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Close Encounter (for Draco)

Close Encounter (for Draco)

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snapey lifering
Title: Close Encounter (Rabastan)
Author: Janus
Character: Rabastan
Rating: G
Wordcount: 1059
Warnings: none
Summary: Rabastan meets a magical creature.
Gift: This is for Draco.

One day every summer, on a beautiful day, Rabastan and Rodolphus' father and Abraxas Malfoy quietly set anti-Muggle concealment spells around the sea and beach of Praa Sands. This was done without permission or notification of the restrictive Ministry of Magic, who doubtless would have investigated at once. Why, after all, should the best of their land, their country, their Islands, be left always to the half-humans of half-consciousness? The spell did not harm Muggles, in those dark days after Gellert's war as a new Dark Lord gathered his followers to begin anew. They simply forgot about the area, turned away confounded, or remembered other pressing errands.

But the old families knew of the holiday, and they brought their young sons and daughters. Their House-elves arrived laden with picnic food and erected pavilions cooled and shady from the sun.

The older children were moulding a replica of Hogwarts out of sand, raising it, placing it, curling it and solidifying it with their wands. A small Slytherin banner already rippled from the highest tower. Praa Sands was sparkling , alight with magic, and even the underage trace would not betray them here on this day. "It is like living under an Incarcerous curse always," Lucius told his father. He was at Hogwarts already.

"Someday it will be different. We will ensure it is better for your children." Abraxas' voice was soothing though as he laid his hand on his son's shoulder. It was a promise - the old promise.

Hasdrubal Lestrange also cast Impervious spells on his young sons.

"But why? I don't care if I get wet," Rabastan asked of his brother afterwards. He had not objected, but simply stood politely. But he wanted to be a natural boy with his natural world.

"Don't worry. You will still feel the sand and the water, but the sun won't burn you. That hurts! And you can play with the crabs without getting pinched. You like that, don't you. And do you remember the jellyfish last year, Rab? Remember how you liked swimming with them? They won't sting you! That hurts too!"

"Oh yes! The jellyfish!" And Rabastan ran happily into the water with his fingers pointing splayed out in front of him at the cold as he lifted his knees high against the resistance of the water. The waves splashed him as he ran laughing and the sea tasted of salt.

The year before he had resisted the idea of swimming and had reluctantly entered the water sucking two fingers with a little frown. He had wanted to visit the little crabs in the tide pools and look for the tiny translucent fishlings that darted almost invisible in the tiny streams. He had wanted to pour water on the seaweed left drying by the receding tide. He had expected it to call out to him in fear for salvation, but it's voice had been resigned. The other boys, thrilled with the larger aspects of sand and sea, had been playing with brooms in the waves, agile and shouting as they jumped from them into the water and ducked one another from below. Bella and Andromeda had joined them, while Narcissa had floated on a little raft, rocked contentedly by the waves as she arranged shells she had found.

But Rabastan had slowly waded out deeper into the water, watched by Rodolphus at a little distance, until he had begun to swim. And then, then! He had reached the jellyfish.

They floated dreaming, on the water, in the water, blooming like flowers, tendrils drifting, in streamers almost luminous. He knew they were fragile, filled and given shape by the pressure of the water beneath them and around them. He had summoned them closer, spoken with his special magic to bring them wreathing around him, like lanterns, mushrooming and billowing in delicate colours. It had been almost mystical, almost like a dream. And Rabastan had fallen in love with the water for the sake of the jellyfish.

That had been the year before. Now he ran in joyfully to see them again. He splashed only by the shore where there were already waves, moving carefully as he approached deeper water? They were not in the same place, of course. But he was attentive, away from the others, reaching to the jellyfish with his particular gentle magic of live growing things.

There was something else here too. He moved towards the almost-voice in his head. It was like nothing he had ever felt before. He knew from books and stories that the sea was full of wonders, and he was excited, though he kept his movements calm. The feeling was old, like the antiques he also liked to finger, wistful with tales of the past. This had echoes of sea and sand, quiet under moonlight, hot under the sun relieved by plunges into the cold sea. The sea was freedom, it told him, safety and motion, like flying free. And he agreed.

Then, floating in the sea, his eyes wise open in the salt behind his father's Impervious spell he came espied it, grazing on the jellyfish. He floated, his back above the sea, his hands making small motions to steer and propel him, his short hair caressed by the movement of the water.

And those open eyes met the wide round eye of a smooth head likewise contemplating him. A leatherback turtle, fully a metre and a half across. Rabastan had curled up with all the books in his father's library about plants and creatures, magical or otherwise and knew it at once. It's shell beneath its plates was flexible, he remembered. It swam as he did, even as it ate, remaining stationary for that long moment as they looked at one another, feeling one another's presence.

Rabastan waited until the beautiful jellyfish were gone. He knew this was the way of animals, terrible but beautiful in it's necessity. Then the great turtle moved it's head toward him and blinked it's round eye.

He went slowly and quietly back to shore, and the quiet lasted the rest of the day.

Six years later, when he was ready to go to Hogwarts himself, his brother asked him what he would take as a pet. Rabastan did not want an owl or a cat, much less a toad or a rat. He wanted a great turtle.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.
  • AHH, yes he does indeed count as a natural boy in a natural world. Gentle and accepting, recognizing the powers and pleasures of nature.

    I used one of my Draco icons as you wrote it for him,
    • Aw, thank you! And I am so glad you see him like that, as I try to write him like that. And thank you for using the Draco icon! So thoughtful.
  • I just read this to Draco, we enjoyed it very much, and loved the imagery of the sea, the thoughtful descriptions. Thank you again for writing this for him :-D
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