Where: Grimmauld Place
When: Before Hogwarts
Rating: G, and very cute ^.^
Rodolphus held back a sigh and instead gave a smile to those around him as he moved towards the door he had seen on his way in. He wished his uncle had left him at home, like he did his brother, but Rodolphus was the heir, so he was expected to go to these things. With a tentative glance to make sure no one saw, he stepped into the garden. The entire area was a bit more rundown than he expected from a family like the Blacks, although the ones he had met seemed to care very little for such aesthetic pleasures.
Sirius, who was occupying himself with everything that he could so he didn’t have to see or talk to Mother, was standing at the bottom of a tree towards the back of the garden, hands pressed up against the soft bark, dirty from the rain that had fallen yesterday. His dress robes were mucky at the hem, trousers stained at the knees from where he had knelt in the soil. With a sigh, he pushed back slightly and shoved his hands in his pockets, scowling, and refusing to turn round to face the house.
"Hello?" Rodolphus said into the still air, having heard some sort of noise coming from farther into the garden. With a glance back at the house, he continued forward, frowning as he came open a boy about his eyes, dirty and surly. "Hello?" he said, again, studying the boy from the side and wondering who he was.
Sirius turned his head and stared at the other boy, eyes wide and too big for his face. “Hullo,” he replied with a scowl, wiping his mucky hands on the front of his robes. He presumed the other boy was from one of the rich pureblood families that were currently mingling in the house, from the way he was dressed.
"Are you here with the party?" Rodolphus walked around so that they were fully facing, settling his shoulder against the tree that the other boy seemed so interested in. "I'm Rodolphus Lestrange."
Sirius nodded, automatically biting his tongue against any comment he had on what he thought of said party. “Sirius Black.”
Rodolphus' eyes widened a bit at the boy's name. He had met the boy's mother and father, then, and his mother was scary. And she was a good friend of his uncle, which was never a good sign. "Why are you out here?" He paused, glancing back at the party. "Well, I believe I can answer that, actually." Shifting foot from foot, he wondered what else he could say.
“Because it’s crap in there,” Sirius said, widening his eyes specifically at the ‘bad’ word, wondering - hoping - he could shock or impress the other boy with his boldness. He noticed how neat and prim the other boy looked compared to him - another thing his mother would point out and shout at him for.
Rodolphus couldn't hold back the quirk of his lips at the other boy's statement. "It's...not the best place for people our age," he said, attempting to be diplomatic and mature, even if he didn't quite feel like it.
Wrinkling his nose - his mouth opening slightly at the same time, Sirius looked quizzically at the other boy. “Certainly not,” he agreed haughtily. He paused briefly, shuffling his feet. “How old are you?” he asked with genuine curiosity.
"I'm ten, almost eleven," Rodolphus answered, fingers running over the bark of the tree as he bit into his lip. The boy was different than the few other children who were forced to come and it was surprising that it would be the Black of all people to be out here alone.
“Oh,” Sirius said, his mouth wrapping around the word for a prolonged moment. “I’m nine, almost ten.” Pushing away from the bark, he ran the tip of his shoe in the mud, kicking up some loose grass. “Starting school this year, are you?”
Rodolphus looked down at the boy's foot, almost wincing when he saw how dirty Sirius' shoes were. "Yes, Hogwarts, though my uncle wanted to send me to Durmstrang. He doesn't think Hogwarts will be disciplined enough." He rolled his eyes, glad that his uncle didn't have complete control over his life. "You'll be going to Hogwarts, won't you? If I recall, it's a tradition in your family."
“Hogwarts? Yes,” Sirius replied automatically, looking up from his shoe. “I have a whole year to worry about that,” he laughed, a little shyly, looking back down, his black hair tumbling into his eyes. He thought about what his mother had told him - that every single respectable member of the Black family were sorted into Slytherin.
"My parents wanted me to go to Hogwarts," Rodolphus murmured, still staring at the other boy's shoes. It hadn't been so long ago that he was with his parents, who would have never dragged him to such a ridiculous event. "But I want to, too."
“I’m not really bothered either way,” Sirius grunted, kicking a piece of mud and watching as it flew and splattered against the base of the tree trunk. Truth was, he was bothered - he wanted to go, but he was scared of leaving the house, scared of stepping into new boundaries. But leaving for Hogwarts would mean spending a good chunk of the year away from Mother.
Rodolphus nodded, shifting again, looking back towards the house. "Well, we'll most likely be seeing each other in Slytherin." He lowered his voice, giving the other boy a small smile. "Unless I manage to be sorted into Ravenclaw, but my uncle would most likely throw me from his house, if that were the case."
Sirius nodded. “Yes, I’m expected to be sorted into Slytherin as well,” he said. He narrowed his eyes slightly and took a step forward, glancing away for a moment before turning back to Rodolphus. “My mother told me I would be sorted into Slytherin,” his voice lowered, “and I want to be sorted into Slytherin. She’d kill me if I weren’t.”
"I doubt she'd kill you," Rodolphus argued, even though Sirius' mother was scary. "She'd only kill you if you were sorted into...into Gryffindor, and I doubt that could happen to a Black." Even Hufflepuff was better than Gryffindor, from what he'd heard--the Mudbloods there were supposed to know their place, after all.
Snorting, Sirius stepped away from the mud and onto the pavement. “Gryffindor? I don’t think so,” he said, voice rich with childish arrogance. A loud bout of laughter came from the direction of the house, noise of conversing adults drifting through open windows and into the garden. He glanced at the window on the second floor, where the curtains were half open. Regulus’ room.
Rodolphus followed Sirius look and saw a bit of movement from the window. "Who's that?" he asked, curious as to why it would draw the other boy's attention.
“My brother, Regulus,” Sirius replied, gaze still fixed on the window. “He’s eight.”
"Rabastan, my brother, is the same age," Rodolphus said, smiling as he said his brother's name. "...It's going to be hard to go to school and leave him behind."
Sirius turned back to Rodolphus. It was going to be hard to leave Regulus behind, too. More than hard. In fact, he didn’t know how he was going to cope without spending nights alone, with the knowledge that Regulus’ room and bed weren’t just a door away. He swallowed hard, and kicked stubbornly at the grass again. “Yes,” he said simply in reply.
"Do you come out here a lot?" Rodolphus finally asked, wishing that the other boy was more talkative, knowing that he, himself, wasn't.
"Do you come out here a lot?" Rodolphus finally asked, wishing that the other boy was more talkative, knowing that he, himself, wasn't.
“All the time,” Sirius replied, stepping onto the grass again and kicking at the dented bark, trying to find his familiar footing. Hoisting himself up and grabbing on a branch overhead, he began to easily climb the tree. “It’s great for playing. It’s like a jungle.”
Rodolphus bit his lip to hold back the laugh at that idea. He'd never been to a jungle, but he didn't think the rundown garden behind the Black house was anything like one. Watching as the other boy climbed, Rodolphus realized that he had never, in his entire life, climbed a tree. He grabbed one of the branches experimentally and hoisted himself up. "Oh...we don't...play much."
“You don’t play?” Sirius all but blurted. “Why?” he asked curiously, climbing up to a higher, thicker branch, where he wrapped his legs around it and swung around, hanging by his knees upside down, his hair standing on end as he looked at the other boy with a puzzled expression.
Rodolphus followed, worrying his lip as he continued to climb higher, doing his best not to look down...or notice what a state his robes would most likely be in. "My uncle...doesn't like to be reminded that we're children." He slipped a bit and almost let out a noise before he steadied himself. "I mostly...mostly just read."
Sirius sat up, his hand automatically shooting out to steady Rodolphus. “Read? But that’s just boring, innit? Kids are supposed to play too, you know.”
Rodolphus' eyes widened and he looked down at Sirius' hand, not able to recall when anyone but his brother had touched him. "I heard that, somewhere," he joked, shifting closer to Sirius and looking down at the ground, giving a gulp at just how high up they seemed.
Laughing a bit, Sirius kept his hand on Rodolphus. “We’re not very high up.” He shifted his weight a bit, trying to get more comfortable on the hard bark. “Besides, I’ve fallen off here before… and I’m okay, aren’t I?”
"Well," Rodolphus looked over the other boy, "I don't think I know you well enough to say you're 'okay'. What if you're hiding something under all that dirt?" He winced at the position he found himself crouched in and carefully, ever so carefully, sat down on the large branch.
“I have nothing to hide!” Sirius snorted, rubbing at his nose to wipe off imaginary dirt. “What have you got to hide? For all I know you could be hiding something, too.”
"Oh, yes, didn't you know? Lestranges have tentacles and hooved feet." Rodolphus laughed, looking towards the house and wondering what his uncle would do to him if he ever heard that comment.
“Ohh,” Sirius giggled, placing a hand over his mouth. “Careful, the grown ups might hear you! I’d get a slap around the ear if I said something like that.” And it so happened Sirius often got slaps around the ear. Not by his mother, of course, she was too lazy to discipline her son. The House Elves were ordered to punish Sirius.
"Yeah, a slap," Rodolphus replied, vaguely, looking away and knowing that he'd get a lot worse than a slap or two if his uncle heard him. Not that Rodolphus would ever say such a thing around his uncle, he excelled at being the perfect child, after all. "But I doubt anyone would look for me up here, so I'm safe."
Sirius raised his eyebrows and looked away, his gaze automatically fixing on his brother’s window again.
"Well, would your brother tell on us?" Rodolphus asked, amused.
Sirius shrugged. "No," he said quietly, looking away again and picking at the bark with his blunt nails.
"That's good." Rodolphus didn't know what else to say on that subject. "Are you supposed to be at the party?"
“Yes,” Sirius replied, kicking the back of his heel against the bark. “But all I do is sit around. So I came out here.”
"There's not much for us to do in there...I think my uncle was just hoping to show me off." Rodolphus shrugged, opting for a very small movement of his shoulders incase he unbalanced himself.
"Yeah, know what that feels like," Sirius muttered. He looked down at his dirty hands, mud cracked on the creases of his palms. "Mother'll be wondering where I am," he sighed.
"Well, they won't do anything if they see us talking while we're in there. They might even think it's," Rodolphus wrinkled his nose at the thought, "cute. After all, we're the heirs of our families...."
"So are you suggesting we go back inside?" Sirius asked with a slight wrinkle to his nose. After a moments thought, he grabbed onto one of the lower branches, his robes making an odd tearing sound as he leaped down from the tree, landing like a cat in the mud below. "We could go into my room if you wanted."
Rodolphus looked down at Sirius, taking in his state, and refrained from saying that they should go to his room, if only so the other boy could clean up. He climbed down more carefully, fumbling at the branches and dropping down with a wince. "Okay."
Nodding happily, Sirius turned and led the way inside, not looking back, trusting Rodolphus was following him. "Shh," he whispered under his breath, covering his lips with his forefinger. Curling his fingers around the glass doors that led into the pantry, Sirius crept inside, leaving the door open for the other boy. Luckily, Kreacher was elsewhere - probably cleaning around upstairs - and the room was empty. He quietly crept up the stairs that led into the main foyer of the house, sounds of his movements silenced by the loud conversations coming from the living room.
Rodolphus closed the door behind him and slunk after Sirius, covering his mouth with a hand to keep from laughing at how melodramatic the other boy was being. He didn't understand why they didn't just walk through the party, the two of them together could hardly look odd, since they were the youngest children there. On the stairs he found himself being extra careful not to let them creak beneath him.
Sirius purposely made his way over to the stairway, gripping hold of the large banister at the foot of the stairs and glancing over his back at Rodolphus. "Don't want Mother dragging me back in there," he explained, leaping up the stairs two at a time - though silently - hoisting himself up with his grip. Sirius almost shuddered at the thought - Mrs. Black would take one look at him and shriek at the sight - demanding he take a bath and comb his hair, banning him from the garden for a week.
Rodolphus nodded knowingly, even though he wasn't sure what Sirius was talking about. Then again, he'd never been as dirty-covered and rumpled as Sirius was now. He followed up the stairs at a more sedate pace, looking around to see if anyone noticed their ascent.
Once at the top of the stairs and out of sight, Sirius felt the sudden urge to raise his fists in the air and bellow, 'Freee!'. He smirked instead, cocking his head slightly, thinking it would probably frighten the other boy. "That's Regulus' room," he whispered loudly, pointing at the door as they passed, pausing to give it a prolonged look.
"Do you want to talk to him?" Rodolphus asked, taking in Sirius' look now and remembering the long look from the garden to the window, as well. He wondered why the younger brother hadn't been in the garden with them, but decided not to ask, incase he had been sent to his room or some such thing. "I don't mind...."
Sirius shrugged one shoulder and rapped his knuckles lightly on the door. He would normally barge in without permission, but he felt the sudden need to act... polite, in front of Rodolphus.
Regulus looked up from his bed, where he had been lying since he caught sight of his brother and some strange boy in the garden. The knock scared him, at first, but then he reasoned that Mother would never come up during one of her parties. He crept to the door and leaned his ear against it, but couldn't hear anything, so he slid it open, ever so slightly, and stared out from the crack at his brother and the other boy.
"What you doing?" Sirius asked, bouncing slowly on his heels, peering through the gap of the doorway. He could only see a slither of his little brother - one large grey eye and a shock of black hair.
Regulus licked his lips and opened the door more, so he could get a better look at the new boy. "Nothing," he answered, fingers fiddling with the lock of his door nervously. "What you doing?"
Rodolphus watched the exchange with a small frown, eyeing the boy who was mostly hidden by the shadows of his room. He wanted to introduce himself, but didn't want to interrupt the interaction between the brothers.
"Nothing?" Sirius said, narrowing his eyes, his tone suspicious. "As for me, I'm looking for something fun to do." He bounced on his heels again, turning to Rodolphus. "Regulus, this is Rodolphus. He's with the party. He likes to... read." He flashed a cheeky smile at the older boy, before looking back at his brother and shoving the door open. "Can we come in?"
Rodolphus gave Sirius a playful glare. "I do more than read, I just...don't play in trees." He stepped into the room when Regulus moved back to let them in, returning to his bed. "...Nice to meet you..." Rodolphus murmured, wondering if all the Blacks were as weird as the brothers and their parents.
Sirius perched on the end of Regulus' bed, bouncing on the mattress a bit, his mucky shoes rubbing against the carpet. "Boring," he snorted, watching as Rodolphus entered the room. "No sense of adventure, isn't that right, Regulus?"
Regulus glanced up at his brother, wondering if the other boy was making fun of him, too. After all, Regulus was hardly ever brave enough to enter the garden, let alone climb trees with Sirius. "Yeah, no sense of adventure," he agreed, hesitantly. He wanted to sit down next to his brother and lean into him, even if he would get dirty, too, but he didn't dare do it in front of someone else.
"I don't need to have a sense of adventure," Rodolphus countered, pouting slightly. "Adventure is overrated."
"What are you, thirty?" Sirius snorted with a light wave of his hand. "Stop talking like you're ancient," he demanded, folding his arms and smirking. He turned round to Regulus and grinned, though his expression softened slightly. "You going to sleep?" he asked, frowning slightly.
"I'm mature." Rodolphus hadn't been exposed to many other children and wondered if he really seemed so odd. The fact he acted older than he was had always gained him praise from his uncle (the little the old man had to offer). "How else am I supposed to talk?"
Regulus gave his brother a smile, liking the attention. With a furtive glance towards Rodolphus, Regulus slid over to sit next to Sirius, shaking his head. "Not really, I was...just resting." He was just avoiding the idea of Sirius getting a new friend, because any friend his older brother made could make him forget Regulus.
Sirius shifted closer to his brother, dirty hand ruffling his black hair, though lingering slightly - touch gentle and caring before his hand slid back to his lap. "Like a kid," Sirius muttered, still trying to wrap his mind around the fact that Rodolphus never even played. He turned back to Regulus, light gaze slightly laced with concern. "You can play with us, if you want. That is, if Rodolphus doesn't want to read instead."
"I don't just read," Rodolphus complained, going to gingerly sit down on the bed. "And I don't know what you have against reading!"
Leaning into his brother's hand, Regulus' smile brightened. "I can?"
"Oh, give it a rest, Ready Readerson." Patting his brother's back, Sirius made to stand up, glancing around the room, thinking of something for them to do. He tapped his fingers on his chin as he walked in a full circle around the carpet, like a dictator, brow furrowed in deep concentration. He paused, and turned to Rodolphus. "Okay, if you don't like reading all the time, then you have to think of something for us to play."
Rodolphus shifted nervously, glancing back between the two boys. "Well, I don't know what you can do, or what you have in this place," he argued, congratulating himself mentally for the quick thinking. He didn't really know how to 'play', at least not in the way he knew the other boy meant.
Sirius sighed, flopping back on the bed next to his brother. "Perhaps we should play... Truth or Dare?" He said the name dramatically, hoping the older boy would protest just so he had something to make gentle fun of Rodolphus for.
"Truth or Dare?" Rodolphus blinked, wondering if the game sounded as intimidating as Sirius made it out to be, and fighting back a blush as he realized he had just revealed that he didn't know what it was.
Regulus smirked at Rodolphus, glad the older boy wasn't nearly as fun as he himself was. Obviously Rodolphus was a safe friend for Sirius to have, because there wasn't any chance of Sirius being more interested in him then Regulus.
"I take it that's a no then?" Sirius said casually, leaning back on the bed and swinging his legs off the end. "Because if you're too scared, we'll understand. Right, Reg?"
"Of course, Siri," Regulus replied, leaning back on the bed and giving Rodolphus a knowing look.
"No, no, it's fine. Truth or Dare it is, then." Rodolphus moved closer, not sure if he should sit on the bed or stay standing.
Sirius sniggered triumphantly, sitting back up and shifting up on the mattress, so they could be sitting round in a circle. "Okay, Rodolphus, I'll go first and ask you, then," his gaze shifted to Regulus' briefly, full of mischief, "do you want a Truth or a Dare?"
Rodolphus followed the brothers' gazes and knew he had just agreed to something he shouldn't have. "Um...truth." He couldn't think of any reason why 'truth' could hurt him, if he was guessing the game right.
Sighing, Sirius leaned back, as if contemplating the older boy's request. "Truth, eh?" he murmured. "Alright. What do you really think about the parties our families have?"
Rodolphus' eyes widened, then he looked down, trying to work out what words he should use. "They're...dull....They just say the same things over and over again, but it's not like any of them are going to do anything about what they think...."
Regulus giggled before he could stop himself. He had never been allowed down to the parties, but he had heard enough about them from Sirius.
Laughing along with his brother, Sirius punched Rodolphus' arm. "That's the spirit!" he said cheerfully. It may have not been the exact answer he was looking for, but they were just getting started after all. "Now it's your turn to ask one of us a truth or a dare."
Rodolphus gave a mental groan and looked between the two boys. "Okay...um...Sirius, truth or dare?"
"Dare," Sirius breathed, eyes glittering with excitement. He leaned forward, hands clenching on his robes at the knees.
Rodolphus spent a few minutes, thinking over what he could possibly dare the other boy to do, before leaning towards Sirius with a smirk on his features. "I dare you..." he paused for effect, "to come downstairs with me when I have to leave, and act and look like the perfect pureblood son."
At that Regulus laughed so hard he fell onto his back on the bed, just imagining how Sirius would go about doing that.
Sirius' smug grin fell off his face immediately, his gaze shifting from Rodolphus to Regulus. "Fuck off!" he spluttered, the foul language rolling off his tongue easily, boldly. Angry sneer firmly in place, he shot his hand out and shoved Regulus hard on the shoulder. "Shut up," he hissed, turning back to face Rodolphus with an indignant glare. "Fine," he said through gritted teeth. "It doesn't mean I have to say anything though."
Rodolphus' somewhat good mood dissipated at Sirius' reaction--he hadn't expected the other boy to be so offended. "...Fine...."
Regulus rubbed at his shoulder, pouting and sitting back up, glaring at his brother.
"Regulus," Sirius muttered huffily, turning to his brother, glad that the little git had calmed down enough to pay attention. "Truth or dare?"
"Truth," Regulus wouldn't be foolish enough to choose anything else when his brother was in one of his moods. He glared at Rodolphus as the other boy took a relieved breath that it hadn't been him.
Rolling his eyes, Sirius settled back on the pillows, smirking at Rodolphus. "What do you think of our new playmate, little brother?"
"He's not you," Regulus said automatically, giving a shrug. Then he looked back over at Rodolphus, steadying him. "I bet Mother likes him."
Sirius sniggered darkly, nudging Rodolphus with his leg. "Does she?" he asked, out of genuine curiosity. He wasn't there when Mother had greeted the Lestranges, and wanted to know if she genuinely liked the kid. Doubtful.
Rodolphus shifted, not liking how either of them talked about him, and wondering what, exactly, Regulus meant about him not being Sirius. "How can you tell? I guess she was nice enough, she asked me a few questions, then told me where the food was." He had been terrified the entire time, wondering if she was one of the monsters his uncle would tell him about that came and took children who wanted to be bloodtraitors away.
Sirius' eyes widened, and he looked at Regulus, then back at Rodolphus. "She... showed you where the food was?" he asked very slowly, "She wants to eat you!" he said dramatically, sitting up straight and leaning into the other boy. "That's what she does! She fattens up pureblood children so she can eat them. Ever read Hansel and Gretel?"
Regulus turned his head away to hide his amused look at Rodolphus' suddenly wide eyes. He didn't blame the boy for fearing their Mother, Regulus was supposed to be the good son, and even he was terrified of her.
"She-she does not!" Rodolphus denied, struck by a fear he knew was stupid and childish.
"She does!" Sirius breathed enthusiastically, shifting even closer. "Ever wonder why you're the only kid at these parties? It's because she's eaten all the other ones! And you know that funny jewellry that she wears around her neck?" he paused theatrically, eyes wide, "It's the children's teeth..."
Rodolphus looked back and forth between the two brothers, eyes impossibly wide. "My uncle would never allow anyone to eat me. Or, well, anyone else to eat me."
Sirius couldn't help the little snort that escaped his lips, clamping his fist over his mouth and turning to face away from Rodolphus as he controlled his laughter. After a moment, he turned back, face completely straight. "Oh no," he said, shaking his head. "I think he would let her. Either that, or she'll eat your brother."
"Oh, shut up! She would have eaten your brother already if she ate children. You're old enough that he probably won't be needed." Rodolphus narrowed his eyes, upset at how the other boy was mocking him.
Regulus turned back at the mention of him, shuddering at the reminder that to most pureblood adults he was simply there incase anything happened to Sirius.
"Don't talk about my brother like that!" Sirius said defensively. "And fine if you don't believe me, just don't expect me to help when she traps you and tries to chomp down!" He crossed his arms again, sitting back on the pillows.
Rodolphus rolled his eyes. "Well, don't try to make me look foolish." He sat back and crossed his own arms.
Regulus smiled and his brother and laid down next to him. "Oh, big brother, you're my hero!" he joked.
"Shurrup," Sirius muttered, nudging Regulus with his shoulder. "'syour turn, anyway."
"Is it?" Regulus asked, after a moment’s hesitation. "I'm bored with this game."
Just then, a loud noise, like a door banging, sounded from downstairs. Sirius sat up sharply, his ears perking. After a moment, the door to the room opened, the Blacks' house elf telling Sirius and Rodolphus to come downstairs on his mother's order. "Ohh, we're in for it, now," Sirius muttered under his breath.
Rodolphus gnawed at his lip, standing from the bed and wondering if Sirius' words would be true. "No sense putting it off...."
Regulus grabbed Sirius' arm and squeezed it before letting his brother go. "Good luck."
Sirius paused as he stood up, curling his hand around the back of his brother's neck as he leant down to press a kiss on his forehead. "Yes, if we go now, the eating will be a lot quicker," he joked, moving away from the bed and toward the door. Wiping his hands nervously on his robes, he raised his chin and walked out of the room.
"Maybe you should...shake those out, or run and throw a new one on?" Rodolphus asked as he walked from the room and closed the door behind them, staring at the hem of Sirius' robes.
Regulus leaned back on his bed with a grin, fingers wiping ever so softly over the area his brother's lips touched. He loved when his brother touched him, it made him feel loved in a way their parents never could.
Sirius blinked and looked down, nodding. Without a word, he grabbed Rodolphus' sleeve and ushered him through the doorway next to his brother's room - his own room, and flung open his dress cupboard, pulling out a similar style of black robes. Walking behind his dressing blind, Sirius tore off his dirty robes and threw the new ones on, not bothering to change his shoes or comb his hair as he purposely made for the door again.
Rodolphus rolled his eyes as he watched the other boy change robes, walking out of the room and towards the party beside Sirius, reaching up and trying to neaten the younger boy's hair whenever he had the chance. "Remember your dare," he murmured when they reached the adults.
Glaring at Rodolphus and ducking his prying hands, Sirius straightened as he entered the room, facial expression smoothing. He licked his lips, and with great effort strode up to where his parents were talking and stood next to them, for once, not complaining that he was bored, or making a general fuss about things.
Rodolphus was relieved to see that his uncle was speaking with the Blacks and he could stay near Sirius. He, too, kept his face as carefully blank as he could manage, though inwards he was congratulating himself for annoying Sirius so much, and wondering how such a boy could seem like such the perfect son when he wanted to.
After a while, as Sirius' mother and father dutifully ignored him and continued talking to Rodolphus' uncle, Sirius' fingers began to twitch, his calm expression ebbing. "Mother, why did you call us down here?" he asked, cutting into their conversation. Mrs. Black turned to him and told him to be quiet, that he was too loud. He immediately back away, eyes wide as he stared at Rodolphus. Told you so. He just knew he'd be getting a lecture later about embarrassing her in front of all their friends.
Rodolphus bit his lip and slid closer to Sirius, leaning over to whisper in the other boy’s ear, "Careful, she might decide you look tasty." He stood straight up again before any of the adults would noticing his whispering, though his uncle soon shot him a look to see what he was doing. He, too, wished they'd tell them why they were brought back down.
Sirius sighed. He guessed why his mother had called him down - probably to show off the Black heir to all her friends, to gloat his pureness. He didn't know why exactly, it wasn't as if she treated him with any special care when no one else was in the house. Ten minutes of standing in silence, watching the grown ups talk, Sirius began to get very restless again, but was relieved to see some of the adults filter out of the room, taking their cloaks and scarves with them.
Rodolphus relaxed, slightly, when his uncle began to pull away from the conversation, citing a meeting in the morning as his reason for going now. Rodolphus said the typical, polite goodbyes to Sirius' parents before turning to the other boy and offering him a small smile and his hand to shake. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Sirius."
"You too," Sirius said slowly, conviction obvious in his tone. He took the offered hand, shaking it with a gentle hesitation, hoping to see more of the polite boy in years to come. Perhaps he could convince him that playing wasn't so bad.