(1939-12-23) Unwritten Rules
Details for Unwritten Rules
Summary: Abraxas and Beryl talk in camp during the South American "expedition", the latter imparting some wisdom about the unwritten rules of life.
Date: 23 December 1939
Location: Somewhere in the Amazon jungle…
Plot: Raiders of the Lost Serpent
Related: A Very Malfoy Christmas; A Not So Merry Chase

Note: The date of this scene will be adjusted to fit properly into the plot continuity.

After a goodly amount of broomflying following their earlier touring, the little party have settled down in a clearing for the evening, and their wizarding tents have been set up. The good thing about magic is that the Malfoy heir can travel in good style without requiring a string of native bearers, if wizards even use such things. House elves, perhaps? Abraxas now sits near the campfire, with a journal opened in front of him, working with his quill. He's in full Great White Hunter regalia - that is what one wears in the jungle, right? - complete with knee breeches, brown boots, and a safari jacket with Slytherin green silk neckerchief. His pith helmet is safely stowed. Water is on the boil, and the teapot gives hint to its suspected purpose.

The world surrounding the party is so vastly different from that which surrounds them in their everyday lives back on British soil. The air is thick with humidity and mist - somewhat like London - but, the air is rich with a myriad of exotic scents that are unlike any the youngsters have ever experienced before. The blackness of the jungle beyond their little clearing forms an imposing wall, and the night is alive with a multitude of eerie sounds. And yet, there is one familiar noise amidst the distant cacophony… the sound of a metal cigarette case flipping open and then clicking shut once more.

Beryl Crabbe is also dressed to the nines for the jungle - and no one ever looked more classy and stunning in explorer regalia. However, she stares coldly into the darkness as she lights her Kretek and remains there for another minute afterward. Seemingly satisfied that all is well (for now) she moves back to the fire, at last. "Documenting the journey for posterty." She remarks, "I'll grant there were a few times when I wished I had the luxury of doing that."

Abraxas nods, finishing his thought before he closes the leather-bound journal and ties the thong back around it. Perhaps he stopped by Diagon Alley and asked for a gentleman adventurer starter pack. Tucking the journal away, he says, "It seems like a good idea. Never know when something might come in handy." He gets up from his camp chair and pours the water into the teapot, then glances up as if to ask if she wants a cup. "It's… different, from back home." A pause, and he adds, "That's stating the obvious, I know. But the jungle is very alive."

"Wherever you go - it's different from home. You just have to have the eyes to see it." Beryl replies with a smirk. Drawing from her dark cigarette, she breathes out a quick stream of smoke. She appears to have dispensed with her customary holder. One must do with a little privation in the jungle, after all.

A nod is given with regards to the tea, and Beryl finds herself a nice camp stool to sit upon, next to the fire. "A bit of free advice you'll never get from an adult as a rule, though…" the auburn lady says, deftly flicking ash into the fire. "Never put anything into writing that can be used against you later." One might assume she's joking; and yet, there is no real mirthful glint in her eyes. Apparently, she's quite serious.

"Say it in diamonds, say it in mink, but never, ever, say it in ink." Abraxas responds, with a snicker. "No, my deepest darkest thoughts should probably stay off paper." He hands over the metal cup of tea, and then takes his own, poking the fire as he goes. Then he returns to his seat and crosses his legs, resting the cup on his knee. "It seems like a profession in cursebreaking is all the rage these days. At least, I hear lots of students talking about it."

Miracle of miracles - Beryl actually laughs. It's a refined, silvery little laugh, but a laugh nonetheless. And, taking the cup of tea from Abraxas, she raises it to toast the young man with a slightly bemused expression: "I should have figured you didn't need any mentoring advice from an old jade like me. Cheers."

Taking a long sip of tea, Beryl closes her eyes momentarily and savors the scent and flavor. It's been such a long time since she's done this sort of thing… not that her mind isn't constantly jerking back to England where her baby has been entrusted to the care of an eminently qualified wet nurse for the duration of the trip.

"Cursebreaking is an excuse to do this sort of work," Beryl replies eventually. The problem is, you're under the thumb of those wheedling little wretches at Gringott's. You get paid well, but whatever you dredge up for them goes TO them." Giving a little shudder and shrug of her shoulders, the woman adds: "It just wasn't for me."

"No, no, I can always use good advice." Abraxas says. He may be arrogant, but he's not totally thick headed about it. "If it weren't for that, I wouldn't be on this trip, after all." He sips his tea, looking for the moment very adult, though there have been times when he's shown just as well that he's only fifteen. "No Malfoy would really be in it for the money. But we talked a bit about my motivations the other night. Of course, every misty-eyed mudblood seems to want to go getting their dirty paws on our magical heritage, too." A harrumph, "What do they say? The grass is always greener? I can start my career at the Ministry, and push papers for a number of years while I move up. Or I can work for the goblins in the hope of finding fame and then try to move into something else later. And traveling the world is a good way to make connections that would be valuable in the future."

"Careers at the Ministry, pushing papers and traveling the world are also excellent ways to make enemies." Beryl replies drily before taking another sip of her tea. Having forgotten her Kretek until now, she draws the last little bit of life from it before carelessly tossing the stub into the fire. "Not saying that you will; but, from what little I've seen, you have a tendency to speak your mind when people get under your skin." Pausing after this observation, she flashes a smile at Abraxas to show she doesn't mean it in a critical way. Really, she seems to understand. "I don't know how the world works for a Malfoy," Beryl then adds, "But, that's how it tends to roll for the rest of us. Just something to keep in mind."

The Malfoy in question looks at her for a moment. Then he puts down his teacup and fluffs up his hair, sticking his chest out and raising his chin, "*I* am wizarding royalty. How could anyone dislike me! All the women will swoon at my very passing, Perhaps you've heard of my father, he's a very important man. I'm asking him for a gold-plated, diamond-encrusted wand polisher for my birthday. And, of course, a mansion to put it in, but he said that I was aiming too low." Even he can't manage to finish the delivery straight, and he starts to laugh before he's finished. "Now, can you guess who THAT is? Your point is well taken. I don't suffer fools gladly. I think my father would prefer I be a little less outspoken. But I'm working on it."

Beryl gives Abraxas a side-long look that shows a good deal of mirth hiding in those bright green eyes of hers. Her mouth twists in a way that also indicates how very hard she is trying not to burst out into laughter again. Ugh, that dreadful, strange child that accosted them at the Malfoy's party.

Chuckling into her teacup before finishing the last of the drink, Beryl rolls her eyes a little: "What in the name of Merlin's curls was wrong with that boy? Does he even comprehend why I said I've heard such a great deal about his family?" Shaking her head, she sets the empty cup on her knee before saying: "You're young yet - if you'll excuse me saying so. I'm not mentioning it to be patronizing. You have plenty of time to learn self-control."

Abraxas smooths his hair back down, and picks his tea back up, "Eibon, yes. The blood traitor. His brother brought a mudblood into my father's house. How could he be so stupid?" He blows out an exhale and then sips his tea, "Their money comes from less than reputable sources, or so I'm told." Because the Malfoys stealing their money in the service of a King a thousand years ago is a far more palatable way of having become wealthy. If one can apply so mild a term as 'wealthy' to the Malfoys. "I did tell you it was a bit of a story, but it begins with Gervaise Flint and the Magijugend at Hogwarts…."

Abraxas goes on to explain about the magical contracts and iron rings - they aren't really a secret - and then the MLE raid and the chase. With gripping detail about the rolling battle in the halls of Hogwarts. The hiding of the chest and its eventual discovery. Enceladus's visit. And then, finally… "And so, afterwards, Eibon decided that he would betray us, by giving up his chest to the Aurors. He stabbed the Magijugend in the back, and broke his oath. And that's when he started to get… strange. It's gotten far, far worse since then."

Over the duration of the story, Beryl stays silent for the most part. Her expressions change every so often, but she has little to say with regard to the situation with Flint initially. At one point, she reaches over for the kettle and carefully pours a fresh cup of tea for herself. She's being good and not pulling out the flask - not yet, anyway.

"Flint was ridiculous to think he could get away with something so fundamentally against all the principals of the school itself. Subtlety is apparently dead." She remarks at length with a shrug of her shoulders. "I don't get involved with the political side of things, personally, though. It's too much trouble."

That being said, Beryl swirls her teacup thoughtfully, furrowing her perfect brow somewhat: "The Eibons have very slippery footing on the rungs of society to begin with. If that father of those boys doesn't pull himself together and take control of them, he's going to send the whole family crashing to the ground. Not that it's any of my business. If they want to live in a delusional bubble, they must accept it when the bubble pops." She ends her statement with a careless wave of her hand.

"Oh, I quite agree that he tried to take too much too soon, and could have accomplished more, in my opinion, with small steps. And now, we're well behind where we started from, in the cause of preserving wizarding culture. But I had given my word, and so when the time came, I did what he asked." Abraxas explains, nodding. "I have a feeling my father communicated the same thought to their father sometime during or after the party. If you life in a bubble, it is wise not to make Enceladus Malfoy reach for a needle." A little wave of his own hand in return, "There was also the matter of Eibon pressing his attentions on Lucretia. But don't tell her I told you that." Since she's off in her tent at the moment.

Beryl's lips form into a sort of lazy half-smile. She's a good deal more relaxed about things like preserving the utter purity of Wizarding culture. "Muggles may be fools unto themselves," she remarks calmly, "But, regardless of what happens with this mad new world we all live in, Wizarding Culture will be preserved - one way or another." She knows too much of human nature, both ancient and modern. Somehow, some way, the culture will be preserved. "I wouldn't worry about it so much."

Moving on to the other subject, Beryl chuckles lightly: "I won't say a word," she replies, lowering her voice a little. "The boy is what Muggles call a loose canon, I believe. Meaning… a canon that's broken loose on the deck of a ship and is rolling around all over the place. At least, I think that's what it means."

"An interesting turn of phrase. Do they still use canons? I think they've developed better ways of killing each other by now." Abraxas says, before finishing his tea and tossing the dregs into the fire. "He's a danger to himself and others at this point. If he doesn't clean up his act, something will have to be done. But I've probably wasted enough breath on him. Maybe he'll do me a favor and fly near enough someday for me to try my new hurling hex. Wouldn't that be unfortunate, if he had an accident."

"Damned if I know," Beryl replies with a light laugh. For all she knows, Muggles might still use swords and daggers to hack at each other at close quarters when their guns fail them. It's all so very primative…

Finishing the remainder of her second cup of tea, the auburn-haired woman tilts her face a little and fixes a gaze on the boy with a smirk: "And that would be one of those things you never put in writing." Not that she disagrees. But, inasmuch as Beryl Crabbe is a woman of action, she does like to keep her hands clean, as the saying goes.

Abraxas laughs and stands, "Point taken. Especially not when Hogwarts seems to be a magnet for ministry meddling these days. Of the exotic destinations I wish to explore, Azkaban is not on the list." He picks up the book and quill. "I suppose that we'll be off to an early start in the morning, so I should try to sleep. But it's terribly exciting."

Still clearly amused - but, in her own demure and understated way - Beryl smiles faintly at the boy as he makes ready to head for a little shut-eye. "You'll do alright." Seemingly, she is speaking more to herself than to Abraxas, thinking perhaps of his future ambitions. He seems the sort who will make it far in his life, despite his current youth.

"Goodnight, Mister Malfoy," Beryl says pleasantly, in a slightly louder voice. She will go to bed soon, herself. But, for now, she wants to sit by the fireside and think.

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