Tiberius had to escape. His mother was making him completely deranged. He'd spent all afternoon in the parlor of his parents' townhouse, smiling politely at an endless stream of turbaned biddies until his face ached. As soon as he was able to slip away, he summoned a carriage and headed for the nearest non-female relative that he knew of, Orion Nott. He knew it was bad form to show up unannounced, but he also knew that another moment in his mother's company and he might do her an injury.
His knock was answered promptly by a small House Elf in a clean white pillowcase with a tiny white apron tied around her waist, her pale white hair up in a stern little bun. She looked up at Tiberius with unblinking saucer-sized eyes. "Yes? How can Celie help you?"
Tiberius pulled a small vellum card from his pocket, and handed it to the elf with a bored air. "Please inform Mr. Nott that his cousin is here."
She looked at the card them motioned him in. "Come in Master Snape. Celie will fetch your cousin." She bowed to him then faded into nothingness in front of him.
Tiberius followed her inside and waited, pulling off his gloves. He hadn't seen Orion in some time, but he was hopeful that he wouldn't see the visit as an intrusion. Despite his affectation of superiority, he'd always been a little intimidated by the older man.
Orion arrived shortly, coming down the grand staircase while still adjusting his clothing. It was obvious that he'd been in the middle of a bath as his hair was still slightly damp, a few strands clinging stubbornly to his sharp face. "Greetings Cousin. Is something gone amiss that you would arrive so unexpectedly?"
"I do hope you'll forgive my unexpected arrival. Father is out of town at the moment, and I've spent as much time with Mother as I can reasonably be expected to." He gives him a wry smirk. "If you are busy I will, of course, understand."
He made a soft noise of commseration. He'd met his cousin's mother and had been hard-pressed not to throttle the woman within the three hours he'd spent in her wretched company. "I am not... particularly busy at the moment. Though later I do have some buisness matters to attend to. Would you care for brunch?"
"I can't think of anything I would enjoy more, at the moment, so long as you aren't inviting any society matrons along." He grinned mischeviously, knowing that was hardly likely.
He arched a brow at him and quirked his lips in a slight smile. "Not unless they sneak in with the pastries... No."
Tiberius laughed. "Good, then. Your company is eminently preferable."
He motioned for Tiberius to follow him into the dining room. It was a simply appointed space, all in it of the finest quality, but simple. HE preferred to show his taste in fine things by actually posessing fine things, not seccond rate things tarted up to look fine. "And yours, on this fine afternoon, is a welcome surprise." He looked him over. "You've grown a great deal since I saw you last. It seems you will posess your father's height after all."
Tiberius followed him and took the seat offered. "Yes, I'm quite on a level with him now. I might even exceed that yet."
Orion took his seat at the head of the table with Tiberius at his right arm. "I wouldn't put it past you. You always did try and defy everyone's expectations."
He nods politely at the compliment. "And what have you been doing since last we spoke, cousin?"
"Besides buisness and yet more buisness? I've aquired a student." Their breakfast arrives, floated into place by a quiet and respectful Celie.
"A student, you say? And what is it that you are teaching?"
"Buisness, restraint... I suppose a more accurate term would be Mentor. The boy was desperately in need of some sort of influence."
He sipped his tea, regarding him with interest. "Anyone I know?"
"Perhaps. Sebastien Lestrange." He took a bite of his jam and butter slathered toast.
He shook his head slightly. "No, I can't say that I do." He wondered if there was more to this mentorship than was polite to discuss.
"I swear, the boy will give me gray hairs yet." He sounded deeply irritated yet his eyes gave lie to his tone , he took a sip of his tea. "Of all people, I would end up with a Poet and his Muse."
"And what's in it for you?" He quirked an eyebrow. Tiberius couldn't imagine why anyone would impart knowledge and experience without something in return.
Nott sighed. "He has great potential... and I do not wish him to go the way of my father, may he rot in hell."
"At least yours has had the good grace to make that trip," Tiberius muttered quietly. He ate a little of his meal in silence, not really all that hungry.
He made a soft noise of assent. Of course, he'd helped his father along that road himself, though that was a secret known only to himself and Celie. He changed the subject. "So, how have you been cousin? I must confess I've heard little of you this past year." He ate his own meal with a healthy appetite. He'd always loved food, especially good food.
"I did an abbreviated version of the grand tour after graduation, and since then I've been behaving like the good son that I am." The younger man's smile belied his words.
Orion looked at him a moment , then laughed. "You'll need more practice before you can tell such bald faced lies. What have you been getting into, Tiberius?"
"Now, now, cousin... that would be telling. I've only made some friends. Nothing untoward, I assure you."
He snorted. "Just be careful, Tiberius. I would not wish to see you disgraced."
"Your concern is touching, but misplaced."
"Is it so wrong to be concerned for ones family?" Orion asked, sipping his tea.
"Not at all. But I am mindful of my reputation above all things."
"At least we share that in common. The appearance of the law must be upheld. Especially while it's being broken."
Tiberius raised his eyebrows. "I believe I've been out of your confidence entirely too long. It sounds as if you've been having an interesting time of it."
He regarded him shrewdly. "You've never been in my confidence before, Tiberius. You were entirely too young before now."
"As I said, entirely too long." He smirked.
Orion Nott chuckled softly.