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Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat.
~ Robert Heinlein
Friday, Sept 8th ~ Afternoon



Wednesday, Narcissa had decided that Draco's absence from the dinner table was acceptable. He was young, supposedly had a life and she didn't want to be the 'nagging' mother like she assumed Mrs. Weasley was. Thursday, she glared at the place setting as if to make him appear. When she hadn't seen him by Friday morning, she knocked at his suite of rooms and when there was no answer, entered. What she saw, or rather didn't see, told her he hadn't been there for several days. It was entirely too neat and tidy. There were no clothes strewn about waiting for the elves to clean up, no messy bed with her son still in it and no steam coming from the lavatory area.

Therefore, her arrival on his doorstep shouldn't have been a surprise to him at all. As she waited outside, her eye ran over the carpet in the hall.

At least he didn't put white out here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Draco wrinkled his nose at the door wondering who in the hell would be here this early. Well, early for him.

Needless to say, waiting for Winky - and he still really needed to see about getting that thing a different name - was a futile endeavor at best. Crossing to the front door, he pulled it open, quickly moving the door back to leave just enough room to peer out of. "Hello, Mother. I thought you'd have been here tomorrow. Are you alone?"

Draco stood on his toes, trying to see over her head.

Ha! As if Father would huddle behind - bad place! Bad place! Abort! Abort!

"Gah!"
Narcissa's eyes narrowed slightly at his question.

Am I being followed?

I wouldn't put it past Lucius, but...


"I really don't feel like standing in a corridor while having a discussion with my son, Draco dear. If I assure you that as far as I know, I'm alone, would that suffice?"
Draco studied his mother's face for a mere moment before the door opened further and his hand shot out to grab her arm and yank her inside. Slamming and locking the door behind her, Draco gave his mother a bland smile as if nothing had happened.

"Would you care for tea?"
After recovering from the shock of having her son pull her into his penthouse as if there were demons upon her heels, Narcissa's eyebrow rose.

"I don't know," she advised while checking the back of her hair. "Are you going to throw it at me on the run or do we get to sit down and drink it?"
Draco raised an eyebrow at his mother while shaking his head. "Why on earth would I throw tea at you? Really, you are so odd at times." He bit his lip to contain the grin threatening to erupt over his face and motioned to the living room. "Come, have a seat. I'm sure I know why you're here, I have one thing to say."

Draco sprawled out over the couch. "He started it."
Sitting down, Narcissa crossed her legs and sighed.

"It was a bit simpler when he was in Azkaban, wasn't it? I have to confess, there are times when I almost wish he was still there, but then I remember..."

Shaking off the bit of self-pity she was feeling over not being able to 'control' everything again, Narcissa's eyebrows rose. She really didn't need to ask what it was that Lucius started, so she didn't.

"I'm willing to accept that he started it, but since you left without even a brush of a kiss on my cheek I'm assuming it didn't end well."
"Not so much. The teacup seemed to be the worst off," Draco said lightly even as his stomach clenched at the reminder. Turning his head, Draco glanced out the window. "It's nothing that I didn't expect. I just wish it hadn't happened so soon."

Goyle had been glad his father was dead - Draco had never wished for the same, but at least while Lucius had still been incarcerated Draco had suspected - but never had it confirmed - that he would be a disappointment to his father.

And confirmation hurt more than he had thought it could.

Something Narcissa had said chose that moment to sink in and he whipped his head around to stare at his mother with concern. "When you almost...?" At least ten years - no dementors, but still more than enough to change -

Father or not - I'll kill him!


The new clenching jaw thing had decided to bring along a friend apparently, the twitching was rather distracting. "What did he do and when do you want the funeral? I'll have to get my robes pressed."
Few things had the power to leave Narcissa speechless and her son's apparent willingness to defend her even against his father was one of them. She had to drop her eyes to her hands for a moment to hide the moisture that threatened as the rush of love for the young man who had so blessed her life.

Oh dear gods.

He would - for me?


Clearing her throat, Narcissa managed to raise her eyes and smile.

"Nothing that would call for such drastic measures, Draco. I find myself - restrained in ways that I'm no longer used to. Being the obedient wife and mother that your father expects isn't a role I'm accustomed to any longer and it chafes. We've had a few disagreements over my inability to conform. The indignity of being my 'guest' at Hogwarts as a spouse of one of the governors is a prime example. I must admit I took every opportunity to remind him of his status so the blame doesn't entirely rest with him."

Rising, she moved and kissed him on the cheek.

"No matter. We will persevere and while your father has many adjustments to make to us, I have little doubt that he will, in time, make them. To him, as it is to me, family is paramount."
...restrained in ways...

Draco winced slightly at the phrasing, that was heading back into the bad place. Usually the slight 'twist' his mind would put on conversations was an endless source of amusement to himself but in dealing with his parents - no. Just no.

He grinned rather viciously at the thought of his father's undoubted indignity at being lumped with the other spouses - wives, in other words. That would not have gone over well at all.

How long until the next function? Too long.

I wonder if I could talk Mother into hostessing some sort of mixer?


Draco turned his head to brush a kiss along his mother's smooth cheek, his mood fading as he did so. Family is paramount - and that was the problem wasn't it? Narcissa had tried in her own way to help him already - but the end result there had been the same. She had been trying to give him what he wanted - while still expecting him to fall in line like a good little heir. He had made his objections clear at the time but - was she still holding out for him to marry and - ugh - breed?

And did he really want to know this close to the falling out with his father?

I have to.

Moving over slightly, Draco gave her an uneasy smile and patted the cushion next to him. "Sit down please, Mother."
Narcissa complied, but her eyes narrowed slightly. One hand went out to touch his hair and move it so it rested on his back and not between them. She'd seen the 'hiding' behind it too many times to let it be 'accidental' this time.

"What it is?"
Oh gods. I have to talk about sex with my mother.

I mean - she knows I - but I -

I need a drink.
Winky apparently picked that moment to come out of whatever alcoholic stupor she had drank herself into - a tray appeared on the table. Draco could have kissed her - but eww. His eyebrows quirked and he picked up what seemed to be a pair of false eyelashes. Not entirely sober then.

I have got to take that wig away - it's getting worse.
He blinked as the objects vanished with a small pop.

I - I don't want to know.

Eying the tray distrustfully, Draco turned to face his mother again while reaching for the glass of juice on the tray. "I - oh hell."

Taking a large gulp of the drink - thank Merlin, unlike Potter, the elf at least knew how to prepare juice - Draco reconsidered.

How bad could it be? We wouldn't have to have the talk - could send it off with nannies and...

Girlie bits.

Right.


"Mother - I'm gay!"
The Fae thing must still be addling his brain somehow.

Smiling gently, Narcissa brushed her hand against his cheek.

"Sweetheart, I know you've never actually told me before - but it's been rather obvious for quite some time. I do hope your - anxiety hasn't been over trying to tell me. I'm not exactly unobservant unless it something I choose not to acknowledge of course."
Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck.

This is not - aw the hell with it.


Setting a cup of tea in his mother's hand, Draco gave her a kiss and uneasy grin before putting his hands on her shoulders and gently turning her upper body away from him. "Just - go with it alright? Look! Pretty painting - and it's not white! I - I can't look at you and you can't look at me while I - damn it! This is why we don't discuss this shit!" Draco released her and ran an agitated hand through his hair before turning slightly in the other direction.

I really should put something on that wall. Oh! Naked man art!

"Mother. I know you know I'm gay - but I don't know if you know quite how gay. Or how that works. I-" That's it - big drink and spit it out. "I like cock damn it! And arses! Of the male variety! I don't like girls - at all. They're actually rather repulsive naked - er, no offense. It's all squishy and wet and - ugh." Draco gave a shudder and took a larger drink, determined to get this out.

He was so not doing this again.

"There was the thing with Pansy in school - but I was young and everyone was doing it! And there may or may not have been some spell work involved to make sure certain things worked - it's not a problem, it was just then and I heard it happens to men all the time - well, not that it's been a problem for me normally but it was - I think I just threw up a little."

"Point. I had a point here somewhere. Oh! I'm not going to marry a woman and I'm certainly not going to sleep with one - well, sleep would be okay but no touching! And last time I checked there wasn't a handy little slide back there for a man to have one! Plus - I can't even find a man that I can stand - or is in town anyway - for more than a month or two! You don't really want to be a grandmother right? I mean - they're old and have grey hair and bake and are covered in flour - like Mrs. Weasley! And wrinkles - big huge wrinkles! And saggy breasts - which are gross enough in themselves, just fat bags on a chest and then they get all droopy and - okay, no more breasts! And I'd be a horrid father. I'd spoil it and see something pretty and walk off and leave it."
Narcissa's eyes wandered over the painting Draco wanted her to look at while he talked. She sipped from the cup of tea occasionally while his words flowed out and washed over her ears. The range of emotions going through her were varied.

Humor at first made her bite her bottom lip and keep the silent laugh inside as not to stop the flow. Surprise that he actually mentioned the Pansy interlude at Hogwarts followed the brief smile after the description of making love with a woman. She could relate in a way. Narcissa had never been attracted to a female and shuddered slightly at the thought of having to - make love with one.

Her eyebrows rose higher when he spoke of her being a grandmother. That had never been one of Narcissa's goals and she realized she didn't need it. Lucius wouldn't like it, but it wasn't about what Lucius wanted or needed. It was about her son.

The amusement faded quickly when he spoke of not finding a man he could settle down with. Sadness over the failure of her plan to get him and the Potter person together seemed determined to wring the moisture out of her eyes. A quick gulp of hot tea helped keep them at bay once again.

Without turning around, Narcissa put her cup down on the table and cleared her throat.

"Draco. I appreciate your candor. I do understand. Better than you think. If my 'goal' had been to gain a grandchild or get you happily married off to produce a child - the incident of which we-will-not-ever-speak-of-again would have had quite a different target for the potion, wouldn't it? And you would even now be happily married and possibly expecting a child. The problem here is how do we make your father understand?"
Draco's immediate reaction was an exhale as he slumped back with a muttered, "Oh thank fuck," followed by a, "Why the hell didn't I think of that?"

Because then you wouldn't have had to talk about sex and cocks and tits with your mother and karma is a fickle bitch.

Draco leaned back against the sofa, nudging his mother lightly to do the same and leaned his head against her shoulder when she sat back.

"Well, there's always the dementor's bitch option. But I suspect you'd rather we not. I did talk this over with... a friend and maybe in fifty years or so - I'm young - I'll do one of those things where they shake the stuff up in a tube and make a baby. See - continuation and no woman to try and usurp your place! But don't tell Father, it'd make him too happy."
Shake stuff up in a tube?

I don't think...

I know I don't want to know.


Narcissa kissed his forehead and put an arm around his shoulders.

"I'm not quite sure what you're talking about - and don't feel the need to elaborate, but if there is a way to - do whatever - perhaps you should leave a - preserved sample with your solicitor? With the proper instructions of course."
...

...

Did my mother just tell me to go have a wank and give it to my solicitor?

Umm...


"I'll think about it," Draco said faintly. I can imagine it now. Thunk. 'What's this Mr Malfoy?'

Pass.

Plus if Father did find out he'd probably try to get a hold of it and use it now.

And I really did not just think of my father 'using' my sperm, did I?

Right - more juice.


"Perhaps not Mr Blackwell to retain the actual sample - but someone I can trust. I could just imagine his great niece or some other distant family member finding out and trying to use it to trap me into marriage."

Hee! 'Here, Potter. Don't ask questions, just stick this in your freezer and give it to no one!'

I always knew I'd give it to him one way or the other.
Greatly relieved that they seemed to have settled something without actually talking about it, Narcissa smiled.

"Now that that is settled, how about a trip to the spa - my treat?"
Draco was up and pulling her up nearly before he had set her cup aside. "Yes! I need a facial and a manicure. Oh, I hope Claude is working, he gives the best massages." In more ways than one. Draco gave her a grin as they walked out of the penthouse.

"I seem to have gotten a bit tense earlier."