Guest Starring: Madame Zabini, Althorp and Dorfley
|Scene Title||Calling the Court|
|Synopsis||Voldemort summons his entire following to welcome their newest initiate and to announce the Next Big Plan!|
|Date||March 23, 1996|
|Watch For||Awesome cameos!|
Saturday night falls to the backdrop of falling rain. The entire day has been cool and grey, but the threatening rain showers only began around sunset. Now, the sound is a soothing counterpoint to the silence that sits over Malfoy Manor. The old house is nearly akin to a fortress and though the world outside is pitch black, the elegant interior is illuminated with torches and chandeliers of candles and crystal. It is, perhaps, an appropriate venue selection, because the ballroom - still shadowy even with the help of candles and torches - could easily fit six of Riddle House's 'throne rooms' inside it. A dais is raised on the end of the room opposite the doors and upon it rests a grand oaken throne. Lounging on that throne like a young king without a care in the world is the creature most of the Wizarding world fears above all others. His frightening familiar has draped herself over the back of the chair, hissing conversationally to her master. Lord Voldemort holds a glass in one hand that could be red wine were it not so … viscuous. In the other hand, he twirls his yew wand, enjoying whatever his conversation with Nagini entails.
Standing at his Lord's right hand is Lucius Malfoy. And though he wears the black robes of the Death Eater cult, they are open tonight, revealing a deep blue tunic and black pants tucked into well-polished black boots. On his right arm is his wife, resplendent in her traditional gown of hunter green, belted and trimmed with silver. She too, wears the open robes in their cult's traditional black, but when the Dark Lord extends his wand to call the rest of their following, it is Lucius and not Narcissa who bares the inky serpent on his left forearm. For once, Wormtail is absolutely nowhere to be seen.
The arrival of the cult happens in dips and spurts. Death Eaters come in twos and threes and sometimes one by one. Those of the Inner Circle are easily distinguished by their attire. All are cloaked in the ceremonial black robes of their cult, but beneath them all are adorned in regal, traditional splendor. Only one other woman - save Narcissa - wears a silver coronet on her brow - and only Lucius wears the silver torc at his neck. The rest of the assembling horde, however, arrive in their covering black robes, hoods pulled down over their faces to make them a writhing mass of unidentifiable humanity until the soft talk and greetings start and the hoods begin to be lifted.
Dorfley is more the noir type; pants and a button down shirt of dark grey, and black oxfords. His tie, not askew, is a spot of color in the otherwise dour outfit. But it's an equally dismal shade of burgundy. All covered with a black hooded robe. He's really rather nondescript all told. And certainly not a member of this inner circle. No, he's one of the poor sods in the outer circle. And when it's time for the hood to be lifted - his salt and pepper hair and grizzled hard-jawed countenance speaks of both hardship and acceptance of his lot. Whatever that happens to be in this side he's chosen.
Althorp arrives soon after being called. He is of course proper and prompt, a carefully pressed and cleaned suit beneath his long dark robes. His older face is carefully manicured with a long white beard and a bald head. He smiles keenly at the Dark Lord with an elegant bow, just like the best brown noser ever. Like Dorfley, he isn't anywhere close to the inner circle…but no one has ever told him about that.
Clearly defined and distinguished, the likes of Rabastan LeStrange entering has a tendency to not be as noticeable as some of the others. He moves with a practiced and rehearsed ease, pulling the hood of his open robe down and merely granting the others with a small nod. His attentions are almost solely focused on the Dark Lord. Refined, classic and expensive taste is the tone of Rabastan's attire. He is dressed in an impeccably tailored suit that fits well against his frame, a swirled and varied state of blacks and grays that are broken up by a single deviation; a deep, dark, blood red tie. Clearly, the state and stature of this man puts him leagues above the Death Eater Rabble that make up the majority of this organization. His prideful stroll towards the rest of the Inner Circle, who will get a longer nod of greeting, helps to show just that.
A tall, dark lady clad in demure blue and a black robe as well, Madame Zabini steps closer toward the front, giving a small curtsey to the Dark Lord. She wears a silver coronet on her brow, more a picture of her place as a lady of good breeding than a mark of any royalty. Her long, dark hair is twisted up into a bun, ringlets hanging down to frame her olive face. She murmurs her greetings to the man on the throne, then takes her place nodding to the other gentlemen around her. She appears perfectly at home in this situation.
Lucius and Narcissa are gracious hosts from their place at their Lord's right hand. Lucius keeps a careful watch on the doors at the other end of the ballroom, but his lady displays her elegance and good breeding in the quiet conversations she strikes up with those nearest - the Lady Zabini and the younger LeStrange, to be precise.
As the room begins to fill, the Dark Lord watches his following. Eyes of flashing garnet are never still, but he does not speak to anyone - save the soft hisses to his familiar - until the soft 'pops' of Apparition have slowed and ceased and the room is full of his subjects. Only then does he spin to stand, displaying an eerie, inhuman grace. "My friends," he begins, his voice soft and his face split in a smile that - if it weren't in such an inhuman face - might just be friendly. He doesn't need to raise his voice. His followers know the penalty for speaking over their Lord and Master.
"Some of you know why I have gathered you tonight." His gaze lands on each member of his Inner Circle, arrayed at the edge of his dais and clothed according to their rank and privilege. "But many of you must be wondering why - for the first time since my rebirth - I have gathered you all together… Fear not, my friends, for you are to bear witness to the dawning of a new era." He steps forward, moving toward his audience. Nagini slithers off the chair to coil on the floor at his feet, her own demon-red eyes flicking among the assembled. "Dumbledore's death was only the beginning of our great triumph! Tonight, one of the oldest and most loyal of my Circle has brought us a gift; the final diamond to grace our court - the crowning jewel of a most … noble family." He smiles again. "With this gift, he proves himself worthy to ascend to control over the oldest symbol of our world - the very bastion of our children, who are our future." Murmurs of approval from the Inner Circle are silenced with one raised hand. "With this gift, the final obstacle to our ascension to supremacy has been lifted! With this gift, my friends, we can finally reclaim our place. The powerful will once again rule, my friends…" His smile turns to something smug and arrogant. "Severus!" he calls, a flick of his wand slamming open both doors at the opposite end of the room. "Show us your prize."
Severus Snape has dressed up for the occasion. He wears a black open robe, exposing the black tunic and pants he wears beneath. All of it appears much more well-tailored than his usual fare, and his hair is clean and pulled back, secured behind his neck with a simple silver clasp. He appears when called, his arm held by a young blonde woman dressed and coiffed immaculately. The lady wears a grey cloak as opposed to a black one. His manner is both more at ease and more imperious than many have seen him, as well. "Greetings, milord. Malfoy, Narcissa." He nods to each in turn, dropping the first nod considerably lower for his liege. He steps toward the throne, taking the place saved for them by the Inner Circle ranged about the Dark Lord's seat. "Thank you, My Lord," he says quietly, remaining still when he arrives in his place.
Oh look, there are a few extra grey hairs on Dorfley's head of a sudden. Maybe it's the demon red of the Dark Lord's eyes. Or, the way the doors slam open. Or, because he suddenly feels 10 years older. Everything… /everything/.. makes him feel older. Especially seeing Snape walk in with a beauty on his arm. Some men have all the luck, while he gets none! Hnph.
Althorp bristles as Severus Snape enters with the young woman. He gives him a glare and carefully straightens his suit. He places his hands behind his back, and attempts to look like he is appreciative of the efforts the former Potions master has done for the organization, while everyone else can obviously tell he's more than just a bit jealous.
Rabastan LeStrange (one of such a pure family tends to use the whole name on a regular basis. it just sounds better that way.) is sitting in what would appear to be an uncomfortable position. His posture is unwavering and the only time he makes a movement is to look in the direction of his Lord and Master. His eyes are narrowed in a way that would probably seem challenging to anyone else, though, there's a hidden curiousness to his stare that would probably be intense to anyone but Voldemort. A LeStrange or not, Rabastan knows much better than to publicly challenge any of those words from Voldemort's mouth. He is content to listen at this moment. Though, his eyes do cut over in the direction of Severus, before looking away with a slight roll of those same eyes. So much faith put into… well… Severus. Shame.
Walking up the impromptu aisle made up of people rapidly getting Out of Their Way, Siobhan Noble can't suppress the cheerful - albeit slightly wicked - grin on her face. On the arm of Severus Snape, she knows exactly the message they're sending to the old Purebloods - and it only amuses her more. Unlike the others assembled, her cloak is grey, shrouding a traditional Celtic gown of blue-grey, belted in silver. The hood is pulled up high over her face, however, in an exact display that only one (so far as she knows) of those present will recognize. She totally did it on purpose. When they stop in front of the Dark Lord's dais, she puts just the tiniest pressure on her mate's arm as she drops back into the deeply elegant curtsy of one monarch to another - it's a subtle prompt for him to remember his manners. "Good evening my Lord." Unlike Severus, she addresses her greeting one way and one way only, finally lifting her hood to show off a complex, elegant twist and a coronet similar to Narcissa's and Lady Zabini's. It's a distinction that might not be immediately obvious to most, but only married women wear their hair in such a manner - at least according to the old Celtic traditions. Wait. What? "Surprised?" Straightening, she can't resist poking at him just a little. She can afford to, after all.
Madame Zabini demurely lifts a bejeweled hand to her mouth, covering a surprised gasp. She had heard rumors that the two were quite close, but had put them aside as the romantic ramblings of her son and his friends. However, it appears they completely underestimated the situation. "Oh, my." The hairstyle and the dress and the bearing all lead to one conclusion. The Italian lady turns to gaze at Severus Snape with new respect. She is floored.
Severus follows her lead, making the appropriate obeisance. "My dear," he intones, softly, the words less of a chide than an acknowledgement and appreciation of her humor. However, they may be seen as otherwise by someone unaware of their own means of communication. He continues to greet the others around him in kind, having picked up what he could in two days. Knowing he is the center of attention, he stands still, only nodding once to the assembled group beyond the Circle. Then, he turns and focuses his attention on Siobhan. Though it is his night, it is hers as well.
As those doors fly open, the normally pristine composure of the Dark Lord's right hand man slips enough that his face drains of color. Guess who Tom showed the Pensieve memory to! When Severus and his lady stop to pay their respects, the hood is thrown back and Lucius has to bite the inside of his mouth to keep from speaking out of turn. That idiot girl! She could get herself killed this way! Elbowing her husband, Narcissa's nod of greeting to Severus and Siobhan is much warmer than Lucius'. He barely manages a curt jerk of his head. What? He's totally not sulking.
And Lucius is not the only one surprised by the visage painted by that hooded cloak, that wicked smile and the traditional gown… Narrowed crimson eyes watch closely, suspicion painted across the snarl that curls his lips. "What trick is this, Severus?" When that hood is lifted, however, the Dark Lord doesn't have to hold back his bark of laughter. "You have surprised even me, my dear." He takes Severus' endearment and runs all over it - because he can. Gesturing for the two of them to take the place on his left - opposite of Lucius and Narcissa and the only other individuals on that level - he turns once again to the crowd. "For too long have we been subjugated by those who have no right to rule a fly, nonetheless an entire generation of their betters! With this conquest, Severus has delivered to us the piece we need to initiate the Rite of Succession! My friends, are you ready to take your rightful places? Are you ready to rule our island home once again?"
Dorfley rocks back on his heels a bit; one can almost picture him with a cigar in his mouth and a glass of gin in his hand when he does it too. Like he's taking in this… new development like some sort of crime scene. An eyebrow is raised, mental notes are made. Loathe to be the first to lead a rallying cry, he nevertheless doesn't want to be *last*. Because that would probably mean his cry would turn into a gurgle as the life was choked out of him for not being vociferous enough in his joyous celebration of this coup. So, he elbows the Deatheater beside him sharply, prompting -him- to start a cheer and rallying cry. To which, naturally, he follows suit.
Althorp just gives this very confused look. He points to Severus, then Siobhan, then the dark Lord and back again. His mouth hangs open with his natural confusion before getting an elbow in the ribs that has traveled down from Dorfly. He "eeps!" loudly and joins in quickly. He claps and cheers with the rest, trying to make his own voice over power the sound of all around him. The old man is practically jumping for joy at the moment.
Surprise manages to cross the features of many of these people. That's right, even Rabastan LeStrange shows that he was not expecting what has just occurred. Rather, what has just been revealed unto them. His expression, however, is not one of delight or smiling. And then when they are motioned up to the other side of Voldemort, well, that's just grinding Rabastan's gears at this point. He does not hesitate, though, rising from his seat and to his feet, clapping calmly and softly while the pitifools are cheering like mad wizards and witches. His attention is on both Severus and Siobhan the entire time he does his golf clapping. Less than impressed but he will be respectful. For now.
Madame Zabini smiles demurely at the exchange between the two latest arrivals, and then listens to the words the Dark Lord says. Something is niggling at her, but she cannot remember what it is, so she claps politely, her hope rising anew. If the Dark Lord can pull this off, it will have several extremely good consequences for her personally.
Severus claps his hands, which causes several of the younger men to follow suit. Whether they were once his students and subtly take his lead, or whether they just take their cues from the 'common boy made good', it's not certain. He stops clapping, however, and looks over to see Siobhan's response. His eyes narrow as the Dark Lord mocks his endearment, but only just a fraction, and only for a moment. Otherwise, he is the picture of put together propriety.
Siobhan is an excellent little viper. She doesn't even flinch at the Dark Lord's use of a rather personal endearment. She maintains her expression of cool superiority as they ascend the dais and take their places, turning to face the gathered crowd with just the barest flicker of a smile toward Narcissa. She listens to the rousing speeches and cheers with calm equanimity. This is exactly what she had expected. Giving Severus' arm a small burst of quiet sunshine, she lets her cool gaze travel over the more familiar faces. When she meets Rabastan's cool and less-than-impressed stare, however, she tilts her head and regards him with curiosity. She does not join in the cheers and applause, but maintains the image of cool benevolence and agreement with a small smile - the picture perfect image of the docile, conquered woman.
The sounds of resounding shouts and yells and cheers echoes around the empty room of marble and stone. Neither Lucius nor Narcissa join in the spectacle, but they observe it as if above it. Which, technically speaking, they are, if only by a dozen centimetres. Siobhan isn't the only one to notice Rabastan's demeanor. Lucius catches the eye of his old friend, a Significant Look exchanged that says they can have words Later.
For now, at least, the Dark Lord is pleased with his victory and content with his following - mostly. "You have witnessed the dawning of a new age, my friends. We will perform the Rite of Succession! We will no longer live our lives cowering in secrecy! We will reclaim our throne - and we will drive out those who would dare stand in our way." The particularly loud and boisterous cheering of one old man have finally managed to rub the wrong nerve with this particular Dark Lord. Flicking his wand in Althorp, Lord Voldemort hisses out the Parseltongue equivalent of Crucio, holding it only long enough to shut him up before releasing the spell. "You all have your orders. You will check in with your commanders within the fortnight for new instructions." It's not a suggestion. "Begone!" And - with the good sense of followers who don't want to be the next Cruciatus practice, the heavily-cloaked rabble start Disapparating right away. Oddly enough, however, the Inner Circle doesn't move. Not even a little.
Dorfley has enough marginal intelligence and a strong sense of survival. Bad luck there Althorp. Yikes. But, he knows when it's time to get the eff out of Dodge. And that? Would be now! *poof*
Althrop shudders and falls over. It doesn't take a long time for him to leave when ordered. Note to self, keep quiet next time.
Rabastan LeStrange doesn't even sit back down, nor does he react to foolishness being cursed. There's no reason for him to sit down when he's about to take the floor. Or, rather, he's about to give Lucius the floor. The look that is exchanged between the two men is probably a silent conversation that consists of acronyms including but not limited to WTF. In that same instantaneous and silent conversation, Rabastan conveys that Lucius should be the one to bring up 'the issues with this', considering that Lucius is the Right Hand of Lord Voldemort. Well, that and Rabastan is no fool and will not speak without being asked his opinion about particular subjects that are to the left of the Dark Lord and Savior of Pure Blooded Wizardry. Amen.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.