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I walk slowly and silently down the hall to my son’s bedroom. When I arrive at the door, I move my long blond hair from my face and tuck it behind my ears. I push the door open, grateful that it doesn’t make a sound. I do not immediately see little Draco, but then I look at the small bed and notice a small, human-shaped bump under the warm, dark green blankets. I can not help but smile.



 
  “Hmmm. . .” I say, rubbing my chin. “I wonder where my Draco is? Could he be hiding in the closet, or maybe under the bed? Or, is he not even in here at all?”




   I hear giggling under the blankets and I pause a moment. I walk around the room, rustling the clothing in the closet and moving stuff around as I progress, making it seem like I am actually looking for him. I am pretending to be unaware that he is, in fact, lying under the covers of the bed, and I can see that he believes that I do not know that he is under his blankets. I begin to make slow progress towards the bed.




   “I hope he’s in here somewhere,” I say, “because otherwise, the evil tickle fairy will get him!”




   Then, I jump on the bed, and begin to tickle the child through the blankets. He roars with laughter, and I begin to laugh as well. After a few moments, I stop tickling him and move the blankets towards me and off him, so I can see my handsome son. His blond hair is a mess, his cheeks are flushed a bright red, and his blue-grey eyes are sparkling as he gasps for breath. After a few moments, he smiles. I smile back.




   “Mum, does father love me?” he asks me.




   I am surprised by the question.




   “Of course he does, sweetie!” I assure him. “What makes you think that?”




   “Well, he doesn’t show it. You do, though,” Draco replies.




   “Well,” I say, “your father loves you very, very much. He just has trouble showing it.”




   Draco nods, not meeting my eyes. I can tell he isn’t entirely convinced.




   “Mum?” he asks. “Do you remember your first Valentine’s Day with father?”




   “Of course I do,” I say, smiling gently. “Do you want to hear it?”




   “Yes, please!” Draco says eagerly.




   He sits up and watches me with eager and curious eyes. I sigh, and close my eyes for a moment. After a moment, the memories come flooding back to me in vivid details, as if it had happened just yesterday.




   “Well, it all began on the morning of February fourteenth, nineteen-seventy-five. . . .”



                                           *************



   I woke up quite suddenly. I sat up and wiped the sleep from my eyes, wondering why I’d woken so suddenly and abruptly. Then I noticed that Lucius wasn’t in the bed with me, nor was he anywhere in the bedroom. I got up out of bed and put on a purple silk robe. I nearly ran out of the door, and nearly knocked over a young house elf in my haste.




   “I apologize,” I said. “I am looking for Lucius. Have you seen him?”




   “Master Lucius is in the library, Mistress Narcissa,” the elf said in a high-pitched voice as she bowed in respect. “Shall Tinky escort you there, mistress?”




   “Yes,” I said, waving my hand.




   It wasn’t long before I had arrived at the library and was led inside. Lucius was sitting in a large stuffed chair by the fireplace, reading a book. Tinky walked me over to the fireplace and helped me sit across from Lucius. Then she bowed, her small, pointed nose almost touching the carpet.




   “Would master or mistress like for Tinky to get some refreshments?” the elf asked, still bowed down.




   “Oh, I’ll just have some tea, please,” I said with a small smile.




   Lucius didn’t look up or acknowledge the elf, but kept right on reading. Tinky glanced at me, then quickly and fearfully, Apparated from the room. I watched Lucius, who kept his attention raptly on his lap, where the book rested. He was wearing a thin dark blue silk robe which seemed to leave little to the imagination. He was a well-built man, and his long, white hair fell across his shoulders in a casual, just-out-of-bed way. But of his physical features, I most loved his eyes, which were blue-grey n color and were of a round shape.




   I felt a tap on my arm. I nearly jumped out of my skin, and looked down. I was relieved to see it was only Tinky, who stood at my elbow and held a tea tray.




   “Would mistress like one lump or two in her tea?” Tinky asked.




   “Two please,” I replied.




   Tinky obediently stirred in two lumps of sugar, then handed me the cup, which was warm.




   “Thank you, Tinky,” I said. “You may go now.”




   “Yes, mistress,” Tinky said.




   With a bow, Tinky then disappeared with a pop. I took a sip of the tea, and was surprised at the wonderful taste. I heard Lucius’s deep laugh.




   “Yes, Tinky has a way with tea,” he told me casually.




   I looked up at him, surprised. I had forgotten for a moment that he was even there. He smiled at me, his white teeth dazzling.




   “That’s the only reason I have bothered to keep her, you know,” he continued casually. “If she wasn’t so good at making refreshments, she would have been gone years ago.”




   “I’m glad you kept her, then,” I said. I could not help but smile.



**                                 **                               **                                  **



   “Oh, mum!” Draco says, making a face.




   “What’s wrong?” I ask in surprise.




   “I don’t want a detailed telling of the whole day,” he whines.




   “What do you want to hear, then?” I ask, raising an eyebrow in curiosity.




   “I just want to hear what you did to make the day so memorable,” Draco says. “You know, the fancy dinner or whatever it was you did.”




   “Oh, okay, Draco,” I say, understanding. “Well. . .”



**                                   **                                  **                                   ** 



   I brushed my hair and put it in a loose ponytail, a hairstyle my mother always said made me look beautiful. I stood up and Tinky helped me adjust the dress so it would hang appropriately. Lucius had made her my personal house-elf, something she and I both liked, since we got along well. Right after the dress settled appropriately, a male house elf named Ajani popped into the room and bowed low.




   “Ajani would like to inform his mistress that dinner is served,” he said, his voice as deep as one could imagine.




   “Thank you, Ajani,” I said. “I shall be down momentarily.”




   Ajani stood up and his dark green eyes met Tinky’s brown ones for a moment before he Apparated from the room with a pop. I suspected a romance of sorts between the two, but decided not to ask. Tinky, I knew, would tell me when she was ready.




   “You are dismissed, Tinky,” I said. “I can find my way to the dining room from here.”




   “Yes, mistress,” Tinky said softly.




   With a pop, she disappeared as well. I was alone. I admired myself one last time in the mirror and, satisfied with what I saw, I quickly left my bedroom and headed to the dining room. When I arrived in the dining room, I was struck speechless, for the room was decorated beautifully. Instead of using the chandelier above for light, the room was decorated with numerous levitating candles—each one was lit and gave off the smell of roses. The room was otherwise dark, and the table, from what I saw, had a deep red silk tablecloth on it with blooming red and white roses as a centerpiece and two sets of white china.




   “You look beautiful tonight,” Lucius whispered in my ear.




   I jumped in surprise and spun around to face him. Lucius had his long hair back in a low ponytail and he wore deep red and black silk-like dress robes. I smiled, pleased to see him.




   “You look quite dashing yourself,” I replied, blushing slightly.




   Lucius smiled in delight, and held out an arm.




   “Shall we dine, my dear?” he asked me.




   “Of course,” I replied.




   I put my arm through his, and he led me across the room to the table. He helped me sit down before he sat in the chair across from me. He clapped his hands loudly, then a few house-elves appeared in the room, each holding a platter of food. Then Tinky appeared, holding a bottle of firewhiskey. Lucius glared at her, then gave me another smile.




   “Let us dine,” he said.




   The house elves served us an excellent, seven-course meal. After the meal, Lucius led me to the ballroom. We danced for what seemed like hours, then headed to our bedroom, where we enjoyed the rest of the night together. . .



 **                              **                                  **                                     **



   I finish with a sigh. Draco smiles up at me, and cocks his head to the side.




   “Mum, what is love?” he asks me.




   “What do you mean, Draco?” I ask in confusion.




   “What is love, exactly?” he repeats.




   “Well, there is no clear definition of love,” I reply. “Your father and a few others believe that love is not having to say, ‘stay off my side of the bed!’ Others, however, think differently.”




   “What do you think love is, mum?” he asks me.




   I can see that he is genuinely curious. He wants to hear my opinion on a matter that he is too young to fully understand. I am impressed.




   “Well,” I say thoughtfully, “I think that love is everything it is cracked up to be. That’s why people are so pessimistic about it. . .it really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. The trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”




   “What does ‘pessimistic’ mean?” Draco asks, furrowing his brow.




  “Pessimistic means to look at the bad side of things,” I explain. “Like saying, ‘cleaning my room is boring and stupid’ instead of saying ‘if I clean my room, it will look really nice.’ Does that clear it up for you?”




   “Yeah, it does,” he replies. “What did you mean by saying that if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more?”




   “Well,” I say, “it means that if you don’t risk anything, you risk more by not doing anything. If you don’t risk being embarrassed in order to tell a girl you like her, you risk the opportunity to possibly make a friend.”




   “Oh, okay,” Draco says. “I understand.”




   I smile.




   “I’m glad that you do,” I say, “and now it’s time for you to go to sleep.”




   Draco lays down obediently, and I cover him up.




   “Goodnight, little dragon,” I say, kissing him on the forehead.




   He frowns.




   “I’m not a dragon,” he says, his brow furrowed. “Why did you call me ‘little dragon’?”




    “Simply because your name means ‘dragon’, my sweet,” I reply.




   “Oh,” Draco says. “Well, goodnight mum.”




   “I love you, baby,” I say, standing up.




   “I love you, too,” Draco says, already half asleep.




   I smile as I leave the room. I turn off the lights and close the door almost all the way, leaving it open a crack. Then I turn around and begin to walk down the hall. Shortly after I begin to walk quickly down the hall, I bump into someone and nearly fall down. I catch my balance and then look up at the person to find that it’s Lucius.




  “I’m sorry,” I say, “I wasn’t watching where I was going.”




   “It’s alright, my dear,” he replies casually.




   He then smiles broadly at me, wraps an arm around my waist, and pulls me close to him.




   “He’s in bed for the night, right?” he asks me in a whisper.




   “Yes,” I reply breathlessly.




   “Follow me, then,” Lucius says.




   He takes my hand in his. Then he begins to lead me down the hall, past Draco’s room and to our own room. I smile and willingly follow him. I suspect that we are going to have an interesting night. . . .



 

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