Chapter 1

In which we observe Draco's troubles

Disclaimer: I own nothing here and make no money from writing this story. I'm just having fun with some characters from a really great series of books. Oh, and I wanted to give Narcissa a little more screen time...

It was late, and the sound of laughter drifted down the cold marble hall of Malfoy Manor, seeming out of place in such a dark and empty home. The Manor had seen its share of sadness over the centuries, and didn't seem willing to accept the sound of happiness that tried to permeate the cloud of gloom that surrounded the old headquarters of the Death Eaters. Screams and cries, that was what the Manor was used to, not the sound of two laughing voices, one of them very drunk. House-elves cringed at the sound and looked at each other worriedly as they went about their late night chores. At the far end of the hall, the only other glow of light came from under the bedroom door of the Master and Mistress of the manor.

"Damn it!" Narcissa Malfoy exclaimed as she slammed the book down beside her and looked over her half-moon reading glasses at her husband.

"Darling, is something bothering you?" Lucius purred as he glanced at his wife. She was still a radiant beauty, and Lucius loved her more than life itself. He put his copy of the Daily Prophet aside and rolled over to face his wife, putting his arm seductively across her chest. "Does the sound of our son's happiness distress you? Would you wish him to be miserable and alone after all that we, no I, have put him through? Do you wish he had not found loveā€¦like his parents did?" He started to kiss her exposed neck and chuckled as he felt her teeth grind together.

Narcissa pinched up the fabric of his sleeve and slowly removed his arm from across her chest. "You know exactly what I mean. Don't try to charm me Lucius, or continue this charade of 'happiness and joy'. Draco is miserable, and we are going to put a stop to it tonight. If you will not take action, I shall."

"What do you propose, dear? A spanking?" Lucius moved his hand down to caress her hip bone.

"You are incorrigible." Narcissa hissed as she threw the covers back and got out of bed. She noticed him leering, and realized that her sheer nightgown left very little to the imagination, especially when the bedside light was behind her. She smiled and chucked a throw pillow at him, put on her fur-collared robe and slammed the door as she left their bedchamber.

As soon as Narcissa left the room, her house-elf, Winky, appeared at her side carrying a charmed candle that lit the entire hallway with a warm, flattering light. "Thank you, Winky" Narcissa said. Whereas in the past, the Malfoys treated their house-elves as lower life forms, now they had come to appreciate them. After the defeat of Voldemort, the confiscation of all property belonging to the Malfoy estate, and the subsequent years of trials and convictions; the Malfoys spent quite a bit of time at the bottom of the heap themselves. As they turned over evidence and testified against other Death Eaters, and had never committed any murders or direct acts against the Ministry, they were eventually released and their household returned. A large portion of their funds remained in the Ministry's vaults, but Lucius' wide range of investments outside of England still remained in their possession and provided enough income to live almost as lavish as they did before the War. The house-elves had all been freed by the Ministry as punishment, and any that remained were ones that had agreed to stay voluntarily, albeit with certain conditions. No torture, and please and thank-you's were tops on the list. The Malfoys had actually come to enjoy putting aside their pure-blood airs inside the privacy of their own home, and the house-elves had responded by treating the Malfoys better than ever before. It was a win-win for all.

"Mistress is going to see Master Draco?" Winky asked, though she did so just to make conversation. The wizened old elf seemed to know everything.

"I can't take it any longer; this madness just has to stop."

"If Winky may give some advice?"

Narcissa stopped abruptly and looked down at the elf. In a different time, she would have said something cruel to a wizard that offered her advice on child rearing, much less a servant, but she knew she was unprepared for this and could use help wherever it came from. She artfully raised an eyebrow and said flatly, "Go on."

"Winky believes that the young Master is at the same time thinking that he is in love with her and very sad because of it. If you take her away, he will have nothing left but the sadness."

"Well then, what do you suggest?"

"Bring her here."

"I should just Apparate to her home and ask her to come have tea with us? After all we have put her through, what my sister did to her, in this house?" Narcissa was both horrified and incredulous at the thought of asking Hermione Granger to come to Malfoy Manor.

"Winky was thinking that a gift would be a good start." She opened the door to Draco's room and held it as Narcissa entered slowly. The room was in shambles. The bed was covered with newspapers, books, racing brooms, and winter coats. Tumblers and bottles of Firewhisky covered the assorted flat surfaces, and on the floor, resting his head against the foot of his unused bed was Draco.

Drunk and laughing.