A Fool's Errand (Ed)
Once roused, Mugger seemed in a better state of mind than he had been previously. He nodded and mumbled out some sort of thank you - presumably. Lawrence couldn't quite make out what it was the old drunkard was saying. But having found something akin to an ally, Lawrence decided to take the now empty seat, on the far side of the hearth, and he began to regale Mugger, and any others listening, with a story that had something to do with a birth, in an unexpected point on an arduous trip through the alps. Most of it was fabricated - pieced together with fragments from a hundred different tales that he had heard over his lifetime. But Lawrence, being a lawyer, was quite good at spinning out a yarn. While he spoke, he was quite aware of the two young thugs-in-making, lurking at the periphery of his vision. But his strategy was this: they could hardly attack him in cold blood, while he was sitting there keeping everyone entertained...could they?
Ed shook his head and patted his brother's shoulder. It was the unspoken gesture to mean 'follow my lead'. He stuffed his hands into his pockets and smiled huge as he turned on his heel and walked towards his dad and the lawyer. He watched the man with a glint as he had a plan and smiled.

"'Ey! You n'ver said why you were wand'rin tha' storm. So what's it? You really batty 'n got lost 'n found 'ere? Or did ya trick us 'n ta lett'n you in cause you knew m'mum 'n dad are tha char'table type. Ah mean.. lawyers are s'pposed ta be smart. 'N dad 'as a couple o' enemies who migh' like ta put 'im in jail.."

All he had to do, was get this guy kicked out in the blizzard. It would suit Ed fine and he was sure his dad was paranoid enough he might do it for them.
More than exasperated with this young whelp, Lawrence looked coolly at the boy. "I came out into the storm to look for my valet, if you must know. He'd been sick, and he went to fetch some medicine. The storm began and he had not returned..." Lawrence did not let his voice catch, or his face to register any unusual emotion as he spoke, although his heart twisted in his chest. Akal - he still had no idea if his love was safe, or if he too was caught in some nightmare, as the blizzard outside raged on. One thing he could take heart from - Akal was a fighter. Not so much on the outside, but inside, that man had some strange core of steel. From all their adventures, Lawrence knew this.

"...So I came out to look for him, and I lost my way," he continued, after only a moment's pause. "A fool's errand, perhaps. But it is the truth. I mean no ill intent to your family. I would hope that remains unchanged." He gave the boys both a look, as much to say, you are warned.
The boy stood as tall as he could feel confident doing in the small place and folded his arms, staring at the man. He searched impatiently for any cracks to show the man was more show than substance. He didn't see any, but he couldn't let the man win. This was his home, dammit. They were poor and this man who has experienced wealth and traveled, would get to stay free. If any of his family had been lost in the snow, no one would have let them in and they'd have died on the door step.

"Feel invinc'ble do ya? Goin' out when ya knew it was dang'rous think'n things would just work out, cause you got yer fancy coat and fancy boots and fancy class? I did'n wan' you in my 'ouse! You 'ad no right just comin' in 'n act like ya own th' place. You should 'ave paid for us rescuin' you. But you us'd my mom need'n yer money and my da' need'n a drink! You should leave 'n face yer choices!"

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