A/N: I've been busy working and reading other people's works and lost track of my own. Oops. I'm sorry, that's really no excuse for how long this has taken. If you're interested in what I've been reading look up Invisible by DebstheSlytherinSnapeFan or the multiple works by WyrdSmith and slayerofdestiny. Contract by SnarryvsLarry and Enveloped by Darkness by Brigade are good choices as well. In this fic Lucius was born on November 15, 1955. :D

Five

When Harrigan Peverell received the invitation, his eyebrows disappeared into his fringe. He hadn't thought that the elegant Dark trio he'd sat near had any interest in him, but then again they were pureblood Lords and held a certain sense of decorum and elegance, especially in the public eye. He'd most likely caught their attention with his sharp rejoinders to Lord Prewett and Dumbledore.

Still, he wasn't one to turn down an invitation to dinner with three of the most powerful men in wizarding England. He swiftly wrote an affirmative reply and sent it with his snowy owl Horus. A certain amount of amusement had been present when he named his snowy owl after the Egyptian god of the sun. Still, the owl's jewel-bright eyes were certainly gold enough to spark a comparison to sunlight.

He summoned his house-elf Tobby and ordered that suitable robes be picked out of his wardrobe and a hot bath with oils to be started. Tobby was a very eager house-elf, though Harrigan was beginning to think he needed to find a female for the very fun-loving male elf. Someone that could tame him and keep him in order.

Shaking his head at his odd thoughts, Harrigan made his way upstairs. His current residence was a small two-story building that he'd bought from the goblins and had appropriately warded, for a price of course. Still, it was an adequate home for a bachelor familial Lord and a single house-elf. More importantly, it wasn't above his funds. He'd spoken with the goblins and had given 1,000 galleons over to investments that the goblins thought suitable. Hopefully they would show a return fairly soon.

He carefully shucked off his robes and threw them across a chair in his bedroom, ignoring the mirror. Harrigan was 5' 11", with fairly slim shoulders and waist for a man. His skin however was flawless aside from a few pale silvery scars and his profile was striking. He would stop a crowded room if he so desired with just the right appearance and expression.

He sank into the hot water with a sigh of pleasure. It smelled of aloe, jasmine and sandalwood, with a thick, dense foam coating the surface. Groaning softly as it eased aches he hadn't realized he had in his back, Harrigan closed his eyes and thought quietly back on the past month.

He had expected a retaliation for his words in the Wizengamot, what he had not expected was the assassin to strike him practically outside the Wizengamot chambers. He had dispatched the idiot with a ruthless ease and left, nodding curtly to the Ministry security as they gaped at the body. All Harrigan had been attempting was defense until the fool had actually tried to use a spell to blow up a portion of the doorway over the departing gallery of reporters and common citizens. After that he'd simply blasted him into a wall and broken his neck.

After that he'd returned for the remainder of this particular Wizengamot session, if only to irritate his probable assailant with the fact that he remained alive and voting session after session. He had a good idea who had given the orders, if not hired the man himself. As Senior Mugwump Dumbledore wasn't going to risk his position and possible ascension of power by associating himself in any way with the assassin, but he knew who had paid the man.

He wondered how much his death had been worth the first time. 100 galleons? He snorted in amusement. With the article by the Prophet on just how deftly he'd handled his attacker Harrigan had a feeling Dumbledore would be spending quite a bit more than pocket change if he could convince someone else to take an attempt at killing him.

He finally regretfully left his bath, tying back his hair with a deep purple cord that Tobby had left in the bathroom for him. Entering the bedroom he eyed the robes on the bed and said appreciatively to Tobby, "These are perfect Tobby, thank you."

Tobby beamed and squeaked, "Master Harrigan is too good to Tobby!"

"Make sure an appropriate outer cloak is by the door and then you are free for the night, Tobby."

Tobby bowed and cracked away. The robes he'd left were tailored to hug Harrigan's frame all the way from neck to ankles, with a Mandarin collar. The ensemble consisted of black silk trousers under a deep sapphire robe with purple accents in the shape of Celtic knots.

Waiting for him at the door was a simple black cloak and he slipped it on, clipping it shut at his throat and throwing the hood over his head. Though it was early December he noted that the cloak chosen had warming charms and an insulation charm and he chuckled quietly at the intuition of house-elves.

Exiting his home he concentrated and disappeared with soft pop, appearing in front of a Diagon Alley restaurant called 'The Golden Spark'. Making his way inside he handed over his outer cloak to a young house-elf and moved to the hostess, stating in his firm, low voice, "I am with the Malfoy party."

She smiled flirtatiously and stated, "Follow me, my Lord."

She led him past the open tables and into a second, smaller room that was composed of small tables that seated up to four with powerful silencing charms between each table. He recognized Lord Malfoy's distinctive hair all the way in the right-hand corner and followed the hostess deftly through the tables. "Thank you, ma'am."

She smiled brightly and disappeared, leaving him to greet his companions. "Greetings, my Lords. Thank you for the invitation, I was most surprised and gratified."

"No, thank you, Lord Peverell, for accepting. Please have a seat. And to keep from confusing yourself, please address us by our given names. Mine is Abraxas, my companions are Lucien and Orion."

"Then you must please call me Harrigan," he returned politely, sitting in the empty chair across from Abraxas. Orion was on his right and the dark-haired man smiled, stating, "We were most impressed by your entrance into the Wizengamot, not to mention how you handled yourself with Dumbledore and the Lords Prewett and Fawcett."

"With Dumbledore himself or his assassin," Harrigan mused lightly. "In any case whoever hired that sad excuse for a wizard will find that I am not so easily disposed of."

"I would hope not," Abraxas said with a tight smile. "It would deprive us of many interesting conversations."

Harrigan couldn't help it, he laughed outright. "I shall endeavor to remain alive then, Abraxas, if only to not deprive you of intellectual conversation during the sessions."

Orion's very warm smile and intense expression caught him off-guard and he looked away, after a moment he managed to look the trio in the eye and just caught the expressions of amusement on Lucien and Abraxas' faces and exasperation on Orion's. Curious about what that meant but content to leave it for now he instead asked, "Do the three of you have students coming home for the holidays then?"

Abraxas chuckled. "These two do but I do not. My heir Lucius is 21 now, he graduated with honors 4 years ago now. He still will be with me for Yule however; he lives at home while running the executive Muggle side of Malfoy Industries for me. He detests the Muggles, a fault of his mother's no doubt, but he is getting better."

Lucien smiled warmly and said, "You are lucky my friend, my two rascals are coming home and I have another term before they graduate! Honestly what those two get up to at Hogwarts. I've gotten more letters from Hogwarts than I get from my associates and lawyers!"

Abraxas snorted a rather undignified sound and said, "Lucien my dear friend, Rudolphus and Rabastan will be causing trouble for ages, I can assure you of that!"

Lucien groaned pitifully, earning a laugh from Harrigan and Orion. Turning to the intense blue eyes he asked, "And you, Orion?"

Orion gave him a slightly depreciating smile and said, "Well my youngest is coming home at any rate. Regulus is in his 5th year and sometimes I wonder how he avoided Ravenclaw. He is often buried in his books, especially since this is the year of the dreaded O.W.L.s."

Harrigan frowned. "What of your oldest?"

Now the expression couldn't be described as anything but sad. "My Sirius refuses to come anywhere near home, despite the loss of his late, unlamented mother. I assume he burns my letters, the owls come home with empty claws so he at least takes them."

"Where does he go during the summers and holidays?" Harrigan asked, startled.

"Potter Manor, most likely. He is good friends with the Potter Heir, James. He was sorted into Gryffindor you see and my wife tried to remove him from our family tree. I think he believes she succeeded, despite the fact that the title is mine and not through Walburga's side."

"Her side?" Harrigan asked, confused.

"My late wife was also my first cousin," Orion explained with a grim smile. "Not my choice, I can assure you."

"I would think not!" Harrigan replied, startled. "Why on the name of magic would you have wed your own cousin?"

"My parents arranged the marriage because it was suitable," Orion's scorn as he said the last word said what he thought of it.

"My marriage was also arranged," Abraxas inserted, looking pleased for some reason when Harrigan jumped a little. "The only one of us who's had any luck with an arranged marriage is Lucien, his wife Cynthia is a dear. Belladonna however," he trailed off with a grimace, "It's no surprise she was named for a poisonous plant."

"Enough of our sorry stories, Harrigan, eat!" Lucien said with a warm laugh.

Harrigan dug into his meal and the rest of the night passed in a whirlwind of conversation, good food and good company. Not to mention an excellent wine. It was, he reflected later, an evening that he could easily repeat.