A/N Woohoo! I've finished my little story... it's only 25000 words longer than planned! Thank you so much for all your encouragement which spurred me on to take this ridiculous story much further than I ever dreamed. Today's installment is brought to you from the passenger seat of my car while the demonspawn enjoys a post swimming nap. No wifi, no grammerly...probably a lot of errors. Sorry - it's totally her fault.
A few people have speculated on the nature of Primae Noctis and what it will mean in the future. Primae Noctis was actually a real thing. 100's of years ago the laird of a Scottish Village had the right to have his wicked way with the young woman of the clan before they married. I don't know if it was ever actually honoured, but it features in the film Braveheart so it's obviously totally true. However, I made up my own version of Primae Noctis because I liked the latin. In my version the most senior male in the family sleeps with the new bride. So in the case of Lucius and Hermione Abraxas is dead and therefore Lucius satisfies the ritual. But if Draco is to marry anyone else Lucius will still be bound to sleep with the new bride...so speaks my head canon.
~5 years later~
"Are you absolutely sure about this?" Lucius paces nervously.
"Yes, and stop pacing; we've just had the lawn reseeded."
He stops but continues to frown as she draws her wand.
"And you're certain the Bukowski sequence is the best one to use...because I've read that -"
"Which of us has the charms mastery?"
"You do, dear." He lapses into silence.
Hermione casts a complicated incantation and the house begins to glow as every single protective ward surrounding the building and grounds is illuminated in red and orange. Lucius exhales softly.
"Some of these are hundreds of years old. I had no idea there were so many."
"It does seem a little ostentatious," Hermione remarks. "Not to mention ineffective. Voldemort still got in, didn't he?"
Lucius winces. "Unfortunately the house isn't warded against stupidity."
Hermione gives his arm a brief squeeze before she concentrates once more on the wards.
"Morning, Father, Granger." Draco makes his way across the lawn stepping daintily around the illuminated wards rather like a diamond thief in a heist movie.
"Hello, Draco." Lucius inclines his head. Hermione gives an absent-minded wave.
"Well this is quite spectacular isn't it?" Draco rubs his hands together in anticipation. "Is this really going to work, Granger?"
"I think so." She continues to focus on the wards. "Either that or the entire place will go up in flames."
Draco gives his ancestral home a dispassionate look. "Thank goodness I retrieved my stamp collection."
Lucius huffs at his sons' levity but is prevented from venting his ire by the appearance of Astoria.
"Is he bothering you, Hermione?" She places a restraining hand on Draco's arm. "Let the grown-ups work, dear."
"But I wanted to help." Draco pouts theatrically.
"You can help by being quiet and staying out of the way," Lucius says.
"And take your father with you," Hermione adds.
"No can do, Granger." Draco conjures a pair of deckchairs and flops down into one. "Father's all your problem now."
~Six months previously~
"No, absolutely not. If you even think about it I'll rip your balls off. Or maybe I should just castrate you anyway as a preventative measure." Hermione glares at Lucius her face contorted with rage. Her hair crackles with involuntary magic.
"It must be nice to be loved, Father." Draco snorts with laughter at the sight of his enraged stepmother.
"This is not funny, ferret." Her fingers inch toward her wand and Draco holds up both hands in surrender.
"I'm sorry, Granger. I didn't mean to make fun of you. I was merely trying to inject some humour into the situation."
"There is absolutely nothing funny about this," she replies through gritted teeth.
"Hermione, if you'd just be reasonable. Of course, I don't like this any more than you do—"
"She is being reasonable," Astoria interrupts Lucius. "I'm sorry, Mr. Malfoy, but there is absolutely no way I am sleeping with you. No offense," she adds belatedly.
"None taken." Lucius' face is a mask but Hermione knows her husband well enough by now to see that he is relieved. Whilst sexual relations between the two of them remain eminently satisfying Lucius is still something of a prude at heart. However much he might enjoy their own bedroom activities he has no desire to sample the joys of the flesh with another partner. It is one of the many things she loves about him. But, Lucius is a man for whom family and familial responsibility is paramount. She has lived in fear for the last four years; uncertain whether Lucius would, once more, put familial responsibility first; even if it meant sacrificing their happiness.
"But Astoria" —Draco has a pleading look Hermione has never seen before— "if we don't fulfill the ritual then—"
"Then what?" Astoria shrugs her elegant shoulders. "We can't live in The Manor — fine we'll find somewhere else. And, whilst I might be excited to get my hands on all of your lovely money I trust you to funnel plenty through your account into mine. I'm not a virgin, you know that yourself." She doesn't even blush as she exchanges a knowing look with Draco. "So there's no need for your father to verify that."
"What about the final part of the ritual though?" Lucius' face is troubled. "There has never been a squib in the Malfoy family."
"And there won't be either." Astoria leans over and places her hand in Draco's lap. "We don't plan on having children."
"What?" Lucius looks scandalised. Hermione has to hide her mouth behind her hand. She loves her husband, prudish ways and old-fashioned values and all. That doesn't mean that she doesn't find him immensely amusing at times. She reaches out and places a hand over Lucius'
"If they don't want kids it's really none of our business," she says gently.
"We're decided, Father. I've never been that keen on parenthood anyway, seems like a lot of hard work if you ask me." Draco smiles over at Astoria who nods in agreement.
"My research into Brazilian voodoo practices is really taking off. I want to spend more time in the field, not time in the nursery." She shrugs. "I love children, but I've never wanted to have any of my own."
While the two have them are speaking Lucius looks between them with an expression of dawning horror on his pale face. "Hold on." He glares at Draco. "If you do not plan on having children that leaves the Malfoy line without a successor."
"I don't think you have much to worry about there, Father." There's a malevolent gleam in Draco's eye. "I imagine Granger's got things covered. Isn't that right, Hermione?"
Hermione is widening her eyes at him desperately trying to head him off. Draco appears immune to her pleas. "Worst kept secret in wizarding Britain, isn't it Astoria? Last week she threw up in front of half the goblins in Gringotts."
"What on Earth is he talking about? Are you ill?" Lucius turns to Hermione with a look of concern. Hermione hurriedly stops making throat slitting gestures at Draco.
"No, I'm fine."
"She's better than fine; positively blooming in fact." Draco leans back in his chair and grins like a Cheshire Cat.
Lucius looks back and forth between the two of them with his brow furrowed.
"Draco, I feel as if you are trying to embarrass my wife."
Draco grins wolfishly. "Oh no, Father. I believe it's you who has embarrassed her, or embarazada." He nudges Astoria's arm. "Embarazada, do you get it because Granger is—"
"Isn't it time we were leaving?" Astoria leaps to her feet. "Look at the time, Draco. We really need to dash, we've got that thing, remember?"
"Nope." Draco settles back further in his chair. "I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be than right here." He is looking hard at his father and seems unsurprised when Lucius leaps to his feet.
"You're pregnant!" He points a shaking finger at Hermione who is looking daggers at Draco.
"Draco, the thing," Astoria whines. Both Malfoys ignore her and continue to stare at Hermione.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Lucius is doing a very good impression of a kicked puppy.
Hermione is going to kill Draco, actually, kill him with her bare hands. She glares at him some more before returning her attention to Lucius.
"I was going to," she says apologetically, "but it was a lot to take in and I just wanted to get used to the idea myself first. Besides, I knew you'd fuss and I've got that visit to the dragon reserve in Romania next week-"
"You're not going anywhere near a dragon reserve."
Hermione shoots Astoria an I told you so look. The other witch shrugs sympathetically.
"This is the Malfoy heir." He presses a reverent hand against her completely flat stomach. "My son."
"And already I feel usurped." Draco gets to his feet. Come on Astoria, let's go and do your imaginary thing there isn't nearly enough shouting here for me. "Congratulations Father, commiserations, Granger. Well done for overshadowing our engagement. You do know he's going to be insufferable for the next seven months." He gives Hermione a jaunty kiss on the cheek and Apparates with an obnoxiously loud crack.
"That boy has been thoroughly spoilt." Hermione scowls at Lucius. "Don't think I'm going to allow my child to turn out like that."
Lucius adjusts his cuffs. "I blame Narcissa," he says with a completely straight face.
"I can't believe you didn't tell me." His seems unable to stop touching her his fingers skimming small circles across her belly.
"I haven't known that long." She leans her head against his shoulder. "It was a bit of a shock. I wasn't even sure you'd be pleased."
"I can't have been that much of a shock. We have not taken preventative measures for months. I understand that you were inexperienced when you came to the marriage bed, but I'm sure you understand at least the basics of human reproduction."
Hermione scowls at him, but he continues unabashed," Why on earth would I not be pleased? You are giving me a son."
"You know it might not be a boy," she points out.
"Of course it will be a boy. I'm sure I told you years ago that the Malfoy line only ever produces male heirs."
"I remember. You told me that you only produce a single male heir."
Hermione sniggers. "Well, that wasn't true of your father, was it?"
Lucius' eyes narrow as he considers the implications of what she's saying. "I suppose not." He concedes. "My grandfather died before my father married. My mother was spared the ritual. As far as I know, my father sired both myself and Draco."
"So the baby could be a girl?"
He looks hard at her stomach. "I suppose it could."
"Would you mind?"
"Mind? Hermione, I'd be delighted. I don't know anything about bringing up girls, but she is unlikely to be more of a princess than Draco." His smile fades. "Are you going to tell me why you thought I would be unhappy?"
Hermione frowns a little. In other situations, she admires her husband's tenacity, but right now she would prefer if it were easier to distract him. He is remarkably resistant to subject changes.
"I just think you might find some of the changes a little difficult to accept." She places a gentle hand over his where it still lies on her stomach.
"Well, I'm already tired and sick. My breasts are bigger and they hurt. Soon they're going to hurt so much I won't want you touching them, and let's not even get into lactation. My ankles will swell and I might get varicose veins or haemorrhoids. I'll start showing in a few weeks. Eventually, I'll be so massive I won't even be able to tie my own shoelaces. According to my reading, even my genitals will look different." She frowns. Lucius is not responding in quite the way she imagined. The look he is giving her is predatory.
"Are they really bigger already?" He cups her breasts in his hands allowing gentle fingers to skim over her sensitive nipples.
"That's all you heard?" she asks incredulously.
"I heard everything." He plants a kiss along the angle of her jaw. "You don't know how I have longed to see your body change as it grows my child." One hand leaves her breast to slide down and cup her backside pulling her closer against him. "In fact, as your husband, I believe it is both my right and duty to conduct a thorough examination in order to catalogue the changes."
"Hmmm." Hermione is already distracted by the press of his erection against her.
Lucius leads her to a low couch. They are in a small sunny sitting room on the first floor of the manor which looks out over the lawn where they were married. Despite the relatively public location Hermione is not concerned at being observed. After numerous embarrassing interruptions, the house elves have finally learned not to disturb them when they are alone.
She is a little surprised as Lucius kneels at her feet and unbuckles the flat leather sandals she is wearing. He slides them off and lifts one of her feet to examine it.
"They don't look swollen to me." He presses a kiss into her instep.
"It's much too early. Oh!" He has wrapped his tongue around the bony prominence inside her ankle. She sighs with pleasure as he rests her foot on his shoulder and proceeds to kiss his way up her lower leg.
"These look the same too." He nuzzles behind her knee and Hermione let's out a whimper of surprise and arousal. She hadn't known the back of the knee was an erogenous zone. He continues kissing her working his way up the inside of her thigh until she's a panting, whimpering mess.
His lips are hesitating over her drenched knickers.
"I couldn't possibly." With a look of deep regret, Lucius places her leg back onto the chaise. "I need to investigate further." He unerringly finds the zip at the side of her dress and runs it down over her ribcage. He has become considerably better acquainted with women's lingerie over the past years and he makes short work of her bra. Hermione is topless in a matter of moments.
"Perhaps they are bigger." Lucius weighs her breasts in his hands as he rubs his thumbs over her nipples. His hot mouth fastens over one hardened peak and he sucks hard. Hermione whimpers again and fists his hair.
Dissatisfied with the speed at which he is moving she wriggles her way into his lap and straddles him allowing him full access to both breasts. His eyes are hooded as he bites at her neck, his fingers toying with her nipples. Hermione grinds against him pressing her hot core against his still covered erection.
"Lucius, please." She squirms in his lap. Her whole body is suffused with white-hot heat. She aches and it feels as if she will die if he doesn't do something immediately to ease that pressure. She is clawing at his clothing, her fingers desperately fumbling with the buttons of his trousers and he is making absolutely no effort to help, merely watching with an amused smirk as she whimpers in frustration.
"Thank Merlin," she sighs as she finally frees his cock which to her immense relief is fully erect. She cannot wait a single moment longer and she leans forward and then back impaling herself rapidly on his length. He grunts with surprise — their foreplay is normally considerably longer and more involved than this, but she is soaking wet and desperate for him; striving still to pull him closer still though they are already joined as intimately as possible. "Please, please, please," she hears herself chanting as she bucks up and down her thighs already burning with the effort. Lucius' hands move to her hips and he takes over the rhythm and pistons into her. His mouth is at her breasts one more and he alternately sucks and bites at her tender nipples soothing the burn of his teeth with tender sweeps of his tongue. Hermione has never felt so deliciously out of control before. She can feel her impending orgasm uncoiling through her hot body with a glorious inevitability. She actually stills for a moment in order to prolong the pleasure of hanging on that knife edge of ecstasy before she plunges over. Her vision becomes blurry; all of her peripheral senses are lost. All she can feel is the glorious pulsing heat between her legs as she contracts over and over around her husband's cock. He comes seconds after she does and grips her face between his hands kissing her with desperate hunger, his tongue invading her mouth so ferociously that she can barely breathe.
They come down to earth slowly, drenched in sweat and other body fluids.
"That was most unsatisfactory," Lucius pants.
"What?" Hermione is still recovering from what she thinks was the best orgasm of her entire life.
"I had planned to both examine and taste your intimate areas at great length; you prevented me from doing so. In addition, I had thought to sample a number of different positions in order to ascertain if your sensitivities or preferences have changed. I did not even receive an opportunity to adequately assess whether your scent has altered." Lucius looks genuinely aggrieved. Hermione can only laugh.
"Lucius, I'm going to be pregnant for another seven months, there will be ample time for you to investigate me."
"I suppose," he accedes grumpily but with a smile in his eyes. Hermione climbs off his lap and affectionately kisses his jaw.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you before."
Lucius is frowning. "You do realise you are smearing our combined essence over a priceless piece of fourteenth-century furniture don't you?" Hermione glances down at the brocade chaise on which they are both seated.
"I've never much liked it anyway. I was nervous," she continues, knowing full well Lucius is not particularly interested in the furniture. "I wasn't sure how you'd feel about the Malfoy line being sullied by a half-blood."
"I feel delighted."
They lean against each other for several moments, enjoying the pleasurable afterglow. Lucius' fingers are once more drawing idle patterns on Hermione's stomach. He lets out a long sigh.
"You know we are never to be free of this bloody curse?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean at some point you will likely bare me a son. Who in turn will wish to take a wife and we will be left once more in this horrible position."
"Hmm, about that"— Hermione steels herself for his disapproval— "I believe I may be able to counteract Primae Noctis. I've been reading about it, you see, during my breaks at work."
"In the course of your work as a curse breaker you've been reading about breaking curses during your breaks?"
"Yes, does that surprise you?"
"Not in the slightest." He kisses the top of her head.
"I think with a bit more research I should be able to lift the curse." She looks hesitantly up at him. "If you want me to that is. I believe it would involve tapping into the wards around the Manor and exploring how they are tied to yourself and Draco."
Lucius looks at once hopeful and worried. "Some of those wards were cast by very dark wizards, Hermione. I couldn't let you risk yourself."
"Because I'm a fragile little woman who has never taken any risks before?" She gives him a stern look.
"Because I am desperately in love with you and would never forgive myself if any harm came to you."
"Oh." She is thoroughly disarmed by his declaration. She knows Lucius loves her, but he doesn't speak of it that often.
She climbs into his lap once more. "I can't stand the thought of you with another woman."
"I know." He buries his face in her hair and inhales deeply.
"Then will you at least let me try?"
"I'll think about it."
~Six months later~
Hermione takes a deep breath and begins to unpick the wards. She uses a sequence of charms to highlight those associated with Primae Noctis. She half expects not to find them. Lucius can't tell her when his family began to practice the ritual and there is no definite record of it actually being tied to the family at all. Hermione half hopes to find it has all been an elaborate hoax.
She shudders as her consciousness comes up against a thread of magic far darker than her own. She pulls back and then begins to tentatively probe the ward. She feels hate and spite emanating from it and she pulls away with a small squeak. She is shocked by the sheer malevolence still potent within centuries-old magic.
"Are you alright?" Lucius still hovers at her elbow.
"I'm fine." She raises her wand again - no memory is going to scare her off.
"Really, Hermione we don't have to do this. I could look for another curse breaker. Who isn't pregnant with my child," he adds quietly.
"Shoosh," she says absently as she isolates the ward from the others so only a single thread is present. It pulses with an angry red light.
"Did she just shoosh your father?" She hears Astoria ask Draco.
"She did. No respect for their elders these Muggleborns."
"Malfoy, If you don't shut up I swear I will wrap this evil ward around your pretty neck." Hermione is sweating slightly as she begins to cast protective charms around the ward. She suspects it won't go without a fight."
"Was that aimed at Draco or me?" Lucius is still standing next to her.
"Both," She grunts. They lapse into silence.
She carefully constructs a golden cage around the ward. It reminds her a little of the cage which Voldemort used to protect Nagini and she shudders at the thought. Finally, the painstaking work is finished.
"Alright, I'm going to destroy the ward." She glances at Lucius. "You might want to stand back."
"I shall remain here."
She rolls her eyes. He really is incredibly obstinate. Before he can mount any further objections she levels her wand at the ward and blasts it with a stream of pure energy. She is unprepared for its retaliatory strike and is blown backward as a pulsing jet of red light shoots between the bars of the cage to merge with her own wand. She staggers almost tripping over her own feet until her back hits something warm and solid which she belatedly realises is her husband. She braces herself against him as she funnels all of her energy into her spell.
"It's too strong," she gasps as she desperately tries to hold the connection. Her arm is beginning to waver and she feels her own magical core being rapidly depleted. "I can't hold it," she admits. Her voice is weak and breathless. Then Lucius' arm is around her waist and his hand covers hers on her wand. She feels his magic flowing through her and strengthening the waning spell. Then another hand covers Lucius' and the light from her wand flares even brighter. Draco has joined them his face grim as he stares at the ward which is writhing within its golden cage. Hermione is close to passing out when it bursts into flames and abruptly disintegrates leaving nothing but a black ash which slips between the bars of the cage to land harmlessly on the grass below.
Hermione slumps in Lucius' arms and he goes down on one knee; his own energy almost entirely drained too. They lose their balance and land in a tangle of limbs with both of their arms wrapped protectively around Hermione's bump.
"Father, Granger-" Draco's voice comes from somewhere above them- "We are all aware of your proclivities, but this is neither the time or the place." Lucius raises Hermione's hand which still contains her wand and fires off a pathetically weak stinging Hex in Draco's general direction."
"Are you alright?" His voice is tender and filled with concern.
"I'm bloody brilliant." Hermione is so tired she can barely speak. She is bruised and battered and she suspects she has a contact burn on her wand hand. But she is, at the same time, euphoric. "That was amazing, Lucius. If you let me use you like that all the time I would get so much more done at work."
"What we just did was incredibly stupid. We could all have been killed. I hope you know I am probably never going to allow you to wield magic again." His arms tighten possessively around her. "Let alone allow you to use mine."
"I know." She nestles sleepily against him.
"Did it work?" Astoria has joined Draco and is looking at Hermione with something like awe in her eyes. "I think so." Hermione slowly gets to her feet. "We won't know until we see if the wards accept you as Draco's wife."
"How would I know that?"
"Try and do something only a family member can, like Apparating into the house."
"Alright." Astoria spins on her heel and disappears with a ladylike pop.
"You did it." Lucius gazes down at Hermione. "Thank you. You have lifted a curse my family has been suffering for hundreds of years." He presses his lips against hers and she leans into his familiar warmth and clutches the front of his robes to pull him even closer.
"I am glad nobody has managed to lift it before." She pulls away a little to wave at Astoria who is smiling at them from one of the windows in the East wing. Draco Disapparates with a crack and appears next to her. They kiss ostentatiously. "You do realise if it weren't for Primae Noctis it would be me up there enduring Draco's affections."
"That truly would be a terrible fate for any woman." Lucius scoops her a little awkwardly into his arms and carries her back into their home.
A/N I really hope this is ending is okay. A word of warning - there is nothing remotely romantic or sexy about pregnancy or child birth - in real life she would probably have vomited on him, told him not to touch her boobs on pain of death and taken to sleeping in the spare room until the child was one...but that wouldn't have made much of a story would it?
I'm already working on my next Lumione... I'm trying to challenge myself and write some proper angst...knowing me that means I will publish a story featuring a tap dancing Voldemort with Lucius and Severus on roller skates...