15 June: Of Red Herrings Who: Rodolphus Lestrange and Alice Travers What: Auror Travers comes out to the Park to continue the investigation into Corvus Lestrange’s death When: Saturday 15 June Where: The Park Warnings: None
Alice was on edge and it wasn’t just because she and Frank were pregnant now. Things had been uneasy in the Ministry and the Order’s progress with the horcruxes failed to impress. When the Floo Network malfunctions began, Alice started to look toward her old cases. When the break-in at the Ministry happened, she started to look toward the Lestranges again.
She knew the story of Corvus Lestrange’s death didn’t add up but she also knew she had no leg to stand on without proof. The break-in at the Ministry had her interest piqued - Rabastan Lestrange just happened to be working the night that Alice’s silent ward alerted that something was amiss on Level 2, yet there was nothing that pointed to his involvement. No surprise there considering they seemed to be untouchable. She was determined to break that cycle, no matter how difficult the process may be.
So here she was, taking Rodolphus up on his generous offer for her to follow up with him at The Park. She brought along an inspector from France’s Ministry to check the connection again even though she knew they wouldn’t find anything.
“We’ll make this as swift as possible, Mr. Lestrange. I’m sorry to have to drudge this up again. We are concerned that your father’s accident and the recent Floo mishaps may be connected and any trace we can find here would be beneficial in our investigation. We certainly wouldn’t want what happened to your father to happen to someone else.”
Priscilla was out in the gardens keeping herself busy. Not hiding, but certainly away from the drama, although available should the Ministry require. Thes ministrations were better left to Rodolphus who admittedly had his docket full, but he was managing.
He greeted both Travers and the French official appropriately, ushering them into the sitting room that hosted the Floo connection. “You’ll find our logs on the table, and of course, this is the sole Floo connection on the property.”
Alice nodded with a less stern face than her usual. She wanted to stay as cordial but professional as possible. “Mr. Corneau, if you would?” With a gesture toward the fireplace, she set down her file folders next to the logbook and began to flip through it.
“What lovely craftsmanship, Mr. Lestrange!” the squat man noted as he took a cursory glance around the fireplace. “Original to the home, I believe? No restoration?”
Alice did her best not to roll her eyes and concentrated on the log in front of her. She opened one of her files and started to compare between the Lestrange book and her notes, though it was just for show.
Rodolphus could easily fall into the role of host and share a handful of interesting facts about the The Park. The Lestrange family had called this place home for as long as they had been in England. And the house did have a number of unique characteristics. The fireplace was far from the most exciting bit, although it was practical. “Yes, it connects to my family’s estate outside of Paris. We make regular use of the connection to visit. Or to enjoy a meal.”
He was still very aware of Alice looking through the logs. This whole thing was tiring, but he would make the appropriate gestures.
Corneau was obviously fond of fireplaces, but he did set aside his indulgence to do the actual inspection while Alice ‘finished’ with the logs. She gave the book a nod as she closed it. “Everything is in order, of course,” she said to Rodolphus. Alice picked her files up and a pen and moved next to Rodolphus. “You still have not had any other issues here or with your Paris connection?” Alice looked pointedly at the man with her pen ready to jot his responses.
Rodolphus turned toward Auror Travers. “Any issue would have been noted in the logs, and reported.” He wasn’t sure what she was getting at, but he would have liked to think she was smarter than this. Unless that was the point. “Quite luckily, our biggest issue lately is a family of fairies who have taken to mother’s begonias.”
“Yes, of course it would have,” Alice said as though it were patently obvious that was the case. She placed the pen behind her ear just as Corneau turned to face them.
“I see nothing concerning here. Very tragic business; hate to say we can’t find a cause.” He offered a bow of his head to Rodolphus. “If I may just step through and check the connection on the Paris end, Mr. Lestrange?” He was asking as a courtesy, of course, as he followed the question by doing just that, leaving Alice and Rodolphus alone.
Alice made to rearrange her files and accidentally let some of the parchment slip from her hands and onto the floor in front of Rodolphus. “Merlin.” She swiftly bent down to pick them up. Random notations she’d made were scrawled plainly there: highly suspicious - floo network technician - homicide? - more evidence - connections - death eaters “How to keep organised these days?” she muttered and replaced the pages back in her file folder as she stood. “I apologise for my clumsiness.”
Rodolphus couldn’t help but see the words on her files, especially having bent down to help. His face betrayed nothing. “No need to apologize, Auror Travers.” After all, this wasn’t particularly new information. Although it did look like the DMLE might actually be gathering a case against Rabastan. That wouldn’t do. “Is there anything else I can help you with regarding your investigation?”
Corneau returned just in time; Alice had done most of what she needed to do then anyhow. She knew that Lestrange wouldn’t rattle easily, but if she could get him even a little off-kilter from this visit then it’d be worth it. Now she just had to speak to Rabastan again.
“Nothing out of sorts on the other end either, Auror Travers,” the man said as he dusted off his jacket. “Shall we head to your Ministry and speak with the technicians there?”
Alice gave him a curt nod. “Yes sir. After the break-in the other day, I think it prudent to cover all the angles. It’s quite possible the Network malfunctions and the break-in could be connected and we can’t leave any stones unturned.” She turned back to Rodolphus. “Thank you for letting us into your home, Mr. Lestrange. I will keep you apprised if we find anything that might help explain your father’s accident.” Alice held out her hand to him.
Rodolphus shook her hand. “Please let us know if you need anything.” He would be glad for this to be over. It had gone on far too long. There were other more prudent things that required his attention.