Narcissa woke up groggily and saw someone else in the room, there was a slight gap in the curtains, letting in a little of wintry sunshine into the spacious room that she and Lucius shared. He was sitting down, with his back turned and for a moment she thought it was Lucius who was on a chair facing the window.
“You’re awake early,” she remarked putting on a robe.
Draco stood up and greeted his mother with a smile. “Let’s have breakfast together, shall we, mother?”
She nodded and they walked out off the room and into a long hallway filled with endless moving portraits of their Malfoy relatives long gone. At the end of the hallway came a large grand staircase leading to the second floor. Narcissa opened a door nearest to the staircase and stared for a moment, in shock.
A lady was seated on a gilded chair dressed in black robes, her chin regally thrown up in the air, her hair neatly combed through. “Ah, you’re a late woman, you are.”
“Mother?” Narcissa gasped, unable to believe that her long deceased mother had come back from the dead and looking younger at that.
She cackled, and it was the laugh that gave her away. “Don’t be silly, Cissy. That old bean has been dead for a long time now, the last time I checked.”
“Bella?” she gasped again, unable to believe the transformation. Bellatrix stood up, with a look that Narcissa hadn’t seen in two decades. She was the beautiful and regal Bellatrix she had known years ago, her robes had been replaced with new ones, her hair, normally the tangled mess everyone recognized, had become tamed.
“Yes, I went to the parlor,” she said huffily.” You do know I’m kidding right? I just took a long bath, I believe I deserved it.”
Narcissa nodded, unable to speak.
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost! Sit!” Bellatrix laughed, inviting Narcissa for breakfast.
Draco smiled and offered out a seat for his mother. Narcissa sat down opposite her older sister, still digesting the new appearance Bellatrix had. Draco took a seat beside his mother. Fresh tea was brewing and freshly baked croissants and bagels filled the room with a wonderful scent, a rather welcoming scent to the manor.
“Ah!” Bellatrix said with relish. “I haven’t had this in ages. Pass me the bagels, Draco.”
Draco passed his aunt the basket of bagels and looked at his mother who had not moved since she sat down.”Would you like some, mother?”
She shook her head and looked up to her sister who was obviously enjoying the good breakfast. “Is this a part of the plan?”
“What? Looking like mother?” Bellatrix said. Then she grinned.”Yes, just a little panache to the preparations.”
Narcissa nodded, her hands growing cold as she held her tea, the tea suddenly refused to warm her. They were using the fine china that their mother had given as a gift to Narcissa on her wedding day. She noted the gilded vines circling the white china, reminiscent of their family tree at 12 Grimmauld place. Bellatrix was looking at her, a strange look in her eyes.
“Do I really remind you of mother, Cissy?”
“Just the way she looked,” Narcissa said curtly.
“Still, I remind you. Mother really was stronger in terms of personality than father and I’m glad I got that from her,” Bellatrix said, waving around half of her remaining bagel.
Draco laughed. Narcissa shot him a look that registered surprise.
“Aunt Bella we should see you more often.”
“Work beckons, “ she said, finishing the last of her pastry. She stood up and gulped what remained of her tea. Then she walked out, but before exiting the paneled doors, she paused. She looked Narcissa in the eye as she leaned against the door, twirling her wand in one hand, a habit since was eleven years of age.
“I have half the mind to cast a spell of forgetfulness on you, Cissy,” she breathed out. “If it were not for the fact that I adore you and Draco… Don’t make the mistake of getting in the way. This plan must pull through. I trust I won’t have problems with you.”
Narcissa said nothing, staring at the fine china in front of her.
Draco smiled, to assure both parties.”Don’t joke around aunt Bella, you’ll make mother break her tea cups.”
Bellatrix laughed.”I’m leaving in a bit, in broad daylight so no one will suspect much. After all, I don’t look like I’ve broken out from Azakaban anymore, right?” And she laughed some more as she left, her laughter echoing down the halls.
Something broke and it resounded throughout the room. Draco looked down to see his mother’s fine teacup broken into tiny pieces against the wall across them, thrown by Narcissa, who had tears streaming down her face in fury.
He hadn’t slept, in truth. How could he? He planned it in his mind, now. He had left his mother inside the breakfast room, tears all dried up. She had said she would be fine, and would join him for lunch later on. So he walked inside the halls of their manor, his footsteps echoing, passing by large arched windows with little daylight coming in. The curtains were new, judging from the scent as he passed by. Walking up the fourth floor, he paused and saw a door he had not remembered seeing before. He knew the manor was enchanted and he had spent countless hours as a child going on adventures inside the manor alone, to discover new rooms and objects his family had long forgotten, kind of like Hogwarts, only smaller- with a smattering of old dark magic here and there.
He held the door knob and the door opened with a solid push. A sudden gust of wind and dust rushed out, leaving him coughing for a bit. He opened his eyes and adjusted to the darkness of the room. He flicked out his wand and said ‘Lumos’.
It was an ordinary room by most of the manor’s standards. Just another one of their useless sitting rooms. He walked for a window, the only one the room had and flung the dusty curtains apart. Dust danced in the air and the room was flooded with light. The furniture looked ancient compared to the ones they kept using two floors below. It was probably a mini library, from the looks of it. Books still remained inside their cases; around seven dark colored book cases were lined all around the room. He wondered why he had never seen it before. Perhaps it was something like the Room of Requirement…
Scanning the books, he began taking some out and flipping them open. Some were old textbooks dating a hundred years back, textbooks required at Hogwarts. He smiled, imagining his grandfather, Abraxas probably using them. Returning the book, he spied on a smaller book, thinner than the rest, nestled in between Potions: A Perfect Pointer and The Most Comprehensive Wizarding Book of Wand Made Pastry Wonders. He took it out and blew off some dust. It was bound in leather, the original color might have been black, but now it leaned more to ash grey. There was a small logo at the corner that gave the initials A.L.M. could it have been a notebook of his grandfather? He found the ‘L’ initial strange, thought. Perhaps it was another of those ‘just for kinks’ names.
He opened a page and found it empty. He flipped another page and found nothing. Holding the book sideways, he flipped through it faster, his thumb gliding against the parchment. He saw a flash of calligraphy and quickly searched for the page. There, in minute handwriting on the yellowish and musty paper, were words, a date and a few long, seemingly new looking rose petals stuck in between the parchments.
Always remember. February 13, 1745
Then it was probably another ancestor of theirs, someone yielding enough to save an object of sentimentality. Rose petals, what the bloody hell…but his interest grew. He flicked his wand again towards a couch and dust flew into the air and out to a crack in the window. He sat down and scanned the notebook again. There was nothing else on the other pages. The room was cold and he flicked at the old fireplace.
Flames began to kindle, growing larger by the second. It filled the room with delicious warmth. Contented, Draco began to flip through the book again. He flipped through the book slower this time, determined to find something. But he found nothing. Not another scribble, not another rose petal stuck between the parchments.
He sighed and placed the book inside his coat pocket and stood up, scanning the book titles again. He had spent at least an hour passing through every shelf until he came onto one rather large book that reminded him of his conversation with Hermione, a seventy year old edition of Notable Hogwarts Students from 1700 to 1860 by Melinda Malden. It was lodged into the rightmost corner of the last book case. Smiling, he flipped through the book and was pleased to find a lot of his ancestors’ names in the index. The book was done by letter press; texts filled the pages with gothic typefaces.
Opening to a page with the Black name, he was not surprised to find a great grandfather’s name (actually around five generations ago) through his maternal side. It was an ancestor of his own grandfather, who had died during 1979. There was an inked and rather accurate representation of the man’s face, despite the parchment’s withered state. The image kept pursing his lips and narrowing his eyes. It seemed he was a sallow and thin man, with a long beard. The name was placed directly below the man’s portrait.
Rolfe Hitchens Black (1720-1818) Born to the prestigious Black Family, he graduated from Hogwarts with honors, immediately launching a successful career in the Ministry of Magic, founding the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, the largest and most important of the Departments in the Ministry of Magic. He subsequently married Lenora Burke (of the Slytherin House) and had three children.
Rolfe Black was known to be an advocate of pure blood marriages, disdaining muggle-born wizards and witches, although it was assumed he never raised wands against them. One incident however, refutes this, when a cousin of Rolfe Black was accused of having illicit affairs with a wizard of muggle descent.
The next page contained more inked drawings of some family manor off the coast of England, a more or less short distance away from Azkaban and a younger version of Rolfe, probably drawn around his Hogwarts years. The text continued after the page with the images.
On the eve of Walpurgis in 1745, Rolfe Black, along with his brother Cygnus Black (see page 230) and his cousins, Leonard Black and Pollux Lestrange (see page 428) were said to have gathered wands, ready to kill the muggle born wizard that had been courting Pollux’s sister. A group of skilled wizards (called Aurors, starting in the 1900s) had also accompanied their Head of Staff. It has been said that the muggle born wizard had been practicing Unforgiveable curses in preparation for a battle with the Lestranges…
Draco stopped reading and quickly flipped for the 428th page. There, a painted and colored (although faded) image of Pollux Lestrange was displayed. The man almost quite looked like his Uncle Rodolphus, with his sneering grin and disheveled hair. It had been painted a year before his death, as the caption below the painting stated.
Pollux Black Lestrange (1717-1800) Born to the old family of the Lestranges and descended from French Pureblood families in Brittany, France, the Lestranges of Britain migrated from across the coast to settle in Plymouth during 1640. He graduated with nine O.W.L.S, an outstanding mark in The Dark Arts and a special award for excellence as a Slytherin chaser in Quidditch. The son of a former Minister of Magic in France, he had been known to be fluent in French as well as Gaelic. He had two older brothers who chose to study in Durmstrang and a younger sister named Areatha who had also studied at Hogwarts (see page 336).
There were more photos of Pollux and his young family; he had married a second cousin of theirs, by the surname Yaxley. There was also a faded inked drawing of Pollux and his parents along with his siblings. The next sentence was related to Rolfe Black.
In 1745, Pollux and three male cousins, along with their respective fathers, hunted down the muggle born wizard who had been seen with Areatha. They claimed the muggle born had used Unforgiveable curses on Areatha since their Hogwarts years. In the name of honor, they avenged his cursed young sister by using the Cruciatus curse against him, accidentally killing the wizard’s mother in the process. By ruling of the court, Pollux and his companions were declared innocent…
Draco paused. Injustice was evident to the Black Family survival, one way or another; they would always find a way out. It was almost like a gift from the gods. He searched for the page dedicated to Areatha and saw a charcoal drawn image of the youngest of the Lestrange siblings. He was startled to find that she looked nothing like her brother or her cousins. She had wavy hair and thin lips according to the sketch. She looked complacent compared to what the Blacks were characterized as, prejudiced and power hungry, with dark, brooding looks and imperial bearings. Her portrait kept looking sideways, left or right.
Areatha Black Lestrange (1723-1746) The youngest sibling of Pollux, Regulus and Rabastan Lestrange, of the old Lestrange family from Brittany, France, she graduated from the House of Slytherin, with the second highest marks in the entire school that year. It has been largely credited that Areatha discovered the ‘Preservae’ charm during her sixth year, a charm that enabled one to keep various objects in good condition, even after years of misuse or keeping…
Draco quickly opened the little notebook in his pocket that had contained the roses. Sure enough, these looked very new, although the date had been quite old. Realization dawned upon Draco that this was exactly what Hermione had been telling him about. His eyes quickly scanned the page to look for more information regarding the ‘illicit’ love that she and a muggle shared.
Areatha excelled greatly in Charms and Potions. Her talent in Potions was evident when a male Hufflepuff student of the same year had drunk wrongly mixed Pepperup Potion as part of Potions class, which resulted in poisoning. Areatha quickly grabbed a bottle of her own concoction while inside the group, stuffing the potion of Pepperup down the boy’s throat forcefully along with dried leaves from dittany and devil’s claw. Witnesses say that, were it not for her quick thinking, the boy could have died in less than two minutes. An investigation ensued and the Pepperup Potion made by the boy had substantial amounts of bloodroot, an herb only available through the private storage of then Professor, Vindictus Viridian. There were suspects and it was generally assumed to be a prank gone near fatal, but the case was dismissed due to lack of evidence. Areatha was given a special award for her efforts.
Draco wondered if talent in Potions really did run through his family line. He wasn’t awful with Potions and he knew it. He scanned through the pages and found that Areatha only had 5 pages dedicated in her name. He continued reading on.
After graduating, Areatha worked for the Ministry of Magic under the Department of Mysteries, when only after two years, she relinquished her position with concerns for her health. It has been said that she retreated to the little village of Godric’s Hollow to convalesce. Here, the rumors of courtship between her and a muggle-born wizard (from the House of Gryffindor) rekindled, the rumors starting during their 4th year in Hogwarts.
During 1744, Areatha was forcibly brought back to the family manor in Plymouth to quell rumors of the pureblood heiress mingling with that of common stock. On the eve of Walpurgis in 1745, Areatha had caught news of the impending harm her family wanted to cause the young wizard. Escaping and apparating to Godric’s Hollow, she tried to warn the young man and his family to flee. Her blood relatives arrived later on and a battle ensued. It is unknown whether the young man was killed during the battle or after, with injuries already severe from the Cruciatus he was alleged to have suffered. The young man’s mother, of muggle descent, was killed off first (it was said that the blast came from the young wizard). In response to the blast, the newcomers retaliated. The Lestranges and Blacks were acquitted due to insubstantial evidence.
On October 1745, Areatha married a French wizard of pureblood descent named Lucian Roseau Malfoy and moved back into the family manor. She died on November 31st, 1746. The causes were unspecified. It had been assumed she contracted a malady or had died in childbirth.
Draco saw a painting on the last page dedicated to this unknown ancestor. She was in her wedding robes, sitting down on a chair, constantly looking out a window with her fingers playing on the fabric of her dress. She seemed distracted, miserable even, for an illustration. He sighed, frowning then. There was no page for the young man who had loved this distant grandmother of his. He wondered who he was. Just that he was in Gryffindor…He wondered what Hermione would have done. Then he laughed. It was quite simple, really. He was sure that the library on the second floor had an almanac dedicated to wizards and witches. He closed the book, and brought it along with him to the main library. He scanned for books with names similar to those he would find information about. He pulled out one entitled “The Complete Almanac of English Wizards and Witches From 1545-1800. An old book, but the dates should be there.
Sitting down once more and kindling a fire, he opened the book and scanned for ‘deaths in 1746’. He saw the minute text listing down every name. There were around three hundred deaths during that year all over England. He pored over every name, opened pages that suggested such.
Marcus Yaxley Lidell (1700-1746)
Sorted into: Ravenclaw
Known address: Surrey, South-East England
Mother: Lucretia Yaxley
Father: Marcus Lidell, Sr.
Worked for: Wales Dragon Keepers
Death: Dragon flames
God, what non-glorified deaths some of the people had. One witch died from the sudden shock of cold water, another unfortunate man died of a knife to the heart by a drunken muggle. He was about to give up when he came across the 278h name. His heart skipped a beat.
Colin Thwaite Peverell (1723-1746)
Sorted into: Gryffindor
Known address: Godric’s Hollow, West England
Mother: Melaine Peverell nee Granger-Thwaite (of muggle descent)
Father: Ignatius Peverell
Siblings: 1 sister
Worked for: Gringott’s Wizarding Bank
Position: Treasure seeker
Death: Wizarding Skirmish on Walpurgis Eve
Draco’s eyes widened. Good god. This was the man. Hermione had only theorized the man was related to Godric Gryffindor but he really was! The family name proved it, only it came to cease after he died. He was the last Peverell, and by lore of ‘Tales of Beedle the Bard’, an assumed descendant of Gryffindor himself. And then he noticed one tiny detail. The name of the mother... There was a ‘Granger’ attached to the ‘Thwaite’…His eyes widened again, heart throbbing at the comprehension that they were undeniably repeating times past, whether this Granger was related to Hermione herself. Except he was in Slytherin and she was in Gryffindor… he quickly shut the book.
The door creaked open and Draco saw his mother enter, changed into a dress of maroon. “Let’s eat lunch, shall we?” she said simply.
Draco nodded and grabbed the book.
“A new book you fancy?” she surmised.
Draco nodded. “I’ve become interested in our genealogy.”
Narcissa nodded. “I wish we could be remembered greatly,” she said, eyeing the titles of the two hefty books he held in his hands.
“If we plan it right, we will be.”
A/N: this will all lead to better things as the story goes along. so please bear with me. ^_^