Disclaimeris copyritus: All hail to J.K. Rowling.
September 25th, 1979
Lucius Malfoy walked into the mansion built by (for) his ancestors in the foulest mood in his recent memory. The Dark Lord had got it in his head that there was a traitor among the Death Eaters, and they all who had been at the meeting had paid the price for it. Worst of all—paranoid the Dark Lord might be, but he always knew things he shouldn't, couldn't. If someone leaked word of his involvement to the Ministry...
"Master is home!" One of his diminutive, ridiculous house-elves apparated right in front of where he was standing. Perfect. Lucius kicked out his leg, and the creature went flying. Its squeal damn near gave him a headache, but the crunch as it hit the wall was quite satisfying.
"Where is my wife, elf?" he demanded.
"The Mistress is in the Dining Hall, Master." It looked at him fearfully from the ground. "The Mistress insisted on holding dinner until Master returned."
Lucius nodded. "Very good. I shall join her, then. Elf, go punish yourself for... for dirtying my boot." As he walked down the hallway, he checked that his robes were immaculate. There was no excuse for slovenliness.
At twenty-five, Lucius was already lord of his own manor. With his father gallivanting off through Europe, recruiting cursefodder for the Dark Lord's army, and with his mother long dead, he was the acting head of his family. He had been groomed for the responsibility since he was an infant. And with that responsibility came both power and obligation. Secure the family line. Marry.
A flick of his wand, and the doors to the dining hall swung open. His eyes searched the room and found his wife sitting at her end of the long table.
"Lucius," she greeted him back. "You are late, husband." She raised her fork and tapped it against her glass to produce a pinggg. Immediately, an elf appeared, and one snap of its fingers later, there were full plates on either end of the table.
"My apologies. It couldn't be helped." So soon after the Death Eater meeting, food turned his stomach, but he sat down and took up his fork and knife anyway. He would not give Narcissa a perceived victory.
Their marriage was a balance of power as delicate as that between the Ministry of Magic by day and Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters by night. The union, when Lucius was twenty and Narcissa Black still eighteen, had been arranged, of course. All proper marriages for people of their standing were. Still, it had been an arrangement of Narcissa's choosing—she had pursued him throughout their shared years at Hogwarts, and had had a strong hand in persuading the Blacks of the match. Not that Lucius had complained—the Blacks were perhaps the only British Wizarding family with roots deeper than the Malfoys, and Narcissa's beauty turned many envious eyes when she was on his arm.
Lucius watched his wife as he chewed on his venison. How quickly that potential had turned into a cold stalemate. There were few things they truly enjoyed in each other's company, now. Well, there were some.
He only knew that he was smirking when Narcissa raised an inquisitive eyebrow.
"I think it's high time," Lucius said, "that we fulfil some of those conjugal obligations again tonight."
Oh, yes. Narcissa might have once been a Black—but she had mastered the Malfoy smirk like she had been born with it.
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