“Father,” Draco asked, “How did you meet Mother?”
Lucius, who had been busy poking a dark object with his wand (the Merlin-be-damned thing wouldn’t activate, honestly, these things were made so badly these days), turned around to look at his son. “Why do you ask, Draco?”
“Well,” Draco replied, “I’m fifteen now and I’ve been looking around because I figure if I want to find a girl I may as well start early or all the good pure-bloods will be gone. But Pansy’s so clingy and she sounds like a screaming seagull and she’s got a flat nose, and Millicent’s twice my size and I think she’s got a thing for Gregory anyway, and Daphne doesn’t talk. Like, at all. She just glares at people, and yes, she made a first-year mudblood wet themselves, but what’s the point if she isn’t interesting?”
Lucius nodded sagely. “I too encountered a similar problem in my younger years, my son. All the girls in my year were either blood-traitors, blood inferior, boring, or ugly.”
“But Mother’s none of those,” Draco pointed out. “And you get along much better than Aunt Bella and Uncle Rodolphus do. Aunt Bella threatened to castrate Uncle Rodolphus and hang him by the toes out the window yesterday. Mother doesn’t do that at all!”
“Rodolphus,” Lucius drawled, “Was impatient. And so, he ended up married to your Aunt Bella. Don’t be impatient. There are plenty of pure-bloods in the pond. Your match might not be in your year. There was a slight… influx… of children, after the war, when we were not so… busy… with the Dark Lord’s cause. Have you considered looking a year or two below?”
“The third-years are annoying,” Draco sniffed, “And the fourth keeps interrupting OWL study. It’s difficult enough upholding the roles of Prefect and Inquisitorial without them bothering us.”
Lucius shook his head. “Impatient, impatient, Draco. I met your mother in my sixth year, and we barely spoke until my seventh. Give it time, or you’ll end up with the Parkinson girl and that mudblood who always beats you in the rankings will be married to some otherwise handsome, rich, interesting blood-traitor.”
“What happened?” Draco asked. “I know you’re lucky and a lot of us end up marrying out of necessity, but what happened?”
“The son of a Malfoy and a Black will not marry out of necessity,” Lucius sniffed. “You will find someone who is interesting, rich, good-looking, and of the purest blood. But very well, I’ll tell you how I went about it. As you know, I was a prefect in my school days, but what you may not know is that your mother was one was well.”
“She was?” Draco asked. “But she never spoke of it.”
“Her last year was exceedingly stressful. Sirius Black and James Potter were in their third year, that should tell you enough, considering how much you speak of Potter Jr. You see why she’s so proud of you, now, Draco? In any case, part of the duties of a prefect are to patrol the corridors, as you know, and should the school be kept up well, it can get rather dull, so we like to talk. Unfortunately, for two years, I could find nobody who would willingly hold a conversation. Of course, it was easy to talk about the Dark Lord’s mission, and blood purity, but few wished to speak of, for instance, the mechanics of designing a dark spell, or the subtleties of trying your first wines, or how to keep your hair in good condition.”
Draco nodded. “Pansy only likes talking about pink things.”
Lucius wrinkled his nose slightly in a perfect imitation of a rich man watching a flock of pigeons unload on passers-by. “You will marry a half-blood before you marry her. Her blood would kill off any good qualities in ours, and that would be a waste.”
“Yes, father,” Draco dutifully replied.
“Where was I? Ah, yes. Your mother became a Prefect in my 6th year, and she performed her role well. We didn’t speak much, because she took different shifts while she was studying for her OWLs – she received all 11 OWLs she sat, you know, so I suppose it paid off. We were never scheduled together for patrols until my seventh year and her sixth. I dropped most of my elective classes to focus on the important magics for the Dark Lord’s cause and found myself spending a lot of time walking the corridors with your mother. It would have been an awful faux pas to stay silent, so we conversed. Once we ran out of things about the Dark Lord, blood purity and society to discuss, I eventually began to speak of other topics. It was a pleasant surprise to find your mother did more than grunt and nod. Especially in the last case.”
“Crabbe does that a lot when I talk about hair too,” Draco agreed.
“Your mother,” Lucius explained, “Perfectly understood the frustration of making a Dark Spell, because she was interested in making counter-spells to heal our troops mid-battle. She was a proper lady of high tastes, and, like myself, she did not simply throw off the concept of caring for one’s appearance. I only found this, Draco, after having spent a year working with her.”
“I see,” Draco sighed. “So I might need to put up with Pansy for a while longer, then?”
Lucius sighed. “Humour the girl. If worst comes to worst, we will force her to move to Sweden.”
“The Malfoy family has done it before. Once she is in Sweden, it will be impossible for her to court you and you may marry a better choice.”
“Will you teach me to force someone to move to Sweden, father?” Draco asked. “We could remove the mudbloods and let the Swedes deal with the problem.”
“Perhaps when you’re older. It is as subtle an art as removing the frizz from my dear Cissy’s hair.”
“But mother’s hair is straight,” Draco said.
Lucius tapped his nose. “Hair care, Draco. Blacks have wonderful hair, but only if they dedicate themselves.”
“You mean,” Draco asked, revolted, “If I didn’t put all that stuff in mine, it would be like Aunt Bella’s?”
“Possibly, Draco. Let us never try it.”
“Never,” Draco agreed.
Two Years Later
“You’re looking to begin courting someone? Wonderful! Oh, my dear son’s growing up so fast,” Narcissa sighed happily. “Here, let us make a list of eligible girls.”
The stately woman hurriedly wrote up a list of names, then slid the parchment over to Draco. “Now, eliminate the ones you don’t like.”
Draco frowned at the ink. “Not Pansy. Daphne is scary. Millicent is going out with Greg. Flora doesn’t like Quidditch. Nepenthe is dull as two flobberworms…”
“Good,” Narcissa said, as Draco slid the parchment back, a dozen names crossed out. “Now, perhaps we could rank the remainder? Who do you spend time with the most?”
Draco made a face, then caught himself and removed the plebeian expression. “I haven’t spent much time around girls at all in the last few years.”
Narcissa frowned. “Very well. Order them in terms of beauty first, then.”
Five minutes later, nothing had happened.
“Draco,” Narcissa said testily, “You do have at least an opinion on which ones are better looking?”
“Well, write it down.”
“I can’t – it’s like, I know they’re pretty, but it’s not interesting. Like, Astoria is pretty and quite nice, but she just doesn’t attract me.”
Narcissa sighed. “This may take a while… Draco, surely at least one of those girls you can place at the top of the list?”
“I don’t know! It’s like, I dunno! I know Potter is the best looking guy in the grade – theoretically –”
Narcissa sighed again. “Draco, dear, one moment.” She stood up, smoothed out her robes, and stepped into the room next door.
Her husband turned around to see her standing in the doorway. “Narcissa?”
“I’ve been going through matches with your son,” she told him.
He took in her resigned expression. “He’s gay for the Potter boy, isn’t he?”
“Most likely, yes.”
Lucius sighed. “The signs have been there for years... It could be worse. He could be a muggleborn, he’s rich, and he likes Quidditch as much as our son. I hear Hestia Carrow and Ophelia Gamp are courting, perhaps the families could make an arrangement to produce heirs… I’m sure there’s a spell in the library for producing children from gay and lesbian unions, if I could find it…”
“You’re going to leave it to me to explain to Draco why none of the girls are interesting, aren’t you?” Narcissa groaned.
Lucius made a guilty face and Narcissa rolled her eyes, just a little, before going back to her son.
“Mother?” Draco asked.
Narcissa seated herself and looked directly at Draco. “Your father and I are perfectly okay with this. However. I will not have the house decorated in red and gold. This is non-negotiable, do you understand, Draco?”
Draco turned pink. “I don’t understand, but yes, mother.”
“Good boy,” Narcissa smiled. “Remember to teach your chosen how to look down their nose at the peasants.”
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