The was a chill in the air, unseasonable for this time of year, so Narcissa was wearing a light coat trimmed in fur as she started her holiday shopping. Christmas was over a month away, but Narcissa shopped early so there were no surprises.
She was perusing Flourish and Blotts. She normally only dealt in rare books and those dealers sold out of their home or a private shoppe not located on an alley. However, Narcissa wasn’t looking for rare books today. She was only looking for something that caught her eye.
Mr. Pokeby was eyeing Draco as if to say Luna is not here today, so why are you?
. Draco just smiled at him, though. He and Pevensie were swinging a blonde-headed Teddy between them, and the boy was giggling. He was also amazed that Pevensie had the strength to lift him like Draco did. Andromeda had argued that perhaps Teddy was getting a bit old and a bit too big for this particular game, but Draco and Pevensie were managing.
She was speaking to the newest addition to the bookstore about the status of an order she had placed. Andromeda was spending a lot of time at the Council, and she always had her ears open for texts or things the slayers said they needed for research. So far, Rupert had not noticed how they kept mysteriously turning up in donations after someone mentioned them.
As Narcissa walked through the stacks toward the desk, she heard her sister’s voice and stopped. Deciding that she didn’t want her shopping trip ruined, Narcissa turned around and started to head the other direction. Just as she was about to leave, she spotted Draco and his slayer swinging a young boy, Andromeda’s grandson Theodore, between them.
Draco looked much happier than the last time they had spoken. He looked...more free. She smiled a little as she watched him interact. Deciding that perhaps an encounter wouldn’t ruin her trip after all, Narcissa walked up behind them.
“Hello, darling. Pevensie, Theodore.”
“Hey, Mom,” Pevensie said.
“Hello, Great Aunty Narcissa,” Teddy said.
“Mother,” Draco said. His eyes darted to Andy. She had not noticed them.
She grinned. “You appear nervous, darling. Is anything the matter?”
“He was hoping I wouldn’t see you,” Andromeda said. “Like I don’t realize he speaks to his own mother.”
Pevensie grinned. She knew Andromeda and Draco’s mom were sort of like Draco and Theo. The acted all mean to one another, but really they liked each other. It was a Slytherin thing. She was getting to where she sort of like watching this sort of interaction unfold.
“He’s probably very glad that I was unable to convince his father to join us as well,” she replied lightly. “But Lucius deplores holiday shopping.”
Narcissa frowned as she looked Draco over. Everyone in the group was dressed warmly, but he was without a heavy coat. “Draco, what are you doing in the cold without some sort of coat?”
“As many years as I spent in dungeons, do you really think I get cold anymore?”
Andromeda was very glad Lucius didn’t like to be out shopping too. She had never liked the man.
“He has Luna to keep him warm,” Pevensie said.
Draco reached over and pinched her arm very hard.
Teddy started snickering.
“Draco!” Narcissa snapped. He wasn’t setting the best example for his young cousin or his ward. “As pleased as I am that you are establishing a relationship, a coat is in order. If you don’t have one, I’ll add that to your Christmas list.”
“I’m not cold,” Draco said.
It was true. He’d stopped feeling chill long ago. He definitely attributed it to all his time spent in dungeons.
Andromeda sighed loudly. She started to say the she thought Draco was quite old enough to decide when to wear a coat and when not to, but she had done the same thing with Nymphadora.
Narcissa pursed her lips and gave him a disapproving look. She would buy him a coat for Christmas anyway. “Very well,” she said lightly. “I’m allowed to worry. I hardly ever see you anymore.”
Draco nearly rolled his eyes, but he didn’t want to be hexed in public.
“He spends all his time following Luna around,” Pevensie said. “Or hexing trolls. Or being pissy because WIllow did something to Hannah and she forgot Blaise and then it was all crazy.”
Draco glared at her.
“Am I doing that thing you don’t like when I talk too much?”
Teddy started giggling again. Andromeda grinned. This was why she liked bringing Teddy around Draco and Pevensie. He got a taste of what it was like to have siblings because Draco could still be such a child at times.
“My, you have been busy,” she replied slowly. Narcissa gave up long ago trying to have Draco write or floo and tell about his day, but surely a troll or wayward memories warranted a small letter. “I hope you won’t be too busy in the holidays. I would like you to attend a few functions with us.”
She turned to her sister. “We’ll have a family dinner before Christmas. You and yours are welcome.”
She understood if Andromeda didn’t want to come, but Narcissa was ready to have her family again.
Andromeda almost let her jaw drop open. She had never been invited to a holiday dinner at Malfoy Manor.
“I’m sure Rupert and myself would be delighted, provided he and his extended family have no plans.”
She didn’t even know of Rupert celebrated the holidays.
“All right,” Draco said, looking a bit like he’d been hit with a stunner. “But I am not bringing Luna. Just know that now. She won’t ever be coming to the manor. Not unless she wants to, and I really don’t feature that happening.”
Pevensie started to protest. “But-”
“Not. Now. You don’t know what happened.” Draco looked at Teddy briefly. He absolutely was not having this talk with Teddy there.
Pevensie clammed up.
Narcissa nodded. “I shall let you know the details as soon as possible.” She was already making the plans in her head.
Andromeda was still reeling from being invited to a holiday dinner.
“We’re going to go have tea at the Leaky Cauldron,” Teddy said. “Would you like to join us?”
Draco started laughing. Loudly. Teddy glared at him.
“Teddy, Great Aunty Narcissa doesn’t have tea at the Leaky,” Draco said.
While she was torn between wanting to spite Draco and staying to true to her hatred of the Leaky, she had an excuse already. “I’m sorry say that I have an appointment with a shop owner shortly, but if you are still shopping after the tea, I would be happy to join you,” she replied to Theodore. “Perhaps we can have tea another time.”
Narcissa glared at Draco.
“Maybe you can come to my house and have tea? You can meet who’s staying with us that day. We have all sorts of people staying with us sometimes.”
Draco could not help it, he started laughing again. The very idea that his mother would actually go to Aunt Andy’s boarding house was very humorous.
“Rude,” Pevensie said in an annoyed tone.
“I completely agree,” Narcissa said with a glare. “I’m sure my son isn’t laughing at the offer, now is he?”
She knew exactly what he was laughing at but she couldn’t hex him for it in the middle of a store.
“Oh no, I think having tea at the boarding house with all the boarders is a splendid idea. Just splendid. In fact, I’d like to be invited.”
Now Andy was glaring at him too.
“You are so not being nice right now,” Pevensie said. “I’d like to come as well, if that’s okay, Teddy. I can wear my new dress.”
“Well, I’m pleased to see one of you acting like an adult. I just wish it was my adult son doing so,” Narcissa snapped. She was lucky the store was mostly empty. Patrons were starting to stare.
“I will send out my invitations then,” Teddy said, trying to sound official.
Andromeda smiled at him. If he wanted to have a tea party, then by the gods he would have one, and she’d even suffer through her sister being there and probably looking at everything with disdain because that’s what her grandson wanted.
“And I shall wait with baited breath and respond the moment I receive mine,” Narcissa replied with a small smile. He really did look so much like Draco at that moment. When he was young, Draco always wanted to throw his own parties because he claimed everyone else’s were boring.
“It’ll be better than the last one I had,” she muttered under her breath. She still hadn’t recovered from Queenie fainting.
Andromeda started chuckling. She could not help it.
“What?” Draco asked.
“Tori announced her relationship with Marcus at that one... in typical Astoria fashion. Queenie took it about as well as could be expected. This, of course, was after she recovered from her swoon over the matter.”
Draco started laughing.
“Oh let’s not forget Calanthe and Rosemarie baiting everyone just to get a rise. The unannounced guests were quite a surprise,” she said dryly.
Draco was still chuckling. He could just imagine.
“Well, you should know better than to invite Irulan Purecraft anywhere. She thinks everyone ought to just get along,” Andromeda said. “Some people have too much history for that.”
“They’re called courtesy invitations and I have never once had anyone accept one.” Narcissa curbed the urge to cross her arms. She was still sore about the entire ordeal. “Let’s drop the subject, shall we? It was a long time ago and I was remiss in bringing it up.”
Draco nudged his aunt. “You, me and the pensieve later?”
She tried to glare at him, but failed. “Stop doing things designed to aggravate your mother.”
“Indeed,” Narcissa replied lightly. “Or I shall allow a little memory walking of my own. I also have the photo albums to pass around. Your first dress robes were simply precious, Draco. All that lace.”
“After polyjucing into Hannah Abbott and trotting about in a pink dress, somehow I doubt this will embarrass him, Cissy,” Andromeda said.
“When did you do that?” Pevensie asked. “And more importantly, why?”
Andromeda gasped. She’d forgotten why until just now.
“Wait a minute. I went on my first date with Rowan and thought it was really weird that Hannah and Mac kept popping up wherever we went all day. Was that freaking you?!”
“Inside voice,” Draco said.
“Did you and Mac follow me about all day? Spy on me?”
“No,” he said, not lying. It was him and Blaise.
Pevensie narrowed her eyes. “Liar.”
“I never followed you with Mac.”
“But you did follow me... with someone else. It wasn’t Mac, was it? You were Hannah and, hmmm, lemme guess who could have possibly been Mac. Was it... Blaise? You and Blaise dressed up like girls to spy on me? You butt plug.”
She spun on her heel and stormed out of Flourish and Blotts.
Narcissa pinched the bridge of her nose. “Where did I go wrong with you? Why did you have to inherit those
Black genes.” She sighed. “Go after her and apologize. Honestly, Draco, spying and polyjuice? And you dragged Blaise into it?”
“I had to make certain he wasn’t going to do anything untoward, didn’t I?”
“Honestly, Draco,” Andromeda said. “How untoward could he have gotten? She’s a slayer. If he did anything inappropriate, she could have just broken his arm or something.”
“He’s a werewolf. He’s not just some average bloke. He’s a bit stronger.”
Teddy perked up. “Pevensie’s boyfriend is a werewolf? Like me?”
Draco ruffled Teddy’s blonde hair. “No, not like you, peanut. They broke the mold with you. No one’s quite the same. You’re unique.”
That said, he sighed loudly and started after Pevensie. She probably went down to the herbology shop to tattle on him to Neville.
“Well,” Narcissa responded lightly. “I’m glad to see the drama and chaos that comes with being a Black was passed on to my son and still thrives.”
“You should have known he was going to turn out like this the first time he lit his own pants on fire, Cissa. He’s Bella all over but without the psychotic sociopath tendencies, so I suppose that would make him exactly like Sirius.”
That was a common thought amongst the Black cousins - that Sirius and Bellatrix did not get along because they were so much alike. Andromeda missed all of them when they were little. Sirius and Bella always fighting. Reggie always trying to have tea parties and inviting Narcissa and Andromeda.
It still always amazed her how fooled Regulus had them all until the end. He’d turned out to be just as clever as any of them.
“If you’re trying to comfort me, it’s not working,” Narcissa replied dryly. “Sirius managed to find the most mischief possible in any situation. At least Draco doesn’t prank like he did.”
Andromeda chuckled, thinking of all the things Sirius had done to them growing up. She missed him. It had almost killed her when she thought he had murdered all those people on the street and given up James and Lily Potter. She had thought he had turned out exactly like Bella. Then when the truth was revealed, she’d felt immense guilt for not believing in him.
But he was a Black, like her. It was easier to think the worst because with the Blacks the worst was usually the truth of it.
“You would have had a heart attack about him and that troll. I wasn’t even there, and I just about had to sit down hearing the telling of it. He slid on the floor between a mountain troll’s legs and the fired a wand shot to its eyes. The thing had been batting people aside right and left. He’s exactly like Sirius. But he did it to protect a girl. He just might turn out to be one of the one’s Aunt Walburga would have burned off the family tree.”
Narcissa had to take a deep breath and not march after Draco. He was reckless, almost to a fault, and the concept terrified her. There was no in between with him.
She cleared her throat. “Aunt Walburga threatened to burn everyone off the family tree at one point. Although I believe she would have burned him off then written him back in so many times it would have been pointless.”
Teddy had wandered off to look at some books that caught his interest, so Andromeda now felt she could speak a bit more freely.
“I’m not there,” Andromeda said. “She burned me off it. Nymphadora was never there. Uncle Alphard was burned off along with Sirius.”
Narcissa was looking at her as if to ask how she knew this.
“We used to meet there. The little place on Grimmald. The tapestry is still hanging in that one room.”
Narcissa barely resisted rolling her eyes. She always hated the tapestry. It was gaudy and worn. Lineage records were just fine in books instead of hanging on the walls. “I deplored that house. I always felt claustrophobic inside. Not to mention there was hardly any privacy.”
“It’s changed now. It hadn’t then, when we were meeting there with Sirius, but... can you imagine Aunt Walburga’s face knowing James Potter’s son not only owned the place but lived there?”
There was no love lost between herself and her aunt. The woman had strong opinions on everything and if opinions didn’t agree with hers, then they were obviously very wrong. Although she did owe her aunt for her marriage to Lucius. The woman said the best Narcissa would ever marry would be an Avery or a Rosier. So Narcissa went back to Hogwarts and stole a Malfoy.
A slow grin spread over her face. “That is a memory I wouldn’t mind watching over and over.”
Andromeda snickered. Their aunt had gone into seclusion after Regulus had been killed. It had been several years later that she had finally died, and Andromeda believed she grieved herself to death. One son dead, the other, though disowned, in prison.
“I suppose you’ll just have to settle for the look upon her face when I announced at mother’s tea party that I would not be marrying Rabastan Lestrange, but Theodore Tonks.”
She was talking but keeping both eyes on her grandson as he moved from display to display looking at books. He must take after Remus there because Nymphadora never liked to read, and she’d never seen Remus without a book.
Unlike her own engagement, Andromeda’s did not bring good news. Yes, they both did not marry whom their family preferred, but Narcissa married worthy of her blood and station. The Blacks thought Andromeda did neither.
“Have you noticed that the most disruptions occur during tea? This doesn’t bode well for your grandson.”
“Well, I’m going to try to remain optimistic and think the toughest thing to happen to him that day will be which hair color to wear.”