Chapter Six: Through the Looking Glass
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Author's note: Sorry for taking so long but real life has been taking alot of my time. I just got a new job and am in the process of moving. I will start posting a chapter a week though... maybe more :) Enjoy!
Everything was black.
Pressure came from all sides and angles; squeezing her tightly. Panic began to build when she realized she couldn’t breathe; her chest felt like it was being compressed. Buffy could actually feel the pressure on her ear drums building. But just as suddenly as all these things started, they stopped.
The ground beneath her feet solidified and she found that she could see, hear, and breath again. She swayed slightly but was steadied by a firm hand on her shoulder.
Buffy glanced up at her uncle, “ What was that?!”
“ Apparition. Most witches and wizards travel that way.” he said, his silver eyes giving her an approving look, “ You did well for your first time.”
Lucius used his hand on her shoulder to turn her around, “ Welcome to Malfoy Manor. Your new home.”
Buffy’s eyes went a little wide and she pursed her lips in a long silent whistle.
They stood at the beginning of a long, wide stone path. Wrought-iron gates stood at their back and in front rose a huge, handsome manor house. Tall, elaborate hedges lined the path and she could see what looked like white peacocks strutting up and down their lengths.
It was a beautiful and stunning place but Buffy thought maybe the peacocks were a little overkill. Her uncle stood expectantly, obviously waiting for her reaction.
“ Wow… It’s impressive.” She murmured.
He drew himself up proudly, “ Yes, it is. It has housed many generations of our family. It was actually built by an ancestor of ours.”
“ Really?” Buffy asked.
He nodded and began guiding her forwards, “ Your mother and I grew up here. My own son has as well and now you--”
That surprised her, “ You have a son?”
“ Draco. He’s a year younger than you and currently at school. You’ll be seeing him when he comes home for Christmas break.” Lucius remarked.
“ And his mother…” Buffy slanted a glance at him from the corner of her eye.
His lip curled slightly, his version of a smile, “ My wife Narcissa. She’s been eager to meet you.”
She bit her lip at that but her Uncle simply increased his pace. They passed a large fountain set in front of the house and then entered through it’s grand front doors. They came into a large entrance hallway; portraits lined the wall and a luxurious carpet covered most of the stone floor.
Buffy stared at one of the portraits; an old woman with snow colored hair, dressed in severe black, sat in a straight backed chair snoring lightly. Her Uncle glanced at it amused, “ Great-Aunt Astrid.” was all he said before turning and heading into a room off the hallway.
She shot one last disbelieving glance at the picture before following.
The room that she entered was opulent and more than suggested the wealth of the house’s owners. The walls were covered in a deep purple silk wallpaper; a gleaming chandelier hung from the middle of the coffered ceiling; the ornate furniture consisted of ebony colored wood and velvet and silk upholstery.
A woman had risen at their entrance from a velvet covered chaise. She was tall and slender, wearing robes of dove grey satin. Ice colored gems glittered like stars at her ears and neck. She had ivory colored skin and pale gold hair worn in a complicated knot. She was beautiful; a fine boned face and heavy lidded dark blue eyes.
“ Welcome home, dear,” she greeted her husband. The woman turned to Buffy, “ And you must be Christabel. I‘m your Aunt Narcissa.” She moved forward and caught her hands with her own, “ I’m so very sorry for your loss.”
Buffy gave her a sad smile, “ Thank you.”
Her Aunt studied her and frowned.
“ You must be tired from all the traveling you’ve done. I’ll show you to your room so you can get settled.” She offered, glancing at her husband.
He nodded at some unspoken question, “ That’s a good idea. I’m expecting a few owls before dinner,” he glanced at Buffy, “ I’ll be in my study if you need me.”
She nodded and watched as he left, trying not to fidget under her Aunt’s gaze.
“ Well, just follow me dear.” Aunt Narcissa advised, turning to leave as well.
So she did. Her aunt led her through the manor, pointing out various rooms and explaining their purposes. Buffy had been in large impressive homes before but nothing like this. They actually had different wings.
And her room was located in the West wing.
Her Aunt explained as she walked, “ Now, your room was previously the Blue guestroom but when we found out you were coming, well, it seemed the best choice. It has the best views of the gardens. Of course, once you’re settled, we can redecorate however you want. Colors, fabric, furniture, everything. What do you think?” she glanced back at Buffy.
She gave the woman a shy smile, “ The works?”
Aunt Narcissa beamed, “ The works. It’ll be wonderful having another girl in the house. As it is, Lucius and Draco tend to out vote me quite often. But now, we have even odds.” she leaned closer and whispered the last words conspiratorially.
Buffy smiled uncertainly.
“ And here we are!” Narcissa announced, opening a set of dark wood double doors.
The ‘Blue’ room was, well, blue. The walls were covered in blue paper; dark blue curtains were hung on a set of windows that spread across an entire wall, the long window seat below had matching blue throw pillows. The bed was a large four poster with a flowered blue bedspread and hanging drapes. Besides all the blue, the room was quite lovely. It had tall, coffered ceilings; glossy dark stained wood floors. A huge cream colored marble fireplace sat across from the bed, a large gilded mirror hung above it. There was a tall, wide wardrobe and a large desk set on either side of the fireplace. Built in bookshelves filled out the last wall.
“ Wow. This is my room?” Buffy moved to the window. Her aunt was right, the view was spectacular.
Her aunt nodded, frowning at the coverlet on the bed, “ Yes, but its not really fit for a young lady. Much too masculine. Don’t worry, Dear. I’ve already began making arrangements.”
Buffy bit her lip. She didn’t want to put anyone out on her behalf but her aunt seemed pretty set on this whole redecorating thing.
Aunt Narcissa was moving around the room, apparently taking mental notes on the needed changes. She waved to a door Buffy had yet to notice, “ Through there is your bathroom. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to change in there as well.” She paused for a moment, “ I don’t suppose you’re familiar with house elves but-”
“ Actually, I’ve seen one before.” She clarified, “In Roanoke.”
Her aunt nodded approvingly, “ Good. Well, we have several working for our family. You might see one occasionally, cleaning or gathering your dirty clothes. They’re supposed to stay out of sight but the silly creatures will sometimes forget. I didn’t want them to startle you.”
Buffy searched for something to say, “ So when will I get to meet my cousin? Draco, wasn’t it?” She inquired. Weird Name.
Narcissa’s face softened, “ Yes, Draco is at school right now but he should be home for the holidays. I have no doubt that you two will get along famously. He’s only a year your junior so it’ll be nice for you both to have someone the same age around.”
Buffy had her doubts but didn’t express them. She simply nodded and smiled.
There was a moment of silence. They both stood staring at each other, somewhat awkwardly.
Her Aunt studied her, “ I love those robes. Did you get them in Roanoke?”
She nodded, running a hand down her front self-consciously.
The older woman reassured her, “ Oh, you look lovely, dear.” She moved closer and cupped Buffy’s face, “ So very lovely. Even prettier than your mother was at your age.”
She frowned at that, unsure what to make of the comment but Narcissa moved to sit on the edge of the bed.
“ Christabel--” she began.
“ Oh,” Buffy interrupted, “ you can call me Buffy. I haven’t ever gone by my full name.”
“ Buffy?” Her aunt’s features seemed to quiver for a moment; even her nostrils, which seemed to twitch slightly like they wanted to flare. After a moment, She seemed to regain her composure, “ What a… charming nickname. But I’m surprised your mother never called you by a more… conventional one. Maybe like Belle?”
“ Oh,” Buffy could totally see where this was going, “ Well, she did. Call me Belle, I mean. Until we moved to Los Angeles. Buffy just fit better there.”
Narcissa seemed slightly relieved, “ Oh. Would you mind terribly if I called you Belle then? Not that there’s anything wrong with Buffy, of course. I just think it might be nice for you to… put some distance between you and what happened in Los Angeles with your mother. What better way than to go by something she called you in better times?”
She gave her aunt an uncertain look, “ I suppose… I mean, it’s fine if you want to call me Belle. I mean, no one really does--”
“ Well, don’t you worry about it, dear.” She reached over and patted Buffy’s hand, “ Now, I know it’s probably hard for you being here. You’re in a new place with people you’ve never met, even if they are family. But I want you to know that you can come to me with anything... for anything.” She glanced down at her lap for a minute, before looking back up at Buffy earnestly, “ I’ve never been an Aunt before… this is a little new to me as well. But I want more than anything for us to become close. We value family here, Belle. Above all else.”
Buffy nodded. Narcissa seemed sincere.
Narcissa smiled, “ You and I are going to be spending a lot of time together for the rest of the year. I’m sure we’ll get to know each other quite well.” She rose, “ Now, Dinner will be served in a little while. I know your uncle wanted to go over a few things with you. Why don’t I escort you to his study?”
“ Okay.” Buffy began to follow but Narcissa waited, looping their arms and bringing her forward till they walked side by side.
Her Uncle’s study resided on the other side of the Manor. By the time her Aunt left her in front of the heavy mahogany doors, Buffy was fairly certain that she wouldn’t ever be able to find her way around on her own. The house was huge.
There were too many rooms and hallways and staircases. Hell, she wouldn’t be surprised if there were secret passages behind the wall.
She knocked sharply on the door. A clear cool voice commanded, “ Enter.”
So she did. The room itself was just as impressive as all the others she’d seen. Her Uncle sat behind a large desk in the middle of the room, writing with a quill on a piece of parchment. A vial filled with a radiant blue liquid sat in front of him.
He glanced up at her, “ Ah, Christabel. Please have a seat.” he gestured to one of the straight backed chairs situated in front of his desk.
Buffy sat and watched as he put away the parchment, quill, and glowing vial.
Lucius resettled himself and gazed at her a moment, “ Did you approve of your room?”
She blinked, “ Ah…yes. Yes, it’s very nice.”
He nodded, “ Good.”
There was a moment of silence. Buffy tried not to squirm, and her Uncle looked deep in thought.
He steepled his long fingers and gazed at her over them, “ When Mr. McDonald and I spoke today, he informed me of the contents of your mother’s will. It basically states that until you come of age, I am your primary guardian. As such, it is my responsibility to see to your schooling and your overall well being. I understand that your mother raised you…muggle.” He actually sneered the last word.
Buffy‘s eyebrows furrowed, “ Muggle?”
He arched a brow, “ Someone not gifted with magic.” He actually made it sound like they were handicapped or something.
“ Oh! You mean Mundanes?” So they were called muggles here? Color her confused.
Dark amusement was apparent on his face, “ Ah yes, Mundane. That is what the Americans call them, I’d forgotten.”
“ Well, Mom did raise me without telling me about magic or any of this.” she gestured around her.
He nodded frowning, “ Well, for you to be ready to attend Hogwarts next year, you’ll need extensive tutoring. I’ve already commissioned several of the best tutors for you. You’ll start your lessons in just a few days.”
“Really?” astonishment was clear in her voice.
He examined her sternly, “ The lessons will continue the rest of the year and the summer. I’ve discussed everything with your tutors and they think they can have you covering a year of schooling every three months. On your part, you’ll need to exhibit focus and drive. For the rest of the year, your schooling is to come first. Understand?”
He wasn’t exactly giving her a choice but Buffy nodded, feeling vaguely overwhelmed.
“ Good.” He was back to watching her.
She shifted uncomfortably. Did he have any idea how annoying and creepy that was?
He opened his mouth to speak only to close it again. After a moment he tried again, “ Mr. McDonald also informed me of the manner of Josceline’s death. And that you were the one to… find her.” the fact that she’d also found Hank was unmentioned, the knowledge already in his eyes, “ I am deeply sorry that you had to see that.”
She stiffened, glancing up at her uncle, “ Thank you. It‘s… hard to talk about.”
Lucius nodded, “ I understand.” he paused, “ Your mother never said anything about her former life? About her family?” he ended the last awkwardly, like even he wasn’t sure why he was asking.
She shook her head and explained about the story her mother had always told her. Her uncle seemed upset but hid it well.
“ And your father?” he regarded her carefully, “ I was told that she never named him , not even on your birth certificate.”
Buffy watched him, “ No. She never mentioned him to me. It was just us and then she remarried and then… No, she never mentioned him to me.”
He nodded and Buffy worked up the courage to ask her own questions.
“ So, did Lindsey talk to you about her ashes?”
Her uncle answered absently, “ Yes, of course. I thought we might have a small ceremony around the holidays when all the family is together.”
She opened her mouth to ask another question when Lucius stood, straightening his robes, “ I believe dinner is ready. Come, my dear. I’ll escort you.”
Buffy frowned at the abruptness but stood, allowing him to guide her from the room. There was something very slippery about her new Uncle.
Dinner was interesting to say the least.
The three of them sat at a long table bedecked in crisp white linens. Fine china, crystal, and gleaming silverware set every place setting.
A variety of food had appeared on her plate but Buffy recognized almost none of it. Beneath a plum colored sauce, was what looked like the breast meat of some sort of bird but smelled and tasted like pork. A variety of vegetables accompanied it. Buffy passed the time by scooting a baby carrot around her plate.
Her Aunt sat at one end, sipping from a crystal goblet, “ So Belle, tomorrow your Uncle and I are going to take you to Diagon Alley for the supplies and things you’ll be needing. Of course, we have a few things already.”
Buffy glanced at her Uncle who sat at the other end of the table, “ Like what?”
It was Narcissa that answered, “ Well, your Uncle has already ordered all the books that were assigned for the past four years. We’ll pick those up tomorrow. And we have parchment and quills, potion supplies, that sort of thing. But you’ll need more robes. And a wand of course.”
Buffy leaned forward eagerly, “ A wand? I can get it tomorrow?”
It was her Uncle that answered this time, “ Yes. We’ll go by Ollivander’s and purchase one there. He does make the best.”
She smiled to herself. Getting a wand had been something she’d been looking forward to.
After a moment, she started her own line of questioning, “ So Draco will be home for Christmas? Will he stay long?” She’d probably be hurting for some non-adult company by then anyway,
Her Uncle nodded, “ Yes, for about two weeks I believe. Plenty of time for the two of you to get to know each other.”
Narcissa made a little murmur at the thought, clearly pleased at the idea.
Buffy cleared her throat, “ So… it’ll just be the four of us?” Wouldn’t that be cozy.
At her question, both adults traded looks. Lucius spoke, with a somewhat forced good humor, “ Actually, we’ll have a few more family members visiting. My mother, your Grandmother, for instance and of course my--”
She gaped at him for a moment, certain she’d heard wrong, “ I have a Grandmother? But…”
He nodded frowning at the interruption, “ Yes. She…travels extensively. I’ve sent word about your mother but she might not get the letter for weeks. But she’s already expected for the Holidays so I expect she’ll just show up at some point.”
Narcissa sent her a smile, “ Viridianne will be very excited to meet you. She adores Draco… now, she’s has two grandchildren to spoil.”
“ Besides your Grandmother, there are a few others that will visit.” Lucius remarked, “ They’ll all be… eager to meet you.”
Buffy gave her a weak smile. Of course, they had no problem with strange family members popping up at of no where. So much for a stress free holiday.
It was a short time later that Buffy managed to sequester herself into her new room.
Someone had set a small cheerful fire in the fireplace. She was reasonably sure it was a house-elf, even if she hadn’t seen one up close yet.
After taking a moment to slip off her shoes and climb up on top of the large bed, Buffy started emptying her pockets. She sorted the pile, plucking out her tiny bag. She moved and set it on the middle of the floor. Placing a hand directly over it, she remembered Lindsey’s directions. She said the magic word and readied herself to duck at the sight of any flying objects.
The explosion happened just like before, scattering her variety of belongings around the room. With a sigh, she moved to start picking them up.
Buffy peered under the bed, spying a few articles of clothes. Snagging a sleeve she drew it out, only to stop once something hard slid out from under the cloth.
It was her compact. It must have been knocked off the bed when she’d enlarged her bag and everything had flown out. She picked it up and smoothed her finger over the lid, tracing the elaborate swirls. Opening it, she peered inside to check her reflection.
“ Well, it’s about time! Do you have any idea how uncomfortable this thing is?”
She dropped it abruptly only to hear, “ Oy! Be careful out there!”
Buffy snatched it back up and glared into the glass, “ Bernard! What the hell are you doing here?!”
His smoky face appeared in the glass and he huffed, “ Well, not sight seeing that’s for sure. I’ve been stuck in a mirror smaller than a pixie’s ass! You wouldn‘t believe how hot that pocket gets!”
“ Why were you in my pocket, scratch that, my compact in the first place?!” She growled.
He was silent for a moment before he spoke again, somewhat sheepishly this time, “ Well… you see… I took your advice. You know, get out, get my freedom, have a little excitement. And well, here I am!” he ended on a high note.
She gaped, “ Wait just a second! What do you mean ‘Here I am’? You said you couldn’t leave you mirror unless you…” her eyes widened, “ Unless you bind yourself to someone. Please please please tell me you haven’t bound yourself to--”
“ Yup,” he said cheerfully, “ How may I serve you Master?”
Buffy groaned, “ Don’t call me that! And unbind yourself right now!”
“ No can do.”
“ What do you mean ’No can do’?!? You‘re a magic mirror! You‘re all about the do!” she exclaimed, waving her hands in the air.
Bernard sighed, “ Do you have any idea how long it took me to get into that compact of yours? Besides, once a binding occurs its very hard to undo.”
She narrowed her eyes, “ But you can undo it, right?”
“ Yes, Mistress.”
“ Don’t call me that!” she ran a hand through her hair, “ Look, just undo it, okay?”
“ Why are you being so difficult? Look, if you don’t I’ll just tell my Uncle and he can--”
He interrupted her, “ Oh, I wouldn’t do that. It’s against magical law to have a mirror such as I bound to you in servitude. Your Uncle would be bound to report you to the Ministry. I think the last punishment they had issued was three months in Azkaban. And that was the light sentence.”
She stared, aghast, “ Why are you doing this?!? Why are you trying to get me in trouble? I was nice to you wasn’t I?”
He was quiet for a moment, “ You were. That’s why I… Look, do you know how rare it is that someone actually treats me or my kind like actual beings with feelings? Not very often. I was dying back at that Inn, with nothing to do but stare at the various strangers that traipsed through that room. I needed variety and a change of scenery.”
She ran a hand through her hair and he continued, obviously sensing her weakening, “ Look, this isn’t a bad thing. No one has to know that I’m here. I’ll be quiet and discreet… and if anyone ever does find out, I’ll tell them it was all my idea. Besides, you could always make use of me-”
“ By spying?” she interrupted, rolling her eyes.
He ignored her snide tone, “ By gathering information. You’re a teenager and I imagine that you occasionally like to rebel against authority. With me on your side, you could have a… inside man, so to speak.”
Buffy thought about that for a minute. He did have a point. It would probably be harder to get around magic using adults than it had been to get around her mother. Not that she was intending to do anything sneaky but it never to be prepared, right? He would definitely come in handy…
She sighed, “ If, IF, you stayed… you’d have to do what I say, right?”
His voice was eager, “ Yes, of course. You are for all intents and purposes, my master. I have to do what you say if you give a direct order.”
She was skeptical, “ So if I ordered you to unbind yourself from me, you’d have to?”
He was silent for a moment before responding honestly, “ Yes.” his voice turned pleading, “ But please don’t. Please, just give me a chance. I won’t be any trouble. I Promise.”
Buffy groaned, “ Why do I have a feeling that I’m going to regret this?” she rolled her eyes, “ Fine, you can stay. But you cannot, under any circumstances, let anyone know you’re here. Got me?”
His ghostly face beamed at her, “ Got it. You won’t regret this, Mistress.”
Buffy winced, “ Yeah, let’s lay off the Mistress stuff, okay? Just call me Buffy.”
“ Yes, Mistress Buffy.”
She glared at the smartass, “ So are you going to just live in this compact now?”
“ Oh! No. Just set me next to a larger mirror and I’ll take care off it. I should be done by tomorrow morning.” Bernard explained.
She did as he suggested, setting the open compact next to the large mirror above the fireplace. She ignored his pleased humming, and moved over to the bed, looking for something in particular.
She found it, picking up the Muna mirror and the thin piece of parchment that had the directions scrolled on it.
Buffy skimmed it quickly before following the directions; tracing the runes in the pattern indicated and said clearly Lindsey’s name. A moment later, the surface of the mirror glimmered and shimmered before Lindsey’s face swirled into view.
He smiled, “ Hey there. I was wondering when you’d call. Have any trouble with the mirror?”
Buffy gritted her teeth before smiling back, “ Nope. I just wanted to check in before going to bed.”
“ I’m glad you did. Everything okay?” he sounded concerned.
She shrugged, “ It’s okay. Different that’s for sure.” She brightened, “ Their house is huge! And I have an Aunt and cousin!”
Lindsey nodded, “ Your Uncle mentioned them when we spoke. Narcissa and Draco, right?”
“ Yup. I won’t meet Draco till Christmas but Narcissa is nice. She and Uncle Lucius are taking me to some place called Diagon Alley in the morning to get a wand and stuff.”
He looked approvingly, “ Good. I take it they’re wasting no time in getting you started on learning magic?”
Buffy nodded, “ Yeah, my Uncle has like a whole lesson plan already set out. He said he’s already hired tutors and everything.”
Lindsey snorted and muttered under his breath. After a moment he glanced back at her, “ Has he been treating you well?”
She nodded again, “ Yeah. I mean it’s not all sunshine and daisies but he’s not whipping my puppy either. He’s not the warmest person out there but that’s just the way he is I think.”
Lindsey looked unconvinced, “ Well, as long as he isn’t… whipping your puppy- where the hell do you come up with these things?”
She rolled her eyes, “ I’m going to let you go if you’re going to mock my linguistic abilities. I’m pretty beat.”
He smiled, “ Okay, but just be sure to keep me updated. I mean it Buffy.”
Her face softened, “ Okay. I promise. Good night.”
“ Goodnight.” His visage swirled out of view and just like that he was gone.
Buffy placed the mirror in a drawer inside the bedside table.
She took a moment to place a few of her things around the room; the picture of her and her mother went on the table beside her bed; the few books she’d accumulated went on the shelves; the Doe figurine went on the mantel of the fireplace. Buffy grabbed a nightgown and stashed the rest of her things in the wardrobe. With Narcissa all gung ho about redecorating the bedroom, she didn’t want to spread all of her things around now and then have to go back and do it all over again.
She changed into her nightgown, not even bothering to wash the makeup off her face. Exhaustion weighed heavily on her. Buffy pulled out the combs in her hair, taking a moment to massage her scalp. It was amazing how long this day seemed.
She climbed into bed, pulling the heavy coverlet around her. The pillows and mattress felt like clouds and Buffy could feel herself drifting away.
A soft, “ Goodnight Mistress Buffy.” echoed through the room.
She sleepily rolled her eyes and grumbled, “ Goodnight Bernard.”
Her last waking moments were spent observing how the flames flickering in the fireplace cast creepy shadows across the room.
Narcissa ran the brush through her hair again, smoothing her pale gold tresses. She sat at her vanity, clad in her nightgown and dressing robe. Through the mirror’s reflection, she watched her Husband brood into a glass of scotch as he sat in his favorite chair by the fireplace.
She rose and walked behind him, placing her hands on his shoulders, “ Well?”
Lucius didn’t answer, simply pulled a small radiant blue vial and a sheet of parchment from his robes and placed them both on the table next to his elbow.
She smiled and squeezed his shoulders, “ Wonderful.” She glanced down at the parchment, stared, and moved closer to pick it up. A moment later, Narcissa nearly gaped at her husband, “ But when--”
Lucius frowned and the flames from the fire painted his face in an unholy light.
Procuring a strand of Christabel’s hair had been fairly easy, just by lifting a stray strand off her shoulder that afternoon. It was all that was required to complete the Blood-purity Potion. That simple strand of hair had turned the normally white potion an effervescent blue, the color of the blood that ran through a pureblood’s veins, and determined his niece‘s heritage. It had been a relief - He’d hardly known his sister well enough anymore to know what manner of man she would procreate with. The surprise had come when he’d used the resulting potion to perform the Paternium Spell, something widely used amongst the old guard to make sure husbands hadn’t been cuckolded by their wives and to trace a child’s paternal line. The result had been… surprising to say the least.
He answered Narcissa’s unspoken question, “ I have no idea. Josceline didn’t even move in his circle of friends… how they even knew each other is a mystery. But at least we’ve settled the matter of Christabel’s heritage.”
His wife beamed at him and clasped the parchment with her ivory hands, “ I knew it! The resemblance is--”
“ Narcissa.” He said exasperated.
Her face cooled, “ Don’t Narcissa me, Lucius. She’s my concern now too. She’s family.”
He rose and placed a tender hand on her cheek. Her blue eyes blazed at him, “ It’s been along day dear. Let’s head to bed.” He stroked his thumb across her lower lip and watched as her eyes darkened and her cheeks flushed.
She gave him a lingering look as she swept towards their bed, extinguishing the lights as she did so.
Lucius threw back the rest of his scotch, setting the empty glass on the table. He pulled one last item from the inside pocket of his robe. A letter. It had yet to be read and on the front was written his name in a familiar feminine scrawl. If he breathed in hard enough he could detect the scent of his sister’s favorite perfume. The last thing she’d ever given him. Besides her daughter.
He briefly contemplated throwing it into the fire but simply couldn’t follow through. Instead, he moved to a desk and placed it in the middle drawer where he kept important papers. He made certain to lock it before he exited the room, trailing after his wife.
He was done looking into the past for the day.