*Feeling that his line is facing its final, somewhat ignominious stand, Arcturus has forced himself to read, for the first time in most cases, the seemingly endless self-absorbed scratchings of his various ancestors, including all of Barnabus' interminable "witticisms" in Latin and French, and Abraxas' incontinent rage at the Squibs who dared to pollute his bloodline. He's even made it through the first 27 volumes, or year and a half, of the typhoon of hot air and bombast generated by Bartholomew.*
*In the forty-third volume of Bartholomew's constant caterwaul to his own greatness, Arcturus finds a strange slip of parchment protruding from the spine. On it, in an unfamiliar hand, is written "For Arcturus - only". It is however, blank.*
*After turning it over several times, holding it up to the light, and casting "Specialis Revelio!" all with equal futility, Arcturus concludes that that it may require something else. He takes his unused letter-opener, swipes it on his sleeve several times in hopes of reducing the risk of tetanus, recalls something he saw the groundsman do once in his long-ago youth, and casts "Bluebell flames", which he then runs along the blade, such as it is. Finally, and with remarkable reluctance for a man all alone, he pricks his finger, and allows a drop of blood to fall on the parchment.*
*Instantly, a flowing, florid script springs from the page, starting is several places and endlessly intersecting until the scrap is covered with writing.* "My Dear Arcturus", it proclaims, "I took pains to ensure you wouldn't remember me, and why would you after so long, given how you overlooked me, the wallflower in your Tulula's heliotropic shadow? I may regret it, but I couldn't face my wedding night coming without ever having been with you - fully, so I spiked your drink with a Love Potion, and let events take their course. My husband-to-be is a good man, but not Pure-Blood in our sense, and if there are consequences to this choice I have made, then I shall name them Draco or Narcissa, and the family name will be Rookwood, so close to what it should be . . . and yet not. Much like myself. Your Purring Kat."
*Alchemical analysis puts the writing as some twenty-two years old, and the vague hippo of memory emerges from its wallow, blowing bubbles of a dark-haired girl, not a Slytherin but desperate to be with Tulula, striving endlessly to achieve recognition as her best friend. Tulula, for reasons of her own, let it happen, in a manner, but never spoke of the girl when she wasn't present, seeming to have no awareness of her in her absence. Yes, her name had been Kat, Kat Hardy? No, not exactly. Harrow, that was it! Kat Harrow. And Arcturus remembers how, just before their wedding, he and Tulula went through the ritual of staying away from each other for a handful of days - as though it could matter at that point. Still, his parents had been, well, had manifested vague contentment, so maybe it had some value. Kat had come to him, he remembered now, something about being worried Tulula had changed her mind, and given the consequences of being stood up at the altar, he'd let her in. Now he thinks about it, his recollection runs into a blank at that point.*
*Arcturus' white-knuckled grip crumples the note in its entirety, but his mind is racing. If this is true he could have a daughter - or a SON, out there, unaware of their glorious lineage, but Pure-Blood, maybe pure enough to redeem in the eyes of history the get he had nurtured within these walls, only to see them welcome sickening, alien notions, and embrace, literally, the pariahs and other Untouchables. It's the reverse of the note, a blank slate on which he can write the tale that should have been, especially if it's a true Rookou, a son. Draco - what was it? Oh, yes, Rookwood, for now at least. Draco Rookou. Yes, a name with strong, pure roots. Now - he slams the volume back into the shelf with an energy he hasn't displayed in many a month - to find him.*
HebathThe Rookery -"As you say." – 08:34, September 22, 2012 (UTC)
*Hebath Apparates here for the briefest of moments, seeking the Master over the unexpected re-arrival of Mistress Caecey. Seeing no sign of Arcturus, he returns to the door.*
Shadow– Dark Wizard TALK– 15:24, September 23, 2012 (UTC)
*Arcturus, wondering what Hebath could be bringing him, as high tea is not due for twenty-eight minutes, goes to the door. "You! Well, get in, man, get in before Caecey sees you! My daughter has turned back up, and the last thing we need right now is her setting off her mother's "nose for news", and sniffing around the port barrels."
Shadow– Dark Wizard TALK– 15:35, September 23, 2012 (UTC)
Shadow walked in and closed the door. "Stop screaming. You'll only draw more attention."
*Arcturus curses, but the sight of Hebath already on the ground leaves him with nothing he's willing to do, and he Apparates away to the Withdrawing Room.*
HebathThe Rookery -"As you say." – 11:48, September 25, 2012 (UTC)
*Hebath believes, knowing the Master as he does, that the time may soon come for visitors in this part of the building, and so, as a preliminary step, he pulls the dust covers off the furniture in the Master's least unfavourite salon, and airs out the room.*
HebathThe Rookery -"As you say." – 22:23, September 26, 2012 (UTC)
*Hebath enters the study are with extreme caution, ready to scarper if he seems to be unwanted. He sees Arcturus sitting in one of the high-backed chairs, reading, and does his much-practised discreet "butler's" cough.*
*The rational part of Arcturus - which is a tiny, increasingly unconnected fragment in the bottom left corner of his mind - realises that the old elf is not responsible for the news he bears, but the rest of him draws and points his wand, before, with a snarl, he Disapparates in the direction of the Kitchens.*
*Arcturus twirls the cue reflectively and says, in a clearly rhetorical manner.* "Have we been added as a new Hub to the Floo Network, do you think? Because I'm at a loss to explain the railway station level of traffic through this house of late. Oh, well, better go meet the outcast, I suppose. Hebath, you stay here and do some tidying. I don't want you letting anyone else in while I deal with this, is that clear?"
HebathThe Rookery -"As you say." – 10:02, September 29, 2012 (UTC)
Caecey rushes in, to see her father tapping his cue on the ground. "Father! Ciaran's gone, right out by the stables. I thought he'd gone out for a walk, but it's been a good couple of hours, and he still hasn't come back!" She seems fretful.
"What the hell does the boy think he's doing, keeping me waiting like this? I've a good mind to call this a forfeit, teach him a lesson. You must know, where does he go on these sulks of his? Out into the woods? Please, tell me, he's not still spending time in the Stables themselves."
"Climbed?! Has he forgotten how to use a wand, as well as his wits? Dear God, don't tell me he went without his wand, trying to prove some moronic point about "surviving as a Muggle"? I really, really begin to question whether my blood could possibly flow in that boy's veins."
"He took it, yes, but from what I saw of him he was actually trying to SNAP it. I had half a mind to chase him and ask him what the heck he thought he was doing." She drew her own wand and took a thin string of white out of her head.
She gave this to Arcturus. When this was put in the pensieve it showed Caecey gazing out of the window as Ciaran went out of the door, crossed a large patch of land, his wand lit, and climbed over a high stone wall, and was gone. The memory faded.
"Well? He'll be back, when he gets cold, and hungry, and wet, all of which will happen far sooner than he thinks. I imagine we'll see him before midnight. I suppose I ought to tell Hebath to leave the lights on, just in case the young fool has managed break his wand. Oh well, we all have our little rebellions, I suppose. Remember you and that dreadful blonde hair phase?"
"He took some food, too. Didn't you notice the pies in his bag? Oh yes, and the coat he was wearing. Honestly, couldn't he have cast a charm on himself to stop water, rather than resort to Muggle methods.... and yes, who could have forgotten my "rebellious blonde" phase? I've decided it doesn't suit me at all."
"Well, it doesn't suit me to have my son making a laughing-stock of himself and the family name. A Muggle - what do they call it? Waterproof? did you say? If he took food from the pantries, at least Hebath should be able to give us an idea of how much. What was he thinking? Hah! Probably the wrong question. I should start with "Was he thinking?" "
"Did I ever tell you he had a Muggle-born girlfriend at Hogwarts?" She snorted. "Possibly not. I heard him mumbling things to himself. The only thing I caught was "...tell Hebath" so we could ask Hebath what he knows.
HebathThe Rookery -"As you say." – 14:54, September 23, 2012 (UTC)
*Hebath, having heard his name three times, Apparates here.* "Your commands?"