4 June: Inspiring Motivation Who: Peter Pettigrew, Bellatrix Lestrange, & Rodolphus Lestrange What: Bellatrix needs to break something. Rodolphus needs to know what the Order knows. And Peter is sort of caught in between. Where: Unplottable cabin near The Park When: Tuesday 4 June 2019 Warnings: Use of the cruciatus curse. With evil people doing evil things.
Rodolphus was known to indulge his wife from to time. Quite a lot actually, especially when not only did he enjoy it, he wound secondary benefit to such a kindness. Only today wasn’t exactly kind. Not if you were Peter Pettigrew. But then again, Peter had failed to deliver requested information for well over two weeks. Rodolphus could be a patient man, but he did not like to ask twice, and when he had to ask for a third time? Well, who better to do it than Bellatrix?
He kept his distance for now, quite content to watch their dance play out. Bellatrix was in prime form this evening. She was all too eager to tear something apart, especially as her family kept insisting she keep away from Arlo. Oh how she wanted to tear that man a part.
Instead, she paced around the chair they had bound Peter to a rather nondescript cabin to which he had been summoned directly. Her wand was at the ready, just as eager to throw us a crucio as something a bit more creative but no less painful. “Now, my lovely, I believe we have been quite lenient up until this point. Do you care to tell us exactly what your little Order friends are up to nosing around Hogwarts history?”
Peter had hardly had any sleep since his break in to the Ministry last night with Snape and Rabastan and then this. He wasn’t really in the mood to deal with the Lestranges, yet here he was. He did his best to remain calm, though he knew from past experience that Bellatrix didn’t take much convincing when it came to torture. He didn’t really feel like going through that again.
“Are Death Eaters the only ones allowed to look at history books now?” Peter’s boldness didn’t stem from courage so much as a need to blow off some steam. Steam that had been building amongst his friends recently that he’d been trying to keep in check, but there was only so much willpower.
Rather than respond she blasted the chair under Peter, sending him to the ground among the little wood shards. “It matters when people go nosing around my father in law and uncle.” Yes. Death Eaters, both deceased, but also peers of the Dark Lord during his boyhood.
Rodolphus stepped forward, still bathed in shadow. In part to keep up the menacing but also because he still wasn’t at full strength. “It would save us all quite a lot of blood if you just answered the question. Minerva McGonagall was looking into the Slytherin class of 1981. Why?” He knew that asking would all but confirm they were on the right track, and he still didn’t trust Peter, but now was not the time for the unknown.
Peter’s tailbone hit the ground hard, but he did his best not to look as surprised by the spell as he had been. He wasn’t sure who her uncle was, but he had heard the Lestrange name thrown in the mix with some of the people the Order had been looking into. No real surprise there, really.
“Death Eaters and Slytherins sort of go hand-in-hand, so it isn’t exactly a stretch for her to do so.” Peter gestured vaguely to his face with his (now) half bound hands. “The masks make it harder to pinpoint who’s in the club and who isn’t.” He gave a slight sneer. “Some of them, anyway.”
Rodolphus sighed. “To think, we could have done this as men.” Apparently, Peter wasn’t as useful as he would have liked, and with quite a mouth. “Bellatrix,” he waved his hand, essentially opening the floor for her to do as she pleased. This would perhaps only be more cinematic if their two large dogs were watching. Nevermind, he would take his leave. Bellatrix could call him if Peter became more agreeable.
“Little rodent has a deathwish, doesn’t he?” Bellatrix closed around him. She took stock of the man in the rubble on the ground, crouching aside him. It was fitting. “Pity for you that’s not my plan here.” She aimed a slashing charm at his arms, to reveal that span of flesh where Peter’s dark mark lay. It remained hidden until she prodded her wand to the skin, to draw it to the surface with fire in his veins. “And you’re one of us too. Or perhaps you’ve forgotten?”
Peter was almost glad that Rodolphus left; the man was a wildcard whereas Bellatrix’s moves were a lot more predictable. He didn’t really know what Rodolphus was capable of, but he’d already had the pleasure of knowing Bellatrix’s.
Even though Peter knew that the mark was there, it almost revolted him to see it on his own arm. It was a reminder of his weakness, even if it had been a means of survival. Not easily forgotten. He gritted his teeth. “It kept me alive, but it’s worthless now. The Dark Lord is dead, or perhaps you’ve forgotten?” He didn’t know why he was pushing this; it wasn’t going to get him anywhere good. Though they didn’t want him dead, which made him feel the least bit powerful.
Perhaps in a different context she might have kept her temper longer. But right now she neither wanted nor needed to. As long as she didn’t kill him, she was technically following the guidelines bestowed upon her. “I think you’re the one who is proving to be worthless.” And there had been more creative options, but why not just start off with a nice and simple cruciatus curse. It had always been one of her favorites, a prize tool in her arsenal for such clean and effective delivery.
It was impossible to ignore the pain. Peter wasn’t brave and he couldn’t bear the weight of torture for long. When Bellatrix had lifted the curse he was doubled over and panting hard, bile rising in his throat already. He spit on the ground and didn’t look up. “Fucking fine. What do you want from me?”
Bellatrix tsked, watching him heave. It was far from her best work. “Hmm. What was that, pet?” She hit him again with another burst, a mere two seconds compared to before. “Now you’re willing to talk?”
Peter would roll his eyes if he wasn’t in pain and no longer interested in playing around. “Yes, fuck. I already told you. They’re looking for Death Eaters and they’re trying to find out who the Dark Lord was before.”
“Why?” That voice was not Bellatrix, but Rodolphus standing in the door. “As you have so boldly stated. The Dark Lord is dead. I doubt they are looking to write an exposé.” Bellatrix tilted her head, but kept close, wand at the ready in case he needed further motivation. “So what are they looking for?”
There was no real reason to look up so he kept his eyes on the sick in front of him. “To find the horcruxes.” Regardless of the triad never mentioning them at the summons, Peter was almost certain that a good number of the Death Eaters knew about them.
“And what does the Order know about horcruxes?” There was a most specific question, but Rodolphus would walk this through one step at a time to not give everything away. A very fine line, worse with Bellatrix still poised and waiting.
Peter finally sat back up, but he didn’t look over at Rodolphus. “They know You-Know-Who made some. And if they destroy them then he can’t come back.” He didn’t say it, but it was probably obvious in his tone who he was rooting for. “I’m sure you already knew that though.”
Bellatrix moved to lunge at Peter. Before she could do much, Rodolphus place his hand on her shoulder. It kept her at bay for a moment. “I am going to need you to be more specific. Do they know how many? Do they know what they are? Or even how to destroy them?”
“No,” he said simply to all three questions. “That’s still a work in progress.” It sounded as though the Death Eaters (or at least the Lestranges) had some of those answers though.
While Peter might not have been making eye contact, Rodolphus was staring at him. He believed him. For now. “You might imagine this information is interesting to me and some of my peers. We can both agree that it wouldn’t do well to fall into the wrong hands.”
Peter did look up at Rodolphus then. “And whose hands are the wrong ones?”
“Arlo Mulciber.” Rodolphus didn’t blink, didn’t hesitate. Avery was a close second choice, but he never felt as dangerous. Charles was too much of a brute, where as Arlo was just smart enough to be stupid.
Bellatrix bristled at the name, only barely just not saying anything. With her non wand hand she reached out for Rodolphus, placing a hand at his back.
“You might also be aware that there are many of us who do not agree with his methods, and care even less for his temperament.”
Peter didn’t know the ins and outs of the Death Eater politics and he wasn’t sure he really wanted to know. “Well don’t expect me to go telling him. I’ve zero interest in getting mixed up in whatever you lot are disagreeing over.”
“I would hope not.” It was all calculated risks, but Rodolphus could make an educated guess that Peter would align with his family, if only to save himself. “I am, however, trying to enlighten you that poking too closely at the Hogwarts Class of 1981 will not be met with any kindness from Alro. Make no mistake, this is not a threat but a truth that your continued existence and even that of your friends depends on you telling me everything you and the Order know and are investigating as we move forward.”
There was no explanation as to why the Death Eaters were at each other, but Peter did not want to get caught in the middle. There wasn’t really a ‘lesser evil’ to align with on this, but he did find Rodolphus’ explanation enough motivation. He didn’t really want to drag the others even farther into this mess than they already were from being connected to Peter. Especially Remus. “Then I guess I’ll keep you abreast on the situation as it unfolds.”