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     Afternoon Luncheon (Joshua & Tess)

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    Tess Holmes
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    PostSubject: Afternoon Luncheon (Joshua & Tess)    Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:39 am

    Summer was a time where one was considered to be free of any responsibilities for the allotted time given for vacation. This didn't follow the idea that Mycroft had for her as soon as classes ended. As soon as school ended, she was planning on spending it in her flat for a week before going back to the mansion with her brother. Maybe they would go out with mother and spend some time as a family (if she was lucky). But no, instead she was asked to leave for Paris within hours of arriving to her flat. Mycroft had been inside waiting for her already packed her clothing and pulled her away.

    She had't been happy, but at least it was Paris. She'd been notified that she was to attend a business luncheon for potions trading and negotiations. This wasn't fun; not because of the potions, but of the people. They tended to see her as a trophy, a mindless drone that Mycroft used to his upper hand to start a conversation. Whether it be about their own sons, or what she was doing there, she knew she herself was a business transaction.

    It was a warm afternoon, and so in a typical fashion, a forest green sundress and a white sunhat was her outfit of choice for the hosted event outside. It was a beautiful day, there was no denying it and she would make the best of it, even if it meant ignoring the leery looks given around. Taking a flask of champagne, she took a sip and crossed her free arm around her waist casually taking in the crowd. Her red lipstick left a mark on the glass, but her eyes trailed around, mentally tagging each and every person, and seeing who would be most convenient for her brother. At the moment he was off talking to another stuffy old pureblood, seeking to buy the business. Typical. The man was sweating, meaning Myce had the upper hand. Her lip slowly stretched to form a smirk. This was all fun and games for sure.

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    PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Luncheon (Joshua & Tess)    Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:03 am

    Joshua Murray had never liked his parents, they had never given him reason to like them, much in the same manner he'd never given them a reason to like him. It was a mutual understanding that they simply were together through circumstances they couldn't change. Layton needed an heir, and thus Joshua was a necessity.

    The older man detested the relationship much more than Josh every would, because he knew how to play his father to his advantage and had been playing it for as long as he could remember.

    The yearly argument as to who would be 'looking after' Joshua that summer had been lost by his father. Josh obviously didn't need to be looked after, but any reason to have an argument had been one that his parents jumped on in a second.

    Today had not been different for a moment, the morning had started with an argument over breakfast, one that Josh had not listened to for a second because he found his parents tedious. He'd only paid attention when his father had suggested coming to the Potion conference he would be attending. Of course, Josh had an interest in potions (which had been just another thing to annoy his mother), but he didn't have any interest in spending a day with his father.

    The scale of the event was something he found necessary to know, and when he'd found that the event was actually quite large, he'd agreed with a curt nod of his head. At least he could lose his father the moment he got there and only 'find' him again when it was time to leave.

    So the moment the two Murray's had entered the room, Josh had left his father's side, blending in with the crowd with ease. The first part was the mingling with other guests which held little and less value to the Murray heir, but that was neither here nor there. After acquiring a flute of champagne, Josh's eyes had fallen on to a witch he recognised.

    Slipping past a witch of unknown descent that had tried to catch his attention, Josh came to stand next to the witch he'd shared the time of Head Boy with. "Holmes." He spoke softly, lifting his glass to his lips. "I might have known you would be here." Josh added, trying to work out what she was looking at as he followed her eyes. Nothing in particular, he summarised a moment later. Or, at least, nothing he could pick out as interesting, anyway.
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    PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Luncheon (Joshua & Tess)    Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:18 am


    So it seemed the man was debating about the price that Mycroft was offering. Oh, no wait...insulted. The flash of the man's milky eyes was enough for her to know he was definitely angry. Mycroft seemed unfazed and looked through the crowd, obviously looking for her. She lifted her chin, letting the sunhat move from her face for her to meet her eyes. She lifted her brow, silent asking if he needed her to be there. Usually with men like them, a pair of breasts was enough of a distraction to let a bad deal pass. She made a small signal tugging the top of her dress, but immediately Mycroft lifted his palm flat her direction in a stopping motion. No. He could do this. A firm nod and a slow movement was enough for them to end their silent conversation.

    Early in her life she'd been told that she was the spare, in case anything were to happen to Mycroft. Her father had been firm about what her position was in the family. Her mother instead concentrating in teaching her what the female body could do in manners of business. Never ever go all the way, but entice them believing they had the chance. She never had to do that yet, her mother still had the looks and the charm to keep them trailing. But Mycroft had allowed her as soon as she turned seventeen to go with him. Their plan worked slowly, by taking over business too old to keep up with the times to even think about fighting back. A coy smile, a lowering of a gaze and a lick of her lips were enough to make them think they had a chance. Not in hell. Then Mycroft brought the ice, immediately throwing the language of business their way, not really knowing how it works. The duo worked like fire and ice and they succeeded.

    Never did her expression show that she knew what was going on, and that was the best part of the game. The prey was really the predator, and she was more than a pair of legs. Smiling to herself she sipped the champagne making sure not to overdue it. But her eyes that trailed over the groups soon was distracted as she heard her surname being said by someone she'd completely forgotten about.

    Slowly turning her head she lifted her gaze to look at the taller young man before her. Her lip twisted to a pleased smirk, it had definitely been a while. Joshua Murray, the former Head Boy. They had an interesting dynamic. They both did their work and moved on with their lives. She had her interests solely on Dominique and their possible future, and he...well he was too private for her to even snoop. Not that she would, it wasn't convenient. She always did admire him, and he'd boss her around during their Quidditch years.

    "I might have known you would be here."

    "Of course, this is where small fish get eaten"her eyes glittered with ambitiousness. It was a game she always did enjoy. "How have you been?" she asked out of being cordial.

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    PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Luncheon (Joshua & Tess)    Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:52 am

    After a second glance in the direction of the witch's eye, Josh noted her brother with a man of no interest to the Murray heir. Probably something to do with business, given their current location. Perhaps Tess was waiting for something, perhaps he was interrupting. Josh didn't much care either way.

    It had, in honesty, been a long time since Josh had seen the witch he'd shared quarters with for seven years. University was a lot bigger than Hogwarts ever could have imagined, and thus you mixed with new faces, new people, from all around the world. Or, so Josh had heard. If one thing hadn't changed in the year since Josh had last seen Tess, it was his dislike of people.

    "Of course, this is where small fish get eaten"

    The ambition in the witch's eyes was returned as a smirk on Josh's lips. Oh, the sport of eating the lesser beings of the world. It was fun, toying with people in that manner, Josh had always enjoyed the careful game of manipulation that came with their society, and most of the time he could play so well, no one had even realised they'd been played. But he'd walked away with everything he needed, and more.

    "Is your brother winning?" Josh asked, because he'd made the connection now that Tess had spoken and where she'd been looking before he'd stolen her attention. "I don't know the man with whom he is speaking, so I would wager an easy win." The ex-Slytherin added, sipping his champagne once more.

    Not quite one of the Murray's cellar, but passable.

    The question as to how he'd been only made Josh smirk a little more. "No need for the pleasantries, Holmes." He responded, though he didn't mind them being observed too much. "However, I have been busy conducting research, the rest is a need to know basis. I'm keeping busy." He explained - the terms 'I'm good' or 'I've been well' were not needed, sickness in their world was a big thing, so if you'd heard nothing, it meant all was well.

    "And what of yourself?" Josh asked, scanning the crowd before glancing down at Tess by his side. "There has been little and less news at the moment, which means nothing important is happening. Though I'm not quite sure how much to believe on that front." He paused. "Apart from there has been no response to his decision."

    Josh had never been good with emotions, nor did he understand that emotions still hurt after this much time. For him loss had been mechanical. He'd lost his temper - much to his own disgust - he had destroyed everything that served a reminder, and he had walked from the flames unburnt.

    To him, that was normal, and he believed Tess would be the same.
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    PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Luncheon (Joshua & Tess)    Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:30 pm


    Her eyes sharpened at the question, especially when it came to their business. Mycroft had never lost a wager, a deal, anything that dealt with physically giving something away. When it was tied to business there was no chance of failure, because it meant a dampening in appearance and a dent in livelihood. She knew that teaching was just a passing fancy, something that kept him out of the office and kept him busy. Nothing really kept him going back, other than fun. But business his business meant the world to him.

    And it seemed to be working. The old man began to realize that his years of taking galleons from his business and placing it into offshore accounts was out in the open, and he had weakened its structure. Oh how greed affected the week. His hand was shaking, especially as he lifted his drink. He'd need something stronger than the clear drink. Bourbon or whiskey tended to lift the spirits when in such a dump.

    "We always win" she emphasized how it was a joint effort.

    For she did not dress up in her outfit for the simple pleasure of looking like a doll. No. Every aspect of her outfit was purposely placed. The sundress to add the feel of being innocent and sticking like a sore thumb in a crowd of stuffy old men. The cut of the dress was enough to sneak a peek but never indecently; and the hat covered her face until it was time. It worked perfectly and it seemed that the deal was closing. Ooo, he smirked, definitely good.

    At her polite question, he seemed to have had an unexpected reply...if she hadn't known him in some way. He was always an enigma, never really saying much, but his looks sometimes said everything. Still, there was a low blow that she felt the taste of bile rise to her mouth. She hadn't even thought about Dominique since the wedding and that night she did that stupid mistake. Her eyes hardened and she shrugged, she had forgotten that they'd been cordial.

    "Everything has been lovely" she stressed the word lovely, "noting better than removing dead weight from your shoulders."


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    PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Luncheon (Joshua & Tess)    Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:22 pm

    Honestly, Josh wasn't sure why the older man was still trying, from here the ex-Slytherin could see Mycroft had won a good five minutes ago, at least. Pride, perhaps? Whatever it was, Josh's eyes were too preoccupied with the older Holmes to notice the change in the witch beside him.

    In fairness to Josh, he had never been very good at wording things to suit other's feelings. He worded things in the most straight forward manner without the realisation of just how much they hurt others. Had he known he was doing it, however, Josh probably wouldn't have changed tactics anyway.

    The comment on the two of them winning made Josh's eyes turn back to Tess, one eyebrow raised in question. How could she possibly be making a difference from this far away? Unless... Josh's eyes moved back to Mycroft for a moment, before the whole notion disappeared. He wasn't going to sell his sister to such an old man, Josh would give the Holmes heir that much credit.

    His question still stood though, no matter how silent it might have been.

    The shrug of the shoulders from Tess brought a small smirk to Josh's lips - wherever she had learnt that, it had not been from her tutors, of that much he was sure. But her answer, her answer was one the ex-Slytherin could only take literally. "I couldn't agree more." Was Josh's reply to the statement, probably showing he hadn't seen it as anything else.

    "You're here for the whole day?" Josh asked, catching a hint of his father's blonde hair and turning away from the man slightly. Whilst they were both more than highly distinctive in their looks, Josh knew his father would never dream of trying to talk to him whilst it looked like he was holding a conversation. The man had never owned a backbone, after all.
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    PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Luncheon (Joshua & Tess)    Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:02 pm


    He gave up; finally. Tess shook her head almost feeling bad for the man. Seemed like the business was expanding to Rome. Good, she always liked it there, very sunny. As the man began to slowly lose hope, is when Mycroft took out the contract. It was already written and pre-approved by the investors. The man took out the quill and the future of the company was sealed. Looking around it seemed that for the most part they'd gotten the weakest link. But knowing Mycroft he'd schmooze around, hoping to see what was going on around the same circles. It was of no interest to her. As the fun ended she was forced to dwell on the bitter taste in her mouth.

    Losing Dominique had been a turning point in her life; it showed her that normalcy was not meant for a person like her. The dreams of achieving what rarely happened to purebloods: a happy marriage, was never going to happen. She wasn't meant for the norm, she was never normal, so why start now? From then on everything changed. Her heart grew cold and her tongue grew sharp. Thankfully in that year since that occurred she'd softened up somewhat. The people around her tended to soften her up, and it was both sickening and heartwarming, for it retained her humanity. Still, bringing it up did bother her a lot more than she cared to admit.

    "You're here for the whole day?"

    She turned to him and nodded. Figuring that her body language should shift from paying attention to the business outcome, to the person she was actually talking to. She'd forgotten how tall her was, always did carry that power around him. It was both suffocating and yet something she was used to. Most pureblood men had that air to them.

    "I'm asked to be here until the evening comes. Thankfully after dinner we'll be able to head home. What about you?" she asked curiously, "I assume your father brought you along?"


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    PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Luncheon (Joshua & Tess)    Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:35 am

    Watching from afar the deal being finalised, Joshua wondered - but only for a moment - if his father was here for the same reason. He doubted it, Layton Murray had never had a backbone for arguments and the like with his mother, so he didn't see as the man would be any different here.

    How funny it was that two families of equal power had such different dynamics.

    The answer to his question was one that brought a short nod of acknowledgement from the Murray heir before he thought of his answer. "I can leave when I choose. Father would like it terribly if I stayed the whole day, as he believes I could learn... from these people." Josh explained, obviously not believing a word his father had said. From everything he'd seen already it was of things he already understood. Power plays. "If I grow bored of such things, I may leave." He concluded.

    The question on his father made Josh's jaw set a little bit. He'd never been overly fond of his parents, and the thought of being here because his father wanted to him was something he didn't wish for anyone to believe. "I'm here on my agenda." Josh corrected the witch, though it was done gently. "I have... plans." Josh added, but he didn't let on what, because women were not supposed to be bothered with such talk.
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    PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Luncheon (Joshua & Tess)    Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:37 pm


    Tess chuckled softly at his comment; it seemed they were both here for similar reasons. Mycroft wanted her as soon as graduation hit to get into their business. He didn't want her doing menial labor at hospitals saying that a girl like her would do well in an office. And sadly both their parents agreed. But since the day Tess was capable of picking up a book and forming her own ideas of the world. She could never truly take the idea of trivial subjects as the weather, the flowers in bloom, the gossip, as enough for her. Her father treated her as the most delicate flower, saying that books were for the women what couldn't get away with their looks. But taught her how to bite, especially with the use of her name. A Holmes could get what they wanted by merely using it. Her mother said a book never hurt anyone, so long as they hid their intelligence behind the veil of beauty. Tess liked that.

    But hypocrisy went with purebloods as wine went over dinner: hand-in-hand. Her mother had had a fit the moment she realized that her only daughter had applied to the academy instead of pursuing what a girl like her should be doing : pursuing marriage. She had asked her husband to write a rejection for Tess, in order to pursue what a girl like her should. Her father had surprisingly refused, once Tess had sold him on the idea that she'd be worth more in marriage if she was seen as more than a trophy. Because a trophy was shiny and rich, but during time would lose it's shine and grace. Her father surprisingly agreed, as did her brother.

    She had a three year window to avoid any engagements, or anything trivial that could be enough of an excuse to her mother to get her out of the academy. But she did keep them around her finger with little things, such as this. If she wanted the easy way out, she could have left the academy and gotten a job under her brother, never as a business woman (pureblood men would stupidly think less of her), but as a manipulator which she already did now. She was good at scoping the weak (she was once like that herself), and she'd simply would have taken the job of her brother's assistance. It wasn't going to happen any time soon though.

    "If I grow bored of such things, I may leave." He concluded.

    She made a soft noise of agreement. That must be nice, just leaving. But she would have been told on and her father would have had a field day.

    "If I had the chance, I'd do the same" she replied wistfully.

    And it was true, there was only so much leering someone could take before she wanted to put a thick coat one. Her eyes looked back at him and noticed that at her question, that had no real meaning to it, other than this circle was for people in the business. The way he said it was merely for the sake of respect, at least she could tell, but the lingering tension made her lower her head somewhat appalled at her faux paus.

    "I'm sure you have plans" and she meant it. A person like him, always tended to.

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