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Fantasy A Game of Cards; The Queen of Hearts


*tumbles around*
aka dean
albert hawkins
Grief manifested in many ways. Dean knew that well after the love of his life passed. Estelle left him with a gift, one that took 16 years to find. If only he had came into her life sooner, assumed the role of a father figure that was rightfully of blood, would she have confided her trust in him? While Astrid death she mourned greatly, the death of her husband didn't appear to faze Aurelia at all. Nevertheless, the two tragedies left her with all anyone could ask for: money, property and assets. It was a shame to leave it untouched when he saw potential if only she'd allowed him. There was only so much he could do by simply advising if she took no action.

Yet time and time again, she turned him down when he offered to take care of things, to lift some of the burden of her shoulders. It was frustrating how the young woman failed to see the bigger picture. At only 19, Aurelia was still young, albeit a mother. The Notresvace Manor was hers, but under the roof of the matriarchal home, he had little authority even with their relation by blood and difference in age.

Then the opportunity arose when an owl came to him. The letter addressed not to the young Matriarch but to him, Albert Hawkins. After two years in America, Aurelia had moved back to Europe, with a child he didn't know existed. Dean took advantage of the scope to present her during the legal proceedings that was an extensive custody battle for her daughter - his granddaughter by blood. While a non-disclosure agreement was signed by the parties involved, speculations would have been made. In the letter contained an offer of a partnership - an alliance lucrative in many ways that he knew his daughter, a sentimental individual, would not see.

Dean sent off a letter in response that he would consider. For three weeks he waited, it was an all too perfect window when the issue with the children's home arose. One partnership in exchange for another. He sent a letter requesting a meeting at the manor.

On an early Tuesday afternoon, the two Stavrou men arrived by floo open in the library. The patriarch, Alexander, and his son, Lysander. Dean would extend his hand in greeting. "Ah, welcome, Alexander. Please, have a seat." The man gestured to the table of four seats in the large room. The butler - a woman with short slicked back hair, in every way fitting of the role but the bourgeois gender - tended to the table of men. "The Lady Notresvace and her daughter will be you shortly. Could I help you to something to drink this afternoon? Tea, wine or brandy?"
  • outfit

coded by reveriee.
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a. notresvace

dress suit

notresvace library

winter 2025

To Aurelia, Dean was less of a father but rather more of an advisor, counsel, and business partner. The man possessed wisdom that came with age and experience, he was more knowledgeable on how the laws of the world and the socialite worked. He'd advocated for her during the extensive proceedings, and with that, much trust was built upon subsequent victory of gaining full custody of her own daughter.

After Astrid's death, upon abandoning her husbands name and reclaiming one rightful, Aurelia was left with all of the Notresvace property and wealth. Along with the large share of the Zuheir trading business Hadrian dumped on her at his departure - or rather, Eupheranie, to top of with the starting of the winged horse breeding programme and motherhood, she had her hands and days full. With Dean more often than not advising her on what to do with all of the assets upon her shoulders. With their contrasting personalities, there were many times where their interests differed.

The Ruthevos home for Wizarding Children was Astrid's love, it was not one to rid off simply for the convenience or monetised from. "Listen to me, Aurelia. I understand you are trying to do right by Astrid, but there is truly a lot of logistics running an orphanage. Its a full-time prospect and a feat I do not believe you want to take on now." It was the umpteenth time Dean had tried to dissuade her. Dean was one who chose ration over the frivolities of the heart, she knew that well. And it was frustrating... To know he was right.

Aurelia buried her face in her palms wearily. "Il se fait tard. Je dois mettre mon enfant au lit." With that, the woman left the room. She needed to think, without the presence of Dean and his stifling pressure on taking action.

That morning, Dean had brought it up, a solution to it all to the ongoing dilemma: A partnership with the Wycliffe Children's Charity or co-ownership of the Ruthevos' Children's home. The name that followed came like an assault. Three years. Despite such an extensive time, the memories came bombarding at the very mention of the name. Stavrou. The family who ran the charity. Fucking Hell. But this was business, and coming to a resolution to this was one of her top priorities. Even if it meant seeing him after all these years.

She agreed. But little did she know, her trusted advisor was scheming plans of his own.

As Dean waited for the guests to arrive in the library downstairs, Aurelia would prepare, dressing herself and Eupheranie in an appropriate attire for a formal meeting. Aurelia knew he would be there. She closed her eyes for a moment. The memory of their last meeting was still so fresh in her head, as if it happened only weeks ago - the feelings even echoed in her chest as she thought about it. There was a knock on the door, grounding her back to reality. "Madame, the guests have arrived." The butler informed her. "Thank you, Maxence, let them know to expect me soon."

The mother inhaled deeply as she fixed a hair band on the girl's hair. "Tout est fait." Aurelia placed a kiss on the girl's head. "Let us go meet our guests." Eupheranie smiled as she held her hand, it was always a comfort to see the toddler happy, as she always was when they had visitors. The mother carried her down the stairs, navigating through the hallways till she reached the doors of the library which opened on cue.

Maxence was serving the men their drinks. As she approached the table, her eyes flicked towards him almost instinctively. He was different yet all the same. Of course, change was inevitable with time. Despite a turmoil of feelings in her chest and the nerves, she forced a smile. He was looking at her - the child. Evident that he likely knew nothing about her. With her time spent in America, many weren't at all aware of her existence.

Maxence pulled the chair out for her - between Lysander and Albert. "Shall I get another seat for Euphie?" The lady butler asked. "That won't be necessary," Aurelia replied as the toddler sat comfortably on her lap. The butler then served them tea and juice for the child. With a nervous childish giggle, the young child beamed at the stranger seated next to them. "It's wonderful to see you again, Lysander. And, of course, Alexander, thank you for coming today." She greeted them both for the sake of pleasantries. How much did his father know about their history? She would gauge wasn't all that much. "This is my daughter Eupheranie Notresvace, but I assume you are all aware." Right, one of them certainly wasnt. "Shall we begin?"

coded by reveriee.
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