17 June: heart-warming brotherly concern Who: Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange What: Rodolphus tells Rabastan about Alice Travers' suspicions; Rabbit takes the news with customary seriousness; plans are switched, adjusted and newly hatched When: Backdated, Monday 17th June Where: The Park Warnings: None
“Your lack of care to this is perhaps more concerning than the actual news.” Rodolphus couldn’t help but think back to the night it happened. How easy it would have been to just go with his first instinct rather than seek permission. “Alice Travers is meddling, and I’m not so sure she’ll just give up without someone taking blame.”
It was even almost tempting to tell Bellatrix about this and send her after the plucky auror. It would give her a target that wasn’t himself or people that might be useful. And Alice was far more a hindrance regardless of to whom she was related.
"Look," Rabbit said, from next to the fireplace, "I care. It's just--" He paused for a moment, giving his wand a little tilt from the wrist as he finished checking over the integrity of the Floo connection. It was fiddly enough work when done straight, but doubly so when he didn't want to trigger anything that might have been left behind, or leave too much trace that he'd been working over it.
"Nah, that's all clean," he noted, carefully disentangling himself from the complicated charmwork, and wiping away his chalked rune with the edge of his sleeve. "No surprise. It was Corneau, you said? He's straight up. Total nerd, actually, but no malice in him." It was good as a dismissal of the man: eternally damned to boring.
Rabbit had still wanted to check over the fireplace as soon as Rodolphus had mentioned the substance of Auror Travers' visit. There was laughing out loud when he heard about her flashing her notes on her suspicions about him, and then there was being careless when someone might have compromised the security of the Park. Yes, Rabbit cared.
Rodolphus always took a quiet delight in watching other people work, his brother was no different. There was art it, and it was certainly more interesting than negotiating agreements. “We have been taking many calculated risks these past weeks. I will not let her gather a case against you.” Regardless of the fact that Rabastan did in fact kill their father, he wouldn’t take the blame. Certainly not so long after the fact.
“We know they are desperate. They might even say the same for us.” They were all scrambling and it did their cause little favor with the in fighting. Rodolphus simply saw that as cleaning up the ranks, ushering in the new era. “However, I am committed to the long game.”
Rabbit shrugged. His preferred long game was survival--or, as he liked to phrase it, getting away with it. And the only thing more fun than getting away clean was having someone else sure that you'd done it, but unable to prove it. That frustration was delicious.
He wasn't going to mention that out loud, of course.
"She's not going to find evidence, because there isn't any," Rabbit pointed out. Not that he'd done that, because he hadn't. He did allow, however, that: "She might find a lot of suspicious mess, though. So yes, I will be a perfect little angel for a bit." Something occurred to him, and he pulled a face. "Does this mean I can't go rummaging in McGonagall's drawers for more on what that lot are up to?"
“Perfect little angel? Now that would just be inviting further investigation.” Rodolphus didn’t want to invite suspicion. He would have to speak with Tairith soon, to get a better feel of where the DMLE was these days.
He considered the latter. “Perhaps we better focus our efforts on trying to dismantle and disrupt them like we have our leaders.” Rodolphus knew better than forbid his brother do something. “Although, I am open to your suggestions and ideas, as long as they are not solely strange courting rituals.”
Rabbit grinned at Rodolphus's first point--a grin that might allay any fears that Rabbit was even capable of acting anything like angelic--and it didn't get any less wicked with Rodolphus's subsequent remarks. "Nothing's ever only a strange courting ritual, if you do it right," he suggested, but then kept going straight into business, leaning against the back of a sofa and crossing his arms.
"Rissa's keen to use our polyjuice. And since we do have the capacity to mimic the old tartan bat, I figured we might as well try to dig into what she's looking up about--" He waved a hand. Horcruxes, the Dark Lord, the old inner circle of Death Eaters, or anything else that she had no real business prodding at that might indicate what the Order were really about. Rabbit was interested in a comprehensive snoop. "But setting that up will involve a good half a dozen instances of not playing it safe. All of which would be minor, things I could shrug off on a normal day, but if they're already watching..." Less of a good idea. "We could do something else, though. Maybe." And his mind was immediately racing off, contemplating the other possibilities for mischief.
“That also depends on who and what they are watching.” Rabastan was the obvious target here. Him as well, Rodolphus supposed. It clear this wasn’t really about Corvus’s death. His death was small, it was more likely they were looking to hang a death eater. “If we suspect Travers is watching, and we know she is tied up in the Order, we could give some false leads. Send them on their own little hunts.”
Rabbit's grin turned downright wicked. "Now there's a thought. I'd been wondering about feeding misinformation through the rat, but he's--not the most reliable of vessels." And getting less so each time someone made a loud noise near him. "All the better if Travers thinks she's the one being clever." He drummed his fingers against the back of the couch, turning things over. "I had been wondering if there was a way to sic the old men and the Order on each other via McGonagall, but that might be too many tangles even for me. But perhaps I can run distraction while Miss Gamp gets to work on the original plan. Perhaps with other back-up."
“The Travers family does have a predisposition to thinking they are clever.” Rodolphus still needed to follow up on that Madison lead. And the brother -- well, he was half decent at following orders and not being incredibly stupid. “It might be a path worth pursuing and sadly this does mean we may have to interrupt your courting ritual, or redirect it.”
"I think Clarissa can manage it," Rabbit said consideringly. There were some skills he'd prefer to take along, but she was smart and could probably learn. Might even enjoy it. "And if we want to feed them convincing bait, it might be a good idea to know exactly what they think the state of things is." The more he thought about this, the more he liked it, though there was one extra point. "She'd do best, of course, with a little more information about precisely what we do and don't want happening." He gave Rodolphus a look heavy with the weight of who that we was, and who it wasn't.
Rodolphus met that look weighing the outcomes. They were meant to be building up their side. If Rabbit said she could be trusted. “She was quite impressive in Paris. And if she even a little smart, she might already have put the pieces together.”
"She's certainly smarter than she likes most people to think." Rabbit had no illusions that he knew the entirety of Clarissa, any more than she knew him. But he knew enough to be both intrigued and wary. "She's keen, she's quick with her wand." He shrugged, and added the brutal additional truth. "And it's not like she's got family we'd have to worry about pissing off if anything goes wrong."
“I trust you.” That was perhaps the biggest endorsement that Rodolphus could give his brother. “And if Clarissa Gamp will help us, then let us bring her to the table. It is the time for us to be making alliances.”