The characters and canon situations in the following story belong solely to JK Rowling, Scholastic and WB. I am not making any money from the publishing or writing of this story.
They had followed the sun all afternoon here in the enclosed rose garden, moving their blanket from place to place as softly filtered light gave way to cooler shade. The roses seemed especially glad of the company, slowly stretching nearer on their stems and vines until they brushed close to the quiet trio. Above them, the Argutia whispered cleverly from its trellis, its happy wit lending a pleasurable air to this particular spot.
Spread over the blanket in a riotous mass of silk skirts and honey-colored curls, her head resting on Lucius’ thigh, Hermione slept with the abandonment of one for whom nocturnal rest had been recently absent. Her elder husband sat contentedly, propped against the finely carved timber of an arbor with one arm full of a cozy baby blanket and its delicate, sleeping contents.
Lucius leaned down to rub his nose over Selene’s tiny forehead, inhaling the soft, sweet scent of his daughter. Her skin was flocked in the softest of apricot down, her round skull sparsely covered in pale duck fluff, and her exquisite features already hinted at a lovely union of Malfoy and Granger. She was the most perfect thing he’d ever laid eyes on after Hermione.
Hermione. He looked down at his bespoken one with an expression of unguarded happiness. He’d watched her grow up from a distance, protected her from madmen as best he could, and all the while he’d waited patiently. She was an astounding creature, never ceasing to dumbfound him. He smiled as he thought of how quickly he’d won her in the end, and of how she’d turned the tables on him even faster: how she’d taken the war-stake without hesitation, robbed him of all reason, and stolen his heart.
He’d attempted to gain control repeatedly – he still did – and hid his happy defeat behind a mask of arrogant self-assurance. Did she know how much power she held over him? He hoped not. His eyes fell on her diamond choker, and he ran a light finger over its intricate rows of gems. A rope of stars, he’d described to the goblin jeweler so many years ago. They must be perfect, and the collar must be charmed so that its wearer may never remove it. It had been a stroke of genius, he gloated, to quite literally tie his bride to her husbands forever.
Selene squirmed in the crook his arm, claiming his undivided attention once more. She waved a tiny fist in the air and looked up at him briefly, recognition already apparent in her eyes as she regarded her papa before her heavy lids fell shut again.
He stroked a tender finger along her miniature cheek, wondering at how the size of that digit dwarfed her features so completely. She was so small, so vulnerable! He was seized with a moment of panic, and fear gripped his heart as he realized he might not always be able to hold her like this. To protect her.
His mind began plotting out a safe course for his little love. She will be tutored privately, by . . . Here he faltered, trying to think of someone qualified for the task of teaching the Malfoy daughter. Then he smiled. By her mother, the Brightest Witch of the Age. And Draco and I shall lend our expertise. This way she would never have to leave the manor; it was a solid plan.
Lucius’ smile faltered. But there would be times when she would have to leave the safety of this place. Then she shall wear a locator just as her mother does, and her guards will never be apart from her. None of these choices Hermione demands! The resolution gave relief only as long as he held on to the pretense that the world would operate in the orderly manner he decreed. No, there would be times when his daughter would be alone . . .
But you are with her, he reached inward to his family magic, just as you are with me. Only recently had he begun seeking it out, and he was still astonished every time it responded in its wordless way. Just speak to her as you do Hermione; give her the same comfort and companionship. Protect her and love her as you have done each and every one of her forebearers. The unspoken words fell from his mind like a reverent prayer. Be with this little glory.
His little glory – that’s what this tiny witch was. His boys – for they would come, he was sure, and there would be plenty of them – would take up the mantle of familial responsibility as he and Draco had done. But this one, she would be the embodiment of the most secret wish of Lucius’ jaded heart: the kind of innocence that kept Thestrals invisible. She would be free of all heavy yokes, free to do as she pleased with her life – to study whatever she wished and to marry whom she pleased.
That was another unsettling thought: boys. They would find his glory eventually, court her, and try to take her from him. She would leave eventually. Would he ever be ready for such a loss? He nuzzled her cheek with his lips, seeking to calm himself. Perhaps if he began courting her with a father’s love now, she would never find another man as quite as wonderful as her papa. Perhaps she would forsake any departure from the family home, choosing instead to live with her doting parents.
Selene’s full mouth worked restlessly, her nose rooting into his cheek. For the first time in his life Lucius wished to be a woman that he might be the source of everything this tiny witch required. Everything but her mother’s milk, he vowed. I will know her so well, I will anticipate her every need and desire and give them to her before she asks. He sighed, a wry smile twisting his mouth. She will own me every bit as much as her mother already does. My heart is now slave to two women.
Lucius glanced down at his lovely Wife where she lay sleeping. He stroked his hand gently over her cheek, tracing the small curve of her ear. “Wake up, pet,” he murmured.
Selene opened her eyes again at her papa’s voice, her lips quirking as if in a smile.
“Papa’s little glory wants her mama, doesn’t she,” he crooned as he continued his tender rousing of Hermione, running his hand over her bare shoulder in a light, tickling touch.
Hermione finally sighed and opened her eyes. “Hmmmmmm. What a lovely idea, to spread the blanket here under the Argutia. I had the most amusing dream. Thank you, my love.” She struggled with the long skirts of her dress as she sat up.
Lucius watched his Wife with proud, possessive eyes, this witch for whom he’d waited nearly twenty years. Quickly he cataloged her dear features and memorized this perfect moment. Motherhood had already changed her infinitesimally, softening her small, thin frame with a few more curves than she’d had before. It was a very pleasing change he’d decided, back when pregnancy had commenced the slight modifications, especially with the knowledge that he and Draco were the reason for it.
She was looking back at him with that impossible expression of hers, that paradoxical blend of bold assurance and self-conscious shyness. “What?”
He arched one brow and twitched his mouth downward in feigned displeasure. It seemed her self-consciousness would win out this time. “Still unused to admiration after all these months, I see.” He tutted. “We shall redouble our efforts to correct that.” When her cheeks flushed and she bit back a grin by worrying her bottom lip with her teeth, he added, “Lesson number one: a body such as yours is meant to be worshiped. Now let down the straps of that bewitching gown and bare your pretty breasts to the sunlight. Your daughter and I have a particular craving for them at the moment.”
Hermione’s posture changed abruptly as she slipped into her role of efficient caretaker. She clambered into his outstretched arm, into the space between his spread legs, and leaned back against his chest as she took Selene from him. “Has she been fussing a long time? You should have woken me sooner, Lucius.”
Lucius looked down past the top of his Wife’s curl-covered head, over the long slender line of her pale neck with its collar of stars, to where her milk-filled breasts strained against the thin blue silk. He looked away quickly, shifting his groin slightly away from where curve of her arse nested with such pleasurable resistance . . . Think of something besides your own desires, you wretch.
Hermione was shrugging out of the straps of her gown now. She spoke in a hushed tone to their baby, laughing quietly when Selene’s clever little nose caught the nearby scent of her mother’s milk and her squirming and rooting became almost desperate. “Just a minute, you impatient thing! I have to take out my . . .” Her fingers were busy for a few seconds as she removed her runes.
The moment the jeweled bars were out and clinging to her forefinger, Lucius wrapped his arms closer around his Wife, cupping the baby’s head in his large hand and guiding it closer to her mother’s waiting breast. He watched in fascination as the little rosebud mouth latched eagerly and began the rhythmic pull-and-swallow of feeding time.
Hermione sighed contentedly and leaned her head back against his chest. “It’s been two months, my love; surely you’re tired of watching this.”
Never. Lucius smiled against the top of her head and stroked his fingers over the upper swell of her breast and down to Selene’s flexing jaw. Never. Aloud he countered, “My beautiful Wife sits in her rightful place on my lap, suckling the perfect fruit of our union. I find it difficult to imagine growing weary of such a sight.” Then, fearing such words might be construed as sentimental he added, “At some point in the near future I plan to fuck these glorious tits, pet.”
In the cradle of his legs, Hermione squirmed. “Lucius.”
He smiled into her curls again, glad to see a spark of interest returning to his witch. The past five weeks had been an agony of celibacy following their previous surfeit of sex, but he and Draco would wait patiently until their Wife made the first move. “Attend our daughter, sweetling, and save your fantasizing for later.”
Hermione gave a breath of laughter as she shifted in his arms to burp their daughter and then turn her to the other breast. “Have we really been out here all day?” She turned her head in the direction of the manor. “I hope Draco’s being careful down there; I don’t like it when he stays in his lab for so long.”
Selene had slowed her feeding frenzy to a contented suckle, her eyes drooping under thick lashes. Lucius stroked her cheek again and assured his Wife, “Draco needs his bubbling cauldrons as I need my plants.”
Hermione slid her free hand over his, squeezing it affectionately. “I know.” She looked up at him over her shoulder, nose scrunched prettily. “During my nap I dreamed we had five girls who ran us ragged. Do you think she’ll be an isolated occurrence? As a Malfoy female, I mean.”
Her words, spoken so casually, had Lucius straightening up in consternation. Fucking hell. He’d barely begun wrapping his mind around the idea of one daughter, and now his intelligent Wife was contemplating the likelihood of more! He looked down at her uneasily as he once again addressed his covenant. Give us twins; give us hellions. But if you care for me at all, let these be the only women in my life! I cannot keep them safe if I am spread too thin. Outwardly he said with confidence, “She is a lovely aberration. The next time we fill you with our seed, you will grow our first heir.”
Even at this oblique angle her irritation with his archaic sexism was obvious. And now that I have asserted my dominance, he thought with a smirk, fight back with your little kitten claws. The game would never grow old, and at this moment it would give him the diversion he needed from his thoughts.
Hermione, however, chose to ignore his bait. Instead, she gave a contemplative smile as she used her finger to detach their now sleeping daughter’s mouth from her breast. “I dreamed you called her ‘Glory’. That’s a pretty nickname; don’t you think? Hold her while I slip my runes back in, please.”
Lucius narrowed his eyes warily as he complied. He could admit that he had, in the sacred privacy of her sleep, given their infant daughter a sobriquet, but the snake in him resisted such soul-baring and all it entailed. His ego, on the other hand, swelled at his Wife’s unintentional compliment. It was difficult to maintain caution when the woman of his dreams was even now sliding the runes of his House back into their rightful place through her dusky pink nipples. Finally he offered, “It is indeed, pet.”
He shifted his gaze to their daughter, the child they’d named after the moon itself. She lay fast asleep in the nest of their arms, unaware that her arrival into this world had shifted the very axis of the earth in such a way that the world now revolved around her rather than the sun. I will spend the rest of my life bound in gratitude to you. Whether the thought was directed at his covenant or Hermione he wasn’t sure; perhaps it had been meant for both. In any case, it was true. It would be a bondage of gratitude fraught with carefully concealed fear and unceasing vigilance, for the likes of which, he now realized, he had been preparing his entire life. And yet . . . What a wonderful way to be bound – held to a life of thankfulness by his terrifying little beauty, his lovely aberration. His little glory.