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Julius Scrimgeour for Bella Scrimgeour.
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An Inauspicious Turn
May 4th, 1889 — Lestrange Estate, Library

Belphoebe Lestrange was the wife he had chosen for himself, not had assigned to him, the wife he bore genuine affection. He saw her as nearly his equal in most ways, and Lucius though he knew her intimately indeed. Still, he was not arrogant enough to know how she felt about this particular turn of events, nor was he masochistic enough to probe for an answer to that question. Besides, why should he concern himself with his wife's feelings when he was not even certain of his own?

It had been a hard thirty-six hours. Lucius was not so foolish that he had needed a midwife to tell him that. He had never doubted, however, that his wife's toils would bear strong and healthy fruit.

He was not accustomed to being wrong.

He made his way as usual down the stairs and along the corridor, entering the library where so many familial conversations seemed to take place. Dutifully, his middle son awaited him there—what a joke of fate, the wizard thought, that the boy should have grown up so foolish and yet healthy, in spite of everything!

"A boy," he answered Cassius' questioning look dispassionately. "Stillborn."
@Cassius Lestrange

phenomenal set by bex!
Another pregnancy, another flip of the coin - the more sons Lucius had, the more likely it was he would grow sick of this one, the one whose traitor heart still beat stubbornly in his chest. The entire pregnancy, Cash had thought two things in turn, on repeat - maybe it'll be a girl and it doesn't even matter, anyways.

If he died, if that green light flashed for him, then he could join Eli in the nothing and finally stop.

It had been a long time, waiting for the child to be born. Hours ticked away at Cash's pocketwatch as everyone in the house tried to go about their days and ignore the growing sense of dread. (These things weren't supposed to take this long.) And eventually Cash settled in the library where, surely, no one would come by until long after the events of the day were over. The book was thick, but relatively mindless - an account of some half-century-ago murder trial, and Cash didn't know if anyone else in the family had even opened it.

He was absorbed, or as absorbed as he could be, when he heard the library door open. Cash looked up and closed the book as he recognized his father's form, marking the page with a piece of loose paper. He couldn't help but look curious - if Lucius was here, there was news, or there wasn't, and either told him something.

He had never anticipated this.

Belphoebe failing had - not really been an option, in Cash's mind.

"I'm sorry," Cash said, and he supposed that he was, although his tone was equally dispassionate. "Belphoebe?"

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"In no danger, the healer said," came Lucius answer, with more than a slight hint of relief. There were many in his life whose deaths Lucius would not mourn, but his wife was most assuredly not one of them.

"He gave her something to help her sleep, though she refused it quite vehemently."
@Cassius Lestrange

phenomenal set by bex!
So Belphoebe would live, and she was perhaps awake, and she was alone. Cash would not have expected Lucius to stay with his wife, but he still felt bad for her - the weight of this death would fall on her, almost like a failing, and he could imagine the whispers the wives would say about her. They already thought she was too old, was supposed to be a spinster, did not belong.

"I'm glad she's safe," Cash said, a more genuine sentiment than his comment on the infant.

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"I will relay to her your well-wishes," Lucius replied with a strained smile, a thinly-veiled dismissal. He had no desire for company.
@Cassius Lestrange

phenomenal set by bex!

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