[identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] bait_backup
*Bellatrix has never been maternal--even the suggestion of such a thing would send more than a few titters around a drawing-room and she knows it. She has patted the odd child on the head, certainly--cooed a bit over Draco a handful of times--admonished older children at family gatherings who were misbehaving or loud or simply too close to her. But that is all, and all she has any desire for. So maybe it's odd that at Barty's incomprehensible, dense, very much fucking Bartyesque letter she's immediately set off for the house without so much as a pause for reflection. Perhaps it's odd that an overwhelming urgency, a sense of this is not right is thrumming in her veins and urging her to hurry, as she's always heard it does in the veins of mothers when their children are in need.

Considering her singular fondness for Barty, perhaps it isn't odd. Considering her connection to Regulus, perhaps it's anything but odd.

Either way within minutes she's dressed and ready--robes as grim and utilitarian as she owns, and for some reason she's braided her hair flat against her head as she does when doing the Dark Lord's work--like she's spoiling for a fight. For some reason her hand is wound rightly around her wand and her heart is in her throat as she straightens her cloak around her and Apparates into the ever-shifting house: a grim, black-robed apparition no less frightening for its lack of a mask.*

Date: 2011-11-24 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
*Though only a handful have admitted it in so many words, and it's always been kept hushed, Regulus is far, far from the first in his family to begin to see or imagine or feel things that aren't truly there. It isn't anything so common or grisly as madness, anyone would tell you that. But then again, no one in any generation has really found it necessary to sit down and give it a name at all.

What is unique about Regulus is not his frayed and flighty nerves, his growing need for a walking stick, or even his apparent fascination with grim omens, all of these things are rather run of the mill once one gets to know enough of the Blacks through the years. No, what makes him stand out is simply how very little time it took him to get there. It has been a long while indeed since someone younger than Regulus Black has had quite so long a list of fears.

As impressive as this is, it really doesn't help matters when a dark figure of a woman appears to one side of the windowseat he occupies. He may have the Mark on his arm, but when faced with danger in a house he had thought to be secure, Regulus' brain doesn't recognise his cousin's face until after the frantic moment when he scrambles off the edge to land embarrassingly on the floor, one arm tangled in curtains.*

Date: 2011-11-24 07:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
You - you startled me!

*It is Bella, and though his heart can now begin to calm itself but Regulus still looks more like he's faced with a sixty foot giant. Tucking shoes that need a good polishing underneath him, he uses the curtain to pull himself upright, and try to resume normalcy.*

Don't you knock or... floo?

Date: 2011-11-24 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
Excuse me?

*Camping out is never as glamorous as it is in the heads of romantics. From the horror of woodland landscapes to two boys playing cowardly cowboys and indians with the world, tucked safely inside a manorhouse, there is always a point where it becomes depressingly clear how much a real roof over one's head - or, in Barty and Regulus' case, a house elf is needed. Regulus' subtle and stately clothes have been put to shame by wrinkles and his hair looks looser and longer than it has at any other part of his life.

Still, he's no mongrel.*

Date: 2011-11-24 07:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
*Bella's terrifying qualities have left Regulus burying his face both physically and emotionally into the skirts of his mother all his life. There are few people whose raised voices are quite as good as hers at sending shivers down spines. He does flinch now, but it's a stronger jolt than the small nervous ticks Bella has grown used to, and now he doesn't look away.

His eyes stay on her in the wake of her demands, and though the nervous shyness is unmistakeably there, there is something irritatingly difficult to put one's finger on in his stare. Certainly not confidence, but something that makes him forget to look quite so often at his shoes. Just when he's been silent long enough it seems he'll never answer, he points up toward the ceiling.*

Toilet. Follow me.

Date: 2011-11-24 08:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mad-actually.livejournal.com
*There's altogether too much clothes and not enough water. Claw-toes shuffling under slight weight, a proud white brim rising up and circling around Barty almost protectively. Dry tile and interior plumbing have been refitted into an unlikely escape pod. A place to wait and scheme but mostly to eat. They lie curled around him, little snails of plastic and screw-caps and colours. Toothpaste. His supplies are dwindling, their distinctly flattened bellies much like Barty's own. He squeezes at yet another, running a mint-green line down his tongue before mulching his jaw around it, sucking at the taste hungrily. He's crouched over his feast like a raccoon, eyes just as large and bright and alert as they swivel excitedly at the sound of a turning knob.*

Date: 2011-11-24 08:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mad-actually.livejournal.com
*He smiles, big and wide with teeth just slightly green from pasty residue.*

It has double the plaque fighting action though. There's even a little diagram of germs being felled by a minty fresh army.

Date: 2011-11-24 08:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
*Regulus too looks over Barty's dismal dinner and feels the urge to sigh - though though with the frustration evident in Bella's exhale. He hasn't known what to say to Barty lately. He had never been very good at apologies or reassurances, and part of him still wishes Barty would be the first one to realise the error of his ways and apologise for his own risk-taking. Now though, at Bella's side, counting how many tubes of chalky cleaning product Barty has ingested, it seems pretty risky to keep him here too.*

There's still plenty of wine in the cellar... Perhaps Father would let Kreacher come for an evening, he and Mother hardly miss him sometimes, I think.

Date: 2011-11-25 07:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
*His face softens for a moment. Though familial affection may not be something Regulus would think of, there is a ceaseless fidelity there that makes his heart sink to think of betraying.*

Certainly not. Has anyone said that?

Date: 2011-11-27 09:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mad-actually.livejournal.com
*Barty leans over until his chin meets the edge of the tub, his fingers rushing to its side, scurrying and fidgeting and drumming out a strange little tune against the porcelain. His face is bright with something uncomfortable, a childish and eerily accurate observation.*

We're here because I'm his prisoner. But then everything got too literal and now there aren't any biscuits.

Date: 2011-11-27 09:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
*Comparatively little has been spoken between them lately, unusual considering Barty's propensity for talk and Regulus' reluctance to talk to much anyone else but him. Still Regulus finds something uncomfortable enough in this explanation to force him to edit it.

He may have had Barty stay inside every day, all the while he had been gone most days and nights - to Birmingham, to old castles to search for souls, talking to Dementors whereas Barty talked to no one but him. All the same, those things were done out of necessity, all, and the alternatives have always looked worse to Regulus.*

...No one's a prisoner, that's silly to say. It's better here than the cities now, that's all.

However I suppose we have run out of some things.

Date: 2011-11-27 09:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mad-actually.livejournal.com
Unless Dementors stole all the cities in Britain and kicked everyone out while we were gone, I wouldn't say it's really better.

Date: 2011-12-15 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com

*Pinched and head cocked, Regulus looks more like an insect than a human, and certainly not one that can understand what normal people would accept as explanation.*

We can't leave, it's safe here.

Date: 2011-12-15 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
...From the war.

*There's a stilted pause in his words, as though he has just said something ridiculously childlike instead of reasonable. It may be true, the countryside may indeed be safer in times of war, but from his pale lips he could have said 'bad guys' and sounded more legitimate.*

Date: 2011-12-16 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
*Barty, even 'entubbed' and frothy with rabid minty freshness, is his, and his hands float nervously upward looking for somewhere to rest or hold on to as Bella attempts to change that. His words are mostly drowned out by hers, but what he lacks in authority he makes up for in the surge of anxiety filling the room. If he were really a man, perhaps he'd close the bathroom door at least, instead he dithers and whisperingly raves.*

Date: 2011-12-16 10:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mad-actually.livejournal.com
*There's a particular texture to Regulus' voice, a feeling that touches the finger tips. It's that waxy, frail impression of Oldness, all the wavering paper-like quality of 90-year-old skin, broken down and vocalized through an ancient record player. Barty hears every word. He hoists himself over the side of the tub.*

I know loads of things, but I know what I know more than what I don't and I'm better for it. If I only knew what I didn't I wouldn't even know YOU - because whose to say you aren't someone else. You'd be easy to fake.

Date: 2011-12-16 10:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
*There's a soft clink of plastic on porcelain as Regulus' flighty hands land on Barty's toothbrush on the edge of the sink. He holds it against his wrinkled robes as though it's a talisman, binding Barty to stay wherever it is.

There's a scary, tickling part of his mind that ponders if there could be any truth in what Barty said, if he could be acted out and replicated and not know. It's happened to Barty, after all, his very body and mind stolen away for a test run by some unknown monster. But then something more stable tells him perhaps there is something else he ought to be focus on for now. So it is Bella he questions, and leaves a new-found paranoia alone.*

Our parents don't know you're here, do they, Bella?

Date: 2011-12-16 10:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
*For all his worries, Regulus always has been convincible whenever one bothered to appeal to him. His face smooths now, letting go of some of it's tension as he watches the floor and considers these new factors. He doesn't even reject being touched as he usually does, because as long as Barty's father can't find him, what would really be the harm.*

I do suppose there are some securities the city has to offer.

Date: 2011-12-16 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mad-actually.livejournal.com
*It's momentary. Barty's face bursting and flashing like a lighthouse, in beats and pauses and frenzied fractions. There's something about it that's almost cartoonishly ear-to-ear and forehead-to-chin. The sort of smile that can warp a face entirely. And then he's there, just as momentary, just as sudden, Reg's other sleeve firmly in his grasp. He answers his unspoken duty with a very excited question.*

The haunted one?

Date: 2011-12-16 11:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
*Like a child on one of those horrible muggle people-leashes, Regulus is spirited, arm-first, out of the bathroom and down the hallway they came. He still has Barty's toothbrush held against his chest when he's brought before the hearth.*

My things, I haven't packed...

Date: 2011-12-16 12:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mad-actually.livejournal.com
You owe me exactly one kidnap. I didn't pack for it either.

Date: 2011-12-16 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
*Not long ago, Regulus had screamed at him about the necessity of their escape. But, now that Barty is smiling again about something, he just looks a little abashed. He doesn't, however, return his toothbrush to him.*

Date: 2011-12-16 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] le-strangled.livejournal.com
*Rodolphus Lestrange recognizes that tone precisely. Though Twinky gets to the hearth faster, taking her mistress' cloak by rote, Roddy strolls into the room, ready for--almost anything. With Bella, there's no knowing. At least the two people she's got with her are alive.*

Hello, dear--

Regulus, Barty, what a pleasant surprise! Is something wrong, or are we just visiting?

Date: 2011-12-16 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] le-strangled.livejournal.com
*Roddy's used to less explanation, so he takes it in stride.*

Wonderful. Twinky, fix up some rooms for them? I believe Barty prefers the haunted one, do make sure Regulus gets one that isn't haunted--oh, and take their luggage.

*But there isn't any, and now he feels both stupid and more worried for it. A lack of luggage seems less like visiting and rather more like fleeing. But those are all questions for his wife, not these children.*

Well, take their cloaks, at least.

Date: 2011-12-17 07:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spindleform.livejournal.com
*Still hovering near the fireplace, Regulus bends slightly to drape his cloak onto the elf's waiting arms, but his shadowed eyes stay on Bella. He doesn't know to what effect, but he's had people talk purposefully over his head long enough to know she's completing sentences in her mind. He actually is exceptionally poor at even guessing other people's thoughts, still there is an almost creepy effect that a toothpaste-centric diet gives. It's the closest his pinched little face will ever come to looking as though he can read one's thoughts.*


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