Rating: Any Age
Summary: "We know what we are, but know not what we may be."
A/N: Beta'd by kazfeist. Thanks!
Prompt: Choices - 100quills
Deathly Hallows: Not really relevant, since it's set then, and some things don't happen. Also, I can't really remember little things, so other than some people still being alive, and other little bits, not really compliant at all.
The rain pelted against the glass windows of their carriage, running steadily down the window panes, as dark grey clouds coloured the early morning sky. Draco lay on the seat beside her, her traveling cloak spread over him. He slept, but it wasn't peaceful. Every now and then he would say something, muttering to himself. No, and please no, where the popular choices. Their companion appeared to be sleeping on the opposite seat.
While Draco shook and fought an unknown foe as he slept, Bill Weasley was sitting back against the cushion, his eyes closed. He hadn't moved a muscle in the last hour; she could only assume that he was fast asleep. Even asleep however, he seemed to fill the room. For reasons she didn't understand at the moment, with him there, even seemingly asleep, it still felt like he was protecting them.
Every step of the way he seemed to have control over every step of tey. The Portkey had sent them to a small field on the edges of a town north of Edinburgh. With him in the lead, they had walked through the night to the station. Once there, he'd purchased three tickets to London. When they were on board the Muggle train, he had encouraged them to sleep, to take this opportunity to rest. Draco had seized it gladly, but she couldn't. Once again, she had many questions running through her head, and she couldn't find any answers.
Narcissa had put so much thought into, their escape, now that it was over and they were returning, she had no idea what was going to happen. This wasn't what she wanted for Draco; he had only just started really opening up to her. She didn't just how much he had kept her in the dark. About things at Hogwarts, things with his father. What she thought she knew was completely incorrect. He had lived a life that she had known nothing about. His progress would no doubt be stunted as a result of this; she would have to start to really discover her son all over again.
They had even begun to deal with the consequences of what Draco had done, or had very nearly done. While not by his hand, but it was had been set in motion by him. There were going to be repercussions, from both sides. Severus had paid his debt with his life. It wasn't entirely on Draco's shoulders though; Severus had years of misdeeds and deceit that had decreed that result. The guilt that Draco was feeling though, would only increase as they reached London.
A man passed their closed door, and stumbled against it. Bill was on his feet instantly, his wand in his hand before she could blink. The man laughed drunkenly to himself, before moving away. She exhaled and Bill returned to his seat.
"It wasn't likely to be them," he said.
"Best to be alert," she answered.
"Generally, can't get caught by surprise then."
"So, you weren't sleeping?"
"Then why did you pretend?"
"If I was sitting here with my eyes open, Draco would be awake, and you would have been as nervous as all get out. Given what is going to happen, Draco and you need all the rest you can get."
"That's very thoughtful of you."
He nodded slightly, "I try."
She smiled softly, "Are you an Auror then, Mr. Weasley?"
"Bill, my name is Bill, and no. I never went down that path."
"Which one did you choose, then?"
"I spent about seven years in Egypt, curse work mainly, along some other things down in the tombs."
"Then you came home?"
"Yeah, when he came back, it made more sense to return. I've worked at Gringotts ever since."
"You move like an Auror though, on your feet instantly."
"I have good reflexes. When you have dozens of deadly curses flying at you, you learn to move quickly and effectively."
"Well you must be good at it then; you're still alive."
"It helps that there is no room for error. I have to act quickly, and correctly. There have been a few close calls though, some closer than I'd like."
A crack of thunder lit up the sky outside the window, a small village visible in the distance for a moment. Looking out into the darkness, Narcissa asked, "What's going to happen to Draco?"
"Truthfully, I don't know. The right people know the truth about what happened to Professor Dumbledore. It's not even widely known that Draco was there that night. And while may be some slight suspicion in regards to the Death Eaters coming into Hogwarts, I think the majority of it has fallen to Snape. It's easier for people to suspect the reformed Death Eater."
"But he's dead now."
"Again, not common knowledge, yet, of course. It was only discovered by us a few days ago. Who knows, it may even confirm his guilt to those who suspect. Who knows what the public will think."
"Draco, he's not a suspect?"
"No, the Aurors have more important things to worry about at the moment. They aren't the ones you should worry about anyway."
"What are they doing then?"
"We have no idea. Other than the usual purging of those with inferior blood and of those who associate with them, Voldemort's actions are still unpredictable."
"So once again, he's a mystery."
"We do know his end game though, his driving force."
"Young Mr. Potter."
Bill nodded, "It's what I think he wants most. To rid himself of his greatest embarrassment; the reminder of his downfall."
"He's still unpredictable, though, and without Dumbledore, it surely won't be easy for you."
"It has never been easy, but we have to keep fighting. No one wants the other side to be victorious." Draco shifted beside her, and she reached down and smoothed his hair back from his forehead. Bill cleared his throat opposite her, "A few days after Dumbledore's funeral, there was a breakout from Azkaban. No Death Eaters remained."
Her hand stilled on Draco's forehead, speaking carefully, "I imagine he hasn't been seen."
"No, none of them have."
She closed her eyes, "He won't be happy with me."
"I left, I took Draco, and we left. I did the wrong thing."
"I think protecting your son, his son, is hardly the wrong thing."
"Oh but it is. Draco had a noble quest, something to put us back in the Dark Lord's good graces. It went wrong, as you well know, and I should have remained in England with Draco to let him deal with Draco."
"I can really see the difficulty in that decision making-process. Stay and let your son surely be killed, or go and keep him safe."
"There was never another option. Till we encountered you, coming back to England wasn't something I considered."
"You are doing the right thing."
"Am I?" She asked softly.
"Yes, even if you can't help us in any way, we can protect you. Keep you out of sight. It won't be nearly as glamorous as Paris, but you'll be alive, and you won't be looking over your shoulder every other second."
"It won't be glamorous at all. I don't know what would be better. Remaining in Paris, looking over our shoulder every second, as you say, or stuck within four walls for an indeterminate period of time?"
"It hardly compares, of course. I know which I'd prefer, but you have to remain unseen. It won't be four walls exactly either; we have somewhere for you to stay. Somewhere somewhat familiar to you. You may be confined but you'll be comfortable."
"Twelve Grimmauld Place."
"The headquarters for your Order?"
"It was, but Kreacher's treachery to Sirius, and it's result, voided that."
Looking down at her hands, she remembered her role in Sirius's death, "If that action voided that protection, how could it be safe for Draco and myself?"
"We had a Secret Keeper before; we'll use one again."
"If only Moody or yourself know, then it will be one of you?"
He nodded, "Naturally. The good thing is, it is the last place any one would suspect Draco and yourself to be. No one would think of either of us as your Secret Keeper."
"He will have a lot of questions, won't he?"
"Moody?" Narcissa nodded, "Yeah, but you'll know the answers. If you do want to help us, it will be an easy process. You do want to help us?"
"I want my son to have a life, not a life spent hiding."
"Then you'll be able to help us. With any luck, this fight will not be a long drawn-out process, and your freedom will come sooner, rather than later."
Pushing Draco's hair behind an ear, "I hope so."
The train lurched violently, and Draco nearly rolled off the seat as a result. Only by grabbing a hold of the cushion below him, did he stop himself. Stretching slightly, he sat up, his mum smiling at him.
"Did you sleep well dear?" She asked.
"I heard you talking in your sleep; was it a bad dream?"
"I can't remember a time when I had good ones," he sighed.
"You never said anything."
"I prefer to forget them."
"What was it about? This last one," she asked.
"He found us," he said closing his eyes, the images returning immediately. "They weren't happy with us, and they showed just how much so."
"Were there any faces?"
"They were all wearing their robes, masks included. Not that it matters, we know who they all are."
"Draco. While you were sleeping, Bill told me something, about your father."
"What about him? And you call him Bill?"
"He asked me to, and there was a breakout from Azkaban, they all escaped."
"All of them?"
"Every one of them."
He swallowed thickly, the knot in his stomach tightening. Draco glanced at the seat in front of them, now empty. "So where's our great protector?"
"He went to get something to eat; he'll be back soon."
Draco looked over at her, smiling at her appearance, "you look so odd with hair like that."
She laughed quietly, "You as well, you don't look like my son."
"Strange isn't it?" He smiled. "I might go to the bathroom, and get something to eat as well. Do you want anything?"
Shaking her head, "I'm fine."
"Alright, back soon."
Closing the door securely behind him, he moved down the empty hallway. Inside the cabins were sleeping passengers, tiny slivers of light coming through the cracks in the blinds. Their train was scheduled to arrive in London at just past six o'clock in the morning. From there, he had no idea what was to come. All he knew for sure was that he would be facing Professor Moody and all his questions. That 'in itself' was not something he was looking forward to.
After using the bathroom, he headed further down the train, hoping to be heading in the direction of the refreshments. They had missed dinner the night before, and his stomach was making its presence well known. The dining area was relatively empty: other than Weasley, there was only one other occupant. Draco ordered some toast, and a cup of coffee, then went and joined him.
"Good morning," Weasley said, looking up from a newspaper.
"Well rested, I hope?"
"Reasonably, any sleep is good sleep, I suppose."
Draco leaned back as his breakfast was placed in front of him, "Thank you." Once they were alone again, "So I assume it's safe to leave her alone?"
He nodded, "There isn't a threat on board. I didn't expect there to be, and I imagine she would like some time to herself."
Draco spread some marmalade onto his toast, before biting into it. He swallowed quickly; then, forgetting all kinds of manners, he greedily ate it all down. Picking up his coffee, he washed it down: the relief was instant.
Bill grinned at him, "Feel better?"
"Much," he sighed.
"I was the same fifteen minutes ago."
He looked over at the other person nearby, who was falling asleep on his newspaper. "I don't want her in there."
"When I talk to Moody, there is a lot she doesn't know. There is a lot I don't want her to know."
"I don't think she'll like that mate, and besides, your mother doesn't strike me as the naive type. She knows more than you think she does."
"Doesn't matter, either way. I won't talk to Moody while she is in the room. I've done things I'm not proud of, and even if she has the slightest idea; I'd still rather not lay all my wrongdoings on the table in front of her."
"It's your decision."
"Thank you. There will 'no doubt' be a time for that discussion, but I'm not ready just yet."
Leaning forward, Bill spoke quietly, "There is no reason to be scared about this. Mad Eye may come across rather mad sometimes, but he's good at his job, the best. He's tough, fair, and as long as you don't try to trick him, or lie to him, he will listen to you."
"No matter how much he doesn't want to?"
"Exactly...he may not like you." He laughed softly, "I can pretty much guarantee that he won't like you, but personal feelings will not influence him."
Draco looked away from him, and out the window. He could see the sun rising over the horizon; it wouldn't be long till they were in London. "Weasley, I need you to promise me something."
"What is it?"
"If something happens to me, if I get," he swallowed thickly. "If I'm not there, you have to look after my mum. I'm pretty much all she has left now. I need to know that someone will be on her side."
Pushing his empty plate away, "It was hardly safe for her before, but my father, he has a fierce temper, and he doesn't take to failure well, especially my failure. If he can't get to me, but he can get to her, he may take it out on her." Continuing bitterly, "A failure of a son, who is very much a mummy's boy, causes him no small amount of embarrassment."
"Draco, I can't promise many things, but I will do my best, my absolute best, to keep him away from her."
"I don't care about what happens to me, but Mum..."
Holding up a hand, he nodded, "I understand."
It hadn't changed that much. It still felt dark, which was a very strange feeling for a house to have. This it seemed to have taken heart from its inhabitants, and become soulless. A shrine to the past, remaining there, clinging desperately to its glory days. There were some surface changes, and some things had disappeared. There were also the signs of someone different staying here: one of those things that Muggles used to write with, things her Aunt would have never let inside her house.
After Regulus died, and her Aunt's rapid decline into madness. She hadn't been in this house in years, not since Draco was a small child. It wasn't something she had wanted him to see. Not that she wanted to see it herself, with her parents deceased, Bellatrix imprisoned, and Andromeda expelled from the family. It broke her heart to see what remained of the 'Noble House of Black'. There was no nobility in this house anymore, and there hadn't been any for a very long time.
As she walked up the stairs, she could remember vividly of staying here as a child. Running up the stairs behind her more extroverted sisters, up to the boys' room. They would have known they were coming, and yet they would hide themselves away upstairs, letting the games begin immediately.
Narcissa stopped on the first landing she reached; walking across the old wood floors, she pushed open the bedroom door. The lanterns were empty, so she opened the blinds, and let the light shine in. A thick layer of dust covered all surfaces. What, as she had grown up, had been a home away from home, was now aged and dreary. The life had disappeared from it. She could hear her sisters' laughter in the air; closing her eyes, she could picture them so clearly. Under the covers they lay, saying goodnight to their Aunty, only to wait till she was gone, and they'd be up and out. Ready to find those pesky cousins.
They had been so innocent then; it had all changed of course. Andromeda had gone to Hogwarts first as the eldest, and she changed slowly. She wasn't as loud or flamboyant as Bellatrix was, but she wasn't meek, yet she drew inwardly as she got older. At least, when she was at home for the holidays. She would spend the majority of her time in her room, writing letters to her new friends. Narcissa could still remember the fight she had had with her parents when they discovered her sneaking to the Muggle village nearby to post a letter to her friends. Back then, she hadn't understood it completely, but looking back, she could see her sister steadily losing the beliefs that had been instilled in them since they were young.
Bellatrix was different; she would come home enraptured with all that she was learning, and all the friends that she was making. While Andromeda was withdrawing, Bella was blossoming: she couldn't wait to share it all. Narcissa remembered sitting on the end of her bed, listening intently, dreaming of the day when she could go to Hogwarts. She noticed the schism between her sisters, but she just thought they were fighting, a silly harmless fight. They would get over it, and everything would be fine. It wasn't though. There was no way that the two of them would ever see eye to eye ever again, not when they could barely stomach looking at each other.
She had been the one in the middle. Once she went to Hogwarts, Andromeda tried to steer her towards her friends, but Bella prevailed. If she closed her eyes and really tried, she could still see the look of disappointment on Andy's face whenever she looked at her. For the first few years she had wanted to go to her, and just be with her older sister, but one look from Bellatrix and she wouldn't dare. Unknowingly she had chosen her side in the struggle, and it left one sister out in the cold.
Narcissa left the room quickly, shutting the door to on those memories.
The opposite door led to what had been Sirius' room. Till he had moved out, he had been her favourite cousin, one of her favourite people, full stop. They were the same age, had shared the same milestones together, and had gone to Hogwarts together. Everything she had done in her life while growing up had intersected with his. She couldn't bring herself to open that door; the Sirius she knew and remembered wasn't the one from later years.
Closing her eyes, she could hear the last conversation they had had in this house, the last one they had ever had. He was smoking outside, on his window ledge. If his mother were to look out any of the windows, she would surely see him. He didn't care though; it was like he wanted her to see. She had urged him to throw away the Muggle cigarettes and come inside. He had refused, telling her that there was nothing inside for him. Out here there was freedom. Throwing the remains of his cigarette onto the ground below them, he picked up a bag from his bedroom floor. Seeya Ciss, rang through her ears, as she watched him leap out the window, and then the roar of a machine as he flew away.
She had seen him some times over the next few years, but they had never spoken. She was sorry for that, but it just wasn't possible. He had stepped outside the family, and was forbidden. They couldn't speak to him, for, as far as they were to be concerned, he was dead. For some, it was like he had never existed. There were 'of course' ways she could have used, she didn't though. At times she felt guilty, after what happened to him, that he virtually had no one in his life he could trust. She also felt guilty about what she had done, the hand she played in his death.
While Draco began to open up to her, she had kept him in the dark about that, letting him believe that it was all someone else's doing. Narcissa knew that it would help him, to have someone to talk to that really understood how he felt, and wasn't just offering platitudes. She knew just how he felt, the guilt, the betrayal. Just how rotten it felt to be influenced and used, manipulated into doing things, and creating results that were far from ideal.
It was Bil. She wiped her cheeks, and started down the stairs. The trip down memory lane was closed for the day.
"It's my turn now," she said as she reached the bottom of the stairs. "I would really prefer it if you didn't call me that. It's my married name, I know, but at the moment I don't really feel like a Malfoy."
She nodded at him, "Much better. Why are you out here?" The door to the study was still firmly closed to the side.
"Don't worry, it's all going fine," he said. "Nothing to get upset about. Moody is being very reasonable and Draco is being very mature. Frankly, I'm not needed."
"It's a sad realisation, isn't it?"
"Heartbreaking," he smiled.
"You should get used to them, they happen more and more as you get older."
"I'll prepare myself then."
"It pays to," she moved past him, noticing the forgotten Family tree on the wall.
Bill, walking behind her, stopped in the doorway. "Rather showy, I've always thought."
"Aunt Walburga didn't like to do things by halves," she said quietly. She ran her fingers over the names of her parents, following the vine to her name, and then down to Draco. "She was quite proud of her bloodline. What better way to show it off, than to display it so prominently?"
He walked over and stood behind her, noting. "Given the way my father and your husband carry on, it is hard to hard to think of us as related. Even if it's only by marriage."
Chuckling," Absolutely. I think Lucius nearly fainted when he realised he'd married into a family that was related to the Weasleys, however distantly. The enmity between the two of them is deep."
"Never shall the two meet." Bill moved further down the wall. "I haven't met many Blacks, present company excluded, but there are some that have proved more tolerable than others."
Following the line of his finger to where it rested against the tree, swallowing the lump in her throat, she said, "He was, and as a Black, I can agree with that statement."
"You know, as many times as I've been her, I still can't imagine what it was like growing up here. Portraits may only be a reflection of the subject, and I'm sure she is quite angry at us, but having that as a mother can't have been easy."
"She wasn't always like that, and she did have a fierce temper. It was a different generation, a different time. She put so much faith in the purity of blood; her family name was her calling card, her greatest accomplishment. It was up to her sons to continue that, to live up to the family name. Sirius 'as you know', didn't. All her hopes then fell to Regulus: he was going to save the name. When he died, though, no matter how noble it was, a part of her died. That was the beginning of the end for her. It was the start of her descent into madness, and it ultimately led to her death."
"I'm not going to feel sorry for her. Her thoughts and mine on the importance of blood, compared to the actual person, do not match. I really came to like Sirius, and can't help but think of how his life might have turned out, if he hadn't grown up here."
"Well firstly, I doubt she'd accept it even if you were to give it. And Sirius, he was always headstrong and liked to live dangerously. He may have been a different person, but he would have still got himself into all kinds of trouble."
He snorted to himself, "Probably. It was one of his greatest traits, as well as his worst. If he weren't that way, he'd probably be alive right now."
"He wouldn't be Sirius though."
"No, he wouldn't."
She walked out of the room, and Bill followed her. "Do you think they'll be much longer?"
"Hard to say, they could be nearly done or nowhere near finished. Moody is very thorough."
"That's good then," she sighed.
Bill moved in front of her. "I'm going to go home for a bit. Have a shower, stop at Mum's, stop her from going spare."
"Good plan," she smiled.
"I'll be back though: I don't think there is any food in the house. You and Draco will need some things."
"You don't have to bring us anything," she said quickly.
"Nah, it's fine," he shrugged. "You can't go get it, and Moody, grocery shopping? Best if I handle it."
"Well, thank you."
"Pleasure," he grinned. "It may take a while though, she has this rather annoying habit of fawning over me."
"Well, we'll be here," she sighed. "It's not like we have anywhere else we can be but here."
Placing a hand on her shoulder, "It will change. Soon."
Once Bill had closed the front door behind himself, she moved into the kitchen. Admittedly, not a room she had spent a lot of time in. She realised very quickly how right he was, as the cupboards were practically bare, and what remained inside them, she didn't trust for freshness. Narcissa could only find one old tin hiding in the bottom of the pantry, and in it were a few remaining tea bags. It wasn't much, but it would be enough for the time being. She found a cup in the cupboards, which, after a rinse in the sink, was usable. The kettle just started to whistle quietly as she heard a door open and close in the hall.
Wiping her hands on her robes she headed to the hallway, Mad-Eye Moody looked up at her as she came into view.
"I'm going now," he said. He looked past her, "Where's Weasley?"
"He left. You will be back though?" She asked moving closer to them.
"More than likely, tomorrow possibly. We still need to set up a Secret Keeper. Barring baring unforeseen circumstances, you will be fine for the evening."
"Alright then," she nodded, unsure what to say to the man. Draco himself seemed a little green next to him.
Moody nodded briefly to her, then to Draco, before letting himself out the front door. "He's a man of few words," Draco said.
"How was it?" She asked quickly.
"Not too bad," he shrugged nonchalantlly. "He asked, I answered, it was a pretty straightforward process."
"Do you think he'll have any more questions for you?"
"Don't know, though he asked a few about you. So he may want to talk to you as well."
"I expected him to: you can't be married to a Death Eater for twenty years and not know some things."
Draco bristled at the mention, although brief, of his father, "What is this place?" He asked quickly, diverting the subject. "It doesn't seem like the friendliest place for the Order to dump us."
"It has it's good parts; let me show you around."
"I think I would have liked having cousins," Draco said thoughtfully, as they reached the bottom of the stairs, and stood in the entryway again.
"You do: my sister had a daughter." He turned to her with wide eyes. "Not Aunt Bellatrix, my other one. Not that she would have ever come to stay with us. I think she'd be about five years older than you, maybe more."
"You never said anything."
"My sister left the family so long ago, years before you were born. She betrayed the family," she sighed. "It wasn't something that was talked about; discussion on that topic was highly discouraged. Given the reason for her departure, and what she did later, it wasn't something your father wanted you to hear. It was a forbidden subject, for everyone."
"So, my cousin, is a half-blood?"
"Yes, my sister married a Muggle-born. I'm sure you can imagine the scandal it caused."
"Definitely, like if I took up with Granger, Pothead's girl."
Laughing quietly, "Something like that, yes." She walked into the kitchen, "I managed to find some tea bags, but not much else. Would you like a cup?"
"Sure," he said from behind her. "What are we going to do for food, though? We won't be able to survive on cups of tea."
"Bill is going to bring us some things, because we can't leave here at all. He said he'd be back later," she explained as she started the tea process all over again.
Sitting down at the table, using his sleeve he wiped the area in front of him, Draco commented, "He's not a bad bloke. His brother is a right knob; never actually thought there was a Weasley I could like."
Seating herself at the table near him, "Can I ask what you talked about in there?"
He slouched a little over the table, "Usual stuff, I suppose. If I ever went to any meetings with Father, if I knew where the Dark Lord met his followers," his voice got quieter. "And, just how I came to be the one with the task to kill him."
"What did you tell him?"
"All that I could tell him," he whispered. "I just want this all to be over Mum. I don't want to run, I don't want to hide. I don't want to be afraid of who is going to be outside that door if we were to open it. I want you to be free, from everything."
"Soon, love," she said reaching across the table, and covering his hand with hers. "Soon."
The fireplace to the right of them flashed bright green, and several packages of various sizes fell to the bottom of it. She looked at Draco questioningly. They stood up and crossed the floor towards them slowly, picking up and examining them carefully.
"What do you think they are?" He asked her.
"I have no idea," she whispered. "They can't be for us, and no one has obviously lived here in months."
"I'm going to open one," he said, reaching out.
"No! We don't know what they are, or who they are for. They could be dangerous. Someone sent something to hurt Potter, or someone in the Order. We should just leave them there."
"But aren't you curious?"
"Naturally," she said. "I do 'however' like my fingers, and opening one of them could be a recipe for trouble. Bill said he'd be back, and he worked with curses in Egypt. He can look at them."
"How did you know that?" Draco looked at her closely.
"He told me."
"When we were on the train."
"When on the train?" He demanded.
"When you were sleeping."
"So you had a nice little chat, did you?" Draco folded his arms across his chest.
"We talked, yes," she shook her head. "Why don't you sit down, I'll make us a cup of tea."
"I don't think I like you talking to Weasley so much, or calling him Bill. We can't trust those Weasleys."
She turned to him incredulously, "Did you not just say three minutes ago, he wasn't a bad bloke?"
"Well," he snapped. "I changed my mind. Moody can bring us stuff. We don't need Weasley."
"Draco, you are being ridiculous. Besides, Mad-Eye is an Auror, he hardly has the time to get things for us, and I'd really rather he didn't. That man makes me very uncomfortable."
"Well, Weasley makes me uncomfortable: he held us prisoner and then forced us back. Doesn't make me trust him, besides which have you noticed the lines on his face? You know who gave him them to him; you know what that thing is, so he's probably got wolf in him now. Not the safest thing in the world, are they?"
"Yes, I do know all of that. I did go to Hogwarts, as well, and I remember learning about werewolves. I remember something very clearly... the full moon? You know what that means?"
"Yes," he snapped back at her. "Still doesn't mean we are safe for every other moon phase. It wasn't full when Greyback attacked him."
"Because that thing has become controlled by the beast within himself," she ran her hand over her face. "Draco, I like Bill. He seems like a nice person, and I would much rather he came to see us every few days than Moody. I'm sure you would rather anyone but Moody. I trust him, and you need to trust my judgement."
"Fine," he said. "But I'm going to be watching him, and if he does anything even slightly suspicious, he's not coming back here."
"If you say so dear," she said quietly.
The fireplace flashed again, and Bill crumpled to a heap onto the packages in the bottom. "Bloody hell," he muttered. "You didn't move them, I see."
Narcissa gave him one of her hands and helped him stand, "We weren't sure who they were from. Didn't know what they were, I thought we should wait for you to look at them. Did you send them?"
"Yeah," he said, wiping his pants as he stood.
"Our hero," Draco said bitterly behind them.
She shook her head at Bill's questioning look, "So what are they?"
"Food," he smiled. "I told mum I was back, and let it slip into conversation that I had nothing to eat at home, so she laded the food on me. I think there are some things to put in your cupboards, and something for dinner tonight."
He picked a few parcels up, and moved them over to the table. Pulling a knife from a holder on his ankle, he sliced the ties on them, and opened the boxes. Narcissa ignored Draco's attempts to get her to focus on the knife in his hand. "Well, I guess I can't thank your mother, so I'll just thank you."
Bill shrugged, "It's no problem. This is what she'd have given me regardless, too much for one person."
"I don't think I've ever cooked anything, myself," she smiled. "Guess I'm going to have to learn, really quickly."
"Mum gave me a book when I moved to Egypt; I never really looked at it. I'll bring it around for you; she wouldn't have given it to me if it weren't basic stuff. Cooking has never been my strongest area."
"That would be wonderful," she said, watching Draco on the other side of Bill. She shook her head fiercely at him. "Draco was wonderful in potions, I'm sure you'll be brilliant at cooking to dear."
Draco snorted, "If you say so." He watched Bill open the package, and pull a dish out. "That smells like, is that Treacle Tart?"
"Yeah, Mum makes a ripper one. Do you like it?"
"No," Draco said quickly, "I hate it."
Narcissa laughed, "No. He loves it. Every year on his birthday he would request that."
"Whatever," Draco whispered, keeping his eye on the dish in Bill's hand.
Narcissa went to the cupboards and got some plates out, rinsing them underneath the tap. Bill came and stood next to her, getting some cutlery out of a drawer. "Did it not go well? Moody and Draco? He's not in a very good mood," he whispered.
"He's fine, just being a typical teenage male," she whispered back. "It'll pass, I hope."