Disclaimer: I own very little.
A/N: Well, well. Now Our Little One is coming to its (un-betaed) end. I thank you all for carrying along, and welcome you to wait for the sequel, Fearn't Ever Further, which will begin as soon as I get the first chap back from Airiel, my lovely beta.
..Our little one. .
Our Little One
This chapter is not from any particular first-person POV.
Lucius looked thoughtfully down at his glass of wine. The wine was about perfect, something that only a few people in the whole Wizarding population of United Kingdom could ever afford. Of course, it was also the only one he'd accepted to be served in his belated birthday party. "So I am fifty years old now," he said quietly, raising the glass then to his lips and taking a tiny sip. "I have left half a century behind me."
"And what fifty years those have been," Remus said, a slight smirk playing on his lips. Then he walked nearer to his husband, wrapping his arm around Lucius's waist. "Any regrets, love?"
"Well..." Lucius raised his eyebrow, then turned his head to kiss the top of the werewolf's head. "None."
"None?" echoed Remus disbelievingly. "You're not serious. You cannot be."
"Well, I'm not entirely without regrets, on that you're right," admitted Lucius. "I do regret not marrying you right out of school and taking Narcissa instead. I do regret following in my father's footsteps, and letting my mother do... what she did, being too interested in potions to ever pay another thought to what was happening to her. More than anything, I regret taking the Dark Mark." At this, his fingers subconsciously traced the outlines of the ugly mark on his left arm through the sleeve of his robe. "But then again, I can't hope any of those becoming completely undone. Without Narcissa, I wouldn't have Draco. Without the Dark Mark, we wouldn't have Olivia. And without my potions... I wouldn't have you."
Remus smiled gently up at him. "Would that necessarily be such a bad thing?" he asked teasingly.
"Yes, it would," replied Lucius seriously. "You are my life, Remus, and you know it perfectly well."
"Well, I've suspected something like that," the werewolf said. "It's just nice to hear it from you personally."
"You've heard it often enough, I should think," Lucius said with a small chuckle. "Or if you haven't, then I do have a regret. I regret not telling you that more often." Again, he kissed the top of Remus's head.
"Well, are you happy, then?" asked Remus, giving his husband a small smile. "I guess you are."
"How could I not be happy?" asked Lucius rather seriously. "I do, after all, have a respectable position, wealth and health, loyal friends, a son to be proud of, and the best possible husband anybody could ever get." Then he added, "And now, of course, also an adorable daughter."
They both glanced at Olivia. The girl was currently laughing at something Malcolm had said, seated between Harry and Draco on a couch that had been brought there especially for this party and that had hardly enough room for them all. She didn't seem to mind the fact that she was tightly pressed between two men, though; instead, she just laughed some more and then asked something. Malcolm answered to her, a slight smirk on his lips, and then they all laughed again.
Just then, Audrey came running on her tiny feet. "Oliv!" she exclaimed. "Oliv, I have fwiendz!" After her came Daniel and Maria Narcair, Angelina bringing up the end of the line.
"Really, sweetie?" Olivia smiled warmly, pulling the girl up into her lap. "That's great."
"We are having fun!" announced Maria. "We play with Angie and Audrey!" She pointed at the two Weasley children, who both nodded their curly, redhaired heads frantically.
"That's nice, kids," said Draco. "But would you mind letting Malcolm come through?" While saying this, he stood up from the couch. Offering his hand to his fiancé, he said, with a bit of mischief in his silver eyes, "Come on, Harry. Let's go get some wine while the children are playing here."
"Hey!" exclaimed Olivia, slapping her halfbrother's arm in protest. Harry and Draco just laughed, starting to walk towards Lucius and Remus. Malcolm laughed too, then walked through the group of children and sat on the couch next to Olivia. In an instant, the four children were all crawling all over them, giggling.
"They would make a good couple," Draco said mischievously as he came near enough to his father and stepfather to talk with them without his halfsister hearing. "Don't you agree?"
"Draco!" scolded Lucius, frowning at him. "You should know better than well not to even talk about that!"
"Calm down, Lucius," Remus said, rolling his eyes. "Draco's just fooling around, and you know it."
Lucius raised his eyebrows in half serious question. "I do?" he asked.
"Yes, you do," Remus said with a huff. "And Draco knows it, too. Don't you, Draco?" he then asked, sending his stepson a glare that crealry told of his fate if he dared to disagree.
"Of course I know that," Draco said hurriedly. "Olivia'd just get scared if we tried to pair her up with anybody. I'd never suggest anything like that." He tried to look innocent and, of course, failed miserably.
"Give it up, Draco," advised a dry voice behind them. Turning around, they saw Severus standing there, looking rather amused. "You wouldn't be able to look innocent even if your life was at stake."
"A rather good observation of my dear fiancé," laughed Harry. That earned him a sharp glare from Draco.
"So, Remus and Lucius," Severus started, then stopped to take a sip from the glass of wine in his hand. "Excellent, this wine... So, anyway. What have you decided to name Olivia?"
It was like his voice had been strengthened to make it carry all over the hall. Thomas and Sirius stopped their conversation and turned to look at them, as well as Narcissa and Hermione, who'd been having a conversation of their own about the children. Olivia smiled slightly, while Malcolm tried hard not to look too interested. Even the children, who had by now returned to their usual running around, stopped to listen.
Well aware of the numerous curious gazes shot to his and his husband's direction, Lucius smirked. "It is up to Remus to make that announcement," he said. "He hasn't told me yet."
"Very well." Remus eyed their friends and family. "Like some of you know already and some don't, when a primary adoption has been confirmed, the adoptive parents get some special rights. This is also true in our case. The most important ones are the right to name godparents for the child and to change the child's name." After giving Olivia a quick glance and receiving a smile in return, he continued, "Nobody's probably surprised to hear that her godparents are now officially Sirius and Severus Black. And as for the name, well..." With a slight smile, he finished, "I and Olivia have decided without asking from Lucius, I admit immediately that her name's going to be Olivia Amber Melinda Malfoy."
Now, everybody fell silent, turning to look at Lucius. The blond man at first just stared at his husband. Then he drew Remus into a gentle embrace. "Thank you," he said, as much to Remus as to Olivia, to whom he was looking at over the werewolf's head. "I thank you both. I couldn't imagine a better birthday present."
"Really?" asked Remus. He pretended to pout, although the smile that tugged at the flips very much spoiled the effect. "And here I was thinking that I was your best gift."
Lucius raised an eyebrow and smirked. "I rather think of you as a wedding gift," he said teasingly.
They all laughed, the slight tension that had arrived at the mention of Lucius's late mother's name immediately leaving them. Remus huffed and glared at his taller husband, then immediately melted and rose to his tiptoes, planting a gentle kiss on the blond's lips, taking full advantage of the downturned position of Lucius's face. Chuckling, Lucius lifted Remus up into his arms and returned the kiss, easily swinging the slender man around in the air, as everybody else just laughed again.
"Aww," Olivia breathed, smiling even more brightly than anybody else. "They are so happy."
"Of course they are," Malcolm replied calmly. "After all, they no more have any fear of losing you."
Olivia gave him a smile and was just about to respond when somebody spoke up behind the couch. "You're both right. They are really happy, and they do not have to worry about losing their daughter."
Not recognizing the voice, Olivia immediately turned around to see this stranger. She was met by twinkling blue eyes and a bright smile, all this belonging to a very old wizard with an incredibly long, white beard. Behind him she could see standing a vaguely familiar-looking witch with a rather stern expression. After a moment she recognized the witch as Minerva McGonagall, who had firecalled the Manor earlier.
"I'm sorry," she said to the old wizard, "but I do not think I know you." Although she truly did not know him, there was something in him that made her immediately trust him. She just couldn't help it.
"Well, then I believe some introductions are in order," the old wizard chuckled. "Malcolm, could you...?"
"Very well," the young wizard said, rolling his eyes towards the ceiling, but not looking too annoyed. "This is Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts."
"Oh!" The young Ciddle looked very surprised. "I'm honoured to meet you, Headmaster Dumbledore."
"Why, such formalities, my dear girl," Dumbledore said, smiling brightly. "Please, just call me Albus."
"Albus?" Now, the adults also seemed to have noticed who had appeared. Only Lucius didn't look too surprised; as the Master of the Manor, he had of course known of their arrival as soon as they had entered the building. In an instant, the couch and the sudden guests near it were surrounded by people.
"How came you high creatures grace us mere mortals with your presence?" asked Sirius, feigning amazement. "What have we done to deserve such a wonderful honour?"
"Ever the same, Sirius, I see," McGonagall said, allowing a tiny smile curl her lips. "Albus merely wanted to see for himself this new Malfoy heir everybody seems to know so much about."
"Of course, I also wanted to congratulate you, Lucius," the Headmaster said cheerfully. "It is about the time you leave your time of childhood behind and move forward!"
"Time of childhood?" echoed Lucius, raising an eyebrow. "Albus, I have just turned fifty."
"Exactly my point, my dear boy. Exactly my point." Now turning towards Olivia, the ancient wizard said, "Oh, and young Miss Malfoy! You truly do resemble your father." After examining her for a moment longer which made her look a bit uncomfortable he suddenly snapped his fingers. "Ah! That was just what I had to remember." Reaching a hand into his pocket, he added, "I wanted to give you this."
"Err.. Thanks," Olivia said, even more nervous now that everybody's attention was at her. "But what is this, exactly? It looks rather like a potions bag, but I won't be allowed to have one for a long time yet."
"It is indeed a potions bag," the old Headmaster replied cheerfully. "It belonged to my great-grand-aunt a wonderful woman, she was, but never got far enough to have a true one. So, this is the limited version of the actual bag. It'll only hold a certain amount of phials, and other people can also draw the concoctions out of it. Your father used to have it when he was a student, as well as dear Severus here." He glanced at the two Potions Masters, who both nodded in response. "I just thought you could have it until you have passed your seventh test, as I sadly have no talents for Potions whatsoever, and there's no student with such a devotion for Potions at the school nowadays." Somebody cleared their throat, and Dumbledore glanced at him. "Well, of course except for young Mister Snape here, who, I believe, has created his own ways to carry potions around and who, I am afraid, should soon return to the school."
"Well, we certainly won't miss him." While saying this, Olivia gave her friend a grin that clearly told the very opposite thing. Malcolm responded with a dry smirk. Then, the young Ciddle looked up at the Headmaster. "I thank you for this bag," she said. "I can assure you, it will be of use."
And, as they all watched curiously, she then began to slip her fingers into her pockets, as well as into the various bags that she'd tied onto her belt. One by one, seemingly countless phials were put into the bag.
"Just what on Earth do you need all those for?" asked Harry at last, unable to keep his curiousity down. "And here I was thinking that Lucius and Severus were bad with their potions!"
The girl gave her future halfbrother-in-law a halfhearted glare. "I can assure you, if my dear Father and Godfather were to empty their own potions bags right now, they'd still be digging out phials tomorrow night," she said rather truthfully. "And my potions are for use. There's of course some Calming Potion, Blocking Potion, Brew of Dreams, and some mild sleeping draughts," she said, pointing at one pile of phials and tiny bottles that hadn't yet been put to the bag. "Then there are painkillers, healing potions and some salves for cuts and burns. Then comes Levitation Liquid for lifting things, Washful Liquid for cleaning up, all those. Then there's the Riddiculus Potion if I ever come across a boggart, and, of course..." With a tiny, sad smile, she lifted one phial from a small pile only consisting of silvery phials. "The Patronus Potion."
For a moment, everybody stayed silent. Then Dumbledore spoke up. "Could we maybe see your Patronus?" he asked. "I'm sure it would be an interesting sight."
"Very well," replied Olivia. "I have to admit that it is fascinating once you get past the first appearance and realize who it really represents." At this, she smiled at her fathers and Severus, who all smiled back.
Then, she threw the phial in her hand to the ground. In an instant, a silvery mist rose to air, starting to take a recognizable form. Sharp gasps escaped almost everybody's lips when the form was ready.
The silvery skull floated slowly through the air, the jaw snapping up and down. The snake hissed and slithered around, still all the time staying intertwined with the skull. They watched with morbid fascination as the Patronus neared Olivia. The children, however, whimpered and hid behind their mothers.
And then, the skull was just in front of the young Ciddle. She raised a hand and touched its surface, to her great surprise noticing that it was almost solid. Then, however, the Patronus vanished into thin air.
"Well, that truly was interesting," Sirius said finally, determined to break the pressuring silence, "but what about getting to the edible part of this party already? Surely there is something to eat, right?"
Remus chuckled, relieved at the new shift in the atmosphere. "Always thinking with your stomach, Padfoot, I see," he said teasingly. The Grim Animagus didn't make any further comments, but he did grin broadly.
And so, the party continued with the house-elves bringing forth the food, with two more guests present.
Angelina, who had made the mistake of climbing into Sirius's lap, withered helplessly in her capturer's grip. The little girl was shaking with laughter as the Grim Animagus tickled her mercilessly. At last, however, when she was just gasping breathlessly, too exhausted to even laugh, she was released. With one last giggle, she ran back to play with the other children.
Sirius watched her as she ran, a small, almost sad smile on his lips. For a moment he just sat there in his wheelchair, deep in thought. Then, however, he was startled by a dark form settling next to him, the intruder's elbow resting on the arm of the chair. Looking down, he saw Severus.
"You want a child," Severus said, looking at him seriously. It was clearly not a question, just a statement.
Sirius sighed. "Yes, I do," he replied quietly. Glancing now at his husband, who was kneeling next to him, he grasped the one of Severus's hands that rested on the arm of the wheelchair. Intertwining his fingers with the Slytherin's, he added then, "It doesn't really matter, though."
"Of course it matters." Severus's eyes flickered momentarily to the playing children, then back at Sirius. "I I'm not ready for that yet," he said quietly. "But with time... Hopefully, I will be."
Sirius gave him a warm smile, then raised the pale, slender hand up to his lips for a quick peck. "I would never ask for anything else," he said affectionately.
Severus merely gave him a brief smile. For a long time, neither said a word.
Finally, after a long time of talking and eating and laughing and drinking and mostly only on the children's part, though running, night started to fall upon them. After Dumbledore and McGonagall had left, Hermione was the next one to leave with her daughters. Then the Narcairs left as Daniel fell asleep in his mother's lap. Harry and Draco left next, as Harry had to be in a practice early in the morning the following day. Lilian allowed Malcolm to stay at the Manor until the next day, when he would have to leave for school and part from Olivia until the holidays. After her Severus and Sirius stayed still for some time, talking with the Malfoys and Malcolm, but then they, too, started to leave.
"Come on," Lucius said then to his husband, daughter, and the said daughter's best friend. "Let's let the house-elves get to their work." So, they left the room, heading to the direction of the part of the Manor that was mostly used for sleeping. After seeing Malcolm to the guest room where he'd been sleeping whenever he wasn't at his home, they continued towards their own bedrooms.
After parting from her fathers, Olivia walked to her own bedroom. Thoroughly exhausted, she quickly discarded her robes and dress, then put on her favourite nightshirt blue silk with silver linings. Then, after putting her jewelry into the jewelry box, she went to bed, slipping under the covers.
Before she fell asleep, however, she heard as the door was quietly opened. In the dim light of the corridor she could see her both fathers standing in the doorway, looking at her. Then her ears caught the sound of Remus quietly murmuring, "Good night, our little one."
Those words made a warm feeling fill her, ensuring a good long night's sleep to her. She heard her saroth pawing on the pillow, then curling on her side next to her head. The little creature's quiet breathing lulled her to sleep as the words of her lycanthropic guardian still rolled around in her mind.
"Our little one."
So, Fearn't Ever Further will get rolling as soon as I get the first chap back from Airiel. It will feature:
o Lots of werewolves
o More problems to practically everyone (just 'cause I'm evil)
o Severus and Sirius finally getting a baby of their own
o Hogwarts professors (lots of them)
And, while waiting for that, I'd like to say some thank-yous. So, for Our Little One, I thank:
Prongs1, whose stories A Bittersweet Dream and Bittersweet Reality first got me addicted to Remus/Lucius
My wonderful betas, Airiel and Lyssepoo
Minna, who has shown me that real people truly read my fic, not just names on the screen
Oscu, who has proved that even a male can enjoy shopping and not be a woman
And, of course, everyone who ever reviewed. You guys have made me pull this through. THANK YOU!
(Also, if I forgot somebody important, I apologize and thank you, too.)