Now and Then, and Now, Again by nagandsev
Summary: Lucius' captivated attention of one witch leaves him remembering earlier times of another. Written for Lucius' Big Bang 2012, a long one-shot divided into four parts.
A/N: The greatest thanks and appreciation to my cheerleader, slytherinjunkie, for encouraging me to explore the wonderful ship of Ginny & Lucius and asking the right questions to get me started! Also, thank you, as well, to karelia and linlawless for Imperioing me to discover LBB and sign up, the wonderful, helpful, and patient mods of LBB, the one and only star_girl for believing I could 'play nicely' with Lucius in the first place, and the one and only emdramaqueen for betaing and saving me, yet again—all of you wonderful ladies are what makes this wondrous fandom what it is: fun, love, and creativity! Thank you!
Standing on the top step of number twelve, Grimmauld Place, Lucius fumed at the absurdity of his situation.
My grandson at the Potter brat's birthday party?
Shrieks of joyous mayhem were heard through the walls as the Malfoy patriarch pounded the knocker again.
But Rose Weasley is going to be at her cousin's party—I want to go! Scorpius had demanded. Mummy said I could go! All the other kids will have their parents or grandparents pick them up: I want to be like the other kids! I don't want the house-elf, I want you, Grandpa, you!
Lucius had rolled his eyes at the thought of his grandson, in any way— even innocently so—being attracted to a Weasley, but could give no good reason to Scorpius why he shouldn't go.
All pureblood diatribe about blood-traitors and Mudbloods had been suppressed to almost nil through a very effective rehabilitation initiative on the Ministry's part, let alone the elder Malfoy turning informant in turn for lenient treatment after the last wizarding war.
However, the Ministry did demand some 'therapy' entailing a tad of selective Obliviate spells, a dash of attitude adjustment, and a drop of personality enhancement enforced by an elite Auror squad, leaving Lucius with his keen aversion for Arthur Weasley purely based on a general feeling of dislike and jealousy—with just a lingering mixture of raw agitation and vicious competition from years past. Dementors could suck out some things from one's mind, but old jealousies and pettiness die hard in one's deeper consciousness, as was true for the Malfoy patriarch.
Lucius was fully aware that being in the same room with Arthur Weasley would definitely tax his usually cool nerves and still be quite a challenge to his willpower not to lash out in some way, so he'd decided to be good, play nice, and not put himself in a situation where he would be provoked.
Blasted Draco and Astoria! Narcissa, as well... Travelling the world and leaving me to nanny our spoiled little darling... Lucius had given a resigned sigh to the situation, knowing all too well that on some level he should be grateful for a little respite of his 'legal confinement' to either his home, Diagon Alley or greater London, and accepted his grandfatherly duties with a distasteful huff.
So now, here he was on the threshold of the Potters' residency. At last, the door opened up, and the sounds of wild, gleeful screams of children running amok in full party mode blasted out.
"Mr Malfoy?" The surprised voice of the witch was only exceeded by her eyes widening in shock.
Lucius also stared, frozen. It had been in another lifetime when he last was confronted with even the merest thought of Ginevra Potter née Weasley. And here she was in the flesh. And what flesh it was! Lucius blinked, taking in the voluptuous redhead's figure, her long dishevelled hair adding to her sexy appearance. Form-fitting skirt and snug blouse revealing her inviting décolleté, Lucius noted. Very nice...
He gazed into the eyes of his one-time nemesis' daughter, the little girl he'd been willing to sacrifice in a dubious scheme of gaining what he wished the most at that time in his life: Power... Political power... Death Eater power... Sexual power...
His eyelids fluttered as he acknowledged with a slight tilt of his head, "Ms Potter."
Azkaban had broken him on so many levels the first time around, and then the Dark Lord's further physical and psychological abuse, completing what the Dementors had started, rupturing and stripping his manhood. And then his second time around in Azkaban was just as brutal, but with the Ministry's enforced experimental rehabilitation programme used on him, he broke fairly quickly, turning informant and being conditionally released early due to his cooperation. However, there were still memories and gaps in it of darkness and muddled areas of his life which billowed back into his thoughts and mocked him as he gazed on the lovely witch before him.
But it is not a haunting memory standing before me now, but a fully grown woman... His appreciative eye for the female form distracted him momentarily, one thing that had never changed. The blond wizard further took in her form-fitting blouse and snug skirt, revealing so pleasantly her womanly curves and lines. He realized he'd begun to breathe slower and deeper. As he noticed her luscious red mane of hair framing her fair skin, he admired how she was alive with sultry energy.
Potter's always been a lucky bastard, thought Lucius bitterly, and always will be. He sighed impatiently, thinking, Let's just get this over with as quickly as possible. Clearing his throat, he said, "Pardon me, Ms Potter, but I'm here to pick up my grandson, Scorpius."
Lucius waited, expecting anything from a hex to verbal curses from the woman he had so willingly targeted to victimise and malign when she was but a mere child all those years ago. Like so many others...
The witch gave him an odd look. "Why, we've only just got started with playing games," responded Ginny with an unexpected twinkle in her eye. "Please, do come in and join us, Mr Malfoy." At Lucius' blank façade, she smiled like a sphinx. "I could use the extra help."
The blond wizard raised a speculative eyebrow and drawled, "I don't believe I could be of any use to you, Ms Potter. Children's birthday parties are not my forte." He forced a sociable smile, trying not to grimace, attempting to meet her level of politeness.
"Oh, I think I can come up with a few things for you to help out with that you'd be quite skilled at," responded the sultry redhead.
Caught off guard at her charming smoothness towards him, his mouth dropped open, and he couldn't respond back momentarily. When finally he could, the flattered Malfoy patriarch glibly answered, "Under the circumstances, how can I refuse?"
Ginny laughed endearingly at Lucius' expression and response, and then she gracefully stepped back and motioned for him to come inside.
Tentatively, the cautious wizard entered, instinctively giving a dour glare around—Grimmauld Place had been a true house of horror in its prime; the memory was causing a dull pain in Lucius' chest to burn—he couldn't control a slight shudder and flinched.
Unexpectedly, he felt the soft touch of a feminine hand on his arm and the surprising gentle voice of his hostess saying, "Things have changed. Many things."
Her words fell heavy with multiple meanings, and suddenly, he felt abashed, unable to meet her eye, and instead, distractedly gazed around noticing the lovely golden-cream décor the long hallway and rooms opened to him revealed. Lucius heard himself mumble, "So it seems..."
"Don't worry, Mr Malfoy, perhaps the worst thing that will happen to you this evening is that you'll be just sitting and giving me some moral support. Of course, you'll have to try some of my cooking, too—we still haven't got to the birthday cake." Ginny gave him an inviting smile. "I hope you have a sweet tooth. Please, come this way."
As the pleasantly disconcerting witch continued to lead him down the hallway, a flood of dark memories washed over Lucius as he remembered many a vile word and deed done in these rooms. Attempting but failing, he could not push aside the powerful memories when number twelve, Grimmauld Place was, in its heyday, a meeting place for Voldemort and his newly recruited minions gathering for decadent, pureblood supremacists' soirées, which were regularly held in the former Black's residency, himself being one of the main participants.
"Do you like the changes, Mr Malfoy?"
Snapped out of his dark ruminations by Ginny's amazingly amiable disposition, Lucius answered, "Very much so, Ms Potter." Lovely and quaint. Like you, my dear... he wished to add, but controlled himself not to. Inhaling deeply and with a quirk of his lips, he said to himself, That was then; this is now... How things have indeed changed... He couldn't help notice Ginny's firm-shaped buttocks' movement underneath her skirt's thin fabric as she sashayed before him nor his muscles tightening in pleasure throughout his body.
As the laughter of children rang out throughout the rooms on the ground floor and above, he took in the gay colours of balloons and other festive decorations spelled to float continually around, accenting the light cream-coloured walls. The hallway no longer held family ancestor portraits or the Toujours Pur crests of the Black family. Hmm... they finally managed to get them down. Lucius was relieved. Voldemort supporter notwithstanding at that time, Walburga Black's shrieking when alive, as well as in her portrait, had never been music to his ears.
"Grandfather!" cried out Scorpius in delight. He lunged and grabbed Lucius around the waist and squeezed him tight before the youngest Malfoy went streaking up the stairs in hot pursuit behind the red-headed Rose Weasley. Once behind her, he pulled a lock of her hair, forcing her to notice him; Rose gave him a friendly punch on the shoulder, and Scorpius beamed at achieving her undivided attention amongst the mingling lively group of squealing and laughing classmates clambering up the stairs for other treats and festivities on the upper floors.
Watching them disappear up to the first floor, Lucius sighed a resigned sigh at his grandson's object of interest. For now, he could not deny that he understood the attraction. There is something particularly bewitching about the Weasley females...
Finding sanctum in the kitchen from the party mayhem of the first-year Hogwarts generation, Ginny transfigured an old wooden kitchen chair into a comfortable Chesterfield sofa and offered Lucius a seat, asking if he'd like a drink.
"Something stronger than pumpkin juice would be appreciated," admitted Lucius, slightly distracted by and unaccustomed to the wild shrieks of joy and play resounding around through the house. Attempting to tune out the discomfiting noise, he took in the warmth and cosiness of the kitchen, being a room he'd rarely been in—not only at Malfoy manor but anywhere else throughout his entire life—and couldn't help but relax a tad in the unfamiliar but pleasant atmosphere, fully letting his guard down about being hexed.
For his hostess, the lovely daughter of his once-greatest nemesis, seemed perfectly comfortable with him and not at all ill at ease. His complex of her being in any way offended or defensive by having a former Death Eater in her hearth and home didn't seem to faze her in the least.
At the uptight Malfoy's request, Ginny turned to him and raised a thoughtful eyebrow, considering her options. Opening a top cupboard, she first reached upwards, raised up on her tiptoes, her slim but curvaceous body stretched out for Lucius to enjoy in more detail. Not finding what she was looking for, she bent over, opening a bottom cupboard, and leaned deep into the space, rummaging around.
Lucius enjoyed the view; her arse was ample and sculpted.
While he enjoyed admiring her form, Ginny chatted away, "You see, I'm all alone. Harry's been called away on an Auror's assignment for the next few days, and Mum and Dad are in Romania visiting Charlie, along with Ron and George and their families—except Rose is staying with us." She found some opened elf-made wine and poured him a glass. "We'll have the family celebration for Albus Severus when they all get back, but he wanted a separate party for his classmates, so... Yes, Mr Malfoy, it's just little old me here. Not that I mind, but a little adult company is nice to have too. Perhaps this is more to your taste."
As she handed him his glass, their fingers touched, and Ginny caught Lucius' eyes shifting from below her waist up to meet her eyes. Like what you see, Lucius Malfoy? A whimsical, naughty thought crept into her mind. She turned away with a small smirk on her face and began to put icing on a three-tiered cake placed at the other end of the long kitchen table.
As Lucius sat watching and discreetly admiring the lovely form undulating and swirling, frosting the cake, interspersed with bustling around in further party related work, he couldn't ignore the fact that her presence was arousing him into a dull but painful hard-on. At times, she was coming and going in front of him and, at other times, standing so very close.
There was a time when it would have been so easy... Just one swish of my wand, a subtle quick Imperio, and the red-haired lovely would be mine for the taking...
He shifted his weight in his chair as an all too familiar heavy pulsation occurred quite keenly in his groin. Taking a sip of wine, he felt a warm flush of pleasure both in mind and body.
It was surreal. In the kitchen of Grimmauld Place with Weasley's luscious daughter... Watching and listening to children whoop and holler... Rose Weasley and my grandson, Scorpius... What a preposterous, ludicrous situation! Lucius sighed deeply. How unexpected it all is!
"Yes, my dear?" answered the blond wizard before he realised what he'd let slip from his tongue. Lucius then fully snapped out of his amused reflections as he heard Ginny's docile voice calling his name again with worried concern, "Mr Malfoy? Are you all right?"
"You must forgive my manners or rather my lack of them, Ms Potter. It has been a very long time since I've enjoyed the company of such a lovely, gracious witch."
"So lovely that you're sighing out of boredom?"
"No, dear Merlin, no! Not boredom at all." I could watch you all night, my dear, in your enticing, tight outfit, bending and swerving around... Attempting to make pleasant small talk, Lucius admitted, "I was just reflecting about, well, Scorpius, you see... He is quite smitten by your niece, Rose Weasley."
"And you wish to arrange a pureblood marriage now? Sorry, but her mother is still a Muggle-born witch, remember? Not quite up to your standards."
Lucius' face fell, and Ginny, seeing she had stung him, hastily apologised, "Sorry about that."
There was an awkward silence.
"I don't believe you are," replied Lucius slowly. "Perhaps it's best that I take my grandson and go, Ms Potter. It was not my intention to reopen old wounds on anyone's account."
He caustically pointed out, "My rehabilitation is far from complete, but I don't wish you or others—"
"No! No, please stay. I'm sorry; I have a tendency to speak before I think—you're my guest, Mr Malfoy. I want you here. I need you here. Please, forgive me. Please, stay."
Lucius' brow furrowed in slight confusion. In her voice was something of a pleading tone, and Ginny's face flushed when she said 'I want you here. I need you here'. He was perplexed by what he felt were mixed signals, but also curious as a cat to remain and see what could unfold, feeling that she had some other motive for having him here other than to offer him a glass of wine or a piece of cake and wait to take his grandson home.
He didn't fear her, of course, but rather felt intrigued, more like his old tomcat self in long years past. And curiosity always gets the cat, he mused, imagining there was some element of ambiguous neediness in her request that appealed to his masculine side.
Ginny had set four bottles of various coloured liquids on the kitchen counter along with four cordial glasses. Her face was quite flushed, and her eyes were bright with excitement as she asked, "Would you like to play a game, Mr Malfoy?"
Instantly intrigued, Lucius blinked. "A game?"
"Yes, you're surely a connoisseur of fine elf-made wines... And I'm curious what your impressions are about some elf-made cognacs versus some Muggle-made ones."
"Muggle-made cognac?" asked Lucius, quite unsure, the thought of it distasteful to him.
"Yes... Are you up for the challenge?"
Wishing he could adjust his hardening cock's angle in his trousers, he shifted in the chair and huffed, "Yes, Ms Potter, I'm up for your little challenge. However, I must inform you that even Azkaban couldn't change my ability to know swill whenever I taste it. I have an exquisite palate."
"I'm sure you do," she replied, and Lucius could have sworn there was something of a teasing tone. Is she dallying with me? Beware, Ms Potter, beware!
For some reason, the redhead's lovely brown eyes blinked sadly at him, making him swallow hard and arousing a strange sensation in the pit of his stomach as she asked, "Are you still suffering severely from your time served?"
The elf wine had loosened up his tongue enough to let slip, "Would that please you, Weasley?"
Seeing her eyes cloud with anger, Lucius bit his tongue. Averting her gaze, he knocked back the rest of the wine and decisively placed the glass on the table before willing himself to say, "Forgive me. This was not a good idea. I—I'm still not quite fit for society such as yours, not as suave as I used to be, Ms Potter. I didn't mean that—"
"Yes, you did." The fiery redhead gave him a pensive all-seeing, all-knowing look and continued, "And, no—the answer is no: it would not please me to know you are suffering still from your time with the Dementors, from what Voldemort did to you..."
Lucius' eyes flashed in anger at the mention of the Dark Lord's name, overpowering the surge of humiliation he still keenly felt from the Dark Lord's abuse.
"And by others," Ginny took a deep breath, "or that you're still torturing yourself from your own guilt."
"You know not what you speak of, Ms Potter." His throat became tight, and his discomfiture and doubt cracked his patience. "And you are too kind. Far too kind to the likes of me, considering what I did to you." Suddenly, he lashed out, "What do you want from me? My apology? You have it! What do you need further from me to prove it?"
"Your apology, I accept, Mr Malfoy." Her brown eyes flashed with mercurial passion. "What do I need from you? Your guilt."
His grey eyes gazed steadfastly in her creamy brown ones. He swallowed hard and whispered, "My guilt?"
"Yes, Mr Malfoy." Ginny crossed over and leaned back, sitting on the edge of the table closest to him.
Lucius' hair stood up on the back of his neck as she uttered, "Your guilt and my guilt."
"Your guilt?" He did not understand her meaning clearly, but something about the air had changed, electrically and sensually oppressive. His fervid inclination for any torrid implications in her changed mood or meaning of her words hit him hard, and his heart started pumping fast as he heard the sensuous red-headed witch confess in an ardent tone, "I did despicable things when possessed by Tom Riddle; I had despicable, scungy thoughts... affecting me then and some still affecting me now, lingering on..."
A chill went down Lucius' spine at the mention of the Dark Lord's Muggle name in connotation to Ginny's year of being possessed by the Dark Lord, and Lucius was too distracted in his own thoughts to fully hear what Ginny was saying. For him, the moment of truth had arrived. It was what had kept him broken and reluctant for so long—having to face up to individual victims of his past crimes. So he tried to persuade her more earnestly and pointed out, "Your actions were not your own then, Ms Potter. There is nothing that you need feel guilty about... I, on the other hand... Well, let's just say, there are so many things that... I regret. Sincerely regret. "
Ginny became insistent and demanded, "I've never had the chance to ask you personally, one on one... You say you are sorry, now, but do you regret what you did to me then? As a child? Tom Riddle's diary?"
Slowly, Lucius' words were uttered out in a quiet low voice. "Then... looking back now at then... I was so hungry for power—so disillusioned, at that time, blinded with greed—greed beyond avarice for power and all else that I believed at that time. Desperate and mad... Someone such as you could never understand. Someone as pure as you—for you are so very good..." his brow furrowed in perplexity, "and kind—things that I've barely known in my life and could never have valued before in the mindset that I was imprisoned in—"
Ginny spoke nothing, but her eyes shone brightly as if discovering a shining gem as she peered at Lucius.
As he held her gaze, the sound of the children's laughter and playful cries rang out from the upstairs, reverberating, jolting his attention away in a flash, but Lucius was undeterred from any distractions longer than a second. He was determined to convince her thoroughly and continued, "Such an opportunist..." He raised his eyes from the floor to meet hers. "Yes. Even though what I did to you, how I set you up without a care for your life—yesss... Yes, I am very sorry. Now. I regret it. It was and is unforgivable, but I say to you, truly: I'm sorry for what injuries and distress you suffered." Who am I fooling? Look at the witch—scarred by... me! "What you have suffered and still are carrying around due to my diabolical actions."
The old black clock in the parlour room chimed eleven; soon it would be the witching hour. "I believe, I've overstayed my welcome. I'll just take Scorpius—"
It wasn't the softly spoken words 'I forgive you...' which he heard from Ginny that stunned him as much as her soft lips kissing his slightly stubbled cheek, aware of her long red hair tickling his face as she bent down. As if Petrified, he sat motionless and breathless as she stood straight up, and with a twinkle in her eye, she cajoled, "You don't have permission to leave yet—first, you have to be my taster, remember?"
The ominous atmosphere was dispersed as, without waiting for his answer, she swirled around pouring a different liqueur in each separate cognac glass.
She turned around again, and with a demure smile, she instructed playfully, "Now, close your eyes, Mr Malfoy."
He stared at her; his adrenaline began to pump through his veins, only to rush and pool in his lower abdomen, his cock hardening fast as the rush of blood flooded downwards. Is she doing what I think she's doing, the little minx?
"Close your eyes and you will get a sweet surprise," she teased.
Unless it's you straddling my lap... or my face, and my tasting your nectar, I doubt it, my dear.
Feeling the storm clouds cleared and the tension seemingly evaporated as regards to the past, he eagerly started to play along. "Only if you call me Lucius."