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An Interesting Development

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Rabastan looked from his older sibling to the glass of fire-whiskey and back to Rodolphus' face. These days he felt like he saw his older brother more often than even when they were growing up under the same roof. And it was in no way a bad situation. Rabastan liked the companionship. He was amused at how his usually aloof brother was here mostly because he was having relationship woes and needed a sympathetic ear to vent. It was entertaining really. And he had gotten better at keeping a poker face. Still, not all of his brother's visits to his house or office were because of amusing anecdotes.

Those days Rodolphus was tired and he would visit immediately after the date, after Rabastan's family had their dinner, so that he could not intrude or see what he did not currently have. Those nights Rabastan had a fifty-fifty chance of helping him apparate home.

"You had another date with Harry, I take it?" he hazard a guess.

His brother nodded tersely. "His godfather was chaperoning."

"Ah," was all Rabastan said. He need no say more. Whenever Black or Potter had their turn at chaperoning his brother got back from the dates in a murderous mood. In his core, Rodolphus was not a ‘people’s person’. He had some family he felt close to (namely his sibling), a couple peers in his field (see Severus Snape and Lilly Potter nee Evans) and acquaintances he tolerated. That he even felt attracted enough to Harry Potter to actually go through with a courtship was still a surprise to Rabastan. That his brother also tolerated his intended’s family was also a big deal.

"Either I'm going to die before he finishes Hogwarts or I’ll end up in Azkaban. Surrounded by so many loud people, all the damn time... My patience is going to snap one of these days," Rodolphus muttered.

Rabastan realised that this would be the other kind of day so he simply stood up, did not even bother to call a house elf, and instead he just poured them both a drink.

 

"So," he said instead, "You're going to keep this up with the chaperoned dates? People have seen you guys around. While most of your meetings have been away from prying eyes, you were sighted in Diagon Alley. There have been rumours circulating, but nothing accurate. And your mood lately has been... Let us just say I did not know you could have so many moods." He handed his brother the drink and sat across from him. "It's a lot of commitment. Not to mention that it is also a long time to remain celibate."

The last remark earned Rabastan a glare.

"I can easily castrate you, brother of mine."

The younger wizard grinned. "Good thing I've already produced heirs! Seriously now, don't castrate me." He paused dramatically. "I enjoy having sex and someone in this family needs to be having it... Regularly ... Damn it!" he yelped as he dodged a hex he did not recognized from the other man.

"Missed..." Rodolphus muttered.

"And you made me spill my drink," Rabastan accused. "Was that going to make me impotent or something?"

"Only for forty eight hours. It's better than being a eunuch, right?" his older brother gave an elegant shrug.

"Fine, I got the message, no joking. Seriously though. People have seen you around. They are bound to connect your face and Harry’s. He is quite the celebrity on his own. "

Rodolphus sighed. "I know. And then all kinds of trouble will start up. Because most wizards and witches just love meddling. They will all have opinions. About how I am too old, he’s too young. We are both men. I used to be a Death Eater. His mother is not pureblood enough. The list is endless. "

"You must truly love him, brother. Because you have a long way ahead of you. I should have thought you would prefer your second marriage to be less stressful. "

"I have always been an overachiever."

 

 


 

 

Lilly stared and Severus.

He stared back.

"I can do this all day. I will outlast you. I have before."

The red-haired woman scowled. "We are not keeping score Sev."

He arched dark eyebrow and her scow deepened. "Just tell me Lily. You have been brooding like an angsty Hufflepuff. Your spawn is hardly around. Potter and his friends don’t even mutter a token protest my way… Something happened."

"It’s about Harry."

"What about him? Did he decided to drop out of Hogwarts? Go Muggle? Start breeding Pygmy Puffs?"

"Now you’re mocking me."

"And you, Lily, are stalling."

"Harry is in a relationship with Rodolphus Lestrange."

Severus promptly chocked on air.

"James, Sirius and Remus stalked Harry and caught them kissing. They tried to hex  Rodolphus but Harry intervened. Punches did fly. Then Harry declared he would elope the moment he was eligible and then Rodolphus initiated a formal courting period. To sum it up," Lily elaborated. "Now Harry’s not talking to any of us. I have James nursing his wounded pride, Sirius being a sullen and Remus trying to talks some sense into them… and I don’t know what to do. "

"Harry, your Harry, and Rodolphus Lestrange? The Rodolphus Lestrange?" Severus repeated.

Lily sighed. "I already said that, yes."

"How? It does not make sense. I mean… I think I remember them talking in a function at Malfoy Manor but that does not explain what you are telling me."

Then Lily proceeded to explain everything that took place, the sneaking round, the lies about Harry being ill and Severus listened with no small amount of fascination.

"First, allow me to say that James Potter had it coming, " Severus stated once she was done explaining the situation.

"Severus!"

"My faith in Karma is restored," the Potions Master exclaimed.

"The situation is not funny Sev! I have not been able to speak to Harry since that night. He’s always on the defensive. James blames himself, thinks we let him have too much freedom. Harry is certainly not speaking with James. Remus is the only go between but that is not a solution!"

He leveled her with a serious look. "What do you want me to do?"

Lily deflated. "There’s nothing you can do, not really."

Her childhood friend sighed. "Do you want me to talk to Rodolphus or Harry? Perhaps both? If they are only doing it out of stubbornness…"

"They’re in love," Lily commented. "Harry is in love with Rodolphus."

He studied her face. "And from your tone… It is mutual," he commented with no small amount of surprise.

"And that is why I don’t really oppose the chaperoned dates and the whole situation. I want my son happy. And if Rodolphus Lestrange makes him happy, then that is more than enough for me."

Severus sighed. "Did you want my help, or did you just call me here to vent?"

"Both, " Lily replied. "I want to organize a dinner in our home and I need…"

"A Slytherin buffer?"

"Of shorts, yes."

"Just tell me what you need."

Lily smiled. "You are a great friend Sev."

"I hate seeing you sad. And I am fond of your spawn."

"You also want a front row seat to the whole spectacle."

He smirked at her. "That is merely an added bonus."

"Don’t taunt James too much?" she asked.

Severus laughed.