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Art of Manipulation  PV | Elijah 

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Aurelia dipped the quill lightly into the small pot of ink. The sooner she completed the assignment, the sooner she could head to the dormitories to rest. Her tired eyes made it obvious that she hadn’t gotten much sleep, even though she sat up straight with a perfect posture like how she always did, the dark circles under her blue eyes gave it away.

Who knew being a journalist for the Gryffgazette was so hard. With the recent departure of both Dorian and Anatole, their work had been distributed to the remaining members. However, almost all were busy prefects and therefore, Aurelia had been chucked with most of the work. Even though it was tiresome, the girl still had to do her job.

Hunting down students to interview was the most challenging. They were never at the same place at the same time. She had spent the next few hours in front of her typewriter creating the drafts for her articles and only after they were completed did she make her way to the dormitories. It was 1 am by the time. It felt as if she had barely closed her eyes when the morning light from the sun flooded the corners of the room.

Aurelia scribbled down the last few sentences of her 500 word essay. History of Magic was one of the most interesting classes, however, it was the dreadfully long assignments that made her abhor the class.

Seeing that the teacher was busy with another student, Aurelia waited. The girl’s eyebrows raised slightly, almost unnoticeably when she heard the professor mention the boy’s last name. Huang. They were quite well-known purebloods and were business people like the Schütte. Apparently, Aurelia had missed his first name, it was Elliot, Eli-something.

The girl rembered during the summer, the week when she came back home, she had told her mother about her time in Hogwarts. However, the woman wasn’t very pleased when she realised that her Daughter hadn’t made one single pureblood Friend or even acquaintance. She had gotten even more upset when she known the young girl had made enemies with an Alexander, a possible political partner. Well, Mia Alexander was being a brat then, Aurelia couldn’t help but dislike her. Aurelia had gotten a earful for that and had somewhat learnt her lesson. She still had a handful of non-pureblood Friends, but that was alright.

Seeing a Huang a few seats away, it was a literal opportunity right in front of her. Her Mother would definitely be pleased when she hears that the Huang and Schütte was on good means. She briefly handed her assignment to the professor when he was no longer busy, the man simply browsed through the paper before waving her off.

She made her way towards the Asian boy. It would only take a couple of minutes, sleep could wait. She sat down in front of him.

You look oddly familiar, have I seen you somewhere before?” Aurelia asked. Honestly, the boy was entirely unfamiliar to her, but it was the best option to avoid him from telling her to leave.


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Art of Manipulation  PV | Elijah 

Elijah didn't like to consider himself as a suck-up, but he would admit that he would often appear more quiet and studious when he talked to professors. Asking "above and beyond" questions never hurt, either, and he liked to talk to professors about homework assignments that had been marked down to try and understand what he'd done wrong. He had just finished his History of Magic homework, and was talking to the professor before turning it in, to make sure he wasn't going to totally get an awful grade.

"Thank you, Professor." Nodding his head at the professor's last comments, he returned to his recluse in the corner, shuffling his papers methodically as he prepared to start his next bit of homework. His father was strict on getting good grades, and with the bar Celestine had set for him to reach, he was going to have to improve in leaps and bounds to catch up to her. It hurt to see that all that mattered to his father was the outcome, not the process nor the passion, but he understood. His father was, after all, a businessman- as long as the number were in the black, it didn't matter what the process was.

His mother was of a softer heart than her husband, and usually could convince him to at least be considerate of just exactly whose business he was investing in, and how it would appear on their social status. He and Celestine were usually kept far, far away from where everything happened. Celestine would be expected to take over the company, as she was the eldest, but Elijah still had to make his own living without relying on his parent's money. Good grades and extracurriculars were imperative, and the motivation to get into a good university and to get a good job was enough to put his quill to the paper. His brain would whir to life, gears cranking out sentences fit for a university student. 

His vocabulary was an impressive one. His words, his voice, and his brain were his three most important and effective weapons in his arsenal, because to him, words were everything. They conveyed meaning, conveyed messages, and you could bend them in the most spectacular ways. Connotations, descriptions, half-truths and psycological triggers could manipulate even the most stubborn of people to your side. It was the art of manipulation- something he considered himself to be a master in, and a frequent practitioner of.

He drummed his fingers on his textbook before his quill began to fly across the paper, small print beginning to fill up the page. It was incredibly neat handwriting, with carefully closed a's and traditional g's. Everything had to be perfect, because perfection would lead to progress, and progress would lead to power, and power would lead to superiority, and superiority... well, that would lead to influence.

Anyone with half a brain cell knew that influence was the most powerful weapon a man could have.

The light, lilting voice that penetrated his thoughts was not a welcome one. Glancing up from his papers abruptly, nearly knocking his ink well over with his elbow, he stared at the girl who had approached him. The question was a double-edged sword, and Elijah was entirely uncomfortable with it. He, in fact, would not look familiar to anyone, as apparently, there weren't many Asian kids in Hogwarts. She was after something, and he was wary of what exactly she was going after.

"I don't believe so. Did you require something, Miss...?" He raised an eyebrow, meeting her crystal blue eyes with a cold stare. His voice dripped with venom, cautioning the girl who dared approach him to step carefully. He wasn't in a bad mood, necessarily, but he also wasn't in the best mood after her interruption. He didn't recognize her at all, and hoped she had mistaken him for someone else, if that even was possible.

Sometimes, you just have to play the role of a fool to fool the fool who thinks they're fooling you.
ELIJAH HUANG→ 6 STA || 7 STR || 5 AGI || 12 CTRL

Art of Manipulation  PV | Elijah 

Her light smile didn’t falter when the boy replied with an unwelcoming tone in his voice but neither did she tell her to go away, at least that was an favourable sign. However, Aurelia didn’t quite like the boys lack of conviviality. She didn’t like Mia Alexander either and look what that got her. Perhaps it was the way Slytherins were. Regardless, she had to at least get on the Huang’s good side and tell him a bit about her family and know more about his. Knowing the right people was one of the crucial factors in thriving in the business world.

It took her merely a few seconds for her to respond. Lying was a skill she used often in getting what she wanted, out of trouble or just wanted things to go how way. She had somewhat mastered the skill that it had became easy.

Aurelia Bezuidenhout. I must have mistaken you for Kenneth Lee, my bad. You two look similar, you know, dark hair, dark eyes, and pale skin. Though I think he left Hogwarts already, ” The lies slipped effortlessly. Kenneth Lee was someone her Father knew, if she remembered correctly, it was one of those investors and happened to be the first chinese male name that came to her mind that moment.

She now had to find another reason to stay than to walk away since she had just stated that she mistook the boy for someone else. Her eyes travelled down onto the parchment the boy was writing on, at the top corner was his name. Elijah Huang. It was history of Magic he was working on, King Arthur.

The second year textbook has much more information and sources on King Arthur. It’ll help you a lot in your essay, trust me. ” She said, her voice lowered to almost a whisper. What was said wasn’t a lie, but it’s intention of mentioning it wasn’t to help Elijah in his essay. Pulling out her own History of Magic textbook from her bag, she set it down on the table in between them. She flipped the pages and stopped as soon as she reached page 86, she turned the book over so it faced Elijah. Now she had a reason to stay.

Doubt the other first years know this,” Aurelia laughed lightly.

Art of Manipulation  PV | Elijah 

Bezuidenhout.

The name was all too familiar to him. If you were even vaguely involved in the business world, you would have heard the name. Aurelia's incentive immediately became clear to him, that she was looking to get an in with his family. He knew that the Huang name held some clout, especially if you wanted a rival to go "bye-bye", but he didn't appreciate people coming to him to try to get closer to the business. If you wanted to be in the Huang name's favor, he would direct you to Celestine, who usually only stood a meter or two away from her brother at dinner parties. After all, it was she who was the heir, not him. He had no business in dealing with sycophants like her.

Aurelia's next sentence would immediately land her on his bad side. The only tell she would see from the outside would be a slight downturn of the right corner of his lip, and even then, it was hardly noticeable. While he tried not to hold double standards, and while he was proud of his heritage, he was touchy about his appearance and that he was quite obviously not white. With the drop of another Asian name, especially one that he knew, she was saying multiple things, even if she hadn't meant to. 

She was, first of all, saying that all Asians looked alike- for he, himself, had met Kenny (they were friends through family, duh) and could indeed confirm that he looked nothing like him. And, Kenny was much older than him, and there was no way that they looked alike. It was like him saying that Emma Watson and Anne Hathaway looked alike- they didn't.

And, of course, she was implying that she knew people. That the Bezuidenhouts knew people. That it would be in his best interest to tolerate her, at the very least, to get on the Bezuidenhout's good side. Of course, he didn't know if his parents were already working something out with them, or if they totally hated them, but he would have to take the leap.

It was easier to destroy a healthy relationship than to rebuild a toxic one.

Her offer of the second year textbook was a good play, and she knew it. He had to admit, if his sister hadn't been to Hogwarts before him, it would've gotten her closer to his good graces, but he had his own weapons. "Oh, I know," he said, his eyes flickering briefly over the textbook. "I've checked it out already." Man, if only she knew just how hard he worked for his grades... Going even further than checking out textbooks for older years, he also had his sister's notes from when she was a student, as she was quite undeniably a meticulous hoarder, if anything.

"You look familiar Miss Bezuidenhout," he said softly, deciding to cut her a little bit of slack, her last name playing across his tongue with ease. He liked her last name. He liked long last names, foreign last names that didn't quite sit right on his tongue. "Have I seen your parents before? Perhaps... your mother?"

He needed a bit of prompting to get his memory up and going again. Her face had stirred something deep within his subconscious, and it was a woman's face- older, with sharper features and a tired expression. She reminded him of someone, and he didn't know who- thus, he would have to find out.

His approach wasn't the most tactical, but it served two purposes- one, it was direct, which meant he would get the information he wanted. Two, and more importantly, it would most likely alert Aurelia that he knew the game she was playing. It hadn't exactly been his intention, but perhaps it would be a weapon. That she would truly have to watch her step from now on if she wanted to get into his good books, to earn the Huang family's favor.

Sometimes, you just have to play the role of a fool to fool the fool who thinks they're fooling you.
ELIJAH HUANG→ 6 STA || 7 STR || 5 AGI || 12 CTRL

Art of Manipulation  PV | Elijah 

Aurelia wasn’t sure if Elijah’s claim on having already checked out the textbook was true or he just wanted her leave him to finishing his history assignment in peace.. She couldn’t tell which it was. Though his eyes lingered on the book for a bit, his words seem genuine enough. That wasn’t a good sign because she needed to find something to get the conversation going.

Thankfully, the boy spoke. Sceptical she was when Elijah told her that she looked familiar and then brought the topic to her parents. Aurelia didn’t mind talking about her parents, however, she was adopted and looked nothing like them. She only recently in September found out about that fact and hadn’t told her parents yet. But someone telling her she looked familiar due to her parents intrigued the twelve year old who had never heard such a comment.

Nevertheless, Elijah might just be saying this to get to know her family as well. Save her from the effort. The Huang were business people as well and knowing the right people was a crucial factor in the business industries. If so, he’d like her maternal family much.

Thellea Schütte? I won’t be surprised that you’ve seen my Mother, she knows a lot of people, too many to count and keep track off.” She said. This conversation would probably go a bit longer than she expected. A part of her wanted to excuse herself and head up to her dormitory, but of course, she didn’t.

Its possible that our parents know each other, it does happen with many pureblood families.” Aurelia got to know a lot of students through their last names during her first year, and unsurprisingly, most of them were of purebloods, some were half-bloods.

Art of Manipulation  PV | Elijah 

Thellea Schütte... he let the name run around through his head, peeking into filing cabinets full of memories and small conversations that he deemed important enough to remember. He vaguely remembered the same woman Aurelia's face had reminded him of- but no, they didn't look alike. They had been in the same room, together, however- but the woman was stern, with a pinched expression and cold eyes.

But the name itself; Schütte. Bezuidenhout. The overwhelming stench of European business seemed to hang around Aurelia's head as cologne would cling to the seventh year boys. Schütte was quite a well-known name as well, so Aurelia had double the weight clinging to her shoulders. All in all, he felt rather sorry for her, and felt pleased that he didn't have to shoulder the company when he was older. However, having an in with the Bezuidenhouts and Schüttes certainly couldn't hurt, would it?

"Purebloods," he mumbled under his breath, shaking his head slightly. "Quite a strange term, isn't it?" Glancing back at his homework, he jotted down a few more sentences before looking back up at Aurelia. "For instance, say a pureblood couple only had one daughter, and they marry... That name is potentially lost forever. Quite remarkable, the way some names will die out, and how others will live forever, don't you think?"

Perhaps Aurelia would be so bored of his nerd-talk that she would leave. He had homework to complete, after all, and he couldn't exactly do it with a second-year hovering over his shoulder. But, if she were as persistent as he believed her to be, she would stick around to try and buddy up to him even more.

It was a fifty-fifty situation, and one that he didn't like at all. He didn't like situations where he couldn't have complete control over the outcomes, where he couldn't manipulate the results so they were always in his favor. In this, it was a lose-lose; if she left, he would lose a contact to both the Bezuidenhout and Schütte names; should she stay, he wouldn't get the O he so desperately wanted.

Sometimes, you just have to play the role of a fool to fool the fool who thinks they're fooling you.
ELIJAH HUANG→ 6 STA || 7 STR || 5 AGI || 12 CTRL

Art of Manipulation  PV | Elijah 

[quote]

The term purebloods wasn’t strange to the twelve year old girl. It was simply a term used for people who’s blood hasn’t been tainted by the one of muggle’s. Even then, besides the fact that their genetics were different and that they had less magic in them, they weren’t so different.

However, it was odd when Elijah mentioned about the dying out of a name. Where was he taking the conversation to? What he had said was undeniably true. She could carry the burden of the Schütte business but would never be able to carry the Schütte name. The fate of the Schütte name would lie in the hands of her Uncle, which could mean that the name was doomed already. Uncle Heinrich was one who would break the hearts of women like clockwork and for years, never settled down to get married. This gave her grandmother much headaches.

The conversation was dangerous threatening to step out of line. Sooner or later the Slytherin might be asking about her family, out of the political and business genre, and that wasn’t good. Aurelia sensed she needed to direct the topic the other way.

The Schütte still has a slim chance in making it to the next generation. I have an Uncle.” She said calmly.

Purebloods. True, it’s quite a strange word,” Aurelia spoke, though it the word wasn’t the very least confusing for her.

Those with the title, would already have their future roughly planned out for them. At least mine is,” that was a little bit of truth she’d willingly give. It was impossible for Aurelia to make her own future like how others, those non-purebloods, would be able to. She sometimes envied that they were able to do somethings she wasn’t allowed to. First of all, most children didn’t have to carry the entire weight of a business in the future and second, it was a must for Aurelia to marry one of her own kind, a pureblood. Aurelia was curious, did Elijah have to face the same thing. He was a Huang, and Huangs had their businesses too.

Art of Manipulation  PV | Elijah 

He almost felt sorry for her. He knew that what she spoke was the truth- he knew that it was hard to be a pureblood with heavy expectations hoisted upon him. It was just a harsh reality that was, unfortunately, something that was all too prevalent in today's society. You'd think that the wizarding society would have decided that blood status didn't matter any more than what color the skin on the back of your hands was, yet it mattered more than ever. 

You simply couldn't throw away so many generations of purity, they said. You couldn't just disregard hundreds and hundreds of years of purity. Humans, Muggles and wizardkind alike, had never been good at seeing their population as a whole, rather than trying to classify everyone into their separate little categories.

It wasn't that he hated families like Aurelia's, but he disliked their mindset. He certainly didn't hate their drive, their determination- that much, he could admire. But why were they so insistent on trying to carry on their names, to keep their blood "pure"? In fact, if she even married at all, like she was supposed to, both the Bezuidenhout and Schütte names would disappear from her. They were in European culture, after all- the women would take on their husband's last name, and their maiden name would practically cease to exist. Chinese culture was much better than that- his own mother still went by Angel Ye, because that was the name given to her by her grandmother-
叶安琪

But, she had made an assumption, and it was quite wrong. "Most with the title," he corrected gently, shuffling a sheaf of notes into a neat pile. He, himself, was burdened by nothing but his parents' well wishes and hopes to do well in the world when he graduated from Hogwarts. He had no pressure to go into the business world, but instead, to put some good into the world. 

Humanity was bent on exploiting all the evil deeds it's done, that they rarely remembered to give back to improve the evil- his parents were frequent donators to charity, and implored him to follow suit as he got older. Get a good job, they told him, and improve your community in any way you can. That is all we ask of you.

This conversation was getting quite tedious- it was time, he decided, to wrap things up. Was she going to make a fragile alliance or not? He hated having to make the first move, but sometimes, it was necessary. Shifting another stack of papers to another part of the table, just to make his hands look busy, he glanced up at Aurelia, as if he was both surprised and irritated that she was still there. 

"Did you require something else of me, Miss Bezuidenhout?" he said steadily with a slight frown tugging at the corners of his lips. Or are you just wasting my time? was the implied question that hung in the air after- not spoken aloud purposely so that she couldn't call him out on it and accuse him of being rude, but still there and very prevalent. The question he asked wasn't rude at all in the slightest, but the implications and connotations that went along with the subtleties of his facial expression were enough, he was certain. 

Wow, he really was quite good at this whole manipulating thing.

Sometimes, you just have to play the role of a fool to fool the fool who thinks they're fooling you.
ELIJAH HUANG→ 6 STA || 7 STR || 5 AGI || 12 CTRL