Who: Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange
Where: Rodolphus' study.
Summary: Bellatrix gets a little rude awakening.
Bellatrix had been sitting, curled rather comfortably really, on the worn sofa of her husband's study, his glasses perched on the end of her nose. Not that she needed them, hence why they were on the end of her nose, but more that she found it at that moment to be rather appropriate.
She thumbed through the book that they'd stolen from Hogwarts for the first time since they'd been back, having been sidetracked with other things. She had a rather long piece of parchment laid out on the sofa beside her and would occasionally reach over to scribble down a few names of mudbloods that would be receiving her 'special treatment,' as she liked to call it.
All was well, and relatively calm (aside from sparse giggles and shrieks that came from recognising names and her own personal deceased) inside the study, and Bellatrix got to the K's, finger scanning down the page.
Rodolphus was seated at his desk, tapping his fingers idly against the wood top, staring at his wife intently. He had paperwork to tend to, but the task at hand could not be successfully executed until he had back his reading glasses.
Which were currently on the end of Bella's nose, despite the fact that she didn't need them, but he couldn't see anything right in front of his face. Clearing his throat, the man slapped his palm down on the stack of parchment on the corner of the desk, giving her a pointed look.
"Bellatrix," he said smoothly, "I would like to have my reading glasses back. As I sort of need them to see, and to do my work. Because, contrary to popular belief, some of us do have things to do, unlike you."
Bellatrix, of course, ignored him and kept reading down her pages, marking off names and making notes of specifically targeted ones on her piece of parchment, quill scratching maniacally at times, moving languidly across the page at others. It really did look, she decided upon second glance, like three or four people had written it. She shrugged and kept moving... on to the L's.
The ignoring of his pointed glance ended as she wound up at the Le-'s, reading down the list as Rodolphus, Rabastan... and then another one, Julien, as the newest of the line, appeared where she wasn't expecting it.
She paused, cocked her head, and stared at the boy's name as she rose, moving to slam the book (unintentionally, really) amidst Rodolphus' papers on his desk.
She pointed to the name. "I wasn't aware that Rabastan had children, love. Why hasn't he mentioned this one before?!"
Reaching up to pluck the glasses off her face, Rodolphus slid them on over his ears, shoving aside the book to pull out some his papers. He pointedly ignored her for a few moments, mulling over what she'd said.
"My brother, Rabastan, does not have children," he said at last, shrugging as he reached for his quill. "So that would be why he hasn't mentioned it." He tried to play it off, hoping that her mind would switch gears again, as it had the tendency to do.
She took the quill from his hand and set it down, annoyed that he was trying to pass her off. "Then who is the boy? He's much too young to belong to your parents, and it says he's very much a pureblood," she hissed. "Surely you know who he belongs to."
Rodolphus looked up, sighing a little, pressing his fingers to his temples. So much for keeping it secret. Shrugging again, he leaned back in his chair, looking straight into his wife's eyes. "You should know who he belongs to. After all, you are his mother."
Her angry expression fell into one of nothing but the most pure confusion. That was certainly not what she was expecting. Her? With children? Never... or so she thought, and certainly she would remember something so important. "I believe you have me, Bellatrix, confused with your previous wife," she said sneering and knowing full well he didn't have a previous wife. "Or, rather, just one on the side. I've never mothered children."
"No, I quite assure you that you did. Julien Lestrange is our son, Bellatrix." Rodolphus sighed heavily, running a hand through his hair. He hadn't ever planned on telling Bellatrix, as long as she'd never asked, and he certainly hadn't been prepared. "I should have assumed that at some point, you'd remember something, or hear something. I just figured it would be sooner then later."
"You mean... I didn't re-... How is he..." So many thoughts were bombarding Bellatrix' mind that she simply couldn't see straight, and she collapsed to the floor, thankfully in a sitting position, and rested her head on her knees, which she'd pulled up to her chest. She was angry at him for knowing they had a child and not telling her, she was elated that she had children, she was saddened, finally, that she hadn't been there for him, because she was quite certain it had been quite some time since he was born. Definitely since their first trip into Azkaban.
She stared straight ahead at the wall behind his desk for quite some time, a determined look on her face, showing that she was convinced she could remember something if she'd just thought about it hard enough. She almost felt horrible that she couldn't remember her own son.
And she was quite certain that he really was her son, given the look on Rodolphus' face. He always got this certain way about him, even when he was lying rather than playing a nasty joke, that he was lacking at this point in time.
"Where is he?" she finally asked, still staring ahead.
Rodolphus pushed back his chair and climbed to his feet, feeling suddenly weary. Moving around the desk, he kneeled on the floor near his wife, trying to decide exactly where to begin. "Bellatrix…he's in France. When we went to Azkaban the first time, I had him sent off to live with my parents, where he would be safe." Licking his teeth, he rocked back on his heels, and sat down hard, leaning against the desk. "I've kept in contact with him, when I could. Just one or two letters a year, to see how he's doing. He just graduated from Durmstrang."
Wrinkling his nose, he considered how confused she must be. As far as he knew, all thoughts of Julien and disappeared from her mind, sometime during their first years in prison, and now it was all being thrown back to her. "I've been waiting for you to remember, but you just never did. I suppose the Dementors must have sucked the memory of him away from you."
"So he's alive? He's well?" she asked, turning her gaze to her husband, who she was quite jealous of at this point in time, for having remembered him, for having kept in contact with him, for having had the slightest inkling that he even existed.
But that passed quickly once his words started to sink in.
"Durmstrang..." she trailed off, a small but definitely proud smile crossing her lips. "So that means he's..." A pause, comprised of her calculating his age. "Seventeen? Perhaps eighteen. Bright, too. What else could he be?"
She smiled wider now, eyes fixated somewhere off in the distance as a mental image of her son filled her head, a rather tall boy, dark hair like theirs, a face like his father's and a mind, she fancied, like her own.
Her hand, somewhere in her reverie, found his and took it idly, mindlessly. "I want to see him, Rodolphus." She snapped out of her daydreaming and looked at him with an I-Dare-You-To-Deny-Me-This look. "Sooner preferable over later."
Leaning back in his chair, the man gave his wife's hand a slight squeeze, licking his teeth in thought. "To answer your questions, yes, he's seventeen, and very bright. He graduated with high honors. He's still living in Versailles, in my parent's old home, with his nanny, Michelle. Remember her? The girl we sent along to care for him? He seems very happy…" He trailed off then, taking a deep breath before continuing on.
"Bellatrix," Rodolphus said slowly, raising his eyes to meet hers with a 'look' of his own. "I don't think it's exactly wise to just hop the next train to France, barging in on him with no warning. All he knows about us is what he was told as a child by my parents and what he's read in a handful of letters. We should test the waters first, prepare him, let him know that we're coming, and give him time to adjust to the fact."
Bellatrix stared at her husband. How could he even be suggesting such a thing? Wait to see their only child? Sure, she remembered Michelle, now, she'd slapped the girl for holding her baby the incorrect way. She also remembered exactly where Rodolphus' parents lived...
"What? He's my son, Rodolphus, I can see him when I want!" she shrieked, standing up and staring at him incredulously. "I haven't seen him for sixteen and a half years, I didn't remember him, surely he misses me, and you say we must wait to see him? It's not acceptable!"
She leaned over him, staring darkly into his eyes. Never before had she wanted something so bad. Or, so bad at that moment, anyhow... all thoughts of Narcissa aside. "I'll go myself if I have to. You know I will," she said dangerously. "But I thought it was only fair to give you the opportunity to join me, which you obviously don't wish to do."
"If you are going to have one of your fits, and scream until you get your way, then fine. We'll go. But on my terms. I won't have you rampaging in on him, ranting about being his mother. You'll scare the boy senseless, and he deserves more respect than that. He's just as much my son as he is yours and we're going to do this properly." Rodolphus pulled his hand away from hers, shaking his head haughtily. There were very few times when he let out his less than favorable side and put his foot down, but this was one occasion where he felt it necessary.
Standing up, he took down a roll of parchment and dug a fresh quill out of one of his desk drawers, throwing them both down on the desk. "If you really want to do this, then I suggest you try writing to Julien, tell him that we're coming in a week or so and then just talk to him. Let him get to know you a little, before you just turn up on the doorstep. I assure you, he's not the type to appreciate something so unexpected, and quite possibly, unwelcome. It's the least you can do for the boy."
She hated when he was right and she couldn't think up an adequate excuse to prove him wrong.
She pulled him up out of his desk and sat in his chair, dipping the quill in the ink, biting her tongue in thought as she put the tip to the parchment. After only a few moments, she'd finished writing out a note to her son to inform him of their arrival, which would be quite soon. She hoped it sounded all right, and despite the few ink spots scattered around it, it looked quite nice. She handed it to him to read and for approval, almost snarkily, as though she'd need his approval for anything she did.
"Is that better, then?" she asked too politely, batting her eyelashes. "I'll write the rest later, when I've decided just what I want to tell him."
Rodolphus quickly read over the letter before rolling it up, placing it in another drawer. "It sounds fine. I'll send it along with one of my own, and anything else you want to pass on to Julien. But Bellatrix," he said slowly, leaning on the back of the chair she was sitting in, placing his lips beside her ear, "don't ever refer to him as your son again. I really didn't care for that much, if we're being completely honest. He is our son, and you should do well to remember it." He didn't like it, the way she had said the phrase 'he's my son Rodolphus.' Her son indeed. She hadn't even remembered the boy had existed, and still wouldn't, if it hadn't been for that book.
Bellatrix whipped around and grabbed his chin, turning slowly to face him, her face close to his, eyes narrowed to mere slits. "Oh, but Rodolphus, he is my son. That much is very certain," she said in a low, dangerous voice. "Just as much as he is yours, if not moreso, as I am his mother, or was I not quite clear on that? It isn't my fault that I didn't remember him," she said with a tinge of sadness and guilt to her voice, "blame that on the fucking Ministry."
She flung his head away from her hand and stood, glaring. "Now if you'll excuse me I have a trip to pack for."
"Yes, go pack. I'm getting tired of looking at you, and even more tired of hearing you," Rodolphus hissed, the entire situation putting him into a rather foul mood. He stood there, arms crossed over his chest, glaring at her with heavy lidded eyes. "True, you might be his mother, but I'm the one who's kept up with him for sixteen years. You may think you matter more, but for once, you don't, and you can't stand it."
Finally tearing his eyes away, the man gathered up the papers he'd been working on, slamming drawers shut angrily as he prepared to take his work upstairs. He intended to lock himself up in his quarters, and try to get things done. If they were going to be heading to France, he wanted his affairs in proper order.
"I do matter," Bellatrix mumbled as she swept from the room, doing so if not only for the stinging that was going on behind her eyes but also for the fact that she couldn't stand the sight of him as well. She wanted to stay behind and ask if he had pictures, or if she might read his letters, and even, Salazar forbid, be motherly for once, but for now she was, well, less than content to slam the door behind her, muttering rather loudly, "Why I married you, I'll never know."
"Because you used to love me," Rodolphus said aloud to the empty room, glaring at the door for what seemed an eternity after she stormed out. Finally snapping back to reality, he gathered up the rest of his things, including Bella's letter to Julien, and left as well, stomping off to his quarters to get to work.