Author's Notes: Written for BellaPur's Daddy Challenge on xoxLewrahxox's Bellatrix Lestrange: The Dark Lord's Most Faithful forum.
Warning: Marital infidelity, and incest if you look hard enough.
In their Italian villa, the Blacks were assembled to bid goodbye to Cygnus.
It was customary for them to spend summers and autumns in Italy, where the air was sweet and the sun warm. Druella, for herself, thought it irrational to spend summers in Italy only to return to the dreary dullness of England for the winter, but that was a sentiment she kept private.
Cygnus, however, was leaving the idyllic charm of their villa. Work in England – what sort of work he refused to specify – was calling him back home. And, reluctant to leave the women of his family alone, he had sent an owl to his oldest, closest friend, Abraxas Malfoy, requesting for him to stay with them.
Druella was unsure whether to be profoundly pleased by that or profoundly worried. Should she be pleased because she cared for Abraxas, or worried because she cared for him perhaps a touch too much?
But she put that thought from her head as they said their goodbyes.
"Be safe, my darling," Cygnus told Druella, kissing her on the forehead. "And you both, my daughters." Another kiss each bestowed upon Bellatrix and Andromeda. "Abraxas, take good care of my family." He clasped his best friend's hand, then nodded to them all, and disappparated with a crack, leaving his family, and his dear friend, alone in Italy.
For some moments, there was silence, as though they were all unsure as to what to do next. Then Druella reminded herself that she was still the matriarch of the household, and she still had the same powers she had had when Cygnus was there. Bellatrix and Andromeda were sent to bed, leaving Druella and Abraxas the run of the villa.
"Italy is lovely," Abraxas said, as they sat upon the balcony, overlooking the ocean. "The most beautiful place on earth."
"So it is," agreed Druella.
"Italy is such a beautiful country… so bright… so warm… so passionate…"
Druella made a noncommittal noise of agreement. She kept her eyes on the water, but she could feel Abraxas's intense stare. She knew he was watching her. At last, she couldn't bear it, and looked at him again.
She wished she hadn't.
Abraxas was opposite to Cygnus in every way. While Cygnus was stocky, Abraxas was reed-thin. While Cygnus was tall, Abraxas was scarcely three inches taller than Druella herself. While Cygnus was dark, Abraxas's hair was so pale it resembled cornsilk in the moonlight.
He was beautiful, far more than the man Druella's parents had had her marry.
And he leaned in to kiss her.
It was like a dream. Druella tried to make herself push him away, tried to argue that she was married with two daughters, he was married with a son, he was her husband's closest friend, Cygnus trusted him…
But she could not make her mouth form the words. She could not make her hands push him away. She was immobile with the passion the country had leant her, and for a few hours, Druella felt like a Goddess.
At last, she and Abraxas lay, sweaty and elated, upon the balcony. Stars shone overhead, coating them with their light, and all felt right in the world.
Nine months later, Druella lay in childbed, exhausted from labour but clutching a healthy baby girl. The child was red and wrinkled, and had been crying incessantly since birth, but she was perfectly formed, and beautiful, but for one quality.
She had Abraxas's cornsilk hair.
This did not escape Cygnus's notice. He stared at his wife, at the baby in her arms, then back to his wife. It seemed like hours before he spoke, and when he did, his voice was inscrutable.
"If my math serves me correctly, she must have been conceived on that last night before I left the villa for England."
"She must have," Druella agreed.
"Or else she would have been conceived while I was in England, and that can't have happened, of course."
"Of course it can't have."
"So little and blonde."
"She gets it from my side, I suppose."
"So little and blonde, in fact," Cygnus repeated, raising his eyes to meet Druella's, "that she could almost be a Malfoy."