A/N: I would like to start by apologizing for the fact that the ten following rules do not follow an age sequence and, as such, are scattered in random spots with childhood and adulthood. And yes, I know. I seem to only have one competitor for Narcissa's attention. But one rival is much more interesting, in my opinion, than multiple ones.
Malfoy Property Rules
Rule #1: If I like it, it's mine.
Christmas. One of everyone's favorite times of the year. And yet, for the third year in a row (to her knowledge), Lucius had signed up to remain back at Hogwarts over the break. A deep frown passed over Narcissa's face as she looked over the list of students staying back. Only a small handful. A couple of Ravenclaws, a few Hufflepuffs, and maybe about eight Gryffindors. The Slytherin list, however, was comprised of only one student. Well, two now.
Several hours, an owl to her parents, and packed gifts sent with Andromeda home (hopefully they would make it), Narcissa sat down comfortably in the common room, book in her hands. Lucius frowned across the room at her, glancing around swiftly before looking at her again. He cocked his head to the side slightly.
"You're going to miss the train, Black," he drawled.
She glanced at her watch before calmly returning to her book. "I believe I've already missed it, Malfoy. Maybe next time."
He shook his head slightly in confusion. "You're staying the break?"
"Looks like it," she shrugged, looking up at him again and catching the frown, "Don't give me that look. You're staying too."
"But you never stay the break," he told his friend, as if it were a fact she didn't already know.
"And you always stay the break," she returned, getting up from her seat and crossing the room to sit across from him. "Why do you always stay the break?"
"It's quieter than at home," he said softly. She was staying. It confused him. "Why are you staying this break?"
She considered him a moment before settling back and reopening her book. "It's quieter than at home."
He stared at her in silence, the crackling of the fireplace now coupled with the occasional sound of the turning page being the only break of silence. She was staying for him, he could tell that. Not that she would ever say such a thing. Then again, not everything need be said. It took a moment for him to relax, picking up the Prophet from that morning and flicking it open. Maybe it would be a good Christmas after all.
Rule #2: If I can take it from you, it's mine.
The glare on his face was intense as he watched, from a distance, his Narcissa dancing with Theodore Nott. Idiot girl. Even more the idiot was that Nott actually thought that Narcissa was showing anything that somewhat resembled an interest. Or Lucius had assumed she wasn't interested until, once their dance was over and she had carried on with their conversation off the dance floor, Nott grabbing two drinks off a passing tray and handing one to her. What the hell was she doing? And, more importantly, how the hell was Nott proving to be anymore more than the imbecile that he normally was? It was wrong.
Determined to distract himself, Lucius struck up a conversation with the nearest attractive witch he could see. Pity for him that attractive and interesting didn't go hand in hand. That said, he nearly broke the flute of champagne in his hand as he heard a certain laugh floating over the crowd, making it all to easy to picture her head thrown back in amusement, hair tossed over a shoulder. He managed not to grind his teeth in impatience as the boring witch in front of him decided that the best topic of discussion to turn to was work. He excused himself after a few tedious minutes of that and made his away around the room to where Narcissa was still situated with Nott, putting his own flute down on a passing tray. Once he reached them, he cleared his throat slightly, pulling them from their conversation.
"Hey, Malfoy," Nott greeted, still grinning. Lucius barely caught it, though, as he noticed where the other man's hand was. He frowned slightly.
"Nott," he said as coolly as he could manage, nodding slightly at him before holding out a hand for Narcissa. "Dance with me, Cissa?"
She grinned at him a second before nodding, handing her drink to Nott and taking Lucius's hand, not noticing as Lucius glared a clear warning at the other man before following her out to the dance floor.
Rule #3: If I'm holding it, it's mine.
Times like this were what these nights were really about. Lucius was convinced of that. He would even be willing to believe that this night had been planned purely for him. Actually, it had been. It was his eighteenth birthday and in the typical fashion, his parents had seen fit to throw the appropriate party. This was the result, the grand ball room of the manor filled with friends from school, acquaintances from out of school, and, of course, his father's business associates and clients. He was supposed to spend his time mingling with them the most, as he would need to hope to pass on alliances. Rather, he spent his time out here in the middle of the room, twirling Narcissa in happy circles.
The grin on her face as he twirled her out and away from his body before pulling her back in snuggly was far brighter than it had been when she had been dancing with Nott. This had to be the best dance of the night. Lucius had even allowed a grin to cross his face as the tempo changed to something more upbeat and Narcissa giggled as Lucius pulled her in to the faster dance with him.
Three songs later, he was getting a bit bored of dancing. Instead, he'd prefer to pull Narcissa off to the side of the room, sit down with a drink, and laugh at all of the ridiculous couples who were attempting the tango while at the same time admiring the ones who were pulling it off with complete perfection and grace.
"Cissa, come. I need a drink and I'm sure you could use one too," he had just bent to whisper in her ear.
Narcissa made a small face and glanced around the room at the couples taking position for the dance. "But this is my favorite one! Just one more, Lucius!"
Lucius shook his head, taking her hand instead. "Maybe later. Next time, I promise!"
She looked around longingly one last time before resigning. One couldn't tango alone, after all. She sighed as she allowed Lucius to start pulling her along. That is, until a smooth voice cut in as a hand took her free one. Nott was grinning the ever-playful grin that always seemed to be on his face. "Mind if I cut in then?"
Lucius froze and looked at Nott with an obviously unhappy look. Just as Narcissa, who had looked between the two of them, opened her mouth to apologize to Lucius, as she really did love this dance, he cut in himself. "Actually, Nott, I promised Cissa that this one was hers. We're just moving more towards the edge of the dance floor."
Her face lit up brightly at that. He would dance it with her? She gave her apologies to Theodore before allowing Lucius to pull her along to, not just the edge of the floor, but all the way out to the balcony. She looked around with a confused frown, but then Lucius was taking her up in his arms as the music drifted out. Nott wouldn't be having this dance, or any others, if Lucius had anything to do with it.
Rule #4: If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
Maybe they needed a break. Those had been her words two nights ago. But that meant a break. That certainly hadn't meant they had broken up. What it did mean was that he could flirt with whomever he wished and she would have to reap the consequences. Although sitting here in the common room, it was difficult to pay attention to the busty brunette that was all but climbing in his lap while Nott was sitting just on the other side of the common room with Narcissa, doing homework with her. He felt a muscle in his jaw twitch lightly.
He tore his gaze away from the Black, looking at the girl that was trying so desperately to get his attention. It wasn't right. A break meant he could flirt. It didn't mean she could flirt. And with Theodore Nott? What was wrong with her? He only managed to sit in his seat for a few moments longer; when Narcissa threw her head back and laughed at something Nott said, it broke his last straw. He non-too-gently shoved the girl out of his lap and strode across the common room to seize Narcissa's wrist and pulled her from her seat.
"Malfoy, what do you think you're doing?" Nott snapped, springing to his feet and attempting to pull the extremely surprised Narcissa back and place himself between them.
Lucius yanked her behind him and pulled out a warning wand. Nott's hands went up in surrender, his wand stowed deep in his book bag. He pulled Narcissa across the room and down to her proper seat next to him, arm around her.
"Lucius, we are on a break!" she hissed at him, looking around the common room at the scene he had created.
"No, we're not," he said sternly, leaning in and giving her a kiss. "This whole break thing is utter nonsense. You're mine."
Rule #5: If I'm ripping it up, all the little pieces are mine.
That morning over the breakfast post, Lucius had received a letter. It wasn't too entirely out of the ordinary for him, especially considering that it was his birthday. But when he unrolled the parchment, there only read one sentence. For your eyes only. Accompanying it was another parchment folded around something square. That wasn't usually something one received on his birthday.
He frowned, head cocked to the side slightly. He recognized the handwriting, but he couldn't quite place it. Though when he felt his girlfriend leaning over curiously, he frowned and tucked it away. Putting a kiss to Narcissa's forehead and excusing himself before she could ask questions, Lucius stood up and headed out, not noticing the smirk that crossed Narcissa's face.
He puzzled over it as he walked the path to the common room, flipping it over in his hands, brows knitted. It felt like pictures, although who would send him pictures for his eyes only, he had no clue. He was raking his brain for the passed seven years just to see if he could remember possibly doing anything that anyone would even consider blackmailing him for. And if this were blackmail of some sort, they would pay dearly.
By the time he had reached his dormitory, he was fuming with the thought that someone was, indeed, trying to blackmail him. He was plotting out all forms of torture when he viciously ripped apart the paper, ripping up the pictures and scattering them about the floor. He frowned deeply as he tried to make out half of one of the pictures in his hands. It was an empty room. He searched the floor and picked up another piece that revealed an angry Narcissa, glaring at him for tearing her photo. But that wasn't what caught his attention. It was the lack of clothes. She hadn't… he flipped it over and saw a scrolling birthday message.
He quickly looked down around the floor for the others and saw a hand picking up one at the feet of a towel clad Nott. Just when he was about to look at it to see what he had found, Lucius sent a hex that knocked the other boy off his feet. He walked over and plucked the picture from his fingers as Nott cried out, rolling slightly on his back.
"What the fuck was that for, Malfoy?" he growled, finding his feet slowly.
"Haven't a clue what you're talking about," Lucius shrugged innocently as he picked up the remainder of his birthday present so he could repair it and keep it away from prying eyes.
Rule #6: If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
He himself was running just a tad bit early. A glance at a watch told him that he was showing up to the Black Hall a good twenty minutes before their scheduled date. But he was almost excited for this date. The little black box seemed to be burning a hole as it was nestled deeply in his pocket.
He knocked on the door, waiting impatiently for an elf to let him in. She probably wouldn't be ready yet; women could take so long to make sure just one strand of hair was not out of place. Not that he minded, per se. Just that tonight, he rather didn't care. But maybe he could talk to Mr. Black, get a few things established before they left. When the door was finally answered, he was confused as the elf informed him that Miss Narcissa was in the den with Mr. Lestrange. Did that mean she was ready?
He followed the disgusting creature through the house to the den, where it left immediately as he frowned deeply. The two were facing away from the door, huddled over something and hissing at each other. He cleared his throat, causing them to spring apart and Narcissa to quickly hide her hand behind her back while Rodolphus sported a guilty look. When they saw it wasn't Bellatrix, they both let out a relieved sigh.
"Darling! We thought you were someone else," Narcissa breathed, shoulders relaxing visibly while Rodolphus rubbed an eye, almost tiredly.
"What are the two of you doing?" he asked, his words clipped as he remained near the door.
"Rodolphus-" she shot him a glare at his name, "-has decided that he wants to propose to Bellatrix. Except he wanted to make sure that the ring would fit and practically forced me-"
"I did not force you! You were excited to help!" he protested quickly.
"-to try on the ring and make sure it would fit," she continued, ignoring the interruption. "Except it's stuck."
"Practically snatched the ring out of my fingers, too," Rodolphus muttered.
She was trying on a ring for Bella and it was stuck. Lucius strode across the room, holding out hand in an obvious demand to see hers. She held it out for him as he examined the offending ring. It was over done. There was far too much going on with it. In short, it certainly didn't match his Narcissa and seeing it on her made his blood boil. He turned her hand over twice before pulling out his wand and using an enlarging charm to slip the ring off her finger. She breathed again and rubbed her finger a bit as he placed a kiss to her forehead.
"Hurry and go get dressed or we'll be late," he murmured, watching her leave to make sure she was well out of the room before he glared coldly at Rodolphus, shoving the ring forcefully in to his hands. "Find a different model next time, Lestrange."
Rule #7: If it just looks like mine, it's mine.
"Merlin's beard, Cissy! If that thing were any bigger, you'd drown in the tub!" Violet exclaimed, much louder than was necessary.
Narcissa smiled sweetly, allowing the praise that followed informing her friends of her recent engagement to Lucius Malfoy. Of course, it was a perfect match. Lucius obviously adored her, yes. They would look amazing on their wedding day, as if they didn't look amazing every other day of the year. Yes, yes, yes, of course they'd be invited. No, there had been no planning yet so she had not yet chosen the amount of bridesmaids she'd have.
Attention was brought back to the fact that they were having a luncheon in a quaint little place in Diagon Alley, the easiest place for all of them to meet, when a waiter brought by and dropped off the firs tray of appetizers. Narcissa sat back, smile seemingly permanently situated on her face. The luncheon proceeded exactly as she had figured it would. The praise for her engagement and the requests to see her ring yet again continued through the two hours, along with gossip she mostly ignored about who was going with who now. When the gossip ran out, the lunch ran out as well. So they had picked up and excused themselves, congratulating Narcissa yet again before they all trickled out.
Narcissa made the last minute decision that she would absolutely need to stop by Fortescue's for an ice cream before she got home. There, she ran in to Theodore Nott.
"Cissy!" he greeted with a grin. She was always great fun to flirt with. "Haven't seen you in ages! How've you been?"
"I've been good," she said with a gracious smile and a nod, holding out her left hand for the appropriate kiss.
Theodore, instead, held the hand out at arms reach. "Cissy, you've been marked!" he joked, still smiling, though not quite as widely. There was his flirting. Well, of course, that all depended on whose ring this was. He pulled the hand in for a kiss anyway. "So tell me, who's the lucky bloke that got this far?"
"Lucius," she grinned again, looking at her hand. She didn't catch the brief look of disappointment on Theodore's face. Yep. There went his fun.
"Of course. You two were dating, after all, right?" he said, before looking over her shoulder. "I have to go, I'll see you later though?"
"Of course," she said with a nod, a bit surprised by his sudden need to go. Oh well.
Rule #8: If I saw it first, it's mine.
The compartment had been entirely his and the train was sounding its two-minute warning horn. If he were lucky, his friends would leave him be for a few more minutes so the 12-year-old could have some peace before having to consort with them. Theodore, he didn't mind. Theodore usually sat quietly and kept to himself other than to inject a random comment or make a bet. He, much like Lucius, felt himself to be far more superior to the other bumbling idiots that made up their year. In essence, he was Lucius's biggest rival in over taking the fools and manipulating them to his own wants and needs.
His wish wasn't granter, however, as not soon after he had put his feet up on the seat opposite himself had the door swung open harshly and the Lestrange brothers wrestled their way in, followed by Theodore. Perfect. There went his peace. He didn't bother putting his feet down, making it obvious that he planned on remaining where he was for the remainder of the trip and they would just have to accommodate him.
"Good summer then, Malfoy?" Nott asked as he sat opposite Lucius, putting up his own feet and leaving the other to argue over who sat where.
"Yeah, I guess. Yours?" Lucius commented offhandedly.
"Yeah, sure," he replied nonchalantly, both boys now distractedly glancing at the brothers. Rodolphus seemed about to win when the door was shoved open again. A hex made the two of them stop and glare at the wild mess of dark curls standing there.
"Will you two ever grow up? Roddy, you're older than him by three years, act like it," Bella scolded, less than amused with her friend's barbaric actions.
Lucius and Theodore tuned her out, though, as they caught sight of the little blonde next to her. She was slim, tiny. Something about her was captivating to the two twelve-year-olds. Rodolphus was talk, grin on his face, trying to soothe Bellatrix and excuse the two of them. Lucius hardly cared as they walked out and stood up at the same time as Theodore, holding out a hand to take Narcissa's and offer a quick introduction for the now confused looking girl who longed to follow her sister. At the clash, they stopped and exchanged a glare. He pulled the glare away first as he took Narcissa's hand and placed a kiss on it, as was the custom they had grown up with, and insisted she sit next to him. Nott held his cold glare for Lucius the rest of the train ride. There was no competition here, though. Lucius had seen her first.
Rule #9: If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
Lucius had never wanted peanut butter toast more in his entire life than he did right now. And, of course, he blamed Narcissa entirely. She had it, not just in the morning for breakfast, but as a mid-morning snack and then a mid-afternoon snack, and yet again right before bed. Pregnant women, they were so fickle when it came to food. Refused to eat certain things, threw up at others, combined things that ought not be combined and had the ability to eat the same thing over and over again for days on end, causing others around them to want it.
He had tried that morning. She had just finished smearing the peanut butter and was picking up the second piece of toast to smear as he reached out for it, making it seem absentmindedly. It wasn't entirely unquestionable, that he would reach out for a piece of toast. She smacked his hand sharply with the side of the butter knife, glaring at him slightly.
"Ow!" he said loudly, playing it up as he cradled his hand, rubbing the back of it lightly and giving her a wounded look. "What was that for?"
"That's my toast," Narcissa informed him. It wasn't as if he didn't know. But still. "If you want peanut butter toast, get your own. Don't touch a pregnant woman's food."
He glared slightly, putting his hands back in her lap. Once she was sure he wasn't touching, she continued applying a generous amount of peanut butter to the toast in hand. No, it wasn't too difficult to go and get his own toast, or to be more accurate, send an elf to do so for him. But that was beside the point. He had gotten his own peanut butter toast before. It never looked nearly as good as Narcissa's, not did it taste as good as she made it seem.
She finished her job and put the second piece of toast down, not noticing as Lucius's brows suddenly shot up and he called an elf to quietly pass on an order. Just as she was about to pick up the toast and begin eating, there was a loud racket from down the hall. She dropped it and looked over at the door with a frown before looking at Lucius. "What was that?"
"I haven't the slightest," he replied with a far too innocent face. Another loud bang. "It sounds like the elves broke that vase you brought over. Remember that one you told me was extremely sentimental for you? Maybe you should go check."
She stared at Lucius. Was he serious? She should go check? She was about to tell him that he needed go check for her when there was another louder bang and she winced, getting up quickly to go and investigate.
"It wasn't my vase, thank you very much. I actually, couldn't… find… what…" she paused as she came back in the dining room several minutes later, staring at the table before looking at Lucius. He had a little less than half a piece of peanut butter toast in his hand and that was all that was to be seen of her breakfast. "Did you just eat my toast?"
"Well, you put it down. I thought you were done with it," he defended, picking up his paper with the other hand and flicking it up.
Rule #10: If it's broken, it's yours.
She had just gotten him to sleep, yes. He understood that. But it wasn't very often Lucius had the chance to just sit and hold his son. The six month old barely knew him, what with the combination of the family company and his part time (although it was rapidly becoming full time) hobby as Death Eater. After a furtive glance around the hallway, finding it empty, he snuck a peak in to his own bedroom. Narcissa was asleep on their bed, undoubtedly taking a well-earned nap. He smiled slightly, leaving the room and walking down the hallway to the nursery.
Yes, there was Draco, sleeping soundly in his crib. He'd only just recently begun sleeping through the night, so he needed to be careful. Narcissa was extremely fussy lately with her lack of sleep and now that she could sleep, she did not like being woken up. He'd just be careful.
With feather light touches, he picked up his sleeping son. The boy was getting so big, Lucius was astounded every time he held him. He just about tip toed to the rocking chair in the room that Narcissa used to put the boy to sleep and sat down gently, rearranging Draco so he could see him properly. Perfect. He really didn't get very much time to just sit here with his son.
"Hey," he whispered, reaching up a hand to stroke his cheek lightly. He had just been about to proceed on some cooing and informing his son what he'd be doing with his life, as fathers do, when an eye promptly popped open. Uh oh.
"No, no, no, no, no. Back to sleep, son," Lucius said quickly, starting the chair to rock as he summoned the binkie from the crib to put in the tots mouth. Hopefully he could just send the boy back in to that wonderful land of dreams. Just as he had gotten the binkie to Draco's mouth, the infant decided that he just didn't want it. He instead screwed up his face as Lucius shook his head to warn him off, took a deep breath, and screamed as loudly as he possibly could. Lucius quickly held him out at arms reach, wincing as his ears received the assault of an angry baby. He didn't want the binkie. What did one do with a screaming baby? Surely he was too small to be smacked and told to shut up. There was only one thing to do. He got to his feet, still holding his son out and bellowed over the tyke's cries. "NARCISSA! YOUR SON IS UP!"