2 August: Testing Marks Who: Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange What: Rabbit checks in with Rodolphus the morning after the Travers mess. Rodolphus has a trick up his sleeve or two. Quite literally. When: 2 August Where: The Greenhouses, The Park Warnings: Dark magic and Dark Marks. Some violence. Sick.
Rodolphus might have been a full grown adult and lord of the manor, but he still knew when to bow to his mother. Priscilla Lestrange was not a woman to be meddled with, and even less so when someone had messed with her topiary and horticulture. So, once he was deemed healed enough, he was sent out to the greenhouses to clean up the mess he made.
Not even his mess! But the Travers’ mess. And how he hated that he didn’t know of their state, but he didn’t imagine it was any good. Of course there was still the Auror Travers of it all to worry about. Hopefully the Sanctuary would have to file an official report at the very least.
So, many loose ends. And he was stuck with fountain restoration and greenhouse repair.
Which was what Rabbit found him doing when he came sauntering along a little bit later, all dark sunglasses and carelessly rolled sleeves and a general rumpled air of not having been overly concerned with things like sleep or changing his clothes in a while. (Then again, not that different from how Rabbit looked on any given weekend.) "Here you are," he declared redundantly, stopping to consider the state of the place. "Bloody hell, that all really was as bad as I remember."
Rodolphus paused, glancing up. “Unless you have either arrived to tell me the Travers siblings are taken care or help, I suggest you find other things to do.” He was not in a good mood, and he was even less willing to play nice. Although, Rabastan wasn’t wrong, last night was bad and messier than he would have liked. There were far too many loose ends.
Rabbit eyed the fountain rubble speculatively, as though calculating the margin on helping. "No news on the Travers," he said, and pulled his phone out of his back pocket. "Though I did hear from Narcissa, and I quote: 'We resolved the matter. He will be no threat.' He in this context being Avery, so that's nice, isn't it?"
“That does solve one problem.” It also marked two down now. Nott wasn’t the type to take the helm, leaving just a few to fill the ranks. This assumed there were still ranks to mind and a mission to attend. The panic over Bellatrix’s attack on the hospital was still there, but there needed to be something else. Some larger game at play. He was going to need to get back into his job at the Ministry. “Which leaves the larger issue of the Order members playing vigilante.” And there was one specifically that he didn’t care for.
Rabbit hummed consideringly as he tucked his phone away again, and pulled out his wand, casually starting to gather up bits of glass. All while he quickly ran the pros and cons of various angles. "Speaking of that lot," he said. "There've been other things going on, so it hasn't exactly been a priority, but I haven't been able to turn up so much as a whisker of a certain ratty acquaintance. Not for weeks now. I think the little bastard might have done a runner."
“The rat has been gone for weeks?” This day was not getting any better. Rodolphus really should have killed Peter months ago. Sure, Bellatrix liked playing with him, but wasn’t Rabastan who insisted he could be useful. “And how exactly did he slip your grasp?”
"I've been a bit bloody busy," Rabbit pointed out tersely, scraping up a bit more glass with a flick of his wand. "And I thought the little git was just sulking after Trixie had a go at him, or worried about fall-out, or just plain avoiding me. I didn't think he'd actually scarper." He shrugged. "I didn't think he had the guts, frankly."
Rodolphus blasted the fountain he had just spent so long cleaning. “How did Peter Pettigrew manage to get away?” His mind was already racing with too many possibilities of this would end up poorly for them. It was bad enough Auror Travers was circling around Rabastan. Now? Salazar knew what the Order might have on them.
He started to unbutton and turn up his left sleeve. The Dark Mark there rising to the surface. He thought only of the horrible rat man, and any manner of things he would do him and pressed his fingers into the mark. It was not quite a summoning, but certainly an attempt to open the connection and cause him pain.
Rabbit smothered his flinch, keeping his wand down by his side by sheer force of will, and swallowed the urge to cover it with a whine about having to clean that up now--was second-guessing himself about both when Rodolphus started on his sleeve. "What are you--?" But Rabbit broke off, because it seemed fairly obvious. Not summoning the Dark Lord, because they'd all tried that in vain in the past months. "Can you reach him?" he asked, curiosity and dread warring in him. He wouldn't have thought he could. Not his brother. Not just his brother.
The link stretched further than it liked, further than it should be allowed. Hopefully on the other end there was more than just a mild irritation. Rodolphus’s irritation was anything but mild. “You are right. I better test it.” He glanced up at his brother, and repeated the motion. This time sending that white hot searing through to Rabastan.
"Wh--" was as far as Rabbit got before barbed fire closed around his veins. Just for a brief, scalding moment, but that was enough to buckle his knees, white out his vision, punch the air from his lungs. He staggered, heaving breath, and stared down at his off-arm, at the Mark fading now from its biting black against his skin. "Fuck you," he gasped, amazed and absent-minded.
Rodolphus’s amusement was short lived. He hissed grabbing his own arm as the mark seem to burn into his flesh. It didn’t quite knock him back, but it threw him off balance, dizzy in the sizzle. He much preferred this type of pain. He did not appreciate the way the ground felt uneven beneath his feat. Best to take a seat then.
“Now, now.” Rodolphus paused, to swallow down the acid in his stomach. “You asked if it--” Only instead of the word ‘worked’ there was a retch of sick into the fountain.
That brought a satisfied twist to Rabbit's mouth. In other circumstances, there might have been more to it--amusement at his poised brother hurling in the fountain, or sympathy, or even crossing the few steps between them to lay a hand on his shoulder. Instead, Rabbit shook the last ghosting memories of pain out of his left hand, and said with a bite, "Let's not try that again, yeah?" He did come closer, then, but stayed beyond arm's reach as he stepped up to the edge of the fountain, and vanished the mess before it could stain.
His color was still lacking, but the ground didn’t seem due to fall out from under him now. “I don’t know. I might just need a bit more practice.” Rodolphus looked up at his brother with a masked neutral expression. “It could be a way to hunt down the rat.” That was proof of concept, wasn’t it? A bit more complicated than he might have liked, but it would work.
Rabbit lifted an eyebrow, but otherwise his expression was also--and uncharacteristically--closed off as he weighed his brother's words. "You aren't practising on me," he said, clipped. "You do that again, and you can clean up your own mess." He waved a hand toward the wider world, outside the Park. "Chase and tidy up your own loose ends."
Rodolphus stared at Rabastan, judging. “I have no quarrel with you.” Nor any desire to hurt his brother. At least not any further than what was already done. “Pettigrew on the other hand? He is as much my loose end as yours, and I don’t like that he remains at large.” He might need to reach out to Bellatrix on this one. Together they were far more powerful and capable. “If I take care of the rat, do you think you might sort out the Travers siblings?”
It was his brother again, behind those eyes, making his plans. Or it looked like him at least, and whatever relief Rabbit might feel was cramped in amongst too many other things, all averaging out at a blanketing weariness. But now, more than ever, there was little time to rest.
Rabbit rubbed a hand across his face. "Yeah. Reckon I can. If you want to tell me just what the hell was going on in the first place." His gesture was barely a flip of his fingers; he didn't just mean here at the Park, but at the Reserve as well, and over at the Malfoys and... all of it.
“Avery needed to be dealt with and I needed to deal with Auror Travers. The best outcome would be they would kill each other.” Rodolphus shrugged. The Travers siblings were more resourceful than he gave them credit for. He would not make that mistake again. “After all, if she was going after my brother, I thought I should provide her some similar worry.”
Rabbit tilted his head. "Nice plan." It had his brother's usual elegance and efficiency to it. Of course... "It's gone a little pear-shaped, but nothing irredeemable." His eyes had that distance--and his mouth that absent-minded half-smirk--that meant he was making plans, and counterplans, and running possibilities. "I'll fix it."
“I’ll trust you to the task.” There was a moment of hesitation, but he didn’t linger on it. This was Rabastan. “Although do mind Alice. Especially now we’ll have to assume she knows anything Peter does.” The lot of them really. But at this point his biggest bother was the auror and the rat.
"Oh, I'll mind her," Rabbit declared, that smirk getting a decidedly unpleasant hook. But it slid into a grimace as he looked around--at all the mess that still needed to be tidied up. "Let's try not to have any more fights here. Mum's getting really terse."
Rodolphus followed Rabastan’s gaze. There was still work to be done here, and he wasn’t exactly fit for travel. Maybe in a day or two. Until then… “We both know how she gets about her greenhouses.”
Rabbit certainly did. He grinned at a parade of fond memories of trouble caused, and then even more because... "It's not even my fault this time. But I'll help you out anyway." He waved a hand, practically beatific with largesse. "Who's the best brother?"
He shook his head. “Enjoy the moment, little brother. It is a rare and strange occurance.”