then immediately ruining it as he continued. “My father asked me to kill you.” He hummed softly, pulled her against him. “As a punishment for David's escapades. The running away.” He had another sip of wine. “He provided the poison. It would result in your death on the anniversary of David's wedding day. I was going to study it, so I could mimic the results, and help you out of the country. It's what I was working on when you went to Azkaban. Well, most of the past half a year, actually.” He drew a deep breath. “But Lissa drank it. So... come summer, I'll have a vacancy.”
  12. [1836/1837][EN] Open up the sky

    It had all worked out roughly as planned. His constant veiled threatening of Valentine Ingrams life, along with that of his beloved, together with the final coup de grace had worked their wonders, had convinced the young man that indeed Eric Silvershore was not someone to spite and that to get back on his good side was something worth aspiring to. Well before the set deadline, the prosecutor in charge of the case had contacted him, in his capacity as Felicia's lawyer, to talk deal; and a seriously lower charge than she would have faced before. Eric, of course, had not been tempted. Knowing what was going on, even offering a deal was despicable, just a way to ensure a conviction for the murder of Roxana Ingram because they had no other suspects - he had not asked Valentine to provide one. It was better if that did not come from him. It was too suspicious by far, why he had not come forward before. So, anyway, he'd declined the deal and put in a little call to an Auror friend with a suggestion of some evidence he'd come into possessing which implicated the crazy Georgiana in the death of her daughter instead. The Auror had been more than willing to come take a look. And before you knew it, Felicia was out, and everybody at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement was crossing their fingers and toes that Eric wouldn't sue them for malicious prosecution of someone whose only misfortune was that her parents had tried to blow up the Minister for Magic. He hadn't let them off the hook, yet. He might need another favour. And anyway, until he did, the story looked good in the papers: it was important to clear Felicia's name. Because her name was connected to the Silvershores. He smiled, watching her as she stood in the doorway breathing in the fresh air - or so he assumed - then went inside, upstairs to his office, and proceeded to pour them both a drink of wine. Vasilisa was out shopping, but still, his office felt preferable right now. The house elf had set out some salad, soup, sandwiches: the creature was utterly reliable, had been with Eric all his life, and seemed to have decided that the remedy for having spent two months in a dreadful prison with all your worst memories floating around your head was about the same as that which ought follow a nasty bout of the flu. It sounded odd, perhaps, ludicrous, but Eric actually didn't think he was all that far off. There was nothing physically the matter with Felicia, nothing but exhaustion, lack of sleep and proper food, and subsequent depletion of her energy: and there was no other way to improve upon that than to take it easy and seek to restore the both. He hoped she would get better: knew that she would improve at least a lot if not completely. He also knew that it didn't matter. Whether or not she got better, he would be there for her. He always would be. “Don't mention it,” he murmured, squeezing her hand, then sitting down on the couch he'd dragged in here one of those Sasha nights, and pulling him with her. “It's my job - you know that.” He hummed. “To a certain extent. You should eat something. And get some rest - your room is next door if you’d prefer. When you feel better, though... we need to talk.”
  13. [1836/1837][EN] Could I pick your brain again?

    For the record, Seth, and a record you could scrutinise any time you so chose for that matter, Eric genuinely cared. It had surprised him too: but the fact of the matter was that he liked his cousin. He respected his quick mind and could not but approve of his curiosity. He also felt bad for him. It would be hard not to, because having practiced Occlumency with him extensively over the past months, he knew much of his thoughts, and he knew much of his pain, his memories. It gave a whole new meaning to the definition of ‘sympathising’, that was for certain. It was not exactly conducive to objectively maintaining one’s distance. And Eric had more experience with that than some, but with Seth, he hadn’t really been trying. Occasionally, for your friends, you owed it to them to feel. And to watch. And so he’d watched him clamber upwards, watched him falling back down again, watched as one pain was easily traded for the next… and he’d been there, even if occasionally it was just to sit together and be quiet. And now he was there to slowly start back up. And Seth might now legitimately be less of a mess than he was. That was a turn up for the books. “Oh, the vortex?” he asked casually, pouring them both another cup of tea – strictly no alcohol here, of course, and Eric no longer missed it, actually – and having a slow sip as his mind settled. “It’s a little trick I used to play on my brother. It’s not exactly subtle, but it is effective – had I wanted to, I could have had you retire with a migraine.” Worked especially well on a hangover, too. “In a lesser form, you can use it to make sure none of your thoughts crystallise exactly, akin to stopping the intruder from gaining a handhold. I can show that, if you want. The sensation’s much more… eerie.” He smiled. “What’s the memory you lost me on?”
  14. [1836/1837][EN] In my head I do everything right

    He kept his arm round her, mirrored her as she sipped her wine - it was a good one, of course, and he wondered if she’d consciously picked one he often chose or if it was just one she knew because he often chose it. “I may not be the very best person to ask whether you’re interesting,” he said, with a small smile. To be sure, interesting barely captured the appeal he ascribed to Felicia these days, but he supposed an interest was where it had started: she had been fascinating, courageous and unpredictable. He took another sip. “But people aren’t always more curious about more objectively interesting things. Human interest, I think it’s called, but you’d have to ask someone in the business to set out what exactly it meant again.” He smirked. He had done an internship with the Prophet - his own idea and not necessarily because he had been into writing all that much (because he wasn’t, hadn’t been not even then) but mostly because there was such a fine line between reporter and spy that at times the distinction really did not matter anymore. It had been an interesting time. And few of the things he’d found most important had made it into the paper. They’d provided some excellent business opportunities, though. His dad had been pleased. He didn’t tell Felicia about that, though, because there were more important, or more interesting things to discuss than his youthful years of exuberance and espionage. He ran his hand through her hair, over her back, and nodded. “Look... you are quite decidedly none of these things,” he told her quietly. “It’s just Azkaban, just the energy of that place, those damn Dementors.” He stared at his wine, played with her fingers, then met her gaze. “And it’s just for now. You will never have to go there again.” Of this he was certain, more certain than he’d ever been. Oh, he could always have attempted to ensure it, and would have done so, but now it was virtually guaranteed. Felicia did not yet know it, but her sleuthing days were basically over. He bit his lip. “But if you want to leave... now... I can hide you until we can get you to the United States.” He pressed a kiss on her cheek, smiled somewhat wanly. “For what it’s worth, I hope you stay... but I cannot ask of you what that would require.”
  15. [1836/1837][EN] In my head I do everything right

    Eric chuckled. “Pretty sure you’ve seen me do few things I’m supposed to do, dear.” At least in private, at least when they were ‘they’ and not ‘him and her’. And he didn’t mind leaving her with his wand. Was that because he trusted her more than she trusted him? No, not really. That was no reflection on her, it was merely a reflection on him: he would not be alive right now if he had trusted easily. But first of all, he could do quite a lot of magic without a wand – one of the benefits of weekly duelling sessions with his top notch colleagues from the Auror department – and secondly… well, maybe he did trust her a little. Or maybe he wanted to trust her, in any case. Wanted to take that leap of faith and if he had to, then he would do so with her. He was tired of always being on his guard. Actually, he was just really tired right now, but those were details he didn’t want to go into. “Yes, he was,” he admitted. “Git.” He sat on the couch armrest, wondering how she knew Merlin, and wondering how she’d noticed, how much she noticed still: whether it was an aspect of his training that had stuck, that now even at her mother’s funeral she was always watching people, always concentrating on a million things at once. That wouldn’t be so bad, he was quite the same. But on the other hand, that was perhaps what had him so fatigued right now. “And they’ll probably write a short piece. Notoriety is virtually equal to fame.” He sighed, nodded. “Yes, a glass sounds good. Two sound better.” He put an arm round her. “How are you holding up?”
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