“I can’t believe that the all-knowing Lily Potter didn’t plan for this!” Narcissa teased, as her friend paced. “Congratulations, mama!”
The redhead shot her a disgruntled glare. “Ugh – I wanted to wait until next year to get pregnant!” She grumbled. “James is on track to make Captain at work, which would mean more delegating and less field work directly, but he’s not expecting that promotion for a while yet.”
“Poor, poor Gryfferin.” The blonde still wasn’t done teasing, her chocolate brown eyes sparkling merrily. “You can’t control everything, minx.”
“It would make things so much more convenient if I could.” Lily sighed, before laughing. “Oh, who am I kidding. Of course I’m thrilled about this! And terrified, to be honest, and all sorts of other things, and I really want some pumpkin pie and treacle tart right now, and bloody fucking hell why can’t I stop yammering on?”
Narcissa got up, impulsively pulling the younger woman into a hug. Lily stiffened for a moment, before relaxing into the embrace, her body vibrating with tension. “Oh, minx. It’s going to be okay. You’re going to be just fine. I promise.” She murmured. “Celebrate this moment, my friend, and let me enjoy it with you and cherish it for what it is. Then…we need to talk.”
She felt the smaller woman squeeze tighter for a moment in silent protest, before reluctantly letting go and taking a deep breath. “Talk first, and then celebrate.”
“Very well.” Narcissa gently pulled her over to the couch. “Lilian…”
“This is our last meeting.” The redhead finished, with a wan smile. “No need to sugarcoat or soften the blow; we both have known this was coming since the beginning. And now here we are – you, two months pregnant with your son, and me, a month behind and didn’t even know it until recently. I know we can’t associate with each other, even in secret, Selina; I’m not blind. You must maintain appearances, now more than ever, and Lady Malfoy certainly would not have a mere common born witch tending to her and her heir with her unclean hands.”
“I’m sorry. I wish things could be different.” Narcissa said softly, her gaze dark with remorse and sadness. “However, I have been indulged long enough, according to my husband, in this healing and learning nonsense and foolishness.” She deliberately strove for a lighter tone as she added, “How convenient that he took a renewed interest in attempting to fulfil his marital duties right about the time I got pregnant. Muggles are certainly much more clever than I ever gave them credit for, although they do have some strange names for their medicines. Viagra.” She wrinkled her nose delicately. “One night and one tiny blue pill was more than enough; he now believes that he is the father of my child, the arrogant fool.”
“And so the balance of power within your household has shifted.” Lily smirked, glad for the lighter subject. “Lucius will never see you coming.”
“No, which is exactly how I like it.” Narcissa returned the smirk, thinking of all the plans she had laid in place. The last of her loyalty towards Voldemort’s cause had evaporated upon hearing the muffled sound of her son’s heartbeat at the Muggle doctor’s office, and seeing the grainy image of the life growing inside her on the monitor had only reinforced her newfound disdain and hatred towards the man her husband so revered. Muggle science had succeeded where magic and pure blood had failed, and she could not hate the world that had helped to give her her son – or the witch in front of her that had come from that world.
She would not actively and publicly betray her husband – she was too Slytherin for that bold, emotion laden, Gryffindor type reaction – but she had no qualms about passing along information about known Death Eater personas, raids, and other malicious events to James and Sirius, both Aurors, to use the information as they would.
“A toast, then, before I take my leave.” She announced, moving to pour two glasses of apple cider. She handed one to Lily and raised the other. “To our sons, our future, and the culmination of the best of both of our worlds. May they forever stand side by side, shoulder to shoulder, and traverse through life as bold as a lion, as cunning as a snake, as observant as a raven, and as fiercely as a badger.”
“So mote it be.” Lily said quietly. They drank in silence, prolonging the moment and delaying the inevitable.
“It is time.” Narcissa finally said gently, standing.
Lily followed her to the fireplace. “Be careful, Selina. You and your son come first. Promise me.”
“Silly witch.” Narcissa said affectionately, leaning over to brush her lips against the other witch’s cheek. “Snakes attack best from the shadows. You keep your head down. I want my son to know his godmother and aunt.” She frowned, a shiver of premonition washing over her. “I mean it, Lily. Please. I know you and James trust Albus Dumbledore, but he does not always see the trees for the forest.”
The redhead smirked. “You’ve heard his ‘greater good’ speech, then?” It was one Dumbledore often extorted to rouse and inspire his Order of the Phoenix members when they expressed doubt at the methods and tactics he ordered.
“Yes, from Severus.” Her old Slytherin Housemate and friend had been his usual scathingly brutal self when venting to Narcissa -but not Lucius, that she was aware – of Dumbledore’s flowery speeches. She suspected that her husband also was aware that Severus was higher up in Voldemort’s inner hierarchy than he was, but did not yet know the exact reason why. “Lily, please. Promise me that you’ll be safe.”
“Family above all else, even the supposed ‘Leader of the Light’ and his Order.” The petite witch returned softly, hand on her stomach. “This vixen has a few bolt holes that not even her mate knows about.”
Her eyes sparkled with mischief, which conversely made Narcissa relax slightly.
“Go and be safe, sister. I love you.”
The women exchanged one last heartfelt embrace, before the blonde moved back to the fireplace. Calling out her destination, she disappeared in a swirl of green fire.
Narcissa returned home, grimly determined and resolute. Lucius had been pleased – as far as she could tell – at her announcement of their child’s impending arrival, and had gladly used the excuse to return to his solitary bed in the north wing of the house. He was gone much more frequently now, according to the boundary wards and Libby, her house elf. Libby had been with Narcissa since she was a child, and had bonded solely to her. They were closer than Narcissa was to her female relatives – sisters, aunts, or mother – and understood each other very well. Libby was the main reason why Narcissa had been able to meet Lily so many times without setting of Lucius’s suspicions; house elf magic didn’t trigger the property wards or tracking charms he had placed on some of her clothes.
Her first plan was simple: become her husband’s confidant, and learn his secrets. She had worked hard to build up her reputation of meekness and empty beauty, both at Hogwarts and after.
Lily, of course, had seen right through her facade from day 1 at medical university, but she had never betrayed Narcissa in front of other students or professors.
Narcissa’s throat ached with sudden tears. Merlin, she already missed her friend’s company! SO many evenings has been spent at the Potter cottage, with James and Sirius in the front of the telly watching a Muggle football match as the witches talked over a glass of wine.
She moved silently in the moon lit room over to the crib to gaze down at her beautiful miracle. Draco Ryan Alexander Lucian Black-Malfoy.
Ryan was the name she had insisted on, for it was as close as she could come to Orion, Sirius’s middle name. Alexander, for his biological father’s middle name. Lucien, at Lucius’s insistence, of which she had no real reason to argue against. Black- Malfoy, because he was the third in line to inherit for the Black family, after Sirius and his brother Regulus. Walburga, Sirius’s mother and Narcissa’s maternal aunt, had gleefully disowned her eldest son in favor of the ‘proper’ younger one, but Reg was rumored to have taken the Mark as well, so his line would end with him. It was also whispered that Old Man Black had overruled his daughter and reinstated Sirius, making him the heir immediately instead of having to wait for his mother to die.
Lucius burst through her door, and she whirled around. “Shh!” she snapped. “You’ll wake our son -!” Her eyes widened slightly as she truly saw him. He was disheveled, his shirt torn and untucked. Strands of hair hung around his face, pulled loose from his tail, and the faint older of burning and death lingered in the air. “What has happened?” She demanded.
“Your cousin and his precious Aurors.” He replied icily. “A mere altercation, I assure you. He thinks he won, when really the one who will be his downfall is on they will never suspect until it is too late.”
“What do you mean?” Narcissa frowned, her heart beating faster with sudden dark premonition.
“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, but trust neither, because everything has a price. Even Gryffindors.”
“Lucius, you speak in riddles.”
He threw his head back and laughed darkly. “You have no idea. Very well – who are you going to tell, after all?”
She gritted her teeth to forestall the harsh retort on the tip of her tongue.
“Severus Snape is a double agent. That fool Dumbledore trusts him, but he is one of us. He told the Dark Lord of a prophecy, in which a boy, born as the seventh month dies, will be my lord’s equal – and his bane.”
She gasped. “That is very specific.” She breathed, clutching one hand to her chest. “Do you know who the child is? I worked at the hospital; I could have checked the records for you.”
“No need. My Lord figured it out. The Potter brat.” he spat. “The spawn of a blood traitor and a Mudblood.”
“But no one knows where the Potters are! Rumor has it that they’re dead, or fled the country.” She protested quickly.
“Potter is too noble for that. He won’t run away from a fight. Stupid Gryffindor can’t even fathom the idea that his friend is a traitor.”
“Severus and Potter were never friends though.” Narcissa said flatly, still not understanding why he was so smugly triumphant.
Lucius’s cruel smirk only grew wider. “Ah, but Peter Pettigrew and Potter were close, all through out Hogwarts…”