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The Prodigal Son Returns

They say that blood is thicker than water. Maybe that's why we battle our own with more energy and gusto than we would ever expend on strangers.
David Assael
August 20, Evening

Aches and pains began to feel his body. The were welcoming pains, the pain of battle, of victory; the lord and the prince had returned. The lights of the manor beckoned them as they approached the door.

Lucius placed his hand on Draco's shoulder as they entered the manor, a barrage of house elves appearing, inquiring to take cloaks, offer refreshements. "Tell Mrs. Malfoy that we have returned," he commanded. "And bring the best wine from the cellar. Tonight, we celebrate."
Draco gave his Father a small smile which grew larger as the house elf he had apprehended upon entering came scurrying back with a vial of headache potion and a robe. He slid it on after downing the potion, sighing in relief. He longed to go and shower - discard the leather breeches of the Slaugh he still wore but right now his Father was exuberant and he wouldn't put it past his Mother to come looking for him if he didn't come see her first.

Plus there was damage control to be done. How much did Lucius Malfoy know of his son's involvement with the Fae? Had someone filled him in on the nature of his 'bond' - and with which one?

Potter is sooo dead.

Draco wasn't sure that a he was in the mood to celebrate - he'd rather curl up and lick his wounds in peace and the safety of his family home, but he had become rather adapt at acting and was in the mood for something. "Bring me a scotch! A bloody big one!" he snapped out to the elf that was still hovering.
Lucius smiled, a self satisfied smile, as Draco barked orders. That was more like it. A month or so here at the manor and he was sure things would settle into normalcy. With her son back, surely Narcissa would want to attend to him and get some of that nonsense out of her head. And there was the matter of the Malfoy name...well, that could wait.

They swept into the sitting room, Lucius expecting to see his wife there and he frowned slightly when he saw the room empty. "You there," he said to a passing elf. "Where is Mrs. Malfoy?"

"Mrs. Malfoy is right here, Lucius dear," Narcissa said as she entered the sitting room and immediately went over to Draco. Her eyes narrowed when she saw the bruise on his jaw and unlike the normal air kisses, she slid her arms around his waist to give an unaccustomed hug.

"Thank Merlin they found you," she whispered into his shoulder before her perfectly groomed mouth kissed the mark on his jaw. It was foolish perhaps, but it did make her feel a tiny bit better.
Draco nearly made some inane comment about the recent increase in the frequency of emotional displays at the Manor, but with the range of emotions he had gone through today he feared a more inarticulate noise might escape his lips and pressed them together, choosing to relax into his mother's embrace instead.

The kiss to his jaw made him smile and he placed one on her cheek, the need to flee in order to compose himself overwhelming. He reached over to pick a twig out of his hair and grimaced. "If you'll excuse me, I fear I am unfit for company." In one way or another. "I'll just go get cleaned up, heal that and I will return."

Giving a nod to each of his parents, Draco left to head to his old suite.
This time an elf had been the one to bring the antidote and the "good news."

It had paid for its courtesy with its life. As had the one who'd administered the potion in the first place.

Bellatrix' wand was still in her hand as she entered the sitting room.

"The china doll is back off the shelf you placed her on when she was inconvenient. How nice to be welcomed back into the family on such a ... happy day."
"China doll?" Narcissa questioned while sending her sister a puzzled glance.

"I thought you were rather quiet today, were you ill? Draco has gone to shower and change, but will be rejoining us soon."
Swirling the deep red wine in the glass, Lucius smirked at Bella's entrance. The potion Severus had given had done its job it seemed.

"Ah, Bellatrix. It is good you could join us to welcome Draco back into the fold," he said silkily.
"Once to secure my release was insult enough," Bellatrix snarled. "To be drugged twice by my dear, loving family is not to be bourne. Cowards! Dogs! Hiding behind Severus' potions!"

She was ranting now, all control vanished.

"What was it, Lucius? So desperate to assert yourself as a man once again that you had to sneak and crawl and thieve in order to get Draco back before someone else — someone with more experience — could?"

Sparks emanated from her raised wand, shattering a vase on a stand in the corner.
Lucius eyes grew flinty, the smile remained however, a calculating, warning smile. "I would suggest you put your wand away before someone gets hurts," he said softly. "And still your tongue. I assure you, should I have to assert myself as the lord of this house, you my dear sister, will be very much the worse for it."
"Indeed, Lucius? Begin whenever you'd like, this putting yourself forward as master of the house!"

Her voice suddenly dropped to a whisper, soft but full of malice.

"Were you truly a leader of men, I would obey without question."

Still, Bellatrix did tuck her wand back into her sleeve.
"There was a time you did have to obey me, Bella," he hissed quietly as he set his glass down and walked several steps in her direction. "Do not test my patience."
"I obeyed the Dark Lord," Bellatrix corrected, tauntingly. "Do you really think to compare yourself with him?"
Stepping in between the two, Narcissa hissed loudly, "Enough! I will not have my home turned into a hovel the likes of The Burrow because the two of you can't behave. What kind of homecoming is this for the Malfoy heir? His father and favorite aunt at each others throats when he returns. It might be enough to make him want to return to the Fae."
Lucius flashed a dark look at his wife, the idea of Draco returning to those creatures making his blood run cold. "It would seem that both Black women would do well to learn to hold their tongues," he snapped, returning to retrieve his drink.

He downed the rest of the wine and offered Narcissa a cool smile. "However I will concede on one point; tonight is for Draco's return."
Bellatrix laughed, darkly, and whirled to claim an armchair. She'd made her point; honour had been upheld.

"And while we await the heir's return, dear brother-in-law, tell me, how was his return secured? What feats of derring-do did you accomplish?"
Waiting until Narcissa had taken a seat also, Lucius refilled his wine and took his own place in a chair. His eyes lit up with an inner fire as he told about the strange Fae world, of the creatures that had risen to thwart the interlopers.

He spoke of the fight, an edge in his voice, remembering the feeling of freedom, of power, of being allowed to use spells too long denied him, even of the werewolf's transformation and how he'd put those on mounts to chaos.

His tone grew quieter as he told of seeing Draco emerge through the magical blizzard the Fae had created and carefully chose his words on returning through the portal. "It is a shame you couldn't have been there, Bella," he finished with a small smirk.

Given the company involved — an entire troupe of misfits where one Death Eater should have done — I find I am become resigned to maintaining my solitude."
Draco had washed in a hurry after throwing the leather breeches into one corner of the room to be dealt with later - or never. He donned a robe long before he stood in front of the mirror to heal his jaw - if there were any other 'marks' on his body to heal they could wait.

He wasn't sure how he'd react to seeing them.

Right now he felt rather pleasantly numb, he'd found that rather the best way to be when dealing with his family, no matter the circumstances. He brushed his hair back away from his face and headed downstairs.

No screaming, that's got to be a good sign. Unless they killed each other. Or Father dropped dead from shock upon learning of his son's preferances. Slightly amused with his own thoughts, Draco entered the room and headed to the bar.

"Mother. Father. Auntie Bella." Draining his glass before refilling it, Draco crossed to take a seat in one of the unoccupied chairs. "I'd thought of staying home for a while if you don't mind."

Crap. What about Bella?

Throw her a house elf or two to kill and slow her down and you'll be fine.

"I sent one of the house elves to fetch Lady Carmilla and a few of my things."

If Winky hurt her - she's the first to go!

If I so much as smile at that, he'll run.

"I don't see a problem with that, do you Lucius?" Narcissa asked while turning her head toward her husband. "Your old room is still the way you left it - basically and the clothes in the wardrobe are kept up to fashion."
This was excellent. Draco back where he belonged and under his watchful eye his son would surely see the 'error' of some of his stances. The family was whole was more...his eyes flickered over to Bella.

Perhaps he should encourage her idea that Potter was the Dark Lord, to keep her entertained and her influence on Draco minimual.

"An a most wise decision indeed, Draco. This is your home after all."
Bellatrix steepled her hands, content to watch. This one at least seemed less obviously damaged by his journey than his cousin had been.

Oh, but the truth would be in the eyes.

She would see. In time.