Author's notes: Sorry this chapter has taken so long in coming. I have been very busy with life as well as my wrestling fic consuming all my time. As well as my beta being busy too.
I may take a while posting new chapters to this story now, as I'm having trouble getting into it and am neglecting it for my other fic. However, rest assured I will complete the story. It might just take me a while.
Thanks as always to Mike, for being such a great beta.
In addition, thanks to SashaBT245, Lilybet Edyvean and Disco Inferno1 for the reviews. You guys rock.
Chapter Ten: Surprises.
As the weekend drew closer, preparation for the party got underway.
Because the gathering wasn't as big as the last and no important Ministry workers had been invited, the arrangements were a lot less lavish. Never the less, being a social event hosted by a prestigious pure-blood family like the Malfoys, the party was still shaping up to be a grand affair.
Once again, Dobby was on his hands and knees scrubbing everything. The smell of magical cleaning fluids filled the manor.
Amelia was still working hard on her studies, something that was becoming increasingly difficult. If she wasn't being distracted by the calls of delivery men dropping off food and decorations, then her peace was interrupted by the songs of the house-elf. All the while she also had to contend with distracting thoughts of seeing Regulus and what she was going to wear. Not to mention Narcissa throwing up every five minutes, due to morning sickness and complaining that she wouldn't be well enough for the party. Alternatively, she had to endure Lucius ordering people around and becoming annoyed when something didn't go his way.
One afternoon Amelia overheard her uncle shouting at the poor witch who had brought over the wrong desserts.
"Don't you know who I am?" Lucius bellowed. "I am the head of the Malfoy family, my father was Abraxas Malfoy. Surely my name deserves a little more respect."
"Sorry sir, it won't happen again," mumbled the sales witch. "I'll bring over the right desserts now, and you can have them free of charge because of my mistake."
Somehow, though, Amelia managed to complete all her summer homework. She was very pleased with her Charms essay, thrilled at how her Transfiguration assignment had turned out and surprised that she'd even completed her Potions work to a good standard.
As a reward for her had work, Lucius gave Amelia permission to visit Diagon Alley on Friday to buy new dress robes for the party. As she was still feeling unwell, Narcissa wouldn't be accompanying her niece.
Not wanting to go alone, Amelia sent an owl to Regulus. On Thursday night, she received his reply.
I'm so pleased you've completed all your homework and I'm very proud of you.
I'd love to join you in Diagon Alley tomorrow, as I'm missing you so much and can't wait to hold you in my arms again, but unfortunately, I can't. My father and I have to complete some important work tomorrow, so I'll be busy all day.
If I get finished early, I'll come and find you in the Leaky Cauldron, say about five o'clock?
I hope you get some nice dress robes; I'm very excited to see you in them. I'm sure you'll look amazing. Have fun shopping and sleep well. I hope that I'll see you tomorrow.
Amelia was a little disappointed that she wouldn't be able to meet Regulus in Diagon Alley. It had been almost a week since she'd see him last and she missed him terribly. She desperately hoped that he would be able to make it to the Leaky Cauldron.
On Friday morning, Amelia dressed and ate breakfast before flooing to the wizarding high street As well as having money for new dress robes, she'd also been told to buy her school things for the upcoming year.
Her equipment list had arrived that morning, with a letter from the deputy headmistress, Minerva McGonagall.
The new school year was due to start on September the first, just ten days from now. As it was her final year, there would be a lot of pressure on Amelia come September. She'd be working towards taking her NEWT's exams at the end of the year.
With nerves and anticipation rising in her stomach, Amelia made her way to the wizarding Main Street. The row of shops was packed with bustling people. Everyone was there to buy their school supplies for the coming year. Children ranging from eleven to eighteen lined the streets, some accompanied by parents, others by school friends. Amelia was one of the few people alone.
Not needing to visit the wizarding bank Gringotts, as Lucius had already given her more than enough money, Amelia went first to the Apothecary. She brought a new supply of Potions ingredients and then headed for Flourish & Blotts. Amelia's book list for her final year was as long as always, in total she needed five new schoolbooks. Her Defence Against the Dark Arts text had a very interesting title: Magick Most Evile. After purchasing the battered, rather creepy looking old book, Amelia made her way to Scribbulus' Everchanging Inks.
Finally, with all her school supplies purchased, Amelia headed to Twillfit and Tatting's. As soon as she stepped into the shop, Iolanthe, the French proprietor recognized Amelia.
"Good afternoon, Miss Malfoy," said the blacked haired woman in a husky French accent.
"Good afternoon, Ma'am," replied the younger woman.
"I take it you're here to buy new robes for the party tomorrow?" Iolanthe asked.
"Yes," replied Amelia.
"Walburga Black was in here just a few days ago," the shop assistant went on. "gushing about you and her son. You're very lucky; Regulus is a charming young man."
Amelia blushed. "Thank you," she said.
She then started to browse the rows of robes, all the while Iolanthe following at two paces behind her.
As Amelia picked out a pair of satin blue dress robes, the assistant sprang on her with a tape measure.
"No, no, this will not do," said the older woman. "That fabric does nothing for you; you want to look your best to impress your boyfriend."
Regulus and Amelia had never discussed their relationship or given it a title, but Amelia didn't go to correct Iolanthe. She liked the way it sounded.
Wanting to get the perfect outfit for her customer -- and obviously to make Amelia spend as much money as possible -- Iolanthe started pulling out dress robes from every direction.
Soon clothes of every colour, material, style and size filled the shop. One after another, Iolanthe discarded items. All seemed beautiful to Amelia, but the shop assistant had other ideas.
Finally, after an hour Iolanthe seemed defeated.
"There is just nothing special enough for the occasion," she sighed.
"But anyone of those robes would have been perfect," insisted Amelia.
"No, no. None of them brought out your real charm and beauty," complained the black haired woman. Suddenly her eyes widened and she got up from her seat "I've got it," she cried.
Iolanthe hurried into the stock room of the shop and emerged a few minutes later with a bundle of material.
The sales assistant busied herself pulling the fabric over Amelia's head, cooing as she thought.
Ten minutes later, after relentless flicks of her wand and muttering, Iolanthe stood back and smiled.
"Perfect," she said.
Amelia walked hesitantly towards the mirror, to view the dress robes the shop assistant had just made for her.
Looking at her reflection, she was astounded at what she saw. Amelia smiled, taking in the image looking back at her.
She was dressed in a long sweeping set of indigo lace dress robes. The luxurious material flowed down to her feet and swept the floor. Turning to see the back of the garment, Amelia was shocked to see that it was backless.
"Oh Iolanthe, this is beautiful," she said. "Thank you."
"It's my pleasure ma'am," replied the assistant. "Now to get you some accessories to go with the outfit."
Together, Amelia and Iolanthe picked out jewellery to match. Finally, they settled on an onyx and opal choker with matching earrings.
Amelia took her new purchases to the front of the shop to pay for them. All together, the custom-made dress robes and jewellery came to fifty Galleons, fourteen Sickles and seven Knuts.
"Thank you so much, everything that you've picked out for me looks perfect," said Amelia, handing over the coins.
"It's my pleasure ma'am. I'm sure Regulus will be very impressed when he sees you," replied the shop assistant.
"Here's hoping," joked the blonde woman.
"Enjoy the party tomorrow," Iolanthe called as Amelia left the shop.
As luck would have it, it was now half past four. Hoping that Regulus would be arriving shortly Amelia made her way to the Leaky Cauldron to get herself a drink and relax.
"What can I get for you?" Tom the barman asked, as Amelia approached the bar.
"A Butterbeer please," she replied.
Armed with her warm drink, Amelia sat at an available table and set down her shopping bags. Her feet were aching from walking around Diagon Alley for most of the day. Never the less, she felt happy and excited -- she now had everything ready for her return to school and could enjoy the last week of her holiday in peace -- not to mention the joy she felt at the thought of her new dress robes.
The outfit was amazing, and was bound to turn the head's of everyone in the room. She was especially looking forwards to seeing the look on Regulus' face when he saw it.
As if summoned by the thought of his name, Regulus, accompanied by his father Orion, arrived in the bar.
They ordered their drink from Tom and then sat down to join Amelia.
"Hello sir," Amelia said greeting the older Black man.
"Hello Amelia, pleasant day?" Orion inquired.
"Yes thank you. And yourself?" she asked.
"Not too bad, thank you," replied Orion.
"And how was your day Regulus?" she asked turning her attention to the younger man.
"Good thank you. What about you, did you manage to get all your shopping?" he questioned.
"Yeah, I did," the blonde replied. "I'm so relieved, now everything is ready for when I return to school, so I can just use this last week to relax."
"And did you get some new dress robes?" the black haired man asked.
"Yes," replied the woman.
"Let's have a look then," Regulus went on.
"No, it's a surprise," replied Amelia.
"Spoilt sport," he teased.
Soon enough, Orion spotted some friends and went to join them, leaving Regulus and Amelia alone.
"Go on, let me just have a little look," he begged.
"Ok, just a little peek," she teased, showing Regulus a small amount of the blue lace of her robes.
"Wow," he breathed.
"I can't wait to see you in those," he said.
Again, Amelia turned the colour of a tomato and giggled a little.
"So, are you looking forwards to tomorrow?" she asked.
Regulus nodded, "Yeah, you?"
"Yeah, it should be really fun," she replied.
"Who else is coming?" he inquired.
"You, your parents, the Lestranges, Slughorn and some girls from school," answered the woman.
"I wonder what everyone will say when they find out we're together?" mused Regulus.
"I think they'll be really jealous. No one will believe 'plain little Amelia' is going out with the handsome and sought-after Regulus Black," Amelia remarked.
"Don't be silly, if anyone is surprised it will be at the fact it took me so long to notice how beautiful you are," said Regulus, placing his hand on hers.
"The witch from Twillfit and Tatting's mentioned your mother," Amelia went on. "Apparantly, Walburga has been telling everyone about her precious son's new girlfriend." Amelia said this as a way to bring up the status of their relationship, and check if Regulus felt the same.
"And so she should," the black haired man insisted. "We're together and I'm proud of that fact, everyone else should be too."
Amelia blushed, hearing the answer she was hoping for. Regulus too saw them as a couple and she couldn't be more delighted by that.
After the pair had been chatting for about half an hour, they were re-joined by Orion.
"Amelia, would you like Regulus and I to accompany you back to the manor?" he asked sitting down.
"Yes please, that would be very kind of you sir," she relied.
"Very well. Drink up you two and then we can floo back to the manor," said Orion.
Regulus and Amelia finished their drinks, and then the three people travelled back to Amelia's home.
When they arrived, Narcissa and Lucius were just finishing off their dinner. Amelia's aunt informed her that Dobby had left some dinner for her in the kitchen.
"Orion, would you care to join me for a spot of firewhisky in my study?" Lucius asked.
"What a splendid idea, old chap," replied the other man.
Lucius and Orion departed, and headed for Lucius' study.
"Amelia, why don't you see if Dobby can rustle up some dinner for Regulus too," suggested Narcissa. "I'm going for a little lie down."
With that, Narcissa swept off to her bedroom.
The house-elf was more than happy to oblige. Within ten minutes, the young couple were presented with a meal of lasagne, salad and garlic bread. They'd even been given the privilege of sharing a bottle of red wine.
"Wow, this is delicious," said Regulus taking a bite of the pasta dish. "I wish Kreacher could cook as well as this."
"I think Dobby is too scared of Uncle Lucius to present us with anything sub-standard," mused Amelia. Both people laughed.
They then remained silent as they ate their food. However, when Dobby had cleared away their plates, Regulus pulled his chair around next to Amelia's and they chatted while finishing off the bottle of wine.
"Are you excited about tomorrow?" he asked.
"Yeah, very. However, at the same time I'm dreading it. The party is a reminder that I'll be returning to Hogwarts soon, and leaving you," replied Amelia.
"Don't worry about that though. We still have over a week together. And when you do return to school, I promise I'll write to you every day," reassured Regulus.
Amelia blushed, and took his hand.
"Aw, you're so sweet," she cooed.
"Only because I have you," replied Regulus, brushing a strand of hair out of the woman's eyes.
However, the romantic moment was broken, as Lucius and Orion returned.
Taking the hint that the three men wanted to talk, Amelia stood up to leave.
"I'm going to bed," she announced. "Good night Uncle Lucius, good night Mr. Black."
The older men both bid her goodnight, and Regulus got up to walk Amelia to the foot of the stairs.
They stopped at the bottom of the staircase, and Regulus embraced Amelia.
"Sweet dreams, Millie," he whispered in her ear.
"You too, Reg," she replied.
"And before you go, let me tell you that I have a surprise for you tomorrow," he said.
"Oh, tell me," pleased Amelia.
"No. Let's just call it revenge for you not letting me see you new dress robes earlier," he teased.
"Spoilt sport," she said, sticking out her tongue.
"Sleep well," said Regulus, brushing her cheek.
"I will, I'll be dreaming of you," replied Amelia, turning and walking up the stairs.
Regulus went back to the dining room and rejoined Lucius and his father.
Not feeling tired, Amelia flicked through her new Defence Against the Dark Arts textbook. She paused as she saw something called Horcruxes, it wasn't a term she'd come across before. The description was vague though and she turned to the next page.
Downstairs, Lucius had cornered Regulus, while Orion visited the bathroom.
"Are you all prepared for tomorrow, Regulus?" he asked.
"Yes, sir," replied Regulus.
"Fantastic," smirked Lucius. "I want tomorrow to go without a hitch, and your announcement will be very important."
Regulus merely said nothing in way of reply. Even though what he had to say tomorrow was true, the circumstances by which it had come about made him feel awful.
In her bedroom, all thoughts of "Horcruxes" left Amelia's head. She fell into a deep and happy sleep, filled with pictures of her and Regulus together at tomorrow's party.