Dearest Readers of Mine,
Your thoughts mean so much to me and my family. My Pap spent several years struggling due to declining health, and it is a relief for us that he no longer suffers. He was the Patriarch, the oldest of the Line, and there was no man more devoted to protecting and raising his multitude of siblings than him, most of whom he outlived.
My family is hoping to all gather as one for a memorial soon, where, if similar to last time, we will gather after at an Irish (or Scottish) Pub, drink way too much ale, and consume more potato products than recommended by health experts.
I plan to address a few comments at the end; some guesses and suggestions were actually in my outline.
Quick Question though for you all:
Would Lily's Diary (posted in the original version, chapter 8) be something you are interested in having expanded, or would the original entry be alright? Some adjustments may be made, any questions that you have referring to Lily's thoughts, if posted, I may be able to include in the new post.
DISCLAIMER: Harry Potter belongs to J. , KHR belongs to Akira Amano. I'm just using their characters. Don't dis me for ignoring cannon.
Despite his knowledge that Jade wanted to spend her summer with them, Xanxus was still worried while she prepared for her appointment at Gringotts Venice and with this Marcus fellow. Despite understanding and speaking multiple languages, Polish was not one of his skills, and until he witnessed their interaction, he was not trusting the dictionary used the previous night for translation.
His chest ached where he felt his bonds, the incomplete bond formed the previous day after meeting Jade felt off, somehow an element was missing from it. Knowing her file indicated she had a soulmate, someone who could take her away hurt him, Jade was special, his Flames screamed she was his.
"Xanxus," Jade's soft, melodious voice interrupted his wandering thoughts. "Would you like to join my father and I today?"
"Si, signorina. SHARK TRASH!" He hollered out towards the Rain, "I'm leaving."
"VOI! You better do this paperwork later!" The Shark grumbled back, knowing the Sky would not change his mind, or do most of his paperwork anytime soon.
"Jade, how would you prefer to access the Alley? Mundane travel, Corridor, Apparation, Floo or Portkey?" A hood less Regulus asked his daughter, eager to spend the day with her.
"No preference Father," answered Jade. "What would be most convenient for afterwards?"
Xanxus spoke up, wanting to show his Cloud his City, "mundane travel would allow us to explore the city after your business is finished."
Words had never been something Xanxus excelled at, expressing his true feelings often was dangerous in the Mafia, so he struggled with talking. Yet, seeing the brilliant smile erupt on Jade's face was worth every word.
Leading the father-daughter duo to one of his favorite cars, a Retired Assassin, aptly named Chauffeur, drove them to the local Access Portal to the Alley, where they immediately came face-to-face with the Marcus Jade had spoke of and with multiple times the day before.
Despite the semi formal interaction due to the public meeting, he quickly realized Jade and Marcus held a true Bond, one similar to a Sibling Bond, yet not quite. It wasn't until the elder Wizard gave a security report did the nature of the Bond registered to him. This Wizard was a person he needed to stay close. The Elder had sworn a Protection Vow, effectively vowing his life to the other, a rather useful action when Jade would be living with the VARIA for several weeks.
While Jade and Mammon—Regulus, he reminded himself—were sequestered with the Goblins, Xanxus questioned Marcus about Jade, wanting to learn about his Cloud, needing to get her a gift, but wanting it to be something she would enjoy.
"Look," Marcus broke decorum, "if you want to impress Jade just because, don't bother. She has had multiple suitors chasing after her for the status it would give them. But if you truly want to know her, something small but meaningful would be best to start."
Marcus studied the scarred man beside him, then nodded, having found what he was searching for in his face. "She might not like me telling you this, but if you want any chance of her accepting your courtship, you need to know a few things.
"First, under no circumstances should you ever lie to her. Misdirection varies, but she prefers the Truth, and would rather be told it is something you cannot discuss than be lied to. Second, do not attempt to put her in a cage, isolating her from friends and family. It will not end well for you, but would be rather amusing to any onlookers. Thirdly, if you are ever angered, please keep it away from her, it might send her into flashbacks. Fourth, flashy displays will not impress her, rather it will make her question your sincerity."
The two sat together for a few minutes in silence, before Marcus spoke again. "Xanxus, I do not care how dangerous you are, how powerful the VARIA Boss Position is, or the Consequences of angering the Alliance. If you ever lay a hand in anger on my Lady, I will kill you. If you ever cheat on her, I will castrate you. If my Lady is ever hurt because of your career, you will retaliate or I will, and it will not be pleasant."
Surprising Marcus, Xanxus laughed. "Jade wants to live with her father. The Wing of the Officers, where she will live, is separate and warded from others, but it is the VARIA Headquarters, so there is an element of danger. I can set up a room for you if you want."
Marcus smirked, the expression fitting on his regal looks, pulling a trunk from his bag. "I will be moving in today then," he drawled, his voice daring Xanxus to oppose him.
"I like you Trash."
"She prefers platinum over silver, but gold is also something she will wear. Simple pieces over the gaudy, and as Lady Peverell, the House Metal and Gem are Platinum and Emerald, while as Heiress Black, it is Silver and Black Diamonds. She tends to mix the two as to honor both Houses, but she actually loves Opals, which not many know."
Xanxus began to thank the other, but was interrupted; "she is not one to buy for herself, so I have a suggestion. At Yule, she was looking at a charm bracelet but would not get it for herself, and she refused to let me gift her one as she already received her Yule gifts. The store is just down the way, I can pay if you lack Magical currency and we can trade later."
"I can pay," Xanxus grunted. "I have Magic but tend to not use it much."
Following Marcus's directions, he entered the store and winced. Jewelry was not his strong suit, but went towards the display of charms. The manager must have seen the flash of discomfort before he cleared his face.
"Merry Meet Gentlemen. How may I assist you this afternoon?" The perky, yet professional lady asked, "do you have an idea of what you would like?"
"Charm bracelets," grunted the Wrath Sky. "Platinum."
The lady nodded, waving her wand, and a design book floated over. "Platinum is not a common choice for charm bracelets, silver and gold usually are chosen. Therefore, I can customize the bracelet for you." She flicked her wand at the book, flipping it to a section where several designs were highlighted. "The highlighted entries are the bracelets that hold the charms best. While you review that, I will gather the specialized charms from the back."
"What do you mean by specialized?" Asked a curious Marcus, never hearing of the option before.
"These charms are enchanted, some of the strongest protective spells my grandfather developed for jewelry. I keep them back as they are not something often used."
Xanxus, flipping through the book, was drawn to a bracelet design he hadn't seen before. He was fascinated by the intricate beauty of the piece, how it all fit together, and instantly knew this was the piece for Jade.
Two jeweled bands, connected by a large gemstone, featured three rows of chains for the charms to be attached, designed to keep them in place to prevent the risk of being caught on something.
The book allowed for pages to be removed to place an order so the piece could be customized if desired. He quickly selected the metal, opting for the Platinum of House Peverell, and chose gems for the bands. In the center of bracelet, he selected an opal, Jade's personal favorite stone according to Marcus. The bands were designed to hold jewels on the top, runic wards were engraved on the underside. Having listened to Marcus's explanation of Jade's house gems, he decided that the seven stones would be of her houses. In the center, he chose to have an emerald placed, with the three stones on each side diamonds. A black diamond was nestled between two classic stones, the black diamond slightly larger than its neighbors.
Between the two bands were three rows of chains to attach the charms. It was a larger size bracelet than one might expect, each band a quarter-inch with the setting for the opal two and a half inches, but Xanxus could not envision a better bracelet for His Cloud.
After he finished his order for the custom bracelet, he turned to the charms. Marcus laughed at the stunned look on the Sky's face at the sheer amount of charms available, then showed the other man a selection that Jade would like.
He had set aside a few charms, designs already chosen by Neville and himself for her birthday, and passed Xanxus a book on the language of flowers, a silent suggestion to use some.
Yesterday, while Jade was sharing some information about herself, he had learned a few details. A music note was joined by cloud and flame charms, an owl, amber eyes embedded was a perfect choice to represent her beloved Hedwig. He selected a diamond heart to remind Jade she was loved and turned to the floral book to send messages.
Yellow Jasmine for her grace and elegance, a blue periwinkle for the friendship they were beginning; a burgundy rose followed the two. Despite the short time they had spent together, Xanxus knew she did not see herself, did not recognize her unconscious beauty.
Marcus studied the flora Xanxus had chosen and nodded in approval. He approved the message he was sending to her, despite not wanting to like the guy... he was making it rather difficult.
Having placed the order, opting to order customized charms as well, the price made Marcus wince, yet Xanxus did not even blink, a Gringotts card in his hand, handing it over without care.
Checking the time, the duo realized Jade and Regulus should be finished with their meetings soon and chose to head to the tea shop where they arranged to meet.
Regulus winced at the sarcasm pouring of the Manager's mouth. Sure, he should have at least reclaimed his accounts when he became Lord Apparent Black, but he was an Arcobaleno! What could he have done in the Enclaves then?
While Jade was having her final appointment with the Nation's Healers, she received a shock. She had began a bond with her soulmate without realizing it... and she did not know who it was.
In a daze, she finished and rejoined her father, his business completed for the time.
Distracted, her father directed her down the Alley to the Tea Shop where they arranged to meet the two men. Regulus was amused at how quickly Jade brightened up at the sight of Xanxus, then made the connection. The Wrath must be her soulmate... he was going to make the Sky miserable.
Xanxus gave a brief tour of the Alley, Jade not particularly interested in the Light-dominated shops, but they stopped in a second-hand bookstore and found a few books, both fairly rare and priced extremely cheap. The quartet ducked into the knickknack shop, just to see what was there. After that, Jade and Marcus stopped by the Apothecary to view their inventory and quality; both were disappointing for the students of Severus Snape.
As the Dark-Oriented Alley Shops primarily were not yet open, they left for the car. After he asked Jade to join him for dinner, Xanxus wound up having to deal with both Marcus and Regulus, the two unwilling to let him be alone with Jade.
Okay, this ending feels like it is missing something, I may come back to edit it later and add more. Feel free to give opinions on it.
Next chapter will hopefully be posted next week. My sleep cycle is all messed up so I might finish up sooner.
I am planning to *eventually* post on archive of our own, and when I do, would any of you be interested in seeing my sketch/design for the bracelet and charms?
Stay Strong and Healthy!