iambetadraconis: (Default)
"ABAAAH!" cried Dyllen, as he reached up to try and grab Rabastan's nose, much to everyone's amusement. The infant was now six months old, and had already taken a shine to his parents' friends.

"Just you wait until he's bigger," grinned Merissa, as she made her way to take her son from Rabastan's arms. "Then your nose will really be in danger."

"I should hope not," Rabastan said, releasing the child. "I'm afraid of what he'll do to it, especially once he starts teething."

"Oh, he's not going to be that strong. Yet," Gillan pointed out. "Yer nose'll be safe for a while more."

Rabastan sniffed, then sniffed again, making a face.

"Excuse us," Merissa said as she hurried to the stairs leading to the bathroom.

"Good thing we've got this place all memorised, lad," Gillan mused. "Or we'd get lost in here trying to find all the rooms."

"It is rather grand," Elea agreed, smiling. It had been about a year ago since she'd moved in, and even now she was still taken aback by how fancy the home was. "Makes me wonder if you're used to living in such splendid surroundings, or if you grew a taste for them as you got older."

"Used to it. My family's holdings weren't as grandiose as some families', but it was certainly fine in its own way."

"I wish I could see it," Elea sighed, wondering what it looked like.

"Probably in the possession of the local municipality, now that the heirs of Lestrange no longer live there."

"You don't sound very said about it, lad," Gillan noted.

"I'm not. I have this place. What do I need another manor for?"

"If you ever wanted to go back to your old home, you could claim it..," Elea suggested.

Rabastan was about to insist upon not returning to his old world, when Merissa and a much cleaner Dyllen came into the room.

"We're finished," she said, wiping a little powder off her dress as she held her son one-armed. "What are we talking about."

"Rabastan's old home—" Elea began, but was cut off by Rabastan.

"This is my home now. Here. With all of you."

Dyllen gurgled, as if to agree, but Elea looked as if she knew Rabastan was keeping some unpleasant secret from her.

He would be wary of that look for a while to come.

"Do you want to hold Dyllen again, Rabastan? He adores you."

"Sure," Rabastan accepted, holding his arms out for the boy.

Merissa beamed as she settled Dyllen into Rabastan's arms.

"I'm surprised that you're not a father, the way that you dote all over Dyllen," Merissa observed. "You're a natural. Like you were born for it."

"Believe me when I say this, Merissa: I do wish I had a child. He or she would never feel unloved or unwanted."

"Oh you're so sweet!" Merissa cried, and leaned in to give Rabastan a kiss on the cheek. "Adorable! Elea, you're so lucky!"

"Yes. Well." Elea stammered, blushing. "I guess I am."

Rabastan smiled at her, as Dyllen once again tried to grab Rabastan's nose, feeling a longing build up in his chest.

I am willing to be the father, but who is willing to be the mother?
iambetadraconis: (Ponified)
"I want to talk to you."

"I don't."

Beta Draconis had been trying to elude his brother for days, but now he was cornered.

"You're going to, anyways. There's nopony around to provide you with a last-second means of getting out of this."

He was right. Beta Draconis was stuck in a dead-end alley in the less-savoury part of town, and his older brother was blocking the single way out.

"What do you want, Alpha?"

"I have a message, actually," his brother, Alpha Lupus, said casually. "Nox is getting tired of waiting. He wants you to join up with him—"

"No."

"I knew you'd say that. But you can't refuse forever, you know. You either come willingly, or..."

Alpha let it hang in the air.

"I'm not going to be part of whatever it is Nox is planning. I told you that. Ponies are supposed to get along."

"Oh, am I going to get a lecture on friendship now? Or maybe something about those Elements of Harmony?" He snorted. "Who even believes in that anyways?"

"Some ponies do," Beta Draconis muttered.

"Yeah. You."

Beta Draconis flattened his ears and looked away, ashamed.

"Anyways," Alpha Lupus went on, "Nox has given you until the Summer Sun Celebration to make up your mind, or he'll make it up for you."

Beta Draconis' ears were barely visible, and he took a step backwards.

"He- He wouldn't?"

Alpha Lupus leaned in.

"Oh no? Well, you'd better make up your mind if you don't want to find out the hard way."

"No! No, I don't want to! And nopony can make me!"

Hoofsteps sounded outside the alley.

"Is anypony there?" a stranger's voice said.

"Until the Summer Sun Celebration," Alpha Lupus reminded, then teleported out of the alley.

Without hesitation, Beta Draconis ran out of the alley and past the stranger, as fast as he could, until he reached his cottage.

A note. He wanted to send out a note. But to who?

Then it dawned on him: Princess Celestia! Of course!

He'd never conversed with the princess before, since he didn't really know her at all, but with the ultimatumn hanging over his head, why wait to be given an invitation to meet her so that you can discuss your problems with her?

After all, there were ponies who came to her all the time to solve a problem, and this was a problem.

A brief search for quill and roll of parchment was carried out, then he set to writing.

"Dear Princess Celestia..."
iambetadraconis: (Ponified)
Points about pony!Rabastan:

1: Obviously from Equestria, though a slightly different Equestria than the one we all know. The Mane Six are part of it, though some elements are altered somewhat [see below].

2: Attended a special school that was exclusively for unicorns, which everyone his family has all attended for many, many moons.

3: Speaking of moons, he grew up fascinated by the tale of the Mare in the Moon, and it was this that lead to him wanting to learn more about the magics of the night and the moon that gave him his cutie mark.

4: His name is not Rabastan, but Beta Draconis [I am not sure what AU!name his brother and sister-in-law will have].

5: Has a bully-type dog named Betria.

6: Unlike canon FIM, there are elements that are similar to Potter-verse, in that there's a small group of ponies—unicorns specifically—that believe that they are better than the other kinds of pony, and one in particular is trying to establish a kingdom where unicorns rule and everyone else is either a second-class citizen or a slave. Obviously Celestia is Not Happy About This, and is trying to put a stop to it. Meanwhile Rabastan is being pressured by his brother [who has already joined the unicorn supremacy movement (not its actual name!)] into joining, but at this time, he has not, and is trying to avoid being press ganged or worse.
iambetadraconis: (Default)
"I don't know why we couldn't have taken the carpet if it was going to rain," Elea nearly shouted, trying to make herself heard over the sound of thunder and the rain that streamed down. "Yes, it would get soaked, but we'd be home faster."

"I thought the rain would hold off until later. Here. It's not going to keep us completely dry, but 'less wet' is better than 'thoroughly soaked'."

Rabastan handed over an umbrella that had to be twice as large as a regular parasol. Certainly it would shield them both from the downpour, if only their upper bodies. As for their legs and feet, well...

"This weather is just awful," Elea complained, wringing her hair out with her free hand. "And to think it had started out all nice, sunny and warm."

"Weather does that," Rabastan said. "We'd better move quickly, if we want to be able to dry off at home."

"Providing we don't drown in this storm first."

"Glad to see the weather hasn't altered your sense of humour, love."

Moving as quickly as they could, they made their way up and down the streets, taking advantage of any awning or overhang they could find, and making quite a splash as the puddles began to deepen.

"Really. Next time we're out on a day scheduled for rain, we're taking the carpet, Rabastan. Forget this umbrella."

"Would you prefer to wait out the storm inside one of the shops?"

"If there's one that's open at this time of night." Pause. Then rhetorically, "If only we could've stayed overnight at Merissa's place."

"Taverns usually are," Rabastan reminded her, as he scanned about for one that was still open.

They continued on, keeping an eye out for a sign that didn't say "Closed", until suddenly, Rabastan halted.

Elea, who was just slightly behind him, didn't notice until she bumped right into him.

"Please tell me you found one?" she asked, hopefully.

"No. Something else. I hear something."

"You can hear anything over this tempest?"

"Shhhhh!"

He waved his hand, handed the umbrella back to Elea [they had taken turns holding it], and began to look around for whatever it was he'd heard.

"It's over here. In this alley."

"In the alley?" Elea said with a tone of surprise. "Rabastan, don't go in there! It could be some vagrant, or worse, in there!"

"No. No vagrant. It's something else."

Not caring that the rain had his coat completely soaked through, he began looking behind boxes, bins, and other items that littered the alley for whatever it was he'd heard.

"Hurry up, Rabastan!"

"Here! Here it is!"

He pushed aside a couple of waste bins, and bent down to get a closer look.

Elea, forgetting that the umbrella could only just barely fit through the gap between the buildings without having to be folded, tried to join Rabastan where he was crouched.

"What is it?"

Elea's reply was a pitiful sound. Rather like a small animal.

Rabastan leaned in, pushed something aside, then went to pick up ... whatever it was, then tucked it in the driest part of his clothing.

"Can I see?"

"Just a moment. Open the umbrella and I'll show you.

Elea, curiosity now replacing her unhappy mood, complied. And Rabastan pulled back the part of his coat that he was using to shield...

It was a small animal. But what kind? The poor thing was too wet and shaky to tell.

"It's a kitten," Rabastan explained. "No idea where it came from, but it must've gotten lost somehow when the rain started. Couldn't see its mother anywhere, so I think she ran off to get dry."

"Oh, the poor thing! Rabastan, we need to get indoors at once! That kitten won't last much longer in this horrid weather."

Fortunately, for humans and animal alike, there was a tavern open just around the corner, and everyone was grateful to be inside.

Except, perhaps, for the barman, who upon seeing the shivering kitten, rushed over with a frown upon his face.

"'Fraid I can't let you two bring in any animals. M'customers wouldn't allow it."

"Oh, please. Just until the storm lets up?" Elea pleaded. "It won't be a trouble; I'm sure of it."

The old man took a look at the sorry-looking creature, sighed, then nodded.

"All right. Just until the weather clears up—"

"Oh, thank you!" Pause. "Could we get it some food and milk? It must be starving."

"Er... Well. I suppose so. Go sit down while I find it some meat and milk."

While they waited, Rabastan let the kitten roam the table top. It didn't go far, and certainly nowhere near the edge, as it was still shaky from the cold and wet. But it was slowly drying out, and Rabastan could see that its fur was of a rusty red, and the way its fur stood out made him realise that the kitten, once fully grown, would have a longish coat of fur.

It would be a beautiful animal, that was for sure.

But right now it was tottering along, looking for something to eat, or a place to hide up in.

"'Ere you go. Some fish and some milk."

The plates were set down, and the kitten, clearly starving, ate as much as its little stomach could handle, before turning around to go and curl up next to Rabastan's elbow.

"I wonder if anyone owns it," Elea mused.

"Doubt it. Stray, most likely."

"It's pretty, though. Too pretty to be a stray."

The kitten yawned, then began to wash itself clean and drier, if not completely dry.

"Maybe we could keep it."

"What?"

"The kitten, Rabastan. It has no home, so why don't we give it one?"

"I dunno. Think we'd be able to care for it?"

"Of course, silly," Elea said, playfully swatting his arm. "Kittens are not that much trouble. It'll be fine. We'll be fine. And I'm sure it will be grateful."

As if in answer, the kitten gave a soft little mew.

"See? It wants to go home with us."

"Oh. All right. But the poor thing's been out in the elements. First thing tomorrow, we take it to a healer to get it looked over."

"Wonderful!"

The kitten purred softly.

Rabastan and Elea were going to adopt a kitten.
iambetadraconis: (Default)
The day was sunny, though the air had the scent of rain in it as Rabastan and Elea walked up to the house her friend Merissa now lived.

"It's been a while since I was here last. I do hope Merissa is doing well. And her family, too. Gosh, I wonder what it is she wanted to tell me?"

Elea knocked at the door, while Rabastan stood at the base of the steps, waiting. From inside he could hear both Merissa and her husband talking, then sounds of footsteps getting louder as they approached the door.

"Elea!" Merissa almost shrieked as she embraced her friend. "I'm so glad to see you!"

"Me too! How was the vacation? And your parents?"

"Excellent! You really should go - the food is marvelous! And my family is just fine! In fact, they wanted me to tell you 'Hello' for them. Oh, hello Rabastan. Come on in. We were just about to put some tea on, and I hope you'll have some."

He nodded, and went inside. The scent of tea leaves and something fruity wafted out of the kitchen, and he secretly hoped there would be more than just tea today.

"Rabastan! Good to see you, lad!" It was Gillan, Merissa's husband, heading over to give Rabastan one of his trademarked bear hugs. "Althena bless you, you're looking thin! Merissa? Think you could throw something in the oven and feed him up so he doesn't starve?"

Rabastan chuckled; this was becoming a favourite joke between them. Merissa laughed, too, and headed into the kitchen, with Elea tailing behind her.

"I'll help."

"Come, lad. How's about you take a seat in the sitting room while the ladies catch up over tea?"

He'd barely sat down, when the impulse to eavesdrop on Elea and Merissa came to him. Gillan hadn't gone into the sitting room, but instead to the wine cellar to get himself a glass of spirit.

That meant he was alone. For now.

"You're kidding, right?" he heard Elea exclaim. "Really? Oh, this is wonderful news! We'll need to throw a party for you! And Gillan as well."

Party? What for?

"How long has it been? When did you find out?"

Now he knew what the answer would be before Merissa said it.

"Just over three months, and I only found out about a fortnight ago when I saw the healer for what I thought was just a regular illness."

"Well, it's certainly not some 'regular illness', is it?" Elea ribbed.

So. Elea's best friend and former roommate was in an expecting way. Which meant he'd have a new baby to fawn over and spoil.

It was something he couldn't help. Children always brought out the paternal in him.

He smiled to himself and stopped listening in, just as Gillan entered the room.

"Y'know, it's not polite to listen in on private talk," the beastman said, startling Rabastan back to awareness. "Here. Have a drink. The tea ain't ready yet."

Rabastan stammered something, then took the glass. It had a heady scent of spices, nuts and a vague hint of honey.

"Bought it while we was on vacation. Locals are real proud of this here liquor. Say that it was the best year they'd had in ages." He paused. "G'on. Drink up."

It was. Well. He was certainly going to remember this one for a while yet. Not that it was unpleasant, or bitter, or sweet. Instead, it was something he couldn't put his finger on, but if he ever had it again, he'd know it at once.

"Good, huh?"

Rabastan nodded, and handed over the empty glass, feeling the alcohol work its way though his body.

Must be one of those "one glass" drinks, unless you're of strong constitution. And Gillan certainly is.

Alone again, and despite Gillan's remark about poor manners, Rabastan found himself listening in to the conversation in the kitchen. Merissa was busy chopping up something, while Gillan rinsed out the cups and began looking for something in the pantry to add to the meal.

It looked like Rabastan and Elea were staying for dinner. Which pleased him. Merissa was a fine cook, and he always enjoyed supping at her house.

"Gillan? Could you go outside to fetch some herbs from the garden?"

Rabastan knew what that new tone meant, and Gillan was to excuse himself while Elea and Merissa talked about something only the two women were supposed to talk about. A word of agreement, and Gillan headed down the hallway, past the sitting room, and then out into the gardens behind the house.

"Oh, I don't know," Elea's voice began. "It's just... Well... I don't know if that's a choice I want to make just yet."

"You're not getting any younger, and neither is he. Especially he. And you've been together for a few years now, too."

"Yes, I know, but..."

Her voice trailed off.

Getting old? Being together? What was it they were talking about that made age and time together such a big deal?

"I've always known you as the most decisive person, back when we were still sharing a house together with the others. Anything you set your mind on, you went after. I don't see this as anything you would ever hesitate on."

"We're talking about a major decision, Merissa. Everything else I chose to do or not do weren't even half as big as this. I just don't want to decide now."

"And when do you plan to decide? The longer you wait to ask him, or for him to ask you, the less time you'll have to make any decision at all."

Things got very quiet for several moments, and Rabastan thought that Elea or Merissa weren't going to talk about it any more, but...

"Merissa, you know how I feel about these things. With minor decisions, there's always the option of changing your mind. But this isn't some minor decision. And I want to be sure—absolutely sure—when I make it that I'm making what will be the right choice for me. I don't want to find myself, ten or twenty years later, wishing I'd thought about it more."

A pause, and a deep sigh.

"I just don't know if it's the right time or the right choice yet."

"Just don't wait too long, then."

The chopping sound resumed as the back door opened, and Gillan came inside. Rabastan quickly adjusted his expression to that of someone studying the room they were in, but Gillan didn't peek his head in to see what his guest was doing.

"Hope these are what you want, love," Gillan said from the kitchen. "'Cause I ain't goin' back out. There's a storm comin'"

"They're perfect, dear. Set them over here, please."

"Should I ask Rabastan to help out?" Elea inquired.

"No. I'll be done soon. Why don't you go join him in the sitting room while I finish up? I'll call you when it's done, if Rabastan's nose doesn't tell you both first."

Using the time it would take for Elea to reach the sitting room, Rabastan got up to look at one of the bookshelves for something to read.

"Find anything interesting?"

"Not yet."

He heard her sit down, and try to exhale as softly as she could in the hopes that he wouldn't hear.

"You sounded excited earlier. I take it that whatever Merissa said was something good?"

"Better than good. She'll be having a child soon, and I know how much you adore children."

"That is good news."

Giving up on finding anything in the bookcase that would serve as distraction, he moved over to look out the window. Sure enough, the sky had darkened, and the first rumbles of thunder could be heard even by people with normal hearing.

Elea must feel as if there's a storm inside her, given what she and Merissa were talking about...

Speaking of Merissa, the sounds of her footsteps told him she was heading their way.

"We're almost done. How's about you two come to the kitchen now, and we can talk about my big news there?"

Both grateful for the distraction from having to start a conversation, they left the sitting room to join Merissa and Gillan for dinner, while thunder growled overhead...
iambetadraconis: (Uncertain)
Dawn broke just before Rabastan woke up again for the second time that night.

He'd had a fitful sleep after Rodolphus and Bellatrix had appeared earlier, and he knew without having to look in the mirror that it would show on his face, and Elea would be concerned about his health.

Again.

He got up, and made his way over to the bathroom to run the sink full of cold water.

Something to splash his face with. Get the tiredness out of him. Make himself look less like someone to fuss over in the morning.

Water dripping from hair and skin, he stared at his reflection.

It had been some time since his appearance had changed. Gone were the usual brown eyes, to be replaced by that bestial yellow he'd somewhat grown accustomed to.

And almost let slip from his mind.

It meant nothing. Heralded nothing.

After the Slenderman, and his healing, everything was pretty much back to normal.

Rodolphus was only taking note of a change that had occured since the last time the two had met.

So why did it bother him so much what Rodolphus had said?

"They all fight it, but they lose out in the end."

"Shut up, Rodolphus," he hissed at the echo of his brother's voice. "Shut up."

He emptied the sink, toweled himself dry, and went about looking for something to put on before going downstairs to put a kettle on for tea.

Because as hungry as he was, he still remembered the advice he'd been given so long ago about what he ate, and if the wolf was getting stronger, he'd need to do something about his diet.

The kettle began to whistle just as Elea stepped into the kitchen, where Rabastan was busy chewing thoughtfully on an apple.

"Some particular reason you're not having bacon as you usually do?" she commented.

Rabastan was not a morning vegetarian.

"Thought I'd try something different for starters."

"Do you want bacon?"

"Not today, thanks."

She looked at him quizzically, then proceeded to crack some eggs to make an omlette.

They didn't say much that morning, and, in a way, he was glad for it.

"The mail should be here by now. I'll go have a look."

He watched her go. He knew she'd be asking questions about his odd change in routine eventually.

"So. That's Elea."

Rabastan let out a cry of surprise, and dropped the core of his fifth apple.

"Who's there?" He paused. "Father? Is that you?"

He turned in his chair. For the second time that day a family member had made a ghostly appearance.

"Father. I—"

He stopped short. He had so much he wanted to say, and no tongue to say it with.

"I suppose you're expecting me to say something about your choice in partners, aren't you?"

Mutely, Rabastan nodded.

"You're expecting me to say that you should get rid of her, go home, and get yourself a proper wife, aren't you?"

Another nod.

"I could say that, but death seems to have mellowed me out."

"Papa. Father," Rabastan croaked.

"Say nothing. I am only here for a short time. The veil may be thin, but then, so is the time granted to us who visit the living."

Rabastan waited for his father to speak.

"You know how your mother and I felt about Muggle-borns and half-bloods. You know how we thought about those of us who were of pure heritage. We were not exactly cruel, as the Blacks were, and yet, like the Malfoys, we saw them as something beneath us. To your mother and I, they were curiosities that should keep to their own, and not involve themselves in the lives of proper witches and wizards."

Rabastan remembered all this. He remembered how his parents would talk to non-purebloods. As if they were oddities, something to be polite to, but never to accept in one's own world. The Lestranges were from one world, the Muggle-borns another. If they could not be removed from wizarding society, then they should keep to their own kind.

The two were simply not compatible, and should keep apart.

So why bring this up now?

"Well, death seems to change us, as I've said. It's sent Bellatrix over the edge, and caused your brother to adopt a new kind of cruelty."

That didn't bring Rabastan any comfort.

"Is he right?"

His father continued as though Rabastan had not said anything.

"You're not the first werewolf in the family."

It made his heart freeze.

"Anyways, about me, and about Elea."

The ghost paused for a moment.

"You love her?"

"Yes."

"You hope someday to marry her?"

"Yes."

"Then I suppose that settles the matter. See, if I were still alive, I'd have set you an ultimatum, and you would've obeyed it. But death seems to have changed me, and if you love her, then I suppose that will have to do. She's not my first or even last choice for my son, but if you love her..."

"Rabastan, are you talking to someone?"

"I must go. My time here is almost up."

The visage of the elder Lestrange began to dissipate, then vanish altogether.

He was alone again.

"Rabastan? I thought I heard a voice. Were you talking to someone?"

"No, love. I wasn't. It was probably just a voice coming in through the window."

Elea looked skeptical.

"If you say so."

"I do."

First his brother and sister-in-law; then his father.

What else did he have to look forward to this Halloween?
iambetadraconis: (Pissed off)
From the start, it looked like this October was going to be a decent one.

Nothing bad had happened. Everything was fine. And even the increase in leaves and decrease in daylight didn't dampen his mood.

For once in his adult life, he was going to have an uneventful October.

Or so he thought.

The calendar on the wall in his room read "October 31". Halloween. Samhain.

No big deal. Later that day he and Elea could get dressed up as per the Earthen custom.

Tonight he'd just sleep.

Well, he was asleep.

Because now, suddenly, he was wide awake.

He looked about the room.

Elea was beside him, fast asleep. The blanket beginning to slip off her bare shoulder.

He looked towards the window.

There was a mantle of leaves on the other side.

So far, everything seemed normal.

He closed his eyes. What on Earth would have him suddenly awake?

Sitting up, he ran his hand through his hair.

Well if he was going to be awake, he might as well do something until he got tired again.

A sound. A laugh. A woman's laugh. Cold. Cruel. Mocking.

And another sound. One that turned his guts to ice. A slow drawl that hid menace in its seemingly lazy tone.

He looked about. Where?

"Over here," said the cackle.

He turned his head so sharply his neck began to twinge in pain.

"Awwww... The poor liddle pup has an ouch?" said the woman's voice.

"Pay it no mind. Any pain he gets is tithe to me this night."

"What?"

Standing before him were two semi-transparent figures.

He recoiled in shock and fear. Not because he was afraid of apparitions—after all, he'd spent his youth in a school full of ghosts and spirits—but because of who they were.

It was his brother. And his sister-in-law.

Paying him an unwanted visit.

"Don't look so surprised to see me again," Rodolphus said, looking rather bored. "You know that you can't keep us away forever. Everyone dies sometime."

Bellatrix cackled.

"How about the two of you go back to where you came from, and allow me to enjoy my living years in peace?"

"I'm sure you'd like that, but it's not happening just yet."

Rabastan gave a snarl.

"Ah. I see the wolf in you has grown stronger. I'll bet even good ol' Greyback will be pleased."

"Your little attempt on his life didn't quite go as expected, and yet, this turn of events is intriguing."

Bellatrix turned to look at Elea, still fast asleep. Comfortably oblivious. This visit was not for her tonight.

"Ooh, I see you've found yourself a little whore?" she sneered. "Couldn't find anyone proper to lie with?"

"Shut your mouth!"

"I think not!" She paused, giggling silently. "How much longer before the big bad wolf devours his pretty young lover?"

"It's in your eyes, brother," Rodolphus added. "Not a good sign when eye colour changes. You're turning more feral."

"Shut up! I can control it!"

"Not for forever, you can't," replied Rodolphus, his lazy voice showing a hint of interest now. "Greyback told us they all fight it, but they lose out in the end."

"I won't!"

Rodolphus chuckled. "Oh, you think so?"

"Big eyes to see with. Big ears to hear with. Big teeth to eat with!" sang Bellatrix.

That was it. He was out of bed, on his feet, not caring about whether he was dressed or not.

"STOP THAT! STOP IT NOW!"

"And just how do you plan to make us, brother? Magic's not going to work on us, now."

"Shut it! Shut it up, you hear me?"

"Loud and clear. But if I were you I'd think about what this display of temper might cause."

Rodolphus smiled in his own wolfish way.

"You never trusted that trinket that god gave you. Better not trust it now."

"What are you talking about?"

"Oh, only that it might lead you to doing something you'll regret."

He shifted his gaze to his hand.

"You don't know. You have no idea whether it's dangerous or not."

"Perhaps. Perhaps not. But if you want to stay sane and your little trollop to stay alive, you'll watch what you say and do, and more importantly, feel."

Rabastan advanced, but Rodolphus made no move.

He was, however, becoming more and more transparent.

"Think about it. I know you'd never take advice from me, but maybe this time, you should listen to your dear older brother."

"Fuck off. And get out of my house!"

"We're leaving anyways. Go to sleep, pup."

And the two vanished.

His heart pounded in his ears as his nostrils flared with heavy breathing.

It was just a Halloween prank. A bad dream.

Of course it meant nothing.

Didn't it?
iambetadraconis: (Default)
As with yesterday, today saw Rabastan and Elea once again in his secret place.

Like yesterday, they had packed lunch and taken the carpet to fly out to this hidden locale.

In fact, minus Rabastan showing Elea photographs, not much was different.

Well. He wasn't planning on spending his afternoon as a jaguar. That too made it different.

Today, he'd had other plans, and before they'd left, he'd explained his idea.

Elea was, well. The thought of what he had in mind was both exciting and quite frightening as well.

They sat at the stream together in silence, their bare feet dangling in the cool water. Elea had another flower in her hair, just like the one from before.

"Mmmmmmm...," she murmured, contented.

While the day was hot, the water had the desired effect of cooling her down.

"I should bring you out here more often if you enjoy it that much. Hell, you should see it during the autumn. Or the winter. It's so quiet and still."

"We could do that. But I'd rather enjoy it while it's summer out."

With that, she leaned back and stretched out on the rocks, an arm shading her eyes from the bright sun.

Rabastan, seeing her this content, was considering changing his mind about today's activity, and offering to reschedule what he'd had planned.

A fish jumped from the water.

Overhead and about, birds and insects called, and a small animal darted amongst the trees.

Yes. They could just do this all day. They didn't have to do what he wanted to do.

But then Elea spoke.

"So. About your little idea. I'm still up for it if you are."

"You haven't changed your mind? We could just do what we're doing now. Or something else besides this."

Elea gave him a rather feline grin.

"That we always have time for."

He coughed, startling something nearby. Something that quickly jumped into the water.

Rolled onto her side, with her head propped up, she gave his thigh a poke.

"So. Basically, what you plan to do is carry me about on your back?"

"Basically."

"Which is something people from your world would do?"

"Of course. It's quite popular."

"Well. If you're going to be carrying me about the countryside, you might want to get into shape first."

He got up, then extended Elea a hand. She took it, and pulled herself up onto her feet.

"You sure you want to do this? You could fall."

"I'll hold on tight. I promised you that."

He nodded, closed his eyes, and concentrated, making sure beforehand to give himself enough room first.

"You weren't kidding, love. They are big."

I know. Goodness, Elea. You don't have to do—

She placed a hand on his muzzle to silence him.

All right. Though I have no idea how to make it easier for you to get up. It's not like you've had to lift yourself up onto something that's as tall as you are.

"Try kneeling or something."

With these legs? Elea, I have no intention of putting my arms in plaster for the next month while I recuperate.

"Lie down then?" she offered, and he nodded, then laid down on the grass.

"What now?"

Put one leg over my back until you're seated with a leg on each side. Then I'll get up.

"Okay." For the first time, she sounded uncertain.

It's safe. I promise.

Hands placed on his shoulders to steady herself, Elea swung her left leg over his back, then sat down.

"Okay. What next?"

Grab my mane. And hold on. I'm going to get up.

He paused.

I'll get up slowly so you won't fall off.

It wasn't easy, what with his size and the way his legs worked, but he did.

It didn't stop Elea from yanking on his mane as the two of them rose from the ground, and he nearly cried out in pain.

"Althea bless me! This is... This is... Wow!"

Are you alright?

"I'm more than alright! Though, I have to admit it is a little scary."

If you want off...

"No, no. I'm fine."

Keep hold of my mane. I'm going to walk now.

He did. Slowly. So as not to unseat Elea and give her a nasty tumble.

"This is truly something. People do this all the time."

Not as much as they used to, but yes. They do.

He set up a slow, steady pace, gradually circling as much of the perimeter as he could.

"I think I like this, Rabastan. This is quite enjoyable. Too bad your other forms aren't suited for this."

"Horse" is good enough for this kind of thing.

He carried her like this, sometimes moving slow, sometimes a little quicker. And sometimes he'd just stand there and let her examine things from her elevated vantage point.

"Nothing like riding a carpet. At all."

She stroked his neck, admiring the feel.

Two hours later though, and they had to put an end to Elea's first lesson in riding horses.

"I'm sorry love, but as much fun as this is, I'd really like to get off now. My legs are sore."

Moving to lie down again, Elea gratefully dismounted, and began the process of soothing her legs.

Did you enjoy that?

"Oh yes, very much," she said, rubbing her calves and thighs. "I'd like to do that again sometime."

Next time I will bring a rope so you can have something else to hold onto.

"I didn't hurt you, did I?"

Not at all, he lied. I just think it would be more practical.

He paused.

I will change back now.

But before he did, he gave her a playful nudge with his head, causing her to let out a shriek of surprise.

"Rabastan! Stop that!"

He was grinning when he returned to human. Just in time to receive a clod of mud to his chest. Elea had scooped some up as he was changing.

That led to the two of them cavorting in the stream, tossing water at each other. Laughing the whole time.

Later...

"I'm sorry I ever treated you the way I did. When you first told me you were sick. I should've been more understanding."

They were snuggling on the blanket as the sun began to set.

"No. You were right to be afraid. I had been careless, when I should've been thinking more about others' safety. I thought I had taken all precautions. Until you pointed out my oversights."

He sighed.

"And I could've hurt you."

"You didn't, though."

He gave her a squeeze.

"We should head back."

"Not right now. In fact, I think I'd like to spend the night out here. Sleep under the stars."

"I never took you to be a woman for the outdoors."

She laughed.

"There's a lot about me you don't know."

She snuggled up closer. They would snuggle for quite a bit later.

"Thank you Rabastan. For everything."
iambetadraconis: (Default)
Telling Elea about his illness put a huge weight on his back.

His otter experiment had lifted it, and, more than that, improved things between them by a great deal.

Seeing that Rabastan was not going to turn into some ravening monster and hurt anyone around him gave both a sense of relief.

He was not dangerous. Not dangerous at all.

It made him smile. Feel happy inside.

Even Gavin's chill attitude towards Rabastan couldn't put a damper on things.

Everything was fine again.

Two weeks after his little experiment, he'd arranged to take Elea out to the place where, prior to his revealing of his state of health, he'd run and flew in his animal forms. Where he was certain that no one would see and investigate. And thus, come to no harm from someone wanting to turn the creature they saw into some exotic artifact or beast of burden.

They flew out to the site on the carpet Rabastan had recently purchased, Elea snuggling against him while she held the picnic lunch in her lap.

It took about an hour's flight to reach it.

Once landed, Elea quickly set up everything, spreading out the blanket and taking out food and drink from the basket, before turning about to take in the scenery.

"I can see why you come here, love. This place is beautiful. All those trees. That hill over there. The flowers. Even that little stream we just passed. Lovely."

He smiled. His choice in coming here had less to do with how it looked and more to do with how well it suited his animal selves.

But, now that he thought about it, it was lovely.

"I could stay out here all day. Just lie on the grass, and feel the sun shining down."

Well. That was one way to pass the time out here. He was starting to think of other things they could do out here, away from everyone. Lots of them.

He quickly looked away. His imagination was getting the better of him.

Elea had noticed, though, and gave him a sly wink.

"So. You brought me out here because you wanted me to see your animal forms. This place seems appropriate enough to do that."

He nodded.

"I will show you them as they actually look," he said, "but I think first, it would be better to show you them in a way that might not be so intimidating."

"What's more intimidating than this wolf form you take?"

Before he sat down on the blanket, he pulled out a small envelope.

Back at the bar, he'd gone through the library to find pictures of the different animals he could be. With some spellwork he made copies of the ones he'd liked, placed them in the envelope, and brought them home.

"Here," he said, handing it over to Elea, "have a look."

"What's in that—"

The photographs slid out onto her lap.

"Oh!"

Scooping them up, she began to look at each one in turn, though now, they were slightly out of order.

"What manner of creatures are these?"

"Well, that one you are looking at now, is called a 'horse'. People on Earth keep them for many things, like riding, or work, or even just pets," he explained as she looked at a picture of a horse running in a field. "Some of them are big, like that one, and some are smaller. The smaller horses are called 'ponies'. I have no idea why."

She nodded, taking in all the details. The mane and tail were whipped up by the wind created by its movement.

It was, the more she thought about it, rather majestic.

"Do you look like this one?"

"Oh no. I look very different. See, that one is brown. When I'm a horse I'm all black."

The picture was placed back in the envelope, and she continued looking at the ones with horses in them, until she came to a picture of a tiny bird.

"And this animal is?"

"That is a swallow. It's as small as you think it is. Very fast, catches insects, and migrates when it gets cold."

"Why would you choose a small form? Why not bigger?"

"Small can be very useful," he said cryptically.

She gave him an inquiring look, but said nothing and continued on. There were only a couple swallow pictures to look at before she came to another one of a horse.

As Rabastan had pointed out, horses came in small, and so she figured that this one was a pony, rather than a full-sized horse.

It was cute. Just like that little bird.

More pictures of horses and birds, before she came to one of a much larger, much fiercer-looking bird.

It looked like something that would eat the poor, tiny swallow.

"And this one?" she asked, feeling sorry for any poor creature that came near it.

"That is an eagle. It's part of a group of birds people from my world call 'birds of prey', because they hunt other animals." He grinned, suddenly. "It's also one of my school's mascots."

"This thing?"

"Yeah. I like this bird. It soars high, and while it's not as fast as a swallow is, it can see and hear for miles around, because it has amazing eyes, and surprisingly good ears."

And it makes him look regal, the way the horse does.

Apparently he'd had something of an unrealised streak of vanity, or perhaps it was an instinctual recognition of a noble animal by someone from a noble parentage.

"Don't worry. It's not dangerous. Unless you're something small and furry."

Elea gave him a look that indicated she didn't see the humour in what he'd said.

More pictures. More swallows, more horses, more eagles. There were also some otters amongst them, and these she spent more time looking at.

She found that, despite the initial surprise at seeing it, she rather liked him as an otter. Small, furry, and rather adorable. The thought of something like an eagle carrying off the small, wet, slippery creature made her want to cry.

She came to a picture of a wolf, and Rabastan explained that his wolf and that one in the photograph were not exactly the same. The build was different, for one, but it was a good approximation of what to expect should she ever see him in that form.

They both silently prayed that if that ever happened, it would not be during an eclipse, as he had told her that the animal only experienced aggression during the time it was supposed to appear. Outside the time of change, it was rather docile.

Finally, when she was close to the end of the pictures, she came upon the last form.

"It looks like it could be a distant relative of Nall. Only... It's a lot bigger. And has spots."

"That, love, is a jaguar. It lives in something called a 'jungle', which is a bit like a normal forest, only hotter, wetter, and with all manner of strange plants and trees. And the animals are very colourful."

"I should like to see a jungle some day," she mused, examining the big cat.

"Maybe I will take you."

"You would? Oh, that would be wonderful."

She paused.

"Tell me about this animal."

"Well, it's a cat, and it lives in warm places, as I'd said. It's a predator, and eats other animals, and the people who live where it does revere it and consider it almost a god."

It seemed to him that Muggles tended to do that with large, powerful animals.

A few more photos, and then they were replaced back in the envelope.

"Now that you've shown me, what next?"

"First? Lunch. After that, I will show you in actuality an animal or two."

It did not take long to finish the first, and, having plenty of time left in the day, and soon, they were strolling around, taking in the scenery.

Rabastan picked a flower and, like someone half his age or younger, put it in Elea's hair.

She laughed and gave him a kiss.

"I have shown you in pictures," he'd said as he sat by the stream. Elea had kicked off her shoes and was splashing about as if she were a little girl. "What animal would you like to see first?"

A good question, she seemed to be thinking. He had a short list of animals, but picking one from the list wouldn't be easy.

"I'll stick with something that moves on the ground, first," she concluded. "I would like to see that jaguar. I want to see how much it actually does look like Nall."

Rabastan smiled. He'd warned her that the changes were weird, but unlike last time, she watched in fascination as he assumed the spotted form.

"Ohhhhh..."

Her tone was breathless.

"I can see why people hold it in high regard. You're so ... magnificent."

He rumbled his approval, and flicked his tail slightly.

Before he knew it, she was kneeling right next to him.

"You are beautiful like this," she whispered.

I'm glad you like this.

"You can show me the other animals another day. I think I should like to look at you like this for the rest of the day."

No horses or swallows?

She stroked his head.

"Maybe tomorrow. Or the day after."

He rumbled again.

Elea put an arm about his shoulders, and in response, he gave her the gentlest swipe of his rough tongue that he could.

"Come on, love," she said, getting up after several minutes. "Let's get back to our walk."

He gave an amused sound, and, as she got up, fell into step at her side.

He wished, for a moment, that there was someone else there to take their picture.

Elea and the jaguar.

It would be a wonderful addition to his photo album.
iambetadraconis: (Default)
Things always seemed to get worse every time you think it's getting better.

Rabastan knew this, and knew the source of the tension in his heart.

Just as agreed, a more secure place to ride out his change had been found. A room in his house that could be secured, either by lock from the outside or a password that needed to be spoken aloud before he could be released.

The question to that was "which did he prefer".

But that was easy.

He really only had two choices there.

The bigger problem was Elea.

He'd thought that, once he'd assured her he'd be no danger to her or anyone else, now that he'd complied with her requirements, things would go back to normal.

Yeah. That wasn't happening.

Despite all assurances to the contrary, Elea seemed no more comfortable to be around him now than she was over a month ago.

He could see it in her expression and posture, and knew why she insisted upon sleeping in the spare room instead of with him at night.

If he could read her thoughts he'd hear them say "My lover turns into a wild animal and bites people with sickness".

She was sitting in the living room, pretending to read a book while he knitted.

Was she expecting him to transform right then and there?

Of course she was.

She was afraid, and if he didn't do something soon, the fear would create a rift too wide to heal.

And he'd be back to being alone, with perhaps an even more remote chance of finding someone new.

Hell, he might even have it told to everyone that he was sick and a danger to others. Not out of malice, but out of a genuine concern for everyone else on Lunar.

And some of those people would get hostile and try to harm him.

He might even be exiled if the pressure to Do Something About It got too much.

God. His knitting was suffering because he was getting paranoid about his relationships!

He looked up, without raising his head.

She was staring at him, not even bothering with the book.

Time ticked, and after giving up his knitting as a lost cause, headed off up the stairs to bed.

Elea, as was now usual, did not follow.

In the darkness, he stared up at the ceiling.

Well. It would be dark to others.

He saw things just fine.

Not that he cared about improvements in sensory abilities now.

Tracing the little cracks in the stonework overhead he churned the idea of what he ought to do.

He needed to show her he was harmless. Show her that just because he was sick with an illness he'd had thanks to his brother's failed assassination attempt [he never told her that], that he was safe to be around.

Safe for her. Safe for Lunar.

Hours ticked by, and it wasn't until it was half past one in the morning that he finally got some idea of what he'd do to prove himself to Elea.

It might not save their relationship, but it would at least help her see him as the man she'd come to know and love.

With that, he drifted off to sleep.

An hour before dawn, he awoke.

If his plan was to work, he'd have to be the first one up.

Checking in on Elea showed her to still be fast asleep, though her stirrings indicated she would soon be awake herself.

Slipping down the hall and into the bathroom, he ran the water in the tub, disrobed, and slid in.

And changed.

Not to his wolf form, but to his otter shape.

Ooh! Water!

His lutrine instincts kicked in now that he was submerged, and perhaps because of it, he started to splash about a little more than he'd intended to.

Perhaps too much, because he didn't hear Elea get up and head towards the sound of the splashing.

"Good heavens that had better just be you pretending to be five," she whispered, slowly opening the door.

Rabastan's head popped above the water, and when he saw who was at the door, gave an excited "PIP!".

Elea gave a scream in surprise.

"What is that? Rabastan, if that's you, it's not funny."

It is me, love.

"Where did that—"

I'm speaking to you with my mind.

Elea hesitated, then stepped into the bathroom, minding the puddles on the floor.

"What are you? What sort of animal did you become? Don't tell me you have more than one contagious form."

She was getting to like using that word. Contagious.

I am an otter. An animal from my world. Semi-aquatic, and loves fish, water and playing. And it is not contagious.

He dove under the water, causing it to churn with his frantic antics. Then poked his head above water.

Well. Being an otter is. And so is the love for fish.

He swam about the tub, and Elea, despite herself, edged closer to the tub.

Elea, I won't hurt you. I would never hurt you. I promise you that.

"But you... You change. And bite."

And that scares you, doesn't it?

"Why shouldn't it? I'm afraid I'll be bitten. I'm afraid of you getting loose and biting people."

He paddled over to the edge, to get closer to her.

Do you think I could hurt you now?

"I don't know. I know nothing of your animals."

Come closer then. I promise nothing bad will happen if you do.

"But..."

Please?

Hesitation, then compliance.

He hopped up onto the rim of the tub.

Sit down? he asked, knowing full well the rim was covered in water.

Her night things would not suffer. They'd dry out soon enough.

She sat, with much trepidation and time-taking.

"Well. I am sitting. What do you— Ah!"

She almost sent him for a tumble after he'd climbed onto her lap. Both from the sudden sensation of water on fabric, and furry animal on her knees.

Ahhh! he repeated, then steadied himself.

"What are you doing?!"

Sitting on your lap.

"Oh that is very funny." Her tone had no humour.

Are you afraid of me now? Do you think I could hurt you now?

"I— Well. I— I don't know."

He curled up, almost like a cat.

Elea raised one hand, then dropped it. She stared at the creature in her lap that claimed to be Rabastan.

Then raised it again, and, hesitantly, placed it on the damp fur.

He only looked up at her in response.

"Well. I guess... I guess this is not dangerous."

She gave him a scratch.

"So you turn into two animals? One that bites and one that does not?"

Not two. There are six. Including the wolf I told you about.

"Six! How?"

A bit of magic, stored in a place that most wouldn't think to look in.

"Like a room or in your wand or?"

The ring.

"Wait. That silver ring of yours?"

The magic is in the stone. Through it I can assume other forms.

He paused.

Perhaps I could show you?

"Not today. Not... Not right now. Later. This is all a bit much to take."

He snuggled in her lap a little, then hopped off.

"Rabastan," she said, looking down at the furry animal at her feet. "I have learned more about you in five weeks than I have in nearly two years. And some of it terrifies me. It terrifies me greatly. I don't know what I am to make of it. Because now when I look at you I think of what you've told me, and it's hard to reconcile that with the you I've known and loved for so long. And I wish I could go back to not knowing. So that I can look at you and not be afraid when I do."

Please. I promise I will never hurt you. I promise that I will do what you have asked me to, to keep you safe. To keep my home and everyone in it safe. You are not the only one who fears what could happen if... If...

They were quiet for many minutes.

I'm about ready to change back now. It's kind of weird, so if you look away, I'll understand.

"No. I think I need to see this."

Before her widening eyes, the otter changed into Rabastan.

"I assure you. Sickness or no sickness, I'm still me."

With a choked sound, she flung herself at him, and he held her as she cried.

"It's just awful. And I've been awful, too."

"With reason."

She sniffed into his bare shoulder.

"I know, but..."

"Shhhh..."

When she'd stopped, he grabbed a cloth, wet it, and wiped her face.

"It's okay, love. Everything is okay."

She nodded, clinging to him again. Head nestled against his neck.

"Everything will be okay."

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Rabastan Lestrange

April 2016

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