Chapter II
We do what we must

It seems I've returned to my musings again. I have some time during the trip to Eshan so I'll do what I can to talk about my family a bit more.
I think one of the most important things to know about my family is that it was never whole. My parents had seven children, not an unusual number for Serenno nobility. They were expected to have plenty of children to carry on the name and do the work of the House.
Before I get into the children, I'll talk about my parents. My mother was the daughter of a diplomat whose work often took her all across the galaxy. Honestly, I did not even know my mother was not Serennoan or high born until I was much older and she explained it to me. Her station as the daughter of a diplomat made their marriage possible, but the House did not really gain anything from my parents union, other than some loose ties to a prominent family on Telos. My father actually chose my mother because of how strong she was in the Force.
"Her presence in the Force was as drawing as the evening sun." He'd say. I never really took notice of it. Even when I was in training my mother never seemed particularly strong with the Force. She could use it well, sure but my father always seemed the more powerful of the two.
My mother wasn't really as talkative as my father, but she was just as duty-bound as he was. She cared so much for the people of Serenno, a people who were not even hers to truly care for. Almost as soon as she took on the title of Countess she began all manner of charity and relief events for the less fortunate people who lived on the world. I suppose in that manner she held true to the Jedi teachings that my father bestowed onto her.
Avius Malvern was pretty much the example of every great Jedi you could imagine. He was strong, willful, selfless, and didn't let his emotions get in the way of his decisions. He was also filled with enough pride to sink a Super Star Destroyer. He really believed the Jedi way was without fault, even though he embodied so many of those faults. I never hated my father. Even after he died, even after I turned from the Jedi, I couldn't hate him. I think deep down I wanted to. He'd always been everything I was not, but in a weird way I was always a lot like him. We were just two sides of the same coin. My father was hard on us. Between our Jedi training, primary schooling, and private lessons we didn't have much down time. None of us really ever minded though, just about everyone in my family liked to stay busy. Even when we did have down time we'd all always be doing something. My father would read while my mother would meditate, my sisters would spar in the training yard, and I would usually find somewhere quiet to think or read myself. I think I liked being alone more than the others.
My parents did what they could to raise all of their children as well as they could. None of us really strayed from that path, until they died at least.
My oldest sister was the golden child. Diandra had been everything my father hoped I would be. She was composed and humble, but still kept an aura befitting of a noble family. She didn't swell with pride and superiority the way my father said I did. "She knew her place." He'd tell me. I didn't like Diandra. She was more annoying than anything. The way she treated me like I was one of her apprentices or her own child. Most of the time when she started talking to me I would just walk away, I never cared to hear her talk.
Diandra was skilled with a blade. Once I started to get older and stronger I could beat her, but when I was in the beginning of my training I noticed she was even better with a sword and lightsaber than father. She took over my swordsmanship training pretty early, I think Mother was hoping it would improve our relationship. It didn't. I never really cared to hear her say anything, not until she was gone. Now? I think I would give anything to hear a word from her.
Diandra had been almost soulless in how she took to her duties. Well, when Kassa came along she must have balanced things out. Avius' second child was attributed to being a lot like our uncle, Asher. She was an idealist who honestly didn't care much for the Jedi teachings. She took to it like a fish to water but only so she could get praise. Kassa got me in trouble more times than I can count. Talking during meditation, skipping lightsaber practice, she didn't really take her training too serious. She was only two years older than me so I guess it's not like she was supposed to be as mature as Dianra who was almost six years older than her.
Those two used to butt heads all the time. They were close, they were still sisters, but I can't think of a duel between those two that didn't start over some dumb argument. Usually they weren't even arguments that mattered, just little spats that ended up in a challenge. Eventually, Father caught on and made them quit. They kept doing it, just not where he could see.
Honestly I always enjoyed Kassa but she was just a pain to deal with. Way more energy than I could keep up with, or maybe she just annoyed me.
Things stayed like this for a few years until Francesca Malvern was born. Faye was another story entirely. Where Diandra and Kassa were older than me and never missed a moment to show it, Francesca was my first sibling who was younger than me. When Mother told us she was pregnant I was hoping
Francesca would be a boy, so then maybe I could have someone to talk to the way my sisters did. It didn't work out the way I expected but Francesca was probably the one who I was closest with growing up. Where Diandra and Kassa were kind of distant, Faye almost never left my side. Even when I was young I could get her to stop crying when I held her. Mother used to say it was my duty to watch over her.

Growing up Faye was just as studious as the rest of us, although she inherited one thing from our Mother that none of us had. Her whit was something our parents struggled with. They called her opinionated, Diandra called her a smart ass, but I called her unique. She was younger than all of us but would speak what we were all thinking, sometimes getting us all in trouble in the process.
After Faye was my father's youngest son. Aric had been born not long after Faye but he was completely different from her and I. Aric was quiet and loved to be by himself, to the point where if he didn't need to be with the family, then you'd probably find him napping or just working on a puzzle somewhere dark and quiet. Aric usually kept close to me, probably because I wasn't overly talkative either. I didn't know how to feel having a little brother, honestly. Sometimes it was nice because he was actually interested in the same things I was, but other times it felt like I had a shadow that I could not get rid of. I loved Aric but he always seemed to be following me if he wasn't tucked off somewhere.
Oddly enough I probably spent the most time around Aric but knew the least about him. Even now when I think about him all I can see if that scared boy, tugging onto the back of my cloak. I'm not entirely sure how he would have fared as a Count.
I think that's enough for tonight. I need to prepare for the Invasion and I can't do that buried in my books. Tomorrow I think I'll write about the only sibling I had that I did not grow up with. His story is even more interesting than mine.