2009, the first year of the takeover. All early LR posts from the first year of the takeover are here.
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by: Kay
January 19th, 2009
Lenor Mansion, 10:55pm

Elana was pacing frantically. Moments ago, she’d flown in through their attic window, which was her usual way of entering the Lenor home since Amana never opened the door for her willingly, unless of course -- Jaleth was home. The foyer of Lenor Mansion was where Elana was waiting for her brother now, idly fidgetting with her hands as she paced. It was almost 11 o’clock and it was unusual to Elana that Jaleth hadn’t come home yet and she was panicking.

It had been a month since Hogwarts was torn to shreds by those who were fighting for the name Williams and taken over the premises. One month today, Elana thought, and only two weeks since her sister-in-law, Jaleth’s wife, Amana, was killed. The images of Amana’s untimely and unfortunate death were etched in the younger Lenor’s mind, of course, a morbid painting splattered vividly as a reminder of that fateful night. She found herself nervously chewing on her nails as she frantically walked about, standing in the entryway of the Lenor household. Trying to keep her mind off of the mania, Elana’s eyes searched the room to find some sort of distraction from her frightened mind.

Photos of Jaleth and Amana were scattered about, mostly with Amana’s family and friends, little to almost none of Jaleth’s side of the family. Narrowing her eyes a bit, Elana realized now that she was going to find another distraction as this one she was trying was actually making her a bit angry. That bitch wouldn’t have it any other way, Elana grumbled, Amana was trying to take Jaleth away from the family for good, but she was gone now, and good riddance. It wasn’t a good thing, to speak ill of the dead, but Elana had a passionate hatred for her sister-in-law; she was finding it difficult consoling her mourning brother without wanting to break out in praise or laughter even. As much as she loved her brother, she hated him with all her might for not only what he’d done to her best friend Kara (ruined her life, mostly) but for what he was doing to the family: trying to separate himself from them by marrying that trashy old witch.

No more distractions were found. Their home was vast but sparse at the same time, ironically enough. Amana was a very materialistic woman, Elana knew, and her means of interior design for their home was little-to-nothing at a time, unless of course she was decorating her own closet which was the fullest, most colorful and up-do-date room full of fashion. Ugh, Elana rolled her eyes as she thought of it. She could just spit on the clothes and be satisfied as it was.

And then, to her surprise, a doorknob turned.
With the turn of the door, in comes the brother Lenor. Two weeks. It had seemed like two years. The destruction at Hogwarts no longer even registered...did Jaleth even remember that had happened? A cause for concern, to most in their right mind. Jaleth, however, was not such a person, being far from his right mind. Of course, many such as his sister could see that he had not been in that state, really, for some time now.

To say Jaleth looked like hell would be an understatement. He was still wearing clothes that he had worn at the funeral...it seemed unlikely, even, that he'd bathed or even cleaned up much since then. He hadn't been there when the deed was done, of course, but he had seen the aftermath. His wife, mangled and virtually destroyed, hardly recognizable. The one person that seemed to understand him, build him up, encourage him to do those things he could do, the things he was entitled to...gone, now. All gone.

Hollow, echoing footsteps announce his arrival. He doesn't look around in the shadowy place, for indeed he saw no reason to. There was no one living there but him, now, and the place seemed overwhelmed with despair. As he passes through the hall, he does glance over to see a few pictures of himself with his former wife. Uncontrollable rage seems to fill his very soul, his wand untucked to blow a hole clear through that portion of the wall, torching the pictures with it. He'd taken to a much shorter temper, in Amana's company...which was significant, since he wasn't one to suffer a fool anyway.

Oh, and his sister. They'd had it around on the best of days, though indeed they loved one another. She and Amana were too much alike to get along, or so his skewed viewpoint told him. Her...comforts...if you could call them that, were hollow in his ears. He was pitiable, perhaps, in his own way, though he had taken Amana with a heavy cost through Kara. That he didn't want to think about now. All he could think about was death. He was left behind, even as the world seemed to be crashing down. Anger, rage, fury...there was almost a mad glint in his eye, as if the very strands of sanity were falling as well. He was not generally prone to hot emotions, but in this he was overwhelmed. Yet he did not see his sister, waiting in her nervous fashion.
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by: Kay

Of course, who else would it be? She'd been waiting all this time, her fear had gotten the best of her; she nearly forgot who she was waiting for. Elana laughed inside, trying to find some sort of humor in this hurried anxiety. It was something to take the edge off, surely, but it wasn’t exactly working. Knowing what had happened and lacking the courage to actually come forward and tell her brother what happened the night Amana was killed, kept Elana on edge with him a lot lately. Elana and Amana cast a façade for the poor Lenor boy, acting all chummy when he was around, though she was hopeful that Jaleth would catch on to her trickery. Of course, it was too late now, considering she was long gone. Hm. Elana shook away the thoughts of the past, the face of the ghost best forgotten, and raced towards the door.

”Jaleth, you’re home…Merlin-- where have you been?” Not really the way she’d wanted to greet him, Elana surprised herself when she spoke. It was sudden, panicked - as she had been, and most importantly, up front instead of the sweetly, softspoken ’hi you’re back’ that she would’ve used, if her approach wasn’t so urgent. She knew she had to make haste, there wasn’t much time…not now. Almost circling him as he entered, trying to make sure he wasn’t followed, Elana shut the door behind him and finally came to a stop in front of him. ”I’d been trying to owl you all day, and nothing.” Sure, she’d much rather fly a scroll out to him herself but with the attacks being so fresh, nowhere was safe, not even the skies. A pity.

”Look, we have to get out of here. If we leave tonight, Aunt Katherine has already sent me a message, she’ll be waiting for us. It’ll be safer for us if we got out of London, this place is crawling with Death Eaters as it is!” Trying to keep her voice hushed, the baby Lenor scattered across the room, looking for things to throw in an empty box she’d retrieved, knowing that some of this stuff she could smuggle with her once they hopped on the train. ”Peter will be there too, he’d flown home once he’d heard about Hogwarts.”

Though when she turned around, she wasn’t looking at the expression she was hoping for.
Jaleth knew his sister well enough to figure out when she was 'putting on.' Still, he assumed that to be part of the relationship. They had their spats, so how could he expect her to take up much to Amana? Especially given how she came into his life? It didn't matter now...none of it did. Life was over. As if he really gave a damn about some attack. What's done was done, in all things.

At first, Elana's quick words flew right through him. It took time for them to even begin to pierce the fog of his mind. He only seems to really focus in once she's done hovering and circling, blocking his path. Jaleth, it could be said, hadn't been himself in quite some time, thanks to his manipulative little wife. In her death and absence though, he seemed nothing. Lost and half crazed, at best. If his sister felt threatened and on edge, Jaleth felt much the opposite. Almost that suicidal feeling of nothing left to lose. Why worry about the attacks? The Death Eaters reborn? They were strong, they overcame the weak. Such was life.

"I'm not going anywhere." His voice was low, almost hoarse, as he moves to stride past his sister. Why the hell would he run? What did he care now if there were a few deaths? He thought they had taken what mattered most to him...what use was there to flee? If her voice was hushed, his seemed only to get louder over time, echoing like a warning through the room. "Why leave? They kill off a few of the weak, and all of a sudden we're running like insects?"

He didn't know what he was saying...it just came from him as it popped through his mind. That long list of family, mostly good people...safety. There was safety there, and healing. Jaleth was too proud, though, too angry. He'd not leave this place. Even as his wife rotted into nothingness, so would he rot in this place, until the end.. "I won't go."

Even as she tried to pick up the pieces of a life shared, in order to salvage them, Jaleth just watched. There was a half dazed expression to him, bitter and brooding. He was beyond reason, that was for sure. "It was only a matter of time anyway. They are stronger. They killed her."
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by: Kay
Elana froze in her flurry of movement trying to clean the place up and stared at him in awe. Did he just say what he thought she just…”What do you mean you’re not coming? Jaleth they’re out there and are searching for people like us, to kill us and you’re willing to sit back, relax and wait for them to come traipsing in like they’re in the right to slaughter us like they did to Ama--”

Leaving her mouth open, Elana caught herself before finishing that comment. It was bad to speak ill of the dead, as she’d told herself before, but even worse to speak ill of them before the spouse that they unwillingly had left behind. Her eyes were wide, she knew what she was about to say and she was sure Jaleth was going to catch it too, he was a smart man. She was sure he still believed that she and that rightfully dead witch were as close as can be -- but regardless of the type of relationship she might’ve had with Amana Lenor, speaking of her in bad contexts such as her early demise was certainly not the way to go, especially if she was trying to convince Jaleth to leave with her.

Closing her mouth (after removing the proverbial foot), Elana coughed to clear her throat, as if to delete whatever remark was to come out of her unthinkable speech, she blinked a few times at her brother and shook her head. ”They’re not going to stop. Hogwarts was the one place that everyone in the magical world thought was safe and now it’s torn down and overrun. Now that they’ve taken over the strongest place, with most of the strongest wizards and witches behind it since the staff that faced Voldemort -- they won’t stop until everyone cries the name of that bloody bloke Williams in praise. I refuse. So should you. We need to leave now if we’ll ever make the train, Aunt Katherine is going to be waiting!”

Tick tock.

Tick tock.

The clock was ticking by, the grandfather clock in the room amplifying her frantic warning, the hurried plea to get her brother to get going with her.
Williams? Voldemort? The Ministry? What the hell did it matter? In Jaleth's skewed world, it was all the same now. It really didn't matter to him if they came or not. Let them search him out, burn this house down, kill him. It would only shorten the distance between himself and his departed wife. This was bad timing to encourage someone to cling to life, and Elana's words weren't hitting home. At least, of course, until she almost misspoke.

Sharp, wary eyes dart up to his sister, hearing the words both spoken and stopped. He stared at her for a hard minute, as if struggling with reality. What's done was done...but he'd not endure long. Already, he felt things coming to some inevitable conclusion. The more he thought about it, the more alone he felt. Family? He couldn't think to them, not to coming back now. Even Elana was frightened, like a child, worried over what was a new order in the world.

"I don't give a damn who is in charge. They're all the same. Trading one tyrant for another hardly matters. Whole lot of good Hogwarts did anybody. Or the Order, for that matter. Look, just go. Someone has to look after that bunch." Slumping down into his favorite chair nearby, even it seemed to bring him no comfort. He was looking around the room, now, still a bit dazed, still bitter, not willing to move from his spot. "The more we resist, the worse it will be."

"She's gone, Elana. There's nothing left. I can't do it." Tense or not with his sister, he occasionally confided in her. Of course, th ere was much he did not yet know, but someone had to hear it. "You're wasting time here. You'd better not linger." Stubborn as hell.
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by: Kay
Elana almost jumped back when Jaleth retorted to her faux pas, making her fumble for another option, another way to hopefully convince him. There was a nervous tingle dancing down her spine, a fear that he wouldn’t heed to her warning, a fear that he’d stay behind to work for this damnable regime.

The younger Lenor was trying to deny, though futilely, that this was her penance; the only way she was going to be forgiven for what she’d done to Amana, to her brother even was to endure this, to try to save her brother from the bit of evil that was forcing its way into their world and be bothered by the gruesome thought in the meantime. Seeing the image of the woman dying before her further compelled her to move quickly, so they wouldn’t burst in unexpectedly…like they had before.

”They’re not the same, brother. Sure, Voldemort was a stronger force but now they’ve leaked into the political standings, they’ve taken his power and moved it to a higher level. You do NOT want to be here when that settles in, when it takes over our lives. I’m not leaving you here, I’m not…I can’t.”

Trying not to burst into tears and also not to break away into the terrifying memory that haunted her all that time, Elana stared at her brother. ”And yes, she’s gone, brother. You talk about not lingering yet here you wish to stay? Wallow with whatever energy you have left in the mourning over her? Jaleth, I know you loved her but coming with me, starting over, leaving from this forsaken place will be far more healthier! Jaleth…please.” Begging was not her strongest suit, but Elana was running out of options, out of time now as the two wasted a bit of their energy fighting like this.
Start over? Start over? That actually provoked a huffing, sputtering laugh from the otherwise pale man. There was no starting over. Life was done. Evil had not just forced its way into the world at large, but the man's hardening heart as well. Even if he tried, he could feel no pity, no compassion, nothing, not for a single living soul. "If you will not leave, then you'll be caught. Here I stay." He, for one, didn't care to run. He couldn't summon the strength. Not now.

"We were going to have a child." He speaks it almost as an afterthought, one more fact to add to the weight of the collapse of the man's life. Of course, he knew little to nothing about Elana's role in this, but at that moment it didn't matter. "There is no starting over. This is it." Of course, there was hope, or so he thought, for his sister, and at this rate she'd never leave. Hell, the girl seemed on the verge of tears, and that was a rarity.

Standing from where he formerly slumped, the disheveled man made his way towards his sister, eying her with that almost hollow gaze. "If it's healthier, then go. There's nothing for you here. Go. If you think yourself better off somewhere else, then that's what you should do. I'm not running from the inevitable." It was grief and semi-madness speaking more than anything, but it was a resolute stubbornness. "This is my home. Our home. I stay."

That seemed to be that. He was staring at his sister full on now, the hollow gaze oddly determined. "You should go, before they find you. You're wasting your time." He wasn't trying to get angry at his sister, but it was hard not to be angry in general. "Go fight the good fight, or whatever it is that group of friends of yours does. A huge waste."
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by: Kay
Gasping and taking a step back, Elana looked at her brothers empty eyes and it was like his feeling of emptiness filled her. Never had she realized that he was in so much pain, she was just so burdened and pressured by his guilt over his dead wife and child -- oh Merlin, she thought…a child. The young Lenor never factored in a child into all of this. How horrible an aunt, she told herself. Blinking twice before closing her gaping mouth, she shook her head. For the first time in ages, Elana was speechless. She couldn’t come back with anything, there was nothing she could do or say to remedy his pain immediately, nor could she truly know what he was going through.

She’d never seen her brother stand up so tall, either, it was just breathtaking. There was so much fury in his deep, dark and almost death-like eyes. It still disgusted her to know that he loved a creature so conniving, so manipulative…but of course, manipulative. The tears in her eyes seemingly dissipated as she blinked, staring quietly at her brothers face. He called her cause, her meaning for life a waste. Was it a waste? No. The people she was meeting in Russia were her family, his family that he didn’t want to acknowledge, and a gateway to those who wish to rebel against this new regime. Williams wasn’t going to have her allegiance…not that easily.

The gloves were off now. Jaleth was letting her go, abandoning his only remaining family to mourn the loss of a woman she would rather damn than condole to her grieving brother. If he wanted her to leave, if he wanted her to disappear then that’s what he’d get then. No more caring for the last man in her family. Immediate family, really. She did have her cousin Peter and aunt Katherine to look toward if she needed a place to stay, a loving caring part of her family that was no longer found here in London.

”Then you want to stay here and grieve forever, I see. I thought you were better than this, Jaleth. Yes, it’s been a month. But on the same token it has been a MONTH! Your wife…and child,” she said hesitantly, ”are gone now and you choose to sit back and await destruction even though there’s nothing you can do to turn time back -- to bring them back?” Staring with her own eyes ablaze, fists balled up tightly, Elana shook her head. ”Rot here then, Jaleth. Good riddance.”

Starting for the door, it was like her footfalls were in slow motion. Jaleth had time for a retort, if he could think of anything to catch her with. Whatever it may be, she knew she had to let it roll off of her back…the bond was now broken. Elana stopped in her tread and turned to look partially over her shoulder. "I know you don't care now and probably won't later...but don't think to look for me. You wish to stay here, renounce your family, your real family for something long gone. That's fine. You don't have a sister anymore. I never thought I had a big brother anyway."
Elana's reaction to the news was suspicious. Or it would have been, perhaps, if Jaleth was in any semblance of a sound state of mind. Such as it was, there was just a wicked, primal satisfaction at having her feel even a fraction of the mind numbing pain that threatened to overtake him with each moment. The Lenors weren't exactly known for being compassionate...at least this generation wasn't. There was a stare down, more than anything, for a few moments.

Jaleth took a little, perverse satisfaction in the realization that he was, for a change, intimidating. Powerful. Mighty, perhaps, in his grief. It was just as his wife had told him all that time. Until she was gone, that was. Now there was nothing. He knew little, if anything, of her devious ways, enthralled as he was in their relationship. And now that anchor was gone. He stood the chance of being wicked enough with her there...what was to stop him now? There were ways, he thought, of bringing her back. They could be together again. He was strong enough, smart enough...but not brave enough to risk what might be called back from the afterworld.

The thought of family, even his own, angered him. Repulsed him. Sickened him. There was no longer any comfort in such things, now that his was stripped from him. Why should he return? Depend on the others? Such bonds were weak, a failing. His grief was mingled with anger, and the uncanny ability of his sister to piss him off. Her words rang hollow...until the end.

"A month? A -month-? Do you think that's a long time? What the hell do you know about how long -one month- can be?" The hand flexed around his wand, that mad glare returning to his eyes. He didn't care if he did rot here...all the better. The place was nothing...a shrine to memories and lives long gone. "Maybe I'll find a way." It was only a half muttered phrase, before his sister moved to depart. Those parting words, though, were infuriating enough.

The bond between them always seemed so tenuous. Until his marriage, though, at least it was present. And deep down, he cared for his sister far more than she'd ever know. Moreso than the rest of the family, at least they shared in life and its experiences. Until now. There was a parting of ways, a vast river tearing the two asunder. Perhaps it was better, though. Risky though her path may be, it was far less destructive than his own. "If I see you again, I'll turn you over. Now get the hell out of my sight. All you've ever done is hold me back. She was right about you."
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by: Kay
Stopping just short of the door, Elana turned her head a bit more to look at her brother one last time. She declared that he was no longer her brother, and the ties were then severed with his last remark. Her infuriated eyes burned as she stared back at him out of the corner of her eye quivering lightly with the twitching of her pursed lips. The young Lenor wanted to make a comeback, a reply to find out a bit more clearly what he meant by that but for what? Nothing. It would only make matters worse, for sure. Elana just shook her head, the empty stare she now gave him was one of a hollow, lonely woman.

The only way to mend this wound he was twisting with his knives of wallowing in his own despair and grieving for that which could not be changed was to leave this place, and swiftly. Remorse briefly swept through her, wanting to tell her brother the truth about what happened between her and Amana -- and the truth about her death that happened before her, in all its gory detail but that thought quickly dissolved, diminishing without hesitation as she kept her eyes on Jaleth who was now expressing persecution with his own gaze to match the cold words he shot at her.

Very well then, Elana thought to say but held back with ease. She would let Jaleth have the last word then, she would let him think that he’d won, become some sort of champion of his own personal hell. Yes, Hell this place would be once she stepped through, without a hand reaching toward him to help him out if he needed it. She was departing for Russia soon and unfortunately without him. Or rather, fortunately? His true colors were shining vibrantly as he stood, a dim olive drab and bruised black, with the ghostly countenance of a man run into the ground physically and emotionally to match.

She wouldn’t forget the final words he spoke, however. If it was anything Elana was horrible at, it was at forgetting. Whatever he’d meant by it didn’t matter now, but she wouldn’t let that slip by. Maybe that horrible witch was talking ill of her behind her back. Good. Though, it didn’t matter now. Maybe some other time this would be appropriate to address…maybe if she ever saw Jaleth anymore. Hm. Bitterly she stalked for the door, shaking her head as she did, turning the knob quickly and yanking the heavy oak door open. In the blink of an eye, and without one more look back, she transformed: on her shrinking arms appeared black feathers, her legs into talons and her form was turned into her true and free form…a raven. Russia was her destination, and she was now leaving him behind.

Good riddance, she thought again as she flew high above Lenor Mansion and quickly away from this evil place.

He was to see her...nevermore.
Good riddance. At least that's what Jaleth's angry mind tried to tell him. To hell with her. She didn't understand. She didn't care...had she ever? Even as these thoughts waged war in his mind, though, he knew they were false. The finality of the moment, the realization that yet another shard of an already shattered life was breaking away, made his mind burn. And, in those final moments, though she'd be long gone, his body acted out of the instinct within it, taking a few steps forward to that empty spot where once she stood. Too late now. Pride and anger had intervened where common sense and love should have worked through. It had been a long month indeed, and it showed no signs of improving now.

Did he fear the Death Eaters? Perhaps, in the past. Did he fear anything now? Unlikely. Death, torture...those things would be a release from the hellish existence that had sprung up around him. For that matter, were they so wrong? In his state at this moment, the thought of destruction was a comfort. He was self destructive enough as it was...why not share the fun?

The only sound that broke the silence of the room was the ticking of the clock. And voices, far away, of impending danger. Danger for Elana, of course. He'd not run away from things. He lived in the past at this point, so what true peril could the present or the future hold over him? He'd show 'Lana...he'd show them all. He'd carve out a way in this place, if it killed him. If, as it probably would, it cost him his soul. There was much he didn't know, didn't understand. Blind to much of what had happened around him, and to him, for that matter. He was left to this fate, though, and he'd deal with it as best he could.

He hoped Elana escaped, whatever tensions had just exploded. He hoped she could find safety and happiness wherever she ended up. That didn't, though, dull the fury in his gut. At least he didn't have to worry about that for long. He seemed pretty certain that their paths would never cross again.
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