There were too many people, too much blood, too many lives shattered. She’d heard the whisper of a rumor that her sister had been arrested, and not the one she would have expected. And in the middle of it all, Andromeda was trying to stay as calm as she could.
As calm as was expected of her.
But oh, her heart was racing, racing with leftover fear and remaining nervousness. The attack was over and, for once, the Order had beaten back Voldemort’s forces. But then there had been the blood, the Knights of Walpurgis, and every bit of order she’d thought had been restored came crumbling down around her ears.
Injuries outranked doubts, however, and there were plenty to go around. Plenty of injuries and not nearly enough Healers for the numbers. Andy wanted to return home. She wanted her daughter in her arms, a hot cup of tea, to talk all of this over with Ted and be comforted by the familiar safety of his voice and his arms. But for now, she was needed here. To let a person bleed out in front of her was never something she’d had the stomach to do.
Kneeling down beside her first patient, Andromeda pulled her hair back and pushed up her sleeves, her wand at the ready with a litany of healing spells already streaming through her mind. The person was screaming fit to wake the dead, and she could hardly hear herself think through the noise.
"Stop screaming," she said firmly, "You’re going to wake up the entire town." She smiled slightly, comfortingly, trying to lighten the situation in any possible way. It could never be enough, couldn’t even be much, but it was a start.
She set to work, her mind leaving the chaos of the time to focus on the task at hand. When it was finished, when she had done all she could, she leaned back and looked blankly at the blood on her hands.
How did that get there? And there was no way to get rid of it, barring wiping the stuff on her clothing.
There was still more to do, so much, she hadn’t done nearly enough, but she couldn’t move on. Not like this. Not with blood on her hands.Biting her lip, she searched for something - some spare bit of cloth, anything - to clean the red from her skin.
Headache. Fucking pounding behind his eyes. Rodolphus’s hand shot to his forehead. He slowly pushed himself up in bed. Why did he feel so weird? Everything seemed to be spinning and he felt the urge to… cry. Cry? Rodolphus could not recall the last time he had felt the urge to cry. Not in this state. He wasn’t in ‘the strange.’ There was never a reason to cry. Never a reason to cry. To frown.
What time was it?
It was just starting to get dark out. Hardly any light seeped through the curtains in his bedroom. Did he really sleep that late? He let his legs dangle off the bed and cracked his neck.
Rodolphus looked emaciated, his figure so bone-thin that he could practically blow over in the wind. A quick look into his full length mirror gave away the very nightmare he’d never wanted to come true.
He was unhealthy. It was a harsh reality check and one he so desperately needed. Gone were the days he’d wake with the sun and go for a morning run after consuming fresh vegetables and fruits. He’d withered away to nearly nothing.
Quickly, he dressed himself in a flowing green dress and pink, quilted overcoat. Rodolphus painted makeup over eyelids and cheeks. He looked precisely like a woman or a very well done drag queen, an objective he’d set out to achieve. With one last look around his bedroom, Rodolphus disapparated straight to St. Mungos.
He needed help.
Rodolphus marched down the hallway with a soft click click click of heeled shoes against tiled floor. He reached a desk in no time at all and paused to rest his tired bones.
"Toodaloo, madame! I do believe I need to be checked in!" he cried out, waiting for the nearest Healer, secretary, or medi-witch to be of assistance.
You wish to leave the Manor the very moment I come to visit? I am wounded, Rodolphus. Really, I am.
What do you say we go and look for some fun, then, since it seems as if you are all dressed and ready to race out the door?
If it isn’t Rabbit in the flesh!
If I had known you were coming for a visit, I would’ve had Bonky fix you something bountiful. Alas, I am in the wrong.
Whatever shall we do?
"If I’m anything, I’m a wolf, numbskull, and in case you didn’t notice, lions die without their pride. Where’s yours?" Why was he even indulging this idiot?
"You know what? Stop talking." Roughly, he grabbed Rodolphus’ jaw, yanking it open and stuffing the carrot into his mouth, as far as he could make it go, which was actually further than he’d intended, and he thought it hit the back of his throat. I hope he chokes on it. “Just leave it there. Everyone will be better off.” He patted the end of the carrot, and then turned to leave Lestrange to his own devices.
Rodolphus pulled the carrot from his mouth and silently shot ropes from the tip of his wand, allowing them to wrap around the other man’s ankles causing him to trip forward. Rodolphus was already to his feet, nimble and agile despite, and probably because of, his smaller frame. A heavy, black, steel-toed boot crunched down on Fenrir’s shoulder to keep the burly man in place with surprising strength.
"You do not understand proverbs, I see. What a pity. And you dare waste my carrot? Tut tut! I grew that myself,” Rodolphus spoke calmly, his eyes burning bright blue. He dipped his head lower and cooed into the other man’s ear. “I suppose I should be upset, even feel violated, but I’m not. No, in fact, I think this is a friendly message, like "Hey, wanna play?" and yes, I want to play. I really, really do.”
With that, Rodolphus stepped back with a mad grin on his face, only allowing enough time for Fenrir to move before he disapparated.
"Fenrir." It was a definite growl this time, and he took a definite step away - only to be caught by the man’s arm.
Roughly, Fenrir slid his arm out, his hand finding Rodolphus’ armpits and lifting him, light as he was, slamming him against the nearest wall and then dropping him abruptly. He invaded his personal space - not that he thought Rod would notice or care - ducking to push his face into Lestranges.
"Let me make this clear. You were not invited on this damn trip, I don’t want your remedies, and touch my dogs and I’ll let them fucking eat you." Short, but sweet.
Rodolphus released a girlish giggle as his body slid to the ground. True, his recent weight loss depleted his muscles and made him all but a twig and entirely possible to snap in two. However, Rodolphus wasn’t one to experience pain or fear in the same way others did and thus the grin wasn’t wiped from his face even as the other ducked down and made threats.
Blank, icy eyes gazed up into Fenrir’s before Rodolphus pushed himself to his feet. His strength might be diminished, but Rodolphus had wit and experience.
"In a land of predators, the lion never fears the jackal."
"Fenrir." He corrected, eyeing the man and his macabre smile warily as it jiggled before him. UGH stop TOUCHING me. He suppressed a shudder at the touch, taking a half step back, hopefully out of reach.
"I think I’m fine. This isn’t the first time I’ve had an injured dog." And I don’t want you within a mile of my pups. Freak. He had to suppress a chuckle at the irony. Says the man who turns into a giant wolf once a month.
"Oh, no, I must insist, young Fedora. There are natural remedies to heal your little pup back to normal in no time!” Rodolphus exclaimed, ignoring Fenrir’s correction to Rodolphus’s misuse of his name.
Ignoring the obvious distaste Fenrir shared for being touched by him, Rodolphus linked his arm with the larger male’s.
"Come diddle. We’ll find-doodly-doo-ski a little remedy. Pray tell, what is wrong with the pup so we can properly analyze the method of healing? Unless, of course, you’d rather I come along-ski and give him a nice stab to the face to put him out of his misery?"
My nimble what? “…Thanks.” How do I remove myself from this situation without getting myself fucked over? He wasn’t an idiot. The man might seem like a harmless puppy with a passion for Christmas and health foods, but whatever was wrong with his brain, it was wrong in more than the obvious way.
"I’m… I’ve got an injured dog at home. Need to look after it." Maybe if I stay quiet he’ll think I’ve died and go away…
"You are ever so welcome, Fabio," Rodolphus replied as an eerie grin stretched over pearly whites. His thinned out face made for an even more macabre smile than normal and Rodolphus continued bouncing on the balls of his feet, eagerly awaiting the man’s next move.
"Oh me oh my oh! An injured pup you do say? How unfortunate! You know, I do have a nice little solvent for your savage predicament if you do so want to hear? I believe I could help ever so thoroughly if you’d give me a chance!” Rodolphus cooed, reaching forward to stroke his skeletal fingers over Fenrir’s muscular forearm.
The creature has worn through the last load already? Poor thing. I am sure I have something suitable that I can bring by later tonight.
Oh my, do I ever. I hope you do not try to play the hero and go in after the clothes. They are not worth the risk to your well-being.
What would a house elf need with a suit? They are justI suppose it would reflect well upon the home if he were all dressed up. Though I am afraid my tailoring skills are lacking. But I am sure with our combined efforts we could do a fine job. On the issue of release, if I were to present the new wardrobe to him rather than you he would not be freed of anything but his tacky mishmash of rags, correct? Surely the brother of the master does not count.
You are most wise indeed! Good on you for contriving a well-thought-out conclusion to our dilemma!
You will tailor the suit and deliver it to Bonky yourself. Take full credit. I want nothing to do with this just in case Bonky misunderstands and frees himself. Do so soon, please!