The sun is dim over the horizon casting long shadows over the warm southern countryside of France. A rather strange sight is seen as a rather large peac.o.c.k flutters through the air flying straight for a charming chateau with lavish gardens. (It should be impossible as peac.o.c.ks do not fly more than six feet or so. And yet, here was a peac.o.c.k flying by some extraordinary means!)
The peac.o.c.k in question is Fidel, who is utterly exhausted after his long flight across the English Channel and into southern France. Despite having hitched a ride on a muggle vessel, the trip had been exhausting. However, he could not very well have said no to his mistress. He had his pride as a familiar to consider. And he was not about to let the Prince family name fall into disgrace!
Pumping his wings harder spotting the end in sight, Fidel flutters towards the grounds letting out a great cry as he circled the grounds to land. Furling his great wings, he lands tiredly onto the grass, before pausing to stare at his tail feathers woefully. His gorgeous plumage was in disarray and ragged from flight. Woe is he.
Crying out loudly into the evening, Fidel stomps across the grounds arrogantly and trampling across flower bed in delight. Serves the pesky magical folk right for making him come so far to deliver a measly letter! Why couldn't the house elves have done it?!
Having flown to the destination before, Fidel let himself in through the side garden door, before arrogantly strutting through the Verninac home as though he owned the chateau. A house elf quickly pops in and lets out a dismayed cry, but Fidel simply marches past them towards the dining hall. The house elves attempt to halt the advance of the gorgeous, prideful peac.o.c.k to no avail.
Letting out a loud cry announcing his presence, Fidel proudly burst in through the main doors to find the main Verninac family branch members sitting along with their spouses. The only son of the main Verninac family branch, Philippe. Philippe Vernina has slightly tousled curly hair, elegant features with bright colored eyes, and pale skin.
Furrowing his brows, Philippe glances at his wife, Louise a beautiful French witch with sun streaked hair, and a firm gaze. She arches her brow him as if to say, "I have not purchased a peac.o.c.k, dear. They are horridly loud creatures! Please give me credit for having better taste than that."
Philippe's bright colored eyes turn towards his only sibling, his older sister, Noebella, who was a Dubois ever since her marriage to Victor Dubois. Noebella gasps in surprise at recognizing the beautiful peac.o.c.k that was making its way leisurely towards them. Furrowing his brow at his older sister, Philippe asks in French, "Do you know this creature, soeur?"
"Oui, mon frre," Noebella exclaimed. "I recognize the peac.o.c.k as belonging to the sister-in-law of dear Sirsa. But whatever is it doing here?"
Fidel must have heard her question, because it fluttered over to Noebella, before dumping its package onto her lap. Fidel's long tail accidently smacked the back of Philippe's head, before perching on the chandelier above and letting out a loud cry as if to say, "Serves you right."
Glaring up at the arrogant, spiteful bird, Philippe glowers at the bird, who smugly stares back down at him and lets out a loud cry of smug triumphant. Rubbing the back of his head, Philippe glances at his sister, who is eagerly reading the note from the Prince family. Feeling a loss of appetite, he summons the house elves to clear away his plate.
The house elves instantly do as instructed, before serving a bit of tea with light snacks to clear the palette such as Choquette, (traditional light airy pastry puffs which have a light sprinkle of coarse sugar crystals on top of the pastry for a hint of sweetness). Despite his annoyance, Philippe remembers his manner and waits for his older sister to finish reading the letter from the Prince's.
His sister's husband, Victor Dubois, a salt-peppered hair elegant wizard peers over his wife's shoulder to read the letter. Finally, Victor draws back first and sends a warning gaze at his brother-in-law, Philippe as if in reply, while Noebella excitedly rereads the letter again. Impatient and annoyed by the peac.o.c.k smugly staring down at him from it's perch, Philippe snappishly asks, "Well, Noebella, what does the letter from the Prince's say?"
Barely containing her excitement, Noebella's brightly colored eyes shine as she replies, "Cousin Sirsa's grandchildren are to be formerly be presented over the winter holidays."
Louise the wife of Philippe frowns prettily and interjects, "But they are what fifteen years of age, no? It is rather late for a formal presentation."
Bristling and rising to defend Sirsa, who was know dearly departed, Noebella narrows her eyes coldly at her sister-in-law. "Eileen did not return with the children to Prince manor until their first year, after which, Sirsa began to ensure their manners. And she had written to me prior to her death that she dearly wished to present them in the upcoming year. However, with our dear cousin's death and that of the children's father, it did not come to pass!"
Louise blanches and looks quite taken back at her sister-in-law's words as Noebella and her had always gotten along. It was shocking to say the least, but she should have known better. Noebella and Sirsa had grownup together and had been the best of friends despite the vast distance between them and had often exchanged letters throughout their entire lives.
"Noebella," Philippe warningly reprimanded his sister to watch her tone of voice.
Flashing her younger brother, a cold look, Noebella flourishes the letter at her brother as if a gauntlet of challenge. "This letter bears the official Prince seal, Philippe," Noebella explained.
"And even you have heard of the famous lineage of the Prince's and especially that of cousin's grandchildren. The Prince's are formally requesting that we acknowledge the bloodline of the Verninac's and agree to host their presentation in society at the Verniniac ancestral home. I for one am inclined to agree as we never did anything for Cousin Sirsa, while she yet lived. We owe her that much, and it will be a great honor for the family to announce that we are in fact tied to the Prince family."
Philippe purses his lips and aloofly replies, "We have already met the Prince boy over two Christmas's ago, and though the girl was ill at the time, I already consider that we have more than amply performed our duty as family."
Noebella moves as if to rise to her feet in anger, but a hand clenches her waist and holds her down. Noebella glares at her husband, Victor, who motions her to remain seated and calm down. Taking a deep breath, Noebella slumps back down as Victor slowly retreats his hand from his wife's body.
"Sirsa was a Verninac, Philippe," Noebella flatly pointed out. "She never tarnished the family name while living, and even married into an excellent wizarding family even if it was on the Isles. I do not see why you so pointedly continue to refuse so emphatically the Prince's request, frre."
"I do not bear our dearly departed cousin any ill will, Noebella," Philippe matter-of-factly explained with a pause and a shudder. "The Prince's come from line of Percussor's, and whether you wish to admit it or not, sister, Reginald Prince once upon a time walked with Gellert Grindelwald. Frankly, I do not trust such a wizard nor much less the darker and unsavory whispered tales about him. That man is dangerous, and I do not wish to see us tied anymore to him than we already are!"
Philippe paused for a moment to gain his breath, before vehemently adding, "And you forget one important fact dear, sister. There are indicator's that there is a dark wizard on the Isles, and I do read the Daily Prophet, Noebella. Sirsa is already dead, and I will not put our entire family at risk for such a thing. And that is the end of that!"