“Draco, please stop dawdling. Let’s finish up at Madame Malkin’s, and then you can go look at brooms.” Narcissa said impatiently.
The eleven year old reluctantly followed her up the street, away from the broom shop, pouting only a bit. His mother sighed; she loved her son, but honestly, he was becoming more like Lucius every day. She would have to limit the time they spent together, and hopefully the effect would lessen by the time he went off to Hogwarts.
They stepped into the surprisngly empty shop as the cheerful tinkling of the bell alerted the shopkeeper of new guests.
“Another one for Hogwarts?” A clerk called as she bustled by. “Come right in; we’ve a bit of a lull before the afternoon rush.”
Pleased, Narcissa gently urged Draco to follow the clerk, and settled into a plush royal blue chair near his fitting area to wait. Madame had measured Narcissa for her first set of school robes, so the old witch certainly knew what was needed without prompting. The chair was in a prime location to people watch, with sight lines to both the door and the fitting areas. The door chimed again on the tail end of that thought, alerting the store to another guest. Narcissa glanced over, idly, only to freeze in shock.
The boy was Harry Potter.
He was small, scrawny, even for an eleven year old, but James had been the same way as a child, eventually topping out at just under six foot. His messy black hair was short, enough that the lightning bolt scar on his forehead showed clearly. Wide, bright green eyes peered around him as he chattered excitedly at the man smiling indulgently down at him.
“Aw, c’mon Uncle Remus! Just a short visit? I won’t tell the others!”
The shop was small enough that she could see the lively mischief and humor in his gaze and hear it in his voice.
“Harry James Potter, no!” His uncle laughed. “We are not going to look at brooms. Your aunt would kill me, for one, and you can’t have a broom until next year, no matter how much you hint, whine, or beg!” He tapped his nephew on the nose. “I dare you to try that that face on Professor McGonagall. You’ll have about as much success as your dad did.”
Harry stuck his tongue out at his uncle in reply, making him throw his head back and laugh, the sound joyous and echoing through the shop and causing the other patrons to look up with a smile.
Except for Narcissa. The amused smile she had worn during the byplay disappeared, and her eyes narrowed at the pair.
Remus Lupin had been a Gryffindor and close friend of both James and Lily, so there had not been much cause for formal interaction with him, at Hogwarts or after. But she remembered him; a quiet, intelligent boy with an easy smile and tired amber eyes. He had been a prefect, Narcissa remembered, along with Lily – prefect to Lucius’s Head Boy. She remembered working on the patrol schedule for both Lucius and Bella, who both felt that it was beneath them to attend to such menial duties. Lupin had always thanked her when she played errand girl and delivered the schedule to him, and offered that quiet smile, but she couldn’t ever remember hearing him laugh so exuberantly.
A certain best friend of his, however…but no. James was dead, just as Lily was, murdered by the Dark Lord, who was in turn vanquished by the boy currently still in animated conversation with his uncle. Brushing aside her thoughts, she continued to watch the duo, but the nagging sense of familiarity only remained and grew.
Remus Lupin had been contained energy, contained on the surface but a volcano underneath. Narcissa wasn’t dumb or blind; Lupin had been one of the cutest boys in Hogwarts in her year, and even the Slytherin girls had held discussions about what was really behind his hard control and easy demeanor. He caught their attention because of all that control, of which most of the girls in the school admitted(by secret, anonymous poll) that they had tried, and failed to break. Granted, over a decade had passed since she had seen him last, but this Lupin was so opposite of her mental image of him that it was almost off-putting; happy, animated, openly affectionate as he ruffled Harry’s hair. The complete 180 in personality and mannerisms was too much of a coincidence to ignore.
Narcissa sat in thought for a moment, then asked a passing clerk for a cup of tea, which was soon delivered. Glancing automatically first at Draco to make sure he was still doing fine, she made her way casually across the room to where Harry and his uncle were at the cash register to check out, ‘accidentally’ bumping into Lupin and spilling her tea all over him.
“Oh! I am so sorry! Are you all right?” She exclaimed, wide eyed.
“Fine, fine.” Lupin grumbled, pulling his shirt away from his skin and grimacing.
“May I buy you and your son a cup of coffee, or maybe an ice cream to make it up to you?” She pressed, hand on his bicep to hold him in place. It is the least I could do – ”
“Yeah! C’mon Da-Uncle Remus!” Harry called cheerfully, Draco now beside him. “And we can go check out the brooms next door!”
“Sorry, Selina. We should probably return home.” Lupin said distractedly, glaring at silent warning at Harry.
It took everything in her to not react to the slip, but years of training held true. Her jaw clenched, she conceded silently with a bow of her head, watching them hustle out of the store and out of sight. Such a little thing, calling her by her middle name instead of her first. Except for the tiny fact that most people didn’t know her middle name, or that it didn’t follow the Black family tradition of naming their children after constellations or flowers. Selina was the Goddess of the Moon, remote and beautiful and merciless in all of her phases.
James had started calling her Selina from nearly the first moment they had met, declaring that it was prettier than Narcissa and suited her much better. Lily had picked up the habit as well, but it had been an affectionate thing between the three of them; one more shared secret.
Draco followed her to the register, still bubbling with his own excitement. “Mother! I just met Harry Potter! Did you see him? He’s going to Hogwarts this year, just like me!”
She smiled affectionately at him, her heart suddenly overflowing with fierce love. “Yes, my dragon. I saw him. Are you all done with your fitting? Will you have everything you need for school?” She said, glancing up at the clerk at the counter.
The clerk smiled cheerfully, handing her a slip of paper. “All done, Mrs. Malfoy, and charged to your account. Your order will be delivered in about seven to ten business days.”
Narcissa nodded her thanks over her shoulder as her impatient son pulled her away. “Now can we go look at brooms?” He sounded so much like Harry in that moment that she stopped dead, staring at him. He looked at her inquisitively. “Mother? Are you alright?”
She took a breath, refocusing. First, to look at brooms. There would be plenty of time to start plotting and planning. her confrontation with Remus Lupin…who was a Polyjuiced James Potter.