"And last but not least, the greatest proof of our being their descendants," Reginald said as he took a step back.
The purebloods glance around until they see a ghostly pale form emerge from the wall to be amid them. The handsome young ghost in the prime of his youth is carefully held by his ghostly hands as the ghostly head of Sir Knight Prince says, "In the years that the Prince's have existed before us, four parselmouth's have been born and two far-seer's carrying the gifts of our forefathers, before them."
"And how do we know that the tapestry isn't forged, nor that these treasures were bought or stolen?" Asked a formidable-looking witch, Augusta Longbottom. Tall, thin, and bony, she wore a hat with a stuffed vulture on it and her usual bright red handbag at her side.
"I am living proof, Madam," Sir Prince Knight said, before beginning to speak in fluent parseltongue. The hissing sounds weren't forged as those who had studied the language such as Arcturus understood that the words were real.
Once more the purebloods seem blown away as Reginald Prince says, "I do believe that we have sufficiently proved our claim, widow Longbottom." Augusta Longbottom nods her head in apology at Reginald as he bows his head back in acceptance.
"I have not revealed this to impose myself or my family as rulers of any sort," Reginald explained. "But rather to unite us against a common foe who seeks to deceive and pit us against each other. One who claims to sprout blood purity, when in actuality our precious children whose lives are being stolen. A mere child and yet the Rosier's have lost a son. And all that for what, a claim to power?"
The crowd is silent as Druella Black takes a step forward and says, "I have already lost a daughter and a husband. I will not lose the last family I have left. Aye, Prince, I will follow your lead."
"As will I," Lucius declared as he took a step forward. There were many aye's after that and those that choose to remain silent were those that would remain neutral. And neither would they side with Lord Voldemort either. And that was a triumph in itself.
"Thank you," Reginald said, before bowing to the crowd as tables full of full began to appear against the walls. "Please stay and enjoy a bite to eat, before you all go on your way."
"Aren't you going to make us vow, Prince?" A voice loudly cried out that of Edgar Bone.
Reginald turns towards the younger Auror and says, "I have nothing to hide, young man. I am not planning to overthrow the ministry, nor do I have any future desire too. I merely wish to save and protect as many as I can from falling to the well-crafted lies of a conman.
And as for the truth of our lineage, well, we will not lie about what and who we are descended from. We are proud of our heritage even if it is rather dark at times. But it is ours and we wholly accept it as such."
Edgar Bones nods his head in a pleased fashion convincing a few who had been on the fringe to change their minds. If a well-known Auror was willing to side with the Prince's, then why not they as well? And though the question had been a bit callous, it had served Reginald Prince well in the end.
The ballroom was full of whispers as there were those that reverently were still passing the two heirlooms around, while others were studying the Prince family tapestry. Several times, a few wizards and witches let out cries of surprise at finding famous witches and wizards of history were in some way related via marriage.
More than a few from the crowd had surrounded the two living Princes and the one dead ghost. The Prince's answered the questions as best as they could, but since the Prince's were not exactly social creature nor did they have much patience to do so. Except for Sir Knight Prince, but he'd been a blond while living.
"Well that was quite the startling revelation," Orion murmured still in disbelief.
"It'll be all over the Daily Prophet for this evening's edition," Alphard remarked as he took a sip of his drink.
Orion flashed Alphard a look, before saying, "Why are you going to sell it?"
"No, but I know one or two those present have some outstanding gambling debts," Alphard drily commented. "I'm sure that the Daily Prophet will pay a bagful of galleons for this kind of information."
"There is that," Orion grumbled as he eyed the heirlooms in the distance.
"Who'd have thought the Prince's were hiding this kind of secret," Alphard idly remarked.
"I don't think any of us were expecting that," Orion wryly observed. "Why even father is drooling over the Prince heirlooms. And he hates the old Prince!"
"Yes, well shiny things do tend to have that effect on the Blacks," Alphard teased, before hunching over in a loud hacking cough.
Orion hurriedly placed his drink down and patted Alphard on the back. Alphard wheezed for what seemed like a long time before the spasm finally dissipated. Orion warily watched his brother-in-law wipe his red mouth clean. "Walburga had told me you'd begun to cough out blood, but I didn't think it was this bad," Orion softly said.
"Ah, well, it's no fun when you're dying," Alphard darkly joked in a hoarse voice.
"That is no laughing matter, cousin!" Orion snapped back as he downed his drink in a single swallow.
"It was not my intention to be flippant about my condition," Alphard apologized. "But I suppose, I've been used to the idea ever since I was a child, that it's simply been an event long time in coming. I've already lived well past the age of thirty that the healers that diagnosed me as a child said that it would be a miracle if I lived that long. And yet here I am at forty-two."
"Yes, well, the St. Mungo's are rather terrible healers," Orion sniffed as a tired grin appeared on Alphard's face.
"Mm, that's what my sister always says."
"And Walburga is right. C.o.c.k-a-mania, healers who shove every type of potion down one's throat without properly consulting the medical chart!"
"That only happened once."
"And it should have never happened at all!"
"All it did was turn me spotted for a whole week."
"Exactly. Charlatans the whole lot of them!"
"I see that the Black family tradition of hating healers is still alive and well."
"Father never saw a healer in his life and he's still alive and kicking! And healthy might I add."
"Yes, but I'm fairly certain that's because even death is afraid of him."
"Pfft," Orion chokes on his drink almost spitting it out.
Glaring at Alphard, Orion says, "My father is not that scary!"
Alphard arches his eyebrow at Orion, who at least has the grace to blush. "Fine, I'll admit that he is a bit hard to deal with at times."
"Mm, yes, well I would instead use the words stubborn, hardhearted, conniving, malicious, petty-minded, but I suppose that will have to do," Alphard said earning him a glared from Orion.
The two men continued to chat until they each left to his own devices. But it had been fun to chat as cousins, while it lasted. A rare occurrence since they'd become a.d.u.l.ts.