Literatti: Fiction By Deslea
Deslea R. Judd
Characters: Rodolphus Lestrange, Lucius Malfoy. Background Bellatrix/Voldemort.
Summary: All things considered, the passing of Rod and Bella's newborn was a mercy. Set during Deathly Hallows.
Word Count: 615
More Fic: On AO3 or my fic site.
Feedback: Love the stuff. On AO3 or at deslea at deslea dot com.
The funeral was over and Rodolphus was alone.
Bella hadn't come. Ostensibly, it was a case of childbed fever - thankfully contained - that kept her in her rooms. But really, it was that for Bella, grief was a wasted emotion, and if she was not about to indulge in it herself, then she was not about to indulge it in anyone else, certainly not those with less right to grieve than her. Rodolphus included.
It was a simple service. Funerals for the unnamed were dignified but short. A few words, a brief prayer to commit him to the Four Spirits, and a quick dispatch by fire. And that was that.
So now he sat beneath a tree, looking morosely at the coals that had been his son the day before.
"Don't hover, Lucius," he said presently. "It's annoying. Come and sit down or fuck off."
Lucius' form came into his peripheral vision. "How did you know it was me?"
Because no one else is insensitive enough to loiter around a grieving father whose entire bearing screams leave me alone, Rodolphus thought, but he settled for, "Who else would it be?"
Lucius shrugged, and sat down at his side.
"What was his name?" he wondered, nodding at the pile of coals.
"He never passed the danger period. He was never named."
"Fuck the danger period, Rod. You loved him and you named him. What was it?"
Rodolphus shot him a sideways glance, but nodded. "Eir. Bella doesn't know. If he'd lived, she would have called him Tom."
"Of course she would." Lucius went on thoughtfully, "Eir. From the Norse, correct? It means mercy?" He arched an eyebrow, and Lucius went on, "We considered it for Draco."
Rodolphus said ironically, "Mercy Malfoy?"
"Shut up. You chose it."
"Yeah, but my kid doesn't have to live with the teasing."
"No," Lucius said reflectively. After a pause, he went on quietly, "You know, I'd say I was sorry, but I'm really not."
Rodolphus swallowed hard. "No. You aren't."
"Give it fifteen years, Rod, and the poor kid would have been in Draco's shoes. Ten, if Bella had her way."
He snorted. "The Dark Lord would have killed him before that. Especially if he looked like me."
It was true enough. The miserable bastard might not be willing or able to take Bella as a lover himself, but he couldn't stand that Rodolphus did. Not that he really had her in anything other than name; their soulless shags were little more than wanks in company. On both sides.
In fact, the Dark Lord was possibly the only one more horrified by Bella's pregnancy than Bella herself. They'd discovered it too late to safely end it, and though she'd refused to stop fighting of her own accord, the Dark Lord had finally ordered her out of combat himself. Their fellow soldiers grew protective of her as her belly grew, and it had been a dangerous distraction.
Rodolphus had been certain the Dark Lord would kill him for it; anger and jealousy had warred in his eyes for months. In the end, he had decreed instead that Rodolphus would be a full-time parent to the infant; of the two of them, he could be spared more readily than Bella. From the Dark Lord's perspective, this had the added bonus of allowing him and Bella to be alone together in neurotic mutual obsession.
Rodolphus hadn't objected. He wouldn't wish Bella as a parent on anyone.
"It's a mercy," Lucius said, not unkindly. "Really."
Rodolphus stared at the coals, and just for a moment, they were overlaid with his precious son, falling asleep forever beneath his suffocating hands.
"Yes," he whispered. "It was."