The Vow And its consequences

Chapter 45

Lucius stifled his reactions to the pain upon wakening, not sure where he was, or if he was safe enough to show his pain. He felt like he'd disappointed the Dark Lord once too many, and been severely punished. No, the Dark Lord was gone…he was…in Albania? Lucius' opened his eyes, and relaxed a little, letting out a pained groan. Confusion drowning out his features when he saw Narcissa? Had Severus summoned his wife? Had it been that bad?

"Narcissa," Lucius murmured, intending on touching his sleeping wife, only to end up grimacing in pain, perhaps he best not try to move. "Are you okay?" he asked, when she was roused, if she'd been there for a long time, she was going to have a sore neck. Wondering why she was even here to begin with.

"Lucius!" She said, sitting up straighter, "Here, drink this," plucking the vial from the table and uncorking it, pressing it against his lips, "Don't worry, it's Severus'." Knowing her husband didn't like to take potions that hadn't been brewed by someone he trusted.

Lucius accepted the potion, drinking it down, and the swell of relief that came off him would have probably been visible from the moon. Sighing in sheer happiness as the aches and pains disappeared from his pained body. "What…how long?" not quite coherent yet.

"It's only been twenty-four hours, it's lunch time the next day," Narcissa explained, "You were almost possessed do you remember that?"

Horror crept into Lucius' gaze at the remembrance, giving his wife a curt nod. The pain had been unbelievable, and the sheer terror…in all his years of working for the Dark Lord hadn't elicited that kind of reaction from him. He'd been terrified the Dark Lord would win and his wife and son would pay the price. Between the pain and that kind of fear…he'd been begging for death. Anything to end it, absolutely anything to end it. "Yes," he managed to rasp out.

"Here, drink," Narcissa held the goblet while Lucius nearly guzzled the entire contents of the goblet, wetting his parched throat. "Severus managed to get him out, and Sirius killed him once and for all." The bot had ceased to exist on the map, they had gotten every single Horcrux and his main soul piece, he would never return.

Lucius closed his eyes, never before had sweeter words been spoken, except perhaps when he and Narcissa said their vows and when Narcissa told him she was pregnant. "Good," he murmured, shifting slightly until he managed to prop himself up into sitting position. He disliked how vulnerable and weak he felt. "Why do I feel so weak?" he groused, sounding as petulant as his son did sometimes.

"You used all your magic trying to stop him," Narcissa explained, "You've had replenishers to replace your magic so that you're not in any danger. You should be fully recovered within a few days." She'd been surprised when Severus had Floo called, before worry had set in for Draco and Lucius, fearing something had happened. Her fears had been confirmed, but after Severus finished explaining after she'd used the Floo Network to get to their destination, using various other Malfoy' properties before getting to Albania. She hadn't even brought anything with her, she'd just literally ended the call and began using the network to get to them as quickly as possible.

"What does Draco know?" Lucius asked, worried about his son.

"That you were tired after your little adventure, and that you'd make it up to him today," Narcissa said, an amused smile spreading across her face at the list of her sons demands. "They're already swimming at the aquarium, if you'd like to join them? Draco did want you to come with them."

Lucius grimaced at the thought of moving, but swimming would help him get rid of those aches and pains. "I…perhaps after something to eat," he was starving, he realized, now that the pain was gone. He could feel the sticky residue of salve on his skin. "Did I have injuries that required salves?" he asked befuddled.

"Severus had to remove the debris from the wounds, bits of stones and wood from the forest floor," splinters, weren't nice at all, but thankfully easily removed. The salve would prevent any infections, which could be worrisome especially with his magical reserves being so low. It would take weeks for them to return to normal, but with potions the progress was jumpstarted. Thankfully none of his bones were broken in the fall and that he had survived.

Lucius nodded, well, he best not let his son down.

"I'll get you something to eat," Narcissa suggested, while Lucius got himself out of bed, "You have a quick shower and I'll set out some clothes for you to wear." Looking after her husband wasn't something of a novelty or new, she'd had to look after him so many times after he returned from an irate Dark Lord. Sometimes he'd been bed bound for days, and he'd hated it, so she'd been rushed off her feet looking after both Draco and Lucius.

"Thank you," Lucius said, kissing his wife on the cheek, giving her silent reassurances that he was quite well.

Narcissa smiled, and urged him on, if he wanted to catch up with his son he'd need to be quick. By the time she was finished digging through his clothes for something loose to wear he was already gone, and the sound of the shower was heard. It's not like Lucius would be wearing the clothes for long, as he'd be joining the others in the aquarium.

Once she placed them on the bottom of the bed, she moved out of the rooms to order him some sandwiches, something quick and filling.

"Are you coming with us?" Lucius asked his wife, emerging from the bedroom twenty minutes later, looking way more refreshed.

"No, I need to go and do some shopping, I came without anything," Narcissa said, as if she needed an excuse to go shopping normally! But today she definitely did, she'd been wearing the same clothes for two days now, and she never did such a thing normally. Clothes weren't the only thing she intended to get, but yes, she definitely had to go shopping.

"My card is on the nightstand," Lucius told her, not seeing her bag or purse anywhere, and she would have had it nearby if she did. He slid into the seat, and begun to eat the food that Narcissa had ordered for him, the trolly they'd used still at the side of the front door.

"Thank you, I didn't even think to grab my bag before I came, I just took the Floo powder," Narcissa confessed, she hadn't listened to Severus telling her he was fine, she'd just utterly panicked. She should have known better than to think for a second Severus would lie to her just to keep her calm.

"Would you like company?" Lucius enquired, trusting his wife could not only take care of herself, but handle any situation that arose while out and about. Wizarding Britain constantly forgot that she was a Black, she'd been taught from a young age how to defend herself. When she became his wife, and a potential target from both sides of the war…he'd made sure she could fight like nobodies business. She was lethal when provoked, so he had no worries for her going out and about, plus, she like him was multilingual, and could speak and understand Albanian. Draco would soon begin learning French and Latin before beginning the rest of the other languages he'd learn. Harry probably would too.

"I'll be fine, your son wishes to spend time with you," Narcissa said wryly, Draco was with her all the time, and Lucius worked a great deal, so whenever he could…Draco loved spending time with his father.

Lucius nodded, finishing off his food while Narcissa grabbed the Gringotts card, ready to do some shopping.

"I'll see you later," she declared, kissing him on the cheek before she left the room.

Lucius bemused shook his head and stood, time to find his son and not disappoint him. Especially since the potion wouldn't last forever, and he knew he'd find himself exhausted in a few hours. Narcissa would probably make it back in time for dinner…with a little luck. She absolutely loved shopping, and he knew she'd come back with a dozen things for him, Draco and Harry likely before she was done with getting what she needed for herself.

After asking a passing hotel worker, Lucius knew exactly where to go, and it didn't take him long to find Severus, Sirius, Remus, Harry and his son. Minerva it seemed was sitting this one out, having a coffee as she waited for them to finish. He certainly wasn't surprised to find Harry a little clingy with Severus, and his son excited to see him, almost blew his bubblehead charm up two sizes.

The rest of the afternoon went exceedingly fast, the massive tank housed hundreds of different fish, and Draco and Harry thoroughly investigated them all. Cooing over the sight of them, just enjoying their free time, free of tutors, homework, and enjoying their time with their nearest and dearest. Unaware of the measures that had been taken to safeguard their future.

Unsurprisingly Lucius was the first to call it quits, and the rest followed, thankfully they'd made it to the end, but only just. They left for the changing rooms to get dried and redressed, Severus handed Lucius a potion so that he could actually enjoy the rest of the day without being hindered by pain.

"Thanks," Lucius said curtly, giving him a nod, it wasn't as strong as the last one, but Severus knew what he could and couldn't get.

Ten minutes later they all joined Minerva who was sitting drinking and reading a book. There were platters of food which Draco and Harry quite quickly dug into – Harry asking first of course – too shy just to take, even with Draco and his dad there to back him up.

"Is Narcissa still here?" Sirius asked, wondering if his cousin was going home or staying for the rest of the vacation.

"Yes, she's remaining for the rest of the holiday," Lucius declared, he probably shouldn't have come without his wife, but she hadn't expressed any desire to come with them. "And thank you," he said grudgingly.

Sirius sort of grimaced too, "You're welcome," he understood why Lucius was grudgingly thanking him and why he was feeling grudging at all. He felt the same when he had to thank Snape for letting him visit his godson…they were getting on better nowadays though, more of a tolerance really but still, it was better than unconcealed hostility and hatred.

Keeping Harry safe was more important than old prejudice.

"I assume we're going to return to find the room covered in bags and packages?" Severus asked resignedly, knowing Narcissa as he did.

Sirius laughed, a wicked grin on his face. "Oh, man, Andromeda used to do the exact same thing," vividly reminded of what it was like when he had his family around him. It hadn't been all bad, he knew that, as an adult. As a teenager? It had been intolerable, so he'd left, ran away.

Lucius' lips twitched into a genuine smile for a few moments, "More than likely," he loved her regardless of her spending habits. He was just glad he had more than enough money to see that Narcissa could get whatever her heart desired. Her and Draco both, well, most of what her heart desired. The one thing they wanted above all else, they couldn't seem to achieve.

"Don't eat too much," Severus cautioned the boys, "I have reservations for a restaurant, you'll approve Lucius, it's expensive." He teased the wizard.

Lucius just huffed haughtily with his nose in the air, but he almost spoiled it by preening.

"I have booked eight seats," he confirmed before Lucius could make sure his wife had been invited as well.

"Perfect," Lucius agreed, today was going to be a good day. They deserved to truly celebrate the end of Voldemort's reign.

"How much panic do you think is going on back home?" Sirius asked a note of vindictive glee on his face.

Severus blinked, before understanding dawned on him, "Probably a great deal, especially behind closed doors," the mark will have faded completely, and the Death Eaters will know now that there is no coming back. No bringing back the war, Voldemort or going back to their old ways.

"Will any of them take that news out on their wives?" Minerva asked, concern shining through, most of those witches wouldn't have had a choice but to marry, otherwise they would have been cast out. To be cast out…well, most of society wouldn't have had anything to do with them. The pureblood society could be downright archaic and just vicious about these things.

Lucius pursed his lips, eyes darkening considerably, "I wish I could state that no, they wouldn't, but regretfully, I cannot." He couldn't stand people who took out their anger on their wives, and refused to associate with any of them. No more than he had to when it came to the Dark Lord's demands.

Severus' lips curled in distaste.

"They wouldn't…would they?" Remus asked aghast, surely not. "Just asking," he murmured, seeing the look that the three gave him that spoke of insulting his intelligence. Which, fair enough, some just didn't care after they had an heir and turn out to be right controlling brutes.

Sirius grimaced, "Nobody deserves that shit," whether he liked them or not, no one deserved to be beat on like that. it wasn't something he'd ever really thought on before. despite it being his job as an Auror and he'd seen the underbelly of the magical world more often than he liked.

"When are those reservations for?" Minerva asked, sliding her book closed, bookmark in place. Changing the subject, unfortunately, they could do nothing for those poor unfortunate souls that choose to remain with their husbands instead of protecting their children and leaving. Even at that, the chances were that they would lose their child and they'd end up with their father, who was the one with the connections and money to survive.

"We'll need to leave in half an hour," Severus informed them, "And it has a dress code," giving Remus a look, he'd need to be dressed a bit more fancy otherwise he wouldn't be allowed.

"Then I most certainly need to change," Lucius declared immediately, he wouldn't be seen in a fancy restaurant looking like this. He was his version of dressed down, although the thought of getting changed did fill him with a sense of dread. He still ached even with the potion, perhaps the swimming had been a bad idea after all. Yet, he didn't regret it, his son's happiness meant more than a few temporary aches.

They were quite correct, Narcissa had bought enough to fill the outer living area with bags and packages.

She'd kindly left a walkway though so they could get through to their rooms.

"I've got a robe that should fit you," Sirius told Remus quietly, as they both headed to change, Lucius informing his wife where they were going. She immediately snatched one of her bags up and everyone headed to their own rooms change for the restaurant. The chains and weights off their shoulders.

Freedom had never been so sweet.

Next one's the last chapter this definitely didnt go the way i wanted it to, how much talking can be done under water after all? So imagination has to be used the last chapter will be posted tomorrow along with all those plots you're all curious about (except for probably Moody I think I don't think i'll be able to fit it in!) R&R please