Author: enchanted nightingale
Beta Reader: pussycatadamah
Disclaimer: The characters belong to J.K. Rowling. I merely use them in my plot for fun.
Chapter 9 – The Dinner
Lucius was apprehensive about what he was preparing to do. He had taken the Malfoy carriage out again and the enchanted vehicle had brought him to London, Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. He had visited this house when the old owners were alive. Walpurga and Orion had been associates and ran in the same circles as his father. Lucius' mother was actually French so the witch tended not to be well liked by the British wizards and witches. Another slur against her was the fact that her family was only ten generations old, not pureblood enough according to them. The last time he had been here, Orion had made him spend time with the boys while the girls were in a different drawing room. Regulus had just been born and the Malfoy's were there to celebrate the event. After all he had also just been drafted to marry Narcissa. Sirius had been teasing him all night about it and a young James Potter had been shy and timid around them. Dorea had had a far more firm hand on the boy when he was young. The memories were still vivid because Lucius practiced Occlumency and for that reason alone.
The blond pushed those thoughts away and focused on the present. He was carrying his cane with his new wand inside, the previous one having been burned to a crisp when the Dark Lord had 'borrowed' it to hunt down the master of the house he was currently visiting. Lucius really thought this whole situation was ironic. Still, armed with a basket of fine wine from the family vineyard, freshly gathered flowers and a vase of syrup made from berries, he was ready to visit with Pot… Harry's family now. He knocked on the door, three sharp knocks and waited.
A witch opened the door with a child perched on her hip. Lucius knew the witch; he had after all married her sister. And the boy he had a pretty good guess as to his identity. The toddler cocked his blue haired head to the side. Curious amber eyes met silver grey. Then the kid's hair turned blond, the same colour as Malfoy's hair, before turning blue again. Lucius admitted to himself that the child looked cute and adorable. He was dressed in soft cream pants and with a simple owl flying all over the olive green shirt. He wore only socks on his feet.
"Lucius," Andromeda greeted him cordially and much warmer than he would have dared to expect.
"Andromeda," he nodded at her.
"Come in please, don't stand there," she said and admitted him inside.
Number Twelve Grimmauld Place was unlike that which he remembered the place to be. The house elf was still the same, even if it somehow looked saner. He allowed the creature to take his coat and the presents he had brought for his hosts before he followed Andromeda to the sitting room. The fireplace was lit up. A couple of toys were on the soft carpet and the kid lit up when he saw them.
"Sit still Teddy. I have yet to put your shoes on you," Andromeda chided.
Teddy pouted. "But I want Miss Owl!" he told her.
Lucius saw the witch waver but then stand her ground. She had the kid wear shoes before she set him down to play with his owl plush toy and another in the form of a wolf.
Andromeda saw him staring. "My grandson, Theodore, Teddy for short. Harry refuses to call him Theodore, finds it a lot of trouble."
"Teddy suits him. He is an adorable and happy child," Lucius commented.
"Thank you," the witch replied. "Harry tells me you will be having a spawn like Teddy soon."
"Don't call my baby a spawn," Harry said from the door. "Hello Andy! Lucius!"
"Harry!" Teddy yelled and ran to his godfather.
"Hello to you too, Teddy-bear."
The green eyed wizard still dressed in his work clothes but with the hood lowered bent to pick his godson up. He gave the kid a twirl before kissing that messy head. The hair had turned black this time and the amber eyes a brilliant shade of green. Lucius thought that now Teddy looked like Harry, like his son. And the blond wondered whether the one he was carrying would look like him or Potter.
"Sorry I am late," Harry apologized to the two adults. "Got caught up in work."
"I did not know you were an Unspeakable," Lucius commented.
"No one does," Andromeda replied. "Harry, let Teddy down and wash up. Dinner is ready. Kreacher made lamb today."
Harry grinned. "Really? Thank Merlin!"
Andromeda pinned him with a glare. "You forgot to eat lunch again?"
The green eyed wizard smiled. "Not answering that!" He gave a big kiss to Teddy's cheek before setting the toddler down. "I will be back soon. Andy, please behave."
Andromeda rolled her eyes.
Lucius watched the interaction with interest.
"You are a family," he said once Harry was gone.
"Yes," Andromeda replied, eyeing him with caution.
"I know we have a long dark history," Lucius told her.
"Harry is a good boy."
"Good," Andromeda commented. "Also, I'm always a Black, and you better not forget this Lucius."
"I'm not using him."
"But you are a user. And a manipulative bastard on the best of days."
"I don't toy with my family."
"Harry's not your family."
"He is my baby's family," Lucius hissed defensively. "That makes him family enough in my book."
Andromeda's face relaxed, the stiffness and aloofness left her. "Good answer."
Lucius stifled his surprise. "That was an act?"
"Harry is my family, as you said. I protect what is mine. That baby you are carrying is family too. Will that be a problem?"
"Welcome to the family then," Andromeda told Lucius.
"You don't trust me," the blond told her. "Yet you say this."
"I trust Harry," the witch replied. "Do you?"
And Lucius remembered the wizard when he had been told of the pregnancy. And before that when he had testified in favour of him and his wife and son after the Dark Lord had been defeated, and again even before that, when he had saved Draco from Fiendfire.
"I trust him," Lucius admitted.
"You forgot to add that you also lust after him," the witch added. At the wide eyes Lucius displayed, she smirked. "I notice these things. You, my dear soon to be ex brother in law, are going to make things very entertaining for me."
"You have a very mean streak Andromeda Black," Lucius commented.
"I know. I believe my sister is not aware yet of your condition?"
"She's in Austria."
"Vacationing with her lover?"
Lucius did not bother pretending he was not surprised. "How do you even know?"
"Madam Augusta Longbottom is a good friend," Andromeda commented.
"I should have known," the wizard sighed.
Lucius was about to say more when he felt a tug on his leg and saw big green eyes peering up at him.
"I'm Teddy. Who are you?" the toddler asked.
"Lucius Malfoy," he replied.
"You know Nana?"
"Yes, I know her," Lucius confirmed.
Teddy frowned a bit. "You know Harry?"
"Yes, I know Harry as well."
"Like Miss Owl?" the toddler asked, showing Lucius his toy.
"She's lovely," the blond told Teddy in a soft voice.
The kid's eyes lit up. "Really?"
"Really," Lucius replied.
With a grin his way, Teddy finally let go of him and went back to playing by himself.
Andromeda once again drew Lucius' attention. "Teddy adores Harry," the witch softly commented.
"I noticed his hair changed to blond momentarily but now he's kept Harry's looks," Malfoy commented.
"He does that often," Andromeda admitted. "Harry feels guilty about this. Teddy thinks of him as both a father and a brother."
"Does he know…?" Lucius trailed off.
"About my Dora and Remus?" the witch asked.
The blond nodded.
"Yes. We tell him stories. Harry has many pictures as well. Teddy is young still. He does not understand what a mother and a father are yet," Andromeda commented with regret and pain in her voice.
Lucius fought a wince at this. There were a lot of things he felt guilty about. His side had hunted down her family. His side included her sister. His side had killed her husband, her daughter and lastly her son in law. Even if Lucius had not cast the spells, he was guilty by association. But then again anyone who fought, and even those who did not, had lost during Voldemort's reign of terror. He understood that Andromeda did not mention this in a spirit of vengeance, but just a natural comment and when she went on to continue her trail of thought Lucius tried to compose himself.
"He does not interact much with other children either," Andromeda continued. "Harry is the closest thing to a kid around here."
"Did you just call me a kid?"
Lucius looked up. Potter was back again. Out of the robes he wore as an Unspeakable, a fact that he still could not wrap his mind around, and dressed in semi formal olive green pants and a beige shirt, the colours matching those Teddy wore. The green eyed wizard greeted them again, this time looking more lively. He kissed Andromeda's cheek and then he greeted Lucius with a kiss on the cheek as well and not the handshake Lucius had been prepared for. The blond was still trying to decide whether a kiss on the cheek was preferable to a handshake when Harry picked Teddy up and announced they could move to the dining room.
There was a feast prepared and Lucius noticed there was no alcohol on the table, just an assortment of juices and non alcoholic beverages. Teddy had his high chair right next to Harry, who was at the head of the table. Andromeda was on the left while the guest on the right. They were not spread all over the long table that could seat twenty people. The setting was more intimate. And the food made Lucius' mouth water.
"Do you say a grace, Lucius?" Harry asked. "I have started saying one as well." He eyed Teddy. "I want the tradition for my family and Andromeda grew up like this and we decided that Teddy should as well."
The blond nodded. "At least once a day before meals," Lucius admitted.
"Do you want to say the grace?" Harry asked the wizard.
Lucius bowed his head shortly; grateful for the honour he was given. He was still a guest to this house after all.
"From the forest and Stream;
From the Mountain and Field;
From the fertile Earth's
I now partake of divine energy;
May it lend Health,
Strength and Love
Blessed be (1)," Lucius finished.
"Blessed be," Andromeda and Harry and even little Teddy parroted.
"Tuck in," Harry prompted them. "I have to feed Teddy as well."
Lucius was then treated to the oddest dinner he had ever attended. It was not formal like some gatherings he had been too. It really was warm and family like. Harry and Andromeda described their days to each other, Potter not telling any details of his work, just general information, as he ate and fed his godson, who had again blue hair and amber eyes, with ease.
"What about you Lucius?" Harry asked. "How was your day?"
"Boring," the blond replied. "Busy, but boring beyond imagination."
"I always wondered… What exactly is it that you do?" the green eyed wizard asked.
Andromeda hid her smile. "He makes money Harry."
"Yes, but then why be in the Ministry so much?" the green eyed wizard asked.
"Politics is a hobby of sorts. When one does not need to worry about money and actual work is not needed… My great grandfather nearly squandered the fortune but my father and then I made quite the capital with our business," Lucius replied. "My family has lands in France and Italy that make wine and olive oil. We also own a gold mine that we lease to Goblins, several shipping companies in both Muggle and magical world, several shops all over the wizarding world and the rights to several potions and spells. Not to mention gold and other artefacts that lie in Vaults. Entering Politics gave the Malfoy family more power and clout. And it added the thrill of danger."
"Manipulation you mean," Andromeda piped up. "All purebloods have a vice and plotting is a prime one."
"Why do you work?" Lucius asked Harry in return. "You have money from both Potter and the Blacks; and Lestrange as well if I am correct."
"Not to mention the few families that named Tom Riddle their beneficiary," Andromeda was smirking now. "And the fact that Tom Riddle mentioned that Harry Potter should get his money should the youth best him in battle."
Harry rolled his eyes. "I still cannot get over that one." he turned to Lucius. "I understand your point though. I have money. Sitting at home and staring at the walls is all fun for a day or two, but a lifetime? No way. I needed to keep busy. So I got a job, one I enjoy. It passes time. Also, I like making my own money. It is my accomplishment and not something my parents did for me. It's a matter of pride really."
Lucius' face held a small smile. "Exactly."
Harry continued feeding himself and Teddy alternatively.
"How was work today?" Andromeda asked again.
"One big headache," the green eyed wizard replied.
"I always wondered," Lucius pondered, "What exactly do Unspeakable's do?"
"Research, spell development, research," Harry dryly muttered. "Sure, the occult and rare knowledge are there, but we are really glorified Librarians."
"Really? There's a rumour that you are trying to locate Atlantis," the blond wizard commented.
Harry rolled his eyes. "There's nothing to locate. We already know where it is. Currently we are just trying to catalogue everything. No braving Dragons and fighting Trolls for me."
Andromeda snorted. "No, you just have to fight demons and logic puzzles, hang out with Vampires and Necromancers. Lucius, ignore Harry. He likes to down play his job. What he does is much more dangerous as currently he also researches old spells and compares them to modern ones." Here she glared Harry. "I still recall that day he came back. They had just cracked open a code on Spells in Babylonian Magic. Harry tried a spell and it apparently had to be cast by a coven of four because he came back suffering from strain on his magic."
Harry rolled his eyes again. He recalled that day. Luna was still teasing him about that one.
"That was both informative and vague," Lucius commented.
"Well, better than the standard response I usually give," the only Potter in the room said.
"Which is?" the blond wizard asked.
"I do mysteriously unspeakable things," Harry offered.
Lucius quirked an eyebrow.
"Yes, he thinks he's a comedian," Andromeda stage whispered to Lucius.
Harry ignored them and landed another bite of food in Teddy's mouth.
"You have done wonders with the house," Lucius commented.
"We do have to live here," Harry admitted. "And what was suitable for Walburga is not for my godson. The place was a death trap!"
"Most old houses usually are," Andromeda commented. "I grew up in another Black house in Wales, Black Belt Ranch, on the edge of the Black Mountains. That place had so many dark artefacts it's a wonder I survived my childhood."
The youngest adult in the room frowned in thought. "I never went to that place," Harry said.
"You could not have," Lucius replied. "It was destroyed a year after you and Draco were born. Artemis Black who was an inventor…"
"And quite insane, but that's Auntie Artemis," Andromeda sighed.
"… blew the building up in a Rune Circle gone wrong," Lucius said. "She was trying to harvest the power of one of the Sabbats, I keep forgetting whether it was Lughnasadh or Ostara. Long story short, there was a great big scorch mark after the Magic was done taking revenge on Artemis after her deed."
Andromeda nodded. "It was rather awful."
"So, that's the place where the Abraxan's I own are raised?" Harry asked for clarification.
"Exactly," Andromeda replied. She turned to their guest. "So, Lucius, how is your son doing these days?"
"Draco?" the blond mused about his first born. "He has just finished his Potions apprenticeship in Italy. He has another year to finish his corresponding apprenticeship in Healing."
"The Malfoy Brewery," Harry recalled. "One of the three biggest Potions suppliers for hospitals in Western Europe."
Lucius nodded. "My mother's sister was a Potion Mistress. She gave him that business and Draco was quite interested since he was young. He needed to learn Potions and Healing in order to understand how to manage it. He also mentioned that you two correspond often."
"I would not say often, but we do write each other," Harry replied. "He has certainly toned down the arrogance."
"It's called growing up, Harry," Andromeda interjected.
"I am all grown up," the wizard replied. "Most of the time. Anyway, I'd like to think I cured my biggest flaw."
"Which is?" Lucius asked, quite interested on Harry's answer.
"Curiosity," Harry replied. "Well, not cured, more like reined in."
"Harry, love," Andromeda sighed. "You are an Unspeakable. That does not constitute reining in your curiosity. If anything it's the exact opposite."
Harry pouted a bit while the witch laughed.
Lucius was content to watch this exchange. Yes, this was unlike any other dinners he had been in. Banter, friendly insults and expressive faces dominated the rest of the meal and most of the dessert. And when the dinner was done Andromeda suggested taking Teddy upstairs to entertain the toddler before sleep and leave the two men alone. Harry and Lucius retreated to Harry's study instead of the more public setting of the sitting room.
"I would normally offer alcohol," Harry commented, "But in this case I have fizzy water. It will help with digestion and it beats plain water."
"Muggle drink?" Lucius asked.
Harry nodded. "The other is mastic liquor(A), all kinds of liquor really but…" he trailed off thinking about Lucius' pregnant condition and the fact that Andromeda had put a spell on the liquor cabinet that most probably alerted the witch when anything was taken out. Not that the cabinet held any kind of alcohol Harry favoured, only meads, liquors, Sherries and brandy.
"Whatever you think is best," Lucius responded.
Harry served them both some sparkling water instead of asking Kreacher to do this.
"So," Harry sat next to Lucius on the leather sofa near one of the bookcases. "What do you think of my family Lucius?"
"Andromeda was a surprise for me," the blond admitted.
"That's my Andy," Harry said fondly. He stared into the man's grey eyes and then trailed his gaze lower.
"I'm not showing for another two months," Lucius responded.
Harry gave a short nod. "I know, it's just… I am Muggle raised. Male pregnancy was a shocker."
Lucius gave a nod of his own to show he understood.
"I read a few books," Harry admitted. "The Black Library and the Library at the Department of Mysteries. You need to see a Healer regularly, right? And take nutrient Potions because the foetus gets nourishment from you."
"Yes, the next appointment with my Healer, Trevor McArthur is this week," the blond wizard commented. "Also, Narcissa and Draco are returning this week."
"Before or after the appointment?"
"Harry," Lucius reminded himself to use the younger wizard's name. "Will you come to the Healer's appointment?"
"When, where and what time?" the green eyed wizard asked.
"Monday, at Number Thirty Six, Rose Garden Street in London," Lucius replied. "He receives patients in his own house. We can meet there at six in the afternoon."
"I'll be there."
Lucius regarded the younger man. "I know."
"So," Harry asked after a beat. "Has it sunk in yet?'
"Has it sunk in for you?" Lucius asked.
"Every day a bit more," the younger man admitted. "I was wondering… I had wanted to attend the Summer Solstice but… will the events of Beltane take place again?"
"Usually magic selects individuals only once a year," Lucius said from what he knew of the festivities. "Now, you know that during the Summer Solstice the sun reaches maximum height in the sky, making that day the longest day and shortest night of the year?"
"First thing I learned," Harry replied.
Lucius leaned back and relaxed a bit. "Now, the crops are usually fully grown at the time of the Summer Solstice. The dances I have attended during this Sabbat are too few. Usually I miss the celebrations, something I regret. But when I was a child we used to gather at the forest we owned near Lyon in France. There were bonfires made of bales of hay from nearby farms and ranches. We lit them up from sunset on Solstice's eve until the sunset the day after. We danced too. I do not recall hunts taking place, but then again I was under ten. I would have been unaffected until my seventeenth year."
"Is Draco a Pagan?" Harry dared ask.
"He is," Lucius confirmed. "And a Potions Master and before that a Potions enthusiast. You know Severus was his godfather?"
"He would take Draco to the country on the day of the Summer Solstice and they would gather herbs and plants; that is one of the ideal times to gather most magical and medicinal plants and herbs to dry and store for later use. Most Potion Masters gather their ingredients themselves when possible. Something about potions turning out better. Plants gathered on the day of the Summer Solstice tend to be more potent than those gathered on other days."
"I was never much interested in potions," Harry commented.
"Shall I change the subject?"
The green eyed wizard shook his head. "You make it a surprisingly not boring a subject to talk about."
"My pleasure," Lucius dryly commented, making the younger wizard chuckle.
"About the Solstice then?" Harry asked.
"I do not recall magic being so potent. That's magic at its most potent, magic that revolves around humans at least. The Summer Solstice is more about nature and crafts and honouring the earth and sun. Usually creatures like Pixies, Fairies and Brownies run amok. It's one day wizard folk avoid entering magical forests and lakes. Which reminds me, avoid Water Sprites and stepping on St. John's Wort flower and you should be safe, probably," Lucius mused.
Harry pondered about this. "And should I not attend?"
"Usually, when I stay at home on Summer Solstice, I light a candle all day long," Lucius admitted. "And every seven years I make a sacrifice. It was a cow last time."
"I'll think about it," Harry gratefully told Lucius. "I know Andromeda wants to attend. Teddy we decided should start this Samhain and not before. By then he should understand and enjoy it."
"You were great with him," Lucius commented. "You seem obviously smitten with the boy."
"Weren't you with Draco?"
"He's my son in blood."
Harry shrugged. "Teddy's my son too in all but blood; but blood is not everything." He regarded Lucius, knowing how particular the pureblood was about some things.
"Lately," the blond wizard admitted. "I found out that to be true."
The raven haired wizard smiled. "I'm glad. I have been thinking… how are you going to tell your family? With Andromeda I just blurted it out but you…"
"The same fashion I believe," Lucius said. "I'll just tell them."
"Do you want me to be there?"
"That won't be necessary."
"If you are sure," Harry said.
"I am," Lucius replied.
Harry stared at his mid riff again. "I tried to imagine you pregnant, but the image fails me."
Lucius recalled standing in front of his mirror. The image had failed him as well, it still did.
"Have you ever seen a pregnant man?" Harry asked.
"Yes," Lucius replied. "On a trip I took to India years ago."
"You've been to India?" Harry's thoughts got sidetracked. "I wanted to go there but Andy wanted to visit Persia instead."
"I have done my share of travelling," Lucius commented. "You and Andromeda travelled together?"
"Teddy as well," Harry replied. "Just after I finished Hogwarts and before I started working at the Ministry we went to Paris and toured France for about a month. After that we decided to travel often. So far we have been to Venice, Istanbul, Alexandria in Egypt, Saint Petersburg and Budapest. I loved every single trip. Have you been in those places?"
"Yes, and many more destinations."
"Did you keep to the magical world or…?"
"I have been to the Muggle world," Lucius admitted. "I love the Opera."
Harry cocked his head sideways. "You seem like the type. Andy loves it as well. She took me to see Carmina Burana."
et tunc curat
ludo mentis aciem,
dissolvit ut glaciem,(2)," Lucius said the lyrics in his tenor voice, making Harry gasp and stare.
"No way!" the younger wizard started laughing, earning a small frown from the blond. "I'm not laughing at you! Just … I cannot believe you know the lyrics by heart! How many times have you seen the opera?"
Harry laughed again, making Lucius sigh.
"Might I guess you hated it?" the blond asked.
"No, I actually liked it," Harry admitted. "I like classical music but I love rock."
"No, my Muggle experimentation goes only so far," Lucius drawled.
Harry smiled. "You know, I think I will like getting to know you."
Lucius' silvery grey eyes studied Harry. "I think so will I."
End of chapter
1) Link : h t t p : / / m a g ic k g a r d e n . f r e e h o s t ia . c o m / Ch an t s a n d Pr ay e r s . h t m l
2) Link for the Lyrics of Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi, O Fortuna: h t t p : / / w w w . c l a s s ic a l . n e t / m u s ic / c o m p . l s t/ w o r k s / o r f f -c b / c a r m l yr .p hp
And the music: h t t p : / / w w w . y o u t u b e. co m / wa t ch ? v =T I4 0O zi M -LI
3) Link for information on Pagan holidays:h t t p : / / w w w . w it c h v o x. c o m / v a / d t_v a . h t m l?a =u s t x & c=ho li d a y s & id =14 0 77
(Don't forget to take out the spaces)
Beta's Bit (A) Mastika Greek: μαστίχα, mastícha is a liquor seasoned with mastic, a resin gathered from the mastic tree, a small evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region. The name of the resin, whence the name of the drink, is derived from the Greek "to chew, to gnash the teeth". Thanks go to Wikipedia for this information