Disclaimer: I don't, and never will, own Harry Potter. All plots and characters belong to J.K. Rowling and company.
/mind-to-mind with Huginn/
So. Hi there. Still with me? Good. *sigh* I hit a wall... a big heavy steel/brick/cement wall that did not want to budge... good news though... i'm starting to chip away at it!
This story is NOT abandoned, nor is it on hiatus. I just... couldn't find my climbing gear to get over the wall... and then my tools were rusted so i had to make my own. THEN i had to slowly chisel my way through the first wall...
BUT you still post and review and read and I love you for it.
You have begged and begged and BEGGED for me to update, so here you go.
I'm going to set a schedule to update at least every other week if i can get the words down. Thank you all for the love and support.
By the way, this story sits at 603,485 vies and I am still amazed. 1,524 people have added this to their favorites, and 1,980 people are following it! So my 1,980 people- what do you think of this update?
Remember I have no Beta, so if you see anything needing correcting, please let me know. Now on with the story!
Corvus Lestrange sat in his large library, studying over his summer work. After the stresses of the previous year, he decided against taking any summer classes from any of his schools, instead choosing to delve into some of the subjects he was wanting to work on privately.
He was finding parselmagic particularly interesting. The healing spells were amazing, at least in theory. He had not had any cause to practice any yet though. And he didn't feel like breaking his leg just to see if his magic would heal it...
By the end of the first week of summer break, Corvus had all his summer homework completed and stored in a section of his trunk. Before returning to school, he would read through the scrolls to bring the information back to the forefront of his mind.
Corvus was really excited about his third year. He would be able to take more courses in Hogwarts. He truly hoped that the Arithmancy and Runes classes were taught by professors who knew what they were talking about. He was not overly hopeful though, given Dumbledore's choices for Defense Against the Dark Arts these past two years...
That did concern him though. Who would be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts next year? In both first and second years they ended up with horribly underqualified professors that did more harm than good.
Corvus returned to the scroll in front of him. It was a scroll of potions that used the parts of Basilisks. There were singe marks in the corners leading him to believe that there had been attempts to destroy it... or possibly evidence of the destruction of it's original resting place?
He focused his reading on the healing properties of willingly given basilisk blood. It was shocking that such a venomous creature known to be Dark could hold such healing properties. It wasn't always good though.
When forcibly taken, the blood was purely acidic and not able to be used for anything, and when willingly given blood was combined with forcibly taken unicorn blood, the result was the most horrific pain potion ever created. It was so dark, only those in the bowels of the ministry knew about it.
Until Corvus' scrolls anyway.
The youngest Lestrange took a moment to look out the window, sighing when he saw the sun was beginning to set. He had been reading all day. Time truly got away from him... and he loved it.
Corvus rubbed his hands over his eyes and yawned widely. He stepped into his bedroom to prepare for dinner, only to be surprised when Rabastan came charging in.
Immediately he had his wand in his hand and pointed at the threat.
His Uncle quickly put his hands up in defense. "Come Corvus, Madam Bones has called for our presence."
The man didn't even wait for an answer, just turned and left. Corvus had to jog to keep up with Rabastan, glowering at the smirk on the man's face.
"What's this about then?" Rabastan asked as they approached the floo.
"No idea," said Corvus, with honest confusion in his eyes. He and Madam Bones had gotten on quite well the previous year. She was a great help when dealing with Dumbledore and the Potter family the year before. She had been checking up on him through correspondence through the summer, but never mentioned any sort of meeting.
Corvus had no idea what was going on. And that, he didn't like.
Bellatrix Lestrange was surprised when she saw Madam Bones in the fireplace, but didn't think twice about following the woman through. She sent Rabastan to get Corvus from his library and told him to meet them in the office.
Once Amelia had the three situated, she began the story.
"Sirius Black came to me this morning," she ignored the scowls on the faces, understanding the reason behind them. "He told me he had gone to visit Pettigrew but found the cell empty. Not too far from Pettigrew's cell was Rodolphus Lestrange, who told Black that Pettigrew was not dead." This made all three in the room sit up with more attention. "The man made Sirius take a vow. He would give information on what happened with Pettigrew if he agreed on a favor that was not illegal.
"We understand that Pettigrew betrayed the Potters to the Dark Lord and as Charlie's godfather, Sirius Black was quite upset over this information. He made the vow.
"Lestrange told Black that someone had been by the day before and cast magic. It wasn't long after that Pettigrew was mumbling in his cell. With a pop, the man was gone, only a rat scurrying down the hall."
"What favor did my dad ask for?" Corvus asked, running the information over in his head. This year would definitely be interesting with Pettigrew out.
Madam Bones smiled at Corvus, pride shining in her eyes. "Rodolphus Lestrange requested a trial."
The three Lestranges' jaws dropped open, though Corvus had a huge smile on his face. "And?" he prodded.
"After that request, Black told him that there was only one trial allowed," she held her hand up to stall any interruptions. "It was here that Lestrange told him that he never received a trial. Obviously, the Auror was quite wary of this accusation against the ministry and brought it to my attention. After digging, one of my Aurors found Lestrange's file in the wrong location and buried deeply. We quickly realized that the man was telling the truth."
Madam Bones stood and walked to the front of her desk. She leaned against it, standing before Corvus. "You are a wonderful, intelligent young man," she said to the Lestrange heir. "I know you saw Rodolphus during your stay in Azkaban. I figure it was then he told you that he was never given a trial." The boy nodded and she continued. "I didn't want you, or any of you frankly, to get your hopes up. This morning we held a closed trial with Veritaserum."
Amelia watched as Corvus grabbed his mother's hand tightly and perched on the edge of his chair, hope shining in his eyes.
She nodded and the young man stood and let out a whoop of joy.
Smiling Amelia continued, "He was found guilty of being Death Eater, but under veritaserum said he did not murder or torture anyone. His 6 years of sentencing was marked as completed since he served 12 years. He was found not guilty of the torture of the Longbottoms and will be paid reparations for the remaining 6 years he had served." She took a deep breath as she watched Bellatrix fight the obviously turbulent emotions. "I asked if he wanted St Mungo's or your family's personal physician. Not surprisingly, he chose to be treated at home. If you follow me, you will be able to see him and take him home."
The three stood up quickly and followed Amelia out. Soon as the door opened, Bellatrix shot out at a run and into her husband's arms. She was freely crying now, emotions overflowing and unable to stop herself.
She pulled back only enough to pull Corvus and Rabastan into the embrace.
Corvus followed the three adults, hiding the worry he was feeling.
True he had spoken with Rodolphus in Azkaban, but that was then and this was... well this was now.
"I'm going to call Healer Jones," he said quickly, when there was a lull in the conversation of the adults.
Unnoticed by the boy though, the three adults exchanged glances. "His insecurities are going to start acting up again," said Bellatrix with a frown. She sighed and took hold of her husband's arm as Rabastan took the other.
"They will," Rabastan agreed. "But he will get over it like always. He just hates getting used to new people being around, so old fears get dredged up."
She nodded and they led Rodolphus into the Master Bedroom. He had a slight frown marring his face as he remembered all that the boy had been through. "How has he been?" he asked quietly.
"Last year didn't just consist of his stay in Azkaban," Rabastan replied with a hand on his brother's shoulder. "Let's get you well and rested and we will all discuss what has happened, and what else is planned."
Corvus led the Healer to the Master bedroom before returning to his own room. It was nearing 9pm and he was quite exhausted. He knew his father would be tired as well and probably want to rest for the night. He would see the man tomorrow.
Healer Jones was amazed at the tale that he was told, and he chatted good naturedly with the 3 Lestrange adults as he ran his scans over the former convict.
"Rodolphus, most of this is going to be common sense, but still listen up, okay?" When he got the nod, he continued, though also directing his diagnosis to the other two. "Obviously you'll need nutrition potions. Level C for 2 weeks, then Level B for 6 weeks, and Level A for 8 weeks." There were different concentrations of nutrition potions for adults created because of stays in Azkaban as well as victims and those held captive by Death Eaters in the last war. D was the highest level. All in all, the man was lucky to only have 2 weeks on one that wasn't even the highest concentration. "We'll reassess after the completion of each level just to be sure."
"I'll contact Severus about brewing them," Bellatrix said as she jotted her notes in a small notebook in her hands. It was full of potions she, Rabastan, or Rodolphus had taken over the years.
"Good, good. Thank you Bella," the Healer said before turning back to the man. "You seem to have a couple of breaks that never healed correctly?"
Rodolphus nodded, "Bloody Aurors were horrible to begin with, but luckily they got bored. My right arm broke probably 4 times and my leg 2."
Healer Jones tapped a finger to his chin in thought. "We'll have to vanish them and grow them back. We'll start tonight with the arm and do the leg tomorrow night. You will be on bed rest for a couple of days ." Rodolphus tried to argue, wanting some time with his son, but Jones shot that down quickly. "The faster you heal, the faster you will be able to have time with your boy," the man said sternly. "Finally, light foods. Porridge for breakfast and no coffee, yet. Light broths for lunch and dinner for a couple of days. On the third day, start adding some fruits to the porridge and solids to the soups."
The only sound for a couple of minutes was Bellatrix's quill scratching in her book. When done, she looked up at the healer with a wide smile, "Thanks Jones. We don't know what we would do without you."
"Oh, I know," the man smirked. Then he became serious. "Watch your boy, Bella. He may have a rough time of it. Do not bar him from this room. Rodolphus can't be stressed, so I would save the stories about adventures at Hogwarts for a week at least." He caught the glare from his patient and scoffed, "Oh don't look at me like that man! The more you listen to me, the faster you will be up and running. And with that boy I meant literally."
"Fine," Rodolphus bit out, annoyed.
"Good! Now I have enough Skele-gro here for your arm. Bella, order more through Severus tomorrow for his leg," the witch nodded and made her notes.
Once that was done, the healer quickly removed the bones from Rodolphus' arms, making the man slightly green in the face. "I hate that feeling," he said in a low voice.
"Alright. Now you know the dosing. So I'll leave you too it. Don't forget what I said about your boy."
"Thanks Healer Jones," Bellatrix said as the man packed up. She turned to her Brother in Law, "Rabastan could you please walk the Healer to the floo and then check on Corvus?"
The man nodded and kissed her cheek before smacking his brother on the shoulder. He then walked to Healer out and went in search of his nephew.
Rabastan was quite surprised to see the boy already in bed. Judging by his breathing, it wasn't an easy rest.
"Traitor!" Lucius Malfoy screamed soon as he landed in his office. He began throwing things off his desk, taking special pleasure of throwing a picture of the Lestrange's on their wedding day against the wall.
"What is going on here?!" Narcissa said as she walked across the room and repaired the photo.
"Rodolphus was a traitor!"
"What are you talking about? When did you find this out? When did you see Rod?"
Lucius looked up, nostrils flaring as he fought to catch his breath. His wife flinched back at the anger in his eyes.
"I can't say," he said through gritted teeth. "I'll probably be able to tomorrow. But for now. Nothing."
He fell back into his chair exhausted and nodded to his wife as she placed a glass before him.
"When you can, come find me," she said softly. She stood to leave, but he caught her by the hand. He couldn't help the neediness that was now reflected on his face.
Narcissa sighed and cupped a hand to her husband's face. She took a breath and sat in his lap, pulling one of his arms around her waist as she let her head fall back against his shoulder.
"It's alright Luce," she whispered softly, feeling his breath hitch a bit. "We'll be alright."
She would never mention this moment to anyone. Her husband's shaking shoulders, the wetness on her neck as his head fell forward.
No, this would never be mentioned.
Corvus walked into the dining room only to see it was empty. Where was his mother and Rabastan? They always had breakfast together.
Frowning to himself, he turned and headed towards his mother's bedroom. Peeking through the door, he could see his father sleeping while the shower was running. His mother was probably just getting ready for the day.
Just as he turned to leave, he heard his name called. Looking through the door again, he saw the steel gray eyes of Rodolphus looking at him. The man was smiling and Corvus gave a small one in return. That smile became wider as his father motioned for him to enter.
Rodolphus took him by the hand and pulled him into a tight embrace. "I missed you," the man said in a rough voice.
Corvus could do nothing but nod his head in agreement as he fought the overwhelming emotions.
"You can't tell me much about your years at school yet, since I can't be stressed," here the man scowled and Corvus laughed, "but tell me what you have been up to this summer."
Corvus' eyes brightened as he began talking about the scrolls Rabastan had gotten him. The man seemed very interested in what the younger wizard had to say, so he kept on explaining about parseltongue and the healing properties.
"That is amazing," Rodolphus spoke with awe in his voice. "Do you think you could try the healing spell on me? I have some breaks in my leg-"
"Probably not a good idea, Rod," came the voice of Bellatrix from the bathroom door. She had been watching her boys for ten minutes and neither noticed her entry. Some may have been bothered, but she was just happy to see the two lost in their own little world.
"Why not?" Rodolphus scowled. He hated skele-grow potions.
"He has not practiced with the spells-"
"And he won't ever get any unless he has the chance. Here I am the perfect specimen for testing."
"Rod-" she cajoled
"Come on Bella!"
The witch sighed and rubbed her temples. She looked over to her son who was a mixture of excited and worried. She knew he needed to practice the spells somehow...
"Fine," both wizards smiled, "BUT! Healer Jones must be here with you both when it is done, understood?"
"Of course, Bella," replied Rodolphus, hand held out to pull her into his arms.
"Yes, mum," said Corvus, happiness in his eyes as he watched her join them.
The healing went over well, though Corvus did need to recite the spell twice. Fearing injuring his father, he didn't put enough magic into the spell the first time around.
Over the summer, the youngest Lestrange watched his family closely. The Prophet had announced his father's freedom and innocence under veritaserum and more than once since then he had heard raised voices echoing through the manor. Mostly it was Lucius coming by, but at times, he could hear his mother's voice loudly echoing through the halls.
Corvus had yet to forgive his uncle. He would have, if the man had felt any remorse, but he didn't. Not as far as the younger wizard could see anyway.
It was three weeks after Rodolphus' release that things really came to a head.
Heading into the kitchen for a drink of water in the middle of the night was a fairly normal thing for Corvus to do. Then again, the two men standing nose to nose beside the table wouldn't exactly know his norm.
"Are you okay with Draco being under the Cruciatus?" Rodolphus asked Lucius.
"Of course not-"
"Really? Yet you follow him without question!"
"He is the Dark Lord! Of course I-"
"You contradict yourself! You know full well you didn't have to fail to be under his punishments! Even if you didn't go on a mission you would be tortured for others' failures! Is that what you want to see? Is that what you want for your son?"
There was no response for a couple of minutes. The only thing heard was the heavy breathing of the Lestrange Lord.
"He will follow the Dark Lord as I have," was the blonde's final response.
"Crucio!" he heard his father speak. Corvus jumped and opened the door further. He barely moved before the spell was stopped, having been held for barely 2 seconds. But in that short time, Lucius did yell out in pain, and Corvus could still see the echoes of it on his face- along with a horrible tremble throughout his body. "That is less than half the strength," Rodolphus said in cold fury, "and one tenth of the time the Dark Lord uses. Is that what you want your son to suffer?"
Lucius caught sight of Corvus in the door and spoke without looking away. "I do what I have to in order to fulfill the wishes of My Lord," he replied before leaving through another door.
Rodolphus ran a hand through his hair roughly and turned to look at his son. "I'm sorry you had to see and hear all that."
"You make good points," the young raven spoke.
The two sat at the table in silence for a few minutes before Rodolphus called Mopsy for some milk and honey.
Corvus was the first to speak again, "Did you mean all that you said? All about the Dark Lord was true?" His father nodded his head and Corvus pursed his lips. "I though so. There's something going on with Uncle Lucius and Mum. As time goes on their behavior is becoming more and more erratic."
"I noticed as well. Did it start before I was released?"
The younger Lestrange thought about that for a moment and nodded slowly. "I noticed a couple of moments that seemed odd when compared to all the years I have spent here. But only Mum and Uncle Luc."
Rodolphus rubbed his left forearm with soreness. "I think I need to test a theory. Has Severus exhibited any of this odd behavior?" The younger shook his head "Good. Meet me in the library tomorrow morning."
The two stood from the table and headed back to their rooms in silence, merely embracing when they parted at Corvus' bedroom door.
A/N: Next chappie... still working on it. I still have my bunny trails, but i always come back to Corvus :)
As always, thanks for the notes, reviews, and love!