(1939-01-26) Brotherly Reunion Over a Fry-Up
Details for Brotherly Reunion Over a Fry-Up
Summary: Cassiel comes to finally force his little brother to actually sit down with him the best way he knows how: with a heart-clogging breakfast.
Date: 26 January, 1939
Location: Alaric's Residence, London
Related:
Characters
KahrenCassiel

Kahren and Alaric are both upstairs in Alaric's bedroom - laying on his bed, and staring up at the ceiling. It's morning, and Kahren's just woken from a night of mild drunkenness. "Well. Seeing as I am a princess and all - I am now seeing my regalia. My crown, just there," she points. "And my sceptor," she points again. "And just over there, the royal cloak."

Alaric blinks a little at Kahren's response. For Alaric, every night is a night of mild drunkenness really, at beast. At worst, he doesn't remember those nights. But as he lies on the bed, he squints at the spots that Kahren points at. He nods at the first, looks a little dubious at the second and shake his head at the third.
"That one, love, I think is the royal carpet, not the royal cloak. We're gonna have to get your eyes checked."

"Incorrigible git," Kahren protests, giving her uncle another light shove. She smiles, and starts to push herself up on one arm. "I really should see to starting something for breakfast, though."

"Yup, I'm getting hungry now," Alaric pats his stomach, grinning as he gets shoved by Kahren. "Don't forget to drink your water when you get downstairs," he says and with that, he sits up, stretching. "I'm gonna go splash some water to wake up, I'll meet you there," he tells his 'little sister', pushing up and getting off the bed completely. He stretches one more time, and to the bathroom he goes.

Drink… that common bond that brings all Umbridges together. A year. Cassiel was a patient man. Really, he was. But family was family… and he'd given his brother space. Sure, they'd met on occasion on the street, or more often at the Cauldron, but this was Alaric. Kid brother. So it was time to make a real meeting of it.
And with Cassiel, that meant breakfast. Good breakfast. Which is likely why there was a large bag over his shoulder with the applicable makings.
And so, after standing at the door and staring at it for nearly a full five minutes, Cassiel sets his cane against the door-frame, and knocks, a stiff three knocks.

Just coming down the stairs, Kahren frowns at the knock at the door. Who would be stopping by in the morning…? "I'll see who it is!" she calls to Alaric, making the way to the front door. And so it is the normally prim and proper Kahren who opens the door - in rumpled robes, witn unbrushed hair escaping from pins set the day before. She blinks in surprise, then opens the door wider with a smile. "He's just washing up a bit," she greets her uncle. "I was just about to start some break- oh, but you've brought, haven't you?"

*SPLASH*
The water hits his face all over, and Alaric shakes his head as if to shake it off. He reaches for a towel, and rubs at it hard, using the sensation to help wake himself up. He missed the knock on the door, but heard Kahren's call about seeing who it is.
Plopping down the stairs, wearing a dark grey long sleeved shirt, trousers and bare feet he stops at the bottom of the stairs as he sees the man with Kahren.
"Brother," he notes in greeting, then takes a few more steps. "Please, do come in."

It's with a wide smile that Cassiel greets Kahren, reaching over to pick up his cane again, hand wrapping about the blasted plastic door-handle top. He takes in her appearance for a moment, and Alaric's as he steps into view as well, and once the offer to enter is made, he does so. "Indeed I did!" Cassiel responds to her statement first, with his typical flare. "It has been far too long since Ric," he uses the nickname that he always used for Alaric, regardless of his personal preferences, "has had my traditional fryup, and I simply determined that it wouldn't do to allow that to continue any longer."
A grin is offered as he looks about for a path to the kitchen, giving Alaric a toothy grin as he trudges in the desired direction. "And looking at the two of you, it is clearly the proper morning for a proper breakfast."

"Well, I would certainly welcome one though must dash off before too terribly long." She has a shift at the hospital that is coming up sooner than she would like. "Unless one of you has learned a spell to stop time? In which case - why haven't you taught it to me yet?" She closes the door after Cassiel, following him back into the house.

Alaric follows his brother's movements from that nice spot he came to a stop to at the bottom of the stairs. The toothy grin gets a faint one in return, along with narrowed eyes. "I am hungry," he admits that much at Cassiel's words.
When Kahren announces she'll be dashing off, Alaric gives her a brotherly look, one that totally accuses her of leaving him alone with Cassiel on purpose. So when he walks by Kahren, he reaches out, to playfully try and get back at her, by ruffling her hair even more. "Maybe I've learned such a spell, and I just don't think it would be responsible to put it in your hands," he teases her.

"Of course we do, kiddo," Cassiel echoes Alaric, "It's an Uncles-only spell, anyhow. And since you don't have the makings of an uncle, I doubt you'll ever get to use it… AHA!" Kitchen, found! His large bag is pulls up and set on the counter, "Now would you be a dear and help me, if you're going to take off so soon? I need four frying pans and a soup pot."
Out on the counter go eggs, sausage links (the real kind, nothing finger-sized here), sliced mushrooms, flatbread, oils of a number of different kinds, red wine, and a large glass bottle of something wicked and brown-looking.

"You," Kahren directs at Alaric, with her hands on her hips, "are simply a /terrible/ vassal." Her stern expression quickly melts into a smile, however. She does, however, obligingly set herself to work pulling out the things Cassiel needs. She seems to know her way about Alaric's kitchen - she must have cooked in it before. "Anything else? Butter or the like?"

Alaric just looks at the two as he makes sure to stay out of their way. Because really, he would just be getting in the way of all the cooking. Still, as Cassiel set things on the counter, he does sneak in to give the ingredients a look, eyes falling on the large glass bottle.
Then there's a look to Cassiel as Alaric struggles of what to do… or say and settles on a, "So, how have you been, Cas?" His tone casual.

Cassiel either doesn't seem to respond to the clear familiarity he sees between the two, or recognizes the familiarity between the two that was pretty much always there. If anything, he just grins. A few more commands for various perishable foodstuffs he assumed would be there, and the smells of cookie… good cooking… start to fill the room.
And the bottle? Baked beans. And not something pre-made, it would seem. No… Cassiel prefers to make his own, since store-purchased would simply be too bland. This stuff? The kind people claim is the cause of chest-hair. This goes in the soup pot.
Then a little domestic magic, and most of it is taking care of itself, so he looks back to Alaric, "Well enough, everything considered. Yourself?"

Everything Cassiel asks for, Kahren digs out, before getting out the way. She drops into a chair while he cooks, a glass of water in her hand, drinking it slowly, while giving Alaric another chastising look. Didn't make her drink water before bed. /Really/. She sticks out her tongue teasingly.

The young brother watches as Cassiel starts the cooking and while he still looks a little out of place, his expression softens as some memories from better times flash over his eyes. Alaric smirks. "As well as one could be, all things considered," he notes.
"Kahren here makes sure I'm not drunk all of the time, just most of it," he flashes her a smile, one that is a little mischievous as he gestures with two fingers, pretending to pinch her tongue to pull it out.
Taking out his wand, he points it to a glass, and after a few incantations, there's water in it and, it is delivered to Kahren, with a pointed 'Drink' look from Alaric.

Although he frowns at the suggestion of constant drunkenness, Cassiel doesn't actively comment, instead looking back at the food for a bit. Not the time to judge or play big brother. Not yet. "Things are thankfully finally starting to calm a bit on the Muggle side of things since the Holidays, so I've been able to catch up on some of my integrated families. Even managed to score something called a 'View-Finder' the other day. Even worked for a day for me before the internals gave out."
A pause, "Even got to see Liv the other day. She's eating a little more, which is good."

"What's a view finder do?" Kahren asks curiously, also abstaining from comment on the drunkenness.

Alaric watches his brother, and does look a little surprised by what he sees, or doesn't see. So, he tones himself down some, relaxing after no words of reproach are offered about his drinking. That relaxation lasts only until Liv is mentioned.
Alaric immediately tenses, and almost right away forces himself to exhale a held breath. He pours himself a glass of water, and drinks from it. "Good," he says, looking down for a moment and falling silent at Kahren's question.

It doesn't take long, when you know what you're doing, and in moments three plates, loaded with far more food than was really needed for anyone. Fried bread, sausages, eggs just a touch over medium, spiced baked beans, and mushrooms sauteed in red wine. The first plate goes to Kahren, then Alaric, then himself.
"A view-finder is a Muggle toy, actually. Basically their attempt at a moving picture. Although it's stationary, it actually lets you look at the image as if it had depth. And it's a /toy/." He grins. Mention of Liv? Was just the one bit, and then dropped.

"As if it has depth…?" Kahren repeats musingly, trying to picture the contraption. She shrugs, and digs into her meal. She eats a bit faster than she normally would, while letting Alaric and Cassiel talk, then sets aside her food. "I better get home, let my mother and father know I'm still alive, and get ready for work." She gives both uncles a kiss on the cheek. "But I will see you both soon. And /play nice/." She gives them both stern looks, as if she is not quite younger than each, before departing.

Taking his plate, Alaric can't help but lick his lips. He was hungry, now that food was present and in front of him. So, finding a place to sit down at, and something to eat with he does just that, digging in.
He listens to Cassiel's description of the view-finder and smirks. "Your obsession with Muggle toys remains the same I see," he observes.
He smiles at Kahren after she delivers her kiss. "Don't worry, love. Your uncle and I have always played nice," he says. "I'll see you later. Be good."

Taking his own place, Cassiel smiles at Kahren as she kisses him farewell, and watches her with Alaric as well. He digs into his own food for a bit, chuckling, "At least since I stopped being able to pin you to the floor so easily, this is true."
Then back to his toy obsession, "Never has changed, never will changed. It's amazing what they have for entertainment, without all the fripperies of magic to automate and enliven toys."

"And dangerous at times," Alaric observes, as Kahren makes her exit, taking a few more bites of his food. With her gone, the younger brother grows a bit more wary, even though he flashes Cassiel a grin.
"So, no lectures about staying away from family?" He asks, curious, now looking at Cassiel as he eats. There's a pause and deep breath and he adds a, "It's good to see you, Cassiel."

"Why bother, when I'm pretty certain anything I say on the matter you've likely already told yourself a hundred times?" Is offered back while Cassiel works on his sausage, manners going out the window as he speaks between bites. "And frankly, I would like the think I wasn't much of one to lecture anyhow. That was always more of Atticus' specialty anyhow."
The grin gets softer, "It's good to see you too, Ric. I've missed you."

Alaric continues eating and at Cassiel's response pauses, just to continue while arching a brow. "I guess you know better than I thought," he simply says. There's a smirk then at the reference to Atticus and he nods. "Fair enough."
He looks up and shakes his head. "The person you think you've missed, and the person I am today… we're a little different, Cas." He takes another bite. "Things… are a little different."

"You're family, Ric," Cassiel says over a slice of mushroom, "and that's all there is to it. Time changes every one of us. As does tragedy and pain. I'm not the same man, either. But I'm still me. And you're still you. And I'm here to remind you of that." His wand points playfully at his brother, "Through any means necessary."

Now, Alaric stops eating completely. He leans back, watching his brother. "Am I? Because if I'm still me, I'm the same man that was unable to save his wife and son. To stop them from dying. I'm the same failure that ran away," he shakes his head and eyes the wand.
"I appreciate what you're trying to do, Cas… but I hate that guy. I didn't want to be that guy again, and I didn't want to subject the rest of you, to that," he shares. "Yes Cas, I hate myself for what I didn't do, and for what I did do."

Cassiel doesn't stop eating, although his demeanor certainly sobers a bit. Wand away, he fishes another slice of mushroom out by hand, dips it in his broken yolk, and pops it into his mouth before continuing. "That's also the man who held baby Kahren in his arms at age six and let us all know quite clearly who her protector was going to be. Who feel in love, and had a beautiful child. Who did everything in his power. That man didn't have the claws, or jaws. And I know that doesn't help or mend, but it's there. And as much as you may hate him, I still love him. Because that's my little brother."
He looks back at Alaric, "And that's you. So yes, you ran away. But you came back. And we're all still here. We would have been here no matter what. And I'm sorry, but I can't be party to that hate. I won't be."

"I'm not asking you to. I didn't ask any of you to," Alaric grunts, now eating his food more ferociously. "And Kahren, bloody hell, she just doesn't know how to take no for an answer," and yet, as he says those words, his expression softens. As he mentions Kahren, his expression softens.
And there's everything else Cassiel said and Alaric stops eating again. "I write regularly to Adorabella," he finds himself saying. "And well, I see Kahren daily. Although I do avoid Atticus," he admits. "I have missed you. All of you. But I've been so angry, at life, at myself… I didn't want any of you to see that."

Cassiel chuckles. "Kahren is a blessing." He agrees, even as he starts mopping up what's left of his plate with a bit of fried bread, the man has always been a quick eater. "And I know, Ric. I know you've been angry. And hurt. Which is why I gave you time, and room. But that's also why I decided to come over today. Because I'm not going to do that any more."
His smile, genuine as ever over those ghastly muttonchops he so loves, is right there, "Because I'm here now. Perhaps I should have been sooner, but I'm here now. And if you need to be angry, then be angry. But be it with us. Be that person with family at your side to hold you up, bear it with you, and slap some sense into you if you go over the edge."

Alaric closes his eyes for a moment, also done with his food. He rests his elbows on the table, and he leans forward, thoughtful. "I… sure, I'll try doing that," he grudgingly concedes.
"I'm not sure I'll be easy to get along with, Cas," he does warn. "I honestly don't know where I'm going half the time," probably because he is drunk, half the time. "All I know to do, is try and be the best at my job, and try to not think about things much, when I'm not at it."

With a light sigh, Cassiel sets down his plate, walks over to Alaric, and puts a hand on his shoulder. "You're my brother, Alaric. Blood. And I won't ask more of you than you can give. I'm just saying I'm here now. I know that taking on that role again is going to be tough. You'll likely upset me. And I'll try in vain to crack you over the head with my cane on occasion."
Grinning again, he then pats Alaric's cheek, playfully. "These things take time to heal, if they ever heal fully. You're not expected to be perfectly whole immediately. Or ever. As long as you keep trying."

Alaric eyes that hand patting his cheek and he narrows his eyes at his brother. "More talking, less cheek pattine," he advises the older man. "You do better when you talk," and yet, he smirks, and just nods.
"I don't know if I'll ever heal. Hell, I don't know I want to heal," he admits. "I'm just trying to survive, to live as I know she would have wanted me to." He exhales. "And a lot of times, it's just… very hard."

There's a glint in Cassiel's eye at Alaric's reaction, and with another grin, he nods, "Thought that would get your attention. Consider it an impetus to at least try: next time I might get it in my head to actually cup both cheeks and offer you a kiss to boot."
He then moves, shifting to take a seat next to his brother. "Nothing good comes easy. That much I can assure you."

"Next time I might get it in my head to actually punch you in the face, or stick your wand up your ass to boot," Alaric playfully offers, before he snorts. He watches as his brother seats next to him and he nods, adding a little shrug.
"I know. We might as well get the whisky at this point," he says, nodding to a bottle not far away.

At this, Cassiel shakes his head, "Not in the morning. I may let you talk me into a flagon of ale at the Cauldron later tonight… but now's not the time to think of deadening the pain." He frowns, "There's a Muggle thing I've heard about. A little bitter candy they take to stop pain. It works well… they stop feeling it… but it doesn't heal it. It lets them keep moving and worsen the injury. When used properly, it can help them manage… but…"
He then stops. "See what you did? You made me lecture. So impolite of you."

"And here I thought you weren't going to judge… or lecture," Alaric purses his lips, but for now, he doesn't pour himself a glass of whisky. "That is something we're going to have to work on, though, mate, because I don't need the lectures," he says that mildly, but amused.
"Trust me, any lecture you can give me, Kahren has already, or I've given it to myself." He shrugs. "But it's still good to see you."

"No judgment there, Alaric, just a warning. But even I can't help it if the big brother habits kick in on occasion." An elbow goes to poke at the younger man, playfully. "It's been good to see you, too. How about, instead of all this emotional brother talk, we go out and take a walk, instead, and talk about things like how ridiculous it is that Adorabella is bloody sixteen now?"

"Any walking will just lead to the pub down the street," Alaric muses with a chuckle. "Walking and talking isn't my thing, Cas," he notes. "I know you want to put to use that cane of yours," he smirks. "But I'm allergic to getting fresh air, that doesn't lead straight to the pub."
"Dora has grown up. We're getting old, mate. And you, need to talk to Kahren," he says. "She's very worried about these bomb things the Muggles have. And talk about Muggle war. And I don't know enough about those things, to offer proper reassurances."

This time, Cassiel actually punches Alaric in the shoulder, albeit playfully, and not with intent to harm, "You simply haven't been walking with me. I won't force you now… but one of these days I am going to drag you back out into the sunlight, prove to the world that you won't burst into flames when I do so… and we're going to have fun again."
The mention of Kahren's concerns brings a nod from him, "She's mentioned something her squib friend, 'Guy' was talking about. I could have sworn she called them 'bums', though. I've asked her to introduce us… he's got access to an actual 'plane', if you would believe it. I sadly don't know much about the 'bums' myself, either, but if they're anything like the Matching Guns she talked about, they're definitely worth a bit of worry."

Alaric snorts. "And what if I do burst into flames? What story will you tell folks then?" He grins at this and shrugs. "We'll do a good amount of walking, Cas, no worries." He then listens to his take on Kahren's concerns.
"Bombs," he corrects. "I'm sure, she said bombs," he tries to remember and shrugs. "But she thinks they can blow up buildings, she even asked me to go stay with her parents if things got bad… or you," he exhales, forcing a smile. "Well, you think things will get that bad?"

There's a long pause, before Cassiel responds, "Muggles invent to fill where they lack in magic. That's why I love their toys, because where we can enchant a chess piece to move about, they will go and with springs and gears approximate the same thing. We fly on brooms, they fly in planes and speed across the land in…" he sounds out the word, "ah-to-mo-bills. We duel with wands, they create those 'gun' wands. So if they're creating things that could blow up buildings, there's a reason, a need. And /that/ is worrisome. The sort of worrisome that makes me wonder if the Ministry is aware and taking action to protect our people."

All the talk about Muggle innovation? It kind of goes over Alaric's head. He's certainly not into Muggle-stuff as his brother is. "Well, Merlin's balls, I'd hope they are. Just like I'd hope Wilkins is paying attention at St. Mungo's and we're not caught with our knickers around our ankles," he shakes his head.
"Shit, Cas, if the people in charge aren't on the bloody toad on this one… I don't know what to think," he wryly smiles. "Maybe I should have continued traveling."

"I need more info. Because if someone like me just asks…" Cassiel chuckles, "Let's just say your brother's something of an interoffice joke, and knows it. Most of the time I'm perfectly fine with it. But if there's a danger… I just…" He shudders, "I think of such things hitting on St. Mungos. Or Hogwarts."
He shakes his head, "I hope I'm worried about nothing, to be honest. There's enough garbage for us to worry about with the anti-purist activists, the Preservationists, Unity, and Gridelwald's people…"
And then he looks over at Alaric, "If it's here, it's everywhere. And you traveling in it just leaves you as a giant unanswered question if things happen. I'd rather know, if I must be honest." And therein lies a bit of truth otherwise unuttered about the impact of his leaving.

Alaric listens to it all and shakes his head. "Then get more info," is all he can suggest. Politics aren't his thing, but even he has been worried about some of the things he's heard during the past year.
His eyes narrow at Cassiel's response regarding his traveling. "I'm here now. So I shouldn't be a question anymore," he offers a wry smile.

"I intend to," Cassiel replies, "And Kahren's friends are going to have to help me. Like I said, she has a friend who flies one of those plane things. I bet he'd be a valuable source," even if as a squib, he'd likely never be listened to normally.
And then a nod, even as he gets up, walking back toward the counter, a few spells starting a cleanup process. "No. Not anymore. And I really can't say just how glad I am of that, Ric… not without getting all girlish and weepy." Another toothy grin is passed his way.

"I've seen some of those plane things during my travels," Alaric notes quietly. "They're kind of scary looking," he smirks at this. "And I have no idea how they even hold together." He shrugs. "Let me know what you find out, I guess. I mean, if I'm going to stick around, might as well try and be a productive member of society and this family, other than my work at St. Mungo's."
Standing up, he stretches. "Let's not get all weepy here, mate, Kahren would come back and see us, and it would be all sorts of embarrassing," he smirks.

Cassiel starts to put his items in the bag again, even as several of the dishes start to clean themselves. "I will at that," he offers, considering to himself how this might actually facilitate getting his brother active on something else, something he can sink his teeth into. "Some things take more than one brain to wrap around."
In regards to Kahren, he returns the smirk, "She would want us to pose for a picture for later blackmail, obviously."

Alaric simply nods at his brother's response to him, and then offers a faint smirk at the mention of more than one brain. "And we both know who got the brains of the family here," says the former Ravenclaw, with smug amusement, but a playful tone.
"Bah, Kahren has enough material to blackmail me for the next century, she doesn't need any more," he shakes his head.

There's an honest laughter that follows that statement, and Cassiel laughs, "Of course. That would be Vesta. Even if she did marry a Lovegood." The bag packed up, he smiles again, "Well… that's not an issue I can resolve for you, my good man. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on any of it. Should be educational."
With that, Cassiel throws the bag over his shoulder, smiling again at Alaric. "It was good seeing you… but I do have some plans this afternoon. I hope we can do this again some time. Perhaps even take a trip to Hogsmeade one of these weekends, see some of the other nieces and nephews, if you'd like to join me. I'd bet they'd love to see you."

Vesta, really? That's what Alaric's serious expression reads, but he follows it with a grin and amusement and he nods. "I'll make sure to tell her to save you the juicer ones," he notes of Kahren's blackmail materials. So helpful, he is.
He nods to his brother at the suggestion of Hogsmeade. "That sounds doable, yes," he says and pauses. Then he puts a hand on Cassiel's shoulder. "Thank you for dropping by, brother," he sounds sincere as he offers those words.

A brother can make jokes some times. Especially when siblings are the target. Cassiel just grins, nodding, as he checks his things one last time. However, when the hand lands on his shoulder, he grins again. "You know… you're welcome, Ric. Just know that I'm just an Owl away if you need me. All right?"
He pats Alaric's hand with his own for a moment, and then finally heads to the door, saying, "Just an owl away, kiddo." Kahren's not the only one stuck with that moniker, it seems.

Alaric offers a small nod. "I'll keep it in mind, when I need someone to come make breakfast again," he grins at the words. He watches his brother leave and as he does, he relaxes, allowing himself a small smile.
"That… went better than expected," he says, to nobody in particular. And in he goes to get himself a glass of water. Kahren would be proud.

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