Lucius stood in a bleak room at St. Mungo's, attempting in vain to remain calm. He wiped a sheen of perspiration from his forehead with a trembling hand. His heart was pounding in his throat, and he squeezed Narcissa's hand comfortingly, stroking her fingers with his thumb. His brave, beautiful Narcissa, who was still acting as though nothing was wrong.
"You can tell me, Healer. I'm ready. Perhaps we should step outside? If it's serious... I'd like to be the one to tell her."
Narcissa rolled her eyes. "Oh, for Merlin's sake, Lucius. I've told you time and time again, I'm fine. This is a totally natural part of being-"
He silenced her with a brief kiss.
"Hush, love. It's good of you to stay so calm. Well, Healer?"
"Mr. Malfoy, your wife-"
"Here, here," he gestured that the Healer should follow him into the hallway. "If you're going to be blunt about it, let's go outside."
"But really, Mr. Malfoy, there's no need-"
"I beg your pardon?" he snarled, drawing his wand in a flash and holding it to the man's throat. "You presume to tell me what will and will not upset my wife?"
"I... er..." he held his hands up in a placating manner, glancing to Narcissa for help.
"Lucius, knock it off!" she exclaimed. "Let him talk!"
Grudgingly, Lucius stowed his wand. "Darling, you don't need to act-"
"I'm not acting! You're so stupid!" She shook her head in bemusement. "I was right, wasn't I?" she asked the Healer eagerly. "I'm-"
"No, you're ill," Lucius interrupted firmly. "Ill and delusional, isn't she, Healer?"
"I pleased to say no, Mr. Malfoy," he forced out quickly, giving a small smile when he went unhexed. "Your wife, as she so wisely predicted, is pregnant. You're going to be a father."
The angry flush that had colored his cheeks immediately drained, leaving him an unhealthy shade of cream. He sat down, hard, on a chair beside Narcissa's bed. She sat up, concerned, leaning over to touch his arm. "Lucius? Darling? Is everything alright? This is good news, love!"
"We're going to have... a baby? I'm going to be a father?"
Again, Narcissa rolled her eyes. "No, actually, Uric the Oddball is about to be a father- yes, you! You, Lucius! Our baby!"
The information finally sank in, and he leapt to his feet. "A baby!" He swept her into his arms with a shout of laughter, kissing her forehead and each cheek before placing her back against the pillows. "A baby," he repeated, this time with nervous reverence. "You're fragile. Merlin, we have so much to do! The Manor- what a nightmare! A baby couldn't survive ten minutes there with all the stairs and sharp corners. There's a nursery, but I don't think it's ready just yet for a baby. Will we have to hire a nanny? How long will the interviewing take? What will we do about the pond-"
"Lucius!" she laughed, sitting up and grasping his hands. "We have almost nine months to get ready!"
"Right. Right, nine months," he echoed, calming somewhat. "That should be about enough time." He sat down beside her, pressing his lips to her neck. Suddenly, his eyes raced back to the now-beaming Healer, wide with fear. "If she's pregnant... are we not allowed to have sex for the next nine months?"
"Oh, Lucius!" she swatted his arm in reprimand.
"Not to worry. There should be no issue at all for the first two trimesters, and during the third, as long as you two are careful, and Mrs. Malfoy is comfortable, then there's no reason to abstain if you don't wish to."
"Well, that's good. And after?"
"Wait a month, at least, but with all the work of an infant, many couples find they have no interest in-"
"We'll manage," Lucius interrupted, before pausing with a rather sickened expression. "Oh, fuck. We're my parents."
For the next hour, Lucius bombarded the Healer with question after question, until Narcissa finally declared loudly (and falsely) that she was tired, and Lucius hurried to get her home. As they exited the ward, a figure walking in the opposite direction caused them both to freeze.
Narcissa stared in shock at the high, patent leather heels that clicked steadily across the tile. Her eyes moved up the long, dark bronze, toned legs, over the hugely rounded stomach, full breasts spilling over a scandalously low-cut neckline. Finally, she met the brown slanting eyes of the woman who'd very nearly ruined her life.
"Oh." She sneered slightly as she approached. "Is one of you ill? Tragic."
"Actually, no," Narcissa replied icily. "I'm having a baby. Lucius and I are very excited. I hear you're modeling career has taken off nicely... but that you were recently widowed? Tragic."
"Indeed it was," Francesca drawled, hand resting on her pregnant belly. "My darling boy will never know his father. But perhaps he'll know your little one? Assuming, of course, that she's sorted into Slytherin."
"He will most certainly be a Slytherin," Lucius cut in, putting an arm around Narcissa's waist. "So what name will you give yours? His father's?"
"I've kept my maiden name, so that's the one I'll give him. And if you'll pardon me, I have an appointment."
"Rumour has it," Narcissa whispered as they resumed walking, "she was the cause of her husband's death."
"I certainly made the right choice," he announced confidently, nuzzling her temple. "She's a nightmare, that Francesca Zabini."