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Two Sides of the Coin
Birthday Wishes Narcissa and Molly
Monday, October 20

The elegant restaurant was strangely empty save for two occupants seated at the best table in the house. Lucius had arranged it that way, having no wish to dine with any undesirables. The owner was very compliant to closing the place to the public for the night, paid handsomely for the favor.

A waiter refilled their champagne glasses, melting away as quickly as he came once the service was finished. The table was laden with choice plates, the skill of the chef shining through for the well-paying, intimidating guests of the evening.

Lucius' eyes glittered in the soft candlelight, his lips curving in an almost predatory way as he surveyed Narcissa. She was elegance incarnate, the gift he'd given her earlier sparkling against her throat, casting rainbow shadows on her silky skin.

"To my beautiful wife," he said silkily, raising his glass in salute.
"To my wonderful husband," Narcissa returned easily as she lifted her own glass before taking a sip.

Her free hand strayed to the necklace and a small smirk played on her face before she sat her glass down. The dinner was excellent, nothing less than she expected, but it was rather a more special occasion than merely the day of her birth. It was the first one in ten long years that her husband was there to mark it with her. As frustrating as the days had been at times during their 're-acclimation' period, Narcissa couldn't and wouldn't want it any differently.

"Draco sent me an owl today," Narcissa advised as she took a small bite of one of her favorite dishes.
Lucius sipped the wine, a small smile playing around his lips. "As he should. It is after all your birthday, my dear," he remarked, setting his glass aside and picking up the silverware.

No doubt she would have liked Draco to join them tonight but he'd yet to 'mend' the bridge between them yet. "How is he faring?"
She made a show of lifting one shoulder and gazing into the distance for a moment before she too lifted a fork to poke at the offering in front of her.

"He seems to be doing quite well. Well enough that he would like to give us a joint 'belated' birthday party."

One delicate piece of glazed chicken made its way toward her lips and paused while she added, "He didn't expound on the details, but I assume it would be at his penthouse."
"Really?" Lucius said, a bit surprised that Draco had included him in the equation. Perhaps it would be easier to bury the hatchet so to speak. He needed to get back in his son's good graces to dissuade suspicion when a certain witch worked her magic.

"That sounds like an excellent idea," he mused.
He's being entirely too agreeable about this, Narcissa decided while sending him a pleased smile and then turning her attention to the plate in front her.

I'll have to keep an eye on him more than usual.

Arthur, being a man, didn't really see the gargantuan mess he was leaving in his wake. Or the burned edges on the cake. And he really couldn't be blamed for the slightly lumpy mashed potatoes since he couldn't seem to get the hang of the spell Molly used for mashing them. The gravy seemed to have a slightly green tinge to it, but at least it wasn't lumpy. He poked at the asparagus in the sauce that was supposed to be white, but was - more orange.

Doesn't taste like Molly's either, he decided with a slight frown on his face.

But - I've tasted so many things in the last few hours - it's probably fine.

Not poisonous at least.

A large smile bloomed on his face as Arthur sat the last dish on the table. He'd set it with Molly's 'good' china and a low arrangement of red roses in the center of the table. The candles on either side of the flowers were slightly off kilter in the holders, but they were the same height at least. It had taken him an age to find two in the drawer that were the same color. The fact they were purple and clashed with the flowers - never entered his head.

"Molly! Where's my birthday girl? Dinner is ready!" he boomed up the stairs and turned to look at his handiwork. Arthur had intended to take her out for dinner and had informed all the children they wouldn't be home, but when he'd told her that morning... Arthur winced slightly when he remembered her reaction to him not only taking the whole day off, but where he had made reservations.

She's right - it would have been frightfully expensive, but the children aren't living at home any longer and since we've got the pub now... Maybe next year.

He did brighten considerably when he remembered the gift he'd gotten her. Glancing up to make sure she hadn't started downstairs yet, he raced over to the bureau and pulled out a gaily wrapped parcel and set it in the middle of her plate. Fluffing the bow slightly he returned to the bottom of the stairs to wait.
The calliope of sounds coming from downstairs had been rather worrying - crashes, bangs, mutterings and full out cursing - at one point she'd heard what she was sure had been an explosion of some sort - but Molly had white knuckled the edge of her chair until the urge to run downstairs each time had dulled. She had promised and after she had - maybe, possibly - overacted - slightly - to the plans he had made for this evening, it was the least she could do.

And that's why they had charms set up to detect serious amounts of smoke or heat after all.

She would be darned if her children hadn't at least attempted to learn how to cook.

Things went quiet - the kind of quiet that having raised seven children tended to raise alarms - and Molly moved over to the door. Guiltily fingering the bit of flesh colored string in her pocket she reasoned it wasn't breaking her word as she wouldn't be going downstairs. Sticking the end of the extendable ear she had confiscated so long ago under the door, Molly strained to make sense of the now light noises she heard. Frowning a bit she moved closer - and flew away from the door, dropping the string and clasping a hand over her ringing ear as her husband's bellow rang in her head.

Opening the door a crack, she called, "I'll be right there, dear," wincing and wiggling a finger in her ear in an attempt to stop the ringing. Moving to the mirror she smoothed down the front of her gown - another reason she'd have rather stayed in tonight as it was lower cut then she was comfortable with in public and hoped he wouldn't snicker at the newer garments she had found to wear underneath.

Giving her ear one last wiggle, Molly slowly descended the steps, eyebrows raising as she took in the sight that greeted her. Normally the sight of her kitchen in such a state would have sent her into a frenzy - but the carefully prepared - if not garish table made her smile.

He tried so hard.

He is so cleaning that up.

"Arthur, it looks lovely," she told him before stepping into the room and moving over to kiss her husband.

I wonder when the ringing will stop?
He'd seen her working with the material of course, but since she always put the children first - it had never dawned on him that she was making herself a dress until he saw the hem appear above her lower legs on the stairs. His eyes slowly slid up her form as she made her way down and he realized - again - how much she could still take his breath away just by being in the same room with her.

Arthur loved his children - each and every one of them, but he was thoroughly enjoying this time of his life. He had his Molly all to himself most of the time and that was the way it should be in his book. The lower cut bodice had his immediate attention and he suddenly wished he'd bought her a new nightgown instead of the locket. A silky, sexy thing that would match the beauty of his wife.


I'll go see what Bill's little fiance has in her shop.

And if she doesn't want me to take her to a fancy, schmancy restaurant - I'll start buying her a few fancy, schmancy dresses.

She deserves it.

Molly's words made him smile and he drew her into his arms.

"Not nearly as lovely as my wife," he said softly before taking her lips in a kiss.