Chapter 1 : Thunderstorm
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Author's Notes: This one-shot was inspired by Llewellyn McEllis's "A Malfoy Family Moment" challenge, posted on the HPFF.com Forums.
The wonderful betaing is credited to the lovely Arzu a.k.a. Bella a.k.a. Adelaide Merrefield. Big thanks and hugs for your opinion =)
It is nights like these he hated the fact that he resided in an ancient mansion of immense proportions with crafty French windows, high ceilings and vast chambers and halls. The frigid primeval stones caught every single thunder roll outside the colossal estate and propelled it reverberating throughout the manor, magnifying its horrible roaring tenfold. It is nights like these that were permanently carved into his immaculate memory as moments, minutes, hours of complete and utter helplessness.
He could always feel every fiber of his lean body tauten, perfectly synchronized with the electrical tendrils, piercing the sky above his abode viciously. He could hear its shrewd shrieks, howling in malevolent pleasure as they struck the night sky, jeering and prodding at the old and not-so-forgotten wounds like spiteful children.
Lucius Malfoy hated thunderstorms. He hated how he could always sense them coming miles away by the way the hair on the back of his neck stood on end; he hated how his fingers began to fidget seemingly on their own accord; and he hated the fact that while the thunders reigned outside his house, he could not, for the love of him, relax enough to drift into dreamless slumber.
Lucius growled exasperatedly and turned onto his back again, slinking one of his lean pale arms across his eyes in a half-hearted attempt to shield away the taunting flashing. He was a grown man and was perfectly aware of the fact that the lightening bolts weren't able to penetrate the thick walls and the numerous protective charms, but he couldn't help the automatic physical reaction of his stomach as it cringed and the general discomfort, which made him feel restless, a stranger in his own skin.
Another white flash blazed into his vision despite the shielding arm and he groaned in irritation. Peeking over his forearm, he searched the premises of his four-poster for the delicate silhouette of his wife drawn craftily beside him, but found nothing but mussed sheets.
He closed his eyes again and breathed deeply. Babying the boy again…
Swinging his legs over the edge of the bed, Lucius shrugged the cricks out of his back and heaved himself up to his full length, lingering for a brief moment to stretch out leisurely. Long pallid arms reached up to touch the unreachable ceiling as a small yawn escaped the finely shaped lips in the heart of an unguarded moment. Lucius hurried to stifle the less-than-perfect bodily reaction and headed for the door, pulling on his dark green robes on the way out.
He walked silently through the familiar halls, making his way by heart in the darkness and pausing for a brief moment when light flashed across the French windows. Vaguely catching the sweet fragrance of his wife, Lucius faintly shook his head at the vision of her dashing through the ancient corridors at the first glimpses of the storm. A subtle smile tugged at the sides of his lips and he moved onwards swiftly, finally reaching the desired door and pausing before entering, glancing inside through the slight crack.
On the great bed, which occupied most of this particular chamber, sat mother and child. The boy, barely five years old, was sobbing ruefully, clinging to the flimsy nightgown of his mother. Narcissa nestled her son lovingly against her bosom, soothing him with gentle circular motions on his tiny trembling back. She cooed reassuring nothings with a soft secretive smile, wordlessly sharing magnificent treasures of glimmering seas, opalescent shores and ancients skies of her homeland with her little boy. The child gazed up at her and the sobbing ceased, if only for a short while, before yet another lightening bolt slashed the heavy cloth of darkness outside.
"Hush, my Little One. It is alright, Mother's here. It is alright…" the soft voice carried to Lucius, intoxicating him with its' tenderness. "Don't cry, Little One. Here… look what I have," she disentangled her hand from the small body and pulled out a worn and tattered light-blue blanket from behind the boy.
"Binky…" Draco sighed with content, bracing the soft material to him and closing his teary eyes for a brief calm moment. Another scorching bolt pierced the sky and the gray eyes opened instantly. "Wooby. Whess Wooby?"
Narcissa kissed the top of Draco's head gently, smoothing the soft pale locks. "I sent Fifi to round Wolfgang in…"
Lucius snorted quite unbecomingly. He gave his son the griffin for his fifth birthday, in order to teach him power and responsibility, and foolishly enough allowed the boy to name the cub. It bewildered him beyond no end why the boy insisted on calling such a royal and magnificent beast a name as ridiculous as Wooby. He was quite close to reconsidering the gift when Narcissa appeased him with the proposition of registering the creature as Wolfgang and allowing the boy his silly moniker.
"Can he sleep with me tonight?" came the shaky voice of the blonde boy.
"I'm afraid no, darling. Your father would not be pleased with such arrangements," Narcissa smiled gently, bracing her son even closer and resting her chin on top of his head.
Lucius stood just outside the door, entranced and bewitched by the breathtaking vision of sheer divinity - his own wife and son in a flawless picture of kindness and love and family. His family.
He smiled, feeling his chest tighten with pride, and pushed the door open, stepping into the bedchamber with a trained expression. "You are babying him again, Cissa…"
A pair of unnerving blue eyes turned to his direction, noticing his presence for the first time. Narcissa surveyed her husband silently as he entered the chamber, tilting her head delicately to the side, and smiled up at him with a defiant glint. "You are just jealous it is not you I comfort, Lucius…"
A delicate eyebrow arched in surprise as his lips broadened into a smile. "Perhaps…"
"Most definitely," Narcissa corrected him with a coy smile.
A low growl emanated Lucius' throat as he narrowed his eyes, staring at his wife through darkened sapphire. The woman's fire never ceased to amaze him; the way she exuded scorching inferno throughout her beguiling glacial exterior; the way she managed to seemingly control him with her words and gestures and yet he found nothing wrong with that; the way she braced his son protectively, still smiling stoically at him.
Lucius opened his mouth to reply, but was interrupted by thunderous clattering noises coming from outside the door, followed by high screeches of an agitated house-elf. "WOOBY! Bad griffin! Bad! Sit! Down! Oi--NO!!!"
But it seemed the raging griffin was far from listening to the poor house-elf as the door into his young Master's bedchamber flung open and he plummeted inside like a small tornado. The rampaging cub careened absently around the tall frame of his older Master, screeching affectionately and flapping his massive wings while dripping onto the expensive Avalonian rug, but was quickly distracted by an ecstatic squeal coming from the bed. Noticing his young Master staring at him with a wide grin and flailing arms in invitation, the griffin dove onto the four-poster, scaring his Mistress away with indignant shouts, and muddled into the clean white sheets as the boy continued to squeal with delight, wrestling the cub and bracing him tightly.
A moment later a terrified house-elf skidded into the room, gaping at the image of her Mistress clinging to her Master, who was glaring at his son's bed, where the escaped griffin was brawling with the young Master. Releasing a dismayed whimper, the house-elf chanced a glance at her Master, who was staring at her now with dangerous calm about him.
"Fifi… what is the meaning of this?" Lucius asked the tiny elf, gesturing at the four-poster where the boy and his cub ceased their games and were now resting on top of the wet sheets, both smeared with soil, panting heavily and grinning. The griffin squawked something cheerfully, twirled around the blankets for a moment, and collapsed down, curled up. Draco watched with wide glimmering eyes and fascination of a five-year-old and mimicked the antics with childish enthusiasm, finally resting his head on Wooby's feathered neck.
"Fifi-- oh Master, Fifi is so so so sorry, but Wooby got away from me and I couldn't hold onto hi--"
The house-elf squeaked and cringed away when Lucius took a swift step forward, only to be restrained by Narcissa's tentative hand. "Lucius…"
"Narcissa…" he growled a warning, glancing over his shoulder.
"Lucius," Narcissa matched his growl, silently gesturing at the bed.
Lucius turned around swiftly, looking at the bed. There, amidst the wet sheets, tussled blankets, and soiled clothes, laid two small bundles of feather, fur and pale skin, breathing slowly and peacefully and sleeping soundly. He inhaled softly and dismissed the house elf with a wave of his hand, not glancing back as the creature scampered away hurriedly. He sensed Narcissa stepping closer and sliding two slender arms around his waist, pulling closer to his side and resting her face on his chest, watching their son silently.
"How long was he awake?"
"Since the storm started," came the soft reply from his chest.
"I guess… just this one time…"
Lucius growled in fake irritation, not seeing, but feeling the smile spreading on his wife's features. Tilting her chin up gingerly, he gazed into those pale blue eyes, his own darkening once again with desire. He leaned closer, welcoming the familiar warmth and tenderness, and felt his stomach begin to churn with the same want it always greeted her content sighs and wandering hands.
She pulled away slightly, looking up at him with an enthralling shimmer about her. "Perhaps it is time I should comfort you, don't you think so?"
"Well, you know how I hate these thunderstorms," he replied conversationally, ignoring the fact the rain had died away a while ago and the thunders were long gone. "You go ahead, I'll be right behind you. "
Narcissa nodded absently, kissing him once again on the lips and left the bedchamber after giving him a quick once-over and a gaze with promises of more to come.
Lucius smiled gleefully, shaking his head slightly as he turned to the soiled mess on the bed. Pulling out the ever-present wand from his robe pocket, he muttered a quick spell, leaving the sheets and the blankets all tidy and dry. Pocketing the wand, he moved closer to the bed and took a seat, pulling the tiny boy onto his lap. Draco squirmed for a moment, rolling over and gripping a handful of his father's robes before settling back into sleep. Wooby stretched out beside Lucius and he gave the griffin an affectionate scratch, watching his son for a long while as the boy drifted away quietly. Bracing the boy closer, Lucius leaned in, kissing the top of his tiny head softly, tussling his pale blonde locks.
Something tugged at the outskirts of his soul and memories of his own father came flooding back. He remembered the distant thunderstorms when his father used to lull him back to sleep with the ancient rhymes passed down the Malfoy lineage and, glancing down at the small treasure in his hands, his lips parted and a hesitant baritone broke out in the ancient Malfoy lullaby.
Of magnificence and blight,
Lands of Poets and of Teachers
I will show when it's right.
Lands of struggle and of battle
You will have to tread alone,
But for now my arms are cradle
I'll protect you, so sleep on…"
Inhaling quietly, Lucius picked Draco up, placing him carefully back down onto the bed, and heaved up the blankets, kissing him softly on his forehead. "Sweet dreams, Little Dragon…"
"You are babying him, Lucius," came a taunting voice from behind him, accompanied by the gripping laughter of Narcissa.
Lucius glanced at his wife with a raised eyebrow, strolling over and slipping his hands around her possessively. "You are just jealous it is not you I'm tucking in, Cissa…"
Narcissa tilted her head aback and the luscious sound of her laughter spilled out again. "Perhaps…" she smiled up at him, mirth flashing in her eyes.
"Most definitely," he purred, leaning in for another kiss.