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 Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

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Corvus Darrow

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PostSubject: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:32 pm

Upon entering Ariadne’s room, Corvus wasn’t surprised to find it empty, he was expecting that, but more than slightly surprised to find the state of it in disarray. Everything was torn, ripped and broken. It looked like a very nasty tornado had its away around the place and decided to tango with a provocative hurricane. Corvus was no stranger to her room, so he knew this had been a recent redecorating. He barely had any space to step around. The floor was buried under debris from a crash site. He stood in the middle of it all, his neat and sharp disposition seemingly out of place from the disaster area before him. Grey eyes gazed upon the mess with disapproval. This would not do.

Corvus appreciated order. Order showed control, discipline, power. He hated clutter. He hated mess. It was primeval and uncivilized. They reflected an uncertain mind. Undetermined and easily moved. It meant uncertainty and confusion. Messes were made by the unprofessional and inexperienced. Messes were mistakes. Messes were what happened when one didn't foresee a problem. They were weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Messes spelled out doom. Corvus was a perfectionist. A mess had no business being in front of a perfectionist. He liked to be in control. He liked things to be a certain way. Order triumphed over disorder in any arena.

With a wave of his wand, he started repairing the room to its usual glory. Pieces flew back to their proper places, cracks vanished from view, rips and tears were sown back together. Several seconds later, it was as if nothing had happened.

It was once again, a beautifully furbished room, fit for any Pureblood.

Satisfied with his handy work, he sat down on an armchair, waiting patiently for the occupant of the room to return.

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Ariadne Grey

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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:53 pm

Typically, Ariadne prowled the halls of Eden at the quick, clipped pace of someone in a terrible hurry to get where they needed to be, wearing her customary scowl -- a souvenir of her generally terrible mood. But it was not a typical day, as evinced by the fact that she'd woken up in a strange bed, a fact which turned Ariadne's walk into more of a strut, and her scowl into a self-satisfied smirk. If the mischievous gleam in her eyes and the slight ruddiness of her cheeks didn't tell tales on her, the fact that she was still wearing the same clothes as the day previous certainly did.

And so she headed directly to her room, where a change of clothes could be found; the need for a bath had been reconciled at Cygnus' apartment, to the supreme satisfaction of everyone involved. It was with those thoughts in mind that she stepped into her room, smirk still firmly in place, having nearly forgotten that it would be destroyed from last night's temper tantrum....or should be, because, alarmingly, it wasn't.

Only a moment after she registered that fact, Ariadne laid eyes on Corvus, sprawled rather elegantly on one of her armchairs, and clearly awaiting her arrival. He couldn't have been waiting long, although her eyes did take a surreptitious glance down at the ring she wore on her finger, to make sure that she hadn't been summoned. The fact that she hadn't only worried her more; Corvus was typically very impatient, and generally speaking, whenever he acted out of line with his usual habits, it did not mean good things for anyone on the receiving end of his actions. She recognised the need to say something, but could scarcely summon a syllable in her alarmed state, shamefully aware once again that she was still wearing last night's clothes. 

"I hope you haven't been waiting long?" she started, hastily rearranging her features into a carefully composed calm. 

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Corvus Darrow

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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:26 pm

"Not at all," Corvus replied pleasantly. He gestured to the seat adjacent him. "There was just one or two things I wanted to discuss with you."

"It's a personal matter really and thus why I didn't bother with the ring." He explained amicably. His hands were relaxed and folded on his lap. His general disposition was cordial.

Eyes the colour of steel had watched Ariadne carefully once she had entered the room. Her cheeks were flushed, her hair was disheveled (there was an attempt at order, but to no avail), and her clothes - they were the biggest tell of all. His familiar had not been lying to him. Not that Corvus doubted him nor Loki could, but somehow physical evidence sealed the deal. He watched in slight amusement has Ariadne tensed up and slowly put on a wall of defense.

She should know, crows can fly over walls.

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Ariadne Grey

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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:42 pm

"Of course," Ariadne murmured, lowering her eyes in a gesture of humility that was all too sincere. She managed to get the best of all of her instincts which were screaming at her to leave, and instead sat down in the chair Corvus had indicated, with a minimum of barely perceptible shaking.

All too familiar with the phrase "the calm before the storm," she was not in the least taken in by his cordial demeanour. Corvus had practically taught her the meaning of that particular phrase, as she had been witness to countless assaults by him which had begun in exactly that way. It had been a cruelly practical education, to be sure -- very rarely had he directed his anger at her, precisely because she knew what awaited disobeyed orders -- but it did not make the moment even slightly more bearable. She could not meet his eyes, and instead gazed at his hands folded in his lap...hands just like the ones which had so recently been raised to her not in anger, but with quite a different motivation, to please and not to harm.

"What is it that you would like to discuss?" Ariadne could guess, but still it was difficult not to hold out just the tiniest bit of hope that it might be something completely different, although his use of the word "personal" just about exhausted her limited supplies of hope.

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Corvus Darrow

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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:26 pm

"I have noticed, as of late, your behaviour has been rather," Corvus paused. "Off."

He took a moment to look at her before rising. He leisurely approached a nearby desk and started fiddling with a quill. "You are one of my most faithful and loyal friends Ariadne. I know that. You have always done what I have asked and more. I hold you in the highest regard. This is why all of it is such a surprise."

He looked at her then, the briefest hint of emotion shining though his grey eyes, before moving on and wandering towards the window staring absentmindedly out of it.

"I had you followed. I had assumed that you of all people wouldn't need to be tailed but I have been wrong before. I could sense something as amiss when you returned a few nights ago from the recruitment task I set for you. I simply thought you would have told me what was different. So I waited, and waited, And waited. But nothing. I had to find out from Loki. I thought you and I were above all of this," he paused, turned around and gazed at her. "Deception."

Through it all he never raised his voice or gave any indication of emotion. Just still and calm, like a clear night. He ambled towards her and stopped when he was but a few feet.

"You are tottering on a very dangerous line, Ariadne. I'm certain I do not have to tell you why. I am not quite sure what you are after. It puzzles me, what you are doing. You are better than this. You know full well that I would find out. So I know there must be more to this than meets the eye."

He folded his arms across his chest. "Thus, I thought I should give you a chance to explain yourself." The next few words that would pass through her lips would determine his course of action.

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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:31 pm

Though Ariadne could be a superb liar when she wanted to be, she saw the necessity of levelling with Corvus immediately. He was probably the one person she had never lied to, and she certainly was not foolish enough to start doing so now. It was a matter of principle as much as it was a matter of the heart -- she couldn't bear the way he was looking at her now. So carefully composed, and so clearly disappointed in her. It was worse than facing his wrath, a thousand times worse.

"Corvus -- deceive you? Never. You know I wouldn't. I was simply...it was all so unexpected," she said honestly, not quite knowing what to say, but knowing she'd better get to her point, and fast.

"You sent me out, as usual, and quite by accident, on my part anyway, I met -- your brother," she hesitated, carefully avoiding his name. "For the briefest moment, I'd thought...well, but then he said something that really quite intrigued me. Were you aware? -- he's an Unspeakable. And so I went with him, to get proof. I have it..." Hastily, she whipped out her wand and summoned the now slightly crumpled piece of parchement, and handed it to Corvus.

"The names of all of the Unspeakables, at least of those in his department. He goes by 'Aquila,' rather than Darrow, apparently." She stopped speaking, instead waiting on Corvus' reaction to the evidence presented, knowing how he detested an overly verbose tongue.

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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:30 pm

"Very well." He did not glance at the sheet of paper offered. He had eyes only for her. His jaw was clenched, his demeanor was slowly evolving as she spoke into something a lot more sinister. Clearly he did not like her answer. He was in fact aware of Cygnus' career choice. He had been keeping tabs on his brother ever since. It was, after all in his best interests. He could buy her story. It seemed highly plausible. He also didn't think she would lie to him. However, there were certain variables that just didn't add up.

"I suppose last night you returned to his home because you needed further proof?"

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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:42 pm

Ariadne did not like the look in Corvus' eyes; that look was not her friend, and she knew it well. Her heart in her throat, she scarcely even gave herself a moment to think of what to say. It all came spilling out in an unrehearsed rush, her desperation for forgiveness clearly visible in her eyes. In that moment she had regretted anything more.

"No, I didn't, I went because -- he, when I was looking around, I found a book. He erm -- draws things, I guess, and he had -- p-pictures of me. Sketches. The night I found them, I was too unnerved -- shocked -- what could I think but that he'd been following me? When we met, he'd come over to me, I didn't seek him out -- I wanted to know how he'd found me. It would not be in our best interests to have someone watching my every move -- who was not loyal to the cause, of course. I have nothing to hide from Purists." Not quite true, but mostly true.

Her earlier anger at Corvus, and her petulant resolution to go to his brother in that moment -- that was an embarrassment she'd much prefer did not leave the confines of the room they were seated in. She was quite determined it would never happen again -- the look that was brewing behind his eyes told her quite clearly that was a mistake Corvus would not tolerate.

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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:32 am


For a moment, Corvus looked thoughtful. "He had sketches of you?" For some reason, this little tid-bit of information had perked his interest more than anything else. Cygnus had sketches of a girl he had never met. He didn't consider Hogwarts, he knew Ariadne and Cygnus never would have crossed paths there. It was too obscure to be mere coincidence. It was something that warranted further investigation. A theory immediately formed, however, it was half-baked and he need more information to be sure. The moment passed and he let his displeasure return.

"And it took the entire night to get an explanation for it?"


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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:07 pm

Ariadne saw his interest in the sketches, and lost no time in telling him all about the very strange business.

"Yeah, it was so bizarre! When I asked him about it, he told me that he had dreams about me. I almost thought it was his idea of a joke but I can usually tell when someone is lying to me and the odd thing was, he really seemed to be telling the truth."

If only answering his second question could be so straightforward!

"And of course it didn't take all night -- I learned from the best, remember? Never give them a reason to suspect you, right?" She shrugged, making a concerted effort to appear more relaxed than she felt. It was a fairly successful gesture.

"Besides, I didn't feel it was a conflict of interest, anyway. We've always been transparent with this relationship, and what it is. You see other people, it's clearly not very serious?" she asked carefully, arching an eyebrow. Ariadne had hinted around a topic very near to her heart, and as she heard the words leave her own mouth, it occurred to her that Corvus might actually be jealous. Just the thought made her heart race in excitement -- it would be the closest display of actually having feelings for Ariadne that she'd ever seen, even if it was only possessiveness. She wondered if it would be possible to actually turn this in her favour, and finally get Corvus to agree to a "real" relationship with her and only her.

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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:20 pm

"He can't lie." Corvus remarked absentmindedly. It wasn't really to Ariadne but more to himself. Cygnus actually could lie, but it wasn't as apt as Corvus could. Certainly, Ariadne could easily catch him at it. Steel eyes went out of focus as the ramifications bombarded his mind. Cygnus dreamt about her? This supported his theory easily. It couldn't be. It couldn't be. It was impossible.

At this Corvus had to smile. He knew the temperament of his brother, and he knew the temperament of Ariadne. She could be very persuasive if she wanted to be. His brother hadn't a choice in the matter. He would have told her anything, if she pressed for it. But for some reason, this did not sit well with Corvus. The smile was short lived.

She didn't feel it was a conflict of interest. But Corvus could see Cygnus' appeal to her. They had the same face after all. He knew what Ariadne wanted from him. He could not give it. It was all to easy to displace that feeling to his brother who could. Ariadne was lying, if not to him, then to herself.

Corvus was not pleased. He had gotten accustomed to Ariadne's unwavering loyalty. He wouldn't admit it, but he'd come to trust it. He who trusted nothing. He felt anger. To suggest Corvus was jealous was not off the mark. Corvus was jealous. It was Cygnus after all. Cygnus. Cygnus. Cygnus.

But he remained indifferent. "I commend your ambition for espionage Ariadne." He was calm and level, very business-like."I am sure your time with Cygnus," he said his brother's name aloud. He had noticed she was carefully avoiding it. "Has showed you he is not like us. If you would kindly put the list of have obtained on my desk, I shall look at in more closely at a later date."

He decided to go to the next order of business.

His shoulders loosened and he was more relaxed. "The real reason I come to you know is that, I'm very displeased in the way you greeted Ms. MacDougal yesterday." Corvus informed her matter-of-fact. "She's an old friend mine and I take insult in the abrupt way you excused yourself. You two have a lot in common. She is a very intelligent woman and a talented Potioneer." Corvus paused. "You can learn a lot from her. I have asked her to teach you how to brew a few of her rather more complicated potions. She has graciously agreed. You begin tomorrow morning."

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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:06 pm

That was certainly interesting, about the lying thing. Corvus' much easier acceptance of it intrigued Aria -- she'd require more persuasion, herself. It made her wonder why Corvus didn't question it, but only for a moment, because then he was going on and breaking her heart, as usual. He didn't seem to care -- didn't even bother to tell her not to see Cygnus again, used his named unflinchingly.

Ariadne crumbled inside, but only her eyes gave her away, wide pools of sadness and bitter disappointment, giving her a rather flat effect. Her face remained impassive as he began lecturing her about her "rudeness" to Lilith, as if she cared beyond whatever punishment it would mean. And what a punishment it was! Merely to be in the woman's presence was punishment enough. She looked up into Corvus' eyes in alarm, hoping to find some small shred of mercy there.

"My love, I would never knowingly cause you insult or injury. Any offenses I have inflicted were purely unintentional. I was simply under the impression that I was in the way and not needed...far be it for me to make a nuisance of myself where I was not wanted."



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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:42 pm

To any other man, facing Ariadne's blue eyes - begging for mercy - would have weaken him and he would have no choice but to release her of her allocated penalty. Corvus was, however, unaffected. He knew exactly what he was asking of her and he knew she would not take pleasure in it one bit. He was complacent, smug even. It was after all her punishment. He wanted her to pay for what she had done. In truth, he wanted a more severe sentence, he wanted to unleash his anger not swallow it. But doing so, would show her too much. He could not afford that. So, he painstakingly controlled himself.

"Nonsense," he disregarded her excuse. Reason Corvus considered, excuses he did not. Corvus knew the reason she had escaped the study - it was after all, his doing, he had been trying to get a reaction from her. Occasionally, he liked to push her. Little experiments, just to see how far she would let him go. "If I did not need you, I would have sent you away." He said simply. Maybe he was trying to hurt her. Maybe he wasn't as controlled as he liked to think he was.

He had flinched at her use of the pet name. "And I would rather you not use that." What he actually meant was 'never call me that'. Corvus was did not like any show of emotions that included affection. He felt it showed weakness and it made him uncomfortable. He was also angry at her, so it made it worse.

He decided to take his leave then, but not before delivering another blow. "One last thing," he didn't even turn to look at her. He just advanced towards the door. "Don't ever leave your room in that horrendous state again. Else, I should have to give you a commode less luxurious and more suitable to your care of it." And with that he saw his way out, closing the door behind him.



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PostSubject: Re: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness   Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:41 pm

It was probably in Ariadne's best interest that Corvus kept his back to her before finally leaving. The sudden iciness of her eyes as he castigated her for her reverence for him probably would have done little to please him on its own, but paired with the searing glare she sent after his inane remark about the room definitely would have touched off a fight.

Left without the ability to respond, Ariadne stalked over to a handsome set of drawers and roughly wrenched them open. He had made it clear he wasn't interested in any further replies from her, but that didn't mean she couldn't retaliate. If he was so insistent that she be more like Lilith, then by Merlin, she'd follow the instruction to the letter so thoroughly that Corvus would regret ever issuing the punishment. As far as Ariadne could tell, that began with dressing the part, and so she sat on the floor, surrounded by heaps of her clothes, gritting her teeth as she tore open seams with her fingers and fashioned something a little more "appropriate" for the role she was being asked to play.

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