iambetadraconis: (Default)
He was, simply put, heartbroken.

It had been over a week now since Elea had left him the note saying she'd gone home—a week going on two—and he was beginning to feel, like a large weight settling in his pit, that this might very well be it.

It was very much over.

Maybe he'd hoped too much that his lover would understand his state of health.

You told her you turn into an animal at certain times, he reminded himself, with much morose. An animal that can turn others into more of you.

He winged his way south [he had taken eagle form and was trying to lift himself up literally if not metaphorically], hoping that maybe he'd see Elea somewhere below.

Elea's parents lived in Meribia's south end. If she'd gone straight home she'd be there.

Quickly, he was soon overhead the house he'd been seeking. But there was no sign of her.

Guess I should've known better.

Feeling rather guilty for following after what he thought was his now ex-lover, he turned and headed west.

If she wants to end it, then it's ended, he told himself bitterly. Don't be an idiot.

He spent the rest of the day, rejected but resigned.

He'd just have to be more careful about whoever he took as a new partner.

If there's a new partner.

Accepting that his life was that of a solo act was something he was now seriously considering.

You've been alone so long, and anyone who could accept you will do so only if you keep your secrets to yourself. You just need to guard them better in the future.

But he'd been careless, and he was found out in the end. Best to just accept fate, not fight it, and live alone.

Well. Not completely alone.

Surely there was some stray animal he could adopt and keep for a pet.

Hell, he could even play with it in a way most people can't.

His mood now rising and falling in a steady rhythm of "I am doomed to never be happy" and "what kind of animal I should get for a pet", he stopped noticing the passage of time until the sun started to go down.

Time to go home.

Eagles can't see well in the dark.

Taking his time, so as to enjoy the last couple hours of daylight, he spotted a figure somewhere below him.

A familiar figure.

And it was heading in the direction of his house.

Hope surged up in his avian breast.

Maybe things were not over. She certainly seemed intent on getting where she was going.

Especially if the piece of parchment in her hand was any indication.

He debated whether he should speed up and appear to have been spending his day moping at home, or if he could make it look like he'd been out, and just happened to arrive when she did.

The first idea made him sound pathetic. The second made him look like he no longer cared.

You can always call down to her. It's not like you being an animal is going to surprise her now.

He shelved that one quickly. He'd never specified what animal it was, and she could easily mistake his eagle form for the dangerous, sickness-spreading form.

After a few minutes' deliberation, he decided that he'd rather look pathetic than uncaring, and sped his way home, changing back to human once he'd landed in his secret entrance.

Not more than fifteen minutes later, a knock could be heard from his place in the kitchen.

"Oh. Hello Elea," he said, trying not to sound like he knew she was coming. "Come in."

She stood in the doorway a moment, then stepped inside.

"I've been thinking a lot, and talking to mother a lot too," she said, with no preamble.

Here it comes, he thought. Get ready to say goodbye, and get ready to help her move out.

"Rabastan, I'm very afraid right now. You have a sickness unknown to this world, and more than that, you have been acting in a manner that could spread that sickness to other people. No matter how secure you think you are when you're ensconced in the cave."

He winced.

"You could've given it to me."

Elea looked shaken.

"I should call this off. If you're a danger to others, I shouldn't be here."

She raised a hand at his protest attempt.

"Your family might be able to assure me you're safe, especially in the cave, but it won't change my mind. I don't feel safe. And I won't feel safe unless I know you are absolutely unable to escape while you're contagious."

She paused, drawing breath to steady herself.

"The next eclipse will not be for another five months. Between then and now we're going to find a place for you to go where escape is impossible. Somewhere where you're sealed off so you won't run around, passing what you've got to anyone you happen upon.

"In other words, something a lot better than the Cave."

He wanted to ask her what right she had to dictate to him how he was supposed to manage his illnesses, when he realised she'd had a point.

He was lucky that he'd never left the Cave whilst transformed. But luck can't last forever.

"If I'm to stay here in this house with you I need to know that you are safe. Your sickness is not your fault, but it won't make much difference if I or someone else catches it. And they won't have the opportunities you do to manage it."

He stared at the floor, wishing in some perverse way that Elea had chosen to call off their relationship instead of demanding he lock himself away for a night every six or so months.

"You understand where I'm coming from, right?"

He nodded.

"And you'll find some way to ensure that you will never, ever get loose while sick, right?"

Another nod. His eyes stung. He wanted to cry.

"Good. Now. I want you to tell me all the details of your illness. You've told me some. I want to know the rest."

He moved to brew a tea, grabbed some cups and spoons, sat down at the table, and began...

...he told her things that pertained to his illness, and even things that didn't apply to his sickness itself...

...but there were some details that were left out.

She didn't need to know about them.
iambetadraconis: (Default)
It had been a few months now since Elea had moved in, and summer was in full swing.

But despite the heat outside, the indoor temperature was quite tolerable, thanks to a cooling spell retooled for inside use, and so it was always comfortable, no matter how hot it got.

But today Rabastan was not feeling very cool.

He felt a cool, damp sensation against his forehead.

Elea was applying the wet cloth to his head again.

"You have the strangest illness I have ever seen, love. Normally you're fine. But every few months or so, you get tired and pale and it's like it's all you can do to keep your food inside you.

"You spend most of your time either on the couch, or in your bed.

"Then one day you disappear for a night, and the next morning it's like you were never sick at all. And I don't understand it."

She pressed again. He did not speak.

"More than that, it's not something that's in any healer's text or dusty old book on obscure diseases."

The cloth was taken away.

"I wish I knew what it was that ailed you. I could help. I'm not a healer, but I can try."

He opened his eyes a crack to see a look of deep worry on Elea's face, then closed them.

"Nothing you can do. The potion I took earlier is about the only thing that can be done about it. The rest... Well. It clears up on its own without more help than that."

"I still wish I knew what it was that's wrong with you," she said, as she soaked the rag again, before wringing it out. "At least I'd like to know about its symptoms, and whether it's terminal or just chronic."

He didn't answer.

"Oh good heavens, it's terminal isn't it?"

He shook his head.

"Chronic."

A sigh of relief.

"Well. I know a little more about it now than I did before."

Pause.

"Are you ever going to tell me what it is that has you this sick? Is it something I should be concerned about? Surely it is not contagious, or I would now have it."

He didn't answer.

"Rabastan. I'm not asking for an exhaustive list of your medical history. I want to know because if need treatment and it's something I can give—"

"It's not something you can treat. It's not terminal, just chronic. And while it is contagious—"

"Contagious!"

"—It is so under very specific circumstances. I just have to wait it out."

"I should like to know what these 'very specific circumstances' are, Rabastan."

Elea's voice had grown cold and hard.

"And you will tell me what they are. I can live with whatever it is you have, and maybe, just maybe, passed on to me, but I'll not have you running loose while you're a potential hazard to others."

She sounded just like a mediwitch he'd known from his old world.

He sighed. He knew he wasn't going to go anywhere anytime soon unless he gave in and told her.

Fine. But there would be details left out. Some things he was not willing to share. Too much hurt to just lay it all out for her to see.

"You'll not find what I have in even the dustiest section of the library, because what I have isn't from your world—it's from mine.

"It is a cyclic illness. Once a month I fall ill and must be quarantined for my own and others' safety, until it passes.

"Well. That's how it would work. Back home. Here? Well. Here on Lunar, it works differently than it would at home."

"How would I recognise you when you are in the quarantined stage, and why would it work differently here?"

Her stern tone was purely artificial. Elea was frightened.

"I'm ... not myself."

"No one is when they're sick. And that's not an answer to either question. I need specifics."

Now it was his turn to be afraid. But he'd learned how to not sound like he was.

"This illness of mine causes a physical transformation to occur, and the reason why it works differently has to do with the nature of this world as opposed to mine."

"Transform?! Into what?"

She was too frightened to bother faking serious.

"An animal."

"That's— How?"

"Accident," he lied. "Ran into someone when he or she was in the infectious state and... It's passed from infected to uninfected by a bite."

"Oh Althena. Oh you poor dear. How do you manage?"

Well at least she wasn't running away. That's good, right?

"By knowing when I am to be confined, and by taking that nasty potion."

"How do you know when to be confined?"

"I told you; it's cyclic. On my world, the transformation happens during a full moon. And that's why it works differently here. As Lunar has no moon, it relies on another trigger. If you've noticed, I always seem to get ill about the time an eclipse is to occur."

No answer. She was obviously making note of all the times he'd been ill, and when an eclipse was scheduled.

"You... Turn into an animal. And if you bite someone, they become what you are."

"Yes."

"Where do you go when you need to be confined?"

"I have the Cave to go to."

"But how would that keep you and everyone else safe? You could get loose!"

"One. The potion is a drug that affects the animal mind. Two. Even if I did not take it the creatures of the Cave would never let me leave until I was restored to normal."

They were quiet for many minutes afterwards.

"When did you plan to tell me this, Rabastan?"

The stern tone was back.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't know. I certainly had no idea you were this observant of my health."

"I once worked with a healer. I've learned how to read people's health. So. When would you tell me?"

"I decided to wait until after you made your decision to move in."

"What would you tell me if I didn't move in?"

"The same thing I'm telling you now."

"That's not funny Rabastan."

"I'm being serious, Elea. This is not the sort of thing you just spring onto someone. And, despite what it sounds like, I am rather vulnerable in my contagious state. Anyone who knew this about me could set out to kill me in a state where I can't defend myself because I've been medicated into a tranquilised state."

Again a silence.

Then he felt the cloth on his forehead.

"When do you have to leave?"

"About an hour before dusk."

"And you will be..."

"Back by dawn."

"I see."

Getting up, she moved over to a chair not far from him, leaving the cloth where it was, and stayed there.

Hours ticked by, and when the time came, he excused himself to leave.

When he got back that morning, there was a terse note on the table.

"Visiting parents. I have a lot to think about."
iambetadraconis: (Default)
Rabastan's life post-wedding was a quiet affair.

Oh, there was a trip or two outside Vane with Elea. Something that made Gideon happy, as with his employee's return there was a fresh stack of carpets to sell.

But during all this he had one thought always on his mind, if not always at the forefront.

Elea had not yet told him if she had decided to move into his house and live with him.

An inquiry or two—both times answered with an "I haven't made my mind up yet"—and he let the matter go without further comment.

Yet he kept hoping for an affirmative.

He hoped when he helped Merissa move her things out of the house she'd no longer live in, now that she was a married woman.

He hoped when Elea took him along on her search for a new abode.

And he hoped when she asked her parents if she could stay with them while she conducted her search.

Summer turned to fall, and fall to winter.

Still no indication that Elea had anything in mind other than her own place to stay.

It was after the new year that he began to lose hope.

Surely by now she would've said something if she wanted to move in.

With that in mind, he resigned himself to accepting that, despite Elea's love for him, he'd be living alone in his own home.

Perhaps he'd wanted too much from life, and this was life's way of telling him to keep his wants within a reasonable boundary.

Walking down the streets that were now more than half-thawed, lost in his thoughts, he didn't hear someone calling him.

Gideon had closed shop early, and so he'd planned to head to the city limits and have a fly about before going home, since Elea would not be showing up until much later.

They called again, but he continued walking.

Then a tap on the shoulder, and he whirled around.

His heart beat fast as his wand slipped into his hand.

"Sorry," he mumbled, when he saw who it was. "I should've been paying more attention."

"Perhaps then you would not be so jumpy," Elea said, eyeing the wand. "Did you think bandits had jumped you?"

"Sort of."

"Well. I'm no bandit, but I'd still jump you anyways."

Rabastan laughed. It seemed as though Elea didn't think his odd reaction was comment-worthy.

Or maybe she'd comment about it later.

"Walk with me?"

"Certainly."

Feeling much better than he had ten minutes ago, he slipped his arm into Elea's, and they walked on, in a companionable silence.

"I'm glad I ran into you, bandits or no bandits."

"Why is that?"

Without preamble, Elea told him that the house hunting had not gone as well as she'd hoped. Most of the places she'd wanted were either claimed or too much for her budget. And while her mother had told her she could stay as long as she wanted, Elea was eager to be on her own again.

"And?"

"And I've been thinking. About your offer, that is."

"Yes?"

His heart beat fast, but for a different reason this time.

"I'd like to live with you."

He stopped, causing her to stumble as she went past him.

"Mind you, I am still looking for my own home. I don't want to mislead you into thinking that my decision is permanent. But if I feel that it is in my best interests, I will make this move a permanent one."

He had no words.

"Lover?"

"Sorry?"

"Are you all right?"

"Yes. Yes I am."

"Good. Are you hungry? I sure am. Let's go get something to eat."

It felt like his feet had wings as Elea led him off for dinner at her favourite restaurant....
iambetadraconis: (Smile)
Having seen his share of weddings during his youth, Rabastan had expected Merissa's marriage to be just like those dry, crusty and excessively formal affairs he'd witnessed that were more about securing ties between the pureblood families, as dictated by ancient magical tradition, and the arrogance that came with being part of the "elite", not the Muggle-loving commoners, than it was about celebrating a new love between two people who were about to start a new life together.

He thought this, despite all that Elea had told him during the months leading up to the ceremony.

So when the big day finally arrived, the scene as he expected it to unfold played in his head as Elea made absolutely certain he was properly outfitted in that set of clothes he'd come to dislike so much.

It continued to play in his mind as they made their way to where the wedding was to take place.

Before he entered the courtyard on that bright, sunny day, he was given last minute instructions on what he was to do.

As he was a guest, and therefore had no direct role in the actual ceremony, his instructions were brief.

And then he was sent in.

What a surprise there was to be found when he stepped into the courtyard!

This was nothing like all those weddings he'd gone to in his youth!

This was no ossified ritual to pedigree. This was a celebration.

Bride and groom beamed bright smiles as they took their vows and exchanged their tokens.

Oh sure. There was a formal element to the scene. After all, it was a wedding, and he'd expected something of the sort to be involved. There were prayers and blessings and Rabastan heard Althena's name invoked more times in one afternoon than he'd heard in the last six months.

But there were personal touches that the bride and groom had added, too. And it was these touches that Rabastan found himself liking a lot.

It was definitely better than some dusty pureblood wedding, he had to admit. A lot better.

And he found that it made the ceremony go by much faster than he'd expected.

So when the guests were called to attend the post-ceremony feast, Rabastan had to wonder where all the time had gone.

He didn't wonder long.

The sight of tables groaning under the weight of food and drink sent that thought packing, and without any need for invitation, he helped himself.

Turns out that the feast was a worthy rival to the wedding in terms of its sheer entertainment value.

Plenty of laughter. Plenty of gifts. Plenty of toasts that got more and more ribald the more drink was consumed by all present, not that Rabastan minded. He'd heard Elea say many of those things before, when they were alone at night, and so was more than used to it.

Night?

Damn.

When did it get dark out?

"Love? Love, it's time to go— Oh goodness. How many have you had?"

"Threerforrrrrr plats... I thnk....," he slurred drunkenly.

"No, silly. How many drinks?"

"Idinnnoo..."

"Goodness. We're heading straight for the nearest hotel so you can sleep it off—" She broke off, gave him a stern look, and said, "No. I don't think so. Just sleep tonight. Oh, Althena, I hope there's a potion shop open so we can get you something. You'll be smarting in the morning without it. Now, can you get up?"

After three attempts, he gave her a helpless look.

"Good thing there's a hotel nearby." She sighed. "I'll help you up."

Another three attempts, he was on his feet, Elea at his side, propping him up.

"Next time I invite you to a wedding, I'm making sure there's a cap on how much you drink. Now let's get going."

They made it to their destination.

Eventually.

Rabastan even made it to bed, and was asleep by the time Elea got back.

And in a few hours' time, he'd be smarting, just as Elea said he would.

But despite all that pain, he knew one thing.

He'd gladly do all this again.

Lunar weddings were a hundred times better than Magical weddings.
iambetadraconis: (Pain)
Previously...



It couldn't have worked out better if he'd tried.

Two weeks before Merissa's wedding, and things were more hectic than before, but, as his role was mostly finished, he could take a breather if he wanted to.

And with Gideon's sister in Vane for a rare visit, he didn't need to work at the shop, either.

It was perfect.

If only he could take full advantage of it and just be a lazy sod for seven whole days.

Too bad.

He'd made a claim to a skill he'd never learned.

Wizards, or rather, purebloods, didn't bother much with skating in the winter.

Most of them. His family included.

Not wanting to be caught in his lie, he marched himself straight over to the guild's library, and spent the first day of his week off learning how to make ice last in the summer heat.

His house came with a waterfall, and the shallow pool at the base would be what he'd practise on.

If only it would stay frozen.

Two days, and, just as he was about to call it quits, the pool managed to stay frozen for more than a few minutes.

Good.

Now for the hard part.

Wobbling over to the refrozen pool on the fourth day, he began his other lesson.

Skating.

It would've gone well, if only Elea wasn't there to witness his attempts to stay vertical on a pair of blades.

Between her laughter and his falling down every three or four metres attempted, he was bruised both inside and out by the time the day was over.

And he still hadn't quite mastered his boast.

Damn.

And the following day wasn't any better, either.

By the time the week was over, he was so sore that all he could do was limp—slowly—about his room before returning to bed.

Forget going downstairs. He'd just Accio anything he needed to eat or drink.

God, he hurt.

Why, oh why did he have to lie to Autor? Of all people?

He closed his eyes and made a mental count of his bruises.

And if Autor knew he'd been lied to, he'd never stop laughing.

Because Rabastan was a rank amateur when it came to deceit.

Damn.

Oh God, I'm so sore...
iambetadraconis: (Quill)
Now that summer had arrived the preparations for Merissa's wedding took on an earnest tone.

The guests were beginning to arrive, and making sure each one was comfortable and seen to and told what role if any they were to play took up almost all of Elea's time.

Even with Merissa and the other housemates' help.

And Rabastan's as well.

The last two weeks had, quite possibly, been the busiest yet, and while Elea seemed to be in her element, he was not.

He'd been sent this way, told to go that way, made to stand and inspect things that were presented to him, given lists of things to buy, and used more spells—especially levitating and Accio—far more for Merissa's wedding than he'd ever used in Gideon's shop.

And here he was, standing in front of the mirror as Elea clucked her way about him, fussing with what she insisted he'd wear for the big day.

It was not his favourite thing to wear, and thank Merlin he was only supposed to wear it once or twice a fortnight from now.

"No. No. More like... This," Elea said, tugging at the fabric a little too tightly, causing him to make a soft noise of protest.

"Sorry," she muttered, and continued on.

He frowned, and the reflection in the mirror frowned back.

Well. At least this all would be over soon enough.

"There. You look lovely like that."

"I'm glad you approve," he said, hoping his distaste for her choice in clothes stayed out of his tone of voice.

"I'll be glad when this all is over. Soon as they're married I'm going to take a week off and just not do anything that isn't absolutely necessary to do."

"You deserve it, love."

"I just don't know when that week will be."

"Huh?"

Elea didn't seem to hear him, or, if she did, took it as her invitation to elaborate.

"Once Merissa is wed, she'll be moving out, and the rest of us will all have to find somewhere else to live. I've asked my parents if I could stay with them while I did that."

"Whyever would you need to move?"

"We just won't have the money to live in that house. Between the four of us we just managed to get by. With Merissa gone the expenses will have to be split between three people, not four, and that's just too much, given our wages."

An idea came to him.

"You could ... stay here?"

"What?" Elea was busy cleaning up the room, putting clothes away.

"Stay here? You could ... stay here? With me? Here?"

He was excited by the idea, yet strangely all the words he wanted to say became tangled up once he tried to speak them.

And the look on his lover's face made the rest of them scamper off, leaving him with nothing left to say.

"Stay here? With you?"

Don't say it like the thought is utterly laughable.

"If... If you don't want... Want to..."

"Rabastan, I... I don't know..."

He looked somewhat crestfallen. Was he rushing something? Asking too much at a time when Elea had little of it to think about anything other than her friend's wedding?

"I appreciate the offer, love, but let me think about it first? I've got so much to do..."

"I ... understand...," he muttered.

"Oh, love; don't take it that way. I'm a busy woman. I can't make a snap decision just now. I need time to think on it and weigh my options. I've love to live with you, but I need to be sure if that's what's in my best interests first."

He smiled a little.

"I will let you know what I've decided once this all is over, all right?"

He nodded.

"But first, we need to put those clothes of yours away. I'm not risking them becoming dirty or damaged between now and the day of the wedding."

"Oh. Of course."

Thank goodness.

He was relieved. Relieved to not be wearing this stupid outfit. Relieved that his offer wasn't being rejected. Yet.

"Take them off, and while you're doing that, I'll be making dinner. Anything you had in mind?"

"Whatever you feel like is best. I don't mind."

I don't care. As long as you're here.

She nodded, and while he disrobed and put on his regular clothes, Elea slipped out to make dinner.

I just hope you'll say "yes"...
iambetadraconis: (Full Moon)
Quite possibly, this was the sickest Rabastan had felt in the last twelve months...

Staggering into the bar, it took him a full five minutes to lurch his way from the back area door over to the nearest table, where he sat, almost boneless.

A passing waitrat saw him, and, two minutes later, returned with a mug filled up with a weak mushroom broth for him to drink. When he wasn't plucking debris from his hair, or dusting off the dirt from his clothes.

Head resting on his crossed arms, he scanned the bar.

To be expected, there didn't appear to be that many people about.

Of course. It's just after dawn. Nobody's up at this hour.

With a soft groan, he straightened up, just long enough to take a drink.

So sick...
iambetadraconis: (Elea)
You'd think by now he knew how things worked at the Bar at the End of the Universe to recognise its weird whenever it sprung up...

He didn't talk to the drunken man; only passed him by.

Innocent, for a beginning.

And an hour after that, he'd forgotten even that much.

But when he saw that oh-so-simple-looking cube, with all those colours...

He spent a good three hours twisting the damn thing this way and that, trying to figure it out and getting steadily more annoyed with it, before giving it up as a lost cause and deciding to hand it over to someone else instead, so that they could share the frustration.

It ended up in his pocket. Presumably for later.

With that little matter settled, he went about looking for something else to do.

That's when he made another discovery.

Contrary to popular opinion, rocks are not dull. They're interesting. Unique. Fascinating.

And the bloody things have their own personality, that you'd only discover once you've gotten and spent time with two or three of them.

Five or six.

Ten or twenty.

And now here, at his home in Lunar, one of the rooms has been transformed into a ... kennel? Stable? Rockery? full of rocks and stones of all sizes and kinds, much to Elea's amusement.

Or is it annoyance?

Well, while her beau spends time dusting his granite companions, she's sitting downstairs waiting for someone just a little more inclined to talk about far more normal things than whether basalt is given towards playfulness, or if flint rocks are happiest in groups.

She examines the kettle that's steadily heating up.

He should be here any minute now...
iambetadraconis: (Quill)
"Miss, I can't have you standing about if you don't intend to buy!"

"It's okay, Gideon. She's here to see me."

And with that, Rabastan escorted Elea to the back room while Gideon resumed his efforts to talk a young couple into buying a carpet.

He smiled to himself.

Had it been only a month since he started working here? In some ways it felt like he'd been doing it his entire life—or at least since he'd made Vane his home.

Elea was offered a chair to sit down in, but no sooner had he taken up his own, than she was seated in his lap, snuggling against him.

Sighing contentedly, he let his mind drift back to when began his first day at the shop.

~~~~~~~~~~

Getting into the routine of his duties didn't go as smoothly as he'd thought it would that first week.

Gideon ran a tight ship, and that first day proved to be a real learning experience.

Having only the house-elf and his mother's standards as a guide, he'd thought, when he'd finished cleaning that first morning, that he'd done a thorough job. Only to have Gideon go through the front area, cleaning as he went, and showing Rabastan just what the word "completely" meant.

The rest of that day meant learning how to do it right, and "right" meant "according to Gideon's Standards".

After closing, he'd spent all evening doing what he could to improve his own spell-work, to ensure that what he had was up to scratch.

Three days of that, and finally, it was. Much to his relief.

If he was going to lose his job so soon after getting it, it wouldn't be down to a poorly-cast scourgify.

The following week was spent being introduced to the other two people who worked for Gideon, and one of them happened to be the man's son, who was apprenticing under his father in the hopes of one day taking on the mantle of shop owner once Gideon got too old to do it himself.

And if Rabastan thought Gideon was absolute in his standards, it was nothing compared to what the son was like.

Serious and demanding, Gavin wouldn't let Rabastan so much as look at the carpets, let alone touch them. This was going to be his business some day, and if Rabastan was hoping to be employed here long-term, he'd better get used to how things were going to be run once the shop's ownership changed hands from father to son.

But, given that Rabastan had worked under a man far more frightening than merchant's heirs, dealing with Gavin wasn't nearly as daunting as Gideon's son hoped it would be.

Certainly Gavin did not find it amusing how easy it was to order the outsider about throughout the day.

The other employee was a man not much older than Elea was, and Rabastan seldom ever saw him. His job was to go about to other cities looking for any carpets that might be for sale, and then to inform Gideon once he'd had enough of them to form a shipment with.

Rabastan could not remember the man's name, having only met him once that first week, then twice more the next three.

It probably didn't matter. Rabastan had other things to do.

Between Gideon and Gavin, he was finding that he quite enjoyed the work he did. It gave him something to occupy his time with, and, as promised, the silver he earned was sufficient for what he needed, and still have enough left over to save for a rainy day.

Or a birthday.

Elea's birthday would be in a little over a month, and he was at first at a loss as to what to get her, then remembered.

That doll she pointed out. The one she said she used to have when she was a little girl.

Yes. That would do.

After a month had gone by, along with several requests for Elea to be allowed to visit him, Gideon finally relented, and now here she was, sitting on his lap, just enjoying being close.

When the soft rapping at the door came, they both jumped.

"I'm sorry miss, but I'll be needing my assistant. They want someone to help them choose a carpet, and it'll be a lot easier if I have his magic to help me."

They looked at each other, smiled, then laughed.

"Should I wait here? It'll be time for him to go home soon."

"I... Er... All right miss. But just this once."

"Of course Gideon."

Extricating himself from the chair as well as his lover, he smiled.

"You don't have to wait for me here."

"I don't, but I thought maybe we could walk home together? Or..."

"Or?"

"Go out for dinner, perhaps? I know a nice little place..."

He laughed some more.

"Mr Lestrange..."

"All right. A walk. But to this little place of yours, hmm?"

Her response was a smile and a kiss on the cheek.

"Mr Lestrange..." Gideon's voice was getting impatient.

"Be right out."

"Don't keep him waiting. I won't be going anywhere."

He nodded.

"Right away, sir."

And he stepped out into the front of the shop, ready to assist Gideon for the rest of the day.
iambetadraconis: (Quill)
Getting there might have been the easiest part of his quest to obtain a job, and thus, much-needed coin.

Merissa's bit of parchment included directions as well as the name and address, but he didn't really need it. As someone who knew Vane from both street level and bird's eye, finding anything in the city took no effort at all.

And speaking of bird's eye...

Winging his way over the roofs of Vane, and fighting the animal's instinct to fly south to a warmer clime, was Rabastan in swallow form. He would have liked to use the eagle shape, but when it came to keeping his talents a closely-guarded secret, size mattered.

In no time at all, he was circling over the building that he hoped would be his place of future employ. Merissa had told him to be there just before the shop opened that day, if he expected to get the job, not just ask for it.

It took a quarter hour before the coast was clear enough that he could descend behind the building and resume human form.

Sure, he could have Apparated, but flying was enjoyable in its own right.

And didn't carry risks like splinching or dizziness.

Listening for anyone else approaching, he made his way out onto the street.

It was quiet.

Good.

He rang the bell to announce his arrival, and as soon as he did, he heard footsteps coming down the staircase and towards the door.

"Eh?" a man in his late sixties said, peering over a pair of glasses that looked to be the same age. "I'm not open yet. Come back in an hour, if you're lookin' for a carpet—"

Straightening his clothes and smiling, he said, "Actually, I was told by a young lady by the name of Merissa that you were looking to hire someone."

The old man seemed to come alive then and there. Or at least more awake. "Merissa? My goodness. My niece sent you here?"

No wonder Rabastan was told to mention her name. As soon as he did, the man began to barrage him with questions asking how she was doing and was she finally getting married, among other things.

"In the summer. She just announced her engagement last week."

"Good good. I wanted to be there, but I had to leave Vane to collect a shipment of carpets. Do tell her I send my regrets?"

"Certainly."

"Good good. Come inside Mr Lestange, and I'll tell you what I need doing."

It turned out to be quite spacious on the inside. And full of carpets. As they made their way about, Gideon, as he called himself, went on about the history of the store, and how his grandfather had started it, and that if Rabastan decided to work here, he'd have both the old man and his son as employers.

Well. At least this man seemed nice. Not like the first man Rabastan had worked for.

"Now. If you intend to work for me, your duties will involve mostly cleaning. Both the shop as well as the carpets. Carpets are tricky things, and I don't know enough about your magic to let you work on them directly, you understand?"

Rabastan nodded, and Gideon went on.

"You'll also help me with bringing carpets for the customers to examine, as well as unloading any shipments I get. I'm not getting any younger, you see."

Sounded fine so far, even if half of it involved drudgery work. Then again, it wasn't anything like what Voldemort had tasked him to do.

"Of course, there may be other, lesser things I'll be asking you to do, but for now that's what you'll be doing for me."

Rabastan nodded again.

"Good good. Now that we've discussed that, there's the matter of when you start, and how often I expect you to work. If you're working for me you'll be here at seven in the morning, ready to clean up the front before the customers arrive. And it had better be clean. This shop may be old but I'll not have it looking that way."

More nodding.

"You work five days a week, and get two days off. You'll be here from the time I open the store, and you'll be here after I close. Shops get dirty during the day, especially at this time of the year, and you'll not leave until it's clean, understand?"

"Certainly, Gideon."

"Of course, by now you're wondering about silver. I'm not a rich man and this isn't one of Vane's fancier shops, but if you're looking to earn silver for yourself and your family you won't need to worry too much. You'll get enough."

Again Rabastan nodded. Things were going better than he'd hoped.

"Now, lad. I want you to repeat everything I told you, so's I know you understood what I'm asking of you."

He did. All of it.

"Good, good," Gideon nodded. "When you start. I expect to see you here first thing next week. I'm closed tomorrow and the day after, but at seven I expect to see you standing outside that door ringing that bell to be let in, understood?"

"Yes Gideon."

He was feeling elated now. Finally, he'd be earning his own coin, not living off what he had left.

"Good good. Now, I've got a busy day ahead and I can't have you standing around here doing nothing useful, so I'll be seeing you off now. But remember: seven in the morning two days from now. Understood?"

"I understand sir."

With that, there was another round of inquiring into Gideon's niece, before Rabastan left the shop.

Smiling.

And casually slipped behind the store while no one was looking, so he could fly home and tell Elea the good news.

He had a job.

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Rabastan Lestrange

April 2016

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