Chapter 14 : Roxton, Rodolphus, and Rabastan Lestrange: Family Honor
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He was there, in plain view of everyone in the room, sitting next to their mother. And when he spoke, they obeyed.
Rodolphus and Rabastan looked at their mother, each wondering what it was that she had to tell them. Each wondering why Voldemort himself had to order her to do it.
Their mother took a long breath. "Do you boys remember how your father died?"
She sat so plainly and spoke in such a normal tone that the boys almost believed this was going to be easy. Almost... if only their mother's face wasn't red with tears.
"He died to save us, to save you," Rabastan said before looking at his older brother. Both now understood that this was not the whole truth.
"Yes he did," their mother said and almost didn't continue, it was only Voldemort's presence at her side that kept her talking. "But he also died because of me."
Rodolphus scratched his chin and sat up, leaning towards his mother. He glanced over at Voldemort, completely unafraid to look him in the eyes. He knew it was time, so did his brother. "So what's the truth?" he asked his mother.
She opened her mouth but closed it without speaking, completely unsure how to tell her precious boys that she, their own mother, was the reason that their father was dead. A reason that would completely hand them over to the monster sitting next to her. She closed her eyes, unable to speak and look at them at the same time, "I... I had only just married him that pervious summer, a year before..."
She stopped again and opened her eyes to look around at the other people in the room. Alexander Avery was there, along with Antonin Dolohov, Charles Mulciber, Robert Nott, and John Rosier. All the earliest members of what the boys had come to know as the Death Eaters. All the earliest members except their father, and now their mother was going to tell them why.
"A year before Lord Voldemort began his war," she finally said. Her tone was as straight forward and nonchalant as she could make it but her eyes were down and everyone in the room knew that she not only disliked Lord Voldemort but also his war.
It wasn't the hatred of Muggle-Borns or the desire to keep the pureblood lines pure that upset her, that was all stuff she agreed with. But the torture, the murders... those things she didn't agree with, couldn't agree with. And it was that disagreement that got her husband killed.
Roxton had always been a close friend of Tom's, the man who would later become the Dark Lord, and she had known that. What she hadn't known is that her husband would follow his friend to what she deemed the point of no return and even farther still. Perhaps she hadn't known him at all, perhaps the love they had was purely blind, but there was no way she could follow him, could accept what he was doing.
When the Dark Lord had first reappeared on their doorstep, some ten years after he and Roxton had left school, Roxton didn't miss a step in assisting his old friend. Marguerite remembered commenting on how they were almost like brothers in how much they acted and thought alike. How wrong she wished she had been.
It had never been a question for her husband whether or not he would follow his friend to the very end, even if that meant committing the most vile of acts. Roxton was simply there, always there. She sometimes argued with him about it, believing he cared more for his friend's "crazy rantings" then he did about the second child they were about to have and the one that was already there. Roxton always just responded that he was doing it because he cared.
In the beginning, for the most part, it was all just normal arguing over him being out late with his friends as they discussed grandiose plans to change the world. But slowly everything changed, everything truly started to sink in for her when her husband began coming home with blood on his clothes. And she had to wash them.
She had made the mistake of asking him what happened and the tale that followed was so horrific that she was sick to her stomach. Everything spiraled down from there, more and more bloody clothes and more and more tales of the lives her husband and his friends had taken. Finally she had to tell someone. It wasn't just anyone she told either, it was Fabian and Gideon Prewett.
Two of the best wizards of their age and two wizards who were completely against the Dark Lord's ideals. Marguerite wasn't trying to hurt her husband or the plans of his friends, but she couldn't stand the idea that they were killing people. And not just killing, but torturing... doing things that she couldn't even say out loud. In the end, all she had really told the Prewett brothers was that she knew who was causing all the disappearances, and that everyone was indeed murdered, but she couldn't betray the killers names.
Antonin and Alexander had discovered what she had done because they had been spying on the Prewett family during that time. They immediately told the Dark Lord who, in turn, immediately told Roxton that she had to die. And Roxton immediately told him no.
It was the first and only time he had ever defied the Dark Lord, his friend and the man he had willingly come to consider his master. It wasn't actually a defiance, as Roxton knew he couldn't stop them from killing his wife if that was what the Dark Lord truly wanted, but Roxton asked for a different outcome. One that no one in their close-knit group wanted to accept, even the Dark Lord refused at first, but Roxton persisted. His second son, Rabastan, had just been born and Roxton was not going to leave his children without a mother, their mother. He would die in Marguerite's place.
No one understood his reasoning, least of all the Dark Lord, who at first degraded him for letting something as foolish as love cloud his judgment. Roxton countered by saying it wasn't love but rather honor that fueled his desire to give up his life so his sons would have their mother. He explained that he would never be able to care for them and follow his master's ever command at the same time. Roxton knew that, even though Marguerite had made such a dire mistake, she would still raise their sons in a "proper" pureblood way.
He would not take no for an answer. Finally, seeing that the closest man he considered to his equal was truly willing to die for this - his family's honor - the Dark Lord agreed, but only on the condition that Roxton could guarantee his wife would stay silent from then on. Roxton offered his last words as that guarantee.
"My wife will do what is right, she will do what is needed for the our sons. And when the time comes, my sons will do what is right in my stead."
And so, the Dark Lord killed him.
Marguerite was informed of all this by the other Death Eaters bringing her husband's body back home. They told her how he had died for her sins. The Dark Lord delivered Roxton's last words personally and they sunk so deep into her that she did exactly what the Dark Lord wanted. She never spoke another word to anyone about what they had done, were doing. The boys grew up in the pureblood household their father had dreamed of for them and, when the time came, the Dark Lord again appeared on their doorstep just as Marguerite knew he would.
She had never questioned that this night would eventually come, but now, as she told her precious boys the truth, she hoped it was all just another bad dream. She didn't want to lose them, to watch them turn into the monster the Dark Lord had made of her husband. But there was nothing to be done, she couldn't even bring herself to look at them when she was done, feeling so ashamed of taking their father from them, of handing them over to the evil sitting next to her.
Yet neither boy felt any hatred towards their mother, only a simple sort of understanding. They knew her, knew why she had done what she did, and they could never blame her. Their father hadn't blamed her either, he only did what he thought was right for them. Rodolphus and Rabastan were both very proud of their father and, just like him, they both never needed to be asked to join the Death Eaters, it was just understand that they were already among them.
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