Author's Note: I couldn't make you all wait anymore. Here's the next part of WiR Y2. :)
Life was certainly interesting for Lucius Malfoy these days. His to-do list was constantly growing and had only grown more complex with Harry Potter in his home. When he had agreed to take in Harry Potter, he thought it was a political maneuver, a way to show the wizarding world at large that the Malfoy family was still a respectable pureblood family. Working towards restoring the respect of his family's name was his number one goal, only second to taking care of his family. When Harry Potter joined his family, he had thought it would be simple with tasks similar to the tasks he did for Draco's care. Arranging tutors, attire, and the like was a small task compared to the work he needed to do as guardian for the Boy Who Lived.
His first focus for the boy was ensuring that he was as healthy as he could be, especially since the boy was less than willing to admit when he was feeling unwell. This required numerous stops at St. Mungos for the boy for follow-up appointments with the healers. He had to admit, the boy could be charming when he wanted to be. Combined with his heartfelt apology in person and a personal written note, his healer let the boy off with nothing more than a stern talking to about the dangers of not following medical instructions. The boy had made a good point later that no one had told him about the follow up potions and appointments, but Lucius could only be glad that the boy understood how upset they all had been about his sudden disappearance.
The boy's charm did not work with the mindhealer. Harry Potter had weekly appointments with her due to his sudden change in living arrangements (also known as being abandoned by his only blood relatives), and Kathleen, clever witch that she was, managed to make the boy admit to a few things like his age and the fact that he had numerous adults to help him now. The sessions always seemed to start with the boy insisting he didn't need to talk to anyone, but he always left the session looking more relaxed. Kathleen never shared what the boy told her unless it was something about which the Malfoys should be concerned, but the rest of the sessions were private beyond "He's doing well." Lucius couldn't say for sure if the boy was doing well, but he was surviving. He was looking better each day, eating enough to satisfy Narcissa, and the tutor...well. That was different.
Lucius hired a summer tutor to fill in the gaps of a Hogwarts education. Literature and fine arts were practically unheard of in Hogwarts, as well as a few things like political science, estate management, and financial literacy. Languages, too, were best taught to young children without the benefit of translation spells. The tutor was having no trouble at all with Draco, but Harry Potter seemed to give him fits. The tutor had stopped tutoring the boy in the basic academic subjects and could only keep him interested with electives like runes and arithmancy. The boy also seemed to enjoy some regular muggle subjects as well, and Lucius only had to provide books for a few of those subjects for the boy to study them on his own. Oftentimes, he or Narcissa would check on him before going to their room for the evening and find the boy had smuggled one of the books into bed with him. Having a Ravenclaw as a foster child was proving to be a challenge, one for which Lucius was still feeling decidedly unsuited.
As Lucius had hoped, seeing his friend so focused on his studies had a positive impact on Draco. It seemed that he now thought he had to keep up with Harry, and Lucius had noticed a distinct focus when it came to Draco's tutoring sessions. Lucius had cautioned him that he and Harry learned differently, and Harry's being so advanced did not mean that Draco was not smart. Draco had only nodded and turned back to his book without a word. Healthy competition was good for the boys, was it not?
Lucius had spent a few meetings with the goblins to get Harry's financial house in order. There were numerous accounts and shares to oversee, and they had been neglected for numerous years. The goblins may not have any love for the Malfoy family, but for the Potter boy, they were willing to meet with him and help to arrange things for the boy. It almost felt as though the goblins had some hidden agenda concerning the boy, and their constant inquires into "little Lord Potter's" well-being was starting to make Lucius uncomfortable. He had managed to develop an amicable working relationship with them in the end. The goblins had seemed pleased with Malfoy's choice for investments and informed him that they expected Harry to attend meetings in future.
The wardrobe he had left to Narcissa. He couldn't say why the boy responded to Narcissa's wishes so easily without complaint, but Lucius knew that had he taken the boy shopping, he may well have lost him. Instead, Harry and Narcissa had set out first thing in the morning and had not returned until just before dinner. The boy had simply stepped out of the Floo, taken four steps to the nearest chair, and collapsed into it with a groan. Lucius closed the notebook he carried and tried to keep a smile from his face. Narcissa stepped out of the Floo and he stood to greet her. "Narcissa, was your trip successful?" He asked, taking her hand and brushing his lips against her cheek.
"We had a wonderful time." She told him. She opened her purse and Dobby popped into the room. Narcissa lowered a bundle of shrunken packages into the elf's hands. "Please arrange these in Harry's room." Narcissa turned towards the boy and smiled. "I think I wore him out."
Lucius looked over and saw that the boy's eyes were closed and he appeared to be asleep. Lucius smiled and stepped forward to tap the lad on the shoulder. Instead of the violent reaction he had had before when waking the boy, Harry simply opened his eyes and blinked at him. "You need to eat before you sleep." Lucius told him.
"I have to eat again?" Well, that certainly sounded like whine from the boy. Lucius turned to Narcissa for an explanation.
"We had lunch out, and stopped for some tea about two hours ago." She admitted with a smile.
"Are you hungry?" Lucius asked Harry.
"No, sir." Harry said. "Tired."
Lucius couldn't help but smirk as the boy's eyes fell shut again. "Very well, then. Please eat the snack that Dobby will bring you, and then you may have an early night." Harry pushed himself out of his chair, stopped and turned to Narcissa. "Thank you for the outing, Mrs. Malfoy. Good night, Mr. Malfoy." With that, the boy left the room and started up the stairs.
"Did he enjoy himself at all?" Lucius asked her and she settled into a chair herself.
"Oh, he enjoyed himself in the book shop. We spent a fair amount of time there. Those packages were not all clothes, but we did manage to build his wardrobe a bit more, he found a decent pair of shoes, and he is ready for Hogwarts come September. I can honestly say that he is frugal and seemed perplexed as to why we were shopping at all. I also made arrangements for his birthday party at the end of July. We'll have to send the invitations out soon to his friends, and you'll need to take Draco for his Hogwarts supplies, as I'm sure that Draco will want some one-on-one time with you. Perhaps you could take the boys when their school supplies lists come. I know Harry will want more books by then."
Lucius could only blink at the ramble of information. "I must be mistaken, my dear. I thought we had the possession of a library here and that the boy could borrow books from it at any time he wishes."
"Yes, but as he told me, he needs to make notes about the information he is studying." Oh. Oh. Lucius didn't find the boy's intelligence intimidating. No, he found it fascinating, and seeing notes in a book might begin to connect some lines he'd been trying to draw between what the boy knew and how he knew it. He hoped that he would be able to take a peek at some of the boy's notes. Some of the knowledge the boy had demonstrated with Kathleen and his tutor had puzzled Lucius in the past, and he was determined to figure out how he had found the knowledge he had.
The boy was still a puzzle, and the little bits of information he had shared with the family about his time away kept them guessing. Sirius Black figured prominently in the information. Reading, too, was a frequent activity. The rest of it continued to be a mystery to them, and the boy kept a fair bit of detail to himself. "Our foster son continues to be a mystery, doesn't he?" Lucius commented to Narcissa.
"Oh, I don't think there's too much mystery there, Lucius. He likes his secrets, just as Draco does. All the same, he isn't used to adult attentions - positive adult attention, and he's still testing his boundaries. I think we don't scare him, per se, but rather he is unsure of his place in our home."
"We've told him he has as much right to a place in this home as Draco has." Lucius stated, sinking back into his chair.
"Yes, but remember, his aunt gave him up without even consulting him. We do not share blood with him, and we are telling him he will always have a home with us." Narcissa seated herself across from Lucius and sighed. "He is insecure and uncertain. He is cautious. I fear it may be a very long time before he accepts this place as his home...if ever. Harry spends more time at school than he does here. He may never feel that this house is nothing more than a place he stays at during the summers." Narcissa looked at Lucius. "I just want him to feel at home."
"I do, too, my dear." Lucius admitted. Narcissa slashed a look at him and he had to hold back a wince. She caught you. "Alright, I had more than one motive when I stepped forward as available to take the boy when his aunt surrendered him. My main motive was political, but his happiness is now a concern. He'll never truly relax here should he never consider this place home."
A light clicking noise interrupted him and he looked up to see Canis standing in the doorway. That dog was spooky, to say the least. He did not lurk, but he always seemed to appear at the most awkward moments. There were a few instances when he and Narcissa had found a moment to themselves in the garden, or the library with no children around and were indulging in a few caresses and then the dog would appear. Lucius had to wonder if voyeurism was bred into the dog's pedigree. It was particularly startling to be paying attention to one's wife in a darkened corner of the library and then look up to see yellow eyes shining in the background. They were never caught deshabille, thank goodness, but it was still uncomfortable for him. "Go upstairs to Harry." He told the dog. The dog was another thorn in his side, as it never listened to him. He turned to Narcissa and she could only chuckle at him.
"Canis, could you go upstairs with Harry?" Narcissa asked the dog. "There's a good boy." The dog meandered off and Lucius heard the animal start up the stairs. Narcissa saw his look. "What?"
"You are a tamer of beasts, my dear." Lucius told her.
Harry jumped off his bed when he heard Canis scratching at the door. He opened the door for his dogfather and patted the dog's head as he entered the room. "So you went shopping with Narcissa?" Sirius asked as he shifted into his human form.
"Yes, I did," Harry answered as he dropped back into the bed. I now understand the phrase 'shop 'til you drop'." Harry curled back into the blankets with a groan and Sirius settled on the side of the bed, mischief twinkling in his eyes. "What?" Harry asked.
"Our little plan of making the Malfoys uncomfortable is working." Sirius told him. "I've managed to catch them out of a few times. Lucius doesn't like Canis much."
Harry grinned at his godfather and then yawned so hard his jaw cracked. "Ow. Come on. I was told I was allowed to go to bed, and I'm not going to waste it. Having to shop all day when all I wanted to do was read a book was exhausting." Harry complained. Sirius reached out and ruffled Harry's hair. Harry glared up at the man and Sirius couldn't help laughing at the child in the bed, while the man his godson was shone through in his eyes. Sirius changed back into Canis and nudged Harry aside while he made himself comfortable. Harry lowered an arm around the dog and fell asleep while the sun started to descend in the sky.
"I don't need a birthday party." Harry said shortly while looking through the pile of papers Lucius had handed to him. Lucius made it a point to spend an hour with Harry every day going through the investments and things he thought Harry should know. The tutor stated this would be a good bonding time for the two of them. If Harry was half as uncomfortable as Lucius was, then the poor boy must get through these sessions with gritted teeth.
"Narcissa seems to think it a good idea," Lucius commented idly as he checked off a task on his to-do list. Hmm. Which task had more priority…?
"I don't need a birthday party." The boy was repeating something. Lucius blinked and looked up at Harry. "Birthday party. Don't need it." The boy said again.
"Why ever not?" Lucius asked him, putting down his quill and regarding his foster son with his full attention.
"I'm going to be twelve. I don't need a celebration of the fact that I've managed to survive another year on this earth." Lucius fought hard not to laugh at the wording of that particular statement. Do not laugh. Remember how fragile boys' egos are.
"Really now?" Lucius couldn't help it. He was going to laugh. "I'm sure Draco will be very disappointed to hear that the party at Florean's is canceled. The birthday boy was going to receive a very special sundae and there is a party room reserved for you and your friends already. I do believe Narcissa was talking about catering options. Perhaps that restaurant we took you to last week has a catering menu…" The boy looked down at the dog as though the dog held all the answers. How to make him shift that need to the adults around him….hmmm. "Unless you can come up with a better reason than 'I am twelve', you may have to suffer through it."
"It's too expensive." Harry said triumphantly.
Lucius just looked at the boy. He looked at the boy and waited. It was a technique Kathleen the mindhealer had taught him to use when dealing with Harry and his past misconceptions. One of the things Kathleen had told them was that the boy would be looking for excuses to avoid "family" things. It appeared that the birthday party was going to be one of them.
"I don't need one." The boy tried again. "It's just a waste of time." Even Canis seemed to know what a horrible argument that was, for he gave a little "ruff" and settled his head onto his paws by the boy's chair. "It's stupid, anyway."
"I'm not hearing any valid arguments, Mr. Potter." Lucius said. It rankled that the boy had not asked Lucius to call him by his first name. It rankled more that the boy refused to use their own names, persisting in calling them 'Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy' even though he was in their custody for the foreseeable future. It was quite upsetting for him and he could only imagine how Narcissa was feeling, considering that she had asked him to call her 'Narcissa' several times already. Perhaps they could come to some form of agreement.
"Is it really that important to Mrs. Malfoy?" The boy asked, pulling together his papers in a stack.
"Mmm. Yes, I'm afraid it is." Lucius answered him absently, turning back to his own papers.
"And I have to come up with the list of people to invite?" He asked, looking at the checklist Narcissa had slipped in among the statements from Gringotts and assignments from the tutor.
"Aside from deciding on a menu, yes. Narcissa has already picked out some invitation designs, so you'll have to pick your favorite as well." Lucius kept his attention on his own paperwork and hoped his nonchalant attitude would diffuse the boy's worry over this party.
"Does Draco have to do this every year?" Lucius could read between the lines and figure out the meaning of the boy's question very easily. It was Are you planning this party because you want me to like you, or are you treating me just like your son?
"Every year." Lucius assured him. "Since he was five." Lucius dried the ink on the current page of parchment and allowed it to roll up before moving onto the next. "He even helps plan our Yule Ball."
The boy became quiet after that, and a quick glance at him told Lucius that he appeared to be writing a guest list. Narcissa had told him to invite twenty friends, but it appeared that the boy did not have that many. The area that offered suggestions for food was filling up faster than friends. Lucius started compiling his own list, with memories of the Christmas party helping in filling it out. "You don't have to invite Draco. He's already coming." Lucius informed him. "Your foster brother wouldn't miss it for the world."
"Oh…" The boy crossed out a name and then chewed on the end of his quill. Narcissa had swapped out all of Harry's quills with sugar quills, hoping to add a few extra calories to his diet. Keeping weight on this child was as impossible as seeing through an invisibility cloak. The boy was either unaware of what he was doing or thought quills were supposed to taste sweet. No matter. It appeared to be working.
Author's Note: Okay, it's short, but I wrote something! Rejoice!