Lucius Malfoy sat on a burgundy armchair before the fireplace. He watched intently as the green flames danced about the marble monument that was carved into the shape of an opened mouth snake. People had commented to him that it seemed almost hypnotic, which in reality, it was. He had used a Mesmeric Charm to enchant his guests into a tranquil temperament. It was easier to get them to do things that he wanted them to do and still stay within Ministry regulations. Of course, he put a charm on his family that made them immune to its effects. Although there were times he wished he hadn't.
Draco and Narcissa had went to London to pick up some last minute supplies at Diagon Alley before Draco was shipped off to his fifth year at Hogwarts. To this day Lucius had regretted sending his only son to that blasted school. If he had his way, the boy would be studying at Durmstrang, one of the finest schools in all of Europe. Much better than Hogwarts, in his opinion, because the study included instruction in the Dark Arts. However, his wife was uncomfortable with sending him so far away. She thought it was better sending him someplace where they could reach him quickly if anything ever happened to him. He remembered fighting with her for nearly six months before Narcissa had become tired of arguing and threatened to hex him impotent if he didn't send Draco to Hogwarts.
It was only the second time she had ever asserted her power in front of him. When he had met Narcissa, she was very strong willed. He liked that about her. However she was not the kind to be told what to do. How exhausting it had been to put all those charms on her the first few years of the relationship, in order to keep her in line. That ceased the moment she became a mother. He found that all he had to do was threaten to make her childless and she did pretty much anything he told her to. Something over the years she had grown quite disgusted about.
She hated having to out in public playing the dutiful wife to one of the wizarding worlds most powerful men. She hated having to look at him with love and affection when she wanted nothing more than to vomit. Furthermore she hated how Draco looked up to him. Narcissa couldn't stand how he was determined to mold their only son into his image. Lucius got a perverted sense of pleasure showing off to her just how much he had Draco under his thumb. Knowing how much it sickened her gave him an overwhelming power over her. He relished every minute of it.
As he sat watching the fire crackle he wondered what would be different. How would life have been if it had never happened? If he hadn't of had to do what he did. He wonders if Draco would have been so unruly. If Narcissa would be so loyal. If he would be hated as much as he was. He thinks back to that day. Pretends like it never happened. If things had worked out as they were supposed to. As he had plotted since before he was married. Would things be happier? Would he be happier?
Lucius always liked to think that deep down it would. Things had never been the same for him since. His family was never complete again. Always missing something. They were incomplete. Something of his own doing. A situation of his own making. Something he could have corrected if time had given it to him.
But he didn't.
He left things to their own devices and as a result, life was broken. He could never repair it. He couldn't change the events of that day. But he thought about it alot. On days like today. When Draco would be heading off to Hogwarts. Off to school to complete his training. He didn't let himself get too caught up. He never regretted what he did. To him it was the right thing to do. For all of them.
Soon he would have to tell Draco. Explain to him the secret he has kept for nearly six years. He wonders how he will react. If he will understand. When he was younger, Lucius was sure that his son would see things his way, but now was a different story. Draco was not content with just being his father's son. He wanted to be himself. He stopped obeying Lucius and this worried him.
Worried that his son would not follow him into the Death Eaters. Not follow him in his allegiance to Lord Voldemort. Even though Draco had no choice in the matter, his obediance spoke much of him and of Lucius. How Lucius was viewed in the eyes of the Dark Lord was everything. He would have to test Draco. Lucius felt that his reaction to the truth would seal his fate.
He hoped that his son would react accordingly. For his sake. Lucius got up from the chair and walked towards his mahogny desk. He stood silently, staring down at a picture of Draco sitting on the steps of Hogwarts with a sneer that would make any Malfoy proud. Lucius picked the picture frame, his hand touching the moving photo of his only son.
"You must choose wisely Draco," Lucius whispered. "I would hate to have to kill you."
Lucius put the photo down, his sour expression unaffected by his words, and makes his way out of the study.
In a little room in Little Whinging, Harry Potter awoke with a start.