(1938-12-06) An Evening Drive
Details for An Evening Drive
Summary: Two Malfoy siblings drive around Hogsmeade in an elaborate closed landau carriage. IC:OOC Warning - Things are discussed in this log which are not common knowledge, given the enclosed nature of this scene this information cannot be 'overheard' or gleaned somehow in another way.
Date: 6 December 1938
Location: Hogsmeade

As she takes the hand of the footman and steps up into the ornate closed landau carriage, Medusa smiles delightedly at Cassius. Dressed, at least outwardly with some sensibility for the ever changing inclement weather of Scotland, beneath her woolen coat she wears a silk blouse and pair of trousers. "Good afternoon, brother." Once she has nestled in next to Cassius and has the warm fur over her lap the footman closes the door. Within moments they are moving.

Cassius smiles warmly at the arrival of his younger sister, offering a hand to help her get settled inside. "Medusa, good afternoon. Bracing, this Scotland air, isn't it?" He chuckles. "There, the weather discussion requirement has been fulfilled. So, tell me the latest. Any news since your last letter?"

"I had a letter from Mother. Either she is becoming more addled as the years take their toll and completely misunderstood my previous letter or they do not consider my staying with you to be for the entire holidays, bar a week at the end, to be a good idea." Medusa reaches up and pulls her hair off the back of her neck, lifting it out from beneath the collar of her coat. "That idiot boy Julian Edwards, the one who wrote the petition might end up expelled. He tried to fight a student outside the town limits and from what I hear attacked his opponent unexpectedly. But as for developments with Flint, not really. He's so far been rather hands off with us and that…well it makes me wonder what is coming." She has always been suspicious, even as a child.

Cassius's brow lofts at the news about Julian Edwards, tutting softly at the whole, messy affair. The thought of Flint being cold and distant doesn't surprise him in the least, and he shows it with a derisive snort and a smirk. But then, there is Mother. "Hm…yes. Mother has expressed to me how she worries for you. Is it true you informed our parents that you would not be returning home for the holiday? You do understand that we are all expected to spend Christmas with the family." Such emphasis is placed on that word, 'family'.

"I will be with family. I will be with you and Edwarlinda and Circe. The only family who doesn't belittle my existence or constantly seek to remind me of a mistake I made nine months ago yet am to be continuously punished for." She looks down at her lap, stroking a hand over the smooth fur. "I have studying to do, so most of my time I will be in whatever room you assign to me. The only exception are three days after Boxing Day, when I have been invited to the Rashleys. I was going to go to stay with Douglas' family, who are genuinely nice people who don't treat their children like societal bargaining chips, but only for the new year and then come from there back to school. However, it seems as if our lovely interfering parents decided to tell them I won't be coming."

"The situation is far more complex than you are giving credit for," Cassius says softly. "Medusa, you're a young woman now, and you are beginning to enter a new world. You seem to have embraced the notion, and for a time, I believed you were learning how to manage our parents and navigate the realities that are about to come crashing down on you. But I must admit, you have me concerned now." Outside, the edges of the village can be seen as the carriage departs Hogsmeade. "I am very worried that you are about to do serious damage to your future. Let me help you."

Showing her age she groans in frustration. "Why can't they let me alone like they did you three? I'm not running off with some half-blood or planning to run naked through the streets of Pamplona being chased by bulls?" Medusa sighs and turns to look out the window. "I know they will never be proud of me no matter what I do. To Father I am the stupid one. I didn't even want to do five NEWTs. I hate school. I have been ever so tempted to just walk away. What are they going to do to me? Disown me? Take away my money?" Her head falls back against the cushioned wall of the carriage. "They've done one of those already."

"Slow down, Medusa," Cassius maintains a quiet, mellow tone, always offering her a sympathetic smile. "First, I should tell you that you couldn't be more wrong about the rest of us. We were never let alone. Honestly, if my opinion means anything, I would say Father is easier on you than any of the rest of us. But he's worried, too. He sees what happened with Edwarlinda, and though he'd never admit it, he is terrified that you'll end up on a similar path."

If she shook her head more vehemently it would fall off. "No. I do not want a child. Nor do I plan to rush off and try to save the world. I am far more pragmatic in my plans than that. I have no delusions of grandeur either," Medusa informs her brother. "I have a solid business planned out as well as housing. I am," she pauses because for all her bravado she doesn't want their parents to disown her, "I am planning for the inevitable. I know myself well enough to know I will not do well in my written exams no matter how hard I try. My hope is that the practical ones will help balance out the theory, but that is only a hope."

"I believe you," he says calmly. "But what I believe will only have minor influence on Father. Right now, what he sees is you getting wrapped up in a young man with a reputation for scandal and failure. Of course I told Mother that when I met your Douglas, he was utterly charming and very respectful. But she's an Obliviator. She knows how to read even me. So, naturally, she is aware that I spent all of ten minutes in the young man's presence — hardly enough time to get a proper sense for him. Listen, your business plan — which I would love to hear, by the way — is a good thing, I'm sure. It will show Father that you have initiative and ambition. But this business with young Mister Macmillan has Father in a terrible twist. Now, you can certainly defy him, turn away from family, and hope to press on and make it on your own. But tell me. How many Malfoys have you ever heard of that have broken away from the family? It isn't done, Medusa. There is no clan more tightly knit than ours, and our family name is staked on that bond. Do you understand?"

"I know," she says rather dejectedly. "I know the only way to get out is through marriage and I am not going to marry at eighteen. Not for years." Medusa's fingers find the golden pendant hanging from her neck, not for comfort but just for something to fidget with. "I sometimes wish I'd been born a Nott. Life would be much easier, but for all that they aren't proud of me I am proud of myself and I know I am a good Malfoy. I might not be good at tests but I am good with people." With a bitter laugh she concedes, "Except for Father. Sometimes as a child I used to wonder if he was able to read my mind. That way he has of staring at you and knowing, just knowing you did something he disproved of."

Cassius chuckles softly. "If I were you, I'd be more worried about Mother. She's the mistress of mind magic. Father…well, father has mastered the Iron Stare. He'd just stare us down until our guilt showed on our faces. You get a bit of that from him, you know." He gives her a wink. "Listen, even marriage wouldn't get you out of being a Malfoy. But I'm delighted to hear that you're not considered it for an avenue of escape. Don't try to escape us, Medusa. We're your family, for better or for worse. Father is harsh, yes. But you are not alone. Speaking of which, I did as you asked. I looked into your financial situation. There is trust money. But…there are some issues. The money remains under our parents' control until two things have happened. First, you must complete seven years of schooling. You're already on that path, so no worries there. But the second part is where it gets dicey. You must also be able to demonstrate 'reasonable professional progress'. That means either completing a Ministry-sanctioned course of professional training, or Father and Mother decide that whatever progress you have made is sufficient. Getting around that caveat would require some legal footwork that would undoubtedly not sit well with the family."

"True," laughs Medusa. "I don't want to stop being a Malfoy, not really. I am merely tired of being…being seen as they see me. I know I am to blame because I shut them out. They were young when you were a child. To me they have always been old." Not that they were the type of parents to get on the floor and play games with any of their children. She sighs heavily when Cassius explains the situation. "I knew there would be a catch. I told Edwarlinda there would be. How can she fight dark wizards and not see manipulation in a more mundane sense?"

Cassius sighs and smiles. "Lin tends to see the world is stark black and white, without much grey in between. People are basically good or bad to her, and I think that no matter how she might chafe against our parents, they will always remain firmly in the category of Good."

Medusa shifts her legs beneath the fur throw, crossing them at the knee. "I can't dance to their puppet strings, Cassius. I can't. But Douglas is right, I need to stop being defeatist and try to win them over." For all that she dislikes being disproved of by their father it may well be that Medusa is the most like him, especially in her stubbornness. Sighing deeply she asks, "How can I convince him, because that's the jist of this, without giving up everything that is good and supportive in my life - which includes my friends?"

"You won't get something for nothing," Cassius warns. "You like chess, don't you? You know very well that you must make sacrifices if you intend to capture the King. First, you must understand that you can never force him to see you a certain way. Changing his vision of you will take time, and subtlety. You were doing quite well at recovering from last year's debacle. But your recent…insistence, shall we say, has undoubtedly made him question your sincerity in your efforts to demonstrate true Malfoy behaviour. Unfortunately, Douglas Macmillan has become the symbol of your aberrance, and you can be certain he is blamed for leading you astray."

"Douglas is non-negotiable." Medusa is quite firm on that. "Why would they think I would want to return to them after how unhappy and miserable I was before? Surely, - nevermind. Clearly it doesn't matter." She drops her hands to her lap, lacing them together. "I am not going for a ministry job. We both know I will never get the grades for a decent one and I won't embarrass myself or the family by accepting something beneath the name of Malfoy. Besides which I know my business idea is sound. I even ran it by Cyril."

Cassius pinches his lips, frowning sadly. "Douglas has to be negotiable. At least for now. Medusa, this is bigger than you and he. If you persist in this relationship, it affects more than just the two of you, and believe me, Father can and will do worse than merely cut you off. Do not dig your heels in. He is far more stubborn than you are, and he will win that game every time."

"Then explain to me why it is bigger than my relationship with someone who looks after me, is willing to sacrifice themselves and take pain for me - someone who loves me unconditionally. Not because I am a Malfoy or have wealth but me." Her chin juts towards the world outside the window, "Right now my world is a cloistered smothering spite filled castle full of back stabbing miniature versions of Aunt Ismene and the one person who keeps me there is him." Medusa slips a hand beneath the throw and fishes about. Her wand gets dropped onto Cassius' lap. "See that? That is what being in the stupid Magijugend means. An oath to look after your own and a wand which will snap in two if you break that oath. This is what school has become and Father has Mother tell me how proud he is that I'm part of that?"

Cassius picks up the wand, his brow forming a deep scowl as he examines the strange little iron ring that doesn't seem to belong there. "Snap in two? What in the world has Flint got you doing?" For the moment the matter of Douglas is set aside, as Cassius seems to have discovered something much more worrisome.

"I was right, when I told you before that he makes people take an oath." Medusa nods towards her blackthorn wand. "He also does that. There three questions every applicant must answer. Part of my duties as overseer are to conduct the interviews now." A frown brings down the corners of her mouth. "Everyone is asked two pointless questions and then the third which to my mind seems the real question; they are asked their thoughts on teaching magic to muggle borns and half bloods like your girl." Yes, it seems even Medusa has heard of his impending potential betrothal. "We write down their answers and also how they behave then send him a report, from that and - I assume - some other intelligence he makes his decision. If you are in you have to sign an oath, I never took runes but he is an expert so I suspect it to be some kind of rune charmed parchment turning it into a non-verbal unbreakable vow." She sounds tired as she relays the last bit of the ritual, "And then he puts one of those rings on your wand."

Cassius frowns deeply, examining the ring closely before offer her wand back to her. "I am no artificer, nor runemaster. But I know contracts. I assume he has underage students signing as well? That would have no legal authority. But he wouldn't make you sign if it had no binding power, so it must be magical. Do you have a copy of the contract?"

She reaches up and removes her necklace then sets it down between them so Cassius can look at that too. "The actual contracts? He keeps them. Most of the Majigugend are underage. I can tell you that mine was different, my contract. In fact the whole interview was different. He didn't ask me much at all, but because I wanted in, wanted to know what was going on from the inside I told him what I thought would be expected of Medusa Malfoy." Because he is her family and that means she has to trust him at least somewhat Medusa says, "I have nothing against mudbloods, though I don't associate with them but they have uses. Muggles are another matter. I have no use for them, but I don't live in fear of them either. That said, since I am hoping - oh I do have some of it." She rummages in her pocket again and pulls out her little black book. She lightly touches her wand to it before flipping through the pages. Even without the odd charm placed on the book someone would be hard pressed to understand her coded system.

Cassius folds his hands in his lap, nodding and listening. "I wonder if your contract was the same as the others, then. Being in a position of authority, it is almost necessary that you would have greater freedom." He looks to her book, arching an eyebrow curiously and waiting for her to continue.

"I didn't really note my own oath down as much as what happened which was different, this is more what Douglas and Alphard Black signed." From when she was researching the group. Medusa's brows knit together over her steel blue eyes, "They had to agree that magic was for wizardkind only. Promise to defend true wizards and magic against its enemies, protect others in the group and not reveal secrets." She closes the book. "When you sign the oath the paper flashes a colour but mine was different. I expect Aria Sykes wasn't even asked to sign, she already had an eye charm bracelet before the group even started."

"Well that's not surprising," Cassius mutters. "The Sykeses are the foremost Grindelwald supporters in Britain." He goes silent a moment, thinking over what she has told him about the contract. "Well, your wand hasn't snapped, so I'm guessing you haven't just revealed to me some deep secret. That much is good news. In the interest of maintaining your wand's integrity, I suggest you say nothing more to me on the subject. But thank you for bringing this terribly interesting news to my attention."

"Funnily enough though, only she has joined. The other two aren't part of it." Medusa taps her wand to her book making it look blank again and then pockets both items. "I am sorry if my name being on the rebuttal to the petition caused you any political fallout. I had no choice to support it."

Cassius waves it off. "I wouldn't worry about it. The petition news passed quickly. It was a valiant effort by that young man, but hardly the wisest course of action." He takes a deep breath. "Back to the business at hand. Douglas. Believe me when I say I'm thrilled that he supports you so strongly. You're lucky to have someone so loyal. But if you want to keep him, and live a life that isn't going to be constantly undermined until you line up in Father's marching order, you'd better employ some more strategic thinking."

"I doubt he would listen to me if I tried to explain my thinking." Medusa's mouth once more turns into a frown. "He doesn't trust me. He took away my clothing. My bedding. Even my bedroom in effort to make his point that I was nothing without his approval. I am struggling, Cassius, truly struggling. Do they want to break me and make me into some meek little mouse that cowers in corners and fetches them cups of tea and slippers or do they want me to be a Malfoy?"

Cassius shakes his head vehemently. "No. No they don't. In particular, Mother doesn't. You must learn to read between the lines of what she says. If you think it's bad with Father now, try picturing it without Mother there as a buffer. Father is no politician. But you…you have a touch of it in you, I think. Enough to employ subtlety when necessary. No, explaining things to Father won't win him over. You must win him over. You can't outwit him or force him to relent. The best way to handle Balaurius Malfoy is to lead him to draw the conclusions you want him to. If you are more receptive to Mother, you might find an ally in her."

Teenage girls and their mothers rarely make good allies, except perhaps against their respective father and husband. "That's what Douglas said, but she is unpredictable. Her last letter was typical Mother. The one before that…" Medusa pulls a face. "Sometimes I swear she thinks I am still eleven." Before he can chastise her she lightly nudges Cassius, "And yes, I know how immature it sounds whinging about how our parents don't see me as being mature."

Cassius smiles. "I remember what it's like being a teenager. Try rereading her letters. Consider what she does and doesn't say. You may find that Mother is far less 'typical' than you think. She's a cunning woman. How else do you think she's handled Father all these years?" He chuckles, smiling with great amusement. "Listen, I won't lie to you. I have my reservations about Macmillan, too. But that is only because I love you, and I want the best for you. But, call me a romantic, but if you truly love him, then fight for him. But fight like a Malfoy. Father will respect you that much more for it."

Medusa nods slowly, thinking over what he is saying. "I do love him. I might even marry him. It would mean I don't need to design a new monogram." Joking aside she purses her lips. "I will simply have to appeal to that part of Father which is more important than all of us; familial pride." As the carriage rolls to a stop Medusa leans over and kisses Cassius on the cheek. "Thank you. You have given me much to consider and I am pleased the petition did not harm you. I was worried but I wouldn't put it past people to check the post so I try not to send anything too personal through it if I can."

Cassius welcomes the kiss, returning one of his own. "Familial pride should be important to all of us. Even Father's is wrapped up in his love of his family, which does include us, you know." He grins, taking her hand for a moment. "I, too, hold family above all else, dear sister." With a warm smile, he releases her as the footman opens the carriage door.

Perhaps because her recent experience has coloured her perception of their parents; this punishment being something none of the elders have been put through, but Medusa is going to need a lot of convincing before she believes their Father loves her. "Travel safely," she says as she alights from the carriage. "With luck I will be given a day release so I can see your new home." An impish grin and she is gone, the door once more closed.

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