To my secretly sweet dragon, this gift for now...a shiny new broom later...if you eat your brussel sprouts.

Malfoy Manner: Vaulted Aspirations

The elf was shining his shoes. Draco cocked his head at the creature… It had been particularly attentive to his needs lately. This behavior made the Malfoy heir suspicious. He would consult his mother, who appeared at that moment in the drawing room archway.

"Ready?" She asked.

He nodded. "You look wonderful."

She smiled. "Thank you, love."

The last days between them had been blissful, really. No other way to describe it. It was as if the incident upon the dining room table had opened a floodgate of passionate discovery between the pair. They'd enjoyed exploring their secret longings this past week, and something had clicked into place in their admittedly anomalous relationship. They'd begun to communicate openly, to understand each other.

Draco couldn't help wondering how many couples achieved this level of connection, then frowned remembering that though they could communicate to each other with absolute honesty, they could never show the rest of the world how they cared for each other. With that bittersweet thought on his lips, he kissed her in such a fashion that would tide him over until they returned home today.

Narcissa allowed the kiss. She folded into her son like a romance novel maven, lifting her heel-clad foot and giving a little moan. Draco tightened his hold on the woman. "Let's get this over with," he said into her neck. "So I can get you the hell home."

She chuckled and touched her hair into place. "Yes, young master."

He smirked and they flooed into the Leaky Cauldron. They stepped out and dusted off, didn't linger long beneath the gazes of the Leaky's odd clientele. The cobbled streets of Diagon Alley were bustling as usual.

They'd two hours before their appointment at Gringott's, and Draco felt rather peckish. "Lunch?"

"Where?"

"Hm." He glanced right and left. "Well the Marble Faun is always good. Or Justinian's." He licked his lips. "I rather fancy a good steak, myself."

"The Quail, then."

He nodded and they set off. "Mother."

"Yes?"

"You know… We could always go to the museum. It's right beside The Quail." She loved the WAMCOD – the Wizarding Art Museum and Curious Objects Display. Draco found it tedious and boring as hell, but… "And perhaps afterward we could jaunt through the quidditch shop."

Her eyes cut to him sideways. "A compromise, son?"

"Why not?" He opened the door to The Quail.

"You're right. I would enjoy the museum." She requested a quiet table and they followed the maitre' d. "And I suppose I can tolerate the quiddtich supply shop."

Draco smiled peaceably. "Excellent." He took up the menu.

"Ahem."

He looked at her. Her eyes indicated the sommelier beside their table. "Oh!" Draco took the wine list. "Gods above, man. You're a ninja." Narcissa hid her smile. "What shall it be, mother? I'm leaning toward the Moscato. Something sweet today, I think." He gave her a suggestive brow.

"I shall leave the wine to your discretion, son." Her own look smoldered back at him from across the table.

"The Moscato," he clipped. The steward danced away.

They enjoyed an appetizer of fresh oysters, and Draco allowed his mother to recommend the pheasant with cherry sauce. He even ate his asparagus, knowing it would please her. It was a lovely feeling, being in public without the whispers and malicious stares that had followed them for so long. Not to mention the slim cut of his mother's skirt was most appealing. The young Malfoy man acted as such, and more than that, felt as such for the first time in his life.

Leaving The Quail, he spotted Arthur Weasley on the opposite side of the street. Without thinking, he raised an arm in greeting and called out. "Mr. Weasley!"

The look on his mother's face was priceless. Wide blinking eyes took him in below a mist of near disbelief.

Weasley, after a brief doubletake and a gesture of 'who, me?' made his way eagerly through foot traffic. Draco met the older wizard halfway with an extended hand.

"Mr. Weasley," he said. "You're looking well, sir."

"Well! Why thank you, Mr. Malfoy!" Arthur looked as if he'd been imperiused. "And Mrs. Malfoy, lovely as ever. What brings the two of you to Diagon Alley today?"

"Oh, infernal business, I'm afraid." Draco gestured vaguely towards Gringott's. "But there's no reason business and pleasure shouldn't mingle. We're on our way to the museum now."

"Ah!" Arthur clapped. "You'll enjoy the exhibit on muggle interpretations of magic! It's truly interesting that they have such a fascination with our kind!"

"Who wouldn't?" Draco asked jovially. His mother was gobsmacked. "Well, you look a busy man, Arthur. We shan't keep you."

"Oh, always something for the Ministry." Arthur chuffed. "Do have a nice day."

"We shall." They parted, but turned when Arthur called out.

He stood a few yards away, a strange smile gracing his warm features. "I…I think it would be a fine thing if the two of you might join us all for dinner one evening. Um…at the Burrow." He spoke quickly now. "We all…well, we all get together occasionally now. You know…to enjoy each other's company. Perhaps if Molly sent an owl…?"

Draco directed raised brows at his mother. She bowed gracefully to the Weasley. "Arthur, that would be lovely. Please. We would be delighted to join your family and friends."

The Malfoys may as well have told the man he'd just won the wizarding lottery. He positively beamed. "I say, then! That's just fine. Molly will be tickled pink! See you soon, then?"

"Soon!" Draco shouted over the rising din of traffic. They waved good-bye.

Safely out of Arthur's sight, Narcissa tugged her son to a stop and touched his forehead. "What?" He asked.

"I was just making certain you weren't coming down with the dragon pox." She smiled. "And if we receive said invitation from the Weasleys?"

He shrugged. "I suppose we shall have a ginger family dinner. Although the thought of tickling the Weasley matron pink is a bit…"

"Overwhelming?" She suggested.

"To say the least." He leaned toward her. "Nice to tickle you pink, mum."

She was shaking her head as he opened the WAMCOD door for her. The museum was a quiet oasis. Pale stone flooring and wide skylights lent an earthy feel to the place. Paintings new and old moved in various ways, drawing the eye.

Narcissa browsed aimlessly, pausing at each attraction to read about it if it piqued her interest. Draco tucked his hands into his pockets and stared bemusedly at a spirited image of two unicorns mating. He moved on to the animated sculptures, then the 'surrealist' exhibition. "Surreal?" He muttered. "More like bloody nutters…" And where had his mother disappeared? He still wanted to visit the quidditch shop.

He found her by the display Arthur had suggested. "Muggles Imagining Magic." Most of the images included were muggle-made, still images. 'The Young Witch' by Antoine Wiertz depicted a nubile girl clinging to a broom beneath the watchful and judging eye of an older hag. Draco was turning to comment on it, but his mother seemed captivated by a piece entitled 'The Magic Circle.'

He leaned forward to read the artist's name. John William Waterhouse. The painting entailed a dark-haired woman circling a steaming caludron. In one hand she held a scythe. Her other hand dragged a staff on the ground. It was a soft, romantic representation, but Draco had a feeling it was not the style that struck his mother so, but the subject. "She looks a bit like Aunt Bella," he commented softly.

"No." She'd not taken her eyes from the painting. "Like Andromeda." He blinked at that. She never mentioned her oldest sister…

"Shall we?" She had collected herself suddenly and turned to him.

"If you're ready," he answered.

She took one last lingering look at the muggle painting. "Yes. Excuse me for a moment?"

He nodded and she made her way to the loo. Draco made his way to the front desk of the WAMCOD and had a few words with the receptionist there.

Quality Quidditch Supplies was not a quiet oasis. It was the usual testosterone-infused claptrap of teenaged longing and obnoxious one-upsmanship. But Draco was on a mission, and with his pursed-lipped mother in tow, he made a beeline for the newest model racing broom displayed proudly in the center of the vortex.

It hovered inside a glass tube, spinning slowly and glowing its unique inner light. Draco towered above the twenty odd boys gazing at it with their first tastes of lust, but was on height par with the twenty odd grown wizards gazing at it with wizened, bitter longing. His trousers tightened. He bit his lip.

"Nice."

He looked at his mother. "Nice?" He repeated. "No, mum. 'Nice' is the new Nimbus. This…" He lost words.

"Well, what is it?" She asked.

"It's the Mercury Eleven!" He answered incredulously. Heads had turned toward them. Wizards were regarding his mother as the encroacher… She gave them her iciest scathe and they bowed their heads in shame.

She gave the broom another cursory once-over and whispered to him. "For seven thousand galleons, I hope it's fast?"

"Fast?" He lowered his own voice. "It's the fastest broom on the bloody market right now. Hard, solid, polished ebony…streamlined waxy dark wheat brush with rare giant African boar hair for airflow…and – as you can see – the lengthened seat cushion allows for stretching into wind resistance…adjustable kicks." He took a breath. "It's faster than a Slythering girl at her first Yule Ball."

She stiffened. "Don't be crude."

"Never," he said firmly. "Not in the presence of this broom."

"Gods above." She huffed and wandered off.

'Good,' Draco thought.

"Witches," the chap beside him commented. "They never get it."

"True that," Draco agreed.

"Your wife?"

To say he was taken aback was an understatement. He looked at the wizard in astonishment. "Pardon?"

"The witch," the portly man clarified. "Is she your wife?"

Draco swallowed. "No. My…my mother."

"Oh!" The man laughed deeply. "Well, they're even worse!" Agreeable laughter encircled him, but Draco was still…speechless. His eyes sought out his mother near the front desk. Had this wizard really thought…? 'Suppose it's possible,' Draco thought. 'She looks younger every day.' She was headed toward him, touching at her curled bangs with a manicured finger. He recognized the gesture as one of tolerant impatience.

She clicked up to him briskly. "It shall be delivered this evening."

"What?"

"The broom." She gestured to it flippantly. "You did want it, did you not?"

Gasps abounded from his fellow oglers. "Mum. You can't be serious."

"Quite serious. Can we go?"

The portly man nearly fainted and steadied himself against the glass display case, setting off a catterwauling charm. The shop erupted in cacophany.

"Mum! That broom is seven thousand galleons!"

"Sshh!" She looked scandalized, tugged his shoulder down to her level. "Never discuss finances in public, son!"

"But – "

"Shall we?" She overrode him with forced pleasantness.

They left amidst a buzz of fingerpointing and envy bordering on dangerous. Outside, Draco stopped her. "Mother. Did you really buy that broom?"

"I did." She regarded him quizzically. "Does it not make you happy?"

He raked a hand through his hair. "Of course it makes me happy! I just…I mean…" His tone dropped. "With all the charity and such…can we truly afford it?"

"Oh, Draco." She touched his worried cheek. "Let's go to Gringott's, love. I think it's time you gained some…perspective." He followed her to Gringott's in a haze.

The bank's goblins were as welcoming as ever. Malfoys or not, Draco had never known them to be kind to anyone. And the one at the main desk seemed the most unkind of all. "State your business," it drawled.

Narcissa nudged him with her elbow. 'Oh, bugger.' "We're here to inventory our vault," he announced and produced the missive they'd received.

The goblin scowled down its wrinkled, hooked nose at them. "Wands."

Draco handed his over and Narcissa followed suit. "Malfoy," the goblin muttered.

Draco felt his lip curl. "Correct," he said. His mother's chin rose.

"This way." The goblin stepped down, a huge ring of heavy keys clanking at its side. They were let through a series of charmed gates, led down a steep winding staircase into a veritable maze of turns and passages. Draco was grateful for the goblin guide, arse though it was. Another staircase, a few more gates and turns, and they stopped before an imposing leaded vault.

Interwoven snakes created an intricate Celtic knot in an otherwise unremarkable slab of metal. "Either of your wands will activate the locking mechanism," the goblin intoned.

Narcissa nodded to her son. He tapped the center of the knot, and the snakes began to unwind. They danced and slithered apart to form a diagonal pattern, and the slab of metal split apart, gave a resounding groan and opened. "Impressive," Draco said.

"When you reactivate the lock, an associate will come to retrieve you." The goblin was already walking away. Draco made a face at its retreating back. Narcissa smacked his arm.

Sconces lit when they entered and Draco halted. His mother watched him curiously as the door sealed behind her. She dropped her wand, purse and hat on a Louis XIV table to her right, then perched on the arm of a Victorian settee to her left.

Draco took in his surroundings with unabashed awe. Here and there were scattered furnishings and statuary, some shrouded in white drapery and others allowed to go dusty. Several chandeliers of various sizes and materials hung low from the gothic-arched ceiling. The seemingly unending walls housed incredibly erratic bric-a-brac in nooks large a small.

But most remarkable, and most frighteningly awesome, was the sheer amount of gleaming, golden galleons. In the center of the octagonal room was a sort of stone trough. Perhaps three feet deep and twelve feet in circumference, it was simply brimming over with galleons. And occasionally, a small trickle of five to ten galleons tingled from the ceiling to the pile. Galleons littered the floor around the reservoir and crunched under Draco's shoes as he approached their money.

Speechless, he dipped out a handful of gold and let it fall through his fingers, some to the floor and some to the collection. "Merlin's beard." He looked over his shoulder at Narcissa. "We're really bloody rich, mum." A revelation.

She smiled benignly. "The one thing your father saw fit to do right for you, son, was to ensure your comfortable future."

"And we still…make money?"

She nodded.

He wandered around the trough, taking in other objects. "Is this your wedding dress, mum?"

She slipped from her seat and followed his voice to a shadowed corner behind a gilt Asian screen. There, on a dressmaker's mannequinn, was an exquisite gown. "Yes." She fingered it. Heavy, thick silk of stark white supported impossible galaxial clusters of glittering stones.

"Are those…are those diamonds?"

Again, she nodded.

"Fucking hell." He turned her toward him. "You must have been breathtaking."

Her answering smile was wistful. "The gown was truly magnificent. I'm afraid I cried too much to be considered the beauty of the day."

Draco's lips curled down. "I see." He touched her arm softly. "Were you ever happy, mother?"

"I'm happy now," she answered quickly. "You…made me happy."

"Was I a good child?"

She seemed hesitant to answer his question. "I don't really know, Draco." She walked away, took up a parchment roll lying discarded on a bust of Pallas. "I didn't know you as a child. Unfortunately. I…didn't get to be a mother to you. Your father didn't want you coddled."

He picked up the parchment roll after she set it aside. His next question was as hesitant as her answer had been. "Do you suppose that's…why we are this way?"

"This way?" Her raised brow pushed him.

He rolled his eyes. "You know," he said. "The way we are." He was looking at the parchment he'd unrolled.

"Lovers?" She asked.

"Yeah…"

"I imagine so."

"Mum?"

"Yes?"

"This can't be right." He flourished the parchment. "We own Sweden?"

She chuckled. "I recall something about chocolate, yes."

"Hm." He re-rolled the parchment and watched her remove her jacket. "Does it bother you, mother? That we're like this?"

She was stepping out of her shoes. "That we're lovers? You can say it, Draco." She was unbuttoning her skirt.

His throat went a bit dry. "Well, then, does it bother you that we're lovers? And what the devil are you doing?"

"It doesn't bother me, no." She was taking off her black blouse, laying it over Pallas' watchful face. "And I think I'd like to do something…I've always wanted to do."

Draco just stared as she stripped, captivated by her slow discard of lacy brassiere and knickers. She sat upon the edge of the trough and rolled each stocking to the ends of her tapered, pedicured toes. The last one she stretched toward him. He tugged it off, now salivating. "Undress, son. And come here."

He snapped into action. There was no smoothness at all about his quest for nudity. She was laying across an expanse of glittering galleons with her arm outstretched. The cool coins puckered her pretty nipples and raised gooseflesh upon her creamy paleness. He bounced on one leg, tugging at a stubborn sock before eagerly crawling atop her.

"Oh, hell." He chuckled. The galleons were cold and slippery beneath his knees. Her arm was hot, wrapping around his shoulders. Her legs were warm, rubbing up his thighs. Galleons clung to her skin, flicked off when his fingers explored her body, and made a satisfying tingling sound as they fell back to their brethren. Elbows sliding awkwardly, he caressed her face. "You're so amazing, Narcissa."

Her reply was a kiss, sweet, deep and drowning. She tasted of Moscato. He sucked on her tongue and she arched. They slithered across the galleons beneath them. His mother was wet and beyond welcoming. She insistently pressed him inside her, groaned loudly into his mouth when he began to move. Oh, she felt… "So fucking good," he gasped.

Their movements were impeded by their bed of loose gold. It was difficult to find leverage, difficult to pound into her the way he wanted. The result was a slow, close fuck. His hips barely able to leave the cradle of her pelvis, he ended up settling for a new motion – a rolling gyration that had her whinging desperately in his ear.

He felt the little, hard swell of her clit scraping above his cock and pressed against it a bit more firmly. "Oh, Draco. That's…"

"Nice?" He asked breathlessly. He loved when she said his name while they fucked, felt the acknowledgment tighten his balls.

"Very nice." She bowed her back. Galleons dropped from the skin there. Her shoulders pressed into the give. "Let's remember this," she rasped. "I'm too close…" Her eyes clenched shut against the pulsing in her tightening cunt. "I'm sorry…"

"Shit, don't be sorry!" He choked out. "Fuck. I love you, Cissa!" He spluttered into her neck as she milked his spill. "Ohhhhh, gods," he groaned. He realized he was clutching a fistful of galleons near her ear and released it.

They rolled carefully to their sides, facing each other, smiling accomplished smiles. "I love you, too, Draco." She plucked a galleon from his rib.

He plucked one from her left breast. "I love my new broom."

Shyly, she propped her head in the fold of her arm. "I'm glad."

"I got you a present, too, mum."

Her eyes brightened. "Did you?"

"Mm-hm."

"Is it a broom?" She grinned.

He shook his head. "A painting."

She sobered. "What painting?"

"Well. A print, really. Muggles make copies of their paintings. It's the one you liked at the WAMCOD. 'The Magic Circle' one."

Her eyes watered a little. "Oh, Draco…"

"It will look nice over the mantel in the dining room, I think."

"Very." She wiped her eyes with shaky fingers.

"Mum?"

"Yes?"

"Let's get this business done. I'd like to take that broom for a ride tonight."

"Right." She made no move to get up.

He considered the situation. "Or…I suppose it could wait."

"Mm?"

"Don't suppose we'll get to the vault very often." He looked around.

"Doubtful." Galleons sluiced against him as she shifted closer and trailed one down his chest.

"Suppose I take you for another ride first." He kissed her. She kissed back eagerly and began to work his softened cock back to life. Her sharp elbow pushed him onto his back. Apparently, her knees were better able to root in the unstable surface. She straddled him.

"Perhaps I'll get this ride," she whispered. He nodded, and brushed a cool galleon over her clit. She gasped.

"The ride's all yours, then," he said, pressing the coin harder to her moistness. She cooed above him, tossed her head. "I promise you a longer one this time." He sat up, felt galleons drop off his sweaty back, and wrapped his arms around her. "Narcissa?"

She suckled his ear lobe. "Yes, Draco."

He grinned around her nipple. "We're bloody rich."

She laughed even as he slid inside her. "Yes, we bloody are."