Story: Out Of The Fog
Notes: I noticed a lack of Rabastan related fics on this site and decided to remedy that a bit. I'm undecided on the pairing at this point, but it is a toss-up between Severus Snape or Lucius Malfoy. Any opinions would be appreciated just put them in a review. Obviously at some point this will be Yaoi. Don't Like It? Don't Read It! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing because if I did Sirius & Severus would have survived. Ginny would have been deceased leaving Harry free to live happily ever after w/ his beautiful uke Draco. Alas dear readers I don't own HP but JKR does.
Rabastan Lestrange slowly swam back to consciousness and for the first time in a long while his mind was not hazed by the fog of the Imperius Curse or the foul presence of the Dementors of Azkaban.
Rabastan didn't open his eyes but stretched out his other senses to ascertain where he was; by the antiseptic smell and cool air circulating around the room he guessed an infirmary of some kind.
How curious?! Rabastan wondered how he came to be in a medical ward and above all else why would anyone care if he was alive or well? The Lestrange male was mostly aware of all the despicable things he had done while he was under the influence of the Imperius Curse.
But who would believe him? Sighing lightly Rabastan stopped his musings and just enjoyed the feeling of having a clear mind.
The sound of a clearing throat brought him back from his small mental hibernation. Opening his dark chocolate eyes, Rabastan slid his gaze to the two wizards standing to the side of his comfortable hospital cot, and waited for one of them to speak.
"Rabastan Circinnus Lestrange. My name is Kingsley Shacklebolt and I'm the Head of the Auror Department, standing next to me is Healer Pryne. We have a few questions for you, Mr. Lestrange, and we would appreciate your honest answers and cooperation during this meeting."
When the Head Auror finished speaking he conjured two plush chairs for the the two of them to sit in. Rabastan took the time to survey Shacklebolt's form, taking in his red Auror robes, dark cocoa skin and strong stature; even while seated the man radiated confidence and power.
Healer Pryne was a smaller blond haired man who looked confident in his powder blue robes. The blonde also gave off an aura of caring and concern in his posture and gaze.
Rabastan nodded and spoke in a voice that cracked from his throat being so dry, hearing this Healer Pryne brought a cup of water over from the bedside table. After drinking his fill, slowly, Rabastan cleared his now soothed throat and began speaking again; "What is it you wish to ask me and rest assured I've every intention of cooperating with your investigation."
Kingsley nodded and began to explain what the Medi-Wizards discovered in regards to his wounds and his mind when they scanned him after the Final Battle at Hogwarts. "What doesn't add up though is the scan of your mind showing the effects of prolonged exposure to the Imperius Curse. Can you clear that result up? Also, who was the one to place it on you, if you know?"
Rabastan thought the Auror's questions over and put his response together slowly; his mind was moving rather sluggishly. Well that was to be expected after sixteen years of not being able to think for himself except for a few hours at a time.
"Even though my Father was murdered in the service to the Dark Lord I had no want to join his ranks of Death Eaters. My brother, Rodolphus, was the one to place me under the Imperius. Shortly after I graduated Hogwarts I explained to him that I wanted nothing to do with the Dark Lord or his brutal ways."
"Yes, I may have agreed with some of the Dark Lord's earlier beliefs but by the time I came of age he was just a murdering sadist who enjoyed torturing anything that breathed; his followers included." Rabastan took another sip from the glass in his hand to refresh his parched throat so he could continue his explanation.
Healer Pryne stood and ran a health scan on the Lestrange male before retrieving what he said was a Throat Soothing Tonic. Rabastan drank it gratefully despite it noxious taste. Once he felt the potion working Rabastan continued on.
"When I told Rodolphus of my intention to break away from the family to avoid being made a Death Eater he placed me under the curse almost immediately. He told me that he wouldn't have a disgrace for a younger brother and I was shaming our family." Rabastan still felt the sting from those long ago words and breathed deeply before speaking again.
"Rodolphus kept me under the Imperius whenever we went out or had company over. While under the Imperius I was forced to take the Dark Mark and serve that maniac. When we were home alone I was locked and warded in my room but the curse was released so I at least had my mind for a few hours." Rabastan lifted his gaunt face to stare into Shacklebolt's slightly widened eyes so the Auror could see the truth in Rabastan's own dark orbs.
"When we were arrested for the torture of Alice and Frank Longbottom and thrown into the deepest pit of Azkaban the curse lifted. Unfortunately, by that time it did no good. No one would listen to me when I tried to explain that I was under the Imperius and as you know the Dementors aren't exactly interested in someone's innocence or seeing that justice is done."
"So there I stayed, allowed to rot away but I didn't break. No, my mind was finally mine again and I refused to lose it to those foul beasts. When the Dark Lord broke us out Rodolphus placed me back under the Imperius as soon as he received a wand back. I had no chance to escape! I was so weak from Azkaban that it was probably ridiculously easy to put the Imperius back on me. Only after I was securely under control did I receive a wand again."
Rabastan leaned back, resting his tired aching form against the soft mattress, and stared forlornly at the ceiling; "The rest you know. I remember most of what has happened while I was under the curse but some of the earlier things are a bit fuzzy now. Why did you help me at all after the Final Battle?"
Rabastan waited for Shacklebolt to reply and fiddled a bit with the sheet that was covering his long legs. The dark skinned man finally spoke after a minute or two; "When the Battle was over we were sorting through the bodies to see who was still alive but too badly injured to seek help."
"We found you badly wounded; broken ribs, shattered leg and multiple gashes to your torso. The Healers were running scans on anyone found alive and when one of the Healers scanned you we found the evidence of the Imperius in addition to your other wounds."
The words spoken by Shacklebolt's deep voice circulated in Rabastan's weary mind and when the information assimilated the chocolate eyed man had another question; "You said a scan picked up the use of the Imperius. How is that possible?"
"I was led to believe there was no definite way to tell if someone was affected by the Imperius Curse." Rabastan really was curious about this little tidbit of information. He was also quite glad to hear that they may have found a way to identify those people who were truly acting against their own wishes.
Healer Pryne answered this time; "Recently, about a year ago, a scan was created that showed the distinctly different neurological patterns a brain exhibited when it was placed under the Imperius."
"The normal brain synapses and patterns were disrupted as if a dam was placed in the way, blocking the brain from communicating to the rest of the body. The areas of the brain affected were the ones that controlled speech, movements and higher thought processes."
Rabastan nodded, absorbing the answer from the soft spoken Healer; "What happens to me now that it has been found that I was indeed under the Imperius? Do I get to go free? Do I get my life, title and lands back?"
Kingsley cleared his throat and answered; "You, Mr. Lestrange, will be given a fair trial to determine if you were indeed unwilling to act in consort with Voldemort but I wouldn't worry too much. The evidence in your favor is overwhelming and only a fool would convict you now."
"Once you are declared innocent your vaults, properties and titles will be released and bestowed back to you." Rabastan nodded and felt his soul fill with happiness and relief for the first time in so long.
Finally, his life would be his again! Rabastan could become what he'd always wanted to be; a Healer or a Politician. Well once people stopped hating his guts and accepted him back into Wizarding society but Rabastan was determined to live his life to the fullest now. He had a lot of time to make up for and he wouldn't throw this precious second chance away.
"How long will I have to be hospitalized? Where exactly am I and how long until my trial?" Rabastan's questions came out in an excited rush of words. Healer Pryne spoke this time; "You are currently in St. Mungo's in a closed ward for your safety."
"You will be here for another week to ensure your gashes and broken bones have healed correctly. Also, we need to monitor you closely just in case there are lingering issues from the prolonged Imperius exposure."
Rabastan nodded and went to ask the question about his trial again but Shacklebolt raised his hand to stop him and answered Rabastan's prior question. "When the week is up, and you are discharged, I will come to collect you so we can attend your trial."
"As I said previously the amount of evidence showing you weren't acting of your own free will is overwhelming. When you are declared innocent I will collect the necessary paperwork for the reinstatement of your Lordship and escort you to Gringotts to assist you if any issues arise in your attempt to re-access your vaults."
Rabastan nodded and gave his thanks to the two men sitting at his bedside. Both wizards stood, shook his skeletal hand, and made their way slowly out of the small hospital room.
Rabastan felt a smile break out on his too thin face. For the first time in sixteen years his life was looking up but he couldn't help the feeling of dread that rose in his soul. He felt like at any moment Rodolphus would barge in, force him back under the Imperius, and command him to commit another act of barbarism for the now dead Dark Lord.
Rabastan pushed those morbid, dark thoughts away and relished in the returning warmth in his body, heart and soul; soon he would be free to do as he pleased. No more Rodolphus forcing him to do things he did not want to do. No more psychotic Bellatrix slashing and torturing Muggles for sport. No more Dark Lord making his life a living hell.
Yes, Rabastan was finally able to walk out of the fog his mind was submerged in and he would continue to rebuild his image, his life and the Noble and Ancient House of Lestrange.
Snuggling into the warm blankets Rabastan let his mind wander to happier topics; what he would do first when he was officially free. He looked forward eating his favorite cakes and sweets, just relaxing, and reading a good book in the garden at Lestrange Manor.
These pleasant thoughts continued running through Rabastan's mind until he succumbed to the pull of sleep's call. A true smile of relief and happiness on his face.
The next week flew by for Rabastan in a haze of potions and salves. It seemed his bones had healed correctly and the remaining bruises were now completely faded. Healer Pryne really was a saint to Rabastan; he always treated the unwilling Death Eater with kindness and attentiveness.
Healer Pryne explained the biggest issue for Rabastan was his lack of body weight and conditioning from his prolonged prison stay. The chocolate eyed male could only agree with the Healer; his body was really undernourished but they were remedying that quickly.
His consumption of powerful nutrient and supplement potions three times a day had put a bit of fat onto his skeletal frame. And when Rabastan was discharged he would have to eat three large meals a day plus snacks to continue rebuilding his fat stores and muscles back up to a healthy level for a man of his size.
The walks Healer Pryne took him on around the closed ward were slowly building back up the muscles in his legs that had shrunken due to Rabastan's long stay in bed while he healed completely after the Final Battle.
Rabastan was shocked when Healer Pryne explained the day after Shacklebolt questioned him that he had been in a coma for over a month while his battered body and traumatized mind healed. It made sense though; Rabastan was subjected to the Imperius, numerous rounds of torture, Azkaban and living on the run for the last sixteen years.
That type of existence takes its toll on you but Rabastan was bouncing back just like he always did. Even his cheerful and happy demeanor was returning to him. Healer Pryne usually left Rabastan's room in stitches from his antics.
Another old habit, or addiction, was rearing its sweet and delicious head; Rabastan's craving for anything sweet was returning full force. Healer Pryne sat there in bemusement as he watched his patient devour a small cake in mere minutes and gaped at Rabastan when he asked for another serving.
The Lestrange male just shrugged it off as par for the course; to him it meant he was healing and becoming his old self again. Thinking of his old self made him think of his school friends; Regulus Black; who was forced to take the mark after him, Severus Snape, and Lucius Malfoy.
Rabastan remembered vaguely hearing about Regulus being declared dead but Severus and Lucius were still an unknown. He remembered seeing the potions master at Death Eater gatherings but he could never speak to him since he was under the Imperius.
If the snarky man was still alive Rabastan wanted to see him so he could try and bridge the gap between them. Severus was a loyal and wonderful friend with a big heart; you just had to hack through seven feet of steel to reach the organ in the dark man's chest, but once you did you were in there for life.
Rabastan truly hoped that Severus was indeed a spy, as Bellatrix constantly claimed. It would make him jump for joy if it were true; that Severus tricked the Dark Lord into believing him truly loyal only to stab him in the back. Oh it would be such poetic justice wouldn't it?! After all that madman did to them he deserved to be betrayed by one of his own followers.
Rabastan's mind moved onto his last friend; Lucius Malfoy. While Rabastan was forced to take the Mark by use of the Imperius Lucius' father didn't need to use such coercion. No, Abraxas Malfoy held Lucius' young son's life in his hand and forced Lucius to bow to his will and take the thrice cursed Mark.
It wasn't only Abraxas who was controlling Lucius' life, it was his wife Narcissa as well. Rabastan had interacted with the vain woman at Hogwarts and he could say Bellatrix was a breath of fresh air compared to her sister Narcissa. The bitch constantly enforced her whims on Lucius and held their son over her husband's head to get her way.
Rabastan truly felt for the man and knew Lucius never wanted to commit half the atrocity he had been forced to. The Dark Lord really and truly had Lucius trapped in his web of lies, pain and fear.
The Lestrange male just hoped that Malfoy Lord had taken steps to ensure that when the truth came to light people would see him for who he truly was; a proud man who loved his son enough to be saddled with unimaginable pain and hardship so Draco could live his life well.
The arrival of Kingsley Shacklebolt jolted Rabastan out of his thoughts. The Head Auror sent a change of robes yesterday for Rabastan to wear at his trial and while they were a bit baggy they fit well enough. The material was light and soft against Rabastan's pale, sensitive skin.
"You are looking well, Lord Lestrange. I trust Healer Pryne is taking good care of you." Shacklebolt's words were measured and sincere to Rabastan's ears.
"Thank you for the compliment Head Auror Shacklebolt and I hope by the end of this day I will in fact legally be Lord Lestrange. Yes, Healer Pryne has been taking exceptional care of me. I'm grateful to him and to you as well for taking time out of your day to escort me through this." Rabastan punctuated the end of his words with a deep bow of respect and thanks to the dark skinned man.
Shacklebolt nodded and gestured for them to leave the white walled room; Rabastan followed the tall Auror to the lifts and into the atrium where they took the floo to the Ministry of Magic. The unwilling Death Eater felt the nerves set in as soon as they stepped onto the floor where the courtrooms were housed.
After saying a quick prayer to Magic Rabastan followed Shacklebolt to Courtroom Number Three where the full Wizengamot was sitting resplendently in their dark plum robes.
The last Lestrange gulped slightly and quickly made his over to the hard, uncomfortable defendant's chair and breathed a sigh of relief when the chains didn't immediately spring up and confine him.
The sound of a gavel banging brought the trial underway. The Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot was Nicholas Flamel. The aged man had agreed to take the post up temporarily as a favor to, and in honor of, the deceased Albus Dumbledore.
The aged Alchemist began by listing Rabastan's many crimes and asked Rabastan his plea. The Lestrange male stood tall, even though his legs were shaking slightly, and spoke clearly; "Not Guilty; I was under the Imperius Curse as the evidence will show."
Nodding, Flamel asked for the evidence proving that Rabastan was indeed under the Imperius be presented. His chocolate eyes widened a bit when Healer Pryne entered carrying a thick file and took the witness stand; the Healer never mentioned he would be testifying but he was glad to have the blonde man there.
Rabastan watched in detached interest as Healer Pryne was sworn in and began to explain the initial Healer's findings on the day of the Final Battle. Pryne then went on to explain in more depth what his own findings had shown. Apparently, the blonde Healer ran a plethora of more conclusive, and comprehensive, scans on Rabastan's brain and body while he was in a healing coma.
The assembled Wizengamot listened with rapt attention as they examined the scan results and medical reports provided to them by the Healer. A few members grimaced when Healer Pryne went on to detail exactly what the Imperius Curse does to the Wizard's brain while it is in effect.
Once all questions were asked and answered Healer Pryne stood, bowed, sent a small reassuring smile to Rabastan and left the cavernous Courtroom.
Flamel's soothing voice echoed across the room; "We have heard sound medical evidence from a highly reliable source supporting your claim of being under the Imperious. Mr. Lestrange, do you wish to speak in your own defense?"
Rabastan stood again and agreed to speak for himself but requested if he could retell his sordid story in regards to how he was placed under the Imperius Curse. Flamel gave his consent for him to speak freely, taking a deep Rabastan retold the story he had recounted to Auror Shacklebolt and Healer Pryne almost a week ago.
Rabastan looked anywhere but at the assembled members of the Wizengamot; he felt such shame for his weakness in not being able to resist the curse his brother had placed on him.
When Rabastan was done he lowered his head and allowed his dark chocolate gaze to sweep the assembled members of the Wizengamot. What he saw amazed and slightly irritated him; many of their eyes were filled with sadness and sympathy for him.
Rabastan wanted to bristle in outrage at their pity but couldn't muster the energy to feel slighted. He stayed standing until Flamel stood and excused the Wizengamot to deliberate Rabastan's fate. A silencing bubble was erected around the plum robed members as they debated and voted.
The Lestrange male looked at the small clock above the door from his seat and saw it was 10:30; the trial had taken almost an hour and a half. Rabastan didn't think that much time had elapsed but then again he wasn't exactly too worried about the time at this point. No, he was more concerned about gaining his freedom and clearing his slandered name.
Fifteen minutes rolled by slowly and Rabastan fiddled in his chair with the sleeve of his dark green robe. Finally, the silencing bubble was taken down and Flamel resettled himself in his seat. After Rabastan stood the aged man spoke; "We have reached an accord."
"Rabastan Circinnus Lestrange, you have been found Not Guilty of all crimes against you. Furthermore, your Lordship title, all vaults and properties will be restored to you immediately. Do you have any questions, Lord Lestrange?"
When Flamel's voice stopped ringing in his ears Rabastan stood in stunned silence; he was innocent, free and able to live his life. Swallowing the lump in his throat Rabastan spoke in a husky voice; "No, I am clear on everything you have spoken of, sir. I thank you and the Wizengamot for its time." Rabastan bowed low to the assembled Wizengamot and upon Flamel's dismissal made his way out of the drafty courtroom.
Shacklebolt met him at the door with a small smile on his lips; "I knew they'd find you innocent. If they hadn't I would have raised a fuss on your behalf. Shall we go to Gringotts then?" Shacklebolt turned and without waiting for a reply made his way back to the floo in the lobby of the Ministry.
Rabastan followed in a haze of emotions; his feelings were to jumbled in his mind to even comprehend them all. Relief was there in great abundance as well as hope and happiness. Rabastan caught up with Shacklebolt at the floo and together they floo'd to Gringotts.
The eyes of most of the patrons widened in fear when Shacklebolt stepped out with Rabastan. It was then that the Lestrange Lord remembered that to these people he was still murderer, a demon in the form of a Wizard. Lowering his head and allowing his dark locks to obscure his face Rabastan let Shacklebolt lead him through the crowd by the arm to an open goblin teller.
The goblin looked at Rabastan with black fathomless eyes and inquired as to what they wanted. Rabastan took the papers from Kingsley and told the goblin that he was here to unfreeze his vaults. The teller nodded and pressed something on the counter and before long another goblin approached them and introduced himself as Gobblebrick before escorting Rabastan to a private conference room.
Rabastan bid Shacklebolt thanks and a good day before he hurried off to follow the swiftly moving goblin. Once they were ensconced in the well-appointed room Gobblebrick laid the papers given to him down on the dark wood table and reviewed them slowly.
Finally, the goblin began to speak in a low gravelly tone; "Everything appears to be in order. To finish the process I will need three drops of your blood on these papers and then we will unfreeze all your assets and present you with the Lestrange Lordship ring.
Rabastan nodded, took the offered silver pin in his left hand and pricked his opposite ring finger. He allowed three drops of his blood to drip onto the signature line on the bottom of the document and with a blue flash his signature appeared on the form; bound there by his blood and magic.
Gobblebrick left his chair and made his way to the tall filing cabinets in the back of the room and opened a drawer. Slipping his clawed hands inside Gobblebrick pulled out a few pages of parchment, a wand and a ring box. Sliding the drawer closed quietly the goblin retook his seat and slid the papers, wand and ring box across the table for Rabastan to take.
Rabastan's breath caught when he picked up his wand and felt the familiar warmth from his wand flow through his body. Rabastan looked to the goblin and asked; "Where did my wand come from? I assumed it was snapped when I was arrested almost all those years ago. "
Gobblebrick spoke his answer in clipped words. "It would have been but as you are a pure-blood and of a Noble House your wand was sent to the family vault for use by later generations of your family should they choose to."
"Now if you will inspect the papers and ring so we can conclude our business. Once everything is signed I will be taking over the management of your vaults. Any questions you have, or meetings you may require, will be dealt with through me. Also, please address all correspondence to me."
Rabastan agreed and opened the heavy ring box first. He slowly examined the Lordship ring of his family; the ring was made of white gold with a dark chocolate Tourmaline in the center, the Lestrange crest engraved on each side of the stone in the thick band. Slipping the ring onto his right ring finger, he smiled when it resized to fit him.
Once done with that Rabastan then picked up the packet of parchment. The new Lestrange Lord read them thoroughly, absorbing the amount of gold in the vaults, which was considerable. All the heirlooms looked as though they were accounted for but Rabastan would return at another time to ensure they were indeed there. The last page provided held the list of properties that Rabastan now owned as Lord Lestrange.
Sliding his gaze down the list Rabastan's eyes fell on the line containing the description and name of Lestrange Manor, his family's ancestral home. Seeing the blood wards were still in effect, and the house still had house elves in attendance, Rabastan made his choice.
"I would like a portkey to take me to Lestrange Manor, please." Rabastan knew he could apparate there using his Lordship ring since that was one of the rings attributes; the ability to apparate the Lord to any of the Lestrange ancestral homes.
However, Rabastan also knew he could not apparate inside Gringotts and walking into Diagon Alley to the apparition point was a death sentence waiting to happen. So a portkey authorized to work inside the bank was his best option at the moment.
"Of course, Lord Lestrange, I will acquire one for you momentarily." Gobblebrick swiftly made his way out of the room to see to his portkey. Rabastan sat in the comfy chair and twirled his wand absent mindedly, wondering if the elves had kept up with the house and grounds.
Rabastan surely hoped they had. He had never really cared for house elves too much. He found most to be sneaky little creatures but the few elves at Lestrange Manor were trustworthy, having been with the family since before even his bastard father was born. Rising when Gobblebrick returned Rabastan took the offered portkey and nodded when he was ready to the goblin.
Gobblebrick tapped the portkey, spoke the activation word and with a hard tug at his navel Rabastan was pulled away from Gringotts. He landed a bit unsteadily in front of the high black metal main gate of the Manor.
Once he got his bearing Rabastan held his hand up to the Raven's beak on the wrought iron gate and felt the slice of the blade and allowed his blood and magic to be drawn from his palm in the bird's beak. When the gates swung open he knew he had been accepted as the new Lord of the Manor and the wards would recognize him as such.
Making his way to the front of the Manor he walked through the dark oak front doors only to stop and observe the three house elves bowing before him. The elf in the center proceeded to babble a greeting only to be cut off by Rabastan's voice. "Thank you for the warm welcome home. Please ready the Lord's bedroom and bath for my use." The three elves bowed and scurried away.
Pleased with the way things had gone so Rabastan made his way to his new bathroom for a hot bath and change of clothes. He would explore and re-familiarize himself with the Manor tomorrow. Also, he would send an owl to Shacklebolt asking for any information on Severus and Lucius along with a good bottle of wine from the cellar.
However, today Rabastan just wanted to rest in his large bed, enjoy a good meal, and bask in his new found lease on life.
I hope you enjoyed the First Chapter!
All Mistakes Are My Own!