Title: The Danger of Being Too Shiny
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Rodolphus Lestrange, most of the Lestrange cousins, the sons of Coyote, the daughters of Raven
Warnings: Eyeball-stealing, irreverent humour
Notes: I have no idea. Seriously. I was listening to this mix I’m working on, and suddenly, Roddy wanted to play. With all his cousins. In Vortex. So, it’s cousins’ night out at the Belfry, and the natives want to play.
Somewhere in the middle of the lights and the noise, it dawned on Roddy that he was in his mid-forties. He was probably supposed to feel old and awkward. He laughed at the very idea, bending back to touch Clover’s shoe, in an extraordinarily graceful arc. Clover was older — nearly Lucius’s age — and Ceofine, to whom he offered the same hand as he returned to vertical, was a few hundred years old. Younger than his mother, sure, but not by a significant amount. His family would live half of forever, even after he was dead, and to them, he would die a child. There was no reason not to enjoy his extended youth, he reminded himself, especially after that stint in Azkaban.
It was cousins’ night out at the Belfry, and they were going to show New Acoma what a real faerie invasion looked like. Sully and Ceofine had decided to come along, at the last minute, which was unexpected. Sullivan rarely left Ireland, these last hundred years, and Ceofine usually complained about being the last bastion of sense in an increasingly mad world — but for this? For this, they came out. Murphy and Finnegan were the only two who stayed home, in the end. Murphy, because she’d never really understood the appeal of clubs and Finnegan, because he didn’t go places if he wasn’t allowed to kill and eat the occupants. Finney was kind of old-school, like that.
He watched Maitiu dance with a pair of yucca sylphs, and wondered how many deaths would come of that, tonight. When Maitiu was bent on something stupid, havoc always followed, and the yucca sylphs were cheerful maleficence incarnate, where non-native species were concerned.
Roddy stomped and spun, lithely gliding to the beat, dancing with whichever of his cousins came close enough, and most of them did, at some point or another. He’d left the eyepatch at home, tonight, and the coloured lights from above reflected blindingly off his glass eye. It had led him to tell some fool girl that he was the incarnation of Odin, and Cormac nearly died laughing at the very idea, before running off to pass it on to Sully, who spit beer all over some poor nixie. He was way too easy to be Odin. Loki, on a good day, but Odin was way too uptight. Besides, even his mother’s mother had never met the Norse elders, which meant they were likely long gone, unlike the elders here, in New Acoma.
Coyote’s sons danced with Raven’s daughters, in the middle of the floor, amid the most chaotic light. And by the time he noticed there was one less girl than there should have been, she’d popped out his glass eye and stuck it in her mouth.
"Aw, the Lady’s bloody tears! Yazhi, come on!" he shouted after her, as the dark-haired girl hopped back, displaying the stolen eye between her lips.
She shook her layered black skirts, hopped, spun, and closed her lips around the glass eye, before darting back to her family. This was going to be interesting. Roddy had played with Raven’s girls, before, and they were a wild and distractable bunch. He wondered how many shiny objects he had in his pockets, as he pulled his hair over the empty hole in his face.
Cathan and Ciaran spun past, trading places and hands like clockwork chaos, as Roddy slunk over to the tricksters, the swing of his hips timed to the beat. Yazhi cackled and fluttered, at his approach.
"Guess what I don’t have!" she called out, opening her mouth wide.
He smirked and drew his wand. It was extremely unlikely that his absolute crap skill at charms would get him far, tonight, but he figured he’d be able to at least locate his eye, with a little effort.
"Accio my left eye," he purred, and one sister’s skirt fluttered.
The smirk levelled into a thin smile, as he put the wand away and put out his other hand. "Yikáísdáhí?"
"Nyaa!" the girl replied, touching the corner of her eye and bouncing from foot to foot.
This, he realised, was how creatures even older than his cousins behaved. Maybe forty-odd really wasn’t too old to be out dancing. He watched Coyote’s boys grin and elbow each other. He knew them just as well as he knew the girls. They’d be placing bets.
"This isn’t fair, it’s not. We’re five to one, and the youngest of you must be easily six times my age," he sulked, calculatedly. The one thing a smart man never brought up to one of Raven’s girls was age. Grandfather Raven looked about a billion years old — which he probably was — but his children didn’t age like he did. Feeding from him, instead of like him, they’d managed to hold on to their mid-twenties for thousands of years.
Yikáísdáhí bounced angrily, ruffling her skirts, as she moved, and her sisters fluttered and chattered among themselves. Four of Raven’s daughters moved as one, stepping forward and cocking their heads, to stare at him, right-eyed. They stood still as statues, in glittering black and steel. Yikáísdáhí strutted out, before them, head high, and turned to face Roddy, with a too-wide closed-lipped smile.
"You want us to peck out your good eye, too, don’t you, candy-boy," she snapped, eyes aglitter.
"That’s not so, Dawn Chaser; I want you to give me back my bad eye. It’s mine, it is, and you know it. You can feel the way it pulls at you, trying to get away." Roddy tossed his head, flipping his hair back over his shoulder, to stare at the girl with the empty socket.
"You’re blind with it, as you are without it. What difference does it make to you?" Yikáísdáhí demanded.
"Look at yourself and your sisters. Look at how pretty you all are in your extremely advanced age —" Roddy waited for the girls to stop screeching and chattering about the reference to their age. "— I won’t live so long, I won’t. So, why do you steal my beauty in the little time I have it?"
"It shines!" she cried, accompanied by a chorus of giggling and fluttering. "Things that shine are mine, mine, mine!"
"And mine! And mine!" her sisters reminded.
"But, if you give it back, then I’ll shine, I will. I’m a much more pleasant toy than just my eye. It’s so, and you know it, you do." The very idea of the deal he was about to make made him sweat. Coyote’s boys grinned wildly, and among the elbowing and the ear-tugging, bets went up. "But, only if you give it back."
"Hmmm?" Yikáísdáhí cocked her head, curiously, reaching into the ruffles of her skirt for the glass eye. "Ladies? Ladies? Caaandy-boy?"
She held the eye up, in her fingers, as her sisters gathered around, chattering. Roddy slipped his hand into his sleeve and touched his wand.
"Accio my left eye," he muttered, and this time, it whipped out of Yikáísdáhí’s fingers and slapped into his hand. "No deal, lasses! Better luck next time!"
He pushed the eye back into the socket, and keeping his hand over it, danced back into the crowd, toward his cousins. "Conall, do me right. Make sure this stays in, the rest of the night?"
Conall blinked at Roddy, clearly confused.
"Raven’s girls are here."
Roaring with laughter, Conall pressed his thumb to the glass eye, setting it magically in place. "Only you, cousin. Only you…"
Roddy wondered which of Coyote’s boys had been crazy enough to bet on him, instead of against him. He’d find out soon enough. As he slid back out onto the floor, lush and vibrant, he finally started to believe that he really wasn’t too old for this, at all.