The weddings of the year were to be launched from Malfoy Manor.
Lucius Malfoy was hosting the triple wedding; that of his nephew Abraxus to his Myrtle, of his niece Sephara to her adored Neville; and his friend David to his childhood sweetheart Ellie.
The other New Marauders he rather mixed feelings. Of course they were glad for Abraxus; and he and Myrtle had been close as paint on a fence – Kinat's term – since Abraxus had sacrificed his hand to give her life; but it was, in a way, a breaking of their long-held fellowship.
Both Hawke and Romulus had sweethearts; but Lynx and Senagra were only just about to enter the fifth in the new school year and it would be some years before they might be wed! As for Kinat, he was without a permanent girlfriend, despite the best efforts of Garjala Gan Golgo.
It might have been a quadruple wedding but for the impatience of Sirius Black and his bride Willow Prince. Willow and Sirius got married out of hand and in a private ceremony that they shared with Hagrid and Alice and with only Harry and Ginny present the day after term ended.
The other blood kin were not offended. To them the true marriage had been the deep joining that they had all felt occurring when the couple joined souls; they were all too close to care about outward trappings. The very public launch of these marriages were really to please Lucius because he liked to do what he saw as nice things for people, and his friends humoured him.
Besides, by supporting the marriage of Sephara to an extremely eligible bachelor like Neville Longbottom, Lucius got to cock a snoot at his sister Odilia, Sephara's unpleasant mother.
Everyone who was anyone was to be at the wedding; and Lucius had also invited to stay on those offspring who would be starting Hogwarts together with his sister-in-law Bella and his adoptive twin daughters Griselen and Genavka.
One of the new ones was to be Jocelyn Malfoy; and Lucius quite liked Orme, his cousin, the boy's father, a quiet man who had remained out of the way of Tom Riddle and who had an understated sense of humour that passed many by. On the other hand, Lucius could not bear Orme's wife, Linda, born Bulstrode, and who Lucius called the Venal Viper.
Lucius was of the opinion that, since Jocelyn was an only child born within eight months of the wedding, Linda had slept with Orme once in order to get him to a marriage ceremony.
Orme tended to ignore his wife.
"What ho, Lucius, I see you've decided to take over Hogwarts by adopting and begetting your way into all the available places" he said cheerfully.
With the recently adopted eight children of Lucius' third wife – or second mistress dependant on your viewpoint – and Tanjela's rapid presentation of a son to her new husband allied with the obvious pregnancies of the other two ladies, Lucius had to grin.
"Yes, I asked Narcissa to do her best to wait until after the wedding to give birth" he joked "So I'm not totally in favour right now. Charlotte's expecting another set of twins so with them and Cosmo that's one Malfoy for each school House for this year, not counting my second grandchild who's on the way!"
"Fool" said Orme, amicably "Run along, Joss, and find Bella and the others!"
Charlotte and Narcissa were not the only ones expecting; as Lucius had mentioned, Grace was also pregnant with Draco's second child, and this time everything seemed to be going well. Grace was delighted; she had almost accepted that the birth of Edward might have prevented her from having any more children. And two other blood group women were pregnant too; Ginny Potter was expecting her third child to join two year old Molly and nine-month old James Sirius; and Hermione Weasley was also finally expecting her first child.
Molly Weasley was over the moon. She had almost despaired of her daughter-in-law giving her any grandchildren; which as Ron had said was really a bit daft because he had plenty of brothers to produce grandchildren not to mention Ginny's efforts to outdo her mother and come up with another Quidditch team worth or more.
Ginny had poked her brother for that.
"Molly worries unnecessarily about lots of things" Harry had said lazily "Just say 'yes mum' and ignore her like you always used to."
"It upsets Hermione" said Ron.
"Well tell her it's your wishes and hers that count not your mother's" said Harry, finding it hard to imagine the self-sufficient Hermione upset. But then she had been a bit down when Krait told her to take her own road and never mind Molly a couple of years ago; it was because Hermione loved Molly that her mother-in-law could – so unintentionally! – hurt her by her assumption that a woman must always want babies straight away and as many as possible.
When the Snapes arrived it was plain that Sirri was expecting again too. She wore her human sized form pretty much all the time now; it made life easier.
"All around the same time?" said Harry, dazed. "I swear there are six women ready to pop within about three months of each other!"
"November to February; cold dark and miserable. Nothing else to do but make out" said Krait, succinctly. "No, I'm not breeding right now, nor is Dione, we have more sense than to have too many babies too quickly; when the potions work anyway! Run along Mimi and find Bella and the twins" she added to Sirri's oldest daughter, a pure bred house elf from Sirri's time as a slave. The tiny girl went running happily off, her pigtail bouncing on her back like any other schoolgirl.
Alexander Yaxley was there as well, his older sisters already at Hogwarts and close confederates of the Snape-Malfoy ménages. He hardly noticed that Mimi was an Elf; but Jocelyn blinked as Bella, Griselen and Genavka embraced the tiny girl and introduced their cousin to another prospective Weevil.
"ELVES?" he said.
Getting used to goblins at Hogwarts was taking some doing for some.
"My brothers and sisters all go to Hogwarts, why shouldn't I?" squeaked Mimi
"There are already elves in classes?" said Jocelyn.
"Her siblings are human" said Bella "There is an elf there, Polly, but Mimi's adopted, 'cos her mum is one of her adoptive dad's mistresses, same as Grissy and Geni here are Lucius' kids by law and Tanjela's by blood. Same thing."
"Is that quite….moral? I mean is it right to make an elf be a human's mistress?" said Jocelyn.
"Nobody makes mummy!" said Mimi "She wanted to be with daddy! And she has a big form with transfiguration, and when I'm big enough I'm going to be a human animagus too so I can reach things more easily."
"Oh" said Jocelyn doubtfully. "Are we expecting any other weevils?" he asked hastily.
"Two more" said Bella "Kinat's little brother Sorjak is coming and we know HE'll be all right because his brother's a New Marauder. And then there's Kordach's son. Stacey's already at school with Gorbrin and Erica in the second as they'll be; she's half human. KORDACH's not moral, he's a scarlet man, 'cos he has girls and dumps 'em. Though he does take care of those that have babies. Terazhor's one of his illegitimate ones too. Stacey's all right so we can hope her brother is too, only some goblin males can be a little…." She rocked her hand. "Kordach sent his daughter to Hogwarts without a quibble so I guess he's not sexist so his son didn't ought to be either. She'll be here I guess too."
"My Bulstode cousin will be too" said Jocelyn gloomily "Meliandra; she's my uncle's daughter. She's spoilt."
"Meliandra? She's one of Erica's and Gorbrin's friends" said Bella "Gorbrin's cool and he reckons she's nice. He says she reads cool books. She's going to stay on and they're going up to London together."
The Marauders, sundry brides, and others of the blood group compared NEWT results of course.
Hawke, to no-one's surprise had done well, with 'O' grades in all but one of his seven NEWTs having dropped to 'E' on the tricky passage in Ancient Runes.
"It comes of the Ancient Egyptians not having proper vowels" said Hawke resignedly.
Abraxus had been glad to get three 'O' grades in DADA, Potions and Transfigurations, and 'E' grades in the other three; so he grinned to see his brother cautiously comparing results with Willow, who had also taken seven, and noting the concealed relief on the part of each that the other had also dropped one NEWT to an 'E'. In Willow's case it was Charms where – unusually for her – her theory was dodgy. Abraxus thought it pretty amazing that Willow pulled such results out of the bag having just whelped – her own phrase – Sirius' puppies. It went to prove that knowing things thoroughly counted for more than revision.
The other two New Marauders both passed all six NEWTs they took well, Romulus managing five 'O' grades, dropping to 'E' for Herbology and Kinat taking four 'O's and two 'E' grades, in potions and transfigurations. Ellie smiled gently. She too had taken six but had only one 'O', in DADA; the rest at 'E' and she quite content with that. Even as Myrtle was content – indeed overjoyed – to have five NEWTs, three of them at 'O' grade. Indeed the academically weakest of the group, Sephara and Dione were well contented with four NEWTs, above the national average especially as Sephara had Herbology at 'O' grade and the rest at 'E', for a girl who did not enter school until she was thirteen and considered a squib a fantastic result! Dione was overjoyed to have gained 'O' for three of her subjects and had actually managed an 'E' for her potions, something she had never dreamed of!
It had earned her a very thorough kissing too which was even better.
David Fraser arrived with Rubeus Hagrid and his young bride Alice Trumball in tow and tiny twin baby boys. Alice was a Malfoy connection; Orme's father had had a torrid affair with a muggle girl while he was still at school, sneaking out to the nearby village of Camburnath so she was in fact as closely related as Jocelyn was to Lucius. She had firmly seduced Hagrid and left school right after her OWLs to marry him. Her babies had arrived early and David had been on hand to help deliver them when he went to check if she would be all right to attend his wedding. Hagrid was one of David's favourite people and Alice was a protégé of his.
Hagrid was rather nervous in the grand surroundings of Malfoy Manor but Alice had sewed him a robe for the occasion and had trimmed his beard for him to make him feel better about going somewhere so grand.
Alice was not in the least awed.
Alice took life as she found it; and cheerfully introduced Dair and Luis to their uncle Lucius.
"They're 'Oak' and 'Rowan' in the Celtic" she said in her soft Scots lilt "it aye seemed appropriate tae name them for michty trees wi' their parentage; Dair's the dark one and isnae Luis red the noo!"
"As a Weasley" said Lucius. "Yes, I'm familiar with the sacred trees of the ancients; I got an 'O' in my Ancient Runes NEWT, I can even still read Oghhams. It's well to put them under the protection of the Forbidden Forest, as they're not fully human. Have you introduced them to the trees?"
"Och, d'ye tak' me for a fuul? Wasnae it the firrst thing we did!" said Alice. "We'll no' hae ony fey folk afther OOR bairns!"
The triple wedding was a grand affair.
David Fraser was the first to be wed; Hagrid was his best man, as David's oldest friend from Hogwarts. Vasilica, David's adopted daughter was a bridesmaid with Ellie's infant triplet siblings Harry, Ronald and Ishbel as pages and flower girl solemnly following hand in hand, with Vasilica gently keeping them in the right place. David had also asked the other two Romanian orphans in whom he took an interest to be flower girls rather than full bridesmaids and they were delighted! Grutch was beaming as he gave his little girl away; he was delighted that she was so happy, and that David was well connected was an added bonus!
Abraxus was almost as white as he had been the day he had pulled Myrtle's reconstituted body out of the ritual Cauldron. As Myrtle's father was dead, Severus gave her away since he had helped engineer her rebirth; it seemed appropriate somehow. Naturally, Abraxus' best man was his twin, Hawke.
Myrtle's closest female friends were Sephara and Ellie, which left Abraxus' sisters as bridesmaids, and at five Avice and Alienora were adorable, and Helya and Rowena at the same age as Ellie's siblings in need of watching as flower girls since Helya had a bad habit of trying to eat flowers after once having had nasturtiums in a salad.
Sephara was given away by Lucius of course; her little sister Ludmila was her chief bridesmaid and Lilith Snape agreeing to be left out as she would want to be bridesmaid to sundry of her sisters and being a bridesmaid too often could be unlucky. Sephara, being a kind girl, had asked the Snapes' female wards if they would like to be her bridesmaids too; so Melody and Harmony Bloom and little Lucy Ingate were there too, and on due consideration Sephara also invited Dympna Burke to help her to feel more one with the others now she was in the orphanage. Neville had agreed; the shock of her husband's arrest had driven Mrs Burke insane and Neville knew what it was like to have parents who did not even know you because they had retreated so far from the world. Neville had asked Harry to be his best man with a slight hesitation; he almost asked Severus but as Severus was to give Myrtle away, that was quite enough limelight for so private a man. Neville knew – and appreciated deeply – how much Severus hated being under public scrutiny.
Dympna, or Dimsie as she now styled herself, was deeply grateful. She had asked it her brother Philip might come to meet the other new first years to be, and had been readily given permission.
The other weevils in waiting had been cautious when this was sprung on them at the last minute, but Philip was a quiet, serious boy who listened before he spoke, nothing like as spoilt as his sister had been! He was his mother's child more; and was deeply upset by her illness. Like Jocelyn, Philip was taken aback at the concept of elves at Hogwarts; but if people like the Malfoys accepted it, it must be acceptable.
There were comments about a convict's daughter being so shameless as to be a bridesmaid at a society wedding of course; which were leaped upon by any of the bloodgroup or Lucius and his women if they heard them with comments to the effect that for one thing the child had committed no crime and therefore wherein should SHE feel any shame; and that moreover what business was it of anyone else.
And when Odilia Malfoy made a comment that it was typical of her stupid squib of a daughter not to know any better than to ask a child like THAT to be one of her bridesmaids she promptly fell to her knees vomiting slugs, clawing at the bats in her nose with boneless arms, covered in tentacles and boils, pale green and with her legs on backwards so numerous were the jinxes thrown at her wandlessly and wordlessly by any number of people.
It took four days in St Mungo's to return her to normality.
Or at least, as Hawke said, what passed for such an acidulated old besom as normality.
After that display of concentrated disapproval most kept their mouths shut about anything they did not consider 'quaite naice'.
Hagrid's reaction to unpleasant comments was a bit more straightforward.
He took Sephara's father, who was murmuring about Lucius having no taste to launch a squib as though she was normal, and stuffed him head down in the well where muffled oaths echoed dimly. Hagrid thought Sephara a nice girl and certainly no squib; and even if she were, there was no call to treat her as retarded!
Lucius himself had the delight of dealing with the Venal Viper as she enumerated Mr Burke's crimes to several goggle eyed ladies from closer to the fringes of society.
"Of course Linda knows a lot about Aloysius Burke's crimes as she has always been one of his best customers; naturally we shall give her son the courtesy of not mentioning HIS mother's convictions when the Aurors catch up with her."
As Linda Bulstrode Malfoy paled, Lucius made a note to have Alastor Moody actually check her out.
Crimes of that level were adequate grounds for divorce after all.
Besides, even if she was innocent being crawled all over by the auror office ought to discommode her significantly; and that thought made Lucius feel warm inside.
Comments made generally about goblins and house elves bearing wands and going to Hogwarts started to falter when the guests noticed that those who made comments were being photographed and notes made about them by a plain, dark-haired girl with the help of some goblin boy.
The goblin boy was of course Gorbrin; and contrary to popular belief they were not undertaking a survey of who was to be left off Lucius Malfoy's guest list. They had a far more serious purpose in mind and were listing potential suspects for goblin coursing or causing trouble in goblin communities.
Meliandra and Gorbrin intended creating complete dossiers on those people who disapproved of goblins; and were investigating whether they were just old fashioned and a bit slow to adjust or whether they were likely to be proactive in their prejudices. The files were consequently subsequently labelled SB or TB for 'Stupid Bastard' or 'Thoroughgoing Bastard' according to their likelihood to prove trouble.
Since the guests who disliked Goblins thought this was Lucius' way of making a point they ground their teeth and said nothing; had they known the thoroughness with which the children went about their detective game they might have been more homicidally inclined.
Lucius thought it highly amusing.
Lucius enjoyed the byplay at social functions.
He was always a political animal; and a social animal too.
And it was such an amusing hobby to add the odd word or phrase to fuel the fire of smouldering resentments between various of his guests.
Arthur Weasley was looking at him a little askance.
"Arthur! You're not telling me you LIKE the Corbins OR my repellent Yaxley nephews are you?" he said. "I know for a fact you've had run-ins with both Godfrey and Achilles over sailing close to the wind in respect of muggles. And the Corbins are stuck up!"
"I wasn't necessarily disapproving of your baiting" said Arthur mildly "Just wondering if you were aware that you son Gorbrin is taking risks with that friend of his to get you your information on goblin haters."
Lucius tilted his head sharply to look enquiringly at Arthur.
"It's not for me; they're playing some obscure game of their own because they're mad on Auror Whodunnits" he said "What are they doing that's risky?"
"I'd have said letting certain people know they're taking an interest in their views was risky" said Arthur.
"Are you stating the common view that it's on my behalf?" Lucius asked.
"I think that would be generally assumed."
Lucius gave a quick nod of satisfaction.
"Then that should protect them; these people know my arm is long and that I'd not be scrupulous over involving the law if my own family was involved."
"Lucius, I liked the way you said that; but forgive me, not everyone realises that you really do look on this boy and his siblings as 'your own family' you know. Especially those to whom goblins are NOT people. It's taken ME a while to adjust to seeing goblins with wands without wanting to go for mine in a knee-jerk reaction of fear."
"Arthur, you're a big man to admit that" said Lucius "My respect for you grows. Especially as you have resisted what must be a great temptation to say 'ah yes, the Malfoys, such a FECUND family'."
"Well you've surpassed me in just the children that are your own let alone adoptees; I'd not expect Molly to have so many, but spread over several women….do you really love them all equally, Lucius? I find it extraordinary!"
"Yes Arthur, I do; in different ways, but equally. I have three wonderful wives all of whom henpeck me lovingly" he said softly. "As I love all the children; adopted or those of my blood. Draco is my firstborn; I can't help a little partiality there, but as he's grown up it doesn't show so I don't have to be as careful in front of the others to hide it. But I find I forget without concentrating that Erica, Nathan and Tanjela's children are not mine."
"I thought Erica and Nathan WERE yours!"
"No Arthur; they are half siblings; and also half siblings of Jade and Lydia. My obnoxious nephew Jonathon got about. We agreed it would be a more convenient fiction to let Nathan forget he had any mother but Charlotte – his own is dead – and to let most people assume I had kept Charlotte stashed quietly for years. As though I could have hidden having a muggle mistress from Tom Riddle! Fortunately few enough people knew the power of his legilimensy, the cruel trawling of the thoughts to check for deviancy from devotion and the taunting of the disloyal thoughts making you sweat wondering if you would get the cruciatus curse or be let off….it was analysing that which diametrically altered my viewpoint on house elves. But that's by the by; I ask you to keep their true origins to yourself but it is well to be aware of it. Fortunately Nathan is too young to be likely to want to marry Jade or Lydia but it's one of the things to be aware of in the future with consanguinity. I don't want to see the Malfoys go as insane as the Gaunts thank you!"
"Little chance of that with so er, broad a base of backgrounds" said Arthur dryly. "I wish you'd say something outrageous, Lucius; I'm in deep danger of coming close to liking you on occasion."
"Hmm, that will never do. Shall I tell you about my plans to free my cousin Orme from his loathsome wife?"
"I wouldn't; I'm horribly afraid I might agree too much. What a poisonous woman she is! I believe she's worse than your sister, and I was up at Hogwarts with HER."
"It's a tough contest between them, isn't it? What's the prize for being the most poisonous, using her face to launch a thousand ships? I pity the ships in the case of either, bound to be unlucky!"
"You are quite the snidest man I know Lucius and I should NOT laugh! What ARE you going to do about Loathsome Linda?"
"That's almost as good as my name for her, the Venal Viper…. I was planning to shop her to Alastor for Goblin coursing and see her deal with constant vigilance. Jocelyn will be out of the way at school so he won't be being scared by it and Orme will watch with faintly cynical amusement."
"Any likelihood it's true?" asked Arthur. Lucius frowned.
"I….don't know; but as I wouldn't rule it out it's not wasting Alastor's time. If Orme's in a book he wouldn't notice if she rode through the house after all of Gringott's with the Wild Hunt as her hunting companions. Quite as bad as Severus is Orme in his own way. Jocelyn fortunately takes more after his father than his mother with a healthy dose of Quidditch enjoyment and a cheerful disregard for the family china. A perfectly normal healthy little boy in other words and takes his punishment like a man when he knows he's done wrong. I like Joss; and I'd like him to be shot of a rather awful mother, and definitely NOT get dragged into something unsavoury that he feels his duty forces him to protect his mother over."
"Poor little boy either way" said Arthur.
"He'll have the rest of us standing by him" said Lucius "If they'll rally round for the Burke child, who I have heard described as 'a stinking bullying little cow turd' by Jade, then they certainly will for a harmless child like Jocelyn."
"I think if I were you though, I'd ask Jade to keep an eye out on Gorbrin and this Meli – what it was – child. Just in case."
"I agree, Arthur; thank you for the suggestion. And I'll drop a hint to the famous detectives as well. And if I can extract it, I'll run you off a copy of their book they're writing, of the hilarious and improbable mysteries and adventures of the twin children of an auror. It's not meant as comedy but Gorbrin let me read it and I laughed until I cried. Of course I never told him that! There's style to it and one day they might write something worthwhile but meantime it's an excellent pick-me-up!"
"You need a pick-me-up with three wives?"
"Will two pregnancies and a wedding being organised and Cosmo's incipient teeth I need a pick-me-up BECAUSE I have three wives" said Lucius. "I love them dearly but the last few days have been….nervous."
"Well, it's your own fault for being a randy swine" said Arthur. "Lucius, I thought Severus and Krait were utterly and completely bound up in each other but….."
"But theirs is different" said Lucius "They have so much love for each other that they can afford to share some out to the unloved. I don't think I could handle it; but I'm ultimately a far more selfish person than either Severus or Krait. And I enjoy it that way. I don't take a goblin mistress to please the goblin community; so discount any stories you hear about that. I take Tanjela as my wife because I love Tanjela and frankly her race is a matter of complete indifference to me."
"I think, Lucius, that actually makes you a nicer person than had the former been true" said Arthur.
"Arthur; get this through your dense Weasley head – if it can penetrate all that ginger thatch – that I am not in any way shape or form nice" said Lucius.
Lucius might still have a strong streak of selfishness as well as the wickedest tongue in the wizarding world; but Arthur thought he had changed a very great deal and had a broader streak of niceness than he cared to admit. Even to himself.
The final note to the wedding was played by Lynx Black-Weasley who managed to confund Lucius' white peacock - and only Lucius would be a posy enough git to have white peacocks, as she later said – to believe that Linda Bulstrode Malfoy was a rival male and chased her off the premises shrieking.
"Peacocks are nasty critters" said Lynx smugly "Almost as bad as blast-ended Pekes. A goat would have been even more entertaining though."
Hawke clipped her across the back of the head with two fingers in traditional manner.
"Thanks Hawke; I needed that!" she grinned.
Hawke kissed her lightly.
Time enough for any more that that when she finished her OWLs.
Narcissa was glad to get rid of the guests.
"I think I'm starting labour" she said quite calmly "And the last of them gone in the nick of time!"
"Well let's get you comfy and leave Reedy to bully the other elves into tidying up" said Charlotte "She's in her element being in charge and you'd rather she was in charge there than in charge midwifing."
"Every time" said Narcissa "I'm not sure I like being bullied by my house elves. And then she does something so kind I have to bite my tongue on the sharp comment I had been going to make….aaargh!"
This was Narcissa's fourth baby; and with midwifery spells from Lucius she soon enough delivered another baby girl.
"What, another girl?" said Narcissa "I was going to call a boy Scorpius…I'm feeling uninspired about star names for the Black connection and I've used the only half decent Malfoy name, Lucasta….."
"How about a more subtle star connection with a flower name?" suggested Charlotte.
"Well, there's a bush, several varieties of it in fact, called 'Andromeda' colloquially" said Charlotte "I came upon it in a gardening book when your Andromeda was born and thought about names at the time… the proper name is Pieris."
"Pieris? I like that. It's unusual without being outlandish the way some muggle names are" said Narcissa "I mean, Chelsea, Kimberley, Shannon, Erin…all place names, not proper girls' names at all. You wonder if some of these muggles are going to follow to the logical conclusion and call their poor brats Battersea or Bognor."
"Some people do pick the most odd names" she said "Kimberley was originally a boy's name, to commemorate a battle; naming a boy after a battle was supposed to imbue him with manly qualities."
Narcissa considered this.
"That's suggestive that muggles are trying to intuitively seek magical connection" she said "Interesting. And fairly logical… I withdraw objections to Kimberly as a boy's name. But for a girl? I mean it was all very well for the Saxons to use names like Battle-Maiden, Hilda, and those names have the cachet of age and the advantage of being arithmantically strong as well when you do the numerology on them but….."
"Well at least some of the other battle names of the era of Kimberly haven't survived" she said "Who'd want a child of either gender with a monicker like Magersfontein?"
"It is a little over the top" said Narcissa. "Though there's a certain grandeur to it; it rolls of the tongue. Still, one can also see it attached to a skinny kid who isn't even tall enough for it, let alone bulky enough…. It'd suit a Bulstrode well enough but not a Malfoy or a Snape!"
Charlotte just smiled.
She found the naming conventions of the wizarding world sometimes quite as ludicrous as the offerings of the ill educated amongst the muggle community. And when the rich and famous who were ill educated decided to call their offspring for the place they were conceived, like Brooklyn for a boy, then it was no wonder that their adoring public were likely to follow suit. Charlotte lived in expectation of hearing of a child accordingly named 'Thebackofdad'sFordCortina' or at least 'Cortina'
Pieris was not a name from either community though both drew on flower names; but it had the advantage of not being outlandish to either as Narcissa had said. And most Muggles would just take it as a feminine form of Pierre.
And the baby was welcome, even if Narcissa might have been a little disappointed not to have another boy.