Little blonde curls practically vibrated as little pudgy legs raced back and forth across the garden. Shrieks of joy, and possibly slightly too indulged upon angst, pierced the air, and Narcissa grabbed a flute of champagne, downing half the glass in one gulp. The evening was still young, sun slowly setting, but she already knew she was going to have to fortify herself to make it through.
Cassiopeia had been a welcome surprise, almost 10 years after Scorpius had made his auspicious entrance into the world as the only son and heir of Draco and Astoria Malfoy. They, clearly, hadn't been expecting anymore which is the only reason why Narcissa could guess that certain precautions weren't taken to prevent exactly this event from occurring. Though, Cassie's welcome into the family had been fierce – the first second born child in three generations and the first female born Malfoy in five generations, she'd been waited on hand and foot since she was born. Which, in retrospect, was perhaps not the best decision any of them had ever made.
She felt her glass plucked from her own fingers, and watched, irritated as her husband finished it off with another gulp, "I needed that"
"Not as badly as I did," he murmured, lifting a slightly singed cuff to his jacket. Narcissa buried her giggle behind an elegant palm. Having received a special night off from school, Scorpius was trying to wow his family members with his magical skills which still required a certain amount of...finesse.
She watched her son across the grounds, close to where the ceremonial bonfire would be lit with a tender amusement. He'd taken to being a father better than she'd expected, with a soft underbelly that his naturally Slytherin children tore into like a present on Christmas. But, he didn't really seem to mind, and his ironclad wife did an excellent job of reining them in as needed. She was often seen with a brittle smile on her face, greeting people politely from one side of her mouth, while threatening horrible death upon her children out of the other side. It was quite an impressive spectacle to behold as both snapped to attention.
"What do you mean the killing curse isn't a trick?" came Scorpius's voice drifting across the lawn, only to fade back out into the background noise of people conversing around them. They had decided to have a Samhain celebration – the first since their oldest grandson had been born – and invited most of Wizarding Britain as a show of good faith.
It had to say something that everyone from red-headed Weasleys – one of whom Scorpius seemed to be following like a lost puppy, though she was doing her utmost to ignore him – to wild headed Potters, to even curly haired Rowles had decided to show up. Narcissa smirked. She never would have placed the Granger girl with the big viking, but seeing them together with their own brood made it clear that they somehow worked. On the periphery, she caught sight of Rodolphus, lingering around the bushes, observing the festivities even if he chose not to participate. While most had made a conscious effort to move on, it was difficult for the oldest Lestrange – bereft of his wife and younger brother – to find his place in this new world.
Lucius grabbed two glasses off the next platter that passed them by, pressing one into her hand even as he surreptitiously pressed a kiss to her temple. She smiled, again, leaning against him. Even her husband had changed, mellowed by age and little blonde curls that had him wrapped around her finger. "Did we make a mistake?" she asked him quietly, testing his mood.
"No," he answered, contentment lingering in his voice, "Though, I might change my mind later"
She snorted at his response, "On a scale of one to Bellatrix, how terrible is it?"
Lucius guffawed as he took another sip of his drink, linking his arm through hers and steering her around the garden. As the sun slipped low in the sky, dipping under the horizon she separated herself from him, pressing a kiss on his cheek before gathering the three other women needed to perform the ritual to light the bonfire.
"Exactly how much is Lucius regretting his decision to host this event?" came the amused voice to her right, on the east of the circle, which she recognized as Mrs. Granger – Rowle.
"A little less with each glass of wine," called back Astoria from the west. A snort of laughter joined in from the North.
"Well, no one has resorted to Avadaing anything yet" chimed in Mrs. Potter.
"Don't worry ladies, the night is still young," Narcissa answered dryly.
"Narcissa, wasn't this ritual originally performed with a goat?" came Granger again. Narcissa winced, leave it to the bookworm to know that.
"We decided that perhaps blood magic and sacrificial rituals was not the image we wanted to project this year," she settled on.
"See? This is why covens disbanded. Everyone grows a conscience in company" came Ginny's dry reply, and even Astoria couldn't hold in her laugh.
"Alright ladies, focus now. Let's set the effigy on fire, and not our guests" Narcissa commanded, heart lightened by the women she'd surrounded herself with.
With a practiced chant, and mostly ceremonial wand waving, the four women thanked the ground for their bounty, praised the Gods for their gifts, and begged protection for the coming colder months. With the final word, they all flicked their wands, the stacks before them lighting ablaze to the sound of polite cheers and clapping.
There was a sudden gasp to Narcissa's left and she swung her head about just in time to see her granddaughter rushing headlong towards to bonfire. Four mothers turned simultaneously, one casting a barrier charm, one a bind, another a tether to yank her back and the fourth an Augamenti to put out the bonfire immediately.
Deep silence was punctuated by a shrill wail, and Astoria gathered her daughter in her hands checking her over for any injuries, murmuring both words of comfort and irritation.
"CASSIE!" came Scorpius's howl from behind her, "YOU'RE RUINING SAMHAIN!"
No, their life may not be what she'd imagined, but Narcissa wouldn't have it any other way.