Who: Rodolphus & Rabastan Lestrange What: The brothers catch each other up, and figure out what to do with a rat. When: 31 March, morning before mother’s brunch Where: The Park Warnings: References to blood, plotting against others
Rodolphus swallowed back his second pepper up potion. While he would have rathered a few more hours of sleep, he needed to be a good co-host for his mother’s brunch. Responsibility could be a fickle mistress, and there was little reason why a Parisian dinner last night would impact his duties today. If only that was whole truth.
For now, he positioned himself in the sitting room with cup of tea. He had at least thirty minutes before anyone started arriving. Well, almost anyone. “Rabastan.” He smiled, still only half awake. “You’re actually early?”
"Don't tell anyone, I've a reputation to maintain," Rabbit shot back, coming around the sofa to throw himself down on it in a sprawl. He was dressed in his usual careful blend of respectable and not, the balance tipped a little by the sunglasses propped on his head, and the enormous Muggle take-away juice-smoothie cup in his hand. He sucked at the straw and the last of whatever it had been ratcheted away in the bottom of the cup. With a shrug, he set the thing down on a nearby table. "How'd everything go in Paris?"
Rabastan did always seem to make an entrance. And no sooner was the empty cup set down, Tollins came scurrying in to take it away. Rodolphus handed the house elf his tea cup as well.
“Quite successful actually.” He leaned back on the sofa, holding out his left forearm which still carried some of the rune carvings from last night. “Although, I can’t say I much cared for the blood rituals. However, I do find myself in possession of a rather unique chalice. Two even.”
Rabbit's eyebrows went up at the marks on Rodolphus's arm. "Interesting," he noted. And at least, boring as his own task had been, there'd not been any of that sort of malarkey. It might make more sense to ask what said chalice was, what it did, and Rabbit was curious, but the more pressing question in his mind was: "Any indication of just what the hell is going on with all this stuff?"
Rodolphus hadn’t been fool enough to touch the chalice. It was still in a stasis charm and would remain there until he knew more. “Arlo and Nott are playing at something. It is unclear whether they are seeking immortality for themselves or resurrection.” He wasn’t sure which was worse. Either option gave Arlo more power than Rodolphus felt he had right to. “Lucius has offered a collaboration.”
Rabbit pulled an expressive and sneering face at the idea of Arlo Mulciber immortal or anything like it. Bothersome putting up with him now, let alone forever; that clearly couldn't be allowed to happen. The rest was more interesting. "Has he now? What sort?"
“It would seem that Nott approached him with a similar request. And for any of his other shortcomings, Lucius has a great knowledge of dark artefacts.” If anyone was going to figure it out, Rodolphus was sure Lucius would play a key role. What the man did next with that information was yet to be determined. “And having two of the requested items to compare might help to arrive at better answers.”
Rabbit drummed his fingers against the arm of his sofa, pulling a face again. "Has it occurred to those fuckers that we might actually be more help if they told us just what was going on?" Rhetorical question; Rodolphus had to be just as impatient, for all he showed it less. "Do these items they're after show up on the Borgin and Burke register? I haven't had a chance to look closely."
That had never been the way of their kind. Compartmentalism was paramount to ensure success and no one got out of line. Rodolphus would expect no less from Arlo and his peers. “I don’t believe the chalice was on the registry, but perhaps it might be worth a closer look. One might assume that if they wanted it, there was something of value on that list.”
"Let's go have a proper look after," Rabbit suggested. No time now, unless they missed some of this brunch, which obviously Rabbit wouldn't mind, but would never do for Rodolphus the Ever-Dutiful. "Speaking of social burdens," he continued with a lazy smile, "did you have fun on Friday? I meant to catch you before the end of it but things got a bit complicated."
Rodolphus stifled a yawn, and it honestly wasn’t a comment on the company. He would need to get better control of himself for when the guests arrived. “It was a lovely event. I am sure Narcissa will be pleased. I had a good share of interesting and productive conversations.” He sat back up. Good posture might at least give him the illusion of being fully awake. “I think the far more interesting piece is that it sounds like you might have been on your best behavior. Little Rabbit, are we turning over a new leaf?”
Rabbit snorted a dismissive laugh. "I like my leaves just fine the way they are. Cissy made her expectations both clear and pointed." Still, that wouldn't have--hadn't--stopped Rabbit threading that needle more finely in the past. He'd had plenty of fun, between Clarissa and the auction and dancing and all the rest. But--well, yes, maybe it hadn't seemed quite as interesting--as necessary--to push the envelope without his father ignoring him from across the room.
Not what Rabbit wanted to think about, let alone talk about. "Was your conversation with Fabian Prewett one of the interesting or productive ones?"
“Which would you prefer?” Rodolphus would always have mixed feelings about the Prewett and his relationship with Rabastan. He never cared for how Fabian continued to string his brother along. All chase and no payout. Rodolphus wanted better for his brother. “Although, truthfully, it was hardly remarkable.”
Interesting; though Rabbit shrugged, like his interest was casual and it didn't really matter. "Maybe you made more of an impression on him than he did you."
Rodolphus tried to run through the memory of the encounter, but just two nights ago felt much longer. “I couldn’t say why.” He shrugged it off. “And rather than lament on my conversation partners, I am far more interested to hear about how the rat performed for you.”
"Yeah, all right," Rabbit drawled, somewhere between careless and the damnation of faint praise. "He chipped in, no shirking, no complaining, we got the job done. He didn't exactly want to go for a pint after, but can't complain about his participation." Nor blame him for seeming luke-warm about the whole business. Rabbit was hardly enthusiastic about toeing the company line in the current circumstances, after all. But Rabbit's loyalty hadn't been wrung out of him like a sponge in the first place. "He hasn't exactly been forthcoming. And it might be that the other bunch aren't doing anything, have quietly patted themselves on the back, packed up, and gone home. But--" Another shrug. "I fucking doubt it."
“It would be foolish to think they would go so quietly into the night.” Even for the want of true discipline and greater vision, the Death Eaters were still active. “It would serve us better to know exactly what they are doing, and perhaps to even ensure that young Mister Pettigrew remains clear of his role and loyalties.” Towards us.
"Well," Rabbit said, rolling the word around. "The current leadership hardly inspires the sort of loyalty the Dark Lord himself could command. If we lean too hard on him right now, he'll bolt at the first opportunity. Then again--" He shrugged. "Maybe he will anyway." Rabbit tilted back against the sofa with every appearance of indolence, while his mind turned fast and thorough. "I don't know that he's any more loyal to the other side than to us, of course. But his friends--" Another matter entirely. So there was the lever. "Perhaps it's time for a subtle reminder of how deep he is, and how little his darling pals will forgive it."
“The blood traitors and the beast.” There was easily a half dozen ways to pull on those strings, but to what end? “You aren’t wrong. We don’t want to send him running. We just need to remind him that having friends in the Lestrange family is in his best interests.” This was exactly the sort of game that Rodolphus was playing at now. Lucius too if their conversations held true. Some people were going to have to take the fall so that the mission could continue. “Although finding the proper motivation may take some orchestration.”
"Well," Rabbit considered, mouth tweaking toward a smirk. "If we just want him to like us, that's easy. We just save the rat from the cat. Or make it look like we have."
Of all of the triad, Arlo was the biggest threat to him. But Avery was the brute. “Now, brother, that is where our game lies. And how convenient that you are already close to him. A safe harbor in the storm.” Rodolphus paused. “I will have to ensure that Bellatrix understands our plan.” It wouldn’t do well for her unknowingly move against them.
An important consideration; Bellatrix was excellent at breaking things, and Rabbit respected that, one skilled practitioner to another. "You have something in mind, or am I keeping an eye out for opportunity?"
And perhaps on any other day there might be plans. However he had only a few hours ago quite literally bleed for the cause. “Let us see how the cup and Arlo shake out. Keep Pettigrew chummy. Should opportunity present itself it would serve us well to make the most of it.”
"All right, I can do that." It was vaguely more interesting to Rabbit than go there, fetch that, at least. "If we're done," he added, tilting his neck to get a good view of the doorway, "there's a chance I can get out of here befo--oh, no, dammit." And he dropped back into sitting on the couch as their mother swept in, still settling her jewels into place.