Who: Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy What: Can we keep Bella from rampaging? (Spoiler: at least for the moment) When: 13 June Where: A tea shop overlooking Diagon Alley Warnings: Bigoted DE language; discussion of homicide.
Bella scowled down at the shoppers, three stories below. Only well-connected witches were aware of the tea-room on the roof of the stationary store, and not all of them could get a table. There were advantages to being a Black, or so her mother kept saying. She ignored her cucumber sandwich. "Idiots, the lot of them. Walking around and shopping as if I couldn't crush them all if I chose to. They act as if the world hasn't changed...."
"It's not what we want, or what we can do, that must govern us now," Narcissa reminded her sister gently. "We have our remit, and we must follow it." Which was all she dared say about the Dark Lord in public.
“Then it is with your kindness and grace of wisdom you also refrain.” Rodolphus knew his role at this lunch was likely more as support than any such substance. He was finding himself a bit more eager to agree with her. However, this was the long game, and to succeed they needed to work together to keep Bellatrix focused. “Certainly not for them, but for me.”
"For you and for Him," she added, somewhat sulkily. "We must work for His return and we must not spook His enemies into doing Him harm." She smiled, exactly as she had been trained to do growing up in the best family in Britain. "How I dream of the day when He returns and we gloriously cleanse the traitors and weaklings from the face of the earth.
"Surely there's someone who will not expose your plans prematurely?" She looked at Rod, with the guilelessness of a girl who had asked her parents for a crup for her birthday.
Rodolphus met her gaze. He would be glad to be over with this line of conversation. “I would imagine we have impressed upon people the importance of not disappointing me.” It was as much a statement as a challenge.
Bella looked scornfully at the implication that Peter was 'people'. He wasn't, as far as Bella was concerned. "The rat is just that, and he will disappoint as is his nature. We have had our way with him and learned how little he knows. Did you know he called our vows 'worthless?'" She nearly spat out the word. "We need to take action, and get a smarter source of information."
"If you mean one of our former cousin's little friends, you won't find anything smart there. But we'll find something more useful, I'm sure." Narcissa's lip curled reflexively at the mention of Sirius. "I know Tairith dragged Molly Weasley in for questioning. Surely there's someone associated with the friends of the former Headmaster that we can surveil and question, Bella. We just need to figure out which one of them." Hadn't they killed most of the blood traitors involved in the Order?
“I would not be so quick as to discount his use.” Rodolphus would be the first person to give the kill order for Pettigrew, but for now even pawns had purpose.
Narcissa made a moué of displeasure that heightened her resemblance to her sister. "We can always keep him on his leash and find another hole in their company to open."
"I don't know what you see in him. He's not cooperative as he should be. But, I said I wouldn't kill him. If he crosses me again, he might find out what it's like to have a withered limb. That won't kill him." She began to fidget. All this talk about who she couldn't kill was annoying. "We need to discuss how to redeem our Lord from His plight. How does forbearance fit into that plan? We shouldn't waste time with lesser matters, no matter how satisfactory the execution of those matters would be."
Narcissa snapped up a privacy charm as soon as Bellatrix began to talk about killing in public again. Bella liked to think she'd done a good job of learning at her mother's knee but Druella never discussed murder in public, even if she was contemplating it. "I understand the old men are gathering the needful things, dear sister, and it is they whom you must ask on that point."
"Them? So we're to wait until it's too late and then make a half-hearted, ineffective thrust? Are they not as big a threat to His plan as the Order? They play at leadership, but their actions betray their cowardice and corruption." Bella glowered at her teacup, as if it were Arlo Mulciber and she could glare him to death.
Rodolphus took a deep breath in. This was exactly the conversation he didn’t wish to have anymore. “Bellatrix. This is not the time or place for this venue of discussion.” He reached over across the table for her hand. Truly, he was just trying to get her to look away from the tea cup for fear it might actually combust. “Do you not trust in my will? In my commitment?”
Bella turned to her husband. "How, Rodophus, how? How is it that so few are truly loyal, as we are? How can they live with themselves?" It wasn't the first time she'd asked, and it would not be the last. "Do they not see what a glorious future for they are ruining?"
Discretion was, sometimes, the better part of valour. Narcissa quietly enjoyed her tea and the knowledge that she would never embarrass Lucius so.
He just shook his head, holding his tongue. Rodolphus would mind his own advice. He let go of her hand. “You know, I think I need to be getting back to the office.” No good would come of him trying to further engage. This was likely a moment better left between sisters. “If you’ll pardon me.” He stood with a slight bow his head toward Narcissa.
Bella switched off her anxiety and anger and smiled at her husband, as if she hadn't just been working herself into a murderous rage. "Will you be home for supper, dear? We have tickets for the OWLS lecture at half past eight tonight. I expect it will be dreadfully boring, but the gallery sold several paintings to the society and we need to show our support."
Oh Rodolphus had no doubt this wasn't over, but it wasn’t going to happen here. “Of course.” He pivoted toward Bellatrix and leaned forward to press a kiss on her cheek. “Do enjoy the rest of your afternoon, ladies.”
"Of course," Narcissa said, as if she hadn't just been watching her sister argue with him. "We'll see you tonight. Be well until then."
No, she would never embarrass Lucius the way Bellatrix did Rodolphus.