Disclaimer: I own nothing. If I did, I would be a multimillionaire (which I'm not yet).
I could write excuses, but I don't believe in false pretenses. My muse made an appearance and the chapter flowed.
The Aftermath: Part 2
It had rained the night before and the air was sharp with the scent of morning dew mixing with wild herbs. None of that mattered to James Potter who flew circle after circle around the Quidditch pitch. After weeks of searching, he had finally found a ray of hope, a very tiny ray nonetheless, for solving his problems. Veela bonds were considered sacred by the stuffing ministry. Even the most hardened criminals, shied off an enraged Veela in the magical world. The solution was surprisingly simple, for a problem which until then had perplexed him with unknown complications.
James' mouth twisted, as if swallowing something unpleasant. He needed a Veela. Malfoys, that particular Dark family had a lot of enemies. He needed an enemy of the family, someone with sufficient power to challenge and humiliate the Malfoy family for encroaching upon his family taking his son as submissive; a submissive, a disgrace Lily had called it. His poor Lily's reputation has suffered for producing such a son, a submissive to a creature.
He needed to dig more and claim his son back soon.
Lucius contemplated the document in front of him while sitting in a charming parlor in the new Black Manor. His thoughts however, kept slipping away from him and drowning him in memories.
It was rumored that the land the Manor was sitting on, once belonged to Gaunts, in their prime during the thirteenths century. When the original line fell to the incessant madness of Blood Purity and superiority, it had shuttled between masters of both of Light and Dark persuasion, each renovating the place in their own ways. The original Manor was demolished sometime during the sixteenth century and the new house was constructed only in the late eighteenth century. The charming new Manor was replete with beautiful natural flora and fauna. Careful landscaping had provided the last comforting touch. It thrummed with magic, neither Dark nor Light, almost neutral in its nature. Contrary to what James Potter may claim, the Manor almost had a homely feel to it devoid of any and all malevolent presence.
The last owners were the Bones family, a predominantly Light family. After the first blood war with Voldemort, which left a number of Bones family members dead, Amelia Bones had sold off the humungous house to Sirius Black and moved to live with her remaining family in London. Sirius Black had just inherited the title of Lord and Black estates' after the death of his mother; it left him with more money than he could count and a huge disgust for the London Townhouse he was raised in. The new Black Manor was just his way to escape his old family and friends circle and nagging portraits.
Lucius was particularly attached to this house due to his own history with the late generation of this family. When he had set foot in this house earlier in the day, it brought onwards a deluge of memories and grief. His mate (Roxanne Bones) had lived here once and place was simply crawling with her memories. He had visited this Manor during numerous parties in his younger days. Almost every one of the pure-blooded elites was invited to them whether Light or Dark. It was here that he had met her. Making allies was always important in their world whether it was time of conflict or not. It was a time when Voldemort was still hiding behind shadows and playing politics rather than making an open bid for power. Lucius was barely fifteen when the invites for his sole attendance for the teenage parties started to flood his parent's mail. The Malfoys were rich and rapidly making inroads into politics. It was almost expected that Lucius would choose somebody from their circle. She was a sight to behold.
He sighed and shook his head, trying to fight through the fog enveloping his brain.
Her name was Roxanne Bones and she was the most beautiful girl in their circle.
Sirius Black was a marauder in his school time. Just because he had a falling out with the other members did not mean that he had lost the art of spying and espionage. He still had a lot of contacts in all department and shady allies. Whatever James was digging in, he hoped he would fall in it, without dragging his Godson down with him. He truly loved his Godson. Harry was one of the only people he truly cared about, despite his numerous flings in both magical and mundane worlds.
He was a born Casanova of his family, a family which was renowned for darker and murkier trait and sinful youth and beauty. The Black family was drenched in centuries of dealing with darker creatures, just as much as any other family of clout, but what made them powerful was their children borne in secrecy after dangerous rituals or liaisons with beings was darker than seen in normal families. The Black family magic ensured that their children looked and behaved as human as any other pureblood. Their magical gifts and traits bred stronger and wilier than many in their generation. He was one of those children too. There was a reason his animagus form was a Grim not a common dog.
His Grandfather, Arcturus knew that Walburga was a poor choice of a bride for his father. He had little choice in the matter though. Her mind warped helplessly around the pureblood ideals, could never accept Sirius for what he was. His years of torment at her hands and his anger at his normal younger brother who was warped much the same way as hers, had finally torn him away from his home and into the knickers of any and all he could seduce. He became a rake, a handsome devil and a shameless but flamboyant playboy all rolled in one that summer. His very survival depended on that.
His Grandfather had understood. He inherited everything that was his due, despite being disinherited by his parents.
'Harry! The son of his heart. The moment he laid his eyes on his Godson, he knew. Harry was one tiny devil who could wrap his very soul around his finger. His heir. Dorea, his rebellious grand-aunt's traits bred true in him, stood out like a beacon. His Grandfather had approved when he had claimed Harry as Godson. He was certainly, going to be in the next generation of Blacks.
He would never let James know. He knew James after all. James had coveted Roxanne Bones once; before Lily had finally agreed to give him time of the day. He strongly suspected that his ex-friend had a hand in her murder, but that's what they were. Suspicions! He could never prove anything. Harry was a half-blood and Arcturus could almost taste the dark power, the tiny newborn could command once cleansed of the muddied lighter aspect of his magic.
It had become Sirius' responsibility to keep Harry safe and free from any idiocy James landed him in. After the dust settled in the aftermath of Voldemort's demise, he was furious to find his Godson gone. It was James who had convinced Lily, to shunt her son off to those despicable Dursleys. It was the straw that finally broke his already fragile friendship with James. Since then, he had fiercely laid claim to his Godson.
It took him and Arcturus years to tear through Dumbledore's manipulations, but the damage was done. His Godson was fragile but tenaciously protected by his whale of a cousin. His silent visits to Dursleys' household could attest to the fact. Arcturus was satisfied knowing that Harry considered him his grandsire and would happily relinquish Potters' name, the moment he was legally allowed to. The old man had died happy. Now, Sirius could finally claim him as his own and he was not going to let this slip. They did not have the luxury of time.
He sighed as he stepped inside the room, thankful for the warmth after walking in from chilly autumn air. He paused, watching Lucius struggling to maintain his composure, silently perusing his earlier ruminations. Lucius stiffened as he sensed his presence and he walked in with measured steps. The emotions so visible seconds before sank smoothly behind a well constructed blank mask. Yet, was something guarded about Lucius' whole body, as tense as it was.
Draco's Veela inheritance was not a weakness as many pureblood Light families thought. It was just an impression given out to the general populace. In reality, Veela were far more resilient than to drop dead just because one of their soul mates rejected them. Yes, Veela could encounter multiple soul mates during their lifetime. Yes, being a magical being they had far adversarial reactions to being rejected. However, a Veela died when it had lost all of its will to survive. Thankfully, Draco was just too stubborn to admit defeat so soon.
An unattached dominant Veela like Lucius on the other hand could bed a multitude of partners and still be as free as a bird. Harry, on the other hand, was not so lucky. He had proven himself to be an affectionate lover, a bit inexperienced considering his very recent foray into the world of pleasure. He had yet to learn a lot about the privileges of bonding with a Veela, their duties and their customs.
Lucius had once hoped to teach these things to his bonded, Roxanne. Alas! Their relationship was discovered prematurely and then she was murdered shortly afterwards; long before he could even think about teaching her and the ensuing depression had consumed him. Lucius had barely survived through the experience, his sanity and soul clinging to whatever tenuous bonds they had managed to establish. Her murder was disguised as a Death Eater's attack, but he knew. The Dark Lord ordered some very gruesome things in his prime, but he would never endanger their allegiance at that early in the game. His father had bowed out of any direct service after the incident and had expressly forbidden Lucius to let himself be marked citing his near brush with death. Voldemort reluctantly acquiesced. Lucius still wondered whether it was their gold which saved his family that time.
Draco has borne the separation from Harry quite well until now, probably due to their different circumstances; that and his son were stubborn as a hippogriff. Instead of courting his mate properly, he was falling back on his less than desirable traits. He had attacked his own father for a mere slight, letting his creature control him, which was unforgivable. Harry or Narcissa could have been really hurt, for a mere power display. The end result, circumstances honor bound him, to take his son's mate under his wings, literally or Harry could have been in some serious danger. Circumstances such as this, never escape the confines of the family; the Veela laws strictly prohibited it.
Lucius could see that Sirius was jaded and experienced enough to not begrudge him the necessity of it. He eyed the wizard sitting before him carefully. Despite being a Gryffindor, Sirius had been raised as a Dark Heir. He was well versed in the intricacies of Veela customs and far more tolerant of them than his Light counterparts. They would never trust your lifestyle preferring to revel in superficial gossip, let alone whisper of things that went on during darker rituals of magic where everything was different and in their simplest views perverted. There was mischief hidden in those mocking eyes. Eyes which have mocked his son in jest, as Sirius Black cheerfully threatened his son with bodily harm, if he ever hurt Harry in anyway. There was hidden knowledge in the lidded eyes.
"You know," Lucius whispered.
An artful grace lifted his brow in bemusement. "I could smell him on you the first time…. but I saw he was happy. He is my son in everything, but name. I would never deny him his happiness or protection."
Lucius was silent for a moment, slightly stunned. "It happened." He said unusually sincere, arching his neck in acknowledgment of the unspoken warning, his thoughts returning to their plans. According to Black's informants, James was researching Veela laws and other treaties with the Wizengamot.
He was unnerved at hearing such dangerous speculation. It unsettled him to hear the very real possibility that his carefully preserved family could be facing the wrath of a pampered and favored political bully such as James. His brattiness aside, the man enjoyed serious clout. He also had Dumbledore's backing and access to lots of information. Sirius was sure that his ex-friend might uncover some loophole, and considering his influence on the Minister and his strong clout with other Light families, it may prove disastrous.
"So you think it's only a matter of time?" he asked more sharply than he intended. A nod was an only response. In all, at the moment, Lucius had more power to defend Harry and the boy was safer with him, given Draco's rather turbulent emotions. There were certain things Black has left unsaid, but Lucius was Slytherin enough to figure out.
Sirius needed to perform blood adoption as quickly as possible.
Either Lucius or Draco needed to close all the loopholes in the laws and fast.
'It also meant that Draco needed to be incited into fighting for his mate.' Lucius sighed.
There it is. Enjoy!