(1937-12-20) Honour and Necessity
Details for Honour and Necessity
Summary: In the aftermath of Josie's rescue, Bannon and Lucian have a talk about what they experienced, and the tensions between them.
Date: December 20, 1937
Location: Fawley Farm
Related: Personal Demons

After the rescue of Josie, things seem almost quiet on the home front of the Fawley Family farm. Josie has gone in with Camilla, and Bannon is escorting Lucian to the front yard, where the bench is that is often used to quiet contemplation and such things. He turns towards Lucian as they approach, "Will you sit down, Lucian?" He adds after a moment, "You've just been through a lot. It helps to talk things through." Gone is the sharp cadences of his usual vocal patterns, this voice is much more soothing in tone. Bannon takes a spot on the bench as well, removing his bowler and looking inside for a moment. He reaches into his hat, almost up to his elbow, rummaging around for some particular item.

Lucian moves without thinking, obediently sitting down with his wand clutched, white-knuckled, in his fist. He has a vacant stare, his mind not exactly in the present. A single event plays over and over in his head. Finally, he speaks in a hoarse murmur. "I killed him. Am I going to Azkaban?" He asks as casually as if he were asking Bannon to pass the marmalade.

Bannon seems to find what he is looking for, removing a bar of chocolate from the the confines of the red-banded bowler. He peers towards Lucian for a moment, and then asks, "Did you say Azkaban?" He blinks, placing his hat back on his head. He reaches out, taking Lucian's wand between his thumb and forefinger, "There now, lad. Only one going to Azkaban is Adelwald Kriegsbruder. The kidnapper. The murderer. The dark wizard. Now, think you can let go of this?" He opens the wrapper of the chocolate bar with one hand, breaking off a piece and offering it to Lucian, "I'll trade you. It will make you feel better."

Lucian tightens his grip on his wand, his eyes narrowing slightly at Bannon. There is still mistrust there, no doubt about it. He tugs the wand away, and slides it into his pocket. He doesn't make any move for the chocolate. "So what happens now?" He asks flatly.

Bannon pulls away as Lucian does, "Easy lad. Just didn't want you doing anything Camilla would make us regret later. Blowing up her barn, overwatering her grass, things like that." He takes a deep breath, "Well, you and I will sit here and eat this chocolate until Camilla calls us in to dinner. You won't mention this chocolate, because I don't want to hear anything about spoiling your appetite later." He takes a chunk off the top of the chocolate bar, putting it in his mouth and chewing. A moment later, he continues, "Tomorrow, I'll submit my report to the Ministry's Department of Magical Law Enforcement. There will be an inquiry into the matter." He offers the chocolate again, "It's alright, lad. It's good for far more than Dementor attacks."

Lucian sighs, staring hard down at his open palms in his lap. "His head came off. I've never done a Severing Charm that powerful…and never against a person. Fuck." His hands go to his forehead, as if trying to keeping something from bursting out. "Is the Ministry going to charge me with something? Just tell me."

Bannon nods his head, "Yes, it was a particularly powerful severing curse that you used to counter a particularly powerful blasting curse. It would have killed you had that curse actually fully developed. There are laws in place for Wizards to duel to kill in matters of defense of their own lives, and in the defense of another's life. You did not use one of the Unforgivables. You will not face charges." He then adds over another piece of chocolate, "The Aurors will use a spell on the slain wizard's wand named Priori Incantatum. It will establish that he attacked you with a particularly deadly curse, and you were within your rights to defend yourself under the Decree for Reasonable Restrictions on Underage Sorcery, as well as the International Statues of Wizarding Secrecy." He then pushes the chocolate towards Lucian again, "Are you sure you don't want any chocolate? You're missing out, son."

Lucian gives the chocolate a disdainful look, shaking his head. "I'm not underage. I'm sixteen. That's why I can stay here. My father wouldn't have allowed me, if it were up to him." He stands up, taking just one step to lean a shoulder against a support pillar on the porch. He faces away from the house, gazing out over the farm. "So…that's it, then? Everything goes back to normal, now?"

Bannon shrugs his shoulders, taking another bite of the chocolate. He shrugs his shoulders, "Well, that depends on you. A good man will reflect on the reasons he did what he had to do, ensure they were for the right reasons, and make peace with that. It is a terrible thing, to take another's life, Lucian Proudmore. It takes its toll on a man. What you will wrestle with most, I imagine, is that what was necessary was not honorable." Having talked enough for a moment, he lets that sink in with a bite into the chocolate bar. He then continues, "The only advice I can give you there is advice that was given to me once long ago, by a very experienced Auror to a very young Bannon Bates who, much like you, had to do what was necessary. What is necessary, Lucian, is not always honorable, which does not make it any less necessary." He looks up toward Luc, "Do you understand?"

Lucian turns around to face Bannon, a hint of a frown on his face. "You really don't get me at all. There's no question in my mind that what I did was honourable. I'd kill a dozen of those men to protect Josie if I had to. There's honour in that." Despite the conviction in his voice, his eyes cast about, lost. "My honour is intact. I just feel…" He trails off, shrugging, at a loss for words.

Bannon returns the frown, "Less and less, the more I talk to you. Why don't you make it a point to explain it, sometime? You and I live by different codes of honor. I think they are similar in purpose, but differ in execution." He listens for a moment longer and then asks, "Everyone reacts to taking a life differently, Lucian. Do you feel lost? Do you feel nothing at all? Do like the feeling perhaps?"

Lucian looks purposefully away, finding something, anything to look at other than Bannon's face. "I don't know." Or he doesn't intend to talk about it. "Look, I get that we fought together. So maybe you feel like we shared something. But like I said, I was there for Josie. You still treated me like dirt. So don't expect me to suddenly start looking to you for sage advice. I'll be fine. Don't worry about me." The last few words come out in a mumble, not nearly as forceful as the rest of it.

Bannon responds quickly, "But I do, Lucian. I do worry about you." He pauses for a moment, tearing off a piece of chocolate to eat now. He folds up the rest, placing it on the bench, "I never did tell you one thing about my dealings with Jones, as at the time, I thought it was none of your business. Though I now realize that it is following you around. I swore him to never use that spell again on the dueling strip. If you think I treated you like dirt, I assure you Jones caught it too. Going back to what I said before about what is necessary is not always honorable. Honor demanded that Jones never compete in that tournament again, but it was necessary that Jones compete again to prove he could conduct himself on the dueling strip in a sportsmanlike manner." He adds, "I didn't expect you to understand that at the time, and I still don't now. What I do know is that one day, you will look back at the No Magic in the Halls tournament and realize it was just some competition in school, no different than a quidditch match." He then shrugs, "As for the other stuff I said… I don't honor dueling like you do. It is my opinion that dueling is a means to survive in a very dangerous world. Still, that didn't give me the right to disparage your opinion on the matter. For that, I apologize, Lucian."

Lucian crosses his arms, his eyes slowly finding Bannon's again. His tone is hard, but relatively calm. "I struggle every week to teach people like Jones about dueling. Not just how to handle their wands, but how to do it respectfully and honourably. You kicked the legs out from under everything I try to teach. Honour is strength, Auror Bates. Honour is why I could cast that Severing Charm. Without it, I guarantee I'd have choked, and I'd be dead. Maybe you would be, too, and Josie." He shakes his head, breathing wearily, the events of the day having left him wasted. "It isn't just about pride. It is about survival, and being better than we were. You didn't help Jones. You robbed him of the chance to learn that life isn't forgiving. You showed everyone at that school that they can do what he did, and suffer almost nothing for it."

Bannon shakes his head, "Not necessarily. I didn't kick the legs out from under what you try to teach, I just didn't take the opportunity to reinforce it. Honor is honor, strength is strength, Lucian. There are people like Adelwald Kriegsbruder who do not have an honorable bone in their body, yet remain powerful wizards in the extreme. What allowed you to cast that severing charm today was composure, which you were able to keep, be it by honor or some other means. Life is not cut and dry, Lucian. Some destinations are arrived at by multiple avenues of travel. What Jones needed was not what you thought he needed. And I did nothing of the sort. The students of Hogwarts have enough sense to know that a blasting curse is not to be used lightly. The problem was that Jones took leave of his senses during the duel, and what was necessary was a stern reprimand to know that those curses would not be tolerated, and forgiveness was shown to him. Life is full of forgiveness, Lucian. I'm so sorry you have not experienced it up to this point."

"Life forgives accidentally knocking over the salt. It doesn't forgive nearly killing someone…or really doing it." Lucian pushes off from the pillar to step away, dropping down from the deck. "I'm going for a walk. Tell Camilla not to wait on me for dinner." He strolls away at a slow pace, his eyes on the ground, but unfocused.

Bannon stands from the bench, "But it does, Lucian. Life forgives killing a man in defense of your life, especially if its in the defense of your own life. I know this far better than I hope and pray that you ever will. There is no parallel between what Jones did and what this dark wizard was about to do to you, as you were in no danger. Any comparison you continue to draw is an unfair assessment. No student was ever in danger during the tournament. Jones could have thrown the Killing Curse at you and you would have been perfectly fine. So I did what was necessary. I took first place out of Jones' reach, corrected his behavior, and gave him his chance to prove himself. One day, I hope you learn moderation in your responses to things that occur in your general vicinity. I hope you set aside your pride and realize that you don't always know what is best." He then sighs, "I'll tell her. I'm sure she will leave a plate for you, if you're hungry later."

Lucian pauses only briefly to glance over his shoulder at Bannon. It's difficult to read his expression with the distance he's put between them, but it isn't especially friendly. That much is clear. There is a moment when he seems about to say something, but no words come. He just shakes his head and keeps walking, head hanging low.

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