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 The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]

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PostSubject: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:40 pm

Lycurgus Blake held an expression of stone as he stalked up to the place he had called home for so many years. Although he and his family called it home, Lycurgus never saw it as such. It was a prison. A huge torture chamber. It was a place of darkness, and of pain. Of those that would hurt, and those that would simply watch with nary a care for one’s suffering... and those that watched with a fear that the same thing would happen to them. And, in most ways, it did. Without fail, more than one young boy suffered under that very roof.

Continued to suffer, in the case of one...

Although the wizard looked like Lycurgus Blake, he was not. Not fully. The way he gritted his jaw, clenched his fists, and his gait were not typical. The traits were stiffer – much more rigid than the way in which Lycurgus himself moved. No. This was Seth Dolohov, the vicious alter of Lycurgus Blake. When plied with enough anger or pain, Dolohov would emerge to “protect” Lycurgus.

Seth did not particularly appreciate the fact he had an escort that would witness what he’d set out to do. But it was under Lord Corvus’ orders, and Seth knew that Lycurgus considered the man a friend. Thus far Corvus had given Lycurgus, and by extension Seth, no reason to disobey. Lycurgus would also be accepted into Eden, despite some hesitations, if he went through with it. Ergo, Seth allowed the tag-along. It was in Lycurgus’ best interests, and Eden would be a safe place to call home – and truly be a home, at long last.

Blonde-brown hair became utterly soaked with rain in the walk from the apparition point to the estate's front door. Without delay he lifted the silver door-knocker and rapped three times. The door opened, but there was no one on the other side. Seth stood, dripping wet from the rain, in the foyer and shoved the old family house-self aside. Zinoviya always hated having a messy home. The appearance of so much as a single drop of water where it didn’t belong constituted a mess.

“’Home sweet home’...” he muttered in a sarcastic undertone to Ariadne.

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:28 pm

Another day, another recruit to break in. Ariadne stifled a sigh when Corvus personally asked her to escort Lycurgus Blake to his family home in order to satisfy his outstanding recruitment prerequisites. Blake wasn't one of her favourites by any stretch of the imagination, but she knew perfectly well that her assignment wasn't meant to be a punishment.

In fact it was something of a mark of Corvus' trust in her that he sent her with the notoriously difficult Blake. Obviously it would not do for Corvus to go himself; as the self-appointed leader of the Purists, he had more important things to do than look after the initiation rites of new members. In the case of the unpredictable and often violent Lycurgus Blake, however, he needed someone more than merely competent -- he needed someone highly skilled and trustworthy, someone capable of keeping Lycurgus in line should things get out of hand. And so the dubious honour fell to Ariadne Grey.

Already, the mission was not off to a great start. The pouring rain did nothing to put Ariadne in a great mood, and her new recruit's little identity crisis problem had begun to rear its head, if his rather infamous shift in posture was any indication. However, she said nothing as he pounded at the front door. They didn't typically knock, but really -- what was the difference, anyway? Both of the home's residents were slated for imminent execution, and any witnesses were to be disposed of as well. It wasn't like they'd be expecting a fight, so there was no real need for the element of surprise or attempts at concealment, save cleaning up after themselves.

But that was just proper etiquette, really.

She walked in behind Lycurgus and shut the door, killing the house-elf with a swift slash of her wand before she'd even turned around to get a good look at the inside of the place. She hadn't gotten much of an impression of anything except for largeness due to the darkness and the storm, but once she stepped inside, the wealth and good taste of the Blake family was clearly on display.

The floors, made of what could only be rather costly marble, were a striking white, swirled with black and grey and strewn with plush rugs in a strikingly rich red colour at strategic intervals. The walls were a pale grey-coloured stone that Ariadne couldn't identify, reminiscent of a castle except that the foyer they'd stepped into suggested that the place had a more modern, open floor plan. Three floors up, a massive window perfectly framed the large chandelier -- was that platinum? -- hanging above them from the artfully exposed mahogany beams, and a sweeping staircase circled the room.

There were paintings hanging from every visible wall, along with small light fixtures that themselves were miniature works of art, reminiscent of the chandelier above. There were also several large glass cases containing priceless figurines and statues; an impression collection no doubt the work of several generations. In short, the place was an absolute triumph of class and money and taste, and absolutely no place to raise three rambunctious little boys. Not if they were all half as destructive as Ariadne knew Lycurgus to be. No wonder their mother beat them regularly.

With that thought, she quietly transfigured the dead house elf into a small watch, pocketing it. There was no use trying to disguise the mud and rain they were tracking all over the pristine floors, but it wouldn't do to alarm their targets with a dead body just yet.

"Home? This place looks more like a museum. I'm having a difficult time picturing you growing up here, to be honest," Ariadne replied, her eyes lingering on a nearby painting. Beautiful as the place was, it conspicuously lacked the warmth that even a place like Eden had -- the bustle of activity, the echo of shouts and sometimes laughter, or even fragrances of any kind. For all that the place was gorgeous and immaculate, it lacked the liveliness that even a vase of roses could bring to a room. In fact, there was nothing growing or green of any kind anywhere that she could see. Probably too messy, or something. The place had a hollow feeling not unlike that of a tomb.

Which was somewhat appropriate, given their mission.

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:16 pm

Lycurgus, or Seth, rather, barely flinched or complained when Ariadne slaughtered the House-Elf. A little pain in the arse, that thing was. He looked around at the finery. There was quite a bit that had changed since his incarceration, but not enough to remark upon with any hint of warmth. No fond memories lurked in the wizard's mind of this place. Look, but don't touch, and break it and you'll be greatly punished were two apt phrases to describe the stately quality of the residence.

"You grow up quickly when so much as breathing on the glass display earns a smack in the rear at minimum. At least it doesn't reek of cleaning solutions anymore. Merlin, I hated that smell..." Seth replied lowly, a distinct Russian accent brushed lightly over the British one. He didn't remark upon the coldness of the place. It had always been devoid of warmth.

He approached a vase - seemingly priceless, very old, and ornate in its design - and eyed it with disgust. "I'm giving this place to Lysander if it's not bequeathed to him already. I've no interest in any of this shit..." Seth quickly silenced himself, and backed away from the vase, when he heard a door open and close, followed by footsteps clicking upon the marble floor. "Just play along. A slow and painful death is the very least they deserve," he whispered.


Evan Blake entered the foyer to greet the visitors. The wizard was wearing a powder blue button-down and a black vest with black trousers under navy blue robes. Despite being a self-proclaimed painter, the wizard's robes were immaculate rather than eternally flecked with paint. Brown shoes were polished to nearly shine one’s reflection back in the proper lighting. The storm didn't do the polishing any justice. He approached cautiously, leaning forward in an attempt to ascertain the identity of Seth, who had his head lowered. Evan thought he'd recognize that mop of hair anywhere, what with the texture being similar to his own. “Son?”

”Father,” Seth rasped in reply. His voice had gone hoarse not from over-usage from sheer anticipation of this moment. For a few seconds, not a single word or gesture otherwise was exchanged between them.

Then, suddenly, Evan briefly hugged the man that was his eldest son. Lycurgus didn't reciprocate and sent Ariadne a look as if to say he felt like vomiting contemptuously on the other wizard right now. “Welcome home, Lycurgus. I see you’ve brought a lady-friend. Things looking up for you, now, I hope?”

“So it vould seem...” Seth answered, still unable to squash the Russian out of his otherwise British accent. He managed half a smile in order to cover the blend of grimace and snarl. Oh, if only the poor fool knew just how things were looking up! “This is Miss Grey,” Seth explained, gesturing to the woman beside him.

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:25 am

A different kind of nightmare, Ariadne mused to herself on the subject of Lycurgus' upbringing. It was tempting to say that his childhood must have been worse than hers because he had been dragged to the loony bin and she hadn't, except that she remembered her fate would likely have been the same if she'd been caught like he had.

The revelation effectively silenced her. Now was not the time for an existential crisis, and thinking on her own childhood tended to make her sloppy and vengeful. Fortunately Evan Blake chose that moment to make his appearance, settling her thoughts back onto the task at hand.

Well this is....unusual, she thought, witnessing their reunion. She almost started to wonder if Lycurgus had perhaps rethought their plan after he allowed his father to embrace him, but then she saw his reaction, and a small smile graced her lips. Blake was certainly keeping things interesting, anyway.

As annoying as it was to be trotted out for an annoying errand like this, at least she was sure to get some entertainment out of it. Maybe if she was lucky, it would stir up memories of her own parents' death, and she would sleep soundly tonight, undisturbed by nightmares and safe in the knowledge that they could no longer reach her. Corvus had seen to that.

This reminder put Ariadne in a much more charitable mood, and she stepped forward with a shy smile when Lycurgus introduced her, playing her part well. She extended her hand to Evan and lowered her gaze, apologising for the mess on the floor.

"I'm so pleased to finally meet you, Mr. Blake. Lycurgus has told me so much about you." Ironically, this was true, although her tone suggested something far more pleasant than the countless tirades she'd borne witness to in Eden. Blake's "disagreements" with his parents were hardly a secret.

"I apologise for dropping by so unexpectedly, but Lycurgus thought it'd be more fun to surprise you. We didn't count on the weather being so bad." Now they were talking about the weather. If her determined boringness didn't lull Evan Blake into a false sense of security, nothing would.

Ariadne had to content herself with a small smile instead of the gleeful smirk she was far more inclined to wear. She'd never admit it, but she was actually having a bit of fun -- the whole playing with your prey thing had always been appealing, although new recruits usually didn't have the taste for it so soon. She placed her hand in Blake's and gave him the briefest of conspiratorial smiles before turning her gaze back to Evan, a much more innocent expression on her face.

"Does Mrs. Blake happen to be in? I'd so love to finally meet her -- Lycurgus hardly ever tells me anything about her, and I'm positively dying of suspense. He keeps telling me to wait and see when we meet you in person and well -- here we are!" Even Corvus would have been surprised at how positively bubbly she sounded, although the source of her enthusiasm was not likely to recommend her to either Mr. or Mrs. Blake.

My my, how much fun we're having, she thought to herself as she waited for Zinoviya to make her appearance so that the real fun could finally begin.

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:02 am

Evan took the woman's hand and, when she looked down, managed to cover up a cringe of his own at the mess. While he certainly wasn't half the neat freak that his wife was, the wizard was quite aware of his wife's temper. With any luck, Zeke - the house-elf - would take care of it before anyone else noticed.

"Likewise a pleasure, Miss Grey. Although, I must confess: my eldest has never been entirely forthcoming. He would make a loyal Secret-Keeper, if ever the need arose," Evan replied. In truth, after hearing what Lycurgus had done, Evan wasn't sure any young lady was quite safe while in the younger wizard's clutches. But perhaps things have indeed changed for the better, and Evan let it go for now.

Evan smiled at the witch, delighted that Lycurgus seemed to finally settle for a "normal" girl that didn't seem to be already-taken. Thankfully, the young lady seemed a little old for one such as Lysander. No more homicides, or so he hoped. "And a most pleasant surprise it is, in spite of the weather." Evan withdrew his wand and gave a brief flick of it to increase the lighting somewhat. Not too much, but just enough to properly illuminate the rooms with a light golden-amber glow.

Lycurgus was thankful that Ariadne played along. He hadn't expected his father to think of him being romantically involved so swiftly after his release. Whatever worked for him, the wizard mused. It felt almost bad, and incredibly good, to put on this ruse. A smile of his own - decidedly evil, but playfully so - twisted Seth's lips in reply to the smile given to him.

Evan's smile turned slightly nervous at mention of his wife. He knew all too well just why the lad had never mentioned Zinoviya. "She is upstairs, in the Eastern Parlor, tending to some matters of decor. Should be due for a break any minute... Do you remember the way, Lycurgus?"

"No." He edged slightly nearer toward Ariadne, his energy restless.

"It has been awhile. I apologize," Evan murmured before gesturing toward the grand staircase. "Please, this way."

For all the while Evan had been watching, Lycurgus had an arm placed around Ariadne's waist. It was likely the only time he would ever get away with it. After they climbed the stairs they entered a lavish corridor. Along the stone-colored walls were curtains, tapestries, more paintings, and pedestals. Some of these were protected by glass cases. Others, such as a miniature statuette of the Egyptian God, Anubis, were proudly on display as-is. Silently, Seth removed the statuette from its pedestal and hid it behind his back. The rooms were charmed to be soundproof the last time he recalled. All the more to their benefit.

“I’m afraid you’ve just missed Lysander, in a manner of speaking. Came home briefly for the holidays, then went to stay with the MacDougal’s. But he’s long since been back to school by now.” Evan explained, still leading them leisurely down the corridor.

“I see. Pity...” A snarl twisted Seth’s lips. It had been Lysander that Lycurgus wanted. Not to kill, Merlin no, but to take away from this place. At least he knew his baby brother was in good hands with the MacDougals.

When Evan Blake reached out for the curved silver handle of the Eastern Parlor, a flashback of Lycurgus’ exploded in Seth’s mind. A small child – himself – in trouble, being nearly dragged to this very parlor. Zinoviya would be sitting in there, waiting, involved in some hobby or another. Sometimes she’d be brewing a potion. Honey-drenched words would greet them, then turn lemony-sour when “news” reached the demoness’s ears. Evan would release Lycurgus's hand, and no matter how hard he cried, begged, or pleaded, there would be no dispute on the punishment save for the occasionally feeble suggestion otherwise that was always shot down. Evan would then watch in horror for a short while, and when he was unable to take any more of the cruelties he would leave the room. Never in all of Lycurgus’ life did Evan ever apologize for being powerless. Never at all did Evan try to intervene.

Before the older wizard could properly wrap his hand around the curved knob, Seth struck Evan hard over the head with the statuette. He wanted to keep going until brain matter and blood dripped out of Evan’s ears, being the physical type, but doing so would be suspicious. Instead, Seth pushed the unconscious body aside with his foot, and bound Evan's hands and feet. “One incapacitated...” Lycurgus sighed, setting the now lightly-bloodied statuette down.

It took all of his resolve to want to open that door, let alone to step inside, with that memory freshly returned to his focus. Soon, he reassured himself, there would be peace. Once this was over it was sure to spell a good night's sleep for him. Without realizing he was holding his breath, Lycurgus crossed the threshold into the parlor.

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:25 pm

Alright, so the arm around the waist was pushing it. Ariadne wasn't much for public displays of affection even with her actual boyfriend...well, Curry would pay for it later, she decided. For now it was important that she maintain the act, since they'd already begun it.

As soon as Evan stepped in front of them, climbing the stairs, she shoved Curry's hand away, giving him the dirtiest of looks. "Nice try," she mouthed silently, following Evan past the landing on the second floor, all the way up to the third. Glancing over her shoulder once they reached the landing, she wondered if someone could survive a fall from the third floor railing onto the glass cases and unyielding marble floor below. If she was lucky, she might get to find out soon.

Seeing Lycurgus swipe the statuette, a small smile returned to Ariadne's lips. Finally, they'd be getting to the good part. She really was interested to meet the infamous Zinoviya Blake, and hoped that they'd maintain their little ruse long enough for her to make her own assessment of the woman's alleged cruelty and madness. It was almost a shame, really -- in different circumstances, the old woman might have been of use to them. But unluckily for Zinoviya, her eldest son had gotten to Corvus first. No matter -- soon they'd have the younger son as well, and two healthy young men would be more useful than an elderly couple anyway.

Ariadne stepped back slightly as Lycurgus stepped forward, statuette raised, barely flinching when he brought it down hard onto his father's head. She wondered briefly if he'd meant to kill his father already -- what happened to taking their time? -- when Lycurgus bound him head and foot. If that was how much force he used on his father, who was to her knowledge the lesser of two evils -- merely a frequent witness rather than the perpetrator of violence against his sons -- she wondered how much his mother was in for.

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:40 pm

Zinoviya Blake jerked her head at the sound of the door opening, instantly distracted from replacing a glass case over a priceless urn from the Ming Dynasty. The glass covering crashed and broke, sending little shards everywhere. “Evan?!” she huffed ominously. Whoever that was, they would pay dearly for making her ruin all her hard work on readjusting this room to utter perfection!

“Half of him, at any rate,” Seth muttered, stepping into the room. He made certain to step on one of the glass shards, his weight grinding it into a fine powder.

The witch before them known as Zinoviya Blake was a tall, severely bony woman, clad in black and white. A small amount of lace kept the look feminine. Lycurgus would do just about anything to see the segments of pristine alabaster cloth bleed crimson. Zinoviya’s blonde hair was swept up into an imposing bun atop her head, and her bifocals sat perched atop the bridge of a sharp nose. Sapphires set against snowy-pale skin and thrice as cold as an Antarctic blizzard, made up the witch’s eyes. “You!” she spat at Lycurgus.

“Me.” The wizard received a hex that felt like a slap in the face. Lycurgus’s body shook, his fists clenched with rage. Without the aid of the gloves he wore, the wizard would’ve surely drawn his own blood.

“Who’s that with you?!” Icy orbs narrowed into snake-like slits

“This is Miss Ariadne Grey,” Seth explained promptly, stepping aside to let his accomplice through and deliberately crunching more glass beneath his feet. It seemed pointless to withhold the identity when neither of his parents would live long enough to repeat their names to the authorities. “She’s my –“ he glanced at Ariadne, wondering if she would play along with the same ruse now that Evan was unlikely to rush in and ruin everything. “My intended,” the wizard concluded, producing a smile that didn’t quite meet his eyes. ’Intended proctor of this initiation, that is...’ he mused with a dark sort of glee.

Zinoviya was caught between presenting a respectable image to the newcomer, and beating the tar out of her son for exacerbating the already atrocious mess. “Mind your feet, bloody oaf! And clean that up!” she snapped at Lycurgus.

“The elf’ll get to it,” Seth brushed off the demand, only to be set with a blasting curse that knocked him into a wall. The invisible blow to the sternum temporarily knocked the wind out of him. From the years of living in her iron grip, he knew that the spell was her gentlest of warnings. While Zinoviya approached Ariadne, Seth crouched and went through the motions of cleaning up the mess. In truth, he conjured one shard into a jar and swept some of the remaining pieces into it. He took his sweet time with the task in order to reign in his temper. All in due time, Lycurgus kept telling himself... all in due time.

Zinoviya’s icy gaze swept itself up and down Ariadne several times. A small and polite smile tacked itself onto her thin lips. “Welcome to Blake Manor, Miss Grey. I do hope Lycurgus kept things orderly upon conducting you indoors... Please, by all means be seated. I shall send for tea. – Lena!”

A crack not unlike the sound of a whip – which made Seth jump, as his back was turned – signaled the arrival of a second house-elf. Unlike the first, who was attired only in a midnight blue pillowcase, this one wore a stained and lacy tea towel that had once been the color of ivory. “Mistress?” the elf asked timidly.

“Refreshments for our guest,” Zinoviya demanded. “And do avoid that means of apparition. The smoke settles most unsightly upon the galleries.” The witch set her elf with a peculiarly dangerous gaze not unlike the expression that twitched itself onto Lycurgus’s face when about to do something extravagantly nasty.

“Yes, Mistress,” the elf squeaked – knowing the implied tone and expression that were silent orders to punish herself when she encountered them. Before the elf could properly vanish, Zinoviya sent a curse at the poor creature’s backside.

“So,” Zinoviya continued as though the elf’s arrival never occurred. Lycurgus had just finished repairing the glass case, pocketing his jar of glass shards, and approached the women. “Lycurgus only just got out of hospital a while ago, I’d heard. If you would be so kind as to indulge me, I should like to know everything you can spare about this happy news.”

There was an empty seat that Seth assumed was meant for him. It was next to Ariadne. Zinoviya sat across from her. Who else could it possibly have been meant for? The wizard eased himself into the chair...

“Oof!” he shouted, finding himself flat on the floor – rear first. Zinoviya had deliberately vanished the lavish armchair out from under him.

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:19 am

In no time at all, all of Ariadne's questions about Zinoviya Blake were answered. Even before she laid eyes upon Lycurgus' mother, she could hear the shrill, unwelcoming tone accompanied by a slap. Ariadne actually winced; any reasonable person would have been horrified to behave in such a manner in front of strangers. Corvus certainly would be interested by the report.

Despite the extravagance of the house, it was clearly evident that Zinoviya Blake was utterly lacking in the true good breeding that should have by rights come with a pureblood pedigree. As Evan had struck her as a far humbler person, she couldn't help but wonder whether their marriage was one of convenience -- her gold for his respectable good name. The unwholesome manner in which Zinoviya preoccupied herself with expensive things seemed to suggest that she came from "new" money, since anyone accustomed to such extravagant wealth tended to be rather bored by it.

As she stepped into the room behind Lycurgus, her initial impression of Zinoviya's appearance was that it matched her voice and manner perfectly -- severe, unyielding, and highly unflattering. The white and black ensemble bleached the colour out of her skin, giving her the washed out look of someone who rarely sees daylight. Ariadne could just picture her hoarding away her treasures in the cavernous house, hiding from the sun.

Much to her disbelief, Zinoviya persisted in punishing her son, even in front of her. It took all of her effort not to look completely disgusted by her appalling behaviour, and even then Ariadne only looked disdained instead. She was glad that Evan was incapacitated at the moment, because there was zero chance of her continuing the nice girl act in front of this woman, for lack of a better word. Perhaps sixty seconds of being in Zinoviya's presence had informed Ariadne of exactly what type of person she was -- the kind that needed to be put in her place, immediately.

"Quite orderly, I assure you," she replied coldly, literally looking down her nose at the elderly witch. Her chilly manner was apparently wasted on the woman, who only continued to bully both Lycurgus and the house-elf before inviting her to refreshments. Refraining from rolling her eyes at the long overdue courtesy -- far too little and far too late -- she took her seat, assuming an expression of rigid impassivity.

The only concession that Ariadne could make on Zinoviya's behalf was that she cut to the crux of the matter quite quickly. Evan hadn't questioned his son's presence but his wife was perhaps a shade wiser -- or more likely she had the keen sense of deserving punishment that so often undid tyrants and dictators the world over. Ariadne was only too happy to indulge her curiosity, though her intentions and words were anything but kind.

"Well, you see, Mrs. Blake, I met Lycurgus soon after his release, in rather low spirits, you might say," she started, turning towards him as his chair vanished from beneath him. The smile that graced her features was both irritated and amused.

"We had a mutual friend in common and that friend taxed me with the responsibility of getting Lycurgus reacquainted with the world at large, having been so long away. Naturally, a confidence of sorts developed between us, and soon he began to tell me the most astonishing things -- tale upon tale, the most shocking, disturbing stories I had ever heard in my life. Of course, I refused to believe them to be true -- surely, such things as were the domain of dark fairy-tales and nightmares, but he absolutely insisted." Ariadne looked directly into Zinoviya's cold blue eyes and smiled beatifically.

"And so here we are. Indeed, I can no longer doubt the veracity of his claims, as I have found all to be exactly as described. But perhaps, being close to the situation as he is, Lycurgus has been unable to give potential cultural differences their proper due. Tell me, Mrs. Blake -- how do you find England? Rather warmer than you are no doubt accustomed to, I'm sure, but then again few civilizations have chosen to inhabit a place as severely cold and remote as Siberia."

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:15 pm

Seth uttered something between a groan and a growl after landing upon the floor with a thud. Regardless of the blend, it was a sound of irritation – or lost patience. Zinoviya paid it little heed, focused as she was on the potential bride for her eldest child.

She listened, eyes narrowing occasionally. They flickered over to her fallen son whenever his name or a masculine pronoun was used. Somewhere in the middle of the explanation Lycurgus stood. Zinoviya wasn’t at all certain what to make of these “tales” her son had murmured, but she wasn’t so sure she particularly liked that piece of information. Ergo, it went without saying that she didn’t notice the House-Elf deposit a tea tray and promptly vanish – her ears covered in bloody bandages now.

The next words out of Ariadne’s mouth – her accusations visible as gold – forced Zinoviya to drop all manner of polite appearance toward the younger woman. “Your groom-to-be is a pathological liar, and unable to keep his hands to himself. I only do what must be done to maintain his attention,” she huffed. Now that her feathers were sufficiently ruffled, her accent became even thicker than Seth’s. “Mother Russia is a grand country, despite the hardship of cold. I do not miss the snow. However, nor am I overly fond of all this rain!” Zinoviya had stood by this time. She spread her arms and gazed at the ceiling to refer to the storm raging outside, then returned them to their usual positions. “But yes, perhaps things are different. Forgive me for saying, but Lycurgus has always been my wayward little black sheep. Which reminds me...”

Zinoviya once again approached Lycurgus. To the wizard’s credit, Seth didn’t budge. His mother poked a finger to his chest. “You! I thought I had raised you better! Do you not remember me telling you that when not at table, a man is to stand by her lady to support and demonstrate his loyalty, or kneel?!” she demanded, spitting out the emphasized word like it was something disgraceful and unbecoming in her notions of a proper man.

Da,” Seth replied, the muscles connecting nose to the uppermost portion of lip and cheek twitching. “I remember. But hhhave bet-ter i-dee-a...” His accent had gone just as thick as Zinoviya’s, but his eyes were darker. The woman had raised an eyebrow and lifted her wand...

“CONFRINGO!” Seth shouted before he’d even had his wand out of the sheath, and stabbed it in his mother’s direction. Zinoviya’s unyielding form, for the first time he had ever seen, gave way to the spell and was sent sprawling to the opposite side of the room. After her body was slammed into the wall it slid down, revealing a large new crack to demonstrate the force with which he used. The sucker-curse seemed to have caught her off-guard. Lycurgus approached – cautiously – just in case his mother was acting.

Zinoviya laid still, unmoving, and seemingly not breathing. Seth wasn’t quite convinced. He crouched down warily. How he wanted to kill her right now... but no. Not yet. For years of cruelty, the only fitting punishment was a slow and painful death.

In the blink of an eye the old woman pushed herself up and, with a shout in Russian, sent a curse toward her son. “STUPEFY” Seth shrieked at the same time, both spells connecting with their respective targets. Zinoviya was knocked out cold, and Lycurgus sent sprawling with several cuts upon shirt and torso alike. Seemingly unconvinced that even this spell did the trick, Seth sprung back up not unlike a cat and aimed his wand at the unconscious witch. Breath forced itself into and out of his lungs. For good measure Lycurgus growled three more spells at Zinoviya, each sounding like cannon fire. His whole face contorted as he tried to resist cursing the woman to death.

Convinced now that the witch was put in her place for the time being, Lycurgus finally turned to face Ariadne again and lowered his wand. “Merlin,” he snarled – having snapped instantly from a Russian-brushed British accent to a purely British one. Lycurgus was fully Lycurgus again now that the threat lay dormant. “Thought she’d never shut up... Don’t know about you, but I am famished!” the wizard declared and pulled up Zinoviya’s chair, snagging a random pastry from the large variety Lena left as if he expected to have his hand smacked away for even thinking about touching the food. He took a large bite of the pastry, icing and flakes of crust sticking to the outer perimeter of his lips.

Lycurgus gestured to the tray. “Go’n – he’p ‘urse’ff. ‘R de’ish-us!” he insisted, proper manners not even once occurring to him. A great swallow punctuated the declaration. “No sense wasting good pastry and tea... then it’s straight back to business.” Lycurgus licked his lips to rid them of the icing and crumbs, and grinned. His eyes burned with an excited, ominous dark fire as he continued to mercilessly ravish the delicate, flaky, sugary glob of dough in his hand.

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:05 am

Ariadne snorted derisively at Zinoviya's words -- the fact that Lycurgus was, in fact, a pathological liar was hardly relevant when she'd only just pointed out that despite his usual preference for manufactured truths, for once his stories had been accurate. This, despite the fact that she'd watched her hit her eldest son with a Blasting Curse for the supposed offense of walking through the door.

It put Ariadne in mind of a particularly vulgar but apt expression she'd heard once from one of the underlings around Eden -- "Don't piss on my head and tell me it's raining!" The thought made her smirk, but she kept the colourful phrase to herself. In any case, it was readily obvious from which parent he'd inherited his penchant for truth-bending, though she would never be so stupid as to ever say so to Lycurgus.

As Zinoviya rounded on Lycurgus, Ariadne could only shake her head; cleverness was clearly not one of the old woman's strengths. It was really too bad that interior decorating wasn't the kind of skill that could ever be useful in trying to save one's life -- the woman hadn't made her choice of hobby a very practical one.

There was a long moment in which both women seemed to take note of Lycurgus' rapidly overdeveloped Russian accent, and responded. Ariadne's reflexes were far quicker, however; she had shoved her chair back and was on her feet before Zinoviya even had time to lift her wand. Really, the old woman should have seen this coming. How long did she think she could possibly get away with such brazen abuses without any repercussions? The woman didn't even other to secure her house.

Watching silently as Lycurgus neutralized the unholy nuisance that was his mother, Ariadne waited until phase one of their little mission was done before taking her seat again. She was, in fact, rather hungry, and had reached for a pastry before glancing up at Lycurgus. There was little reason to be surprised by his lack of table manners -- which he clearly must have known full well, and simply chose to ignore -- but it irritated her nonetheless.

"She's unconscious you know, there's no need to make me nauseous," she told him, rolling her eyes as she bit into the delightful-looking confection.

"Mmmph! We should bring whatever we don't eat back to Eden with us. It's such a pity we have to kill the house-elves. These are a revelation. I'm half-temped to ask Corvus to for a reprieve on the elf's behalf, but -- rules are rules." She sighed, setting the flaky pastry down and reaching for the tea. "Thirsty?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:14 am

Lycurgus looked up at Ariadne with large brown eyes, his progress on the poor pastry coming to a screeching halt. It even seemed as though his very breath had come to a pause. A couple of seconds elapsed before he licked his lips once again. "Sah-ree" he muttered, mouth full of food and shrugging. The wizard needed to work on his faux sincerity. In no time the decadent blob of dough was no more. There was the matter of sticky, sugary syrup on his fingertips, though. He halfheartedly licked them off, then brushed his hands off on his robes.

He reached for something that resembled an eclair when Ariadne exclaimed her delight in the foods. The wizard smirked, and couldn't agree more. It was indeed a shame they had to kill the house-elves, too. Especially because Lena would give him seconds of the night's dinner when he should've been asleep, or made certain he ate when denied meals. Of all that would die this night, somewhere deep down Lycurgus wished they didn't have to do it. "Lena keeps a book..." Lycurgus muttered before cramming a third of the eclair into his mouth.

"Mm!" he grunted, when asked if he was thirsty. "Very."

Lycurgus then glared at the door. "Lena." Sure enough, she entered with a poof... and just about shrieked at the state of her mistress's parlor. "Lena, bring us the family recipe book."

In a series of quiet vanishes and reappearances Lena left to retrieve the book and came back with it. She handed it over to Curry, who tossed it onto the floor beside the table containing the tea tray. Lena prepared to snap her fingers to leave the room...

"Wait," muttered Lycurgus once he rid his mouth of extravagant eclair.

"Y-yessir?"

Lycurgus kept his eyes forward. They weren't focused on Ariadne, but rather a spot on the wall just above her shoulder. "You were always good to me. I'm sorry." Once more his tone didn't match the sincerity the words should've held.

" 'S-s-sorry'? Master Curry?" squeaked the elf, twisting a bit of her tea towel round her finger. Bulbous blue eyes darted between the two conscious people in the room before settling once again on Lycurgus. "... Master C-"

Before the elf could question him a second time, Lycurgus lashed out with a spell. Blood splattered one side of his face and onto the remnants of eclair in his other hand. Lycurgus turned his head just in time to see that his cutting curse split the poor creature right down the center, and vanished the bloody corpse before it fully hit the ground.

Without a second thought Lycurgus continued munching on his eclair - blood-splatter and all.

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:39 pm

"Ugh! Ariadne shuddered and turned away from the grisly sight, trying to quell her squeamishness. She got the rather ominous feeling that Lycurgus probably wasn't exactly opposed to the idea of cannabalism, at least experimentally. The man was unhinged, alright -- lucky her to have gotten assigned to his initiation. Not that he'd dare attempt anything on her, of course.

"You should have saved that particular spell for your mother, I think," she muttered, busying herself by conjuring a box and dumping the remaining unbloodied pastries into it. By the time she was done charming it down to pocket size, she'd regained control of her stomach and was able to look up again.

Despite the rather violent spell he'd used, the pool of blood that marked Lena's end was pitifully small. Zinoviya would have a proper fit at the sight of the room now, alright. Ariadne smirked and waved her wand, settling the old woman into the still-warm puddle. She wondered idly what would give Zinoviya more of a fit -- the mess or the fact that she would be coming to covered in someone else's blood. Either way, her position was not enviable in the least.

"What should we do about your father, Lycurgus? It seems to me he's missing all the fun."



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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:39 pm

Lycurgus briefly glanced up at the sound of disgust from Ariadne, but didn't pay it much heed. He wasn't about to let a good pastry go to waste - blood or no blood. Since the gory death seemed to have upset Ariadne in some way, Lycurgus conjured a bag for the body, and set it aside. The pool of blood didn't bother him any. In no time the eclair was gone and Lycurgus had licked his fingers clean of chocolate, blood, and a mix thereof.

"She'll get what's coming to her," the wizard replied lowly. A darkness crossed his face as he glanced in the direction of his unconscious mother. With a flick of his wand, Zinoviya was similarly bound like Evan. Lycurgus didn't need the old bat putting up a fight. He chuckled as Ariadne placed his mother in the puddle of blood.

Lycurgus stood up just as Ariadne asked about his father. "Such a pity for him to miss out. I know how much he likes to watch these things..." The wizard muttered a spell so that Evan Blake was lifted, slammed through the parlor door, and flung into the armchair Lycurgus had vacated. The chair almost tipped over.

With a groan, Evan started to come to. The first person he saw was Lycurgus. "... Son? Wh-what happened?" the wizard asked weakly.

Lycurgus turned toward his father with a nasty scowl on his face. "Payback." Without another word, he gestured to the floor.

Evan glanced around the room first, and found it in shambles. "Your mother is going to have a livid fit..." Then he looked down. The puddle of blood, the blood splatter, and Zinoviya set in the pool of blood caused the old wizard to shriek. Lycurgus closed his eyes and gave a vague hint of a smile as though he was listening to a musical masterpiece. The scream, in turn, caused the twitchy awakening of Zinoviya.

'And now the real fun begins...' Lycurgus grinned.

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:01 pm

Ariadne couldn't help herself. Something about the situation was just too irresistible -- the wrecked room, Zinoviya tied up and sitting in a pool of blood rather dramatically, Lycurgus smeared in blood and chocolate, his father's rather effeminate scream....she started to giggle. Quietly at first, but soon she had to clap a hand over her mouth to control her mirth. Really, it wasn't that funny....or was it? It was certainly a very interesting situation, to be sure, and maybe one that required an interesting reaction.

"Rise and shine!" she told Zinoviya with a cheerful grin, once she managed to get her bubbly laughter under control. Even so, she had to continually bite her bottom lip to keep it from resurfacing.

"Have a nice nap? We brought your husband in so we can all play together! Isn't that nice? I'm so excited! Let's get started, shall we?" With a flick of her wand, the husband and wife duo were facing each other, with Ariadne and Lycurgus standing between them.

"Hmm....so many options," she mused, folding her arms and tapping her wand lightly against her forearm idly. "I hardly know where to start. Lycurgus? Any ideas spring to mind?..."

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PostSubject: Re: The Revenge of Lycurgus “Seth” Blake [Blake Estate – Feb 14, 2046]   Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:30 pm

Laughter, it is well-known, is a contagious thing. Ariadne's amusement further fueled Lycurgus. He could hardly contain himself at her insistence that Zinoviya 'rise and shine' and laughed so loudly it echoed about the room. Neither of his parents chastised him for it, either. Of course: one was scared to death and the other was only just now coming to.

Zinoviya scowled at Ariadne, finding her voice much too loud. The older witch was sporting a black eye and a split lip, and it was entirely plausible that Lycurgus caused her to have a concussion. She was nearly hyperventilating at the state in which the room was in. "You have turned this entire house into a dump!" The glare she sent at Lycurgus was formidable, but no longer penetrating from her place on the floor. "I do hope you're quite happy with yourself!"

"Oh, I'm very happy, mother... More than you can ever know!" Lycurgus's grin could've passed itself off for that from the Cheshire Cat.

"Where is Lena?!" Zinoviya demanded, noticing the blood on her precious floor, her pristine robes, and the wetness on her face.

"SHUT UP!" Lycurgus roared at Zinoviya, and sent a curse her way.

"Lycurgus, that is no way to treat your mother!" Evan chided.

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander. You know good and well that a raised voice is minimal punishment in this household..." Twisted viciousness contorted the younger wizard's face.

He turned that same expression onto Ariadne, but added what was for him a friendly sort of grin. It looked more like a snarl: a threatening, teeth-baring, lip-curling snarl. But in the deep of his dark chocolate eyes there was a spark of light and fun that he did not let his parents see just yet. "So many ideas... so little bodies, time, and blood..." he replied.

"But I have a good idea where I'd like to start! And I think you do, too, don't you, Mother?" Lycurgus grinned maliciously, looking down his nose at the lightly battered woman on the floor. "And you..." Brown eyes slid up the armchair and locked onto the blue ones of his father. "You get to stay comfy and watch for a while. As I recall, that was one of your favorite hobbies. Wasn't it?!"

"Now, Lycurgus, I-I-"

Lycurgus was beyond hearing what his father had to say. "Crucio!" he snarled, wand pointed at Zinoviya. Her body writhed and twisted into unnatural positions. It wasn't long before the allegedly mighty Zinoviya Dolohov-Blake let out a scream of agony.

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