(1938-11-04) The Brothers Malfoy
Details for The Brothers Malfoy
Summary: Cyril returns from South America, and has a proposal for Cassius. The two brothers spend some time catching up on one another's lives.
Date: 4 November, 1938
Location: Berylwood, London

Cassius was rather surprised when the owl came from his brother. They often spoke of getting together for a visit, but he'd begun to believe it was all lip service for the sake of onlookers. Of course, he had begun to suspect something was afoot when the mysterious crate arrived, containing a five-foot tall golden tablet depicting an Incan deity. The tablet presently resides in the library, propped up on display in the middle of the room. There, Cassius observes the foreign object, tapping his chin and musing in wonderment at the reason Cyril would send him such a hideous thing. Because, of course, a giant chunk of gold from another land has Cyril's touch stamped all over it.

The rumble of a Rolls Royce can be heard for a good while as the car makes it way up the driveway to the door, followed by the slamming of a door as Cyril exits the vehicle. He steps up to the door and raps his knuckles against it before they find their way back into the pocket of his peacoat.

The doors opens within moments, seemingly of its own accord. But, of course, it is thanks to the bowing house-elf standing to the side, clad in an ornately wrapped man's scarf. Without a word, the little creature gestures in the direction of the library, never daring to meet Cyril's eyes.

There was no mistaking the sound of his brother's arrival. When he hears the door shut, Cassius calls out, "In here, Cyril. I'm having a look at your…delivery."

Cyril begins making his way towards the library, calling out through the house, "Ah, yes. I was wondering if it would get here before I did. I pryed that out of a temple wall just for you, brother. It's a shame about the poor soul it landed on." Cyril slides out of his pea coat and hands it, reluctantly, to a house elf to go hang up somewhere. He rounds the corner into the library and smiles at the tablet, "It looks like they got most of the blood out, though. Silver linings."

Cassius is prompted to inspect the deeper crevices of the relief image, narrowing his eyes at a discolouration that might be what remains of the poor fellow that "caught" the tablet. "Yes…I see. But…what is it? South American, I would guess. Am I right?" Cassius knows many things, but matters of archeology are far more in his brother's wheelhouse.

"A dreadfully heavy thing." He raises his eyebrows as he listens to Cassius, "Oh, right. Viracocha. The god of gods in Incan mythology. In his left hand you can see Inti, the sun god, and in his right hand is Mama Killa, the goddess of the moon. I thought you might appreciate the scale of it all." Cyril grins and moves to have a seat in a chair, unbuttoning his suit coat.

Cassius stands upright, taking in the whole of the image. "It certainly has scale. I shall have to think long and hard about what to do with it. Thank you, Cyril. Your consideration is touching." Without looking, he reaches to a side table, ringing a little silver bell. Moments later, the house-elf pops into existence. "Cognac," he orders. "Would you care for a drink, Cyril?"

"I'll have the same," he says in the general direction of the house-elf. Never liked 'em. Never will. Cyril leans back in the chair and crosses one leg over the other, saying, "So, let's have a chat, Cassius. It's been a while since I've seen you. When was it? At my party, right?"

As the house-elf vanishes, Cassius takes a seat opposite Cyril, crossing his legs as well. For all their differences, little similarities in mannerism appear now and then. "It was. Then you skipped out of the country again," he chuckles. "I daresay, you do have the wanderlust in you, brother."

"I just had a few things I needed to wrap up. Securing a reliable courier for that being one of them." Cyril jerks his head in the direction of the tablet. "What gave it away?" He grins at his brother and continues, "So, tell me, how goes the movement? Beset on all sides as usual?"

Cassius folds his hands in his lap, laughing politely at Cyril's humour. "Oh, of course. We have support and opposition from every part of the spectrums. Purists love us because we are finally establishing control over the Muggles. Purists hate us because we are Muggle-lovers. The bleeding hearts love us because we are so understanding of the Muggles. The bleeding hearts hate us because we want to oppress the Muggles. The contradictions do make for a wonderfully complex and amusing game."

"Yes, well that is the nature of politics, isn't it? Never just the two sides. Now, I've been mulling something around in my head for a time and I'd like to run it by you, if you wouldn't mind," remarks Cyril as he pulls a cigarette case from his pocket, "I can never remember, can I smoke in here?"

Cassius gestures permissively. "Please do." With a mild pop, the house-elf reappears with two snifters of cognac, which levitate over to side tables by each man. Barring any further orders, the elf vanishes again as Cassius continues. "Alright, you've piqued my curiosity. What is on your mind?"

Cyril produces a lighter from his pocket and lights up the end of his cigarette, setting the lighter and case on the table next to him. He takes a long drag and exhales before saying, "I've been looking for employment, let's say…a little closer to home. All this travelling is taking a toll on my old wounds." He slides the case toward Cassius by way of offering and continues, "Now, I assume Alis is still your head of security?"

Cassius shakes his head, lifting the cognac to his face to inhale the scent before sampling a taste. "No, she's gone. A family affair has consumed her for the time being…and indefinitely, I would imagine. A pity, but I'm getting by. The agency has always served me well, though I do miss having a more familiar bodyguard on hand."

"Oh…" Cyril says before he falls silent for a moment, obviously rattling things around in his head. "Well, therein lies my offer, then. Now, I understand that our previous locking of horns may lead you to say no, but I would be remiss if I did not propose my services to you first. What would you say to taking me own as your bodyguard, brother?" He takes a drag from his cigarette and rests it in the nearby ashtray before lifting his own glass to take a sip.

A lesser man might have choked on his cognac. Cassius manages to simply freeze for a moment, staring at his brother with muted disbelief. "Well, this is an interesting proposal." He sets the snifter down and steeples his fingers against his lips thoughtfully. "I hope you understand that any hesitation on my part is not merely due to our tumultuous past. I had difficulty with Alis at first, because she simply did not fully understand the rules and social customs of the world we inhabit. You are actually from this world, but…you often choose to eschew those customs." He arches an eyebrow in query. "Do you see where I'm going with this?"

"I do. You are curious as to whether or not I remember the good governess' lessons on which fork goes with your salad or not. I assure you, brother, I am more than capable of attending a soiree and not killing someone or slapping a waitress' behind." Cyril grins, taking another sip from the glass and waiting.

"It's more than that," Cassius continues. "If you are seen to be more than my blood, it will be taken to mean that you are part of my organisation. Whether or not you support the Unity Party, your actions will reflect upon it. That includes your behaviour when not acting as my bodyguard." He lifts a hand in an effort to calm any possible backlash. "This is not a judgement of your lifestyle. It is merely the reality of politics."

"Well, dear brother, let's just say I've put that life behind me." Cyril stands up from his seat, setting the glass down as he does so, and walks over to where the stone tablet sits. He takes a breath and runs a slow, contemplative hand across its surface, "You know, for the longest time…all I ever really wanted from life was to be…I don't know, I guess the 'apple of father's eye'. Surely you remember you remember our school years? Top marks, the finest duelist that stage had ever seen, so on and so forth. It was always just…to compete with you, Cassius. That's what it was all about. The grades, the dabbling in Muggle politics, the hoarding of gold: just to compete for father's affections." Cyril's hand remains on the tablet, but his head hangs a little bit, as he goes about compiling some more thoughts.

Cassius furrows his brow pensively at his brother. "Compete with me? Cyril, whatever gave you the impression that I had father's affections? The moment it became clear that I wasn't going to be seeking a career in the Healing arts, I was a grave disappointment. You were the star at Hogwarts, not I."

"I know, I know. Let me just get to the point." Cyril clears his throat and continues, turning around to face his brother, "I guess somewhere deep in my mind I thought that because you went into politics that father loved you more. The thought of that was like poison in my veins, driving me to do just unspeakable things." Cyril slides his hands into his pockets and continues, "But…these days, I've found that I don't have the heart for it, anymore. I can't hate you like I once did, because I know that above all else, you are my brother and a Malfoy has no stronger commitment than to his family." Cyril walks toward Cassius and halts just in front of him, offering him a hand, "So, whether you accept my offer or not, I extend my apologies to you and a truce to a war you didn't even know you were in. I love you, Cassius. Always have, always will."

Cassius often touts his love of his family. But it doesn't mean he trusts them. As he takes the offered hand and rises to his feet, he meets his brother's eyes with caution and hope blending in his own. But as he looks, he extends his senses, seeking to dive deeper and touch the surface of Cyril's thoughts, looking for some sign that this is genuine, and not a Malfoy game.

During all of Cassius' brain digging, he finds that Cyril's words are, in fact, genuine. Along with a few of the reasons behind them. Most notably: Cyril is tired. The older brother shakes Cassius' hand solidly and releases it, asking, "So? Yes or no?"

"I love you, too," Cassius said quietly, drawing his brother in for a fraternal embrace. "Let us quarrel no more." He claps Cyril's shoulders, then reaches to pick up both of their glasses, offering Cyril's to him. He lifts the cognac in toast. "To brotherhood. Let no man sunder what bonds we forge."

Cyril lifts his own glass and nods to Cassius, a grin forming on his lips. "To brotherhood," he responds, before taking a sip from the glass and setting it down. "Now, what news of yourself. Let's cast discussions of politics and such aside for now. Anything interesting happening in the realm of Cassius Malfoy?"

Cassius gestures back to their chairs after they drink, and retakes his own. "Indeed, we'll come back to all of that. But as it happens, yes, I do have news. I have decided to court Miss Rhyeline Diderot. I'm sure you remember her."

Cyril moves to take back his seat, as well. "Oh? Well, that certainly is a development. I've shared a few meals with Miss Diderot in the past. Not for hope of courting, of course. She's quite an interesting woman."

Cassius smiles warmly. "Isn't she? I admit, from my very first encounter with her, I was quite taken with her intellect. Not that I was seeking to court her then, myself. But it was one of the reasons I lobbied to bring her into my employ. But she has quite grown on me, and she grasps the complexities of being married to a Malfoy. So, we shall see how the courtship goes. But I have high hopes."

"I imagine I should be looking toward marrying soon, myself. I must admit, though, that there's n one in particular that's caught my eye at the time. Not for more than a dalliance, of course." Cyril picks up the cigarette he left burning a moment ago and takes a drag from it, exhaling the smoke away from Cassius, "So, how long do you imagine you'll let this courtship last before you propose marriage?"

"She only accepted a week ago, so I have some time, I think," Cassius chuckles. "But I'm a patient man. It took about a year before I even decided this is what I wanted. She is equally patient, and weighs her decisions carefully. A few months, at the very least. But you really should consider marriage, especially if you're looking for a new lifestyle. A good woman might be just what you need to change your perspective."

"Aye, I suppose you're probably right. Though, who knows if for the better?" Cyril grins and snuffs the cigarette out in the ash tray before hefting his glass up again, "I suppose I need something to do, now that I've officially retired from my treasure hunting days. Perhaps I could give a lecture at Hogwarts on Muggle studies. Bah, teaching's not for me."

"Perhaps not, but talking about your exploits suits you." Cassius grins with a bit of teasing. "I haven't rejected your proposal to be my bodyguard, just so you know. I'm considering it. But give me time. What about the museum? You've got a certain expertise they might appreciate. Or, there might be a lucrative career in importing antiquities. Again, your past experience would be a boon."

"The museum never got back to me," muses Cyril. "I'm seriously considering breaking in and stealing my coin back." Cyril grins and crosses his legs, downing the rest of his glass and setting it aside. "I'll have to think on it. I mean, I could live a good life off of my savings right now, but doing nothing for too long would drive me insane, I imagine."

Cassius nods, obviously in agreement. "You're a man of action. You can't go from that to a life of leisure. It doesn't suit you at all." He taps his glass thoughtfully. "You know, if you are considering taking a wife, I could put out my feelers. I'm sure Rhyeline might have a few notions, as well."

"I would appreciate that, Cassius. I imagine having your support couldn't hurt any." Cyril plucks his cigarette case and lighter up from the table and has a look around, "I imagine I should be on my way. I promised Barney that I'd take him to the zoo later."

Cassius nods and rises to his feet to see his brother off. "Of course. We both have things to consider. We'll do this again soon, I hope. But who the Devil is Barney?"

"Oh! He's my valet. You know of my distaste for House Elves, of course." Cyril grins and offers a hand to Cassius and says, "Go ahead and begin preparing a lunch between you, me, and your lady. I would very much like to talk to her again, soon."

Cassius smiles, clasping Cyril's hand firmly. "I'm sure she would very much like it as well. She'll be especially pleased to know that we are putting our differences behind us. Come, I'll walk you out myself," bypassing the house-elf issue, entirely.

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