Title: The Spare
Author Name: Shy Unicorn
Main Character(s): Lucius Malfoy
Ship(s): Lucius/Narcissa, Lucius/OFC
Summary: Narcissa Malfoy has always ignored her husband's wandering gaze in the security of the knowledge that he loves her implicitly and would never shame the family name. All of that is set to change when a baby boy of dubious parentage arrives at Malfoy Manor.
Author's Note (A/N):Sorry if you guys got excited about the recent update. I've just been fiddling around with names to make this story canon compliant. Pottermore and other JKR sources have given some of these characters 'proper' names.
"How could you do this to me, Lucius?" Narcissa Malfoy asked in a deadly whisper.
She had her back to her husband as she stared sightlessly out of the large gabled window of Lucius' private study, which looked out onto immaculately kept green lawns that were achingly bright in May sunshine. Narcissa was tall and strikingly thin, shrouded in a floor length royal blue dress. Lucius let the silence lengthen between them, all the while watching the light drip through her long golden hair and corkscrew through her curls. Narcissa had taken a fistful of the sun-warmed, purple velvet curtains and looked as if she would like nothing better than to tear it down and flood the shadowy study with dazzling light. Do it, his cold grey eyes dared her, he'd just love an opportunity to really let rip.
The room was oddly still and even on an afternoon this bright there was a fire crackling in the grate. The walls were the colour of blackberries, which turned the large, rectangular mirror above the vast fire surround into a sheet of onyx, the large amount of knickknacks and ornate silver photograph frames that littered the mantelpiece doubled darkly in its reflection. The walls were hung with a series of gigantic paintings in gilt frames, all depicting a dark, tangled forest under starlight. The chink of white light from the window bisected a large, oriental rug which covered the dark floorboards, and hit upon the corner of a magnificent bookshelf crammed with volumes bound in purplish leather, which stood behind an enormous desk that put all of the other furniture to shame.
Lucius Malfoy's attention switched from his wife to a small boy of about two years old, who lay motionless on the shadowy surface of his immense tulipwood desk. Surrounded by stacks of parchment, quills, ink bottles, various knives and instruments that masqueraded as stationary the child looked sublimely out of place. He was asleep on his front, arms and legs balled up like a hedgehog, his eyelids flickered occasionally, but he slept on. Lucius was fascinated by the little boy's swirls of caramel hair, his long fine eyelashes, his tiny pinched nose and how he could so closely resemble two people at the same time.
"Of all the witches you could have chosen why her?" Narcissa asked the silence as bitter tears brimmed in her feline blue eyes. "I hated her. You know I did."
"I assumed the betrayal would hurt all the more if you actually liked them," Lucius said tartly, "I'll make a note that witches you have to look in the face aren't off limits after all."
He glanced at Narcissa in time to see an angry pink blush colour her chest and throat and felt no remorse for her. Lucius turned his cold grey eyes back to visually dissecting the little boy on his desk. His face was expressionless in sleep. To Lucius all small children looked alike with their soft boned faces and doughy cheeks – except his own son, Draco. Even as a baby he'd borne the unmistakable Malfoy features with a tracing paper thin overlay of his mother's good looks. This boy had clearly been fashioned using the same template.
"It would make things simpler," Narcissa continued, wiping the silent stream of tears from her cheeks with the flat of her hands. "If she was beautiful or charming or young I could understand that, but her."
Narcissa sniffed and shook her head as if trying to shake off the disgust that slicked her mind like slime.
Lucius felt a hot surge of complicated emotions when he thought of his old mistress. Narcissa had spoken honestly, Tilda Bloxham-Whitehorn did not possess a single virtue as far as he could tell. She'd been thin and thorny, twenty years his senior and sharp tongued towards even the people she liked – but oh! The things she'd taught him about the Dark Arts and the devilish things she'd done to him! He flushed at the memories of their mischief. However his mind quickly hardened against her. She'd tried to ruin him countless times and this scheme of hers was the closest she'd come by far.
"Am I cursed?" Narcissa asked, somewhat melodramatically. "She's taunting me from beyond the grave! You have to write to his Whitehorn grandparents and make them take him."
"They're not his grandparents and they've made it plain they won't." Lucius said shortly, wearily covering his eyes with his hand. He had been through this with Narcissa at least a dozen times before.
"They're furious about this entire situation. Devlin has been in the ground less than three months. The last thing they were expecting was Tilda to go and join him and end up parents again at 120!" he said through gritted teeth. "They won't raise my bastard son and leave us to carry on being deified by the society columns!"
"Then do something to make them take him. We can't have him," Narcissa said in a flippantly light voice, while anxiously chewing one of her fingernails. "It's completely unreasonable."
"What's completely unreasonable," Lucius said with deliberate sharpness, "is sending this Pureblood boy to the Whitehorns! They'd turn him out on the street or have him adopted and raised by Half-Bloods or Muggles."
Lucius looked sour as if the word had polluted his mouth.
He bowed his head and pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers. His mind whirred like a weathervane in a storm, pointing in several different directions a second. He took a deep breath and thought through his options – which were few - and all involved bribery or curses.
He hated Tilda, he hated her fiercely and it was driving him to distraction. He wanted to kill something, to feel the delicate crack of a neck or hear the final breath of a Muggle. The anaesthetic infusion of power and control that followed would give him some clarity. Lucius moved his head slowly from side to side loosening the taut muscles. Of course murdering Muggles was not a realistic solution to his problems or a kind of therapy that he had the luxury to indulge in.
The little boy on the desk twitched in his sleep. Lucius' position didn't shift but he immediately looked to the child, hardly daring to breathe. The child had been given a potion to put him into an enchanted sleep but Lucius wasn't convinced it was going to last much longer. The toddlers eyelids twitched and his fists clenched and unclenched. What did children dream of, Lucius wondered. What did this child dream of?
"If you're worried about the social repercussions, no one would have to know the intimate details," Lucius drawled. "All of that can be kept private."
"All anyone has to do is take a look at that boy to see the intimate details!" Narcissa shrieked, whirling round to point accusingly at the little boy curled up on Lucius' desk.
"You just don't know when to stop, do you? You have never shown one ounce of restraint!" she cried, and began counting his misdemeanours on her fingers. "First there was the Death Eater trial that nearly landed us in Azkaban. Then there were those salacious headlines about you and that girl, which was utterly humiliating for me - and now this. I could die of shame!"
Lucius opened his mouth to speak furious words defending his dignity but the door of his study burst open.
The little boy ran across the room so quickly that he was merely a blur of startling white blond hair.
Narcissa turned abruptly, brushing her tears away and glaring into the dazzling blue sky of the world beyond the window as she wrestled to compose herself. Even though Lucius was still reeling from her accusations he felt a surge of respect towards her for protecting Draco from their quarrel. He shut his mouth and, with nostrils flaring in barely suppressed rage, he turned to his son.
"Daddy! Daddy! Guess what was in the garden?" the boy shouted excitedly dropping his broom and the stuffed hippogriff teddy-bear noisily on the floor in his haste to climb onto his father's lap. Lucius braced himself as small hands pulled at his robes and sharp little limbs dug uncomfortably into him.
"Daddy, there was a kneazle - a wild kneazle!" The boy exploded, his grey eyes wide with excitement - wide enough to catch even the smallest morsel of approval his father might show. "It was black and grey and white with a sticky-up tail."
Lucius saw that Draco was alarmingly dirty - a large grass stain on his white tunic, a smudge of dirt on his face and his hands were covered in mud and little pieces of a purple water plant. He'd now lost count of the times he had told his son to stay out of the fountain.
"How clever of you to have found a kneazle, Draco," Narcissa praised, her voice calm and cool.
She sniffed one final time and patted her swollen eyelids with her fingertips. She had manage to compress all of her emotions to a glint of something needle sharp, which pricked Lucius when their eyes met.
"Where did you find it?" she continued, devoting herself completely to her only son.
"In the roses. I tried to stroke it but it ran away," Draco mumbled sulkily without looking up at his mother.
He would have continued but he noticed the sleeping toddler on the desk and fell silent in amazement. His eyes narrowed and he began preparing for a closer inspection. Draco gripped the desk top and pulled himself into a kneeling position to peer curiously at the sleeping boy amid the papers and twisted candles. Lucius growled in discomfort and shifted his legs to take the weight of his five-year-old son.
"What's that?" Draco asked in a hushed voice, bending forwards and reaching out to poke the sleeper.
Lucius caught his son's arm and averted a direct hit. They wrestled a moment as Draco resisted restraint before realising he was no match for his father. The white haired boy turned and looked incredulously over his shoulder for an answer. He was suspicious of the little impostor and sensed competition.
"This," Lucius said smoothly, leaning in conspiratorially to Draco, "is Leopold Lascelles and he's your new playmate."
From the window Narcissa made a noise of indignation and tossed her head. She folded her arms and turned away to fix her eyes on the sky beyond the window. Draco looked uncertainly between his mother and his father, a puzzled expression on his pudgy face.
"Is he always this boring?" Draco asked, cocking his head and regarding Leopold's sleeping stature.
A smile thinned Lucius' mouth. Even as a boy of four Draco looked exactly like him. It was amusing to see his son wearing an expression that Lucius had so often worn himself. In such moments seeing himself in Draco was like light illuminating the strand of a spider's web. They had the same sleepy grey eyes, the same pointed nose and chin and the same arrogant arching eyebrows – the eyebrows that even in sleep Leopold Whitehorn wore so well.
"You'll like him," Lucius assured Draco. "He doesn't have to go home at the end of the day like Vincent and Theodore. He's going to live here with us so you can play with him all the time. He'll be like your little brother."
"He will not!" Narcissa said sharply, her eyes flashing dangerously.
Draco, startled by his mother's outburst, considered Leopold with a frown.
"Will he play Trolls and Troll Catcher with me?" he inquired seriously, looking solemnly between his mother and father. "And let me sit on him and do what I say?"
Both Lucius and Narcissa's mouths softened into almost smiles. This was not the standard definition of brother that either parent had hoped to instil in their son, but at four years old these were clearly pressing matters.
"I should imagine so, as he is younger than you," Lucius informed Draco, who was looking earnestly up at him. "You're to be nice to him. I shall be very angry if you're not."
"Yes, Daddy," Draco lisped obediently, clearly trying to remember these instructions.
"Now you must be a good boy and let your mother put you into some nice clean clothes," Lucius said lifting Draco from his lap, "and let Daddy do some work."
A sense of finality hung in the air.
Draco collected his disregarded toys together and Lucius savoured the feeling of full circulation returning to his legs.
"Come on Draco," Narcissa said, holding out her hand. Draco bounded over to her and allowed her to lead him across the room. "Because you were such a clever little explorer in the garden we'll get Dobby to make us some tea and you, you, can have some chocolate biscuits with yours."
Narcissa shot Lucius a loathsome look. "Write to the Whitehorns," she demanded before closing the door.
"What about Lee-lol-poll? Is he coming too?" Draco asked curiously from the corridor.
"Who? Oh, you mean Leopold? No. He's not important, darling," Narcissa replied coldly.
A/N: Coming in the next chapter: Draco's birthday party and more sinister secrets!