The Vow And its consequences

Chapter 42

"Good morning," Lucius said, kissing his wife on the cheek in greeting as he moved to the head of the small table -for four -and sat down the mail and his newspaper was already laid at the side of the table along with his coffee. A few moments later a plate of food appeared for him, a full English breakfast. "How are the ladies doing?" speaking of Narcissa's 'friends' if they could be called as such, they merely got together to gossip or try to find out whatever they could on certain things.

"They are curious about your new venture and the reason behind it," Narcissa said, eyes twinkling in amusement, "They weren't even subtle about it," it was finished actually, the building, now it was her turn to begin decorating it, giving it a homely feeling so that the children didn't feel as though they were in a hospital or a temporary accommodations. Even though it was built to be a temporary home for them, she wanted them to feel at home, to be happy there. Some of them would end up being there until they were old enough to venture out on their own at the age of eighteen. Which is what they had decided upon unless of course, they had an inheritance and could safely leave the children's home with a place to stay.

"New venture?" Lucius drawled, "I am surprised its taken so long for them to ask," shaking his head in amusement, before digging into his breakfast, sipping coffee in-between bites. Hangleton had been like a ghost town before he bought it, no Muggle ventured up that way terrified as they were. Now though, they would not remember the area, to the Muggles it was completely off the map. They would remember Riddle Manor and the Gaunt shack being much closer than it had been in reality to accommodate their memories but that was it.

"They've been curious for a while now," Narcissa pointed out, she would be the one doing the interviewing, Lucius had enough to deal with without interviewing people. Plus, she didn't think people would be comfortable being interviewed by Lucius due to his reputation, while he had been cleared by the Ministry, the public had still seen the bad side of him, they weren't as easily placated or fooled as Lucius quipped from time to time. They were beginning to ease up on the Malfoy family, treating them less like 'Death Eaters' willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. "I do hope we do not get a lot of people wasting our time during the interview process."

"Unfortunately, it has to be done," Lucius sighed, he did need people to run it, he didn't want the Ministry having any say in it. "The Ministry know where to bring magical children should they require accommodation," which was one less thing for them to deal with the second the doors were opened.

"And have you given any thought to Severus' suggestion?" Narcissa queried, she was already going through her contacts trying to find someone adept enough to ensure the education of teenagers and ensure they received the necessary tutelage to pass their O.W.L's and depending on the success their N.E.W.T's too. To think there were children, magical children out there uneducated due to the fact they didn't have a permanent residence or money to go to Hogwarts or any magical school was horrifying. Severus had informed her that many of them lived down in Knockturn Alley because if they slept in Diagon Alley the Aurors would hex them to get 'rid of them' so they didn't 'interrupt normal peoples lives' and they say those on the dark side were the bad people.

Lucius pursed his lips, "I do not believe they would trust anything I say," he revealed, and it wasn't because of his past…associations as surprising as that was for him to swallow. "I shall ask Severus what he recommends in dealing with this particular problem," he had seen them from time to time while visiting Knockturn Alley but hadn't paid any attention to them. Not everyone who is dirty is homeless, just teenagers being teenagers, even Draco - not that he was a teenager - got dirty from time to time, and got reprimanded if he had his good clothes on, but he was an heir, and one day going to be a Lord of the Malfoy estate he had greater expectations than most children his age.

"I do hope you aren't going to cancel on Severus and Draco again, the weekend is only time your son gets to spend time with you," Narcissa gave him a warning look, not to let their son down again. "He's looking forward to seeing his godfather and Harry,"

"I have no plans, I promised Draco, and I will keep it," Lucius stated firmly, he wouldn't dare go against his wife when she gave him that look, it would regale him to the guest bedroom for weeks if he did.

"Good," Narcissa said smugly, finishing the remains of her coffee knowing she had her husband exactly where she wanted him. "Are you ever going to tell me what was in those files?" it had been two weeks since Severus, Sirius, Remus, and Lucius had met up leaving her with Draco and Harry to do research. She'd been waiting for him talking to her about it, but he hadn't, she would have wondered if he had just forgotten about it but she knew her husband better than that.

Lucius glanced up momentarily confused before his face smoothed over, "That file was information regarding the cold case of the Dark Lord, it seems that despite the celebrations and conclusion that the Dark Lord was dead…the Ministry did not believe it themselves, this you know. They tracked him from country to country quite successfully might I add for chasing a phantom." he had been dutifully impressed with them.

"Until of course, they lost him?" Narcissa deduced, quite curious, he had fled the country, it wasn't something she'd expected, but his thirst for survival would have made him go to any lengths to evade justice.

"Or he remained in the same area and did not flee further," Lucius pointed out, "If that is the case…as weakened as we have ensured he is…without help that is, he will remain in the same spot, at least we hope so. We may just be lucky enough to find the last shard, end this once and for all." and he would have to ensure success, he had publicly declared himself on Harry Potter's side, regardless of whether the child was dead or not, the Dark Lord would not tolerate betrayal and he would see it thusly.

"And where was the last country he was suspected to have evaded the Aurors?" Narcissa questioned shrewdly.

"Tirana, the Republic of Albania," Lucius revealed. "This remains between us," he warned her, despite the fact she probably didn't need to be warned how dangerous this information actually was. The look she gave him in retaliation was enough to calm him down if any of the Death Eaters found out…and found him, well the thought horrified him.

"And this information can be found in the achieves?" Narcissa was horrified to hear that, "Anyone could have gotten into it? He had spies within the Auror department, they could have gotten that information anytime!" the thought of what could have come to pass was terrifying.

"Relax, the files are no longer there, Black has no intention of returning them," Lucius calmed her, truthfully he'd reacted quite the same way as Narcissa was right now. He knew Severus had been apprehensive too, but he was better at concealing it. Probably because he knew better than to fret over what could have come to pass and concentrate on the here and now.

"When are you leaving?" Narcissa then asked, leaning back against the chair but remaining upright with her bred in pureblood posture. Figuring out why Lucius had chosen to speak of what was in that file now of all times. It would be soon and had better not be during the weekend, but considering their mission…she could perhaps give him some leeway especially if it was complete.

"Severus is the one dealing with that side," Lucius explained before dabbing his mouth to get rid of the grease lining his lips. "He says it's best that I do not deviate from my schedule, especially if there is a chance I am being watched."

"Severus is a known close friend, they may be watching him too," Narcissa cautioned.

"They will not be investigating what he does in the Muggle world, it's too alien for them," Lucius reassured her, and it was true, they wouldn't know what was what in the Muggle world.

"You're traveling by Muggle means?" this startled Narcissa badly.

"We are," Lucius confirmed.

"I…see," Narcissa stared wide-eyed, "You are taking Draco and Harry to Albania?" not to mention her. This would draw a hell of a lot of attention to everyone.

"They're less likely to wonder why if everyone goes," Lucius said, putting forth their thoughts on the matter. "This is only a precaution just in case." the likelihood of anyone paying any attention to anything Muggle was low, but Severus and Minerva - as well as himself - didn't want to risk it. They wanted to deal with the Dark Lord once and for all.

"Very well," Narcissa conceded to the precautions and understood them. "I will pack everything we may need."

"In Muggle worthy cases," Lucius added, "Minerva has kindly offered up a few cases for us to use, she said she'd drop them off at Severus', he may already have them."

"Nothing came from them today," Narcissa said, they had proof now that it was Avery and that he was working with Crabbe Senior, it was no coincidence that Crabbe Senior had stopped writing or associating with them and then the letters began, which had only hit them in retrospect.

Lucius' eyes darkened just thinking about those lowlife scum who would dare to threaten a child, especially when they had children the very same age who would all attend Hogwarts together. He and Severus were both out for blood, it would take good planning and a great deal of patience in getting those idiots who were stupid enough to threaten Draco. They already had planned it all out, they were just waiting on Crabbe and Avery screwing up and leaving themselves weakened and vulnerable. He sincerely hoped it didn't happen until after they had defeated the Dark Lord permanently, but when did things ever go the way they wanted them to? Plus, once the mark was completely gone…who knows how they would react? This was another reason he was glad his wife and son were coming on this trip with them, it would ensure they were safe.

"We have had word that the children's shelter is complete," Narcissa added, "All that is required now is decorating, I shall use Tanya Brown, she did superb work of the sitting room last year."

Lucius' lips twitched, "You mean when you let her do anything?" deeply amused.

"I had a very specific way I wanted the sitting room, it's where I spend a great deal of my time entertaining," Narcissa stated, removing the cloth napkin from her lap and placing it on her empty plate, it had been empty before Lucius ventured into the small dining room. "She was very understanding and accomplished what I asked for."

"Very well," Lucius agreed, quite honestly he was glad he wasn't getting pulled into it, he wanted nothing to do with woman's work, and decorating was a woman's work in his view. Narcissa was hardly offended by it, and quite gleefully undertook any project on the manor and had done so since their marriage many years ago. That's not to say he didn't have an opinion on it, but the times he had it had been ignored.

"I suppose I shall have to wait until we return," Narcissa explained, there was just no point in writing to her until after they're done, she wasn't going to be here to suggest anything or show Tanya around the children's shelter to let her get a mental layout and see what she thinks.

"That would be for the best," Lucius said in affirmation. "I do not believe Severus will have us waiting around long,"

"Are Mr. Lupin and Sirius coming as well?" Narcissa nodded to the House-Elf as it got rid of everything they'd had on the table.

"They are, he's an Auror, he may be able to help," especially with discretion Lucius thought to himself. "Minerva too," the entire gang was going, surely between them all, they would succeed in their venture.

Their lives had changed so much, who would have thought it all started when Severus brought a young boy to their doorstep in need of aid and discretion?

Yes, this story will be finished even if it kills me, I'm so sorry you've all been kept waiting... it will probably end earlier though, perhaps in 3-4 chapters instead of ten depending on the lengths I can bring out! I think the ending will be Harry leaving for Hogwarts with Draco when they're both eleven OR would you like to see their sorting? Or will I pan it back to the adults later at night revealing where they're sorted by a letter from their 'sons' Will Lucius end up having a heart attack by having a son sorted into Gryffindor to remain beside Harry? Or will Harry end up sorting himself into Slytherin to be beside Draco? lol R&R please