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Rabastan and Severus Take an Excursion

Rabastan and Severus Take an Excursion

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sherlock.  not good?

Rabastan stands by the open window, curtain drawn slightly to the side so he can peer out onto the street, lost in thought. Today they are going out to buy the plants that they had decided on, having poured over all the books and debated over what would be best for their garden. Though Rabastan has been outside whenever he has had the chance, the only person he has interacted with has been Severus. And seeing children running up and down the street, the occasional adult talking to another over hedges, and groups of teens walking up and down the block like small gangs, makes him a bit… apprehensive. He doesn’t like the thought of walking amongst people, about the inevitable brushes of shoulders or bumps into his person, and he somehow feels as if he is too weak to handle such indifferent interaction. Each will jar him to his bones, it feels, until they rattle them from their sockets and Rabastan will be left skeletal on the sidewalk. It doesn’t help that he is not allowed his wizarding robes, as shabby as they are, for they are going to a muggle market and undoubtedly he would stand out. But now he is even more aware of how thin he has become, the bones in his wrists jutting out like the end of a wand, and he can feel his ribs beneath his fingers when he breathes. And though the clothes fit as well as he could have hoped, they are alien. Strange. He walked a few curious paces around the room to see how they felt, and it was disjointed. The top and the bottom were separate entities, and it looks odd to be able to see his legs go through the motion of walking. Bellatrix would scoff, he knew, if she would see him dressed such, would narrow her dark eyes as if she could burn such offending garments off of him with her disdain alone. The old Rodolphus would have laughed, delighted at his no doubt clownish appearance. For a moment he is both sad that they are not here, disapproving and mocking, and glad that they are not. They are not the same people anymore, either. It would be hard, to know how they would react. Everything feels odd, surreal, as if Rabastan is not here. But where else would he be?

But, he reasons to himself as he lets the curtains fall closed, turning to head downstairs, that he has kept Severus waiting long enough. He is a convict yes, but not to muggles. He is nobody to them. The thought is as comforting as it is terrifying. He can be anyone now. He can be no one. It is all up to him. And for the moment, he wants to be a nobody. He feels as insubstantial as one, as foreign. Being here has already been therapeutic, he is excited to start a garden, he can safely say, but a trip to the market? What can he expect? But even prisoners have to be let out sometime, he supposes, or else they just wilt and die. And Rabastan has fought too long and hard to do the latter. So, nervously, ignoring the urge to fidget like a child in hand me down clothing, he descends the stairs, looking for Severus.

“I am ready.” He says when he finds his friend, even if the words are rather far from the truth.
  • Severus

    Severus walks idly about the library, adjusting the chairs into more comradely positions, resorting a few of the herbology shelves. Ultimately he will leave them to Rabastan to place as is most convenient for him. He moves to look out the window at the soon-to-be garden. He had played in it as a toddler when things had been a little better. He had avoided it as he grew, all too aware that the windows of the house were his mother's his father's eyes watching for opportunity to punish him. Now it is he who looks out. He smiles, almost secretly, still inclined to hide hope from himself.

    Severus worries. There will be no wizards in this terrible little mill town to question them. It is not that so much, and the break-out was not announced on the muggle television as had Sirius'. They will be safe from that particular hazard and the market consists of - he has not kept up and only remembers the old word - 'hippies.' And farmers.

    It is more Rabastan himself he worries about. He remembers with a cringe his own fear of the sky when he had been released from that terrible prison himself. He had ducked, shrinking his body from it as it loomed above him so big and threateningly bright. Irrational and he had quickly straightened, but he had been there such a short time, and Rab... Rab had been there fifteen years. Fifteen years. Fifteen years of darkness, silence, horror, torture. Sorrow and guilt ring through him again.

    He looks up the stair at his friend, even thinner and more frail in his father's trousers and shirt. In a way it is good for Severus, just to see him there. It heals something, some old hurt. Rabastan is nothing like Tobias, even in his clothes, in the doorway to his room. This is their house now. Their home. It occurs to him that he wishes that he could lift his friend, transport him gently down the stairs, float him serenely to the market, in case the exertion is too much for him. Good food and exercise, volition, independence, learning to rely on himself. Severus cannot do everything for him, though he feels he will never be able to do enough. He inwardly vows to remember to stop awhile, rest at one of the little tables outside the booths. They can take lemonade and the hearty grain cakes. His friend needs a hat for the sun. He is so pale, he will burn so easily, at the market, on the walk, in the garden. His voice, too, has an almost hesitant quality as he states his readiness.

    But Severus answers the shakiness readily when he descends. "Everything in its own time." No one is waiting for them, no one is expecting them, all responsibility and time lies between them alone, he realises. "We can take lunch at the market, pick up a few other things that may be useful. I'd like to stop at the hardware store for a few tools, as well.
    "If anyone asks, you can be a cousin, convalescing. A Prince. They are an old family. No one will look for us here, but I will call you Rab. It is less distinctive than your whole name, just in case."

    Besides, a nickname means he is a friend, and a friend is nearly family. And it brings to mind the old days when they had been nearly happy... not innocent, indeed, yet not forlorn...
    • Rabastan

      Rabastan is grateful for Severus' smooth answer to his rather rickety one, comforted that at least he will not be alone. Though he has been trying to keep himself together so that Severus will not have to do all the rebuilding of himself for him, it is not a weakness to lean on a friend. At least, that is what he has decided, since pride has never gotten him anywhere other than imprisoned. And even then, Severus had been there for him, so it was obvious which one was more lasting. Still, he did not want to overburden Severus, who seemed so fragile in his own way. He was going to take the steps necessary to become whole again, for his sake and for his friend's. He wouldn't want all of his hard work to go to waste.

      He gave Severus a grateful nod at his kind words, but he was ready as he would ever be. And it would be best, he supposed, to immerse himself into interaction again. Slow steps would only make the process take longer, and like someone dipping their feet into cold water, it could deter him from going in. Jumping in seemed the best route.

      He likes the idea at lunch at the market, to be able to observe other people as they go about their routine, and while Severus' cooking has been nothing but wholesome, it seems like a treat. Though he has not paid it much notice, Severus seems to be mostly self-sufficient, and unlike his family who enjoyed dining out at the richest of places merely because they could, Severus seems simpler in his tastes. Rabastan can appreciate that. He also likes the freedom of the choice, that they can choose to eat anywhere now. They are no longer under anyone's thumb, and will not be called at all hours of the day and night to masquerade around with horrific duties.

      He listens curiously at the rest of Severus' plans for today, nodding since they seem appropriate enough. Interesting. He cannot help but wonder what sort of things muggles possess, how they do everything without magic. It will be a doubly new experience for him, it seems. His apprehension is becoming tinged more and more with an eager inquisitiveness.

      When Severus mentions that he can be a Prince, he cannot help but look at him with slight surprise, but he cannot say he is displeased. He does not mind what Severus calls him, truth be told, and Rab has always been his nickname. Rab Prince. It sounds strange to him, but he supposes in time he can get used to it. It sounds jaunty, to say the least.

      "I would be honored." Rabastan says, for it feels like Severus has truly adopted him into his family now, even though his actions have already done so.
      • Severus

        Severus feels as if he had truly been accepted. He is honoured. After all, he is keenly aware he is half-blood, and if the Princes are not beneath the Lestranges, the Snapes are nothing and taint his whole familial being. To want is to risk loss; has always meant certain bereavement. He had tried not to badly want Rabastan to accept the nom de guerre. No, the nom de paix. He has always told himself he is a Prince (a Prince, a Prince he had repeated in incantation as if there had been a spell that could change his heritage) and if he must be a Snape here for the people who knew the ragged vengeful boy. They can both be almost Princes, at home.

        Severus realises. He will be walking along these streets, these childhood streets where he had been taunted and shoved even more than he had been at Hogwarts, where he had learned quiet dark arts the first time. He will be walking along these streets with a friend. The old tormenters walked behind him as if they had never been so. Wives, stupid children in their wake. They hadn't changed. They had never become real people and their children were reproductions of the ones Severus had hated. It is not a gauntlet. He would not subject Rab to that, not even if he were strong and tentative in his very existence. There is the market too with the clean simple hippies who welcome him for his own wares.

        Severus watches him descend the stairs, then looks down, shy. He should not be staring, but it means so much to have his friend here. His friend. He doesn't want to miss anything. Rabastan - Rab Prince. A cousin, and he does the old thing in his head where he turns the truth around so it is darkened behind his eyes, while the surface of his thoughts and eyes reveal, reflect what he wills. A relative, a cousin, a brother, family. But he finds it is a friend he really wants, has always wanted. And he has had one. He quickly calculates. He is thirty seven. He had been eleven. Twenty six years, though for fifteen there had been no sight or voice, just that touch, constant, reliable. I'm here. Are you there? You're still here. And he had turned to try to sleep, comforted even in periodic literal agony he knew was always less than that of his friend.

        The basket over his arm is not a burden, and he will lighten the tools for their return journey. He has a few potions to deliver, though his own booth is not set up today. It is sunny, the dew dry now on the grass. He hopes it is not too bright, too harsh, too revelatory. He knows there is a booth of wide-brimmed hats, and if they are not the type of hats to which they are accustomed, they will protect them. The sun also provides vitamins his friend badly needs now, so it is not all threat and starkness.

        There is the simple act of moving their limbs in the air, over cement and earth, the breeze moving through their shirts. Suddenly he thinks. There is someone to whom I can show my school, the park, the river. Even if they were not attractive, they were his childhood. He has always wanted to be known, and still accepted. He has wanted this. His step becomes more buoyant and he notices his hair tugging around his face. Rabastan seems almost anticipatory as well, and Severus begins to talk of the market, of the stalls for vegetables and meat, of ceramics, clothing, crafts, healthy refreshments. He tells of the soap, lotion and salve he makes in trade for these things, for muggle money, hoping it is not shameful.He tells him of the booths with long trays of bedding plants, of herbs and flowers, organic, lovingly tended.

        He hands Rabastan some wooden tokens that the market provides to vendors at a discount. One pound, two pounds, five, ten. This will be good for him, too. He can make choices, learn to think what he likes, what pleases him. He can learn that he can be pleased, that his custom is appreciated, that he is important to the patient, perpetually-smiling easy-going young people here, even as a customer. How strange to think that they are young. Rabastan had so few years of youth. It had been torn from him.
        • Rabastan

          Rabastan note how pleased Severus seems to be about his acceptance of being called a Prince, and he is glad that his friend can find so much comfort in such a small matter. For Rabastan, being a LeStrange had brought him little joy. There had been his brother, of course, but their bond had little to do with names and more with blood. Then there had been Bellatrix, but once again, their bond was not just because they shared a name, but because of their friendship. Or mutual agreement to get along, he had forgotten. Being a LeStrange had not made him truly happy, however, and to get rid of that name, with all the bad blood and negativity surrounding it, was something he would do happily. A Prince would be a fine name indeed. He wondered now if they were too old to both be Princes, the imagery conjuring up fanciful boys still innocent and carefree, but decided that perhaps no, it was now just finally their chance to come alive.

          If he thinks anything of the weight of Severus' stare as he comes down, he does not say anything. He is used to such attention, being born and bred to revel in it but some things cannot be transferred by genetics and names alone, though he feels a bit uneasy. He wonders what Severus sees when he looks at him. Some haggard wraith in his father's clothes? A mere shell of what he used to be? Or what he is now, a would-be Prince who has assumed the clothes of a pauper to put himself in someone else's shoes? It should matter little, but Severus' opinion has grown to matter a lot. Bellatrix and Rodolphus are no longer here, and so instead Severus has begun to fill up the void they have left.

          "Would you like some help?" Rabastan asks, nodding towards the basket that Severus is carrying. Today is a good day, he can tell. The sun is strong and uplifting, the sky seemingly reachable. It feels as if he stretches a little he can touch the light blue, and today, he is willing to try. And it seems, so is Severus. His spirits seem unflaggingly high today, and Rabastan is content to listen to his friend speak on and on about the wonders of a muggle market. He is especially interested in the crafts, wondering how they can manage to make do without magic. He is, however, eager to see stalls upon stalls of plants, mesmerised by the thought. There had been small gatherings of other plant enthusiasts from time to time, though Rabastan had never really gone. It was beneath him, apparently. Not to mention there were only a few shops that specialised in growing anything. It was too easy for most people, and thus not interesting. But muggles, well... He marvelled over the different plants they had, most of the seemingly harmless, some tha managed to grow without the aid of magic. It was wonderful.

          When Severus handed him discount tokens, he handled them in his hands curiously. His parents had always made it a point to spend as much money on everything as possible. It was a sign of wealth. He had only used discounts himself when he had opened his business, since it drew in customers and helped keep his business afloat when it came to dealing with vendors. Strange to think that these tokens did the same. He was tempted to use them all on plants, but a few muggle knick-knacks and books caught his eye. He wandered around the market, weighing the pros and cons of each purchase, having already decided he would not spend too much of Severus' money. Already it felt as if he owed his friend too much. That and muggle money escaped him.
          • Severus

            Severus looks at Rabastan, when he offers to help. Yes, it is good for him to do as much as he is able, and on the way home he will lighten the baskets for him. Severus is not used to assistance, or even the offer, but is accustomed to doing everything himself. He begins to pass him the emptier of the baskets, hoping this will not lessen him. His friend is used to being belittled, made small, attacked, scorned, underestimated. No. Severus sets them both down and divides the bottles and jars evenly. "Partners now, right?"

            At length they arrive. Small groups of muggles are converging with their own baskets and canvas bags. A band is playing, sheltered under a small canopy for the sun. The fiddle music seems to tinkle, to whistles and spoons spoons? in old muggle folk-songs. This is not Severus' culture. He learned none of these songs at home, lullabies, story songs. There had been some at the little local school he had attended, but he had not cared then to learn muggle tradition. Now it seems light-hearted, peaceful.

            He takes the basket from Rabastan, to let him browse freely. He delivers the small vials, pots of cream and paste, the oils and soaps. Everyone is deferential and polite. In return, he receives more of the wooden circles. He buys beef, potatoes, vegetables for stew and salad. When his friend is busy examining some silverwork, he quietly purchases two natural-wool jumpers, cables and an almost woven pattern knit into them. Ingenious. White for Rab, more of a cream, for his now greying blond hair. Dark brown for himself, soft with two buttons at the neck. He added matching socks, made of wool spun thinner. He shrinks them inside the basket. They will be a surprise.

            He accompanies Rabastan around the market, pleased at his friend's pleasure. He had hoped the muggles would not pain him, so long alone, but he fingers the wares, smiles occasionally, manages the transactions for his purchases. Severus is proud of him and his growing confidence. At the booths of those with whom he himself deals, he introduces him carefully, smiling, easy, explaining his friend's delicate skeletal form, his hesitancy, any unsurety about him. Severus repeats to each the same simple words, until they seem natural, casual. "This is my cousin, Rab Prince. Yes, my mother's side. He is convalescing, and he will be working with me now."

            At the main table, he fills out the vendor's licence form, and Rab is given his first piece of identification.

            Finally it is lunch time and Severus buys them large pasties. Pastry forming an enclosed pocket with a frill of seam at the top - beef, turnip, potato, onion with salt and pepper. "They are like pumpkin pasties," He explains. "But they are not pumpkin. This is what muggles have for sandwiches in such places." There is fizzy fresh-made lemonade with simple seltzer and real lemons. 'Lemon Squash' the sign advertises.

            "What would you like for dessert? Afterwards, we can get a few clothes and tools over at the shops." Severus looks at Rabastan, glad again he is safe, here, that he will heal. Here he is, 'That Snape boy' with a friend, a companion. He feels almost like a real person. And that had been echoed in the vendors' eyes.
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