Sibling Rivalry(?)

January 27, 2018:

HoM. The eldest and youngest children of Magnus have a brief conversation on their father, the state of the world, and not Wanda.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Magneto, Wanda Maximoff

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Princess Lorna came out of her chambers with a sigh and a wave of her hand shutting the door behind her. The young woman wore a silken blue skirt, which jingled with golden jewerly. A black tube top and loose fitting cardigan of blue sparkled around her shoulders. Her long green hair was pulled back with a lazily tied back. The guards bowed their heads as she made her way to the royal hall to get breakfast. She settled in chair and a servant settled a plate before her of her usual. A plate of omelette, an English muffin and some jam. A flick of her hand and a projection of the TV screen came alive in front of her on the far wall. Some reporter was going on about the results of the recent arrests of human rebels in New York. How they'd been found with contraband genetic materials and technology relating to decoding the mutant genenome. It was highly illegal, and had been for years. The bust was being hailed as a huge success, and the FBI agents were being hailed as heroes. Lorna rolled her eyes, sighing softly as she nibbled at her breakfast.

"Bunch of dumb flatscans."


"Imprisonment?" The voice in the corridor outside is familiar, peremptory and harsh. Pietro was always a forcefully negative personality; crowns just made him worse. "We've been lenient and just imprisoning them for long enough. Don't you think that perhaps they continue to be so bold because there are no harsher measures being leveled?"

Presumably someone must answer him. But they don't speak nearly as loudly back to him as he does to them. Unsurprising… few people speak back loudly to Pietro.

"Execute them, obviously. If they won't conform to law, they have no business living in society," Pietro scoffs at whatever reply he received, and a moment later he actually comes into view, rounding the corner into the hall. Presumably he was attracted by the sound of the news, and the reporter going on about the very topic he was discussing. The mystery of his conversation partner becomes obvious as a pair of Red Guard hurry to keep up, expressions world-weary. They look well-accustomed to dealing with his shit.

Pietro notices Lorna, but for once her brother does not immediately greet her, merely slanting her a narrow-eyed look.


Lorna looked up at her brother's voice, arching a green eyebrow upwards as she bit off a piece of muffin. "What. Are you actually coming to breakfast or just passing through on your way to complain about how father handles things?" She drawled, her voice dry and unimpressed by the Red Guard at his side.

Green eyes slanted back toward the TV as the reporter went on to explain about the weather, and something else unimportant and just as boring.

"Is father still in his study?"


"I took breakfast already," Pietro replies, with a pointed roll of his eyes. "I've been up for two hours. Reviewed the reports on these arrests, took a run, read a book. Keep up, Lorna."

He does reach to steal half her muffin, because that's what an older brother is for, prince or not. The Red Guards behind him exchange a hapless look.

"And I don't just complain," he shrugs. "I've supported our father in everything he's done. Everything. I've done everything he asked. I just think it's time now to refine some of our stances. The human resistance is getting entirely too brazen."

Is father still in his study? "Last I checked," Pietro says. "Which was about five minutes ago." His eyes narrow again on her, with that same searching look. "Why?"


Lorna rolled her eyes at her brother, huffing a breath. "That's your thing, Pietro, isn't it?" She leaned back in her chair as watching him as he took half her English muffin.

A small 'uh huh' following his claims that he supported their father in everything that he did.

"Mmm no reason. Just that he told me that he planned to let the judges sentence the rebels as they see fit. With a recommendation that they'll be sent to the re-education center." She mused, propping her chin up with a hand as she watched him.

"Him and I were discussing this late last night. I don't think he actually got much sleep."


The fact he apparently already took breakfast doesn't stop Pietro from finishing half of Lorna's, too. But he's always been this way, so long as they can remember. The demands of his metabolism are high. …Also, he's a dick.

That last fact informs the utter degree to which he looks thoroughly unimpressed, when Lorna informs him of what their father told her. Sentence the rebels as they see fit? Re-education center? "Re-education," he snorts. The idyll of the life they've built… it all seems to sit poorly on him. He was made for action. "If re-education worked we'd have re-educated all those rebels away by now. It's been years. No. It's time for a decisive hit. Just one, and — "

Hang on.

"He told you all this?" Pietro asks, head canting, blue eyes narrowing on his younger sister. "And what else have you been 'discussing' late at night?"


Lorna arched a brow upwards, letting her brother steal away part of her breakfast. Still, she didn't remark on it. Even after she'd finished the other half. She took her time in speaking, as she knew it would bother him a good deal. She sipped at her tea and watched him for a long time, before she spoke.

"There's still the human rights groups to deal with, Pietro. Father already has to balance their interest as it stands. Wakanda already is giving him a head ache." She shrugged lightly, watching him still.

"And yeah, he and I were speaking last night. He wanted to know if I've picked a suitor or not. We got off topic. He was into the whiskey."


The tactic works. It's always worked. By the time Lorna gets around to speaking, Pietro is pacing back and forth, hands folded behind his back. "You do that on purpose," he grouses. "All of you do that on purpose."

Well. Whatever. It's not his problem how people pettily try to cope with his superiority.

He turns sharply back towards her when she finally speaks, his harsh features locked in a frown. So like their father in appearance, but only half like him in temperament. "I know," he says, his voice short. "He's talking about sending me off to handle trade deals. Diplomacy…"

As far as what they discussed? Suitors? Whiskey? That last bit, especially, brings Pietro to sigh an exasperated breath. "He's bored," the young prince assesses baldly. However impatient he can be, however rash that can lead him to be, he can be perceptive. It's in his powerset to be. It's simply that he rarely turns that keen perception on himself. "He needs challenges in his life. And not the challenges that come from drafting tax laws and interests-balancing."


Lorna shrugged lightly as he called her on being slow on purpose. "And you look down on me when I'm standing. So fair's fair."

Still the news that their father was speaking about sending Pietro anywhere to be diplomatic at all. The concept was absurd.

"Be thankful he hasn't married you off to anyone yet. He has drawn up a list of so called 'appropriate' men that would add to his power base." She shrugged again, reaching for an apple and biting into it.

"But I think you're right. He's been a conqueror. A leader in war. His enemies are vanquished by and large.. And he's been able to reflect. I mean, he tried to get me to play chess.. I suck at chess."


You look down on me when I'm standing, she says. Half a smile crosses Pietro's features, and for once it's not a nasty or a condescending look. Just the teasing grin of a brother for his kid sister. For all their acrimony, there are some bonds which are just that: familial bonds. "You shouldn't have stopped growing so soon then. Squirt."

But it is absurd that Pietro should be put on anything requiring diplomacy. Absurd enough that Pietro, perennially paranoid, has some suspicions about his father's motives. It could simply be the last attempt of an aging king to groom his crown prince in how to properly rule: to teach him patience, diplomacy, tact, the graces of interactions between nations.

Or he could be trying to get Pietro out of the way, for whatever reason. It is well known that their father is a manipulator. Even down to this suitor talk, which just seems to bore Pietro. "Not for lack of trying," he says, of essays to marry him off. "But the last few attempts went so well."

As far as their father's nature? "I am usually right," Pietro snorts, at Lorna's concession. "If he's down to trying to get you to play chess, then he's well and truly idle. He should ask me — I am decent." Well, when he actually uses his powers to think through all the permutations, and doesn't just get impatient and sacrifice all his pieces for short-term wins, anyway. "But instead…"

He shrugs. "Well. I have a council meeting to go die in, in a few minutes. Enjoy your suitors, such as they are."


It had been true that Lorna was terrible at chess, at least a few years ago when she'd last played her brother and lost terribly. But in recent months she'd been playing her father on and off, usually when he was morose about missing old friends and old enemies. Lorna shrugged and humored her father, as she often did. Pietro might look their father's heir, but in diplomacy and powers, Lorna often was. It was a fine line to walk, when around her older brother, one that she'd long ago learned to let him have his way in the smaller battles rather than the large.

Breakfast, one just one of many.

Still, there was hat familia affection that pulled at her lips when he shot back about her height and she rolled her eyes. "I am tall compared to most, you know. It's not my fault you're oddly tall." She drawled, teasing right back.

But it faded with talk about suitors and council meetings. She had other none sense to deal with; ensuring the gala was a success. Making sure that the great gala, the celebration of their father's power, and ascent to the throne, was properly done.

Their father might be pushing Pietro toward diplomacy, but Lorna? Lorna was given charge of the runnings of the palace, servants, and parties. The function and life blood of their royal lives.

She found it tedious.

"Have fun. I have to talk to to the cooks about the cake designs again… It seems father disliked the last style." Another eyeroll.


Lorna had a rather unfortunate history with her elder brother, in that respect. However careless and impatient he could be under most circumstances, when it came to asserting dominance on his little sister, he could suddenly develop odd powers of concentration. Whether in chess, or in physical sparring. But, Pietro wouldn't be Pietro if he weren't trying to assert dominance on things nonstop.

Especially when he feels doubtful about something. And he can feel that his father favors Lorna, not just for her agreeability to his nonsense, but for her identical set of powers.

Lorna's worked up a decent tactic for managing him, however: let him have his way just enough on most things, that she can fight on the things that truly matter. He seems mollified by her returned teasing and general agreeability, if his failure to steal any more of her food is any indication. "Blame our father for that one," he says of that. It hasn't escaped him how closely he resembles the man; it has been a curse in his life as much as it has been a help.

A vague hint of pity even appears in Pietro's eyes when Lorna mentions her task for the day. Their father had roles for them both, it seems… tedious for each of them. Diplomatic relations for the one… steward, for the other.

Of course, there was a third child, one whose absence from the conversation is a great and awkward hole… and which weighs heavily and visibly in Pietro's blue eyes.

He doesn't talk about it. No one talks about it. They know better than to ever breathe it in Pietro's hearing. "You seem worse off than me, for today," Pietro drawls. "I hope you have fun with that." And without another look back — the guards trail him automatically, long-suffering — he turns on his heel to leave.

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