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Double, Double Toil and Trouble
February 28th, 1890 — Hogwarts's Dungeons, an unused cell/room
While he was often displeased about having to make his way all the way from the tower to the dungeons, he had to agree on the fact the rooms down here made for far better hiding places than any of the classrooms on the upper floors. Which was good considering the pair did not have time or the ability to babysit their potions for twenty-four hours a day. With N.E.W.T.s coming he barely had time to leave the library. Today, something seemed to be in his favor as the day had stretched out an extra twenty-four hours. He literally had more time in the day. Between that and the new wand he'd woken up with that morning, Germander was in an explicitly good mood.

He slipped into the room, making sure he didn't disturb the concealing charm they'd placed over the door, and offer a mindless greeting to his cousin - who had understandable (considering she lived just down the hall) beaten him here.

"It has not gone off, has it?" The room smelt different now - darker, with a bit of a metallic bite that wasn't there before. He wasn't sure if it was supposed to smell that way or not. The instructions hadn't mentioned anything about how it should smell at different stages.
Seneca and Germander wanted to make blood. This was more alchemy, than potion making. They weren't sure that it would work, since they were going off based on an old text they found at the Lestrange library. Most of it was in Ancient Runes, so they spent the entirty of their holidays, and January, translating it and once they were satisfied with the result, they decided to brew it.

They found a secluded dungeon, placed a concealing charm just to be sure and got to work.

Germander was late and while this annoyed Seneca, it also enabled her to do some work on the potion on her own, without having to ask for his input and opinion. Sure her cousin was smart, but Seneca believed that if this potion succeeded, it would be due to her.

"I think blood is supposed to smell like that?" Seneca responded. She suspected that she had more experience on the odour of blood, than Germander did.
After 17 years, Germander was far more than used to his cousin's high and mighty, better than thou attitude. He had one himself, though more subtle perhaps than hers. While Seneca was like on his list of relatives he actually care for, his respect for her as an academic was limited by her gender. Regardless, the fact she did not return his greeting did not even phase him. That was simply Sen.

He paused, then nodded. She was right, the scent, in consideration of what they were making, made sense. He was also curious of how accurately they translated the old recipe. And not only down to a skill level, but some of the issue was simply language. It was old, and surely things could have had different names then they were called now, leaving a fault in the translation. Hopefully, if that was the case, nothing was dramatically wrong. Mother and father would be horribly pissed if he blew up a corridor.

"I brought the bone powder. I'll owe who got this for me, though," he snorted, moving to grab the mortar and pestle resting beside the cauldron. While it was already in power form, the recipe called for finely grounded and one more time in a morter would only help. Who knows how much care the source put into it's preperation. He was going to be royally pissed if this turned out to not be human. "I hate owing people. They always like to call favors worth more trouble than they went through."
"Oh!" Seneca made in a cute, patronising tone. She placed her hands on his shoulder, in an affectionate manner, like a wife might do to her husband after he'd made a complaint about having a difficult day at work. "I admire your dedication, Germander!" she continued in a sweet tone, as he began to work on the bone powder.

As she began to move away from him and towards the cauldron, she continued. "Who did you get it from?"
"Stop being patronizing," he snorted as he shook Seneca's hand off his arm, though his tone was clearly not serious. Not to go as far as saying he was joking but he certainly didn't mean his words harshly when it came to his younger cousin. Seeing her mimicking a motion he'd seen society wives do to their husbands sat weirdly with him. At some point in their lives, she'd passed the status of just another female relative and he'd started to see her as an actual human being and the reminder she'd likely just end up a restless, displeased (at least knowing her) wife seemed an ill fit when he'd come to see she actually had a useful brain.

"Mhm, a cousin on my Father's side. His sister's son - Marcus." Not that he actually expected her to have kept up with his relatives on the other side of the family - especially those that didn't share the Macnair name - and most likely the name would just fade into the background, which is just as well. Marcus wasn't the sort one wanted to be publicly tied too. He lifted the pestle and deciding he was satisfied with the consistency, he scraped the power onto the scale and then added what was needed to the potion. It shifted from a dark purple to an auburn color far more resembling blood than it had look prior as he flicked his wand over the potion, stirring it. "I'll likely have to clean up one of his mess or pay for some random object he just has to have shipped from who knows where."
Germander's request made Seneca want to be even more patronizing. She enjoyed playing this game with her cousins. She enjoyed the idea of having men under her little finger and having them do her bidding. This was something she had been doing ever since she was a child, though then she hadn't realized that she was doing it. As a child, Seneca was the cute, young Lestrange golden child that everyone liked to comment about how special she was (because of her abilities) and how well-behaved she was.

She would enjoy entering society and having pureblooded men fight for her attention. She had no doubt that she would be a highly desirable bride in their pools. Everyone wanted a connection to the Lestranges. She was going to use this to get all the attention her heart desired, until she finally settled for a pureblood with good connections.

She didn't know who this Marcus Macnair(?) was. She had some general knowledge on the significant pureblooded families but she couldn't possibly keep track on every individual member. She didn't even know what every single of her first cousins was up to.

"I see," she commented. "It is such a pity that some of us want to make us weaker." By 'us', Seneca referred to purebloods. If purebloods continued to get arrested and to marry muggles, soon there would be no proper wizards walking the earth. It would be full of half-breeds and halfbloods.

"Haven't you considered to get him under the Influece?" She referred to the Imperius curse. She believed that relatives who acted irrationally had to be stripped away from their free will, because clearly they weren't using it for the common good.

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Seneca would make a desirable bride - far more desirable than he'd be a husband - which he supposed was a good thing his mother had thought to betrothe him two summers ago. Holly was a childish annoyance but she was from a well off family - well, well off branch. Her cousins were another story. At least Holly could be trusted not to end up like her cousin. And she'd save him the trouble of having to fake the effort or desire to court a girl in a few years.

"It is," he shrugged,  though he'd have admitted for something in return as well - though he could clean up his own messes. Sourcing objects was fair game.

Imperius? "His father and brother keep him in line typically. I have enough to worry about with Yarrow." Though Yarrow was being considerably quiet lately. Maybe Ministry work was teaching him a thing or two. At least he didn't need to worry about Sage being left alone the next year.
If Seneca couldn't immediately recall that Cousin Marcus, then he probably wasn't such an issue.

She snorted at Germander's comment about his brother, Yarrow. "He might be a nuisance, but at least he's not a blood traitor," she commented. Yarrow Macnair was just like Kristoffer -- obnoxious, impolite and somewhat stupid. In any case, there was no worrying that they might be led astray by a muggle-born beauty.

"Would you ever consider becoming one, Germander?" she asked playfully.

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"As long he keeps his nuisances on the quite, I'd rather not end up without family in the papers for his antics," Mander snorted, shifting his weight to lean against the wall, still flicking his hand in even, mindless circles as he stirred the potion. He supposed his brother was like their cousin, though he had a suspicion that his brother would screw anything with a vagina - regardless of the attached women's blood status. He wouldn't marry her, yes, but he would certainly sleep around with her. He supposed that was better, at least Yarrow could deny he ever did it.

"Do what? Be a blood traitor?" he questioned, guessing she meant that over would he ever be a nuisance. "Why would you even ask? Dirtying myself like that - no. Even if I wanted to - which I never would, please don't even make me think of that again - Mother has already picked my wife out."
"So you are satisfied with Holly Scrimgeour?" Seneca asked playfully, then added: "You're in love with her?"

She found that difficult to imagine. First of all, Holly Scrimgeour was a disagreeable creature, she couldn't imagine her being the sort of blushing debutante to fall in love with a man. She was like Seneca in that regard. They were much more likely to have a passion for something they were studying, than a man.

As for Germander, he really wasn't like his brother. Yarrow flirted even with her, at family gatherings. He'd flirt with anything that was female. If she had been as playful towards him as she was to Germander, their parents would already be planning a hasty marriage between them.

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"Satisfied!" the typically reserved Rvaenclaw snorted. "How anyone could be satisfied with something argues your ears off and grates every last nerve in my body in a way that makes me think of nails on a chalkboard? So no, I am certainly not satisfied nor in love."

The idea of him ever loving Holly Scrimgeour was about as likely as if he sprouted a set of wings - without becoming an animagi. He couldn't remember a single conversation with her that hadn't turned into some form of disagreement.

"Though Sage seems to like her well enough - I've seen them together - so logic suggests she has some pleasant traits, but I cannot say I've ever seen any. But, it does save me the hassle of finding someone else later. I'm only hoping at some point in the next four years she stops acting like a child."

If not, he'd have to find some sort of way to break the betrothal. Living with Miss Scimgeour sounded like a nightmare. Even if they had separate bedrooms, he'd have to bed her at some point. Frankly, he'd rather be a bachelor - he wasn't even the eldest, did he really have to marry. Though at the rate, he'd be the first to marry, even with three older brothers.
Seneca hadn't expected Germander to begin professing his undying love for Holly Scrimgeour. Seeing that all three of them belonged in the same friendship group, she had seen how cold and distant they were to each other. You would expect that two people who were betrothed to be married and liked each other would act like married people, to the extent that it was allowed. Holly and Germander often didn't even speak to each other and, when they did, they often had arguments.

Then again, it was hard not to argue with Holly Scrimgeour. Not that Seneca could judge on that front. Her arguments with Holly Scrimgeour were a mix of both of the girls' stubbornness. Germander, though, was much more calm and level-headed than Seneca. It wasn't that he was a pushover, Seneca thought that he just didn't care enough to argue, most of the time.

She didn't know that Holly Scrimgeour was close to Sage. That was -- interesting. Could that be a factor that made Germander dislike her? Men didn't like being second best to someone else. Especially if that was Sage, who Seneca found somewhat unmemorable. In spite of them being in the same year and house, she had never been as close to him as she was to Germander.

"They both lack charm," Seneca commented with a playful smile. "So that might be what's bonding them. As for her behaviour, she will most certainly mature when she's older, don't you worry about that. And, you wouldn't have to spend that much time with her. Papa and Mother were mostly seen together during mealtimes." Her parents' cold relationship was contrasted a lot by how close Papa and Belphoebe were. They were often seen together, discussing magical theory over chess, etc. It sometimes annoyed Seneca that this was the case, then again, Alexandria Lestrange had never been as intellectually stimulating as Belphoebe.

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